My Jack Dempsey won't eat feeder fish...? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-27-2011, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question My Jack Dempsey won't eat feeder fish...?

Story. When I was little, my dad was really in to fish and he got a Jack Dempsey. But over time, he became less and less interested in it, and started paying less attention to the fish. The tank is in his room, and I was never allowed to mess with it, or he would get angry. Over the years the fish hasn't received the proper care it's needed, and hasn't been fed live feeder fish for ages. He's been receiving less than optimal treatment for about 9 years now...

But, now that I'm super interested in the fish hobby (and after a huge screaming argument with my dad...), the fish has been getting the care it deserves: food every day, regular cleanings, a scheduled photoperiod, etc. The fish was super shy, but after slowly working with him, he's started to warm up to me and doesn't hide in fear all the time. It's a story on it's way to a happy ending. =)

He's doing fine now, but the one thing I cannot correct is this fish's appetite for live fish. No matter what I do, I cannot get him to eat them. It's like he's completely forgotten what to do with them. I've had goldfish and rosy red minnows living in his tank for months and he won't touch them. I swear, I could put him in my community tank, and every one would be perfectly happy. The only foods I can get him to eat are sinking foods. He's being fed Hikari's Massivore Diet pellets right now because he won't eat anything else.


So here's my question: IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN GET MY JACK DEMPSEY TO EAT FEEDER FISH AGAIN?

I'd love to start giving him a more healthy diet, and the massivore pellets are killing my bank account... Please help me, people of the forum!

55 gallon
Paracheirodon innesi - neon tetras
Pantodon buchholzi - African butterfly fish
Hoplosternum littorale - hoplo catfish
Erpetoichtys calabaricus - ropefish
??? - spiny eel
Bunocephalus cf. coracoideus - banjo catfish

Pomacea bridgesii - apple snail
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-27-2011, 10:36 PM
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Feeder fish are one of the worst things you can feed your fish period. Especially gold fish and rosy reds which are crawling with disease and if left with your jack will drastically increase the bio load. PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR JACK FEEDER FISH! It is much healthier for him to eat pellets. NLS is another great brand I feed my cichlids and they love is. It is also good to supplement with frozen foods like bloodworms and krill. Be very fortunate your jack will still eat pellets because many fish become addicted to feeders and will refuse much healthier pellet foods and frozen foods.

Oh and take those rosy reds out. They very well might introduce disease to your jack.

If you absolutely want to feed feeder fish DON't use goldfish and rosy reds which are kept in overcrowded tanks and are crawling with disease. Try ghost shrimp or guppies and make sure you quarentine all feeder fish for atleast a couple of weeks.

"responsible fish keeper?... Didn't know there was any other kind"

I am not retarded I just can't spell
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-28-2011, 12:34 AM
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I agree. The pellets he's getting are a more nutritious diet than feeders are. Since JD's are omnivores you may want to supplement with fresh veggies or a veggie pellet/wafer. But you don't need feeder fish and in fact, as stated, they can be carriers of disease and may do more harm.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-28-2011, 11:12 AM
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Same as above, eating feeder fish is like eating Doritos for your Jack. Hikari pellets or NLS are probably the best thing you could feed him.
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-28-2011, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Ah wow, I thought he would be getting nutrition from the feeders he could not get elsewhere. The feeder fish have been taken out a long time ago, but they were living in there for a decent amount of time. I do feed him algae wafers occasionally too, and he also eats them right up. I'm glad that he's already been getting a healthy diet then, but man do I wish the pellets were cheaper...ugh. Thanks everyone.

55 gallon
Paracheirodon innesi - neon tetras
Pantodon buchholzi - African butterfly fish
Hoplosternum littorale - hoplo catfish
Erpetoichtys calabaricus - ropefish
??? - spiny eel
Bunocephalus cf. coracoideus - banjo catfish

Pomacea bridgesii - apple snail
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-28-2011, 01:58 PM
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If it helps you don't have to get huge pellets. You can feed a smaller pellet size which is actually easier for your fish to swallow and it's less mess. Plus always buy in bulk.

"responsible fish keeper?... Didn't know there was any other kind"

I am not retarded I just can't spell
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-28-2011, 04:47 PM
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Find out what size quantities the pellets you like comes iin and phone around for the best deal. I found my favourite LFS was charging $8 more than Petsmart for the same product. OMG was I upset. I don't have a Petsmart near by so I have to plan my trips to save money or I'm gonna spend it in gas anyway!! Keep what you buy sealed for freshness too. Good luck. you got some good advice here from fellow fish keepers.

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-28-2011, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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I work at Petco, so I'm always am comparing prices with other stores, and I always like to buy in bulk too. The biggest, cheapest bag I can find in a store is at That Fish Place, which is still a little over an hour drive for me, and is still over $20 after tax. The next size down of that pellet is just too small for him...

55 gallon
Paracheirodon innesi - neon tetras
Pantodon buchholzi - African butterfly fish
Hoplosternum littorale - hoplo catfish
Erpetoichtys calabaricus - ropefish
??? - spiny eel
Bunocephalus cf. coracoideus - banjo catfish

Pomacea bridgesii - apple snail
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-28-2011, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornelius1208 View Post
I work at Petco, so I'm always am comparing prices with other stores, and I always like to buy in bulk too. The biggest, cheapest bag I can find in a store is at That Fish Place, which is still a little over an hour drive for me, and is still over $20 after tax. The next size down of that pellet is just too small for him...
Actually would be better from freshness standpoint to purchase smaller bag unless feeding several tanks/fish . Fish foods once opened, then closed,then opened,begin to lose some of their nutritional value unless kept in tuppeware in fridge.
If the fish cannot eat content's of large bag over a months time, then smaller bags would retain freshness better and lose less nutritional value than large bag over a few month's time.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-29-2011, 05:27 AM
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Employee discount??? How much does this guy eat???

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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