Feeding your fish: is your fish eating properly?

This is something that you should think about must have not given much thought any time soon; Are your fish getting the right nutrition?

Poor nutrition is one of the most common causes of death when it comes to keeping a marine aquarium, therefore it is important to always try and improve the lives of the animals in our care.

When you buy a new fish it is important to consider its dietary needs before handing over your hard-earned money. You should know is it a carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, it is important to know so that you can provide the food which is as close to its natural diet as possible. 

Which fish food is the best to start with?

Generally, frozen food is the best place to start, apart from living food it usually gets the best feeding response. Probably because it looks much more familiar in terms of size and taste than flake or pallet and it is least likely to be overfed.


Mysis is the frozen food that most of the fishes like to eat. It is also good for the fish as it contains protein, fat, and fiber than brine shrimp; unless it is newly hatched.

Adult brine shrimps have a very poor value for nutrition, therefore if this is what you are feeding at moment, it is advised to switch over to Mysis as soon as possible. It is similar to the size of Brine shrimp and costs almost the same. So, there is literally no reason for not switching.

It may take your fish some time to adjust to the new food at first, but stick with it because they will thank you for it in the long run.

Scooter Belenny and Mandarins

Lobster eggs especially benefit Scooter Belenny and Mandarins, it keeps them fat and healthy for years. The reason this is an excellent choice for those fish is that they take into account the individual fish's feeding habit. The lobster egg has a high nutrition value and will usually settle on the floor where you Scooter Belenny and Mandarins can consume them at their own pace without having to compete with other fish. 

How to serve?

You can thaw all the frozen food in a cup which is then rinsed and poured through a net in an effort to introduce as little waste to the tank as possible.

When it comes to dry food, it gets a little trickier. Most people will pick up the first thing they see on the shelf or buy whatever the shop recommends. There can however be significant variations between brands.

Choosing the right food for the right fish


The first thing is to consider what you are trying to feed, Tangs for example benefit from food that contains more algae in comparison to meaty ingredients. When looking at the ingredient be sure you try to select food made of a marine origin, as this is what your fish have evolved to eat. Ingredients of the land origin should be avoided.

This theory also applies to live food. If you are going to feed live food to your fish make sure you are not feeding freshwater fish as it can cause fatty-liver disease in saltwater fish.


The next thing to look for is a breakdown of nutrition. Not all foods are created equally and the best way to tell is by the percentage of protein. Try to aim for 50% protein when it comes to flakes and pellets. Feed a small quantity one time a day on alternate days.

The reason why only a small amount is required because these are far denser than frozen food as they have been ground up and all the water removed. Due to their high nutrition density, they are the easiest option to pollute your tank by overfeeding.


Test the food by how fast it dilutes in water, this 5-minute test can save you from an enormous amount of hassle in the long run. The longer they stay in their original form, the better are they for water quality. 


It is good if you soak both pellets and flake for a few minutes, prior to them going into the tank. This prevents them from soaking at the surface. It makes them easily accessible to the fish and stops from going over the overflow. 

Try something new

Grazers are usually more active than other fish whereas it is fine to fish a clownfish once a day. Fish with high energy demand should be fed with small quantities multiple times to keep up with their metabolism. This can be achieved with Nori which cab wither be clipped to the glass or tied to a rock with a rubber band.

Grazing wheels are another great choice or a product called Massstick which can be squashed into the rock's crevices. These allow the fish to naturally grace throughout the day at their own leisure.

Something important to look after

It is important that while feeding, you monitor that everyone is eating, as this is usually the first sign that something is wrong. It is also important to keep on top of your water quality. With all the food you will have to maintain a strict maintenance schedule to avoid elevated nutrient levels.

If you like to provide the optimum care to your fish, do not forget that despite claims no single food can possibly be a complete diet. So multiple foods are always food.

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