The golden rules of feeding

By ensuring your fish have the right diet, you can keep them healthy and enjoy them for longer.

All fish enthusiasts know that when you approach a tank, its inhabitants will congregate at the glass and dance around acrobatically in an effort to attract attention. They will beg for food even after they have just been fed. Fish never feel full and are therefore almost always hungry. Unfortunately, their begging antics often pay off and they are fed more than is good for them. As a result, the fish become fat and later ill.

This danger does not exist in their natural habitat as the fish are permanently on the move. Many fish species often have to wait days for their next feeding opportunity, holding their own against other food competitors and fleeing from predators. What’s more, fish food designed for aquarium fish is also richer in nutrients and energy than the food they would consume in their natural environment. It is your responsibility to keep your pets mobile, healthy and beautifully coloured. You must also make sure that the water quality is maintained and that the habitat of your fish does not become dirty as a result of left-over food and excessive fish excrement.

Feeding rule number one, therefore:

Feed as needed and no more than once a day in general. You can see how much food your fish actually need when you sprinkle it over the water – it should all disappear into their stomachs within two minutes. Any food that falls to the bottom of the tank and lies on the bottom is excess. Feeding time is also a good opportunity to count your fish and make sure that they are all fit and healthy. Depending on your fish population, you can also introduce one fasting day per week.

Rule number two:

Use a range of fish food. This makes looking for food more interesting for your fish and you will soon find out which type of food your fish like best. Flakes are a good basic food source. However, not all flaked food is the same: the mixture will depend on whether the fish prefer plant or animal-based food. If you are not sure what food is right for your fish, ask for professional advice in store. If your aquarium is home to fish that spend the majority of their time in the lower section of the tank, such as catfish, you will need to use tabs as well as flaked food. These sink to the ground and make sure that the fish in the lower section of the tank also get food.

Snacks and treats for fish

Offer your fish freeze-dried mosquito larvae or small crabs as a snack or a treat. You can also defrost portions of frozen food and feed this to your fish – many fish see this as a real delicacy and it is also a great alternative to live food. But please remember, Artemia, small crabs, etc., are only intended as an occasional delicacy. They should not be treated as a sole source of food.

And what about live food? Your aquarium dwellers will be particularly partial to freshwater Daphnia, Artemia and Tubifex – these will be a real treat for your fish. But be careful: aquarists used to gather live food for their fish from the meadows and natural waters. We strongly advise against this. Moths, mosquitoes, worms and water bugs can easily introduce vermin, snails and disease-causing germs into your tank. Furthermore, this practice is generally prohibited. For more information, contact your local fishery department.

Practical tip

Over time, flaked food loses essential vitamins and trace elements. Therefore, it is better to replenish your fish food on a regular basis rather than storing supplies. Light also drains food of important nutrients. Ideally, flaked food should be stored in a dark place and containers of food should

Call into your local store today to discuss your fish’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts