Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow

Posted by: Mike Whatley

Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 09:50 AM

Yesterday I picked a sack of Aquamax 500 to hand feed my fish instead of the Game Fish Chow I was using. That's the smallest size our Co-op carries. What I've found out is that the smaller fish have a really hard time eating it.
1) Because of its consistent larger size and 2) Because it doesn't saturate and sink for some time. The GFC has a mix of sizes and the smaller pellets often sink almost immediately and the predominantly smaller fish can access it better.

I would rather use the AM, because of the higher protein, but if the YOY and fry can't eat it, it's going to waist.

Should I try mixing the two, or hydrate the AM first? Even after it softens some, it seems the smaller fish still aren't getting much of it.
Posted by: JKS3613

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 10:32 AM

Try AquaMax MVP. It has pellets in multiple sizes as well as a high protein content. Around 40%, I believe.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 12:37 PM

I just dropped nearly $50 on a 50# sack of 500, and I still have nearly 20# of GFC left. Maybe when I get this 70# of feed used up....if I can get MVP. I would think if they don't carry it, they should be able to order me a bag.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 01:33 PM

Have yíall tried Cargill 4512 ? 45% protein and the fish love it
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 01:46 PM

MVP is so hard to obtain around here, I quit trying. The local Coop says it is special order, and if you put in an order, they keep forgetting it, and you might get it in several weeks if you hound them, and pay $40 per bag. The best thing available around here is the TSC multi species at about $13 per 25 pound bag. I may just feed catfish pellets at $20 per 50 pounds and call it good.
Posted by: anthropic

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 02:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Pat Williamson
Have yíall tried Cargill 4512 ? 45% protein and the fish love it


How much does that cost, Pat? A 40 lb sack of BG Optimal runs $50, though they have a special on now at $45. That includes delivery.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 02:12 PM

My experience with supplimental feeding is a new and ever growing learning curve.

I have Purina brand readily available thru my local feed store and the AM is high protein enough for my gang of mutts. The YOY and new fry won't grow as fast, but once they're up in size they can naturally switch to the bigger feed. I'll just mix the two as I go, probably 25%AM/75%GFC to start and adjust as time goes by until I can get my Black Soldier Fly generator going (hopefully next spring).

Once I'm producing larva, which are 42% protein/35% fat, that's all I'll feed them. The supply will be ample and my only ongoing expense will be slop. They can be dried or frozen for storage, but I think, from what I've read and understand, I'll be able to feed the fish well with fresh daily supplies. I strictly hand feed because my pond isn't big enough (IMO) to warrant the expense of a feeder.
Posted by: anthropic

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 02:21 PM

Black Soldier Fly plan sounds like a blast! I've heard that they tend to keep nuisance flies away, another benefit.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 03:11 PM

Yup!! I've read that too. BSF are the new frontier of organic farming. They've been used for chicken and hog feed for a while. Just depends on how big you wanna go. There are factories now that are 100% dedicated to BSF larva based feed production. They dry them, grind them into meel and package it. I may have to buy a dehydator and coffee grinder to make my own meel for fry and YOY.

So far, no detrimental environmental issues have been identified. A small generator can produce up to a quart of "grubs" a day. That should work for me just fine! If they can at least reduce the deer fly problem, I'll be real happy. They bad round here!!

Probably the only non-nuisance insect around. We've got plenty around here with two horse sables close by. I can't argue with 42% protien and 35% fat. The results should be outstanding. I can see 2# GSF lurking in my pond already!! Maybe even a couple massive bull bream and shellcrackers.
Posted by: anthropic

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 11:44 PM

Sounds great, Mike. I only wonder if there are components of fish meal that soldier fly larvae do not supply. Taurine, maybe? confused
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 11:47 PM

Cargill 4512 runs 39$ a 50# bag at Overtons ,and itís always fresh, I understand that Flame gets it cheaper in your neck of the woods . Might send him a pm. I really like the results of the 4512 feed
Posted by: anthropic

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 11:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Pat Williamson
Cargill 4512 runs 39$ a 50# bag at Overtons ,and itís always fresh, I understand that Flame gets it cheaper in your neck of the woods . Might send him a pm. I really like the results of the 4512 feed


Pat, does that price include delivery?
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
MVP is so hard to obtain around here, I quit trying. The local Coop says it is special order, and if you put in an order, they keep forgetting it, and you might get it in several weeks if you hound them, and pay $40 per bag. The best thing available around here is the TSC multi species at about $13 per 25 pound bag. I may just feed catfish pellets at $20 per 50 pounds and call it good.

