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How to get fish big and fat?


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I have a pond of about 20 ricefish but it seems that they don't eat too much. I've seen videos of them aggressively eating food but mine aren't very aggressive eaters. I feed them good food (Tetra flakes, Hikari Micro Pellets, and frozen baby brine shrimp). How do you guys keep your ricefish? Do you guys have specific parameters? All my other fish love to eat this food but the ricefish don't seem too interested. I don't know if it's the temperature? (Average temp in California is around 70-80 so the water is around that area) I just am trying to get them big so I can breed them and make them happy.

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Back in July I put half a dozen rice fish (and endlers and swordtails) into a summer pond that is about 5 feet deep. I also put a teaspoon of locally collected Daphnia. I have never otherwise fed the rice fish since then.

Before long baby rice fish started appearing in large quantities as did Daphnia.


My current estimate is that the rice fish population has grown to about 500 - 1000 fish. I think they eat some Daphnia and some algae. They don't look very fat, but they grow and breed like crazy.

I collect Daphnia everyday so today I thought I would see what the fish looked like too.


There were ricefish, endlers and swordtails that came in the Daphnia haul. A lot more guppies than I realized.


There are not many places to hid in the pool but the babies seem to do fine anyway.


There water is in the 70s.

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1 hour ago, DavidR said:

Where do you find daphnia? I'm in VA, so just a bit north of you, I'd love to add some daphnia to some of my tanks.

Ditches are where I look first. This is the ditch I got the starter Daphnia for the summer pond. It is in front of my house.


When I was aquatic plant collecting the other day, this ditch along side a major highway underneath power lines not only yielded parrot feather, Ludwigia and Bladderwort, it also had Daphnia.


What these ditches have in common is that the water is seasonal. After they dry up the Daphnia hibernate in the form of cysts, kind of like brine shrimp. When the water comes back the dormant Daphnia hatch and bloom. This ditch also had fish in it which usually makes the Daphnia scarce, but they where there nevertheless.

So the first place I would look is a fish-less roadside ditch with standing water.

Edited by Daniel
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Here is a better view of the roadside ditch with the Daphnia. Virginia must have a bazillion ditches of this sort.


Plus that ditch was full of cool aquarium plants and aquarium fish like this tiny but adult blue spotted sunfish (who was hiding in the masses of hornwort in the ditch ).



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