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Author Topic: Fish foods too old?  (Read 1741 times)
Gregg
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« on: February 25, 2016, 06:55:28 PM »

The feeding of fish was a question posed to me before concerning longevity of fish, disease and such.  I feed a wide variety of dried foods, flakes, pellets, freeze dried foods, and frozen foods as well. I try to provide a mixture with every feeding, usually 2 to times a day in very small amounts.  I have heard not to purchase the larger flake containers as the food can become stale/less nutritious.  So I must ask, how long does fish food last?  I date everything it seems and know the date of purchase. Some foods may take 3 years or more to use completely. I keep food refrigerated as well. Any ideas?

Gregg
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rasaqua
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 03:14:40 PM »

Sunlight, heat and moisture are the main culprits for fish food degradation. (I must also add at this point that ingredient type and it's chemical make up may also be involved, but getting into this may protract this thread into details that could be reserved for a totally new thread.

In our case, sunlight is probably not a concern unless the food container is affected by heat generated in a place where it is in direct sunlight. So, we are now mainly concerned with heat and moisture. Moisture can enter food containers when left open for longer than necessary to obtain the amount of food you want to feed. Moisture on fingers or hands can also contribute. The construction of the container, along with how it opens may also contribute.

Your idea of dating your foods is very good. I think this should be recommended for all hobbyists who maintain aquariums. I never buy a container of food that has visible dust on it. Look at the whole selection stock. If any containers in the row have dust on them (such as the ones deeper in the shelf, pass them by.

That be said, for the majority of standard food fare that is stocked by most stores, assume that the food was probably produced within the past 2-6 months. That may seem like a long time gap, but you must consider where and when that food has been before you decide to purchase. There are a lot of brand foods out there and the majority of them (in flake, granule, pellet, or tablet) are very good and have been manufactured with care.

If one purchased a good brand named food which is packaged in good shape and not collecting dust on a shelf, I would assume that this container should last at least 3 to 4 months. This of course would be determined by the size of the container, how much I feed to what type of fish and being carful when storing and the feed mechanics.

So, the bottom line to your main question of how long does fish food last?..........I don't know! That is a very relative question  happy  I've outline ideas and considerations for standard dry foods. Now 3 years would be far too long to be of any value to feed and would probably cause more harm to your fish and tank water.
We didn't even get into frozen, dehydrated, freeze dried, live cultured, or homemade concoctions.

You started dating the purchase of your fish foods and that is a good start.  happy


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Pat Mary
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2016, 03:39:37 PM »

I date all of my fish food and keep the excess in the freezer.  (For what it is worth, I also date any spices that I purchase for human consumption  Smiley)
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Gregg
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 10:26:37 AM »

Thanks you rasaqua and Pat Mary,

I re read some of the foods I mentioned and found 2 that had a not to use time, both 90 days after opening.  Now, I have 4 tanks, one a QT and one a 2.5 gallon fry tank, so my total # fish in display tanks is 17.  Those fish are all under or at 2".  So, I need small amounts of food.  I think what I'll do from your recommendations is to freeze all but a little bit of the foods I use most. BY dating, that would mean I might have to replace almost every dry food I have, an expensive operation, bummer. I guess it would make good fertilizer.  Surely, except for freezer burning, a food will last indefinitely in the freezer. My home made foods, boiled spinach and boiled egg yolk, I use within a week, stored in the fridge.

Gregg
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Gregg
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 10:26:48 AM »

A slight update. Yesterday I went out and purchased 3 new dried foods, (Omega One freeze dried blood worms, Wardley Tropical Flakes, and Tetra Betta Min Tropical medley.)  My goal to replace all my foods and use the old ones for garden fertilizer as I said.  Expensive, must do this a little at a time.  I had an idea I used I think will work.  I have little containers once used for a relative's diabetic test strips, they have a tight fit with an anti moisture lid. So, I put a small amount in and dated it, then put the larger container in a zip lock bag in the freezer.  It also occurred to me that my wasted looking fish I am treating may in part be the result of using old/less nutritious food.  The problem is not all the species look that way, so it may not be the case, but worth noting. The foods mentioned has used by dates, 2 were of 23 months, one was a year.

Gregg
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