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Author Topic: Feeding black skirt tetras  (Read 7460 times)
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« on: February 13, 2011, 09:17:25 PM »

I have a question about over-feeding (20 gallon high tank):
How much is a black skirt tetra supposed to eat? Most mornings my present five (1 to 1 1/2 inches nose to tip of tail) rush to the front of the tank as I fumble with the flake jar. I put in a small pinch, they swarm and it's gone in two seconds. I put in another, same thing. I have done another pinch and I know that should be too much, and I also know that they will keep on going ... so much for the five minute rule - that could be the whole jar. My 4 neons now join them in the feeding frenzy and seem to be getting enough. The BN catches fallout on the bottom. In the evening I put in a 1/4 inch algae disc. One of the neons catches it in its mouth and then they toss it to each other like a frisbee up and down the tank. They get a bit off the edges, then it sinks to the bottom, the BN is usually sitting on it as I head off to bed and it is gone in the morning. I was going to put in a tiny chip of frozen bloodworm maybe one night a week.

So even if they act ravenous when I give them the flakes and keep following me up and down the tank as I put the jar away, how many small pinches of tropical flakes should I give them? Each pinch floats out to about one inch in diameter. I thought two should be enough, with wafer, etc at night.

All happy and healthy so far and water quality good (one 20% water change with vacuum once a week).
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Tanks: 25G Community Tank, 10G Crayfish tank, 3G Betta tank, 34G Saltwater
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 10:29:07 PM »


I'm a newbie, but I think 1 -- at most 2 -- pinch should be enough. Suggest you not feed every day; maybe 5-8 times a week.

Would one of our experienced aquarists weigh in?

Wheels on the Bus
Hamster- the other white meat.
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Sanctimonious Chicken

« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 10:59:50 PM »

The size of the fish's stomach is probably about the size of their eyeball - they just need a pinch daily, and that's it. Many of us fast our fish at least once a week. Some people fast their fish more than once a week. It is their instinct to gobble up food whenever it is presented - a survival skill from the wild. They're always going to gorge themselves like little piggies and act like they haven't been fed in days - it's just a fish thing. Smiley

GB, just for clarification, there are 7 days in a week, not 8...... Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 11:12:13 PM »

Basically fish are programed to eat when food is available.  To a certain point, as much food as you put in the tank the fish will eat or attempt to eat.  Generally fish need many times less food then we think they do.  When swimming around in the wild a fish might find food every day or once a week.  For most fish this means they don't have to eat every day.  I only feed my fish three or four times a week and I don't keep a regular schedule.  I may feed the morning one day and the evening the next time.
Overfeeding causes bad water quality in two ways.  First of course is the extra food in the water.  But it does not sit around long and starts to rot.  Second,  you have the problem of fish eating extra food and then passing it out unprocessed into the water.  In which case, you are back to the problems of food in the water.  
Almost every fish keeper overfeeds for many different reasons: we don't know better, we like the activity when fish are eating, fish learn we are source of food and "beg."
You seem to have as good a method of feeding as any.  You can see how feeding every other day works out.  
With a community tank you have to make sure everybody is getting food not just the fastest and the biggest.  

Betsy, sometimes I need that eighth day. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 06:03:42 PM »

I use the 2 pinch method also, acrula. I alternate flake and granular food. Just before lights out I put 2 shrimp pellets and 1/4 algae tablet in for the aspidoras and snail. I ended up putting a glass coaster in the tank for the shrimp pellets. They fall apart so fast that most of them were going down into the gravel before they were eaten. The fish still push some of it off over the lip of the coaster--but I can see much more is eaten than before when I vacuum. We got the coasters as a wedding gift 36 yrs ago and they have been sitting in the cupboard unused all this time--figured it was about time to put at least 1 of them to good use. Smiley

I'm really happy to see that your fish play frisby with the algae tablet. I though only my nutty fish did that!

20 gal high with 8 Glofish, 3 Pristella Tetras, 3 Lemon Tetras and 2 Aspidoras.
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