How much and how often should you feed your fish? The amount of food that you feed is very important because it can directly impact the fish’s health. The right amount of food to feed can be difficult to determine because the dietary needs of fish will differ for each species and the stage of life they are in. For example, the feeding requirements of newborn fries and a mature fish will vary widely. A newborn fry will need to be fed very frequently and sparingly. On the other hand, a single feeding every other day may be enough to keep a mature fish healthy. A rule of thumb for an average adult fish is to offer as much food as they will consume in 2-3 minutes, twice a day. Automatic feeders can be effective in maintaining a regular feeding schedule.
One of the leading causes of death of an aquarium fish is due to overfeeding. However, most fish are opportunistic feeders and they will devour as much as they can, whenever they can. When overfed, fish may continue feeding even after they are causing damage to their own health. Overfeeding is especially common in novice fish keepers.
Due to the fact that fish are cold blooded, they do not require a lot of energy and food in order to survive compared to mammals. Overfeeding your fish can lead to numerous problems. First of all, it is harmful to the health of the fish as it causes unnecessary stress to its digestive system. In addition, excess waste will cause the biological load on the aquarium filtration system will become overworked. Poor water quality will take a toll on fish’s health as well. Continuous overload can lead to the disruption of the nitrogen cycle. High levels of nitrogen can lead to a spike in algae growth in an aquarium as well. An effective method to avoid overfeeding and water pollution is to feed sparingly and often, rather than a lot of food at once. Also, the type of fish feed can heavily impact how much it pollutes the water.
Aquarium fish in a family setting can often be overfed unintentionally when different family members feed the fish without realizing that they have already been fed by another member. Avoid this issue by ensuring only one person feeds the fish or by following a schedule.
If you realize that you have overfed, simply remove the uneaten food as soon as possible to avoid harming the fish and polluting the water.