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I have two brichardis(one male and one female)in a 20g together. I have been using flake food that tends to float more than sink and these are two of the most nervous fish I have ever watched eat. They will not pick it off of the top of the water. They swim about half way up and then turn and dart suddenly. I have always kept large south American cichlids and I have never known a cichlid to be bashful about eating.
I'm going to lfs tomorrow and get some food that will sink a little more and see if that fixes it. Is this common in tanga?
 

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My Tangs do wait for the food to fall more than my Malawi. There are some that will rise for it, but again, not like the Malawi who always splash me. :lol:
 

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Is this common in tanga?
It can vary quite a bit, some tangs will come right up for it, some are like yours and nervous about it, and some won't eat until you go away. Few, if any, are surface feeders, so I'd try sitrring it into a small cup of water first and pouring it in slowly so it goes down to them. Just me, but I don't like to force non-surface feeders to surface feed. Feeding should be fun, not stressful. Silly, I know. :) In a larger group with a lot of competition and craziness at feeding time, they're less shy.
 

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Yes, I've noticed the same with a few species. I second what FishFlake says. In a tang community tank, where different species have different reluctance to come to the surface, it's especially important (otherwise, the most shy never get much food, while the more willing gorge themselves), but it doesn't hurt in a single-species tank either.

Small-diameter sinking pellets are also a good solution.
 

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I used FishFlake's method in the past (for the same problem) and it has worked like a charm. All those same Tangs now, however, including Brichardi, no longer want to wait for those flakes to sink down to them, they're all surface splashers like DJ mentioned (no more wet fingers for me...lol).

Good luck.....Tom
 
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