Best Tropical Fish Food (10 Choices For All Fish)

Just like humans, our beloved pet fish need the best tropical fish food to stay healthy and happy. But with so many products to choose from, finding the right product can be tedious.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best products available in the market to help you decide on the perfect one for your fish. So, keep reading to find out the best choices!

And don’t worry, you won’t be given generic advice. These are the best flakes, pellets, food for fry, food for picky eaters and food for bottom feeders!

Table of Contents

Our Top Picks:

Tropical Flakes

  • Best Overall: Tetramin Plus Tropical Flakes
  • Tetra Colorplus Fish Food
  • Tetra Pro Fish Food

Tropical Pellets

  • Best Overall: Fluval Bug Bites
  • Cobalt Aquatics Tropical Nano Pellets
  • Omega One Color Mini Pellets

Best Food For Tropical Fish Fry

  • Infusoria
  • Baby Brine Shrimp
  • Powdered Fry Food

Best Fish Food For Picky Eaters

  • Aqueon Stick’ems

Best Food For Bottom Feeders

  • Best Overall: Fluval Bug BItes
  • Aqueon Bottom Feeder Tablets
  • Omega One Shrimp Sinking Pellets

What To Look For In Tropical Fish Food?

Feeding your tropical fish the right food is essential for their health and happiness. So, let’s break down what you should look for when choosing the perfect fish food:

1. Look for the “Tropical Fish Food” Label

Make sure the fish food you choose is specifically labeled as “tropical fish food.” This type of food is specially formulated to meet the dietary needs of fish like bettas, tetras, and guppies. Avoid using food designed for other types of fish, as they might not provide the right nutrients.

2. Check the Ingredients

Take a close look at the ingredients list. High-quality protein sources, such as fish meal or shrimp, should be the main component. Protein is essential for your fish’s growth and overall well-being. Additionally, ensure that the food contains essential vitamins and minerals to support their immune system and overall health.

As a rule of thumb, whatever ingredients are at the beginning of the menu, are the ones that make up the bulk of the food.

3. Consider the Form and Size

Tropical fish food typically comes in flakes, pellets, or freeze-dried options. Some fish may prefer one form over another, so it’s good to have variety. Also, be mindful of the size of the food. You don’t want to give your little fish a massive pellet they can’t handle!

4. Avoid Artificial Colors and Preservatives

Check for any artificial colors or preservatives in the food. Natural is better! Avoid anything that seems overly processed or packed with chemicals. Your fish will benefit from a more natural and nutritious diet.

5. Observe Sinking or Floating Behavior

Consider the behavior of the food. Floating pellets or flakes are great for fish that mainly feed from the surface. On the other hand, for bottom-dwelling fish, choose sinking pellets so they can reach the food easily.

6. Add Variety with Treats

In addition to the primary diet, treats can be a nice addition to your fish’s meals. Treats like freeze-dried brine shrimp or bloodworms can provide some excitement and variety in their diet.

7. Check for Expiration Dates

Always keep an eye on expiration dates. You want to offer your fish the freshest and most nutritious food possible. So, check the packaging for the “best before” date and ensure the food is fresh and safe to feed.

What To Avoid In Tropical Fish Food?

Avoiding certain things in tropical fish food is just as important as choosing the right ingredients. Here’s what you should steer clear of when selecting fish food:

1. Fillers and Low-Quality Ingredients

Avoid fish foods that contain a lot of fillers or low-quality ingredients. These additives might not provide the essential nutrients your fish need and can lead to poor nutrition. So, always check the ingredients list and choose foods with high-quality protein sources as the main component.

2. Overly Processed or Artificial Foods

Just like in our diets, overly processed or artificial foods are not ideal for fish either. Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives should be avoided. Go for natural and unprocessed options to ensure a healthier and more nutritious diet for your tropical fish.