John I used that feed from TSC and got horrible results. Went to cargill 4512 and it was amazing how fast the turnaround was
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/16/18 11:53 PM

Originally Posted By: anthropic
[quote=Pat Williamson]Cargill 4512 runs 39$ a 50# bag at Overtons ,and itís always fresh, I understand that Flame gets it cheaper in your neck of the woods . Might send him a pm. I really like the results of the 4512 feed


Pat, does that price include delivery? [/quote

I pick it up at overtons fishery
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 12:51 AM

Anthropic

I'd be lying if I told you I knew for sure, but from what I've read and saw on video so far, I'm thinking they're a fairly balanced diet. Obviously, I still have some research to do.

I fed today with a mix of both feeds, but the fish didn't show up like they usually do. I think the weather trying to change has put them off a bit, so couldn't really get a good feel for my blending.
Posted by: Clay N' Pray

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 06:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Pat Williamson
Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
MVP is so hard to obtain around here, I quit trying. The local Coop says it is special order, and if you put in an order, they keep forgetting it, and you might get it in several weeks if you hound them, and pay $40 per bag. The best thing available around here is the TSC multi species at about $13 per 25 pound bag. I may just feed catfish pellets at $20 per 50 pounds and call it good.

John I used that feed from TSC and got horrible results. Went to cargill 4512 and it was amazing how fast the turnaround was


Can you relate what you saw regarding the TSC chow? I'm trying to justify Purina GFC
Over the TSC multi species.
Thanks!
Posted by: ewest

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 09:09 AM

Have had good success mixing various sizes of AM with GFC for years. It does depend on goals and situation/methods however.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 10:31 AM

My BG attack the TSC food in a frenzy, just like they did with Optimal. My goal now is only to get a one pound BG, since I cannot overwinter CC. Cannot justify expensive feed with all the predation from herons and otters, plus my ponds are probably too small at 1/4 acre each to produce BG any larger than one pound. My next food is going to be a bag of CC pellets.
Posted by: Shooter Hybrid

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 11:40 AM

I have two ponds just over 1 surface acre each. One is strictly stocked with hybrid catfish and the other is stocked with BG and LMB. I put 300 hybrid catfish in the catfish pond and they love the tractor supply feed. (sportsman floating catfish feed). It took them about two weeks to really get used to the automatic feeder. I hand feed AquaMax in the bass pond and they eat it ok but will not touch the TSC stuff at all. I'm going to keep experimenting with different feeds until I can find something that works with the fish and my pocket book. I'm very excited to see what the hybrid catfish look like this time next year.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 11:45 AM

I for one am glad to hear someone has been using that blend with good results. That's what I intend to continue with.

My pond isn't big either, actually only about .1 acre surface area at roughly 66' square. But it is pretty deep with a max of 12' and real steep sides. Guessing at an average depth of 10'. That puts me at around 1 ac/ft and 326k gallons (If I did the math right). Once I've got my aeration system in place I think it'll be big enough to produce some really nice fish. I'm not shooting for anything in particular, just nice eating size fish. If I get a couple of pounders, great, but my goal is to be able to harvest 9-10 inch fish. My top predator base is currently 3 10-12" LMB and some BHC. They've got lots to eat at the moment. Just need to keep the little ones coming up.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 11:56 AM

Clay

When I fed the multi species fed from TSC the fish would eat it but not with the gusto that they do with the 4512. They were skinny and hollow belly looking. As soon as I started feeding the 4512 they went ape over it. Within a week or so they thickened up an look really really good. Thatís what I got going on so Iím happy
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 12:21 PM

My BG are fat on the TSC multi species food. Maybe you picked up a bad lot.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
I for one am glad to hear someone has been using that blend with good results. That's what I intend to continue with.

