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Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Default Best general medication recommendation

    0 Not allowed!
    What is the best general medication to get when you can't identify from symptoms a disease that fish may have.

    I had a red platy that was really lethargic, no signs of ick so I wasn't sure of the appropriate medicine. Toward the end he was swimming with his tails fin down almost vertical.

    Any idea what these symptoms would be caused by? And what general medication should I have available?


  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    The best approach is to diagnose the specific problem and treat accordingly. Did the platty die? are there any other fish in the tank exhibiting similar symptoms? The best bet is to try to remove effected fish early and treat them in a separate tank. Unfortunately I don't know of any one stop fixes that are safe and effective.

    To start with the basics, are you testing your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Do you regularly change your water? If so, how often and how much?

    Did you make any changes (new stock, cleaning, large water changes, new decorations) before this happened?

    Sometimes fish do die of old age, or prior stress, but repeated deaths are always a concern. Most medications just mask a problem, so unless there is an identifiable treatable cause it's probably best to stick with quarantine and water changes.

    Hopefully some experts can chime in with more experience in identifying diseases.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    the platy did die. I had quarantined him in a 10 gallon tank and did water changes every few days. He was in a 55 gallon community tank. Ammonia & Nitrite & Nitrate were 0, 0, 20.

    I am thinking the problem with this fish was stress. I introduced a small angel fish to the community tank and the red platy was always hiding. After about 4-5 days I removed the angel but the platy was still hiding, i guess thinking it was still lurking around

    he started losing most of his tail fin and swimming vertical with tail down, not sure what that would be indicative of

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    0 Not allowed!
    To answer your initial question on a "general" medication, the answer is none. Fish can acquire any number of health issues and these can be parasitic, bacterial, viral, genetic... etc. There is no medication that will even begin to deal with all this. The best medication, to call it that, is the regular partial water change and avoiding as much stress as possible. It is known that 95% of all fish health problems are directly caused by stress. Pathogens may be present, but without the fish being stressed, their immune systems are able to combat most of these.

    Quarantining all new fish is very wise these days. For at least 3 weeks, but 5-6 weeks is sometimes better. During this period, it is easier to treat issues (once identified), but even more importantly is the fact that you prevent the problem from getting in the main tank and possibly affecting every fish. I speak from very sad experience.

    To the platy, this is impossible to pin down because it could be several things. Aggression from the angelfish is one possible, as is internal injury during netting in the store, or inappropriate water parameters/conditions, or something genetic.

    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

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