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What Can You Feed Fish Other Than Fish Food? Here Are 10 Substitutes

Fish! Fish! Fish! Fish are so popular in the pet industry and for good reason. They’re fun to watch, they can live a long time, and you can teach them tricks. But sometimes it’s hard to figure out what exactly to feed your fish.

This article will help you learn all about alternative fish food. Human food as a snack for your beloved fish? Why not? One of the biggest things to keep in mind is that fish, regardless if it’s a goldfish or betta, all have very different nutritional needs based on their species and age.

Follow this easy guide to determine what should be included in your fish’s diet and what shouldn’t.

Human Food as Alternative Fish Food

It’s important to mix things up for your fish. This way they will get a balanced diet and live long healthy lives. The fish food that you can find at the local pet store may be enough but it’s best if we feed them from time to time so check out some ideas below:


1. Peas are a favorite food for many fish, and they’re perfect to be eaten when your pet has constipation. Goldfish in particular need regular feedings of peas because it can help relieve their digestive issues.

To prepare the peas before adding them into another bowl or tank of water: boil them for about one minute then remove their shells once cooled enough. Slightly mash big pieces if needed.

2. Cucumbers and zucchinis are a great addition to any aquarium’s diet. The best part is that they’re easy enough for beginners, yet still provide some challenge.

Aquarists love eating these crunchy vegetables because not only do cucumbers taste good but their nutrients help make up your fish food pellets with ease while still being gentle on gills. You can cut them into small pieces without worrying about hurting yourself or even worse, your precious pets.

3. Carrots are a healthy and delicious option for many fish. They provide anti-oxidant-rich food, as well as vitamins minerals, and fibers. Before feeding carrots make sure to cut them up into small pieces so they’re easy enough digestible later on when boiled then place in tank.

4. Leafy Green Vegetables like kale, lettuce, spinach, and others are loved by Goldfish and many marine herbivores, they love to eat it raw or blanched.

In this case, wash the leaves well before feeding because they can carry harmful bacteria or nasty pesticides on their surfaces that will make your fish sick if you don’t clean them thoroughly with soap and water (or boil for one minute).

5. Root Crops (potatoes and sweet potatoes) contain starch and vitamin C, carbohydrates, fat protein vitamins. Before feeding them into the fish tank cut them into very small pieces and boil until tender for better digestibility.

6. Broccoli has long been known as one such nutrient-rich veggie which contains high levels of magnesium (one crucial mineral for living organisms to work properly), vitamin A, B group vitamins C folic acid.

Additional tips when using vegetables as an alternative fish food:

  • Make sure that you don’t serve them any acidic or watery items because this will upset the balance of food for omnivores/herbivores already living within your tank who may prefer something more savory than bland steamed veggies!
  • The importance of cleaning vegetables for fish cannot be understated Most fresh produce at the grocery store has bacteria and dirt on it that can make your pet sick, not to mention pesticides! Make sure to rinse everything thoroughly.


7. Watermelons and Cantaloupes are good for your fish. They seem to love nibbling on these fruits especially on the rind. They’re both high in vitamin A, B group vitamins potassium fiber. While this fruit has a unique taste that can be an acquired one for your pet fish, it’s still worth giving them.

Just make sure to remove any seeds and clean the rind well before using them as food.

8. Apples, Mangoes, and Pears are also loved by many fish species. They are packed with vitamins and serve as a sweet treat. You should also take note of how much you feed your fish so they don’t eat too much.

Apple and Pears
Apples and Pears

This is because fruit has high levels of sugar which can cause problems if not properly digested by your pet fish, so watch their diet carefully. Some fish have a much stronger love for sweet things so if you know your pet is not very fond of fruit it’s best to avoid using them as an alternative food source.

Additional tips when using vegetables as an alternative fish food:

  • For omnivorous species, it’s important to limit the fruit intake. Supplements can be added for calcium and phosphorus requirements if necessary.
  • Fruits that are NOT recommended for feeding to pets: oranges (due to the acidity), bananas (the seeds may be poisonous).
  • Feed fruit only two times per week on average.
  • Cut them into small pieces and see how fast the fishes start devouring them once they get over the initial fear.
  • It should be noted that feeding fruits introduce sugar into your aquarium water, which may result in increased algae growth.
  • Make sure to remove any leftover to limit a sudden spike in ammonia levels.


9. Beef Hearts is another great substitute for natural fish food. It is a healthy option if you are looking into replacing their regular diet with something different that still contains high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Beef heart is usually fed to carnivorous species.

However, it is commonly fed in a mixture with other vitamin-packed ingredients. Beef hearts should only account for around 20% of their total daily intake because it is quite rich in protein and too much protein can lead to serious illnesses in fish.

10. Eggs can also be used as food especially for fry or very small fish. In case you’re looking for good, high-protein food that won’t break the bank and your fish will love to chow down on try boiling some eggs.

Eggs can also be used as food especially for fry or very small fish.
Eggs can also be used as food especially for fry or very small fish.

As your pet grows up and becomes a larger animal you would want more protein in their diet rather than simply relying on pellets or other sources of food that can be less healthy for them over time if eaten too often.

How To Human Food to Tasty Fish Snacks

Fruits and Veggies

  • Make sure to serve bite-sized pieces so it doesn’t take long before all members of different dietary categories get what they need from one meal. Blanch or boil any hard items.
  • Take care when feeding your fish seeds. If the entire seed gets stuck in their mouth, they can choke on it and die-don’t let this happen! Remove any seeds prior to feeding.
  • Anything that is hard and cannot be digested easily should be blanched or boiled.
  • If you boiled or blanched any vegetable, make sure to cool it first before placing it in the aquarium.

