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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I'm back again for what probably is an arbitrary question but you all are the best source for information.

So I'm running 2 community tanks, one is a 25 gallon and the other a 30 gallon. Both tanks have a decent school of tetras, some algae eaters, cleaners and some bottom dwelling cichlids.

Specifically:
The 25 gallon has 12 rummynose tetras, 8 pygmy cories and an established pair of apisto. The apisto might even get ready to spawn as they've been testing out caves and the female is turning bright yellow!

The 30 gallon has 10 blue emperor, 1 siamese algae eater and 2 Bolivian rams

The problem that I currently have is that the tetras swarm every and all food that I put in the tank. I've had to put food in 3 different places in both tanks to try and get some of the food to the bottom dwellers. Even so, the tetras still get to the food faster than the dwellers can.

Lately I have changed the eating regiment to only giving food once every 3 days but to put in way more than necessary. I found this the best way to get enough food to those at the bottom.

I know that overfeeding is bad and the amount I'm giving them definitely places me in the overfeeding category. However I was wondering if this type of overfeeding is still harmful for the tank and the fish seeing as I feed them so sparingly.
 

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After figuring out why my nitrates were so high I now feed 3 times a week. I feed flakes etc. for the swimmers and pellets for the shrimp and bottom feeders. I think that the only issue with "overfeeding" is that the food will not get eaten and the excess nutrients will lead to algae.
 

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The answer to your issue is to feed pellets for your bottom feeders and flake for your tetras. I have a 180 gallon tank that at one point had 35 African tetras ( each about 3 inches) and a whole bunch of bottom feeders: corydoras, Bolivian Rams, geophagus, biotodoma Cupid's, etc... The African tetras are very quick feeders, but they tend to go for flakes before pellets. They will feed on pellets as well, but they will hold one in their mouths and eat it over a stretch of time. the ones that fall to bottom they will not go after.
Just need to think about how your fish eat.
Also, feed at least once a day. It is necessary to the health of your fish. They digest food within 12-24 hours. Now, if your fish are strictly carnivorous ( of which there are only a small percentage in the typical aquarium store) you can feed less. Protein is metabolized much slower than a fish that requires a vegetative or omnivorous based fish diet.
 

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You could also try gel food like repashy. The dither fish will eat some of it, but not as fast as floating or flake food.
 
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If you have pellets or other sinking food, you could try spot-feeding your bottom dwellers. I have a long clear tube (like a giant straw) I can drop a piece of shrimp pellet in there and point it to drop out at the bottom where the fish is. Works well if you can point it to drop the food into a hiding spot where the bottom dwellers hang out and the tetras won't see it right away, if they're busy gobbling flake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds ok to me
Short but sweet! Thanks for the reply.
After figuring out why my nitrates were so high I now feed 3 times a week. I feed flakes etc. for the swimmers and pellets for the shrimp and bottom feeders. I think that the only issue with "overfeeding" is that the food will not get eaten and the excess nutrients will lead to algae.
While I do have some minor algae problems, I don't think it is from the food. My nitrates are steady at 25 ppm with ferts.

Any food that is leftover after the tetras and bottom dwellers are finished is quickly taken care of by the shrimp.

You could also try gel food like repashy. The dither fish will eat some of it, but not as fast as floating or flake food.
Wow, I had to Google it first but that looks pretty weird to give to a fish. I might give that a try if it available in stores here!

The answer to your issue is to feed pellets for your bottom feeders and flake for your tetras. I have a 180 gallon tank that at one point had 35 African tetras ( each about 3 inches) and a whole bunch of bottom feeders: corydoras, Bolivian Rams, geophagus, biotodoma Cupid's, etc... The African tetras are very quick feeders, but they tend to go for flakes before pellets. They will feed on pellets as well, but they will hold one in their mouths and eat it over a stretch of time. the ones that fall to bottom they will not go after.
Just need to think about how your fish eat.
Also, feed at least once a day. It is necessary to the health of your fish. They digest food within 12-24 hours. Now, if your fish are strictly carnivorous ( of which there are only a small percentage in the typical aquarium store) you can feed less. Protein is metabolized much slower than a fish that requires a vegetative or omnivorous based fish diet.
I didn't know that not feeding them daily can hazardous to their health. I've been following aquarium co-op on YouTube and he mentions that fish can go up to a full week without food. Obviously he also does not recommend giving food only once a week, but he does mention that if you give the fish less food they're more inclined to nibble on some of the vegetation in the tank.

