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Foods... Questions.

Discussion in 'Food, Water & Health' started by captmicha, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. captmicha

    captmicha Members

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    Thinking back on the presentation last month on food, and looking into the matter more, I've realized that a lot of foods are kind of sketchy for what they're indicated for.

    I'll try to lay this out all detailed like. I'm NOT saying that I'm right about anything, btw.

    1. Foods marketed for carnivores have a lot of plant material. While I know that spirulina and NatruRose (or the generic ingredient) are plant based color enhancers, and that a flour or gluten serves as the binding ingredient, they often have more flour than meat (listed first), or redundant flours and gluten (ex. wheat flour + wheat gluten + oat flour), and additional plant sources. Either algae or veggies.

    Apparently, this can cause a host of problems with carnivorous fish. Muscle wasting, bloat, not bioavailable sources of nutrients for their systems, etc. It also can keep them from spawning (leading you to have to supply that missing animal protein and fat).

    2. Same for herbivores, lots of meat sources in there. I've even seen some that are more rich in meat than some carnivore formulas. Animal fatty acid sources from oil may or may not be a problem, I really don't know. And using krill for a color enhancer seems to make much less sense than using NatruRose. I don't even think that krill would be cheaper?

    It seems more like these foods are designed for omnivorous species, a one size fits all.

    3. Hydrolyzed feather meal just isn't a very rich source of nutrients. I wouldn't mind feeding it if it was rich in nutrition, but it's just not. So I guess it's filler. Not that it's in a lot of foods.

    4. Garlic. There are studies that show that it can cause long term harm to fish, such as liver disease. While there are some loosely supported claims that it's good for keeping parasites at bay, and that it does work as an appetite inducer (not really sure if this has been proven with fish though), it seems like it would make a lot more sense to put it into some specialized formulas instead of so many of the formulas.

    Looking at all the different foods on Ken's website, and the ingredients, it's turned into quite a project to find food for individual needs.

    I was hoping for at least a carnivore formula and a separate herbivore formula, and being able to mix it together for my omnivores. Even in degrees for more specialized needs. But there's so much plant material in carnivore food and meat in herbivore food, and formulas with garlic to avoid, it makes no sense to do that. That I can see, anyways.

    However, it seems to be that the more serious and successful breeders tend to use hatchery pellets/flake, which isn't anymore discriminate in the issues I outlined above, and live foods, which I can't really keep up with or afford regular shipments of. Freezer foods are great, but there's got to be some room temperature, retail formula options as well.

    I know I'm probably over thinking this, and I'm really not as hung up on fish food as it sounds, but for conversation's sake and my learning experience, I still wanted to make this post for the replies (it might get).

    And resources for learning about it, are also recommended. I tend to prefer things with research over anecdotes. Results in spawning, etc. do matter. I'd consider that pretty much research too.
     
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  2. chriscoli

    chriscoli Board of Directors
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    I try to stick with a variety of good-to-excellent foods. I feed herbivore food to my Mbuna, community food to everyone, and carnivore food as a treat to some. Right now, I have open some NLS, some Tropical, some NorthFin, some Cobalt (regular stuff and their new "ultra"), and another weird one I got from SuperCichlids that I can't remember.

    My fish REALLY like Tropical (https://www.supercichlids.com/collections/tropical-fish-food) and although it's a bit pricey to use on all of the fish all of the time, I like that it comes in a very very small pellet size perfect for young fish.

    I also know people who feed NLS to everything all the time and their fish do really well too.
     
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  3. mchambers

    mchambers Occasional Corydoras Breeder / Board of Directors
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    Like Christine, I tend to buy mostly based on the brand and ingredients. I try to avoid things that have wheat, soy, and the like early on in the list of ingredients. I also try to choose foods that have a significant amount of protein from sources other than fish, such as krill, squid, shrimp, and insects, because I think that is a better approximation of what my fish would eat in the wild. That is, I don't think many of my fish eat other fish in the wild. I don't have that many herbivores in my tanks.

    I like the idea of probiotics in my fish food (and my food), but I don't know whether the science is really there yet. My understanding is that fish farms use probiotics and find it increases yield and reduces waste, but I don't know if there have been any serious tests in aquariums.

    For brands, I tend to buy Northfin, Xtreme, and Cobalt, as well as a significant amount of Repashy. I try to save costs by buying food in large containers, especially when I can find a deal online or at an auction, putting some of it in a container in the fishroom and the rest in the freezer. I just picked up some of the new Cobalt Ultra Tropical Pellets at the JRAS and really like that. I just got some Northfin Pro Bug, or something like that, at CatCon, but have not used it yet. I use small pellets mostly and occasionally flakes.

    I also feed live food that I can raise, including gammarus, grindal worms, earthworms, and microworms.
     
  4. captmicha

    captmicha Members

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    I used to get a bunch of different NLF formulas.

    My fish LOVE the Tropical too. Soft, insects. What's not to like?!

    I have a bunch of different ones open too, thanks to the group. The won food more than makes up for the membership price. (Have to update after vet bills.) I mix a bit of each up and freeze the rest.

    Me too, that makes sense. Although she said first ingredients are the most expensive and not necessarily the most amounts (I think I remember?), but I don't think that's true.

    I plan on doing that eventually when I find things I really like. I wonder how long it keeps for that way.

    Does the group ever buy it in bulk for splitting up from the bag/container?

    I wish I could find a water stable high protein herbivore wafer and water stable high meat protein wafer for fry to graze on all day. I'm just not awake long enough to feed them multiple times a day. Auto feeders can go really wrong.
     
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  5. chriscoli

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    I don't feed my fry multiple times a day either. It would be nice, but I haven't found a way to work it in yet. So, yes...there are some species that I probably have not done as well raising because of that but most are ok. Especially if you have a sponge filter or wad of java moss that they can graze on.
     
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  6. mchambers

    mchambers Occasional Corydoras Breeder / Board of Directors
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    Yes, I think fry don't need to be fed several times a day, if there are other sources of food in with them, like old leaves or moss.
     
  7. chriscoli

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    Yep. also banana leaves from the frozen food section in an international grocery store are great for baby ancistrus. I get a pack, thaw them, tear them into strips, rebag in smaller portions and put back into the freezer. they are bright green when they go into the tank, but once they start to turn yellow-brown the plecos go nuts for them. They consume the leaves but I'm pretty sure it's the biofilm they're really after.
     
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  8. IndianaSam

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    Cool! I had no idea that they would eat those. I'll give them a try this weekend.

    Out of curiosity, from which international grocery store do you get them?
     
  9. chriscoli

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    I've gotten them from H mart before but they're pretty common so I suspect they're not hard to find.
     

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