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Freshwater Fish Nutrition: Suggested Herbivore, Omnivore, and Carnivore Diets
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Nutrition, Anatomy, and Health
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When choosing a food, the first thing you need to know is what type of diet is natural to your fish. All fish fit into one of three categories:

  • Herbivore  €“ a plant eater

  • Carnivore  €“ a meat eater

  • Omnivore  €“ a consumer of both plants and meaty foods (the vast majority of aquarium fish fit into this category)

Many of the staple diets do a very good job of providing a broad range of essential nutrients required for good health. Variety in the diet is important to good nutrition and the well-being of your fish. Offering supplementary foods in addition to the 'staple' diet assures better nutrition, and enriches the diet of your fish with more tastes and textures.

While there are many high-quality foods available, we have had particularly good results with those foods and brands listed below. The chart indicates whether that fish is classified as a herbivore (H), carnivore (C) or omnivore (O), and offers good choices for both the staple diet and supplementary diet. Some fish, such as African Cichlids, are listed as belonging to more than one category, depending on the particular variety. Make sure to research the dietary needs of the specific variety of fish you own.

Species Staple Diet Supplementary Diet
African Cichlids (H) (O) Cichlid Omni Formula 
Life Line Omega 3, 20-African C. 
Hikari Cichlid Complete 
SeaVeggies Cichlid  Flakes
Angelfish (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Frozen Blood Worms
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Barbs (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Bettas (C) Marineland Bio-Blend Betta 
Freeze-Dried Blood Worms
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Catfish (Juv) (H) (O) Aquarian Tropical Flakes 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
Hikari Sinking Wafers 
Freeze-Dried Brine Shrimp
Danios/Minnows (O) Aquarian Tropical Flakes 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Discus (C) Azoo 9-in-1 Blue Discus Pellet 
Jack Wattley Discus Formula 
TetraColor  Flakes
Freeze-Dried Blood Worms
Fancy Goldfish (O) Marineland Bio-Blend Goldfish 
Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Life Line Herbivore Minced 
Gouramis (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Hatchets (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Livebearers (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Loaches (C) (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Freeze-Dried Brine Shrimp
Plecos (Juv) (H) (O) Hikari Sinking Wafers 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
Hikari Algae Wafers 
Seaweed Selects Pleco Passion 
Rainbowfish (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Rasboras (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Sharks (Juv) (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Frozen
S. Am. Cichlids (Juv) (C) (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Tetras (C) (O) Aquarian Tropical Flake Food 
Hikari Mega-Tropical Frozen Food 
TetraColor  Flakes
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
(H) Herbivore    |    (C) Carnivore    |    (O) Omnivore    |    (Juv) Juvenile

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Fish Nutrition: Choosing the Right Kind of Diet for Your Freshwater Fish 
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