Over-feeding in planted tank?

funkman262

Well Known Member
Messages
894
Reaction score
19
Points
113
Experience
1 year
I've done several searches using the fishlore search engine to read about the consequences of over-feeding fish. However, the only reasons I've read not to do it is mainly because of water quality issues. However, in a planted tank where the nitrates rarely go above 5, is over-feeding as much of an issue? I realize that if the fish are eating nonstop all day that they'll eventually run into health problems (just like obesity in humans I'm sure), but is it a cause for concern (considering I'm NOT feeding them nonstop). I don't believe I'm over-feeding them but I was just curious what others think about this. Feel free to either throw in your : or post a link on this topic. Thanks all
 

Butterfly

Fishlore Legend
Messages
23,194
Reaction score
120
Points
518
Experience
More than 10 years
The more fish eat the more waste they will produce and unless large or frequent water changes are done nitrates will spike.
You also have to consider total dissolved solids in the water also that may be detrimental to your fish. These are the things you can't see but are still there. This is an article a friend wrote and is easy and interesting to read on dissolved organic compounds http://www.aquascapingworld.com/magazine/May-2008/Magazine/Dissolved-Organic-Compounds-Explained.html

Besides if you feed more than your fish need you're wasting fish food
carol
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
Messages
13,174
Reaction score
236
Points
383
Experience
3 years
To add to what Butterfly said, there is a point where the plants will not be able to keep up with the nitrogen production, and you'll see a nitrate spike.
My planted tank, where the crypts are growing like weeds, has been overfed, and I ended up with a huge nitrogen spike.
Also, overfed fish, like other overfed pets (and people, for that matter), tend to be more disease-prone. In koi, for example, vets notice a significant difference in liver disease when the koi is extremely overweight for its body length.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

funkman262

Well Known Member
Messages
894
Reaction score
19
Points
113
Experience
1 year
Thanks for the replies guys. I tried to be specific in my OP that the nitrates don't go above 5 (there won't be any spike) and the fish aren't being obscenely overfed. I'm just trying to get a better idea on how much food should be fed to the fish. People say to base it on how quickly the nitrates are building up, others say feed what could only be eaten in a few minutes, but like I said, both of those have to do with water quality and not the health of the fish. I'd like to feed my fish a little more considering my plants are dealing with the nitrates (and whatever they can't handle would be dealt with via water changes) if it would keep them healthier. However, if it's known that feeding a little more (maybe two or three times a day using the 3 minute rule) is harmful for the fish, than I would be sure to just feed them once a day. And again, Carol, the link describes how the organic compounds affect the quality of the water (via algae) and does not describe its affect on the fish which I'm primaly concerned about. Thank you all again for your input ;D
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
Messages
13,174
Reaction score
236
Points
383
Experience
3 years
Sorry, it looked like you were saying your nitrates were currently never above 5ppm, and you were wondering if you could up the feeding. I was saying that, if you did so, you would be upping the nitrogen input of the tank and could be going beyond what the plants could handle.

\I'm just trying to get a better idea on how much food should be fed to the fish. People say to base it on how quickly the nitrates are building up, others say feed what could only be eaten in a few minutes, but like I said, both of those have to do with water quality and not the health of the fish.
Not true. The "how much they can eat in a few minutes" deals both with the health of the fish and the water quality.
Consider these facts:
A fish's stomach is about the size of its eye (there is some variation, of course, but it's close enough that it works for this purpose).
Humans should feed themselves to about 80% full three times a day for the appropriate amount of calories.
Fish are cold blooded: they use much, much less energy for their body size than we do.

I've met very successful aquarists who fed their fish every other day, only enough for the fish to eat in about 30 seconds. Their fish were ridiculously healthy, and likely got any extra food they needed from among the plants. I feed more than that (once a day, what they can eat in 30 seconds), and my fish are extremely healthy, as well. I don't think that adding food is going to make your fish any more healthy than they are. If you're already feeding high-quality food, it sounds like they're as healthy as they can be, in an extremely clean tank, with live plants and good food. ;D
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6

funkman262

Well Known Member
Messages
894
Reaction score
19
Points
113
Experience
1 year
Great ;D Thank you for that clarification SDS. I definately wouldn't increase the amount that I was feeding them, but I was just curious how, other than tank parameters, one would determine how much to feed them. I guess I'll just contine what I've been doing since everything's been good so far and the fish are happy (from what I can tell ). Thanks again all. Your help has been much appreciated ;D


EDIT:
Besides if you feed more than your fish need you're wasting fish food
A few months ago I bought a small container of freeze dried brine shrimp (~0.7 ounces) and a similar sized container of flakes that I feed the fish. The funny thing is that the FDBS is practically still at the rim and the flakes were almost completely full too until I started raising Grindal Worms and I see the flake supply steadily decreasing lol so now I'm using a lot of flake food but moreso for the worms than the fish
 
Last edited:

Gamer

Well Known Member
Messages
1,744
Reaction score
327
Points
253
Experience
5 to 10 years
I don't have any input to add except to say that the replies in this thread have been extremely helpful to me as well. So thanks and thanks funkman for creating this topic.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom