Food For Saltwater Fish – 7 Best (2022 Reviews)

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Are you looking for the best food to feed your saltwater fish? You’re in luck – we’ve compiled a list of the seven best options. Keep reading to learn more about which food for saltwater fish that’s right for you and your fish. Let’s start by looking at what criteria will determine the highest quality foods for your saltwater tank.

What Are We Looking For? (Our Criteria For Selection)

Picking the best saltwater fish foods isn’t an easy task, with various foods available at various price points. I’m taking the view that you are looking for premium-level products. Keeping a saltwater tank is expensive, so I expect my readers to be looking for high-end products. I’m not going to skip out on sub-par foods knowing this. Let’s dig deeper into what I’m looking for.

Marine Based Foods

This is number one on my list. I want nothing to do with a product containing many freshwater or land-based food as its main ingredients. The ocean is vast with ideal foods for your fish. I’m looking for ingredients like krill, Mysis shrimp, and clams for proteins. Ingredients like spirulina, plankton, seaweed, and marine algae are what I like to see for my greens.


Live cultures of bacteria are vital for your saltwater fish. These cultures boost your fish’s immune system, keep their digestive tracts clear, and enhance color. It’s still rare to find foods with probiotics in the saltwater aquarium trade. Even so, I give preference to products that have it.

Feeding Response

I want foods that have a great feeding response for your fish. It’s difficult enough as it is with new saltwater fish to get them to eat. You want food that triggers their feeding response. Getting your new fish to eat is one of the big milestones you have to get through when they are accumulating. I’m giving an extra look towards anything that can get a timid or picky fish to eat.

Brand Name

I do go for small brands or brands without a proven reputation. It’s hard enough to find quality fish food in the industry. I want a brand that is proven and readily available to my readers. I am also aware that some brands of foods are not going to be available online, and I’m perfectly happy telling my readers to find them at a local fish store.

Saltwater Fish Food Candidates

In a hurry? I recommend LRS Reef Frenzy and Reef Nutrition Chroma Pellets!

Here are the foods that made the list after going through my criteria. I’ll go into further detail about each product below.

Editor’s Choice
LRS Reef Frenzy
LRS Reef Frenzy
  • Whole ingredients
  • Great feeding response
  • Highly nutritious 
Click For Best Price
Best Pellet Food
Reef Nutrition Chroma Boost
Reef Nutrition Chroma Boost
  • Coral and Fish Food
  • Works in Auto Feeders
Click For Best PriceBuy On EBay
Best Flake Food
Formula One Flake Food
Formula One Flake Food
  • Marine formula
  • For all saltwater fish
Click For Best PriceBuy On Amazon
Masstick Fish Food Masstick Fish Food
  • Great for picky eaters
  • Easy to feed
Click For Best PriceBuy On Amazon
Sea Veggies Sea Veggies
  • Great for algae eaters
  • Easy to feed
Click For Best PriceBuy On Amazon
SF Bay Brand Saltwater Multipack SF Bay Brand Saltwater Multipack
  • Multiple formulas
  • For all saltwater fish
Buy On Petco
Cobalt Omni Flakes Cobalt Omni Flakes
  • Probiotics
  • Great for small fish
Buy On AmazonBuy On Chewy

The Best Food For Saltwater Fish – 7 Best (2022 Reviews)

You have seen the list. Let’s see why these fish foods made the cut!

1. LRS Reef Frenzy

If you want the absolute best fish you can purchase for your money, LRS Reef Frenzy is what you have been looking for. LRS goes further than any other food maker in the industry at producing the highest quality saltwater fish food. Let’s take a look at the ingredients list:

  • Fresh Wild Caught Scallop
  • Fresh Wild Caught, Hand Peeled Shrimp
  • Fresh Wild Caught Ocean Perch and Whitefish
  • Premium Piscine Energetics Mysis Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Euphausia pacifica krill
  • Fresh Shucked Oysters and Clams
  • Zooplankton and Rotifers
  • Seaweed
  • Blanched Broccoli Flowers
  • Oyster Eggs and Ovarian Tissue
  • D. salina algae

No other fish food maker has all these ingredients in one. LRS is transparent about its production process. They invited Mr. Saltwater Tank several years back to tour their facility. Check out the video below:

You get a ton of whole fresh ingredients with LRS. You also get probiotics. Probiotics, as mentioned in our best flake fish food post, are proven in the aquaculture industry to enhance the health of fish. LRS goes so far in their transparency that they have had their blends tested in labs. The sample of their labs shows Lactobacilli in a food sample that has been frozen for 30 days. The results are posted here.

