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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've got 6 Zebras in my 45g, and they all eat well, but one eats TOO well. She'll(I assume she's a female, because of her shape, not trying to be sexist:icon_redf) finish up whatever I'm feeding, flake, bloodworm, or tubifex, but then she'll start in on the algae wafers I put in for the corys, kuhlis, pleco, and shrimp. The real problem is her belly just starts bulging like mad, and I'm afraid she prolapse her guts or even pop! Right now I've got her in the fishy jail, but I don't want to have to do that every time I feed. Any suggestions or ideas?
 

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So I've got 6 Zebras in my 45g, and they all eat well, but one eats TOO well. She'll(I assume she's a female, because of her shape, not trying to be sexist:icon_redf) finish up whatever I'm feeding, flake, bloodworm, or tubifex, but then she'll start in on the algae wafers I put in for the corys, kuhlis, pleco, and shrimp. The real problem is her belly just starts bulging like mad, and I'm afraid she prolapse her guts or even pop! Right now I've got her in the fishy jail, but I don't want to have to do that every time I feed. Any suggestions or ideas?
Im right there with you ! My danios (these are leopards) are SUCH greedy feeders that they are seriously seriously fat. If I can get pictures I will post them. At one time I thought they had bloat or TB as they have turned into grapes with eyes. But no, they just go into a frenzy whenever the feeding hatch is opened and as they sit at the top mostly, they nick everyone elses share of the food. I caught one sitting on the floor, in a cave attacking algae wafers whilst the poor corys hovered in wait for any crumbs leftover. I posted on here about it and what worked for me was putting a small pinch of flake at the top and while the danios were eating that I submerged my hand right to the bottom of the tank and let go of the rest of the food. The other fish have now learned to get their dinner while the danios are busy at the top. I had no idea Danios could be so greedy lol. Hope that helps, if not we'll have to rethink :thumbsup:
 

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I find something like dried tubiflex worms works great for them. If you crumble it up, it has to soak for about 20 seconds before the danios can even eat it. It keeps them pretty busy for a minute or so, giving the other fish a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Amber- "Grapes with eyes" just cracks me up. My zd's haven't gotten quite to that point but I am looking out. I'm doing kind of a similar thing to feed the other in the tank. I will crush up some flake really finely, put some uncrushed ones on top, and then release the flake powder under the water level in front of the spray bar so it spreads into the water column and the Neons can snag the little pieces before the danios swoop in. I'm not sure how to keep them from the algae wafers, but maybe I need to put less of them in so they are eaten more quickly. Like you said, hopefully it works, otherwise some rethinking is neccesary.
speedoflife- I have fed some dried tubifex, the problem is the neons will have nothing to do with it and I am more concerned about them not eating. Maybe I'll have to do a combo platter for them, but I feel like the danios will eat the flakes as an appetizer and then move to the tubifex when it's ready... We'll just have to see!
 

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About 3 years ago I got obsessed with collecting Danio species. They naturally eat alot of food because they live in faster flowing water. They burn off lots of energy doing this and inherently need to eat more to keep up with the activity. Like dogs if you feed them regularly and you don't give them lots exercise they get fat and unhealthy.
I just provided each tank with a power-head (for fast flowing water) to keep them in shape.
 

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OP - How many times per day and week are you feeding your fish?

I also have a 45G aquarium stocked with Zebra Danios. The bottom 1/3 (above the gravel) is a maze of structures (a large bridge with 3 arches and a tall ruin with @5 large columns) and lots of Annubias, Crypt Wendtiis, and Amazon & Argentine Swords. Several of the plants remain potted while I contemplate a more permanent layout with additional plants. The aquarium is not the beautiful/natural/wild looking planted tank like many others on this forum maintain, but it has considerably more plants (and a greater variety) than a "tank with plants". Basically, it's an obstacle/agility course for the 11 Zebra Danios that inhabit the tank (along with 2 Julii Corys and several Ottos). The Zebra Danios love playing "tag" in the lower part of the aquarium. There is plenty of activity once the initial light is turned on in the morning. I'm amazed at how deftly these fish negotiate the "maze" at relatively high speeds and then instantly come to a stop before reversing direction and quickly swimming the other way. The upper 2/3rds is open water for when the fish want to school together, often at a more leisurely pace. The Corys and Ottos do their crazy shimmer up and down the sides of the aquarium, often together. All told, the fish seem to get quite a bit of exercise when the light is on.

