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How to get sunfish off live food

the loach

AC Members
I recently got a couple of small black banded sunfish but they refuse to take anything else but live mosquito larvae or aquatic pill bugs. They don't want anything frozen, also not frozen mosquito larvae. The seller said he just fed them pellets. Any hints converting them to frozen foods, or even pellets, live food season is going to end here.


No freelancing!
Can you kill the larva right before feeding? Then they will get used to food that isn't moving, and once that happens, should be able to add prepared foods at the same time so they learn to see it as food too.

Other option is to let them get REALLY hungry. Usually a week is enough for them to decide food is food, wriggling or not. They go longer in the wild without food, so it's not a huge hardship.

the loach

AC Members
I have been killing the aquatic pill bugs (no longer mosquito larvae here this time of year) so I will have to try your other suggestion.


Registered Member
This is going to sound silly, but have you tried floating pellets? I had a red breasted sunfish a while back and that is how I got him to eat. He wouldn't touch them at first. But after several days he figured out they were food, and I had no issues.

the loach

AC Members
I tried everything to no avail.
At Nanfa they said some sunfish will rather starve as take frozen or dried foods... and this is true. 1 died, for the other it took over 6 months to eat frozen bloodworms and chopped earthworms. He will try other stuff, but just spits it out.


AC Members
You could give them the dried food and make movements to mimic a injured insect. Worked for my mosquito fish just fine.