When Should I Feed My Fish?

by Bea | December 31st, 2013 | Care, Fish
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goldfishSome people think the way to feed their fish is to simply dump a bunch of food in the tank every two to three days. These people probably also notice that the majority of the food ends up being wasted at the bottom of the tank. So, just how often should you be feeding your fish?

Well, let’s take a look at how fish feed in the wild. Honestly, looking for food is one of the things fish do on a daily basis. It’s a basic survival strategy. That being said, fish will be happier if you feed them every day. In addition to that, instead of dumping a bunch of food in every few days, you can be less wasteful and give a small amount every day. Fish are really good at only eating what they need to, which is why doing the massive food dump every few days is not effective.

If your fish is a herbivore, it’ll probably be “grazing” for food constantly. Herbivores have longer digestive tracts than carnivores, so it takes longer to digest food like algae. Carnivores, on the other hand, are able to extract the protein that they need in a short amount of time. Unlike herbivores, which can thrive on plant life within the aquarium, carnivores cruise around and go for the meals that are harder to get.

It’s a good idea to have a mix of different types of fish in your tank:  carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Herbivores will generally be less maintenance because there will always be a constant food source for them (also known as the algae growing in your tank). However, that does not mean you don’t have to provide your herbivores with food. You should get those herbivores flake foods or concentrated food in addition to whatever your tank can provide.

Unlike herbivores, carnivores can actually go a few days without eating. Once they eat, they will feed voraciously for a couple of minutes.That is another reason why it would be a good idea to keep a mix of fish in your tank.

In terms of getting your fish the best food that you can get them, that depends on the fish! There are plenty of resources out there that will give you a good outline of the different foods and what they are best for. There is fish food for a variety of breeds such as the angel or butterfly diet, the zoo plankton option, the frozen mega-marine, and more. For example, a fish that lives in a lake in New England is going to have really different experience than a fish who is living in Hawaii. If you take a look at the labels on the food, each of the containers should have facts on the protein content, the fat and fiber contents, and more. You should check out your breed of fish first before simply picking food up and having to pay for it.

Long story short, fish who live in the wild do not eat every two to three days, so why would we do that to our own fish? Try feeding your fish every day!

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