The Aquatic Diet: 5 Things You Need to Know About Feeding Fish

Few pets bring with them the serenity of a fish tank. The calming sounds of water and the graceful movement of fish can quickly be spoiled by the sight of a floating fish carcass.

Choosing a proper diet for your fish can help you prevent this fate. You may be asking ‘what do fish eat?’

Check out these top five things to know about feeding your fish.

1. Types of Fish

There are hundreds of aquarium fish options available when choosing a pet. It’s important to learn about the species of fish you choose in order to choose the right fish food. 

There are three main fish diets: omnivore, carnivore, and herbivore. Herbivores eat plants while carnivores are meat-eaters.

It is possible for omnivore fish species to have a preference on which food they choose. Monitoring your fish’s food intake can help you learn what they like most over time. 

2. Types of Food

Flakes are the most common type of fish food. They are one of many other styles of dry food including granules, crisps, wafers, and pellets.

These come in both floating and sinking varieties. One of the downsides to using dry fish food is that it can be lower in fiber than other types.

To circumvent this, many pet owners add in vegetable-based foods to keep fish free of bladder disorders and bloating. Omnivores and herbivores can nibble on Nori, a type of seaweed to stay healthy.

Other types of fish include frozen and freeze-dried food. Frozen foods are usually meats like shrimp and bloodworms. But spirulina is available as an option for vegetarians.

Live foods include feeder fish and growing phytoplankton. These are preferred by larger carnivorous fish species.

3.  How Often to Feed

Fish digest food slowly. It’s important to allow 16 to 24 hours between feedings for the food to digest properly.

For this reason, feeding fish once a day is usually enough. But this frequency varies by species and the age of your fish. 

Young fish might need three or four feedings per day depending on the type of fish and the amount of fish in the tank. 

4.  How Much to Feed?

Most people overfeed fish instead of underfeeding them. For species that require multiple feedings per day, always pinch off tiny amounts into the tank.

Fish that eat meat typically eat more than herbivores. This is because herbivores have smaller stomachs and can only hold a tiny amount of food at one time.

One common rule of thumb is to feed fish only what they can eat in five minutes. 

5. Dangers of Overfeeding

Overfeeding your fish is the fastest way to contaminate your fish tank. Uneaten food in the tank leads to elevated ammonia levels which are dangerous for your fish.

Fish that are overfed can also become obese and produce lots of waste into the tank. This means having to clean out the tank more often to keep nitrate levels in check.

What Do Fish Eat?

Fish species come in all shapes and sizes. You may be wondering what do fish eat that’s easy to clean while keeping the fish healthy.

Many carnivores enjoy a brine that’s easy to feed fish because it’s already in liquid form. No matter their diet preference, small amounts of vitamin-rich foods are the best solution to keeping your fish on a balanced diet. 

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