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Figuring out Food LOTS of Q

Discuss fish foods and nutrition here.

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Post Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:42 pm
saltydapleco User avatar
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Ok Anchor. Heres what I got....
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.



So to make this do I substitute out the shrimp for one of the veggies or decrease the ratio of shimp to peas/zuccini/spinach? Would it be good for them to do a mix of say 25/25/25/25 or 33/33/33 if I took out a veggie? I'd like to start making some food for mine again. I'm feeding two tanks Dainichi veggie three times a day and forsee it geting pricey.

Since I'm a solo act I don't have to fess up to what I last used my Magic Bullet to mix. (Freaked out an ex making some shrimp mix once)

Could I even dry out the mess if I bought one of the food dehydraters at a garbage(oops garage) sale?
President and founder of the "MN Moss Ball Society"
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Post Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:54 am
pbdragon User avatar
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A Homemade Liquid Fry Food
by Laura Pylypow

Everybody always says "It's best to feed your fry live food." Well, that's probably true, but most of the kinds of live food that tiny fry can take needs to be cultured at home, since they're not available commercially, and if your fish catch you unprepared, or if you simply don't have time, you have a problem. In our case R started when our African Cichlids became convinced they were rabbits. All of a sudden we were up to our ears in ravenous baby fish, and the brine shrimp weren't hatching well. Of course, the usual emergency solution in such circumstances is to go out and get one of the various brands of liquid fry on the market, but that stuff costs between 3 and 4 dollars for less than an ounce of fluid that's mostly water. Not only has it always struck me as a colossal rip-off, (Of course we all know about the clever marketing schemes used by pet supply manufacturers to part hobbyists from their money, such as $2.85 for 25 grams of a *pure, pH 8 buffer crystal*, which is in fact pure baking sooda, and probably not even food-grade.) but when you have nothing but a couple of hundred hungry little mouths to feed, and they're African Cichlids' mouths to boot, that $4 not-quite-an-ounce of liquid food doesn't go very far. The only good thing about these liquid fry food, though, is that the baby fish do extremely well on them; significantly better than on any other kind of non-live food, and not significantly worse than if they do get live food, at least, in our experiences with Africans.

The liquid fry food manufacturers sabotaged their little scam, at least as far as we were concerned, though, because they print the ingredients they use right on the tubes. Well, for a person with a degree in chemistry and a reading knowledge of English, (Oh, the degree is optional) this is a blatant invitation to try and make one's own *baby formula*, particularly since all of the major ingredients were things that I thought I could probably lay my hands on. Well, after some creative shopping, and shome trial and error, I came up with a flexible formula that can be adapted to suit differnt types of fry at different stage of life, and that we have had excellent results with so far. I sould say at this stage that so far our test of the food have been restricted to African Cichlid fry, and that I would very much like to *field test* the formula on other types of fish. So, if you make some yourself, please let me know how it works for you, or, if you'd like to try it before going out and buying all the ingredients, let me know and I'll be delighted to provide you with a sample, particularly if you supply a small jar to put it in.

First, a word or two about the commercial liquid baby foods. All the ones I've seen are basically suspensions of powdered egg, powdered nutritional yeast, and some kind of vegetable material like pea flour in water, possibly with the addition of a few nutritional supplements, or things like dextrin to keep it from lumping, or preservatives. The anti-lumping agents and preservatives aren't necessary if you keep the liquid in teh fridge once R's made up, and if you shake well before using. Most brands make two formulas; one for livebearers and one for egglayers, the main difference being that the egglayer food has smaller particles, or the suspension breaks down faster in water, so that the *clumps* of food available to the fry tend to be smaller, and that the livebearer food ofter has some green vegetable matter added to R in addition to the ingredients mentioned above. The labels on the commercial products say that they provide excellent nutrition for baby fish on their own, and produce infusoria in short order. As to the first claim, they do provide good nutrition, and fry usually do well when fed these products, but there are no magic ingredients in them that can't be obtained easily in Calgary by a resourceful shopper.

