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I think I'm mad, but it seems to work.

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Hi all. I am new to the forum, not to the hobby (I see it's pretty quiet, so I thought I'd just jump in) and I'm keen to hear what people think of my community tank stocking.

I have a 5 x 2 x 2 display in the lounge room with a big driftwood feature, large rocks and crypts, java, anubus, amazon sword. Nice to look at, LCA fert. MMLED's

My centrepiece fish is a single male pollini, less than 20cm so far (Trying to grow him big, but he only wants crickets (keen to discuss))

Now, this is where it seems counter-intuitive.... with him are a dozen harlequin rasboras (and others)

The interaction between these fish is incredible, Pollini has never eaten anyone (yet). He totally ignores the rasboras, which is unbelieveable considering he only wants live crickets. In fact, when he eats, they come and crowd him to get any bits of cricket that come out of his gills ,and they get damn close to his mouth! This is the behaviour I wanted to share. It seems crazy but the interaction is like something you'd see on a nature docco - really cool to watch. My mate says madness I say genius. Any opinions?

Edited by Beaz
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Hi @Beaz  welcome to ACE

Polleni are awesome 👍

Loved my pair when I kept them

you will find it hard to wean him off live food if he has become addicted to it

all I can advise is to try adding a couple of floating pellets when you feed him the cricket

and only one cricket so he may associate the floating pellets as food also maybe try and

have the cricket hold on to a pellet so he takes in both, it could be a long process

leave the pellets in the tank and just net them out if he hasn't eaten them during the day or

overnight depending on when you feed him

have you tried prawn meat with him ?

tankmates either work or are a dismal fail and it sounds like he doesn't consider the Rasbora

a threat or food source

Keep us posted on how you go 

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Hi Link, thanks for the pointers regarding the crickets, I'll try these methods, as you said, I think it's something that'll need time.

I think he'd grow better, or have a more balanced diet on pellet food also? They started out as treats and quickly became the only thing he'll take - my fault.

I'm worried I'm gonna have to starve him a bit to change him..not good.

Sometimes I trick him and he'll eat a gulp of 1 or 2 pellets before he has realised what he hit, then he swims off in disgust, having already swallowd 'em - ha ha ha.

I'm in no real hurry to change the crickets because his and the rasbora eating behaviour is so cool to watch.

I have given him prawn meat, he'll take it with less enthusiasm, the rasboras get no bits (I need the David Attenbourough experience), and, help me out here, I have read that prawns get ich. The cautionary stories online about that...worry me, apparently pollini's are not good at fighting it off? I don't even know that it can even be transmitted to a tank this way, it hasn't happened to me (yet). Anyway, I'm wary but ignorant. I have been told a UV inline is a good thing to help prevent ich?

I will endeavour to video feeding time, if I can get watchable footage I'll post it for sure.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Got him taking pellets yet? Are you raising the crickets yourself? If you can't wean him off them the best you can do is gut load them with high quality vitamin enriched food. 

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8 hours ago, oakes said:

Got him taking pellets yet? Are you raising the crickets yourself? If you can't wean him off them the best you can do is gut load them with high quality vitamin enriched food. 

No mate, I have not tried too hard as of yet 🙂 he's on the crickets still, hard.

I don't raise them myself, but get 600 at a time from Biosupplies and they live a cosy life here in a spare tank eating veges oats cardboardand good quality fishfood and each other (I guess because some legs seem to go missing). They live for weeks and weeks.

I am keen to try to make them "hold" a pellet for me when I feed them to him and see how that works, as Link2Hell has mentioned. I recon It'll be a bit of fun at the very least.

On 21/06/2020 at 2:49 PM, Link2Hell said:

maybe try and

have the cricket hold on to a pellet so he takes in both

The Rasboras are all still there too. It's great.

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  • 1 month later...



Well, I lost 4 rasboras last week. It was inevitable I spose.

I blame Covid. I had a delay with my last cricket delivery due to Aus.Post Express being swamped, and I don't know when it'll be safe to re-order. I ran out, so I threw him 2 or 3 Hikari golds today. I pretended they were crickets and pegged them at the water for a bit of a splash and he hit 'em and swallowed before he realised.

So here goes, hope he takes to fish food easily.

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  • 2 months later...


Well, I'm down to 5 rasboras. He didn't eat them all, I found one stuck behind driftwood, one jumped out, and one floater. One or two were not as full bodied as the rest, so I assume they were genetically weak and they needed to go anyway.

I've been giving the pollini the odd bait worm which he seems to like.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have noticed the pollini has started eating FLAKES, I have still been giving him crickets, but the other fish get a large variety of foods- which he avoids.

The crickets eat alot of the FKC bloodworm and brineshrimp fish food flakes from QLD (My favourite flake food by far) and we're guessing they must have started tasting/smelling like the FKC flakes, because mr. pollini just started grazing on flakes one night and has done ever since. The bloodworm flavour got him more than brine shrimp flavour, and I swear the crickets eat heaps more of it than the fish.

I suppose I should feed the crickets Hikari pellets now....



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