Fish Food - Tech Talk 17
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.