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#567235 05/25/24 11:47 AM
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People,

Just stocked my small 1/8 acre pond with 30 bluegills, different sizes from 2" to 4". Their mouth is so small! There are some feed /pellet sizes that are 7 mm, but I think my small; fish's mouths will not try to eat that size feed. What size should I buy?

Thanks.

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Hungry fish that are too small to swallow a feed pellet whole will pick at it (often en masse) as it softens in water and consume it piece meal. I have seen this with minnows and 3/16' pellets and with 8-9" BG and 1" pellets.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Wow, I didnt know, thanks, Theo. I am learning! So, a pellet sized 7mm (1/4" or so) should be fine, right? I hope my bg's grow fast and healthy!!

What are good brands out there, at least 25 lb bags?

Man, you have 9" BG's?

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The farm record is 13 1/4", 2 lbs 8 3/4 oz.

Purina Aquamax and Optimal Are generally considered two top feeds by folks here. If you go with Purina, I would start with Aquamax 500. You can see some recent discussions on this topic here.


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If you click on the link to Theo's pond record, you will observe that it is not actually a Bluegill.

I believe it is the larval stage of a Godzilla creature before it travels to the ocean and reaches its adult stage! grin

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The secret to growth is aerating during the daylight hours in early Spring to warm the water and get them out of that big block of ice sooner.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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OK, we need to talk a different language here- never ice in mid Florida. I do aerate from 8 PM to 8AM. best I can do. We also have a drought here. Pond level goes down every day. Anyway, thanks for the advice on brands of food. I know there are cheap products out there, with low nutrition........

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Gotta agree with Theo re best fish foods.


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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You can use a starter food that is higher in protein/fat to get them a great jump start, (smaller pellet size too) then switch to a lower protein/fat pellet once they are 1-2 years old. That's the cliff notes on it.

I will feed 1"-2" to 3"-4" BG on Optimal Starter #4, then once they gain another 1"-2" switch to Optimal Bluegill Jr, then to regular Optimal BG. What's great about their feed besides the quality, is that you order on-line and it gets shipped to your door, and the on-line price includes shipping.

Optimal Starter #4 45/16, 2.5mm pellet https://optimalfishfood.com/product/optimal-starter-4/

Optimal Bluegill Jr. 42/10 3mm dia, different length pellets in the same bag. https://optimalfishfood.com/product/optimal-junior-feed/

Optimal Bluegill 40/10 5.5mm mixed length pellets in the same bag. https://optimalfishfood.com/product/optimal-bluegill-feed/


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).
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I think the feeding ring is a valuable tool to be used with this too. If the fish are small and can't take a full pellet down it really helps to hold the feed in the zone longer before it can get washed to shore. On a personal note, since we started using the feeding ring we have noticed the fish staying closer to this area and anytime we throw food in or close to the ring there are some very willing to eat it up (mid-day with the sun high in the sky included).

I forget on the Optimal Starter esshup. Is this floater or sinking food? We've tried a couple of different combinations in the TH Feeder. One of them was Optimal starter #4 with JR. I was thinking the #4 was a sinking pellet.

Didn't mean to hi-jack the thread. Just wanted to add the extra tool of the ring as a support for whatever food is selected.


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Boondoggle, #4 is supposed to be floating. The last bag that I got is about 25% slow sinking. I have found that it varies from production run to production run. If you want a sinking feed, the smaller sizes are sinking. (1, 2, 3)


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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).
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Originally Posted by esshup
You can use a starter food that is higher in protein/fat to get them a great jump start, (smaller pellet size too) then switch to a lower protein/fat pellet once they are 1-2 years old. That's the cliff notes on it.

I will feed 1"-2" to 3"-4" BG on Optimal Starter #4, then once they gain another 1"-2" switch to Optimal Bluegill Jr, then to regular Optimal BG. What's great about their feed besides the quality, is that you order on-line and it gets shipped to your door, and the on-line price includes shipping.

