[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Fish Medications

Alysoun McLaughlin wrote:

>Yes, Karen, this is the question I was hinting at after your PVAS =
>presentation... ;)
>Two questions, actually.  What products are recommended for full-range =
>medication, with the least harm to plants?  And which product(s) should =
>I use as a plant dip, to ensure that a plant is completely discus-safe?  =
>I'd rather not use bleach, if I can help it.  Will salt be sufficient?  =
>If so, what concentration for how long?  (I know the answer to some of =
>these questions should be in the archives, but I couldn't find them.)
>I'd like to transfer a few plants from my community tank to a new tank =
>we're setting up for discus.


>Please don't bother to respond with the usual "if your tank is healthy, =
>you don't need medication".  I've had this community set up for over a =
>year, and I've yet to lose a cardinal tetra.  I've kept up with water =
>changes, and the usual indicators are perfectly stable.  But there's =
>obviously something going on, and clearly some of it's bacterial, but =
>from the pattern of deaths (especially the angelfish) I'm also concerned =
>about viruses and/or parasites.

Well, first, I'm not sure it's fair to ask a question, then tell the person
you're asking not to tell you what they truly believe to be the correct

That said, I think your last sentence sums it up.

>Bottom line is, I'm afraid to put anything new in my tank, and afraid to =
>take anything out, especially if it's going to come in contact with =
>discus.  Any suggestions?=20

If you have any concerns, DON"T DO IT.  Buy new plants, if possible
hydroponically grown.  

Unless you have access to a lab that can correctly identify the pathogen(s)
involved and do sensitivity studies for you to tell you exactly what
medications will work, you are simply guessing.  The wide variety of
problems you are having _still_ sounds like an environmental base cause to
me, not a specific pathogen.  You talk about "full range" medications.
There is no such thing.  Not even a nuclear blast accomplishes that.
Parasites are relatively easy to treat, but it's not my area of expertise.
I can't give you any accurate information.  Viruses can't be successfully
treated among people in most instances, and they can't be treated in fish.

If you want to know about specific medications, you're talking to the wrong
person.  I'm not trying to be obstructionist... I simply have no knowledge.
 I do not medicate fish in planted tanks.  Period.  Ever.

Most "normal" fish pathogens cannot live long without a host. Most
bacterial infections also tend not to infect healthy fish.  Healthy fish
that develop localized bacterial infections often are able to fight off the
infection on their own.  

_IF_ I had a problem such as you describe, my approach would be to do major
(50%) daily water changes and let what fish were going to get sick, get
sick.  If I could get them out in the early stages of illness, I might try
to treat them in a separate hospital tank.  If not, I would remove them as
soon as they were sick enough to slow down enough for me to catch them.
(and before healthy fish begin to pick at them and infect themselves)  Even
if ALL the fish died, or needed to be removed this is still the approach I
would take. (BTW, this is a _very_ extreme scenario, one I've never even
heard of happening in an otherwise healthy tank)

Since the pathogen probably would not survive long term without a host, if
all the fish died (or were removed)  If I didn't have a lot invested in the
plant materail in the tank, I would simply break it down, disinfect all
hardware with bleach and replace all plants, gravel and driftwood.  If the
plants were valuable, or not easily replaceable, I would leave the tank set
up and planted, with routine maintenance but fish-less for about 6 months.
Then I would try introducing a few hardy fish (previously quarantined!!!)
and see how they did.  In all likelihood, they'd be fine.

Alysoun, this is not a flame.  If you've read this list for any length of
time, you'll know that I just shut down and don't respond when people get
into pissing matches.  If I didn't think that you had the potential to
learn, I wouldn't bother responding to you.  But _WHY_ are you even
considering taking the time and spending the money to set up a discus tank
under the present conditions, and using plants from an infected tank?  

If there's one thing I try to get across to people on this list, it's the
need for patience.  You are a young woman.  There's plenty of time.  Solve
the problems in the tank you have.  Learn your lesson about the dangers of
not quarantining.<g>  Wait till the tank you're now working with is healthy
before you turn your attention to a new tank with expensive, sensitive
fish.  There are no quick fixes in this hobby.  

IMO "chemical soup" is _never_ the answer.  If you want "advice" on that
subject (and I use the term loosely) you'll have to look elsewhere.  I do
not use antibiotic medications for my kids except with medical advice, and
I don't treat everyone in the house if one person gets sick.  I don't do it
to my tanks either.
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association