You run out of fish food and you’re thinking what do I have around the house that I can feed them in a pinch?
Ahh… Bread! I give that to my dogs sometimes and it doesn’t seem to hurt them. Maybe this will tide over the fish until I get to the store.
What Happens When Fish Eat Bread
Well, bread isn’t the type of food you want to feed your fish for any length of time but will do in a pinch. Bread contains yeast and will cause constipation. Bread is not natural to a tropical fish diet, so they don’t have the proper enzymes to break down the flour and wheat as humans do. It would be better to fast them or look for other alternatives until you can get to the store. Typically, fish can last up to a week without food.
Your tropical fish need nutrition specific to them.
There are other better alternatives that you may have around the house.
HUMAN FOODS THAT ARE SAFE FOR FISH
Green leafy vegetables like kale, lettuce, or spinach are great alternatives for herbivores especially livebearers like platy. Make sure you chop them up into tiny pieces and boil them first so the fish can digest it.
Hard-boiled egg yolk – Tropical fish love this, but be careful not to feed them too much of this because the water will eventually turn cloudy as they will produce more waste than normal. Adult fish will not eat it all if you put in too much. The yolk that is not eaten will rot and create more ammonia in the water.
Peas – Cooked peas are a good alternative as well. Some will eat it and some won’t. If the fish are algae eaters then most likely they will eat peas as well. Peas are rich in fiber which helps prevent constipation.
Seafood like shrimp are great if you have carnivorous fish.
Cucumbers or Zucchini – This is very healthy for your fish. Just cut off the ends of the cucumber or zucchini, then cut in half and cut the skin off. Cut into slices and boil them for about 4 minutes. After boiling, strain and cool then put them on a bamboo skewer and place in your tank. Your fish will eventually dine on them.
HUMAN FOODS YOU SHOULD AVOID
Red meat like steak has different types of protein that can not be broken down by their digestive system and therefore if it cannot be broken down results in more waste being produced in their water. Red meats also contain lots of saturated fat. That fat will start to build up around their hearts if they eat it for any period of time.
Chicken or pork is not good either for the same reasons as above. Although the white meats don’t have as much of the saturated fat as red meats do.
Cooked rice – Rice has almost no nutritional value for fish and is pure carbohydrate, therefore, will turn into fat.
Potatoes – Same as rice, potatoes are too starchy for them and will turn to fat due to the amount of carbohydrates.
Fruit – See why you shouldn’t feed your fish fruit here.
Cheese – This will make the fish constipated as it does in humans plus it has a lot of saturated fat.
These foods are not native to fish so if it’s not in their natural diet you should avoid it. Millions of years of evolution have created certain enzymes to absorb proteins and nutrients that are native to what a fish would normally eat like other fish and plants and even bugs.
So to sum it all up, if you feed your fish bread and other foods that are not in the fish’s natural diet, their bodies will not consume it all. It will create more waste in the form of ammonia and nitrites in the water. All the uneaten food will also contribute to waste and ammonia as well as cloud your water up.
So it’s probably better to fast them for a while (not too long obviously) until you get some fish food, then to feed them food that is not natural in their diet.
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