My pond isn't big either, actually only about .1 acre surface area at roughly 66' square. But it is pretty deep with a max of 12' and real steep sides. Guessing at an average depth of 10'. That puts me at around 1 ac/ft and 326k gallons (If I did the math right). Once I've got my aeration system in place I think it'll be big enough to produce some really nice fish. I'm not shooting for anything in particular, just nice eating size fish. If I get a couple of pounders, great, but my goal is to be able to harvest 9-10 inch fish. My top predator base is currently 3 10-12" LMB and some BHC. They've got lots to eat at the moment. Just need to keep the little ones coming up.


If your idea is food production you might want to keep predators minimal and focus on you being the primary predator by removing lots of fish for the table. If you pour the feed to BG they will grow fast and if you remove lots of them to eat that will keep the total standing crop pounds to manageable levels.

Essentially turning the pond into more of a feedlot type situation with the added benefit of some fast action angling.

Edit: We removed and filleted over 400 BG last year from our main 3 acre pond (not to mention numerous CC). I don't think we made a dent in them. I've fed quite a lot of Purena Game Chow (when I could not get Aquamax) as well as the competitive Sportsman Choice equivalent and it is decent enough feed. The more expensive stuff is just better.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 08:44 PM

My predator base isn't huge with only 3 LMB. I don't know how many BHC are out there, but any I catch get removed, but I'd say I'm stuck with those. I'm feeding what the mutts can eat in 15 minutes or so. If they're off, I don't feed as much. They've been off the last couple of days. They look good tho, big fat bellies on those I've caught.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 09:56 PM

John F
PM Flame and ask him how he likes 4512 compared to other brands, he has some football shaped fish
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 11:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Pat Williamson
John F
PM Flame and ask him how he likes 4512 compared to other brands, he has some football shaped fish


I cannot buy it here. They charge an extra $30 a bag to ship it.

Only feed available here is catfish pellets and TSC product. I have never talked to another pond owner around here that fed anything other than catfish pellets or dog food. The feed stores look at me like I am stupid if I ask for anything else. It's a real backwater here when it comes to aquaculture.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/17/18 11:48 PM

John
Sounds like a business opportunity, sorry to hear that feed stores donít carry something
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 12:34 AM

The Co-Op manager here said if they carried Aquamax it would go bad before they could sell more than a few bags. I would be their only customer for it. He said there is very little demand for fish food around here.
Posted by: Flame

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 08:37 AM

John Fitzgerald, Cargills should ship directly to you. They are located in Louisiana.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 10:08 AM

We've had a change in our weather the last few days which is finally bringing in some much needed rain. I've noticed that since this change started, the fish have been considerably off their feeding routine. Is this normal? Naturally it has been in conjunction with my switching to AM500 so I have to wonder if the feed change is to be taken into account.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Flame
John Fitzgerald, Cargills should ship directly to you. They are located in Louisiana.


They will, for $69 per bag. I will quit feeding entirely before I pay that much. I have been to or talked to, every feed store in the area.

Some of them carry a few bags of catfish pellets. TSC is the only place in the area that carries multi species food, and they only get a shipment in the spring. I checked their stock last October, and it was still the same February lot number -STALE.

This isn't east Texas. Probably 90% of ponds here are, or were, cattle ponds. Probably 99% of ponds here are unmanaged. People around here generally don't give a hoot about feeding, and the feed stores tell me there is almost no market for fish feeds, even catfish pellets.
Most don't even have catfish pellets in stock after Labor Day.

I have to figure out a better and cheaper way of getting fish food, or just feed CC pellets, or quit.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 10:15 AM

You may want to look into creating your own source of feed. I've been looking into a Black Soldier Fly Larva generator. The grubs have a 42% protein/35% fat content. They've been used successfully in chicken farming and the idea is gaining ground all the time. It's worth reading up on anyway.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
We've had a change in our weather the last few days which is finally bringing in some much needed rain. I've noticed that since this change started, the fish have been considerably off their feeding routine. Is this normal? Naturally it has been in conjunction with my switching to AM500 so I have to wonder if the feed change is to be taken into account.


Where all my feeding is done by hand I notice every time my fish are off feed.

A large inflow of water will definitely change their feeding habits. Sometimes for more than one day. If the water coming in is turbid even more so.

