Tips for Making fish Feed Pellets

Fish feeds that are specifically designed for fish is the best and most efficient way to provide balanced diet for aquacultured fishes. They are a concentrated in nutrition and have been a major factors in increasing the production of fish along with other aspects of fish farming , like the management of water and aeration. Feeds are produced with an extrusion or pellet mill. The process of choice will depend on the kind of feed will be produced for the bulk of the duration. Feeds are usually classified into various types by buoyancy. They are sinking slow sinking, floating, or sinking kind. Diverse species of fish require feedings with a certain buoyancy. For instance, tilapia catfish, and carp require floating feeds. Slow sinking feeds are employed for salmon yellowtail, trout as well as sinking feeders that are necessary to feed shrimp, cod and river crabs. Because feeds comprise more than 50 percent of the production costs regardless of the scale or the intensity of production, it is essential that the efficiency of feeding is increased. One aspect which can help in maximizing the efficiency of utilization of feed is the feed’s quality. Process control and formulation in particular impact the quality of the feed directly.

What Should you Pay Attention to When Making Fish Feed


Palatability and nutrition are crucial indicators of the feed’s quality.Nutrition is comprised of two components that are growth-promoting and color-deepening. The amount of nutrients in pellets for fish feed should meet the needs of growing aquarium fish.


The distinctive smell that is released by the feed is an important base for identifying the fish feed pellets in aquariums. As a rule the feed pellets that are qualified release a distinctive fishy smell and fragrance.So there are a variety of phagostimulants that can be added to fish feed pellets to enhance the taste and fish in aquariums will be attracted by the feed pellets in a vivacious manner. Presently, the most popular phagostimulants include amino acid and mixtures of sulfur-containing organics, nucleic acids and extractive from fauna and flora.


The pellets of fish feed should be kept from loosening in water to ensure that nutrients are preserved and the fish can consume feed efficiently. However when the pellets are get loose in the water, the pollution of the water can be caused and the development of fish could be affected. In the case of waterproofing the aquaculture pellets used for feeding, there’s generally two ways to do it that can be used: one is to increase the amount of starch-rich material such as wheatmeal. The alternative is to add binder to feed pellets. Binders refer to sodium salt, also known as the calcuim salt of bentonite carboxymethocel, sodium alginate semicellulose, lignosulfonate, and many more. Select a binder that is suitable but don’t only look at the impact of the binder on pelletizing process, but also the health and safety aspects, as well as the contents.

Pellet Mills Vs Extruder in Fish Feed Production

Pelletization occurs inside a mill. It is the process of the creation of pelleted feeds through the compression of raw materials, that is, in the form of powder. Compaction occurs in the presence of temperatures, moisture and pressure. Pelletized feeds are extremely dense and heavy, which is why they sink. One reason why pelleted feeds fall is because the process cannot decrease overall density in the raw material. That is it’s in a position to not make the starch gel to an extent that could impact your bulk density. However, when extruding this process permits the control of buoyancy of feeds. Apart from the formulation, the buoyancy of extruded feeds is managed through the manipulation of the process temperatures and moisture levels, along with the screw profile of the extruder and speed. Extrusion is a procedure where the food is not just compressed, like pelletization, but also cooked and that’s the reason it needs greater levels of moisture, temperature , and tension than the process of pelletization. All of these conditions must be met in order to attain the level of expansion desired as it exits the extruder. Gelatinized starch is glue, and it allows greater integrity of the feed when they are handled, stored and casting in water. Protein and fiber are also key for the cohesiveness of the pellets but to a lesser degree than starch.

Starch content included in this formula is what determines the floating ability that the food will have. A 10% amount of starch will be ideal to make sinking feeds. 20 percent starch will be necessary to make floating feeds. The expansion of the cooked and melted starch (viscoelastic property) is the main reason that causes feeds to sink. If the process is controlled properly under proper process control, less than 10% starch could be required for an extrusion-based sinking feed. A single screw extruder is enough for both types of feeds however twin screw extruders might be required for smaller feeds.

Economics of Feed Production

The cost or economics of production of feed is based on three key factors including manufacturing cost and cost savings through formulation, and performance of the feed. The manufacturing costs are higher for pellets that are extruded since the expense of purchasing the equipment is more expensive than that of a pellet mill. Additionally, the capacity of production of the extruder to the same motor is lower than the pellet mill.

When formulating feeds, ingredient selection will depend on the process used to create feeds. Because pellet mills employ compressive force to hold the pellets to each other, it’s crucial to choose a higher-quality raw materials and other binding agents. For instance, there is the need to utilize higher levels of starch in pelleted food when compared with extruded food products. The less amount of starch required for extruded feeds enables the use of more proteins (at lower levels of protein) to satisfy nutritional needs. Therefore, the cost of formulation is lower for extruded feeds.

The impact of the feed is based on the feed’s performance that is measured based on the feed conversion ratio (FCR). FCR is the quantity of feed consumed in relation to the gain weight of an fish or bird. Lower the FCR is the better is the feed’s performance. Even though pelleted feeds utilize steam conditioning, but it’s not enough to cook the proteins and starches. The high temperature and pressure in the extruder greatly makes these macronutrients cook and make them easier to digest. This means that fish is better able to digest extruded feeds more efficiently and make the most of the ingredients. This results in generally lower FCR of extruded feeds when compared with pelleted feeds. Another reason that boosts the FCR for pelleted food is the fact that they release a greater amount of dust and fines (lower the pellet’s integrity) in on the inside of the bag. These fines can be lost during feeding. For the fish farmer, the lower FCR means a lower costs for every kilogram (or pounds) of fish that is produced.

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