Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants and healthy goodness. Due to this, we’re often reminded as children to eat our veggies so we can grow up big and strong. Now, the same apparently holds true for fish living in aquariums. That’s right, with the exception of fish that are perhaps obligatory meat eaters, most fish enjoy mixing it up with some fresh fruit and veggies in their diet. Think about it: if you lived in a glass box and predominantly ate freeze-dried flakes, wouldn’t you appreciate a change of pace every now and then?
There are a surprisingly wide variety of vegetables that fish seem to do very well on when provided with. Romaine lettuce, spinach and cabbage happen to be some of them. If you don’t want to put bits of lettuce leaf in your tank for fear of mucking it up, there are some alternatives. Often referred to as a super food, Spirulina is a microalgae that’s been consumed for centuries because of its high nutritional value and alleged health benefits. Fish love it.
Zucchini and other squash can also be on the menu for your fish. You don’t even have to pare the rinds off. Just remove the seeds and cut the pieces in small slices or cubes. Squash is readily available in summer and fall months, so it’s a great seasonal vegetable to feed fish. Pumpkin can be fed to them as well. Cucumber is another vegetable similar to squash in many ways that fish enjoy. Again, remove the seeds, because fish won’t eat them and you don’t need them serving as debris in your tank.
Fruits & Melons
And speaking of rinds, some folks swear that their aquarium dwellers love melon rinds such as cantaloupe. There are plenty of other fruits that you can give your fish like apples, bananas, grapes, mango, papaya, plantains and pears served raw. Just cut them in small pieces and see how fast they start devouring them once they get over the initial fear of a foreign object in their space. It should be noted that feeding fruits in a saltwater fish tank introduces sugar into the water, which may result in increased algae.
Lima beans, peas (frozen), sweet corn, broccoli stalks, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and turnips can all be included in the diet of aquarium fish. Peel the turnips, carrots and potatoes (both types) before serving. While the beans, peas and corn can be introduced whole, the others should be sliced or cubed into smaller pieces. All of these vegetables will offer your aquarium pets some diversity in their diet that they’ll probably gladly welcome.
Before feeding your fish any of these fruits and vegetables, wash them thoroughly. While humans shouldn’t ingest pesticides any more than any other living creature they’re not intended for, fish can go belly up from them in a hurry. Additionally, other than some of the fruits, you should probably blanch the rest of these food sources and allow them to cool before feeding them to your fish. This can be accomplished on a stove top or in the microwave.
And finally, use a veggie clip rather than just throwing the pieces in. You can also thread them on a piece of fishing line or nylon filament, which you can secure to something in or on the tank.