|Crude Protein||45.0% min.|
|Crude Fat||10.0% min.|
|Crude Fiber||4.2% min.|
Cobalt Aquatics Tropical Flake Ingredients:
Salmon Fish Meal, Dried Brine Shrimp, Dried Yeast, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Wheat Flour, Oat Flour, Gluten Flours, Freeze Dried Plankton, Freeze Dried Krill, Dried Spirulina, Fish Oil, Lecithin, Brine Shrimp Meal, Garlic Powder, Earthworm Powder, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of stabilized Vitamin C), Beta-Glucan, Spray Dried Egg, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, D1 Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin, D-Biotin, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Methionine, and Natural Coloring.
Cobalt Aquatics Tropical Premium Fish Food Ingredients Analysis
The primary ingredient is “Salmon Fish Meal”. Not being labeled as “Whole Salmon Meal” indicates this meal is potentially comprised of the skins, scales, bones, blood, internal organs, and other leftovers deemed unusable for human consumption. While “Whole Salmon Meal” would be preferred, it is assumed that the included Salmon Fish Meal is a quality product. Salmon Meal is high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids as well as Astaxanthin, a color enhancing carotenoid and powerful antioxidant.
Studies conducted by the University of Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment have identified significant contaminant levels in farmed salmon. “In particular, four substances that have been well studied for their ability to cause cancer-PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin, and toxaphene-were consistently and significantly more concentrated in farmed salmon.” Contamination is significant enough that the human recommendation for the consumption of farmed salmon is reduced to a “one-half to one meal per month-based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consumption advisories for these contaminants. A meal was considered to be an eight-ounce portion.” It can be safely assumed that this meal is comprised of farmed salmon.
Dried Brine Shrimp is the second listed ingredient. While a decent color enhancer, the nutritional values of dried brine shrimp are otherwise limited with its primary value being "roughage" from the exoskeleten. It is, however, a preferred protein.
The next five ingredients are non-preferred protein sources and fillers. Oat, as a whole grain, would be a quality ingredient, but that is not what we have here. Oat Flour is a by-product of oat production. It is considered a filler with no signficant nutritional value.
With six non-preferred protein sources listed in the top eight ingredients, the preferred protein values in this food are questionable, although the first two ingredients are preferred proteins.
Subsequent preferred protein sources are Freeze Dried Plankton, Freeze Dried Krill, and Dried Spirulina. Use of Spirulina is appreciated but its listing as the 8th ingredient limits its overall nutritional contribution. A combination of salmon meal, brine shrimp, plankton, krill, and Spirulina should result in a food with excellent color enhancing properties.
Subsequent listings of garlic and earthworm powder are appreciated but their location this far down the ingredient list limits their overall nutritional contribution to the food.
Use of probitics in the form of Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product and Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product is very much appreciated. Probiotics aid in digestion, including increasing the protein digestibility of terrestrial starches such as wheat (at least for true omnivores such as Oscars), and the subsequent breakdown in waste. Functional probiotics can reduce waste build up in the substrate and filters by as much as 50%.
Per communication with Cobalt, Cobalt does not add ethoxyquin directly to their products but pre-mix meals contain "trace amounts". The actual levels of Ethoxyquin are unknown.
Food does not contain artificial coloring agents but does include Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K).
Oscarfish.Com Rating: 3 star
While we would prefer the primary ingredient be “Whole Salmon Meal” instead of “Salmon Meal”, the assumed quality of the utilized salmon meal, inclusion of additional preferred proteins, an absence of artificial coloring agents, and use of probiotics easily rank this a 3 star food. Use of Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, the amount of wheat, soy, and oat products utilized, and use of Ethoxyquin prevents a 4 star rating, leaving the end result at 3.5. This food is above other 3 star foods but not quite at a 4 star level.
Understanding Oscarfish.Com Ratings:
This review is an attempt to analyze the ingredients, rating them from 1 star (worse) to 6 star (best), in an effort to judge quality based upon three simple criteria.
- Absence of toxic, potentially toxic, and controversial ingredients
- Aquatic Animal protein and Preferred Plant Proteins as the primary protein sources
- 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