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#546017 04/04/22 09:17 AM
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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.

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The two fish foods that are recommended here are Purina's Aquamax and fish food from Optimal.

Resource guide has both: https://www.pondboss.com/Resources?lid=274&lci=22

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Originally Posted by 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.
Find out what they were trained on.. Start with that and make a slow transition to Optimal. The Jr Feed from Optimal was engineered based on YP. I assume when you say perch, you mean perch and not Bluegill? Either way I would go the same route.

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I'm curious - does Optimal put Bob Lusk's picture on each bag?


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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
I'm curious - does Optimal put Bob Lusk's picture on each bag?

Not the last bunch I bought.


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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correct
Originally Posted by Snipe
Find out what they were trained on.. Start with that and make a slow transition to Optimal. The Jr Feed from Optimal was engineered based on YP. I assume when you say perch, you mean perch and not Bluegill? Either way I would go the same route.

Correct. Yellow Perch. I'll talk with the guy who fed em

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Feeding newly stocked pellet trained fingerling fish in a 3 ac pond could result in their slow return to eating pellets for a few reasons. 1. size of pond. A larger pond has lots of available space to fish to wander around and find other natural food items. 2. the smaller the pellet trained fish when stocked the less likely it will return to eating pellets because the habituation period is relatively short. The shorter the habituation period the quicker the fish will forgo pellets in place of eating natural foods. 3. Amount of natural foods in the pond influences the more likely the new fish will resort to instinctively eat natural foods. Sometimes as the natural foods become scarce the fish will return to eating pellets.

A new pond with silty murky water has a low amount of natural food base due to turbidity suppressing the food base of plankton growth. Turbid water with reduced natural foods could encourage the small pellet trained fish resume eating pellets. Finding pellets in a 3 ac pond might cause a delay in fish locating the pellet feeding area.

It will be helpful to all members if you return periodically and tell us how your pellet feeding in your new pond is progressing.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/05/22 01:02 PM.

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The Aquamax 400 is good for fingerling fish. Some sinks some floats but it is a small pellet more easily consumed by smaller fish. I am currently feeding Aquamax 500 and have some nice fat bluegills and HSB.

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Speaking of Aquamax, I was shocked at the price at my local Purina store: One bag of MVP for nearly $69! Very close per pound to Optimal, where normally AM is 25 to 35 percent cheaper. I love MVP, but this is disconcerting.

Last edited by anthropic; 04/15/22 01:11 AM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Aquamax 600 is $49/bag at our local Purina dealer.

Last year MVP was about $8/bag more (and after trying a bag, I decided to just keep mixing 600 with a little 500 instead).


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Agricultural grain prices are close to about double what they were 16 months ago. Expect fish food prices to continue to rise because the food contains a large percentage of gain products of wheat, corn and soybeans for protein. Compare average grain prices since 2020
Corn 2020= $3.30/bu, 2021= 6.05, April 2022= 7.00.
Soybeans 2020= $8.40/bu, 2021= 14.00, April 15 2022= 16.40
Wheat 2020= $5.40/bu, 2021= 6.20, April 15 2022= 10.44

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/15/22 10:28 AM.

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Tsc sells it for $52 out the door. Aquamax 500 and MVP. For some reason 600 is $1 more currently

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No doubt the aqua max and similar products are best but I have been feeding 32 % catfish floating for years and my blue gill are big and fat. I run 4 feeders on 2 ponds I own so 23 dollars a bag is ok for the 32 percent. Nearly 50 dollars for the aqua max and others these days is higher than I am willing to go. I guess there is best and then good enough. I go with good enough for now

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Originally Posted by Dogdoc1
No doubt the aqua max and similar products are best but I have been feeding 32 % catfish floating for years and my blue gill are big and fat. I run 4 feeders on 2 ponds I own so 23 dollars a bag is ok for the 32 percent. Nearly 50 dollars for the aqua max and others these days is higher than I am willing to go. I guess there is best and then good enough. I go with good enough for now

Nahhh. shocked Are you trying to tell us that all your BG don't look like the top fish in the image below? wink

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

From your handle it would seem you are a veterinarian? Anyways, we love evidence here. Post some pics and share other aspects of management efforts. Welcome to the forum Dogdoc.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/03/22 07:47 AM.

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AquaMax MVP around $52 a bag in east Texas, $69 in northwest Louisiana. AM 400 now $55 in east Texas.

