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Food, SW, Spectrum particularly       8/15/13
Hi Crew,
I have a small tank with 5 carnivores (3 cardinals, Firefish and clown goby) and one blenny. They all eat from the water column ( even the blenny but he gets veggie wafers too). Once something hits bottom it is up to my worms to clean up. Currently I feed freeze dried Mysis and freeze dried Cyclop-eeze.
And for a treat I give them decapsulated brine shrimp eggs. Most of the Crew seems to like Spectrum. But I am afraid it will sink too fast for my fish. Any suggestions? Thanks, Sam
<Try the Spectrum and see... The pellets sink slower than most frozen/defrosted foods, and have an amazing palatability... Really; even with little conditioning most fish species "go crazy" when presented. Bob Fenner>

Pellet feeding - at what point do I stop the fast?    3/2/13
Recently I exchanged emails with you on my puffer health, which lead to my re-read of the WWM article on Thiaminase (after a first read years ago).
Prior to this, I had tried to mix in NLS pellets on occasion, trying various tactics (soak with their food of choice, with garlic, short duration fast, etc). I decided to take a more drastic path after reading your article.
I have previously read the WWM articles on feeding, and decided to try a composite path of what others have done. I am on day 12 of this path...close to quitting frozen/freeze dried cold turkey except I have had intermittent feedings of their prior staples (e.g. 1 daily meal every 3rd or 4th day) . I have had mixed results...and while none who are trained seem "thrilled" and vigorous at feeding as they did with their old foods...I have a report by fish below. Do you suggest I stay the course, or discontinue and try again after a few weeks (i.e., to break up the fast)? Or suggest some other path?
<I'd keep mixing, alternating between the NLS and frozen/defrosted foods>
Harlequin Tusk: Most readily eating pellets...and lots...interestingly, from previous trials, I thought this fish would be the hardest to train.
Bluehead Wrasse, Red Coris Wrasse Engineer Goby: Also full move to pellet fed.
Volitans: Has inhaled pellets (mostly on accident), sometimes spitting them out, now generally doesn't have any interest.
<Have seen Pteroines that would not eat pellets, others that would>
Puffer and Goatfish: Ditto to volitans, except has always spit out and never ingested. Moved from 3 full meals daily to maybe 3 full meals in 12 days (i.e., have only eaten when I've fed their old foods.
<Not surprising. Bob Fenner>

Food (New Life Spectrum proves itself again!) – 02/13/13
Hi Crew,
Again I am in a sharing mood but I hope people can have the success I am currently enjoying with some marine species.
<<How so?>>
I have always liked Majestic Angels, Blueface Angels, Regal Tangs and small Boxfish (yellow) but I have limited success, essentially their colours used to fade away and they used to die.
I now have one of each and their colours are great,
although the boxfish only gets really yellow at feeding time but the Regal is as Blue as when he came out of the sea about seven months ago and has doubled in size and is in excellent health. I put this down in part to good water quality
<<Always necessary>>
but also food which I think is often under estimated in its importance.
<<I am much in agreement here>>
When we talk about feeding prawns they can very easily pollute the tank with bits of them staying in the water, brine shrimp, and Mysis shrimp I don't think are a full diet for these fish.
<<Agreed again>>
I have been feeding mine New Life Spectrum and Spectrumax 1mm sinking.
<<Ahh! I/we push this very palatable and nutritious food all the time! I think ‘every’ aquarist should include it as a staple>>
The max seems to float for longer and just looking at the ingredients which seem to be broken down in greater detail than most other foods there are many different ingredients, more than many other pellet foods.
<<And properly prepared/manufactured to hold its nutritional value>>
Also as they are small pellets they are eaten whole and not partially spat out like brine shrimp.
<<Larger fish will learn to love the 3mm pellets too>>
I have no affiliation or relationship with New Life only as a small customer but think these are the best foods I have seen.
<<Yup…at least for those fishes that will accept them>>
I am not sure if Butterflies like Yellow Longnose, Copperbands would adapt to eating pellets though,
<<Not so far in my experiences…unfortunately>>
but for Angels like Majestic mine looks like it has just come from the sea.
<<Thank you for your observation/comments, Adam. Cheers, EricR>>

Marine Betta Experience, fdg., training live-food-only fishes    4/25/12
About 8 months ago, I purchased a Marine Betta, and found getting him to eat anything but live foods to be quite a challenge.
<Often the case w/ Plesiopsids>
 I did a lot of
research, including on your website on feeding them. I thought I would share my experience because he is now trained on New Life Spectrum pellets, because others would likely welcome the same information.
<Ahh, I thank you>
I started by feeding him enriched live shrimp, with the goal of weaning him off as soon as possible. The first tip I would have is not to spoil them.

