What Do Animals Eat?

What Do Fish Eat?

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There are multiple answers to the question, “What do fish eat?” because the answer will depend on what type of fish is doing the eating. Because there is a huge range of fish to consider, from pet fish in a bowl or a tank to fish in the ocean, it will be important to cover, briefly, all the different types and their food. You may find the information very interesting, and you may learn something that you never knew before!

Whale SharkThe Whale Shark is the biggest fish in the world. Photo taken at Georgia Aquarium by Zac Wolf.

Pet Fish

Pet fish, in a bowl or a tank, typically only need food that you can purchase in a pet store. This food comes in flakes or granules, and a pinch or two a day of the food will usually be enough for the common everyday pet fish. Some larger pet fish enjoy worms for food, and you can find those worms at pet stores, too. If you purchase a slug fish, don’t worry about food for that pet because slugs feed off of the algae in the tank or bowl. As long as algae forms inside, the slug will have more than enough to eat!

Ocean Fish

Fish in the ocean have different preferences depending on size and kind. The most common food for fish in the ocean to eat are plankton, copepods and krill. Plankton is the most readily available food in the ocean, but more specifically, plankton is good for fish because it is small and easy for fish to digest. If plankton is not readily available, fish are definitely able to improvise.

Caribbean reef shark eating lionfishCaribbean reef shark eating a lionfish. Photo by Ocean Fox.

They eat what is available

Depending on their location, a fish will eat whatever is nearby. Usually there will seaweed or other sea plants nearby that they can munch on. For fish that don’t eat plants, they can feed on other animals such as octopuses, squids, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, krill, sea slugs, sea worms, sea urchins, sea snails, clams, mussels, starfish, jellyfish, seahorses, rays, schooling fish (salmon and anchovies) and smaller fish. The largest fish in the world, the whale shark feed on plankton, fish eggs, crab larvae and copepods. Fish are definitely not as picky about their food has humans are!

Diets for specific fish

  1. Catfish
  2. Eels
  3. Minnows
  4. Salmon
  5. Seahorses
  6. Sharks
  7. Stingrays
  8. Sturgeons

Fish food chain

Continue reading: Fish food chain.