TetraMin Tropical Tablets Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 1 Star Foods

TetraMin Tablets

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 43.0% min
Crude Fat 5.0% min
Crude Fiber 1.5% max
Moisture 8.0% max
Phosphorus 1.0% min

TetraMin Tropical Tablets Ingredients:

Dried Skim Milk, Fish Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Dried Yeast, Potato Protein, Algae Meal, Shrimp Meal, Wheat Gluten, Lignin Sulfonate Dehydrated, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Fish Oil, Feeding Oat Meal, Sorbitol, Lecithin, Ascorbic Acid, Inositol, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Riboflavin -5-Phosphate, A-Tocopherol-Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Cyanocobalamin, Cholecalciferol, Artificial Colors, Blue 2 Lake, Red 3 Dye, Yellow 5 Lake, Ethoxyquin (as a preservative).

TetraMin Tropical Tablets Ingredients Analysis

Primary ingredient is dried skim milk. I’m not sure how this applies to fish nutrition aside as a source of protein and calcium. Milk is a mammalian protein and does not belong in fish food.

The first preferred protein is fish meal, the second listed ingredient. While we have no way of measuring the quality of the meal being used but we know Tetra purchases fish meal in bulk on the open market, indicating its nutrient and protein content is questionable.

The next three ingredients are non-preferred proteins, binders, and fillers (Ground Brown Rice, Dried Yeast, Potato Protein).

Ground Brown is a quality grain added to fish foods as a protein source. Ground brown rice uses the whole grain, not just processing leftovers.

Potato Protein is derived from de-starched potato juice from which the "proteinaceous fraction has been precipitated by thermal coagulation followed by dehydration" (a fancy way of saying "potato juice"). Its use in fish foods is as an inexpensive protein source.

Two additional preferred protein sources are listed as the 6th listed ingredient, Algae Meal, and the 7th listed ingredient, Shrimp Meal.

Algae Meal is a dried product manufactured from blue-green algae. While Spirulina Algae Meal would be preferred over standard Algae Meal, Algae Meal remains a quality ingredient containing amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements. It boosts the immune system, increases energy levels, and improves general health. The Chlorophyll and phytochemical content results in an effective antioxidant to prevent cell damage and aid detoxification in the body.  Algae Meal is low in fat and high in fiber. Its listing as the 6th ingredient indicates is nutritional contribution to the food is marginal.

While a preferred protein, Shrimp meal is of lesser quality than is fish meal.

Fish Oil, the 16th listed ingredient, can either be a quality product with significant benefit or a hazardous one. If obtained from the correct types of fish and screened for mercury, it is an excellent addition to fish food. If obtained from less desirable fish and not screened for mercury, it is less beneficial and potentially unhealthy. With Fish Oil listed this low in the list, the possibility of additional benefits or increased risk is minimized.

With only two potentially low quality preferred aquatic meat protein sources listed along with a single preferred plant protein, it is safe to assume the preferred protein content of this food is less than desired.

When discussing artificial coloring agents, it is necessary to understand the difference between a “dye” and a “lake”. The basic difference is that dyes are water soluble and lakes are not. This food uses “Red 3 Dye”, which is water soluble. Use of “Dyes” as coloring agents can have the unintended side effect of discoloring your water. This is a result of “Red 3 Dye” dissolving from uneaten food or dye that passes through the fish’s digestion. Red 3 Dye has been labeled as a carcinogen and is linked to behavioral problems in children. In fish, this potentially would manifest itself as aggression and/or hyperactivity, although no studies have been conducted in this area.

Blue 2 Lake is a synthetic chemical produced by the fusion of sodium phenylgycinate and indoxyl in a mixture of sodamide and caustic soda. Added to fish food as a coloring agent. Serves no nutritional benefit.  In humans, it is known to cause hyperactivity, chromosomal damage, nausea, high blood pressure, vomiting, breathing problems, allergic reaction and skin rashes. In fish, this could manifest as unexplained flashing behavior, aggression, and refusal to eat. This chemical has been found to cause brain cancer in rats. Blue 2 has been banned in Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, France, Belgium, Australia and the British Commonwealth.

Yellow 5 lake is one of the less egregious of the artificial coloring agents. If you drink Mountain Dew, this is where the "yellow" comes from.

This food contains each of the three least desired ingredients in fish food, Ethoxyquin, “artificial colors”, and Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (synthetic vitamin K.)

Oscarfish.Com Rating: 1 Star

The existence of Ethoxyquin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K), and artifical colors, in addition to the low preferred protein contents of the food, as well as the questionable quality of the fish and shrimp meals in use, prevent a rating any higher.

Understanding Oscarfish.Com Ratings:

This review is an attempt to analyze the ingredients, rating them from 1 (worst) to 6 (best) in an effort to judge quality based upon three simple criteria.

  1. Absence of toxic, potentially toxic, and controversial ingredients
  2. Aquatic Animal protein and Preferred Plant Proteins as the primary protein sources
  3. A fully nutritious food to include necessary vitamins and minerals with natural sources of vitamins and minerals being preferred.

These basic concepts apply:

  • Any food that utilizes Ethoxyquin, BHA, or BHT as preservatives, cannot rate higher than a 4 star food.
  • Use of artificial colors prevents rating higher than a 4 star food.
  • Any food that utilizes Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (Synthetic Vitamin K, aka K3) cannot rate higher than a 5 star food.
  • Inclusion of the “Whole Fish”, or “Whole Krill” (in meal form or not) is preferred over fish meal or krill meal.
  • In order to achieve a 5 or 6 star rating, the quality of the meal must be known.
  • In order to achieve a 6 star rating, the “Whole Fish’ (or whole animal) must be used, either in meal form or in sufficient quantities outside of meal form.
  • Inclusion of sufficient quantities of preferred plant proteins is a bonus with sufficient Spirulina content being a significant bonus.
  • Use of prebiotics or probiotics is a bonus