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Thread: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

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    Registered Member GulfCoastDiscus's Avatar
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    Default Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    LIVE FOODS


    Crustaceans
    Brine Shrimp (Artemia salina)
    Brine shrimp is one of the most popular live foods in the hobby. Most brine shrimp available come from San Francisco or the Great Salt Lake. Brine shrimp are available in live, frozen, and freeze-died forms. Brine shrimp eggs are widely available for home cultivation. The young nauplii are excellent food for fry. Adult brine shrimp are suitable for small to large fish. Brine shrimp provide good roughage with their exoskeletons and do not harbor disease to affect freshwater species.

    Water Fleas (Daphnia)
    Daphnia are an excellent supplementary food that can be fed every 7-10 days to provide roughage. Daphnia are available in frozen, freeze-dried, and occasionally, live forms.

    Cyclops
    Cyclops are a good food for large fry and small fish. These crustaceans will attack small fry. Cyclops are available in frozen and live forms.
    River Shrimps (Gammarus)
    These shrimps are a natural food for many large fish, especially cichlids. In order to be kept alive, keep these shrimp in cool water with strong aeration.


    Worms
    Black Worms
    Blackworms are segmented worms typically raised on fish farms (hence significantly cleaner than Tubifex worms).

    Tubifex Worms
    Tubifex inhabit muddy, polluted streams and cannot be recommended as fish food because they harbor parasites and toxins, and have a low beneficial nutrient content. Always soak the worms in water for several days before feeding. Feed sparingly as uneaten Tubifex worms will burrow in the gravel and may die. Tubifex worms are only good to feed temporarily, if fish refuse all other foods.

    White Worms (Enchytraea)
    White worms are found in decomposing materials including compost piles and seaweed piles. White worms are fatty and should only be fed on an occasionally basis. White worms are commonly used to feed older fry. These worms can be cultured at home.

    Earthworms
    Earthworms can be found in most gardens. Before feeding them, clean off all dirt and slime. Earthworms are a good food for large, carnivorous fish.


    Insect Larvae
    Bloodworms (Chironomus)
    A favorite fish food that can be purchased frozen, freeze-dried, or live. In nature blood worms are known for constructing cocoons of plant debris and mud. Chironomus mosquitoes do not bite.

    Black Mosquito Larvae
    Black Mosquito larvae are an excellent food, full of vitamins that appear to help trigger spawning in some species. Mosquito larvae are easily caught in ponds and can be raised in standing containers of water. Beware that black mosquito sting.

    White Mosquito Larvae, Glassworms
    Glassworms are found in ponds. These insect larvae develop into gnats. Glassworms are available in live and frozen forms.

    Meal Worms
    Meal worms are the larvae in beetles and are available in many pet shops. Meal worms can be fed to large fish. These larva should not be considered a regular food, but an occasional supplement.


    Insects
    Fruit Flies (Drosophila)
    Use only short-winged, non-flying fruit flies which are less likely to escape. Drosophila are a natural food for many species and can be used to help stimulate spawning. Drosophila cultures are available mail ordered from breeders. In order to culture Drosophila, place a feeding mush in a jar with two or three dozen fruit flies. The mush can be prepared by blending a banana, one can of plums, corn or oat flakes, one peach or orange, and a cup of vinegar. The mush should be sprinkled with baker’s yeast.

    Flies, Crickets, Beetles, Back swimmers
    House flies can be captured, disabled, and fed to medium to large, carnivorous fish. Crickets can be captured or purchased at a pet store. Beetles and back swimmers can also be captured.


    Mollusks
    Snails
    Small water snails, common stowaways on water plants, can be fed to several species including Pufferfish.


    Vertebrates
    Feeder Fish, Frogs, Tadpoles
    Goldfish and guppies are widely used as feeder fish for large, carnivorous species. Feeder fish can carry disease or parasites. Many aquariasts medicate the water which houses the feeder fish to reduce the risk of the spread of disease into the main tank. Frogs and tadpoles are used on occasion as foods for large fish. Usually these creatures are captured in local ponds and streams.


    FROZEN FOODS

    There are many frozen foods available for freshwater fish. Among these include: all of the live foods mentioned previously, krill, plankton, squid, vegetable-based foods, and other meat-based products. There are frozen foods containing a mixture of ingredients formulated specially for certain fish types. Some aquariasts make homemade frozen foods with meats, live foods, and vegetables.


