Aquarium Probiotics and their Benefits
Are Probiotics Good For Your Fish’s Gut And Digestion?
Do you want to learn about how aquarium probiotics can help your fish? Then you are in the right place, so let's get started.
Because of my background in the environmental industry, the word bacteria doesn’t scare me but the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when hearing bacteria is, “Gross!” There are certainly harmful bacteria that make you sick, but the good news is that not all bacteria are bad. Inside every gut, there is a balance between harmful and beneficial bacteria. In fact, without the good bacteria, there would not be life as we know it today. They are essential for our survival. Probiotics are an integral part of healthy digestion for fish and humans alike. It helps significantly with metabolism and digestion, doing it all 100% organically and naturally — no need for fancy modified chemicals. This is a natural, simple solution to make sure your fish are healthy and as comfortable as they can be. These probiotics are live micro-organisms, bacteria, and sometimes yeast. The base of how probiotics work is the modification of the fish's gastrointestinal microflora. It all comes down to the following: the probiotic will change the fish's gut content by modifying the micro bacteria in the intestines, in a healthy way. Also, when illness strikes the body, commonly used antibiotics do not discriminate between the good and bad bacteria and will wipe out both equally in the gastrointestinal system. Probiotics can rehabilitate and recolonize the gut with good bacteria more quickly after using antibiotics as a treatment, leading to faster recovery
Probiotics for Aquariums Removes Toxins And Keeps Your Aquarium Clean.
Think about how small fish tanks are compared to lakes and oceans, even ponds. Tiny right? Natural biological waste products can build up fairly quickly in the tank. This waste, of course, comes from the fish's feces as well as decomposing plants and leftover food after feeding that slowly breaks down. This feces mainly contains a pretty high amount of ammonia, which, as you might know, is very poisonous in large amounts even for humans. This scenario where the ammonia levels spike up unexpectedly is especially common with newer tanks. Even though several fish species can tolerate high levels of environmental ammonia, meaning natural ammonia, it is always safest not to let the level go any higher it should be. Some of these biological wastes are strong enough to kill the livestock of your aquariums quickly but silently. No need to worry, though, you can control the levels quickly. As you know from our previous articles, you should always change your water regularly, I like changing 10% of the water weekly. In addition to the water change, probiotics can help with this problem as well. But how do the feces affect the water? Well, let me tell you. The micro-organisms living in the fish's gut are the same as those in the water they live in and in the food they eat. This is one of the primary reasons why I recommend starting to give probiotics to advance your fish's all-round health. Through the micro-bacterial activities, probiotics can modify toxins into less toxic waste or even neutralize them completely by absorbing the toxins into their bodies. That's right! Probiotics are purely magic. They will help your fish feel better, and keep your water clean.
Aquarium Probiotics Prevent The Disaster Before It Even Happens.
As I always say, it is safer to remove the bullets from the gun than to shoot into a bulletproof vest. Well, the same goes for the immune system. This is the point where probiotics for fish come in handy. They are very well known for preventing diseases before they even take over in the body. When consuming probiotics, fish will absorb their vitamins and minerals easier and in larger quantities than average. By having more nutrients, the body is more capable of fighting against harmful bacteria and does not let them overpower the good ones, which is when fish would get sick. Instead of using antibiotics as a treatment when the sickness is already there, it is much safer and cost-effective in all ways to use probiotics regularly to help prevent it. By reducing the use of antibiotics, will also help scale down the amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As if that is not enough, it has also been proven that the use of probiotics can also be a natural and effective supplement to vaccines as well as have some anti-inflammation properties. Money well spent, am I right?
Probiotics Improve Growth And Development Of Fishes.
While I was doing my research on this topic, I found out that, for example, Lactobacillus Plantarum and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus significantly improves the growth of fish if used consistently. This is why a lot of aquaculture industries all around the world lean on probiotics as well in the hope of bigger, healthier broods and more fish every year. The good bacteria in the gut are there to help break down the nutrients the fish are consuming. Allow me to explain: When they consume the probiotics, it helps fish to absorb more nutrients, improving their feed utilization efficiency, as well as to digest them better and faster compared to the standard, everyday food they already eat. I would say the probiotics give the good bacteria a more significant battalion to prepare for the task. Studies especially noticed this with the improvement of protein efficiency ratio. The fishes body optimized protein usage for more significant growth results. Protein happens to be the most valuable nutrient for growth promotion, so including aquarium probiotics into the mix is an excellent way of saving some bucks as well as medical expenses. This means the everyday food you feed your fish all of a sudden turns into a superfood — no need to feed your fish more than usual. By absorbing more nutrients, it makes any species grow faster and become healthier. It's pretty obvious once you think about it.
Probiotics Boost The Immune System Of Fish In Your Aquarium.
Personally, one of the biggest reasons why I started giving probiotics to my fish is the fact that it boosts their immune system significantly, merely because nutrients from the given food absorb easier and faster. There are thousands of different good bacteria living in a fish’s guts, so choosing the right aquarium probiotics complex specially designed for your fish’s needs is essential. Think about it this way; depending on the probiotics used, you can either target a specific part of the immune system if you know there might be a risk for something or improve it all around for the maximum benefit. By introducing probiotics to diets, studies have effectively shown how different species can fight off diseases with more probability of survival than without probiotics. It turns out, with fewer diseases to treat, the survival rate of marine life gets a boost as well. During my research, I also found that probiotics for fish help to tackle stressful situations like shipping, moving and general handling. This was the case especially with a study done with shrimps. Stress has its obvious health issues, but among those, stress is actually disrupting the microbiome and decreases the number of good bacteria while the harmful bacteria is shooting through the roof in the gastrointestinal tract. In the same study, they also found aquarium probiotics for fish improved the effects of the vaccines given, giving a more prolonged and much stronger result. Imagine not having to worry so much about sick fish any longer.
Final Thoughts - Ready to try probiotics?
There we have it — a brief intro to the benefits of probiotics for fish. There are multiple studies backing up the data you can read furthermore about these topics if you are not convinced yet, but trust me they will all root for the probiotics as well. What is there not to love? A better immune system, improved water quality, and more healthy and active fish. All this safely and organically. Now that you have learned the probiotics for fish 101 course, why not give it a go for your fish as well? After all, it is not as complicated as it might sound. All you need is to add one drop to your fish food before feeding. That's easy!
What is your experience with probiotics? Are you just now considering them or already adding aquarium probiotics to your fish food. Head on over to our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts! As always, Happy Reefing!