When we are tired of buying those expensive packs of fish food in pet shops, we want some solution. And then we think that if a cat or a dog can actually live happily on human food, why don’t we try feeding our fish with this food? And then some people start experimenting with their fish diet using unbelievable combinations of fruit, vegs, meat, and other leftovers from their tables.
Well, today, we’ll tell you where the red line is in making your aquarium fish eat human food. It’s not impossible, by the way, but we need to tell you about some important rules and considerations. And of course, not every species of fish will be able to eat human food. We’ve gathered a lot of information and we are ready to share it with you.
Here’s what we’ll be talking about:
- Which fish species can eat human food safely?
- When shouldn’t you try giving human food to your fish?
- What are the main risks when you try feeding your fish with human food?
- What are the all-purpose and safe food types for fish?
Let’s get started!
Fish species and food precautions
Not every fish species will eat whatever you give. We know dozens of species that are extremely demanding and hard to keep, so you will have to find some types of food that are appropriate for them. And if you just give them some leftovers from your table, these fish will not even understand that you just gave them food – they will probably think it was some new decoration for their aquarium.
Sometimes even the fish that is traditionally easy to maintain will do the same if they have got used to delicious food from a pet shop. You will try to feed them with some lettuce and they will pretend they don’t understand it’s food.
Here are some species that are hard to keep healthy giving them human food:
- Guppies. They are omnivores, in most cases, so they can eat anything. But the thing is that the special food for them is made in tiny flakes so that this small fish could easily eat the food. Once you give them some big parts of food, they can just suffocate with it.
- Goldfish. Although a lot of people think it’s a popular fish type that is easy to maintain, many owners say it’s not true. Goldfish will only want premium-quality food from a pet shop, not the leftovers from your dinner.
- Angelfish. These are very popular fish in America. And a lot of owners know that these fish are extremely hard to maintain. They will not want to eat the same food for a long time and they are hard to feed with some new food, too. Just impossible guys.
- Discus. They are not as popular as other fish species, so you may not know that these guys are very demanding. Bad water condition? They will not eat. Overfeeding? They may just die. Bad food? They will not even try to eat it.
- Moorish Idol. Oh, these fish will die whatever you do. Some aquarists say that it’s the most difficult fish to keep alive in your tank. It’s not only about food, but it’s also a very important aspect of their short life.
These are just examples, we believe there are dozens of fish species that will not eat everything you give to them. But a lot of the popular fish species can eat pretty much everything. And this creates one more problem. When you read these tips from happy bloggers saying that you can give fried potatoes to your fish (whatever species you have), you can make a wrong opinion about this.
Be very careful when you try to give human food to your fish. Even if you try, make it in very small portions and only mix it with some food that your fish are used to. Sharp changes in the diet are only possible when you have no other choice.
What kind of human food can your fish it?
Again, be very careful with understanding what kinds of species you have. For example, a tang can eat whatever you give to it, but a goldfish or an angelfish will only need some special types of food to survive. First of all, you should read some information about the food habits of your fish species, and only after that, you can experiment with human food.
We don’t think it’s a very good idea to fully transfer your fish to human food because it will be extremely hard to control the protein level, vitamins supply, and other important factors.
Here’s what you can try:
- White fish fillet can be OK for predators. If you have them in your tank, you will have to use some fillet from time to time because in nature they hunt other fish. But make sure it’s a white fish fillet, not some oily fish.
- Beefheart is the only meat type we would try with some fish. All other meat types will not be good because they contain fat which may cause a lot of problems for your fish.
- Egg yolk. After you boil some eggs, try giving a little yolk to your fish. It’s a very good treat for pretty much all fish species. It only has one disadvantage – it will make your water cloudy for a while.
- Fruit and vegs may seem a good idea. But not all vegs are good for fish. We would recommend trying lettuce and basically all green foods. But fruits are not always appropriate, especially very sugary fruits. They can be dangerous.
- Cooked peas may be another good option for a lot of fish. But you need to check whether a special fish species doesn’t have any problems with peas. Usually, aquarists’ forums will help you to find out.
We wouldn’t recommend giving something hard to your fish. When we were researching for this article, we found a lot of tips that fish can eat cucumbers and courgettes. Well, probably your fish will eat this food after starving for several days, but will it be good for their health? We don’t think so.
You should avoid any hard food that is difficult to swallow. Always rely on the reaction of your fish. Sometimes, it’s the best way to understand what your pets will love. But sometimes, you will just have one chance. If your fish suffocates with a piece of cucumber, you will remember for the rest of your life that cucumbers are not good enough for certain fish species.
What’s dangerous in human food for fish?
Fish can’t eat human food only. In most cases, this will spoil their health. When you buy some flakes or pellets in a pet shop, you are sure that you provide your fish with all needed elements, vitamins, proteins, etc. But when you are cooking lettuce and giving cucumbers to your fish, you can’t control what kinds of essential minerals and elements your pets get from food.
That’s why some fish may just die after some time. Giving human food as 10% of addition to flakes and pellets is OK. And giving some specially prepared human food is totally OK if it’s recommended for your fish species.
So, we want to outline some dangers of giving human food to your fish:
- lack of nutritious elements and proteins that your fish needs to survive;
- lack of needed vitamins and an unbalanced diet which can lead to death;
- too hard pieces of food which are impossible to chew and swallow for your fish;
- too big parts that can’t be consumed by small fish;
- wrong acids that are presented in the food you give to your fish;
- wrongly cooked food that can harm your fish’s health;
- poor choice of food which can mean that your fish will have trouble with digestion;
- too much fat which may kill your fish immediately or after some time.
We can continue with this list because every fish species may have its own side effects after eating human food. Especially, if this food is poorly prepared or contains some obviously harmful elements like fats. You should be very careful when choosing the food options for your fish.
We still recommend buying flakes and pellets in a pet shop if you have an aquarium at home. Human food can be a good addition to making the diet of your fish more diverse and interesting. But giving only human food can really be dangerous. And sometimes it can even lead to death or big problems with health.
We hope you now understand that not all food types are good for your fish. You will just need to know that some human food can kill your fish easily and fast. But sometimes, it’s a good decision for making the diet of your fish more diverse. So, just get more information about a special fish species you have in your aquarium. And then try adding a small amount of new food to check the reaction.
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