Why Fish in Captivity get Sick

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Alenya

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All very well but what do you then think when 6 8 or10 others report the same or similar things?
I say that because Paul isn't alone in his ways. There are others on here who practice very similar ways with equal results so we aren't talking just one individual with a ridiculous way of keeping our reefs but many equally ridiculous. Am not only talking with in US but in Europe as well. I have a few friends here in the UK who now hardly ever post on forums because they gave up trying to defend the way they keep their reef.
My friends don't mind the questions but it's the manner of many the thou shall not brigade who can't or won't accept the results we get. We don't just make hollow claims we show them with photos and videos of beautiful clean disease free reefs. Of course there are many ways to keep a beautiful reef but I don't see many 20 year or more old disease free thriving ones. If our methods didn't work we simply wouldn't advocate them as there would be nothing to be gained by such and yet often you are all but called liars because our ways don't fit their model.
How many fish die in QT or from the very medication designed to cure them. I think the numbers are appalling and you don't have to look far for the answers.

For me the interesting part is people (not talking about a specific person here or even the fish industry) who become experts in their field through many years of work - and then no longer accept a viewpoint other than their own.

I have seen it personally hundreds of times now. The best one was an old gentlemen who was so affronted at a tile adhesive that could hold a 20kg tile without slipping that he insisted that the ‘tiles above it’ would push that down and ‘demonstrated’ by shoving half his body weight on top of the tile to try to force it to slip. He couldn’t understand that the tiles above would also not be slipping. And no doubt he left with his world view safely intact and without the benefit of a new tool in his toolkit. Been in the industry 30 years.

There’s a bacteriologist in this thread saying, hey bacteria don’t work like that, and instead of anyone pausing to get understanding (and for free!) there is a reaction of protecting that old world view.

FWIW I run my tank fairly naturally, it’s 3 months old, it has some local live rock, my fish have been observation only qt’ed and all have done well.
I agree with a lot of what Paul b and others say about a diverse natural tank. So I have no issue with their experience and appreciate their sharing - but keeping in mind the above and my science background, I do not confuse observations with conclusions!
 
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HotRocks

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Well not quite everyone Paul. Those that can think outside the box along with stop believing meds and QT are the only answer to disease and a healthy aquarium. People may argue about the whys and whatfors even our methods but they can't argue about our success. Am just a simple chippy who long ago said stop, I have a few ideas, that was round about 34/35 years ago. I got similar abuse and criticism as you of course. Strange in a way as when they said "let's see your tank" (I knew that would be coming so I didn't post pics of my tank) most would slink off perhaps with their tails between their legs I'm not sure. I even showed videos of my tanks via YouTube some actually said " nice tank" but little more. You probably know my philosophy on reefkeeping as I have said it many times on your threads. I make no apology for stating it here. Follow mother nature as much as is reasonably (inset you own interpretation of reasonable) possible she knows best and try as you might you won't improve on her ways and methods. After all she has had millions of years to perfect her methods and ways and you won't go far wrong in copying them. We may employ a few tricks to assist in doing what she does however. Happy reefing it's what it's supposed to be all about. ;Happy
Sometimes it’s just easier to admire instead of argue. I have always said from the beginning there is a lot that goes into any method one may choose. I do what works for me and Paul and you and others do what works for you guys. If one so desires to use my method or one similar I am very glad to help them achieve their goal to the best of my ability.
 

4FordFamily

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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.
IMO, on this topic -- the reason for "less autism" then, I suspect, is almost entirely linked to a greater understanding of autism spectrum disorders. We have SO many now, and it has been studied extensively. Kids that were just considered "a bit different" back then, get diagnosed with one of these new, or now better understood spectrum disorders.

I don't personally think autism is much more prevalent than it was. It was just flying under the radar. I am not a scientist that studies this, but it as something intuitive I had heard from a couple psychologist clients of mine once, and it made sense -- I couldn't believe that I had not considered it before.
 