Beef Heart Mixture

Beef heart is a food used by many successful discus breeders. Ifs an easy and inexpensive way to feed all types of discuses several times per week, providing them with essential nutrients like sodium, potassium, phosphorus (in the form that fish need), magnesium iron & zinc which are crucial for good health!

Breeders have differing opinions on what should be added to their concoctions. The commonly used ingredients include shrimp, spirulina flake foods, oats, peas, raw eggs, paprika, garlic, spinach, and multivitamins. Different breeders have different recipes but here’s a basic recipe you can try.

You will need:

  • 4.5 kg of beef heart
  • 450 g of shrimp, it can be frozen or fresh
  • 20 g of high-quality fish flake food or pellets
  • 175 g of blanched spinach
  • 170 g of spirulina powder or crush spirulina tablets
  • 57 g of paprika spice as a color enhancer
  • 6 packages of Knox gelatin
  • 10 multivitamin tablets

Step 1: Prepare the hearts. It is important to first clean and cut the meat from its core. The process of cleaning up can be done by hand or with any sharp knife. Remove all fatty tissue and blood vessels. Slice into cubes and rinse thoroughly.

Step 2: To make the beef heart mixture, run cubes through a meat grinder. In a blender, combine shrimp, flake food, spinach, spirulina, paprika, and vitamins. Blend until evenly combined. Transfer blended ingredients to a bowl and add the minced beef hearts. Combine thoroughly using your hands.

Step 3: Store the mixture in a freezer. Put the mixture in ziplock bags, make a half-inch slab to easily break off a piece during feeding. The mixture can also be put in silicone molds for easier handling during feeding.

Additional tips when using beef hearts as an alternative fish food:

  • Garlic is another way to help keep your fish healthy and happy. You can add it to the mixture, make sure it is well blended. To make sure they like it enough for long-term use. add about 1 teaspoon at first with a gradual increase per batch of mixture.
  • If adding any spices, remember that a little goes a long way. If there are issues tasting the fresh garlic or if they don’t eat anything else after adding raw chopped garlic, then decrease how much spice goes into each serving until things calm down again.
  • Remove any uneaten food right away. Leftover food will result in dirty and cloudy water. Plus ammonia levels will go thru the roof!
  • Any remaining mixture should be kept in the freezer. Keeping the mixture in the fridge will result in the mixture going bad after just a few days.


  • Prepare at least ten hard-boiled eggs, remove their shell with care. Do not mix any eggshells. Crush the yolk using a blender. Let dry under the sun, then add some more tasty additions like flakes/pellets from other types of meaty offerings available in stores today. Blend until combined well enough before placing back onto rack where it can continue drying out through remaining hours. Feed once or twice a week for variation.
  • For fry: it is recommended to feed them with pure egg yolk. Crush the eggs, blend well.
It is important that your aquarium fish have access to all their needed nutrients.
It is important that your aquarium fish have access to all their needed nutrients.

The importance of having a balanced diet

For the basic nutritional needs to remain healthy, it is important that your aquarium fish have access to all their needed nutrients. Like any living thing on earth including humans, these aquatic creatures require protein and other necessary components in order for them can thrive as well grow properly.

However, they vary depending upon which size or species you may own, some such diets would include more carbs while others like Oscars could benefit from having a higher amount than what’s required by smaller carnivorous species of pufferfish (Betta).

Expert Tip: To maintain this wide variety without creating an imbalance within its ecosystem, feed your little one with a balanced diet. If you want to keep your fish happy, it’s important that they have a balanced diet.

However, the challenge can be creating one with all different types in mind and some people might not know what foods go well together until after they’ve tried them out for themselves!

It starts by choosing an excellent starter food like flakes or pellet foods designed specifically towards each individual species of animal found within their tank (whether freshwater or saltwater). From there on out add to this staple using live feeds as well freeze-dried pieces.

Human Food as Fish food? Yes or No?

Nature is a beautiful thing. It’s full of life, energy, and resources that are meant to be used for the betterment of all living things on this planet. We should never take what we have here for granted because it’s not always guaranteed elsewhere in the world.

One way you can help provide nourishment and support nature at the same time is by using human food as an alternative fish food source. This type of diet will give your fish more vitamins and protein than typical commercial diets while also being safe for their health without any unnecessary chemicals or additives.

Still not convinced? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments below! Just don’t forget, human food. OUR food is just as nutritious when fed to our pet fish!

How many days can a fish go without eating?

How many days can a fish go without eating depends on different factors? But generally speaking, a grown-up fish can live without any food for three to seven days. Some species can go to fourteen days. First of all, size plays an important role in how many days can a fish go without eating.

Smaller fish needs a smaller amount of food, as it works in humans as well. The metabolism of each fish also contributes to the factor. Active and fast fish tend to need more food in order to keep up with their activity level. On the contrary, slower fish species want less food to survive.

Expert Tip: The environment in which a fish lives and the kind of food it eats, conduce to how many days can a fish go without eating. So, it is better to keep in mind all the above factors, in order to find a conclusion, but the average is 3 to 7 days.

What human food can fish eat?

Even though fish tend to not have access to typically human foods, such as fruits and vegetables, they are still able to properly digest and sustain themselves off of some human foods. If you run out of fish food or are looking for fish food substitutes, there are a lot of options.

Vegetables that fish can eat almost always have to be cooked, boiled, or blanched in some way to make them soft enough for the fish to eat. Some of the best vegetables for fish include potatoes, lettuce, and carrots, but all of these vegetables must be cooked and cut up into small pieces for the fish to eat.

Fish are also able to eat fruits that have are organic, thoroughly washed, and cut up. Vegetables are preferred by fish over fruits because of the number of pesticides used on fruit and because of the natural acids and sugars that can harm a fish’s digestive system. The best fruits to serve to fish are pears, bananas, and melons.

About Rencel Leyran