One of the main conditions for normal growth, development and reproduction of aquarium fish is proper and complete nutrition.
Aquarium fish feed in different layers of water. Their oral apparatus can be located low (they feed at the bottom), along the Central axis of the skull (they feed in the water column), and on top (they get food from the water surface). Therefore, depending on the species, each fish needs its own food. According to the nature of food, fish are divided into herbivores, carnivores, fry eaters and omnivores.
The feed must contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, as well as minerals and vitamins. Under optimal conditions (which is not always the case), mineral salts can be contained in sufficient quantities in water and soil. All other components of fish are obtained with food (animal or vegetable origin).
Food for aquarium fish can be divided into two groups: natural (live, dried or frozen) and industrial.
Mass production of industrial feed began in the first half of the XX century. These were combinations of 2-3 species of dried invertebrates that served as a temporary substitute for live food. Production of complete feed came with the development of new technologies. The pioneers in the field of fish feed were the company ” TETRA “(the first to produce food in flakes), as well as” SERA”, which created a feed with the use of freeze-drying technology.
To make the food better absorbed by fish, manufacturers carefully grind the raw materials, use a gentle temperature regime during processing, enrich the diet with vitamins, natural carotenoids (astaxanthin, spirulina) and trace elements.
Industrial feeds contain little water, so they can be stored even in the open for a long time. Their size and shape are adapted depending on the size and type of fish. They are less polluting than homemade mixers. The composition of industrial feed is quite natural and meets the natural needs of most fish. It includes invertebrates, algae, fish, and other natural ingredients.
Multicomponent feed allows you to maintain food diversity and make fish nutrition complete for key nutrients. Today, industrial fish feeds are produced in the form of multi-component mixtures (the number of ingredients in them sometimes exceeds 30-40) in the form of granules, tablets and flakes.
Fish feed pellets can be floating or sinking. Floating and slowly sinking to the bottom of the food is suitable for cichlids, goldfish. For large and medium-sized fish, feed sticks (a special type of large pellets) are produced.
Sinking and sticking to the glass tablets are perfect for catfish and other bottom species. For fry, there are special pulverized feeds, as well as liquid feeds. If the aquarium is inhabited by 10-15 fish, it is convenient to set the food in the form of briquettes.
Flake feed is one of the most popular in the world and is suitable for almost all types of aquarium fish. Their high digestibility helps to reduce the level of ammonia and nitrites in the aquarium. There are also chips on sale (an intermediate form between flakes and granules).
In pet stores, you can also buy gelled food in the form of gel or tablets. It slowly falls to the bottom and does not dissolve, so it can be eaten by fish gradually and does not spoil the water. This food is suitable for both fry and adults.
Industrial monocorms are produced in the form of freeze-dried and lyophilized, as well as frozen aquatic organisms (gammarus, Daphnia, bloodworm, pipefish, etc.). Invertebrates that are part of industrial feed are grown in specialized areas, which guarantees the absence of pathogens in them. Frozen food is produced in the form of briquettes and cubes. The industrial freezing process, due to the low temperature regime, kills most of the pathogenic microorganisms that affect fish, so frozen monocorms are much safer, their nutritional value is as close as possible to live feeds.
Monocorms contain a large amount of protein, so they can not be fed constantly.
Food for fish can be everyday (complete) and delicatessen (containing bloodworms, Daphnia, shrimps and other invertebrates). There are specialized diets for improving color, accelerating growth, as well as therapeutic foods with antibiotics and antiparasitic components, as well as food for certain types of fish (discus, goldfish, catfish, etc.).
High-quality dry fish food should be Packed in hermetically sealed containers to prevent spoilage during storage. Since some vitamins, such as vitamin C, can be destroyed by heat, moisture, and light, store the feed in a cool, dry place, and the jars should be light-tight and have tightly closed lids. The amount of dry food should not be calculated for more than three months, because over time the content of vitamins in it may decrease.