- What to Consider Before Buying a Fish Online
- The Live Fish Delivery Process
- How we Package Fish for Transit
- Claiming for Losses in Transit
- Cycling a Fish Tank
- Acclimatizing New Fish
- How Many Fish Can I Keep in my Tank or Pond?
- Calculating Pond and Aquarium Volume
- How Often Should I Feed my Fish?
Combined postage and packaging for live fish is £23.99 or FREE for orders above £100. Livestock shipping is non-refundable.
Chapter 1. WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A FISH ONLINE
As a responsible fish-keeper it is your duty to ensure you provide and maintain a suitable and healthy environment for your fish. Following these guidelines will help prepare you for the hobby.
- Ensure you meet its welfare needs. Make sure you are prepared to accept the responsibility of caring for a fish properly and can provide the correct diet and habitat.
- Ensure the fish is compatible with its new tankmates. Do your research online or contact us if unsure.
- Ensure your aquarium fish tank or pondwater is dechlorinated. Click here for more information on removing chlorine from tap water.
- Ensure your aquarium fish tank or pond is filtered and running before purchase. A fish tank should be fully cycled and running before adding fish.
Ensure your water parameters are right for your desired fish. Test kits are an essential item in your aquarium maintenance tool kit.
- Do not buy fish as gifts or for third parties without consulting them. If you buy fish as a gift, ensure the recipient is aware and accepts the responsibility. Do not buy fish as a surprise gift.
Chapter 2. LIVE FISH DELIVERY PROCESS
Combined postage and packaging for live fish is £23.99 or FREE for orders above £100. No minimum order. Livestock shipping is non-refundable.
All livestock will be delivered using APC or DX Courier - the only delivery companies in the UK licenced to carry live fish. Here is the process we follow to get fish delivered to your door.
- Once your order is placed, we will contact you to arrange a delivery date. Delivery can only take place on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. This is to avoid the potential of fish remaining in a delivery depot over a weekend.
- Ensure you supply a valid mobile contact number and email address. Entering up-to-date contact information upon checkout will avoid delays. Keep an eye on your emails and junk folders, we will be emailing you to arrange delivery.
- Potential for delivery delays. For welfare purposes, APC will not ship live fish consignments when daytime temperatures are excessively hot, or overnight temperatures are near or below freezing. We will inform you in the event of a weather-related delay.
AREAS COVERED We are unable to deliver live fish overseas or to postcode areas that are unreachable within a timescale that affects welfare in transit. This includes but is not limited to the following areas: Dublin and Eire, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Scilly Isles, Channel Islands, Scottish Isles and Highlands, certain Scottish Borders areas. Subject to change without notice.
England: We can ship to all areas of England with limited availability to the Scilly Isles, and other tidal affected areas such as Barrow-in-Furness and Holy Island, Northumberland. We can ship to the Isle of Wight. Deliveries to central London postcodes E1, EC, SE1, SE11, SW1, WC and W1 may be subject to an additional fee (congestion charge).
Channel Islands & I.O.M: No service to Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.
EIRE & Northern Ireland: No service to Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Scotland: We can ship to most areas of lowland Scotland with limited service to Highland areas. We cannot ship to the following Scottish postcodes: AB30-56, DD8-10, DG3-DG14, FK17-21, HS, IV, KA18-19, KA26-28, KA29-30, KW, PA20-78, PA80, PH3-50, TD, ZE.
Wales: We can ship to all areas of Wales apart from postcodes LL35 to LL48.
Chapter 3. HOW WE PACKAGE FISH FOR TRANSIT
Like in your local fish store, livestock will be packaged in a fish bag containing a small amount of water. Oxygen is added to each bag in preparation for travel.
The fish bags are then packed securely into a lined polystyrene box, with activated heat packs to ensure the temperature is maintained. We ensure all heat packs are activated and generating heat prior to packing. Heat packs require air to activate, so small vent holes may be apparent in the box to ensure this.
