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So you want to breed feeders....

19756 Views 38 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Smoke
It is usually not even close to worth it to breed goldfish, guppies, etc. for feeders. Not for any moral reasons, simply the reasons of growth rate and the scale of operations you need to make it worthwhile at all.

I've tried this a bunch of times and it's a great idea to have healthy and disease free feeders. The problem is, unless you are keeping just one small predator and have lots of tankspace for your feeders, it's not worth it. Most people prefer to use 80% or more of their tankspace for the predatory fish they keep and less than 20% for feeders. It has to be reversed if you want any kind of continuous supply of live food.

For those interested, I got a good amount of guppy fry by switching my stock of guppies from a 40 gallon to a 100 gallon. Lots of fry were dropped and, naturally, they had a ton of space to grow in with minimal nitrogenous waste. I even removed the adult guppies to enhance this. The end result is about 30 guppies that are still less than a centimeter in length over a month later. I'm guessing everyone can extrapolate from this how futile the idea is, even at a 100 gallon scale!

My best bet has been to catch or buy feeders (mosquitofish, rosy reds, minnows, etc.variety is best) and to feed them healthy foods during a quarantine period (to prevent disease transmission). You'll be much happier using that approach. Hope this helps!
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thanks for setting things straight ace
people dont understand how hard it is to raise fry and how long it takes for them to grow

thats why i never owned a leaf fish
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Thanks guys, hopefully it helps!
lol before anyone asks: bettas are finicky spawners and have high deathrates per spawn.
Good addition! I'd have to say mollies may be a best bet, largely because they eat their young much less often then other livebearers. Still, it would take a looooong time (I raised mollies in an outdoor pond once).
I'd like to add that its not always the best thing to use "feeder fish" - few species require it.
I just get the biggest kick out of feeding convicts to my tanganikans though...
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Good thread. Im sure this idea has crossed everyones mind at once.
Unless you are someone who has numerous tanks withs lots of surplus fry
anyhow, it is pointless to breed your own Feeders.

If you begin to add up the cost of breeding your own as compared to just buying them, you will find quickly Buying them is much much cheaper.

The amount of time and resources needed to raise one guppy to feeding size
to you is about 500 times the amout of Money and time it takes to buy one for 10 cents. I have averaged raising one Guppy fry to adult at $30.00 when adding all expenses, If I added Labor costs per hour at the rate I get for my work,
One guppy fry to feeding size would cost $135.00 Each
It seems an easy way out but in reality breeding your own is incredabily time consuming and never gives you the results you desire.
indeed, i started out with 4 guppies in my living room,

sh*t 5 months later, i still have my 4 breeding guppies, 3 female one male,

and another 10 gallon beneath FULLL of fry. however those fry take sooo long to grow, i'm frankly getting sick of the growth rate and am ready to toss them all into the piranha tank.
I'd like to see your calculations Poly (not that I doubt them, just curious).

The key here is you need mass production, preferably in outdoor pools, where you'll also have to worry about disease and predators getting at the feeders.... Not sounding as worth it now, is it?
getting sick of the growth rate and am ready to toss them all into the piranha tank
That's what I did with my isalinae. I was kinda sad when I saw a cool yellow male get chomped as a snack. Sorry dude....
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I wish I read this thread 3 weeks ago. It may have prevented me from buying 5 convict cichlids for the sole purpose of breeding feeder fish. In the end this purchase spelled disaster for me. After two of the convicts paired off and laid eggs I took the remaining three out of the tank and introduced them to a seperat tank holding two dwarf pike cichlids. They ended up spreading disease into my pike cichlid tank and killing not only themselves but the other two pike cichlids. I tried four different medications but they could not be saved, I am still not sure if it was velvet disease or Ich. If it was Ich they had the largest parasites I have ever seen or heard of. Anyways, now that I have the breeding pair and they have produced fry I am finding out that it is totaly not worth it. Not because of the money it costs to house them, I don't know how polly figured that it costs 135.00, I have spent less than 15 dollars on some granules and frozen baby brine shrimp, I am not counting the cost of the aquarium or the electric bill LOL. The problem is it will obviously take a considerable amount of time before they are anywhere near feeder fish size. And after all that effort I don't think I could bring myself to drop them in my predator tank where they will be greedly gobbled up with out any appreciation for the effort it took to produce this food. I suppose I am satisfied just to witness the process of fish reproduction in my aquarium for the first time, it's kind of like the discovery channel in my room.
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I'll have to find that again, I was courious what it is I spend to grow one
Guppy, goodied (Gambusia) to adult, I added Labor costs which is how I came up with that amount, Cost of water, Electricity, food and misc. things such as filter media were added as well. which as I already said was about 30.00 a fish but then put a professional price on the time consumed. If I was at work thats how much that fish would cost if there were no issues. 135 is actually on the low end
if you ask me per fish, as the time and attention needed is far greater than that figure.
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If you still want to try this, I'd suggest raising the fish in low 80 temps for a faster growth rate. Don't expect to save any money raisin your own, but it can be a fun thing to do. Just don't expect to be savin any money by doin it.
I found that raising convict fry was a lot less trouble that guppies...but still probably way to expensive I did not calculate it...but fed the turtles well for awhile
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one cheap to way to feed ur p's ur other predatory fish is to go setup a minnow or leach trap in ur nearby lake.they u can get alot for nuthing
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