BestPet Food

Live Fish Food: Ultimate Guide to Types of Live Cultures

Live food for fish is a topic of great interest to many aquarists. There are so many options available, and it can be difficult to decide which one will work best for your aquarium.
Best live food for fish

Dwell fish meals is a kind of fish meals that’s fed to fish in its reside type. It triggers instinctual feeding habits of fish. The motion of reside meals, corresponding to a wiggling worm, makes it irresistible for even the pickiest feeders.

Whereas nearly all of fish keepers feed completely dry aquarium fish meals to their fish, skilled breeders usually incorporate reside fish meals as a part of the fishes’ weight loss program.

Reading: Best live food for fish

It’s true that aquarium fish meals which are manufactured by most main manufacturers are formulated to fulfill the entire fundamental dietary necessities of fish. Nonetheless, reside fish meals supplies one thing that the dry pellet and flake meals doesn’t. Listed here are some advantages to reside fish meals, and explanation why they’re obligatory:

  • Fish which were launched from the wild aren’t accustomed to consuming dry meals. These fish will probably require reside meals for a time frame. Some fish might be able to acclimate to dry feed and require reside meals indefinitely.
  • New child fry have to be taught to eat dry meals. Nonetheless, once they see a small organism wiggling in entrance of them, they comprehend it’s meals by intuition. They chase after it and swallow it instantly.
  • New child fry of many fish species are extraordinarily small. Attributable to their small measurement, they’re mechanically restricted in what they’ll eat. When finely crushed flake meals isn’t sufficiently small, reside fish meals could also be obligatory.
  • Grownup fish that recurrently eat dry feed should still want reside fish meals to breed. Even when the dietary content material is current within the pellet feed, typically they merely require the reside meals to persuade them to breed.
  • Many reside fish meals include a excessive share protein content material, in addition to different dietary elements. Because of the highest dietary content material retained in reside meals, it’s helpful for varied fish of various levels.

As a phrase of warning, reside meals is usually a host to parasites, ailments, and contaminants. Solely reside meals collected from a trusted supply ought to be used. It’s at all times higher to domesticate your individual reside meals when attainable, since it may be higher managed and managed. As well as, cultivating your individual reside meals is usually more economical in the long run.

Sorts of Dwell Fish Meals

It is a checklist of reside fish meals which are used within the aquarium pastime. Some are extra generally used than others. They’re listed in alphabetical order, not by measurement.

Banana Worm

Banana worms (Panagrellus nepenthicola) are small nematodes which are roughly 1.5 mm in size. Attributable to their small measurement, they’re nice for feeding fry. Banana worms are very straightforward to tradition. You possibly can develop them on simply oatmeal and yeast.

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp (Artemia) is a saltwater shrimp. They’re usually obtainable as brine shrimp eggs or Artemis cysts. These eggs could be saved for roughly 2 years in dry oxygen free situations, and they are often hatched inside a couple of hours by inserting them in saltwater. They’re solely 0.4 mm in size when hatched, making them an important supply of reside meals for fry. Grownup brine shrimp reaches 10-12 mm in size. The adults could be fed to all kinds of fish.

California Blackworm

California blackworm (Lumbriculus variegatus) is a species of worm that lives in shallow our bodies of water corresponding to ponds, rivers, and lakes. They’re 4-10 cm in size they reproduce primarily by separating and regenerating its physique. They’re nice for conditioning grownup fish for breeding.


Each freshwater and saltwater copepod species exist. Usually, they’re 1-2 mm in size. Attributable to their small measurement, these crustaceans are appropriate for fry feed.


Daphnia, also referred to as water fleas, are small freshwater crustaceans which are 0.2 – 5 mm in size. Many species of Daphnia exist, however among the most typical species are Daphnia pulex and Daphnia magna. Daphnia pulex is the commonest species of all of them. Daphnia magna can attain as much as 5 mm in measurement, making them one of many largest species of Daphnia. Each species are broadly used as fish meals within the aquarium pastime and aquaculture.


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Duckweed is an freshwater plant that grows within the floor of the water. The widespread duckweed (Lemna minor) grows in a short time, and it may be cultivated with little or no effort. It’s a good supply vegetable protein, nutritional vitamins, and minerals. Not all fish will eat duckweed, however many fish together with goldfish, koi, and tilapia will.


Earthworms corresponding to purple wigglers (Eisenia fetida) are an important supply of reside fish meals. Crimson wigglers attain 7-10 cm in size, making them appropriate for medium to bigger sized fish. Since they are often cultivated from compost, they could be a value efficient supply of protein and lipid content material. Research have proven that earthworms can change fishmeal as much as 50% with out lowering fish development, in response to Aquaculture Alliance.

Feeder Fish

Smaller fish corresponding to goldfish are typically used to feed bigger fish. Needless to say “feeder goldfish” stocked in shops are sometimes housed in crowded situations, elevating the chance of introducing parasites and ailments.

Gammarus Shrimp

Gammarus shrimp, also referred to as scuds, are freshwater crustaceans that attain roughly 2 cm in measurement. They’re usually obtainable in dried type in native fish shops. Nonetheless, the reside Gammarus could be cultured as effectively. Since they’re scavengers, they are going to feed on something from fish meals to decaying leaves. The carotenoid that’s current in Gammarus is thought to boost the fishes’ pure shade.

