A Huge Problem IMO as to why tanks crash and we have so many problems with just about everything.

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Jon Malkerson

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Be a Man. Use the stuff. :cool:
The tank transfer went good. I did use all new water. One month later and still looking good.
A836109D-2EC0-4D29-909F-3E2BBB873825.jpeg
397CBED2-B954-413E-85AD-89E7D97D41E3.jpeg
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I like this writeup. Those of you running UV sterilizers, do you run them 24/7 or intermittently PRN for water clarity?

Those of us not near a sandy bacterial source to scoop some mud, how often are you ordering it to add to the sump? I will add that I added live sand from Hawaii and it dropped my nitrates and clarified my water. Wondering how often I should place an order for another. Ideally those bacteria will come to a steady state population but I'm not sure if a small tank will sustain their numbers.
 
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Paul B

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Any tank will grow as much bacteria as there is food and oxygen for them. They also need a surface to cling on to as bacteria are lousy swimmers. There are very few living bacteria in seawater itself. It is all on the substrait or rocks.

The stuff in the water itself were just brushed off a rock or they are clinging to some seaweed, parasite or fingernail clipping from Columbus toes.

The more rocks and other things in our tanks, the more bacteria can grow. If your water is constantly cloudy, you may not have enough surface area for them to live on.
Here are some common bacteria. Do you see any swim fins on them?

th.jpg


We spend way to much time worrying about pH, black ich, white ich, Phosguard, Rogain, Rowanda, Magnesium, nitrate, intestinal worms, velvet, calcium and alk when we should be more concerned about how happy our bacteria are.
Healthy, happy bacteria = Healthy happy, disease free fish.
In the last few weeks I added two Bangai Cardinals, two Ruby Red dragonettes, a 6 line wrasse and a hawkfish.
They all ate in 24 hours and will all spawn very soon.
I am also sure they will be with me for many years and yes, I do have way to many fish.

Watchman.jpg
 
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Any tank will grow as much bacteria as there is food and oxygen for them. They also need a surface to cling on to as bacteria are lousy swimmers. There are very few living bacteria in seawater itself. It is all on the substrait or rocks.

The stuff in the water itself were just brushed off a rock or they are clinging to some seaweed, parasite or fingernail clipping from Columbus toes.

The more rocks and other things in our tanks, the more bacteria can grow. If your water is constantly cloudy, you may not have enough surface area for them to live on.
Here are some common bacteria. Do you see any swim fins on them?

th.jpg


We spend way to much time worrying about pH, black ich, white ich, Phosguard, Rogain, Rowanda, Magnesium, nitrate, intestinal worms, velvet, calcium and alk when we should be more concerned about how happy our bacteria are.
Healthy, happy bacteria = Healthy happy, disease free fish.
In the last few weeks I added two Bangai Cardinals, two Ruby Red dragonettes, a 6 line wrasse and a hawkfish.
They all ate in 24 hours and will all spawn very soon.
I am also sure they will be with me for many years and yes, I do have way to many fish.

Watchman.jpg
In your opinion, what is best way to add a diversity of bacteria?
I seeded my tank with live rock (about 5lbs), live sand (bag), also added live sand and mud from Florida (ordered). Then I added more sand from Florida I got on vacation.
I definitely believe in bacteria for your tank.
 
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Paul B

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Well the best way is to get it from mud or rocks at the seashore. Barring that, live rock is great especially if it isn't cured or quarantined. If you can't get that, I would use some clean garden soil with no bug killer, fertilizer etc. (just a little and this is not as good as a salt water source)
Feeding live earthworms, whiteworms, or blackworms will also add bacteria as will fresh or freshly frozen shellfish, not packaged and sold for aquarium food. Anemones love earthworms.

Fish from a seafood market will "not" be a good source of bacteria nor will squid, octopus, shrimp or scallops.
 
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Well the best way is to get it from mud or rocks at the seashore. Barring that, live rock is great especially if it isn't cured or quarantined. If you can't get that, I would use some clean garden soil with no bug killer, fertilizer etc. (just a little and this is not as good as a salt water source)
Feeding live earthworms, whiteworms, or blackworms will also add bacteria as will fresh or freshly frozen shellfish, not packaged and sold for aquarium food. Anemones love earthworms.

