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Live Foods and Your Aquarium

Date Published - 30th March 2014 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

There are plenty of differing advice and opinions to be found regarding feeding aquarium fish live foods and the simple fact is that there is rarely a right or a wrong answer concerning the issues at hand. Most aquarium fish will live a happy and healthy life fed solely on dried foods but on the flip side, this is the fishy equivalent of never eating a piece of fresh meat or a nice salad…no fish wants a diet which consists entirely of processed or fast food!

Most fish love some live food from time to time; whether it’s chasing them round the tank or enjoying the new sensations they naturally enjoy it. Fed in a controlled and occasional manner, live food from time to time is fine though in actual fact, processed foods are more nutritionally balanced.
Which live foods should I choose?
There is a wide choice of fresh food on the market and some is undoubtedly better than others; Tubifex (sometimes called black worm) is one of the most commonly discussed live foods today, partly due to the problems surrounding it if it’s not prepared properly before being offered to fish as Tubifex can cause disease. Because Tubifex eat whatever they are reared in…such as faecal matter from large fish on fish farms…which can result in them being riddled with bacteria and parasites. As a food for freshwater fish, Tubifex is desirable but only if it has been procured from a reliable vendor.
If you do decide to offer Tubifex to your fish, do not purchase any which are kept in murky water; their habitat should be as clean as possible. Once you get them home, rinse them well under running water in a large container. Then stow them and their container full of water in the fridge overnight; check the water they’re housed in the next day and if it is dirty, rinse them once more and again place them in the fridge. Repeat this action for as many days as it takes to get clear water. If the water isn’t clear after three or four days don’t risk them; try to find a different source for Tubifex as it should only take a couple of days to get a nice clean worm for your fish with the soaking method.
Other live foods are perhaps not so difficult to manage and for tropical fish and depending upon the size of your fish you can choose from larger live foods such as shrimps, crickets, meal worms and earth worms and small live foods such as brine shrimp, glass worms and blood worms. The smaller foods are generally better for tropical fish as despite the fact that most fish are predators, the larger creatures can cause more waste and are harder for the fish to digest.
You can find good quality live foods online or in high street shops but remember that you will still need to prepare the food before you offer it to your fish. All live food should be well rinsed and most especially in the case of Tubifex. If you are introducing any new, live foods to your fish you should be careful to watch them closely after feeding for at least 24 hours. In this way you can be aware of any adverse reactions; live foods can cause acidity to rise too so be sure that your fish are still happy and healthy once they’ve enjoyed their treat!
You have just read another great aquarium blog post by iQuatics. If you would like us to blog about a specific subject or if you have your own aquarium blog content which you would like published on our website, please get in touch. Together we can help grow the iQuatics aquarium blog into a vast resource full of combined industry knowledge.

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