01-13-2010, 02:04 AM
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I would not worry about ingredients in that brand. Speaking of "natural foods", it indicates that this particular brand "Pro Gold" does not contain the grainy crap most companies add that contribute to floaty issues among goldfish. By reviews alone, I'd get one in a flash if I have easy access to that.
Other brands I like are Mazuri, Dainichi, Hikari and Saki-Hikari. I dislike Sanyu, sorry. I've used that before and I personally do not like Sanyu.
I made a review on floating foods and starch-based foods in general. Here's my canned overview.
In many cases, flake foods have been avoided by goldfish enthusiasts for two main reasons: a. floating, and b. vitamins cannot be retained in them. Both points are valid.
When flakes float, the fish tends to ingest air in the process thus when it becomes trapped in the GI tract, it can cause buoyancy issues to the fish in question. Flakes also contain air itself and can expand quickly. As quickly as the fish would eat, the flakes expand themselves inside the digestive system of the fish thus making the fish prone to bloat or constipation.
Unlike pellets, flakes cannot retain the vitamins that they have been injected with due to high surface area and exposure to air and light which destroy the vitamins in the process. Aside from that, vitamins are water soluble and can easily be leached out of the water. As vitamins are best obtained by ingestion, the fish may be unable to utilize all the needed vitamins if they leach out of the food.
Although this theory in the first paragraph for floating foods does have a valid point, I believe we should all look into the ingredients used. Considering some fish get unusually "floaty" with either floating or sinking pellets, it could be the ingredients that are easily the culprit yet overlooked.
So what makes the ingredients of the food the possible culprit? Several food analysts who studied the ingredients and guaranteed analysis of particular brands suggested that the starch-based foods are the culprit. A lot of food products contain starch. It is added in the food to weigh in the protein content needed by the young fish. While it does weigh in to the protein content, it contains very little nutritional value thus making it worthless for use despite the claims that it helps with fish growth due to the alleged high protein content. Even though goldfish do not have stomach and digestive enzymes needed to digest the food well, they have bacteria in their digestive system that help digest the foods and at the same time, producing gas as they digest the starch particularly soybean meal and yeast which when trapped, will cause the fish to lose its buoyancy partially or completely.
Unfortunately almost all food products contain starch or grain-based ingredients such as soybean meal, yeast, wheat flour, wheaten gluten meal, brewer's dried yeast, soy protein concentrate, rolled oats, etc. The only way to choose your food products is make sure the wheat ingredients do not make up most of the top ingredients (preferably the first five) as the arrangement of the ingredients indicate chronological order of the ingredient portions taking up the food most to the least. If possible, stick to brands where fish meal and krill meal take up the top places followed by a few grain-based ingredients (although I would still minimize the amount of starch involved as much as possible).
Conclusively, aim for the sinking pellets. You still have an option to use frozen foods such as bloodworms and homemade gel foods. Shouldn't be difficult to make one up if you want to give gel foods a try. For commercial products, Mazuri, Hikari Lionhead, Saki Hikari or Dainichi will work.