Just as humans need proper nutrition to develop correctly and healthy, so do your finned friends. So, how do you offer your breeders and fry a healthy and varied diet?
There are many kinds of foods that you can offer your fish, from fresh vegetables, to live food, flake food, algae, tubifex worms and earthworms. The list is very long, and all are good sources of nutrition as long as they are not the steady diet for your fish.
The first step when searching for fish food, is to read, read, read everything you can get your eyes on. Including the food packaging. Foods low in vitamins and minerals promote poor health, slow growth, and disease, for the breeder it is a good idea to purchase the best your wallet can handle.
The food that you offer to your fish needs to include carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and vitamins. Carbohydrates provide energy, and helps fish resist disease, however, excessive carbohydrates can be harmful. Minerals and proteins help fry grow properly, and are needed more by younger fish than adults. Vitamins provide a base for good health.
While making sure that your fishes receive the nutrition that they need, you may find yourself overfeeding them! The fish’s stomach is about the size of its eye, and feeding a small pinch to adult fishes is quite adequate. The fry require three feedings in a day, but the aquarist needs to be aware that overfeeding causes obesity and other health issues. Also, a lot of the food you offer will end up rotting on the bottom and will cause clouded water and it may harm the fish if they eat it. If you accidentally overfeed, don’t worry too much, simply remove the excess food with a gravel cleaner and keep on learning.
The common rule of feeding is to offer only what your fishes can consume in three to five minutes. This is a good time for you to observe your fish’s behavior before, during and after the feeding.
You may notice that you have a picky fish! This is not very common in Guppies and Mollies, but the Platy and Swordtail may alarm you by ignoring food! Don’t worry about this, as some fish are just plain picky, others will eat everything you offer. If you have a picky eater, just vary the foods you present and rejoice when you see the fish nibbling.
Livebearers are omnivorous, and tend to swim and eat at all levels of the tank. Guppies, Platys and Swordtails tend to be surface eaters, so avoiding pellet foods may be a good idea. When it comes to the Molly, you can include small pellets in their diet as they constantly pick at the bottom of the tank, searching for food. Because these fish need green foods, you can purchase vegetable food at your pet shop, or you can offer small pieces of lettuce and spinnach leaves. You can also serve cooked potato and fresh peas as a little treat.