HOW IT CAME ABOUT!
Dans’ Feed is a select combination of enrichments blended together in proprietary amounts for the enrichment of Artemia. It is also often used for Rotifers as well. At one time we used several different enrichments, as we weren’t completely happy with any single enrichment. We took a hard look at how were doing the enrichments and felt there had to be a better way. We were adding several different products in small amounts, it was very difficult to be precise in the measurements. This in turn can result in mixed results with rearing seahorses depending upon who did the enriching and how close to being consistent they were. So we did some research and then spent many months experimenting with different formulations of various enrichments and amounts in an effort to come up with a standardized recipe. After each blend of enrichments was used up, we would compare notes to previous batches and make small adjustments. Finally, many months later, we settled on a recipe that showed the best results for us. This proved to be much more consistent and predictable with the results with our seahorse fry.
Our original intent was to make this for in house use but one day a customer asked us what we used to enrich our Artemia. When we explained that we had our own recipe, the customer asked if could he buy some. We sold him some and he told some other folks what he was using and how happy he was with it. In a short period of time we had several customers who bought some as well. Word of mouth has spread to where our current sales of the product are.
WHAT IS IN DANS’ FEED?
There are two versions of Dan’s Feed. First is the regular version, Dans’ Feed and then there is the Dans’ Feed with Probiotics. The latter is what we currently use for fry, juveniles in grow out and brood stock.
Dans’ Feed is a blend of several different enrichments; AlgaMac 3050 DHA10, AlgaMac Protein Plus, Spirulina, Astaxanthin, Ascorbyl Palmitate and L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (AsPP)
Dans’ Feed with Probiotics has Sanolife MIC-S added. Sanolife MIC-S contains three species of probiotic bacteria, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus pumilus. The vitamin C ingredients, Ascorbyl Palmitate and L-ascrobyl-2-polyphosphate (AsPP) are dropped as vitamin C is known to inhibit the probiotic bacterial growth.
Unlike emulsified oil based products, it has a very long shelf life. Stored properly, it can last for up to 24 months.
The first ingredient is AlgaMac 3050 DHA-10, manufactured by Aquafauna Bio-Marine Inc. It replaces the original AlgaMac 3050. It contains 10% AlgaMac DHA, defatted Haematococcus algae protein and amino acids. Regular AlgaMac contains 19-20% DHA. AlgaMac 3050 has recently been label a Class 4 Hazardous Material by the government because it is considered spontaneously combustible when heated to over 100 C (212 F) for up to 24 hours. It has to ship motor freight which is not a viable option for the amounts that are typically used. FedEx nor UPS will handle Class 4 materials.
The next ingredient is AlgaMac Protein Plus. Designed as a larval diet it contains heterotrophic and phototrophically produced algae, fungi and yeast cells. As the name implies, it is higher in protein with 42.9%. However the Omega-3 fatty acids contains a 95 to 1 DHA to EPA ratio.
Next, it contains Spirulina Powder, which is a type of blue green micro algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and antioxidants. This product, used widely in aquaculture, can promote growth, increase appetite, disease resistance and survival rates and can enhance color.
Astaxanthin is also added to help boost color. In our latest re-formulation of this product, we more than doubled the amount of Astaxanthin.
Ascorbyl Palmitate (Regular Dans’ Feed only) is a fat soluble form of Vitamin C. Artemia readily convert this back to Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).
L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (AsPP) (Regular Dans’ Feed only) a stabilized form of Vitamin C.
WHICH VERSION SHOULD YOU USE?
We normally recommend the Dans’ Feed with Probiotics. Unless you already have Probiotics or use a product that suppresses bacterial growth, the Probiotic version will likely help with fry survival. That is, if you already adhere to proper hygienic procedures with your cultures and equipment.
We originally used the regular Dans’ Feed with Sanocare ACE as bacterial suppression agent. It worked well, but, we found increased success when we experimented with using Probiotics instead.
DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO USE DANS’ FEED
For Artemia nauplii (Baby Brine Shrimp)
After hatching Artemia cysts, rinse the nauplii well and move to a clean enrichment container with clean new saltwater and heavy aeration. Prepare the Dans’ Feed, added at a rate of 0.2 grams (approximately 1/8 tsp) per liter, by blending well in water. A stick blender is ideal for this process as you don’t have to use as much water and clean up is easier and faster. Once blended, the enrichment is added to the enrichment container.
Enriching should be done for a minimum of 12 hours. It takes approximately 12 hours for the gut of Artemia nauplii to be fully packed. For best results, enrich the nauplii for a total of 24 hours as they will assimilate much of the nutrients from the first 12 hours and re-pack the gut. They will be almost twice as nutritious as those enriched for only 12 hours. To do this, take down the enrichment container after 12 hours, rinse the nauplii well and place in another clean enrichment container and add the enrichment as done originally.
It is suggested to use freshwater when blending the enrichment but many find they do fine using saltwater.
If you encounter a lot of foam during the blending process, you can pour the blended enrichment through a clean rotifer sieve to remove the foam.
Once enrichment is complete, rinse the nauplii and feed out. If there is leftover nauplii, you can place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. The Artemia nauplii activity will slow down and it will conserve their nutritional value. Once added to tank water, they will begin to buzz around again within 5 minutes after they warm up.
We have found that you can enrich for up to 48 hours (4 enrichment periods) with this product. Older, ongrown Artemia will be larger and contain more nutrition for the amount of energy spent feeding.
Enriching Adult Artemia (Adult Brine Shrimp)
This is done very similar to the nauplii. The difference is that usually don’t have to have as strong aeration and the enrichment periods are much shorter. Adult Artemia typically pack the gut within 2 hours and by 4 hours they have assimilated and re-packed the gut. Otherwise the process is the same.
Harvest the amount of Rotifers needed for feeding. Rinse with clean new saltwater and place in a clean enrichment vessel with clean new saltwater and slow aeration. Measure Dans’ Feed at a rate of 0.2 grams (approximately ½ tsp) per liter of enrichment vessel and blend for 2 minutes. Add to enrichment vessel for 4 hours. Harvest and feed out.
Dans’ Feed should be good for 2 years provided it is stored in sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
WHERE TO PURCHASE
In the US, it can be purchased directly from us. Listed under foods, enrichments. In the Europe, it can be purchased from ZMSytems (http://www.zmsystems.co.uk/index.php?app=gbu0&ns=prodshow&ref=danbs)
Browne, Robert A., Sorgeloos, Patrick and a Trotman, Clive N. 1991. Artemia Biology. CRC Press, Inc.
Al-Ansari, Adly. 2007. Technical Manual for Live Food Production. Public Commission for the Proctection of Marine Resources, Environment, and Wild Life, Directorate of Marine Resources, Kingdom of Bahrain.
Hoff, Frank H. and Snell, Terry W. 2007. Plankton Culture Manual. Florida Aqua Farms Inc.
Lavens, Patrick and Sorgeloos Patrick. 1996. Manual on the Production and Use of Live Food for Aquaculture. Laboratory of Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 361.
Pham, Nancy and Lin, Junda, 2013, The Effects of Different Feed Enrichments on Survivorship and Growth of Early Juvenile Longsnout Seahorse, Hippocampus reidi, World Aquaculture Society, Volume 44, Issue 3, Pages 435-446.
Strottrup, Josianne G. and McEvoy, Leslie A. 2003. Live Feeds in Marine Aquaculture. Blackwell Science.