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A Few More Gel Food Questions...


CountryLovah

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Okay, so I've made a few batches of gel food before and I know that for the most part you can use just about anything and there are no real set rules. BUT, I still have a few questions.

1) Garlic. How much is enough? People say they use "a piece" or "a bit". What's that?! Usually when I make gel food it makes approximately 3-4 cups of mix. I would like to try garlic in a new gel food because I know it's good for their immune systems and encourages them to eat but I don't want to add too much to it. I actually bought Garlic Guard by Seachem one time, but I didn't ever use it because I didn't know how much I should put in. (I seriously had NO clue. A few drops? A capful? A cupful? No idea! lol). Anyway, today I decided to buy fresh garlic. I didn't even know what I was looking for, but eventually I found a box that says "fresh garlic". It had two of them in there, each about the size of a golfball. So, how much should I use? Does it have to be cooked? If so, how? LOL

2)The main reason I began making gel food is because I had a fish that started flipping over when she ate pellets. Now I also have a few other fish that don't completely flip, but get very floaty on pellets. (even soaked). The original fish (Kharma) has been getting worse and worse lately. At first she would only flip if she had pellets a bunch of times in a row without any greens. Then for a while she was okay with pellets mixed into the gel food. But lately, even soaked pellets make her flip, and sometimes she even flips over if I feed her gel food that contains pellets. That was never a problem before. So it looks like I may have to make a gel food for her (and the two other fish in her tank) that contains no pellets at all (or any other processed food possibly). I've seen a ton of recipes, but honestly I am not a good "cook". Seriously, when I warm peas in the microwave thats "cooking" to me. I looked at one of the gel recipes Lynda posted and I don't even know what half of the things in there ARE! So I need to be able to make a very BASIC gel food, that has all the nutrition they need. I've seen people do analysis of gel and all that, and I don't know how to do that (or what it really means). Soooo, can anyone give me a little help figuring out a very VERY basic recipe, that could be fed to fish as their MAIN food that still gives them everything they need.

3) Vitamins in gel food. What kind of vitamins are you guys using? I see people write "multivitamin" or "dog vitamin". Some people say "not human vitamins" but others have used them. What is a good vitamin, where do I buy it, and is it NECCESSARY in order for them to get all the proper nutrition.

So far my gel foods have all been very very simple. A few times it was just green veggies (I copied from Alistar and did peas, spinach, zuccini, broccoli), or the same veggies with pellets mixed it to. I've never experimented more than that until the other day when I tried to make some that would not set (which apparently was because of the kiwi I added). I bought some stuff today. Carrots, Baby Spinach, Frozen Peas, Frozen Broccoli, Oranges, Tuna, & Garlic. I was thinking about making one batch with just those things, and then another batch that also included freeze dried bloodworms, freeze dried krill and jumpstart pellets. That way if Kharma can't handle the one with the processed foods, I will just give her and the other fish with her the first batch that doesn't have any of that stuff. But that's when I started wondering if everything they needed was in that recipe. Okay I'm done rambling for now I suppose LOL

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1) Garlic. How much is enough? People say they use "a piece" or "a bit". What's that?! Usually when I make gel food it makes approximately 3-4 cups of mix. I would like to try garlic in a new gel food because I know it's good for their immune systems and encourages them to eat but I don't want to add too much to it. I actually bought Garlic Guard by Seachem one time, but I didn't ever use it because I didn't know how much I should put in. (I seriously had NO clue. A few drops? A capful? A cupful? No idea! lol). Anyway, today I decided to buy fresh garlic. I didn't even know what I was looking for, but eventually I found a box that says "fresh garlic". It had two of them in there, each about the size of a golfball. So, how much should I use? Does it have to be cooked? If so, how? LOL

With 3-4 cups of mix, I'd use at least two caps only. The smell is rather overpowering even at a small portion. Here are some more information about garlic.

