Nutrition and Fish Health

Brew12

Electrical Gru
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
21,302
Reaction score
54,209
Location
Decatur, AL
Here at R2R we have an entire forum section dedicated to nutrition and I don't want to duplicate those efforts here. I do feel there is value in trying to bring information on how proper nutrition can be used to help combat parasites and bacterial infections.

Here is a good discussion on the role of live food in fish health.
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-importance-of-live-bacteria-in-food.300641/

An article by @Paul B discussing clams
Clams, The Best Food for a Reef

I've attached a pdf of a study on the role of probiotics and it's impact on fish health. Here is part of the conclusion from the attached pdf.
"To conclude that P2 & P3 (individual probiotic bacteria) were highly effective and efficient probiotics which plays a vital role in controlling aquaculture diseases, in contrast mechanisms as a biocontrol agent. Also it concluded the a group of probiotic bacterial species were becoming a consortium which plays a significant role in nutraceutical values as well as preventing and controlling pathogen & metabolic diseases. In future many such probiotics will be isolated and discovered to apply as a biocontrol agent, all most in all the living systems. So, that one can avoid side effects due to the chemically synthesized medicines and to overcome microbial resistance."

I feel there is a lot of room to improve the information we share on this topic. If you know of an article or post here on R2R that adds value on this topic, let me know.
If someone has the time and inclination to put together an article on this topic, written as a "how to" guide and backed with properly referenced scientific studies I would be very grateful! Otherwise, I'll get to it when I can.


I am also going to copy some of my thoughts from a previous article in here.
Fish Nutrition:

The immune system of a fish is a fascinating thing. This immune system is fueled by the food the fish consumes. It is more than having the right amount of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals although those are also important. Gut microbiota (probiotics) play a critical role in the health of a fish. The most reliable way of supplying microbiota is through fresh live foods. That isn’t an option for many of us but frozen foods can be almost as good. All frozen foods made from quality ingredients will contain some of the necessary bacteria. Some frozen food suppliers, such as LRS Foods, add probiotics to their foods prior to freezing. It is important to minimize the number of times the food is thawed and re-frozen as each cycle will kill additional bacteria. There is nothing wrong with using pellets or flake food but they should be supplemented by at least some fresh or frozen foods on a regular basis.

Feeding the proper amount is also important. Feed the fish what the fish need to be healthy. If you are cutting back on how much you feed because of algae issues or to try and reduce nitrates you are risking the health of those fish. Find other methods to address those issues. Properly fed does not mean overfed. One feeding a day should be plenty for most fish. A healthy tank will have pods and algae that fish will graze on to supplement what you provide.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Big G

captain dunsel
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
10,589
Reaction score
23,841
Location
Southern Oregon

Paul B

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
11,280
Reaction score
29,297
Location
Long Island NY
I love this thread.

I have been saying for years, (mostly to myself and the lady who collects cats) that bacteria, (good and bad) are essential to fishes (and our) health. It is only relatively recently that we are listening to researchers and doctors.
When I was a kid, me and Lincoln would always hear that bacteria (or germs like we called them) were "always" bad. But now we know that we are composed of the things and without "germs" we could not live.

I think Pro-Biotics are a wonderful discovery and a good thing to add to all foods, but I also think that besides artificially grown Pro-Biotics we also should add normal, naturally occurring bacteria, good and bad. We call them bad, but they are not bad in all senses. We need the "bad" bacteria as well as the good bacteria to protect us, and the fish from an over occurrence of the "bad" kind.

In a normal digestive system the good bacteria will keep the so called bad bacteria in check and that is normal and natural. If there were no bad bacteria, or disease causing bacteria added, the fish will not have the "power" for the good bacteria to out compete the bad bacteria and any disease causing event will overcome the good bacteria possibly killing the fish (or us)

IMO it makes so much more sense to utilize bacteria to keep fish healthy than to use drugs. The animal is perfectly suited for this job and is the reason the fish uses up so many calories on it's immune system and why it bothers to manufacture all that slime which is filled with bacteria and anti parasitic properties. Fish are not delicate creatures that need to be coddled, but creatures that need to be fed correctly and not dosed with chemicals that will short circuit this wonderful system.

