How Often Do You Feed Fish (and How Much)?
If you’re new to aquariums, figuring out how to feed your pet fish can be a little confusing. They always come up to the glass and beg for food, but does that mean you should give it to them? Keep reading to learn more about fish feeding habits, how often they should be fed, what to feed them and how long they can live without food while on vacation.
What are the Best Fish Foods?
You will see that not all fish are the same when you examine the variety of fish foods available at your local pet store. The ingredients in betta fish food versus goldfish food can be quite different. If the fish’s image isn’t included on the label, how can you determine what food to feed them? Do some research about your fish to find out more:
– Are they carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores? Do they prefer to eat prepared foods, frozen foods or live food? What size food will they eat? Are they able to eat floating or sinking food? (Some fish prefer to eat at the top, middle, and bottom of the aquarium. – Does the food taste good to your fish and does it get consumed quickly?
Quality of ingredients and the cost of the food are other factors to consider. The full article contains information about our five favorite high-quality seafood foods.
Fish foods are often thought of as flakes, pellets and wafers. However, you can feed your fish frozen, freeze-dried or gel foods to increase their nutritional diversity.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the diet of aquarium fish.
What can goldfish eat? This hungry omnivore eats almost everything – meat, vegetables and even aquarium debris. You should provide them with nutritious, varied, and balanced meals that contain both protein and fibre to ensure they get the nutrients and vitamins they need. See this collection of goldfish foods for our recommendations. – What do betta fish eat? Bettas prefer a more carnivorous diet that’s high in protein. They also have upturned mouths that are well-suited for eating floating foods like betta pellets or freeze-dried foods from the surface of the water. They will eat both frozen and live food. See our collection of betta foods for examples of what we feed our bettas.
How often do you feed fish?
Fish can be fed one meal per day. However, you can feed them two meals per day if they are more interested in the smaller meals. You may need to provide constant food for growing babies and slow-grazers.
When is the best time to feed fish? Most fish are awake during the daytime, so pick a fish feeding time that is at least 10 to 15 minutes after the aquarium light turns on. So everyone is alert and awake when the aquarium lights turn on. If you have nocturnal species such as plecos or kuhli loaches, be sure to feed them once the aquarium lights are turned off. The other fish will be less active at night, so it is important to feed them more often at night.
Nocturnal species like kuhli loches may not be able to come out to eat during daylight hours, so be sure to have some food for them when the lights go out.
How fasting is good for fish? This depends on the fish. In order to avoid health problems and overfeeding, some people opt to skip feeding for a few days. Large predatory fish only require to eat once a week. Nano fish and baby fry, on the other hand, have smaller stomachs and generally need to eat more frequently.
How much fish should you be feeding?
There are many general guidelines that you hear, such as “Feed your fish as fast as they can eat in five minutes.” Others insist that their fish should eat their food within 30 seconds. The reason that opinions vary so greatly is because some animals are fast eaters and others are very slow. Even individuals of the same species can have different feeding behaviors. My betta fish would hunt down every scrap of food and gorge himself to the point of bursting, whereas my nephew’s betta fish was extremely picky and would only eat if the food was placed exactly 4 mm in front of his mouth.
A better way to judge the appropriate portion size for your fish is by observing the roundness of their bellies from both the top and side views. If you have ever been to the vet’s office, you may have seen a chart showing the obesity levels in dogs and cats based on the widths of their bodies. The same principle applies to fish. You should aim for a slightly rotund stomach. This is difficult to do with some naturally round animals like balloon mollies and goldfish, so make sure to look online for pictures of healthy fish.
How Do You Know If You Are Overfeeding Fish?
Your fish may be eating too much food if they have a large belly or produce a lot of poop. Another sign is a lot of food left in the tank that has not been eaten (which can cause fuzzy fungus to form over time), or an increase in snails and other worms. Because excess food quickly pollutes the water, you may also notice cloudy water problems, foam at the water surface, or high levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate measured by a water test kit.
Bettafish are susceptible to overeating. Give them enough food to keep a slightly round abdomen, but not excessive bulging.
Overfeeding can lead to health problems such as constipation and fatty liver disease. The solution is simple: feed your fish less, take out any unfinished food after 10 minutes and introduce a weekly fasting day. This will allow your fish to have some rest. Also, make sure that other family members or roommates are not feeding your fish throughout the day without your knowledge.
How Do You Know If You Are Underfeeding Fish?
Increase the amount of food you give your fish. These symptoms can be very similar to those of an internal parasite or worm infestation. If your fish is not eating enough and they are still struggling to gain weight, you may need to give them antiparasitic medication or deworming medication.
How long can fish survive without food?
You don’t need to be concerned if you plan on going out of town or on vacation. You may be able to feed adult fish for as long as a week, depending on how big they are, their metabolism and the water temperature. If you have many fish that need constant food, an automatic feeder may be necessary.
Why is my fish always hungry?
Fish aren’t always able to find food in the wild. They will eat as much as they can to make sure they have enough the next day. These opportunistic fish eat whatever you give them, acting as if they’re starving.
Don’t let your fish’s excitement fool you into feeding them more than they need. Split their daily meal into three or four portions to make it more enjoyable for them.
Do fish stop eating once they are full? It is generally true. If their stomachs cannot expand enough, it’s physically impossible to take in more food. However, if they eat until they’re completely stuffed every single day, obesity and other health issues can become a problem.
To learn more about how to feed a variety of high-quality food, see our top 5 favorite list.