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Has anyone found a source of feed for their tilapia that doesn't have fish meal in it?  I"m not having any luck finding anything I consider sustainable so far, and I'm too busy / lazy right now to start up a duckweed system.  Thoughts?

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my tilapia have begun to eat the dry floating koi food. They  also continue to eat sweet potato leaves and kang kong. Both of these are easy to grow and of which I have an abundance.

Two Jay said:

Is anyone growing plants for fish fodder in their dirt gardens?

 

I know of people who grow Moringa and/or mulberry to use the leaves as feed supplement for tilapia.

TC, Okay... I know that silkworms love to eat Mullberry leaves but fish too?  Apparently they are not poisonous to fish and are nutritious?   We have wild Mullberry trees all over our county.    Does anyone have nutrition content for the leaves?

 

I have a question.  I have red breasted sunfish.  They're still small but not fingerlings.  The breeder I got them from originally gave me some flakes (which they love) and recently, some pellets.  They will not come near the pellets unless I let them get squishy and mash it up for them.  They'll eat at it while it sinks, but there is still a lot of food sitting on the bottom untouched. Out of fear they're not eating, I've been throwing in flakes, too which are actively attacked at the surface...

 

So.... when do you make the switch from flakes to pellets? Is it like a dog, over time and mixed with the old stuff? Is there a pellet I should be using in the interim as they get a little bigger? I saw that Sylvia offers different sizes/ kinds of pellets for tilapia and their various growth cycles.  Will this work for sunfish as I'm not entirely sure which fish family they fall under...

 

Please help my hungry fish!

 

Also, can I get a few channel catfish to help clean up the bottom? Will the co-exist peacefully? Will this require yet another type of food?

 

Channel catfish do not clean the bottom, but they might stir it up.  They eat feed just like the rest of the fish, and are carnivorous in nature.  I have caught many on rattle traps fishing lures that mimic small bluegill and shad.  For them try a 28-32% protein floating feed for them.  Will they coexist peacefully, usually yes if the size range is not to great, and they are feed regularly.  

 

What I do for the fish not wanting to convert is hold out on them a few days, and then begin feeding small amounts until they take to it.  That will usually readjust their attitude.  Btw fish are highly efficient, and therefore are not nearly as hungry as they act.


Allisyn Wood said:

I have a question.  I have red breasted sunfish.  They're still small but not fingerlings.  The breeder I got them from originally gave me some flakes (which they love) and recently, some pellets.  They will not come near the pellets unless I let them get squishy and mash it up for them.  They'll eat at it while it sinks, but there is still a lot of food sitting on the bottom untouched. Out of fear they're not eating, I've been throwing in flakes, too which are actively attacked at the surface...

 

So.... when do you make the switch from flakes to pellets? Is it like a dog, over time and mixed with the old stuff? Is there a pellet I should be using in the interim as they get a little bigger? I saw that Sylvia offers different sizes/ kinds of pellets for tilapia and their various growth cycles.  Will this work for sunfish as I'm not entirely sure which fish family they fall under...

 

Please help my hungry fish!

 

Also, can I get a few channel catfish to help clean up the bottom? Will the co-exist peacefully? Will this require yet another type of food?

I'm going to try using one of those old school bug zappers, the one with the light where bugs fly into it and get zapped...  Living in the tropics I figure i can catch enough bugs every night to supplement the cheap, crappy fish food I'm using at the moment.
Thanks, Matt!  Glad to know I'm not torturing them...  Do I need to get the fingerling pellets (2-4" fish)? Currently using Purina from TSC... Probably not the very best for them based on some comments above.

matthew ferrell said:
 

Channel catfish do not clean the bottom, but they might stir it up.  They eat feed just like the rest of the fish, and are carnivorous in nature.  I have caught many on rattle traps fishing lures that mimic small bluegill and shad.  For them try a 28-32% protein floating feed for them.  Will they coexist peacefully, usually yes if the size range is not to great, and they are feed regularly.  

 

What I do for the fish not wanting to convert is hold out on them a few days, and then begin feeding small amounts until they take to it.  That will usually readjust their attitude.  Btw fish are highly efficient, and therefore are not nearly as hungry as they act.


