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Staple dry foods dilemma

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Staple dry foods dilemma Empty Staple dry foods dilemma

Post  Katnapper Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:33 pm

Hi there. Very Happy I've been in a quandry about getting some new dry foods for my fish. I'd been planning on buying some online myself; but then I saw Mark's current post about the 1/2 lb. of Ken's Premium Cichlid Flake for $6.00. I wish I'd seen your other previous post, Mark, about ordering from Ken's on 1/29/13... but I didn't.

The dry food I've got is at least several years old now (ex bought it - when???) and I'm not sure about the nutritional quality. The flakes (Wardley's Total Tropical) have no exp. date I can find (big can and it's almost gone), and the sinking pellets (Wardley shrimp pellets) I just noticed have a "best by" date of Aug. 2012. Plus I'm not sure about Wardley's quality? But the can is almost full - should I just keep and use it? I do also have some new Omega One "Super Color" flakes I recently purchased. I also bought (at the same time about 2 weeks ago) some New Life Spectrum "Community Fish Formula" sinking pellets. I thought they would be good for the cories. But these are 1 mm in size and I think they fall right down between the gravel and nobody probably can even get to them to eat them. I'm thinking maybe these just contribute to the bioload if nobody is eating them (?) - so I've stopped feeding this one (waste of $11.00 for 5.3 oz. - I'll sell them for $5.00 if anyone wants them!).

Ironically, the day before I saw Mark's post about the cichlid flakes I'd been considering buying various foods from Ken's (researched and came to the conclusion it was good quality), and even had several of them sitting in my shopping cart at his website (still do) - but just debating on what to get now.

I've got 5 angelfish, 12 glowlight tetras, and a small herd (about 9) of various species of cory catfish. 75 gal. freshwater tank. I'm only considering adding maybe a few more cories at this point.

Under consideration in my cart I have: 1/2 lb. each of Ken's Premium Tropical Fish Flake, Ken's Premium Angel Fish Flake, Ken's Premium Aqua Stable Pellets 9.5 mm, and 1 lb. of Ken's Premium Catfish Pellets. Do I need all this (quantity and variety)? I'd like to have a good flake for the angels and tetras, and some good pellets for the cory cats as staples. Do I need a couple different formulations for nutritional variety?

I do also feed them a variety of thawed frozen cubes a couple of times a week (blood worms and spirulina); and have tried to feed them the "chopped shrimp" and "community freshwater" varieties of frozen cubes - but they don't seem to like these two - they spit them out (angelfish and tetras). And I have tried the insides of thawed, mashed, frozen peas... but they don't seem to like those either too much. I'm not sure if the cories do eventually eat the "disliked" foods the others let fall uneaten?

But back to the dry food... Ever since I saw Mark's post about the 1/2 lb. of cichlid flake I've been debating whether to just get that (cheaper overall, but no pellets for my cories, and wondering if this would be a good angelfish or "all around" flake for what I've got), or go ahead and bite the bullet and spend the $23.11 (shipping almost as much as all the foods!) to get a variety of good flakes and pellets?

I'm sorry this is so long. Embarassed What to do???? I thought maybe I could get some help with recommendations here? Thank you very much for reading. Smile


Posts : 444
Join date : 2013-02-01
Age : 57
Location : Bloomington, IL

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Post  egbar guppies Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:55 am

fish keepers all have an opinion, so consider as we may all offer advice as to what we would do, and each of us may say something different, but in each case it is what is right in our experience. So take this as one person's opinion. It sounds like you already have a pretty good variety of food, and if you have kept it where it is dry and cool i believe the majority of its food value is probably still OK. If the foods have been exposed to a great deal of heat or humidity the vitamin value is probably lowered. I feed pellets and flakes and have mostly given up on live food, though daphnia were so much fun that i'd love to work with them again. Others swear by live or specially prepared foods so you will hear other opinions. Kens food is considered high quality by most, but remember if you have just one tank a half pound of food is going to last a looong time unless you are overfeeding. In your shoes i'd probably just go ahead and continue to use what i had available. the idea of using several kinds of food is good because you have a mixed tank and each kind of fish has different needs. You cover a wider spectrum of nutrition needs by feeding variety. so don't stress, your fish are most likely getting what they need. Others may have differing input. I like forums because you get to hear so many varying opinions and ideas, then you can take what you can use and what seems right and apply it to your own situation. best wishes deb/ egbar guppies on the forum

egbar guppies

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Join date : 2012-12-16

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Post  DavidZ Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:39 am

I buy the Tropical Flake with Mysis food from Brine Shrimp Direct. A 2lb bucket is $20 plus shipping. I only take out a very small amount (2 cups or so) at a time and vacuum seal and freeze the rest. According to them, and most things I've read, this preserves the oils and nutrients in the food for a year or more. Even with 30-some tanks it takes me about that long to go through a bucket.

