Diseases – The Ounce
Aqualand tells you how to avoid nasty medications
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Pet World Visit
Provide Healthy Water. Give your fish healthy water at the correct temperature and you’ll rarely see diseases in your fish population.
Stressors. Nasty water
stresses your fish and makes them susceptible to disease.
Other important stressors include:
1. Use a Heater. Heaters stabilize the temp in your tank. Even a 2o drop in temp can make them susceptible to ich.
2. Check Your Filter. Make sure your air pump and airstones are cranking. Is your outside filter flowing? You cannot over-filter your tank. People who use two types of filter systems provide the best water. Remember that it takes six weeks for a new biological filter to come up to speed – unless you jump start it.
3. Fix Your Cloudy Water. Cloudy water comes from bacteria eating the excess food you overfed your fish. Bacteria can consume much more oxygen than the water can absorb. Add a water clarifier and cut back on their food – way back.
4. Remove the Bullies. You just found out that cute little cichlid turned into a scaly terror. Give him to a friend (or a former friend).
5. Remove the Organics. Water changes get rid of dissolved organics. Gravel vacuuming removes solids.
6. Add More Oxygen.
Add a new airstone. Better
yet, add a sponge filter. Best,
add a new power filter.
7. Feed the Right Food. No matter what, you need to provide the right food. For instance, elephant noses don’t like flake foods. They will wither away and get sick if you fail to provide the correct food.
8. Quarantine New Fish. Protect your current fish from any potential diseases carried by new fish by quarantining any newbees for a week or three. We realize that the last freshwater hobbyist who followed this practice died in 1950. Nobody quarantines their fish anymore. However, keepers of saltwater tanks know the value of this technique. Try it. You’ll save some bucks -- and some fish.
Cull the Herd. Sometimes it works better to remove and humanely destroy an infected fish rather than treat it. Spending $5 to maybe cure a $2 fish is not always the best idea.
Quarantine Your Sick Fish. Removing sick fish to another tank prevents them from infecting your healthy fish. Removing sick fish also enables you to medicate the heck out of them without harming your healthy fish.
The Quarantine Tank. Use a bare tank, a heater, and a sponge filter. Keep it simple as possible. Change 100% of the water every two or three days. You can medicate this tank without fear of messing up your main tank. And it costs less to medicate a 10-gallon tank rather than a 55.
How to Make Healthy Water. Two-day-old water with one teaspoon of salt per gallon plus NovAqua makes great water. (Warm it to the temp of your tank before adding it.) Feel free to use similarly treated zero-day-old tap water on large fishes. Little guys – like neons – can’t always handle massive water changes.
Correct Your Water. Correct your current aquarium water by gravel vacuuming out half of it. Then add healthy water as described above. Add a good ich cure to it at half strength -- one of those malachite green and formaldehyde products.
Soft Water. Commercial water softeners make little difference to your fishes. They exchange the sodium in salt for some of the carbonates in your water. Total dissolved solids remain the same. Many water plants hate sodium or salt in their water. Fish love it. It promotes slime production and helps them ward off some diseases. Salt also decreases the harmful effects of high nitrite levels.
Antibiotics Work. The
biggest problem with those bacteria killers?
Many actually work. They
work by preventing new bacteria (which are actually plants) from building
cell walls. This means they
also kill -- or severely wound -- the beneficial bacteria (nitrosomonas
and nitrobacters) that convert fish wastes to harmless substances.
You wind up starting all over again with the “new tank
syndrome.” You can also kill
your plants with antibiotics. Keep
away from antibiotics unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
Take two aspirins and call us in the morning.
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