View Full Version : Ingredients Hikari Cichlid Bio-Gold vs. NLS Cichlid Formula

02-18-2008, 08:11 PM
The debate has been over the better food for awhile. Hikari Bio-Gold or NLS pellets. We all know that pellets hold nutrients in the food and dilute the nutrients into the water slower than flakes do, makely pellets a better choice. So now the real question comes to hand; Which pellet food is better Hikari Bio-Gold or New Life Spectrum? After analyzing both contents and ingredients here is what it comes down to.

Hikari Cichlid Bio-Gold Pellets

Ingredients: Shrimp Meal, White Fish Meal, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Wheat Flour, Soybean Meal, Wheat-Germ Meal, Carotene, Protease, Garlic, Thiamine Mono-Nitrate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, l-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Stabilized Vitamin C), Vitamin B12, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Choline Chloride , Vitamin D3, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (Source of Vitamin K) Insitol, Para-Aminobenzoic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Menadione Sulfate, Salt, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Aluminum Aydroxide, Manganese Sulfate

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein 45% Minimum
Crude Fat 5% Minimum
Crude Fiber 2% Maximum
Moisture 15% Maximum
Phosphorus 1% Minimum
Microorganisms 10,000 CFU/g Minimum
Vitamin A - 26,000 IU/kg
Vitamin C - 140 mg/kg
Vitamin D3 - 5,300 IU/kg
Vitamin E - 900 mg/kg

New Life Spectrum Cichlid Pellets

Ingredients:Krill, Herring, Wheat Flour, Algae Meal, Soybean Isolate, Fish Oil, Beta Carotene, Spirulina, Garlic, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Activated Animal- Sterol (D3), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine, Biotin, DL Alphatocopherol, (E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (C), Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Ethoxyquin (Preservative)

Protein 34% Minimum
Fat 5% Minimum
Fiber 5% Maximum
Ash 9% Maximum
Moisture 8% Maximum
Vitamin A – 8000 IU/kg
Vitamin D – 450 IU/kg
Vitamin E – 200 IU/kg

Hikari Cichlid bio-gold uses beneficial living micro organisms called “Hikari-Germ” to introduce nutrients into the food. “Hikari Germ” is also beneficial as it reduces waste, enhances coloration, improves water quality, and accelerates growth. Hikari germ also promotes better digestion and utilization of the high content nutrients that are packed into every pellet.

New Life Spectrum uses 4 all-natural color enhancing ingredients that also introduce high levels of nutrients which assist in enhanced coloration, accelerated growth, and improved water quality. New life spectrum provides whole krill and herring where Hikari uses fish meal.

To those that were looking for the cichlid analysis…. Here are the ingredients right off the labels and websites…. You make your choice.... I'm not expressing any opinion here but only throwing out the ingredients some have asked for....


02-18-2008, 08:15 PM
Thanks J. Both Hikari Bio-Gold or NLS pellets are an excellent staple diet food and you can't go wrong with either one.

02-18-2008, 10:27 PM
Noticed the difference in the quantities of the vitamins, and found it interesting, I just went to a lecture on "how the body utilizes micronutrients" basic thing was that it doesn't matter how much of the vitamin there is, it depends on the the "form" that it is used in and the ratio of other vitamins. Figure that the way fish absorb vitamins can't be that different, and this lecturer was saying that a standard Vitamin C tablet that we humans take, is only in the body for 15min - 4 hours, then it's all gone, where as if we eat an orange, the Vitamin C stays in the body for 3 days, all because the "balance" is right, that all the vitamins work in conjuction with each other. He said one elephant can pull 1 tonne, so how mauch can 2 elephants pull? 2 tonne logically, but actually 2 elephants can pull 11 tonne, they work better in conjuction with each other than on their own, so if you get the balance right of vitamins, you don't have to have big amounts, just the right balance, because if you just have big doses, the body just gets rid of it (as in pees it out, what colour is it after you've taken a typical big dose multivitamin, reallyl yellowy-orange right) where as if it's the right balance, the body uses it all without wasting it. Like the orange!

