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tim k Offline OP
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I have owned and managed a number of ponds - my native black bass are eating my protein and I have never seen this before. I know they can be trained at birth but wondering what is going on here?

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How old are they? What type of protein?


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
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tim k Offline OP
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the ones I can see eating it are a good 3 lbs plus - using the Sportsmans floating from Tractor Supply -

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I have found that some non-feed trained LMB will take to eating pellets when they are crowded and hungry enough. Once they start, they seem to continue ad infinitum.

I hypothesize that some of the LMB that gather to try and catch BG eating pellets each day figure out that there are easier pickings.

P.S. You might want to switch to a higher % protein feed if you want the best results for the feeding LMB.


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tim k Offline OP
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I thought the same thing - the bass come because the bluegill are everywhere eating the feed and then they give it a try.

36% protein seems reasonable to me - paying a bunch more $ for 40% does not make sense to me unless I am missing something

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I used to feed MVP but switched to Floating Catfish food. Bass and bluegill alike love it.


4 acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18
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Kids may love eating nothing but chocolate, but it's not the best diet for them.


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Be sure to check the protein source - not all proteins are equal and some cant be used effectively.
















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The fish food quality that you use is dependent on the quality of fish that you expect to achieve. Less is lesser, better produces better, healthier, more aggressively feeding, and bigger fish. Your choice.


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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Kids may love eating nothing but chocolate, but it's not the best diet for them.


Thanks for clearing that up. We've always wondered....


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Kids may love eating nothing but chocolate, but it's not the best diet for them.


Thanks for clearing that up. We've always wondered....
If only your mother had known ...


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OK so somebody educate me - The Sportsmans fish protein feed is worthless? I understand Optimal is top end but very expensive and in my experience I watch half of it sink to the bottom before it is eaten - give me a better option that I can find or order than what I am feeding? Thanks Tim

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Tim,
The way I understand it you want to use a fish food that contains 40% protein or more composed primarily of fish meal, depending on your species of fish. If it is for baitfish or catfish the Sportsman’s should be just fine. Hopefully someone from Texas can advise you on brands nearby. One advantage of Optimal is shipping right to your doorstep. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong. Hope this helps!

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Thanks Heppy - mine is for bait fish only and I pick it up at Tractor supply on the way home - pretty easy - I have used optimal and no doubt a great feed - but picking feed up is pretty easy in my case so paying double the price and waiting on it to ship does not make sense to me - but I stand to be corrected -

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The Sportsmen's Choice feed is okay for bait fish, catfish and a decent choice for sunfishes. When premium fish with best growth and least amount of waste due to undigestable food are desired then the fish food with at least 40% protein is best.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/27/21 08:48 PM.

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I’m an Optimal fan.


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
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Originally Posted by tim k
OK so somebody educate me - The Sportsmans fish protein feed is worthless?

It is not worthless - good for CC and minnows etc. , ok for supplemental feeding BG , RES etc. and not so great for LMB , HSB etc.

CC can use low % protein (fish based) and carbs. BG can use low proteins ( fish based 32%) low carbs , LMB and HSB do much better on higher % proteins (fish based) minimal carbs.

Based on my experience (have used many feed types including Tractor Supply) I like other brands (Purina and Optimal) much better than TS. Hope this helps.

Last edited by ewest; 05/28/21 10:26 AM.















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The BGs in my pond seem to do pretty well on the Tractor Supply food. I imagine if I had a teeny pond the premium stuff might be worth spending twice as much money to get a slightly better protein %.

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IMO you would be better off feeding 1/2 as much of the better feed (Aquamax MVP or Optimal), and will still get better growth and better water quality than with Sportsman Choice. UNLESS you are feeding catfish, then the grain based Sportsman it a good choice.


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I had no luck with sportsman choice for BG . It may be fine for catfish but like was said previous not to good on BG

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thanks for all of the insight - my BG hammer the Sportsman - I have no catfish - as mentioned in an earlier thread my observation was that half of the Optimal sinks while the Sportsman all floats and gets hammered by my BG - and again no knock on Optimal - I just struggle with 3-4% higher protein level for BG makes a huge difference? My BG are plenty healthy and large so must be doing something right

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so in looking at Optimal's ingredients versus Sportsman - (sorry when I typed this it shows the two split apart but for some reason when it post it shows them right together

Sportsman Optimal
Protein 36% 40%

Fat 4% 10%

Fiber Nothing shown 4

Phosphorus .65 1%


Sportsman shows Vitamin D3, E, B6, and Folic acid levels

Optimal does not show any of these than I can find

I have analyzed deer protein feed for years and the devil is in the details versus marketing - I have no doubt that Optimal is a first class fish feed but just would like to determine if the "extra" ingredients are worth the extra $$ - again I am open to being educated if I am off track - Thanks

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I’m not really sure that feed brands matter all that much.

Several years ago Lusk had a get together at his place for PB mods. Sitting around a camp fire, enjoying a couple of beers, we discussed this topic. My take away from that was that, as long as it was a premium brand, and all other things equal(water quality), any premium brand was ok. Lusk, Alan Hall(Fire is hot) and I all raised big, healthy bluegills. I fed Optimal, Lusk fed Purina, and Al fed something else that I don’t remember. Skretting?

A balanced (MANAGED)pond with the right environment and a premium feed with the right amount of groceries is the most important factor.

