Properly organized feeding of fish largely depends on their physiological development, ability to reproduce, and the quality of their offspring. We must not forget that different types of fish require appropriate food. Due to their biological and ecological characteristics, most aquarium fish feed on invertebrates, fish (predators), and various micro – and macro-plants. You must always remember that any fish can die from overfeeding.
The biggest problem for new fishkeepers is overfeeding fish. And the smaller the fish in size, the faster the problem begins. So, let’s figure it out.
Can fish die from overfeeding?
The most important reason why fish can die from overfeeding – harm to health. When overfed, it is very easy to damage any internal organs of the fish and the fish can die. This is due to the fact that the body receives a large amount of food and literally the organs of the fish can burst.
Most aquarium fish do not feel full and they will eat just as much as they are given.
This is especially true for viviparous fish. Personally, in my practice, there were cases when the stomach of a fish burst right in front of the eyes and the fish died.
How to understand that a fish was overfeed?
It is quite easy to understand that the fish has eaten too much. Regardless of the type of fish, it has a number of signs:
- It floats strangely;
- Begins to actively consume air.
- Below is an example of overeating fish in the photo.
Why fish do not feel overfeeding?
A novice fishkeepers may think that his fish are always hungry and ask to eat. This usually happens when someone imitates feeding or just brings their hand to the lid of the aquarium. Fish immediately soar up and ask for food. You don’t need to pay attention to this. The inhabitants of your aquarium just have a conditioned reflex. Remember, it is better to underfeed fish than overfeed them.
What should I do if the fish is overfeed?
I have overfed my fish many times and have developed a number of rules that I will gladly share with you :
- Water change at short intervals. For example, I change 20 percent, then after 3 hours another 10 percent. And the next day, another 15 percent.
- Together with the substitution, I collect the remains of the feed.
- The increase in aeration.
- Fasting day.
What kind of food exist to feed fish
The main condition for proper fish feeding is the preparation of a varied diet consisting of live food. Thus, larvae of spawning fish are fed with “live dust” that is used to feed fish fry, representing many protozoa species: infusoria, rotifers, etc. Fry are fed by representatives of the crustacean class-Crustacea. Basically they include two detachments: Copepods oar-footed crustaceans and Cladocera crustaceans. The most important are branched crustaceans because they are found in our reservoirs all year round. Most often, fishkeepers use representatives of the genera Diaptomus and Cyclops, which live in many lakes, ponds, pits, and ditches filled with water.
Representatives of oar-footed crustaceans received a collective name-Daphnia. They breed in large numbers in summer in many stagnant reservoirs, ranging from reservoirs to puddles and pits with stagnant water. The most nutritious fish are flat crustaceans of the genus Simocephalus, which have a reddish color.
Adult fish are fed with small and large bloodworms, as well as other crustaceans. The moth is the larvae of several species of mosquitoes in the family Chironomidae sin. Tendipedidae. A representative of a large moth is the larvae of the twitching mosquito Chironomus plumosus. They extract the moth from the bottom of silted ponds, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs where it lives. This is a very nutritious food because the blood of the larvae contains a significant amount of hemoglobin. Often the moth burrows into the ground of the aquarium, where it pupates. A dark-colored pupa emerges from the ground, which rises to the surface of the water and crawls out on plants that are above the water. The shell of the pupa bursts and a mosquito flies out of it. If an aquarium covered with glass contains exotic pike, it is very interesting to watch them jump out of the water, grabbing mosquitoes sitting on the inside of the cover glass. By the way, these types of mosquitoes do not sting people and animals, and they can not be afraid.
Fry and small adult fish are fed with a small cut of bloodworms so they do not die from overfeeding and the food is able to enter their mouth. Fishkeepers practice preserving moths by drying them and then using them to feed fish.
Glassworm larvae of a mosquito from the genus Chacborus-is a good food only for medium and large fish. It has a number of advantages: it does not burrow into the ground of the aquarium, but is constantly in the water column in a suspended state; it is easy to transport, wrapped in a damp cloth or paper; it lives for weeks in a glass container with cold water. It is extracted in the same reservoirs as Cyclops and Daphnia.
Fishkeepers use Tubifex for feeding young and adult fish, which live at the bottom of ponds, rivers, and lakes, from where it is extracted. The pipefish must be washed frequently and the water in which it is stored must be changed twice daily, as it usually lives in reservoirs contaminated with industrial and food wastewater.
Many fish hobbyists at home breed a representative of oligochaetes – the potworm enchytraeus, as well as micro-feeds-small (1-2 mm) helminths, the representative of which is the nematode Turbatrix. Abuse anfitriona when feeding fish it is impossible, as the latter grow fat. Turbatrix is fed to the fish fry.
How much to feed fish so it don’t die from overfeeding?
All types of live food should be given to fish in small portions. Adult fish are fed 2 times a day, juveniles-3-4 times as they eat food. The bloodworm does not always go to the next stage of its development — the pupa. In most cases, not eaten by fish, the moth burrows into the ground of the aquarium, where after a while it dies and decomposes. At the same time, the pH of the soil and water changes sharply, bacterial turbidity appears, which immediately affects the General hydrochemical regime of the reservoir. A similar phenomenon occurs when overfeeding fish with excessive amounts of Daphnia, Cyclops, glassworm and other types of live food, the only difference is that this food decomposes not in the ground of the aquarium but on its surface.
Live food that has just been caught in a pond should not be immediately fed to fish. In this case fish can die not from overfeeding but from infection. It must be sorted by type and size, using two or three sieves with different cell sizes. At the same time, water animals that are unsuitable for feeding fish are selected from such food, which, once in the aquarium, can cause harm to its population.
