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 more about fish feeding habits, how often they should be fed, what to feed them and how long they can live without food while 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. The ingredients in betta fish food versus goldfish food can be quite different. 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.
– Are they herbivores, carnivores, or both? Do they prefer to eat prepared foods, frozen foods or live food? What size food will they eat? – Do they prefer floating or sinking foods? (Some fish eat from the top, middle, or 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.
Most people think of fish foods as flakes, pellets, and wafers, but you can also feed frozen, freeze-dried, gel, or live foods to provide more nutritional variety for your fish.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the diet of aquarium fish.
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. See this collection of goldfish foods for our recommendations. What does a betta fish like to eat? Bettas are more carnivorous and eat high amounts of 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?
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. You may need to provide constant food for growing babies and slow-grazers.
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. That way everyone is awake, alert, and ready to 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 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. Large predatory fish only require to eat once a week. Baby fry and nano fish, however, are smaller and require more frequent meals.
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. 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. The same principle applies to fish. You should aim for a slightly rotund stomach. Naturally round animals such as goldfish or balloon mollies can be hard to tell, so it is worth looking online for images of healthy fish to help you.
How can you tell 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.
Betta fish are prone to overeating, so feed them just enough food to have a slightly rounded abdomen without any excessive 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. Also, make sure that other family members or roommates are not feeding your fish throughout the day without your knowledge.
How do you know if your fish are being underfed?
Increase the amount of food you give your fish. These signs can also be indicative of internal parasites. 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. Adult fish can often go one week without any food, depending on their size, 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 allow your fish’s excitement to fool you into giving them more food than they need. Split their daily meal into three or four portions to make it more enjoyable for them.
Will fish stop eating when they are full? Generally speaking, yes. It is physically impossible for fish to eat more food if their stomachs are too full. However, if they eat until they’re completely stuffed every single day, obesity and other health issues can become a problem.
Check out our top five favorites list to find out more about feeding high-quality food.