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? Continue reading to find out how to feed fish and what you can give them.
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. The ingredients in betta fish food versus goldfish food can be quite different. So how do you know what to feed your fish if their picture isn’t on the jar label? It’s time to do some research on your fish and find out:
Is it carnivores or herbivores? Do they prefer dry, prepared, or frozen food? What size food is most suitable for their taste buds? Are they able to eat floating or sinking food? (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.
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.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the diet of aquarium fish.
What can goldfish eat? This hungry omnivore eats almost everything – meat, vegetables and even aquarium debris. 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. 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. They will eat both frozen and live food. For examples of what we feed our Bettas, see our collection of betta food.
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 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. This will ensure that everyone is awake and alert so they can eat. However, if you have nocturnal species like kuhli loaches or plecos, make sure to feed them after the aquarium lights have turned off for the day. Because other fish are less active after dark, they will have a greater chance of receiving 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.
Is fasting good for fish? As mentioned before, it 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. Large predatory fish only require to eat once a week. Nano fish and baby fry, on the other hand, have smaller stomachs and generally need to eat more frequently.
How Much Should You Feed Fish?
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. Different feeding patterns can exist even between members of the same species. 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.
The best way to determine the correct size of your fish’s portion is to observe their bellies from both the side and top. You may have seen a chart at your vet showing how obese dogs and cats are based upon the widths of their bodies. You should feed your fish until their abdomen is slightly rotund. 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. You may also notice a buildup of uncooked food in the tank, which can lead to fuzzy fungus and algae growth. Because excess food quickly pollutes the water, you may also notice cloudy water problems, foam at the water surface, or high levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate measured by a water test kit.
Betta fish are prone to overeating, so feed them just enough food to have a slightly rounded abdomen without any excessive bulging.
Overfeeding can ultimately cause health issues such as fatty liver disease, constipation, or bacterial and fungal infections from the poor water quality. Luckily, the solution is fairly straightforward – feed less food, remove any uneaten food after 10 minutes, and consider introducing a weekly fasting day to give your fish’s body a little break. You should also ensure that your fish are not fed by other relatives or roommates throughout the day.
How do you know if your fish are being underfed?
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. These signs can also be indicative of internal parasites. You may need to deworm your fish if they don’t seem to be gaining weight despite being fed plenty of food.
How long can fish survive 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. If you have many fish that need constant food, an automatic feeder may be necessary.
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 let your fish’s excitement fool or feed them too much. 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. If their stomachs cannot expand enough, it’s physically impossible to take in more food. However, if they eat until they’re completely stuffed every single day, obesity and other health issues can become a problem.
To learn more about how to feed a variety of high-quality food, see our top 5 favorite list.