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As an empirical guy myself, completely agree observational results trump our theories. There's just so much complexity in the pond world, even in ponds from the same area, or the exact same pond from one year to the next!

Hope you choose to continue helping inform us.

Last edited by anthropic; 05/17/22 12:11 PM.
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Originally Posted by H20fwler
Originally Posted by snrub
Makes my head hurt.

Think I will just keep feeding for the fun of it rather than performance.

Just got home yesterday after being gone for three and a half months. Drove the 4-wheeler around the pond once (amongst the three foot tall grass on the dam that needed mowed a month ago) and fish wakes coming toward the shore. They have not forgot what the dinner bell is. Guess I need to get some feed bought. At least the fish think I do.


Feeding fish is fun!
I never thought I would get so much enjoyment out of it, the quite time right before dark or early in the morning just standing still flinging fish pellets out over the water and watching them eat it up.
It's almost therapeutic for me, I keep a bag of fish food in the car and stop by the pond before or after work four or five days a week if I can and just unwind as I feed them. Fun to see the fish and help them get fatter and I get to chill out.

Me too. I was never fond of fishing before building a pond. I did it a little as a youngster then did it some with my kids when they were young. But was never an angler at heart. Built the pond for something to look at out our back door. Fish were originally an after thought. Then if I stocked fish, it seemed only appropriate that I should fish for them. Kind of got to where it was an enjoyable pastime and we do eat quite a bit of fish. So fishing was also an afterthought. As was feeding fish. I found Pond Boss Forum and feeding fish seemed like the thing to do.

I would say that feeding fish is as enjoyable if not more so for me as fishing for them. The only "pet" I have the patience to semi-take care of - because they mostly take care of themselves. I have been debating whether to even put out my automatic TH feeder this year. May just hand feed when I get around to it. Growing the biggest fish is not my main goal (although I would not turn down seeing a 2# BG at least once). Aesthetics and casual relaxation are the main priorities. Hand feeding my fish seem to fulfill that goal.

Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Last edited by snrub; 05/17/22 11:49 AM.

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Agree 100 percent. When building the pond, I was thinking fishing. Now I find more pleasure watching them feed. Fascinating critters, endlessly entertaining along with the other pond denizens, such as wood ducks, mallards, geese, turtles, eagles, kingfishers, &!xx cormorants, woodpeckers, deer (they like the water), dragonflies, you name it.

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Thanks for all the questions so far! We are having fun putting together responses to the questions, and hopefully will have some up on here soon!!

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Thank you for doing this.


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Thanks again for all the questions, We will attempt to answer all the questions with video answers. Once we figure out how to make better videos; the answers will get better smile We thought this would be a fun way for some of you to see what goes on at a feed mill and our research centers.

We hope you enjoy our videos! At Optimal Fish Food, we strive every day to create feeds that will increase growth, health, and longevity for your fish, but at the end of the day, we are all about growing memories that will last a lifetime. As little kids, on weekend visits to our grandpa's house, he would show us how to shock up worms and we would grab some of his rods and walk to the creek in hopes of catching a fish. Unfortunately, our grandpa wasn't around to see the start of Optimal Fish Food, but it's because of memories like that, which is why we do what we do.

If your goal is to relax by your pond and throw out a handful of feed to watch your fish eat while you enjoy a sunset, or a place to take your grandkids so they can catch their first bluegill, or if your goal is to try to grow a trophy bass then keep doing it and keep having fun. With so many variables at play in a community like Pond Boss, where everyone has different fish, ponds, goals, budgets, and locations, there is no perfect answer for everyone. What works great for one might not work great for another, but having a place to share our experiences, build a community, and grow memories is, in the end, why we are all here.

Every one of you has experiences, theories, and ways you go about enjoying your hobbies, your ponds, and your fish, and we want you to continue doing that.

This industry has been growing rapidly, and innovation and research are constantly being developed, reviewed, and put to the test. As a result, theories around aquaculture and fish management from decades ago have evolved and have been built upon year over year. We like to compare this to a great car mechanic who retired in 1970 with a vast knowledge of fixing a vehicle with four wheels and a combustible engine. Still, if they completely stopped learning about its evolution, they would have difficulty fixing a car built in 2022. Yes, some of the fundamentals would be the same, but I'm sure that mechanic would be wide-eyed and amazed to see where the car is today. Much the same is true in this industry; the evolution of ingredients, formulations, fish nutrition, and feed extrusion has become far more sophisticated from decades ago and developed layers upon layers to the point that the pioneers in the industry would be amazed to see the science has continued to evolve.

With that, we hope you enjoy our attempts at answering some questions. We hope they spark new questions. We hope we get better at making videos. And We hope you continue having fun at your ponds and continue to grow memories that will last a lifetime!

Question: Will Yellow Perch and Hybrid Striped Bass grow just as well on regular "general" fish food, or should they have food specifically for them?

Answer:

Short answer - No. In order to optimize the growth potential of a fish, it is essential to meet the minimum nutritional requirements. Each species of fish, and each of their life stages, has different requirements. If "general" fish food does not contain the proper nutrition to hit the minimal requirements of the fish, then the fish will not grow as well.

Question: What is next at Optimal?

Answer:

One new thing we are about to launch is our line of Premium Starter Feeds. This line has eight sizes and three formulations.

Question: Any technical advancements at Optimal?

