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Figuring out Food LOTS of Q

Discuss fish foods and nutrition here.

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Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:30 am
Bubbles User avatar
Level 9 Member
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Posts: 1645
Location: Coon Rapids, MN
there's a post re:favoirte food, but what's the best food in general?

What are we looking for exactly, i.e. Hight Protien vs Carb vs Moisture? Or does it denpend on the fish and where they like to feed, ex: bottom vs top.

I've been looking into the best food for fry also. I've read that live BBS is good but you HAVE To feed the fry this stuff w/in 8 hours of hatching. If you don't do it at just the right time, then the nutritional values go down, and the fry don't get what they need. (?) Then there's some freeze dried brine shrimp that says it's better then live b/c the nutritional values are highter then live bbs. (?)

It seem to me like adults eat fry food just as much as their own food - so as fry get bigger, one could just buy the "good" food in larger chuncks. (?)

I've been feeding my fish frozen blood worms, but have found freeze dried blood worms.. what's the difference? Besides the fact that one stays in your freezer.

In my short fish history I've feed my fish: tubflex worms (freeze dried), blood worms(frozen), flakes, Veggie wafers, Algae wafers, and some pellet type food for cichlids. Fry have been getting microworms lately.

SO in short: What do you think is the best food? Why? What are you looking for on the labels re: nutritional values.

Thanks,
B
sorry for all the Q's! :D
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Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:26 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12190
Location: apple valley, mn
Do not believe everything you read.
Or too many experts spoil the fish food.

Believe what works.
Or expierence beats reading any day.

Let me summarize:
See it
Do it
Teach it
Like a complete unknown

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:50 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12190
Location: apple valley, mn
Bubbles wrote:
best food in general?

Hight Protien vs Carb vs Moisture?

fry don't get what they need. (?)
better then live b/c the nutritional values are highter then live bbs. (?)

just buy the "good" food in larger chuncks. (?)

frozen blood worms, but have found freeze dried blood worms.. what's the difference?

What do you think is the best food? Why? What are you looking for on the labels re: nutritional values.

Best food is:
- something the fish will consume quickly
- something that contains all nutrients needed by fish
- something that nutrients are fully absorbed by fish
- something that brings out colors in fish, this may be in excess of required nutrients

Growing fish need protein at >40% (60% is not too high). Breeding fish require high protein diets also.

BBS has a high nutritional value upon hatching. This is when most of yolk is present. As BBS use up yolk, the nutritional value falls. However, the fall is relative. It does not fall anywhere near inadequate.

Frozen brine is not better than BBS. Frozen brine is mostly water. Frozen brine is a good food for adult fish but not better than BBS for fry.

Fish expend energy while gathering and consuming food. Thus, the energy taken in during food gathering has to be greater than energy expended to gather food if we expect growth or breeding. For fish to grow quickly feed them food that they do not have to expend energy gathering, large fish need nightcrawlers, shrimp, mussels, chunks of fish, large freeze dried mysis, sticks and pellets.

Difference between frozen and freeze dried is moisture.

Back to Best Food:
same foods the fish consume in Nature is best.
since that is next to impossible to replicate, then live food similar to what is taken by wild fish
since we cannot afford to collect or purchase live food for all our fish then we must fall back on frozen and freeze dried
some of us cannot afford frozen and freeze dried, and thus prepared foods (flakes, sticks and pellets)

Food issue is not black and white. It is feeding what ever meets fish needs. To find out what a fish needs may require library work or trial and error.
Like a complete unknown

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:48 pm
Kimfish User avatar
Level 9 Member
Level 9 Member

Posts: 1701
Location: Columbia Heights
I tend to go with the prepared foods that have yummy sounding ingredients. I'm not saying this is necessarily valid. I doubt if there's much regulation as to fish food labels. In fact I just spent the morning trying to research foods for my four leggeds and found nothing but controversy. How you spose to pick when Everyone is pointing fingers and saying "no they're wrong we're right!"

So I end up buying foods that at least sound good. Most have fish meal as the first ingredient. I admit I would rather see it say, herring meal, shrimp meal, krill meal etc...rather then just fish meal, lol! Probably a marketing ploy but it works for me.
I hate seeing wheat,corn, or soy at the top of the ingredients list. both for my fish and my fourleggeds. It's used to bind dry foods together and is necessary I guess but I'd like it to be as little as possible.

