The pond I fish at has a fish feeder on it and my grandpa puts Purina Game Fish Chow into it and the fish seem to be feeding fine. My question is 'Is there a better fish food out there and if there is what is it and how much does it cost?'
Ksfisher, I'm too new at this fish feeding thing myself to have my opinion carry much weight, but I believe that purina GFC is 32% protein. I am feeding Purina Aquamax 500, which is 41% protein, and I hope that will equate to bigger fish, faster growth, or both. It is my understanding that any Purina dealer can order aquamax, even if you only need one bag. Around here, Aquamax costs about 6-7 dollars more than GFC. Hopefully, someone more knowledgable than myself will weigh in on this.
You are correct that Aquamax will equate to faster growth and bigger fish. I am currently participating in a study on just that.
But don't forget, that higher quality feed means less nitrogenous waste. This means better water quality, which also means fish that live longer, and you are decreasing your liklihood for fish kills.
I think that all of the Purina feed is "quality", but in smaller and/or closed systems, you should try to lean towards the highest quality feed you can afford.
You should develop what I call a "nutrient budget". Educate yourself (Pond Boss magazine and forums are a good place to start) about what sorts of factors increase nutrients and which factors decrease nutrients. Then manage for having no more nutrients than what you absolutely need. This will mean fewer algae blooms, which lowers the chances for an algae crash and subsequent oxygen sags.
1. Runoff events, especially those through fertilized farm fields. Nitrogen will attach itself to soil particles.
2. Fish stocking
3. Fertilizing the water
4. Feeding fish.
1. Harvesting fish
2. Nitrogen cycling, in particular nitrogen loss to the atmosphere. This is amplified by adequate aeration
3. Outflows of water, especially during times of active algae production.
Wow- great info Bruce, thanks for the input. I've been spending a lot of time over at the Pondboss site, asking questions about my not so successful HBG cage-rearing episode. I will take your info to heart if I can ever get to that point!