4 Signs Of Underfed Fish

Fish serves many purposes for we human beings which include having them in tanks in our homes and offices as pets or as decoration and beautification and we even raise them for consumption.

For whichever purpose you are keeping them for, they should be adequately taken care of because they are living things too.

The most important care every living thing need is food and if you are keeping fish, they need to be fed as when necessary to avoid starvation and death.

In this article, we will discuss the signs to look out for to know when your fish are being Underfed.

The problem with so many fish keepers, especially the newbies is, that they don’t know when they overfeed or when they underfeed them and this is a serious issue because the life of your fish might depend on it

One problem with fish is that they are voracious eaters and will eat continuously if they see food until they die of bloat, because of this, we normally advise against following the instructions on fish food and give them minimal food and sometimes skip a day or few hours, but they could be Underfed with this strategy if you are not careful.

Again if you have so many fish in one tank, you might have to know if some are getting enough food or not getting enough to eat maybe because they are slower than others or younger or less aggressive.

The fact is, both underfeeding and overfeeding are not good for fish, so in this article, you will learn all the signs to look out for to know that yours are not eating enough.

How To Know If A Fish Is Not Eating Enough

To know if your fish are starving, here are the signs to look out for:

1. The stomach will sink or shrink: This is one of the few methods of checking if a fish is starving or not.

Although this is very hard to check because fish have tiny stomachs and you will hardly notice any change when they feed normally and when they are starving, you can only be able to see the stomach bloat when they overfeed.

To make matters worst, you can hardly or should I say impossible to spot this on small fish, so this method is only for big or adult fish.

Check the stomach when they ate the normal and recommended quantity of food and recheck the stomach when they starve for a while, you will notice some slight changes in stomach size.

So, with this method, you can be able to spot when they are not feeding fine just by looking at their stomach.

2. They will be desperate and overactive: Have you ever noticed that once fish stay a day or 2 without food, they will become very desperate and overly active and will immediately come to the surface whenever someone approaches?

That is a sign that they are hungry and will need to be fed.

Don’t get it twisted, fish of all types and sizes are voracious eaters and will rush to eat anything dropped for them greedily despite not being hungry.

Although they will sometimes surface when someone approaches, especially their feeder, you will notice that the way they will react when they are very hungry and the way they will when they are not is very different because they will become very active and desperate when they are hungry.

I advise you to experiment with this and monitor their reactions and know how they behave when they are hungry and how they do when they are not.

3. They will become very dull and sluggish: This only happens when they are overly starved.

Normally, an average adult fish could go up to a week or even more without food, but when they stay like that for a very long time, they will become very weak and might develop one illness or another and die.

We all know that food is the fuel that powers our body system and keeps us healthy and active, but when the body lacks it, it will suffer from malnutrition and will shut down, leading to death.

So, when a fish is overly starved, it will lack the energy to move about and will die if it is not fed.

4. They will become Bonny and will lose color: There is no living thing that will be starving and will still look very healthy and nice.

Whenever a fish is not getting enough to eat, it will suffer malnutrition and its once enticing and beautiful colors will start fading away and its once-robust body will begin to shrink and it will become less fat and less attractive to the eyes.


These are the 3 common signs of Underfed fish to look out for.