Similar to all other animals, aquarium fish need nutrients to stay healthy:
- Fatty acids (omega-3s)
- Vitamins and minerals
- Proteins, which contain the essential amino acids
- Carbohydrates and fibre
Omega-3 fatty acids
Fishmeal is the best source for all essential amino acids and a rich source of fatty acids including omega-3s, which play a major role in aquarium fish development.
Omega-3 fatty acids are poly-unsaturated fatty acids found primarily in fishmeal and the fish oil.
Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency signs may include:
- Reduced growth rates and feed efficiency.
- Reduced resistance to bacterial infections.
- Fish distress.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are needed in varying quantities and are dependent on the direct needs of the fish.
Vitamins play an important role in relation to growth and health benefits, better performance of the metabolic functions, and enhanced immune benefits.
Minerals play an important role in cellular membranes, components of soft tissues, blood and all structural constituents of bones, fins and scales. Fish will also absorb dissolved minerals from the water, through the gills, fins and oral epithelia.
Proteins and carbohydrates
Plant extracts play an important role, with several plant proteins and grain by-products used on a regular basis in fish diets. Wheat contains nutrients essential for fish and with proper thermal processing to enhance digestibility, they become a great source product for energy.