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How To Tips for Feeding Saltwater Aquarium Fish and Invertebrates


Why won't my saltwater Angelfish eat? Why is my tube worm's feathery crown shrinking? Why is my coral shriveling up? If you find yourself asking these or similar questions, you can learn how to feed saltwater aquarium fish, corals and other invertebrates in captivity with greater ease and success using these simple feeding tips from your About Guides.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: No set time frame

Here's How:

  1. Use some type of feeding or lettuce clip to secure down leafy foods, nori, and similar fares so they are not free-floating around the tank. It's a good idea to also use two clips, positioning one at the mid-tank range for fish to feed on, and the other on the bottom to provide food for herbivorous animals, such as algae eating hermit crabs.
  2. If you do not have a feeding or lettuce clip, you can secure leafy fares down by placing them under a rock or a somewhat heavy object to keep it on the bottom of the tank. Just leave a majority of the food sticking out so that the fish and bottom-dwelling herbivores can munch on it.
  3. When using lettuces and other fresh vegetables, slightly freeze and then thaw them out before feeding. This breaks down the hard fibrous structure of the food, which allows the fish to more easily digest it.
  4. Do not boil lettuces and other vegetables. This will remove beneficial nutrients from them.
  5. Feeding fresh broccoli and carrots to herbivores can provide valuable Vitamin A, which may be helpful in restoring the health of fish suffering from Head and Lateral Line Erosion Disease. (Refer to HLLE Disease link below for more on this topic).
  6. Before feeding, soak lettuce and other foods in a liquid vitamin supplement, such as Selcon. This will help provide additional vitamins that may be lacking in an animal's diet.
  7. For fish that are coral pickers, stick or press food down into the cracks or crevices of rocks. These fish are naturally looking for food in these areas. Do this by using larger food chunks, or make your own food mix. (Refer to the DIY Food and Feeder Projects link below for more on this topic).
  8. Long-handled plastic tongs are a great tool to use for feeding Eels and other fish that can bite, as well as those that can sting, such as Lionfishes.
  9. For predatory fish, the offering of the appropriate types of live foods will help to stimulate their natural hunting and feeding instincts.
  10. For corals and sessile (stationary) filter-feeding invertebrates that require calcium or other supplements to be added to the aquarium water for nourishment and growth, providing good water circulation throughout the tank will assist with bringing the nutrients "TO" these animals.
  11. Plastic long-handled tongs and a turkey baster are tools that can used to directly feed sessile carnivores, such as sea anemones and corals, and filter-feeding invertebrates, such as feather dusters and other tube worms.
  12. When buying fish foods, purchase foods that are already vitamin-enriched, and that are specifically designed for feeding the particular types of animals you have in your aquarium.


  1. Know all about the feeding habits of the fish and marine animals you are keeping, what and how they eat in their natural ocean environments.
  2. Only put in small amounts of food at first until the fish figure out that what is put in the tank is a food source. Remove any uneaten pieces of food if not consumed within an hour after feeding time.
  3. Do Not Overfeed! The build-up of uneaten food in an aquarium can result in the overall poor health of the system, which in turn can lead into high nitrate, unwanted algae bloom, and other common problems that relate to aquarium water quality issues.

What You Need

  • Feeding/Lettuce Clip
  • Liquid Vitamin Supplement
  • Plastic Feeding Tongs
  • Turkey Baster
  • Various Types of Foods

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