The dry foods that I use based on ingredients list and the top 4 or 5 ingredients:

Kent Platinum TropicalXtreme small sinking pellets
Marine Fish Meal
Shrimp
Krill
Spirulina
Soybean meal

HBH SuperSoft- with Krill or Spirulina
krill or spirulina
fish meal
wheat flour "high gluten"
fish oil (green pea powder in the spirulina version)

Omega One Freshwater Flakes
whole salmon
halibut
black cod
whole herring
whole shrimp
whole krill
wheat flour
wheat gluten
fresh kelp

New Life Spectrum Small fish Formula
Krill Meal
fish Meal
Wheat Flour
Blood Meal
Soybean Meal
Fish Oil

In contrast
Wardleys Spectra Max
herring meal
wheat flour
soybean meal
corn gluten meal
wheat germ meal
( just too many grain based ingredients for my comfort )


The first four are my staples along with algae wafers, shrimp pellets and frozen supplements. Reading it makes me feel like I really need to start cultivating more live foods. :)

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:06 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12190
Location: apple valley, mn
Here is a food that some cichlid keepers use exclusively whilst others use it to condition females. The reciepe comes from Enjoying Cichlids editor Ad Konings.

● 2 lbs. Whole Shrimp, heads and all.
● 2 lbs. Green Peas, frozen
● 2 tsp. Spirulina Powder, 100% pure (try Jehmco or health food store)
● 100 gms (3.33 oz) Gelatin Powder (Agar agar) health food store or supermarket, use the vegetable type as it's more easily digestible.
● 10 drops Liquid Multi-vitamins, any good quality freshwater aquarium concentrate.

Partially thaw the shrimps and peas, leaving them slightly frozen. Place them in a blender or mincer and grind them to a fine paste. Place the mixture in a bowl and add the Spirulina powder and liquid multi-vitamins and stir well.

Dissolve the gelatin, following the directions on the box, making sure there are no lumps in it. It must be an easily flowing, sticky mass without any lumps (lumps of gelatin can be dangerous for juvenile cichlids). Slowly add the shrimp-pea mix to the warm gelatin. Be sure to mix it completely before it cools. The best way to do this is to mix the food scoop by scoop with the hot gelatin, preventing it from cooling too quickly by keeping the gelatin still on low heat.

This mixture is poured onto a baking tray or into small ice cube containers and placed in the refrigerator to cool for several hours. The hardened mix is then cut into pieces of convenient size, and frozen in plastic zip-lock bags.

NOTE: never suddenly change your fish's feeding regimen or food. Gradually introduce the new food to your fish and observe them carefully in the following days to make sure it sits well with them.

Personal notes: I like to add metonidazole to a portion of each batch for use on fish that appear to have protozoan infections.
Substitute frozen spinach for peas or 50:50, same with shrimp, consider substituting clams or mussels.
Last edited by Passionfish on Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:15 pm
dougtpham User avatar
Level 7 Member
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Posts: 934
Location: Bloomington, MN

Since I have not done much w/ cichlids in my fish history, I never really consider much about fish foods. Here is what I have done, please don't hate me :-)

For betta, I usually feed them pellets & frozen brine shrimp (stinky). Recently, I am starting to use black worms and daphnia (thanks to Sue M.)

In the old days, I used to feed my oscar with trout pellet. They eat it and and definitely were fine with it.

For convicts, I break up the trout pellets and they were happy and their babies were fine with grounded trout pellets :-)

The rest of the fish, I will feed the cheapest tropical flakes I could buy. Bottom dwellers, they just have to eat whatever happen to be there.

Now after joining MAS, I am defintely more aware about their water, foods, temperature and etc. Let just say, I grew up a little :-) I am looking forward to learn more about fish foods and diet from this group.

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:25 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12190
Location: apple valley, mn
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are 8,000.
http://www.hagblomfoto.com/article_shrimpmix.htm

The best cichlid keepers feed their algae grazing cichlids algae grown on rocks left in a Sunny location. These algae grazers also love Romaine lettuce leafs left on a clip.

Vegtarian catfish will love a green mix of peas, spinach, green beans that have been blended, mixed in agar and frozen. Break off a chunk and toss it in.
Last edited by Passionfish on Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:25 pm
willie Level 8 Member
Level 8 Member

Posts: 1460
Location: Minneapolis
At the risk of appearing discus-centric, here's what I feed.

1 lb of lean ground beef (Excel brand, 7% fat, 93% protein)
1 lb of frozen pollack
handful of frozen spinach

Grind briefly (30 sec) in food processor, flattened and frozen. I can make and package 12 lb of food in an hour at a cost of $3.50/lb. Some people like to throw in magic ingredients, e.g. spirulina, baby pre-vitamin mix... I don't bother. Unlike prepared food, this is high protein, fresh and contains no fillers.

Everything in my tanks get fed this, including discus, angelfish, tetras, corys, apistos and assorted ancistrus. I don't keep any vegetarians, but everyone gets huge on this food.

