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Gelatin-based food


  1. Gelatin foods
    by (Chad Fontaine) (Sat, 13 Jan 1996)

Gelatin foods

by (Chad Fontaine)
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996

I thought you might like a new addition to your Fish Food section of The
Krib.  The preparation is quite long although it's more helpfull than a list
of ingredients and the instructions "put-em-together" without explanation or
reasons for doing so<G>.  Newbies need instructions<EG>.......

        The mix I use for my Discus is as follows.  It is a culmination(sp)
of many and can be adjusted as seen fit, although the preparation method
listed, in great length<SG>, is the best I've found for any variation.

1/2	Beef Heart  (raw)
12	Prawns  (uncooked w/shells)   (can be substituted for raw shrimp w/shells)
        Spinnach  (approxamate liquified quantity as prawns)
        Split Peas  (simmered untill tender,  quantity as spinnach)
4 tbsp. Oat Bran  (cooked smooth)
4 tbsp. Wheat Germ  (raw)
2 tbsp. Gelatin powder   (I use 2 packets of "Knox unflavored gelatine")

	First thoroughly clean any evidence of fat, gristle or sinew from the beef
heart and chop into suitable size chunks to fit into your blender,  probably
1" square pieces.  These are now frozen in order that the blender may do a
better job of cutting rather then tearing or liquifing. Once frozen place
the beef heart chunks into the blender and grind untill the heart is fine
but still chunky.  Avoid liquifying as it will be more apt to foul the water
when fed.  This can now be set aside in the refrigerator.
	The next step are the liquified ingredients.  The prawns/shrimp should be
thrown in the blender raw, shells and all.  These are liquified as much as
possible, I've found that adding a little water is sometimes needed.  Strain
the paste to take out any remaining large particles, usually chunks of shell
that the fish wont eat anyways.  I read once that large particles or heavy
sinews could strange small fishes, not worth taking the chance anyways.
	The green ingredients will be next.  I don't yet include the peas in my own
mix but they are high in vitamins and protien which is good for fish
requiring a higher green content, a good idea either way.  The split peas
should be simmered untill tender and then liquified.  The spinach should be
thouroughly washed and also liquified, this might take the addition of a
little water that can be poured out later.  If need be the greens can be
strained to remove chunks and strands.
	The oat bran should be cooked a little, just untill smooth.  When done
scoop the oat bran into a large bowl along with the raw wheat germ, the bowl
needs to be big enough for all the ingredients.  Now mix in the beef heart
and the prawns/shrimp.  The finished mix should appear as a very heavy soupy
substance the consistancy of freshly cooked oatmeal but not runny.  This is
why the greens should now be added last.  You can add them untill the mix
reaches the right consistancy or what I do is just add more wheat germ to
thicken it up if it ends
up too watery.
	This stinky, bloody mixture beside you will now be cooked so it can
coagulate, otherwise it would immediately foul the aquarium.  This is best
done using a double boiler, a large pot set on the stove filled 1/2 or so
with water floating a smaller pot containing the the ingredients.  This is
best as it avoids any possible burning of the mix which is not good for the
fish.  The final ingredient, the gelatin, can be added once the mix is hot
and has gone brown.  Put it in a cold mix and it will set in your pot like a
big blob of stinky beef jello<G>.  The mix should be cooked untill it starts
to appear grainy and tends to separate a little when stirred.  Keep in mind
the mix
is better left too wet than too dry because the gelatin will do a better job
of holding a wet mix together.  Too dry and the gel effect will be reduced.
	Once cooked the mix is spread out approx.1/4 inch thick on a cookie sheet
and left to cool.  When cool cut into squares that will slide into zip-loc
bags.  These can now be bagged and placed into the freezer.  When feeding
cut off a piece suitable for that one feeding and place the rest back into
the freezer as soon as possible, as food that is repeatedly thawed and
frozen will be turned down or make the fish ill.  Using a sharp knife you
can shave slivers off the frozen portion directly into the tank.  The food
will warm up almost imediately upon contact with the water.  The result is
quite suffecient as your fish will pick it apart readily.  What I personally
do that leaves as little uneaten food as possible to go bad in the tank is
to chop the still frozen mix into (fish)bite size pieces with a sharp knife
and then feed it as fast as they can eat it.  It is swallowed rather then
bit off larger pieces and what does get by, bottom feeders will make short
work of.
	Medications and vitamins can be added to a secially preared mix or what
seems easiest is to let it soak into or paint onto the "bite size pieces"
and then refrozen untill feeding time.  The later method seems best as it is
much easier to regulate the concentration of the vitamins or medication
keeping to the manufacturers directions avoiding under or overdosing.

	Good Luck, Enjoy and Happy Fishkeeping!!!...........

            Chad Fontaine,
                          Canada, B.C.

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