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Pellet Training My Redfin

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#1 Guest_Blaze85_*

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 01:50 PM

I recently got a Redfin Pickerel and it is doing just fine. It is about 3.5 inches. I started wondering if they can be pellet trained and saw on this forum that they can. I would like to do this if possible but haven't had any luck even after trying the things posted here. The longest I let it go without feeding it was a week, and every day I would try to give it a worm or a cricket and it couldn't care less. I know it recognizes me as the food source because when the net goes in, it comes up to check it out, but even after a week it wouldn't touch the cricket swimming on the surface. I was too scared to let it go longer than a week without any food so ended up feeding it a minnow. My questions are, how long can it go without eating where it will be hungry enough to try something new without killing it, and what is the best thing to try? It seems that things that float or swim on the surface don't interest it at all. I have even tried tying a worm onto fishing line and shaking it around in the middle of the tank without luck. It swam up to it very fast like it was going to strike, but then backed away slowly and didn't return. Any advice?

#2 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 08:01 PM

Feed live until they see you as a food source. I think you are already there. Then start with something that sinks slowly. Do this on an empty stomach. Pieces of shrimp sink slowly. If it is not moving in some way a pickerel is not going for it. I had mine eating pellets but they had to be dropped in and active, and even then, it was not enough. Shrimp, live food, and pellets made up the diet. I am not sure that you could sustain a pickerel on pellets alone.

#3 Guest_gzeiger_*

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:17 PM

As an alternative, convict cichlids breed easily enough to be a permanent live food source. I kept a pickerel for over a year with a 20 gallon tank for a breeding pair of convicts (and a ten gallon is probably adequate) plus a ten gallon grow-out tank for the fry. They can produce about 150 young every 3 weeks if cared for, and only need commercial flake.

That said, it was my carelessness that killed the redfin. I lazily put a hundred feeders in his tank. A few reached breeding size and killed him. They are very aggressive.

Be sure to keep the tank tightly covered; redfin jump a LOT.

#4 Guest_Blaze85_*

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 01:10 PM

Thank you both for the suggestions. Today I put in some frozen brine shrimp and as they started to break up and fall one piece went right by its mouth and it did eat it. It didn't care to try any more, but it might be a start. I am trying to breed guppies right now, and is going ok, but they aren't producing enough at a time, I am only getting about 20 a month currently. Maybe I will try some convicts in my spare 26 gallon tank and see if that is better. I don't want to change their diet from live fish completely, I just don't want to see it get sick from giving it purchased feeder fish all the time. If I could get the guppy/convict thing to work, I would do that as well.

#5 Guest_gzeiger_*

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 04:37 PM

Guppies probably need a bigger setup than convicts. I haven't tried to culture them super intensively, but I'd guess three 20-30 gallon tanks would be the minimum. They just don't grow as fast or as big. Once the pickerel is bigger he might need more food than that.

On the other hand, maybe I overfeed. I always made sure there were feeders in the tank. Some people prefer to keep the fish hungry so they can watch him eat. I'm sure total food consumption would be lower if you did that.

Mollies get a little bigger and seem to grow faster. Might be better than guppies.

#6 Guest_jetajockey_*

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 11:58 PM

I suggest getting some stick food and then feeding minnows that are similar sized. Do it every other day or so, so that he's hungry enough to hit the minnows as soon as htey drop in. Once you get him reliably hitting the minnows as soon as they hit the water, switch out for a stick pellet and see what happens. I have trained a few of them like this without much issue.

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