Fish from a seafood market will "not" be a good source of bacteria nor will squid, octopus, shrimp or scallops.
I do mix fresh oysters in the fish food. I plan on culturing my own white worms.
 

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Paul I’m sure your tanks are more bio-diverse than most current “dry rock” based tanks; from bacterial all the way to pod sized critters. I have a mix of both Dry and real reef and just looking underneath the “pest free” cycled dry rock you don’t see nearly the life you do when comparing/viewing real reef rock; fewer sponges, no macro algae, et.
I haven’t see those ubiquitous white feather dusters in years. I Wonder how much natural filtration modern day tanks are missing
Did someone say feather dusters but then again I have 20 year old reef rock that you can’t get anymore

F8CCCF7A-D726-429C-962B-9BB5C85256CD.jpeg
 
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I am going to try to re-Invigorate this thread because I am so tired of reading about sick fish and the medications that supposedly make them better but I know, they kill more fish than help and I am going to try to explain why I am so against quarantine and especially medication.
The following texts "in Italics" are references I found by researching and they are not copywrited and are allowed to be reprinted:


CC BY ND
We believe in the free flow of information
Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Take a closer look. Shutterstock
We are covered in microbes and our human cells are outnumbered by bacterial cells eight to one. In fact, we are more microbe than human. This microbiome has been shown to regulate, not just the digestion and breakdown of food, but many different processes, too. Alterations to the gut microbiome can lead to susceptibility to conditions such as diabetes, neurological conditions, cancer and asthma.


Parasites inside your body could be protecting you from disease


Of course this reference is about people. But parasites, bacteria and viruses are essential for our health and fishes health. When we use copper or (God Forbid) antibiotics, we totally upset the vital systems of fish. That is also why we feel horrible if we are on antibiotics. But we are not taking baths in the stuff or breathing it in with every breath as we subject our fish to:

August 31, 2017 11.35am EDT
Author
Ben Ashby
Research fellow, University of Bath

Disclosure statement
Ben Ashby receives funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). He is affiliated with Sense About Science.

Partners
University of Bath


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It’s fair to say parasites are generally bad for their hosts. Many cause disease and death so, like most species, we humans usually try to avoid infection at all costs. But it turns out that some parasites, although potentially harmful in isolation, can in fact help hosts to cope with more deadly infections.

Understanding when parasitism is beneficial has important implications for how we manage infectious diseases, but we currently know very little about this phenomenon. Our new study, published in Evolution Letters, tells us that parasites can readily evolve different mechanisms to defend their hosts from other infections, which suggests that host protection should be common in nature.

The idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has been around in human society for a long time but it is far from unique to human conflict. The natural world is full of examples where parasites are harmful under some conditions and helpful under others.


I personally would never try to kill parasites or bacteria unless i get a fish that is obviously dying and I want to experiment.

IMO, the vast amount of fish diseases and deaths we now read about is caused entirely by us. Those fish were all healthy in the sea and only exhibit diseases after we get them. All fish are infected with everything as they should be.

As I said in my first post if we try to kill certain, what we feel are disease organism, the others will take over and cause more, different conditions. Those new conditions were a direct effect of us killing off one of more disease or beneficial organisms.
Now we upset the entire biome of the fish and the more we medicate, the more symptoms will appear forcing us to use more or different medications which will further help deteriorate the patient.

Friends, for now. U.S. Signal Corps
Bacteria that live in our gut can occasionally cause problems, but they also prevent colonisation by more harmful microbes such as Salmonella enterica, which causes food poisoning. Similarly, bacteria that commonly infect insects are usually costly but can provide protection against more deadly infections.

These examples reveal that being infected is not necessarily a bad thing and in fact can sometimes be beneficial. But what they don’t tell us is how and when parasites evolve to be useful to their hosts.

Recent lab experiments have shown that mildly harmful bacteria living inside microscopic worms can evolve in just a few days to protect their hosts from a lethal infection. This striking result indicates that bacteria can rapidly evolve host protection against other infectious diseases.

Still, very little is known about how and when such evolution occurs in nature. And if a parasite evolves to protect its host from a more deadly infection, has the enemy now become a friend?