I made this mistake early on when feeding him live foods too often. I then decided to try frozen Mysis, which he would not touch. I fed this to my fish about twice a week and covered it in a garlic supplement. He would not touch it until I used the garlic additive. He then tried it a few times, and spit it out. But after a week of that, he finally ate the frozen stuff.
I then included frozen Mysis and the new life spectrum pellets. Again, I tried the garlic supplement (I think it was called GVH fish food soak). In about two more weeks, after alternating frozen Mysis and new life spectrum, he finally started eating the pellets. I know where he hides in the take, so I put the pellets in a stream of water where the pellets would end up in front of him. Before long, he would come out when I fed the other fish. He will only eat the large pellets, while the other fish eat the smaller ones.
He is now fully trained on the pellets.
<Ah good>
I will say, I have had lionfish in the past, and training him was similar to them. He will also go on periodic hunger strikes, much like they will.
Although he hides a lot, those periods where he comes out make having him worth it.
Hope this helps someone,
<Indeed. Many others. Bob Fenner>

Humu Trigger And Others! Reef stkg., fdg.    12/31/10
Good morning! Happy New Year! Greetings from Montana!
<And back at you from (today) sunny (though cool) San Diego, CA!>
Hope its warm where you are-it's --12 here right now and that does not count wind-chill. Oh we also got 12' of snow overnight! Glad fish are warm!
<Wish I was!>
I have a 110 gallon bowfront tank with the following inhabitants: 1-3-4' Humu Humu, 1- 2-3' Green File Fish (who has no taste for glass anemones),
2-Pajama Cardinals, 1-Tribal blenny, and 1-3-4' lawnmower blenny and 3- common starfish and a sand star ( I know, he came in the clean-up crew package and I do occasionally do see him when he climbs the tank wall don't know really why they would include one of these as these are really not suitable for a 110), a green BTA , Haitian Anemone, a cleaner shrimp (who belongs exclusively to the Humu), 4 peppermint shrimp (who do like the glass anemones), 2-pistol shrimp and various hermit crabs, snails etc. All they will eat with the exception of the Lawnmower Man is CLAMS and occasionally they will eat frozen whole shrimp...no two ways around it.
<Mmm, not a good strict diet. I'd train them onto Spectrum pellets: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm
This is fine as I buy them on the half shell frozen (all my pets are spoiled...you should see my calves who are destined for the table (can't beat Montana beef!). But I am concerned that the clam only diet is not varied enough.
<You should be: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm
They all will grudgingly eat shrimp (fish foods are an absolute no, no and I think they would starve if that is all I gave them) but the frenzy for the clams is unreal. Are they getting enough nutrition with just clams?
<No; and too much of other nutrient groups>
The Humu I suspect is supplementing his diet with my small snails which oh well! They are all getting along well and the Humu and File Fish appear to be good friends and they play all the time together. Actually everyone gets along well, although the Tribal Blenny does harass the Humu occasionally but I think it is more of a game. I don't see any aggressiveness there.
Several questions here: Is the clam diet sufficient for all?
<... not>
I realize the Tribal Blenny is supposed to eat algae, but he will only eat algae IF there are no clams for him. 2- The Humu can be a bit aggressive at feeding time and will at times guard all clams that are put in the tank. Can I use a net and spirit him in there to eat so all others can eat a bit more peacefully?
<Not a good plan long haul... Mix in a higher percentage of the Spectrum brand... highly palatable and complete nutritionally>
The Humu will eat until he looks like he is going to explode (then he goes to bed and takes a nap for about 45 minutes).
<Fishy food coma?>
Oh also, husband found a mated pair of clowns that he wants they are about 3-4 years old. Would this be an advisable pair to put in?
<Might upset the social dynamic here... the size and shape of your system is about "full up"... I'd have a back up plan just in case the clowns don't hold their own... perhaps if they can be isolated with the BTA... for a few days... they'll take to it, be afforded protection>
If he gets them he is NOT getting anything else till he gets a bigger tank.
They are coming out of a tank where they lived with a lionfish and several triggers (don't know what kind, but this was an aggressive tank) Can they fit in?
<I give you middling odds. Using egg-crate, other screening... as mentioned above, increases those odds in your favour>
Thanks for all your help/suggestions!
<Thank you for sharing! Bob Fenner> 
Re: Humu Trigger And Others!  12/31/10

