Many people are familiar with the New Life Spectrum brand of fish food, but know very little about the man who created this unique formula, or the reason why he initially developed it. Pablo Tepoot, the owner of New Life Exotic Fish, Inc. originally developed his line of fish food due to customer demand. Pablo's customers could never seem to keep their fish glowing with the same natural sheen & color as when first purchased from his fish farms, therefore Pablo decided to supply them with his secret to success.
The New Life Spectrum line of fish food was created.
It took years of trial and error to find the perfect mix of ingredients that would work well for all species of fish, including carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Creating the most nutritional line of food on the market became Pablo's personal mission in life.
Pablo is unique in that he invests very little on marketing his product, as he prefers to ensure his money goes towards the highest quality of raw ingredients. Although many of these ingredients proved to be very costly, and the manufacturing costs have risen significantly over the past 6 1/2 years, he has refused to increase his prices.
According to Pablo, "Money isn't everything".
Pablo Tepoot isn't part of some large, nameless corporation that views hobbyists as a cash cow for his bottom line. Pablo is a very down to earth man who at the age of 65 years is quite comfortable in knowing he's made major achievements in the tropical fish industry. Pablo recently shared with me that this is his way of giving back to an industry that has served him extremely well over the past 30 years.
He's not interested in hearing how he can cut costs, his only goal is to create the best fish food on the market, period.
This hasn't always been easy, as initially it proved difficult to use such high quality ingredients, that contain very little starches, and yet still have the food properly bind together during the manufacturing process. Pablo has refused to allow his food to become full of cheap starches and fillers, and kept experimenting until he found a process that was successful.
Pablo is also unique in that he offers an online forum where he will personally address any nutritional or feeding issues regarding his line of foods. This is certainly not the case with most of today's CEO's, for not only will Pablo answer questions and assist the average hobbyist, he's willing to do it on a public forum.
New Life Spectrum is also the only fish food company I'm aware of that comes with a CAUTION warning on each label of their flake food. Pablo wanted to ensure that the consumer clearly understood that for larger species of fish, his pellet food was better suited. (Due to insufficient food intake of flakes).
As Pablo likes to say, "everything your fish needs is in the jar", and "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".
Many people get too caught up in the amount of greens some species eat, vs. where their protein source in the wild truly comes from. The reality is that even though algae dominates the stomach contents of the majority of certain species such as wild African Mbuna and Tropheus, and most of these species are considered herbivores, the actual foods that make them grow are insect nymphs and larvae, crustaceans, snails, mites, micro-organisms, and zoo plankton, not vegetable matter.
The photo of this holding tank comes straight from Mpulungu, Zambia. Mark Young, an exporter who resides along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, recently expressed to me that most of the information one reads with regards to how sensitive Tropheus dietary requirements are, "is pure rubbish." The holding tank shown here is full of healthy wild caught Tropheus moorii (Mbita Island), who once acclimatized for a few days, are fed nothing but a generic fish meal based flake food. All of Mark's wild caught Tropheus remain on this diet for 4-6 months before being exported, and Mark states that he has never once lost a fish to bloat from this food. According to Mark, the key is to not overfeed. Mark admits that this is not a particularly high quality flake, but as he stated to me "beggars can't be choosers". Ironically, the one time he did purchase a spirulina flake, the Tropheus refused to eat it, even when in a starving state!
Some people tend to relate ingredients such as krill and fish meal with a non-herbivore diet, but as you can see, that simply isn't true.
In the wild, African Cichlids obtain their main protein sources from the same types of protein that are carefully combined in New Life Spectrum. For those that are concerned about the amount of vegetable content, New Life Spectrum contains a large amount of greens, in the form of Kelp, Seaweed, Haematococcus pluvialis (a form of micro-algae), and Spirulina.
Pablo has found that feeding all types of fish a high quality protein combination of krill and herring ensures superior growth, color, and overall health. But at the same time he acknowledges the importance of high quality vegetable based ingredients. New Life Spectrum already is a veggie food; Pablo has simply chosen to use high quality krill and fish as the main protein source.
There are numerous breeders that feed New Life Spectrum to their Tropheus, herbivorous Mbuna, as well as to various species of herbivorous saltwater fish, and they have no dietary issues whatsoever. These fish, not only never have bloat or dietary issues, but they thrive on New Life Spectrum!
Kyle Rollefstad, who spent close to 6 months working with Stuart Grant on Lake Malawi, and who returned with several groups of wild caught Mbuna and Aulonocara, is now using New Life Spectrum in all of his aquariums. Kyle just recently switched over to New Life Spectrum, and has already seen major improvements in both the color and growth of his F1 offspring. After noticing the dramatic change in his fish since switching to New Life Spectrum, Kyle commented, "I wish I had known about New Life Spectrum sooner!"
The key thing to remember when feeding your fish New Life Spectrum is that this food is a highly nutritious, highly digestible, highly concentrated, premium fish food, and that a little goes a very long ways. Often people switch foods over too swiftly, feed too often, or feed too much, period. When their fish become ill they blame the food, when in fact it's really a case of food management error. Most people are amazed at how long a container of New Life Spectrum lasts compared to conventional flakes & pellets.
One thing that was stressed to me by Pablo is the importance of the amino acid profile in the food. It doesn't matter how high the protein content is (feather meal is quite high in protein, but not very digestible) if the amino acid requirements aren't fully met, the fish will not thrive. The protein must be in a form that the fish can fully digest and utilize, and all of the essential amino acids must be present.
One has to keep in mind that there are essential amino and fatty acids that are present in fish meal, that are not present in tissue from terrestrial plants.
Also, not all raw ingredients are handled; stored, or processed the same way, and this alone can make a major difference in the growth, color, and overall health of your fish. A low-grade protein might be able to maintain an already healthy fish, but under stress from aggression, injury, growth, breeding, etc, that same fish will certainly not thrive, and might not even survive.
Pablo insists that only the highest quality raw ingredients will be used to make his fish food!
Pablo also owns and maintains numerous species of saltwater fish. Some of them are finicky species, which up until recent times were very difficult to maintain in an aquarium environment. Pablo has a 2000 gallon saltwater tank, which contains over 300 fish, and every last one of them eats New Life Spectrum exclusively. Many of these saltwater species are very specialized feeders in the wild, and in the past it was unheard of to hear of these fish accepting a commercial pellet or flake.
That soon changed when New Life Spectrum was created.
Saltwater species that in the wild only feed on specialized foods such as Coral Polyps and Sponges, and would turn their noses up to commercial foods, are now not only accepting New Life Spectrum, but they are thriving on it! Pablo's saltwater tank contains species such as; Butterfly Fish, Parrot Fish, Philippine Regal Angels, Majestic Angels, Rock Beauty, Moorish Idol, and Achilles Tang, and they all eat New Life Spectrum exclusively.
Even with such incredible success, Pablo didn't stop there.
He went on to create a new product called Spectrumax - Finicky Fish Formula. This is a premium plus appetite enhancing formula that contains mussel as the main ingredient (a very expensive and difficult to find raw ingredient) that even the most finicky of eaters cannot refuse!
It's difficult to discuss New Life Spectrum without mentioning the color enhancement properties of this food. Color enhancement is usually the first thing people talk about when they mention the New Life Spectrum line of food, and with good reason. Pablo not only ensures that the highest quality ingredients are in his food, he has also gone to great lengths to ensure that his food is very high in the same natural color enhancing foods that are found in the wild. New Life Spectrum might not make a poor quality fish that's lacking in good genetics look great, but it will keep a great specimen (wild caught or tank raised), looking great. It also has the potential to take a nice looking fish to the next level, and make it look spectacular.