Newbie Reassurance - Fish, Flow and Feeding...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by jamesonuk, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. jamesonuk

    jamesonukValued MemberMember

    OK my tank cycled earlier in the week so a 70% water change later I dosed ammonia to 1ppm again. Checked in the morning and ammonia / nitrites were 0 and nitrates < 10 so headed off to the LFS.

    Came back with 10 Dwarf Rainbowfish and slowly acclimated them. They seemed pretty happy if a little timid. By today they seemed super confident and swimming around but they are mainly hanging out in the bottom third of the tank (I believe that should be in top third?)

    Today as ammonia / nitrites / nitrates still the same I have added 6 black neon tetra and 5 sterbai corys (will add same again next week). All seem pretty happy and the tetras have stayed almost exactly in the middle of the tank but one particular cory seems very happy with the space he has and is the one fish spending the most time in the top half of the tank....

    I was wondering whether this was because the flow was too high for them up top. I dropped in two flakes of Tetra Min and then did a lap of the tank in a few seconds. I thought it might be the light but the dwarf rainbows are doing exactly the same with the lights off.

    I had some concerns about flow ( and ended up putting the spray bar across the side which is generating a healthy flow up top.

    Is this likely to just be then getting used to the tank and getting brave enough to venture up top (where there is less cover)?? I am getting some Amazon Frogbit floating plants in the next few days which should provide a little more cover for them.

    The rainbows had a couple of nibbles of the Tetra Min but I ended up trying (badly) to fish the flakes out as they did not get eaten. Today I got some New Era pellets (both Tropical and Catfish). I dropped a couple of tropical ones in and again a couple of nibbles but they just ended up on the bottom. I added a couple of catfish pellets and it is these the rainbows ended nibbling on.

    So is the rainbows staying down the bottom something I should investigate? Is it possible they are just building up confidence or is it likely the flow is making them avoid the top?

    In terms of feeding is this just a case of letting them feed when they are hungry? They seemed to ignore the Tetra Min flakes but did pay more interest to the New Era pellets (but ended up mainly eating the catfish ones)
  2. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Bumping this up for you
  3. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    Hi. Let's start with what size tank and what filter?

  4. tfreema

    tfreemaFishlore VIPMember

    One thing I do for my top feeders is turn the filtration off for feeding time to allow them time to eat before it all gets thrown to the bottom in the current. I found I was over feeding trying to make sure they had enough.

    It does take fish time to adjust to new tank settings and a change in water flow. I set up a big 120g for my Ctenopoma's that were in a 55g and hang out in the top half and was very excited. Being a 120, I really beefed up filtration and water flow to prevent dead spots. They hid at the bottom behind stuff for three weeks. I thought I had really messed up! But, they came around and are out and about a lot now inhabiting their top half in their bamboo plants. I just pointed the jets in a way that there are some calmer waters at each end.
  5. OP

    jamesonukValued MemberMember

    All mainly down to now quite knowing what to expect :)

    I guess if they were hiding or looking timid I would think they were just getting used to tank but I just stuck my hand in to move a stone on the bottom and they didn't even flinch. The rainbows are just not going more than halfway up the tank and are spending a fair amount of time not far from the substrate.

    The rainbows actually seem to be eating the catfish pellets off the bottom (leaving the corys with no food). The tetra don't want to pick food off the bottom but do seem to be on the lookout for food. I added a few Tetra Min flakes and these pretty rapidly descended. They seem to pick at the flakes whilst floating but as soon as they stop on some driftwood or hit the bottom they are not interested. I will turn the filter off next time. How long would flakes normally take to reach the bottom?

    I also plan on making the spray bar longer to reduce the current and make it go back to front rather than across the length of the tank.

    Might be another silly question but how would I actually tell if fish were hungry? The tetras seemed a lot more alert and searching when food was added where as the corys are just being the same mental swimmers they were before the food was added.
  6. tfreema

    tfreemaFishlore VIPMember

    If the filtration is off most of the flakes will float on top for some time. As soon as you think the top feeders have eaten enough, turn the filter back on and the flakes will quickly go down where the cories will find them. Start out with small amounts to gauge how much they will eat without food being left over.

    I think my fish are always hungry, lol. Seriously they are opportunity eaters and many will gorge themselves if given too much food.
  7. OP

    jamesonukValued MemberMember

    I turned off the filter, added a few flakes and no one was interested. After 10 minutes I turned it back on and tetras started on the flakes almost immediately.

    Still haven't actually seen any corys feeding. The catfish pellets are being hoovered up by the rainbowfish and they seem to have no limit to their appetite. Anything I can do to make sure the corys get some?
  8. tfreema

    tfreemaFishlore VIPMember

    There is food getting by the others. The cories are good foragers of the substrate. They will find food. If you notice an out of the way place the cories hang out like behind a rock, in a cave, etc, place a pellet or two in those spots while the rainbow fish are working on others.

    I am not familiar with rainbow fish. Maybe they are actually mid and not top dwellers??
  9. OP

    jamesonukValued MemberMember

    Everything I have read about the dwarf rainbows says they are middle / upper dwellers. They are however picking off the pellets from the substrate. When a few pellets are left around the corys don't get round to them and the rainbows come back 5 minutes later and finish them off.

    Will definitely try putting some in a cave and behind some of the plants.

    Everything scares you into not overfeeding so perhaps I am not putting enough food in? In what ball park would be enough for two feedings a day? Are we talking a few flakes in total, a few flakes per fish or more?
  10. tfreema

    tfreemaFishlore VIPMember

    I still struggle with how much to feed and I have been doing this for years.. I try to stick to the 2.5 minutes rule, but I have nocturnal loaches, etc that only come out to eat once the lights are out so I make sure they have their pellets when the lights go out. I only feed once a day right before lights out.

    It depends on the fish as far as how many flakes, especially the size of the fish so that is a judgment call.
  11. OP

    jamesonukValued MemberMember

    Looks like it will be trial and error but still not sure the Corys are eating.

    Put in a more flakes than I had been with the filter off and the tetras and rainbows ate it all within a few minutes. Whilst they were busy I dropped some catfish pellets in the corner where the corys seem to like and they did nibble some.

    Tonight though the same as before. The tetras and rainbows munched through the flakes but the corys largely ignored the food. I left it a good 10 minutes but the rainbows ended up finding the food in the corner and started on that after they had finished the flakes.

    The corys look fine and are really active just don't seem interested in food but I have hardly seen them eat a thing. Will see if I can put the pellets directly into a cave they go in but when food has floated in there before I have seen the rainbows get in there too......

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