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Some thoughts on Shori food

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I recently bought a 5kg bag of Shori high growth koi food to trial it on my main malawi peacock colony.

Age of Aquariums - Shori Medium 5kg - High Growth ( 4mm )

After feeding it heavily (about 2kg into a single 650L tank over a month), I gave the tank a big water change (2 days ago), cleaned the cannister filters, added rift salt to get GH up, added easylife to trigger some spawns and then stopped feeding the tank.

Probably didnt need the easylife, but its like a good luck charm.

And no, that wasnt the only water change that tank recieved over the month lol

it gets smaller ones weekly

Anyway today there is about 30 to 40 mouthfuls in the tank.

Big ones too.

But that wasnt what really caught my eye

and impressed me

after all triggering mass spawns with the warming weather is nothing too tricky.

what has impressed me is the size of the hump (KOK) on the males heads

Its a lot bigger than I have seen before on the many diets I have given them.

I cannot help but think

that this food may just be

an excellent flowerhorn food for growing their hump.

Certainly worth a try.

I also ground some up to try it as a fry food.

While I initially under estimated its concentration

which led to over feeding

and a wipe out of my virgatus..... ( god dammit!)

I scaled back the amount I was feeding

by more than half

and I have to say I am impressed with the grow rate

and the colouration of the fry.

Its an interesting food,

but you need to understand that it is concentrated

and shouldnt be over fed.......

although no doubt I havent followed that sage advice to the letter myself!

I will continue to use NLS as my usual staple

but I am so impressed with the results from shori as a conditioning food

that I am going to use it to get my breeder female cichlids ready to breed again.

Works out at around $30 a kg, which makes it something I can afford to feed on a large scale too.

oh and the goldfish love it

and the goldfish must be kept happy.

Edited by DeadFishFloating
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go the high quality koi food...it has so many possibilities I reckon...the japanese dont hold back on making super food..

how long would you last in a market selling bum food if the fish that eat it are sometimes worth tens of thousands of dollars...so nutrition and benefits with colour enhancement etc must be the goods :)

Havent tried the shori but am noticing the effects of quality koi food..even on a native like my muzza cod...vibrant strong colouration and strong physique...and I have ground it up for fry use etc...go the koi food..

think an AA meeting...burp!..I mean AOA visit is overdue...:)

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Haha, Ben needs to give you a pay rise! Is this the food you were talking about at AOA ?

I got some FH to free swimming stage today so maybe I should do a food experiment!

It likely was, as its the only one of the new koi foods I have really had the time to give a good road test on cichlids.


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Can't wait for the super long write up :P

Where to start?

Well I suppose the biggest surprise has been with the growth rate of fry fed this pellet after it had been blended. Just insane. After playing around with a few batches I have settled on a regime that I think gets large masses of fry to 4cm.

The 3cm to 4cm was where I resorted to feeding 1mm NLS once a day. But prior to that it was all blended Shori dust. I also hit on throwing in the whole 4mm pellets for them to nibble on during the day. Because the pellets float, then swell and soften...... the fry can graze. This is a big help for me as I dont have auto feeders on most tanks to get in feedings while I am work.

I am also using air powered sponge filters in these tanks. The result is that the Shori dust settles onto the tanks bottom (bare bottom tanks) or onto the sponge filter. In tanks with cannisters or powerheads much of the dust would be removed before it can be consumed.

Shori is a very high nutrient food, and your filtration needs to be prepared to be able to handle the waste load. Feeding amount was slowly increased and random ammonia tests conducted. If any ammonia was detected I planned to partial water change and back off feeding........ but considering each tank had at least 3 large cycled air powered sponge filters in them that never happened. Still caution is always good with heavy feeding of heavily stocked fry tanks.

I did notice a larger level of waste debris than with feeding spectrum grow or nobori. But the increased water changes and filter cleans from heavy shori feeding were worth it. Not only is Shori a lot cheaper (per KG) than almost every other equivilent brand, but the growth rate is worth it.

Things of note include, even the runts being in good condition, and small fry being able to miss 2 days of feeding without losing condition. I certainly dont reccomend letting small fry miss even a day of feeding, but I was impressed to see them still fat after it. Even better they hadn't turned on their own in desperation.

I do reccomend stocking tanks with newly milked fry with either cherry shrimp or mystery snails. These will help clean up missed food as the fry grow. Once the fry are at 2cm I remove the shrimps and most snails. I'd remove all the snails..... but then wouldnt we all. The reason is that if shori spoils it pollutes the water, I believe this is the fat content. Better for water quality to have some more snail or shrimp poo in the tank, than rotting shori.

As an excersize in keeping feeding costs down Shori has helped out a lot. The 4mm size is good for most adult peacocks and haps. I have not used this food with yellow mbuna over concerns about the astax content, astax can cause black spotting in fish like electric yellows. Not having any electric yellows that didnt worry me tho lol. Anyway those of you with large breeding colonys know how quickly you can go through food. To put it in perspective it took me about 2 months to go through 5kg of Shori, and thats feeding about 100 adult peacocks. That works out to be the around about the same amount of time that 5kg of spectrum 3mm would last me. The difference is that Shori is about half the cost, and resulted in about double the breeding frequency. Its also one of the few adult pellets that really excell when used as a starter powder.