Willie

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:05 pm
Kimfish User avatar
Level 9 Member
Level 9 Member

Posts: 1701
Location: Columbia Heights
great recipes guys, if anyone has anymore keep em coming!

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:50 pm
DragonGT83 User avatar
Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 64
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
I should probably try some of these recipes, i usually just buy a couple pounds of HBH graze flakes(various kinds) from jehmco and haven't had any problems, maybe my fish will be even better if i gave them something homemade?

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:21 pm
Anchor User avatar
Level 6 Member
Level 6 Member

Posts: 507
Location: Zimmerman, MN
I had done the same recipe that Bob mentions but I used all of the ingredients listed.. and included garlic in small quatities.. Pre-1995.

Currently.. I consider variety the spice of life so to speak..

My fish get a variety of everything I can throw at them that they will eat. Frozen, Dried, Live and Prepared..

I also use zucchini, and prefer a 50-50 peas/spinach mix when I use it That recipe wih a higher veggie protien mix is ginormous good happy eating for Tropheus. Not that I would ever keep any cichlids.

The only flake I use is the bulk stuff sold at MAS meetings.. I use it more for my conveneince that fish nutrition.. It is a suplement and not a staple -most of the time.

Anchor
Spam? It's Gotta be Spam. But not much Spam.

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:46 pm
Kimfish User avatar
Level 9 Member
Level 9 Member

Posts: 1701
Location: Columbia Heights
do any of you find that these homemade recipes cloud the tank a lot?

Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:38 pm
pbdragon User avatar
MAS Board Member
MAS Board Member

Posts: 1420
Location: Eagan

Found this at the Angles Plus website, thought some of you may like to try it....


Angels Plus' Beef Heart Paste Food

Ingredients:

2 Fresh raw beef hearts
5 oz of fresh spinach
1/4 lb of fresh carrots
1/4 lb of krill powder
1 oz of spirulina powder
1/2 tsp of liquid vitamins
8 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin
Premium flake food - approximately 1 lb

De-vein and remove all fat from the beef heart. Use a food processor to chop the prepared heart to a very fine consistency ( a minute or so with the chopping blade). Mix heart, vegetables, krill powder, spirulina powder and vitamins in a large bowl. Dissolve gelatin according to directions, in hot water. Mix the dissolved gelatin liquid into the beef heart mixture. Add the flake to thicken. The amount of flake added with vary with the amount of water in the mixture. Try to get it to the consistency of thick oatmeal.

Immediately, place paste food in plastic fish bags and flatten to a thickness that is easily broken with your fingers. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before freezing. To feed, break off chunks of the frozen mix, and just drop it into the tank. The fish can easily eat from the chunk.

This is a bit of work, but the effort is worth it after you see the results it makes in your fish. It may take your fish a day or two to figure out that this is food and that it's good. Get them hungry and then feed very small amounts at first. Clean up any uneaten food immediately. Once they get used to it, they will ravenously attack it, and grow as fast as possible with vibrant color.
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Post Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:40 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12190
Location: apple valley, mn
Kimfish wrote:
do any of you find that these homemade recipes cloud the tank a lot?

I added NaturRose to a batch and the water was cloudy. Did not bother fish. Cannot remember if mechanical filter picked it up or I changed water :?
Like a complete unknown

Post Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:11 pm
gloflyer Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 373
Location: Crow Wing County
Passionfish wrote:
Do not believe everything you read.
Or too many experts spoil the fish food.

Believe what works.
Or expierence beats reading any day.

Let me summarize:
See it
Do it
Teach it


Thanks Bob.

What works for each of us is so individualistic.

When I clean fish after fishing I always save the eggs. Even the tiny baby guppies can manage to eat sunfish eggs. They love it.

Not everyone would want to use their blender or food processor for this, but I have blended a mixture of partially frozen earthworms, northern eggs, gelatin, and some algae pellets. I put it in a baggie and smoosh it out before freezing. All of the fish love this too. (Make sure you clean the blender before the kids see it!!)

I think that what we feed the fish depends a lot on what we have available. For awhile I fed my fish bits of meatloaf made with antelope hamburger. I had a lot of garlic in it, and they loved it.

Before I joined this group, I did not know that I had to feed the plecos. I had two small ones that I had had for about 2 years. They never really did much, and certainly didn't grow.

Now I have two big healthy robust plecos. One is over 8" long. They are incredible looking with rusty marks on them. The difference is that I am now feeding them. Won't make that mistake again.

I am starting to get a little more adventurous, and am thinking of trying some live foods in the fall.

Linda

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