Blue bacteria

Which food ingredients support the immunity of aquarium fish?

Prevention in fish is more effective than treatment. Well-nourished fish with strong natural immunity are more likely to cope with stress (transport from breeders to wholesale, store, customer’s home) and pathogens. In ready-made foods for ornamental fish, you can find many substances and raw materials whose components enhance the immune system, such as stabilized vitamin C, beta-glucan, unsaturated fatty acids, spirulina, Kelp algae, chlorella, probiotics, herbs, etc. If you want to support the natural immunity of aquarium fish, look for these ingredients in food formulas.

Stabilized Vitamin C

Stabilized vitamin C is a heat-resistant L-ascorbic acid 2-polyphosphate. Vitamin C reduces stress, stimulates the immune system, strengthens blood vessel walls and increases the rate of wound healing.

Unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs)

Unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), including long-chain Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids, accelerate tissue regeneration, including skin regeneration. They improve the function of the skin as a protective barrier and make building blocks for tissue hormones such as prostaglandins and reproductive cells. The fish can partially cover the need for Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids by themselves by producing them from simple NKT, which they receive with food. However, carnivorous and marine fish should be additionally supplied with ready Omega-3 acids, as their ability to synthesize them is poor.

Beta-1.3/1.6-Glucan

Beta-1,3/1,6-Glucan is a polysaccharide derived from yeast cell walls. It is a natural immune stimulator that directly affects macrophages by increasing their capacity for phagocytosis of alien cells and their own cancer cells. This ingredient is used as a booster to support the immunity of aquarium fish in a number of Tropical foods. The most versatile one that you can use to feed most aquarium fish is Supervit. This food is available in the form of flakes, mini flakes, granules, mini granules, chips and tablets so you are sure to find the right form for your fish.

Algae

Algae are exceptionally valuable components of aquarium fish foods. And Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) deserves special attention. It is valued for its very high protein content (62-68%), which is characterized by high digestibility (90%). In addition, spirulina protein contains most of the amino acids which are essential for fish. The cell walls of this alga are composed of mucopolysaccharides, which act as immunostimulants. There is 3 times more chlorophyll in spirulina cells than in plants. Chlorophyll reduces the number of putrefying bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Thanks to the high content of carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, foods with spirulina intensify the coloration of fish. In addition, they support the immunity of aquarium fish. With so many diverse substances, spirulina has also a vitalizing effect.

Popular additives to fish foods also include chlorella and Kelp algae. Chlorella is known for its high concentration of chlorophyll (7% dry weight) and significant protein content (45 – 57% dry weight), rich in essential amino acids. The health-promoting properties are attributed to Chlorella Growth Factor. This nutrient complex includes nucleic acids, proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Kelp algae, on the other hand, is a mixture of seaweeds belonging to the brown seaweeds. They are rich in minerals, including well-absorbed organic iodine compounds, unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins. Their addition benefits the metabolism and overall condition of the fish.

Herbs

They play an important role in the preparation of water and make a beneficial ingredients of both ready-made and home-made foods. In its aquarium fish foods Tropical uses: garlic, nettle, aloe vera, oak bark and Ketapang (Terminalia catappa).

dr inż. (Ph.D.Eng) Aleksandra Kwaśniak-Płacheta

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