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Feeding fish what they would eat in the wild ?


Leo2o915
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In the wild fish eat what is available and it is often seasonal. According Heiko Bleher a lot of what Discus eat are things like detritus and berries. It is certainly not what we feed Discus.

With pygmy sunfish I have seen where they live in the wild and have an idea what they eat. They will eat anything that moves, which is mostly aquatic invertebrates, like copepods or insect larva, etc.

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Saltwater folks have been doing this for decades now. Reef fish tend to be more finicky about eating live foods versus pellets. People who raise Seahorses might as well start their own cultures or risk spending thousands in food over a very short lifespan.

 

I for one prefer feeding fish live foods because I come from a lab environment where we are catching wild fish that do not take to other foods very well. But you also cannot deny the near perfect blends out their of food that bring color and enrich your fishes diets in ways they would never experience in the wild. These foods have been engineered by biologists and chemists for hundreds of years now to get the perfect percentages of fats, oils, trace minerals, and other things necessary for peak biological function.

 

Having that been said, I still think there is huge room to grow in the variety of offerings in the live and unprocessed foods department. For instance I can no longer do it this summer due to budget constraints, but I am looking to create a system that would make damselfly/dragonfly larvae farming cheaper. If I could bring it down to 50 cents per larvae, from $2 not only would I have a line of lab techs at my house, but it would be a boon to all aquarists. 

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On 6/21/2021 at 11:03 AM, Biotope Biologist said:

Saltwater folks have been doing this for decades now. Reef fish tend to be more finicky about eating live foods versus pellets. People who raise Seahorses might as well start their own cultures or risk spending thousands in food over a very short lifespan.

 

I for one prefer feeding fish live foods because I come from a lab environment where we are catching wild fish that do not take to other foods very well. But you also cannot deny the near perfect blends out their of food that bring color and enrich your fishes diets in ways they would never experience in the wild. These foods have been engineered by biologists and chemists for hundreds of years now to get the perfect percentages of fats, oils, trace minerals, and other things necessary for peak biological function.

 

Having that been said, I still think there is huge room to grow in the variety of offerings in the live and unprocessed foods department. For instance I can no longer do it this summer due to budget constraints, but I am looking to create a system that would make damselfly/dragonfly larvae farming cheaper. If I could bring it down to 50 cents per larvae, from $2 not only would I have a line of lab techs at my house, but it would be a boon to all aquarists. 

There is this company that will soon release a food for plecos well for Peckoltia and Hypancistrus   it includes food natural found in the river like freshwater algae insects  invertebrates etc. 

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On 6/21/2021 at 10:48 AM, Daniel said:

In the wild fish eat what is available and it is often seasonal. According Heiko Bleher a lot of what Discus eat are thing like detritus and berries. It is certainly not what we feed Discus.

With pygmy sunfish I have seen where they live in the wild and have an idea what they eat. They will eat anything that moves, which is mostly aquatic invertebrates, like copepods or insect larva, etc.

That is true but like i said that’s why you would be paying more for it. Im sure it wouldn’t be easy but you get what you pay for in my opinion 

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I see no reason to pay more for food (live or otherwise) UNLESS there is a specific need or benefit. Fishes eat what they eat in the wild because that is what is available not because it is the best food. Fishes in the wild don't always have the healthiest lives. Of course we are talking about generics here - if we want to talk about specific you we should name the species. For example angel fishes love to eat cardinals tetra in the wild. Do you want to feed your angels cardinals ? Can't comment if the angels are better off eating cardinals...

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Also something to consider is that many fishes you buy are tank raised and then you have to start asking about what they eat in their 'wild' environment. Anyway I'm all for feeding fishes the appropriate food that will keep them healthy but that is frequently not as simple as the food with the most meat or the most fiber or .... and it does come down to specific species.

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On thing is that frys are a bit different. Many frys depends on food movement to trigger the eat reflex so there is that to consider (this does not include tings like guppy frys that will eat anything that can grab including your fingers).

