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labecs

What is too little and what is too much?

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In my constant struggle to become a good fish keeper, now my question is about food. I keep reading "what they can eat in two minutes"... well, my guys can eat half a cup of brine shrimp or 10 cubes of gel food in two minutes (exaggerate some?) And a couple of them can eat so much more than the rest. I actually stand there and throw the food making sure that everybody gets some, and Red always eats three times more than the rest because he's so fast. Then I read " feed a couple of times a day"... but if I do that, how much at each sitting? I also read: "feed every other day", or "feed until they lose interest", or "feed no more than the size of their eye" which would actually mean 1 pellet each.

:hummm

So, here are my questions:

If my gel food is this big: gelfood.jpg (+ or - 3/8" by 3/8" cube)

How much of these do I give each? Up to now, I am feeding a cube and a half to all of them (4 fish are more or less 3" and one is 2"). Maybe three or four big mouthfuls the size of their eye each, except Red that gets so much more, ( should've named him Speedy Gonzalez...) And Papillon, who's still a little slow to catch his food and gets much less than the rest.

How many pellets per fish?

How many little cubes of frozen brine shrimp for all 5?

How many peas when it's "pea" time?

I don't want to overfeed, but also not underfeed... I want them to grow :)

What's your advice?

Edited by labecs

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It's a hard one! I have one ryukin about 4 inches in body. He gets a serving of pellets that is roughly the size of his eyeball - the whole bulgy part, not just the black part - once a day. Then I give him a serving of veggies about the size of a quarter (~3 cm across) at night. He eats this up in about 3 minutes and then spends the next 15 minutes searching to see if there is any more. I fast him once a week for 24 hours, and then he gets 3 peas to break the fast.

This seems to work well. He's not constipated, and he's growing slowly. I've had him for about a year and he's doubled in size.

I hope this helps...I think you have to use the "rules" as guidelines and see what works for your fish.

mj

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If you want them to grow, then the best way is to feed many times small meals daily. About as much each fish as equals the size of their eye. Telescopes are different here of course :rofl

Feed four times a day a small meal like that, and it is more likely that all of them get a good share of food, while at the same time promoting their growth.

For the frozen brine shrimp: with frozen food I feed 2 cubes to the six fish in the big tank. The fish are between 2.5 and 5.5 inches body length (excluding tail).

Another good way is to additionally keep fresh veggies on a veggie clip, like a leaf of steamed romaine lettuce. The fish will munch on it throughout the day/s.

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Great! Now I have some idea... I think I might have been overfeeding at times and underfeeding at others. When I give them pellets, each one gets 5 or 6 once a day and sometimes they eat more than that cube and a half of gel food, but then I underfeed them because another day I will give them 1 cube of brine shrimp and that's it for the day. Today I started feeding them their gel twice a day. The veggie/protein in the morning, the garlic gel at night. I do give them 3 or four leaves of baby spinach every week, and they munch at it a couple of days. I do fast them once a week and "pea" them the next day, and I usually give them 4 or 5 peas

( :o too much?)

Would you say feeding them that whole cube of gel two or three times a day is too much?

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They don't need much at all, really. Fish will eat until they die, so just because they can fit 15 pellets in their mouths doesn't mean that's a good amount. 1 - 2 pellets per fish per day would be the amount of food they would eat in the wild.

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I love this topic.

Because every time I feed my fish, I find myself wondering if I just gave them too much or too little :blink:

I feed mine 2 or 3 times a day. Gel food is about the same size as yours and I divide it in half and they get that twice a day (so that would be one cube a day)

I also give them veggies every day and or frozen blood worms or frozen brine shrimp (one whole cube a serving) This is for five or six fish that vary from largest (6 inches) to smallest (2inches) I don't give any commercial food, because Clementine gets floaty.

Edited by kaytee

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If you want them to grow, then the best way is to feed many times small meals daily. About as much each fish as equals the size of their eye.

I tend to agree with this. Goldfish are carp which means naturally they graze (they aren't predators that may only get one big meal a day), so the best thing for them is to have frequent, small meals. Of course not all of us can do that, but if you can it's a good approach to take.

Great! Now I have some idea... I think I might have been overfeeding at times and underfeeding at others. When I give them pellets, each one gets 5 or 6 once a day and sometimes they eat more than that cube and a half of gel food, but then I underfeed them because another day I will give them 1 cube of brine shrimp and that's it for the day. Today I started feeding them their gel twice a day. The veggie/protein in the morning, the garlic gel at night. I do give them 3 or four leaves of baby spinach every week, and they munch at it a couple of days. I do fast them once a week and "pea" them the next day, and I usually give them 4 or 5 peas

( :o too much?)

