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Pellets Vs Flakes


Guest amynicole

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Guest amynicole

I have done lots of reading on here and it seems the consensus is pellets are better and the reasoning makes sense. However, it seems that when I feed pellets, no matter how little I feed they tend to end up on the gravel and I'm afraid they will cause my water quality to go down. When I vacuum my gravel using my python, I noticed that when I was feeding flakes, the uneaten flakes get sucked up easity with the vacuum. However, the uneaten pellets are too heavy to get sucked up in the python.

I have tried omega one goldfish pellets and just recently purchased New Life Spectrum goldfish pellets. My local fish store has been trying to get me to buy them for awhile but I resisted due to the price. And then I found them on online and purchased there.

So please clear this up for me. Are pellets really that much better than flakes even if they end up polluting the tank? I only have 1/3 inch or so of gravel so it is easier to keep clean (and I like the look of it).

Are my concerns of the water being poluted by the uneated pellets enough reason to go back to flakes? (I also have omega one goldfish flakes in my house)

And what do you all think of New Life Spectrum pellets? I have a whole opened jar of it and it was expensive so I'm hoping I did not waste my money.

Thanks in advance :)

Amy

edied to add: I don't know why my username came up as the title to this thread? I wanted the title to be pellets vs flakes. Can someone please tell me how to edit the title? If a moderator sees this I would really appreciate the title changes to pellets vs flakes instead of my name :) Thanks!

Edited by amynicole
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Hello Amy,

To make it easier for you to understand the benefits of pellets over flakes, I'll break down the things into simpler composition. I might still go deep about this so please let me know which part you need further clarification.

Without putting the ingredients into perception first, let's see what makes floating pellets, sinking pellets and flakes quite different from each other.

Sinking pellets

1. The stuff does sink which does not add up air when the goldfish attempts to swallow them as fast as they sink. Advantage.

2. Pellets hold the much needed vitamins better than the flakes do. Advantage.

3. It does pollute. It should be treated as food leftover that acts as pollutant. This is more advantageous to use if your goldfish act faster, have barebottom tank or substrate is less coarser to prevent the pellets from slipping underneath out of reach from the fish. Disadvantage.

Floating pellets

1. The stuff floats and can inject air in the process when it is swallowed by the fish. Disadvantage.

2. See sinking pellets, no. 2. Advantage.

3. Pollutant if left uneaten but as it is afloat, it is much easier for the fish to locate them immediately. Presoaking will allow them to sink much slowly. Advantage.

Flakes

1. Floats and adds up air. Disadvantage.

2. Can swell quickly and will swell even if ingested. Disadvantage.

3. Vitamins are water soluble and therefore likely to leach. I compare this to eating potato chips. May be presoaked in liquid vitamins which is tedious and time consuming. Disadvantage.

4. Deteriorates quickly after a series of reopening the package exposing to air and light. Both elements can destroy the food quality. Disadvantage.

5. Easy to locate as it does not sink easily. Advantage.

Clarifications of some fallacies:

1. "Does not pollute." This implies more to nutritional analysis than the environmental cause. A majority of commercial foods pack up very low fiber while trying to focus their ad5 on proteins which they manipulate with starch-based ingredients. This is good for less pollution risk but it increases incidence of bloating and constipation as the low fiber does not allow the fish to discharge excess foods immediately.

2. "Feed within a few minutes (time recommended varies from 2-5 minutes)." This depends how fast and how much food your goldfish need to eat. In my opinion, I'd rather the fish be given what they can consume in less than a minute especially if they are fast eaters. Drop as much food that disappear quickly into their mouths as possible but do not be tempted to drop more than they can locate and eat otherwise you end up vacuuming the wasted food anyway.

Few small meals are much better than a few large meals. 2-3 times a day feeding should be sufficient enough for juveniles. Once a day for adults.

In this part, I will include other variables this time. It seems unrelated to the original questions but I just thought I'd add this up to weigh the possibilities why we need to be cautious with the foods we choose for our fancy goldfish especially if you own ones with very compact body shape.

Causes of Buoyancy Issues:

1. Floating foods. In this case, both floating pellets and flakes are involved. Flakes are already a widely unaccepted food for some fancy goldfish predisposed to buoyancy issues especially ones with exaggerated compact body shape such as ryukins and tikus pearlscales. When the fish eats them, they also add up air into their GI (gastrointestinal) tract. As their GI tract often ends up squashed up, it becomes very difficult for the fish to expel air out of their system.

2. Starch-based foods. Many commercial foods employ the use of "fillers" (starch) to manipulate the protein outcome required for juvenile fish. The starch has been responsible in dozens of cases of buoyancy issues for being the cause of gas formation inside their tract. Goldfish do not have a proper stomach to digest their foods. They rely on the bacteria lining their tract to do that job. The bacteria in turn then reproduce gas as they digest the starch.

Unrelated...

3. Physical attacks. Some fish display unusual belligerence that sometimes results in physical damage especially internally and may not be detected. I've seen a few cases of fancies attacked by their boisterous tankmates especially koi (possibly due to spawning period) and suffered buoyancy issues as a result.

