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Grinding Your Own Fish Food

Grinding ingredients for frozen fish food.Small fish rooms with a lot of fish to feed can get costly.  With several large South and Central American cichlids to feed daily buying prepared food from the fish store can get expensive.  As the fish get bigger they eat more, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with prepackaged fish foods.  Making a good balanced fish food is something you can do to cater to your fish’s diet to supply proper nutrition.

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 like goldfish have little nutrients, and beef heart as well if fed as a sole dietary staple.  In the wild cichlids eat a wide variety of food to round out their dietary needs.   These food fish cichlids eat in the wild also have gut contents that they have eaten to add to the nutrition.

Using ingredients that are easily and readily available you can make your own fish food.  Making a mixture of ingredients to add to the diet is best.  Make sure wild fish is used as much as possible, as farmed fish often lack omega 3 fatty acids that wild fish are known for.

Mixing in beef heart, spinach, zucchini, octopus, and small baitfish.  You can mix in any number of additional ingredients like earthworms, mealworms, various vegetables, etc. to meet nutritional needs.

Using an electric grinder is ideal but they are costly.  Most people don’t want to run worms through their kitchen grinder or processor so thrift store finds are cheap and ideal.  Food processors can be picked up at a thrift store cheap and easy but electric grinders are harder to find.  Hand crank meat grinders are relatively common though, in case you don’t want to share utensils with your fish.

All this is independently frozen slightly as it will help it homogenize in the grinder and come out as a stream instead of a wet mushy slurry as it is all fairly soft when completely thawed.  Being partially frozen helps the individual particles not be too small and to avoid making a messy liquid.

Spinach and beef mixtureRemove the slightly frozen ingredients from the freezer and mix them well and begin to send them through the grinder or food processor.  Rotating ingredients in several small batches of food can help keep their diet changing so they are well rounded.

After all the ingredients are ran through the grinder and mixed well spread them out on plastic foam meat trays you get meat on.  Remove the paper absorber pads that come with some of the foam trays beforehand.  Freezing in the meat trays makes the food thin enough so that pieces can be cut off or broken off when feeding.  While they are still completely unfrozen it’s easy to score blocks in the surface of the food mixture to make this easier as they are frozen solid.

Vary the sizes depending on how big the fish are.  Some fishrooms have fish from fry 1/4 inch long to fish big enough to eat a half a hot dog at once.  If you have several size fish or species them make several different size scores to accommodate the fish size or species.  When it’s feeding time 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 handling flake food.  The benefits are much greater though and 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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