As I said, pro-biotics are wonderful, but IMO I feel fish also need naturally occurring bacteria from it's prey's guts which were (probably) already balanced in the prey fish in regard to good and bad bacteria.

Commercially made Pro-Biotics will only have the good bacteria in it. That sounds fine, but that is only half of the immune system, fish need both types to stay continuously healthy for it's intended life span and a fish should "never" die from anything but old age or jumping out. Like Never.

This combination of different bacterias will be found in any live prey animal such as worms, fish or especially shellfish. Shellfish, being filter feeders, are also filled with essential minerals including calcium which fish normally get from eating whole fish including the bones. Most commercial foods do not contain this and mysis, shrimp and many other foods do not contain enough or any calcium.
Just my opinions of course. :cool:

References:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/
And Me. :rolleyes:




Abstract
Purpose of review
The beneficial effects of probiotics have been demonstrated in many diseases. One of the major mechanisms of probiotic action is through the regulation of host immune response. This review highlights the recent scientific research findings that advance our understanding of probiotic regulation of the host immune response with potential application for disease prevention and treatment.


Recent findings
Probiotic genomic and proteomic studies have identified several genes and specific compounds derived from probiotics, which mediate immunoregulatory effects. Studies regarding the biological consequences of probiotics in host immunity suggested that they regulate the functions of systemic and mucosal immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells. Thus, probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related diseases, such as allergy, eczema, viral infection, and potentiating vaccination responses.
 
Last edited:
OP
Brew12

Brew12

Electrical Gru
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
21,302
Reaction score
54,209
Location
Decatur, AL
I have been saying for years, (mostly to myself and the lady who collects cats) that bacteria, (good and bad) are essential to fishes (and our) health.
Does this mean I am "the lady who collects cats"? :eek:;Nailbiting

I do appreciate the exposure you have brought to this. There is a reason the two best threads/articles I could find on this were both yours!
 

ScottR

Surfing season...
View Badges
Joined
Feb 12, 2019
Messages
5,685
Reaction score
16,367
Location
Hong Kong
Here at R2R we have an entire forum section dedicated to nutrition and I don't want to duplicate those efforts here. I do feel there is value in trying to bring information on how proper nutrition can be used to help combat parasites and bacterial infections.

Here is a good discussion on the role of live food in fish health.
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-importance-of-live-bacteria-in-food.300641/

An article by @Paul B discussing clams
Clams, The Best Food for a Reef

I've attached a pdf of a study on the role of probiotics and it's impact on fish health. Here is part of the conclusion from the attached pdf.
"To conclude that P2 & P3 (individual probiotic bacteria) were highly effective and efficient probiotics which plays a vital role in controlling aquaculture diseases, in contrast mechanisms as a biocontrol agent. Also it concluded the a group of probiotic bacterial species were becoming a consortium which plays a significant role in nutraceutical values as well as preventing and controlling pathogen & metabolic diseases. In future many such probiotics will be isolated and discovered to apply as a biocontrol agent, all most in all the living systems. So, that one can avoid side effects due to the chemically synthesized medicines and to overcome microbial resistance."

I feel there is a lot of room to improve the information we share on this topic. If you know of an article or post here on R2R that adds value on this topic, let me know.
If someone has the time and inclination to put together an article on this topic, written as a "how to" guide and backed with properly referenced scientific studies I would be very grateful! Otherwise, I'll get to it when I can.


I am also going to copy some of my thoughts from a previous article in here.
Fish Nutrition:

The immune system of a fish is a fascinating thing. This immune system is fueled by the food the fish consumes. It is more than having the right amount of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals although those are also important. Gut microbiota (probiotics) play a critical role in the health of a fish. The most reliable way of supplying microbiota is through fresh live foods. That isn’t an option for many of us but frozen foods can be almost as good. All frozen foods made from quality ingredients will contain some of the necessary bacteria. Some frozen food suppliers, such as LRS Foods, add probiotics to their foods prior to freezing. It is important to minimize the number of times the food is thawed and re-frozen as each cycle will kill additional bacteria. There is nothing wrong with using pellets or flake food but they should be supplemented by at least some fresh or frozen foods on a regular basis.

