homemade beefheart type discus food

I make tons of homemade discus food with beefheart and about 10-12 other ingredients and additives.When I am feeding my discus ,everything in the fish area are likely will get some beefheart food. It's also good to put antiparasite medicine etc into and then feed. It's messy though and does contribute more than it's fair share to pollution. I have some brand new altum babies from HAW. I am,of course,wondering if I can feed this food,either now or later as they hopefully thrive.I have heard, rarely, that it is excellent for the angels but not many people ever mention feeding it. It is very rich and dense..discus love it,threadfin heckelii do extremely well on it and tetras gobble it up fine. BTW ,these are all different tank. It may be too polluting to feed to altums ..or it may be too rich.Any experiences?

Re: homemade beefheart type discus food

I used to make these preps using beefheart and turkeyheart. Other than the bunch of goodies you can mix in from spinach to spirulina, and garlic oil to selcon, you can easily add the meds (metro, prazi,etc.).
After grinding everything up, remember to use a good binder like natural gelatin.
I use to shape my mix into 2 inch meatballs, as many as I could get from the mixed batch, and then freeze them.
I then grabbed a frozen meatball, cut it in several pieces and used a rotary cheese grater to get little bloodworm like pieces that the fish would go for readily.
This was one of the ways the fish would take the meds with no problem.
As always, you need a bit of patience when introducing this food to your fish for the first time.
I think in part, that they would go for it fast because they resembled bloodworms, but then they would spit out the food. After a few days of not offering anything else and keeping the fish at around 90F+, they changed their mind...
like, OK, if we can't have 5 Guys, we'll settle for McD.
It was important to keep that T up to make them really hungry before offering the mix.
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!

Re: homemade beefheart type discus food

Using the right proportion of binder and quality of binder is important for these preps to have a good consistency.
I don't like Sally's BH for example... I wish it was as consistent as their Krill. Clean up is always necessary with these mixes, but it shouldn't be troublesome.
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!

Re: homemade beefheart type discus food

Hi Guys,

I would like to add two more interesting angles to this discussion.

During my recent visit to Germany at which I gave a talk on discus and another on angelfishes, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Dieter Untergasser, who is a veterinarian who has a very long association with discus. He has written a book on discus health in German which was translated into English and which is sold by TFH, if I have my facts right, something like "Manual of Discus Health". He currently works for Sera and he does extensive analyses on foods and their effect on digestion and how they are digested.

So I had a long discussion with him about this after dinner at the event, and there were many things that were really valuable which I would like to add here. Firstly, there has been a lot of research on the beneficial effects of beta glucans on the immune system of the gut. He has done histological comparisons of the gut wall of discus fed with beta glucan supplemented food versus the same food without beta glucans and he finds significant differences in the thickness of the gut wall and how well the gut wall can then fight an attack by pathogens. Beta glucans are added to some granulates by manufacturers in Germany, I do not use the commercially available ones so this may be something that you can check when you next buy your granules, I think Sera will now add this to their granulates routinely.

Then he explained to me that the gut flora in discus that are fed beefheart versus ones that are not fed beefheart is very different. He also said that the gut flora of beefheart fed discus was less beneficial and if there were gut pathogens in the fish for whatever reason the fish would be less capable of fighting such infections. Fishes fed on a beefheart free diet had a gut flora enabling the fish to fight pathogenic bacteria better. There have been huge debates about whether feeding beefheart to discus is beneficial or not, as you would all know. Although the proteins in beefheart are absorbed quite easily which is why this gives good growth, this is the first evidence that I have heard about the negative effects on the gut flora which I found very interesting, perhaps this is something to consider? Ironically, because of the BSE situation in Germany, I have not been able to import frozen beefheart containing prepared food mixes into South Africa (long story which I do NOT want to bore you with, bureaucracy at its utter worst....). Instead, the food contains the same vegetable components but the beefheart protein is replaced with crab meat and I must say, my fishes are still growing like rockets, so I am not really missing the beefheart and if I hear the negative side of the beefheart this heartens me ( :D ).

Just a few more comments to fuel this thread......

Kind regards,

Somerset West, South Africa

Re: homemade beefheart type discus food

Well this is information that we definitely must not leave on the forum and incorporate into our fish rooms.
It's been years, I said, that I have used BH... I ended up preferring Turkey Heart (these turkeys were only fed from stuff we grew on my mother's farm in Venezuela (when I lived there).
Since I've lived here in the States it's been mostly freeze dried, frozen and live crustaceans, insect larvae and worms, plus good quality pellets and flakes, binding or absorbing the meds to these foods when necessary. It's all here on Finarama.
Coming from Dr. Untergasser and You (Dirk)... BH will always be off my menu for good.
Though for me, your opinion alone would have sufficed.
I have 2 of Dr. Untergasser's books, my bibles for fish baddies.
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!