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Old 04-01-2007, 05:16 PM   #1
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how often to feed?

lately I have seen articles from people saying you need to feed your fish 2-3 times a day? (fish other than seahorses that is), is this true? because I only feed mine once a day,

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Old 04-01-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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Feed mine every other day. 2-3 times a day sounds like troubled/fouled waters to me.


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Old 04-01-2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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Feeding on a more natural schedule is best for fish, especially planktivores. Planktivores, such as chromis, anthias, damsel fish(including clowns), etc. have fairly quick metabolisms and feed constantly throughout the day to satisfy their needs. Replicating this in an aquarium will improve their health. Predators, such as lionfish, eat large amounts of food at each feeding and have adapted to eat every couple days or so. So it's not necessary or even good for them to feed more often. Be cautious not to overfeed at each feeding. A good way to gauge this would be to feed the same amount you are now, just spread it throughout the day. You can slowly increase the amount overtime, until you find what you think is best.
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:31 PM   #4
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I would suggest aggressive skimming when you increase your feedings...you may also need to increase the frequency of PWCs....also I would keep up with testing your water as you transition to more feedings!
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:43 PM   #5
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As long as all the food is consumed, PWC's, etc. will not really need to be increased. If you start noticing algae, ie brown sand, cyano, etc., then you'll need to be more careful w/ feedings. Whenever the nutrient input is increased, such as is the case when starting feedings of phytoplankton, etc. it may take the tank a couple weeks to catch up, and be able to process it all w/out any issues. Also, more frequent feedings don't necessarily mean an increase in the overall food additions. While you can feed a little more since all is not be consumed at once, staying at the same amount, but spreading it out, will allow the fish to better metabolize and use the food.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:12 PM   #6
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The key to feeding is quality, not quantity. Make sure you combine any feeding with good dietary suppliments. I suggest using items high in HUFAs and vitamins (Selcon or Vitia-Chem). I also suggest feeding high quality foods and preparing them properly. As far as amount...the jury is still out. Personaly, I feed once every coulple of days. No matter how often you feed, make sure you turn off any filtration (exept powerheads) and feed only until they stop eating. Overfeeding is a major contribution to poor water quality.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:38 PM   #7
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I also feed every other day and have been doing for nine yrs now. I think it is a contributing factor of not having algea for 7 yrs now. IMO this is very good for slowing down of excessive nutrients. I also agree with Brian about Quality over Quanity.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:16 AM   #8
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Over the 20+ years of keeping SW fish I've fed daily, 1-2 weekly, and every other day.

The amount and how often you feed will greatly vary depending on the fish you are keeping i.e. as MT79 mentioned more active (usually smaller) fish with high metabolisms in nature feed constantly all day so replicating that will IMO ensure a more natural healthy environment for those types of fish and dividing what you currently feed into smaller more controlled feedings a couple times throughout the day isn't going to contribute any more excess nutrients than feeding every other day would.

Larger predator fishes (puffers, triggers, ect...) can go longer between feedings as they also do in the wild.

Either way quality food, not overstocking, and keeping up with regular tank maintenance is much more important then when you decide to feed your stock IMO.

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Old 04-02-2007, 11:48 AM   #9
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FWIW, I just bought 3 cardinal fish that were sluggish in my tank for the first 2 weeks, when I tried only feeding every other day like I usually did with my clowns. Ever since increasing to daily feedings last week, I see that they are much more active and overall seem more healthy with daily feedings. They don't hide all the time, they swim around and interact with each other a lot more. Of course, they are getting selcon soaked mysis/brine/other frozen foods so it's not just a flake, but they really do seem to devour whatever I give them and they look much better. I've decided to up their food intake to a daily feeding.

Overall, I agree with what everyone else has said as well. It depends on the fish. If yours are happy with being fed every other day, that's great. If they seem happier if fed more than that, than that's good too. Just don't over feed in amount, cause then you are adding to the recipe of nuisance algae.


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Old 04-02-2007, 04:03 PM   #10
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fish with high metabolisms in nature feed constantly all day so replicating that will IMO ensure a more natural healthy environment for those types of fish
My point is it's NOT a point of view. It is absolutely fact. I've come across this info in many, many articles and literature. Anyone who doubts this, go read for yourself. As DT saw for herself, I've saw for myself, ..the list goes on.
Quantity is absolutely important when feeding. Feeding large quantities all at once will not allow for proper digestion, in some species as mentioned. Thus, many of those quality nutrients are wasted. They simply can not absorb and effectively use enough of the nutrients when fed large quantitys every couple days. It passes through them to fast to sustain them. Regardless of "quality", restricting caloric intake and/or ignoring/disrupting their natural metabolic function is going to have effects. If you don't feel like feeding everyday, or for whatever reason, that's one thing. But it's NOT better for many fish, and in many cases is WORSE. Good husbandry speaks for itself, try it!

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