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 all about how much and how often to feed fish, what to give them, and how long they can go without food if you’re on vacation.
What are the Best Fish Foods?
When looking at rows and rows of fish foods at the pet store, it becomes clear that not all fish eat the same thing. You might find different ingredients in betta and goldfish foods. How can you tell what fish food to feed if your fish’s picture isn’t on the jar label. You need to research your fish and make some observations.
Is it carnivores or herbivores? Do they prefer to eat prepared foods, frozen foods or live food? What size food is most suitable for their taste buds? Are they able to eat floating or sinking food? (Some fish eat from the top, middle, or bottom of the aquarium.) – Is the food tasty to your fish, and does it get eaten quickly?
The quality and price of food are also important considerations. The full article contains information about our five favorite high-quality seafood foods.
People think of fish food as flakes and pellets. But you can also feed live, frozen, freeze dried, gel or live foods to give your fish more variety.
We get many questions about the diets and habits of certain aquarium fish.
What does a goldfish eat, meat, vegetables, or debris from the aquarium? To ensure that they receive all the vitamins and nutrients they require, provide them with varied and well-balanced meals. See this collection of goldfish foods for our recommendations. What diet do betta fish eat. Bettas eat a carnivorous diet high in protein. You can also enjoy floating foods such as betta pellets and freeze-dried foods. However, they will also readily eat frozen and live foods. Check out our selection of betta foods to see examples of what we feed them.
How Often Do You Feed Fish?
Most fish are fine with being fed once a day, but you can also choose to feed them two smaller meals a day for more enjoyment. Growing babies and slow grazers often need access to constant food, so you may need to feed them three to five tiny meals each day or a long-lasting food like Repashy gel food that doesn’t break down as quickly in water.
When is it best to feed fish? The majority of fish are awake during daylight hours, so make sure to pick a time for your fish feeding that is not more than 10 to 15 minutes after you turn on the aquarium light. 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. Since the other fish are less active in the dark, this extra nighttime feeding gives them a better chance of getting enough food.
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.
Does fasting work for fish? It all depends on the fish. To avoid overfeeding and health problems, some people skip one or two days. Even large predatory fish might only need to eat one or two times per 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. Different feeding patterns can exist even between members of the same species. My betta fish would eat every bit of food, and then gorge to the point that he was full. However, my nephew’s bettafish was very picky and would only eat food placed at 4mm from his mouth.
You can judge the right size fish by looking at their stomachs from both the sides and the top. 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. In the same way, you should aim to feed your fish until they have a slightly rotund abdomen. 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 can you tell 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. You may notice water cloudiness, foam, high levels of ammonia or nitrite or other nitrates in the water.
Betta fish can overeat, so give them enough food to maintain a round abdomen and not too much bulging.
Overfeeding your fish can cause problems like constipation, fatty liver disease, and bacterial and fungal infection due to poor water quality. The solution to this problem is quite simple. Feed less food, eliminate any food left over after 10 minutes, and set aside a week for fasting. Make sure your roommates and family members aren’t feeding your fish during the day without you knowing.
How can you tell if you are underfeeding fish?
You might consider increasing the size of your fish’s portions if they have a thin body or sunken belly, are showing paler colors, or are gradually dying down. Just be aware that these signs are also very similar to the symptoms of a fish with internal parasites or worms. So if you are feeding your fish plenty of food but they cannot seem to gain weight, they may need some antiparasitic or deworming medication to rid them of any unwanted hitchhikers.
How long can fish go 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. You may need to feed your fish regularly if they are young.
Why is my fish always hungry?
Fish in the wild are not always able find food. If they do find food, they eat it all. Therefore, these opportunistic eaters constantly act as though they are starving, even if you just fed them 15 minutes ago.
Don’t let your fish’s excitement fool or feed them too much. You can instead divide your fish’s daily meals into multiple portions, so they can be enjoyed multiple times per day.
Do fish stop eating once they are full? It is generally true. It is physically impossible for fish to eat more food if their stomachs are too full. Obesity and other health issues can develop if people eat until they feel full.
To learn more about how to feed a variety of high-quality food, see our top 5 favorite list.