Proper Diet for fish

It is important to know what to properly feed the type of fish you are keeping. Fish fall into three categories just as the rest of the animal kingdom: herbivorous, (eating plants), carnivorous, (eating animals), or omnivorous, (eating both). There are many different commercial products for this purpose as well as live foods such as worms and shrimp. These fishy food groups come in different forms. Let’s take a look at them.


Dry Food

Flakes, pellets, wafers, and other odd shaped processed food, are formulated for each of the three food groups as well as various specific types of fish. There are floating foods for those who like to feed from the water surface and sinking foods for those who forage on the substrate.

There are even some foods that sink very slowly and sort of drift around the tank for those fish who congregate at various levels. Flake and small pellets are good for small to medium fish, but do not have enough substance and bulk for large fish.


Frozen and Freeze Dried

This is a wonderful way to provide high protein food for carnivorous and omnivorous fish and see frantic feeding displays without the hassle of keeping live food. Worms from insect larva and brine shrimp are the most common. Both frozen and freeze dried loose something in the processing, but if you interchange between the two you give your fish the full nutritional requirements. Freeze dried foods should be stored in an air tight container and frozen foods of course should be frozen, and if sealed should last a very long time.

Frozen foods appear to be closer to the real thing to the senses of the fish based on how eagerly it’s devoured. Krill and even larger shrimp are suitable for big predatory fish. Make sure what you are buying is not too big to fit in the mouths of your fish.


Live Foods

Feeding live foods to fish is the most entertaining to watch, but with the advancement in processed foods there is no longer a need to feed it exclusively. An occasional treat however contributes to the requirements of a varied diet and is much fun! The thing to watch out for as with any food is over feeding. Some fish will literally gorge until their stomachs burst. A high protein diet creates more fish waste that puts a greater burden on the biological filter, and larger live foods can be very messy leaving scraps of uneaten decaying material that could severely pollute the aquarium.

Several years ago I thought it would be interesting to feed my Angel fish earthworms. The worms appeared much bigger than I thought they were after I put them in the aquarium. The angels did eat parts of them, but left much of what was uneaten to crawl into the substrate and rot. The end result was several hours of clean up.

With all the different choices out there just remember to feed your fish what can easily fit into their mouths and make sure it’™s from the right food group for the specie. Give then a variety of the right type of food but only in the amount that can be easily digested within a couple minutes.