Posted by TFH Magazine in Tropical Fish Hobbyist Blog on September 19, 2011 at 5:36 am
By David E. Boruchowitz
Aquarists often overfeed their fish, and obesity, liver disease, and other consequences are frequent problems for captive fish. The usual explanation is that fish have poor mechanisms to stop feeding, since in the wild a glut of food rarely occurs.
Recent research indicates that many predatory fishes have much larger gut capacity than they can normally use. This enables them to binge when they encounter a rich food source and pack away energy reserves for times of famine.
For aquarists this means that the problem is even worse than we thought. The increased gut capacity of predatory fishes permits us to really overfeed them. Not only do they have no switch to end feeding behavior when they have consumed their daily needs, they have enough room to eat way beyond that point. Fish should always be a bit hungry, and it appears that many predatory species should always be fed way under their capacity to stuff food in.