Fish Food

Fish Food – The Ultimate Guide

The amount of fish food that you choose to provide for your fish is very important because you should not overfeed or underfeed them. Overfeeding will contaminate the tank water making it unhealthy for the fish to survive. Also, excess fish food can clog up the filtration system making the water more toxic. In the wild fish have the advantage of eating their favorite food as much as necessary but in an aquarium, you are responsible for your fish having a balanced diet.

How do you know the right amount of fish food to feed your fish?

The right quantity fully depends on the type and size of fish in your fish tank. There are certain fish food that are best suited for a particular species only. You can begin by sprinkling a tiny amount of fish food in the tank and observe. It is better to feed your fish little amounts at first as you increase with time.

Most breeds only require feeding once a day, though you can decide to split the food into two smaller potions and feed the fish twice a day. There are some fish that can feed even when they are not hungry so that means that feeding them once a day is recommended to avoid overfeeding.

Types of fish food

There are different types of fish food that serve a specific purpose. Being able to identify the right type of food for your fish can sometimes be overwhelming especially if you lack information on the best food types. The following are some types of fish food available in local pet stores.

Freeze Dried food
This is the most popular fish food available because they are cheap and readily available. Dried food comes in different recipes to suit all kinds of breeds from herbivores to carnivores. This type of fish food can last for years if properly kept so you won’t have to spend a lot on food.

This food type is best suited for surface feeding fish and those that usually feed in the middle of the fish tank. The flakes quickly dissolve in water losing its nutrients. This makes it unsuited for fish that swim at the bottom of the aquarium.

Crisps and Pellets
These are a denser type of the flakes and the extra thickness makes it float longer and dissolve at a slower rate.

Frozen Foods

There are many frozen foods on the market. Here are the most popular:

Blood Worms
Frozen blood worms are very easy to find in just about every pet store. Blood worms are suitable for all types of fish and are very popular among discus keepers. You must be careful not to feed your discus fish frozen blood worms as their primary diet. Blood worms tend to cause bloat in discus fish which can lead to death if not treated quickly. Therefore, it is recommended that you only feed frozen blood worms 2 to 3 times a week at most.

Mysis Shrimp
Frozen mysis shrimp are also very popular for all types of fish both fresh and saltwater. Mysis shrimp resemble brine shrimp but are larger in size. They don’t have too much protein but work well as a treat for your fish once in a while.

Beef Heart
Frozen beef heart is very popular with discus keepers. Beef heart is available in pet stores but many discus keepers make their own beef heart at home. There is a lot of controversy on the benefits of beef heart with discus fish. Many discus keepers swear by the fact that beef heart has a lot of protein and helps the discus grow fast. While others argue that discus do not eat any type of beef in the wild. The digestive system of discus fish is not designed to process beef and ends up getting your discus sick. Also discus will take time before they will even consider eating beef heart. I personally have had better success feeding beef heart to wild discus that domestic discus. Also, the beef heart sold in stores is known to have more fillers than beef which is another reason discus do not like it. My advice on beef heart is that its ok to feed once in a while as a special treat but not as the primary diet.

Live Foods

Live foods are also very popular among aquarium keeps.

Black Worms
Live black worms are the most popular type of live food in the aquarium hobby. Black worms are good for fish as long as they are rinsed thoroughly before feeding. When feeding black worms on a regular basis you need to make sure you have a proper black worm holding container that helps keep your black worms fresh for extended periods of time.

Brine Shrimp
Brine shrimp is also very popular among discus keepers. Most hobbyists hatch their own brine shrimp. Brine shrimp are good for baby fish and to get bigger fish excited about new food. however brine shrimp does not have much nutritional value so cannot be used as the only type of food for fish.

So what is the best type of food for fish then? The answer is a combination of all of the foods mentioned above. make sure you feed your fish a variety of foods throughout the week. Fish will get tired of the same foods over and over just like humans so switch it up. Plan on feeding different types of foods daily and you will see good results.


Brine Shrimp Flakes

Fish Food Recipes

Discus Flakes

Beef Heart Flakes

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Discus Food Recipes

Discus Food Recipes

Discus fish thrive greatly on a number of food types. These include beef, veal, turkey heart, fish fillets, shrimp and liver of beef/ turkey. Below are some of the common recipes for making these food types for the discus fish.