During periods of cold weather and for added protection, the polystyrene box is further packed inside a cardboard box and sealed for transit. We affix 'live fish - handle with care' labels to the outer of the box to inform handlers that live fish are packed inside. We supply all fish with an acclimatising guide too, to help introduce your new fish.
Chapter 4. CLAIMING FOR LOSSES IN TRANSIT / 48 HR GUARANTEE
You must ensure that you follow our acclimatising guide (provided in package) to safely introduce your fish to avoid fish failing to adapt to their new tank.
The health and wellbeing of all species we offer is our primary concern. We endeavour to package and deliver our livestock as safely and efficiently as possible. While rare, losses in transit or during acclimatising can occur.
We offer a livestock guarantee valid for 48 hours after receiving your fish, after which they are your responsibility to care for. In the rare event of a loss upon arrival or within 48 hours of receipt, please follow this procedure to report a fish loss claim:
Reporting a Claim for Losses
- Always begin the acclimation procedure even if your new arrival appears to be non-responsive. Fish can arrive pale and will colour-up after acclimatising. Do not release any confirmed losses into your aquarium. Failure to follow the acclimatisation guide will void any guarantee.
- To qualify for our guarantee and to ensure responsible care of your livestock, you must have signed for your package at the first delivery attempt. Failure, re-delivery, or refusal of delivery will void any claim.
- All claims must be reported within 48 hours of receiving delivery.
- Photographic evidence must be supplied in all cases.
- Claims must be emailed to email@example.com within 48 hours of receipt. Emails must include your name, order number, photographs, description, and quantity of deceased specimens. Please keep the total photo attachment size below 6MB.
- Photographic evidence must be supplied in all cases. The photo must be clear with specimens easily identifiable. The bag that contained the fish and/or the acclimatising card with our logo must also be visible in the photo to verify the image.
- If you appear to have received the wrong order, have items missing, or spot signs of ailment or disease, a photograph must be provided of the fish while inside the unopened delivery bag next to the acclimatising card with our logo to verify the image. Failure to provide this evidence will void any guarantee.
- Please preserve the deceased specimen by placing it in a plastic bag, sprinkling salt over it, and then freezing. Please do this in the event that we may ask for the return of your specimen. You may discard the remains after we have processed your claim and sent you a verification email.
- You may be asked to provide water testing results or images of aquarium habitats and co-inhabitants to validate your claim. Please allow up to 5 working days for us to process claims.
Store credit for the purchase price of the qualifying item(s) will be applied to your account or emailed as a single-use code. This can be used against future purchases of livestock and also dry goods. Shipping and packaging charges are non-refundable. Settlements for claims will be offered as store credit only.
As a responsible fish keeper it is your sole responsibility to ensure the safe acclimatising and ongoing welfare of your fish. We will not entertain any claims after the guarantee period of 48 hours has elapsed and accept no liability for consequential losses.
We reserve the right to refuse claims that do not meet the criteria outlined above. All livestock purchased from our website are made pursuant to a shipment contract, meaning that the legal risk of loss and title for such items pass to you upon our delivery to the carrier. The buyer shall indemnify the seller against any claim by any third party arising out of or in connection with any of the livestock supplied.
We do not process claims for fish harmed by co-inhabitants, local wildlife, improper acclimatising, or inappropriate habitat.
If we suspect that fish have been harmed due to inappropriate co-inhabitants or habitat, or purchased as feeders for predatory fish, we may request further evidence to establish actual conditions. Buyers proven to commit foul play will be blocked from making future purchases and may be reported to relevant agencies for prosecution.
We reserve the right to block or refund without notice future purchases if consistent losses occur.
For biosecurity and because of the complex procedures involved in properly packaging and shipping fish, we cannot accept the return of any aquatic livestock.
Chapter 5. CYCLING AQUARIUM WATER
In simple terms, to cycle an aquarium means to establish a bacterial colony inside the filter to ensure that it is capable of breaking down harmful fish waste - ammonia.
A filtration system is a key component of life support in your fish tank or pond. You are relying on your filter to keep your water clean and fish healthy.
