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Feeding A Dominant Fish In A Group


jody

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I have a Telescope named Google, and he hogs my Black Moors food. He will protect the food and eat fast and also fight for the food, bullying my Oscar around during feeding.

I tried different feeding methods, dropping a large amount of pellets in first to keep Google busy, because he would inhale like 8 pellets at a time, and then drop some more food so that Oscar could get some. That just ended up Google getting overfeed. My Oscar is a sensitive fish when it comes to her food so I have to feed her homemade gel food. I drop the gel food in the tank and it goes all over and Oscar usually gets her share. Oscar is eyesight handicapped so she always goes to the same spot in the tank to feed. So if the food is not there she wont get any. This results in Google getting over fed again. I thought of a tank divider but with my 30 Tall tank I would have to custom cut one. If you have ever used a tank divider you would know what a pain these things are to remove with all the filters, heaters, and air stones in the road.

My Oscar was flipping upside down and floating because of the pellet food and the inconsistent amount of food she was getting. Because Google was so aggressive I just kept adding food hoping Oscar would get here share. This caused problems on so many levels. More waste which is more ammonia. I finally found a solution:

Keep a Rubbermaid container next to your tank with a small amount of water in it, primed of course. When it is feeding time use a milk bag pitcher and transfer some tank water to the Rubbermaid. Net the dominant fish and release him/her (most likely a male) into the Rubbermaid. Feed each fish and allow them to eat in peace. I use an air stone in my Rubbermaid to ensure oxygen is always at a good level, that way I can leave Google in there for an hour if I want. When the feeding is over net the dominant one and release him back into the main tank and transfer over half of the Rubbermaid water into the tank. This way the water stays filtered and cycled. When it is feeding time repeat.

With multiple fish try removing the most dominant one and monitor the behavior during feeding. If necessary upgrade to more rubbermaids for each fish. Even if you have a 55 gallon tank you shouldn't need any more than 3-4 Rubbermaids. This is worth the health benefits for your water and your fish.

Good luck and here are some pictures :)

All you need:

setup.jpg

Feeding Time:

feeding.jpg

Thanks for reading :painting:

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That's a good tip for sure, I've dealt with 'vacuum fish' before who ate all the food before the others could get to it. One thing I would add, netting can sometimes damage fins (I once had a moor lose half his tail fin from netting :( ) so you could use the net to herd the fish into a container, then transfer him in that.

Edited by Chrissy_Bee
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I got to thinking after your comment chrissy and I found the solution: A breeding box that I walked by 50 times at my LFS, Duh!! :stupid:

Here's the pic, works great!! :D

breeder.jpg

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That seems like a better idea. I know that netting and chasing a fish can be stressful so I would hate to have to do that to a fish once or twice a day. The breeding box is a super smart idea and you might even be able to train him to go into it with a food lure.

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Great idea dude I have a large agressive male black moore named Nigel and he exhibits the same kind of behavior during feeding. At first it was somewhat funny... he would push my big pearlscale up so hard it would make her flip upside down, just to protect "his food". After this continued happening I just really started disliking Nigel and even considering giving him away. It has subsided a little over the past few months but next time i go to the LFS I'm definetly gonna get one of those breeder things to put Nigel in during feeding. Nice documentary with pics too! This should definetly be tip of the month :)

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Thats a great idea!!! I have a black moor and telescope, and my black moor hogs all the food!!! ha ha, I could use taht to feed the telescope so they both get the same! i like the breeding box idea!

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I pretty much just put Oscar in there now as Peepers is in the main tank now. Oscar needs the special diet so its easier this way. She seems to like it and it is easy to scoop her up with the breeding box :)

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