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Just how much food is too much?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 21st 04, 05:38 PM
Ryan Minaker
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?

Hey Vimes,

The general rule of thumb is not to feed your fish anymore food than
they'll eat in 5 minutes and to remove any leftover food from the
water.

I have never really adhered to these rules! I generally don't feed my
fish anymore food than they will consume in 2 minutes.

With a 10 gallon tank you will want to be extra careful not to
overfeed because you have very little margin for error with such a
small tank. Feed your fish small amounts of food several times
throughout the day as opposed to feeding them on big meal once.
It's also important to remember that fish are able to live long
periods of time without eating so you're not going to starve your fish
by underfeeding them.

As for crumbling up the flakes... I'd advise against doing this
because I've found that fish tend to ignore very small bits of food
and they just sink to the bottom of the tank and begin to decompose.

In the 10 years I've been keeping tropical fish I have ever tested my
water for nitrate levels. I've found that if the water starts to get
cloudy or smelly then you should start to worry!


Ryan
http://members.rogers.com/miniks/aquarist.html



On Sun, 21 Mar 2004 16:42:44 +0000, Commander Vimes
wrote:

Hi all,

I am new to tropical fishkeeping and have found this group an
invaluable source of advice whilst cycling my 10g tank.

What I have noticed in all the books and posts I have read is the
warning of not overfeeding the fish. Is this purely to do with the
nitires that are produced as the food breaks down, or are there more
sinister things I should be wary of.

Also I can find no decent advice on how much is too much. I have 3
dalmation mollies, 3 neon tailed platys, 3 red mickey mouse platys and
3 neon tetras (3 died during the cycle - should have read the
newsgroup before trying to cycle a tank with neons!). I feed them
flake food and I am sure I have a tendancy to overfeed as I keep
feeding until they seem to become dis-interested in the food. There
are no flakes left over (that I can see), althoughn this doesn't mean
that there aren't small bits in the tank or hitting the gravel.

If someone could tell me roughly how many flakes to throw in the tank
I would appreciate it. I also tend to crumble the flakes up a bit to
ensure even distribution of the food.

Another reason I think I'm overfeeding is the water tests show small
levels of nitrites (0.1mg per), but this may be beacuse I added the
platys a couple of weeks ago and the bacteria is building up to meet
the new levels.

Anyway, any advice on this would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks,

Vimes


  #2  
Old March 21st 04, 06:57 PM
blove
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?

i disagree, you should always regularly test your water and monitor how your
fish act so you can catch a disaster before it happens and you should never
ever let it get that bad before worrying.

"Ryan Minaker" wrote in message
...
In the 10 years I've been keeping tropical fish I have ever tested my
water for nitrate levels. I've found that if the water starts to get
cloudy or smelly then you should start to worry!




  #3  
Old March 21st 04, 07:15 PM
MartinOsirus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?


Hey Vimes,

The general rule of thumb is not to feed your fish anymore food than
they'll eat in 5 minutes and to remove any leftover food from the
water.

I have never really adhered to these rules! I generally don't feed my
fish anymore food than they will consume in 2 minutes.


Feed very small amounts - what they will eat in 2 minutes is a good rule of
thumb - for people who have a tendency to overfeed- which is most of us - be
deliberate - to feed less.
  #4  
Old March 21st 04, 07:35 PM
Dinky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?

"blove" wrote in message
...
| i disagree, you should always regularly test your water and monitor
how your
| fish act so you can catch a disaster before it happens and you
should never
| ever let it get that bad before worrying.
|


Thats correct, but fwiw, I know many people who have kept aquariums
for years with good success, and never owned a single test kit.

b


  #5  
Old March 21st 04, 09:13 PM
NetMax
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?


"Commander Vimes" wrote in message
...
Hi all,

I am new to tropical fishkeeping and have found this group an
invaluable source of advice whilst cycling my 10g tank.

