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4CornersPuddle, anthropic, Billy Bates, DrLuke, ewest, FishinRod, jludwig, jpsdad, KY_pond, Pat Williamson, SherWood, Snipe, tubguy
Total Likes: 30
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#546017 04/04/2022 2:17 PM
by roymunson
roymunson
I have a 3 acre pond freshly stocked with 2-3" perch last fall. I have a broadcast feeder I'm going to use. Any tips on what food to put them on? I bought them feed trained. This pond also will have some 4-6" SMB that are feed trained too. Would like to feed them both if possible. I'm a total noob at the feeding game.
Liked Replies
#547546 May 6th a 06:53 PM
by Bob Lusk
Bob Lusk
What a great thread!

I'll chime in as well. First off, I started consulting/working/learning with Purina Mills as an advisor and field test guy in 1995. Back then, all they really had was 32% Catfish Chow. We sent a letter to Purina, asking them to advertise in Pond Boss back then, and received a phone call from one of their top guys back then. They wanted to meet. "Yes, we want to advertise in Pond Boss, but we'd also like to meet with you. We see the pond management business as a growing industry and would like to help design products specifically for that niche. We met, (I'll save the entertaining part of this story for an article in the magazine, or around the campfire one of these days) and spent a couple of days in the field, looking at lakes and some of the fish I'd been growing for clients. From that meeting, Game Fish Chow was spawned. It became one of their staple sales throughout the nation. Still is. It's a grain-based fish food. I started using it with quite a few clients. Bluegills ate it, grew well, or so I thought. From 1995 until around 2005, I saw lots and lots of 1 lb bluegills, with the best ones pushing to 1.25 pounds. I did this with trophy bass lakes, bass-crowded lakes, big ponds, little ponds. Results were consistent. The biggest bluegills hit a pound to pound and a quarter.

In 2005, started working with Dr. Mark Griffin, who I'd known for a few years. He was ready to ramp up the AquaMax line of products and make them more nutritionally complete. That was also the time I started working with Richmond Mill Lake. I knew that lake would get zero help from any natural food chain, so we made the conscious decision to make the fish dependent of fish food. Some of what we saw was expected. Some wasn't.

In that lake, after it was drained, renovated, and restocked, we faithfully fed the fish AquaMax, under Mark's and my guidance. Mark made several trips there where we'd sample fish and analyze them. I also had several other ponds and lakes under management, as did several other guys Mark trusted, where he'd analyze fish as he refined the diet. Over several years, Mark would refine the diet, tweaking the amount of fish meal, adjusting the vitamin package, fine-tuning the ingredients to best match the metabolic needs of bluegills and feed-trained bass.

In Year 3 of Richmond Mill Lake, owner Jim Morgan texted me a picture of a two-pound bluegill. I don't think he realized how big of a deal that was. It didn't take long for him to recognize it. Over the next decade of my involvement there, that lake cranked out literally hundreds of two-pound-plus bluegills. Then, we started seeing some knocking on the door of three pounds. By Year 6, Bruce Condello had caught two over three pounds. I have a photo of one on certified scales that was 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Several of the guides at that lake also caught several bigger than 3.

As all this was happening, I encouraged several other clients, and many, many others that weren't clients, to use AquaMax products. I can't tell you how many bluegills I've seen well beyond two pounds

There is no doubt in my mind those fish grew so large because of that fish food. No doubt.

To further the direction of this thread, I also used AquaMax products in my personal ponds. Two of those ponds were 1/10 acre hatchery ponds. Most of the moderators have seen/been in those ponds. Over a span of 6 straight years, I confirmed conversion rates of 1.3 pounds of fish food per pound of gain. Sure, there was natural food there, but at the end of each season, we'd harvest, weigh, and count all the fish, all size classes, and I'd sell most of them to stock new ponds for clients. Each year, the yield was a little different regarding head count (recruitment wasn't totally predictable), but the feed conversion rate was.

With 42 years of pond management, feeding fish, dealing with aquatic plants, water quality, water chemistry, and seeing the results, I have zero doubt the higher protein feeds are much, much better, much more digestible, cranking out less waste than any of the the grain-based fish foods. Further, from the higher protein, fish-meal based fish feeds, I've see interesting upticks in aquatic insects and periphtyon. Dragonfly, damselflies, and other aquatic insects seem to indirectly benefit from well-fed lakes.

Yes, there are other variables such as fish population dynamics, but this thread is about feeding fish and quality of fish food.

As Forrest Gump may have said, "That's about all I have to say about that".

Have a great weekend.
7 members like this
#547428 May 4th a 03:18 PM
by jpsdad
jpsdad
Theo,

I think moderators do a good job ... except when comes to each other and self-censorship. I wasn't the first to comment that the image above had 3 thin BG in it. TJ was. Back then, esshup didn't take credit for doing the trial, rather he said a buddy of his did it. For my part I know something is wrong with the representations made but I don't know the reason why. I want to believe that there is reasonable explanation for the results. I have made a concerted effort to extend that benefit of the doubt. This is something you should also extend to me.

