Thoughts on fish health

Discussion in 'Marine Fish Discussions' started by Paul B, 17 Jan 2013.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Keeping fish healthy is a very simple thing, fish want to get and stay healthy even though they are rarely in that condidion when you get them. Of course we know why that is with the stress of collection, shipping and then being placed in a tiny, bare tank with other, un familiar creatures in artificial sea water with artificial lighting that abruptly comes on and goes off then being fed an assortment of un familiar foods that don't wriggle or try to get away. It's a miracle anything lives. Unfortunately, many don't. But, luckily for us, it is easy to get and keep fish in "almost" the same condition they were in in the sea. How do we know if our fish are in great condition? That is also easy. If they die, that is a no brainer, if they get sick, any type of sickness, that is also un acceptable as fish in the sea rarely get sick. There is a reason for that and that reason is food. Yes water chemistry is a factor but it is more of a factor for corals than fish. Fish don't really care if their salinity is a few points higher or lower than what the "experts" tell us it should be. They don't notice if the nitrates are zero or 40. They may like it better at zero but my 19 year old fish have never complained. They also did not complain when I was away and the "babysitter" let the water level go down by 7" making the salinity off the scale. The fish also didn't text me when the temperature went into the 90s or from the Hurricane Sandy, into the 60s.
    No, I don't advocate letting these things happen, I also don't want hair growing out of my ears or gaining a few pounds, I don't like when my taxes go up or when I get a flat tire, but you know what? These things happen so get over it.
    "But" if the fish are in great shape, they will forgive us and we can try to remedy the situation and try to change things so it doesn't happen again.
    Getting fish in great shape should be a goal of everyone in this hobby that keeps a tank for enjoyment. Tanks in malls, stores or Paris Hiltons house are there for entertainment of people who like to see the brilliant colors but usually don't know a healthy fish from a plate of halibut steaks.
    (I had that for dinner last night and it popped in my head)
    Fish are simpler than us, (well, most of us) they don't worry about what to wear, or what other fish think about them because fish only think about three things. Eating, being eaten and spawning. (I myself also only think about 2 of those things, I won't say which two)
    Being eaten is easy to prevent in a fish tank, don't add something that will eat them. So no Great white Sharks, or polar bears. Spawning is something that fish "always" do, not just some times, not just on holidays or birthdays, but always.
    That is why there are so many fish. Are they spawning in your tank? Why not? Well, usually it is because they have no mate but even if there is no mate, many fish, especially bottom dwellers or fish in the damsel family don't seem to realize that there is no mate in there for them and if they are a male, they should be looking for a mate and cleaning a nest site.
    Fish in spawning condition also do not get sick. "Almost" never, they also "almost" always live a very long time. Many of the fish we commonly keep should live 15, 20 or more years. There are no fish with a lifespan that is only a couple of years. Seahorses and pipefish have the shortest lifespan but even them should live 4 or 5 years.
    Clownfish will live over 20 years as many people keep them that long and if one can live to that age, they all can.
    Why don't they? Because they are not in breeding condition. That is the main reason.
    Keeping the fish in clean water, feeding them a variety of food and watching what they like on TV will not get them in breeding condition. Sometimes it will but to get fish in that condition and keep them there all comes down to food.
    Yes they will live on flakes, pellets, shrimp tails and a few other things but most fish were not designed to eat that type of diet. If you want to keep your fish in breeding condition, disease free and have them live forever you need to do a little extra work. First there is that TV thing, but then you have to know what "your" fish are supposed to eat. Not my fish, not Miss Hiltons fish, but your fish. Most fish in the sea do not live on flakes so you can do without them. I feed flakes to my worms.
    There is nothing wrong with flakes for keeping fish alive but flakes are dried and usually heated.
    If you think that is a good diet, eat them for a month and see if anyone wants to spawn with you.
    Fish in the sea eat other fish, other whole fish. They do not eat shrimp and spit out the head and guts, they do not eat a fish and spit out the guts and bones. Guess why?
    Bones are made of calcium and fish need calcium just as we do. I eat fish almost every day but I don't eat the bones and guts, but I am not a fish. Fish need "mostly" the guts and bones along with the eyes, tails, scales, eyelashes etc. They are also getting the benefit of what was that fishes last meal.
    As I said fish don't worry about the things we worry about because we are not fish.
    When a fish eats another fish it is getting (I am making up this number) 40% of it's meal as calcium, 20% fish oil and the rest is an assortment of minerals that the prey fish is made out of which happen to be "exactly" what the fish in our tank are made out of. What a concept, a food that is composed of exactly what our fish are made out of.
    Shrimp tails, squid tentacles, fish fillets and Alpo dog food are just made out of muscle tissue, lacking most of what fish need.
    So if we can feed fish exactly what they are made from, they have no choice but to be in the best condition they can be.
    Of course if we keep them in saw dust instead of sea water, it will not matter what we feed them and they "may" not spawn.
    Feeding whole fish is very hard because they are not available commercially. I have spoken to fish food distributers about this but they don't seem to care. The closest we have is frozen mysis. Mysis are a complete food but they have a problem. a large part of them is un digestable shell and that shell is not calcium so much of that food is wasted.
    Putting whole fish in a blender is just disguesting and mush of the oils are lost. (Saturday Night Live used to do a Skit with the "Fish O Matic" where they did this.
    A great food is clams because we are feeding the entire animal, guts and all. A better food is live blackworms. If you feed your fish live worms a couple of times a day, and you don't keep your fish in saw dust, I can almost guarantee they will get in spawning condition (all other factors correct) Live worms are a whole food with blood, guts and all.
    (I think that was a John Wayne movie) Fish eggs are another really good food as they also contain everything a fish is made out of but they also contain chemicals that will make your skimmer go nuts so they have to be rinsed very well.
    For small fish like mandarins and pipefish, new born brine shrimp are excellent because most of them when they are just born are mostly oil from their yock sack. After a few hours they lose much of their nutrition so you have to hatch them yourself. I do and also fed live worms every day. My mandarins spawn every few weeks as do my 19 year old fireclowns blue striped pipefish. I don't have to quarantine and have no use for a hospital tank, but if you don't have my tank, you may want to keep your quaranting procedures and hospital tank.
    In the unlikely event that you disagree with this post, start your own thread called, "PaulB doesn't know a clam from Paris Hilton's dog and he should stick to breeding guppies in his bathtub" :p
     
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  3. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    I love your writing style!

    I been thinking about this canned fish mince you get as pet food. It's basically all the heads, skin, guts, scales and fins that are left over from fish processing, all ground up into a paste. That seems like the kind of nutrition you're talking about. If you can get the fish to eat it.
     
  4. Rossi

    Rossi

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    Nice read!
     
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

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    I am actually writing this in script on my monitor with a crayon, but the computer translates it into what you are seeing.





    That pet food
    Sounds disquesting, probably great.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2013
  6. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    I'll try it out for sure. My wife is not going to like the state of our ice cube trays though... :)
     
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