Should fish meal as first ingredient really be avoided?

FancyBubbles
  • #1
Someone told me it wouldn't matter for scavenger type fish. For example, corys. They even said it's a lot healthier than feeding a food that has no fish meal or not as their first ingredient.

I feed my corys shrimp pellets as their main diet, occasionally frozen blood worms (thawed). The same person told me, for better health, I should switch to foods that have fish meal as their first ingredient. Though I'd rather just stick with my omega one shrimp pellets for now.
 
Demeter
  • #2
The content analysis (% of protein, fat, ash, etc) is more important IMO. For corries they should have a good amount of protein (say 40%+) so fish meal would provide that but so would shrimp or insect meal. For algae grazers like shrimp and otos something with more veggie based food with a lower percentage of protein is better, algae and kelp meal would be something I'd look for.

Stay away from odd ingredients like mammal or poultry meat. I saw on one brand they used banana, which just seems odd for fish to eat so I didn't buy it.
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
The content analysis (% of protein, fat, ash, etc) is more important IMO. For corries they should have a good amount of protein (say 40%+) so fish meal would provide that but so would shrimp or insect meal. For algae grazers like shrimp and otos something with more veggie based food with a lower percentage of protein is better, algae and kelp meal would be something I'd look for.

Stay away from odd ingredients like mammal or poultry meat. I saw on one brand they used banana, which just seems odd for fish to eat so I didn't buy it.

Banana in fish food? That's quiet strange.

I don't notice any mammal or poultry ingredients in the shrimp pellets I have. And yeah, I do focus more on the content rather than "what they have" in fish food. Though I was left a little puzzled when they said fish meal is better for them.
 
oldsalt777
  • #4
Hello Fan...

You can eliminate the guess work as far a fish nutrition, by feeding foods from one or all of these companies: Tetra, Zoo Med. Omega One, HikarI and Sally's San Fran. These are all good brands and the ingredients will cover all your fishes' nutirient needs without adding fillers.

Old
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
This is what the person kept telling me about fish meal:

"I will just say that from a scavenger fish perspective they are tough little eaters. They also aren't from the Atlantic and would not have been exposed to salmon..so from a fish health stand point remember to base it on evidence and not marketing"

Even though I never based it off of marketing, I always look at the content.
 
Demeter
  • #6
If we are being technical, corries seem to mainly feed on small crustaceans and other worm-like critters in the substrate more than dead fish. Of course they wouldn't be eating fish on a daily basis in the wild but prepared foods are much more convenient for us to use.


Banana in fish food? That's quiet strange.
I remembered what it was, API minI pellets for tropical fish. It also contains molasses which is a no-no IMO. API Sinking MinI Pellets Tropical Fish Food, 1.7-oz bottle - chewy
 
DoubleDutch
  • #7
The content analysis (% of protein, fat, ash, etc) is more important IMO. For corries they should have a good amount of protein (say 40%+) so fish meal would provide that but so would shrimp or insect meal. For algae grazers like shrimp and otos something with more veggie based food with a lower percentage of protein is better, algae and kelp meal would be something I'd look for.

Stay away from odd ingredients like mammal or poultry meat. I saw on one brand they used banana, which just seems odd for fish to eat so I didn't buy it.
I don't entirely agree with this.

Protein isn't simply protein when one realises that it consists of a mix of 20 amino acids in different compositions. This mix is different for carnivores, piscivores, insectivores, omnivores.

That's why cichlidpellets are different to corypellets for instance.
Corys for instance aren't able to digest beefheart fed to Discus simply cause it the protein has the wrong composition.
Allmost all catfish are more or less omnivores. Even Otos need protein (less than Corys).

Therefor a variaty of food is always better than one specific source. The chance that a specific fish will have a lack of needed specific protein / aminoacids is prevented.

Short : The percentage of protein on the label doesn't tell a thing.
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I don't entirely agree with this.

Protein isn't simply protein when one realises that it consists of a mix of 20 amino acids in different compositions. This mix is different for carnivores, piscivores, insectivores, omnivores.

That's why cichlidpellets are different to corypellets for instance.
Corys for instance aren't able to digest beefheart fed to Discus simply cause it the protein has the wrong composition.
Allmost all catfish are more or less omnivores. Even Otos need protein (less than Corys).

Therefor a variaty of food is always better than one specific source. The chance that a specific fish will have a lack of needed specific protein / aminoacids is prevented.

Short : The percentage of protein on the label doesn't tell a thing.

