Fish

What Can You Feed Your Fish if You Run Out of Fish Food

If you live up North, you know the weather can get quite bipolar, especially during winter and summer. So it’s not uncommon for fish keepers to run out of fish food, and can’t rush to the store to stock up.

So what can you feed your fish instead of fish food in such instances?

If your fishes accept plant-matter (most tropical fish do), the best option is to feed them blanched vegetables such as zucchini, lettuce, spinach, cucumber, and kale.

Peas are an alternative as well, but make sure you pull the cover off before feeding them to your fish. As much, only give your fish one, maybe two peas through the week because too many peas can cause digestive issues in tropical fish.

Some aquarium fish like goldfish will also accept orange slices, but citrus fruits are quite sugary and acidic and can easily mess up your water quality.

In case your fish only accepts meaty foods, offer them small pieces of seafood like fish and shrimp. White-fish-fillet, especially from tilapia, cod, and coley, is good, but avoid oily fish as that tends to be a bit too messy.

One other alternative, albeit not being a food alternative, is to fast your fish until you can go out for supplies as most tropical fish species can go a week without food.

I’ve shared more insight below, please read on!

What Human Food Can Fish Eat?

Most of the alternatives I’ve mentioned above are largely human food.

So, tropical fish can eat human food, though depending on what you consider food, this answer can very easily be borderline tin foil hat approach.

Techinacally, the only human food that your fish will accept is vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, and lettuce, and seafood like white fish and shrimp, but not what you’d normally have on your dinner plate.

You can either feed them freeze-dried food or frozen, but avoid canned foods, including vegetables since they contain preservatives, salt, and other chemicals that can harm your fish.

Also, avoid any other meat-foods that are not fat-free seafood because they contain fats that can cause problems for tropical fish. Howbeit, beef heart is widely accepted by most carnivorous and omnivorous aquarium fish species when shredded.

Can Fish Eat Bread?

No, aquarium fish should not be fed bread. As for accepting, your fish will probably not be able to tell the difference between small pieces of bread and fish food and will ingest it as it would any other equally sized treats.

Bread is made from wheat and contains yeast and preservatives all of which will cause bloating, constipation, and all sorts of digestive issues, which when not resolved will kill your fish.

Be that as it may, a pinch of bread will tide over the most resilient aquarium fish until you get to the store for more fish food. Some species will even happily accept the other half of a bread and egg breakfast.

Hard boiled egg yolk will keep your fish from starving while you wait to get more fish food. Its a particularly priced option for fry, juveniles, and small aquarium fish.

However, please note that if you put too much in the tank, the york will very easily turn your water cloudy.

Can You Feed Your Fish Dog Food?

This is by far the wildest wondering I’ve come across regarding fish keeping and fish food. Why anyone would want to feed his/her fish dog food beats me, but odd as it is, the question is pretty common; more than it should of course.

So, is it Ok to feed fish dog food?

Most definitely NO!

Dog food is formulated for a dog’s digestion system and nutritional requirements and not fish. The food especially lacks the extra minerals and vitamins required by fish.

That said, I do not have an experience of any aquarist daring enough to put this theory to test. But when the streets start talking and rumor mill run overtime, there is a need for a little research, and that I did.

As it turns out, some hobbyists have success feeding their fish dog food.

Even so, many of the fishes tend to grow big and look impressive from the outside, but internally the dog food causes health problems, including increased belly fat and an overall weight problem.

That said, which aquarists feed their tropical fish dog food you ask?

Well, fish keepers with cichlids in their tank are particularly likely to feed their fish dog food as treats.

A word of caution though, in case you are one to take that risk (keeping cichlids); It’s only best to give your fish dog food as seldom treats and not a staple for everyday feeding because of the cons I’ve stated above.

Lastly, will your fish will accept dog food!

I’m convinced that like bread, your fish cannot tell the difference between tiny chunks of dog food and fish food.

This means that whatever your reason is for offering your fish dog food, the fish will most likely devour the food to its own detriment.

What Can You Feed Goldfish if You Have No Fish Food?

Goldfish species are arguably the most popular pet fish in the world, thus what to feed them is a common concern of many fish keepers. That said, goldfish food is readily available in pet stores.

But what do you offer your goldies if you can’t get to the store soon enough?

Let me say you goldfish will appreciate almost as they would any other food if you place fresh food in the aquarium, which includes most vegetables that other tropical fish enjoy like zucchini, cucumber, spinach, and peas.

As I mentioned before, remember to remove the peas cover before feeding them to your goldfish.

You may also need to soften the peas, as well as other vegetables, before offering them to your fish. First, put the veggies in boiling water for a minute or two and then cold water right after making sure they are sufficiently tender for your fish to consume.

I recommend removing any seeds in the greens as well.

Most times, goldfish also accept a few fruits in small quantities. Fruits that are safe for goldies include raspberries, orange, and strawberries. A piece of fruit once or twice a week is sufficient to make sure you do not overfeed your fish, which could result in intestinal problems.

Please know that fruits will mess with your water quality including the ph level if fed in large amounts.

On a final note, white-fish-fillet is one other food option that is safe for goldfish as long as the meat is not too fatty. As with other meaty fish foods, a fillet treat is perfect when looking for an emergency meal that is rich in proteins.

Eddie Waithaka

Resident Content Creator and Marketer at AquariaWise who talks about aquariums and fish and aquascapes a lot.

Author image

AquariaWise Newsletter

Get exclusive the tips, that we only share with our subscribers. Enter your email address below.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Okay, thanks