Feeding exclusively on high quality dry food

#1
Hello,

has anybody any experience on feeding wild caught angels (lepoldi, scalare, altum or others) exclusively on high quality dry food.

I ask this because mine are preferring shrimpflakes and other flakes above frozen food. If the food is of high quality and made with good ingredients, I'm wondering if dry food isn't a well balanced diet. Somewhere, a lot of pets are fed with dry food (cats, dogs, parrots, etc...)

re: Feeding exclusively on high quality dry food

#2
Mine will eat pretty much anything I feed. Here is a list;

Frozen and FD Blood worms
Frozen and FD Daphnia
Earthworm Flake
NutraFin ColorMax Flake
Frozen Brine gut loaded with Spirulina
Spirulina w/ garlic Flake
NLS Thera-A
Veggie Flake
Tetra Color Bits
When smaller they also got Frozen Cyclop-eeze.

Mine will eat from the surface, mid-water and off the bottom. Anywhere they can find food they go for it.
What makes the common man uncommon is common sense.

re: Feeding exclusively on high quality dry food

#6
Hi Phil. I see a lot of products they distribute come from Brine Shrimp Direct (BSD) which is here in the Salt Lake Valley, in Ogden. This business is a close drive from my home, I visit them frequently and buy from them several times a year.

We also have Ocean Nutrition, (10 minutes from my home) and HBH, a 20 minute drive, also operate out of Salt Lake.

BTW that red astax stuff looks very similar to Tetra Color Granules.

Oh, and of course, our biggest manufacturer... The Great Salt Lake itself.

Ed
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

re: Feeding exclusively on high quality dry food

#7
Thanks to all for your replies.

My request goes further in that way that I'm wondering if dry food isn't better than any other frozen or live food because of the exact balance and equilibrium between proteins, fats (type of fats), adequate doses of vitamins, trace elements, etc... As far as the fish like it of course.

My vets opinion is that a good dry food is much healthier than food you should prepare yourself, because of the exact amounts and ratios of the different ingredients. Of course, he has no experience with fish.

Most of the dogs, cats and other pets are fed with dry food. For fish this seems not so accepted and most of the hobbyist (included me) continue to feed with several frozen or live food.

re: Feeding exclusively on high quality dry food

#8
Maanvis, for some reason last night I did not see any posts on this thread previous to Phil's.

I really don't see why any domesticated line of fish would need frozen or live food.

In the case of wildcaught fish, it's more a matter of behavior and instinct, along with the physical and physiological (hormonal) action that hunting down prey, even if dead (frozen), has on the fish itself.

Wild fish, more yet, wild carnivore fish, are stimulated by the action of having to hunt down the live prey or "fight" for the remains of dead prey.

This stimuli has other beneficial effects which reflect in many different ways allowing individuals within a group of fish to "show who they are", thus establishing hierarchy within the group, influencing pair formation and the conditioning of individuals for breeding.

These are just a few thoughts that take me to feed my wild altum and other wild cichlids or carnivore fishes a diet which can vary from 50/50 to 80/20 of live/frozen food versus dry food.

At this moment, i.e., I have fairy shrimp and neon tetra tanks set up as my main live food supplies. I ran out of blackworms several months ago (I also have a special set up for the bw). I sometimes have fruit flies for the smaller fish as my adult altum and discus ignore them. I give them earthworms now and then, either the very small ones or chopped. Now and then I will throw in some gut loaded pinhead crickets (from my GBB tarantula's cricket breeding tank). I also feed freeze dried goodies.

But there is one thing I always have at hand.... a big can of Tetra Color Granules, which they get at least once a day.

I also feed, now and then, beef heart flakes, earthworm flakes, the latter both products from Brine Shrimp Direct in Ogden.

My son Stefano likes to come with me to the warehouse where they manufacture and pack their foods... the beefheart flake aroma makes his mouth water he says. So just imagine how the fish like it.

Regards

Ed
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

re: Feeding exclusively on high quality dry food

#11
It's worked very well for me, the special thing about it is that being a really good quality it is still cheap compared to other brands like NLS, i.e. It really does intensify those reds and hence, the blues and greens show off greatly due to the contrast.. and the fish eat it up very well.
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

re: Feeding exclusively on high quality dry food

#12
There are a few things that I would like to add from the biochemical perspective:

The fact that air and oxygen obviously penetrates dried food is a major problem in the preservation of important nutritional components of the food. In order to protect the food, manufacturers added the artificial antioxidants BHA and BHT in the past (also to our foods), until concerns about the safety of these compounds started arising. We now understand a lot better what oxidation in foods actually involves and results in (for an extensive read see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidant) but natural antioxidants are now being used such as vitamin C and vitamin E (and many more).

The components that are damaged, and which are of particular nutritional importance are the sulphur containing amino acids and if not protected against oxidation, the loss of these components will result in shortages of these components and growth complications. In frozen food, oxygen is excluded and because of the freezing the oxidation is also slowed down and this is actually the reason why we feed frozen foods!

There have been major advances in the addition of antioxidants to food and for this reason, a diet consisting more and more of dried foods can now certainly be considered.

In the diets that we feed our fishes, the main contributor to sulphur containing amino acids is frozen brine shrimps (or the live ones that Ed catches!). So, you can consider using dried food and only add frozen brine shrimps and that would be good enough in most instances. A few of you have mentioned new foods which have to be kept in the fridge or freezer, they are primarily aiming at preserving the sulphur containing amino acids.

Maanvis, I fully agree with what your vet says about home prepared foods. They are not nutritionally balanced and this should be left to the experts, so I only buy prepared food, I do not bother with any home prepared foods.

One other factor that must be considered is roughage though. It is important in keeping to contents of the gut moviing. This has important implications for the control of parasites, flagellates and bacteria in the gut, and for this reason, sufficient roughage must be given in the diet. This should however not be given as vegetable roughage as we think about this is our diets, but as chitin carapaces, in other words of shrimps and mosquito larvae, including bloodworm. So somehow some of this must be included in order to keep your fishes healthy as well. Fairy shrimps are an excellent source, but as soon as you add cheap bloodworm, you are adding loads of highly harmful bacteria, which are lethal to fishes such as altums which come from an environment which has a very low count of such types of bacteria.

So, yes, you can certainly, using high quality dried replace a major part of the diet, but you have to be careful to see that there are enough suphur containing amino acids and roughage in the diet.

Kind regards,

Dirk
Somerset West, South Africa
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