Feeder Fish Philosophy

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Sorg67

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I will not have to address this question for a while. But I am planning to get a colony of guppies and shrimp breeding and growing in a 40 gallon breeder tank. I expect the populations to grow to exceed the capacity of the tank. At which time I will have to do something. I am considering introducing a predator or setting up another tank with cichlids or something that would eat guppies and shrimp. Then using the excess population of my 40 gallon tank to feed the cichlids.

But I wonder if I may have some paternal attachment to my growing guppy and shrimp populations. I guess more likely the guppies than the shrimp. I really should not. It is the food chain circle of life etc. But I take my peaceful guppies out of their pristine breeding environment and then watch them get terrorized by cichlids. I wonder if I won't like that.

I suppose if the cichlids are big enough, there won't be much terrorizing. Just a quick slurp.
 

JettsPapa

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It depends on the individual. I grew up raising and butchering chickens, rabbits, hogs, and calves, so I wouldn't have any trouble with it. Now that I've said that, I know some people get more attached to animals than I do. I may not understand it, but I don't judge it either.
 

vyrille

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Ultimately the decision rests on you, OP. Feeder fish is a controversial topic for a reason, and i believe both sides have merit..
 

Falena

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Funny you mention this as I've personally recently encountered an attachment problem even with a colony of my own brine shrimp LOL! Silly I know. I've bought and fed these guys and others for years with no issues, but there's something about watching your own raised little critters and their behaviour thrive that makes you realize how cute even the tiniest of beasties are! Especially bringing back nostalgic childhood memories of my sea monkeys :p I know I could never personally do larger shrimp or fish after realising I'm WAY softer than I thought lol! I do still feed them of course! But I cant help but feel a teeny bit guilty sucking them up and squirting them at my fish lol but that's just me, you may be like many others and be totally ok with it!
 

sfsamm

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I was raised and as an adult continued hunting for food, I have butchered chicken and beef as well. I had a couple years ago what I refer to as my shrimpslposion.... well I have some odd ball predators and cichlids and was entirely fine up until I was dipping the net of shrimp into the ctenopoma tank.... in the end I decided to grab some of the massive amounts of mosses I have growing let the shrimp settle into the moss in the big net and them tucked them into the corner and figured at least now.... well not much was going to change but that's what I had to do to settle the thought the first few feedings. Now I drop them in and watch the hunt.... super fascinating predators ctenopoma are. I enjoy watching them do their thing and the hundreds of cull shrimp I'm not housing and improving my colony I see it as a win win
 

GuppyDazzle

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I also have a ctenopoma cichild whose job is to make my extra guppies disappear. They are fascinating creatures. If you need a predator but really don't want to watch, a ctenopoma is a good choice. Mine doesn't chase anything. It hides in a plant and waits for a fish to swim past its mouth. If a fish gets within about 3/4 inch, in a twitch it's gone. I've had it for several months, but I've only seen it eat two fish. All I know is I put in feeders several times a week, and they're always gone when I look in the tank a couple hours later.

And by the way, you will need many more tanks if you want to seriously breed guppies. A female will usually drop between 30 and 50 fry every month whether she's been hit again or not. Do the math and you'll realize why they call it the millions fish. You can have a colony in any size tank, and that's fine, but if you don't have some kind of plan in place you'll end up culling by means of overcrowding, which is something you want to avoid to maintain healthy fish.
 
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Sorg67

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Population control plan is a second tank with something higher up on the food chain. Was thinking that over crowding my 40 gallon breeder would be six months off. Maybe sooner. But I am assuming not much of a bio load until the fish grow a bit. Maybe establish tank #2 in 3 or 4 months so that I will be prepared for excess fish. Maybe give to fish store. I do not plan to get into breeding in a big way. Just interested in seeing if I can get a colony going.
 

