Aqueon Tropical Flakes Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 3 Star Foods

aqueon tpical flakes


Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

41% min.

Crude Fat

7% min.

Crude Fiber

3% max.


8% max.


1% max.


Aqueon Tropical Flakes Ingredients:

Whole Fish Meal (whole salmon, herring and other mixed fishes), Whole Wheat Flour, Soybean Meal, Whole Dried Krill, Wheat Gluten Meal, Dried Yeast, Squid Meal, Kelp Meal, Wheat Germ, Fish Oil, Corn Gluten Meal, Spirulina, Garlic, Natural Astaxanthin, Marigold Powder, Chili Powder, Spinach, Choline Chloride, Calcium Propionate (a preservative), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin A Acetate, Cholecalciferol (source of Vitamin D3), Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Menadione Sodium Bisulphite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic acid, Thiamine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6), Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, DL-Alphatocopherol (E), Manganese Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, and Copper Sulfate.

Aqueon Tropical Flakes Ingredients Analysis

Primary ingredient is Whole Fish meal. A meal form including the word “whole” identifies the entirety of the fish is utilized, not just processing leftovers as will be found in  many fish meals. Aqueon Meals are known to be manufactured in the United States, not utilizing Ethoxyquin as a preservative, which enables ample confidence in the quality of the meal.

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 farmed salmon is utlized in this meal.

Wheat is split into three separate ingredients (WholeWheat Flour, Wheat Gluten Meal, and Wheat Germ) potentially making it the actual 1st ingredient.

The next preferred ingredient is “Whole Dried Krill Meal”. Preference would be for this to be identified as Antarctic Krill. Regardless, it is a preferred protein with excellent color enhancing properties. Squid meal is a quality preferred protein.

Kelp Meal is a good source of iodine for thyroid function and chlorophyll, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc, Copper, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Manganese.

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 content.

The inclusion of garlic and Spirulina are appreciated, although their listing this far down the ingredients limits their nutritional contribution. Marigold and Chili powder are more gimmicky than nutritional important.

With four of the top six ingredients being non-preferred proteins and fillers, the preferred protein content is questionable but sufficient.

This food does not contain Ethoxyquin or artificial colors but it does contain synthetic vitamin K.

Oscarfish.Com Rating: 3.5 Star

A absence of both Ethoxyquin and artificial colors combined with use of the whole fish and subsequent quality preferred proteins easily justifies a 3+ star rating. I really wanted to rate this as a 4 star food but limited quantities of preferred plant proteins combined with use of Menadione Sodium Bisulphite (synthetic vitamin K) and questionable amount of non-preferred proteins/fillers used, prevent rating any higher. It is, however, a step above other 3 star foods. Hence the 3.5 star rating.

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.
  • 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