Fish Feeding and Water Zone

There are a few things to consider when feeding your fish. Because not all fish are created equal! Just as diverse as the types of fish that you can keep in the aquarium are their needs and demands on food. Here we would like to go into more detail about the role that the water zone plays in fish feeding.

Above, in the middle, or below – where do your fish live?

When feeding, take into account in which water zone your fish prefer to stay. Because this area is also the one in which they prefer to eat. The shape of the mouth is also an indicator of the water zone in which fish reside. But you shouldn’t rely on these alone.

Upper water zone

Fish with an overhead mouth prefer to live in the upper third of the aquarium and eat directly from the surface of the water. These include, for example, swordtails, mollys, guppies, threadfish, and butterflyfish. For such species, feed should be used that does not sink and float on the water. Flake food, for example, would be well suited. Food specialists such as butterflyfish can also be fed whole insects.

Middle water zone

In the middle third of the aquarium, there are fish with a terminal mouth. Most tetra and barbel belong to them, for example. Classic representatives of this group are neon tetra and tiger barb. Such fish are best fed with slowly sinking food, for example with special granules.

Lower water zone

Typical for fish that live close to the bottom of the ground is the under-lying mouth. Classic representatives of this fish group are the catfish, for example, armored catfish and antenna catfish. But the loaches also have subordinate mouths. These animals all live at the bottom of the tank and prefer to eat their food there. It is advisable to feed food that sinks quickly, for example in tablet form. Food that drifts back to the surface of the water due to its density (e.g. cucumber slices) should be weighted down for bottom-eating fish.

Do you have slow candidates living in the lower zone of the aquarium, whose food is constantly being snatched away before it even reaches the bottom? A trick helps here: you can use a plastic pipe to guide the feed directly onto the substrate.

Simply adjust the feeding

If you orient yourself to the water zones, you can offer your fish-specific food with simple methods. This makes feeding fish easier and, above all, more species-appropriate!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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