Fish may be herbivorous, carnivorous, or omnivorous.

Single piranha in a fish tank

Combining omnivore, herbivorous, and carnivorous fish is a mistake that a lot of inexperienced aquarium keepers make in their neighborhood. It's easy to understand how these types of errors might occur given that the majority of people prefer to think of fish food as flakes from a bottle. Unfortunately, introducing the incorrect fish species might be fatal for some of your pets.

Fish Diets

Not every fish needs the same type of diet. Like all living things, fish have a mouth, teeth, and digestive system that are built for specific kinds of food. Remember that any living thing will consume almost anything if it is sufficiently hungry. In other words, don't rely just on observation to draw conclusions about a fish's nutritional requirements.

Find out what the fish needs to consume to be healthy by doing your research. Depending on their nutritional requirements, fish may be divided into three major groups: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.


These creatures often require live meals and consume meat. Their enormous mouth and pointed, sharp teeth enable them to tear off big portions of meat from their victim, which is then consumed whole without being crushed or digested first.

Carnivores have a relatively big stomach that can contain a whole fish and a short digestive system. Although they may consume plants, they cannot obtain the same nutrients from them as other fish since their digestive tract is unable to breakdown vegetable stuff. Carnivores shouldn't be kept in community aquariums since they will hunt down and devour other fish there.


The herbivore is at the other end of the dietary food chain from carnivores. Although it is occasionally possible to observe herbivores consuming living creatures, a herbivore's ideal diet consists of plants, algae, and fruits.

They lack a genuine stomach, but instead have a specially designed gut that can digest plant stuff. Because they have flat teeth, they may ground food before ingesting it. The herbivore must consume enormous amounts of food often, at least many times each day, because they lack a stomach that can do so. Herbivores are frequently not the greatest option for a community tank since they demand frequent feedings of fruits and vegetables.


An omnivore consumes a wide range of animal and vegetable products. Even though omnivores may and will consume plant stuff, some grains and plants are indigestible to them. Their teeth and digestive system have certain characteristics with both carnivores and herbivores.

Fish that are omnivores are the simplest to feed since they will consume both live and flake feeds, as well as everything in between. Omnivores are a great option for a communal tank because of this.

As you can see, it's crucial to give your fish the right kind of food since their bodies are made for specific kinds of food. Use the dietary type chart if you're unsure of what your fish needs to eat.