How Much Do Tropical Fish Eat? Cost Analysis 

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Food is mandatory for any type of aquarium fish. But lots of new aquarists start from various types of tropical fish. So this is important to know for then how much food is required for the tropical fish.

The amount of food depends on the type and the size of the fish. According to the thumb rule, a fish is eating by taking more than two minutes means that the fish is taking excessive food. This will lead to various diseases. Some small pinches of commercial foods or boiled foods are enough to give two times per day.  

But this two-line answer will not help you to know all data about the food of all aquarium fishes. You have to read the full article to know the amount of food is required for each of the popular aquarium fishes. So let’s dive deep into the topic.

Which are the fishes called tropical fish?

Tropical weather means very hot and humid weather. Now there are lots of fish species that are found in tropical weather. The origin of those fishes is basically tropical rivers, ponds, lakes etc. Seawater fishes are also considered tropical fishes.

But here we’ll discuss only the freshwater tropical aquarium fishes

So here we will discuss the food habits of 15 such tropical fishes and will check how many fishes they can eat per day with cost analysis.


How much do betta fish eat?

Betta fish should get food twice a day (early morning and night). Aquarists should provide 2-3 pellets with each of these times to betta fish. Betta may look hungry but not more than 4-6 pellets are recommended per day. Once a day is better for some bettas who have a tendency of constipation.  

Constipation is a big problem for Betta fish. This increases the stress on it and this fish becomes lethargic too. So this is important to provide foods according to their metabolism rate.

To understand the appetite of Betta fish you can check its eating pattern. If the pellet size is big enough then naturally Betta will take time to eat this. But this completely depends on its appetite level.

If a Betta finishes all the given food supply within 1.5 minutes then you can provide it with a little bit more. But if you see that your Betta is eating for a long time (more than 3 minutes) then you should know that you are overfeeding that fish.

Read more:- Two Betta Fish in The Same Tank: Is It Even Possible?

What is the best human food for Betta fish?

Smashed peas are one of the good sources of fibre and help to reduce the constipation of Betta fish. Besides this, very small pieces of mangoes, sweet corn and spinach are some better food options for betta fish. Bread, citrus fruits and plants are recommended as food for the betta fish. 

Betta fish often face constipation problems. So fibre reached foods are the most recommended for betta fish. Peas have the potential fibre that can help bettas to run the digestive system smoothly. Besides this sweet corn is another potential food option for Betta that you can provide easily.

But all time this may not be available for you as the food for your Betta fish. So, that commercial foods are very good options for betta fish. Pellets, flakes, frozen or live food can be some good commercial foods for Betta fish.

Read more:- Female Betta is Running Away From Male: 8 Possible Causes 

How much do guppy fish eat?

Guppy fish is a very active fish species and it has a high metabolism rate. Minimum twice a day is mandatory to feed them. Guppies finish their food within 20-30 seconds. Some small pinches of flakes will be suitable to give. Juvenile guppies are required to eat several times a day. 

Juvenile guppies grow for the first three months and this time period is crucial for guppies’ growth. If you don’t care to give sufficient foods then adult fishes will not be healthy and active enough.

As juvenile guppies have a high metabolism rate so they need to eat several times a day.

Temperature plays an important role in this issue. The appetite of baby guppies decreases in comparatively cooler water. So this is important to fix the right temperature for guppy fries. 24°C to 26°C is the most suitable range for guppy fries.

Guppies can face lots of issues due to overfeeding. So you need to check this. You must provide food daily twice a day (morning and evening). If you see guppies have not eaten the given food already then you must reduce the rate to give food daily.

Read More:- How Long Does A Fish Live Without Food? Infographic Presentation

What is the best human food for guppy fish?

The first six weeks are crucial for guppies to grow. Bloodworms, fruit flies, daphnia are the most recommended getting protein. As human food vegetables like zucchini, spinach can be a great addition to guppies’ diet chart. Mashed grapes and bananas are suitable fruits to provide once a week. 

Guppies are omnivores so they need to eat live food to grow faster. Brine shrimp are the most required food for baby guppies. But this is not possible to get all the time. Instead of brine shrimp, you can provide frozen bloodworms, daphnia etc.

Fruits can be a great option for guppies to eat. But make sure you don’t provide fruits every day. Fruits contain sugar so this is not suitable for guppies every day. But once a week a few smashed grapes and bananas are recommended.

You must add zucchini, mustard greens, spinach to the guppy’s diet chart. These vegetables will be used as supplements for this fish species. You should give this for the first six weeks. This will help guppies to grow faster.

How much do cichlids eat?

Aquarists should provide food cichlids two times a day. Don’t feed them excessive foods. Occasionally fasting for cichlids is good for their health. This may seem hungry all-time but excessive food is not good for cichlids. Juvenile cichlids need to eat a minimum of 5-7 times per day. 

There are various types of cichlids that are available for aquarists. Almost all of these cichlids are aggressive in nature. Now, this is obvious that the cichlids may find foods all the time throughout the aquarium. This is a good sign that your cichlid is healthy enough.

