|Crude Protein||50.0% min.|
|Crude Fat||12.0% min.|
|Crude Fiber||3.0% max.|
Hikari Discus Bio-Gold Ingredients
Krill meal, silkworm pupa meal, fish meal, cuttlefish meal, dried seaweed meal, starch, brewers dried yeast, spirulina, carotene, astaxanthin, lecithin, dried A. niger fermentation extract, DL-methionine, Vitamin A oil, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, menadione sodium bisulfate complex (source of Vitamin K), choline chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C) inositol, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacin, folic acid, biotin, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, calcium iodate, and silicon dioxide.
Hikari Discus Bio-Gold Ingredients Analysis
Krill meal as a primary ingredient ensures a food that will enhance red coloration while also an excellent source of proteins, amino acids, and omega 3 oils. Silkworm pupa meal is an unusual ingredient manufactured from the exoskeleton and body cavity of dead silkworms. It is a commonly added protein source to fish foods in asia, with protein content and digestibility equivalent to fish meal.
The third listed ingredient is fish meal. Being a Hikari produced fish meal; we can have confidence in the nutrient and protein levels of the meal. However, not being labeled as “Whole Fish Meal” identifies that the meal is potentially compiled from leftovers after the more desirable components of the fish are used for human consumption (pending clarification from Hikari).
Inclusion of dried seaweed meal (aka Kelp) within the first five ingredients is appreciated. Kelp is a good source of iodine for thyroid function, chlorophyll, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc, Copper, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, and Vitamin K1.
The first five ingredients are preferred protein sources, including a preferred plant protein (dried seaweed meal). There is ample confidence the primary protein content of this pellet originates from preferred protein sources.
Brewers Dried Yeast is a by-product of the beer making process. This ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in Vitamin B. Its use in fish foods is as either as a protein source or a vitamin supplement. Studies do exist indentifying its capacity to improve fish growth rates. When used as a supplement comprising between 2% and 4% of the food, this is an acceptable product. When used as a primary provider of protein comprising 25% or more of the food it is less acceptable as protein digestibility concerns have been documented. Its use in this food does not appear excessive.
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. Spirulina is only available in a dry form, so regardless of how it is listed on the ingredient label (spirulina meal, dried spirulina, or spirulina), it's ordering in the ingredient list should be accurate.
A combination of the high content of krill meal and further supplementation with astaxanthin should make this food an excellent red color enhancer.
Unlike Cichlid Bio-Gold (where the “Bio” is associated with a species of bacillus bacteria), the “Bio” component of this food is Dried A. niger fermentation extract. Aspergillus niger is a common fungus that when properly prepared, produces enzymes that aid in digestion. This product is somewhere between a prebiotic and probiotic. It is commonly used in high end dog foods.
This food does not contain Ethoxyquin or artificial coloring agents. It does, however, contain Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K).
Oscarfish.Com Rating: 5 Stars
The preferred protein content of this food, the inclusion of preferred plant proteins in acceptable amounts, and the inclusion of pre/probiotics should rate this as a 6 star food. However, the existence of Menadione Sodium Bisulfite prevents 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.
- 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