Basically, I feed 1x per day, with an "off-day" Sunday. Twice a week I throw in some wafers intended for the Corys & Ottos, but I first drop flake food to distract the Zebra Danios. Inevitably, however, the Zebra Danios will swarm to the wafers and start up a game of rugby using the wafer as the "ball". Whichever fish has the wafer is immediately "tackled" by the others. Even with this frenzied activity, it takes the Zebra Danios a while to break the wafter apart into smaller pieces but eventually they do, and in the process they're actually helping the Corys and Ottos by scattering food throughout the aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I generally feed them small amounts twice a day, once ~10am and again ~11pm, but maybe I'll cut that back in the future. I am also feeding 4 peppered corys, a 3.5" pleco, 3 black kuhlis, and about 14 ghost shrimp the wafers(size is probably about 3/4's of a dime), a few at each feeding. It is interesting you only throw wafers in a couple times a week. I've been checking water a lot, since the tank is only about 2 months old, and I don't see any ammonia problems associated with overfeeding and leaving rotting food in the tank. I would also like to reiterate that it isn't all of the ZD's that are gluttons, just one especially and another one kind of...anyways, thanks for all the responses and ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, and dwc, my tank is probably similar to yours in that I've got potted plants awaiting a reset of the substrate and final planting, so I've got quite a little maze as well. I'll post an FTS a little later.
 

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I generally feed them small amounts twice a day, once ~10am and again ~11pm, but maybe I'll cut that back in the future. I am also feeding 4 peppered corys, a 3.5" pleco, 3 black kuhlis, and about 14 ghost shrimp the wafers(size is probably about 3/4's of a dime), a few at each feeding. It is interesting you only throw wafers in a couple times a week. I've been checking water a lot, since the tank is only about 2 months old, and I don't see any ammonia problems associated with overfeeding and leaving rotting food in the tank. I would also like to reiterate that it isn't all of the ZD's that are gluttons, just one especially and another one kind of...anyways, thanks for all the responses and ideas!

You have quite a few more bottom feeders than I do, several of which aer notably larger than any of my Corys or Ottos, so understandably the number of wafers and frequency you feed is more than what I give. I probably feed more flake food on a per feeding basis than you, based upon the 11 Zebra Danios and 2 Corys that are in my tank. I make sure some flakes are dropped into the water current generated by the filter return so they will eventually sink towards the bottom of the aquarium. From what I have seen, Zebra Danios are like most dogs when it comes to eating -- if you offer food, they'll eat it. I don't think it's necessarily because they're hungry, but perhaps nature has hard-wired them to eat when a meal is available b/c they don't know when the next meal will be forthcoming. My Corys are constantly on the hunt for food, carefully searching the substrate for scraps. In addition, I drop them their own wafer 2x per week. The Ottos also get up to a wafer 2x per week. The reason I don't drop wafers more often is I want the "cleanup crew" to do their jobs: the Corys scavenging the tank for leftover food that has fallen to the lower parts of the tank and the Ottos taking out algae throughout the aquarium.

The primary reason I cut back to feeding 1x per day is to try and prevent the urge to overfeed. I figured if I overfed 1x a day, not that big a deal, but 2x per day would likely be problematic. Feeding 1x per day is also less time-consuming for me and easier for others who help feed the fish while I am on vacation. Fortunately, that approach seems to have worked for me, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't continue feeding your fish in the same manner you have been doing. If you aren't having water quality issues (not just amonia, but nitrite and nitrate) and your other fish don't exhibit the same type of grossly exaggerated belly after eating, perhaps the one Zebra Danio has some genetic issues that cause it to appear that way (I'm assuming illness is not an issue with that fish). Has that particular fish always had similar issues when eating? BTW, my Zebra Danios go after all wafers fairly quickly upon discovery. Fortunately, they are also very active during the day, so it's probably a wash.
 

