Finicky fish advice

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Trever

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I have 2 wild caught bicolor angels, today is day 9 of their life in my garden of eden created just for them.

The smaller one is easy. She's eating like a champ, anything I put in there, off the bottom, from the surface, or in the water column, with or without pumps running to create movement:
Pellets: TDO, New Life Spectrum, PE Mysis pellets
Frozen: Mysis, brine, reef frenzy
Live: black worms

The bigger one... eats live worms for sure. He'll eat worms that lie on the bottom uneaten 30 minutes later (hence they are dead worms). But the rest is weird. He ate one of 4 PE Mysis pellets (presoaked), ate a single New Life Spectrum (tiny) pellet I soaked in garlic while ignoring subsequent soaked ones, ate one mysis shrimp while mostly ignoring the rest subsequently, etc.

Looking for tips to coax this guy along. It seems he is so into the worms (which I stopped feeding, at least for now), that he races to try to grab the tweezers when I put them over the surface (how I fed the worms, he's pavlovian in his response). I tried tricking him by using the tweezers to feed him a pellet, but nope, he wasn't going for it.

He does this weird thing where if there is (say) a pellet or frozen piece of food lying on the bottom, he goes up to it, sniffs it, acts like he's gonna go for it, then swims away. Very occasionally he'll bite it, as if it was gonna bite back, and it flies away from this head jerk. (Bare bottom tank.)

He goes after the frozen food more if the pumps are running (gives chase to the food).

Frustrating.
 
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Fish Think Pink

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I have 2 wild caught bicolor angels, today is day 9 of their life in my garden of eden created just for them.

The smaller one is easy. She's eating like a champ, anything I put in there, off the bottom, from the surface, or in the water column, with or without pumps running to create movement:
Pellets: TDO, New Life Spectrum, PE Mysis pellets
Frozen: Mysis, brine, reef frenzy
Live: black worms

The bigger one... eats live worms for sure. He'll eat worms that lie on the bottom uneaten 30 minutes later (hence they are dead worms). But the rest is weird. He ate one of 4 PE Mysis pellets (presoaked), ate a single New Life Spectrum (tiny) pellet I soaked in garlic while ignoring subsequent soaked ones, ate one mysis shrimp while mostly ignoring the rest subsequently, etc.

Looking for tips to coax this guy along. It seems he is so into the worms (which I stopped feeding, at least for now), that he races to try to grab the tweezers when I put them over the surface (how I fed the worms, he's pavlovian in his response). I tried tricking him by using the tweezers to feed him a pellet, but nope, he wasn't going for it.

He does this weird thing where if there is (say) a pellet or frozen piece of food lying on the bottom, he goes up to it, sniffs it, acts like he's gonna go for it, then swims away. Very occasionally he'll bite it, as if it was gonna bite back, and it flies away from this head jerk. (Bare bottom tank.)

He goes after the frozen food more if the pumps are running (gives chase to the food).

Frustrating.
Grateful they are eating anything and not starving

Unless you are purposely trying to starve the larger one hoping it will eat. Some will. Some will die. Keep trying, but don't restrict food. You need them to keep their strength and health up and if insufficient food then that may lead into other problems. Just keep trying ... 9 days isn't very long...

My child is 13 YEARS old and I'm still trying to sneak vegetables into her... fear scurvy as weirdly isn't that big on fruit either... she'd rather starve than eat most foods other than pizza or mac&cheese... chicken nuggets got added to her diet only a few years ago... Fish aren't the only strange eaters - kids strange too
 

SaltyT

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Try some masstick. I was able to get a picky copper band to start eating by sticking some masstick on a few spots throughout my rock work.
 

Fish Think Pink

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Try some masstick. I was able to get a picky copper band to start eating by sticking some masstick on a few spots throughout my rock work.
I bought masstick based on your recommendation to someone else, but I've not had any new fish yet to worry about picky eater. Its good to be prepared. Masstick's pouch indicates it will stay good in my cabinet for a long time
 
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For some reason there are bicolor angels available everywhere lately. In the past 2 weeks I’ve seen them at a couple of LFSs and 3 local petcos
 

mdb_talon

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My child is 13 YEARS old and I'm still trying to sneak vegetables into her... fear scurvy as weirdly isn't that big on fruit either... she'd rather starve than eat most foods other than pizza or mac&cheese... chicken nuggets got added to her diet only a few years ago... Fish aren't the only strange eaters - kids strange too

Made me laugh as I always had issues getting my son to eat. Now he is 16 and I cant get him to stop eating. I think he barely has an ounce of fat on him, but geesh the groceries are cutting into my coral budget.
 

