API Bottom Feeder Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 2 Star Foods

API Bottom Feeder


Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

36% min.

Crude Fat

7.8% min.

Crude Fiber

5% max.


10% max.

API Bottom Feeder Ingredients:

Wheat Flour, Shrimp Meal, Pea Protein, Condensed Fish Protein Digest, Squid Meal, Dried Seaweed Meal (Fucaceae), Beet Powder, Mussel Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Fish Oil, Cockles, Earthworm Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Garlic Powder, Polychaete Worms, Dried Waterflies, Lecithin, Choline Chloride, Tagetes Extract, Honey, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, A-Tocopherol Acetate, Inositol, Propyl Gallate (Preservative), Citric Acid (Preservative), Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, BHT (Preservative), Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Biotin and Vitamin D3 Supplement.


API Bottom Feeder Ingredients Analysis

Primary ingredient is Wheat Flour. If more companies were honest in their ingredient labeling, this would likely be more common. While Shrimp Meal is a preferred protein source it is usually of lesser quality than is fish meal. Pea protein is a highly digestible plant protein known for its amino acid content (Lysine, Arginine, Glutamine, and Leucine). Its use in fish food is novel but welcome. With wheat as a primary ingredient and the first two meat protein ingredients being lower quality protein sources, combined with pea protein as the likely major preferred protein contributor, confidence is minimal that protein sources of this food are preferred.

Condensed Fish Protein Digest appears to be a lower quality product than fish meal. It can better be defined as fish protein hydrolysate, which is the processing of what's left after the processing of fish meal. API is the only fish food manufacturer using it to this extent. More research is warranted.

Squid Meal is a higher quality product than is fish meal. The inclusion of dried seaweed meal as the 6th ingredient is appreciated, providing a natural source of numerous vitamins and minerals.

Beet powder is a rich source of natural sugar that provides sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, iodine, iron and various important vitamins. In humans, it is considered a health food. It is likely added here more to impart red color in the pellet. It is an undesired ingredient in dog foods.

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 identifying 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.

Fish oil can be either a beneficial ingredient or a hazardous one. Human grade fish oil collected from specific specifies of fish and screened for mercury will provide necessary omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids as well as protein. Non-human grade fish oil may not be screened for mercury and originate from fish with reduced omega 3/6 content.

This pellet contains BHT as a preservative, a known carcinogen banned in Japan, Romania, Sweden and Australia with adverse effects on liver and kidney functions. It not does appear to contain Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K) or artificial colors.

Oscarfish.Com Rating: 2 Star

This cichlid pellet is a novel approach. At issue is the mix of quality ingredients with less desired ingredients. Use of pea protein and such a wide spread of aquatic animal proteins, as well as earthworm meal, seaweed meal and waterflies, combined with an eclectic list of supplements such as Tagetes Extract, honey, and Dried Tomato Pomace, justify a 3 star rating, at least. It’s the use of BHT as a preservative, questionable primary meat protein sources, lack of confidence in the preferred protein content of this food, and the inclusion of questionable or less desired ingredients that results in a final 2 star rating.

Based upon preferred protein content ration alone, this food would justify a 3 star rating.

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.

  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