The Best Saltwater Fish Food: A Complete Guide

Every fish and invert in your tank will have some specialized diet. A beginner can't make the right choice with hundreds of food options. So, rather than pulling your hair out and wasting tons of time reading every single review, here are the six essential food that will feed 99% of your livestock:

1. Hikari Mysis Shrimp

This is hands down the best food for most carnivore fishes, shrimps, and anemones. It's a great choice because:


Too many beginners rely on pellets to feed their livestock. Still, pellets are so nutrient dense that it's easy to overfeed and cause a nutrient imbalance, especially spikes in nitrates and phosphates, which can lead to massive algae blooms.

But, Hikari Mysis Shrimp is packed with all the good protein and fats without any filters.

Small in Size

Beginners fish are usually smaller with smaller mouths. Hikari Mysis Shrimp is tiny, so most of them will be able to eat it. 

No Rinsing Required

Whether using the flat packs or the cubes, it's virtually transparent once you add your tank water. That means you don't need to waste time rinsing it. Instead, add some tank water, let it thaw, and it's ready for feeding.


It's a great value and is the cheapest option out there. The cubes make things super simple, but the flat packs are perfect for sheer volume and value.

Fish/Inverts Love It

It's whole food, and it's not ground up. So it replicates the natural environment, and the livestock loves its shape and texture. 

It's Healthy

Mysis shrimp is like feeding your tank a well-balanced meal while feeding them brine shrimp is like giving them a bag of chips.

2. Reef Nutrition's TDO Chroma Boost Small Pellet

The three main ingredients are krill, fish, and squid. Just an excellent selection for all of your carnivores. It's super nutrient-dense, so a small amount goes a long way. As a bonus, it also comes with Astaxanthin, a radish color pigment that brings out the natural oranges and red colors of your fish.

3. PE Pellets

As a British Columbia-based company, PE harvests and packs invasive gut-loaded freshwater Mysis shrimp from lake Okanagan, just north of the central Washington border.

So, they're not only helping to remove invasive species, but they are also packaging a Mysis shrimp that is high in protein. Since their frozen food may be too large for smaller fish, these PE pellets are a fantastic substitute.

4. Hikari Seaweed Extreme

Seaweed extreme is excellent because it contains over 67% natural seaweed. But you should consider these pellets an essential food item for all of your herbivore fish, especially Tangs, Blennies, and Rabbitfish. 

It's best to feed this at least once a week because their small pellet size means everybody can eat it. 

There are several good options for seaweed out there. So, feel free to experiment to see which one you fish prefers. But, one of the best options is Julian SPrung's Sea Veggies Green Seaweed.

There's no filler or additives. It's just 100% dried seaweed. Seaweed clips work well for most herbivores, or you can use the old rubber band and rubble rock trick for all those bashful herbivores that tend to stay near the sand bed.

5. Ref Chilli

This tiny bottle can feed your corals for months. Super finely grounded reef chili is packed with Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Rotifers, and way more. 

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