Food Additives for Fish

Marine Husbandry
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There are 100’s of food additives for sale. Vitamins, pills, powders, liquids, you name it, the choices are limitless. We are going to talk about what works, what it does, and what might work.

How to add Additivies

There is a way to add supplements and medicine correctly to your food. The best bet is to add it to a frozen food slurry the day before, and allow it to soak in fully. We thaw frozen food, add a few drops of selcon and a multivitamin with a drop or two of garlic extract for all our fish in store.

You can also do this to nori sheets. We spread the additives on the sheet and allow it to dry fully before adding it to the tank.

Follow directions on the medicine and additives but allow it to soak fully to get maximum absorption by the animals

Garlic

Garlic has been touted as a cure all for quite awhile. Garlic in itself doesn’t do anything, but a chemical Allicin, in garlic does. The most recent study done in 2020 (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2020.587674/full) Allicin in fish and how it affected their ability to survive different parasitic infections. The results were interesting. Allicin increased the survivability of fish across the board, but too much decreased it.

The results being, Allicin extract is too potent, but garlic extract is just right for allicin in food for the fish. There is also the added benefit of being an appetite stimulant for fish, as they typically love the taste of garlic.

We use kyolic garlic extract, it comes in bottles and you can add a few drops to the food of the fish. We recommend kyolic because of the way it is farmed, there are no pesticides used meaning you’re adding no unnecessary chemicals to your tank.

Ginger

Ginger is a less heard one for ich and other issues. There is no scientific evidence what-so-ever about ginger helping with anything in fish. Not to say it doesn’t work, there are just no studies.

The only thing close are a couple studies showing ginger helps with Protozoa based diseases in humans (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345092/ and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283619537_Anti-Parasitic_Activity_of_Zingiber_officinale_Ginger_A_Brief_Review). Protozoa are the same animal that causes velvet.

There is not enough evidence for ginger doing anything… but, if I was dealing with velvet in a reef tank.. I might add it to the food if they were still eating as a hail mary.

Beta-glucan

Beta glucan is a immunostimulant which is extremely helpful for viruses. The one it is best known for is attacking Lymphocystis. Overall it is useful to have on hand and add to food while dealing with any parasite issue.

This is the one we use ( https://www.amazon.com/s?k=pure+synergy+beta+1%2C3+glucan&i=hpc&crid=1ZCHXXTTR269M&sprefix=pure+synergy+beta+%2Chpc%2C163&ref=nb_sb_ss_fb_1_18) from amazon. You put half a capful in 4-5 cubes of frozen food. Adding focus from seachem can help it adhere to the food. This one is a great supplement to have in your toolbox.

Here is a great article on the benefits for our fish (https://reefs.com/magazine/beta-glucan-as-a-biological-defense-modulator-helping-fish-to-help-themselves/).

Vitamin Suppliments

Zoecon, Vitachem, Selcon, Brightwell vitamins, etc.. all include different varieties of vitamins, and minerals. You saturate your food in these products and feed that to your animals. This should be part of everyones feeding routine. A combination of animal lipids and vitamins (selcon and vitachem etc) should be alternated every other day for optimum fish health.

Soaking in food is extremely helpful in dealing with HLLE and preventing it completely.

Probiotics

Probiotics are very helpful for fish. Digesting cheaper food can cause havoc on their digestive system. Probiotics helps with the fishes digestive system and boosts their natural immunity. We sell and recommend, LRS Foods, since they include probiotics in the food. You can also add it by using Probiotic Marine Formula or another product.

Carotene

Carotene, as in beta-carotene, aids in colorization and overall health of the fish. It can turn a dull clownfish neon orange. They sell additives, but you’re better off with a multivitamin. Also Cyclopeeez is a fish food that is overflowing in quality carotene and a great food to mix in if you have a large variety of yellow/orange/red fish.

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is another supplement that adds in coloration. It also is a carotenoid. This is the same chemical they use to make captive salmon so bright red. It is also used in many coral foods to brighten up coral.

You can buy human grade extract online and add it to the fish food, or buy fish food, like Rods Roids, that already has it inside of it if you want brighter color for your fish.

AngeLixir

Last but not least, Brightwell Aquatics AngeLixir. AngeLixir is used as an additive to food for sponge eating fish; butterfly fish, angelfish, moorish idols etc.

AngeLixir uses the same ratio of free form amino acids as in sponges, completing their diets. It helps with color and repairing damaged tissues of all fish in your tank.

Conclusion

It’s easy to get carried away with supplements and additives and create a huge, impossible, feeding routine for yourself.

Fish have a constantly varied diet, they are opportunistic eaters. Dying fish, shrimp, crab, scallops, corals, the list is endless. Trying to replace that variety is difficult. Adding some of these items to the food can help keep them healthy, especially in times of stress

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