TetraCichlid Jumbo Cichlid Sticks Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 2 Star Foods

Tetra Jumbo Cichlid Sticks

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 47.0% min.
Crude Fat 7.0% min.
Crude Fiber 4.0% max.
Moisture 9.0% max.
Phosphorus 0.9% min.

TetraCichlid Jumbo Cichlid Sticks Ingredients:

Shrimp Meal, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Starch, Krill (FD), Fish Meal, Dried Yeast, Soybean Oil, Monobasic Calcium Phosphate, Algae Meal, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin, A-Tocopherol-Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), D-Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Stabilized Vitamin C), Riboflavin-5-Phosphate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate (Source of Vitamin A), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Biotin, Cyanocobalamin, Cholecalciferol (Source of Vitamin D3), Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Cobalt Nitrate. Color Includes: Beta-Carotene, Red 3 Dye, and Yellow 6 Lake. Ethoxyquin as a preservative and antioxidant.

TetraCichlid Jumbo Cichlid Sticks Ingredients Analysis

The primary ingredient is shrimp. As a general statement, Shrimp Meal is a lower quality product than is fish meal. The flesh of some species of shrimp contains high levels of thiaminase when ingested over time can cause vitamin deficiency in fish. It is not known if the specific shrimp meal utilized in this food contains these species of shrimp.

The next two listed ingredients are wheat products. Combined, wheat may be the actual primary ingredient.

Freeze Dried Krill, as the third ingredient, is an excellent source of proteins, amino acids, omega 3 oils, and color enhancing carotenoids. Krill shells are perhaps the best natural source of astaxanthin, a color enhancing carotenoid. This would be preferred over shrimp meal as the primary ingredient.

The 5th listed ingredient is Fish Meal. We have no way of measuring the quality of the meal being used but we know Tetra purchases imported fish meal in bulk on the open market, indicating its nutrient and protein content is questionable.

The next listed preferred protein source (Algae Meal), listed 10th, is the only preferred plant protein within the ingredient list, although it is too far down the list to result in significant contribution to nutritional value and/or protein content.

With three preferred protein sources listed within the first five ingredients, there is marginal confidence in the preferred protein content of this food.

When discussing artificial coloring agents, it is necessary to understand the difference between a “dye” and a “lake”. The basic difference is that dyes are water soluble and lakes are not. This food uses “Red 3 Dye”, which is water soluble. As anyone who uses this food extensively can testify, it can turn your water orange. This is a result of “Red 3 Dye” dissolving from uneaten food, food shot from the gills (which happens extensively with this food), or dye that passes through the fish’s digestion. Red 3 Dye has been labeled as a carcinogen and is linked to behavioral problems in children. In fish, this potentially would manifest itself as aggression and/or hyperactivity, although no studies have been conducted in this area.

Yellow 6 lake is banned in Norway and Finland. It may cause gastric upset and has been labeled a carcinogen.

This food contains each of the three least desired ingredients in fish food, Ethoxyquin, “artificial colors”, and Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (synthetic vitamin K.)

Oscarfish.Com Rating: 2 Star

Assuming there is some measure of quality associated with the meal products utilized in this food, the preferred protein content of this food could justify a 3 star rating. The existence of Ethoxyquin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, and artificial colors, in addition to the low preferred plant protein contents and questionable quality of meal ingredients utilized, prevents a rating any higher than 2 star.

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.

  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, with some of the more egregious artificial colors resulting in more of a reduction
  • 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