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K permanganate

Wang"  wrote:
>Subject: Potassium permanganate
>Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 18:53:09 -0700
>I read that potassium permanganate is good for killing parasites in
>pond/fountain water without hurting the fish.  No swimming pool supplier or
>landscaping supplier around here has it because it can also be explosive in
>the wrong conditions and amounts.  Could you tell me where I can obtain
>KMnO4 before the fish die?  Thank you.

K permanganate is quite an obsolete remedy for gill flukes, some
ciliates and some arthropods. There are alternative medications that are
more specific and easier to dose. It should not be used as a preventive
treatment or as all-purpose remedy. It can be very toxic to fish.  It is
a good disinfectant for equipment and newly acquired plants before
introduction in fish tanks (see next for the name of a product).

A few weeks ago several of my tanks experienced a very devastating
disease epidemic most likely due to ciliates. The problem appeared
simultaneously in two of the three tanks (and only a week later spread
to another two) where three weeks before I introduced some plants I
received as an exchange with another hobbyist.  I had not introduced any
new fish in months (by the way I always quarantine them for at least
four weeks), nor in those tanks I ever lost in the past any fish due to
diseases with similar symptoms (white spot). The third tank where I
introduced the new plants hosted an angelfish, which is a species
present also in one of the tanks affected, but there it did not show any
sign of illness, suggesting to be quite resistant to it. So, there is of
course no certainty, but among the various hypotheses about the original
mean of introduction of the pathogen involved, the plants that came in
are in my opinion the most likely culprit. It's also interesting to know
that the person who sent them to me is not responding to an E-mail
inquiring whether or not he had similar problems in his tanks.

Anyway, the point I would like to make is that, although the problem is
rare and difficult  to prove within hobby-level settings, plants
carrying potential fish pathogens may come from any source, not just
wild-collected specimens. I have now begun to disinfect all plants that
come and go from my tanks with a doluted (pink) solution of K
permanganate (Poly-Ox from Kent Marine: I have not yet been able however
to confirm its exact content and concentration with the manufacturer.
This habit of claiming proprietary secrets on the formulation of drugs
known for many years is just ridiculous). I  use it as a 10 min. bath
(as per Untergasser and the authors of the Tetra Press book on fish
diseases). It seems a rather easy process, and I think it should be kept
in consideration by those like me who do not have (yet) a plant
quarantine tank.