Aquatics - Health and Feeding


Food Types: Dry Foods

  • wide variety available
  • e.g., flake, pellets, tablets, powders
  • freeze dried
  • available in different sizes and concentrations 
  • can be specifically designed for fish species or need
  • colour enhancers
  • Advantages
    • lots of variety
    • specially designed
    • long shelf life
    • low moisture
    • be taken by most species
    • good for water quality
  • Disadvantages
    • easy to overfeed, very nutrient rich
    • used to be not very good, but has improved
    • expensive, if you pay for quality
    • if not stored correctly stock will be ruined
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Food Types: Fresh/Frozen Foods

  • can be brought in fresh or defrosted
  • chopped into a variety of sizes
  • are often of 'human quality'
  • large variety if willing to shop around
  • Advantages
    • variety, especially if by the coast
    • easy to cut to correct size
    • most enjoyed by fish
    • can put treatments inside
    • natural diet
  • Disadvantages
    • if not used quickly, can be wasted
    • some nutritional value can be lost during thawing if not done correctly
    • disease issues
    • water quality problems
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Food Types: Live Food

  • only invertebrates, except in special cases (AWA 2006)
    • thought they cannot feel pain due to not having a central nervous system
  • "a person commits an offence if an act of his, or a failure of his to act, causes an animal to suffer"
  • often is zooplankton and crustaceans
  • Advantages
    • important component of wild diet
    • high nutritional value if gut loading
    • movement can stimulate feeding response
    • some animals will only take live food
  • Disadvantages
    • may need to be cultivated
    • can be expensive to buy in and not always available
    • disease potential
    • controversial
    • time consuming 
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Food Types: Live Food - Rotifers


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Food Types: Live Food - Artemia and Copepod



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Food Types: Live Food Part 2

  • midge larvae and bloodworms are naturally found in stagnant ditches, ponds and can even be found in old buckets
    • high risk of disease transmission, must be thoroughly rinsed
    • very nutritious
    • commonly fed frozen
  • tubifex worms and blackworms are popular with fish but carry a high risk of disease as they are collected from sewage outlets
    • seen as the 'best' and 'worst' food by aquarists depending on their experience
    • can be fed in freeze dried blocks
  • copepod
    • a group of small crustaceans found in the sea and nearly every freshwater habitat
  • all often sold in frozen blocks
  • other live foods: earthworms, maggots, fruit flies, crickets, snails and prawns, mussels and crabs
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Other Considerations

  • water soluble vitamins
  • colour enhancers
  • appetite stimulators
  • immune system boosters
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Feeding Fish in Aquariums: Things to think about

  • water quality
  • overweight fish
  • waste of money
  • algae blooms
  • lack of condition
  • less chance of breeding
  • death
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Feeding Fish in Aquariums: Tips for feeding in Cap

  • diet items should be able to be eaten at the fish's natural water column position
  • should be the correct size for their mouths
  • should be of good quality and fresh
  • should be the correct food type for carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
  • a variety of food
  • just because an animal will eat something doesn't mean it should 
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Feeding Methods: Scatter Feeding

  • spreading feed around the animal's aquarium
  • use for filter feedersscavengers etc.
  • could use live foods or dry foods
  • Advantage
    • enriching
  • Disadvantage
    • food could drift to the bottom of the tank before it is eaten by the fish in the top and middle sections 
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Feeding Methods: Automatic Feeding

  • food is fed automatically through a piece of technology
  • would probably only work effectively for dried food such as pellets
    • most pictures used to advertise show pellets
  • Advantages
    • if you are busy it can feed your fish
  • Disadvantages
    • can cause people to neglect their aquariums
    • need to replace food every few weeks (if you forget the fish won't be able to eat)
    • automatic feeders drop the water and food may go into the overflow
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Feeding Methods: Drip Feeding

  • used to feed items such as krill for whale sharks
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Feeding Methods: Hand Feeding

  • when the fish is fed by hand
  • Advantages
    • can make sure every fish gets fed, or if a certain fish needs specific supplements
  • Disadvantages
    • time consuming
    • have to keep that piece of food away from other fish that have already eaten/don't need the medicaton within the fish
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Fish Health: Overfeeding

  • obesity
  • bloat
  • stress
  • indirect disease such as Fin Rot
  • lack of breeding
  • shortened life
  • poor water quality
  • algae or snails
  • death
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Fish Health: Underfeeding

  • malnutrition
  • lack of condition
  • stress
  • indirect diseases
  • death
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