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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys prefer and why? I've recently experienced bloat in my show tank and wondered if a better mixture of both would be better.

Do hobbyist see and experience more bloat with pellets because of the high concentration? Has anyone heard of bloat from flake only diets?

With 40 fish growing out in a 90gal, overfeeding occured because the most dominant and aggressive fish stayed in the "food stream" as it entered the tank. The less aggressive and more passive kinda waited for trickle down.

I guess, lesson learned, no more than 10 or 15 fish growing out at a time, especially with mbuna.

Thoughts, comments welcome.
 

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It can be tricky to get food to the less aggressive fish and not overfeed the more aggressive eaters.
One thing that has worked for me is to drop the food, (I feed NLS pellets) into the Eheim Filter's current. The food drops in unpredictable swirling patterns so that all fish have a better chance.
Another option is to drop food from opposite sides of the tank simoultaneously.

I've read how others use a pvc pipe/tube which they stick into the tank and then drop the food, (sinking pellets), into that. THis way they can direct the food to the fish closer to the bottom.

Yet another option is to have a large fake vine-like plant of some sort that floats near the surface. Drop the food into the plant and fish will have to hunt for the food within the branches.

I agree that fish can over eat easier with pellets but I would not say that fish on pellets are more likely to get bloat. Fish can become susceptible to bloat for any number of reasons, poor water conditions, rough handling, improper diet, etc.

The problem with feeding flakes and pellets, IMO, is that then you've got two containers of food open at the same time. Fish food does have a shelf life and so if you're going to feed two different kinds of food I'd buy the food in small containers to make sure your fish are getting fresh food.
On the other hand, with the (temporary) situation you have now, 40 fish in a 90 gallon, it might be a good idea to feed flake and pellet at once since the two different foods will disperse into the tank differently and perhaps give more fish a chance at getting their fair share.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sounds good robin, for the time being, my show tank is a community grow out tank housing, saulosi, afra cobue, afra white top hara, peacock maleri island all of which are 1" to 2"......in addition a group of adult acei. the saulosi are of course the pigs but the acei are a close second breaching out of the tank for food.

I think I keep very good water quality as I typically do a 50% wc on all of my tanks weekly. I'm going to try the flake-pellet combo once this bloat has subsided. I've lost 4 or 5 fish and may end up losing another 1 or 2. It was a lesson learned in that I've never dealt with bloat in the 7 years that I've kept Malawis. With 40 fish in one tank, I was trying to make sure everyone ate and only feeding in one corner of the tank.

Do you think that a product like Thera A by NLS could be used as part of a regular preventative supplement to the existing diet to help curb parasites?
 

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I fed thera A on a weekly basis for a few years and never had any issues. When I ran out I guess I had forgotten why I was doing it in the first place. Soon there after the fish on the lowest chain of dominance started spitting out food and died shortly after. Since then I have started feeding Thera A again before a water change so I don't have to smell that nasty garlic.
The fish sure like it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yea, i'll be going back to that formula. I stopped the thera a for no reason and what do you know, I've got bloat. not to say that it's why it happended, but i think it would have been a good preventative measure.
 

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I feed both flake and pellet. I too like to drop the food in to let the less dominant fish get food. I usually feed flake first to get the big guys filled up a bit quicker - then drop in the NLS pellet for the peacocks and haps to get. Works fairly well.
 

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I initially had some issues with the dominant fish eating more than their share. On my 75 and 55 I put the first bit of food at the far right corner. I have conditioned the fish that this is the first place food will show up. There is much splashing and jostling for position. after a few seconds, I aslo drop in a bit at the far end. The smaller fish have learned that there will be food over there and actually just wait in the middle of the tank when I open the top. I have been doing this long enough, that now when I put in the first amount on the right, a small group of the klittle guys actually go over to the other end and wait at the surface. They know this is where they get food. Every once in a while the big guys notice and they all come crashing over and push the little ones out. several of the little ones will head back over to the other end and wait there. Fish may not be rocket scientists, but they are really good with conditioning to feeding arraingements.
 

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I started out solely on pellets, but then when I got the livebearers, I had to get some flake foods in, and I feed flakes to everyone know except the carnivores (piranhas, bichirs and bettas). Now, I'm trying to go all live (or as much as I can). Live foods are certainly worth a try at least once or twice a week...
 

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That's a great story, MalawiLover.

I always feed my fish between 8-10 pm every night and it's amazing how they stopped begging for food at other times of the day since they know that its not yet dinner time. So yeah, I don't know how smart fish are but they are trainable. :)

Robin
 
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