How often to feed fish fry

How often to feed fish fry

Once the eggs are hatched, you are just starting your journey in fish farming and raising fry. After all, growing fry is often a more difficult task than getting a couple to spawn, and getting caviar is still half the battle.

On the one hand, most cichlids and viviparous ones give birth to fry large enough to immediately start feeding on artificial food, but the bulk of aquarium fish, for example, pearl gourami, dwarf gourami, Tanichthys, paradise fish, give birth to very small fry, which must be fed with the same fine food.

Their fry is so small that they themselves could serve as food for the fry of guppies or cichlids.

And the young can only eat food that is moving and you will have very little time to teach them to eat other food before they start to die of hunger.

How often to feed fish fry

Feeding fry is different from feeding adult fish. For small fish, food in the aquarium should be constantly. It is very important to monitor their diet, and try not to overfeed, not to overfill, but to distribute it into small equal portions throughout the day. How often to feed fish fry? In the early days, fry is fed every 3-4 hours, gradually increasing the interval between feedings. For example, in the morning the first two or three times with an hour interval, in the afternoon after 3-4 hours of a break every two hours, about 6-7 times a day in total. A month later, it is recommended to feed the fish 3-4 times a day. After a few months, you can feed the fish less often – up to 2-3 times a day.

When choosing food for fry, first of all, it is worth remembering that the food should be quite varied, contain all the necessary substances and components of both plant and animal origin. From the first days of life, it is advisable to feed the fry with live food. This food contains a lot of protein and is very useful and nutritious. The protein contained in live food is the main source of energy for fish, gives them strength, and accelerates growth. The fry of different fish species perceive only what moves in the aquarium as food, so live food is the ideal solution.

The amount of food should be approximately the same size as the eye of the fry. For example, it is good to use finely chopped bloodworms, ciliates, rotifers, or brine shrimp as live food. Artemia nauplii can be considered the best food for fry. This food is ideal in size and rich in composition.

For example, AQUAXER Artemia Eggs is a natural and nutritious food for the fry of all types of fish, shrimp, and aquarium fish. Dry brine shrimp is rich in protein, contains all the necessary substances, a whole complex of vitamins, which are so necessary for the proper growth and development of young fish.

Since young fish require constant nutrition, it is natural that the water in the aquarium will become polluted much faster. It is worth remembering that frequent feeding leads to the accumulation of organic waste in the water, which negatively affects the health of the fish. Dirty water in the aquarium hinders the metabolism of fish and inhibits the development of fry. It is important to keep the water in the aquarium clean for the first 2 months, clean the aquarium 1 hour after feeding. It is advisable to replace 1 / 5-1 / 3 of the water volume when cleaning the aquarium. An aquarium where fry of different fish species live requires special care and work.

Next, we’ll look at the many different foods aquarists use to feed their fry. Each of them is quite nutritious in itself, but it is better to use several different ones to create a complete diet.

Finished feed

Boiled egg yolk

It is a simple and inexpensive food for feeding fry. Because of its merits, it does not create an unpleasant odor, which is what live food sins on and is very accessible.

Boiled egg yolk

To prepare food, hard boil a chicken egg, remove the protein, all you need is the yolk. Take a few grams of yolk and place it in a container or cup of water. Then shake it thoroughly or mix it, as a result, you get a suspension which you can feed the fry.

If you want, pass it through cloth to filter out large pieces of yolk. Then you can give a suspension to the fry, it usually stands for some time in the water column and fry eats them with appetite.

You can feed the fry with one yolk for a whole month, of course, it will not be stored for so long, and do not forget to cook a new one from time to time. Do not add too much mixture to the aquarium at once, it decomposes quickly and can lead to the death of fry.

Feed the egg yolk in moderation, a few drops a couple of times a day.

Another problem is that the yolk, even after filtration, may be too large for some fry, will not be digested and will start to disappear at the bottom.

The smallest parts can be obtained using a mixer or blender.

Dry egg yolk

There is no fundamental difference between boiled and dry. It is widely used in feed for fry, but it is very easy to make it yourself.

Dry egg yolk

It is enough to boil the egg, and dry and crush the yolk. It can be added by pouring it onto the surface of the water or by mixing with water and pouring it into the aquarium.

