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Are There Any Dangers With Feeding Frozen Foods?


Guest Elise

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I was just wondering after reading this- Amber wrote a really interesting post on the dangers of live foods, and mentioned briefly that the process of freezing is said to kill anything harmful, unless you had a really bad batch to start with.

At the moment I only feed Hikari Lionhead for protein, and vegetables/fruit. I stopped feeding bloodworms after one of my fantails grew white spots on his side and passed away. I am sure it was caused by bad water quality, although I'm not sure what he actually died of. I cut it out of Ponyo's diet all the same, after reading about the dangers of live food... Just to be safe. :unsure:

What do you guys think?

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Hello Elise,

Was the bloodworms frozen or live? Live bloodworms are fine if the source is free of fish (which often serve as hosts for many parasites that inflict damage on them) otherwise disregard that and anything else live at all. Only where there is fish involved, is there danger of parasites being transferred which prove fatal to your fish.

I can make two theories for you regarding that past issue.

1. Coincidence. Your fish got white spots just as you fed them with live bloodworms (assuming from fish-free source). They'll get those parasites from unquarantined tank mates and often hit explosively when your fish becomes severely stressed by water quality issues, temperature fluctuations and many other stress related factors.

2. Live bloodworms may be infested with the parasites prior if already exposed to presence of fish possibly infected with those parasites.

Both freeze dried and frozen foods are far safer than live. You can try shrimps, chopped earthworms, frozen daphnia, brine shrimps and even gel foods. Just make sure your sources are free from parasites, pesticides, etc.

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Hey Lupin :) They were frozen cubes of bloodworms I fed, but I can't vouch for the source. I just bought them from a pet store in the frozen foods section. That was good information about fish being the cause. So if you buy frozen foods under a brand name it should be safe, right? Surely they would be raising their stock in sterile conditions.

I bought both Ponyo and Sosuke, my fish who passed away, from some local markets. :doh11: It's very possible that they had parasites before I bought them and my blunders were what made things so much worse. I've had Ponyo for four months now and everything is going great (the water is perfect and she is growing now! ^_^), but could she still be a host for parasites? She never developed the same spots and was not affected by the water like Sosuke was.

I was never certain if it was parasites or some infection that killed Sosuke. He was normal when I first got him, and very gradually got lethargic. It was so gradual it was hard to notice, and he ate like normal until one day he began bottom-sitting occassionally. It got more frequent until he was hiding all the time and once he began lying on his side and wouldn't eat it was nearly hopeless. The water quailty was stable by then, but it was too late. I wish I had found this forum before then. I was on another, but I was only recommended salt and nobody could seem to identify what Sosuke had or how to medicate him. Does this sound like parasites? Is it possible that Ponyo would have them too right now, and if so, how could I go about fixing this? Thank you in advance for your input!

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Were you really battling ich (also called white spot disease)? Completing a salt treatment 10 days AFTER the last spot was spotted will guarantee total elimination of the parasites especially if you don't cut it short enough to allow surviving parasites to maintain low profile and strike again.

If Ponyo had come in contact with Sosuke at all, then he will carry those parasites. How did you operate the salt treatment? Assuming he is a carrier, then we have to use salt at a dosage of 0.3% or three teaspoons per gallon.Add a teaspoon per gallon every 12 hours.

If Ponyo came in contact with an unsterilized tank/decors, then he will also carry them although if the tank remained fishless for at least a week or two while temperature is high, then chances are good the ich never survive enough to infect a new tank occupant.

Edit: The bloodworms weren't the issue.

Edited by Lupin
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Hey Lupin, thanks for the fast reply.

Nah, they weren't the granule sort of spots. They were larger, round spots. The symptoms were more like fungus. The spots weren't cottony like columnaris. Could Ponyo still be affected by this- (assuming it is fungus) can a fish have fungus and not display any symptoms? There are no longer any ornaments or anything in there from the pre-existing setup, but there is the old filter and the tank itself.

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Columnaris isn't cottony. It's the fungus but fungus is very rare, rarer than columnaris. Interesting though. At this point, we can't do any treatment, not without risking Ponyo unnecessarily and recklessly. Just keep close watch for any distress.

Fungal infections are secondary to parasitic infection as the fungus establishes itself on untreated open wounds rather than actually a disease that appears simply because of failing immunity.

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I think the only dangers with frozen foods are to your wallet! :rofl (they can be expensive!)

But on a more serious note, you should try to buy ones that say on the packaging that they have been sterilized to ensure they are free of parasites or bacteria. Hikari brand normally says this on all their packaging. Some bacteria and parasite eggs are incredibly resistant to harsh conditions like freezing, so I wouldn't assume it's safe only because it's been frozen. :)

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That makes sense about the fungus. However it says on this information page that fungus is quite common and can be contracted by a 'sudden change of temperature, unhygenic tank conditions or poor water quality' (point 3). Does this mean the likelihood is only increased by such conditions, but there must be a disease outbreak beforehand?

