I Can't Feed All My Fishes...help!!

  • #1
hI guys! I need advice on how to feed ALL my fishes!!

I own a marble walking catfish, spotted raphael catfish and a black ghost knifefish in my 55 gallon tank. They are all around 8-9cm so there's plenty of space for them now

I used to be able to selectively feed them using a tweezer in a much smaller tank before I relocated them to my 55g. But now I can't seem to feed all of them given their super different personalities.

The marbled walking catfish is super active even in the day. Whenever I drop food into the tank like bloodworms or pellets, it'll be the first to swim all around the tank to locate the food. And most of the time successfully find it before any other fishes can get to it..

The spotted raphael catfish is basically missing most of the time hiding under driftwood or at some corner I can't see. You'd probably not realise that the spotted raphael even exists in the tank unless you walk past the tank in the middle of the night and see it out of hiding, sometimes just laying still on the sand. And I've observed it only comes out when lights are totally out and swim around slowly to try to look for food. If there's even a faint beam of light somewhere it will quickly go back into its hiding spot.

The bgk is somewhere in the middle, sometimes hiding for afew good hours in the plants and sometimes it will just float around slowly hoping to find food.

So now I have a problem feeding my fishes because even though they're mostly nocturnal it doesn't matter if I feed them in the day/night, the walking catfish will just swim around and gobble up whatever food there is. If the bgk gets lucky then it might be able to find some bloodworms before the catfish gets to it. The spotted raphael basically loses out every single time because it seems like it's sleeping/hiding 90% of the time ever since I got it from the lfs.

I need some advice on how to make sure they all get food because all I'm seeing is the walking catfish with a huge stomach and the rest are all in hiding/too slow whenever I place food into the tank. Should I buy those long tweezers mainly used for planted tanks to feed my fishes selectively? Or is there another way? Please help!!

Here's a picture of my set up!

  • #2
I usually try to give them some food that will take a while to eat.
I had a tank with two bristlenose plecos and the male would always chase the female away from any food, so if she found food first, he'd just chase her away and eat it himself. I made sure to give him an algae wafer first to occupy him and then I'd feed the female. This way they both got something. However, this is not really possible with food that's eaten very fast.
What happens if you dump food right in front of the fish that are slower at finding food?
  • #3
Your tank doesn't have much cover at all. Try adding more plants and/or driftwood to give the fish more confidence. Cause right now their only spot to feel secure is behind those two plants or wedged under the driftwood.
  • #4
Getting a good community together is more than avoiding fighting, as you see. You like some very cool fish, but they probably should be in different tanks because the feeding issue isn't going to go away.
The walking catfish should quickly outgrow the tank and force the issue - that will be a big fish that will make your tank small. It happens fast. He/she can reach 18 inches, and will need room to move. At this moment, a 55 is fine, but moments pass quickly.
Daniel van Wyk
  • #5
I would like to add that tank is to small for a ghost knife fish it needs a 150 gallon tank minimum
  • #6
Raphael catfish don't come out during the day, so it will never get fed with a Clarias in the same tank. Knifefish should not be kept with catfish, for the same reason, and also because Clarias can be very aggressive. Basically you have 3 fish that should not be kept together.

Clara's can grow an inch per week, so that will force the issue soon.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks for all the advice, and yes I know very well that 2 of the fishes I own can grow up to a really large size and it's just been slightly over a month since I bought them that's why I'm using this 55 gallon tank that has been laying around at home for quite sometime. I'm prepared to get a much bigger tank for them soon when the time comes but that's just the least of my worries now.

If I put food directly infront of the bgk it'll eat it immediately but for the raphael it doesn't seem to respond at all unless it's already swimming around when it's dark.

For now I'll add more plants and maybe a few pieces of driftwood and see how it goes If it doesn't work I might rehouse the raphael into a separate tank and get afew more of them, I heard they like companions of their own?

Anyway regarding the issue of the bgk and clarias, I've read that they should be able to get along fine as long as the tank is large enough for them to have their own personal space and if they are of similar sizes so that one of them wouldn't get bullied because of smaller size or something.
Is that true? Or is it no matter whatever I do it's gonna be a 100% chance of them attacking each other in the future?..

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