Post by rainbowfish on Nov 22, 2019 22:24:21 GMT -6
I have professed my distain for pellet food on this site more than a few times. My argument being mainly that it sinks too fast and once it gets to the bottom, especially in a tank with gravel it’s often ignored and rots. I have had people tell me that I’m not trying the right brand or even the ludicrous suggestion that I was “throwing it in too hard”. Yeah the rainbowfish can’t hit my fastball! Although they will eat it if I try and put in the amount they should eat for the day at one time a bunch of it always hits the bottom. This is rarely the case with flake food though which is why I prefer it over the pellet foods. As far as pellets go I’ve tried Xtreme Community PeeWee and Catfish PeeWee, Brine Shrimp direct’s pellets including Freshwater “slow sinking Pellets”, and GP Advanced (800-1,200u), NorthFin Community (0.5 mm), New Life Spectrum “Grow”, Sera ImmunPro, regular size and mini for younger fish, and ApBreed “TDO ChromaBoost” small. Remember if you do feed pellet food make sure it’s fairly small so that you don’t end up with a bow that has a pellet lodged in its mouth. As pellet swells it will break their jaw. Most of the bows will eat pellets but as stated a lot gets missed UNLESS I come back and feed it several times giving them just small amounts that they will eat in like 30 seconds BEFORE it hits the bottom. The problem with this type of feeding CAN BE that one or two of the bigger fish always mobs each addition and then they get way more than their fair share of the food. Yes this happens also when I feed frozen foods but since it’s eaten with more gusto I only have to make a few trips back to each tank, not 3-4 like I do with pellet food. On those off days that I’m feeding flake/pellet I want to feed fast, that’s the advantage of feeding a dry food. With over 90 aquariums some days you just want to feed and go! These days I’ve gone more to freeze dried foods like bloodworms (JEHMCO) or freeze dried Mysis (Brine Shrimp Direct) for the smaller fish. Freeze dried plankton from JEHMCO is good for larger fish too but they seem to be out of stock most of the time at JEHMCO these days. Freeze dried foods have the advantage of staying at the surface for a much longer time. I also feed my Corydoras the freeze dried tubifex worms using the cone feeder. If I’m trying to feed FD tubifex to my rainbowfish I feel I need to tear it up into smaller pieces. Otherwise one rainbowfish swims around with the entire cube trying to eat it all.
Flake foods – I really liked XTreme (Community Crave) flake food but they really priced themselves out of the market. And I’ve tried a lot of flake foods available on the market, really too many to list here. If it smells good to me and the fish like it and eat it readily then it is an acceptable flake food. One flake that I have been trying lately is Brine Shrimp Direct’s “Cool” flake foods. The rub with flake food has been that it’s made at a high temperature and that destroys a lot of vitamins (especially C) and things like astaxanthin. Pellets are made with a cooler process than most flakes so in that aspect they might be better for your fish. I have been specifically trying Cool Mysis and Cool Mix which is a blend of five different cool flake foods. My fish do like it. The flakes can be kind of big but I break them up before putting it into the aquarium. I may buy the 1 lb bulk size but I only keep a small portion in the fish room at one time. The rest, like you should do with ALL prepared dried fish foods, is tightly sealed in the freezer. If you want to try the Cool Flake food from Brine Shrimp Direct it’s now 20% off until Cyber Monday Dec 2nd.
But what got me into this writing frenzy was an email from my mentor and friend Charley Grimes. Those of you that have been around the organized hobby I’m sure know Charley quite well as he has been in huge demand as a speaker for about the last 35 years or so. I had sent him some Rhadinocentrus ornatus “Seary’s Creek” to play with and he was noticing the feeding pattern difference between them and “rainbowfish” specifically Melanotaenia and Chilatherina. He like me has noticed that the Melanotaenia and Chilatherina will often ignore food on the bottom of the tank, even a bare bottom tank. He was thinking about why this may be so. Below are his comments. Those of you that know Mr. Grimes, please start “Charley voice” now.
“So far I have come up with three theories regarding this feeding behavior:
1) the eye placement or structure prevents Melanotaenia and Chilatherina from seeing anything on the bottom clearly enough to consider it as a food source
2) the mouth structure of Melanotaenia and Chilatherina prevents them from feeding off the bottom.
3) both Melanotaenia and Chilatherina are dumbasses.
At this point in time, I think that the #3 theory is the strongest”.
It should be noted that Charley isn’t the first to think that theory #3 is probably the answer. The ANGFA group has often labeled “Rainbowfish” as the “Blondes of Sahul”. Sahul being the ancient land mass of Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania and “rainbowfish” as consisting of Melanotaenia, Chilatherina and Glossolepis genera. So far in my opinion Rhads should be left out of the “dumber than a box of rocks” grouping.
If a rainbowfish constantly swims into your net when you are trying to catch the barb or the swordtail, this may be true. When you are trying to specifically catch them, especially Chilatherina this is a whole other matter.
When a tight fitting cover is required for the top of the tank to keep them from being carpet fish chips, this may be true.
When you realize that you should paint or cover the sides of your aquarium to keep the bows from whacking their noses or even knocking themselves out, this may be true. This is especially true if you have several aquariums side by side. They will often continue to “try and swim” to the next aquarium and beat themselves silly, especially if there is food in the other aquarium.
When you realize that no matter how much food you put into the tank at least one will continue to eat (unless the food is on the bottom), probably to the point of killing itself, this may be true.
And finally when you realize that you have to limit hardscape that has small holes in rocks, wood or ornaments because rainbowfish will lodge themselves into said hole and die, this may be true.
“My rainbowfish” might be the prettiest tropical fish in the hobby but one thing is for sure. They were nowhere in sight when the brains were passed out. I’ll continue to keep them safe from themselves and will continue to be amazed at their wonderful colors, swimming agility and joyfulness.