Colon Health, Gut Loaded and ?Clean? food

John D Hirsch MD

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Thanks Boomer for your posts, they are always appreciated. For the record, the appendix is an appendage off the cecum and has no know function just like your pyloric caeca. Funny how that works. Readers now have apposing views on healthy nutrition which is the object of this forum.
 

Boomer

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What I was saying Doc is they seem to have found some new indicators of the pyloric caece in fish. I will see if I can find that peer - reviewed article again. In short, IIRC, it is producing a chemical solution/ enzyme, right near the junction that ends up in the stomach to aid in digestion. Do humans do this at all ?
 

John D Hirsch MD

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absolutely. Beneficial bacteria are critical for digestion in all animals and they need a safe place to live, reproduce, and aid in digestion, manufacture enzymes and some water soluble vitamins for use by the host. Mother Nature may have varied the location but the function is unchanged. I would appreciate a link to the article you are referencing.
Doc
 

Thales

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I have been feeding live blackworms to my fish since the 60s not only for the food benefit, but for the live bacteria they have in their gut. I know someone is going to say I have no proof of that but I actually do. I have 24 year old spawning fish and virtually all my paired fish are spawning and I never have to quarantine, not in about 35 years.

That is evidence not proof. And of a small, unique sample size.
Note that this doesn't mean I think you are wrong, just that the evidence isn't super compelling.

I also feed clams which go along with the theory of this thread. Clams are a natural food from the sea that contain all the guts and "dirt" from being filter feeders.

That depends on if all the organs are included or just the tongue. Prawns de headed and shelled are also 'natural food from the sea' and has little to do with filter feeding.

But this is all just my theory as I also don't have any degrees, (I am actually proud of that)

It is fine to be proud to have degrees or not, but I don't really think using them as arguments from authority, as done by not you, is a good idea :D
 
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Paul B

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That is evidence not proof. And of a small, unique sample size.
Note that this doesn't mean I think you are wrong, just that the evidence isn't super compelling.



That depends on if all the organs are included or just the tongue. Prawns de headed and shelled are also 'natural food from the sea' and has little to do with filter feeding.



It is fine to be proud to have degrees or not, but I don't really think using them as arguments from authority, as done by not you, is a good idea :D


On your first point, you are probably correct (and I hate that.


On your second point. I do feed the organs, ears, eyelashes and feet of the live clams I use so I know what is going into my fish.


On your last point, although it is something to be proud of to have one or seven degrees I preferred not to go that route. (I also got drafted) If I had a degree I would probably be thinking inside the box like everyone with the same degree and I don't want that. I also want to learn what I want to learn and not waste my time on learning other silly stuff that I have no interest in. I spent my entire life learning and reading. That is one reason my tank runs a reverse UG filter and has water cooled LED lights and home made rock. I did very well not going to college and instead being an electrician. I became an electrician for a few reasons but the main ones are, electricians get home much earlier than white collar workers. Very important to me because I have a lot of hobbies that I want to get to.
#2, electricians make a decent salary.
#3 electricians get a nice pension, which I am enjoying now.
And perhaps the most important, I look fabulous in a hard hat. LOL
 
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Boomer

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Doc

Here yah go, your field much more than mine. Enough with listed ref to keep one reading for a month.

Short course:


As defined by Biology Online, hydrolytic enzymes are proteins that use water to perform their digestive functions. In the observed fish species, the pyloric caeca fill and empty of food as a means to increase the amount of surface area available for the enzymes to do their work, thereby increasing nutrient absorption.


and

The function of the pyloric caeca of fish has been uncertain since their detailed description in 345 B.C. by Aristotle. He suggested three hypotheses about their function: "to store up the food," "putrify it up," and "concoct it" (i.e., storage, fermentation, and digestion). Our results for trout, cod, largemouth bass, and striped bass support the third but not the first or second of Aristotle's theories. In all four species, the caeca prove to be a major site of sugar, amino acid, and dipeptide uptake, contributing more uptake than the entire remaining alimentary tract in trout and cod. Caecal brush-border membranes contain hydrolytic enzymes. X-ray plates taken at various times after trout had ingested radioopaque marker, and observations of trout fed blue dye plus glass beads of graded sizes, show that caeca fill and empty of food with the same time course as proximal intestine. ***********Thus, whereas the caeca of mammals and birds serve as fermentation chambers, fish caeca are an adaptation to increase gut surface area.*********



Chapter 1. Digestion in Teleost Fishes
http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5738e/x5738e02.htm



The morphology of the post-gastric alimentary canal in teleost fishes: a brief review
http://www.journal-aquaticscience.com/2012 (2)/Banan Khojasteh (2012)_2.pdf

Ontogeny and physiology of the digestive system of marine fish larvae
http://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00086/19684/17307.pdf


A side note. The pylori caece are used as taxonomic keys in many fish. For example, the Koho and Chinook salmon we have here can be in debate at times, thus, if in question do a pyloric caece count on questioned caught fish. Koho, way less that 100, Chinook way more than 100.
 