4. Bacterial and viral infections.

5. Pressure changes. Not a common issue.

Conclusions in your case:

1. I'd rather recommend sinking pellets. Your goldfish can forage the bottom very well but if they are forced to adapt on floating stuff for a period of time, then their foraging technique tends to be rather poor that sinking pellets pollute your water much quicker than you think as they are used to locating their foods around the water surface.

2. If your gravel is very coarse and traps the pellets easily, consider feeding sparingly. Do not drop all the foods at once that most of it sink immediately to the substrate.

3. NLS is fine and is one of the few commercial foods with proper nutritional analysis and ingredients (depending on the size and age of your fish). The others I often recommend are Mazuri, Dainichi, Omega One and Hikari. These ones are also very good brands but some tend to be very expensive indeed. If you are buying a large pack, try to divide them into smaller portions so you will not have to reopen the package constantly that the freshness and quality of the food deteriorate needlessly. The packs should always remain vacuum-sealed.

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Guest amynicole

Super super helpful information. Thank you! Gonna retire the flakes. I want my goldfish to live a long time and grow big! Sounds like I'm on the right track with my omega one pellets and New Life Spectrum pellets. I actually already repackaged the pellets into tiny little plastic jars and sealed up the larger containers and put the larger original container under my aqarium in the cabinet.

Very interesting about the flakes being less nutritious and potato chip analogy.

My Omega One is older and since I just bought the New Life Spectrum, I am going to feed that one. Of the two, Omega one goldfish pellets vs the NLS pellets, is one better than the other?

I see people on this forum seem to love the pro-gold pellets. How do those compare to Omega pellets and New life Spectrum pellets?

Of the 3 pellets I mentioned, which one do you think is better for growth and over all health? I'm not going to buy anymore pellets now because I have enough food right now but for future, I'm curious which is better.

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You could alternate between Omega One and NLS and add vegetables in the middle or make gel foods with vegetables included as well as tuna/sardines/mackerel, multivitamins and calcium. Both commercial products are equally good but this is just my perception on the matter.

I've never used Pro-Gold yet but the reviews are all positive so far from what I have read across the goldfish forums. The catalogue is here if you want to buy it although you might want to finish off the NLS and Omega One first unless you have plenty of goldfish to feed them to.

http://www.goldfishconnection.com/shop/details.php?productId=2&catId=14

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I have used Omega One, Pro Gold and Hikari Pellets. Personally I found the Omega One to be really hard to soften (had to soak them a long time) but that was a while ago, they may have changed. Pro Gold is a really great food and many of our members swear by it. Personally I am a big fan of Hikari pellets and the results they give me in terms of fish growth and development, but as long as you are using quality pellets the brand is more of a personal preference.

As for pellets polluting the gravel, I have been there! When I used small gravel I could not get it clean, no matter how high I tried. As a result I could not keep my nitrates down. I ended up switching to large river stones. They are MUCH easier to clean because they are easily moved with the siphon. It may be something you could try as well.

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Guest amynicole

Chrissy, I have been thinking of switching over to river stones. Its been on my mind for awhile. I lover how they look! I just dread scooping up my old gravel and worry the discruption might be harmful to my goldies. But its definately on my mind!

I actually just threw out some Hikari pellets. I bought them when I got back into goldfish earlier this year and they were the floating kind. My goldfish did not seem to happy going up the the surface to eat them and almost ignored them because they were too busy rooting around the bottom of the tank for food while the hikari floated on top.

I do like hikari though. I feek hikari micro pellets to my small tropicals and they love it and are really healthy. (I have 3 tanks. 1 goldfish tank thats 55 gallons, a small tropical tank thats 30 gallons and a large tropical thats 75 gallons).

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Yes I accidentally got the floating Hikari pellets before. I ended up using them to make gel food. If you ever do get more, I like Hikari Lionhead.

As for removing the gravel, you're right, it can be hard. When I did it my nitrates went way, way up. There are a few old threads here about the process of removing it or switching it out for something new. Some people like to take it out a little at a time, which seems to work well. If you decide to do it, I'm sure you'll get some good tips about the best method :)

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Amy, was it the Hikari Oranda Gold? Could be useful to singletails though and the singletails are not at high risk of suffering buoyancy issues. I do agree with Chrissy that Hikari Lionhead is a much better choice since it sinks. That's what I often like to have in my cabinet.

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Also would like to add that if the fish are not finding the leftover pellet food then it may be you are over feeding. There should be no leftover food. It takes some time often to get feeding amount right for your fish ...when you get the balance right (enough not too much at one go) this will help.

I use Saki hikari sinking pellets, so light and tiny and easy to vacuum up leftovers.

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My goldfish have no problem cleaning up the sinking pellets from the gravel. If you want to feed flakes that is fine but make sure you soak so that they sink when you put them in the tank.

Also be sure you offer other stuff like mentioned. I feed flakes, pellets, sinking shrimp pellets, frozen shrimp, frozen blood worms, gel food the kitchen sink (lol) ect... Basicly anything they can eat and be healthy.

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