3. High Levels of Fat or Carbohydrates

Excess fat or carbohydrates in fish food can be problematic for tropical fish. They may lead to obesity or other health issues. Look for well-balanced diets with appropriate levels of fat and carbohydrates to support your fish’s well-being.

4. Generic Fish Food

Avoid using generic fish food that doesn’t support the specific needs of tropical fish. Different fish types have different dietary requirements, and using a one-size-fits-all approach may result in nutrient deficiencies or digestive problems.

5. Lack of Essential Nutrients

Check that the fish food you choose contains essential vitamins and minerals necessary for the health and vitality of your tropical fish. A well-rounded diet should provide all the necessary nutrients to support their immune system and overall well-being.

6. Contaminated or Spoiled Food

Always ensure that the fish food you offer is fresh and free from any contamination. Spoiled or contaminated food can lead to illness or even death in your fish. Pay attention to expiration dates and store the food properly to maintain its freshness.

7. Excessive Treats

While treats can be a fun addition to your fish’s diet, avoid overfeeding them with it. Too many treats can lead to imbalanced nutrition and may not provide all the necessary nutrients your fish need for proper growth and health.

Best Flake Food For Tropical Fish

When you have tropical fish, it’s important to feed them the right flake food to keep them healthy and colorful. We’ve checked what people think about the products on the market, and here are their top three choices.

Tetramin Plus Tropical Flakes

Tetramin Plus Tropical Flakes have earned their place as the top choice among fish enthusiasts for many reasons. This flake food is meticulously formulated to meet the nutritional needs of a wide range of tropical fish, ensuring their optimal health.


  • Excellent nutritional balance for tropical fish.
  • Supports color enhancement, making fish more visually stunning.
  • Highly digestible, reducing the risk of bloating and waste.
  • Floating flakes encourage natural feeding behavior.
  • Long shelf life, ensuring freshness over time.


  • The flakes can be messy and lead to excess waste in the tank.
TetraMin Plus Tropical Flakes, Cleaner and Clearer Water Formula 7.06 Ounce (Pack of 1)
  • TROPICAL FORMULATION: Highly digestible flake blend for use as staple food for all tropical fish.

Tetra Colorplus Fish Food

Tetra Colorplus Fish Food is specifically designed to enhance the natural colors of tropical fish, promising to bring out the vibrant hues in your fish. The formula contains high-quality ingredients to promote overall fish health and well-being. 


  • Focused on enhancing the colors of tropical fish.
  • Contains essential nutrients for fish health.
  • Floating flakes are perfect for surface-feeding fish.
  • Users have reported positive results in color enhancement.


  • Some fish may not show significant color improvement because results can vary.
  • The formula may not be as balanced as other options for overall fish health.
Tetra ColorPlus Fish Food Flakes, Tropical Flakes With Natural Color Enhancers, 7.06 Ounce
  • TROPICAL FORMULATION: Highly digestible flake formula for use as staple food for all tropical fish.

Tetra Pro Fish Food

Tetra Pro Fish Food is designed to offer a premium diet to tropical fish with its high-quality protein-rich formula. It boasts excellent digestibility and minimal waste production. 


  • High-quality protein-rich formula.
  • Easily digestible, reducing the risk of overfeeding issues.
  • Floating flakes cater to surface-feeding fish.
  • Minimal waste, promoting a cleaner aquarium.


  • It doesn’t enhance your fishes color.
  • More expensive compared to other options.
Tetra Pro Fish Food, Tropical Color Crisps With Color Enhancers, Floating Fish Food, 7.41 Ounce
  • TROPICAL FORMULATION: TetraPro Tropical Color Crisps provide advanced nutrition for the discerning tropical fish-keeper.

Best Pellet Food For Tropical Fish

In providing your tropical fish with the best nutrition, pellet food is a popular and convenient option. Let’s go through three top-notch pellet food products for your tropical fish.

Fluval Bug Bites

Fluval Bug Bites have gained popularity among fish keepers for their high-quality and natural formula. Made with insect larvae, this pellet food offers a protein-rich diet that closely mimics what fish eat in the wild. 


