Homemade Fish Food – Everything you need to know

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A big part of keeping your fish healthy and happy comes not only from the aquarium environment they live in but also from the food they eat.

Many fish owners wonder if they are providing their fish with the right amount and the right type of fish food.

If you were to take a look at the nutritional information at the back of a typical fish food can, you would come across ingredients that either you don’t understand or are surprisingly unusual.

Not only is store-bought fish food much more expensive, but it is also filled with additives and carbohydrate-rich fillers that are not ideal for your fish’s health.

Instead of opting for expensive store-bought fish food, a better alternative is to just make the fish food at home.

It is not only a breeze to put together but would save you tons of money in the long run.

This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about homemade fish food to provide your fish with the best diet possible.

Equipment Needed to Make Homemade Fish Food

To make homemade fish food, you do not need any special equipment. Most of what you need would already be present in your kitchen.

Ice Cube Tray

An ice cube tray is a handy tool when it comes to storing your homemade fish food.

Moreover, an ice cube tray provides you with conveniently sized cubes to shape the fish food in and later on feed to your fish.


A good food processer or blender is a versatile tool to have in your kitchen for preparing some homemade fish food.

It is preferable to buy a blender that is powerful enough to dice hard ingredients like carrots so that you can keep your fish’s diet varied instead of sticking to the same ingredients all the time just because your blender doesn’t allow it.

Kitchen Scale

A kitchen measuring scale is going to make your life a whole lot easier in the process of preparing your fish food at home.

You can accurately and easily weigh out all the required ingredients in practically no time and be good to go.

Plastic Wrap

You don’t want to give your fish unappetizing food that has been subject to freezer burn.

To keep your food as fresh as possible, you need to wrap it up in plastic wrap before storing it in the freezer.

What Can You Feed Your Fish If You Have No Fish Food

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are all out of fish food, you need not panic. There are many foods that humans commonly consume that are perfectly safe for fish as well.

In fact, changing up your fish’s diet from store-bought to homemade food once in a while is beneficial for them, too.

Let’s take a look at the types of food you can give to your fish.

Types of Food You Can Give Your Fish

Depending on the type of fish you have, their food requirements are going to differ.

Before you go about making fish food, you need to factor in the nutritional requirements of your particular fish.

Herbivorous fish should not be fed any type of meat whereas the omnivores should be given no more than 40% meat protein.

As for the fish that are carnivorous, a large part of their diet should consist of meat along with some carbohydrates in limited amounts.

Keep in mind that the exact diet would vary from fish to fish.

Plant Based Foods

Here are some healthy plant-based ingredients that you can use:

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are chock-full of nutritional content.

You can get reasonably priced fresh and frozen leafy greens at your local supermarket and add them to your fish’s diet to give them a boost of vitamins and minerals.

Fish food garlic


Garlic is a great and easy addition to your fish’s diet. Garlic contains tons of antibacterial properties that are going to benefit the fish consuming it.

It is better to give your fish fresh chopped up garlic instead of blending it up and freezing.

However, you can still freeze whole garlic cloves and then blend or dice them later before feeding to your fish.

Other Fruits and Vegetables

Keeping your fish’s diet varied is key here. To make sure you are providing them with all the necessary nutrients, add an assortment of fruits and vegetables to the homemade fish food.

A variety of nutrient rich fruit and vegetable sources include:

  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Oranges


Spirulina is often considered a superfood and for good reason. It is a nutrient dense ingredient that your fish will love.

As a bonus, it also contains natural pigments that may cause your fish’s colors to become brighter and more pronounced in the aquarium.

Meat Based Foods

There are a lot of meat-based options you can add to a carnivorous and omnivorous fish’s diet. Some of the best ones are mentioned below.


Probably the best meat-based food you can give to your fish is another fish. Fish protein naturally contains all the essential ingredients other fish need to survive.

Not just that, they are also pretty inexpensive.

The different types of fish that you can use as food include:

  • Trout
  • Tilapia
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Cod


Another great protein-rich addition to your fish’s meals is worms. They are easy to find and come even cheaper than fish.

They are packed with protein and fat and are a favorite food amongst many fishes.

Fish Food worms

Other Rich Sources of Animal Protein

  • Brine shrimp
  • Beef hearts
  • Bloodworms
  • Clams
  • Larvae
  • Octopus
  • Squid

Homemade Fish Food Recipes

Almost all of the fish food you make at home will have the same or somewhat similar preparation methods. The only thing differing would be the ingredients used.

Here are 4 easy and quick homemade fish food recipes to keep your fish’s nutritional requirements in check.

For the Omnivores

This recipe takes mere minutes to put together and is a great meal for the omnivorous fish in your tank.

