How Much To Feed Tetras


I recently rebuilt my tank (used to house goldfish). I now have a school of 5 red eye tetras, and am working on building a community tank. With the goldfish, I fed as much as they could eat in around two minutes. The tetras are so fast, though, that they'll inhale their food in 20 seconds! I am concerned that if I give them enough to last them 2 minutes they'll burst! Is there a better way to determine feeding amount for lightning fast fish? I feed them tropical flakes for now (finishing off a small bottle). Also looking for food type and brand recommendations if anyone has them. Thanks!


I found that it re-educated me about feeding and changed the whole way that I think about feeding my fish and maintaining my water quality. I had also heard of another similar study through Practical Fishkeeping.

But if you just want the short answer a couple of flakes each per day is all your tetras need.

I hope this helps you out. Let me know what you think.


I know what you mean. I have 12 Black Skirt tetras. When I feed them flakes it's like a feeding frenzy on turbo mode. I generally sprinkle a pinch of food along the front of the aquarium so everyone gets a chance to get some. Some of the bigger ones eat like there is no tomorrow. When the first dose of food is gone I sprinkle another round of food in sort of near the smaller ones so they get their share. I do this about 2 or 3 times making sure all of the food is consumed each time. They seem to be doing fine.
I feed mostly twice a day (morning and evening). I fast them sometimes on a weekend day or one day during the week. I am always worried about over feeding or under feeding. They seem to have a healthy look to them. Not too skinny and not too bloated.
I hope this helps you a little.



Last I knew supposedly fishes stomachs are the size of their eyes so my golden rule was in general to make sure each fish was able to get food at all and still fast all of them once a week.
Usually try get get a few large chunks of flakes per handful or 2 of fish, made sure to smash the flakes to smaller pieces (just have neons and guppies) and instead of dumping the food in one small area, just open the lid and try to spread food sideways as much as possible. If each fish it getting some amount of food and no new aggression (could be broad in by last of sensed food) or fish seeming really weak, they are porbably fine.

One of the biggest things I see in this hobby is about overfeeding more then anything else, so as long as they aren't showing anything to suggest they are getting to little food (like new aggression or weakness) and you make sure to watch each fish gets food in general, you will probably be fine


Redshark- thanks for the info! It was a good read. I'm always up for some solid scientific references. It's hard for me to trust the internet

Eric- I like your advice about lettting them finish the first sprinkle of food before giving another sprinkle. It definitely reduces the amount of waste that gets past them, and since I'm still building this community, I don't have any scavengers yet to help clean up!

Shasta- I'll definitely keep an eye on their behavior to make sure I'm not underfeeding. They're a fun bunch to watch... There's one tiny one in the group (half the size of most of them, and a third the size of the biggest) that totally rules the school. He's the boldest and the pushiest of the bunch! I've been spreading my sprinkles out so that he doesn't get it all. Seems to be working well.

Thank you all for your advice!

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