Feeding fish on a set schedule is one of the many important aspects of being an aquarium owner. Aside from keeping the tank and water clean, having your fish on a fish feeding schedule is important for a few reasons.
This isn’t typically a topic many people think about, yet it makes perfect sense to aquarium owners. If you have an aquarium and haven’t yet established a set feeding schedule, maybe you will want to consider it after reading this article.
Reasons Why You Need a Fish Feeding Schedule
1. Reminds you to feed the fish daily
Reason number one is because, and this might sound silly, but it will help you to remember to feed them. With everything else we have going on in our day-to-day lives, sometimes it’s easy to forget about feeding fish.
If you develop a schedule to ensure they are fed every day, you can’t possibly ever forget. It’s like tying a string to your finger to remember to do something, except there is no string. Maybe you could start out by writing a reminder to yourself if you are a forgetful type of person, on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker or a note-to-self left in the car, or on the fridge.
In today’s day and age, you can even write a note on your smartphone and have it send you reminders that way. You could even set an alarm. There are really no excuses.
2. Avoid overfeeding the fish
Reason two is you will ensure you are not overfeeding your fish. Overfeeding fish is one of the number one causes of high nitrates in aquarium water.
Nitrates are basically broken down food and fish waste which develop into ammonia of sorts, which contaminates the water and makes the fish sick and can even kill them if levels get too high.
Checking your nitrate levels periodically is essential to owning a fish tank. This will also help you to better develop a feeding schedule. Nitrate kits are available for purchase in aquarium stores and online, and no matter where you buy them, they are an essential part of every fish owner care kit.
Also, keep in mind some fish do well in higher nitrate levels, as well as others do well with very low nitrates. It’s always best to find out from your local aquarium store what levels are right for your fish.
3. Make allowance for variety of fish feeds
Another reason to feed your fish on a schedule might be because, depending on the type of fish you have, you might need to feed them different things throughout the day. For instance, some fish might eat flakes for one meal, bloodworms for the next, live worms the next, brine shrimp the next, romaine lettuce the next, and so on and so forth.
Keeping a fish feeding schedule for your fish will allow for the necessary rotation in variety. This will allow them to stay healthy and vibrant. It will also allow the fish to be happy at feeding time, and not become bored with eating the same monotonous meal for every single meal.
Humans don’t eat the same thing at every meal; why should we expect our fish to?
4. Avoid Wastage of Fish Feed
Another reason to have a fish feeding schedule might be because the fish won’t be hungry if they are being overfed, and at that point, they are just eating to eat. This will also produce more food waste, and more fish waste as well, which in turn means more work for you. You will need to clean the tank more frequently, including the substrate.
Although cleaning the substrate is necessary anyways, doing it more often than you need to because you’re feeding too much to your fish is unnecessary. Just don’t overfeed the fish by following a schedule.
Also, if you overfeed your fish, depending on the type of fish you own, it might cause the fish to grow to sizes too big to fit in your tank anymore. Most fish do stay at a size adequate to the environment they are in, however, it is a possibility that your tiny fish could grow to a monstrous size if they are eating too much.
Following a feeding schedule is just good practice for every fish owner. Maybe you could make it a morning ritual to get up, and feed the fish first thing, and all of your household pets all at once.
It would make things easier on you, and establish a good pattern to follow every morning. If your fish require other feedings throughout the day, as well as other pets, try to base it so you can do them all at once.
Establishing a schedule might be a bit hard on you at first, but with practice and time, you’ll find you really wouldn’t want it any other way.