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FISH DISEASE CONTROL
Posted By: greg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tuesday, 25 June 2002, at 3:19 p.m.
I used to be a hardhead and not take advice from experienced salt and freshwater owners who told me to use an isolation tank to stop all diseases from entering my main tank. Finally, I got sick and tired of ich and other infestations after introducing new fish, and the headaches of waterchanges, medications, having to clean the tank, and the problem with destroying the positive bacterial system in the tank.
I finally decided to set up a small, cheap tank for this purpose. I bought a small 3-gallon guppy-tank (plastic) for $8, a small cheap airpump and stone for $7, a small cheap heater for $7, and a small cheap thermometer for $3. About $25 in all.
Now, when I get a new fish (or some small ones) I pull these items out of the cabinet and syphon tank-water into the iso-tank. I then use the CORRECT dosages of a gram pos/neg antibiotic that also works for finrot and slime, an anti-ich medication, and the proper dosage of salt. The heater, the thermometer and the fish go in.
Every day I dip the fish out in a small pitcher (very little stress compared to netting) and change the water and meds. DO NOT EVER touch anything into the main tank that has touched the iso-tank! This is why every day after I syphon the water in I soak the hose in HOT water with strong anti-bacterial soap.
The fish are treated for a full five days with anti-biotics and salt (package directions) and the ich-med for only the first three (directions). And with CAREFUL "sterile technique" between the two tanks!!
Does it work? I have done this for about a year now. For $25 I have never purchased new antibiotics,ich-med,replaced fish dead from disease, screwed around with a dead bio-system, etc etc etc. The tank takes about 10 minutes to set up, about 10 minutes daily to maintain for 5 days, and stores under my cabinet.
LFS and mail-order store tanks are full of disease. Think about it. They use CENTRAL FILTRATION for ALL the freshwater-tanks. This means all the tanks use the same water! It would be impossible to use meds- new fish "entering" the waterstream would always be reinfecting the water-supply, and HUGE costly amounts of meds would be needed. Sure, they may have an iso-tank for extremely ill fish, but what about the "carriers" that appear healthy until enough incubation-time has passed, IN YOUR AQUARIUM?
No, this one is on YOU. If you buy fish and put them into your tank, a high percentage of the time disease will enter the tank. The only "best" way is to have an iso-tank and practice sterile-technique. I have only had one fish die in the iso-tank, but I will bet anything he was already sick when I got him home!
I have noticed quite a few requests for info RE fish-disease outbreaks lately. Some might argue my system does not cover parasites- the truth is these are much less common in freshwater fish than in brackish or marine-tanks. I have never had parasites in many years, but countless infestations of bacterial diseases, finrot and ich, all of which are very contagious.
So, get a cheap iso-tank set up! Only introduce a few fish at a time out of quarantine, and get rid of all the expense and headaches!! I suspect most who read this will ignore it- "Too much trouble". That's what I thought, but I will NEVER put a newcomer into my tank again unless it comes through isolation!! Webmaster- please keep this message "current" for a while- hopefully a LOT of suffering can be avoided!! GREG
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