Spulvert

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Hmmm I understand how you feel. You could probably exchange excess shrimp and guppies for store credit at your LFS. Or even try to take the guppy breeding even further if possible
 

Momgoose56

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Sorg67 said:
Population control plan is a second tank with something higher up on the food chain. Was thinking that over crowding my 40 gallon breeder would be six months off. Maybe sooner. But I am assuming not much of a bio load until the fish grow a bit. Maybe establish tank #2 in 3 or 4 months so that I will be prepared for excess fish. Maybe give to fish store. I do not plan to get into breeding in a big way. Just interested in seeing if I can get a colony going.
Here's an example of how fast guppys overcrowd a tank. I started with 7 guppys (about half m/f) in a 30 gallon tank. In a year I had well over 200 guppys (closer to 300) Daily 70% water changes couldn't keep up with nitrates. I gave all but 5 males to my LFS. Couldn't find LFS to buy them or even trade. Whew. THAT was a nightmare.
 
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Sorg67

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Thanks for the story. Your experience is what I am hoping will happen to me. Current thinking is that will control population with a predator who will eat the excess Guppies. Probably in a second tank so that I can control the food intake. But it sounds like I must be prepared to face that problem sooner rather than later.

I figured it would take a while for the Guppies to get established and breeding at full speed. And that they would eat some of the fry so my net yield would be managed to a degree by parents. But it sounds like my population problem might happen sooner than expected.
 

!poogs!

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If your going to do feeder fish, that’s the best and safest way to do it. You know the feeders are healthy.

I breed all sorts of fish, guppies being one of them. And I get attached. Enjoy watching them grow and colour up. I rather give them to the LFS for free then feed them to another fish.

However, when I had piranhas, and when I was younger with my larger cichlid breeding pairs (oscars, jack Dempsey, etc} I fed them feeder goldfish without even thinking about it. There is something about a common comet, I still think that’s all they are good for.

When I started breeding angelfish I made a rookie mistake and combined two batches of fry 1 week apart in age thinking they would coexist. The older ones decimated over a hundred of the younger ones. I was devastated and saddened. However, the batch of older fry grew out to be a stud batch of greatly developed fish. Sad, yet Good ending.
 
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Sorg67

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Yes, poogs, there is a chance I will feel that way. Only one way to find out.
 
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Sorg67

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Going up to the fish store today. Might pull the trigger. Thinking that worst case is I just give excess to LFS. I like going to the store to look around anyway and there is always something to get. Does not seem too bad that I would bring them some feeder guppies once or twice a month. And if the population got too out of control. I could just give them the entire population.

It seems that the only downside is potential paternal attachment. Would I have difficulty putting fish I raised on death row? It seems I shouldn't. The colony would have come from death row. So they are just going back to where they came from. But paternal attachment is not a rational feeling. We shall see.

I do not have any problems with hunting from a logical perspective. But I do not do it personally. I feel bad when I see animals killed by hunters. But I do not feel bad when I eat a steak. Part of the same process. Circle of life. But knowing and feeling are two different things.
 

vyrille

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Sorg67 said:
Going up to the fish store today. Might pull the trigger. Thinking that worst case is I just give excess to LFS. I like going to the store to look around anyway and there is always something to get. Does not seem too bad that I would bring them some feeder guppies once or twice a month. And if the population got too out of control. I could just give them the entire population.

It seems that the only downside is potential paternal attachment. Would I have difficulty putting fish I raised on death row? It seems I shouldn't. The colony would have come from death row. So they are just going back to where they came from. But paternal attachment is not a rational feeling. We shall see.

