Fasting Once A Week

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by RyleighJ, May 20, 2017.

  1. RyleighJ Valued Member Member

    Hi! I've heard that a lot of people fast their fish once a week, and I was looking for some more opinions on the matter. Are there any possible downsides to doing so?I'm thinking of feeding my fish normally five days a week, fasting one day a week, and feeding a pea the next day. Thoughts?


  2. Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    Pretty common practice with bettas, keeps waste down and prevents constipation in fish.

  3. Bogart16 Valued Member Member

    Both my tanks get fed Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. Usually at night after I've gotten home from work. Wednesdays they get peas and I usually toss in a treat on Saturdays. I don't find it hurts any of the fish. Everyone is happy and healthy, plus it helps to prevent overfeeding and keeps the tank clean.

  4. MattS99 Well Known Member Member

    I fast my betta and my community tank on Thursdays.
  5. Zirallan New Member Member

    It really comes down to preference. For every person out there who swears by fasting there's one who feeds every day and never has any problems. I don't see why you would need to fast to feed peas and prevent constipation. As long as you're feeding an appropriate diet, I don't think either fasting or not fasting harms the fish with perhaps the exception of young fast growing types of fish who really should be fed every day.

    Fasting to 'help keep the tank clean' is just plain silly. Either feed less at normal feedings or water change more often.
  6. MattS99 Well Known Member Member

    I fast because I overfeed them the other 6 days of the week. Nothing to do with water quality or constipation, I just don't want them to get too fat, as stupid as it sounds. My platy picks on algae all day along with the regular feeding, and he is quite large.
  7. Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    I usually fast them once a week. But since getting new fish and wanting them to get big I've fed them everyday. I probably will get back to fasting soon.
  8. Supreme Sawk Valued Member Member

    Stop overfeeding them then. If you don't overfeed then you shouldn't be concerned about leftover food. Also, if your fish are constantly eating algae and you don't want them to then clean the algae away, it only takes a few minutes. Personally I leave a bit of algae for my fish, they get fed at 12 hour intervals, so if they get a little peckish they can take a bite of algae. It's pretty normal and algae is a pretty large part of most freshwater fish's diets.

    As for what I do, I feed my fish twice a day, every day. I have two kinds of flake food to vary their diet (one has mostly krill and molluscs in the flakes and the other has mostly insects and worms), and I alternate between the two every day. I'm also planning on getting some bloodworms and brine shrimp as a treat for them once a week. As long as you don't overfeed (putting more in than they can eat in about 2 minutes) then there is no reason to fast. It just makes the fish hungry and miserable, and overall unhappy fish. Would you like it if you were forced to fast once a week?
  9. MattS99 Well Known Member Member

    I have 14 very aggressive feeding tetras and a platy who'll eat anything. Even with the sinking cichlid pellets, the tetras and platies still get to them. I HAVE to overfeed so my Bolivian ram eats. He won't hand feed, so it has to be this way. They eat 6 days a week, once a day. I clean algae on a weekly basis, as the tank is next to a window. All livebearers are known to pick on algae anyway. And if there's one thing my fish are not, it's unhappy. If I put in as much as they could eat in two minutes, they'd all be EXTREMELY overweight. The amount of food they get is gone in a minute. And if I fasted once a week, I know I'd be healthier, since I'd have to make better food choices to sustain me over that day I don't eat. Please don't tell me what to do with my fish, as I don't tell you what to do with yours.
  10. Lindsay83 Valued Member Member

    I suspect most people with some experience in fishkeeping will stray slightly from the beaten track. If you over feed your fish once a day, 6 days a week, that, of course, is your prerogative, and what works for you.

