Medications to keep on hand

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Humblefish, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Medications to keep on hand

    Every day I help at least one person with a fish disease problem, and many times that person doesn’t have any medication(s) on hand to begin treatment. Delaying treatment can literally mean the difference between life & death for a fish. So with that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of useful medications to keep on hand. Be aware not all LFS keep these medications in stock. Therefore it would be wise to keep at least some of these medications in your “fish medicine cabinet.”

    Anti-parasitic:
    • Chloroquine phosphate (treats Ich, Velvet, Brooklynella & Uronema) - Prescription required from a vet, which can then be filled at a local pharmacy. If you buy it online, on ebay, from China, etc. - Who knows what you’re really getting?
    • Copper (treats Ich & Velvet) - The following brands are available, with therapeutic ranges listed and compatible test kits:
      1. Cupramine (0.35 - 0.5 ppm) - Seachem or Salifert copper test kit
      2. Coppersafe (1.5 - 2.0 ppm) - API copper test kit
      3. Copper Power (2.5 ppm) - API copper test kit
    • Acriflavine (treats Velvet, Brooklynella & Uronema) - Use in a bath solution to provide temporary relief of velvet. Can also be used as a bath or QT treatment for brook & uronema. Acriflavine-MS & Ruby Reef Rally both contains acriflavine.
    • Formalin (treats Velvet, Brooklynella & Uronema - alternative treatment for Flukes & Black Ich) - Use in a bath solution to provide temporary relief of velvet. Can also be used as a bath or QT treatment for brook, uronema, flukes & black ich. Formalin is found in the following products: Formalin-MS, Quick Cure, Aquarium Solutions Ich-X, Kordon Rid-Ich Plus.
    Anti-bacterial/antibiotics: A broad spectrum antibiotic that treats both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial diseases is recommended. Seachem Kanaplex, Furan-2, Nitrofuracin Green Powder and Triple Sulfa Powder are all good options to have on hand. Erythromycin & Minocycline can also be used but are becoming more difficult to find. To achieve the widest possible spectrum of treatment when battling a particularly nasty bacterial infection, combine the following: Kanaplex, Furan-2, and metronidazole (exs. Seachem MetroPlex, Metro-MS).

    Dewormers:
    • Praziquantel (ex. Prazipro) for gill flukes. API General Cure (contains both praziquantel & metronidazole).
    • Metronidazole (exs. Seachem MetroPlex, Metro-MS) can be used to treat stubborn intestinal worms prazi does not treat.
    • Formalin can be used to treat prazi-resistant strains of flukes and black ich.
    Multi-purpose medications:
    • Metronidazole (treats Brooklynella, Uronema, internal parasites/intestinal worms, some anti-bacterial activity) - Use Seachem MetroPlex or Metro-MS. API General Cure contains both praziquantel & metronidazole.
    • Malachite Green/Methylene Blue (treats ammonia burn, cuts, injuries).
    Medications that are “reef safe”:
    • Prazipro - may kill tube worms/feather dusters and bristle worms. If you have lots of tiny feather dusters and/or bristle worms in your tank (usually down in the sump), the resulting die-off can lead to an ammonia spike.
    • Kanaplex, erythromycin, metronidazole and powder praziquantel can all be soaked in fish food. Use a binder, such as Seachem Focus, to prevent the medication from leaching out into the water column.
    Fish Vitamins & misc.:
    • Soak fish food in vitamin supplements such as Selcon, Zoecon and Vita-chem or even Omega 3 & 6 fish oil. This will boost a fish’s natural immune system and is particularly useful for clearing viruses such as Lymphocystis.
    • Soak fish food in garlic to stimulate appetite. Useful for new fish that refuse to eat.
    • Always keep an ammonia reducer, such as Amquel or Prime, on hand. You never know when you might need it. A reducer can be useful for immediately neutralizing ammonia in the DT, QT (so long as no medications are present, especially copper), or when drip acclimating a new fish that has been in transit a while and ammonia has built up.
     
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  2. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    I guess if I were to stock just the bare essentials in my fish medicine cabinet, they would be:
    • Coppersafe with an API copper test kit
    • Prazipro
    • Seachem Kanaplex or Nitrofuracin Green Powder
    • Seachem Metroplex or Metro-MS (both are just as good)
    • Ruby Reef Rally (this product was worked well for me for both velvet & brook)
    • Formalin-MS (more effective at clearing brook and can also be used on prazi resistant flukes & black ich)

    This website provides A TON of information on many available aquarium medications: http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Aquarium_Medication.html

    Including Antibiotics: http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/AquariumMedication2.html

    Antiparasitic & dewormers: http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/AquariumMedication3.html

    And even organic treatments (if you dare ;)): http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/AquariumMedication4.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  3. saltyphish

    saltyphish Certified Sand Groomer R2R Supporter Reef Squad

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    Quick question for you Humble, are any of these at risk of expiring if kept too long?
     
  4. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Yes, most expire after 2-3 years. So be sure to check those expiration dates before buying. Particularly from a LFS.
     
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  5. Valkyrie

    Valkyrie Salt, Mud and Fiber is my trinity! R2R Supporter

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    Awesome information! Worth saving.
     
