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View Full Version : Do *I* over feed


MaxxedMan
05/15/2012, 08:34 AM
There are 1000 threads about how much to feed your fish, but this question is just about me.

Two Ocellaris Clowns
Orange Spot Goby / Pistol
Firefish
Pajama Cardnial
Blue/Green Chromis
3 Peppermint, Conchs, Snails, Brittle
(All Young Fish)

I mix 1 cube of Mysis with 1 cube of Formula one, and I feed this over two days in four feedings. I use the same food to feed the corals. So I feed one cube of frozen a day (1/2 Mysis, 1/2 Formula One)

Megatrev62
05/15/2012, 08:56 AM
Sounds good to me. I think you'll know when you over feed.

MaxxedMan
05/15/2012, 10:02 AM
I have bad cyno, but I would feel guilty feeding any less.

Currently the damsel gets half the food, and the other 5 fish share the rest, but that is just because they are lazier.

mm949
05/15/2012, 12:18 PM
if your tank looks like a snow globe during feeding, your adding to much at once.
when they say feed as much as your fish can eat in 2-3min, that means your standing in front of the tank 2-3mins dropping small amounts of food in at a time.
algae growth and phosphate levels will tell you if your overfeeding.

tebstan
05/15/2012, 01:32 PM
if your tank looks like a snow globe during feeding, your adding to much at once.

:uhoh2:

That's the look I go for when I feed...

I feed powder coral foods and phyto too, so that marine snow look gets food bits to every hungry mouth.

My nitrates are 0 and the only hair algae I have is in the overflow.


I had a bad cyano outbreak for a while... turns out I was using expired phyto! Really really expired phyto. I cleaned up the cyano, bought new food, and am back to heavy feedings with no cyano.



If you're having a cyano problem, reducing feedings to nil may not be enough to get rid of it, it can pretty much feed off itself. Don't starve your fish entirely to get rid of it, it can take time and elbow grease to be rid of it entirely.

pledosophy
05/15/2012, 01:35 PM
algae growth and phosphate levels will tell you if your overfeeding.

I think that speaks to your filtration and not as much to how much you are feeding.

Algae and phosphate levels really have no bearing on how hungry your fish and corals are.

The amount of food available to fish and corals in the ocean is nothing close to what we can provide.

00Warpig00
05/15/2012, 09:48 PM
if your tank looks like a snow globe during feeding, your adding to much at once.
when they say feed as much as your fish can eat in 2-3min, that means your standing in front of the tank 2-3mins dropping small amounts of food in at a time.
algae growth and phosphate levels will tell you if your overfeeding.

I am surely overfeeding then. Think I have been over compensating due to adding the fish at the larger end of my stocking list. My recent/current GHA, bubble algae on my rock and cyano outbreak on my sand is evidence of this. Not to mention the "snow globe" description. time to cut it back some I think.

Nick

coonasssaint
05/15/2012, 10:05 PM
I would stop using frozen food and go with spectrum pellets.

CeeGee
05/15/2012, 10:17 PM
I would stop using frozen food and go with spectrum pellets.

That is really funny to me. Not what you said (I am not laughing or poking fun at you) but I have been doing this a long time and I have always read that flake and pellet food are loaded with phosphate.

Here lately I am reading to not feed frozen because it is loaded with phosphate and to feed NLS pellets because they are low in phosphate.

all the while Randy is saying don't even worry about rinsing your frozen food because the amount of phosphate in the "juice" is negligible. While PaulB mentions that doing that cause a cyano outbreak in his tank.

:debi:

This is all making me dizzy!

Psirex
05/15/2012, 10:19 PM
I would stop using frozen food and go with spectrum pellets.

Why?

albano
05/15/2012, 10:33 PM
when they say feed as much as your fish can eat in 2-3min, that means your standing in front of the tank 2-3mins dropping small amounts of food in at a time.
???? who is 'they'?
IMO, if you poured the whole can of food into the tank, and it's eaten in 2-3 minutes...it's not too much.
My 450g tank with 80 fish looks like a 'snow globe' 3X a day...for 2-3 minutes...tank/fish/coral are doing fine.

coonasssaint
05/15/2012, 10:33 PM
The frozen food is loaded with phosphates. I'm sure the pellets are too and can be over feed as well. Ive used both and have had better results with the NLS pellets. You can also try upping your flow and reduce feeding. The fish will be fine.

hollister
05/15/2012, 11:47 PM
Yea feed what they can eat in 1 or 2 minutes and once in the morning and once in the eve.
Also look for low or no flow areas where uneatin food and fish waste could collect. Adjust flow rate and position as needed. You want the debris to stay suspended.

pledosophy
05/16/2012, 01:04 AM
How much phosphate is in the water, how much algae you are growing has about the same relation to how much food a fish needs to survive as what stereo you have in your car and how fast it drives.

Algae, phosphates, nitrate, etc have to do with filtration. Health of fish and corals have to do with how much you feed.

Mr. Demeanor
05/16/2012, 10:21 AM
that means your standing in front of the tank 2-3mins dropping small amounts of food in at a time.