Discus Food Recipes 1: Beef Heart and Shrimp


  • 3 cups of ground beef heart. (Remove the blood vessels and fat)
  • 4 tablespoons of yellow cornmeal or cooked wheat germ.
  • 1 cup ground raw shrimp (without the shell).
  • 3 tablespoons of ground garlic.
  • ½ cup cooked spinach puree.
  • Yolk of 3 eggs.
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika.
  • 6 crushed calcium citrate and Vitamin D supplements.
  • 4 multivitamins (washed and soaked in water to form a soup).
  • 2 cups of meat lover’s flakes and 1 cup discus and angel flake.
  • 2 ounces of Formula One Marine
  • 7 small boxes of unflavored gelatin.

Preparation Procedure

Mix all the above ingredients and heat them. Do not boil. Stir in the gelatin and mix again. Pour the mixture out and allow it to cool. Once it cools, cut it into small pieces and freeze it in zip-lock bags. You can add 3 tablespoons of spirulina powder/krill/plankton.

Discus Food Recipes 2: Veal Heart


  • Veal heart (should be rinsed well in cold water and cleaned of blood vessels and fat).
  • One 10 ounce packet of frozen spinach; thaw and squeeze out the water.
  • 6 cloves of garlic.
  • 3 large handfuls of any type of dry flake food.
  • 1 cup Quaker oats.
  • 1 small box of unflavored gelatin.
  • 6 multivitamins washed off the protective coating and dunked in a small cup of water.

Preparation Procedure

Blend all these ingredients into a food processor and store the paste in freezer bags. The mixture should be around ¼ inch thick in the bags, when placed it in the freezer. At the time of feeding, just break off a piece, place it on a paper towel and allow it to thaw. Then feed the fish!

Discus Food Recipes 3: Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Shrimp, and Fish Fillets


  • 350 pounds turkey heart, washed and trimmed of all blood vessels and fat.
  • 150 pounds turkey liver.
  • 50 pounds non-oily fish fillets.
  • 100 pounds peeled shrimp.
  • 32 pounds green peas.
  • 20 pounds fish flakes.
  • 10 pounds oatmeal

Preparation Procedure

After allowing the hearts, livers, fish fillets and shrimp to thaw, cook them separately. Grind each of them and then mix them together. Grind this mixture once again and dollop the final mixture into plastic bags. Flatten the mixture in the plastic bag, so as to remove the air. Store in the freezer and thaw before feeding this discus fish food to the fish.

Discus Food Recipes 4: Beef Heart, Shrimp, Beef Liver and White Fish


  • 3 pounds beef heart.
  • 1 pound beef liver (trimmed, rinsed well and soaked for 3 minutes in hot water).
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled.
  • White fish – 1 pound.
  • 2 pounds frozen plankton.
  • 2 packets of lightly steamed spinach.
  • 1 box of lightly steamed peas.
  • Yolk of 6 eggs.
  • ⅓ cup Kelp seaweed powder.
  • ¼ cup brewer’s yeast.
  • ½ cup cooked wheat germ.
  • Spirulina powder – 1 tablespoon.
  • Vitamin C powder – 1 tablespoon.

Preparation Procedure

Blend the beef heart, liver, shrimp, white fish, plankton, peas and spinach in a food processor. Dollop out the paste in a large bowl and add to it the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Place the mixture into freezing bags and freeze them until needed. At feeding time, take a piece and allow it to thaw. Feed it to the discus in the fish tank.



Besides the above mentioned recipes, these fish also feed on frozen blood worms, mosquito larvae, white worms, Mysis shrimp, glass worms, red worms (chopped up) and dried or frozen adult brine shrimp. One can make some modification to the recipe as one desire. The above mentioned discus fish food recipes are suitable for discus fish of all ages.


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Best Food for Discus

Best food for Discus Fish


Discus fish can feed on basically anything which can include fish flakes, pellets, and frozen or even live food. The best food for your discus fish would be a variety of foods in order for them to get all the nutrients necessary for their growth.

