Ideas for a fish medical kit?

Discussion in 'Diseases' started by LetMinnow, May 10, 2020.

Voter count: 6
?

Do you keep a medical kit for your fish?

  1. Yes

  2. No

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. LetMinnow

    LetMinnow

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Hello all!

    So, after some hiccups in the fish room this week, I have decided to put together a little medical kit that I can have on hand in case of a sudden outbreak of anything. I have had a look around at what is available in SA, and I have decided on the following list:

    1. Seachem Polyguard - a first port of call
    2. Seachem KanaPlex - fungal and bacterial infections
    3. Seachem Focus - internal bacterial infections when I am already treating the water with something else
    4. Seachem MetroPlex - protozoan parasites and anaerobic bacteria
    I would really appreciate some input from the TASA community on:
    1. How long these medications last - in other words, is it worth having all these lying around if they will expire in six months?
    2. Which of these medications you think aren't worth the expense,
    3. And, do you think there are better alternatives to these medications?
    Please feel free to throw in any advice or experience that you have. I thank you all for any input!
     
    Phoenix89 and A new day like this.
  2. Guest




  3. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    466
    Location:
    Durban
    I've seen this brought up a few times in groups, but it doesn't gain much traction. While it's always good to have meds on hand, they do expire and therefore can be a waste of money if the targeted diseases never crop up. Economically, it's best to accurately identify a disease and then get the required medication.

    Typically the only people who'd need to run with an on-hand stock of medications are those at high risk of disease introduction - and these are typically those with high volumes of fish, or those with fish coming into their tanks often. Breeding facilities, big fish rooms, and pet stores would be major among those from a hobby perspective.

    The various medications expire at their own rates, usually through eventual breakdown of one or more compounds (sometimes into toxic components). Time, exposure to air or sunlight, high temperatures, and humidity can all affect this process.

    All these meds have their merits, and Seachem is a great brand and typically gives you good bang for buck. They're also transparent as to what chemicals are used in their products, which many other brands are not.

    If you do want to keep some stuff on hand, I recommend the following:

    1) Non iodated salt (NaCl): can be used for a variety of diseases in a pinch, but be cautious as some fish do not have much salt tolerance. Parasites typically have a narrow tolerance so this is quite effective. Additionally, this lowers the osmotic gradient between the fish and its environment, allowing the animal to spend more energy on immune responses and healing. Finally, this can aid in an emergency against nitrite toxicity, as the salt ions compete for uptake across the gills against nitrite.

    2) Epsom salt: Quite cheap too, epsom salt is typically applied for bloat and constipation. This works partially by allowing the easing the passage of gastrointestinal blockages. Can work in a similar fashion to NaCl salts, but double down on caution as tolerances for magnesium sulphate may be lower than that of sodium chloride.

    3) Antichlorine: especially the SeaChem brand ones. Besides the obvious use of eliminating chlorines and chloramines, many of the better brands also have ammonia "trapping" chemicals which greatly reduce nitrogenous toxicity. This is especially handy if a tank's biological filter crashes, and can buy you some time to sort something out.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
    ZubairKhan, top dog, T. Guppy and 2 others like this.
  4. OP
    LetMinnow

    LetMinnow

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Thank you, @SalmonAfrica !

    I have some aquarium salt at the moment, and I always have Seachem Prime and Stability around.

    The motivation for this sudden desire for a medical kit after ten years of fishkeeping without one is brought on by a rather rookie error.

    I have a little ornate bichir in a tank suited to his current size, and next to his tank I have an empty 200l tank running for him that he can move into in the next month or two. One chaotic day, in the midst of many work and aquarium heater disasters, I forgot to quarantine some danios before placing them right in the 200l tank just to get some bioload on the filter before he moves in (the tank has been cycling fishless for some months). Mysteriously, one danio became listless, developed pop-eye, and died about three days later. I used aquarium salt, but there was no saving this fish because it appeared asymptomatic until a few hours before it died. The remaining danios are all too small for me to see any obvious symptoms of infection, but they have been moved to a little planted tank (15l) and dosed with salt (~4-5 teaspoons). [Salt dosage guidelines: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/aquarium-salt-for-sick-fish]

    So, I am now concerned because I cannot identify this illness, and I can't really strip down the 200l and replace all the biomedia. I would like to preemptively treat the water, or at least have some medications on hand before my bichir goes into the tank in at least six to eight weeks' time. Because we have a lockdown, I am concerned that this disease will suddenly strike and the lead time to get medications will be too great.

    I have just used salt for many years, but now I am concerned about bacterial infections. I think salt has some limitations there. I agree that having a whole stock on hand without there being a reasonable suspicion that disease could be introduced is quite uneconomical, but I fear that something may be lurking in the fish room.

    Perhaps I should limit the list to aquarium salt and KanaPlex and/or MetroPlex?
     
  5. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    466
    Location:
    Durban
    I'd be careful in your little planted tank - most plants are not tolerant of salt and struggle to adjust.

    If you suspect your problem is a bacterial infection - and I might agree, but I don't want to put money down without being able to see/do a proper diagnostic - then the issue of treating directly may affect your biological filter anyway, depending on the treatment you opt to use. It's not a nice situation, bacterial infections are nasty things, but I'd much rather delay the 200L "opening" and deal with possible infection in the tank, than risk the future occupants.

    If you'd still rather go ahead, try to find some broad spectrum antibiotic for any issues coming up (Kanaplex should fit the bill here). Again, it's not the ideal route, because most problematic bacteria are happy to persist in environments even without fish hosts, so even weeks down the line if a pathogenic bacteria is the problem, it's likely it'll still be there.

