What Do Glofish Eat? [A Guide On Feeding Glofish]

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Glofish shine so brightly in the dark that many people and even hobbyists naturally assume that this brightly colored fish species must have a special diet. But what do glofish eat?

Glofish are as much a tropical fish as any other tropical fish in a freshwater aquarium. They will eat just about the same commercial fish food you feed any other tropical fish in your freshwater aquarium.

Glofish do not have any special food engineered for them only. The fluorescent genes with which they were genetically modified are the only difference that sets them apart from other tropical fish.

Other than that, nothing else. But thaw any freeze-dried feed you wish to feed your Glofish before serving them.

Glofish Profile

The term “glofish” does not refer to a specific type of fish. Instead, it refers to a group of genetically modified freshwater fish species. The genetic makeup of these fish has been modified with fluorescent protein genes.

These fluorescent genes occur in other marine life, including sea anemones, corals, etc. 

They are brilliantly colored freshwater species with fluorescent colors that are passed to younger generations through breeding.

The original purpose of the genetic modification was to study genetics and to detect some specific water pollutants. But their vibrant, colorful appearance made them a sought-after species in the hobby.

A popular reason glofish are well sought-after is that their unusual fluorescent genes make them glow brilliantly under blue lights. Interestingly, the glowing does not negatively impact the quality of the glofish’s life.

Typically, the glofish absorbs the light of a certain wavelength and then re-produces the light. This reproduction makes it seem like they are glowing, whereas they are only re-emitting the specific wavelength of the blue light. 

The glofish species are available, and many varieties and impressively, many other varieties with their unique colors are being developed regularly.

Some of the varieties of this freshwater species include the Zebra danios (Danio rerio), Rainbow shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum), Betta fish (Betta fish) Tiger barbs (Puntius tetrazona), Black skirt tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi), etc. 

What Kind of Food Do Glofish Eat?

Their special nature as brilliant colored species does not make them any different from their other non fluorescent counterparts, as may be suggested by the special illuminating characteristics. Glofish do not have a special type of food, and they do not need any.

However, they will do well with flake foods specifically designed with ingredients that improve their illumination. They also eat other food choices that tropical freshwater fish thrive on.

You can also feed glofish live bloodworms, brine shrimps, sinking pellets, algae wafers, vegetables, and other frozen meaty foods.

Can Glofish Eat Tropical Fish Food?

Yes, glofish can and will eat tropical fish food. Glofish are no different from other tropical freshwater species in terms of diet. The only difference is the genetic enhancement of illuminating colors.

Other than the brilliant colors that earned them the name glofish, they are tropical freshwater fish like their non fluorescent counterparts.

This means they will do fine with fish food that other tropical freshwater fish eat. These may include flake food, live and frozen bloodworm, other live foods, meaty foods, and a fair share of veggies.

How Often Should You Feed Your Glofish?

Again, glofish require no special foods, and they are just like other freshwater species. This means they do not require any special feeding schedule. The feeding schedule of any other tropical freshwater fish species will work just fine.

However, here is a feeding frequency guide for easy reference to help you avoid expensive mistakes:

FoodFrequencyQuantity
Flake Food3x/dayAs much as can be consumed in 1 minute & 30 seconds.
Pellets2x/week1-2 mini pellets per glofish.
Bloodworm (Live and freeze-dried)2x/weekOne-quarter teaspoon of live bloodworm per glofish and a small pinch of freeze-dried bloodworms per glofish
Brine Shrimp1x/week1-2 brine shrimp per fish.
Algae wafers/tablets2x/week 1 tablet or wafer per 10 glofish.
Other supplements or vegetables2x/week As much as can be consumed in 1 minute & 30 seconds.

The advantage of feeding freeze-dried fish foods is that the chances of your glofish catching a parasite from a live food is drastically reduced. But it would be best to first thaw the frozen foods before serving them.

Many fishkeepers can avoid overfeeding and other undesirable consequences by following the feed guide above. If you were unavailable for a short period, it would be best to purchase an automatic feeder.

The automatic feeder will help you feed on time without overfeeding your fish. You only have to program it to follow the feeding guide in your absence.

What Food Is Recommended For Glofish?

Again, any food you would feed your tropical freshwater fish is excellent for your glofish. Here are some recommended glofish food to help you make a sound choice.

Flake Food For Other Tropical Fish

Flake food is artificially manufactured fish foods fed to various fish and invertebrates in the hobby. It is ideal for top and mid-water feeders, but bottom dwellers may also enjoy it only after it settles to the bottom.

Check out some great flake food choices below:

Features:

  • Whole nutrition for healthy development
  • Enhances color vibrance to make glofish brighter
  • Developed for Glofish fluorescent fish

Pellets

Pellets are a great alternative to flake food, especially if you have more bottom feeders in the community tank or if your fish is a bottom feeder. Pellets are fish foods that have been modified into the shape of pellets.

The aim is to ensure that they sink to the bottom of the tank so that the bottom feeders can eat them.

However, there are floating pellets in the market too. Check out some great recommendations below:

Features:

  • Developed for Glofish Bettas
  • Creates a complete underwater fluorescent experience
  • Mini pellet formula that floats on the surface for convenient feeding

Bloodworm

Bloodworm is another great choice. Bloodworms are farmed and used as fish feed. They can be processed into frozen foods to be fed or simply given live to the aquarium fish. Check out the recommendation below:

Features:

  • Nutritious food ingredients
  • Freeze-dried bloodworm
  • Developed especially for Bettas
  • Pro tip: soak in water before feeding

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp are aquatic crustaceans used to feed fish and many other marine life. They can either be fed live or processed. Below is a recommendation you really want to look up:

Features:

  • Supports a healthy immune system and brings out the colors for vitality
  • Developed for more nutrition and less waste
  • Will not cloud water when fed directly
  • Ideal for bottom-dwelling fish species

Are You Overfeeding Your Glofish?

Many amateur hobbyists are often in the habit of overfeeding their fish, especially when they dash away from a short trip. They think it is a fine practice as they will be back in a short while.

In reality, that is not advisable. That practice will lead to overfeeding or contaminating your glofish tank. This can have other far-reaching health complications such as the following:

Improper Digestion

Improper digestion will lead to a contaminated aquarium. This is the natural consequence of having your fish churn out more waste than it should ideally because of overfeeding.

Fin Rot

The stress of overeating can cause fin rot for your fish. In the long run, it will negatively affect your fish’s appearance. Your fish is likely to appear shaggy and colorless.

More harm you want to avoid are the build-up of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrite from rotten, uneaten foods in your fish tank, which can be lethal at high levels, and the effect on the tank maintenance as these uneaten food pieces could clog the systems in the aquarium.

You can avoid all these consequences by following the feed guide above or getting an automatic feeder and programming it to follow the feeding guide in your absence.

The Bottom Line On Feeding Glofish

Glofish eat pretty much anything that a regular tropical freshwater species would. But you can always spice up their diet.

Also, do not forget that it would be best to thaw the freeze-dried bloodworms before you serve them. If you are serving plant matter, chopping them to acceptable sizes for easy consumption of the essential nutrients is recommended.

They don’t have any special food. Feed the suitable foods and ensure that the glofish aquarium is a tropical environment that makes the glofish special.

Follow the feeding guide to avoid the consequences of overfeeding your glofish. It would be unforgivable to have such a beautiful fish species go to waste because you mistakenly overfed them. 

Related Reading:

Kelly Stanley
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