A healthy diet for fish

It's a good idea to build a feeding routine for your pet fish. If you usually feed them around 7am, 12pm and 6pm every day, you'll find them waiting for you at those times. Here's more on what to feed your pet fish.

A well-balanced diet for pet fish

Always make sure you buy the right type of food for your fish - don't buy your goldfish tropical fish flakes, for example. This is because they contain different levels of nutrients.

It's also important to supplement fish food flakes with other foods for balanced nutrition and enrichment. For example:

  • Goldfish love chopped vegetables such as peas and spinach.
  • Tropical fish vary in what they'll eat - frozen then fully thawed fish, crumbled boiled egg yolk and some lettuce leaf depending on the species.
  • Certain species of pleco need vegetables, such as potatoes, or pieces of wood that they graze on.
  • Invertebrate foods, such as daphnia ('water fleas') or brine shrimps, are an excellent supplement for tropical fish and are widely available in frozen packs. Only feed small amounts of them to goldfish due to their high protein content.

Different tropical fish species need their food given to them differently. Middle and bottom-dwelling species will need their food delivered accordingly (quickly sinking food or compressed food 'tablets') and nocturnal species, like some catfish, need to be fed last thing at night.

How much to feed your fish

You'll need to adjust the quantity of food according to the size and quantity of fish in your tank. Always feed as much as the fish can eat within two to five minutes and don't overfeed them. Also, it's better to feed them two or three times a day rather than just once a day.

Holiday care for your fish

If you go away on holiday, ask a responsible person to check on the fish and equipment each day. Remember:

  • Tropical fish will need daily feeding, and it's important that whoever feeds them in your absence knows how to feed them and to avoid overfeeding. It's a good idea to prepare some meals in advance.
  • It's actually better to underfeed rather than overfeed because fish are more susceptible to poor water quality than a lack of food. Find out more about this on our fish environment page.
  • We don't recommend using holiday 'feeding blocks', as they release a lot of food into the water very quickly and most of it may rot.
  • An automatic feeder will release a measured amount of food each day. However, you'll still need to ask a responsible person to check the tank every day to ensure the equipment is working

Follow the links below to find out more about how to care for your pet fish.

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