Saltwater aquariums are colorful, but difficult to maintain. Apart from strict monitoring of water chemistry, one needs sophisticated equipment to sustain them. Saltwater fish and plants are also expensive as compared to freshwater inhabitants. Besides, a major difficulty faced by aquarists is that of selecting fish food for saltwater species and feeding them. Since most of the fish are captured from vast seas and oceans, it is really a tough task to identify their natural diet.
If you have the idea about the right type of saltwater fish food to use, half the task is accomplished. The problem though, is that even fish suppliers have limited information on this topic. The best way is to educate yourself about food alternatives and feeding techniques, before you actually go for saltwater aquarium setup.
Saltwater Fish Diet in Captivity
The type and quantity of food required to maintain healthy fish depend on the species that you have opted for. It's but obvious that large fish need more food than the smaller ones and food options are often variable with large species. As for the specifics, the options depend entirely on the natural diet for the particular fish you have purchased.
At the time of buying, the supplier will mention their food habit, whether your fish are herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores. In most cases, they are omnivores, requiring both plants and animal-based food. As a responsible fish-keeper, ensure that you feed them a varied diet in adequate amount. Discussed below are useful tips on what and how to feed saltwater fish.
Live Fish Food: Feeding your pet saltwater species live fish food is always a healthy alternative. You can purchase shrimp, earthworms, scallops, clams, bloodworm, mussels, and other small fish for this. Wash and rinse the live food thoroughly before feeding it to your aquarium fish. If it's too large, cut it into small pieces and then feed.
Frozen Fish Food: Frozen fish food specifically meant for saltwater fish is sold in almost all pet shops. These include shrimp, bloodworm, etc. You have the option of choosing between large flanks and small cubes. Accordingly, do the needful preparation―like breaking it into pieces―and feed it. You can also consider preparing homemade frozen food on your own to ensure a healthy food supply.
How to Feed Saltwater Fish?
So what's the right amount of food that you should provide your pet fish? If experts are to be believed, it should be what your fish can consume within 5 minutes. Never provide excess food, as the leftover food will settle at the bottom and rot over the period, thus altering the water quality. So the more you feed, the more time you will have to invest in cleaning the tank.
You should provide them food in the same way as you feed regular aquarium fish. Keep a note of the amount of food; if your fish eat all what you offer in less than 5 minutes, you need to feed more. As for feeding frequency, it will depend on the behavior of that particular species in the wild. Marine reef fish, for instance, hunt throughout the day. If you have these, you will have to feed them several small meals a day.
Nowadays, automatic fish feeders with humidity protection feature are available in fish supply stores. You can just refill these feeders, whenever necessary. This is the ultimate solution for busy hobbyists, who want to keep marine fish despite their hectic schedule.