Food....frozen vs. freeze dried - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-28-2009, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Food....frozen vs. freeze dried

I have seen this discussed elsewhere, but not really resolved, if there is a resolution. I'm wondering why frozen foods should be considered that much superior if the freeze dried foods are the same thing, minus the water. It seems that the freeze dried would be more convenient, and cheaper than the frozen. The stores are always out of frozen daphnia buy have the freeze dried, so I may give it a shot. I'd love to do live foods, but I have gone totally nano with my tanks (3 5 gallon), and even brine shrimp is a bit big for my itty bitty fishes.

Anyone else have thoughts about food?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-28-2009, 09:43 PM
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anyone and everyone will agree that a mixed diet is always best, be it dry pellet, flake or w/e. it all really just depends on what kind of fish you have. although some food will cloud your water while others wont cant name any that do or dont off hand, Just my 2 cents. Mitch
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-29-2009, 06:54 PM
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Mitch is correct on the variety. Feeding as many different foods as you can is ideal, as there may be nutrients that the fish can use in one and not in another; and some fish will eat this but not that. I alternate between 5 different brands of flake food in the morning, with three different sinking tablet foods; three days a week I feed frozen bloodworms, and only because I have two species of fish that basically eat nothing else; they are both wild-caught and frozen is the only thing other than live that they will even look at.

On the nutrition side, if you look at the charts on the packages you will note that most prepared foods (flake, etc) are close to 50% protein; compare that to the 5% protein in frozen bloodworms. Obviously the prepared foods are far more nutritious, and in fact any fish can live very well on prepared foods. However, the attraction of frozen is that it is very close (for the fish) to live worms or daphnia or whatever. Thus, it is a good food to stimulate their activity and eating, especially with difficult fish like the two I mentioned. But frozen should not be the staple diet but be looked upon as a treat.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-30-2009, 07:26 AM
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i agree with all of you a mixed diet is best and frozen or freeze dried should use as a treat or a supplement when conditioning to breed.. most prepared foods have it all and mixing it up does help maintain variety... just think what if you had the same meal every day?? even steak would eventually lose its appeal... just to throw this out there for funny haha's my kid was feeding the fry the other day (some egg yolk) and accidentally put some in the mama tank.. wow let me tell you they LOVED it and were frisky as all can be after the extra protien.. lol

Back in the Game!!! Live Bearers in a 40 Breeder
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-30-2009, 08:28 AM
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I use both . I keep a mixture of four or five different types of flake food in a tuppeware container and keep it in the fridge. When I am ready to feed it,I remove some and place it on a saucer or dish and let it sorta get to room temperature before feeding. I also feed frozen foods as well for same reasons as byron, both for variety, and cause a couple of my fish refuse pellets or flake. The only rub I have with freezedried is.. that if not kept in airtight container,,it can go bad too quickly. Course buying smaller containers would help as well in this regard, but I have six tanks and it works better for me to buy larger containers less often.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-30-2009, 10:02 AM
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The food menu totally depends on the fish we are dealing with. Actually, let's take another example what makes food concerns matter a lot contrary to most people think. Fancy goldfish for instance, are predisposed to buoyancy issues due to their compressed organs as a result of selective breeding. I keep several goldfish myself focusing mostly on fancy types. Here you may find out the likes of ryukins, tikus pearlscales and anything else with an extremely round body will have very compressed GI (gastrointestinal) tract. You will find that hardly anyone keeping fancy goldfish who have a history of buoyancy issues, will ever touch flakes, floating foods and freeze-dried foods again.

The number one issue with the abovementioned foods is the air they add up when the fish ingests food from the surface. Air is also tightly compressed in freeze-dried stuffs which is another reason to avoid them. Aside from that, the flakes also expand rather slowly and perhaps more dangerously in the GI tract of the fish once the fish ingests the flakes as quickly as they are dropped.

Another reason why flakes are often avoided is the fact they needed to be presoaked to avoid adding the air. The downside of this is presoaking destroys the vitamins completely by leaching them out since vitamins are water soluble in themselves. It could be remedied by dipping in vitamin liquid supplements although not everyone tends to go with this method which makes pellets much more appealing to them. With vitamins also easily destroyed by exposure to light and air, flakes degrade quicker than pellets do.

I make gel foods for my goldfish. The gel foods consist of vegetable matter, multivitamins, calcium tablets, acidophilus, sardines/tuna/mackerel, Mazuri gel food powder, etc. Those are very nutritious selections although a few vegetables and fruits are often avoided due to high sugar and starch levels that may have detrimental effect to the fish.

As far as guaranteed analysis is concerned, it totally depends on the needs of the fish. Most foods with protein content by as much as 50% are suitable for young fish but not adults. Adults cannot utilize the excess proteins which are simply discharged resulting in higher pollution rate. Aside from that, a majority of commercial foods are very low in fiber. Most fish need high fiber to be able to discharge excess foods or they may likely suffer a higher incidence of bloat or constipation.

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post #7 of 7 Old 10-30-2009, 12:31 PM
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This is an excellent thread.

Currently, I feed my Guppies, Mollies, Platies, Neon Tetras and Siamese AE

Tropical Fish Flakes
Crude Protein 45%
Fat 7%
Crude Fiber 4%
Max Moisture 9%

I purchased some different brands of flakes when I was not more in the know to get some variety and mix but essentially, they are all the same. Guppy Essentials has slightly less fat and moisture.

What is different is the ingredients in each:

Tropical Fish Essentials:
Fish Meat
Wheat flour
Soy Protein Contentrate
Wheat Gluten Meat
Herring Meat

Spirulina from Big Als:
Spirulina Meat
Fish Meat
Shrimp Meat
Wheat Germ Oil

Guppy Flakes:
Fish Meal
Wheat Flour
Soy Protein Concentrate
Corn Gluten Meat
Wheat Gluten
Herring Meat
Fish Oil

All listed in order of the indgredient with the most volume in the mix from the top down.

My fish are doing fine and eat with an appetite! No issue for them quickly cleaning up what I drop in. If there is anything I can add to this, please let me know.
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