In a previous post I touched lightly on the importance of giving aquarium fish live food. Live food provides a more natural and a more balanced diet than a commercially prepared fish food. The prepared foods should only be considered as a basic diet, not the total diet.
A typical way of feeding aquarium fish is to sprinkle a quantity of dry food into the aquarium. As the food slowly drifts to the bottom the fish try to get a share. If the fish are unable to eat all of the food, it settles into the aquarium gravel. Bottom feeders and smaller fishes will eat some of the settled food but if it is allowed to stay in the tank it will rot and foul even a large fish tank. Live food not only gives the fish more of the nutriments they need, it permits the fish to feed in a more natural manor.
Below I have listed some of the more common live foods that can be used in an aquarium. My list is by no means complete. It is intended as an introduction only. You can purchase these foods, or even collect them yourself if you wish.
BLOODWORMS & GLASS WORMS – are not worms but the larval form of a fly. Both larvae make an excellent food for mature fish but should not be in a tank with small fry; the larvae are capable of catching and killing the fry.
TUBIFEX WORMS – is probably the most used worm in an aquarium as most dealers stock tubifex worms year around. They can however be found in bodies of water that is rich in organic and vegetable wastes.
MICROWORMS – is a small worm that was discovered to be easily cultivated and made an excellent food for small fish. Other worms that make good fish food include the Grindal worm, White worm and the common earthworm. It is better to not make a steady diet of any one thing. Larger worms should be fed in smaller easier to swallow pieces. To avoid a mushy mess while cutting up the worms use a quick-freeze method. Quickly freeze the worms. When you want to do a feeding, take out the amount of worms needed and cut them with a razor to the desired size.
OTHER – The common housefly is also an excellent food for the fish tank Aquarium. Be aware that only the swatted flies are acceptable as fish food. Flies that have been killed with insecticides are poisonous to the fish that eats them.