I used to give a wide array of food to the fish, Hikari algae wafers for the oto and sae, Hikari cichlid wafers for the bottom dwellers, shrimp pellets for the shrimp, and flakes for the tetras. I stopped because the algae and cichlids wafers were never eaten and always just slowly dissolved into the water. I currently give only Tetra bits and frozen tubifex worms. I could try the cichlids wafers again but I never touched it before.

Is there another way to feed them daily, and evenly, without overfeeding?
 

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I don't have a heavily stock tank just some otos and hillstream loaches. I feed the tank about every 3-4 days with no issues. I think I've even gone as long as 5. I'm trying to encourage them to graze on the algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't have a heavily stock tank just some otos and hillstream loaches. I feed the tank about every 3-4 days with no issues. I think I've even gone as long as 5. I'm trying to encourage them to graze on the algae.
Same here, would be great if they eat some of the algae or even some of older leafs that dying off to make way for new ones. Never am certain if they get enough veggie based substance from the flakes.
 

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Repashy can be frozen into cubes as well, just thought I'd mention it.

I'm guilty of not feeding my fish everyday. In my 40 breeder there is more than enough dying/ dead plant matter and detritus worms/ copepods/ micro critters to hold them over. I would never do this to an immature set up, though. I, honestly, think it depends on what you have going on in your tank. At kind of really all comes down to observing your tank and it's inhabitants and finding a feeding schedule that works for the entire tank.
 

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Long ago, the recommendation was to feed twice daily, which I've been doing forever. I would be greatly concerned about binge-feeding approaches and the potential for stress resulting from a less consistent meal plan. I give different types at each feeding and each feeding has different sizes of sinking and flake foods. As others mentioned, it's a function of what species of fish you have and tuning to your specific tank. The old advice of feeding no more than can be consumed in 5 minutes is good advice.

I determine how much to feed by using small measuring spoons such as these: measuring spoons. I then put the desired spoonfuls into daily pillboxes, such as these: pill box. doing this, I can fill the weeks' supply at one time and then just open each days' container for a controlled daily dose.

I also use Ramsohrns, mainly for algae prevention, but they also serve any tank as an indicator for overfeeding. If you overfeed, they multiply.
 

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I didn't know that not feeding them daily can hazardous to their health. I've been following aquarium co-op on YouTube and he mentions that fish can go up to a full week without food. Obviously he also does not recommend giving food only once a week, but he does mention that if you give the fish less food they're more inclined to nibble on some of the vegetation in the tank.

I used to give a wide array of food to the fish, Hikari algae wafers for the oto and sae, Hikari cichlid wafers for the bottom dwellers, shrimp pellets for the shrimp, and flakes for the tetras. I stopped because the algae and cichlids wafers were never eaten and always just slowly dissolved into the water. I currently give only Tetra bits and frozen tubifex worms. I could try the cichlids wafers again but I never touched it before.

Is there another way to feed them daily, and evenly, without overfeeding?
I don't give an iota of stock to what Cory at Aquarium Co-op has to say given his terrible recommendations on medicating fish (proactively) with antibiotics -- whether they need it or not. His med trio, a marketing scheme that he promotes to uneducated fish keepers is irresponsible and unfounded in its application. Namely, the use of erythromycin- an antibiotic that has very little to no application in the freshwater aquarium-- but, has real life and death application in humans against bacterial infections. If you are going to recommend an antibiotic for a prophylactic, at least suggest one that will do some good-- one that treat gram negative bacteria, which is 99.5% what we deal with in the aquarium.
If the fish do not eat something specific to a particular zone, try something else. If the cichlids like flake, give them flake. give them what they will eat, but be in tune that all are getting fed.
Something else to keep in mind-- fish eat more or less depending on age. Juvenile fish need to eat between 2-6 times a day- depending on species, metabolic rate, and growth patterns. Most adult fish commonly kept require feeding from 1-3 times daily depending on species and nutritional requirements. Most of the fish purchased at LFS are farm raised and juveniles. The fish farms get their fish out to retailers as soon as they are old enough to make it through shipping. These fish are still actively growing. They need daily feeding.
There is a real danger in overfeeding- absolutely, but, the "overfeeding" issue has now moved into an extreme direction- people not paying attention to the age other fish, the species, and their nutritional requirements.
Anyone that tells you all fish can be fed every few days is absolutely wrong! They are feeding this schedule because it fits a larger issue ( to them): it is inconvenient to feed more often, they are getting algae and blaming it on the food being fed to fish, they have not taken the time to learn the nutritional needs of their fish.
 

