According to the main component in the composition of food taken by certain fish, they are conventionally divided into three groups: herbivorous (herbivorous), carnivorous (predatory) and omnivorous. Around the same principle, manufacturers make their feed.
They feed on insects, their larvae, small crustaceans, worms and other invertebrates. In case it is a predator, then other fish
Fish not only prefer different products, but also consume them in their own way. True predators hunt for prey. "Vegetarians" peacefully graze on the leaves, snags or near the bottom, catfish food and other bottom dwellers gather in the same place. According to the region / places of food intake, three groups can be distinguished: those that feed at the surface, throughout the volume or at the bottom, on the lower tier.
Types / types of feed
The choice of feed for aquarium fish is huge. On the market there are a large number of manufacturers that produce a wide variety of products, in almost all price categories. This industry is developed no worse than for cats and dogs. Usually distinguish the following types or types of feed.
Flakes / Granules. the most popular and diverse type of feed, representing particles of a dried mixture in the form of flakes, granules, powder (for fry), tablets, sticks, etc. Supplied in a variety of packages. It is usually stored at room temperature.
Fresh frozen. frozen fresh invertebrates, zooplankton, such as bloodworms, artemia, daphnia, etc., or minced meat from the same products. Supplied in blister vacuum packs, tubes, boxes, bags. Stored in a freezer or refrigerator.
Gels. is a pasty substance in tubes, resembling toothpaste or cream. Producers position similar feeds as an alternative to frozen foods that have similar nutritional value, but they differ favorably in that the opened tube can be stored at room temperature for a long time.
Weekend feeds are intended for those who leave the aquarium for a long time, for example, when leaving for a weekend or a short vacation. Food is mixed with a special water-soluble substance, which is given the shape of a ball, pyramid, stick, etc. It is placed on the bottom or attached to the side glass. As it dissolves, the feed is gradually released, providing the fish with food. It lasts from several days to a week.
Fresh vegetable. some herbivorous fish need them, such as Ancistrus and Plexostomy. Green vegetables and fruits are commonly used. For example, pieces of cucumber, apple, peeled zucchini, blanched spinach, peas, etc.
Live foods are the already mentioned brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworm, mosquito larvae, etc., as well as small fish for predators. It is desirable that these feeds be grown in an artificial environment, rather than caught in the wild, to avoid infestation of the aquarium by parasites. It is difficult to store, but at the same time they are the most natural type of food for many fish.
How much and how often to feed the fish
The question is not as simple as it seems. The most common and generic version is
2-3 times a day in quantities eaten in about 5 minutes.
However, there are many nuances associated with specific types of fish. For example, some herbivores feed almost continuously and need constant access to food. In their case, it is advisable to stimulate the growth of algae or place pieces of green vegetables and fruits on the bottom. Predators, on the contrary, eat rarely, but take a large amount of food at a time. Peculiarities of behavior also play a role. Some species are too active during feeding and will not allow too timid and / or slow-moving fish to the feeder. Others eat exclusively at night or at dusk, hiding during the day in shelters, respectively, for them food must be served before turning off the light.
When keeping fish in the same aquarium with different feeding methods, it is important to ensure that all pets receive the necessary portion of food. Otherwise, the risk of malnutrition is high, which ultimately can lead to health problems or even death from exhaustion. Fortunately, there are many products on sale that can satisfy the dietary characteristics of all types of fish. The main thing to choose.
What can not feed the fish
Very often there is information that as an alternative feed you can use bread, cookies, cheese, egg products, etc. However, this is a mistake, in no case should they be served to small fish. The source of this information is the old aquarium literature, which is not rarely copied by some print publications and Internet sites. It is possible that in earlier times, when the food chemical industry was not developed, such products could actually be used, but at the present time it is not worth it. The composition of modern food is very extensive and a number of ingredients are potentially dangerous for the health of fish.
Another common misconception concerns carnivorous fish species, which are often offered to serve pieces of beef, heart, liver, and other by-products of mammals and birds. This information also takes root from outdated aquarium literature. Animal meat contains substances that cannot be digested, which can lead to constipation and slow poisoning of the body. In fairness it should be noted that some predators, such as Piranhas and Trahira, as well as large catfish are really able to digest this food, because in nature it periodically comes across them, but they are rather an exception to the rule.
Another type of potentially hazardous products is feed substitutes made by artisanal methods from low-quality raw materials. Usually sold by weight or in paper bags, they are very cheap. They have no nutritional value, because all the nutrients (if they were there at all), microelements and vitamins are very quickly oxidized in air and / or absorbed by bacteria.