We’ve finally been able to get our pond Hai Feng food back in stock. We’ve also been having troubles getting Hikari foods in as well. Most of these foods are made over seas. Hikari is back ordered on some products due to water contamination from the earthquake. Hai Feng had to change an ingredient to be able to import into the USA. This made them late for the pond season.
While on the subject of foods, I thought it’d be a great time to educate about fish food in general. Food is the most important aspect of your aquarium. The ecosystem you create in your aquarium completely revolves around the food you feed it. Unfortunately many fish keepers also think as long as a fish eats the food it is a good healthy food for the aquarium.
Notice I said for the aquarium. When you feed your fish you’re also feeding the plants, the bacteria, and any invertebrates such as snails and shrimp in the tank. With all this relying on the food you feed, you owe it to yourself to do some research on the food you feed.
The first thing you should be looking for is will the fish eat it? If the fish won’t eat it then it simply gets left uneaten and will pollute your water with ammonia and other small particles that make the tank look “dirty”. Often times a “dirty” looking tank is due to the use of low quality food. Low quality ingredients in food pass right through fish and are left as tiny floating debris in the aquarium.
The second thing you’ll want to look at is what is the food made out of? In the wild most fish feed off of algae, fish, bugs, crustaceans such as snails and shrimps etc. Most fish foods are made up of some proteins, some fats, vitamins, and a binding agent. The binding agents are often a mix of the following: wheat germ or wheat germ middlings, flaked corn, or soy. Usually in a tropical fish food you want fish to be the first ingredient and other things they’d eat followed by the binding agent. All the binding agents have a very low absorption rate with fish. Meaning that they pass right through the fish with not much nutrients absorbed from them. This leads to more waste in the aquarium.
The third thing is application. How practical is the food for you and the fish? Sure it’d be great to have a varied diet of live foods and natural algae for them to graze on whenever they wish. Unfortunately most of us won’t be able to set something like that up. This means finding the happy medium. Live foods that have been fed a healthy diet themselves tend to be the best. Followed by frozen foods that were fed a healthy diet before frozen. Then comes pelleted foods, followed by flake food.
Remember practical? The best food in the world won’t work if the fish doesn’t eat it. The biggest problem I find time and time again is algae wafers. People buy them to feed their plecos. The problem is, the first ingredient is fish. Not algae. This means that every fish in the aquarium wants a bite of that wafer. Also plecos are nocturnal. They wan’t to feed with the lights off. To feed an algae wafer you need to wait till the light have been off for an hour. The other problem with the wafers is after 10 minutes they’ve become water logged, and float around the tank and into the filters. Plecos are a grazing fish and want to eat slowly for hours on end during the night. You’re better off using a plankton banquet vacation feed that is water stable for a week or a piece of zuchnini to feed them.
Don’t be fooled by packaging. Just like that candy bar at the store with all those bright colors and catchy buzz words. Compared against a lonely red apple with no marketing gimmicks. The apple is very tasty and much better for you than a candy bar.
What does all of this mean? In general to the average person, it means you get what you pay for. If one container of 16oz of food is $5 and another container of food that is 16oz is $20 surely there is a difference? Check the ingredients. There are lots of fish I can’t buy a pound of at the grocery store for $5. How can a food company offer it to my fish for cheaper than I myself could eat it? Simple, they grind up all the parts of the fish I wouldn’t eat and put it into fish food. This means the food has a higher percentage of bone and fat etc. Sure the fish will eat it, but fish don’t digest bone meal very well. Sure it has high protein and looks great on paper. It goes in one end and comes right out the other. Leading to more maintenance on your aquarium. Also you have to feed more food to keep your fish fed as each pellet has less usable nutrients.
I recommend you speak to us here at Conway Tropical Fish and let us help you choose a food that suits your fish, habits and budget correctly. Most people should probably be feeding a variety of mid range foods. Not the cheapest nor the most expensive. This will give a well balanced diet that leads to an overall healthier ecosystem for your fish. Not to mention less work cleaning for you! It will also save you money, a more expensive food should cut down on having to replace filter media as much and you’ll find it takes less food to satisfy your fish if it is of a higher quality than a low quality food.
We’ve got new fish in stock here. I just wanted to give you guys a quick update.
Female Bettas – These are stunning.
XL Adontis Pleco
Black Hifin Tetras
Be sure to stop by and talk fish. We’re always looking to learn and teach about fish.
Conway Tropical Fish Staff