Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Feeding Feeder Goldfish, Guppies...

Related Articles: The Feeder Fish Debate: Are They Essential, Cruel, Or Dangerous?  by Neale Monks, Feeding Feeder Goldfish, Basic Fish Nutrition by Pablo Tepoot

Related FAQs:

Does this look like a hamburger? A Red Lionhead Goldfish, same species as the Comet.

Diet for my small Flowerhorns Feeding Flowerhorns   1/3/08 What and which fish foods I should feed to my small Flowerhorns? <Free swimming fry can start out eating baby brine shrimp or micro worms. As they get a little older you can add finely crushed flake food to their diet.> Should I feed them with shrimps or feeder fishes? < Feeder fish are never a good idea. They always have the potential to carry disease into the tank and make the main fish sick.. How should I treat the feeder fishes before feeding them? < If you must use feeder fish then you need to quarantine them for a couple of weeks and treat them for any diseases. Its just like adding any new fish to an established aquarium. They fish will be relatively disease free and be healthier because you have fed them well for that quarantine period.-Chuck> Please help me. Thanks in advance.......

Help me with my goldfish... Error in placing "feeders" in a tank...    10/24/07 Hi, my nephew won these fish at a carnival and I just so happened to have started a tank about a month prior with only a algae eater in it <I hope not a CAE... please see the Net, WWM re Gyrinocheilus aymonieri> and he asked if I could add these two fish to my tank. So I did, <A mistake... such "feeder, comets" are notoriously unhealthy... invariably infested with a few types of parasites, infectious agents... now your system is as well> and now the one fish has black spots on him and is losing all of his fins, they are deteriorating. And as of this morning, he is getting a white egg textured film on top of his head and off the back of his tail. I am new to the whole goldfish thing, so could you help me find a cure. thanks so much!! Amber <Much to relate to you re developing a course of treatment here... As stated, your whole tank, all the fishes there... are subject to a myriad of pathogens... Best for you to start reading... Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above... till you understand what you've done, what you're up against... You will need to sequentially treat the system, all fishes for bacterial, protozoan, worm et al. diseases... Bob Fenner>

"Feeder" use in establishing cycling, nematode?  10/2/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Kathryn> I have two platys and a swordtail in my new aquarium and it is just about done cycling (nitrite .25 and consistently dropping, ammonia 0). The fish have all been doing well for about a month now <... they've been in this system while it's cycling? Not good> , except for a little feeder fish that died this morning. <A comet goldfish? Other minnow? Feeder livebearer? Frequent, make that almost-without-exception vectors of parasitic and infectious disease...> (The feeder fish was provided to me by the pet store as a way of establishing bacteria <Not a suggested method... your system is likely infested...> and he survived so I kept him.) When I removed him from the tank, I found that his stomach was blown out and that there was a long, white, string-like object hanging from the opening in his body. (see picture). <Mmm, perhaps a nematode... could be the GI tract...> He had been stuck to the filter intake. I am wondering if what I am seeing is his intestines or a parasite. (If it is intestines, I am puzzled at the stomach rupture, the filter is a whisper filter designed for 5-15 gallon tanks.) I am hoping you can help me figure out what happened because I want to protect my platys and swordtail. Here is some background: For a few days nitrate levels were spiking faster than daily 50% water changes and salt could remedy, and I was doing multiple changes a day to help alleviate the stress but despite my efforts, the feeder fish started acting strangely. His gills darkened, on one side noticeable more so than the other, and he began to swim on his side and on his back, sometimes totally unable to right himself. I imagined this might be related to organ damage caused by nitrite poisoning, as levels nitrate levels had reached a 1.5 ppm at the worst. <Way past toxic> Prior to this behavior, he had been a very hearty and active fish. Once the strange swimming pattern began, he lasted about 48 hours. The only other out-of-the usual condition in the fish tank so far as I can tell is that my swordtail dropped a few fry, all of which disappeared before I could run to the store to get a separate tank for them. This also happened right before the feeder fish started acting strangely. I appreciate any insight you can offer! Thanks! Kathryn <Wish you had read here first: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Re: "Feeder" use in establishing cycling, nematode?  10/3/07 Hi Bob, Thanks for your response. Shortly after starting to notice stress in my fish, I actually did a lot of reading on the nitrogen cycle and realized that the pet store misguided me in letting me purchase so many fish before cycling was complete. <All too common> Accordingly, I have been adding salt, been on reduced feeding schedule, and doing very frequent water changes to try to remedy the situation. Hence, the tank is nearly fully cycled and the fish are well (Except for the one in question). The problem I am really concerned about at this point is, if this was a parasite (perhaps a nematode, as you suggested), are there measures that I can take to prevent my other fish from dying. <Mmm, possibly... there are anthelminthics... that are relatively safe, effective, specific... Prazi... quantel... -pro... might be administered> If it is the fish's GI tract, do you have any ideas of what might have caused it to be coming out of the fishes body? <Prolapse possibly... the tract of cyprinids however is much longer... coiled inside... Do you have a microscope? A cross-section near the "head" end (hard to discern which is which) should reveal a tri-radiate esophagus in the buccal region if so> If it is some how related to nitrite poisoning, that situation is now under control. <But the residual damage...> If there is something else going on though, I want to make sure I take care of it. I haven't found much literature to explain rupturing fish bellies. Thanks again! Kathryn <Mmm, not much to refer to here... in the popular literature or online. BobF>

