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Peterlock

Hikari VS Aqeon Golfish Food

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When I joined Koko's in 2010 one of the first posts I recall writing had to do with the Hikari Fancy Goldfish Color Enhancing fish food.

It's touted as their most advanced formula, but I was concerned that the formula included MSG (monosodium glutamate) A soy based product known to cause migraines and a myriad of other problems.

MSG is a flavor enhancer, what it does is basically fool the brain into perceiving that certain foods taste better than they actually would without the addition of MSG. In fact abundant research concludes it makes otherwise unpalatable food highly palatable.

There are plenty of examples of Asian restaurants, foods and countless products who boldly exclaim - No MSG!

I had written to Hikari - twice, asking why MSG was included in this particular formula, I've never received a response.

I've been researching commercial dog food for many years, and have making my own dog food for equally as long. With 90% of commercial dog food, being little more than garbage, not to mention a health hazard - I've learned to assess the labels, do research and draw conclusions.

Ok once again I digress.

Anyway, as most of you know when reading any pet food list of ingredients, the first three are the most critical. So I recently did a comparison between the Hikari and the Aqueon slow sinking color enhancing granules.

Here's the ingredient list for Hikari:

Fish Meal, Wheat Germ Meal, Wheat Flour, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Starch, Dried Bakery Product, Soy Bean Meal, Gluten Meal, Fish Oil, Spirulina, Vegetable Oil, Astaxanthin, Dried Seaweed Meal, Dried A. niger Fermentation Extract, Monosodium Glutamate, Dl-methionine, Garlic, Dried B. subtilis Fermentation Product, Rice Bran, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Stabilized Vitamin C), Inositol, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Oil, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Niacin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Disodium Phosphate, Ferrous Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, and Calcium Iodate.

Here's the ingredient list for Aqueon :

Whole Fish Meal (whole salmon, herring and other mixed fishes), Soybean Meal, Whole Wheat Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Yeast, Fish Oil, Kelp Meal, Garlic, Spirulina, Dicalcium Phosphate, Natural Astaxanthin, Choline Chloride, Calcium Propionate (a preservative), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin A Acetate, Cholecalciferol (source of Vitamin D3), Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Menadione Sodium Bisulphite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid, Thiamine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6), Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, DL-Alphatocopherol (E), Manganese Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, and Copper Sulfate

Key Points

* Hiraki doesn't identify which fish the meal is made from.

This means they change sources frequently and may be using diseased, rancid fish. Be very wary regardless of any pet food that uses vague terms like "animal digest" "ocean fish" or "Meat" if it's not specific - it's a problem

*Aqeon identifies the fish they use - a major sign of quality in any pet food.

* There's very little "filler" in Aqeon in comparison to the Hikari formula. Another sign of good nutrition and quality.

Cost

* The Hikari retails for $17.00 for 7 ounces

* The Aqeon retails for $2.99 for 3 ounces - a dramatically better formula and by far much less expensive

As a side note, no commercial food for our goldies can replace a varied diet including fresh veggies, fruits such as bits of orange, quality gel foods, bits of defrosted raw shrimp and so on.

Commercial fish food, like dog food should be used as a supplement only to a varied diet.

BTW, if anyone has questions about making your own dog food, want's my recipe or a dog chow recommendation please feel free to message me.

Edited by PeterD

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In recent years, Hikari changed their formula to be cheaper and way less healthy, and raised the price, while advertising that it was their best formula yet. I now use Omega One and New Life Spectrum. My fish love it (except one of my Goldfish, who would rather eat Aqueon. Weird little thing -_-), and I have seen a dramatic improvement in color and over all health.

Side note: A few people in my family, as well as my self, are allergic to MSGs.

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Peter, thank you for the review! :)

Due to the issue of floatiness in two of my fish, I've tested all sorts of pellet foods under the sun, and during the process, I've found the Goldfish Connection's Pro-Gold is an excellent food that promoted astounding growth. If you haven't tried it, I would encourage you to do so, just to see. Of course, GC is worse than everyone else in not listing their ingredients!

