• How Often Should I Feed My Fish?

    From Jeff Snyder@1:345/3777 to All on Thu Apr 21 13:21:00 2011
    "How often should I feed my fish?" is a question that we hear all the time
    from tropical fish hobbyists.

    Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, your fish do not need to
    be fed every single day, and much less several times a day. That is over-feeding, which could lead to serious problems in your aquarium over
    time, such as poor water quality, high nitrate levels, increased aquarium maintenance, etc.

    The facts are these . . .

    Pet store and local fish store owners, managers and employees would no doubt
    be very grateful if you were to spend your hard-earned cash buying fish food all the time -- particularly expensive brands such as Hikari pellets --
    which is what I feed my Malawi cichlids.

    We tropical fish hobbyists are so indoctrinated by long-held traditions
    which have become anchored in the tropical fish industry. These traditions
    go something like this: Surely you must feed your fish several times a day. Surely you must change your filter pads and buy new ones every single week. Surely you must do this, and surely you must do that.

    But tell me; who is profiting most from all of spending? Your fish, or
    business interests?

    Speaking from personal experience, I now feed my fish once every other day,
    and sometimes even once every four days. Not only does it result in the tank staying cleaner, and the water purer, but it also ensures that my fish have
    a healthy appetite when I do feed them, and nothing will be left to rot on
    the bottom of the tank.

    My fish have not suffered in the least as a result of this conservative
    feeding practice. Consider that I started out with five mbunas -- African cichlids from Lake Malawi -- in April of 2009, and now have dozens in the
    tank. Furthermore, the females are still breeding all the time; the males
    are still posturing with each other all the time and digging their mating
    pits; the fish are still displaying their brilliant blue colors, etc.

    So to answer the question "How often should I feed my fish?", it is really
    up to you, but I feed my fish once every three or four days using standard Hikari mini pellets, and Hikari Gold pellets -- the red pellets -- when I happen to have them on hand. I stock up on fish food for months at a time.

    Please note that I speak from experience after decades of being a tropical
    fish hobbyist, as well as being a former manager at a pet store and an
    aquarium design and maintenance business, and then running my own aquarium design business for a while as well.

    Please consider visiting my tropical fish messageboard at:



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