My post is going to take a slight digression but I would be interested in folks thoughts on the subject. After I have to take a round of antibiotics I always begin taking probiotics to rebuild my deplete immune system. Several of the articles had some discussion of probiotics as a promising field of study for aquaculturing... not only gut bacteria but as Paul mentioned, kidneys, spleens, and skin. I noticed there is a developing, commercial aquaculture probiotic market but the only aquarium product I could find is carried by Drs. F&S and Amazon. Unfortunately, it seems to have been around since at least 2002 and most of the scholarly articles Paul referenced (and others I found) seem to have been written after 2012, so I am somewhat dubious of the product's effectiveness. That dubiousness leads me back to Paul's points about feeding foods (live or frozen) that contain live bacteria to build up depleted immune systems in newly purchased fish. All of this to say I'm still a little leary of giving up on QT'ing new fish (I may still come around, Paul, but are you sure frozen clams contain live bacteria?) but am thinking a 2-3 week QT focused on building up the immune system might be worth considering.
Lavoisier, this is just a theory of mine and I don't mean to advise to give up quarantining if that is what you do. I just assume that a long quarantine is dangerous in regards to losing immunity. I can't find out how long fish keep their natural immunity but I would imagine it differs with different types of fish and how long and under what conditions they were cared for at the dealers and shippers. I myself don't quarantine at all but I realize many people do. If I still did, I would do it for less than two weeks and I would do it with copper (If I was worried about parasites) After the fish are in great condition and spawning or at least making spawning gestures, I would totally give up quarantining. But thats just me and I know I keep my fish in great shape and immune by feeding live food "every" day along with the other foods I mentioned. This has worked for me for decades so I assume it would work for anyone. "But", if you already have a tank full of fully quarantined fish that have been fed dry foods for quite a while, I believe those fish have no immune system at all. If you read those articles you will know that fish (and us) depend on meeting with pathogens occasionally to keep up our immunity.
I think we are spending far to much time curing fish rather than keeping them healthy.
We go to doctors to get inoculated with weak organisms to keep up our immunity, why don't we do that with our fish?
I don't know how much live bacteria is in frozen clams but I know freezing doesn't kill most bacteria. That is why if the food thaws out, even in a sterile bag, it rots. Also even if the bacteria in a frozen clam is dead, I assume an immune response will still take place just as it does in us when we get shots. Just a thought as I am not the God of dead clams.
Live brine shrimp are not a good food and if you put Selcon on them, it will just wash off and be wasted. Clams are very good but don't put Selcon on them either. You can only put Selcon on dry food such as pellets or freeze dried which I don't recommend feeding
I think many in this hobby are thinking as we did in the 70s, but I feel we need to advance and progress a bit. We humans try to become immune by being inoculated with weak organisms and it works for us. We are immune from most things. Our ancestors were also immune from most things because they were exposed more to stale food, and dirt. Remember for the first 300,000 years we didn't bathe or wash anything including our food and we got along just fine except for that Saber tooth tiger thing.
Now that civilization here is relatively clean, our immune system is not as strong as it used to be. Even in the last 100 years we have lost some immunity. My own Mother lived to be 99 never being in a hospital or taking an aspirin. As a young girl, when she would get sick, her Mother would make her sleep in the stable with the horses because they thought the smell of horse poop would keep her free of disease. It seems to have worked.
Her brother, my Uncle, also lived into his 90s, never having seen a doctor or dentist (or paid taxes) in his life. Like never. And he was very strong and would have killed you if you looked at him wrong. Those were strong people with a strong immune system. He was even stabbed numerous times and cleaned it with a rag he cleaned eels with. Now that is an immune system. (he worked at the New York City docks and that was one of the toughest places on earth in the 1920s) If any or us did that, we would be dead. I don't advocate living like that, but it shows how our immune system can be if it is exposed to disease organisms and how us modern humans unfortunately lost most of that ability through our hygiene. Now we depend on doctors and medications to keep us healthy because our immune system is not allowed to do the job it was designed for. But we can keep our fish immune without feeling bad that they don't practice the proper hygiene. Their tank is not supposed to be squeaky clean. It may make us feel better but it is bad for the fish who were designed to live in an ocean that has everything in it including Amelia Hearts shoes and Columbus underwear.
I realize this thinking is backwards from the way we were brought up and I can't help that. I don't like thinking about re cycled Ideas that obviously don't work. I get a lot of flack from my ideas but I feel it is common sense.
I also was always taught to wash my hands before I eat and still do, but just because we were taught that doesn't mean it will help us stay immune from anything.
Doctors are now prescribing much less antibiotics for this very reason, so our own immune system can strengthen itself and help us in the future just as Supermodels sometimes do.