Small zebra fish not eating for over 3 days

Karine1995

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Hello guys! I am new to the hobby and have been educating myself a lot on how to properly care for a tank. I waited to add fish to the tank and have been carefully measuring the water. I’ve had a school of danios in my tank since last Thursday. At first I purchased 2 zebra danios and 2 long fin leopard danios. About day 2 of having them in the tank my family and I noticed One of the leopard danios was extremely aggressive towards the fish especially towards my smallest zebra danio (aka baby danio). During the second day baby danio did not eat at all and was hiding all day so I decided to separate the aggressive danio and baby danio came out and actually ate and stuff so I went back to the pet store and replaced the aggressive leopard for another leopard danio and also purchased an extra zebra and leopard danio. The first 2 days after that all of the 6 fish seemed happy, all swimming around together, schooling, eating well, no signs of aggression. Unfortunately for the past 3 days (including today) baby danio has not eaten.... he has been swimming around the tank normally, he even goes around and schools with the other danios, but he does not eat. During meal time he stays swimming at the bottom of the tank while the others go to the surface and eat. I notice that he does go after the food at times as it falls or even when on the surface but it seems as if he (for lack of better words) “boops” the food and keeps swimming, never actually eating or attempting to eat it.

I measure my water parameters closely and the water seems healthy. Yesterday the ammonia was up some so I did a 20% water change. I also lowered the temperature of the water from 76F to 74F as I read online that is better for them. The water is fine today and during feeding time he still did not eat. Again, as I am new to this hobby I’m not sure if there’s something I can do or something I am missing. I’ve grown fond of baby danio and I want to make sure he is okay. Any advice is welcomed.

Also, I’ve been watching him close and externally he does not seem to have an infection or a disease. His fins are fine and so is his tail. I’ve been comparing him to the other zebra danios and he looks the same externally as they do. So no obvious signs of any disease. Poor buddy is just not eating :(

Thank you for any advice ahead of time.
 

Barry Tetra

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Hello and welcome to the forum. What size tank? Other fish with him? Also there is a way to put ammonia and nitrite to 0 by “cycle your tank”, cycle a tank is when you put ammonia and nitrite down to 0 by using nitrosomonas bacteria to "eat" ammonia and turn them to nitrite then another bacteria name nitrobacter and nitro spira will "eat" nitrite and turn them to nitrate. You can get bacteria in the bottle from the fish store, I recommend “Tetra safe start plus”.
 
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Colin_T

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If you have an ammonia or nitrite reading, do a 75% water change because it will dilute the nutrients much more effectively than a 20% water change.

If you can post some pictures and a short 30 second video of the fish, it might provide more info on the issue, which is probably bullying from a dominant male.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

How many gallons/liters is your tank? I have had this problem when I had a Zebra danio in with my neon tetras. Zebra Danios are extremely aggressive. I can’t recommend anything beyond this point except try to feed the baby in 1 corner of the tank with sinking food.
 
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Karine1995

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Hello and welcome to the forum. What size tank? Other fish with him? Also there is a way to put ammonia and nitrite to 0 by “cycle your tank”, cycle a tank is when you put ammonia and nitrite down to 0 by using nitrosomonas bacteria to "eat" ammonia and turn them to nitrite then another bacteria name nitrobacter and nitro spira will "eat" nitrite and turn them to nitrate. You can get bacteria in the bottle from the fish store, I recommend “Tetra s
Hello and welcome to the forum. What size tank? Other fish with him? Also there is a way to put ammonia and nitrite to 0 by “cycle your tank”, cycle a tank is when you put ammonia and nitrite down to 0 by using nitrosomonas bacteria to "eat" ammonia and turn them to nitrite then another bacteria name nitrobacter and nitro spira will "eat" nitrite and turn them to nitrate. You can get bacteria in the bottle from the fish store, I recommend “Tetra safe start plus”.

Good morning! I have a 29 Gallon tank. I have added the bacteria as stated before the fish were added to the tank and tried to have it cycled before I added them in. The only other fish are the other 5 danios who are doing great, eating, swimming and all. The baby danio that is not eating is acting well. He is swimming and schooling and there are no visible diseases externally.
 
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Karine1995

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Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

How many gallons/liters is your tank? I have had this problem when I had a Zebra danio in with my neon tetras. Zebra Danios are extremely aggressive. I can’t recommend anything beyond this point except try to feed the baby in 1 corner of the tank with sinking food.
Thank you! I’ll go purchase some sinking food after work today. I watched them this morning for about 20 minutes and they didn’t seem to be aggressive with each other. All of them technically are babies I just call the smallest zebra danio baby danio.

thank you for your input! :)
 

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I hear you. I stress out when fish don't eat. For some reason I want them to gorge themselves to the point of looking like they swallowed a marble. I guess I think that gluttonous fish are healthier. Anyway, I have a pair of fish that I went to some trouble to acquire and the small female either would not eat or would be a picky light eater. I worried myself sick thinking she would die. That was 3 months ago. Today she has doubled in size and eats like a horse. Things work out.
 
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Karine1995

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If you have an ammonia or nitrite reading, do a 75% water change because it will dilute the nutrients much more effectively than a 20% water change.

If you can post some pictures and a short 30 second video of the fish, it might provide more info on the issue, which is probably bullying from a dominant male.

I tried to add a video to the post but it would not let me. I watched the tank this morning for 20 minutes and didn’t see any specific aggression like the other fish I returned did before.
 

Colin_T

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upload the video to YouTube and copy & paste the link here. we can watch it at youtube.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Thank you! I’ll go purchase some sinking food after work today. I watched them this morning for about 20 minutes and they didn’t seem to be aggressive with each other. All of them technically are babies I just call the smallest zebra danio baby danio.

thank you for your input! :)
No problem, always here to help! :fish:

I must tell you, when I first got my zebra danio he wouldn’t eat food in the surface. I had to soak the food first so it would sink. That’s probably the issue you have. :)
 
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Karine1995

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No problem, always here to help! :fish:

I must tell you, when I first got my zebra danio he wouldn’t eat food in the surface. I had to soak the food first so it would sink. That’s probably the issue you have. :)
You would soak the food in water prior to giving it to them? For how long?
 
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Karine1995

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I hear you. I stress out when fish don't eat. For some reason I want them to gorge themselves to the point of looking like they swallowed a marble. I guess I think that gluttonous fish are healthier. Anyway, I have a pair of fish that I went to some trouble to acquire and the small female either would not eat or would be a picky light eater. I worried myself sick thinking she would die. That was 3 months ago. Today she has doubled in size and eats like a horse. Things work out.
Did you do anything different for her so she would eat? Change anything in your tank?
 

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Did you do anything different for her so she would eat? Change anything in your tank?
I did tantalize her with newly hatched baby brine shrimp just to make sure she got something. No fish can resist that and other fish can't hoard it or scare their tank mates away from it. Other than that she just kind of settled down and found her place in the grand scheme of aquarium life. Sometimes things just take time to settle out. All we can do is watch and wait.
 
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Karine1995

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Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

How many gallons/liters is your tank? I have had this problem when I had a Zebra danio in with my neon tetras. Zebra Danios are extremely aggressive. I can’t recommend anything beyond this point except try to feed the baby in 1 corner of the tank with sinking food.
in this video I attempted to feed him alone by separating him and his food with a net... he’s still not eating and the other fish are trying to get to his food... :(

 

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