Ok, so I rambled, and people and elephants have nothing to do with fish! Just thought that it was interesting the difference in the quantities of vitamin content in them both, sorry!thumbs2:

02-19-2008, 02:19 AM
I notice Hikari doesnt list how much ash is in their product.

Read the nutrition article on NLS website. Its really good.

02-19-2008, 02:39 AM
Great post here, and I don't think you can go wrong with either one. They are both well-received outstanding foods.

I would be interested though to hear from people who do use one vs. the other and hear their reasoning behind the decision.

02-19-2008, 02:43 AM
i personally stick with hikari, ive never had issues with it

02-19-2008, 02:44 AM
This may be another Eheim vs. Fluval type discussion. Both are outstanding but we tend to stick with what works.

02-19-2008, 03:37 AM
Gm I used Hikari Cichlid Excel and Hikari bio-gold for years. Recently I switched from that to NLS Cichlid formula. I noticed no increase in coloration or fish behavior. After Hobbs BP incident I switched back to Hikari Cichlid Bio-Gold which I have trusted for years....

Lady Hobbs
02-19-2008, 03:58 AM
My trial run was probably something that no one else might run into. I feel just as as you do, I have had no problems with Hikari and the fish eat it well with no problems so we just have to use what we feel works for our individual fish. The change was just too drastic and fast for me to feel comfortable with.

Thanks for all the info above. Nice to see it all side-by-side. (Not that I know what it means)

02-19-2008, 04:11 AM
Ok this is what makes me kind of mad. Everyone told me that nls is the best, that thats the only food i should give to my fish..Get the nls, its best. So i order the nls and then everyone says its not that much better and then switch back to hikari..Did i waste 22 bucks or not?

02-19-2008, 04:13 AM
Hikari uses Bacteria to give the fish nutrients.
NLS uses conjunctions between the nutrients to give nutrients.
So diferent fish will have diferent reactions to the foods.

02-19-2008, 04:15 AM
Ok this is what makes me kind of mad. Everyone told me that nls is the best, that thats the only food i should give to my fish..Get the nls, its best. So i order the nls and then everyone says its not that much better and then switch back to hikari..Did i waste 22 bucks or not?

It is your own personal decision Budman..

Everyone I didn't post this to have everyone switch back to Hikari... I posted this because numerous people were wondering the difference in the make-up of the food....

Budman I switched back to Hikari because I seen no change... That doesn't mean NLS is bad... It just means I switched back to something I have used for years with seen/proven results......

Lady Hobbs
02-19-2008, 04:17 AM
Hikari uses Bacteria to give the fish nutrients.
NLS uses conjunctions between the nutrients to give nutrients.
So diferent fish will have diferent reactions to the foods.

Where do you get your information from on this?

02-19-2008, 04:19 AM
I know JB, but i mean i took peoples advice on how its the very best, then find out people dont like it and think hikari is better. So its like i wasted 22 bucks when i could of got the cichlid-bio gold+. Just makes me mad.

02-19-2008, 04:21 AM
Where do you get your information from on this?

"Hikari Germ" is straight from the Hikari USA website.... www.hikariusa.com (http://www.hikariusa.com)

NLS info is straight from the NLS website....... www.nlpublish.com (http://www.nlpublish.com)

Ingredients are off the packaging.....

Sorry Hobbs I didn't see the attached qoute...... Thats where I got the info at though

02-19-2008, 04:31 AM
Budman you have not wasted your 22 bucks. I'm sure your fish will do great on nls. It is what I use and am very happy with the results. I'm sure I would be happy with the Hikari Cichlid food as well. It is just what was recomended to me most when I first started up my frontosa colony. If I had been recomended to use the Hikari Cichlid by a bunch of people I probably would have used it. You spent your money wisely on a top notch food so do not worry.

02-19-2008, 04:38 AM
Ok sailor, thanks.

