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Switching from live food to pellets

7 replies to this topic

#1 CrocodileRunge

  • NANFA Guest
  • Lexington, KY

Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:22 AM

I've got half a dozen new longear in a 125, and I've never tried to wean my other natives (darters) off of bloodworms and the like. Earthworms and mealworms have been the ticket for the sunfish, but I'd like to get them on cichlid pellets. How have you guys done this?

#2 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 05 September 2018 - 05:38 PM

Lepomis are pretty easy to transition. This is where their glutinous tendencies work in your favor. Just don't feed them at all for 3-5 days, then add pellets. They'll learn pretty quickly that pellets are food.

#3 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 05 September 2018 - 09:11 PM

first step is to feed sparingly while still feeding worms or whatever they like... 

then they will begin to recognize you as 'the food guy'

then skip several days

then use a high quality sinking pellet (Sandwich likes Hikari massivore pellets)

the fish will be very excited about the moving/sinking thing that you dropped and they will usually at least hit it... if it tastes good, they will likely keep it....

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 CrocodileRunge

  • NANFA Guest
  • Lexington, KY

Posted 26 September 2018 - 09:21 AM

After two weeks of very intermittent light feeding, they are hitting the occasional pellet but immediately spitting them out. I've tried New Life Spectrum and Hikari. However, I may have found a long term solution with frozen Hikari discus food. They hammered four cubes in quick succession, and the nutrition is similar to that of pellets or flakes. Any reason why I couldn't use frozen as a primary food source moving forward?

#5 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:06 PM

If they are hungry enough then they will eventually transition to pellets. Dont feed them at all for a week or more if you have to. I've never had this approach fail with Lepomis species.

That said, the frozen stuff will work if that's the route you want to go.

#6 lilyea

  • NANFA Member
  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:48 PM

The question about pellets vs frozen has been debated on several fish forums. In my experience, some fish are slower to adapt to pellets (most will adapt eventually), but pellets usually are quicker, less expensive, and make less mess. Personally I use both types of food for for my sunfish. Another related question is whether or not to thaw and rinse the thawed frozen food before feeding.

#7 ds15

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 28 September 2018 - 09:55 AM

I have 6 lepomis and they are actually picky eaters maybe because I feed them a big variety of food. I feed cichlid pellets, frozen foods (bloodworms, brine shrimp, beefheart) and earthworms. The warmouth is the pickiest, he took a month longer to get on pellets, and he won't touch brine shrimp. The best trick I used was to mix the pellets with frozen food, then slowly change the ratio to more pellets. Some of them only eat floating food, some only eat sinking food. But overall I feed them a lot and multiple times a day so they all get full bellies.

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#8 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 28 September 2018 - 03:21 PM

I do what DS15 does:  soak pellets in frozen bloodworm or brine shrimp juice until they soften, then reduce the juice after the fish are eagerly accepting the juice-soaked pellets.   This has worked for me with Enneacanthus sunfishes, which are generally pickier than Lepomis. 

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

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