Why Fish in Captivity get Sick

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Paul B

Paul B

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Chapter 3: Keeping Healthy Fish (pg 35-49), played a huge part in changing the way I see food and my fish, which undoubtedly, has played a huge part in the health and lifespan of my fish overall.

Autonomy, I just went back and read those pages as I have no idea what I wrote 5 years ago.
First off I think I write like Edgar Allen Poe. (or Dr Zeuzz) But besides that, in the last five years I have learned a lot more about gut microbes that I wish I knew when I wrote the book.

This seems so simple to me but like many people say, I am "lucky". I have been sitting here in my workshop most of the day, except for the three times I tried to vote but the lines are still an hour and a half long, and in all that time, not once has a Supermodel knocked on my door to borrow a cup of clams so I am not sure how lucky I am.

I know that gut microbes have allowed my fish to seemingly become immune to virtually everything except sometimes pop eye and becoming egg bound but those are not diseases, they are conditions as HLLE is.



For some reason people seem to want to argue with me over this. I was just quoting a few articles for this thread, no one has to listen. My fish are immune so I am happy and I am pretty sure I know why.

If I found someone with a "75 year old" successful immune tank, I think I would want to pick their brain and I don't think I would keep saying they were lucky.
Sanjo and a few others have a very successful tank and I read what they say.
tank oct.jpg



My Guru was Robert Straughn (The Father of Salt Water Fish Keeping) . He collected and kept everything in the fifties.
I still read his book but now I know a little more as the technology advanced.
For instance he recommended undergravel filters but he didn't grasp the way they work. He used them as a particle filter which has a short lifespan and now with modern reefs we don't want to filter out particles as we know they feed corals.

I still use an undergravel filter but I run it very slow in reverse. Still people tell me almost every day that that can't possibly work even though it has been running since Nixon was President.

Many people on the disease forums constantly tell me that the only way to keep parasites from killing fish is to go fallow for 74 days. But "they" are on the "disease forum!!"

Someone once told me flat out that I am lying and I must be replacing my fish all the time as they die from ich.
Like really!!!

I remember many years ago when my Daughter was very young. I bought her two goldfish (she named them Orangy and cookiepus) But I stupidly bought multi colored goldfish.

The stupid things kept dying and before she found out I went crazy trying to get the same exact looking fish so I didn't break her heart. I should have just gotten plain gold ones. :(
 
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Paul B

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Some people tell me that my UG filter is the reason my fish don't get sick. The filter catches the parasites.
I tell them if they believe that, then why don't they get an undergravel filter? :p
 

flampton

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-Edited as context was removed-

Just because you've run a tank for 50 years doesn't mean you understand bacteria, let alone make proclamations on how they work. And you certainly don't get to imply someone is ignorant when you have no fundamental grounding in the topic yourself.

And again I always recommend establishing the best ecology possible. And it is funny how often the 2 month thing is brought up. It's really not a strong argument.

And the fact that in 50 years the OP thinks none of his fish died from infectious disease is laughable. Let me set something straight right now. Old age is not a cause of death. It's essentially meaningless. Causes of death are actually scientifically based on get this the Cause of Death. So unless you perform a necropsy (and know what to look for) on each and every fish that died in the tank, well you can't rule out infectious disease.

It would be straight up better to say I don't have crypt, velvet, brook etc.. in my tank. Not I don't have infectious disease in my tank. Or my fish are immune until they die.

And again for those reading I gave the plausible explanations on how the tank is healthy. A well established ecology and decent nutrition. I can tell you for certain it is not minute amounts of terrestrial bacteria from soil helping the immune system fight mucosal membrane based parasites. Marine fish have no requirement for soil which should be common sense but somehow is not.

___
As for MS I recommend Terry Wahls book. Way overstates on where the science is but she did put her MS in remission through diet change. The removal of various antigens from the diet does make sense immunologically, though the diet is unfortunately very restrictive. As you may know already the possible trigger for certain autoimmune conditions has been hypothetically linked to molecular mimicry (similar antigens.)
 