Lastly, of course I want your dog food recipes! :D

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this was a real eye-opener, Peter! unfortunately Hikari is the best of a lot of a crap we get here in the UK, in terms of commercial foods. Omega One, Aqueon and Pro Gold are out of our reach, and what little NLS there is, it's very expensive. :(

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this was a real eye-opener, Peter! unfortunately Hikari is the best of a lot of a crap we get here in the UK, in terms of commercial foods. Omega One, Aqueon and Pro Gold are out of our reach, and what little NLS there is, it's very expensive. :(

Wow, that sucks!

You could always make your own! Gelatin and veggies and such :) Lots of people do this.

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You could always make your own! Gelatin and veggies and such :) Lots of people do this.

Noooooo. Don't use gelatin. Agar agar is much better. Check out my link on agar in the sig for more info and for recipes.

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You could always make your own! Gelatin and veggies and such :) Lots of people do this.

Noooooo. Don't use gelatin. Agar agar is much better. Check out my link on agar in the sig for more info and for recipes.

I know what I mean!!

XD

I knew gelatin wasn't the right word, but that was the closest I came up with LOL

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I have made my own batch of gel food once so far (it's lasting me ages) but it didn't go too great, wasn't really solid enough haha. once I finish this batch, I'm gonna try again of course! especially because both my goldfish and my betta can enjoy it, and they all absolutely love it. I only supplement with the Hikari pellets, and I also add the pellets into the actual gel food too, so they don't go to waste.

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I have made my own batch of gel food once so far (it's lasting me ages) but it didn't go too great, wasn't really solid enough haha. once I finish this batch, I'm gonna try again of course! especially because both my goldfish and my betta can enjoy it, and they all absolutely love it. I only supplement with the Hikari pellets, and I also add the pellets into the actual gel food too, so they don't go to waste.

Thats the spirit!

Sounds like you need either less water or more of the... jello stuff... LOL

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Peter, thank you for the review! :)

Due to the issue of floatiness in two of my fish, I've tested all sorts of pellet foods under the sun, and during the process, I've found the Goldfish Connection's Pro-Gold is an excellent food that promoted astounding growth. If you haven't tried it, I would encourage you to do so, just to see. Of course, GC is worse than everyone else in not listing their ingredients!

Lastly, of course I want your dog food recipes! :D

This is why I have been using Progold for the last 7 years. I dont use anything else cause of the MSG in the foods.

And Just like Peter said about the dog food, Its in my can cat food. I now make home made food for them cause of this.....

I would also like to say there is natural accruing MSG and there is the Man made version. Most of the foods in the USA are the man made kind. :yikes

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Thanks, Koko! Death to MSG! :)

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This is why I have been using Progold for the last 7 years. I dont use anything else cause of the MSG in the foods.

And Just like Peter said about the dog food, Its in my can cat food. I now make home made food for them cause of this.....

I would also like to say there is natural accruing MSG and there is the Man made version. Most of the foods in the USA are the man made kind

Koko thank's for posting those links and Kudos to you for making your own cat food.

Making your own pet food isn't just easy, it creates an entire new bonding experience that enriches and deepens the relationship with the animals who we're privileged to have share our life.

When reading pet food labels it's easier to first know what you don't want to see on the label so here's a few ingredients and marketing terms to watch out for:

Corn - a filler with little nutritional value. The #1 allergen causing ingredient and the cheapest to use. Corn in pet foods has been linked to respiratory, skin, digestive and other health problems.

Wheat - Same as above, it's cheap, nearly impossible to digest (cat's and dog's don't digest most grains)

Gluten (corn or wheat) - Almost always imported from China and the sole cause of the two major -nationwide pet food recalls in the past few years. This is a thick, viscous syrup that artificially boosts protein levels. It's deadly - and thousands of dogs and cats have died from it.

