J Exp Biol. 2013 Jul 15;216(Pt 14):2760-7. doi: 10.1242/jeb.080879. Epub 2013 Apr 25. Costs of colour change in fish: food intake and behavioural decisions.
Fresh copepods and amphipods are a terrific alternative to the flakes or pellets that normally come to mind when you think of fish food. Not only does live fish food have more nutrients and health benefits for your fish, but the organisms also act as “cleaners” in a fish tank. Fresh copepods eat the plant or algae material that’s commonly found on the walls of your fish tank, which will make cleaning and maintenance much easier. Feeding copepods and amphipods to fish will also allow the fish to partake in some of the same predatory habits they would in their natural fresh or salt water environment. Buying copepods and amphipods online allows you to save a little money because you can buy them in bulk. In fact, the cost is one major reason many fish-owners avoid buying fresh copepods or fresh amphipods. Order online, though, and you’ll be glad you did.
This study has produced detailed information on the relative cost of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids available from common fish, seafoods, supplements, and fortified foods. Results reveal the value-for-money of alternative sources of long-chain omega-3s, and show relatively low-cost sources of EPA and DHA are available in fish with a variety of consumption characteristics. Modifying the diets of farmed fish to improve their fatty acid profiles and incorporating algal oils into foods are two strategies that may improve the affordability and availability of long-chain omega-3s in the long-term. Providing information to consumers on the cost of long-chain omega-3s is one strategy to increase consumption given current market conditions.
The most common and simple method used by companies to register, identify, and market a fish food item is to disclose a label or feed tag. The label then serves as an advertising icon and legal document. A food label also can be used as an educational tool. In this publication, we provide a guide to interpreting the information on food labels. Since food selection is generally made on the basis of cost and perceived quality, the farmer or pet owner can use the label to assist in selecting the appropriate food, especially since there are considerable differences from product to product in food quality and cost. From the analysis of nutrients and listing of ingredients in the food label, the user can select different formula foods for specific needs. Selecting and buying different formula foods for different needs can result in savings and reduced waste. Any reduction of food costs will have a significant beneficial impact on farm profits, since the cost of food may range from 30 to 60 percent of the annual variable operating costs in aquaculture production. Selection of an appropriate and high quality food can also greatly reduce the impact aquaculture has on the environment because poor feed management is often the primary reason for the deterioration of water quality. Likewise, maintenance of water clarity and healthy livestock in an aquarium is impossible without a source of high quality food.The protein ingredients and the vitamin-mineral premix are the most costly ingredients in a feed formulation. Proteins consist of building blocks known as amino acids which are critical to life and serve to form muscle. Animals cannot synthesize all of the amino acids and those that cannot be synthesized are known as essential amino acids and must be obtained from food. Properly processed fish meal is an example of a high-quality animal protein feed ingredient of high digestibility that supplies all of the essential amino acids in proper proportions to one another to meet the animal's amino acid requirement. In general, high-quality proteins are found in ingredients of animal origin and lower quality proteins are found in ingredients of plant origin. If you're relying on a primarily plant protein-based diet, include some animal proteins to enhance the overall quality of the dietary protein.