Posted: January 27, 2014, 2:50 p.m. EDT
By David Lass
The topic of fish foods in the aquatics industry is where most introductions of products are either completely new or improved. Many excellent companies out there constantly add new foods to their product lines. These new foods are vitally important for our industry, as they not only provide more opportunities for stores to increase profits, but they also make it easier for customers’ fish to thrive.
After water quality, food is the next most important factor in keeping fish healthy and thriving. As I could not possibly call out the names of all the food manufacturers, I am not going to refer to specific brands.
Pictured are three new frozen feeds that I am testing for a well-known frozen fish food manufacturer. The bagged food is labeled "Spirulina”; the blister-packed foods are called simply "F1” and "F2.” David Lass
Most freshwater fish will do very well on a consistent diet of dry prepared foods. There are many excellent dry foods available, and most freshwater fishes will never see anything other than dry foods—and they are healthy and live long lives. It is with saltwater fishes and corals that dry foods do not make the grade. Fortunately, many companies make a wide variety of frozen foods and live foods in bottles that can be kept refrigerated for a period of time and will keep them alive. Frozen foods now come in some formulations that are made specifically for different types of marine fish, such as angels or butterflies; there are also frozen prepared foods and frozen prey items that will meet the needs of most of the marine predators, such as groupers, eels and the like.
When it comes to keeping corals alive and thriving in a marine (reef) tank we have pretty much solved the two major problems (after water quality of course). We now have the proper lighting for most marine invertebrates, and we also have plenty of different foods for different corals and other inverts. There still are a few corals that do not thrive in a marine aquarium environment, but as the foods continue to improve I am sure we will eventually be able to keep these corals as well. Turning off the filter while offering foods for corals allows hobbyists to watch them as they "capture” and ingest their natural prey.
"Pods,” "Marine Snow”—whatever you want to call them—it is nice to have foods on which corals thrive.
I am frequently asked to test new foods for manufacturers before they put them on the market; it’s one of the nice things about being around the industry for as long as I have and having the number of tanks that I do.
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