Brewers rice - miniscule fragments of whole rice, no nutritional value just filler. Causes gastric problems.

Potato Product - Rotten, rancid white potatoes. Peelings. White potato spikes blood sugar and is linked to canine/feline diabetes, kidney and liver problems.

*Sweet potato however is an excellent source of vitamins and easily digestible fiber

Egg Product - The scrapings off egg production facility floors, rancid and diseased eggs.

* Eggs are great but you want to see "whole eggs" on the label

Animal Digest - a "soup" Sourced from rendering plants. Where they boil down the remains of dead animals. This can be any number of horrors from diseased cattle and chickens, to the bodies of cats and dogs euthanized at shelters and veterinary clinics - and worse.

* You want to see a specific animal digest such as "lamb digest" or "Chicken digest"

Beet pulp - cheap filler loaded with sugar.

Peanut Shells or Husks - Horrible source of nutrition free fiber. Irritates the digestive tract and bowel. Ironically "Science Diet" the most popular prescription food sold by Vets has among the highest concentration of peanut shells.

Animal by-products - Anything you can think of, bones, teeth, hooves, beaks, claws.

Fish or ocean fish - rancid fish, Bones, untested and often found with high mercury levels well into the toxic zone. The White Fish food line by Wellness has sharp tiny bones sticking out from virtually every piece of kibble.

They claim to have addressed the problem but haven't and continue to resist a recall.

You can find videos on youtube from angry consumers showing what the kibble looks like. These tiny bones have pierced the esophagus and intestinal walls of thousands of dogs and cats.

* All Natural - Marketing Hype and it really means all BS. Unless guaranteed pesticide and hormone free.

* Organic - More hype - what you want to see is "Certified organic" - if it isn't certified it's not organic.

Certified Organic means the food product has been raised from see or newborn without ever coming into contact with anything synthetic or natural to enhance growth, flavor or size.

I could write pages and go on for hours, the above is a scratch on the surface of the massive corporate lie that defines commercial pet food.

There are also chemicals, colorings, additives, preservatives and so much more that pose a deadly threat to domestic animals.

You're best bet is make sure you're feeding a grain and gluten free, low glycemic carbohydrate diet.

Make sure nothing is sourced from outside the US - especially from India or China. Make sure the Manufacturer doesn't farm out the cooking/baking or packaging of their product.

Steer clear of "All Life Stage' claims made by some manufacturers. All living creatures nutritional needs change. They simple want you to buy their same product over and over

for the life of your pet.

If you have questions, email the MFG and make certain you get specific answers. email is better than calling because it memorializes any statements made by the manufacturer regarding the product in writing.

I know this post is off topic, but if we learn even a little about to what to look for and what to avoid when buying or making food for our Goldfish it'll pay off. The healthier their diet, the healthier and happier the fish - and at the end of the day, that's what counts.

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I love this topic. I had pointed out the exact things about Saki Hikari a while ago, and find the ingredients list in the Omega One pellets much more appealing. It is shorter, more specific, and way healthier looking.

I am now making my own gel food, which only consists of part of Saki Hikari (not gonna waste all that money).

Same with dog food. I remember posting the ingredients list in Beneful, and it was disgusting. That's how I learned about animal digest aka yummy roadkill.

I am now feeding my dog Blue Buffalo Basics (limited ingredients formula) and a few different flavors of Pedigree canned dog food. Their puppy formulas are higher quality and with less fillers and only a very small amount of by products etc. No grains in it either.

I used to cook for them lately, but she is almost 17 years old, and she is a very picky eater, especially now that her buddy (and food competitor) has passed away a couple months ago.

My next dog is only going to get homemade food and high quality dog food. Same with the fish, I will probably switch back to Omega One (I like having some pellets at home, just in case), but stick with mostly gel food.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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I love this topic. I had pointed out the exact things about Saki Hikari a while ago, and find the ingredients list in the Omega One pellets much more appealing. It is shorter, more specific, and way healthier looking.