Trying to find a diagnosis. Oscar With Fish Lice  8/21/07 Hello, I have a tiger Oscar that has been self-mutilating himself. He rubs against things in the tank and has opened his flesh at times. I did not see anything with my naked eye (at first). Then, one day, I sat down by the tank and looked up. He swam into the light and behold, there were microscopic white specks on his head. Then, I looked closer and they actually were moving. They are so very small, too small to compare them to anything. The only reason I saw them, was because he is black and swam into very bright light. They look like bugs crawling around over him. Now that I knew what to look for, I noticed them on the glass of my tank. Lots of them. Only in the light and very microscopic. I have tried researching "parasites" and nothing seems to fit the description. Fleas would be too big and flukes are described as "worm-like" rather than "bug-like". I couldn't stand to see my Oscar with open wounds and frayed fins so I bought "parasite eliminator" to cure flukes, anchor worm, and fleas, etc. I am about to give the 2nd dose. They have not responded to treatment so far. They are still there and there are plenty of them moving around unphased. What can I try next if this doesn't work? I appreciate any response, Thanks, Tina < Try Clout or Fluke-Tabs. The parasites probably came in with some feeder fish.-Chuck>

External Parasites On An Adult Jack Dempsey   7/17/07 Hello Crew, I have a relatively large Jack Dempsey (10") named Phin that lives with an algae eater in a 40 gallon tank. We've had him for just over a year and up to this point his behavior is fairly predictable but lately we have noticed some new patterns that were alarming. We introduce 10 feeder fish each week and it usually takes him just a few days to polish them off. About 2-1/2 weeks ago we introduced the feeders and he has only eaten two of them. In addition, he started to breathe more rapidly and he would dart around the tank and almost crash himself into the gravel. About two days ago I went to say good morning to Phin and noticed that he had about a dime-sized spot behind one of his eyes where it appears he has lost his scales. I also noticed one scale near his tail on the same side that was coming loose. I immediately went to the pet store to ask about possible problems and solutions. The "fish expert" at the store suggested that it may be a skin bacteria or infection and gave me "Maracyn" to treat the tank for five consecutive days. She also gave me frozen beef heart to provide Phin with some nutrition. I did the initial treatment on the tank and fed him some of the beef heart (which he absolutely devoured). A few hours later I returned to the tank to check on Phin and I noticed something new...he now has tiny little greenish things all over him. There are a few on his body and some on each of his fins. They are very small, I would say less than 3mm across, they appear to be round and they don't move around a lot, they seem attached to his body. I referred to the instructional booklet that came with the "Maracyn" and it didn't say that it treated any live, external parasites so I'm not quite sure what to do at this point. What do you think I'm dealing with and how should I treat it? Thank you in advance for your help! < When you feed your fish feeder goldfish you always have the potential to introduce parasites and diseases to your fish. treat with either Clout or Fluke Tabs. It sounds like you have fish lice.-Chuck>

