Protein Count In Frozen Vs. Freeze Dried Foods

Random-storykeeper
  • #1
I'm currently feeding my crowntail betta three different types of foods: pellets, freeze dried bloodworms and bug bites. I had a fourth type, freeze dried shrimp, which I ended up returning because it was near impossible to break into small enough pieces and whenever I did so, he would end up spitting them out anyway.

I've been looking to get another type of food for my betta just so I can give him a nice variety of things to eat. Over the weekend, I was about to get freeze dried brine shrimp (Omega One), but the Petsmart employee recommended against it, claiming that the food just gets stuck in the filter and the chunks are too big for the betta to eat anyway. I considered frozen, which wasn't very popular with my family - they hated the smell of frozen bloodworms in our freezer when I had an aquatic frog. But I noticed that the protein count is much lower in frozen foods than freeze dried. Like, the freeze dried bloodworms I currently have right now are at a 55% crude protein amount, but the frozen bloodworms appear to only have a ~7% amount of protein in them. Similarly, the pellets have 38% protein and the bug bites have 45%, whereas frozen brine shrimp also is like, 5-7% protein.

Are these nutritional facts counting different kinds of protein, or measuring them in separate manners? Should I consider getting frozen or freeze dried brine shrimp as an extra meal choice for my betta? The Petsmart employee I talked to said that frozen would be too much for one betta, and it sounded like she was talking out of experience, but I was interested in getting some additional opinions from here. I'm confused as to why people would recommend frozen foods over freeze dried if the amount of protein the fish gets is significantly lower.
 

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stella1979
  • #2
HI I've moved this thread to the Fish Food Forum for you. Hope this will help to garner better replies than I can give.

I have a betta who eats varied as well, but much of the shrimpy knowledge following comes from my experience with saltwater fish.

Brine shrimp are a popular option for some reason, but like bloodworms, I see it as something to be offered infrequently as a treat. Brine are very, very fatty and contain little protein even when alive. So, by themselves, they are not all that nutritional, and this is why we often see frozen brine gutloaded with something like Spirulina. Spirulina is type of algae that is very high in protein and other nutrients and is nothing short of a superfood.

Mysis shrimp are another frozen option that's easy to find, and is more nutritious than brine alone. Now, like brine, mysis are available in different sizes. I currently use PE Mysis for my salty tank and those shrimp would be way too big for my betta. However, I used to use a mysis product by Dr. G's fish foods, and though the packaging did not say they were baby mysis, they were indeed a lot smaller and my betta enjoyed them.

There are a couple of reasons one might advise frozen over dry, but I think it all comes down to the same thing. Think of pellets as an energy bar, while the frozen food could be compared to a nice grilled piece of chicken or fish. The pellets do contain everything the fish needs and are absolutely packed with nutrients relative to their size. Perhaps a bit too many nutrients... The reason I don't use pellets in a reef tank is that I'm trying to keep nitrates and phosphates very, very low there. The nutrient packed pellets will add more nitrates and phosphates to the tank because there is just that much more organic material in them to break down. Also, our diets wouldn't be great if we replaced fresh meals with all-in-one bars and the like. Lastly, the pellets, due to their ingredients, can be a little hard to digest... particularly if the pellets make up the entire diet without any variety. Bettas are notorious for getting constipated.

So, our betta Sam gets the following diet... Most days, NLS Betta pellets soaked for about 15 minutes in VitaChem, a fishy vitamin that's good for him and also softens the pellets. Treats are offered once or twice a week and they include... frozen bloodworms, frozen mysis, (when I've got small ones), Omega One Betta Buffet flakes, and Bug Bites. He fasts on Sundays. Sam has been healthy since we got him about a year ago and has never had constipation issues.
 

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NYFishGuy
  • #3
Mostly because drying food removes the moisture and what's left over is protein, now in a higher % to total weight.
 
Random-storykeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
HI I've moved this thread to the Fish Food Forum for you. Hope this will help to garner better replies than I can give.

Thanks. I was scouring the forums trying to figure out which section this would best fit into. Fish food because it's about food, the betta forum because it's about feeding my betta? I couldn't even find a fish food section - I missed it while looking under "tank equipment" but once I realized soon after posting, it was too late to change. Thanks again.

Mostly because drying food removes the moisture and what's left over is protein, now in a higher % to total weight.

Oh so it basically just considers the percentage of protein relative to what the food is rather than the actual amount of protein in the food?