    FREEZE-DRIED FOODS

    Many varieties of freeze-dried foods are available. Freeze-dried foods have an advantage because they retain all the nutrients of live food but with out the hassle of keeping live foods. However do not feed exclusively freeze-dried foods as, like live foods, they lack vitamins that can be provided by a good flake food.


    FLAKE, TABLET, & PELLETED FOODS

    Flake, tablet, and pelleted foods are the most widely used food for aquarium fish for good reasons: they are generally inexpensive, easy to use, and well-balanced. These foods are available in many forms including specially formulated mixtures for certain fish or conditions.
    Flakes can be fed one to four times a day, but only in small amounts which can be consumed by the fish in two minutes or less (Algae pellets are an exception). Flakes absorb water within 10 seconds of being added to the water. With fish that feed on the flakes before they absorb water, the flakes should be soaked before adding them to the tank.

    MICRO FOODS

    Micro foods are easier to collect or culture than they are to buy. Micro foods are usually used for raising small fry.

    Green Water (Suspended Algae)
    Green water is easily cultured. Simply take a jar of aquarium or aged tap water and leave it in a sunny spot. Add some algae from the aquarium and add a few drops of plant fertilizer. The suspended algae should develop within a few days. Dispense the “green water” using an eye dropper.

    Infusoria and Rotifers
    Infusoria is the name given to certain single-celled microorganisms. Infusoria are often present in the aquarium. Infusoria can be cultured by adding crushed banana or lettuce to a jar filled with aquarium water. Within a few days, the presence of infusoria can be determined by the cloudy water. Feed the infusoria using an eyedropper. Rotifer eggs can often be purchased at pet shops.

    Other Protists
    Other protists can be collected, with care, from ponds and other sources of clean water. Pass the water through fine mesh in order to collect the small organisms.
    Beware that some microorganisms may harm fry.

    Egg Yolk
    Egg yolk can be prepared for feeding by shaking yolk in a jar until the water is cloudy. Then dispense the yolk using an eyedropper.


    VACATION FEEDING Do not add any new plants or fish to the tank later than one month before the vacation. Prior to taking a vacation, the tank should be given a thorough water change and no new fish or plants should be added. If the aquariast is to be gone less than a week, the fish need not be fed unless young fish or fry are kept. If the aquariast is gone for longer than a week or does not feel comfortable not feeding their fish, then an automatic feeder can be purchased. But a well-known brand that will not likely breakdown during the vacation. Be sure to test the feeder for a least a week prior to vacationing and remember not to allow the feeder distribute too much food. An alternative is to have a friend or neighbor feed the fish and look after the tank. Leave previously measured daily feeding portions and a check list of things (Water temperature, filters, dead fish, etc.) for the friend to look after. A less popular alternative is to leave the fish at a reliable aquarium store with feeding instructions. Usually the fee for this service is not too high.


    FEEDING HABITATS
    Fish are usually divided into four eating groups: carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and limnivores.
    Carnivores are meat-eating fish which are usually predatory by nature. In the wild, these species feed on fish, insects, insect larvae, and crustaceans. Large carnivores may only eat a few times a week. Carnivores have a large stomach and a short digestive tract. In the aquarium, depending on the size of the carnivore, the fish can be fed live foods and flakes.
    Herbivores are vegetable, plant, fruit, and algae feeders by nature. Herbivores are frequent feeders and have a long digestive system. In the aquarium, herbivores can be fed flakes, vegetables, and plant matter.
    Omnivores feed on a variety of foods in nature. In the aquarium, omnivores can be given live, flake, and vegetable foods.
    Limnivores, also known as mud-eaters, feed on algae and detritus (and the microorganisms that inhabit them), and rasp on wood. Limnivores are constantly feeding and have a small stomach with a long digestive tract. In aquaria, limnivores can be fed pellets and algae.