How many times do we read that "My fish is in quarantine or in copper and it doesn't eat"
It won't eat because it can't. The food in a fish or us can't be digested without bacteria, good and bad. If that bacteria is killed which it will with any aquarium drug including copper, the fish can't digest food so it will refuse to eat. If we are on antibiotics our food can taste lousy. I assume fish can also taste food or at least feel sick.

Fish don't have facial expressions like Angelina Jolie so it is difficult to know how they are feeling but I can guarantee if they are not eating, they don't feel good.


From foe to friend
Using mathematical modelling, we explored the evolution of two forms of host protection: resistance and tolerance. Parasites that protect by conferring resistance to their hosts reduce the likelihood that a second species will be able to infect them, such as when bacteria in the gut prevent colonisation by other microbes. In contrast, parasites that confer tolerance to their hosts reduce the harm caused by another species after it infects them, as appears to be the case with the protozoa that protect monarch butterfly larvae from parasitic flies.

We discovered that both forms of host protection evolve under a wide range of conditions even though the protective parasite may have to divert resources from its own growth or reproduction to defend the host. Protection still evolves because this cost is more than offset by the increased survival of the host (and hence the protective parasite).
We can now combine mathematical modelling with lab experiments of evolving microbes to answer intriguing questions about how other species evolve in response to host protection. Does the host evolve to harbour the protective parasite, and is this how we developed a symbiotic relationship with some of our gut bacteria? Can more harmful parasites evolve to overcome host protection? Answering questions like these can help us find new ways to treat infectious diseases.

The results of our research shed light on a fascinating biological phenomenon about which we still know very little. Yet taken together with the growing number of examples of host protection, it is clear – at least if you’re hosting a parasite – that the enemy of your enemy can indeed be your friend.


I realize many, OK most people on these forums don't believe me. That is fine. Just go on any disease forum and read all the problems with fish after being medicated or overly quarantined which would also irrevocably damage gut microbes causing fish to lose their immunity.
As I keep saying, show me a long running tank where the fish never get sick, are spawning and only dying of old age.

Different article.
Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites
Home » Understanding IBS » Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites

Published date: April 17, 2019 | Modified date: September 25, 2019
Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites
Home » Understanding IBS » Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites

Published date: April 17, 2019 | Modified date: September 25, 2019
Bacteria in Your Gut Is Usually a Good Thing
Inside of your digestive tract an enormous number of bacteria live. These single-celled organisms have colonized all surfaces and cavities of your body and exist there happily. Because we have been trained to view bacteria as the enemy, the fact that 100 trillion bacteria live in your gut may alarm you. However, our internal bacteria are critical to our health. So critical, in fact, that we cannot be healthy or even survive without them.

There is an Ecosystem in Your Gut
"Internal bacteria are fundamental to the development of our immune system". They also help break down our food and create nutrients that we need for good health.

The massive surface of our intestines provides everything bacteria need for life including a warm space, moisture, and nutrients. The bacteria inside us form a teeming, busy ecosystem. This ecosystem functions like any other ecosystem, and changing or harming one species will have repercussions on the other species and on the host itself.

While we are used to thinking of the earth’s ecosystems in this way, it may seem strange that these same principles govern our digestive environment. This environment is all too easily altered, especially in our world of antibiotics, acid blockers, and any other foreign substance that is ingested. And many people suffer from IBS due to a microbial imbalance in their digestive tract.


I know, like I am sure many others here, when I was a kid we viewed all "germs" as bad. Our Mothers told us to wash everything and don't eat anything you dropped on the floor.
Guess what, fish eat, not only dirt, but poop. All the gut bacteria they need is in poop.

(We can't do that, or want to as our guts are a little different than a fish and hundreds of years of living "civilized" destroyed much of our ability to process certain disease organisms)

But if we quarantine fish for an extended time and only feed quarantined or dry foods, those gut bacteria will eventually be replaced by benign bacteria or disease bacteria which will out compete the good, needed bacteria, viruses and parasites that were living in harmony in that fishes gut since it was born.
That will result in a non existent immune system. Those quarantined or medicated fish will never regain their immunity very easily and will always have to eat quarantined food and will always be susceptible to infection.


Gut bacteria
Three Major Categories of Bacteria
There are basically three types of micro-organisms living in our intestines – good bacteria, bad bacteria yeast/parasites, and really bad bacteria/parasites.

