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Multiple problems with fish, multiple questions about medications

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  • Multiple problems with fish, multiple questions about medications


    I have been fighting what I thought was Gill Fluke for 3 months. I've tried several recommended medications, and the scratching always come back. Fish would scratching against objects many times in a row which I worry they might hurt themselves when they do that against hard yet rough objects such as substrate and driftwood. From time to time, there were rapid breathing and what looked like inflamed gills on a few fish. But for real, I don't have a microscope so I am not 100% certain if it is Gill Fluke, but those are the only symptoms I can see. Almost all fish had scratched at some point. Some scratching were so bad that fish went upside down.

    Lately, there are two new problems.

    One Harlequin Rasbora has a small white thing on its lips. I suspect it is mouth fungal or bacteria infection. No other fish have that as far as I can see.

    One Otto catfish on occasions would do rapid circling like it was bothered by something. It also had an over 2 inch long hair thin poop the other day. Which I suspect it is internal parasites.

    I am treating the whole tank with Paraguard at this moment. It has been 4 days since the medication started. I dose every day with full dose. Problems are still there with no improvement.

    My questions are, is Paraguard really effectively against Gill Fluke? I don't really see it mentioned on the bottle but I read it somewhere it does. Could someone confirm it?
    Should it also be good against mouth fungal and bacteria infection?
    How long should I continue to use Paraguard? I have another bottle of 250ml Paraguard on the way. Should I use it every day until problems are gone?

    I heard Metronidazole is good against internal parasites, but it is not mentioned in the product description. Could someone please confirm it?
    If so, how should I use it for Otto cats? They obviously won't eat medicated food. And how long should the treatment last?

    I don't really want to mention that since this is a Seachem support forum, but I guess I need the answers. Before I used Paraguard, I was treating Gill Fluke with Hikari PraziPro. It worked in one smaller tank where I used 200% dosage, but not in the main tank where I used 130% dosage...well it worked for a week in the main tank but scratches came back while the medication was still in progress. I am thinking about using PraziPro at 2x dosage and Paraguard together, is it safe to do that? Hikari support said they don't recommend it because they do not know Seachem's secret recipe of Paraguard.
    I also use mostly Prime as my water conditioner, I was told by Hikari that sulfur based water conditioner interferes with some medications. Is there any Seachem medication fit into that category?

    P.S. I also use Garlic Guard to soak the food about 3 times a week.

    I also have Cupramine which I haven't used it yet mostly because I have snails in my tanks and my hospital tank isn't up yet.

  • #2
    Re: Multiple problems with fish, multiple questions about medications

    Thank you for the detailed post Vash!

    First, I would like to say that I'm very sorry that you are dealing with these issues in your tank. I will try to address your questions as they were asked in your post.

    Paraguard is a great broad spectrum medication that is effective against most external parasites (including gill flukes), bacterial and fungal infections, as well as viral infections. From your description in the post, it sounds like your fish are suffering from a fungal infection of the mouth and an internal parasite (indicative of the white stringy poop). Unfortunately, the Paraguard is only effective against external parasites. My recommendation would be to stop using the Paraguard and begin treating with both our Kanaplex and Metronidazole. Kanaplex is a very effective antibiotic that will treat fungal and bacterial infections (including the lip fungus you described). Metronidazole is a great treatment for internal parasites, along with bacterial infections. I would recommend feeding both in a medicated food mix, only adding in the Kanaplex every other day for 7 days. The Metronidazole should be fed daily for a minimum of three weeks. This will ensure that the fish are internalizing the medication and it is not getting lost in the water column. Unfortunately, internal parasites can only be treated with a medicated food mix, so it will be difficult treating your Ottos.

    If you choose to proceed with the treatment, then you should mix 1-2 scoops of the Metronidazole and Kanaplex to 1-2 scoops of Focus (binding agent), with high quality pellets or frozen foods and soak in Garlicguard for 10-15 mins. Feed the Metronidazole daily for a minimum of three weeks and the Kanaplex every other day for a maximum of 7 days.

    We do not recommend mixing any medications, except for the ones mentioned above. So I would not recommend mixing the Paraguard and the PraziPro together.

