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3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? #517089 02/20/20 07:46 PM
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What size would the forum choose for feeding newly stocked 3-5" BG/HBG/RES?

~0.4A pond would also have 12lb of FHM in it.

Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517091 02/20/20 07:51 PM
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anthropic Offline
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I'd go Jr. Easier for smaller fish and FHM. When BG grow a couple of inches, maybe this summer, switch to regular BG.

But that's just me, the real experts might differ!


8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19




Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517097 02/20/20 10:06 PM
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You will see great growth of the BG feeding them Optimal. Come back and report your results. Other members report seeing many of the RES also eating the Optimal pellets.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/20/20 10:08 PM.

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Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517105 02/21/20 01:08 AM
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I'm one of those that have been blessed with some RES coming to feed.
I can also say I found some real BULL male BG in my fall net samples last year that pleasantly surprised me on the growth rates.
I'm very biased in my choice of Optimal.(Jr.)

Last edited by Snipe; 02/21/20 01:09 AM.

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Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517119 02/21/20 08:43 AM
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Junior it is...I was leaning that way but wanted first-hand experience.

I want these initial stocker panfish to have the best possible initial growth opportunity prior to introducing LMB in the fall, and while Optimal isn't "cheap" the results posted here are undeniable and will be worth the investment.

Hopefully Optimal Jr. plus 12lb FHM will help get 'em off on the right foot.

Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517128 02/21/20 01:09 PM
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I go through almost exactly a full bag per season but I only hand throw and unfortunately my schedule doesn't allow an every night, same time option. I always do a same place throw and that works well. They are lined up and ready.

But I wanted to give flexibility in sizes. To do that you either have to hand grind, or smash with hammer to get random sizes including some powdered result. pre-soaking helps a lot as the soft gooy pellets ooze fish oil and it is easy for smaller fish to slurp it up.

But what I did was I bought a bag of the Jr size and the regular size and mixed. I then split it half and half and gave half to someone else. You could also take a one of their starter sizes (Starter 2 or 4) and mix with Optimal BG JR size and have a great blend.

wait! checked their web page, what happened to Starter #3? I guess everyone skips 3rd grade and goes from 2nd to 4th grade?

I also see at the store that they now offer 10 pound buckets, that would make it easier for me to get smaller quantities for mixing.\

If folks from Optimal are reading this can you answer a question? If I bought the 10# product in a bucket, how big is that bucket by volume? Is that a standard 1 gallon bucket or 2 gallon bucket?

Thanks

Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: canyoncreek] #517134 02/21/20 02:47 PM
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Canyoncreek,

It's always great to read about how people are tackling their unique feed issues in creative ways!

I think it's important to keep in mind that the starter sizes are very very small. I don't think the 0, 1, & 2 would throw in a feeder, and if they do it would probably make a mess.

A rough idea
#0 - <50 microns (It is between flour and sugar)
#1 - 800 micron (close to the size of a period . )
#2 - 1.2 mm (about two periods in diameter)
#3 - 1.8 mm
#4 - 2.5 mm

We are convinced that trophy fish are made in the first few months after hatch, so we've spent a lot of time researching starter feeds. Although we are extremely happy with our starter feed lines, we have found some ways to improve them, and are currently in the process of getting them updated. The starter #3 line is the first one we are changing out, and so it is not currently on the website. Once we get everything updated it will be back!

We've been offering 10 lb buckets...but we have a heck of a time sourcing buckets and lids that consistently work together. They are 2 lb buckets nearly identical to the type to can find in the paint section at a local home improvement store.

Since most people don't really need 40 lbs of those tiny feeds, we will continue to offer 10 pound versions...but they will likely change from 10 lb buckets to 10 lb bags this year.

Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: optimalfishfood] #517138 02/21/20 05:14 PM
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anthropic Offline
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Originally Posted By: optimalfishfood
Canyoncreek,

It's always great to read about how people are tackling their unique feed issues in creative ways!

I think it's important to keep in mind that the starter sizes are very very small. I don't think the 0, 1, & 2 would throw in a feeder, and if they do it would probably make a mess.

A rough idea
#0 - <50 microns (It is between flour and sugar)
#1 - 800 micron (close to the size of a period . )
#2 - 1.2 mm (about two periods in diameter)
#3 - 1.8 mm
#4 - 2.5 mm

We are convinced that trophy fish are made in the first few months after hatch, so we've spent a lot of time researching starter feeds. Although we are extremely happy with our starter feed lines, we have found some ways to improve them, and are currently in the process of getting them updated. The starter #3 line is the first one we are changing out, and so it is not currently on the website. Once we get everything updated it will be back!