  • Nutritious formula with insect larvae as the main ingredient.
  • Suitable pellet size for many different fish types.
  • Natural and easily digestible ingredients.
  • Promotes vibrant colors and overall fish health.
  • Minimal waste, promoting a cleaner tank environment.


  • The pellets can be too large for small fish.
  • Some fish may take time to adjust to the insect-based formula.
Fluval Bug Bites Color Enhancing Fish Food for Tropical Fish, Flakes for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 3.17 oz., A7348, Brown
  • Tropical fish food that contains up to 40%, nutrient-rich Black Soldier Fly Larvae, the first ingredient

Cobalt Aquatics Tropical Nano Pellets

Cobalt Aquatics Tropical Nano Pellets are specially designed for small tropical fish. These pellets contain high-quality ingredients and essential nutrients, ensuring the well-being of your fish.


  • Formulated for small tropical fish.
  • Provides a balanced diet for overall fish health.
  • Suitable pellet size for smaller mouths.
  • Floating pellets for easy feeding.


  • The pellets disintegrate quickly, causing cloudiness in the water
  • Some fish may take time to adjust to new pellets.
Cobalt Aquatics Tropical Flake, 1.2 oz, Model Number: 20001N,White/Black
  • Blue Flake (Triple Vitamin Boost, Natural Immunostimulant Beta-Glucan And Chitosan)

Omega One Color Mini Pellets

Omega One Color Mini Pellets focus on enhancing the colors of your tropical fish while providing necessary nutrients. These pellets are known for their high-quality ingredients and effectiveness in brightening fish colors.


  • Emphasizes color enhancement for tropical fish.
  • Contains essential nutrients for fish health.
  • Floating pellets for surface-feeding fish.


  • The formula might not be as balanced as other options for overall fish health.
  • If you overfeed your fish, or they’re not eating all the pellets in time, they’ll turn the water cloudy.
Omega One Color Mini Pellets, Sinking, 3.5 oz
  • COLOR-BOOSTING NUTRITION: Super Color Mini Pellets produce significant color enhancement thanks to elevated levels of beta carotenes in salmon skin. They are also rich in Omega 3 & 6 HUFA’s to support strong immune systems in freshwater and saltwater fish

Best Food For Tropical Fish Fry

When it comes to feeding baby tropical fish, there are three top choices that provide the best nutrition for their early growth.


Infusoria are tiny living things found naturally in water. They are super small and perfect as the first food for baby fish. They have lots of nutrients that little fish can easily digest. 

If they aren’t naturally in your tank, you can grow them at home. It’s a great and natural way to feed your little fish when they are just born.

Baby Brine Shrimp

Baby brine shrimp, also called nauplii, are very small shrimp that are great for baby fish. They have lots of proteins, good fats, and other important nutrients that help baby fish grow strong and healthy. 

You can hatch brine shrimp eggs at home and feed the tiny shrimp to your baby fish. It’s an easy and nutritious way to feed them.

Powdered Fry Food

Powdered fry food is specially made for baby fish. It’s like baby food for fish! The food is ground into a powder, so it’s easy for baby fish to eat. Look for high-quality fry food that has proteins, vitamins, and minerals to help baby fish grow fast. 

It’s a great choice because it gives them all the right nutrients in an easy-to-eat form.

Best Food For Picky Eaters

Having fish that are picky eaters can be tricky, but there are types of food that are perfect for those choosy fish. Here’s a product you can try to get your fish to eat.

Aqueon Stick’ems

Aqueon Stick’ems are special fish food sticks made to be super tasty. They come in different flavors, so even the pickiest fish can find something they like. These sticks have all the good stuff fish need to be healthy.


  • Super tasty, perfect for picky eaters.
  • Different flavors to choose from.
  • Healthy for fish with all the right nutrients.
  • Easy to feed without making a mess.
  • Works for many kinds of fish.


