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Thread Like Summary
anthropic
Total Likes: 4
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#520745 05/08/2020 8:16 PM
by anthropic
anthropic
I've been thinking hard about sinking feed lately, mostly due to the greedy birds that dine on fish pellets at my place. Geese aren't nearly as happy with sinking pellets, and some fish are more eager to hit stuff that doesn't force them to the surface. More fish food ends up in the fish, which is big considering how expensive the stuff is these days!

One thing I hadn't considered is how sinking pellets might also change the game with respect to redears and maybe crappie. Neither rise to the surface to feed, so normally it's very tough to supplement their diet. But what if most of the feed sank? What if more of it got to the bottom? Could some be extruded to more closely resemble what redear normally eat? Could those pellets be extruded to sink more rapidly to get down to the redears without being totally gobbled by CNBG and LMB?

Dustin at Optimal is working on these questions, though hampered by the weird economic conditions. Purina MVP is about 20 percent sinking already, wonder if they could do some runs where it is 80 percent & see what happens?

I absolutely LOVE to watch fish come to the surface to feed. Plus, floating pellets allow us to better track fish moods. But maybe we should give more thought to the advantages of sinking pellets.
Liked Replies
by NEDOC
NEDOC
Anthropic great thread and glad you started it. I believe Dustin is working hard right now on this project. A few other theoretical advantages of sinking feed........... 1) Fish feed has traditionally had carbs mixed with it to provide the desired 'floating pellet' quality that many pondmeisters desire. While these pellets do make fish grow faster, theoretically the fish don't live as long due to damage from carb intake. Essentially (I don't mean to state this as fact, but it is a strong opinion of mine) your fish grow just as large without pellets (or nearly), but it takes more time. With sinking feed the carbs can be decreased, and with it removing the negative impact the carbs have on your fish. The potential to improve the quality of fish feed increases dramatically without the need for carbs in the feed 2) Most fish tend to only feed on floating pellets best during low light conditions. In my experience this doesn't hold quite as true for sinking feeds. In theory this extends the time in a day you can feed your fish. Mine even take well to sinking pellets around my green light when it is completely dark out. And 3) my experience has been that once water temps drop below 55 surface feeding slows tremedously, if not stopping completely. The little I've played with homemade hydrated feed this has not been the case at all. I've had fish feeding on homemade pellets in 40-45 degree water. Hopefully this means a pondmeister could extend his fish feeding an extra month or so in the spring and fall, and possibly feed all winter in the south. In fact, I hope to keep a small spot ice free this winter in my pond and drop sinking pellets off of a belt feeder through the winter months and see what type of response I get.

I hope the experts chime in on this as in my mind incorporating sinking feed into the pond management protocol could be a game changer.
1 member likes this
by Snipe
Snipe
What about the feed that drops into what may be un useable water due to low or no DO for those of us that don't turn the entire pond? My opinion here but I feel like the 20% sink is for a reason. I understand some fish are surface shy, but I also think there's a lot more to this than meets the eye here.
1 member likes this
by Shorty
Shorty
My experience feed training RES is that once feed hits the bottom most of it will go uneaten. A very slow sinking feed would be better, movement seems to be a feeding trigger and once it hits the bottom and is no longer moving it normally doesn't get eaten. Last time I feed trained RES I had 4 or 5 RES that would pick pellets off the bottom of the tank, the other 80 of so RES just ignored the motionless feed on the bottom.
1 member likes this
#520900 May 12th a 03:00 PM
by ewest
ewest
I have used a piece of tin (roof type) suspended about a foot off the bottom in 4 ft of water to feed sinking pellets over. RES would eat off the tin but not all the pellets were eaten. You have to get the solids off of the tin every once in a while for it to continue working. Some of those RES would feed train to eat at the surface.
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