Best Fish Food Reviews and Guide for 2021

girl feeding best fish food to aquarium fish

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Finding the best fish food can be difficult with so many options to choose from.

There are so many different types and combinations of fish foods on the market it can feel daunting trying to decide the best food to purchase.

It can also be confusing because they all seem to have different properties that make them unique and beneficial in some way.

Your goal is to find fish food with high-quality ingredients that provide a balanced diet to keep your species of fish healthy. For example, if you have tropical fish there is a specific tropical fish food available.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of what we feel is the best fish food on the market right now that fish like and that contains the correct balance of vitamins and minerals, protein, and other healthy nutrients like omega one!

Keep in mind that this list does not intend to provide veterinary advice or substitute for veterinary guidance.

Quick Guide: Best Fish Food

How to Identify the Best Fish Food

Understanding the ingredients on the label is the key factor to identifying healthy fish food for a proper balanced diet.

Every variety of fish food will have an ingredients list attached for consumers to review.

Study it thoroughly prior to purchasing to ensure you are feeding your fish a quality diet to keep them happy and thriving.

Ingredients You Want

Following is a list of high-quality ingredients to feed your fish.

Look for fish foods that have as many of these ingredients listed on the label as possible, and at least one of them as the ingredient listed first:

  • Earthworms
  • Whole fish
  • Algae meal (typically derived from grinding dehydrated Chlorella)
  • Krill
  • Black soldier fly larvae
  • Spirulina (blue-green algae rich in minerals, vitamins, and high in protein)
  • Squid meal
  • Black worms

These ingredients are easily digestible and nutrient-dense, making them extraordinarily healthy.

Ingredients You Don’t Want

Following are the ingredients you need to avoid when selecting your fish food.

Read the label and bypass products if they contain low-quality fish meal or terrestrial grains/legumes.

Fish Meal Quality Differences

Fish meal is a common ingredient in fish food. It comes in two variations: high-quality and low-quality.

Whole fish that are small, fatty, and bony that are not edible for humans to eat but healthy for animal consumption comprises high-quality fish meal. It is high in Omega-3 and contains high protein levels, creating high-quality fish food.

Fish meal made from fish parts such as scales, bones, guts, skin, and other disgusting leftovers comprises low-quality fish meal. Once all these parts are combined and ground up, it is thrown into pet food for an inexpensive filler for companies.

The typical label will identify low-quality fish meal as simply ‘fish meal,’ while the high-quality fish meal will be listed as ‘whole fish meal.’ It will sometimes even be more specific and name the type of fish, such as ‘whole mossbunker meal.’

However, if there is a fish food that your fish love or that has raving reviews, it is best to reach out to the manufacturer and ask them to clarify how their fish meal is processed.

Terrestrial Grains/Legumes

Wheat flour and soy products are considered terrestrial grains and legumes.

While most fish food will contain these products, they are not relevant to the health of a fish because their digestive system simply passes it through their system and turns it into waste.

The waste from terrestrial grain and legume products creates a foul smell in your tank water, creating more work to keep the aquarium clean.

It is near impossible to find fish food without these products. However, the farther down they are on the ingredient list the better. Labels list ingredients from the largest amount in the product to the least amount.

Aim for fish food that lists wheat and soy products after the first three ingredients, so in position four and after. This tells you these products comprise a much smaller percentage of the total food makeup.

Types of Fish Food

best fish food different varieties

There are numerous types of fish food on the market including specialized varieties specific for tropical fish, betta, saltwater fish, and all others.

To make a good selection, you need to be able to identify foods with high protein that are loaded with vitamins and minerals and other high-quality ingredients.

Understanding the difference between each one will help you select the best type for your aquarium friends.

Flakes

Flakes are created by cutting food into small pieces, drying the pieces with a dehydrator, then creating a thin layer of food and baking it.

Flake food typically has less waste than other types, making it one of the best fish food to purchase.

