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Feeding fish

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Ingrid, Aug 19, 2019.

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How often do you need to feed your fish ?

Poll closed Sep 3, 2019.
  1. 1 time a day

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 2 times a day

    5 vote(s)
    83.3%
  3. 3 times a day

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 4 times a day

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. 5 times a day

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Ingrid

    Ingrid Fish Fanatic

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    How often should you feed your fish each day ?
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    In a healthy established tank that has a functional biological filter to keep ammonia and nitrite at 0, you can feed adult fishes once or twice a day.

    If you have large predatory fishes, they only need feeding every couple of days when mature.

    If the tank is new and the filter has not yet established, then you only feed them a couple of times a week.

    Baby fish should be fed 3-5 times per day.

    If fish are recovering from a disease, or you are preparing fish for breeding, then feed them 3-5 times per day.

    If you have fish in cool or cold water, you only feed them every couple of days unless they are active and looking for food, even then once a day is heaps for coldwater fishes.
     
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  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I take a bit stricter approach. Fry need several feedings a day, no question. Mature normal fish (i.e., not predatory but tetras, cories, gourami, rasboras, etc) should not be fed more than once a day, and then not feeding them for one day (or even two, depending) each week can benefit.

    Ther more you feed mature fish, the more it affects the biological system obviously, so for example twice daily feedings means double the waste being produced. Aside from that, fish do not need this much food to be healthy, or perhaps healthier is a better term. Fish eat when food is available because their natural instinct tells them too. They spend their entire day foraging for food and in the wild they may manage to get enough. The more they eat, the more impact on their metabolism, just like all animals including us.
     
    #3 Byron, Aug 19, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  4. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fishaholic

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    I agree about the fry feeding. No question about that but as for the rest, well, that certainly is different than my feeding schedule. I have always fed very small amounts several times a day. The reason being that I was once told that all fish do is look for food because they never find much. I will certainly take this information to heart and ponder it . Something about it just sounds right.
     
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  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Fish in the aquarium are in a much more artificial environment than in their habitat. Food is readily available, dangers are generally far fewer, and predators (hopefully) non-existent. Food is the energy driving the fish's metabolism which has to deal with these factors along with normal body functions and chemistry, so when the factors are reduced or even non-existent for the most part, the need for all that energy is proportionally less. And we all know what happens because of excess food/energy.

    Some time back I came across the fact that a healthy fish like a neon tetra only needs a small flake each day to ensure it has the nutrition it requires. This is very general, and obviously assumes the most basic environment, but the point is worth remembering. We are not benefiting our fish by feeding them more than they need to function in the aquarium environment.

    And obviously the quality of the food is just as important. Feeding nutritious foods less will mean healthier fish than feeding junk foods more.
     
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  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hello little fishy, do you want a lollipop :)
     
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  7. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fishaholic

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    Well . . . I certainly know what excess food does to people. :(
     
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  8. FishFinatic77

    FishFinatic77 Fish Crazy

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    I always heard that feeding less food more often is better for the fish's digestion. Is that true?
     
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  9. Naughts

    Naughts Fish Fanatic

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    Fry x3/ day
    Juveniles x2/ day
    Adult fish x1/ day with 1 day a week fasting
     
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  10. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Fish and all animals are opportunistic feeders and will eat whenever food is available. In the wild fish can go for weeks or even months without food and then gorge themselves when food becomes available. Subsequently, most fish can take large meals whenever they are available and small meals if that's all that is available.

    For baby fish you want them to have fat bellies at all times. They should look like pregnant guppies.

    Adult fish can have small or large meals and it doesn't make much difference. However, larger meals take longer to digest and release nutrients over a longer period of time, so a big meal is possibly better if the fish are only fed once a day.
     
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  11. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Generally yes, but within reason. This goes back to what I posted about fish eating any/all food they find. This is their natural inherent instinct, to eat when food is before them. The problem is that in the wild this rarely will cause issues because they hunt for food and it is not all that plentiful most times. So, they are very unlikely to "over-eat." In the aquarium we continue to provide food and they will naturally eat it, far more than needed, and this causes internal problems.

    But that does not mean we need to feed several times a day even with a minimal amount each time. The fish do not need all this food energy, so there is no point in providing it. They will be healthier without. A hungry fish is a healthy fish, within reason; starvation is something else again.
     
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  12. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fishaholic

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    Byron, Colin, I'm seeing your reasoning and it makes sense. I'm going to change my ways. But one thing does still puzzle me. What about the feeding of fish that are being conditioned for breeding ?
     
  13. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Any fish I plan on breeding are fed heavily 3-5 times per day for at least 2 weeks (normally 4 weeks) before I breed them. I feed them with a variety of dry, frozen (but defrosted) and live foods. I feed them as much as they can eat so they can build up some fat reserves and they also produce better quality gametes (eggs & sperm). This means you get more young and healthier young.

    Fish that are not fed much usually produce smaller, weaker young and fewer of them.

    It takes at least 2 weeks of really good food (and clean water) for fish to produce good quality gametes.
     
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  14. Byron

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    I have never done this, by which I mean that I have never done anything to push fish into spawning. They just do. Most of the eggs are eaten but a few do survive and I have or have had fry (now mature or maturing) from several cory species, pencilfish, tetras, barbs, Farlowella, and so on. The really difficult spawners like my hatchetfish have not spawned so far as I know, and providing some live food might induce this but again I am not aiming for that. I get enough fry as it is. Last October I took over 70 Diamond Tetras, all fry of fry, to a local store, along with Black Ruby Barbs, Farlowella, and over 40 Lemon Tetras. The tetras were each in their own species tanks which is why so many eggs did escape predation and hatch.
     
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  15. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fishaholic

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    Excellent. That's exactly what I thought. Thank you Colin.
     

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