If a person doesn't care about being misinformed then he is pretty much asking to be misinformed. Where I am probably wrong is thinking that most want good information and want to learn how to discern between good information and false information. I'll have to give that more thought. Because I could just go along with the status quo which is easier path for me.
3 members like this
#547441 May 4th a 10:30 PM
by Pat Williamson
Pat Williamson
Originally Posted by jpsdad
Theo,

I think moderators do a good job ... except when comes to each other and self-censorship. I wasn't the first to comment that the image above had 3 thin BG in it. TJ was. Back then, esshup didn't take credit for doing the trial, rather he said a buddy of his did it. For my part I know something is wrong with the representations made but I don't know the reason why. I want to believe that there is reasonable explanation for the results. I have made a concerted effort to extend that benefit of the doubt. This is something you should also extend to me.

If a person doesn't care about being misinformed then he is pretty much asking to be misinformed. Where I am probably wrong is thinking that most want good information and want to learn how to discern between good information and false information. I'll have to give that more thought. Because I could just go along with the status quo which is easier path for me.

jpsdad keep doing what you are doing it benefits us all
3 members like this
#547817 May 13th a 11:45 AM
by sprkplug
sprkplug
Maybe it just depends upon one's level of involvement. Sometimes, good enough is just that..... good enough.

"Do regular BG have the ultimate potential to outgrow HBG?" ...... Yep. Will that matter in the majority of 1/2 acre backyard ponds under minimal management? No? Maybe?

"Will stainless screws last longer in my dock than regular screws?"...... Yep. Are you building the dock for you, to enjoy during your lifetime, or is it to be a monument for the ages, marveled at by curious visitors 300 years from now?

"Is feeding higher quality, more expensive fish food better for my fish and my pond?"...... most likely. Is growing quantities of BG to one pound plus on cheaper feed with minimal expenditure acceptable? Yes? Maybe?
3 members like this
#547370 May 3rd a 05:44 PM
by Sunil
Sunil
Originally Posted by Billy Bates
So you’re advocating for cheaper, lower nutritional feed as an overall better option? Am I understanding you correctly ?


At the end of the day, BB, feed whatever feed you want, or don't feed if you don't want.
2 members like this
#547495 May 5th a 03:52 PM
by ewest
ewest
The best protein for fish is the one that most closely replicates that specie's amino acid profile. That is why fish meal is the gold standard of products for fish that eat fish. For fish that eat plants a plant-based source is good.

If you want to know more then look at this post by Mark Griffin PhD nutritionist and former head of Purina's feeds program.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthre...gold+standard&Search=true#Post244349

However, the science and understanding of fish food components is evolving and there are new products - see PB mag.
2 members like this
#547351 May 3rd a 01:26 PM
by snrub
snrub
I fed the lower price/quality feeds from the farm store the first year or two. Sportsman Choice was one and the other by Purina, Game Fish Chow I think. Then as I learned more about feed qualities I switched to mostly Aquamax and Optimal choices.

My uneducated view is that any feed is better than none if a person enjoys hand feeding. The cheap stuff worked well for that when I did it and the fish seemed to grow on it. I think the fish will grow even on the cheap feed, but likely not nearly as well as the higher quality higher protein feed.

As a person gets in to the heavier feeding rates (with higher potential to cause nutrient load probelms in the pond) and higher desired growth rates of the fish, the better quality higher cost feed makes sense to me.

My feed dealer now stocks the Aquamax stuff for me (MVP and 500 usually). Back when they did not and I had to order what ever I wanted, it sometimes took 2-3 weeks and I never knew when I was going to get feed. So occasonally I would run out and go to TSC and pick up a bag or two of the cheaper consumer grade stuff. My fish didn't turn their nose up to it. Ate it just fine. I was never feeding to satiation, always limit feeding, so that might make a difference. My fish were hungry.

Optimal works really well for me in the feeds I need a lower amount of. I can order a single bag or two and it shows up in a few days on my porch step. It seems like if I have to order anything "special" through my Purina dealer (other than what they normally stock, MVP and 500) it is complete hit and miss if I ever get it or who knows when I will get it (say fopr example AM400 or Bass). So I use the Purina a lot for the bulk of my feeding (a little cheaper price than Optimal), although I have no problem using the Optimal and sometimes do. But for the smaller orders/quantities of more specialized feed, Optimal wins for me hands down because of the convienience and dependability of getting what I want when I want. As far as the feed quality, I like them both about equally.

