Did I Figure Out Molly Feeding Amount?

  1. Julia Darcy Initiate Member

    I've been taking care of my mollies for nearly a year. As other newbies, I too have had problems with the fish food directions:

    "feed amount they will eat in a few minutes," The flakes sink and I can't see what they eat. What do you mean by few, is that 2, 3, 4? If they are jostling for food doesn't that add time to their "few" minutes?

    "feed a pinch" - is that a pinch per fish, a big pinch, a small pinch....what are they talking about!!?

    Then I read that mollies should be grazing all day like they do in the wild. At first I thought I had to give them the food to graze - which would lead to way too much food. But finally I realized they are eating tiny bits of algae off of everything and they even eat detritus worms that come up from the gravel. (Deduction about the detritus worms: I took mollies out of a tank and only left pond snails in it. A few days later the glass was covered in detritus worms when I had never before seen them.)

    One day as I was still contemplating the grazing issue, I observed that they started mating and sparring right after I fed them. No one was grazing. A light bulb went off...if they have time to mate and spar, they are getting fed too much. They should either be resting or pecking at anything and everything for food. So I reduced their food until I could count on looking at the aquarium throughout the day and seeing all the mollies heads-down looking for food.

    This new tactic has led to consistently perfect ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings.

    Now I wonder if they are so hungry they will eat all the babies but that's a different issue.
     
  2. BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    If your old regime was giving you water quality problems you were probably overfeeding on massive level. The fact that you were seeing detritus worms on the glass also leads me to believe that you were heavily overfeeding.
    Mollys spar with each other, its normal. A dominant male in the wild will chase away other males from the females so he is the only one that breed. The other males will eather try to sneak in or fight against the dominant molly in an attempt to breed.

    Feeding is subjective and everyone does it different. I feed my fish 2 times a day. The few times I overfed I knew I was doing it because the fish looked like they were about to blow. You also know you have overfed when the fish dont even eat the food and it just falls to the bottom. Even with my 2 times per day my Mollys still pick at the plants and look for food in the gravel. Appart from breeding, what else can they do?
     

  3. Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    Like so many rules in this hobby, it is good at being wrong. If I feed my rainbow tank for a full minute of what tbey can eat, I would need to buy food once a week. It depends on how much food they can consume in a couple of minutes. My fish are fed once a day 5-6 times a week. Keep in mind that their stomachs are near the size of their eyes (again depends on fish) and that freeze dried items expand when exposed to water. If you feel like your overfeeding you definitely are, if you feel it is good then odds are it is too much, if you feel it is light your probably doing right. Most of us overfeed, I am sure there are times I overfeed and I have been doing this almost 40 years (scary).