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Red Bellied Pacu will not eat!

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by PedrosPacu, May 27, 2004.

  1. PedrosPacu

    PedrosPacu New Member

    First of all, hello to all here.

    I hope someone here can help, i have a Pacu called Hercules which i bought from being a beautiful little fish, we have had him for approx 2 years of which he has been housed in a 6x2x2 tank.
    We have noticed that for the past 2 weeks he will not eat at all which is very unusual.
    We have tried everything we know possible to us, but no joy.
    He seems ok to us as he is swimming fine and making the usual splash in the tank.
    Because we have had him from being a baby, we are thinking it could be part of becoming an adult, or maybe he is feeling horny :shock: , i know it sounds funny but it could be a possibility, couldn't it?
    He is swimming into the bubbles alot now and going sideways at the bottom of the tank as if to say he has an itch, but we have put treatments in the tank etc, but still he refuses to eat.
    We are really concerned for him as we have a big bond and he's character is amazing.


    Thank you for taking time out to read this post and best wishes from the U.K.
  2. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    What are your readings for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte?

    How large is the pacu now? A 180 gallon tank is still too small for a full grown pacu so it's possible you have water quality problems.

  3. PedrosPacu

    PedrosPacu New Member

    He is approx 1 and a half foot, which it seems that he has stopped growning in lenght, only in width and also he now has his full set of teeth.
    We don't have tester kit to test the water with, but has he eats alot he poos loads which we have to change a certain percentage of the water each week.
    We have two external filters 'Fluval 404' & Ultra Heiem which should cope with the waste, but obviously they are not.
    I also forgot to mention that we have had to give a friend our Plec which shared the tank with the pacu as the pacu was attacking it in these recent weeks which resulted in the plec losing most of it's tail, hopefully he will recover.
    What are we doing wrong and how do we overcome the problem?

    Thank you for your responce which is very much appreciated :eek:
  4. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    You really need to get your water tested. You can either buy the kits and test it yourself (ideal), or take a water sample to your LFS and have them test it for you (get the acutal numbers, not just "it's okay").

  5. PedrosPacu

    PedrosPacu New Member

    What would be the correct numbers for the water in your opinon?
    i will have the water checked first thing also :y_the_best:
  6. DogmaMa

    DogmaMa New Member

    Iv heard from several Pacu owners, and its been true with mine as well, that they just fast every now and then, for no apparent reason, and without bad consequence. My fish also turns sideways and dashes against the bottom, not to scratch but to get speed up so he can douse us with water, or race to the other side of the tank.Indeed its very hard to keep the pollutants under control in a Pacu tank, at any size...you may need to increase your changes..My nitrates are faily high no matter what i do, because like you, my tank is too small for my fish, who is nearly 17 inches, at this point.
  7. fishy_chick

    fishy_chick New Member

    That's true. My Pacu died not too long ago and he would go for days at a time and not eat anything. I'd feed him but he'd just leave it and I'd have to remove the food (make sure you removed any un-eaten food, it's not good for the water). He wouldnt eat for 3 or 4 days, then he'd start again. How long has he not been eating for?
  8. PedrosPacu

    PedrosPacu New Member

    He has not eaten for nearly 2 weeks, but he shows no signs of starvation as he is bright and alert.
    For the first time we tryed him with a couple of neons, the 1st one he eat the other he just killed.
    Like i said previously it is not like him not to eat, but when he goes for food he will shake his head or have a little shiver when the food is near his mouth and then shy away which we have to clean the food out to save polluting the water.

    Thanks for all your help guys/gals :y_the_best:
  9. PedrosPacu

    PedrosPacu New Member

    At the moment it looks like good news, he is racing like a madfish around the tank (Normal for him), coming up to the top for hand to mouth feeds.
    I have given him raw steak which to my delight he has taken too very well, not leaving any scrap leftovers, so hopefully he will continue to feed.
    I think as a result of this he is not very happy with being given floaters and prawns etc, it seems that he wants to try different food.
    Well i will see how it goes during the next couple of days and let you know the goings-on, and i would like to say a big thanks to those who gave me advice, it is appreciated always. :y_the_best: :y_the_best:
  10. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Things like feeder fish and raw (or even cooked) beef really isn't good for him because they provide very little nutrition, the fish can introduce a plethora of diseases, and mammal meats are way too fatty and fish can't digest them properly.

    It's nice that he's eating, but what he's eating isn't the greatest.

  11. PedrosPacu

    PedrosPacu New Member

    What would be a good meal for him?
    we have tried fruit also in the past, but he does not like it.
    He tends to like anythign with meat, i.e steak, chicken and prawns, but any other food info would really be appreciated.

    Best wishes
  12. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Things like veggie-based pellets and cichlid pellets would be good. Fresh and/or blanched veggies like lettuce, peas, spinich, cucumbers, and zucchini are also good treats.

  13. PedrosPacu

    PedrosPacu New Member

    We have recently stopped giving him cichlid floaters as he will no longer eat them, all the other veggie food including cucumber, lettuce etc we have tried and he refuses to touch them.
    Has anybody else had the same problem with these fish, in other words fish being fussy and awkard.
    If he could talk, i would expect him to tell me to wipe his backside also, Victor Meldrew comes to mind - lol
    Thank you once again for your help.

    :y_the_best: :y_the_best: :y_the_best:
  14. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    If he's otherwise acting fine and eats the meat when offered, chances are he's just being a picky eater. A normal, healthy fish won't let itself starve to death (at this point, it doesn't seem like anything major is wrong with him, but I'd still like to know those water parameters).

    Fish can go a surprising amount of time w/o eating and can also be pretty stuborn and finicky about their food. My oscars once went nearly a month hardly eating anything because I ran out of earthworms and that's what they really wanted. Then one day, they finally realized pellets were all they were going to get so they chowed down.

    Again, assuming he's otherwise healthy, I would just keep offering the healthy food like pellets, and eventually he'll get hungry enough to eat them.

  15. fishy_chick

    fishy_chick New Member

    Everything that t_chelle says is very true. My Pacus didnt like to eat many veggies though. They would eat peas occasionally, but nothing else. They really likes bologna, and chicken, and sometimes prawns.
  16. Dixon81

    Dixon81 New Member

    Quick question about pacus

    From other forums i have read people say that their pacus will come to the surface to eat. mine will only eat food that sinks. is this normal?
  17. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Re: Quick question about pacus

    Having never kept pacu, I can't say for sure, but I have some fish that prefer floating food and others that prefer sinking food.

    And out of curiosity, how big is your tank and how big is your pacu?

  18. kc5gvn

    kc5gvn New Member

    Hi Dixon81, Pacus are cousins to the Piranhas and share the same timid caracteristics unless socialized. Instead of just putting food into the tank try feeding him by hand. Once you get him eating from your hand try giving him a gentle pat each time you feed him. You'll be surprised at how responsive he will become.
  19. Dixon81

    Dixon81 New Member

    I have a 125 gallon tank and the 3 pacus are quarter and half dollar size
  20. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Are you aware of how big pacus get? Do you have plans for a much, much larger tank?


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