MAKING OUR HOME BEAUTIFUL 223
a day, but if the temperature is lower than 60 degrees, once in two or three days is sufficient. Any food not consumed within a few minutes should be removed at once.
In the selection of food one must naturally be governed by the needs of his animals—some species are partly or entirely herbivorous while others are carnivorous. Practically all of our native fishes are carnivorous, and thrive best upon a meat diet of some sort, while the goldfishes and carp are largely vegetarian. Prepared fish foods of varying composition may be obtained from the dealer in aquarium supplies, and he may be consulted as to that best adapted to a particular species of fish. The granular foods are in general better than the ordinary wafers which tend to go to pieces too readily and cloud and contaminate the water. In the case of carnivorous fishes, the prepared dry food may be supplemented occasionally by the addition of mealworms, earthworms, or fresh beef cut into small pieces, according to the size of the fish. Special care should be taken, however, that such animal food is removed if not eaten, as it decays much more readily than vegetable matter and causes greater danger of pollution.
To prevent the dry prepared food from becoming scattered over the surface of the aquarium it is advisable to make use of a floating glass ring which can be secured from a dealer. This not only gives the surface of the aquarium a neater appearance after feeding, but prevents the escape of smaller particles to contaminate the water. Care in the matter of feeding is of the utmost importance in preserving the balance of the aquarium and keeping the animals in good condition. It must be remembered that the usual fault is that of overfeeding, and the conditions should be studied carefully.
Tadpoles will usually find sufficient food in the debris left after the fishes have taken what they wish, and in the minute plant life of the aquarium, which they assist in keeping under control. Sometimes, however, more tadpoles are introduced into the aquarium than can obtain food in this manner, especially if the aquarium is not sufficiently lighted to encourage the growth of the minute plants, and the tadpoles grow thin from lack of food. There are several ways of meeting this