Mr. Saltwater Tank Friday AM Quick Tip: Easy Frozen Food Thawing Without The Stink

I love frozen fish food yet I hate it at the same time. I recently stumbled upon a great way to thaw your food without the stink and spilled water.

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Comments for this article (30)

  • Great tip Mark!
    I loved the out-take at the beginning. It’s lets those that haven’t sat down with you at a sushi dinner know that you’re really just human like the rest of us!

  • Awesome!!! I have been trying to figure out a dokition for this! Thanks!

  • Peter Smyth says:

    Not a bad tip Mark but I always rinse my frozen food in RO water before I put it in my tank. There is a lot of liquid in the frozen food that you don’t want in your tank. Thanks for all your great tips!

  • George Barsi says:


    What food are you using that you do not rinse it? There are some out there that I have been told do not use the binders, and other stuff.

  • Karen says:

    You know you have been watching Mr. Saltwater Tank for a long time when your mind is blown by the thought of Mark’s son TALKING. In my mind he is still the little baby snuggled with Mark’s pug!

    Anyways, I use an old glass baby food jar for thawing and storing my thawed fish food in the fridge. (I have nano tanks so a little thawed food goes a long way!) I feed a lot of LRS food which doesn’t have any binders in it. In fact I usually add a little tank water to it as it thaws to break it up.

  • Ken Phillips says:

    Filter feeders seem to enjoy the liquid that comes when you thaw the frozen food and put it in the tank.

  • Donny knight says:

    i thaw my foot in a urin container with the lid on it and then I poor my food in to a net to catch all the food and let the bad water drain into a container under the net. Then I rinse it off with ro water then I suck my food up in a syringe with ro water in it. Then it’s easy to put the amount of food I want in my tank and where I want it in my tank.

  • Daniel Bannister says:

    Great tip, Mark! I’ll be buying some gum today. 🙂

    Btw (to those asking about rinsing/straining food), I use LRS Reef Frenzy which doesn’t have the binders, etc. that you sometimes find in other foods. It actually doesn’t need rinsing (and your corals will thank you for leaving all of the micro particles in there). 🙂 Hope that info is helpful to some of you guys too!

  • Gary says:

    Why thaw the food out first? I get mine in little blister packs which require 2 blisters per tank per day, usually about 4pm when I get home from work. I just chuck the frozen lumps in, which are about 12x6x6xmm straight into the tanks. It’s great watching all the fish chase them around and eating the bits as they fall off or get bumped off by the fishes noses. never had any smell problems.

  • milan says:

    I do not notice any smell from frozen food. I’m very far from being a reefer god.

  • Helen says:

    When my kids complain about the fish food smell I tell them that what they are smelling is the litter box and that they take that as a reminder to clean it….lol. I don’t think they buy it but it sure cuts down on the complaining.

  • Helen…that’s hilarious! Smart thinking!

  • Gary…I thaw my soak so I can soak it in garlic and vitamins

  • Gary says:

    Hi Mark, why would you need to add garlic (that’s probably what the smell is) and vitamins, the food should already contain everything the fish need.

  • Gary…garlic is thought to boost immunity. The vitamins are there to provide what the food may be lacking. For example, nori provides somethings fleshy foods can’t and vice versa.

  • gARY says:

    Fair do Mark, but why cant you put the frozen food straight into your tank along with a piece of crushed fresh garlic?

  • Gary…because not every fish will get a bite of the garlic. By soaking the food, you are drastically increasing the fish get the goodness from the garlic

  • Tim Wilkinson says:

    Hi Mark, since I’m getting up in age, I end up with alot of medicine bottles. Rince them well , peel the label off, and you have a water tight small container.

  • Geraud says:

    I agree with the above… Mark is there a reason why you would not rinse frozen food?

  • tony marshall says:

    A few cubes gently rinsed under the cold tap in a tea strainer ,drain off excess tapwater and put straight into tank ,or put into glass of tankwater after this method if you want to target feed ,never smells!!!

  • John M says:

    Food setting that long in the warm does the food go bad or turn?
    As we are told no to let the food set out we eat.

  • John M says:

    Mark, I was thinking as it will turn bad if in the warm that long?

  • John M says:

    Sorry for other post system would not save first time why I do not know.

  • bruce d waterat says:

    I’m with Donny, I use a 100ml specimen jar. They are very handy around the aquarium for measuring additives also.
    As for not rinsing, I use Rods Original, it has a variety of sized bits so everybody in the tank gets something they like right down to micro stuff for the filter feeders. It specifically says do not rinse. It is the only thing I feed in a mixed tank. They also have a fish only version without the very small parts….and no binders.

  • Merle M. says:

    Hey Mark, Turkey-baster and old medicine bottle: I drop in the frozen/flake/freeze dried and place it by or on the display light exhaust fan (no water added) a few minutes later, it’s thawed or close to it. Then I can rinse (or not, I’ve done both) and then I add my garlic. Let it soak a couple minutes, add water and feed. Takes 5 maybe 10 minutes. I don’t know the health benefits of garlic for our fish and invertebrates, however!, I do know that as an apatite stimulant, it is great! I’ve never seen anything like it! My fish are healthy eaters but they squabble for the food, or they used to. I add 2-4 drops Garlic Xtreme from Kent to the tank just before feeding. When the turkey-baster hits the water, they are all there waiting and are so busy eating, there is no nipping or chasing. It really does help if you get a new fish that won’t eat, or eat what you offer. This helps. I mentioned invertebrates earlier; I have a green Brittle Star adult (assumption! It’s almost 16 inches tip of arm to tip) It comes out at the same time the fish sense the garlic (If I feed without the garlic, it is late).

  • Tommy says:

    Hey Mark…I thaw mine in a small honey squeeze container. The hole’s much smaller and you can better control the amount of food you dispense. As for rinsing, I figure my zoas, palys and LPS like the waftings…just not too much.

  • David Bruner says:

    I rinse mine in a tea strainer with RO water until it melts. You really do not want that water that is the by-product of the freezing process to enter your tank.

  • Matt says:

    New Friday am quick tip. Any parasite can be removed from fish with freshwater dips. You can put them in rodi water for a few min each day. This will kill the parasite without harming the fish. It has worked wonder for me.

  • Matt..freshwater dips have to be done very carefully. Simply tossing the fish in RODI water (which isn’t recommended by the way) can kill the fish.

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