Best Food for Tiger Barbs – How to Feed Your Tiger Barb Fish
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Since they’re an omnivorous fish species, feeding tiger barb fish is easy – they’ll accept most food types including live, frozen, freeze-dried foods and vegetables.
Even so, proper feeding techniques and the types of food offered to your tiger barbs are important to boost their immune system and meet their nutritional needs.
In this article on how to feed your tiger barb fish, I will offer you tips on feeding tiger barbs, choosing the best tiger barb food, and discuss some homemade tiger barb foods.
If you’re a beginner aquarist planning on keeping tiger barbs, I encourage you to read this article that offers you an overview of the foods your tiger barbs’ diet should include.
Types of Food to Feed Tiger Barbs
As an omnivorous species, tiger barbs thrive on a varied diet. Therefore, a nutritionally balanced diet that includes both meat-based foods and vegetable matter are the best you can offer your tiger barbs.
Commercial Tiger Barb Foods
Pre-prepared tiger barb fish foods that you can feed your fish include:
Flake foods are a staple in the diet of all aquarium fish and they’re an easy way to meet their nutritional needs. Look for high-quality flake foods like the TetraMin Tropical Flakes (from Amazon).
Fish flakes are a convenient food type that tiger barbs will easily accept and if it’s a high-quality product, it will contain ingredients essential to the health of your fish.
Pellets are another type of commercial food type that you can offer your tiger barbs. Pellet foods like the New Life Spectrum (from Amazon) combine meat-based foods (krill, herring, squid, New Zealand mussel protein) with vegetable extract (spirulina, micro algae, spinach, peas, zucchini, apricot, papaya, etc.) to create a color-enhancing and immune boosting food for your tiger barbs.
3. Live Foods
Live brine shrimp and blood worms are tiger barb favorites when it comes to live foods. A live food diet is especially important during breeding time, when protein-rich foods are required to induce spawning.
Live foods are packed with nutrients essential to the health of your fish, however, you should be careful where you source them from as they can carry parasites that can infect your fish.
You can prepare your own cultures too and it’s recommended that you do, especially when you need to feed tiger barb fry, which can only take freshly hatched brine shrimp.
4. Frozen Foods
Frozen brine shrimp and blood worms are another type of food you can feed tiger barbs, and even though they don’t have the same nutritional punch as live foods, they’re a good alternative.
5. Freeze-dried Foods
Freeze-dried foods like this one at Amazon, are a safe alternative to live foods, which can carry diseases. Since the freeze-drying process destroys parasites and other pathogens, freeze-dried foods as completely safe for your tiger barbs.
Soak freeze-dried foods in a bit of aquarium water before giving them to your fish, so they won’t expand in their bellies and cause digestive issues.
These are some of the best commercial foods to feed your tiger barb, let’s see which are the best home-made foods for tiger barbs.
Homemade Tiger Barb Food
If you have the time and affinity for it, you can prepare food at home for your fish. You can soft-boil vegetables like zucchini or you can make beef heart paste, which is a nutritionally superior food that you can prepare at home.
To prepare beef heart paste, you’ll need fresh beef heart, vegetables (peas, spinach, carrots, etc.), raw peeled shrimp, and unflavored gelatin for consistency.
Pass the ingredients through a food processor, add the gelatin according to the instructions on the sachet and put the paste in ice trays in the freezer. Break off chunks of the frozen paste food to feed your tiger barb fish.
If it’s the first time you’re feeding tiger barbs with beef heart paste, you may have to get them interested in it, since they might not immediately recognize it as food.
As soon as they’ll catch onto the fact that it’s food, they’ll eat it without hesitation the next time you offer it to them.
If you notice any uneaten beef heart paste in the tank, make sure to remove it as it can foul the water.
Which is the Best Tiger Barb Food?
There isn’t a single type of tiger barb food that I would exclusively recommend feeding your fish. I always say that variety is the best way to meet nutritional needs.
Therefore, I recommend that you feed them a quality flake food adding the occasional snack or treat that could be live brine shrimp or frozen/freeze-dried food.
I recommend freeze-dried snacks as the best snacks for tiger barb, since they’re completely safe.
Don’t forget to add some vegetables to their diet as well and, if you have the time, I encourage you to prepare beef heart paste too.
How Much Food and How Often Should You Feed Tiger Barbs?
As with all fish, the amount of food you give them is also important. Overfeeding can foul the water but can also cause digestive and other issues in your fish that you should do your best to avoid.
You can feed your tiger barbs once of twice a day. If you feed them once, offer them food they can eat in about 5 minutes. If you opt for the twice a day feeding schedule offer them an amount of food they can it in 3 minutes.
Tiger barbs are fast eaters, so make sure that in a community tank where you may have tiger barbs together with bottom feeders, these fish get enough food as well.
Keep the tank clean and perform regular water changes to dilute and remove accumulated toxins.
Apart from periods when you’re trying to induce spawning, make sure your fish aren’t overfeeding, which can cause constipation or other digestive issues, but also infertility issues in both males and females.
A balanced diet is the key to ensuring that your fish live a long life and they develop beautiful colors.
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