aquarium fish diet

Aquarium Fish Diet: 6 Factors To Consider When Feeding Your Fish With Live Food

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Are you looking for live fish food? Look no further; we’ve researched and compiled a list of live food and the factors to consider before feeding live food to your fish.

Feeding your aquarium fish with a balanced diet will ensure they are healthy and live for a long time. Therefore, ensure that your fish’s diet includes vegetables, flakes & pellets, and protein. Vegetables are easily found in your garden or grocery store, while pellets and flakes can be bought online or at the nearest pet store.

However, when it comes to protein, fish keepers have to buy live fish food. And you must ensure to buy from reputable breeders as it can come with diseases and infection and infect the fish in your tank.

Types Of Live Fish Food


The Mealworm is suitable for large fish, such as koi and Arowana. They are easy to breed and do not require much maintenance as they are fed on oats. But you can feed them more nutritious food to ensure that your fish benefits from the nutrients in the live food.


They are also referred to as water fleas found in freshwater water bodies. Daphnia is small crustaceans, and they are of different species, including Daphnia Magna and Daphnia Pulex.

Their body lengths measure between 0.2 and 5mm and are suitable live food for larger fish. Since they are active swimmers, they will be consumed faster in the aquarium and also get sucked into the filter. Therefore if you want to breed Daphnia, introduce the culture in still water with a substantial plant cover as their diet consists of phytoplankton and Paramecium.


Some aquarists rear guppies in their aquarium, while others use them as live food for predator fishes. They are the best live food for medium to large-sized fish such as Cichlids, Arowana, Catfish, Angelfish, and Freshwater Eels.

Guppies are wild and have bright colors, making it easy for predators to spot them. And the best part is they breed in large numbers, and it doesn’t matter whether the breeding tank is crowded.

It’s always recommended to raise your live food as the tanks at the breeders may be rife with diseases and bacteria, which may be transferred to your aquarium. Remember to gut load your guppies to ensure that your fish gets all the nutrients.


Infusoria is a diet for baby or juvenile fish. They are single-celled organisms consisting of algae, vorticella, amoebas, and rotifers. They can also be fed other live food, such as Daphnia and Fairy Shrimp. It’s pretty easy to breed infusoria. It would be best if you had a jar filled with water and placed a small piece of lettuce to encourage the growth of microorganisms. Ensure that the water and the lettuce are clean.

California Blackworm

Are you looking for live food for your adult fish? California Blackworm is your best option. It is a worm species that reside in shallow water bodies like lakes, ponds, and rivers.

California Blackworms body length measures 4 – 10 cm and reproduces by sectioning and regenerating its body.

Other Types Of Live Fish Food

  • Brine Shrimp
  • Copepod
  • Duckweed
  • Feeder fish
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Tubifex worm
  • Vinegar Eel
  • White Worm
  • Green water
  • Gammarus shrimp
  • Banana worm
  • Earthworm
  • Grindal worm

Factors To Consider Before Feeding Your Fish With Live Food

1. Bottom Or Surface Feeders

Before feeding your fish live food, you must consider whether they are bottom or surface feeders. This is because some of the live food stays at the top part of the tank and the other at the bottom. Therefore knowing your fish’s feeding style will allow you to choose the live fish food accordingly.

2. Breeder Reputation

In the same way, you research a dog breeder before buying a puppy; you must research the reputation of your live fish food supplier. This is because some breeders may compromise on the quality and health of the live food.

And this may cause you to end buying disease-infected live food, meaning that the diseases will be transmitted to your tank. So be keen, look at the review, and ask your fish keeper friends for recommendations to ensure you are not endangering your fish.

3. Healthy Live Food

When buying, you must check whether the live food is healthy. So, before feeding your fish, always check that the live food is safe for your fish.

4. Adult Or Juvenile Fish

Adult and juvenile fish feed on different live fish food. Although newborn fish are fed with ground flakes, introducing tiny live food such as infusoria or mosquito larvae helps teach them to hunt. When they see a small organism wiggling in front of them, they have an instinct to pursue and swallow.

5. Type Of Fish

There are three types of fish, herbivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous. And since herbivorous fish are used to feeding on plants to meet their nutritional needs, you must ensure that the amount of live food should be small.

If you are keeping carnivorous fish, then the meat is their diet. Therefore, you should feed them more than herbivores. So adjust their feeding schedule accordingly.

Omnivorous fish are not picky and eat whatever comes their way. Therefore, they tend to eat more than the herbivorous and carnivorous.

6. Size Of The Live Fish Food

You must also ensure that the size of the live fish food matches the size of your fish mouth.

Why Should You Feed Your Aquarium Fish With Live Food?

Some Fish Do Not Feed On Pellets Or Flakes

You must understand that some fish don’t like to feed on dry food, especially those caught in the wild. So feeding them meat is the only way.

High Protein Content

Live fish food is fed with various nutrient-rich foods, ensuring that your aquarium fish benefits from nutritional components. For instance, California Blackworms are rich in carotenoids that help to boost your fish pigmentation. And live food is the best source of protein for your fish.

Teaches Your Fish To Hunt For Food

You kickstart their predatory nature when you introduce live food to newborns. This is because when they see an organism wiggling in front of them, they will be prompted to chase and swallow it.

Drawbacks Of Live Fish Food

They are expensive. Buying live food from the store is more costly than flakes, thus why many fish keepers opt to breed their food.

Increases the potential of transmitting diseases to your aquarium.

Unlike flakes, live food does not last long, only for a few days or weeks.

Final Thoughts

Feeding your aquarium fish with live food ensures your fish are getting the nutritional content absent in flakes and vegetables. So you can feed your fish any of the above live food, but first, ensure that the live food is safe for your fish. And that the live food is fit for both juvenile and adult fish.