The types of discus fish food

One type of good discus fish food is dry food. This type of food contains many essential nutrients for the discus fish. This type includes fish flakes and fish pellets. Care should be taken though when you feed your discus fish with dry foods. For example, ensure you supplement fish flakes with live food in order to attain optimum health for your discus fish as far as essential nutrients are concerned. Also, ensure you soak fish pellets before feeding them to the discus to avoid bloating of the discus fish. We highly recommend the DiscusGuy high protein flake foods and high protein beef heart flakes

Another best food for discus live food which includes bloodworms, black worms and also white worms. All these happen to be one of the best foods for discus fish in terms of nutrient content. More so, they can be easily acquired in almost all the local pet stores and can be stored in preparation for feeding them to the discus fish.
Brine shrimps make another best food for discus fish and a good substitute for that matter for worms. This is because they are rich in vitamins as well as minerals. They can either be frozen or live brine shrimp. Be careful to rinse them to remove any salt that may be on them though before giving it to the discus fish and incase it was frozen, ensure you defrost them first. This is the best food for strengthening the discus fish colors as it contains beta carotene. We highly recommend you stay away from live worms and only feed frozen worms as live worms can have parasites and get your fish sick!

Apart from the above main food types, some discus fish keepers opt for homemade food for their fish and they use cow hearts to make them. One major setback for this however is that they dirty your discus fish tank and hence it would require more regular cleaning. All in all, discus fish generally and naturally prefer live foods and those are the best foods you can give them.

Discus fish feeding habits

When discus fish are still young, they require constant feeding. Baby discus will eat 10 to 12 times per day. Young fish will eat up to 5 times per day. Adult discus fish on the other hand eat 2 to 3 times per day. Be careful to not overfeed them. Overfeeding your discus could cause health problems and water pollution. Discus fish are sensitive fish who appreciate pristine water conditions.

Regardless of the time you feed your discus fish, always try to be consistent with your feeding routine. In the morning, wait for your discus to wake up a bit before you feed them. Turn on their lights and then give them some time to move around for a few minutes. After they eat their last meal of the day, give them time to forage and clean your tank. Don’t turn off their light until at least an hour after their final meal of the day.

Challenges when feeding discus

One possible difficulty is that sometimes, the fish won’t immediately swim and eat the food. As a result, the food will sink to the bottom of the aquarium. Any food that remains there will rot after two days, which will lead to bacteria. To solve this, you choose to include a bottom feeder in the fish tank, or you will have to manually vacuum the leftover food out of the aquarium before it begins to decompose and contaminate the fish tank.

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Feeding Discus Fish

A very common question I get from customers is What are you feeding discus fish? How often should I be feeding discus fish? How much should I be feeding discus fish?

There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about feeding discus. However, I want to make this very simple for my customers.

Here is what I have been doing with my discus for many years with great success. All about feeding discus fish.

First of all,

How Often Should I Feed My Discus?

    Under 3 months of age – feed ten to twelve times per day.

    3 to 12 months of age
    – feed up to five times per day.

    Over 12 months of age – feed two to three times per day.

    Be careful to not overfeed them. Overfeeding your discus could cause health problems and water pollution. In addition discus are sensitive fish who appreciate pristine water conditions.

    How much should I feed them?

Feed them only the amount of food that they can actively eat in about five minutes. Because discus have grinders in their jaws instead of teeth, they eat with this process: They mouth the food, spit it out, and then recapture it before swallowing. This process causes food particles to fall to the bottom of the tank, but the discus isn’t done yet! The discus can dispel water at foods resting on the bottom of the tank and then pick it up as it float upwards. After their main feeding, they will search for leftovers at the bottom of the tank and clean up the leftovers for up to an hour. Therefore keep a close eye on the food quantity.

What should I feed them?

    Almost all discus enjoy food that is floating around, while others prefer the food that is at the bottom. Some discus will even eat food out of your hand! Due to the great personalities of discus fish, each fish may like a particular food more than others! Therefore, you must feed them a variety of foods.

    All of the fish at are fed the following:

High Protein Flake Food
– Frozen Blood Worms – ONLY frozen! Not Live! Live worms can cause parasite issues! Therefore stay away from live worms.
Beef Heart Flakes

What other foods can I feed Discus?

    – Tetra Bits – available online and in pet stores. Since these are hard in texture small discus may not like it at first.
    – Home Made Beef Heart mix – many recipes available online. Most noteworthy- take extreme caution when feeding home made beef heart since it can foul your water quickly.
    – Live Brine Shrimp – doesn’t have much nutritional value but is okay as an occasional treat. Therefore use on special occasions only.

    In conclusion, your discus fish diet is especially relevant in keeping healthy discus. So make sure you feed them a variety of foods while keeping a close eye on the quantity you feed them.

    Finally, I hope that this article helps and that you are better educated on All About Feeding Discus. Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.


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