You must feed your pet fish else they will go hungry (a problem that happens all too often). The majority of freshwater fish would practically leap at the chance to consume live or even frozen meals, despite the fact that flake food is a solid staple diet with balanced vitamins and minerals for fish.
Let's first discuss flakes of food before moving on to the subject of living food. Realistically, most of us are unable to offer a well balanced meal made up mostly of fresh and frozen items. Many freshwater fish will consume flake food, which offers crucial nutrients your fish needs to keep healthy. But not all flakes of food are made equal.
Take a close look at the container's ingredients label the next time you buy flake food. Fishmeal, yeast, shrimp meal, algae, plankton, kelp, vitamins, minerals, preservatives, and fillers including wheat meal, soybean meal, oats, and brown rice are among the ingredients you'll discover. Although those final two are crucial for gluing materials together, they lack the same flavor and nutrition as shrimp, fish, or other foods that wild fish would normally consume.
Keep in mind that components are listed from largest volume first; hence, seek for prepared dishes that prominently use fishmeal and seafood. After choosing a high-quality flakes meal, start looking for methods to add fresh or frozen items to those bland flakes.
Additionally, since the vitamins in flakes have a short shelf life, you should purchase food in quantities that will last for approximately a month. To keep the flake food healthy for a longer period of time if it will take longer to consume it, consider freezing or placing it in the refrigerator.
The Tubifex Controversy
It has long been debated whether tubifex worms are the worst or best live food to give your fish. They are simple to produce at home and highly nourishing, but you can also buy them in many neighborhood fish markets. The concern stems from the possibility that they might introduce illnesses to your home aquarium.
Tubifex are annelid worms that consume whatever substance they are reared in, much to earthworms (which consume soil). Be prepared; the majority of commercially grown tubifex worms are fed fish feces since they are raised in trout pond run-offs. Naturally, this makes them potential breeding grounds for parasite or bacterial illnesses. Disgusting? Yes! But if tubifex worms are properly cleansed, freshwater fish adore them and flourish on them. How therefore can you be certain they are secure to give to your fish?
Purchase your live tubifex worms from a reliable vendor first, and then carefully inspect the water that they are being housed in. It ought to be obvious. Don't buy them if it isn't. When you locate clean worms, put them in a large container of dechlorinated water and thoroughly rinse them three to four times each day until the water is clear. Keep them in the fridge, and check the water every morning. They are clean and suitable for use as fish food if the water is clear. Continue to clean them as necessary until the water is clear before feeding them to your fish.
Tubifex quality varies from retailer to retailer, so if you find good tubifex (worms that clean the water rapidly as opposed to ones that are still fouling it after several days), make a note of the provider. Your own tubifex worm colony may be started if you discover clean, healthy worms. To do this, place the worms in an aerated tank with an inch of gravel on the bottom, and then add tiny amounts of vegetables (sweet potato slices work well) or aquarium plant trimmings as food. Siphon or net the worms as they grow so you may feed them to your fish.
Most pet stores provide frozen or even freeze-dried tubifex worms, which are almost as beneficial to feed as live ones. You may feed your fish these tubifex varieties without needing to clean them beforehand.
Brine shrimp, often known as artemia, is one of the greatest live meals. If you've searched for live brine shrimp, you've undoubtedly found that they're either expensive or impossible to come by. Never give up. There is often a fair assortment of frozen brine shrimp in seafood markets. Depending on what they were given and how they were frozen, brine shrimp will have a different texture and flavor.
Fish have different dietary preferences, much like people do. Don't be afraid to test out different brands to see which your fish like. You will be shocked to find how voraciously even little fish will eat Artemia, whether you try frozen or live ones.
Dried brine shrimp eggs and even kits for rearing live brine shrimp at home are widely available at fish markets. Brine shrimp that have just spawned are the ideal first feeding for newborn fish (fry) of many kinds. They are comparatively simple to cultivate indoors. Once mature, brine shrimp will keep reproducing, allowing you to maintain a culture and have shrimp of different sizes to satisfy your fish's demands. The parasites that may infect your freshwater fish are not carried by brine shrimp since they dwell in saltwater.
Other Live Foods
There are other "safe" living foods than shrimp. Daphnia, often known as water fleas, are regarded as one of the best live food options. They are a great source of nourishment for all fish, don't carry any of the illnesses that tubifex do, and are quite simple to raise at home.
Daphnia are not frequently seen in fish stores, but you can typically get a beginning colony through your local fish club. Daphnia are a great option since, as freshwater creatures, they may survive in the aquarium until the fish devour them. Your search for a larger range of live items will increase once your fish have tasted the "good stuff." There are a lot of choices. Think about the following:
- Grindal worms
- Maggots (fly larvae)
- Mosquito larvae
- Vinegar eels
- White worms
- Wingless fruit flies
Frozen meals are a suitable substitute for live food if it is not accessible, too expensive, or too difficult to grow. Although brined shrimp is the most popular frozen snack, you shouldn't exclusively eat shrimp when eating fish (even steak gets boring after a while). There are other different frozen foods available, some of which even blend a number of well-liked dishes into a single mixture.
Spend some time in the fish store's freezer area. Not only will you find anything from krill to kelp to red algae, but you won't find any Macadamia Nut ice cream either. But aren't kelp and algae plants? Indeed, they are. Remember that even fish that consume meat will eat plants and vegetables. In actuality, several vegetarian fish species, like the plecostomus and other algae feeders, will also consume fish meals that include meat.
Frozen kelp, strips of freeze-dried algae, or pieces of fresh spinach and Romaine lettuce can all be used to appease vegetarians. When you create a salad in the future, be sure to thoroughly wash the greens before attempting to offer them to your fish. You could be shocked by which people really dive into it. What your mother said about vegetables being beneficial for you also applies to fish. The vitamins and roughage that fresh vegetables offer are sometimes missing in other fish meals.
Whether it's live or frozen, animal or vegetable, your fish will enjoy having a variety of foods offered to them. Remember, you are the only chef they have.