Top and mid-water feeding aquarium fish are the best candidates for flake food, such as tropical fish. Any left-over food will sink to the substrate and the bottom-feeders will eat it.

Pellets

Pellets have similarities to flakes with the exception they are compressed short sticks or balls in lieu of paper-thin flakes. Pellet sizes can vary.

Larger fish are the best candidates for pellets. Some varieties float while others sink to the substrate.

Sinking pellets are the best, type of fish food best for mid-water and bottom-dwelling species.

Granules

Granules slowly sink to the bottom of the tank water.

Similar to pellets, the difference is they are available to all species of fish in the tank because they start at the top of the tank and make their way to the bottom of the aquarium.

Granules are sold in bite-sized pieces, creating easy consumption for freshwater fish.

Sinking Wafers

Sinking wafers have similar characteristics to pellets. They are shaped like a disk and quickly sinks to the bottom of the tank when dropped into the water.

This type of fish food is intended for bottom-dwellers like loaches or catfish.

Sinking wafers are often called ‘algae wafers.’ However, read the ingredient list to ensure they truly are made of algae. It is not uncommon for the ‘algae wafers’ to have little or no algae in the ingredients list. They often include a full list of unhealthy additives.

Gel Food

Gel food resembles jello. When purchased, it is in powder form and ready to be mixed with boiling water.

Once this process is complete, a thick gelatin forms and it is ready to be fed to fish.

This is a popular type of food for nearly all fish species.

PRO TIP – If you have medications to give sick fish, mix them into the gel for simple dosing.

Freeze Dried

Freeze-dried foods are usually whole ingredients, like whole bloodworms or brine shrimp, that have been freeze dried. These have a great shelf life and are an excellent way to supplement your fish’s staple diet.

Many fish indicate freeze-dried food is their favorite food by how quickly they eat it. Even picky eaters will often eat freeze-dried food.

However, freeze-dried food should just be fed as a treat. It’s not practical to make these the backbone of your fish’s diet because the volume you’d need to feed your fish would be enormous.

Freeze-dried fish food resembles human freeze-dried food. It is generally delivered as a whole ingredient, such as a whole brine shrimp or bloodworm.

This type of food has a long shelf life, making it economical and convenient.

Freeze-dried food is typically not fed as a staple in the diet, but rather used as a special treat. It would be difficult to feed them enough to get the necessary nutrients.

Frozen

Frozen foods consist of whole ingredients that are cut into varying sizes of cubes and frozen. Prior to feeding, they need to be defrosted.

Numerous varieties of fish food come in the frozen state, including bloodworms, algae mixes, beef heart, and brine shrimp.

The disadvantage to feeding frozen foods to your fish is that the chunks are approximately 70% water, making the nutritional content in each cube low. This can be overcome by feeding a larger amount than dry food, which is not practical nor healthy for your fish.

Live Foods

Live foods are exactly what they say – the food is living when it is fed.

Examples might be small invertebrates like ghost shrimp, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

Goldfish, guppies, and minnows are commonly used in this food type to feed large predatory fish.

PRO TIP

Live foods may not be as nutritious as you might think.

It is common for them to be raised by the thousands with the obvious intention of being live food. Therefore you have no control over the value of its nutrition without knowing what it has been eating.

With any type of living food, there is also the risk of picking up diseases or parasites that are transferred when the live food is eaten.

Where to Shop

mom and daughter in pet store choosing aquarium that meets criteria of one of the best aquarium heaters to take home

You can purchase fish food at a local pet store or take the other option of ordering it online.

Reasons You Should Purchase Online

If you decide to purchase online, you can have your fish food delivered to your door and never have to leave the house.

There are also many more options of food choice since a brick-and-mortar store cannot hold all the brands available on the market.

Another advantage of purchasing your fish food online is to save money. Local retailers often have a higher markup on products.

One last note about purchasing online is the convenience of not having to listen to a salesperson try to sell you on one fish food over the other. You can take your time selecting the exact food by reading the ingredient list as quickly or slowly as you like, read buyer reviews, etc.

