Homemade Fish Food: 5 Recipes You Can Make Today (2022)

While shop-bought foods have plenty of nutrients and have been made to provide your fish with a good diet, they can be expensive and contain lots of chemicals and artificial ingredients.

Making your own fish food is a great way to give your fish a healthy diet and tailor the food to the exact dietary requirements of your fish.

Homemade fish food is cost-effective and perhaps a lot easier to make than you’re expecting.

The beauty of making your own fish food is that you can source all the products as sustainably as possible to ensure you are feeding your fish the best quality food.

Learn More With a Free eBook: Grab all 5 recipes here in an easy to read and printable format.

Where to Start

Now, all fish eat differently so it is difficult to provide you with an exact science for your fish food. All of the following recipes can be adapted to suit your fish.

We advise that you check out the ingredients list on your current fish food. You can then use that as a model when creating your own fish food.

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Pick out the top three or four ingredients to begin with. They will most likely be fish ingredients such as Shrimp, Cod, and Salmon.

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Remember you don’t have to stick to just one type of fish food, fish enjoy variety and are used to having a variety of foods in their natural habitats.

Why not make a few of these recipes and try them out? It’s likely your fish won’t like some of them, some fish can be quite picky eaters, but that’s fine. You can just try adding more or less of certain ingredients to find the sweet spot.

What Equipment Do I Need To Make Fish Food?

Homemade Fish Food: 5 Recipes You Can Make Today (1)To make the following recipes, you’ll need:

  • Your Ingredients
  • A Good Quality Blender
  • A Sharp Knife
  • A Pan
  • A Freezer
  • Ice Cube Trays

Which Food is Right for Your Fish?

Homemade Fish Food: 5 Recipes You Can Make Today (2)Not all fish food is suitable for all breeds of fish. Some fish are carnivores, some are herbivores and some are omnivorous. This is not a lifestyle choice; this is specific to their species.

It’s important to understand which type of eater your fish is and consider the diet for your fish before you make fish food. Let’s take a quick look at each category.

Herbivores: Fish that only eat plants, are essential in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Great at eating all the algae in your tank. Most Plecos are herbivores.

Omnivores: Fish that eat both plants and meat. The vast majority of fish are omnivores. Rainbow Sharks are omnivores.

Carnivores: Fish that only eat meat and other fish. An example is the Discus.

Plant food

Leafy greens are great for fish, they are full of minerals and vitamins and they are great mimics of natural plants that would be found in their habitats. Spinach, Kale, Seaweed, and Lettuce are some of the options available.

You can also get some great live water plants such as Cabomba, Egeria, and Limnophilla. All of which are commonly available in pet shops.

Fruit and Vegetables are also rich in nutrients.

You can feed your fish an assortment of them including apples, pears, broccoli, and peas. Some fruit and veg can be fed raw, but usually, you should steam or blanch them before putting them in your tank.

Fish also love garlic!

Garlic has plenty of anti-bacterial properties to keep your fish healthy. It can also increase your fish’s appetite. If it’s being used for this reason you should crush the garlic and just rub the juice/oil onto the food. Alternatively, you can mince it and add it to any homemade recipes.

Meat

A lot of fish species love eating fish. The most popular types of fish food include trout, salmon, tuna, and cod.

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Earthworms are also a great addition to any homemade fish food recipe. They are packed full of nutrients and are very cheap.

You can also add other aquatic animals to your fish food, including brine shrimp, squid, mussels, and larvae.

You can get live, fresh, and frozen fish food. If you feed your fish live food, only allow them 5 minutes to eat it and then clear the rest out to prevent rotting.

A little bit of fat is ok for your fish, if your fish is a carnivore he can eat up to 6% concentration of fat, but don’t over-feed them with high-fat content foods as this can damage their liver.

DIY Fish Food Recipes

Let’s take a look at the recipes now.