My sediment pond, well, is a sediment pond. So it gets large flow throuh of water at times and very turbid at times. That pond will go off feed for days after a large rain event. If the rain event is big enough for enough water to flow through the sediment pond and make significant changes in the main pond it will also affect the main pond feeding. But any changes in fish behavior is magnified in the small sediment pond.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
You may want to look into creating your own source of feed. I've been looking into a Black Soldier Fly Larva generator. The grubs have a 42% protein/35% fat content. They've been used successfully in chicken farming and the idea is gaining ground all the time. It's worth reading up on anyway.


Not even a remote option here.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 10:41 AM

Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
Originally Posted By: Flame
John Fitzgerald, Cargills should ship directly to you. They are located in Louisiana.


They will, for $69 per bag. I will quit feeding entirely before I pay that much. I have been to or talked to, every feed store in the area.

Some of them carry a few bags of catfish pellets. TSC is the only place in the area that carries multi species food, and they only get a shipment in the spring. I checked their stock last October, and it was still the same February lot number -STALE.

This isn't east Texas. Probably 90% of ponds here are, or were, cattle ponds. Probably 99% of ponds here are unmanaged. People around here generally don't give a hoot about feeding, and the feed stores tell me there is almost no market for fish feeds, even catfish pellets.
Most don't even have catfish pellets in stock after Labor Day.

I have to figure out a better and cheaper way of getting fish food, or just feed CC pellets, or quit.


Four years ago that was about the same situation here John. Slowly I think a few more people are feeding and even a couple of us feeding higher quality feed so it is starting to change.

Just this year a local feed store has agreed to keep a few extra bags of AM MVP on hand for me and one other customer. Previous years I could order it and get it anywhere from one week to a month and a half later. I tried to order enough ahead to satisfy my needs. Now that the store is "stocking" (barely), I try to pick up a few bags at a time to keep them in the idea that I am a regular customer and will keep buying.

Maybe it will get better for you over time like it did for me. I did not even know there was better fish food available till I discovered Pond Boss.
Posted by: BrianL

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 10:55 AM

Put about 2-3 cups of AM in a gallon ziplock and tap it with a hammer till you get the size you want for your YOY. It doesn't take much.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 11:07 AM

Originally Posted By: snrub


Four years ago that was about the same situation here John. Slowly I think a few more people are feeding and even a couple of us feeding higher quality feed so it is starting to change.

Just this year a local feed store has agreed to keep a few extra bags of AM MVP on hand for me and one other customer. Previous years I could order it and get it anywhere from one week to a month and a half later. I tried to order enough ahead to satisfy my needs. Now that the store is "stocking" (barely), I try to pick up a few bags at a time to keep them in the idea that I am a regular customer and will keep buying.

Maybe it will get better for you over time like it did for me. I did not even know there was better fish food available till I discovered Pond Boss.


Most people here that are feeding dog food don't know that fish food is actually cheaper per pound. Some of them didn't even know CC pellets existed until I told them.

I don't see it getting better around here. In fact, in the past two plus years I have been feeding, the stocking situation in stores has declined.

Hopefully, someone from Purina, Cargill, or others is reading this and will try to do something about it.
Posted by: ewest

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 12:09 PM

Know what your fish need. There are hundreds of fish species and their nutritional needs have not been determined at the species level.


Catfish do not need the same nutrition that LMB and BG need. Nor do HSB.


From Fish Nutrition presentation at PB conf.


Basic Food Components Ė Nutrition

The immense variety of cultured finfish species hampers efforts to simplify production industry wide. Approximately 170 taxa are currently cultured, including carnivores, herbivores, planktivores, and omnivores, each posing its own set of nutritional demands .

Fish meal has proven to be an excellent dietary protein source for finfish, leading to its description as an ĎĎideal protein.íí The ideal protein concept is based on the premise that if the amino acid profile of the feed mimics the whole-body amino acid profile of the animal being fed, protein utilization and growth should be maximized

Lipids, fatty acids, and their derivatives play a role in virtually every physiological process that occurs and for this reason dietary lipid composition and content represent a massive sector of overall nutrition. Nowhere is this more true than in finfish nutrition where lipid can exceed protein in the body composition of finfish, a testament to the physiological and energetic importance of this nutrient class (Tocher2003). Aside from physiological importance, lipids are indispensable energy sources, especially for finfish, which are not well-adapted to carbohydrate utilization.