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Short but sweet! Thanks for the reply.
While I do have some minor algae problems, I don't think it is from the food. My nitrates are steady at 25 ppm with ferts.

Any food that is leftover after the tetras and bottom dwellers are finished is quickly taken care of by the shrimp.


Wow, I had to Google it first but that looks pretty weird to give to a fish. I might give that a try if it available in stores here!


I didn't know that not feeding them daily can hazardous to their health. I've been following aquarium co-op on YouTube and he mentions that fish can go up to a full week without food. Obviously he also does not recommend giving food only once a week, but he does mention that if you give the fish less food they're more inclined to nibble on some of the vegetation in the tank.

I used to give a wide array of food to the fish, Hikari algae wafers for the oto and sae, Hikari cichlid wafers for the bottom dwellers, shrimp pellets for the shrimp, and flakes for the tetras. I stopped because the algae and cichlids wafers were never eaten and always just slowly dissolved into the water. I currently give only Tetra bits and frozen tubifex worms. I could try the cichlids wafers again but I never touched it before.

Is there another way to feed them daily, and evenly, without overfeeding?
I have been using Repashy as my primary food for a while. I mix a little tank water with a bit of repashy chopped up to look like green soup. That and a couple of bigger pieces assure everybody gets fed. Warning, you feed a larger serving of repashy than you do flakes or pellets.
 

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Dear OP.
Good luck wading through this! By now you have now probably figured out that a feeding regimen is one of those issues that tends to form around well considered personal opinion and is mostly based upon individual experience with ones own tank(s) and inhabitants.

You will need to experiment to see how your own critters and algae fare. Wading through this thread you can see that being consistent and consideration of your unique situation will be the few factors that are in common here.

Let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Repashy can be frozen into cubes as well, just thought I'd mention it.

I'm guilty of not feeding my fish everyday. In my 40 breeder there is more than enough dying/ dead plant matter and detritus worms/ copepods/ micro critters to hold them over. I would never do this to an immature set up, though. I, honestly, think it depends on what you have going on in your tank. At kind of really all comes down to observing your tank and it's inhabitants and finding a feeding schedule that works for the entire tank.
When is a tank mature enough to allow for this though? The tank is about 4 months old now with stable parameters and good plant growth. Does soil matter as well? I'm using a plant and shrimp soil.

Long ago, the recommendation was to feed twice daily, which I've been doing forever. I would be greatly concerned about binge-feeding approaches and the potential for stress resulting from a less consistent meal plan. I give different types at each feeding and each feeding has different sizes of sinking and flake foods. As others mentioned, it's a function of what species of fish you have and tuning to your specific tank. The old advice of feeding no more than can be consumed in 5 minutes is good advice.

I determine how much to feed by using small measuring spoons such as these: measuring spoons. I then put the desired spoonfuls into daily pillboxes, such as these: pill box. doing this, I can fill the weeks' supply at one time and then just open each days' container for a controlled daily dose.

I also use Ramsohrns, mainly for algae prevention, but they also serve any tank as an indicator for overfeeding. If you overfeed, they multiply.
I went back to daily feeding now but only once a day, about an hour before lights off. I'm using pressurized co2 with an inline diffuser, somehow I always felt like it feeding fish while the co2 is running is bad for the fish. Might just be my own superstition but seeing all the bubbles coming out of the outlet and in-between the food seemed like a bad idea.

I'm using a similar measuring spoon for my tetra bits and the frozen worms come in tablets so those are easy to measure as well. Started feeding in multiple places in the tank and it's going pretty well now although the Bolivians are just coming up to mid level to get the food.

