Aquarium Fish Forum; Everything Aquatic

Looking for the perfect gift for your aquarium keeping friend/relative?
AquaRay LED Lights are second to NONE when it comes to the best lights for your freshwater or marine reef aquarium; this includes MH (in tanks under 30") or other LED Systems!

Discussions about everything aquatic; from fresh and saltwater aquariums and ponds

"A friendly place to visit where everyone is here to learn and share"

We are the ORIGINAL/TRUE “Everything Aquatic” blog & forum board created in 2005 and sponsored by Carl Strohmeyer based on his decades of experience and research (do not be fooled by the copycat forum board created around 2012)


For Our Forum Board, Please Click Here:
FORUM BOARD

Loading
Most Recent Page Added (see below)


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Whats wrong with making Dough in Fish Food?


 

By Clayn; Co-Founder of Paradigm Fish Foods

Pea Flour for Fish Food, better than too much starchI recently attended a seminar on bariatric surgery with a friend. During this time I learned that after the surgery you are strictly forbidden from eating any form of cooked dough including most bread, pizza crust etc.
I have been told by those that have had the surgery and forgot the rule that you immediately regurgitate the dough. At this point I began thinking about how this might apply to starch bound fish food.

Most of the starch in our foods is from whole ground green pea flour. Dried egg whites are also used to bind our food. Green pea flour contains roughly 21% starch. The use of green pea flour allows us to cut protein and fat without adding excessive starch energy. Our Herbivore food contains roughly 11% starch which is the highest amount of starch found in our line of foods. Green pea flour contains roughly 34% fiber which aids in digestion.
This is very important for herbivores that have a very long digestive tract. After mixing Herbivore is a very thin paste that can literally be poured onto the trays to be dehydrated. The other foods have more body but can easily be spread over the trays to be dehydrated. Once dehydrated the food can be broken into pieces and with a little practice crumbled into smaller pieces for feeding. I can't prove it but it stands to reason that once fed the reverts back to the form it took before dehydration. This is a light paste that can easily be digested.



Fish Foods bound entirely with starch need a minimum of 15% starch to hold the food together but most contain much more.
See How to Read a Fish Food Label for more information.

Increased starch use produces a very thick paste or more than likely a dough. The dough is then extruded at 350 degrees F. to produce a pellet type feed. It stands to reason that once these pellets are fed that they revert back to dough. I have read many comments about filler (excessive use of starch) causing digestion problems in fish. To make this problem worse is the fact that these foods contain very little fiber to aid in passing the doughy mess. Its no wonder fish often suffer from intestinal blockages which causes stress which manifests itself in any number of other different problems.
To answer my question, No there there is nothing wrong with making a little dough. Just don't feed it to your fish!


OTHER ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

*Fish Nutrition 101
*Cyanobacteria (Spirulina) and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown
*Probiotics, Prebiotics, Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch
*How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy (Fat, Starch and Sugar)


FURTHER SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

Aquarium Fish Nutrition, Reading Fish Food Label
Aquarium Fish Nutrition


Common Aquarium Keeping Myths


Paradigm Fish Foods

• Carnivore, • Omnivore, • Herbivore, • Grow, • Graze (compare to sinking algae wafers)

Aquarium Lighting, Information about T5, Metal Halide, CFL, SHO, PUR, PAR
Aquarium Lighting; Information about T5, Metal Halide, CFL, SHO, PUR, PAR, more

This is THE article for in-depth, researched, and regularly updated information on the subject of aquarium lighting; a MUST READ!

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cyanobacteria (Spirulina) and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown


 

By Clayn; Co-Founder of Paradigm Fish Foods

Lets take a look at pond grown algae which is fed fertilizer and typically grown under ideal conditions as opposed to naturally occurring algae. I have done quite a bit of reading on the subject over the last few years and have come to the following conclusions.

The protein found in pond grown algae is roughly 50% higher than its naturally occurring counterpart. So our pond grown spirulina with 57% protein would have roughly 30% protein growing in the wild. The main difference being limited food in the form of nitrogen in lakes and rivers.

The fat found in pond grown algae is roughly 1% higher than its naturally occurring counterpart. This difference is not worth noting.

The fiber found pond grown algae is roughly 13% lower than its naturally occurring counterpart.

The minerals/ash found pond grown algae is roughly 2% lower than is naturally occurring counterpart. This makes sense because a lake for example would contain more minerals for the algae to absorb.

Lets assume the moisture content in both is 10%.

Using analysis from this Article on growing duckweed we can start plugging in some average numbers. Yes I know duckweed is not algae but aquatic plants use nutrients in the same way so it is relevant. In the past I have found algae analysis that bears this out.



