A very common mistake that a lot of fish owners are guilty of is overfeeding. Whether you own koi or tropical fish, this is something a lot of people struggle to understand and get right.
It’s surprisingly so important to feed your fish correctly to give them the best possible quality of life, ensuring they are kept healthy and fed. In this blog we will go over some popular questions like how often you should feed your fish and the impact overfeeding can have.
What Happens If I Overfeed My Fish?
Some people may think fish need feeding more because they’re always on the lookout for food. However, fish will always act like they are hungry so some people may mistake this for them not being full, when in fact they may actually be eating a bit too much.
Over-feeding can reduce the quality of life that your fish have, forcing their bodies into developing fat deposits which can affect their health. This is why you have to be careful and feed your fish the right portions.
Overfeeding your fish can also clog up your filtration system. This makes it work harder and in some circumstances where the filtration system is saturated (in terms of waste handling) excess food or fish waste will break down into toxins which are harmful to fish.
How Do You Know If You Are Underfeeding Fish?
Like overfeeding fish there is also the worry of underfeeding. However, we think that fish are better to be under fed than over fed because you may find out the perfect balance of food that your fish will need.
There are not many signs that your fish are being under fed except if all the food is eaten instantly or your fish start to become skinny and lose weight. The reason why overfeeding is more common is due to the fact that fish can go prolonged periods of time without eating, so by testing how much your fish can eat will allow you to get into the middle of this blurred line.
How much food do my Fish need?
When a fish consumes its food, it will generally take around 16-24 hours for the food to move through the digestive system. A general golden rule for feeding fish is to only feed what your fish can eat in 2-3 minutes. If you're still not sure how much to feed them, start off at one minute and see if they consume all the food then move it up to two minutes and do the same. Eventually you will find the perfect balance for your fish.
As discussed before, it's better to underfeed your fish slightly then overfeed them, overfeeding your fish can give massive health issues to your fish and can make your water unclean and unsafe for your fish.
Make sure you also consider the water column your fish actually swim in, find out whether they are surface feeders, mid water feeders or bottom feeders. This is important because different feeders may get the most out of different types of food.
For example, bottom feeders such as Sturgeons will require a sinking pellet, this food will sink to the bottom of the tank and reach them, this food is also suitable for their mouth size.
What do I feed my fish?
It depends on many factors! There are all kinds of food that fish can eat, these range from flakes to crisps and even pellets. The type of food you buy will depend on how many fish you have, what kind of fish you own and how often you feed them. Every breed of fish is different. That's why before buying fish food you need to figure out the type of food they suit and how much they eat daily.
So in perspective, the price will be different for everyone based on your preferences. At Complete Koi for any fish that are purchased we will provide our customers with specialist advice like what they may eat and some quality fish food products ranging from Koi Food to Tropical Fish Food.
How can I make sure all my Fish are fed?
It can be quite difficult to tell if you have fed all of your fish especially if you have a lot of them. The difference between overfeeding and underfeeding is so slim that it sometimes goes unnoticed. That’s why you have to carefully make sure all of your fish are fed. Here are a few pointers to follow;
- Make sure there is no extra food at the bottom of the tank
- Watch for fish spitting their food out - They have had enough!
- Make sure food is spread around the tank/pond instead of in one place
How many times a day should I feed my fish?
We recommend feeding your fish once a day. However, some fish owners will like to do it twice a day but feed in smaller portions, instead of feeding all their food in one massive clump. The amount of times you feed your fish is a preference as long as you feed them the correct amount.
What time of the day should I feed my fish?
Fish will usually eat in the morning or at dusk, however there is no specific time that aquarium fish will feed. We say work around your own schedule and find a time slot every day to feed them. Your fish will quickly learn when it is feeding time!
How long can a fish go without food for?
The average time an adult fish can go without food is 3 days to a week, this depends on the health and breed of a fish. Whilst we advise you follow the specific requirements of your breed it’s always good to know this in case you planned a short trip away, then you don’t have to stress about feeding your fish every day.
On the topic of vaccinations, there are many ways that fish can still be fed without you being there. The obvious one is to get a family member or friend to feed them.
You can also get automatic feeders for your aquarium that allow your fish to be fed at certain times that you can set before you leave.
In conclusion, overfeeding and underfeeding do have a very thin line between them and it’s important to find the right balance through research and tests. It’s also important to note that the type of food you feed your fish should also be considered. Depending upon the species of your fish you may need to purchase a specific fish food. This provides your fish the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals they need. Here at Complete Koi & Aquatics we supply a wide range of fish and fish food, browse online, pop in to our store or get in touch with a member of our friendly team for more information or advice.
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