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#13546 12/16/06 11:46 AM
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Filter Update.

5 days after adding the biological filter and I now have zero FA. Water clarity is the best it has been since I added the fish. The only debris I have noticed in the water is old pellets. I might have to switch to a floating pellet to cut down on waste.

I have planted rice and Thai peppers in a seed starter try and will transplant them into the filter once they are 1-2 tall.

#13547 12/16/06 04:18 PM
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Thanks Bender. Your project dovetails nicely with Cecil Envy.

Here's the new setup to raise premium fish for stocking in ponds.



The near left tank is being used for a top-secret project to raise feed trained redear sunfish to place in ponds and subsequently take over the world. There are twenty fish that are currently resisting training. I am making some progress however by utilizing methods being perfected by Theo Gallus which will be detailed in an exciting article coming up in the next Pond Boss magazine.

The far tank is being used to house my 100 best Condello Strain bluegill. These fish are ranging up to 65 g.(averaging more like 35) and are agressively eating anything that goes in the tank.

The right side tank is being used to keep some bluegill for Cody and Baird to hopefully come get in the spring. There are late spawn age-0's that are in super nice condition, and it also has about ten age-1 bluegill that go up to 220 g. that Bill and Cecil can have if they so choose.

Here's the far tank and the nice bluegill.



Here's my best age-0 bluegill. I hope he continues to thrive because he will eventually be "put out to pasture" to produce more CSBG.
He's incredibly round and robust. He weighs 65 g.



Here's an age-1 fish that Cody and Baird would get. He was feed trained in an actual pond, but now that he is back in a tank he doesn't want to go back on the pellets. I don't know what this means, other than the fact that older fish probably don't like having their surroundings changed. They seem less adaptive than the age-0's. He's still a great fish, but I'm feeding him and others like him some krill that I bought to keep them from losing body condition. I'm pretty sure that this is a male, but at age-1 it is still sometimes quite hard to tell.



Here's a redear that I'm trying to train.(I think he'd train better if he was actually in the water, don't you?).




Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13548 12/16/06 04:33 PM
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Dr Bruce,
Will your top secret RES eat chopped worms? If so, try mixing chopped worms or crushed krill with softened hi-po pellets (1st use a high ratio of natural:pellets). Roll or mold them and then blend a few of the soft rolled pellet mixture with chopped worms as your daily rations. You may have to experiment with getting the correct amount of pellet dampness when using dried plankton vs wet chopped worms. I have never tried to dry chopped worms in my food dehydrator . Honey, where are you going with our food dehydrator?

Where did you get your scales? Is it battery operated and does it have a tare feature?


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#13549 12/16/06 04:39 PM
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The top secret redears actually will eat pieces of crawlers like there's no tomorrow. They're kind of iffy on krill, but they're warming to the idea. I think the fact that the water is only about 54 degrees is slowing the training process. Theo has convinced me to withold the crawlers to get them more agressive toward the krill and that's working so far. I've even been hiding 1.5 mm pellets inside of the worms with a tweezers. I'm going to try the chopped worm/pellet mix next week. It's all very exciting. What do you think of that bluegill that's just 23 weeks old right now? He's the number one fish.

The scale is from Wal-mart. I can zero it out with anything on it, then place a new item to get a weight. It's working really nice and it was quite cheap. I think it was twenty-some-odd dollars. It is battery operated, but I don't know what a tare feature is. It matches up quite consistantly with the more expensive produce I bought from Aquatic Eco-systems.

I don't know if I mentioned this, but I now take the sweeper nozzles and smash them flat with a hammer. There's less water that comes through but at a higher pressure. The redear tank isn't even using an aerator! I was pretty happy to save the electrical cost, and less water cost, too! Take a look at that near tank. Doesn't it look like I'm spraying a lot of water in there? In actuality it's only about four tenths of a gpm.

By the way, as a reminder to everybody, I still really envy Cecil and his monster trout and perch. That is the entire motivation to my project. \:\)

...and again, thanks to all of you guys for continued comments, encouragement, and mostly for the great advice. I've already been privileged to catch by hook and line some of the perch that were raised last winter (see my profile picture), but I honesly believe that I can use the system to select for fast growth feed training and agressiveness which could make a recreational pond a lot more fun for my Dad or my kids. It's also a great way of course to get your hatchery fish larger in an economical way, before releasing into your bigger pond where all of the nasty predators live.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13550 12/16/06 06:11 PM
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The fourth picture down, Bruce, the one that says age 1 fish....what's the scale say there?


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."

#13551 12/16/06 06:34 PM
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212 g.

