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Farzan Saleem <farzan at ibm_net> wrote: <<<<Subject: RE:Using antibiotoics
on your cyanobacteria (...)While I agree that antibiotic resistance is a
serious health threat, I 
don't want people to panic and think that by using erythromycin in their
tanks, they are going to catch some horrible disease such as
aureus or VRE (Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci) (...) I'm not trying to
condone irresponsible use of antibiotics; I just don't 
want people thinking that if a family member suddenly develops some kind
infection which is not helped immediately by the standard antibiotic 
treatment that the fish-tank is to blame.>>>>>

Certainly what you say is true, but to be honest it is my impression
that in very few cases onset of antibiotic resistant infections in
humans was presented as one of the main reasons for considering improper
controlling cyanobacteria with antibiotics. 

Maybe it is worth to repeat one more time what are the main points of
this issue:

- Antibiotics effective on cyanobacteria often disrupt nitrification,
with potentially serious consequences (ammonia toxicity) even in planted

- They do not remove the causes for cyanobacteria growth: in many
situations blue-green algae came back after antibiotic use, and when
they don't, it's likely they would have disappeared anyway by themselves
(independently from antibiotic use). Although it is possible to start a
new planted tank without any occurrence of cyanobacteria, it is also
true that in many cases there is a limited outbreak that resolves within
a few weeks just with regular tank maintenance. There is no reason to
panic and start using drugs, but rather to check fish load, nutrient and
light levels, and act accordingly. Very isolated patches of
cyanobacteria may be present in established tanks, with no negative
effects on the look of the tank or its equilibrium.   

- Antibiotics may have potentially negative effects on the commensal
bacterial flora living on and in the fish organism. It is a problem
difficult to quantify at hobbyist level, but that should not be ignored
at least on a theoretical level. Same thing for antibiotic-resistant
infections of the fishes, at least in case of multiple-low dose