If your Angelfish seem a big sluggish, your Gold Gourami a bit listless and your Red Serpae Tetra a little pale, then you should be examining what they eat. Proper nutrition is the basic building blocks on which animals derive energy. These building blocks can be basically broken down into protein, carbohydrates, fat, fibre, trace elements and vitamin content. The balances of these nutrients are different for each animal.
Foods That Add Zest!
The best feeding advice we could offer is simple! Feed your fish like they would naturally eat in the wild. Fish spend all day foraging for something to nibble on to satisfy their incurable appetite. It keeps them busy and provides a balanced diet to make them healthy, happy and colourful.
If your fish are fed the same food at the same time everyday, their behaviour will begin to change. Some aquarium fish float motionless all day rather than hunt. Others become more aggressive toward tank mates when boredom sets in. Aquarium fish fed only old, dry staple food can encounter health problems and lose their colours, which are so vibrantly displayed in natural waters.
A wild fish’s diet, on a daily basis, is comparable to a menu offered at a family restaurant. Offering a mix of flakes, pellets, crisp flakes along with frozen or freeze-dried fish foods can improve your fish’s disposition and health. Give your fish a different food at every feeding.
Natural Foods to Consider:
- Brine Shrimp – This little crustacean is a favourite among all small tropical fish. they are available in frozen or freeze-dried states. Live brine shrimp eggs can easily be hatched at home in salt water kept at 25°C (77°F) and aerated with a common air stone. Once the eggs hatch, the baby brine shrimp need only be rinsed in tap water before offering them to your fish.
- Krill and Other Plankton – These great treats have enormous benefits for your fish. They are available in frozen or freeze-dried states. Krill are rich in omega 3, omega 6 and provide a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin. These are supplements which are not found in sufficient quantities in basic fish food. Planktons are a source of beta-carotene, which will increase the red factors in fish colouration. Central and South American cichlids will benefit from krill.
- Red Grubs (Blood Worms) – Due to their bright red colouring, these fly larvae are fantastic for improving the colouration of your fish. They are available in frozen or freeze-dried states. They are a favourite food among bettas, gouramis and livebearers.
- Spirulina Flakes, Pellets and Discs – Spirulina is considered a super food because it contains the most remarkable concentration of nutrients known in any food, plant, grain or herb. The perfect food for your herbivourous fish and a great supplement to any diet.
- Tubifex Worms – In their live form, these worms have gotten a bad rap in the past, having been known as disease transmitters. Freeze-dried and frozen tubifex worms are a clean and healthy alternative fish food. The compacted worms can be stuck to the inside glass of the aquarium to offer a feeding challenge to your fish. Catfish and loaches dream of feasting on tubifex.
Shape and Texture
- Flake-style food are best for small to medium-sized fish and provide the cleanest source of food for your aquarium. The flake shape remains floating on the surface for better visibility. Do not crush fish foods into smaller pieces. Larger sizes are more visible to the fish. Once flake food becomes wet, the texture becomes soft and easy for the fish to bite. Small crumbs and dust will settle into the gravel or become clogged in the filter.
- Pellet-style food are less processed and usually offers better nutritional value. Pellets foods are available in sinking and suspended formats to allow fish to eat in a more natural behaviour. Select a pellet size smaller than your fishes’ mouths, but large enough to be visible. Pre-soaking pelleted foods in freshwater for two minutes will soften the pellets to allow delicate eaters to readily consume the food.
- Crisp-style flakes and crumbles are best for medium to large species and offer similar benefits to both flakes and pellets. The different textures are greatly appreciated by your “wet pets.”
- Freeze-dried foods offer a natural food source without the need for refrigeration or the hassle of keeping them alive. Rehydrating small portions of freeze-dried foods prior to feeding is recommended.
- Frozen foods provide all the nutritional values of their live counterparts. Even picky eaters find frozen foods hard to resist. It is recommended to thaw out small portions before offering these foods to your fish.
How to Feed Your Fish
Improper feeding techniques are the number one cause of fish health problems. Uneaten fish foods quickly spoil. If your fish eats spoiled food, your fish could become sick or disinterested at feeding time. As fish food decays, in the aquarium, it can create dangerously high levels of ammonia.
Fish become excited at feeding time. Quite often missing the opportunity to eat all the food before it sinks to the bottom or gets drawn into the filter. Offer very small amounts of food at a time. Once the food is consumed, repeat the same procedure and continue to watch them eat. You can repeat this feeding method three to four times to ensure that even shy fish can participate at feeding time. You can offer foods to your fish two to three times a day.
All fish foods are properly packaged to maintain nutritional quality. Once the container is opened, vitamin content and freshness begin to deteriorate. Always store dry foods in a sealed container in a cool and dark location to maintain the quality as long as possible. Purchase food containers that will be consumed in a two-month period.
- Staple fish food flakes and pellets
- Brine shrimp (frozen or freeze-dried)
- Krill (frozen or freeze-dried)
- Red grubs (frozen or freeze-dried)
- Spirulina (flakes, pellets or discs)
- Freeze-dried tubifex worms
Please ask your pet counsellor what other items pertain to your particular pet’s needs.