maintenance, care, compatibility
One of the first questions that people ask sellers of aquarium fish – and how to feed them correctly? You may think that this is a simple question, but far from it.
Of course, if you do not want to bother yourself, you can just throw a few flakes into the aquarium, but if you want your fish to be healthy, play with all the colors of the rainbow and delight you, then we will tell you how to properly feed the aquarium fish.
I would say that the majority of aquarists feed their fish correctly, but too often they have to see how over-feeding turns the jar into a foul-smelling swamp or fish that is so overwhelmed that they forget how to swim.
And it is easy to understand why this is happening. There is no specific standard, and feeding fish may not be an easy task for a beginner.
The fact is that with the fish, we most interact during feeding. And so you want to feed them a little bit more.
And a novice aquarist feeds the fish, every time he sees that they are lonely asking for feed from the front glass. And most of the fish will ask for food even when they are about to burst (this applies especially to cichlids), and it is so hard to understand when it is already enough.
And yet – how often do you need and how many times to feed aquarium fish? Fish should be fed 1-2 times a day (for adult fish, fry and adolescents should be fed much more often), and with the amount of food that they eat in 2-3 minutes.
Ideally, no food would get to the bottom (but do not forget to feed catfish separately). We will immediately agree that we are not talking about herbivores, for example, ancistrus or brocade catfish. These eat almost around the clock, scraping algae.
And do not worry, it is not necessary to carefully monitor each time if they ate, just a couple of times a week look.
Why is it so important not to overfeed the fish? The fact is that overfeeding negatively affects the state of the aquarium.
Food falls to the bottom, gets into the ground, rots and starts to spoil the water, while serving as a nutrient base for harmful algae.
At the same time in the water accumulate nitrates and ammonia, which poison the fish and plants.
Dirty, algae-covered aquariums with sick fish are often the result of overfeeding and dirty water.
Practice shows that most fish lovers choose the right feeding tactics. But, sometimes you have to deal with neglected cases when the owners are addicted and overfeed the fish so that they suffer from excess weight and physically can not swim.
At the same time, the excess feed begins to rot, forming a real green swamp with all the ensuing consequences. And this is not surprising.
After all, there is no one universal algorithm for feeding all types of fish, so the question is how, what and how much to feed the fish becomes critical.
A beginner aquarist is misled by the fish themselves. They begin to swim at the trough and look lonely into the front glass, as if asking for some more food. However, it should be realized that most fish will continue to beg for food even in moments of overeating, such is their nature.
This is especially true for cyclides.
The first and basic rule – limit feeding to 1-2 times per day. This rule applies to adult fish.
Fry and teens are fed more frequently. The ideal is a portion that is eaten in the first 3-4 minutes. The norm is observed in the event that no food does not have time to touch the bottom.
The exceptions are catfish and fish that feed from the bottom. For them, it is better to use a special feed. Of course, it is impossible to forbid catfish and other herbivores to eat plants and algae, but this is a natural process that will not make them worse.
If you are afraid that the fish do not get enough food, then follow their condition for a week.
It is very important to observe the portions and not to overfeed pets. A well-running aquarium has its own microclimate, so excess food can cause imbalance. Remains of feed fall to the bottom and start the process of rotting, which spoils the aqua and causes the formation of harmful algae.
In addition, ammonia and nitrates increase in water, which adversely affects all residents.
If you periodically suffer from dirty water, the presence of algae and fish diseases, think about how often you feed the fish and how much food you give them.
If at intervals it became clear, then with what to give them, not really. Aquarists use four types of feed:
- Live food;
Ideal if you will combine all types of feed. In this case, your fish will be healthy and will give you an aesthetic pleasure playing its colors. It is not excluded that fish will eat only vegetable or only protein food, it all depends on the breed of aquarium inhabitants.
In nature, someone chooses a vegetarian lifestyle, but someone does not mind to eat their own kind. But if you disassemble most of the fish, it is better to use a mix of several feeds.
Purchased branded food can be used as the main food, regularly please fish with live food and sometimes give vegetable food.
If you decide to go under this scheme, then pay great attention to the choice of branded feed. It is better to give preference to well-known brands that have been on the market for more than one year and are tested by experienced aquarists. This food is suitable for almost all fish.