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For me the interesting part is people (not talking about a specific person here or even the fish industry) who become experts in their field through many years of work - and then no longer accept a viewpoint other than their own.

I have seen it personally hundreds of times now. The best one was an old gentlemen who was so affronted at a tile adhesive that could hold a 20kg tile without slipping that he insisted that the ‘tiles above it’ would push that down and ‘demonstrated’ by shoving half his body weight on top of the tile to try to force it to slip. He couldn’t understand that the tiles above would also not be slipping. And no doubt he left with his world view safely intact and without the benefit of a new tool in his toolkit. Been in the industry 30 years.

There’s a bacteriologist in this thread saying, hey bacteria don’t work like that, and instead of anyone pausing to get understanding (and for free!) there is a reaction of protecting that old world view.

FWIW I run my tank fairly naturally, it’s 3 months old, it has some local live rock, my fish have been observation only qt’ed and all have done well.
I agree with a lot of what Paul b and others say about a diverse natural tank. So I have no issue with their experience and appreciate their sharing - but keeping in mind the above and my science background, I do not confuse observations with conclusions!
My point about the numbers who practice similar to what we do isnt valid then. BTW on Paul's long running tank thread there is an immune scientist I think he his that supports Pauls theories. Strange isn't it.
What I, Paul and others do work of that there is no doubt but when we are said to be wrong in someway fail to offer an alternative viabke reason for our success unless you call luck a viable reason. Like I say we have no need to talk porkies. However, if people keep their tanks differently over a long period of time disease free with spawing fish etc etc then fine whatever works for them. However just pop into the disease forum and see how many are having anything but with diseased fish following the methods of QT and or medication. Happy reef and fishkeeping everyone and I hope you all have long running healthy diseased free spawning fish in your aquariums after all it's what most of us strive for but few really achieve it seems.
 
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HuduVudu

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There’s a bacteriologist in this thread saying, hey bacteria don’t work like that, and instead of anyone pausing to get understanding (and for free!) there is a reaction of protecting that old world view.
This is the problem that I have with people that claim the mantel of science. Scientists that aren't well versed in reality believe that you can't function with a broken hypothesis. This is absolutely not true. You can. If your method is predictive then what does it matter what the reason is, leave that to the scientists to figure out. If of course any of them are willing to swallow their ego to pursue it. This is why replication of experiments is important in the scientfic community ... cold fusion anyone.

Maybe Paul's (and others) explainations for their methods is wrong. Maybe their way of describing what they can't put in exact scientific terms and exact sequences seems folksy and antiquated, what does that matter. Follow the recipe and don't question the why question the what will happen. This is what some of the "scientists" aren't getting. You don't need an exact explaination of why it works, what you need is an exact explaination of how to make it work. Paul is providing that.
 

HuduVudu

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I have seen it personally hundreds of times now. The best one was an old gentlemen who was so affronted at a tile adhesive that could hold a 20kg tile without slipping that he insisted that the ‘tiles above it’ would push that down and ‘demonstrated’ by shoving half his body weight on top of the tile to try to force it to slip. He couldn’t understand that the tiles above would also not be slipping. And no doubt he left with his world view safely intact and without the benefit of a new tool in his toolkit. Been in the industry 30 years.
People go with what they have built over the years that work. Sometimes they don't tease out the underlying ideas and don't realize that their ideas might need a particular product to work. This isn't what is happening here.

I can give you a perfect example of this in this industry in a different form. Metal Halides. Someone might swear by these lights they might be married to them. This is the only way to grow coral etc ... I have seen these conversations. The industry is evolving away from this way of lighting, and it is getting harder and harder to find it, let alone get the right tools and information for it. For whatever reason the person that used them and was successful with them may not want to change with the evolving products available to them. This is a problem mostly for them because they failed to keep up with the industry. That doesn't mean that they have failed in their ability to successfully keep coral. They are going to either "retire" or adapt to the new set of products.

