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fish food question
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ariaanna
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Joined: 15 Sep 2003

PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)13:34    Post subject: fish food question Reply with quote

I read in a different thread that you shouldn't buy fish food with fish meal as the first ingredient..... I was curious as to why this is, and also if there are other ingredients that should be avoided in fish foods? (and why, for those as well.)
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Honeyrobber
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Joined: 11 May 2005
Location: McMinnville TN

PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)14:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it mostly depends on the type of fish you keep. I believe in live foods and/or frozen foods. The flakes are only to round out their diet so I look for spirulina as a main ingredient(with the first few items listed) to add vegtable matter that is high in nutrients. Fish foods high in fish meal can give your tank an oily film if you over feed. The fish foods with higher amounts of wheat flour, alfalfa meal, and other vegtable matter type foods are less likely to cloud your water or cause the oily film. BUT if you are keeping predator fish they need high amounts of fat or oils in their diet and these come from fish meal in most prepared foods. This is another reason it is better to feed you fish several times a day and less than they can actually eat in 3 minutes. With no left overs in the tank you do not get a problem from feeding fish food with fish meal if your fish need it. Guppies and most livebearers do great on a more veggy type diet but when breeding the feeding live food like tubifex worm, grindal worm, and fruit flies(wingless are best for these smaller fish and flightless are both easy to culture).
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dr_fosg8
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Location: central Illinois

PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)14:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of fish were being fed in the post that you read? Almost all of the commercially prepared dried and flake foods use fish meal as the main ingredient.

Unless you are keeping specialized fish like african cichlids or discus I wouldn't be overly concerned with avoiding the fish meal foods.
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cindywindy
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Joined: 08 Nov 2003
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)14:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ariaanna,

This is a tough question, because nutrition for fish varies greatly depending on which kind of fish we're talking about. For instance, you will want to avoid a commercial fish food which is high in protein if your fish are herbivores, and conversely you will want to avoid a fish food high in vegetable matter if your fish are carnivores. Feeding a fish an inappropriate diet long-term can cause difficulties later on in their ability to fight off illnesses.

With regard to your fish meal question, I am not entirely sure why you have read that it should be avoided, unless it is because of its very high lipid content which makes it very susceptible to becoming rancid when it becomes outdated or when it has been improperly stored. Of course, the higher up the ingredient list fish meal is, the greater the content, thus the more likely this problem becomes. Outside of these circumstances, however, fish meal is quite high in proteins and amino and fatty acids and is generally considered part of a very healthy diet for our fish.
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right.

Fish meal is kind of a sausage product, lots of filler and little nutritional value. You can find some foods that don't use it that much, though most widely distributed foods do have it as a main ingredient. Omega One is one of the few available that doesn't use it as a primary.

Still, if you are balancing out your fish's diet with frozen and live foods, they should compensate. As dr.fosg8 said, most fish aren't going to become malnourished by it, though they will probably respond to increased nutritional value.
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cindywindy
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Joined: 08 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)15:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Jake,

We must have been posting at the same time ! Interesting that your information is the polar opposite of mine, perhaps there is new information that has been published that I am not aware of. One of the best articles I have ever read on the subject of fish nutrition, including the subject of fish meal in commercial foods, was a study done at the University of Florida's Department of Aquatic Sciences and was published about 2 years ago. Any links that you can provide that might help us better understand the detriment of fish meal would be appreciated !
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benedictj
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PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)18:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey cindy- funny how that happens sometimes.

First, let me say that I may have not been quite specific enough in my beefs (haha) about fish meal. I googled around and found the you o F article you were talking about, fairly convincing arguement. Admittedly I may have mispoken when I said that it wasn't 'nutritious', instead I should have said it doesn't provide complete nutritutuion and pales in comparison to foods made by other processes which don't strip so much of the good stuff out.

The problem with fish meal isn't necessarily the meal itself, but the process in which it is created. During the process they centrifuge out the majority of the amminos and fat. Further, fish meal is produced with rancid fat, which causes a breakdown in mineral content. So, if you're dealing with a low grade, cheaply made food, you'll have a low mineral content (I shudder to think what the real nutritional value of some of the more widely circulated products made by Hartz, etc). So yeah, you'll get the protein, but you'll loose vitamins and minerals unless they are reintroduced. Additionally, the majority of the fat and oils are actually centrifuged off during the process of creating it.

Here's a document from the UN on fish meal vs. fish protein concentrate, it clearly states the lack of hygine in production as well as the fact that rancid fats used in production break down mineral content in terms of human consumption.

Further acknowledgement of this problem is notable in australia, where they have banned the use of all 'meals' as food stocks for animals. Mainly this to protect against mad cow, but they have also specifically cite the buildup in histamines caused by the decaying lipids in fishmeal as causing problems in poultry stock- that can't be good for fish.

Here

Anyway, just some examples of the issues. Like I said before, it certainly won't cause malnourishment in fish, but it certainly isn't the ideal foodstuffs either, mixing it with live, unstripped foods is probably best.
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Jake
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ariaanna
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Joined: 15 Sep 2003

PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)20:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

interesting. I usually only feed my fish flake foods when I'm in a hurry, and it's about as much as they can consume in 20 seconds or so, I keep paradisefish, tetras, a pleco, and a few cories, and puffers in a separate tank, so I often feed them frozen bloodworms (or other frozen things) accompanied by algae discs (in the community tank).

are there any specific types of frozen foods you'd recommend besides bloodworms? I have krill and mysis shrimp as well, but I'd like to give them a bit more variety...... I'm just weird like that.
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benedictj
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PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)20:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

brine shrimp is pretty much the standard. I haven't tried mysis yet, but I hear they are good...
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ariaanna
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Joined: 15 Sep 2003

PostPosted: 2005.05.11(Wed)21:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

my puffers LOVE them....... they seem to prefer things with eyes, which is why I feed them stuff as big as krill (which is significantly larger than the dwarfs) I have a brine shrimp hatchery, but I keep forgetting to set it up..... I'm also afraid my roomie will knock it over and yell at me because he's a klutz. Sad


(he got mad when I put a 20 gallon bucket of water in our kitchen, claiming he accidentally kicked it and spilled it all over the floor...... I think he needs to lay off the booze. Mad )
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