There are two ways to effectively cycle a fish tank - by using a small colony of fish, or the fishless cycle.
Cycling a Tank with Fish
A good way to understand how filter bacteria establishes, is to imagine what would happen to your bathroom toilet if you left it uncleaned for a few weeks. Think of the number of bacteria that would build-up on the pan!
Cycling a fish tank is practically the same process, because you are relying on the fish’s toilet habits to encourage bacteria to grow in your filter. When fish go to the toilet, they produce ammonia. The bacteria that develop on your filter will feed on ammonia to survive, reducing the levels present in your water.
If using this method, it is important to use only a small colony of hardy fish, like guppies, that will not turn belly-up when exposed to moderate ammonia. It is important not to add too many fish, as this may cause harmful levels of ammonia to form, or "spike", which could be fatal to your fish.
The Fishless Cycle
The most common method used when establishing a new tank, particularly by beginners and those new to the hobby, is the fishless cycle.
This is where you manually add ammonia and/or filtration bacteria, to help "start" your aquarium filter. It does not require the use of live fish.
To perform a fishless cycle, fill your aquarium with water, power-up the filter and add filter starting bacteria. You can find examples of filter-starting bacteria via this link.
There are many "quick-start" treatments out there that will speed-up the cycling of a new tank, which is handy if you need to setup an aquarium in a hurry or emergency, but it is recommended that you allow as much time as possible to create a suitable habitat for you fish.
Patience is key to the effective cycling of a fish tank. Cycling a cold-water or tropical aquarium usually takes around 5-7 days. Marine aquariums can take quite a bit longer!
It is very wise to test the level of ammonia present in your tank before adding fish, even if you have completed a period of cycling. You can browse our test kits via this link.
Remember that Ammonia and Nitrite can be lethal to livestock. Ammonia can also be produced by rotting plant matter, dead livestock, and uneaten food. Take care to manage these aspects responsibly. Follow these golden rules to keep aquarium water cycling:
- Always allow as much time as possible to cycle your aquarium - ideally 5-7 days or longer.
- Do not be in a hurry to add too many fish at once - you do not want to overload the filter with ammonia.
- Buy a test kit to monitor ammonia levels. Test kits are available via this link.
- If your ammonia levels are high, it may suggest that you have too many fish or an ineffective filter.
- Use a regular supplement of filter bacteria to cultivate your filter colony. Good bacteria are available via this link.
- A 10-20% water change is recommended each week to help reduce nitrate. Clean your filter sponges when water flow reduces, and use only aquarium water to rinse filter sponges, to avoid loss of beneficial bacteria.
The Nitrogen Cycle
This helpful diagram will show you how ammonia is processed through your filter:
Harmful ammonia is first broken down into nitrite, and further processed into nitrate. A good test kit will read the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium water.
Ammonia and nitrite can be potentially lethal to your fish. You will want to keep these levels low. Nitrate is less harmful to your fish and can be absorbed by live plants as an effective fertiliser. Nitrate is diluted and reduced by performing regular water changes.
It is good for all responsible fish keepers to know about the nitrogen cycle as it can give you a better understanding of what is going on inside the fish tank, and how to potentially resolve any problems that arise.
Keeping your aquarium well oxygenated will also help the breakdown of ammonia. You can find air pump kits via this link.
Chapter Six. ACCLIMATIZING NEW FISH
All fish are sold on the provision that they will be acclimatized, responsibly cared for in good quality water, and kept only with compatible tank mates. Always ensure you have used a suitable dechlorinating tap safe product in your aquarium water.
Follow these steps to safely introduce your new fish:
Turn your aquarium lights off. Bright lights can stress-out your new fish, especially after a long journey in a dark box.
- Feed any other fish in your tank to minimise their interest in the new fish.
- Float the closed bag in the water, allowing the water temperature in the bag to synchronise with the water temperature in the tank.
- After 10 minutes, open the bag and fold down the sides so that it remains afloat at the surface.