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Charley

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Yes it is an interesting thread. Kinda cool. Everyone has gone "Donald Trump" over fish food. And from the perspective as a newbie ish hobbyist, non scientist, I am now more confused than ever, awesome! What more can you ask for in a thread! Now when I go buy some fish food, my hands will shake nervously when I hand over the money, not knowing what I am feeding the poor little rascals and could I have done better?

Just a thought.....when I eat chicken, I do not eat the whole chicken, no guts, no head and so far pretty healthy. Perhaps after this I might throw a whole chicken in a blender, bake it...who knows, might be even healthier.

As Thales mentions, its all evidence, all observational, and no proof whatsoever. I could be feeding feeding my fish grass fed, grass finished beef ground up, feed them to the fish, see them do well and be just as legit as anyone else....sort of, not really...but you get the idea.

On another thread, Prattreef suggested using a variety of foods such as public aquariums do. What is that variety?Am I chopping mackerel and tuna everyday at home and feeding it to my fish? I do not know, that's what I envision public aquariums doing. Great well intentioned advice but lacking in details .... wish one of the leading aquariums would come forward and give their food advice.

Men's Health just came out with an article suggesting how important and beneficial fiber and coffee is for gut bacteria. Guess I'll add this to the mackerel and tuna.

Problem is there is no actual research and its a no brainer. Take 3 clownfish, put them in a 10 gal for 6 months and feed them only blackworms . Do the same with another set of clownfish for all fish roe for 6 mos. Another set for gut loaded shrimp, Another set non gut loaded shrimp and so on. At the end, send them to lab to which group has the most beneficial bacteria. Get the results and case closed!

Nah forget it, prefer the bickering and confusion, much more fun.

My money would be on Paul B and the blackworms plus at least he has connections to supermodels .... I think. But all bets are off if I found out he is part of the blackworm lobby in DC.

Went to a meeting a few weeks ago where the talk was about L.A.R.S.( lazy a** reefkeepeer syndrome). If I understood correctly, it was about old tank syndrome really being how reekeepers are "lazy" in terms of cleaning out hoses, connections whatever, etc . Point was if the tanks were more properly/thoroughly maintained, one would not have old tank syndrome. The reefkeeper was simply lazy all along. I was a wee bit offended actually.

I think L.A.R.S. could also stand for Lazy A** Researcher Syndrome. Where is the research for such a fundamental as what we feed our fish? Real tests, real results? End the confusion!

Thanks
 

Paul B

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Charlie, if you want to know what fish are supposed to eat, strap on a SCUBA tank someplace that is not a tourist resort. Drop to the bottom and find a nice rocky area and just lay there until you run out of air. (forget the charts and all that sissy stuff) Closely observe the fish. You will notice that they eat mostly fish fry that are all over the place near the bottom of coral and rocks. Fish, like me didn't have to go to college because they have something better, "street smarts". They know what they are supposed to eat without having to know which of their organs process the food. Most of them also can't post references after their name but they know what, how much and which parts of fish they should eat. I have followed fish for decades underwater (and most nights on my dinner plate) so that's how I learned about their diet. Fish in the sea, also like my fish, spawn constantly, usually every couple of weeks and they will only do that with the proper food. I use live worms for the bacteria and although Boomer is correct that salt water fish have never seen a blackworm, they have also never seen TV which they are looking at right now through my tank. There is a lot of things captive fish never see but that's because they are "captive" and not in the sea. It is almost impossible to get the same exact foods that fish get in the sea just like if we have a cat we don't let it hunt for mice in our homes. At least I don't, but I don't have a cat either. So if your fish are not spawning every few weeks (paired fish of course, lets not get crazy) there is something wrong with them. Probably the stuff you are feeding. Also if your fish "ever" get sick, they are not immune which the proper food with the proper bacteria will do. If they spawn, stay healthy and die of old age in my tank, they can do that in any tank. If you have a lot of things after your name, thank you for sitting in a classroom all those years while I was diving and serving my country. (Yes, just like Boomer and I presume many people on here) Have a fantastic day.
References:
Me :scratch:

See the fry? That's an all you can eat fish diner.
 