What I have noticed in all the books and posts I have read is the
warning of not overfeeding the fish. Is this purely to do with the
nitires that are produced as the food breaks down, or are there more
sinister things I should be wary of.

Also I can find no decent advice on how much is too much. I have 3
dalmation mollies, 3 neon tailed platys, 3 red mickey mouse platys and
3 neon tetras (3 died during the cycle - should have read the
newsgroup before trying to cycle a tank with neons!). I feed them
flake food and I am sure I have a tendancy to overfeed as I keep
feeding until they seem to become dis-interested in the food. There
are no flakes left over (that I can see), althoughn this doesn't mean
that there aren't small bits in the tank or hitting the gravel.

If someone could tell me roughly how many flakes to throw in the tank
I would appreciate it. I also tend to crumble the flakes up a bit to
ensure even distribution of the food.

Another reason I think I'm overfeeding is the water tests show small
levels of nitrites (0.1mg per), but this may be beacuse I added the
platys a couple of weeks ago and the bacteria is building up to meet
the new levels.

Anyway, any advice on this would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks,

Vimes


If your tank is still cycling (or younger than 6 weeks) then feed once or
twice a day, a quantity of food which would be the size of their eye
(which is roughly the size of their stomach). After the tank is cycled,
you can feed 2 or 3 times a day, a quantity which they consume in a few
minutes.

Of the 3 inputs to your aquarium (light, heat and fishfood), it's the
food which has the greatest consequences, determining the size of filter
you need, the amount of nitrogen products in your food chain, the amount
of pollution, the amount of water changes you need to do, how often you
will need to gravel vacuum etc. Uneaten food decays to release
significant amounts of ammonia into your water. Digested food is
released by the fish as ammonia (in decaying solid waste or through their
gills), which starts your food chain (to nitrites and then nitrates). You
can (in theory) feed many many times a day (small portions), but more
food = more maintenance. A real danger comes from over-feeding (at a
single serving), because you have a greater chance of uneaten food
getting into your gravel to rot, and many processed foods expand when
wet, putting the fish under stress. hth

NetMax


  #6  
Old March 22nd 04, 11:43 AM
Dick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?




On Sun, 21 Mar 2004 16:42:44 +0000, Commander Vimes
wrote:

Hi all,

I am new to tropical fishkeeping and have found this group an
invaluable source of advice whilst cycling my 10g tank.

What I have noticed in all the books and posts I have read is the
warning of not overfeeding the fish. Is this purely to do with the
nitires that are produced as the food breaks down, or are there more
sinister things I should be wary of.

Also I can find no decent advice on how much is too much. I have 3
dalmation mollies, 3 neon tailed platys, 3 red mickey mouse platys and
3 neon tetras (3 died during the cycle - should have read the
newsgroup before trying to cycle a tank with neons!). I feed them
flake food and I am sure I have a tendancy to overfeed as I keep
feeding until they seem to become dis-interested in the food. There
are no flakes left over (that I can see), althoughn this doesn't mean
that there aren't small bits in the tank or hitting the gravel.

You are over feeding as far as I am concerned. My fish are always
hungry. They would eat far more than they need. What they eat comes
out the other end adding nutrients to your tank.

One rule I use as a guide is to feed what they can eat in 2 minutes.
I tend to think that is too generous. I feed only flake food. I
watch the fish when they eat and feed until the initial frenzy slows
down. This does not take long, under 2 minutes. In my 75 gallon tank
I have 60 fish of different size and that feed at different levels. I
put about two large pinches in all at once so that some of the food
does reach the lower depths. I have lots of scavengers to clean the
bottom. I also have a heavily planted bottom to absorb the nutrients
that follow from the feeding.

I know I over feed from time to time, so I force myself to skip meals
if I think the tank is looking a bit milky. I know the fish can
survive without food for a week (as told by others) and personally
have left my fish for two days in the dark with no food. Under
feeding is just not a problem for most of us, is my belief.