It is balanced, it contains the necessary vitamins and trace elements. You can find it in any pet store. Do not confuse branded feed with dry.
Food consisting of dried daphnia, cyclops or gammarus is not the best food for the daily diet of your fish. It is not desirable to feed with such food, because it is deficient in nutrients, it is poorly absorbed and, among other things, is an allergen for humans.
Food live food – the most preferred option. The fish should be given regularly as an additional feeding every other day.
Like people, aquarium residents love a variety of foods, so try to alternate food as much as possible. The most common are the chimneyweed, bloodworm and coretil. The only, but very significant disadvantage is that this type of food is most often mined in its natural environment, which means that it is possible to bring the infection into your water body.
It is best to freeze it before feeding fish. This method kills a number of harmful bacteria.
Featuring an alternative to live food – frozen. Agree, not everyone can be measured with the settlement in the fridge of live worms.
For such there is an alternative – frozen worms. They are easy to dose, they are stored for a long time, contain a full set of vitamins.
If you carefully study the pet stores, you can find miksovannyh species, where in one pack will be all three popular types of worms.
Vegetable food is an integral part of fish life in the natural environment. Most fish will have to try and cook green food.
Of course, feeding predators with grass is stupid, but the rest will gladly enjoy the greenery suitable for them. It is difficult to give general recommendations, since different fish prefer different feeds. There are several options for plant foods:
To natural can be attributed cucumber, zucchini or cabbage. Such feeding will allow you to enjoy your clean aquarium with healthy and beautiful fish.
With proper feeding, the lifespan of the fish increases.
Live food in aquarium: advantages and disadvantages
Artemia is a small crustacean that lives in saltwater. Adults of Artemia reach the size of 8–10 mm, while in aquariums they usually use nauplii – newly hatched small larvae, which are an excellent first food for fry of many fish.
A huge plus of Artemia – ease of cultivation. All you need is a small vessel with salted water and a compressor. Step-by-step instructions for growing this type of crustacean are easy to find in aquarium literature, and various technology improvements are available on aquarist forums.
Home-grown artemia does not carry pathogens and of the above-mentioned live food is probably the only safe.
As for the bloodworm, corretry and tubule – they are definitely not as such, and they must be disinfected before they are fed to the fish.
Frozen feed is considered less dangerous. When frozen, many parasites, protozoa, and some (but not all) bacteria die.
However, no harmful and toxic chemicals go anywhere. In addition, a crucial role is played by the quality of the feed, which has been frozen.
If frozen, for example, stale remnants of unsold moth, who did not bother to pre-wash and disinfect, then this feed may be even more harmful than living.
Serious industrial manufacturers of frozen food guarantee quality raw materials and disinfection carried out, but if transportation and storage are carried out in bad faith, defrosting and repeated freezing is allowed, feeding them fish is harmful and dangerous.
It is necessary to give live food only in those cases when you cannot do without it. Such cases include feeding fry, fish adaptation after a long transportation or after catching in nature, sometimes – preparing the spawners for producers.
All of these situations are usually dealt with by professionals who do not need to be taught how to handle feed. In addition, these people have enough knowledge and skills to deal with the possible negative effects of such feeding.
Novice aquarists are not recommended to use live food, since the risk in this case is greater than the possible benefits.
If you do not want to keep the aquarium solely on dry ration, the diet of predatory fish can be varied, for example, frozen seafood.
And if a decision is made to feed the fish with live crustaceans, worms or larvae, then in this case you will have to work hard. At a minimum, it is necessary to find a good supplier who extracts bloodworms, tubers and daphnia not near the treatment plant, but far from the city, in clean small reservoirs where there is no fish.
It is even more reliable to extract them independently, and then to disinfect and freeze them qualitatively.
If there is no possibility and desire to walk through the puddles with a net or if you want to have live, non-frozen food all year round, it is not so difficult to grow it at home from purchased crops or worms and crustaceans found in nature.
We will not dwell on this here in detail; we will only mention that at home it is quite easy to grow and maintain daphnia cultures for a long time, as well as enchitreus and auleforus worms, which are not inferior in nutritional quality to the strawberry. That’s when your fish will really thank you.