Copyright Notice ©

Horizontal Line

Much of the material in this section has been prepared specifically for this web-site or is already freely available elsewhere in the Internet.  Where we have included material from other sources we acknowledge that copyright remains with the original author. 


Question: What's the best food and how often should I feed?

Answer: Again my favorite answer: all depends on the fish!

Different species of fish have differing needs and it is up to you the aquarist to provide a suitable diet, both in terms of quantity and quality. What I can tell you is that we at Grosvenor Tropicals feed twice daily, once in the morning with dried foods and again in the afternoon with frozen or whole foods and for most fish keepers this is adequate for the vast majority of species.

As to quantity and quality, this is very much a matter of experience, although a study of the fish's natural environment and behavior is often a clue to it's preferences. Small shoaling fish in mid-water or near the surface typically feed on small insects and larva and are happy with flakes and bloodworm. Bottom dwellers such as catfish will also take blood worn, but sinking pellets instead of flakes while most of the 'Sucker Mouth' catfish will need Algae wafers.

Large Cichlids are more likely to ignore bloodworms and insist upon large pellets and small fish, in extreme cases such as Gar and Needlefish, live food only.

Some species are true omnivores and will eat almost anything, while others waste away without the correct diet. As to the question of "How Often", some, such as Carp, feed almost continuously grubbing around the bottom looking for small morsels in the detritus while some lone ambush predators like the Pike may skulk in its lair for weeks waiting on some hapless victim to happen by. Generally most should be feed at least daily with the general rule, "little and often".

As to the next logical question, "How Much?", it is impossible to give a simple answer. What I can say is that most new fish keepers grossly overfeed their fish. A shoal of 10 - 12 young Neons would be fine with only 1-2 flakes, BETWEEN THEM, not the large pinch some owners feed them.

Mammals, including us humans, expend a large proportion of the food they eat on maintaining body temperature, this does not apply to fish! Another significant energy requirement is to support and move body weight and again this does not apply to fish, they are weightless in the water. What we can say for certain is that many, many more fish die as a result of OVERFEEDING than die from starvation.