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#243794 - 12/31/10 01:48 PM Bluegill diet/ water quality
mikesherman Offline


Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1
Loc: South West - FL
how long before a newly hatched bluegill will start to feed on a pellet diet?

When bluegill start feeding on a pellet diet, a couple times a day do they still feed on invertebrates and zooplankton or do they just fill their stomachs on pellet feed and stop eating when full?

If the majority of bluegill mainly feed on the pellet diet, in contrast this will leave more zooplankton and more macroinvertebrates meaning more organisms to feed on algae which would mean a clearer pond correct?
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#243797 - 12/31/10 02:22 PM Re: Bluegill diet/ water quality [Re: mikesherman]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Mike,

Since I now spawn, hatch, and feed train bluegills in one of my ponds I think I can answer your questions. But for those of you that have more technical info please chime in (i.e. Eric West, Bill Cody, Bob Lusk, CJS2005 etc.)


Originally Posted By: mikesherman
how long before a newly hatched bluegill will start to feed on a pellet diet?


Not sure about the time duration but I've got them feeding on trout starter diet at about a 1/4 of an inch in my bluegill production pond. I believe that is couple weeks after hatch but could be wrong.


Originally Posted By: mikesherman
When bluegill start feeding on a pellet diet, a couple times a day do they still feed on invertebrates and zooplankton or do they just fill their stomachs on pellet feed and stop eating when full?


Yes as far as i could tell, anything that fits in their mouths is fair game especially when I'm not feeding them. Depending on their size they can feed 24/7 (the really small fish) to only once or twice a day for the largest bulls.


Originally Posted By: mikesherman
If the majority of bluegill mainly feed on the pellet diet, in contrast this will leave more zooplankton and more macroinvertebrates meaning more organisms to feed on algae which would mean a clearer pond correct?


"It all depends." Depends on density of fish as to how much grazing they will do. I wouldn't depend on it especially in a recreational pond with predators.



Edited by Cecil Baird1 (12/31/10 02:23 PM)
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#243801 - 12/31/10 04:02 PM Re: Bluegill diet/ water quality [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Bill Cody Offline
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Cecil has provided some good basic info. Technically BG and many other fish that can be trained to eat pelletized food can begin feeding on artificial food as soon as their air bladder in filled with air. This is at very young age and small size as Cecil indicates. At this size the food is the size of fine powder. Generally, the smaller the BG are the more often they will feed if food is available. Generally the more BG that are feeding on pellets, this does take some of the predation pressure off the natural food items. HOWEVER, IMO this will not result in a high enough abundance of extra invertebrates to comsume a noticable amount of nuisance algae. What in reality actually happens is added nutrients sources from pelet feeding increases algae growth / production. Plus more BG will recruit into the population due to added food reserves. Catch 22 type of thing.
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#243805 - 12/31/10 05:22 PM Re: Bluegill diet/ water quality [Re: Bill Cody]
ewest Offline
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Will probably not make much difference in clarity. There are other ways to deal with algae if needed. Where is your pond generally ? You may read here that tilapia will work on algae but they are not allowed in MS without a permit.

BG are generalist feeders (eat many things) and will eat natural foods at the same time as pellets. That is also what is best for them - not all pellets but enough to supplement natural sources but add to growth and condition.

Pelleted food comes in many forms from very small fry powder which is for just hatched fish to big pellets. Feed them the right size food for the situation. See this for example.

http://aquamax.purinamills.com/aquamaxproductlist.pdf
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