- Introduce a small amount of current aquarium water into the bag, so that it mixes together. This will give the fish a taste of their new conditions. Repeat every five minutes, until the bag has floated for at least fifteen minutes.
- If you do not want to mix the bag water into your aquarium, use a small net to catch and transfer your fish into their new home.
- If you are happy to mix the bag water into your aquarium, discard three quarters of the water in the bag. And slowly tip the bag upside down to release the fish into the tank.
- Leave the lights off for at least 2 hours, or until the following day if you can.
- Feed your new fish a small amount once settled, and then continue your normal feeding routine ongoing. We feed our fish once a day, in the evening, a mixture of flake and granules.
If your fish show signs of distress (e.g., paleness, lethargy) due to acclimatizing, please monitor them closely for 24 hours after step 9.
Though not essential, it is good practice to quarantine all new fish before introducing to your tank.
Placing your new fish into a segregated habitat or quarantine tank that mimics the conditions in your main tank for a period of 48 hours or more will help the fish adapt to the new water chemistry and prevent the increased potential for common diseases due to acclimatising stress around your current livestock. We know that this is not always possible, so we offer the following assurances.
Our livestock undergo the following procedures prior to being released for general sale:
- Imported fish complete a quarantine period of at least 7 days before release for general sale and are inspected daily.
- All imported fish are stored upon arrival in water that has been treated with a medicinal dose of preventive bacterial and fungal disease treatment. Livestock are inspected daily and undergo thorough segregated quarantine and treatment procedures in the event of the identification of disease.
- All fish are inspected prior to release and will not knowingly be supplied with any disease or ailment. The conditions (pH) in which we store our fish will be notified on individual listings.
Our procedures are in line with current local authority Pet Licencing regulations.
Chapter 7. HOW MANY FISH CAN I KEEP IN MY TANK OR POND?
Here we explore the questions frequently asked about fish stocking densities.
What does Stocking Density mean?
Stocking density refers to the ideal number of fish that a pond or aquarium can hold to ensure optimum welfare and minimal stress. Getting the livestock density correct will help you to manage the ammonia and nitrate levels effectively and ensure good water quality.
Why are Stock Density Levels Important?
The most important factor when calculating livestock density levels is to consider the amount of waste the fish will produce and ensuring that your filter is adequate enough to handle the water pollution. Calculating fish stock density ensures that you do not encounter losses due to poor water quality.
Stocking Density Guidelines
The generally accepted rule in most local tropical fish stores, is one “thumb-sized” fish per 10 litres water. Although this can slightly differ per species and water type.
Stocking Density can be broken down into the following formulas:
Coldwater Fish: 1x one Inch (2.5cm) fish per 5 litres
Tropical Fish: 1x one Inch (2.5cm) fish per 5 litres
Marines: 1x one Inch (2.5cm) fish per 20 litres
Pond Fish: 1x ten Inch (25cm) fish per 500 litres
For example, to calculate how many 1” inch tropical fish can fit into a 100L aquarium, use the following calculation: 100L divided by 5 = 20 fish.
To calculate how many 1” inch marine fish/inverts can fit in a 100L aquarium, use the following calculation: 100L divided by 20 = 5 fish.
Quick Reference for Popular Aquarium Volumes
Tropical and Coldwater (1” fish)
25L = 5 x 1” fishes
50L = 10 x 1” fishes
100L = 20 x 1” fishes
200L = 40 x 1” fishes
250L = 50 x 1” fishes
300L = 60 x 1” fishes
350L = 70 x 1” fishes
500L = 100 x 1” fishes
If your chosen fish is larger than one inch, divide the answer above by its total length. For example, if the fish is 2” in size, a 100L aquarium will hold 10, rather than 20 (Twenty divided by 2)
What to Consider when Creating an Aquatic Habitat
There are a few things to consider when stocking your habitat. Fish need to have room to swim and must be able to co-exist with the other inhabitants. Some fish are territorial, and in order to ensure they can coexist peacefully, considerations must be made towards providing adequate territory and avoiding the potential for conflict to take place.
