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Aquarium Advice

How Much And How Often Should You Feed Your Fish?

The process you follow when feeding your fish depends largely on what type of fish you choose to have in your aquarium; certain species require specific feeding patterns and particular foods and it’s important to ensure you’ve researched this well beforehand and are sticking to it properly. But luckily, there are some general things to consider when feeding your fish which we’ve put together in a friendly guide for you to consider in the planning stage of your aquarium.

Feeding your Fish

How Much To Feed Your Fish

The nutrient levels that each fish type require differ a lot, so it’s best to always check. You should be feeding your aquarium fish nothing more than they can eat within 2-3 minutes, anything left after this time will go to waste and start polluting the tank water.

How Often Should You Feed Your Fish

Generally, fish don’t need feeding breakfast, lunch and dinner as other mammals are used to; one large feeding or two smaller are usually sufficient. The specifics of how often your species needs feeding is determined by the type of fish that you keep, but general advice is to feed either once or twice a day.

If your fish are younger, then they may require a bit more feeding, but if you’re ever unsure it is better to underfeed than overfeed, as this can bring so many negative problems along with it. Similarly, plant-eating fish need to have smaller meals more frequently throughout the day as they have smaller stomachs that cannot hold a large amount of food at once.

Overfeeding Fish

Overfeeding fish isn’t quite the same as when humans overeat. Overfeeding your aquarium fish can potentially cause some serious health problems such as low oxygen levels, improper digestion and can significantly alter the chemicals within your tank’s water. Despite its severity, overfeeding is usually a common mistake with fish owners because of how easy it can be to do. As animal owners, we are keen to keep them happy and interact with them – which with fish can lead to being overfed.

Signs of Overfeeding Fish

There are a few different ways that you should be able to spot if you are overfeeding your fish. Early signs, that will help avoid any long-term issues are:

Excess Food In Tank

A key sign to your fish being overfed is if you see excessive amounts of food floating about the tank after feeding time. Generally, your fish should be fed just the right amount that they can eat within 2-3 minutes, anything else is too much and will be left as waste in the tank water. Keep an eye out for food being left in the tank, monitor it and don’t forget to remove it from the water!

Cloudy Water

The biggest, most obvious sign of overfed fish is usually cloudy water. Too much food within the tank results in more organic waste; both from the food and the excessive excretion it causes for our fish. When this waste begins to rot, this is when your tank water will turn cloudy. By altering the amount of food you give your fish you should be able to fix this quickly!

Low water pH

If you test your aquarium water and the pH level is off, there’s a good chance this is due to overfeeding your fish. The breakdown of excess waste within the tank also alters the pH levels of the water, increasing ammonia levels and resulting in poor conditions for your fish to survive. Each species of fish has a pH level that it needs to live happily,  if this is altered from overfeeding it can cause them stress and essentially have a domino effect on other serious health problems.

To ensure you’re feeding the fish in your tank properly just ensure:

  • You have planned and researched your species of fish as much as possible before you bring them home
  • Keep close monitoring on the health of your tank so you can observe any changes that might be signalling overfeeding
  • When uncertain, underfeeding is always the better option for the health of your fish

Browse our full range of aquarium fish food and find the right fit for your fish species. Take care reading the given information and follow it accordingly to feed your fish correctly and keep them healthy and happy!

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