I am pretty sure all of the "natural" people have taken advantage of the new tech that the industry has to offer. I know that I have, and I am glad for it. What hasn't changed at least for me is that underlying principles of aquarium keeping have stayed the same. The industry has simply provided me a new set of tools to work with and I have adapted to them.
 
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Paul B

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I posted this thread on here a few years ago. I want to put it here now:

Thinking outside the box


Unfortunately there is this box. It is very comfortable and warm inside the box which is why almost everyone wants to stay and think inside the box. People inside the box all have much of the same ideas and ways of thinking and oddly enough many of the same problems that don't get resolved using the same methods that people inside the box have been using since the salt water hobby started in the United States in 1971. I think it was on a Tuesday about 2 or 2:30 in the afternoon. Even though many of the methods don't work, people still use those methods because the sides of the box are very hard so the information gets echoed all over the box and we hear the same wrong information over and over again. We can't help but to use those methods because that is whats inside that box. The box also gets a daily influx of Noobs and many times Noobs will try something and it will work. Of course they don't know that that thing has been done forty seven thousand times. Then that information bounces around the box and everyone in the box hears it and thinks that is the way to do that particular thing. So it is done over and over again and even though it worked once, and never works again, it is still done because eventually that Noob gets out of the hobby and goes on one of those "Getting out of the Hobby, everything for sale " threads, but his Ideas keep getting re-circulated. He goes on to collect stamps and becomes an accountant at Burger King where he becomes a manager of the French Fry cooker.

Many years ago there was no box. All we had was wide open spaces, Elvis, Marylin Monroe, bell bottoms and a lot of sky. There were also no methods so we had to find our own ways to do things. We had to experiment and in doing so we killed more fish than StarKist Tuna. There was only one salt water hobbiest per state and there was no internet and we didn't know each other so everyone was a researcher. When we bought a fish,no one knew anything about that fish except the fish itself and Jacues Cousteau and he wasn't talking. So if our tank got overcome with hair algae, we learned on our own how to deal with it. We grew enough algae to cover a 19 hole golf course, but eventually we overcame and eliminated the algae. Of course if we were inside the box we would learn that changing the water will help with that. But we, outside the box realize that never works so we didn't do that.

When our fish got parasites we quickly learned how to deal with that also. Again, if we were inside the box we would change the water , with the same result.

If a fish died, we learned through trial and error how to correct that situation. No, we didn't change the water or check our parameters. We had no test kits anyway so we had to rely on our common sense which worked out pretty well.

We also learned, on our own how to feed fish so they would never get sick. We found out that our fish were supposed to spawn all the time and if they didn't, they were not healthy and prone to diseases. We could have changed the water but knew that in the future there would be this box where everyone changed water all the time but still had numerous problems.

We never had a new fish that wouldn't eat because our tanks were natural and healthy, not sterile like a newly shampooed rug like many of the tanks inside the box.

Sometimes, after a while someone climbs outside of the box and in doing so trys to go against the fine folks inside the box. The people inside the box make fun of that person and say his (or her) Ideas can't work because it is just not done that way. If say that person uses a reverse undergravel filter, the laughter from inside the box will rise to a roar. If that person goes against biblical box knowledge and finds a way to keep fish healthy without quarantining, that roar will become a typhoon and the box will shake.

The box people will never accept those outside the box ideas because it is just not taught inside the box. Even if those outside of the box ideas are proven, they will never be taken seriously, and more importantly if any of those ideas and methods are very cheap and easy to implement, forget about it, that person may as well take up collecting old shoes because he will be driven out of the fish hobby.

