What Do Fishes Eat In a Day | Aquarium Fish Feed At Home

The issue of what do fishes eat is not answered by one particular and generic fish food, as many fish stores would convince you to believe.

Fish consume a broad range of food items, but their diet is based on their environment, the ecology that they reside in as well as a myriad of other factors.

Certain species of fish are sluggish scavengers and will eat everything they see While the diet of other fish is made up of eating the other fish.

Fish are generally classified into three categories: carnivores and herbivores. The third category is an omnivore.

While many people have a diet that is a way of life such as not eating meat or other animal-based products, it’s not the case for fish. There are certain species that require meat but others don’t.

This is heavily determined by their surroundings and their particular features like your mouth, their teeth as well as their digestive tract.

In the following article, we’ll describe what do fishes eat. Understanding and knowing which category your fish from your aquarium belongs to, the kinds of fish food they should be eating, when and how often, and how much they should consume is vital in order to maintain healthy fish.

What Do Fishes Eat At Home?

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Certain fish species are meat-eaters (carnivores) Some are totally vegetarian (herbivores) while other fish eat various food items (omnivores).

Fish require proteins as well as carbohydrates, fats, as well as some vitamins and minerals. The quantity of each food they require depends on the species they belong to, as well as whether they are carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores.

Let’s begin by studying carnivores.


Carnivores require the consumption of a protein-rich diet that includes ample amounts of meat in dead or live form. The species are Piranhas, Cichlids, Killifish, Arowanas, Pipefish, and Bettas.

Carnivores usually have a bigger mouth, with teeth that are pointed. These enable the animals to rip and tear their prey. They also have smaller digestive tracts and large stomachs in comparison to omnivores.

Carnivores are primarily natural predators who enjoy a hunt while others are scavengers. In the wild carnivores feast on live larvae, fish, insects, and crustaceans.

All fish require a certain amount of protein. However, the diet of carnivores must comprise from 45% to 70% protein. Apart from protein, fish require fats to help insulate the body and tiny quantities of carbohydrates to supply energy.

Carnivorous fish can’t manage or digest large amounts of carbohydrates. Therefore, the tiny amounts of plant matter that they eat can be sufficient.

For you to replicate what you see in the aquarium give your fish a selection of fresh and frozen food items.


White worms, bloodworms, tubifex worms as well as micro worms are available in live as well as frozen varieties and offer good quantities of protein.

Be aware that worms could carry diseases due to the environment they were bred in. They should be cleaned thoroughly and watched for some days inside a different aquarium before feeding your fish.

The great thing about eating live food is that none of the nutritional value is lost. Additionally, certain live food items like micro-worms and brine shrimps can be grown in your own backyard.


Fish can be fed with a mix of fresh, frozen, and cooked fish. Certain carnivore fish like hunting and therefore live fish could be beneficial to them for exercising.

The majority of meats aren’t suitable for your fish as they’re high in fat. However, it is possible to serve Beefheart that’s not as fat once it’s been cut – just make sure you don’t feed too much of it!

Note: A word of caution regarding feeder fish!

Feeder fish are fish that are specifically bred to be used for feeding. While they’re cheap but they’re often created in poor conditions and could easily spread disease into your tank. Additionally, they contain only a small amount of nutritional value. If you choose to make use of feeder fish, quarantine them for a week prior to introduction into your tank.

Other Live Foods

Brine shrimp is among the most delicious live foods to provide your fish. While live shrimps are costly, frozen brine shrimp is much more affordable.

Daphnia can also be a sought-after choice for live food, and whilst not readily available in retail shops, you can still find Daphnia at your nearby fish clubs and start breeding your own.

Dried Foods and Supplements

It is also possible to provide your carnivorous fish with various dried food items and supplements. You are able to learn more in the section on omnivores below.


Herbivores consume only plant matter; this is more difficult to digest than animals. Their diet is full of fiber, which is difficult to digest, which is why they have a more extensive digestive tract than carnivores.

A herbivore’s diet is comprised of algae, plants, and fruits. In contrast to carnivore fish that have stomachs, they don’t have true stomachs; instead, their intestines break down food. This is why they require eating more often.

The teeth are flat and assist in grinding food prior to swallowing. Some examples of herbivores include parrotfish and surgeonfish.

They are crucial in maintaining an ecological balance within coral reefs to ensure that algae are kept under control.

When in the wild fish that are herbivores are known to graze on algae, plants, and various vegetable matter. There are very few fish that are true herbivores; the majority of fish require at least the tiny portion of the protein found in meat.

How to Feed Vegetarian Fish

Nearly all fish will benefit from a vegetable matter in their diet. Even if you don’t consume your vegetables, don’t skimp on adding veggies to your fish’s diet.

Which Fish Are Vegetarian?

Pacus Silver Dollars Farowellas, as well as Mollies, are mostly vegetarian fishes. Catfish aren’t completely vegetarian however they require plenty of vegetable matter in their diet.

A variety of other fish including Goldfish as well as Guppies love eating vegetables as part of their diets. Except for certain carnivores such as Piranhas, Most fish take vegetables and enjoy them as a part of their diet.

Plants and Algae

Making sure you have a variety of living algae and plants in your tank can be a great starting point for feeding your fish however you shouldn’t depend on these two options on their own.

