Should you be feeding fish several times a day?
The frequency of feeding fish is almost a science. I mean depending who you ask. The true question is what are you trying to achieve in feeding your fish.
If you were someone involved in aquaculture, you would like to be feeding your fish regularly and probably a lot, simply because you want them to grow as fast as possible so you can put them out to market.
Generally, the fish are in large ponds and things tend to take care of themselves naturally.
Feeding fish in a fish tank is a whole different story altogether.
Yes, you do generally want them to grow big (though there are fish that dont grow very big at all) but too much food is no good for your fish. In fact, most times too much food can kill them.
The most obvious way of feeding fish too much (which will cause them their deaths) is that there will be food uneaten in the water and if you are not noticing, this stuff will break down in the fish tank and start attracting nasty bacteria.
If they dont attack your fish, the water can get cloudy and this will then cause discomfort to your fish as well.
If by some good chance the uneaten food gets sucked into the filtration system, a little of it is ok, but continuous amounts of uneaten food due to over feeding fish, starts to clog up your filtration system which again attracts bad stuff to your fish tank that can hurt your fish.
Worse of all, even before any of the above can happen, some fish will just not stop eating and they can literally eat themselves to death.
Seriously! If you dont believe me, buy yourself some carp, Japanese Carp or Koi, over feed them, and you will see a couple floating upside down in the water pretty fast.
So what then is the magic formula, how much should you be feeding your fish?
Well it really depends on you, how many fish you have and what type of fish you got. I would go with once a day at first and see how the fish react.
Sometimes its a bit too obvious that once a day is no good (your fish kinda go crazy on you or they start attacking other fish) so twice a day is probably good.
If that still doesnt seem to satiate them, feeding fish a little more twice a day, rather than three times a day may be something to consider.
Note that the frequency of feeding fish will also determine how often you may need to recheck the water quality with your water testing kit to determine if the nitrogen cycle balance is intact and whether the frequency of water changes you already know may need to become more frequent.
But putting all things aside, actually its better in fact to NOT feed your fish too much rather than be worried that you are not doing it enough. Thats right, your fish can go for several days without food and in fact this fasting is quite good for them.
When in doubt, feeding your fish every 2 or 3 days is also ok. ** This is especially true for us busy corporate people who have no time but the wonders of an automatic feeder can help you here as well.
Simple Things to Remember:
1) See if your fish is ok with feeding once a day, if so just do that. (ok means basically no food is left uneaten)
2) At most feed your fish twice a day, if its not enough, give a little more each time but keep it to twice a day.
3) when in doubt, just feed your fish every 2 or 3 days and that should be ok as well. **
4) Remember that its better that the fish doesnt eat rather than they eat too much every day, as this can be fatal.
** Note that feeding fish every 2 or 3 days should not be a rule. Its okay once in a while especially if you are busy. My point is, its better to not feed them for 2 or 3 days rather than over-feed them every day.
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