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New Harlequin Rasbora
May 14, 2015
11:00 pm
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Gaina
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I finally got my first fish! 8 Harlequin Rasbora.  They're utterly fascinating! 

Ifeed them summer flake this morning and they took a while to eat, but shyly so I'll feed them again before bed.  What would you recommend I keep in their food box? I know they're omnivores.  Thank you!

 

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May 15, 2015
5:35 pm
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Byron Hosking
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It is common for newly-acquired fish to be shy, just be careful you don't overfeed.  I don't know what "summer flake" is, but most fish foods these days are fairly nutritious.  I use a mix of flake foods for variety, and presently am using the basic flake from New Life Spectrum, the veggie flake from Omega One, and the mini pellet from NLS.  I also have a variety of sinking foods for the tanks with substrate fish like loaches or corys.  Once a day is sufficient for most fish; fry and some mini species need more frequent feedings.  Early in their day (= daylight) is preferable.

In addition to the basic prepared foods, frozen foods such as daphnia are good.  Frozen bloodworms but no more than once or at very most twice a week as they are high in fat.  I use these frozen foods (thawed before feeding) as "treats" once a week.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
May 15, 2015
7:43 pm
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Gaina
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Byron Hosking said
It is common for newly-acquired fish to be shy, just be careful you don't overfeed.  I don't know what "summer flake" is, but most fish foods these days are fairly nutritious.  I use a mix of flake foods for variety, and presently am using the basic flake from New Life Spectrum, the veggie flake from Omega One, and the mini pellet from NLS.  I also have a variety of sinking foods for the tanks with substrate fish like loaches or corys.  Once a day is sufficient for most fish; fry and some mini species need more frequent feedings.  Early in their day (= daylight) is preferable.
In addition to the basic prepared foods, frozen foods such as daphnia are good.  Frozen bloodworms but no more than once or at very most twice a week as they are high in fat.  I use these frozen foods (thawed before feeding) as "treats" once a week.
Byron.

'Summer Flake' is predictive text gone nuts - that should read 'some'. Haha

Thanks for the advice, I fed them this morning and won't feed them again until tomorrow morning.

Would they also appreciate the odd frozen pea or piece of sweet corn?

I intend to get a loach in a few weeks but in the meantime the snails are doing a good job of hovering up the flakes that land on plant leaves. :-)

May 15, 2015
8:37 pm
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george
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Their mouths are too small for peas or corn. Sweet corn would be a definite no, as the seasoning used to prepare it would be detrimental for both the water and the fish. You can try using blanched fresh vegetables such as zucchini or lettuce, but I'm not sure top dwelling fish such as those would initially recognise it as food.

May 16, 2015
7:07 pm
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Byron Hosking
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I agree.  On the peas, this can be useful for constipation in fish; the individual shell is too tough, so you can squeeze the inner soft pulp out.  The peas must be fresh or frozen with no additives.  But here I would not bother; vegetables left uneaten can pollute the water.

You mention "a loach"--most loaches are shoaling fish (like the rasbora) and need a group.  And this means lots of room, depending upon the species, and lots of hiding spots.  Chunks of wood with crevices and tunnels (the Malaysian Driftwood is ideal for this) are also necessary, though artificial decor can work but the wood is natural and easy.  I've forgotten from the other thread the size of this aquarium, but it may not be suitable for loaches, again depending upon the species intended.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
May 16, 2015
8:58 pm
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Gaina
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Thanks for the advice re: feeding, I shall just stick with a variety of food from fish shops. 

With regard to the loach, my tank is 65 litres and has a stable temperature of around 21.8 degrees.  I was under the impression that my setup was suitable for a dwarf loach but if not, could you give me a few good alternatives?

I fed my fish with the light off this morning and they ate well.  It's funny but they don't seem to realise there's food until the flakes sink, then they start zooming about.

May 16, 2015
9:11 pm
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george
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I don't think keeping fish just to clean the aquarium is a good idea. I would just recommend feeding less.

But I wouldn't want to be the one telling you not to buy fish. Are loaches what you would really want, or would any suitable bottom-dwelling fish do?