Now everyone knows there are some really nice tanks inside the box. Some tanks, everyone are jealous of so going outside the box is not for everyone. But history proves that all of the new, important, earth shattering or Awe inspiring events that happened were the result of thinking outside the box because if everyone always thought inside the box there would never be any improvement because the box doesn’t allow for it. Most Neanderthals thought inside the box which is the reason they walked around for thousands of years carrying sticks and little else. It took an outside the box thinker to invent a microwave so Neanderthals could throw away that stick and heat up a TV dinner. Eventually Neanderthals got taken over by Liberals who invented that box.
 

ingchr1

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...How many fish die in QT or from the very medication designed to cure them. I think the numbers are appalling and you don't have to look far for the answers.
On the flip side how many fish die that are not quarantined by the purchaser? How often is there a thread in the disease forum related to non-quarantined fish? You will probably find plenty.

Guessing here, but I would think there are many more people not quarantining then are. A majority of people with a saltwater tank or that have attempted one are probably not on this forum.

I would also guess that the mortality rate is why there is such a high turn over in this hobby.

The number of fish dying in general (quarantined or not) is probably staggering.
 
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On the flip side how many fish die that are not quarantined by the purchaser? How often is there a thread in the disease forum related to non-quarantined fish? You will probably find plenty.

Guessing here, but I would think there are many more people not quarantining then are. A majority of people with a saltwater tank or that have attempted one are probably not on this forum.

I would also guess that the mortality rate is why there is such a high turn over in this hobby.

The number of fish dying in general (quarantined or not) is probably staggering.
You miss the whole point which isnt surprising as your another inside Paul's box. This is it, those that don't QT don't practice what myself and a number of others who have healthy spawning long lived fish do. That is the difference my friend. It's not just a simple matter of not QTing. Fact is which is another point people either miss or wish to ignore our fish live long healthy lives unless they carpet surf or other but not through getting sick.
Many people don't QT fish and they get sick in fact probably the majority but then they don't keep fish like we do either as their box has a tight lid on it.
 

ingchr1

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You miss the whole point which isnt surprising as your another inside Paul's box. This is it, those that don't QT don't practice what myself and a number of others who have healthy spawning long lived fish do. That is the difference my friend. It's not just a simple matter of not QTing. Fact is which is another point people either miss or wish to ignore our fish live long healthy lives unless they carpet surf or other but not through getting sick.
Many people don't QT fish and they get sick in fact probably the majority but then they don't keep fish like we do either as their box has a tight lid on it.
I find your post rather condescending to me, perhaps your the one missing my whole point. Which isn't surprising my friend.....
 

atoll

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Big flow and open areas to the air.

In my build thread you can see what I have done and what I believe is ideal.
On the flip side how many fish die that are not quarantined by the purchaser? How often is there a thread in the disease forum related to non-quarantined fish? You will probably find plenty.

Guessing here, but I would think there are many more people not quarantining then are. A majority of people with a saltwater tank or that have attempted one are probably not on this forum.

I would also guess that the mortality rate is why there is such a high turn over in this hobby.

The number of fish dying in general (quarantined or not) is probably staggering.
You miss the whole point which isnt surprising as your another inside Paul's box. This is it, those that don't QT don't practice what myself and a number of others who have healthy spawning long lived fish do. That is the difference my friend. It's not just a simple matter of not QTing. Fact is which is another point people either miss or wish to ignore our fish live long healthy lives unless they carpet surf or other but not through getting sick.
Many people don't QT fish and they get sick in fact probably the majority but then they don't keep fish like we do either as their box has a tight lid on it.
I find your post rather condescending to me, perhaps your the one missing my whole point. Which isn't surprising my friend.....
Am sorry you find my post condescending. I think most people reading both our posts will understand where I am coming from. I also agreed lots of fish die not having been QTd and or needed. I don't read of them dying using our methods correctly.That is the whole point but lost on the many.
I used to loose fish from white spot but that was around 35 years ago. I haven't lost a single fish to it since and no QT. But never mind it is what it is and people can make their own minds up.
 

Porpoise Hork

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Getting back to the research. It was found that children with Autism had "leaky Gut Syndrome" which allowed microbes, one in particular called "4-ethylphenyl sulfate" to circulate in the blood.

