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Most experts on caring for pet fish can agree that overfeeding is one of the most common mistakes many fish owners make. Overfeeding can be very dangerous to a fish’s overall health, and preventing overfeeding is an important part of overall pet care. That being said, it may be difficult to recognize when you are overfeeding your fish. In addition to this, recognizing the health problems that can result from chronic overfeeding in your fish is part of responsible fish care. Here is some information about overfeeding, how it can affect your fish’s health, and how to prevent overfeeding your pet fish.

Signs of Overfeeding:

Cloudy Water – In most cases, a cloudy or ‘misty’ appearance of the water in your fishtank is a sign that there is some sort of organic material that is disrupting the water quality. In relation to overfeeding, this means that excess food has begun decaying in tank, resulting in bad water quality. It’s best to organize a low-impact replacement of some of the water in your tank, usually accomplished by a dual tubing system. Try removing approximately one-third of your fishtank water per day, in order to help ensure that the water quality is habitable for your fish.

Algae Growth – In most cases, algae growth as a result of overfeeding occurs after initial signs of cloudy water are detected. Most algae species will thrive in an environment that carries a large amount of dissolved organic material, such as fish food. As uneaten food decays, the algae is able to survive by the released organic material into the water. Though a small amount of algae growth is normal, if you have severe algae growth, it’s recommended that you give your tank a thorough cleaning.

Fish Diseases – There are many diseases specific to fish that can occur from chronic overfeeding. The most common fish diseases seen in over-fed fish are fin rot, fatty liver and improper digestion. In general, it is recommended that you keep a close eye on your fish’s general health. Any changes in the behavior or appearance of your fish are always cause for concern. After you have identified the overfeeding problem, you may also have to look into adding medication to help your fish to become healthy.

Preventing Overfeeding

The best way to prevent overfeeding is to regulate the amount of food that you feed your fish. In general, it’s best to only feed your fish a quantity of food that they can consume within five or six minutes.  This may take some ‘trial and error’, but in general, most fish food manufacturers have a feeding chart that is displayed on the packaging of their product. In addition to this, try to feed your fish on a daily schedule. If you split up your fish’s food portions into two feedings per day, try to ensure that these feedings always take place at the same time each day. This will help ensure that your fish are on a feeding schedule, and will help them to consume the majority of the food in their

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