Thanks for the quick response. Should I use New Life Spectrum Thera-A Large Fish Formula, Sinking Pellet Food, New Life Spectrum Large Fish Formula, Sinking Pellet Food or Floating or can I use what I already have New Life Spectrum Marine 1mm Sinking Pellets? Sinking or Floating which is better?
<Whatever size will fit all your fishes, and some floating and some sinking (mixed). No garlic necessary>
Should I soak in Garlic Guard? Can I soak the clams in Seachem Reef Plus vitamin liquid and that would nullify the loss of thiamine?
<Won't nullify>
Would it be OK
to feed the clams and shrimp say once a week?
<I would mix just some in at this interval>
We have been feeding every other day to try and keep phosphate and nitrate at .01 and 0 respectively.
This also makes everyone hunt around the tank for any uneaten food. Maybe good maybe not?
<Mmm, better to feed twice a day, small/er amounts>
I also feed the clams and shrimp to my BTA and Haitian Anemone and starfish, should I be doing something different for them?
<Please see WWM re... these issues are archived/covered>
Uh-Oh! Husband is now tanking about a 250+ gallon tank!
<Welcome! BobF>

Feeding / Nutrition, part. Spectrum foods  3/20/08 Crew (Bob), <Steven> I came across a thread written by Pablo Teepot (sp?) <Tepoot> regarding New Life Spectrum foods. Have you seen this and what are your thoughts regarding his statements that no one can really know what proportions of vitamins, etc. are really in foods and that mixing foods can cause "vitamintosis in the fish"??? Here is the article: """People who use Spectrum along with many other foods might attribute their fish looking healthier because of a varied diet. This is far from being the case. If Spectrum is not incorporated into the diet, chances are the hobbyist will notice the deterioration of both health and color within 30 days. If you want your fish to look their best, the key is to feed New Life Spectrum exclusively. Spectrum is the only food that makes a very specific guarantee: Feed New Life Spectrum exclusively for 10 days, and you will notice the enhancement in color and vitality of your fish or we will refund your money. I want to emphasize the word "notice" but it will take at least 30 days to show the full benefit of feeding Spectrum exclusively. Many people might wonder why exclusively? In order for the fish to thrive all nutrients have to be met in the correct proportions, such as: Calcium, Iodine, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, Chorine, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Vitamin A, B6 & B12, C, D2 & D3, E, K2 & K3, Pantothetic Acid, Niacin, Biotin, Thiamin, Riboflavin, folic Acid, Myoinositol, Omega 3 & 6, all amino Acids: Arginine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Trytophan, Valine. If one uses vitamins in excess it can cause vitamintosis in the fish, if too little is used it will cause poor health. When you feed your fish with a variety of food, somehow you hope to give them a balanced diet, but do you honestly know what is in your "mix" of foods? In reality, it is guesswork at best. At New Life we have painstakingly experimented for many years to come up with the right proportions to produce healthy fish, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We have conducted experiments for over 10 years at New Life International. We have managed to keep Parrotfish, Angelfish, Surgeonfish, Triggerfish, Butterfly fish, and even some of the more difficult species such as Rock Beauty, Regal Angel, and Moorish Idol just to name a few, and all exclusively fed with NLS. We have yet to encounter lateral line and/or fin erosion, or hole in the head syndrome. If they will eat NLS, chances are they will thrive. We also experimented with Malawi and Tanganyikan cichlids, as well as numerous species of herbivore, omnivore, and carnivorous freshwater tropical fish without encountering any dietary issues, including bloat. Not even in the ultra-sensitive digestive track of species such as Tropheus moorii and Labeotropheus! This is why our guarantee extends only to exclusive feeding. We know what the fish is getting in their diet with NLS, but we simply cannot guarantee other company's food, in most cases we don't even know exactly what is in it. Krill and whole herring are the most easily digestible sources of protein, and they have the best amino acid profile with the added bonus of omega 3 fatty acids. It should be a no brainier to use these ingredients as the main protein source, but good ingredients cost money, and result is less profit for the manufacturer. Unfortunately like most things in life, it all boils down to the bottom line...$$$$$$.""" End quote. <I do disagree with both stmt.s... There are well-established assays for vitamins... and avitaminoses are not caused by mixing foods as far as I'm aware. Nonetheless, Spectrum foods are obviously of high value... Highly palatable and nutritious. BobF> Should we be nervous about mixing / or varied diets, or is one food that has it all OK to use? <This food appears to be completely nutritious... ala such in the way of dog and cat foods of excellent quality (e.g. Eukanuba, Science Diet et al.)> I wouldn't want to eat the same thing over and over, but have heard many raves about this food. Your input is greatly appreciated. Maybe just a marketing ploy to scare folks into thinking you only get all of the benefits if you use exclusively (use more / buy more), but the thread did sound convincing. Best regards, Steven <Do please see/read through my ppt pitch re: http://wetwebmedia.com/foodsppt1.htm After long speculation, I am a "believer". Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Spectrum Foods comment 6/17/08 Bob, Can you check this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrfaqs6.htm again. I have never imply mixing food will cause vitamintosis. I have no idea where did the poster and you get this idea? Please read it again-carefully, The statement I made was " If one uses vitamins in excess it can cause vitamintosis in the fish, if too little is used it will cause poor health" It has nothing to do with the subject of mixing food. Do you think I am that lame to make such blunder? <Ah, no> Pablo <I do see where this fellow (Steven) states such... I will interpolate your stmt. here re. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Some revisions on my article <Fish foods, Pablo Tepoot... New Life Enterprises... Spectrum>  03/23/07 Good article, much to ponder there.  You can tell he genuinely cares about what he is doing, which I'm sure is not unrelated to why he has such a great product.  Do you know when/where this will be published? -Chris  <Pablo is passionate... about the trade, his work... life en toto... He had told me where this would go first, but can't recall... Pablo? BobF> Bob, The watered down version will be published on Oct. issue of Aquarium fish magazine, only 1/3 of the length, as you know average readers might have a very short attention span. After it is published, it will be an honor to put it on your site with the more complete version. Remember 2 years ago you asked me to write an article about fish food? Well, this is the article. Pablo <Yes I do... and I do thank you for allowing us to post it after AFM. BobF>