I don’t notice any difference in the fish from the beginning of the bucket to the end, although I also feed them several live and frozen foods as well. Not sure there is a financially conservative way to feed exclusively flake food to them and ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need, that's why I feed the 3 types of food.

Frozen food is easy to store, and I buy in bulk when I go to Chicago so it's at least a little reasonably priced. I'm getting good at keeping California Blackworms alive and nutritious for weeks at a time so I can buy them in bulk as well to save money.

Early on in the clubs exisintence, Mark did a great demo about making your own frozen food out of beef hearts which I also used for a while. Not sure why I don't do that now, but I probably will now that I rememberd it. Maybe he'll do that one again sometime.


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Age : 61
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Staple dry foods dilemma Empty good advice

Post  pops48 Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:14 am

For my two cents, I'd say that you've already gotten very good advice. I'm constantly surprised when I read professional breeders-- big ones-- talk about how advanced dry food has come so much so that that is all they use. Also, it seems the consensus is that variety is good. You have a nice mix of fish in a great tank size. If you aren't trying to breed any of them, try different dry brands and see how the fish do. Take your time to give each new item a chance to show how well it does for you.
Frozen and live foods do seem to add zest to my fish's activity levels in general and makes all the difference when growing up fry.
I use a liver paste recipe from Tropical Fish Hobbyist that I make and would be happy to share with the club. Making your own food has advantages- like including specific stuff for certain fish types. Disadvantages also.
Good luck. Sounds like you're doing things just fine. Over-feeding is more of an issue for me since it affects water quality so quickly.


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Join date : 2012-02-12
Location : Lane, IL (near Clinton)

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Staple dry foods dilemma Empty Thank you, everyone!

Post  Katnapper Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:51 pm

Thank you very much Deb, Dave, and Pops for giving me helpful information about my food situation. Very Happy It's good to know that I'm on track about most of it; and feeding what I've got right now isn't sorely lacking.

I do keep my dry foods relatively cool and dry. And Deb, thanks for the comment that 1/2 lb. of food will likely last a looong time, lol. That's one thing I was wondering about, given I've only got the one tank and not hoardes of fishes. It's good to hear the nod to Ken's foods... if at least a couple of you use it, and from what I've gathered reading other forums on the web, that's good enough recommendation for me. And I'm also thankful and agree about the forum arrangement to get a variety of opinions.

I'm not planning on breeding anytime soon for now, so I don't need vast quantities. But I do like the idea of variety, and the comments on frozen and live foods. And thanks for the tip, Dave, about keeping some of the flake food in the freezer to maybe keep it fresher... going to portion some out and use that one!

I used to breed fruit flies (wingless d. hydei and winged melanogasters) and would give some to the fishes when I had extras. They really liked them. But hesitant right now to get into that again, even though I've got all the supplies for it (in excess). Not sure about the other live foods... going to get a handle first on the basic stuff, and then maybe explore these.

Making your own fish food... I've been researching it. But like the live, I think I'm going to wait on that till I feel more comfortable knowing the requirements of the fish I have, recipes, processes, etc. I did make my own cricket and roach dry staple foods in bulk (in addition to fresh fruits and veggies) using premium ground cat food, fish pellets, bee pollen, spirulina, brewers yeast, etc. to make sure the feeders had the best gutload for my mantids. But the fish foods... not ready for that yet.

Like you said, Pops, I think the thing I need to concentrate on most right now is not overfeeding. It's hard to do when the angels get all excited and come begging like they haven't eaten in weeks whenever I get near the tank. And when I walk away without feeding them, they give me offended stares. But I'm learning I need to exercise restraint for the overall good. I've been doing weekly 30% water changes, but having nitrate readings in the 5 to 20 ppm range. And I'm thinking overfeeding may be the cause... so I'm starting to feed less quantity, less often.

My ex called as I was writing this and I asked him about maybe going in with me on food and dividing up the cost. He agreed that would be a good and cost effective way for us both to get some good food. And he started checking out Ken's website... and they have an automatic fish feeder he wants me to order too. So I think I'm going to go ahead and order what I wanted and divide it with him, plus whatever else he wants to maximize shipping savings, and freeze portions of what I won't use right away.

Thank you all very much for giving me some good and useful advice... I really appreciate it!


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Age : 57
Location : Bloomington, IL

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