Most aquarium fishes are always hungry and will grab the food as soon as you serve them.
Feeding your fish adequately and ensuring that they eat all of their food is necessary to maintain the good health of your fish and the right water conditions in your aquarium.
Some prefer to feed their fish in the morning and some in the evening. There is an aquarist that feeds their fish at nighttime, but do fish get able to eat at night without lights? Can they navigate the food without vision? So, Can my fish eat in the dark? Let us find out.
Fish can eat in the dark as they have a sense of smell that helps them to navigate the food. However, they will not be able to feed on food properly, and most of the food will remain uneaten. So, consider providing food to your fish in the daytime or with the lights on in your aquarium.
This article will discuss whether fish can eat in the dark, and also, we will discuss the best time to feed our fish. So, let us get into it.
Can fish eat in the dark?
Fish can feed on food in the dark.
They have a sense of smell that helps them navigate food in the dark.
Also, they have a lateral line, which helps them to navigate other animals and food around them by the change in pressure of the water.
However, we don’t recommend feeding your fish in the dark as they will not be able to eat the complete food, and most of them will rot in the tank.
Fishes have some extent of night vision, but they will only be able to feed on the part of the food when it’s dark.
So, it is advisable to feed your fish when the lights are on or in the daytime when they can see everything.
Uneaten food will rot in your tank, resulting in poor water conditions and an ammonia spike.
So, you must ensure that you are feeding them in the right quantity and ensure the food is not left uneaten.
To ensure that you are feeding them in the correct quantity, provide them with the amount they can finish in one to two minutes.
Also read: Can Goldfish See In The Dark?
Is it hard for fish to eat in the dark?
It is difficult for a fish to eat in the dark because they will not be able to see the food clearly and find the food by their sense of smell and whatever night vision they possess.
At the light, they will easily find food and feed on them.
This is why most experts recommend feeding fish in the daytime.
When you feed your fish in the dark, most of the food will become uneaten and rot in your aquarium.
You must know that uneaten food will spoil your aquarium water chemistry and can result in an ammonia spike.
Fish can navigate food in the dark by using their sense of smell.
Also, fishes have pressure-sensitive organs on each side of their body, known as the lateral line.
The lateral line helps fish to navigate the animals and food around them by the pressure change of the water.
Most fish have some night vision, which helps them navigate prey and food.
Nocturnal fish tend to be active at nighttime and also feed at night.
They use their sense of smell to find food and feed on them.
Can I feed my fish at nighttime?
The feeding schedule of your fish completely depends on the type of fish you have in your aquarium.
If you have nocturnal fish like catfish, feeding them right before turning the lights off in the evening is the best time.
Nocturnal fish gets active at nighttime and will eat properly.
If you have diurnal fish like guppies, mollies, and goldfish, feed them in the daytime, as it will be the best time for them to eat.
Feeding your fish at nighttime after turning the lights off is not recommended as your fish will find it hard to navigate the food, and most of the food will be uneaten at the end.
So, we should avoid feeding our fish at nighttime.
Also read: Why Is My Fish Not Eating?
When should we provide food to our fish?
The best times to provide food to your fish are in the morning and evening.
If your fishes are diurnal, feed them in the morning time.
Turn the lights on in the morning and give your fish some time to wake up or become active again, then feed them.
If your fishes are nocturnal, feed them in the evening before turning the lights off.
Many aquarists prefer to feed their fish two times a day, so they should feed them in the morning and evening instead of morning and nighttime.
All you need to know is that fish will find it harder to see food in the dark, and they have to take the help of their senses to navigate the food.
The risk of food being uneaten and rotting in the tank is there when you feed your fish in the dark.
We should always consider feeding our fish when the lights are on so they can easily see the food and feed on it.
Also read: How Often Should I Feed My Fish?
Fishes can eat in the dark.
They have a sense of smell and a lateral line that helps them navigate the food in the dark.
Also, fishes have some night vision, which helps them look for prey and food around them.
However, we don’t recommend feeding your fish in the dark as it will make it difficult for them to search for food.
Most of the food will remain uneaten in the dark and will rot in your fish tank.
So, consider feeding your fish in the daytime or with the lights on in your aquarium.