Jag terrified of people - advice?

  • Lammergeier
  • Lammergeier's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Gold Boarder
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 1199
  • Thank you received: 185

Lammergeier created the topic: Jag terrified of people - advice?

I've had Abzu (rescue jag) for a few days now but he seems to be getting more afraid of people as time goes on, not less.

He's begrudgingly eating pellets, but he won't touch anything until it's been floating around for 20 minutes or more. It doesn't matter if it's a pellet, bloodworms or prawns (will try FD krill as soon as my new batch arrives... stupid Aus Post). The main problem though is that if anyone goes within 1m of his tank he either rams the glass and constantly flares, freezes in one spot (sometimes for >1 hour), or ping pongs off the glass in a panic then huddles in/behind his pipe.

My current idea was to up his temp to 28C and starve him for a few days - 1 week, and hopefully that'll make him hungry. I'm thinking if he's hungry he'll eat with more enthusiasm, and if he wants food he might associate people with food and that might help with the fear he has of us. I've also covered up one side of his tank so he doesn't flip out when people walk past.

Anyone have any other ideas? I'm 99% sure that this behaviour's caused by a combo of his previous owner overfeeding him (there were 20 med sized pellets in his tank when we picked him up) and regularly giving him feeders, as well as some kind of weird neuroses caused by him being in a 2.5ft tank for almost 2 years with nothing to hide in/behind. I'm not expecting fast progress here, but while I have experience dealing with fish that are generally afraid of their environment/other fish (Adie, Tia the little Freddy), I have no idea if I'm on the right track with a fish that seems mainly afraid of people.

I could try live crickets or mealworms as well, but I'm worried if I do so I'll lose what little progress I've made with him eating pellets. I really need to get him reliably eating non-live food so I can start soaking it in epsom salt.

Any ideas welcome.

Oh, off topic, but anyone have any suggestions for a tilapia fillet alternative? I've had no luck finding any, it isn't a common fish to buy down here.
#402845

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 1802
  • Thank you received: 171

robham7770 replied the topic: Jag terrified of people - advice?

Lamm, I would do one of two things or maybe both. Add some more decor to the tank, and maybe some dithers. Nothing will get a jags attention like some other fish getting the groceries.
#402851

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Lammergeier
  • Lammergeier's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Gold Boarder
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 1199
  • Thank you received: 185

Lammergeier replied the topic: Jag terrified of people - advice?

I was debating about whether to put some more decor in because I didn't want to lose water volume but you're right. I'll put in some driftwood for him once it stops floating, and in the mean time I'll pinch a couple of fake plants and make him another pvc pipe house.

With dithers, I'm tempted but I don't currently have a way to quarantine them.
#402852

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3036
  • Thank you received: 266

daddadoo7 replied the topic: Re:Jag terrified of people - advice?

Was gonna say dithers too
#402854

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Lammergeier
  • Lammergeier's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Gold Boarder
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 1199
  • Thank you received: 185

Lammergeier replied the topic: Re:Jag terrified of people - advice?

If I went dithers, any species you'd suggest? I could go SDs again but it's all but impossible to get ones of a reasonable size around here. Anything else I'm thinking he'll probably eat. His mouth is big enough he could swallow things like rainbows whole.
#402856

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 1053
  • Thank you received: 196

UNC-CH replied the topic: Jag terrified of people - advice?

That's really sad. He's got to learn to trust and need you instead of fearing you. I would use feedings to try to help him. If you don't feed him for a few days, he'll likely still dart around the tank when you finally do. But after that, if you don't feed him everyday and keep him hungry, he should start to associate your presence with food. I'd feed him once every 2-3 days and hope he calms down. You could feed him more each time to make up for missed days.
#402859

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 1802
  • Thank you received: 171

robham7770 replied the topic: Jag terrified of people - advice?

I was thinking TFB for dithers, but they would have to be the right size. I think try the decor first, and let him have easy access to a shelter on either end and in the middle of the tank. In the tank he came from he had nothing. If things do not improve then maybe the dithers. Jags are notoriously finicky eaters in the best of circumstances. Just be patient and remember at least now the fish has livable water conditions.
#402861

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Lammergeier
  • Lammergeier's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Gold Boarder
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 1199
  • Thank you received: 185

Lammergeier replied the topic: Jag terrified of people - advice?

It really is sad :( he's absolutely gorgeous and occasionally you get a bit of a glimpse of what could be an amazing 'wet pet', but he's just so scared. He'll do this little hunger dance for a second or two then freak out immediately after.

The whole 'up temp and starve for a week' thing was an idea Jack gave me to get my smallest RD to eat, and it worked amazingly. I'm hoping it may do the same for him.

I thought out of the two, the Freddy would be the one that needed a lot of time and TLC, but it's the opposite.

Edit: @Rob: Ah, ok. Getting the right size would be a bit of a challenge but I'll look into them more. In the mean time I'll put some more decor in today then just try and give him some peace and quiet for a few days.
#402862

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 1448
  • Thank you received: 218

DBLN8 replied the topic: Jag terrified of people - advice?

I would give him some where or something to hide in (a 6" piece of PVC about a foot long) if you use dithers make sure its some thing you have no interest in keeping because at some stage he is going to come out of his shell and you know how that's going to end :evil: .
As far as a substitute for Tilapia you could use sole or flounder. If his old home was a bad as you say it could take a long time for him to adjust to his new surroundings. I would Turn off the lights and feed sparingly. Eventually he will associate you food.
#402863

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3036
  • Thank you received: 266

daddadoo7 replied the topic: Re:Jag terrified of people - advice?

I wouldnt use irregular feedings just not over feed Hides and dithers like rob said....patience too he will.come around. Bare tanks provide no shelter/protection from other predators (even th there are none)
#402864

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Big-KenDRACO
Time to create page: 0.119 seconds