Feeding the proper amount is also important. Feed the fish what the fish need to be healthy. If you are cutting back on how much you feed because of algae issues or to try and reduce nitrates you are risking the health of those fish. Find other methods to address those issues. Properly fed does not mean overfed. One feeding a day should be plenty for most fish. A healthy tank will have pods and algae that fish will graze on to supplement what you provide.
Great write up. And I concur! I feed my tank inhabitants similarly.
 

Paul B

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
11,280
Reaction score
29,297
Location
Long Island NY
Does this mean I am "the lady who collects cats"? :eek:;Nailbiting
That depends, I don't know if Brew12 is a Lady with cats or a Man with Aardvarks. If your name was Brew17 or even Brew46, then I would have an idea. :confused:
 

Mastiffsrule

I’m not “in” debt, I’m just “out” of cash
View Badges
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
5,695
Reaction score
23,277
Location
Charlotte
Thanks for the write up.

In my short time here, my reading of recent I am seeing a shift. (From my perspective) To me there seems to be more and more discussion on nutrition along with the medication.

On that note, I am spoiling my guys tonight. Mahogany clams and black worms. Yummy.

I think Paul B. also mentioned liverwurst or anything from the wurst family as good as well? :)
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
23,614
Reaction score
47,563
Location
Sheboygan, WI
Great writing and a reminder on the importance of nutrition. I often hear from other how fat and plump my fish are. I apply garlic 2X per week to my food, and selcon 3X per week to my foods.
 

Alpha Aquaculture

Designer Clownfish Hatchery
View Badges
Joined
Feb 4, 2010
Messages
2,819
Reaction score
96
Location
Madison, WI
We have very high bioloads in some of our systems at Alpha Aquaculture and I now have some experience with nutrition and disease. I think it's noteworthy to mention here that when it comes to the fish's immune system water quality is absolutely critical. Even with the best food the fish can get sick in poor water quality. Forget the awesome healthy salad if you have to eat it in a porta-potty.

Also l like to think of medication as being something that kills. And thus lowers the immune system funtion. Some people use medications as the go-to but I like to suggest better nutrition and water quality (in most situations). Because we know that better nutrition and water quality is always beneficial.

Cheers!
 

Paul B

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
11,280
Reaction score
29,297
Location
Long Island NY
In Praise of Fish Oil
December 18, 2015 By Paul Baldassano (from Saltwater Smarts)



Fish oil is an important part of Paul B’s fish feeding regimen

Hobby pioneer Paul “Paul B” Baldassano has some strong opinions on what types of foods are best for fish, formed over his many decades of involvement in the marine aquarium hobby. Somewhere near the top of his list is fish (or krill) oil. He explains exactly why in the following excerpt from the third chapter of his book The Avant-Garde Marine Aquarist: A 60-Year History of Fishkeeping:


From Chapter 3: Keeping Fish Healthy
Oil, in my opinion, is one of the most important things you can feed to fish. No, not Oil of Olay or olive oil, but fish or krill oil. I take it myself every day, but not too much, as I don’t want to resemble my old flounder-faced girlfriend.

In the sea, fish get a large percentage of their diet from pure fish oil. How do I know? Glad you asked. I have been scuba diving since 1970, when I did my first dive on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I was on R&R from Vietnam, and I met a girl there who took me to this restaurant where they give you all the dive equipment and throw you in the water. All you had to do was give them any extra fish you speared.

I caught an anemic-looking lobster, and she had a belt full of fish. When we surfaced and started back to shore, I heard machine gun rounds. I knew that sound because a couple days before, I was in a war. I said (not very calmly, I am sure), “what the heck is that?” She replied, “Don’t worry, they are shooting the sharks.” Apparently, sometimes a large shark gets tangled up in this net they have around the harbor, and they shoot it. I understand that there are holes in that net large enough to allow a tractor trailer to “swim” through, and the girl I was swimming with had a belt full of bleeding fish. To this day, that was the fastest I have ever swum.

Anyway, since then I have been diving all over the place and have spent about 200 hours under water. If you’ve done any real diving—the kind where you lie on the bottom by yourself until you run out of air or realize you forgot to remove your cell phone from your Speedo—you may have noticed schools of tiny fish fry, mostly near the substrate. Well, fish fry are like fast-food restaurants for most of the fish on a reef and form a large part of their daily diet. If you watch fish long enough, you will see them dip down often for a snack of fresh fish fry.

