Thanx D. Had the thought that stuffing all this mind numbing info in one thread with a clean title might make it easier to share. At least I'll know where I put it LOL.
This last post of information really caught my attention for IDK treatments. (IDK = I Don't Know)
This one is posted over on FishGeeks. Most of the time we tankers see symptoms not the real cause and don't treat correctly with the fish dying, money wasted, problems spreading. Toxic soups are almost as bad. This combination is as broad based as can be attacking a problem blind. Its well thought out and has great detail. (imo)
Treating Bacterial Infections with Maracyn/Maracyn 2
There are multiple symptoms that bacterial infections can cause. These include finrot, tailrot, mouth “fungus”, flex, septicemia, and sometimes, depending on the cause, popeye, dropsy, and swim bladder disease. First line of defense against infections is good water conditions. Most infections and other health problems are opportunistic; meaning they will most often show themselves only on already weakened fish. The best way to prevent this from happening is regular water changes and good water conditions. If a bacterial infection does show itself, most, but not all, of these are easily treatable with a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn 2. The reason for using both at the same time is that one will treat the current infection, while the other will prevent a secondary infection from setting in on the weakened fish while the first is being treated. Some strains are resistant to the maracyns and may require a different or stronger antibiotic. If there is no improvement after 1 course of the maracyns, a change to a different antibiotic is recommended. If there is improvement, but the infection is not gone, a second course of the maracyns is recommended.
Maracyn and Maracyn 2 both state on the box that they do not harm the bacterial filter. I have not had any problems with it harming a bacterial filter, nor have I heard anyone else say it wiped out their bacterial filter. However I do still recommend quarantine when using these meds, for 2 reasons. First, it will prevent the infection from spreading further to the rest of the fish, as well as allow the fish a low stress environment in which to recover. Second, I am hesitant to fully trust broad-spectrum antibiotics not to damage a bacterial colony. A qt tank can be as simple as a Rubbermaid tub with lid that has not had soap in it, with a heater and sponge filter.
To treat with the Maracyn combo, you first want to do a large water change to get ammonia/nitrite/nitrates as low as possible before starting treatment. Try to treat for the full 5 days with no water change. Do test water daily for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. If you see results of ammonia greater than 0.25, nitrite greater than 1.0, or nitrate approaching 20, you will have to do a partial water change. In this case, simply redose the meds to the level they were at before the water change. For example, if you have done 3 days of treatment, with 1 tab each day to the water, you have added 3 tabs to a 10 gal. tank. If you do a 5 gal. water change, you would add 3 days x .5 tabs (5 gal. instead of 10), or 1 ½ tabs to the replacement water. Then continue with your regular dosing schedule. After the 5 day treatment, do 2 large water changes, 50% each, 12 hours apart. This will remove most of the meds from the water, and give the fish a much-needed break from the meds. If the infection is gone, there is no need to retreat. Continue to watch the fish for a week in the qt tank to make sure there is no reoccurrence. If it is not gone, follow the recommendations in the first paragraph regarding resistant strains of bacteria.
Things to keep in mind when treating with the maracyns: First, it will cloud the water, maybe even make it quite murky. This is normal. Second, it will reduce the level of oxygen in the water. Therefore increased circulation in the tank is necessary to increase the oxygen level. This can be done either with a bubbler or by lowering the water level so there is more splash from the filter return. Third, these meds are sensitive to light. Keep the light off during treatment. Fourth, make sure to remove any carbon from the filter, as it will remove the meds from the water. Replace the carbon when treatment is complete for the same reason. Fifth, when treating for finrot/tailrot/mouth “fungus”/flex/columnaris: the same bacteria, flexibacter columnaris, cause all these diseases. This bacteria spreads faster in temps over 76. When treating for these infections, lower the temp below 76, but not much more than 2 degrees per day to avoid shock to the already ill fish.
Note to remember when treating for popeye, dropsy, or swim bladder disease. There are many different things that can cause these diseases; from poor water conditions being the most frequent offender, to constipation, parasites, genetics, and also bacterial infections. Antibiotics will only help if it is a bacterial cause. Therefore when treating for these diseases, it is imperative to find the cause in order to successfully treat these conditions. This is why these diseases so frequently cause mortality, because by the time you see the dropsy or swim bladder problems, there is often not enough time left to find the correct cause of the disease and treat it. There are supportive treatments that can help get the fish through until a cause can be found. These vary depending on the disease.
It is my hope that this will help you successfully treat your sick fish, and increase your understanding of bacterial infections in fish. Good luck, and happy fishkeeping!
Note: Published at FishGeeks with permission from the author.