For many aquarium keepers, fish become members of the family—just like cats and dogs!

When you spend as much time around fish tanks as we do, it becomes obvious that fish have their own little personalities. Interacting with fish during feeding time is often an aquarium hobbyist's favorite part of the day.

Just like the other pets we keep, providing balanced nutrition is important. This brings us to our topic for today which is frozen fish foods. We are going to highlight some of our favorite frozen fish foods, share some of the useful feeding tools we use plus offer tips to help you keep your fish healthy and happy.

Frozen foods offer the highest nutritional value over dry, freeze dried and even liquid foods. Freezing preserves more of the "goodness" in food which helps ensure your fish are getting the best possible nutrition with each and every bite. Frozen foods are much more palatable than dry foods and trigger a stronger feeding response when added to your tank. This excited response is very helpful when caring for finicky or fragile fish. Many of the more delicate aquarium fish—like Anthias, Butterflies and some Angelfish—actually require a regular diet of frozen foods to survive in captivity. Of course, even the hardiest of aquarium fish will benefit from receiving frozen foods in their diet.

Healthy fish with balanced diets will be more colorful, more active and more resistant to disease. They will live longer than malnourished fish that only receive the same old flake food every day throughout their lifetime. We recommend feeding a variety of foods to marine aquarium fish, with frozen foods being offered at least 3 times per week, if not daily.

A couple of the more popular frozen fish food brands we carry are H2O Life and Rod's Food.

H2O Life offers a variety of frozen fish foods including all of the hobby staples like Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, Krill and Bloodworms. They also have Silversides for large carnivores and Clams on the Half Shell for the specialized eaters in your tank. Other popular foods in their expansive lineup include Rotifers, Cyclops, Reef Caviar and the new EZ-Pods. They are awesome choices for smaller reef fish—plus your corals will love them, too!

Rod's Food takes a different approach to frozen fish food. Rather than force you to figure out what an appropriate feeding regimen might be and have you buy multiple foods for a balanced diet, hobbyists need only to select the Rod's Food blend that best matches your aquarium type so a single food can feed your entire aquarium. They accomplish this feat by including a variety of appropriate foods in a single frozen flat pack. The food is then cut into various sizes to help ensure each and every one of your tank inhabitants gets the food and nutrition and they need.

Rod's Food Original Blend is perfect for typical mixed reef tanks with a variety of fish and corals. Predator Blend is great if you are keeping big, hungry, predatory-type fish. Several other blends are also available, including Herbivore Blend, Fish Only Blend, Breeders Blend and Coral Blend.

While it is tempting to just toss a chunk of frozen food in your aquarium to feed your fish, it is not ideal. You risk fouling your water quality and triggering algae problems due to the leftover food and nutrient-dense liquid that the food was frozen in.

A better approach is to thaw your food first, discard of the "juices" and feed the strained food to your aquarium inhabitants. By thawing food first, it gives you an opportunity to enrich the nutritional value even further by adding food soaks like Selcon, Brightwell Vitamarin-M or a garlic supplement. Some hobbyists take this a step further and pre-rinse foods in RO/DI water before feeding. Some manufacturers have already caught onto this and are now pre-washing their foods prior to processing to reduce extra waste in your aquarium. The NextReef Frozen Fish Food Strainer makes the task of rinsing food easy and helps ensure mess-free feeding. A handheld strainer—like what you might find in your kitchen, for example—also works great for this task.

We put a lot of energy and effort into keeping delicate fish and corals in our homes. By maintaining good water parameters and providing them with the right nutrition, we can help ensure our wet pets live long, healthy lives.

If you are looking to stock up on frozen fish food or have questions about choosing the right food for your tank, our team of aquarium experts is eager to lend a hand. Feel free to contact us with any and all questions or leave us a comment below and we'll be sure to respond.

Thanks for reading and until next time... take care and happy reefkeeping.

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