A deficiency of good bacteria and/or the presence of bad and ugly bacteria, yeast (Candida,) or parasites will cause a variety of digestive problems, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and even nutritional deficiencies. They can also cause a large number of symptoms beyond the digestive tract.

The Good Bacteria
The good bacteria include species and strains that we evolved with, like acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. These are an essential part of our digestive system and we would not survive without them. They help us to digest food by producing enzymes, manufacture some of the essential nutrients that we need to live, assist in the development of our immune system, and prevent infection by occupying and defending the space in the intestines that unwelcome organisms would thrive in, if they could.

Some species of yeast and bacteria are bad simply because they take up space, crowding out the good bacteria. This deprives your body of all the health-giving benefits that friendly bacteria provide, resulting in the poor digestion of food and the poor absorption of nutrients.

At very low populations, these bad bacteria may be considered relatively normal flora in the intestinal tract. However, being normal doesn’t make them good.


Antibiotics Can Cause Bad Bacteria Growth
While some bad bacteria and yeast may be present in very small numbers in healthy people, excessive amounts of these microorganisms can upset this delicate ecosystem and trigger all kinds of negative effects. Since the advent of antibiotics, it is quite common for people to use wide-spectrum antibiotics and unwittingly kill off many of the good bacteria that they need, allowing bad microorganisms that are resistant to the antibiotic to ‘claim more turf’ and upset the balance in this ecosystem.


I didn't make this stuff up which is why I researched it. As I said many times, I am not the God of fish. But I am old and I have been keeping fish every day for over 60 years. I made all the mistakes and used every medication known for fish and Humans. I killed more fish than Starkist Tuna and eventually I realized that by helping fish keep the fantastic immunity they were born with and not tying to kill specific organisms that main stream aquarists are taught is counter productive and the reason my fish only die of old age and in my tank, diseases are a non issue and have been for decades.
I feel this hobby is so easy but many of us try to make it so hard. Many of us can't get it that a fish is well capable to taking care of itself as long as we get out of their way and let them do what they have been doing before Betty White was born.

All we have to do is give fish a secure place to live. Secure is not a bare tank with PVC elbow from Home Depot.
Our fish will get bored reading the bar codes. If we can see the fish, they can see us and they don't like us.

They need caves, tunnels, passageways that are made of rock. Not flowerpots, statues of Buddha or door handles from a 1957 Oldsmobile Starfire.

They don't want to be seen.

They also want and need to eat something that they recognize as food that has living bacteria and viruses in. Flakes are not it no matter what the label says or how healthy the fish on the box looks.

They need living bacteria and not the stuff under your fingernails. They need the stuff that is in the guts living prey.
It's very simple. OK I'm Done.




 
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Jon Malkerson

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I am going to try to re-Invigorate this thread because I am so tired of reading about sick fish and the medications that supposedly make them better but I know, they kill more fish than help and I am going to try to explain why I am so against quarantine and especially medication.
The following texts "in Italics" are references I found by researching and they are not copywrited and are allowed to be reprinted:


CC BY ND
We believe in the free flow of information
Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Take a closer look. Shutterstock
We are covered in microbes and our human cells are outnumbered by bacterial cells eight to one. In fact, we are more microbe than human. This microbiome has been shown to regulate, not just the digestion and breakdown of food, but many different processes, too. Alterations to the gut microbiome can lead to susceptibility to conditions such as diabetes, neurological conditions, cancer and asthma.


Parasites inside your body could be protecting you from disease


Of course this reference is about people. But parasites, bacteria and viruses are essential for our health and fishes health. When we use copper or (God Forbid) antibiotics, we totally upset the vital systems of fish. That is also why we feel horrible if we are on antibiotics. But we are not taking baths in the stuff or breathing it in with every breath as we subject our fish to:

August 31, 2017 11.35am EDT
Author
Ben Ashby
Research fellow, University of Bath

Disclosure statement
Ben Ashby receives funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). He is affiliated with Sense About Science.

Partners
University of Bath


CC BY ND
We believe in the free flow of information
Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.
Email
Twitter60
Facebook591
LinkedIn
Print
It’s fair to say parasites are generally bad for their hosts. Many cause disease and death so, like most species, we humans usually try to avoid infection at all costs. But it turns out that some parasites, although potentially harmful in isolation, can in fact help hosts to cope with more deadly infections.