There's definitely a link to gut bacteria and the severity of autism for those with it. With the number of autism cases skyrocketing my wife and I had serious concerns about doing everything possible to prevent our children from developing it. Things like shifting to a largely non-gmo organic diet, limiting processed foods, and such. We were lucky and our children do not have autism, however a good friend of mine has a daughter who had a sudden and severe onset at 5 years old. Poor kid could barely communicate, and anything outside a very narrow field of activities sent her into an absolute fit. Sadly nothing they had tried had made any difference with her. Then several years back I stumbled across a study for Alzheimer patients where they found that a large number of those in the study who were given daily doses of active pre and pro-biotics saw significant improvement in mental awareness, memory, and emotional stability. The study also showed similar changes in those with autism. I gave this info to my friend and they decided to give it a try. It took some time, about 2-3 months when they started to see a change in her. Her emotional fits started to become less severe, and taking longer to react to a trigger event. At the 6 month stage the outbursts were now a rare event and had gone form no virtually communication at all , to short sentences. After a year, her progress has been remarkable. the emotional fits are gone. She'd become able to fully articulate what she wants/doesn't want. She also showing a more normal range of emotional responses like smiling, short giggles and wants to give hugs and be hugged by her parents etc. Getting her out of the house, into the car and out into public used to take hours and was physically and emotionally draining for everyone. Now though, she still resists, and is clearly uncomfortable with it, but will leave the house for a few hours before she has had enough stimulation and wants/needs to go back home.

It's been about 3 years since I first told my friends about the study and just a few months ago they told me that for the last year now it's to the point that they almost have their daughter back. The transformation has been a long slow march, with some setbacks, but she attends school (remotely), mostly takes care of herself like any other 9 year old is able/willing to. She has a couple friends now outside of the family, that she actively engages with. She still has some issues with over stimulation from being out on public and stuff like that.
 
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Paul B

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How to tell if a marine creature is dying of old age.
(I posted this a few years ago, no one has to believe it or tell me it is not a scientific study, ask me where I got my facts, who did I correspond or collude with and what makes me an expert. So if you feel you need to argue with me about this, send me a SASE and I will steam off the stamp and shred the letter, pour a glass of Grand Marnier and fall asleep.)

We as aquarists try very hard to keep our animals living as long as possible for a few reasons. Yes, we are caring people and don't want to see them hurt. And, yes, they cost us a lot of money, how much money depends a little on us. If we buy a purple tang for $100.00 and it lives for ten days, then that fish cost us $10.00 a day to enjoy so I would say that is an expensive fish. But if that same fish lives ten years, then that fish only cost us maybe 3 cents a day (I didn't do the math, but you get my point) So then, it is a very cheap fish.

We should all try to keep our fish long enough so that they die from nothing except old age. If our fish keep getting sick, we are doing something wrong as our fish should "never" get sick except for the occasional headache or upset stomach.

Most medium sized ornamental aquarium fish live for about 12-15 years as that is their natural lifespan. That is a general statement because some fish such as clowns live well into their 30s. Smaller fish such as clown gobies, small bleenies, pipefish and seahorses may live for 5 or 6 years and some tangs will live into their 20s and groupers may reach 50. These are generalizations as different fish have different lifespans and many of them do not reach their life span in captivity. I do feel that most fish in a tank can live longer than their wild counterparts just due to the fact that they don't have enemies in our tanks and no one is trying to catch them with huge nets where they will be sold for food.

A fish is an animal that can only look forward to a peaceful death if it is in a very good aquarist tank. Virtually all wild fish die by being eaten alive or suffocating on the deck of a ship.

How do we know if a fish is dying of old age? Actually it is relatively easy. First of all the fish should be full grown. That is easy. Next we should have an idea how long that type of fish would normally live. I gave some examples above. A fish that has lived to the full extent of it's lifetime displays symptoms that are easy to spot. I had many fish die of old age and they all do it about the same. About the last couple of weeks of it's life, it will start to slow down but not exhibit any signs of disease. They will not be the first one to feed any more and may not even try very hard to eat. In a few days, they will stop eating and may rest in a corner. Eventually other fish will pester them and take nips at them. At first, they will try to get away or bite back. Right near the end, they will stop fighting back and their fins will become torn, They may get some spots as their immune system is no longer functioning, they will then get very lethargic and we will find them dead in the morning.

