Feeding your fish.
Kinds and types of food
Basically there are three types of food available
from aquarium stores. Dry food, frozen, and live food. Many aquariumfish can be
kept well when only feeding dry food, which is the most convenient food for fishkeepers
available. Nowadays several forms and types of dry food are available, some are
even high quality. If you vary for example freeze dried food with flake food,
many fish can and will live a long and happy life in an average community tank,
but most fish won't breed on such a diet.
The most important thing to remember is to
feed your fish a varied diet. If the previous alinea gave you the idea that it's
better to feed live Daphnia every day, then you're wrong. It's better to feed
flake food for four days in a week, varied with twice a week frozen food, and
once a week live food. The more variation the better, in human analogy, you can
survive on french fries for a long time, but you can't live on them alone.
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Everybody has an opinion about this topic, there are no rules just ideas and guidelines.
A golden rule of the old days is : Feed once a day, as much as the fish can eat in 5 minutes. It's not a bad rule, but the type of fish, food, age of a fish and other factors can change that.
There is always some food present in a tank, microorganisms, leftovers, many fish eat plants. Ideally, one large enough tank can supply enough food for one fish. If you keep 2 Rasbora maculata or briggitae in a 200*50*50 tank, added some daphnia, cyclops and tubifex to the tank you may even produce such an aquarium, until the parents breed. When there's more food eaten than produced the food production will first rapily decline to almost 0. In natural circumstances the fish would start to die from starvation. After this period there would be only a few fish left to eat. The food populations would then start to grow again and the circle is complete.
Since I know of nobody having such a setup, although it would be nice to try, you'll have to feed.
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food it's often easier to feed once every other day.
The surplus of nutrition taken in by the fish is located round the liver. Fat, carbonhydrates and eiwit. This can be used in period of hardship. fattened organs may lead to degenerating organs, especially the liver. Breeding attempts with these fish are usually unsuccessfull. Around 10-1 is the average ratio food-bodyweightincrease Carnivores: protein: 45-55%fat<8 Herbivores: Protein max 25%fat<5 avitaminose: vitamin deficiency, occurs most freq in the winter period.A2(A1 in humans), B3 and C are neccesary. OD on C is possible.
To feed fish during a vacation a neighbour or friend could be asked. Better is it to have somebody that also keeps aquariums, who can usually be found at meetings from your local group. This will prevent disasters that commonly occur when good meaning people get a bit over enthousiastic, and feed a whole 1 liter flake food can in one month. If you have to ask someone who doesn't know what to do, create bags with food in it, and explain that one bag per visit is all the fish are going to get. Also explain them that if they miss a few days, the fish still only get one bag. Another option is to use an automatic feeder. The vacation feeders that slowly dissolve in tanks aren't very good, since fish hardly eat the food, and it gravely pollutes the water.
Remember that fish can do without food for a long time. I kept fish for more than a year with only one feeding every two weeks, other people found fish in "forgotten"tanks after three months without any food. So if your going away for one or two weeks, there's actually no need to do anything extra.
Foods: Bloodworms, Black worms, White worms, Enchytrae, Grindal, Tubifex, Mysis, stylaria lacrustris(?), cyclops, diaptomus, beekvlokreeftje, mosselkreeftjes, Gammarus, earthworms, vinegar eels, Isopoda(watch out for infection with hookworm, small red stripes!), Midget larvae, Drosophila, artemia, fisheggs, clamps, beefheart, vealliver, boiled fish, egg, oakmeal, spinach, cucumber, peas.
Catching your own food:
First you'll have to find a decent pond. It's best if you can find a pond with no fish in it, since animals cought there may carry a disease. But even if you find such a pond, some predators or other strange animals may be present in the water besides food.
The following items are needed, a small and/or a large net, a bucket with a lid, and a glass cup for studying. With the net move slowly through the water once and place the contents in the studyglass. If you see some feeding creatures, this may be a reasonable place. Places where you catch enough with one stroke to feed a whole batch of fry on one day, may be empty on another day. Move around a little till you find a place where the animals are present.
Move the net through the water slowly in an eight shaped manner. Try not to hit the bottom, since then you'll usually catch a lot of dead leaves and other things you don't want. Fill the bucket with water from the pond where you catch the food. Carefully place the inside of the net with the food in the bucket, and gently wash the contents of the net. Especially when Daphnia are present, it's important to prevent them from dying.
Prior to feeding it's best to check andto separate the food depending on size. It may be nice to check the animals and the water from a pond with a microscope. Some articles about that can be found at www.microscopy.uk, as well as some pictures.
See animalsection on the left, locusts, eartworms,
ants, flies and many other animals can easily be caught and/or grown.
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