Fish health through proper nutrition

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Paul B, 7 Nov 2011.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B

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    I have to admit that I wrote this over a year ago and am just pasting it here.
    It is just my opinions about mostly the food aspect of keeping fish in healthy, disease free shape.
    I don't know much about SA but here in the States I can buy a food called Live Black worms. They are something like tubifex but a little fatter.
    I feed these worms every day along with newly hatched baby brine shrimp to the smaller fish and corals.
    I strongly feel that the main ingredient missing from our fishes diet is oil.
    Fish do not have any solid fat but they are loaded with oil. Most fish can not digest fat because their body temperature does not allow the fat to melt and most of it just passes through their system. Pelagic sharks can and do eat warm blooded animals because they are kind of warm blooded (but for a different reason than us)
    I also feed fresh clams as there is also important elements in the guts of almost any animal and when we feed clams, we feed the guts as well as the muscle.
    Fish in the sea do two things, eat and spawn. They spawn every few weeks and if a fish does not have the capacity to lay eggs, it is not very healthy at all.
    A fishes spawn is almost all oil and a big demand is put on a fish to acomplish this.
    To get fish in this condition in a tank they need to be fed oil, lots of oil.
    Fish eat fish which can be 20% oil. It is missing in commercially prepared foods because it goes bad. Even if frozen.
    Worms are an excellent source of oil as is new born brine shrimp. (they lose their nutritional value in a few hours)
    Baby fish is the best food for our fish but unfortunately not yet available. I have spoken to "Ocean Nutrition" about this but to no avail.
    I suppliment the worms with pellets that I soak in fish oil, the same type that I take. Fish need oil every day to stay in breeding condition and fish in breeding condition live forever and hardly, if ever get sick.
    Here is the article I wrote a while ago:


    There are so many problems or concerns in this hobby about fish diseases. I really don't know why so many people have problems with this but I have a hunch.
    Our fish in the sea never really die of old age. A fish, unfortunately, is an animal that usually ends it's life as supper for some other animal, being either another fish, seal, bird or humans. Even a fearsome great white shark will eventually grow so old and slow that it can no longer catch sea lions and it will starve to be eaten by other less fearsome animals.
    But in a captive envirnment fish can live for years or decades. And they should. Fish have evolved a fairly elaborate immune system because they have been here for millions of years longer than us, well most of us. The fact that live in a watery envirnment demands that their immune system function well because the sea is host to all the chemicals, minerals bacteria and viruses on earth. The water is actually an extension of the fishes circulatory system so whatever is in the water, is also in the fish.
    We humans have it much easier because we only need to inhale air and not everything else on earth.
    This immune system works almost flawlessly but only if the fish is in perfect health. Through my observations it seems that their immune system is severly compromised by a lack of certain things in their diet along with stress.
    We can't do much about the stress of captivity short of releasing the fish to the wild but we can do much about their diet.
    Fish IMO should almost never get sick. If we have a town of 100 people and a human lifespan is about 80 years then most people should live about 80 years, some 60 some 100 but on average.
    If out of those 100 people absolutely none of them reach 30 years old and 10% of the rest of them come down with something, you may not want to live in that town.
    Fish want to live and if they get sick it is usually our fault.
    Keeping the immune system of a fish healthy is paramount to keeping the animal disease free. Even paracite free although I don't know exactly how they become immune to paracites but I know they do.
    My tank is no better than anyone elses but I have not lost a fish to a disease in decades. Why is that?
    I doubt it is my UG filter, people just laugh at that. I don't think it has to do with my ozone although that could help. I don't change nearly as much water as most people. I get the fish from many different sources.
    It has to be either the bacteria I add from the sea, but I don't see how that would help. Or the food.
    I am betting on food. I could be wrong because I am not the God of fish and not an expert. By the way, there are no experts because this is a hobby. No one has a degree in hobbies although some people think they do.
    I am only going by my own observations here and my 40 years of hanging out underwater.
    The best food for most fish is fish. Whole fish, guts liver bones, scales and all.
    I myself don't usually feed whole fish, i wish I could but I do feed live whole worms, whole fish eggs and whole clams after I freeze them.
    If you do much diving you will see millions of tiny fish fry all over the place near the bottom, this makes up a large part of a fishes diet. Not flakes, pellets or freeze dried anything.
    I believe it is the guts of the prey fish that keeps the immune system functioning properly. Specifically the liver which is mostly oil.
    A 100lb shark is almost 20lbs oil. Fish need this oil to maintain bouyancy and to produce eggs.
    Only the healthiest fish can spawn because making babies is a great challenge for a fish. It not only needs nourishment to keep itself alive but it needs a huge amount of extra nutrients to produce fry which at that point are mostly oil.
    If a fish is spawning or making spawning jestures it is in excellent health. Fish in excellent health have excellent immune systems.
    Fish with excellent immune systems do not get sick.
    Again, this is only my theory and this entire hobby is based on mostly theory.
    Have a great day.
    Paul
     
