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How to Tell When Your Fish Are Hungry

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 244

Introduction

When you first obtain an aquarium, you need to decide when your fish are hungry. This is a tough nut to crack especially when you are just starting out. After many trials and errors, here is how I determine when my fish are hungry.

Eating Habits Of Fish

There are three types of fish classified by their eating habits:

  • Herbivorous - These fish feed mainly on plant food such as algae. I have two Plecos that are classified as herbivorous. They help keep my aquarium clean of algae, but they will also feed on fish flakes at the bottom of the tank.
  • Omnivorous - These fish will eat protein such as fish flakes and also plant material like algae. In this category I have six Gouramis and seven Tiger Barb.
  • Carnivorous - These fish are rare in home aquariums for they are meat eaters and will eat other fish. I do not have any of these fish.

My Feeding Mistakes

When I first got my fish and they got used to their new home and me, they soon discovered that I was a source of food. When I entered the room where I kept the aquarium, they would come to the side of the tank with their big eyes looking for food.

Being a big softy I ended up feeding them three times a day. This was a big mistake. The uneaten food would sink to the bottom and settle in the substrate. This uneaten food would decay and form nitrates that soon became a problem for my fish since it is recommended that nitrate levels be kept at less than 20 ppm.

Since my nitrate levels approached 100 ppm, I spent a lot of time changing out the water to reduce the level of nitrates.

When I consulted with an employee of our local pet store, she told me I was feeding them to much and should feed them only once a day and only enough that they can eat in two minutes.

How To Tell When Your Fish Are Hungry

Here is the answer to that question, they are always hungry. In the wild they can actually go for days without eating, but will eat when the opportunity presents itself.

In between their feeding, they will eat the algae and bacteria that is in the aquarium.

Conclusion

How can you tell when your fish are hungry? You can't because they will always pretend to be hungry once they determine that you are a source of food. To prevent excess nitrates in your aquarium, only feed them once a day and then only as much as they can eat in two minutes.

J.W. Chase is an amateur Aquarist who has successfully been keeping aquariums for over 35 years. Over 75% of people who start aquariums fail in the first month for lack of knowledge. If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium, go to his web site and download a free eBook on "15 Tips On Building And Maintaining An Aquarium" at http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums.

Source: EzineArticles
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