Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Antibiotic and Antimicrobials Use

Related Articles: Antibiotics & Antimicrobials, Medications, Use of Biological Cleaners, Aquatic Surgery, The Three Sets of Factors That Determine Livestock Health/Disease

Related FAQs: Medications/Treatments 1, Medications/Treatments 2, Medications/Treatments 3Anthelminthics/Vermifuges/Dewormers, Copper FAQs 1, Organophosphates, Epsom/Other Salts, Formalin/Formaldehyde, Furan Compounds, Garlic, Homeopathic Remedies (teas, pepper sauce, other shams...), Malachite Green, Mercury Compounds/Topicals, Methylene Blue, Metronidazole, Quinine Compounds, Sulfas, Treating Disease, Treatment Tanks, Medications/Treatments II, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Garlic UseAntibiotic Use Marine Disease 1, Puffer Disease

Antibiotics may have adverse effects on invertebrates. Fromia indica (Perrier 1869), the Indian Brittle Star.

Re: Fluke surviving Muelleri Butterflyfish in QT with bacterial infections (?)  10/15/13
Good Day Bob,
Took Ziggy in this morning for a biopsy. The man said there is no mucus by the sores (which is bad), so he pulled a scale via tweezers and looked under the 'scope.

He told me there are no parasites (I assumed) and that the infection seems to be coming from the inside out.
All he could say is that it's bacterial and suggested running a full 5 day course of antibiotics, which I have been (Kanamycin - in food too) with today being the 5th day. Lastly, he said to begin treating tomorrow with a Nitrofuracin product because they are absorbed well.
<Yes; better... though best would be to do a rudimentary sensitivity test/run... >

I have a seeded identical QT and could treat with NFP Nitrofuracin green powder immediately or I could wait out the day with the Kanamycin treatment like the man suggested?
<I'd just stop the one and start t'other if you're adamant re such antibiotic/antimicrobial treatment (I am not... most such treatments are more destructive than useful... microbial issues starting w/ other causes... mostly environmental, social, nutritional... and cured by fixing the same. Moving, isolating specimens... is much more likely to kill them>
  I'm reluctant to wait and "see what happens," yet, very cautious.
He also said the fish looks very healthy aside from the bacterial infection.
<Yes; all the more reason why I'd move it... not treat>

 For the past few days, the fish has been hiding in a pvc and reluctantly, (which is a new development) ate a few live blackworms today.
<Cheers, B>
PS - I am very thankful to have found your site, will donate.

triggerfish abscess/tumor    10/7/12
There are a few articles and discussions regarding triggerfish obtaining abscesses and/or tumors.
<? Is this a continued correspondence?>
There is a picture of a pink tail trigger from 2004 with the exact same thing my blue jaw has. He developed this over the past 5 weeks. It seems to be increasing in size over the past week. Parameters in 125 gallon are good, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, nitrates at 1.0, ph 8.2, dKH 10. The tank has been up for a year. The trigger has been in the tank for 9 months. He is still an excellent eater and swims around the tank like nothing is wrong.
He lives with green Chromis (4), Kole tang, swallowtail angel, maroon clown, male and female sunset wrasses. mix of soft and LPS corals all doing well. There is no aggression with the fish. The angelfish was the last to enter the tank 5 weeks ago with evidence of Lymphocystis that is almost completely resolved. There are a few discussions about these tumors or abscesses but no discussion on treatment. Any follow up on what happened to the pink tail from '04?
<Not that I'm aware of... any responses, further communications, I do my best to match w/ previous. Such tumours/abscesses either seem to heal on their own, or the fish succumbs. Bob Fenner>
Thanks. Tricia Keefe
Re: triggerfish abscess/tumor    10/7/12
Do you think it is worth trying to treat with food soaked in antibiotics?

<Mmm, no; have become less and less a "fan" of anti-microbials as the years have gone by... not only of not much use in most petfish circumstances, but often more harm (to nitrifiers in particular) than they're use warrants.

When to stop antibiotic?      9/5/12
This is by far one of the most informative web sites and my hat goes off to all of you.  I can't imagine the amount of time you put into this.
<A few hours per day, over teens of years>
 There are many answers to the same question but this site enables me to learn enough to come to my own conclusions, I sure hope that is the point.
<Ah yes. You do "get it">
 Anyway, I have a new Coral Beauty in a 20g cycled QT in a quiet corner of the house going on two weeks now.  I learned a very hard lesson once and bought a QT tank after I learned what one is and why to use it.  Three or so days after he came home, I noticed a new white growth on his dorsal fin and another one just inside his gill on his chin that was a fluffy tuft. 
He was eating but not really settled, he would swim back and forth quickly.
 I put paper on the glass, turned down the lights and slowed the water flow to calm him and it worked well.  I learned it could be his reflection making him think there was another angel that needed to be chased away.
<Often the case>
  I researched some possible causes for the tufts and landed on mouth fungus with stress not helping at all.  In the morning, he had deteriorated quite a bit adding more evidence to mouth fungus so I got Furan-2 and started treatment.  Water parameters are still 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 8 nitrate.
<Surprisingly good>
 We test twice a day in case the biological filter crashes.  I think I'm on the right track since the white tuft on his dorsal fin is gone and the one on his gill/chin has reduced to maybe 20% of the original size.  Today is day 4 of treatment, the last day and tonight, he is behaving nicely just lazily floating around, picking at things, swimming around an incredible sculpture we made out of all sorts of PVC plumbing parts, coming to the glass when I come into the room and basically looking like a content fish. 
My question is since he still has a small bit left on his chin, do I continue with a second round of Furan-2 until all traces are gone or is this single treatment all that I need to do?
<I'd leave off w/ further administration; not likely to effect a cure per se here. I'd keep monitoring water quality, and likely expedite the isolation/quarantine of this fish, moving it through a dip/bath (read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm ) in a few more days... to the main/display tank. Bob Fenner>
Re: When to stop antibiotic?    9/16/12

Hi there!
My Coral Beauty seems to be a happy camper in the main tank now.  We moved him last night.  My quarantine tank had been running without any fish for three months (it took me a while to actually get around to buying the fish), I'd been feeding the empty tank and doing water changes all that time.  At any rate, the antibiotics wiped out the biological filter,
<Many do>
 ammonia was climbing quickly during the day and nitrates stopped going up.
 I was afraid to move the fish because I was not really sure if it was healthy enough so I lowered the pH bit and did 30% daily water changes which helped but certainly did not eliminate ammonia.  I observed that any ammonia really bothers this fish.  I had used Stress Coat to remove the chlorine.  I soon figured out that Stress Coat was sliming up his gills and making it hard for him to breath and also made the surface tension higher making it that much harder to oxygenate the water.  So I switched to Amquel, did two 50% water changes in one day and a third one the following evening.  I also put in a circulator just below the surface pointing up the really stir up the surface with my little water fountain effect.  All of this made a huge improvement.  I learned as soon as this fish starts to swim fast or hide or show any little odd behavior that some parameter is off and I have to find it and make whatever caused it to go away.  He is very sensitive.  Yesterday, the pH dropped very quickly down into the mid 7 range in a matter of hours after having held steady for days.  I have to look at why that happened
<The loss of "stop" of alkaline reserve at just above that point>
 but this seemed bad and the angel was very still and wobbly.  This constant stress of water changes, ammonia and whatever else was not helping so I decided his stay was done in quarantine.  I got some Methylene blue and dipped the fish or should I say I made an incredibly dark blue bucket of water into which the fish completely disappeared while I waited for him to eventually float to the top or swim up telling me it was time to get out of the pool.  He did eventually reappear under his own steam so a quick rinse in clear water and then one last push into the main tank.  The other two fish could care less and the angel ignores them while he goofs off in the live rock picking away at it.  I think the next time I do this, I may run two quarantine tanks in case I destroy one since I had no luck trying to jump start the filter with some gunky filter floss from the main tank quickly. 
<Redundancy, choices are always good>
I learned quarantine is hard on fish that are sick.  I learned that if you watch carefully, the fish lets you know when something is not right.  The last thing I learned is that I need a bigger tank.  This little guy needs space.  All said and done, I may have to trade him but whoever gets him will have a very nice fat little fish.  Thanks for the help with dipping and at least letting me know that sometimes bending the quarantine time rules is the right choice.
<Thank you for sharing Paul. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/15/12
Just wanted to give you an update.  The blenny looks like it is developing fin rot.  I am assuming the infection seems to have spread.  There is no way to get the fish out of the tank.  Are you familiar with Dr G's medicated foods? 
<A bit; second-hand>
The fish is still eating so I was thinking of feeding it this antibiotic laced food.
<Worth trying>
  Can I avoid damage to my reef which includes sps, clams, shrimps, lps corals?
<Yes; should be negligible effect on others listed. BobF>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/15/12