    MistaOrange, Alan, jacoc and 3 others like this.
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  3. Tridan

    Tridan

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    very interesting and makes sense, thank you paul
     
  4. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Thanks...I never knew about the Fish Oil..think I saw someone Post a picture of a bottle..must go find it...will definately be implementing that...
     
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    If you guys can get tiny whole baby fish, that would be the best food. I can't get them here unless it is freeze dried and the fish hate it because it has the consistancy of wood.
    Can you guys get live worms? That is the second best food and my fish always spawn with a diet of these.
     
  6. ShaunSwindon

    ShaunSwindon

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    Yes you have raised some interesting points which are truly valid in this hobby :thumbup:
     
  7. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Paul are you the guy with the forty year old tank?if so i read an article about your tank and yourself last night and i really enjoyed your experimental nature
     
  8. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    Mandarinman, You mean that old guy? Yes that would be me. :(

    If you look to the left of the nurse shark you can see fairly large fish fry. That shark is about 2 meters long. Those fry are all over a reef and most reef fish eat a few of them every day. That is how they stay healthy. Those fry are mostly oil.
    If you do much diving you willl see this.
    Fish on a reef don't get flakes, pellets, or angel formula #42, they eat fish.
    (my dive partner took this on the Cayman Islands)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  9. rob189

    rob189

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    @PaulB ... is there any way of growing your own brineshrimp, then you feed them whatever is good for your fish? like a kind of superbrine with all essential oils that a young growing fishy needs?? :p
     
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  10. rob189

    rob189

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    just found something...dont know if i can use it tho. well my brother used to take "eye q" its(according to the container),naturally sourced omega 3 and omega 6 fish oils. the problem is that its flavoured(strawberry). would i still be able to use it? they're soft capsules with the oils in them...
     
  11. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Hi @Paul B, the live black worms, are they really small or big? I guess Im thinking of the worms for reptiles.. is it the same as the ocean nutrition blood worms?

    The fish eggs that you feed, are frozen ones ok? At the moment I feed frozen hake roe once a week. I have noticed that my tangs have no white spot in ages, not sure if that has any part
     
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  12. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    You can enrich live brine shrimp with aminomega before straining them and feeding to your fish
     
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  13. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    You can easily raise brine shrimp on yeast but no matter what you do to them, they are not a good food source unless they are less than a few hours old.
    I would not use strawberry flavored oil, it has sugar in it so don't use it. Just get fish oil capsules that people take. Take some yourself, I take them every day.
    Blackworms are real worms, blood worms are insect larvae and not worms, they are not a good food for salt water fish.
    Salt water fish eggs are the best thing you can fed to fish and corals. They don't keep long but they are great, even better than worms. They will make your skimmer go crazy so you need to rinse them for a long time. I sometimes feed salmon eggs.
    These are black worms in my worm keeper. I don't know what kind of worms you guys can get but don't use bloodworms.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  14. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Lobster eggs are also available
     
  15. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    They are also excellent. We can't get those here in the states. We have to leave them on the lobsters to get more lobsters and we can't take lobsters with eggs.
     
  16. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    We get the frozen version
     
  17. toppdogg

    toppdogg

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    very informative thanks paul
     
  18. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    thanks :) .. Im using really fresh hake eggs :) .. Anyone know where we can get them black worms from?
     
  19. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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  20. 2balive

    2balive

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    Would it be OK to use fish eggs that are taken out of the fish in the habours ( e.g. Kalk Bay), always worried about contamination.
     
  21. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    I would use them
     
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