454 g. = 1 lb.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13552 12/16/06 07:19 PM
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Dr.Bruce, Tare n. is the weight of packaging minus the weight of the product. Tare v. is to weigh packaging to calculate the amount of tare to be deducted from a particular cargo. It is often used in weighing to zero out the scales before a particular item is weighed. You mentioned that the Wal-Mart scales had a zeroing feature.

Your fish are impressive. I am very hopeful that Cecil & I can complete the trip to your fish ranch this spring.

When trying the soft pellets method maybe try making a very stiff damp paste with the natural food-pellet mixture before you go to the fish barn. Amount of dampness is critical. Think of it as similar to filling a tooth. Too moist of packing will not compress properly. If you have it dry enough with several hours of aging, the mixture should be able to be molded and not stick to your fingers similar to pie dough or play dough. Mash or smash the soft pellets and mix in desired food pieces. NOTE - wet food pieces could cause the mixture to be too moist. Form the whole combination into a ball. Pinch off and mold soft pellets into a similar size as the pieces of chopped worms.


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#13553 12/16/06 09:16 PM
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Bruce do you have the study on pellet trained RES ? You can also use Bill's method using menhaden oil or shad fish attractor (fish oil) to dampen the pellets.
















#13554 12/16/06 10:55 PM
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Yes I have the study thanks to you! \:\)


I have not, however thought about the fish oil on the pellets. I'll be trying that in addition to all the great information from Bill Cody.

Go Big Redears!


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13555 12/16/06 11:24 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Condello:
Yes I have the study thanks to you! \:\)


I have not, however thought about the fish oil on the pellets. I'll be trying that in addition to all the great information from Bill Cody.

Go Big Redears!
Bruce,

Do you have Bill's recipe for softening up fish pellets into a doughy consistency? There's much more to it than just adding water.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#13556 12/16/06 11:34 PM
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Yes I do. I plan on implementing pretty soon. I've only had the redears in their own tank for about three or four weeks now. The first week was just getting them used to the surroundings. Now the last couple of weeks were just about getting them so they didn't freak out when I was around and I fed them some nightcrawlers to get them back to healthy. I'm really concerned about training redears in the very cool well water. Don't you think their slower metabolism will make for a delay in the training schedule?


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13557 12/16/06 11:56 PM
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Well they do suggest it's easier to feed train fish in warmer water at their peak metabolism.

There is also a phenomenon where feed trained fish are relocated and they seem to forget how to feed on pellets. I had this happen with some feed trained smallmouth bass that I put into a cage. They absolutely refused to have anything to do with the pellets after they were put into a cage so I fed them pieces of redworms to get them beefed up for the winter. Turns out most of the escaped through a hole in the cage, but next spring as the water warmed they were really into the pellets! Go figure.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#13558 12/17/06 12:08 AM
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I have noticed that my perch are much more active since I installed a 300w heater. It has kept the temps at 60 degrees. Water from tap is coming in the system at 55 degrees.

#13559 12/17/06 08:10 AM
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As we have come to expect from you, nice BG Bruce. I don't know which is more impressive to me personally, the big age-0 or the half pound age-1. I guess the former will be scariest next year when he weighs a pound.

I have been keeping 27 RES in my PBR since Sept 9 (the last 17 added then, 9 two weeks before that, and the first one is the survivor of 2 that went in at the middle of July). With the goal of pellet training as many as possible, I utilized tactics which started by feeding only freeze-dried krill and a small quantity of pellets every day. I have fed a "dessert" (after the main course of krill and/or pellets) of live, natural food (earthworms, beetle grubs, or mealworms) every 5 or 6 days on average. Initially this was to get some food in the RES which were more reluctant to eat pellets, so as to keep them alive and healthy long enough to have a chance to pellet train; since they have been eating pellets I have continued the desserts every 5-6 days to give supplemental animal protein in addition to the artificial diet (iaw feeding studies ewest has provided).

My experience has been that at first a few RES will take krill on the surface. Most of them will initially eat krill on the bottom of the tank after it has waterlogged and sank. The number of RES eating krill at the surface increased over the first two weeks, at which time it seemed all or almost all of them were eating krill at the surface. At this time I began decreasing the quantity of krill and increasing the quantity of pellets fed each day. After another two weeks the RES cleaned their plate of a 100% pellet meal for the first time.

I think Bruce's progress with his PBR RES has been commensurate with mine, given the difference in metabolism from water temperature (55 deg F for Bruce, 70 deg F for me) and the fact that he is not present every day to feed (given the difference in metabolism, it seems he is probably feeding often enough for how much they would eat).

