How to Feed Frozen Fish Food to Your Aquarium
Feeding only fish flakes or wafers to your aquarium fish is like the human equivalent of only eating protein bars every day. Yes, they contain a well-balanced mixture of nutritious ingredients, but wouldn’t it be nice to treat your fish to a sumptuous roast chicken dinner every once in a while? Then you should try frozen fish foods. This premium-grade fish food is packed with high-quality proteins, healthy fatty acids, and gut-loaded vitamins. Frozen foods are second only to live foods. They are also a great choice for picky eaters and sick animals with a reduced appetite. These foods are a great way to add variety and nutrients to your fish’s diet. Breeders also use them to condition their fish to spawn.
Frozen foods usually consist of whole ingredients that are flash frozen to retain as much of the original nutrients as possible and destroy any pathogens. Fish food can be bought at any local fish shop, pet shop or online store. These frozen fish foods come in convenient packaging that can be broken into smaller pieces or packaged in large slabs. We’ll be discussing the various types of frozen foods available and how they are best suited to your fish in the next section.
Frozen fish food is often packaged in individual cubes to make it easy to eat.
Different types of frozen fish food
Like betta and pufferfish, frozen bloodworms are a hit with many species, including loaches, betta, pufferfish, and betta fish. “Bloodworms”, actually midge flies larvae, are found in all kinds of freshwater bodies. They’re commonly eaten by fish and amphibians as well as aquatic insects. Their bright red coloration is not caused by an artificial dye but rather naturally comes from the hemoglobin inside their bodies. To best suit your fish’s needs, you can purchase frozen bloodworms in regular and jumbo sizes. Another type of worm you can try is frozen tubifex worms, which is a great food to get your corydoras and other fish to breed.
Dwarf puffers enjoy eating frozen bloodworms but they need to be able to eat other foods for their optimal health.
Some fish such as goldfish, betta fish and Apistogramma Cichlids can become constipated if they eat too much protein and not enough fibre. We recommend frozen brine shrimp to include more roughage in their diet. Artemia brine shrimp, a 0.4 inch (1 cm) aquatic crustacean, is popular in aquarium hobby as fish food. Its exoskeleton, made of tough chitin that is difficult to digest by most animals, acts as fiber, helping your fish move their waste easier. For an extra boost in vitamins and natural color enhancement, you can also feed frozen spirulina brine shrimp, which consists of brine shrimp that were gut-loaded with nutrient-rich spirulina algae.
Fish foods made with brine shrimps or other crustaceans can make your fish’s digestive systems more efficient.
Filter-feeders can often not eat large frozen foods due to their size. Instead, consider giving them small foods like frozen daphnias and cyclops. These tiny freshwater crustaceans are between 0.02-0.2inches (0.5-5mm), with cyclops being the smaller of the two. They are a great source of protein and, like brine shrimps, have exoskeletons to aid in digestion. We recommend freezing baby brine shrimp for babies. They are just 450 microns long. Baby brine shrimp can be different than adult brine shrimp, as they retain their yolk sacs. These yolk sacs are rich in healthy fats that are great for young fish.
Baby brine shrimp is one of the best foods to feed your fish fry to boost healthy growth and increase survival rate.
For larger fish, aim for frozen fish foods that contain bigger ingredients, such as mysis shrimp, krill, and silversides. If you have monster fish, you may need to start shopping at the grocery store for human-sized foods like frozen cocktail shrimp, prawns, and fish fillets. To file their ever-growing teeth certain pufferfish need hard shells so make sure you buy frozen oysters and clams.
Frozen Fish Foods: What to Feed?
There are several methods that are commonly used to feed frozen foods, depending on how many fish and tanks you have. Dropping a cube, or piece of frozen food slab, directly into your aquarium will make it easy for fish to start eating it. Some people like to place the cube in a worm feeder cone to more slowly release the food and prevent the fastest or biggest fish from immediately gobbling everything up.
Place a cube of frozen bloodworms in a worm feeder cone to help contain the worms and make less of a mess in the aquarium.
Others prefer to freeze the cubes in small containers of water and let them sit for a while before transferring the liquid into a pipette, or turkey baster. This method is great for feeding many fish at once or targeting certain fish who are struggling during mealtimes. We recommend that you freeze any frozen food, and then add some vitamin supplements to your fish to increase their immunity and brightness.
We recommend adding multivitamins for fish that eat only frozen and fresh foods to prevent them from becoming deficient in nutrients.
Frozen food should not be left at room temperature more than 30 mins. Otherwise it could start to smell and spoil. Refrigerate any frozen food that has been thawed at room temperatures. Bacteria growth could have begun and may have contaminated the fish. To avoid food waste and to not upset your family members or roommates, set a timer.
Frequently Asked Questions about Frozen Fish Food
How often should frozen fish food be fed?
It all depends on what you prefer and how your fish needs to be cared for. For typical omnivores or community fish, you can feed frozen foods anywhere from once a week to several times a week. For pufferfish, African dwarf frogs, and other picky eaters, they may refuse to eat anything except for live or frozen foods. You can try to give your fish a variety of foods, including frozen, freeze dried, gel, live, prepared food (e.g. flakes and wafers), to ensure they receive all the nutrients they need to live a long, healthy life.
How many frozen foods should I feed my fish? Different fish have different appetites and different species are better at eating. The two main things to look at are 1) how skinny or fat your fish are and 2) how much excess food is leftover. Ideally, your fish should have slightly rounded abdomens. You can decrease the amount of food they eat if they have a large stomach. If their belly is too full, increase the size of the meals. Also, if your fish consistently leave lots of extra frozen food on the ground several hours after you feed them, remove the scraps and feed them less next time. If you have only one betta fish, it may take too many bloodworms to feed one fish. You can either cut off a portion of the cube or purchase a slab that is easier to split into smaller pieces. Read our complete article for more information on feeding your fish.
What if my fish refuses to eat anything but frozen foods? Some fish can get “addicted” to a certain type of frozen food (like bloodworms) and may start to reject other fish foods that they typically eat. By feeding your fish pellets mixed with frozen bloodworms, you can teach them to eat other foods. Gradually increase their intake of pellets and bloodworms, until they can eat them on their own. Your fish may be more inclined to try new foods if you fast them for 2-7 days.
Frozen fish foods can be a fun, tasty way to increase variety in your fish’s diet. You can expand your fish’s palate by reading about five high-quality fish foods you should try.