|Crude Protein||44.0% min.|
|Crude Fat||10.0% min.|
|Crude Fiber||4.2% min.|
Cobalt Premium Cichlid Food Ingredients:
Salmon Fish Meal, Dried Yeast, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Shrimp Meal, Freeze Dried Plankton, Freeze Dried Krill, Dried Spirulina, Dried Kelp, Fish Oil, Lecithin, Dried Brine Shrimp, Egg Powder, 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 Premium Cichlid 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, internal organs, and other leftovers deemed unusable for human consumption. While “Whole Salmon Meal” would be preferred as it would include the entirety of the fish, not just processing leftovers, it is assumed that the included Salmon Fish Meal is a quality product. Salmon Meal contains higher levels of beneficial oils than many other fish used in generic fish meals. Salmon skin is also high in astaxanthin, a color enhancing carotenoid and powerful antioxidant discussed later in this article.
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.
The next two ingredients are non-preferred protein sources and binders followed by five preferred protein sources (Shrimp Meal, Freeze Dried Plankton, Freeze Dried Krill, Dried Spirulina, Dried Kelp) to include two preferred plant proteins.
With six of the top eight ingredients being preferred proteins, ample confidence exist in the preferred protein content of this food.
All of the preferred protein sources possess color enhancing properties. Salmon skin, which is included in the Salmon Meal, plankton meal, and krill meal are perhaps the best natural sources of Astaxanthin available, while Spirulina contains high levels of Zeaxanthin. Each of these carotenoids enhances red coloration.
We would prefer that both Krill Meal and Spirulina Meal be higher in the ingredient list. Shrimp Meal, as the 2nd listed preferred protein, is a lower quality product than is either Krill Meal or Spirulina Meal. Freeze Dried Plankton is roughly equiviliant to Krill Meal in nutritional value.
Spirulina is sometimes called "The Most Nutritious Food on the Planet". Rich in raw protein and seven major vitamins: A1, B1, B2, B6, B12 (one of the best natural sources for B12, although the bioavailability of its B12 is in dispute by many researchers), C and E. It naturally contains beta-carotene, color enhancing pigments, and a whole range of minerals. In addition, Spirulina has 62% amino acid content and contains all essential fatty acids and eight amino acids required for complete nutrition. It is easily digested due to the fact that Spirulina cells do not have cellulose walls. Its listing as the 7th ingredient minimizes its nutritional contrinution to the food. Regardless, its use is appreciated.
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: 4 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 to include sufficient preferred plant proteins, an absence of artificial coloring agents, and use of probiotics would provide this food with 5 star consideration. Use of Ethoxyquin and Menadione Sodium Bisulfite result in an 4 star ranking. Concerns do exist with excessive use of Dried Yeast (assumed to be brewers dried yeast).
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