A few weeks back, we put up a picture with a few various community fish foods on our Facebook page and asked the masses what food they would like to see us trial and review. It was a pretty unanimous decision, that you, the fish keepers of New Zealand wanted to see Hikari Micro Pellets put through its paces and reviewed, so that is exactly what we did!
First things first, I know we are reviewing the product inside the packaging, but I myself have never been a big fan of fish foods that come in bags (yes I know there is benefits to it), I far prefer a solid container- yes I know you can pour a bag into a container, and yes that is exactly what I would do. Enough of that, lets get into the product itself.
After ripping the scab off the top of the bag you are greeted with a reddy pink almost brick colour pellet, then wafts the smell that most fish keepers know, the smell of prepreped processed fish pellets. It was not offensive, but it was also not invigorating, it just was. Now for the pellet it self, I poured it into my hand and was amazed at the size of the pellet, when they say micro pellet, they mean micro pellet. Too put it into some context, I think grains of sand would be a good comparison to its size.
On the front of the packet is Cardinal Tetras, Green Tiger Barbs and Bleeding Heart Tetras, perfect as at the time of testing this product we have Cardinal Tetras and Green Tiger Barbs and some Bleeding Heart Tetras all in our Managed Isolation tanks. This gave me a decent indication on what to feed this food too, although your tank busters probably would eat it, I think you will need to go through a bag a feed for them, so be smart and stick to your smaller species, think tetras, corydoras, livebearers, rasbora and the likes.
I threw the standard "pinch" in to all of the isolation tanks and within seconds everything was going nucking futs over it. I was genuinely amazed at the speed in which all of the fish took this food for the first time (I can't be sure if this is feed at the importers, but I suspect it isn't) and in many cases the food didn't hit the bottom for the corydoras and loaches. The front of the packets claims that it is a semi-floating pellet, which I think I would agree on that claim, it is more suited for your top to mid feeding species over your bottom dwelling species.
At the time of the feeding I didn't notice any odors or discoloration of the water, however the morning after was a different story. There was very distinct aroma in the air, in short it made the room smell and feel like a fish room. Now it must be said that the door was closed for the night, there is no windows and there was 20 odd aquariums that had been feed with this food. I strongly suspect that an aquarium in a living space with a good filter would have no such issues.
So far pretty good for Hikari Micro Pellets, until we start looking at the ingredient list. It is not that the ingredients are bad, they are pretty typical for what you expect in a fish food. Nothing really stands out as being brilliant and there seems to be a few fillers in it as well. However, when we compare them to a couple of other smaller pellets they actually stack up pretty well- is this a positive thing or is this an acceptance thing?
I can't say that I noticed any difference in colour or behaviour in the fish that I was feeding, but the fish that we have in are small and young and are often at the uncoloured stage still. So this might be an unfair comment for the Hikari Micro Pellets
Sadly, that is not the only thing that lets this product down somewhat, I have found that the size of the bag is far, far too both in weight and in size. I found it stupidly hard to get my sausage fingers into the bag to get some out, which meant I had to tip it in to my hand- not the end of the world, but something annoying none the less. The weight inside the bag was also, very frustrating. If you are feeding a couple of nano tanks, or maybe one display aquarium then the bag size probably will not concern you too much. But if you are feeding several tanks, a fish room or a really large display aquarium then I am sure you will need to be buying multiple bags in one go, if only we could get a larger sized bag things would be a lot better on this front.
These are priced at $13.99 which is around the same price point as similar micro pellets, being that the fish go pretty crazy over these and they were perfect size pellets for mini fish, it is pretty reasonable. We also sell them as a part of our community combo with Hikari Vibra bites for $22.99
Overall I was pretty happy with this food, unfortunately they will not be a staple in the shop feeding rotation, for two reasons, first off we are really working hard towards putting some decent nutrition into the fish that come into The Fish Room, with most of the fish pretty stressed from being recently imported nutrition is key, I don't see this product being something that will help us do this for our fish here. Secondly, the bag size is just not economical enough for us to be feeding out 60 aquariums. A bag this size would inevitably only last us a couple of days.
That being said, I am going to take a bag home and feed my display aquarium with this food. I am sure that it will not make an smell like it did in a confined space, and I am interested to see if my fish colour up any more will being feed exclusively this food. So although it might not make the cut for store use, it still might get some decent action in a normal home setting- I will up-date this once I have tried the Hikari Micro Pellets for a while at home.
If you are interested in trying Hikari Micro Pellets your-self you can find them here