In a fish’s natural habitat, they are able to find their own sources of food, but in an aquarium fish require you to create a well-balanced diet for them using available fish food. Buying the right products for the right type of fish allows them to stay healthy and not become malnutrition.
There are many different types of food that you can provide your fish including dried, freeze-dried, live, frozen and fresh, but in this guide we will concentrate on the shop bought dried foods that you can provide quickly and easily to your fish!
Dried Fish Food
These products are the most popular on the market, available in tubs made up of the correct recipes and components to help your fish thrive and also are one of the most cost effective solutions available.
Dried foods allow for all types of fish to get the correct elements in their diet, no matter if they are used to eating insects, plants or even other fish if carnivores.
This food also has a fantastic shelf life, in most cases years when properly stored. Keeping the food dry is all that is needed, contact with moisture will quickly make the dried food go bad!
Fish Flakes are by far the most popular method of feeding your fish and probably what most people think of when they need to buy fish food. They are perfect for top and middle feeding fish, tending to float on the top of the water and also gradually work their way down into the water.
One downside is that they do lose nutrients at a quick rate once exposed to the water, so for fish that live and feed from the bottom of the tank they are not always suitable.
Flakes come in a variety of different types with flakes designed for different species of fish and even colour enhancing flakes. Check the label or information on each type of flake product available to make sure it is correct for your own fish.
If you find that the flakes out of the tub are too large, you can quickly break them down so that your fish can easier consume them.
Crisps contain many of the same properties and nutrients of flakes, but with the added advantage that they float for longer and take longer to dissolve in the water. In turn this means that they keep nutrients for longer compared to flakes.
Although this is the ultimate solution over flakes, they do cost more, so many aquarium owners prefer to stick with flakes if they work perfectly fine for them. Crisps can also be harder for smaller fish to eat, but again like flakes they can always be crushed down into smaller pieces.
Pellets are designed specifically to meet the needs of different fish depending on where in the tank they prefer feed. The types of pellets include floating for fish to feed from the surface, slow sinking pellets perfect for mid feeding fish and fast sinking pellets for those that feed right from the bottom of the tank.
Wafers / Tablets
Available in smaller or larger sizes, wafers and tablets float to the bottom of the fish tank and gradually soften allowing the fish time to take chunks away as it starts to crumble. They are packed full of great nutrients and make the perfect meal for bottom feeders.
A great idea when it comes to feeding time, stick-on tablets allow you to place the food in full view against the inside of the fish tank. This allows you to get front seat action of your fish at meal time and also allows for the fish to quickly and easily find their food.
With other dry food they can become stuck behind plants and other objects in the aquarium, whereas these tablets allow the fish to have an unobstructed way of getting to their food, while you can also watch.
Slow release fish foods or simply fish food for when you are away or on holiday, does exactly what the name describes. A densely packed block of food is put into the aquarium and slowly over time releases food and nutrients for your fish to enjoy.
Many forms of this fish food can easily feed for 7-14 days, so enough time for you to be away without the need to add food to the aquarium. An alternative to this method which we tend to recommend are automatic fish feeders.