Aquarium Medications, Treatments, and How They Work
By Carl Strohmeyer
This article (which will continue to grow with information) is informational about different aquarium (and pond) treatments. I give the gram negative or gram positive applications where they apply. Many aquarium antibiotics and chemical treatments are explained.
When you have fish that are sick (bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or other parasites), you want to try and isolate them in a hospital aquarium whenever possible. Regular water changes before each treatment allow for a more effective treatment, especially when treated in the display aquarium. Sponge filters work well in hospital aquariums. Remember to remove carbon, as carbon will remove many medications. Also not that silicone in the aquarium will absorb malachite green, methylene blue, and copper sulfate. Most corals (crushed and otherwise), and ceramic decorations will also absorb medications such as malachite green, methylene blue, and copper sulfate.
TRIPLE SULFA (Sulfamerazine, Sulfamethazine, Sulfathiazole):
USE: Treatment of gram-negative bacterial infections, fin and tail rot, mouth fungus and collapsed fins, columnaris. DOSAGE: 250 mg per 10 gallons every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for a minimum of 10 days.
USE: Treatment of bacterial infections, both gram-positive and gram-negative infections such as fin and tail rot (split, ragged and deteriorating fin and/or tail), Popeye (protruding eyes, may be cloudy or hazy), gill disease (swollen, discolored gills, gasping for air and a decrease in activity) and secondary infections. It interferes with the production of proteins that the bacteria need to multiply and divide (bacteriostatic). Tetracycline Hydrochloride mode of action is as a protein synthesis inhibitor via an aminoacyl-tRNA binding mechanism to the 30S subunit. Mode of resistance is the loss of cell wall permeability. DOSAGE: 250- 500 mg per 20 gallons of water. Every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. This product will not work in water with a ph above 7.5- NOT FOR MARINE USE!
USE: Resistant strains of Ich (especially on scale less fish). Protozoan, sliminess of the skin and Rams disease (whirling disease). Also good for resistant strains of Hexamita when combined with Metronidazole. DOSAGE : 250 mg per 10 gallons of water. Once a day for 4-5 days. Do a 25% water change before each treatment.
OXYTETRACYCLINE HYDROCHLORIDE: USE: Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Marine ulcer disease, cold water disease, bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia and mouth fungus. DOSAGE: 250- 500 mg teaspoon per 20 gallons every 24 hours with a 50% water change before each treatment. This antibiotic is best used mixed in with food, especially if your ph is above 8.0..
USE: Bactericidal for many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria causing disease in fresh water and marine fishes. This antibacterial is effective for control of Aeromonas, Vibrio and related species. Nitrofurazone is particularly useful for control of minor topical skin infections of marine fishes that have not become systemic. Effective against marine ulcer disease and protozoan. Also useful in treating furunculosis found in Koi. Serious adverse events related to nitrofurans are very rare. Acquired resistance of bacteria to nitrofurans during therapy has been rare and has not appeared on a significant scale in over 50 years of use. Do not use in the presence of invertebrates. DOSAGE: 250- 500 mg per 20 gallons. Treat every 24 hours with a 50% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days. NEOMYCIN SULFATE: USE: Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas- Red spots or streaks on body or fins of fish.) and tuberculosis; gram-positive, and possibly mycobacterium. Works well in freshwater or saltwater aquariums. DOSAGE: 250 mg per 10 gallons of water. Treat every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days. For tuberculosis, use for up to 30 days.
USE: Hole in the head disease (hexamita), chilodonella, salt water ich, bloat.
DOSAGE: 250-500 mg per 20 gallons. Treat every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days.
USE: It is used to treat many sensitive gramâ€“negative and some gramâ€“positive bacteria. Works especially well in salt water aquariums. Works well combined with Nitrofurazone for flexibacter (columnaris). Kanamycin sulfate appears to prevent bacteria from making their cell walls, so the cells die.
DOSAGE: 250-500 mg per 20 gallons. Treat every 48 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days.
USE: Fin and tail rot, kidney disease, pop eye. Most gram-positive and some gram negative bacteria and fungus. Black Molly disease. DOSAGE: 250- 500 mg per 20 gallons every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days.
ISONIAZID 300 mg: USE: Treatment for tuberculosis in susceptible fish such as Discus. Can be combined with kanamycin. DOSAGE: 1 tablet per 20 gallons, every other day for 14- 30 days
METHYLENE BLUE (Zinc Free) 2.303% :
USE: Fungus on eggs, Ich, fungus and some bacteria. Effective in gill disease. Transports oxygen. Some protozoa, sliminess of the skin and oodinium. Great for use as a 30 minute dip at double dose. DOSAGE: 1 teaspoon of a 2.303% solution per 10 gallons every other day for 10 days with water changes before each treatment. BEST USED IN A HOSPITAL TANK. Methylene blue can destroy nitrifying bacteria and plants in the display aquarium. ACRIFLAVIN 3.84% solution: USE: For treatment of bacterial infections such as mouth fungus, salt water Ich, fin and tail rot, fungus, saproglenia, skin parasites, oodinium (velvet), sliminess of skin. DOSAGE: 1 teaspoon of a 3.84% solution per 10 gallons every other day for 10 days. Combines well with copper sulfate and malachite green.
USE: For treatment and control of various external parasites of freshwater and marine fishes. When used as directed the medication will control or prevent the following common protozoan parasites: Ichthyophthinus (freshwater Ich), Costra, Chilodonella, Ambiphyra, Cryptocaryon (marine Ich), Epistylis, Oodinium and Trichodina. Malachite Green is also effective against common external fungal infections of fishes and eggs which include Achlya and Saprolegnia. DOSAGE: 1 teaspoon of a 0.038% solution per 10 gallons every other day for 10-14 days. Or 1 drop of .50% solution per gallon every other day for 10- 14 days. 25% water changes are recommended before each dose. Use half dose for scale-less and delicate fish such as Clown Loaches and Neon Tetras. Double dose for marine aquariums. Note; malachite green is more toxic at higher ph
FORMALIN (3% formaldehyde):
USE: For treatment and control of the diseases caused by fungi, protozoan and monogenetic trematodes of freshwater and marine aquarium fishes. Formalin will control or help prevent diseases of fishes caused by the following disease organisms: Ichthyophthirius (freshwater “ich”), Costia, Chilodonella, Ambiphyra, Cryptocaryon (marine “ich”), Epistylis, Oodinium, Amyloodinium, and Trichodina. DOSAGE: 1 teaspoon of a 3% solution per 10 gallons every other day for 10 days. Combines well with malachite green.
COPPER SULFATE: USE: For treatment freshwater and marine ich, Oodinium, external parasites, fungus and even algae. Very effective when used properly and carefully. DOSAGE: Treat according to your solution to bring your copper level to .15 -.20 ppm. Sequestered Copper (often called chelated, but that is incorrect, chelated means inactivated) sulfate works best (citric acid help achieve this). Soluble copper salts work well in freshwater only. Do use with snails and other invertebrates, do not use in reef aquariums, and note; when uses as an algaecide, the copper is absorbed by the algae then released when it dies. Removal of sequestered copper can be difficult, only EDTA (Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acidic Acid) and water changes remove it, NOT carbon.
By Carl Strohmeyer
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