How Much Should I Feed My Fish?

How much and how often should you feed your fish? The feeding amount for fish is very important to monitor since the dietary needs of fish will differ for each species and the stage of life they are in. For example, the feeding requirements of newborn fries and a mature fish will vary widely. A newborn fry will need to be fed very frequently and sparingly. On the other hand, a single feeding every other day may be enough to keep a mature fish healthy. A rule of thumb for an average adult fish is to offer as much food as they will consume in 2-3 minutes, twice a day. Once again, keep in mind that this rule of thumb will not apply to all fish.

Avoid overfeeding

One of the leading causes of death of an aquarium fish is due to overfeeding. However, most fish are opportunistic feeders and they will devour as much as they can, whenever they can. When overfed, fish may continue feeding even after they are causing damage to their own health. Overfeeding is especially common in novice fish keepers.

Due to the fact that fish are cold blooded, they do not require a lot of energy and food in order to survive compared to mammals. Overfeeding your fish can lead to numerous problems. First of all, it is harmful to the health of the fish as it causes unnecessary stress to its digestive system. In addition, excess waste will cause the biological load on the filtration system will become overworked. Continued overload can lead to the disruption of the nitrogen cycle. The poor water quality will once again take a toll on the health of the fish. The altered water quality may lead to a spike in algae growth in an aquarium as well. An effective method to avoid overfeeding is to feed your fish very sparingly and supplement their diet with live food that will enable opportunistic feeding.

Aquarium fish in a family setting can often be overfed unintentionally when different family members feed the fish without realizing that they have already been fed by another member. Avoid this issue by ensuring only one person feeds the fish or by following a schedule. Automatic feeders are also effective in maintaining a regular feeding  schedule.

If you realize that you have overfed, simply remove the uneaten food as soon as possible to avoid harming the fish and polluting the water.


Posted on July 25, 2013 and filed under Guide.