Commercial aquatic diets and water quality

Water quality is an important limitation of diet choice and feed amounts in ornamental aquaria. Advanced life support system technology (a.k.a. water treatment) allow aquaria to maintain proper water quality; however, addition of diet items to the water is regarded as a key component impacting water quality maintenance via the load presented to life support systems. Herein, we evaluated nutrient...

Calibration development for rapid assessment of fish species for dolphins in human care using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS)

Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) is a fast, accurate, and cost effective method for analyzing organic compounds. Dolphins as a species are highly sensitive to changes in the energy and nutrient contents of their diets. We analyzed monthly samples (n=148) of capelin, herring, and squid for dry matter, crude protein and crude fat. The dried and ground samples were returned...

Tools and techniques for successfully grinding fish for tube feed formulas

Grinding fish in a blender is very complex because the fish often need to be processed to some degree and there are many choices of blenders. Suggested blenders to use include Waring blenders of various sizes, homogenizers, or smaller, but more affordable, Magic BulletÒ or NutriBulletÒ. Using a meat grinder, chopping, filleting, skinning, and successive blending are all methods of...

Nutrient Composition of Locally Obtained Native Fishes (St. Catherines Island, GA, USA) Compared with Fish Commonly Purchased for North American Zoo Feeding Programs

Nine species of local fishes, obtained as part of a larger population study, were chemically analyzed to determine nutrient composition prior to use in feeding programs at the Wildlife Survival Center, St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA. The nutrient composition of locally obtainable fishes was compared to that of fishes commonly used in North American zoo feeding programs. The 9 local...

The interaction of diet, water chemistry, and disease state on the health of captive ornamental fish

Nutrition is an important modulator of immune function and can often tip the balance between health and disease. In order to maintain fish in aquaria, sound nutrition and adequate feeding are essential to fish health as clinical disease often ensues when nutritional needs are not met. Diets that are adequate with respect to essential nutrients can hasten recovery from infection,...

Safety of feeding anadromous fish to polar bears

Fish are a standard part of polar bear diets in zoos and aquaria. Though most fish are frozen and thawed for feeding, some institutions have access to fresh fish such as salmon and trout. Recently, animal managers have encouraged the feeding of live fish for enrichment purposes. In 1982 two polar bears living in a Pacific Northwest zoo were thought...

Carp cakes: another fish alternative

Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) are invasive species that pose a threat of displacing and lowering the abundance of native fishes, mussels and invertebrates. The Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) considers bighead and silver carp the most important aquatic nuisance species in the basin. On the Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois rivers, bighead and silver carp...

Nutritional considerations for maintaining aquarium fishes

A broad spectrum of nutritional issues faces aquariums. Although some of these issues may appear very basic, such as maintaining adequate food supplies or ensuring their adequate distribution and consumption within an exhibit, there is an underlying complexity created by the interrelationships of many nutrition-related issues within aquatic systems. This paper briefly describes several of the most prevalent issues facing...

Nutritional physiology of captive fishes

Managing the health of captive fishes requires broad knowledge of environmental, physiological, and nutritional requirements for life in an aquatic realm, something no human being can fully appreciate. In spite of our lack of experience living in an aquatic environment, we can successfully manage the nutritional well-being of captive fishes. In fact, the fundamental requirements of life differ little from...

Sustainability issues come home: choosing seafood for zoo and aquarium animals

It has been have taken for granted that wild populations of seafood species would always be readily available. Unfortunately, there are limitations and a continued trend in the decline of fish populations both in the United States and around the globe. At the same time, the demand for seafood is increasing. Captive piscivorous animals must be provided with seafood to...

Analysis of fish offered to bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus truncatus) over a 5 year period : fluctuations and lessons in quality control

Dolphins held under human care often pose a challenge in terms of weight and subsequent health maintenance. While a lack of exercise may contribute to this situation, proper body weight can be controlled by taking regular weights and monitoring both feed and associated caloric intake by weight. At The Seas at Epcot, the diet of the four male dolphins housed...

Application of a Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIR) to measure protein, fat and moisture in fish samples

Quality control programs need methods for simple and rapid analysis of feeds and ingredients. Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) and Transmission (NIT) Spectroscopy have been previously used for the analyses of fish carcasses (Gjerde and Mathias. 1987; Valdes et al.. 1989 and Downey. 1995). NIR was applied to measure percent fat, protein and moisture in fish samples used for food in...

Fish Composition: Effects of fish preparation and analytical methods

It is important to determine the nutrient content of fish fed to piscivorous species to ensure the animals are receiving an appropriate diet. The results of chemical analyses for nutrients can be affected by various factors including collection of a representative sample, sample preparation methodology, and laboratory and instrument variation. The objective of this project was to determine the effects...

Optimum feeding and dietary formulation for ornamental fish species

The formulation of adequate diets for organisms in an aquatic environment gives a greater challenge to those involved in their care, compared to terrestrial species. The aim of this paper was to highlight all the factors which should be considered when formulating a maintenance feeding program for ornamental fish. The provision of energy and other nutrients to poikilothermic animals can...

Feeding captive piscivorous animals: nutritional aspects of fish as food.

Piscivory is a term which specifically refers to the consumption of fish, but for the purposes of this document also encompasses a variety of organisms including marine invertebrates. Fish and marine invertebrates are prevalent constituents in the diets of a diversity of captive animals. Appropriate selection, purchase, storage, and thawing of these products is critical to the successful husbandry and...