Pond Grown Duckweed

39% Protein
5% Fat
10% Fiber
13% Minerals/Ash
10% Moisture
23% Starch or Sugar *Assumed since this is what remains as no numbers were given

Naturally Grown Duckweed

20% Protein
4% Fat
23% Fiber
15% Minerals/Ash
10% Moisture
28% Starch or Sugar *Assumed since this is what remains as no numbers were given

Note in the naturally grown duckweed the protein goes down significantly and the fiber and starch or sugar go up significantly. It is obvious that limited nitrogen changes the plant significantly.

Using these givens lets apply the same to spirulina.

Pond Grown Spirulina

57% Protein
8% Fat
4% Fiber
8% Minerals/Ash
2% Moisture
18% Starch
3% Sugar

Naturally Grown Spirulina

31% Protein
7% Fat
9% Fiber
11% Minerals/Ash
2% Moisture
35% Starch
5% Sugar

This extrapolation is not precise but does a good job of showing the difference in the same cyanobacteria being grown in different environments. As you can see limiting nutrients (fertilizer) completely changes the profile. In the Naturally Grown Spirulina the protein gets replaced primarily by starch and fiber.

I like spirulina because the fish's immune system sees it as a bacteria which in turn increases the fish's ability to deal with any real bacterial threats. For this reason and the color enhancement of the blue/green spectrum I include it in all of our foods. However pond grown spirulina or any other algae does not replicate the natural diet of herbivores. Creating a healthy diet for herbivores has been the most challenging task that I have run across. I have references to several studies that show that Tropheus from Lake Tanganyika and Mbuna from Lake Malawi eat cyanobacteria not algae as many believe. I can provide the references if needed.

To sum things up in regards to spirulina and algae in fish foods too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.


OTHER ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

*Whats wrong with making Dough in Fish Food?
*Fish Nutrition 101
*Probiotics, Prebiotics, Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch
*How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy (Fat, Starch and Sugar)


FURTHER SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

Aquarium Fish Nutrition, Reading Fish Food Label
Aquarium Fish Nutrition


Spirulina and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown, Information
Spirulina Algae as a Fish Food


Pond Care Information
POND CARE INFORMATION; Complete Steps



Freshwater Aquarium Care; Basics to Advanced



Paradigm Fish Foods

• Carnivore, • Omnivore, • Herbivore, • Grow, • Graze (compare to sinking algae wafers)


Aquarium Lighting Facts & Information




Labels: , , , ,

Friday, December 26, 2014

Probiotics, Prebiotics, Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch


 

By Clayn; Co-Founder of Paradigm Fish Foods

Probiotics has been a hot topic in the fish food world recently. 

Probiotics is defined as a live microorganism that confers health benefits to the host, typically as these friendly flora colonize your intestines.

prebiotic is defined as a food which provides nutrition to the only good bacteria in your gut, but not to the bad bacteria (or only provides very minimal nourishment to the bad bacteria, by comparison), so that the good bacteria flourish, and the bad bacteria starve to death.


In 1907 Elie Metchnikoff came up with the concept of Probiotics  The fact that Probiotics has not advanced along with other medical practices in over 100 years speaks volumes to me. 

While feeding Probiotics every day would maintain a good number of beneficial flora in the fish's digestive tract I don't see why its necessary.

Why not feed the beneficial bacteria aka flora that already exist in the digestive tract?

What do the beneficial bacteria eat?



Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement.

Green peas contain 34% Fiber. Of that percentage 25% is Soluble Fiber. A portion of Soluble Fiber are called Prebiotic Fibers. Prebiotic Fibers are the preferred food of the good bacteria living in your fish's digestive tract.

Resistant Starch

Resistant Starch is starch and starch degradation products that escape from digestion in the small intestine of healthy individuals. Resistant starch is considered the third type of dietary fiber, as it can deliver some of the benefits of insoluble fiber and some of the benefits of soluble fiber.

Green peas contain 20% starch. Approximately 10 percent of the starch total is Resistant starch which is not used for energy. Resistant starch serves the same purpose as soluble fiber.

I thought a lot about whether our food contained enough Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch then I remembered that we had an individual with no ties to Paradigm test our formulas. Rebecca is the fish food critics critic. Honestly I was a little nervous sending her food to test as she is very thorough and brutally honest. Here is what Rebecca had to say in her review:

"I was recently asked to try Paradigm Fish Food. I wasn't asked to promote it. It is a newer food and the maker just wanted my honest blunt opinion. When I looked over the ingredients lists for the different formulas, I noticed they were very short. At first I was concerned that the formulas might lack certain vitamins. I looked up the nutritional values of each ingredient. I found that the caloric content of each formula is appropriate, but not excessive. With protein, all the essential amino acids are provided. The fats are the right type and come from desirable sources. Unlike most foods, there isn't an excessive amount of carbs from fillers. I also made sure all vitamins were represented, which they are. There isn't an endless list of additives, so you don't need a degree in chemistry to know what's in your fish's food. Most importantly, each formula provides balanced nutrition. 

