Brine Shrimp Nauplii
One of the best live tropical fish food which are rich in nutrients and can be easily hatched from the brine shrimp eggs. They can be stored in a dry storage condition for months, up to years and they make perfect live foods for cultivation of fish fry. In order to successfully hatch the brine shrimp eggs, one can follow the instructions below.
First, fill an empty wide-open mouth jar with about three-quarters depth of dechlorinated tap water and then add about two tablespoonful of seawater salt. By using an air pump, generate turbulence in the water and aerate it vigorously. Place the hatchery at a location close to indirect sunlight in order to get the temperature of about 25-28degC. Once the seawater salt has dissolved, you can proceed to add in the brine shrimp eggs. In about 2 days, the cysts will hatch and you can collect by shutting off the aeration pump and then shine a flashlight to the bottom of the jar. Free swimming live brine shrimp are attracted to the light and you can use this method to siphon them out to a fine fish net. Do not pour in the whole mixture because the empty cyst shell cannot be digested by your fish fry and will harm your fish instead.
Daphnia or water fleas can also provide an alternative aquarium live food supplement. You can easily grow daphnia by first making its food consists of algae which you can easily grow using a container of aquarium water placed on a location with direct sunlight. Once the water starts to turn green, you can add a starter culture of daphnia obtained from aquarium fish stores. In about a week, you can start to see daphnia growing in water and you can harvest them using fine fish net. Ponds are also a good source of daphnia, which you easily collect, but be forewarned not to take them from fish ponds with contaminated water since it will lead to introduction of aquarium fish disease.
Microworms are also another option, which you can consider to use as cheap aquarium live fish food. They can be easily cultivated using packets of cooked oatmeal added with small amount of yeast. Usually a common method to grow microworms involves using plastic food containers with the cover punched with holes for air circulation purpose. You can then add the starter culture together with the yeast plus your oatmeal mixture and then wait for two to three days for the growth to take place. Once you open the container cover, you should see the microworms crawling up the sides of the containers and some on the cover surface. Harvest the worms by scraping them off with a clean butter knife and then dip it into your aquarium water.
Tubifex worms are another type of live food normally used to feed different types of freshwater aquarium fish. It is often used to induce breeding especially in goldfish and the Tubifex worms culture can be easily bought at any aquarium fish stores. I would not recommend cultivating Tubifex because this type of worms require contaminated sludge water to grow and it’s best to avoid them for hygiene purposes. Before feeding the Tubifex worms to your fish, one must take extreme caution in order to ensure that the worms are properly cleaned and washed. Leave the worms in a container of clean fresh water and then change the water every 4-5 hours in order to ensure that contaminants are flushed out. Without food, these worms can last up to a day or two so it might be a good idea to change the water frequently within this period before feeding to your fish. If you happen to come across liquid live food disinfectant sold in aquarium fish stores, I would suggest getting one of these to properly clean your Tubifex worms.
Similar like Tubifex worms, this is one of the favorite live foods for discus fish, in which your fish will crave for it. Some are sold as freeze-dried stored in refrigerator and sold in packets. However, the blood that comes with it dissolves easily in your aquarium water and thus usually after the feeding schedule, it has to be followed up with water change. Bloodworms are preferred among fish owners for its high nutritional value and protein content. Discus fish fed with bloodworms often exhibit bright coloration and achieve fast growth.