What Are Aquafeeds?

What Are Aquafeeds
What Are Aquafeeds

You must have come across the word “Aquafeeds” somewhere on the web, publications etc, which left you asking “What are aquafeeds?”

Aquafeeds simply means those feeds (food) given to aquatic organisms or animals.

Introduction To Aquafeeds

Nutritionally complete feeds should be used when the fish are cultured in high density indoor systems, or in an enclosure like cages and can’t forage freely on the natural foods, or when the natural foods are not available, or where natural foods contribute a little to nutrition.

Fish Feed
Fish Feed

However, when substantial quantities of natural productivity are present, supplemental feeds [partial or incomplete] do not require to comprise all the vital nutrients, and are supposed to just aid in fortifying the natural foods with more lipid, protein and carbohydrate in the rearing systems.

In addition, feeds could be farm-made single component feeds such as mastered oil cake or even rice brans to commercial feeds.

More so, the kitchen wastes can also be seen as one of the types of farm-made feeds economically produced for small-scale farm ventures.

On-farm or Farm-made feeds comprises one or more synthetic or/and natural ingredients, manufactured for a specific rearing activity, other than any commercial aim.

Few feeds are however formulated with antibiotics to cure Vibriosis, and so many other bacterial infections —which are most times known as medicated feeds.

Types Of Aquafeeds

Normally, aquafeeds could be formulated either via producing compacted, steam processing, pressure pelleted [commonly called sinking feeds], or just by extrusion –which forms expanded buoyant feed [commonly called floating feeds].


Floating feeds

Generally, floating feeds have several advantages over the sinking feeds, as they are quite more digestible due to its cooking process, having its pressure/heat deactivate destructive enzymes.

Also, an increased starch gelatinization aids the stability of the feed in water by disintegrating less in a fast pace, which offers more time for fish to entirely consume the meal.

In summary, floating feed could be so detrimental in respect to consumption by competitors, and few fish species.

Sinking feeds

Sinking feeds are also called the solid feed pellets which submerged during application.

For instance, the bottom feeder shrimp would prefer sinking pellets [with density above that of water, 1 g/cm3], and will reject a floating feed.

Feed Ingredients:

Several ingredients are used to formulate aquafeeds, and they include:

Aquafeeds pellet
Aquafeeds pellet
  • Terrestrial-based live feeds [Maggots, Silkworm Larvae]
  • Aquatic/terrestrial plants
  • Grain or Plant processing products/byproducts [Beans, De-Oiled Cakes and Meals, Brans, Grains]
  • Aquatic animals [Clams, Snails]
  • Animal-processing by-products [Blood Meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Bone Meal, Feather Meal]

There are so many additives used that could have good effects on feed conversion and growth without even resulting in bacterial resistance to completely make use of useful raw materials in feed pellets.

Feed Production:

The Production of feed consists of two core phases namely;

  1. Feed formulation [and]
  2. Processing or preparation.

Feed Formulation

Feed formulation involves the process of quantifying the amount of ingredients to be combined in order to create a single uniform mixture, or pellet that would supply all the needed nutritional requirements of targeted fish.

More so, It’s a central process in feed production, which makes sure that economically, the feed ingredients are used for optimum growth of cultured species.

It is quite crucial to ensure that feed formulations are very accurate, and with no adverse effects on the farmed fish.

Different Fish Feed
Different Fish Feed | Source: Fishfeedmachinery

In addition, the formulation of feed can be achieved in the following two core steps:

  1. Ingredient selection/restrictions [and]
  2. Identification of nutritional specifications

Processing or Preparation

  1. Grinding
  2. Mixing
  3. Conditioning
  4. Pelleting
  5. Drying [and]
  6. Packaging

In the future, we would be discussing the diagnotic characteristics of a good aquafeed.

What Are Aquafeeds
What Are Aquafeeds

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