I am now making my own gel food, which only consists of part of Saki Hikari (not gonna waste all that money).

Same with dog food. I remember posting the ingredients list in Beneful, and it was disgusting. That's how I learned about animal digest aka yummy roadkill.

I am now feeding my dog Blue Buffalo Basics (limited ingredients formula) and a few different flavors of Pedigree canned dog food. Their puppy formulas are higher quality and with less fillers and only a very small amount of by products etc. No grains in it either.

I used to cook for them lately, but she is almost 17 years old, and she is a very picky eater, especially now that her buddy (and food competitor) has passed away a couple months ago.

My next dog is only going to get homemade food and high quality dog food. Same with the fish, I will probably switch back to Omega One (I like having some pellets at home, just in case), but stick with mostly gel food.

I'm so sorry about your loss, it's so hard. We lost our Akita a ways back but he lived to 14 which for a dog his size - 155 lbs in his prime was amazing. But it's the most painful thing regardless of age, and I know your friend had an incredible life and you made that happen.

Anyway I can't belive you mentioned Beneful that's number one one my most hated dog food list, such a disgusting, fould and miserable product. I've known people who use it and stay with it after I climb down from my soap box and I ca't fathom why.

I think with older dogs, you're so right about being careful with even the slightest diet change. Even if the intentions are the right ones, change can wreck havoc on them. I was the same way with my cat who passed away at 16 a few months back...and I miss him every day.

As for the Omega One - it's a very good food and would probably have made a better analogy than using Aqeon, I think it's an even better food and at the same price point as the Aqeon. And don't feel bad about the wasted money I have two unopened bags of that Hikari formula that I never got around to returning...ugh. :)

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Foul is the right word. There was something else in it. I don't remember what it was called, but when I looked into it, I read on the wikipedia page that this is something that in higher amounts causes problems in people and dogs, and is absolutely not allowed in cat food, since even at minimal doses it is supposed to be toxic to cats.

So you also have to watch that your cat doesn't munch on your dog's beneful kibbles, or she might get croak. How encouraging is that?

It's like *Ways to get rid of your cat* - just feed her Beneful.

The other day I wrote down the ingredient list on one of our store brand cat foods at the grocery store I work at. It's funny, because it is our "Nature's Place" brand which is supposedly organic, or something like that. The package claims "holistic cat food".

This food is nothing but 95% filler though, no joke. It starts with something as first ingredient that isn't even corn or wheat, but only... darn it I can't remember what it was called. I think somewhere waaay down the list, some sort of meat was mentioned.

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Foul is the right word. There was something else in it. I don't remember what it was called, but when I looked into it, I read on the wikipedia page that this is something that in higher amounts causes problems in people and dogs, and is absolutely not allowed in cat food, since even at minimal doses it is supposed to be toxic to cats.

So you also have to watch that your cat doesn't munch on your dog's beneful kibbles, or she might get croak. How encouraging is that?

It's like *Ways to get rid of your cat* - just feed her Beneful.

The other day I wrote down the ingredient list on one of our store brand cat foods at the grocery store I work at. It's funny, because it is our "Nature's Place" brand which is supposedly organic, or something like that. The package claims "holistic cat food".

This food is nothing but 95% filler though, no joke. It starts with something as first ingredient that isn't even corn or wheat, but only... darn it I can't remember what it was called. I think somewhere waaay down the list, some sort of meat was mentioned.

I couldn't think of that ingrediant either so I did a quick Google search and I'm pretty sure it's Thiamine mononitrate. It's a synthetic vitamin B that's been linked to liver failure. The study was from the Unversity of Maryland Medical research division.

Here on the East Coast, there isn't one dog or cat food sold in a supermarket that I would feel good about feeding my dogs..zero..zilch. Not a single brand - and don't get me started on Iams :)

And you are so right about words like "Holistic" and "natural" I've looked at some of the most expensive, most beautifully packaged "Holistic" dog foods and they're just toxic garbage.