02-19-2008, 04:43 AM
NLS is better. I had used Hikari extensively for years before I switched to NLS, and I was VERY skeptical of NLS at first. But over time it really proved its worth and I can't see feeding anything less. Hikari is really good though. You get success with it. This is one reason people find it hard to believe anything else is better, the Hikari has worked so well. But it is not as good as NLS.

There are some cases of NLS not living up to its usual results, and Hobbs has the best example of it that I know of in that in this case it was obvious that it really was the food. But these cases are VERY rare. There are many more cases of Hikari not being as good as NLS than the very few of Hikari being better (at least as far as color is concerned, which does not necessarily reflect long-term thrivability). I have lost track of all the amazing cases of NLS. One customer who has a 27 year old marine fish (squirrelfish) that never had pellets took to NLS right away and has better colors than the owner has ever seen on it. Many other customers who were very skeptical at first come in telling me how good it is and how right I was about its.

This does not discredit Hobbs' experience, but simply illustrates that her case is by far not even close to typical of NLS.

Anyone who has any concern about their fishes' diet needs to take a good look at NLS's website and read through all the information on there.

02-19-2008, 10:07 AM
Ah.. just buy a pack of both - mix it up = best of both worlds :19:

Lady Hobbs
02-19-2008, 12:25 PM
What a wonderful solution you have there, Fishalious.

Honestly. You should run for President!

02-19-2008, 12:29 PM
Lady Hobbs did you mean for president. Because I would run from him too lol

Lady Hobbs
02-19-2008, 12:32 PM
edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit

I can not see what I am saying.

02-19-2008, 02:06 PM
One thing you will see repeatedly is that NLS works the best when it is the only food fed. This shows that any other food is diluting the nutrition in NLS.

02-19-2008, 02:47 PM
I use only Hikari Bio-Gold and Alge Wafers for my larger fish. I do have NLS for my 2 smaller 10g tanks, though. I wouldnt switch from Hikari for my larger fish. Hikaria has really brought out the color in my Oscar and GT. They are all very healthy and practically jump out of the tank to get the food. It's worked for years, the fish love it, the color is great. That's all I need to know.

02-19-2008, 03:06 PM
Have you tried NLS with your larger fish? Do you know that they won't do even better with NLS? If they are doing that good on Hikari and NLS has proven so many times to be better than Hikari, why not make sure you are not missing out on something better?

02-19-2008, 03:08 PM
It's one of those "Don't fix it if it's not broken" deals. They love the Hakari, so that's what they get, ya know?

02-19-2008, 03:16 PM
Many cases like that are really 'its not broke (yet), don't prevent it'. It really is that much better and worth a close look. Have you checked out their site at all?

03-04-2008, 04:32 AM
Was it a blood parrot that Lady Hobbs had some trouble with feeding NLS to? Can someone fill me in?
One of my daughters got a blood parrot a couple weeks ago and was complaining that it wouldn't come to the top for her flake food so I gave her some of my NLS. I haven't thought to ask her how it's doing. Hope I didn't make a mistake by giving it to her. My mbuna do very well on it.

03-04-2008, 02:05 PM
Hobbs' parrot lost color. It took the NLS, just lost color while on it. She switched it back so it may or may not have started to color up later if it was kept on it. Ask her how it is doing and let us know.

03-04-2008, 03:12 PM
Thanks Fishguy. I found the thread where she was telling about it and did ask her there if it had started to color back up yet since being back on the Hikari. I'd be intersted to know because if it doesn't color back up, I'd assume it had been dyed or hormoned when she got it and the NLS was just coincidence.

03-04-2008, 03:42 PM
We use Hikari for a while now...
Our bumblebee catfish is mad when she's smelling it... She's eating like a pig... Her colors are wonderfull.
Same thing with our platies : very colorfull, we were even surprise to see how much hue and color they have...

Now we fed our endler and sparkling gourim with hikari too : coloration is coming, and our sparkling is becoming a little jewel (note for fishalicious: we wait for our friend with the numeric camera to have some good pics!:ezpi_wink1: ).

We never used NLS because we didn't find it there, or didn't see it... But for now it work very well with our fish...