Anyone who has worked with fish for a while knows that if you don't plan ahead, you won't be in business for long. When it comes to life support, a backup blower could save your business.
The most crucial of life support requirements is maintaining an adequate oxygen level because it can be used up so quickly.
We always recommend having a second blower attached to the main air supply line, wired to come on if the primary blower fails for any reason. Both blowers must have check valves on them. A pressure switch is located between the primary blower and its check valve. When this pressure switch senses a loss of air pressure, it closes, causing an electric relay to start the backup blower (see diagram). The check valves keep air from being lost through the nonrunning unit.
Check valves must be able to tolerate high temperatures. Be sure the stand-by unit is on a different electrical circuit breaker.
The cost of fish food can represent 30 to 90 percent of the total cost of raising fish! In some situations (like indoor culture), feed must provide 100 percent of the complex nutritional requirements fish need. A less-than-complete diet will show up as poor feeding response, slow growth and/or disease problems. Poor water quality can also be caused by bad feed.
All feed should be used within the normal 6-month shelf life. Do not overfeed. In general, give fish a little less than they will eat (stop feeding them before they stop feeding).
Questions often arise about the size of fish food. Here are some suggestions for selecting food that is the right size for your fish.
- Some smaller hatchlings require food as small as 35 microns! Other hatchlings may be able to accept brine shrimp, large zooplankton or starter crumble from the onset. When in doubt, use the smaller size food.
- When changing food sizes, it is best to do so gradually by mixing the two sizes together, slowly converting to the larger size in a week or so.
- To learn more about feed sizes and feeding practices, consult the book Fish Hatchery Management (see Index).
Getting Started Guide:
- For fish under an inch in size, use brine shrimp, rotifers, powdered foods, flake foods or 00 starter crumble.
- To 2 inches: 1/32" granulated food, zooplankton or flake foods.
- 2 to 3 inches: 1/16" granules, zooplankton or flake foods.
As fish grow to 3 inches or more in length, food sizes become more uniform by species:
- 3 to 5 inches: 3/32" or 1/8" pellets.
- 5 to 10 inches: 3/16" to 1/4" pellets.
- 10 inches: 1/4" to 3/8" pellets.