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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 03:52 
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Hi everybody. I'm looking for a little advice regarding feeding fish.

So I just added my catfish to my system over the weekend. They seem happy and healthy but so far they're not eating.

Two things that I'm wondering about:

- the water is cold. It's hovering just over 40 degrees F. I figure they just can't metabolize food at this temp so they won't eat it. Is it okay to just not feed them for days or weeks at a time?

- The floating food that I bought from the fish farm seems too big for some of the fingerlings. It's about 4mm and most of the fish are less than 2 inches. I'm considering crushing it up for them until they grow a bit but if they're not eating anyway, maybe I just need to wait until things warm up a bit.

I'm just curious what someone more experienced than I would recommend.

Thanks for any input.

Scott


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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 05:23 
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A few things to mention. Channel Catfish will sometimes eat at the lower temperatures but usually feeding is either stopped or drastically reduced at below 50 F. The temperature guide here is probably pretty close to what I do (http://www.suttlefish.com/raising_catfish.html). A sinking chow works better when the water is cool or cold. If all you have is a floating chow then soak it for 10 or 20 minutes and then give it a squeeze to remove the air and it should sink (some require a bit of extra effort). Sometimes fish will take live food or something like hardboiled egg that's been chopped up even when they won't eat the commercial chow. It may take some work getting them back on regular commercial feed but you can.

Catfish are a bit chicken when it's cold or cool they get a bit picky about eating or coming to the surface while you're watching. I've found that they'll eat food left overnight on the bottom of the tank - if they don't then remove it and wait a few days before trying again with some fresh food. If they eat the food then see if they want a little bit more the next day but don't over feed.

Yes it's OK to not feed them for many days and even weeks. Younger fish need to be fed more often than older ones but they're all pretty adaptable because they don't have to regulate body heat the same way we do. Going on vacation or dealing with fish disease issues may mean you'll need refrain from feeding for two or three weeks. In the winter like this I'd still try to feed them every so often. Just leave it in overnight and see what they do :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 05:41 
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I recommend buying some higher protein sinking or slow sinking food in a smaller pellet size for the smaller fish. They will need about 45% or more protein until they are 6 - 8" long. My cats pretty much stop eating in the cold, but I still throw a few handfuls in about once a week or so. I think it makes me feel better. I'm not sure if the fish eat it, but it's usually gone by morning. I'm using a large food similar to yours for my big guys (14 - 16") and 2mm pellets for the little guys from Premium Fish Foods. I better drain my RFF and see if it's full of fish food.

Their digestion slows down in the cold and eating can actually harm the fish, but I'm no expert - only my second winter with cat's and last year I heated the water. Not this year. They don't eat much at all. You are better off to underfeed than overfeed.

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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 05:56 
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This might interest you -

http://www.deltafarmpress.com/arkansas-studies-impact-winter-feeding-catfish


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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 06:04 
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I found my SP and cats ate things like prawn, worms, snails, slugs etc in colder weather.

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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 08:04 
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Thanks everybody! Great information. I sure appreciate it!


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PostPosted: Dec 22nd, '16, 00:21 
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scotty435 wrote:


Very interesting, thanks for sharing! I guess I should turn my feeder back on for once a day and keep a lookout for excess feed.

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