I don't know where best to direct my question so I felt it might be a good to start in peer to peer aquatic hobby forums*.
Before posting, I searched google and then later the forum for terms which derive from permutations of "calorie" and "metabolism", etc relating to aquatic life. Unsatisfied with the results of my queries (on google, the only calorie/metabolism information on aquatic life was from eating them!) I felt then appropriate to cast this post.
Here's my question:
Are there any metrics, fish metabolism simulators (or expectation outputters), data sheets, tables or other resources of information which permit accurate fish dietary needs assertion?
whereby: one may know (relatively) the dietary requirements of an aquatic life, and ultimately how much of a fish food product to feed to fish.
- Latin name of aquatic life (to account for aquatic variances)
- Size of fish (in inches or cm)
- Type of food being fed (specific to product UPC if using packaged merchandised, otherwise "x grams of broccoli" (or similar) would be appropriate)
- Number of dosings per day (continuous or discrete feeding samples?... like 3 times a day vs. 1 time a day to accommodate fish exercise and energy for between feedings)
- Other parameters felt necessary
produce output which states: Feed [x amount] of [product Y] to fulfill daily nutritional requirement of fish.
where some examples of [x amount] could be provided in such units:
- 3 pellets
- 4 flakes
- 2 grams of broccoli
Fish, like humans, vary their dining needs as a result of many parameters.
On the topic of fish metabolism, biologist Guido van den Thilart
states on his webpage "Most fishes are very plastic and can change their biochemical and structural make up within several days.
Mechanisms of metabolic regulation and adaptation are studied with techniques like in-vivo NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance), calorimetry, cannulation, and cell cultures. Emphasis is placed on endocrine regulation of energy metabolism. Fishes are studied in relation to swimming, hypoxia, temperature, and ontogeny.
With humans, regardless of many parameters, we are still able to conclude (relatively) a figure of 1,500 - 2,000 calorie/day diet. Though humans are considerably more "macro" organisms and considerably more stablized in their requirements, perhaps a similar feat can be reached for aquatic life (this is a hope. Please, no flaming).
Claims/benefits which I feel will arise from the availability of this information:
- Extend aquatic life span.
- Reduce failures in novice hobbyists or casual aquarists.
- Permit zoos, museums and large aquariums aquatic centers to share information on best maintaining aquatic life. The "American Zoo and Aquarium Association" (http://www.aza.org) could use such information.
- Permit aquatic food manufacturers, distributors to provide more nutrition information which can be synthesized and provided to people seeking information. (eg: How many brand x koi pellets should I feed my 2.5 inch koi of Y variety?)
- Eradicate the need to feed fish by studying how much they eat in an alloted period of time (4-5 minutes), in lieu of being able to precisely satiate their dietary needs given different feeding practices (1 vs 3 times a day feeding, for example).
Please provide some feedback on this. Your comments, thoughts and insights are greatly valued. I am humble for your time and attention to this question.
* After reading this request, if you feel you know where best to direct this question through your contacts or familiarity of science knowledge bases, please let everyone know by responding to this question.
I checked FINS, and some other aquatic databases only to find out there really isn't a resource for this information. It would be invaluable for manufacturers to agree to cooperate on this information for the benefit of all aquarists alike.