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Charley

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Thanks Paul. been scuba diving a few times only as an amateur not certified and love it. Unfortunately, not enough time to observe what they eat. But I take your word for it! Would give my right leg, to see you in charge of feeding the Steinhart aquarium reef tank for a few months with all those blackworms and clams. Somehow I envision a " Fish Gone Wild " scenario with fish breeding madly all the place! Love your thoughts, points and common sense approach....as always!
 

NL146

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Thanks for the diversity this thread adds to the forum. I enjoy and learn from the healthy debate. I only wish people could disagree without all the drama.
 

BioMan

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This post made me feel better about staying away from pellets and flakes. I'll also be looking into Reef Frenzy now. I've been getting fresh shrimp, clams and whatever fish I thinks looks good and tossing it in a blended the past few years. (no heads,tails or skin though)
 

Thales

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Thanks Paul. been scuba diving a few times only as an amateur not certified and love it. Unfortunately, not enough time to observe what they eat. But I take your word for it! Would give my right leg, to see you in charge of feeding the Steinhart aquarium reef tank for a few months with all those blackworms and clams. Somehow I envision a " Fish Gone Wild " scenario with fish breeding madly all the place! Love your thoughts, points and common sense approach....as always!



Yeah, that is happening at Steinhart without feeding blackworms and clams. :D
 

Thales

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Charlie, if you want to know what fish are supposed to eat, strap on a SCUBA tank someplace that is not a tourist resort. Drop to the bottom and find a nice rocky area and just lay there until you run out of air. (forget the charts and all that sissy stuff) Closely observe the fish. You will notice that they eat mostly fish fry that are all over the place near the bottom of coral and rocks.


Disagree a lot. Where did you do these observations?
 

reef.right.corals

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I remember studying ecology and biology in college, and the topic of biomimicry came up. As I understand it, biomimicry is the process of using nature's systems to solve complex problems - both animal husbandry related and human related. If I remember correctly, velcro is an example of biomimicry as it utilizes hooked structures such as burs. It's an exciting field, and it has provided mankind with wonderful revelations that can enhance life. Velcro is a simple thing we are all used to using - but in reality it's quite helpful and it's hard to imagine life without it.

Biomimicry seems like it would be a natural fit for reef aquarium keeping. Look at the way nature has selectively evolved a coral ecosystem, and mimic it. Nature has been quite successful, why not follow her lead. However, our aquariums aren't mother nature. Jacques Cousteau famously said, "No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal."

Once removed from the sea and placed in an aquarium, our animals aren't natural. An aquarium, no matter how well planned, set-up and maintained can function with the efficiency of Mother Nature. Even if we catch live food daily from the sea and feed our animals, it's not what they would naturally eat, as many reef aquariums are on coasts that don't support coral reefs. Because they are removed from the natural system and placed in a man-made, un-natural one, our animals require supplementation. A human being doesn't naturally need supplements given a proper diet, but one riding in the Tour de France does, because human beings were not naturally built to endure a over-challenging bike race.

Our fish are enduring something nature didn't design them for, when they are placed in an aquarium. They will be exposed to very un-natural things (water pumps, species they usually wouldn't encounter, tight quarters, etc). They will face stress outside of what they would in nature, like being put into a shipping box and sent off around the globe. High levels of copper and other medications, hypo-salinity and a host of other common methodologies are far from natural, but necessary to maintain the health of animals now in captivity. There is nothing natural about an ich outbreak in marine fish, as ich in the wild is not usually a fatal disease. In aquariums it is, and thus relies on an un-natural solution.

While I believe biomimicry has its place within the hobby, and within society as whole - I don't believe that aquarists should be totally dependant on it. I think what Larry has done with LRS and the research he has based his food on, may contribute a step in maintaining better health of captive marine fish. It is showing promise among many professional aquarists and as Larry mentioned, is being adopted by many aquarists.

