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#497368 - 10/10/18 05:54 PM CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content?
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 101
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Has anyone seen any analysis on fathead minnows or other commonly stocked baitfish with respect to crude protein/crude fat? My trophy bluegill pond is heavily populated with fathead minnows and I've been supplementing high protein feeds. Since I expect fathead minnows to be the most readily available natural food source, I'm wondering if this drags down the net protein intake of the the CNBG based on the fact that my supplemental feed is around 40% protein/12% fat.
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#497369 - 10/10/18 06:53 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 153
Loc: Texas
Just my take ...

A person will be hard pressed to find better food for BG than FHM. That includes ANY manmade food. What makes a better manmade food is the relative quantity of fish meal.

I would bet your fish are growing very well with minnows there, better than without them IMHO.

Can't say for sure but I've wondered whether the presence of small fish is required to grow really big bluegill, particularly in length. Many complain about getting fish over the 11" mark. To grow fish over 11" may require the abundance of small fish you have.


Edited by jpsdad (10/10/18 07:06 PM)

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#497387 - 10/11/18 11:38 AM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: jpsdad]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 101
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Thanks for the feedback and I agree with you that my current condition is probably much better than the average pond for achieving solid bluegill growth. I started thinking about this topic as part of mentally preparing for the next 6 months. My CNBG currently have high quality food every where they turn. Fathead minnows, Aquamax/Optimal feedings twice per day, etc...But I expect that things are going to drastically change between now and next spring due to my recent introduction of largemouth bass to control BG recruitment. I expect the minnow numbers to drastically decline, which means I'll have to increase my supplemental feeding. I'm ok with that but it just got me thinking about how the minnow nutritional values compare to the higher quality fish feed. I have read about feed trials where caged BG showed impressive growth where presumably most of their diet was man made feed. Of course, the trials weren't trying to grow 11"+ fish. ;-)
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#497389 - 10/11/18 12:25 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 807
Loc: West Central Missouri
I am in a similar situation as my FHM base will likely be all but gone next year. They have helped my HSB go from about 0.1 pound to 1.4 pounds since the late April stocking and the HBG that went in are now 3 times the weight. Optimal feeds have also been available once a day.

I have not seen any reports, but I have read that a fish is 90% water. That only leaves 10% for proteins, fats, etc.

Anyhow, I suspect my feed rates to increase as well. It seems logical that the fish will continue to desire the same calorie/day diet, but may actually be able to consume more calories per day due to the lack of water content in the feed compared to the water content of the FHM. I think of it this way...

Pellet Feed = More Taste, Less Filling!

Whereas the minnows are likely more filling because of the percentage of water that they are made of. The fish may actually grow more if I afford to put the feed to them.

Feeding this year has been pretty weak which has got to have something to do with the abundant presence of minnows and crawdads. Next year I expect the feed demand to skyrocket and the FHM presence to fall off even further. We will see!
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Noel

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#497390 - 10/11/18 12:46 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Jim Wetzel Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Posts: 347
Loc: Holts Summit, MO
I am basing this on what I did almost 20 years ago with LMB and its hybrid fed a range of forages involving minnows and crayfish. The forages where all about 60 percent moisture as consumed. On a dry weight basis, thee forage protein content ranged 60 to 80%. The higher protein percentage was associated with lower fat levels and higher moisture levels with the latter approaching 80%. The bass could compensate to a large degree for the moisture content in the forages to make so their dry matter consumption rate was near what you see with consumption of pellets. The bass could get really big bellies eating the forage but the real kicker is the bass appear to me markedly more efficient at converting forage dry matter into bass growth than they were with pellets. Pellets way cheaper though.

Bluegill will be the same.


Low fat content in forage, just theory, can be what really limits growth of the predator.
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Cooperative Research / Extension
Lincoln University of Missouri

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#497394 - 10/11/18 02:06 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19534
Loc: Miss.
BG eats lots of other things. See link below and be sure to scroll the items at top.

Also the type of lipid (fat) is key.


http://fishbase.org/TrophicEco/FoodItems...ies=macrochirus


Edited by ewest (10/11/18 02:08 PM)
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#497423 - 10/12/18 02:10 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 101
Loc: Edgefield, SC
With all the science behind pond and aquarium hobbies, I'm surprised how difficult it is to find nutrition information about commonly used "feeder fish". I did manage to find some "freeze dried minnows" that are intended as cat/dog treats. The analysis shows 60% crude protein. That is better than I expected and may explain why feeding time in my pond doesn't result in bluegill feeding frenzies. They are surrounded by a higher quality food all day.

https://www.amazon.com/Vital-Essentials-Freeze-Dried-Minnows-Ingredient/dp/B01HC1ZV58
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-Jason

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#497428 - 10/12/18 02:49 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 101
Loc: Edgefield, SC
I missed some of the responses above before posting. @Jim Wetzel, thanks for sharing your findings. I guess it makes sense that fish would naturally be efficient "dehydrators" given the moisture content of practically all of their food sources. The more time I spend on this site, the more I understand the "It depends..."answer. haha

Quarter Acre, I noticed that you and I were starting our projects at about the same time so it will be interesting to compare notes over the next year. Is HSB your only predator? How long have they been stocked?
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-Jason

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#497429 - 10/12/18 03:05 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 807
Loc: West Central Missouri
HSB are the only fish predators. I have a GBH, King Fishers and coons too...lol. I put the HSB, RES, and HBG in the pond last April (2018)into a FHM, tadpole , and crawdad laden pond.
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Fish on!,
Noel

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#497433 - 10/12/18 04:51 PM Re: CNBG Growth & Fathead Minnow Protein Content? [Re: Quarter Acre]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 101
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
HSB are the only fish predators. I have a GBH, King Fishers and coons too...lol. I put the HSB, RES, and HBG in the pond last April (2018)into a FHM, tadpole , and crawdad laden pond.


I found and added your pond log thread to my watch list. Your fish look great!
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-Jason

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