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Switching Food

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by EricBacker, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. EricBacker

    EricBacker New Member

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    Hey so I am new to this hobby and have a some questions. Let me first explain my set up and situation. I have a 30 gallon tank, a fluval 50 filter, an Eheim Jager heater for a 40 gallon tank, a current LED lightstrip, live plants (sorry dont know the names, 1 rock and sand substrate. I have 5 fish in it right now: 2 Angelfish, 2 Silver Dollars, and 1 Needlenose. I had an electric catfish but he died because of a mistake I made that is one reason why I am joining this site so I don't make another mistake like that :(. Okay to my question, I have been feeding the angelfish and silver dollars frozen bloodworms and Cichlid Gold pellets. They seem to really like this but since I got the needlenose I decided to try the switch to live food. I watched him get fed right before I bought him so I know he wasn't hungry and I knew he would be nervous so I figured he wouldn't eat for a day or so. However I have been told that the other fish are carnivorous too (and read) but none of them are even touching the guppies. I dropped one in and they followed it around for like 10 minutes (Hilarious) and never even touched it it now resides under the rock hiding. So my main question would be, is there any way for me to have them switch over to eating live food? Also anything else you can share with me about anything would be a great help. I also realize the tank may be small but when the fish are bigger I will probably sell them either back to the store or to others. Another option is upgrading my tank!
    Thanks!!
     
  2. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    Honestly, you're making a mistake trying to switch to live food For nearly all fish, it's unnecessary, and it's not nutritionally a good diet (because of how commercially raised fish are fed, compared to how wild ones eat). 
     
    There's also the fact that commonly used 'feeder fish', like guppies, goldfish and minnows contain a substance called thiaminase, which causes vitamin B deficiencies in the fish that are doing the eating. This causes a multitude of health problems.
     
    Bloodworms aren't a good staple diet either; they're also nutritionally very poor; again because of the way they're fed for commercial production.
     
    You'd be far, far better off finding a good commercially prepared food that will suit your fish.
     
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  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I concur with all that fluttermoth posted here.  Good quality prepared foods (flake, pellet, sinking) are far superior, and except in very rare cases (getting some wild fish to spawn for example) much more preferable.
     
    I feel obligated to also make a suggestion on your fish/tank size, which you acknowledge is going to be trouble sooner rather than later.  As you are new to the hobby, I offer this out of concern for your fish, and setting you on the right path.  Many of us learned these things the hard way, losing fish after they suffered.
     
    First, the Silver Dollars are shoaling fish.  This means they naturally live in large groups, and this is a mandatory requirement for their well-being.  In an aquarium, we mention minimum numbers, based upon scientific studies of species, but always it is better to exceed the minimum as the fish will be even better long-term.  Five or six are minimum for this species.  The individual fish have an inherent need for a group (shoal), and the green citation in my signature block is pertinent.  However, space is an issue here, so you n eed to make some decisions fairly soon to either re-home the two SD (to the store or another hobbyist with this species), or acquire more and move them to a larger tank.  There is data here on numbers, behaviours and tank size: http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/metynnis-hypsauchen/ There are several possible species for "silver dollars," but all are similar in size, tank requirements and behaviours.
     
    Angelfish also are shoaling, requiring five, but there are other issues with this I woun't digress into just now.  A mated pair can work, and in a 60g would be fine.  But if this happens to be two males, trouble is not far off.
     
    The problem with not providing what a fish species requires from the start means the fish is immediately being stressed, and stress is the root cause of 95% of disease in fish.  Aside from this, the development of the fish's physiology as it matures is hindered.  The fish will be frustrated, adding more stress.  So the point is that in the long run, it is not good to ignore the requirements in the hope that the future will be fine; it almost certainly will not, and fish are living creatures that have specific needs that we must provide if they are to live healthy and "happy" lives, whatever "happy" may mean to a fish.
     
    I hope this may have provided some useful information, and please don't hesitate to ask whatever.  We on this forum do really want the best for everyone's fish.
     
    Byron.
     
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