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Re: Fish Medications

Karen Randall asked:
> _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?

*Sigh*.  Frankly, I'd rather not be doing _any_ of the above.  My
husband bought the discus *and* the new tank.  

He really likes the ocelot sword, which is why I asked about draconian
plant dips.  We haven't moved it yet (or anything else for that matter,
the tank is completely quarantined).  

Karen further cautioned:
> Wait till the tank you're now working with is healthy
> before you turn your attention to a new tank with expensive, sensitive
> fish. 

*Double sigh*.  It's too late, Karen  ;)  

Unfortunately, this isn't our second, or even our tenth, tank.  We've
already got a full fishroom, plus half a dozen tanks in our living
room.  In fact, these discus were a lot cheaper (and so far appear to be
less sensitive) than some of the dwarf cichlids in the *other* tanks... 

I whined:
> >Please don't bother to respond with the usual "if your tank is healthy, 
> >you don't need medication".  

And Karen replied:
> 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
> answer.<g>  ... If you want to know about specific medications, you're 
> talking to the wrong person. 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.  

I guess it looked like I was attacking you, Karen.  I sincerely
apologize.  I have been on the list long enough to appreciate your
restraint, and I'm really ashamed that one of my posts caused you to
take offense.

My question was not actually aimed at you, but at other people who may
have dealt with a similar problem before, and are familiar with the
various medications.  It was a careless way to say, "I already know
about the usual problems in a tank.  Right now, I'm trying to find out
about the more exotic pathogens, and the more exotic treatments."

Karen continued:
> The wide variety of problems you are having _still_ sounds like an 
> environmental base cause to me, not a specific pathogen.  

Boy, do I hope so.  Especially after reading the link Stephen Boulet
posted about mycobacteriosis (otherwise known as fish tuberculosis). 
According to this site, maintained by the College of Veterinary Medicine
at the University of Florida, mycobacteriosis is:

> "A chronic, progressive disease ... that may be characterized by emaciation, 
> inflammation of the skin, exophthalmia ("pop-eye"), open lesions, and ulceration. 
> Fish may become sluggish and bloated and develop fin and tail rot as well as scale
> loss."

That just about sums up what I'm observing in my tank.  

> "Because of the slow progression of the disease, young fish infected with
> mycobacteriosis show no external signs. As fish age, the infection becomes 
> more serious." 

You see why I have doubts about the "wait and see" method.  A
three-month quarantine isn't necessarily going to prove anything.  

> "In fish, mycobacteriosis is a chronic to subacute disease that occurs in many 
> different species from fresh, brackish, and marine habitats... Infection rates 
> can range from 10% to 100% when the pathogen is present in a population. Unlike 
> most other bacterial diseases, there is no cure for mycobacteriosis, and infected 
> fish should be destroyed." 

Nothing's going into, or coming out of that tank.  None of the other
fish have shown symptoms since the cacatuoides died, but the next fish
who starts to act funny gets whisked out for an autopsy.  
The University of Florida site recommends that: 

> "Water and equipment that have been contaminated should be thoroughly disinfected. 
> People who come into contact with infected material should wear gloves and wash
> thoroughly with an antibacterial soap."

I hope there's no such exotic infection in my tank, but unfortunately,
you just can't prove a negative.  On the other hand, I don't want to
destroy an entire tankful of apparently healthy fish because they
_might_ have some exotic disease.  

At a minimum, I hope there's some means of disinfecting the exposed
plants.  I've sent an e-mail query to the folks at the University of
Florida, and I'll let you all know about their reply.

Alysoun McLaughlin
alysoun at planetall_com