Cheap and easy DIY foods for marine fish and corals. Some background first I think is in order. I have been making my own cheap marine fish and coral foods for more years than I care to mention and certainly I was making them back in the 80s. At the time I was warned that I was playing some sort of Russian roulette with my fish and corals and that I run the very real risk of introducing disease and death to my precious life forms. Well after all these years I can tell you I have never experienced any such issues with the way I process my foods. After all public aquariums and the like have been feeding fresh marine foods for years. We have been told that the only safe foods for our aquariums were gamma irradiated foods if the foods originated from the oceans. I am not going to go into detail here but much evidence on what I am about to tell is available on the net. However what the manufacturers of frozen foods for the hobby failed to inform the purchasers of their gamma irradiated foods is that the process of gamma irradiation knocks out/kills or nullifies (call it what you will) beneficial vitamins in the food they have irradiated. Reports of fish going blind after prolonged feeding of only gamma irradiated foods have been recorded in the past. OK let's cut to the chase and get to the what and how's as I have all ready given you the what for's above. First the what, the foods I prepare myself. Mussel, cockle, scallops, shrimp of all kinds, squid, sardines and white bait. All must be fresh or frozen but uncooked. Now the equipment etc I use. A sharp (very sharp) small knife, a food processor, (I bought a small cheap one from ASDA UKs Wall Mart for£9 approx $12) it might be best in the interest of domestic harmony to buy your own rather than use processor from she who must be obeyed, a small spoon and some empty and cleaned yogurt pots or similar and some vitamins such as fish oil and I have even used Abidec liquid Children's Multivitamins the choice is yours. Fish oil capsules can be bought cheaply from Wilkinsons, ASDA and the like. With white bait and Sardines simply cut them into whatever size you wish, these are good for feeding anemones and larger fish that like to eat chunky fish. If you buy your fish frozen then defrost it first by immersing it in fresh water until defrosted which should not take long at all. Put the pieces of fish in a small container like a yoghurt tub add a small amount of tank water and the contents of a fish oil capsule or a few drops of Abidec and allow to soak for 20mins before feeding. At this point I will say if you are making food to feed the likes of Lion fish and other gross feeders then the white bait needs no more processing and can be frozen or fed to the fish either whole of or cut into chunks or simply refrozen to be used later. For smaller fish and corals than the chosen food as in shellfish is simply and quickly defrost as above, if frozen or if fresh de shell the shellfish and shrimp and put in some clean fresh water for 5mins. They are now ready to go into the processor and are mashed checking every now and again on the size of the small pieces you wish to make be, careful not to completely liquidise all the food. I add no fish oil at this point to the food before freezing it. I make individual batches of Squid, mussel, scallops, cockle and the like and when I come to make my 3 days worth of food I simply grate them into the food mix but you could make them all up togther an freeze as one. I grate my food as most of my fish are quite small but even the medium sized one will gobble up this size of food. I process each food in turn and when finished add the foods to the yoghurt pots by scooping it out with the small spoon ready for freezing. I then cover the pots with cling film and pop them in the freezer. When I come to use each I simply pop the food out of the pot and either cut a chunk off or grate the food and let it defrost for a little while. Of course you might like to put the processed foods into ice cube makers or other to freeze the choice is yours. Before feeding, I add a few drops of the fish oil with omega 3 along with some powdered coral foods and let it all soak for 30 minutes giving it all good stir. All very simple and easy to do and not time-consuming at all. Les.