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#515402 01/02/20 02:42 PM
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90 ac lake in Central Alabama.

Feeding CNB

We have 11 Texas Hunter Feeders and are looking to find an economical way to feed our CNB in 2020. In the past we used Southern States Lil Strike and last year (2019) bought 190 bags.

Is the route we are taking giving us our best bang for the buck? We have a fairly tight budget.

Happy New Year!

kingfish #515405 01/02/20 03:47 PM
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Economical and best growth/health may not (won't)be the same.
I'll leave this to someone that may have an option, but why feed if maximizing growth is not the target?

kingfish #515406 01/02/20 04:00 PM
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After trying different brands of feeds I settled in with Purina for a couple of reasons. Bob Lusk recommendations of the Aquamax MVP is one. Another is I no longer have to store the feed and keep the mice away and I also like the different pellet sizes and the fact that some float and some sink that come in each sk. Cost is also a factor. I no longer have to pay for shipment. If it were me and it's not but I would ask for a discount from my supplier reminding him of how many sks I will purchase. The most he will say is no discounts. Ha! I asked mine for senior discount and he just laughed. smile I feed my cnbg for good health and not so much for growth because I want them to produce lots of forage for my lmb/hsb.


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TGW1 #515435 01/03/20 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: TGW1
After trying different brands of feeds I settled in with Purina for a couple of reasons. Bob Lusk recommendations of the Aquamax MVP is one. Another is I no longer have to store the feed and keep the mice away and I also like the different pellet sizes and the fact that some float and some sink that come in each sk. Cost is also a factor. I no longer have to pay for shipment. If it were me and it's not but I would ask for a discount from my supplier reminding him of how many sks I will purchase. The most he will say is no discounts. Ha! I asked mine for senior discount and he just laughed. smile I feed my cnbg for good health and not so much for growth because I want them to produce lots of forage for my lmb/hsb.


Same here. Cost per pound, multiple sizes, and ease of getting it so I don't have to store, makes MVP my choice as well.


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
kingfish #515436 01/03/20 01:06 PM
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After reading you OP again, AM500 may save you a little and allow you to get a little more feed.

The food you are feeding is not ideal for BG. I think you would be better off with fewer pounds of quality feed IMO.


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
BrianL #515439 01/03/20 01:24 PM
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Since switching to Optimal feed a number of years ago I'm really pleased at how well the fish are doing. The biggest plus that I have noticed in my pond vs. the Aquamax that I was feeding is less algae in the pond because I have to feed less food to get the same amount of growth.

Less passing through the fish to feed the algae is what I believe.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
kingfish #515446 01/03/20 05:12 PM
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I feed Cargill Triton, Purina Aquamax, and Optimal. Cargill for the large CNBG, Optimal&1/8" Cargill mix for smaller CNBG, and I hand feed Purina LMB pellets for my HSB.

All are quality products, and all fit a niche for us.

Last edited by FireIsHot; 01/03/20 05:14 PM.

AL

kingfish #515448 01/03/20 06:02 PM
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Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
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Optimal and Skretting are my go to...


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


teehjaeh57 #515455 01/03/20 09:38 PM
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I feed Aquamax MVP and several Optimal feeds. The Aquamax is hard to beat for the quality/price relationship, but I really like Optimal for the smaller quantities of specialized feeds that I can easily order one bag at a time and have delivered to my doorstep. Trying to get small quantities of specialty feed through Purina is about as pleasant as pulling teeth.

Both are good feed.

Purina does make some lower protein feeds more for recreational feeding rather than growth, but I would stick with the higher level Aquamax.

Here is a thread with feed information and links.

Last edited by snrub; 01/03/20 09:52 PM.

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kingfish #515458 01/04/20 06:56 AM
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Feeding 190 bags per year to CNB................. I'd definitely call Optimal and talk to Dustin. Absolutely a great guy. Even if you don't buy feed from him, I'm guessing he will educate you on a variety of issues regarding lepomis feeds.


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NEDOC #515459 01/04/20 07:03 AM
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Ditto on Dustin being a great guy.


John

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kingfish #515461 01/04/20 08:31 AM
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10,000 pounds annually, you should be getting preferred pricing from everyone. January is a good time to make a few calls and negotiate.We bought 2000 pounds of Purina last season, 60% Game Fish Chow ( $ 28.00 per 50 lb bag ) 40% AM500 ( $ 47.00 per 50 lb bag ) Hoping to lock in similar numbers for 2020 feed season. We feed from April fools day to Halloween, 6 Sweeney feeders on a 54 acre lake.

kingfish #515466 01/04/20 09:12 AM
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I have been using Optimal on several existing lakes over the last few years. Our goal has been increasing the forage base by adding additional BG. Dustin has been a great resource and partner in helping us along the way. I can say our BG/RES and SMB have shown unbelievable growth and color each year.


