There are several things that can happen to a saltwater fish when they are not feed properly. Fin erosion, disease outbreaks, color infidelity, listlessness, and a few others. The least is just too long to put on paper and too long to ignore. The same can be said with the diet of just about any animal, and even humans for that matter! The wrong diet is going to be the start to a world of problems and should be avoided at all cost!

What Do Fish Need?

After people hear me tell them that, I always get the next logical response. They continue to ask me what fish need or should have for the right diet. You will find that fish need carbohydrates, lipids, protein, minerals and vitamins. They are not that far off from any other animal that you have handled to be honest. To get all of those essential parts of the diet, I tend to recommend a mixed diet to people that ask me.

The trick is to use flakes along with fresh and frozen foods. This will create an excellent balance for the fish. If you have a fish that you know for a fact really only feeds on one type of food, than you are quite the rarity, and obviously this suggestion is not going to apply to you. But, if you are like 99% of us and have reef fish, you are going to need to use the mixture method to achieve a healthy productive diet for your fish. Sea food that is frozen makes a great option as well for your mixture.

How To Feed Them Accordingly

A suggestion that someone gave me a long time ago still works very well for me today. You take a cheese grader, and use it to create smaller shaving pieces out of the food that you are going to feed your fish. Why use a cheese grader? Well it lets you pick the size of the chunks you are giving to your fish. Since all fish are not created equal, you can use whichever part of the grader that gives your fish the proper size flakes. If you are using things like Tuna or something oily during this method, you may want to think twice about it. It will quickly create a film layer on the top of your tank that is not recommended.

People may tell you that feeding your fish with this method will create pathogens, this is something that I have never run into and I have been doing it for quite some time now. It is important though to remove the pieces that you have dropped in that are not eaten. Eventually they will go bad and then you can have some problems health wise. Do your best to rid the tank of them and keep everything clean and tidy.

Which One Do I Use The Most?

I get asked a lot which type of food I usually try and get for my fish. Shrimp that is frozen of the mysid variety are the ones that I lean towards the most. Usually even when I have fish that are extremely hard to get food into, they still take a go at these mysid shrimp. Plus, they are high in proteins and fat as well. You should have these available when you can, and if you don’t try them out the next time you have a fish that is being difficult come feeding time.

You don’t want to use only the mysid shrimp for your fish diet though, as it may result in things such as color loss. This is because the mysid shrimp are low in carotenoids. It is best to mix them in with the suggested diet above that I mentioned. Some other flake foods and frozen seafood along with fresh will be a perfect combination. That way you don’t run into the problem of color loss and you are still giving them a large variety of food.

What About Other Feed Options?

There was a time when I used to tell people to avoid flaked foods all together for their fish. But, that time has come and gone. I am now on board with a few different flake choices. They have come a long way and been able to produce packs of food that are extremely rich in nutrients and other things that fish really need. One of my favorites is Vibra-Go, it is a wonderful choice that I have been using consistently for a long time. Besides being packed with the essentials, it can help keep your fish looking colorful and bright.

You can also find some packages that have a frozen selection inside of them made to help give your fish the beneficial food that they need to keep on a healthy diet. If you have herbivores or carnivores, they make specific packs for them as well. They also carry packs for different types of fish, ranging from Angel fish all of the way up to small sharks. What is nice is that they usually mix in marine organisms in the packs, which will really drive home the health of your fish. This can be a great main staple to any fish diet and should be considered if you own a fish.

Other Frozen Choices

To help the fish that I have retain those beautiful bright colors that they are so known for, I will sprinkle in some frozen krill and brine shrimp. I must caution you though, these should not be the main staple of a fish diet. Yes, they are beneficial, but just don’t pack enough of a punch to be relied on exclusively for the feeding of your fish. You can use an additive, I suggest Selcon, to be positive your fish are getting the benefits that they need from their food. It has quite a few of the vital parts of the diet that are needed for a healthy fish. This is a method that I would use especially when I am trying to use freeze dried choices of food.

What About Omnivores and Herbivores?

Vegetables will obviously have to be used if you have any fish that fall into the omnivore or herbivore categories. You can find plenty of dried macroalgea on the market, which is a great choice to accomplish just that. Most fish will be enthusiastic and happy to eat things like macroalgea packs. Most places that you can go can give you some more information on which packs are going to be right for the fish that you have. It is important to do your research ahead of time and know what your fish is going to need before you get them. Even more so when it is an herbivore or omnivore.

Live Foods

Picky fish can be a pain in the butt, but live foods could be the solution you are looking for. Black worms are a great choice, but you don’t want to put too many of them in there at once. Black worms quickly die and if you put too many of them in, they will not be eaten. Leaving your fish without the essential nutrients that they need to get. Ghost and brine shrimp are a choice that you will often see when dealing with marine fish or crayfish of the freshwater variety.

People seem to pick smaller freshwater fish as a way to feed their saltwater fish. This should not be a significant portion of the fish diet, simply because the freshwater fish are extremely fatty, and won’t do much to the health part of your saltwater fish diet. I also find that fish who are picky tend to take to marine mussels pretty well. You can usually find them in the seafood area in your local grocery store. Of course, don’t forget to open it before you throw it in. You can use a hammer and a screwdriver or something else you may have handy to pry it open before throwing. You will be shocked at the amount of enthusiasm that some of your fish will show towards these mussels.




Mixed Diet Trumps All

A healthy diet is important, and a mixed diet is going to provide an overall diet that will be extremely beneficial for your fish. A fish can have a deficient immune system if it is not fed the proper diet. But, if the fish is provided with a mixed diet that is tailored to what they need, you shouldn’t run into that problem. A healthy diet means a happy fish immune system, and a happy fish immune system means that they will have a better chance of fighting off parasites and things of that nature!