After learning about the idea of do-it-yourself fish food from a fellow hobbyist, I decided to try my hand at it. There’s lots of reading available on the Web on this subject, so I won’t try to replace that material, but instead this post will chronicle my experiences and recipe improvements as they are made.
The major benefit of homemade fish food is the cost. If you get to the point where feeding your fish is causing you to have to purchase a small fortune in food each month, consider creating your own. The drawback lies in the food’s effect on water clarity. Homemade food is not as refined as what you will buy in a store (not necessarily a bad thing!), so smaller particles will break off and cloud the water. The more colourful your ingredients, the more noticeable this will be. Anyway, here goes nothing!
A quick Google search for “European Shrimp Mix“, the de facto standard for homemade fish food , resulted in the recipe that follows:
- 2 lbs. whole shrimp (cheap = good!)
- 2 lbs. frozen green peas
- 2 tsp. spirulina powder
- 100 g powdered gelatin
- 10 drops freshwater multi-vitamin concentrate
Having read through some others’ notes on making food, I raided the freezer in hopes of finding some ingredients. Having bought some other ingredients at the store, I blew the dust of the ol’ food processor and put together the following:
- 2 fillets frozen fish, thawed
- handful frozen shrimp, thawed
- 1 cup frozen peas, boiled slightly
- 2 large beets, boiled slightly
- 2 cloves of garlic
- packet of powdered gelatin
The ingredients were pulverized into a lovely purple slop and then scooped into three medium freezer bags, filled about 1/4 full, air removed and sealed, laid on a flat surface and allowed to cool/set slightly. The finished food was put in the freezer, which resulted in a nice slab of frozen food that is easily broken into the desired size.
This recipe includes protein (shrimp, fish), colour enhancement (shrimp, beets), digestion aid (peas) and scent incentive (garlic). Some other ingredients that were (intentionally) missing for this first trial include spirulina powder ($32/lb!), multi-vitamins (was unable to locate/needed more info) and carrots (great for colour-enhancement). Some other suggestions I’ve seen include broccoli, zucchini and NatuRose powder (red, very REDDD!)
This fist attempt was just devoured by the fishies, however, there were a few large bits of bone/tendon left from the fish fillets that didn’t get touched. Also, as I mentioned, the purple colour of the beets made the nice clear water a light tea-like shade of brown. It was a valiant first attempt though and a worthwhile test.
More to come…