That's interesting to know, thanks for the info

And yeah, I do feed variety of foods, not just those shrimp pellets.
 
angelcraze
  • #9
I would look for whole fish ingredients over fish or shrimp meal.

Agree, different fish have different needs. If you feed a variety, you are covering everything. For ex, I feed my angels, rams and tetras veggie foods on occasion, whereas for my BN plecos, they get mostly algae wafers. Of course they eat the excess food (if they're is any!) from the angels.

You'll want to avoid multiple filler type ingredients, like not more than 1 potato starch, soy or corn ingredient. Pea also is not good longterm for their digestion.
 
aquafrogg
  • #10
If fish are anything like dogs, here is what my vet told me:

Dog food with meals in them are better for the dog than the raw diets and such. When you watch in the wild, the very first thing wolves go for are the innards (which are in -meals) because it has the most nutritional value. That is what the alphas eat first. Then the lesser wolves get the meat. There’s a reason the wolves go for the innards first.

Fish might be different and whole meat might be better for them, but I just thought I’d give my .02¢.

I personally look for there not being a lot of corn or soy or other fillers over there not being any meals.
 
Demeter
  • #11
I don't entirely agree with this.

Protein isn't simply protein when one realises that it consists of a mix of 20 amino acids in different compositions. This mix is different for carnivores, piscivores, insectivores, omnivores.

That's why cichlidpellets are different to corypellets for instance.
Corys for instance aren't able to digest beefheart fed to Discus simply cause it the protein has the wrong composition.
Allmost all catfish are more or less omnivores. Even Otos need protein (less than Corys).

Therefor a variaty of food is always better than one specific source. The chance that a specific fish will have a lack of needed specific protein / aminoacids is prevented.

Short : The percentage of protein on the label doesn't tell a thing.

Fair enough, but nearly all prepared foods use a mix of protein sources (krill, shrimp, fish, insect and/or worm meal, egg powder, spirulina powder etc). I think it safe to say all of the higher quality foods have a mix of all the essential amino acids, just not necessarily in the levels that species needs, so using species specific pellets/flakes as a staple food while often supplementing with other foods makes sense.

I suppose I should revise my initial post: look at the percentages and the ingredients before deciding if the food is good for your fish. I still choose to look at the percentages first and then the ingredient list before deciding.
 
GouramisAreSuperior
  • #12
I have apI minI pellets and my fish hate them lol but my shrimp love them
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
If fish are anything like dogs, here is what my vet told me:

Dog food with meals in them are better for the dog than the raw diets and such. When you watch in the wild, the very first thing wolves go for are the innards (which are in -meals) because it has the most nutritional value. That is what the alphas eat first. Then the lesser wolves get the meat. There’s a reason the wolves go for the innards first.

Fish might be different and whole meat might be better for them, but I just thought I’d give my .02¢.

I personally look for there not being a lot of corn or soy or other fillers over there not being any meals.
Yeah, I make sure of that too

Not too many plant and meal ingredients
 
angelcraze
  • #14
If fish are anything like dogs, here is what my vet told me:

Dog food with meals in them are better for the dog than the raw diets and such. When you watch in the wild, the very first thing wolves go for are the innards (which are in -meals) because it has the most nutritional value. That is what the alphas eat first. Then the lesser wolves get the meat. There’s a reason the wolves go for the innards first.

Fish might be different and whole meat might be better for them, but I just thought I’d give my .02¢.

I personally look for there not being a lot of corn or soy or other fillers over there not being any meals.
Interesting, but I guess it depends on what they derive their fish meal from. Bones and heads don't provide much nutrition.


I take what the vets say with a grain of salt, they are always trying to sell me things. Like when my dog's food changed formulas and corn was a big contribution, they told me ground corn is a great protein source for them. That it was whole corn that was no good. What??? I'm sorry, but i'm not feeding my dog primarily corn!
 
DoubleDutch
  • #15
Interesting, but I guess it depends on what they derive their fish meal from. Bones and heads don't provide much nutrition.


I take what the vets say with a grain of salt, they are always trying to sell me things. Like when my dog's food changed formulas and corn was a big contribution, they told me ground corn is a great protein source for them. That it was whole corn that was no good. What??? I'm sorry, but i'm not feeding my dog primarily corn!
Here also counts what kind of "protein".
Protein from corn is completely different that protein from meat.
 
angelcraze
  • #16
Here also counts what kind of "protein".
Protein from corn is completely different that protein from meat.
This was 10 or more years ago, I switched foods for my dogs then. I actually called the vet to see if they changed their opinion. The food was Medi-Cal by Royal Canin.

