Review: BCUK Mysis RS, Calanus and First Bite Flake Foods

When it comes to the wellbeing of your marine fish collection, the nutrition that you offer is critical. For a start, fish need the energy to go about their everyday lives but also, they rely on what you provide to ward-off diseases and of course, to maintain and gain weight as they grow. Perhaps the best way to offer a varied diet that provides for their needs, and offers a form of ‘environmental enrichment’, is to feed a selection of products… a mixture of frozen, dried, fresh… pellets, flakes and whole items. When it comes to dried flake foods, we’ve tried quite a few, indeed we rely on the convenience of this popular kind of food at busy times.

So, while the kids are having cornflakes for breakfast, the fishes are also enjoying flake food! We’ve been using a selection of the flake offered by BCUK through their ranges for many months now and we are very happy with the quality of this food. Firstly, from their Mysis RS range, we find that all our fish take the Mysis RS flake with relish. Available in 15g and 30g containers or 200g pails, the mysis used in this food is claimed to be 100% Freshwater Mysis Relicta Shrimp Harvested from clean glacier fed lakes, with no water added. As well as being excellent value it offers a good nutritional profile centring on high ratios of protein, omega 3’s and antioxidants. In our experience, this is a particularly ‘clean’ flake and we have observed minimal wastage or undesirable by-products (such as an oily surface film) from its use.

Another flake that we usually add in to the mix is from the Calanus® range. This seems particularly popular with our small omnivore/carnivore species which really seem to go crazy when this is added. It usually brings our corals out too! With high astaxanthin levels and other carotenoids promoting intense colouration, the constituents of this flake are highly beneficial to the immune system thus offering improved survival rates. Calanus® contain very high levels of the fatty acids EPA, DHA and SDA the latter of which is surprisingly of plant origin and is present also in plankton algae and certain terrestrial plants. From the same range, we also occasionally use the Calanus® reef grazer which suits our grazing species, plus pellets and powdered offerings which can also be useful for target feeding corals.

Finally, from the First Bite range, we usually add some general Marine Flake into our mix (actually we usually mix all the various flakes together into a single tub, enough to last a couple of weeks, and keep this tub near the tank while the other pots are stored in a cool cupboard in the garage to maximise shelf life). Packed with omega fatty acids and natural colour enhancing carotenoids this flake is made from quality natural seafood ingredients and blended with several varieties of marine algae. Complimenting this we also have the Veggie Flake for our herbivorous and omnivorous species. A blend of seven varieties of seaweed, mixed with fresh phytoplankton including Spirulina and Chlorella this formula completes our morning feed and keeps our fish happy until mid-afternoon or early evening.

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