Your Spectrum (Foods) DVD  - 03/10/07 Pablo... very nice... Though... for the sake of contributing a bit to possible improvement: 1) I would add the word "Fish Foods" to the opening graphic... As "New Life Spectrum" by itself is not clear enough IMO, doesn't hammer home what you're about, trying to sell... 2) I would add a bit more (yes... artificial) light/ing to your tank video... esp. your big home tank... as this will not only show the fishes color better, but give people a much more realistic view of what you have accomplished. I do really think the mix of species, types of systems (brackish, koi, predator...) that you show is outstanding... 3) and lastly, my usual pitch re the term "fishes", versus fish for multiple species... Oh, actually not lastly. I would like to propose that you and I produce a podcast of your foods... to make available on WWM... Are you game? Bob F.

Feeding New Life Spectrum Foods...Solely? - 06/27/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello Tom>> I started feeding Spectrum pellets almost a year ago after reading about the product on WWM. <<Ah yes, an excellent food indeed>> Had also been feeding Mysis a couple of times a week along with Nori, for variety...sometimes other frozen foods. <<As is usually recommended...>> Their label claims best results are obtained when feeding Spectrum pellets exclusively, so as an experiment I started doing just that about 3-4 months ago, a pinch 2-3 times a day. <<Glad to see you feed small amounts multiple times per day>> The livestock seems to be in excellent health, basically fat, very active and colorful.   <<Excellent>> The fish are a purple tang, pacific blue tang, flame angel, 2 Percs, yellow watchman goby, royal Gramma, Twinspot/yellow hogfish, yellow Foxface. <<Lucky for you they all take to the pellets>> Tank is a 2 year old 125G reef with around 150lbs live rock, mostly SPS, some LPS, cleaner shrimp, hermits, serpent stars.  Also feeding phyto 2-3 times a week for a 5" derasa and other inverts.  Here's the question:  What is your opinion of long-term fish & invert health when feeding only Spectrum marine pellets? <<I have to admit Tom, I am skeptical that a single food source/formulation can provide for long-term health for "every" marine species...at least until "proven" otherwise (maybe you're on the way to doing that!)  I think the New Life Spectrum foods are an excellent, high quality product and use them myself.  I have a friend who claims to have kept healthy breeding pairs of cichlids fed solely on this product...and the seeming successes with Zanclus cornutus fed these pellets speaks very highly.  But even so, I still provide other foods to my fishes...as well as vitamin/HUFA/amino supplements>> It's a lot easier (almost too easy) than frozen/meaty foods, but sure seems to be working well. <<Agreed...but perhaps best used as a "primary" staple, supplemented with the occasional and varied frozen "treat">> Thanks, Tom

