Some fish live close to the surface and as such, need food that does not drop to the bottom of their aquarium.
Bottom feeders, on the other hand, are fish that prefer eating at the base of the aquarium. This means that to feed them, you will need to find fish food that sinks to the bottom.
Finding good sinking food for your fish can be tricky, as there are many products to choose from. Fortunately, we have done the legwork for you. The following are reviews for the best sinking fish foods on the market today.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||TetraMin XL Tropical Flakes Fish Food||
|Best Value||Aqueon Shrimp Pellets||
|Premium Choice||Hikari Algae Wafers Fish Food||
|TetraMin Plus Tropical Flakes Fish Food||
|Fluval Bug Bites Bottom Feeder Fish Food||
The 10 Best Sinking Fish Foods
1. TetraMin XL Tropical Flakes Fish Food – Best Overall
|First ingredient:||Fish meal|
|Available sizes:||2.82- and 5.65-ounce jars|
You can’t go wrong with TetraMin products. The company has been in business since 1951. Its founder, Dr. Ulrich Baensch, first developed this product. The manufacturer works with a team of nutritionists to continue to refine their products to meet the needs of ornamental fish. Its TetraMin XL Tropical Flakes Fish Food is no exception. It’s our pick for the best overall sinking fish food.
The flakes are slow to sink, giving fish plenty of time to notice and eat the food before it can get into the substrate and foul the tank. The nutritional value is top-notch, thanks to Tetra’s ProCare blend of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish will thrive on this product. Of course, the company’s stellar reputation brings quality to the forefront.
2. Aqueon Shrimp Pellets – Best Value
|Primary diet:||Carnivores, bottom feeders|
|First ingredient:||Shrimp meal|
|Available sizes:||3.25-, 6.5-, and 13-ounce jars|
Aqueon Shrimp Pellets is a value-priced product that will certainly bring out the color of your tropical fish. The fish and seafood ingredients are rich sources of carotenoids. The product will satisfy carnivores and bottom feeders with its high palatability and excellent nutritional value. It’s our pick for the best sinking fish food for the money. You can’t beat the price for what you get.
The shrimp pellets are manufactured in the United States. They sink slowly in the water, but your fish will probably devour them before they reach the bottom. Surprisingly, given its ingredients, the food isn’t as stinky as we’d expect. However, it’s worth noting they include fillers, such as wheat flour. Otherwise, it’s an excellent value.
3. Hikari Algae Wafers Fish Food – Premium Choice
|Primary diet:||Omnivores and bottom feeders|
|First ingredient:||Fish meal|
|Available sizes:||2.89- and 8-ounce bags|
Hikari Algae Wafers Fish Food comes from another well-respected manufacturer in the industry. It stands out for producing species-specific products for fish and reptiles. This product is no exception, targeting bottom feeders like catfish and plecostomus. It is highly nutritious, with several plant-based ingredients. NASA even used these wafers for feeding fish on a Space Shuttle mission.
The wafers are highly palatable, with virtually no issues getting bottom feeders to eat them. They won’t cloud the aquarium water, even if it takes the fish a bit to devour them. Other species will likely eat them, too. The wafer shape makes them easy to give to your fish and monitor how much you feed them.
4. TetraMin Plus Tropical Flakes Fish Food
|First ingredient:||Fish meal|
|Available sizes:||2.2-ounce bottle|
TetraMin Plus Tropical Flakes Fish Food is another winner from this company. This product acts as a color enhancer with the inclusion of shrimp meal and krill in the formula. It also makes the food tasty for finicky eaters. It is nutritionally complete and balanced, which is just what we’d expect from this manufacturer. It is also highly digestible, which can help your tank stay cleaner.
The flakes are affordably priced, which adds to their value. You won’t waste money on getting this product. It will please any fish in your aquarium, and the food contains a minimum of filler ingredients. Every ingredient also contributes to its high protein content.
5. Fluval Bug Bites Bottom Feeder Fish Food
|Primary diet:||Carnivores and bottom feeders|
|First ingredient:||Dried black soldier fly larvae|
|Available sizes:||1.6-ounce container|
The ingredient list of the Fluval Bug Bites Bottom Feeder Fish Food might not sound appetizing, but it will certainly please bottom feeders that enjoy insects. The formula contains 40% fly larvae, making it highly nutritious and jam-packed with protein. It also includes salmon and plant-based ingredients for a balanced diet. The manufacturer makes different versions with varying pellet sizes, and the quality control is top-notch.