As diesel prices skyrocket, this will only get worse.

Last edited by anthropic; 05/03/22 07:56 AM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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When you run the conversion rate numbers the better feeds are cheaper than the inexpensive feed when you figure out the cost per pound of flesh put on, unless you’re just feeding to feed or to put more poop/nutrients in your ponds. Then sure the sportsman’s choice or similar will accomplish that.

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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/

Last edited by snrub; 05/03/22 08:49 AM.

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Billy

80% of the nutrients are pooped out anyway and so also is the majority of the potential whole pond gain. The wastes of a lower protein content feed can be more easily processed by the heterotrophic community. Also water quality improves with lower protein feeds, enough that one can feed more of it without as great an ammonia contamination. The organisms that do the job of consuming and metabolizing ammonia need the additional carbon in a lower protein feed. This also speeds up decomposition getting the nutrients into the web in less time. From a whole pond perspective, higher protein feeds are not superior.

If Dogdoc would post some pics, I think that point would be clear. If he would post pics of his BG ... 1 each in the lengths depicted in the image above ... I'd bet that his fish look notably more robust, healthy, and fat that the fish in the image above. Particularly the largest fish which is 5"in length and was reported to gain from 2 in to that length in 3 months on a diet of Optimal.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/03/22 08:36 AM.

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Originally Posted by snrub
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.

John, this actually isn't true. Feeds improved for conversion efficiency have high amounts of Nitrogen and phosphorus which are both essential for fish growth (the building of flesh and bones). High quality feed does not reduce the amount on nutrients going into the pond. The increased rations of these two nutrients are the reason why. Furthermore, the low CN ratio of high protein waste decays more slowly and is more likely to become incorporated in the sediment to accumulate. To whatever extent this happens, the nutrients are then more bioavailable to Macrophytes than to phytoplankton.


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In order to get the same amount of healthy fish flesh, more low quality feed is necessary. That means more fish poop. To what extent the fish poo from low quality feed differs from high quality is an interesting question. The impression I've gotten from Purina & Optimal is that their high protein feeds cause fewer excess fertility issues, not more. Any research on this?

Last edited by anthropic; 05/03/22 09:24 AM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Originally Posted by anthropic
In order to get the same amount of healthy fish flesh, more low quality feed is necessary.

This may not necessarily be true. In part it depends on the how effectively the wastes can be utilized by fish. Depending on the fish, some of waste can be consumed and result in gain. TP are fairly efficient converters of their poop. But BG aren't going to doing a lot of poop eating. Whether poop is a stable organic (will persist as a very slowly
decaying organic material in pond soils CN ratio less than 8 ) depends largely on the amount carbon in the residue. High protein feed are already stable in terms of CN ratio and will not decay as fast a feeds that have CN ratios > 8. In fact, what you may consider low protein feed is supplemented with additional carbon (think sugar or starch) in order to reduce ammonia and facilitate the recycling of waste nutrients into the food chain. The additional carbon isn't added to the feed ... it is added to the whole pond and this makes additional food for the fish.


That means more fish poop. To what extent the fish poo from low quality feed differs from high quality is an interesting question.

Ask yourself "Why would the carbon, nitrogen, calcium, sulfur, and phosphorus be any different in one feed than another?" All that is different of each of these nutrients is their proportions in the poop. The elements themselves are identical.

The impression I've gotten from Purina & Optimal is that their high protein feeds cause fewer excess fertility issues, not more. Any research on this?

To what extent is your impression influenced by opinions and sales jargon published here? Researchers don't make brand comparisons. They look at nutrients and judge things without considering brands. None of the brands publish ingredients so you can have no confidence even the next bag is identical to the last. In the end, its protein %, phosphorous %. There is not much else affecting N and P in wastes.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/03/22 09:02 PM.

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A lot in this thread to digest. Here is a link to info Mark Griffin (phd ) who worked for Purina posted some time back.

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
















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So you’re advocating for cheaper, lower nutritional feed as an overall better option? Am I understanding you correctly ?

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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.


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 Billy Bates
So you’re advocating for cheaper, lower nutritional feed as an overall better option? Am I understanding you correctly ?
You may be understanding jpsdad correctly. Have him tell you what he feeds in his own ponds.

Personally, I'm not going back from high protein feed. That's after a couple of years of first feeding Game Fish Chow.


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