Food, glo­ri­ous food

There is a con­fus­ing wealth of food avail­able for the hob­by­ist to tempt their fish with. Here is a brief break down of the ba­sic types.

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - New Fishkeepers -


Prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant group, var­ied, easy to store — the ‘sta­ple’ diet of most fish. You’ll find pots and pots of dif­fer­ent types in the av­er­age shop, in­clud­ing: • Flake: The clas­sic fish food — thin flakes of com­pressed food, typ­i­cally of dif­fer­ent colours in a sin­gle pot with each colour de­not­ing a dif­fer­ent food type, green for al­gae, red for pro­tein etc. Floats on the sur­face un­til it be­comes wa­ter­logged and sinks. Ideal for sur­face and mid-wa­ter feed­ing fish. • Gran­ules/pel­lets: Var­i­ous sizes avail­able from mi­cro gran­ules to chunky pel­lets. Choose the size that best suits your fish stock. Gen­er­ally faster sink­ing than flake, so best for mid-wa­ter and bot­tom feed­ing fish. • Tablets/wafers: Gen­er­ally de­signed to tar­get feed bot­tom dwelling fish such as cat­fish and loaches, these larger, com­pressed pieces of food sink rapidly and are usu­ally de­signed to dis­solve slowly and be nib­bled at by sev­eral fish at once. Some tablet foods can be pressed against the tank glass where they will stick, al­low­ing fish from the top and mid­wa­ter lev­els to en­joy them.


Typ­i­cally sold in foil topped, plas­tic ‘blis­ter’ packs, frozen food comes in an in­creas­ing va­ri­ety. Fish will love the oc­ca­sional treat of frozen blood­worm or brine shrimp and these foods can be great for get­ting fish into top con­di­tion ready for breed­ing. Best used as a sup­ple­men­tary food along­side dried.


To be clear, we’re not ad­vo­cat­ing feed­ing your fish any­thing much big­ger than a worm or shrimp and the feed­ing of live ver­te­brates is il­le­gal in the UK. Small bags of live Daph­nia (wa­ter fleas), Tubifex and blood­worm or brine shrimp are reg­u­larly avail­able from most aquarium shops and make a great oc­ca­sional treat or con­di­tion­ing food for your fish. You can also try cul­tur­ing or catch­ing your own foods. Be aware that there is a risk of in­tro­duc­ing ‘nas­ties’ to your tank when feed­ing live foods.

Fresh veg

Many fish, even the non-veg­e­tar­ian species, will usu­ally ap­pre­ci­ate a few ‘greens’ in their diet. Slices of cu­cum­ber, cour­gette, squash or sweet­potato, or a few de­frosted frozen peas popped from their skins can all prove pop­u­lar but will of­ten need weigh­ing down to pre­vent them bob­bing around your tank.

Flake food Wafers. Freeze dried food. Crisp food Tablet food Pel­lets Mi­cro gran­ules Medium gran­ules Dried food.

Frozen foods.

De­frosted frozen peas. Cu­cum­ber. Sweet potato.

Blood­worm. Brine shrimp. Daph­nia.

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