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home made fish food


27 Aug 2008
After watching a bored bleeding heart tetra eat a passing bit of vegetation the other day, it made me wonder whether my fish were getting their 5 a day.

I also think I overdid the free live food from my water butt this summer - novelty of having tons of daphnia and mosquito larvae.

On a hunch I defrosted a frozen pea, de-shelled it and dropped it in the tank. The fish went ballistic with the pea changing owner between the diamond tetras and the bleeding hearts. Spurred on I tried a bit of frozen spinach and sure enough every fish was tearing at the wilted greens.

Fast forward a couple of days and a bit of research and here is my homemade fish supper designed to entice, enhance colour, and give a balanced satisfying meal:-
  • about 15 raw frozen tiger prawns (sustainable apparently)
  • a smelly handful of raw white fish scraps from fish monger
  • an even smellier cup full of dried shrimps from thai grocers (boiled for a while to remove salt and rehydrate)
  • 1 anchovy fillet, again soaked in hot water to remove any salt
  • two sheets of nori sushi sea weed
  • three table spoons of frozen petis pois
  • two table spoons frozen sweet corn
  • two nuggets of frozen spinach
  • about a third of a courgette (blanched)
  • a small chunk of iceberg lettuce to taste (blanched)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (blanched)
  • 2 teaspoons of normal paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 sachet of Dr Oetker gelatine to bind and set it all
Whizz up the food stuff in a food processor, makes about a pint, then add the gelatine following packet instructions, leave to set in a baking tray or something in the fridge.

As I was making it, I tested the mix by putting a tiny bit it the tank and they went ballistic for it.

I'll take some pics or maybe a video of the feeding frenzy, and hopefully some vibrant and healthy fish soon.

A satisfying process that I'm sure many of you do, but was a first for me and feel like I've had a break through moment with my fish keeping these last few days:joyful: .
Have you tasted this?
Made into little cakes and fried, a couple of new potatoes, a small serving of sauce tartare............

you could do I reckon - I've just made the batch into little patties and put them in the freezer, they look like fritters ready to go!

I've got enough for about six months I reckon and for the ingredients used it cost about £4-5 quid. They went mad for it again today, kind of hoovering it up bait ball style
All I can say is this recipe is having a dramatic effect on the fish! I was feeding new life spectrum before but I never saw the depth of colours that are coming out on the bleeding heart tetras - deep reds and purples depending on the light.

please excuse the quality of the photos as just trying to quickly get the colours across. fish are super active at the moment and all a bit of a blur, but there is a vibrancy that was never there before.

After only four days of feeding exclusively the homemade food, I'm seeing loads more energy in the fish too, they have energy to burn, and spend it displaying their new colours to each other! Can't wait to see where the colours etc go, but also hoping it brings on a bit of breeding behaviour.





Like I say terrible quality pics :yuck: but hopefully you can see the colours coming through.
I fully understand the protein mix with the veg, but any reason for quite such an extravagant selection and the spices?
I learned something today.. And will be sharing this recipe with the world.. Superb.


wow cheers! The thinking was to put through a range of carotenoids rather than focus on say astaxanthin solely. There should be astaxanthin from the prawns and dried shrimp, but I wanted to also add paprika as evidence suggests this can have a greater effect on hues....and is super cheap!
This article provides a strong case to support use of paprika...
Effects of Oleoresin Paprika (Capsicum annum) and Synthetic Carotenoids (Canthaxantin and Astaxanthin) on Pigmentation Levels and Growth in Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss W.
...the turmeric was just a hunch...;)
i think we need to see the Finish product!!

i think he needs to package it and sell it :)
Natureboy, your bleeding hearts look stunning.
i think he needs to package it and sell it :)
Natureboy, your bleeding hearts look stunning.

Thanks - they truly are a beautiful fish - and they know it! they spend all day showing off to each other...
thing is, I reckon their colours are going to get even more intense, will keep you posted...
Nice recipie :) your fish do look good for it, doesn't turmeric have antibacterial properties, will have to try this myself.

i believe so, turmeric is something of a wonder stuff by all accounts. I was principally interested in its carotenoid, curcumin, as a potential colour enhancer. The only thing I've read as a caution is it may restrict blood vessels, but used sparingly and i reckon its fine.
I got home today and saw the fish looking mega dandy, every day their colours are improving more and more, this is a week into home made food. They were quite a timid fish up to last week, but now they are super confident. The neons were spawning yesterday morning also, which is awesome, though I think they were snacking on the eggs immediately after. This is in moderately hard water.


This is what we want to see. Super conditioned fish living in our lush green tanks....the ideal combo :)
Do you think this food will be ok long term or more of a conditioner? Are you feeding once, twice or more times a day?
Really tempted to make some and see the effects for myself, is there any science behind the concoction, or just what you thought would be a good idea?