In aquaculture and fish farms, the use of fish feed pellets has become more and more popular, so for fish farmers, especially for those who do not produce fish feed with a fish feed extruder by themselves, it is crucial to know how to distinguish the quality of fish feed pellets. Since fish feed accounts for 50-70 percent of aquaculture costs, and what’s more, fish feed has become the crucial source of nutrients for fish growth. Therefore, farmers choose a better “cost-effective” fish feed, which is an important factor in obtaining the best breeding benefits. Here, Fanway would introduce some easy methods that can help to realize easy identification of fish feed quality to a great extent.
- Color: Fish feed is various, which makes it a little difficult to identify from colors. In general, the main ingredients and raw materials of fish feed pellets produced by professional feed factories contain fish meal, soya bean meal, rapeseed meal, cottonseed meal, and other protein materials, so the color of fish feed would be yellow-brown or brown, depending on the property of raw materials when produced. But please note that the color would be slightly different even for fish feed products with the same variety made by the same factory because raw materials may come from different sources at different periods.
- Smell: Fish feed always has the taste of rapeseed meal, a fishy taste, or a little garlic flavor (some factories may add anti-infective drugs – Allicin). However, some producers adopt some methods like adding flavoring agents to prove their feed with big fish meal content, selling seconds at best quality prices. After immersing inside the water, the fishy taste would disappear or fade.
- Water resistance: Some fish farmers always hope that the water resistance of fish feed could be longer and longer because they think only long water resistance could reduce the waste of fish feed. But actually, this opinion is one-sided. The common fish in aquaculture need frequent ingestion, so increasing feed times can also achieve the goal of not wasting fish feed. Besides, the appropriate water stability is around 3-6 minutes.
- Specification: Standard feed factories would produce a series of fish feed with various sizes according to different fish growth stages. At the same specification, fish feed pellets are uniform with a bright and shiny appearance, and the cuts of the fracture surface are smooth. Moreover, the length of the pellet is around 1.5-2.5 times its diameter. If this proportion is imbalanced, it would heavily affect the palatability of fish food, leading to the waste of feed.
- Crushing fineness: Fish, due to their poor digestion ability, need fish feed easy to digest and absorb. So for ingredients of fish feed, if crushing fineness is better, its utilization factor would be higher. High-quality fish feed has the features of thinner grinding fineness and even ingredients.
- Sandy soil content: In order to lower competitive prices in the market and go for profit, a few companies may add sandy soil during the fish feed production process. Fish farmers can do random sampling and taste the samples. If fish feed contains soil, then it proves that there is sandy soil in pellets. The other way is to use water to prove whether sandy soil exists: place a small amount of the sample in a transparent glass, soak the sample with water until it is completely dispersed, stir it again and again, and let it stand for observation. If the upper layer appears turbid, the bottom of the cup has fine sand, indicating that sandy soil exists and the content of sandy soil is also visible.
In a word, during different phases of growing, fish need various fish feed pellets. Therefore, fish farmers only choose high-quality fish feed so as to achieve better economic profits.