Updated: Feb 1
The Question is do my fish need Minerals and Vitamins in an aquarium? Is it necessary to provide them with essential nutrients to stimulate growth and promote good health?
The system of an aquarium is a controlled environment eco-system. Its an an artificial eco system created by man. So over a period of time it becomes necessary to replenish the depleted minerals and vitamins which is necessary for the fish. In the wild everything occurs naturally.
Like us, fish needs all basic categories of nutrients to lead a long and healthy life. Unfortunately many fishkeepers do not know to read the labels on the container. It is very important to know the fish diet and essentials vitamins for required by particular species. Like for example Malawi cichlids cannot be fed with high dose of protein food which in turn will result of "Malawi Bloat"" . Even in Discus the protein level has to be higher around 50 to 52%% for juveniles till they become adult and gradually the protein level needs to be brought down to 37 to 38%. However, feeding your fish the right level of live foods will improve their health and are great for stimulating breeding activity.
Lack of minerals and vitamins may result in stunted growth, skinny fish, fish not showing its colouration and overall an unhealthy Fish.
Always look out for first 5 ingredients in fish food that will decide the quality of the fish food. Quite often when a fish food is tagged as veg food its very comical to see the first ingredients as Fish meal, Krill etc and the veg ingredients come at around 5th or 6th in the list of ingredients on a fish food packet. A good quality fish food contains a high percentage of digestible proteins, plus essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Minerals are important to healthy cells, immune systems, metabolic enzymes, bones, teeth and even maintaining health scales. Calcium found in hard water can be absorbed through the gills, and phosphorus is found in underwater plants. Fish like underwater plants also needs trace amounts of iron, iodine, magnesium, Zinc , copper, potassium etc. Minerals have a long shelf life and can be found in adequate quantities in all good quality pelleted and flake foods.
Vitamins are not stable in a prepared food. Flake foods have adequate vitamin content intially but it degrades (oxidizes) rather quickly once the container is opened and exposed to air. It is best to buy flake food and consume it within a month. For Top quality discus flake , we highly recommend Discus Flakes from Ocean Nutrition.
Do you know lack of Vitamin C can cause spinal deformities and stunted growth in young developing fish. Vitamins E and A are key factors in maintaining fish in Top breeding condition.
Some well known companies like seachem provides essential trace elements in a liquid form. Like the Discus Trace, Goldfish Trace, Nourish which can be mixed with the pellets and fed.
Nourish from Seachem requires a mention out here in this article because it helps prevent diseases developed from deficiency - thyroid ailments. It is enhanced with iodide for freshwater fish. It is a comphrehensive vitamin, amino acid, and trace element
developed to address nutritional requirements commonly associated with a long term closed system. Nourish contains potassium iodide in a heavy base of SPIRULINA and CHLORELLA. Nourish can be given by soaking pellets or flakes in it daily.
Sunil Dcosta - www.aquafishcare.com
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