All fish have a liver. That liver serves a couple of functions besides cleaning the blood. It also helps with buoyancy, but only slightly in most fish. In sharks, the liver provides all of the buoyancy. Without the oil in their liver, sharks would swim about as well as Paris Hilton’s dog or a cinder block. In fact, the liver is mostly oil and can be 15% of the fish’s weight—almost 20% in sharks.

So think about this: When a fish eats another whole fish, it’s getting almost 15% of its diet as pure fish oil. If a shark eats a 100-pound grouper, it’s getting about 12 pounds of oil. That’s a lot of oil!

Check out the ingredients on a package of dry food and see if there is any oil. Oil doesn’t dry very well, and boy does it stink! So my theory is that fish require a large portion of their diet as oil. It makes sense to me and to the fish.

Also consider that in pregnant fish, the eggs can be almost a third of the weight of the fish, and those eggs are mostly oil. It is a huge burden on a fish to produce those eggs, and many of the correct extra calories are needed to do so. Just imagine how much a woman would have to eat in order to have a 50-pound baby every month!

So where can we get this oil? The best place is in whole fish, but whole tiny fish are not available live or frozen, and I don’t know why. (Tip to fish food manufacturers: Sell tiny frozen fish fry for food!) Fish and krill oil is also sold in capsules, and if I plan to feed my fish flakes or pellets, I always put a drop of fish oil on it first. Pellets soak up oil very well. However, don’t put oil of any kind on wet foods, such as frozen food, as it will just wash off as soon as the food hits the water.
 

Mastiffsrule

I’m not “in” debt, I’m just “out” of cash
View Badges
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
5,695
Reaction score
23,277
Location
Charlotte
Few ? And observation @Paul B

1, does your girl know about the flounder thing?
2. U have pic of that cell phone in the speedo?

Real question

I used clams and ghost shrimps (prime rib experiment not so good) many many years now. I used to just drop them in on the half shell back then. Anyway, would it be beneficial to put a few drop of oil on say, Nori since it can’t be used on frozen like you mentioned? I don’t feed pellets or flake.

Besides clams/shellfish, fry, and maybe black worms what other source would you recommend ? If I can’t catch fish or have a speedo to dive in , would food from things like salmon bring the needed oil to the party? Basically I’ve read lots of your stuff, groundbreaking (sucking up) , i have not come across an all encompassing list of what you feed. I do some guessing when going out of the norm.

Why, when my tangs are listed as herbivores does my Vlamingi polish off 2 whole clams on his own along with the yellow and purple?

Thanks, sorry if any questions seem a bit silly. My background comes more from experience and reading. Not so much technical or scientific in any area.
 

Paul B

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
11,280
Reaction score
29,297
Location
Long Island NY
Mastiffsrule, These are easy questions.
The reason I was drawn to that girl in Colorado was because her face reminded me of a flounder, a very cute flounder and I love any fish, especially flounders so it was not a derogatory thing or a bad thing. She was also beautiful. :D

This is me in my Speedo. Cell phones were made out of wood at the time so I think in the lower picture I was drinking a beer.


That was me and my best friend in the 70s. Our dive equipment got old so here we are now picking out new stuff.



Tangs will eat anything and it is a myth that you have to give them nori all the time. My tang never gets nori but I do have algae growing like any healthy reef should have as it grows all over everything in the sea as that is what a natural tank will have.
Vegan urchins are the same, they eat algae, but much prefer clams. They are not the racehorses of the reef so they can't catch, or open clams so they eat algae which is easier to "catch"
Here is my "vegetarian" urchin eating a piece of clam. He will eat all I give him. Or her.



But you can put fish oil (or Selcon) on dry nori. As I said many times, never put anything oily (including Selcon) on anything wet or you are just wasting your money. It will not soak in and will just float off the food as soon as you put it in the water. All those people that add Selcon to clams, worms and frozen foods are making the people that make Selcon very happy, but their fish, not so much.