But most consumers see the pretty packaging, the glistening photos of fresh meats,eggs, veggies and so on and buy into vague and false claims because they just sound so true.

They never figure out - or make the connection as too why they're dog is always at the vet, or has severe health or behavioral problems. And because of the unholy alliance between Science Diet and Vets (SD Sponsors the TWO week nutrition classes out of an 8 year education) most vets are the last person you want to ask about pet food.

There's one prescription diet out of the UK called V.E.T, I think that's the name, it's really an excellent food for certain conditions. But SD forced them out of the marketplace by using threats against Vets who prescribe it - and SD has a massive profit margin.

The Vet has to agree to an exclusivity contract to carry SD, that's why you see it packed to the ceiling in most any Veterinary hospital.

A good vet won't think twice about ordering it for you - mine carries it and she refuses to carry any SD product.

There are so many reasons why it's critical that people dive in and do their own research for all of our pets, from our dogs and cats to our Goldies.

Edited by PeterD

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I found this post very informative today as I was under the influence that hikari was the most favored fish staple by most of the group and I just started using my very expensive saki hakari :( I already make extra food stuff for the cat and dog, maybe I should look into this gel food stuff for the fishy's too ;)

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gelfood for a few years now for my fish. they like it.. i have to admit that they do like the Agar Agar, but they also like the Gelatin... both products work to bind the food, it's not proven that gelatin causes a fish to float. they float on anything if they have this problem. but we know, from members whom have experienced that if a fish is a floater already, Agar Agar has a good success rate to assist in relieving this.. for some fish who are just "floaters" ie, i have one in my tank now, a recent purchase. the Agar Agar has made NO difference to her floatiness.. none whatsoever, but she still thinks it's yummy :)

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Helen, I agree with the agar agar. I think it has more to do with a food related floatiness. Mine that used to float even after eating gel food, don't float after eating the same food prepared with agar agar.. It's probably a hit or miss thing, but it definitely is worth trying.

I honestly have never noticed any floaty-difference when feeding Hikari or Omega One. The food-floaters float the same after each.

The Saki Hikari also really does an amazing job in color enhancing, but this can also be easily achieved by feeding fresh food high in beta carotene, like carrots (if they eat it, mine only if it's part of the gel food), pumpkin, tomatoes, red bell peppers, even some paprika in the gel food enhances the fish's red coloration. I am planning on buying a small can of canned pumpkin, and turning it into gel food "treats" that are fed two to three times a week for color enhancement. That way I can also be more specific with who gets color enhancing food.

From what I read on here, black fish tend to turn orange easier if they eat color enhancing food. Because of that, my black telescope is not getting any pumpkin then :D

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I ordered some Pro Gold and some of the color enhancing food from Goldfish connection. Will the color enhancing food cause my fishes to lose some of their colors and gain others? I'm not sure I want that :krazy:. Also, I was wondering what is the shelf life of some of the medicated food? I was thinking it might be a good idea to have some of it around just in case the need arises. :k055::angelstaf:

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I ordered some Pro Gold and some of the color enhancing food from Goldfish connection. Will the color enhancing food cause my fishes to lose some of their colors and gain others? I'm not sure I want that :krazy:. Also, I was wondering what is the shelf life of some of the medicated food? I was thinking it might be a good idea to have some of it around just in case the need arises. :k055::angelstaf:

I am personally not a fan of the color enhancing foods, after I got some staining onto the white of my white fish. Pro-Gold is amazing, and I am a fan for life.

I also always have Metro-Meds and Medi-Gold on hand (unopened). If you leave them unopened, they can easily keep for a year. If you open, 6 months from the date of opening. If you want, you can aliquot the food into small portions and vacuum seal. This will keep it longer.

It is very important to have these around, just in case.

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Thanks SOTM! ;) I will order some medi gold next week when the fish arrive. Sigh, I spend more money on goldfish stuff then I do my own girlfriend. hehe

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