Some species, like Oscars and many fancy goldfish, will grow significantly and require extra space when they reach full size. Always check the maximum size when planning for habitation long-term. With large-growing species, purchasing a habitat to house their fully-grown size is wise.
Small (1-2”) fancy goldfish, for example, are recommended to be held in starting habitats no smaller than 35L to allow for extra growth. A responsible fish keeper will upgrade their habitats over time if the fish are outgrowing the space.
Avoiding Territorial Conflict
It is important to ensure you have enough floorspace, or surface area, to provide suitable habitat for your fish. For species that are territorial, not having enough territory can lead to conflict and even fish death due to fighting or stress.
For example, if you are keeping plecos, you must ensure there is room for driftwood, or caves. If you are keeping certain cichlids, you must ensure adequate territorial space to limit the aggression. Housing too many territorial species in a small space will lead to conflict.
Mixing up territorial needs can be tricky, but you must ensure each territorial fish has enough space to establish their territory, and not be in conflict with or overlapping the territory of its neighbours. You may need to lower the stocking density as a result.
Exceeding Recommended Stocking Densities
Stocking densities are set as guidelines for the fish keeping hobbyist, to enable long-term healthy aquariums. There are many cases where densities will far exceed recommendations, such as fish farms or your local fish store – but these places will often be moving fish on swiftly and in large quantities, in heavily filtered tanks, long before any water quality issues will occur.
Overstocking outside of the expertise of agricultural practice should generally be avoided, or you will likely experience water quality problems.
Other Things to Consider
- When heavily stocking tanks, a well-circulating and oxygenated aquarium is recommended.
- If you are stocking a cylinder or column-shaped tank, these will often have a lower surface area, or floor space. You will need to take this into consideration when considering the territorial needs of your fish.
- Using extra filtration or over-filtering may not necessarily allow you to stock a higher density of fish. The more fish you keep, the more nitrate they will produce. Nitrate can be tackled and diluted through frequent water changes, and not necessarily via extra filtration.
- Remember that fish will grow – always check the maximum size they can grow to and house them based on long-term calculations.
- Pond water levels will decrease significantly in hot weather and increase during heavy rainfall. You may lose water volume due to evaporation, so top-up during the hotter months.
- Consider that many live-bearing fish such as guppies, mollies, and platys, will produce fry. Allow extra space for potential new arrivals!
Chapter 8. CALCULATING POND AND AQUARIUM VOLUME
In simple terms, “volume” means how much water in litres your aquarium or pond will hold.
What to Consider when Calculating Volume
It is always wise to consider what may be displacing the water in your aquarium or pond. For example, if you have gravel, plants, or many rocks or ornaments, each of these will be taking up space, and displacing water.
So, a 200L aquarium may only be holding 180 litres of water, because the plants, rocks, gravel, or ornaments are taking up volumetric space. Always consider what may be taking up tank space when calculating volume.
For example, a 100 Litre tank with 5kg gravel inside will only hold 95 litres of water, because the gravel is displacing 5 litres (5kg is equivalent to 5 litres)
A general rule to follow for common aquariums is to knock 10% off your volume calculation if you have gravel or décor in your tank. So, a 100L aquarium less 10% water displacement is 90 litres.
The formula for calculating aquarium volume is as follows:
Length x Width x Height (cm) divided by 1000.
So, an aquarium measuring 50cm (L) x 30cm (W) x 25cm (H) holds 37.5 litres.
Calculation: 30 x 50 x 25 = 37500; divided by 1000 = 37.5
To allow for 10% displacement as described above, use the following formulas:
37.5 divided by 100; multiplied by 10 = 3.75
37.5 minus 3.75 = 33.75 litres (volume less displacement)
You can substitute the value 10 for whatever percentage you determine is displaced. If it is 20%, change the value 10 to 20.