There is nothing we could have done for such a fish except pat ourselves on the back for allowing such a beautiful creature to exist for as long as possible.

We don't have to worry about that for corals as they are immortal. Yes, corals live forever, sort of like politicians. The actual coral polyp is not immortal, but the colony is. Each coral colony is composed of numerous polyps and as new polyps are born, they settle on top of older polyps and in that way, make the colony larger. Entire coral colonys do die because if they didn't, the world would be full of corals. Colonies die from typhoons. I am not sure why storms in the southern hemisphere are called typhoons and storms in the northern hemisphere are hurricanes. I would imagine the guy who makes these names up had some free time, I don't know. But either way, typhoons can destroy corals quite easily. I have been in the South Pacific in some typhoons and I am surprised anything lives. I have seen brain corals the size of my car, up side down and elkhorn corals almost the size of my house broken into little pieces. I saw numerous, very large sea fans hundreds of yards up on the side of mountains. Besides the turbulence from the storm, huge quantities of dirt from Islands run into the water covering corals for miles out to sea. These storms kill some corals but they allow others that were shaded from the larger corals to prosper. This is life and has always been that way.
 

ingchr1

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This is it, those that don't QT don't practice what myself and a number of others who have healthy spawning long lived fish do.
If you read my post that I was equating the two, that's not what I intended. You, Paul and others are obviously doing something different to have the success that you are with fish.

It seams to me that good diet, low stress and proper diversity are key. Along with getting a fish that is healthy to begin with.

The hard part of that equation is the diversity. Where does the average reef keeper obtain it and what exactly does it consist of? How do they know they have a sufficient amount of it to keep fish healthy? Is it just known once your fish stop dying of disease? That's the part there. Most people get out before they reach that point. I could be misstating, but I think both you and Paul kept at it until that point was passed.

I do question that part of that diversity would include or require terrestrial worms and dirt. I would think it would have to be diversity from the environment the fish is from, the ocean.

Is medication a death sentence for a fish or does it need to be? It's probable that Paul has gotten fish from a fish store that have been medicated, and it's also probable that some of those fish have died of old age in his tank. To some extent that should provide some level of proof that a fish is not irreversibly damaged by medication.

I'm just trying to take in what I can and do what's best for me and my tank.
 

HuduVudu

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I'm just trying to take in what I can and do what's best for me and my tank.
I think we are all trying to do that. My wife had a boss and he gave a really good quote to her (and vicariously me) "Assume positive intentions". I think we are all here because deep down we want to succeed in one form or one reason or another.

I play a building game called Satisfactory. I watch other people play this game to see their ideas, some of their ideas are cool and helpful and some are not, but one thing for sure there is a set of base understandings that one must make to play the game and when those understandings are intigrated then the artistry comes out.

I love this tank https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/tigahboys-macroalgae-tank-s.737622/page-7#post-8131452 but I will not reproduce it. Some will. Everyone has an idea, each approach from a different angle. Some angles have been tried repeatedly without success and new reefers will think that they have come up with something new, only to have the dream deflated pretty quickly. This isn't fun and makes people feel inadequete. They lash out. This makes it hard for others to try to present ideas. Everyone wants to be special and unique, but the problem is to be that takes a lot of work and perseverence through the tough times. Surprisingly no one wants to go through the multiple interations that are required to invent the light bulb, because tbh it's hard.

I am glad you wrote your post. You seem to be approaching from a learning stand point now. Ask questions look for clarification try to understand, this is what makes a truly scientific mind. One last thought nothing falls apart faster than a lie that is honestly questioned.
 