Dietary protein and energy must be kept in proper balance because a deficiency or excess of dietary energy can reduce growth rates. Fish fed diets deficient in energy will metabolize more expensive dietary protein to meet energy requirements. Excess dietary energy can decrease protein intake and suppress growth.

finfish do not require carbohydrates in their diet, Ö complex carbohydrates cannot be digested and utilized efficiently by most finfish species. A general dichotomy exists in the carbohydrate digestive ability of warmwater omnivores and herbivores versus the inability of coolwater and coldwater carnivores, which lack the appropriate function necessary for digestion of carbohydrates.

†For this reason, diets fed to these fish rarely contain more than 20% complex carbohydrate

Conversely, warmwater omnivores or herbivores (e.g., channel catfish, tilapia, common carp, and white sturgeon) adapt well to diets containing as much as 40% dietary carbohydrate .

Although vitamins and minerals are required in minute amounts compared with protein, lipid, and so forth, they are critically important, Ö Every micronutrient has a deficiency disease associated with it, the effects of which are sometimes irreversible or fatal. For a few vitamins and most minerals, excess can be equally detrimental, resulting in toxicity.

---------------------------------------------------
Although carnivorous fish species generally have a limited ability to use carbohydrates for energy, hybrid striped bass are relatively adept at it. †Digestibility coefficients for the carbohydrates were generally high (83.3 to100 percent), indicating that both simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates were digested efficiently by these hybrids.


Posted by: cypress

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 12:15 PM

Mike,

You and I are in the same geographic location, and I have not notice my fish feeding any differently since the rain started. It might be the feed change.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 12:44 PM

Sounds like I should quit feeding unless I was only feeding CC.

CC pellets might not help BG growth at all?

I cannot obtain the proper feed for BG without paying an outlandish shipping price, because local stores do not stock and are very recalcitrant to order....(the we forgot your order, sorry, syndrome).

If I was passing through eastern SD, I would pick up a pallet of Optimal at the mill, but I'm not.

FRUSTRATED
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 12:50 PM

Thanks for the input Cypress. I was kinda thinking the switch in food might have had something to do with it. The initial feeding with AM500 was straight and they didn't do too well, especially the smaller fish. Since then I've been mixing close to 50/50 but the fish that are normally congregated waiting for me haven't been there. I see quite a bit of take and spit from those that are feeding too. Hopefully they'll make a turn with the cooler temps, but it seems the hotter it is, the better they eat. That's why I wasn't sure which it might be. So far we haven't gotten enough rain to even effect the water level, but it has cooled at the surface. Color and visibility was still good.
Posted by: BrianL

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 12:54 PM

John there has to be a Purina dealer somewhere close that can get you AM 500 or MVP. Contact Purina and ask them where to buy it.

https://www.facebook.com/PurinaWildlife/
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 01:08 PM

Originally Posted By: BrianL
John there has to be a Purina dealer somewhere close that can get you AM 500 or MVP. Contact Purina and ask them where to buy it.

https://www.facebook.com/PurinaWildlife/



Brian, been there, done that. Asked "Are you a Purina dealer?" Answer: "Yes, but we can only order certain products." Fish food is never among them. Special order. Cost plus shipping.

Purina itself is zero help.

If you guys say CC pellets have little or no effect on BG growth, then I am going to cease feeding.

We can't keep CC over winter in this neighborhood as nocturnal otters get them.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 02:46 PM

John we feel your pain, if you use TSC multi species please look at the date on the bag and donít use anything more than 3 months old or less. Thatís one of the main issues here that it might be 6 months old..... not good
Posted by: BrianL

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
Originally Posted By: BrianL
John there has to be a Purina dealer somewhere close that can get you AM 500 or MVP. Contact Purina and ask them where to buy it.

https://www.facebook.com/PurinaWildlife/



Brian, been there, done that. Asked "Are you a Purina dealer?" Answer: "Yes, but we can only order certain products." Fish food is never among them. Special order. Cost plus shipping.

Purina itself is zero help.

If you guys say CC pellets have little or no effect on BG growth, then I am going to cease feeding.

We can't keep CC over winter in this neighborhood as nocturnal otters get them.



