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Fish Foods That Go Beyond the Flakes

Hobbyists now have an abundance of choices.




“FAKE IT ’til you make it” could be a mantra for the beginning fishkeeper, and once novices get their feet wet, they start looking for more nutritional variety. Where flakes were once the primary option, hobbyists now have an abundance of choices. And as you know, quality ranks high in deciding what brands to carry. As people start paying closer attention to reading labels, many are making sure their fish are eating healthy, too. Here’s a look at some food trends and trending products. 

Probiotic Power

For fans of probiotics, the benefits are many: improved digestion, for one, which leads to cleaner waste and better protection against parasites and bacteria. This trend has been gaining ground. As customers catch on, food producers are finding new ways to improve the manufacturing process, to help ensure the good gut buddies are able to work their magic.

New Life Spectrum

KEY FEATURES: In an array of pellet sizes for a variety of freshwater and marine fishes. Contains at least 3 million viable probiotic bacteria per gram. 

SALES TIP: Proprietary technology fuses the probiotics at a lower temperature to preserve those beneficial bacteria., (305) 245-1906


Ultra Pellet Cichlid
Cobalt Aquatics

KEY FEATURES: Twelve all-natural varieties with whole ingredients, prebiotics and probiotics. The Cichlid recipe contains sword prawns, scad and veggies.

SALES TIP: Try it in your own store tanks. In addition to six hobbyist sizes, the formula comes in bulk tubs., (803) 591-9500


NutriDiet Goldfish Flakes

KEY FEATURES: Seven probiotic formulas. The goldfish flakes include chlorella algae, and GarlicGuard to stimulate appetite and protect against bacteria and parasites.

SALES TIP: Talk up how chlorella algae is seen as a superfood., (706) 343-6060


Freeze Dance

Depending on your location and competition in your area, offering a variety of premium frozen foods can be an excellent way to differentiate yourself from the big-box stores. Another competitive advantage: The high cost of shipping frozen drives consumers into brick-and-mortar rather than buying online.

Multi-Reef Pack
San Francisco Bay Brand

KEY FEATURES: Four foods together offer a variety of particle sizes and seven types of zooplankton that stimulate the natural feeding behaviors of reef inhabitants.

SALES TIP: Fun fact: SFBB pioneered the blister pack for cubes in 1994., (510) 792-7200


PE Mysis Frozen
Piscine Energetics

KEY FEATURES: Mysis shrimp processed whole to preserve their rich Omega fatty acids. In flat packs, cubes, pellets and flakes.

SALES TIP: Harvested from invasives in Canadian lakes, this is a win-win for sustainability and aquatics., 888-220-2238


Reef Frenzy
LRS Foods

KEY FEATURES: Made with FDA-certified seafood. This original marine formula underwent a recipe upgrade in recent years to include probiotics. 

SALES TIP: Comes in specially formulated version for nano-aquariums., 844-LRS-FOOD


Almost Real

Not every aquarium enthusiast has the time or means to harvest their own kelp or collect insect larvae. Food manufacturers are looking to preserve the essence of fish favorites and have them resemble what they’d feed on in the wild. These foods are so “reel,” your customers’ fish will fall for them hook, line and sinker. 

Vibra Bites

KEY FEATURES: For tropical fish who prefer live food, this worm-like stick mimics a blood worm moving through the water. 

SALES TIP: Bonus color booster: Nutrient mix includes color-enhancing ingredients., (510) 785-3244


Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula

KEY FEATURES: Contains up to 40 percent black soldier fly larvae, fortified with salmon, vitamins and minerals. 

SALES TIP: A shipper display is available to make a big splash in your store., (800) 724-2436


Omega One Super Kelp Flakes
Omega Sea

KEY FEATURES: These flakes are made from kelp harvested in the Gulf of Alaska, then mixed with wild salmon, halibut and shrimp. 

SALES TIP: Fans of it swear that the flakes have a richer green color than other veggie-based products., (440) 639-237




NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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