Would you say feeding them that whole cube of gel two or three times a day is too much?

I think from the sounds of it that you've been doing well with feeding them. That much gel food might be a little too much, but it is a lot of water so it's not as bad as if you were overfeeding pellets.

They don't need much at all, really. Fish will eat until they die, so just because they can fit 15 pellets in their mouths doesn't mean that's a good amount. 1 - 2 pellets per fish per day would be the amount of food they would eat in the wild.

That isn't exactly true. Fish will not eat until they die, if that was the case the world's oceans and ponds would be full of bloated, dead fish! As I said above, goldfish are carp who are opportunisitic feeders. Naturally they will eat whatever comes along, definitively more than a couple of pellets worth of food a day, but they won't eat themselves to death.

That being said, of course it is easy to overfeed a goldfish. In an aquarium our fish don't expend the energy that wild fish do, and they don't have to compete as much for their food. In addition, too much food will soil the water, either from going uneaten or in the form of too much poop. And another consideration is goldfish, especially fancies, have very delicate digestive systems (unlike their wild cousins) so too much food can cause issues with constipation and swim bladder function. So it is always good to go with feeding a little conservatively.

Edited by Chrissy_Bee

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I overfeed. I can't see how a pinch the size of their eye can be enough. I suppose I should get a grip on myself, but that seems like starvation, based on the eating behavior that I observe. :(

Edited by ShawneeRiver

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i used to feed hikari lionhead to my goldfishes every two hours; two pinches of pellets. ive now reduced it to 3 to 4 meals a day and i only feed gel food and fbw. each meal would be a small cube of gel food. around an inch ( guestimate )

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I'm never sure about this either .. I think I probably overfeed, but my fish are 3 commons and 1 comet, maybe they need more than fancies? My fish are on average about 4 inches long but they're certainly not fat looking, so I don't want to feed them any less.

They get 2 meals a day, with 1 day of fasting a week with peas the next day. For each meal of peas they get 3-4 peas, so about 2 peas each for that entire day. When they have a veggie/fruit meal, they each get about 4 small pieces (maybe half the size of their eye). When I feed frozen bloodworms/brine shrimp, they will have about 3/4 of a cube per meal. When I cut up the gel food for a meal, they get about 5 pieces (same size as when I do veggies) per fish. Roughly!

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Good advice here. to me, i would think the bigger the fish, the more food they need. My 3 small fish in the 30 gallon get much less than the 4 bigger ones in the 55 gallon. There is no way that a tiny little 1.5 inch fish should eat as much as my 5 inch fish (who is also stocky).

If i see really long poop, or they are taking forever to finish it, i will assume i am over feeding.

I agree with smaller meals more often.I try to feed them 2-3x per day and they gobble it up in under one minute mostly.

In my opinion, trial and error is best for this. If you see signs of over feeding then slow down. Its best to under feed i think.

we want our fish to grow but if we are feeding too much then the fish will get sick. and that defeats the whole purpose. I play it conservative

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I also think slightly underfeeding is better. Studies are starting to show that all kinds of animals live longer when fed less (than usual). Of course you don't want to cross the line to starving your fish! You just need to find that balance that is healthy for your fish.

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I also think slightly underfeeding is better. Studies are starting to show that all kinds of animals live longer when fed less (than usual). Of course you don't want to cross the line to starving your fish! You just need to find that balance that is healthy for your fish.

Oh, if I could only apply that to myself... :rofl

Edited by labecs

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I also think slightly underfeeding is better. Studies are starting to show that all kinds of animals live longer when fed less (than usual). Of course you don't want to cross the line to starving your fish! You just need to find that balance that is healthy for your fish.

Oh, if I could only apply that to myself... :rofl

:exactly Here's my idea of a snack! :icecream:food:slicedbread:popcorn:g025:

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If i see really long poop, or they are taking forever to finish it, i will assume i am over feeding.

:bingo:

Always watch the poop hehe, as it will tell you whether the fish is healthy, sick, or overfed :)

I never use the 2 minute rule, because that would be so much food it would foul the water. Instead, what I feed them they consume it all in about 30 seconds twice a day.

Edited by dnalex

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Great post Chrissy. Fish are grazers in the wild and it is their instinct to nibble but they won't overfeed and burst. Living in a tank we have to be careful the amount we feed is what the filtration and stocking levels in that particular set up can handle. When breeders prepare their fish for shows they will feed small meals every 2 hours to bulk the fish up. It's a lot of food.

I think i've got use to how much food my fish and their set up works best with but it's taken time. There's nothing leftover but it takes them more than two minutes...more like ten :D

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