22-10-2023, 18:31
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How often should aquarium fish be fed?

The feeding frequency of aquarium fish depends largely on the type of food they eat. Herbivorous and omnivorous fish should be fed two or three times a day in small portions, while predatory fish species can eat only once a day. The whole point is that predators have food in the stomach digested for a longer time. They are able to starve for 2-3 days and still feel normal. At the same time, carnivorous fish, which are larger in size and less energetic, can go without food longer than smaller and more active fish.

On the other hand, plant-based foods are low in calories and fish feed on them in large quantities throughout the day.

Feeding frequency of fish by species

Some carnivorous fish species that can be fed once a day are sufficient:

Herbivorous fish should be fed more often, but only in small portions, usually up to three times a day. It is desirable to place some chopped vegetables and algae at the bottom of the aquarium.

How often should I feed aquarium fish?

Some of the popular herbivorous fish kept in freshwater aquariums:

  • All species of goldfish are categorized as omnivorous, but mainly eat plant food (Carassius spp.).
  • Silver dollar fish (Metynnis argenteus).
  • Mbuna cichlids inhabiting Lake Malawi in Africa require special vegetarian foods such as spirulina.
  • Small catfish species such as the Siamese algae-eater and otocinclus.
  • Molinesias can eat small invertebrates, but mostly they prefer to eat algae and plants.
  • Guppies can eat anything, but they prefer plant foods.

In most cases, the fish you can keep are most likely omnivorous and it is advisable to feed them twice a day.

Popular omnivorous fish that are not picky eaters include:

Just hatched fry should be fed 4-5 times a day and the more often, the higher the water temperature in the aquarium.

How much food do aquarium fish need?

Since all fish are different, calculate the necessary amount of food for them can be experimentally. As a rule, you should give them as much food as they can eat in 5-10 minutes. There is a rule - it is better not to underfeed the fish than to overfeed them, thus you will preserve the health of aquarium inhabitants.

What time of day is the best time to feed fish?

Predatory fish in the wild usually hunt for food in the morning and evening. Therefore, these fish should be fed at the same time in aquarium conditions.

Herbivorous fish should preferably be fed in the morning, afternoon and evening.


Problems arising from overfeeding fish

Firstly, overfeeding can cause undesirable changes in water chemistry. In this case, the fish can become stressed and more susceptible to various diseases. Finally, the aquarium becomes unsightly and the water becomes cloudy.

Here is a basic list of problems that can arise from giving fish more food than they can eat:

  • High levels of nitrite and ammonia. Ammonia and nitrite are formed by the breakdown of organic matter in fish waste and uneaten food.
  • Low oxygen levels. Uneaten food and fish waste are examples of organic materials that decompose in an aerobic process that requires oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.
  • The acidity of the pH of the water is reduced. Because acids are produced in the process, decomposition of organic matter lowers not only oxygen levels but also the pH of the water.
  • Improper digestion. Constant overfeeding, and especially the wrong food, can lead to abdominal bloating and constipation in fish. In addition, you also put overfed fish at risk for liver obesity.
  • Algae outbreaks. Algae such as Blackbeard is often the result of excessive organic matter in the water.

How often should you feed your aquarium fish?

At the slightest suspicion of overfeeding fish - reduce the amount of food given. Check the water parameters in the aquarium using one of the kits for monitoring the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

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