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Feeding your Fish

There are few things to bear in mind when it comes to feeding your fish.  Unless you have decided to have only one type of fish in your aquarium you will have a community of different types.  It's a good idea to choose a community of fish that are compatible with one another and that don't compete for food – or see each other as a tasty snack! 

  • Carnivorous fish – these are meat eaters and generally requiring live foods, although some will accept freeze dried or frozen food.  Live food may represent a health risk for other types of fish and as carnivorous fish will chase and eat other fish in the aquarium they are not recommended for a community tank.
  • Herbivorous fish – these are plant eaters and require plants, algae, and/or fruits in their diet.  If you have live plants in your aquarium with herbivorous fish you will find that your plants are nibbled and often destroyed completely.
  • Omnivorous fish – these eat a variety of meat and vegetable matter.  Omnivorous fish are the easiest of all fish to feed and are highly recommended for community tanks.
  • View our Types of fish Advice to learn more

Different types of fish also feed at different depths in the tank and have different feeding habits. Fish generally feed on 3 levels:

  • Surface feeders – tend to eat floating food on the surface of the water
  • Mid level feeders – will catch and eat morsels that drop down from the surface and slowly sink downwards
  • Bottom feeders – consume food from the bottom of the tank, digging about and searching over the gravel for tidbits

There are a range of speciality fish foods available that cater for fish that eat at different levels.

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Types of fish food

There are a wide range of fish foods available from fish flakes and pellets to frozen and freeze dried foods.  Our staff will be happy to advise you on the most suitable food for your fish in store and we stock a number of speciality foods for fish with specific dietary needs.

Fish flakes – ideal for surface and mid level feeders.  They are a popular choice as they are easy to store and don't require preparation.  They are designed to float on the surface of the water and most varieties of flakes are suitable for a wide range of fish species.  There are also algae and spirulina (blue-green algae) flakes for herbivorous fish as well as Flakes made from brine shrimp, earthworm, tubifex worm, bloodworm, water fleas (daphnia) and mosquito larvae.   

  • Fish with smaller mouths may need you to crumble flakes so that they have a chance to compete.

Fish pellets, sticks, granules, tablets, wafers – designed to float or sink depending on the type of fish they are intended to feed.  They come in various sizes and are a good choice for larger fish.  

  • These also have the same ingredients as fish flakes but are good for mid level and bottom feeding fish such as catfish and plecostomus.

Freeze-dried and frozen fish food – great as a treat for many types of fish but are essential for fish that do not take readily to dry foods.  A wide variety of foods are available in this from bloodworm to mysis shrimp.

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How much do I feed my fish?

The best advice is to feed your fish no more than they can eat within 2 minutes.  The reason for this is that uneaten food will decay and contaminate the water.  Most fish keepers feed their fish once or twice a day but you can feed them little and often – as long as all the food is eaten and nothing is wasted.

  • Start by feeding your fish a very small pinch of food and watch to see how long it takes for them to eat it.
  • Observe how much food falls to the bottom, and how long it takes the bottom-dwelling fish to eat it. If after 2 minutes there's not a scrap of food left, put in another pinch.
  • If there is excess food left over at the bottom of the tank after 10 – 15 minutes siphon it out or scoop it out with a net so that it does not pollute the water.
  • Watching your fish eat is also a good way of monitoring their health and appetite.  You may notice that some of your fish are not getting their fair share. You can help by varying the kinds of food offered, giving wafers or pellets to bottom feeders and flakes to surface feeders.   
  • Visit our fish Products section for our wide range of fish foods 

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