Inexperienced Water

An abundance of phytoplankton makes the water inexperienced, therefore inexperienced water. Inexperienced water in an aquarium is usually despised and regarded ugly. Nonetheless, in lots of pure ecosystems, inexperienced water type the bottom of the aquatic meals chain. It helps small organisms corresponding to invertebrates, larval fish, and fry.

Grindal Worm

Grindal worms (Enchytraeus buchholzi) are small annelid worms reaching roughly 7 mm in size. Attributable to their small measurement, they’re appropriate for fry. Grindal worms are similar to white worms. They each develop in soil, and have comparable feeding habits. Nonetheless, grindal worms are smaller and like a barely hotter temperature vary.


Infusoria can be utilized to feed very small fry. An infusoria tradition will encompass many small organisms corresponding to Rotifers, Paramecium, Algae, Amoebas, Euglena, Stentor, and Vorticella. When the fry are too small to eat child brine shrimp and different reside meals, infusoria can be utilized.


Mealworms are nice for bigger fish corresponding to Arowana, Oscar, and koi. They’re straightforward to tradition and keep. They are often grown on a easy weight loss program of oats. Nonetheless, by intestine loading them, you may go on extra dietary worth to the fish.

Microfex Worm

Microfex worms, or Dero worms, are small aquatic worms is 1-2 cm lengthy. They resemble blackworms and tubifex worms, however they’re much smaller in measurement. They develop in clumps and feed on number of decaying matter.


Microworms (Panagrellus redivivus) are small nematodes that attain 1-2 mm in size. They’re an important supply of meals for fry, and really straightforward to tradition. Some oatmeal and yeast is all that they require. Because of the ease of culturing microworms, they’re some of the well-liked forms of reside fish meals for fry.


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Moina is a species of freshwater crustacean. They’re much like Daphnia, however smaller than most Daphnia species corresponding to Daphnia pulex and Daphnia magna. They’re solely 0.5 mm in size. Attributable to their small measurement, they’re appropriate for feeding fry.

Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito larvae could be a reasonable supply of reside fish meals. Many fish eat mosquito fish larvae as part of their pure weight loss program, and they’re nutritious. Nonetheless, make sure to harvest mosquito larvae from a clear supply. Mosquito larvae are sometimes present in puddles and ditches, however these sources are sometimes contaminated. As well as, make sure to use the mosquito larvae rapidly, earlier than they flip into grownup mosquitoes. As soon as the mosquito larvae is collected, the remainder of the container that held the water ought to be emptied fully.

Tubifex Worm

Tubifex worm reside in muddy sediments of river and lakes. They’re present in ditches and open sewers as effectively. They’ve been a preferred supply of reside meals within the aquarium commerce for a really very long time. Nonetheless, since they’re usually harvested from polluted areas, they’ve been a typical reason behind parasite and illness. Subsequently, it is very important acquire tubifex from a clear supply.

Vinegar Eel

Vinegar eels (Turbatrix aceti) are nematodes that reside in vinegar. Mature specimen will attain about 2 mm in size. Their small measurement makes them appropriate as fry meals. One benefit of vinegar eels is that they’ll survive in water for an extended interval than different nematodes corresponding to microworms. Whereas microworms can solely survive in water for 12 – 24 hours, vinegar eels will survive in freshwater for a number of days.

Walter Worm

Water worm (Panagrellus Silusioides) is a nematode that was remoted by Helmut Walter of Germany in 2002. Walter worms develop to about 1.5 mm in size, making them barely smaller than microworms. They are often tradition very simply utilizing oatmeal and yeast.

White Worm

White worms (Enchytraeus albidus) are annelid worms that may be cultured in soil. They develop to about 2-3 cm in size, making them a very good measurement for juveniles and grownup fish. A effectively established white worm tradition could be top-of-the-line sources of reside fish meals since they’re wealthy and protein and lipids. They’re much like grindal worms. In comparison with grindal worms, white worms are barely bigger and like a cooler temperature.

Wingless Drosophila

Wingless drosophila (Drosophila melanogaster), or generally often called fruit flies, is usually a good supply of reside fish meals. The wingless selection can managed simply and it may be cultivated comparatively simply as effectively. Since many fish eat small bugs of their pure setting, they won’t hesitate to eat the fruit flies.

In nature, fish are opportunistic feeders they usually feed on all kinds of invertebrates and different residing organisms. This isn’t a complete checklist of reside fish meals. We’re constantly updating this checklist. Please contact us for solutions.

The place to get reside fish meals?

Many reside fish meals could be supply from native rivers and lakes. Small invertebrates corresponding to daphnia are quite common in lots of areas worldwide. When harvesting these organisms, ensure that they’re from a clear supply.

Native fish golf equipment could also be a helpful supply of reside fish meals. Many hobbyist hold a tradition of reside meals corresponding to microworms year-round. They might be prepared to share a starter tradition.

You should buy reside fish meals from retailers. Native pet shops is an effective supply of reside meals corresponding to earthworms, mealworms, and wingless drosophila. For different forms of reside meals that pet shops don’t carry, look into on-line retailers corresponding to Aquabid, eBay, and Amazon.

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