Also, columnaris is here described as a 'cottony growth', which is where I got my information from. Comparing pictures of fish with columnaris from Google images with what I remember, they don't look quite the same. Those fish seem to have puffy growths where Sosuke's were only small spots (though not small like Ich spots). I'm still quite confused about how bacterial infections and fungus are contracted- does there always need to be a parasitic infection present?

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Ooh, thanks Sakura! That's great info. I'm going to buy some once I come into some money (you're right they CAN be expensive!) and make sure they say that. I don't think my bloodworms did. Maybe it was a dud brand.

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That's my impression, Elise. They aren't however the causes themselves. There has to be another factor already being the cause and those simply aggravate to the situation.

And that's exactly the trouble with columnaris and fungus. They remain confusing but I can tell you columnaris is far commoner and more dangerous than fungus. That's what makes it more dangerous, being common. And having white blotches around the lips, fins and flanks aren't the only symptoms found aside from listlessness and gasping for air. It can be distinguished by sores or even redness of the mouth area.

Columnaris also associates itself as secondary infection moreso after a parasitic infestation. I found one abstract regarding bacteria being symbiotic to ich. One of them is Flavobacterium columnare. That confirmed theory that bacterial infections appear more often when the parasites were able to damage the fish leaving the blood vessels and skin tissue open to infiltration by the bacteria.

If the puffy spots somehow look like threads trailing than cotton, then that's columnaris right there. With columnaris, antibiotics are required to treat. Adding salt is an option. Salt prevents columnaris from latching quickly on the wound.

Does this help?

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Aha! I finally found the picture I used in an attempt to diagnose Sosuke.

sosukesspots.jpg

Beautiful, wasn't he. I can never forgive myself for what I did to him. There's nothing to do now but to make sure Ponyo isn't in danger either :(

That was very helpful, thank you! I really appreciate you walking me through all this. It's very new and confusing for me so you've been a great help. What do you think, looking at the picture? Those spots aren't very obvious in the picture, but they were quite obvious in person. I remember his symptoms very well- I watched him very carefully while it was happening, but wasn't smart enough with my research to figure out what to do. He didn't have any unusual sores or redness, he never flashed, but was very listless and as I mentioned before, bottom-sat often whenever he was alone. He didn't gasp for air, either. White spots, listlessness (and perhaps a gradual fading of colour, I thought because he was very, very ill) seemed to have been his only symptoms. He began laying on his side at some point, completely without control and struggling to swim even a little bit, and amazingly held on like that for some two weeks before dying. It was a horrible, slow death. He was obviously suffering from something that needed urgent medication.

I don't think the spots look like threads trailing, but maybe they just never got to that stage? His right nare that I've got arrowed there was actually quite affected, although you can't tell with the angle. There was a proper white growth on it.

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Not since my old computer died :(

All I can tell you is that it is not fungal infection at all. I wouldn't worry for now about your other fish. Just do your normal routine of feeding, water changes. Doing everything right will minimize risks of infections. Not all fish have the same level of immunity. Remember that. Some may be prone but some are able to resist them easily. It's similar to furry pets and humans. We have different levels of immunity against particular health issues. Fish certainly are no different despite a few exceptions to the rules.

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The only problem I had was when I bought some glass worms from a store that didn't care too much about their products. Apparently they unplugged the freezer one night, for who know what reason, and didn't plug it back in until the morning. This was during August when it was the hottest here. And then continued to sell their thawed out and refrozen foods. Apparently the one I had bought rotted a bit and caused death to two of my bettas. Needless to say, I won't be shopping there anymore.

And an employee told me this story when I was looking on at the sad goldies they had. He laughed and said they were feeding them the spoiled frozen foods.

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The only problem I had was when I bought some glass worms from a store that didn't care too much about their products. Apparently they unplugged the freezer one night, for who know what reason, and didn't plug it back in until the morning. This was during August when it was the hottest here. And then continued to sell their thawed out and refrozen foods. Apparently the one I had bought rotted a bit and caused death to two of my bettas. Needless to say, I won't be shopping there anymore.

And an employee told me this story when I was looking on at the sad goldies they had. He laughed and said they were feeding them the spoiled frozen foods.

Wow, what idiots.:(

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All I can tell you is that it is not fungal infection at all. I wouldn't worry for now about your other fish. Just do your normal routine of feeding, water changes. Doing everything right will minimize risks of infections. Not all fish have the same level of immunity. Remember that. Some may be prone but some are able to resist them easily. It's similar to furry pets and humans. We have different levels of immunity against particular health issues. Fish certainly are no different despite a few exceptions to the rules.

Thanks Lupin for all your help. I will do that!

Ashlee, I'm so sorry about your bettas. That makes me so sad. I will never understand how some can be so blatantly callous, and have no respect for life.

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