How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

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Danelle Vivier
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How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sat May 17, 2014 3:57 am

I have a group of P.cheni, S.lineolata, G.zebrinus and some gobies.

They only eat algae in the tank and I am afraid the aufwuchs(micro organisms in the algae) won't be enough to sustain all of them. I fear it's also the reason why most of my P.cheni fry died. They refuse to eat veggie pellets or anything else for that matter. The MTS gets to it in a few hours and I don't want to feed my snails. I suspect they also eat a lot of the aufwuchs.

I want to eat foods like pellets and prepared veggies. I know a lot of people feed their HS loaches pellets and veggies. How do I get them used to it? And what it the best thing to use that does not break down in a day or two?

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Jim Powers
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Jim Powers » Sat May 17, 2014 8:44 am

You might try taking some spinach leaves, placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Cover the bowl and let them sit for 20 min. or so adding a little more boiling water from time to time. After the 20 min. drain the water and put the leaves in the tank, anchored by rocks. Sewellia and P. cheni usually love this. They may take right to the leaves or it might take a day or so. This has worked well for me over the years.
I have never had problems with hillstreams eating good quality algae wafers so I don't know why you are having a problem.
Good luck!
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TrebleClef84
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by TrebleClef84 » Sat May 17, 2014 2:19 pm

Also, do you have any piggy fish you can temporarily put in the tank? My hillstreams will try anything the botias are clicking around.

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Danelle Vivier
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sat May 17, 2014 3:14 pm

Thank you Jim. I will get some spinach and try that once the Sewellias are more or less settled and doesn't just hide. My only problem with this is that after a few hours, the snails will begin to eat the spinach, which is undesirable.

TrebleClef, I have various fish: Gastromyzon, Pseudogastromyzon, Danio, Stiphodon and Zipper loaches... And all of them are active.

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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by ch.koenig » Sat May 17, 2014 5:07 pm

Danelle Vivier wrote:They only eat algae in the tank and I am afraid the aufwuchs(micro organisms in the algae) won't be enough to sustain all of them. I fear it's also the reason why most of my P.cheni fry died. They refuse to eat veggie pellets or anything else for that matter. The MTS gets to it in a few hours and I don't want to feed my snails. I suspect they also eat a lot of the aufwuchs.
Hi
Just as question: why should carnivores eat veggies? Hillies are not vegetarians and starve if you don't give them proper food. Of course they nibble all sorts of vegetables. And that's it. As nourishment it's worth nothing. And the "Aufwuchs" in a tank is worth nothing as well. So give them proper food and let them nibbble cucumbers etc.
Cheers Charles

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Danelle Vivier
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sun May 18, 2014 2:54 am

ch.koenig wrote: Hi
Just as question: why should carnivores eat veggies? Hillies are not vegetarians and starve if you don't give them proper food. Of course they nibble all sorts of vegetables. And that's it. As nourishment it's worth nothing. And the "Aufwuchs" in a tank is worth nothing as well. So give them proper food and let them nibbble cucumbers etc.
Cheers Charles
I always had the impression that they feed mostly on algae in nature. I will try to feed them a variety ( I feed all my fish a grinded mixture of flake, granules and pellets each day) but for now they only come out late at night, even when the lights are on. Throughout the day they are not to be seen, same with my Gastromyzon.

Some veggies has quite a lot of protein in it, right? Like broccoli, so if the problem is that they should get protein as well, then than should work nicely?

Are you the " Charles König" who supplies most pictures of all the loaches and gobies on Seriouslyfish?