Clown Knife Fish Non-Live Food Training -- 06/28/07 Hello, Your website is great! Unfortunately I could not find anything about training a Clown Knife Fish to eat non-live food. I've tried even warming krill/shrimp, I've tried Shrimp Pellets, Freeze dried Bloodworms, and Flakes. My 6" clowns just don't eat it. I have to revert to Live Ghost Shrimp, but I do not want too. Please help me find a way to train the Clown Knife to eat other prepared foods? Step by Step, please. As you know, Feeding time for these guys is only at night when the lights are off. Hope you can help? Thanks <Greetings. Training Knifefish to accept dead food follows the same pattern as with any other opportunistic carnivore -- patience and a little starvation! As you realise, many people keep Knifefish by feeding them goldfish and minnows. This is very dangerous in the long term because of the risk of introducing parasites and the poor nutritional value (high fat and thiaminase content) of goldfish and minnows. So well done on doing the responsible, sensible thing by weaning your Knifefish onto safe alternatives. Small Knifefish are fond of (wet) frozen bloodworms, i.e., the kind you keep in the freezer. I have yet, in 20+ years of keeping fish, to find anything that likes freeze dried bloodworms or brine shrimp. I know people use them, but I've never had any luck with them. So get the wet frozen kind. These smell yummy and even difficult fish seem to accept them readily. If you train the baby Knifefish to take frozen foods, feeding the adults becomes very easy. Larger Knifefish in the wild eat fish, large insects, and crustaceans, so these are the things to concentrate on. One of the best ways to use frozen whitebait (or any other small, silvery fish) is to defrost it and then throw it into the current of water coming out of the filter. The flash of silver mimics the movement of small fish, and predatory fish will usually strike at the flash, and eat the food. I have personally found small pieces of oily fish (such as salmon or herring) extremely good for tempting predatory fish, presumably because of the smell, but be warned that oily fish *heavily* pollutes the aquarium and you will need to do a big (50%) water change afterwards. As well as fish, crustaceans like unshelled prawns and crayfish are excellent foods for adult Knifefish. If all else fails, alternate live foods, such as earthworms, mealworms, and crickets can also be used. Once the Knifefish learns to accept a variety of foods, tempting them onto floating pellets is not difficult. It helps if they share a tank with other fish that feed from the surface, like Tinfoil Barbs or Giant Gouramis. The Knifefish will see where the food is coming from, and take the floating pellets. Obviously, Knifefish are big and potentially aggressive, so don't mix with smaller fish or anything likely to pick a fight (like cichlids). Cheers, Neale>  

Missing Feeder Fish  - 4/6/07 I have a 25 gallon tank with an Angel, Catfish, and a Parrot fish. I didn't know that the Parrot fish were man made. I would have never bought it if they told me that. None of the pet stores said anything about that but I guess I should have done research first. Anyways in this tank I also have 1" feeders for our Arowana. They seem to be slowly disappearing not dying. Which one do you think is the culprit? I just got them last week. I also wonder if the Catfish did this. Months ago I had a 4" Clown Knife and it magically disappeared. I cleaned the whole tank, searched under the gravel, took out the plants and decoration, searched on the floor and filter but nothing. Thank you for your hard work. Picture with Catfish on the left and a feeder at the top. < Picture wasn't much help. I am guessing that the feeder fish are simply dying and getting eaten by all three.-Chuck>

Re: Flowerhorn Questions, Fdg, cleaning feeder goldfish... not likely   3/6/07 Hi Crew/Chuck, Your replies are awesome. Thanks a lot buddy. I have few more doubts, I promise to keep them short. 1)What are the treatments that I should give to feeder fish( I feed feeder fish only once in a week ( I give them salt bath to remove parasites and keep them in a bowl and add tetracycline) then feed them to my FH the next day is this enough? < A salt bath is helpful to remove some parasites like flukes and worms, but ich on an infected fish is under the skin where the salt will not be able to reach it. Some bacterial parasites will be affected by the tetracycline, but this medication is really only effective in soft water unless it is heavily overdosed. To be safe they should be held for two weeks, treated with Clout and Nitrofurazone. They should also be fed a nutritious food.> 2)I feed High red/ Humpy Head pellets they are costly and I believe imported is this ok? < Don't know anything about these pellets.> 3)My tank gets direct sunlight in the early morning say for 2hrs and then for few hours it gets sunlight which is reflected from the flooring is this ok and I have algae problem. My tank walls grow green in color is this dangerous to my FH?  Please advice. Thanking you, Arun <Algae is not a health problem for your Flowerhorn.-Chuck.>

