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#469852 - 04/18/17 03:59 PM Optimal feed
boltesc Offline


Registered: 03/04/16
Posts: 11
Loc: North Carolina
I'm not affiliated with Optimal feed but I thought I would pass on that I have really liked it. We're feeding the Starter feed #3 in a new lake project and the Blue Gill Jr in existing ponds. They have turned on to the Bluegill Jr quickly despite its different appearance. Throws well out of our Texas Hunter feeders as well.

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#469871 - 04/18/17 10:07 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 12845
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
It's a good feed. I like it.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#469885 - 04/19/17 07:33 AM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 910
Loc: NE Missouri
I think I'm on the other end of the scale. I believe I may stop feeding it. Last week I fished the pond for a few hours. I have primarily a YP and SMB pond. I added a few HBG a year and a half ago, so that the grandkids would have something to catch in the middle of the summer days. Last week I was only catching HBG after the sun had been up for a while. The HBG are doing very well, for not having been in the pond all that long.
My problem is, the SMB and the YP haven't grown much at all. I'm trying to keep as many HBG as I can, but they might be out reproducing the YP and for sure the SMB. Maybe I'll go back to Purina. I just don't remember which AM size to go with.
_________________________
2 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
I subscribe..

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#469900 - 04/19/17 12:38 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: SetterGuy]
esshup Offline
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Field Correspondent

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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23560
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Switching foods probably won't help. If the HBG are eating all the food before the YP/SMB see it, then what? If you are saying that the HBG won't like to eat the other brand of food, what will you do if the YP/SMB don't eat it either?

Either feed more so the HBG get their fill and there is food left over for the other fish, or feed a larger pellet size (like Optimal Bass food. I don't know if a larger pellet will help, but I know in my pond the bass don't want to eat a smaller pellet, they will eat a clump of small pellets, but not an individual one.

I don't "see" a YP eating the food, but I know they are by the splash they make at the surface of the pond. They rocket up from down deep, start their turn, grab a pellet and rocket back down.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#469916 - 04/19/17 05:35 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
NEDOC Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 567
Loc: SC Nebraska
The only way people would take my Optimal away would be over my cold, dead body......... smile

















Edited by NEDOC (04/19/17 06:05 PM)
_________________________
Just a Pond Boss 'sponge'

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#469953 - 04/20/17 07:40 AM Re: Optimal feed [Re: esshup]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 910
Loc: NE Missouri
Originally Posted By: esshup
Switching foods probably won't help. If the HBG are eating all the food before the YP/SMB see it, then what? If you are saying that the HBG won't like to eat the other brand of food, what will you do if the YP/SMB don't eat it either?

Either feed more so the HBG get their fill and there is food left over for the other fish, or feed a larger pellet size (like Optimal Bass food. I don't know if a larger pellet will help, but I know in my pond the bass don't want to eat a smaller pellet, they will eat a clump of small pellets, but not an individual one.

I don't "see" a YP eating the food, but I know they are by the splash they make at the surface of the pond. They rocket up from down deep, start their turn, grab a pellet and rocket back down.


Makes sense Scott. Maybe I need to run the feeder longer. I'll also keep removing the HBG. Looks like it was a mistake (for me) to add them. I was thinking possibly some of the other feed might sink, giving the YP a better chance of getting some.
FYI, I changed from 6 seconds, twice a day, to 10 seconds. The feed still disappears in less than a minute.
Thanks
Jeff


Edited by SetterGuy (04/20/17 07:59 AM)
_________________________
2 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
I subscribe..

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#469965 - 04/20/17 09:54 AM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1402
Loc: West Michigan
your fish are starving! Feed them! Does the timer not go past 10 sec? How about 30 sec?

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#469968 - 04/20/17 10:23 AM Re: Optimal feed [Re: canyoncreek]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23560
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Jeff. try 20 seconds the next time you are out there. The HBG might be hogging all the pellets and keeping the YP away from the food because they might be more aggressive. If the food still disappears in the same amount of time, immediately do a test throw for 10 seconds. If it still disappears just as fast, do another 10 second test throw. Keep repeating until at some point you will see a decreased feeding response. Then set the next scheduled feeding event for that length of throw time. Keep it up for a week and see if you have YP coming to the feed then.

