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!
Favorite Flake Food: Sera Vipan Nature Tropical Flakes
There’s a gazillion brands of fish flakes on the market, so what’s a good staple food you can trust with all the right ingredients and nutrients? Check out Sera’s Vipan Nature flakes, a spinoff of their most popular flake food that’s completely free of dyes and preservatives. All the greens and browns you see come naturally from fish, crustaceans, various types of algae, and more. Plus, it contains Hermetia flies (or black soldier flies), which is a great source of sustainable protein that’s very similar to what our fish would eat in the wild. Look no further if you want a high-quality flake made of natural ingredients and prebiotics for boosting your fish’s health.
Favorite Variety Mix Food: Sera GVG-Mix
Sometimes I just like to mix things up in my feeding routine, and that’s where Sera GVG-Mix really fits the bill. Not only does it contain excellent ingredients with a high concentration of 45% crude protein, but the flakes are actually mixed with little nuggets of freeze-dried bloodworms, daphnia, grammarus, and krill. It’s like finding magical marshmallows in your Lucky Charms! So whenever my fish are looking especially hungry and I want to spoil them, I can always bring out the GVG-Mix because of the nutritious assortment of quality flakes, freeze-dried foods, and vitamin additives. Trust me, your fish will thank you for it.
Favorite Fry Food: Aquarium Co-Op Easy Fry and Small Fish Food
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.
Favorite Fun Food: Sera O-Nip Tabs
What in the world makes a food “fun”? Let me introduce you to Sera O-Nip tabs! These circular flat discs are made to stick on the walls of your aquarium, which causes all your fish to swarm to the front in a feeding frenzy. What makes this super entertaining (and useful) is:
P.S. Since I tend to save this food for special occasions only, I like how the product also comes in a smaller 24-unit package where each tab is individually wrapped for maximum freshness.
Favorite Food for Finicky Eaters: Hikari Vibra Bites
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.
Favorite Food for Bottom Feeders: Repashy Gel Food
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 from 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 six list a try. You just might find a new all-time favorite fish food!
Want to learn more? Listen to this rousing discussion between Cory and master fish breeder Dean about their favorite (and least favorite) fish foods:
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