feeding fish, How much? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-19-2010, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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feeding fish, How much?

Well, I know there are already a lot of different opinions on how much to feed, what to feed and even when to feed. If I start from the novice perspective (which is where I am at) I started with the simple flake food. Actually the "crisp" version of that. I have Tetra Color crisps for tropical fish. It says to feed 1 crisp per inch of fish 2 to 3 times a day. This as a general guideline for feeding. I have also read "no more then your fish can consume in 3 minutes."

I don't know if I just have hungrier fish then most folks but My fish will consume about 5 times the recommended amount in a minute and then look at me like "what is next?" I feel like I am not feeding them nearly enough. I feed 2 times a day but on occasion have slipped them a snack when they are all staring at me with those hungry little eyes.

Now that I have the Black Red tail shark, I am dropping in a few Shrimp pellets as well. As directed you are supposed to only drop in 2-3 pellets for the shark. Problem is, my other fish are nabbing them up as quick as I put them in. I am tossing in about 15 pellets instead and wondering if the poor shark is getting enough. He is doing well and seems nice and round, not sunk in or anything that I can tell. Shark is still a little camera shy but I am working on getting a picture of him. He is already a fairly big shark. Must be close to full grown since it says 5 inches is full grown.

What other natural foods can I feed, or should I feed? I know that plecos like veggies and such, what about Barbs, Gourami and Sharks? I also have 2 little Otto's but I think the get enough with cleaning plants, rocks and glass in the aquarium. I do have algae wafers too but I have not had to add any to the tank. Will the shark eat algae wafers? Would it like cucumbers or zucchini?

Anyone else's fish starving to death or is it just mine? I guess I would rather make certain they are getting enough to eat and clean the water more often then to think of them in there hungry. Honestly though, they don't seem to waste much at all other then the dust left over from the frenzy of them eating.
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-19-2010, 07:18 PM
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Fish should always appear to be hungry; they will be healthier if they do, all else being equal.

Variety is the spice of life, and it also ensure better nutrition. Some fish may "prefer" certain foods, having a variety ensures all are getting something good. And make sure they are nutritious foods. I have on hand 4 or 5 different varieties of flake/granule for the upper fish and 4-5 different varieties of sinking for the bottom feeders. One of the flake is vegetable (regardless of whether the fish are vegetarians or not, this is good for intestinal health) and two of the sinking are, as I have algae eaters that need that.

I feed the above in the morning, alternating so every day for 4-5 days they have something different. The day I do a water change they are not fed as I like doing these in the morning so they can be fully settled (and I can make sure nothing is wrong) before lights out.

Two evenings a week they get frozen bloodworms, sometimes daphnia. The only reason I really do this is to feed a couple species I have that are very fussy wild-caught "live food only for me" types and frozen bloodworms is all they will eat. I'd prefer a variety, but like the horse, you can lead it to water but you can't make it drink.

Fry need more frequent feedings to develop properly, but mature fish can manage with one a day or even less; a healthy tank can easily be left for a week without food, which is preferable to having someone inexperienced dumping in food and causing serious problems. In most of my tanks the surface food is gone within a minute or less; sinking tends to remain a couple hours which is fine as the bottom feeders tend to be slow eaters and picking apart the pellets, tablets, etc. they seem to enjoy. My Farlowella can sit on top of a tablet for 2-3 hours and still not eat it all.

Live foods are available in some stores; blackworms, brine shrimp are the usual. These should be fed sparingly unless you intend spawning the fish; more of a treat than a staple. Same holds for frozen in my view.

And veggies for those who will eat them are fine, blanched spinach, shelled peas, cucumber, zucchini are some of the more common ones. Remove any uneaten bits as they can quickly foul the water. Some fish depend upon this type of food more than others.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-19-2010, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Whoa! Alright, I am definitely over feeding. I guess with my aggression issues I thought I would keep it down if everyone was well fed. On water change day I usually dump a heavier amount in and let them eat for about 5 minutes before cleaning the tank really well. Guess I am a gal that appreciated good food too much to think letting my fish go hungry is alright. ha ha I will cut back for their health, I really want to do right by them.
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