My biggest challenge vs Bob and Als is that they get a lot more rain than I do. Also, Al has to spend $$ treating his water. East Texas soils don’t contribute much for ponds. And, yet world famous Lake Fork is just down the road from him. They can’t treat that.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 06/01/21 06:44 AM.

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
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Look at this from an old thread.

Here is some info from Mark Griffin , PhD, previously with Purina.

Dog food is designed for dogs - you are much better off going with fish food designed for the fish you are feeding.

Feather meal as a fish food protein source. There are two primary factors of protein quality for monogastrics (fish for this discussion) - 1) Amino Acid profile and 2) Amino Acid availability. The amino acid profile of feather looks pretty good if you look at the Total Sulfur Amino Acid content. It has a high content of cystine - a sulfur amino acid (SAA). SAAs can be limiting in monogastric diets and tend to be expensive to formulate into diets (they are relatively low in many inexpensive plant proteins). Unfortunately, the reason it is so high is because feather is a structural protein. The di-sulfide bonds between two cysteines make the protein very tough. This is what gives the keratins their structural rigidity - like our hair and fingernails. Unfortunately, this serves to make them very hard to digest. Therefore, as a rule, the availability is not so good. To increase the availability, feather meal is often hydrolyzed, this is an attempot to break down the disulfide bonds to increase availability. Shoe leather analyzes at 85% crude protein, but it is not digestible.

A word on protein sources.... Most protein sources are available in different qualities. This is particularly true for the expensive animal proteins - fish meal, poultry meals, blood meals, etc. Quality and freshness of the raw materials and the processing are factors that result in this variability. As examples:
A) Quality of Raw Materials: Meat meals are often priced on protein content - simply put, it is the ratio of bone (ash) to meat (protein). Bones (minerals, ash) are not as valuable as protein.
B) Freshness of Raw Materials: The US commercial fishing fleet for menhaden now has all refrigerated vessel storage.... the season is in over the summer, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. Obviously, if it is not refrigerated....
c) Processing: Blood has a good amino acid profile. If it is drum-dried (essentially scorched on a extremely hot steel drum) it has poor availability and is a fairly poor ingredient. If it has been spray dried under low heat - it is an excellent ingredient.

High quality fish meal is the gold standard - it has the best Amino acid profile for fish (fish protein to grow fish protein)and is highly digestible. Further, it tastes great to fish (fish meal based diets are much more palatable to carnivorous fish) and it contains about 10% fish oil (high in omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids). Many other proteins can be used as long as they are formulated properly into an overall dietary amino acid profile.


Just depends on what warm water fish you are feeding and what results you desire. For instance, when grown at 80 F, fingerling Hybrid Striped Bass growth varied significantly, depending on both type and content of dietary protein and content of fat. Catfish formulations are plant based, while good trout/salmon formulations are animal based (preferably fish based). Strictly carnivorous fish do not do as well on plant-protein based diets. Below, diets are described in terms of Protein/fat, so a 40/10 is 40% protein and 10% fat (the OLD reliable trout diet).

36/8 (plant based)... 280% Weight Gain X
42/4 (plant based)....347% " 1.24X
35/10 (fish based)....432% " 1.54X
44/8 (fish based)....487% " 1.74X
55/15 (fish based)....650% " 2.32X**

It is important to note that all of these diets were high quality, they were just designed for different purposes and vary greatly in cost. For instance the 36/8 is designed for channel catfish fingerlings and the 55/15 is designed for Atlantic Salmon fingerlings. The 55/15 may cost 4 times as much as the plant based 36, so the economics are certainly arguable... just depends.

**Additionally, the ultra high growth on the 55/15 should be taken with a grain of salt as it resulted in obese fish (HSB very efficiently lay down dietary fat in their abdominal cavity), indeed the whole-body fat of HSB fed the 55/15 was 62% greater than that of the fish fed the 42/4.



Well, today I see that Yahoo has a story on the importance of omega 3 fatty acids for us humans. For most of us, the source is fish - salmon, tuna, sardines, etc. I have not seen the data - but, for winter survival, the idea is that fish oil is a fluid. This enhance membrane fluidity. This is often cited as a reason for the role of PUFAs with brain function/development. When the water gets cold, the fish get cold. Therefore, it stands to reason that these fats benefit the animals in cold conditions. If the overall fatty acid profile has too much saturated fat, their fat reserves will solidify in cold water - like tallow in cold water. These PUFAs are important in many other aspects besides the physical properties....

Predatory fish get these fats from the smaller fish they consume. They do not synthesize the long chain PUFAs. The source is from algae and these fats are passed on to algae-eating zooplankton and fish and move up the food chain. Menhaden are excellent sources of the omega 3 PUFAs, because they are fatty fish and about 25% of their fatty acids are the long chain PUFAs. So, in a prepared diet, you need either a significant amount of certain marine algaes, or fish oil or meal (approximately 10% of fish meal is fish oil - as a side note... this is because fish meal is mechanically expressed, so it does not get all the fat out. In solvent-extracted meals - such as soybean meal - there is vurtually no fat left).

From

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=117723&page=1

and

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=29710&page=1
















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ewest, have you seen anything further on research/commercial use (that came out a few years ago) of the proprietary process to make soy protein more agreeable for fish food use? IIRC without the treatment, too much soy protein "bogged down" the growth of fish; with the treatment the % of soy protein in growth promoting fish food could be greatly increased.


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