Fruit and herbs in fishtank


Fish Crazy
Sep 7, 2021
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Czech republic
So I know this has been discussed here many times, but I found a nice (czech) article about feeding fish, simulating their natural feeding habits. They promote herbs as a healthy way to help the fish, but not by feeding them directly, but feeding them to the things you will feed the fish with (like worms that eat garlic will be healthy for the fish as if the fish themself ate the garlic, which is a great antibiotic)
The article describes the differences in stomach lengths and contents of fish, and divides them as: fish eating plankton (marine ones), omnivore fish with main focus on fyto part of the spectrum ( like Crossocheilus species and other fish with similar mouth structure, whose protein intake should not exceed 40%), omnivore fish with main focus on the meat part of the spectrum (any catfish, overall any fish with large stomach that eats the prey whole, all Characidae and all corydoras, whose protein intake should be 50-60% and those are the main target of industrial flake food), carnivore fish (not present in fishtanks, lot of vulture types, like european catfish), , herbivores (like Chindongo demasoni that eat only vegetables and spirulina), and last one they are calling limnovores, which means they eat biofilm, algae and also larvae that appear in that biofilm, ( like Sewellia lineolata which is mostly algae and biofilm eater, but needs extra protein once in a while)

They mention benefits of feeding fruit, and specific fruits for specific fish. While fruit is high in sugar, it is also high in fiber which helps many fish with their gut microflora. They advise drying the fruit as much as possible and leaving it in the tank only for 4 hours, since the sugar leads to worsened water quality.
Pineapple - contains bromelain, helps reduce fattening the fish, should be used rarely
Bananas - most appreciated by Clown loach, corydoras, angelfish, contains lot of fiber and potassium, floats, needs to be tied down
Blueberries - contains antokyan, reduces stress, can be fed dried, dried blueberry leaves contain lot of tannins
peaches - most appreciated by corydoras and Crossocheilus (Siamese algae-eater), contains xantofyl, vitamin C, fiber, selenium, magnesium, zinc
Citrus like lemons, oranges - contains a lot of vitamin C, non chemically treated skin is used in treating loss of appetite in wild caught fish (added to their water, but get your own research on this one)
Cherries - most appreciated by discus and live bearers, contains a natural color enhance, vitamin C, zinc and acids, that works well in preventing cancer
Pears - similar to apples, contain sclereids, which is one of the best prebiotics in the bowels.
Apples - most appreciated by livebearers and ancistrus catfish, due to their fenol, flavonoid and fiber content, some of the acid even removes heavy metals
Strawberries - contain mangan vitamin C, minerals that help remove heavy metals
Kiwi - lot of vitamin C and magnesium, appreciated by livebearers and discus
Pears - best for guppies, loaches and discus, contains a lot of pektin and fiber (similar to cherries and peaches), contains color enhancers
mellons - similar to pumpkins, appreciated by ancistrus catfish, loaches, Siamese algae-eater, other fish will eat them readilly, contains carroten
grapes (primarily the seeds) - already used in many fish foods, contains minerals, mangan, vitamin C. Seeds must be crushed
mango - most appreciated by anything south american, contains vitamins, color enhancers

Vegetables, most commonly used are spinach, carrots, red peppers, any green leaves (redbeats, broccoli, cauliflower, kale), peas - contains a lot of starch, minerals, vitamins, zuchinni, cucumbers, potatoes - better to be used sweet potatoes and very occasionally, parsley - helps with kidney function, bell peppers, asparagus.

From herbs a lot are referenced, very interesting was that basil is used to treat ich, rosehip (without the seeds), thyme and salve used to treat bacterial infections,

I am quoting an article, but it is referenced. However, this is not a carte blanche for anyone to throw a fruit salad bowl in their aquarium.

[1] Parmentier, J. & van Egmond, W. (1999): Water Fleas. [2] Food and Agriculture Organization, Aquaculture development and coordination programme. Fish feed technology. [3] tes-Erecta--Lutein---Marigold- [4]íns-supplements/ingredientmono-238- tagetes.aspx?activeingredientid=238&activeingredientname=tagetes [5] Yanar, M., Erçen, Z., Hunt, A. Ö., Büyükçapar, H. M. (2008): The use of alfalfa, Medicago sativa as a natural carotenoid source in diets of goldfish, Carassius auratus. Aquaculture, Volume 284, Issues 1–4, 1 November 2008, Pages 196-200. [6] Introducing Orange Peel Discus, Reef to Rainforest Media, [7] Anagnostopoulou, M. A., Kefalas, P., Papageorgiou, V. P., Assimopoulou, A. N., Boskou, D. (2006): Radical scavenging activity of various extracts and fractions of sweet orange peel (Citrus sinensis). Food Chemistry, Volume 94, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 19-25.


Staff member
Global Moderator
Jun 15, 2009
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East Yorks
Interesting post :) I found the other day you can grow courgettes and asparagus quite easily in an aquaponics set up. And the plants look really nice too, I want to do some of these as a riparium grow above my tank and see if I can grow the fruits from the plants - would be a nice way to be able to feed the fish :)



Fish Herder
Fish of the Month!
Jul 2, 2020
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Iv fed some strange ish things to my fish , banana I fed once because the pleco liked it so much it just masked it all into the tank , iv also fed unsalted nuts and raisins but the one that’s shocked me was dandelion leaves , they are a super food like spinach we just don’t eat them , I first tried them when I attempted a planted tank just to try n stop the fish eating my plants .. it didn’t work they just ate them both


Fish Fanatic
Sep 27, 2021
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does sound sexy,
but im tipping youre in for a world of all sorts of things growing in and hanging around your tank
w/out thorough maintenance and know how,

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