CONSIDERATIONS WHEN SOURCING FEEDER FISH
Feeding live fish is not as easy as one thinks. You must have a good source to begin with. The tank conditions of feeder fish sellers are usually terrible, at best. They are usually overstocked and the fish are kept alive with strong aeration. The feeder fishes are also subjected to a very stressful environment. Every time a buyer comes along, they are netted and dumped back to the tank. They are not handled with care. Thus, when you buy them, they are no longer healthy. It is a disheartening experience buying live feeder fish only to discover most of them are dead when you reach home. Secondly, you must have a tank dedicated to your feeder fish. This tank should function well, and the water conditions should be good; otherwise, you will not be able to keep them healthy. Let’s face it; if you are to feed healthy feeder fish to your collection, you must exert the same good aquarium keeping practices in your feeder fish tank. The worst thing you can do is to dump the whole bag of kataba in your main tank because you do not have a feeder fish tank. Not only are you adding water that is high in ammonia to your carefully maintained tank, you are likewise imposing a tremendous bioload on your filter system because of overstocking. Thus, it is necessary to have a feeder fish tank where you can keep them healthy and just scoop out enough fish to feed your pets. Lastly, feeding live feeder fish should be convenient for your lifestyle; otherwise, you can’t keep it up. Personally, I’m not going to waste half my Saturday driving through Metro Manila traffic. I have enough traffic experience from Monday to Friday every time I go to work. I will not give up half my Saturday just for a bag of kataba. Feeding live food is, of course, a natural thing. Whether it is fish, worms, shrimp, insects, grubs, larvae, or whatever, these are the same things your fish would eat if they were in their local waters; in other words, their staple food. They do not have MP (market prawn), CH (chicken heart), SW (super worm), or beef heart in the wild. Thus, feeding live fish to your pet fish is fine. There are risks, of course, in feeding live food. It is up to you how to manage these risks so you are able to offer healthy feeder fishes to your pets. It is important to note that whatever you feed your fish, whether live or not, it should be of good quality.