I love snails as well but my tank is a bit full of them at the moment, they're all snails that were stuck to the plants so I don't really know which ones they are. They don't really touch any algae or dead plant matter as far as I can tell.. Just replicating like crazy without a purpose.
 

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When is a tank mature enough to allow for this though? The tank is about 4 months old now with stable parameters and good plant growth. Does soil matter as well? I'm using a plant and shrimp soil.
I'm VERY conservative, I don't consider my tanks to be mature until I have not changed or added stock and kept stable parameters for 6 months, my start up and stocking usually takes 6 months so I, personally, don't start until about a year in. There's a giant caveat to that, though- if I've used media, substrate, hardscape and plants from a mature tank I'm comfortable around 6 months.

It's honestly, in the end, all based on your tank, the livestock and experimenting but always being ready to feed if there's signs of stress (fish constantly searching for food when they normally wouldn't, acting passive or aggressive when they normally wouldn't etc). Hope that helps.

I went back to daily feeding now but only once a day, about an hour before lights off. I'm using pressurized co2 with an inline diffuser, somehow I always felt like it feeding fish while the co2 is running is bad for the fish. Might just be my own superstition but seeing all the bubbles coming out of the outlet and in-between the food seemed like a bad idea.

I'm using a similar measuring spoon for my tetra bits and the frozen worms come in tablets so those are easy to measure as well. Started feeding in multiple places in the tank and it's going pretty well now although the Bolivians are just coming up to mid level to get the food.

I love snails as well but my tank is a bit full of them at the moment, they're all snails that were stuck to the plants so I don't really know which ones they are. They don't really touch any algae or dead plant matter as far as I can tell.. Just replicating like crazy without a purpose.
Sounds like bladder snails.... Usually when there's a population explosion like that for me it's because either I've got a build up of food/ plant matter in a corner or a clogged filter or I've got a dead fish somewhere. Just my "pest" snail observation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't give an iota of stock to what Cory at Aquarium Co-op has to say given his terrible recommendations on medicating fish (proactively) with antibiotics -- whether they need it or not. His med trio, a marketing scheme that he promotes to uneducated fish keepers is irresponsible and unfounded in its application. Namely, the use of erythromycin- an antibiotic that has very little to no application in the freshwater aquarium-- but, has real life and death application in humans against bacterial infections. If you are going to recommend an antibiotic for a prophylactic, at least suggest one that will do some good-- one that treat gram negative bacteria, which is 99.5% what we deal with in the aquarium.
If the fish do not eat something specific to a particular zone, try something else. If the cichlids like flake, give them flake. give them what they will eat, but be in tune that all are getting fed.
Something else to keep in mind-- fish eat more or less depending on age. Juvenile fish need to eat between 2-6 times a day- depending on species, metabolic rate, and growth patterns. Most adult fish commonly kept require feeding from 1-3 times daily depending on species and nutritional requirements. Most of the fish purchased at LFS are farm raised and juveniles. The fish farms get their fish out to retailers as soon as they are old enough to make it through shipping. These fish are still actively growing. They need daily feeding.
There is a real danger in overfeeding- absolutely, but, the "overfeeding" issue has now moved into an extreme direction- people not paying attention to the age other fish, the species, and their nutritional requirements.
Anyone that tells you all fish can be fed every few days is absolutely wrong! They are feeding this schedule because it fits a larger issue ( to them): it is inconvenient to feed more often, they are getting algae and blaming it on the food being fed to fish, they have not taken the time to learn the nutritional needs of their fish.
Well then, that was a clear opinion on Cory from Aquarium co-op. 😅

I don't really understand any how medicine and it's chemical components works in the aq. I've been fortunate enough not to have any fish get sick in my tanks, knock on wood. Do you have a recommendation on a channel that gives good and accurate info maybe?

Juveniles eat up to 6 times a day!? But smaller portions then I'm guessing? I definitely still have juveniles in my tank but I don't think I could feed only them up to 6 times a day. If juveniles eat up to 6 times but adult fish once 3 times, does that mean that the adults at some point just ignore the food?

I definitely have some algae in my tank but it has nothing to do with the food, just fighting the constant imbalance of co2, lights and ferts!