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  6. dangros

    dangros Well-Known Member

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    @Humblefish, I purchased some Formalin so I would have it on-hand in case of an outbreak. It fell off the fridge and onto the counter, breaking off the cap off and spilling all over. As I came to wipe it, I noticed a burning of the eyes and throat. This was very scary given the fact that I have a toddler in the house. I had to use a paint mask and goggles to clean it! The whole downstairs still smells of the stuff. How should I clean it? I know formaldehyde is bad news! What should I do!? Everyone, be careful with this chemical!
     
  7. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    @dangros I'm assuming you've already cleaned up the mess by now. I would use rubber gloves and face protection, and absorb all the spillage using paper towels (that you seal up inside a garbage bag.) Afterwards, wipe everything using bleach or some other household cleaner and then air out the house thoroughly. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, so you want to avoid skin contact with it and also avoid breathing in the fumes.

    Maybe for future use, just keep some acriflavine around instead of formalin. Acriflavine-MS & Ruby Reef Rally both contain acriflavine.
     
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  8. dangros

    dangros Well-Known Member

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    I used mostly water and non-ammonia based windex. I had a painter's carbon filter mask and goggles on. I showered afterwards. I looked hilarious but it was the only way to keep the fumes from burning my eyes and throat. That stuff is seriously irritating! We kept the windows open all night and have been enjoying the day away at the space museum to let it air out some more. It still smelled like dead frogs in a jar at the spot where it spilled but it was no longer burning.
    I'm surprised there was no warning label on the bottle. I find this stuff far more dangerous than saccharine! Thank goodness my son wasn't in the way. I can only imagine if it had splattered in his eyes.
     
  9. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    I only use formalin in "emergency situations" when battling velvet or brook. However, acriflavine is quickly gaining my confidence as a suitable (and safer) alternative. There is anecdotal evidence that some fish exposed to formalin don't live past 18-24 months; presumably dying of cancer. Scary thing, especially when you consider that some wholesalers run a copper/formalin mix in their holding facilities to control disease in fish before they are shipped out to a LFS near you. :eek:
     
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  10. mattcoug

    mattcoug Member

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    Formalin smells nasty and is dangerous to anyone inhaling it at the concentrations used for fish, please do all due diligence and protect yourself and your family to prevent any kind of exposure(latex gloves, formalin dips done outside or in a bathroom with a vent to outside/etc.) The good new is that it will "clean itself up" by you leaving and letting it vent outside. If you can still smell it, take the kids on another trip, block the kitchen doorway with a tarp etc. Beside cancer, it can also trigger a lifetime of asthma, etc for your children.

    Many of the other medicines listed in this post are also known carcinogens such as nitrofurazone(furan-2) - so as a lesson, unless you relish the idea of chopping your hands/kidneys/livers off due to cancer, I highly recommend using latex gloves to prevent skin contact, both as the powder/liquid, and the dosed saltwater. And please keep these aways from your families, especially little children.

    I wouldn't store or work with any fish medicine in the kitchen.
     
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  11. dochow

    dochow Well-Known Member

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    Great info! My six line wrasse and royal gramma have started showing signs of both ich and now maybe even flukes after almost 3 weeks in my QT. They are acting fine, no flashing, but I can see white spots on them.

    I am dropping salinity slowly now to 1.009 over past 72hrs. I have cupramine and praziquantel arriving tomorrow. Should I try hyposalinity or do everything possible as soon as I get meds?
     
  12. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    @dochow Answered your other thread.
     
  13. Aruna

    Aruna Active Member

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    Paragurd or cupramine
    Which medicine is good for disease like ich and velvet.
     
  14. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Cupramine as it contains copper, a tried & true method for eradicating ich & velvet.

    No idea what is in Paraguard and Seachem won't tell me. :p
     
  15. fragit

    fragit Well-Known Member

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    Why not just use chloroquine phosphate prophylactically in QT and not have to worry about anything. Looks like it fights all the big diseases. Is it difficult to get a script for?
     
  16. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    That's it right there. It can be difficult to convince a vet to write a RX for it without them seeing a sick fish. Right after they tell you that, they will tell you that they dont treat fish. lol Sometimes you can show them documentation of how and why the med is needed and they will do it, but you have to find the right person. I have yet to find one to do it for me. It's also pretty pricey.
     
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  17. fragit

    fragit Well-Known Member

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    What's pretty pricey any idea? Do you know the shelf life?
     
  18. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Since I haven't gotten anybody to write me a RX for it, I'm not sure on either. Humble will be along and shine some light on that though.
     
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  19. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member

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    Price varies greatly from pharmacy to pharmacy. Typically, anywhere from $2-6/gram. But keep in mind you only need 1.2 grams to QT, say, a 30 gal - so that's only $7.20 per batch of fish even on the high side. Can't even buy a firefish for that these days.

    Shelf life on my last bottle of CP was 3 years.
     
  20. fragit

    fragit Well-Known Member

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    And am I miss understanding that it can be used to treat almost all common fish diseases in a QT tank? I will have to ask my vet when I'm ready to stock
     

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