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 FEEDING VEGGIES AND SHELLFISH

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PostSubject: FEEDING VEGGIES AND SHELLFISH   Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:43 am

Written by Rich


Many people fail to realise the value of some of the foods we eat to the fish we keep.

So here is a list of foods that can be fed to fish, how to prepare these foods, and how to actually feed to the fish.

As with any food, itís a good idea to vary the foods that go in, to prevent the fish developing a favourite for any single item which can cause later problems from lack of nutrition.

The fish you have in your tank will dictate the number of times a week that fresh food is given. I have a particular plec that whilst young (as it is now) it has a massive appetite for veggies, so I have to feed a piece of courgette and other things nearly every night (with this plec, it grows out of this and becomes much more carnivorous, although not predatory)

Many people find that once a week is enough for the average community, but goldfish also benefit greatly from a regular supply of fresh vegetable matter as well (as members of the carp family, they are naturally plant grazers).

One thing to be sure of, is to remove any uneaten fresh foods after 24hours to prevent water pollution from its decay. If a particular item is different to this, it will be indicated in the article.

I am sure other members of the forum have other foods they feed to fish that are not on here, but this is simply a guide to show beginners what can be fed to their fish. If they have any other suggestions, they will post them, and if you are not sure if a food item is safe, then simply ask and weíll bang our heads together to come up with an idea 😉

A final warning, if you have never fed a fish with any of the following foods, do not be worried if the fish do not try it the first, second or even third time you try it. Fish have to learn what is or isnít food in a tank, and it may take a few goes for the fish to realise that strange green thing that has arrived is actually food.

Peas

Possibly the easiest of all the veggies to prepare & feed, but do not be fooled by the small size of the peas, you only need to feed a small number to most setups, in my 185ltr, I only ever feed about 6 at any one time, the reasons will soon be obvious. The quantity fed will be determined by the size of the fish you have, which also determines whether the peas need chopping after cooking, don't forget to feed food of sizes appropriate to the size of the fish (want to watch a cherry barb swallow a sprout) :lol:

Peas (tinned, fresh or frozen) are easy to cook, I would say if you eat them as part of a meal, just keep a few for the fish. But otherwise put a few in a cup or mug and simply pour boiling water on them and leave until the water is cold, (or cook in a microwave for a couple of minutes), then simply shell the peas (my method is to prick the pea with a point of a knife, if they are not already split from cooking), and squeeze out the innards.

If you have small to medium fish (up to the size of say a three spot gourami) I would say to either mash the peas up with a fork or spoon or chop finely with the knife, and then drop these straight into the water.

For bigger fish, simply halve them, and for larger fish, leave them whole.

The Peas will sink straight to the bottom, but all tank residents will be happy to feed on them. Its not a practical exercise to try & remove leftover peas, especially if you mashed them, this is why I said to not feed too many, peas when they rot will make a hazy mess in your tank water.

Lettuce/Water Cress/General Leafy Foods

These are easy to cook (I would not feed cauliflower leaves or cabbage though). Simply put the required amount into a bowl, and pour kettle water all over and leave to stand for two or three minutes, then run under cold water until cold enough to hold.

Do not cook in a microwave otherwise you'll end up with a puddle of green sludge. You can feed this as it is in the leaf form, and the easiest way to do this is with a veggie clip that grips onto the food and has a sucker to hold this to the glass, or use some spare plant weights.

Another option, is to finely chop the leaves, but as with peas, not too much because of pollution issues, although because most of it will float, you should be able to remove any odd bits with a net. Goldfish especially appreciate this method.

Broccolli

I find this food a bit hit or miss with my fish, some dayís they will devour it without mercy, others, they wont even look at it. Anyway, like peas, itís probably easiest to rob a bit when itís served at a meal (no sauce though please) otherwise as with peas, use boiling water or cook in a microwave for three minutes or so.

Simply either uses a lettuce clip or plant weights to hold it down in the tank, and the fish will browse on it at their leisure.

Cucumber (also courgette/zucchini)

This is relatively easy to prepare, and you can also experiment with how you cut it, some fish can be fussy as to how it is cut before they eat it.

Cucumber is cooked like lettuce, courgette however for many fish does need a bit of cooking (2 minutes in the microwave is all it needs)

Cucumber should be seen as a treat as its nutritional value is limited, but the fish like the taste, courgette is much better and can be fed quite often (every night in my tank). I find before cooking its best to score the sides with a knife, it just seems to cook better and the fish seem to like to have a surface to start work on (n the case of sucker mouth type fish).

You can either simply put thick slices in (donít waste the ends, the fish will have those) or cut longer 'logs' then cut these again down the length into two long halves exposing the soft middle (my fish love this method) or even leave as a whole log but cut down the skin and leave it dangling like skirt, use your imagination for this.

A plant weight is needed for this, courgette will usually sink, but its always best to be sure, many fish will not touch a veggie if itís not stationary in the tank.

Potatoes

These can be fed uncooked, but most fish prefer them at least partially cooked, but in any case, a slice is enough so once again, a piece of human dinner can be swiped for this (only boiled though). Again, use a plant weight to hold it down. The skin is fine if itís left on, and also 'baby' or 'new' potatoes are also fine. Usually, cook as for broccoli.

Fruits
I am being lazy on this one, mainly because all the fruit can be treated in the same way. Grapes however are best either dipped in boiling water then peeled or cut in half, but as with peas, they may be too messy for some to bother with.

LEAVE ALL FRUIT FOR ONLY 24HRS IN A TANK AS ITíS RAPIDLY ROTS IN WARM WATER

Simply prepare fruit as if you were going to eat it yourself, attach a plant weight and feed to the fish.

Again, you will need to experiment with what will & wonít be eaten, but the following is a list of fruits I have had varying degrees of success withÖ

Banana
Pears
Peaches
Mango
Aubergine
Strawberries/Raspberries
Grapes
Pineapple
Melons (all types)
Oranges (peeled etc)
Apple (softer varieties, never baking/cooking apples, harder apples may need to be cooked as per courgette)

Finally, whilst not a vegetable or fruit, another tempting treat for fishÖ. Is seafood (shellfish)

Treat as if you were going to eat it yourself, weigh it down and feed as with veggies.

Only leave it in the tank for an hour or so, is can and will rot very rapidly, releasing ammonia into the water (this is sometimes used to cycle new tanks) and the last thing anyone wants is ammonia in the water.

I personally only use cooked peeled prawns (or two, once per week) as they are the easiest/cleanest to feed and remove. Some people also feed mussels (freshwater) cooked crab/lobster/crayfish, cockles, scallops, crab sticks, basically many shell fish you find at a fish counter in a store. Crabsticks are said to be ok although my gut feeling is to be wary due to production methods and dubious ingredients.

Another treat is fish eggs (i.e. Trout eggs) but only eggs, not milts; you could feed the whole package (ovary) as is for large fish, or rip it open and drop the eggs in for medium and small fish. This will be a real treat for any fish and an excellent breeding conditioner too.



The Top Left item is a shop bought 'Veggie Clip'

Top Right are strip type plant weights

The Bottom Two are home made food weights that I made from fishing tackle that I use for items too bulky for a clip (I personally don't use plant weights, I use these devices instead) much easier to use, I will at some point post in the DIY section how to make them.

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