There are few things to take into account when select the right fish food, this includes what type of fish you have within your tank or pond. Some fish are herbivores, others eat both meat and plants while some are carnivorous so you need to understand your fishes’ diets.
It’s worth noting that very few fish are true carnivores and those that are will still eat plant matter as well so bear that in mind when creating your fish food for them. They will most likely need around 65% animal matter and the rest plant based.
Fish food can be expensive and choosing good quality fish food can be a challenge. If you are looking to create a more natural environment then why not consider making your own homemade fish food – it’s not as complicated as you might think and your fish will certainly thank you for it.
What kind of ingredients do you need?
When it comes to plant-based fish food it’s best to opt for organic so you know there is no harmful pesticide residue on the chosen food as this could seriously harm your fish and that’s the last thing you want to do!
So go organic when it comes to any ingredients for your homemade fish food and make sure you wash everything thoroughly before incorporating it into your recipe. When it comes to vegetable matter you should start with a green base.
Choose from a mixture of dark green leafy vegetables for the base, such as spinach or kale, which will need to be washed and part boiled ready for the process. A somewhat surprising ingredient which you might not think of, but your fish will thank you for, is garlic.
Garlic has been shown to have numerous health benefits for fish so make sure to include some within your homemade fish food mixture. To balance out the green base which you have created, you should also add in a handful of other additional fruit and veg like carrots and apples.
Another couple of essential ingredients are spirulina powder which is full of great nutrients and is really popular in fish foods. You will also need a small amount of corn starch which will hold the whole mixture together.
If your fish are omnivores or carnivores you will also need to add in some kind of animal protein to the mixture to keep them healthy. In this case it is again best to opt for organic every time to ensure the nutritional value is high.
There are a number of choices when it comes to animal matter – you could actually use fish for this as long as it’s not the same type of fish as the ones you are feeding it to, as fish is incredibly nutritious.
Or you can opt for earth worms which are a cheap and easy choice from your garden, or bought from a pet store, or if you are squeamish then go for frozen food from the fish shop like shrimp or blood worms. Just make sure you thaw them thoroughly before incorporating them.
How do you make the fish food?
Once you have all the ingredients, you need to prepare them so rinse and boil the hard vegetables, thaw anything that is frozen and descale any fish before then blending tit all together in a food processor.
Once you have the mixture at a smooth consistency, squeeze it through a mesh to remove any large pieces which fish won’t be able to eat. Then you can layer it out onto large baking trays and dry it out in the oven. Layer it on baking paper in a thin layer and have the oven ready at 150 degrees.
It will take around four hours to dry and become crumbly. You can then leave it to cool, before breaking it up with your hands and then storing it in an airtight container. Once in this state it should be good for around a year and your fish will find it delicious!
It’s a great way to use up veggies and fish which you have in your house as well, making the most of everything in your fridge to ensure your fish have a good healthy diet. It’s worth monitoring them to see if you can spot improved health and colouring once you start feeding them the new food.
Making your own fish food might seem a faff to start with and buying organic might seem expensive, but if you weight it up on the long term, compared with the cost of buying fish food from the store every month it will soon pay for itself as you don’t need to make a tonne of the stuff. Once you have made a batch you can fed about it for a whole year so definitely worth it.