For most types of fish, the right amount of food might seem like too little. However, overfeeding your fish can not only affect the health of your fish but can also have a negative impact on the overall health of your aquarium. Learn how to avoid the negative impacts of overfeeding in order to get the most out of the fish in your aquarium.
Why You Should Avoid Overfeeding Your Fish
It is often difficult to tell how much food is appropriate for your fish. For most types of fish, the right amount of food might seem like too little. Some species of fish can be given the occasional fresh food treat to supplement the flakes in their diet, which may tempt owners to give treats too often. However, overfeeding fish can be a serious problem that can cause fish becoming lethargic and sick, and even lead to death. Overfeeding your fish can not only affect the health of your fish but can also have a negative impact on the overall health of your aquarium.
Impact on Fish Health
Some of the health problems associated with overfeeding include improper digestion, fatty liver and fin rot. Improper digestion leads to a contaminated tank because fish produce more waste than usual. Fatty liver is a hepatitis-like disease that mostly affects cichlids and other fish who are hearty eaters. Fin rot is caused by the stress of overeating and can make fish look shaggy and colorless.
Impact on Water Quality
If the fish aren’t able to eat all the food you give them, the leftover food in the tank starts to rot. This leads to a buildup of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, the chemical byproducts of organic waste (such as rotting food) breaking down in your tank. These compounds are toxic to fish and can even be lethal at high levels. In addition, uneaten food that is left to rot in the tank can lower oxygen and pH levels.
Impact on Tank Maintenance
Uneaten food flakes floating around in your tank water may clog the aquarium filter and make it necessary to replace it more frequently. With increased toxicity and lower oxygen levels, unwanted algae will thrive, your tank water will become cloudy, and tank maintenance will soon become a daunting task.
In order to get the most out of the fish and aquatic life in your aquarium, it is important to know how to avoid overfeeding.
How to Avoid Overfeeding Your Fish
The first thing to do when trying to avoid overfeeding is find out how much you should be feeding your fish. Begin by feeding the fish the amount you usually do, and see if they eat all the food within four or five minutes. Gradually reduce the amount of food you give the fish until they finish the feeding in the appropriate amount of time. If there is ever food left in the tank, remove uneaten food with a net or siphon.
Once you know how much your fish should be fed, set up a feeding schedule and stick to it. Some types of fish prefer to be fed once a day, while others should have several smaller feedings spaced throughout the day. Make sure family members and fish sitters know about the feeding schedule and how much to feed the fish.
If leftover food in the tank continues to be a problem, consider getting a scavenger such as a catfish or loach to help keep the tank clean. Also make sure you are using a filter of the appropriate size for your tank and conducting regular maintenance on the filter to ensure that it is running efficiently.
Automatic Fish Feeders
An Automatic Fish Feeder is a great solution to reliably dispense accurate and consistent amounts of food in order to avoid overfeeding your fish. Automatic feeders can also be used to keep your fish fed and happy while you’re away at work or on vacation. If overfeeding or underfeeding is a recurring issue in your tank, it may be worth investing in one.
Overfeeding is a common problem but one that is easy to rectify. To keep your fish healthy and happy, follow the simple steps in this article, and shop online at BigAlsPets.com for great deals on Automatic Fish Feeders.