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Author Topic: How Often Do you Feed?  (Read 5029 times)
russ
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« on: February 09, 2015, 09:52:50 PM »

This is an older posting I don’t remember releasing, but it kind of goes hand in hand with what my wife posted about calories:

I have always followed the thought that fish do three main things during their existence.

1. They look for food and eat.

2. They look for mates and reproduce.

3. They try to keep out of reach of predators and prevent from being #1 above.

All of the above has to do with expending energy. Fish need to eat to resupply that energy. Fish in the wild spend a significant amount of time searching for food while trying to attract a mate and keep from being eaten themselves. A properly stocked aquarium will generally assist fish from spending a significant amount of their energy looking for food or escaping from predators. Thus, less energy has to be allocated by the fish for these purposes. The hobbyist can then control and provide an adequate diet and food intake that will closely match fish husbandry during different stages of the fishes lives within the aquarium.
 
I have read members relaying all sorts of feeding procedures they employ. These range from feeding once each day every day to skipping every other day, feeding twice each day and so on. I have also read posts where it is better to under feed than over feed. I personally do not subscribe to either when presented in that context.

The results of over feeding can become quite obvious. Uneaten food pollutes the tank, destroys water quality and taxes your filter and ultimately the well being of your fish.

Under feeding also taxes the well being and health of your fish. Under feeding not only pertains to how much or how often fish are fed, but the overall diet. One may feed a group of African mbuna cichlids shrimp pellets ten times a day, but would not be the correct diet for these fish and thus would also be considered under feeding them.  A balanced diet, however, may not be an excuse or a reason to skip from feeding your fish one or more times a week (unless as part of a medical treatment plan for an ill or injured fish).
Almost all fish have a varying diet depending upon the growth and maturity stage of the fish. Growing fishes may require more protein during growth, while upon maturity, less.
A well stocked (meaning compatible fish) yields a comfortable community. A diet that can be supplied that adequately meets the nutritional needs of all its inhabitants can afford the hobbyist a more favorable feeding schedule with respect to how much and how often to feed the fish in that particular tank. 
I’ll get back to energy allocation…… In the wild, fish have almost an unlimited opportunity to swim wherever they want or need. The territory in the wild allows them to search for food and mates and escape predators. In an aquarium, there is limited room and thus less need to search for food or a mate. Fish do not need to expend more energy doing this and thus can reserve more energy for metabolism adjustments during spawning and growth periods.
Bottom line is that it is not necessary to skip feeding days. It is not how often you are feeding your fish, but how much one feeds their fish that determines over feeding.  Fish would be better off if allowed to eat each day.  Adult fish (when not being conditioned for spawning purposes or recovery from spawning) can be feed each day, but just less amount. For conditioning stage for breeding, perhaps a bit more often with foods that provide adequate sustainment and energy immediate after spawning.


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Jools253
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 03:47:38 PM »

Hi ya

I generally feed mine twice a day, flake and hikari wafers in the morning and frozen bloodworm in the afternoon/evening depending on my shifts at work.  I tend to put a little in first and add a little bit at a time until they start losing interest.  Theres only a tiny amount left afterwards and its always eaten up no more than 10-15 minutes later by the more timid inhabitants of my tank
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 11:43:28 AM »

russ- I put it this way. Fish have only 3 throughts:

1. Can I eat it?
2. Can it eat me?
3. Can I have sex with it?

Pretty much anything they do is related to one of more of those three things.

That said, I tend to feed fish once a day, usually after my dinner. Some fry may get fed more often.  I also tend to do at least one starve day per week. When conditioning fish to spawn, I do not do a starve day and I alter the diet to increase the protein content. I also tend to make sure there is a bit too much rather than a bit too little food going into the tank.

I also consider both the quality of the food as well as a diversity of food types are important. I would guess that right now I have about 20 different foods on hand to include flake, frozen and sinking. Some foods will last longer in a tank than others and those are ideal for feeding grazers. However, grazers do need to find food on and off all day long and may need to have food added twice a day. Think discus or Aufwuchs feeders like some plecos.
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“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
russ
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 08:38:46 AM »

Fish thoughts. That gave me an idea for a new thread or article topic  kewl You did a good job of validating what I mentioned, but used for less words. I'm not a big fan of skipping feedings for a whole day during the week. I guess that comes about from the fact that I am basically a lazy water keeper would slightly underfeed at each feeding except for fry grow out as you indicated. Mine got fed twice each day.  Of coarse, this would depend on the species and if this is a hobby tank or grow out tank. I tried to cover two points of feeding/diet with energy allocation.  happy
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"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
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