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Update on feed trained black crappies


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#1 az9

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 06:39 AM

(In regards to the thread where I caught brood fish via hook and line from a local lake and allowed them to spawn in one of my 1/10th acre ponds.

 

I have 71 of the offspring in a floating cage about 4 to 6 inches in one of the ponds now. Took them out of the indoor recirculating tank as I will be going on vaca, and don't want my 81 year old dad stressing if there are issues with the tanks or a long power outage. 

 

I could have had several hundred or even a few thousand, but I screwed up and planted fathead minnows (Pimepales promelas) before putting in the broodfish. Ended up with literally thousands of fatheads, which were competition for the crappie fry and reduced their numbers. Also reduced their initial growth. Live and learn! 

 

Some of them:

 

crappies%2052917_zpsbhu42oyf.jpg

 



#2 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 07:19 PM

Do they take feed voraciously? Or are they dainty? The couple that I had in an aquarium that learned to take pellets were always, dainty about taking pellets.  


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 az9

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 10:00 PM

Do they take feed voraciously? Or are they dainty? The couple that I had in an aquarium that learned to take pellets were always, dainty about taking pellets.  

 

Matt,

 

Interesting you should ask that. In the tank they were aggressive even more so than the bluegills in the same tank. However, after a few days in the cage they have been somewhat reluctant. To that end I have hydrated their pellets to make them sink and I see flashes a couple of feet down. I typically do this when I move the tank fish to the cages, as for some reason they go off feed for a while. The hydrated feed seems to get them feeding sooner. 



#4 gerald

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:36 AM

Matt's fish undoubtedly learned dainty feeding by watching him.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#5 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:42 PM

Matt's fish undoubtedly learned dainty feeding by watching him.

My spare tire might disagree. Mine were in a mixed community tank, they seemed to study and calculate and slowly but accurately choose each pellet they would take. They had competition from several Lepomis, a couple gar, and a bowfin. There were others, GIANT darters(sauger) and a couple grass pickerel, probably a couple I am leaving out in the tank as well, but none of those were eating pellets.


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#6 az9

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 06:31 AM

I have definitely seen fish learn to feed on artificial feed from other fish, especially if previous generations of that fish were feed trained. That said for high percentage success at feed training I have to crowd them in a tank which makes them competitive. Competition is very important. 



#7 gerald

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:00 AM

I've seen that too, and it doesn't always have to be the same kind of fish.  I've had bluespotted and blackbanded sunfishes learn to eat dry food from minnows.  Seeing the other fishes' excitement leads them to accept foods they wouldn't otherwise.  It's the "Mikey effect" from the old TV ads for Life cereal.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#8 az9

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 07:24 PM

I've seen that too, and it doesn't always have to be the same kind of fish.  I've had bluespotted and blackbanded sunfishes learn to eat dry food from minnows.  Seeing the other fishes' excitement leads them to accept foods they wouldn't otherwise.  It's the "Mikey effect" from the old TV ads for Life cereal.

 

Yep Mikey likes it!  You're showing your age. Many of the younger folks have no idea what you're talking about.  :biggrin:



#9 az9

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:55 PM

My crappie stopped feeding on pellets after being moved to a floating cage a few months ago. Even added some bluegill to the cage to see if I could get them going again. I finally flipped the cage in the pond and have not seen them come up for pellets with the bluegill. They appeared healthy when I flipped the cage. No morts.  I can only surmise natural feed was swimming into the cage like tilapia fry and there are tilapia fingerlings in the pond. I did see some toad tadpoles in the cage before I flipped it. 



#10 mattknepley

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:13 AM

I think you are right in that other fishes' presence is key in feed training some species. My only tank right now is a 10g overstocked with 7 Carolina Darters, 3 Brook Darters, 1 Fantail Darter, 2 Fieryblacks, 2 sculpins,and 2 madtoms. Competition is pretty high, obviously. The Brook Darters have started to eat this stuff...

https://images-na.ss...ZqL._SX450_.jpg

I give the Fieryblacks and madtoms a modest sprinkling of the stuff before I drop frozens in for the darters. Most of the other fish just stay out of the way, but after a month or so the Brook Darters and Fantail started to seek out the pellets as they sank. The Fantail has since decided he's too high class for them, but the female Brook and largest male Brook will stuff themselves with them. I imagine they learned to try the pellets by watching the madtoms and Fieryblacks, but I think it was the competition present in the tank that encouraged them to embrace them. That said, the Fantail won't eat the pellets after trying them, and the Carolinas won't deign to even put them in their mouths even after looking them over.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#11 az9

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 01:03 PM

Most of the crappie were seined out of the pond and brought back into the RAS for the winter. They are mixed with bluegills and I can't tell for sure but believe at least some of them are smacking the pellets I am throwing into the tank. Unfortunately I keep the lighting so low it's hard to tell. Whatever is hitting the pellets hits it so hard they get me wet.

 

The crappies looked healthy but did not grow much. 






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