What to Feed Killifish?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

You know those beautiful carnivores in your aquarium…The ones with vibrant colors and attractive patterns? Yes, Killifish, you guessed right! Most people are actually quite confused about what they eat.

So, what to feed Killifish? Killifish are carnivores and in their natural habitat, they usually eat insects, larvae, worms etc. In an aquarium, their diet should comprise of similar stuff. You have to feed them with live food like brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, blackworms etc.

Let us dig a little deeper and find out all about the proper meal, feeding time and other relevant things in order to keep your Killifish healthy.

Killifish and Their Perfect Meal

Killifish are brightly colored freshwater fish that can add to the beauty of your aquarium when kept the right way. You can make your ordinary aquarium look awesome just by keeping these beauties in it.

They have won the hearts of the aquarist with their unconventional beauty and vibrant colors. In addition to its beauty, Killifish falls in the category of fish with very few demands. However, it is advised for the beginners to have at least two year experience before starting with Killifish.

They have a cylindrical and slender body shape with a flat head. Their mouth is at the tip of their face with pointed teeth to help them tear the flesh to shreds. They have round scales on their whole body and have round and short fins.

These fish are one of the hardy freshwater tropical fish with strikingly bright colors and beautiful patterns. Like most of the fish, their males have more bright colors as compared to females. And, this feature becomes even more prominent during the breeding season.

Diet plays a great role in the appearance of the Killifish. If they get an ideal meal that usually involves live food, their appearance and colors get even more vibrant. And, if they don’t get a perfect meal, you can see a difference in their appearance and their colors may seem dull.

Mature Killifish can be fed on:

  • Daphnia
  • Brine Shrimp
  • Mosquito Larvae
  • Black Worms
  • White Worms
  • Tubifex Worms etc.

Discus fish basics: Feeding / food (Video)

Can You Feed Other Things to Killifish Except Live Food?

Killifish are carnivores and naturally, they survive on insect larvae, crustacean, worms etc. In the aquarium, you have to feed them with live food such as brine shrimp, worms, and similar stuff. There are also some omnivore species of Killifish and their diet can also contain algae in it.

If you are unable to find live food for your Killifish or are thinking about switching it with flakes, then maybe it is not the right fish for you. A varied and balanced diet is extremely important if you want to keep them healthy and breed them well.

Many aquarists with experience choose to prepare food for their Killifish on their own. This helps them to meet their nutritional requirements in an easy and affordable way.

The best food for Killifish include:

  • Brine shrimp – This is easily consumed by the Killies and provides excellent nutritional value
  • Daphnia – It can be cultured as well as collected from the ponds. It should be given to the Killies with proper consideration and care because of its laxative properties
  • Mosquito Larvae – These are seasonal food and can be collected easily from the ponds. You can also culture them yourself.
  • Tubifex Worms – You can buy them from the fish food stores. They have excellent nutritional value. However, their excessive use can also cause diseases in the fish.
  • White Worms – They have excellent nutritional value but also can be fatty. So it should also be given to the fish with care.

In addition to the above-mentioned food, you can also feed them with fruit flies, beef heart, and some dry food. The only thing that matters is the variety in the food. Feeding them with the same food for long times is not a good idea.

What is the Normal Feeding Requirement of Killifish?

As you know by now, Killifish are carnivores and need to be fed with live food to thrive well. And, if you have read the article till now, I am sure you know what are the best food for your Killifish.

You have to give them a balanced diet with a good combination of different kinds of food. So, we know what to feed the Killifish, but the question is when and how much to feed them. The answers to these questions are pretty simple as well.

The answer to the ‘When’ and ‘How Much’ is:

  • You have to feed a variety of food to your Killies in such quantity that can be consumed by them within 2 minutes or less.
  • Killifish need to be fed once or twice a day.

Can Killifish Survive on Herbivore Fish Diet?

As we know, these carnivore creatures have a necessary live food requirement for their survival. And, you cannot feed them with ordinary fish food like granules, flakes, pellets etc. If you are not planning to provide live food to the Killifish, then maybe they are not a good option for you.

It is not a good idea to feed the carnivores with a herbivore diet. Just like a lion cannot survive without flesh, Killifish cannot survive without live food. In order to keep the Killies happy and healthy, you must provide them with a good combination of live food.

Reasons why not to give a herbivore diet to Killifish:

  • Being carnivores, Killifish have certain dietary requirements.
  • They need food with a good protein proportion in order to grow well.
  • Herbivore fish diet doesn’t meet these requirements and so it is not suitable for the killifish.
  • They can get weak and ill if they don’t get the necessary nutrition and will ultimately die

Where to Get Killifish Food?

You can either get Killifish food from a good fish store or prepare it yourself. It is extremely important to get the food from high-quality stores in order to provide quality nutrients to the Killifish.

So, where to get the food for your Killies:

  • You can get the live food for Killifish from a well-reputed fish store in your area.
  • Also, there are a number of good Killifish food available online on websites like eBay, Amazon etc.
  • You can buy Frozen Live food such as bloodworms, brine shrimps, daphnia etc. from these websites.

To prepare food for your Killifish yourself, you can use some of the following recipes:

  • Meaty Fish Food – It involves a combination of Beef Heart, Shrimps, and White Fish. This meal is a perfect source of proteins and is suitable for a lot of other fish
  • High Protein Fish Food – This recipe involves a combination of raw shrimps, salmon, and frozen veggies.
  • You can also mix a number of different foods suitable for Killifish such as crab’s meat, shrimps and daphnia according to your own ideas and create a delicious treat for your Killies.

Related Questions

What to feed killifish fry? Almost every Killifish breeder makes use of newly hatched brine shrimps as food for the Killifish fry. The best thing about this commercially dried food is that it contains a good balance of nutrients essential for the proper growth and health of the fry.

Because brine shrimps exist in strong salty water, it is less likely that they have parasites or other harmful bacteria in them. Therefore, they prove to be an ideal meal for the Killies. Other than brine shrimps, you can also feed micro worms, vinegar eels, and grindal worms etc. to the fry.

Can Killifish eat eggs? As Killifish are carnivore freshwater fish, they can eat their own eggs or even fry after they hatch. Anything smaller and alive can be considered as a meal by the killifish and they can eat it.

So, if you are a breeder and want to increase your Killifish population, it is a good idea to separate the eggs and fry from their parents.

How long can Killifish live without eating? Almost any kind of freshwater tropical fish can survive for a week or more without food depending on their species. However, if you are going on a vacation, you must have a special check on the aggressive fish in your tank.

There may be a possibility that hungry fish in your aquarium eat other fish. So in order to avoid the worst case scenario, you should feed your fish once or twice a day.

Are Killifish Aggressive? Killifish are one of the peaceful freshwater creatures and do really good in community tanks. But, aggressive behavior can be seen in the male Killies towards other males, especially during the spawning period.

It is a good idea to keep just one male in a single tank. Also avoid similar looking males of other species with the Killies, as they may also see them as competition and show aggression towards them.

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