[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Feeding fish in the field
Gordon Wilkinson wrote
> I have been reading some back issues of Killietalk and came across a post
> from Brian Watters. The subject was spawning in the field, which was an
> interesting subject in itself, but what caught my eye, was the reference
> made to the fish eating their eggs due to starvation in the bags.
> Quote "......at the end of a long day of collecting and travelling,
> which can end well after dark, there are other important tasks that have to
> be done (such as changing the water in large numbers of fish bags, meals to
> be eaten, etc). Furthermore, if one intends spawning Nothos in this way,
> then it must be done on the same day that the fish are collected. Many wild
> Notho females will spontaneously drop their eggs during their first couple
> of days in the bags and, without food, they tend not to fill with eggs
> again. I also suspect that even if they don't drop thier eggs, these are
> "absorbed" internally as the fish begins to starve........"
Firstly, note that I said nothing about fish "eating their eggs due to
starvation in the bags". The females often drop their eggs
spontaneously, presumably from shock, but do not then eat them in the
bags. At least I have never observed this to be the case. The eggs will
simply start to decay in the bags and must be removed ASAP before the
water gets fouled.
> Am I to understand that the fish are not fed in the field? Brian mentions
> trips of up to three weeks, but more normally two weeks.
Quite correct. We never feed the fish while in the field. They are
contained in plastic bags and feeding them would foul the water both
directly from uneaten food and via their faeces. It is far better to
simply not feed them and thereby retain acceptable water quality. In
any case, if one had to collect live food for the fish in the field one
would spend vastly more time doing that at the expense of fish
> Like most people I take holidays for periods of one or two weeks at a time
> and being relatively new to the hobby, my next holiday, so as to speak,
> will be my first. I have been struggling to figure out some way to get food
> to my fish whilst I am away. I can't really ask a neighbour, can you
> imagine the instructions? - "Tap the bottom of the jar to keep the flies
> from getting out too quickly...., wipe your finger in the worms and dip it
> into the tank...., etc"
If you want to find out first hand about leaving Nothos without food
while on holiday, talk to Ian Sainthouse - he does it at least once or
twice a year when he takes holidays (up to two weeks at a time) and,
while he has had some disasters, it generally works out alright.
> I am curious to know how long the fish go without food, or alternatively,
> how do you get food to your fish when you are away on holiday?
In the field we can usually reckon on being able to keep most Nothos
alive for about 10 days without food and thereafter they start dying
quite rapidly. However, with appropriate care they can be kept alive
for longer. Last year we were able to keep Nothos from Zanzibar alive
for 17 days without food, but that would be exceptional.
The main problem with keeping Nothos without food in the field for a
long time is that it may be difficult to get them to eat again when you
do get them into tanks. They often toy with the food, spitting it out
and not actually swallowing it. And even when they do swallow it the
food may pass through the gut in a totally undigested state. White
worms, for example will pass straight through and still be alive
afterwards. Presumably, the bacteria in the gut need to be regenerated
for the digestion to work again and getting some wild fish to eat (even
live food) can be a real challange.
Brian R. Watters
University of Regina
Regina, SK, Canada