Homemade Fish Foods - Your Recipes

Discussion in 'Fish Diseases & Treatments' started by leebca, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. leebca

    leebca New Member

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    As the thread titles says, this is the place to put up your own recipe for marine fish foods.

    Please, no commercials or product testimonials.

    If you make a homemade fish food, what do you put into it and how do you make it? How do you prepare it for feeding? How do you feed (frequency and quantity)? I'll begin:

    I have made my own homemade marine fish food since 1972 or so. No recipe has ever been identical, although you'd think by now I would have repeated it at some point in time!

    I make about 3-4 pounds at a time which lasts for about 6 weeks of feeding. I only feed my fish this formula once a day. That is: one feeding out of 5 feedings. Two feedings are of macro algae, one feeding is a pod of some sort, and one feeding varies depending on the types of fishes I have.

    I liquefy all ingredients and solidify the thick liquid with agar (gelatin) that is also from the sea, without flavorings or additives. It's then frozen solid, and allowed to thaw in the fridge before chopping.

    My homemade recipe includes:
    vitamin additive
    fat additive
    brine shrimp eggs (shell removed) or cyclopeze
    marine shrimp (tails) - about 35% of the mix
    squid (including eyes, tentacles, and body -- no ink sac, beak, or cartilage)
    scallop
    sea plankton
    krill
    kelp
    spirulina
    marine life eggs (row)
    clam (whole, alive when opened)
    plus whatever seafood may be available at the time I shop

    The ratios vary, but the shrimp tails are the bulk percentage. I avoid marine pods since one feeding a day IS pods. I avoid marine fish -- not needed. If I do add any, it is sushi quality salmon and then, only a couple of ounces.

    Once solidified, frozen, then thawed in plastic bag 'flats' I cut it into chunks and chop it in an electric chopper to the size needed for the fishes.

    What homemade foods have you made so far?
     
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  2. lcstorc

    lcstorc New Member

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    I have a couple of questions about your mix Lee.
    Where do you get all of the shrimp tails? (Have a yummy shrimp dinner removing the tails before cooking the shrimp? )
    Then another question about the agar. I have had difficulty getting my fish to eat the gel based foods. Obviously you don't have that problem. Any suggestions?
    Then one last question.
    You freeze it, then thaw it and chop it up but how do you store it after that? Can you re-freeze it? I'm a bit confused on that one.
    I do make my own mush now. Like yours, it is different each time.
    I did a step by step thread a while ago so here is the link, but I have modified it since then based on your suggestions.
    http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/general-reef-aquarium-discussion/29859-lynns-mush.html
     
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  3. Woodstock

    Woodstock The Wand Geek was here. ;)
    RS STAFF

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    Hi Lee. You've made me hungry :yummy:

    Do you soak your ingredients in ro/di prior to mixing?
    I tried using Agar but I just couldn't get the consistency right and it turned out lumpy. I think I heated the mixture unevenly. So now I just rely on the shrimp to 'gel' the food together.



    I've been making homemade mush for my anemones and fish for a long while now. It is always a little different each time. The ingredients are always fresh and I soak them in ro/di prior to blending together.
      • VitaChem,
      • Selcon,
      • shelled shrimp tails (I tried using it with the shell but then there are always bits of shell remaining that the fish can not eat),
      • nori,
      • cyclopeeze,
      • fresh marine fish (tuna and salmon),
      • scallops,
      • clams,
      • and fresh garlic.
    Once blended, I spoon the mixture into ziplock freezer bags at about 1/4" thick and freeze. When needed, I break off a piece, rinse under warm water for a few seconds and put it in a small tupperware container and store inside the refigerator. Inside the container I keep a small plastic measuring spoon (1/2 tsp I think). I use this spoon to pick off small parts of the food during feeding time. I feed small 'bites' until all fish are full. For the anemones, I feed larger chunks (1" square).
    After two days, I throw out any remaining; then thaw a new piece.