I do not have any problems with hunting from a logical perspective. But I do not do it personally. I feel bad when I see animals killed by hunters. But I do not feel bad when I eat a steak. Part of the same process. Circle of life. But knowing and feeling are two different things.
Like you say, one way to find out. Humans are sometimes weird like that. Allow me to share a peculiarity of mine...I work as a surgeon as thus very familiar with blood (I mean, i have to). I have no qualms cleaning out gangrenous wounds, amputating limbs from diabetic patients, etc. But! Seeing hollywood blood makes me nauseous. Really! I know it's fake but my primal instinct is aversion! While in the OR i have complete neutrality on blood, in fact in my mind blood is a nuisance i need to keep monitoring. Also with fish. I am horrified by the sight of dead aquarium fish (even those at the LFS. which I have no attachment to) but have zero problems picking up fresh fish at the grocery. So weird. Sorry i wasted your time with this wall of text, i just find it intriguing lol. Anyhow good luck with your endeavour! :joyful:
 

Momgoose56

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Sorg67 said:
Going up to the fish store today. Might pull the trigger. Thinking that worst case is I just give excess to LFS. I like going to the store to look around anyway and there is always something to get. Does not seem too bad that I would bring them some feeder guppies once or twice a month. And if the population got too out of control. I could just give them the entire population.

It seems that the only downside is potential paternal attachment. Would I have difficulty putting fish I raised on death row? It seems I shouldn't. The colony would have come from death row. So they are just going back to where they came from. But paternal attachment is not a rational feeling. We shall see.

I do not have any problems with hunting from a logical perspective. But I do not do it personally. I feel bad when I see animals killed by hunters. But I do not feel bad when I eat a steak. Part of the same process. Circle of life. But knowing and feeling are two different things.
The fish store I gave my mass of guppys to sold most of them for $1 each! I don't know who bought them but the store made a little money on free inbred guppys lol!
 
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Sorg67

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vyrille said:
Like you say, one way to find out. Humans are sometimes weird like that. Allow me to share a peculiarity of mine...I work as a surgeon as thus very familiar with blood (I mean, i have to). I have no qualms cleaning out gangrenous wounds, amputating limbs from diabetic patients, etc. But! Seeing hollywood blood makes me nauseous. Really! I know it's fake but my primal instinct is aversion! While in the OR i have complete neutrality on blood, in fact in my mind blood is a nuisance i need to keep monitoring. Also with fish. I am horrified by the sight of dead aquarium fish (even those at the LFS. which I have no attachment to) but have zero problems picking up fresh fish at the grocery. So weird. Sorry i wasted your time with this wall of text, i just find it intriguing lol. Anyhow good luck with your endeavour! :joyful:
No waste of time at all. The vagaries of human behavior and emotion are some of the most interesting aspects of all endeavours. Why do we do what we do? Why do we feel like we feel? At some point there was probably a survival advantage. But life today is so different from life for most of human existence that many of our instincts and emotions are counter-productive to succeeding and prospering today.

Interesting stuff.

Momgoose56 said:
The fish store I gave my mass of guppys to sold most of them for $1 each! I don't know who bought them but the store made a little money on free inbred guppys lol!
Yes, it seems worst case scenario is:

1. A few guppies get to live a little longer
2. A few guppies get to be born that would otherwise not have been born.
3. A bunch of guppies I raised end up as fish food.
4. The local fish store gets some free stock.
5. I learn about myself and about breeding.
 
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Sorg67

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Got my first batch of fry today. Already feel attached to the little guys. I can see I may have some emotional challenges coming.... :confused::eek::oops:
 

Xiphophorus

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I'm still waiting for my platys to drop
 

angelcraze

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Sorg67 said:
Got my first batch of fry today. Already feel attached to the little guys. I can see I may have some emotional challenges coming.... :confused::eek::oops:
Congrats, but that's hilarious you are already feeling attached! Maybe because this is your first batch.

This isn't what you are getting at, but I agree with raising 'feeder' fish over buying them to feed your fish. As mentioned, there's too much of a chance feeder fish at the LFS carry pathogens and parasites.
 

eirynne

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Way before I knew about the right way to have fish, I bought some feeder fish for my baby turtle tank. The fish were as big as the turtles heads so I figured they couldn't eat them & would just coexist nicely & I was saving them... but well... that was probably the most fun 15min those turtles ever had and the least for me/the fish :hurting:

I did NOT enjoy seeing them get hunted and eaten... but I already knew I was a softy haha
 
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