Most foods are packed with additives, but the fish has a hard time digesting the actual ingredients. If the food can't be broken down, then the intestines can not absorb the nutrients.  I tested how efficiently each formula was digested. All formulas were digested efficiently, which means the fish were able to breakdown and absorb the nutrients.

Given what I found, I feel that Paradigm Fish Food is one of the best foods available. It isn't a big company, and it isn't a label slapped on an anonymous mill food. It is made by passionate hobbyists, who started out wanting the best food for their fish. Now they want to help provide superior nutrition for the fish of other hobbyists. They put in the effort to get off to an amazing start, and I wish them nothing but the best."
Rebecca Beausoleil 

Rebecca's review assured me that the fish were able to use all of the nutrients provided in our food.

I am pleased to say that Probiotics are not needed if you are feeding your fish enough Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch to maintain healthy colonies of the beneficial bacteria.


OTHER ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

*Whats wrong with making Dough in Fish Food?
*Cyanobacteria (Spirulina) and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown
*Fish Nutrition 101
*How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy (Fat, Starch and Sugar)


FURTHER SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

Aquarium Fish Nutrition, Reading Fish Food Label
Aquarium Fish Nutrition


Common Aquarium Keeping Myths

Oregon Grape, Berberine for Aquarium Fish Treatment


Paradigm Fish Foods

• Carnivore, • Omnivore, • Herbivore, • Grow, • Graze (compare to sinking algae wafers)


Aquarium or Pond UV Sterilization

A MUST read article for any serious aquarium keeper, especially with the plethora of junk UV Sterilizers that are not really even Sterilizers flooding the market from Amazon, eBay, & others


Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy (Fat, Starch and Sugar)


 

How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy; Fat, Starch and Sugar by ParadigmBy Clayn; Co-Founder of Paradigm Fish Foods

Go get a container of the fish food that you are currently using. Start adding up the protein, fat, fiber, minerals or ash and moisture percentages. Does it add up to 100 percent? Why not? Lets forget all of the Min./Max hocus pocus and use their numbers since those are the numbers on the report that they get when they send the food to be tested. It appears starch is missing. Follow the example below.

"XYZ Fish Food"
35% Protein
5% Fat
8% Fiber
8% Ash or Minerals
9% Moisture
65% Total

This leaves roughly 35% of the food consisting of starch and sugar. Whats wrong with that?

 Using this Nutrition for juvenile African cichlids study I extrapolated what I believed to be the proper level energy level to maintain healthy fish. The number that I extrapolated was 21-22. I made batches of test food and after testing for three months the fish stopped breeding. That told me that the females didn't have enough energy aka fat stored in their liver to produce eggs. I adjusted the energy maximum to 23 and sent more food out for testing. After about six weeks the fish were breeding again.



How to calculate "Energy"

Starch and sugar have a 1:1 multiplier meaning 1% of sugar or starch equals 1 point of energy.

Fat has 1:2.25 multiplier so 1% fat equals 2.5 points of energy.

Back to our example:

35% starch and sugar equals 35 points of energy.
5% fat multiplied by 2.25 equals 11.2 points of energy
So 35 points of energy from starch and sugar plus 11.2 points of energy from fat equals 46.2 points of energy. This is almost double the amount of energy that our studies have shown to be adequate.

Do you find yourself wanting to throw that container of fish food in the trash can? If not I am sorry that you wasted your time reading this article.

OTHER ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

*Whats wrong with making Dough in Fish Food?
*Cyanobacteria (Spirulina) and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown
*Probiotics, Prebiotics, Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch
*Fish Nutrition 101


FURTHER SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

Aquarium Fish Nutrition, Reading Fish Food Label
Aquarium Fish Nutrition



Freshwater Aquarium Care; Basics to Advanced



Paradigm Fish Foods

• Carnivore, • Omnivore, • Herbivore, • Grow, • Graze (compare to sinking algae wafers)

Aquarium Chemistry
Aquarium Chemistry


Wonder Shells, Only at American Aquarium Products
Wonder Shells, Regular & Medicated

Unique Version sold ONLY at American Aquarium Products.
Excellent for disease prevention!!!



