How much should you feed your fish?

If you’re someone who’s new to aquariums, then one of the first questions you’ll probably ask is how much you should feed your fish. And for veterans of the fish game that seems a little silly – but to newcomers, it’s entirely understandable that you’d be a little confused. 

Today we’re going to try and clear up some of that confusion. Here’s what you need to know:

What do fish eat? 

Take a glance at any rack in any pet store and it becomes pretty clear pretty quick: not all fish eat the same things. From bettas to goldfish – food can vary. So how do you know what food your fish needs to eat? It’s on you to do some research. 

  • Are they carnivores, herbivores or omnivores?
  • Do they eat dry food, frozen food or live food?
  • How big should the food be? 
  • Will they eat floating or sinking foods?
  • Does the food taste good to your fish?

Once you have the answers to those questions, you’ll know what your fish eats and what’ll be best for them. 

How often do I feed them?

The overwhelming majority of fish are fine if you feed them once a day, If you have smaller, growing fish – then they’ll need to be fed a little bit more often. Most fish are awake in the daytime, so try to make it somewhat routine oriented, either before you go to bed or when you get up in the morning before you go off to work. 

How much should I feed them?

Overfeeding fish can be a problem and create a dirty, not-so-great environment for your fish to be in. You’ll notice they’re producing a lot of poop and generally speaking, won’t be too interested in eating during mealtimes. Excess feeding can also cause internal health issues as well – from fatty liver disease, constipation and both bacterial and fungal infections. 

Try to feed them no more than the indicated amounts on the food’s packaging. 

Can fish go long without food?

While you can forget a day here and there, it’s not advised to go much longer than that. If you’re going on vacation, you should have someone come by to feed your fish. If you’re someone who travels frequently or has long stretches where you’re not home, then you might want to consider automatic fish feeders or a pet sitter who can take care of their needs while you’re away. 

If my fish are always swimming to the top looking for food, does that mean i’m not feeding them enough?

No, definitely not. Fish are opportunistic eaters. They’re always on the lookout for another meal. And they’re like all pets – they’ll beg! 

Just be sure you’re keeping up a consistent schedule and your fish will be well fed and taken care of. And of course – don’t try to do everything yourself. That’s never good. Ask pet store attendants, friends and let them help. Owning an aquarium is fun – but it’s best to get the right answers; not just treating information like comfort food to soothe our pre-existing biases. Hopefully this post will clear some of your questions up. Good luck!


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