Feeding reef fish - 7 tips for optimal fish nutrition

Feeding reef fish - 7 tips for optimal fish nutrition

Nutrition is the key to stay healthy and fit - this also applies to your fish.

How often and how much should I feed my fish? This is one of the most common questions about fish nutrition.

Regarding the amount you should rather feed too little than too much at once. Basically one says: Feed only as much as can be ingested by your fish in a short time. If you have a fish that looks thin, plan several feedings in one day instead of giving larger portions.

We also have the following tips for optimal fish nutrition:


#1 Varied feeding

Of course a varied diet is the best solution to prevent deficiencies in vitamins, minerals or trace elements. Therefore a mixed diet of live, frozen and dry food is ideal. Pay attention to high-quality products, especially with frozen food, and rinse thoroughly with fresh water before feeding it to your fish.

#2 Supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega-3)

This is mainly about the supply of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Both are essential, i.e. they cannot be synthesized by fish themselves. It is therefore important that they are supplied via food. In addition to commercial products from various feed manufacturers, omega-3 fatty acids are found in algae or fish oils as well as in squid or krill and should (in whatever form) be part of a healthy fish diet.

enrichment of fish food saltwater

Lipo-Garlic from Tropic Marin is a way to supply your fish with valuable omega-3 fatty acids. As a nutritional supplement, it should not be used daily, but weekly, for example.

#3 Avoid too many fats

Unsaturated fatty acids are important, but too many fats can put a strain on the liver in particular and thus cause organ damage. Young fish need slightly more fat (10-20%) than adult fish (5-10%). The largest proportion should be protein in the feed (40-55%).

#4 Keep an eye on the shelf life of dry food

Dried food should be purchased in small packages if possible and consumed quickly. Important vitamins or fatty acids can oxidise quickly and thus no longer develop their positive effects. Dark, cool and dry storage can significantly extend the shelf life of dry food and is definitely recommended.

#5 Use supplementary feed sparingly

With good varied feeding (see point 1 😉), food supplements are actually not necessary and can even be harmful. For example, an overdose can cause growth disorders. So if you resort to supplements, use them only occasionally.

#6 Many small portions are better than one large feeding

Feed several small portions throughout the day if possible. Many saltwater fish are "permanent eaters", therefore it is most natural to give food several times a day. This also reduces the load of nutrients in the water. An automatic feeder or food job sharing, for example within your family, can help here. By the way: A day of fasting every now and then won´t  harm any fish.

feeding tangs

Tangs such as Zebrasoma flavescens are "perennial eaters" and graze permanently on algae in nature. In the aquarium they should therefore be given small portions several times a day.

#7 Consider the feeding habits of your fish

Fish are basically divided into herbivores ("algae eaters"), carnivores ("meatlovers") and omnivores ("everything is great"). Find out to which group your fish belong to. For example, the proportion of algae and vegetable food for tangs should be very high. Also note that there are fast and slow eaters, as well as animals with small and large mouths and different "eating depths" (surface vs. ground level). Every fish want to get something. Therefore pay attention to different food sizes, types and also feeding times.

Now you already know the most important points regarding fish nutrition. We hope your fish will enjoy their meals!