Although Ornamental fishes can thrive on artificial or frozen feed, they would be more than happy with an occasional treat of live feed, which will also boost their growth. Earthworm is a favourite food for these fishes. The earthworm should be cleaned properly before being given to fishes. For smaller fishes, dissect the worm into smaller pieces. Mosquito larvae are another favourite among ornamental fishes. Store water in an open jar where the mosquitoes can lay eggs. Use a net to capture these eggs and feed them to the fish. Different arthropod larvae are also used as fish feed. Red worms, found in stagnant water are also an an ideal feed for bigger fishes, but should not be given to babies. Daphnia, found in ponds can be fed to big fishes as well as babies.
The tubifex worms are another popular choice for ornamental fishes. These are husk coloured, thread-like worms with a red tinge. They are found in gutters or sewage lines. They should be properly cleaned before being given to fishes. Another type of feed available in the market is Artemia or the brine shrimp,. They belong to the crustacean family and are a popular live feed for ornamental fishes.
Infusoria, which refers to any unicellular or microscopic organisms in the water, is a very good feed, especially for the fry. They can even be produced at home. For this, pour boiled water in a tank and add pieces of potato, hay mud to it. Keep this in a shady place to settle and after a few hours add a little pond water into this. Infusoria develops within days. 1½ spoonful of Infusoria is enough for an aquarium with 25 fries. Apart from this, powdered egg yolk, oilcakes, cabbage and cooked spinach make excellent food choices for ornamental fishes.