Thanks Bob.  I have to try and track down the food since they only sell it in Florida.  I was thinking about trying something as well.  Can i gut load brine shrimp with Maracyn or furan?  Would this work also?
<Mmm, search WWM w/ the term "medicated food". B>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/15/12

I searched the site and could not find anything specific to gut loading brine with antibiotics.
<Mmm, okay... I would not do this... takes too long to be of use>
 I did some other research on Google and see people do this for seahorses.  I guess i will give it a shot tomorrow and see what happens.  Is furan 2 a good choice here or would Maracyn be a better alternative?  What would be the least detrimental to a reef system should any left over food end up in the tank and any inverts munching on the medicated brine?
<I would skip adding antibiotics period in this fashion. This fish will likely heal of its own accord. B>

Gentamycin Sulfate Powder 100% ?
Hi everyone, I have a cloudy eye issue on my 210 gallon fowler tank.  My fish have cloudy eye, a bacterial infection. This product sounds like what they need. Only one dose is necessary. Do any of you have experiences with this medication that you could share with me?
<I do, but... would like to state some "things" contrary to it and any other antimicrobial use here, in any established system... Please see below>
A website that's selling it has this to say about it:
"Probably the most gram-negative anti-bacterial on the market today.  Only one dose is usually required. Effective in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. One of the few drugs that is absorbed into the blood stream through the gills. Use: 1 teasp. per 40 gallons of water.  Treat one time and leave it in the water for 7-10 days. If water changes are done, replace water lost during change."time and leave in water for 7-10 days. If water changes are done, replace the medication I have no hospital tank. I can't get the guys out to treat them somewhere else.  A local fish shop said to pour Melafix in there.
Bob Fenner does not care for this product at all. It is just tea tree oil. I cannot copper the system because dozens of FAQ's here regarding copper all say the same, no reliable test kits!  Bunk readings, return test kits to store for a different brand, re-test again, different results. How can we keep the dose correct if we can't accurately measure it?
<If so, not possible>
That I am not willing to do.  Another shop around here says to treat with Formalin-3. I read here that it is very toxic, and should be dosed, handled with extreme caution.
<Agreed, as posted... a dangerous general biocide>
But is it useful to clear up cloudy eye?
<No my friend>
I ain't no chemist, I'm kinda scared to pour Formalin-3 in my tank full of life. My nitrates are at 30,
<This... is likely telling>
kinda high, but maybe this is making them weak?
<Mmm, to put this in a better way... "the conditions, circumstances that are allowing such an accumulation of NO3 are weakening">
Can they survive a harsh medication like this Gentamycin Sulfate powder?
<Too likely to not do what you want it to do here>
Thank you ahead for so many great articles and advice.
Jeffery J.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/infectdismeds.htm and the linked files above to gain a gist... T'were it me, mine, I'd be looking for ways to improve the environment here... Raising RedOx particularly if you'd like summat to fixate on as a goal. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gentamycin Sulfate Powder 100% ? for Bob Fenner 3/31/09
Thanks Bob!
<Welcome Jeff>
I was hoping to hear from you, I have your book---great information on algae control issues and q t ing new arrivals. Thanks a lot. I have thought about it, and agree that clearing up the environment is best. But my wife admitted a lie after I wrote you.
She said the nitrates were at 60ppm,
Salifert/Sailfert? test kit for NO3. Said she didn't want to stress me out even more with the real reading. Great. Seems we overfeed, one not telling the other when we feed. Water changes, Chemi-Pure, carbon, what else can I do for a more natural fix?
<Mmm, a few possibilities... Please read here:
and the linked files above>
Three out of 10 fish can no longer see, they can smell the food but cannot find it to eat it, eyes too cloudy.
<Very bad... STOP feeding... read on WWM re other food/type alternatives... You may well be polluting the water w/o knowing this>
I will not use any chemicals. I will try and lower the water level to get them out into a makeshift hospital tank using the tubs described in your book, like a Rubbermaid. But if I cannot, please advise me on a natural way to quickly get that 60 ppm down to an acceptable level of approx 20ppm, please.
<Read on... live rock, macro-algal culture, DSBs...>
If they cannot see to eat, they will waste away and die in a few days.
<Mmm, longer than this>
I have a small Scribbled angel, a tang, a Copperband, 1 Bannerfish, a Banggai cardinal, and some Chromis.
We need your help bad on this one. The Bannerfish has stress marks on his back from the high nitrates we're guessing. I have read through the nitrate section here, but just cannot concentrate now on getting the information to stick. How can I get these down in a few days?
<... through educating yourself... Read. BobF>
Thanks so much again, a real treat to hear from the Fenner himself on this one.

Clown fish eye infection... Antibiotic use   10/1/08 Hi Crew, Can you recommend the best antibacterial to eradicate my Seabay Clown Fishes eye infection? <Mmm, yes: none> Tried several doses of Maracyn Plus, but the problem keeps coming back. <Need to discern, treat the actual cause here... not bacterial> Eyes are bulging to the point where it looks like the fish is wearing goggles! <...> Maracyn takes it away for a week and then the eyes start to bug out again. Please tell me a specific, name brand, one time treatment for this fish (which is now isolated in my hospital tank) so I don't have to keep on spending money on the wrong thing. Thanks! <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/Popeyecures.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Mysterious Coral Bleaching, Not Such A Mystery (Antibiotics Administered To The Display System) -- 08/08/07 Dear WWM Crew, <<Hello Bill>> Please lend me your thoughts. <<Sure thing>> Recently (within the past week) I noticed two Montipora corals in my tank that have been acclimated and growing well begin to bleach. Within the past two days a few small Pocillopora and Acropora began to bleach as well and polyps hid. <<Mmm, an environmental issue of some sort>> I've checked the tank parameters - everything seems rather on par -- 75 gallon tank -Alkalinity - 4.2 (may be a bit high?) <<Considering you Calcium is over 400...yes, a bit>> -Calcium - 420 -Nitrate - 0 -Temp - 74 - 76 night and day <<Probably fine but a little on the cool side in my opinion>> -SG- 1.024 <<Better than many I've seen but bumping to NSW levels (1.025/1.026) is best>> -Lighting - 2 * 250 10K, 4 * 96 actinic. All the corals have loved the light to this point. <<Unless the bulbs are 'very' old this is likely not the issue>> I think my problem may be one of two things, or a combo of both. I used a cycle of "Chemi Clean" Cyanobacteria remover which threw my protein skimmer way out of cycle. <<Ugh! It has done much more harm than that I fear...you have likely wiped out much of your biological filtration. You didn't list an Ammonia reading but you need to check this right away...as well as preparing/performing large water changes and adding chemical filtration (Carbon/Poly-Filter/Chemi-Pure) to try to keep the buildup of nitrogenous compounds under control until bacteria has a chance to repopulate>> It is creating massive amounts of micro-bubbles so I haven't been able to run it properly. <<Possibly overcome by the increased organics load...perhaps you can adjust it 'down' a bit>> I am doing a third partial water change today (in the last week) to try to remove excess chemicals so I can get my skimmer running normally (not overflowing the collection cup constantly). <<The water changes probably explain why your Nitrate reading was zero. Do try to get the skimmer back in service...perhaps throttling it back a bit to slow down the overfilling of the skimmer cup>> There is also one leather coral in the tank, could the lack of chemical filtration for the past two weeks, or that in conjunction with the leather emitting toxins be killing these previously healthy corals? <<Is definitely a contributor...at the very least is exacerbating the situation. Get some chemical filtration going!>> Any advice? <<Yes...don't administer antibiotics to your display system...and start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm>> Thanks! Bill <<Regards, EricR>>

