Tiny (runt of the tank) ember feeding...
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! :shock: 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.
Welcome to the forum!
I have a honey gourami who does the same. he eats flakes just fine, but he spits out and mouths pellets. They're the NLS Small Fish formula pellets which fish half his size eat fine, so I just think he doesn't like them. That could easily be the case with your tetra, some fish are just picky eaters.
It may be that the pellets are too big to swallow, but as long as the little guy is getting a good quality flake it shouldn't be an issue.
As long as he's healthy and not getting severely bullied I think he should be okay. Maybe look into a few more Embers to help distribute any aggression?
I haven't seem him in particular get chased around by the larger neons. Usually, the neons chase each other around and the embers do the same. What is funny sometimes is that the runt ember chases around the neons! :-D
I hope he does get a little bigger though. I don't believe it would be a good idea to get any more fish for my tank.
My tank stats from intro thread are:
I have two tanks now: 1 for a blue crowntail betta and the other is a 10 gallon. The specs are:
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