The pellets sink quickly to the bottom to target fish swimming in these waters. However, you’ll likely find that other tank residents enjoy them, too. The inclusion of natural ingredients undoubtedly is a factor in the product’s palatability. It’s essential to give your fish only what they’ll eat in a short time. The pellets can get lost in the gravel if you overfeed them.
6. Aqueon Tropical Flakes
These Flakes by Aqueon comprise tasty foods that your bottom feeders will definitely love. The ingredients used to make this food come from all-natural sources. Additionally, these flakes are enriched with vitamins, minerals, and other trace elements. This meal does not have any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
In addition to providing your bottom feeder with optimal nutrition, these flakes also help enhance a fish’s natural colors. Moreover, they are easy to digest, which means that the fish will not release a great deal of waste back into the water.
The only drawback to these flakes is that they are small and crumbly, and this can cause problems during feeding.
7. Omega One Veggie Rounds
The Veggie Rounds by Omega One are excellent treats for all types of bottom feeders. The main ingredients in this meal are salmon, herring, kelp, and spirulina. It also contains rice bran and wheat germ to aid in digestion.
In addition to providing your pet with the protein it needs, the salmon and herring contain essential omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. These help increase the fish’s energy levels in addition to boosting its immunity, thus decreasing the risks of disease and mortality.
The Veggie Rounds are designed to be insoluble. This feature ensures that they do not disintegrate once they hit the water, thus leaving your tank clean. Moreover, they are fast sinking, so your bottom feeders do not have to wait long to feed. They are also easy to digest, which ensures that your fish does not release a great deal of waste.
This product, however, does not have enough protein content to sustain carnivorous bottom feeders.
8. Repashy SuperGreen
The SuperGreen by Repashy is an excellent meal for herbivorous bottom feeders. It consists of five different types of algae and does not have any kind of animal protein.
The formula comes in gel form and can be applied to driftwood or tiles so the grazing bottom feeders can slowly nibble at it. Alternatively, you can drop entire cubes into the tank. The good news is that they are fast sinking, which ensures that top and mid-water fish do not eat them up before they reach the bottom feeders.
This meal also contains ingredients such as turmeric and hibiscus powder, which help enhance the fish’s color.
Something that you might not like about this product is that you have to mix it up yourself.
9. HEDIRU Tab Tetra Sinking Fish Food
These tablets by HEDIRU are packed with minerals and vitamins to ensure that your bottom feeders get the nutrition they require. They are especially ideal for catfish such as corys, which show a high affinity for the tablets.
The tablets are small enough to allow even tiny fish to gobble them up with no issues. They also taste great, which means that you should not have to worry about leftovers at the bottom of the aquarium.
Bottom feeders tend to overeat these tablets, so you will need to keep a strict check on the amount of food that you are giving to your fish.
10. Tetra Algae Wafers
These wafers by Tetra are a great option for herbivorous bottom feeders. Tetra has made the feed available in three different sizes to allow you to choose the one that suits your needs best.
These wafers are made from algae, thereby ensuring that your fish has all its nutritional requirements met. They also have a high fiber content, meaning that they are easy to digest, resulting in less waste in the tank.
A major issue with these wafers, however, is that they tend to leave the tank messy.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Sinking Fish Foods
Not every food is good for your fish. Make sure that you buy reputable brands and understand the nutritional content of the food.
Nutritional Content of Fish Food
Just like terrestrial animals, fish can be carnivorous (meat-eating), herbivorous (vegetarians), or omnivorous (eats both plants and animals).
As such, their nutritional needs will vary. Carnivorous fish need food high in animal-based protein (between 50 and 70%). To ensure that they are getting a balanced diet, make sure the food has fiber and fat content as well.
Since omnivorous fish eat both meat and plants, they do not require as much protein content as their carnivorous counterparts. The ideal diet for an omnivorous fish should have between 30-40% protein, 2-5% fat, and 3-8% fiber.
Even though herbivores only eat plants and vegetables, you should ensure that their food also has protein content.
Next on your reading list:
- How To Choose The Right Aquarium Fish Food: Nutrition, Labels & More!
- 5 Toxic Fish Food Ingredients to Watch Out For
Bottom feeders are fish that primarily feed at the bottom of a body of water. They will exhibit the same characteristics even when in an aquarium. To feed them, you will need to find food that not only sinks but also meets the nutritional needs of your fish.
If you are at a loss for which product to go for, consider the TetraMin XL Tropical Flakes Fish Food, as this is a high-quality nutrient-dense product that provides bottom feeders with a balanced diet. If you are on a budget, the Aqueon Shrimp Pellets
are the most affordable high-quality sinking food.
For more reviews on fish food check out these posts:
Featured Image Credit: HEDIRU 275 Tab Tetra Sinking Fish Food, Amazon