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( Originally Published 1938 )
Any good fish breeder will tell you that the prime mistake most beginners make is in feeding the fish too much food. This is the original sin for you to avoid. In general, fish may eat all the time, or quite often. The amount that your pets will consume depends to a certain degree on the temperature of the aquarium. This is principally true of goldfish, however, since tropicals are kept at a fairly constant temperature.
GOLDFISH: In water above 60° F. feed once a day; below lempo60° down to 50° feed once every second or third day. Gauge loom the amount of food to give the fish all that will be consumed in about 6 minutes of feeding. If any food is left after 6 minutes, remove it.
TROPICALS: Feed once a day. The fish should clean up what is offered in 10 minutes. Excess food should be removed.
What food shall I feed?
Fish require variety, just as you do yourself. Therefore keep an eye on the animal, vegetable and mineral balance. The safest solution for the owner of a few fish is to use a good prepared food. It is convenient and there are a number of thoroughly reliable varieties on the market. More attention has been given in recent years to the preparation of fish foods, so that now the owner is not limited strictly to the use of fish wafers. Wafers are a useful variation, but other foods should be used in addition.
FOOD FOR THE CARNIVOROUS FISH may include shrimp, oysters, raw liver or clams, finely chopped and mixed with some cooked cereal such as oatmeal.
LIVE FOODS are especially valuable and should be fed often. They include daphnia, earthworms, fresh water shrimp, mosquito larvae and meal worms. Other varieties of live food are sought and fed by the confirmed aquariist, but the apartment dweller might have a hard time securing them.
DAPHNIA, the almost microscopic water flea, is probably the most common and most valuable of live foods. In nature, daphnia can be found in almost any pond or stream. The confirmed fish-keeper will go out for himself with waders, net and collecting pail to gather daphnia for his fish. You may be fortunate enough to find a local commercial supply, although the demand generally is three jumps ahead of the available quantity.
The chief precaution in feeding daphnia is to avoid loading the aquarium. As previously mentioned, too many of them may use up the oxygen supply and suffocate the fish.
Large live foods, such as earthworms, should be chopped. MISCELLANEOUS FOODS: Scrambled eggs, boiled spinach, cod fish flakes, ground puppy biscuit or canned dog food, boiled egg yolk or canned shrimp are on the list of allowable foods. Experiment a little to determine what foods your fish like, and try mixtures of several foods at once.
Live food breeding, to take care of a supply during winter, has interested many aquarium owners. Much success has blessed the raising of Enchytrae, or white worms, which are a valuable fish food. A stock of the worms can be planted in culture boxes of earth and humus. If the soil is properly dampened and worms fed with bread, potato or cheese, the worms will keep up a sufficient number for fish feeding. Many aquarium stores carry a stock. Warning: The earth for the worms must contain no manure or fertilizer.