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New Fish/Home

Discussion in 'Other South American Dwarf Cichlids' started by Cathy G, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Cathy G

    Cathy G New Member 5 Year Member

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    Not sure what to call this one...

    I am a relative newbee, and I am asking all you experienced senior members to share details of your bought-new-fish-home-today routines. I have read as many of the letters in other forums regarding this but am trying to formulate a good plan of attack to prevent what is happening to my fish now - he is dying- from happening to another. I think if I had had more information I could have done something different and prevented this.

    Say you find a fish you want, research its needs and it is a go. You buy the fish from the LFS. You don't buy the fish from a tank where there is any disease - THAT YOU CAN SEE! So, you acclimate the fish carefully, put him in QT and watch...

    At this point, do you medicate for things unseen? For parasites inside and out? For bacteria? Worms? Anything/everything?

    If you do, what meds do you routinely choose for your fish. (I am only refering to Apistos here, not everyfish under heaven!) :) Do you medicate the water column or try to get the fish to eat medicated food? (How in the earth do you get those fussy bloakes to eat something different!)

    Do you run your medications back to back or together? How long, how many courses do you run? I would LOVE to have details! I really like some of the dwarf appistos but would like to be better prepared the next time.

    My male ram - always flashed a bit on one side - but there was never any sign of anything. He got sick and on top of the bacterial infection, the parasites are attacking now too. (Not ich). For all I know there are parasites inside him too... he was able to cope until an injury got infected... I only mention all this because perhaps if I had run him through a course of PraziPro and/or Metronidazole when I first bought him, maybe he could have fought his way through this.

    Sorry this letter is so long, but inquiring minds need to know! As they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...

    Thanks for your time and thoughts!

    Cathy G

    P.S. If you don't mind, use simple terms. I don't know latin and am not the sharpest tool in the shed!
  2. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    What I do depends entirely upon who I get the fish from. I rarely buy fish from a LFS; not because of any prejudice, but they rarely have what I am looking for, and they can rarely tell me anything I need to know about wild fish that they may get.

    There are a few importers who do a better than average job cleaning their fish up before reselling them. When I get fish from them I will quarantine but not medicate unless I see a problem.

    There are a few importers who do not clean up their fish. I do not usually buy from them, when if they are the only places that have the fish I want... well I gotta try. In those cases I treat with Prazi first, because flukes kill fast. Then I treat with levamisol, because nematodes are almost always present and difficult to diagnose until it is too late. Levamisol is the only medication I try to infuse into food as well as treat teh water. I stop treatment after the levamisol and watch the fish carefully. If I see signs of other parasites (scratching, red vent, gill flaring) I will treat with metro. If I see signs of fin rot or body slime infection I will treat with Bifuran (antbiotic).

    My quarantine period for wild fish lasts a month if there are no problems. Any noticeable disease, infection or infestation will generally add a week to the quarantine period.

    If I am buying tank-raised fish, or wild fish that have been in a hobbyist tank for more than a couple months, I will quarntine for two to three weeks and not medicate unless I see a problem.
  3. Cathy G

    Cathy G New Member 5 Year Member

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    How?

    Levamisol is the only medication I try to infuse into food as well as treat teh water.

    So, how do you do this? Moisten the food with tank water and sprinkle on pwdered meds? Soak food in fish oil with added meds? (The kind you squeeze out of health/vitamin capsules?) What foods work best? (Flakes seem to totally disintegrate, they spit out the pellets, blood worms aren't that absorbent...)

    Thanks for your input here,
    Cathy
  4. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I use a meaty frozen food.. usually mysis shrimp. I thaw and rinse the shrimp in a brine net, then squeeze the liquid out of it. I let it soak in the medication (a liquid) for a few minutes then feed. I know something is getting into the food because the medication is yellow and the mysis turn yellow.
  5. Cathy G

    Cathy G New Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks

    I appreciate your explanation!
    Cathy
  6. Cathy G

    Cathy G New Member 5 Year Member

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    Oops, one more thing

    You mentioned certain better importers. Are there names/websites you would refer me to?
    Thanks,
    Cathy
  7. apistoireland

    apistoireland New Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Cathy,
    just coming back to the earlier comments made regarding medication. I generally do not medicate if there is nothing obvoius wrong with the fish. You can do more harm than good. You would not take medication if you are not sick so why should it be any different where fish are concerned. Avoid any medications containing copper sulfate such as malachite green. One sure way of killing a lot of apistos... One of the best broadband medications available in Europe is esHa 2000, not sure if you can get it in the US. No side effects with any fish I have kept.
  8. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC New Member 5 Year Member

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    importing wild fish

    I would appreciate that list of importers who do not clean up their fish before selling. I recently bought 22 wild fish from an importer located in Canada, and ended up losing almost half due to disease. I believe the main culprit was skin and gill fluke.

    This list would be extremely helpful since this hobby is very expensive when you aquire a taste for more exotic tropical fish, and losing them really hurts.

    Thanks

    -Mike
  9. ronv

    ronv New Member 5 Year Member

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    Not all fish deaths are because of the shipper. Improper acclimation and uncycled ( new tanks ) probably cause more problems than diseased fish.
  10. algaefarmer

    algaefarmer New Member 5 Year Member

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    I don't medicate fish unless they have observable symptoms and I can make a fairly certain diagnosis. The only exception to this is Praziquantel (for worms and flukes), which is gentle on fish and goes into my QT every time I get new fish. Antibiotics especially should be used only as a last resort.

    I've never kept Apistos (yet), but my quarantine procedure for most fish is basically a bare bottom tank, sponge filter, small heater, Praziquantel (2 doses, 4 days apart), a little salt (except for fish that don't like it), live baby brine shrimp for carnivores/blanched zuccini for herbivores, high quality flakes/pellets, low light, a floating plant, daily small water changes, and about 14 days of close observation. If symptoms show themselves in that time, I'll medicate but otherwise I won't. Also, put a rock or something in the QT so that the fish have something to flash against (thus alerting you of parasites).

    So far, this approach has worked great and I haven't had a disease in my main tanks for years. When I first started keeping fish, I would often medicate at the slightest sign of disease and lost several fish that way.
  11. blueblue

    blueblue Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Hmm, for all newly acquired wild caught apistos, i will carry out the Q-step.
    First, all newly introduced fish will NOT be fed for the first day/night. Afterwards, they will be treated with metronidazole tablets (two days). For bita, eliza, mendezi, and some fish that are easily infected with FishTB, i will also use EM tablets (2 days). On the last day, i will treat the fish with Waterlife's myxazin. :)