Beef Heart

mmorelli

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Dec 15, 2012
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Gainesville
I have two new flowerhorns, my roomate swears by feeding them beef heart (says its fish steriods). However, I thought I read somewhere that it's not good for them? Just wondering what you guys think about it! If no to the beef heart what should I do??
 

oneyedfish

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Jan 7, 2006
1,422
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West Chester, PA
I've never personally fed my fish beef heart. I think your best bet is to get them on a good quality pellet as their staple diet. With the occasional talapia fillet, market shrimp, prawns etc. thrown in for variety.


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FHlov

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 17, 2011
596
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Hawaii
a beefheart mix might be okay, but by no means just beefheart straight. You will cause a lot of issues in the long run for your flowerhorns. There's way too much fat and protein in beefheart that causes issues to organs. Beefheart like any other meat can contain hormones, antibiotics, and other crap they use on animals and that goes directly into your fish. Unless you're buying organic beefheart, which i doubt they even make lol.
 

RD.

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May 9, 2007
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I posted the following last year in response to the feeding beefheart to fish question .......



Fish aren't hard wired to assimilate the fatty acids found in beef, chicken, etc anymore than they are hard wired to assimilate large amounts of carbs. These excess lipids get stored in & around the organs, and eventually shorten the fishes lifespan. Can these foodstuffs offer amino acids, and solid growth, yes, no question about that, but that doesn't qualify them as being a good source of food for a fish.

Even a lot of the major discus keepers have moved away from beefheart over the past decade, for these exact reasons. It's a great food for breeders that simply want quick growth in their juvie fish (so they can take them to market quicker) but it is most certainly not an ideal long term diet. Lee Newman, Curator of Tropical Waters at the Vancouver Public Aquarium has spoken out against feeding beefheart many times, for the same reason as I do, it tends to lead to fatty degeneration of the liver.

Dr. Peter Burgess MSc, Ph.D.,of the Aquarium Advisory Service in England, is not only an experienced aquarium hobbyist, but also a scientist that specializes in the health & disease in fish. He has written over 300 articles and five books on fish health and is a visiting lecturer in Aquarium Sciences and Conservation at Plymouth University, where he works with the University of Plymouth training students in scientific research. Among his other positions, Dr. Burgess is a senior consultant to the Mars FishCare business and regularly runs fish health & husbandry courses for aquarists, fish scientists and vets. He's also a regular contributor & Fish Health consultant for the Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, as well as other magazines devoted to the fish keeping hobby.

Below is an excerpt from the Practical Fishkeeping Magazine and written by Dr. Burgess, titled;


Liver Damage and Red Meats

"The routine of feeding beef heart and other red meats to Cichlids can ultimately give rise to health problems. Poultry meat is also suspect. Red meats, including lean meats such as beef heart, contain the wrong sorts of fats - these harden within the cold-blooded fish, leading to blockages and fatty deposits around the liver.

Also, the relative proportions of amino acids within the mammalian proteins are different to those required by fish. Hence, feeding red meats will cause the cichlid to excrete more nitrogenous (ammonia) wastes, thereby placing an extra burden on the biological filter."


Add to that, FH are not carnivores, and their digestion system is not designed to digest large amounts of protein, no matter the source of that protein. There is no need to feed a FH prawn, tilapia, etc. If you feel the need to supplement their diet with live food, feed them some vegetable matter.
 

RD.

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May 9, 2007
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I'll also add to this to the mix.


http://www.civilica.com/EnPaper-ICAAHMD01-ICAAHMD01_078.html

Abstract:

Objective: Flower-horn fish is considered to be the result of cross breeding between the Cichlasoma trimaculatus and Cichlasoma festae. Several flower-horn fish were brought to the aquatic animal health department of Tehran University with a prolapsed anus. These fish showed listless, lethargy, and anus prolapsed while demonstrating minimal desire for food. Method & Materials: In order to identify the cause, a bacterial culture from the rectum was performed with negative end result. In wet smear of most Of the flower-horn fish free living organism was observed and in one case it was identified as protozoan parasite Balantidium.

Results & Conclusion: According to fish owners, beef heart and meat were the only food given to their flower-horn fish. Similar to all other cichlids, flower-horn fish is omnivores and requires a balanced diet including some plant material and algae. Lack of green food (as it causes constipation in humans) can over long periods, make the digestive track of the flower-horn fish more sensitive to bacterial or protozoal infections. Eventually, the "bloom" of micro-organisms in the bowel causes the anus to prolapse and get exposed. Any factor that increases the chance of bacterial or protozoal infections, such as poor water quality, can trigger the problem. An effective treatment should include the use of green foods only, such as cooked spinach, until the condition is improved. Fifty percent weekly water changes and the use of Epsom salt treatment were also recommended. The treatment proved to be successful. Finally we concluded that imbalance food and lack of adequate fiber to be the most important cause for anal prolapse in flower-horn fish.
 

Endo

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Jul 22, 2011
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I posted the following last year in response to the feeding beefheart to fish question .......

Add to that, FH are not carnivores, and their digestion system is not designed to digest large amounts of protein, no matter the source of that protein. There is no need to feed a FH prawn, tilapia, etc. If you feel the need to supplement their diet with live food, feed them some vegetable matter.
Great info Neil, and glad you answered the OP's questions!
In regards to when you say FH's digestive system is not designed to digest large amounts of protein no matter the source, could this be even a problem in natural fish-designed foods such as Krill/shrimp?
In addition to NLS and HBH spirulina, I also feed my Kamfa natural south-antarctic Krill once a day and it has 60% protein (10% fat, 19% fiber, 6% moisture). Its fun to feed and contains natural astaxanthin and I thought the protein would be good to bulk him up naturally (unlike humpy head/chingmix), but now im worried it could cause problems if fed long-term?
 

RD.

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May 9, 2007
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Hi Endo, sorry I missed this question when you posted it. I don't think that a bit of krill will cause any problems, on the other hand I don't think that your fish really requires it, either. Keep in mind that the main ingredient in NLS is South Antarctic Krill.

I think that sometimes we simply want our fish to grow faster than they probably should. :)
 

Endo

Fire Eel
MFK Member
Jul 22, 2011
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So Cal
Hi Endo, sorry I missed this question when you posted it. I don't think that a bit of krill will cause any problems, on the other hand I don't think that your fish really requires it, either. Keep in mind that the main ingredient in NLS is South Antarctic Krill.

I think that sometimes we simply want our fish to grow faster than they probably should. :)
I see. I agree with you that he may not need it, its just fun feeding krill to him as he goes nuts!

Im worried that by feeding freeze-dried krill, parasites might develop...have you seen any cases? Even though companies claim they are free of such, I would think there's a chance like the risk of feeding live food does;better reason to stick with NLS I guess :D



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