The smallest member of my 10 gal. tropical tank is an ember tetra that is slightly larger than 1/4 inch length. It seems like he has grown a little bit in the two months that I have had the tank running, but it is hard to tell. I am starting to get concerned that he might be bullied more by other tetras that are getting bigger... Most of the 7 neons that I have started out around 0.75 inches length and some of them are slightly larger than 1 inch length now. The other 4 ember tetras I have are holding steady in size at around 0.75 inches.
I have watched the runt over the past few weeks to make sure he is eating!
When I feed in the pinch of tropical flakes, i make sure to crush the flakes down (by rubbing them between cleanly rinsed *not with soap but just a lot of tap water* fingers) so that they are around 0.5-1.0mm in diameter before placing them in the tank. This simple technique make it easier for small tetras to eat the flakes. The runt has no problem eating the flakes.
When I feed Hikari Micro pellets (the kind made for small mouth fishes), it is a different story. I noticed that the runt usually inhales a pellet and then spits it out a few seconds later!
He will do this several times and maybe out of 7 pellets, only have 2 that it looks like he actually swallowed and not spit out!
I am just curious about this behavior. None of the other tetras spit out the pellets nor flakes as often as the runt does... I want to make sure he grows a little bit so he doesn't get picked on too often!
Just FYI the feeding regimen I use for both my 10 gallon and betta is: feed a pinch of flakes (10 gal only) or few respective pellets (use omega 1 for betta) once per day for 6 days a week; both tanks take a fasting day once per week. I also usually alternate flakes and pellets for the 10 gal and the betta sometimes get freeze dried bloodworms instead of pellets.