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RealManny 05-02-2013 06:09 PM

How often to Feed?
Good Afternoon all,

I have a question on when and how often I should feed my community fish tank. Any time I would bring home a new friend (or friends) I would always make sure to grab a care sheet before I left. Most of the fellas I brought the care sheet recommended once a day within an allotted time frame, like 2-3 minutes.

Recently I acquired some odessa barbs and their care sheet said 3x a day. I got a few other opinions locally and they said some fellas metabolism are quicker and accordingly should be fed more often. They said the more active the fish, the more feedings. So, I wanted to get some thoughts and suggestions...

Here's whats in the tank:

6 Odessa Barbs
2 Swordtails
1 Betta (female!)
3 Guppies
2 Black Skirt Tetra
5 Rummy Nose Tetra
4 Peppered Cory Catfish
1 Common Pleco
2 Sailfin Molly
8 Neon Tetra
6 Black Neon Tetra

They're in a 55 gallon tank. As of now, I typically feed them once a day in the evening. I try to feed enough where everyone gets at least one bite. The Odessa Barbs are quick and eat everything! Plus every so often I put in a cucumber. Should I feed them throughout the day or am I doing alright?


mcompagno 05-02-2013 06:37 PM

Barbs are tuff in a community tank because they hog food. When the barbs are first introduced they are underfed because they have come from a fish store. Feed 3 times a day until the barbs start to become less ravenous, then once a day and make sure everyone gets a bite to eat.

fish monger 05-03-2013 09:20 AM

Your basic feeding schedule is one that is used successfully by many of our members. Multiple feedings are fine if you have the ability to not over feed (unlike me). I just try to male sure that the quantity and type of foods allows everybody to get their share.

JDM 05-03-2013 10:00 AM

How long have you had these fish now on this schedule?

I feed once per day at lights on. A betta (male), cherry barbs and corys all get what they need. I use a medium sized sinking pellet and, depending on how I drop them, they will float for the betta, sink slowly for the barbs and hit the bottom for the corys. I probably overfeed but the corys seem to graze over the next 30 minutes and the barbs even keep picking at the pellets for a while, I don't have algae issues, snail population explosions or detritus to have to vacuum off the bottom. I could easily get away with skipping one day a week as many do but I don't see that it is necessary.

I also have some shrimp, and an assortment of snails so a little extra disappears even if the fish don't finish it all.

You have a heck of a mix of fish so it may not be as easy as that and would be harder to not overfeed. I have my doubts, but do not know about a fish with a "quick metabolism" actually needing to be fed more than once a day. Eating more when they eat, sure.

Care sheets, that would be an interesting thing for all shops to provide.... assuming that they get the correct information on them. What all information is on the sheets?


RealManny 05-03-2013 12:44 PM

I have had most of them for a good 4 months. The Odessa Barbs I got this past weekend.There hasn't been any aggressive behavior from what I can tell, so I am inclined to say they are being well fed. I was gifted an automatic feeder that kicks in every 12 hours, but when I saw it in action it released an awful lot of food. There was no adjusting it either, I think it must have been one of the lower end models. So I took it off and doing it manually.

Ironically enough, I was going to start skipping a day of feeding before I got the Odessa Barbs. I figured with the bioload the Common Pleco brings, it wouldn't hurt skipping a meal every once in awhile. But I saw the Odessa Barbs and I thought they were really cool and now reading about how they supposedly like to eat 3x a day..pretty much shot my idea.

Here's a link to what some the of care sheets my local store hand out. I think they just go online and print them haha

JDM 05-03-2013 01:52 PM

I've heard that auto feeders are an ammonia spike waiting to happen. I like starting my day with the fish feeding, it's not something that I would want not to do. Let's me see how they are doing.

That's more than our store does for information, it's not bad if you can stand in the store and at least check up what water parameters the fish are in need of. Generally I am of the opinion that impulse buys for fish are not great for the fish and our sanity most times but some decent onsite info would be a good start.


mikey1 05-05-2013 11:11 AM

i would recommend 2x a day,

all food should be consumed in 2-3 mins,

if food is still in the tank after 3 mins, you are overfeeding, cut back

jaysee 05-05-2013 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by RealManny (Post 1953394)
and now reading about how they supposedly like to eat 3x a day..pretty much shot my idea.

Lots of species of fish would like to eat 3x a day...some even 4 ;-)

You don't have to feed them any more often than you feed the rest of the fish, unless they are fry.

I feed once a day, but forget to here and there.

It's a balance, feeding the fish. You want to feed them enough so that they grow well, but you don't want to overfeed.

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