Tips For Keeping Large Cichlids    2/16/07 I received your last e-mail and was a little disappointed that the answer I was looking for could not be found.  I understand that I placed a new Green Terror in with highly aggressive fish, but I also heard that Green Terrors knew how to fend for themselves.  I named mine Wimpy. When I first placed my Pike in with the Jaguar, Red Devil, Jack Dempsey, and Convicts, the Pike (being of similar size) made it perfectly clear that he was not scared of jack %$#&! Sorry if that is not acceptable on your web page, but it's the truth. I assumed things would be similar with the Green Terror, but no such luck. So here's the thing.  I already asked this question but received no clear answer.  If I trade in my Green Terror for another fish, what types of fish should I consider, that are aggressive enough to protect themselves. Oh, and I'm not quite sure what size my tank is, it's actually my boyfriends (he's in jail so I can't ask him either), but it's really big, and there are alot of plants and rocks to hide in. In fact, I think there is too much extra space and I should buy more fish. Will ponder this idea a little longer though.  Also, you said that it was a bad idea to feed them feeder fish...I don't quite understand why.  I've read that those types of fish ~love~live food. I've also been feeding them Tubifex worms, and cichlid pellets, is this wrong as well? Please educate me on what is appropriate food for my cichlids.  Thank you. -Marie < All cichlids are territorial to some degree. When ever you add a new fish to a cichlid tank he needs to be big and strong enough to establish a territory. Sometimes this means he needs to take one away from another fish. Most of the time the fish that already in the tank will be the winner. The loser new fish is soon pushed around by all the fish and gets beaten up in the meantime. The best way is to start with a group of smaller fish and try to raise them all together. Smaller fish can inflict less damage and they soon establish a pecking order and the tank stays relatively peaceful. Older fish are already set in their ways and have teeth that can inflict damage. It is much more difficult to mix bigger and older cichlids. Larger fish are usually offered as trade-ins to fish stores so you will probably have fish like Oscars as the most common choices. The green terror was not a bad choice. It just needs to be bigger than the other fish. Next time when you add a new fish you need to move all the rocks and ornaments around, add the new fish and turn off the lights for the night. In the morning all the fish will be busy trying to establish territories and the new fish will have a chance as all the fish compete with one another. You have a very large tank. Feeder fish carry diseases that can be transmitted to your aquarium. To successfully treat your aquarium could cost you 40$/50$/60$ on medications  depending on its size. Feeder fish are a disposable commodity and are fed just enough food to barely keep them alive. They have very little nutritional value. A better choice would be a good quality sinking pellet. Live foods such as earthworms, crickets, mealworms, waxworms and kingworms probably would all be relished by your fish. Just feed once a day and make sure that all of it is eaten in a couple of minutes.-Chuck>

Tanganyikan Cichlids Sick... Goldfish Cycle introduced pathogens... no-fun adventure ahead    10/3/06 Hello, <Hi there Erin> Well I've got quite an issue going on. I recently got a 125 gallon tank from my neighbour that keeps Discus. <Lots of water changes> I thought it would be a perfect upgrade for my Tanganyikan cichlids that were living in a 55. I set the tank up, got some live plants, and a bunch of feeders to help the tank cycle <Mmm, not advised... too much likelihood of introducing, entrenching pathogenic/disease problems> for a few weeks. All of my water parameters were looking great after 2 ½ weeks of cycling the tank and the feeder fish were looking healthy. I decided I would move everyone over and give the feeders to my neighbour for his pond. The water parameters were completely fine and the same as my 55 gallon tank. Good alkalinity, good hardness, pH of 8.8, <Mmm... too high> no nitrates, nitrites or ammonia in the tank either. I put them in and they were doing very well up until about a week ago roughly. Two of them began to develop a small amount of Ich, <... here it is...> so I began to treat it with a Formalin-Green mixture <Not in the main/display tank, please, no> (used it for about 10 years now with no harsh effects) <Formalin is a potent biocide... kills all life> and their Ich was clearing up. My problem now is that they have some kind of a secondary infection (I think) attacking their eyes and body. <... From your goldfish adventure...> I thought it was bacterial so I began to treat with Maracyn-Two which I've read is okay with the Ich treatment and shouldn't have any ill effects. Well over the last three days I've lost three fish, one being my 7-stripe Frontosa, and my other Fronty's aren't looking so hot either. Should I start trying to treat this with Maroxy and see if it's a fungal infection??? <...... much more trouble to go over here...> I don't really know what else to do at this point. Their eyes are all hazed over with a large white pustule in the center and white pustules in various spots on their bodies. I really don't want to lose my Burundis, especially my 15' one. I'm scared to death to even look in my tank anymore. Please help! Thanks, Erin <Well... let's see... you have introduced "something" with the goldfish cycling... Without microscopic examination, and possibly culturing, there is no way to discern what the root problem, causative organisms are here... Could be bacterial, protozoan, trematodes... more. I would move all the remaining fishes to smaller treatment tanks (and nuke/bleach wash the infested system)... and consider Chuck Rambo's treatment strategies for African Cichlids, posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/afcichdisfaqs.htm and the linked files in this series above... A hard lesson, and one I hope your livestock survives. Bob Fenner>

