Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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RandallW20 08-10-2009 01:38 PM

Tropical Fish Food
I was just curious as to what the majority of ya'll recommend as food for your fish.
I currently have:
4 cardinal tetras
1 Neon Blue Gourami
1 Peppered Cory
2 Green Swordtails (male/female)
1 Red Velvet Sword (Male - we thought it was a female when we bought it. As it was to young to tell)
8-12 Swordtail fry
All in an 8 month old 20gal aquarium

Anyhow, I was feeding them TetraColor up until about a week ago when I ran out and then decided to switch to TetraMin as it looks to have more nutrients for them. Is this a good food for them? And should I alternate other foods as well?

Also should I look into feeding them medicated foods every now and then?

The reason I ask this is because I just lost a fish yesterday. (Well I was going to end up loosing her -a female red velvet- as she was becoming very skinny and looked as though she had some form of physical issue with her body being crooked. I just knew I was going to loose her so I pulled her out of the tank asap so as not to contaminate my other fish possibly and humanely put her down.) But anyhow, this is the first fish that showed any signs of issues that has died.
My first dead fish was a Blue Ram that lasted about two weeks- I figured out afterwards that my tank was not mature enough for a Ram.
The 2nd was a Blue Gourami - no visible signs of issues. He just got lethargic one day and a week later died. He was slightly bloated. We think it was an intestinal bloakage of some sort.
And third I had an original female green sword die about 3-4 weeks ago with no visible signs why.
So I ask about the medicated foods as I'm starting to think there may be something in the aquarium...

Thanks Guys, I appreciate the help!

RandallW20 08-10-2009 01:42 PM

Oh, and I have a Siamese Algae Eater in there as well

Herky 08-10-2009 01:43 PM

TetraColor shouldn't be used as a staple food, I believe it even says that on the package. I feed my fish tetramin as their staple diet and they love it, it is reasonably priced, readily available. My fish have done extremely well on it, so I would say go for it. If you fish are big enough you may want to pick up some brine shrimp as well. Fish need a variety of foods to stay healthy and live happily.

Byron 08-10-2009 01:53 PM

In my view Herky is bang on. Colour enhancing foods are something I have always avoided. And variety is the spice of life for fish as well as we humans.

A varied diet is a good thing; it ensures that anything missing in one food will be obtained through another, but it is also true that some fish seem to prefer one food over another. I'm talking flake foods here, not live vs frozen vs dried. I use a three-day alternating scheme. I use three different flakes (different manufacturers, again to ensure nothing is missed) and three different sinking foods (for the catfish), a different one each day for three days, then repeat, etc. Most flake foods now contains close to 50% protein and that is the important thing. Also, you can use a vegetable/algae/spirulina food for one of the three if you have algae-eating mollies or catfish for instance, although I notice all fish will greedily go after these as well (most have some shrimp or fish meal in them which probably does it).

I always feed the prepared foods (flake/tablet) in the morning when fish are at their hungriest. There is so much nutrition in prepared foods now that this is actually a full and comprehensive diet. But for excitement (the fishes', not mine) I give them frozen bloodworms alternated with frozen daphnia in the early evening. These foods stimulate their instincts more than prepared, although interestingly they are far lower in protein. I also have a couple of wild-caught fish species that have not yet decided to eat prepared foods (I have then weaned off live food and onto bloodworms) so the evening meal gets them fed.

On the medicinal food, I have never tried them, and frankily would be skeptical. I think this is probably another example of feeding things that aren't necessary on a regular basis. And it won't solve any problems (if they exist) in the tank. But it is a possibility that the single food was a contributing factor, but I'm not suggesting it was the sole.

Almost forgot, yes, TetraMin is (in my opinion) a good food, but I would still find a couple of others for variety. Nutrafin, Omega, Wardley are brands I use with Tetra. The basic flakes, but also some of the specialities like earthworms, freeze-dried bloodworms, algae base, etc.

RandallW20 08-10-2009 02:14 PM

Cool, thanks for the info guys. As I was primarily looking at adding some Spirulina Flakes to the diet as well. I was going to feed each of the two every other day. But since you mention it, I will look into a third option to.
If I was to feed TetraMin one day, Spirulina the next. What would be the best option of food for the third day? earthworm flakes, frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp (frozen/freeze dried)?

Herky 08-10-2009 02:27 PM

I usually feed flake food in the mornings too, and frozen foods of various kinds on a rotating basis of every couple of days. I had been feeding more brine shrimp than I had liked, because my discus wouldn't eat anything else when I first got them but they slowly learned that flake food is tasty as well. I also occasionally give algae tablets, hikari mini cichlid pellets, hikari discus bio gold sinking food (which my angels also love). My fish are spoiled...they eat better than I do some days I think.

RandallW20 08-10-2009 02:41 PM

So it'd be safe to feed them frozen foods about every three days then right?

I'm also assuming I should be doing the same with my Texas Chichlids as well. As I'm currently feeding them Hikari Bio Gold on a regular basis

Herky 08-10-2009 03:07 PM

I think that would be ok.

Byron 08-10-2009 05:03 PM

To sum up a bit, I would push the fish to a main feeding each day of prepared foods, flake/tablet as appropriate for the fish, just to ensure they are getting the nutrition, and select 3 (or more) different brands for quality control. Prepared foods now are far more nutritious than frozen, and probably live too in truth. They can pack all kinds of protein in prepared food, whereas live food is dependant upon the particular critter. Brine shrimp has scarcely any nutrition in it, worms are better. But the fish go into a frenzy over live food, and there is an important health benefit in that as well. The live food, and to a slightly lesser extent, frozen worms and daphnia, stimulate the fish like prepared can't seem to; but the bulk of their nutrition is obtained from the prepared, so that should be the mainstay. IMHO.

As for what brand, I check the protein percentage and buy the highest; most are in the high 40% figures now, and that is good. If I saw something at 25% protein, I'd pass it buy. Which brings me to the protein value in frozen bloodworms--only 6%. And that is Hikari, one of the acknowledged best. They say they have multi-vitamins added, but no indication what or how much. But protein which is critical to fish health is almost non-existant. So, stick with those prepared foods as the basic, and treat the fishies with frozen as a bonus.

RandallW20 08-10-2009 05:16 PM

In regards to the daphina (which I want to use since I understand it aids in their digestive health) would it be better to use the frozen or freeze dried product for that?

Thanks for all the info by the way ;)

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