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Secrets of feeding aquarium fish

The vast majority of diseases and deaths in our domestic fish occur due to improper feeding. The trouble is that a novice lover sometimes does not even understand the importance and responsibility for his actions in matters of feeding.

The biggest and most common mistake is feeding the fish with dry food. Hungry fish pounce on such food, swallows. Further, this food in the stomach begins to rot. A very small part of it is absorbed, the rest falls into the water and changes its chemistry. The more dry food you give, the faster the water deteriorates. Unnecessary organisms develop. Dry branded high-quality feeds contain almost all the elements necessary for fish, but you need to use them carefully.

The second mistake is monotonous nutrition. With all the variety and availability of all kinds of feed, a novice amateur "feeds" his pets day after day with the same feed. The choice of feed is very large, skillful combination and alternation of them will allow you to grow healthy fish and focus on more interesting aspects of the life of the underwater kingdom.

Do not forget that fish are mainly predators, there are very few species among them that eat exclusively plant food.

Live food is necessary for fish during the spawning season. Getting a hefty portion of bloodworm, tubule, fish are more likely to spawn. Malek, raised on live food, is resilient and less susceptible to further diseases.

A lot is written about the dangers of the pipe maker. In fact, this harm is greatly exaggerated. The tubule can contain anything you want, but there are simple ways to clean it. To clean the tubule, it is enough to rinse it for a week, two to three times a day. When it turns pink, you can give it to the fish without any fear. Some lovers “soak” the tubule in milk, which also needs to be changed.

It is worth stopping at the storage of live feed. The pipe maker is stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in a wide and low bowl with a small amount of water replaced daily. Bloodworms can be held between two wet wipes. As utensils, you can use photo cuvettes.

Both bloodworms and tubule makers are preferably fed through special feeders. Harvested feed remains in the feeder, and lively comes out through small openings into the aquarium. A good quality pipe-maker, when tapped, instantly “coils” into a ball. When buying, you need to pay attention to its appearance. Keeping live food long is not recommended.

Without any problems, you can grow daphnia yourself. In addition to feed tasks, daphnia is also of interest for observations. Especially for the fry, it is desirable to have several cans with rotifers. For very small fry, lovers “keep at hand” ciliates.

Use yogurt as extra nutrition for fry.

Some lovers cultivate enchitreus at home. Keeping it pretty easy. To enrich the worm with vitamins, vegetable waste, etc., must be added to its nutrition. Feeding fish with enchitreus can cause obesity, therefore, like any other, this type of food must be alternated.

It is good to use cereals as plant food. Before using them, the cereal must be poured with boiling water and cooled, fed. With great pleasure, many cyprinids, catfish, and cichlids eat semolina.

When keeping a large number of fish, there is a need for a well-balanced and inexpensive feed.

Any heat treatment, as a rule, reduces the value of the product, therefore, the components in the preparation of minced meat are mainly used in raw form.

Stuffing Basis

  1. Sea fish. Milk, caviar.
  2. Squid, octopus, shrimp, etc.
  3. Plant constituents.
  4. Nettle. It can be harvested independently and used dry. Dandelions, etc. Not more than 10%.
  5. Red bell pepper ("Bulgarian"). Improving the color of fish. No more than 5%.
  6. Parsley, spinach, apple. No more than 2%.
  7. Bow. Not more than 1%.
  8. The juice of garlic or lemon. Not more than 1%.
  9. Carrots, pumpkins and other vegetables. Before adding, cook for 5-8 minutes. No more than 5%.

Other additives

  1. Beef liver. A rich source of active substances. In minced meat - no more than 5%. You can feed the fish and just pieces of the liver no more than once a week.
  2. Egg. The connecting element of minced meat.
  3. Food for dogs and cats. It should not contain feather meal. May cause intestinal inflammation.
  4. Spirulina.
  5. Dry and frozen fish food. Gamarus, daphnia, etc. As well as high-quality branded mixtures. Not more than 10%.
  6. Ground eggshell. Source of minerals. It is poorly digested.
  7. Vitamins 1-2 tablets per 1 kg of minced meat. Sometimes I take vitamin D in oil in a pharmacy and moisten them with minced slices a bit before feeding.
  8. Iodized salt. At the tip of a knife. Compensates for iodine deficiency.

It is undesirable to use in minced meat

  1. Bird.
  2. The meat of warm-blooded animals. In cases of feeding fish with beef, you should choose lean meat.
  3. River fish. Possible poisoning, parasites.
  4. Herbs and plants used in medicine. The effect of their use can lead to very sad and unpredictable consequences.

