How often (and how much) do I need to feed my fish?

Normally, we only answer one FAQ each Friday, but these two questions are totally related, so this week you get two for the price of one.

How often should I feed my fish?

We fish are light eaters, only taking in small amounts of food at each feeding. But, fish are opportunistic eaters and will eat any time food is available, so you don’t want to feed too often. In general, most fish do quite well on one feeding per day. Some owners, however, prefer to feed their fish twice a day. The key is to control the total amount. If you feed your fish twice a day, only feed him half as much each time.

How much should I feed my fish?

A good rule of thumb is to feed your fish only as much as it can eat in about three minutes. Take a few minutes every now and then to watch your fish eat. You’ll notice that after three or four minutes, your fish will lose interest and stop eating. If there’s still food floating on top of the water or sinking to the bottom of the bowl or aquarium, then you’ve given too much food. Next time, give your fish a little less food.

Too little food is much better than too much food. Uneaten food produces nasty by-products that can be harmful to your fish. Yuck. Nobody wants a dirty fish tank. Especially your old pal Ernie. Besides, I’ve got to watch my figure.

photo credit: J C D Wikimedia Commons