ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should You Feed Live Feeder Fish?

Updated on February 3, 2010

Many owners of large tropical fish, such as Oscars, like the idea of being able to feed their fish live foods. A large fish can easily eat earthworms, frogs, small mice and yes, other fish, and whilst some people think that feeding one living thing to another living thing is barbaric, others see it as nothing more than the circle of life. Live food is a debatable subject for many reasons, this article will focus on feeding live fish to other fish.

First of all, if you are going to feed smaller fish to larger fish, it is a good idea to breed the smaller fish yourself. Feeder fish that you can buy in pet stores often carry parasites and diseases that can kill your prized larger fish. Hole in the Head disease (HITH), is a common affliction amongst large fish who are feed feeder fish. There is no official link between feeder fish and HITH, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to be found and most experienced keepers would rather feed their fish nothing at all than resort to feeder stock which often lead to outbreaks of Ich and other fungal problems.

The other thing one should be aware of before one goes gung ho into feeding live fish whilst singing 'Circle of Life' is that most feeder fish carry relatively little nutritional value. It's not 'better' for your fish to be eating other live fish. Fish foods from respected companies such as Hikari are formulated to be far more nutritious than a small feeder ever could be.

Feeder fish also contain an enzyme which breaks down thiamine, an important vitamin for fish. So, contrary to what might seem to be common sense, feeding your large carnivorous fish solely with feeder fish won't make it more naturally healthy, it will make it vitamin deficient, and more likely than not, sick.

By now it should be clear that feeding live fish to other fish is something people do for their own amusement, not for the fish's benefit. Some people like to watch their fish eat other fish, and though the drive is somewhat sadistic, there are plenty of people who do it. If you do insist on feeding live fish, I urge caution. Know the fish that you are feeding are clear of parasites and disease and only feed 'feeder' fish as part of a balanced diet that also includes a formulated commercial brand of fish food.

TL,DR: Feeder fish aren't really good for your carnivorous fish, can cause disease and have little to no nutritional value. Use feeder fish at your own risk.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      My goldfish (funny enough, over-grown feeder fish themselves) get a dozen small feeders everything few months. For them, it's more something new and something they have to work for. Not all the feeders get eaten. I have four that have been living in the tank with the goldfish now for nearly a year. They've been through four cycles of feeders and these four apparently are part of the 'school'. But it takes my goldies a few days to hunt down the rest. Keeps 'em active and then they zoom around like happy little fish. Goldfish aren't as dumb as you think.

    • profile image

      Tan 

      7 years ago

      you working for Hiraki? what do fish eat in the wild? do a wild fish healthier than an aquarium fish? i'm sure they do.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)