A healthy diet for fish

Fish learn routines with food and building these routines is a sensible idea; if you usually feed them around 7am, 12pm and 6pm every day, you'll soon find them waiting for you at those times.

Feeding - How much, how often?

Always make sure you buy the right type of food for your fish (don't buy your goldfish tropical fish flakes for example). This is because they contain different levels of nutrients.

The quantity of food needed will have to be adjusted according to the size and quantity of fish in the tank. Always feed as much as the fish can eat within two to five minutes and don't overfeed the fish.

Also, it's better to feed two or three times a day rather than just once a day

A well balanced diet

It's important to supplement fish food flakes with other foods for balanced nutrition and enrichment:

  • Goldfish will welcome chopped vegetable matter like peas and spinach.
  • Tropical fish vary in what they'll eat - frozen then fully thawed fish, crumbled boiled-egg yolk and some lettuce leaf depending on the species.
  • Certain species of pleco need vegetables such as potato, or pieces of wood which they graze on.
  • Invertebrate foods are an excellent supplement for tropical fish and are widely available in frozen packs including daphnia ('water fleas') or brine shrimps. Only feed small amounts to goldfish due to the high protein content.

Correct feeding

Different tropical fish species will need their food presented differently. Middle and bottom-dwelling species will need their food delivered accordingly (quickly sinking food or compressed food 'tablets') and nocturnal species, like some catfish, need to be fed last thing at night.

Holiday care

If you go away on holiday, it's vital to have a responsible person to check on the fish and equipment daily.

  • Tropical fish will need daily feeding, and it's important that whoever feeds them in your absence knows how to feed them and to avoid over-feeding (preparing some meals in advance can be a good idea).
  • It's actually better to underfeed rather than overfeed because fish are more susceptible to poor water quality than a lack of food. See the fish environment page for more information.
  • We don't recommend that you use holiday 'feeding blocks' as they release a lot of food into the water very quickly and most of it may rot.
  • An automatic feeder will release a measured amount of food each day. However, a responsible person should be asked to check the tank daily to ensure the equipment is working.
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