Understanding when parasitism is beneficial has important implications for how we manage infectious diseases, but we currently know very little about this phenomenon. Our new study, published in Evolution Letters, tells us that parasites can readily evolve different mechanisms to defend their hosts from other infections, which suggests that host protection should be common in nature.

The idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has been around in human society for a long time but it is far from unique to human conflict. The natural world is full of examples where parasites are harmful under some conditions and helpful under others.


I personally would never try to kill parasites or bacteria unless i get a fish that is obviously dying and I want to experiment.

IMO, the vast amount of fish diseases and deaths we now read about is caused entirely by us. Those fish were all healthy in the sea and only exhibit diseases after we get them. All fish are infected with everything as they should be.

As I said in my first post if we try to kill certain, what we feel are disease organism, the others will take over and cause more, different conditions. Those new conditions were a direct effect of us killing off one of more disease or beneficial organisms.
Now we upset the entire biome of the fish and the more we medicate, the more symptoms will appear forcing us to use more or different medications which will further help deteriorate the patient.

Friends, for now. U.S. Signal Corps
Bacteria that live in our gut can occasionally cause problems, but they also prevent colonisation by more harmful microbes such as Salmonella enterica, which causes food poisoning. Similarly, bacteria that commonly infect insects are usually costly but can provide protection against more deadly infections.

These examples reveal that being infected is not necessarily a bad thing and in fact can sometimes be beneficial. But what they don’t tell us is how and when parasites evolve to be useful to their hosts.

Recent lab experiments have shown that mildly harmful bacteria living inside microscopic worms can evolve in just a few days to protect their hosts from a lethal infection. This striking result indicates that bacteria can rapidly evolve host protection against other infectious diseases.

Still, very little is known about how and when such evolution occurs in nature. And if a parasite evolves to protect its host from a more deadly infection, has the enemy now become a friend?


How many times do we read that "My fish is in quarantine or in copper and it doesn't eat"
It won't eat because it can't. The food in a fish or us can't be digested without bacteria, good and bad. If that bacteria is killed which it will with any aquarium drug including copper, the fish can't digest food so it will refuse to eat. If we are on antibiotics our food can taste lousy. I assume fish can also taste food or at least feel sick.

Fish don't have facial expressions like Angelina Jolie so it is difficult to know how they are feeling but I can guarantee if they are not eating, they don't feel good.


From foe to friend
Using mathematical modelling, we explored the evolution of two forms of host protection: resistance and tolerance. Parasites that protect by conferring resistance to their hosts reduce the likelihood that a second species will be able to infect them, such as when bacteria in the gut prevent colonisation by other microbes. In contrast, parasites that confer tolerance to their hosts reduce the harm caused by another species after it infects them, as appears to be the case with the protozoa that protect monarch butterfly larvae from parasitic flies.

We discovered that both forms of host protection evolve under a wide range of conditions even though the protective parasite may have to divert resources from its own growth or reproduction to defend the host. Protection still evolves because this cost is more than offset by the increased survival of the host (and hence the protective parasite).
We can now combine mathematical modelling with lab experiments of evolving microbes to answer intriguing questions about how other species evolve in response to host protection. Does the host evolve to harbour the protective parasite, and is this how we developed a symbiotic relationship with some of our gut bacteria? Can more harmful parasites evolve to overcome host protection? Answering questions like these can help us find new ways to treat infectious diseases.

The results of our research shed light on a fascinating biological phenomenon about which we still know very little. Yet taken together with the growing number of examples of host protection, it is clear – at least if you’re hosting a parasite – that the enemy of your enemy can indeed be your friend.


I realize many, OK most people on these forums don't believe me. That is fine. Just go on any disease forum and read all the problems with fish after being medicated or overly quarantined which would also irrevocably damage gut microbes causing fish to lose their immunity.
As I keep saying, show me a long running tank where the fish never get sick, are spawning and only dying of old age.

Different article.
Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites
Home » Understanding IBS » Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites

Published date: April 17, 2019 | Modified date: September 25, 2019
Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites
Home » Understanding IBS » Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites

Published date: April 17, 2019 | Modified date: September 25, 2019
Bacteria in Your Gut Is Usually a Good Thing
Inside of your digestive tract an enormous number of bacteria live. These single-celled organisms have colonized all surfaces and cavities of your body and exist there happily. Because we have been trained to view bacteria as the enemy, the fact that 100 trillion bacteria live in your gut may alarm you. However, our internal bacteria are critical to our health. So critical, in fact, that we cannot be healthy or even survive without them.

