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Are we harming our fish by regularly feeding foods which contain garlic?


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  • Regular Member

I've got a marine tank which has been running for around 6 months, and over that time I've read multiple times that feeding garlic regularly is damaging to marine fish.

The argument is that terrestrial plant lipids apparently cause heart and liver lesions in marine fish. According to what I've read, marine fish do not possess the enzymes needed to break down these lipids, which results in fatty deposits around organs such as the heart and liver.

Below are just a number of potential sources that have been provided on other forums (I haven't checked them yet, it's 1am and I'm about to go to sleep), but I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on this? Are we harming our goldfish by regularly feeding them foods which contain garlic, such as NLS Thera A, which I feed as a staple?

AH, Sargent JR, Thompson KD 1993

Terrestrial and fish oils affect phospholipid fatty acid composition, development of cardiac lesions, phospholipase activity and eicosanoid production in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 49(3):665-73

AH, Park MT, Sargent JR.1991.

High dietary linoleic acid affects the fatty acid compositions of individual phospholipids from tissues of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar): association with stress susceptibility and cardiac lesion.

J Nutr. 121(8):1163-72

J. Gordon Bell2, John McEvoy3, Douglas R. Tocher, Fiona McGhee, Patrick J. Campbell* and John R. Sargent 2004

Replacement of Fish Oil with Rapeseed Oil in Diets of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Affects Tissue Lipid Compositions and Hepatocyte Fatty Acid Metabolism

The American Society for Nutritional Sciences

J.G. Bell1, D.R. Tocher1, B.M. Farndale1, A.H. McVicar2 and J.R. Sargent1 1999

Effects of essential fatty acid-deficient diets on growth, mortality, tissue histopathology and fatty acid compositions in juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)

Journal Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 1573-5168 Volume 20, Number 3 p263-277

SL Seierstad, TT Poppe, EO Koppang, A Svindland, G 2005

Influence of dietary lipid composition on cardiac pathology in farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L

Journal of Fish Diseases.

Thanks for your input!

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  • Regular Member

Hi Lis,

The amount of lipids derived from the garlic is minimal.

Take a look at the nutritional profile of garlic, and how much fatty acid is in a cup.


I don't think that this is really a concern, but if you are concerned, change foods.

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Reading material! Yay!

I don't have a strong opinion from observations in my own tank, but it's an interesting topic to read over. Let me see what Sharon linked before I pontificate.

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Thanks again Alex and Sharon, I read through all of the information you provided, and I feel much more at ease with feeding the Thera A, thanks for your input! :)

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There's no way I'm reading all that but I am sure if dnalex and shakaho agree, the info is going to be correct!

Lol that's what I thought too lol
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