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How to Hand Feed Your Aquarium Fish The Proper Way?



How to hand feed your aquarium fish

Feeding time in an aquarium is not only a vital routine but also a golden opportunity for fish enthusiasts to establish a closer bond with their aquatic companions.

While conventional feeding methods using automated dispensers or floating pellets work well, hand-feeding offers a unique experience that fosters a deeper connection between the fishkeeper and their delicate underwater residents.  

However, hand-feeding requires finesse and a proper understanding of techniques to ensure the health and well-being of your aquatic friends. In this article, we delve into the art of hand-feeding your aquarium fish.  

Can you feed fish out of your hand?  

Image of a person feeding a red coloured fish

Hand-feeding your fish is an exciting experience that can increase your bond with your fish. Feeding fish with your hand is a common way of feeding, but there are several things you have to follow before feeding fish with your hands.

Fishes will also get attracted to your hands and have their meal gracefully. Koi fish is one species of fish that loves eating from hands.  

However, it’s essential to note that not all fish species are suitable for hand-feeding, and individual temperament can vary. Some species may be more skittish or aggressive, making hand-feeding impractical or risky.  

How to Hand Feed Your Aquarium Fish The Proper way?

Person with fish food pellets on his hand

Hand-feeding your fish is full of fun and you can increase your relationship with your aquatic friends. But feeding your isn’t simple, you have to think about the health of your fish as well.

There are certain things you need to keep in mind before using your hand to feed your fish.  

  • Your hand must be extremely clean before feeding your fish with your hand. Cleaning your hand thoroughly is important for there should not be traces of anything in your hand.
  • Your hand should be free of chemicals such as soap, cosmetics, medicines, and many more.
  • If you have cuts in your hand then do not use your hand, but you can use gloves as well.

Now as you know your hands should be clean the next step is to start feeding your fish with your hand.  

If you usually feed your fish, then it will be a bit easier for you two to start using your hand to feed. But most of the time, you need to wait for the fish to start trusting. As the fish might take your hand as a threat and not come near it.  

Person feeding fish

To start feeding first what you can do is to put your hand in the water while they are eating their food. Put your hand slowly in the water and do it gently to not startle your fish. If the fishes are startled because of your hand, take it out and do it again. Keep doing this until the fishes are used to seeing your hand in the water.  

As they become more comfortable with your hand in the water, it is time to start feeding them with your hand.

Remember that the fish will not immediately start eating, you will have to have some patience.

Clutch some food in your hand and then put your hand in the aquarium. Although, you must avoid getting food near the fish and forcing them to eat. You will have to wait for them to come near your hand and eat it.  

In time the fishes will begin to trust you and start eating from your hand. Once they do, you can feed them anytime you want with your hand and keep increasing the bond between you and your fish.  

How to hand feed a sick fish?  

If you have sick or unhealthy fish, then it is better to hand-feed your fish. These fishes are unable to fish out food from the substrate or compete with others for food.

Therefore, feeding by feeding from your hand, they can eat their fill which aids in making their health better.  

You can follow the same procedure to feed a sick fish. However, in the case of a sick fish, you might require a bit more patience. You also need to be careful and delicate with them. Also, don’t force them to eat and wait for them to come around. 

What fish eat out of your hand?  

Not all species of fish can be fed using your hand. Fishes that have a peaceful temperament and are omnivorous are compatible with feeding from your hand. Fishes such as Koi, Goldfish, and Bettas can eat out of your hand. But you need to gain their trust for them to eat from your hand.  

Don’t go on feeding aggressive fishes to feed from your hand. For rather than eating the food they might get a chunk of your hand instead. If you fancy aggressive fishes like Piranha, feeding them from your hand will be the worst decision you will ever make.  

How many times to feed fish in a day?  

Feeding your fish is essential for providing them with the necessary nutrients that help them lead a healthy life. But you have to feed them properly for them to have a healthy life.

If you give them less they won’t get the nutrients they need, and if you give them too much they can suffer from diseases.  

Therefore, in a day you must not feed them more than two to three times. Feeding them two or three times a day is enough and they will get the right amount of food.

But you will also have to pay attention to the amount of food that you give them each time.  


Hand-feeding your aquarium fish is a rewarding and intimate experience that allows you to forge a deeper connection with these captivating aquatic creatures. By following the proper techniques and guidelines, you can ensure their health, well-being, and nutritional needs are met while enjoying the benefits of a closer bond. 

Throughout this article, we have explored the art of hand-feeding, emphasizing the importance of patience, trust-building, and consistency. Remember, each fish is unique, and their responses to hand-feeding may vary. Some fish may readily accept food from your hand, while others may require more time and gentle encouragement. It is crucial to respect their comfort levels and adapt your approach accordingly. 

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