What Food does Fish Eat? Find out now

What Food does Fish Eat? Find out now

Well, if someone had asked you “what you eat?” what would be your answer? bread? meat? veggies? there is so much more, right? what I am trying to tell you is, food is very generic. And likewise, fish have an array of food they like too. If you were to live in America, you would omelet as your breakfast but if you were to live in Asian countries, the breakfast culture is very very different. I pointed that out to tell you even fish chooses to eat their food based on the environment they live in.

Yeah! there are eating-obsessed fish that eats anything and everything that gets on their way. But let us get more specific in here, shall we?

Just like how humans are differentiated into 3 divisions as herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, it goes the same way around with too! Except that THEY DONT HAVE A CHOICE!! Some fish have to go carnivore (eat meat) to survive or else they’d die. And some just can’t eat meat even if that’s all there is. This is based on how their digestive tract is given by God himself.

But to give short phrase answer to the question “What do Fish eat?”- In the wild, some fish prey on other small fish and some depend on plants and algae.

Once you are done reading this article, you should be able to figure out what category your fish belong to and what is the good food for your fish belonging to that category. So please read on

What Should You Feed Your Fish?

Generally, you have to feed your fish that is full of fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbs. But how much you feed it depends upon what fish you are talking about here. So let us zoom in on the categories of the fish.

1. Carnivores (Meat-eaters)

fish predating on smaller fish

Some Fish species that come under this category are:

  • Arowanas
  • Bettas
  • Cichlids
  • Pipefish
  • Piranhas
  • Killfish

What do they need in their diet?

  • Food rich in protein has to be up to 70% of their diet.
  • Food containing fats to insulate and protect their body.
  • Food containing carbs to provide them the energy.

How do you recognize if your fish is carnivores?

If they belong to the carnivores category, they’d have a large mouth with pointed teeth (they have this to kill their prey). These fishes are predators, they like a good chase to prey on other fish, larvae, and insects.
To provide them with fats and carbs (which they need in a very low percentage) you should offer them frozen food of different varieties.

Food Recommendations

1) Insects

Below foods provide them with enough amount of protein

  • Blood worms
  • white worms
  • tubifex worms
  • micro worms
  • brine shrimp

FYI: Sometimes worms could carry disease and that might affect your fish. So it is recommended that you wash it thoroughly and then feed it.

These are the typical LIVE foods you can ever provide to your fish, these are the best form of food your fish can eat because none of the nutrition in this food is lost when you feed it live.

And one of the best food under this category is Brine shrimp, this is because not only they are very nutritious but fish love them! And a plus point is that these brine shrimp can be grown at your home and provide fish to eat it. If you want to buy it then Brine shrimp can be a little expensive, but you can always choose frozen brine shrimp which is affordable.

2) Fish

Below foods are necessary for their fat needs

  • Beefheart 
  • Feeder fish
  • Daphnia

As I have mentioned above they love predating on other fish. And since in the aquarium they don’t have other fish to pray on, you have to provide it to them.

Introducing a few small fishes inside the tank would make these fishes live their old lives on predating on them. That’s a fun part of their lives. Also, while you bring other frozen fish to make sure those have low-fat content by trimming them beforehand. Beefheart fish and the feeder fish are the best-frozen fish I would recommend. keep in mind that these feeder fish are very cheap and hence the maintenance of them will be poorer, so it is recommended to store them separately for about a week before feeding it to your fish (just to make sure nothing harmful happens to your fish)

Daphania is a very popular live fish food, you can give these for your fish to eat.

Dried Foods and Supplements for Cornivores (Click here)

2. Herbivores (Plant eaters)

fish eating plant

Some Fish species that come under this category are: 

  • Surgeonfish.
  • Parrotfish.

What do they need in their diet?

Food containing small amounts of proteins such as  Algae, Plants, Vegetables

As you all know Herbivores are plant-dependent species. And contrary to that of the human digestive system, which needs very less energy to digest plants, for fish, this is more difficult to digest than meats. This is because this diet includes a heck lot of fibers and it is very difficult for them. So they have a bigger digestive system than that of carnivores.

They have a pseudo stomach, which means usually their intestine does the job of breaking down the food. Teeth do all the job of grinding the plant so they don’t need the stomach’s functionality of grinding the food for them. But on the contrary, these fish have to feed on plants much often because they don’t have a stomach to store the food.

There are very few fish that are true herbivores because they’d need at least a little bit of meat for their protein intake.

FYI: Herbivorous fish are very important in coral reefs to keep the algae growth in check

Food Recommendations

Plants and Algae

So when it comes to providing plants and algae to your fish, it’s a little pain in the gut, because they need to eat very often remember?

To start with, installing several plants in your tank is what you should do. But is that enough? NO! Live plants in the tank will be eaten completely by the fish in a matter of days and that’s why there are plant/algae supplements you can give your fish to eat and there is a type of flake food particularly of herbivorous, That helps too.

Fruits and Veggies

Heck ya, they eat fruits too! You can feed them apples and pears, papaya.

They love to eat veggies like peas, spinach, lettuce, and zucchini. That is all they need to fulfill their vitamin and mineral needs.

Dried Foods and Supplements of Herbivores (Click here)

3. Omnivores (Meat and Plant eaters)

live shrimp
fish food

Fish species that come under this category are most of the fishes.

What do they need in their diet?

(This chart holds good for carnivores and herbivores as well)

  1. Vitamin B1 – for the breakdown of carbohydrates.
  2. Vitamin B2 / Vitamin B6 – to improve enzyme functionality.
  3. Vitamin C – required primarily for growth, digestion, and healing of wounds.
  4. Calcium, Phosphorous, and Manganese – for the overall development.

Their digestive system comes as the midground between carnivores and herbivores. And yeah, these are the fish you would probably wanna pet because they are very easy to look after.

Food Recommendations

Any kind of food that carnivores and herbivores eat can be fed to omnivores fish. Annnd they need only up to 50% of their meal to be protein.

Food available in the store

  • Flakes (best for top feeders)
  • Granules
  • Pellets
  • Discs (best for bottom feeder)

Look for these ingredients in the packaged food/ Filler food:

  • Spirulina
  • Earthworm
  • Shrimp meal
  • Squid meal
  • Fish meal

If you don’t know about the different level feeder, I will have an article coming on that topic!

Homemade Fish Food

Perhaps one of the best ways to make sure your fish is getting the best possible diet is to make your own food at home.

Don’t you love home food? Who doesn’t right?

Its healthy, tasty, and very nutritive. Even the fish loves homemade food, and like I have mentioned above, Brine shrimp is the best food you can make at your home and give it to your fish to eat? ( fish says “yumm!”). And a plus point is it is going to be super cheap if you make homemade food for them.

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