Geophagus Surinamensis - Not Eating

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by johnt11, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. johnt11

    johnt11Valued MemberMember

    I bought a Geophagus Surinamensis on Saturday. Its now Wednesday and I haven't seen it eat.

    It looks and acts fine. No hiding or aggression and has its dorsal fin up so doesn't appear too stressed or scared. It follows my severum around and they almost seem to be playing.

    The aquarium is 120G and there is the Geo, a Red Serverum, an Electric Blue Acara, 4 Bolivian Rams and a Bristlenose Pleco. All the other fish are absolutely fine eating and growing well.

    I have tried all sorts of different foods but the Geo simply wont swim down to the sand to take them.

    The ammonia and nitrite are at zero but the nitrates are in the red but little I can do about that due to my tap supply.

    I am treating the water for a fungal infection on the Severum but that has now cleared up and only have one more dose to go (I want to complete the whole treatment schedule).

    I know Geos often do better in groups but I also know of people who have kept them singly with no issues.

    Is this likely to be the Geo just settling in or is there likely to be a deeper issue?

    Could he be eating without me noticing?

    How long can he go without food?

    I have some alternative sinking pellets arriving today but at something of a loss as to what to do with him.
  2. bNissan

    bNissanValued MemberMember

    I would ask the person you bought the fish from what they were feeding it and try that. Otherwise, from what I understand fish can go a couple weeks without eating and still be healthy.

    Hopefully he will eat when he is hungry.
  3. OP

    johnt11Valued MemberMember

    Surely he must be hungry by now??

    I would be more worried if he was acting weird but apart from the lack of eating he seems 100% fine.

  4. chromedome52

    chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    True Geophagus are substrate sifters for the most part, so perhaps he's finding leftovers in the substrate. They also don't normally run to the surface to feed, as their mouth is oriented for bottom feeding.

    Also, the odds of your fish being a real surinamensis are roughly 100,000 to one. The name Surinamensis is often used as a commercial name for Geophagus of many species because they are very similar in appearance. Oddly, the real G. surinamensis is almost non-existent in the hobby; probably less than a dozen experts(mostly in Europe) have the real thing because they went to Surinam and collected them.
  5. OP

    johnt11Valued MemberMember

    I haven't seen him sifting through the substrate for anything.

    I am in the uk but yes I imagine he didn't come out of a river in Surinam.
  6. OP

    johnt11Valued MemberMember

    I tried frozen bloodworm. He went crazy for it. Gave him some live bloodworm yesterday and there was a similar reaction.

    Just need to get him eating other bits and pieces now.

    Any suggestions on anything else I can try?
  7. Gilly

    GillyValued MemberMember

    Bloodworms are actually a really good staple of cichlid diet, so you can safely stick with that. Otherwise, I would try Omega One frozen complete carnivore diet, if you haven't already. It's got bloodworms, brine shrimp, and mysis shrimp.

  8. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    A lot of the Geophagus in the hobby are wild caught. Here, we see a number of Amazon basin species (never surinmensis) coming in a reasonable prices. The fish farms produce them in small numbers, but I expect most are wilds.
    So if that holds, your fish being interested in non processed food makes sense - he will adjust to flake once he starts sifting.
  9. Gilly

    GillyValued MemberMember

    I like frozen foods because they distribute so nicely through the "tiers" of the tank, and there is less "dust" that gets hidden in the cracks and crevices. I also kinda like that I'm not feeding other fish to my fish lol but that's just me. I shave off a small bit of the frozen cube, put it in a little container of warm tank water and let it thaw, then pour it in.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017

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