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Getting the Most out of your Fish Feed

Today I want share some helpful methods we use to get the most out of the commercial fish feed we feed to our fish.  As the fish feed can be quite expensive it is important we are getting the most out of the food and grow our fish as fast as we can.  Here are a few tips and ideas to help you achieve getting fat, healthy, clean and fresh fish on the table. [heading] One size does not fit all! [/heading] Getting the right size fish pellet is a good start for getting the most out of your fish feed.  Giving a 4mm pellet to a 400 gram Barramundi is not going to give you a good result nor is feeding a 24mm pellet to a 250 gram Rainbow Trout.  One may end up with the runs and the other choke on dinner! [pullquote style=”right”]Food Tip: Feed pellets half the size of the fish mouth[/pullquote]Generally you will want to choose a pellet size that is half the size of the mouth of your fish.  I know that may sound difficult to work out, but take a look at your fish feeding next time and estimate how big their mouths are.  Half that and you will have a feed size suitable to them.  A few seasons of growing that fish under your belt and you will know what to feed and when.  Perhaps we can put together a guide for that in a later post? Weight Watchers controlled portions As with most livestock, they respond to being kept just a little bit hungry.  You can, by all means, feed your fish to satiation or until full.  This feeding method works very well when you have your system outside with very little temperature control. My preference is for weighed amounts of feed at set intervals through out the day even though my system is outside.  Feeding 1% of the fish body weight each day is a great base to start from.  Simply increase and decrease that percentage to suit the season. Consistency is the key to success Feeding as close to the same time each day as you can will help your fish get into a pattern of eating.  Your fish will be waiting for you at the side of the tank every time you head over to feed them.  They may do this regardless when you turn up to the edge of the tank, even if you are only testing water. The reason for this anticipation is related to Pavlov’s Dog or Classical Conditioning.  Yeah I know getting weird now… Normally fish will swim away from you and hide because you are just a little bigger than they are.  However, when you go to the edge of the tank, then feed them, they relate your imposing shadow with the delivery of a fat feed.  So their natural response to run is a bit twisted. Another example of this behaviour is when using automatic fish feeders set to deliver feed at set time intervals.  The fish get used to the time and place the feed is shaken in and sit just under the spot in waiting.  As soon as the feeder goes off, the fish appear suddenly and disappear just as quick and all the food is gone.  Well you expect that of hungry fish. Breakfast and Dinner times If you are a fisherman like me, you know some of the best times to catch fish is at dawn and dusk.  While aquacultured fish are a little different, they respond to feeds really well very early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Generally twilight is a great time to feed your fish, when the sunlight is not shining directly on your area, just like fishing.  You can feed fish almost anytime you like, especially those in a shed with artificial lighting.  So if you are keen to get up early, as most do anyway, may as well feed your fish then….

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