Spectrum Fish Food, Pablo Tepoot Hi Bob, I thought you might be interest in the reviews & article on NLS. How are you doing these days? Pablo http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/new_life_spectrum.php  http://www.cichlid-forum.com/reviews/view_product_review.php?id=286  <Thank you for sending these links along... your foods are very well regarded... and for good reasons. Di and I are fine (in Quito now, coming back from the Galapagos). Sorry JasonC and I missed you... we drove down from Ft. Lauderdale past Xmas, but you were out... And Di asks re your books... in SD... is Suk Kim ready for these yet? Bob Fenner>

Spectrum Fish Food Forum Bob, Just to let you know. Pablo http://forums.spectrumfishfood.com/  <Ah, very good! Bob Fenner>

Looking for New Life >Hi guys, >>Hi, Marina tonight. >Dr. Fenner >>Hee..!  "Dr." is it? >had answered an e-mail about food sources for angels.  He highly recommended I get SPECTRUM pellets from Pablo Tepoot's in Florida. I am in Minneapolis I do not have a dealer within 500 miles. I need a store or a contact to purchase this food before my banded angel checks out. PLEASE HELP.  Thanks and Keep up the great work. >>Well, my friend, it took me all of two minutes of doing a Google search to learn that the brand name is "New Life", Spectrum food, and you're right, you DON'T have a dealer within many, many miles.  However, go to these links, or Google it for online ordering and tell them "Get this to me POST HASTE!"  Marina http://www.nlpublish.com/ http://www.nlpublish.com/dealers/

Pablo Tepoot's Spectrum Food Hello all.  1st time writing in, but a long time lurking and learning on the site.  I am just curious if the "Spectrum" food by Pablo Tepoot that you constantly mention is the same as the New Life "Spectrum" food that is on the market? <Yes. The same>   I am looking to get some for a juvenile Pomacanthus imperator, but want to make sure it is the correct food that you rave about.  Thank you kindly. <Amazing stuff... Have been friends with Pablo for years... and he IS a character... nonetheless this/his food IS amazing in its apparent palatability, nutritional value> Sincerely, Mehran J. Marashian Jr. P.S.  If you could respond directly to this e-mail, I'd greatly appreciate it.  Sometimes I have the darndest time navigating the site. <Ah, we respond directly to all. If you have suggestions re improving the navigation, layout of WWM, please send these on. Bob Fenner>

Looking for Spectrum fish food in the UK Hi Bob, I have tried all the aqua shops in Edinburgh and nobody sells the pellets, could you please let me know where I can get them.  Thanks again Jim. <I'd try finding a distributor of "New Life Enterprises" products in the UK... contact them directly and ask who distributes their products there... or there are a few yank ebusinesses that would likely ship... One: http://www.customaquatic.com/ Bob Fenner>

New Life Spectrum Food Greetings Mr. Fenner and crew.  I wrote you about a week ago asking if New Life Spectrum was the same food as Pablo Tepoot's Spectrum food that you rave about. This was for the juvenile Pomacanthus Imperator. Well, she now has a 2 1/2" Flame Hawk that shares her tank, and they get along great. What characters! After 18 years in the freshwater hobby, this was my first foray into Marine Aquatics. A MUCH simpler transition than I expected. Sorry for the babble, but here is my question: I am looking at Spectrum Thera-A formula (Anti-Parasitic) and Spectrum Marine Fish Formula. I am hoping to quell any parasite outbreaks before they occur, as well as prevent HLLE on the Imperator. <The anti-parasitic food will do nothing for HLLE>  Is one better than the other? Will they both do what I am looking for, or should I get both types of food?  <Mehran, For better results I would suggest soaking some Sea Veggies or similar dried algae product with Garlic Elixir, Selcon or VitaChem. Use one or better yet, alternate between two or all three of them. This will boost their immune system, improve color and often prevent or even cure ich problems. I will suggest you email Johnny at Premium Aquatics for questions on the Spectrum food. They are very knowledgeable in this regard as they spare no expenses on their fishes diet.>  Again, your expert advice is always appreciated, and from a new marine hobbyist, I offer a big THANK YOU for sharing your wealth of knowledge with the masses.  <You're most welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

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