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colley614

food for breeders

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Hey peeps,

I popped into my local fish store today and I was talking to the owner. He was telling me that the key to being successful at breeding is cultivating inexpensive foods. He said that to make it work, the market around here people just want a small fish. He was saying less than 1 in 100 people would be looking for a show quality fish. He was saying the key to making a profit was to cultivate food cheap. I was thinking of growing spinach and broccoli aquaponically and maybe brineshrimp and earthworms.

what do you guys think? I want to breed as a hobby. I'd like to make a small profit to keep it going. I don't expect to make a living from it.

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If you're talking about breeding goldfish, then I see something already you are going to want to avoid: Broccoli. It makes goldfish gassy, and that's no good when they already have such cramped systems.

 

Overall, for veggies I would go for algaes. You can get spirulina powder online or in a health food store, as well as being able to get Nori just about anywhere these days. My reasoning is this: Aquatic plant sources are easier for the goldfish to digest because they contain less cellulose and are more like what the carp would eat in the wild. For any food, you want the fish to be able to take as much nutrition from it as possible.

 

Personally, I haven't had very good experiences with making my own feeds. Commercial feeds are more balanced, and tend to be healthier because of that. There are some things it's harder to recreate at home. 

 

A good alternative would be to feed a highly-varied mix of store-bought foods. When I breed in the summer, the fish live outdoors and feed on bugs and algae, plus Repashy Super Green and Frozen Bloodworms every day. I call this varied because they were getting a variety of bugs and water plants while foraging in the pond. Indoors, I would incorporate a few types of pellets. Don't mix them, so that you can keep the expiration dates separate. Just vary your fish's diet and don't forget the Frozen Bloodworms and you'll have some great breeders. All it really takes to keep them conditioned is to keep them healthy anyway.

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Okay, so avoid Broccoli. The owner of my LFS was saying today that in order for it to work as a breeder, I would be keeping the costs of feeding down to a minimum. However, I would not want to be cutting the quality of the foods that I would normally provide. I was thinking that I could leave vats out and grow Daphnia in them. The guy said they were really low on nutritional value. He said that there are locally sourced Mysis shrimp that I could use seasonally.

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You could definitely grow some sort of live food if you want, though it isn't something I would want to do year-round. Maybe have some brine shrimp setups for when you need to feed fry. Remember, with fry you can only feed the brine shrimp in their first stage of the shrimp's life, so you're going to need to have at least one new batch every 12 hours. This is often why I feed prepared fry foods like Repashy Spawn and Grow or Hikari First bites up until they're big enough to take betta-sized frozen bloodworms. 

However, I definitely would like to suggest growing duckweed if it is available to you. Not only is it going to be good to feed to the adults, but it's a great constant food source for young fry because of all the little microorganisms that live on it and the tiny hairs of its roots.

Edited by ChelseaM

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This is basically just a thread for the Fry. My plan is to build a fish house next spring and keep the adults in the pond until about Christmas time. Then taking them into the fish house and keeping the fish house cool through the winter but not as cold as outside and breed early spring once the pond is warm enough for the adults. Then grow the fry out in tanks until they can be sold and some go in the pond.

This guy who owns my LFS was basically saying if I sold him my lower quality fish that he'd basically be paying my mortgage. I'm honestly not in it for the money but it would be nice to get a return. I plan on breeding high quality fish as you can't really get them too easily where I live. I'd like to own my own and pass some on to anyone who wants a good quality fish locally.

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I meant to say also. I could get duckweed easily. My LFS would give me it.

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Firstly, you won't make a profit breeding goldfish.  Talk to a breeder, not a LFS person.  The sales made by most breeders cut into thecosts of their hobby.  I'm talking about those who try to produce show champion quality goldfish.  Large volume breeders who produce high quality fish but  not trying to produce show winners can make a living from their farms, but they are running farms and working way more than "full time" in their business.  There are very few such successful businesses.

 

To make serious money raising goldfish, you need to have a

that produces millions of feeder goldfish.

 

Most breeders feed commercial goldfish pellets to their fish.  That's way cheaper than homemade food.  The most valuable home grown food, as Chelsea pointed out is duckweed.  

 

I question the knowledge of a source that  says daphnia have low nutritional value.  Read here.  Of course they are too small to provide enough food for a grown fish, but they are great for the young fry.

