Hi guys, Since I am always on here looking for advice and ideas for myself I figured I would contribute a little tonight for a change and share with everyone a little project I did today with my spare 2 hours. I drew my inspiration from two places: James0816 got me thinking a few months ago with his thread on Otocinclus spawning and then the new trend of the popular Repashy super foods. I must have come across Mr Repashy's new line of fish foods 100 times in the past month, while researching a method of feeding all of my bottom feeders a single generalized diet. So for starters I would like to thank both of you
So I was looking into the ingredients of the Soilent Green line by Repashy and I noticed that, although I think it is an excellent product, it contained a tad too much animal protein for my comfort...I have a ravenous school of (VERY picky) Otocinclus mouths to feed So today I decided to do my own rendition of this product with less animal protein for my children. Here's how it went:
Ingredients: 1 large zucchini ~10 broccoli florets 1/2 a cup of frozen peas (shell on) 2 small jars of organic carrot baby food 1 small jar of organic squash baby food 5 cubes of frozen BBS a fistfull of assorted bottom feeder pellets/wafers agar agar (Not included because I currently have none- spirulina powder- will be added next time though)
To begin I pealed, cubed and de-seeded the zuc because I cannot stand looking at the inedible seeds on the bottom of my tank anymore and steamed the chunks along with the broccoli until both were very soft to the touch.
I then defrosted the peas with running warm water and blended them with the jars of baby food before anything else to get a jump on breaking down the fibrous shells.
Next I threw in my (still hot) steamed veggies and pureed all of that together. While this was processing I dropped in the frozen BBS cubes and the bottom feeder pellets/wafers. By this time I needed to add some water but I will talk about that next...
The entire time I was doing all of this I had about a cup of water boiling on the stove with agar agar ribbons in it. I use the stuff from the local Asian market because its dirt cheap but it needs to boil for a good 10-15 minutes to really break down. My first try was a bit of a failure because it never set properly. I must have either added to little agar mix or the mix must not have been concentrated enough. Either way I had to reheat the paste and boil more agar to get it to set up. For my next batch I will have the agar boiling already before I start blending that way I can add some of that to the (still hot) mix instead of using straight tap water. My next batch will be made with a more concentrated agar mix and I will not add any water to the paste but instead will moisten it with more baby food and/or agar mix. The finished product has already been split into this weeks batch and the rest is in the freezer for the future. It did set up okay but next time I would like it more stiff, not hard but just more durable, like the Repashy stuff.
I will post the few pics I have later or tomorrow. Please feel free to share your own fish food recipes...if they aren't top secret
Thanks for reading and sorry for the long post, Joe
I haven't used this recipe for a couple years, but it's the best thing I've ever found for Ancistrus which have a tendency toward vegetable diets. I shared this a few years ago, but tweaked it a bit since. The original recipe was nearly the same except used gelatin rather than agar.
2 cans no salt french cut green beans 2/3 can of frozen cocktail shrimp (I used the same can as the beans were in to measure) 1/4 tsp. freshly minced garlic (canned will work as well, but doesn't get the same feeding response) 1/2 cup agar powder (original used two packets of Knox gelatin) 1/2 cup water
Mince the shrimp well in a food processor using a grating blade. Change blades to a slicing blade, usually on the inverse of the same blade, and add the green beans. This leaves the beans in larger pieces and seems to hold the portions together better. Stir in the garlic.
Microwave the water till nearly boiling, and mix in the agar. Once mixed well, and completely dissolved, pour over the other ingredients and stir well. The mixture is then poured into ice cube trays and placed in the fridge to set-up.
After set, it is safe to keep in an air-tight container in the freezer.
I used to mix twice this amount weekly when keeping more Ancistrus and everything grew exceptionally well. It's too much work to bother with for my tanks now that there are other foods which seem to do just as well, albeit more expensive. For a larger operation it would likely be profitable to use.
Impossible only means that somebody hasn't done it correctly yet.
Garlic is another ingredient I plan to include in my next batch. I am strongly considering melting down the batch in the freezer and adding more agar and garlic to it. I am really happy with the consistency of the paste I made with the given ingredients, what I'm not thrilled with is the firmness of the gel. I plan on using more agar as well but its difficult to measure the type I'm using.