How Much To Feed Pet of the Month
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discus dreamer

Fish Fanatic
Jul 4, 2006
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North West UK
Hi Guys
i am not a complete beginner but have been wondering recently about whether I am giving my fish enough food. I feed twice a day and give the fish in my main tank one pinch of flake, one pinch of granuals each time and just one algae tablet in the evening for the pleco. I have 2 silver sharks (now 4' and 4.5') 2 pearl gouramis (adult) 2 black widow tetras (adult), 15 neons, 3 glass catfish (2 more in quaranteen), 2 silver hatchet fish, 1 blue ram, 2 khuli loaches, one siamese algae eater (2.5'), 1 green pleco (3'). I get them some live food once a week and also use frozen blood worm about twice a week.
The silver sharks and the gouramis seem to be getting very hyper about food and will even try to get the algae tablet off the pleco once they have finished everything else. They also chase each other about when all the food is gone, the gouramis (2 females) tend to do this a bit anyway but the silver sharks just hang out together peacefully the rest of the time. There seems to be an assumption that people overfeed and so lots of advice is geared toward preventing this but i am just wondering if, now that my silver sharks are getting so much bigger, I need to risk putting more food in. I have never put so much that they leave some. I do leave them once a week without food for a day as this is supposed to be good for them though it's hard to do when they all gather around when i look in the tank.
Its a 220L tank (external canister filter) and I have never had problems with ammonia or nitrate levels.
any suggestions? Am I being stingy with the food?
It's always better to underfeed than overfeed, fish in the wild live on the edge of starvation. I heard somewhere quite a while ago that a fish's stomach is about the size of its eye, that should give you a guesstimate to go off of. Much of it depends on the fish being kept as well, and what you are doing with them. Fish that are actively breeding, or fry growing out need a food with a little more fat & protein content. Too much protein & fat leads to bloat, which can affect the swim bladder.

Your feeding schedule sounds good; I advise feeding bloodworms no more than twice weekly, which is what you are doing. The once weekly fast is also good, cleans out their digestive system, which prevents bloat.
So is a sharks eye, the size of its stomach :p

Obviously a little common sense need to be taken into account with this, as I think eyeless cave dwelling fish still have a stomach. Something like a squid, with a huge eye, doesn't have an enormous stomach.
You are doing a good job. How long does it take your fish to eat your food? I reccomend feeding your fish the amount of food they can eat in 1 minute 2 times a day. People say 3 or 4 minutes, but that's waaaay too much. It's much better to underfeed than overfeed. I wouldn't do the not feeding them for a week thing, though. That's a bit too long. :nod:
If its any help, i feed my 4 tanks 6 days a week, once daily. They dont get fed on a Sunday.
I also feed my tanks (including SW) once a day and six days a week. The thing you need to consider is that many fish are opportunistic feeders, meaning if the food is there, they will eat it. Also, many opportunistic eaters, and just fish in general, will appear to be hungry every time you approach the tank. This is just their learned behavior since they have figured out that you are their food source and you shouldn't feel pitty for them when they all congregate at the top of the tank. If they are being starved, you would certainly notice it over time and could act accordingly to help them out.

However, and please do not take this as me ripping on your or your stocking decisions, you may really want to over feed your fish, including your glass catfish since they will have no problem with a nice neon tetra for a snack here or there which is the basis for the common recomendation for keeping them with larger, non-aggressive community fish. Just as importantly, your silver sharks (bala sharks, I am assuming) do get very large and at a pretty rapid pace. While they are still not very likely to sample their tankmates for dinner, their size can cause problems in a tank that is too small since they will be stressed and be more susceptable to diseases and illnesses. From experience, once one fish has a problem, especially bacterial or parasitical in nature, the rest will be quick to follow the same path. Again, I am not trying to talk down on you, but thought I should bring these things up in case you were not aware.
Thanks everyone
sounds like the feeding schedule is ok as it stands. Yes I know the bala sharks will get bigger and I am planning to move some fish to a second tank or find a new home for the sharks if necessary. They seem happy at the moment and don't get streesed out even when I am doing water changes. At the moment they still move aside if a neon is getting to a piece of food just before them so I don't think they would eat neons but i will keep an eye on that. I thought the maximum size for glass catfish was 9cm although I have never seen any that big but it sounds like I need to keep an eye on them. I had three but got another two because they have started to hide most of the time and I'd read that they need bigger groups to come out in the open. They used to swim in formation facing the outflow of the filter.
thanks again

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