This is the ultimate fish food for reef tanks. It comes at a high price and is mainly available at local fish stores. I recommend this frozen blend to anyone who owns a saltwater tank.

Pros and Cons

  • Great feeding response
  • Great for fish and corals
  • Whole ingredients
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to find

2. Reef Nutrition Chroma Boost Pellets

Reef Nutrition’s Chroma Boost is a new pellet food on the market, and it’s probably the best pellet food to come into the industry in many years. Its pellets are dressed in algae called Haematococcus, which is an excellent source of astaxanthin. A study performed by Virginia Tech showed astaxanthin had a positive effect on the coloration of clownfish.

This pellet formula is not only great with fish, but corals love it too. To me, it combines the benefits of LRS in a pellet formula. You will get coloration from your fish that you have never seen before with this product. Because it’s a pellet product, you can place it in an auto feeder. This makes it one of the highest quality foods you can place in an automatic fish feeder.

It isn’t easy to find online and in stores. You will need to visit a specialty local fish store to get it. You can order it online at the links above if you have trouble getting it. You won’t regret trying this out!

Pros and Cons

  • Great feeding response
  • Enhances colors
  • Researched backedN
  • Expensive
  • Not the best for larger fish

3. Formula One Flake Food

Here’s the thing about saltwater fish food – there are way better options these days. You should be eating balanced frozen foods like LRS instead of letting your fry get hooked on most flake foods or treating them with unbalanced dry stuff that will compromise their immune and digestive systems later.

However, I understand there is a need for convenient foods for busy people or when you are traveling. Fortunately, we have quality brands like Ocean Nutrition that have researched and provided quality flake food that I am okay with recommending to saltwater tank keepers. Made in the USA and containing a solid nutrient profile, this fish food supports all saltwater aquarium inhabitants.

The great thing about this formula is that it includes high-quality ingredients such as salmon, mussels, kelp, and brine shrimp. This flake variation of Ocean Nutrition’s frozen food has been designed explicitly for our freshwater fish to get all the nutrients their bodies need to be healthy!

What puts Ocean Nutrition ahead of other flake food makers is its availability. They can be found in any fish store, including chain pet stores.

Pros and Cons

  • Probiotics 
  • Works for all tropical fish
  • Made in the USA
  • Expensive
  • Larger flakes

4. Masstick Fish Food

Masstick is an amazing food made by Easy Reefs that has been designed for the pickiest fish in the hobby. It contains a blend of natural ingredients that are only of marine origin. This creates premium-level food great for all fish and inverts in your saltwater or reef aquarium.

What makes this food excellent for finicky fish is that you stick this to the glass of your aquarium, and your fish will pick it up when they feel safe to do so. Because the food lasts for hours on the glass and doesn’t break down easily, your more shy fish can take their time. You can see the food in action from the video below by Dutch Reefer. Watch his Cooper Band Butterfly go crazy for it.

Pros and Cons

  • Great feeding response
  • Lasts for hours in the tank
  • Best food for picky eaters
  • Expensive
  • Messy to make

5. Two Little Fishies Sea Veggies

Do you have an algae-loving fish? If you have angelfish, tangs, or rabbitfish, you know how important it is to feed marine greens to these types of fish. Sea Veggies by Two Little Fishies provides a high-quality green product specially formulated for these fish.

This product won’t break apart easily and is easy to feed. Just get a veggie clip and mount it on your glass. Your fish will pick it apart. Because it’s a passive fish food, you can put it on the clip and give your fish time to eat the sea veggies. This makes it an excellent product for finicky and shy fish. They can take their time to venture out and pick at the clip.

This product is more expensive than others, and you do not get a lot, but it is the go-to sea greens product for serious reef keepers.

