Premium Aquatics <----> Sierra Fish & Pets
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Immune Boosters - Additives for Marine Fishes

  1. #1
    Brittle Starfish

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    So CA
    Posts
    2,243
    Rep Power
    0

    Immune Boosters - Additives for Marine Fishes

    When a fish is recovering from a disease, malnutrition, poor water quality, injury or any ailment, it is a good idea to give the fish a boost to its immune system. This group of additives are properly known as immune-stimulants. The reader should understand what is known and unknown about these chemicals. This leads to a proper definition of what is an immune-stimulant:

    Immune-stimulant: a substance that activates white blood cells (leukocytes).

    Seems reasonable, BUT that 'activation' was witnessed only during in vitro studies. That is, the 'activation' was observed in a test tube and not inside a living creature. Thus a true immune-stimulant can be found in the lab, but that chemical substance could be a poison to the animal. Is this clear?

    It takes a lot of study and careful testing to verify that an immune-stimulant works inside of a living organism/animal.

    Most aquarists don't realize that the fish coating (some call it a mucous, others a slime) contains bactericide and antibodies to pathogens as well as resisters to opportunistic organisms (e.g., fungus and molds). They may not also know that a fish under stress will lose a part or all of this coating. Another interesting fact is that while under stress, the fish internally releases hormones (e.g., corticosteroids and catecholamines) which actually suppress the immune system. This makes the fish quite defenseless at times of stress, thus leading to a variety of conditions secondary to the primary stressor.

    In future posts on Reef Frontiers, I'll refer to this post for things an aquarist can do to boost the sick/injured marine fish's immune system. It should be noted that some of these boosters should not become a routine additive to foods. They are something intended for use only when conditions indicate they are needed. Most information seems to point to the fish getting used to these boosters to the point the booster may have no or little affect. So, use these guidelines only on special occasions when needed.



    BETA GLUCAN

    I use this for all recovering fish. I use it only for about 2-3 weeks maximum. From what we know about beta glucan, it must not be used on a continuous basis. If it is used on a continuous basis, it will loose its effectiveness. So use this only when needed then stop using it! It is easy to administer. It is added to the fish food. You estimate the weight of the fish; you estimate the amount of food it eats; then you make sure the fish eats the proper dose. What you add is 25mg/kg of fish. This isn't very much! Beta glucan is found in human health food stores. However, you're looking for a specific 'structure' or kind of Beta Glucan. Buy: Beta 1,3 glucan made from the cell wall of Baker's yeast (Saccharomyce cerevisiae).


    VITAMIN C

    Vitamin C has been shown to provide the fish with an improved immune response. It is a vitamin that should be provided in a general vitamin and fat supplement regime (See: Fish Health Through Proper Nutrition). Adding extra quantities of stabilized Vitamin C to the food, during a fish's recovery, will aid in a speedy recovery.


    LIPOPOLYSACCHARIDE and LEVAMISOLE

    Although not readily available to the public under these names, the lipids come in fat additives. Thus, during recovery fat and vitamin supplements need to be increased. That is why in the above referenced post, my recommendation of how often to provide fat and vitamin supplements vary with the condition of the fish (recovering fish = more fat and vitamin supplements). Levamisole is a drug used for the cure of fishes with worms. Although it is also an immune booster, levamisole is not essential to find or administer during the time a fish is recovering. I would not recommend its use as an immune booster.


    OTHERS

    Mannan oligosaccharides have been investigated recently and show promise at boosting the immune system of the fish and providing some anti-microbial defense. This work is not as advanced as that for Beta Glucan and actual doses haven't been proposed for marine ornamentals. Most of this work is done on (human foods) marine shrimp and freshwater fish. This is typically derived from yeast and other plant products, including algae.

    Peptidoglycans (also known as mureins) has been minimally investigated. It is found in a layer on most Gram Positive Bacteria (on Gram Negative Bacteria too, but much less). In fact, it is penicillin that interferes with this complexed sugar and peptide molecule that helps destroy bacterial infections in humans. The peptidoglycan coats single cell bacteria and is a barrier to pathogen attack.

    The toxicity of the two above chemicals is not well known when it comes to ornamental marine fishes, so although they have demonstrated immune stimulation (see above definition), they likely react differently when administered and may be a source of irritation to outright poison.

    Most vitamins and enzymes facilitate the recovery, repair and replacement of damaged, injured, and/or disease cells. To not mention their need would be a big mistake. If it isn't clear from the writing above, then all sick fish, fish recovering, and fish needing help need fat and vitamin supplements more frequently than healthy fish do. This is one of the two essential requirements for a good recovery. The second essential is proper and sufficient nutrition. A fish can only recover when the proper kinds and amounts of nutrients are being provided. Foods, feeding, and supplements of fats and vitamins are found here: Fish Health Through Proper Nutrition



    WHAT DOESN'T WORK

    I can't begin to say how many times I've told people these rumors and myths are false:

    Garlic. It does nothing to improve a marine fish's immune response or immunity. It was a rumor began by people who can't read the bad technical experiment conducted by Colorni et al. Please don't spread this rumor.

