No problem. I get all the ingredients (shrip is about 50%) and put them one by one into a blender. I run the blender for just a very short time, enough to make the blender food fish bite size. After all the ingredients are made I put them in a large bowl and mix in some selcon and stir the mush so all the ingredients are completely mixed. From thier I put the mush into an ice cube tray and put some heavy saran wrap over it, then in the freezer it goes. When I want to feed some I put a cube in a glass of Ro/di water and allow it to thaw. I then stir the detawed mix of water and mush. then into a fine net it goes allowing the water to drain out. then back in the cup and add som SW and then feed it to the tank.
My mixture is about the same as Mikes but I freeze mine in 1 quart freezer bags. I just add the seafood stew to the bag and flatten it out on the counter until it is about a quarter inch thick or so, just like the flat packs. Then lay it flat in the freezer. Makes it easy to snap off differant size chuncks.
Scooterman no cayenne pepper in the mush I know how you Cajun's are; it taste OK but it could use more cayenne LOL.
I do wash all of my processed seafood although not in RO just good old tap. I usually buy clams and oysters fresh in the shell and open them; one for the fish two for me one for the fish three for me :lol: takes alot of them to get what I need (for me). I did want to ask Mike why thaw in RO I usually scoop a little tank water and thaw in that then rinse with some fresh.
We have talked twice about making blender mush, and I am finally going to do it per your recipe.
However I still have a couple questions, and Ill post here for the benefit of everyone.
On the recipe....
I see your recipe now is Shrimp, cod, scallops, squid legs, mussels and selcon
Before you had told me to use Shrimp, Scallop, Salmon. When I inquired about the dye in salmon you told me I might try snapper.
Is there any reason on the change on the recipe? Is your new recipe what you recomend or?
What setting do you use on the blender? I am asking to probe what type of size I should be getting. I know you said fish size, but is fish size like baby brine size, mysis, daphnia, bloodworm, krill? Can you compare it to something?
You soak your food as you thaw it... do you soak it before with RO/DI water too?
Do you add any water when blending, or when freezing it?
The food size is dependent on the size fish you are feeding. The general rule of thumb is "If they can eat it they will" (applies especially to eels!) Small fishes require the blender to be left on longer than larger fishes. Knox unflavored gelatin can be added to bind the material together for larger fishes or a blender left on too long. Avoid the salmon species as well as the mackerels, tunas, etc. they will add too much oil to the system and may produce a slick on the surface. Stick with bottom fish like halibut (love but, especially the cheeks!) and flounder. Definitely avoid any aquacultured fish: this goes equally for fishfood; too many additives to keep track.
I normally use a food processor. I individually process the following items: shrimp, krill, silversides, clams, scallops, squid, fish and mysis. Each ingredient is then put into a large bowl, and mixed together well. I then fold in the additional ingredients; Cyclopeeze, Oregon Desert Caviar, brine shrimp, and Selcon. Depending on what the batch is for or how the consistency looks, I will add Immuno Vital Marine and or Garlic Extreme (or finely processed garlic / oil). Then I thoroughly mix all the ingredients together, the consistency should be somewhat thick for the next step. I use seaweed wrappers to house the "mush", by spooning enough of it on the seaweed. Then I roll the wrapper up so it turns out like an extremely nasty cigar! Then each newly produced cigar is promptly put in to a LFS bag, I am normally able to put 5 cigars in each bag. Please note it is important that the cigars don't touch one another in the bag, they are extremely difficult to pull apart!
Lessons I learned, it is probably not a good idea to make the cigars while my wife is home. Especially since I was using the food processor we got as a wedding present. Live and learn, thanks.
I use all the same ingreidents but add garlic to the food. These are garlic in gel caps that I just poke with a knife and squeeze out in the food while still in the blender. Fish go crazy for it. Just a little preventive medicine.
Ooops sorry folks I missed some questions.
John the reason for soaking in ro/di. When the fisherman collect/or fish of the various seafood products the spray a salt mix loaded with orthophosphaes on them in order to perserve their color and moisture content, this is also done by some local grocery store. When you use ro/di water you basicall have a stripped out water that will allow form more absorbsion through chemical bonding.
Dr. I dont really have it carved in stone, I have used salmon, snapper or cod, salmon is a good source of aminos but its has other stuff in it to. SO not really a big deal so much on that.
On the prep I dont really add any water nor do I soak the food prior, just prepare and freeze as quickly as I can. On the blender mine has an attachment peice, but I dont know what it is called, looks like something they would use to make coleslaw, lol. I look for peices that are going to be bite size for the fish, smaller peices are just a natural byproduct so it shouldnt be a problem getting those in thier.
