Making Fish Food

Fish food waiting for the freezer.I have a small fishroom with a lot of fish to feed.  With several large South and Central American cichlids to feed daily buying prepared food from the fish store can get expensive. 

Like any other animal, feeding a proper diet is essential.  Oscars are notorious for hole in head disease.  This is actually attributed to too small a tanka nd a poor diet.  Feeder fish have little nutrients, and beefheart as well, if fed as a sole dietary staple.  Inteh wild they eat a wide variety of food.   Those food fish also have contents that they have eaten to add to the equation.

Using ingredients that are easily and readily available you can make your own fish food.  I am making a mixture to add to the diet of my fish.  I want to make sure that wild fish is used, as ranched fish often lack omega 3 fatty acids that wild fish are known for.  I am mixing in some beef heart, some spinach, zucchini, octopus, and baitfish.  You can mix in any number of additional ingredient, like earthworms, mealworms, various vegetables, etc.  I am using the electric grinder so I am only going to run through what I would normally eat anyway.   I don’t want to run worms through my grinder.  If I had a dedicated hand grinder I might.  You can also use a food processor, and one might can be picked up at a thrift store on the cheap, in case you don’t want this stuff in your good machine.

All this is independently frozen slightly as it will help it homogenize in the grinder and come out aws a stream instead of a slurry as it is all fairly soft when completely thawed.  This also helps the individual particles not be too small and to avoid making a fish flavored smoothie.

Spinach and beef mixtureI put on a fine plate on the grinder.  After you remove the slightly frozen ingredients mix them well and begin to send them through the grinder.  A hand cranked one will work fine for the amount of fish food that you would normally make.  I am making enough for several months.  I have multiple feeds that I rotate to keep them from getting tired of the same old food.  Rotating foods helps to keep their diet changing so they are well rounded.

After all the ingredients are ran through the grinder I like to spread them out on the plastic foam meat trays you get meat on.  This makes them thin so that pieces can be cut off or broken off.  If while they are still unfrozen you can score blocks to make this easier. 

Vary the sizes depending on how big your fish are.  I have sizes from fry 1/4 inch long to fish big enough to eat a half a hot dog at once.  I make several different size scores to accomodate my fish.  When it’s feding time I just break a strip off and put the right sizes in the tank for them.

This kind of food is a little messy compared to flake food.  I think that this kind of feeding offers a wider variety not only in terms of food the fish see, but in nutrients as well.  The wider a variety of nutrients that are given to the fish, the healthier and more colorful your fish will be.  This related to increased happiness, breeding, and activity for your enjoyment as well.

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