    However, this is in FW beginners forum, and people without as much experience might read your posts and think overfeeding is OK. It might help if you point out that you don't recommend overfeeding in general and certainly not if the reader is new to the hobby - a sort of fishkeeper "don't try this at home".
  11. MattS99 Well Known Member Member

    I feel like feeding is a very subjective subject. Would most people on FishLore think I overfeed? Of course. Do I think I overfeed? Not at all. If they're eating once a day six days a week, I don't see any harm in putting in a little bit of 'extra' food.
  12. scarface Fishlore VIP Member

    It's very easy too overfeed. I feed once a day with an occasional fast day.
  13. Supreme Sawk Valued Member Member

    I'm not telling you what to do, I'm giving you options as to how you would stop that problem. I apologise if I sounded a bit authoritarian, I just didn't know the circumstances.

    No, if you eat properly then you absolutely won't be healthier if you fast for one day. You'll lose weight eventually.

    In your circumstance I can understand it, however as Lindsay83 pointed out, the way you said it implied that it's absolutely fine to overfeed as long as you fast one day a week and might give the beginners the wrong idea, so I had to counter what you said to stop any beginners who stumble upon here from deliberately overfeeding their fish. I'm just thinking of the beginners.
  14. MommaWilde Well Known Member Member

    I feed all my tanks about 2 days fed, 1 day fast, 2 days fed, 1 day fast, etc. About once a week it's treat day and they get zucchini, frozen blood worms and brine shrimp. I only feed what the tank can eat in a few minutes with exception to the Plecos who take their time.

    I'm not obsessive about an exact routine but I never do more than 1 fast day in a row because I don't want my cichlids looking to their tank-mates as food.
  15. Discusluv Well Known Member Member

    The amount of food, the frequency, and the types of food fed depends on many factors- the most important being the particular species and the age of fish. To fast a fish that is a juvenile or sub-adult is counter-productive because they need all the nutrients they can get to build defenses (immunity) against pathogens/parasites in a closed system and to convert for their actively growing metabolisms. Now, adults, that's different- vegetarian fish need more food to maintain health and carnivores less. Plecos can easily become impacted by feed, and makes sense to have a day when you feed peas or equivalent (treatment day) to keep this from occurring... that's really smart. If you know your particular species and their care, you will know if fasting makes sense to the fish you keep or it is just a day when you don't feed.
  16. slayer5590 Well Known Member Member

    My smaller fish get fed everyday or every other day and the big guys get fed every other day.
  17. RyleighJ Valued Member Member

    After reading everyone's opinions, I don't think I'm going to fast weekly. Maybe I'm just being a softie and feel bad not giving them food for a day, but given what I've read I'm not convinced that weekly fasting will make them any healthier than if I fed them everyday. I will continue to feed peas weekly just to be cautious about possible constipation and SBD (considering I have bettas and goldfish who are prone to it, and one betta has already had it). Plus my bettas love their peas! I'm also going to soak pellets before feeding. Should I soak freeze dried bloodworms too, or just pellets?
  18. IRTehDar Valued Member Member

    My feeding regime is based on my minicritter population. I usually feed once a day but when my tank bottom gets too "creepy crawly" I skip the feeding. But thats really because of my setup being based around having live food living and breeding in my tank together with my fish.
  19. NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    I am very concerned about obesity in fish. We don't see fat on them, because it is in them, around their internal organs. It doesn't collect on them as it does on us.
    I like my fish to live long lives, and overfeeding our rich manufactured fare can be deadly.
    We have to stay as close as we can to their wild diets, and I think we have to avoid overfeeding. I feed twice a day 7 days a week for:
    a) fry;
    b) fish being conditioned to breed;
    c) high energy hogs like swordtails.
    Once a day with a weekly day off for adult fish not being bred.

    Choosing food with high roughage takes away any need for foods like peas for carnivores. Food choice is really important, especially live or fresh foods.
  20. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    I feed my betta 6 days a week and fast him on Sundays. I feed pellets every other day and on the other three days I vary between freeze dried bloodworms, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp. Please soak the freeze dried foods before feeding them.

    I will do this with my community tank once it is set up and established probably. I will also buy frozen instead of freeze dried with the occasional live food