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. They are nutritious, but wouldn’t it be great to treat your fish to a delicious roast chicken dinner once in a while? You should also consider frozen fish foods. Premium-grade fish foods are packed with high quality proteins, healthy fat acids, and gut-loaded vitamin. After live foods, frozen foods are the next closest thing to what fish would normally eat in the wild and therefore are irresistible to picky eaters or sick animals that have decreased appetite. They are an excellent way to provide more variety and nutrition to your fish’s diet, and breeders often use them to condition their fish for spawning.
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. Frozen fish food can be purchased at your local pet shop, fish store, or online. These frozen fish foods come in convenient packaging that can be broken into smaller pieces or packaged in large slabs. In the next section, we’ll discuss which types of frozen foods are best suited for fish and what they look like.
Frozen fish food is often packaged in individual cubes to make it easy to eat.
Different types of frozen fish foods
For those who love meat
like betta fish, pufferfish, and loaches, frozen bloodworms are always a huge hit. “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 different sizes, including jumbo, regular, and mini. Frosted tubifex is another type of worm that you might consider. It is an excellent food source for your corydoras to breed with and other fish.
Dwarf puffers enjoy eating frozen bloodworms but they need to be able to eat other foods for their optimal health.
Certain fish like goldfish, betta and Apistogramma Cyclids may be susceptible to constipation and bloating if they consume too many protein and not enough fiber. We recommend frozen brine shrimp for adding more roughage to their diet. The Artemia brine shrimp is a 0.4-inch (1 cm) aquatic crustacean that is widely used in the aquarium hobby as fish food. Its exoskeleton, made of tough, fibrous chitin that is difficult to digest for most animals, acts as a fiber and aids your fish in passing their waste. To give your fish an extra boost of vitamins and natural color enhancement, feed frozen spirulina salt shrimp. These shrimp are gut-loaded in nutrient-rich, spirulina, algae.
Brine shrimps and other crustaceans are great for your fish’s stomach.
Filter feeders and nano fish can’t eat larger frozen foods. They are too big to swallow and hard to eat, so you might consider giving them smaller food like frozen daphnia or cyclops. These tiny freshwater crustaceans range from 0.02-0.2 inch (0.5-5 mm), with cyclops being slightly smaller out of the two. Not only are they a delicious source of protein, but like brine shrimp, they also have exoskeletons that help with smoother digestion. We recommend freezing baby brine shrimp for babies. They are just 450 microns long. Baby brine shrimp are different from adult brine shrimp because they still have their yolk sacs, which are filled with healthy fats and proteins that are ideal for newborn fish.
Baby salt shrimp is an excellent food for fish fry that will increase their health and survival rate.
To get bigger fish you should look for frozen fish foods with more ingredients such as mysis shrimps and krill. For giant fish like prawns and cocktail shrimp, you might need to look for frozen foods in a grocery store. For their teeth to grow, some pufferfish need to eat hard shells, so be sure to buy frozen oysters or 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 inside a worm feeder cone, which slows down the release of food and stops the fastest or most powerful fish from devouring it all.
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.
Other fish keepers prefer to defrost the cubes in a small jar of tank water for a few minutes and then feed the liquid using a pipette or turkey baster. This is a great way to quickly feed many aquariums, or to target certain fish that are not well-fed 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.
Fish that eat only frozen or live foods should be given multivitamins in order to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
Do not to leave frozen food at room temperature for more than 30 minutes or so because then it may start to spoil and smell. Refrigerate any frozen food that’s been thawed at the room temperature. The risk of bacteria growth in fish foods is high. If you don’t want to waste food or upset your roommates, create 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. You can feed frozen food to omnivores and community fish as often as you like, but not more than once per 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 and cooked (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. If your fish’s bellies are too large, decrease the amount you feed them. If they have sunken in their bellies, increase the food portion size. 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. A cube of bloodworms may not be enough for one betta fish. If it does, the entire cube will need to be thawed. Our full article explains how to feed your fish.
What happens if my fish refuses food other than frozen foods? Mixing pellets with frozen bloodworms can help your fish eat other foods. Gradually increase the amount of pellets to the bloodworms until the fish is able to eat the pellets by themselves. Your fish may be more inclined to try new foods if you fast them for 2-7 days.
Frozen fish meals are an easy and tasty way to provide more variety to your fish’s food. For more ideas on how to expand your fish’s palette, read about 5 high-quality fish foods that you have to try.