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(FISH)FOOD FOR THOUGHT: THE BASICS OF AQUARIUM FISH FEED

Posted by on Jan 18 2019

Much like ourselves and many of the world's animals, fish need feeding to remain alive and well. But unlike you and me, aquarium fish don't have the means to find food for themselves; thus the responsibility lies with you, the home aquarium owner. 
 
Fish living in the wild commonly have a complex and varied diet, whereas those in an aquarium fish tank typically have a low maintenance diet made up of a few key staples. However, it is still easy to get wrong, especially with regards to the amount of fish feed you are providing. 
 
Aquarium fish (and all fish species for that matter) fall under one of three categories, herbivore (plant eater), carnivore (meat eater) or omnivore (both). It is essential to find out what group your home aquarium fish fall under, but after that, the rest is relatively simple with regards to feeding aquarium fish. 
 
Below we aim to cover some basic principles to aid you in providing your small aquarium fish with a healthy diet and allowing them to live a long and happy life in your home fish tank:

A FISH'S STAPLE DIET

The cornerstone of a nourishing diet, for fish in a home aquarium at least, is high-quality dry food, usually in the formation of fish flakes. When you keep fish within the borders of a home fish tank, their food must provide them with nutrients that they would usually consume within a wilder environment and would otherwise be lacking from a home marine aquarium. 

Dry food is regularly typecast as basic goldfish food when in fact, fish flakes and other formations of dry foods such as pellets, wafers and sticks are wholesome and nutritious for the diets of aquarium and saltwater fish. Fortunately, they are now made up of all the healthy things fish need, including vitamins, minerals, fish meal, squid meal, earthworms and spirulina, but the ingredients are interchangeable to cater for all fish breeds and diet types, such as herbivore, carnivore or omnivore, which leads us nicely on to:

THE BATTLE OF THE VEGGIES vs MEAT EATER!

Vegetarianism and veganism are becoming increasingly popular lifestyle choices in today's current eco-political climate, but for fish, being a herbivore or carnivore isn't a lifestyle choice, it is a necessity. Before taking your pet fish home, you must be aware of any dietary requirements and respect this when buying fish food for your tropical and freshwater fish to survive. 
 
Your pet fish will be a herbivore, carnivore or an omnivore and with the vast amounts of dry, frozen and fresh fish foods available on the market to satisfy all of these dietary requirements, there is no need to ignore it.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Overfeeding can lead to serious health problems for your fish, both internal health concerns and through fish tank water becoming toxic, fish tank filters become clogged through excessive leftover food, for example. 
 
There is a relatively simple equation to help you calculate how much fish food you should be feeding to your aquarium fish. A good idea for determining quantity is only to feed the amount that your fish can consume within five minutes. You must also remember that if you are unsure, it is much better to underfeed and provide them with another minimal feed if required. 
 
Some fish are bottom feeders - meaning they feed at the depths of the fish tank - and should be allowed a couple of extra minutes to find and consume their fish food. 

MEAL TIMES 

The frequency of feeds is mostly dependent on the breed of fish in your fish aquarium. The common rule of thumb is a light feed at the start of the day and the end of the day, but you will find that most fish only need to be fed once a day as the digestion period for a lot of fish is 16 to 24 hours. If you try a second smaller feed in the evening but find leftover food after the five-minute window, it is safe to assume that one feed in the morning is enough for your fish and any more might become a problem, for your fish, the fish tank filter and the toxicity of the water. 
 
Fish breeds that usually require more than once-a-day feeding are the plant eaters, herbivores. Their stomachs are typically smaller and therefore can store less food throughout the day from their first feed.
 

FISHY TREAT MEALS 

Earlier we mentioned that the backbone of your fish's diet is dried fish foods such as fish flakes and pellets, but much like us, fish love a Friday treat!
 
In combination with the dietary staples that is dry fish food, your pet fish will enjoy the occasional tropical fish food treat, which comes under four varieties to gratify the varying nutritional requirements.
 
Frozen and freeze-dried fish foods are great treats for carnivores and include tubifex, shrimp, krill, bloodworms and many other crawly creatures. Fresh fish foods are ideal treats for herbivores and omnivores, such as zucchinis, peas and other vegetables.
 
