What can I feed my fish if I run out of food?

Are you experiencing delays with the arrival of your fish food? Or, did your fish food finish right at the time you couldn’t replace it immediately? Don’t worry there are home-made foods that you can feed your fish before you get your fish feed.

If you’re out of fish feed, you can feed your freshwater fish such as neon tetras the following alternatives: Vegetables, fruits, chopped meat, boiled egg yolk, algae, etc. These materials can help sustain your pet fish until you can get actual commercial food.

While these food materials can serve as an alternative when your fish food finishes, you don’t have to wait till to use them. You can comfortably mix them up with commercial foods. Note that not all food you find in your home is safe for your pet fish.

Feed Your Neon Tetras the Following Until You Get Fish Feed

Here are safe foods which you can give to your neon tetras if you run out of fish food. These are food materials that you can easily get in or around your home.

§  Vegetables

Your neon tetras are omnivores so they will eat most vegetable materials that you feed on. For example, you can feed your neon tetras with lettuce, cucumbers, peas, zucchini, lima beans, and seaweeds.

If you have to purchase seaweeds from a grocery store, ensure there are no soy additives.

These vegetables have so many nutritional values that can benefit your neon tetras or any other herbivorous or omnivorous fish. If you can, choose fresh vegetables over frozen ones.

Soften the vegetables by cooking them before feeding them to your fish. This makes it easy for your fish to eat. Remember to cut them to fit into the mouth of your fish.

§  Chopped Meats

Your neon tetras can eat from your chicken or beef meat. You have to boil them to soften them before feeding your neon tetras. Also, chop them into tiny pieces to fit into the mouth of your fish.

Meaty foods are a good source of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and magnesium. You may also feed them materials from fish; however, you must make sure they are not oily. This is because freshwater fish find it difficult to digest oily food.

§  Boiled Egg Yolk

Your neon tetra would love a meal of egg yolks. Simply get an egg, boil it, extract the yolk, grate it and feed to your pet fish.

You don’t have to give them egg yolks all the time. But, since you just ran out of fish food, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Note also that egg yolks can mess up your tank. So, get ready for a tank clean-up after feeding your fish egg yolks.

§  Fruits

Fruits are another food your fish enjoy that you can easily lay your hands on. You can feed your pet fish fruits such as banana, pear, apple, strawberry, and melon.

Cut these fruits into tiny pieces that can fit into the mouth of your fish. Fruits contain several minerals that help to boost the immune systems of your fish.

On the other hand, fruits have natural sugars that can facilitate the growth of algae in your tank. Therefore, if there are pieces of fruits left after your fish have eaten, ensure to remove them.

§  Algae

Your pet fish can survive on algae till their main feed finally arrive. Algae can grow on the items that you placed in their tank. You can also source algae from other clean sources.

Neon tetras and other herbivorous fish will thrive on algae. Certainly, this makes up the majority of their diet in the wild.

If you can get algae wafers or tablets, they can also serve. But, why go for expensive items when homegrown foods can even do better?

§  Insect Larvae

You can go to your garden or any standing and check for mosquitoes or other insect larvae. Your neon tetras or any other omnivorous or carnivorous fish will enjoy this treat.

Growing mosquito larvae for your pet fish is possible. You can find information on how to grow mosquito larvae online.

If you can get worms like earthworms, mealworms, etc. They can also serve as a meal for your fish. You can purchase worms from specialty stores if you wish to.

§  Homemade DIY Fish Food

If you have the recipes and skills, you can prepare a blend of fish food with the fresh food materials already listed. This type of fish food contains vitamins usually bound by agar or gelatin.

You should be extra careful when preparing DIY fish food so you don’t make mistakes. Here are some recipe samples that you can easily follow. You are likely to have the required ingredients already in your home. And, if you don’t, they are easy pick-ups from grocery stores.

Be sure to have enough information before going for DIY fish foods. If it confuses you, then leave it for expert fish keepers and stick with simple foods until you can purchase commercial feed for your fish.

Do Not Feed Your Neon Tetras These Foods Even If You’re Out of Fish Food

That you’re out of fish food doesn’t mean that you can feed your neon tetras with anything you find. Or, let’s say because they eat some human foods doesn’t mean they eat all. So, you should avoid feeding your pet fish the following:

§  Bread

No matter how you may need to feed your fish, do not feed them bread. Bread does not contain the necessary nutrients that your pet fish require.

Not only that it is not nutritious, but bread also contains yeast. This can cause your fish to bloat and suffer constipation.

Chances are that you have fed bread to your fish in the past and nothing happened. Well, you’re lucky and that doesn’t change the fact that bread is not good for your fish. Avoid making the mistake again because bloating is still a risk.

§  Rice

Do not pour grains of rice into your fish tank. If your fish swallows raw rice, it will swell in their stomach leading to several complications such as constipation, bloating, etc.

We do not recommend you feed rice to your pet fish. Even if you boil the rice and your fish eats the rice without complications, it adds no nutritional value to the fish.

So, do not give your fish rice.

§  Cheese

If the temptation to give your fish cheese arises, do not fall for it. Cheese is rich in fats and fish don’t just digest fats.

If you give cheese to your fish, the fats present can block the intestine of your fish. Before you could take any action or notice, your fish might die.

Avoid cheese or any fatty food as alternatives to fish foods.

§  Chocolate

Because chocolates are sweet, you feel your pet fish would enjoy it. Sorry to say chocolate is not good for your fish in many ways.

Chocolates have no nutritional value that your fish require. Therefore, feeding chocolates to your fish is of no benefit.

They may contain caffeine that may cause complications for your pet fish. This could go beyond your control.

Imagine chocolate in a fish tank, it will simply melt messing up your fish tank. This means that you’ll be cleaning up the tank immediately.

§  Sugar

Sugar is not good for your fish tank. You can feed fruit to your fish but not sugar. Just as you won’t just eat sugar but eat fruits, do not give sugar to your fish.

How Long Can Neon Tetras Go without Food?

If you’re out of fish food and you’re expecting it in few days, you’re now wondering if your neon tetras will be fine when it arrives. Well, if your fish are healthy, they can go 3 – 4 days without food.

We do not however recommend that you leave your fish without food even for a day. That is why we suggested safe foods that you can feed your fish in case you run out of fish food above.

Leaving your fish without food will stress them a lot, some may even not recover. So, always find something to give your fish until you get fish food.

Note that neon tetras are small fish and opportunistic feeders in the wild. They are not like some carnivorous that doesn’t need to feed daily. Keep this in mind.

Points to Take

Neon tetras are omnivorous fish and can eat almost anything you place in the tank for them. Or, at least they will try to eat. This doesn’t mean that you should put anything in a neon tetra fish tank.

If you are out of fish food, consider the safety and nutritional impact of any food that you give your neon tetras. Of course, your tetras may eat some food but they have no nutritional value to your fish. An example is boiled rice.

This page recommended the safe foods you can easily get in your home, please follow them. And, for awareness, the food materials not suitable for your fish are equally listed.