Francisco Borrero's Beefheart Recipe
Francisco Borrero November 15, 2002

I also make my own beefheart, slight variations from some of the recipes here (view Al Sabetta's beefheart recipe). I find that raw shrimp helps well as a binder of everything else.

There are two things I am doing now that I consider vast improvements over my own previous recipe:
  1. I now use whole silversides (small saltwater fish) as an ingredient. These are 1.5 - 2 inches long, and they go whole in the grinder (heads, tails, bones, and all). They are soft so no problems. Great for calcium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids.

  2. I have improved substantially my last two batches by creating a beefheart paste that is more stable in the water (i.e, does not fly into tiny little pieces that mess up the tank). I know that people use unflavored gelatin as binder, and so did I. However, I found a product that is far superior: it is sold by Aquarium Ecosystems ( and it is called Gel-Food. It is a coarse powder-like gelatin that acts as binder but produces a better paste. It is very rich in protein and in other goodies (minerals in particular). It holds powders (such as vitamins or spirulina) very well. It seems to have good flavor, because the fish go for it very well. It is not expensive. Finally, gelatin "melts" very quickly on contact with the tank's temperature, whereas this gel is more stable. All in all, I like a lot better than gelatin, which is of course almost completely devoid of nutritional value.

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