1 kg of beef heart trimmed of fat, veins and sinews (or 1 kg of lean beef substitute)
                                 500 gm of cooked fish or cooked peeled prawns (optional)
                                 1 tablespoon of ground paprika (optional)
                                 2 tablespoons of 100% Spirulina powder (from a Health Foods Shop)
                                 2 teaspoons of Pentavite Infant Vitamins (Roche)

                                2 tablespoons of lecithin powder (from a health Foods shop) may be added to assist the 
                                  digestion of any fats in the beef heart.

  • use paper towels to dry the meats of their juices, cube the meats into 1inch to 1 1/2 inch pieces (that is 2.54 - 3.8cm ) and grind once using a medium sized grinder setting, drain well; USING A BLENDER
  • add the dry ingredients;
  • pass that mix through the grinder up to two more times. 
  • The grain size after grinding should be pieces no larger than 1/8" ( 3 mm ).
  • Add binder (gelatin or extra flake food) if the mix is too moist or if the processing is done in a blender.
  • If Spirulina powder is not available, use 3 tablespoons of Spirulina Flake food (I use Nutrafin) AND halve the Pentavite addition.
  • Spoon into plastic freezer bags and flatten out the mix until it is thinner than a 1/4 inch thick.
  • Press out all the air you can and seal.  Zip-seal sandwich bags are ideal for storage.
  • Freeze.
  • Thaw to feed, giving no more than will be consumed completely in five minutes (that is not much)!  Small, frequent feeds are better than one or two large ones.
Beef heart is high in protein, rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids, lower in fats than other meats (except for kangaroo meat) and is cheap.

The addition of fish (or prawns) adds the necessary omega3 fatty acids to the fish's diet.  I use fillets of Nile Perch, however, Cod, Salmon, Tommies, Schnapper, Bream, Sole or Herring are suitable.   Cook the fish to reduce risk of infecting your Discus with parasites carried in the flesh.

Spirulina powder is a natural food and provides vitamins and astaxanthin. Another option is to substitute premium grade Spirulina Flakes OR Premium Tetra Flake Food and omit the Pentavite. Spirulina flakes provide additional protein and carbohydrates as well as vitamins, minerals and astaxanthin (a colour enhancer).

I have adapted the above mix from similar mixes used by friends and other aquarists that I have met.  I feed the mix (thawed) to my Discus and other, large fish.  I use the same mix to feed my Arowana, and it takes the food best when only partly thawed (otherwise the finer particles get spread all over the tank and feed the filters instead). 

Using a Blender or Grinder?
Using a food blender to mince the food may make too fine a mix.  For the right size pieces to feed most large, adult fish, I use a meat grinder.  An exception is in making very fine foods for fish fry.  A blender minces the frozen food to very small pieces- just right for Discus fry and micro-feeders such as Julidochromis species. A Grinder gives more control over sizes of the pieces and the food may be ground more than once to give the right sizes.  TOP

An Alternative Mix with fresh garlic.
               1 kg of beef heart trimmed of fat, veins and sinews (or 1 kg of lean beef or kangaroo meat)
           500 gm of cooked fish or cooked peeled prawns
         5 - 7 cloves of pressed, fresh garlic
               2 tablespoons of lecithin powder (from a health Foods shop)
               2 tablespoons of spirulina powder
  • Garlic acts against internal parasites such as nemotodes, and acts as an "attractant" for the Discus if they are fussy eaters.
  • Adding lecithin aids digestion of any fats that are present in the beef heart.
  • Spirulina powder (from a health food store) provides vitamins and astaxanthin (a natural colour enhancer) without the additional vitamins and minerals in prepared Spirulina Flakes.
  • Grind the beef and mix and bag as in the recipes above.

  • Freeze to store: thaw to feed.  I have found that some fish refuse to eat this mix.

    Another Mix- ideal for large cichlids such as Tropheus

    1kg Whole Peeled Shrimps
    1kg Frozen Greens Peas
    100g Agar Agar (seaweed flakes) OR Gelatine
    100g Spirulina powder (100% Spirulina, no additives)
    15 drops Liquid Vitamins 

    To Process:-
            1.Partially thaw the shrimps and peas, place in a blender and Grind into a fine Paste, put the mixture
               in a bowl. 
            2.Add the Spirulina powder and liquid vitamins to the mixture and stir in well. 
            3.Mix up the Agar Agar or gelatine (follow the directions on the Packaging). 
              It is very important that there are no lumps in the mixture. 
            4.Add the Peas and Shrimp Mixture to the warm Agar Agar (or gelatine) mixing all the time so it 
               is all mixed before Agar Agar cools off too much. 
            5.Pour the mixture onto a shallow tray level off the mix and put it in the fridge to cool. 
            6.Before the mix gets too hard, cut into pieces the right size for your feeding requirements, and put
               into containers or bags and store in the freezer. 


    The Gwynnbrook Farm Discus Fish Food Recipe & Cooking Instructions

    50%  250 lbs. of Turkey Hearts  (substitute fat trimmed beef heart or any lean meat)
    25%  125 lbs. of Fish Fillets  (do not want to use any oily types of fish)
    20%  100 lbs. of peeled Shrimp
       5%   25 lbs. of Premium Tetra Flake Food

    Cook the fish and shrimp for 10-15 minutes. (Cooking is optional but makes fish meat safer to use).
    Drain all water and blood from hearts, fish and shrimp.  The drier the ingredients the better.
    Grind the hearts, fish and shrimp separately. (use a grinder instead of a blender so the ingredients don't get too mushy)
    Mix the turkey hearts, fish and shrimp with the flake food.
    Grind the mixed up ingredients one more time.
    Put food into plastic bags and flatten it out to remove air and then store in freezer.
    Thaw food before feeding it to your discus.

I have used a similar mixture to the above, using chicken hearts (available locally from chicken retailers in bulk!) but they tend to be very time consuming in trimming off the fat.  I have also used sheep hearts and lean kangaroo meat when beef hearts were not available, with no complaints from the fish.

Disclaimer: Please read this before using or otherwise acting on any of these recipes.

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