Fish & antibiotics in the UK  -- 3/28/07 Hello Robert and Jeni, <Neale> I'm attaching this because I think it'll be of interest to both of  you, and because I just answered a WWM question commenting on furan drugs and where to get them. <Ah, good. Appreciate this> The attachment is a paper ("Koi health care in the UK: a veterinary overview ") from a UK veterinary journal, specifically about fish  health. In particular, I thought it worthwhile to clarify the use of  antibiotics outside the USA. You'll note the following line: "Although it is interesting to see relaxed American controls on drug availability it inevitably suggests to hobbyists that the same  products are also on sale in the UK and that antibiotics are easily  obtained on this [the UK] side of the Atlantic" <Yes... so I've heard, read> In the UK, and apparently Europe, Australia, and elsewhere,  antibiotics and drugs with antibiotic properties, such as furan and  sulfa drugs, are strictly prescription only. I personally believe  that this is the correct approach, given the huge problems with  antibiotic resistance, but that is perhaps beside the point. I do  believe we have to be careful about recommending drugs that may be  illegal in some/many places. I'd suggest that rather than  *automatically* recommending antibiotics and/or antibiotic-like  drugs, some note was made about seeking proper veterinarian advice  and that any advice about drugs is in the context of being legal in the US, but likely not elsewhere. Anyway, enjoy the article, it's very interesting and easy to read. Cheers, Neale <Thank you for this. BobF>

Maracyn and Coppersafe Reaction 1/16/07 Boy did I screw up. <Uh-oh.> I have 125 marine tank. I had a huge case of ich...I added CopperSafe. <Doh!> The next day all my fish had pink fungus all over them. I added Maracyn. <Doh!> Now my tank looks like swamp water. <I bet.> I am losing fish one by one. <Not surprising unfortunately.> I don't know what is killing them now there is no sign of ich or the pink stuff. <The fact that you declared nuclear war on your tank.> I only added Maracyn once. <One time too many sadly.> My water STILL is swamp water green. HELP!!!! I have already done: 50% water change <Good> 80% water change <Good> 100% water change <Good> I have put a phosphate filter in the sump and a pantyhose sock with some granular phosphate remover. I leave my white lights off hoping that the light won't promote growth. Okay, I have now replaced ALL of the following: Live rock all 140# Live sand all 60# Water Now running Phosphate Carbon AmQuel and Cycle for life and water is still turning green slowly HELP!!!!! Emily Gansereit <The double hit of copper and antibiotics has made your tank hostile to most all marine life.  The tank is now cycling and living organisms are starting to re-colonize the tank.  This starts with the toughest, usually lower forms of life, like free floating algae.  Best bet now is to test for copper in the water, if found do more water changes.  Get some Poly-Filters and run these along with carbon and the Phosphate remover.  Water changes are your friend for the foreseeable future.  Also get a QT tank to avoid this situation if the future.  With time and proper care the tank should return to normal.> <Chris> Nitrofurazone   9/17/06 Hi crew!  First off, just want to thank you for all the excellent advice you give!  This site has helped me so many times! <Ah, good> My problem: Just yesterday I received a yellow tang and a falco hawkfish through the mail.  Both seemed fine, the hawkfish even started eating right off.  I placed them in my 29 gallon quarantine tank with the resident blue damsel I keep there to keep the tank cycled.  Before you worry about the damsel, he was once housed with a lionfish and I think has been psychologically damaged.  He's an absolute chicken! <Good> The tank also has some live rock and a sand bed.    I find the new fish do much, much better with this quarantine set up than in a "bare bones" tank. <Yes> In fact, in a year (and several dozen fish) I've never once had to treat any type of infection.  I may just be lucky, but I believe the fish just aren't as stressed and therefore susceptible. <Bingo> Anyway, this morning, I went to check on the new fish and discovered the yellow tangs eyes (both of them) have puffed up and clouded over.  I contacted my LFS (a close friend) and asked what medication to use.  He said the fish probably had Vibrio anguillarum and suggested Nitrofurazone.  I've pulled all the fish, and placed them in a 35 gallon trash can with heater, powerhead, bubbler and lots of seeded sponges from my other tank, and treated them today.  What I'm not sure about is how long to keep them there after the prescribed medication treatment (about 24-48 hours).  Can I return them to the live rock quarantine tank after this, or let this tank lay fallow for 30 days like I would had it been infected with ick? <I'd use the former time-frame> I've looked and can't seem to find any info on this. Thanks, BC. <Bob Fenner>

Tetracycline   5/25/06 Hello <<Hello again, Lynn. Tom>> My daughter takes tetracycline for teenage acne, 250mg strength. I hope you don't think I am stupid, but I was advised to use this product for my goldfish. Does it have to be goldfish friendly from a pet shop, or can I use part of a tablet? <<Nothing "stupid" about your question in the least. Actually, it makes perfect sense to ask this and it isn't that uncommon a question. Do not use a medication formulated for humans on your fish. The main reason is that it would be nearly impossible for you to derive the proper dosage for your fish from a 250mg tablet. Secondly, this tablet would contain buffers and other inert and/or active ingredients along with the Tetracycline. Without a detailed chemical breakdown of the medication, you'd have no idea in the world what you might be introducing into the aquarium. Use only medications, from reputable sources, that are designed to be used with fish. Side note: By way of clarification, I suggested to you that the red mark on your pet's tail was nothing to be concerned about as long as it wasn't in the form of red "streaks". The advice about the Tetracycline was in case of septicemia, which is not indicated by what you described in your original post. We never want to treat a fish unless we're as sure as humanly possible as to what it's suffering from. If you want to purchase the medication just to have it on hand, that's fine but, please, get back to one of us with an update on your Goldfish before taking a chance on treating for something it may not have.>> Thanks very much. Lynn <<You're more than welcome, Lynn. Tom>>

Live rock going white/Ammonia up  - 02/16/2006 Crew, the last 2 days my tank is turning south I added a DSB 6 weeks ago and doing normal water changes and such. Parameters were all good. Now in the last 2 days ammonia has come up to .4 and today the Live rock is dying turning white, <Something awry here... a die-off> the skimmer is getting nothing but watery foam since 3 days ago and the collection cup fills up in an hour with water. All other readings are good Calcium is a little low at 350 but I dosed it with 3 tsp yesterday. Is it crashing? <A downward slide at least one could say> What can I do? <When, where in doubt... a water change... and do check your alkalinity... I suspect it's shot here> I can't seem to skim nothing. <Anything> I have a 100 gallon stock tank to take action with. Should I start making tons of water (RO) up and prep a 10 gallon for all creatures with their own water. <I would at least try a couple of consecutive/daily water changes of 20-25%> I have the supplies to do this if needed. This tank is 4 years old and most rock is 2-4 years old. I've been more conscientious than ever with it the last year. I'm puzzled Thanks Jeff <Mmm, and I'd add a bit of new live rock here once all is settled down. Bob Fenner> Re: UPDATE!!! Live rock going white/Ammonia up  - 02/16/2006 I've figured it out!!!! After more reading I think it was the Maracyn I put in treating my Regal Tang!! I could not catch her so LFS said it was safe no problem for a FOWLR. What is my best coarse of action I'm thinking massive ro water change? 20% every other day for about 10 days? Thoughts can I save the inverts and rock? Jeff <Ahh, this antibiotic, Erythromycin will "do it"... Thanks for the follow-up. Bob Fenner> Medications...Learn How To Use Them - 12/05/05 Hi all, <<Hello>> I have been having some problems with water tests and was wondering if I could get your opinion on this? <<Sure thing...shoot.>> This is on a 600 gallon bank in my store with a modified biofilter (baskets with DLS and poly-fiber wound tightly together). It all started after I treated with Kanamycin sulphate, <<The antibiotic wiped out your bio-filter.>> I was having some problems with TB and some fungal infections, under the recommendation from National Phish Pharmaceuticals I treated with the Kanamycin. <<Mmm...without advising you what it would do to your filter system? Have you researched/know what affect this has on your system?>> I was very close on total volume of water treated with the medication, after I treated I have been getting very high (like off the chart) readings in nitrite and nitrate the nitrite chart goes from 0 to 5.0 and it is way higher than 5.0 I know these are false (to some degree) because the fish are still alive they are not gasping for air at the surface or anything, the nitrate readings go from 0 to 160 and they are also off the charts. I have done a couple of water changes (15-20%) but it does nothing to help the readings, all in all the fish seem fine. I have lost a few but nothing outside of the normal. <<Still, likely attributable to the lack of an active bio-filter after being nuked with the Kanamycin sulphate.>> I guess one more piece of the puzzle is that I have been adding copper to the system as well the copper is also from NFP, <<Yikes!! Double whammy!>> I talked with Brian over there (at NFP) and he said the copper could be giving a false test reading, <No... RMF> problem is I never had the readings before the Kanamycin dose and have used it (Kanamycin) before with no readings that were so high, I am concerned because I have a good size order of fish coming in on Monday and am a little nervous about putting them in my system.... Suggestions? <<Faulty test kits/false readings aside, you can't ignore the fact that using both an antibiotic AND copper have wiped out the bacteria in your bio-filter. It would be best to do your treatments in a smaller hospital system where it would be easier to do frequent water changes to handle the accumulations waste products in the absence of an adequate bio-filter. But the damage is done...I would think your priority at this point would be to filter out the Kanamycin/copper (carbon & Poly-filter) and get the bio-filter reestablished as quickly as possible (transfer some filter material from an "untreated" system if possible).>> Thanks as always. <<Regards, EricR>>

