Halamid® and probiotics

Many fish and shrimp farmers that are interested in using Halamid®, for protection of their valuable crop, ask us how this will interfere with the probiotics they use, directly dosed into a pond/tank or sometimes via the feed.

The treatment of water with Halamid® is additional to normal biosecurity measures including disinfection of tanks, eggs, ponds, tools and the pre-treatment of incoming water, places where Halamid® is already being used. Good biosecurity is the main track to avoid diseases. Use of probiotics and Halamid® is a good additional measure to protect the crop from diseases and improve growth.
When used properly, Halamid® and probiotics have limited interference and only at specific instances.

Probiotics are often (but not only) spore forming bacillus spp. Bacillus spores are very resistant against heat, light or chemicals and thus can easily withstand storage and/or blending with feed. As soon as the conditions are viable these spores shed of their coat and transform into their living ‘vegetative’ state in which they produce enzymes and show other activities (competitive exclusion) which give them their beneficial effect on fish and shrimp health and water quality. In their vegetative state, bacillus is sensitive to chemicals.
Probiotics are designed to act in the gastrointestinal tract (hence the idea to mix them in with feed) and on the waste sediment on the pond bottom/tank. When (encapsulated) probiotics are mixed into the feed, they will remain spores, until they are eaten and will only germinate in the gastrointestinal tract, otherwise they will germinate in the water, on the pond/tank bottom. Any waste sediment there is made up of faeces, waste feed and algal particles and is a harbor for a.o. potentially pathogenic vibrio and other harmful bacteria.

Halamid® is a unique FDA approved aquatic product that shows a low toxicity towards aquatic animals, much lower than ordinary chemicals used in aquaculture operations such as peroxygens and chlorine. It dissolves quickly and completely. In the water and on the outside of the animal it will kill pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses. Its use in finfish for this purpose is known for decades.
Arno Schut, Technical Manager of Axcentive comments on this: “Halamid® acts on the pond water and consequently also on the outside of the animal, whereas probiotics act on the inside and the pond bottom. In this sense the two product are fully complementary!”

To keep bacteria levels under control while profiting from both health control strategies, we suggest using Halamid® with a certain interval. Add Halamid® to the pond/tank water, one day before stocking (where no probiotics are being used yet) and subsequently add Halamid® to the pond/tank for example every 14 days. Avoid giving probiotics during that day (unless it is incorporated into the feed). This way, the probiotic effect is least interrupted, whereas Halamid® can act directly on reducing bacteria levels.