Call......
FARMERS COOPERATIVE
Certified Expert Dealer 2049 TWIN OAKS DR, ELKINS, AR479-643-2004Today: 8:00AM-6:00PM

479-643-2004

$40/bag for AM 500 and can have it in this Friday.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 03:32 PM

Originally Posted By: BrianL


Call......
FARMERS COOPERATIVE
Certified Expert Dealer 2049 TWIN OAKS DR, ELKINS, AR479-643-2004Today: 8:00AM-6:00PM

479-643-2004

$40/bag for AM 500 and can have it in this Friday.


Yes, that's our local store 2.5 miles from my house. They might tell you that. It's just talk. I can place my order and it will never come in or else take six weeks if I call every week. Been there done that. Couldn't get MVP at all through them last year. Got one bag through Fayetteville and took six weeks. That's $40 plus 10.5% tax. $44.20.

That was last year and I am reluctant to deal with them again.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/18/18 07:35 PM

I personally think you will get good growth out of the Game Fish Chow. I think you will get a lot better growth than no feed at all.

It would just be better if you could get the better feed.
Posted by: anthropic

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/19/18 12:12 AM

Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
Originally Posted By: BrianL


Call......
FARMERS COOPERATIVE
Certified Expert Dealer 2049 TWIN OAKS DR, ELKINS, AR479-643-2004Today: 8:00AM-6:00PM

479-643-2004

$40/bag for AM 500 and can have it in this Friday.


Yes, that's our local store 2.5 miles from my house. They might tell you that. It's just talk. I can place my order and it will never come in or else take six weeks if I call every week. Been there done that. Couldn't get MVP at all through them last year. Got one bag through Fayetteville and took six weeks. That's $40 plus 10.5% tax. $44.20.

That was last year and I am reluctant to deal with them again.


I'm really sorry to hear about the poor service there. Anyone can slip up occasionally, but if it happens repeatedly...
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/19/18 09:49 AM

Originally Posted By: anthropic

I'm really sorry to hear about the poor service there. Anyone can slip up occasionally, but if it happens repeatedly...


It's not all the store personnel's fault. It's their silly ordering system.

From what I understand, if an ordered item is not at their distributing warehouse within a week, the order gets cancelled. The store clerk has to place the order again, and go up the supply chain to ensure the warehouse gets it in stock. If not in stock at the warehouse after this, it gets cancelled again. When it finally comes in at the warehouse, there is no existing order for the feed unless the store clerk has placed the order again within the previous week.

It's asking a lot these days for store clerks to follow up on orders, it seems. That's why you have to hound them every week until it comes in. It's a hassle and somewhat embarrassing to do so.

Hopefully someone from the Purina supply chain is reading this.

The individual bag/half pallet shipping rates are too high to justify for all the feed brands. I wish there was a mill close by.....

Edit: I just ordered a bag of AM500 from them (local store). I am not going to follow up or hound them. Waiting to see what happens, if they call when it's in or if it ever comes in.

Posted by: jpsdad

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/19/18 11:08 AM

Originally Posted By: snrub
I personally think you will get good growth out of the Game Fish Chow. I think you will get a lot better growth than no feed at all.

It would just be better if you could get the better feed.


I agree with snrub. Keep in mind, even though the BG don't get as much gain ... the excrement containing feed not fully digested will be eaten by pond creatures that are very good food for your BG.

John, if your pond is used to being fed, I wouldn't cut them off of the feed abruptly. If you plan to stop feeding, there should be a a way to wean them off feed gradually without deleterious effects. Since you have a goal of 1 lb bluegill here are a few ideas.

1. Without the feed, you will need to reduce the number of bluegill. Perhaps you can supplement LMB numbers with LMB large enough to escape predation.

2. You could manually remove <6" BG by fishing or seining. Someone recently posed the question of how to grind fish in order to feed pond fish. If this isn't too much trouble, it seems a brilliant way to reduce BG recruitment and feed BG directly.

3. You could harvest some 6" to 9" BG focusing on females that you have already fed and grown.

The amount you harvest/crop should probably be related to how much (weight of feed) you've been feeding them annually. I don't know what this number would be, perhaps others can offer ideas with regard to this.

Feed is not unlike fertilization. It takes the pond to a new level of production. Curtailing this fertility can have unwanted side effects. So fertilization and feed are accompanied with their contingent commitments to stay the course. Even so, you could transition to less or no feed just be sure to have a plan in place if you determine this course of action.

