The right nutrition for aquarium fish
As with humans, fish nutrition is not always easy. It’s hard for us to find the right quantity and quality too. However, the fish are completely dependent on you for healthy and species-appropriate food!
Why is it important to feed fish in a species-appropriate way?
Just like humans, animals can survive on very little food. It’s a sad but true fact that both humans and fish have to survive difficult situations.
But we aquarium enthusiasts have the welfare of our animals as our primary goal. We don’t only want perfectly developed colours and healthy fish, we also welcome offspring, so that fewer animals need to be taken from the wild. Research has shown that removals from the wild do not (necessarily) pose a threat to the fish species, but it’s definitely preferable to increase the number of captive-bred species.
The JBL PRONOVO species concept
As already mentioned, you can feed your fish species food even if you keep different species together or have a community aquarium.
By feeding species food you are ensuring that no deficiency symptoms occur and by feeding other types of food you are expanding the fish’s diet.
Feeding the fish with "wrong/dangerous" food only happens in exceptional cases: Tropheus and other cichlids from Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi should never be fed red blood worms! They’ll eat the blood worms and die! With other fish species it is only important that they get all the ingredients they need. And this is exactly what the JBL species concept, supplemented by other PRONOVO food for community aquariums, ensures 100%.
What is the main food (complete food) in a species aquarium?
If, for example, you only keep smaller barbels and danionins, the barbel food JBL PRONOVO DANIO GRANO XS would be the basic food, which can be supplemented with other types of food - but it doesn’t have to be! Any other food size that fits is suitable as a supplement or treat. If, for example, you keep small characins like neons AND small danionins together (which is fine!), you could feed the two types of food alternately: first PRONOVO NÉON and then JBL PRONOVO DANIO GRANO XS Again, this CAN be supplemented with other small foods such as JBL PlanktonPur Small as a treat. For larger fish species, the choice of supplementary foods is much wider. Only for the smallest fish species is the choice somewhat limited. It is also possible to grind up supplementary flake foods a little until you have the right size to fit small mouths.
The Consultor de alimentação will tell you the right foods for your fish.
Plants or fish? What do our ornamental fish eat?
How to feed species-appropriately in a community aquarium
Imagine a zoo where many different mammals live. This would correspond to your community aquarium. With only one food, the keepers could basically feed almost all the mammals in the zoo, but would then have to supplement separate food for the tiger or the zebra.
The zebra also eats insects with grasses and leaves - so it does not eat a 100% vegan diet and the tiger also eats with the gazelle its grass-filled stomach. The general community aquarium food would be the JBL PRONOVO BEL FLAKES M , which then comes in different granulate sizes and flakes.
For example, for fighting fish which also live in the community aquarium, JBL PRONOVO BETTA GRANO S can be added, with a composition specially tailored to their diet. Algae-eating sucking catfish would then get their vegetable food with JBL PRONOVO PLECO WAFER M . Supplementing the general main food with the respective species foods would be the ideal procedure when feeding different fish species in ONE aquarium.
How do bottom-dwellers in a community aquarium get their food?
You’ll have seen this: Someone throws a food tablet into the aquarium for their bottom-dwelling armored catfish, but the fish in the other water zones grab the food tablet and the catfish go empty-handed! The other variant: The armored catfish are supposed to get some of the other fish’s food. This, however, often involves feeding enough food to sustain both the armored catfish and the algae! The armored catfish do not reach the food that ends up, say, in the decoration. This can spoil and quickly lead to algae problems.
It works better that way: First feed the fish in the upper water layers and while they are busy feeding, throw in one or two food tablets for the bottom dwellers. If this doesn’t work, try this tip: Take a see-through plastic tube and put the tablet(s) inside it. The upper fish won’t notice the tablet going down, but the bottom dwellers will quickly learn to look for their food in this tube.
The right amount of food
It’s fair to claim that while no fish has ever died of starvation, many have been overfed! It is in the nature of humans to offer their pets too much food rather than too little - especially as fish are ALWAYS hungry.
They really are: A predatory fish may still have its prey peeking out of its mouth, but would eat the next fish if its mouth wasn’t full of the current one! Thus the following rule applies to almost all aquarium fish: Feed only as much as the fish will eat in a few minutes (3-5 minutes - please not 30!). If food remains uneaten on the aquarium floor, it was too much! And as already described, bottom-dwelling fish should not be "abused" as hoovers. If they only eat a few scraps of food, everything is OK. Otherwise give them their own food in the form of sinking tablets or chips.
The different types of food
Flakes or granulated food?
To be honest, it’s absolutely up to you! There’s very little in it when arguing for or against each food type.
If you use an automatic feeder like the JBL AutoFood BLACK , you MUST choose granulated food, as practically all automatic feeders are suitable for granulates only. If you’re introducing a feeder for your next holiday, get your fish used to the granulated food in GOOD TIME .
Some fish actually find it difficult to switch from granulated food to flakes or vice versa. Imagine that you have always eaten soft cornflakes and are now having wholemeal cereal for the first time. Many professional aquarists prefer to get their fish used to both types of food. This way you can easily switch to granulate during the holidays.
What is the difference between tablets and wafers?
From a manufacturing point of view, food tablets (e.g. JBL PRONOVO TAB M , JBL PRONOVO CORYDORAS TAB M ) are mechanically compressed from fine flake or granulated food. Wafers, on the other hand, are thinly cut from a pulp and an “endless sausage” pressed out of the extruder and then dried.
The diameter of the "sausage" is then the diameter of the wafer. For JBL PRONOVO PLECO WAFER M this results in two sizes: M and XL.
In the production process, wafers can be made harder than food tablets, so that they are still suitable for sucking catfish to grate on, even after some waiting time (as they only come out during darkness).
Where do the different colours of the food come from?
JBL does not use any artificial colouring for the complete PRONOVO food range. Nevertheless, the food is not colourless. As we only use natural ingredients, it is these which give the food (granulate, flake, stick or tablet) quite deep colouring at times.
In the JBL PRONOVO range, the food colours come from their natural raw ingredients: Even using different flour types can influence the colour of the food. Spirulina, green meal, Mediterranean herbs, pea, spinach and alfalfa create a green colour; red is created from gammarus, krill, shrimps, beetroot and paprika; brown tones come from salmon, trout meat and fish protein in general. Black colouring comes from sepia (cuttlefish) and yellow is created by adding turmeric.
Probiotic or prebiotic - which is better?
Probiotic foods, such as some types of yoghurt, contain live bacterial cultures which are supposed to promote health, but only work when consumed in large quantities. Such foods, including probiotic fish food, can easily spoil and then have the opposite effect. Not everyone agrees that probiotic food has health benefits.
Prebiotics are "substrates that are selectively used by host microorganisms and confer health benefits." Scientists are agreed that they promote digestion and thus health. In the case of our fish, there is another essential aspect: With better digestion, less is excreted and the water is thus less polluted, keeping it cleaner and causing fewer algae problems. JBL adds selected yeasts to the PRONOVO foods which have been proven to stimulate the intestinal flora and thus have a prebiotic effect. It doesn't get any healthier than this!