    I feed the above mush two or three times daily; I also feed either green or red nori on a clip twice a day. Once a week or so, I will add some live rotifers from my rotifer harvest.
     
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  4. foxsavage

    foxsavage Member

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    Great info, your threads are always the best. I made some homemade food this morning for the first time and the fish went crazy for it! It ended up being cheaper than pre-packaged foods and it's gotta be alot better for the fish. Here's what I used.

    1lb. scallops
    1lb. clams
    the tails from 2 lbs. of shrimp
    2 sheets green Nori
    1 flat of krill

    I made a batch of agar agar, then I blended everything together with the agar agar while it was still warm. I poured it in some ziplocs and let it set up in the refrigerator before I froze it. It's a nice cream colored gel, it's easy to break into bite sized chunks that stay together in the water. I've got to get some vitamins and more ingredients for the next batch, if I had more cash I would've put them in this time. I just didn't want to wait any longer because I've been feeding my fish nothing but flake and cubes up until now without realizing it wasn't enough nutrition. Thanks Lee for making the lives of my fish happier and healthier!
     
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  5. leebca

    leebca New Member

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    You're welcome. My thanks comes in the form of hobbyists, such as yourself, who are doing more for their fish and more of what's right for their fish. What can be found in grocery stores with a large fish department, or a fish store is usually a good start. Go to Asian/Chinese supermarkets too for a wide selection of fresh, whole seafoods.

    Fish nutrition is very much missing when it comes to ornamental marine fishes.

    I don't know the fishes you are feeding, but the mix you have is mostly for a carnivore. If you have Anemonefishes and other omnivores, you need to increase the greens to the point where the final mix is actually a green color. Obtain/use powdered kelp and spirulina (also a powder) for truly great vegetable ingredients. These should be less expensive than the sheets which should be fed to herbivores directly.

    :yehoo:
     
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  6. foxsavage

    foxsavage Member

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    This mix is for a Marine Beta, 2 Clowns, a Filefish, and a Purple tang, not meant for the Tang but she eats everything. I feed the Nori ground into flakes twice a day which I started when I first read your marine nutrition thread. I tried a clip but it kept tearing and falling off. I feed this mix once a day at night, I'll increase the veggies next time and add some vitamins. Would it be a good idea to use live seaweed/macro algae straight from the ocean? I live pretty close and it would be easy to collect.
     
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  7. leebca

    leebca New Member

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    The ripping off from the clip is to some extent, to be expected. Just fold it over to make it 'thicker.' The fish 'hitting' the algae on the clip is normal.

    Have you read this post? http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums...41782-how-feed-macro-alage-marine-fishes.html

    There are pros and cons regarding live seaweed. First, are you sure it is the kind of seaweed they eat? Then is the water it comes from polluted in any way. (Captive poisons in the aquarium don't get diluted). Lastly, is the seaweed bringing any disease and/or parasites with it? The latter part can be handled if you freeze the seaweed for 48 hours before using it.

    ;)
     
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  8. foxsavage

    foxsavage Member

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    I'll have to give the clip another try. It sounds like it's not worth the risk to feed fresh anything from the ocean. There's no way of knowing how much pollution is there. I'll probably order some of the Tang Heaven from IPSF and get that growing in another tank instead.
     
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  9. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Cool beans! This is a great thread. I'll have to give it a try over the weekend. Where is a good source for the agar agar? Can it be found in the grocery store or does it need to be ordered on line? Thanks. :)
     
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  10. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Oh well, so much for getting powdered kelp and spirulina. I went to the lfs to get them and was told they don't carry them or ever had anyone ask for anything powdered. Time to shop the internet.
     
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  11. leebca

    leebca New Member

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    The Internet is your sure bet. Sometimes these ingredients can be found in a human health food store, too.
     
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  12. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Ooh, I didn't think about a health food store. Thanks Lee, Wholefood, here I come. :D
     
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  13. foxsavage

    foxsavage Member

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    I found the Agar Agar in an Asian market.
     