I have no problem with getting the YP to come up to the surface for feed, but I found out that in my pond, feeding them during low light (within an hour of sunrise/sunset) had the best feeding response. Throw feed out at high noon and you'd wonder where all the fish went.

Now, maybe if I were to have a high noon feeding time, they might get used to it. I don't know.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#470007 - 04/20/17 09:32 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 910
Loc: NE Missouri
I always feed at sunup and sundown. The YP I was feeding last year were all full of Optima when I cleaned them. It wasn't that long ago that 6 seconds left food floating for too long, and it floated against the bank. I still get some if the wind is right. The FHM work on the food against the shore. I'll start adding 10 second increments, and see when it slows down. The HBG have exploded in size and weight. That's exactly what Optima is supposed to do. I'm not sure how much recruitment I've had with the HBG. I don't want very many, as I really prefer to eat the YP.

I don't think any of my fish are starving. There's still FHM and GSH in fair #s in the pond. Three big sunken cedar trees out where the feeder sends the feed. Timer goes to a minute..

I'll be back up next week, and see how many seconds I have to add.
Thx


Edited by SetterGuy (04/20/17 09:45 PM)
_________________________
2 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
I subscribe..

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#472185 - 05/18/17 12:34 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
Jeff Calvin Offline


Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Ohio USA
I hand feed one gallon of Optimal in a one+ acre pond every evening. When I feed them dry food, the gills (and bass of course) hit it hard and then the gills spit it out nearly 100% of the time. They keep cruising and do it again and again. (The bass, cats, perch, and Amur are total pigs and they just keep hitting the food repetitively)

The past 2-3 weeks I've hydrated the gallon of food and have noticed they still aggressively hit it and about 90% of the time they keep it in their mouths, and consume it, before hitting another pellet. After hydrating, I wait until the pellets swell up about 50% (before they get too mushy) just before I feed them.

The softer pellets are clearly being held on to longer (and permanently by the gills) than the hard pellets are.

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#472205 - 05/18/17 05:05 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: Jeff Calvin]
sprkplug Online   content
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6679
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Jeff Calvin
I hand feed one gallon of Optimal in a one+ acre pond every evening. When I feed them dry food, the gills (and bass of course) hit it hard and then the gills spit it out nearly 100% of the time. They keep cruising and do it again and again. (The bass, cats, perch, and Amur are total pigs and they just keep hitting the food repetitively)

The past 2-3 weeks I've hydrated the gallon of food and have noticed they still aggressively hit it and about 90% of the time they keep it in their mouths, and consume it, before hitting another pellet. After hydrating, I wait until the pellets swell up about 50% (before they get too mushy) just before I feed them.

The softer pellets are clearly being held on to longer (and permanently by the gills) than the hard pellets are.


Yep!
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#472210 - 05/18/17 05:29 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5114
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I'm going to try hydrated tonight. I'm also having problems with the BG not wanting to hang on to the dry Optimal BG pellet. Interesting, I did not notice this problem when feeding Sportsman Choice last summer or Optimal BG Jr last fall.


Edited by Bill D. (05/18/17 05:37 PM)
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#472220 - 05/18/17 07:31 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
optimalfishfood Offline


Registered: 07/15/16
Posts: 11
Loc: SD
This is very interesting. I would like to investigate this a bit more.

If you are experiencing this issue and are willing to answer a few questions please PM me!

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#472221 - 05/18/17 07:46 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
sprkplug Online   content
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6679
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
"Pick and spit", "pellet rejection", very common with our native BG, not so much the hybrids. I have watched a single BG take in and spit out the same pellet multiple times. Sometimes they get it down eventually, while other times they give up and move to another pellet. Also see larger, (8-9") fish do the same. They do clean up the feed completely, but not on the first feeding wave.