There is an Ecosystem in Your Gut
"Internal bacteria are fundamental to the development of our immune system". They also help break down our food and create nutrients that we need for good health.

The massive surface of our intestines provides everything bacteria need for life including a warm space, moisture, and nutrients. The bacteria inside us form a teeming, busy ecosystem. This ecosystem functions like any other ecosystem, and changing or harming one species will have repercussions on the other species and on the host itself.

While we are used to thinking of the earth’s ecosystems in this way, it may seem strange that these same principles govern our digestive environment. This environment is all too easily altered, especially in our world of antibiotics, acid blockers, and any other foreign substance that is ingested. And many people suffer from IBS due to a microbial imbalance in their digestive tract.


I know, like I am sure many others here, when I was a kid we viewed all "germs" as bad. Our Mothers told us to wash everything and don't eat anything you dropped on the floor.
Guess what, fish eat, not only dirt, but poop. All the gut bacteria they need is in poop.

(We can't do that, or want to as our guts are a little different than a fish and hundreds of years of living "civilized" destroyed much of our ability to process certain disease organisms)

But if we quarantine fish for an extended time and only feed quarantined or dry foods, those gut bacteria will eventually be replaced by benign bacteria or disease bacteria which will out compete the good, needed bacteria, viruses and parasites that were living in harmony in that fishes gut since it was born.
That will result in a non existent immune system. Those quarantined or medicated fish will never regain their immunity very easily and will always have to eat quarantined food and will always be susceptible to infection.


Gut bacteria
Three Major Categories of Bacteria
There are basically three types of micro-organisms living in our intestines – good bacteria, bad bacteria yeast/parasites, and really bad bacteria/parasites.

A deficiency of good bacteria and/or the presence of bad and ugly bacteria, yeast (Candida,) or parasites will cause a variety of digestive problems, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and even nutritional deficiencies. They can also cause a large number of symptoms beyond the digestive tract.

The Good Bacteria
The good bacteria include species and strains that we evolved with, like acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. These are an essential part of our digestive system and we would not survive without them. They help us to digest food by producing enzymes, manufacture some of the essential nutrients that we need to live, assist in the development of our immune system, and prevent infection by occupying and defending the space in the intestines that unwelcome organisms would thrive in, if they could.

Some species of yeast and bacteria are bad simply because they take up space, crowding out the good bacteria. This deprives your body of all the health-giving benefits that friendly bacteria provide, resulting in the poor digestion of food and the poor absorption of nutrients.

At very low populations, these bad bacteria may be considered relatively normal flora in the intestinal tract. However, being normal doesn’t make them good.


Antibiotics Can Cause Bad Bacteria Growth
While some bad bacteria and yeast may be present in very small numbers in healthy people, excessive amounts of these microorganisms can upset this delicate ecosystem and trigger all kinds of negative effects. Since the advent of antibiotics, it is quite common for people to use wide-spectrum antibiotics and unwittingly kill off many of the good bacteria that they need, allowing bad microorganisms that are resistant to the antibiotic to ‘claim more turf’ and upset the balance in this ecosystem.


I didn't make this stuff up which is why I researched it. As I said many times, I am not the God of fish. But I am old and I have been keeping fish every day for over 60 years. I made all the mistakes and used every medication known for fish and Humans. I killed more fish than Starkist Tuna and eventually I realized that by helping fish keep the fantastic immunity they were born with and not tying to kill specific organisms that main stream aquarists are taught is counter productive and the reason my fish only die of old age and in my tank, diseases are a non issue and have been for decades.
I feel this hobby is so easy but many of us try to make it so hard. Many of us can't get it that a fish is well capable to taking care of itself as long as we get out of their way and let them do what they have been doing before Betty White was born.

All we have to do is give fish a secure place to live. Secure is not a bare tank with PVC elbow from Home Depot.
Our fish will get bored reading the bar codes. If we can see the fish, they can see us and they don't like us.

They need caves, tunnels, passageways that are made of rock. Not flowerpots, statues of Buddha or door handles from a 1957 Oldsmobile Starfire.

