Training a Fish

cu455

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I have been feeding my fish all frozen foods for the past 8 months. It is now getting cold in the basement and I am trying to spend less time down there. Feeding pellets instead of frozen is one way which I plan on doing this.

Over the past 8 months my grouper decided he doesn't like pellets any more. This is the method I am using to get him back on pellets. I have used this to get fish from live food to frozen and frozen food to pellets.

Here is what I do:

1) Soak pellets in the food I will be feed. In the video I am using salmon and NLS mega fish formula.

2) Stand above the tank, get the fishes attention by dangling the frozen food above the water and then I will drop the frozen food in.

3) If the fish eats the food right when it hits the water that is great. If not wait for the fish to eat the food and come back.

4) Repeat 3-4x. This will condition the fish into eating whatever in the water. To better condition your fish you can feed this way for a week until you throw pellets into the mix. After a few days of this your fish will come to the surface waiting for you to throw food in.

5) Once you are ready to add pellets to the mix throw 2-3 pieces of frozen into the tank then throw in a pellet. Overtime feed more pellets and less frozen. They might spit the pellets out the first few times. Stick with it and they will eventually take it. From here you can throw other types of food into the mix.

You can also use freeze dry food as a intermediate step between 4 and 5. Another thing you can do to entice them to eat your food of choice is to not feed them for a few days before conditioning them to eat when you drop the food.

This can be modified to use live food. Instead of throwing in frozen fish, throw in live fish or ghost shrimp. With smaller fish you can use an eye dropper or pipette to convert fish from live brine shrimp to frozen. I never personally done it, but it should work.

I will get a better video from a top down view. In the video I am feeding my grouper using this method. I start the video by throwing in a bunch of pellets to show that he won't eat them. Also, the grouper only has one eye. If I throw the food on the side of his missing eye he can't see it to grab it. He is a little more of a challenge then most fish. That is why he does this circling bit.

[youtube]RQOR5LYq5go[/youtube]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=RQOR5LYq5go

I understand people don't like using pellets or frozen foods and that's fine. This isn't a thread to debate that. This is a thread sharing what worked for me. As for starting off with live food.
 

phillrodrigo

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Wow other people use this method. I train my lion this way. I started by dangling small minnows then when the lion came to the top I would drop it. He would swallow it the second it hit the water. Then I would just switch it up on him one day. I used piece of silver side or frozen krill. I even got him to eat chunks of the formula 2 which is like a fish jello
 

Swedenreefer

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Thank you for this great post. My lionfish will only eat shrimp. Being from Sweden shrimp costs lots of money and hard to get. I have to drive almost 2 hours to buy shrimp and it is only freshwater shrimp. I tried to get my lionfish to eat frozen since I got it 3 months ago with negative results. I used this method and in 2 days my fish ate frozen and 2 more days my fish ate pellets. This method is great.
 

Duke4Life

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Not to derail but you could hand feed the panther if wanted? 1 fish I miss most that's a no go this time around.
 
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cu455

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What the point of having a tank if it's " to cold" to be around it lol. Like having a Ferrari and living in a remote village in Alaska.
I enjoy it.
This is really fish specific, but thank you.
I used this method on the grouper, lionfish and angler. I also used it for a bunch of cichla and gars.

Not to derail but you could hand feed the panther if wanted? 1 fish I miss most that's a no go this time around.
I had my fish at my parents house and they moved so I got rid of my fish. I miss my panther grouper too. He was such a friendly fish. I got him when he was ~2 inches. This was one of the last pictures of him, he was ~7.5 inches.
The circle on him was from him getting to close to a powerhead. I got him for free since he only had 1 eye.

 
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