The varied diet you select for your fish is critical to keeping great health and longevity in your aquatic pets. Some fish are herbivores, omnivores or carnivores; knowing the difference and what will work best is what I want to cover in this post...
A varied diet for your fish will most likely mean better coloration, more energy and longer living fish.
- Frozen Food is one common type which is typically frozen meats such as shrimp and bloodworms, or frozen plants such as seaweed or spirulina. Frozen fish foods are awesome to include in most diets since the food lasts a long time in the freezer and maintains the nutritional quality.
- Liquid fish foods are another option.. typically liquid foods are target fed to specific things such as coral, young fish or any other types of 'filter feeders'. You can also get liquid vitamins for fish to soak the dry food to add vitamins & minerals.
- Dry foods are your basic 'TetraMin' type flakes or pellets, and while these are great, it shouldn't be the ONLY thing your fish ever gets to eat. This is a common mistake in the hobby and the beauty of the fish will suffer in the long term.
- Live Foods are exactly that - alive. Typically 'live fish foods' will be the same things you can buy frozen except they are alive, things like bloodworms, shrimp and small 'bait' fish. Buying and feeding live fish foods for the diet is always a risk because there is a chance of bringing home parasites or other issues from the fish store. Here at The Fish Guy we do not use live foods in our aquariums. Frozen foods are a much safer route.
- Human foods are an awesome option for most fish that will accept them.. although it is good to check online for anything new you are trying. Herbivores will gladly accept: shredded lettuce, cucumber, peels off carrots, blueberries, and most other fruits or veggies (not spicy or spiny). I would avoid feeding fish processed meats meant for humans, just too risky.
What about feeding the fish?
Well, typically it is better to feed 2 or 3 times a day in small amounts, but first we need to figure out how much to feed.. feeding your fish will depend on what kind they are, how many, and what you have. Nutrition is different for every fish so finding out if you have carnivores or herbivores would be the first step.
Next, you will want to buy 3 or 4 different types of foods (as mentioned above) for your aquatic pets. Then, feed just enough as to there is no more floating food in the tank after about 3 minutes. Certain types of fish or plecos will require special foods to consume, it is important to research your fish's needs!
'Auto-feeders' are another option to dispense dry foods on a regular basis, but these are also very easy to overfeed with and the fish still need a varied diet with other types of foods added.
Different variety of fish foods will give your fish the best chance at living long and healthy. Inverted stomachs in fish usually means underfeeding. Overfeeding is usually far worse for the health of the aquarium than underfeeding.