Remember, they can all be adapted to suit your fish’s needs. You can add more or less of all of the ingredients. You may also want to add supplements and vitamins to the food.

1. Standard Homemade Gelatin Fish Food

This is perhaps the most common and easiest homemade fish food recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and can be stored in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sachets of unsweetened gelatin
  • 3 cups of Vegetables
  • ½ Cup of Seafood
  • ½ Clove of Garlic
  • A drop of fish vitamins

Instructions:

Cut all the vegetables and cook them, you can either steam them or boil.

Puree the vegetables with the garlic and seafood until you have a mushy consistency and add the vitamins.

Boil water to make your gelatin and add the required amount (see the packet) then add the gelatin mix slowly to the vegetable mix.

To store, you can tip the mixture into ice cube trays or into thin baking sheets. Freeze until you need to use it.

2. Herbivore Fish Food

For the non-meat eaters in your tank. This recipe is perfect for plant-eaters.

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Ingredients:

  • Frozen Peas
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Oats
  • Unflavored gelatin

Instructions:

Blanch all the vegetables and then puree them until they are smooth (You can use whatever vegetables you have available).

Add in the oats.

In a separate bowl, mix the gelatin with hot water (see sachet for details) and then add the gelatin slowly to the vegetable mix.

Store in ice cube trays or larger muffin trays and shave a piece off as and when you need to feed your fish.

3. Meaty Fish Food

Full of protein and meat, this is the perfect food for the majority of fish species.

Ingredients:

  • Any vegetables you have available (E.g. Broccoli, spinach, peas, carrots)
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Beef heart
  • White fish
  • Shrimp

Instructions:

Cook the vegetables and blend to a smooth consistency.

Remove, shell, and blend the beef heart, white fish, and shrimp.

In a separate bowl mix the gelatin with hot water as per the sachet instructions.

Combine all the ingredients together and store them in ice cube trays in the freezer.

4. High Protein Fish Food

If you’re looking for a more specific recipe than you can follow rather than having to determine your own amounts, this recipe is great.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g of salmon (fresh or tinned seawater salmon)
  • 1000g of raw shrimp (tail removed, unpeeled)
  • 500g frozen peas
  • 300g carrots
  • 500g spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Gelatin

Instructions:

Cut the salmon, shrimp, carrots, and spinach into pieces and blend them. If the mixture is too thick you can add a little water).

Mix your gelatin in a pan of 2L of hot water, and then add the rest of the ingredients to the pan.

Heat the mixture on low heat until everything is cooked through (30mins – 1hour).

Pour the mixture into small ice cube trays and use as needed.

5. No-Cook Fish Food Recipe

This easy-to-make recipe requires no cooking and can be made within 30 mins.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Cucumber
  • Shrimp
  • Crab
  • Cod

Instructions:

Chop all your ingredients into small pieces and blend. Add water if it’s too thick.

Make your gelatin mix in a separate container and add to the mix. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze.

Summary

Your frozen fish food will last for up to 12 months if stored properly in your freezer. Once the cubes are frozen, you can transfer them into a sealed bag or airtight container.

You can shave pieces of the ice cube to feed your fish, one ice cube is sufficient for a moderately stocked 50-gallon tank.

Remember when you’re introducing new foods you should also offer the food they are used to. Perhaps you could offer their regular food in the morning and the new food in the evening. If they take to the homemade food well you can switch over to that. You may want to alter the recipes every few months to give your fish plenty of variety.

We hope you have fun experimenting with different foods, I’m sure your fish would thank you if they could.

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If you’ve learnt anything new in this article, or if you have any recipe suggestions for us, leave a comment below…

FAQs

How do you make homemade fish feed? ›

One simple formulation, which is used traditionally to feed ornamental fish in ponds, consists of a mixture of 30% ground and processed oats or wheat and 50% of fish meal or pellets from a commercial manufacturer.

