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FISH HEALTH NOTES – Biofilms have value but need watchful eye

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SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV – Anyone who runs a fish facility needs to deal with biofilms.  So, it was especially fitting that one of the most interesting sessions at the 2014 Eastern Fish Health Workshop, held here April 28-May 2, was devoted to this important topic.

SH-GetchellBiofilms are groups of microorganisms that stick to each other and colonize just about every nook and cranny of tanks, raceways, filters, and equipment.  They form on living surfaces as well, including the fish.  These complex matrices, which are different from the microbes found floating around in the water, are metabolically altered and able to survive under various stress conditions.

Research over the past decade has documented how hard it is to clean off biofilms due to their slimy and tenacious nature, though that’s not to say that biofilms are all bad.  Yes, they can be reservoirs where harmful microbes hide out, but analyses have shown that biofilms have beneficial properties, too, and perform a number of functions in a fish farm’s ecosystem.

 

FFN_3_14cover…read the rest and much, much more in Issue 3, 2014 of Fish Farming News. 

Download access instructions so that you can read the online flipbook AND download a pdf copy for future reference.

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