Fish Think Pink

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For some reason there are bicolor angels available everywhere lately. In the past 2 weeks I’ve seen them at a couple of LFSs and 3 local petcos
Some fish seem to be caught seasonally... OR maybe things are opening up as people get COVID vaccines so maybe more people are out catching fish for aquariums
 
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Sam816

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some brands offer dwarf angel mixes. they contain sponges along with worms and small shrimps. you can give that a go. but be prepared they mess up water quickly.
 
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Trever

Trever

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@albano I have seen at Petco's and LFS's too. I got mine from Petco, they came from Quality Marine in LA, I arranged to get them in the bag before they went into any Petco tank. I don't know enough about the supply chain. Supposedly all fish are coming from one of three wholesalers in this country, maybe they are all coming from Quality Marine or maybe all the wholesalers are getting them upstream from some currently abundant source.

I've noticed this with other fish too, lately Starki Damsels.
 

Fish Think Pink

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Is this a good time to set up a reef because prices are dropping?
Anytime is a good time to setup a reef.

If you want low prices, try shopping forum here on R2R for used items. Local clubs also have shopping forums, and you'd save shipping as you can pickup from someone's home/curbside. Of course, there is also Craigslist, etc etc. Life happens to people and sometimes you can get an amazing deal if someone has to leave hobby
 
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vetteguy53081

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Hate to say but these fish should NOT be sold in the hobby. They rarely eat and if they do, they shut down and some point and either starve to death or develop skin issues such as dropsy or swelling. I had a pet store for many years and of Maybe 18 I ordered 2 ate and eventually starved. The Bicolor Angelfish needs a diet balanced with meaty foods (mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, blackworms, etc.) as well as with algae (Spirulina flakes, nori sheets, etc.) Feed your Bicolor Angelfish about 2 to 3x daily as generally a good practice IF you get it to eat initially and especially if you want to keep the fish from nipping at sessile invertebrates.
In the wild, the Bicolor Angelfish are omnivores feeding primarily on meaty foods than every other dwarf Angelfish species.
They also require an optimal pH level between 8.1-8.4 and salinity 1.025-1.026. For best survival chances, maintain high-quality water within the standard range of acceptable reef aquarium parameters. They have gotten easier to keep from years ago and are peaceful NON- reef safe fish....... but dont expect an easy task to keep it thriving long term.
 

vetteguy53081

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Trever

Trever

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@vetteguy53081 of course, but it seems to me that same question applies to all the fish we buy (absent captive bred and other known sources). As I cast about the web, it appears to me that bicolors are now "hardy" in aquariums, and certainly if you believe the Fishy Business Guy. I have no reason to doubt him, he starts off saying I would never have recommended this fish. He apparently has 30 years of experience in the business and maintains private and commercial tanks all week, in addition to his fish store (I have no affiliation with them, don't live anywhere near them and don't know boo about them, it's just a set of videos I found on the web). Other reefers on r2r here are reporting good experiences now with bicolors as well, and others report they used to die on them. So the reports are all very consistent, which seems a good sign.

Time will tell of course.

For now, I'm pleased to report that my "finicky" eater now is weened off of worms. He's now got the hang of NLS pellets and can snarf them down like a champ. Eats other pellets, Reef Frenzy etc. He's still a tad ambivalent compared to his tank mate, but he's not leaving food behind, etc.

I want both these guys handling the NLS because they need to be vacation ready (autofeeder). Day-to-day I hand feed a variety.
 

ca1ore

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For some reason there are bicolor angels available everywhere lately. In the past 2 weeks I’ve seen them at a couple of LFSs and 3 local petcos
Weren’t any magnifica anemones at any of them by chance?
 
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