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To Fish or Not to Fish?
What a stupid question!
kingfish #515472 01/04/20 11:21 AM
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I'll state this again.. If you're going to pump money into feed, use high-quality. I see no advantage of pumping excess algae building nutrients into pond that can't be properly converted and maximize fish biomass/growth/health.
I would also recommend talking to Dustin at optimal.

kingfish #515563 01/08/20 01:08 PM
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last time I priced aqaumax mvp I was paying a little less than 40 bucks per sk. And I will feed about 50 to 60 sks per year through three TH feeders. I think its a good feed for growing cnbg to a good size and producing good forage numbers. With all that, it's hard to justify spending more money feeding the fish. And this is just for a pond that is a little over 3 acres. It's kind of like chasing the girls, not cheap but can be a lot of fun smile


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Snipe #515599 01/09/20 06:57 AM
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I like it when Optimal has some promotions where they discount the second bag of feed to get you to try some of their other feeds besides just the Bluegill feed. They did that last spring if I recall correctly.

I tried several of their different feeds during that promotion. Some starter, some bass feed and some hand throw. Hope they do that promotion again. Watch on their web site under specials.


John

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kingfish #515607 01/09/20 11:31 AM
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Been feeding Optimal the past 3 yrs and I see 3 distinct positive changes as I switched from Aquamax and other brands:

1 - Generally less algae in my pond.
2 - Weight, color, and health of LMB has improved.
3 - BG/RES seem to be producing more resulting in more year round forage than I've seen since building the pond.

Bonus; Justin is an 'engaged' manufacturer that is truly tuned into his customers.

*I've continually hydrated all food prior to hand-feeding it to the fish because it is fully consumed - and not spit-out like the dry food was. Done this for 6-7 years now.

(1+ acre spring-fed pond in NE Ohio)


Buckeyedude
kingfish #515614 01/10/20 06:05 AM
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Im feeding Optimal but would have no problem with Skretting, Optimax or other quality feed. I will say that the best customer service is Optimal by a long way.


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
kingfish #515617 01/10/20 07:48 AM
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I feed Optimal as well, mostly because they ship it directly to your door. I have looked everywhere in Central Iowa for MVP without any luck. I did have one dealer say he could order it but was requiring me to order way more than I wanted/needed at the time.


2.5 acres with LMB, RES, BG and CC
DavidDunn #515619 01/10/20 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: DavidDunn
I feed Optimal as well, mostly because they ship it directly to your door. I have looked everywhere in Central Iowa for MVP without any luck. I did have one dealer say he could order it but was requiring me to order way more than I wanted/needed at the time.


I have never understood why some Purina dealers say that. Purina dealers can order one bag at a time on their weekly order. I do it at my local dealer all the time. I pay $41/50# bag for MVP. I can save $1.20/bag if I order a ton at a time.


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
BrianL #515648 01/11/20 03:40 PM
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Brian it may be different depending on your particular warehouse location. I ordered some AM400 once and it took a long time. I was told it had to come from a different warehouse as the one where the dealers feed normally comes from did not stock that feed.

True or not? Don't have a clue. But I do know if I want anything other than AM500-600 or MVP, way better off from a timing standpoint to just order the equivalent in Optimal.


John

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kingfish #515655 01/11/20 10:13 PM
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It would be nice if Optimal would do a multi size blend.


Bob


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kingfish #515656 01/12/20 12:18 AM
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BG is a multi-sized blend.. a small amount even sinks. Granted it's not very small to very large but, I did feed Pond bass, BG and Jr mixed myself last summer. Maybe if enough interest was expressed Dustin would consider this?

Bobbss #515663 01/12/20 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bobbss
It would be nice if Optimal would do a multi size blend.


They do. The Optimal Bluegill food was multi sized before Purina came out with the multi sized feed. (and it still is) That's the great thing about them, they listen to the pond owners and design feed around their needs. Matt Rayl and I were the ones doing the testing and the ground work for Optimal so they could figure out what feed sizes worked the best for the multi-sized fish in the pond.

I am seeing some pictures of testing that I did for them are now showing up on other Optimal sellers websites without any credit for where the pictures came from. This one was from a feed test between Tractor Supply Sportsman's Choice, Purina AM500 and Optimal Bluegill.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
kingfish #515666 01/12/20 04:38 PM
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Isn't it all the same diameter, and just shorter and longer? Where the MVP sounds like it has multi diameters,or maybe I'm wrong. Does it have as many sizes as the MVP?


Bob


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