To supplement my previous post, I am going to go into detail on how I make mush / cigars. Since I normally make a fairly large quantity, I give myself a couple or a few hours worth of time to finish. My goal is to make it when no one else is home, ie wife, child and etc.. I set up shop in the kitchen with as much cross ventilation as possible, all the windows and doors are opened. I use a floor fan and point it in the direction of the door to help with the odor that is surely to come.
I have cleaned all my mixing bowls, utensils, and food processor in a bleach or white vinegar solution. Everything is rinsed thoroughly (normal tap water is used). I tend to do things a little over kill, I rinse everything a few times to limit any cross contamination possibilities.
I then soak each ingredient in a bowl of tap water. I take the shrimp (normally Tiger Prawn, raw), krill, wild silversides, clams, scallops, squid, fish and mysis out of the package or bag and allow each ingredient to thaw. The Cyclopeeze, Oregon Desert Caviar, brine shrimp are soaked while remaining in the package. This normally doesn't take to long for everything to thaw, when I take the ingredients out of the freezer, and put them in the fridge the day before. Each ingredient is drained of its water; I use a strainer, colander or my hand (with the exception of the ones still in there package). I try to keep excess liquid to a minimum. My food processor is already set up, and I prepare the ingredients prior to throwing it into the processor. The Tiger Prawns are relieved of their outer shell, the clams are shucked, the scallops are cut into smaller pieces, fish are de-boned (sometime the skin is taken off) and the squid are de-beaked (remove the plastic like piece that resides with in, and any other objectionable material is removed). The squid heads are capable to go directly into the food processor, but it may still take a while before they are brought down to a suitable size. I assist this process by pre cutting the tentacles into smaller pieces. The body of the squid is cut into small chunks, and may prove to be difficult to process, I limit the overall amount of the squids body I will actually use in the food. Each of the thawed ingredients not in a bag is processed to the desired size and or consistency, one at a time. Once completed these ingredients are deposited into a large mixing bowl or tub. They are then mixed together using an electric mixer. Then the Cyclopeeze, Oregon Desert Caviar, brine shrimp are taken out of their individual packages and dumped in the large bowl. All the ingredients are mixed together by using a whisk. Being careful not to break up the brine shrimp to much.
Selcon is added and mixed in by hand and allowed to soak in. Oftentimes Garlic Extreme (and or finely ground up garlic, like the stuff found in a jar at your local supermarket) is added. The garlic is added normally when I make the food for primarily fish. The garlic is mixed in, and the consistency is checked, I prefer the food mixture to be in between runny and thick. If needed a filler is added; Immuno Vital Marine is what I use (lots of different fillers can be used).
Once I have achieved the desired mixture and consistency, I pull out the seaweed wrappers (found inexpensively a your local asian food mart). I spoon enough of the food on one end until it is about the thickness of ones finger. Then I roll each wrapper with the fish food inside, until it turns into an extremely nasty looking cigar! It smell fairly horrible as well. Each cigar is then put into a local fish store bag (the ones we all get our livestock in), compliments of my LFS. The bag is the rolled slightly, to make sure each cigar doesn't touch. Once frozen they prove difficult to pull apart, if this step is skipped. I normally get about 5 cigars of mush in each bag, dependant upon the size of the bag. The top of the bag is folded a couple times and taped securely to attempt to avoid freezer burn. All the bags are placed promptly in the freezer, with out any weight on top them.
My overall ingredient list is added to and deleted from each time I make more cigars, this particuliar recipe was intended for fish. I may have forgotten some of my ingredients, but don't worry this fish won't care. A recipe similar to this has been used in reef tanks, with beneficial results. My aquarium hobby is oftentimes limited by my pocket book, therefore I have to become creative in how I aquire the needed supplies and equipment to keep my fish and corals happy. This is one such example; I make cigars for a LFS, he supplies all the needed ingredients and I supply my food processor and a little bit of time. I end up with a never ending supply of food, and he gets a less expensive and more diverse product to feed his livestock. In closing, making cigars of mush really isn't that tuff. Your animals will love it, and in the long run you will save a few bucks on your food bill. I hope you enjoyed cigar making 101. Thank You
So when buying this stuff are we supposed to stay away from frozen/unfrozen? I mean I couldnt find anything that haddent been.
Also I didnt see any tiger prawns. I forgot what type of shrimp I got, but is any kind pretty good? They had farm raised and wild caught. I went with wild caught.
I ended up making my mush outta scallop, snapper, shrimp. I tossed in some bloodworms, plankton, and some other stuff after I blended. Mixed it up, and used some selcon. What you guys think? It came out good... It is not a paste or anything. Some nice bite size pieces... and naturally some smaller stuff for the coral.