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The Bug Farm
San Rafael, CA 94903  USA

2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, J.Atchison

The Bug Farm grows Grindal worms, Fruit Flies, Microworms and more!

Hey! don't laugh at this...this is serious stuff here. The Biddy Baby Cocktail is one of the most important tricks we have come up with in the last couple of years.

Critters don't grow at the same rates. Some fishes, Morgunda morgunda for example can grow at rates that create fish of such differing sizes you would swear the batch of siblings you were looking at were parent(s) and fry...1/2 inch and 2 inches in the same batch. When young animals are being fed you must consider the size differences and develop feeding programs which reflect the sizes within the batch.

The Biddy Baby Cocktail concept came about while feeding three different foods to one batch of fry (gudgeon larvae to be exact). Greenwater...2 squirts...vinegar eels...2 squirts...baby brine shrimp...1 squirt. Well the mix had to be changed every couple of days as the fry grew and the size differences became apparent. Soon the greenwater was dropped from the mix and more shrimp added. Soon the Vinegar Eels became too small...then Grindals needed to be fed. A solution to having to carry three different containers to each of the grow out tanks needed to be worked out.

The concept that spins the Cocktail idea is to mix the different foods into one container...simple enough. What we found as a mixing tool became even better when we discovered that we could mix the Cocktail and feed a portion of it to the fry leaving the mixture on the top of the tank. On the subsequent rounds (we move through the hatchery several times during feeding) the food is still there in the right mixture, ready to feed. It has saved a whole bunch of time and the fry seem to have responded to the method very well.

After the fish reach the 1/2 inch stage the Cocktail advantages seem to work themselves out and we feed the young fish as we would the adults. We have found the Cocktail to work especially well with smaller egg spawners fry. Some of the egg layers seem to grow at some radical size difference amongst the fry batches. We estimate the largest food that the fry can handle (based upon experience [read: failures]) and then add the one or two foods below the largest size we think is possible for the fry to eat. We like to think that a food particle should be no larger than the diameter of the fry's eyeball. The general rule of thumb as to the relative size of a particular food has generated the following list, which is in the order of size from the smallest size at the top to the largest size at the bottom.

Greenwater
Infusoria
Paramecium
Vinegar Eels
Baby Brine Shrimp
Grindal Worms

Once the fry have reached the size where they can take Grindal worms, we gradually wean them from the cocktail concept and rely on the Grindal worms as the staple food with extra Baby Brine Shrimp tossed in when there is extra.

 

"We grow food not bait"


 

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