Garlic In Vinegar

Discussion in 'Fish Food' started by LockedBox, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. LockedBox

    LockedBoxValued MemberMember

    I've often heard about a product called garlic guard, and about using fresh minced garlic to stimulate the appetites of fish and bolster their immune system. I have minced garlic that is preserved in vinegar, white vinegar I'd presume, but the label states that it is 88% garlic and contains no other ingredients but the vinegar and the garlic. Would this be safe to use if I rinse and water down the garlic pulp?
  2. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Garlic guard is awesome. But it can be hard to find, and expensive. IMO I would not use the garlic with anything in it but water. Vinegar is going to alter the ph and alter it fast.
  3. LadayenValued MemberMember

    Vinegar is a no.

  4. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Firstly, yes garlic can be helpful to help with fussy eaters, it's also great for boosting fishes immune systems ;)

    I have never used minced garlic, but many members have. I have used garlic guard by soaking food in it, and the feeding to the tank (the food, not the liquid)

    I'd be a little cautious with vinegar aspect though. Vinegar is organic, and is being used by some SW aquarists to help with nitrate and phosphate control (it's a technique called carbon dosing, which doesn't work in FW setups).

    In very loose terms, the premise behind carbon dosing is that the vinegar helps break down the nitrate and phosphate, and allows nitrate/phosphate consuming bacteria to feed on it. The technique requires protein skimming (which doesn't work in FW) to remove the resulting organic carbons from the water.

    Why do I mention all this in a FW topic - well by using vinegar in a FW system, the same theory should apply, but what can happen is that your water becomes polluted with the resulting bacteria and dissolved organics. Put simply, I think (without backup research) the vinegar would make a mess of your FW system.

    If you were to rinse the garlic in FW first, it will probably wash away the vinegar, and wouldn't cause a problem, but it may also wash away any goodness in the garlic to start with :;dk

    It may be worth searching fishlore for 'garlic mince' and find out what other members have had success with. I've read many threads over the years about it.

    And a note: Many may have seen me suggest solutions of vinegar and water for cleaning. This is fine, as the trace amounts don't have an impact on the water quality, however 'dosing' a tank with it will most likely cause some grief.

    EDIT: I'm with Shawnie too, it will probably have an affect on your pH (vinegar is after all, an acid)

  5. OP

    LockedBoxValued MemberMember

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    I got an eu natural garlic bulb today. I understand that it's not as good as the seachem garlic guard but none of my local shops stock it, so it will have to do. To prepare it, I was thinking that I would crush some of the garlic, maybe half a clove, and then put it in a cup of tank water with the food for ten minutes or so. I have one of those old fashion devices that you use to make a cup of tea with loose tea leaves and I was thinking that I could use that to put the food in and then put the crushed garlic into the water so that it all diffuses through, but no bits of garlic would get into the food. Do you think that's right, or is there a better way to use it?
  6. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    A recipe that may help you:

    "Benefits of garlic:

    Purifies blood; detoxifies; lowers cholesterol levels; lowers blood pressure; blood thinner; prevents blood clots; boost immune system; prevents heart disease and strokes; destroys cancer cells; muscle relaxant; antibiotic; antifungal; suppresses growth of tumors
    Using a medium size bulb; peel cloves apart, snip off ends; microwave cloves for 5 to 10 seconds to pop hulls; remove hulls; cut the length of the cloves in thin slices; place in cup of hot (from tap) water; cover, and let sit at room temperature for 12 hrs; mash the cloves and strain for immediate use; refrigerate until needed. good for two to three weeks.
    The longer the cloves soak, the stronger the solution."

    The information above comes from the link below:


    Note: It will not hurt your fish if chunks of Garlic get into the fish tank. Many fish will eat it too. It is beneficial for them.
  7. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

  8. OP

    LockedBoxValued MemberMember

    Thanks, that was very helpful. Just out of interest, how often do you feed the garlic soaked food to your fish? Mine have been very picky and I was hoping to start them with some of the garlic until they start colouring up. Would it be safe to feed garlic soaked food every day, or should I only feed it every once in a while?
  9. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    I use Garlic Guard twice a week routinely for all of my fish. Usually soaking the fish treats (Freeze Dried Krill, Freeze Dried Earthworms) and not pellets and flakes. Pellets would probably be ok but flakes would get awfully mushy.

    If I had an injured fish, I have increased it to 3 or 4 times a week. I've even dropped some into the tank directly.


    Another link you may find helpful:
  10. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    My Family's Method (Chemistry specific instructions for best results):

    1-Crush and mince two large garlic cloves as finely as possible.
    2-Add the Garlic to at least a half gallon of vigorously boiling water (not add to water then boil!)
    3-Boil about half of the water off
    4-Strain with cheese cloth (or thin old pillow case) immediately
    *5-Flash Cool! Using a room temperature Metal container, insert in prepared ice bath (do not cover), stir briefly, (optional) place in deep freeze if possible (ask Mom; condensation needs something to freeze to...). Stir a few times or frequently/constantly if not in freezer. Target temperature as low as possible, quickly as possibly, without forming ice crystals!
    6-Soak plenty of target dry food briefly (not too soft)
    7-Strain in cheese cloth
    8-Fill Zippered Freezer bag with enough for a thin layer when layed flat
    10-Break off frozen food as needed to feed to aquarium

    We add all of the waste products to the garden compost. Probably takes longer to understand the directions that to actually prepare; it's easy, fast and effective.
  11. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I actually haven't seen a need for garlic in my tank for some time (over a year). I did use it to try and help a sick Dwarf Gourami (who succumbed to DGD), and for a while when introducing new fish.

    Some use it like Ken as bit of 'prevention is better than cure' type approach, plus to aid in recovery.

    My fish are all happy and colourful etc - doesn't mean the benefits of garlic aren't true, I just haven't seen a need in a while.
  12. OP

    LockedBoxValued MemberMember

    Allright guys, thanks for all the help again :) I've been busy with assignments so I won't be able to try out any recipes until the weekend at the earliest but I did soak some brine shrimp in water with a crushed clove and my rainbows went absolutely bonkers for it! After the shrimp were gone I put some of the pulp in and they had a peck at that too. This is the most vigorously I've seen them eat since I got them. Their scales are already look like they have a nicer, brighter sheen than before. While that might just be my imagination, it is definitely a good thing that they are eating properly at last. Thankyou all so much :;thx
  13. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Yay. Score one for the fishlore community, and more importantly, score one for your fish :;hf
  14. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    As any form of heat or long term oxidation destroys the health benefits of garlic, I mince a clove, add a few drops of tank water and food; then drop into my tanks.

    Fish love the garlic bits and get the greatest health benefit when fresh and unoxidized.
  15. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    Not trying to disrespect or say that this is wrong, but I would replace the word "any" with "most." Thus the chemistry specific instructions; to enhance the biological ability to process the beneficial parts of the ingredient as well as assisting in the process of bonding to the target food. Trust me, a married Chemist and Biologist perfected it for use in their own aquariums a long time ago.

    Just curious (I love garlic), do you add garlic to your food before or after cooking? I can't think of any of the cooks that I know that add it after cooking.
  16. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Point taken.

    I use tons of garlic with my own cooking. Yes I add it at the very end; many times at the start and again in the last 5 minutes. Sometimes use raw, such as in salads. It really depends if I am using it for flavor or if for health reasons.

    Also any garden food I offer to my fish are in its raw state. No cooking, blanching, etc.

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