5 of the Best Treats for Pet Fish

The best treats for pet fish include fruits and veggies, premade treats, frozen or freeze-dried treats, and live food.

Apr 1, 2024By Tanya Taylor
best treats for pet fish

Like most pets, fish love treats - and the best way to steal their affection is with tasty morsels. Treats are a fantastic way to bond with your fish and are also an excellent way to provide environmental enrichment. High-quality fish treats also add essential vitamins and minerals to their diet. So, if you want to spoil your favorite finned friends, you can discover 5 of the best treats for pet fish in my list below.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

fruits and vegetables
Photo Credit: Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

Fish can eat many fruits and veggies - and fresh fruits and veggies are a fantastic way to add essential vitamins and minerals to their diet. Some fish are picky eaters and may not enjoy all fruits and vegetables, so experiment with different ones to see what ones your fish prefer.

Before feeding fruits and veggies to fish, wash them to remove harmful fertilizers or pesticides. It’s also a good idea to blanch or lightly boil veggies before feeding them so they are easier for fish to eat. In the case of large vegetables, such as carrots, you can grate them to make them smaller. Alternatively, you can buy special food holder clips, which attach to the aquarium wall and hold food firmly in place so fish can eat it.

The crucial thing to remember when feeding fruits, vegetables, or any other fish treats is that you must promptly remove leftovers. Leftover food will quickly spoil in an aquarium. Spoiled food will create bacteria, which quickly pollute the water - and may harm your fish.

Safe vegetables for fish include:

  1. Cucumber
  2. Carrots
  3. Peas
  4. Pumpkin
  5. Romaine lettuce
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet potato
  8. Zucchini

Safe fruits include:

  1. Apple
  2. Grapes
  3. mango
  4. Pear
  5. Raspberries
  6. Strawberries
  7. Watermelon

2. Premade Treats

yellow pet fish
Photo Credit: Josephina Kolpachnikof on Unsplash

Fish can form bonds with humans, and giving them premade treats is a fantastic way to encourage bonding. Premade treats are usually dried and processed. They come in plastic containers or pouches and are pellet or ball-shaped.

Ready-made treats are nutritionally balanced and come in many flavors and types to suit different salt or freshwater fish species. They contain algae and dried insects, amongst other things, and come in flavors such as shrimp or daphnia. Premade treats are super tasty - and most fish love them.

The fantastic thing about ready-made treats is that they’re convenient and easy to use. You pop the lid off the container and drop them into the aquarium, and they are fantastic training aids. I particularly like the sticky treats that you place on the aquarium wall. The fish go crazy for it as it slowly slides down the glass. Watching them have fun at feeding time is just one of the reasons why fish are fantastic pets.

3. Frozen Treats

fish on surface
Photo Credit: Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

Frozen fish treats are the next best thing to live food, and you can find them online or in most pet stores. They come in large slabs or small cubes and are available in many varieties, such as brine shrimp, krill, insect larvae, and mealworms. You can find frozen food suitable for different species and freshwater or saltwater aquariums. Most contain healthy fatty acids and plenty of vitamins - and some contain supplements such as garlic or aloe vera. The treats are flash-frozen to preserve freshness and to kill pathogens.

Frozen treats are ideal for meat lovers or omnivores and the perfect way to entice picky eaters. You can drop frozen treats directly into the tank, where it slowly defrosts, or use a worm feeder cone to prevent waste. You can cut the frozen cubes in half if you have a small tank with small fish species. Fish generally love frozen snacks and usually gobble them up quickly, but if there are leftovers in the aquarium, you must remove them. Leftover frozen treats will pollute the water. Also, you should never leave frozen fish food on the counter for more than 30 minutes because it will spoil.

4. Freeze-Dried Treats

small gold fish
Photo Credit: shuvrodeep dutta on Unsplash

Next on our list of the best treats for pet fish are freeze-dried treats. Popular freeze-dried snacks include favorites such as worms, krill, shrimp, daphnia, tubifex, and algae wafers. Freeze-drying removes moisture from food, but unlike regular freezing, it keeps most of its texture, flavors, and nutrients. Though freeze-dried treats are nutritionally high, they usually contain a single ingredient, so aren’t nutritionally balanced. Therefore, you must feed them alongside pellets or flakes.

The benefits of freeze-dried foods are that they’re lightweight and easy to store with a long shelf life. They’re also easy to use, aren’t as messy as frozen or live treats, contain fewer pathogens, and are less likely to pollute the water. Freeze-dried treats usually come in cubes, wafers, or sheets, which you crumble into the water or as freeze-dried creatures such as mealworms.

5. Live Treats

Photo Credit: sippakorn yamkasikorn on Unsplash

The best treat you can give to aquarium fish is live food. Live treats are the closest thing to a fish’s natural diet and are fantastic for enrichment because fish have fun hunting them. Live food that you can offer fish includes creatures like worms, shrimp, larvae, wingless flies, and small crustaceans, which are nutritious and full of protein. Fish find fresh food irresistible - and it's the best way to get picky eaters to eat.

You can buy live fish food online, in pest stores, and some owners cultivate live food for their fish. You can harvest mosquito larvae from a pond or build a wormery for breeding earthworms or bloodworms. Carnivores especially love live food, but even plant-eating species will enjoy a nibble. The only downside to live food is that leftovers quickly pollute an aquarium, so you must remove them promptly to maintain a well-balanced freshwater aquarium.

Things You Should Never Feed to Fish

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Fish can safely eat many types of food, but some things are toxic to fish. For your fish's safety, here are some things that you should never feed fish:

  • Dried food such as bread and crackers
  • Processed human food
  • Seasoned foods
  • Oils and preservatives.
  • Fatty meat
  • Pet foods for other animals
  • Avocado
  • Citrus
Tanya Taylor
By Tanya Taylor

Tanya is a trusted animal care professional and has devoted her life to animals. In her 25-year career, she’s worked with all kinds of creatures in many environments, including three years caring for small animals as a veterinary nursing assistant and five years birthing down racehorses.

She is an expert farm and dog sitter - and has spent many hours volunteering at her local pony sanctuary. Tanya is originally from Liverpool in the UK, but now she lives in Ibiza, Spain, with her cheeky red terrier Leo and three Leopard tortoise hatchlings, Ninja, Tiny, and Orwell.