Hydrating it first really helps reduce pellet rejection in my experience, would love to see a softer pellet somehow.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#472222 - 05/18/17 07:47 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5114
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I'm going to try hydrated tonight. I'm also having problems with the BG not wanting to hang on to the dry Optimal BG pellet. Interesting, I did not notice this problem when feeding Sportsman Choice last summer or Optimal BG Jr last fall.


So I just came up from feeding hydrated Optimal BG. All I can say is WOW! what a difference hydrating made. I saw ZERO rejections. I am going to increase my feed amount by 50% right away and probably more as I see how it goes. I lacked a "recipe" for hydrating so I went with 3 parts pellets to 1 part water. Moisture content was ok. What ratio do you guys use?


Edited by Bill D. (05/18/17 07:49 PM)
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#472223 - 05/18/17 07:51 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: optimalfishfood]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5114
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: optimalfishfood
This is very interesting. I would like to investigate this a bit more.

If you are experiencing this issue and are willing to answer a few questions please PM me!



Happy to help anyway I can. Shoot me A PM with your questions.
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#472227 - 05/18/17 08:32 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
Corkman Offline


Registered: 02/17/15
Posts: 72
Loc: VA
Everything in my pond eats it like candy.

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#472228 - 05/18/17 08:51 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: Bill D.]
sprkplug Online   content
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6679
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I'm going to try hydrated tonight. I'm also having problems with the BG not wanting to hang on to the dry Optimal BG pellet. Interesting, I did not notice this problem when feeding Sportsman Choice last summer or Optimal BG Jr last fall.


So I just came up from feeding hydrated Optimal BG. All I can say is WOW! what a difference hydrating made. I saw ZERO rejections. I am going to increase my feed amount by 50% right away and probably more as I see how it goes. I lacked a "recipe" for hydrating so I went with 3 parts pellets to 1 part water. Moisture content was ok. What ratio do you guys use?


Bill, I don't really have a ratio, I just add water until it looks right, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then stir it up and let it set another couple minutes. My experience is that it will soften much faster than aquamax, which my bluegills also ate much better when softened.

I totally believe that softened pellets give my fish an edge. I understand the difficulties involved with producing, packaging, shipping, and storing soft pelleted feed, but I would love to give it a try if available. I hand feed only, so that gives me an edge over mechanical feeders in this regard.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#472236 - 05/18/17 09:43 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5114
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks Tony,

I noticed that the Optimal really hydrates fast as well. I figure as long as the pellets stay pellet shaped and don't turn to mush, I'm good to go with water content. Maybe I will stick to the 3 to 1 pellet to water ratio. Even the little 2 to 3 inch BG joined in the feast tonight as they ripped the pellets to pieces.


Edited by Bill D. (05/18/17 09:44 PM)
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#472238 - 05/18/17 10:26 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
scott69 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 834
Loc: Chambers county(Valley), alaba...
Yall are spoiling these fish by hydrating it..haha. i have swapped back and forth from aquamax and optimal. the fish really get used to eating a particular size and shape. it took my fish a while when i first changed to optimal, but now they take it instantly when i swap back to it.

a side note: i have a cage that i put fish in from time to time. it has a feeder ring floating in it. i noticed that the optimal will float much longer than am, which i think is a good thing especially when training young fish.

i can put the empty cage in the pond and throw feed in it daily. the bg get to hanging out in there, probably for security. the eventually get too large to escape. i have a bunch of 3-4" bg in there now that trapped themselves.
_________________________
Scott Hanners

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#472250 - 05/19/17 07:41 AM Re: Optimal feed [Re: boltesc]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 12845
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
It's really rare for feed at my pond to be spit out. I've seen it but it is unusual. Never had it happen with Optimal.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#472373 - 05/20/17 07:20 PM Re: Optimal feed [Re: scott69]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23560
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Scott69, talk to sprkplug about fish keying in on a certain sized pellet. When I was there last, he was feeding only Aquamax 500. Throw out Aquamax 600 and the fish wouldn't touch it. Strictly pellet size.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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