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Fish Food – How Much of What Should I Feed My Fish?

Fish Food

Fish food was simple when I was growing up. “Buy some flakes, put them in the aquarium.”

Nowadays, fish food comes in many forms, with many companies making fish food, each claiming the benefits that their brand provides. Chapters of books are dedicated to the topic, and hobbyists get into intense discussions about fish food.

It’s no wonder that fish food can be very confusing, especially for someone buying their first aquarium.

When a customer asks me about fish food, I break the topic down into two parts: How much fish food to feed, and what kind.


How much fish food to feed?

“How much fish food?” is simpler to answer. Here’s what I tell my customers who ask:

Pay attention to how quickly the fish eat the fish food that you put in, and try to make sure that every one of the fish eats. This generally takes less than two minutes.

If food is being left uneaten within two minutes, then too much food is being put in.

If fish start looking skinny after a little while, then there’s not enough food going in (this one is harder to tell feeding-by-feeding, because fish seem to always be hungry and begging for food).

Start off by figuring out how much fish food is too much, and then scale it back some from there.

There are other approaches, and other methods, each depending on what fish are in an aquarium. However, for our customers, this approach has usually worked out well.


What kind of fish food?

In all candor, we don’t make it complicated. Most of our customers are feeding a high quality pellet food via an automatic feeder. If they have a few tangs, they get a sheet of nori every day. In some cases, cubed frozen food, like mysis or brine shrimp, or algae, are used as a supplement, depending on the fish.

It doesn’t have to be complicated.

  • Give a good quality food.
  • Feed enough so that everybody eats and gets healthy.
  • Cut back some if all the food doesn’t get eaten quickly enough.

It’s that simple.

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