  • The pellets can sometimes sink too quickly for surface-feeding fish
Aqueon Stick’ems Freeze-Dried Color Boosting Pet Fish Treat
  • Sticks to the side of the tank to make feeding time more interactive
  • Developed with natural ingredients to please even the pickiest of fish
  • Fish are naturally attracted to the food due to its high palatability
  • This treat is high in protein, providing fish with the vitamins they need to maintain a healthy immune system
  • Energy rich formulation provides fish with the essentials for proper growth and vitality

Best Food For Bottom Feeders

Now, let’s explore three top-quality food products for bottom feeders and what makes them great choices.

Fluval Bug Bites

Fluval Bug Bites are highly recommended for bottom-dwelling fish due to their quality and nutritious formula. These granules contain insect larvae, which closely mimics the natural diet of many bottom feeders. 


  • Nutritious formula with insect larvae as the main ingredient.
  • Suitable pellet size for bottom feeders.
  • Natural and easily digestible ingredients.
  • Sinks quickly for easy consumption.
  • Minimal waste, promoting a cleaner tank environment.


  • The pellets may crumble easily
  • Some fish may take time to adjust to the insect-based formula.
Fluval Bug Bites Bottom Feeder Fish Food, Granules for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 1.60 Oz., A6586
  • Bottom feeder fish food that contains up to 40%, nutrient-rich Black Soldier Fly Larvae, the first ingredient

Aqueon Bottom Feeder Tablets

Aqueon Bottom Feeder Tablets are designed specifically for bottom-dwelling fish, offering a balanced diet that caters to their unique needs. These tablets sink quickly and provide a convenient feeding option for your bottom feeders.


  • Ideal for catfish, loaches, and other bottom-dwelling fish
  • Sinking tablets ensure easy access to food.
  • Contains essential nutrients for fish health.
  • Convenient and easy to use.


  • Some tablets may break too quickly, leading to waste if not consumed immediately.
Aqueon Bottom Feeder Tablets 3 Ounces
  • Ideal for bottom dwelling fish

Omega One Shrimp Sinking Pellets

Omega One Shrimp Sinking Pellets are rich in shrimp protein and formulated for bottom-feeding fish. They sink quickly, providing a suitable food option for fish that eat at the substrate.


  • Suitable for bottom-dwelling fish.
  • High-quality shrimp protein for a nutritious diet.
  • Sinking pellets for easy consumption.
  • Contains essential nutrients for fish health.


  • The pellets can sometimes dissolve quickly, causing water cloudiness if overfed
Omega One Sinking Shrimp Pellets, 8mm Pellets, 8.25 oz
  • UNSURPASSED NUTRITION: Made with real shrimp, these pellets are like no other. We purchase whole, fresh shrimp direct from Alaskan fishermen and women. It is 100% food grade and loaded with natural color enhancers and delicious cold-water proteins

What Type Of Fish Need What Type Of Fish Food?

Different types of fish have different foods they like to eat based on their type and natural habitats. So, let’s explore what type of fish need what type of fish food:

1. Tropical Fish

Tropical fish, like tetras, guppies, and angelfish, need a balanced diet that includes high-quality flakes or pellets. These foods are specially formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of tropical fish. Look for options that contain proteins, vitamins, and minerals to keep them healthy and vibrant.

2. Carnivores

Carnivores, such as bettas and other predatory fish, require a diet rich in meaty foods. Live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia are excellent choices. These foods provide essential proteins and fats that carnivorous fish need for energy and growth.

3. Herbivorous Fish

Herbivores, like certain cichlids and some catfish, mainly eat plants and algae. Offer them sinking pellets or wafers that contain plant matter, spirulina, or other vegetable-based ingredients. These foods supply the fiber and nutrients herbivores need for their unique diet.

