When it comes to prepared fish foods, what do you feed? Are you a die-hard fan of Team Hikari or a DIYer on Team Repashy? Or are you like me, who has a serious case of fish food collectoritis and a fridge door filled with half-empty bottles? In today’s world of fish keeping, we have the luxury of choosing from hundreds of fish foods produced by companies all over the world, so when I test out a new product, I generally look for:
With those criteria in mind, here’s a list of my favorite prepared foods that are proven, easy to use, and a little unusual in some cases – foods that your fish need to try!
There’s a gazillion brands of fish flakes on the market, so what’s a good brand you can trust with all the right nutrients? Check out Xtreme Krill Flakes, a premium flake made with high-quality foods that include krill as its main ingredient. The smell and taste of krill is irresistible to fish, and it's a great source of protein that naturally enhances fish colors. As a flake food, it can be easily crumbled up to the right size, making it ideal for feeding small guppy fry or cichlids that need that extra pop in color. We personally fell in love with this food feeding it to our livebearers and can't recommend it enough!
Flakes are great for fish that eat off the surface, but what about mid-water or bottom dwelling fish that prefer slowly sinking foods? That's where Xtreme Nano really shines. This 0.5 mm pellet food is packed with protein (from delicious sources like krill, fish and squid) and low on fillers, so a little bit goes a long way. Its tiny size is ideal for tetras, rasboras, livebearers, corydoras, and most small community fish. If you're ever not sure what to feed your fish for the day, this is a nutritious staple that you can rely on.
I’m really into breeding nano fish right now, so this fine-grained food is perfect for both the adults and babies in my aquariums. I like that it contains salmon, spirulina, and kelp with high percentages of crude protein (55%) and crude fat content (18%), which is great for growing fry big and healthy. What really sets this food apart is the squeeze bottle. You wouldn’t think that packaging would make such a difference, but it’s so easy to squirt a little in each tank and feed a ton of fish quickly and efficiently. I only own a few aquariums, so I can only imagine the time savings for people who own a fish room or work at a pet store.
Certain aquatic pets – such as discus, puffers, and African dwarf frogs – are notorious for only taking live or frozen foods, which can be a huge deterrent to keeping them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a prepared food that looked and moved in the water just like frozen bloodworms? Enter Hikari Vibra Bites. These red, worm-like food sticks are smaller and shorter than actual bloodworms, making them easier for little fish like tetras to eat. Plus, they’re packed with ingredients including fish, krill, cuttlefish, insects, and garlic for a great mix of nutrition and color-enhancing benefits. Yes, there are super picky eaters that probably still won’t eat this food, but give it a try and it could save you a lot of time and headache.
I had never heard of gel foods before, but now that I’ve started using Repashy Superfoods, it’s become a staple with my aquariums. Just add boiling water to some powder, let it set like Jell-O, and then cut it up into cubes to feed your fish or freeze for later use. The gel food doesn’t break apart immediately in water and lasts up to 24 hours or more, making it great for slower feeders such as nocturnal catfish or baby fry. You can even dip driftwood or smooth rocks in the liquid before it sets, giving your algae and aufwuchs eaters a flat surface to graze off. I also love how there’s so many varieties that target the specific diets of goldfish, herbivores, wood eaters, baby fish, and so forth. Word of warning though: Repashy has a particularly unique scent (which drives fish crazy).
When it comes to fish foods, I personally have no particular brand loyalty. As Cory (the owner of Aquarium Co-Op) puts it, trying out different fish foods is like Fantasy Football where you can pick the best players from each team. So, if you’re looking for a little more variety, need better nutrition, or just want to spoil your fish, give my top 5 list a try. You just might find a new all-time favorite fish food!