Fish Food – The Ultimate Guide
The amount of fish food that you choose to provide for your fish is very important because you should not overfeed or underfeed them. Overfeeding will contaminate the tank water making it unhealthy for the fish to survive. Also, excess fish food can clog up the filtration system making the water more toxic. In the wild fish have the advantage of eating their favorite food as much as necessary but in an aquarium, you are responsible for your fish having a balanced diet.
How do you know the right amount of fish food to feed your fish?
The right quantity fully depends on the type and size of fish in your fish tank. There are certain fish food that are best suited for a particular species only. You can begin by sprinkling a tiny amount of fish food in the tank and observe. It is better to feed your fish little amounts at first as you increase with time.
Most breeds only require feeding once a day, though you can decide to split the food into two smaller potions and feed the fish twice a day. There are some fish that can feed even when they are not hungry so that means that feeding them once a day is recommended to avoid overfeeding.
Types of fish food
There are different types of fish food that serve a specific purpose. Being able to identify the right type of food for your fish can sometimes be overwhelming especially if you lack information on the best food types. The following are some types of fish food available in local pet stores.
Freeze Dried food
This is the most popular fish food available because they are cheap and readily available. Dried food comes in different recipes to suit all kinds of breeds from herbivores to carnivores. This type of fish food can last for years if properly kept so you won’t have to spend a lot on food.
This food type is best suited for surface feeding fish and those that usually feed in the middle of the fish tank. The flakes quickly dissolve in water losing its nutrients. This makes it unsuited for fish that swim at the bottom of the aquarium.
Crisps and Pellets
These are a denser type of the flakes and the extra thickness makes it float longer and dissolve at a slower rate.
There are many frozen foods on the market. Here are the most popular:
Frozen blood worms are very easy to find in just about every pet store. Blood worms are suitable for all types of fish and are very popular among discus keepers. You must be careful not to feed your discus fish frozen blood worms as their primary diet. Blood worms tend to cause bloat in discus fish which can lead to death if not treated quickly. Therefore, it is recommended that you only feed frozen blood worms 2 to 3 times a week at most.
Frozen mysis shrimp are also very popular for all types of fish both fresh and saltwater. Mysis shrimp resemble brine shrimp but are larger in size. They don’t have too much protein but work well as a treat for your fish once in a while.
Frozen beef heart is very popular with discus keepers. Beef heart is available in pet stores but many discus keepers make their own beef heart at home. There is a lot of controversy on the benefits of beef heart with discus fish. Many discus keepers swear by the fact that beef heart has a lot of protein and helps the discus grow fast. While others argue that discus do not eat any type of beef in the wild. The digestive system of discus fish is not designed to process beef and ends up getting your discus sick. Also discus will take time before they will even consider eating beef heart. I personally have had better success feeding beef heart to wild discus that domestic discus. Also, the beef heart sold in stores is known to have more fillers than beef which is another reason discus do not like it. My advice on beef heart is that its ok to feed once in a while as a special treat but not as the primary diet.
Live foods are also very popular among aquarium keeps.
Live black worms are the most popular type of live food in the aquarium hobby. Black worms are good for fish as long as they are rinsed thoroughly before feeding. When feeding black worms on a regular basis you need to make sure you have a proper black worm holding container that helps keep your black worms fresh for extended periods of time.
Brine shrimp is also very popular among discus keepers. Most hobbyists hatch their own brine shrimp. Brine shrimp are good for baby fish and to get bigger fish excited about new food. however brine shrimp does not have much nutritional value so cannot be used as the only type of food for fish.
So what is the best type of food for fish then? The answer is a combination of all of the foods mentioned above. make sure you feed your fish a variety of foods throughout the week. Fish will get tired of the same foods over and over just like humans so switch it up. Plan on feeding different types of foods daily and you will see good results.