HOW TO PRODUCE FISH FEED AND TECHNIQUES INVOLVED

Feed Formulations With few exceptions, feeding a single type of food is neither complete nor balanced and does not supply all the nutrients a fish might need in its diet. Hence, two or more ingredients should be mixed into home made, laboratory and commercial feed formulations. A diet may be formulated to supplement natural foods already available in the production system or as a complete formulation when no other foods are provided. A complete diet must be nutritionally balanced, palatable, water stable, and have the proper size and texture. If natural foods are not incorporated in ornamental fish diets, the feed must be supplemented with natural or synthetic pigments. The nutrient
composition of numerous feed stuffs can be found in the literature and on the Internet. Two books that deal almost entirely with nutrient composition of feedstuffs are

1) Hand book on Ingredients for Aquaculture Feeds and 
2) Standard

Methods for the Nutrition and Feeding of Farmed Fish and Shrimp. Another book, which is available free on the Internet is United States-Canadian Tables of Feed Composition, found at . Also, available through the Internet is the information provided by the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory at . Feeds are formulated to be dry, with a final moisture content of 6-10%, semi-moist with 35-40% water or wet with 50-70% water content. Most feeds used in intensive production systems or in home aquaria are commercially produced as dry feeds. Dry feeds may consist of simple loose mixtures of dry ingredients, such as “mash or meals,” to more complex compressed pellets or granules. Pellets are often broken into smaller sizes known as crumbles. The pellets or granules can be made by cooking with steam or by extrusion. Depending on the feeding requirements of the fish, pellets can be made to sink or float. Flakes are another form of dry food and a popular diet for aquarium fishes. Flakes consist of a complex mixture of ingredients, including pigments. 

These are made into a slurry which is cooked and rolled over drums heated by steam. Semi-moist and wet feeds are made from single or mixed ingredients, such as trash fish or cooked legumes, and can be shaped into cakes or balls. Feed Preparation There is no single way for the preparation of formulated fish feeds, however, most  methods begin with the formation of a dough-like mixture of ingredients. Ingredients can be obtained from feed stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, and specialty stores such as natural food stores, as well as from various companies that may be found through the internet. The dough is started with blends of dry ingredients which are finely ground and mixed. 

The dough is then needed and water is added to produce the desired consistency for whatever fish is going to be fed. The same dough may be used to feed several types of fish, such as eels and small aquarium fish. Pelleting or rolling converts the dough into pellets or flakes, respectively. The amount of water, pressure, friction, and heat greatly affects pellet and flake quality. For example, excess water in the mixture results in a soft pellet. Too little moisture and the pellet will crumble. Proteins and especially vitamins are seriously affected by high temperatures. Therefore, avoid storing diet ingredients at temperatures at or above 70° C (158° F) and do not prepare dry feeds with water at temperature higher than 92° C (198° F).

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