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Welcome to our page. I have been keeping marine and fresh water aquariums for over 20 years off and on. We try to provide lots of up to date articles on maintaining an aquarium. We also have many awesome links on the right side bar to all things both Fresh Water and Salt Water Aquarium related. Things like Medicines, diagnosis charts, Fish Identification Databases, DIY Projects, Just to name a few. Quick Links to our tank Journals there as well.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Dealing with a really bad stubborn bacterial infection

Dealing with a really bad stubborn bacterial infection
 

When you have tried several medications and it seems you are dealing with a really bad bacterial infection. To save who is left you need to get some hard core antibiotics into them. See if they will eat a broad spectrum medicated flake. If you have already tried several medications and the fish are presenting really bad symptoms I would not really expect them to make it. Here is the thing fish are a lot stronger than they appear and what happens is by the time they are showing major signs of illness it is usually very late in the game. I can not stress the importance of having a QT/HOSP system waiting in the wings for occasions such as this..

Ok now on to the immediate issues.
List of supplies I will talk about using (The numbers are purely for reference purposes):

1) (2) five gallon buckets or similar containers that are clean enough to put fish into.

2) ERYTHROMYCIN or Maracyn (same stuff basically *Please Note Maracyn2 is a completely different product from Maracyn.)
Dosage: 125 mg per 5 gallons of water.
Duration: Every 24 hours.
Procedure: 25% water change before each treatment.
Recommended treatment period: 10 days.
SPECIAL NOTES:Best used as a last resort for stubborn bacterial infections and in cases where pathogen is not positively identified. Very effective to treat "BACTERIAL SEPTICEMIA" (red lines in fins and gills)

3) JUNGLE Brand Anti-Bacteria Medicated Fish Food
Dosage: As much as the fish will eat in a 10 second time frame
Duration: Every 12 - 24 hours.
Procedure: Do not use other foods during this 5 to 10-day period.
Recommended treatment period: 5- 10 days.
SPECIAL NOTES:Also effective to treat "BACTERIAL SEPTICEMIA" (red lines in fins and gills)

4) POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE as Live Plant disinfectant
Dosage: Add just a few grains to a container then add the water. It takes it a little while to dissolve, You want to achieve a dark pink tint to the water
Duration: Soak Plants in solution for 15 to 20 minutes
Procedure: Soak Plants in solution for 15 to 20 minutes. USE GLOVES AND GOGGLES WHEN WORKING WITH THIS CHEMICAL. After soak rinse well with water and dechlorinator mixture. Then rinse again to be safe.
Recommended treatment period: 15-20 Mins
SPECIAL NOTES:THIS IS VERY SERIOUS STUFF. USE GLOVES AND GOGGLES. Do not mix this chemical with anything other than water or dechlorinator as dangerous chemical reactions can occur.

5) HOUSEHOLD BLEACH as Live Plant disinfectant
Dosage: Mix in a bucket with water to achieve 5% solution
Duration: only complete procedure 1 time.
Procedure: Prepare one bucket of 5% bleach solution and one bucket of dechlorinated water. soak plants in Bleach solution for 2-4 minutes. then promptly remove them and swish around in a (double declorinator dosed) doseddechlorinated water solution - Just to be safe add a few extra drops of dechlorinator while in bucket.
Recommended treatment period: only once.
SPECIAL NOTES:use gloves and glasses or safety goggles when working with chemicals. Use caution bleach can easily kill the plant as well as the bacteria you are after. Some plants are more sensitive then others, IE: Anacharis

6) HOUSEHOLD BLEACH For Tank & Equiptment disinfection
Dosage: Mix in aquarium or a bucket (whichever applies) with water to achieve 10% solution
Duration: 24 hours
Procedure: soak equipment and all surfaces that contact the water column in bleach solution for 24 hours. Easiest way is to fill tank with solution, place lids and heaters and nets and hoses into tank,and connect filtration and let it run occasionally wiping down surfaces un touched by water.
Recommended treatment period: 24 hours
SPECIAL NOTES:use gloves and glasses or safety goggles when working with chemicals. Make sure you rinse, dechlorinate and repeat several times after treatment

7) (2) Large bottles of BASIC DECHLORINATOR (the kind with nothing in it but dechlorinator..lol)
Dosage: Typically 1 drop per gallon

8) METHYLENE BLUE
Dosage: (As water treatment for fish) 2.5 ml of a 2.303% solution per 5 gallons of water.
Duration: Every other day.
Procedure: Complete water changes before each treatment..
Recommended treatment period: 10 days.
SPECIAL NOTES: Effective as an antidote for poisoning including damage (assuming damage is not too far along)This med will nuke your BB!! best not to use it in your main tank. Only use in Hospital tank.

9) Hospital tank

10) Liquid B complex vitamins
Dosage: 1 drop per 2 gallons of water
Duration: once a week
Procedure: leave in till next water change
Recommended treatment period: 10 days.
SPECIAL NOTES: Maintains nervous tissue, energy & metabolism.

Ok lets get started!!

Outline of procedure:

We want to accomplish 3 things:
I - Treat sick fish
II - (If yoiu have live plants) Disinfect and salvage as many plants as possible
III - "Nuke" - Disinfect tank and all equipment/decorations that comes in contact with water.

Why so drastic?
Well if  you have basically done all of the correct things to remediate this infection including water changes yet the infection persists. This indicates it is rather serious infection. We can go 2 ways either medicate and reset and hope it does not return or tear down and disinfect and be relatively sure we are starting fresh.In this article I assume you are already down to a low number of fish.

DISCLAIMER...lol
I am no plant expert by any means so please get second opinions on the suggestions I make regarding your plants, as all advice regarding plants is purely observational and researched information. As to disease, equiptment, tanks, & fish I have much actual hands on experience in that arena and you may feel free to use the advice in those topics as you see fit...


I) Treat sick fish:
Medicate fish with both medicated flake and treat water with ERYTHROMYCIN or Maracyn II. On alternate days half dose of METHYLENE BLUE. otherwise Follow dosages in list . Remember you cant change the water while dosing so you need to do massive WC just before meds so you can Wait till next dose to do WC again.

II) Disinfect and salvage as many plants as possible:
Remove plants and disinfect with either bleach solution or POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE. Rinse them well and set them aside in appropriate holding container.

III) "Nuke" - Disinfect tank and all equipment/decorations that comes in contact with water.
Well there is no easy way to say this. I feel like the pathogen you had in your tank was pretty strong since it was resistant to tetracycline. You already have a good source of seed bacteria in your other tanks so I would nuke the tank and filtration and start it over. Follow the prescription for Bleach as tank disinfection . Gravel typically doesn't disinfect well so I would throw it away otherwise if you want to risk it just leave it in the tank and make sure you stir it well during disinfection process.

As far as getting the tank and plants back "Online" You will either have to "Jump Start" your cycle with Seeded Media or start your cycle over..


I hope this helps, I always try to write as if the person I am explaining to has no experience in the matter at all.  Please keep this in mind when reading my articles, of cource use the parts you like and ignore the comments on things you already know.

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