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Absolute Arowana – Sustainable fish food for all Fish?

absolute arowana

We recently tested some of the Absolute fish food range from Cloverleaf. After looking at some of their other products we asked them about their Absolute Arowana formula, it seemed to be made from excellent ingredients that are suitable for many species, not just Arowana. Here is what we thought of this more sustainable fish food.

Absolute Arowana – by Cloverleaf

Fairly recently I tried out a selection of feeds produced by Cloverleaf and the Absolute range did not disappoint.

The Absolute range is well thought out and is packed with great ingredients that will keep fish healthy, help them to grow and even improve their colour.

Many of these foods are tailored to specific species, but many of them are also very flexible in what species of fish they can be fed to.

Whilst browsing the Absolute range in Scope Aquatics I picked up a bag of the Absolute Arowana, I don’t own an Arowana but the fact that the pellets were insect larvae shaped caught my attention.

This is a great idea, lots of fish eat bugs so this should inspire their natural hunter’s instinct!

The ingredients made for great reading which caught my attention further. I spoke about it with Cloverleaf and they kindly sent me a bag to try, even though I don’t own an Arowana.

 

absolute arowana sustainable fish food

Absolute Arowana – Ingredients

If you have read my article on ‘The best fish foods‘ or my previous review on the Cloverleaf Absolute range then you will be well aware that I am keen on knowing what goes into my fish’ food and that some ingredients are better than others.

The Absolute Arowana formula contains some great ingredients. As always listing them all would be very tedious but I will certainly cover the stand-outs in this food throughout this article.

 

Main ingredients

The first few ingredients listed on a packet of fish food usually make up the bulk of the food, so the first 3 or 4 in the list are often the most important.

If the first two are wheat-based then walk away, it isn’t worth your money.

The Absolute Arowana formula is made of some great ingredients, the first 4 ingredients, in order, are:

  1. Insect meal – Insect meal is great. Fish eat insects in the wild and it is far more sustainable than fish meal.
  2. Poultry meal – What? You can’t feed chicken to fish?! Or can you? More on that shortly.
  3. Wheat – Third in the list so not a huge issue.
  4. Soy protein concentrate (SPC) – Yet another sustainable and fish-friendly protein replacement for fish meal. SPC is far better for your fish than Soybean meal/Soy meal and can be used to replace 100% of fish meal.

Whichever way you look at it, this is a meaty dish for your fish. It contains 3 sources of protein in the first 4 ingredients, three of which are suitable, more sustainable replacements for fish meal which means more fish remain in our oceans. Awesome.

Now, what about that Poultry meal?

 

Absolute Arowana – Poultry meal in fish food?

Most aquarists are aware that fish shouldn’t eat chicken right? Well, fish can eat chicken and it’s actually pretty good for them.

This is just another myth that has spread like wildfire around social media and has become ‘fake fact’.

There are loads of studies on the suitability of chicken in fish feeds, all of which has shown that it is a suitable replacement for fish meal up to around 50%.

Ultimately, protein is protein and fat is fat, there is no difference in the protein molecules of a chicken to those of a fish, so fish can eat poultry meal.

The one thing that poultry meal does not provide is a full complement of Amino acids that are required in a fish’ diet, so it needs to be supplemented with something that does.

Poultry meal does contain 8 of the 10 amino acids that fish require, but it often lacks in lysine and methionine. This is why insect meal is the first ingredient, it contains both, plus more of the other 8 required amino acids.

 

Absolute Arowana – Insect meal

Insect meal is easily one of the best ingredients to use in fish food in my opinion. It is more sustainable and contains everything a growing fish needs.

Insect meal has been shown to be sufficient in replacing up to 100% of the fish meal used in fish feeds. This means that it contains everything that fish meal does, it contains everything that our pet fish need and means that our wild fish stay safely in our oceans.

Win win!

Whilst some feeds specifically use Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL), it has been shown that rather than a meal from a single insect, a meal made from a mix of insects is superior. (BSFL has also shown to be suitable for 100% replacement of fish meal).

Different insects contain different levels of the 10 amino acids that our fish require to be healthy, mixing insects is said to give a more balanced diet overall.

The fact that the first ingredient in this Absolute Arowana is insect meal shows that it has been thought about with sustainability in mind.

 

absolute arowana sustainable fish food 1

Yum!! Insect meal is great for more sustainable fish food!!

(Image taken from Fishfarmingexpert)

Absolute Arowana – Suitable for all fish?

When I first picked up a packet of the Absolute Arowana formula and read the ingredients it caught my attention as it seemed to me that this food was not restricted to only Arowana’s.

