How to choose the right food for your fish
This article was written by one of our resident pet experts,
In the past, have you ever been guilty of feeding all of the pet fish in your tank a pinch of flakes and walking away? You certainly wouldn't be the first! But did you know that fish nutrition is just as important as nutrition for rabbits, birds, cats and dogs? Your fish supplies should always include a high-quality fish food... because sometimes flakes just don't make the cut!
The first step in figuring out what is best to feed your aquarium fish is to figure out if they are omnivorous, carnivorous or herbivorous - all fish differ. You also need to figure out if your fish is a top, middle or bottom-dwelling variety, as this will effect what texture of food they require.
Once you've figured out what sort of diet your pet fish should be consuming, there is a range of foods that you can consider as part of your fish tank supplies. Whenever feeding fish, remember not to overfeed, providing only enough food that they can eat in three to five minutes!
Flakes and Crisps
Perhaps some of the most populous dry food varieties of the food on the market, fish flakes and crisps are baked to remove moisture and ensure a long shelf life and contain macro nutrients, trace elements and vitamins to keep your fish swimming happily. Brands such as Nutrafin and Tetra are also formulated so as not to cloud the water of your tank, leading to better water quality, and are available in tropical fish food varieties. They're suitable for fish species such as gold fish, cichlids, betta fish and various tropical fish.
Flakes are best-suited to top-feeding fish - that is, fish that will swim to the surface of the water to feed - as well as some middle-feeder species. Crisps however, are slightly heavier and are suitable for mid- and bottom-feeder fish, such as tetra, gouramis and angelfish, making them a staple tropical fish food. Tetra makes crisps for a variety of fish species including cichlids and betta.
Sticks, Pellets and Granules
Sticks, pellets and granules are suitable for mid- and bottom-feeding fish such as pleco, corydoras and loaches. Floating varieties are very popular among pond fish, particularly koi, which will swim to the water's surface to devour their meal. Like many dried fish foods pellets, sticks and granules are baked to remove moisture and to help them last longer than even flakes and crisps in their packaging. These denser dry foods also decompose at a slower rate than flakes and crisps, meaning they are less likely to cloud your aquarium tank water and are suitable for any slower-feeding fish you may have.
Wafers are a unique option for many varieties of fish that require a plant-based diet, including plecostomus - many are vegetable-enriched, with algae additives that assist with the overall health of your tank water while also releasing a tasty and wholesome meal for your fish. Like pellets, wafers are more solid than crisps and flakes and help to keep your fish tank water clear, since they don't tend to disintegrate quickly.
They dissolve and crumble, just as it sounds! Crumbles are an excellent choice of fish food for all levels of feeding fish - top, middle and bottom. Crumbles tend to sink slowly, giving time for pet fish throughout your aquarium to grab a bite to eat.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of options for you to choose from when it comes to finding the right food for your aquarium. Just like cat food and dog food, be sure to read the label on the container, make sure that the ingredients suit your omnivorous, carnivorous or herbivorous fish, and your scaly friends will live a healthy, full-bellied life!