How do you feed frozen food to your loaches?

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JonGuerriero
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How do you feed frozen food to your loaches?

Post by JonGuerriero » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:21 pm

As the subject says, how do you feed your loaches frozen foods?

Personally I tend to thaw whatever the food is (usually bllod worms or mosquito larve) in a small cup of tank water and then use a turkey baster to spot feed the fish. Using the baster I also like to "inject" a little bit of the food into the gravel....the clowns seem to love this!

Also, what are the frozen foods that you feed?

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Martin Thoene
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Post by Martin Thoene » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:41 pm

I break off chunks of frozen Bloodworm and melt them underwater between my fingers. Water current does the distribution. I buy the big Hikari flats. Wouldn't use any other brand.

Also have used their frozen Brine Shrimp. I find Loaches definitely like the Bloodworm best.

I also make my own to the following recipe which I supplied to the Loach Almanac http://www.loaches.com/almanac/index.html
Originally, I found it in an old TFH Magazine article on Congo Tetras.

Home Cooking

Try the following for the more discerning palette: (Note that all measures are approximate and you can add other ingredients as you wish) I sometimes crush up some Cichlid pellets and mix in the resulting powder.


1 cup (measured before chopping) of finely chopped, cooked and peeled prawns.


2 individual blocks of frozen cod, thawed and chopped finely)


½ cup of cooked or defrosted spinach (chopped finely)


1 can of V8 juice


½ banana mashed


1 sachet of gelatine (to set mixture)

METHOD: Combine all ingredients except gelatine, and mix thoroughly. You can put the stuff in a blender to get a more homogenous mess (sorry, mix) if you want. When mixed, dissolve the gelatine in boiling water (enough to give a thick, but flowable mixture when combined into the mix, use your judgement). If the mix is very cold, pop it into a microwave for a short time to warm, then add the gelatine and combine. Spoon portions into plastic, ziplock bags or freezer bags about 10" square. You should aim for an amount that squeezed out flat is approx. 1/8" to 1/4" thick. Lay the filled (and sealed!) bag on a flat surface to cool. When cold, pop the bag flat into a freezer to set solid. When you want to feed the fish, break off a lump and drop in the tank. Loaches go loopy for it. Everything eats it, everything grows, and everything gets good, wholesome food without the risks of feeding live food.

Martin.
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Jim Powers
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Post by Jim Powers » Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:03 pm

I have small containers for each tank in which I thaw the bloodworms, mysis and brine shrimp .
I take out the amount for each day, put them in the plastic containers, and put in a small piece of paper towel and place them in the refrigerator. By feeding time the next day, they are all thawed and the liquid is absorbed in the paper towel. Like Martin, I only use Hikari brand bloodworms and mysis shrimp. The brine shrimp I use is either Hikari or San Fran. Bay. I use the individual cubes, though, instead of the flats.
I use a length of rigid plastic tubing to distribute the food to the lower levels of the tank and even have a few loaches that feed out of the end of the tube.

Mark in Vancouver
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Post by Mark in Vancouver » Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:01 pm

I use a small Chinese tea cup. I pop two of the frozen bloodworm cubes and two brine shrimp cubes (Hikari) into the cup and then float the cup in a small bowl of hot water. It takes about ten or fifteen minutes before they're melted and not cold. This allows me to drain out most of the liquid that they're packed in - unnecessary pollutant, IMO - and it's enough to feed my five tanks with.
The Botia tank also gets an algae wafer and a slice of cucumber every night, and some of the other tanks sometimes get a bit of sinking food now and then.
In the mornings I feed flake and sinking tabs.
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JD
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Post by JD » Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:11 pm

I pop in a few cubes frozen. The bigger loaches will take the entire thing and run with it sometimes. But I never thaw anymore. I used to thaw them in a brine shrimp net under tap water, but haven't for a decade.

