What you feed your fish with is as important
as the environment you provide for them. This article provides
all the information you need to make good food choices for
The most commonly made error fish owners
make is overfeeding fish. These articles tell you how much
to feed your fish, and what kind of foods are best for your
species of fish.
Choosing the right food for your fish is
a key factor in maintaining the health and long life of your
pet. Although there is no single food that is good for every
fish, if you follow these four basic steps you won't go wrong.
Different fish are built to eat different
types of foods. Do a proper research on your fish and determine
what dietary type your fish is (omnivore, herbivore, or carnivore).
Certain species of fish have very specific dietary needs,
as do newly hatched fry.
Where and When to feed fish
Its a good practice to become familiar with
where and when your fish prefer to eat. Although many fish
eat from the top of the water, some graze on the bottom. Likewise,
even though most fish eat during daylight hours, some eat
only at night. For the bottom feeders, be sure to choose some
sinking foods. The nocturnal feeders should be fed after the
lights are turned off.
Variety is Spice of Life
Regardless of what type of food your fish
eats, it's important to vary the diet to insure balanced nutrition.
A combination of dry as well frozen and fresh/live foods will
ensure a well balanced diet.
Keep it Fresh
Fish foods often don't carry an expiration
date, but they have a relatively short shelf life. Flake foods
lose much of their nutritional value in as little as a month,
so purchase only what you can use in a few weeks. Vitamin
and nutritional deficiency is a big contributor in making
fish susceptible to disease.
If you need help choosing which brands of
food are best for you, I've written extensive list of my personal
top picks. You'll find them just to the right under the Top
Picks heading. Good luck, and happy dining for your fish.
How Much and How Often Should you
feed your Fish?
Overfeeding is the most common mistake fish
owners make. Overfeeding clogs the filter, and breaks down
into toxins that are harmful to fish. Hence the warnings on
In nature fish eat whenever they are hungry
and food is available. If food sources are plentiful, they
will eat several times a day. On the other hand, if food sources
are scarce, they might go for days between meals. For this
reason, fish are very opportunistic and will eat whenever
they have a chance. That means that if you offer them food,
they will usually gobble it up even if they aren't starving.
Keep that in mind the next time your fish 'beg' for food.
Fish quickly learn who brings the food to the tank and will
jump at the chance to be fed, even if they are not in dire
need of food.
How Often and how much should fish
The frequency of feeding will vary based
on the type of fish. In general most fish do quite well on
one feeding per day. However, some owners prefer to feed their
fish twice a day. Regardless of one or two feedings, the key
is to keep the feedings very small. The timing is not critical,
with the exception of nocturnal feeders, such as certain catfish.
If you have nocturnal fish in your tank, be sure to feed them
just before turning the lights out at night.
There are some exceptions to the once per
day feeding rule. Herbivores (vegetarians) need to eat frequently
because they do not have large stomachs to hold a lot of food.
In nature they would graze all day long on plants. They should
be given several small feedings a day, or provided with live
plants they can nibble. Newly hatched fry and young fish not
fully grown, require more frequent feedings of special foods
designed for fry.
As for how much food to feed, a good rule
is to feed no more than the fish will consume completely in
less than five minutes. When in doubt, underfeed! You can
always give them another small feeding if necessary. However,
if you overfeed the uneaten food will produce by-products
which can be harmful to the fish. In the event you do overfeed,
promptly remove the uneaten food using a siphon or net.
As a final note, keep in mind that not only the amount but the
type of food is important. Check the related links for a reference
table that shows the proper type of diet for most popular aquarium