I know your goal of 1lb BG is important to you because you have written about it many times. Don't forget that it can be done without fertilization or feed. I know this because I have caught a number of them from ponds which are not fertilized nor fed. These ponds had very numerous LMB. If you don't need feed or fertilization, then you can do it with Game Fish Chow for supplemental feed and fertility. Regardless of whether you feed this feed or that, or even if you feed at all, it will be the management of bluegill numbers that will play the most important role in achieving the 1lb BG goals.
Posted by: ewest

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 06/19/18 11:17 AM

Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
If you guys say CC pellets have little or no effect on BG growth, then I am going to cease feeding.

We can't keep CC over winter in this neighborhood as nocturnal otters get them.


John catfish pellets will most certainly help BG and are much better than nothing at all.
Posted by: aeb

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 09/20/18 12:05 AM

Post after post the last several years concerning problems with local suppliers. I was in the retail business for several years and if I had a customer that wanted a one-eyed donkey, I'd bust my butt to fill his order. Something just does not make sense because when I start feeding in the Spring, my feed store manager and I go to his office and he pulls out the Purina order sheet and we look at what is available to him THIS YEAR. My order goes on the sheet and the cycle begins. If I beat the deadline, it is on the next truck...if I'm late, the following week. Sometimes the warehouse has supply problems with slow-moving items but I keep a stash in case that happens. Nothing that my supplier can do about that. I'm not a big account...just a customer! As I said...something about this just does not make sense.
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 09/20/18 08:02 AM

Fish feed is a pretty small industry compared to other feeds. The demand just isnít there when compared to livestock and chickens. But, there are some good ones. I like Optimax, Al Hall uses Cargill and Lusk uses Purina. Iíve fished their places and all of us raise huge bluegills. I wouldnít hesitate to use any of them.

Iíve never had good results from TSC feed but figure itís better than nothing.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 09/20/18 09:49 AM

Fortunately for me one local Purena dealer decided to stock Aquamax MVP. So now I can go up to the store and get what I need any time I need it. As long as they are willing to do that I want to patronize them. Plus the AM MVP at $42 a 50# bag is just more competitive priced than having feed shipped through the UPS. They also have bags of Game Chow and Catfish Chow but I do not use either of those (unless I have to).

I also feed a fair amount of Optimal but the AM MVP is definitely my core feed program. What I like about the Optimal is I can order small amounts and have it on my doorstep. If I order anything a little weird from Purena, like starter or AM400 or some other feed that no one else uses in the area, I might get it, might not, might be a month later. It is so unpredictable. So right now I have some Optimal Starter 4 I am feeding the recent YOY BG along the shore line, some BG - BG JR - Bass that I mix up and feed my SMB/RES pond with and some Optimal Hand Toss I try to entice my LMB but the biggest HBG and CC end up eating 99%. So the Optimal is very handy to get small orders of anything out of the ordinary that any local feed dealer would be crazy to try and stock (because most of it probably would sit and rot on their shelves).

So in the end I feed probably 75% Purena and 25% Optimal.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 09/21/18 08:21 AM

For 3 yrs I bought Cargills and had it shipped directly to the farm. I usually bought around 40 sks at a time of mixed size's. I had problems with mice, they loved that stuff. But a few months back I made a deal with my seed and feed store guy, where he stocks Aquamax lmb and MVP for me. I no longer have mice problems. And snrub I pay $42 plus change for the MVP also. $44 plus some change for the LMB food. I have purchased Optimal once in the past but from now on I will just stay with the Purina as long as it's easy to get.
Posted by: Vortex 4

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 10:41 AM

I feed MVP and have tried some Aquamax LMB that I get from the local feed store. ($42/ 50lb bag.) I am their only Aquamax customer.

The Cargill rep stopped by and saw the Aquamax. He dropped off a free Triton Aquafeed 4512 for me to try. It has good numbers. Lots of protein (45%) etc. The protein comes from "animal protein products, plant protein products". Not sure what that means. Chicken feathers?

Well I'll give it a shot and see what the fish think. No idea on the price difference.

Anybody use this? I feed LMB and CNBG. I'm sure the CNBG will be fine with it, more concerned with the LMB.

