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API Pimafix, Melafix, and EM Erythromycin - What Next?


Scraig325
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Alright everyone, I did full rounds of treatments together of API Pimafix, Melafix, and EM Erythromycin.  I lost many fish to red sores, white cotton mouth fungus/bacteria, and fin rot. 

I have done proper water changes, my levels are all good, and I replaced the carbon filter (since I couldn't have a carbon filter in during treatment).

A week or maybe 2 after the treatments, I now have a black skirt tetra losing the bottom of its back fin, and the fishes gills are looking more red again.

So do I do another round of all of these treatments or try something else?

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3 minutes ago, Scraig325 said:

Alright everyone, I did full rounds of treatments together of API Pimafix, Melafix, and EM Erythromycin.  I lost many fish to red sores, white cotton mouth fungus/bacteria, and fin rot. 

I have done proper water changes, my levels are all good, and I replaced the carbon filter (since I couldn't have a carbon filter in during treatment).

A week or maybe 2 after the treatments, I now have a black skirt tetra losing the bottom of its back fin, and the fishes gills are looking more red again.

So do I do another round of all of these treatments or try something else?

try aquarium salt

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Often when there is a general a die off of fish in an aquarium the one thing all fish have in common is the environment. Most of the symptoms you mentioned are not contagious from one fish to another so it might be productive to look at water quality.

How is your water? What parameters are you measuring? Any trends in water chemistry or recent changes? When did you setup the aquarium? What caused you to begin treatment?  What fish are in the aquarium?

And this would really help a lot, a wide shot picture of the entire aquarium.

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James - I also used aquarium salt during this time and am continuing to use aquarium salt, thank you though!

Daniel - I take my water sample to Petsmart and they run a full check on my parameters and tell me that all is good every time. I setup the aquarium 3-4 months ago. 

It's a 55 gallon tank, I moved some tetras and danios I originally had from a smaller tank and put into this tank (I had the parameters checked prior to adding fish into it). Over a month or two we introduces a few new fish, some black skirt tetras, a pleco, a cory catfish, neon tetras, and mollies. In total we had 25 fish, then now down to 17. We had tiger barbs but found out they were too agressive and removed them which I think stressed the fish out terribly... about a week after we got them out is when I noticed other fish dying. I thought the barbs were killing my fish, I saw them attacking them.

I followed the API treatments including how and when to change the water.

Previous to having to do treatments, I changed the filter every 3-4 weeks, I do a 10% water change every week. I used aquarium salt, and stress coat when I do water changes.

I also feed my fish tropical fish flakes, we started feeding dried blood worms and soon after the blood worms we noticed the fish dying off too, I mean, could the worms do that (carry disease) so I only feed flakes now.

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If it were me, I would buy an API freshwater master test kit. This is the one I use.

1858562003_Testkit3.jpg.390af5b10b119d3025deeb35152e71aa.jpg

It about $30, so it is not cheap, but it us less expensive than buying new fish.

Take readings daily and learn how your aquarium changes over time. I know it seems like they are dying of diseases, but diseases are just what happens after the fish is weaken by declining water conditions. Adding medications doesn't fix the underlying problem.

 

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25 minutes ago, Scraig325 said:

Can the parameters change drastically in a day? What do I need to look for in my water parameters? 

Yes they can change within a day and they definitely trend from day to day. If you follow the trends, sometimes you can head off a problem before it happens.

Here is an aquarium of mine that is currently building a population of beneficial bacteria, or cycling as it is called. The bacteria population isn't large enough yet to handle the waste produced by the fish. How do I know this? My ammonia and nitrites are a little high as seen here:

API-8-Nov-2020-Nerm-with-Name.png.2193f627b6e09312c4fc95d4b8b95a6f.png

By knowing yourself what is happening you can decide when to do a water change, not just change according to a calendar. It is like putting gas in your car. You wouldn't put gas in you care only on Saturday. You would put gas in your car when the fuel ran low.

