The variety and quality of new tropical fish foods now available has made it possible for us to maintain almost any tropical fish or invertebrate in excellent condition, both in the retail store and for the tropical fish hobbyist. In addition, the new fish foods provide a terrific opportunity for add-on sales, as all hobbyists love to watch their tropical fish eat–and most will spring for a “treat” for them. The new formulations of dry prepared fish flake foods are capable of keeping most community aquariums of fish in the peak of health. In fact, overfeeding tropical fish is still a much bigger problem with new hobbyists than tropical fish not getting enough nutrition.
For reef aquarium hobbyists, the new kinds of frozen and refrigerated foods have made it possible to keep plankton-feeding tropical fish and invertebrates, including some corals that a few years ago were considered impossible to keep. Enrichments are also available for the really dedicated and hard-core tropical fish hobbyist. And let’s not forget the plants in a freshwater aquarium. There are many excellent all-purpose and specific aquarium plant foods available. These, combined with the developments in aquarium lighting, should make it possible for any tropical fish hobbyist to keep live aquarium plants.
Getting back to tropical fish foods, I have been told by a number of people whose opinion I trust, that it is better to have fewer fish food brands but to carry the entire brand line than to have a mixture of multiple brands for each type of fish food. Having seen fish stores set up both ways, I definitely agree with this thinking. If you have, say, four or five different fish food brands of staple fish foods right next to each other, your shelves will look confusing. Without advice from any fish store salesperson, the customer will usually grab the fish food brand they recognize or the one they have been using. A much better display would be to have three different fish food brands (the good, better, best in terms of pricing works for me), but to have all of the fish foods in each brand. However you decide to merchandise fish foods, these items should be big sellers for every fish store.