White Film On Fish... from "feeder fish"  9/8/06 Hello. I've read and found that your site is very informative. I currently have a 29 gallon aquarium with a Fluval 304 standard (un-customized). I used to give them feeder fish now since you've said it is extremely bad and dangerous I stick to Spirulina. The tank has a 3 in Oscar, a 2 in green terror and a algae eater. Sadly the algae eater and the green terror died but I wasn't very sure on how they died. There wasn't ich or any boating just white film like material that would protrude from their eyes sometimes even bubble like over the eye. I quarantined  the green terror in a 5 gallon tank but there was no saving him as for the algae eater he looked fine till the morning he died to make a long story short I used a fungus cure made by API the Oscar seems to be doing well but he still has a smaller film (which is more translucent ) on his eye. I wanted to know if you have any suggestions to help my tank so I don't have another outbreak. Also what are some suggestions on how to keep my tank in optimized living conditions. Thank you very much, Michael < Sounds like a bacterial infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat the tank with Kanamycin. This will affect the good nitrifying bacteria so watch out for ammonia spikes.-Chuck

Large FW Catfish fed feeders... I just found out you guys existed! Boy I could have used your help a long time ago. I didn't really have a question for ya, but wanted to tell you a story. I know you hear this a lot but I was also the victim of poor pet store knowledge (more than once) and ended up with a Pseudoplatystoma  corruscans (shovelnose catfish). <Cool cat, but very large with a larger mouth> The guy told me at the store that at about 6 inches the little guy was pretty much full grown. <LOL> I know now that that was completely false. Anyway we kept the little fella in our 33 gallon and he is was one of my favorites in the tank. Loved to eat and has really unique patterns. We were planning on keeping him till he got closer to a foot long. Unfortunately he never made it that far, he inherited what I think was a bacterial disease from some feeder comets, <Please, Please, PLEASE! No feeders unless you're willing to QT them. Garden worms and human seafood (shrimp, mussels, etc.) is far safer for these large cats.> even though we wouldn't have had him for very long I was really mad that he died so quickly (3 months). He quit moving around and had his feelers pulled back to his side. A usually quite knowledgeable fish keeper told us to just let it ride for a couple of days, thinking he might just be shedding, <Shedding??? Catfish don't shed there skin>> since he was the only one in the tank that was sick. He died the next morning. The other fish I was misinformed about is our fire eel. He lives in the same 33 gallon tank (don't worry I've treated the tank with Pimafix because whatever the catfish had it affected our leopard leaf fish, he got some body slime and cloudy eye but everyone is healthy now) and looking at your website I found out that he may get 2-4 feet long. The pet store told me he would be max a foot and a half. Right now he is just about a foot long and happily resides under a large piece of driftwood, coming out at night and to eat out of my hand, he loves frozen shrimp!<Great, safe food. But vary it somewhat.> I was wondering how long it will take for him to get too big for the tank and have to be given away. <Not really sure.> I'll miss him but it's not fair to cage him in such a small tank. <True> Will he really get 4 feet in captivity <possible, over 3 for sure.> or could we maybe get away with keeping him in a 100 gallon or more? <Would surely allow you to keep him far longer. Min. recommended size is around 80 gallons. Upgrade your plan to a 125 or 150 and you could have him for life.> Sorry to write you a novel. Pet stores should be forced to have accurately knowledgeable staff, the losers are the poor fish and pissed off purchasers. Don't rush to write me back, Amber <Don> Fish Lice Causing Major Problems    3/27/06 Hello.  I came upon your site by accident--researching copepods.   My problem is grave at best.  3 wks ago noticed my Oscar was very  lethargic. I looked  closer and   found what I now know to be copepods on   all over him.  An   appraisal of tank revealed millions!.  I  have the Oscar- 10", 4-line catfish, 6", Trinidad Pleco 6", and believe it or not,  an Opaline Gourami 3".  These fish are all 2 years old and are in a 68 gal. tank.  They have always  been  together  in progressively  larger  tanks. I  called my fish store,  and was prescribed (!)  