I started to look into this more. One thing I should keep in mind is that ingredients are listed by weight. Whole veggies and meat weighs more than dried veggies and whole meat, so fish meal won't be at the top. Still though, I feel much better knowing i'm not feeding my fish bones and heads. I now feed my dog N&D by Farmina and she LOVES it! I can smell the lamb meat and blueberries right away and so can she! I think whole meats might taste better.
 
coralbandit
  • #17
Meal is cheaper then whole and may be worse but really how bad ??
Any food meat or veggy better be high protien or then you are getting junk !
There are different types of protien ..I asked about this long ago when I hung with all the smart guys and they had not a clue ..
I think most spend more on food to ease their conscience ? No one ever thinks any issue they have with their fish is food related !
Everyone always ask about water not food ..
I keep what some call picky, sensitive fish and I feed food that does have meal in it .
I also feed freeze dried and frozen whole foods ..
I am not sure I trust the expensive fish food makers ..
Most of the rest of the fish industry is full of lies and deceit ?
Many pay $ per ounce for food worth pennies a pound … They just have no real info on it ..
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Meal is cheaper then whole and may be worse but really how bad ??
Any food meat or veggy better be high protien or then you are getting junk !
There are different types of protien ..I asked about this long ago when I hung with all the smart guys and they had not a clue ..
I think most spend more on food to ease their conscience ? No one ever thinks any issue they have with their fish is food related !
Everyone always ask about water not food ..
I keep what some call picky, sensitive fish and I feed food that does have meal in it .
I also feed freeze dried and frozen whole foods ..
I am not sure I trust the expensive fish food makers ..
Most of the rest of the fish industry is full of lies and deceit ?
Many pay $ per ounce for food worth pennies a pound … They just have no real info on it ..
Honestly in my opinion, fish meal isn't that bad as long as is doesn't have other nasties and you feed other varieties.

Only high priced food I trust is New Life Spectrum for my betta. He somehow won't eat other pellet brands, what a picky eater.
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
In the past I just have seen people say to avoid fish meal foods like it's toxic, lol. At this point I got confused, but now hearing from you guys, I honestly don't think it's too bad if that type of food isn't the only thing you're feeding.
 
MissPanda
  • #20
I treat my fish like I treat myself. Any food I buy I read the ingredients and if I don't know what it is I prob shouldn't be eating it. When I read fish meal for the first time I was thinking what exactly is "fish meal" and googling turned up that it is leftovers and bones all grinded up. I'm kind of a food snob so it only makes sense I'm that way with my fish. All the main ingredients in my fishes food is krill, kelp, shrimp, spirulina etc clear and understandable ingredients. Aswell I handmade some veggie fish food and have frozen blood worms and shrimp. I use a wide variety when feeding and pick something new each day. I'm sure eating
fish meal here and there isn't bad, but I wouldn't stick to just one fish food. Mix it up.
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I treat my fish like I treat myself. Any food I buy I read the ingredients and if I don't know what it is I prob shouldn't be eating it. When I read fish meal for the first time I was thinking what exactly is "fish meal" and googling turned up that it is leftovers and bones all grinded up. I'm kind of a food snob so it only makes sense I'm that way with my fish. All the main ingredients in my fishes food is krill, kelp, shrimp, spirulina etc clear and understandable ingredients. Aswell I handmade some veggie fish food and have frozen blood worms and shrimp. I use a wide variety when feeding and pick something new each day. I'm sure eating
fish meal here and there isn't bad, but I wouldn't stick to just one fish food. Mix it up.
Yeah, I totally agree with you
 
ystrout
  • #22
Yes I avoid fish meal at all costs. I love my fish just as much as I love my dog, so I want the best for them. Fish meal doesn't use whole fish, rather it uses the parts of fish not for human consumption.

Don't just look at the protein and fat %. You can get a certain amount of protein or fat by eating more McDonald's patties than buns and french fries (carbs). That doesn't mean it's healthy. It just means they're using more protein dense fish meal with poor ingredients than wheat products.

Companies like New Life Spectrum and Omega One use whole ingredients as the primary ingredients. Look at the first ingredients of these foods:
NLS- Krill, giant squid, wheat, whole fish, garlic
Omega One - Salmon, halibut, herring, cod, shrimp, wheat, kelp

Look at how bad the ingredients in TetraMin and similar brands is:
TetraMin - fish meal, yeast, brown rice, shrimp meal, dried fish protein digest, wheat, oat meal.