If someone could tell me roughly how many flakes to throw in the tank
I would appreciate it. I also tend to crumble the flakes up a bit to
ensure even distribution of the food.

Another reason I think I'm overfeeding is the water tests show small
levels of nitrites (0.1mg per), but this may be beacuse I added the
platys a couple of weeks ago and the bacteria is building up to meet
the new levels.

Anyway, any advice on this would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks,

Vimes


  #7  
Old March 22nd 04, 11:48 AM
Dick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?

On Sun, 21 Mar 2004 18:57:02 GMT, "blove" wrote:

i disagree, you should always regularly test your water and monitor how your
fish act so you can catch a disaster before it happens and you should never
ever let it get that bad before worrying.

"Ryan Minaker" wrote in message
.. .
In the 10 years I've been keeping tropical fish I have ever tested my
water for nitrate levels. I've found that if the water starts to get
cloudy or smelly then you should start to worry!



Since Ryan expresses much the opinion I have been forming, and given
his ten years of experience, I am not worried about my tanks getting
out of hand. I only have only a year, this time around, with my
tanks, but I am getting by fine without all the testing. I think both
approaches work, it is a matter of preferences. The occasional
measurements I make show no variance and I do not add any chemicals
which would cause a variance should I make a mistake. I trust in what
I can see and have yet to have a smelly tank.
  #8  
Old March 22nd 04, 11:53 AM
Dick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?

Max, the only thing I question is the bite size. I have often been
surprised to see my smaller fish take a nip out of a larger flake. I
use to worry about the small fish, but even the black molly fry I had
take over my quarantine tank would nibble from a large flake. When I
take my pinch of food from the container, I do try to take larger
flakes for the larger fish, but in the tanks with smaller fish I pinch
for smaller flakes. So, I do what you suggest, but cannot help but
notice the fish do not seem to care.


On Sun, 21 Mar 2004 16:13:00 -0500, "NetMax"
wrote:


"Commander Vimes" wrote in message
.. .
Hi all,

I am new to tropical fishkeeping and have found this group an
invaluable source of advice whilst cycling my 10g tank.

What I have noticed in all the books and posts I have read is the
warning of not overfeeding the fish. Is this purely to do with the
nitires that are produced as the food breaks down, or are there more
sinister things I should be wary of.

Also I can find no decent advice on how much is too much. I have 3
dalmation mollies, 3 neon tailed platys, 3 red mickey mouse platys and
3 neon tetras (3 died during the cycle - should have read the
newsgroup before trying to cycle a tank with neons!). I feed them
flake food and I am sure I have a tendancy to overfeed as I keep
feeding until they seem to become dis-interested in the food. There
are no flakes left over (that I can see), althoughn this doesn't mean
that there aren't small bits in the tank or hitting the gravel.

If someone could tell me roughly how many flakes to throw in the tank
I would appreciate it. I also tend to crumble the flakes up a bit to
ensure even distribution of the food.

Another reason I think I'm overfeeding is the water tests show small
levels of nitrites (0.1mg per), but this may be beacuse I added the
platys a couple of weeks ago and the bacteria is building up to meet
the new levels.

Anyway, any advice on this would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks,

Vimes


If your tank is still cycling (or younger than 6 weeks) then feed once or
twice a day, a quantity of food which would be the size of their eye
(which is roughly the size of their stomach). After the tank is cycled,
you can feed 2 or 3 times a day, a quantity which they consume in a few
minutes.

Of the 3 inputs to your aquarium (light, heat and fishfood), it's the
food which has the greatest consequences, determining the size of filter
you need, the amount of nitrogen products in your food chain, the amount
of pollution, the amount of water changes you need to do, how often you
will need to gravel vacuum etc. Uneaten food decays to release
significant amounts of ammonia into your water. Digested food is
released by the fish as ammonia (in decaying solid waste or through their
gills), which starts your food chain (to nitrites and then nitrates). You
can (in theory) feed many many times a day (small portions), but more
food = more maintenance. A real danger comes from over-feeding (at a
single serving), because you have a greater chance of uneaten food
getting into your gravel to rot, and many processed foods expand when
wet, putting the fish under stress. hth

NetMax


  #9  
Old March 23rd 04, 04:10 AM
NetMax
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Just how much food is too much?

