In natural reservoirs, fish nutrition is very diverse. Therefore, living in an aquarium bittersweet, plyatipecilia, mollinisia, gourami in nature eat mainly plant foods, haplochiluses pick up insects falling on the water, and cichlids (scalars and others) are predators. In the aquarium, all species receive the same regular aquarium food, the supply of which is very limited.
Distinguish between natural and artificial feed. In all cases, whenever possible, it is necessary to feed the fish with natural food, which fish feed on in natural conditions. However, of course, we cannot provide African food for African fish. We just select the right ones.
The most common natural food is bloodworms. Bloodworms are the larva of non-biting mosquitoes of derguns, or bells that looks like a bright red divided into segments of a worm with a length of 0.5 to 2 centimeters. These larvae are caught at the bottom of ponds, lakes and slowly flowing rivers. This is not an easy business and, moreover, very dirty. Therefore, when bloodworms can be bought (it is sold, in almost all zoological stores), you should not catch it yourself.
Bloodworms should be given based on one to five worms for each fish once or twice a day. Do not throw many bloodworms into the aquarium at once. If the fish do not have time to eat it, the bloodworm burrows into the sand, where it often dies and, rotting, spoils the water. Bloodworms can also be used to feed fish fry ranging in size from six to 7 millimeters. For them, the larvae have to be cut into tiny pieces. A bunch of bloodworms (20-30 pieces) is placed on glass and the blades are cut with quick movements, turning into a mushy mass. Tilting the glass, allow the blood to drain, after which the gruel is thrown into the aquarium. Feeding the fish with cut bloodworms should be especially careful.
If the larvae are spread out in a thin layer in a flat vessel with a tight-fitting lid and a little sprinkle with water, you get the so-called wet chamber. Larvae in such a chamber, installed in a cool place, live long. There are other storage methods as well. Bloodworms can be prepared for future use by drying live larvae. Most fish eat dry bloodworms well, but when feeding them, it is easy for them to muddy the water, and fish do not grow fast enough. Ice cream is better than dry bloodworms. Do not feed fish to dead, spoiled bloodworms.
Excellent food for fry and small adult fish: various swimming crustaceans and mainly cyclops and daphnia. They are small, translucent and move in the water with the rowing movements of their oars-antennae.
The brought cyclops are placed in a basin, changing the water in it from time to time. For this, the upper layers of water are filtered through a net, and the dead crustaceans that have settled to the bottom are thrown away. Too many Cyclops should not be kept – they die when over consolidated and become unsuitable for feeding fish.
You need to let as many Cyclops and Daphnia as fish eat in the aquarium within 1 – 2 hours. Daphnias are also sold dry. However, if you feed the fish with one dry food, they grow and reproduce poorly. When added to dried daphnia, vitamin “D” in fish improves growth and fertility. Add one or two drops of an oil solution of vitamin “D” or fish oil to a matchbox of dry daphnia.
Powdered dry daphnia are allowed into a special plastic or foam feeder floating on the surface of the aquarium. Like bloodworms, cyclops and daphnia can be frozen for long periods.
Shrimp shrimp (grammars) is another dry food for aquarium fish. Live amphipods are tasty food for many commercial fish. It is not for nothing that even a winter fishing hook (jig) resembles an amphipod in shape, which is sometimes called a jig. When dried, the crustaceans are quite tough. No aquarium fish can eat it whole. However, if the crustaceans are ground into dust, the fish eat them very willingly. In terms of nutritional value, this food is better than dry daphnia, but, of course, it is inferior to live food. This food is suitable for many fish. It is good to feed the fish with dry food mixed with chopped bloodworms.
Artificial aquarium food should only be consumed when natural food is not available. Raw meat or fresh fish is a good artificial food. Meat and fish are scraped with a knife, separating the smallest pieces. A substitute for ciliates is tough egg yolk. After loosening it in a glass of water, the liquid is pipetted into the places where the fish larvae accumulate. The yolk strongly spoils the water, and therefore it can be used only in the absence of ciliates. Instead of yolk, egg powder can be used successfully. By the way, they can occasionally be fed to unpretentious adult fish, throwing the powder into the feeder on the surface.
You should always throw food in the water and in the same place in the aquarium. In order for the fish to find it immediately, it is useful to develop a conditioned reflex in them to knock on glass or ring a bell. Always knock or call just before feeding. Usually, even without special “training”, hungry fish immediately gather to the glass from which they are fed, as soon as they notice a person approaching the aquarium.