Beginner -- True/False questions

eusadnama

I've been given much varying/bad/completely opposite info at different pet stores during the start of this whole venture with my 10 gallon aquarium and I'm wondering if some of the things I was told were true, or at least the best thing to do. I know everyone has different opinions, but I'd like to have the best knowledge so I can give my sillies a fighting chance. By the way, I've learned SO MUCH on this site. Thank you.

So, is it true that:

(1) You should NOT feed your fish/tankmates multiple times a day even if the food bottle says to? I think I overfeed and I'm always seeing old food, despite siphoning. There are two bottom feeders helping out now though. The tetra steals the bloodworms so I feel like he's starving.

(2) You should NOT feed your fish/tankmates within 24 hours of doing a water change because the bacteria needs to build up again and the food+waste may cause an ammonia spike?

(3) People with water problems are generally the ones that use bottled water? I did at first because I have very hard water. It's cloudy and tastes awful as well.

(4) Some fish can be exceptions to the rule of thumb with fish load? Two little white/clearish bottom feeders (said catfish on the receipt) were sold to me and they said this particular fish was an exception to the rule on gallons per inch.

Thank you so much for any help.


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Coradee

I've been given much varying/bad/completely opposite info at different pet stores during the start of this whole venture with my 10 gallon aquarium and I'm wondering if some of the things I was told were true, or at least the best thing to do. I know everyone has different opinions, but I'd like to have the best knowledge so I can give my sillies a fighting chance. By the way, I've learned SO MUCH on this site. Thank you.

So, is it true that:

(1) You should NOT feed your fish/tankmates multiple times a day even if the food bottle says to? I think I overfeed and I'm always seeing old food, despite siphoning. There are two bottom feeders helping out now though. The tetra steals the bloodworms so I feel like he's starving.

(2) You should NOT feed your fish/tankmates within 24 hours of doing a water change because the bacteria needs to build up again and the food+waste may cause an ammonia spike?

(3) People with water problems are generally the ones that use bottled water? I did at first because I have very hard water. It's cloudy and tastes awful as well.

(4) Some fish can be exceptions to the rule of thumb with fish load? Two little white/clearish bottom feeders (said catfish on the receipt) were sold to me and they said this particular fish was an exception to the rule on gallons per inch.

Thank you so much for any help.

Welcome to Fishlore

1. Yes that's true, feeding once or twice a day is enough, if you're seeing uneaten food then you're feeding too much.

2. Beneficial bacteria doesn't live in the water column so there's no truth in that.

3. Water problems can occur whatever water you use if you overstock, overfeed or neglect routine maintenance.
I've never used bottled water but if your source water is bad it may be worth investing in an RO unit & remineralise.

4. The inch per gallon rule is rather outdated but as to bioload all fish count when stocking your tank.

If you can get a pic of your catfish we can identify them though I have a hunch they may be albino corys.
 

hampalong

1) Not true. As long as all the food is eaten it's ok to feed as often as you like.
2) Not true. You can feed straight after a water change. Water changes do not affect the bacteria in the filter (as long as the water is similar in parameters).
3) Not true.
4) Not true. All fish eat and produce waste, so all fish add to the bioload.
 

MarkN1990

1) Not true. As long as all the food is eaten it's ok to feed as often as you like.
2) Not true. You can feed straight after a water change. Water changes do not affect the bacteria in the filter (as long as the water is similar in parameters).
3) Not true.
4) Not true. All fish eat and produce waste, so all fish add to the bioload.

I'd personally disagree with 1. Fish are opportunists so will eat whatever they physically can when its put in front of them. This can lead to health issues down the line
 

maggie thecat

On number 3 you need to differentiate what type of bottled water you're talking about. Some people use spring water because it is less mineralized than their local source, and for some situations, that can be important. However DISTILLED water contains no minerals at all, and that is detrimental to fish and plants too.