It floats on the surface of the water, and the yolk mixed with water hangs for some time in the water column. Use both methods to give the fry maximum nutrition.

It is also good to feed small fish with dry egg yolk since it is much smaller than the smallest flakes. The particle size of dry yolk is smaller than that of a diluted in water, which is important if the fry is small.

Liquid artificial food

This food is already diluted with water. Sometimes the particles are too large for small fry, but producers are constantly improving the quality of these food.

New generations of feed are already suitable for all types of fry, in addition, their plus is that they hang in the water column for a very long time and the fry have time to gorge themselves.

Dry flakes

dry flakes

They are widely available, but although they can be fed to large fry such as guppies, they are not suitable for most others.

The particle size is often the same size as the fry itself.

Live food for fish


Excellent food for any fry. They are easy to maintain and very small (0.04 mm to 2 mm long and 0.10 mm wide). Unlike a micro worm, a culture of nematodes can not be fed for several weeks and it will not die.

Nematoda is a soil roundworm – Turbatrix aceti can also live in silt. Since nematodes are live food, it is especially suitable if the fry refuses artificial food. In the water of the aquarium, nematodes can live up to a day, so they do not poison the water quickly and can be eaten by fry of aquarium fish within 24 hours.

Nematodes live in a very acidic environment, feeding on bacteria. To prepare a nutrient medium for them, take one to one apple, cider, vinegar and distilled water. The vinegar should be regular, with no additives.


For example, we take half a liter of vinegar and half a liter of distilled water, mix and add a couple of tablespoons of sugar or a few slices of an unpeeled apple.

An apple is needed to create a breeding ground for bacteria. After a week or two, the solution will become significantly cloudy, which means that the bacteria have multiplied rapidly and it is time to add the nematodes themselves to them.

Culture of nematodes can be bought on the Internet, on a small market, or among familiar aquarists.

Add Turbatrix aceti to the solution and set the jar in the dark. In a couple of weeks, the culture will be ready.

The most difficult thing is to filter out nematodes, as they live in a very acidic environment, and adding them with vinegar can be fatal to the fry. You can pour vinegar into a bottle with a narrow neck, and seal it with cotton on top and pour fresh water over it.

The nematodes will move through cotton wool into freshwater and can be caught with a pipette.

Another nematode breeding method is even simpler and more commonly used.

As a nutrient medium, oatmeal, which must be brewed to a state of thick sour cream. After the oatmeal is brewed, you need to add table vinegar about a teaspoon per 100 grams of the medium.

Next, the mass with a layer of 1-1.5 cm is laid out in saucers or another container, and the culture of nematodes is placed on top. The container must be covered so that there is a humid environment and does not dry out.

Literally, in two or three days, nematodes will already crawl out onto the walls and they can be collected with a brush.

From the nuances of breeding nematodes in this way – the culture should stand in a warm place. The layer should not be too high, no more than 1.5 cm. If mold appears, then the medium was too liquid or little vinegar was added.

Of course, you need to feed the nematodes by adding fresh porridge from time to time. When? This will already be seen in the process. If the yield becomes less if the medium has darkened or water appears on it if a decomposition smell appears.

You can also feed with a few drops of kefir or carrot juice, even a couple of drops of live yogurt.

But it’s easier to have several containers with nematodes in stock and if something happens, just switch to another.

Nematoda is an excellent food – small, lively, and nutritious. They can even feed fry of different sizes since the nematode itself is also different.

Zooplankton – infusoria

Ciliates are not the only microorganisms, they are a mixture of various microorganisms with a size of 0t.02 mm or more.

To breed your own shoe infusoria culture, place some hay, spinach, or dry banana or melon peels in a bottle of water and place it in a sunny spot.


The problem is that you cannot control the microorganism species in such a culture, and some can be toxic to the fry. To protect yourself, first scald the hay, spinach, or banana peel and then add a culture from familiar aquarists to the water, it is just the ciliate shoe that predominates in it.

The water needs to be aerated to reduce the odor from fermentation, and siphoning the bottom from the remains will extend the life of the culture for several more days.

So, fill a liter jar with water and food – dry banana peel, pumpkin, hay, and set it in a sunless place. Add a ciliate culture to the water, preferably from familiar aquarists.