If I did that my aggressive eaters would get 90% of the food and the slow pokes would starve.

tebstan
05/16/2012, 02:47 PM
How much phosphate is in the water, how much algae you are growing has about the same relation to how much food a fish needs to survive as what stereo you have in your car and how fast it drives.

Algae, phosphates, nitrate, etc have to do with filtration. Health of fish and corals have to do with how much you feed.

Yes, however, uneaten food contributes to problems so there is a correlation.

Finding the balance of how much food a fish needs, and how your filtration can handle the waste, is key.

mm949
05/19/2012, 04:44 PM
How much phosphate is in the water, how much algae you are growing has about the same relation to how much food a fish needs to survive as what stereo you have in your car and how fast it drives.

Algae, phosphates, nitrate, etc have to do with filtration. Health of fish and corals have to do with how much you feed.

your filtration is designed to export nutrients you dump in the tank....too much food and your running a GFO/carbon/refugium/bio pellet reactors
if you limit the food, you wont need the xtras
i dont even bother feeding my tangs..let them graze

mm949
05/19/2012, 05:05 PM
???? who is 'they'?
IMO, if you poured the whole can of food into the tank, and it's eaten in 2-3 minutes...it's not too much.
My 450g tank with 80 fish looks like a 'snow globe' 3X a day...for 2-3 minutes...tank/fish/coral are doing fine.


guess you never read the feeding instructions on the back of the food can
there is a huge difference between a 450gl and a 65gl
remember what goes in, has to come out...

mm949
05/19/2012, 05:09 PM
If I did that my aggressive eaters would get 90% of the food and the slow pokes would starve.

you might be surprised...i have many fish that wont eat prepared foods and they look nice and plump
to keep the mongers happy, dont thaw the food, let them grab the cube and run off

Randy Holmes-Farley
05/19/2012, 06:01 PM
Yes, however, uneaten food contributes to problems so there is a correlation.

Finding the balance of how much food a fish needs, and how your filtration can handle the waste, is key.

People think this, but that is not as true as you assume.

The amount of food you add to the tank is all that matters, not whether something you see eats it or not. That total needs to be balanced in relation to export, not just the uneaten part.

I discuss it here:

Phosphate and Food
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2012/3/chemistry

from it:

Impact of Foods on the Aquarium Phosphate Balance
Now we come to the heart of the issue. The actual amount of phosphorus present in foods and what it means. In order to understand the effects of foods, we need to understand what happens to them when added to an aquarium. Some aquarists are under the misconception that eaten foods do not contribute to the free phosphate in the water. Many aquarists are told the mantra of feeding only as much as is eaten, and they confound this idea with the assumption that when doing so, one minimizes the phosphate release. That idea is simply untrue.

A fish or other organism that eats foods takes in substantial phosphate, as shown above. But what happens to it? If the organism is not actually expanding in size (such as an adult green chromis, or a person), the phosphate that is taken in is almost entirely excreted back into the water. The only exception to that process is the very small amount of phosphorus that goes into eggs or sperm, and since in most aquaria those items are rapidly consumed by other organisms, the phosphorus will ultimately get into the water.

Growing organisms do take up a small amount of phosphorus from the diet and retain it in their growing tissues, but the emphasis is on small. A study of a fish farm with rapidly growing rainbow trout in the ocean showed that 78-82% of the phosphorus feed to the fish was lost to the environment. A second aquaculture study using normal fish foods showed that 62% of the fed phosphate was released to the environment, with 35% being released as soluble phosphate available directly to algae, and 27% as phosphorus in fecal pellets (which if not removed, will break down in an aquarium releasing the phosphate again). Another study showed that 81.5% of commercial diet phosphate was released to the environment, but that with a "special" diet with low phosphate and low fish meal this could be reduced to 64% lost. A fourth study showed that growing fish fed slightly less phosphate than they need (to optimize theoretical uptake) take up and retain different phosphate sources differently. Using a purified protein diet, they observed retention of 72% of the phosphorus, 51% retention of phosphorus from added fish bone meal, and higher levels of uptake and retention for inorganic phosphate supplements (such as sodium phosphate).

This sort of study is of concern in aquaculture settings due to environmental contamination due to the released phosphorus and nitrogen. To my knowledge, however, it has never been done in a reef aquarium. Such phosphorus balance studies have also been performed in people for many years. In adults it is clear that nearly all phosphate taken up is excreted, mostly in the urine and some in the feces. Even in young growing children, the amount of phosphorus retained from the diet is only 5-20% of that consumed, with 80-95% excreted in the urine and feces. While such studies are fairly far removed from reef aquaria, they do supporting the idea that organisms take in a lot more phosphorus than they retain, even when growing.

Consequently, reef aquarists should expect that much of the phosphorus added to a reef aquarium in the form of foods ultimately ends up in the water as phosphate. Whether that portion getting into the water is 95% or 35% won't substantially impact the conclusions below that foods add a very large amount of phosphate.