Coppersafe (Mardel) .  This seemed to work, but a week later they were  back.  My fish store prescribed Maroxy (Mardel).  Knowing what I do now after what seems years of research,  I don't know why.  Same  results.  So I went to the store again and they said to try one  ANOTHER  medication; Quick Cure (Aquarium Products)  This got rid of  them,  but made my fish have a bluish-white covering (slime?)  even  their eyeballs!  After a 5 day stay in a hospital tank and a MAJ OR tank  cleaning and sterilization--new gravel and decor-- They were home again.   One week has passed and I saw the aggravating bugs again today!!  I  wouldn't care if they did not make my fish miserable--they fly into the walls  and rocks to scratch.  The Oscar cut his head open (2" gash!)  My fish  are my babies and I hate to see them like this.  I feed live goldfish to  the Oscar sporadically, about 3 times a week.  The goldfish have their own  tank especially for this purpose,  and I never mix a new batch with old one--even if its just one or two. No other type of fish has ever been   in feeder tank.  I guess this is where the   pods  came  from. <Bingo> Nothing   has been introduced into  the  tank besides  TetraMin food,  Wardley algae discs,  Old Roy dry  dog food (only twice--I felt guilty!  This was at least a year ago) and not more than 4 months ago, some live red worms I had been feeding to an African dwarf frog and some glass catfish.  When I did a thorough tank cleaning about a month later, there were thousands living in the  gravel!   (worms that is,  Texas Tea,  Black  gold.) I eradicated them all with a bleach sterilization  of tank and all equip.  because frankly it freaked me out to have those  things  (so mmmany!!!) in with my fish.  Now this.  Sorry so  long-- Your site is the bomb!  ANYTHING you can suggest will be greatly  appreciated and your likeness carved from stone to place on my  tank----...   Muchisimas Gracias, Kristan < The copper medications that you have been using to get rid of the fish lice are not the best way to go. many times the copper levels to kill the parasite are the same levels that kill the fish. I recommend Fluke-Tabs for lice. Follow the directions on the package and retreat as recommended to kill of any new lice that have hatched from eggs. Sometimes medications cannot get to the lice in the egg stage. These lice actually carve holes into your fish as they feed. When the lice are gone you fish have many little wounds that got infected. Treat with Erythromycin or Nitrofuranace. Stop feeding goldfish to prevent further infection. when the medications are finished add carbon to remove any excess medication. The n ad Bio-Spira from Marineland to get the biological filtration going again.-Chuck> It's All On The Site - 10/26/2005 Why shouldn't I feed my Oscars and Red Devil beef heart and goldfish??  <Read the articles and FAQs here, under Foods/Feeding/Nutrition: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmaintindex.htm .> The only time they get goldfish is on Saturdays (I'm not around Sundays and Mondays to feed them). They get beef heart only once a week.  <Harmful to fatal feeding practices. Please read.> I feed them daily. Thank You so much. Stretch's Tattoos Dayton, Ohio <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Effects of surviving Fish TB Hi there, A few months ago my husband fed our fish some goldfish, against my advice based on what I've heard about goldfish having a lot of diseases. Anyways, our Frontosa, Bay Snook, and clown knives ate them and were fine, but our 12 inch Gar got really sick. He got a filmy coat to him and his eyes popped out. He swelled up really bad and just sat at the bottom of the tank. Then his spine got really crooked. We medicated the tank with anti-fungal and bacterial meds and also Melafix. He was sick for about a month but now he seems to be OK, he eats and swims around fine, except he is still crooked and his back end seems almost like it's paralyzed and just drags behind. Is he still sick or can there be lasting effects from fish illnesses? We were told he had Fish TB but I thought it was always fatal. My husband gets very upset when his fish die! He was depressed for a week when his water cow jumped out the day after we bought it.  Any help is appreciated! <Could be internal parasites from the gold fish have affected the gar. I would try to separate the gar and treat him with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package. It may help but at this point it is just a guess. The Metronidazole is effective against anaerobic bacteria.-Chuck.>