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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by ch.koenig » Sun May 18, 2014 4:58 am

Hi
Yes that's right.
Generally: to mix Pseudogastros with other hillies is a bad idea. It never worked with mine. And: Pseudogastros are fervent algaegrasers (the only scientific work on this behaviour has been done on P. cheni), they even need this nibbling more than others. But the content of algae in a tank never reaches the level of a good food for them.
I feed all: living artemias and moskito larvae, all sorts of frozen stuff, the best flakes and granules Swissmade by a breeder, all sorts of vegetables just for fun. Just for fun :) They all are fast "burners" like all species living in fast moving waters. And the metabolism won't stop if you put them into a tank.
I think your tank is too bright. But even then: if you put larger flat stones layer on layer to give them shelter, they should show up. And seperate the Pseudos from the rest. Their "body-language" is stressing all others.
Cheers Charles

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Danelle Vivier
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sun May 18, 2014 6:13 am

ch.koenig wrote:Hi
Yes that's right.
Generally: to mix Pseudogastros with other hillies is a bad idea. It never worked with mine. And: Pseudogastros are fervent algaegrasers (the only scientific work on this behaviour has been done on P. cheni), they even need this nibbling more than others. But the content of algae in a tank never reaches the level of a good food for them.
I feed all: living artemias and moskito larvae, all sorts of frozen stuff, the best flakes and granules Swissmade by a breeder, all sorts of vegetables just for fun. Just for fun :) They all are fast "burners" like all species living in fast moving waters. And the metabolism won't stop if you put them into a tank.
I think your tank is too bright. But even then: if you put larger flat stones layer on layer to give them shelter, they should show up. And seperate the Pseudos from the rest. Their "body-language" is stressing all others.
Cheers Charles
Damn. I did not know that before I got them.. I have P.cheni. I can see they graze permanently. My rocks are fully covered with algae but it's not very soft and does not come off the rocks so easily.
I will try to feed them more food but I don't think they will take it.

I have 79Watt T5 light over my tank. If the light isn't bright then the algae won't grow? The light has been fine for all the other fish. I do have quite a bit of shelter - that is where they hide :P

Unfortunately I can't separate the Pseudos - I only have one hillstream tank...

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Jim Powers
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Jim Powers » Sun May 18, 2014 3:19 pm

If you can't separate the p. cheni, try adding more rocks, pieces of slate, etc that block sight lines and provide hiding places. Also, try feeding in several lower current areas of the tank to disperse the fish. I have been able to do that with a couple of mixed hillstream tanks. If you can, though, it would probably be better in the future, to separate the gastros and psuedogastros.
Sewellia can also out compete gastros but can handle pseudogastros (at least in my experience). Even so, I would say the ideal situation would have them separated.
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Danelle Vivier
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sun May 18, 2014 3:29 pm

Pity. I had no idea. But what problems me is that the Sewelias do come out later in the day and then seems fine with the Pseudos. It might be better when I move over to the 4ft tank (currently have a 3ft for them).

I wish I knew this. Otherwise I would probably not have gotten the Pseudos.

Thanks for the help.

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Jim Powers
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Jim Powers » Sun May 18, 2014 3:47 pm

Pseudos are great fish. I wouldn't regret getting them. They also might spawn for you. I have some in with Sewellia and there is no problem. The Sewellia can handle them fine.
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Danelle Vivier
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sun May 18, 2014 4:03 pm

Yes, I also have a few P.cheni fry as you have seen in my Hillstream tank thread. I can see that the Sewellias can handle them fine - it's just the fact that the only come out once the P.cheni is less active (late night) and they ignore to food I give. I have some spinach prepared like you suggested but none of my fish have been eating of it. Once, about 2 years ago, my Gobies and Gastros actually frenzied over the algae tablets I give them but none of my fish, not even Zipper loaches, eat the tablets or veggies. Gobies and Zippers might take some bloodworm or grinded food but seldom. It worries me, but my fish is very healthy...

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Jim Powers
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Jim Powers » Fri May 23, 2014 7:33 pm

Just a guess, but what is the pH? I have noticed some of my hillstreams will quit feeding when the pH drops to around 6.
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Danelle Vivier
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Re: How to teach (hillstream) loaches to eat veggies?

Post by Danelle Vivier » Sat May 24, 2014 3:07 am

Damn, I really don't know. I don't have a test kit but I am sure I can test it with a pool pH kit? Our tapwater pH is around 8 but very very soft so it drops quickly.

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