I would tend to agree with you. With flake food, large fish will ignore
small pieces causing waste, but small fish can break apart large flakes.
I crush it to allow the smaller fish to get a better chance at it,
through the chaos of temporarily having so much more food available than
there are fish (and chaos is a great levelling field), and to prevent
larger fish from mouthing the entire flake from the smaller fish. Flake
crushing is also useful with small fish which will not follow food to the
bottom of the tank, so waiting till it gets soft enough can mean they
lose it. Just a few considerations which can come up.

With pellets, the situation is different. While the food used should get
bigger (as the fish grows), it should always be smaller than their
throat, or much larger (ie: bottom-feeder pellets or algae wafers). In
most cases, pellets and flake foods are not imo, interchangeable. We
alternate between them with GF and small cichlids, and the results would
probably be better if we stuck to one or the other.

NetMax


"Dick" wrote in message
news
Max, the only thing I question is the bite size. I have often been
surprised to see my smaller fish take a nip out of a larger flake. I
use to worry about the small fish, but even the black molly fry I had
take over my quarantine tank would nibble from a large flake. When I
take my pinch of food from the container, I do try to take larger
flakes for the larger fish, but in the tanks with smaller fish I pinch
for smaller flakes. So, I do what you suggest, but cannot help but
notice the fish do not seem to care.


On Sun, 21 Mar 2004 16:13:00 -0500, "NetMax"
wrote:


"Commander Vimes" wrote in message
.. .
Hi all,

I am new to tropical fishkeeping and have found this group an
invaluable source of advice whilst cycling my 10g tank.

What I have noticed in all the books and posts I have read is the
warning of not overfeeding the fish. Is this purely to do with the
nitires that are produced as the food breaks down, or are there more
sinister things I should be wary of.

Also I can find no decent advice on how much is too much. I have 3
dalmation mollies, 3 neon tailed platys, 3 red mickey mouse platys

and
3 neon tetras (3 died during the cycle - should have read the
newsgroup before trying to cycle a tank with neons!). I feed them
flake food and I am sure I have a tendancy to overfeed as I keep
feeding until they seem to become dis-interested in the food. There
are no flakes left over (that I can see), althoughn this doesn't

mean
that there aren't small bits in the tank or hitting the gravel.

If someone could tell me roughly how many flakes to throw in the

tank
I would appreciate it. I also tend to crumble the flakes up a bit to
ensure even distribution of the food.

Another reason I think I'm overfeeding is the water tests show small
levels of nitrites (0.1mg per), but this may be beacuse I added the
platys a couple of weeks ago and the bacteria is building up to meet
the new levels.

Anyway, any advice on this would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks,

Vimes


If your tank is still cycling (or younger than 6 weeks) then feed once

or
twice a day, a quantity of food which would be the size of their eye
(which is roughly the size of their stomach). After the tank is

cycled,
you can feed 2 or 3 times a day, a quantity which they consume in a

few
minutes.

Of the 3 inputs to your aquarium (light, heat and fishfood), it's the
food which has the greatest consequences, determining the size of

filter
you need, the amount of nitrogen products in your food chain, the

amount
of pollution, the amount of water changes you need to do, how often

you
will need to gravel vacuum etc. Uneaten food decays to release
significant amounts of ammonia into your water. Digested food is
released by the fish as ammonia (in decaying solid waste or through

their
gills), which starts your food chain (to nitrites and then nitrates).

You
can (in theory) feed many many times a day (small portions), but more
food = more maintenance. A real danger comes from over-feeding (at a
single serving), because you have a greater chance of uneaten food
getting into your gravel to rot, and many processed foods expand when
wet, putting the fish under stress. hth

NetMax




 




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