Fish feeding

What to feed aquarium fish?

Just as the number of fish species available to aquarists is increasing, so is the increasing the number of foods to meet their needs. This is why manufacturers are racing to create products with unique features, different shapes, sizes, etc. How is an aquarist, especially a beginner, supposed to make a choice from such a large offer? What should he or she pay attention to? Are there any rules in fish feeding? What to feed aquarium fish to ensure their perfect health and coloration? Learn the answers to these questions before you buy food for your fish and start feeding aquarium fish thoughtfully

Can fish diet be „improper”?

We know what the term “improper diet” means in relation to humans. It’s usually too much, too sweet and too fatty. Too many processed ingredients and not enough fruit and vegetables. Is there a wrong diet for fish too? Of course. Fish are the most numerous group of vertebrates. Specific species are adapted to take specific food. Often, the food preferences of fish are very narrow, and these are the species that, if found in an aquarium, cause the greatest maintenance difficulties. In terms of dietary requirements we can generally divide them into: omnivores, carnivores and herbivores.

When choosing fish for an aquarium you should take into account their diet, requirements concerning physical and chemical parameters of water as well as their character. Why is diet one of the main factors to be considered when selecting fish for an aquarium? The answer is simple: when planning a multi-species tank we cannot keep herbivorous and carnivorous fish together. Feeding fish in such a tank will be difficult as we will not be able to provide the correct diet for both groups of fish.

Which form of fish should I choose?

Knowing what the nutritional requirements of the fish are, you only need to choose the right form of food, i.e. its shape, size and behavior in water.

Undoubtedly, the most universal form of food for fish are flakes. This type of food floats on the surface of the water for a while, then sinks and slowly sinks to the bottom. Therefore fish feeding in different zones of the aquarium can take it up without problems. Moreover, the flakes can be crushed, adjusting their size to the mouth opening of smaller fish species or even growing juvenile fish.

Granulated foods, on the other hand, can be either floating or sinking. They are available in different sizes and should be chosen according to the size of the mouth opening of the fish we want to feed.


Apart from the above described forms of food, bottom dwelling fish are best fed in the form of tablets or wafers – the latter are an ideal food for Loricariidae, whose mouth is equipped with a sucker and special teeth for rubbing the food off stones or roots.

Can I feed my aquarium fish with one food only?

The natural environment generally gives fish the opportunity to draw from a huge pool of food. The same should be done when feeding aquarium fish. Therefore, it is a mistake to rely on only one type of food, even if it is a perfectly balanced product. Fish should be given several different formulated foods. It is also advisable for many fish species to eat frozen food, live or fresh plants or even fruit. So it is worth gaining knowledge about invertebrates and algae in fish nutrition.  For the production of Tropical fish foods the company uses about 100 differenet raw materials. On average, you will find about 20 of them in one food.

Food quality vs. water parameters

High-quality products with selected ingredients are highly assimilated by fish. This has a direct effect on the aquarium water quality. Some production technologies also increase the digestibility of proteins or carbohydrates. Also, adding a probiotic to the food makes it better utilized by the fish, resulting in less fecal matter entering the aquarium water.

Tropical Soft Line

Choice of food package size

Now you may be wondering: what does feeding fish have to do with packaging? It turns out that even this tiny detail matters. Tropical foods are available in many different packages. It can be tempting to buy a larger bag when you compare the price of a kilo of food in a small and large package. But how long will it take to feed a container with a capacity of 500 ml when you have 5 fish in the aquarium? A large number of volumes allows you to adjust your purchase to the number of fish. Keep in mind that every time you open the bag or can to feed your fish, the product slowly loses vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, etc. It is simply getting old.

For the same reason, it is a bad idea to buy loose foods. Yes, their price may be attractive, but there is no telling how they were stored or when they were opened. In addition, the ziplock bag, in which you can usually buy such food, does not guarantee the safety of the product. Original Tropical packaging guarantees high quality and freshness. It is worth noting that plastic from which the packaging is made is dedicated to food industry. Tropical this way protects its products from secondary contamination with e.g. heavy metals. In addition, the material from which the transparent cans are made has special substances in its composition that protect the product against UV radiation.

Mistakes made when choosing food:

  • Composition that does not satisfy the requirements of a given species
  • Feeding with only one product
  • Buying food loose from a larger package
  • Buying too large package in relation to the number of fish

dr inż. (Ph.D.Eng) Aleksandra Kwaśniak-Płacheta

2 thoughts on “What to feed aquarium fish?

  1. Pls can you tell me whats best to buy for my freshwater angelfish adults? I have also a breeding pair and need to know food for babies as well..thanks

    1. Hello,
      You can use for your angelfish Tropical D-50 Plus, Tropical Discus Gran D-50 Plus, Soft Line Amercia M, Tropical Krill Flake or Tropical Krill Gran. For young fish you can choose Pro Defence Micro Size, Discus Gran D-5- Plus Baby, Insect Mesu XXS Size.

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