How Do I Feed Tetras Without Making A Mess?

chadcf

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Before adding the cardinal tetras life was pretty simple. I'd sprinkle a little NLS small fish formula in for the zebra danios who would hungrily devour it all at the surface. Then I'd toss in some sinking pellets for the cories and they'd all come out and work on it.

Then I added cardinal tetras. These guys, so far, just hang out in the middle of the tank and don't come up to the surface to eat. So to feed them I've had to get food to fall down through the water. I've done this by either crushing up flakes and putting in enough that some will fall through past the danios on top, or soaking small pellets in a bit of water and using a pipette to "shoot" it down into the water past the danios.

This works fine to feed the tetras, the problem is that if I get food sinking for them to grab, they never grab it all. It ends up making a mess with excess food falling all over the bottom of the tank. While the cories and shrimp get some of it, the ramshorn snails seem to especially enjoy this and their population is blossoming out of control thanks to all the extra food making it to the bottom.

Is there any way I can feed these tetras without leaving excess food all over the bottom of the tank? I've kinda given up on ever getting rid of the snails but I'd love to not feed them excessively to keep their numbers in check at least a little...
 

Awaken_Riceball_

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I think the tetras do not recognize the food as food; therefore, a possible way around this is to soak the food in garlic. I had great success in getting fish that does not recognize pellet as food to eventually eat it! There are other ways, but those are elevated steps, and I recommend starting off with soaking the food in garlic.
 
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chadcf

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Well i don't think that's the issue, they do eat it fine. The problem is I'm finding it about impossible to put in enough food that the danios won't gobble it all up immediately, but not so much that a bunch of extra won't float down to the bottom past the tetras. They DO eat it, it's just that they don't eat it all because it sinks too fast.
 

finnipper59

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It's natural for a school of tetras to school mid way in the tank. I have a school of redeye tetras in my angelfish tank. I also have a healthy school of cories in the tank. They are not given special sinking pellets. They only get the food that falls past the tetras, thus the food gets eaten from the bottom and all the fish are healthy. Stop feeding the cory catfish their own food and the tank will stay cleaner. You'll then only have fish poop to vacuum out when you do water changes.
Before adding the cardinal tetras life was pretty simple. I'd sprinkle a little NLS small fish formula in for the zebra danios who would hungrily devour it all at the surface. Then I'd toss in some sinking pellets for the cories and they'd all come out and work on it.

Then I added cardinal tetras. These guys, so far, just hang out in the middle of the tank and don't come up to the surface to eat. So to feed them I've had to get food to fall down through the water. I've done this by either crushing up flakes and putting in enough that some will fall through past the danios on top, or soaking small pellets in a bit of water and using a pipette to "shoot" it down into the water past the danios.

This works fine to feed the tetras, the problem is that if I get food sinking for them to grab, they never grab it all. It ends up making a mess with excess food falling all over the bottom of the tank. While the cories and shrimp get some of it, the ramshorn snails seem to especially enjoy this and their population is blossoming out of control thanks to all the extra food making it to the bottom.

Is there any way I can feed these tetras without leaving excess food all over the bottom of the tank? I've kinda given up on ever getting rid of the snails but I'd love to not feed them excessively to keep their numbers in check at least a little...
 

bizaliz3

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Cory catfish should absolutely have their own diet. Eating leftover flakes should not be the extent of their diet!
They will help with flakes that make the bottom, but they still need to be fed their own appropriate diet.

edit: I suppose it depends on what kind of flakes are being used....
 

Sergeant Pepper

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I agree that Cory Catfish should have their own diet. I have Khuli Loaches that I often give their own food. I have a pretty balanced community group though so nothing goes to waste. So long as you're doing water changes frequently, it doesn't matter. Plus you shouldn't be feeding more then a fish can eat in a very short period of time. I have two schools of tetras and some other fish that all occupy different parts of the tank. The Silvertips are always at the surface engulfing food. But I also dip a cup of water in with food in it as well on the opposite side of the tank for all the other tank group. I have Honey Gourami and Keyholes that won't really go to the surface because they are shy of the active Silvertips when they eat. Just make sure there's food accessible to both at the same time, and they will get enough.
 

bitseriously

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Looks like you have a couple of HOBs on your tank, yes?
Have you tried dropping the food into the outflow of the hob? That pulls the food below the surface right away, so you don't get it staying on the top. It also quickly disperses it around the tank so it can't be gobbled up by the greediest in the tank.
Another way to do the same is pinch the food in your fingers and place you fingers below the surface before releasing the food. Less tidy, but still works.
 

Ed1957

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I have 7 cardinal tetra and 5 False Julius Cory Cats. I have a small scoop that I put crushed flakes in. Very very small amount. I add tank water. Turn off my filters that are on a power strip. Pour a little of the water into the tank and some of the food goes into the tank and starts to sink. I don't pour any more water in until all the food is eaten. Then pour more water from the scoop. You will get a feel for how much water to put in so all the food doesn't get released at the same time. If any food makes it to the bottom of the tank I stop feeding at that time. My cardinal tetras are always hungry but I feed them very small amounts. I even skip a day about every week. Hope this helps.
 

FriarThomasIII

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Just take a pinch of flake and put it under the water, that way they get what they need, and my danios eat in the mid column and top, so you should be good there.
 
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