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FAQs about Pearly Jawfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: The Pearly or Yellow or Golden-headed Jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons, Use in Marine Aquariums by Bob Fenner, Jawfishes

Related FAQs:  Jawfish Feeding, Pearly Jawfish, & Pearly Jawfish ID, Pearly Jawfish Behavior, Pearly Jawfish Compatibility, Pearly Jawfish Stocking/Selection, Pearly Jawfish Systems, Pearly Jawfish Disease, Pearly Jawfish Reproduction, & Jawfishes 1, Jawfishes 2, Jawfish Identification, Jawfish Behavior, Jawfish Compatibility, Jawfish Selection, Jawfish Systems, Jawfish Disease, Jawfish Reproduction,


Blind Jawfish 4/14/2009
Hi All,
<Hello again Debbie,>
I wanted to share an experience I've had with my Jawfish going blind.
<Awe, poor little fish.>
On the morning of December 15, 2008 I was watching my Jawfish and noticed she was running into rocks and obstacles she normally would swim around. She didn't react to my presence backing into her hole as she usually did. And after running into several things she'd just give up and lay still. Her eyesight overnight went from seeing me across the room (I could wave my arm and she would duck into her hole) to not seeing my hand on the glass in front of her. I put food in the tank and she would get excited but couldn't
eat. It hit her in the face, on her body but she couldn't see it. I researched WetWebMedia and found someone else had written with the same issue: the simple suggestion was to try hand feeding the fish.
<There is a wealth of info here.>
So using plastic tubing and an ear bulb I made a long feeding tube, or sometimes used a pipette. She was eating but not getting any better. She began to get used to her disability and would swim around/over an obstacle until she had it mentally mapped out and moved around the tank as though she could see.
<Amazing how resilient life can be.>
She totally rearranged the sandbed moving mouthfuls of sand all day long.
It was fascinating to watch her.
<Much to learn here about life in general.>
During cleaning if I moved anything in the tank even a little where she would run into it, she would get confused, go into her hole and not come out for several hours. Then later she'd come back out and slowly approach the area she ran into and remap it. I had Selcon which I seldom used and decided to try it (about a month later, January I guess). I began soaking the food daily with it, sometimes adding a drop or two of Kent's Garlic Xtreme. Within a week I began to notice a very slight improvement in her.
<Happy to hear.>
It's been four months now and in the last couple weeks she's been able to see food I put in the tank and for the most part can swim up and get a good part of it though a lot still goes by unnoticed or the clownfish beats her to it. So I still hand feed her 3 times a day.
She now sees me when I approach the tank and backs into her hole. Ha, the thanks I get for babying her all this time - she hides from me.
<Heehe! Imagine that?>
The mated pair of clownfish never bothered her, even when she chose to sleep on the sand under them every night for over a month, which I thought to be very odd.... Or when they had eggs and she stayed within inches of their nest. Now with her eyesight somewhat improved she no longer seems interested in sleeping with the clownfish and has moved her hole a bit further away. Although I can't be certain it was the Selcon that brought back her eyesight, I soak the food daily with it anyway.
<Certainly won't hurt! I'm a big fan of Selcon.>
<Thank you for sharing Debbie. I'm happy this fish is in your care.

Jawfish Burrows... location, feeding, 10/30/07 <Hi Dave, Mich here.> Quick question concerning Yellowheaded Jawfish. <Oh! One of my favorite fish!> I just bought a pair (they have been in the same burrow -and will reburrow together- at the store for past 3 weeks) for my 90gallon reef tank. When first introduced they stayed close together for the first 24hrs and then created their own separate burrows at opposite ends of the tank at the back. <OK.> I'm not concerned about them not burrowing together at all, but am a little concerned about their location at the back. <Why?> Reading through your information, it is often suggested to use a baster feeder to expel small meaty foods near the burrow. <Yes.> At the back of the tank, it will be difficult to reach the critters as well as keep an eye on them. <Yes, but not impossible. Please make sure your tank is extremely well covered these adorable fish are notorious jumpers and will find the tiniest of spaces to make their escape to drier places.> My question to you, will the Jawfish relocate if they are not getting enough food? <Perhaps.> Will they leave the burrow for the front of the tank to grab food out of the water column and then dart back to their burrows? <I recently spent a little time observing Yellowheaded Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons) on the reefs in the Bahamas. These delightful little fish do leave their borrows, but generally don't stray too far from their homes. I think if there is an unobstructed passage to the front of the tank they may go there, otherwise, I'm not so sure. You may need to direct some of the food towards the back of the tank. > Dave <Good luck with these cuties! Mich>

Yellow Headed Jawfish Feeding Problem Hello Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo, friend and fellow Pittsburgher in your service> I need your help with a slight problem I am having. I recently purchased a Yellow Headed Jawfish. To say the least it is a very interesting and entertaining species to watch.  <indeed! Quite comical> My problem may be a common one, but I am not sure. The Jawfish will not go far from it's burrow. When feeding all of the other fish eat 99% of the food before he has a chance at getting any.  <indeed a common problem... you were ill-advised to put this animal in an inappropriate tank of competitive fish> I read that they will not venture far from the burrow, so do you know of any way I can get frozen foods in front of him so he can eat, other than the typical food clip.  <your best bet really is a species specific tank or trading the fish back in. Short of hand-feeding, this poor fish will die prematurely. Even with hand-feeding... it is possible that it will simply be intimidated by the unnatural tankmates even without aggression from them, again, by their activity alone> I tried a turkey baster but it scared him into the hole and the food floated away and was consumed by the rest of the hungry crew. I have only had him a few days, and hopefully over time he will venture out further as he grows more comfortable in the tank.  <don't count on it... not a natural behavior and almost guaranteed not to happen with active tankmates> He will eat if food gets near him, so I am trying to assist him during his vittles time. Any suggestions or methods would be sincerely appreciated. <in a perfect world, without giving up the fish, you could set up a refugium in-line to house him. That will save you from buying a whole new filter system. Until then, make a one inch rigid lift tube slightly longer than the height of the tank (+6" say). Notch a half moon at the base and set that "open" end down by the Jawfish burrow. leave it there in the same place for days so that the Jawfish learns to ignore it. Food can be dropped down this tube and sucked/picked out of the bottom by the Jawfish> Thank You For Your Time, Jim Stawiarski Pittsburgh, Pa <Jim...have you heard of the Pittsburgh Marine Aquarium Society? A great club, meeting once monthly. Last month we had Eric Borneman speak, this month (this Saturday 23rd) we have reef lighting by Sanjay Joshi... Bob Fenner is coming up in a couple of months and is an annual speaker. Do check us out at www.pmas.org. Best of luck, Anthony Calfo>

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