Omega One vs NLS vs Hikari?

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AC Members
Oct 15, 2020
So out of all the foods available on the market today Omega one, NLS, and Hikari seem to be the most popular and nutritional foods out there. I’ve been reading a lot of different conflicting information about all 3 of these companies and products Like how Hikari uses a lot of fillers, omega one uses rotten fish carcasses etc, but what I’m wondering is what the biggest difference between these foods is? What is fact and what is fiction? and specifically for things like cichlids and community fish, which is the best in everyone opinion to feed?


AC Members
Jan 15, 2020
i've been using omega one for a month or so and the flakes look different than other brand's flake, these flakes are see-through thin while the other brand are not see-through. My fish eat them but sometimes i see they struggle to swallow omega's flakes; they swallow the flake and spit it out right away (no, this is not that they are full since it is their first bite), they do this when the flake is not see-through. I don't think i will ever buy them omega again.

i used to feed my fish Seachem's shrimp flakes, no problem with this. hopefully my LFS will restock again soon so i can get them this.

also, i have gouramis what happens if i feed them goldfish/cichlids/discus flakes? is it bad for my fish to feed them food that is not meant for them?


Global Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2013
West Falls NY
Real Name
I just base my purchases on the ingredient lists. Omega one and NLS tend to have very good ingredient lists with whole fish and plant products in the first 3-4 ingredients.

Hikari as you say never seems to have the most impressive (reading) ingredient list, but fish keepers seem to like it. I like hikari bio gold plus (has to have the +) for my oscar and severum.


AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
SF Bay area, CA
I like Omega Super Color Flakes & Omega Shrimp pellets for locally available. I've tried NLS Thera A community? tiny pellets, my fish didn't love it at all. Hikari, meh, maybe it has some ingredient fish like but I'm not impressed with the ingredients, all their "formulas" seem the same. Reminds me of Tetra foods in a way, I think it's the potato in Tetra fish love, the ingredients aren't great...

Ken's fish has some good foods...& some lesser 1s...Again, read the ingredients list, like Joel said.

I prefer to feed a variety so fish don't get picky.

the loach

AC Members
Aug 6, 2018
The problem with the ingredients list is that while it might list fish as (one of) the first ingredients, it is typically of very poor quality. It seems these kind of foods are based on what they feed in aquaculture (to get the fish as big as possible in the least amount of time, and not care about any ill effects when it gets older) and that is what you don't want. Like if you have chickens you don't want the food they are fed in a battery cage farm.

There are now newer foods of higher quality for pet fish that are based on soldier fly larvae, like from Fluval and Dennerle and made from fish intended for human consumption from Bassleer.