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I feed my critters live food as I have been trained by my pea puffers. I do have dry food for the other ones by try to keep a varied diet. The challenge with what I consider more natural is that they need to be live. There are a lot of bugs out there at the moment to justify the expense.

I do realize it would be very nice for people who do not have access to that kind of food, making it possible for them to keep certain specimens.🙂

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On 6/21/2021 at 12:12 PM, anewbie said:

I see no reason to pay more for food (live or otherwise) UNLESS there is a specific need or benefit. Fishes eat what they eat in the wild because that is what is available not because it is the best food. Fishes in the wild don't always have the healthiest lives. Of course we are talking about generics here - if we want to talk about specific you we should name the species. For example angel fishes love to eat cardinals tetra in the wild. Do you want to feed your angels cardinals ? Can't comment if the angels are better off eating cardinals...

-

Also something to consider is that many fishes you buy are tank raised and then you have to start asking about what they eat in their 'wild' environment. Anyway I'm all for feeding fishes the appropriate food that will keep them healthy but that is frequently not as simple as the food with the most meat or the most fiber or .... and it does come down to specific species.

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On thing is that frys are a bit different. Many frys depends on food movement to trigger the eat reflex so there is that to consider (this does not include tings like guppy frys that will eat anything that can grab including your fingers).

Yeah i understand but what if you get wild caught and wouldn’t it be better if you feed something similar to what they would normally eat in the wild like peckoltia  in the wild they would gammarus and insects  freshwater sponges stuff like that 

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On 6/21/2021 at 3:04 PM, Leo2o915 said:

Yeah i understand but what if you get wild caught and wouldn’t it be better if you feed something similar to what they would normally eat in the wild like peckoltia  in the wild they would gammarus and insects  freshwater sponges stuff like that 

But I answered that. Are they eating what is available in the wild because it is optimal or because that is the only thing i can find to eat ?

 

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On 6/21/2021 at 12:12 PM, anewbie said:

I see no reason to pay more for food (live or otherwise) UNLESS there is a specific need or benefit. Fishes eat what they eat in the wild because that is what is available not because it is the best food. Fishes in the wild don't always have the healthiest lives. Of course we are talking about generics here - if we want to talk about specific you we should name the species. For example angel fishes love to eat cardinals tetra in the wild. Do you want to feed your angels cardinals ? Can't comment if the angels are better off eating cardinals...

-

Also something to consider is that many fishes you buy are tank raised and then you have to start asking about what they eat in their 'wild' environment. Anyway I'm all for feeding fishes the appropriate food that will keep them healthy but that is frequently not as simple as the food with the most meat or the most fiber or .... and it does come down to specific species.

-

On thing is that frys are a bit different. Many frys depends on food movement to trigger the eat reflex so there is that to consider (this does not include tings like guppy frys that will eat anything that can grab including your fingers).

And actually Angel fish are Omnivores they eat what they can find of course they would eat a young cardinal if it will fit in its mouth but that’s not it’s only diet they eat what they can find and consume 

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If you keep a healthy, established, planted tank with at least some livebearers in it, you're doing a pretty good job of creating a "natural diet" environment for your fish. My tanks are teeming with life. I keep my breeder boxes hooked up on the tanks even when they're empty and the water in them just teems with life. A close look at the water in them (which slowly circulates to and from the tank) shows all kinds of small stuff moving, jerking, swimming, or crawling around in them. All that life came from the tank. You don't see it as much in the tank as the filters tend to filter it out and the fish tend to eat it, but it's there. The livebearers produce fry, most of which end up in another fish's belly. Egg-scatterers like tetras and the like provide extra nutrition by scattering their eggs that the other fish enjoy consuming. Algae is a natural food source. If you add a few shrimp to the tank the shrimplets become something of a delicacy for the bigger fish. 

My fish still get prepared food (flake/pellets/Repashy/freeze-dried) twice a day but truth be told, it might just make up half of what they eat in the course of a day. The rest of the stuff in their bellies is stuff they found in the tank. My fish are constantly on the prowl for food and pecking away at something. They don't just recline in a lounge chair and wait for me to open the top and drop in some food. They don't have to. There's always something to eat there in the tank with them.

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