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Hi there
I have a small tank that is moderately planted. Plants include a liverwort (riccia fuitan) and Anubias Nana. A shrimp and snail are also there.
I had to leave my tank unattended for a month and was 100% sure that my tetra will not make it due to lack of food, however, it did!

I would like to know how did it survive? Can it feed on plants?

thank you 馃尮
 

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I've been gone for 3 to 4 weeks vacation every year in the past, and never fed my fish. When I return, the water is crystal clear, and don't remember losing grown fish to starvation. Not feeding has the advantage in that any dead fish will be cleaned up quickly by hungry tankmates. Note that many fish such as mouth brooder and pleco dont eat for weeks to incubate eggs, so not eating for a month is not fatal. That doesn鈥檛 apply to small fry though as their tiny bodies have no fat reserve to stay alive for even a week starvation.
 

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Your tetra likely survived on copepods and such. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend leaving fish for over a few days without food. Surely someone can come by and feed every few days. Not being a jerk here, but weeks on end with no feeding is abject animal cruelty; whether the fish survived the ordeal or not. Please don't do that. These creatures are completely dependent on us. The least we can do is care for them at all times to the best of our ability.
 

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Your tetra likely survived on copepods and such. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend leaving fish for over a few days without food. Surely someone can come by and feed every few days. Not being a jerk here, but weeks on end with no feeding is abject animal cruelty; whether the fish survived the ordeal or not. Please don't do that. These creatures are completely dependent on us. The least we can do is care for them at all times to the best of our ability.
Asking someone to feed fish in your absence can do more harm than good, unless that someone is also an experienced fishkeeper. I don't even trust my wife to feed my fish when I am away. She almost wiped out my fish one time and I won't do it again. Fish are cold blooded animal and don't need to eat every day. Incubating parent fish don't eat for weeks, and many cold water fish stop eating for the entire winter. There is no cruelty by withholding feeding for a few weeks, and on the contrary, polluting water by overfeeding can be cruel.
 

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Your tetra likely survived on copepods and such. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend leaving fish for over a few days without food. Surely someone can come by and feed every few days. Not being a jerk here, but weeks on end with no feeding is abject animal cruelty; whether the fish survived the ordeal or not. Please don't do that. These creatures are completely dependent on us. The least we can do is care for them at all times to the best of our ability.
I don鈥檛 agree that it鈥檚 animal cruelty. Fish can live several weeks, as evidenced, without food. It鈥檚 not a big deal, IMO. Not doing water changes or having a basic understand of the fish cycle is more cruel than not feeding.

I鈥檓 new here so I don鈥檛 want to be rude or anything, but I think your judgement and lecture is misplaced.
I鈥檝e been keeping fish for over 30 years and in my experience seeing how people care for fish, overfeeding is a much more common issue. I鈥檝e never actually heard of fish dying from starvation. It鈥檚 always something else.
 

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I agree with blue ridge reef. Unless your point is that fish cannot die of starvation (which is absurd) I believe it is harmful to the fish. And as blue ridge reef said they are completely relient on us. Not trying to call anyone out for animal cruelty. I myself, have had to go on urgent trips where fish weren't fed for a few weeks. Also I do not have doctor fajitas 30 year experience, just 7 years. But in that time a few of the smaller fish would be dead due to starvation from 2-3 weeks without food.
 

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I agree with blue ridge reef. Unless your point is that fish cannot die of starvation (which is absurd) I believe it is harmful to the fish. And as blue ridge reef said they are completely relient on us. Not trying to call anyone out for animal cruelty. I myself, have had to go on urgent trips where fish weren't fed for a few weeks. Also I do not have doctor fajitas 30 year experience, just 7 years. But in that time a few of the smaller fish would be dead due to starvation from 2-3 weeks without food.
The only point of blue ridge鈥檚 I disagree with is the animal cruelty. I think there are other more prevalent factors of fish keeping that can be considered cruel before not feeding. I certainly am not suggesting fish can鈥檛 die from starvation.
 

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Whether it's cruelty or not is a moot point. You can get a cheap enough auto feeder to handle the time that you're gone.

In my opinion, the more significant issue is having only 1 tetra. As a schooling fish, Tetras seek safety in numbers. A lone Tetra is stressed, scared, and lonely. You should be keeping this fish in a school of 5 or more.
 

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I think aquarists underestimate how much food is available in a well established aquarium. I've seen my tetras in a 50 gallon long go a week without food and when I came home there were 3 baby Red Phantoms with round tummies that had just made an appearnce while we were out. Seed shrimp, Detritus worms, copepods, algal thickets. I've seen Dwarf Pencilfish Glow-lights and Neons all snacking on green and Diatom algae. I tend to let my tanks go a little hairy so my tank environs are probably a little more nutritious than most tank keepers.
 

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Whether it's cruelty or not is a moot point. You can get a cheap enough auto feeder to handle the time that you're gone.

In my opinion, the more significant issue is having only 1 tetra. As a schooling fish, Tetras seek safety in numbers. A lone Tetra is stressed, scared, and lonely. You should be keeping this fish in a school of 5 or more.
Even though auto feeder is available, I feel safer to skip feeding in my absence as the number one cause of disaster is water quality degradation. Since I cannot do regular water change, feeding my fish on regular schedule in my absence can worsen the water quality. If a fish dies from natural cause and I鈥檓 not around to remove it, it鈥檚 better to have hungry fish to cleanse it. Before I leave, I鈥檒l do a large water change, clean all the filters, and fill up to top to spare for evaporation loss as some filters stop working at low water level.
 

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Your tetra likely survived on copepods and such. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend leaving fish for over a few days without food. Surely someone can come by and feed every few days. Not being a jerk here, but weeks on end with no feeding is abject animal cruelty; whether the fish survived the ordeal or not. Please don't do that. These creatures are completely dependent on us. The least we can do is care for them at all times to the best of our ability.
Entirely agree. Abject animal cruelty is exactly what this is.
If your going to keep fish be responsible for their care. The "maybe they will survive and maybe they won't" is cruel and negligent.

Yes, your aquarium will have some algae, copepods etc... for a certain population of fish for a given amount of time-- but, that is not an easy calculation to make.

The argument that it is better not to feed than to feed is a good one when it is adult fish and a week. But a month without food?
Ill be judgmental here because good judgement is not being used: that is abject animal cruelty. Period.
 

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If there is concern for fish cruelty, you should never buy any imported fish. It's a standard operation to fast fish for 2 weeks in fish farms or wild habitats before shipping out to wholesellers for another week before the fish have the chance eat. Exporters make the choice of losing 10 to 20% fish in the transite than to lose 100%.
 
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