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Old 06-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #1 
Purple
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Do We Give Our Fish Too Much Chemicals/Gluten?

When you think about it, we use A LOT of chemicals in fish tanks. Some of the following you might not use, or you could use others.
  • stress coat
  • medicines
  • pH adjusters
  • dechlorinator (some of which contain even MORE chemicals for brighter colors, bigger fins, clearer water... anything you can think of)
  • ammonia remover
  • algacides
  • water clarifiers
  • bacteria boosters

Also, most foods have gluten in them. If you didn't know, gluten can cause fatigue, weight gain/loss, neurological conditions, bloat, infertility, anemia, diarrhea, constipation, and it is believed to be linked to many other problems. (Granted, these problems are usually only this bad when someone has gluten sensitivity, but it's bad for you either way.) That's what it does to humans, and I can imagine that it could be worse for a carnivorous fish 1/1,000th of our size. Many people (including myself) are switching to gluten-free diets. Should this extend to our fish?

These days, people are all about "all natural", "organic", "healthy", and "green". Do we neglect that with our fish? Is it "different" in your mind? Do you think that the fish industry should offer more healthy alternatives?
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:20 PM   #2 
megaredize
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thats why i dont use any of that but declorinator and my goldfish tank gets easy balance once a week after water change but thats it. water stays clear from filters. algae is fought with by hand lol which sucks
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:27 PM   #3 
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Yep..my algae remover is a scrubber attached to my hand
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:32 PM   #4 
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All I use in my tanks is water conditioner and tap water. I will dose fertilisers in my planted tanks but whatever the plants are not using is removed by my water changes.

Wheat is used in fish food generally to give the pellet shape/hold it together. In poor quality food it is unfortunately used as a filler along with other cheap ingredients. That is why it is so important to choose a high-quality food.

I used to have my splendens strictly on a frozen/live diet and they never looked as healthy as they do now I have them almost solely on pellets. Unless you can provide the varied diet (sort of like how the raw diet with dog needs correct ratios of things like organs and bones) they would get in the wild, I do believe they can suffer deficiencies as a lot of frozen and even live (brine shrimp springs to mind) foods are nutritionally poor.

In the wild most bettas would be very lucky to see beyond a couple of years. Obviously all those chemicals and gluten are not doing them too badly if their life expectancy can be higher than 4-5 years in captivity.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:44 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
In the wild most bettas would be very lucky to see beyond a couple of years. Obviously all those chemicals and gluten are not doing them too badly if their life expectancy can be higher than 4-5 years in captivity.
Following that argument, cavemen had shorter lives than we do today, but chemicals are still causing cancer and Alzheimer's among other things, and gluten is causing many people to have a dramatically worse quality of life.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:13 PM   #6 
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That's the problem though. If you are going to go 'all-natural' shouldn't you do things like have seasonal drought and flood periods, introduce the threat of predation by bigger fish and other animals, and let only those who prove themselves fittest and most dominant to survive?

What is a natural diet for this wholly artificial species of fish? Betta splendens as we know them as so far removed from what their wild ancestors are that their needs are hardly the same. We have a fish that was completely manufactured by humans and that has been surviving and seemingly thriving on diets chock full of wheat and crummy by-products for generations now. Attison's Betta Pro which was I believe created by a betta breeder and highly commended on here is actually less than ideal when one looks at the ingredient content, yet it is capable of sustaining healthy bettas for years on end.

I generally feel it is the over-use and misuse of antibiotics by large wholesalers and suppliers that causes more harm than the presence of wheat in food. Continued use of antibiotics can create resistant strains of disease and can certainly weaken the constitution of these fish. I don't understand the idea of medicating as a preventative, and I am often loath to chuck antibiotics at any fish without at least a plausible diagnosis.

There are worse things that happen to bettas unfortunately, and unless an independent scientific study shows small amounts of wheat in betta food can cause serious health problems I wouldn't sweat it too much.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:46 PM   #7 
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Ok, odd question, but I believe that many wild betta's natural habitat is the paddy field, yes? I know rice is different than wheat, but it's still a plant. Since the bugs that are a natural part of the betta's diet may eat those rice plants/grain, and since betta are not known for carefully removing the stomach content of their prey, then we must imagine that wilds betta are ingesting at least a tiny bit of grain in their lives. Probably not anywhere near the amount in many commercial foods, but still a bit.

Also, lets not forget that unless that rice is being raised in an "organic" fashion, then the farmers are likely using all manner of fertilizer, pesticide, and heaven knows what else on their fields. Granted, I would guess many of these practices started happening after the betta splendens was already being hybridized into our domestic fish, but even before that time I can't imagine that life in a paddy field would be considered easy or safe.

JMHO
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:02 PM   #8 
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I just brought my first betta home yesterday, and am learning so much! I went wheat and grain free myself almost 3 months ago, for a lot of reasons, and I have never felt better in my life! When I went shopping for food for my betta I noticed wheat as the first ingredient in it! Of course, my wheat free self balked at the idea of a fish eating wheat, but being so new to this creature, I'm willing to trust those with more experience. I still would love to eliminate the wheat though!
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:03 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyjoe View Post
Ok, odd question, but I believe that many wild betta's natural habitat is the paddy field, yes? I know rice is different than wheat, but it's still a plant. Since the bugs that are a natural part of the betta's diet may eat those rice plants/grain, and since betta are not known for carefully removing the stomach content of their prey, then we must imagine that wilds betta are ingesting at least a tiny bit of grain in their lives. Probably not anywhere near the amount in many commercial foods, but still a bit.
There is a thing called bio-availability. Pre-digested plant matter from the guts of prey has already been "processed" and won't have the same issues as whole plant matter. This is the same as in the whole prey model for raw feeding cats and dogs. The gut contents is already processed, making it easy for the predator to actually make use of it, whereas if you just tossed a whole ear of corn down, neither dogs nor cats (or humans!) can actually digest it, making it nutritionally bankrupt.

It's a silly comparison because you are not comparing whole foods to whole foods, but pre-digested, MINUTE, quantities of processed food to whole food. It is not remotely the same.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:22 PM   #10 
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There is a thing called bio-availability. Pre-digested plant matter from the guts of prey has already been "processed" and won't have the same issues as whole plant matter. This is the same as in the whole prey model for raw feeding cats and dogs. The gut contents is already processed, making it easy for the predator to actually make use of it, whereas if you just tossed a whole ear of corn down, neither dogs nor cats (or humans!) can actually digest it, making it nutritionally bankrupt.

It's a silly comparison because you are not comparing whole foods to whole foods, but pre-digested, MINUTE, quantities of processed food to whole food. It is not remotely the same.
Um, ok, sorry my logic is so faulty and "silly"; I'm not a biologist or other type of scientist, just a simple pet lover. I would delete my post if I could.
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