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I still consider myself somewhat of a novice fish keeper ...I started with a 20GL in 2011...moving on to a 40G Breeder and multiple Betta Tanks. I have never quite understood the meaning of "over feeding"..... I have always fed my fish once a day....not too much, not too little! I just "eyeball" it. I would love to know what & how often my fellow fish keepers feed their fish. Thank You in advance! Kathy
 

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When feeding flakes, I always found the balance where none of the flakes were left after about 5 minutes, once a day, twice if there were bullies gobbling most of them up.
 

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I agree. But my definition for overfeeding is feeding more food than the fish need.

If a lot of detritus builds up in the substrate, you're probably overfeeding.
 

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Interesting topic. I (we) feed the fish twice a day (flakes and freeze dried blood worms). If you pay attention to the stop watch, I would guess by 30-45 seconds 80% of the food is gone. The remaining 20% may last another 2 minutes. I did a video awhile ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk-MI0YsYpg about possibly over feeding my fish. Bear in mind this video is only 1 minute long. Today those fish are much larger and as you might guess, much hungrier.
For those that feed only once per day - would you feed this much? Would you feed more?
I'm thinking feed a little less, but feed twice per day.
 

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I looked at the video of you (plural) feeding the fish. Beautiful fish, beautiful tank. In my opinion, you're feeding them way to much. I turn off my filter when I feed so the food stays in one place. I feed once a day and sparingly. Of course I've only got 5 Pristella Tetras and one Panda Cory in my 10 gal. tank, and including some MTS that all died at once, a fish load calculator gave me over 90% of the limit. You should find a calculator and see what your tank is doing. I'd say it's somewhat over the limit.

I'm sure there have been plenty of instances of killing fish with kindness by overfeeding. I try to leave the smallest biofootprint in the interests of system efficiency and balance. I can cut back on some things, like I don't have anything in my filter.
 

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The definition can be ambiguous. It depends upon: type of food, goal(s) of the aquarist, age of fish, condition of fish.

Uneaten dead food causes a decrease in water quality, and so is an important consideration when using dry or frozen. The replies above seem to have sufficiently addressed dry food.

Live food, particularly types which can survive immersed for >24hrs, e.g. feeders, black worm, mosquito larvae, etc, can be provided in unlimited quantities to juveniles in grow-out tanks, or adult females being conditioned for breeding.

Limits are to be imposed upon adult males. This can't normally apply to keepers of community tanks, but many of us who keep Anabantoids often separate genders (the OP mentions Bettas).

If longevity is a consideration, then adult fish should be fed very sparingly (and the temperature decreased), e.g. only what can be consumed in 1 minute once a day.

The OP mentions "multiple Betta tanks." When I had >100 jars of Plakats I would feed live black worms once every 12 to 24 hours. I'd walk along the rows with a pipette and the container of worms, squirting more than each fish could eat into each jar. When I got to the last jar I'd go back to the first jar, and using the pipette I'd remove the uneaten worms. The whole process took ~20 minutes.
 

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I think feeding once a day is not enough or leads to over eating. Take the food you would feed once a day and spread it out to two feedings would be better for the fish. Beside I enjoy feeding my fish. They gets the all excited and some eat out my hand. My tanks are not in the living space so when I walk down by my tanks there begging to be feed some days I feed three times a day. Less is better than over feeding.
 

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I can feed the fish in my pond until they are stuffed. Walk by 15 minutes later and they act like they're coming out of a 5 day fast. My wife constantly wants to feed them because they act like they're always hungry.
 

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I think feeding once a day is not enough or leads to over eating. Take the food you would feed once a day and spread it out to two feedings would be better for the fish. Beside I enjoy feeding my fish. They gets the all excited and some eat out my hand. My tanks are not in the living space so when I walk down by my tanks there begging to be feed some days I feed three times a day. Less is better than over feeding.
I think it's been said here that there are lots of possible answers and only one will apply to your particular tank. But Clear Water raises a good point. If I had to guess, tanks that are only fed once tend to get overfed once. That's not pointing a finger at the IP at all, to be clear. It's just leading up to the point that human nature will push us to feed more in that one meal we offer. Most will agree that 3 smaller feedings is ideal, but lots if not most of us (me included) can't achieve that, so that two balanced-size feedings will have to do. I have 30 tanks running and there's LOTS of estimation in the process for me.
 

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I can feed the fish in my pond until they are stuffed. Walk by 15 minutes later and they act like they're coming out of a 5 day fast. My wife constantly wants to feed them because they act like they're always hungry.
Is this a temperate species or a tropical species? Koi?
 

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I currently have 9 fish. 2 larger ones (about 1.5"), 3 smaller ones (about 1"), and 4 bottom feeders.

I feed them 5 days in a row, no more than they can eat in about 1 minute of flake food. For the bottom feeders I drop in 4 miniature sinking pellets. After 5 days they get 1 day of fasting where they can pick algae off the decoration or other plants in the tank.

So far this regiment has worked out for me. The only times any of my fish have died it was because my boyfriend did a water change (I'm not sure what he does to them lol).

I think this topic has a lot of variables. My cherry barbs have been with me almost a year and I think I am fair with feeding, considering their stomachs could not possibly be that big.
 

