Feeding schedule for people who work all day

erikras

New member
I just started up my tank in January and only have two Blue Damsels in the DT and two clowns in the QT so this hasn't been too much of an issue yet. However, when I start getting more fish that require consistent feeding schedules, how should I deal with it since I work all day? My girlfriend and I both leave for work around 7:15AM and rarely get home before 5:45PM. Right now my tank lights are on from noon to 7:30PM. The damsels are still usually in their night time hiding spots at 7AM so I've only been feeding them flake food once per day when I get home. Same with the clowns who I just purchased two weeks ago.

What do you work-aholics do about feeding?
 

stingythingy45

New member
I'm on the same work schedule as you.
I feed when I get home.My actinics come on at noon,halides don't come on till 3:00 pm.
I would get some diversified foods like mysis and formula 1,2 cubes.
Mix it up for them.
Often I'll feed every other day something different.
Just don't overfeed,you'll get one nasty cyano or nuisance algae bloom.
 

Flaring Afro

Puffer Geek
Instant ocean sells grazing blocks that some fish might peck at throughout the day, I guess. Though my instinct tells me they'd eat it all in the beginning.

A lot of fish also peck at algae and such on the live rock so as long as it's well established with plenty of rock those are fine.

It doesn't limit your selection too bad. Anthias are the only fish that comes to my mind that you have to physically feed all day, though I'm sure there are a few more.
 

lilalove

New member
There are also a lot of good automatic feeders you can put on a timer and load up with NLS pellets. My fish go nuts for them. I feed in the morning and at night, before lights out. Up to 3-4 times on weekends when I'm home.
 

erikras

New member
Thanks for the input, guys!

For those of you who have your lights coming on late morning or early afternoon, do your tanks get any ambient light? Mine never gets directly sunlight, but the living room gets plenty of ambient light from the kitchen windows even with the blinds drawn.
 

charleneatkins

New member
same work schedule. I feed a little in A.M.,usually dry, then the major portion in P.M. From what I've read consistency is the key. The fish and corals do get used to a schedule. I also use a variety of foods, homemade, frozen, pellets, etc. This way it cuts down on pickiness. They get fed before hubby:lolspin: My lights are varied on times depending on type of light and tank. Hopes this helps. Charlene
 

erikras

New member
I guess I should have clarified on my last post...

If the lights are off, the tank is mostly dark, and the fish are still hiding amongst the rocks at 7AM, is there any point to adding food to the tank? I figure most of it will wind up in the filter / sump before it gets eaten.

Also, what about growing pods in my (soon to be completed) refugium? Will clowns or damsels eat them? Not sure what my future live stock will be, but any benefit to adding some now?
 

Flaring Afro

Puffer Geek
Certain fish need food more because they are more active swimmers, constantly speeding around the tank so when they are sleeping in the rocks you don't have to feed them.

I'd also add pods to the refugium because odds are you'll want a mandarin or something else that eats them at some point. You might already have them though. Look at night with a red light and see if you see them.
 

PMUnprotected

New member
If the lights are off, the tank is mostly dark, and the fish are still hiding amongst the rocks at 7AM, is there any point to adding food to the tank? I figure most of it will wind up in the filter / sump before it gets eaten.

I feed when activity arises. Now, my tomato clown only eats if lights are on and he's been up for atleast 30 mins. My Midas blenny will eat if he can see food! So feeding with lights off depending on your livestock, you can slip some food to the CUC. That's the only reason why I'd feed in the dark. Other than that, you're just adding potential problems to your tank... Phosphates, etc.
 

gouramiguy

New member
Don't get french grunts. I swear mine would eat about a hundred times a day if I offered it. I feed about three times throughout the evening when I'm home. Fortunately they're really active at dusk so the lighting is immaterial.
 

johnc99

New member
I feed everyday at around 9pm every day (FW and SW) and choose from a variety of flake, pellet, freeze dried, frozen, and live. For example I know my cherub doesn't like regular flake (but goes crazy for spirulina) so I make sure I don't feed regular flake 2 days running.

I found that by feeding at the same time everyday my presence near the tank(s) seemed to trigger a Pavlovian response that seemed to help get my cherub eating prepared foods.
 

C0rp

New member
Thanks for the input, guys!

For those of you who have your lights coming on late morning or early afternoon, do your tanks get any ambient light? Mine never gets directly sunlight, but the living room gets plenty of ambient light from the kitchen windows even with the blinds drawn.


If its not getting direct light it should be fine. But in my fish room, I bought those "blackout" shades at walmart that do a really good job of keeping all the light out till the actinics come on at noon.
 

RegalAngel

New member
+1 on the automatic feeders. I have three Eheim units on my 300g that feed my fish mulitple items at different times per day. I mix it up with some different items occassionally, otherwise full automated.
 

mc-cro

(macro)
I feed my fish on Wednesday and Sunday weather they are hungry or not.

I travel ALOT, so I throw some variety of food in whenever I get the opportunity. I only have 3 fish in a large system, so there is plenty of live stuff for them to eat.

I do need an auto feeder
 

Neogenocide

New member
I'm on the same schedule as you, and only feed once a day. Is it ideal.....most likely no....but my fish are all happy and healthy so far. I've been doing this for a bit over a year now.
 

NirvanaFan

Reef Ninja
Premium Member
Once a day is fine. Even every other day is fine. The tank will be fine with ambient room light. My tank is in my living room with a big bow window. My lights come on at noon and are on until 10. If I were you, I would adjust the schedule a bit to allow you more time to see them. After all, you got them so you could enjoy them right?
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
x2 to adjusting the light schedule: the fish don't know when's day and night except by what the light's doing.
 
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