Flakes are undoubtedly the most popular food for feeding tropical fish, and are ideal for providing convenient staple nutrition to small-medium sized community fish such as livebearers and tetras. There are many quality brands available, and in addition to the standard flake, there are different types such as crisps, colour-enhancing flake, or green vegetable flake for herbivores. Most flake will float for a few minutes, allowing surface feeders to eat, and it will gradually sink, allowing for midwater fish to feed. The majority of aquarists feed flake as the main food, and supplement with other types to provide variety and to meet the needs of certain species that require specialised foodstuffs.
Micro-pellets, pellets, and granules such as Tetra Colour Tropical Granules (Tetra Prima) tend to sink slowly through the water column, allowing a variety of different fish to feed at different depths. These provide a great nutritious alternative to flake and are usually readily accepted by most community fish. There are also pellets specifically formulated for catfish, loaches, and other bottom dwellers. These sink to the substrate straight away and are essential for providing sustenance to these fish that inhabit the lower reaches of the aquarium; such fish should never be regarded as a 'clean-up crew' and left to mop-up uneaten foods, they require a proper diet in their own right if they are to thrive. Invertebrates such as shrimp and snails also enjoy browsing upon most pellet foods. Additionally, pellets and granules often tend to be the best foods for use in automatic feeders, as unlike flake, they tend not to clog in a humid environment.
Tablets and wafers are larger foodstuffs suited to many bottom dwelling species. These sinking foods will drop through the water column quickly and will be too large for may top- and midwater-fish to consume in one go on the way down, giving catfish and loaches residing on the substrate a better chance to feed. Many of the wafer types are algae-based for herbivorous and omnivorous grazers that enjoy rasping at the food as they eat, allowing them to feed slowly over a longer period of time, as they would in the wild. A number of tablet foods can also be pressed against the glass, allowing the fish to be in prominent view as they feed from it - an astute way to check that all fish are looking healthy.
Floating sticks are relished by larger fish e.g. some of the hefty central and south American cichlid species, providing them with a much more substantial meal for their size.
NEW FROM TETRA FOR 2018 - Maidenhead Aquatics exclusive!
Please click here for a look at the new range of foods from Tetra, exclusive to Maidenhead Aquatics. All foods contain the unique BioActive formula, which incorporates a balanced mixture of Omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins for the best health and vitality. The advanced clearwater technology ensures a cleaner feed compared to regular foods, with less waste left in the aquarium and in the container itself.
Maidenhead Aquatics is proud to have supported the latest episode of the current “Love Your Garden” series (Episode 6), as a supplier to Britain’s best-loved garden makeover show with Alan Titchmarsh. Find out more.