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Paul B

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And the fact that in 50 years the OP thinks none of his fish died from infectious disease is laughable.

Then I guess you will have to laugh as I stand by what I said and have been saying for decades. :cool:

I can tell you for certain it is not minute amounts of terrestrial bacteria from soil helping the immune system fight mucosal membrane based parasites. Marine fish have no requirement for soil which should be common sense but somehow is not.

That is true and I never said terrestrial soil bacteria help fish stay immune. The soil bacteria is for water conditions only.

Old age is not a cause of death.

I disagree. My own Mother died of old age at 99. Yes it was probably heart failure, kidney failure, blood clot or a variety of other things caused by old age. You can call it whatever you want, but it was old age and that is what her doctor told me she died of. A body's cells can only multiply so many times and I am sure you know that and you know what I mean when I said my fish never die from a communicable disease. My fireclown is now almost 30 years old. He may die any time now and when he does, I will say he died of old age. Thats a close enough diagnosis for a 30 year old fish on a "fish forum" as I don't think I need to put it in an MRI machine.

So unless you perform a necropsy (and know what to look for) on each and every fish that died in the tank, well you can't rule out infectious disease.

What makes you think I don't? I have been performing necropsy's on fish since the 60s.
I won't do it on a 30 year old fish because it doesn't matter to me why it died. It's old.

The vast majority of fish in this hobby don't live 6 months and rarely spawn. All my paired fish are spawning and I have been posting pictures of their eggs forever. Do your fish spawn?

If I get a sick fish from an LFS and it dies, I may do a necropsy unless it's obvious why it died and after looking at fish in tanks for my lifetime and diving with them for over 50 years I usually know what they died from. I assume your fish don't die of old age.
 
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Hudu the vast majority of fish deaths "in tanks" are from some sort of parasite. Parasites are easy to see in the gill filaments using only a jewelers loupe but I do have a microscope. Parasites are very large and most of them you can see with your naked eye.

Rarely fish have internal issues and those are usually not contagious diseases. I also wrote an article on why many flat fish like copperband butterflies die of an internal issue. It is in my book and I don't want to bore everyone to much

My fish that die "of old age" never have any parasites which surprises me. I wrote an article on how to tell if a fish is dying of old age and it's on here someplace. They don't eat much, then may stop eating, they don't normally show any disease (if they did, they would have probably died from that disease)
They may hide and become lethargic. Fish will pick on them and soon they will not fight back and will lose the ability to swim and will just sway with the currents. In a day or so they will just die.
Here is the entire life cycle of a pair of watchman gobies I had in my tank

I got them as babies. Here is one of them



Here they are as young adults. They turned brown gray.



They lived with a spawning pair of pistol shrimp



They hatched out many broods of eggs.



Here they are as old fat married fish about 10 years old.



This is one of them dying at 12 years old which I will call old age. The other one died soon after. They both died just as I described as most fish die that way if they lived a healthy life, free of disease and die of "old age".



Many people can't show the entire life cycle of fish. But I can for some reason. I did do a slight necropsy on this fish just to look into his gills and they were perfectly clear. Not one parasite and no sign of infection. There was no need to cut the fish open although I would have if I thought the lifespan of a watchman gobi was much longer but I have no reason to believe that to be the case.
 

HuduVudu

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Hudu the vast majority of fish deaths "in tanks" are from some sort of parasite.
Paul my question was specifically about tanks from LFSs. They usually are running so much anit-parasitic stuff you would think that the fish would be superman, alas we all know the truth.

Specifically I was curious what you saw as the cause of death from the store fish?
 
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Paul B

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About "this" not requiring hospitalization, just in case anyone is interested. I didn't link the entire thing for obvious reasons.

Were STDs a problem for soldiers during the Vietnam conflict?
Ken Kahre

, lives in The United States of America
Answered February 10, 2019 · Author has 6.4K answers and 7.7M answer views

Oh, you betcha. I was on an auxiliary ship, so we got to make more port calls than most ships did, so after awhile, you could compare which port was the worst.

