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Feeding Your Fish

You've established an aquarium, cycled it and are finally enjoying the fruits of your labor. Maintenance and feeding are now on the agenda as the necessities of your watery friends' lives. Food must contain protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Many different foods are commercially available, and remember, "Variety is the spice of life", even if you're a fish.

First, are your fish herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? Do your research so you will know what they are supposed to eat. Remember, overfeeding creates water pollution when uneaten food rots in the bottom of the tank. A good measure of how much to feed is what they eat before the remaining food hits the bottom of the tank is sufficient to feed once a day or even every other day.

Buying more than one kind of food is a good idea. Flake food will float on top. Grain and pellets typically sink to the bottom (unless they are a floating food), while tablets can sink or be stuck on the side of the tank. Different types of food accommodate top, middle and bottom feeders. Fresh and frozen foods are a nice change for your fish, as well as a nutritious boost. Tubiflex worms, live or frozen, will be a hit. Brine shrimp and blood worms will also certainly be enjoyed. Vegetarian fish will enjoy frozen kelp and small pieces of lettuce or spinach. Offer these special treats 2 times a week, but remove all uneaten leftovers.

If you have an aquarium and want to go on vacation, it can be a problem. If a neighbor is able to feed your fish while you're away, that's great! Remember to ask the individual if they are familiar with fish feeding portions and frequency. If you think they are not aware of these needs, take zip-lock bags and measure the exact amount of food for each day you will be gone. This eliminates the possibility of overfeeding and assures you a healthy tank when you get home. If a neighbor is not able to fish-sit, an automatic food dispenser can drop small amounts of food into the tank or a slow dissolving tablet can be used.

Using these guidelines will help you make the best decisions regarding your aquarium's feeding needs.

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