Probiotics food has EVOLVED!

Discussion in 'Larry's Frenzy Foods' started by ReefFrenzy, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. ReefFrenzy

    ReefFrenzy Plankton

    What is a probiotic?

    "A live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host animal by improving its intestinal balance." (Fuller R. [A review: probiotics in man and animals. J Appl Bacteriol.] 1989;66:365–378)

    Fish have different strains of bacteria in their gut known as "flora." These beneficial bacteria help with many tasks including but not limited to:

    -Increased absorption of nutrients and aiding digestion
    -Enhanced immune response of the animal
    -Competition with harmful micro-organisms for nutrients and energy
    -Producing compounds which inhibit pathogens

    Unfortunately, due to the stresses of collection, transportation, shipping and medication these bacteria can be diminished. Compound this with the stresses of adding a newly purchased fish to your display or QT tank and one can see why sometimes our new arrivals may refuse to eat.

    In 2012 I began to research what has been done in aquaculture for the raising of the fishes we eat and found that probiotics verses ANTI-biotics have made great advances over the past decade. There is BIG money invested with many studies being conducted since aquaculture of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and algal plants is one of the fastest-growing food-producing sectors, having grown at an annual rate of almost 10% from 1984 to 1995! Compare that with 3% for livestock meat and 1.6% for capture fisheries production. I spent many hours pouring through data and conversing with biologists about how to best bring some of these benefits to the ornamental fish hobby. Everything from suggested dosages, delivery methods, purity, storage and handling was explored.

    In December 2012 Tropical Fish Magazine published an article showing the benefits of probiotics when used for rearing fish larvae. They found that β€œThe fish drank the probiotic through their gills, and it landed in their gastrointestinal tract, preventing bad bacteria from taking over and promoting growth, including advancing the development of bone, vertebrae, and gonads.” (TFH Magazine, December 2012)

    Advanced Aquarist also published the results of another study:

    A simple google search can locate plenty of studies found which demonstrate benefits of probiotic bacteria:
    -Effect of dietary probiotics on clownfish: A molecular approach to define how lactic acid bacteria modulate development in a marine fish. - Published February 2010
    -Probiotic Bacteria as Biological Control Agents in Aquaculture – Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
    -Probiotics in Aquaculture- Journal of Fish Diseases 2002

    So how does this work in a frozen food?

    When we began to explore the options of adding live or "active" cultures to our foods we researched the dosages used in studies and began to mix small batches of Reef Frenzy with Lactobacillus bacteria added. Our foods already have a reputation of coaxing finicky eaters to feed so if we could find a way to bolster their gut levels of beneficial bacteria it could prove to be HUGE. It is accepted as fact that bacteria goes dormant in a freezer and when brought back above freezing it will "re-activate" for lack of a better term. Heat is a much more suitable method to kill bacteria, hence the reason we boil water and cook our foods. In order to simulate the process of making, storing and shipping our foods to the end user we conducted many tests.

    We made a batch of food samples and selected random packs to be sent to the lab. However, these samples were stored in our freezer at -30 degrees for 30 days, then shipped with dry ice to the lab. The samples were thawed at room temperature for ten minutes and then tested. This would simulate the typical turnover of our products being shipped to the LFS and then purchased by the end user within that same month. The lab results were amazing and showed over 2.6 and 4 MILLION ACTIVE CULTURES in the foods, even after a month in a deep freeze.

    These lab results have been posted to our website ever since August of 2013:

    In the meantime the stores and hobbyists who had been evaluating the samples had nothing but 100% positive feedback. I had several fish stores (I'm happy to provide references) who claimed their fish losses with new arrivals DECREASED when they started feeding the probiotic Reef Frenzy to all incoming fish. To date I have been feeding my personal tanks this food on a daily basis since early 2013 and I have observed no deleterious effects at all.

    What does this mean for the industry?

    Well, I can tell you that many folks are scratching their heads wondering how the "little guy" in North Carolina brought this concept to a frozen food before any other food maker thought of it. I would suspect that after MACNA you will see other food makers coming out with probiotics in a frozen food. We are not resting on our heels and in fact have some new revelations to talk about in Denver! We are already starting to be recognized as the "high end" aquarium food for discriminating hobbyists and our newly updated TESTIMONIAL PAGE has some impressive folks on it. When you start shipping food to folks like Bill Wann (who has a 22,000 home reef), Andrew Sandler (who is building a 14,000 reef tank and is June's TOTM on RC, and Ted Krupman (Owns probably the most exotic collection of rare angels under one roof) people tend to take notice really fast.

    This page is worth a peek:

    How do we know any of this really works?

    Well, we have not found anything stating that boosting beneficial bacteria counts doesn't work, so I can only base my theories on the studies that have been done prior. I feel that any method which can increase the nutritional benefit of a food to enhance success in the hobby is worth pursuing. If we can help newly purchased fish acclimate faster AND SURVIVE, this may be a factor which helps ease the pain and reduce financial losses a new saltwater enthusiast often faces when they begin stocking their tank. If more fish begin eating faster, get their immunity up, and fight off pathogens the the hobby overall can benefit because folks may stay in it longer and not get so easily discouraged.

    Our foods are on the cutting edge and are currently being used in various aquaculture programs, including this P. venusta breeding project outlined in the Rising Tide Conservation Project blog.


    I can tell you folks that shipping frozen food to Hawaii is very costly and for LRS to be sought out is quite humbling.

    We are honored to be a part of her study and continue to support efforts to increase captive bred success by providing our foods when requested.

    Thanks for following along.


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