- Health Library
- PetMD U
If you’ve got a pet fish, you might think feeding him the fish flakes from the local pet store is enough. While it will get your fish through the day, think about this: How would you like to be fed porridge for all your meals, every day, for your entire life? Kinda boring, right?
Variety is definitely the spice of life, but how do you round out your fish’s diet the right way? Of course, you need to do your research for your particular type of fish. But we have a few pointers to start you off with.
Meat Eaters vs. Vegetarians
Like people, some fish eat meat, others don’t. But this isn’t a lifestyle choice. Fish are either omnivores, carnivores, or herbivores. So make sure you know what your fish is, and feed it accordingly.
Never, ever feed your carnivorous fish a diet only consisting of beef. Some people do, but it’s not recommended because fish have a hard time digesting beef. Give the steak to the cat instead, in the hopes she won’t try and eat the fish when you’re not looking. And your fish? Give it little treats such as flies and worms, all of which can be bought at your local pet store.
Nobody wants to see an obese fish lazing about on a plastic castle in the fish tank. It’s just not right! To avoid this, be careful not to over-feed or give your fish treats with high fat content. Excessive fat can damage the liver and even eventually kill them, not to mention give them a complex. Instead, buy only the flakes of the highest quality that list their fat content on the side, along with the rest of the ingredients.
Which brings us to the backbone of a fish's diet: high quality flaked fish food. This provides your fish with all the vitamins and minerals he needs but can’t get in captivity.
What else can you feed your fish beyond the flakes? There are many different options from frozen to live food. These are all made especially for your fishy friends and are also species-specific. In fact, these foods are close to what they’d chow down on in the rivers and seas.
Of course, remember to defrost frozen food -- you wouldn’t like a still-frozen dinner, would you? Unless it was ice cream, of course …
Here’s a quick description of the options available.
Now that you are knowledgeable in the highest quality foods available, you can be assured your fish is eating healthy.