General African Cichlid Discussion • How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

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How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby forkman » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:50 pm

I was curious about how much and how often we all feed our fish. We all want what is best for them, but we also need to keep water parameters in mind when feeding as not to create an unsafe amount of nitrates too quickly resulting in way more water changes than what we may like. I have heard many different ideas on the matter, and I have settled on 2 feedings per day and about as much as they can consume in about 45 seconds or so. I have 12 assorted what I would still consider juveniles, and my feeding regime produces about 2 ppm nitrates per day on average. I can get by with about a 50% water change weekly. I allow my nitrates to reach no more than 40 ppm. At that rate, if I get to 40 and remove about 50% I am removing about 20 ppm with each water change resulting in about 20 ppm remaining. In a week, my 2ppm daily increase will get me back up around 34 - 35 ppm once again requiring another water change. This schedule works for now, but as they all put on more size, or I add more fish, I will either need to increase the amount or frequency of my water changes. I would love to hear what others are doing.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby Old Newbie » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:49 pm

I feed once daily about what the fish can consume in about a minute or a little less. I try to keep nitrates below 20ppm, which is difficult since my tap water is around 5ppm. I usually do 75% water changes weekly for every tank.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby DJRansome » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:27 pm

1X daily with at least one fasting day. All they can eat before the pellets hit the substrate. Nitrates < 20ppm at which time it is time for a water change.

I would say the fish are no longer juveniles once they are 2" including tails.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby forkman » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:23 pm

Great feedback, thanks
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby fish_gazer » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:19 pm

Once per day, after 5:00 pm. I use a measured amount and my boys and the plecos make quick work of it and anything that lands on the rocks and substrate.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby james1983 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:29 pm

Once a day, skipping one or two days a week. Fin level water changes every Saturday or Sunday.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby Luvindaspurs » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:50 pm

I use a measuring cup (old medicine cap) and fill up approx 8ml of food that are 2mm. Give northfin cichlid formula 4-5per week and northfin krill gold x1 weekly with a fasting day about once per week. With 40/50% wkly water changes
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby BlueSunshine » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:21 pm

Juvies up to 2.5 inches get fed twice a day. Once they reach about 2.5 inches we go to once a day. I use a scoop that came in a baby formula can. We probably feed our fish a little more than most but have found ourselves cutting back as of late. I spend about 5 minutes feeding each tank, putting the food in a little at a time. The amount varies from tank to tank. It's sort of a hands on deal, reading each tank as we feed. We prefer a smaller size pellet than most fish keepers. Seems our fish swallow the food faster, instead of holding big pellets in their mouths and making a bigger mess in the tanks.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby forkman » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:14 pm

Thanks for all of the input. I guess I feed as many pellets as they can consume in about 30 seconds or so. Being a mixed African Cichlid tank with varying sizes and aggression levels I try to make sure that everybody gets something. I will mix in a feeding of flakes now and then so everybody gets a fair chance as the flakes float around the tank. Once in awhile I will throw a small frozen cube of Repasy in and even the most timid fight for their fair share.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby Raam401 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:40 am

I feed them once a day in the morning usually, should I include one or two fasting days a week? The fish look quite hungry when I bring them the food, and I don't know whether it's normal or not...
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby DJRansome » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:22 am

If they are healthy they should act like they are starving. What do their bellies look like? Flat is good...not rounded and not concave.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby Raam401 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:33 am

Their bellies are as flat as they can be (they're a tiny, tiiiiiiiny bit curved outside, but that's the shape they've had for a while), so it should be good, right?
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby DJRansome » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:08 pm

Sounds good to me.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby CeeJay » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:00 am

I make two smaller feeding with about 6 hours in between them. I use a feeder that I push the button and they get the same amount every time. I would say all the food gone in about 30 seconds. That's for the mature fish those in grow out tanks get feed sometimes three times a day. I to believe a day without food is good thing so once week I don't feed.
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Re: How often and how much do YOU feed YOUR fish?

Postby zimmy » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:10 pm

DJRansome wrote:I would say the fish are no longer juveniles once they are 2" including tails.

Not sure if I missed a reference in this thread but doesn't this depend on the type of fish? I have frontosas that are presently about 3-3.5". I'd say they're still juveniles.

The tank has 8 of the above mentioned fronts, 6 altos, 5 julies (marlieri) and 5 petricolas (all juvies, except the petricolas, which are closer to being full grown). I feed 1/4 teaspoon of sinking pellets twice per day with one day of fasting. Occasionally, I substitute two to three cubes of frozen krill or a dozen or so chopped up, shelled and briefly boiled frozen peas. The food is often gone before it hits the substrate or within about 20 seconds. This seems to be the right amount for the moment. When I've increased a bit, I notice the fish are less frenzied when the food hits the water. I also look at their poop. If it looks stringy (not white), I fast them a day and reduce the amount when I resume feeding.

I do one 30-40% and one 10-15% water change per week. I'd prefer to do one really big water change but the fish in this tank do not look happy when I've tried.
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