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Paul B

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Ingchr1. I think you are correct about passing a point where you figure out these things. I don't know exactly when I reached that point. I am also glad you brought up the thing about if terrestrial worms are the key or not and it does even seem strange to me.

I have had arguments over the years about the use of live worms for fish immunity and not being a scientist, I have no idea.

I do know that for me at least that was a big "AHA" moment for me which I have written about so many times. For some reason, after feeding live blackworms my fairly healthy blue devils got very bright colors and spawned constantly. Why? I am not certain of the mechanism but I had been feeding other foods, probably brine shrimp, flakes, pellets and fish parts but the worms seemed to do the trick and freeze dried worms don't seem to do anything.

I don't know if worm gut bacteria gives a big boost to fish gut bacteria or if there is something in worms that kill off bad things in fish guts. I am an electrician and it is above my pay grade. But I feel, I don't have to know the exact mechanism, I just have to know it works.

I can fly a helicopter without knowing about the airfoil in the rotors and how that affects how and why it flies and I can drive a car even if I don't understand internal combustion.

But I also know it's not just worms. The tank itself also must be designed for fish and not just because "we" like the way it looks.

I have always tried to get into a fishes head and have been diving with fish since my first dive on the Great Barrier Reef in 1970.
Fish in the sea are not afraid even though they are surrounded by predators as that is natural to them. They "know" that in a moments notice, they can completely dive into a coral head or rock formation without even thinking about it.. They instantly disappear.

If we were in a jungle and all of a sudden we saw a lion chasing us, we would have to think, look around for a hiding place and figure out all sorts of things while we were getting the horrors. Then if we found a hiding place, we would most likely stay there until the next day.

Fish hide, then when the danger passes, instantly come back out and start eating or looking for food in the knowledge that they can get away from danger in an instant.

Fish in most of our tanks know there is no place to hide. They don't know there is nothing in our tanks to hurt them. They don't know a moray eel is not coming around the heater any minute.

They need to feel safe and they won't unless they can get completely out of sight in a tight place that a shark,grouper or moray eel can't get them.

I cringe when I see a tank, usually a Noob tank that is almost bare with a few rocks piled in the center.
Then I really cringe when they introduce a copperband butterfly into such a tank and in a few days they are on the disease forum.

So besides the worm or clam guts, it's the psyche of the fish. Make them think they are in the sea.
You and I know it isn't the sea, and the fish knows it, but the closer we get to a make believe sea, the "happier" the fish will be. The fish isn't that smart, but it is smart enough to know that it is an animal that everything wants to eat and it will never feel safe if there is no place for him to get out of sight.

He doesn't know that we know where he is as long as he can't see us so he thinks we are stupid . :oops:

So that is some of my theory but it keeps going. Besides the guts for the bacteria, (which will support their immune system) we also need to feed something nutritious. I am not sure worm flesh is the healthiest thing for a fish to eat above all else. So I feed a mixed frozen food such as LRS food which is composed of different sea foods. I do this for the nutrition part of the equation.

People get mixed up and think I add mud from the sea or my garden for immunity. I don't. The mud is to supply bacteria for water conditions. That bacteria is different bacteria than gut bacteria and it is for the nitrogen cycle and has little to do with the fish itself except to have better water with fewer pollutants.

Again, I don't know the exact mechanism but from so many years doing this, it seems to work better than not adding mud. Is it needed? Probably not.

AS for buying healthy fish, I don't always do that. If I am looking for a nice copperband I will look for the healthiest one (and I get a lot from their facial expression but that is another story) :cool:

I get a lot of fish from a store very cheap because it is in horrible shape and the owner can't sell it.
If it is covered in spots, that won't stop me from buying it if it is very cheap. I can sometimes cure it and have a great fish for practically nothing.

I recently posted about a copperband I got like that and it is in my book. As I mentioned, copper and quinicrine hydrocloride (I know I got that wrong but I can look it up in my notes if anyone wants to know with the dose) that will clear a fish of "spots in about a day and if the fish isn't to far gone, it will end up perfectly healthy and the short medication time won't hurt it's immunity to much.
I don't like to write that because of the arguments from un believers.

