Owning an aquarium comes with a lot of responsibility, and you may have some confusion on how best to care for your fish. Tropical fishes, especially, are an excellent addition to your home, and with the right amount of care and feeding, they will thrive.
One of the critical questions that run through the mind of most new tropical fish owners is “how often should I feed my tropical fish?”. The best number of times to feed your tropical fish is once a day. If you decide to feed them more than once a day, remember to keep the portions smaller to avoid overfeeding them. Overfeeding your fish will make them bloated and uncomfortable, plus they would release more waste products.
Feeding your fish is not a difficult task at all and you may even get carried away doing it, particularly if you are a new fish owner. All you need to know is the best type of food to feed them and in what ration to feed it to them. The ration you feed your tropical fish is significant because you do not want to overfeed them.
Overfeeding them would result in an accumulation of waste since they may not be able to finish the food, in which case the remnants would become a waste that would settle at the bottom of the tank. Also, if you overfeed them, they will begin to produce a greater amount of waste products than usual. Besides these scenarios, overfeeding your tropical fish can make them sick, and you do not want that for them.
How To Feed Your Tropical Fish.
As stated earlier, the act of feeding your tropical fish is not a difficult one at all. You must bear in mind, however, that overfeeding them is a big no-no. It is easy to stuff them as feeding them as the main chance that you get to interact with them. Below are some steps with which you can properly feed your fish:
1. Know your fish’s preferred method of eating: Each species of tropical fish have their different ways of eating from others, depending on whether they are surface feeders, mid-level feeders, or bottom feeders. To know your fish’s preferred method of feeding, study it carefully so you can feed it accordingly.
2. Know the type of food your fish likes: Different types of tropical fishes include herbivorous fishes, omnivorous fishes, and carnivorous fishes. Depending on the type of tropical fish you have, you can determine the kind of food it will like. Herbivorous tropical fishes prefer eating vegetable or plant matter and would need to be fed more frequently and in smaller amounts than other species of tropical fish.
Omnivorous fishes, on the other hand, will eat different types of food, and for this reason, they are much easier to take care of than other types of tropical fishes. Carnivorous fish, are also known as predator fish, and they prefer protein-rich diets. If you keep predatory fishes, then you should be careful about keeping other fishes in your tank as these fish might try to eat them up. If you are unsure of the kind of fish you have, you can check with the pet store from where you bought them.
3. Purchase the right type of food for your fish: If you are unsure about the kind of food to buy for your fish, you can talk with your pet store to discuss the various options available. There are different types of food for tropical fish. The most common type is dry food, which comes in different forms, such as tablets, flakes, and pellets. Aside from dry foods, there are also live foods that are the most common types of food for predator or predatory fish.
Live foods comprise small worms, fleas, and earthworms, among others. A third type of food for fish is frozen food consisting of a mixture of foods with different individual nutrients. Aside from these types of foods, you can add vegetables like carrots and cucumbers to supplement your fish diet. You should also try as much as possible to give your special fish treats at intervals like once a week.
4. Sprinkle the food into the aquarium: The actual process of feeding your fish is straightforward and quite entertaining. All you have to do is sprinkle the food into the fish tank, and the fish will come running to get it. To avoid overfeeding the fish, watch the time they eat for about 5 minutes, after which you should not give them any more food.
Apart from sprinkling the food into the tank, you can also use apparatus such as automatic feeders tongs and tubes to feed them. These apparatuses have the added advantage of helping you control the food you give your fish and they also help to reduce the amount of clean up that you would have to carry out.
Keep in mind that because of the tank’s temperature of 74 degrees or thereabouts, it will take a long time for your fish’s food to digest fully. After feeding your fish, do not forget to clean up any remnants of food away from the tank. Cleaning up any leftover food is a vital process because leftover food can cause a buildup of bacteria, which could harm your fish, plus it would make the aquarium dirty.
How Can You Tell If You Are Overfeeding Your Fish?
Feeding your fish can be a source of great fun. However, it would be best if you do not get carried away to the extent that you overfeed them. Your tropical fish will usually swim to the surface of the water to beg for food. While you might think this is cute, you should bear in mind that it is a learned behaviour, and it does not necessarily mean they are hungry. To them, your presence at the aquarium means there will be food for them.
As such, you should learn to ignore them, particularly if you have given them their normal ration, so that you do not end up overfeeding them. With time, you should be able to tell how much your fish can eat without being overfed. If you are not sure whether you are overfeeding them or not, these signs will let you know:
- Reduced activity of the fish: Overfed fish would show a marked reduction in their movements. Fish that were wont to swim about agilely would swim rather sluggishly.
- Bloated fish: Most tropical fish are slender. If you had a slight fish that is suddenly becoming fat, you might want to rethink feeding it as often as you do. Bloated fish would usually develop digestive problems, and they may even fall sick.
It is best to vary the types of food to give your fish so that they can get different nutrients from the various food to provide them with. You could also give them treats once in a while to diversify their meal. If you refrain from overfeeding your fish and give them nutrient-rich foods, they are sure to be happy and healthier.