http://www.canadianaquariumconnection.com/...hread.php?t=840

2)The main reason I began making gel food is because I had a fish that started flipping over when she ate pellets. Now I also have a few other fish that don't completely flip, but get very floaty on pellets. (even soaked). The original fish (Kharma) has been getting worse and worse lately. At first she would only flip if she had pellets a bunch of times in a row without any greens. Then for a while she was okay with pellets mixed into the gel food. But lately, even soaked pellets make her flip, and sometimes she even flips over if I feed her gel food that contains pellets. That was never a problem before. So it looks like I may have to make a gel food for her (and the two other fish in her tank) that contains no pellets at all (or any other processed food possibly). I've seen a ton of recipes, but honestly I am not a good "cook". Seriously, when I warm peas in the microwave thats "cooking" to me. I looked at one of the gel recipes Lynda posted and I don't even know what half of the things in there ARE! So I need to be able to make a very BASIC gel food, that has all the nutrition they need. I've seen people do analysis of gel and all that, and I don't know how to do that (or what it really means). Soooo, can anyone give me a little help figuring out a very VERY basic recipe, that could be fed to fish as their MAIN food that still gives them everything they need.

A lot of pellets unfortunately contain starch to adjust the protein content. That's what I notice with plenty of brands. You could use Mazuri gel foods if you don't have the time for homemade recipes.

3) Vitamins in gel food. What kind of vitamins are you guys using? I see people write "multivitamin" or "dog vitamin". Some people say "not human vitamins" but others have used them. What is a good vitamin, where do I buy it, and is it NECCESSARY in order for them to get all the proper nutrition.

You could use Sera Activant. I've used it before and still couldn't see the difference with my fish when I used it. In GAB.org, they recommend multivitamins for men as they don't contain high iron level than those for ladies.

Edited by Lupin
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I think less is more with garlic. I tried adding it once and it STUNK - like unbearably bad. I had to throw the whole batch in the garbage, the fish wouldn't even touch it. Even small amounts of garlic give good benefits.

As for the food without pellets. I would think something with a can of tuna or some other form of fish, along with veggies (could use baby food) and if you can get them, vitamins, would be fine. I just blend everything until it is goo, then heat it on the stove (on low-med) and add the gel. If I think it's not hot enough I pop it in the microwave for a few minutes before letting it set....no real cooking skill needed!

Edited by Chrissy_Bee
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When i add garlic to my gel food i get a clove (break one off your large golf ball sized piece) it should be about the size of a large cashew nut. I cut it in half so i am left with a peice the size of a peanut then slice it finely or use a garlic press. This is enough for a pint of gel food (half pint ingedients and half pint gelatin mix) i add it to the pan that i am boiling my veggies in. Use the water that you have boiled the veggies to dissolve your gelatin. That way your fish should get most of their vitamins from your ingredients :)

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[quote name='Chrissy_Bee' date='Jul 9 2009, 06:23 AM' post='8702 I just blend everything until it is goo, then heat it on the stove (on low-med) and add the gel.

Do you add gel to water first or just put it straight into food?

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When i add garlic to my gel food i get a clove (break one off your large golf ball sized piece) it should be about the size of a large cashew nut. I cut it in half so i am left with a peice the size of a peanut then slice it finely or use a garlic press. This is enough for a pint of gel food ...

That sounds like a pretty good amount to me, too. Less is definitely more when it comes to garlic, for fish AND for four-legged pets. It's pretty potent stuff -- a little bit goes a long way! I think you'll probably want to make sure that the garlic is almost liquified (i.e., ground up into a paste if possible) because I imagine that if a goldfish got a mouthful of a chunk of pure garlic, he/she probably wouldn't like it very much.

A great way to do this would be, as Alistair said, to use a garlic press first. That would get the garlic cut really small so that it would blend smoothly into the rest of the gel food.

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Tuna in a can is a little salty. Oh it is fine for me to eat though. ;)

I usually get a piece of salmon or some shrimp cook it real good so the fat gets out then zip everything together in a blender. garlic clove, salmon peas...whatever. Then I add the dissolved gelatin/water in, stir, pop it in the fridge. :feedme

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You guys are totally inspiring me to take the plunge and try making some. It sounded so intimidating to me until I really started reading this post and earlier posts on the subject this morning. I think I will have to try.

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Do you add gel to water first or just put it straight into food?