At this point, I'm seriously about getting at least one kind of frozen food to add to my betta's diet. The mysis shrimp sound like a good idea. I was recommended the "dial a treat" wheels, but I was reading some of the reviews on Amazon and the like and it seems like the packaging gets real messy. Would it be best for the betta to include at least one type of frozen food in his diet along with freeze dried and pellets?
 
Briggs
  • #5
Thanks. I was scouring the forums trying to figure out which section this would best fit into. Fish food because it's about food, the betta forum because it's about feeding my betta? I couldn't even find a fish food section - I missed it while looking under "tank equipment" but once I realized soon after posting, it was too late to change. Thanks again.



Oh so it basically just considers the percentage of protein relative to what the food is rather than the actual amount of protein in the food?

At this point, I'm seriously about getting at least one kind of frozen food to add to my betta's diet. The mysis shrimp sound like a good idea. I was recommended the "dial a treat" wheels, but I was reading some of the reviews on Amazon and the like and it seems like the packaging gets real messy. Would it be best for the betta to include at least one type of frozen food in his diet along with freeze dried and pellets?

I think frozen food is great part of a diet, the more healthy variety you can offer the better. I think most bettas digest frozen a little easier than freeze dried so I lean towards it when given a chose between the two, but I don't think they are nutritionally as different as some people claim. My favorite frozen food is Daphnia, but it can be harder to find. I had to order mine online and shipping anything frozen is a bit expensive. If you have a good LFS they might carry more variety or be more willing to order things in for you than a box petstore.

Soon my fish food hording is going to start into live foods, which should put the little section of freezer space the frozen food takes up into perspective lol.
 
stella1979
  • #6
I agree that frozen food is a good thing to include in a varied diet. Trouble is, getting something small enough for the betta to eat. Daphnia sounds like a great idea, but yep, hard to find. Baby brine might be another good choice. I'm unsure here, but perhaps frozen baby brine still contain the extra nutrition that comes from live baby brine? Wish I were more sure about this. Mysis is a good option, but again, without it really being noted on packaging, I have seen wildly different sizes in mysis. I'd say my current package (PE Mysis) contains shrimp 4x larger than my last package, (Dr. G's Mysis.) My betta at Dr. G's but I haven't even offered him the PE shrimp because of their size.
 

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wolfdog01
  • #7
I recently switched my betta from an array of freeze dried foods and pellets, to frozen and pellets. I got the MultiPack cubes and mashed up the frenzy, bloodworms, and shrimp rows into one concoction and feed that to him once a day along with his pellets. I think he loves it a lot more than the freeze dried stuff.
The pack also came with emerald entree but my nerites didn't like it so that part was a waste.
 
Briggs
  • #8
I agree that frozen food is a good thing to include in a varied diet. Trouble is, getting something small enough for the betta to eat. Daphnia sounds like a great idea, but yep, hard to find. Baby brine might be another good choice. I'm unsure here, but perhaps frozen baby brine still contain the extra nutrition that comes from live baby brine? Wish I were more sure about this. Mysis is a good option, but again, without it really being noted on packaging, I have seen wildly different sizes in mysis. I'd say my current package (PE Mysis) contains shrimp 4x larger than my last package, (Dr. G's Mysis.) My betta at Dr. G's but I haven't even offered him the PE shrimp because of their size.

Oh yeah, the size thing is an issue I've run into with bloodworms. Never know how big those suckers might end up being. I read up on it once, and apparently most companies have multiple suppliers for them, with different sizes and varieties coming from each of them. So they package them all the same because they don't necessarily know what they're getting from who far enough in advance to market them differently. I understand it would be tricky logistically for them, but man it's frustrating for a hobbyist with nano fish they're trying to feed.

Daphnia is great because even the big ones are small enough for the betta to eat, but with bloodworms the big ones basically have to be cut up and that is a super gross chore that I would rather skip, thank you.
 
midna
  • #9
I feed my bettas hikarI frozen spirulina brine shrimp, tubifex worms, daphnia, and pe mysis shrimp. they don't really like the spirulina in the brine shrimp, so they'll spit it out. one of my betta won't eat the tubifex worms for some reason. daphnia is very small and kinda messy, and I cut up the mysis shrimp and just feed them the tails. if the tail is too long, I'll chop it up into bite-size pieces. I also have frozen baby brine shrimp, but it's wayyyy too tiny. they don't recognize it as food and it goes to waste.
 

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