Getting Wild discus to eat pellets. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-29-2010, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Getting Wild discus to eat pellets.

Hey guys,

I bought some wild discus about a month ago. I wanted to start training them to start eating pellets. Any of you guys have some advice? or even better, experience doing this?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-29-2010, 11:51 AM
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I'm glad you asked this! I've been pondering whether I should start a thread or just PM Aunt Kymmie in hopes that she has some advice. I have some spoilt young domestic discus that have been fed worms all of their lives and would like to get them eating flake or pellet to make sure they're getting everything they need. I've been giving them gut-loaded bloodworms but I'm not sure if it's good enough...

Hopefully someone here has tips to share with us.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-29-2010, 12:14 PM
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Once fishes become accustomed to one or two foods,it can be difficult to get them to accept other foods.
Best chance is to try letting the fish go without food for 48 hours and then offer a small amount of the new foods(variety).
Leave the new foods in the tank for a half hour or so as Discus will forage for that long after feedings ,and then syphon out that which they do not eat.Try again six to eight hours later and again vaccum up what they refuse so as not to foul the water.
Let the fish go another 24 hours if they do accept new foods. Eventually the fish will get hungry enough to try the new foods.
This method can prove difficult for most folks fear that the fishes will starve, and cave in and give the fish the foods that they want.I also have found this to be difficult but I also realized that one or two foods would not promote health like a variety of foods will.
Fishes can go up to a week without foods and most will not starve themselves but they can prove stubborn.
You must become more stubborn, if the fishes won't eat what is offered after a half hour,remove it and don't give them anything.Hungry fish will soon realize that food is available and when hungry enough, they will accept it albeit painfully slow at times.Five or six different types of foods made available,should spark some interest within a week or two.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-29-2010, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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I Once had young discus like you. I Tryed the starve method and only the ones that eventually ate the pellets survived. So I'm scared of trying to do this again, because they are expensive. Another thing you could probably do is, see if you could trade them at your lfs for other discus that eat pellets.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-29-2010, 02:12 PM
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That's what I'm afraid of. I had one of them go off food for nearly a week when he decided to sulk over the addition of the final two to the group so I'm leery of trying to force them to it. Unfortunately there are only two places near me that actually stock discus. One is one of the places I got mine from, and the other burned down the day before I went to pick some up. Otherwise I would have made sure they were eating flake or pellets first.

Not trying to hijack your thread here, but has anyone tried the garlic method? I know my LFS sells a garlic/vitamin liquid to soak food in to entice them to eat but I'm not sure how well it works.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-29-2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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what pellets did they accept?
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-29-2010, 10:15 PM
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I would not focus on the pellets but rather try as mentioned,,,five or six different foods including the pellet's.When the fish are hungry,they will eat one or more of the foods.
Discus I kept at first would not eat anything other than beefheart which is a messy food and can foul the water quickly if all is not eaten and remainder cleaned up.
I began purchasing small containers of different foods to try and interest them in a variety in the way I have suggested.
After much encouraging and patience,I was able to get them to eat.. Frozen bit's of Krill (thawed and cut into mouth size bites) Spirulina brine shrimp,Cichlid Crisps,Tetra color bits, Freezedried plankton, Freezedried gut loaded crickets,bits of chopped red worms and earthworms,Mysid shrimp,and occasional blood worms along with Ocean nutrition flake and New Life Spectrum pellet's.
Would always feed or try to feed the fish before a water change rather than after.(less fouling of water)
I can't say it was easy and I did wind up with one runt that just would not eat like the other's but it too would accept a variety of foods although I still offered it the beef heart much more often than the other's.
Soaking the foods in garlic could in my view be helpful ,but fish must be hungry enough to try the foods offered.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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