Biomimicry (diet wise) and supplementation can work together in captive aquatic ecosystems. It's impossible for the average aquarist to account for every natural system and reproduce it authentically in captivity. For most, a supplement or additive will offer a bridge to achieve a natural result. As you said, their are many paths to the mountain top but at this point, I don't think LRS' path of using probiotics in marine foods is potentially harmful. At least, I haven't seen any evidence that it is.
 

Paul B

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Thales, I am not sure who you are disagreeing with here but I will answer anyway just because I am old and opinionated.
My observations over many years as to fish health and diet is well documented from my years on these forums and pictures of my tank being published in magazines from the 80s. Of course I can't vouch for the many years before computers were invented that I also had healthy fish, so you have to take my word for it, or not. I have also been posting pictures of my fish spawning and their eggs for many years. In all those years I have never posted on a disease forum about my fish unless it was something I just bought or I was trying to help someone. As I said many times I personally do not have to quarantine because my fish are immune. Many people don't believe in immunity (or big foot) which is why I wrote a book. My fish read the book and know how to become immune. The live worms I feed is because of the live bacteria which helps with their immunity. Don't believe that? Raise your hand if you have older fish than me. People call me lucky. Maybe I am but I just looked and Christie Brinkley is not standing at my door which I would call a lucky day. I don't go by theory or re-hashed rumors that we all read on these forums. Doc and Boomer are probably smarter than I am and have a much better vocabulary so I can't and won't argue with them. Boomer also knows my tank has quite a bit od asphalt in it for live rock.
spawning ruby reds



spawning blue stripes. Notice the pregnant male



pregnant mandarin



Notice the eggs just above the clown gobi



Watchman gobi with her eggs.



I can go on but I just wanted to point out that when I make a statement, I can back it up with proof and I am not just making this stuff up. Well, maybe some of it.
That is my proof. And those are my observations
 

John D Hirsch MD

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great post. I agree that a closed ecosystem is a stressful environment and that it is very different from the wild oceans but that doesn't mean we can't try. It is a personal choice and hopefully an educated choice for every hobbyist. Supplements are now part of our lexicon, but the science for many is still a work in progress.
thanks
Doc
 

Thales

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Disagreeing with what I quoted from you - that most fish in the wild eat other fish fry. I also asked where you made the observations.

On the subject of your fish - there are plenty of similar stories that don't include black worms, so while what you do works for you, I am extremely hesitant to make it into a generalization. And you are confusing proof with evidence, but you have said you don't care about that kind of thing.
 

Paul B

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Disagreeing with what I quoted from you - that most fish in the wild eat other fish fry. I also asked where you made the observations.

On the subject of your fish - there are plenty of similar stories that don't include black worms, so while what you do works for you, I am extremely hesitant to make it into a generalization. And you are confusing proof with evidence, but you have said you don't care about that kind of thing.


I am not sure how I can prove that fish in the sea eat fry all the time unless you come diving with me and see them. Most, but not all fish will try to eat anything that comes floating by. That food usually comes from scraps from other larger fishes meals as fish are very sloppy. (most fish on a reef are tangs and they will graze all day) Most, but not all coral fish will occasionally dip down to the lower parts of the reef to grab a few fish fry. I have been observing this since my first dive on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 1971 but I have dove all the Hawaiian Islands as well as 3 of the Tahitian Islands, almost all the Caribbean Islands and one or two hundred dives in my home in New York as I own my own boat and equipment. You can come over and look at my dive log if you don't believe me but I think that would be over the top.
As for the similar stories that don't include blackworms I am sure that is true, I really don't see a lot of pictures of 24 year old fish that are spawning with or without blackworms. I started using blackworms because in about 1972 I had a tank of blue devils, 7 of them. They were living fine for months but just living. I decided to start feeding them blackworms from my freshwater fish and in about 2 weeks one of the blue devils turned a darker blue and his fins turned blue. The rest of them remained with clear fins. A few days later, they spawned and continued spawning for 7 years.
As I said, I can back up "everything" I say with proof. Here is that blue devil circa 1972 over his nest of eggs in the barnacle shell.



Here are his eggs.





Remember this was in the early 70s when most people never saw a salt water fish in a tank. Now if you can post some pictures of at least 24 years old, spawning fish in a home tank that were not eating blackworms that would very cool.
I am sure you still don't believe me so here is a video of my old fireclowns spawning. These fish have eaten live blackworms every day of their lives. I am not sure what other proof you would like.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IduVdbx4q8M
 


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