    FOOD COMPOSITION

    Depending on the fish’s feeding habits (carnivore, omnivore, herbivore, limnivore), the percentage of fat, fiber, and protein varies.
    ------------ Carnivore --- Omnivore --- Herbivore --- Limnivore
    Fat -------- 3-6% --------- 2-5% ------- 1-3% -------- 2-4%
    Fiber ------ 2-4% --------- 3-8% ------- 2-6% -------- 5-10%
    Protein --- 45-70% ------ 30-40% ----- 30-40% ----- 15-30%
    Moisture - 6-10% -------- 6-10% ------ 6-10% ------- 6-10%



    VITAMINS

    Vitamin A
    effect: cell growth
    symptoms of deficiency: poor growth, deformation of vertebral column and fins
    source: liver, spinach, carrots

    Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
    effect: breakdown of carbohydrates, promotes growth and fertility
    symptoms of deficiency: frightened behavior, poor growth, decline in appetite.
    source: paprika, peas, carrots, spinach

    Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
    effect: control of enzymes and proteins
    symptoms of deficiency: cloudy eyes, poor growth, loss of appetite
    source: spinach, peas, paprika, carrots

    Vitamin B3 (Nicotin acid)
    effect: food breakdown of proteins
    symptoms of deficiency: weakness, aimless movements, tumors
    source: peas, liver, spinach, paprika

    Vitamin B5 (Pantothene acid)
    effect: hormone production, metabolism
    symptoms of deficiency: weakness, sticking gill membranes
    source: liver, paprika

    Vitamin B6 (Pyridomin) and B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
    effect: enzymes, protein metabolism
    symptoms of deficiency: increased panting, loss of appetite, timidness, poor growth
    source: liver, paprika

    Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
    effect: bone and tooth development, healing, digestion
    symptoms of deficiency: altered skin, liver, and muscle tissue
    source: paprika, peas, spinach

    Vitamin D3
    effect: bone development
    symptoms of deficiency: degeneration of bone
    source: fish liver, fish meal

    Vitamin E
    effect: development of sex organs, fertility
    symptoms of deficiency: infertility
    source: eggs, cereal

    Vitamin K
    effect: blood formation, blood clotting
    symptoms of deficiency: death follow injuries (abrasions)
    source: lettuce, peas, spinach

    Vitamin M (folic acid)
    effect: blood formation, metabolism
    symptoms of deficiency: dark skin pigmentation
    source:

    Choline
    effect: growth, fat production, coloration
    symptoms of deficiency: enlarged kidney and liver
    source: paprika

    Respectfully,
    John
    www.houstonaquariumwarehouse.com
    281.741.9688

  2. #2
    Registered Member GulfCoastDiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    I use to add spinach and paprika to my beefheart because someone told me to. Now I see why.
    Respectfully,
    John
    www.houstonaquariumwarehouse.com
    281.741.9688

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    Registered Member RyanH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Hey Dan,

    Great Thread! Very informative. If you don't mind I'd like to sticky it so people can use it as a quick reference.

    thanks!
    -Ryan
    Seek ye the truth and the truth will set you free.

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    Registered Member GulfCoastDiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Good Idea Ryan.



    dan
    Respectfully,
    John
    www.houstonaquariumwarehouse.com
    281.741.9688

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    Registered Member Condor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Thanks Dan, that's some great info. Nice breakdown on the vitamins!

    Adrian

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    Registered Member Stag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Would it be ok to just feed small bit of paprika treats rarly to your fish?

    I guess as long as they don't get too much at one time it may be a good treat.

    has anyone tried it?

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Nice post...has anyone ever tried feeding their Discus frozen (people) shrimp? I buy a bag of frozen, shelled, deveined shrimp at the supermarket. I defrost them under running cold water and mince them up real good. I hold them in my fingers and my Discus gobble them up. Is real shrimp better than all that other frozen stuff and flakes for nutrition? I do mix it with bloodworms, beefheart and Discus flakes.

    Best,

    Marshall
    Last edited by MARSHALLDOG; 11-04-2011 at 02:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Hi,
    What about Calcium and Phosphorus supplementation ? isn't it important for skeletal growth?

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    Registered Member roundfishross's Avatar
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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    this thread is from 2004
    Leo ross , aka "roundfishross"
    "revolution occurs when the victims cease to cooperate"

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    this is good info thanks

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Thanks for the very informative post and list! I especially enjoyed to read the part about the vitamins, there is many information inside which I didn't know before, but it seems to be important! I want to make a food plan soon and maybe this can be the base, when I compare all the fishes and their needs.

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Love all the info

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    If you could tell me exactly what flake food to buy, I would be forever grateful!!!!

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    Default Re: Everything you might want to know about fish food.

    Quote Originally Posted by krislewis3 View Post
    If you could tell me exactly what flake food to buy, I would be forever grateful!!!!
    Ocean Nutrition Prime Reef
    Visit Eddie's Place

    "If you ask for an opinion...don't get pissed when I give you mine."

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