How to get food to a tilefish in a cave

TSM Aquatics
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
I've brought half a dozen of these guys through quarantine over the past few months. Even in barebottom tanks, they'll eat sooner or later. They're just very shy fish; let it get settled, and as long as you don't see it struggling at the top of the tank (sign of swim bladder/decompression issues), you should be okay. :)
It’s not even touched the top of the tank other than introduction day, he hung in the water column and did the classic hovering style swim tilefish are known to do. Have you still got any of yours or have they all died quite early on?
 
REEFTIDE

Funlad3

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
252
Reaction score
177
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
It’s not even touched the top of the tank other than introduction day, he hung in the water column and did the classic hovering style swim tilefish are known to do. Have you still got any of yours or have they all died quite early on?
I medicated two batches for 3 weeks for different customers. Most started eating within 3-4 days of settling in. The only other one that didn't eat aggressively would hang out in its PVC cave and eat any food that floated by. The five that I sold are all still doing well after 2-8 months. I think they do better in the long term with cooler water temperatures (75-76), but it's still too soon to tell.

Good luck!
 
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
I medicated two batches for 3 weeks for different customers. Most started eating within 3-4 days of settling in. The only other one that didn't eat aggressively would hang out in its PVC cave and eat any food that floated by. The five that I sold are all still doing well after 2-8 months. I think they do better in the long term with cooler water temperatures (75-76), but it's still too soon to tell.

Good luck!
Okay, thanks for the heads up! would coral and my other fish stock survive in 76 degrees long term?
 
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
I have also remembered how when he was in the LFS he was stressed (The reason why I reserved him and waited a week till he wasn’t stressed or flashing, which is why he’s with me now). He was sat at the bottom and then when I went back he was up in the lower water column happily swimming, so I’m guessing he’ll take to food in the next few days and start coming out more. He was in the tank with a mystery and a kwazulu wrasse, two yasha gobies and something else that I can’t remember the name of.
 
Lazy's Coral House
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
He came out!! I was looking at the cave and he kept creeping closer and closer to the entrance then started to swim up more and not low to the ground. I don’t care he won’t flash because he is the most beautiful fish I have ever owned even when he doesn’t flash. I then put the turkey badger at the entrance of the cave when he was up and swimming, threw some food in there and he ate! Instantaneously he got a piece of food and chomped on it! Then and this shocked me SO much, he popped his head out of the cave and kept just watching from outside as food passed by, he came completely out of the cave and grabbed some food then went back in and now he’s back on the floor. Now my final goal is long term survival of this fish, 6-8 months is my minimum goal but 5-6 years is my hope.
 

Karen00

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
2,549
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
He came out!! I was looking at the cave and he kept creeping closer and closer to the entrance then started to swim up more and not low to the ground. I don’t care he won’t flash because he is the most beautiful fish I have ever owned even when he doesn’t flash. I then put the turkey badger at the entrance of the cave when he was up and swimming, threw some food in there and he ate! Instantaneously he got a piece of food and chomped on it! Then and this shocked me SO much, he popped his head out of the cave and kept just watching from outside as food passed by, he came completely out of the cave and grabbed some food then went back in and now he’s back on the floor. Now my final goal is long term survival of this fish, 6-8 months is my minimum goal but 5-6 years is my hope.
That's great news! This could be a shy fish or it could also be a cryptic sort of fish where it never ventures far from its burrow/hiding place like Coral Crouchers. If food doesn't come to them (either live food or target feeding) then they will starve because they don't hunt or scavenge or go seeking food. You'll know soon enough what type of behavior it has. It could also be a cooler water fish like the Catalina gobies which isn't ideal. They'll survive in warmer water but their lifespan is greatly reduced. If that's the case maybe it will need its own cool water tank. Try to find research papers on these guys to see if you can find out more about their habitat.
 
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
That's great news! This could be a shy fish or it could also be a cryptic sort of fish where it never ventures far from its burrow/hiding place like Coral Crouchers. If food doesn't come to them (either live food or target feeding) then they will starve because they don't hunt or scavenge or go seeking food. You'll know soon enough what type of behavior it has. It could also be a cooler water fish like the Catalina gobies which isn't ideal. They'll survive in warmer water but their lifespan is greatly reduced. If that's the case maybe it will need its own cool water tank. Try to find research papers on these guys to see if you can find out more about their habitat.
If they need a cooler water tank then I will maybe end up turning my nano into a cooler water aquarium. I’d love to have other tilefish with him though.
 

lion king

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
4,905
Reaction score
5,786
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
They are considered a tropical fish, meaning 72 to 78 degrees. As far as feeding goes, which does seem to be the main difficulty in this fish, along with sensitivity to meds. So if they came from a source running copper in their system, or you have used copper, that can be bad news. Try using a pipette, baster, or feeding syringe to squirt food into the cave. Try some live brine shrimp and live black foods, or even some pods to make sure thye don't starve. I have heard these fish can be quite social and may even suck the food right out the pipette.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
They are considered a tropical fish, meaning 72 to 78 degrees. As far as feeding goes, which does seem to be the main difficulty in this fish, along with sensitivity to meds. So if they came from a source running copper in their system, or you have used copper, that can be bad news. Try using a pipette, baster, or feeding syringe to squirt food into the cave. Try some live brine shrimp and live black foods, or even some pods to make sure thye don't starve. I have heard these fish can be quite social and may even suck the food right out the pipette.
Yeah, they used copper two or three weeks ago. He was there about 4 weeks (including the week I reserved him) and always caught my eye but he never had a price tag until the 3rd week - I assume to see if he’ll eat, survive, thrive ect.. I’m glad he came out of the den and ate twice yesterday, it just makes me feel happy that I can Atleast have a shot at owning him. I certainly hope the captive success rate of these fish can go up with more information on these fish now (I mean, this thread has already given me so much more than what I had originally known). I wish people who own these “Difficult” fish luck! If I can get this guy to thrive in my aquarium and a fish dies of old age - Most of my fish have life spans of 5 years - then it’s most likely certain I’ll get a marcosi (OR another flashing tilefish).
 