I have been using Repashy as my primary food for a while. I mix a little tank water with a bit of repashy chopped up to look like green soup. That and a couple of bigger pieces assure everybody gets fed. Warning, you feed a larger serving of repashy than you do flakes or pellets.
Do you get the repashy at your lfs or online? Fish and fish food options are quite limited here so I'd have to order it online with a 3 day shipping time. I'm a bit afraid that the repashy will go bad in that time.

Dear OP.
Good luck wading through this! By now you have now probably figured out that a feeding regimen is one of those issues that tends to form around well considered personal opinion and is mostly based upon individual experience with ones own tank(s) and inhabitants.

You will need to experiment to see how your own critters and algae fare. Wading through this thread you can see that being consistent and consideration of your unique situation will be the few factors that are in common here.

Let us know how it goes!
Yes, there's a lot different opinions but mostly in the details. Reading between the lines they do all seem to agree on the biggest points.

A bit of trial and error is always fun and rewarding. Thank for the encouragement!

I'm VERY conservative, I don't consider my tanks to be mature until I have not changed or added stock and kept stable parameters for 6 months, my start up and stocking usually takes 6 months so I, personally, don't start until about a year in. There's a giant caveat to that, though- if I've used media, substrate, hardscape and plants from a mature tank I'm comfortable around 6 months.

It's honestly, in the end, all based on your tank, the livestock and experimenting but always being ready to feed if there's signs of stress (fish constantly searching for food when they normally wouldn't, acting passive or aggressive when they normally wouldn't etc). Hope that helps.
Wow, yeah that is quite a while! After about 6 months I tend to "test" my tank from time to time. Change the parameters a bit and see if it can handle and adapt to changes without too much difficulty. If it can I generally tend to deem it mature.

Sounds like bladder snails.... Usually when there's a population explosion like that for me it's because either I've got a build up of food/ plant matter in a corner or a clogged filter or I've got a dead fish somewhere. Just my "pest" snail observation.
I clean my filter every 2 weeks alongside the hoses, lily pipes and inline diffuser so that shouldn't be it. Any leftover food gets quickly taken care of as soon as the lights go out and the shrimp venture throughout the tank.

The only thing I could think of is dead/dying plant matter, of which I have quite a lot. Mostly full grown leaves dying off to make way for new leaves. I have one amazon sword take struggled to take off in the beginning and left some dead leaves but those never came off and the snails haven't touched it once in the 4 months the tank is running...
 

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I clean my filter every 2 weeks alongside the hoses, lily pipes and inline diffuser so that shouldn't be it. Any leftover food gets quickly taken care of as soon as the lights go out and the shrimp venture throughout the tank.

The only thing I could think of is dead/dying plant matter, of which I have quite a lot. Mostly full grown leaves dying off to make way for new leaves. I have one amazon sword take struggled to take off in the beginning and left some dead leaves but those never came off and the snails haven't touched it once in the 4 months the tank is running...
Very well could be that. Not a lot of critters like to eat swords in my experience. Could be that the roots are dying off and they are eating that before emerging...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Very well could be that. Not a lot of critters like to eat swords in my experience. Could be that the roots are dying off and they are eating that before emerging...
I hope not because the plants itself isn't dead. Some of the snails are also just randomly floating at the surface. They seem kind of useless to me, they're not even eating the old leaves from the Staurogyne Repens.
 

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Do you get the repashy at your lfs or online? Fish and fish food options are quite limited here, so I'd have to order it online with a 3 day shipping time. I'm a bit afraid that the repashy will go bad in that time.
I order mine from repashy directly. It comes as a powder. You mix some with hot water to create the gel. There is no chance of it going bad in 2-3 days. After I found out that my fish like it. I ordered a bigger container that I keep in my refrigerator, as they recommend. I usually mix a 10 day-2 week supply, also kept in the refrigerator.
 

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I hope not because the plants itself isn't dead. Some of the snails are also just randomly floating at the surface. They seem kind of useless to me, they're not even eating the old leaves from the Staurogyne Repens.
Floating at the surface... Are they dead or just floating? I've never had the issue you're describing and I'm intrigued. What do the little buggers look like?
 
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