Stuck on "feeders?" Hello, I have a shovelnose catfish and a snowflake eel (in different tanks) that will only eat live feeders and was wondering what else I could use because I have tried frozen and prepared foods. They won't even accept live worms! Ghost shrimp are out of the question because they cost around a dollar a specimen. What else could I try. Help!!!! < Don't feed your fish for a week. Don't worry they should be fine. Your fish are imprinted on feeders and they will never try anything else unless they are very very hungry. I don't think you will ever get them over to pellets or flake food but I think you could try live earthworms, king worms, mealworms and crickets. All of these items can be purchased at any pet shop. Place the earthworm in the tank for two minutes. If it is not eaten by then remove it. Try again the next day and continue to try for another week. If they don't eat by the second week then give them a feeder to keep them going. After the feeder is gone add another earthworm. If the fish start to look distressed then you may have to add more feeders. Some fish will never change no matter how hard you try. Peacock bass are notorious for being on a feeder fish only diet.-Chuck.>                                         CJ

Oscar Eating Habits I have two tiger Oscars.  They are about 9 inches a piece.  I feed them 20 large cichlid pellets a day (for both of them).  I use the large bag.  When the bag is empty, I starve them for two days, then feed them a dozen large feeder goldfish.  For the past several months, they eat a few fish and then no more.  I usually flush the remainder of the fish after about two days (as no more fish are eaten) and continue on with the pellets.  Is this healthy? < Feeder fish in general really are not healthy for them. Feeders are fed very poor food which in turn makes them poor food for other fish. Next time place the extra feeders in a plastic container with an airstone and feed them a good quality flake food.> How long do I continue to let the goldfish in the tank if they are ignoring them? < Place one goldfish in the tank. If it is not eaten or he is not trying them remove it in two minutes. Try again the next day.> Do I leave the goldfish in the tank without feeding them pellets until they eat the remaining goldfish? < Pellets or goldfish, whatever you place in the tank remove any excess food in two minutes.>   How do I get them back to eating goldfish?  They used to be aggressive when I would put goldfish in the tank, now not so much.  Please let me know. < They are probably bored with them and need a break. Try earthworms, king worms, mealworms or crickets to get them looking forward to eating again.-Chuck>

Feeding Piranhas Do you know of any ways to get my piranhas to eat anything but feeders that would be great.  I've tried mixing live with salmon chunks, krill they eat sometimes, but usually they refuse and then the fin nipping and body wounds begin.  Starving is out of the question as one has just recovered from an eye injury caused buy the other during my attempt to starve them so they would eat something else.  They are about 4 and 4.5-5 inches long right now and GROWING!  Thanks! <Is perhaps the major drawback of piranhas... think your plan to quarantine feeders may be your best bet, that and continue trying to mix in other foods from time to time. Cheers, J -- > The Problem with Feeders Dear WWM crew I'm in need of some urgent help with my fish I have only 2 fish in my 55g tank - a 15" silver arowana & a 6" Pleco. Recently they both stopped feeding (the arowana gets de-frosted silver sides and algae wafers for the Pleco).  It's been also 2 weeks since they last ate.  Now tonight my Pleco went RIP - I saw it coming, he never ignores algae wafers; I love<d> him to death, he's a little stunned at 6" but he was my 1st fish into the hobby :(  The Pleco died with a swollen belly, no it doesn't look like dropsy. I cut open the belly and find it all watery in there. Water conditions are within normal ranges, tank has been stable for at least a year, good filtration, constant 28 C temperature. I'm worried because my arowana doesn't eat but still makes orange poops. They are bright orange and "stringy". He swims fine, normal color, fins open, swims top-mid-bottom-left and right..... but he just doesn't eat! I tried giving him feeders but he doesn't even give a look. I added salt & melafix and water change 5% everyday. I *guess* it could be internal parasites?! Because I once gave my arowana some left over minnows from a fishing trips. Since then he's been pooping out balls of worms; no kidding, balls of white worms all tangle up wriggling. But that stopped all of a sudden. I'm clueless...should I try some anti-parasite pills? de-worm??  Help Please. Sincerely Kevin  PS: Can you also reply me to this address so I can get the treatment as quick as possible?  Thanks again <Oh Boy! Never, Never, Never put a feeder in your tank without QT for 30 days! Never! And Never feed a wild caught fish! Never! Now you see why. But there are other problems here too. First, a 55 is too small for an 15 inch arowana. Second, stop using Melibroke, I mean MelaFix. Do several large water changes to get that junk out! As for the orange poop, I would start with de worming medicine since you have seen the worms. Then Metronidazole for protozoa. But only after the water changes. And only one at a time, with more water changes in between. These meds would work better if the were added to food, but if he is not eating you will have to treat the water. Good luck with him. Don>  