On a humorous note. The tag says "This feed is designed to be fed fish." So I guess I'm supposed to feed fish to the bag of feed?
Posted by: Vortex 4

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 11:14 AM

Couldn't find any info at the Cargill site, (ughhh guys - time to put a little effort into your web site dudes!) but our friends at Overton sell Cargill. It seems that the last two digits are the pellet size. 12 means 1/8 inch (.125) pellets.

They recommend Cargill for LMB and I figure they know what they are doing. (My fish are all from Overton.) So I'll try some with the MVP and see how it goes.
Posted by: FireIsHot

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 02:52 PM

Hopefully these open correctly. They're converted from pdf to jpg.
Posted by: Vortex 4

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 02:56 PM

Opened fine. Thanks. Do you feed these?
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Vortex 4
I feed MVP and have tried some Aquamax LMB that I get from the local feed store. ($42/ 50lb bag.) I am their only Aquamax customer.

The Cargill rep stopped by and saw the Aquamax. He dropped off a free Triton Aquafeed 4512 for me to try. It has good numbers. Lots of protein (45%) etc. The protein comes from "animal protein products, plant protein products". Not sure what that means. Chicken feathers?

Well I'll give it a shot and see what the fish think. No idea on the price difference.

Anybody use this? I feed LMB and CNBG. I'm sure the CNBG will be fine with it, more concerned with the LMB.

On a humorous note. The tag says "This feed is designed to be fed fish." So I guess I'm supposed to feed fish to the bag of feed?


Vortex I feed the 4512 at my pond and they eat it up faster than I can get it to them . Had used other feed and they were not doing well on it (thin) within several weeks after switching to 4512 their body conditions was much improved. Have not fed it to LMB on purpose cause I donít have any feed trained LMB other than a few that trained themselves
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 03:03 PM

Think the ď12Ē is the fat
Posted by: FireIsHot

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 04:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Vortex 4
Opened fine. Thanks. Do you feed these?

Yes, it's the primary brand I feed my fish. I feed from 2.2 Aquaxcel to 9.5mm Triton. I also hand feed either Optimal Hand Throw or Purina LMB food to my HSB. I use more of the Purina because it floats longer than the Optimal, and gives me a better idea of how much to feed daily. Once the pellets sink, I can't gauge how much the HSB are eating.

Originally Posted By: Vortex 4
...The Cargill rep stopped by and saw the Aquamax. He dropped off a free Triton Aquafeed 4512 for me to try. It has good numbers. Lots of protein (45%) etc. The protein comes from "animal protein products, plant protein products". Not sure what that means. Chicken feathers?...

I don't think the animal protein, which is the primary ingredient in both Optimal and Cargill, is chicken. After fish meal, Purina lists their second ingredient as "poultry by-product meal", so I assume animal and chicken products are listed separately.
Posted by: Vortex 4

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 05:29 PM

Opened the bag and tossed some in. Both the CNBG and LMB don't show an obvious preference to either the Cargill or Purina. They hit both aggressively.

I'll have my feedstore check the price. I lean towards the Purina as they list the protein sources, and the first is fish meal. If the Cargill is significantly cheaper I'll use it for the gills and Aquamax LMB for the bass.

I'm lucky I have a good feed store that goes out of their way to get what I need.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/11/19 06:42 PM

You are lucky to have a feed store that has stuff. We have long dated feed from TS and it doesnít do much for their growth. Itís cheap. Overtons sells it ( 4512) for 39$ a bag. Works for me
Posted by: JoeG

Re: Aquamax vs Game Fish Chow - 04/26/19 11:39 AM

I used to feed Purina but my local co-op is terrible about ordering, they only get one Purina order a month and it seems I always missed their order date, they couldn't tell me a calendar day they order each month, and it just got to be a hassle, not to mention $57 a bag for 50 pound of grower 600.

I fed TSC multi species exclusively for a year and definitely did notice a decrease in overall fish health, mainly less meat on average when I would harvest. I really liked the multiple pellet size, but they protein level is a bit low for YP and it kinda smelled like cat food to me.


I feed Mellick Aqua feed 40/10, 7.5 mm floating pellets to my YP now and they grow well on it. I can buy Mellick brand feed cheaper than Purina, a dozen bags of Purina will cost me over $600 and I can get the same amount from Mellick shipped here for around $425 and that includes the freight. I am also able to support a business in my own state, which I like.

http://www.melickaquafeed.com/index.html