Monday, 28 November 2011

Predatory fish transitioning onto frozen foods from live foods

Well, we start our first blog with an interesting concept. Converting the most well known predator of the Amazon rivers, Pygocentrus nattereri - The Red Bellied Piranha (Two particular specimens) from live foods onto our high quality frozen foods. The question is, "Is this the difficult task we expect it to be?" We wonder what factors will effect the eating habits of these individuals, and of course, "will it be their cup of tea?"
The fish have been taken from a quite grubby 1ft wide x 2ft high partition tank in a pet shop where they have been kept in standard London tap water (possibly not dechlorinated). Low lighting with a large central piece of bogwood. In the tank, the fish are stationary moving with the occasional flutter of the pectoral fins to stay in place and pretty moody. They are netted then plopped into a bucket and off to their new home promptly!

They arrive home within 10 minutes to a 2ft x 2ft x 2ft cube (the home of the last batch of discus fry I raised). One of the fish is looking particularly sorry for itself and even slightly tilted (resting on it's side due to stress). No doubt this is due to the unfavourable water conditions from it's previous tank combined with the stress of being caught and transported. After 5 minutes of climatisation there are no improvements and the situation seems to be worsening for the smaller of the two fish. Still not happy, an emergency plop into the new tank is the plan B.

Into a well matured tank they go... with the thinnest layer of fine white sand and a large centralised Echinodorus bleheri - Amazon Sword Plant attached to some bogwood, the umbrella effect of its leaves and its extensive rooting provide a perfect shelter from the quite bright lighting which they adjust to suprisingly quickly. The pH is quite drastically different to their previous home at pH6 but the temperature is almost exact! They adjust within 10 minutes and self-climatise in their new environment. Enquisitive but feeling a little worse-for-wear they slowly investigate. An hour passes and the little guys (approx 4inch - head to caudle penduncle) are happy. Swimming all over the tank, up and down the glass and so on.. Too early to try a feed?

Below are the results via our Youtube Channel.

It is evident in this video that movement was the stimulus for this particular individual. Once the food was in motion, he wanted to eat it and after tasting / smelling it in the water for a good while prior, he knew there was no mistaking that this was food. Is there really any excuse to feed live foods? It really is a whole other debate. But the excuse of 'its natural behaviour' just really doesnt cut it guys. Prey can escape in Nature. What you're doing is cruel and is far less nutritious for your fish. C.E. Predator Pro contains over 28 ingredients in its complete formulation and is vitamin-enriched for extra goodness. There really is nothing better for your predators.
C.E. Predator Pro is available at selected retail outlets and online at