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Cobalt Aquatics Color Premium Fish Food Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 3 Star Foods

Cobalt Aquatics Color Premium Fish Food

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 45.0% min.
Crude Fat 10.0% min.
Crude Fiber 4.0% min.
Phosphorus 1.0%, min.
Moisture 5.0% max.
Microorganisms 1,000,000 CFU/g min.
at time of manufacture

Cobalt Aquatics Color Premium Fish Food Ingredients:

Salmon Fish Meal, Wheat Flour, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Corn Starch, Freeze Dried Plankton, Freeze Dried Krill, Dried Kelp, Dried Brine Shrimp, Fish Oil, Lecithin, Dried Spirulina, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Choline Hydrochloride, Biotin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of stabilized Vitamin C), Beta-Glucan, Spray Dried Egg, Garlic Powder, Earthworm Powder, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, D1 Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin, D-Biotin, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Methionine and Natural Coloring.

Cobalt Aquatics Color Premium Fish Food Ingredients Analysis

The primary ingredient is “Salmon Fish Meal”. Not being labeled as “Whole Salmon Meal” indicates this meal is potentially comprised of the skins, scales, bones, internal organs, and other leftovers deemed unusable for human consumption. While “Whole Salmon Meal” would be preferred, it is assumed that the included Salmon Fish Meal is a quality product. Salmon Meal contains higher levels of beneficial oils than many other fish used in generic fish meals. Salmon skin is also high in astaxanthin, a color enhancing carotenoid and powerful antioxidant.

Studies conducted by the University of Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment have identified significant contaminant levels in farmed salmon. “In particular, four substances that have been well studied for their ability to cause cancer-PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin, and toxaphene-were consistently and significantly more concentrated in farmed salmon.” Contamination is significant enough that the human recommendation for the consumption of farmed salmon is reduced to a “one-half to one meal per month-based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consumption advisories for these contaminants. A meal was considered to be an eight-ounce portion.” It can be safely assumed that this meal is comprised of farmed salmon.

The next four ingredients are non-preferred protein sources and fillers. Use of Corn Starch as a filler and/or binder is not preferred due to digestibility concerns.

Brewers Dried Yeast is a by-product of the beer making process. This ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in Vitamin B. Its use in fish foods is as either as a protein source or a vitamin supplement. Studies do exist identifying its capacity to improve fish growth rates. When used as a supplement comprising between 2% and 4% of the food, this is an acceptable product. When used as a primary provider of protein comprising 25% or more of the food it is less acceptable as protein digestibility concerns have been documented.

The next four ingredients are preferred protein sources (Dried Plankton, Freeze Dried Krill, Dried Kelp, Dried Brine Shrimp).

With four non-preferred protein sources listed in the top 5 ingredients, the preferred protein values in this food are questionable.

Four of the preferred protein sources possess color enhancing properties. Salmon skin, which is included in the Salmon Meal, plankton meal, krill meal, and brine shrimp are perhaps the best natural sources of Astaxanthin available. This food should do well enhancing the red coloration of fish.

Subsequent listings of Spirulina, garlic, and earthworm powder are appreciated but their location this far down the ingredient list limits their overall nutritional contribution to the food.

Use of probitics in the form of Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product and Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product is very much appreciated. Probiotics aid in digestion, including increasing the protein digestibility of terrestrial starches such as wheat (at least for true omnivores such as Oscars), and the subsequent breakdown in waste. Functional probiotics can reduce waste build up in the substrate and filters by as much as 50%.

Per communication with Cobalt, Cobalt does not add ethoxyquin directly to their products but pre-mix meals contain "trace amounts". The actual levels of Ethoxyquin are unknown.

Food does not contain artificial coloring agents but does include Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K).

Oscarfish.Com Rating: 3 star

While we would prefer the primary ingredient be “Whole Salmon Meal” instead of “Salmon Meal”, the assumed quality of the utilized salmon meal, inclusion of additional preferred proteins, an absence of artificial coloring agents, and use of probiotics easily rate this as a 3 star food. Use of Menadione Sodium Bisulfite and an excessive use of binders, fillers, and non-preferred proteins, prevent rating any higher.

Understanding Oscarfish.Com Ratings:

This review is an attempt to analyze the ingredients, rating them from 1 star (worse) to 6 star (best), in an effort to judge quality based upon three simple criteria.

  1. Absence of toxic, potentially toxic, and controversial ingredients
  2. Aquatic Animal protein and Preferred Plant Proteins as the primary protein sources
  3. A fully nutritious food to include necessary vitamins and minerals with natural sources of vitamins and minerals being preferred.

These basic concepts apply:

  • Any food that utilizes Ethoxyquin, BHA, or BHT as preservatives, cannot rate higher than a 4 star food.
  • Use of artificial colors prevents rating higher than a 4 star food.
  • Any food that utilizes Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (Synthetic Vitamin K, aka K3) cannot rate higher than a 5 star food.
  • Inclusion of the “Whole Fish”, or “Whole Krill” (in meal form or not) is preferred over fish meal or krill meal.
  • In order to achieve a 5 or 6 star rating, the quality of the meal must be known.
  • In order to achieve a 6 star rating, the “Whole Fish’ (or whole animal) must be used, either in meal form or in sufficient quantities outside of meal form.
  • Inclusion of sufficient quantities of preferred plant proteins is a bonus with sufficient Spirulina content being a significant bonus.
  • Use of prebiotics or probiotics is a bonus