FISH SCHOOL 101 ...
My fish always look hungry!!!
By far the most common problem we encounter with fish keeping is overfeeding. Why is this so? There are a couple explanations why aquarium fish are overfed so regularly by their keepers. First, many hobbyist are not aware of the basic feeding guidelines. Second, fish tend to display behaviors that make us, the hobbyist, think that they are hungry and therefore need feeding. Third, hobbyists have a fascination watching fish eat, and what better way to get the fish moving around in the aquarium than to drop some tasty morsels in the water!
So, why is it that fish always look hungry and dart to the top of the aquarium when you approach? First and foremost, all fish are "Opportunistic Feeders." In the wild, fish do not know when there next meal will come floating by, therefore, when they do have the opportunity to eat, they do just that, eat! When kept in a captive environment, fish do not loose those genetically ingrained opportunistic feeding habits - thus they always appear hungry.
Over feeding creates two major problems. First as uneaten food decomposes, it turns into toxic compounds. If the toxicity gets to high, fish can loss can occur. The second problem is that uneaten food breaks down into fertilizer which algae feed on, resulting in unattractive algae blooms.
Recommended Feeding Guidelines
- All food should be consumed within 30 seconds of feeding.
- Most fish have a fast metabolism - best to feed a small amount several times a day rather than one large daily feeding
- Keep in mind a fish's stomach is about the same size as its eye.