Labels: , , , , , , ,

Fish Nutrition 101


 

By Clayn; Creator of the formula for and Co-Founder of Paradigm Fish Foods, now the newer formula for AAP Custom

The Digestive Biology of Fish 

First you need a basic understanding of the digestive biology of fish. In this regard there are three types of fish: Carnivores, Omnivores and Herbivores. Frugivores are the only legitimate exception. However Frugivores in general aren't very common and are rarely kept in an aquarium.
African Ciclids eating Paradigm Herbivore Fish Food
Tropheus eating Paradigm Fish Food - Herbivore

Protein is used for growth and maintaining muscle and tissue.
Fat is the purest form of energy. Roughly 2.25 times more energy than starch or sugar.
Starch provides energy. Starch energy is used before Fat energy. Fish don't store Starch energy very well so it is used first.
Sugar provides energy. Sugar energy is used before Fat energy. Fish don't store Sugar energy very well so it is used first.
Fiber acts as a laxative. All fiber is passed. However it has no effect on the ecology of your aquarium.
Minerals are used by fish. Excess minerals are passed. Calcium is used to build bones and cartilage. I highly doubt the amount of excess Calcium in our food will effect your water chemistry.Excess Phosphorus does have the potential to grow algae. However nitrates (the end process of the nitrogen cycle) also has the potential to grow algae. Excess Potassium levels are negligible. 
Moisture is slowly turning the fat in your food rancid. Preservatives do slow the process but only for so long.
Vitamins are provided in our ingredients. Our low temperature dehydration process allows us to do this.


The Balancing Act

Protein: Too little Protein and your fish don't grow properly. Too much over time causes damage to the fish's kidneys.

Protein Digestibility of Main Ingredients: Dried Egg Whites 100%, Whole Menhaden Fish Meal 93%, Shrimp Meal 87%, Spirulina 87% and Green Pea Flour 70%

Energy:
Starch, Sugar and Fat: It takes around 15% binder to hold fish food together.  The use of excessive starch can provide nearly if not all of the energy a fish needs. In this case what happens to the fat? It gets stored in the fish's liver leading to fatty liver condition. Many biologist's believe that fatty liver condition leads to a shorter lifespan. This subject has taken a lot of our research and testing time in developing formulas that find balance between fish that don't have enough stored energy to breed and fish with excessive fat stored in its liver. Yes we actually created formulas and tested them with such low energy levels that fish that were breeding stopped. 

Fiber - Acts as a laxative. If the percentage of fiber in our food caused diarrhea we would have noticed it in our food testing. Some would have you believe that 12% Fiber is too much for Carnivorous fish. This is simply not the case and our testing on live subjects proves it. 

Minerals are also known as Ash. As far as our Whole Menhaden Fish Meal (containing 19% Ash) is concerned we run it through a sieve and remove roughly 6% of the scales and large pieces of bone to provide a superior product. Our Shrimp Meal is the freshest that we have found and has a very good attractant value. Our Shrimp Meal contains 48% Protein with a complete amino acid profile. Its Protein digestibility is 87% which is the same as Whole Antarctic Krill.
Shrimp Meal contains 4% fat. Shrimp Meal contains 8% Fiber. Shrimp Meal contains 31% minerals. 31% Minerals is a high number. However the ability to add quality protein and fat to provide balance to our formulas is well worth the trade off. Shrimp Meal contains 9% Moisture. The use of Shrimp Meal also allows us to complete the Green Pea Flour's amino acid profile.

Moisture - The lower the moisture content the longer the food lasts. Water is the cheapest ingredient in fish food.

This is a delicate balancing act to limit Protein, Fat, Starch and Sugar percentages that have a negative impact on the long term health of your fish. This increase in the Fiber and Mineral percentages have very minimal if any negative impact on the ecosystem in your aquarium. This trade off is well worth it.

Common Questions:

Isn't high mineral also known as ash content an indicator of inferior quality ingredients? See The Balancing Act Minerals Section. and Minerals in the Basic Understanding of the Digestive Biology of Fish Section. In short the worst case scenario is the excess phosphorus might contribute to algae growth.

Doesn't high fiber percentages cause diarrhea? See The Balancing Act Fiber Section.



OTHER ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

*Whats wrong with making Dough in Fish Food?
*Cyanobacteria (Spirulina) and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown
*Probiotics, Prebiotics, Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch
*How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy (Fat, Starch and Sugar)


FURTHER SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

Aquarium Fish Nutrition, Reading Fish Food Label
Aquarium Fish Nutrition


Common Aquarium Keeping Myths


AAP Custom Fish Foods by Fish Food Guru Clay Neighbors

• Carnivore, • Omnivore, • Herbivore, • Grow, • Graze (compare to sinking algae wafers)
There is simply NO better prepared fish food; NOT Repashy, NOT New Life Spectrum, NOT NorthFin, etc.
Best energy levels, best fiber content, best protein optimization, no added supplements.


Aquarium or Pond UV Sterilization

A MUST read article for any serious aquarium keeper, especially with the plethora of junk UV Sterilizers that are not really even Sterilizers flooding the market from Amazon, eBay, & others

TMC Premium Fluidized Sand Bed Bio Filter
TMC Premium Fluidized Sand Bed Bio Filters




Labels: , , , , , , , ,