Fish Never Seems To Eat

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Slaphammer, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    I've had a red wag platy for about 3 weeks and I've noticed he never seems to eat. At feeding time everybody else comes out and goes crazy but he just swims around seemingly oblivious to the food. He likes to follow my red mickey mouse platy around, who eats like crazy, but seeing his pal eat doesn't seem to give him inspiration to do so himself. It's not that the other fish are stealing his meals--many times I've seen him swim right past flakes and not bother to gulp them down.

    I'm otherwise not seeing any strange behavior from him; he's one of the more shy fish in my community tank but he still comes out and swims with others. He doesn't look underfed, at least not to my noob eyes when comparing him to my other two platys. So I've been assuming that he must be going back later and getting missed food from the bottom of the tank or something.

    Should I be concerned, or are some fish just not into feeding time?

  2. XanderWell Known MemberMember

    He may not be a particular fan of the flake. What brand/formula is it?

    Have you tried a variety of foods? Frozen/freeze dried foods are usually hard to pass up. Live foods are usually irresistible. When faced with picky eaters, some people even use garlic to add flavour to the flake and pellet foods they feed their fish.

  3. Tiny_TanganyikansWell Known MemberMember

    Platy stop eating when stressed. He may be harrassed and/or feel crowded. They're generally pigs and eat any food offered. When they're ill or stressed they will eat much less or not at all.

    Are his fins clamped? Do you notice any wounds or wear and tear specifically around his tail and snout? Does he hide at the bottom or in one spot mostly?

  4. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    I've been giving them TetraColor flakes, but I also have some Aqueon flakes that came with my aquarium kit - I'll try those next time and see if any difference. I've also done some freeze-dried brine shrimp, can't remember the brand offhand but the container has a bunch of cubes so I crumble up a small part of a cube (it mostly turns to dust, might be over-crumbling). I have some freeze-dried bloodworms too but they don't seem to work as well because they mostly seem to just float on top, the filter return doesn't push them down and all around like with flakes or brine shrimp. Most of my fish rarely go to the top so don't even know the worms are available.

    I haven't noticed anything physically wrong with him but I'll try and take a closer look. He doesn't stay in one spot although I'd say he stays out of sight more than most of the others--he's been that way as long as I've had him. But at times he swims all over the tank, especially when he's following the mickey mouse platy around. Nobody is bullying him at all, at least as far as I've seen.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  5. r15u5Valued MemberMember

    I would try frozen cubes typically stocked at you LFS. Pretty hard to resist ^_^
  6. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    I used the other flakes I have this morning, and he was actively swimming around but ignored the food. I then put some brine shrimp in. He went up and sorta nudged/sniffed a floating chunk, but moved on - I assume because it was a little too large to just gulp down. There were plenty of smaller chunks but he ignored them.

    So I'm not sure if he's not eating, or if he's just eating anything left over when I'm not watching. He's not showing a lack of energy or anything, which makes me think he's getting food somehow. Several of my fish will periodically go after algae on the decorations, but I've never seen him do that.
  7. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    Unfortunately it's usually a bad sign. Watch him close for symptoms of disease. Fish doctor is a skill we have to learn to be above average fish keepers.
  8. Tiny_TanganyikansWell Known MemberMember

    Are his fins clamped? Down? Or are they up and spread out. It only takes a couple attacks on a less dominate male to stress him. They happen quickly so you might of missed it. Can you separate him to a hospital tank? A small storage bin with a filter will do the trick. Somewhere he's alone and can be monitored and fed correctly. Some time apart to grow, get healthy might be enough to reintroduce him. It will also make spotting any other health problems easier.
  9. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    I don't think there's anything unusual with his fins but I will take a closer look and compare to my other 4 platy.

    Does it make sense that he would act normally in all ways except eating? I would think he'd be hunkered in a corner or on the substrate, which is what I've seen others do when they're freaked out by a water change or something.

    I don't think I have the makings for a temp tank handy, but if not a small secondary tank doesn't cost that much. I do have a spare filter and heater, just not sure about the actual tank.
  10. Tiny_TanganyikansWell Known MemberMember

    Any (safe) water proof container will work.

    And yes they will act pretty regular when they're sick. He could be impacted, have a parasite, stressed.. they can survive a long time without food.. and if he does pick at leftovers even longer. His health will degrade over time. Platys especially stop eating when there's an issue at least in my exexperience. Not eating has always been an early warning sign for another problem.
  11. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    Would it make sense to get one of those quarantine/breeding thingies which attaches to the main tank, so they're separated from other fish but still sharing the same water?
  12. Tiny_TanganyikansWell Known MemberMember

    Well.. if it's one of the ones that hang on the outside... but if it is an illness/parasite you would have to medicate the entire tank still.

    The ones that hang on the inside will jusy make it more of a target and cause more stress.

    Just get a small storage bin 1 $-8 $ at a dollar store or Wal-Mart. A little sponge filter or hang on filter with some of your established media and you have a cheap and viable hospital tank
  13. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    For the freeze dried blood worms you need to soak them for 10-15 minutes, in a couple tablespoons of tank water, to rehydrate them before feeding to the fish. They will sink below the surface that way. Also you don't want them to rehydrate inside the fish. It can cause serious internal injuries if that happens.
  14. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    Uh oh, might have missed that in the instructions on the side of the container. Thanks! Does anything need to be done with the dry cubes of brine shrimp? I've just been crumbling them between my fingers, and maybe only 1/3 cube at a that rate it will take me a few years to use up this container. :)
  15. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Not that I am aware of. I bought freeze dried brine shrimp and only use it every once in awhile. It makes my tank smell bad afterwards. I instead use frozen brine shrimp once or twice a week instead.

    What are your water parameters? He might be the first one to have symptoms of an illness. First step is always check your water and do a water change even if you don't think you need it.

    Edit: oh and as far as instructions go, most of them say they soften quickly in tank water. Well it takes 10-15 min to soften and my fish aren't that patient. Someone here in the forum pointed it out to me when I first joined, so just passing the info along..
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  16. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    Tonight I saw him eating algae off some leaves and also picking some stuff off the sand, so maybe things are taking a turn for the better. Didn't see him go for any flakes though.

    My nitrites/nitrates are 0, and my ammonia dropped from 0.5 to 0.25 to 0 over the last two days. I did a big water change about 4 days ago, and then a small one 2 days ago.
  17. SlaphammerNew MemberMember

    I isolated the platy for about a day. I saw him chewing on a bloodworm but he wouldn't eat the flakes I put in. But the next morning, the flakes were gone. So I decided to just put him back in the main tank since I did see him eat that bloodworm. I'm happy to report that he is now eating like a pig, just like the other platy. He is noticeably smaller than the other platy I got at the same time, but I'm hoping he'll see a growth spurt now that he's eating.

    So I guess he just needed a lack of competition to give him enough time to convince himself to start eating the flakes. Oh, side note - we'd been struggling on a name for him but he is now Houdini based on the fact that he escaped the net a couple times when I was trying to isolate him.

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