Filter off at feeding time?

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Sorry for what might be a daft question, but should I turn off my filter at feeding times, to stop the feed getting blasted round the tank?

I just got my first-ever fish (harlequins) two days ago, and it's not obvious that they're getting any food. I'm guessing it's because they're not used to their new surroundings, and/or that they're not getting a chance with the filter going. Then again, I did try with the filter off this morning, and they still didn't seem interested.
 

Steve Smith

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It might take them a few days to settle in before you see them actually going for the food. They'll need to get used to the idea :) I don't normally turn the filter off on my tanks. The fish will happily hunt out food on the substrate/plants when they want it.

I'd say, if they aren't taking the food straight away, feed less, but more times a day. small amount in the morning, small amount in the evening etc. That way, if they're not eating straight away you will hopefully have less food build up in those hard to reach areas.
 

George Farmer

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Like Steve says, with small fish, feed less qty. but more frequently. New fish may take a week or so to get used to new foods.

When I'm feeding flake I crush it up a little between my fingers and put my hand under the water near the filter outlet. This then blows the tiny pieces of food around the tank, allowing the fish to feed from the water column, or off plant leaves/decor etc.

Midwater swimming fish generally do not feed from the surface so this method seems more natural to me. It also lessens the risk of 'oily' surfaces caused by protein build-up.
 

Steve Smith

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George Farmer said:
When I'm feeding flake I crush it up a little between my fingers and put my hand under the water near the filter outlet. This then blows the tiny pieces of food around the tank, allowing the fish to feed from the water column, or off plant leaves/decor etc.
I've started doing exactly this after moving my remaining group of fish to a temporary setup. Seems to work well, and I'm actually seeing them feed (they're quite timmid little micro rasbora). I'll stick to doing it this way when I get them setup in their new home :)
 
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Thanks for the quick (and reassuring) replies, Steve + George.

I'm using Hikari Micro Wafers, which are not wafers at all, but really tiny pellets. I did see one or two fish bite at them and promptly spit them out this morning, so that's progress. And I did ask at the fish shop what they were feeding them, so I could get some of the same - when they told me 'Oh, they'll take anything', I didn't push the point. Next time I will.

As an aside, I'm delighted and stunned by the colours of the harlequins. Having only seen them in shops, I wasn't expecting all the glorious pinks - I also wasn't expecting them to colour-up so fast. Do ANY shops really do fish colouration justice, or are they just too stressful environments to let people see what fish look like at their best?

Perhaps the other surprise is how well a group of just ten look. It's making me re-think whether I need a shoal of 20-30, as originally planned.
 

OllieNZ

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paul.in.kendal said:
Perhaps the other surprise is how well a group of just ten look. It's making me re-think whether I need a shoal of 20-30, as originally planned.
Ive got 20 and put them in 10 at a time 20 definitly looks better than 10, 30 wolud look really good :D

Regards

Ollie
 

OllieNZ

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Its 4ft x 1ft x 16 inches (wxdxh)
Been meaning to start a journal for a while. I will have to wait for new camera batteries now, so maybe in the next couple of days.

Regards

Ollie
 
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Temp

Well guys, thanks again. I finally got down my LFS this morning, and got some freeze-dried bloodworm, some Tetramin flake and some brineshrimp to hatch.

After a water-change and a feed of Tetramin and bloodworm, the harlequins have completely changed colour! From a healthy fuchsia-pink tinge, they're now strongly flushed purple - amazing! They're also super-active, flashing dorsal fins and chasing each other. I wonder if the two degree temperature drop (unintended) during the water-change has perked them up?

One other thing - there's a lot of salt in the brine-shrimp mix. How do I handle them once hatched? Is it OK to introduce any of the salt into the tank, or should I strain the mix?

Thanks again - I'm loving these fish!
 
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Quick update - the harlequins are now feeding voraciously, and coloration is incredible, with purples coming through strongly. Thanks again for excellent UKAPS guidance.
 
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Well...
Here's a naff one using the built-in flash. Because the flash is being reflected off the scales staight back into the camera, all the colour's washed out. They don't look like this - honest! I'll try again this evening once the tank lights come on.

While my beloved and ageing Fuji Finepix S602 Zoom is fine for general use, it really can't cope with this stuff. I'm starting to think about treating myself to nice DSLR - and some lighting...

 

George Farmer

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paul.in.kendal said:
I'm starting to think about treating myself to nice DSLR - and some lighting...
Be careful! :lol:

If you think the planted tank thing is addictive, then photographing them opens up a whole new dimension, as I'm sure you're aware.

Go for it mate. The latest entry-level DSLRs have an incredible spec these days. Just buy the best glass you can afford, is my advice, then you can upgrade the body if/when required.
 
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Oh George, I know, I know! Spending dosh on interesting stuff is all too easy! Agreed on the glass. When it comes to bridges and compacts I'm always amazed how much people fork out for cameras that simply can't let a lot of light in, but are lighter/smaller/prettier than the rest.

But you know me, I've got plenty of researching to do before I get my wallet out! :lol:
 

Ed Seeley

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Re: Temp

paul.in.kendal said:
One other thing - there's a lot of salt in the brine-shrimp mix. How do I handle them once hatched? Is it OK to introduce any of the salt into the tank, or should I strain the mix?
Once the shrimp have hatched follow this process:

Turn the air off (the orange shrimp will congregate usually near the bottom while the shells will float to the top).

Drain off the water from the bottom with the orange shrimp is onto a brine shrimp seive (or a handkerchief will do a good job) to separate the shrimp from the brine.

I then rinse quickly in a container of tap or tank water before feeding them to the fish.

If I'm feeding fry then I tend to suck the shrimp up into a pipette or syringe so I can squirt the shrimp towards where the fry are congregating (for cichlids) or into the tubs the fry are in (for killifish).

Some unhatched eggs will be in with the shrimp but usually not too many.
 
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