Powdered whole eggs can be obtained very cheaply from commercial bakery supply outlets, provided you're willing to take no less than fifty pounds at a time, or in more reasonable quantities,and still quite reasonably-priced, from places that outfit packpackers and campers, such as the Mountain Equipment Co-Op. Nutritional yeast can be obtained at most health food stores-I use the Torula variety, as it seems to be the most finely-powdered, and there's not much difference beween the types, nutritionally speaking, I get my Torula yeast in bulk, at the Earth's Harvest Co-Op, which I recommend with hesitiation because it's a dangerous place to shop. Despite the fact that it's a a *health food* store, the baked goods and other delectables are so tempting that you'll have a hard time getting out of there with only the yeast powder. Chick-pea flour is available anyplace that sells East Indian foods, including the Oriental section of both the Real Canadian Superstores in town, which is probably where you'll get the best price on it. Fish live oil isn't nearly as popular as a human nutritional supplement as it used to be, but most pharmacies still stock it in some obscure corner; I usually wind up having to ask for it. Even though I buy all the ingredients retail, the homemade food is still about one-twelfth the price of the commercial stuff, and our fry can't seem to tell the difference. Another significant advance of making your own liquid fry food is that you can customize it to suit the specific, and changing, dietary requirements of your particular fry, about which more later, after the recipe.

Liquid Fry Food (makes about four Fluid ounces)

Basic Ingredients:
3 tablespoons powdered whole egg, 2 tablespoons powdered nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon chick-pea (or other kind of legume) flour, Water (distilled or filtered is preferable)

Optional Ingredients:
A few drops fish liver oil
Flaked fish food ( the *growth* formulas are particularly suitable) A small amount of fresh vegetable, like lettuce or zucchini.

To mix this up, it's best to use some kind o mechanical device, since R needs a lot of beating to form good suspension. I have one of those miniature food-processor gizmos, which works wonderfully, but a blender, either hand-held or the stand type, ought ot work fine, particularly if you have a small blending container.

First combine all dry ingredients. If adding flake food, and not using a blender, try to pulverize the flakes somehow (coffee grinder, mortar & pestle, rubbing between fingers) before adding to the other ingredients. Now add the *wet* ingredients like oil and vegetables. Do not add more than a few drops of oil; in small quantities the oil adds nutritional value and increses the size of the *clumps* of liquid that gets suspended in the water, but if you add too much you'll end up with a slimy mess that floats on top of the water and makes a horrible mess of your tank. Add about 1/4 cup of water and blend well, then stop to check the consistancy. It's really impossible to say how much water you'll need to add in total, since the yeast and egg powders are very hygroscopic, and their moisture content varies enormously. The best thing to do is add water in small increments, and keep checking, until you have something that pours like whipping cream. At this point, try it out on your fry. An eyedropper is the best way to deliver it; of course you remembered to get one when you were at the pharmacy asking for the fish liver oil, didn't you? If you should get R to thin, so that it disperses immediately on hitting the water, add a little pea flour. If you're not careful, though, this sort of trial and error can yield a much larger batch of food than intended. Once you've got the consistancy right, refrigerate it immediately. It'll go bad in a matter of hours if left out; otherwise it keeps for a couple of weeks.

For really tiny fry, you probably want to stick with the basic formula, and make the mixture quite thin, so it disperses quickly into the water. Even when you can no longer see the particles of food, you'll see the fry chasing them. As the fry get bigger, you thicken up the mix, and add the oil, which makes it form slightly larger clumps of suspension in the water, which usually get swallowed before they can disperse further. You can gradually introduce flaked food, vegetable matter, or whatever other food that you're planning to use when the fry outgrow the liquid formula. In this way, you avoid sudden changes in diet, which can be stressful, and reduce any potential problems with acceptance of new foods. It's an easy thing to play around with, and you can experiment until you find the right mixture for you particular fish. A parting caveat: be careful not to overfeed, or your tanks will get very filthy very fast.

Note: Reprinted from the Calquarium the newsletter of the Calgary Aquarium Society.
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Post Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:05 am
paisleydals Level 9 Member
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Location: St. Paul, MN

What an interesting discussion! I thought only discus folks made their own fish food!

Although I've fed my dogs a natural raw homemade diet for many years - (I never ever purchase commercial food for either adults or pups) - I've always fed my fish commercial diets, either dried for frozen, plus some live food.

Now I fear the fish are going to get wind of this discussion and go on a hunger strike for better rations!

Sue
Sign me -
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Post Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:08 pm
Shokubutsu-San User avatar
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Location: Twin Cities Metro, North East

paisleydals wrote:
What an interesting discussion! I thought only discus folks made their own fish food!


I think you guys may be nuts...

Now I fear the fish are going to get wind of this discussion and go on a hunger strike for better rations!


My SO might go on some sort of strike if I started cooking up special meals for my fish and demand that I cook up some human food instead...

