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making and feeding beefheart

aspen

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
1,033
Location
toronto, canada
feeding dwarfs beefheart can be a good way to get our fish growing out nicely. in fact, the nicest examples of rams i've seen, were kept with discus, being fed beefheart daily. i make my own beefheart mix which i consider to be far superior to any mix i've found at a reasonable price.

i buy a whole beefheart from a local meat packing plant. the last one i bought, i paid 3.87 can, about 2.40 u.s. fat should be completely removed, and the meat cubed, and the sinew cut out of it. this yields about 3 pounds of clean heart meat from a 5 pound heart. clean the heart liberally, there is a lot of fat surrounding the heart of a cow and sinew in the meat.

this is then run through a meat grinder twice. you do not want to make beefheart powder by using a cuisinart. this will mess up your tank and filter. other ingredients vary, but i add some shrimp, shelled and also raw, (i buy them cheap when they are on sale, zipperbacks are easy to work with) at the ratio of 2 parts heart, 1 part shrimp. i also add a hard boiled egg yolk or 2, and some flake (i use spirulina flake for blue colouration, and any other flake i have around, as a binder) and some freeze dried krill and paprika for red colouration. whatever else that you add is up to you, but i have added hikari frozen tubifex worms to my mix for small fish, and also frozen bloodworms. but really, anything that you want to add which you feel would supplement a dwarf's diet nicely is up to you, like f/i frozen brine shrimp. garlic is said to help ward off internal parasites and make the food more palatable. all ingredients are ground, and thoroughly mixed. then i pack it into a ziplock freezer bag, and roll flat, filling the bag completely, to avoid freezer burn, freezing for later use and simply breaking pieces off.

this food is intended as a complete diet for discus, and i feed this twice daily to for my discus, frozen, and they attack it vorasciously as do my dwarfs and even my tetras. i believe that giving this food to my discus and dwarfs gives them a complete diet, high in protien. but i will also feed them frozen tubifex, frozen bloodworms, tetra colour bits and ocean nutrition formula 1 flake. discus owners have known for years that beefheart is a good food for discus, and anyone who feeds this to their discus and also keeps dwarfs, also knows that this is a great complete safe food for them as well. i believe that frozen food is safer for your fish than live food, because of the danger of parasitic introduction to you fish, and if prepared properly, will be MUCH lower in bacterial count than any other food kept at room temp. ie, always keep it cold when working with it, and get it into the freezer quickly.

making beefheart takes me about 2- 3 hours, after cleanup and it lasts me about 3 months to feed 13 hungry discus. depending on how many dwarfs you have, you may want to make smaller quantities, although if frozen properly in smaller quantities, using mini ziplocks, it should last a year in the freezer. note that all colour additives i use are from a natural source. i would NEVER use hormones to bring out colour in my fish, these damage the fish's reproductive system at the least, or can kill the fish.

turkey heart is also said to be good, as is veal heart. but you want to use a meat with almost no fat, these fish are not able to use the fat found in say hamburger, and cooking is a waste of nutrition. shrimp can be substitued with raw fish, using a non fat fillet, like say whitefish.

hth, rick
 

Neil

New Member
Messages
1,583
Location
Sacramento, Ca.
aspen,
Sounds good enough to have for dinner :D Anything with that many items is sure to fulfill the dietary requirements of Dwarfs. The effort of making it is well worth the savings and other issues of using as many seperate foods as I do. Sounds like an interesting enough deal that I might have to try it. My only reservation would be that so many of my tanks have various sizes of fry that I usually opt for a small particle frozen food that the adults will eat too (prawn eggs, daphnia, etc.). Anyway, great suggestion. Neil
 

aspen

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
1,033
Location
toronto, canada
niel, discus fry will take pureed bh mix as soon as they can get their mouths around it. and it is good for fry growth as well. i haven't tried it on apisto fry, but i will when mine get it together. i have personally fed it to 14 day old discus fry, and they grew really well ie, 3/4" per month out of 75% of them. i also fed many other things though.

rick
 

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