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SINGAPORE    High & Low Tides


    Monday with the Editor: Keeping the Hualorhan (Part 2)

Yesterday     Jan - May 2002     2001     2000     1999  

  Hallo again

  Last Monday, I delved at length on the tank and accessories needed for the Hualorhan. I also spoke about getting the fish used to its new home. Today, I shall talk about feeding the Hualorhan.

  Remember - the Hualorhan needs to get used to its new home and during that period of two to three days it will not eat at all. But, what you can do is try to entice it to eat. How? Simply place the food in a spoon and bring it towards the glass of the tank. The Hualorhan will definitely notice the food and will come towards you. If it doesn't - try and try again at regular intervals of an hour or so.

  When it does approach the glass of the tank, look for telltale signs of hunger or interest in the food. Your Hualorhan most likely will open and close its mouth to try to get at the food. When that happens, slowly bring the spoon to the top of the tank (at the same time, making sure the Hualorhan follows the direction of the spoon). Drop the food into the water and keep still.

  The fish will gobble up the food. Just make sure it has finished the food before you offer more food. This is an important part of training for your pet Hualorhan. If you want it to respond to you, you must train it properly at the start. Remember, if it doesn't finish the food, do not put in new food. After a while, it will get the message you are conveying. When next you look at the tank, you will be pleasantly surprised to find the remaining food all gone! That's what you want to achieve - your pet's understanding.

  Exactly what food should we offer our pet Hualorhan? Here are some suitable ones:

  - freezed-dried shrimp (S$6 per small can)

  - food pellets (S$6 per small bottle)

  - freezed-dried blood worms (S$6 per small can)

  - frozen blood worms - best choice - (S$1.60 per packet)

  It is good to have at least three of the aforementioned types of food. Mix-and-match during feeding times.

  Always start your new pet with the food pellets. Place one pellet in the spoon (comes with the food), show it to the fish and let it make a dash for the pellet. Once it has finished the pellet, offer another one the same way. Do this only when the fish has just started to eat in the new tank. After a day or so, offer about 4 or 5 pellets in a spoon and make sure the Hualorhan finishes all of it before giving it more.

  In the subsequent days, you can introduce the freezed-dried shrimp - but feed sparingly for the shrimp pollutes the water very quickly. Some Hualorhans will gobble the whole shrimp and there will be nothing left - if that's the case, all's well. But, if your Hualorhan spits out the shrimp's hard body covering, make sure you remove it within the hour. Feed it with one shrimp at a time, making sure the fish has gobbled the shrimp before offering another. Remove all shell remains in the water within the hour. If you are lazy, you will find your pet fish developing bruises all over its body and fins. That's probably because it keeps knocking its body against objects it finds in the tank in order to get rid of the itch.

  Now, if the fish has bruises, remove all shrimp. Change the water in the tank immediately, and add some aquarium salt. Stop feeding it shrimps for a week, until the wounds have healed. In the meantime, feed it with food pellets and freezed-dried blood worms. 

  There are no hard-and-fast rules for the frequency of feeding. Generally, if the fish is less than five inches long, feed thrice a day - morning, afternoon and evening. Once the fish is larger, feed it as often as it likes. You want it to grow super-fast. How to know how often? Place the spoonful of food next to the glass to show to the fish - if it attempts to bite, offer the food. 

  When the fish is more than five inches long, keep feeding it with frozen blood worms. Feed as much as it wants to eat, but keep a minimum 10-minute interval between each feeding. Frozen blood worms are best for the Hualorhan as they enable the Hualorhan to grow terribly fast and develop the redness around the body just behind the gills. Remember - feeding it with frozen blood worms makes the aquarium water become very cloudy within three days, so if you want, change two-thirds of the water every three days otherwise, you will find you can't even see your fish.

  By the way, exercise your pet fish often because you are aggressively feeding it. How to do it? Simply place a small mirror next to the glass. Your pet fish will chase its own image. Move the mirror in an oblong direction up and down the front of the tank. Your pet will follow it. Let the fish complete three rounds each exercise period. Also, periodically use the mirror to entice the fish to attack it. It will make your Hualorhan more aggressive and its colour will improve over time.

  Well, that's it for today. See you next week for another chat on the Hualorhan.

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