They don't want to be seen.

They also want and need to eat something that they recognize as food that has living bacteria and viruses in. Flakes are not it no matter what the label says or how healthy the fish on the box looks.

They need living bacteria and not the stuff under your fingernails. They need the stuff that is in the guts living prey.
It's very simple. OK I'm Done.
Really great post! What does your fish poop look like?
 
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Paul B

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I think like any other fish poop. My Hippo is Pooping here so you have to excuse him.
 
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I have always believed in the natural way... my new system I am going 100 natural baby.
here is my plan @PaulB and others tell me where I need improvements.

tank red sea 650P
filtration:
under skimming and a 2 cube/ day ATS ( turbo L2rev5)
I will run a UV to keep the water clear
around 1 gallon/ day AWC no more buckets for me!

feeding:
I am going to culture live white worms and feed as much live as I can. but will feed DIY home made ,pellets and frozen mysis.

Rock:
will be dry reef reef rock but will seed it with as much bac, as I can find for it.

adding the "good stuff"

will add 5-10# uncured LR from TBS or KP
also LR to seed my sand bed

some of the potting soil paul was tanking about.
if i can fins some mud form the coast add that to.

so where can I improve and get more of the good stuff in the tank?
 
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Paul B

Paul B

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Kind of hard to see on my phone. Is it a solid turd and falls to the bottom?

I never looked that close. The next time I see one pooping, I will try to take notice. ;Drool

Devaji. I would lose the UV sterilizer as it is not needed in a natural system and may be detrimental.
My water is crystal clear and couldn't be clearer.
Sponges and coral will remove any tiny particles. Of course I run a reverse Undergravel filter which probably also contributes to the clarity.

I would also lose the pellets unless you soak them in vitamin A.
Get as much clam in there for food as you can and less mysis. Mysis are OK but mostly indigestible shell that is not calcium and will do no good.

If you use some potting soil, take it from your garden and not from a bag. Use just a little at a time.
Of course sea mud is better but hard to come by where you live.
 

Bubbagump69

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I am not the smartest fish keeper in the world, but I am probably one of the oldest. Being one of the oldest, I have also had more time to study this stuff and more time to make mistakes. Mistakes are one way we learn. A very good way.

It's actually how they train you in basic training in the Army or Marines. By forcing you to do impossible tasks, knowing you can't do them, then punishing you for not doing it correctly. Eventually, you learn what they want you to do while never completing those tasks correctly.

Trust me, it works.

I was a Noob at one time and that time was the 1950s, yes the world as we know it was around then and so were fish. We had the same problems then as we do now but a few of us learned, after many dead fish what we were doing wrong and I think I got it.

Most people in this hobby do something and it works, and they think they found the secret, but we may be talking about a time frame of a few months or a couple of years. A common hermit crab lives over 12 years so if we keep one for a couple of years, it is not "Great Success". To have a reef tank for four or five years without crashing, although is an accomplishment that few people ever attain is also not a Great Success and we should strive for more. We should always strive for more.

IMO a reef tank should be immortal or "live" as long as it's owner. Of course fish are not immortal, but most of them live much longer than people stay in this hobby.

Corals are immortal and can keep living while growing new polyps on top of older ones. That’s how reefs grow.

I feel the biggest mistake we make (and us Geezers who started this hobby are the cause) is keeping our tanks to clean.

Our gravel or sand is to clean, and our food is to clean and our water is to clean.

I will get to clean water later as it even sounds weird to me.

Fish, birds, whales, lizzards, earthworms, Liberals, Conservatives and us all have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Viruses, bacteria and parasites have been here longer than us and will be here when we all go to Mars because this planet has nothing left but plastic.

In a tank, any tank, except a quarantined or medicated tank, bacteria run everything. We forget about them, but it is the bacteria that call the shots, not us.

Bacteria have their own problems as viruses also affect and kill them. Bacteria hate that.

Parasites are also infected by bacteria and viruses.

Probably funguses also, but I am guessing.

Anyway, we call those things “disease organisms” because they can make us sick, but we forget that without them, we couldn’t live.

Our stomach is loaded with both beneficial and harmful bacteria. They live in harmony along with the funguses and viruses. Seawater is loaded with all of those things and that is natural and the way it should be.

