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What Do Fish Eat & What Is Fish Food Made Of?

When getting a fish for an aquarium, many aquarists are often concerned with feeding their beloved pet. What do fish eat? What is fish food made of? How much should fish eat? These are just some of the questions people have when they get their beloved new pets, but luckily they are easily answered. Let’s take a look at what exactly fish eat.

Fish and aquarium plants

What Do Fish Eat?

To answer this question, you first need to know what type of fish you have. There are herbivores (plant-eaters), carnivores (meat-eaters), and omnivores (meat and plant eaters).

Herbivores can eat flake food, but they will prefer nibbling algae wafers since they feed on plants. If you want to get them a fresh option, you can supplement their diet with spinach, lettuce, zucchini, and even green peas that are chopped into fish-sized bites.

Carnivores will only feed on meat. Like bettas, many of them will live on frozen brine shrimp and worms (both live and freeze-dried), while others like Oscars will enjoy the hunting process and eat live-feeder fish.

Most aquarium fish species are omnivores and are flexible with their diets as they will eat both plants and meat. Many omnivores, like goldfish, mollies, and catfish, will also eat flake food, so you can create a balanced diet that includes everything they need.

When you determine what type of fish you have, you can find the appropriate food for your beloved pet. But what is the difference between flakes, crisps, pellets, tablets, wafers, and all the other fish food you can find?


Flakes are the best-known and most popular type of fish food. Even first-time fish owners have heard of flakes. But what are they exactly?

They are basically small pieces of paper-thin fish food, but they are great for surface feeders and fish that prefer swimming in the middle of the water column. The only downside to flakes is that they will lose their nutrients quickly once they dissolve in the water, which makes them unsuitable for fish that will live at the bottom of the aquarium.

Fish flakes can be found in many different varieties, including color-enhancing flakes and those designed for specific species. However, because there are so many, you will need to read the label before you buy anything.


Crisps are basically a denser version of fish flakes. They might not seem different, but with their extra thickness, they will dissolve slower and float longer, which means they will retain nutrients longer and leave less waste. So why don’t more people give crips to their fish? Well, there are some downsides. One of the biggest downsides is the price that makes people stick to traditional flakes.


Pellets or granules were designed to bring food to wherever your fish want to eat. Just like flakes and crisps, pellets are made from a range of ingredients that are suitable for any specific diet. There are three types of pellets that you can get for your fish:

  1. Floating pellets
  2. Fast-sinking pellets
  3. Slow-sinking pellets

Floating pellets have a pretty straightforward name. These pellets will float on the surface of the water much longer than other types of food. They do not sink because they have a lot of air that makes them buoyant, but the air in them might cause bloating problems for certain fish.

Fast-sinking pellets are heavy pellets that will sink to the bottom of the aquarium quickly and provide instant food for the bottom feeders of your tank. Even though these pellets are dense, they are full of nutrients, which will be beneficial for your fish, but you need to make sure that you don’t overfeed your fish.

Unlike fast-sinking, slow-sinking pellets will slowly sink to the bottom of your aquarium, making sure even your mid-feeding fish get enough food. These pellets are available in a wide range of sizes- from those that resemble powder to gravel-sized chunks.

Stick-on tablets

When the food floats on the water surface or falls behind decorations, people don’t have a good view. For those that want to have a good view of their fish during feeding time, stick-on tablets are the choice to go for. You just have to grab a tablet, hold it to the front glass of the aquarium and remove your hand, and then just watch as the tablet sinks.


If you’re looking for food that will dissolve as slowly as possible, wafers will provide food for all of your companions. Wafers were not designed to be eaten in a single bite. They will quickly sink to the bottom, but they will slowly soften, which means they will easily break up while your fish nibble them. And they are packed with plants and vegetables, which makes them an excellent choice for omnivores and bottom feeders.

Live foods

In the early days of fish keeping, when there weren’t any other choices for fish food to go around, people used to give their pets live foods regularly to provide them all the essential nutrients they needed. With plenty of patience and practice, you can wean most of your fish off with live foods.

By growing live food in your home, you will have a continuous, fresh supply of readily available food for your fish. However, live foods can introduce diseases into the aquarium and potentially harm your fish that way. Fortunately, many local fish stores will usually have live foods that have been sustainably farmed just for nutritional purposes. But you should still do regular aquarium maintenance to avoid any problems.

Fresh foods

Herbivores or omnivores have no problems eating fresh vegetables in their balanced diet. Swordtails, catfish, and platies, for example, are big fans of peas that just need to be removed from the pod and slightly squashed. Another popular choice among fish is a squash that you can just cut into slices and skewer with a fork. Just make sure you keep your tank clean and clear and remove any uneaten vegetables to prevent the water from getting cloudy.

Frozen foods

If you can find live food, you can find the same things frozen. Frozen food usually has a combination of different ingredients, but they are essentially a single live food that has been frozen into cubes. When you have to feed your fish, thaw the cube, and give it to your pets. Or skip the thawing and just add the cubes directly to the tank. The main advantage is that you can keep frozen food longer than live food if you properly store it in the freezer.

Fish looking for food

What is Fish Food Made of?

Most fish food brands have a variety of sources that will give your fish enough nutrients. While looking at which food to get your fish, make sure you look for the following ingredients:

  • Essential proteins: fish meal, shrimp meal, squid meal, spirulina, and earthworms
  • Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins B, C and E, Zinc, Manganese, Biotin, Riboflavin, and Niacin

However, these aren’t the only ingredients that fish food can have. Some lower quality foods will use starches as a filler to bulk up their mixture, which means you should look for some of the following ingredients:

  • Wheat flour
  • Sorbitol
  • Potato protein
  • Soybean meal

These ingredients are carbohydrates that are good for your fish in moderation, but they will not provide a lot of nutritional value. Because of that, they should be supplemented with a lot of other nutritious energy sources. If the food has a large percentage of these ingredients, you should consider trying another brand.


  1. What Do Fish Eat & What is Fish Food Made Of? – PetMD


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  1. amazing felling here.

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