Best* Food for Oscar Fish of 2022

Oscar fish are highly intelligent, playful and gorgeous, coming in a variety of vibrant colors. It’s easy to see why they’re so popular with more experienced fish parents, who often want to see more of those beautiful colors. Here are the best foods for oscar fish and cichlids.

 
 
Fish Food First Ingredient Sizes Available Avg. Review*
Aqueon Mini Pellet Cichlid Food Whole fish meal 4 oz., 4.5 oz., 8 oz. 4.5/5
Tetra Cichlid Food Sticks Fish meal 2.64 oz., 5.65 oz., 11.3 oz. 4.6/5
Tetra Cichlid Jumbo Sticks Shrimp meal 7.4 oz. 4.6/5
Hikari Cichlid Gold Medium Pellets Fish meal 8.8 oz. 4.8/5
Fluker's Freeze-Dried River Shrimp Freeze dried river shrimp 1.0 oz. 4.8/5
Fluval Bug Bites Pellets for Medium-Large Cichlids Dried black soldier fly larvae 3.53 oz. 4.5/5
Hikari Bio-Pure FD Bloodworms Bloodworms 0.42 oz. 4.8/5
Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms Bloodworms 0.46 oz. 4.4/5
San Francisco Bay Brand Frozen Bloodworms Bloodworms 3.5 oz., 4 oz. 4.5/5
Gamma Frozen Food Mini Bloodworm Blister Pack Bloodworms 570 GM, 6-pack 5.0/5r

*Ratings as of April 6, 2022


Aqueon Mini Pellet Cichlid Food

Best Fish Food for Cichlid Daily Feeding


Aqueon Mini Pellet Cichlid Food


This trusted brand doesn’t just make filters and aquarium cleaners—they also have some of the best pellets for oscar fish. With tasty natural ingredients and slow-sinking pellets, your fish will have plenty of time to enjoy their dinner. Plus, they come in a resealable bag so you can save the leftovers.


  • 4 oz., 4.5 oz., 8 oz.
  • Main ingredients are whole fish meal (salmon, herring and other fish), whole wheat flour, whole dried krill
  • Nutritional information: 42% crude protein (min.), 8% crude fat (min.)

Tetra Cichlid Food Sticks

Best Fish Food for Medium and Large Top-Water Feeding Cichlids


Tetra Cichlid Food Sticks


Oscar fish start small, but they can grow an inch per month or more until they reach adulthood, typically around one year. With an easily metabolized formula and quality protein, this option from Tetra is one of the best foods for oscar fish if you want to promote growth in your young fish.


  • 64 oz., 5.65 oz., 11.3 oz.
  • Main ingredients are fish meal, wheat germ meal, dried yeast
  • Nutritional information: 46% crude protein (min.), 8% crude fat (min.)

Tetra Cichlid Jumbo Sticks

Best Fish Food for Color Development in Large Tropical and Marine Fish


Tetra Cichlid Jumbo Sticks


Oscars typically grow up to 12-inches and can weigh up to 3 lbs. If you’ve got a large adult on your hands, Tetra’s Jumbo Sticks could be the best oscar fish pellets for you. They’re made with a high percentage of dried live food to attract carnivorous fish, and with shrimp as the first ingredient, they can help promote pink to orange-red colorations you’ll love.


  • 4 oz.
  • Main ingredients are shrimp meal, wheat gluten, wheat starch, krill meal
  • Nutritional information: 36% crude protein (min.), 11% crude fat (min.)

Hikari Cichlid Gold Medium Pellets

Best Fish Food for Color Enhancement in Cichlids and Tropical Fish


Hikari Cichlid Gold Medium Pellets


These medium-sized pellets are a wholesome option, providing the complete nutrition oscars need in their daily diets. They’re also one of the best oscar fish color-enhancing foods—they contain astaxanthin, a type of carotenoid that promotes a red-pink color and acts as an antioxidant.


  • 8 oz.
  • Main ingredients are fish meal, wheat flour, flaked corn, brewers dried yeast
  • Nutritional information: 40% crude protein (min.), 4% crude fat (min.)