lion king

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
4,905
Reaction score
5,786
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Yeah, they used copper two or three weeks ago. He was there about 4 weeks (including the week I reserved him) and always caught my eye but he never had a price tag until the 3rd week - I assume to see if he’ll eat, survive, thrive ect.. I’m glad he came out of the den and ate twice yesterday, it just makes me feel happy that I can Atleast have a shot at owning him. I certainly hope the captive success rate of these fish can go up with more information on these fish now (I mean, this thread has already given me so much more than what I had originally known). I wish people who own these “Difficult” fish luck! If I can get this guy to thrive in my aquarium and a fish dies of old age - Most of my fish have life spans of 5 years - then it’s most likely certain I’ll get a marcosi (OR another flashing tilefish).

Yeah sadly many people are just in denial when it comes to the devastation of copper. There are certain species that it wrecks havoc on their internal organs, mainly the liver, and after exposure it is pretty much a death sentence. This fish is one of those species, a healthy one would usually pretty quickly take to a feeding pipette. I have told certain lfs about the copper and species that I know for a fact is affected, they don't care, they know they will live long enough to get them sold. Every fish is affected in some way, some more severe than others. When a fish like an eel, which have a lifespan of more than 20 years, dies in a year, people just refuse to accept it was from copper exposure. Each individual is different, the length of exposure and concentration, all play a role; but their lifespan has been greatly reduced, sometimes quickly, rarely more than a year or so.
 
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
Yeah sadly many people are just in denial when it comes to the devastation of copper. There are certain species that it wrecks havoc on their internal organs, mainly the liver, and after exposure it is pretty much a death sentence. This fish is one of those species, a healthy one would usually pretty quickly take to a feeding pipette. I have told certain lfs about the copper and species that I know for a fact is affected, they don't care, they know they will live long enough to get them sold. Every fish is affected in some way, some more severe than others. When a fish like an eel, which have a lifespan of more than 20 years, dies in a year, people just refuse to accept it was from copper exposure. Each individual is different, the length of exposure and concentration, all play a role; but their lifespan has been greatly reduced, sometimes quickly, rarely more than a year or so.
This guy came right out into the tank today - no signs of any issue (Simmons just fine). I may be wrong with the copper because If I remember correctly, there’s very little medicine allowed over here with copper in. And I know they have a separate QT tank in the back so I assume they use that for copper instead, I’m pretty sure they used a fluke treatment instead of copper. They have a bunch of sensitive fish in there (Achilles tangs, goldrims, Both PBTS, moorish ect..) so they won’t have done copper. Here’s the photo I got of him just a few minutes ago:
353E1CBD-09CB-45B9-890B-0CA00F038733.jpeg
 
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
He’s much braver now! He’s been out Atleast 4-5 times today, I got another photo of him just now (Feeding) he didn’t mover in the cave for feeding, as soon as a bit of food floated outside his cave he was out and taking food down instantly! I really do love this fish and I don’t think it’s just the aggression or being so sensitive to copper that makes them hard, I think people don’t have enough dark hiding spots were almost no light or maybe just one small streak of light gets into the cave.
299E765B-44E4-4C99-B5A7-1ED745BC9DCE.jpeg
F1CB5D2D-69D0-4F93-99D2-6287C508BE05.jpeg

Just that has a bit of an idea as to what stock I have (Other fish aren’t in the pictures and are named below):
- Indonesian & Cebu Lubbocki fairy wrasse,
- Magnificent foxface,
- Blue eye Kole tang,
- Copperband butterfly,
- Swallowtail angelfish (Melanospilos),
- Radiant wrasse,
- Jade wrasse,
- Black margin fairy wrasse,
- Black photon clownfish (Female),
- Flashing tilefish (Obviously, he’s the whole reason the thread began - And my main attraction to why I love feeding the tank so much now).
The Jade wrasse will be taken out and in it’s place will go a blue star leopard and a naoko fairy wrasse in that tank. Although the two wrasse were planned before the Jade wrasse was planned to be taken out. I definitely love this guy though, I haven’t found any information on if someone has kept these guys long term though. I just wonder if I could have room in that tank for another tilefish because if the jade gets 8” and there was already a plan for the extra two wrasse that may open some room for another tile since I have read they’re very sociable and tend to do better in pairs/groups.
 
Fritz
OP
i cant think

i cant think

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
2,630
Reaction score
2,125
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
England
The tilefish are known to do well in pairs. Try squirting the food into his cave, I'm sure he'll fatten up in no time.
I hope I can get hold of another tilefish (will he do alright with any species or is it the same exact species?)
 
TSM Aquatics

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 106 25.1%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 216 51.1%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 30 7.1%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 36 8.5%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 30 7.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 5 1.2%
NY
Top