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Saltwater 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 Blennies, 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
Angels, Dwarf (O) Hikari Mega-Marine Angel 
Ocean Nutr. Formula Two  Flake
Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutrition Green Seaweed Leaf 
Angels, Large (O) Hikari Mega-Marine Angel 
Ocean Nutr. Formula Two  Flake
Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutrition Green Seaweed Leaf 
Anthias (C) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Basslets (C) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Batfish (O) Mysis Shrimp
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Hikari Krill  Frozen
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Blennies (H) (C) (O) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Formula Two  Flake
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus Frozen
Boxfish (O) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Formula Two  Flake
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Cockle in Shell
Butterflyfish (C) (O) Mysis Shrimp
Whole Cockle in Shell
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Ocean Nutrition Formula One 
Cardinalfish (C) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Frozen
Clownfish (O) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Frozen
Damselfish (O) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Frozen
Eels (C) Gamma Shrimp
Aqua Yums Squid Flat Pack 
Live Ghost (Glass) Shrimp
Filefish (O) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Frozen
Gobies (C) (O) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
TetraMarine Marine Granules 
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Frozen
Groupers (C) Whole Cockle
Freeze-Dried Krill
Aqua Yums Squid Flat Pack 
Gamma Shrimp
Grunts (C) Whole Cockle
Freeze-Dried Krill
Live Ghost (Glass) Shrimp
Hawkfish (C) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Hogfish (C) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Lions (C) Frozen Krill
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Live Ghost (Glass) Shrimp
Parrotfish (O) Formula Two
Freeze-Dried Krill
Whole Cockle
SeaVeggies  (leaf with clip)
Pseudochromis (C) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Puffers (C) (O) Cockle in Shell
Aqua Yums Squid Flat Pack 
Live Ghost (Glass)Shrimp
Rabbitfish (Foxface) (H) Life Line Herbivore Minced 
SeaVeggies  (leaf with clip)
Life Line Green Shredded 
O. S. I. Spirulina Flakes 
Squirrelfish (C) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
Surgeons/Tangs (H) Life Line Herbivore Minced 
SeaVeggies  (leaf with clip)
Life Line Green Shredded 
O. S. I. Spirulina Flakes 
Sweetlips (C) (O) Life Line Carnivore Minced 
Ocean Nutr. Formula One 
Live Ghost (Glass) Shrimp
Triggerfish (C) Cockle in Shell
Aqua Yums Squid Flat Pack 
Live Ghost (Glass) Shrimp
Wrasse (C) (O) Mysis Shrimp
Ocean Nutr. Prime Reef Flakes 
Freeze-Dried Plankton
Ocean Nutr. Brine Shrimp Plus  Flakes
(H) Herbivore    |    (C) Carnivore    |    (O) Omnivore

RELATED ARTICLES:
Nutritional Deficiencies and Types of Food for Saltwater Fish 
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