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Discus Food Mix Recipe

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This recipe can be used as a base when making you own discus food. This food is good to use as the main food for the discus, but I don't recommend to ONLY feed this food, but also other types of food. (Read more about this in my article about discus food.)

This home made food can easily ruin the quality of the water if you let food leftovers remain in the aquarium for long periods of time. Therefore you should be extra careful not to overfeed and you should vaccuum out any food leftovers, if there are any.

The ingredients proportions are not fixed, but can be varied and you are free to add or exchange ingredients, as long as you have the knowledge about what is good and bad for the discus and any other fishes that might be in the same aquarium. Personally I never make a batch with exactly the same ingredients and proportions. Among other things it depends on the price and availability of the ingredients at the time.

The use of this recipe is totally at your own risk.

Ingredients:

8 kg fresh beef hearts (there will only be about 3 kg left of this after thorough rinsing and cleaning.)
2 kg fresh eggs
1 kg frozen green peas
1 kg frozen shrimps with shells
1 kg frozen skin-and-bone-free plaice fillets
1 kg fresh bananas
kg frozen chopped spinach
kg frozen crab meat
200 g fresh alfalfa sprouts
40 chewable tablets with multivitamins and minerals
40 chewable tablets with Vitamin C
4 tablespoons spirulina powder (can be found in good health stores)

Equipment:

Two large buckets
Meat grinder (preferably driven by electricity)
Microwave oven
Tablespoon
Large spoon
Sharp kitchen knife
Cutting board for meat
Small jar
Small freezing bags (These should be the ones without folds in the edges, otherwise the food usually gets stuck in the folds.)

You may want to use any other, or more equipment, that's OK. :-)


Preparation:

  1. Grind the tablets and mix the powder that is formed with the spirulina powder in a jar. (Be careful with the spirulina powder, it's very colorful and may cause you trouble cleaning it up if you happen to spill it.)
  2. Rinse and clean the beef hearts. Remove ALL visible fat and ALL cartilages etc. Then cut the pure beef heart meat into small pieces and squeeze and rinse these in water until the water no longer gets red with blood. Squeeze out as much water as possible and grind the small pieces into a bucket.
  3. Grind the shrimps with shells and the crab meat into the bucket. This can be done while they are still frozen, because they are quite fragile, but if you want to you could gently thaw them in a microwave first.
  4. Mix the content in the bucket with the large spoon and at the same time mix small amounts of the spirulina and crushed tablets until all the powder is mixed throughout the whole content of the bucket.
  5. Carefully thaw the green peas in the microwave so that they are no longer frozen (unlike the shrimps and crab meat the green peas are hard as a rock when they are frozen so they must be thawed) and then grind them into the bucket. Here I can also recommend the use of a food processor or a mixer to really make only tiny pieces of the peas because some larger bits of peas can slip through the meat grinder because they are so slippery.
  6. Carefully thaw the plate fillets in the microwave, press out the water from them. Cut them into smaller pieces and grind them into the bucket.
  7. Crack some eggs, break the yolks* and mix the yolks with the whites and some spinach in a bowl and cook in the microwave until the eggs have coagulated. Repeat until all eggs and spinach is cooked. (*If the food is for adult discus I recommend not to use all the yolks since they contain a lot of fat.)
  8. Peel the bananas.
  9. Grind all ingredients through the meat grinder twice. (The ingredients that according to the instructions above already have been ground once, will be ground a total of three times.) Mix the food thoroughly with a large spoon after each grinding.
  10. Put some of the discus food into a plastic bag and flatten out so that you get a 3 mm thick layer of the food in the bag. If the bag doesn't have so called "zip-locks" it is preferable not to flatten out the food throughout the whole bag, but leave a few cm at the opening that you can then fold around the edge of the bag. Do the same with the rest of the discus food (if you want to you can weigh the content to get a specific amount in every bag) put the bags in the freezer as you finish them.

How to feed:

Take out one of the bags. Break off a piece of the discus food and feed to your discus. If you want to you can feed your discus by holding the piece between your fingers in the aquarium while the discus eat from it.

Comments:

You can use a mixer or a food processor instead of a meat grinder, but then you should have more water in the food, so that you do not break the mixer or food processor. Unfortunately that gives a consistency that is not as good as if you use a meat grinder. To make the consistency better you can add some gelatine, but be very quick when adding and mixing it into the food so that no lumps of gelatine are formed.

Examples of other ingredients that can also be used:

Plankton, turkey heart, pig heart (but beef heart is better than pig heart), other vegetables, other sorts of shellfish, fillets of other fish species (but avoid fat fishes like salmon or eel).



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