Answer:

Always, this will be something we will cover in multiple videos. This video briefly talks about the pulverizer we use in the manufacturing process.

Question: Is sinking feed healthier?

Answer:

Not necessarily. All pelleted feeds have requirements within a formulation for them to be able to hold their shape and handle being thrown into water. A feed can be designed to float or sink based on the setup and operation of the extruder much more than based on the formulation of the feed.

Coming Soon:
Question: Is there a way to determine how much of the food the fish is actually utilizing and how much of the food is passing through the fish and is not digestible? How much of that utilized food is assimilated?
Question: What is the impact of night feeding?
Question: What happens to the difference in FCR?
Question: What are the chances my red ear sunfish will visit my feeder frequently with optimal junior if they haven't been pellet trained in cages?
Question (ongoing): Additional changes, improvements, and pipelines for Optimal?
Question: Do you feel the pre-soaking or 'hydrating' of feed is worth the effort?

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Thank you!!


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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To the Optimal crew: Thank you for putting this all together, I know this is very time consuming and I'm sure I not only speak for myself, but thank you for taking this on. It should clear up many misconceptions.

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Great videos! Very good public relations and informative advice from Optimal. I shows Optimal cares about their consumers. Thank you very much for creating the videos. I am looking forward to your answers of more questions.


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Thanks so much, Dustin. Always a pleasure to deal with you & Optimal, just got six more sacks of your feed. My LMB and HSB absolutely love Handthrown chunks.

I asked about sinking/floating due to geese stealing pellets. Given what I've heard here, lots of other pond owners have the same issue. Some floating is important to check on fish response, plus it's a blast to watch, but stupid birds take more than I wish.

This same issue motivates question about night feeding.

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Fed some Optimal starter #4 for the first time this evening. I hydrated it for approximately 45 mins in a old pie pan. Out of all the feeds I have tried so far, several Aquamax products, Optimal blue gill and blue gill jr, and cargill sport fish and floating pond fish feeds, this was the most aggressive I have seen my bluegill attack a feed so far, whatever is in it they sure did go crazy for. I always test what I feed both hydrated and dry and compare the consumption ratio from what I can observe, at least.

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Just got my Optimal order delivered.

Wife and I fed some of the hand toss to my SMB in the SMB pond. Man did they tear it up! Hungry fish. I had been hand feeding some smaller pellets the last week so they were accustomed to coming. When we rode up on the 4 wheeler I could see the wakes coming. Fed some in one spot then as we drove around the pond throwing out some more we could see the fish wakes following us part of the way around the pond.

Optimal Hand Toss feed is fun.


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Originally Posted by anthropic
Thanks so much, Dustin. Always a pleasure to deal with you & Optimal, just got six more sacks of your feed. My LMB and HSB absolutely love Handthrown chunks.

I asked about sinking/floating due to geese stealing pellets. Given what I've heard here, lots of other pond owners have the same issue. Some floating is important to check on fish response, plus it's a blast to watch, but stupid birds take more than I wish.

This same issue motivates question about night feeding.

My solution to the geese eating the feed is to make sure the geese don't visit the pond, and if they do, it's for a very short time. wink


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My wife likes them for their beauty & antics. The only way I could terminate them with extreme prejudice is if she never found out. Some things just aren't worth the risk! eek

Last edited by anthropic; 05/22/22 12:02 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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Thank you for providing such valuable information to us and taking the time to produce the video responses. I already feel like I'm getting more value in each bag I purchase- like getting an awesome toy in a box of cereal.

My question deals more with the amount of feed and frequency of feeding the fish. How can I determine if I am feeding the correct amount each time and how often should I feed? In other words, what is the "optimal" feeding plan so that I can maximize this investment in my pond without wasting product?


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Originally Posted by anthropic
My wife likes them for their beauty & antics. The only way I could terminate them with extreme prejudice is if she never found out. Some things just aren't worth the risk! eek


Then maybe have the wife buy the fish feed? grin


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Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by anthropic
My wife likes them for their beauty & antics. The only way I could terminate them with extreme prejudice is if she never found out. Some things just aren't worth the risk! eek


Then maybe have the wife buy the fish feed? grin

If esshup keeps submitting such brutally efficient solutions to pond problems, we may have to start a new "evil genius" sub-forum category. wink

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by anthropic
My wife likes them for their beauty & antics. The only way I could terminate them with extreme prejudice is if she never found out. Some things just aren't worth the risk! eek


Then maybe have the wife buy the fish feed? grin

If esshup keeps submitting such brutally efficient solutions to pond problems, we may have to start a new "evil genius" sub-forum category. wink

Maybe there is a reason why I'm not married?? LOL


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Originally Posted by Deancutler
Thank you for providing such valuable information to us and taking the time to produce the video responses. I already feel like I'm getting more value in each bag I purchase- like getting an awesome toy in a box of cereal.

My question deals more with the amount of feed and frequency of feeding the fish. How can I determine if I am feeding the correct amount each time and how often should I feed? In other words, what is the "optimal" feeding plan so that I can maximize this investment in my pond without wasting product?


Dean
Dean, I can't speak for Dustin, but feed what the fish will clean up in no more than 15 minutes. It's just like microwave popcorn, when the popping slows down, ya better quit.

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The answer to the when, how much and feeding strategy is goal specific. Goals, like the pond owners here, run the gamut from aquaculture ponds to no feeding at all.
















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Great thread!


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
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