Pros and Cons

  • Tangs and angels love it
  • Easy to feed
  • Holds shape in water
  • Expensive
  • Low quantity

6. San Francisco Bay Brand Saltwater Multipack

For aquarists venturing into frozen foods for the first time, this multi-pack by San Francisco Bay Brand is a great first choice. This pack contains the following blends:

  • Marine Cuisine – Mysis Shrimp, Krill, Spirulina
  • Emerald Entrée – Spirulina, Mysis Shrimp, Fish Oil
  • Omega Brine Shrimp – Brine Shrimp, Carrageenan
  • Plankton – Plankton, Carrageenan

These blends cover all saltwater fish you can keep in the hobby and has enough variety to provide a balanced diet for your fish. It’s one of the best packages to purchase if you keep a fish only or fish only with live rock setup.

The other benefit to this product is you will find it at chain pet stores. Don’t be fooled thinking it’s low quality because it’s sold at a general pet store. This has excellent ingredients and you can purchase this locally at later hours from these pet stores.

Pros and Cons

  • Multiple formulas
  • Easy to find
  • Good for all fish
  • Expensive
  • Large cubes

7. Cobalt Aquatics Marine Omniflakes

Contains Probiotics!
Cobalt Aquatics Marine Omni Flakes

One of the better flake foods available for marine fish today

Buy On Amazon Buy On Chewy

Cobalt was the first flake food on the market that contained probiotics in its formula. This omniflake product is a universal flake food designed for all saltwater fish. It is packed with squid and salmon proteins. It has spirulina, plankton, and krill for enhanced coloring.

The Cobalt blue flakes contain the probiotics that support a healthy digestive and immune system for your fish. It will not cloud your water like lower-quality flake food.

If you are going to use flake food, this is a good one to purchase. It’s not as available as Ocean Nutrition’s product, but I believe the overall quality of the formula is better. If you are going to purchase it, plan to buy it online as most fish stores won’t carry it.

Pros and Cons

  • Probiotics
  • Great for small fish
  • Works in autofeeders
  • Expensive
  • Hard to find


What Is The Best Thing To Feed Saltwater Fish?

The best thing to feed saltwater fish would be a blend of frozen food or cultured live foods. For frozen food, a blended product with probiotics like LRS Reef Frenzy is the best-prepared food you can purchase today. Plankton-infused brine shrimp or rotifers have excellent nutritional value for cultured live foods. California black worms are also fantastic to feed if you are willing to grow them.

What Kind Of Food Do Saltwater Fish Eat?

Most saltwater fish are omnivores. This means they will prefer a mixed blend of foods. Generally, they will like Mysis shrimp, krill, squid, and calms for proteins. For greens, they will prefer spirulina, seaweed, and marine algae.

Is Saltwater And Freshwater Fish Food The Same?

No. Saltwater and freshwater fish food will have difficult ingredients. When looking for saltwater fish food, you will want marine-based ingredients. Avoid any land-based ingredients, fillers, and artificial enhancers. What comes from the ocean is what is best for saltwater fish!

Are Tropical Flakes Good For Saltwater Fish?

No. Tropical flakes are not suitable for saltwater fish. If you want flake food, you will want to purchase a flake food specifically formulated for marine fish. Brands like Ocean Nutrition and Cobalt provide some of the best flake foods. That being said, flake food should not be the primary food for your saltwater fish.

How Long Can Saltwater Fish Go Without Eating?

Generally speaking, saltwater fish can go a few days to a week without eating. If you have trouble with a fish not eating, consider adding garlic to the food to trigger a feeding response. Foods like LRS and Masstick are known for having strong feeding responses. If your fish is still not responding, take a lot of signs for marine fish diseases.

How Many Times A Day Should I Feed My Saltwater Fish?

You should feed your saltwater fish twice a day, assuming you have the filtration. This keeps your fish well fed. If you have corals and pick the right foods, they will appreciate the extra food.

Closing Thoughts

It’s essential to feed your fish various foods to ensure they are getting the best possible nutrition. I have listed some of my favorite saltwater fish foods, but it’s essential to do your research before buying anything. What are your go-to saltwater fish foods? Let me know in the comments below!

by Mark

Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping - both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.

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