Not only will your fish love this recipe, but they will also get their required dose of nutrients to help them stay healthy.


  • 200g white fish (Tilapia, Cod, Flounder)
  • 200g shrimp or any shellfish
  • 200g spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 300g peas
  • 1 Tbsp spirulina powder
  • 1 Tbsp diced garlic
  • 120g unsweetened gelatin powder

Method of Preparation

Add all the ingredients into a blender and pulsate them until they are pureed.

 After the ingredients have turned into a slurry, cook the gelatin in some water over low heat. Once it has cooked, let it cool down before adding it to the slurry.

Mix everything together and fill up some ice cube trays to keep them stored in the freezer.

For the Carnivores

This recipe is a delightful addition to any carnivorous fish’s diet. It is cheap to make despite being meat-heavy plus the preparation takes up only a small amount of your time.

Fish food for carnivores


  • 200g white fish (Tilapia, Cod, Flounder)
  • 200g beef heart
  • 200g shrimp (or any other shellfish)
  • 200g mussels (or any other shellfish)
  • 1 tub of Tubifex worms
  • 1 Tbsp diced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Method of Preparation

For this recipe, chop all your ingredients as small as you can to make things easier for your food processor.

Blend them all together along with the cornstarch slurry that you have prepared in a separate bowl.

Put the mixture in ice cube trays and freeze them for later use. 

Many carnivorous fish especially enjoy when you add in some whole worms after the mixture is blended.

For the Herbivores

For the plant loving fish in your aquarium, the following recipe is the perfect pick.

You don’t have to follow any measurements to make this recipe. Just go with what seems right to you.


  • Peas
  • Cucumber
  • Oats
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Spinach

Method of Preparation

To prepare this recipe, blanch all the vegetables. Once that is done, blend them up. After the vegetables have been pureed, add in the oats.

In a separate bowl, mix your unflavored gelatin with some water. Combine the gelatin and water mixture with the vegetable mix.

Store in ice cube trays and pop out a cube every time you need to feed your fish.

Note: You can add your own spin to the recipe and use any leafy greens as per your convenience and choice.

No-cook Homemade Fish Food For the Busy Aquarist 

If you’re on a time crunch, this no-cook homemade fish food recipe is going to be your best friend.

This prepares in minimal time without any hassle of cooking or blanching your ingredients.


  • 100g peas
  • 100g spinach
  • 100g cucumber
  • 100g cod
  • 100g shrimp
  • 120g gelatin powder

Method of Preparation

Chop all the ingredients into very small pieces and grind them together with water to make a paste.

Separately, mix in your gelatin with water and add it to the pureed mix. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays to freeze them and use as needed.

fish food cucumbers

How to Make Fish Food Pellets

To make pellets from your homemade fish food is fairly easy.

You would need to make sure that the fish food mixture from any recipe you follow is smooth and chunk-free.

From there, you can form little pellets into a size that would be appropriate for the fish in your tank to eat.

You should let the pellets dry in the oven for about three to four hours at 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a low setting.

The end product should be dry to the touch and crispy. They can be stored in the fridge or the freezer, depending on how many you make.

How to Make Fish Food Flakes

Similar to the pellets, making fish food flakes does not require any special effort. All you need to do is spread out the fish food mixture on a baking tray.

The mixture should not be too thick as the flakes are supposed to be thin and small for the fish to easily eat.

As with pellets, dry the mixture in the oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for about three to four hours.

After taking the mixture out of the oven and letting it cool, break it apart. These flakes can then be refrigerated or frozen for storage purposes. 

How to Store Homemade Fish Food

Homemade fish food is usually stored in the freezer to keep fresh for longer.

This is usually done by first freezing the fish food mixture in ice cube trays to form cubes.

The frozen cubes are then transferred into an airtight bag or container for use whenever needed.

Homemade fish food can last up to a year if stored properly.


For every fish owner, the main priority is to see their fish thrive and live a healthy life.

A big part of providing their fish with the optimal lifestyle depends on the food these fish are given.

It is important to pay attention to the type of food you are feeding your fish.

Preparing your own fish food gives you more control over the ingredients and you are able to make better choices as to what goes into it.

Not to mention, it is a lot easier on the budget.

With the help of this guide, you can now make your own homemade fish food with confidence to make sure your fish are appropriately fed and are given the best diet possible.

Whatever you choose to feed your fish, make sure it well-balanced and provides them with all the necessary nutrients.

Photo of author


Irma Bense is the founder of BetterFishkeeping.com. She has over 42 years of experience in keeping fish.She has kept both freshwater and saltwater fish through the years.She has extensive knowledge in breeding numerous species of fish from Show Guppies, Cory Catfish, German Blue Rams to Apistogrammas.You can learn more about Irma on the 'About' page.

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