Microworms is the water column during feeding

Best Foods For Raising Fish Fry (Baby Fish)

Feeding baby fish (fry) can be one of the most challenging aspects of raising baby fish. It is important to provide the baby fish with the correct nutrition so that they grow and develop properly.

What makes feeding baby fish challenging is that they are very small and may not be attracted to some foods. Hence small live foods are best for feeding baby fish.

Best Live Foods For Raising Fish Fry (Baby Fish)

Live foods are the best option for feeding baby fish. Live foods are nutritious and the fact that they are alive and moving attracts the baby fish.

Below are some live food suggestions for feeding fry. One or a combination of these can be used to raise fry. Which food is best mainly depends on the size of the fry and which foods they are able to eat at that point in their development.

Infusoria

Infusoria are microscopic aquatic organisms and are a great live food for tiny fry like Tetra Fry and other small egg scattering breeders.

To learn how to make your own Infusoria see our How To Culture Infusoria article.

You may only need to feed Infusoria to your fry for a week or so before introducing other live foods such as mircoworms.

Microworms

Microworms are smaller than baby brine shrimp yet larger than Infusoria. They are a good first fry food for many species of fish which can not yet consume baby brine shrimp.

Microworms are nutritious and high in protein and fat.

You can make your own Microworms culture so feeding microworms is actually quite inexpensive.

For more details on culturing Microworms check out our How To Culture Live Microworms article.

Microworms is the water column during feeding
Microworms is the water column during feeding

Baby Brine Shrimp

Baby brine shrimp (BBS) are probably one of the most popular live foods and are a great live food for baby fish once they are large enough to eat them.

For some fish species the fry will be large enough to eat BBS from day one however other species may need to start with a smaller live food such as the examples above for a week or so before moving up to BBS.

Brine shrimp eggs can be purchased online or from your local fish shop. Hatching brine shrimp eggs is straight forward, just follow the instructions on the packet, but essentially you just put the eggs in a salt water solution, aerate it and the eggs will hatch in 24 to 36 hours.

Best Alternatives To Live Foods For Raising Fish Fry (Baby Fish)

There are a number of alternatives to live foods which you can feed fry if you do not have suitable live foods on hand.

Egg Yolk

Preparing egg yolk for feeding is straight forward.

  1. First you hard boil an egg.
  2. Then take a small part of the hard cooked egg yolk and mash it up with a small amount of water to make a runny paste.
  3. It can then be fed to fry using a syringe or pipette.

Egg yolk is best fed to fry is a small breeding container so that the mixture is contained, and the fry can easily find and eat it.

Feeding egg yolk can be messy and you may require a water change afterwards. I suggest starting by only feeding a very small portion.

One advantage of egg yolk is that it can be prepared quickly in the event of an emergency if you have no other suitable fry food on hand.

Hikari First Bites

Hikari First Bites are a commercial fry food made by Hikari. The food is very fine almost like a dust and can be fed to fry using a small brush to sprinkle it across the top of the aquarium.

Hikari First Bites are formulated to promote growth and are high in protein.

It can be handy to have Hikari First Bites on hand for any unexpected fish breeding.

Front and back photos of Hikari First Bites baby fish food
Front and back photos of Hikari First Bites baby fish food

Ground Up Fish Foods

If you don't have Hikari First Bites on hand the next best thing is to crush up regular flake or pallet fish food into a powder form.

This can be a good way to introduce your baby fish to non-live foods and as they grow bigger you can increase the size of the fish food from a powder to more of a crumb size.