Some fish will eat any chance they get, which can lead to issues like bloat. That's why it's generally recommended to feed once or twice a day, and only what can be cleaned up in three minutes. Also so you don't have spoiling food in the tank affecting water quality.

It is also advocated by some to give fish an occasional "fast" day to rest their digestive systems, on the theory that most wild fish don't eat every day.
 

hampalong

Most fish actually do eat everyday. They spend a large part of every day looking for food and eating when they find it. It's only really the predators that eat relatively large prey that spend days without eating.

Over feeding can lead to problems, but when the food is appropriate, and with sufficient water changes and space, it doesn't.
 

Peacefantasy

I tend to think that anything fish related (such as filter cartridges, telling you to replace once a month) is all so you spend more money.
This is my theory for food.
I do not feed my fish twice a day. And definitely not three times a day.
Although I do give them a varied diet. Each day varies, whether it be flakes and pellets one day, frozen treats another, and their fasting days
 

eusadnama

Wow, thank you all so much! This is so much more of a science than simply having a betta in a bowl. I'm loving learning all about this.

To go back to the bottled water issue, I was aware we had hard water, but didn't know how bad until today when the first part of the API Test Kit came in the mail and I anxiously did Kh and Gh tests for my tank water. General hardness was 18! And the carbonate test was 12. I don't know how my ADFs have survived two tanks now. Doesn't that then affect the pH? Which explains high pH? Poland Spring has a pH of 7 so I wanted to use that. I had been using that until the woman at the first pet shop trip said bottled water was no good. As a novice, I'm very gullible.

And yep you were right. I found out they were albino corys. I love them!
 

eusadnama

I tend to think that anything fish related (such as filter cartridges, telling you to replace once a month) is all so you spend more money.

I had no idea about keeping the filters until the people on this site told me that. Those horrible instructions on the bottles of Tetra brand chemicals say switch filters monthly. Those are the same bottles that say dump in the whole bottle with a new tank and then your tank is ready for fish. SOO much bad info!

Thank you so much
 

eusadnama

Over feeding can lead to problems, but when the food is appropriate, and with sufficient water changes and space, it doesn't.

I'm definitely overfeeding if there's so much in the gravel. It's possible I'm vacuuming wrong if I'm seeing all the leftover food when I move the gravel around. Maybe once a week WCs aren't enough.
 

New Fish in Town

I'd personally disagree with 1. Fish are opportunists so will eat whatever they physically can when its put in front of them. This can lead to health issues down the line

Agreed. Feeding them too much can be a bad thing. They can actually live about a week without eating. I feed mine once every other day in my 20 gallon high and I've had them for about a year and a half with no problems. People who feed more than that are pretty much doing it just because they enjoy watching them eat.
 

Dovah

You can use a net to fish the uneaten food out if you see leftovers after mealtime.

Also, CindiL is the best person I know for kh/gh and pH.

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

Peacefantasy

Yeah you should never change your filter cartridges because that is where the majority of your beneficial bacteria live.
When they start falling apart is when you should ask how to go about it.

Overfeeding is very easy to do. Only feed what the fish can consume in two minutes.
I read that a fish's stomach is the size of their eyeball. Ive never researched this so I'm unsure of how accurate it is. But that kinda give you an idea how little fish really need.
They go crazy eating because in the wild, they don't know how long until they find more food.
And they know you are bringing them food, so they beg like the little beggers they are
 

hampalong

This is all getting farcical now.

Agreed. Feeding them too much can be a bad thing. They can actually live about a week without eating. I feed mine once every other day in my 20 gallon high and I've had them for about a year and a half with no problems. People who feed more than that are pretty much doing it just because they enjoy watching them eat.

"They can actually live about a week without eating." What can? All fish? So when we go on holiday for a fortnight and come back and all the fish are ok, they're different fish???

I feed my fish several times a day. I've done it for 44 years, with no problems. A little bit of logic goes a long way, but saying that everybody who feeds their fish more than you only does it "just because they enjoy watching them eat" is unfounded and a bit silly. I know of many ichthyologists and other fish keepers far more knowledgable than me who feed their fish more than once per day. Can you provide links to the research that proves them wrong?

