How to properly feed your fish a varied diet

How to properly feed your fish a varied diet

Feeding your fish is important, especially when you think how awful it must be to eat the same things over and over. We don’t like it and neither do your fish. Well I assume that’s the case. Not only is eating the same thing everyday boring, it’s also not very healthy.

My fish have always gone mental when it comes to feeding times. Iv never had a fussy fish. They even go mad when I just walk into the room or come down the stairs, as they want to be fed. Weather or not this is contributed to feeding them such a varied diet or weather it’s just the species of fish or because they’re very healthy I’m not sure. I like to think feeding them different foods and constantly switching it up gets them more excited.

What foods?

All fish food should be from quality reputable brands. Switching the brands and different types of food so you have multiple different types gives the fish a varied diet and makes sure they get all the nutrients they need, as one brand may specialise in something different to another. This is why you need to feed your fish a varied diet.

Flakes & pellets

Fish flakes are a good staple food and they can be crushed between your fingers for the smaller fish. You can’t go wrong with flakes so I normally buy two or three different brands. Another good staple food is pellets, with pellets I like to try and get the smaller sizes just so I know the fish can definitely fit them in their mouths. Uneaten food is a water quality issue.

Bottom feeders

For bottom feeding fish I like to use pellets that sink, usually called catfish pellets. I always feed the top fish first and fill them up so they’re less likely to take the bottom feeder fishes food before they even get to it. You can always distribute the the food to different areas of the tank as the catfish will eventually find the food. Or just chuck a load in at once and some always makes it to the bottom.

Algae diet

Some fish require high protein diets and other fish need to have a more plant based diet, such as Spirulina which is great for fish. My Bosemani rainbow require a certain amount of plant based foods so every now and again I throw in some Spirulina flakes or even crush up an algae wafer. The different textures also help to switch things up.

Frozen & gel foods

There are other foods too like gel foods and frozen foods. In my opinion frozen blood worms and other mixed frozen foods like daphnia and brine Shrimp should always be fed as all fish absolutely love them. However feed frozen food sparingly. I feed frozen food only once or twice I week, as feeding too much frozen food can lead to problems, also the fish could go off their normal flake and pellet food once experiencing too much frozen food. Feeding too much frozen could potentially create some very picky eaters.
I like to feed gel food as well, this gets eaten very quickly and it’s a very different texture to the rest of the foods which keeps it interesting for the fish.

Fresh veg

Vegetables will be eaten by a variety of fish, for me personally I have witness my Otocinclus catfish eat numerous different peppers and other veg like carrots. Red peppers (not the spicy kind) are always a favourite. My swordtails have also pecked clean a strip of carrot. Other veg such as courgette (zucchini) are great for Plecos. Some people like to blanch their veg first (sit in boiling water) but to soften it for the fish. I usually just leave it in the tank for a few days and it will soften over time). Be careful because veg will start to rot and if it’s falling apart get it out, as this will really foul your water.


All in all, buying different types of fish food, from different brands is a great way to feed your fish a varied diet. The staple flakes and pellets are designed to include the correct nutrients and vitamins whereas frozen food should be fed sparingly as more of a treat.