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  1. #1
    Jack Dempsey
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    bluegill food, my ideas and looking for any advice

    I'm raising bluegill. I've got some ideas and was looking for any advice. This is a bit different then regular aquarium keeping because I'm raising the bluegill to eat and I'll be raising 30 or so at a time.

    I'd like a food that is inexpensive. The purpose of raising this fish isn't for the cheapest food source, but a healthy food source that I know was treated humanly. I don't mind paying more to eat the fish I grow then to buy a fish in the supermarket, I just don't want it to be ridiculous. I don't want to eat a fish that ate $50 in food.

    I currently have a vermicompost bin (worm composting bin using red wigglers aka Eisenia fetida). The idea was to feed the worms to the fish and this may still be the route I go. The bluegill are starting to slowly take to the worms but they don't go crazy for them like I thought they would. Since then I've read that a certain type of composting worm was actually toxic to fish and produces a slime coating the fish find distastefull. Unfortunately I can't figure out exactly which worm it is that does that.... many worms share the same common names.... three different worms are called red worms or red wigglers.

    Another thing I'm working on is a black soldier fly compost bin. black soldier fly larva (ok, maggots) are sold as 'phoenix worms' for fish, turtles, reptiles, etc. The larva is supposed to be great food, high in calcium, stores well, bla bla bla. Nicest thing about these, in my opinion, is that with the right kind of compost bin they will 'self harvest' themselves. They crawl out of the bin and fall into a bucket, waiting to be eaten hehehe.

    Also, since I should be able to get the bluegill to eat from the surface I could probably get them eating pellets. What's the chance of making my own fish pellets (maybe using dried worms and soldier fly larva?). Anyone know about the commercial pellets they use in large scale aquaculter farms? Is there non-medicated/organic versions of that? I know Purina makes Goat Chow, I suppose they make a Fish Chow I don't know anything about the fish foods one can buy in stores for regular aquariums or for large commercial ventures.





  2. #2
    Smallmouth Bass rjmtx's Avatar
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    If you're willing to catch food, you can get all kinds of inverts. Grass shrimp are all around the area and can be caught by running a dip net through macrophytes, or kicking with a kick net. To get dragon/damselfly larva and other insects, you can make a kick net out of vinyl window screen attached (I use staples) to dowels to make a kind of invert seine. You can use a kick net alone, but works best with two people. I've also just set buckets out to collect mosquito larva along with crane flies and whatnot before. Just harvest every couple of days and freeze or feed live. Maggots aren't a bad idea, either.

    I'll find out who the state hatchery in San Marcos gets their pellet food from and let you know the company as soon as possible.

    I buy all of my meaty seafood from the asian markets around town. It's always the cheapest, and there is good variety. I have a bichir tank that gets fed diced fish (my catch), shrimp, squid, and whatever else looks good at the markets for CHEAP. I spent $15 for enough food to last me over 2 months last trip. I also supplement with high quality pellets-high vegetable and carnivore types.

    You still doing the hydroponic system? If you have multiple troughs, I think it would be interesting to give different diets to different groups and see what tastes best.

    If you want to get serious about catching food, pm me and I'll give you some more tips and tell you about some good places around town.



  3. #3
    Smallmouth Bass xspainx69's Avatar
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    Yeah I just got a bluegill a few days ago and now he's finally starting to eat some Cichlid floating stick food. I guess if you starve them enough they'll reach a compromise with you.

    I am still have trouble feeding my Longear Sunfish, they just chew it and spit it out.....


    I hope hunger takes over and allows them to give in to it.

    My only other problem is that my Channel Cat out competes everyone for the food....He's a savage! I dont know what to do with him!

    Do you think it would be safe to trap him in a net inside the tank and hold him there until the sunfish eat??? Or is that to risky for his health?
    30 Gallon: 1-Bluegill



  4. #4
    Goliath Tigerfish SumoNinja's Avatar
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    dam, you guys are true professionals,..................... march on mfkers
    I'm With Stupid
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  5. #5
    Filamentosum fobrinkle's Avatar
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    I love the raising bluegill for food idea.
    Yeah, it's an addiction. / GT Club #7

    DRgrits- "WE've yet to plumb the depths of human stupidity!"



  6. #6
    Jack Dempsey
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    rjmtx - I don't have any decent nets other then my cast net but I've got some extra sections of window screen I could turn into a kick net. I think going out and collecting all my own live food could become pretty time/energy intensive to feed 30 fish, but I'd like to do it a few time just for fun. I might just have do it if they spawn and I end up with fry. Seems they'd do a lot better with small inverts then worms, pellets, maggots. How much food did you get from just setting buckets out? Enough to feed a bunch of fry?

    Any idea of the chances of breeding inverts in quantity enough to feed 30 bluegill? I've been reading about people breeding daphnia. They're in the waters around town? Would they work for breeding/feeding?

    Yup, I still have the aquaponics system going. I've got 10 bluegill in the tank right now. 6 grow beds going... 3 empty, 1 planted with peas, 1 with chard and 1 with a mix of carrots/spinach. I've got some pictures of the system in the Setup/Filtration system (http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/fo...d.php?t=121390).

    fun fun fun !



  7. #7
    Jack Dempsey Supes13's Avatar
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    cat fish are natural predators of bluegill, given enough time that cat will be large enough to use your bluegills as feeders. if i were you i would put the cat in another tank and raise him seperately. im not 100% sure but i think the long ear sunfish eat snails and oher shelled creatures. you might want to try to feed him clam meat or if you want to risk it wild caught snails. good luck to you
    Like people some fish are just born as$holes.



  8. #8
    Fathead Minnow
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    I too have a couple bluegills, and a yellow bullhead catfish. I am feeding the bluegills meal works, which they liked at first, but recently started to spit them out. I was thinking something was wrong with him, but I guess he is just picky? So I gave em' some goldfish flakes that they macked down no problem. The cat eats night crawlers, meal worms, goldfish, and dad's. I'm looking to try some food and looking for some suggestions.



  9. #9
    Smallmouth Bass
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    if there gonna be outside (should be) then theres this electrical flyswatter thing that has a "fan" that swings around and theres a light that attracts all bugs. Put that close about 1ft away from the waters surface and wala! food
    I sell Red Worms for your gardening or pet feeding needs. Please PM me or email me at brett93@comcast.net if you are interested in buying red worms from me.



  10. #10
    Banned
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    what about trout chow? i think i got a 25-50 pound bad at the feed store by me for like 10-20 bucks. the pellets float. my ally snapper loved them.



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