How to Buy Food and Feeders for your Aquariums – Complete Buyers’ Guide, FAQs & More

We agree. With all the different things involved in getting the right food and feeder for your aquarium, it’s not as easy as it sounds. 

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled this list of things you should keep in mind while shopping for your little aquatic pets

By the end of today’s post, you’ll be able to effectively judge what food and feeder is perfectly suitable for your aquarium.

How to Buy Food and Feeders for your Aquariums - Complete Buyers' Guide 2020

Things To Look Out For When Buying Food For Your Aquariums:

1. Distribution of Nutrients

Number one thing when it comes to food is whether it contains the complete amount of all important nutrients or not. This obviously depends on the fish you have. If you have carnivores, you need to get meaty food with a high protein percentage. If you have herbivores, you need food made from plant-based ingredients such as seaweed and kelp. 

Generally, getting any food that contains too much of a single ingredient is a bad idea. Try to get something that contains a balanced amount of all the important nutrients. You’ll be able to use this as a complete staple diet daily for your fish.

2. Floating vs Sinking

Fish food comes in three varieties: floating, sinking and slow-sinking. The first kind is for fish that feed near the surface, the second kind is for fish that feed at the bottom while the third kind is for fish that feed in the middle. You need to know what water level your fish feed at and get the best suited food accordingly. 

3. Pellets vs Flakes

Flakes usually float on the surface of the water so they are more suitable for top-feeding fish. Flakes are by far the most common food found in the market and you’re going to generally want to go for them. However, keep in mind that pellets are something that fish can swallow whole. If you have small fish that don’t like chewing, you might want to invest in pellets instead of flakes. 

4. Filler ingredients

If a fish food has too many filler ingredients and not enough nutritious ones, you should avoid that product. Filler ingredients are often added in cheap fish food as a substitute for more expensive ingredients that would actually be much more nutritious for your fish. Filler ingredients often provide little to no nutritional value to your fish. So, if you come across a food that contains a lot of filler ingredients such as wheat gluten, wheat flour and soy meal, put that food back on the market shelf and walk away. 

5. Color Enhancement Properties

How to Buy Food and Feeders for your Aquariums - Complete Buyers' Guide 2020

Every fish owner wants their fish to be brightly-colored and vibrant. There are many fish food products in the market that advertise color-enhancing properties. While it’s a good idea to invest in a product that offers this, you generally want to look out for products that achieve these properties through the use of artificial pigments. While they might make your fish vibrant, some of these artificially occurring pigments are also carcinogens that can seriously harm your fish or even cause death. 

Hence, always make sure that these color-enhancing ingredients are coming from a natural source such as Carotenoids. 

6. Value for Money

Quantity of the food matters almost as much as quality. Make sure to weigh the container of food you’re getting and make a note of how long it lasts you and whether it was worth it or not.

Things To Look Out For When Buying Automatic Feeders For Your Aquariums:

1. Power Source

Most automatic feeders are powered through either batteries or a power cord. Both of these options have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Batteries might not last long enough and you may not know when the batteries have run out in your feeder which may cause your fish to suffer. 

On the other hand, power-operated feeders won’t work in case of a power failure. Also there’s a risk of electric shock as the feeder is obviously present right next to a great body of water. 

Aquarium Size

Aquarium size matters as well as the amount of fish in the aquarium. You want to get a feeder that is suitably equipped to service your aquarium. 

If you get one that holds too little food, the food might not get dispersed far enough in the aquarium to feed all of your fish. If you get one that is too big for your aquarium, this can cause overfeeding as well as murky and cloudy water in the aquarium which will lead to great stress problems in your fish. 

Programmability

While most fish require 2 – 3 feedings a day and most automatic feeders can manage that, if you have special types of fish or smaller, growing fish that require much more feedings in a single day, you might want to look at the maximum number of feedings that an automatic feeder can handle. 


Ease of use is also important. You need to be able to program your feeder efficiently so it’s not time-consuming and so, you’re able to program it effectively. There have been cases of fish being over or under-fed to a poorly programmed automatic feeder.

Food Capacity

Most automatic feeders consist of chambers in which fish food is stored. At each programmed time interval, these chambers are opened and fish food is dropped into the aquarium. So, according to the amount of fish you have, you should look closely at these chambers to make sure they can hold the appropriate amount of food for your fish. 

Ventilation System and Built-in Fan 

If you have fish that require food that has a high moisture content, you might want to invest in an automatic feeder that comes equipped with some sort of built-in fan or ventilation system. If you don’t do this, your fish food might end up becoming soggy and clogging the feeder. 

Durability

This is something that’s easily overlooked by most people but we feel it is a factor that holds a lot of importance. Why? Because consider this: if you get a cheap feeder that is made from sub-par materials, it might malfunction at a time when you’re not available in your home. This would result in your fish dying of starvation.

We urge you to get an automatic feeder that’s made from high-quality materials that are water-resistant and are not too heavy to be mounted on your aquarium.

Mounting Style 

There are several different styles to mounting automatic feeders: adjustable clamps, velcro adhesives, funnel caps, etc. 

Most automatic feeders mount to the side of your fish tank. Make sure it’s away from any other tank equipment and placed high above the water so as to avoid any splashing on it. 

It is generally the best idea to get a feeder that won’t require you to modify your aquarium in any way. Funnel cap automatic feeders sound nice but they require a hole to be drilled in the top of your aquarium. This is not always convenient and is extra work that you’ll have to do. 

We recommend getting a feeder for which you won’t have to make any further unnecessary changes.

Conclusion

This brings us to the end of our post for helping you to figure out how to get the best suitable food and feeders for your aquarium. Our team of experts has worked day and night to bring you this information in a small, concise article and we hope that you were able to derive value out of it. 

Give us feedback and let us know what your aquatic shopping experience was like. 

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