    Then, I guess, it comes down to whether your future stock is healthy. Unless this is a particularly aggressive pathogen, most of these things take hold in compromised fishes. This is best highlighted by the fact that only one of your fishes developed severe symptoms.
     
    A new day likes this.
  6. Kiaan26

    Kiaan26

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    I do keep some medications and chemicals but for something serious I usually go and get prazipro. I do keep aquarium salt, nemarid, garlic guard, hydrogen peroxide, a good pair of tweezers, methylene blue and just in case a course of antibiotics.
     
  7. OP
    LetMinnow

    LetMinnow

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Thank you so much for your help, @SalmonAfrica - it is really appreciated.

    I completely agree about delaying the "opening" of the 200l. I would nuke that thing if I could.

    Given that I don't have any medication at the moment, I am coming to terms with sacrificing all the plants because it is the only tank I have open for the danios at the moment. Alas.

    I am not sure how to deal with this bacterial infection in the 200l. My plan is currently to wait for as long as I can before my bichir gets too large in his current tank, and then place him in there after cleaning it with a host of medications on hand in case he develops anything. I have found a UV sterilizer that a friend chucked out after he gave up the hobby, but I have no idea how well it works. It has been placed in the 200l, and at some point before I put the bichir in I will take out all the filter media, rinse it, and leave it in the sun for a couple of days. Thereafter, I will cycle the tank again.

    I am really not sure how to treat bacterial infections other than with an antibiotic like Kanaplex. I am very open to any suggestions. I am very concerned that some cross-contamination has or will accidentally occur despite my best efforts and the poor bichir will catch something. I will get some of Epsom salt tomorrow as well as place an order for some more aquarium salt.

    Thank you, @Kiaan26 ! Is PraziPro significantly stronger than MetroPlex, if you have used both before? Sorry, I am looking at doing a big order from RBM Aquatics, and so if PraziPro is much better I will do an order from a different shop that has it in stock. I will have a look at all of your recommendations - thank you very much!
     
  8. Kiaan26

    Kiaan26

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Prazipro is recomended alot for puffers as a dewormer. Metroplex's active ingredient is metronidazole which is good for fighting bacteria. They don't do the same thing.
     
  9. A new day

    A new day Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Messages:
    4,422
    Likes Received:
    3,406
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I have had success with Kanaplex before when I had a crisis last year introducing unquarantined fish. It didn’t affect my beneficial bacteria and no issues with plants or invertebrates. Works well for popeye but you gotta move quick. As in real quick.
     
  10. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    Messages:
    8,411
    Likes Received:
    3,251
    Location:
    Klipriver, Midvaal
    In general I agree with what has been said
    However, I do keep a few things in case of an emergency
    Basic test kit to ensure all good on that side to ensure the problem is not water quality related
    Here I keep prime,safe and stability

    My first go to, meds wise is salt
    A good all rounder for bacterial, fungus and ICH is Paraguard from seachem
    This can be used when quarantining new fish as well
    Prazipro is the other which I utry have all time
    I usually keep Metro in tablet form but only ever used it 2 or 3 times in last 4 years
    I have used Kanaplex I think twice so dont usually keep
    I have found that salt and Prazipro have been my main go to
     
  11. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    11,362
    Likes Received:
    1,969
    Location:
    UK
    I think a problem is that most fish keepers don’t have enough knowledge about fish disease and should probably not be using strong medication.
    A fish looks bloated. Is it a digestive system issue, swim bladder or something else?
    I question the wisdom of just throwing in medication in the hope that the fish will come right. Maybe minor ailments such as fungal attacks, or Ich. But I certainly wouldn’t be dosing the tank with anti-biotics.
    If your water is pristine, and you have stocked correctly and fed correctly, fish should be healthy. You may lose the odd one, it’s unfortunate, but part of fish keeping.

    And if you have expensive fish such as Discus or Rays, and they get sick, consult a vet, or a very experienced keeper. Get their advice first, before reaching for the meds.

    My 2c.....
     
    top dog likes this.
  12. OP
    LetMinnow

    LetMinnow

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Cape Town
    @Kiaan26 , @A new day , and @MariaS - thank you very much!

    I have looked online for PraziPro, and I can't seem to find it from a place that has a delivery cost within my budget, so I think I'll order some Paraguard, more aquarium salt, and Kanaplex (given that the danio had pop-eye). That will cover bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. Thank you all so much for your input!

    @Reedfish , the plan here is not to bombard my tanks with strong medications immediately. I am quite concerned about using antibiotics frequently because of the rise in bacterial resistance, but I am also aware that I do have a very expensive fish, no access to an aquarium vet, and a potentially long lead time on medications due to the lockdown. Although he is kept in pristine conditions with water quality tests at least once a week, I have introduced an unknown, fast-acting disease into my fish room that could potentially spread to his tank.

    If it does spread, I would definitely try diagnose it first, use aquarium salt, and then use medication. However, I don't want it to suddenly crop up, then I diagnose it and order that particular medication, and by time it arrives my fish is long dead. I have tried to diagnose it as best as I can from the tiny danio that died and I suspect it is bacterial, but I am not confident enough to risk my bichir on it - hence the broad emergency meds stash. I very much so support using aquarium salt first.
     
    A new day likes this.

Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Ideas fish medical Forum Date
Stocking Ideas for a 2 foot tank (fish and plants) Community Tanks Apr 22, 2016
Ideas for new Fish room? Anything DIY related Aug 4, 2012
Ideas for interesting fish for my latest tank General Discussions Oct 25, 2010
Pond fish? Any ideas? Ponds Sep 19, 2010
Ideas for cold water fish General Discussions Dec 23, 2009
Ideas for fishtank controller General Discussions Nov 24, 2009
Any ideas?... New here Advanced Topics Dec 23, 2020

Share This Page