The characteristics of two microparticulate types were determined for delivery of nutrients to fish larvae. A yeast-based commercial diet for larval fish (Microfeast Plus L-10, Salt Creek, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, USA) was encapsulated within cross-linked protein-walled capsules (CLPWC) or gelatin-alginate beads (GAB). Microparticle stability was determined by encapsulating a nontoxic red dye (Poly R 478) within CLPWC or GAB. The stabilities of both particle types suggested that high molecular weight, water-soluble nutrients could be delivered to freshwater fish larvae without major losses from leaching. Acceptability experiments included determination of gut fullness and feeding incidence of zebrafish Brachydanio rerio larvae fed on the two particle types. Acceptability of GAB by first-feeding zebrafish larvae was significantly greater than that for CLPWC. Acceptability of CLPWC increased in larger larvae and was similar to that for GAB. Both particle types were broken down by first-feeding zebrafish larvae. Growth experiments with CLPWC showed that up to 40% substitution of Artemia nauplii could be accomplished without reduced growth and survival of zebrafish larvae after a feeding period of 8 days. Twenty per cent substitution of Artemia nauplii could be achieved with GAB without reduced growth and survival.