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mycobacteria, mycoplasms, nematode worms, and hydra

    Mycoplasms and mycobacteria are different "bugs".  The prefix "myco-" is 
also typically associated with fungi.  These similar names cause lots of 
confusion.  "Fish TB" is caused by mycobacteria.  Sadly, the best treatment 
for mycobacteriosis in fishes is to dispose of the fishes, discard the 
contents of the tank, and sterilize the equipment with household bleach 
diluted to 10%.  Attempts to treat this disease with conventional antibiotics 
over the short treatment period usually reccommended on packaging will have 
no effect.  Long term treatment using special antibiotic combinations has 
only limited usefulness.
    Another useful antiworming drug is fenbendezole, usually sold under the 
name of Panacure.  It is safer than ivomectin, and is best administered in 
the fishes food.  Gel diets are a good way to accomplish this.  Surprisingly 
it is also a good treatment for hydra when added to aquarium water.

Pete Mohan,
Kent, Ohio