Here is my begginers guide to food
Low quality food is just as bad as feeding nothing
Feeding the same food can be bad
Buying those big food containers are bad since the food loses its nutrition
Ok here are the types of food
Flake food: Very common, almost if not all lfs carry them, even the local grocery store can carry them. It is just food that is rolled into very thin pieces, can be crushed and pulverised to fit your fishes mouth.
Pellet food: Small round or cylinder shaped food, hard so fish arent meant to chew on it. Good things about this food is that since the food isnt chewed up there is very little wasted food
Stick food: Dont need to worry about these, these are used to feed really big pond kois
Freeze dried: Great food for fish although on the pricey side, it is just food (mainly brine shrimp, krill or bloodworms) that are dried which kills the harmful bacteria then frozen to prevent the growth, they do this wierd stuff to it and make it not needing to be kept frozen.
Frozen: The next step to live food, the name is what it is, live food that has been killed and then frozen. This has very good nutrition although the "juice" that it contains can foul up the water a bit
Live food: Well the name is what it is, the most common are brine shrimp and feeder fish
Ok now that you know what food is out there, what to pick
You need a wide variety, using the same food all the time is very bad. For tetras, pick up a small container of flake food, just enough to last you a month or two. A good company is tetramin. Then get a small packet of algae wafers, the smallest packet you can find as you wont be using this much. Then head on over to the freezer section and get some frozen brine shrimp, frozen worm (blood or black, dont get tubifex). If you really want to spoil your fish, get freeze dried instead of flake food, it will be more of a hassle but your fish will love you. Now you have the food you need create a feeding schedule. For me i use a very simple one, i'll give you my one
Sunday: Vege day, either frozen algae or algae wafers
Monday-Friday: Flake food
Saturday: Frozen food
Here are the foods primary ingredients
Brine shrimp: the most common and a very good food for your fish, it is high in nutrients and tastes like chicken, to the fish of course
Bloodworms: A very good treat but should never be the primary meal as they contain lots of little pests that your fish wont like
Spirulna Algae: Great food for herbivores as well as suplementing omnivores, as it is vegetable carnivores dont need this
Blackworms: dont know much about these, similar to bloodworms
Tubifex worms: Fish love them, you wont, they are from muddy swamps that have lots of bacterial and fungus and all this yucky stuff that will make your fish sick
Krill: Often called the color enhancer, guess what, it enhances the color of your fish, good food as long as it isnt the main diet
Color enhancer: A stronger form of the krill, it is mainly chemicals and spirulna to bring out the color of your fish, it is not poisonous but shouldnt be fed as a stable diet
Fish meal: All of the things i said combined into one (flake food is made out of fish meal)
Your flake food should have fish meal, if you are getting freeze dried try to get one that is a nice mix of food, otherwise if you get a meat food you will need to feed more algae wafers to give them vegetables, your frozen food should be brine shrimp and worms.
So, to sum this all up, buy high quality flake food (tetramin) Buy some high quality frozen food (san-fransisco bay) and get some high quality algae wafers (hikari). Hope this wasnt a big mouthful
One thing to get straight, never use feeder fish that you buy from the store at 10 cents, these fish although live are fed very small amounts since there so cheap and are very poorly cared for, they are almost always carrying diseases. The only live fish that is acceptable is fish that you raised yourself. Brine shrimp should be the only live food you feed anyway.