The technique I used seems to work well with the RES over the range of lengths in my PBR (initial sizes ranged from 3.5" to 6.75"). I have been tracking the growth of the larger ones and it has been pretty good; Bruce thinks that the group photos indicate that the body condition of the rest of the RES is good too. There is at least one small RES who is noticeably thin, undoubtedly because he/she is living on the desserts rather than pellets. There could possibly be one or two other small RES that aren't doing as well but I have only seen one at a time.

Here's a group photo from Dec 10:


and here is the largest RES in the PBR. I'm assuming he was 6 3/4" long in September, with growth to 7 3/4" on Nov. 18


and to 8 1/2" on Dec. 10




"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#13560 12/17/06 10:23 AM
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Great Job Guys !!!! \:D I knew you could feed train those mean old RES. Theo watch carefully. In 70 F water and adult status if the photoperiod is right for the correct duration they will try to spawn in the tub which will lead to increased aggression. :rolleyes:
















#13561 12/17/06 04:31 PM
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That may be the reason they bit off my fingertip (see bandaid in 3rd pic). ;\)

I think these were all juveniles when they went in. I wonder if they can mature and spawn without having a cold water interval over the Winter? IIRC that is a requirement for spawning with at least some species.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#13562 12/17/06 06:05 PM
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Nice work, ya'll. Great photos and explanations.I am really getting the itch to do this.I'm just wondering how to transport them for several hrs. after they grow.


#13563 12/17/06 06:39 PM
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They did in my aquarium. From 2in. in May to 5 in and spawn in January. Temps stayed at room temp. The full moon in Jan. and they started making beds and uh-oh.
















#13564 12/18/06 08:15 PM
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So what kind of photo period would be required? I'd think it would have to meet or exceed 12 hours of light per day.

How many hours of light did your aquarium RES get in January?


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#13565 12/18/06 10:09 PM
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Very little info on RES spawning wrt specifics. See this re BG and GSF which should be close.

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=000318;p=2#000024

I agree with Bill based on prior research. It should take about 21 days for the female BG to develop eggs to full ripeness from the time she is exposed to the required photoperiod ( 14 hrs of light in studies)and the right stabilized temps. ( 68 F and above as I recall). I would also guess that there could be some local adaptation to these within a minor range.

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=002523

Based on this I would make a "wild guess" and say you should see ripe eggs by at least, around 21 days after the female fish are holding in water 60-68 degrees and with a photo period of 14 hrs.
















#13566 12/19/06 07:27 AM
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It shouldn't be a problem to hold the effective "daylight" period under 14 hours/day, in a basement under one small window in sunny (not) central Ohio. Natural light is limited enough that the RES might be experiencing "daylight" only during the 4-5 hours a day the cover is off the PBR and I have a light on.

But if they start exhibiting spawning behavior, I'll know why.

It is more likely to be a problem if I try to hold any of them in the PBR through next Summer. I may need to go to an opaque rather than translucent cover.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#13567 03/04/07 08:08 AM
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Titanium Heater, 300W, 12" Price: $28.42

Salt water compatible. These submersible heaters offer excellent corrosion resistance. They are 1-1/2" in diameter, very durable and will not crack if accidentally dropped. The optional external temperature controller (not included) has an operating range of 72-93F and includes a temperature ...


300 watts for 24 hours each day...

That's 7.2 kwh each day, right?

72 cents each day if my cost multiplier is .1 correct?

Is there a way to calculate how much warming effect this would have on a 150 gallon tank being supplied with .3 gpm? It basically would mean each drop of water that comes in at 55 degrees would spend 7 hours in the tank before it leaves.

I don't want to buy this thing and find out that I spend all that money and it warms my tank by 1 or 2 degrees. That's basically what I found out about my insulating hood. This year in the winter I didn't insulate the area around the tanks and they stayed the same temp as they did last year!


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13568 03/04/07 08:41 AM
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#13569 03/04/07 09:45 AM
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Bruce, I trickle 50-75 gallons over 4 hours daily. Let's say 10 gallons per hour at the slowest rate (for the last couple of hours), which 600W of heaters will just keep up with.

That's 10 gallons/60 minutes, for 0.17 gpm. The water is delivered at 55 degrees and the ambient room temp is about 68 degrees.

You'd need 4 300W heaters for 0.3 gpm IF your ambient and water temperatures were the same. Considering it's colder (air anyway), figure on more.

What ARE your air (average) and water temps? Plus the enclosure size - I can estimate milk house heater requirements/cost to raise the ambient and we can add that to the tank heater cost for a total electrical cost ROM.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#13570 03/04/07 09:46 AM
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BTW since ewest noted photoperiod contribution to spawning preparation, I have been keeping a cardboard cover over the Redear tank 18 hours a day.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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