Feeding and Nutrition :: Breeding Feeder Fish

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:47 pm   Breeding Feeder Fish

My 2 RES are just over a year and a half old now and have been really enjoying feeder fish from my local pet store in the tank. They go crazy for them! However, i've been reading that feeding these Petco fish to RES may be unhealthy. Since then, I have begun to research breeding my own feeder fish in a 25gal tank I have laying around the house.

Does anyone have experience doing this or can offer up any tips? Is breeding my own feeder fish worth it at this age? Any suggestions are appreciated :D
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Adamsv7
 
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:28 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

Doing it yourself will ensure a healthier fish. But you should not be feeding that many live fish to a turtle at 1 & 1/2 , it's becoming an juvenile and should be on 40-50% veggies by this time. And by adult 70% veggies !

For the easiest and fastest breeders rosy red minnows are the way to go. I use a small 70 gallon with a double cinder block in it , they love to scatter the eggs on the rough surface. Take your time and pick out some female's if the LPS lets you and that will help you get started. LPS feeder's are poorly taken care of and lots are sick with most never feed anything. See how skinny they are ! That 70 gallon is my plant tank outside on my breezeway and the rosy reds keep any mosquito larvae out . You will end up with more than you need , so my neighbor gets a lot for his Oscars.

Just me but a plant tank would be better ! I also have ghost shrimp in the plant tank. Minnows and the shrimp are for treats "only" for Piggley !
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:06 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

Careful with breeding your own. Before you know it, a few parents that you put in there will turn into literally hundreds in a matter of a few months! That'll quickly overload your tank! I learned this the hard way with guppies. They were cheap, $0.35 fish, and I had bought 4 of them. I bought them with intentions of keeping them as pets with my turtles, who are also yearlings. Well, those 4 adults within a month had birthed over 40 babies! My latest count has them at nearly 60, since I think the second female also gave birth recently. I didn't know I had accidentally bought the "bunnies" of the fish world!

My tank didn't have anything special to birth the babies. I have an airstone, 50 gallon stock tank, a few floating plants, and a small decoration or two. They seem to not care what conditions you have - babies will be born!

Interestingly enough, my turtles are not interested in eating the fish. They actually enjoy having them as company, it seems. The fish and turtles will regularly be swimming past each other, or hanging out next to each other. Same with ghost shrimp. I think it has to do with the turtles being raised with fish since they were hatchlings. They initially chased the fish but gave up after a few days, and now just embrace them.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:59 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

Took me some time a few months ago but I estimated 300 reds , not counting the shrimp. Netting 50 at a time for neighbors. They will and do slow down that bunny business when nature tells them supply is good. It's in there natural instinct to adjust to the numbers.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:34 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

litefoot wrote:Took me some time a few months ago but I estimated 300 reds , not counting the shrimp. Netting 50 at a time for neighbors. They will and do slow down that bunny business when nature tells them supply is good. It's in there natural instinct to adjust to the numbers.


Good to know! I actually had a gourami in there, and he seems to be keeping the population in check slowly as well, as all of the initial babies there will not be present when I check again a few days later. Turtles may also be snacking, I just haven't seen it.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:40 am   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

About how often and how many fish should I be feeding to a 1 1/2 year old RES? Do you think breeding my own wouldn't be worth it?
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:25 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

A well balance and nutritious turtle food like Omega One and a good mix of veggies are good. The feeders for my Piggley ( male 5 & 1/2" RES ) are used more as treats and he only gets three a week. ( about 2" ea. ) I breed feeders in the hundreds because I enjoy it and supply the neighborhood free food for there pets.

For most if you want healthy feeders yes do it yourself rather than sick LPS feeders ! Even rosy reds are a little fatty and a lot of protein so not to many should be give to a turtle.

Your turtle at 1 1/2 " is not a baby any more , it's a juvenile , and should be on about 30-50 % veggies now and by young adult 70% veggies !

Piggley gets a well mix of veggies every day and protein every other day . And I use the 2/3's rule for that !

It's better to under feed ( slow even growth ) than over feeding , which can cause health problems of all kind.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:04 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

Adamsv7 wrote:About how often and how many fish should I be feeding to a 1 1/2 year old RES? Do you think breeding my own wouldn't be worth it?

At that age, I would hold off on feeders. You can certainly try to keep feeders now though, as practice. Might have to get used to how fast the repopulate, how many you can safely keep in the breeder tank before water / disease becomes an issue. That's sort of what I'm doing. You can give away or sell the extra feeders that you don't want or need.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:26 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

litefoot wrote:A well balance and nutritious turtle food like Omega One and a good mix of veggies are good. The feeders for my Piggley ( male 5 & 1/2" RES ) are used more as treats and he only gets three a week. ( about 2" ea. ) I breed feeders in the hundreds because I enjoy it and supply the neighborhood free food for there pets.

For most if you want healthy feeders yes do it yourself rather than sick LPS feeders ! Even rosy reds are a little fatty and a lot of protein so not to many should be give to a turtle.

Your turtle at 1 1/2 " is not a baby any more , it's a juvenile , and should be on about 30-50 % veggies now and by young adult 70% veggies !

Piggley gets a well mix of veggies every day and protein every other day . And I use the 2/3's rule for that !

It's better to under feed ( slow even growth ) than over feeding , which can cause health problems of all kind.


Great information, thank you! I think I may hold off on breeding for now; especially if you say it should be more of a snack.
A bit off topic but you mentioned that half their diet should consist of veggies. They love green leaf lettuce but how much a day should I be feeding them? Also what are some other types of veggies I can try to introduce. I still feed them about 4 or 5 repto min baby pellets ea. every other day with veggies on the other days. I'm afraid to give them too many veggies as I put in a significant size piece of lettuce the size of a typical water bottle in length and they destroy it in less an hour. I've also tried cuttlebone which they ignore completely :(
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:56 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

With their main meal say red lettuce a piece the size of the shell ea. I also at time give a little extra , never seen a turtle fat on greens.

Good read here : http://www.redearslider.com/plants.html

Green lettuce has no real nutritional value , read list in link.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:23 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

litefoot wrote:With their main meal say red lettuce a piece the size of the shell ea. I also at time give a little extra , never seen a turtle fat on greens.

Good read here : http://www.redearslider.com/plants.html

Green lettuce has no real nutritional value , read list in link.


Green leaf lettuce? Iceberg lettuce has very little nutritional value, but green leaf is okay.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:54 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

Iceberg lettuce has No value ... green does have some and is ok and recommended But red leaf is very nutritious . I assumed on my part because most beginners call iceberg lettuce "green" leaf and at time's I see it in there pictures I explain difference.
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:57 am   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

May be a stupid questions but things in the moderate section such as carrots, green beans, kale and pumpkin..what does moderate mean? How often? Once a week?

If you guys say red leaf is more nutritional I may try introducing that instead of going with green leaf next time I go to the store. I tried that first about a year ago so maybe now that they are a bit older it will work now.
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:29 pm   Re: Breeding Feeder Fish

Yes, moderate would be once every week or two weeks. It's a rough guideline and I would probably use carrots more often, some like to use kale or sweet potato. I would say red leaf is marginally more nutritional and I do notice that it's leaves are more tender.
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