Food Additives
Ardan Huck March 22, 2002

Astaxantin is a derivative of beta carotene. It is a vitamin that brings out the red coloration in fish if they eat it. Nutrarose is a much less concentrated form of this and is naturally occuring. Phytoplankton contains this naturally.

Spirulinia algae is also sometimes added to food.

Another additive used by Al Sabetta is paprika. Al adds it to his beefheart mix to bring out red colors in the fish.

Tetra ColorBits also bring out red colors in the fish. It can even be ground and added to beefheart recipes.

Some vitamins can be fed using common foods, such as the following (source: Dr. Fosters and Smith Pet Warehouse)
  • Vitamin A, from greens and crustaceans
  • Vitamin B-Complex, from greens, eggs and fish
  • Vitamin C, from greens, algae and fish eggs
  • Vitamin D, from snails, shrimps and earthworms
  • Vitamin K, from water fleas, greens and liver

Shrimp and Krill also contain natural color enhancers.

Many of these foods can be mixed with beefheart or other recipe mixes. Some of the "non-naturally occurring vitamin additives" have been thought to cause reproductive or growth problems in the fish. Some have used hormones or hormone-laced food to enhance colors. These do affect growth and reproduction systems.

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