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My Fish Disease Notes & Treatment Plan

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Something always goes south when I am least prepared for it. Since I have fish disease on the brain, notes that haven’t been lost and research sites still in my phones browser I thought I would be smart and create a post for faster reaction times.

This is the way I treat issues and is not intended to be a guide for others, just my notes and plan to help my memory lapses. I use less invasive steps first such as cleaning up root causes, stock management, heat, increased air and circulation, salt, and baths/dips. There are many ways and products to treat issues. This is the most successful, cost, and time effective way for me with the types of systems I run and stock I keep. If I feel the need to chemically medicate I have chosen to use stronger treatments and skip the try this first approach. Links are for my information only, I do not follow or endorse one persons advice exclusively, I just like well written and information packed articles. If you are going to use any these treatments I suggest you read the whole post especially the notes on each chemical type and warnings, which may not be complete.

Ich article from the Skeptical Aquarist
10 to 14 day treatment for parasites lifecycle
Large WCs/ GVs
Turn up the heat 80* F (or with no meds just salt to 84-86*)
Add air stone
Treatment option 1: Paraguard
Treatment option 2: Salt- for sensitive fish, 1 TBS per 5 gallon and Methylene Blue bath.

Theres A Fungus Amoung Us article
mold/fungus often confused with columinaris. Normally present in tank, stress and wounds trigger infection. High DOC. Quarantine is best.
Increase mucous coat and lower DOC is best line of defense.
WC and GV to reduce DOC
Raise temp to 80* F
Add air stone & increase circulation
Salt Bath is affective combined with
Malachite green and Formalian considered best treatment option
paraguard & Furan 2

American Aquarium Products Columnarius article
Lower stressors and improve water quality
1 tbs salt per 5 gal
Reduce heat to 75* F
Methylene blue dip @ double strength for 30 min
Furan 2 & kanaplex & paraguard

Aeromonas- (pop eye, swim bladder disorder, red line, dropsy)
Most common type of bacterial infection
Reduce DOC WC/GV
Increase aeration
Reduce stressors
Furan 2 & Kanaplex
Salt and Methhylene blue bath

Gill/Skin Flukes and weird worms-
Hikari Prazipro bath 30-60 min external parasites
MB and salt and Furan2 at double tank strength bath for 30 minutes can mix with prazipro
Salt treat the tank
PP bath

Aquatronics Spectrogram- Nitrofurazone (API Furan 2) & Kanamycin (Seachem Kanaplex)
Aquatronics Paragon 2- Nutrofurazone (API Furan 2) & Kanamycin (seachem Kanaplex) & seachem paraguard

  • Reduce stressors- A big stressor is other fish harassing. QT works well for this. Even when quarantine I still clean up my display tank to decrease pathogens and help the non symptomatic fish.
  • WC/GV aka DOC removal- WC cleans up water, I do weekly 50% normally, if doing daily or every other day I do it as needed 50% or 20%. Due to well water issues, I lug buckets from the barn and lift and pour. Yes it is hard work and I miss being spoiled by my 75ft python, useless in my current situation. I am female and 40 with bad back and hips, there are no excuses. A good GV is usually needed in most tanks experiencing issues. If you have weak bio-filter do ½ at a time. I age my water 24 hours and heat to match tank temp, it takes about a half hour to heat 5 gallons of cold well water to 80* F with small el chepo heater. I clean the filters at initial WC, all of them. In used tank water. Again with weak bio-filter do half at a time. I generally do not mini cycle from over cleaning, except in neglected tanks with weak bio-filter or tanks with newly established BB (6 months or less generally).
  • Air & Circulation-Increasing oxygen is important at higher temps which deplete oxygen. It can also help to fight anerobic bacterias. Adding more air works. Increasing circulation reduces dead spots, helping filters and GV to clean up your tank and probably improves dispersal. It is in general a good idea.
  • Heat- Raise temp slowly 1 to 2 degrees every 12 hours.
  • Salt- 1 TBS per 5 gallon (plants, cories, tetras, pleco were all fine in my experience following my treatment methods). Slow salt acclimation for 37 gallon (30 gallon) use 6 TBS over three day period. Dissolve 6TBS salt in 1 gallon (16 cups) tank water. Add back over three days 5 cup, 5 cup, 6 cup. In hour increments add a cup of solution.
  • Salt 10 gal QT; 2 TBS salt over three days, gallon (16 cups) tank water, add back over three days 5 cups, 5 cups, 6 cups. In hour increments add a cup of solution. Tank water evaporation does not remove salts, so toping off water does not need to be treated. Water changes does remove salt, but only water changed needs salt added at dose of 1 tsp a gallon, dissolved.

  • [*]Methylne Blue bath- ¼ tsp per gallon of aquarium water for 30 minutes once or twice a day. Optional additions 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp epson salt.
  • Potassium Permaganite dip- double recommended tank strength. Do not mix with other treatments.
  1. Fixing the root cause such as stress, overcrowding, substrate and filter cleaning, water parameters, uncycled or mini-cycled tank is the first step in all treatment plans.
  2. Furan 2 combined with paraguard did not affect my filters BB with a seven day treatment.
  3. Dose meds at least a half hour after any water conditioners. With PP and MB wait an hour.
  4. Medicating does not eradicate the problem, just slows down the issue so fish can fight it off and heal.
  5. Healthy fish are stronger fish. Fish need a good slime coat and minerals too. Weaker fish or picked on fish get issues first.
  6. Quarantine is not just for the safety of main tank but also for the safety of new fish. Bacteria, Fungus, & Parasites can lurk in a tank even if fish are not affected (resistance)
  7. Medicate is last option.
  8. Commit to a treatment, do not mix treatments, and finish all treatments. Always know what you are putting into your tank and if each species can handle it.
  9. Only the strong survive! Who wants week fish anyway? Cull if necessary and humane.

I still cannot find solid answers on fertilizing plants while medicating. Speculative general thought is it is not a good Idea. In regard to medicating with plants Furan 2 and paraguard at seven days did not kill off my plants, neither did low dose salt treatment for fourteen days. I do not keep very sensitive plants or high maintenance plants.

My Emergency Medication list and Warnings
  • QT tank and divider
  • 1 gallon bath bowl
  • Seachem Prime
  • Test Kit: Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, KH, GH, copper and calcium with inverts.
  • Kosher & Epson Salt (table salt in a pinch)
  • Carbon
  • API Furan 2 (nitrofurazone) Remove invertebrates, up to 10 day treatment recommended.
  • Sechem Kanaplax (kanamycin) skin absorbed, up to 10 day treatment.
  • Seachem Paraguard (malachite green, Formalin) Safe with inverts?? Do not use with open sores. Add airstone.
  • Jungle Clear Water (potassium permanganate) QT tank used only with established biofilter or dip/bath. Caution with scaleless fish (cories, pleco) and sensitive fish, ½ strength maybe. No invert use. Bath for plant dip double strength for 10 minutes (for snail removal), rinse/dip in 5x prime solution. Suppresses photosynthesis in plants. Do not mix with any other Meds other than salt!!! Hydrogen perioxide will or 5x prime will counter it.
  • Kordon Methalyne Blue use as bath or QT with established biofilter, not in display tank. First response treatment and good addition to treatments. No tetracycline or erythromycin. Generally safe with inverts.

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