Feeding aphids to fish

Simon Cole

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Now is the time of year when the aphid numbers are at their highest - feeding on terrestrial plants before predator numbers catch up. I collected quite a few from one of my fruit trees, and just put them into the fridge. What do you guys feel about feeding aphids to fish? Is this safe or do some fish fall ill? Feeding ants to fish is a bad idea due to the high concentrations of formic acid. Are there any risks like this?
 

sparkyweasel

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I've used them for years too, with no problems. Terrestrial insects that fall into the water are natural food for many species. Aphids take a long time to sink, so very good for surface feeders like danios and hatchetfish.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
How do you collect aphids?
I use a paintbrush to dislodge them into a plastic container.
Like @sparkyweasel.

I mainly collect them (from the new growth on the roses) by holding a 1/2 filled beaker of water in the left hand and then giving the rose stem a good firm tap with the right hand. Hopefully most of the aphids fall into the water and you can just slosh that straight into the tank. You can brush of any remaining ones, but I usually just move onto the next stem.

I don't use any pesticides and I get a bit of a flush of aphids in the spring, but usually by mid-summer the Wasps, <"Parasitic wasps">, <"Hoverflies">, <"Ladybirds">, Sparrows, Blue Tits etc. have thinned them out and they are pretty difficult to find in numbers that are worth collecting.

cheers Darrel
 

Simon Cole

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That made me chuckle @Hendre . Its often the smallest things that are the most toxic. Did you know that garden spiders have venom that is more poisonous than the dreaded black widow. It's just that they cannot bite you. Compared to worms - terrestrial bugs are a different ball game.
 

Hendre

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That made me chuckle @Hendre . Its often the smallest things that are the most toxic. Did you know that garden spiders have venom that is more poisonous than the dreaded black widow. It's just that they cannot bite you. Compared to worms - terrestrial bugs are a different ball game.
Venom is a strange thing, quite curious right? Argentine ants will not give off formic acid (They are not formacine ants) and are invasive so they'll make good food, or their brood makes for a good protein snack!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Not all ants produce formic acid... But not worth the risk without being an ant boffin
Argentine ants will not give off formic acid (They are not formacine ants)
In the UK the common Black Ant (Lasius niger), the one you get under your garden path, in your kitchen etc. doesn't produce any formic acid either.

I've never tried feeding them to the fish deliberately, but a few often end up in with the aphids (the ants "farm" aphids), and the fish eat them.

cheers Darrel
 
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