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Ways to increase shelf life of food


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I just have one nano tank, and so I run into the problem of food going bad way before I can come close to using it all. 

For dried food (nano pellets, etc), I was thinking of dividing into ziplocks and putting them in the freezer.

For frozen food, one whole cube of blood worms is way too much food for my tank, I was thinking of thawing out the whole pack and refreezing much smaller portions. 

 

Anyone think there would be issues with either of these approaches? Other strategies you've used? Thanks!!

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On 7/25/2023 at 11:25 PM, Bigmike said:

For frozen food, one whole cube of blood worms is way too much food for my tank, I was thinking of thawing out the whole pack and refreezing much smaller portions. 

 

that is a HUGE no. Once your frozen food thaws out, you better send it to the trashcan. It will do more harm than any good at that point. I forgot my bbs pack out 2 days ago, it melted. Instantly threw away a freshly opened pack. Sad but a must do

 

At best, cut the cube into half, or to 4 pieces if it is better for you, and INSTANTLY put the remaining part back to freezer immediately in a ziplock.

 

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I agree Re-freezing is not a good idea. I couldn’t find the co-op video talking about that being a no.  
I use a sharp knife and cut cubes when needed. 
I use a food saver. As soon as I open I split into several food saver bags and remove the oxygen to preserve it. Then I sometimes put it in the freezer sometimes not because no air getting to it is just like it sitting on the shelf in the factory unopened package. I do write the date and bottle expiration date in the food bag. Even unopened it will eventually go bad. 

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I have to agree that re-freezing frozen foods seems like a bad idea. Frozen foods are so accessible and relatively inexpensive that having to sacrifice a pack that thawed is worth it to me to save all my 14 tanks from illness. Even when I’ve cut a cube in half or thirds, and immediately throw the unused portion back in the pack and in the freezer, when I go to reuse the other half or 2/3’s I get weirded out and end up tossing the partial cube. The risk just isn’t worth the reward for me. That being said, I use 1 cube of bloodworms per day split between like 5 of my 14 total tanks.
 

Frozen foods aside, dry foods have a little more wiggle room, in my opinion. While it’s probably best to freeze the majority of the container and only portion out what you’ll use in less than one month, I don’t freeze the bigger portions. Instead, I leave the bigger portions in the bigger jar, and portion into the smaller jar that gets used once or twice per day. For example, I buy the big jar of Krill flakes and the small jar of Spirulina flakes and mix my own Community Crave. I’ll open the big Krill and the little Spirulina and make my own mix in a small Xtreme jar. Then, the original source jars go back in a cool and dry place, and the mixed jar gets used every day until I’m low/out and need to mix again. I do the same with my Nano Pellets. I buy the big jar, and then portion into a smaller jar, and the big jar “goes back in storage”. 
 

Is this the perfect system? No. Is it as good as holding the “big portions” in the freezer? Probably not. However, it is practical for my use (again, I have 14 tanks so the smaller portions get used within a month), I think it’s better to open the big jars as needed to portion (and definitely much better than opening the big jars daily) and as much as my girlfriend appreciates my tanks I don’t want to try to convince her to take up valuable ice cream real estate in the freezer for fish food. I’ve been doing this the past several years and haven’t had any issues. 
 

Frozen foods are a different story. I DO take up ice cream real estate in the freezer for my frozen foods (I and the fish get our own little corner for frozen foods), and those get used 1 whole cube at a time. 


Hope this helps!

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I have kept dry food in my freezer a lot of times, and have not noticed any difference, As for the frozen food, if you will use a cube up in a couple of days, you can pop it out of packaging and thaw however you usually do, feed the amount you feed, put it in some cold water in a small container and put in the fridge to use up the next day. I'll often do this, as I buy the 1lb flats of bloodworms and brine shrimp, break off a piece to thaw, then put what is left in the fridge. As long as it is kept cold in the fridge and used in a couple of days there won't be spoilage and can be used. Now, if you leave it set out on the counter top all day or overnight and it gets warm, I'd toss it. 

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I've done the refreeze, but I just thaw 1 cube for 5-10 min only (set a timer!) and then I use the tongs to divide the food using these; each section is very small, just like 1 cm x 1 cm.  Once you have the amount of food you want in each compartment, you can use a pipette to top with tank water to make a square cube. I then immediately refreeze.  I wouldn't suggest doing this to a whole pack at once as the freshness loss from sitting out while you work on the project could have ill effects.  

Also if I ever overfeed a sinking food and I realize it right away, I can suck the food right back out of the tank with a turkey baster and freeze it in this tray for use the next day.

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTw-vxL1lSITICkxTL5YNSkZezs-tguGbiMv7QjGIlVQ1Z4H0R_Cady9TZXxM6Hwfu5ss6_fXcJZuqjDgQ6wpwlVLt78DE-qA

Edited by Chick-In-Of-TheSea
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