Primary fish feed ingredients for better fish food in aquaculture

The fisheries sector contributes significantly to the nutrition of millions of people around the world. Growth in fish is regulated by factors such as access to food, water temperature and photoperiod. Since cultured fish get only a small portion of their food nutrients naturally, they must be fed a complete feed.Manufactured feeds normally make up 50 to 70 percent of the expenses in fish farming.
No one feed ingredient can supply all of the nutrients and energy fish need for best growth. Commercial fish feeds contain a mixture of feedstuffs and vitamin and mineral premixes that provide the right essential nutrients as well as the energy necessary to use the nutrients.
Nutrients essential to fish are the same as those required by most other animals. fish also need protein, carbohydrate, lipids, minerals, and vitamins for healthy growth. The main ingredients of fish feed contain protein, fat and mineral substance, and raw materials of these ingredients mainly include straw meal, soybean cake, peanut cake, corn protein powder, rice bran, wheat bran and so forth. The amount of each feed ingredient depends on several factors, including nutrient requirements,ingredient cost,availability of each ingredient,and processing characteristics.
A complete diet must be nutritionally balanced, palatable, water stable, and have the proper size and texture.

fish feed pellet

What is feed ingredients ? What’s the function of each ingredients ?


Feedstuffs containing 20 percent crude protein or more are considered protein supplements. Protein supplements may be classified as animal or plant proteins. Animal proteins are generally considered to be higher quality than plant proteins.
Animal proteins used in fish feeds come from marine fish meals, catfish offal meal, meat and bone/blood meal, and poultry byproduct meal,inedible tissues from meat packing or rendering plants, milk products.
Plant protein sources used in fish feeds are oilseed meals, such as soybean meal, cottonseed meal, and peanut meal,skim milk powder, legumes, and wheat gluten .

fish feed protein
Energy supplements

They are mainly carbohydrates which contain less than 20 percent crude protein. It is important to include nonprotein energy sources in fish diets because they are the most economical source of energy, and they prevent dietary protein from being used for energy.It include grain and grain byproducts like wheat, wheat middling, full cream rice bran, corn and other grain, and animal fat or vegetable oil.
Among these materials, corn has high carbohydrate that cannot be absorbed easily by fish or shrimp, so in general, corn content should be low when producing aqua feed; wheat has soft texture as starch but wheat has excellent elongation and elasticity, which makes it natural adhesion agent that can promote water stability of fish feed for long-time floating on water.

fish feed ingredients
Mineral and vitamins

Vitamin and mineral plays a pivotal role in fish growth and nutrition.They provide more vitamins and minerals than what is needed for growth to make up for any losses that may occur during feed manufacture or storage. They are made from high quality ingredients, using forms of vitamins and minerals fish can readily digest.
Common raw materials with minerals contain fish meal, shell powder, egg shell powder, calcium phosphate and bone meal.

vitamin in dog food


A variety of natural and synthetic pigments or carotenoids are available to enhance appetite of fish. The pigments most frequently used supply the colors red and yellow. The synthetically produced pigment, astaxanthin is the most commonly used additive (100–400 mg/kg).
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae such as Spirulina), dried shrimp meal, shrimp and palm oils, and extracts from marigold, red peppers and Phaffia yeast are excellent natural sources of pigments.

Can we adjust fish feed ingredients according to our local materials ?

Yes ,the fish farmer can adjust fish feed ingredients according to local condition.
Local Fish Feed Ingredients in Benin
The cost of fish feed is a major constraint to fish farming in Sub-Sahara Africa. In the aquaculture value chain, feed is a determining factor and accounts for 60-75% of the total cost of fish production in many African countries. In this respect, protein is the main factor that determines the high market price of fish feed.This is partly due to the fact that some of the fish feed ingredients, especially fishmeal, compete with human consumption. Thus, alternative cheap sources of protein are needed to overcome the high cost of fish feed.
Some fish farmer use local potential fish feed ingredients available in Benin for their nutritional quality. It’s mainly cereal bran, soybean meal, cottonseed meal, cassava chips, palm kernel cake, soybean and maize.
The proteins ingredients are trash fish , poultry viscera , soybean meal and cottonseed meal,Oyster shell .The highest carbohydrate contents are tapioca , lafun and cassava chips .
It shows local feed ingredients available in Benin to formulate affordable quality fish feeds with adequate nutritional composition to achieve efficient fish farming.

fish farm
Local Fish Feed Ingredients in Nigeria
For making more profits in aquaculture and fish farming business, Nigeria fish farmers need to cut down fish feed cost because it occupies a big part in the whole production chain.Fish feed accounts for 60–75 % of the total cost of fish production in many African countries such as Nigeria . But fish feed cost should be only reduced on the basis of ensuring fish can get nutritional feed for good growth and health.
The raw materials and ingredients required to produce high-grade fish feed are readily available in Nigeria. For example, leftovers in the process of livestock husbandry development, such as viscera, blood, bone and fur of pig, cattle, sheep and chicken, can become superior-quality feed after effective collection and proper fish feed production process.

Do all farmed fish eat the same thing?

No. Fish nutritional needs vary by species. Herbivorous fish eat a feed mixture that may contain plant proteins (e.g., soy, corn), vegetable oils, minerals, and vitamins.Carnivorous fish (as well as many herbivorous fish) include fish oils and proteins as well as plant proteins, minerals, and vitamins that achieve the nutrition requirements of the fish and offer health benefits to humans. Traditionally, diets for carnivorous fish contained 30-50% fish meal and oil.
When choosing fish feed formulation, there are several principles to follow: according to nutrition requirement of farmed fish and nutritional value of feed because different fish has diverse varieties, ages, weights, habits, physiological conditions and even water quality environment, which makes them have different requirements for nutriment; according to palatability and digestibility of feedstuff ; according to the balance between protein and amino acid in order to reach the requirements stipulated by nutritional standards; according to lowering materials cost on the basis of nutrients for maximum economic benefits.

Fish Feed Formulation For Catfish Growth


Inclusion level (kg/t)


(to 1mm)


(to 3mm)


(to 5mm)


(to 8mm)

Brood stock

(8or 9mm)






















Total CP(%)



The additive is assumed to have an inclusion level of 5kg/t.

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