Tropical fish food comes in a range of types. Flake Food, frozen food, live food, pellets, and you may even be able to make some of your own. This article attempts to explain the variety of tropical fish food on the market and a little about what you might be able to make yourself.
Some good basic advice, when giving tropical fish food to your tropical fish, is to not give them more than they can eat within a few minutes. This is especially true when it comes to flake food, as it will settle on the bottom and add contaminants to the filtration system. For this reason it is wise to feed a little but often. Do not fed more flake food, than your fish can eat in less than 3 minutes, if there is food remaining longer than this, feed less, and maybe more often. Remove the remaining food until you have found the right feeding balance so that there is no food left after 3 minutes.
It is important to remember that no one tropical fish food will satisfy the needs of all different types of tropical fish. Each variety of fish has their own needs, and there might even be certain foods that hurt a particular fish species even if other fish thrives on it. In addition, along their lifespan their needs may change, so a decision in food today may not be the best in a year, and so on… As with any subject related to your tropical fish, you should research what is best for tropical fish. Online, other aquarists, and even your local fish store can be great resources to find the information you need about tropical fish food.
Another thing to remember when it comes to tropical fish food is that all tropical fish need a variety in their diet. You should vary what you are feeding to give them a variety.
Dried foods are by far the easiest to keep for extended periods of time. They usually come in the form of Flake or Pellets. They are tropical fish food, which are often packaged more as if they were spices from a spice rack in the kitchen, and store efficiently. They are also generally inexpensive compared to other forms of tropical fish food.
First off, flake food for tropical fish may have a reputation for being inadequate. In practice however, there are many aquarists out there that use it exclusively, with great tanks of healthy fish. However; even given this, it is wise to feed other things to your fish as well. Again, variety will give your tropical fish the best dietary balance and the best health.
Many fish species bought in fish stores will eat flake food. Flake foods come in many varieties, some that are the result of great marketing and others genuinely great nutritional products for your tropical fish. Yu will likely find a large assortment of tropical fish food and flake food in your local fish store, as they can store it for an extended amount of time. Remember, the better names are researched in laboratories to be sure they are at least good for the fish they suggest. They might be a little more expensive but are worth the higher cost. As far as what is good for your tropical fish, it is wise to ask other aquarists, search online (and find great resources like Aquaticcommunity.com;-), and check with your local fish store.
Pellet food might be more advisable for larger fish due to the size. Though they may sink to the bottom faster (depends on type) and thus might wind up waste/imbalance in the system if the fish don’t find them at the bottom and eats them. You will also find some in the form of sticks that may claim to a full daily feeding for some fish. Be careful and watch to be sure these works well, if you use them. Some are good and live up to their promises, and others not.
Frozen /Freeze Dried foods… Frozen and Freeze dried foods are roughly the next best form of storable tropical fish food, although preferred by fish and can be said to be better food from the fish’s perspective. Frozen food is live food that has been frozen and keeps the nutritional values of the live food but will last longer than unattended live food.
Most items that you can keep (live) on your own are available frozen as well. Be careful though, to differentiate between marketing hype, and what really is good for your tropical fish, and always remember that all tropical fish will benefit more from a variety in their diet. This is even more true when feeding with frozen food than when using pellets or flake food since those are created to contain anything a fish needs which frozen and freeze dried food is not.
Live foods include Fish, Worms, Insects, Invertebrates, and other live tropical fish food. This can be a time-consuming sub hobby, as you need to maintain, or even cultivate them to keep a supply. Purchasing live food can be a project as well, as you will want to find reliable sources, since fish food is not regulated as human food and some sub standard products are sold. The food can in some cases be harmful and in others cases containing parasites and diseases. Earthworms, Brine Shrimp, and Guppies among many other live tropical fish food are on the market that are easy to breed in your home.
As all anglers know, a worm on your hook is often good bait. Of course, it is also good tropical fish food. Worms suitable as food for tropical fish include Black Worms, Tubifex worms, White worms, and the traditional anglers favorite: earth worms. Tubifex Worms can sometimes carry diseases, so for many tropical fish, should be avoided. Tubifex are also very fat so they should only be used with large moderation.
Some tropical fish will only eat live fish. For those species, you might find it a lot better to breed to food yourself as a good sub hobby. It can otherwise become quite expensive to buy live food, or time consuming if you can find it in a nature locally. Fish caught in the wild can carry disease and should be kept in quarantine before they are used as food.
Minnows, Crickets, Frogs (don’t use endangered species), and many other foods are available (or raise-able) for live food. Many tropical fish will prefer to get some live food even if they are given an otherwise well balanced diet. The final decisions on how to feed your fish rests with you, and your decision will only be as good as you research the area with your particular tropical fish in mind. You should therefore make sure that you do your research.