Offer fish a variety of foods for total nutrition. Commercial foods come in a wide variety which makes it somewhat difficult to determine which types of foods to give. When choosing a food, the first thing you need to know is what type of diet is natural to your fish. All fish fall into 3 categories: herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores. Herbivores are plant eaters. Carnivores are meat eaters. And omnivores are both plant eaters and meat eaters. Most aquarium fish fall into this category. You have many choices to provide your fish with the nutrients they need. There are dry foods, frozen or freeze-dried foods, and live foods.
- Dry foods – Dry foods are quite popular. Dry foods typically come in flakes, pellets, sticks, and wafers. Dry foods are available in many different formulas. There are some that are general, and some that are specific. Dry foods are typically great “staple diets.”
- Frozen or freeze dried foods – Frozen or freeze dried foods can also be formulated and/or mixed. Commercially, frozen foods are the closest one can get to live foods. Many frozen foods available are also available as freeze dried.
- Live foods – All fish greatly enjoy live foods as a treat. But most fish can survive without live foods as a “staple diet.”
Each type of foods has its pros and cons. Many “staple diets” do a very good job of providing the essential nutrients. But we believe that a variety of foods offered in addition to the “staple diet” is important to good nutrition and the well-being of the fish. Variety in the diet reduces the chances of any nutritional shortcomings. In a community aquarium, it is a good idea to feed many kinds of foods so all fish get what they need. A combination of foods is necessary to provide your fish with the nutrients they need.