Calculating the Volume of a Pond
Calculating volume is also vital for determining the correct amount of chemical treatment additive to add for disease or water conditioning in your pond or aquarium. Over or underdosing can be detrimental to fish health. It is also vital information to have before the addition of salt to pond water.
The formula for calculating pond volume is as follows:
Length x Width x Depth (Metres) x 1000 = Volume in litres.
So, a pond measuring 2.5m length x 1.2m width x 0.4m (40cm) depth holds 1200 litres.
Calculation: 2.5 x 1.2 x 0.4 x1000 = 1200 litres.
To allow for varied shapes of ponds:
If your pond is an uneven shape with differing depths or width, calculate the average measurement.
For example, if the pond is kidney shaped, take various depth and width measurements at different points.
If it is 2m deep at one point, and 2.5m and 3m deep in other sections, calculate the average by adding the measurements together and dividing by the total number of measurements taken. You can also do this with width, by taking width measurements at various points where width changes.
The formula for calculating average width or depth:
The So, in the example above the average width is 2.5m.
Calculation: 2 + 2.5 + 3 = 7.5; divided by 3 = 2.5
Use this average figure in your volume calculation for width (2.5m)
Chapter 9. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY FISH?
Fish-keepers regularly have their own routines for feeding, often built-up after many years of experience. Many will feed as part of a daily routine, or to suit growth patterns, or breeding. Ultimately, when you get to know your fish, you will develop an instinct for their frequency of feeding.
The most common routine for common tropical or cold-water fish, is to feed once a day, as much food as they will consume in one minute. This will ensure basic survival.
To achieve growth, feed a high-protein food source twice a day, following the same principle of feeding as much as they will consume in one minute. Be aware that this method will produce more waste, so you will need a filter that can handle the strain, and regularly perform water changes.
Cold-water fish, like goldfish, often have the potential to grow very large. So as long as your habitat size allows for extra growth, it is recommended that you feed them twice a day.
Pond fish will again follow the same principle. Many keepers of ornamental Koi will feed them high-quality food, often twice or more per day, to achieve maximum growth and colourful vitality. Be aware that pond fish will stop feeding over the colder winter months, so bolstering them with a dense feed, such as wheatgerm, in the build-up to winter will help them get through until spring.
Always ensure that any uneaten food is removed from the aquarium or pond after a few minutes. Uneaten food will decompose and potentially clog filtration, adding unwanted ammonia to your aquarium, and can attract pests or rodents to your garden pond.
Dried flake is the most common and complete food for aquarium fish, anywhere in the world. It is often a composite of high-protein food, with added vitamins and minerals.
Flake can be sprinkled onto the surface, or to avoid issues such as swim-bladder in larger species, you can hold a pinch under the surface, so it saturates and sinks.
Flake will often produce low waste, breaking down quicker than alternatives.
Granular food is very similar in composition to flake food, being made up of high protein and vitamin rich feed, often derived from insects.
Granules are designed to be eaten by smaller fish, like neon tetra, being easier to swallow and requiring less digestive effort to process. Many granules are specifically designed for species such as Betta fish, or shrimp.
Granules will often produce low to moderate waste, breaking down slowly on the aquarium floor.
Algae wafers are derived from natural algae and meat-free additives. Primarily designed as a complete feed for Herbivores, such as plecos and snails, they will also be grazed upon by omnivores, and can be broken-up and fed to species such as cichlids and rams.
Plecos, snails, and shrimp will thrive on algae wafers which can be given as a complete feed for such species. Algae wafers will produce a fair amount of waste if uneaten, but will often take a lot longer to decompose, so can be left in the aquarium for a longer period of time.
Pellets are often designed for larger species, such as cichlids or outdoor pond fish. Take care to determine whether floating or sinking pellets are more suitable for the species you keep. Outdoor pond fish will often have a different pellet feed depending on the time of year, with goldfish requiring floating pellet, and other species like Sturgeon or Tench benefitting from sinking pellet.