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Oh, and dwc, my tank is probably similar to yours in that I've got potted plants awaiting a reset of the substrate and final planting, so I've got quite a little maze as well. I'll post an FTS a little later.

So you also have a maze. Did you intend it to be that way? I didn't have the patience or creativity to attempt some of the aquascaping I have seen in pcitures posted to this forum. So I just placed some plants where in places that I thought would allow the fish to feel secure, except for the 5 Crypt Wendtiis, which I placed together to form an "X". So my maze was a happy accident. I didn't quite expect the Zebra Danios to have so much fun at the bottom of the aquarium, as they're supposed to be upper level fish. All of the fish feel quite secure in their environment, so they're happily swimming at all levels.

Do all of the Zebra Danios constantly play "tag" (chase each other) in the maze? In particular, the one Zebra Danio with the grotesque belly after eating. When I had 5 of them in a 20H tank, they weren't quite as active as they had been when there were 8 (3 were removed to the 45G to help cycle), although they still would chase each other. The 45G has decent spacing between the plants and structures, allowing the Zebra Danios to race through the course. All of the fish really like the bridge with the 3 arches - the Zebra Danios constantly race through each of the openings; the Corys like resting on the top; and the Ottos like hanging off the sides. I bought some clay pots last week and will be planting a few small Amazon Sword plants in them. I really like using potted plants, as I can quickly move one to another location without much of the difficulty of replanting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Has that particular fish always had similar issues when eating?
From what I can remember, that fish has always been like that, but it has only become apparent as a problem since I've got so many bottom feeders and I throw in a good number of wafers that sit for a while before anyone finds them. My ZD's attack the wafers when I drop them in, but they don't eat them until they soften up. The one in particular also seems to be a little aggressive during feeding, chasing the other fish quite often. I'll just have to keep watching and make sure no problems come up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So you also have a maze. Did you intend it to be that way?
I didn't really intend it, I just set up the tank with what I had, only gravel bottom with an Underground Filter, so I didn't have a good set-up for plants. I bought some amazon swords and put them in pots to keep them alive and just get some experience with them. I also bought some mondo grass(not a true aquatic...) and put that in pots too. The placement just sort of happened; I put plants where I had space, created little gaps between the pots and driftwood, various rocks, and fake plants. It is also nice for the pleco who likes to suction onto the sides of the pots. There are also lots of nice hiding spots for shrimp, and the corys seem to like squeezing through the gaps as well.

Do all of the Zebra Danios constantly play "tag" (chase each other) in the maze? In particular, the one Zebra Danio with the grotesque belly after eating.
The ZD's do play tag a lot, not necesarily in the "maze," but they pretty much swim all over all the time. Fortunately they are not real nippy and nobody seems to be getting stressed out.
 

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From what I can remember, that fish has always been like that, but it has only become apparent as a problem since I've got so many bottom feeders and I throw in a good number of wafers that sit for a while before anyone finds them. My ZD's attack the wafers when I drop them in, but they don't eat them until they soften up. The one in particular also seems to be a little aggressive during feeding, chasing the other fish quite often. I'll just have to keep watching and make sure no problems come up.

Perhaps you might try dropping in the wafers @10-15 minutes after the lights have gone off for the day. Also, do you drop the wafers in one location or several locations? Sometimes I'll drop one wafer in a corner and then wait a few minutes for the ZDs to find it before dropping another in the diametrically opposed corner. Bottom feeders are survivors and they'll manage to get their share of food. I have one bossy Zebra Danio that will chase others away from the upper water levels after most (but not all) of the flake food floating on the surface has been consumed and the feeding frenzy has stopped. It doesn't have a chance of stopping 10 other ZDs speeding towards the surface when the flakes are first fed, so it doesn't bother to try at that point. Only when the numbers become much more manageable and there is still a bit of food floating on the surface does it start to enforce the "no swim" zone. Ironically, it doesn't exhibit the same attitiude with the wafers at the bottom of the tank.
 
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