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Old 12-24-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
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So many fish diseases! A bit long.

Reading through some of the threads here, I'm compelled to pass on some advice....
I've been in the fish hobby for over 30 years, having had many fresh and salt water tanks I have learned quite a bit about fish keeping.
Over the past few years I have seen a number of LFS selling quick fixes, medicines and even cycling bacteria in a bottle. I've seen helpless inexperienced customers walk into a LFS for advice on a cure for white dots on their fish, velvet, fungus, not eating etc. and there was almost always some medicine or tablet that the uninformed customer wound up spending their money on to dump in their tank. I can almost bet what the final outcome was.
The advice I have yet to hear from a LFS is something like..."It takes time to cycle a tank" or "Do frequent water changes or lots of them if the fish are sick" or "Don't overfeed" or very important... "Quarantine any newly bought fish"
The last salt water tank I setup a few years ago, most local stores would not give me or even sell me a little gravel from an established tank to seed the tank, they all tried selling me some form of quick bacteria in a bottle that cycles a tank in 24 hours! What?!
I finally found an old time mom and pop store that gave me a little filter media and my tank was going in just a couple of weeks.
Sure I have lost a few fish along the way and I can only blame myself for not keeping up with the regular maintenance but most of my fish I have kept for years without ever using any chemicals.
I think we also need to know when it's time to euthanize vs slowly killing the fish with chemicals.
What is my point?
When it comes to healthy fish keeping nothing is better than patience, regular maintenance, not over feeding and keeping up with the the water parameters and temperature will prevent most if not all of the problems in a tank.
Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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True, but If someone is starting like 30 tanks from scratch a little Zyme would come in handy. It is sad the mis-information young people give you at chain stores like petsmart and petco. But, what annoys me is when they try to PREVENT you from doing something you have in mind because they think it is not right...I mean come on have you seen the amount of dead and dying fish in their stores? And your worried about me doing a fish in cycle with some feeder goldfish? Hey im saving their lives! You would rather have me feed It to my pirahhana? seriously, and petco where I live stopped selling medicines all together, I mean yeah overdoing it with chemicals is bad, but still everyone should keep on hand a anti-parasite-anti bacteria and anti-fungal as well as dewormer if their serious about rasing fish. Even if it one mixed all together in food and just given to new fish when you get them shipped in. Ive even tried to suggest to fish stores that they feed new fish terramycin food and keep some anti fungal in their system when new batches come in.....would save a lot of stock IMO..... Don't mean to agree or disagree with you on this one.....just my 2 cents worth.
But.....I do know what your saying. Its like they purposely let their fish stay sick so they can sell you medicines like melafix and tetracycline that don't even work in the least little bit (most fish disease are gram negative....both of those are gram positive bactericides.) and then whey you do go to find something that ACTUALLY WORKS like malachite or methylene...big surprise they don't keep it in stock.....I think their just trying to make money here!
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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I agree with you OP about fish store employees being uneducated about some fish keeping basics and that preventing illness is mainly about keeping a clean tank with regular water changes. In my experience illnesses occur 99.9% of the time with new fish or problems with water. But Illnesses that cant be solved by fresh water alone meds are a necessity. For an example my rusty species tank is under attack by columnaris and has been for a month since their arrival and without treatment they'll die but i do agree with most of what you say .
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Matt68005 View Post
True, but If someone is starting like 30 tanks from scratch a little Zyme would come in handy. It is sad the mis-information young people give you at chain stores like petsmart and petco. But, what annoys me is when they try to PREVENT you from doing something you have in mind because they think it is not right...I mean come on have you seen the amount of dead and dying fish in their stores? And your worried about me doing a fish in cycle with some feeder goldfish? Hey im saving their lives! You would rather have me feed It to my pirahhana? seriously, and petco where I live stopped selling medicines all together, I mean yeah overdoing it with chemicals is bad, but still everyone should keep on hand a anti-parasite-anti bacteria and anti-fungal as well as dewormer if their serious about rasing fish. Even if it one mixed all together in food and just given to new fish when you get them shipped in. Ive even tried to suggest to fish stores that they feed new fish terramycin food and keep some anti fungal in their system when new batches come in.....would save a lot of stock IMO..... Don't mean to agree or disagree with you on this one.....just my 2 cents worth. But.....I do know what your saying. Its like they purposely let their fish stay sick so they can sell you medicines like melafix and tetracycline that don't even work in the least little bit (most fish disease are gram negative....both of those are gram positive bactericides.) and then whey you do go to find something that ACTUALLY WORKS like malachite or methylene...big surprise they don't keep it in stock.....I think their just trying to make money here!
I think your suggestion of keeping some level anti-fungal in the store's tanks is a great idea, just imagine the amount of diseases that come into those tanks! Then we buy them and introduce them into ours! That's my point on quarantining fish for a few weeks when we purchase or just take the risk. The problem with some fish stores is that their tanks are nothing but temporary holding tanks and their focus is more on selling the fish vs keeping the fish.
When it comes to the hobbyist, once you have an established tank and haven't introduced any new fish for a while, I don't see a reason for fish to get sick, unless we skip on the maintenance of the tank or tanks.
I'm just trying to pass on some useful knowledge that I have gathered from successes and failures.
In the beginning I also used to dose my tanks with blue stuff, purple stuff trying to cure some velvety slimy stuff off my fish or puffy cotton mouth or ich when the problem was either that the filter was running only two weeks and the water temp was 70f eventually putting stress on the fish and weakening their system. Fish already live under stress in most environments we provide for them.
While I don't have the knowledge of an experience breeder, my turn around came once I started keeping more challenging fish like saltwater fish, discus, angels and others, then just simply applying the same level of care giving to all of my fish.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by molliwopp View Post
I agree with you OP about fish store employees being uneducated about some fish keeping basics and that preventing illness is mainly about keeping a clean tank with regular water changes. In my experience illnesses occur 99.9% of the time with new fish or problems with water. But Illnesses that cant be solved by fresh water alone meds are a necessity. For an example my rusty species tank is under attack by columnaris and has been for a month since their arrival and without treatment they'll die but i do agree with most of what you say .
So the columnaris in your rusty tank came from a new batch and how are you treating?
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:05 PM   #6
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So the columnaris in your rusty tank came from a new batch and how are you treating?
Well ive tried afew things that havent worked. Currently salt, a low temp and myxazin a anti bacterial.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:59 PM   #7
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Well ive tried afew things that havent worked. Currently salt, a low temp and myxazin a anti bacterial.
Just did a little reading on columnaris, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to fish diseases.
Salt dips are recommended for this along with anti-bacterial. The rusty cichlids I would think could tolerate the salt well.
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