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 Do Fish Eat?
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. If the fish’s image isn’t included on the label, how can you determine what food to feed them? Do some research about your fish to find out more:
– Are they carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores? Do they prefer to eat prepared foods, frozen foods or live food? What size food is most suitable for their taste buds? – Do they need floating or sinking foods? (Some fish prefer to eat at the top, middle, and bottom of the aquarium. Are the fish able to eat the food quickly and is it tasty?
The quality and price of food are also important considerations. Read the complete article to learn more about our top 5 high-quality fish food choices.
Fish foods are often thought of as flakes, pellets and wafers. However, you can feed your fish frozen, freeze-dried or gel foods to increase their nutritional diversity.
Some frequently asked questions we get about the diets of specific aquarium fish include:
What does a goldfish eat, meat, vegetables, or debris from the aquarium? You should provide them with nutritious, varied, and balanced meals that contain both protein and fibre to ensure they get the nutrients and vitamins they need. Check out this selection of goldfish food for more information. What diet do betta fish eat. Bettas eat a carnivorous diet high in protein. They also have upturned mouths that are well-suited for eating floating foods like betta pellets or freeze-dried foods from the surface of the water. However, they will also readily eat frozen and live foods. For examples of what we feed our Bettas, see our collection of betta food.
How often do you feed fish?
Fish can be fed one meal per day. However, you can feed them two meals per day if they are more interested in the smaller meals. Growing babies and slow grazers need constant food. You might need to give them three to five small meals per day, or Repashy gel food which doesn’t dissolve as quickly in water.
What is the best time for fish to be fed? Fish are most awake in the daytime so choose a time when fish can be fed that is between 10 and 15 minutes after the aquarium lights turn on. So everyone is alert and awake when the aquarium lights turn on. You should also make sure that you feed nocturnal species, such as plecos and kuhli loaches after the aquarium lights have been turned off for the night. Because other fish are less active after dark, they will have a greater chance of receiving enough food.
Nocturnal animals like kuhli loaches might be too shy for them to eat outside during the day, so ensure you have enough food to eat when they are awake.
How fasting is good for fish? This depends on the fish. Some people choose to skip one or two days of feeding to ensure that overfeeding doesn’t become an issue and cause health issues. Even large predatory fish might only need to eat one or two times per week. Baby fry and nanofish, on the contrary, have smaller stomachs so they need to eat more often.
How Much Fish Should You Feed?
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. Because some animals are fast-eaters and others slow eaters, opinions can vary greatly. Even members of the same species may have different feeding habits. My betta fish would hunt down every scrap of food and gorge himself to the point of bursting, whereas my nephew’s betta fish was extremely picky and would only eat if the food was placed exactly 4 mm in front of his mouth.
A better way to judge the appropriate portion size for your fish is by observing the roundness of their bellies from both the top and side views. You may have seen a chart at your vet showing how obese dogs and cats are based upon the widths of their bodies. In the same way, you should aim to feed your fish until they have a slightly rotund abdomen. Of course, this may be difficult to determine with naturally round animals, like certain goldfish and balloon mollies, so look online to find pictures of healthy fish as a reference point.
How Do You Know If You Are Overfeeding Fish?
A swollen stomach, excessive pooping, or a lack of interest in eating at mealtimes could indicate that your fish is consuming too many calories. Other signs can include piles of uneaten food at the bottom of the tank (which may grow fuzzy fungus over time), algae growth, or a population explosion in snails and worms. Excess food can quickly pollute the water and you might also notice cloudy or foamy water.
Bettafish are susceptible to overeating. Give them enough food to keep a slightly round abdomen, but not excessive bulging.
Overfeeding can ultimately cause health issues such as fatty liver disease, constipation, or bacterial and fungal infections from the poor water quality. The solution is simple: feed your fish less, take out any unfinished food after 10 minutes and introduce a weekly fasting day. This will allow your fish to have some rest. Make sure your roommates and family members aren’t feeding your fish during the day without you knowing.
How Do You Know If You Are Underfeeding Fish?
If your fish have skinny bodies or sunken bellies, are displaying paler colors than normal, or are slowly dying off one by one, you might need to increase their portion sizes. 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?
There are no worries if you’re planning to travel out of town, or go 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. However, if you have a tankful of newborn fry that require constant feedings, it may be best to set up an automatic fish food feeder or find a pet sitter who can take care of their needs.
Why Are My Fish Always Hungry?
Fish aren’t always able to find food in the wild. They will eat as much as they can to make sure they have enough the next day. These opportunistic fish eat whatever you give them, acting as if they’re starving.
Don’t allow your fish’s excitement to fool you into giving them more food than they need. Instead, you can divide their daily meal into two or three portions so that you can enjoy feeding them multiple times a day.
Will fish stop eating when they are full? Generally speaking, yes. When their stomachs can no longer expand, it is physically not possible to fit in more food until some digestion has occurred. Obesity and other health issues can develop if people eat until they feel full.
Check out our top five favorites list to find out more about feeding high-quality food.