Tank die off... actually kill-off... antibiotic "treatment" of algae 7/31/05 This morning I woke up to an almost complete tank die off. The only survivors were a Fire Shrimp, and hermit crabs. I lost several soft corals, two stony corals, and all 9 fish. <No fun> I did a 10% water change yesterday to which I added Erythromycin Thiocyanate. <... trouble...> I have been getting a lot of red algae growth on my glass for the past month, and last week some hair algae cropped up. <You killed off your livestock... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgcidefaqs.htm>   A couple years ago I had a serious hair algae problem, and I wanted to stop it before it got worse. Did the Erythromycin Thiocyanate cause the die off?    <Yes> I also have very high calcium and alkalinity levels. Calcium is around 540 meg/L, and Alkalinity is 160 meg/L. <...?> I have not added any calcium supplements or buffers to the tank in over a year, and I only use RO water for water changes. <What salt mix? Please read on WWM re various brands...> I tested all other water quality parameters, and they are all very good. <... what is "good"? Subjective evaluations are of no use to us> Any ideas? <All sorts> Chris B. <Read. Bob Fenner>

Maracyn and copper 7/31/05 Is it ok to use Maracyn and copper together in a quarantine tank <Yes, this antibiotic (Erythromycin) and copper compounds (chelated and not) can be safely used together. Bob Fenner> White Feces Thanks for a terrific website ! I have been searching for information to help me diagnose what might be wrong with my Majestic Angel. After 5 months of doing splendidly, he suddenly stopped eating and is not his usual happy self (lethargic)  His only other symptom is white 'string-like' feces. I purchased Cephalexin (antibiotic) because it said on the box to use for stringy feces) <... no...> and my plan was to put him in QT but yesterday I tried to give him some live black worms, and he ate some! I hesitate to put him in QT due to the stress and I am not even sure if I have the right medicine. Any advice as to what I might be dealing with and how to treat is greatly appreciated ! Many thanks, Carol <Could be a latent parasitic problem, but much more likely just a transitory "psychological" adjustment... Possibly water quality related (do check, change water, possibly add a bit of live rock, macroalgae...)  I would not add antibiotics, other medications... other than vitamins to the fish's foods. I do agree with your position on transferring this fish. I would leave it where it is. Bob Fenner>

Antibiotics recommendation? Pond treatments Hello WWM Crew, I am so glad I found your site. I've made it through most of the related sections and haven't found my answer just yet, so I'm trying the source. <Okay> With so many choices of antibiotics, can you assist me in selecting one? Story follows. (Ampicillin, Tetracycline, Cephalexin, Ketoconazole, Amoxicillin, Erythromycin, Penicillin, Sulfamethoxine/Trimethoprin, Metronidazole) <... these are not all antibiotics...> Short version: Based on viewing from above, external fungus, potential parasites, possible internal bleeding... Longer version: At least four years ago we started a pond of approx. 1000 gallons with about 13 goldfish/koi. During the life of the pond we have added depth and area, as well as filtration, to date it's about a 1500 gallon capacity pond shaped like a fat-bottomed number eight with about 2500 gallons of water actually flowing via a well/waterfall and two external filtration barrels. Remember the 13 fish? Each year we give away a growing number of them - first it was 50, then 80, I think last year we gave away over 120 fish and we still have over 60 in the pond. Even though we live in Eastern PA, the pond is maintained year-round (none of that "drain it each fall" stuff here) and it is maintained quite well. We recently hopped in to prep it for the spring by cleaning debris and re-introducing the plants. While doing this work we noticed that a handful of fish were not in good health. <From?> We feel it would be impossible to quarantine (maybe even catch) all sick fish, so we are considering treating the entire system with antibiotics... <Not a good idea... the utility of such compounds should be tested for... not practical for almost all hobbyists... their use in ponds is doubtful, due to many co-factors, principally mulm/biomass interaction... Much better to check, restitute water quality, add "salt", bolster immune systems through enhanced feeding...> Suggestions? Thanks, Brian <Keep studying, save your money on antimicrobials, don't blanket treat for something/s you don't understand the root cause/s of. Bob Fenner>

Dead zoanthids - Cyanobacteria 11/5/04 Two weeks ago, I had a bad case of red slime, an F/S recommended I added Ultra Life's Red Slime Remover, so I did <aiiiieeee! No, please say it's not so :( This is an anti-biotic. Do look up the root definition of the term. Or, no... I'll spare you: anti-biotic: against-life Sure... it kills the Cyanobacteria... and so much more! And sadly, red slime algae is staggeringly easy to kick without hardly lifting a finger. Its all about controlling nutrients. Not allowing thawed pack juice from frozen foods into the aquarium, skimming aggressively, increasing water flow and water changes. A cure in 2 weeks or less> and it worked great. The red slime was gone but also an entire colony of zoos. The zoos closed up and are turning a dark brown should I just give on them and declare it a lost or should I just wait and see? How do you even know when a zoo is completely dead? William <water changes, good water flow and time/patience my friend. And please do read through our archives on BGA/Cyanobacteria/Red Slime Algae my friend. So much info. Anthony> Q's (Medication terminology) Bobster... I think I botched my last attempt at sending this. Could you enlighten me on the differences in terms and nature of antibiotics vs. [bacter-io-ia-er..cidal] treatments? What are they called and why the distinction in how they kill pathogens? <Mmm, antibiotics are compounds for diminishing the populations of microbes (bacteria, funguses...) are made from biological agents or extensions of same... bactericidals can be antibiotics (but not necessarily) and are meant to kill (caedere: Latin... as in cease) bacteria... often the latter are less discriminatory in their actions. Bob Fenner>

Quick question about Maracyn 2 Mr. Fenner, When I use Maracyn 2 should I have the U.V sterilizer and the protein skimmer off? <I would leave both these going in most cases. The UV won't change this antibiotic, but the skimmer might remove it more quickly from your system than "it's worth". Bob Fenner> Thanks, Kevin Ballard

Oops. Tail end of my question Bob... <<JasonC again>> How embarrassing... I left out one bit of question that was supposed to be in my last email. Do you know of any difference between the saltwater and freshwater versions of the Mardel-Labs Maracyn products? (except for the price... saltwater is $5.00 more per pak) They both claim 200 mg erythromycin activity. <<interesting question, and honestly, I don't know, but can pop them an email and ask. On its face it certainly seems like marketing hype, doesn't it?>> Thanks! Jim Raub <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Eel oxidized, help! Epsom, spg, env. disease, antibiotics The salinity level in my moray tank has reached 1.030! I suspect that this is due to the addition of Epsom salts into my tank. <This is a lot of Epsom if so... it only needs to be added once... unless a good deal of water volume has been changed out> Should I change the water immediately? <Yes... I'd lower the spg to 1.025 in three days water changes... taking out a calculated volume of tank water and replacing it with freshwater.> Both my eels have not eaten for more than 1 month but that is a rather usual occurrence. My Soapfish is faring rather well in the tank at present. What should I do? <Start changing the water, NOW> The fishes seem normal presently but I do not want any nasty surprises. The tank currently also contains tetracycline (to aid the oxidized eel which is slowly recovering). If I were to change water, the tetracycline dosage would be diluted. Is this okay? <Yes, but I would NOT add more Tetracycline... not likely of value/use... your fish will heal with improvement in water quality, time> pH: 8.5 Nitrate & nitrite: 0.15 <Nitrite should be zero> KH: 8dKH Alkalinity: 3 meq/liter I figured out that the Epsom salts caused the rise in salinity. However, I need to still do a water change (last change was 3 weeks ago). However, I am afraid that if I were to top up both the Epsom salts and tetracycline, there would be tetracycline in the tank longer than the required dosage. This is because it takes time for tetracycline to be completely exhausted in supply in a tank. <Actually... the color of this antibiotic is persistent, but its activity only lasts a few days> I added tetracycline into the tank around 1 week ago. So, IMO, which may not be correct, if I add tetracycline in the top-up water, there will still be some tetracycline in the water about 1 week after the duration of the required dosage, which I fear may be bad for the fishes. <Me too... Do NOT re-add it> However, I also do not know the duration of the required dosage of tetracycline (not stated on package), and this makes things a tad more complicated. Difficult to explain. An example: Dosage for tetracycline: 5g (to be in water for 3 weeks). Tetracycline added. Further top up of new tetracycline 1 week later. 3 weeks later: Old tetracycline dosage exhausted (present in water for full 3 weeks), new dose only present in water for 2 weeks. Therefore some residual tetracycline stays in the water for 1 week more than required duration. Is that okay too? <Antibiotic use for marine fishes is tenuous at best... if administered NOT a good idea to place in their main tank itself... for loss of biological filtration, staining... reasons. I would hold off on adding ANY medication at this point. Lower your spg and supplement your biological filtration. Bob Fenner> Re: Red bubbles Bob <Linda> Hi, sorry to bother you again about my blue-green algae. <Not a bother>   We did the 30 gal water change that you suggested, we changed our carbon, we used a soft brush and brushed all the red slime off all the rocks and it looked very encouraging.  Then today the next day the red bubbles are all back. <Yes... simple organisms can have very fast "doubling rates"... if the conditions that allowed the BGA to proliferate have not been substantially altered it can grow right back! As you well know>   I talked to a LFS today and he sold me some stuff called Maracyn.  It says is made out of 200 Mg erythromycin activity per tablet. <Yes... an antibiotic first packaged and sold in the aquarium interest by Mardel Lab.s back in 1969. I was one of their technical liaisons at one time...> We have a 125gal tank and he told me to use 5 tablets every other day for 3 times.  I am just double checking with you because this stuff says it is for freshwater fish, Fin and tail Rot and body fungus.  Is this ok for me to use? <No... or should I state, "not really"... all the algae (and many other micro-organism groups) dying off at once can cause huge havoc in your system... including such a decline in overall water quality that you might lose all your livestock. There are several references to this posted on WWM. Start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgcidefaqs.htm and on to the many linked files (in blue, at top). You will find a mix of results, but one general opinion... there are better, safer ways to "treat" these situations than chemical means.>> He said he has used it for years and learned it from a biologist.  Is it going to hurt my corals, and my clams?. <Very likely yes>   I am so discouraged right now.  Every day my algae gets worse and I will wait till I hear from use to use this stuff. Thanks Linda <Linda, please read over the article on BGA posted on WWM... seek to remedy the cause/s of your BGA proliferation here... enhanced water quality... through better skimming, chemical filtrant use (do you have excess nitrates, phosphate?), perhaps the addition of purposeful macro-algae, a better, larger means of denitrification... many roads exist for curtailing pest algae growth... chemical means are the last avenue to attempt... and are fraught with danger. Read until you understand what you are doing THEN act my friend. Bob Fenner> Using Fungicides and Antibiotics Together (10/31/04) Hello. <Hi. Steve Allen tonight.> A general question on antibiotics/fungicides. <Are we talking FW or SW here?> If a fish has what looks like fungus on top of a swollen or reddish looking tissue, should it be treated with BOTH a fungicide (Methylene blue maybe?) <Not really useful as a fungicide, at least, not in SW, which is my area. You need a real fungicide labeled as such.> AND an antibiotic? <Fungal infections are often secondarily infected with bacteria due to the tissue damage they do, so treating together would be wise if there is damage like you describe.> As for antibiotics, by reading your FAQs I see that there are many you recommend: Nitrofuranaces, Maracyn, Kanaplex, etc. - are any of them ok to use? <All have their uses, depending on which bacteria one is trying to treat. When uncertain, one must use a single broad-spectrum agent or complementary narrower spectrum agents to cover the range one needs to cover (gram-positive vs. gram-negative, etc.)> I realize that by the time I feel I might want to treat with 2 medications, it is far along for the fish. Do I immediately treat for fungus whenever I see it, and then hope the underlying cause of the fungus will take care of itself? (of course keeping watch on water parameters). <Best to treat the infection when noted and address possible contributory factors at the same time. All chemical treatment really ought to be done in a separate hospital/quarantine tank. Plenty of info on these in the FAQs.> Or do I actively treat for both bacteria and fungus? <If there is an open, raw-looking wound, then bacterial infection is probable.> Lastly, can you recommend a book that deals with freshwater disease and includes LOTS of pictures, so I can read up and thus not panic when it actually occurs? <I really like The Manual of Fish Health, by Dr. Chris Andrews, available at Amazon for $17.46.> Confused and grateful for any response, Miriam Bender <Hope this helps.> Mixing antibiotics and copper Is it safe to mix a Nitrofurazone/Furazolidone cocktail with copper in a quarantine tank?  <Sharon in my experience most antibiotics can be safely mixed with copper. I caution you about putting copper in with a tang for a very long time. MacL> thank you

Maracyn Plus safe for display? Ahhh...no. 9/1/04 The guy at my LFS insists that Maracyn Plus (encapsulated Sulfadimidine + Trimethoprim) is safe for display tanks with live rock and inverts. <hehhehehehhehhe...hahhahahhahhah... wooooooo hoo! Ahhh... no.> I am not convinced. <healthy and accurate skepticism> What do you think? <unquestionably not safe to many desirable life forms. You do know/recall the root/def of the word anti-biotics? "against-life". This medicine WILL harm and  kill desirable and undesirable microscopic organisms and facultiers (like your living filter/live rock)> I've got a Sailfin with a cloudy white area on caudal fin that may be a fungus infection. Symptoms so far do not shout ich or velvet. Thanks, George. <most all sick livestock are best removed to a proper QT tank for these and other reasons. Anthony>

RE: Maracyn Plus safe for display? Pet store advice? Thanks Anthony, I thought as much. LFS actually said, "They wouldn't make the stuff if it couldn't be used safely in a display tank". This is from the same guys who swear that QT is not necessary (their specialty is marine aquariums and livestock). Sometimes I wonder if such advice is given because they figure it will generate more sales when animals die or systems have to be cleaned out and started over, particularly when a LFS has no local competition. << I'd hope not.  I think most stores are trying to give good advice, it is just that we don't all agree on what good advice is. >> George <<  Blundell  >>

Dan & Rattlesnake (the injured diamond goby) >Hello Mr. Fenner, >>That's MRS. Harding, to you! Just kidding, Marina you have this morning. >Good evening to you! Just got done perusing WWM and found no help on my particular problem. I recently added my orange diamond spot goby to my main tank from the hospital tank. Then it started, my bicolor Pseudochromis started picking on him. After day two I took him back out of the main tank, he was not eating and barely moving. >>Uh oh.. next time, if at all possible, try not to wait till a fish is at that point. >During the acclimation back to the hospital tank I did manage to hand feed him some frozen brine and Mysis shrimp. It was actually amazing that he would slurp stuff off my finger. The injuries are a few bruises and one side fin is kinda pulled forward - looks like a hang nail but with the fin. What else can I do? >>First and foremost - ensure pristine water quality. Second, but also foremost - start soaking all feeds in a bit of Selcon. Nutrition is what will help greatly. Third - watch for secondary bacterial infection, or simply treat prophylactically. This would probably be an instance where I would do so. >I thought about Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2, but am unsure how the polyps and flower leather in the hospital tank will take the medicine. (That is - will the Maracyn harm the soft corals?) >>My friend, it's not much of a hospital tank if you can't medicate in it. I've not used this particular medication with invertebrates, but I have used Spectrogram with sea stars. Honestly, I'd remove those pieces, and I'd also use Spectrogram instead of the Maracyns (though it WON'T hurt to have all three on hand!). >If you could please help this little buddy of mine, I would be grateful. Thank you in advance. Thanks, Dan & Rattlesnake (the goby) >>There you have my opinion, I wouldn't risk it for a couple of reasons - not the least of which is IF whatever antibiotic you ultimately choose to use does harm those softies, the resultant degradation in water quality may greatly harm the goby. Marina 

Reef Lighting Clarification >Hi Marina, >>Good morning. >Sorry for that. In the 6 months I've been referring to WWM, I have only seen replies by the guys..... >>No worries. >BTW, could someone answer me one simple question. I have someone with 30 years experience in aquaria telling me that the Standard Therapeutic dose for erythromycin in saltwater is 50mg/l. >>Ok. >This seems pretty darn high, however he is referencing numerous works from the mid-70's to buttress this position. >>I tend to go with those years of experience, and feel that little has changed in regards to the quality/saturation of the drug.   >i.e.: Fish and Invertebrate Culture: Water Management in Closed Systems, by Dr. Steven Spotte Page 5 table 1.1--Effects of commonly use antibacterial agents and parasiticides on nitrification.  On Line 5, Erythromycin: Concentration 50mg/l % Inhibition = 100 and the only thing worse than E is Methylene Blue Source; Levine and Meade 1976 >>Not sure what this statement means, however, not having access to this particular tome I cannot argue or support it.  Curious as to what this is pertinent to. >Original reference: Levine, G. and T.L. Meade, "The Effects of Disease Treatment in Closed Systems" Proc. 7th Ann. Meet. Worlds Mariculture Soc., pages 483-493 Should I go ahead with this dosing, or stick to the manufacturer's recommendations, which at 200mg/10g is about 5-6mg/l? >>I would refer to the manufacturer's recommendations, unless you can determine purity/strength/efficacy to be equivalent to what was used in these references.  I shall give you some other links. http://www.pets-warehouse.com/Fishmed2.htm http://www.pets-warehouse.com/Fishmed3.htm I hope this helps (though, I would compare the "old-timer's" information to the manufacturer's.  Antibiotics can be tricky, and it may be better to go a bit higher, be sure that you knock out what you're after rather than creating yet another resistant strain of bug).  Best of luck!  Marina

Metronidazole Hi Ian, actually, Metronidazole is not an anti-biotic from what I've read today... Hey, shouldn't you know that? :-)))<To be honest with you. I just looked on the WWM site for antibiotics and how they are used against ICH. I did not look up and research Metronidazole. If you would like more info on this product, I suggest that you search google. IanB>

More about Metronidazole (06/19/03) Crew: <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I noticed today's post about Metronidazole. This substance (aka Flagyl) IS and antibiotic and an antiprotozoal. In humans, it is used to treat protozoal infections like Giardia, Trichomonas & Amebiasis. It is also used for bacterial infections such as helicobacter, bacterial vaginosis, colitis due to clostridium dificile, and other anaerobic infections such as bacteroides. Steve Allen, M.D. <Thanks so much for the clarification! The fish-med packages are a bit lacking in information sometimes.... --Ananda> Re: Metronidazole Crew: I noticed today's post about Metronidazole. This substance (aka Flagyl) IS and antibiotic and an antiprotozoal. In humans, it is used to treat protozoal infections like Giardia, Trichomonas & Amebiasis. It is also used for bacterial infections such as helicobacter, bacterial vaginosis, colitis due to clostridium dificile, and other anaerobic infections such as bacteroides. Steve Allen, M.D. <Thank you for your input here. Will post for alls edification. Bob Fenner>

Erythromycin Hi, for secondary bacteria infections (marine fish, bare tank) after Crypto or marine velvet, is 200mg of erythromycin per 10 gallon, each day for 5 days good enough?<I believe it comes with 200mg tablets, I have treated with this medication in the past, and I just followed the directions and the fish that I was treating got better after about 2 weeks I would just follow the manufacturers directions on the treatment)> Will it wipe out my bio filtration (sponge filter)?<Most likely yes> Should I turn off the skimmer?<Yes, I would> Finally, I'm not sure if I'm not confusing secondary bacterial infection ("Body Fungus") with Brooklynella... . any way to distinguish between the two? <Do read these two links-   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm > Also, is Erythromycin in any way effective against protozoans, such as marine Ich, Velvet or Brook.?<No, Erythromycin is used for bacterial infections, Mouth Fungus, Hemorrhagic Septicemia, Furunculosis, etc> Thank you,<IanB> Luke

Treating An Open Sore Dear crew" <Scott F. with you today> I have the antibiotic, like Maracyn, and I have a QT ready, how do I administer the drug?? Mix with food or in water? Please help. <Just administer right into the water in the prescribed dosage...see the instructions that come with the medication; follow them exactly...Should be fine! The sore seems to  be the same... and the cleaner shrimp is working on it sometimes... <Good to hear that the "natural cleaner" is on the job!> I am feeding the tank tetra medicated flakes and garlic soaked foods... what else can I do? Eric <I think that you're doing okay here! The only concern I have is mixing antibiotic in the water and feeding medicated food...May be counterproductive or have potential interactions that may decrease effectiveness of both...Choose one ore the other. Also- keep the water quality as high as possible, and you should see the sore heal dramatically in the next several days...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Turning The Tide On Disease WWM Crew, <Scott F. with you again tonight> You have been very helpful, but there are a couple of things I can't find any info about on the website.  Could you answer a couple more questions? <I'd be happy to> I am still treating the clowns with Neosulfex (dose two today) and I don't see much improvement.  Female still has white stuff on her lower lip and won't eat much at all...male still has red spot under lower lip (looks a tiny bit improved).  Is Neosulfex the best antibiotic I can use or should I try something else?  Maybe it just hasn't been long enough (I'm not patient.) <Yep- give it time. "Mixing and matching" different antibiotics, or any other medications together is not a great idea. Follow the treatment prescribed by the manufacturer and monitor your fishes carefully> Also, between yesterday and today, a small edge of the female's ventral fin has "disappeared" and has me even more worried!  These poor fish have been through it all. I think I told you before that the copper treatment almost killed my clowns.   I didn't know that they were sensitive.  The female's last white stripe turned a gray color during treatment while the rest of her color looks fine. Is this a consequence of the copper, and will it ever return to normal? <Could be- or could be a combination of things. If it is the copper, there is a good chance that things will return to normal once a cure is achieved, and the copper is removed.>   Two final questions....When setting up a QT, do you cycle it just like a main display? <Actually, what I do is run a sponge filter in my sump at all times, so it ready to go when needed. Then, I fill the QT with water from the main tank. If it makes you feel better, you could actually use some of the "bacteria in a bottle" solutions to boost nitrifying bacteria populations> Lastly, how do you suggest warming water for a water change so the main tank temp doesn't drop? <I prepare the water ahead of time and throw a small submersible heater into the container. Works like a charm...easy> Thank you SOOO much.  My fish thank you also. Lisa <Hey, Lisa- just keep hanging in there and doing the right thing...Your fish can make it! Regards, Scott F>

Anti-Biotics in Seawater Dear Sir, <we appreciate the greeting, but no need... we work for a living <> I am currently treating my fish-only saltwater tank for a pretty bad case of Oodinium (white velvet) with copper sulfate.  <Oh, no... not in the display?! Ughh... You'll need to dose twice daily and test at least once daily to even have a remote chance to keep copper levels at a therapeutic level. Gravel, sand, rock, decorations all absorb copper and ruin the substrate (leaches copper in the future)! All medications are to be dosed in a proper quarantine tank, my friend. Please do research and purchase/employ a good QT system in the future. It will save you great pains. New fishes are to be run through here for 4 weeks to prevent the introduction of diseases too> I was wondering if there is a recommended anti-biotic that I should also be treating my fish with to fend off any secondary infection?  <not in the display... the copper is killing enough of your biological filter> It is also my understanding that most anti-biotics cannot survive with the copper sulfate in the tank,  <not correct at all. Most all antibiotics are compatible with copper. Bare bottomed QT tanks for this of course> I was just wondering what the proper procedure is. Thank you so much. Mike Basciano <please do browse are archives at WetWebMedia.com starting on the home page and navigating your way through the pertinent marine topics (QT, disease, etc). Much wisdom to be shared here. Best regards, Anthony>

RE: Naso Tang with cloudy eyes (marine antibiotic use) Thank you for the info. This is essentially what I have been advising so I'll stick to it. <Me too... have never experienced definitive proof of antibiotic benefits on a consistent basis... and recent works (e.g. Ed Noga, and I spoke w/ him re at MACNA XIII re)... other than expensive broodstock, and mainly trauma (as in spawning) incidents, direct injection... am of the opinion that such compounds mainly do "good" by modifying water chemistry (e.g. tetracycline hydrochloride lowering pH), perhaps reducing TBC's (total bacteria counts)...> For whatever reason some customers seem to go on the defensive at the suggestion that they have water quality issues and are intent on buying something that will magically fix their problems. <Bingo! Part of the/our "western ethic"... trained by Madison Ave. to "buy something"... perhaps we can, should sell "sugar pills"... oh, Weiss has beat us to the punch...> The typical response is "I know my water is fine because it's perfectly clear" <To which I typically respond "so is vinegar"> or the best one yet "I know it's not my water because I only use Ozarka and it's the best". Ah well, sometimes there isn't much you can say. <Be yourself, state what you believe, know, simply. Ask questions like "what if you used distilled water" or only drank such yourself... ways to introduce, induce more open-mindedness. Reciprocally, maybe you're ready, in need of a holiday? Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Richard

Naso Tang with cloudy eyes (more: antibiotic use) Hello all, I have a customer with a Naso Tang that has stopped feeding and has cloudy eyes. All of their water parameters look good and this particular customer is very diligent in maintenance and feeding. I have never experienced this type of problem and honestly have rarely had to use antibiotics with any saltwater fish so I would be very appreciative if you could recommend any antibiotic or other course of treatment. <May well be that this animal (especially if it is the only one thus affected in the system) just mechanically injured itself (ran into the sides, rock)... this happens with Naso tang species (need room)... and that there is no specific treatment advised, advisable... other than good maintenance practices, self-healing> Also, if you could recommend particular antibiotics for treatment of various "common" bacterial type infections in saltwater fish I would be grateful.  <There are none. Most all infectious diseases of ornamental aquatics are secondary, tertiary... opportunistic due to deficiencies in water quality, nutrition, battering by tankmates, the odd genetic anomaly... some antimicrobials like Furan compounds are efficacious as adjuncts to improving ones chances in improving conditions overall... in some cases dips/baths, feeding, injection (intramuscularly mainly) of antibiotics is something to be suggested... but the cases are few, specific> In my years of keeping saltwater fish both as a hobbyist and now an LFS owner I really can't recall needing to use antibiotics so I feel a bit inept when asked how to treat these types of problems. <Oh, agreed. This has been my experience, recollection as well. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Richard

Antibiotics Anthony, Thanks for the help buddy <my pleasure> Would you recommend using AP's Furan-2? <I don't recall if the AP product has both Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone. If so... it will be fine. If not, try Jungle Brand Fungus Eliminator> Frank <best regards, Anthony>

RE: Popeye and Bullies Hi Anthony, Any word from Bob yet regarding medicated foods for pop-eye ? <Mmm, here I am. There really aren't any specific antibiotics for exopthalmic conditions... As you've likely discussed, most events are environmental (poor water quality of many kinds, physical trauma) mediated... and "cures" of the nature of improved water quality, nutrition, care... and time going by. There are recorded cases of microbial co-involvement and even parasitic causes of "Pop-eye"... and some writers have promoted the use of gram-negative antibiotics (Chloramphenicol, Oxytetracycline... and others) introduced through food intake, injection (not just placed in the water or administered through baths)... See authors/works by Nelson Herwig, Edward Noga for about the sum total of what has been tried here. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Chuck Spyropulos

medicated flakes, Tetra Medicated Flake Food Hello and I hope today finds your fish parasite free, as for mine, well, let me look "NO", I have the dreaded ick monster, I added Two blue legged hermit crabs to my was fish only tank and two days later "ick". I didn't think you had to quarantine crabs? <Best to quarantine everything. Crabs cannot become infected with Ich, but cysts for Ich could be in their bag water or even attached to their shells.> Well, I guess what I need to know is I was reading an article in Marine Fish and Reef Annual <Terry Siegel's excellent piece. I have read it several times myself.> and Tetra anti-protozoan medicated fish flakes were mentioned. well I'm willing to try anything...only problem is I can't find them anywhere, I have done searches online and called my LFS. no luck can you help? <Unfortunately, this product is no longer made. I understand it was taken off the shelf due to some government FDA-type problem concerning the use of the medication without prescription. That was the story I was given, second hand from a Tetra rep.> I may just be over looking them or looking in the wrong place... Thanks in advance for your time. ~Cherri <Sorry I could not be of assistance. Do look over our files for alternatives. Best bet, removal to a separate quarantine tank and treatment while allowing the tank to fallow for one month. -Steven Pro>

Medication Question Rob, <Anthony Calfo here again, my friend> Could you give me some guidelines on what medications to use with septicemia and fin and tail rot?  <absolutely: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarInd3of6.htm (about halfway down the page) do explore the links for details and protocol on various diseases> I read the email sent to my friend with interest, especially about the kana and M/M2. What would you suggest to be the appropriate course of treatment when faced with these two conditions? <Septicemia is usually so virulent and swift that an aquarist doesn't know what hit them. Fin and tail rot can be treated with variety of different broad spectrum antibiotics (like Nitrofurazone/Furazolidone cocktails). No difference on treatment if fungal or bacterial in origin> Anthea <kindly, Anthony>

Antibiotic feeding. I saw about this antibiotic feeding in disease section. what exactly is it?. is that some kind of medicine we can get from pet store? thanks.. <Tetra makes a medicated food that can be therapeutic. Other folks homemaker foods and add antibiotics to the paste. Start with the prepared food if used preventatively for fish in quarantine. Kindly, Anthony>