That all said, I did not feed last year in my main pond. Previous years would feed all through the spring, summer and fall off the dock with a TH feeder. All I fed last year was a bag or two in my SMB HSB pond a little in the fall so they would put on some weight before winter. I had a lot less problems with FA and bluegreen algae when I quit feeding. Maybe just the season or coincidence though.

https://www.purinamills.com/Products/fish-and-aquatics-feed

https://optimalfishfood.com/online-store/
1 member likes this
#547410 May 4th a 02:14 AM
by canyoncreek
canyoncreek
Originally Posted by jpsdad
I am pretty sure I'll get better growth than you did in your trial and that after growing a month they will look better than the best of your caged fish. Heck, I fish ponds nearby with no feeding that are plumper than all of them (regardless of what you were feeding them). The only places I have ever seen BG that poor looking have been in stunted ponds. Anyways, you can rest assured that it will be a good experiment where the all the nutrients in the growing cell will be measured and reported with the results. My experimental cell will be cement lined and so feed will be the only source of nutrients for fish and other life.

sheez, this sounds like junior high locker room talk... 'not only is my dad tougher than your dad but I can bench press with two fingers way more than you can with both of your arms and my bicep is bigger than both of your thighs. Plus your mom's is ugly and your fish are skinny'

usually then there is a squaring off in the middle of the playground and everyone gathers round to see what will happen next...
1 member likes this
#547420 May 4th a 11:57 AM
by Sunil
Sunil
Originally Posted by Billy Bates
Originally Posted by Sunil
Originally Posted by Billy Bates
So you’re advocating for cheaper, lower nutritional feed as an overall better option? Am I understanding you correctly ?


At the end of the day, BB, feed whatever feed you want, or don't feed if you don't want.

As I will and have always done. Just making sure I’m understanding the ascertion correctly.


Sometimes, people try and get too detailed about things are are absolutely NOT absolute. So the point of any 'studies' that indicate something in one body of water is only fractionally applicable to a different body of water.

Take the simple advice of people who have fed multiple types of feed in multiple ponds and you'll be fine. Feed differences are incremental, and the fish, and ourselves may not be around (for any variety of reasons) to 'experience' orders of magnitude of improvement or decline.
1 member likes this
#547431 May 4th a 03:57 PM
by SherWood
SherWood
Originally Posted by canyoncreek
'not only is my dad tougher than your dad but I can bench press with two fingers way more than you can with both of your arms and my bicep is bigger than both of your thighs. Plus your mom's is ugly and your fish are skinny'

That reminds me of when I was a little kid and me and my best friend were arguing as to whose dad could beat the other dad up, except in this case we each thought the other's dad could beat up our own dad, LOL.

By the way, I always told the other kids, my mom may be ugly, but don't ever tell me my fish are skinny. Now them's fighting words.
1 member likes this
#547438 May 4th a 09:35 PM
by anthropic
anthropic
I like observational evidence. Until feeding, I'd never caught a CNBG or BG exceeding one pound. Now me & my buddies catch one plus all the time, top weight over 1.5, and they're still growing.

That's just one person & one pond, you say? Well, consider Bob Lusk, who has seen hundreds and thousands of ponds in his career. He comments how rare it was for him to ever see a 2 pound BG until BG feeds came on to the market. Since then, he's held hundreds. If you don't believe the representations of the feed companies, I hope you believe him.

In the debate over fertilization vs direct food effects, this should be an easy thing to check. Have a number of similar ponds, some fed, some fertilized with the same amount of nitrogen and phosphorus as contained in the feed. Heck, do the same study on high protein vs low protein feed.

Feed fertilization effects are real, even for the feed that is eaten. However, Richmond Mill Kingfisher results indicate that direct feed impact is greater, as fertilization is minimal in that situation. To a lesser degree, my infertile pond shows the same.
1 member likes this
#547517 May 5th a 11:13 PM
by jpsdad
jpsdad
Frank,

There is around 44% more dry matter in RBT than a equal wet weight of BG. RBT are more energy dense. Open the post below and look at the Excel SS on the specific consumption tab. The energy densities in joules per gram wet weight are in the Joules/g. I will mention for common pond fish Centrarchids are not particularly energy dense. Esox are the only group I know of that are less.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=40731&Number=529114#Post529114
1 member likes this
#547680 May 10th a 12:30 PM
by Dogdoc1
Dogdoc1
Late to reply as I had to create a shortcut to convert photos from iPad . Here are some of my pond fish on 32% catfish. I know aquamax is better and may feed some in future but you can grow some pretty nice fish even on 32%.
Attached Images
1 member likes this
#547782 May 12th a 05:10 PM
by Theo Gallus
Theo Gallus
You could tell a Nobel Prize winning nuclear physicist how to make cold fusion work.
1 member likes this
#547807 May 13th a 02:49 AM
by canyoncreek
canyoncreek
I marvel at what it must be like in your brain JPs-dad. Everything in smooth categories, lots of neat folders, each with a few pages in each, wide aisles and straight hallways. Every equation with only 2 or 3 variables. Everything is as easy now as it was in junior high. I'm not being facetious, truly there are people like that and I envy them. I work with some people like that where they excel in committee meetings as it is so simple/clearcut in their mind that the answer comes immediately and without hesitation.

In my mind it seems that every decision has at least 10 immediate variables to consider and then as soon as I try to consider those there are 10 more and then I start down this path and there are so many branches off that branch that I hardly dare continue. Usually I find so many ways to look at the issue that I realize a solution is not possible but a 'scenario' to try out next is about the best I can come up with.

I love your posts, just often get lost. Maybe that is what Theo feels like too.
1 member likes this
#547795 May 12th a 07:43 PM
by anthropic
anthropic
Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
You could tell a Nobel Prize winning nuclear physicist how to make cold fusion work.

Maybe pond owners should stick to fission. whistle
1 member likes this
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