The one thing that did go around was that there was a particularly bad strain of VD that was so bad that they couldn’t cure it. So instead, you were sent to a special quarantined island.
 
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Paul B

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HuduVudu it's hard to tell what a fish will die from in a dealers tank. They are all carrying something and as you said they are swimming in a cocktail of medications, some of which is the store owners own recipe. I helped start 4 or 5 stores and helped out a wholesaler.

Fish rarely live very long in a store and hopefully are bought. I feel the medications are as lethal as the diseases but it's not all the owners fault. They are trying to keep the livestock alive any way they can so they can sell them. Dead fish are hard to sell.

But it's our job to get the fish into clean non medicated water and eating living bacteria. Gut bacteria not gravel or garden soil bacteria. Thats why I feel fresh shellfish are one of the best things to get into fish.

If we can do that before the fish is to overdosed, it should recover but we have no way of knowing how much drug the fish absorbed or what diseases it is fighting.

Thats also why I am so against a bare quarantine tank especially with medications.
It's like 200 years ago when we used to "bleed" people to cure them. Many times their problem is blood loss so bleeding was not a really good idea.

In a store It's usually parasites and parasites are blood suckers. In the process, they tear up the very delicate feathery fibers of the gills, causing infection. Fish with impaired immune systems get so many gill parasites that they can't get enough oxygen and die.

Fish fed correctly and not to over medicated in dealers tanks will not have any problem with parasites.
Fin rot, fungus are other causes of fish deaths from a LFS but should never show up if a fish is cared for correctly unless it gets bullied or bitten. I can't remember any of my fish getting a bacterial infection except pop eye which is easy to cure.

As I keep saying healthy fish eating correctly will be fine in most cases. Sterile food of any kind is not a healthy diet and will not promote immunity.
 

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On the subject of Autism.
I know to younger folks it will seem crazy but growing up in the 1970's-1980's I had never even heard of Autism! I never met a kid in school that had it and I don't remember the subject ever coming up on the news. Then in the 90s this problem just seemed to be happening to kids everywhere.
I now have two nephews with it and they are the first in several generations of the family to have it.

I did some research on it and found that in the 80's only 1 in 1000 kids had Autism and today it's 16 in 1000. Whats changed? It could be our diets as PaulB suggested or it could be one of the newer vaccines. I know myself and almost every kid had all our Vaccine shots growing up but I have no idea if something has been added or changed in the last 30 years. At one point I thought it had to be related to all the TV and video games kids play but I now feel confident that is not the case. Some people say it's just that we are more aware of the signs of it. Nope my wife has worked in the Medical field since the mid 1980s and she says that what she see's today is nothing like what it was when she started.
Could it be Pollution, processed foods, the list goes on. It's one of those mysteries that I wish they would solve.

I believe that there's a few factors that have changed. On the social side of the equation, more kids are getting diagnosed because we have a better understanding of autism. We didn't see them the servers cases as often as generally these kids were sequestered in special classes that didn't interact with the general student population. I graduated school in the 90's, and I think my first interactions with a SpEd kid at school was in high school.
 
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flampton

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Edited as before...

If you're going to argue you have no infectious disease, then you best have no infectious disease. The OP is clearly not a trained fish biologist and for him to say he knows how fish die is ridiculous. Just because you want to believe something does not make it true. And the fact that the soil hypothesis comes out of this is even more problematic if you understand anything about evolution and the required processes to live in a different niche. Tell me if you throw a goldfish in saltwater what happens? So not sure why the belief that terrestrial bacteria are going to be important in your saltwater ecology is not understood to be just as bizarre.

And finally this is all based on the fact that the OP really believes something that is unlikely to be true. And will not budge because of various psychological reasons. This is why science gets nowhere with a large part of our population and pseudoscience gains footholds. As I come across as a know it all, when I certainly don't (the easiest thing a scientist does is admit they don't know something, not so in the general population), however I've studied for a long long time and know a decent amount about this particular subject.