We've been offering 10 lb buckets...but we have a heck of a time sourcing buckets and lids that consistently work together. They are 2 lb buckets nearly identical to the type to can find in the paint section at a local home improvement store.

Since most people don't really need 40 lbs of those tiny feeds, we will continue to offer 10 pound versions...but they will likely change from 10 lb buckets to 10 lb bags this year.



I tried mixing some of the 0, 1, 2 feed with larger pellets in the hopes of getting the feeders to throw it together. Worked a little better, but eventually the tiny stuff would lock together like concrete in the high humidity of east Texas.

Would a drop feeder work better?

Last edited by anthropic; 02/21/20 05:16 PM.

8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19




Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: anthropic] #517139 02/21/20 06:01 PM
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Yeah, that little feed can be pretty messy.

I am constantly amazed by all the different modifications to feeders people have come up with to feed their fish. So the safe answer would be, with enough ingenuity (and a vacuum to clean up the ideas that don't work) one could probably use any type of feeder they had.

In our R&D facility we use some belt feeders and vibratory feeders for the smallest stuff. I have limited experience with drop feeders, but I would imagine humidity will definitely be problematic with feed that small.

I wish I had a clear answer for you, but it's just very small and very sticky stuff!

Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: optimalfishfood] #517142 02/21/20 06:30 PM
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Thanks. What feeder that is best suited for the little stuff, vibratory or belt? I'd love to have one situated near my largest spawning area, as I'm not always on site.


8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19




Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517149 02/21/20 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: Paul FNG
What size would the forum choose for feeding newly stocked 3-5" BG/HBG/RES?

~0.4A pond would also have 12lb of FHM in it.


5" BG will spawn pretty quickly and you might consider getting some starter #4 for the new recruits. I hand feed around my pond during spawning season and 2" BG will line up in shallow water along the bank waiting for it. I throw it just a foot or so out from the edge of the pond anywhere along the bank I see small BG. One bag will last me all season on a 3 acre pond, so a small pond 10# might be enough.

Last edited by snrub; 02/21/20 11:15 PM.

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Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517159 02/22/20 11:54 AM
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I'm going to be working with a belt feeder and some Optimal #2 as soon as the water warms up. Belt feeders tend to run around $300. Dustin from Optimal will be kept in the loop as to how well this works, so I may start a post to chronicle my progress/failure. Looking at the belt feeder I'm not sure how it wouldn't work. The only issue is that it needs to be filled every 24 hrs. The pond I'm going to start in has HSB, SMB and RES. So that could be very interesting.


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Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: optimalfishfood] #517160 02/22/20 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: optimalfishfood
Yeah, that little feed can be pretty messy.

I am constantly amazed by all the different modifications to feeders people have come up with to feed their fish. So the safe answer would be, with enough ingenuity (and a vacuum to clean up the ideas that don't work) one could probably use any type of feeder they had.

In our R&D facility we use some belt feeders and vibratory feeders for the smallest stuff. I have limited experience with drop feeders, but I would imagine humidity will definitely be problematic with feed that small.

I wish I had a clear answer for you, but it's just very small and very sticky stuff!


One question for Optimalfishfood, I believe on your website it says that Optimal #4 is a slow sinking feed. In my experience with it, it has remained afloat for a significant amount of time. I'm one of the unusual pondmeisters that wants sinking feed and would like to progress to your largest size of sinking pellet. What size is that presently? Or did I just get a batch of #4 that normally sinks, but didn't in this case?

Last edited by NEDOC; 02/22/20 12:25 PM.

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Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #517177 02/22/20 11:42 PM
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I believe last summer Dustin told me they made a change and that the #4 would mostly float now. It did for me.


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Re: 3-5" BG...Optimal BG or Jr? [Re: Paul FNG] #518549 03/29/20 09:56 AM
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15 days ago I stocked 200 3-5" BG, 100 3-5" HBG, and 100 3-4" RES. I also stocked 10lb of FHM.

I have a modified Moultree deer feeder that throws Opimal Jr. for two seconds at 6pm each day.

I have been up to the pond at midday through afternoon, and have hand-thrown some feed into the pond near structure, but other than the day I stocked fish have not seen any active feeding. Max depth is 10-10.5' (average probably 7' right now), water is murky from suspended clay (rain and not enough ground cover) and gets aerated 4p-7p every day since well before the fish were stocked.

I know the fish are still getting acclimated to their new home.

Is it possible 3-5" panfish are eating FHM in addition to the Optimal?

Last edited by Paul FNG; 03/29/20 09:56 AM.

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