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Old 03-02-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
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Sick Fish Treatment - Am I doing this right?

I set up a quick hospital tank and am treating my fish. Am I doing this right?

I'm new to salt water and Here's the story.
- Have a 14gal biocube for 6 weeks now. First 4 was cycling, then added a small 1.5" Damsel...one of those purple one's with yellow tail.
- About 5 days later I added 1" baby occillaris clown (3 year old daughter wanted a Nemo.
- Purple guy didn't like the clown and beat him up for a few hours before I ended up suspending the clown in a 8" net where he couldn't be bothered any more until I figured out what to do. The clown had a little bit of damage on one side (his fin, side of gill and just under his eye). The damage appears white like as if some of his scales were ripped off.
- I returned the purple guy to the store the next day and got a credit so I bought a second 1" baby clown.
- one week has past and the damage on the first clown seems to have grown bigger. I thought maybe it is Ick but it doesn't have the tiny white spots over it's body, it's just white where the original damage was, just bigger. Plus, nothing has spread to the other clown.

I moved the sick clown to a temporary hospital tank.

-It's a 2.5gal gold fish bowl. I have a airstone running in it and I added a 2lb piece of live rock from the main tank.
-I filled it with 2 gal of water from the main tank so all the parameters will be the same.
- After some reading to diagnose the illness and treatment I have decided to treat him with Pimafix and Melafix (heard the 2 together work good.
- I just set this up a few hours ago and will check the water parameters daily and do a 50% water change daily

1. Is this an ok setup for the hospital tank?
2. Is the medication chosen proper for flesh damage?
3. Do I leave the clown in the hospital tank for 4 days or more until he looks better or do I just keep him in there for a few hours each day to get the medicine, but then move him back in to the main tank?
4. After everything is done can I rinse the live rock real good and then return it back to the main tank?
5. I chose to dose Melafix and Pimafix in a hospital tank so I don't risk the main tank. I have 5 small 1" coral frags in the main, a cleaner shrimp, cleaner crabs and some snails. Can this type of medication be dose in the main tank, will it harm the other creatures? It's supposedly all natural. I haven't put anything in the main but just wondering if I could rather than than do it in the hospital tank

Your help and suggestions is appreciated

mmarges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 10:56 PM   #2
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1. The goldfish bowl isn't going to help the little guy. I suppose it's better than nothing, but without a biological filter of some sort, your ammonia and nitrite levels will start going up. (Remember... that's why you cycled your main tank to start with.) The live rock from your main *may* help, but keep an eye on those levels. Some type of biowheel type filter on a 10g would be great, and would add aeration to the tank. An airstone really doesn't add air to the tank water like a freshwater tank. You want something in there that will break the surface of the water causing ripples. That's where your air exchange happens.

2. I've tried Pimafix and Melafix, and was not impressed. Smells good though. On the plus side, it can't do any harm. It sounds like a bacterial infection which would point more towards one of the multiple antibiotics. I can't say I've had much luck with any of them either. I'm now of the opinion that as long as the fish is eating, water changes to keep the water pristine are the best thing you can do to let the fish heal itself.

3. Keep the clown in the QT until it's better. Any medicine you use assumes the fish is in it 24/7. Taking it out will negate any effects. The constant back and forth movement will stress the fish out to the max and probably cause it to die just from the constant reacclimation. Leave it in the tank. You're probably looking at a 3-4 week stay minimum... that's why I'd look into a better QT setup.

4. I wouldn't... even if you just used the Pimafix/Melafix. In theory... unless you use a copper based medicine, the rock *should* be OK to put back in. But I just wouldn't risk it if you have any corals in the tank.

5. All these meds claim to be "safe" for reef tanks, but it's something I just wouldn't want to put to the test. Keeping the little guy in a QT allows him to heal up and not have to deal with any other tankmates. It also quarantines whatever problem he has to the hospital tank, which makes sure the rest of your livestock in your main tank stays healthy.

Sorry about your damsel/clown incident, but it's usually things like this that brings home the lesson of why quarantine tanks are a really really nice thing to have. Yeah... it's a hassle, but without it you run the risk of having your other fish get sick and possibly losing your corals from any meds you decide to use.

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Old 03-03-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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If you were going to treat with either I would use melafix as it`s for bacterial problems. If anything happens it will be a secondary bacterial infection. I would QT with a 10 gallon tank. Read this
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Quarantine Tank for Everything by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com
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