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© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, J.Atchison
Because your critters will grow better, pure and simple. What do you think they eat in the wild? Of course we're being facetious because they will eat what they can get and not all of that will be live. We do however find that most small animals seem to be more vibrant and colorful, more productive and fertile and generally healthier by starting with live food cultures and feeding live foods for at least part of their diet.
Recently, we were talking with an Angelfish breeder who uses live foods pretty extensively.
It turns out that she gets the same body size in 2 months using live foods (Grindal worms and Whiteworms) as she did in 3 when she was using prepared foods. That is the equivalent of a 50% increase in production! If you're in business, that will translate into money...but if you are just raising fabulous critters fish treated like that will be huge.
We like to keep species from North America. Some of them have little
or no commercial value and and can be rather hard to get in the hobby. When you are lucky enough to acquire a
hard-to-get fish, one would be foolish not to make the extra effort to encourage the fish
to spawn...and live food can play an important role in that spawning environment.
Another often overlooked benefit of cultivating a diverse food mix is the insurance of food availability in cases of seasonality. Even in the San Francisco Bay Area where brine shrimp is still harvested commercially and hobbyists can catch their own, availability can be seasonal.
...and one more thing...the live foods have a tendency to stay alive
in the water column. At least they stay alive for a while. They give the fry a chance to
find them and eat them before the food starts to decay.
We like the core food cultures we raise for another often overlooked advantage...they take so little time to take care of. The time we save with these three simple and easy foods rather than other more temperamental ones gives us time to enjoy watching the fish grow rather than messing with the food culturing.
"We grow food not bait"