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45 gallon planted tank
5 corys
4 Siamese algae eaters
4 Apple snails
10 red cherry shrimp
around 40-60 ghost shrimp
1 male submissive betta
4 female submissive betta
A colony of pond snails
3 spider crabs

Actual food:
2 algae tablets each morning
Quite a good pinch of betta flake food each morning
1 Cube of frozen Blood Worms twice weekly
a slice of blanched zucchini twice weekly

Passive Food:
Plant waste
Dead Shrimp and shrimp moults
Crushed Pond Snails usually 5-15 a week
Algae grown through extended light periods

Soon to get a Butterfly fish so will also add some crickets each day

any ideas are more than welcome
 

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Your "spider crabs" may not be fully freshwater or fully aquatic, you'll want to research those.
The average pet store betta does not at all do well in groups. They've been bred for aggression. Even if they aren't fighting, their presence stresses each other out. Eventually you are going to have a hierarchy collapse that will be messy.
An African butterflyfish will eat your bettas once it starts to approach full size.
Your ghost shrimp may tear the bettas' fins, depending on their species.
Siamese algae eaters can get aggressive when they get larger.
 

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Without knowing or seeing anything; I can almost guarantee you (and all of us for that matter) are overfeeding. Underfeeding fish is something you really dont ever see in this hobby. If the tiniest bit of food does not get eaten by the fish; then you're overfeeding.
 

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That's probably true, that all of us are overfeeding. Underfeeding I've seen only in regards to feeder guppies in large quantities. Most adult, female egg-layers are always gravid. Most adult, female live-bears kept in the presence of males are always pregnant. This is unnatural, and throughout evolution most species probably only had access to the calories required for reproduction maybe a few days/weeks per year, during their respective breeding seasons.

But overfeeding within the hobby doesn't necessarily imply over-nourishing. Many fish are fed ingredients entirely absent from their original, natural environs, ingredients which are foreign to their digestive systems. Carnivorous fish are regularly fed plant matter, e.g. wheat germ. Insectivorous fish are regularly fed as if they were piscivorous, i.e. they are fed white fish &/or salmon. How many aquarists bother to read the ingredients of fish food before purchasing? With the exception of bottom feeders very few wild fish would consume dead food (flakes, pellets, frozen). Until relatively recently, the fry of freshwater species were nearly exclusively fed BBS (Baby Brine Shrimp), which is a saltwater organism. (And then the Betta breeders complain of Swim Bladder Disease.)
 

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Your "spider crabs" may not be fully freshwater or fully aquatic, you'll want to research those.
Found on the fresh water side of an estuary, then bred in fresh water, since they have been bred in fresh water they are able to thrive in it instead of brackish

The average pet store betta does not at all do well in groups. They've been bred for aggression. Even if they aren't fighting, their presence stresses each other out. Eventually you are going to have a hierarchy collapse that will be messy.
Spare tanks are spare for a reason, plus its a big tank and heavily planted with lots of cover

An African butterflyfish will eat your bettas once it starts to approach full size.
i did put him in there as a predator plus with crickets he should only eat a fish here and there

Your ghost shrimp may tear the bettas' fins, depending on their species.
no torn fins yet

Siamese algae eaters can get aggressive when they get larger.
they are disposable
To put it bluntly i have set up this tank with the purpose of having a relatively full food chain and a round system where everything has a purpose
the butterfly fish eats the little fish here and there along with crickets he is top layer
the betas keep the shrimp population under control
they are mid-top layer
the pond snails are allowed to grow to be crushed for extra food
the shrimp, apple snails, crabs, Siamese algae eaters and corys are the clean up detail
the plants use up the nutrients
ect....

animals get mucked up in the wild everything has a food chain a tank should be no different, while the animals are from different areas it is a food chain none the less, its as close to a natural cycle that i could get without going for a select bio and its naturally appearing inhabitants which would have in turn reduced my stocking options.
 

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Hi guys,

I just read this post as I have been having some questions with overfeeding my tetras, since I got a couple of Bolivian rams. The problem is that the tetras will go for any food (especially rummy nose tetras), whether its flakes, cichlid pellets, algae wafers or frozen/live worms. Because I want to make sure that the rams eat, by the time some food actually ends up on the substrate, the tetras are already stuffed full.

I have read a few threads about this issue and people suggest turkey baster, ie placing the food on the substrate, so it doesn't slowly sink. I don't think this strategy would work, because rummy nose tetras seem to chase the food wherever it is (floating, sinking or on the substrate). We even got a larger sized cichlid pellets so the tetras can't swallow them at once, but they just surround the pellet and bite/eat it piece by piece. Especially over the last few days that I've been feeding the fish with live worms, rummy nose tetras seem really fat, as if their bellies are going to tear open...:surprise:

It seems that most concerns with overfeeding fish is uneaten food affecting water quality, however there is never any uneaten food on the substrate of our tank and water parameters are stable and good. So I guess my main concern is the health and longevity of the fish, and also feeding rams so the tetras don't steal the food.

Would appreciate any thoughts.
 

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I have two Eheim automatic feeders on opposite ends of the tank. Each is programmed to feed very small amounts twice throughout the day. Only as much as will last 30 seconds to 1 minute each time. There isn't any left over and all my Juvi's are growing out well. When they're all fully grown I'll probably drop back to 3 or 2 feedings a day.
 
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