IMO how to set up a tank to be healthy and immune

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Paul B

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Thanks for that link Mickey. That is about 5 times more expensive as I used to get them but I guess if you want it, you need to buy them for that price. I used to order them in 6' lengths about 100' at a time. :)
 
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Paul B

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To me a tank does not start to achieve stability until you see growth on the rocks. No, we don't want it covering our corals but some growth is normal and natural. If your rock is still bare rock, don't put in anything that you don't want to lose and especially creatures that live on copepods or algae. It just isn't there and that mandarin you bought last week is going to die no matter how much medication you dose him with because he is not sick, just hungry.

These guys should live about 10 years with no extra feeding from us. But we can't clean the tank to death or use any medications.



You also can't feed a mandarin long term by buying pods (sorry people who sell pods) I am not sure if those pods they sell reproduce in a tank but I assume if they do, they would be fine. But a tank needs a large breeding population of pods to keep even one mandarin thriving.

Even pods won't live on bare, white rock so the tank needs some time to build up some growth before most fish should be added.
This little pregnant bleeny eats whatever she finds crawling around on that rock and she has enough to eat on that one rock that she hardly has to move.



This is her main squeeze, notice the growth on the rocks. Many people would get out the power washer, but this is actually very healthy





I took this in the Florida Keys, These are Mangrove roots which is a breeding ground for many fish in Florida. Notice the growth, that is food to most fish and is needed and not a bad thing.



So we know how to aquascape to kind of make the fish as happy as possible but we have to feed them. I am not a big proponent of any dry foods for a couple of reasons. Dry foods for the most part are baked, especially flakes. Baking destroys many vitamins and all the gut bacteria so they have to add it later. Like white bread, did you ever notice it has all sorts of added vitamins and minerals. The manufacturers of white bread don't really care if their product is healthy, but if they didn't add vitamins and minerals they couldn't call it food because there is no nutrition in white bread.

Manufactured dry foods can't have any bacteria or they would rot. All of them that I am aware of have preservatives. I am holding a container of manufactured food from a very reputable manufacturer and it states it is natural with vitamins and minerals added.

Real food has everything in it that fish need and the ingredients should be one word, something like clam, worms, mysis or something like that. The can of pellets I am holding (and it's hard to type and hold this container) has ingredients listed and it would take up an entire page to list them all. I counted them and there are 55 ingredients. Some of them are artificial colors (which are for us, not the fish) and 4 or 5 are preservatives.

If we want our fish immune we can't use this stuff because although it will keep fish alive, it will do nothing for their immunity so if you are feeding dry foods, forget what you read on this thread and go out and plant your tomatoes because your fish will not become immune and you will have to spend time on disease forums.

As I said, fish need gut bacteria and you will only get that from "some" commercial frozen foods that are "NOT" irradiated to kill "harmful" parasites. We can think of parasites as a good thing "BUT NOT RIGHT AWAY". First we have to make sure our fish are immune.

My staple food is LRS food and Rods food along with frozen salt water mysis. But to make sure they are getting fresh food with living gut bacteria I add a few times a week live blackworms, whiteworms, clams, mussels, oysters or earthworms. These fresh, live foods are the absolute best but not always for sale in a LFS.

Not all these foods, just one will supply our fish with a shot of healthy gut bacteria and fish need good and bad gut bacteria to become immune. Pro biotics are good bacteria which is good for health but the fish also need bad bacteria like they eat in the sea with every meal. They also need parasites if you want them to be immune but you don't have to add them. If you didn't quarantine or medicate your new fish they already have parasites and those parasites are a non issue for healthy, immune fish.

Time to eat...Me, not the fish.
 

MickeyCT

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Thanks for that link Mickey. That is about 5 times more expensive as I used to get them but I guess if you want it, you need to buy them for that price. I used to order them in 6' lengths about 100' at a time. :)
Yeah. Amazon is usually much more expensive for these specialty kinds of things, but if you only need a small amount it's often cheaper in total once you figure in shipping. At least that's what I find. I've never needed to order 100 feet of anything! :astonished-face:
 

MickeyCT

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Paul - loving this thread so far. One question about the live foods you feed..." But to make sure they are getting fresh food with living gut bacteria I add a few times a week live blackworms, whiteworms, clams, mussels, oysters or earthworms. These fresh, live foods are the absolute best". When you feed shellfish, do you remove it from the shell and chop it up some, or just open the shell or crack it and drop it in?

I tried keeping a copperband quite a few years ago and I had my husband buy me two clams at a time from the fish market. It got to be a joke with the counter guys when they saw him come in. :D I used to just smash the shell and then add it, but it was always a pain to pull all the pieces out again once it was cleaned up. (And btw the copperband didn't last for long and I haven't tried again since.)
 
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When you feed shellfish, do you remove it from the shell and chop it up some, or just open the shell or crack it and drop it in?
Mickey, I buy big clams, the biggest I can find and freeze them live. Then I open the shell (it's easier to open if you open them slightly before freezing and stick something in like a popcycle stick to keep it from sealing tight) Then I shave off paper thin slices.

