Whether you choose to feed your aquarium fish processed food or live food, it’s important that you make healthy choices and feed your fish in a manner that will contribute to the overall health of your tank’s system.
Number One Rule: Don’t Overfeed
Eager fish fans may misinterpret feeding time with loving time or attention time and as a result, overfeed fish. As innocent and seemingly loving as this act may be, it’s the number one cause of death. And that’s because it negatively affects the balance in the aquarium.
Inside of every aquarium exists an ecological system, and as you know from life outside of your aquarium, too much of anything has a way of throwing a system off balance. The same thing occurs inside an aquarium too and when fish produce more waste than your tank’s filter can handle, fish become stressed and then ill.
Observe Your Fish’s Eating Habits
Watching how much food your fish consumes within a five-minute period will give you an idea of how much they can handle. This may take a little practice but if after five minutes, you notice food floating atop the tank’s surface, sinking to the bottom, or sitting atop gravel rocks, you know that you can give them less food next time.
Some Foods Go Easy on Pollution
Some fish food creates a lot of pollution while others don’t. You may have to experiment with a couple of different brands to discover which food goes easy on your tank’s system. Fish food that contains meat is notorious for creating the most pollution (fish waste).
A Good Filter Goes A Long Way
If you discover that your tank pollutes even after only moderate feeding, maybe it’s time to upgrade your filter. Filtration is extremely important in maintaining the health of your fish, as it keeps ammonia levels in check and provides for a well-balanced (cycled) aquarium.
Other Fish Can Help With Pesky Feeding Problems
A lot of people try to include at least one catfish in a large tank because these guys are nature’s little vacuum cleaners! So if you accidentally overfeed your fish, you can bet that your catfish will patiently wait down at the bottom of your aquarium for food that your other fish apparently didn’t want.
Plecos and snails also consume algae which isn’t really a feeding problem – but contributes to balance problems just like overfeeding does.