Pre-Programmed by Nature?

Discussion in 'Angelfish' started by Zevyn, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. ZevynValued MemberMember

    I recently added 3 Neon Tetras with plans to stock to a school of 12 gradually in my bedroom tank that has two Angelfish (wild type, with the stripes) and the Angelfish went nuts, basically spending every waking moment trying to chase them down and eat them. The Angels are about 7 months old, so they're not fully grown yet, but large enough.

    I knew better. They didn't have Cardinals in stock and I was impatient. I know they hunt them in the wild as their natural prey, but I have a lot of plants. The good news is, they weren't able to catch any of them. The Neon's were able to avoid them 100% of the time.

    I've since moved them to my 10 gallon with my RCS, and they're much happier obviously, leaving my shrimplets alone. They can stay there indefinitely.

    The 55 gallon with the Angelfish has had guppies smaller than these Neons in it, and has always had guppies around the same size as these Neon Tetras, yet the Angelfish have never batted an eyelash at them. This led me to believe that it would be alright to add them, knowing it was one of their preferred foods in the wild.

    Do Angelfish have pre-programmed DNA to hunt and eat Neons? They must have seen the red and blue and just lost any control they had. I've never seen them do that before.

    Lesson learned.
  2. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Donno. Maybe the guppies' tails make them look bigger?

    How far removed from wild stock are they?
  3. Orion5Well Known MemberMember

    Hi! :)

    Angelfish may not be naturally hard-wired to specifically eat neons, but they are indeed predators and as such are able to "size up" their prey. The "if I think it fits in my mouth I'm eating it" sort of thing. I think Eienna is right-- the guppies probably wouldn't fit in their mouths according to their assessment, and so they were left alone. :)
  4. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    Introduction has a lot to do with it also. When fish relate you to food, they expect to be fed. So they are likely already in feeding mode when they see you approach the tank, so they probably think you are feeding them. Also when the fish have their territory staked out, new additions can often get the wrath. I've had better luck introducing small schoolers into the tank at the same time as the angels, or putting the angels in after, but even then they can snap and decide it's time for lunch, so it's a gamble.
  5. ZevynValued MemberMember

    You're absolutely right. I did add them prior to feeding time, and this particular tank gets less human interaction since they're in the bedroom. They get far more excited to see me than my tanks in the living room area.

    I drip-acclimated for 2 hours, and dumped them right in, just the same way I would feed them brine shrimp. I'll go lights out next time, post feeding time, and net them into the tank to try to minimize that reaction.

    Thanks :)

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