The components of the meat are washed, mixed and crushed in any way possible (meat grinder, mixer). For an aquarium with large fish, grinding the components with a knife is quite suitable.

We put the finished mass in a plastic bag and roll it into a 1-2 cm layer with our hands. Store in a freezer.

Before feeding, we break off the necessary amount, and after thawing, we put it in the aquarium. You can throw frozen pieces without thawing.

However, if you have bottom fish, they may lose lunch because the ice does not sink in the water, and as the thawing process, the whole food can be eaten by other fish.

Gelatin, agar-agar are used as binders. In addition, you can fill the minced meat with a strong broth obtained after boiling the bones.

Recipe Example

  1. 1 kg of blue whiting (in our market it is one of the cheapest marine fish).
  2. 200 g squid. They must first be cleaned.
  3. A bag of dry branded food.
  4. A tablespoon of dry nettle.
  5. One raw egg.

Pass the fish and squid through a meat grinder twice. Add dry food, nettle, egg. Mix thoroughly. Stuffing is ready.

Theoretically, minced meat can be stored in a freezer for a rather long time. In fact, the activity of certain substances and their suitability for feeding fish can vary greatly. It is advisable to make a volume that is completely eaten by the fish in a week.

The amount of feed set is determined experimentally. Feed should be given in small parts, observing the reaction of the fish. Better if the fish is a little underestimated. Residues of feed should not lie at the bottom. The frequency of feeding depends on the age of the fish. The fry is fed more often, adult fish will be enough once or twice a day.

A lot has been written about the benefits of fasting for humans; all this is also true for fish. The gastrointestinal tract needs rest. During fasting, the body is cleansed. Sick fish is recovering faster, and newly acquired fish are better acclimatized. Once a week, it is useful to have a complete hunger strike. The exception is fry, which needs food all the time.

Adult fish without starvation can starve for a week.


In natural reservoirs, fish nutrition is very diverse. So, the mustard, dancepecilia, molliesia, gourami living in the aquarium eat mainly plant foods in nature, haplochiluses pick insects falling on the water, and cichlids (scalars and others) are predators. In an aquarium, all species receive the same regular aquarium feeds, the set of which is very limited.

Most aquarium species have been living indoors for many generations and have adapted perfectly to aquarium nutrition. If the fish are taken from a river or pond, conventional aquarium feeds are not always sufficient for them. So, for example, according to the description of the famous Russian aquarist N. F. Zolotnitsky, the bitterns begin to degenerate already in the second generation: the color turns pale, the fish become lethargic, weak, and breed poorly. In this and similar cases, you have to find the food necessary for the fish.

Mustard, for example, should be given filamentous algae. Distinguish between natural and artificial feed. In all cases, when it is possible, you need to feed the fish with natural feed, which feeds the fish and in natural conditions. But of course, we cannot give African feed for African fish. Just pick the right ones.

The most common natural food is bloodworm. A bloodworm is a larva of non-biting mosquitoes of turfs, or bells, which has the appearance of a bright red, divided into segments of a worm from 0.5 to 2 centimeters long. These larvae are caught at the bottom of ponds, lakes and slowly flowing rivers. Having tied a rope to the bow of the bucket, they throw it into a pond. When the bucket sinks to the bottom, the scooped silt is pulled to the shore and, having washed it in a sieve, the bloodworm remaining at the bottom is selected.

This case is not easy and, in addition, very dirty. Therefore, when a bloodworm can be bought (it is sold in zoological stores in most large cities), you should not catch it yourself, especially in winter: after all, ice has to be cut for this purpose, and the water is ice.

Bloodworms are an excellent food for all aquarium fish larger than 1.5 centimeters. You need to give it based on the calculation of one to five worms for each fish once or twice a day. You can not throw a lot of bloodworms into the aquarium at once. If the fish do not have time to eat it, then the bloodworm buries itself in the sand, where it often dies and, decaying, spoils the water.


Bloodworms are an excellent food for all aquarium fish larger than 1.5 centimeters. You need to give it based on the calculation of one to five worms for each fish once or twice a day. You can not throw a lot of bloodworms into the aquarium at once. If the fish do not have time to eat it, then the bloodworm buries itself in the sand, where it often dies and, decaying, spoils the water. In the aquarium, often even in the middle of winter, one can observe the appearance of big-headed creatures with distinctly visible horns and down-jointed ponytails floating near well-lit glass. This is a bloodworm, but now it’s not a larva, but a chrysalis. If in a few days you see a mosquito, do not be surprised. This is an adult form hatched from a pupa. A bloodworm can also feed fish fry ranging in size from 6-7 millimeters. For them, the larvae have to be cut into the smallest pieces.

