There were a couple of requests at Aquatika (an annual get together organised by Indian Aquarium Hobbyist, for Aquarium hobbyists to meet and greet fellow hobbyists and share their knowledge) to share a DIY shrimp mix (fish food) recipe. I did not invent it, rather it has been around for ages in the hobby under various guises, most recently as the ‘European Shrimp Mix’. The recipe is as follows –
- Small shrimp, head removed – 500 g
- Frozen green peas – 250 g
- Red capsicum – 1 large
- Ripe robusta banana – 1 large
- Cauliflower, beans, courgettes – 50 g combined
- Peeled Garlic – 2-3 cloves
- Spirulina powder – ¼ teaspoon
Blend all ingredients to a fine paste without adding any water. Spread on cookie tray, freeze, cut into 1″ cubes and store in the freezer in ziploc bags or food grade plastic boxes.
The Science Behind the Ingredients
I use small shrimp because that is readily available here, you can use jumbo shrimp if you want (I used tiger prawns at one point). I leave some part of the shell on to provide calcium and other nutrients. You can use fresh squid, mussels, clams or white fish instead of or in addition to the shrimp, just make sure they are really fresh. I don’t feed anything to the fish I wouldn’t eat myself.
If shrimp is very expensive where you live, you can replace it with whatever cheap protein is available, like goat heart.
You can add some multivitamins or calcium as a supplement, but it is not essential. If you have access to fresh cod liver oil, one or two capsules per kg of mix is helpful.
The banana acts as a binder in this mix, if you want, you can omit it and use gelatin instead. I find 30 g of gelatin is good for binding 1 kg of mix.
Adding more spirulina does not hurt, it makes the mix smell weird, though.
You can try other vegetables or fruit if you want, try it on a small batch first to see if your fish will eat it. My fish do not like carrots, beetroot or guava. Ripe papayas and bottle gourds are eaten. YMMV.
If you want to feed mainly herbivorous fish, like mbuna or tropheus, reduce the animal protein to ~30% (in this case Shrimps) and increase veggies accordingly.
The author (Mr. Rahul G. Kumar) retains the copyright of the above post. The information provided is suggestive in nature and is based on his personal experience of fish keeping of over 20 years. He uses this recipe to feed all his fish, from barbs to plecos to assorted cichlids to discus.
First published in IAH Forum.