If not, then you can even pick up from a puddle, or a local reservoir, although the risk of bringing in something else exists. Wait a few days for the ciliate to multiply.

Catching can be done in two ways – by filtering through paper and dipping it into the water, or by darkening the jar, leaving only one bright place where the ciliates will gather. Then just collect them with a straw.

Ciliates are not as tenacious as nematodes, so you will have to start a new can every couple of weeks. But at the same time, they are extremely small and all types of fry can eat them.

Green water – phytoplankton

Ciliates can be divided into two categories: zooplankton (we talked about it above) are tiny microorganisms. Phytoplankton is tiny algae ranging in size from 0.02 to 2 mm in length.

Aquarists use green water as food, but it is actually phytoplankton.

Green water - phytoplankton

Green water is extremely easy and simple to obtain. Just take some water from the aquarium, pour it into a jar and place it in the sun.

The sun’s rays will turn the water green within a couple of days. When this happens, simply add some of the water to the fry tank. And instead, add water from the aquarium.

This is very similar to breeding ciliates, only simpler. Any water from an aquarium contains both zoo and phytoplankton, but by increasing the amount of light we stimulate the growth of phytoplankton.

One problem is our climate, in winter or autumn there will not be enough sunlight, but you can just put it under a lamp, the main thing is that the water does not overheat.

Green water is simple, affordable, very small in size, fry eats it well from the first days of their life. And most importantly, it does not die in the aquarium and serves as a food source for fry for several days. For greater efficiency, you need to keep several cans at the same time, in case the plankton suddenly dies in one.

If you have a microscope, then you can generally grow only the culture that you need, but as for me, this is already superfluous.


Microworm (Panagrellus redivivus) is a small nematode (0.05-2.0 mm in length and 0.05 mm in width) that seems too small for fry. But they have one quality that makes them stand out, they are very nutritious.

To create a microworm culture, mix cornmeal with water until thick sour cream and then add a quarter teaspoon of yeast.

Place in a lidded jar with ventilation holes, no more than 1.5 cm thick and add the microworm culture.


The easiest way to get them is on a fish market or from familiar fishkeepers. But if there are none, then you can find a damp heap of fallen leaves in a nearby park, collect them and bring them home. In it, you will find very small, white worms, which you need to add to the container with the nutrient mixture.

After a couple of days, you will see microworms that crawl out onto the walls and which can be collected with your fingers or a brush.

Fry eats them greedily, but like nematodes, microworms do not live in water for long, and it is important not to overfeed, so do not feed them very often. When you pick them off the walls, some of the formulae may get into the water, but don’t worry, it will also be eaten by the fry.

As a rule, it lasts for two weeks, after which the launch must be repeated. Hercules is also used as a nutrient mixture, but the smell from it is more unpleasant and the quality of our rolled oats leaves much to be desired.

However, there are many recipes for cooking culture, you are free to choose your own.

Artemia nauplii

Newly hatched brine shrimp (0.08 to 0.12 mm) is used very widely in aquascaping for feeding fry of various fish. They are active in fresh water and can live long enough.

Where can I get them? Now it is very easy to buy brine shrimp eggs, both on a bird and from friends and on the net. What you need is the non-decapsulated brine shrimp eggs. There are a huge number of opinions on how to properly obtain brine shrimp nauplii.

Artemia nauplii

The easiest way is to pour about two teaspoons of salt, a couple of spoons of nauplii into a liter jar, and turn on the aeration. Please note that it should be around the clock and the bubbles should not be too large, as it will raise the newly hatched brine shrimp to the surface of the water, where it will instantly die.

An important point is the water temperature, preferably about 30 C, since at this temperature the nauplii emerge in a day and at the same time, and at a lower temperature, the output stretches.

After about a day, two nauplii will hatch and they can be removed using a siphon and added to the aquarium with fry. Turn off the aeration and the nauplii will collect in the bottom of the jar, and the eggs will float to the top, they must be removed.

A little saltwater in the aquarium will not cause problems, but you can transplant the nauplii into intermediate freshwater or rinse them. Fry eats them with pleasure and grows well.

This article describes simple yet effective ways you can raise the fry of many fish and how often to feed fish ry. It’s not always easy, but patience and dedication will always pay off. We hope we could help you with this!