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NFC: Re: Latest article...

Thanks for the information!! This may be old news to some
but to those us (ME!) that are still new to natives this is
a wonderful article!!

Jeff <*\\><
Old Bedouin saying: "Trust God, but tie up your camel, lest
you lose it."
-----Original Message-----
From: robert a rice <robertrice at juno_com>
To: sunfishtalk at listbot_com <sunfishtalk at listbot_com>;
nfc at actwin_com <nfc at actwin_com>; editor at tfh_com
<editor at tfh_com>
Date: Sunday, November 22, 1998 1:20 AM
Subject: NFC: Latest article...

>This one comes with pics dave ///I'll send em too you when
you are ready
>to  run this one...
>Organic Cuisine
>Robert Rice
>Robertrice at juno_com
>One  of the constant struggles of keeping Native Fish has
been the lack
>of decent food out there for the wild caught fish. Darters
and scores of
>other NA Natives simply will starve to death before eating
flake food.
>When you think about it, do you blame them ? Most flake
food is the
>equivalent of military meals ready to eat  or mre's to us
>folks/dependents. While they may meet our basic nutritional
>they are so unpalatable that you might as well starve as to
have to live
>on them full time. Yet that is what we do to our fishes. We
put them on a
>mre diet and then wonder why they don't eat , thrive and
breed. I've got
>a shock for you folks while  a good flake food is nice to
have around
>it's not the stuff that makes fish thrive. It is in effect
>rations. What I have found over the last decade of Native
fish keeping is
>that the best foods are live natural and inexpensive.
>Inexpensive you say, hah not a chance. You have ,  I am
sure purchased
>those pitiful little shot glasses of  live blackworms for a
>bucks. Only to find when you drop it in your tank it is
consumed in 5
>seconds. Two things we can figure out from this one our
fish like live or
>fresh food. Two your local pet store needs to get up to
speed in
>alternative foods. Instead of terribly expensive small
portions of
>live/frozen foods there is a literal buffet of outstanding
foods out
>there ready to be had with just a bit of hustle and brain
power. You just
>need to think like a fish.
>I know your saying think like a fish , bah I can hardly
think like a
>person. Now you want me to think like a fish. How about
this, think with
>the stomach of a fish ! Being a bit of an oddball Aquarius
to begin with
>I have always tried different foods for my fish whether I
was keeping
>Discus , Cichlids or Darters. I have found much to my
surprise that there
>are great foods out there. Some in your backyard garden ,
some in your
>local  bait shop and some in your grocery/fish market.
That's right even
>your own yard has cuisine that will make your fishes lips
smack with
>excitement. If you shop at the local grocery store or
garden  with a
>minds eye towards your fish things can get very fun very
fast for your
>fishy friends. All you need to do is think with your fishes
stomach in
>First stop in our fish food search is the Grocery
store/fish market.
>There are a huge variety of items that are suitable for the
home aquarist
>available at reasonable prices you just gotta look. Here's
a brief list
>of some of the things I  have found in my Grocery store
travels. My
>Prices are will be different than yours and should  not be
used as
>anything except a guideline.
>Head on Shrimp : Yes Head on Shrimp, those ugly alien
looking things,
>Fresh or  Frozen . Simply feed the heads to your fish and
the shrimp to
>yourself. Now as with ALL organic non live foods if after
24 hours you
>have food still In your  tank remove it . Shellfish are
rather rich foods
>so you should not overwhelm  your tank ! If you don't your
tank could
>crash.....Shrimp cost locally $3.40 cents a pound.
>Live/frozen Crayfish: You can get them in many southern
regions in local
>fish markets or grocery stores. Up north try you local bait
store they
>often carry them as bait for a low price. I crush them and
feed them to
>all my fish from sunfish to tiny darters. All around a
great food easily
>accepted . Available locally for $1.75 a pound live
>Beefheart: If you can talk your local butcher into keeping
this organ
>meat you will have a great food source for the sunfishes
and madtoms and
>many other fishes in your collection. When purchasing your
Beefheart have
>the butcher trim it very lean and then grind it extra fine.
Use this
>great Cuisine lightly it's a great 1X a week food...Local
cost  $2.50 a
>pound locally.
>Smelt: Rainbow Smelt are seasonal near the great lakes and
make a great
>addition to your fish cuisine. They are very cheap and make
great food
>for catfish , Bass, Sunfish, Bowfin's or anything else that
will take
>this great food.. Typical cost  is $1.25 a pound and it
freezes well , so
>load up
>This is not a complete list. You will of course find other
suitable foods
>at your local fish/grocery store. Including liver, odd
fishes , and other
>bizarre things like scrambled eggs. Just go slow and
document your
>results. We all want to hear about your efforts.
>Now You head to your Garden. Here you'll find a special
place for your
>spirit and your fish.
>Mosquito Larvae: Those annoying little bugs make a great
food source ,
>their sacrifice to us aquarist is their children. Simply
place a shallow
>dish  of 6 inches or less in between the rows of plants and
wait. I like
>to add a bit of dirt to the dish but that is up to you. In
no time (10
>days or so )  the dish will be full of  wriggling larvae.
These little
>dishes work in country gardens or urban porches. Just
remember to harvest
>your beauties regularly and  you will make your neighbors
and your fish
>very happy . Excellent for Killies and pygmy sunfishes.
Cost Free  with a
>little hustle
>Scuds: AKA Gammerus  Shrimp. They are easy to culture with
a bit of water
>and a bit of sunshine. You can collect a starter culture in
most small
>streams. I use old aquarium water mixed with pond water to
start em off.
>Add the scuds and collect all  year if you don't get a hard
freeze. Scuds
>are preferred by pygmy sunfish . YOY fish and killies. Cost
Free with a
>little hustle
>Earthworms : Those ole red wrigglers or those giant night
crawlers all
>make great food for all your fish . if it will fit in their
mouth worms
>work! Collect them late at night or purchase them mail
order. They are
>truly Gods gift to fish. They are durable, clean and easy
to set up in a
>home colony.  I buy mine from  Smiths Earthworms off of the
NFC website
>at http://native.interspeed.net/. You can with a little
effort find a
>good  source for worms check your local bait store or your
yellow pages.
>Ok now if all else fails  head to your local bait shop. Not
only will he
>be a source for fish for your home aquarium but they are a
SUPER place to
>get  Organic Cuisine.
>Shiners: Typically fathead  Minnows or Golden Shiners.
Great food for
>larger Sunfish , Bass , Pikes or what have you. Cost $1.75
a dozen or so.
>Waxworms Tough little larvae perfect for the sunfish and
company . Cost
>$2 a dozen or less.
>Frozen fishes : you will find a variety of interesting
baits that are
>suitable for the home Aquarium or the local Bass. About $4
a pound
>Now I intentionally left out  the most common live reared
foods like
>Daphnia ,brineshrimp , bloodworms and the like. I left them
out because
>most folks know about them already and rear them. I seek to
expose folks
>to  common unloved alternative food sources.  They are a
resource that is
>waiting to be tapped in to. Fish of all kinds await  their
first taste of
>an Organic Cuisine.
>Until next month good luck and good fishing.
>Robert Rice
>Help Preserve our Aquatic Heritage join the NFC
>email us at NFC at actwin_com or  Sunfishtalk at listbot_com
>website  http://nativefish.interspeed.net/
>You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet
>Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
>or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]