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Old 08-21-2004, 03:38 AM   #1
thegirlundertherainbow
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ABFs not eating well


I've not had ABFs that didn't eat well before, but maybe before they'd been at LFS awhile and already acclimated to flake (cuz that's all they feed them I think). Anyway..these guys each ate a cricket the first day..and the second day..now they're not taking them. Won't eat flake at all. I also feel they may be frightened because they spend alot of time a few inches below the surface instead of right under it..but I have plants in the tank so maybe they actually feel more comfortable in the plants so they are dwelling lower than normal. Can't find any moths..our gecko's outside are too good I guess. Will try to get some mealworms from pet store tomorrow.
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Old 08-21-2004, 10:09 AM   #2
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What is an ABF?
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Old 08-21-2004, 11:05 PM   #3
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Sounds like they are scared. Is there a lot of movement over the tank? Like hands reaching in, canopy being lifted and lowered, etc? Freaks them out. Also a few fishies that swim around in the open help them to feel a little more secure.

As for feeding, try living flies (one wing removed ) that is pretty irresistable for them. Earwigs, moths, etc, anything alive.

While my female African Butterfly Fish (AFB) takes flakes and other floating stuff, the male has never touched anything but live insects or sometimes frozen flies.
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Old 08-21-2004, 11:24 PM   #4
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Default Well..

Not long ago we had a fly prob..of course now, I can't find a fly to save my life.
But on the upside.. Got some teeny mealworms. She ate one right away..he tried to eat one..but he just can't seem to swallow as big (maybe males have smaller throats lol)..so I ripped one up..and he ate half of one. I still have them in my 20 gal long too..they are getting more comfy though I think. Can't find moths either. Go figure. They're looking healthy though. How often should they eat..do you have any idea?
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Old 08-22-2004, 08:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegirlundertherainbow
but he just can't seem to swallow as big (maybe males have smaller throats lol)


That's a good one...

Not sure what the optimum feeding schedule is. I feed mine every two days, and sometimes they don't get anything for a week, then more for a couple of days... I suppose since they don't move around that much, they can do without food for a couple of days without problem. On the other hand, dry flies are probably not the most energy-laden food. The other thing is, how much do you feed? They don't really stop eating, and after 4 or 5 flies they still gulp down a little butterfly or grasshopper, and for desert a few earwigs, but I don't want them obese either...
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Old 08-22-2004, 05:59 PM   #6
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Default The ones I had before

Were pigs. But maybe they were in captivity longer? The female will eat 2 crickets or mealworms..maybe 3..the male's only tanking one at a time so far. I feed one..then try another..and watch for awhile..then have to pull the bug out to keep it from spoiling. Keeping up the search for flying insects.. bet they find these more like what they are used to.
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Old 08-23-2004, 08:40 AM   #7
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Just make sure you vary their diets beyond just mealworms/grubs since they're very fatty and will lead to problems down the line.
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Old 08-28-2004, 05:30 AM   #8
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Default The male didn't make it

Found some moths one night..he didn't eat it though.
Got some dried Plankton..he ate a little.
and he ate a few Color bits..but I found him floating this evening..took him out and checked him over, didn't find anything obvious.
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Old 08-28-2004, 05:19 PM   #9
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Better to leave them in the store if there are no flies around
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Old 08-29-2004, 04:47 AM   #10
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Default I've not fed flies before

Of course, it's almost fall (early) this year..so the flies are getting few and far between and it'll only get worse.
BUT, is there something particularly good about flies as opposed to crickets/mealworms?
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Old 08-29-2004, 05:51 AM   #11
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Crickets are just as good as flies, only more expensive. Mealyworms are not as good because of their fat contents, like Ibn mentioned. I suppose they are not as irresistable as a fly that is buzzing around on the water surface. When I purchased my male ABF it looked not quite as bad as yours, but pretty starved and scared as well. Flies were what made him grow a healthy belly...

In my backyard I have a compost pile. There is a lot of flies enjoying remains from the kitchen. I built a fly trap which lets me trap about 30 flies in 3 minutes. Then I put the whole thing in the freezer for a little bit, then feed the ABF's and Festivums.

In Winter there are no flies, but I can find earwigs which are also taken readily by the ABF's.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:51 AM   #12
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Another great source of food for them is wingless fruit flies. They're not as large as those you find around the house/compost piles. They're available either through mail order or the web, and are easily cultured. You can feed those live to them, since they're still alive and kicking on the surface (they're unable to fly due to their rudimentary/vestigial wings).
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Old 08-30-2004, 03:26 PM   #13
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Maybe for baby ABF's... But my 3" Butterflies would look at me funny if I would start feeding them fruit flies...
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Old 08-30-2004, 08:16 PM   #14
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Nope, definitely not on a normal basis. That's just to kickstart his appetite and get him to eat, until he learns to snap at anything that hits the water.
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