Proper Feeding Methods

Feeding an aquarium seems simple enough. Buy a jar of flake food, and toss some in, right? Actually, that really isn’t a good idea for a variety of reasons. Hopefully you’ll find the following information helpful for your own specific needs. Foods come in many forms, including sheets, flakes, pellets, frozen, refrigerated, liquid, and live.

Flake food is convenient, easy to dose, and relatively inexpensive. A few things to keep in mind are that it should be kept in a cool dry place, not sitting on the canopy where the heat of your lighting can ruin it. Never pour the food into your tank, as an accident may occur which will dump excessive amounts of flake food into the water polluting the tank. It is better to take a pinch of food, and submerge your fingers in the water while releasing the food in the current. This will allow your fish to eat without gulping down air trying to eat from the surface. Keep in mind that flake foods are known to add to phosphate issues, so if your tank suffers from nuisance algae, it would be better to reduce the amount of flake food feedings.

Hatch and Harvest Baby Brine Shrimp

Growing baby brine shrimp allows me to feed the smaller fish in a reef tank containing large voracious tangs. Every day, one batch is added to the tank while the pumps are off. The tangs swim through the tiny bits of live food, while the little fish have their meal.

Hatching brine is easy, and doesn't cost much. The recipe is available on my site. Two hatching stations allow me to always have a new batch available daily. 

Hatching Brine Shrimp easily

Brine Shrimp hatching recipe:

  • 2 cups tank water
  • 1/2 cup RO/DI
  • 1 tsp brine shrimp eggs

Make your own fishfood

Buying frozen foods at the local fish store can get pretty expensive over time. Fish need varied diets, so rotating through separate foods each day of the week can be routine, but ask a person to do this for you while you are away and suddenly it seems overly complex.

I'd read of others making their own food, and one member showed me his. Man, it was great! Not only did he save money, but he had all the foods mixed together so that every fish in his tank got what they needed each day. So here is how I make my food. Feel free to modify it to your own needs, and pass along the information to others if you feel it is helpful.

10 Step Phytoplankton Culture

Susan did a great job putting together a working manual for everyone follow, including myself.  After a few years, that resource vanished from the web. This page was originally written by Susan J. Wilson; page last found online on Sept 12, 2006:  Contents placed on my site as reference only, and these are all her words below... 

Culture your own Phytoplankton

Live Phytoplankton is very expensive to buy, but growing your own is pretty easy and much cheaper. Flame*Angel from has an excellent page that I followed to get my own culture started. I store it in the fridge, shaking it once a day to avoid settling. New batches are ready on a weekly basis.


2013: This page has helped thousands of people over the past 10 years to grow their own, and all the necessary information is provided to help you grow it in the comfort of your home.  If you are a breeder of fish fry, you'll need phytoplankton to maintain rotifer cultures, and rotifers are used as the first food newly released fry consume. If you can't source some of these ingredients, you should be able to start a culture using some commercially made phytoplankton on the market.  I'd also like to add that I have no idea about human consumption, which apparently some sources have suggested might be a viable alternative. This page is specifically intended for the needs of saltwater aquarium livestock.  Back to the article...
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