Easy to read Aquarium Fish Foods Ultimate Guide

Aquarium fish foods

Learn about Aquarium Fish Foods and the Best Feeding Practices

Now that you have finished setting up your aquarium and your fish stock is perfectly settled in, it’s time to think about aquarium fish foods.

A fully functional aquarium already has a natural occurrence of food in every aquarium that can be used by shrimps and other inhabitants. However, this is not sufficient.

It is important to adapt the additional food supply as well as possible to the needs of the aquarium inhabitants so that they can stay healthy and thrive.

Since feeding aquarium animals can be a lot of fun, there is usually not the problem that fish and Co. get too little food.

The main issues when it comes to feeding aquarium inhabitants are:

  • Underfeeding – too little food. This should not really happen since owning an aquarium is fun
  • Overfeeding the inhabitants

In the article we will cover the following:

  • The negative consequences of overfeeding fish in the aquarium
  • Tips and information on how to implement a healthy and sustainable aquarium feeding strategy
  • The types of aquarium fish foods
  • How to store fish food correctly
  • Automatic fish feeders

Aquarium Fish Foods: Negative consequences of too much food in the aquarium

The first important a warning every new aquarium owner must be given is that as excess food quickly deposits on the substrate in the aquarium and ultimately. This will eventually rot.

Too much food on the substrate leads to an increase in algae in the aquarium

The rotting fish food on the substrate will release pollutants in the aquarium which can quickly have a negative impact on the water values ​​in an aquarium. One – and by no means the only – consequence of poor water values ​​due to too much food can be an increased occurrence of algae in the aquarium.

Having too much food in the aquarium basically impairs the sensitive ecosystem in which the aquarium inhabitants depend on to survive. The extensive measures have to be taken to help restore the intended water values ​​in the aquarium do not justify overfeeding the fish and other inhabitants in the aquarium.

  • Don’t put a lot of food into the aquarium
  • If your children feed the inhabitants, make sure they understand that an economical supply of food is paramount when maintaining the aquarium

Too much food means fish and other inhabitants overfeed leading to impaired health

Apart from the negative consequences of an oversupply of food on the water quality, too much food can of course also lead to the animals in the aquarium eating too much and consequently having their health impaired. What applies here is what is important for all living things: The right amount of feed and a balanced diet are important.

Everything you need to know about Aquarium fish foods

Implementing a healthy and sustainable aquarium feeding strategy

Each feeding session is an ideal opportunity to very closely observe fish and other aquarium inhabitants.

It is the perfect time to recognize early on whether there are health problems. It is usually a good sign when the inhabitants arrive quickly at the feeding station and display a healthy appetite.

As an aquarium owner, it is imperative that you provide the aquarium inhabitants with right foods and in sufficient amounts and varieties.

  • If you regularly feed commercially available flake food, you should only add as much of this to the aquarium as the animals can take in for a few minutes. This effectively prevents food residues from remaining in the aquarium and will eventually protect the quality of the water.
  • If you regularly feed commercially available flake food, you should only add as much of this to the aquarium as the animals can take in for a few minutes. This effectively prevents food residues from remaining in the aquarium and will eventually protect the quality of the water.
  • If you regularly feed commercially available flake food, you should only add as much of this to the aquarium as the animals can take in for a few minutes. This effectively prevents food residues from remaining in the aquarium and will eventually protect the quality of the water.
Feeding Aquarium Fish How Much And How Often? Don’t Over Feed Fish!

The different types of aquarium fish foods

1. Live aquarium foods

Feeding fish live foods has numerous advantages for the fish. There is a huge selection of different animals that can be given to the fish. Whether red mosquito larvae, paramecia, water fleas or others, fish love the live food and it supports the natural needs of the individual fish species.

Benefits of aquarium live foods

Regardless of whether it is fresh water or a seawater basin, most aquarists like to pamper their fish with live food from time to time. The fish not only like this and taste it very much, it also has other advantages.

The feeding of live food is particularly animal-friendly and satisfies the natural hunting instinct of the fish, which is part of the normal instincts of the animals and cannot or should not be suppressed, which in turn promotes the vitality of the animals. The natural behaviors can thus be maintained and some experts are sure that fish that are pampered with live food from time to time live longer and healthier than others. This is because the live food contains many essential minerals as well as other vitamins and nutrients.

  • satisfies the hunting instinct of the animals
  • promotes vitality
  • brings variety
  • contains many important minerals
  • rich in different vitamins
  • contains numerous nutrients
  • best natural feed
  • supports species-appropriate fish keeping

Types of live aquarium fish foods

TypeProperties, Shelf life, Storage
Artemia• easy
• Can be cultivated for several weeks
• ensure sufficient oxygen
• store in larger containers
• can be used as a complete feed
• rich in vitamins
• rich in nutrients
• rich in protein
Cyclops• Is durable, can be used for a few days
• ensure sufficient oxygen
• live feed that meets the needs
• rich in protein
• rich in vitamins
• rich in nutrients
Caddis fly larvae• can be kept for several days
• Best kept in a small aquarium
• Feeding foliage is very important
• have a high need for food
• provide employment to the fish
• rich in protein
• rich in fiber
Red mosquito larvae• Best before 2 weeks
• Store on damp newspaper
• Consume quickly
• rich in vitamins
Tubifex• Can be kept for a maximum of 2 weeks
• daily water change required
• Storage in a special Tubifex box would be ideal
• water before feeding
• rich in vitamins
Water fleas• can be kept for several days
• can also be kept in a separate aquarium or the rain barrel
• ensure sufficient oxygen
• satisfies the urge to move and the hunting instinct of the fish
• low nutritional value
• rich in fiber
• only suitable as secondary feed
White mosquito larvae• can be kept for several months
• Store in a cool and dark area
• feed in between (e.g. with Artemia)

Caution when using live aquarium fish foods

The portions are usually quite large. That means that the entire feed cannot be fed at once.