Reasons Not to Purchase Online

If you are a new fish hobbyist, you may feel more confident making a purchase by talking to the salesman or holding the container in your hand to read it.

Another reason some aquarists choose not to purchase online is that they don’t feel they can trust what they read. Advertisers often earn advertising fees based on the sale of specific products, making it difficult to know if the information is accurate or if it is more of an ‘advertising and linking’ scheme.

if you need aquarium fish food in a hurry, shopping online is also not an option since you will have to allow time for shipping and delivery.

 Best Fish Foods Reviewed

1. Omega One Freshwater Flakes

  • Water Level: Top and Mid-Water
  • Fish Diet: Carnivore and Omnivore
  • Fish Size: Small to Medium

This food is loaded with quality nutrients for your fish, such as herring, cod, salmon, halibut, whole shrimp, and more.

This many quality ingredients will enhance coloration for your fish and keep them thriving for years.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Protein is sourced from whole fish, creating high quality for your fish’s overall diet
  • Help enhance color
  • Fish like this food so there are fewer feeding challenges
  • Rich in Omega 3 and 6 creates a strong immune system
  • Made of whole food such as whole shrimp, whole herring, whole shrimp, spirulina, and more
OMEGA One Freshwater Flake 12oz
  • Complete food for all freshwater fish
  • Made with whole fresh Seafood from sustainable fisheries
  • Naturally occurring pigments for vibrant colors
  • Rich in OMEGA 3 & 6 for strong immune systems
  • Less starch; less waste. Low ash for cleaner water

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 2 in a circle

2. Repashy SuperGreen

  • Water Level: Bottom
  • Fish Diet: Herbivore
  • Fish Size: All

SuperGreen offers algae in five different varieties. It is free of animal protein.

For your fish that are herbivorous, this is one of the best foods on the market. It comes in a gel that is applied to driftwood or tiles, allowing the fish to casually graze on it at will.

If you are not fond of food in gel form, SuperGreen comes in slabs and cubes as well. Simply drop them into the tank and they will float to the bottom of the aquarium.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Made for herbivorous freshwater fish and offers complete nutrition with five different algae
  • Ideal for fish that eat by grazing
  • Easily digestible
  • Contains various color enhancing ingredients
  • Does not contain grains or legumes
  • Does not contain animal products or byproducts
Repashy SuperGreen 6 Oz JAR
  • Our Formula for Obligate Algae Eating Herbivorous Freshwater Fish and Invertebrates. Contains No Animal Products or Byproducts.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein min. 35%, Crude Fat min. 8%, Crude Fiber max. 8%, Moisture max. 8%, Ash max. 9%.

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 3 in a circle

3. Hikari Fish Food

  • Water Level: Top, Mid, Bottom
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore
  • Fish Size: All

Hikari Fish Food is micro-pellets that slowly sink to the bottom of the tank, allowing all fish from top to bottom to feed on them.

It is a species-specific food, formulated for tetras, angelfish, and livebearers.

Some aquarists recommend preparing additional food for new fry’s because they are too big for the small mouths to eat, while others indicate the size is small enough for them.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Ideal for fish that eat at the top, middle, and bottom of the tank
  • The pellets are slow to sink, allowing all fish to have an opportunity to feed off them before they reach the bottom of the aquarium
  • Color enhancing
  • Fish love the taste of it
Sale
Hikari Tropical Semi-Floating Micro Pellets Fish Food, 0.77 Oz (22g)
  • SUPERIOR NUTRITION has been scientifically proven by decades of research to meet the dietary needs of tetras, barbs and other small tropical fish.
  • PREMIUM SELECTION of marine and vegetable proteins is ideally suited for small tropical fish, which require larger energy reserves.
  • SEMI-FLOATING micro-pellets sink slowly to allow fish at all levels of the tank to receive the nutrition they need to thrive.
  • UNIQUE MICRO-COATING virtually eliminates nutrition loss and water clouding; a balance of krill and spirulina help fish achieve vivid coloration.
  • PRECISELY COLORED granules improve underwater visibility for maximum consumption with less wasted food.