Due to overfeeding the cichlid may become dim or inactive. This is not a good sign for a cichlid. So you must provide cichlids with a limited amount of food.

If you have lots of cichlids in one tank then you must take care of them during feeding because hungry cichlids may damage other cichlids also. Here the taking care process means distributing foods to all of the cichlids in that tank. You should spread the food well. 

What are the best human foods for cichlids?

Commercial foods like pellets, flakes are good for cichlids but not the best because these contain ash. Human foods like different types of green veggies like zucchini, peas and fruits are suitable for cichlids. As cichlids require protein so insects, invertebrates and smaller fishes are also suitable for them. 

Among fruits, you can give cichlids watermelons. This is vitamin-rich food and cichlids need the vitamin to grow faster. So watermelon can be a good food source of cichlids. Bananas also can be good food for cichlids but all of these are not permanent food sources for cichlids. You can provide these once or twice a week.

Sometimes cichlids need some gaps between two eating periods. It means you should not provide food to your cichlids once a week. cichlids will stay fine. This will help the digestive system of cichlids to become more efficient.

African cichlids love to eat lettuce, zucchini and spinach. But you must take one day gap after providing these heavy foods for cichlids. This is applicable for American cichlids also. American cichlids like to eat bloodworms and daphnia. After eating these foods, a one day gap is a must for American cichlids.

How much do molly fish eat?

Generally, Molly fish is an omnivore but it prefers to eat veggies more than live food. Aquarists can provide a small pinch of flakes to 5-7 mollies two times a day. There should be a balance in the diet chart of mollies. Protein-enriched food is more preferable for mollies. 

In the wild mollies eat different types of small green leaves, invertebrates, algae, etc. But in the aquarium, the aquarists must provide a variety of foods. But that should not be more than two times a day.

You must know that overfeeding leads to several health issues for Molly fish. Molly can face constipation problems and that is not a good sign for a fish’s health. Lack of an efficient digestive system and excessive food can lead to constipation for molly fish.

Not only that, but excessive food can increase the toxicity and ammonia level in the aquarium. If you clean the aquarium weekly then that is okay but this is not the right way to distribute food.

What are the best human foods for mollies? 

Mollies can eat several types of foods. From pellets and flakes to vegetables all are preferable for mollies. But there must be a balance between the diet chart. Brine shrimp, daphnia, micro worms can be a great addition to Mollie’s diet chart. This prefers algae to eat also. Aquarists should provide tablets as food that contains algae.

There is no specific food for molly fish. The molly fish can eat everything but that must be healthy. So aquarists should look after this matter.

Pellets and flakes are good as commercial foods for mollies but these are not enough to give a balanced diet. So a variety of foods are the most important for molly fish. Veggie pellets can be considered a healthy snack for molly fish.

Not only that, but molly prefers dried or frozen foods which are a great source of protein. Especially freeze-dried brine shrimp is provided with 61.6% protein to fish. So you must keep it in the first chart of mollies.

How much does tetra eat?

In the wild, the tetras are the opportunistic feeder. They try to find food all the time. But in the aquarium, it needs to eat food 2-4 times per day. The aquarist should distribute the food well while pouring. There should be a few seconds gap to finish the food by tetras. The general thumb rule is within two minutes tetra will finish its eating.  

Tetra is a top-level and mid-level dweller. So it will eat the given foods in a fraction of a second. If the food is going down to the aquarium that means the aquarium is cloudy enough and tetras are not able to see the foods. If tetras are still going down to the aquarium to search for food means tetras are really hungry enough.

You must give a minimum of two times to adult tetra. Juvenile tetra must get food to eat several times (minimum 4-6 times) per day. You must spread the food well. Otherwise, they will fight with each other (aggressive tetras like bucktooth tetra).

You must give a few seconds to your tetras to finish the food. You must not hurry during this time. Otherwise, you may overfeed one of your fish unknowingly. Overfeeding may lead to various diseases of tetras.

What are the best human foods for tetra?

Tetra fish are omnivores. It can eat human foods like zucchini, peas, beef heart, cucumber etc. Well-boiled rice and egg yolk should be included in tetra’s diet chart due to carbs and protein. Cucumber is known as tetra’s food for its fibre percentage per hundred grams. Tetras should get fruit once a week to get vitamins.   


Ideal food for tetra
Ideal food for tetra

Tetra can live five to six days without food. But you must provide food for your tetras every day. Occasionally fasting is good for fishes. This helps to improve the digestive system of tetras. Just because of fasting constipation problems can be cured of tetras.

Commercial foods are good for tetras. But these are not considered ideal foods for tetras. The diet chart of tetra should be balanced enough. So, human foods are required the most. To solve the constipation problem you must provide cucumber and peas. These should be mashed or boiled. It is difficult to eat raw human foods for tetras.

Zucchini is famous for antioxidants and fruits are famous for vitamins. Now tetra needs both of these to eat to get a balanced diet chart. All of these will help tetra to grow faster.

But if you are not able to give all of these then you should go to commercial foods. Algae tablets, daphnia, sinking pellets, fake foods are suitable commercial foods for tetra fish.