The more you learn, the more you can be in control. If I depended on my local PetSmart (which has good knowledgeable people working there), I would only be reacting to problems after the problems occurred.

 

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1 hour ago, Scraig325 said:

But, if it is disease, shouldn't I be treating it with medicine? Or could my levels just be that off that it's causing fin rot and red gills?

There might be disease, but why did the fish get sick? It usually starts with stress from poor water conditions.

Think about it this way, in a household of people who are overweight, on a poor diet, and do not exercise (which could be my house come to think of it), if several people were to develop diabetes and heart disease, they might benefit from medications. But what would really help everyone in the house would be a healthier environment.

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On 11/13/2020 at 9:56 AM, Daniel said:

Often when there is a general a die off of fish in an aquarium the one thing all fish have in common is the environment. Most of the symptoms you mentioned are not contagious from one fish to another so it might be productive to look at water quality.

How is your water? What parameters are you measuring? Any trends in water chemistry or recent changes? When did you setup the aquarium? What caused you to begin treatment?  What fish are in the aquarium?

And this would really help a lot, a wide shot picture of the entire aquarium.

Daniel, I got the test kit yesterday and it says:

4-8ppm Ammonia, which is WAY high I know, so I did a 25% water change and will test levels again today.

Nitrate and Nitrite = 0ppm, is that good or bad?

High Range pH 7.8ppm since I was using aquarium salt is that why it's a little high?

Temp is at 80.

What do I do? All but one fish seem fine.  I have a danio that is swimming around crazy and running into things, seems uncontrollable and his gills are really red and moving fast.

Do I get API Ammo Lock as the test kit suggests for high ammonia levels?

I was feeding twice a day, small amounts, now I'll just feed once a day.

I use API Stress Coat + and Stress Zyme + when I do water changes. I need more good bacteria in there to neutralize the ammonia, how?

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39 minutes ago, Scraig325 said:

Daniel, I got the test kit yesterday and it says:

4-8ppm Ammonia, which is WAY high I know, so I did a 25% water change and will test levels again today.

Nitrate and Nitrite = 0ppm, is that good or bad?

High Range pH 7.8ppm since I was using aquarium salt is that why it's a little high?

Temp is at 80.

What do I do? All but one fish seem fine.  I have a danio that is swimming around crazy and running into things, seems uncontrollable and his gills are really red and moving fast.

Do I get API Ammo Lock as the test kit suggests for high ammonia levels?

I was feeding twice a day, small amounts, now I'll just feed once a day.

I use API Stress Coat + and Stress Zyme + when I do water changes. I need more good bacteria in there to neutralize the ammonia, how?

  • 4 - 8 ppm Ammonia is too much, if I got that result I would do water changes with aged dechlorinated/dechloraminated water.
  • Nitrate and Nitrite both 0 ppm, which seems good, but ammonia by way of beneficial bacteria turns to nitrite and then nitrate. So while good, this result seems a bit strange.
  • pH is 7.8, piffle, I rarely worry about pH and I don't think it is connected to salt, but salt can be protective against high ammonia levels.
  • I wouldn't do API Ammo Lock - it might be a fine product, I just have no experience with it, and if at all possible I try not put anything in my aquariums that isn't either water or food for the fish or plants.
  • Adding more bacteria isn't harmful, but you are past the point where it is likely to help. Whatever the bacteria you have in there are probably working hard to divide up the resources amongst themselves right now. But, I don't think anyone truly knows what bacteria are doing what and when (except possibly Dr. Tim Hovanec 😉). When I read about beneficial bacteria it just all seems like a bunch of hand waving to me. I have my pet theories, but none of what I believe is based on ever looking at an actual bacteria, so I reserve the right to wrong on this one.

But, the good news is almost all your fish are doing fine (excepting 1 danio). If things were truly amiss in your aquarium it wouldn't just be 1 fish having a problem.

Keep tracking your ammonia, but like the old saying says, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', meaning watchful waiting while sticking to your current plan is probably best.

I appreciate the update!

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