True herbivorous fish tend to be a problem in aquariums due to the fact that there’s not sufficient naturally occurring plant matter to feed them effectively if you offer live plant and algae alternatives.

Also, you should offer your pets algae wafers to supplement their diet and flake food designed specifically for herbivores.

Vegetables and Fruit

Fresh greens are an ideal way to include vegetables into the diet of your fish. There are a variety of options:

  • Fresh peas that have the skin removed
  • Raw zucchini slices/pieces
  • Slices of raw cucumber or pieces
  • Blanched lettuce
  • Fresh spinach that has had the stem removed

All food items must be cleaned thoroughly prior to serving. The food items that are leafy should be secured to one edge from the tank.

Pet stores offer vegetable clips for this use. If you own a magnetic algae cleaner, it is just as effective as the vegetable clip.

For fish that live in the bottom, you can use an object to hold the algae in place. Remove any food that is not eaten in the event that it begins to rot and foul the aquarium if it is left for more than a couple of days in the tank.

Vegetables are a great source of nutrients and vitamins that herbivore fish require. It is also possible to provide your fish with small amounts of fruit, including apples and pears.

Supplements and Dried Foods

Herbivores also require a range of supplements. You can read the sections below on omnivores for more information on this.


Omnivores consume meat as well as plant matter. They are able to exhibit some digestive tract traits of both carnivores as well as herbivores like the batfish.

They’re probably the easiest to take care of fish since they consume a mixture of all the above suggestions.

The three types of fish require minerals and vitamins in their diets to encourage healthy development. Many aquarists supplement their fish’s diets to ensure that all nutritional needs are met.

Particularly, they require:

  • Vitamin C promotes bone development healing, as well as digestion.
  • Vitamin B2 and B6 help in the production of enzymes.
  • Vitamin B1 helps in carbohydrate breakdown.
  • Mineral-wise They require calcium, phosphorus, and manganese.

It is possible to feed omnivores one of the items that are listed in the herbivore and carnivore sections. omnivores don’t require more protein, however. Protein should constitute a maximum of 40% of their diet.

Dried Commercial Foods

A lot of people feed their fish dried commercial food. It is possible to feed carnivore fish with a variety of dry food options, such as flake, pellets, granules, and discs.

Based on what water column the fish is in (top or middle or bottom) it is important to look at different dried food items.

For instance, flake food is great for almost all fish, but they are particularly good for those that eat in the upper part of their tank and discs are not. discs tend to be sinking food that is suitable for bottom feeders.

It is important to be sure to check the ingredients for “filler food items’. Ingredients are listed in order of weight, so you must look for ingredients that are nutritious at the highest of the list and as low in carbohydrates as is possible.

The most common ingredients to search for when buying pre-prepared food include a fish meal as well as a seafood meal, shrimp meal earthworms, as well as Spirulina.

Homemade Fish Food

Perhaps one of the most effective methods to ensure your fish are getting the most nutritious nutrition is to make your own food at your home.

It’s actually a lot simpler than you think. You can prepare your food in batches that will help you save time and money.

How Often and How Much Should You Feed Your Fish?

It’s always better for your fish to be fed too little rather than too often.

If you feed your fish excessively, it could result in many issues such as changes to the water’s quality, which, will affect the fish.

The left-over food that has been left uncooked begins the process of rot within the aquarium, however, the fish who have consumed too much can also produce more waste.

Overfeeding may also result in low levels of oxygen and fin rot and fatty liver flatworms and clogged filters.

The most important thing to remember out of overfeeding is the fact that it could affect the conditions of your tank and also the health of your fish. Find the warning signs sooner rather than later and they’re usually remedied when you modify your feeding schedule.

How to Avoid Overfeeding Fish

Fish tend to get used to the idea that whenever anyone approaches their tank they’re likely to be fed. So, it might appear they’re hungry when they begin swimming around the side of the tank when they observe the approach. In reality, they’re not hungry, so don’t be concerned!

Also, how often and how much should you really feed your fish?

The answer is contingent on the species you’re dealing with. It’s crucial to remember it’s true that in their wild habitat fish typically graze throughout the day rather than have a set time for feeding. It’s almost impossible to replicate this in an aquarium, and therefore the majority of fish are fed two times a day.

The kind of food they eat is crucial – it’s all down to the breed’s specific needs on whether they require live food, plant-based food as well as sinking pellets or flake.

The only method to figure out the ideal amount for your fish is through trial and error. Start with small quantities of food, then increase the amount based on the amount of food they consume.

A general rule is to Feed them only the amount they are able to consume in five minutes. 5 minute period, and then take away the left-over food items to stop the food from breaking down, and affecting the quality of the water.

Make sure you feed the quantity of fish you have rather than the tank size.

So, What Should You Feed Your Fish (Summary)?

As you’ve seen above it’s crucial to be aware of the exact nutritional needs of your fish, so you can promote healthy development.

The kind of food you feed your fish thrive is dependent on the area they come from and the type of fish.

Certain fish require diets with high protein. Others require plenty of plant matter.

For the best outcome, You should select an array of choices we’ve given above so that your fish receive the diverse diet they require or even create their own meals.

What do fishes eat in your aquarium? We’d like to know whether you have any additional ideas for feeding your fish.


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

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