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Beef heart as a protein supplement?


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I was reading 'Freshwater Aquariums for Dummies' the other day and it said that beef heart is a good protein source for freshwater fish, but didn't say what species. Would that be appropriate for goldfish? That's one of the meats I feed my ferret, so there's already plenty around the house that I could feed, if it's safe/healthy.

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  • Regular Member

I was reading 'Freshwater Aquariums for Dummies' the other day and it said that beef heart is a good protein source for freshwater fish, but didn't say what species. Would that be appropriate for goldfish? That's one of the meats I feed my ferret, so there's already plenty around the house that I could feed, if it's safe/healthy.

Hello,

I consider this article by Steve Hopkins one of THE best, if not the best, explanation of nutrition for goldfish.

http://www.raingarden.us/feeding.pdf

In the article, you will note two points that are salient to this discussion:

1. Aquatic animal/plant protein sources are the ones most likely to have the right amino acid profile/composition for the goldfish. So while beef heart is a good lean protein source, it perhaps isn't the best. This is the same reason why peas may be nutritious, they may not be the best fit for goldfish.

2. When there are lots of proteins in the goldfish diet, these animals will readily use the proteins as an energy source, leaving fats to be stored. This stored fat can be good for lean times, but if not used, can be very dangerous, as it gets deposited in internal organs, most especially livers, kidneys and swim bladders. Considering that an indoor fish gets more than its fair share of nutritious food year round, more protein is the last thing a goldfish needs, and this additional protein rich diet can actually cause more problems for the fish. This is also one of the reasons why we encourage high protein foods for young fish, but recommend drastically decreasing the proteins in the diets once they are older.

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