What can I use for fish food? ›

Cooked vegetables (peas, cauliflower, pumpkin, carrots, etc.), boiled or steamed, are great food alternatives to fish food flakes once in a while for your omnivorous and herbivorous aquarium fish. You can even feed some fish (goldfish and koi in particular) cooked rice or oatmeal.

What is the most common food for fish? ›

The most common dry foods include pellets and flakes. These foods come in different formulas depending on the nutritional needs of individual species. Meanwhile, some fish enjoy frozen or freeze-dried shrimp, prawns, krill, plankton, and worms. It's important to note that some fish do better on a live food diet.

Do fish eat bread? ›

Can fish even eat bread? Here's the answer: Fish should not be fed bread under any circumstances because they are unable to digest it. Unlike humans, fish don't have the ability to digest yeast and gluten which causes their stomachs to bloat and leads to complications like constipation and inflammation.

What vegetables can fish eat? ›

Almost all fish will benefit from some vegetable matter in their diet. So even if you don't eat your veggies, don't skimp on adding vegetables in your fishes' diet.
...
Fresh Vegetables
  • Fresh peas with the skin removed.
  • Raw zucchini slices/pieces.
  • Raw cucumber slices/pieces.
  • Blanched lettuce.
  • Fresh spinach with stem removed.
25 Nov 2021

What is natural fish food? ›

Natural food is found naturally in the pond. It may include detritus*, bacteria*, plankton* , worms, insects, snails, aquatic plants and fish. Their abundance greatly depends on water quality.

Can you make fish food? ›

Broccoli, zucchini, carrots, apples, pears, peas, and oranges all make for great additions to homemade fish food. Spirulina Powder: This food additive is a favorite among those who make their own fish food. Composed of cyanobacteria, spirulina powder is rich in minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

What are the ingredients of fish feed? ›

Proximate composition of feed ingredients
IngredientsD.M.C.P.
Groundnut oil cake95.4042.00
Wheat bran89.9013.90
Cotton seed cake91.9026.00
Maize91.109.00
23 more rows

What can a fish eat besides fish food? ›

During the first 2 or 3 days without fish food, aquarium fish will eat algae and scavenge for leftovers. After this there are several alternatives such as vegetables (lettuce, cucumber and zucchini) or meat (beef heart, cod or tilapia).

Do fish eat oatmeal? ›

Even though their diet is changing, your fish will still like indulging in a treat from time to time. Some things to feed your pond fish are oatmeal or oat-based cereal or share some veggies, such as carrots, pumpkin, or frozen peas. These snacks will be gentle on their system and give them some extra nutrients.

Do fish eat lettuce? ›

There is a wide variety of vegetables that fish do very well on. There is a wide variety of vegetables that fish do very well on. Regular lettuce is not one of them, and just as we eat it on weight-reduction diets because it has very few calories, it also provides very little nutrition to fish.

Do fish like bread? ›

A. Actually, bread is a great bait for fish like catfish, suckers, and carp. Many anglers use “dough balls,” which is simply rolling bread into a ball around a hook and fishing it under a bobber or on the bottom.

Can fish eat apples? ›

Some fruits and vegetables can be fed raw to the fish, but most vegetables should be blanched prior to being offered to your fish. The fruits and vegetables that are generally alright to serve raw are bananas, plantains, pumpkins, pears, apples, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

What do fish eat for kids? ›

Fish can eat a variety of different things like other fish, algae, insects, turtles, fish eggs, mollusks, and even water birds. Fish breathe by using a special organ called gills.

Can fish eat bananas? ›

The vast majority of fish can eat bananas. In fact, they appear to love them. Plus the various minerals and nutrients found in bananas are very healthy for fish. That being said, you should avoid feeding bananas to carnivorous fish, as they are unable to digest large amounts of carbohydrates.

Can fishes eat chocolate? ›

While fish can eat chocolate, it's not recommended to feed them chocolate since it's not part of their natural diet. Chocolate contains sugar and cocoa. These are poisonous to fish and don't have any nutritional value. Chocolate also contaminates the tank water.