Because pellet feed is so dense, and packed with protein and additives, you often only need to feed a small amount to give your fish what they need. Offer your pellet-fed fish a bit of variety, there are many different types of pellet which should stop them getting bored of repetitive food.
Take care to choose the right pellet feed, and monitor wastage. Many pellet foods will produce a lot of waste or leave an oily residue on the water surface, so good filtration is recommended.
Live food is about as close as you can get to replicating a natural diet in the wild. Mosquito larvae, bloodworm and shrimp provide a challenge to your fish to catch and forage for while wriggling around in your aquarium.
Live food must be brought as fresh as possible, you do not want to be adding decomposing food to your aquarium. Always ensure you buy them as fresh as possible, from a refrigerator. Enquire as to when your local supplier receives their delivery and get in quickly. If their stock arrives on a Tuesday, you do not want to be buying what is left on Friday.
Frozen food also replicates a more natural diet, with fresh ingredients such as bloodworm and shrimp providing a premium alternative to dried feed, storing longer than live food.
You do not necessarily need to thaw vegetable, worm or shrimp-based frozen food before adding it to your aquarium, especially blocks intended for smaller fish. Frozen food blocks will start to melt as soon as they hit the water, as aquarium water is often warm, or at least warmer than a frozen block. If you keep sensitive species, such as gourami, or cold-water species, like goldfish, allowing frozen food to thaw at room temperature for at least ten minutes will prevent any ice-related mouth injury.
Larger blocks, often intended for predatory fish, such as beef-heart of whole mussels, will need to be thawed thoroughly. Predatory or larger fish will often swallow frozen blocks whole, which is not recommended. Leaving them to thaw for a couple of hours in a sealed box at room temperature is fine – make sure it is in a sealed container, because frozen fish food can be really smelly!
You can use a worm-feeder, or float a funnel on the aquarium surface, to gradually thaw and introduce frozen food into your aquarium. Adding frozen blocks into floating funnels will gradually melt blocks into your aquarium – but do be aware that medium to large fish will potentially attack and knock the funnel or feeder in a hungry frenzy, which can be damaging to both.
If you are purchasing frozen food online, they will often be delivered in thermal poly-boxes which are in transit for a couple of days, so some thawing will occur. You must ensure that the food is put straight into the freezer to fully re-freeze, it is not recommended for use straight away.
Frozen food is provided in sterile packaging, so you can refreeze it as long as the packaging is not open or breached. Once opened, do not refreeze.
If you do a little research, you will often find that you can supplement the diet of the species you keep with food commonly found around the household.
Many omnivore and herbivores will happily dine on vegetables. Iron-rich broccoli, spinach, peas, and cucumbers are often added by experienced fish-keepers. Species such as Plecostomus and snails will thrive on fresh or even slightly turned vegetables. Carnivores and predatory species may also be partial to raw meat.
You must be careful not to use anything that may have been exposed to pesticide. For this reason, using organic vegetables is highly recommended. If you grow your own vegetables, and do not use pesticides or fertilisers, you can use your offcuts such as broccoli stems, pea shells or courgette leaves.
Many invertebrate species, such as snails or shrimp, will thrive on sources of calcium, like cuttlebone or vacation blocks. You can even use powdered calcium, though research is required to not disturb aquarium PH. Calcium will ensure healthy shell and carapace growth, and you will notice that many shrimps and crabs will shed their shells and feed from the remains – this is a good source of calcium and minerals so can be happily left inside the aquarium
Be aware that much of the food mentioned above will float, so you may need to weigh-down any vegetables that you add. If it looks like your fish are not eating the food, remove it after a few hours. Do not leave any raw meat to decompose, or you may end up with unwanted worms or parasites. Take care not to add any food with a strong odour, like leek, or your room will end up smelling very oniony!
Compiled and written by: Mark Chinnery & Christine CarterPhoto Credits: All photos are Licenced via Shutterstock unless stated. Photographer credits will be duly applied where identified. Contributors are welcome to submit photos to us by contracted agreement, or on the understanding that they are freely licenced for our use.