Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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johnmaloney 12-30-2007 08:24 AM

DIY Fish Food For Life
Nothing like catching your own bait, or in this case your own fishl food. If you are interested in catching them, here is what you do:

1. Go to Wal-Mart buy a "Super Spreader BAIT net" (make sure it is for small bait and has smaller holes), usually made with green netting. Get a 6-8 foot one at least. Should cost under $20. Or you could go to your local bait and tackle, expect to pay at least double for the same net- but pick up some fishing tips while you are there. If your bait and tackle won't tell you where to find bait, go back to Wal-Mart.

2. Learn how to throw a cast net by practicing in your yard. Watch out for small dogs. Here is a video how, (the website is not completed):
The net will also come with instructions. (The 2nd video is the best).

3. At night, go to a bridge with a light that shines down on the water, and try there. Underwater rocks will destroy a net, so sometimes it is best to ask the advice of local fisherman, or see where they throw for bait. Bait fish, (especially greenies and silversides) tend to be attracted by light. If the net is not long enough, get extra nylon tie that is not too thin, or it will hurt your hand.

You can probably catch 1000 or so in an hour if you are in a decent spot. Very, very easy. If you are having bad luck, I have found that dock fisherman will gladly part with fresh bait they have netted for pennies on the dollar. After you get your fill on greenies and silversides, try running a sabiki rig near rocks, (watch out for snags), to catch smaller tropicals if you live in the right area.

While your local LFS will certainly say this is bad for your tank, consider where they got their fish...

Not coordinated enough to throw a net? Bait can also be caught easily with a sabiki rig. Buy the rig, (they have that too at walmart), try not to get it tangled when putting it on the line, and run it through the water, especially near lights that shine down. Harder than using a net, but easier than catching "keeper" fish.

Thought I would throw that out there.

All the Best,
John Maloney

herefishy 12-30-2007 10:28 AM

Adding wild caught fish is never a good idea in the tropical aquarium. Suppliers,ie. lfs's, get the "feeder" fish from farms that depend on the health of their fish to make a profit. They add meds that help to insure the health of their fish.

I would truly hesitate adding any wild caught species to my tanks without properly quarantining these fish and making sure that no diseases are introduced into my tanks. Even Grumpy's feeders are quarantined to make this a reality. I also feed my "feeders" quality fish food to increase the "gut load" to make sure that they are providing their consumer with as much nutrition as possible.

Yes, it is cheaper to catch your food. But, is it worth the possible consequences?

caferacermike 12-30-2007 10:50 AM

I believe that most brands actually promote the fact that their fish are indeed wild caught. I know of a manufacturer of algae foods that says their kelp is the best because it comes from Alaska. My understanding is that most manufacturers have agreements made with local fisherman so that "in-between" seasons they catch fish for them. Almost all of the fish pellets, flakes, etc.. are made of the "leftovers" from commercial fishing. Most of the food stuffs go through some sort of sterilization process such as, heat or extreme cold. I know I feed wild caught worms to my freshwater eels. If I lived in an area close enough to an ocean so as to catch salt minnows for my tanks I would probably do it as well. The only thing I'd do that maybe was not mentioned, would be to rinse everything under tap water (chlorine to kill surface bacteria), lay them individually on long sheets of wax paper (or better yet in vacuum bags if you have one of those handy devices) so they don't freeze together, cover with another sheet and deep freeze them. Once they are frozen solid, I would then transfer them (wax paper and all, this is to make it easier to separate at times of feedings) to some sort of tupperware and continue storing in the freezer.

Now if I lived in Galveston or Corpus Christi I probably would avoid collecting as I know already that the fish would be tainted from the chemical and oil plants on shore.

This is a list of IQF foods I buy, if you notice they all have "production" dates around them. This is because they are harvested from the oceans when in season and then stored frozen.

blueblue48 12-30-2007 02:40 PM

also i think netting in most areas is illegal? anyways i second never adding wild caught fish to aquaria, preetttyy nasty.

caferacermike 12-30-2007 03:23 PM

Bait netting is not illegal in most areas, of course YOU need to be aware of your local laws. I'd advise having a fishing license, I don't fish but I have a license and a slat stamp from when I went dip netting in the Gulf over the summer.

I see no problems as they as are for feed, not as pets. Freeze em, kill any bacteria and it's a done deal. It really is no different than all the hundreds of dollars worth of frozen foods I currently have in my freezer.

Heck I just watched a 4 hour marathon about crab fishing on Discovery, I promise you those crabs at your dinner table are not raised in any farm. It's all about common sense, don't release live wild caught into your display. Rinse and freeze.

johnmaloney 12-30-2007 08:39 PM

I politely disagree, except with those who agree with me
Definitely need a fishing license from a boat, but there are usually exceptions if you fish from land, (it is that way in florida for recreational fishers), so you may not need a license from a bridge. Fish are healthier in the wild compared to the overcrowded conditions at fish farms, and in tanks. Ich for example is hardly ever a problem with fish in the ocean, but can thrive in the confines of the home aquarium. I have personally spent a lot of time working on a fish farm, and now only eat wild caught fish. Really, I won't touch another farm raised anything. The fish are stacked extremely close together, and disease can be rampant. For those of you who worry that fresh fish from the ocean will kill your tank, try a freshwater dip first. But buying them from the store, where the feeder fish are in closed systems with many other fish isn't very safe either. If you have a quarantine tank, place the bait you catch in there, (bring a live bait bucket out with you when you catch it- again see walmart or sport's authority, or home depot bucket and some drilling) to reduce infection. But caferacermike made a good point about freezing and rinsing the fish that are too be frozen, if quarantine is not possible.

Pleco_stomus 01-02-2008 02:54 PM

i noticed alot of people are saying that adding wild caught fish arent good.
my father told me when he was younger he caught some rock bass's and a small catfish and put them in an aquarium. the bass's lived for about a year and the cat got to be about 2 years. but when he was younger rivers were alittle cleaner here in michigan than they are now.

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