Mastering Freshwater Aquarium Ecosystems
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Fish Food and Feeding (Cont.)


Plankton is usually sold in frozen or freeze dried forms. They usually consist of shrimp that are about ½ (6 mm) to ¾ of an inch (9 mm) and about 3/16 of an inch wide (5 mm). These shrimp are an excellent food for many medium large carnivorous fish like severums (Heros severus) and texas cichlids (Herichthys cyanoguttatus). Plankton are high in protein and are a good color enhancer.

Mysis Shrimp

Mysis Shrimp are a good high protein food for fish like angelfish, convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata), silver dollars (Metynnis sp., Myleus sp., Myloplus sp., Mylossoma sp.), pearl gouramis (Trichopodus leerii), malawi cichlids, and tanganyikan cichlids. Mysis shrimp are available in frozen and freeze dried forms.


Krill are shrimp that are about an inch long and a ¼ inch (6 mm) wide. These shrimp are an excellent food for large fish like oscars and midas (red devil) cichlids (Amphilophus citrinellus). They are sold frozen in flat packs or freeze dried. Krill are a very good color enhancer, and because of this, it is often used a primary ingredient in flake and pellet food.


Fish from the supermarket are an often overlooked by aquarium hobbyist as food for many larger fish. Cut the fish up in small pieces for the fish to eat. If your fish except filleted fish, you've found a cheap and safer alternative to feeder fish. Fish fillet can be cut it into small pieces and frozen in a ziplock bag and then thawed before feeding.

Live Red Worms (Tubifex) and Blackworms

Live redworms (tubifex) and blackworms are aquatic worms that live in the substrate. Tubifex and blackworms are a high protein food for fish. They can be used to bring fish into breeding condition. Tubifex and blackworms can sometimes get finicky fish to feed in captivity. They can also be used to aid in natural nitrate reduction by helping with slow water turnover in the substrate.

Unfortunately, tubifex and blackworms often carry parasites that can be transferred to fish. It is common for discus that are fed blackworms to be infested with tapeworms. Not all fish appear to be as susceptible to these parasites as discus.

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