May 16, 2015
10:20 pm
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Byron Hosking
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With regard to the loach, my tank is 65 litres and has a stable temperature of around 21.8 degrees.  I was under the impression that my setup was suitable for a dwarf loach but if not, could you give me a few good alternatives?

This is about 18 gallons (for those of us who still think in imperial better than metric) and this is no where near sufficient for any loach species except perhaps the Kuhli Loach.  All of the common aquarium loaches, including the "dwarf" which is Ambastaia sidthimunki [we have another current thread on this species that may interest you, dealing with its aggressiveness], are shoaling fish and no less than five or six should be acquired.  The Kuhli also needs several, five is best, and some might say it would work here but personally I would not.

George is quite correct that one should never acquire any fish to do some sort of "cleaning" role.  Most don't, and even if one does there are always other considerations to provide for the species.  Snails are the best for eating left-over food and other organic matter like fish waste.

As for alternatives, assuming this is not to eat fallen food but as fish wanted in their own right, you could do a group of five corys which would add some interedst to the substrate level since rasbora generally remain in the upper half of the aquarium.  There are the "dwarf" species of corydoras, and a larger group would be better for one of these, say 9-10.

 

I fed my fish with the light off this morning and they ate well.  It's funny but they don't seem to realise there's food until the flakes sink, then they start zooming about.

This is normal (the sinking food part) with many newly-acquired fish.  It is also noticeable if you feed after disturbing the tank/fish in some way; the fish are a bit skittish and sometimes won't surface even for food until they settle down.

The light is probably related.  This is OK for a few days, but I would then get them used to feeding after the tank light is on, but wait about an hour.  Fish are very sensitive to light, through their cells as well as their eyes (this is connected to the circadian rhythm), and it takes time for fish eyes to adjust to different light/darkness.  Roughly 30 minutes has been determined for some species, but I would give them an hour.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
May 17, 2015
6:06 pm
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Gaina
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george said
I don't think keeping fish just to clean the aquarium is a good idea. I would just recommend feeding less.
But I wouldn't want to be the one telling you not to buy fish. Are loaches what you would really want, or would any suitable bottom-dwelling fish do?

Hi George,

Sorry I didn't explain myself properly.  Welfare of my fish is the first priority so I wouldn't just get some to do a job, they would have to be a species I would enjoy keeping and be happy and healthy in the setup I have :)

Byron said

This is normal (the sinking food part) with many newly-acquired fish.  It is also noticeable if you feed after disturbing the tank/fish in some way; the fish are a bit skittish and sometimes won't surface even for food until they settle down.

The light is probably related.  This is OK for a few days, but I would then get them used to feeding after the tank light is on, but wait about an hour.  Fish are very sensitive to light, through their cells as well as their eyes (this is connected to the circadian rhythm), and it takes time for fish eyes to adjust to different light/darkness.  Roughly 30 minutes has been determined for some species, but I would give them an hour.

Thanks I fed them this morning and they ate well but I didn't give them as much as yesterday morning and tried them just now with a little more (the light has been on all day) and they literally snapped it up and are much bolder about coming to the surface to get it. :)

I've got two fish that have very vivid orange tails, would they be males?

May 17, 2015
6:14 pm
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Byron Hosking
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Males generally are a bit more colourful, but I am not aware of any variation in the tail that distingujishes male/female.  Our profile does offer a couple suggestions

http://www.seriouslyfish.com/s.....eromorpha/

Again, the stress newly acquired fish are under affects their colouration, and as they settle this improves, so that many be part of this too.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
May 17, 2015
6:25 pm
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Gaina
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Byron Hosking said
Males generally are a bit more colourful, but I am not aware of any variation in the tail that distingujishes male/female.  Our profile does offer a couple suggestions
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/s.....eromorpha/
Again, the stress newly acquired fish are under affects their colouration, and as they settle this improves, so that many be part of this too.

Thanks, there's something in the books I have about the shape of the 'pork chop' but I literally can't make head nor tail of it! haha

I'm sure as I get more familiar with them I shall learn this stuff. :)

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