Eating patterns change over time?


Fish Addict
Jan 13, 2022
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My 29g tank has been running for about 2 years now. I want to say the last fish I bought were my otos, and that probably was a year ago, so all fish are well established.
The neon gang seems to be "extra hungry" lately. They've started coming down to nibble on the sinking wafers and it's making me think I have to start feeding them twice a day. Has anyone seen this before? I keep the feeding for all at once a day, with occasional, random fasting days. Besides the neons and otos, I have 5 cories.
I feed this tank a rotating menu of Hikari micropellets, fluval bug bites, Hikari algae wafers, "regular" sinking wafers. I also mix i vibra bites and freeze dried tubifex about once a week or so, and I'm really interested in getting some sort of culture started for live food, however living in an apartment and in cold climate doesn't seem like the ideal conditions, but those can be made.

So, the question is, do these look like they're going hungry to you, and should I increase the food volume of food, and/or feeding times?


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The females are full of eggs, and the males seem a healthy weight.
Fish do need different foods at different stages of their life. For example, the plecos with which I work need more veggie matter when very young than when they get older. or then there is the conditioning many of us do to encourage our fish to spawn. I may increase feeding foods higher in protein and fat to help with spawning, i.e. conditioning.

Also, at different stages of their life most fish need different size food. A newborn fry cannot usually swallow the same things adults will. So we may feed the fry baby brine shrimp while their parents eat adult brine.

And what about some fish which eat primarily one or tw foods v.s fish which are true pigs and will eat about anything they can?

Finally, a lot of fish in the wild do not eat regularly. Uber wont deliver underwater. So many fish are hard wired to eat as much as they can when food is readily available. Sometimes, we are to blame if we overfeed them.

The one thing I have never seen is a healthy fish refusing to eat. In fact one of may favorite things to watch is when a scrap of something clearly not food is floating in the tank. I will see one fish try to eat it, discover it is not food and spit it out. Then the next fish seeing this does the same. I have watched a dozen fish eat and spit out the same scrap in a matter of a few minutes. My fish have all been pigs from day one. Most of them will try to eat anything they think might be food. I have watched top swimmers nibble the food on the bottom and my clown loaches eat flakes as soon as they hit the surface. This, even though I am also feeding sinking foods specifically for them.

So, when it comes to food and who will eat what, the fish have no rules as far as i can tell. In my tanks it is, "If you feed it, they will come." (Apologies to Field of Dreams.)
Well, it's good to know my neons look healthy to more experienced hobbyists.
I guess I could've framed the subject better: I know that as they grow, like any other animal, the food they eat and their general habits will change, I was just caught off guard by the newly found voracious streak they're displaying in the last week or so.
November is when the rainy season starts in their home region, and that causes a flood (literally) of food as all rivers overflow their banks and pour into the forest floor. I've never noticed a seasonal increase in hunger, but maybe I haven't had a sharp enough eye. My human holidays that are about to start are kind of an eating season. Maybe they have an internal clock there your powers of observation have uncovered, maybe their stomachs react before breeding season, which is now... it would make sense.

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