Diced shrimp is also a fresh and tasty treat for carnivorous fish, but the most lavish cheat meal of all for your aquarium fish, providing they are carnivore and omnivores, is live food. 
Although the handling of live food might take some getting used to your carnivore freshwater fish will love the occasional treat of crickets, worms, snails and the likes. Much like ourselves and many of the world's animals, fish need feeding to remain alive and well. But unlike you and me, aquarium fish don't have the means to find food for themselves; thus the responsibility lies with you, the home aquarium owner. Much like ourselves and many of the world's animals, fish need feeding to remain alive and well. But unlike you and me, aquarium fish don't have the means to find food for themselves; thus the responsibility lies with you, the home aquarium owner. 
Fish living in the wild commonly have a complex and varied diet, whereas those in an aquarium fish tank typically have a low maintenance diet made up of a few key staples. However, it is still easy to get wrong, especially with regards to the amount of fish feed you are providing. 
Aquarium fish (and all fish species for that matter) fall under one of three categories, herbivore (plant eater), carnivore (meat eater) or omnivore (both). It is essential to find out what group your home aquarium fish fall under, but after that, the rest is relatively simple with regards to feeding aquarium fish. 
Below we aim to cover some basic principles to aid you in providing your small aquarium fish with a healthy diet and allowing them to live a long and happy life in your home fish tank:
A FISH'S STAPLE DIET
The cornerstone of a nourishing diet, for fish in a home aquarium at least, is high-quality dry food, usually in the formation of fish flakes. When you keep fish within the borders of a home fish tank, their food must provide them with nutrients that they would usually consume within a wilder environment and would otherwise be lacking from a home marine aquarium. 
Dry food is regularly typecast as basic goldfish food when in fact, fish flakes and other formations of dry foods such as pellets, wafers and sticks are wholesome and nutritious for the diets of aquarium and saltwater fish. Fortunately, they are now made up of all the healthy things fish need, including vitamins, minerals, fish meal, squid meal, earthworms and spirulina, but the ingredients are interchangeable to cater for all fish breeds and diet types, such as herbivore, carnivore or omnivore, which leads us nicely on to:
THE BATTLE OF THE VEGGIES vs MEAT EATER!
Vegetarianism and veganism are becoming increasingly popular lifestyle choices in today's current eco-political climate, but for fish, being a herbivore or carnivore isn't a lifestyle choice, it is a necessity. Before taking your pet fish home, you must be aware of any dietary requirements and respect this when buying fish food for your tropical and freshwater fish to survive. 
Your pet fish will be a herbivore, carnivore or an omnivore and with the vast amounts of dry, frozen and fresh fish foods available on the market to satisfy all of these dietary requirements, there is no need to ignore it.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
Overfeeding can lead to serious health problems for your fish, both internal health concerns and through fish tank water becoming toxic, fish tank filters become clogged through excessive leftover food, for example. 
There is a relatively simple equation to help you calculate how much fish food you should be feeding to your aquarium fish. A good idea for determining quantity is only to feed the amount that your fish can consume within five minutes. You must also remember that if you are unsure, it is much better to underfeed and provide them with another minimal feed if required. 
Some fish are bottom feeders - meaning they feed at the depths of the fish tank - and should be allowed a couple of extra minutes to find and consume their fish food. 
MEAL TIMES 
The frequency of feeds is mostly dependent on the breed of fish in your fish aquarium. The common rule of thumb is a light feed at the start of the day and the end of the day, but you will find that most fish only need to be fed once a day as the digestion period for a lot of fish is 16 to 24 hours. If you try a second smaller feed in the evening but find leftover food after the five-minute window, it is safe to assume that one feed in the morning is enough for your fish and any more might become a problem, for your fish, the fish tank filter and the toxicity of the water. 
Fish breeds that usually require more than once-a-day feeding are the plant eaters, herbivores. Their stomachs are typically smaller and therefore can store less food throughout the day from their first feed.
FISHY TREAT MEALS 
Earlier we mentioned that the backbone of your fish's diet is dried fish foods such as fish flakes and pellets, but much like us, fish love a Friday treat!
In combination with the dietary staples that is dry fish food, your pet fish will enjoy the occasional tropical fish food treat, which comes under four varieties to gratify the varying nutritional requirements.
Frozen and freeze-dried fish foods are great treats for carnivores and include tubifex, shrimp, krill, bloodworms and many other crawly creatures.  
Fresh fish foods are ideal treats for herbivores and omnivores, such as zucchinis, peas and other vegetables.
Diced shrimp is also a fresh and tasty treat for carnivorous fish, but the most lavish cheat meal of all for your aquarium fish, providing they are carnivore and omnivores, is live food. 
Although the handling of live food might take some getting used to your carnivore freshwater fish will love the occasional treat of crickets, worms, snails and the likes. 
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