Can we feed flour to fish? ›

Wheat flour cannot be digested by fish and it's used as a filler in some fish foods/pellets. Therefore, no all it serves is to make your fish food cheaper because it's an inexpensive food additive and will just add to the waste product of your fish because it's just indigestible for them.

Can fish eat noodles? ›

Most fish can eat pasta, but it's not a good idea to give it to them.

Can fish eat boiled egg? ›

Yes, fish can eat boiled eggs. Indeed, Eggs should be cooked before serving your fish. Egg white is not required for fish metabolism in an egg, while yolk contains a good protein. So, by boiling the egg, you can separate the egg white and yolk and then serve the yolk to your fish.

Is it OK to put cucumber in fish tank? ›

It is okay to leave cucumbers in a fish tank for about 3-4 hours every 5 days. Alternatively, you may keep half a cucumber that is sliced into pieces for a day in an aquarium.

Which feed is best for fish farming? ›

Fishmeal is a natural and well-balanced source of high-quality protein. As ingredients in aquaculture feed, fishmeal and fish oil supply essential amino acids and fatty acids reflected in the normal diet of fish.

Do fish eat oatmeal? ›

Even though their diet is changing, your fish will still like indulging in a treat from time to time. Some things to feed your pond fish are oatmeal or oat-based cereal or share some veggies, such as carrots, pumpkin, or frozen peas. These snacks will be gentle on their system and give them some extra nutrients.

What are the ingredients of fish feed? ›

Proximate composition of feed ingredients
IngredientsD.M.C.P.
Groundnut oil cake95.4042.00
Wheat bran89.9013.90
Cotton seed cake91.9026.00
Maize91.109.00
23 more rows

How can I make my fish grow faster? ›

How to Make Your Fish Grow Faster - YouTube

What is natural food of fish? ›

Natural food is found naturally in the pond. It may include detritus*, bacteria*, plankton* , worms, insects, snails, aquatic plants and fish. Their abundance greatly depends on water quality.

What are the names of food for fish? ›

Live fish food include earthworms, sludge worms, water fleas, bloodworms, and feeder fish. Food for larvae and young fish include infusoria (Protozoa and other microorganisms), newly hatched brine shrimp and microworms. These are the most preferred type of food for fishes, but are difficult to get.

What do fish farmers feed their fish? ›

Farmed fish may not be as nutritious as wild.

Wild fish get their omega-3's from marine lipids (or fats). Farmed fish, however, are often fed corn, soy, or other vegetable oils that contain little to no omega-3's.

When should you stop feeding fish? ›

At 55°F the fish's metabolism starts to slow, reducing its intake requirements. Once the water temperatures go below 40°F, it's time to stop feeding until spring. Anytime you are feeding when it's below 60°F, keep in mind the bacteria in your filter are also slowing their activity.

Can pond fish eat cheerios? ›

Cheerios – What child wouldn't love to share some of their cereal with pond fish? Cheerios are low residue and low nitrogen, making them great healthy koi treats.

Can you feed fish in winter? ›

Feeding fish in winter

In wintertime you should stop feeding fish daily if water temperature is below 10°C is. Start feeding fish daily again at a water temperature of 10 °C or higher. At lower temperatures metabolism of (cold-blooded) fish is so slow, that they hardly need any feed.

How do you grow big fish? ›

Pond Management - For better fish growth - YouTube

How can I enhance my fish color? ›

Fresh vegetables like spinach, broccoli and romaine lettuce are also healthy sources of vitamins and minerals that will help your fish to achieve their natural coloration. Be careful when purchasing color-enhancing commercial foods because some foods will be better for your fish than others.

Which fish grow the fastest? ›

This week, researchers crowned a new record holder for quick growth: Susan Milius at Science News reports that the turquoise killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri, found in Mozambique, can reach maturity in just 14 days, the fastest of any known vertebrate animal.

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