Salmon is a good fish to feed (if they eat it) as it has oil in it's flesh. But as I have said 500 times, guts are the best like in whole food such as worms or clam, mussels, oysters etc. White worms are available everywhere and very easy to grow. I have a culture growing for many years and in one shoebox I have more worms than I know what to do with. So many that if I play country music, they have a Hodown. (Whatever that is)
Earthworms (or Mars worms if you live there) are also very good, leave the dirt on.
You do not have to feed these foods every day. Once or twice a week is fine, but the more, the better because we are looking mostly for live bacteria.


Any creature with the guts in it are best as the guts have "concentrated" vitimins, minerals bacteria and if it is a shark, remnants of accountants in Speedo's. :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

Lasse

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
5,414
Reaction score
17,134
Location
Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
As I said many times, never put anything oily (including Selcon) on anything wet or you are just wasting your money.
I must disagree here - Selco is fat and fat in a solution will be taking up by diffusion into living cells and into dead cells too. Something like the reverse osmosis of fat. Fat love other fats and will be transported against concentration gradients into the fatest part of the environment. Hatcheries of marine fish larvae often soak their living food in a mixture of selco (or similar products) and saltwater for half an hour before feeding their larvae. When Selco was developed in the late 80:ties - it was a groundbreaker in order to have the first larvae stage alive in many marine fish. I know because I was working with haching Cod larvae at that time and did see the difference.

Sincerely Lasse
 
Last edited:

Paul B

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
11,280
Reaction score
29,297
Location
Long Island NY
Lasse thank you. I believe most people just put a few drops of Selcon on their frozen food and throw it in where it wash right off. I sometimes "soak" live worms in Selcon for an hour so they will absorb, or maybe eat it. But I feel it is much better to put it on a pellet. I know I sometimes put fish oil on food and if the food is frozen, I can see a big oil slick as it comes right off. :D

I would imagine if you thawed out the frozen food and let the Selcon sit on it for an hour or so, it may soak in a little.
 

Lasse

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
5,414
Reaction score
17,134
Location
Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
Here is an other link on this issue - is about dry food - see it as a complement to @Paul B :s posts. It is partly a comersial for one fish food - but I think that the general things in this short article can give some ideas of the importance of disease management with help of food

Sincerely Lasse
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Paul B

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
11,280
Reaction score
29,297
Location
Long Island NY
I love that Lasse.

Quote:
Those beneficial bacteria, introduced by eating the food, change the content of the intestinal flora in a very positive way. The intestinal flora has a great impact on the resistance against infections. A weak gut flora creates a weak defense against infections (the same counts for all animals and humans). Since 2014 many positive scientific reports have been published.
End Quote:

These bacteria are missing in almost all dry foods and certainly in dry, cooked foods. They are needed to ensure health in all living organisms.
IMO, disease causing pathogens are also needed in smaller amounts after the fish is in great shape and before it's immunity from the sea has ebbed to the point of no return.

Fish know what they are supposed to eat which is why they eat whole animals with all the good, bad and disease causing bacteria. If we feed this as soon as we get the fish, it should stay immune for it's entire lifespan which may be 30 years in many fish. :D
 

Paul B

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
11,280
Reaction score
29,297
Location
Long Island NY
I use Cod Liver oil or Krill oil which I take myself and I am never bothered by parasites.
I just stick a pin in the capsule and squeeze it out.
Capsules are not flavored and the oil tastes horible.

As a kid my Mother used to give me a spoonful of Cod Liver oil and I just wanted to die
(or swim away and spawn) ;Clown
 

pdxmonkeyboy

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 7, 2017
Messages
2,120
Reaction score
3,234
roger that. Thank you! For some reason I thought the capsules would be powder form.. which now that I think about it, is ridiculous.

I do like the idea of this though... has a little pump.

 

Hair Algae in your aquarium. Choose all that apply!

  • I've never had hair algae

    Votes: 49 8.5%
  • I Have had a little but nothing major

    Votes: 146 25.2%
  • I Have had several tough outbreaks

    Votes: 74 12.8%
  • I Have had a major outbreak that I won

    Votes: 176 30.4%
  • Have had a major outbreak that caused me to tear the tank down

    Votes: 22 3.8%
  • I am battling a little hair algae now

    Votes: 148 25.6%
  • I am battling a major outbreak right now

    Votes: 59 10.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 1.4%

Online statistics

Members online
1,102
Guests online
3,572
Total visitors
4,674
Top