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1 Live Foods from the Wild Part I – Nutrition A presentation for The Angelfish Society September 19, 2010 by Tamar Stephens.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Live Foods from the Wild Part I – Nutrition A presentation for The Angelfish Society September 19, 2010 by Tamar Stephens."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Live Foods from the Wild Part I – Nutrition A presentation for The Angelfish Society September 19, 2010 by Tamar Stephens

2 2 About this presentation series This is the first in a series of presentations on live foods from the wild. This series will cover a series of topics related to feeding your angelfish foods from the wild including: Nutritional value Nutritional value Where to find wild foods Where to find wild foods How to culture wild foods How to culture wild foods How to collect wild foods How to collect wild foods Types of wild foods Types of wild foods

3 3 Why use wild foods? Let’s look at some anecdotal information first.

4 4 Feeding mosquitoes improved color and vigor My next door neighbor had a small aquarium with several neon tetras. Summertime in Alaska is mosquito time. If you open your door, especially in the evening, chances are one or more mosquitoes will slip into the house. When my neighbor was bitten by a mosquito in the house, he would quickly swat it, then drop the crushed carcass into the little aquarium. During mosquito season he fed several mosquitoes a day into the aquarium. The neons eagerly devoured them. Within days, he remarked at how much brighter the colors were on his neon tetras and how much more energetic they seemed. Photo from Wikipedia Mosquito

5 5 Outdoor ponds  In an outdoor pond, fish can feed on insects that land in the water, as well as on whatever else grows in the pond.  If you look through back issues of FinTAStic and look through forum threads, you will find threads describing experience with setting up outdoor ponds for raising angelfish in the summer, or adding angelfish to an existing pond. What do people report about the angelfish? “They got huge” “They got huge” “Brilliantly colored” “Brilliantly colored” “They’re not too tame any more” “They’re not too tame any more” “Their bodies were as big as the palm of my hand” “Their bodies were as big as the palm of my hand”

6 6 What do these two stories have in common?  In both cases, the fish were fed prepared fish food, but they also had fresh, live food to supplement their diets.  In the aquarium, freshly killed mosquitoes were added.  In outdoor ponds, insects land on the water, where they can be caught. Insect larvae and other living things can grow in the pond.

7 7 Before commercial fish foods  Before there were commercial fish foods, tropical fish enthusiasts relied on either collecting wild foods to feed their fish, raising live cultures, or making their own foods.  Today most people rely on commercial foods, and may supplement those with live cultures or home-made foods. Is there still value in collecting food from the wild? How can we be sure we are meeting the nutritional needs of our angelfish?

8 8 Importance of variety for nutrition  We hear all the time that for our own health we should eat a variety of different foods.  The same thing is true for our fish. In addition to the basics of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, fish need vitamins and trace minerals. As with our diet, it requires a varied diet to ensure that all of these nutritional needs are met.

9 9 Natural habitat versus aquarium  In the natural habitat, a fish will feed on a wide variety of foods. The broad selection of foods provides a rich source of nutrition.  An outdoor pond has less variety than the wild habitat, but does provide variety because of the opportunity for wild foods (such as insects) to happen by the pond, land in the water, lay eggs in the water, have larval forms grow in the pond.  In an aquarium, fish get only what we feed them. Their diet is only as good and as varied as the food we provide them. People can live a long time on poor nutrition, so can fish. But a high quality diet is necessary for vigorous growth, reproduction, good health, and a long life.

10 10 Some Key Vitamins  Vitamin A is essential for growth and development, and is important in protecting against infection.  Vitamin B is important for growth and for stimulating appetite.  Vitamin C is also important for healthy growth.  Vitamin D is essential for normal bone development.

11 11 Natural Habitat and Sunlight  A natural habitat is very different from an aquarium.  Fish can get direct exposure to UV radiation from sunlight, which is necessary for producing vitamin D. Window glass and aquarium glass filter out the UV radiation. UV light stimulates production of vitamin D UV rays are deflected by glass UV rays

12 12 Food Web Diversity  Food Web – A natural habitat will have a complex food web supporting a large variety of plant and animal species.  An aquarium often is limited to one species, and may not even have live plants. dissolved nutrients bacteria phytoplankton zooplankton plankton feeders plants aquatic insect larvaesnails worms prey fishpredator fish

13 13 Provide your fish with variety  We all know to provide our angelfish with a varied diet.  If you think you might want to add wild food to your angelfish diets, then watch for future presentations in this series. The next presentation will talk about where to find wild foods and how to promote growth of wild food in your own yard.

14 14 The End Please return to the chat room for discussion.

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