A bunch of bloodworms (20-30 pieces) are placed on the glass and cut with quick movements of sharp scissors, turning them into a mushy mass. Tilting the glass, let the blood drain, after which the pulp is thrown into the aquarium. Feeding fish with a cut bloodworm should be especially careful. If at least a few uneaten pieces remain in the aquarium, decay immediately begins and the water becomes cloudy.

You can store bloodworms in a clean damp cloth, laying them in a thin layer and placing them in a cool place (best with a temperature of 2-5 degrees). Sometimes bloodworms are kept mixed with sleeping tea. In this case, he lives longer, but it is difficult to choose when feeding. In the summer, it is convenient to store the larvae in a plate placed in bright light with water and an aquarium plant richia.

There is another very good way to store bloodworms. If the larvae are spread out in a thin layer in a flat vessel with a tight-fitting lid and sprinkled with water a little bit, you get a so-called wet chamber. The air there is saturated with water vapor, but there is a lot of oxygen. Larvae in such a camera, installed in a cool place, live for a long time. There are other storage methods. Bloodworms can be prepared for future use by drying live larvae. Most fish eat dry bloodworms well, but when feeding them it is easy to stir up the water, and the fish do not grow fast enough. Better dry bloodworms are ice cream. You can not feed the fish dead, spoiled bloodworm.


In very heavily polluted water bodies, the surface of the sludge is often, like a carpet, covered with many thin red worms, half buried in the sludge. These worms sometimes multiply greatly in the aquarium, if it is poorly lit and contains untidy. This is a tubule, or tubifix. This worm is a good fish food. Store it in the same way as a bloodworm, or in a plate with water, changed twice a day. This method is the best, pipe makers can live in such conditions for months. Before feeding the worm is cut, otherwise it immediately burrows in the sand. If tubific owls are difficult to wash from the sludge of a natural body of water with a sieve (when the sludge is very dirty), they, together with the mud, are placed in a bucket and heated from below. Escaping from the heat, pipe makers crawl to the surface, where they are easy to choose.

Live Food - Daphnia and the Cyclops

In stagnant and slowly flowing water bodies there is an excellent food for fry and small adult fish: various swimming crustaceans and mainly cyclops and daphnia. They are small, translucent and move in the water with the help of the rowing movements of their oars-mustaches. Their size is often less than a millimeter, and they are indispensable when feeding juveniles. The dirtier the pond, the better, as a rule, there is live food in it - the crustaceans here have adapted to endure all sorts of adversities.

Crustaceans are caught by passing water through a long net on a long stick. A net bag is best made from silk or nylon and perlon. Often the net is made combined: the lower part is sewn of dense fabric (for example, chintz), the upper one attached to the hoop is made of a fabric that allows water to pass through well (for example, the old nylon stocking). Gauze nets are suitable only for catching large daphnia; cyclops and daphnia juveniles pass through them.

It is better to make a landing net up to three meters long, compound or folding. Often thin dural tubes are used for this, and the joints are made on the thread. It is most convenient to carry live feed from the pond home in a special vessel - canne. You can also use a bucket, can, jar for this purpose. Water must be poured into the vessel in such a way that its depth is less than the width of the vessel. And sometimes they carry food differently - on fabric sieves stretched over the frame.

The crustaceans are laid in a layer of approximately 0.5 centimeters, and the frames are placed in a vessel, on the bottom of which a little water is poured. Part of the crustaceans with this method dies, but in the "dry" form they can bring a lot. Brought cyclops are placed in a basin, changing water in it from time to time. For this, the upper layers of water are filtered through the net, and the dead crustaceans that have settled on the bottom are thrown out. Too many cyclops should not be kept - they die during re-compaction and become unsuitable for feeding fish. As many cyclops and daphnids must be allowed into the aquarium as the fish eat within 1 - 2 hours. Is it obligatory to catch cyclops yourself? Isn’t it easier to buy them at a zoological store? Of course, easier. But for many aquarists, getting food is an interesting activity. In addition, it tempers a person physically.