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  14. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Oh well, so much for WholeFoods. No powdered kelp, spirulina, or agar agar. Time to surf the net.
     
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  15. foxsavage

    foxsavage Member

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    I made another batch yesterday. This time I used 1.5 lb. Clams, 3 large oysters, almost 1 lb. shrimp tails, sqid, krill, spirulina powder, and leftover bits of seaweed. I mixed it with the Agar Agar the same as last time but it didn't gel for some reason. It came out dark green about the color of pine needles but like oatmeal. I froze it and broke it into pieces. Everyone in the tank ate it so I guess it doesn't really matter that it didn't gel. It does break apart easier in the water though. I've noticed that since I've been feeding the purple tang the seaweed twice a day the scar on her side seems like it's going away! She's had it since I got her but it's almost completely gone now. I wasn't able to get it to work right on the clip, but I did find a way that worked better for me. I fold a 4x2 strip in half lengthwise and put the folded edge under the magnet cleaner. It stays there until she eats it and very little breaks off.
     
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  16. leebca

    leebca New Member

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    To some extent, the krill can be problematic. What acts against the gelling process are enzymes found in the heads of some crustaceans. Shrimp heads are to be avoided, oysters might not be the best choice, either.

    You'll need to overcome these acts against the gelling process. Once warmed and the agar agar is dissolved into the material, take 1/4 teaspoon out and freeze it for 15 minutes. Keep the batch warm but not hot. After coming out of the freezer, it probably isn't really frozen, but should be cooled and it should then be rubbery if it gelled properly. If not, then add more agar agar. Test it again just like above. Keep track of the quantity of agar agar you add so you know the right ratio next time.
     
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  17. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    I was wondering how to figure out how much agar agar to use. Thanks Lee.

    Does anyone have a good internet source for powdered kelp and spirulina, and agar agar? I can't find them locally at the lfs or the health food stores and the ones I've found on the internet want a lot for shipping. Thanks.

    Chris
     
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  18. foxsavage

    foxsavage Member

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  19. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Cool Bean!!! Thanks foxsavage, I appreciate that. $5 for shipping on 1 lbs of powdered kelp, a lbs of powdered spirulina, and a bag of agar agar, that beats the heck out of $17 shipping for a lbs of kelp ($3.95). I just placed an order and once it gets here, I'll make my first batch of home fish food. :) Thanks.
     
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  20. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Pee u!!!!!

    I made some home made mush last night for the first time and it was definitely a learning experience. I used 2 lbs of raw shrimp tail, a lbs of scallops, a lbs of fresh clams, and a lbs of squid. I also added about a 1/4 cup of powdered kelp and powdered spirullina. To the mix I also added some liquid vitamins and garlic. Working in batches I first tried blending them in a blender but after it blended only the bottom inch (way to thick) I moved it to a food processor. It was still way to thick so I had to add several cups of water. My wife was not at all happy with me and finally went up stairs to get away from the smell. I mixed the batches into a big mixing bowl, added more water and mixed it all together so it would be less thick. I poured a couple of cups of mush into big zip top bags, put them in the frig t get them cold and then moved them into the freezer this morning. I gave some to my new Christmas wrasse in QT and at first she wasn't quite sure of it but then eat a bunch of it. Of course, after I made the mush, I realized that I had forgotten to add the mysis shrimp and cyclopese. Oh well, next time. Hopefully the other fish and corals will like it. AND, hopefully, my wife will still be talking with me when I get home tonight. :worried:


    Preblended concoction.

    [​IMG]


    In the food processor.

    [​IMG]


    What it looked like before adding water.

    [​IMG]


    Blended with more water.

    [​IMG]


    In the zip top bags.

    [​IMG]


    I got a total of 3 bags and decided to not add agar agar because the mush was so thick. After placing some in the QT, I'll add some next time I make it. Of course, when the wife is not home for a while. :)
     
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