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How to Feed Your Aquarium Fish Properly

Feeding fish is not difficult but there still have things that you need to pay attention to. Food is vital to the health and longevity of your fish, if you underfeed them, they will feel hungry and incapable.

However, if you overfeed your fish, they will suffer from diseases such as swim bladder disorder, and the uneaten food and waste your fish produce will contaminate the water quality.

So it’s important to learn how to feed your aquarium fish properly. In this article, you will know:

  • What will your aquarium fish eat
  • What kind of food can you feed to your fish
  • How to properly feed your aquarium fish
  • Why is your fish not eating
  • Other information about feeding fish

Keep reading and hope you can enjoy the feeding time after reading this blog!


What will your aquarium fish eat?

Fish can be divided into 3 species according to the food they eat—carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. The followings are the introduction to 3 types of fish.


Carnivorous fish

Carnivorous fish are meat-eaters. They need food that is high in protein, such as insects, small fish and other animals in the water. So if you are going to keep a carnivorous fish in your fish tank, you should take special care of the small fish in it.

The best is to separate them from the meat-eater, or there are chances that you find those small ones have been eaten by the carnivores.


Herbivorous fish

Herbivorous fish are plant-eaters. Keeping this fish requires you to take care of the plants in your fish tank. The plants can serve as food for fish when you are away from home and not able to feed your fish.

However, if you want the plants in your fish tank to be decorations, you’d better feed your fish with enough food or they will destroy the plants.


Omnivorous fish

Omnivorous fish are both meat and plant-eaters, so they are easier to keep compared with the other two types. So if you are a beginner, I’ll recommend you keep an omnivorous fish.

Fish can also be divided by where they eat. If your fish eat at the surface of the water, they are surface feeders, if they eat in the middle of the tank, they are mid-level feeders, and if they always stay at the bottom of the tank, they might be bottom feeders. This classification can also influence the selection of food.


Types of food for aquarium fish

There is various food available in aquarium stores and markets, I have listed 3 common fish food for you to choose from.


Live food

Live food includes worms, brine shrimps, krill, etc. Feeding your fish with live food is risky since there will be parasites in them, which will cause parasite infection to your fish, resulting in fish diseases or death.

Live brine shrimp

Frozen food

Frozen food is high in nutrients, they can provide most of the nutrients your fish need. And they are easy to store and feed, you just need to put them in your freezer and take it out when you need them. You do not have to unfreeze it since the water in your fish tank is warm enough to do it.

But the drawback is if the fish do not need a warm environment to live in and are in urgent need of food, feeding them with frozen food may be time-consuming.

Frozen blood worms

Freeze-dried food

The most common food for fish is freeze-dried food. They are easy to store and vary in types, such as flakes and pellets.

Remember to soak the dried food because they will expand roughly twice their size in water, or you will overfeed your fish.

Freeze-dried food

How to properly feed your aquarium fish?

To properly feed your aquarium fish, you need to know how much and how often to feed your fish.


How much should you feed aquarium fish?

The ages, sizes and types of the fish will determine how much should you feed your fish. So there is no certain amount of food for all kinds of fish, you should make a judgment based on the current situation.

You can do a test to find out the proper food amount for your fish.

For example, offer them some food and observe how much they can eat in 2-3 minutes. Basically, the food they eat in 2-3 minutes is the amount they need for each meal.

But remember to remove the uneaten food, or it will cause overfeeding and water pollution.


How often should you feed aquarium fish?

This is also determined by the types of fish, their ages and their sizes.

Most adult fish need to eat 2-3 times per day while baby fish need to eat 4-6 times per day.

And fish like Bettas need to be fed 1-2 times per day while Angelfish and Goldfish need to eat 2-3 times per day.

If you are not sure about the frequency of feeding, ask someone who is an expert in fish-keeping or a veterinarian.


How to know and avoid overfeeding?

We always say that we should not overfeed our fish, but how to know if overfeed my fish or not? Well, there are some tips for you:

  1. Your fish have a bulging belly. (Do not mix it with the sign of pregnancy.)
  2. Fish stop eating and there is still food in the tank.
  3. Excessive algae growth.
  4. The water is dirty and emits a foul smell.
  5. The water is high in ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.


Now that we have known the signs of overfeeding, what can we do to solve this problem? We have also prepared some solutions for you:

  1. Feed them less food.
  2. Remove the uneaten food after 5 minutes.
  3. Fast your fish once per week.
  4. Do a regular water change for your fish tank.


Why is your fish not eating?

You should pay attention when your fish don’t eat since it is a sign that your fish aren’t feeling well. The reasons that your fish do not eat are as follows:
  • Poor water conditions
  • Feel stressed
  • Don’t like the food
  • Suffer from diseases



Thank you for reading this article, I hope the time you spent on this article was worthwhile!

Feeding fish is complicated, so if you are going to start your fish-keeping tour, make sure you have done some research on the fish you plan to keep. Know more about their characteristics, habits and other related information.

Once you have a better knowledge about the diet and eating habits of your fish, feeding your fish will be easier.



Should I fast my aquarium fish?

Fasting your fish once per week is good for their health. It allows your fish to digest the food they took in and ensures that your fish won’t suffer from overfeeding.


How long can aquarium fish live without food?

Aquarium fish can live for about 2 weeks without food, but it will be detrimental to their health. So if you are going to leave them for some days, make some preparations and use an automatic fish feeder.


Are automatic fish feeders safe for aquarium fish?

Basically, an automatic fish feeder is good to use if you are forgetful or need to leave your fish for some days. But all devices might not work for some reason, so you need to take care when you’re choosing one automatic fish feeder and check if it is going well before you leave.

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