We have problems when we mess with that system. If we kill bacteria, the viruses can take over as can the parasites.

If we for instance use copper, we will kill the parasites and bacteria, but not the viruses.

We really can’t kill the viruses (as Covid 19 taught us) because viruses are not alive to start with but we can disintegrate them using UV light or ozone.

So if we kill one of the pathogens, we allow the remaining ones to thrive and cause problems.

We can of course kill everything by using drugs along with UV and Ozone but should we?

It sounds like a good plan but have you seen anyone who just had Chemo and radiation to kill cancer?

Those people have no immunity to anything and although they are kept in a sterile environment, many of them die anyway because we can’t live like that in the real world.

Neither can fish.

In some cases we do have to resort to that drastic measure and sometimes it works. But not usually and it could take years for that fish to regain its compliment of stomach flora where it could live a normal life free from disease with a functioning immune system.

The problem with killing everything is of course that the bacteria, parasites and viruses will all infect the fish at different times and whichever comes first can overwhelm the fishes immune system because those things no longer are living in harmony where they can all keep each other in check.

In nature none of those pathogens get the upper hand because they evolved to counteract each other.

If we disrupt the cycle, we cause problems and tank crashes.

I propose, and it has worked for decades for me and other successful aquarists with long lasting reefs, that instead of trying to limit or eliminate natural pathogens leaving the fish open to disease, we cultivate those things, "in proportion" with each other leaving the fish with a strong immune system that it evolved with.

Remember, in the sea the fish are living with every aquatic disease there is with no problem. They only have problems after they are collected, shipped and put in our tanks.

There is no reason for them to have problems as my fish realize including my almost 30 year olds.

I know many, or all the fish we buy don’t look very good and are all infected with something. But remember, they are “always” infected with something because fish eat and breathe pathogens as they live. In the sea their immune system has no problems dealing with those afflictions because the fish is not stressed and is eating there natural food which is loaded with bacteria.

It’s the pathogens that tell the fishes immune system what method to use to eradicate that organism.

Remember in the sea fish normally eat living prey. They rarely eat sterile pellets, flakes or freeze dried anything. The prey they eat is always loaded with bacteria, parasites and viruses in the same proportions as are already in the fishes gut. Fish and us can’t digest food without bacteria which is the reason so many fish die while being medicated with copper or other drugs. It kills their stomach bacteria. It’s simple.

I mentioned before that our water is to clean and that may sound counterproductive because coral reefs are thought to be pristine. But the difference in water from a coral reef and our tanks is that the water on a coral reef has been there long before Betty White was born and many of our tanks were started a week from last Tuesday. Seawater actually gets better with age, to an extent.

If new, clean seawater was so good, why do new tanks look lousy? Why do new tanks, with all new water have so many diseases? Why do Noobs lose so many fish?

It’s because bacteria, viruses, corals, seaweed, rocks, meteorites, shipwrecks, whales and waste water from frankfurter carts in New York City all end up in the sea and all of those things are what fish evolved in. OK, maybe not the frankfurter carts. But it takes time for those organisms to reach a point where they are in sync with each other and none of them out weigh or out perform each other.

I was also under the impression that we needed to keep everything sterile. I wouldn’t think to put my hands in the tank without rinsing many times to get every trace of soap off.

I tried very hard to keep dirt out of my tank and vacuumed up every last bit of un eaten food.

I was wrong.

Now I take mud from a salt water bay and throw it in. I take garden soil (without pesticides) and throw it in. I feed earthworms full of dirt. I feed clams, mussels and whiteworms with as much dirt attached as I can find.

I never quarantine or medicate unless I purposely buy a very sick fish that I know will not live through the night and I experiment with questionable results.

I never worry if a fish I buy is in the same tank as fish with spots.



What I do is take that fish home as soon as I can and after a short acclimation, place it in my tank and try to get natural food into it. Natural food with living bacteria in it which is not usually commercially purchased food.

That food is deep frozen or irradiated to kill bacteria. I do use that food but I always supplement it with the foods I mentioned because without fresh, living bacteria, fish will always be at risk of dying from just about anything.



If you don’t believe any of this, go and watch Oprah give away Cadillacs to stray cats.


With all of that said, do you find it best to NOT use a UV system?
 
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