These clams are smaller but work just the same. Of course I eat most of them before the fish do. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

 
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Paul, do you think feeding newly hatched baby brine shrimp has any gut bacteria benefit?
No, I don't. Those are hatched in a tank at home and only feed on their own yolk sack so I doubt they have any gut bacteria.
 
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This morning it is raining so on my walk I collected about 25 earthworms. I carry a zip loc bag and tweezer to pick them up so I don't have to put my wormy hands in my pocket. :confounded-face:

I gave a couple to my 3 red waspfish and chopped up a few for the rest of the fish and anemones. I believe it is their favorite food which I am glad about because earthworms are full of good bacteria.
 
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Quote:
“Gut microbiota can affect fish physiology, development, life span, immunity, and barriers against pathogens (Burns et al., 2016; Nie et al., 2017; Smith et al., 2017; Yan et al., 2016). Therefore, the gut microbiota plays an indispensable role in fish fitness. Several recent reviews have centered on the diversity and functions of bacterial communities in healthy fish (de Bruijn et al., 2017), as well as on the external factors that affect fish gut microbiota (Wang et al., 2017) and interactions between gut microbiota and innate immunity in fish (Gómez & Balcázar, 2008; Nie et al., 2017). However, most previous studies have focused on factors that govern healthy gut microbiota, such as diet, rearing conditions, and fish genotype (Schmidt et al., 2015; Sullam et al., 2012; Yan et al., 2016). In contrast, few studies have reported on the interplay among gut microbiota, fish immunity, and disease (Nie et al., 2017). In this commentary, we summarize current knowledge on the associations between fish immunity, gut microbiota, and invading intestinal pathogens. We also highlight recent progress in uncovering the ecological processes of fish diseases”
 

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No, I don't. Those are hatched in a tank at home and only feed on their own yolk sack so I doubt they have any gut bacteria.
Thanks, that's kind of what I thought. But man do the fish love them!
 

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This morning it is raining so on my walk I collected about 25 earthworms. I carry a zip loc bag and tweezer to pick them up so I don't have to put my wormy hands in my pocket. :confounded-face:

I gave a couple to my 3 red waspfish and chopped up a few for the rest of the fish and anemones. I believe it is their favorite food which I am glad about because earthworms are full of good bacteria.
With the dirt still on or do you rinse the worms?
 

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Mickey, I buy big clams, the biggest I can find and freeze them live. Then I open the shell (it's easier to open if you open them slightly before freezing and stick something in like a popcycle stick to keep it from sealing tight) Then I shave off paper thin slices.

These clams are smaller but work just the same. Of course I eat most of them before the fish do. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Are the razor thin slices of frozen clam part of a daily feeding? Or is the clam slices the only food?
 
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Can you gut load them first with phyto or something?
No. Newborn brine shrimp don't eat. They live off their yolk sack
 
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With the dirt still on or do you rinse the worms?
Feed them with the dirt and all.

surely they feed eventually?
They do , but he asked about "newly hatched" brine shrimp. After about 2 days they start to feed and they are filter feeders but I doubt you would get enough gut bacteria in them to be of any benefit for that purpose.
 
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I really enjoyed reading this thread Paul. I run my tank similar to the way you run yours, in that I don't QT new fish, I believe in feeding my fish well, and in making an environment where they can hide if they want. I knew a little about gut health from keeping and raising seahorses. Your explanations made so much sense to me in what I have observed over the years. I also had observed the lateral line on fish but had no idea what it did! I found that fascinating. Thank you again for sharing this info.
 
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I'm trying to get back to this but my wife needs some extra care today as she is not doing to good right now.
 
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Antibiotics are probably the worst thing we could add to a fish tank unless we have one sick fish and it is in a hospital tank. Even at that, unless I was sure the fish was going to die, I would not use an antibiotic because as I said our tanks run on bacteria and if we kill the bacteria, we will also kill the fish.

Maybe not right away but it will take quite a while for that fish to recover from the antibiotic if it ever does.
Copper is another one most of us have used. I haven't really used it in decades and that was only on an almost dead fish I got for free. If we keep our fish immune there is never any need for medications as the fishes immune system is perfectly capable of keeping disease organisms from affecting our fish.

Copper kills bacteria along with parasites, but it may not be strong enough to kill all the gut bacteria, but it will disrupt it and may kill certain bacteria strains that may make conditions worse.
Copper is also a poison to the fish so it will definitely cause stress and stress causes diseases or at least allow the fish to get sick due to a suppression of their immune system.

It's all about lowering stress mostly through aqauascaping but also through food with it's associated gut bacteria.

I also think a big problem in tanks is the use of chemicals like "Kick Ich" or "Red Slime Remover" to eliminate cyano or "Vibrant". I feel those things have no place in a healthy tank that we are striving to get immune.

The process of fish being immune is all due to the presence of pathogens such as parasites living along with the fish in our tank just as they do in all oceans. If we are determined to kill or eliminate all parasites, we will never achieve immunity. It just can't happen because the fish, and us depend on regular contact with pathogens to become and keep immunity from them. Thats why we get booster shots as our immunity will also wane in time if we don't keep it up.

 

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