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Overfeeding - facts and myths please


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I am neurotically trying to take a look at my feeding (fearful it might have attributed to a recent situation).

 

I googled but wow what a lot of conflicting info out there, makes a newbie's head spin. So I thought I would just ask.

 

There is the obvious (or what I think is obvious, maybe I am wrong here too) about dropping in prepared food (Shrimp or from the kitchen) and just putting too much in there for the amount of shrimp.

 

I read that watching them can help determine too little food. Since I have snowballs this is easy. It said to watch for a constant... well line of poo going through them and out (no other way to put that). That they MUST constantly graze and it goes right through them. So, no 'poo line' means they are going hungry.

 

I am cutting way back on my feeding but I wondered about what is in there already. Can you have too many leaves? I have IAL and mulberry (not full, just ripped up pieces) there is the mosses, the plants, the biofilm...

 

What is 'over feeding' besides the obvious? Are these things true or somewhat false?

 

Trying to find a good balance before I have to learn the really, really hard way.

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Not sure how hungry shrimp go since they are scavengers by nature.

 

I actually left my tank running on auto pilot for 13 days when I left for vacation. They had no prepare food while I was gone I just left lights on timer and had 0 issues when I got back. If the tank is mature and everything is running balanced then I think they could honestly survive just fine with minimal food.

 

I feed 20+ shrimp a piece of food about 1/4" every other day. I would rather feed lightly then over feed and have wasted food sitting in the tank.

 

You could also get snails since they make a great cleaning crew for any leftover food.

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I overfeed all the time. Put a piece of omniapro and 5 hours later, snails are all over it. Next morning, it's gone.

 

A good idea is to use a feeding dish because snails poop a lot and once they are finished eating, the dish would be full of poop and you can easily take it out and pour it down the drain.

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I think if you overfeed the key is to have (like poopians said) something else to eat the left overs and be using quality food.

One of my first fish tanks a while back went wrong because I was so against snails and didn't think I needed to buy better food. I had a massive amount if shrimplettes born in the tank and started feeding but all the food just collected in a couple spots and I didn't notice until the I was having trouble with the water quality.

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I have a feeding dish and I just got (as in just yesterday) 6 horned nerites :) they are so dang cute! I bough 5, they sent 8 and 2 did not make it. The two bigger ones headed straight for the food dish and went to town, lol

 

When the feeding dish has too much poo I just use a turkey baster to clean that out.

 

I'm just wondering... If I only fed prepared food... say once a week.. is there enough natural stuff in there for them to eat? I have 15 snowballs in a 10 gallon. One mamma had babies on the 19th. 

 

It is well planted and has mosses and stem plants.There are also alder cones, mulberry and IAL leaves

 

Is there anything in the prep food that they really need and would not get otherwise?

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i always tell people less is more, and to find a high quality food that doesnt turn to mush and spread all over your substrate.

no other foods can match SLAqua MORE line in that respect.  you can leave it in there for days and it will hold its shape.

this is important because foods that turn to mush within a few mins can ultimately play games with your water parameters.

so pick your foods carefully. do research on what happens to the food, dont get caught in the shrimp ball videos. really watch what happens to the food.

does it make a mess or does it hold its shape, 5,10,30mins later?  messy foods are why the feeding bowls got popular. even with that messy foods still spread and get all into your substrate.  thats the last thing you want.

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Some shrimps actually do quite well in a planted tank as there is alway quite a bit of biofilm in there. I have a colony of cherry shrimps in one of my big planted tank that been going for a few years without any feedings.

That being said I follow a fairly structured feeding schedule for my shrimp tanks. I feed a different food 6 days a week with a off day (no food) for the 7th.

For people starting out, if you are feeding those pellet type food I usually tell them to feed around 1mm for every 10 shrimps or so as a baseline.

In the beginning might take a while for them to get used to the surrounding so they might not eat as much so remove any uneaten food and reduce feeding portoin as needed. If you find the food disappear within minutes (hard type) than you can increase the portion size.

For softer food, I feed the same amount. In fact, two of my favourite food break apart really quickly; Benibachi Kale tablets and Benibachi Red Bee Ambitious.

I use a really fine substrate as the top layer (ADA powder) so food doesn't get trap in the substrate. I like the soft one as they sink but than spread across the tank so all the shrimps get a chance to get the food including the younger juvies and babies. It also encourage them to pick away at the substrate and other decor in the tank for food instead of waiting to be feed.. But it you have to be careful about not over feeding as it is impossible to get out if you do.

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