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Commercial Fish Food: Take 2

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Fish Gatherer
May 13, 2011
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Central New York, USA
I have previously poo pooed fish foods where the first ingredient in the list is fish meal. This is because low quality fish meal can be cannery waste (head, skin, bones), ground, dried, loaded with preservatives, and sits in a warehouse for who knows how long until ordered and shipped to a fish food manufacturer. Worse still, because it's a dry protein, copious amounts of grain/grain starch must be used as binder/filler. Fish can't process these carbs so it passes through as excess waste - bad for the fish and bad for water quality!
But I recently learned a couple of things that I thought I'd share.
1> Not all fish meal is created equally, Some is made from whole fish and although the fish may not be marketable for human consumption, it provides a much higher crude protein and often requires less grain/grain starch for fish food manufacture.
2> On the surface, it would seem that fish foods that list whole fish as the first ingredient would be great...except this is a fresh weight that may even include the ice it's packed in. This means when dried in the mfg process, the grain/grain starch may be much more prominent!
The 'best' foods just may be those that list whole fish meal as the first ingredient.
I have learned that Ocean Nutrition and I believe New Life Spectrum are companies that are using high quality fish meal in their fish food blends. There may be others.
We've all heard it... 'you are what you eat'. The same holds true for our fur and fin friends.
The premium fish foods can cost around $2.50/oz. and they're worth it...unless you have a fish room with hundreds of fish where cultured live foods and a commercial blend may make the most sense.

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