Daphnia can be specially bred somewhere in a barrel. A little dry cow dung is thrown into soft water and crustaceans are released. They need to be fed with yeast, and so that the water all the time is a little bit (not much!) Unclear. Daphnia is prepared for future use, drying. The best are large crustaceans dried in the sun in early summer. If you feed the fish with one dry food, they grow poorly and multiply. When vitamin D is added to dried daphnia, fish growth and fertility improve. One or two drops of an oil solution of vitamin D or fish oil are added to a matchbox of dry daphnia. Powdered dry Daphnia is allowed into a special feeder made of sealed glass tubes floating on the surface of the aquarium. Like bloodworms, cyclops and daphnia can be harvested for the winter, freezing.

dry food Shrimp-amphibian (gammarus)

Amphibian crustacean (gammarus). Live amphipods are a tasty food for many commercial fish. No wonder even a winter fishing hook (mormyshka) in shape resembles an amphipod, which is sometimes called a mormysh. When dried, the crustacean is quite hard. No aquarium fish can eat it whole. But if you crush the crustaceans into dust, the fish eat them very willingly. In nutrition, this food is better than dry daphnia, but, of course, inferior to live food. This food is suitable for many fish. It is good to feed the fish with dry food mixed with chopped bloodworms.

Live feed - Coretra

In the same place where cyclops and daphnia are caught, a long transparent corvetre often falls into the net. This is the larva of a mosquito. The dimensions of the coronet are about a centimeter. Not inferior to the bloodworms in nutritional value, the coretra has some advantages in comparison with it: it does not bury itself in sand and is very insensitive to the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. In this glass, you can put several hundred coroners. These larvae are very resistant to adverse conditions. Once, when my canna was full of cyclops, I stumbled upon a puddle in which a lot of coretre swam. I had nowhere to plant them, and, catching thousands, I simply put them in a newspaper and put them in my pocket. Only two hours later they fell into the water, and not a single larva died. I think that just like that, without water, the corvette should be carried home from the pond. Or maybe they can be stored in a wet chamber? Try to put such an experience. It should be kept at low temperatures; in the heat, it quickly pupates and becomes unsuitable for feeding. Fish accustomed to bloodworms catch reptile reluctantly, however, hungry, they begin to eat it hungrily.

Living dust

In the warm season, together with cyclops with a dense net, a huge number of tiny living creatures are often caught: ciliates, rotifers, cyclops and daphnia larvae. When viewed with a simple eye, they seem to be barely noticeable moving points. All that can be separated by filtering through a marquette or nylon net, aquarists call it "living dust." This is the best food for freshly hatched fish larvae. Feed “live dust” you need two or three times a day, giving as much as can be eaten in 1 - 2 hours. Perfectly replace the "living dust" specially bred ciliates. The best for this purpose is the slipper.

Breeding it is not difficult at all. Take rotted parts of aquarium plants and squeeze them into a test tube. When the turbidity settles, looking at the light, they catch with a pipette shoes, which are not difficult to recognize by their characteristic shape. The ciliates are placed in a jar (2-3 liters) with cooled boiled water, pouring two or three drops of milk or yeast diluted in water there. Water temperature should be 20-25 degrees. After clarification of the water, the ciliates are again fed with milk or yeast. After 10-15 days, a lot of shoes are usually already in the bank.

Ciliates are well bred, if you throw a banana peel in a jar, fresh or dry - it makes no difference. In this case, it is not necessary to feed with milk or yeast. And slices of banana peel can be planted every 10-15 days. To feed the larvae, take 1 - 2 glasses of water with ciliates a day. In the jar, you immediately need to pour the cooled boiled or just raw tap water and feed the ciliates. The more often you change water, the better the shoes will multiply. One three-liter jar with shoes is usually enough to feed a hundred fish larvae.

An interesting method of breeding ciliates is used by aquarists of the German Democratic Republic. At the bottom of a liter glass vessel, they put a thin layer of sludge taken from the bottom of some small pond or for a long time not drying up puddles (swamp silt is not suitable). Swamp water is poured into the vessel. As a feed for ciliates, put a small cube of turnip or swede, and on top of the vessel tightly cover the glass. With this method, practically only shoes multiply in the vessel. There is little oxygen in the vessel, so millions of ciliates are collected in the upper layer, forming a whitish "infusor milk" on the surface. From there, they are easy to pick up with a pipette.

How to make less dirty water get into the aquarium along with ciliates? There are many ways, but one of them is simple and good. Pour water with ciliates into a long, narrow test tube and place it vertically. After two hours, ciliates will gather on the surface, where there is more oxygen. It remains only to select the "infusor plug" with a pipette and feed it to the fish. You can accelerate the movement of the shoes up by darkening the bottom of the tube. You can lower a cotton swab into the upper end of the tube, and pour a little fresh water on top of it. Ciliates crawl through the cotton. Other methods are also used. Infusor water is filtered through blotting paper or, having drained water with infusoria from the surface of the jar (but without a banana), it is left to stand for 4-6 days.