    Prime is compatible with all of our medications except Cupramine. Prime like most water conditioners is a reducing agent, therefore, when mixed directly with Cupramine, has the potential to reduce the copper from a safe Cu+2 form to a toxic Cu+ form. If you need to use Prime when using Cupramine, then we recommend preparing the Primed water 2 days in advance, since it only remains active in the water for up to 48 hours.

    I hope this helps!


    • #3
      Re: Multiple problems with fish, multiple questions about medications


      Thank you for the reply!

      Are you suggesting me to stop the Paraguard for Gill Fluke treatment now? Although at this moment, the level of scratching is only limited to a few fish(PraziPro didn't fail completely), I am afraid it will get worse again and spread when the Gill Fluke reproduce to regain their number.

      Just watched my two German Blue Rams both scratching against plants. I am very frustrated with this scene. I've done 5 doses of Paraguard already.

      Could I try to wipe out Gill Fluke first with Paraguard before treating the other problems? Since it also treat the mouth fungal problem. Or do you think the other two problems are more urgent and need more specific medication right now as you suggested?

      Just how long do I need to keep using Paraguard in order to wipe out Gill Fluke completely?
      How long does it typically take for Paraguard to treat mouth fungus/bacteria infection?

      Sorry for so many questions.

      [QUOTE=Tech Support AN;8606]
      My recommendation would be to stop using the Paraguard and begin treating with both our Kanaplex and Metronidazole.



      • #4
        Re: Multiple problems with fish, multiple questions about medications

        You can certainly continue to use the Paraguard if you choose, as it will treat for all of the issues, except for the internal parasites. If you do continue to use the Paraguard, you need to use it daily for a minimum of three weeks. You may even need to extend that to 4 weeks, depending on the severity of the issues. Paraguard only remains active for 24 hours, hence, the reason for dosing it daily. Typically, for a mouth fungus/bacteria, you treat until the symptoms disappear. The time on this can vary depending on the severity of the problem and the particular species ability to fight off the infection. Also, it is very important to maintain good water quality, as this is often the reason why fungus and bacteria come about in an aquarium. Since you have already began treatment with the Paraguard, you can definitely stick with it. If at the end of three weeks, you have not seen any improvement, then you can try the other medications that I suggested in the earlier post.

        I hope this helps! Good luck!


        • #5
          Re: Multiple problems with fish, multiple questions about medications

          Thanks again!

          I have more questions. :)

          Currently, I am doing about 20~25% partial water change every 2 days. Up from every 3 days over a week ago when I was still using PraziPro.
          Since Paraguard only last for 24 hours, is it safe to simply wait for 24 hours(or 48 hours) before dosing other medication at the end of the Paraguard treatment cycle? Or is it a large water change and activated carbon still needed?

          By the way, Paraguard can't kill the internal parasites inside the fish, but can it kill those internal parasites' offsprings which come out of the infected fish looking for new hosts? I wonder if meanwhile Paraguard can at least hold the internal parasites at bay from spreading?

          As for Metronidazole, does it have to be eaten by fish to work on internal parasites? Is it completely useless in the water? I mean, if I dose that in the water, wouldn't algae at least absorb some of it and work inside the Otto cat after it ate the algae? Or being directly absorbed by the gills? It would be extremely hard to feed Otto cats with the medicated food. The only thing they eat now besides algae is the dust from algae wafer created by other fish on the substrate, they don't even directly nip on algae wafer. It's hard to believe those fine particles of algae wafer would hold much Metronidazolo even if I per soak the algae wafer disc.


          • #6
            Re: Multiple problems with fish, multiple questions about medications

            You are very welcome! I will answer your questions as they were asked. :-)

            Yes; it is safe to say that after 24 hours Paraguard is no longer active in the water column and you could proceed with an alternative treatment method. However, if it would make you feel more secure, then you can certainly do a small water change and run carbon for a couple of hours. But again, I don't think that it is necessary.

            Paraguard will be effective against the parasites when they are free swimming and when they have attached to the external parts of the fish.

            Metronidazole is most effective when administered in a medicated food mix due to it's insoluble properties. However, it certainly would not hurt to try to dose the Metronidazole directly to the water for your Ottos. It could potentially land on the algae and the Ottos may ingest it.

            Or since they seem to eat the algae wafer dust, you could try to soak them in Garlicguard along with the Metronidazole and Focus. The Focus will bind the Metronidazole to the wafer. It certainly would not hurt to try.

            I hope this helps!