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DIY

Mac's Famous Fish Loaf

A proven recipe for Reef Tanks that drives marine fish wild and adds zest (and color) to your reef tank.

Contributed by Kevin M., a.k.a., "ReeferMac," who can sometimes be found on several online forums, including www.ReefCentral.com. Kevin maintains a 230-gallon, mostly SPS tank, as well as a variety of marine fish, including a Sailfin Tang, a Rabbitfish, some Chromis and Clownfish.

Approximate cost of the recipe per batch $160-200. One batch lasts one year or more as fed every-other-day.

This Recipe is comprised of roughly equal parts (by volume) of dry and wet ingredients that are thoroughly mixed, placed in molds and frozen.

Dry Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients

This is largely subject to what's available at your local seafood counter — preferably fresh, but frozen will do.

  • Salmon (skin removed)
  • Tuna steak
  • Scallops (if you can afford it, invertebrates love it!)
  • Lobster Legs (smash with hammer, remove most of the shell — same with Crabs and Clams. Avoid putting shell into blender)
  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Haddock
  • Smelt
  • Shrimp, especially shrimp! (frozen shrimp are easy to grate)
  • 8 oz. Frozen Cyclopeeze
  • 125 ml. Selco
  • 125 ml. Tahitian Blend Algae Cryopaste

Appliances:

  • Jell-O-Beans Jiggler trays (or, plastic shallow ice tray)
  • Medium-duty food processor or glass blender
  • Two 5 gallon plastic buckets (one for dry ingredients, one for wet)
  • Kitchen shears (for cutting up larger pieces of alga, seafood, etc.)
  • Cheese grater
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

Directions:

  • Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in one bucket. Save the powders for last as it gets a little messy once the powders are added.
  • Grate, cut, dice and otherwise render the combination of wet fresh and frozen ingredients into a range of particle sizes and mix by hand in the other bucket.
  • Mix Selco and Tahitian Blend into wet ingredients. Add water sparingly to assist in thorough mixing.
  • Then it gets messier! Gradually transfer the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together. Take care to eliminate pockets of unmixed ingredients. Gloves will make this process less painstaking, but on the other hand, Kevin claims this cold mix feels good on arthritic joints.
  • Once wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, fill the ice trays or Jell-O-Bean trays and freeze. If using freezer bags, keep the thickness between 0.5" to 1"
  • Feed at the rate of one Jell-O-Bean every other day. Hand feed the bigger chunks to the larger fish or even some of the larger inverts (brains, anemone, etc.)

Precautions:

  • Use a dedicated blender. Fish oil has a way of staining blenders. Unauthorized use of a food blender may result in a dented frying pan (you get the picture.)
  • Don't overfeed. Observe feeding behavior and adjust amounts fed so as to prevent excess or uneaten food from fouling your tank.
  • Do not be surprised if your fish get very excited when you approach the tank at mealtime.

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