Retirement and forum shutdown (17 Jan 2022)


John Howell who has managed the forum for years is getting on and wishes to retire from the role of managing it.
Over the years, he has managed the forum through good days and bad days and he has always been fair.
He has managed to bring his passion for fish keeping to the forum and keep it going for so long.

I wish to thank John for his hard work in keeping the forum going.

With John wishing to "retire" from the role of managing the forum and the forum receiving very little traffic, I think we must agree that forum has come to a natural conclusion and it's time to put it to rest.

I am proposing that the forum be made read-only from March 2022 onwards and that no new users or content be created. The website is still registered for several more years, so the content will still be accessible but no new topics or replies will be allowed.

If there is interest from the ITFS or other fish keeping clubs, we may redirect traffic to them or to a Facebook group but will not actively manage it.

I'd like to thank everyone over the years who helped with forum, posted a reply, started a new topic, ask a question and helped a newbie in fish keeping. And thank you to the sponsors who helped us along the away. Hopefully it made the hobby stronger.

I'd especially like to thank John Howell and Valerie Rousseau for all of their contributions, without them the forum would have never been has successful.

Thank you
Darragh Sherwin

Food protien level

19 May 2017 20:39 #1 by robert (robert carter)
Just wondering what type of food has the least afect on water quality . If you feed a high protien food do you get less waste and there fore better water quality . Or it it just down to the amount of any food you feed, more food more waste?

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20 May 2017 10:01 #2 by Bill (Bill Hunter)
I'm no scientist, but I would reckon, at a guess, that it would be like in most animals including us. The amount of activity may not affect the amount of waste but it's content. The more the fish are doing and living as actively as normal - for the species - the more it will utilise from the food. Breeding etc. would have the effect of using up proteins, minerals etc. resulting in less rich (for want of a better word) waste. If for example you were to keep fish from fast moving water in a tank with very little water movement you would end up with obese fish, the result would be less efficient use of the food and more of that goodness just passing through the fish unused. This could well cause higher pollution in the water. Some fish will eat less when protein etc. levels are high, if they don't need it, and uneaten food will cause higher levels of pollution.
Perhaps someone with more experience can correct me or confirm or add to it? It's a very good question because I suspect that a few people actually choose food on it's protein level rather than what is best for that fish.

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20 May 2017 18:51 #3 by igmillichip (ian millichip)
To answer the first line of the question.............. the food with no biochemical value would give least waste.

Apart from the proteins that are eaten by the fish, you also have to consider those that are not eaten by the fish..........and form an alternative route to waste products (eg ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and many more).

Dietary proteins are not stored by fish; the amino acids from the breakdown of proteins are not stored by the fish.

Hence, if you have too much then that is waste that needs to be got rid of.......... enter the catabolic products of amino acids such as ammonia, urea, or uric acid (depending on species of fish).
They are not only the only products of amino acid metabolism btw.

Also, if the diet is deficient in certain amino acids then protein building cannot take place, and so that places another problems on waste amino acids (eg even a low protein diet becomes wasteful).

If a fish is being active or utilising amino acids (from the dietary proteins) to make proteins then that, in itself, is going to produce various forms of waste.

This is actually an enormous topic.


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21 May 2017 03:58 #4 by robert (robert carter)
Hi Ian , so am i better feeding a high or lower protien food

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21 May 2017 12:14 #5 by igmillichip (ian millichip)

Hi Ian , so am i better feeding a high or lower protien food

There is no single answer to that.

It depends on which species of fish; what the actual protein is; what are the other ingredients; the age of the fish; the sex of the fish (to an extent).

I favour "little and often" anyway; and, despite having system for reducing the need for frequent water changes, I also favour good quality water changes.

Now, take this analogy to get an idea of the uselessness of % protein and high vs low protein claims:
I have some food for my growing kids.
I have some % nutritional analysis done on the food for protein:
Food A is 9% Protein;
Food B is 4% Protein;
Food C is 26% Protein
Food D is 20% Protein

Which is the worst food for my growing kids ?
[that is easy to determine.......but you might be suprised........ but deciding which is the best is a little more complex]


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21 May 2017 12:37 #6 by robert (robert carter)
Thanks Ian i see your point , and i learnt something today , i to tend to feed little and often seeeing that i use auto feeders on my two biggest tanks . However i still think i over feed , when i pass the tanks all the fish rise to the top and being a softie i think they must be hungry so give them a bit of food . The same goes for the pond once you go into the garden . Now heres a funny thing , the koi in the pond have been feeding on a new 42% protein koi food pellet designed for koi , l just felt they werent feeding great , so yesterday i feed some Aldi pond food sticks 28% protien and i got a real feeding frenzy , they certainly appear to prefer the cheap low protien food . Any idea why or is it just down to taste? Robert

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21 May 2017 13:30 #7 by igmillichip (ian millichip)
Not only does overfeeding of protein in one go mean more direct solid waste and potential production of ammonia, but overfeeding in one go will also increase the chance of uneaten food being subject to infestation by fungi.
You really don't want your fish to eat aflotoxins from eating food infested with fungi (and that can take less than an hour to be a problem).

Fish don't read the label as to what is good for them................ just like kids don't read that a bag of American Hard Gums is not as healthy as a nice balanced dinner of Atlantic Salmon, potatoes and veg.

The low protein may well be better for your fish and has things that fish love to eat; on the otherhand, it may be crap quality yet has taste enhancers.

Take my analogy in the previous post...........

What you wouldn't have know from the info I gave you is that Food A ( 9 % protein) is the worst.............why?
Food D (20%) is Fresh Atlantic Cod eaten on its own;
Food C (26%) is Chicken Breast eaten on its own;
Food B (4%) is Fresh Baked Atlantic Cod with plenty of vegs, boiled spuds, and a good few glasses of water to go with it; and
Food A (9 % protein) is American Hard Gums made with pig gelatine (but with loads of juicy flavours).

There...................goes to show what % protein means and that it can be most misleading.


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21 May 2017 14:22 #8 by robert (robert carter)
Thanka Ian learnt a lot today . Robert

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