Feeding your aquarium fish is by far the most common maintenance activity by which the aquarist intervenes in the ecosystem of his aquarium. One might think that mistakes can not really be made in the process. But it is not quite as trivial as one might think.
Different food requirements
Basically aquarium fish can be divided into 3 groups: Carnivores (carnivores), Herbivores (herbivores) and Omnivores (omnivores). According to these natural feeding habits, the animals have usually developed a more or less specialized digestive system. This must be taken into account by the animal owner.
For carnivores it is important that they get protein-rich food. This is with feeding live and frozen food like artemia, red, black or white mosquito larvae, mysis, krill, small fish, tubifex, etc. possible. Many ornamental fish from this range are prey hunters in their natural biotope. They see smaller fish as food and act accordingly aggressive. This behavior can usually be mitigated by providing sufficient feeding.
Herbivores are often very narrowly focused on a particular food. Often the fish eat the natural food available in the aquarium such as algae, but also the aquarium plants are eaten with pleasure. When giving flake food from the trade, one should make sure that a high vegetable content has been processed. Very popular and high quality are feeds based on spirulina algae.
Omnivores can and should be fed a very varied range of different foods.
The right quantity
Fish are greedy eaters and have no sense of satiety. This circumstance makes it difficult for the aquarist to determine the appropriate feed quantity.
In the short term it is advisable to feed several times a day in small portions, which can be eaten by the fish within max. 1 minute. 1 minute to be eaten completely and greedily. In the medium term it is important to observe the fish closely. The animals should neither get a fat, nor a sunken belly, but always appear slim and agile.
As long as the fish are still juveniles, they should be fed daily in any case. For older animals one or two fasting days per week can be quite reasonable. With herbivores this can also increase the natural behavior of eating algae and growth in the aquarium.
Suitable food types
A wide variety of feeds are offered in the trade. Granules, tablets, flakes, freeze-dried food or frozen food are the most common. Here it must be ensured that also z.B. Granules are not suitable for all fish species, because the food swells in the water and even in the digestive system of the animals, which can lead to problems with very greedy eaters.
When feeding frozen food frequently, you should be aware that in this way impurities and pathogens can also enter the aquarium. You should therefore thaw the food and rinse it well before adding it to the tank.
Aquaristics is also interesting because it is always necessary to meet all the requirements, all the inhabitants of an aquarium. Therefore, when choosing the type of food, it is important to pay close attention to the fish in the aquarium. The best example is bottom-dwelling catfish, for which it must be ensured that sufficient food sinks to the bottom before it is eaten by other fish. Mostly this is achieved with the help of fast sinking food tablets.
Besides flake food, common types of ornamental fish food include mosquito larvae, water fleas, brine shrimp, mysis, copepods, krill and tubifex.
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