Also, (Peacefantasy) if a fish's stomach is no bigger than its eye why do their bellies bulge hugely after a big meal? And how does a predator eat fish half its own size? Who here can honestly say they've never seen a fish eat more than it could fit in its eye??

Don't believe all the myths, is my advice. Do a bit of research and find out...
 

Peacefantasy

"Ive never researched this so I'm unsure of how accurate it is."

Stop getting so defensive and read what people actually type. Js.
 

New Fish in Town

This is all getting farcical now.



"They can actually live about a week without eating." What can? All fish? So when we go on holiday for a fortnight and come back and all the fish are ok, they're different fish???

I feed my fish several times a day. I've done it for 44 years, with no problems. A little bit of logic goes a long way, but saying that everybody who feeds their fish more than you only does it "just because they enjoy watching them eat" is unfounded and a bit silly. I know of many ichthyologists and other fish keepers far more knowledgable than me who feed their fish more than once per day. Can you provide links to the research that proves them wrong?

Also, (Peacefantasy) if a fish's stomach is no bigger than its eye why do their bellies bulge hugely after a big meal? And how does a predator eat fish half its own size? Who here can honestly say they've never seen a fish eat more than it could fit in its eye??

Don't believe all the myths, is my advice. Do a bit of research and find out...

Yes, the basic beginner fish can survive multiple days without feeding them. With that being said, I have read that seahorses are very tough to take care of and require being fed twice a day. But if you have a freshwater tank with some beginner fish, they'll be fine for a while without eating.
 

eusadnama

Do a bit of research and find out...

Yup, which is how I ended up here asking questions, hoping you guys were much smarter than the pet store chain people that sold me five fish at once for an uncycled tank. I've learned a heck of a lot, but still haven't figured out feeding.

Agreed. Feeding them too much can be a bad thing. They can actually live about a week without eating. I feed mine once every other day in my 20 gallon high and I've had them for about a year and a half with no problems.

I find tons of uneaten food down in the gravel and I would assume that's what makes the water foggy. Every other day sounds like what my fish need because they're not hungry enough to eat.
 

aliray

I would not feed every other day personally, however you may just be feeding too much at a time. try putting in a small pinch at a time. Also a turkey baster works well for picking up uneaten food and debris from the bottom, also great for Pleco poop pick up duty. Alison
 

MarkN1990

I find tons of uneaten food down in the gravel and I would assume that's what makes the water foggy. Every other day sounds like what my fish need because they're not hungry enough to eat.

No matter if you feed 7 times a day or 1 time a week, if you're finding a ton of uneaten food then you're feeding too much somehow.

It may be you're feeding too much at once or feeding regularly. There is no rule for feed X amount and this thread seems to have turned into an argument about who knows the most about a fishs diet.

Feed a small amount at a time, if they munch it up in 5 seconds then feed a little more later in the day. There should be no leftover food after meal time and if you go by that you can't go too wrong. Feed small amounts until you know how much should be fed
 

hampalong

The general "rule" is usually "feed what they'll eat in x minutes" where x is 1,2,3, or whatever. This is FAR too much. Even one minute is a very long time. A better rule is feed a little bit that will all get eaten straight away. Then a little bit more if you want. But make sure it all gets eaten. "Little and often" is best.
 

eusadnama

If you added it all up in a single day, I was probably feeding teaspoons/day the first few weeks so they didn't starve and die. :-0
To make matters worse, I was wildly vacuuming in a way that disturbed all the in the gravel at once.

The store folks said the fish needed the flakes, the frogs needed a combo of shrimp, frog pellets & blood worms, and the albino corys needed sinking pellets & leftovers. I see now how easy it was to get out of control when I had a community tank. Everyone is separated now and I'm getting the feeding under control thankfully.

Thank you for so many answers, fishlore.

You're all smart because your fish are alive!
 

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