The first step to making your fish food isn’t anything to do with food. It’s getting an understanding of all the different diets throughout your tank. You cannot make the perfect meal for a fish that you don’t know. It’s important to try to mock the food they are used to eating. Unfamiliar food may result in starvation.
One way you can go about choosing ingredients is to look up the ingredients to the food specifically made for your fish then take the four or five most abundant ingredients.
Just because you start out like that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own; by adding or taking out ingredients. You don’t always have to stick to one recipe as fish often have a variety of different meals in the wild, rather than one simple thing all the time.
You will find one or multiple of these types of eaters:
- No Cook Fish Food
- So How Do You Know Whether to Chop, Purée, or Mince Food?
- How Do You Know Which to Use?
These fish eat other forms of meat. Anything from their own kind to shrimp, bugs, or snails and slugs. Carnivores need a 70% animal diet.
When creating fish food for a carnivorous fish there are many ingredients that you may choose to use while the one ingredient that should be in every fish food is fish. In the wild larger meat-eating fish will always feed on smaller fish. They are considered as easy prey. Along with it being one of the most common forms of natural protein fish also has additional vitamins and minerals that are vital for your fish’s health.
You may use many different types of fish such as:
Other forms of protein may be added to add extra nutrients and fill in ingredients for your fish food. You may use worms of many types. By adding worms, it supplies an extra layer, along with a great price cut. You may add other things protein sources such as:
- Beef hearts
- Brine Shrimp
While there are many ways you may decide to make your carnivorous fish food one recipe that is a go-to is…
Carnivore Fish Food Recipe
- Your choice of vegetables
- Unflavored Gelatin
- Beef Heart
Step one: Steam the vegetables. Then blend them into an even consistency (you may have to use a little water)
Step two: Place cod, beef heart and bloodworms into the blender and blend until an even consistency.
Step three: Mix the gelatin in a separate bowl using the instructions in the package.
Step four: Dump all the purées together. Mix until it’s evenly distributed and then separate into ice cube trays. Then place the trays in the freezer and use them during feedings.
You may need to have a high protein feed and if that’s the case you may use this recipe…
High Protein Fish Food Recipe
- 100g freshwater Salmon
- 500g raw shrimp (shelled and tail removed)
- 250g frozen peas
- 150g carrots
- 250g spinach
- 1 clove of garlic
Step one: Cut salmon, shrimp, carrots and spinach into pieces. Place into the blender and blend until smooth (you will most likely have to use some water just be sure not to add too much).
Step two: Mix gelatin in 1 liter of hot water then pour it into a pan. Add the blended ingredients into the pan and cook it on low heat until everything is cooked (Roughly 20-45 min)
Step three: Pour mixture into ice cube trays and feed fish as needed.
Fish that solely rely on plant-life to give them the necessary nutrients they need in order to thrive. Herbivores are the type of fish that you will have to watch your plants around. As they will find them as their next meal.
Although there are many different options to supply nutrients to these fish. The number one nutrient dense plant is “leafy greens.” This includes plants such as:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
Leafy greens are essential to the nutrient density of your fish food because without leafy greens you will be lacking vitamins and minerals. The reason they correlate hand and hand is due to the fact that leafy greens mimic those that grow in the natural habitats of the fish.
One hack you may use to appease even your pickier eaters is garlic. Not only does it call to even the pickiest eaters in the bunch, but it also has multiple health benefits, such as multiple anti-bacterial benefits.
Along with leafy greens you should think about adding assortments of fruits and vegetables. By doing this not only will it add variety and flavor; but it will add a nutrient dense and nutrient complex meal. It will add a better base of vitamins and minerals that will slim the chances of sickness and disease spreading throughout your tank.
One Herbivore fish food recipe is…
Herbivore Fish Food Recipe
- Frozen Peas
- Unflavored Gelatin
Step one: Blanch your frozen peas, kale, and cucumbers. Add your oats then place them in the blender and blend until smooth.
Step two: In a separate bowl mix your gelatin as the package tells you.
Step three: Mix the gelatin and your vegetable mixture together, then pour it into ice cube trays.
Step four: Place trays into the freezer and use during feedings.
These fish will eat both meat and plants to receive their necessary nutrients in order to survive. It is important to add nutrient dense components of both food categories.
As mentioned before your fish may take favor in some forms of plants and protein over others. While it may take some trial and error before you make up the perfect batch of homemade fish food.
One recipe that can be used for omnivores is…
Basic Gelatin Fish Food
- 1 unflavored Gelatin
- 5 cups of your choice vegetable
- ¼ cup seafood
- ¼ clove garlic
- One drop fish vitamin
Step one: Cook your vegetables of choice by either steam or boil. Strain the vegetables off and place them in a blender. Add garlic and seafood into the blender then purée.
Step two: In a separate bowl cook gelatin as required.
Step three: Mix gelatin and purée together then place in ice cube trays. Feed fish accordingly.
Sometimes you just don’t have time to do all that cooking to make your fish food. For those times this next recipe may come in handy…
No Cook Fish Food
Step one: Cut all foods up and then place in a blender. Blend until a smooth consistency, you may have to add some water.
Step two: Pour consistency into ice cube trays and feed accordingly.
So, don’t get frustrated if the first recipe you try ends up being a recipe that not all your fish agree with. It’s all about trial and error. Although, the base ingredients should stay pretty similar since you are trying to mimic their natural habitat.
So How Do You Know Whether to Chop, Purée, or Mince Food?
In the beginning it may be hard to fully have a feel for what your fish need/prefer. Some fish will only eat live food; and for those there isn’t any science besides placing live food such as brine shrimp inside the tank.
Although, many larger fish need their food chopped. When making a chopped recipe there are multiples ways to go about it. While you may chop it fresh every day; this may be nice but very time-consuming day after day. You may prepare one large amount and separate it into individual meals. This will allow you to feed in a hurry.
Smaller fish or fish that don’t have large enough teeth to properly chew large pieces of food need minced foods that are easy to swallow. This will provide quality food that any fish may eat. Although, minced food is more complicated to get leftovers out of the tank.
You may choose to purée your fish food. Again, there are multiple ways to pack and serve the food this way. Although I believe the best way is to blend it into a thick sludge like mixture place it into a Ziplock bag and cut the corner squeezing pea-like drop (may be bigger or smaller depending on the size of fish you are feeding) onto parchment paper. Then freeze the food; you may choose to move it into a Ziplock bag after fully frozen. Store in the freezer taking the amount needed to feed fish during feedings.
How Do You Know Which to Use?
Knowing which form of food to use may seem hard. Although as long as you do your research you shouldn’t be too concerned. When doing your research, it will give away which form of food you should make.
By taking the type of food they feed on in the wild. Then comparing it to the type of teeth and jaw they have. Along with using their natural habitat as give away. While comparing the size of the fish to the food it eats.
By using these four tactics together you should easily understand the type of food you need to create in order to properly feed your fish. No matter the decision you make and the mixture you use it’s important to watch the fish closely the first few times of feeding. This will allow you to see any fish that refuses to eat.
While we’re conditions and tank conditions are very important in order of raising a healthy fish the key component is the fish’s diet. While premade fish food is very convenient and easy it contains chemicals that isn’t healthy for the fish. Homemade fish food is healthier and cheaper than other options for fish food.
It’s important to do your research. If research is done half-asked or poorly than you may lose the battle of perfect recipe for your fish. When you walk around in the dark it’s hard to find the right direction.
If you perform your research correctly it should be easy to know the size and ingredients for your perfect fish food. You fish is sure to love you fish food and eat it better than store bought dog food.