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The guy who I was speaking to was basically saying it was about scale. Like having 8 vats. I won't be going that big!

First and foremost, I want to do it for the experience. If I make a profit, brake even, spend money. I'm not that fussed. What I am looking for is to grow some top quality fish. He basically said to breed Discus to make money. I told him I have no passion for them. My passion is in goldfish. Well carp, but mainly goldfish. I would just be happy in 5 years time having a pond with a some big show quality Orandas swimming about in my pond.

I will get my hands on duckweed. I can buy daphnia and brine shrimp live. I remember wartching a documentary about fish breeders in asia getting up at 4 in the morning to dredge the local streams for daphnia. That is why I was taken aback by he comment.

As I say, the food would be for growing on fry.

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Like I mentioned earlier, with brine shrimp you need to get them in their first stage of life. This is why you see "BBS" mentioned a lot in fry threads: Baby Brine Shrimp. After 12 hours, the live shrimp are too large for the fry to eat. Most stores that sell brine shrimp sell them as adult shrimp.

To put it to scale: Goldfish fry are the size of an eyelash when born. Their mouths can only fit nearly microscopic things inside. ​

Edited by ChelseaM

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Yes, I'm aware that the goldfish fry would eat the just hatched Brine shrimp. Do I not culture the adults for the babies as I have been doing with rotifers and copepods for my Marine set ups?

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It isn't really necessary. I know of a few here that do feed adult shrimp, but it usually is the fortified frozen ones. Adult brine shrimp do not contain much nutrition, since they no longer have egg sacs attached. If you were going to culture them, you would need to use a fortified feed to gutload them first. Personally, that makes them a waste of time to me. The money to culture them can better be spent on frozen bloodworms, which are a more complete and overall better protein source.  

Edited by ChelseaM

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This is just me but if I was going to try to breed tons of fish, the way in would feed them is by ordering large bags of Hikari Lionhead and crush it up into powder. I believe this food is something like 45% protein. We can not make food as cheap as companies that are turning out huge amounts of food. You could even buy a big bag of high protein Koi food and crush that up.

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Interesting. As I say, it's something I will have to try as I go along. The experience is the most important thing. After all its my hobby and I think letting profit margins creep in ruins it. I would rather sell 5 top quality second year fish for £20 rather than 100 low quality fish for the same price.

If I think about it, I'd probably be spending £50 a year on fish anyway. So if I spent that instead, raising my own fry then I would be happy.

The crushed koi food could work out well. I used to feed my commons koi food and it worked out at £10 a time and I used to bin most of it after 6 months and buy fresh.

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We also have to remember, that with fry, we should focus mainly on feeding nurtitious foods to promote health and not just feeding mass quantities to promote growth. Healthy fish will grow on their own time.

Jason has a point with feeding the right amount of protein for the fish's life stages. Fry are going to need more protein than adult fish, so we'll need to make sure their food source is high enough in it to sustain their health, and therefore their growth. :)

Edited by ChelseaM

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Interesting. As I say, it's something I will have to try as I go along. The experience is the most important thing. After all its my hobby and I think letting profit margins creep in ruins it. I would rather sell 5 top quality second year fish for £20 rather than 100 low quality fish for the same price.

If I think about it, I'd probably be spending £50 a year on fish anyway. So if I spent that instead, raising my own fry then I would be happy.

The crushed koi food could work out well. I used to feed my commons koi food and it worked out at £10 a time and I used to bin most of it after 6 months and buy fresh.

Absolutely, do it however you want. There are not many hobbies that do not cost money. Part of the fun is trying new things tonsee what works for you. Do what you enjoy and consider it money well spent.

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Ample research supports the idea that young fry do best on live foods.  Fish farms prepare fry ponds with fresh water and fertilizer.  The first time I read that I was shocked.  The fertilizer supports the rapid production of green water, which feeds all the little critters that fry thrive on.  The fry go in as soon as the water turns a nice green.  

 

If I have a nicely growing duckweed tub, I put the fry in that and forget about them for a month or so.  Then I start tossing in a few koi pellets.  The babies nibble at these but can only get the soaked and softened material off.  

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I used to cultivate phytoplankton to feed rotifers. I then harvested them and put them in my sump. I still have f2 fertilizer in my fridge

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