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. Do they always ask for food? 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?
It becomes apparent that not all fish like the same foods when you look at the fish foods in the pet shop. You might find different ingredients in betta and goldfish foods. 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:
– Are they carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores? – Do they prefer to eat dry prepared foods, frozen foods, or live foods? What size food will they eat? Are they able to eat floating or sinking food? (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?
Other considerations also include the price of the food and quality of ingredients. If you’re curious about our 5 favorite high-quality fish foods, read the full article here.
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.
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 do betta fish eat? Bettas prefer a more carnivorous diet that’s 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. See our collection of betta foods for examples of what we feed our bettas.
How Many Fish Do You Feed?
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. You may need to provide constant food for growing babies and slow-grazers.
When is the best time to feed fish? Most fish are awake during the daytime, so pick a fish feeding time that is at least 10 to 15 minutes after the aquarium light turns on. That way everyone is awake, alert, and ready to eat. 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 creatures like kuhli loaches may be too shy to come out and eat in the daytime, so make sure to provide some extra food when the lights are off.
How fasting is good for fish? This depends on the fish. In order to avoid health problems and overfeeding, some people opt to skip feeding for a few days. 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. A chart that shows the obesity levels of dogs and cats is available at the vet’s offices based on their body widths may be something you’ve seen. 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 do you know if you’re overfeeding fish
If your fish has a swollen belly, is producing a lot of poop, or is not very interested in eating during mealtimes, they may be consuming too much food. You may also notice a buildup of uncooked food in the tank, which can lead to fuzzy fungus and algae growth. Excess food can quickly pollute the water and you might also notice cloudy or foamy water.
Betta fish can overeat, like many fish and freshwater shrimp, so give them enough food to maintain a round abdomen and not too much 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. 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 symptoms can be very similar to those of an internal parasite or worm infestation. 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 survive without food?
If you are planning on traveling out of town or going on vacation, you may not need to worry. Adult fish can often go one week without any food, depending on their size, metabolism, and the water temperature. You may need to feed your fish regularly if they are young.
Why Are My Fish Always Hungry?
Fish in the wild are not always able find food. If they do find food, they eat it all. These opportunistic fish eat whatever you give them, acting as if they’re starving.
Don’t let your fish’s excitement fool you into feeding them more than they need. You can instead divide your fish’s daily meals into multiple portions, so they can be enjoyed multiple times per day.
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. Obesity and other health issues can develop if people eat until they feel full.
If you’re interested in feeding a wide variety of high-quality foods, check out our top 5 favorites list to learn more: