What is Fish’s Favorite Food?

We all have that one meal that never gets old, that one dish that will forever have a place at our tables. As humans, having a favorite food is a no brainer, but when it comes to animals, do you think they have a preference? Even more, what if fish really do have a preference?

What is fish’s favorite food? Fish typically prefer their food to be fresh. This includes options like bloodworms, feeder fish, water fleas, and even larvae. However, these can be difficult to find and many owners prefer not to feed live food. Fortunately, there are plenty of dried options that your fish will like just fine.

No matter how small the creature, every living organism on earth has a preference, to a degree, of what they like when it comes to eating time. Keeping this in mind, it makes sense that fish have their own favorite meals regardless of how unbothered they may seem. Continue reading to find out what live fish food is, its advantages, and other fish food options. 

Live Fish Food

If you are at a restaurant, would you order a plate of dried fruits over a plate of fresh, juicy, ripe, flavorful fruits cut up moments before they made their way to your table? My guess would be that you would choose the latter and because of this, you can understand why a fish would prefer a live helping of food during its daily feeding rather than a meal that looks like a dried-up ball of dirt. You can’t blame a fish for this, as this preference is completely relatable. 

Live fish food is great for your fish but the reason so many people avoid it is because it has such a short life span. Like any fresh item, live fish food has an expiration date and it typically is not going to last very long, Even more than its limited freshness, live food can be messy due to its nature and can also cost quite a bit more than other dried foods that are available. 

Live food is a commitment no doubt, but if you want your fish to have the best, this is your bet.

Advantages of Live Fish Food

Now, you understand why using live fish food could be a bit of a pain, but if you are someone who wants to buckle down and give your fish their favorite, there are advantages to this type of feed. If you have the time, money, and stomach to give your fish this little treat, I am sure they will be thanking you beneath the surface of their beautiful aquarium.

Advantages of live fish food include the following:

  1. It is a good option for picky eaters.
  2. It has a high nutrient content.
  3. It helps fish behave naturally.

Let’s take a closer look.

A Good Option for Picky Eaters

Let’s say you have a fish that has refused every fish flake on the block, turns its nose up to any sort of pellet, and downright detests those colorful fish crisps. This predicament leaves your fish hungry, looking rather dull, and lacking in proper energy. You then feel like a terrible fish parent and look for any other alternative to get your fish the calories it needs. Lucky for you, some fish prefer live food and this could be the answer to your conundrum. 

Some types of fish simply will only eat live food due to their nature. These types of fish are usually specialty breeds that require a bit more when it comes to diet than their goldfish counterparts. An example of these fish includes the African Butterfly Fish and Annual Killifish. They are both very unique fish to have within an aquarium and because of this, they require a more unique diet.

Remember, if you bring a wild fish home, it is not going to be the first in line when you pour on the fish flakes. Just like any other wild animal, fish have a natural diet and this does not include food made within factories. To make sure your fish is getting properly nourished, feed it items that are more along the lines of what they would be eating in their natural habitat. Although this may have you a bit squeamish, they will gobble it up.

Has a High Nutrient Content

It is of no surprise that live food contains a more complete nutrition reservoir than those of man-made fish foods. These live food pieces are full of different micronutrients that processed fish foods simply are not capable of containing. 

Because of their robust nutritional compositions, they are better able to give your fish a stronger immune system and also aid in reproductive behaviors. Natural food means a boost in natural behavior. 

Other than what happens internally to fish eating live food, physical changes to the outside of fish can also be seen. If you give your fish foods that are highly pigmented, it can help to elevate and enhance the pigments in their scales creating a brighter, more beautiful fish for your aquarium. For fish and their possible mates, this is a very appealing enhancement. After all, don’t we all fall more easily for someone looking their best? 

Helps Fish Behave Naturally 

With the natural enhancement of scale colors, immune systems, and reproductive behaviors, it is no surprise that live food helps fish to behave in a more natural manner. Especially for breeds that are natural hunters, giving live food helps to give them the chance to act on what is intrinsically instilled in them. 

Although you may have a fish that has never seen the wild, its innate nature is present and can be easily seen when given the chance. This is also beneficial to you as the fish owner! Who would have thought feeding your fish live food could do something for you, but it absolutely has its benefits.

Different Types of Fish Food

If you have decided that live fish food is not the route for you or for your fish, fret not, there are plenty of options on the market that will give your fish the exact nutrients they need with very little protest from the tank. Sometimes finding the right food for your fish takes a few tries as they may protest a time or two before settling on a winner. Reality should kick in as your stubborn fish refuses to starve. 

Below is a list of different types of fish food besides natural options: 

  1. Flakes 
  2. Crisps 
  3. Pellets 
  4. Freeze-Dried Foods


If you have heard the word fish, you have heard the word flake. Fish flakes are probably the most common type of fish food, especially when it comes to owning a smaller tank. Fish can easily grab and digest these, but the only drawback is their quick-dissolving points. They easily disappear in the water which could mean the slower fish are out of luck and it can also cause the water in your aquarium to get a bit cloudy.


If you want something a little more up to the challenge when it comes to a longer resistance to dissolving, crisps are your best bet. These do great as they don’t immediately dissolve but they also don’t head straight to the bottom of your tank. One drawback is that smaller fish can have a hard time consuming them due to their thickness and size. Be sure to consider this if you have a breed that needs their food on the more dainty size. 


Pellets are a great option for those looking for a specific type of food to meet your fish where they like to eat. Floating pellets are great for those that typically eat on the surface, slow-sinking pellets work for fish that tend to be shyer when getting their supper, and fast-sinking pellets are a good option for your bottom dwellers. 

Freeze-Dried Foods

If you aren’t keen on the idea of using live food to feed your fish but want something more natural, freeze-dried foods are the next best thing. Many different varieties of live food options come freeze-dried. Choices from bloodworms to brine shrimp to blackworms, they’ve got it. Even better, freeze-dried foods have a long shelf life.


So, you can imagine that your fish has a favorite food, and it is most likely a live fish food option. Considering live fish food is good for picky eaters, has a high nutrient content, and helps the fish to behave naturally, it is not surprising why this is your fish’s top choice. But, there are other options available including fish flakes, crisps, pellets, and freeze-dried foods.

What is so great about fish food is there is a type for every sort of breed out there. Pay attention to your fish to see if they prefer one type over the next and don’t be afraid to switch things up every now and again, your fish may like a new entree!


I'm passionate about fish pets and love sharing everything I learn about them.

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