What Shori is not......... its not a replacement for New Life Spectrum 1mm. But it is an incredibly good suppliment and compliment to it! To benefit from its full growth potential, increase the frequency of your water changes and filter cleans. Its likely not the best food for adult mbuna, although I have not tested that, just a theory. I am not claiming that fast growth is the be all of fry nutrition. Those of you who prefer cleaner foods should try out the ocean nutrition veggie flakes, they resulted in the best water quality AND the fish love them.

Thanks to Ben at AOA for helping me out with foods to trial and compare! Has been a lot of fun and certainly surprising to see the Shori fed fry out grow other fry that were a month older!

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Are they showing intense colours as they do when fed NLS?

Not as good no, although the colouration was very close when I was feeding 50% shori and 50% NLS. I also achieved very impressive colouration in fry by feeding the odd pinch of Cyclop-eeze to one tank that otherwise got Shori. Considering the cost of Cyclop-eeze though......... thats not a cheap solution.

My advice is to switch over to 100% spectrum at 3cm if you can. The Shori excels at fast initial fry growth and at conditioning breeders for breeding or putting meat back on females after they have held a batch.

Spectrum still gets my vote as a staple for fish between 3 and 8 cm. But thats the size that I am going to trial out some different stuff on now.

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I am finding shori to be a fairly useful feed as well. I have primarily mbuna with elec yellows.

Yellows seem to have very little colour difference from feeding NLS which is good news.

Fry are fed blended shori until about the 2cm mark

I have been taking to soaking the shori in water and feeding adults the full wet pellets. Not entirely sure this is ideal as some leaching occurs and I am sure that proabably good food going straight into the water.

Fry above 2cm I am soaking full pellets and using a hand stick blender for about 2 seconds. Give bigger particles but again same issues as above.

Would really like a simple way of breaking and sorting the pellets into suitable sizes for the adults. From 4cm demasoni to my larger Haps.

Think I will try Donny's idea of NLS at 3cm for some additional colour.

As for waste, I find it more then NLS but a **** load easier to clean. NLS always seemed to be in my water column no matter what. It also took forever to get that ****ty orange colour out of the filters. Now the shori either ends up in the sump or stays on the bottom of tank. No floating ****. It also does not seem to penetrate filter foam as far and is washed off more easily. I easily save an hour a week cleaning the sump with shori.

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Awesome! Was waiting for some feed back with electric yellows and other mbuna. How has your breeding been with it?

Agree on the filter cleans too, shori seems to be a rougher grind so it doesnt become a super fine silt. Its at least half as few squeezes to get a sponge filter clean, and any debris on the bottom is easy to syphon off as it sorta stays still. You even look at a pile of spectrum debris and it wafts off like a wandering spirit.

The size problem is tricky. Its easy to grind to fry powder, and larger adult species are ok with 4mm whole pellets........ but that gap between is hard to cover! I was so confident in my ability to make 1mm chunks from it too......... but its just not easy to do it consistantly at all. Using the blender to do a rough grind I could seperate the powder from the chunks. That wasnt so bad as I always have fry to feed the powder........ but if all you wanted was the 4mm pellet cracked into quarters its no picnic! Any tips on how to do this are certainly appreciated!!!

I guess the biggest plus over all for me was it reduced the cost of raising my fry, without having to resort to using a lesser quality food. I try to take nutrition seriously with fish and as I regard it as 1 of 3 things that result in quality stock. The others being, good water chemistry and smart fish compatability.

Edited by Donny@ageofaquariums
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I have taken to grinding it between 2 heavy capping blocks from my besser block wall. It's not to bad. Problem is finding appropriate sized sieves to sort it all.

Breeding has been a bit hit and miss lately with it. I have been particularly lazy stripping them however so I have missed alot. I have noticed that missing even up to 3 days on the adults really doesn't effect them. They loose no condition.

A better test will come soon when I redo my sump and hookup solar heating. I will then get back into stripping them properly and imagine I will see great results.

On a side note it is hilarious watching electric yellows scoop up every pellet they can in their mouth. They they swim sideways for a good 10 mins while they slowly eat it. The floating pellet really messes them gutses up lol.

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Excellent. Bricks I have in great supply. Was hoping for something low tech :)

I have been punching holes in the lid of an old OSI spirulina container, so I can shake the dust out and whats left in the container is chunky.

Kinda working but yea, a few $50 lab grade seives would be handy!

Funny you mention missing 3 days, as thats what I did when I got my best ratio of mouthfuls from a colony. 10 out of 10 females had mouthfuls on day 4. Something about the fast........ maybe they just got bored I spose. Like nothing on tv.

Edited by Donny@ageofaquariums
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Well fish went for about 5 days without feed. Not intentional but **** happens.

Went to feed them and none of them are eating. Thought something was wrong until I noticed almost every female in every tank has a mouthful. Grrr time to strip them.

I am now using a very simple glass bottle run over the pellets to break them. If you get the right shaped bottle it just cracks them nicely.

Still a lot of effort to grade out any sizes except for the small sieve but well worth it.

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