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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got 2 new Geo Red Head Tapajos 4 - 5" around 4 weeks ago and the largest still will only eat frozen bloodworms. The other one took about a week to start eating flake and pellets.

When I feed flake or pellets it darts around like the other fish and it seems like it's looking for food but it doesn't eat. It's as if it doesn't see the food but I'm sure it does.

When I feed bloodworms it eats no problem. I only feed bloodworms 2 - 3 times a week and I don't want to feed those daily just to get this fish to eat.

It doesn't look to be getting skinny or suffering any other ill effects, but it is very strange and can't be healthy in the long run. Any thoughts?
 

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Bloodworms are one of those foods that New World Cichlids (and many other fish species), find almost impossible to resist. Used sometimes as a good 'starter' food to wean WC/Predatory fish off live food, it's easy to see how some fish could get sort of addicted to them. :roll:
You don't state in your post how large the tank is that the Red Tapajos pair is in, nor how heavily stocked the aquarium is that they have been placed in. But, if you have room in your aquarium.... I would suggest getting more Red Head Tapajos Eartheaters to go with your pair. This species is hugely social and displays some interesting behaviors when kept with enough other members of their species. So, with more Tapajos Earth Eaters piling in on the food, it often works pretty well to get shy or reluctant feeders to respond better to food offerings when they have to compete a bit with the rest of the group to get fed. For stocking, I personally believe that a 1M/5F group is best, as this rather boisterous Eartheater species has a well-earned reputation for the males sometimes being pretty hard on the females in their harem group. More females will help to distribute the aggression around a bit better in the group, so one individual doesn't wind up getting harassed and stressed too much by the male.
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Some interesting food choices you could offer as 'treats' to hopefully entice your reluctant feeder to eat, include chopped-up earthworms, live black worms, live brine shrimp (as large as possible) or pealed, chopped-up bits of raw shrimp. Plus, keep all flake or pellet food refrigerated after opening, and replace often to ensure freshness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Auballagh for the comments. Good tips that you suggest. The tank is a 125 gal, 6' that I'd consider moderately stocked. In addition the the Geos there are Heckeli, Aequidens metae and a severum and an odd angel. My plan was to have a colony of 5 or 6 Tapajos for the reasons you mentioned, but I've run into a few snags. Right now I have the two I mentioned plus two smaller ones, around 2.5 - 3". So instead of a small colony it's more like I have two pair of different sized Geos. Ideally I can get a couple more and they will all blend together.
 

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The old advice was to starve a fish onto the food of your choice. It doesn't always work. A better idea is to feed it as much bloodworms as it can eat, for a few days. It's stomach will stretch to become used to that amount of food, so then when you stop feeding it will get very hungry very quickly. Works nearly every time (ime), but you'd have to stop feeding the whole tank, of course.
 
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