Optimal Starter #4 45/16, 2.5mm pellet https://optimalfishfood.com/product/optimal-starter-4/

Optimal Bluegill Jr. 42/10 3mm dia, different length pellets in the same bag. https://optimalfishfood.com/product/optimal-junior-feed/

Optimal Bluegill 40/10 5.5mm mixed length pellets in the same bag. https://optimalfishfood.com/product/optimal-bluegill-feed/

What a great resource, eeeup. Thanks for the links. I just hope when I throw this food out the turtles wont grab the food first. Hehe.

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Can I make a ring from homemade items? How big diameter for a tiny 1/8 acre pond?

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6-8' ring is plenty. I used black irrigation pipe, could also use the white pvc or anything else the floats. I used 2 bricks tied to a string on opposing sides of the ring with enough depth to account for water fluctuations if the water level comes up. I'm sure there are fancier designs, it was just materials that we had on hand.

The feeder throws to a larger area than our ring but we do catch some of the food there every time it throws.


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I've used two different feed rings. #1 is a 5' square made of 1 1/2" pvc pipe, which I tied to one dock leg and could stow under the dock when it was in the way. #2 is an 8' circle made from (used) 1" black plastic water pipe. I secured it with three t-posts in shallow water (weaving one side through the three t-posts)

I removed both of them in the Winter when not feeding, to prevent ice damage. I have not bothered to use either of them since the fish got bigger, but they were useful in training small fish to feed at a regular time/place.


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Good tips, people. Thanks!

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Update- threw a handfull of feed pellets out there and nothing is interested in them. Just the tiny gambuzia minnows.

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Be consistent for a week at the same time and location every day.

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Thanks, wig. A few days now, they are eating it. Also, now they seem to expect me showing up! They are more visible, congregating. So cool! I am on my way! Thanks, people!

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Purina® AquaMax® Fingerling Starter 300 is a 1/16th inch pellet. Also, Optimal most likely has a pelletized formula for fingerlings. SPORTSMAN'S CHOICE® FINGERLING FISH FEED is a less expensive option and consists of smaller pellets but lower protein and fat than the Purina and Optimal. Right now, I am feeding my fish Purina® AquaMax® Sport Fish MVP. It has a mixture of both large and small pellets. Also, some pellets are designed to float and some are designed to sink. The MVP has 43 percent protein and 12 percent fat which I like. My fish (channel Catfish and standard Bluegill) don't seem to care what I feed them. They will eat anything. Unfortunately, my Bass are not pellet trained (unfortunately) and I am having a difficult time growing them.

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Originally Posted by papereater
Thanks, wig. A few days now, they are eating it. Also, now they seem to expect me showing up! They are more visible, congregating. So cool! I am on my way! Thanks, people!

When the BG start leaving you some cash tips on the bank, you will know that they really appreciated the meals you provided that day! grin

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What size pellet/feed would you guys suggest for a smaller fish, say 1/2" bluegill fingerlings? I have some 1.1-1.3mm pellets coming in hopes that they won't be too big. Should I get smaller?

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Jake, if you haven't read the optimal.com website, that could be a good source of feeding info for you. They sell powder, crumbles, and small pellets for feeding the smallest of fry up through the largest of pond fish.
I've pulverized some Optimal Blue Gill pellets and am having good luck feeding getting some 20 day old tilapia fry to eat the
powder. They are similar in size to your BG.
You certainly could reduce some of the pellets you have ordered to a powder in a coffee grinder or blender. As they take to the feed and grow, short pulses in the blender might break those pellets into crumbles appropriate for your fingerling BG.
Let us know what you try and what works.

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Just make sure you buy the wife a different coffee grinder or blender or you may be sleeping with the fishes after she uses it the next time!


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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).
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Originally Posted by esshup
Just make sure you buy the wife a different coffee grinder or blender or you may be sleeping with the fishes after she uses it the next time!

Are you trying to tell me that ground coffee with supplementary fish protein is LESS valuable than coffee beans that have been pulled from civet poop?

I refuse to believe such an unlikely story! grin

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