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Types of Fish Food

 Submitted by Michael Adams on July 16, 2010

Proper feeding is an essential part of caring for any pet, and fish are no different. Every creature has certain nutritional requirements in order to not just survive but stay healthy, and it is important to know exactly what food your fish need. Fish that are fed appropriately and adequately not only live longer, they are also better to look at – their colors are more vivid and they are much more active.

Of course, different types of fish require different types of food – there isn’t any standard fish food that can be fed to every possible fish. If you have ever tried to buy fish food at the store, you are sure to have noticed a mind boggling array of choices. The question is which food you should buy for your aquarium.

Certain fish must have special diets, and it is important to be aware of this. Discus fish food must include plenty of protein, which should ideally come from eating smaller fish, while tropical fish food is typically a mixture of plant food and meat. Goldfish food must be relatively low in protein and rich in carbohydrates.

Fish food can be categorized in several ways, but one way to categorize these foods is into live food and processed food. Live food includes fresh plants, worms, and various microorganisms that make up the diet of many fish. As with humans, such fresh food is much healthier than processed food, and should ideally make up at least half of the diet of your fishes. Larvae and baby fish must be fed infusoria. Bloodworms, earthworms, and sludge worms are easily available and commonly used as live food for mature fish. Bigger fish that are natural predators are often fed smaller fish such as goldfish or guppies. If you have an aquarium with fish such as catfish or even sharks, this is usually considered a good choice. However, there may be disadvantages to using live fish as food, and you should therefore make it a point to discuss fish food with your breeder or some other expert.

Processed foods cannot really be avoided, except by the most experienced and skilled aquarium owners. In many ways, they are healthy, as they make it easier to deliver all the nutrition that your fish needs. These foods include a variety of flakes, pellets, granules, blocks, and so on, which may be designed to either float or sink to the bottom of the tank. Frozen and freeze dried fish food is also available, and includes many of the worms mentioned earlier.
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