|Crude Protein||45% Min|
|Crude Fat||5% Min|
|Crude Fiber||2% Max|
Hikari Cichlid Bio-Gold Ingredients:
Fish Meal, Wheat Flour, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Gluten Meal, Spirulina, Fish Oil, Bacillus Subtillus, Enzyme, Garlic, Astaxanthin, Monosodium Glutamate, DL-Methionine, Vitamin A Oil, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K), Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C), Inositol, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Ferrous Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate.
Hikari Cichlid Bio-Gold Ingredients Analysis
The primary ingredient is Fish meal. Being a Hikari produced fish meal; we can have confidence in the nutrient and protein levels of the meal. However, not being labeled as “Whole Fish Meal” identifies that the meal is potentially compiled from leftovers after the more desirable components of the fish are used for human consumption (pending clarification from Hikari).
The next three ingredients are binders and non-preferred proteins, followed by Spirulina. While a higher concentration of Spirulina would be appreciated, it would appear that the spirulina content of this food passes the 5% minimum necessary for beneficial impact.
Brewers Dried Yeast is a by-product of the beer making process; this ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in Vitamin B. Is use in fish foods is as either as a protein source or a vitamin supplement. Studies do exist indentifying 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. As the third listed ingredients, the content of Brewers Dried Yeast is more than is desired.
Use of probitics in the form of Bacillus subtilis 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%. Use of probiotics (Bacillus Subtillus) is a major bonus of this food, somewhat compensating for the potentially excessive use of wheat products.
Fish Oil, the 6th listed ingredient, can either be a quality product with significant benefit or a hazardous one. If obtained from the correct types of fish and screened for mercury, it is an excellent addition to fish food. If obtained from less desirable fish and not screened for mercury, it is less beneficial and potentially unhealthy.
The addition of garlic and Astaxanthin are appreciated. A combination of spirulina and astaxanthin supplementation, combined with improved digestion resulting from the use of probiotics, should make for a food with adequate color enhancing capabilities.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is considered by many as a controversial ingredient. It is used in fish foods for the same reason it is used in human foods, primarily as a flavor enhancer although it may possess preservative capabilities. There are many myths concerning MSG, the only one for which I’ve been able to find a factual bases is that some people are sensitive to MSG, causing headaches and/or “flushing” of the skin. Other myths associated with MSG have been debunked.
The list of vitamin and mineral supplements is acceptable.
This pellet does not contain Ethoxyquin (statement from manufacturer) or artificial colors but it does contain Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K.)
Oscarfish.Com Rating: 4 Star
An absence of Ethoxyquin, artificial colors and the inclusion of proven effective probiotics, combined with known quality of the primary ingredient fish meal increases this pellets rating to 4 stars. Otherwise, based solely on preferred protein content, it might rate as a 3 star food. Use of synthetic vitamin K, limited preferred plant proteins, and potentially excessive ratio of binders and non-preferred proteins prevents it from being rated higher.
Understanding Oscarfish.Com Ratings:
This review is an attempt to analyze the ingredients, rating them from 1 (worst) to 6 (best) in an effort to judge quality based upon three simple criteria.
- Absence of toxic, potentially toxic, and controversial ingredients
- Aquatic Animal protein and Preferred Plant Proteins as the primary protein sources
- 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