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mbunamad

The benefits of garlic in fish food

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So garlic is added to some fish foods why?

According to what I have read it enhances the appetite of fish.

Why do fish need to be encouraged to eat more?

Is it to help them grow quicker?

Garlic: What has been Studied Versus What has been Claimed by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com

Edited by mbunamad

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Same reason humans buy garlic tablets - benefit to immune system and also some claimed benefits against intestinal worms (how true at the small level in food I don't know)

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Garlic is a potent anti fungal and bacterial.

Want to see it in action? Damage a clove one day and check out how it heals itself without getting an infection.

No mean feat.

Of course this is an ability of fresh juice.

Garlic seems to be tolerated by the most valuable gut flora and fauna. It may not kill all the nasties..... but plenty of them dont seem to enjoy it.

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I add raw bottled garlic to my home made goldfish mix (includes rice and green peas). The garlic does stimulate appetite which is important for fattening broodstock or maximising growout of juveniles.

Whilst researching this topic some months back I read that the garlic in the jars that we buy from the supermarkets (which is the type I think you are referring to) can be toxic as some contain phosphoric acid, preservatives and oils. The ingredients need to be JUST garlic and water. We eat a lot of whole raw garlic in our cooking at home and so I just break off a clove, finely chop it up and soak their food in it. ...they do seem to enjoy it.

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Garlic is a potent anti fungal and bacterial.

Want to see it in action? Damage a clove one day and check out how it heals itself without getting an infection.

No mean feat.

Of course this is an ability of fresh juice.

Garlic seems to be tolerated by the most valuable gut flora and fauna. It may not kill all the nasties..... but plenty of them dont seem to enjoy it.

There is no scientific evidence to support claims that garlic in the diet helps with preventing disease or healing in fish. There is some research into its properties in relation to lowering cholesterol/the metabolism of lipids in the body in humans when it is taken as part of the diet, unfortunately these studies, while promising, are still inconclusive. The reason for the lack of study in fish could well just be monetary, but either way the effects of garlic in the diet are still an unknown/unproven quantity.

While it future studies could well prove garlic to be highly benifical in helping keep fish healthy.... and it doesn't seem to do any harm in the meantime.

Now I desperately need to add to the comment made by Donny...

The structure and function of a plant bulb and its ability to create a barrier to infection when damaged does not automatically translate into the same ability to heal you because you eat it. Its like saying "because this tree sprouts 2 new branches when i cut one off, if I eat the plant and then cut off my own arm, two new ones will grow!" -those kind of claims are junk science. The complex interactions between the substances consumed and the body of the animal consuming it cannot be summised as simply as that.

What we do know that the healing ability of plants relate to their immune system - which are made up of proteins which are DIGESTED when eaten - meaning they are broken up into component parts (amino acids) and absorbed and utilised by our bodies. By eating a plant you don't suddenly absorb and take on the plant's exact immune system and become Plant-man, although that would be awesome... and if anyone wants try I would recommend making a cape out of corn husk :)

If you are talking about wiping garlic juice or peppermint oil etc directly on a wound on a fish, then yes there is antimicrobial properties... but this is NOT the same as being an "antibiotic" in the sense of if the fish ate it would have the same effect... and I think you would be better off using the more potent and fish-safe options we have available - example Iodine (Betadine)

I still love you Donny! :)

I'm interested in finding out if anyone has an success with garlic in their tanks treating chronically ill fish (without changing water parameters etc).

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@danfishy84

My link says from studies undertaken there is no conclusive evidence of garlic preventing diseases in fish.

The same is also often stated by anti-naturopathic groups. The fact is far more money has been spent on research into vitamins and supplements in humans than in fish. Garlic is well known to boost immune responce. Does that mean it treats diseases - no. It means it boosts the bodies natural ability to fight disease. Now this can not be a bad thing. If you don't believe in it don't use it - plenty of foods without it. Nothing "prevents disease in fish". Good diet, water changes and ideal conditions remove environmental stressors from the equation so substantially REDUCE the likelyhood of disease but nothing "prevents" it. If it did whoever invented it would be a trillionare and we'd all be using it. Ditto humans and every other species on the planet.

Edited by none

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A big part of the garlic bulbs ability to heal is the reaction of chemicals normally kept seperate. This chemical reaction is seperate to the plants immune system.

The practise of crushing a garlic clove and then squeezing it with some cheesecloth to drip juice onto dry fish food... then feeding food straight away.... is a trick I was shown by a very successful fancy goldfish keeper.

Sure, most their tricks are strict voodoo..... and perhaps believing it works is the most important part. Being able to do something is important for fish keeper moral during a sick pet crisis.

A theory I have heard is that garlic simulates an attack and hence results in increased immune system activity but not to the extent of causing an allergic reaction type response.

As an addition to the above.... its very hard to know whats internally wrong with fish..... without cutting them open. Then problems being you need to know what to look for AND they are tricky to put back together again.

This has made the "maybe works but prob wont make worse" options popular for aquarists. Things like peas, salts, tannic potions and garlic.... they can all be worth trying.... but with internal problems you are flying blind.

Antibiotics dont help constipation. Salt wont cure tumors. Garlic is outta its league against kidney failure.

When you cant ID the enemy.... it can be prudent to try the options with least harmful potential side effects first.

The other point is you can only test for things we have a test for. We dont know much about how garlic interacts with gut fauna/flora in humans let alone fish. Its hard to simulate/test.

Its healthy to be skeptical but I do take note of how successful fishkeepers approach challenges..... as they may just be onto something.

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I feed garlic to stimulate food intake. I know this works because of how many fish i keep. I stimulate food intake to maximise breeding on broodstock as oogenesis is proportionally affected by energy allocation, either income or captive uptake depending on fish soecies. Excess energy is allocated to reproduction. While you can manipulate energy uptake by diet, you can also manipulate by maximising intake of that diet. I also have pricing constraints as some of my goldfish are 45cm (3kg) each and i have a lot of them.

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[MENTION=11860]danfishy84[/MENTION] Your link is to a NLS forum and "RD" is a pro NLS man.

My link says from studies undertaken there is no conclusive evidence of garlic preventing diseases in fish.

Yes I know RD is a pro NLS man and that it's an NLS forum, the link states as such. And while your link does mention that there is no conclusive proof on preventing diseases in fish, the bulk of your post is worded around growth and appetite not disease.

So garlic is added to some fish foods why?

According to what I have read it enhances the appetite of fish.

Why do fish need to be encouraged to eat more?

Is it to help them grow quicker?

Garlic: What has been Studied Versus What has been Claimed by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com

If garlic can be used as a stimulant to help a fish keeper ensure their finicky fish is getting the correct level of nutrients, is that not a level of disease prevention right there? But yes I understand there is mostly anecdotal evidence to be found on disease combat and the use of allium sativum.

P.S If you walked into my fish room you would probably claim myself an NLS man too! :cool:

cheers,

Dan

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