Allisyn Wood said:

I have a question.  I have red breasted sunfish.  They're still small but not fingerlings.  The breeder I got them from originally gave me some flakes (which they love) and recently, some pellets.  They will not come near the pellets unless I let them get squishy and mash it up for them.  They'll eat at it while it sinks, but there is still a lot of food sitting on the bottom untouched. Out of fear they're not eating, I've been throwing in flakes, too which are actively attacked at the surface...

 

So.... when do you make the switch from flakes to pellets? Is it like a dog, over time and mixed with the old stuff? Is there a pellet I should be using in the interim as they get a little bigger? I saw that Sylvia offers different sizes/ kinds of pellets for tilapia and their various growth cycles.  Will this work for sunfish as I'm not entirely sure which fish family they fall under...

 

Please help my hungry fish!

 

Also, can I get a few channel catfish to help clean up the bottom? Will the co-exist peacefully? Will this require yet another type of food?

Purina does make some good fish feeds (but I don't know which particular feed you are referring to), The good stuff, it is sold under the name Aquamax.  I have feed Aquamax 4000 to tilapia, channel catfish and now to bluegill.  Sunfish are going to be fairly closely related to bluegill.

 

If your fish are not transitioning onto the feed very well.  Yes I agree, with hold food for a few days so they get good and hungry then give them some pellets so they will try them out.  You might smash up the pellets a bit to make them easier for the smaller fish to eat.  I was grinding some of my pellet feed in a grain mill to make it smaller and easier for the small fingerlings to eat.  Beware with the higher protein fingerling food, if you buy too much of it, you may wind up with a lot of it going bad if you don't have enough fish to use it all up before they transition onto the next food up.  It won't keep till next year unless you freeze it and even then it will lose quality.

I'll check with my local TSC.  They've been good about ordering tubs for me. 

 

Thanks again!

 

TCLynx said:

Purina does make some good fish feeds (but I don't know which particular feed you are referring to), The good stuff, it is sold under the name Aquamax.  I have feed Aquamax 4000 to tilapia, channel catfish and now to bluegill.  Sunfish are going to be fairly closely related to bluegill.

 

If your fish are not transitioning onto the feed very well.  Yes I agree, with hold food for a few days so they get good and hungry then give them some pellets so they will try them out.  You might smash up the pellets a bit to make them easier for the smaller fish to eat.  I was grinding some of my pellet feed in a grain mill to make it smaller and easier for the small fingerlings to eat.  Beware with the higher protein fingerling food, if you buy too much of it, you may wind up with a lot of it going bad if you don't have enough fish to use it all up before they transition onto the next food up.  It won't keep till next year unless you freeze it and even then it will lose quality.

TSC isn't good about special ordering feed even though they are a purina dealer.  To find other local feed stores in your area that are purina dealers you can do a zipcode search on the purina mills site

Then call up some of them and ask if they can have a bag of your chosen fish feed put on the truck with the next purina order.  The feed store I usually get mine from usually puts in their orders on Monday and the Purina truck usually gets in on Thursday but they don't get an order every week.

Anyway, the Aquamax 4000 dense culture feed seems to be a pretty good choice for grow out for tilapia, catfish and hopefully bluegill.  It is a 36% protein feed that is about 3/16 of an inch in size.  There is a grower feed that is higher protein but it goes bad quickly too.  You don't want them to keep fish feed on the shelf since it does go bad so quick unless they have a pretty heavy turnover of feed to be sure that what you are getting is not already several months old.

I guess my third edit to the post above didn't go through. 

I was trying to add that the reason people use a graduted feed approach is to efficently deliver feed to fish.  Think of a bowl of rice.  Most people eat it in globes, not individual grains.  This is because it would take a long time and a lot of energy to get full.  Sizing food is usually a trick of match mouth gape.  Like the post office flat rate shipping, if it fits, it ships.

 

A coffee grinder on works fairly well a reducing the size of pellets.  Use a pulse and then screen of the fines.  That little powder will cause you more more trouble than its worth.  You can store extra larger feed feed in the freezer to extend the life as well.

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