The same principals about frequency and quantity of food can be applied to feeding our tropical fish. In the wild fish will not have a regular routine and feeding time and will eat as and when food in available to them so they may go for days without eating anything. This is one reason it is harder to keep wild caught fish. If you go further down the scale from wild caught fish to F1, F2 and so on then they are more used to a feeding routine. This is not to say you cannot get wild caught fish on a regular feeding routine, it is just slightly trickier to do so and will take longer introduce them to the routine.
It is best to feed smaller amounts more regularly to tropical fish so as to replicate their natural feeding habits. The main issue with this is over feeding them. Of course, the amount all depends on the type and size of fish but as a general rule around 3 flakes of food per fish is enough per feeding time.
Another way to evaluate the quantity of food you are giving them is to be sure that all food has been consumed within 1-5 minutes (dependant on fish type). If we take a look at rift valley cichlids from lake Malawi, Tanganyika or Victoria then you would be over feeding if all food isn’t gone within 1-2 minutes.
I don’t want to go in to feeding of specific food types and specific fish types in this article, we can look at certain fish and their feeding habits and types of food in future posts. Remember, it is always best to under feed than over feed tropical fish so for healthy fish which swim around a lot and will live a lot longer, feed them less than you’d expect.
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