September 9, 2010

Dietary Types of Fish

Filed under: fish health — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:11 am

Just as with mammals, there are 3 main dietary types of fish: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.  If you have recently purchased a fish but you are not sure of its dietary type, you need to speak to the pet store or a veterinarian immediately.  Properly feeding your fish is a basic requirement of owning a pet fish.  In fact, pet fish are extremely sensitive to proper diet and over feeding, under feeding, or feeding your pet fish the wrong type of food can have fatal results.

Carnivores are fish that eat meat, just as you would expect with mammals.  Some fish prefer live prey and may only eat food that they can hunt and kills.  Other fish and insects are the most common type of food for these fish.  On the other hand, some carnivorous fish will eat dried shrimp or other meat-based products.  Examples of carnivorous fish include:

  • Acara
  • Archerfish
  • Bettas
  • Hatchetfish
  • Oscar
  • Piranha

Herbivores are essentially vegetarian fish.  As such herbivorous fish will eat a diet made up exclusively or mostly of vegetable matter.  Since herbivores tend to have a smaller stomach, they need to eat more often.  Examples of herbivorous fish include:

  • Molly
  • Farowella
  • Pacu
  • Tropheus

The final dietary type of fish is the omnivore.  Most aquarium fish are omnivores and they will eat both meat and vegetables.  Veterinarians recommend a varied diet for omnivorous fish to ensure that they get all the nutrients they need.  Omnivorous fish can survive on a vegetarian diet, although it is not recommended.  Depending on the type of fish you have, you should do some research about their preferred diet.  The following are examples of omnivorous fish:

  • Angelfish
  • Barbs
  • Danios
  • Festivum
  • Goldfish
  • Guppy
  • Loaches
  • Platy

About Dr. Amber Reed

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.