Read here:- The growth rate of cichlid fishes: EXCLUSIVE Researched information

How much do goldfish fish eat?

Goldfish requires meals depending upon its conditions. Generally, an adult goldfish needs food once a day. But during the breeding period, an adult goldfish or a juvenile goldfish needs to eat several times. A goldfish eats its necessary foods within the first 2 minutes. This is the rule of thumb to provide food quantity to a goldfish.  

Some types of goldfish eat their necessary foods within the first 30 seconds or less. This depends on the size of the fish. Juvenile goldfish eat much quickly and their metabolism rate is fast. So they are required to eat several times per day. During breeding time its metabolism rate also increases. So you must provide more food to eat.

Temperature plays an important role in goldfish’s digestive system. When the water becomes cool anyhow (less than 10°C or less) then it does not need to eat for a month more than once. Due to low temperature, the metabolism rate becomes too slow. So it can’t digest excessive foods at that time. But generally in the aquarium, this does not happen because of the water heater.

What are the best human foods for goldfish? 

Goldfish is an omnivore. It means goldfish prefers eating vegetables with live foods. From shelled peas to brine shrimp all of these foods are nutritious to goldfish. Juvenile goldfish requires brine shrimp the most to get more protein. 

Ideal food for goldfish
Ideal food for goldfish

As for vegetables/main course you can provide goldfish

  • Shelled peas
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cooked rice

As fruits, you can provide goldfish (all of these should be smashed)

  • Grapes
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Orange

As live food, you can provide goldfish

  • Brine shrimp
  • Blood worm
  • Daphnia
  • Ghost shrimp

How much do pleco fish eat?

Normally pleco is a herbivore species but some types of pleco can eat small insects too. Pleco is a very lazy and shy fish. So it won’t be much active by seeing food. It prefers to eat a lot but it eats very slowly. It can eat an average-sized cucumber slowly for months. A pleco can clean a very dirty tank within a month too. 

Pleco is a very slow eater and sometimes aquarists may not feel whether his pleco is eating or not. But pleco eats and moves slowly to eat the food.

You should provide food to its favourite hiding spots in the aquarium. This will help pleco to know about the food quickly. If you keep the food away from it then it may not even touch that food for days.

As pleco loves to eat detritus and algae of the aquarium so you should keep at least one pleco in the tank for cleaning purpose. It will eat all the detritus and algae slowly within a month depending upon the tank size. Even the detritus of a small size tank (20-gallon) takes much less time to eat for pleco fish.

What are the best human foods for pleco? 

Detritus and algae are the ideal food for pleco fish. They love to clean the dirty things of a fish tank by eating. But this fish is a slow eater. Though pleco’s main food is algae and detritus, still it needs supplements to stay healthy. Cucumber, zucchini and lettuce are suitable for pleco twice a week. Pleco loves to eat raw cucumber also

Pleco needs supplements to grow quickly. It grows up to 14 inches long. But the size of pleco depends upon its types. If you provide a proper nutritional diet then it can live a much longer period of time.

As human food, it loves to eat cucumbers. You can keep a raw cucumber piece in front of him. It will eat this more frequently. For pleco fries, this is a good food source to grow quickly. Zucchini and lettuce are the other sources of food for the pleco.

As commercial food, you can give pleco algae wafers. This is the most commercial food source for pleco fish. If you want to give pellets then you should know that the pellets should be the sinking ones. As pleco is the bottom feeder so it will not eat if you provide floating pellets for them.

How much do danios eat?

Danios are the most active fish in the aquarium so it’s metabolism rate is higher than other fish. It needs to be eaten several times a day. But aquarists should provide a very little amount of food each time. One to four times per day are the best for danios depending upon age and size. A small pinch of food is enough for them. 

Danios are like tetra and guppies. All of these fishes have a high metabolism rate just because they are all active all the time. Danios are opportunistic feeders. So you must give a very little amount of food several times a day.

Danios fries need more food to grow quickly. So you can give food 3-5 times a day. But make sure the amount of food should be very less each time. A heavy diet may increase the chances of occurring constipation issues for them.

A rule of thumb is danios must finish the food within two minutes or less. If you see that danios are not interested in given food then you must stop providing that food immediately.

What are the best human foods for danios? 

Danios love to eat commercial food. So it will never mind if you provide flakes, pellets or frozen bloodworms to eat. Still, it needs human food as boiled cucumber, zucchini, peas and spinach thrice per week. Live bloodworm and daphnia can be other options to give them as food. All of these make a balanced diet for danios.

Danios is a hardy fish and can live by eating commercial food only. But if you want to provide a more nutritious diet for them then human foods are the good options for you. Zucchini has high antioxidants. You can add zucchini for danios diet chart easily.

Danios love to eat live food also. Though these are not human foods still, these are much more worthy than other commercial foods for danios. As live food, you can provide daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp etc. Danios will love to eat these foods.

So best of luck & happy fishkeeping🐟

Read here:- Which fruits are suitable for tropical fish? A complete guide

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