How often should you feed fish - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-03-2013, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Question How often should you feed fish

HOW OFTEN SHOULD FISH BE FED IN A COMMUNITY AQUARIUM, i have heard that many conflicting views even one from a pet shop owner who only feeds his fish every 3 days i would like to hear some of your views on this subject as i personally have been feeding my fish once sometimes twice daily but i take care and try and watch and make sure everything gets eaten but there is always some bits that don't and end up on the plants or in the filter, i done a full API water test today and seen there was a slight increase in ammonia levels and i am wondering if i am feeding to much, SHOULD I CUT DOWN A BIT TO EVERY OTHER DAY PERHAPS OR CARRY ON FEEDING DAILY ? PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR VIEWS, THANK YOU.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-03-2013, 10:30 AM
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If they're feeding the fish every 3 days, it's probably because they're trying to keep ammonia and nitrate levels in check. And they don't want a lot of waste to contend with by feeding on a typical schedule.

Most fish stores have very overcrowded tanks but that's because they can usually sell their stock fairly quickly.

Assuming that your tank is not overstocked, small amounts of food twice daily should not be a problem. If you have ammonia levels at all, your beneficial bacteria is unable to keep up with the waste produced in your tank.

Do you have live plants? How often and how much water do you change? Are you siphoning the gravel with each water change?

For the record, I feed small amounts twice a day and typically don't feed on water change day which is every Sunday for me.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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silvershark (02-03-2013)
post #3 of 4 Old 02-03-2013, 10:48 AM
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Im of the opinion that your fish (type and quantity) and setup dictate how much, how often and what they should be feed. Fish keepers commonly overfeed and under clean so I recommend to others once a day and skip a day each week. With a community tank I would suggest using flakes and Hikari micro pellets.

Use lager pellets with large fish and sinking algae wafers if you have veggie eating fish. I have seen bottom feeders starve when using the larger pellets as the more aggressive feeders will monopolies the pellet; The Micro pellets sink fast enough and when spread out in the tank it gives the less aggressive feeders an opportunity to eat.

I feed my tanks in such a way to ensure that all fish get food each day; if any fish appear to be under feed, I may feed several times a day. When doing so one feeding will be my normal feeding amount and any additional feeding are significantly smaller. I see no problem skipping days if everyone is healthy and getting food when feed.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-04-2013, 11:03 AM
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With the exception of fry (which need multiple feedings daily to properly develop) and a few rare species, most freshwater tropical fish can manage well with one feeding per day or less. Missing the water change day is very advisable, because fish should never be fed prior to a major disturbance (water changes, netting, moving, etc) nor for a period after. I always miss feeding on water change day, and usually on one other day (when I'm not here during the normal feeding time).

There are obviously water quality issues associated with the amounts fed. And fish health, in more ways than just nutrition.


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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