Crustaceans should not be stored in fresh tap water, as it contains chlorine, which quickly kills Daphnia and Cyclops. Tap water should first be kept in a wide glass or enamel dish for a day. Boiled water can also not be used, as it does not contain the necessary mineral salts.
You should not prepare live food from reservoirs where fish are found, as it can be brought along with pathogens of fish diseases. Live food sold in pet stores and markets is extracted in various reservoirs of cities, towns, and their surroundings. Most of them have not been studied for the presence of pathogens of infectious and invasive fish diseases, which are quite widespread in nature. On the surface of the moth and pipefish can be resting stages of pathogens of fish, belonging to the type of protozoa: ichthyophthirius, chilodonella, costia, and spores. In addition, the pipefish is an intermediate host in the development cycle of flatworms, which cause Caryophyllidea in fish. For preventive purposes, the moth and pipefish are washed several times daily with water and kept at a low temperature. If they are placed for two or three days in a solution of tripaflavin (100 mg per 10 liters of water), they are freed from these parasites. Members of the genus Cyclops are carriers of pathogens of ligulosis, proteocephalosis, and a number of other diseases caused by round parasitic worms. When feeding rotifer fish fry, the possibility of introducing parasitic protozoa into the aquarium is not excluded.
Water from a reservoir where free-living fish live is particularly dangerous when it is introduced into the aquarium, even in the smallest quantities. Such water usually contains pathogens of infectious or invasive diseases that can cause diseases and death of aquarium fish. Live food is brought into the aquarium only in a net, and the pipefish and moth-with tweezers, thereby minimizing the possibility of water entering the aquarium from reservoirs.
To avoid the introduction of pathogens of infectious diseases into indoor reservoirs, the aquarist is recommended to become a regular customer of the same pet store or seller of live food on the market. In any case, you can not use wild fish fry as food for aquarium fish, since they can be carriers of a number of diseases.
Types of food for fish
Quite often, fishkeepers use pieces of lean beef, liver, fillet of freshly frozen sea fish, pre-washed, and finely ground as additional food. For feeding the fry eat one hard-boiled egg yolk, milk, and egg powders. Such additional food should be prepared only from fresh products. Sometimes aquarium fish are fed fresh caviar from freshwater and marine fish. Of course, this type of food is very high in calories, but spawning fish, having got used to it, completely eat their eggs during spawning. This is especially true for many types of puntius.
Some aquarists specifically breed low-value, but very prolific guppies, and other viviparous fish, whose fry are fed to more valuable fish species.
There are no purely herbivorous species among aquarium fish, but molly, some hemigrammus, tilapia and others are willing to eat various aquatic plants. Excellent plant food for these fish is filamentous, which grows in almost all aquariums, and when the light is too bright, it drowns out more valuable plants, settling on their leaves, stems, and glasses of the aquarium. This is especially noticeable in aquariums, on the side Windows of which hang reflectors with electric lamps.
When cleaning the glass, it is not necessary to clean the rear window from the filaments, from which conditionally herbivorous fish will willingly eat it. In addition, overgrown with filamentous and other moldy algae, the rear window creates a beautiful dark green background, on which the color of the fish is better visible. Fish also feed on tender parts of aquatic fern, pondweed, limnophila, wolffia and other plants. These plants, as well as lettuce consumed by people in food, can be fed to fish, previously scalded with boiling water and finely ground to a mush-like mass but be careful with food portions because fish can die from overfeeding.
Quite often, fish are fed canned, or rather dry food — Daphnia, Cyclops, Gammarus, and bloodworm. This food is not very nutritious, and it is recommended to use it temporarily but dont overfeed fish, while there is no live food.
Beginners and inexperienced fishkeepers should pay special attention to fish feeding. Many believe that one, or at best two or three types of dry food are sufficient for this purpose. This is wrong. For normal development, the fish body requires various proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and mineral salts. If mineral salts can be contained in sufficient quantities in water and soil (under optimal conditions for fish), then all other components of fish are obtained only with food of both animal and vegetable origin. No dry food on nutritional qualities will not replace life food. And fish eat live food better than dry.
Some fishkeepers even feed fish fry with dry food. Naturally, the fish grown on one dry feed is poorly developed and is not capable of reproduction. If from it and receive offspring, then very few and weak, which turns into “tightened”, rickety individuals. Adult fish do not reach the size that is inherent in this species, their color is pale, and their life span is short.
Often novice fishkeepers give fish too much dry food. As a result, the fish do not eat it, the food gets wet and sinks to the bottom, where it rots. At the same time, a large amount of water-soluble oxygen is consumed for oxidizing processes, as a result, the water’s oxidability and quantity increase .carbon dioxide, change the pH and water hardness. The biological balance that is so necessary for fish is disturbed. Bacteria develop in huge quantities, and the water becomes muddy. Fish swim near the surface of the water, greedily swallowing the air. In such cases, intensive aeration of water is ineffective. Even shellfish do not have time to eat leftover food. To avoid such phenomena in their reservoirs, the aquarist must remember that dry food should be given in very small portions, after kneading it with your fingers. Re-feed is given only when the previous portion of it is completely eaten.
Experienced aquarists constantly adhere to the rules:
it is better to underfeed fish than overfeed them, because fish can die from overfeeding because they will always find food in the aquarium in the form of various living organisms and plants. Leaving for a few days or even weeks, in no case should you give the fish live or dry food for a few days in advance. Left for some time without food, fish in the worst case will lose a little weight, but they will remain alive. At the same time, the aquarium will maintain a biological balance.