Types of Aquarium Fish Food Types and Nutritional Values

Fish give life to your tank and you will want to keep them healthy and active at all times. Besides all the equipment you need, you also have to pay attention to the food you provide your fish. If you feed them the wrong type of aquarium fish food, they will lose energy and you will not be able to enjoy your tank as much as you would like. Luckily, there are many types of food with high levels of nutritional value.

Aquarium Fish Food

Types of Aquarium Fish Food

1. Flakes

Most people, especially beginners, choose to feed their fishflakes since they are available in any store around the world and most fish can live happily on this food. The flakes are made from fish, squid, and plants and are fortified with vitamins and minerals to keep the fish happy and healthy. If your fish eat on the surface of the water, this might be the right choice, but ensure to only give them the quantity of flakes they will eat for a meal. If the flakes reach the bottom of the tank, they will turn into waste and can destroy the chemical balance of the water.

2. Crisps

Crisps are made from the same ingredients as flakes, but they are considerably smaller. They will reduce the amount of food you have to give daily, as the fish can eat the crisps more easily than the flakes.  In the long term, crisps will also reduce the amount of waste left on the bottom of the tank and you will not need a strong filtration system to clean the water. Consider this kind of food if you have picky fish that never finish their meal or if your fish are small and have trouble biting the flakes. It might also be an alternative for baby fish, especially those who do not have strict nutritional requirements.

3. Granules

If your fish eat from the bottom of the tank, you should definitely choose granules. They sink immediately, so fish that swim in the middle or on the bottom of the tank can eat them easily. They have a slightly different formula compared to the flakes and decompose faster, thus pay more attention to the waste leftover.

4. Pellets

Big fish need bigger food with a better nutritional value, which is why most people choose pellets as their primary food. The pellets are made from a paste cut into small pieces and then dried. It is fortified with various nutritional substances for fish to have enough energy and nutrients. They are easily digestible, thus some small fish, like bettas, can eat them. Some types will float on the surface of the water while others will sink almost immediately, so it is entirely up to you to decide what is best for your tank.

5. Discs

Discs are made to sink and most of the time they are preferred for catfish or algae eaters. They are made entirely from plants, although some of them have added vitamins for extra energy. They are suitable for freshwater and saltwater fish.

6. Frozen dried food

If your fish require natural food, you can turn to frozen fish, shrimp, or worms. They can be kept for long periods of time and can be used over time. The only disadvantage is they lose vitamins in the process of freezing, so you might have to supplement with something else every once in a while.

7. Live food

For hunters, large fish or very active ones, live food is the best. Also, it is recommended to feed your fish with live food when you are trying to breed them; you will also feed the babies with the same type of food for the first weeks of life. In general, the best live foods are considered to be blackworms, daphnia, ghost shrimp, Cyclops, and copepods. When you choose a type of live fish for your tank you have to take into consideration the size, as well as how easy it is for you to obtain and maintain the live food.


Whether you feed your fish flakes or live food, the largest difference is the preference of your fish.  Just as all fish are diverse, so is the best method in which to meet their nutritional needs. Before deciding the method you will use, research your specific fish’s dietary restrictions to ensure your fish will be happy and healthy with the choice of food.

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