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HOME »    ARTICLES »    FISH »    FISH HEALTH & NUTRITION »    PREVENT MALNUTRITION IN AQUARIUM FISH

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Prevent malnutrition in aquarium fish


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Good nutrition is a must for healthy aquarium inhabitants and a healthy ecosystem. Every year, thousands of fish become diseased or die because of malnutrition. Poor nutrition affects the fish's immune system, making them more susceptible to disease. Nutrition problems usually result from feeding the wrong type of food and feeding improper amounts, be it too much or too little. Some of the more commonly observed problems associated with poorly fed fish include lateral line and fin erosion, hole-in-the-head, weight loss, diminished color, stunted growth, listlessness, and disease outbreaks.


symptoms of nutritional deficiencies
  • Darkening of body or fins
  • Reddening of body and fins
  • Color loss
  • Fin erosion
  • Lateral line erosion
  • Lower jaw erosion
  • Skin lesions
  • Increased sensitivity to bacterial infection
  • Slow wound repair
  • Hemorrhaging of the gills
  • Sunken abdomen
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Exophthalmus (abnormal protrusion of the eyeball)
  • Weight loss
  • Atrophying musculature
  • Rapid breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor growth
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Erratic swimming
  • Spiral swimming

determine proper nutrition
Dietary needs differ amongst carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores, varying further amongst surface, mid-water, bottom, or filter feeders. No single food can provide all of the nutrients your fish need - protein, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals - in the forms each species prefer. The body type of the fish, its natural environment, and where it prefers to feed, all play a role in the type of food that best suits your fish.

Therefore, it is important to research the dietary needs of the specific variety of fish you own. You should, as best as you can, simulate the natural diet of that species and offer the foods they need to thrive.

vary diet for proper nutrition
Feeding a quality food is one of the best steps you can take toward proper nutrition. Flake foods are convenient, but freeze-dried and frozen foods offer better variety and nutrition. Garlic-enhanced foods, or foods supplemented with liquid vitamin or garlic supplements, may help your picky eaters eat what they need. Offer a varied diet, with a mixture of flakes, freeze-dried, or frozen foods, and fortify their diet with vitamin and mineral supplements as needed, so your fish receive all the nutrients necessary for good health.

essentials: make it simple

Question:
What are the benefits of quality fish food?

Answer:
You will see:

  • Healthier, active fish
  • Less waste
  • Reduced need for medications
  • Enhanced colors
  • Less pollution & nuisance algae
  • Better resistance to varying water conditions

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