Here is a basic guideline. Don't get too caught up in exact quantities and ingredients. We've tried many variations and they all worked well. This is one we like because it hold together fairly well and the fish seem to like it.
- 2 fresh raw beef hearts
- 2 lbs raw peeled shrimp
- 5 oz of steamed, finely chopped spinach
- 1/4 lb of cooked, finely chopped carrots
- 1/4 lb of krill meal
- 1-4 oz of spirulina powder (depending on species being fed)
- 1/2 tsp of liquid vitamins
- 4 oz of DiCalcium Phosphate (for essential calcium)
- 6 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin
- Premium flake food - approximately 1 lb
De-vein and remove all fat from the beef heart. Use a food processor to chop the prepared heart to a very fine consistency ( a minute or so with the chopping blade). A meat grinder can also work well. Pass it through the grinder twice. Mix heart, shrimp, vegetables, krill powder, spirulina powder and vitamins in a large bowl. Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Mix the dissolved gelatin liquid into the beef heart mixture. It helps if the mixture is warm. Add the flake to thicken. The amount of flake added will vary with the amount of water in the mixture. You can use krill powder for the same purpose. Try to get it to the consistency of thick oatmeal. The more shrimp you use, the less gelatin you need. Ground, raw shrimp is like glue.
Immediately, place paste food in plastic fish bags and flatten to a thickness that when frozen, is easily broken with your fingers. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before freezing. To feed, break off chunks of the frozen mix, and just drop it into the tank. The fish can readily eat from the chunk of food mixture. Trying to break it into small pieces can foul the water. If you need smaller pieces, use a sharp knife to shave it from the frozen block.
Substitutes: You can use very lean beef instead of heart. You can also use fish instead of shrimp, but fish will not bind the food as well and will require more gelatin. You can substitute different broad-leaf vegetables for the spirulina powder.
This is a bit of work, but the effort is worth it after you see the results it makes in your fish. It may take your fish a day or two to figure out that this is food and that it's good. Get them hungry and then feed very small amounts at first. Clean up any uneaten food immediately. Once they get used to it, they will ravenously attack it, and grow as fast as possible with vibrant color.