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I have had a 90 gallon heavily plated tanks for 2 months now.

I think I might be overfeeding my fish. I feed the fish twice a day with flakes. Additionally, I drop in some algae wafers or spirulina wafers for my bottom feeders -- although ALL my fish seem to eat it. I also keep a constant stock of 1 piece of vegetable for the Otos.

My rainbows are so quick to grab food that I feel that my slower fish -- denison barbs, rummys, gold barbs etc. may not be getting enough. This makes me want to drop more flakes in. Frequently, at the end of feeding time there are still flakes floating at the surface. However, many of my fish don't normally feed from floating flakes.

My water seems to stay murky with small "things" floating even though I have two Eheim filters. Is this normal in a heavily planted tank? I am also fighting algae issues (Hair, GSA ...).

Can a fish "starve" if they are out-competed for food by faster swimmers? How do you know how much is too much?
 

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Quicker, larger fish will out compete smaller, docile fish for food. This is true. But almost all fish owners overfeed their fish anyway. Remeber that a fishes stomach is about the size of its eyeball. So if you can see the fish get at least a nibble they will be alright.
 

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If you are struggling to feed some of the fish or wondering if you're overfeeding then you should adopt a more precise way of feeding.

This is what I do:

I have schooling fish H. Rasboras and a bunch of neons. For them I drop in algae flakes, no problem.

For my finicky fish/animals: African Dwarf Frog, Bumblebee Goby, Badis Badis, I have to drop the food in more precisely or some, if not all, may go hungry with the more aggressive schooling fish consuming it.

I simply use a baster to deliver food straight to these fish - takes a bit more effort but its A. more precise and I know they're eating and B. less of a mess bc I only pump in enough for them to consume instead of just dropping a cube of blood worms into the tank - most of which will fall to the bottom or be consumed by my schoolers.

After a week, each fish fed through the baster learned to recognize it. They immediately approach it as soon as I put the baster into the water. The schools are a bit more wary and skiddish with the baster.

I also drop algae wafers for my ottos in inconspicuous spots that the schoolers don't approach.

You need to make more of and effort by more precisely delivering food to the guys you don't think are eating. Over time they'll come to whatever apparatus you use knowing its food...this also works with location (i.e.: feeding them in one corner).

Also, when I use the baster to feed, I drop the flakes in right before so as to distract the schoolers. I have a 20g so its easy for a fish to get to any single point in my tank. Even with the baster, the schoolers often steal a piece or two.

With they type of fish you listed though, I think they're eating better than you think. Most of your fish attack food anywhere in the tank once dropped in so it should be easy to see if they're eating and its likely they get some food (the goby for example will not eat unless food is dropped right in front of it- the dwarf frogs can't see anything a few centimeters infront of them). You could also feed them in different parts of the tank. Distract the rainbow with some food and then drop in a ton of crumbles of algae for the others. I only feed once a day so I'm not sure if twice a day is necessary (even my friends with cichlids feed once a day only).

It's far too much if, after a few hours of feeding, you have substrate littered in algae flakes. If within an hour or two most of the food is gone, you're ok. If its not gone by 3+ hours, you're probably overfeeding.
 

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Fish Feeding

Hello Rain...

Feed a variety of dry, frozen and freeze dried. Feed only as much as the fish will eat in one minute. The amount should be scattered lightly over the length of the tank and if any reaches the bottom of tank, next time feed a little less, until no food reaches the bottom of the tank.

Don't worry about your fish starving. Tropical fish can easily go a week or two without food. If you don't think all the fish are getting their share, then scatter the food in different areas of the tank.

For your bottom feeders, you can feed wafers and the like after the tank lights go out and the bottom feeders become more active.

Some aquarists fast the fish one or two days a week. This forces the fish to forage and clean up any leftovers in the the tank.

I have tanks of Fancy Guppies and have a lot of fry in the tanks. So, I feed the fish twice a day, so the adults are satisfied and don't bother the fry.

These are just a few of the many feeding tips I've used. Feeding just takes a little practice.

B
 
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