I usually do but last night when I made a new batch I didn't. The mixture I had was pretty watery so I mixed the gelatin into it straight, then popped it into the microwave for good measure.

Tuna in a can is a little salty. Oh it is fine for me to eat though. ;)

I usually get a piece of salmon or some shrimp cook it real good so the fat gets out then zip everything together in a blender. garlic clove, salmon peas...whatever. Then I add the dissolved gelatin/water in, stir, pop it in the fridge. :feedme

Good point. I do the same with salmon, you can bake it until it's almost dry.I've used it in gel food before as well.

You guys are totally inspiring me to take the plunge and try making some. It sounded so intimidating to me until I really started reading this post and earlier posts on the subject this morning. I think I will have to try.

Do it! It really isn't that bad once you get the hang of it :)

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Well I guess it's a good thing I didn't just plop the whole golfball sized piece of garlic into the mix! lol

I don't have a garlic press (I don't think), but I can chop it up really really small then put it in the blender. Either that or go ahead and use that Garlic Guard and just forget about the fresh garlic! Seems like the garlic guard might be easier since it's already liquid and there wouldn't be any chunks.

The tuna I bought says "low sodium" and in the ingredients it just says tuna & water. Most of them did say salt on it too, so I figured this tuna would be okay.

Luckily everytime I have made gel food so far it has set perfectly. I usually use one packet of knox gelatine per 1/2 cup of ingredients, and it's always worked great, (Except for the time with the kiwi!). Typically I boil the veggies and then put them and any other food I'm using into the blender with about a cup or so of the boiling water I cooked the veggies in. Then I boil some more water and soak the pellets if I am planning on using any, and that usually just turns into a big mess of goop that I add to the blender too. Then I boil about one more cup of water and stir the knox gelatine to that. Then just stir that into the blended mixture. I've never even warmed the mixture (other than the fact that the veggies were cooked) and it set perfect. I've been very pleased everytime I've made it so far, but this is my first time trying to make one that will be the MAIN diet for a fish, so I am more nervous. In the past it was always just part of the normal food rotation that included pellets so I wasn't that concerned about it having all the essentials. Know what I mean?

I've never heard of Mazuri gel foods. I'm gonna have to check that out.

As for the Sera Activant that seems like a good suggestion since it is AIMED for fish. I think I like that better than using a human or dog vitamin lol..

Any other vitamin suggestions anyone? Like brand names?

Too bad. I have all the stuff here I want to use EXCEPT a vitamin. Otherwise I would make it right NOW! lol Thanks for all the suggestions/input guys!

Edited by CountryLovah
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I don't know about the vitamins. Since I use fresh food, garlic (it wizzes right up in the blender) veggies they are packed with vitamins since they aren't leeched out through overcooking or additives. So I don't typically use vitamins. I do add probiotics though. :)

I had a miserable time with a batch once. Ugh...I don't know if it went bad or not thick enough...it went straight through the filter sponge into the tank...obviously making the fish sick. Talk about stench...what a fun water change day that was since all 3 tanks were being fed the same food. :doh11:

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I've never heard of Mazuri gel foods. I'm gonna have to check that out.

Hmmm..Thought you heard of it. All the Mazuri gel types have 57% protein making them suitable for young goldfish. Here's the link.

http://www.goldfishutopia.com/index.php?cPath=62_63_64

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I'm so frustrated! Yesterday I fasted the fish and today was peas only for everyone. And I just caught Kharma floating upside down after the peas. Come on now! I thought I was at least safe with peas! :krazy:

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I do add probiotics though. :)

How do you do that?

Hmmm..Thought you heard of it. All the Mazuri gel types have 57% protein making them suitable for young goldfish. Here's the link.

Looks interesting! I'll have to try that sometime! :)

That's too bad, floatiness is really so frustrating :(

I know I hate seeing her like that. She's never done it before with just peas. I don't know what's up with her.

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That's too bad, floatiness is really so frustrating :(

It really is. And with some fish you just have to accept that they will have reorruring bouts of 'the floaties' for ever. :blink:

Do you have a safe place were they can put themselves in when they have the floaties? It might make them more confortable.

