How to control waste food in predator tanks.

rosslee

Exodon
MFK Member
May 14, 2020
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Hi all,

Question: I run several 300 litre (UK) tanks all with great filtration and water movement for collecting waste. Each tank has only 1 flowerhorn occupant.

When they eat they make lots of mess as you are all aware. The waste food is the problem currently. It is a food source for these little white worms I think flat worms or something similar that dont harm fish, but I would prefer to not have them at all!

Would like to hear if other users suffer something similar and how you are able to control them.

I'm pretty sure if I was to introduce another fish to there tanks they would get destroyed so no waste feeders would work.
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
1,874
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UK
The white worms are very likely planaria. They are a sign of overfeeding, simple as that. Reduce feeding and watch them disappear over a few day period.

If your water circulation, turnover and filtration are as efficient as you say they are, uneaten food should be taken out of your tank pretty quick anyway, and not left on the bottom to attract these worns in the first place.

So which is it in your case? Overfeeding or filtration not as effective as you think it is, or both?
 

rosslee

Exodon
MFK Member
May 14, 2020
34
32
21
45
The white worms are very likely planaria. They are a sign of overfeeding, simple as that. Reduce feeding and watch them disappear over a few day period.

If your water circulation, turnover and filtration are as efficient as you say they are, uneaten food should be taken out of your tank pretty quick anyway, and not left on the bottom to attract these worns in the first place.

So which is it in your case? Overfeeding or filtration not as effective as you think it is, or both?
Well I run FX4 filters with powerheads. I clean them once every say 3 months, build up is never bad.

Feeding is done visually per fish dependent on belly size. But I never over feed and I'm.very careful in every aspect of their lives.

But still the worms persist. I even skipped feeding for a week and they were still there.

Can they survive in the canister? Where all the uneaten food is.

If I cut back on feeding then the fish will suffer so not an option there.
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
1,874
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UK
Well I run FX4 filters with powerheads. I clean them once every say 3 months, build up is never bad.

Feeding is done visually per fish dependent on belly size. But I never over feed and I'm.very careful in every aspect of their lives.

But still the worms persist. I even skipped feeding for a week and they were still there.

Can they survive in the canister? Where all the uneaten food is.

If I cut back on feeding then the fish will suffer so not an option there.
In the wild fish can go for days without eating, it's a real feast or famine situation for them. In captivity, in an aquarium, they are usually fed daily, sometimes on multiple occasions within that day. A lot of hobbyists probably think they are starving their fish because they always "beg" for food when you approach the tank. Don't fall into that trap. The appearance and activity levels of your fish will tell you if they are starving or not.

It will be interesting to see what other members think, they'll be along shortly no doubt.
 

rosslee

Exodon
MFK Member
May 14, 2020
34
32
21
45
In the wild fish can go for days without eating, it's a real feast or famine situation for them. In captivity, in an aquarium, they are usually fed daily, sometimes on multiple occasions within that day. A lot of hobbyists probably think they are starving their fish because they always "beg" for food when you approach the tank. Don't fall into that trap. The appearance and activity levels of your fish will tell you if they are starving or not.

It will be interesting to see what other members think, they'll be along shortly no doubt.
Like I said I feed my fish based on visual ques like the actual size of the belly and their activity levels all combined with water temperature and other factors.

In short I feed very carefully and maintain a perfect tank. And yes I regularly starve the fish one a week.

I think this is not the result of poor keeping but probably a side effect of big messy eating fish that other people must experience.

I appreciate you going down a possible path that I am doing something wrong, and you could be correct, for me I feel its side effect issue.

Will be interesting to see what the experienced single keepers say.
 

Oscar Mike

Candiru
MFK Member
Oct 9, 2010
556
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CA
How big are the flowerhorns and what size pellets are you feeding? I find smaller pellets create less waste as they swallow the pellets whole instead of chewing. My FH all preferred floating pellets which also helps reduce waste.
 

fishdance

Polypterus
MFK Member
Jan 30, 2007
1,140
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Very easy to overfeed predatory fish. Just because they eat the food doesn't mean they aren't being overfed. If their poo has a lot of undigested food then they are still being overfed.

But to answer your question, a bare bottom tank with bottom sucking filtration is what you need. They key is to remove the particulate matter out of the water column asap so it can't degrade into the water. You can use a self cleaning seive or customised overhead filter tray with poly wadding and change/rinse off a few hours after each feed.
 

rosslee

Exodon
MFK Member
May 14, 2020
34
32
21
45
Very easy to overfeed predatory fish. Just because they eat the food doesn't mean they aren't being overfed. If their poo has a lot of undigested food then they are still being overfed.

But to answer your question, a bare bottom tank with bottom sucking filtration is what you need. They key is to remove the particulate matter out of the water column asap so it can't degrade into the water. You can use a self cleaning seive or customised overhead filter tray with poly wadding and change/rinse off a few hours after each feed.
Tank already has sand bottom and to remove this out would be a massive pain in my arse.
 

Oscar Mike

Candiru
MFK Member
Oct 9, 2010
556
51
46
CA
Tank already has sand bottom and to remove this out would be a massive pain in my arse.
I cut sponges for all my intakes and hide them with plants. Sand occasionally gets through but not nearly as much as without prefilters. I also use an aquaclear powerhead with poly in the filter attachment to polish fine particles out of the water.IMG_20200628_035102.jpg
IMG_20200628_035706.jpg
 
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