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Pontosfan

Too Little/too Much

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My calico telescope eye, Percy, is struggling to get food, which I know can be a bit of a thing with teles. He is able to find it eventually which normally wouldn't be a problem. However, my ranchu, Dizzy, is super fast and hoovers up most of the food. Pontos and the danios manage to get enough, but poor old Percy struggles just to get one or two pieces whilst Dizzy ends up over eating! So now I have two dilemmas: a fish that isn't eating enough and one that's eating too much. My plan is eventually to move Percy to a tank on his own, but due to monetary contrainsts i can't do that for atleast a month, maybe even two! Is there anything I can do in the mean time?

Edited by devilduck
changing word

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You can float a plastic bowl in the top of the tank, a small mixing bowl or something, and put Percy in there for food times, or get a plastic divider to put in the tank at mealtimes. You can also try teaching Percy to handfeed, I've had to do this with my crowned pearlscale as he can't see what's infront of his nose for some reason and Mariko is a pig!

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You could teach Percy to handfeed from you and then maybe teach him to go to another side of the tank to get food while you feed the others on another side. That way Percy would be trained to go to another side to get food when it hits the bottom while the others are distracted.

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I hear Tele's have a good time picking up hand feeding. ;)

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I have found it so easy to train my teles to hand-feed! All I do is get a small chunk of gel food in my hand and hold it in front of their nose (wherever they are in the tank). They smell it right away and start pecking at my hand trying to find it. Sometimes they have trouble finding it, but I help guide the food to their mouth. Another thing you can do (as Sarah suggests) is get a small bowl that has never been used for anything else and use that to gently scoop up the fish. Remember to be very gentle or they can get too stressed. Then you can feed him separately in the bowl. Both methods work great, but I think hand-feeding is more fun!

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You could teach Percy to handfeed from you and then maybe teach him to go to another side of the tank to get food while you feed the others on another side. That way Percy would be trained to go to another side to get food when it hits the bottom while the others are distracted.

i use both these methods.. i alter the routine a tad so that it confuses the other fish.. but pork chop knows very well what's going on.. for her, here eyesight is not too bad, she's just really slow.. she doesn't fight for food unless it's on the bottom. but now, she prefers to be handfed at the surface.

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I like the hand feeding idea, but last time i tried it the danios just picked it out of my hands. I tried something similar to the bowl idea: I netted Percy and brought the net so the opening was at the waters surface, essentialy dividing him from the rest of the tank. I spinkled some food in but he spent all of the time just trying to swim through the net to get out and I'm afraid it stressed him so would be a bit unsure about doing the same thing with a bowl. Also, last time i tried to 'scoop' a fish, and this was a,long time ago with a different fish, i ended up knocking some of his scales off! :(

What is gel food?

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Oh gel food is a homemade goldfish food that's made with plain unflavored gelatin. That's why it's called 'gel' food. I like it because it's not difficult to make and this way I can know exactly what my fish are eating and hopefully avoid floaty issues that pellet or flakes food sometimes cause. If you're interested in trying it, there's lot of good recipes in the 'goldfish food' section. I use a baby food recipe because it's easier than chopping up fresh veggies.

I think that nets are much more stressful and scary to fish than bowls are. What you can do is gently guide Percy to the surface using your hand, and then carefully put the bowl underneath him and raise the bowl out of the water. I've never had a fish lose scales doing it this way. If he can't focus on eating at first, you can try putting him in the bowl for just a short while each day until he gets more used to it. Then once he is calm about it, you can introduce food into the bowl and he should eat it right up. Soon I think you will find that he knows when it's feeding time and will swim right into the bowl on his own.

Edited by Sakura

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Hand feeding is fun with telescopes, and I think they probably prefer it! :D I would suggest using a feeding ring just for your telescope and train him to feed there, and feed your others at the other side of the tank where they wouldn't bother him.

-Dennis.

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Thanks guys, that's some great advice. I'll definitely try the bowl thing at breakfast time tomorrow and will look into these gel foods. I would love for my fish to learn to eat out of my hand too but I find it so difficult, although i do like a challenge. :D

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PF, just keep them hungry and they'll learn to hand feed in no time! My opinion is the telescopes are much tamer and will adapt to the hand feeding method in no time!

-Dennis

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Just tried handfeeding him now and he's terrified of my hand! Won't go anywhere near me, and when I move my hand closer to him he visibly panics and will do anything to get away. :'(

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Teaching something lilke eating form a bowl, in a net or from your hand takes time. Just keep offereing. And wait for him to come to you.

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My tele's are all over my hands whenever I'm in the tank, even the fry are getting use to my hands now :) But it does take patience... but so worth it :) you have lots of good suggestions above,you just have to figure out which will work best for you :) good luck :)

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My lionhead and ranchus are little attention whores - I can't put a net in their tank but what they swim into it. I can't use a vac in their tank either and have to be careful when I am scooping out water. Last night my daughter (who didn't like them at first) put her hand in the tank and curled her fingers - Aslan (lionhead) went right into her hand and waited to be picked up-she didn't lift him out of the water, but she was thrilled. My shubunkins were in a bad situation before I got them (42 fish in 45 gal hex). They were very nervous at first, but with patience and every day attention, now they will eat from my hand and actually swim up and beg and perform. Right now I can hear them sucking up the marbles on the bottom and spitting them on to the bottom to try and get my attention. I am lucky enough to have 2 tanks because if everyone were together I would definitely have to separate for feeding.

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