I have a big vase that is a perfect cilinder so when one of my 2 problem fishies (Godzilla & Gigi) has it, they go in the vase, so they can rest without being near the surface.

Edited by CountryLovah
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Actually no I don't have anything for that tank, but it's a good idea Miki. I will have to buy something that I can put in there for when that happens. She just seems to be getting more and more sensitive to foods. Awww.

I clicked reply and for some reason it wrote MY comment in your box Miki LOL

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Actually no I don't have anything for that tank, but it's a good idea Miki. I will have to buy something that I can put in there for when that happens. She just seems to be getting more and more sensitive to foods. Awww.

I clicked reply and for some reason it wrote MY comment in your box Miki LOL

Be sure you get something that is perfect cilindrical or that has a smaller entrance and than widens or they can 'float out'.

I had that with the first vase, as it was sightly coned.

I does make the tank more difficult to clean and during w/c.

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Well I just made two new batches! Last night I made my batch that has nothing pelleted or processed: Baby Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, an Orange, 2 cans of Tuna and 2 capfuls of Garlic Guard. I never got anywhere for vitamins so I didn't add any this time. It set really well and the fish love it! yay! Then today I made a batch that has all of that stuff plus some pellets etc: Baby Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, an Orange, 1 can of Tuna, 2 capfuls of Garlic Guard, 1/2 cup Pro Gold Pellets, 1/2 cup Jumpstart Pellets, freeze fried Bloodworms and freeze dried Krill.. I just finished that batch, it's in the fridge now. (Hopefully setting well). So now I have 4 batches of gel food total since I already made that batch with New Life Spectrum Pellets and Broccoli, and the all veggie batch with Baby Spinach, Broccoli, Zucchini & Peas. I have sooo many containters in the freezer of gel food! LOL This new batch that I made today was the WORST smelling ever! LOL

Yesterday I had a major problem with the gelatin clumping again when I added it to the boiling water. So today I tried adding the gelatin to cold water first to see if it made any difference and it totally dissolved without a problem at first. However I needed about 10 packets since I made about 5 cups of mix, and after adding about 6 packets it started to want to harden to so I started warming it up but not totally boiling it while I added the last 4 packets and that seemed to work much better. At the end I let it boil very lightly for a few minutes, but it definately started clumping MORE the hotter the water got. Interesting. But for the most part this seemed to work better that adding it directly to the boiling water.

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There are probiotics that aren't heat sensitive. I get a tablet and put it in water to dissovle why I am mixing everything else up. Takes a bit of crushing at times to get it to dissovle...then poor it right in with the rest.

:heart

What are your nitrates when she flips. Artemis' limit is just below 20.....I can just watch the tank to know I have to do a water change. :crazy: I tell ya!

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From what I can tell nitrates doesn't have anything to do with it in her case. My nitrates are generally in the 10ish to 15ish area. The highest they ever go is 20 but it isn't like she does that only at 20 or only at 15 or even at 10. When I do a full or really large water change I get the nitrates down around 5-7. That's what's been coming out of the tap these days and depending on the food I give her, she might flip even at the lowest nitrates possible. So from what I can tell it's food related with her. Now, all of the other "semi floaty" fish do absolutely fine with pellets in there gel food, but Sawyer still seems to have an issue with pellets if they aren't in gel. So the last couple of weeks I've done ALL gel food for everyone except for fasting day followed by a day of only peas. (To see if a gel only diet would clear up the floaties.) And it worked in every case except for Kharma, who flipped over the first day I fed her gel food that contained New Life Spectrum Pellets. Then, she was fine the second time she got gel food with NLS. Then was fasted and then given peas and completely flipped over after the peas! Which totally shocked me. Now it's been, let's see, 4 days of gel food only and she hasn't flipped yet. She can get to the bottom and swim, but you can tell she isn't normal. She struggles a bit for sure after eating ANYTHING. Then after about 8 hours once everything has totally passed, she goes to the bottom and just LAYS. I am planning on feeding nothing but gel foods with the exception of fasting days once a week, and peas for a few more weeks. I want to really give em all a good long period of it to see if it will help with the floating.

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