Choosing the right food for your fish is very important. Good quality food will ensure your fish will live a good long life. First, understand that your fish were born with certain dietary requirements. Different breeds require different foods. Determine if your fish is an omnivore, herbivore, or carnivore.
Next, learn where your fish prefer to eat. Some of your fish are top feeders and some are bottom feeders. Look at where your fish’s mouth is positioned. This will give you a good indication of where they like to eat. If you have bottom feeders, make sure you get some sinking food. Also, do some research to determine if you have fish that are nocturnal feeders. If you do, feed them after you turn off the lights.
Remember, just like any animal, fish need variety in their diets. Use dry, frozen, and live foods. This will ensure your fish have a well balanced diet. Keep all of your fish food fresh. Flake food looses its nutritional value after about a month, so do not buy large quantities.
Many fish owners wonder how much food to feed their fish. Fish will eat whatever food is offered to them. The reason for this is in the wild, fish will often need to go several days without finding a food source, so they stock up whenever food is available. Fish do learn who brings the food, and will often come to the top of the tank when that person is nearby. Owners are often fooled into thinking that the fish are hungry, when in fact they are simple acting on instinct. It is important to have a plan for feeding your fish.
Most fish can be fed once a day. Twice a day is fine as well. Keep the feedings light. Most fish are omnivores, but if you have a herbivore, you will need more frequent feedings, as they do not hold as much in their stomachs.
Now, the amount you feed is also important. Too much food leads to a polluted tank, which makes the fish more susceptible to disease. Remember, a fish’s stomach is about as big as its eye. Only feed your fish as much as they will eat completely in under five minutes. It is better to underfeed than overfeed. You can always feed them a little more later, but removing excess food is difficult. If you accidentally overfeed, remove the extra food with your siphon hose or net.
Common flake food is great for most community tanks. The food has a combination of plant and animal products. There are many live foods on the market as well. You can grow your own brine shrimp easily in store-bought hatcheries. Frozen and freeze dried brine shrimp are also a healthy food source. There are many sinking foods on the market as well for bottom feeders. Algae eaters will need algae disks if your tank is clean. Some foods have products in them that enhance the color of your fish. The best way to decide what type of fish food to use is to research the breed of fish you are planning on caring for, which will ensure you get the best possible food for them!