Being my tank is immune I put those fish right in as I don't have a spare tank. I wouldn't advise doing that unless you have my tank but that is one way I know I have living parasites in there.

I feel, and it is only my uneducated guess, that parasites are always living happily in my tank but can't hardly infect my fish. This is what happens in the sea. A few parasites get on a fish and are "chased" off by the immune system in the slime. A tiny few parasites get enough food to multiply but not enough to cause a problem.

Months later when I introduce another fish that may be carrying something, those new parasites will not be very happy because they will find my fishes immune system will not enable them to thrive and get to proportions that will crash other systems.

Remember, I can't see the parasites, this is all I surmise from experience. Not just from last Tuesday, but from half a century of doing this every day. :cool:
 
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ingchr1

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@Paul B, I've come to feel the same when I see minimalist scapes. If my fish get startled they all dive to thier hiding places. At night they are all hidden. I have a 40 gallon tank and four fish, it could support more but I'm not sure there are adequate hiding spaces. I also feed LRS.

My QT had a layer or crushed coral (saved from a fish only tank with RFUG filter I had 20 years ago) and a few plastic aquarium decorations. Those decorations gave the fish a place to hide, which they did use them. I had tried pvc pipe but the fish would not go near them. My plan for the crushed coral was to just discard it out in the yard after use, I have two 5 gallon buckets of the stuff. I also have a 5 gallon bucket of some tuffa. Tried that in the QT but it just sucked up the meds.

I've come to the realization that running a QT just doesn't work for me due to the time, effort and no real good place to put it in our house. What works for me is to just get my fish from a place that does a quarantine. This can be debated but the place I'm using seams very good and their prices aren't all that much more than most of the LFSs I go to. Plus I don't anticipate having to buy fish that often, hopefully it's a really long time before I have to buy another.

Of my four fish two I bought from a LFS and quarantined myself (possum wrasse and firefish). The other two I decided I was done doing quarantine myself and ordered quarantined (orchid dottyback and yellow tail blenny).

The first two I've had since January and the other two since April. Prior to that I lost close to ten fish over the course of a year. Contrast that with coral and I've only lost two out of thirteen.
 

atoll

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With my new tank (I moved house 18 months ago and broke my previous tank down) I tried the minimalistic reefscape idea as an experiment. I hated it but my fish hated it more.
Nature teaches us how to keep fish alive and healthy so I follow her ways as much as I can but also employ a few tricks to help with her ideas.
Back in the day there were lots of myths and poor advice and to this day many exist.
I have put new fish in my tank that have within hours showedvsugns of white spot. Take my Royal grammas, I have a pair they are an itch prone fish and always get itch in mybtanks when first introduced. The scratch and flick on the sand and rocks in an effort to remove the spots. However within 36 hours the spots have gone and I never see them return. Other fish in my tank never show signs of itch even after I have put a fish in with itch.
Mother nature is a wonderful thing she has all the answers and we don't. I don't question her and I can't do better than her only worse. Mother nature however is forgiving to a point. So I try and copy her ways and when I did it was an a eureka moment and I had success as I never experienced before.
This is my philosophy to reefkeeping and it has stood me well for around 36 years. I have tweaked it here and there but the basics remain the same.

I am not the only one here in the UK who practice similar ways I have a few long standing friends who do similar with similar results.
When I started reading Paul's posts they immediately struck a cord with me. So much he did mirrored my own ways and thoughts and ways. We do have differences of course.
I live away from the sea so no mud from me and am far from sure it would be OK from our polluted waters. I use an Oxydator to keep a high level of oxygen in my tank.
I don't use worms but grow pods outside in the summer and hatch brine shrimp. I buy fresh food ingredients from the fish market and so on.
I don't have any medication, I have not had any need for such nor a QT system strangely enough mother nature doesn't either.
 
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