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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

December 30, 2010

New Fish Foods

By David Lass

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The variety and quality of new fish foods now available has made it possible for us to maintain almost any fish or invertebrate in excellent condition, both in the retail store and for the hobbyist. In addition, the new foods provide a terrific opportunity for add-on sales, as all hobbyists love to watch their fish eat--and most will spring for a “treat” for them. The new formulations of dry prepared flake foods are capable of keeping most community tanks of fish in the peak of health. In fact, overfeeding is still a much bigger problem with new hobbyists than fish not getting enough nutrition.

For reef hobbyists, the new kinds of frozen and refrigerated foods have made it possible to keep plankton-feeding fish and inverts, including some corals that a few years ago were considered impossible to keep. Enrichments are also available for the really dedicated and hard-core hobbyist. And let’s not forget the plants in a freshwater tank. There are many excellent all-purpose and specific plant foods available. These, combined with the developments in aquarium lighting, should make it possible for any hobbyist to keep live plants.

Getting back to fish foods, I have been told by a number of people whose opinion I trust, that it is better to have fewer brands but to carry the entire brand line than to have a mixture of multiple brands for each type of food. Having seen stores set up both ways, I definitely agree with this thinking. If you have, say, four or five different brands of staple foods right next to each other, your shelves will look confusing. Without advice from any store salesperson, the customer will usually grab the brand they recognize or the one they have been using. A much better display would be to have three different brands (the old good, better, best in terms of pricing works for me), but to have all of the foods in each brand. However you decide to merchandise foods, these items should be big sellers for every store.

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