API Tropical Pellets Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 2 Star Foods

API Tropical Pellet


Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

38.5% min.

Crude Fat

6% min.

Crude Fiber

6% max.


10% max.

API Tropical Pellets Ingredients:

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

API Tropical Pellets Ingredients Analysis

Wheat Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles, a by-product of the ethanol industry, is undesirable as a primary ingredient. It is comprised of the wet mash that is left over after distillation of the ethanol, containing the remains of those grains, but the starch has been fermented so the leftover mash is actually low in starch. It is higher in protein than corn gluten meal although digestibility is questionable. The potential exists for it to contain fungal and mold toxins.

The next ingredient, Sunflower Meal, sounds good but it’s actually a by-product resulting from oil extraction of the sunflower seed. Once the oil is extracted, what’s left is the meal and the healthy aspects of sunflowers go with the oil.

Squid Meal and Pea Protein are the only preferred proteins within the initial grouping of primary proteins of this food. Squid Meal is a higher quality product than is fish meal while pea protein is a highly digestible plant protein known for its amino acid content (Lysine, Arginine, Glutamine, and Leucine). With two undesired products as the first two ingredients, even with quality subsequent ingredients, it is unlikely the primary protein sources of this pellet are preferred.

Condensed Fish Protein Digest appears to be a lower quality ingredient 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.

Dried Waterflies are an excellent addition, providing both fiber (in the exoskeleton) and protein. Banana Meal is a dried product produced from the whole banana. Its healthy benefits are obvious.

Brewers dried yeast is a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in Vitamin B. Is 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.

Shrimp Meal, Mussel Meal, Seaweed Meal, and Earthworm Meal are all welcome ingredients except they are located too far down the ingredient list to significantly contribute nutritional value.

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.

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 tropical pellet is a novel approach. At issue is the mix of quality ingredients with less desired ingredients. While some ingredients are very much appreciated, others are undesired. Sometimes, it’s not about the protein. It’s about the protein source. Use of undesired primary ingredients combined with use of BHT as a preservative prevents rating this food any higher than a 2 star food. The preferred proteins that are used prevent a 1 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 source
  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