Repashy Gel Foods have a reputation among reptile enthusiasts, and the newer line of Repashy Superfoods for tropical fish have really caught the attention of freshwater fish enthusiasts for their value and for their ability to serve as a day long food source. When I came up with a need for a make-at-home gel food to use as a base for creating a medicated food, Repashy came to mind. But could this food be used as a marine food? Would it really be as easy to work with as I’d heard? How would the fish react?
Some initial investigations quickly led me to purchase the Community Plus formulation, per Repashy, a “fresh and saltwater formula”, that is a “‘I want one food for everything’ answer that contains a balanced combination of aquatic animal, algae, yeast, and plant ingredients.” In fact, many of the primary ingredients are marine sourced items such as Whole Krill Meal, Whole Squid Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Spirulina Algae, Chlorella Algae, Carrageenan Algae, and dried kelp. Of course, the food is not solely marine-sourced ingredients, other items include Alfalfa Leaf Meal, Stabilized Rice Bran, Dried Brewers Yeast and a host of other items.
In addition, I was sent a sample of the Spawn and Grow formula. Once again, according to Repashy, it contains “high levels of essential fatty acids and a balanced ratio of EPA to DHA. It also contains additional Arachidonic Acid (ARA), which is considered by many to be an essential fatty acid in Marine fish who are not able to synthesize it from the conversion of Alpha Linolenic Acid. ARA has been shown to increase spawning activity, fertility, and fry survival.” Certainly, this is a potentially interesting food as a marine breeder.
When it comes right down to it, the video instructions shown on Ted’s Fishroom for preparing Repashy foods made it extremely simple. Really, it’s a 3 part water to 1 part powder ratio. Boil the water in the microwave, add the powder, mix and cool.
When it comes storing your Repashy food, you can refrigerate it for 24 hours, or freeze it for extended use. It pops out your “mold” rather easy, and is easy enough to cut up the gel and throw it in a bag.
The verdict? Repashy gel food is easy enough to use. I simply use a sharp knife to cut it into bitesize pieces, although the gel is certainly easy enough for many fish to simply tear apart as they graze on it.
But did the fish like it? Well, that’s an interesting question. Most every fish in the fishroom, marine or freshwater, had no qualms about trying the Spawn & Grow formulation. The Community Plus formulation didn’t have the same universal warm reception among all the fishes. From a marine standpoint, there may be more investigating, as there are four additional formulations of Repashy foods for specific dietary needs.
My biggest critique of these foods in a marine application is that they sink too fast. They will work well for aggressive feeders, as well as any fish that likes to graze and pick at foods (one of Ted Judy’s best observations is how he can place a larger block of food in with fry and let them pick at it all day long). Any fish that won’t pick at the substrate or eat of the bottom (Cardinalfish, Clownfish, Anthias etc) may fail to have enough feeding opportunities before the food is “lost” on the bottom – cutting the food into bite size pieces and feeding it slowly seems like the best way to offer these foods to fish like Banggais and Clownfish. That said, something like the herbivorous formulation might make an ideal all-day grazing food for fish like Angels and Tangs – drop a block in the tank and walk away. Being a somewhat DIY food, it makes me wonder…is there a way you could inject air (admittedly now, probably not good idea), or some other substance, to enhance the buoyancy of the prepared food? Maybe someone already has the answer.
One of the great upsides to this food is the ability to lock in other supplements and in my case, medications. After a few trial runs, I was able to determine the time at which the gel would harden…right before that point I introduced the liquid medication prescribed for the Lightning Maroon, gave it one last mix, and let it set up. If I feed it slowly and carefully, I can get the prescribed dose of medications to the Clowns.
Ultimately, I don’t know that I’m going to say “everyone, rush out and buy Repashy foods for your marine fish”. But this food is definitely worth your attention. The freshwater fish that I keep, most of which are eager grazers, do plow through these foods, and any marine fish that will graze or gulp will certainly be able to consume these foods (and pair the right formulation to the right fish and you should have a winner). So ultimately, I think it’s vitally important that marine aquarists are aware of these feeds, and the benefits and opportunities they present. Should the need or opportunity arise, Repashy gel foods are rapidly becoming very easy to find.