Saltwater Aquarium – Feeding the Fish

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 61,784
    Marine Biologist Jim Karanikas demonstrates how to set up a saltwater aquarium and how to feed the fish.

    Jim Karanikas: Hey! This is Jim from Tropical Fish World and I am going to talk to you about feeding your saltwater fish in your aquarium. Now, in a fresh water aquarium, it's pretty easy you can primarily just use a flake food or powdered food, but in saltwater these fish are very specific eaters. They develop certain mouth parts and fins to capture certain types of prey or graze certain types of food. So when you take a saltwater fish out of the wild or if you are getting one that's captively raise, when you bring it into your aquarium at home. You want to make sure that you are providing it some foods that look natural to the fish and then also that are going to provide them the proper it with proper nutrients. So we can use flake food in a saltwater aquarium. I like to feed the fish at least once a today with some flake food.

    The most important feeding of the day though is going to be food that you prepare by soaking it in the refrigerator. What I like to use some frozen foods. These are some cubes that you can purchase at an aquarium store. There is a variety of these available. You want to make sure that you have foods that are going to feed herbivores and omnivores and also predators, because they all eat something a little bit different. We also can use some freeze dried krill. We can put in this mixture here also.

    We are going to create this mixture by putting some vitamins in the container. So we're just going to open it up and we're going to add about a cap full in there. Then we are going to take some flavor enhancer. Now funny, garlic also is a flavor enhancer for fish. It also had some good qualities that some of the parasites that attack the fish don't wake and just the smell of the garlic on the skin of the fish. They actually don't attach to the fish. So this helps to prevent some of the parasites that may occur in your tank. So we definitely want to use this one. So this one we put in about a quarter cup into our mixture and then fatty acids are also very important for saltwater fishes especially tangs and lot of the dry foods that are out there just don't have any of this in it.

    So want to take just a little bit of this. I would say probably about a quarter of a teaspoon and put it in and just take your finger, stir it around. Actually it does smell like garlic like I am cooking on a cooking show and then I want to take the cubes and open them up and pour them in. I've already prepared some here and then I want to put enough of the cubes and the dry food in here that are going to last about a week. I'm going to cover it up, I am going to put in the refrigerator. When it's time to feed the fish, just going to take the cubes out of the refrigerator, grab one of them and I'm going to squish it and put it in the aquarium. Now, it's very important for you to observe your fish while you are feeding them.

    In a fresh water aquarium, most of fish will eat right away and they will eat just about anything you put in the aquarium. So you don't have to be so careful watching who is getting the food and who is not getting the food. But in the saltwater aquarium these fish have traveled a long distance to get in your aquarium. You want to make sure that they are all eating.

    In a fresh water aquarium, if your fish were not eating what you want them to eat you can hold back feeding for a day or two, get the fish hungry and then you can put whatever food you want to feed them in there and believe me they will eat it. In a saltwater aquarium if you do that sometimes the fish will waste away and not eat it all. So we definitely don't want to do that. You want to find a food either a live food like a live brown shrimp, live black worms, live feeder fish that you can put in the aquarium that the fish will take and if they'll eat it, you want to make sure that they are getting something in their stomach when they come into your aquarium and then slowly overtime you can start introducing some of the prepared foods that are actually healthier for the fish and eventually they will try it and once they try it they will see that it is food, it is something that they are interested in and they will start eating. Saltwater fish are just as ravenous as fresh water fish.

    You want to make sure that they are all eating properly. Now, some of the tangs and angelfish like to graze in the wild. They like to rasp with their teeth off of rocks, algaes and little tuna kids, sponges. In aquarium, there is not a lot of that growing on the rocks in your aquarium, so you want to take maybe some seaweed and we have brown, we have red, there is also green variety and you just take a little slip of the seaweed. I like to wrap it around a small rock or a shell and then rubber band it on there real tight and the fish then have to really work it getting it out of there because they like a little bit of a challenge.

    Sometimes you can get a little clip and clip this to the side of the aquarium and I find that it's waving around in the aquarium. It's not a natural type of food that a fish would eat. They would like rasp it off the rock. So I like to actually attach it to the rock, rubber band it on there so they actually have to rasp it off of there.

    Well, the next thing we're going to be talking about is the different types of additives that you can put in an aquarium for either saltwater fish or for a reef tank.