Oh and what is really funny is the mishmash. For instance OP never saw disease in Nam but had his tooth pulled. Do you see the disconnect with that statement? The lack of awareness? And all the malaria pills, the bandaging and likely use of ETOH or iodine to cleanse wounds? Why if your immune system is wonderful would you even bother? And heck why would you even get STIs? Why would disease even be happening if your already immune?
 
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growoldplease

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Flampton, an old professor told me when I was a young man, "you can be absolutely right (about something), but YOU can be wrong - at the same time."
i.e. someone else saying the same thing with a different approach could convince more people.
I'm not saying you're right on the topic, just observing the thread bcs it's Paul B's. Your writing is technically good but the approach reminds me of some engineers.
 
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Lol, I have no clue why people want to argue with you every time you post a thread.

I don't know but I am very used to it. The thread and forum is about fish and usually the people arguing with me don't have long lived or healthy fish.

If you're going to argue you have no infectious disease, then you best have no infectious disease.
This makes no sense to me. But then again, I didn't have to go to college.

The OP is clearly not a trained fish biologist and for him to say he knows how fish die is ridiculous.
Maybe so, but he has the oldest tank on here, College degree or not. :)

For instance OP never saw disease in Nam but had his tooth pulled. Do you see the disconnect with that statement?
No, I don't. We were talking about ,malaria and stds not a tooth ache that I got when my head was bashed in from 40 tons of artillery rounds exploding near me that caused the death of about 20 men.
It also busted my ear drums, gave me a loss of hearing and probably caused my PTSD. But I am only guessing. I can post the article about that but it isn't really about fish.

OP because he has still not apologized to the person he impugned in the beginning of this thread.
I am sorry for saying a piece of dirt killed your fish. It could have been something in the soil that was poisonous so I could have been wrong.

And how old do you believe I am?
I have no idea, but younger than me I assume.

however I've studied for a long long time and know a decent amount about this particular subject.
How much of that schooling was fish biology or how to keep fish healthy or keep a reef tank running which this thread is about?

And all the malaria pills, the bandaging and likely use of ETOH or iodine to cleanse wounds?
Yes I took an anti malaria pill every day but I don't think I mentioned bandaging or using iodine except to purify drinking water. The medics bandaged, I didn't have to do that.

Why if your immune system is wonderful would you even bother? And heck why would you even get STIs? Why would disease even be happening if your already immune?
Did I say I was immune from anything or I ever had an STI? I don't remember that.

The amount of ageist rhetoric in this post is beyond the pale.
Then why are you on it? There are plenty of threads I disagree with so I just don't go on them. I don't go there just to argue with the op as that would be stupid and I am not stupid and have done many things in my life that I am proud of.
 
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flampton

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Flampton, an old professor told me when I was a young man, "you can be absolutely right (about something), but YOU can be wrong - at the same time."
i.e. someone else saying the same thing with a different approach could convince more people.
I'm not saying you're right on the topic, just observing the thread bcs it's Paul B's. Your writing is technically good but the approach reminds me of some engineers.

Yes thanks, I think what you're seeing is that when you challenge popularity it makes the followers uncomfortable. Read my first post in the thread and the immediate response. Then continue reading and see what is said towards me versus the OP. Do you see a divergence there? The fly honey over vinegar thing would never work to any appreciable sense on a forum like this. I know the psychology and I know that if I said please consider this OP, who just implied someone was ignorant, that would have zero chance of helping anyone. The point of my posts is for the current and future readers to realize that this hypothesis is misinformation and may cause harm. I don't need social standing on a reef message board to fulfill my self esteem.

And it's a wonder too that I never use ad hominem attacks but the OP and others have no problem with it. (Among many other logical fallacies)

Finally if I had a friend with a twenty five year old cat I wouldn't just believe them if they said its because of feeding them rodents and the dirt in their yard. This is exactly the same thing.
 

Ashish Patel

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This was such as great write up and makes a whole lot of sense. Fish coming from ocean eat a balanced diet and in our high stressed tank can suffer with poor nutrition. I used to mix bloodworms and mysis shrimp, brime shrimp, garlic into cubes and my tangs stopped getting ich... good stuff
 

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