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Old 08-28-2023, 04:41 PM   #1
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Moorish idol

Hi, i got a moorish idol yesterday, Iím feeding the tank flakes, seaweed, clams and all different types of frozen meaty foods. But heís not really going after anything, any suggestions?

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Old 08-28-2023, 09:07 PM   #2
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Hi, i got a moorish idol yesterday, Iím feeding the tank flakes, seaweed, clams and all different types of frozen meaty foods. But heís not really going after anything, any suggestions?
Idols can be picky when they first get into a tank. A few questions: How large is your tank? How large is your Idol? Was your Idol eating before they bagged it up for you? Do you know where the fish was collected? ( i.e. Phillipines, Indonesia, Australia,etc)

A couple of foods I've had success getting Idols to eat are live brine shrimp, taking a clam on the half shell ( cobblestone, little neck, short neck types) and live flame scallops that I cut in half. These are foods that if the fish was in good health, should try to eat. That said, if the fish is sickly or in a tank where it does not feel secure, it probably won't eat no matter what you feed it.
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Old 08-28-2023, 09:10 PM   #3
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Idols can be picky when they first get into a tank. A few questions: How large is your tank? How large is your Idol? Was your Idol eating before they bagged it up for you? Do you know where the fish was collected? ( i.e. Phillipines, Indonesia, Australia,etc)



A couple of foods I've had success getting Idols to eat are live brine shrimp, taking a clam on the half shell ( cobblestone, little neck, short neck types) and live flame scallops that I cut in half. These are foods that if the fish was in good health, should try to eat. That said, if the fish is sickly or in a tank where it does not feel secure, it probably won't eat no matter what you feed it.

Tank is 180 gallons, heís a nice size and looks kind of thick. The lfs just recently got it a few days ago, havenít seen it eat at the store and not sure where itís originally from.
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Old 08-28-2023, 09:12 PM   #4
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Old 08-28-2023, 11:11 PM   #5
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Bigger Idols take longer to adapt to a tank ( if ever). I'd ask the store if they did any kind of quarantine on the fish or if where they got it from does any kind of quarantine. Because Idols eat by picking at benthic invertebrates, it's possible that the fish picks up all kinds of parasites and intestinal worms and should be treated for such or held in quarantine to confirm they don't have any issues.

Are there any other fish in the tank with the idol? It helps when they see other fish eating offered foods but it's not guarantee. Idols are just a tough fish. If you do get the fish to eat, you will also need to offer it foods like frozen Angelfish or butterfly diets that contain corals and sponge in it. They need a varied diet for long term health. Getting the fish to try foods is the first hurdle but if you do not give them the foods that they need to survive, they are are just empty calories of no real food value for the fish.
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Old 08-28-2023, 11:16 PM   #6
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Bigger Idols take longer to adapt to a tank ( if ever). I'd ask the store if they did any kind of quarantine on the fish or if where they got it from does any kind of quarantine. Because Idols eat by picking at benthic invertebrates, it's possible that the fish picks up all kinds of parasites and intestinal worms and should be treated for such or held in quarantine to confirm they don't have any issues.

Are there any other fish in the tank with the idol? It helps when they see other fish eating offered foods but it's not guarantee. Idols are just a tough fish. If you do get the fish to eat, you will also need to offer it foods like frozen Angelfish or butterfly diets that contain corals and sponge in it. They need a varied diet for long term health. Getting the fish to try foods is the first hurdle but if you do not give them the foods that they need to survive, they are are just empty calories of no real food value for the fish.


Ok, thanks. Have an emperor angle and a couple of tangs. Hopefully heíll start eating, trying all different types of food. Didnít know that the larger the harder is to adapt.
Thanks again, hoping for the best!
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Old 08-29-2023, 10:04 AM   #7
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I would return it for a credit. Sorry but Moorish Idols should really be left in the ocean because they one of the toughest fish to get feeding and the shop should not be selling any until they are eating.

If you want to try, get some marine mix (or some other frozen food) and spread it on some of the live rock. Just have a thin layer over different areas and hope it picks at the food.

Get live brineshrimp into the tank every day and copepods too if you can. You need to stimulate their appetite and get them eating asap otherwise they waste away.

You can use a needle and thread and put small pieces of prawn on the needle and slide it down the thread. Have a knot at the bottom of the thread to stop the meat sliding straight off. Hold the needle and gently lower the meat into the tank and jiggle it up and down slowly. The movement can sometimes attract their attention and get them feeding. They can usually pull the food off the string easily but the knot stops it slipping off by accident. The biggest issue will be the other fish stealing the food before the Moorish Idol sees it.

Good luck and I hope you get it eating
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Old 08-29-2023, 10:39 AM   #8
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I would return it for a credit. Sorry but Moorish Idols should really be left in the ocean because they one of the toughest fish to get feeding and the shop should not be selling any until they are eating.

If you want to try, get some marine mix (or some other frozen food) and spread it on some of the live rock. Just have a thin layer over different areas and hope it picks at the food.

Get live brineshrimp into the tank every day and copepods too if you can. You need to stimulate their appetite and get them eating asap otherwise they waste away.

You can use a needle and thread and put small pieces of prawn on the needle and slide it down the thread. Have a knot at the bottom of the thread to stop the meat sliding straight off. Hold the needle and gently lower the meat into the tank and jiggle it up and down slowly. The movement can sometimes attract their attention and get them feeding. They can usually pull the food off the string easily but the knot stops it slipping off by accident. The biggest issue will be the other fish stealing the food before the Moorish Idol sees it.

Good luck and I hope you get it eating


Thanks again will try!
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Old 08-30-2023, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
I would return it for a credit. Sorry but Moorish Idols should really be left in the ocean because they one of the toughest fish to get feeding and the shop should not be selling any until they are eating.

If you want to try, get some marine mix (or some other frozen food) and spread it on some of the live rock. Just have a thin layer over different areas and hope it picks at the food.

Get live brineshrimp into the tank every day and copepods too if you can. You need to stimulate their appetite and get them eating asap otherwise they waste away.

You can use a needle and thread and put small pieces of prawn on the needle and slide it down the thread. Have a knot at the bottom of the thread to stop the meat sliding straight off. Hold the needle and gently lower the meat into the tank and jiggle it up and down slowly. The movement can sometimes attract their attention and get them feeding. They can usually pull the food off the string easily but the knot stops it slipping off by accident. The biggest issue will be the other fish stealing the food before the Moorish Idol sees it.

Good luck and I hope you get it eating
There's been a lot of research on the diet of Moorish Idols based on stomach content and the missing part of most diets has been sponges and other benthic inverts. As for willingness to eat, the Idols I got out of Hawaii would eat flake foods a day or two after arrival while ones from the Philippines or Indonesia had a harder time adjusting. Much longer time in the bag while transporting. I don't think the fish deserves the bad rap it gets for being difficult to keep because they have generally been kept wrong apparently.
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