Feeding Aquarium Fish

flake foodWhat’s so hard about feeding aquarium fish? Throw food in the tank and forget about it. Ok, sarcasm aside, feeding your fish, or rather overfeeding your fish is the number one mistake that hobbyists make when caring for their fish tank. Even experienced aquarists will tip the flake or pellet fish food over the water and tap on the side till the food comes out. Too often the food spills out instead. Once the spill happens, it can’t be undone. Excess food accumulating on the bottom of the tank can cause serious water quality issues.

Some people like to use automatic fish feeders which isn’t a bad idea. The only drawback is if you forget to reload it with fresh food or if it gets clogged. Relying on a separate device to feed your fish for you still requires attention.

Feeding live food like worms, brine shrimp, feeder goldfish or fatheads can cause problems themselves. Any live food that is not eaten right away will add to the bioload of the tank and thus can also cause a rise in ammonia and eventually nitrates. Live feeder goldfish and fatheads must be checked for diseases before purchasing and feeding to your fish. If you have a separate tank for your live food, make sure that you check them often and maintain their water quality to ensure a healthy food source for your main tank.

While the majority of freshwater and saltwater fish aquariums utilize simple filtration like undergravel and / or canister filters, the placement of the food in the fish tank isn’t necessarily a big deal. Feed away from the intake of the filter so that the food isn’t sucked into the filter. However, if your tank has a wet dry filter that draws water off the surface of the aquarium then you need to be especially careful where you place the fish food. Any food that floats on the top of the Saltwater feedingwater will be drawn straight to the prefilter and the fish won’t have a chance to eat what they need. The food that goes into the prefilter becomes waste and effects the overall water quality negatively. If it isn’t an option to shut off the wet dry filter while feeding, then at least hold the food under water for a couple of seconds so that it won’t immediately float to the top. Also, place the food as far away from the prefilter as possible to give the fish more time to eat before it reaches the prefilter.

Basic feeding of your tropical fish isn’t rocket science. Frozen foods should be thawed out in  water and then poured into the tank. Freeze-dried, flake, or pellet food should be measured before feeding the fish, not just poured in. Measuring means just a pinch at a time. Fish will eat all they need within five minutes one time per day. After putting the food in the tank, watch your fish. If after five minutes there is still food in the tank, then you fed too much. Feed less the next day. It’s a proven method that is simple and the results are an aquarium with healthy fish and good water quality. Fish will lie to you and act like they’re hungry all the time. If the fish tank in question is in an office that is empty over the weekend, no worries. Fish will be just fine with out food over a couple of days. If you’re worried, then feed twice on Friday. Once in the morning and once just before leaving for the weekend. Do not just throw extra food in the tank.

Feeding aquarium fish requires proper amounts of food without overfeeding. There are thousands of different brands and types of foods each claiming to be better than the other. Although variety is a good thing for fish diets, the most important thing for healthy fish and good water quality is to not overfeed. Hopefully, this article has helped to create a healthy, thriving environment for your fish aquarium

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Feeding Aquarium Fish
Let's face it. Overfeeding fish is the number one reason for problems in your fish tank. Hopefully, this article will stress the importance of proper feeding.

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