NANFA-- Buggy fish food

Bruce Stallsmith (
Mon, 18 Dec 2000 14:23:52 -0500

I made a discovery at lunch today that I should have thought of before. I
keep my native tanks off of my greenhouse. A southern greenhouse is an
insect-infested greenhouse, and we've had a problem with mealy bugs
especially in several of my Coleus plants (also known as painted nettle,
I've discovered). For those of you who've never seen them, big mealy bugs
are about about 2-3 mm long and squishably soft. My discovery is that rather
than just squishing them I can scrape them off with a knife blade and swish
them into a shiner tank. My Coosa drainage tank fishes are especially avid
for these bugs; it was a frenzy of rainbow and burrhead shiners snatching
them off the surface. Only one bug that I saw sank as far as the Coosa
darter, unfortunately. The southern studfish and Coosa bass got excited but
never located bugs that I could tell. Another tank with red shiners from
Mississippi (thanks Martin!) also had a helluva good time. A welcome
addition to baby brine shrimp, for free!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

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