    Ginger. Not sure who started this one. Ginger has provides a fish with no improvement in immunity nor immune response. Don't spread this rumor either, please.


    Post if you have questions or wish to comment.
    Last edited by leebca; 06-27-2007 at 02:08 AM.
    LEE

  2. #2
    Brittle Starfish
    Damsel13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Southern Ca.
    Posts
    2,348
    Rep Power
    0
    Thank goodness you are here at Reef Frontiers. I have a question about vitamin C for the marine fish. Is this readily available and in what form?
    Thanks in advance.
    Oh also, would this be something that would be better administered occasionally?
    Deb

    I love my fish.Hidden Content Come Join Us
    Hidden Content
    55 gal. 2.5 gal.built in sump, CPR BAKPAK skimmer,70 lbs. live rock, charcoal

  3. #3
    Brittle Starfish

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    So CA
    Posts
    2,243
    Rep Power
    0
    The Vitamin C for marine fishes needs to be 'stabilized.' I'll get a little technical for those who might understand this:

    Stabilized Vitamin C means it is resistant to oxidation. If the Vitamin C isn't stabilized, it only lasts a day or so in aqueous solutions at saltwater pH. One of the best forms of Vitamin C is L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate. People sometimes ask if using 'human vitamins' as fish diet supplements is good/acceptable. The answer is clearly, "No." Vitamin C is one of the examples where the choice of the form of the vitamin is important, not just having the vitamin there. There are many different forms of Vitamin C. Probably the next best stabilized form would be L-Ascorbyl-2-Sulfate.

    Stabilized Vitamin C should be routinely in the fish diet in about 50 mg/kg. As an immune booster, it can temporarily be tripled.

    You don't have to worry about the technical info. Most easy is to find at your LFS or online any product which says it contains stabilized Vitamin C for marine fishes. Just read the label and you'll be using the right supplement.
    LEE

  4. #4
    Brittle Starfish
    Damsel13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Southern Ca.
    Posts
    2,348
    Rep Power
    0
    O.K. Sounds good. Look for stabilized vitamin C. and Selco not Selcon. Would those two things be good to give every 7 days or so, or is that too often?
    Deb

    I love my fish.Hidden Content Come Join Us
    Hidden Content
    55 gal. 2.5 gal.built in sump, CPR BAKPAK skimmer,70 lbs. live rock, charcoal

  5. #5
    Brittle Starfish

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    So CA
    Posts
    2,243
    Rep Power
    0
    Selco is a vitamin supplement (and a good one). Selcon is a fat supplement. In the post: Fish Health Through Proper Nutrition I recommend that a vitamin supplement be added to the food once every 3 feedings and a fat supplement be added to once every 3 feedings as a keep 'em healthy approach.

    In the above post there are also other vitamin and fat supplements, storage instructions, etc.
    LEE

  6. #6
    Copepod

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    38
    Rep Power
    0
    Lee, with regard to the Beta glucan, I am using the one from vitamin shoppe (yeah finally get to travel to US more often to buy these). It comes in pill form and I find it very very hard to get dissolve and use, what is your preferred way of dissolving this and mix with food?

  7. #7
    Brittle Starfish

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    So CA
    Posts
    2,243
    Rep Power
    0
    I use a mortar and pestle and grind the pill to a powder. I add it to food in the blender and that distributes it throughout the recipe.

    The object is to get the pill into a fairly uniform fine powder form. You might come up with a means to do this using whatever tools you have at your disposal. A 'good' pharmacist should have a mortar and pestle and might do this for you.
    LEE

  8. #8
    New Forum member!
    iFisch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    FL
    Age
    30
    Posts
    10
    Rep Power
    0
    Where can Selco/Selcon be bought? I'm having trouble finding it even on the internet - to buy.
    Oceanic 14g BC

    4x18w T5HO

    1 Purple Firefish, 1 tiny Banggai Cardinalfish, 1 tiny Spotted Cardinalfish, 1 Neon Velvet Damsel

  9. #9
    Brittle Starfish

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    So CA
    Posts
    2,243
    Rep Power
    0
    I get 25,000+ hits when I Google "selcon." Not all are marine fish food supplements, but I note several of those hits are online marine fish supply companies, some of which sponsor this Forum.
    LEE

  10. #10
    New Forum member!
    iFisch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    FL
    Age
    30
    Posts
    10
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by leebca View Post
    I get 25,000+ hits when I Google "selcon." Not all are marine fish food supplements, but I note several of those hits are online marine fish supply companies, some of which sponsor this Forum.
    Hmm. I did too, and don't have a problem finding it. I must have misspelled it, but you'd think google would say "did you mean".
    Oceanic 14g BC

    4x18w T5HO

    1 Purple Firefish, 1 tiny Banggai Cardinalfish, 1 tiny Spotted Cardinalfish, 1 Neon Velvet Damsel

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •