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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Strange question, probably...

Background:
I recently found out that the "algae bloom" in my 55 gallon is actually blue-green algae and isn't even algae at all. So, I did some research and bought some E.M. Erythromycin by API.

Come to find out, after I bought it, that the package that "treated 100 gallons" would only be enough to do a half of a full treatment on my tank.

I have to dose 5 packets on day one, 5 packets on day two, do a 25% water change on day 3 and another 5 packets, then on day four add ANOTHER 5 packets.

Ten packets alone cost me $20. I can't afford to spend $40 on the 55 gallon. Not to mention I also have it in a 10 gallon and a 5 gallon which would be even more money.

So my thoughts were along this line:
What if I asked my vet to prescribe Erythromycin for me? It would be much cheaper and I could get it from the pharmacy instead of the petsmart. And I'm sure it would be a lot cheaper (I think)...

If this works then I'd probably return the API Erythromycin and get my money back.

I want to treat this right, but if I'm going to put $40 into the tank I would rather be spending it on another filter... or more plants. :wink2:
But this needs to be dealt with.

Of course, I'm not just going to rely on the antibiotic to take care of it. I'd also probably do a huge water change and get as much of it out as I can before and after treating. I've cleaned it all up several times but within a week it's already covered the whole 4 foot length of my tank again....

Thoughts? Would I seem like too much of an idiot if I asked? Is it even legal? I'll ask myself but I want to know what to expect the vet to say...
 

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Yes, it is entirely legal and just fine for a veterinarian to prescribe Erythromycin for an aquarium.
Since most vets have probably not dealt with aquatics, I would take in the dosing information and the formulation you need so it dissolves in water. I have no idea what form (pills, liquid...) they are accustomed to prescribing, and if that dissolves in water or is OK for fish.

There are sites that can supply medicines in a bulk package, here is one:
National Fish Pharm : NFP products
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, it is entirely legal and just fine for a veterinarian to prescribe Erythromycin for an aquarium.
Since most vets have probably not dealt with aquatics, I would take in the dosing information and the formulation you need so it dissolves in water. I have no idea what form (pills, liquid...) they are accustomed to prescribing, and if that dissolves in water or is OK for fish.

There are sites that can supply medicines in a bulk package, here is one:
National Fish Pharm : NFP products
$75 for 100 grams... from NFP.

And I can get the information to them, for sure. Thanks for the quick reply.
 

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Have you also checked Drs. Foster and Smith? They are vets, and sell lots of animal supplies (including aquatics). I do not know if they have bulk pricing, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did check... But I didn't see anything even when I searched for it. They usually sell for less than petsmart but then I'd have to add in the extra for shipping and it wouldn't really be worth it any more....
 

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I have often found the same when shopping on line. Gotta find a really good deal before the cost of S & H is covered.
 

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This is a good reminder to patronize your local business. Most people go out of their way to help a friend.

I needed a specific antibiotic to treat my GBRs and I needed it NOW. Even with the cost aside, I did not think I had 5 -10 days to wait for the meds to arrive in the mail. I did some quick research on line on the dosage and called our vet, who has been taking care of our dogs for some 17 years. I called the vet and explained my situation. In half an hour I had a prescription. The vet even went a step farther - he prescribbed the pills in the dosage to match my water volume, to save me money (1 pill for a single treatment for 40gl). The prescription was for 30 pills. When I drove over to pick it up, the pills were waiting for me at the front counter and they even let me puchsse just 9 pills, leaving the rest in reserve.

No appointment fee, just $1.10 per pill. All in under 2 hours from my fist call to the pick up in the late evening.

When I picked up the package and looked at the label I started laughing - the prescription had or dog's name on it, "Great Dane, canine".
 
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Yeah, support the shops that support you.
Like, my food is always ordered in fresh even if she has existing stock, she knows I'm full of crap, but I help out again by pointing out the things that need attention in her tanks.
She is not experienced in fish keeping at all, but she has the best fish in our village as she only buys from the more expensive distributors. Downside is, things cost a few pennies more.
 