Worms! Hello again. I have recently written in about my Pleco and the headache I'm sure he gives himself. I have a 90 gallon fresh water, with live plants and community fish. 16 gallon water changes every 2 weeks with aquarium salt added in. My new problem is I came home this morning and I discovered that one of my fish looked like it had a fire cracker explode in it. This is one of the fish I brought home for feeders and it didn't get eaten. It just grew. I thought that maybe some of the fish got at it, but this was not a small fish. And I try to be as careful as possible when getting new fish.  That they aren't aggressive. So what I want to ask is, is there a parasite that could make my fish "explode"?  It was the strangest thing I have seen. While fishing out parts of the fish. I notice that there was a worm like thing on the cover of the tank, on the under side. I have thought about clearing out, the tank and starting over, this weekend.  Would it be a good idea to save about half the water in the tank, or should I start right from scratch? I was going to turn off the filter and siphon out the top part of the tank and reuse it and then take another 45 gallons, and let it stand for a couple of days. Does that sound like a good idea? I have no where to store 90 gallons of water and I don't have a smaller tank to place my fish in, so I cant wait the 2 weeks to cycle the tank. Thanks for your help Lukas <Sounds like your fish have worms. These are common in wild caught fish, like most plec's or fish bred outside, like most feeders. Breaking down the tank will not help. Try here for medicated de-worming flake. http://flguppiesplus.safeshopper.com/31/cat31.htm?452 And once again I warn about offering feeder fish unless you can QT them for at least a month. Don>

Fastidious Feeders - Feast on Fresh Fish? My tank has 3 freshwater barracudas and 1 gar, as well as other fish, and I am wondering, for the barracudas and gar, what is the best alternative to feeders?  I don't particularly like having what I understood to be "dirty" fish in my tank and being eaten, my barracudas did not respond to frozen shrimp or beef heart, only to live swimming "bait".  I would love to try something else, and if you have any ideas for me (I'm still rather new at this, only been doing this 4 or 5 months) I would be very appreciative.   Thank you,  Brian George <Well Brian, I think you're on the right track with frozen shrimp; try them again, as well as fresh fish that you've frozen and then thawed (it's thought that freezing will eliminate a lot of the threat of passing along pathogens to the fish being fed), perhaps even squid.  Try feeding with these exclusively for a while (at least a few days), and if they still refuse the food, try feeding some of it at the same time as a few feeder fish, and hopefully they'll start getting the picture.  As they do, reduce the number of feeders until they've been eliminated from the fishes' diet.  Another thought would be to use a feeding stick, or even a straw poked into the thawed meat, to move the food around at the top of the water to try to entice them to take a taste.  You might also want to try soaking the food in garlic juice, as that will help picky eaters to try a new food.  If ALL else fails, you can set up a second tank to raise your own feeder guppies or similar, so you know they come from a healthy source.  -Sabrina>

Feeder Goldfish (note: add links to subwebs) Dear WWM crew, I was just browsing (again!) the WWM site, and I found the Argument against Feeder Goldfish page. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm  I couldn't agree more. On that page, Bob wrote:  "Try as I might I didn't run across any scientific work describing the chemical & physical content of "feeders". " I have long heard of thiaminase as being the primary problem with feeder golds.  I know that Scott Michael is also against feeder golds, and in his book (and magazine articles in AFM) has listed the following source: Greig, R.A. and R.H. Gnaedinger. 1971. Occurrence of thiaminase in some common aquatic animals of the United States and Canada. U.S. Department of Commerce Special Scientific Report-Fisheries No. 631. I don't have access to the primary literature anymore (oh for the days when I could just go to the library on campus!), so I haven't read the journal article, but it sounds like it might be a good starting point. (I've also been unable to find this article online).  I'm hoping you may have access to this article, and might be able to let us know if it supports the arguments against feeder golds...maybe you could ask Scott Michael for a copy (I'm assuming since you have some of his photos in CMA there must be some rapport) ? <Yes, we are friends and associates. I will send this note to Scotter, and thank you for your helping me and others on the "not-feeding-feeders" issue. Bob Fenner> Rich Paulhus Boston, MA PS. For some reason, the feeder gold page didn't seem to be listed site index (or at least in the sections I hunted in) but the google search worked fine. <Yikes... will check, add links. Thank you again.>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: