live food and disease
Has anyone had experience (or suspected experience) with feeding possibly diseased live food to your fish? Just wondering because of a conversation with someone who suspects that contaminated live black worms may have given his fish dropsy.
For sure it happens. What I wonder is if frozen or dehydrated are safer as far as containing or not containing diseases. My guess is they are. Especially the dehydrated like tubi-fex worms.
I found this and copy/pasted for ya.
Frozen Fish Food
Frozen fish foods are great for getting high quality, fresh food to your fish. These foods are usually high in proteins and fats so check the label to see exactly what you're giving your fish. Manufacturers are making frozen varieties of the many tropical fish food types, including brine shrimp, beef heart, bloodworms, daphnia, krill, plankton, silversides, etc. You can sometimes get the frozen fish food in cube packs that really makes it easy to dispense.
Using frozen fish food can be messy, to cut down on the amount of pollution added to your tank you may want to thaw the frozen food in a bowl and then slowly spoon feed it to your tank. Only put in as much food as your fish will eat as soon as it touches the water.
Feeding your fish high quality, frozen foods will really do wonders for them. You may start to notice that your fish have improved colors and they may even start breeding.
Freeze Dried Fish Food
Freeze dried fish foods are great foods as well. However, they are one of the most expensive types of tropical fish foods per ounce. There are benefits to using freeze dried foods. They are not very messy, they tend to float at the top of the tank for a very long period of time and they have been decontaminated (free from fish disease) by the manufacturer before the freeze drying process. If you've used freeze dried fish food you know how fish go after them. Freeze dried food is a very good way to supplement your pet's diet.
Live Fish Food
Live tropical fish food is exactly what you think it is. The food is still alive when you introduce it to the tank. Brine shrimp, Daphnia, Feeder Goldfish and worms are usually the main live foods given to tropical fish. Many give feeder Goldfish to their Piranhas and Lionfish. If you plan on using live foods, caution is advised because feeder fish can bring fish disease along with them.
Earth worms can be a great supplement for your fish but don't feed them to your fish too frequently. Finding earth worms can be fairly easy but make sure you don't collect them from soil that may have contaminants such as lawn fertilizer.
Don't ask me how, but I have heard multiple statements about freeze-dried foods containing parasites as well. Personally, I like using Hikari Bio-Pure frozen foods, because the sterilising process is pretty thorough.
As for live foods, I think that with modern technology parasites don't pop up in them as often as they used to, but I would still be wary of Tubifex, which is still collected from sewer outflows in Mexico.
Not to detract from lovely Stephanie's post but, that last part about Tubifex worms is totally gross. Thanks for the tip. I won't be buying them. Ever...
I would be skeptical. They definitely will carry microorganism, like just about anything does. But stuff like daphnia, brine shrimp, worms, ect. and the smaller things like vinegar eels, microworms, grindal worms, rotifers, paramecium, ect. These are all safe IMO. If you have a healthy culture going, then you should not have any issues.
BTW I didn't say tubiflex/blackworms which are the same, because personally I don't trust them. They have never been fed to my fish live or dead and I don't intend too. They are not clean food. They are well known for living in polluted, dirty, and just unhealthy conditions. Tubifex. Food for fish. I've came across a report somewhere of them living in large numbers in sewers. Its just not something I ever want to keep or feed to my fish. Besides from what it sounds like their are tons of better, cleaner, nicer smelling live foods to culture. Wingless fruit flys, white worms, glass worms(mosquito larvae), daphnia, brine shrimp, ect, ect....
Are you saying black worms and tubifix worms are one and the same??
Edit: I just read this on google: "black worms are a variety of tubifex worm. Where they were once collected from sewage outlets, they are now bread in captive cultures."
It would make sense to me that if you got your worms from a reliable source (clean cultures) they'd be free of parasites. Still not sure I'd trust it. I wonder how hard it would be to do your own black worm culture?
The thing is you can culture them, but they can still do great in bad conditions. Where as if a daphnia, glass worm, white worm, ect culture goes bad its either clearly moldy or all the live food is dead. With a tubifix culture you run the risk of having a bad but still alive and growing culture. Basically it can easily be contaminated with bacteria they may or may not be harmful....
Captiive cultures can vary a lot. Some way be raising nice clean tubifex. While like my link pointed out others may be raised on waste from fish farms. This still puts them at risk for harboring fish diseases.
One of my LFS's has their own blackworm breeding operation going on, and I buy from them. I haven't had any problems so far. The fish go absolutely nuts for them.
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