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View Full Version : finicky fish... to the point of starvation?



Brhino
04-10-2010, 11:44 PM
Has anyone ever had an issue where a fish refused a staple food to the point of starvation? I know it's quite common for certain fish to ignore certain foods, but I thought if you kept trying when the fish got hungry enough it would eat. I have a zebra danio that has just refused to eat the pellets they normally get, and I've watched him just get thinner and thinner while all the others eat normally and grow. Two days ago he looked like he was hours away from going belly up, but then he perked up a bit. I got a batch of brine shrimp from the LFS today. They get pellets for breakfast and brine shrimp for dinner until I run out of shrimp. He still seems to be ignoring the pellets in the morning but he ate at least four brine shrimp for dinner. Is it possible that given the choice between pellets and nothing, he's chosing nothing, even if it kills him?

Northernguy
04-11-2010, 01:19 AM
It may have an internal parasite.
Try adding minced garlic to your food.
If its a parasite the garlic will work if it eats. The parasite will not eat the garlic laced food and eventually die off.It takes about 3wks and its good for all your fish.
Just do not use too much at a time or you will be doing water changes to freshen the air!lol

Brhino
04-11-2010, 01:31 AM
how do I do that if he's not eating the pellet food in the first place?

Lab_Rat
04-11-2010, 01:36 AM
Try frozen foods and soak them in the garlic (is an appetite stimulant/attractant and has antiparasitic properties). Most picky fish will take frozen bloodworms.

Brhino
04-11-2010, 02:35 AM
fish with internal parasites have long, stringy white poops, right? My wife observed the fish in question pooping, and it was white, but it was very short and normal texture.

jcarr71
04-11-2010, 02:40 AM
In my view you have to bend to what you're fish eat. I believe it to be irresponsible to let a fish starve when he won't eat something. Try other food. Who knows? Maybe he'll eat a generic flake instead. I have an apisto in a 75g community that I have to rig a pretty elaborate set up to get blood worms to since he is shy, in with voracious eaters, won't leave his territory on the bottom, and will ONLY eat bloodworms.

HeatherB
04-11-2010, 02:56 AM
the only fish I have kept that eat pellets were Bettas and goldfish. Everyone else just takes them and spits them back out! I mean- they look like they are playing stinkin' football or something! Serious!

Maybe the pellet is too big for him? He can't properly get it in his mouth to eat it?

Brhino
04-11-2010, 04:12 AM
The pellets are pretty big for a danio, which is why we crush about half the meal up for the danios and leave the rest normal size for the goldfish. Still, the danios like to grab ones too big for them and carry them around until they dissolve enough to swallow. The one in question doesn't do that. He'll swim past them, turn to look at them, but not try to eat them.

I guess if he continues to do well on the brine shrimp, after they're gone I'll look for something else to try feeding him. Danios and goldfish are omnivores... is it a problem if their diet swings towards live foods more often than not?

bob saget
04-11-2010, 04:46 AM
Try frozen foods and soak them in the garlic (is an appetite stimulant/attractant and has antiparasitic properties). Most picky fish will take frozen bloodworms.

this. try frozen bloodworms.

Brhino
04-11-2010, 05:05 AM
this is probably a stupid question, but how exactly do you soak something in garlic? I guess there's some kind of liquid garlic?

Northernguy
04-11-2010, 05:23 AM
The juice from the garliwhen you crush it is good enough.
You can also buy bottles of minced garlic.

Lady Hobbs
04-11-2010, 12:14 PM
That's what I do. Buy jarred crushed garlic and drop one drop on some pellets or flakes and feed now and then. Too much juice and they won't eat it as it's very strong. You can also buy medicated food.

I'm with you on food fish won't eat. I've had some in the past like that and I won't force a fish to eat something they don't like when there are hundreds of other foods to give them. If they don't like it, give it to fish that do and give the others something else.

jimw/oscar
04-11-2010, 01:32 PM
The pellets are pretty big for a danio, which is why we crush about half the meal up for the danios and leave the rest normal size for the goldfish. Still, the danios like to grab ones too big for them and carry them around until they dissolve enough to swallow. The one in question doesn't do that. He'll swim past them, turn to look at them, but not try to eat them.

I guess if he continues to do well on the brine shrimp, after they're gone I'll look for something else to try feeding him. Danios and goldfish are omnivores... is it a problem if their diet swings towards live foods more often than not?

I am wondering if you have the danios and goldfish in the same tank, as even though they are both omnivores one is warm water and one cold water. Then again I note you say only one danio is having the problem.

I guess I'd say if it eats shrimp let it eat shrimp.

Brhino
04-11-2010, 03:16 PM
I am wondering if you have the danios and goldfish in the same tank, as even though they are both omnivores one is warm water and one cold water.

according to this website, the acceptable temperature range for zebra danio is 65-75F. Most other sites agree, within a degree or two. I wouldn't really call that warm water, and it's well within the comfort range of a goldfish. In fact, that range is actually cold enough that a danio wouldn't be comfortable in, say, a 78 degree tank that a dwarf gourami would like.

I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, but this is the second time on here I've been told that danios and goldfish won't be happy in the same temperature range, but all the data I find simply does not agree with that. Now, there'll be a size issue as the goldfish get bigger (which is why they're getting rehomed, actually), but that's different.

Northernguy
04-11-2010, 03:41 PM
Try the garlic!lol
Yes GFs can handle tropical temps.There is a really good article around here that I believe Fishguy wrote.
Here it is.
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=32662

jimw/oscar
04-11-2010, 05:25 PM
according to this website, the acceptable temperature range for zebra danio is 65-75F. Most other sites agree, within a degree or two. I wouldn't really call that warm water, and it's well within the comfort range of a goldfish. In fact, that range is actually cold enough that a danio wouldn't be comfortable in, say, a 78 degree tank that a dwarf gourami would like.

I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, but this is the second time on here I've been told that danios and goldfish won't be happy in the same temperature range, but all the data I find simply does not agree with that. Now, there'll be a size issue as the goldfish get bigger (which is why they're getting rehomed, actually), but that's different.


I stand corrected, I'm not a big danios fan so haven't done a lot of research about them. I did keep some as dither fish once in a tank that was at 78F, guess they weren't too happy.

Brhino
04-11-2010, 11:41 PM
after two brine shrimp meals, they little guy at some pellets today for the first time in memory. Very glad to see it. Maybe he had some ailment that I didn't diagnose that he got through on his own. His belly is still a lot flatter than I'd like, but he seems to be on the mend. Thanks for the advice, everyone.