I personally use NLS pellets, Omega One, Fluval Bug Bites, Spirulina fish food, as well as frozen food. It costs a few dollars more every few months but it much higher quality.
 
Splaker
  • #23
Fish meal doesn't use whole fish, rather it uses the parts of fish not for human consumption.

I'll play devil's advocate - why would those parts be unfit to eat for a fish? "Unfit" for us because we are picky, especially North Americans.. ever go to Europe (France come to mind)? See what kinds of cuts of meat they sell at there meat counters.. many North Americans would turn their noses up at it (only b/c they'd be grossed out). I think the previous poster who mentioned something about wolf eating habits made me think of this. Mashed up fish parts, as unappealing to many of us, still should have just as much nutritional value (if not more!) than some of the other "pure" forms of fish food others have suggested.. besides, in the wild many of our pets eat fish entirely whole (as I watched my Angelfish eat a small cardinal tetra).. it ate everything, including the waste of that little tetra...

So far, i've stuck to the main brands (Tetra, etc) and my fish seem to be doing great.. I've only been at this for 3 months (after a very long hiatus from the hobby)
 
angelcraze
  • #24
Well things changed for me and my dog. I'm only updating because I mentioned my vet and my dog earlier. She is now 14.5 years old and was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. So now she needs to eat low protein foods. Her new food from the vet looks like total junk (but still so pricey!!!!). Seriously, it's meat biproduct and chicken fat. I could make this food for a lot cheaper if I knew the formula. But I am stuck feeding a special diet. The 2 homemade recipes I got uses chicken better breast all pureed and the cost of chicken breast would be astronomically high to feed my dog as a stable, plus the vitamin/supplement bundle I also have to buy from the vet. So frustrating.

So the vet food (for healthy dogs) is all meat meal and grains with vitamins. A complete contrast to the N&D food I was feeding. N&D uses grass fed antibiotic free lamb as a first ingredient and a bunch of berries and vegetables that I recognize. But i'm stuck feeding this and paying stupid prices for it.

Maybe my feelings have changed a bit about meat meal vs. whole, but I agree with what someone else said, as long as it doesn't contain a bunch of bad ingredients like multiple fillers and preservatives, i'm feeling a bit better. But for healthy dogs (and fish), I still prefer to spend a bit more on something I feel is healthier for pierce of mind.

I'm also a big food snob and just preparing yucky food makes me sick.
 
ystrout
  • #25
I'll play devil's advocate - why would those parts be unfit to eat for a fish? "Unfit" for us because we are picky, especially North Americans.. ever go to Europe (France come to mind)? See what kinds of cuts of meat they sell at there meat counters.. many North Americans would turn their noses up at it (only b/c they'd be grossed out). I think the previous poster who mentioned something about wolf eating habits made me think of this. Mashed up fish parts, as unappealing to many of us, still should have just as much nutritional value (if not more!) than some of the other "pure" forms of fish food others have suggested.. besides, in the wild many of our pets eat fish entirely whole (as I watched my Angelfish eat a small cardinal tetra).. it ate everything, including the waste of that little tetra...

So far, i've stuck to the main brands (Tetra, etc) and my fish seem to be doing great.. I've only been at this for 3 months (after a very long hiatus from the hobby)
You make a good point about eating every part of the fish, but you're actually making an argument for "whole ingredients" like NLS and Omega one use. That's also what I'm recommending.

Wild fish don't catch a fish, fillet them, then cook them on a cedar plank. Lol. They eat the fish whole. The fillet, the bones, the organs, and the fins. NLS and Omega one include the fresh, whole ingredient in their food.

Meal products on the other hand vary widely in quality and composition. I've read that a lot of meal products are ground up bones and oils from cannery waste that remain after the fillet and other useful parts have been removed for human consumption. It is then dried into powder and can sit on the shelf for years before being used. You can find all this online if you google it. Again, it can very significantly depending on manufacturer. But why use a product that uses meal products when you can use a product that has whole ingredients? Fish food is so cheap that spending the extra $2 seems 100% worth it.

Another measure is looking as ash content. This measures the digestibility of the food. NLS, Omega One, and Bug Bites have 10% of lower ash. Tetramin doesn't even say what theirs is. My guess is it's a lot high using fish meal with lots of bones and other fillers.
 
FancyBubbles
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Didn't expect people to still be commenting on this, lol
 
angelcraze
  • #27
Didn't expect people to still be commenting on this, lol
Hahaha! I guess because food nutrition is so important.
 

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