Ask Aquariaman
Advice column all about aquariums by J. Hotelling

Subject: Oscars - feeding habits
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000

I recently acquired a 55 gal. tank with one Oscar. He is about 6" in
length and I was told he was about 5 months old. I also have a Jack Dempsey
which is about 3" long. The people who had them fed them fish pellets. I have
put two small feeder fish in the tank with them. They both seem to be disinterested
in them. Is there any way to "train" the fish to eat live food? I would like to start
them on live food, but am afraid of starving them (if I discontinue the pellet feeding)?
Please reply.


There are methods for training fish to eat live foods. Chances are
very good that you will not starve these fish, especially due to their
aggressive feeding habits.
Slowly cut down on the amount of pellets you are giving them and feed
them very small active live foods. You may even want to start with
earthworms or another type of worm such as white worms or red wigglers. As
time goes by they will readily accept these foods.

It is VERY important to note that live foods can introduce disease into
your tank. Be very careful in obtaining a quality source for your foods.
The best source is you. You do not want to harm your fish with infected

Secondly it is also important to note that you will not be able to keep
other fish in this 55g. It will only be large enough to house the two fish,
at best. Both will grow quite large and will produce a fairly large amount
of waste.

A quality food in pellet form is not a poor source of nutrition. Our
Brine Sinking Blend and Earthworm Sinkers are both very good choices for
these two fish and offer a safe, cost-effective source of nutrition.

I hope this helps and wish you the best with your new fish.



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