This is because mosquito larvae, for example, would not be completely eaten, which in turn would be harmful to the water values.

For this reason, it is important that the live food for the aquarium is split up. Read below on the best tips for storing live foods.

Advantages and Disadvatages of live aquarium foods

AdvantagesDisadvantages
🗸 Natural, healthy food✗ Contact with “disgusting” live food
🗸 Contributes to the well-being of the fish✗ Feeding is a little more laborious / laborious
🗸 Arouses the hunting instinct of the aquarium inhabitants✗ Storage of bustling live food in plastic bags in the refrigerator
🗸 Has a positive influence on the splendor of colors✗ Shelf life only approx. 14-21 days
🗸 Well suited for feeding young fish
🗸 High quality proteins strengthen the immune system
🗸 Few additives
aquarium fish foods
Aquarium fish foods

2. Flake Aquarium fish foods

It is the most readily available fish food on the market because it requires little effort.

Benefits of flake aquarium foods

  • There is no contact with live
  • You don’t have to thaw anything
  • Feeding the fish is easy

Type of flake aquarium fish foods

Although there are large varieties on the market, flakes do not differ from each other in terms of content. It consists mostly of

  • Fish and meat residues
  • Algae
  • Mollusks
  • Crustaceans
  • Vitamins
  • Yeast

A leftover cocktail with vitamins is of course not harmful to the aquarium inhabitants and can be fed regularly without hesitation.

However, you should focus on variety and not rely on a one-sided diet with flake food.

3. Granulated and dry aquarium fish foods

Dry aquarium foods are often available in the form of granules or food tablets. Depending on which animals you keep in your aquarium – keyword carnivorous species – this is probably the best and healthiest dry food that you can feed your animals.

Benefits of granulated aquarium fish foods

  • You avoid contact with “disgusting” frozen and live food
  • The food amount you feed the fish is easy to monitor
  • Dry and granulated feed can consist of significantly higher quality raw materials
  • consists of high-quality proteins in the form of mosquito dried larvae

For herbivorous species, like many catfish species, food tablets are also one of the only available feeds. Although it is more advisable to feed them with vegetables, such as cucumbers, a food tablet is also regularly accepted.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to rely on a varied diet for herbivorous species, especially because this can be achieved very easily and inexpensively using old vegetables from the refrigerator.

Advantages and advantages of dry and granulated aquarium fish foods

AdvantagesDisadvantages
🗸 Very simple / uncomplicated feeding✗ Often no complete feed but to be used as a supplement
🗸 Long shelf life✗ Often loaded with many additives
🗸 Well suited for feeding young fish and in the form of food tablets for herbivorous species✗ Mostly no high-quality proteins
✗ No natural hunting behavior to be observed

4. Frozen aquarium fish foods (for example in the form of red mosquito larvae)

It is the healthiest and most natural way of feeding your aquarium inhabitants after live food. 

Benefits of frozen aquarium fish foods

A good frozen food partly consists of

  • 100% high-quality proteins
  • Is usually not mixed with vitamins or chemicals – apart from phosphorus, which is indispensable for the shelf life of the frozen food

Frozen food makes a significant contribution to the well-being of your aquarium inhabitants: it can have a positive effect on the colors of your fish and the life of the animals and strengthen the immune system. 

NOTE: In small aquariums you should always dissolve the frozen foods under running water before feeding the fish

Advantages and disadvantages of frozen aquarium fish foods

AdvantagesDisadvantages
🗸 Natural, healthy food✗ Contact with “disgusting” frozen food
🗸 Contributes to the well-being of the fish✗ Feeding is a little more laborious / laborious
🗸 High quality proteins strengthen the immune system✗ Storage of unsavory frozen food in the freezer
🗸 Has a positive influence on the splendor of colors
🗸 Well suited for feeding young fish
🗸 Long shelf life
🗸 Few additives

5. Vegetables and leaves

How to store aquarium fish foods

Food for aquarium animals can also spoil over time or lose valuable ingredients. The decision on how to store the fish food depends on the type of food it is.

How to store aquarium live foods

In order for the live food to last a particularly long time, it is important to store it optimally. The individual types of food have a different shelf life and have different storage requirements. It is important that the live food is only kept for as long as is absolutely necessary. Food animals that are welded in must also be removed from the packaging, then rinsed and transferred to a larger container so that the life of the small animals is increased.

How to store aquarium dry foods

Dry food should be protected from moisture and temperatures that are too high or too low.

How to store aquarium plant foods (Leaves)

It is similar with leaves, for example, which you can sometimes collect for your aquarium.

How to store aquarium frozen foods

Frozen food must remain frozen until it is to be served to the animals in the aquarium and must not be frozen again after it has been thawed once. You can put frozen food in the aquarium without defrosting it or in defrosted and washed-off form, the latter seeming to be the safer option.

Red mosquito larvae

In this regard, please also note our information in the text “Red mosquito larvae”.

Aquarium Fish Foods: Automatic feeders

There are situations and times when you cannot always feed the aquarium inhabitants. You should therefore think about investing in an automatic feeder which can be configured to feed the aquarium inhabitants at intervals.

Automatic aquarium feeders are perfect for bridging short periods of time. Such automatic feeders can usually be programmed so that individual feeding times can be adhered to during the day. By portioning the food in advance, you can also be sure that the right dose is being put into the aquarium. Please not that in case of a mechanical failure, you will often have more tasks involving maintenance and cleanup. So you should consider

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