Cycling and Feeding

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by g3mini, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. g3miniValued MemberMember

    hi everyone!

    i have added 6 (well, now 5, one drowned in the filter and i feel horrible - have a bit of foam in there now...) white cloud minnows to my 36 gallon tank - it's been cycling and my ammonia = 0, nitrite=0.25 (was down to zero before added fish), nitrate 2.5, ph 8.
    i've had the minnows about 4 days now. i bought 'omega one natural protein formula super color' 'food and crush up one large flake (my first two days i think i over-fed them - a pinch was way too much) once a day. they mostly spit the food out and it all ends up settling at the bottom of the tank. or they will put large bits in and hold them then spit out, etc. i thought one was choking it had such a large gob in it's mouth! i chased it with the net to catch it and planned on pulling the food out of it's mouth, but it spit it all back out..LOL)

    first -will they eventually eat this food?

    second - my tank has been cycling for 12 days now - do i need to vacuum the gravel and do a water change this weekend (it will be two weeks then), or do i leave it until the nitrite is back down to zero and ammonia stays at zero? i'm not sure how much cleaning i should do at this point, but all this food is going to the bottom....

    they seem happy enough - they school and swim around alone as well.

    i wish i could put in the panda cories i want so they can start cleaning. i had to move a plastic plant and lots of bits of 'stuff' went all over the tank (i have that white stuff on my driftwood as well). i was told they are very sensitive so i have to wait...ugh.


    edit: hmm, i've been checking on them during the evening and i noticed that the smaller one is off by himself hanging out at the bottom of the tank.....he seems to be poking around at the gravel, but not going up and joining his school at all...i don't see anything unusual on him like white dots or anything....i'm a little worried though because he's not interested in the others and at the bottom
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  2. g3miniValued MemberMember


    ok, so i'm reading everywhere that the rule of thumb is feed your fish what they can eat in 2-5mins. So, I have 7 white cloud minnows now and two tiny endlers livebearers. the wcmms keep spitting their food out. the guppies are eating. today i mixed one flake of Omega One with one or two small flakes of tetra fin and a flake from aqueon and crushed it all up then put it in the tank.
    how can i judge what they will eat in 3 mins when most of it starts falling to the bottom of the tank? i turn off the filter and airstone so that there is no water disruption and they get used to that 'signal' as it being 'dinnertime'. and then of course the wcmm's keep spitting everything out. so in the end what i thought was a teeny amount of food is now all floating down to the bottom and after 5 mins there is nothing left.
    and what's a pinch? i'm feeding way less than a pinch.
    and of course i can't get any bottom feeders (i want panda cories) because my tank is still cycling...
    am i going to have to do 20% water changes every day until they start eating or i get my cories?
    i'm assuming they will eat eventually....
    this is so frustrating...
    thanks in advance
  3. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore.

    Realistically fish need so little to eat. The general rule is that their stomachs are about the size of their eye. Very tiny. I suggest crushing a single flake and add to your tank. If the food is very quickly eaten, then repeat the process.

    As for fish spitting out foods, that does happen. Typically it means the fish is not used to that particular least IME. If you offer a different type of food with each feeding, instead of mixing, you will have an easier time discovering what they like. I also suggest trying a small pellet type food as well.

    When I purchase new fish and they don't take to either the flakes or to the pellets, I will finely mince a garlic clove, add a few drops of water to make a thin paste. The soak their food offering in it before feeding. Fresh garlic is something most fish go nuts over and will usually entice the most finicky species to eat.

    Something else to consider, as your tank is cycling, the fish may be sick from being exposed to the waste. Closely monitor your water parameters. Change as much water as you can daily to keep your fish as healthy as possible.

    Good luck with your tank.

    :;fThreads merged. Please do not start multiple threads on the same subject in different forums. It is much easier for the members to view what may have already been suggested. Thank you.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  4. g3miniValued MemberMember

    thanks for the help.
    i am monitoring my levels. the nitrite today was zero but the ammonia colour was closer to .25 than zero so i did a 20% water change. i will try just one flake and go from there. it seemed like such a measly amount but i am reading it's better to underfeed than overfeed.
  5. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    What I do is to set a timer for three minutes, then feed fish one pinch of fish food, watch them eat, check timer if still running, add another pinch of food, repeat until three minutes is up. I would also buy another fish food and try it to see if your fish like it better. Since you have measurable ammonia or nitrites, you should do a water change now, and not wait till the weekend. Then measure again next day, and repeat water changes until no ammonia and no nitrites. You might also consider feeding your fish even less until you have zero ammonia and zero nitrites again, since leftover food causes ammonia and feeding fish causes them to pee+poop more which causes ammonia, and your beneficial bacteria need to catch up to higher wastes. Fish will not be harmed by less food in short run until your water quality is good. I would not turn off filter and air stone while feeding if I were you (too great a risk of forgetting to turn them back on), this should not be necessary. I found that my fish were not eating much of anything for the first couple of days, and I read that that's a normal reaction to the stress of being moved. However, if your fish continue to not eat, try a different food. Best!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  6. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Try feeding every other day, just a pinch, until this tank is cycled. Definitely do some serious gravel vacs to remove the uneaten food as this can create problems.
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I literally JUST gave this advice :) If the tank is still cycling, I wouldn't feed more than a few times a week. The more you feed the more waste is produced and the harder it is to keep the levels in check. Also, don't add any fish until the tank is cycled either.

    As for your cycle - you've already gone through the ammonia spike? If so, you are about to go through the nitrite spike. Were it my tank, I would not feed the fish for a week, but you could do as lynda said and give them just a PINCH.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  8. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    I just noticed that you want to get panda cories ultimately. I also want to get cory catfish, but I do not want panda cories because I read that they are more sensitive than coridoras anaeus or the salt and pepper cories, for example. Also as someone else already pointed out, cories do not clean the tank. They do eat food that falls on the bottom, but they also have a limit as to how much they should eat, and thus one still needs to be careful not to over feed them. You will still need to do water changes after you get bottom feeders. However, cories are useful in that they for example burrow in sand, and thus one does not need to stir up the sand oneself (something I have actually neglected doing in my tank thus far - oops!). Do you know that cories prefer sand to gravel, but if you have gravel, it needs to be smooth not sharp so that they don't get hurt? Also there is a misconception that some people have that cories eat algea, but they do not - just FYI. Best!

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