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I 've only had my fish for about a week. I bought 6 (4-8 inch) tilapia. They hide at the back of the tank any time they see me. They are eating but they only eat when I leave the room. I am wondering if they ever get used to you being around? Do tilapia ever eat while you are hanging out watching? This is making it difficult for me to figure out how much to feed them too...the "as much as they can eat in 15 minutes" rule is working ok, but I can't see if they are all eating or just a few. Is this normal?

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Hi Arwen,

You got them grownup so they'll be shy for a while. Don't worry they will get used to you soon enough. If food is scarce they tend to have a pecking order, the more dominant ones feeding first. If food is plentiful they all feed at the same time.

Yeah, sometimes your fish just need to adjust to their surroundings. Limiting stress factors will help a lot. Keeping the tank dark is a great way to help your fish feel secure.

Thanks for the responses. This all makes sense. I'll let you know how they are doing in a few weeks.

So if the fish tank is totally dark it is okay for the fish?

Yep, fish that are "prey" fish (as opposed to predator fish) feel more secure in the dark and get stressed out when exposed to too much light.

Thanks for all the responses. The fish are actually starting to become a bit more brave already. Some of them will come out and feed if I stay a few feet away or so and don't make any sudden movements.

I'm having a similar problem. I switched the fingerlings from the crumble to the second size pellets they haven't taken to the new food very well even after a week or so. When I go to feed them again in the afternoon I find a lot of uneaten pellets floating on the water. They pretty much remain at the bottom. I went down today in the middle of the day and fed them some of the crumble again and they ate that right away. I had been trying not to do that thinking that when they get hungry enough they'll eat the larger pellets but so far they seem reluctant. I haven't found any dead fish and they are still defecating so they must be eating something.

Any ideas or suggestions?

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