Review: Repashy Soilent Green and Bottom Scratcher fish foods


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 Repashy superfoods cater for some of the most finicky fish out there. Repashy superfoods cater for some of the most finicky fish out there.
Repashy superfoods cater for some of the most finicky fish out there.

Nathan Hill takes a look at two specialist foods aimed at some of the more difficult to feed fish.

The single greatest obstacle to housing the most exotic of fish is usually feeding. For the last century, the most popular fish have been those that would eat anything — Goldfish in the 1920s were fed a mix of breadcrumbs, insects and other daily food scraps. 

In recent times, we’ve come to love many fish with fine culinary demands. Catfish, particularly the suckermouths of South America, turn out not to be the universal algae guzzlers they were initially thought to be. Inspection of teeth structures have revealed wood eaters, carrion feeders, worm gobblers and even fish that comb algae for the microorganisms living within. These are not fish that will accept breadcrumbs and scraps. 

The Repashy range fills a massive gap in the market. While economies of scale have driven many food manufacturers to opt for fish meal and cereals as their base ingredients, the specialist market for exotic feeders has been largely ignored. By utilising an omnibus of ingredients, Repashy has created diets for some of the finickiest feeders out there. 

Soilent Green

This food is designed to cater to aufwuchs eaters. Aufwuchs is a German word that describes a mix of quality algae and the tiny organisms that live upon it. In the confines of a tank, with limited space, it can be hard to maintain sufficient amounts naturally for specialist feeders.

Designed to act as an aufwuchs replacement, the ingredients list is vast. One tub of Soilent contains (brace yourself): Spirulina algae, Algae meal (Chlorella), Krill meal, Pea protein isolate, Squid meal, Rice protein concentrate, Fish meal, Alfalfa leaf meal, Dried brewer’s yeast, Coconut meal, Stabilised rice rran, Flax seed meal, Schizochytrium algae, Dried seaweed meal,  Lecithin, Dried kelp, Locust bean gum, Potassium citrate, Taurine, Stinging nettle, Garlic, Rosehips, Hibiscus flower, Calendula flower, Marigold flower, Paprika, Turmeric, Salt, Calcium propionate and Potassium sorbate (as preservatives), Magnesium amino acid chelate, Zinc methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, Manganese methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, Copper methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, Selenium yeast. Vitamins: Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D supplement, Choline chloride, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Vitamin E supplement, Niacin, Beta carotene, Pantothenic acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex. That’s pretty impressive, and leaves you with a nutritional make up of 40% protein, 8% fat and 8% fibre. 

Bottom scratcher

This is an invertivore food — many of our favourite catfish like nothing more than a belly full of grubs, larvae and insects. While many such fish might survive on a fish-based flake and tablet diet, they may not thrive on it, so Repashy has aimed to make something where all protein and fat sources come from invertebrates. I’ll spare you the full ingredients list this time, but the four greatest components are Krill meal, Insect meal, Mussel meal and Squid meal, followed by a further 40 ingredients. This one is a tad richer than Soilent Green with a protein level of 45%, fat at 10% and fibre at 12%.

Though sold as a gel, what you actually buy is a fine powder that you need to make up into a gel (a small pot makes a lot of food). For that you’ll need some freezer or sandwich bags and a kettle. 

Just mix one part powder with three parts boiling water (add powder to water, not water to powder), then pour the resulting mix into a ziplock sealing bag. If you lay the bag on its side, you can slowly flatten the mixture out until no air remains inside, then simply seal it and let it set at room temperature. Store it in a fridge for a couple of weeks, or six months in a freezer. 

If you need it firmer or softer, then you can increase or decrease the water to powder ratio accordingly. Once made, chop it into chunks, slices, or whatever takes your fancy. 

Verdict: Aufwuchs and invertivore food is something of a niche for specialist feeding fish, and probably won’t be much use in an everyday community, but if you want to add a finicky feeder, here’s your access point. For keepers of unusual L-numbers and mbuna, Soilent Green is a must-have. 

Price: Soilent Green and Bottom Scratcher cost £10.99 and £11.49 for 84g respectively. 

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