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Pygmy / Sparkling Gourami Feeding Question

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I recently bought 3 ~1cm Trichopsis pumila or Trichopsis schalleri - currently in my QT tank with some cherry shrimp (who are in a breeding net to protect them).

I don't know which species I have, I can only be certain I don't have T. vittata as those have a stripe by the anal fin which my fish lack.

So far they won't eat any of the prepared foods I've tried (cichlid pellets, tropical flakes, algae wafers). I think I have some frozen bloodworms in my freezer but the drawer they're in is frozen almost solid and needs some defrosting before I'll be able to get them out!
Will they accept frozen bloodworms? Their mouths are so small I find it hard to believe they'll be able to eat it.

Do I need to purchase live foods for them?
They pecked at the cichlid pellets a bit before giving up so they may have eaten some of it - I know the largest one ate part of a flake and then spat out the rest, but the smallest one looks very thin and doesn't seem to have eaten anything (it's constantly swimming along the tank bottom and pecking at invisible somethings though - could it be eating tiny critters? Or tiny pieces of the discarded flake food?).

Any advice is appreciated :)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure if I can get the micro pellets, I've never seen them before in the shops near me. Brine shrimp are probably easy to source, if I can't find the pellets I'll try those.

Should I feed them live food though? Will they refuse to take anything else if I give them the option of live?

I'd prefer to have them eat prepared foods if possible for my own convenience (I don't mind an occasional live snack but I don't really want to do it every day!)

If they're going to be fussy and only eat live food I'd rather set up a refugium on the tank with daphnia or something similar, then I don't have to bother about hatching them myself :D
 

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I would say baby brine shrimp not just normal bs.

You need to get them eating so whatever they want you give them. Once you get them fed a bit you can work towards getting them on other diets.

There is also foods designed for fry and such you could try. Order food online, for the micro pellets and what ever other dry goods you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ordering things online is a bit of a pain here - most companies do not deliver to my tiny country :icon_frow

I will have a look on Amazon for the micro pellets.

I managed to get them to eat some flakes (though they don't seem particularly enthused to eat them). I also found cyclops living in one of my moss bowls, so I may attempt to culture them as a live food snack :)
 

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You have to get them eating something, live food is likely your best bet. I'm not sure what country you are in but is it warm there now? If so you could try collecting mosquito larvae it's very easy and they will love it! Scuds are a good option also, maybe vinegar eels or micro worms.

Anyways, once you get them eating live food start mixing in pellets. Take your cichlid pellets and crush them. You can use anything to crush them I have done it with a spoon before. Crush a bunch and then you have small pellets.

Start mixing in 50% live food and 50% pellets. Then gradually start to lower the amount of live food and raise them amount of pellets. It is a pain and takes time but it will work. I have had to do it many times with my spoiled apistogramma fry.

I crush the pellets with a mortar and pestle, but you can use a coffee grinder also. Just make sure whatever you use it is ONLY used for fish food and nothing else. Especially not coffee.
 

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The cherry shrimp would be good live food assuming you can get a large enough colony going to prevent the fish from eradicating them completely.
I had similar problem with appisto's until I trapped a few cherry shrimp from another tank and placed them with the small dwarf cichlids.
Eventually ,I was able to get them to eat New life spectrum pellet's for small fish but they were not fast enough to prevent the other fishes from also gobbling the pellet's up.
I finally ended up setting up a small tank for only the appisto's.
 

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I had my sparkling Gourami's for over 1 1/2 year. They would only eat frozen food when I first got them but have been able to get them on dry foods over time. I used blood worms at first I would chop them up so there tiny pieces. I also have frozen baby brine shrimp. Best of luck there very shy at first.
 
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