Susan Horton, DVM
Proper Fish Feeding
What is proper fish feeding?
To successfully keep fish as a hobby you must
learn to feed your fish the right type of food and the right
QUANTITY of food. If you “overfeed” your fish the ammonia
level will rise quickly and ultimately make your fish ill or kill
Overfeeding fish is the #1 cause of problems
in fish aquariums.
What is overfeeding?
“Overfeeding” is simply putting more food
in your aquarium than your fish will eat. Generally if the food
falls to the bottom of the aquarium you are overfeeding.
How should you feed your fish?
It is best to feed your fish after the light
has been on for at least 1 hour. Start by taking a very small
portion of food (4-5 flakes or pellets per fish) and put it in the
tank. Now observe your fish. Do they immediately eat the food
while it is still on the surface? If so put in a little more. As
soon as food begins to fall to the bottom, stop. Every tank will
require a different amount of food. Experiment to find out what is
right for your tank using the guideline above. If you have
liveleavers, stop at 7-9 per fish, as they may overeat!
How often should you feed your fish?
When starting an aquarium we recommend you
feed your fish once, every other day. In a new aquarium it is
especially important not to over feed. After one month you can
increase your feedings to once a day if you would like. Remember
it is difficult to “starve” your fish, but very easy to
“overfeed” and cause ammonia problems.
What type of food should I feed my fish?
There is no right answer. The more variety
you give your fish, the more likely you will mimic their natural
diet. This variety will result in better color, quicker growth and
better health. Like any living thing, the better the diet, the
healthier and prettier it will be. Don’t overfeed but offer
variety for a healthy and vibrant aquarium. A good rule is a
staple food 3-4 times and different foods the other days; only one
feeding a day.
What food do we recommend?
Choose a balanced flake diet as your staple
There are lots of these to choose from.
Choosing a frozen food depends on the type of fish you are
keeping. Frozen food should be offered at least twice weekly.
Floating food stays at the top longer before
it sinks which is great for cichlids.
These are preferred for bottom feeders and
, LIVE FOOD:
Many different fish, shrimp, and worms are
sold. Tubifex, brine, and bloodworms are the two most popular.
Make sure they are rinsed well and healthy before you feed
these to your fish.