Fish Food Not Sinking: Is It a Problem or Natural?

Fish Food Not Sinking

You bought some beautiful catfish or loaches for your aquarium. But they don’t tend to eat floating foods, and this gives you a serious headache.

So, you’re looking for solutions to fish food not sinking.

Top feeder fish food like flakes and pellets usually float on the top of the tank. You can make your flake fish foods sink by making flake paste and air drying them. Furthermore, you can make a pellet fish food sink by replacing the air in the food with water.

In this article, we provided a thorough guide to safely make your fish foods sink.

But before going into the guide, let’s first know if it’s natural for fish food to float.

Fish Food Not Sinking

Are Fish Foods Supposed to Sink?

Generally, fish foods are made in a way that they don’t sink. This is because most aquarium fish love to eat from the top of the tank.

However, there are some aquarium fish who like to stay at the bottom. And for them, there are some foods that are specially made for sinking.

But why does fish food float?

This is because the foods are lighter than water. Usual fish foods contain a lot of air in them. And it makes them float at the top of the tank like the Fluval Moss Balls.

Now, the question comes, why would you want your fish food to sink?

Well, there are some fish known as bottom feeders. They like to eat their food at the bottom. So, fish foods need to sink in order to reach them.

So, how would you feed them if your fish food is not sinking? The following sections have your solution.

How to Make Your Fish Food Sink?

So, you’ve tried everything, but your fish food is not sinking. Should you just throw away the food and let your fish die of starvation?

Well, don’t even think of that. You can make any kind of fish food sink if you follow the right approach. 

There are mainly two types of fish food you’ll see around, flakes and pellets. For various types of food, you must adhere to various methods.

Let’s start with the Flakes.

How to Make Flakes Sink?

Flakes are the hardest type of fish food to sink.

You may find many different methods to make flakes sink. These include dipping them with fingers or keeping them in the aquarium to sink themselves.

Let me tell you that these will do more harm to your fish than good. Your aquarium water will be polluted rapidly. As a result, you may need to dispose of your aquarium water more frequently.

So, what’s the right approach then? Let’s find out.

Step 1: Wrap a bunch of flakes in a cotton cloth. Make sure no flakes can get out of the cloth.

Step 2: Dip the wrapped flakes in your aquarium water for about 30 seconds. You can move the wrap a bit to make sure the flakes moisten inside the cloth.

Step 3: Bring out the Flakes from the water and unwrap them.

Step 4: Put the moistened flakes into a suitable pot.

Step 5: Mix the moistened flakes using your finger to make a flake paste.

Step 6: You can make the Flake paste into small cubes or balls to feed your fish.

Step 7: Dry the Flake cubes or balls in the air. Don’t dry them in direct sunlight or use any artificial methods. Air drying is a must.

Step 8: When they’re completely dry, store them in a container.

So, your sinking flakes are ready to feed your fish.

But what if you have pellets? How do you make them sink for your bottom feeders?

Let’s find out how you can do that.

How to Make Pellets Sink?

Just like the Flakes, you’ll find many people saying some weird methods to make your pellets sink.

These include keeping them in the aquarium for a long time. Also, shake them in a water-filled jar. All of these are detrimental to the aquarium water.

So, follow the steps we’re providing here to make sure your aquarium water remains clean.

Step 1: Take a needleless syringe. The syringe size can vary depending on the number of pellets you plan to work on. Anything between 5 ml and 20 ml will work for it.

Step 2: Remove the plunger of the syringe from the barrel.

Step 3: Put the required amount of Pellets in the Syringe barrel.

Step 4: Reattach the plunger to the barrel and push it till the rubber seal touches the Pellets. But don’t put any pressure on the pellets. They should remain free inside the syringe.

Step 5: Pull some aquarium water into the Syringe. Make sure you don’t make the syringe full of water. Keep at least half of the syringe empty.

Step 6: Now, hold the syringe tip up and cover the tip with your finger. Make sure the tip is airtight.

Step 7: Pull the plunger down to the bottom of the barrel. Make sure you don’t pull the plunger completely out of the barrel.

Step 8: You should feel suction on the syringe tip. This will bring the air out of the pellets and fill them with water. Hold this position until you see all the pellets inside the syringe are sunk.

Step 9: Once all the pellets are sunk, they’re ready to feed your bottom feeders. Just pull out the plunger and give the pellets to your bottom feeders.

So, do you always need to do this hard work to feed your bottom feeders?

Well, the answer is no. You can buy ready-made bottom-feeder fish foods that don’t need any processing to sink. They’re made to sink for the ease of bottom feeders.

Now, let’s find out some of the fish that like to eat from the bottom.

Which Fish Need Sunken Food?

There are many bottom-feeder aquarium fish. These include catfish, loaches, shrimp, snails, and others. We’ve listed some of them here.

Bottom Feeder Catfish

Here are some of the most common aquarium catfish.

  1. Corydoras catfish
  2. Twig catfish
  3. Otocinclus catfish
  4. Synodontis catfish
  5. Tiger Shovelnose catfish

You may find some other aquarium catfish on the market as well. However, the aforementioned are the most common.

Bottom Feeder Loaches

Like the catfish, there are some types of loaches that stay at the bottom of the tank. The following are the most common.

  1. Zebra loach
  2. Botia loach
  3. Yoyo loach
  4. Kuhli loach

Besides loaches and catfish, you’ll find some other bottom feeders for your aquarium as well.

Other Bottom Feeder Fish

These fish are widely used in aquariums. You may find these easily available on the market.

  1. Bristlenose Pleco
  2. Bumblebee Goby
  3. Siamese Algae Eater
  4. Shrimp
  5. Crayfish
  6. Snails

These are the most common bottom-feeder aquarium fish. However, there are so many other bottom feeders available as well.

Hence, we recommend you consult your supplier about your fish’s eating habits.

Well, if you don’t have any bottom feeders in your aquarium, don’t worry about the floating foods.

Well, that’s all about sinking your fish food. Do check our FAQs section to find some interesting information about your aquarium fish.


How Do I Know If I Overfed My Fish?

If you find your fish food remaining on the bottom of the tank, you’re overfeeding your fish. To avoid overfeeding your fish, pull out the remaining food after 2 minutes of feeding. Usually, your fish eat adequate food within the first two minutes of feeding.

Is Floating or Sinking Fish Food Better?

Floating fish food is better for fish that eat from the top of the tank. Sinking food, in contrast, is better for bottom feeders like catfish, loaches, shrimp, and snails. Consult your supplier to know if your fish are bottom feeders or top feeders.

Will Floating Fish Food Eventually Sink?

Floating fish food will eventually sink after 5 to 10 minutes. However, it’s not recommended to keep the food in your aquarium for that long. It indicates you’re overfeeding your fish. Besides that, the remaining food will pollute your aquarium water.

Final Words

We hope we could clear up your confusion about fish food not sinking.

Now, it’s time to hear from you. Let us know which fishkeeping topic you want us to write about next. We love catering to the content that our readers want us to write.

Till then, good luck with your aquarium fish.