Choosing Frozen Fish Foods

Beef Heart, Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp and More

girl pointing at fish in tank

 Yassir Chalid / Getty Images

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Some foods can’t be served up in flake or pellet form without losing some of their delectable taste and flavor. When breeding fish, live foods are a must to be successful. Unfortunately, live foods are not readily available many times of the year, so frozen foods are the next best option. Although a bit more expensive than dry foods, frozen foods are an excellent supplemental or specialty food when feeding fry or fussy eaters. All pet shops now carry frozen foods, and many companies will ship them as well. Here are different types of frozen foods, and what they are best used for.

  • 01 of 08

    Best for Freshwater Fish: San Francisco Bay Frozen Bloodworm Cubes

    Frozen Bloodworms
    Frozen Bloodworms.

    One thing all fish have in common is that they enjoy a good worm. Bloodworms are one of the top food choices when conditioning fish for breeding, and make a good supplement for all fish. However, live Bloodworms are not always readily available, nor do they keep very long once purchased. Frozen Bloodworms are a great way to provide fresh worms for your aquarium fish. Look for the cubes, as they are easier to dispense and stay fresh longer.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Freshwater Carnivores: San Francisco Bay Frozen Beefheart Cubes

    SF Bay Frozen Beefheart

    Pets Warehouse

    Beefheart is the primary food choice for Discus. High in protein, it is an excellent food for all freshwater carnivores. Frozen preparations generally are enriched with vitamins, and often blended with Brine Shrimp. If you have a Discus that refuses to eat, soak a Beefheart cube in liquid garlic boost, available at most pet shops. Cichlids are prone to eat to excess if given the opportunity, and there is debate over the negative effect that high protein Beefheart may have if eaten to excess. Take care not to overfeed, and always remove any uneaten portions quickly to avoid fouling the aquarium water.

  • 03 of 08

    Best for Saltwater Fish: Ocean Nutrition Frozen Chopped Clam Cubes

    Ocean Nutrition Clams

     Pets Warehouse

    Clam meat is usually fed to saltwater fish, but freshwater carnivores will enjoy it as well. Clams are high in vitamins and make a good change of pace meal for your fish. Make sure to remove any uneaten portions promptly, as it will foul the water.

  • 04 of 08

    Best for Saltwater Carnivores: Hikari Bio-Pure Frozen Krill Cubes

    Hikari Bio-Pure Frozen Krill Cubes

     Pets Warehouse

    Krill is a shrimp-like crustacean that is eaten not only by fish but by humans as well. Larger than traditional Brine Shrimp, Krill is commonly fed to saltwater carnivores yet is also readily accepted by freshwater fish. It makes a good occasional supplement for larger freshwater carnivores. Unavailable as a live food, Krill must be purchased in frozen or freeze-dried form. Our preference is for frozen Krill, but caution should be used with either frozen or freeze-dried Krill, as they will foul the water if not eaten within a short period of time. Always remove uneaten portions promptly.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best for Breeding: San Francisco Bay Frozen Brine Shrimp

    Frozen Brine Shrimp
    Frozen Brine Shrimp.

    Brine Shrimp is hands down the most used live fish food. High in nutrients, it is a staple when conditioning breeding fish and the primary food choice for feeding newly hatched fry. Like other live foods, live Brine Shrimp are not readily available in shops. Frozen Brine Shrimp is not only a good substitute but often is enriched to offer even greater nutritional value. We highly recommend Spirulina Brine Shrimp, which boosts the immune system of your fish.

  • 06 of 08

    Best for Young Fish: Ocean Nutrition Frozen Cyclops Cubes

    Ocean Nutrition Frozen Cyclops

     Pets Warehouse

    Cyclops is among the most common of freshwater copepods, growing in many slow-moving or stagnant bodies of water. Although tiny, they are packed with nutrition that is ideal for young fish. Small fish will also enjoy a meal of Cyclops.

  • 07 of 08

    Best for Small Fish: Hikari Bio-Pure Frozen Daphnia Cubes

    Hikari Frozen Daphnia Cubes

     Pets Warehouse

    Daphnia, also known as the water flea, is a small food that is well suited for feeding small fish. It is also an ideal food for young fry, due being easily digestible and small in size. Rarely seen for sale live, frozen Daphnia is a good option. Most frozen preparations are enriched with vitamins. Daphnia can also be cultured at home if desired, or collected during warm times of the year. 

  • 08 of 08

    Best for Enhancing Color: Hikari Bio-Pure Frozen Ocean Plankton Cubes

    Hikari Frozen Ocean Plankton

     Pets Warehouse

    Everyone knows whales enjoy Plankton, but most fish owners don’t know that their aquarium fish like Plankton as well. They make an excellent supplement for medium to large freshwater fish and provide Beta Carotene, which enhances color in aquarium fish.