I see a lot of people posting up about feeders so I decided to go ahead and post up a Don’t Feed your Fish Feeder Fish post….. Ultimately it is your choice but hopefully this will explain exactly why it is not the best nutritional option for your fish….
The Petstore Feeder Tank:
These are the first problem in the long line of feeder fish problems. These tanks are often barely kept up. Include no gravel or other substrate option and are not maintained on a daily basis. The tanks are often not part of the central filtration system that is used in most petstores. The tanks are generally separately filtered with a filter that is barely big enough to run the tank. The feeders are packed in like sardines and at times have more than 5 inches of fish per every gallon of water. The high amount of fish, minimal tank maintenance and non adequate filtration allow stress to develop which increases the risk of disease-borne illnesses that can rapidly spread throughout the tank. As the fish leave the petstore and go into your tank the diseases are transferred and introduced into your beloved tank. A fast spreading disease could wipe out your entire tank in a matter of days.
The Nutritional Value of Goldfish/Rosy Reds/Comets, and Guppies:
All of the above mentioned fish are very high in fatty content and include almost no if not any nutritional value to your fish that you are feeding them too. The high fatty content allows rapid development of overweight or overfeed fish and includes the development of fatty liver disease in many bigger Cichlids that are feed these. A fish that is overweight or develops fatty liver disease does not properly digest foods adequately, uses less protein from valuable food and turns more into waste. An improper aquatic diet also induces stress in the fish and can cause complete coloration loss in many carnivorous fish. The higher stress increases the chance of the fish’ disease prevention systems (immune systems) to broke down and deplete harmful bacteria. With a lowered immune system even the development of ich is extremely hard to treat as the fish are more susceptible to the disease and the meds.
Alternatives to Feeder Fish:
There are far more and far better alternatives to feeding your fish feeders. Crickets or other terrestrial insects are a common diet of most carnivorous fish species. They have less chance of harboring diseases or infections and provide much more protein that a feeder would. Terrestrial insects are also much lower in fat content than a normal feeder limiting the development of fatty liver disease or overweight fish. There are also other types of foods that are adequate to feed your fish. These include bloodworms, brine shrimp, shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, herring, tubifex worms, or daphnia.
Not feeding your fish feeder fish from a petstore will increase your fish’ coloration from better nutrition. It will also increase your fish’ strength to deter diseases, bacteria, and lengthens there life. It allows bacteria and fungal infections not to be transferred into your tank and also keeps the aggression level of your fish to a minimum making an overall more peaceful tank.
Live foods should be used at a minimum as a great quality pellet like Hikari, NLS, or Omega One should be used as the fishes stable to their highly nutritional diet…