Many fish foods are targeted at specific species, this makes it easier for you to select suitable food for your fish when you walk into a shop or view it online.

But in many cases, these foods are pretty flexible and can be fed to a variety of species, still providing them with everything that they need.

This, I believe, is one of those foods and a very good one at that!

As I mentioned, and those who follow the Seriously Fishy Instagram page will know, I do not own an Arowana. So, who have I been feeding this to?

All my fish!

Yes, I have been feeding this to all my fish for the last month or so. I have even been smashing it up and feeding it to the Myrnae fry (who are barely fry anymore).

I have been doing this as Absolute Arowana contains great ingredients that fulfil the dietary needs of just about all fish and the analysis of this food makes it suitable for just about any fish, plus it contains some bonuses:

 

Protein

One of the biggest factors in what food a fish can eat is often the protein content. Some studies have shown that a diet that contains over 50% protein can, in some cases, negatively affect the growth of non-predatory species.

Absolute Arowana contains 45% protein, so no worries there.

 

Algae and Spirulina

Absolute Arowana contains both Algae and Spirulina, this means that fish get some veggies in their diet. Again, this is ideal for most species of ornamental fish, even the predatory Arowana, clearly.

 

Astaxanthin

I mentioned Astaxanthin in the contents of the Absolute African Cichlid mix. Astaxanthin is contained in certain types of Algae and is a natural colour booster, particularly in red coloured fish.

Absolute Arowana also contains Astaxanthin. This means that it can boost the colours of any red coloured fish, even Goldfish.

It has also been shown to improve liver function so it is a great addition to the diet of any fish.

 

absolute arowana sustainable

Absolute Arowana – Pellet size

The Absolute Arowana is a great food, it is ideal for most fish based on ingredients and those ingredients make it both a sustainable and nutritious choice of food.

It’s one current drawback is the pellet size. As I mentioned, I have been smashing it up for my Amatitlanis Myrnae fry, this is because the pellets are 6 – 8mm in size.

This is great if you’re an Arowana but for smaller fish it is unmanageable – Unless that fish is my tiny pink fenestratus who has been happily swallowing them whole.

(I don’t know how, she is only 10cm in length herself).

So, I personally think it would be great if these were available in other sizes, both in floating and sinking form.

This would provide a sustainable, nutritious and colour boosting food for nearly all aquarium fish, even pond fish too! – Maybe Cloverleaf would require a new name for it though……….Absolute – Seriously Fishy all-round nutrition maybe? 🤔 Maybe not…..

 

Absolute Arowana

Absolute Arowana is not just for Arowanas, it is suitable for any fish that can swallow the currently large pellet size.

It provides all the nutrition that a fish requires and isn’t too heavy on protein, this makes it a very flexible and great all-around staple diet for most aquarium fish, I would even feed this to a Goldfish and can see no reason why it would have any negative effect.

It would even make Goldfish more Golden!

As always I recommend a varied diet, but as a staple Absolute Arowana is spot on.

So, if you keep larger cichlids like me, or are willing to smash it up a bit for smaller fish, then it may be worth grabbing yourself a bag.

Absolute Arowana is available at Scope Aquatics, who are happy to ship and you will also find it linked in our ‘Shop‘.

To wrap up, here is my Super Red (Bain) devouring some Absolute Arowana, he loves it!:

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid review. This is my own opinion based on my own experience and research and has not been influenced by any other factor.

References:

Insect meals in fish nutrition

Understanding Fish Nutrition, Feeds, and Feeding

High inclusion levels of poultry meals and related byproducts in diets for gilthead seabream Sparus aurata L.

Effect of replacement of dietary fish meal by meat and bone meal and poultry by-product meal on growth and feed utilization of gibel carp, Carassius auratus gibelio

Effect of Astaxanthin on the Pigmentation of Goldfish Carassius auratus

The effect of feeding astaxanthin to Oreochromis niloticus and Colisa labiosa on the histology of the liver

Effects of Dietary Protein Levels on the Growth, Feed Utilization and HaematoBiochemical Parameters of Freshwater Fish

The use of soy protein in aquafeeds

Fish Farming Expert

About the author

James @Seriously Fishy

I am a fish keeping enthusiast with over 20 years experience. I currently keep American Cichlids (CA) which are my favourite fish to keep so far. I started Seriously Fishy as I noticed a large volume of people on various web pages looking for help with Aquarium basics. I created the first Seriously Fishy book to solve the issue in 28 pages, that led to the Seriously Fishy UK fish forum and blog.

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