This blog is an attempt to help aquarium keepers to understand what,when and how to feed their fishes is when they are hungry so that they don`t eat their co-living brothers and sisters in the Aquarium.
Many at times I have noticed when it comes to buying food for ourself, we are very selective and be it buying vegetables or choosing a restaurant, we are very particular that we get fresh with good quality. I may want to insist on the same when it comes to feeding your fish and thats the purpose of this blog also throughout this blog, I might compare our food habits often with feeding your fishes for easy understanding(hopefully you are not going to order for a pizza for your fish after reading this).
So let`s start with few basics about the types of fishes feed which you may commonly find in the market and identifying the right feed by the end of this, ideally. Fish feeds are basically manufactured based on the feeding habit of the fishes. For an example, some of the fishes come to the water surface and feed. Some of them don`t come to the top surface at all. Some of them eat only at the bottom level of the tank. This specific habit of the fishes determine the type of food they can intake.
1. Flake Food
2. Pellets Food
3. Freeze/Dried Food
4. Frozen Food
5. Spirulina/ Dried Sea Weed
6. Live Food
7. Other type food.
Flake Food is the most common of all fish foods and is generally the easiest to use. You simply sprinkle a little over the top of your water and the fish come up to feast! A variety of flakes are available for specific fish. Marine flake is designed for a saltwater fishes' diet, while community tropical flake is for freshwater fish like tetras, barbs, or angels. Goldfish have their very own flake, as well as cichlids. The ingredients within each flake were chosen based on the natural diet of each type of fish. A flake food is a great basic staple food for all fish, each according to its type.
Pellets come in a variety of sizes but most are for larger fish. Cichlid pellets are common, as well as pellets for larger predatory fish like catfish or sharks. Pellets contain the same basic ingredients as flake foods, just in a different form. Some pellets are designed to float,while others will slowly sink to feed bottom-dwellers. Try pellets for your larger fish, like Oscars, catfish, large cichlids, groupers, etc.
When we talk about pellets, we also have to understand the different sizes of the pellets. What I have listed below is on the whole digits but there .5 variance, like 3.5mm or 4.5mm are also available from different manufactures.
Fish go crazy for frozen food! If you have a finicky eater, try some natural frozen food- it is sure to get them to nibble! Like freeze-dried food, frozen food is in its natural form, with varieties ranging from brine shrimp, krill, mysis, and other basics, to nutritious specialty blends created for specific fish, like Discus formula or Shark formula. Frozen food will be your fishes' favorite! Feed as a supplement to their regular staple diet. A perfect alternative to live food!
Spirulina is a highly nutritious algae that many fish love. It's great for herbivorous cichlids and saltwater fish like clownfish and tangs.Seaweed is available as dried sheets. Tangs,
cichlids and plecos will love this veggie snack. Feed spirulina as part of their regular diet, and feed seaweed as a weekly treat.
Live fish food include earthworms, sludge worms, water fleas, bloodworms, and feeder fish. Food for larvae and young fish include infusoria (Protozoa and other microorganisms), newly hatched brine shrimp and microworms. These are the most preferred type of food for fishes,but are difficult to get. However, freeze dried forms of earthworms, tubifex etc. are available now.
Many fish will appreciate a leaf of romaine lettuce every now and then, and goldfish & plecos would love a slice or two of cucumber! Pacus enjoy frozen peas and lima beans. Your larger carnivores may appreciate frozen beefheart or perhaps frozen squid or silversides. Some fish eagerly feast on earthworms, mealworms, and even crickets! Pufferfish and loaches love to crunch a few snails, too!
Now lets talk about the ingredients of these fish foods...
Fish food should ideally provide the fish with fat (for energy) and amino acids (building blocks of proteins) and the fish food (whether flake or pellet) must be speedily digested in order to prevent build up of intestinal gas, renal failure and infections (such as swim bladder problems and dropsy) and to avoid aquarium pollution due to excessive ammonia. Aquatic diets for carnivores must contain vegetable matter such as spirulina.
While we are talking about the fish feed we may also wanted to know the sources for the fish food.
1. Fish meal
2. Soybean meal
3. Squid meal
4. Whole Wheat
6. Brine Shrimp
What we may want to remember always is that the unconsumed food turns into ammonia in the aquarium and pollute the water which will eventually start affecting the fishes by either by reducing their life span or by killing them directly. So we will also talk about the right way of feeding the fishes below..
Now I guess we have had enough details about the food where its time to understand what to feed to whom, how much and when. Before we go further, let`s understand that fishes don't need to be fed mandatorily three times a day like human. They probably may not appreciate us providing them breakfast, lunch and dinner with evening tea. I remember hearing from many of my customers that whenever they go near to the tank, fishes are coming up for the food so they don't feel like walking away without feeding them. Watchout, may be they are coming up because you have overfed them and the uneaten food which has polluted and reduced the oxygen content of the water.
Its always recommended to switch off the pump before you start feeding because there are possibilities the food may get sucked or blowed by the pump before your fishes feed on them. But just remember to switch on the pump right after the feeding without fail else it lead to a disaster. Once you finish feeding, make sure to remove the uneaten food using a fine net to avoid it polluting the aquarium. If you start maintaining the feeding timing on a regular basis, your fishes shouldn`t be taking more than few minutes to finish their feeding.
While you are buying food for your fishes, please do consider the quantity vs cost. If you are getting a pack of 100gm food at a cost of 25 rupees, you might want to think about the quality that can contain considering the ingredients mentioned above on this article. There are foods available for different breed of fishes such as Discus, Fighter, Tetra, Flowerhorn, Arowana, all types of cichlids, Parrot fishes, etc. These foods are made with extra care considering the type and the need of the specific varieties of fishes. Incase if you are having just few goldfishes, there are specific food for them too. In my opinion, i would recommend to go for the specialized feed for the type of fishes you have rather than buying a generalized feed that may not be suitable for any of the fishes in your tank.
A good quality food at the right quantity is very critical for the fishes to stay healthy with bright colour for a long period. You may log on to my site www.fishaway to have a look at the different types of feed available for online sale and I am sure you will be surprised to see the variants.
I wonder if i have helped you to take you to the next level of maintaining your fishes but apart from reading this article and understanding it, what requires more is the conscious to provide good food to your fishes. Eating Biryani three times a day and eating noodles at all your meals, both are unhealthy. If you don`t spend on good food, then you may spend on medicines or on buying new set of fishes, Soon!
If you are reading this line, then i am sure you would have already on the look out for the right food for your fishes. Congratulations and i am happy for your fishes. Please do leave your comments and feel free to post questions if you have any.