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Wait, you use to buy that in the late 90's I think. I remember I had all sorts of medication from Jungle but now I only see herbal things like Primafix, Metafix,etc..

Did the government basically regulate all the good medications of the market?
 

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When I was at my local farm supply stores (Tractor Supply Co., the ones that sell Black Diamond Blasting Sand/Abrasives, is one of them) looking for Levamisole and Fenbendazole (dewormers), and I did see quite a few products that were Erythromycin (was looking in the cows, pigs, horses med area), so it would be worth taking a look. Pretty sure you don't need a vet prescription (wasn't behind a counter or in a locked glass box, just on a shelf like everything else). Think there might have even been some bottles of it in liquid form in the fridges? Powder form is the one I am used to seeing being administered, so I would stick with those for easier dosing directions. Just make sure to verify all the ingredients of the particular med you get.

EDIT: Oh lol. Didn't even read your thread, just commented about Erythromycin since I saw it in the replies.
Boyd Chemiclean is another option. Known to work just as well as Erythromycin, so much so that everyone thought it was the same thing, until Boyd came out and said it "does not contain Erythromycin". Still they keep their ingredients a secret though. Haven't heard any negative reports, so it should be just as safe or maybe even safer (probably not an antibiotic like Erythromycin, so no worries about possibly creating immune bacteria or harming your beneficial bacteria).

Look here to see how many gallons the product treats (you don't have to buy it here. Your LFS may have it supplied in the reef/saltwater section of products)
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=24842

Mardel Maracyn (#1, not #2 which is Minocycline) is another Erythromycin med, still expensive though.

Take a look at Kensfish site for aquarium products at great prices (Got the API 10 pack for only $8 and some change)
http://www.kensfish.com/aquarium-supplies/fish-medication/bacterial-medications.html

I personally would only use antibiotics as a last resort, since Erythromycin is a antibiotic, I would try to not use it inorder to not create bacteria (actual bacteria that would infect fish) that would be immune to the med. I am not even sure if Erythromycin is just a temporary fix and does not treat the root cause (BGA may grow back from main cause for their existence in your tank). I would research and exhaust the other possible fixes before using an antibiotic (those bacteria that do become immune can't definitely become transported to other water bodies, just like other drug resistant bacteria, hence why it's more common nowadays to encounter Tetracycline or Sulfa immune bacteria)
 

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Wait, you use to buy that in the late 90's I think. I remember I had all sorts of medication from Jungle but now I only see herbal things like Primafix, Metafix,etc..

Did the government basically regulate all the good medications of the market?
Jungle was bought out by Tetra, which only kept a few of the jungle lines afterwards.
 

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I implore you not to use a bunch of erythromycin to treat cyanobacteria, one of the most ubiquitous microscopic life forms on the planet.

Dumping that much erythromycin-laden water following a water change from your tank down the drain can have unforeseen consequences, and misuse of antibiotics such as this are directly responsible for the frightening amount of antibacterial resistance we now see. Erythromycin is part of an important class of antibiotics called macrolides, which are used to treat a broad range of human infections including strep, pneumonia, and whooping cough. Growing resistance of these bugs to our antibiotics is a scary reality.

On top of that, I can almost assure that cyano will return in full force to your tank as soon as you quit the antibiotics, and perform a water change from your tap. It would be better to concentrate on manual removal of large cyano patches, local peroxide dosing, and reducing excess nutrients.
 

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Have you tried a three day black out? Some people have good luck trying it. I also used another product that I bought form foster & smith. It was made by ultra life and it was made just for this application. I was concern with the fish I had in the tank and it was safe. How many plants in the tank and what are your nitrates?
 

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I implore you not to use a bunch of erythromycin to treat cyanobacteria, one of the most ubiquitous microscopic life forms on the planet
On top of that, I can almost assure that cyano will return in full force to your tank as soon as you quit the antibiotics, and perform a water change from your tap. It would be better to concentrate on manual removal of large cyano patches, local peroxide dosing, and reducing excess nutrients.
This is very true. Throwing product at algae is only a temporary solution. It will come back, IME, unless you make changes in the tank environment that created the problem in the first place.
 
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