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Feeding Spirulina
 

This page contains some information about using spirulina algae as a food for fish and other aquatic animals.

 
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I’ve been doing some reading about spirulina algae on the internet. Most of the information out there has to do with its benefits on humans, but I think I found enough information to make many strong statements about its benefits to fish.

The bottom line is: Spirulina is a good food for most types of fish, and you should look to be sure the food you feed to your fish contains spirulina.

Now first things first, I’m not sure how much you already now about spirulina, so I’ll start at the beginning. I’ll include the web pages where I found the information.

Spirulina is the botanical name of blue-green algae that is barely half a millimeter long. In Latin the word spirulina means “little spiral”, referring to the algae’s spiral structure. Spirulina is one of the oldest forms of life. This primeval nutrition has been growing on earth for 3.5 billion years. Spirulina can only thrive in extremely alkaline water (pH approximately 9-11, drinking water has a pH of 7). It grows wild in Lake Chad and Lake Nakuru in Africa and in Lake Texcoco in Mexico. Spirulina is not actually a marine algae.

1. From the web page at  http://www.spirulina.nl/overspirulinaEN/index.asp?pid=279#

Spirulina (rhymes with "ballerina") is a traditional food of some Mexican and African peoples. It is a planktonic blue-green algae found in warm water alkaline volcanic lakes. Wild spirulina sustains huge flocks of flamingos in the alkaline East African Rift Valley lakes.

Millions of people worldwide eat spirulina cultivated in scientifically designed algae farms. Current world production of spirulina for human consumption is more than 1,000 metric tons annually. The United States leads world production followed by Thailand, India and China. More countries are planning production as they realize it is a valuable strategic resource.

Scientists in the US, Japan, China, Russia, India and other countries are studying this remarkable food to unlock its potential. More research is needed to determine its usefulness against AIDS and other killer diseases. However, it is already clear that this safe and natural food provides concentrated nutritional support for optimum health and wellness.
 
Click here to buy fish food with an ample amount of Spirulina.

2. From the web page at
http://www.lightparty.com/Health/Spirulina.html

Next, I’ll show you the interesting facts about Spirulina I found.    Spirulina beta carotene is ten times more concentrated than carrots. So even if you don't eat the recommended 4 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day (most people eat only 1-2, including French fries), get your natural beta carotene insurance from spirulina to help support your body's defenses.

Spirulina is 60% easy-to-digest vegetable protein without the fat and cholesterol of meat. People are eating less meat and dairy protein because they want to lower fat, cholesterol, and chemicals in their diet. Spirulina is the highest protein food with all the essential amino acids and has only a few calories to keep your waistline where you want it.

Spirulina grows rapidly, producing 20 times more protein per acre than soybeans. Grown without pesticides or herbicides and dried in a few seconds preserving full nutritional value without stabilizers or chemical additives.

3. From the web page at  http://www.spirulina.com/SPBSpirulina.html

Spirulina is one of the most concentrated natural sources of nutrition know for both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Early interest in Spirulina focused mainly on its potential as a source of protein and vitamins. Spirulina is 60-70% protein by weight and is the richest source of Vitamin B-12 and Beta carotene (twenty times that of carrots) and is also loaded with essential fatty acids and minerals.

4.  From the web site at 
http://www.brimeshrimpdirect.com/

It possesses an amazing ability to thrive in conditions much too harsh for other algae. As might be expected, it has a highly unusual nutritional profile. Spirulina has a 62% amino acid content, is the world's richest natural source of vitamin B-12 and contains a whole spectrum of natural mixed carotene and xanthophyll phytopigments. Spirulina has a soft cell wall made of complex sugars and protein, and is different from most other algae in that it is easily digested.

 
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5. From the web page at  http://www.lightparty.com/Health/Spirulina.html

The last section is all the reasons why feeding Spirulina to fish, and humans as well, would be beneficial.

I looked for negative and/or harmful side effects and could not find any. Preliminary studies indicated that channel catfish fed spirulina had an increase in the number of splenic macrophages determined by esterase staining compared to controls. Not only were more macrophages present in the spleen, but also the macrophages appeared activated. Activation determined by morphology on scanning electron microscopy, was characterized by the presence of numerous folds and ruffles. This research was performed on a single population of catfish over a period of months. While data suggests nonspecific immuno-stimulation elicited by spirulina in the diet, further study on different populations of fish is underway to confirm the preliminary data. 

6. Fact Sheet: Spirulina Algae
More recently, there has been new interest concerning the therapeutic effects of Spirulina as a "probiotic" or booster for the immune response system in animals and fish. 

Probiotic means "that which promotes life", ….. the probiotics will help to prevent the infection from occurring in the first place. Recent studies have found that Spirulina algae functions as a probiotic, allowing the fishes own immune system to function at a higher level of activity. The idea of using probiotics for disease control is receiving greater attention lately due to: 

Ineffectiveness of the available antibiotics, and the publics growing interest over the use of probiotics or holistic type medications.

 
Click here to buy fish food with an ample amount of Spirulina.
 
 
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7. Benefits of Using Spirulina Algae
Increased and more uniform growth rates when fed at the recommended .5-2.0% inclusion rate. 

Spirulina improves the intestinal flora in fish by the breakdown of otherwise indigestible feed components, thereby extracting more nutrition from the feed.

The same beneficial flora or bacteria produce vitamins and displace harmful which is why fish fed Spirulina have less intestinal compaction, a slimmer abdomen, and are more resistant to infection.

Spirulina stimulates the production on enzymes that transport fats within the fish s body. The fish utilized the fat to power growth instead of just storing it and becoming flabby.

8. Spirulina Enhances Color
The 5 ppt carotenoid pigments that are concentrated in Spirulina algae improve and intensify the coloration in fish. This is especially important for koi and goldfish for commanding a higher price in the marketplace. Chlorophyll and phycocyanin also enhance the skin colors.
 
Click here to buy fish food with an ample amount of Spirulina.

 
Click here to go on to another page in this web site with more information about Spirulina Algae.

 
 
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This page was updated on October 27, 2013.