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 4 in a circle

4. Fluval Hagen Color Enhancing Flakes Fish Food

  • Water Level: Top
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore
  • Fish Size: All

Fluval Color Enhancing Food Flakes is an excellent source if you are looking to brighten up the color of your tropical fish.

Loaded with high-quality ingredients, fish tend to love eating this food.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Doesn’t create cloudy water
  • Loaded with quality nutrients for a complete fish diet
  • Reported almost immediate and beautiful boost in color
  • Fish love the taste of it
Fluval Color Enhancing Flakes Fish Food 60gm, 2.12-Ounce
  • High quality, ultra palatable fish food
  • Effective color-enhancing formula that brings out the best in tropical fish colors
  • Excellent source of proteins, trace elements and antioxidants from several key ocean fish
  • Provides full complement of vitamins with stabilized vitamin C
  • Provides excellent daily nutrition

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 5 in a circle

5. Aqueon Tropical Flakes

  • Water Level: Top
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore
  • Fish Size: All

Aqueon Tropical Flakes provides a balanced diet for tropical fish. It can be fed daily with confidence, knowing the healthy ingredients will keep your fish happy and thriving.

It has color-enhancing properties to bring forth the true color of your fish with ingredients like marigold powder, spirulina, chili powder, and more.

The flake food will float on the top of the water surface, ready for the fish to enjoy.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Nutritious flake food that fish love
  • Does not cloud the tank water
  • Contains natural ingredients with additional minerals, trace nutrients, and vitamins
  • Comes in granules if you prefer that type of fish food over flakes
Aqueon Tropical Flakes Fish Food, 2.29-Ounce
  • Natural ingredients and colors with added vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients
  • Nutritious food ingredients that fish are naturally attracted to
  • Formulated so that fish utilize more of what they eat and create less waste
  • Floating flakes for surface feeding
  • Will not cloud water when fed as directed

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 6 in a circle

6. Zoo Med Spirulina

  • Water Level: Top
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore and Herbivore
  • Fish Size: All (may need to crush for smaller fish)

Zoo Med Spirulina is rich in healthy nutrients, such as krill, plankton, salmon, and krill meal.

This fish food is blue-green algae and rich in a range of minerals, vitamins, and raw protein.

It contains 20% spirulina and is an excellent diet for freshwater fish, goldfish, crustaceans, marine fish, and invertebrates.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Perfect for African Cichlids, Platies, Mollies, Swordtails, Guppies, Tangs, and Saltwater Angelfish
  • Contains natural color enhancer
  • Can be fed daily to freshwater fish or saltwater fish
  • Spirulina improves egg production and hatching rates
Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce
  • Spirulina is rich in raw protein
  • For fresh or saltwater fish
  • Enhances breeding

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 7 in a circle

7. Omega One Freeze Dried Krill

  • Water Level: Top and Mid-Water
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore and Carnivore
  • Fish Size: Medium to Large

Omega One Freeze Dried Krill is exactly as the title states, it is simply a container of freeze-dried whole krill.

This is the reason it is for medium to large-sized fish because smaller fish are not able to get their mouth around it. However, it can be crumbled into smaller bits for littler fish.

Fish love the taste, making it an excellent treat for them.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Contains no fillers
  • Offers natural color enhancing
  • High in protein
Omega One Freeze Dried Krill, 1.3 oz
  • NUTRITIOUS TREAT: Freeze-Dried Krill are an excellent high-protein treat for all medium to large-mouthed fish
  • HIGH QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Made with the highest quality krill available, this product is rich in vitamins and minerals
  • SAFE ALTERNATIVE: Freeze-dried krill are just as nutritious as live food, without the risk of bacteria or parasites
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed as a part of a varied diet, which should include at least one Omega One staple food. Feed daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 60% / Min Crude Fat 10% / Max Crude Fiber 19% / Max Moisture 5%

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 8 in a circle

8. Omega One Veggie Rounds

  • Water Level: Bottom
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore and Herbivore
  • Fish Size: All

Omega One Veggie Rounds are sinking discs loaded with fresh ocean kelp hand-harvested in Alaska.