Fluker's Freeze-Dried River Shrimp

Best Freeze-Dried Food for Tropical Fish, Turtles, Amphibians and Reptiles


Fluker's Freeze-Dried River Shrimp


Oscars also love variety in their diet, and shrimp is a great option: It’s high in protein and can help enhance and bring out the fish’s natural colors. This option from Fluker’s is 100 percent freeze-dried river shrimp with no added ingredients. For the best diet for an oscar fish, feed shrimp as a treat along with their usual pellets.


  • 1.0 oz.
  • The only ingredient is freeze-dried river shrimp
  • Nutritional information: 55% crude protein (min.), 4% crude fat (min.)

Fluval Bug Bites Pellets for Medium-Large Cichlids

Best Daily Cichlid Fish Food for Growth


Fluval Bug Bites Pellets for Medium-Large Cichlids


Shrimp isn’t the only option for a tasty treat for your oscar—as carnivorous surface feeders, they also eat insects in the wild, meaning many of them will love the black soldier fly larvae in this formula. It’s a high-quality protein rich in omega-3 and -6, which could be why this is one of our best-selling oscar fish foods.


  • 53 oz.
  • Main ingredients are dried black soldier fly larvae, salmon, fish protein concentrate
  • Sustainably processed insects and no artificial fillers or colors

Hikari Bio-Pure FD Bloodworms

Best Fish Treat for Carnivorous and Omnivorous Freshwater Fish


Hikari Bio-Pure FD Bloodworms


Bloodworms are one of the best foods for oscar fish if you want to promote growth because they’re very high in protein and calories. This formula from Hikari contains gut-loaded bloodworms with bio-encapsulated vitamins your fish wouldn’t get from a live animal. Plus, the easy-open top makes sprinkling food a breeze, even with one hand.


  • 42 oz.
  • Main ingredients are bloodworms, vitamin E, vitamin C
  • Nutritional information: 65% crude protein (min.), 5% crude fat (min.)

Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms

Best High-Protein Fish Treat for Freshwater and Saltwater Fish


Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms


Freeze-dried bloodworms have a similar texture as the best pellets for oscar fish, and the freeze-drying process also preserves their shelf life without lessening their appealing taste and great nutrition. Bloodworms may also naturally enhance your fish’s color—not to mention that most oscars love their taste.


  • 46 oz.
  • The only ingredient is freeze-dried bloodworms
  • Nutritional information: 55% crude protein (min.), 3% crude fat (min.)

San Francisco Bay Brand Frozen Bloodworms

Best Frozen Food for Freshwater Fish Growth and Color


San Francisco Bay Brand Frozen Bloodworms


Frozen bloodworms can be a great alternative to live or freeze-dried food. Like other bloodworm options, they’re packed with nutrition and color-enhancing abilities, but once thawed, they provide a fresh taste that makes this one of the best-selling oscar fish foods.


  • 5 oz., 4 oz.
  • Main ingredients are bloodworms, water, guar gum
  • Nutritional information: 5.8% crude protein (min.), 0.9% crude fat (min.)

Gamma Frozen Food Mini Bloodworm Blister Pack

Best Frozen Food for Oscars, Cichlids and Marine Tropical Fish


Gamma Frozen Food Mini Bloodworm Blister Pack


Mini bloodworms are one of the best foods for oscar fish that are still growing. These bloodworms are gamma-irradiated to help remove parasites or bacteria, then quickly harvested, packed and frozen to seal in freshness. They even come in convenient blister packs, so you don’t have to thaw and feed more than you need.


  • 570 GM, 6-pack
  • The only ingredient is frozen bloodworms
  • Nutritional information: 4.5% crude protein (min.), 0.2% crude fat (min.)

*Based on petco.com sales data.

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Learn More About Oscar Food

In the wild, oscars mostly eat whole small fish, live insects and larvae, but also occasionally snails, fruit and nuts. The best diet for oscar fish in captivity should mimic this varied diet and include regular feedings of pellets and proteins like shrimp, insects or bloodworms.

The best food for oscar fish growth will be high in protein, calories and nutrients like vitamin C and E. Insects and bloodworms can be particularly helpful in promoting growth. You should also ensure that your oscar’s habitat is ideal, including clean water between 74 and 81 degrees and has a pH of 6 to 7.5. Finally, try feeding your oscar less food, more frequently—every two to three hours until they reach adulthood.

*Based on petco.com sales data.