Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
Thanks everyone for the advice, and I think I'm going to medicate everything with a combination treatment. After researching it, I've ordered the Seachem Kanamycin, API Furan 2, and Seachem Metronidazole which I will all treat with simultaneously. Aquatronics Paragon 2 used to be what this three-fold treatment was available as, but they no longer do it so I'm recreating it myself. I might supplement that treatment with Vitamin B6 as well even, which is one recommended treatment in combination with my Kanamycin. I have Levamisol on hand as well, which I might try to run a course of beforehand even. Unfortunately this will be hard on the remaining fish, but better perhaps than euthanizing them still, maybe...
This is going to completely wipe out my biofilters however, so I might use the opportunity to replace my flourite sand substrate for MTS topped with white sand. As such, I might take the fish out and the plants I'd like to try and keep, and medicate them there. Then I'll siphon out the substrate, and medicate the display tank as well to ensure every hose and everything gets medicated. The established biofilter's death might cause some toxicity, so maybe it is better to have the fish in a quarantine tank instead.
I really like my driftwood though, which has a nice growth of anubias rooted over the top of it, so I'm not sure what to do about that!? Is it okay to medicate it as well, despite that it's going to have the medicine soaking into it? I will at the least have to be regimented about running and changing carbon for a good while hereafter. If not then I might be able to detach the anubias, boil or bake the driftwood, and then try to reattach the anubias afterwards. I suppose I need to boil my canister filter media as well in that case.
Unfortunately the tank has otherwise been very well established for about two years, plant growth is decent, and it looks very nice and healthy. I did lose my first Betta to dropsy symptoms, so likely there is Myobacteria present, but I don't know if I'll actually be able to succeed in sterilizing every last thing to the point where it won't simply return afterwards. The other losses haven't really shown physical signs of anything so it is tough to say.
That's rather odd through if bleach itself can't sterilize that bacteria, with bleach being such a strong solution of chlorine.
The fish had been drip-acclimated, and had already been in the tank for months and gained a good bit of size before I was losing them in succession, so I don't think it is that. Maybe I should switch to buying RO/DI water from the LFS. I tried filtering with a bunch of peat in the canister, but it didn't actually do much to reduce the hardness.
Unfortunately this means I will need to cycle the tank entirely again, but maybe I'll do it patiently and do dry start. I think I'll start treating new fish with the Paragon 2 recipe as well. But is there any way to 'deworm' and clean invertebrates such as nerite snails and shrimp with medication in quarantine, which won't kill them as well?
After having been reading into the natural ecosystem reef approach with live rock, live sand, live plankton, where diverse bacteria/protozoa/worms/etc are not only encouraged but actively introduced I had even been contemplating trying a similar approach in my tank and doing things like adding california blackworms to the substrate as well as other types of microfauna. But now I'm not sure if there is any benefit from taking such a risk?
The annoying thing however is the uncertainty of this all however, as I can't be sure of what the fundamental problem here really seems to be...