Premium, Meal-Free Nutrition
Our fish foods are meal-free and contain only the freshest cold-water marine proteins. All other fish foods are made with something called fishmeal. To understand the true benefits of Omega One in your aquarium, you must first understand the inadequacies of fishmeal-based foods.
The process of making fishmeal starts with a protein, which is usually either industrial-grade fish or fish bi-product. Historically, fish that are targeted for fishmeal are poorly refrigerated, if at all. And bi-product can lie in vats or on the decks of boats for days. After all, it’s only for animal feeds. But every minute that raw fish is not kept at 32 degrees F., the fat is gaining in rancidity and the proteins are breaking down. This low quality cannot be reversed. It will follow the ingredient right through to the finished product ending up in your aquarium.
This protein is then cooked, pressed, dried and ground into a fine powder called fishmeal. The natural fats are removed and further processed. Both the fats and the fishmeal then have preservatives added to prepare them for a long shelf life. Two things have already happened at this point. The fats have lost much of their palatability and processing has nutritionally compromised the protein (fishmeal). The fishmeal and preserved fats are then sent to a warehouse for storage. How long do they sit there before being used in your fish food? Six months? A year? Maybe longer? One thing's for sure, it will vary greatly, and you nor the fish food manufacturer who purchased it will never really know the answer. That is because fishmeal is a generic, bulk ingredient that has very little value. Would you eat food made in this way? Of course not. And, this is only step one!
Eventually, the processed fishmeal and fats come back off the storage shelf and are reunited when the flaked or pelleted fish food is actually made. These ingredients are then processed again, with more preservatives and starches added. The finished product will indeed keep fish alive, for a time, but the natural attractant ability and genuine nourishment of the original seafood ingredient is long gone.
Omega One Fish Foods skip the fishmeal stage all together and start with fresh seafood ingredients - the best available! We know that our seafood is fresh because we source it ourselves from Alaskan fishermen, fisherwomen, and processors. The result is a food that provides unsurpassed nutrition and a number of other amazing benefits for your fish and aquarium…
The fresh seafoods found in Omega One formulas contain high levels of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. These two essential fatty acids help to provide energy and strengthen the delicate fish immune system, decreasing rates of disease and mortality.
However, it is not simply the level of omega 3 & 6 that is important to the fish diet, but also the ratio of the two fatty acids. Each fish genus, and sometimes species, requires a unique combination of these essential fatty acids to thrive. Because we use a variety of fresh proteins (salmon, halibut, shrimp, herring) in our foods versus a single protein source (fishmeal), we also have the unique ability to customize these fatty acid profiles to meet the needs of a specific fish.
Natural Color Enhancement
The color enhancement that Omega One provides is different than other fish foods. Most manufacturers rely on synthetic additives to help boost your fish’s color. While these are safe for fish to consume, their absorption rate is limited, and they are not as effective as the color enhancers nature provides to us. Our ingredients, especially salmon and shrimp, contain extremely high levels of naturally occurring pigments called beta-carotenes. These pigments have a nearly 100% transfer rate to the skin of ornamental fish! This is why our foods will provide the most extreme, yet natural, color enhancement available.
Cleaner Water, Healthier Aquarium
Omega One is the only dry fish food available that utilizes a protein binding system. This is a result of using undenatured proteins (fresh seafood). All other fish foods, due to their use of fishmeal, require large amounts of starch binders such as flour, potato products, rice, and other starches to hold them together. This is because denatured proteins (proteins that have been processed) such as fishmeal have lost the wonderful ability to gel. This gel quality can be seen when frying a fresh hamburger or an egg. The protein, upon being cooked, gels together and stays together. There are two problems with this:
The first is that fish do not naturally eat starch, so it is not as digestible and produces more waste from the fish. Unfortunately, you will see that, on most fish food labels, the second ingredient behind fishmeal is a starch such as wheat flour or ground rice. These starches are simply fillers, replacing potential high quality proteins and fats. Omega One fish foods do not need large amounts of starch additives since the binder that holds the food together is the freshly cooked proteins themselves. The result is a high level of fresh marine proteins and fats - an amount and quality of which closely resembles what would be found in a natural aquatic environment.
The second problem with starch binders (utilized in all other fish foods) is that they are water-soluble. This means that whatever vitamins have been added to the food begin to leach out immediately upon hitting the water. If the food is not eaten immediately, there may be substantial vitamin loss and pollution from the meals and starches. The protein binding system of Omega One fish foods is not water-soluble. Vitamins and nutrients are held in complete suspension until eaten, allowing the fish’s digestive system to absorb 100% of the nutritional value. This results in tremendous benefits to the fish as well as the water quality. In addition, our protein-bound food becomes much more flexible, or willowy, in the water, resulting in a softer, more “mouth-friendly” food.
A Taste They'll Love
Have you ever tasted a premium, freshly-cooked filet of salmon at a fine restuarant? Now, imagine if that salmon was pressed, dried, ground into a fine powder, then mixed with other starch fillers? What would it taste like then? Exactly! This is much like the difference between Omega One and all other fishmeal-based foods.
Omega One Fish Foods taste great to your fish. How do we know this? First, through scientific observation. Watch your fish eat Omega One. They will be visibly enthusiastic and continue to eat the food much longer than other brands. Second, we simply need to compare the process of making fishmeal-based foods, in which oils rich in lipids and essential fatty acids are removed, to the Omega One process, which delivers these nutrients in their delicious natural form, to know that palatabilty could not possibly compare.
How have Omega One® foods impacted your fish or aquarium? Tell us your story here!