Antibiotic use Robert, <Anthony Calfo in your service... Bob is preoccupied with a permanent marker and a mirror trying to fashion a facial tattoo in likeness to a Samoan warrior. I think it is his wedding anniversary tonight> I purchased a copperband 10 days ago to get rid of an Aiptasia problem in my reef tank. Unfortunately he has spent the last 10 days picking off the bottom and live rock refusing flake, frozen artemia and the Aiptasia. He looked happy though and got along well with everybody else. <Argghhhh! I wish I had talked to you first. The overwhelming majority of imported Copperbands still come in from the Philippines... and even if they were not drug caught, this "race" of Copperbands is decidedly disinclined to eat Aiptasia. The "amazing" Copperbands you read about are Indonesian by virtue of race or better handling through the chain of custody. Price alone may be able to tell you what your specimen is if your dealer cannot (or will not). Indonesian ones are more expensive. For relative scale, in my region: clownfish are $12-20, yellow tangs are $20-35, Philippine Copperbands are $20-35, and Indonesian Copperbands are $35-50> This morning I noticed he had lock jaw. LITERALLY! His mouth was locked slightly open and has a small amount of white fuzz around it. Fungus maybe.  <quite possibly from foraging on "bald" rocks.> He also looked a bit lethargic. I also noticed his excrement was stringy with some white mixed with dark.  <often a sign of internal parasites (the stringy white)... may try a drug with Metronidazole (AKA Flagyl)> He also has some external parasites (white spots) but very little.  <this all doesn't sound good my friend> My LFS recommended quarantine with a capsule of tetracycline per 10 gallons every 3 days.  <your pet store counselor is on crack. Even if Tetracycline could treat the ectoparasite, it is the most horrendously messy and antiquated (read: diseases resist it!) medication. Research on freshwater dip protocol for the move to quarantine to first address the parasite. In QT, use Quick Cure (or any like med with Formalin) and any antibiotic with Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone in combination> I consulted The Conscientious Marine Aquarist but found very little specific info. on antibiotics. What do you suggest? Should copper be added as well? <Please don't get copper anywhere near an angelfish or butterfly species. they are quite sensitive. The cause of this all indirectly...the need to control Aiptasia, can be done with nutrient control. Aiptasia are only a problem in tanks with nutrient export problems (although many aquarists struggle with this). In well run tanks, they do not spread or populate. They do not grow from thin air (or water, as it were). They need nutrients. So... skim aggressively, do regular water changes, do not overstock or overfeed, be careful about what you import into the tank (nutrients through poor quality tap water, not thawing frozen food and discarding pack juice (DO strain frozen meats), etc). It really is an overblown issue. Like many aquarists I have had aquariums that had an Aiptasia that took more than a year before executing a single act of transverse fission! But I am also a maniac about skimmers and nutrient control. The best of luck, Anthony> Thanks Craig

Re: Antibiotic use II Thanks Anthony. That was probably the most precise, informative piece I have heard in a long time. <very welcome, my friend. I wish you the best. Anthony>

Re: Anti-biotic administration Anthony, Ok, I'm treating with formalin right now using manufacturers recommended dosage (1 drop every two gallons in a 20 gallon H-tank, every other day). I presume its water changes on the alternating days to the addition of formalin. Would you wait this one out, or would you also add Nitrofurazone as an anti-biotic during this 10 day treatment ? <hard to say without seeing the fish... trust your judgment looking at it or enlist the help of a local aquarium service professional> I know fish can sometimes go weeks without eating, but should I hold off completely on food ? or very little ? There is a chance that she won't eat and it being very difficult to remove small particles with very little to break down the ammonia/nitrite buildup outside of water changes ? your thoughts ? <please feed as normal... and siphon out any uneaten food> regards, Ed <kindly, Anthony>

Anti-biotic administration Anthony, going to move from Metronidazole to an anti-biotic like Maracyn  <gram-positive drug, rarely effective as such spectrum infections are less common, and is extremely damaging to good bacterial fauna in tank> or Maracyn II <synthetic tetracycline, broad-spectrum... better choice than the Erythromycin choice above...still a poor choice> and see if I can cure some of this fin spots. Anyhow, most of the anti-biotics are say dissolve a tablet in 10/20 gallons of water. They also say they are good bacteria safe (though it doesn't make sense). <exactly...bull.> Anyhow, I'm wondering if I can crush and administer via food (like soaking brine in it or something) rather than water dissolution ? Your thoughts ? <not recommended without a tried and true prescription. If you feel that you must medicate with anti-biotics, best bet is in a bare-bottomed QT tank with a Furazolidone-Nitrofurazone combination> regards, Ed <Anthony>

Re: Anti-biotic administration II Even with Nitrofurazone, which I have as well. Water soluble or via food ? <Please follow manufacturer's instructions for either or both> Ed

Re: Anti-biotic administration Anthony et al, actually just noticed something that is kind of disturbing. Remember this whole cowfish spots (1, 2 and 3) thread from two weeks back. <indeed> Well she's been holding her own (possibly with the help of garlic, cleaner shrimp, and overall hardiness)  <definitely not overall hardiness...not a hardy fish in the cramped confines of most captive environments like the tank it is currently in... by necessity or not> for the last two weeks or so. The spots are still there and look to be a bit worse. However, I'm wondering if its still just plain cryptocaryon (marine ich). Perhaps with scaleless fish, it just doesn't really affect the body all that much (I see traces of white spots, but not much) and they are a bit larger than the speckled salt grain - about 1.5mm. Also, the cow doesn't scratch and isn't breathing heavily (perhaps the work of cleaner shrimp in her gills) - which are telltale signs of marine ich. The reason I ruled out ich a few weeks ago was because it was only three or so on the body, and the fin spots seem to start with a speck and then fade to a larger spot about 2mm. Anyhow, her fins have quite a few of these now, so I'm wondering if its the ich cycle (probably two times in the last two weeks). The body still have a few spots, but not much, but the fins are pretty covered. The reason for the deduction and why I'm kicking myself. I figured it was possibly lymphocystis (which some people say the larger white spots may be), <actually irregular clumps and much larger for sure> and it wasn't contagious. I moved some rock a few days ago to get the 44 gallon ready for bacteria treatment (ergo the questions posed to you yesterday). Anyhow, the recipient tank (larger 125), my lion's tail fin now has 2 or three of these spots, and another trigger has the same fin spots now (with possibly some white specks on the body). I say possibly white speck spots, possibly bubbles - don't know on this one as I can't quite tell, but definitely same thing on the fins (speck on the fins, then fading to a slightly larger white spot). Ich is the only thing I know that is that contagious. right ?? <not the only contagious pathogen or even parasite by any stretch of the imagination... to numerous to list here> Anyhow, probably ich (which I've been fortunate not to have in the past) - right ? I'll remove the specimens into separate tanks and start ich treatment right away - which I can treat via copper in a 20gal h-tank. <the lion is also scaleless and will not tolerate copper either... overdoses easily> I'll be able to remove all the inhabitants in this tank minus a cleaner shrimp, snails, and a horseshoe crab and a damsel (I'd love to get this damsel out of there, but its impossible to catch for who knows how long) - and let it go fallow for awhile (argh, except for a small damsel that seems immune to ich). <the tank would not be fallow then and even if the damsel was "immune" to the expression of ich symptoms it WOULD still be a carrier/host> Anyway, if this is ich from my above description, and the cow is acting normally (still eating, but no longer Mysis, just brine), <not a surprise about the waning diet and difficulties with the cowfish in general... your cowfish is dying the way most do in captivity from typical stresses (small tank, inadequate diet, etc)... it truly is an inappropriate animal for captivity by most. I personally do not believe that the collection of some such species serves the greater good. Should 95 die in captivity within weeks of collection just because a few people get lucky with them?> what is the best way to treat a scaleless fish for ich ? And does this sound correct for ich ? I thought you said copper might be toxic, and hypo too stressful for a cowfish. So, any alternative here, or just use CopperSafe ?  <Ed we have covered this before, my friend... Coppersafe IS copper (chelated) and is not SAFE for scaleless fish like your cowfish. I honestly do not have a reliable solution for a scaleless cowfish suffering from an ectoparasite... the hyposaline solution will stress it and likely cause it to exude fatal noxious compounds in the dip from its toxic flesh under stress... and the copper isn't safe. You might try Formalin or Quick cure in QT at manufacturers recommended doses for scaleless fish>> Also, during CopperSafe, should I also administer Maracyn II/Nitrofurazone at the same time to catch any bacterial infection ? Thanks again. <one antibiotic will be more than enough for fear of overdosing the fish> Ed

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: