Deception is Key to Getting Finicky Fish to EatBy: Brandon Klaus
Feeding fish in our marine aquariums isn’t always the easiest and most straightforward process. While most fish will readily take to prepared foods within a day or two of being introduced into an aquarium, some fish just never adapt at all. They may show interest, may even consume small bits and pieces of food, but these finicky fish don’t consume enough to thrive in captivity, usually starving to death over a few days or weeks. The key to getting these fish to eat sometimes is deceiving the fish to think they are eating a natural substance or in a natural way.
Grazing fish, for example, are far less likely to eat floating (or planktonic) foods than food items attached somewhere to the substrate. For that reason, a good way to entice a grazing species to eat is to strap some algae sheets to live rock randomly throughout the tank. Similarly, you can stick gel based foods to rocks and allow angelfish to graze as they wish. Such is the case in the video above from the crew at Elite Reef, a fish store based out of Colorado. They were able to get a normally finicky bandit angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus) to eat their very own Elite Reef Cuisine buy sticking it onto the backside of a piece of live rock. Because this angelfish is a natural grazer of sponges and other invertebrates, the food stuck to the backside of the rock is a more natural way of feeding for the fish.