JD

Mark in Vancouver
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Post by Mark in Vancouver » Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:36 pm

I completely respect JD's methods and knowledge around loaches, but I think it should be said - especially for a recent poster - that tropical fish would not normally EVER encounter something that was cold, let alone frozen. I know they also wouldn't normally encounter flake or tablet food sources, but these are closer to their normal food stuffs, if only in an aesthetic way.

Barbels are highly sophisticated sensory organs that can be used in a variety of ways by the loach. I know that we've discussed the possibility of damaging not only the barbels, but the guts of some loaches with food that is served colder than it needs to be.

For that reason, I'm going to continue thawing my cubes. I'd just prefer to see a loach carry away a parcel of food that was as similar to those found in the rivers of SE Asia as it could be.

You'll find a system that works for you, but new loach keepers should avoid short cuts, IMO.
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Graeme Robson
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Post by Graeme Robson » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:04 pm

I use a cup full of tank water and place the cubes into the cup. Wait 10-20 minutes with a stir and once they defrost, pour into the tank.


Graeme.

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Wendie
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Post by Wendie » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:48 pm

I do the same with all frozen food. I use tank water to thaw out the small cube - about 30 minutes - and then feed. I do feed daphnia at times because it's left over by the baby fish I might have growing at the time. I'm also going to try white mosquito larve which I just came across in the store.

Mark in Vancouver
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Post by Mark in Vancouver » Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:34 pm

I realize that I had inferred that you were new to loaches. Sorry about that. My intentions for new loach people who might read the exchange is intact, but I did not mean to be condescending. I'll still thaw my cubes...
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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:24 am

As our Clown tank is relatively large and we have a lot of loaches to feed, we use a 1 litre plastic jug half filled with tank water, then add the frozen food and wait 15 mins or so for it to thaw before stirring and adding it to the tank. The sheer amount of flow in the tank distributes the food very evenly. We use white mosquito larvae, brineshrimp, daphnia, mysis shrimp, krill, chopped cockles, prawns - some chopped, some whole, and recently they have been taking crayfish tails. The smaller fish in our river tank (including the Sewellia) take cyclops, baby brineshrimp, and daphnia.

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Lotus
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Post by Lotus » Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:21 pm

I use a shot glass to thaw the cubes in, then a mini turkey baster to distribute the worms among the tanks. I like the baster as it means I can target feed, if I need to. The mini baster is easier to control, so I can easily feed only two or three bloodworms into a tank, if I want to. I only thaw them about 10 mins. I used to throw whole cubes in the tanks, and no one seemed to suffer, but it was a lot to feed them, IMO.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.

jerry_tyler
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frozen food

Post by jerry_tyler » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:45 pm

I put 2 cubes of brine and 2 cubes of bloodworms in a glass of hot tap water. When it is milted I pour it in the tank. The tank has pretty good current and it goes every where. They all eat it up very fast.
Will the tap water hurt them ? about 1 inche in a gless. :?

Mark in Vancouver
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Post by Mark in Vancouver » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:57 pm

Jerry - instead of adding tapwater and the gunk the food is packed in, just sit the shot glass in a larger shallow bowl of hot water. The food will melt, and you can tip the glass to drain out most of the liquid. At that point I use a chopstick to gather up the food and drop it in the current.

It may take one or two minutes longer - literally - to melt the food, but try it.
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jerry_tyler
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frozen food

Post by jerry_tyler » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:41 pm

Thanks I'll try that. But I never was any good with chopsticks. :lol:
take care jerry

Mark in Vancouver
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Post by Mark in Vancouver » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:50 pm

Use one chopstick - if you have one around... You'd be surprised. Once you drain off the liquid, the food is very easy to pick up and drop in.

That said, you may want to hybridize with some of the other techniques. Once the food is drained, add some tank water to the shot glass and use a turkey baster - a clean and dedicated one!

Find a way to do it that delivers just enough food to the fish that is practical for your needs.
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