Food is a basic essential thing of every living being, and that’s a stated fact. Fishes as well require food to be at the best of their health. Now fishes cant generate their food, and it is up to you to provide them with the necessities. Food is among the first that comes to the mind when buying yourself an aquarium. Yes, you must feed your fish.
But like everything else, you’ll have to do it in a controlled manner. The amount you feed your fish must not exceed their necessity and must fulfill their needs as well. Overfeeding is a common problem in an aquarium and is tackled by a majority of aquarium owners.
Overfeeding always leads to unwanted outcomes and will only increase your work. It makes it an unnecessary circumstance that you want to go towards. There are ways in which you can avoid overfeeding. So let us move further into overfeeding and cover all its aspects.
How not to overfeed?
Overfeeding in an aquarium must be avoided at all costs. It brings undesirable and detrimental consequences. Although, don’t think too much about it, it is not difficult to avoid overfeeding your fish. All you need is consistency with the routine and the amount you are feeding.
Making a routine never hurt anyone, it makes life a lot easier. Similarly, if you make a routine of feeding your fish, it will benefit you and your fish as well. You can feed your fish twice or thrice a day. But the recommended times would be twice a day. One in the morning and once in the evening. You can make a habit of feeding them right after your breakfast and dinner to remind yourself of it.
The next and the most crucial thing is the amount of food to feed. This is what determines whether you’re overfeeding or not for the most part. To determine the correct amount of food to feed your fish you first must observe your fish’s eating habits. The easiest way to do it is to feed them how much they can eat within five minutes. You can start by adding a fair amount of food at first. If your fish gobbles up all of the food from the first batch, then add more but a little less. Keep adding until your fishes stop eating for five minutes. In this way, you can be aware of the amount of food to give to your fish.
Giving the precise amount of food is the best thing you can do for your aquarium and determining the amount required is also easy. With this overfeeding has no chance of occurring.
Consequences of overfeeding
As mentioned before overfeeding leads to ruinous results. Overfeeding is never a good thing and a road that you never want to walk on. Overfeeding can cause multiple heinous results. All these cause harm to your fish and aquarium directly or indirectly.
Effects on the composition of water
If you are overfeeding then your aquarium is bound to have leftover food, and everyone knows what leftover food leads to. The food in the tank begins to deteriorate. Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, the chemical byproducts of rotting food breaking down in your tank, build up as a result. These chemicals are poisonous to fish and can potentially kill them at high concentrations.
Furthermore, uneaten food left in the tank to decompose might reduce oxygen. It is an aerobic process when leftover food decomposes, meaning it uses oxygen and creates carbon dioxide. This implies the fish have less dissolved oxygen to use in the tank or pond. Along with the oxygen levels, the pH levels deplete as well. Acids are created throughout the process, which lowers the pH of the water.
All of this will harm your fish and straightaway make your tank unfit for them to live.
Clogging of filter
Overfeeding can affect your filter as well. The leftover food floating in your aquarium’s water might clog the filter. Uneaten food particles can accumulate on the filters, continuing to manufacture harmful chemicals and clogging the filters. Hence, limiting their ability to function even further. This clogging leads to requiring frequent replacement of the filter as well.
Overfeeding affects your fish’s health as well. Your fish can get into the grasp of illness due to overfeeding. Improper digestion, fatty liver, and fin rot are some of the health issues connected with overfeeding. Because fish create more waste than usual due to improper digestion, the tank becomes polluted. Fatty liver is a hepatitis-like condition caused by overfeeding. It interferes with the liver’s function and can cause the fish to die. Overeating stress causes fin rot, which causes the fins to become untidy and unattractive.
The spread of algae is not something that you would like in your aquarium. Overfeeding causes algae growth as well. Each of us knows that phosphates contribute to the growth of algae. Ironically, leftover food gives rise to phosphates automatically giving chance to the algae to grow in your aquarium. The algae will take over your tank quickly and give your aquarium a demeaning appearance.
How to get rid of effects of overfeeding?
Overfeeding is something faced by every aquarium owner. It occurs frequently as well as triggering it takes a little swaying towards inconsistency. A little leftover food, and there you have it the effects will just pour in after that. If your tank is already under the influence of overfeeding, there are ways by which you can reduce its effects.
First off what you can do is manually remove the leftover food. If you see any bits and pieces of food lying on the substrate scoop them up. It is as simple as that.
If the overfeeding has caused effects in the water column then a water change is viable. Although don’t do a complete water change, a 30 percent water change at once will do. Do it again after 3 days or so again. This will help reduce the phosphates stimulating the algae growth.
An aquarium is a delicate environment. A specified amount of excess food can easily disrupt a well-established tank. It is a health hazard for your fish and the ecosystem. Overfeeding can be controlled by some simple remedies. A controlled and balanced level of feeding is enough to take care of it. Rather than let your aquarium and fishes succumb to the effects of overfeeding, you should begin controlled feeding.