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How much to feed - check my math


Brhino

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I've been investigating why my goldfish don't seem to be growing, and I think I've come to the conclusion that I've been severely underfeeding them. I could use an extra set of eyes to make sure I'm working through this right, though.

Fish Weights

I just weighed the fish for the first time. It was pretty traumatic... mostly for me. I don't have a precise scale, just a kitchen scale. These measurements are probably only accurate to +/- 5g. But here's what I got:

Fish 1: 20g

Fish 2: 20g (didn't weigh, but very similar size and shape to fish 1)

Fish 3: 35g

Fish 4: 30g (didn't weigh, but slightly smaller than fish 3)

Food Weight

I'm feeding NLS 3mm pellets. There's a stickied thread here with the weights of different foods but I wasn't sure which size pellets were used, so I measured myself. Here's where it gets tricky, because as I said I don't have a precise scale.

160 pellets to fill up a small scoop (1/2 tablespoon, fwiw)

24 scoops of pellets to reach 100g on the scale

3840 pellets per 100g

38.4 pellets per gram

If I am aiming to feed my fish 2% of their weight per day, then I am aiming for 0.4g for the smallest to 0.7g for the largest, or 2.1g in total, which is 80.64 pellets. If I am feeding three meals per day that's 27 pellets per meal.

Am I right? Any math errors? Any incorrect assumptions?

Thanks for the help.

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:idont Math is not my gift :rolleyes:

Lisa or some of the others will be a around to help soon!

Good luck :)

Edited by Flipper
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I have two comments:

1. Feeding your fish 2% of their body weights in pellets is very much over feeding. You should aim for 0.75% to 1% maximum.

2. 3mm NLS pellets are too big for these fish. They really need to be 10x that size to really warrant that fish, and even then I don't recommend it. Please feed them the 1mm small pellets. :)

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I have two comments:

1. Feeding your fish 2% of their body weights in pellets is very much over feeding. You should aim for 0.75% to 1% maximum.

2. 3mm NLS pellets are too big for these fish. They really need to be 10x that size to really warrant that fish, and even then I don't recommend it. Please feed them the 1mm small pellets. :)

1. Ah, yes... I see I was reading that wrong. Need to divide all the numbers in half, then.

2. I have both 1mm and 3mm pellets on hand for my fish (have other tanks with a variety of species). I actually just switched to the 3mm for the goldfish because the 1mm felt like I was just throwing sand at them. What makes you say the 3mm is too big? It certainly fits down their gullet without issue.

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It's not a matter of whether it can fit in the fish's mouth. Bigger pieces of food will not be digested as well, and it could end up giving your fish constipation. This is because goldfish lack a true stomach, where food can spend time to be digested down. Moreover, from my own experience with a lot of fish, these bigger pellets can lead to floaty issues, including with already really big fish.

I have a ryukin who is at least 350 grams, and most of my fish are at least 100 grams. They all are eating 1mm - 1.5 mm pellets, and they do incredibly well with these.

What makes you think that feeding small pellets is like throwing sand at the fish?

The goldfish digestive tract is designed for eating little pieces of good and small animals through the entirety of their day. Food keeps moving down the tract, and these fish are very inefficient at processing food.

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well, I can certainly go back to the 1mm pellets. Apart from the goldfish, I mainly feed the 3mm pellets to bottom feeders who graze on the pellets and break them up before swallowing them.

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well, I can certainly go back to the 1mm pellets. Apart from the goldfish, I mainly feed the 3mm pellets to bottom feeders who graze on the pellets and break them up before swallowing them.

I think that's best, especially with NLS, which was designed to not break into smithereens after a short while in water.

Do you have substrate, and if so, what kind?

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The substrate is a thin layer of sand and glass marbles. I originally just had the marbles but I added the sand to fill in the spaces between the marbles so the fish could get at sinking food more easily. Kind of regret it, though... stupid sand is wreaking havoc with my filter impellers.

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What kind of sand did you use? I have two different kinds of sands, and have not really noticed much. Infrequently some sand does get into the impeller chamber and stops the filter, but that is quickly remedied.

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Don't recall the brand... estes, maybe? It's definitely fine and light. I've used other sand in the past without problem, but this stuff gets kicked up really easily. I've already got the filter intake pretty short and a prefilter sponge on it, which helps a bit, but I still have to take the filter apart every few months, and it's completely worn out one impeller.

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Don't recall the brand... estes, maybe? It's definitely fine and light. I've used other sand in the past without problem, but this stuff gets kicked up really easily. I've already got the filter intake pretty short and a prefilter sponge on it, which helps a bit, but I still have to take the filter apart every few months, and it's completely worn out one impeller.

Wow, that sounds terrible. I'm sorry. :(

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1) How big is your tank? Tank size can effect growth.

2) I agree with everything Alex said above. My fish are all large and I feed them the 1mm pellets, too.

3) I also don't measure my food and I don't weigh my fish unless they need medicated food. I just follow the 2-5 minute rule and watch for any adverse reactions such as constipation, etc.

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2) I agree with everything Alex said above.

Of course you would. We are the Koko Food Police. :rofl

I'm sorry sir. I'm going to have to giving you a feeding ticket. You were feeding 3mm pellets in a 1mm pellet zone. :rofl3

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If you've got a Petco nearby, I suggest taking a look at their brand of sand. It's not as fine which helps your filter out and not too large of a grain to be hazardous to silly little goldies who tend to occasionally ingest some. It's also very easy to clean as it's a little harder for a syphon to pick up.

I have the white sand in all of my tanks and I adore the stuff! Their black sand is quite beautiful as well. :)

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If you've got a Petco nearby, I suggest taking a look at their brand of sand. It's not as fine which helps your filter out and not too large of a grain to be hazardous to silly little goldies who tend to occasionally ingest some. It's also very easy to clean as it's a little harder for a syphon to pick up.

I have the white sand in all of my tanks and I adore the stuff! Their black sand is quite beautiful as well. :)

Yes. I have both the black and the white Petco sand and I have never had any problems with my filter impellers. My intakes are about half way down the length of the tank and I don't need pre-filter sponges. The black is a little easier to manage as it it slightly larger and doesn't show the dirt.

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