They are naturally insoluble, providing a cleaner aquarium for your fish environment.

Omega One Veggie Rounds are loaded with healthy nutrients of Omega 3 and Omega 6 HUFA’s.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • Contains spirulina, known to eliminate internal pathogens and bacteria
  • Offers natural color enhancing
  • Rich in protein
  • Rich in Omega 3 and 6
Omega One Veggie Rounds, 14mm Rounds, Sinking, 8 Oz Container
  • NUTRITION: Veggie Rounds are loaded with fresh ocean kelp hand harvested in Alaska! They are rich in Omega 3 & 6 HUFA's to support strong immune systems, and contain Spirulina, a powerful...
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY: No meals, hydrolysates, digests, or any other pre-processed protein
  • KEEP A CLEANER TANK: Our Veggie Rounds are naturally insoluble, which reduces water pollution, and they have significantly less starch, which reduces fish waste
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed 1-2 rounds daily, or as much as can be consumed in 4 hours. If uneaten food remains after 4 hours, remove it and begin to feed a smaller amount
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 35% / Min Crude Fat 10% / Max Crude Fiber 4% / Max Moisture 8.5% / Max Ash 9%

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 9 in a circle

9. Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp Cubes

  • Water Level: All
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore and Carnivore
  • Fish Size: All

Hikari Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp has no fillers, no grains, and no legumes.

It should be fed as a supplement to your fish’s staple diet for additional protein.

This food is packaged in small cubes, allowing all fish sizes to enjoy it.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • High in protein
  • Fish love the taste
  • Free of grains and legumes
  • Free of fillers
Sale
Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp Cubes for Pets, 1.76-Ounce
  • Patented Ratcheting Dispenser Top
  • Will not cloud the water
  • Multi-vitamin rich to reduce stress and stress related diseases
  • Free of parasites and harmful bacteria
  • Nitrogen charging reduces oxidation prior to opening

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

number 10 in a circle

10. Fluval Bug Bites Bottom Feeder Fish Food Granules

  • Water Level: Bottom
  • Fish Diet: Omnivore and Carnivore
  • Fish Size: Small to Medium

Fluval Bug Bites is a nutrient-rich food that contains up to 40% Black Soldier Fly Larvae.

It is high in multiple proteins, Omega 3 and Omega 6 with whole salmon in the ingredients list.

Fluval Bug Bites are a complete food for your fish.

Reasons to purchase this fish food:

  • High in protein
  • Rich in Omega 3 and 6
  • Fortified with amino acids, essential vitamins, and minerals for a balanced and complete daily diet
  • No artificial fillers, preservatives, or colors
Fluval Bug Bites Bottom Feeder Fish Food, Sticks for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 4.59 oz., A6587
  • Bottom feeder fish food that contains up to 40%, nutrient-rich Black Soldier Fly Larvae, the first ingredient
  • High in multiple proteins like whole salmon – rich in Omega 3 and 6 for healthy skin, scales and fins
  • Fortified with essential vitamins, amino acids and minerals for a balanced daily diet
  • Sinking stick format (17-20mm) – ideal for bottom feeders; feed as much as fish can eat in two minutes, two or three times daily
  • Sustainably processed in small batches for quality control and maximum freshness

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fish Food Recap Comparison Chart

Final Words on Fish  Food

Selecting quality food for your fish doesn’t have to be difficult.

Look for ingredients that are nutrient-dense, rich in Omega’s and protein, and contain whole fish for a complete meal.

Once you are comfortable reading the label, you will be able to quickly pick out a healthy diet for your fish and feel confident they will continue to thrive in their environment.

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