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Re: Feeding time]

Hmmm, my mail seems to not have gotten through, but
apologies in advance if this comes through twice.  I have
added a bit to it anyway.

> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 17:43:15 +0800
> From: Mark Pan <mmenace at pacific_net.sg>
> Subject: Re: Feeding time

> For me, I always think of how the fish would perform in the wild. Would it
> get food twice a day? Would they get food everyday? I reckon not. So the
> only ones that survive are the toughest ones.

I see this mentioned a lot, but it's just not true (no offense).
Actually, most fish do get food everyday in the wild and most often
(or more) a day.  I would think this especially true of the smaller 
tropical species, since their metabolisms are relatively high.
Lots of species primarily feed during dawn or dusk, but there are 
many that feed for extended periods during the day.

Whoever mentioned gut analysis was right on the money.  As long
as you are collecting fish during their active feeding period,
(Dawn and dusk for the perch I work on) it is very rare to find 
a fish that does not have food in its digestive tract.  Of course
some prey (plankton) is digested extremely quickly so that also 
comes into play.

The larger piscivores may go for longer periods, but small
insectivores, planktivores, herbivores ...etc. certainly 
feed on a regular daily basis.

The difference in our tanks is a bioenergetic one, since 
they really do not have a lot of energy expenditure 
associated with searching out food, escaping predators...etc.
So in fact, you are right about feeding less, and there is 
actually no reason to feed them anywhere near as much as 
they would eat in the wild.  Additionally, processed 
food probably has fewer non digestible components higher 
protein content so the fish and actually gets more bang 
for its buck out of a pellet.

That said, I feed mine 5-6 times a week but feed very little 
each day.  I think if you feed live food you could certainly 
feed twice a day with no problems, as long as all the food is eaten.

Alec Dale
Dept. Biol. Sci.
Univ. Windsor, Windsor ON
N9B 3P4