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Feeding questions

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Feeding questions

Post by kpoet on Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:27 am

One of my biggest issues as a new fish keeper seems to be feeding. There is so much conflicting information out there it almost useless to read any of it! Some say once a day, some 2-3 times. Some say as much as the fish will eat in 2 minutes. None of these arrangements seems to working for me and here is why.

The betta - tries so many different foods it isn't even funny. Flakes, no dice. They just sit there fouling the water. Mini tetra pellets, he'll eat one or 2 then sit there while the rest sink to the bottom. Then he'll come up to the top looking for more 5 minutes later. Freeze dried anything, no way. Frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp, he might take a nip at one or 2 but generally lets them sink (where they foul the water)

The Tetras, platys, pleco and frog - platy's eat everything I drop in the tank before any one else can even get close. it's actually the tank I have the least water issues with. I have taken to feeding the frog by hand to ensure he actually gets some food

The snails, plecos and rainbows - my biggest problem. I am sure the rainbows would eat for as long as I was willing to stand there dropping food. It doesn't matter what or how much I put in the tank they attack it, devour it and sit waiting for more. I seriously have no idea how much or how often I should feed them. they also peck pieces off the snail food but don't eat them so they end up lost in the gravel fouling the water. same with the snails, no matter what I put in there it's appears to be gone in the morning and they are roaming around looking for more. Obviously I'm overfeeding because I now have to vacuum twice a week to keep the tank clean.

So what is the answer? How much do they really need? How do you tell if they need more or need less?

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Re: Feeding questions

Post by Biulu on Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:42 am

First of all: adult fish only need food once a day. Only for fry and juveniles that you want to grow 2 or 3 times a day is necessary.

I have similar problems between my angelfish and snails but have found a solution. I feed the snails with larger sinking pellets that don't immediately disintegrate in the evening about half an hour before I turn the lights off.

If you have fed your other fish well, they will peck at it when it is sinking but mostly can't be bothered to try to 'work' on a large chunk of food. I am sure this will also work for the plecos. Another option are vegetables; fish regularly do like the squash but don't eat it all and leave enough for the snails and plecos. My fish are not too keen on cucumber but the snails do.

Regarding other competition of food: I draw the attention of the quick fish but sprinkling food in one corner of the tank and then while they are busy sprinkle more food on the other side of the tank. To this effect I turn off the filter.

Now these quick fish are also quick to recognise that once the filter is off, they will get food. So if you always feed in the same corner for them first, they will swim to that side once they feel that the filter is turned off. And this gives you even a better opportunity to feed the slower and shier fish in the other corner.

Depending upon the size of the pellets, one round pellet might well be enough for a betta. My bettas are very sociable and curious and sometimes more interested in the social interaction than the food I find. Another thing I found is that they like food variety; I try to alternate between pellets and flakes. Plus a betta is used to get their food from the surface; going after their food on the bottom is not their style. For bettas I always make sure I have pellets that don't sink right away (normally these are the smaller rounder ones) or a good flake as these also float longer. This allows the fish more time to find out there is food and eat quietly.

My betta edithae are shy and run off once they see movement. When I gave them larger pellets in the beginning these would also foul at the bottom, however with the flakes and better floating pellets I don't have that problem as it gives them ample time to come to the place where the food is when I am already gone or at least no longer moving.
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Re: Feeding questions

Post by CAAIndie on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:39 pm

I also only feed my fish once a day. The only time other instance I would feed more than what Biulu mentioned would be if I was trying to get a fish into breeding condition. At that point I might try to do 2 or 3 smaller feedings in a day.


Some of my fish have been finicky too, but generally I have just tried to keep findings different foods. My checkerboard loves sinking mini disks, bloodworms, freed dried shrimp, etc. It doesn't care for the tubifex I have, nor will he ever go to the top of the tank for flake. I always try to spread around the food too, my ram becomes possessive of the mini sinking disks. I have to put one on each side of the tank, so that my checkerboard and my corys can get at them.
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Re: Feeding questions

Post by kpoet on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:51 pm

I just fed the fish. The betta ate 1 bit of the drop of brine shrimp and let the other 2 pieces fall. The tetra pellets are like grains of sand, I put a pinch in a feeder ring for the 4 tetras on one side of the tank, then I put 2 dropperfulls of thawed brine shrimp on the other side for the platys which they devoured. Then the platys went over and ate the tetra food Sad I hand fed the frog a few pieces of brine shrimp as well. I put the rest of the thawed brine shrimp cube (which is a lot) in the other tank for the rainbows and it was gone in less than 45 seconds. The snails will get their snello tonight but the 2 hanging out at the top got a pond pellet each because my daughter was helping.
does that sound like it will be sufficient for the day? What about the tetras, since the platys ate their food should I try to find a way to get them some food?
I'm sorry for all the questions I'm just trying to get a handle on this so I'm raising healthy fish.

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Re: Feeding questions

Post by GaryE on Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:35 pm

I think one of the first things that say you have been keeping fish for a while is when you realize there are no rules for fish. Fish? Which species....

Once you realize there are no rules, just guidelines, all the divergent info falls into place. You may not be in the place it falls, but it apparently does come together somewhere.

Almost all adult sized tropicals can eat once a day and have a day off once a week. Yes, they want to eat more. Like them, I want to eat more too, of everything. But if I do, I shorten my life, decrease my mobility, etc.
Leaner fish live longer and seem to live better. Fish like a lot of tetras, most barbs, some surface killies, Bettas and some livebearers can actually become quite obese in the home aquarium. You can cut their lifespan by a third by overfeeding.

Other fish, like swordtails and rainbows can (if your tank has a good current to give them their natural exercise) eat twice a day with no problem, as long as the feedings are small. They will always look famished, but twice daily does it. You can feed juveniles three meals a day to force growth, but you can also get away with once a day when they have grown, as long as you occasionally give them a saturation day.

Some species can be fed to death. Angels apparently can be, although I only have that from word of mouth.

Proper feeding's a case by case thing.
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Re: Feeding questions

Post by goldfishbetalover on Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:57 am

Hi everyone!
all of our goldfish eat 2X per day except Sunday's they eat just once in the evening...they flakes they seem to enjoy them! I feed a minimal amount as I am always concerned that I may over feed...they all seem to be doing well!
Our 8 bettas all eatbetta granules...again 2 X per dau except Sunday's only in the evening...they have 2 pellets per day one in the morning one in the evening...
what do other betta owners feed and how much each day...our guys also enjoy peridically frozen bloodworms
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