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DIY Gel Food for thought?

Discussion in 'Goldfish Food' started by CaliGold, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. CaliGold

    CaliGold Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I am seriously impressed by everyone that makes their own gel food! And even more so when they post their awesome tried-and-true recipes here so some of the newbs like myself can get our hands dirty, too. :D

    So, I've been reading just about every gel food recipe I could find on here, and I have a few questions for those of you that have either made up your own recipes or are taking the plunge in making someone else's...

    Does anyone ever calculate out the exact proportions of the final nutritional value of their gel foods? I mean, if you get repashy's soilent green, there's a guaranteed analysis on the packaging for percentage of protein, fiber, fat, etc. So my question would really be more of how you judge exactly how much of each food you add and why? Are you aiming for a certain percentage of protein to roughage, to fat, as well?

    Also, could anyone explain to me the difference between "crude protein" and normal "protein" in terms of food labeling? And if this matters, or factors in, when you're making your own gel food?

    If there's anything else those more knowledgeable could add about the how's and why's of certain ingredient choices or ratios in making gel foods for our goldies, I'd really love to learn! For now, I'll be trying to make Cincy Ranchu's famous recipe ;)

    Thank you all!
     
  2. Cincy Ranchu

    Cincy Ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Good question, the analysis could be compiled, but hasn't yet of course. Probably because life is full, and modification abound.
    Recently started blending 12 cups of dried blood worms with two cups of water, a can of pumpkin, a can of turnip greens and pieces and about 18 ounces of tuna packed in water plus a couple of multivitamins. And lastly a dash of garlic powder or a fresh toe
     
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  3. CaliGold

    CaliGold Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    South Carolina
    "A fresh toe"? Cincy, please tell me that was either a typo or you're pulling my leg... o_O
     
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  4. Ununique

    Ununique Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa
    You can google crude protein and then dig as deep into that subject as time and interest allows, but the basic concept is its a less stringent measure of protein, labelling wise. In other words is not as accurate.
    Also in either case this is a very general guideline, there is very little concern over what particular proteins are present or how useful they are to the animal being fed (true for our food as well). Although in our case our digestive system is more advanced than a fish's.

    From my anecdotal evidence foods that use more grains as their protein source result in more waste in the tanks which (along with some knowledge on the subject) means some of the protein isn't ending up in the fish promoting growth or anything else. Its just not accessible or the food goes thru them too fast for high uptake.

    Your best bet is probably the best route you'd take in the food you eat, a large variety will better ensure you get enough of all the nutrients they need.

    But yeah I'd like to see a full recipe from Gary the Fish Chef showing all the steps and the amounts of each food. In the meantime I use a lot of Respashy.
     
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  5. Cincy Ranchu

    Cincy Ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    So for being tardy on the , "as in a toe of garlic"
     
  6. CaliGold

    CaliGold Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Haha, ok, that does make more sense. I haven't heard them called that before, but context has a great way of clearing things up. :)
     
  7. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Crude protein is an estimate of the protein content of foods based on the assumption that all of the nitrogen in foods is found in protein. This assumption is reasonable for most natural foods. To get crude protein, one measures the total nitrogen in the food and multiplies by 6.25.
     
  8. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    Those of you that make your own gel food - is the major reason you do it because you think it is superior to purchasing premade types, or because it is more cost efficient? Hope this isn't hijacking, it seemed related. :)
     
  9. Ununique

    Ununique Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa
    Its undoubtedly superior if one uses fresh ingredients and whole foods (like fish). Its probably not cost efficient in of itself. Also probably not time efficient, yet you really can't purchase anything remotely comparable to the quality.
    And since fish can't eat much of this food by itself you have to process it and then feed it. Gels seem the most stable way to do this for aquatics.
    I wonder how large aquariums feed their stock?
     
  10. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    It was all fresh and chopped, when I worked at a zoo. I didn't prep the fish food to know what all went into it, but I would occasionally help them feed so I know it wasn't anything from a jar.
     
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  11. newTosakin

    newTosakin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Location:
    Burlington
    What is better to use agar or gelatin?
     
  12. CaliGold

    CaliGold Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I don't know about "better", but I used gelatin and the fishies like it just fine. Agar comes naturally from red seaweed if I remember correctly, so I would believe it to be very healthy and compatible for goldfish. But it was unfortunately unavailable in my area when I was looking into making my own gel food, and it seems that gelatin is still widely used by other members of the community for making their food. That said, I know it takes a little trial and error to get the agar-to-food proportions just right so it all holds together well enough. I suppose the same could be said of gelatin, but I've had good experiences with it so far.

    In the end, I think it's really up to what you're comfortable with, as well as knowing how any changes will effect an established recipe.
     
  13. newTosakin

    newTosakin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Location:
    Burlington
    Thanks Cali, thanks for the post. yes agar is way easier to use and you don't need nearly as much when compared to gelatin. Soft gel is 25g/3L (1 pack for $2). Don't need to refrigerate either. Sets super fast. I find it in the Asian supermarket. Goldcup brand. Its a powder and turns out crystal clear. Never used it for fish food though. I think Ill give it a try. Thanks again.
     
  14. Amy S

    Amy S Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Kansas
    If you are making gel food to freeze, you cannot use agar as a thickener ahead of time, as freezing cause the gel to become destructured and leach water.
     
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  15. newTosakin

    newTosakin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Location:
    Burlington
    Forsure, don't freeze deserts or petri dishes for microbiology culture made from agar as a thin layer of water will form which is not good - feels slimy in the mouth and inhibits growth on petris.
     
  16. CaliGold

    CaliGold Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I just imagined someone taking a petri dish out of the freezer and licking it. Thanks. :D
    But I hadn't even thought of this, so I'm very happy that I did use gelatin then, because I made waaay more than I could've used in a week for my two little fantails. I definitely put mine in the freezer (pre-cut into "weekly" sections).
     
  17. newTosakin

    newTosakin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Location:
    Burlington
    HAHA yes that is only when it defrosts ( ie: when you make soft gel deserts). Gets a bit of water on the outside that's all. No licking petris Cali! Anyhow, cool now we know to use gelatin!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016

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