Post Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:04 pm
JollyT Level 7 Member
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Posts: 792
Location: Coon Rapids, MN
A few thoughts.... :twisted:

Most oldtimers I know just fed lots o' flake to grow out fry. That and bbs. If you're selling them you want to feed them cheap. The stuff tg gets is good for a great price. I know some things may need a special diet, but in general feed them cheap. On the labels a percent or 2 or 3 doesn't matter much. Ignore the sales hype!!! Just looked at a can I got at a club raffle. It says "With Powerbursts!" :shock: :o What the hell are powerbursts??? :evil: Another, "With natural protiein!" Ever met any unnatural protein? It all was living at some point!

"What do you call six advertising people going off a cliff in a lexus?"
"A good start!" :lol:

Beef heart in these recipes can be replaced by 93% lean ground beef or turkey. (Just ask Willie!)

As far a small fry food goes. You only need it for a few days. A week a most for the smallest fry before you can get them on bbs. They also don't eat much when they are that small so don't over feed! You do need to put the food where they eat though. For rainbow type fry, liquifrywith the tip on the surface so that it spreads in a thin film is great. For fry that hug the bottom microworms are great. Then get them on bbs as soon as possible. It seems many people are intimidated by bbs. It's lots easier hatching bbs than making glop to put in your tank. :roll:

I might make food for adult discus or other larger fish. I would also feed veggie lovers some fresh veggies. Just freeze them or nuke them a little to dirupt the cell structure so they sink. Other than that its too much work and not cost effective.

Post Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:05 am
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Posts: 12237
Location: apple valley, mn
JollyT wrote:
Ever met any unnatural protein?

It is a question of semantics.
Take for example trans fats. Natural fats are either unsaturated or saturated, none are partial saturated. So are trans fats natural?

Back to proteins. We want complete protein. Simple proteins do not contain all the amino acids required for growth. An example of a simple protein is egg whites.
From Willie's testimony the mammalian protein in ground beef functions as a complete protein for our fish. However, that would not have to be the case. Suppose the protein were from corn, wheat or something fish do not normally consume. Without some testing, we would not know if the fish could digest these proteins.
I cannot remember reading it on fish labels but partial digested proteins are possible. However, the process used to partial digest a protein may damage some of the amino acids.
Experiment with different proteins but do not be surprised if some fail.
Like a complete unknown

Post Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:58 am
Shokubutsu-San User avatar
Level 12 Member
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Posts: 3000
Location: Twin Cities Metro, North East

Passionfish wrote:
JollyT wrote:
Ever met any unnatural protein?

It is a question of semantics.
Take for example trans fats. Natural fats are either unsaturated or saturated, none are partial saturated. So are trans fats natural?


I hate to use "natural" vs "un-natural", but trans fats are one of the few things I actually consider un-natural.

I've been following this some 10 years. Adding extra hydrogen to oils has some very desirable properties. It makes for more of a bakery texture that most consumers prefer. It also keeps semi-solid or solid at room temperature. It also has a very long shelf life. This is the key part of the "un-natural" part. All that concentrated food energy and not much can utilize it.

When I was a kid, the trans vegetable fats (margarines) were supposed to be healthier than the animal fats that were associated with cardiovascular disease. But, the fact that these trans fats were solid at room temperature meant that they also had a tendency to stick to artery walls, perhaps even more than the oh-so-bad animal fats.

What really p*sses me off is how difficult it still is to not eat this stuf, even in granola bars. All the big brands, except Nature Valley, include this crap. All those healthy sounding names, which I consider toxic because of the trans fats. All I wanted was a healthier alternative to a cookie. It should not be so difficult.

Post Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:15 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Location: apple valley, mn
Long live butter.

I agree we were screwed on trans fats.
Like a complete unknown

Post Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:08 pm
pbdragon User avatar
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Location: Eagan

Passionfish wrote:
Long live butter.


Butter is it's own food group, along with Rice Krispie bars, bacon and chocolate. But perhaps we're getting off topic. :lol:
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Post Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:31 pm
saltydapleco User avatar
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Location: Fridley

For a long time I would go in the fridge and find my sticks of butter had teeth marks in them. I never thought much of it I figured amy was just expirementing with foods in the fridge. Then one day she marched into my room reaking of butter and with a lovely sheen to her face. I went in my fridge to find a couple sticks of it reduced to scraps of papr with finger prints.I had jut bought it the day before. She prefers the crystal farms over the store brand.

Long live butter.

My mom was cleaning my fridge a month or so after that and started laughing pretty hard when she came across sticks of butter with perfect bite prints on them. Amy had unwrapped them. Taken a big bite and rewrapped them. Goofy kid.
President and founder of the "MN Moss Ball Society"
Need caves? www.saltysdigz.com local prices are lower than those listed.

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