A New Era in Aquarium Feeds

by | Apr 25, 2012 | Equipment, Industry | 3 comments

Living Color Enterprises Inc is the sole distributor of New Era diets in the USA. For the past 2 years  public aquariums were the distributors main focus. In that time the company’s professional feeds have rounded out the diets of over 40 public aquariums including the Georgia Aquarium, all 3 Sea Worlds and the California Academy of Sciences. This year Living Color has launched New Era into the retail market. 17 diets are available to hobbyists. Whether you are breeding fancy Goldfish, into tropicals and Cichlids, or a are a casual marine aquarium hobbyist, there is a New Era diet designed specifically for the fish you love to keep. Living Color will be showcasing all of their professional, innovative diets at MACNA 2012 in DFW, I was fortunate enough to get a look at the complete marine diet today. Read on to see what I found out. 

The innovation behind the New Era diets has made it the leading brand of fish food in the UK for years. Distributed to 21 countries world-wide, New Era diets are the choice of hundreds public aquariums around the globe. Over 40 of those attractions are located in the USA and recognize New Era’s superiority as a complete aquatic diet. This year Living Color rolled out the complete line of New Era Marine, Freshwater and Coldwater diets to the general public in the States.

From John O’Rourke with Living Color: “New Era diets  only contain [the] highest quality human grade ingredients and  using the entire fish, mussel, squid, etc sets  New Era apart  from others as most feeds use bits and pieces of fish that compromise the fish meals.” What really intrigues me is that New Era doesn’t use any artificial binders in any of their diets, meaning the fish are able to utilize every bite they ingest into their energy budget. For clarity the best example is the binder used in the New Era Mini Grazer and Algae pellets is spirulina.

“Besides only utilizing only the highest human grade ingredients, New Era incorporates vitamins and minerals  into each type of diets.  Realizing that salt water and freshwater ecosystems are completely different in vitamin/mineral composition, each New Era diet has a unique vitamin/mineral profile. ”

Another interesting factoid I discovered about these foods is that the pellets are all soft and slightly moist, they can be compressed together and moulded almost like clay. John tells me this is due to New Era’s use of the latest manufacturing technology, cold extrusion. This method is a low temperature, low pressure and low speed process that will not break down proteins and lipid base like the traditional baking of pellets will and does do.  In addition to the benefit of the pellets being soft and moist, the cold extrusion process renders pellets and flakes hydroscopic in nature. It will take 10-12 hours for the food to begin to break down in the water. This means the nutrients are locked in, including those less desirable like NO3 and PO4.

The complete regiment includes the Aegis diet. The Aegis range is a technologically advanced immunostimulant diet and is the first on the market. This diet contains two types of immunostimulants that naturally boost the immune system of the fish when it is fed over a 2 week period. As indicated by the chart a diet of algae and marine are fed for 4 weeks and then the fish are rotated onto the Aegis diet for two. The process is then repeated. This is the plan I have been following for the past two months almost. In that time I haven’t really noticed any improved color in my fish and of course I wouldn’t know if they have fought off any infections but I did introduce a new pair of wild captured Onyx Clowns without quarantine and have seen no signs of disease or illness in any of my fish. As a matter of fact these two clowns took to eating these prepared foods within minutes of being introduced to the aquarium.

I kept a record of nutrient parameters while feeding this food.  If you watch the video below you will see the amount of food I give at each feeding which I do two times per day. Even though there is an excess of food, particularly pellets I never saw an alarming rise in PO4 or NO3. The filtration on this 107 gallon system consists of a DSB refugium, cheato/C. racemosa, 1 cup of GFO in a BRS reactor, and an Eshopps S-120 Cone Skimmer.

I also filled 2 one gallon water jugs with RO/DI and tested the fresh water nutrient parameters of each gallon. After mixing enough salt in to bring sg up to 1.026 I put the amount of marine flake I normally feed in one jug and a whole Mini Marine Grazer in the other. After giving them a good shake for three minutes each I let them sit for a day, retested and let them sit for another day before testing again. After 48 hours I not only tested the water in each jug, I diluted a 1 mL sample from each with 107 mL of fresh mixed to 1.026 sg ro/di in an attempt to get the same dissolution of my tank volume. Here are the results of those tests.

New Era Aegis Trials

Most of the fish in this aquarium will graze on a New Era disk.


Feeding Pellet and Flake


I’ll be replacing the foods I typically have fed over the years with this complete diet. It’s ease of use, low waste/excess nutrient impact on my system and the fact that it replaces frozen foods makes this decision a no brainer.

  • Michael D. Phelps

    I'm an 18 year old with 26 years of experience. I live in the southeast corner of South Dakota with my wife, the 3 of 7 children who still live at home, two dogs and a whole bunch of fish. I've been keeping fish prisoner in glass boxes for 37 years.


  1. Paul B

    While I have not tried any of these foods they sound like they are made from the items I have been telling aquarists to feed for years. Whole fish is totally missing from virtually all foods and it sounds like this important substance is incorporated in this food.
    I will try it as soon as I can find it.
    (marine aquarist 41 years)
    Oh, and I think you have your years reversed:
    About Michael D. Phelps
    I’m an 18 year old with 26 years of experience.

  2. Michael D. Phelps

    It is a very good diet in my opinion. I feed a lot and only run a skimmer and gfo. There’s not enough PO4 released to make a difference in water quality.

    Paul that statement means I never grew up. I’m a 44 year old with the heart of an 18 year old kid.


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