4. Bottom-Feeding Fish

Bottom-feeding fish, such as loaches and corydoras, scavenge for food at the bottom of the tank. They’ll be happy eating sinking pellets or tablets that will reach them easily. These foods often contain vegetable matter and meaty ingredients to meet their omnivorous dietary needs.

5. Goldfish

Goldfish are omnivorous and need a mix of plant-based and protein-rich foods. Pellets specifically designed for goldfish are a good option. Also, supplement their diet with veggies like peas or blanched spinach.

6. Marine Fish

Marine fish, like clownfish and tangs, need a diet that replicates their natural reef environment. Choose high-quality marine pellets or flakes enriched with marine proteins and algae. Offer occasional treats like frozen mysis shrimp or brine shrimp.

7. Freshwater and Saltwater Fry

Baby fish, whether freshwater or saltwater, need special food formulated for fry. Infusoria, baby brine shrimp, or powdered fry food are excellent choices to provide the necessary nutrition for their early growth.

8. Larger Predatory Fish

Large predatory fish, such as Oscars and Arowanas, require enough meaty foods like live or frozen feeder fish, shrimp, and other meaty options. Keep in mind that these fish may produce more waste, so proper tank maintenance is really important.

What Happens If You Overfeed Your Fish?

Overfeeding your fish can lead to several problems, so it’s essential to avoid this common mistake for the well-being of your aquatic friends. Here’s what can happen if you overfeed your fish:

1. Poor Water Quality

Extra food can make the water dirty and unsafe for your fish. As the uneaten food rots and releases harmful stuff into the water, this can hurt your fish.

2. Algae Growth

Excess food and nutrients in the water can also lead to excessive algae growth. Algae thrive on the excess nutrients, and if left unchecked, it can take over your aquarium and also harm your fish.

3. Digestive Issues

Fish are opportunistic eaters, and they might keep eating even when they are full. Overeating can cause digestive problems, leading to bloating or constipation in your fish. It can affect their ability to swim properly and lead to discomfort.

4. Obesity and Health Problems

Just like overeating can cause health problems in humans, overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues in fish. Obese fish are more susceptible to diseases and have a shorter lifespan.

5. Increased Waste Production

Overfed fish produce more waste. This adds to the pollution in the tank, putting extra strain on the filtration system. The increased waste can also lead to higher nitrate levels, which are harmful to fish in high concentrations.

6. Stress and Aggression

Too much food and bad water quality can stress out your fish. Stressed fish might become aggressive and fight with each other.

7. Cloudy Water and Foul Smells

Too much food can make the water cloudy and smelly. It doesn’t look nice and shows that the tank isn’t healthy.


Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about the best fish food for their fish!

Is Freeze Dried Fish Food Good For Fish?

Freeze-dried fish food can be good for fish, but it depends on the type of fish you have. It has lots of nutrients and is easy to store. Some fish may find it a bit hard to eat, so soak it in water before feeding.

Is Frozen Fish Food Good For Fish?

Frozen fish food is good for fish. It keeps the nutrients and comes in different types like brine shrimp and bloodworms. Fish like the taste, but remember to thaw it before feeding.

Are Live Food The Best For Fish Food?

Live foods are great for fish because they are like what fish eat in nature. They have lots of good stuff. But be careful because they can also bring diseases. Always buy from a trusted source and quarantine before feeding.

Is It Better To Feed Flakes Or Pellets?

Both flakes and pellets are good. It depends on your fish. Flakes are for fish that eat at the top of the water, and pellets are for fish that eat in the middle or bottom. Make sure to pick the right size for your fish.

How Long Is Flake Food Good For?

Flake food can stay fresh for about a year if the container is closed. After you open it, try to use it within six months to keep it healthy for your fish. Keep it in a cool and dry place and close the container tightly.


Choosing the best fish food is vital for the health and happiness of your tropical fish. A well-balanced diet ensures their vibrant colors and overall well-being.  By carefully choosing the right tropical fish food that meets their nutritional needs, you’ll create a thriving and captivating home for your fish!

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