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my experiences with CLOUT

First, for the impatient: for me CLOUT appeared to work as
advertised with no noticeable damage to aquarium plant life.

Most of the fish (SAEs/platies/corys/otos - just a clean-up crew) in
my heavily-planted 90g had been (for over 8 weeks) 'flicking' (or
'flashing', if you prefer) *alot* against plants, rocks, even the
gravel. There were no noticeable external marks, protrusions,
swellings, discolorations, or fungus on the fish - nothing! I assumed
some sort of parasite but could not be sure. It was gradually getting
worse, i.e. more and more fish were affected and those affected were
flicking more all the time. Yet I lost no SAEs or platies (the biggest
flickers). I did lose a few otos but they weren't noticeable flicking;
I think they starved to death as I had very little algae for them to

I had read and heard that CLOUT was a good "shotgun" approach to
handle symptoms like these. Yet the anecdotal evidence for the
effectiveness of CLOUT was mixed at best - some said avoid it at all
costs (mostly because it stresses or kills fish), others eagerly
advocated it.

I wanted to introduce some new fish to the tank, but I was not
prepared to risk exposing them to this malady. So a cure was required,
and I decided to try CLOUT.

First problem - what dosage? The instructions specify adding one
tablet per 10 gallons, but were they talking about tank size as
marketed or actual tank capacity as set up? A quick phone call to
Aquarium Products and the problem was solved: 1 tablet per *actual* 10
gallons of water in the tank.

The instructions stated to dose once per day until the problem was
solved. I figured a dose for me was about 7 or 8 tablets; I erred on
what I assumed was the safe side and began with 7.

The tablets readily dissolve in water producing a deep turquoise
colored solution. I dumped this into my overflow prefilter box
thinking it would get diluted a bit in the sump before it was pumped
into the tank. The stuff stained my prefilter sponge and a white
plastic wingnut - no big deal.

After dosing a bluish cloud slowly envelops the whole tank. The fish
showed no signs of stress, then or during any of the dosings. 

I dosed in the morning and the blue cloud cleared by the time I
returned from work (early evening). The difference in the fish was
apparent even after one treatment - much less flicking. I was

I continued the treatment for 3 days; after the second treatment I did
not notice any flicking at all. There also was no perceptible damage
to the plants. Within 7 days of ending the treatment I noticed a
couple fishes flicking occasionally, so I decided to treat the tank
again as per the instructions. This time I gave 4 doses: two of 8
tablets, and two of 9. Again, no noticeable affects on the fish or

The last treatment ended over 3 weeks ago. Since then I have noticed 2
different fish (an SAE and platy) flick only once, and nothing within
the last 10 days. All the plants are healthy and continue to grow at
the pre-dosing rates (or better!). I have not noticed any
discolorations in any of the plants or tank contents. There has also
been no noticeable change in algae growth in the tank. 

My experiences seem to indicate that the product works as advertised;
your mileage may vary, as they say. Note that I have no connection
whatsoever with Aquarium Products or with any company/store that sells

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Dan Resler                            email: dresler at vcu_edu
Dept. of Mathematical Sciences          
Virginia Commonwealth University           
Richmond, VA 23284-2014 USA