by Richard Rayl
A few weeks ago I was able to pick up a package of Piscene Energetics new fish food offering – PE Pellets. I’ve used PE Mysis for many years, both in the frozen flat packs with the larger shrimp, and the smaller offerings in frozen cubes, and I’ve always been pleased with their freshwater mysis for my fish. I was intrigued to see this new dry pellet food on the market, so I thought I’d give it a try and see how the fish liked it. To cut right to the chase, they liked it. And so did I. Here’s why.
First of all, yes it is made with “fresh PE mysis.” It’s the first ingredient on the list. The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard pellet food fare: white fish meal, wheat flour, Antarctic krill, brewer’s yeast, various algae, and the usual bevy of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to hopefully keep our fish fat, happy, and in good color. When you open the pack for the first time you’re greeted with a very fresh salty aroma, almost pleasant, that I have not noticed with certain older pellet foods. I’m not saying I’d eat it myself, but hey – if the zombie apocalypse happens, at least we know we can probably fall back on a pinch of fish food in lieu of a powerbar if we have to.
One of the things that drew me to this food was the size. I immediately noticed that this was a very small pellet. The package says “1mm slow sinking” pellets, and I feel like what they mean is 1mm maximum size. When compared to New Life’s 1mm pellet size, the average pellet is ½ the size of the New Life product. These are very small, perfect for little mouths. For everyone who has seen a firefish eat a pellet, spit it out, and repeat that process until another fish comes by and steals the food morsel, you can understand why I was happy to see this. PE’s claim of slow sinking is a bit of a stretch. This product floated on the surface for a good long while before current ripples brought it down. For those who have surface feeding fish, this will be terrific. I have a young clownfish who I no longer have to target feed thanks to this food….it stays on the surface long enough for him to eat his fill before sinking down.
However, the surface time may be a drawback for those with overflow filters. If you don’t turn on your pump or use a feeding ring, this will likely get sucked down into the filter before it has a chance to sink. Just be aware that those pumps should really be turned off when you feed this product. And finally, for those who use automated feeders, make sure you crank the access door down to its smallest setting, and test it in your hand a few times to see how much is released. You may have to adjust your feeder to a spot “between settings” to get the right amount of food (I did for my EHEIM feeder).
Now that you’ve heard all that, let’s get to the burning question: did my fish like it? Well, YES. Quite a lot, actually. My tank is a 110g tall mixed reef with a mixture of wrasses, a few blennys, and a tang and dwarf angel mixed in for spice. Most of the fish adapt to surface feeding easily, and this new pellet food induced a surprisingly aggressive feeding response right away, more so than I have seen with other sinking pellets. I think that “smell” I mentioned earlier has a lot to do with their feeding response, and I was happy to see that I didn’t need to worry too much about leftover food dissolving in the tank – the fish were very active in hunting down pellets that were missed in the first frenzy. I also noticed that many of my LPS corals actively opened when they smelled this hit the water. While I did not target feed, I observed my Favia, Favites, Duncans, and Blastos capturing and consuming this food easily.
All in all, I’d say this is a good food for my tank. At $11 dollars (Amazon prime as of this write-up) it’s a little more money than other brands, but in my opinion the quality difference is worth the very small price increase. I’ll definitely be using this food again.
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