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Top Five Beginner Fish Foods

Here’s the problem with trying to recommend five fish foods: there are way too many options out there, and every fish has a different dietary need! 

So this list is my top five all around tropical fish food for carnivores and herbivores.  I’m not putting any frozen food on this list, primarily because of shipping costs.  I recommend going to your LFS (Local Fish Store), and have them help you choose the correct food for your needs.

When looking at fish food for the marine aquarium, you can break your options down to a few overall types:

  • Flake – these are almost always for the meat eaters of the group, which is a lot of fish.  Flakes tend to sit on the surface, so I often crumble them below the water line so they can move around the tank.
  • Pellet – These can be for herbivores or carnivores, and they can be floating or sinking.  Pellets often make up the  primary part of a fish’s diet, primarily because of how dense they are in protein and ease of feeding.
  • Seaweed – Great for Tangs and other herbivores, seaweed is usually placed in some sort of holder and then put into your tank to allow your livestock to graze.
  • Frozen – Many fish are finicky eater and will only eat a certain type of frozen food.  These come in all shapes and sizes, so just head to your LFS and they’ll be able to help choose the correct fish food.

Pellet size: I almost exclusively use 1mm pellet size, because even my smaller fish can eat it. Sometimes I do have a 2.4 mm size fish food, but it is just too big for smaller fish to consume.

I use all of this food weekly, if not daily, and will continue to do so.  There are many other good options out there, but I can vouch for all of the items on this list!

5. Julian Sprung's Sea Veggies Seaweed

There are quite a few different brands of Seaweed out there, but Julian Sprung’s is a respected brand and is affordable.

It is best to use some sort of clip to feed your fish, so I recommend this magnetic clip by Two Little Fishies.  It is a lot more expensive than just a simple plastic clip with a suction cup, but it is really nice to be able to adjust the location by dragging the magnet around.

Green Seaweed is the perfect food for Tangs, Surgeonfish, Butterflyfish, and many other herbivores. It’s never a bad idea to have a pack of this on hand!

4. New Life Spectrum 1mm Sinking Pellets

I remember when I was just starting out in this hobby.  I think I was wandering around my LFS, looking at all of the different foods and feeling overwhelmed.  I had no idea what food was meant for what fish, mm size, etc.  Somehow I ended up with this one, and I’ve used it ever since!

I like the 1mm pellet size, primarily because smaller fish can fit it in their mouths.  If you go with the 2mm size, it will be too large for many small fish.

I feed New Life Spectrum every morning too my fish, and they all love it!

3. V2O Food New Vision Pellet/Flake Blend

V2O Foods was founded by Christopher Turk, who has decades in this hobby and has previously owned another highly successful fish food brand.  V2O has a ginormous selection of foods, including coral, frozen, flake, and pellet.  I probably use 15 different types of V2O Food, many of which are frozen.

What I love about this New Vision food, it’s a mix of pellets and small flakes, so a really good food for carnivores and omnivores.  The pellets are 1mm or under, so they work well for small fish.

The texture and smell of this food just screams fresh!

2. Ocean Nutrition Prime Reef Flakes

Hands down, this is my favorite flake food.  I’ve tried so many, but for some reason, the fish just go crazy for this.  

When you open the lid, the color and smell hit you immediately.  It has an extremely fishy smell, and is a bright red.

My only warning when using this food is not to over do it.  A little bit will go a long way.  

I feed this flake food every other day, and it might be my fish (and snails) favorite food!

1. V2O Food New Vision Marine Krill 1.2mm

Coming in at #1 is another great product from V2O Foods.  Their New Vision Marine Krill+ just knocks it out of the park.  My fish love it, it smells crazy fresh, and the pellets are consistent in size and there is something unique about these pellets: They are moist and soft!

Most pellets are hard a dry but not the New Vision line. If you want to see some of these products up close, I made a video of my Top Ten Aquarium Foods!