Antibiotics

Humblefish

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Antibiotic treatment

What It Treats
Bacterial infections, which are oftentimes “secondary” to preexisting parasitic (and worm) infestations.

How To TreatFollow the directions on the label of whatever product you are using. Always use a broad spectrum antibiotic medication i.e. one that treats both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial diseases.

The following are medications I recommend (in order of preference):

1) Ciprofloxacin (Best administered via 1-2 hour bath treatment. Dosage is high: 250mg per gal. Repeat every 24 hours for 7 days. Methylene Blue can be added to increase efficacy.)

2) Enrofloxacin (Most advanced antibiotic approved for use in tropical fish ... Dosage range is 2.5 - 5 mg/L daily for 7 days; can be used both in a QT or as a 5 hour bath treatment. The tricky thing about Enrofloxacin is the 2.5 - 5 mg/L dosage range is actually safe for QT use, but the nitrifying bacteria will also take a hit. So, the primary reason to administer the medication as a 5 hr bath is to spare your biofilter.)

3) Nitrofuracin Green Powder (Best used in a QT with no working biofilter, as the Methylene Blue contained therein can destroy nitrifying bacteria.)

4) AAP Spectrogram (Kanamycin/Nitrofurazone synergistic combination … Can be combined with Metronidazole … Can be safely used in a QT with a working biofilter.)

5) Furan-2 + Seachem Kanaplex + Metroplex (metronidazole) – Can be used separately, but most effective when all 3 are combined together. Furan-2 + Kanaplex should be dosed at the same time for maximum effectiveness. Can be used in a QT with a working biofilter.

6) Triple Sulfa Powder

7) Seachem Sulfaplex + Neoplex
(Can be used separately or together.)

8) Maracyn 1 (Erythromycin) – Best antibiotic for treating eye infections.

When using antibiotics, it is very important to treat for 7 - 10 consecutive days. Follow the instructions on the label – which may say to dose every 24 or 48 hours, do water changes, etc. But use the product for 7 - 10 continuous days (as directed). Sometimes a fish will look & act better after just a few days of treatment; however the infection can return if you end treatment prematurely. Or sometimes the opposite will happen, as antibiotics can be notoriously slow acting with fish. If a fish shows no signs of improvement after 10 days, then it’s time to try a completely different medication. Just like with humans, sometimes a certain fish will respond better to a different treatment.

Another option for using antibiotics is daily baths. Most antibiotics can be double dosed in a 30 minute bath treatment. Aerate the bath for at least 30 minutes prior and maintain aeration + temperature throughout.

The medications listed above are primarily meant to be dosed into the water. Using antibiotics in a QT environment (or bath treatment) fits within the comfort level of most hobbyists. However, the best way to apply antibiotics is via intramuscular injection (obviously difficult to do with small fish). The first step is to sedate the fish using MS-222 (Tricaine Methanesulfonate). Next, inject an antibiotic (e.g. enrofloxacin), or a steroid such as dexamethasone to help reduce inflammation/swelling. The injection is made into the muscle on the side of the dorsal ridge, angling the needle towards the head or tail to avoid hitting any major organs below. Typically you would use a tuberculin syringe with a 27 gauge needle to draw up the solution and a 30 gauge needle to inject. After the injection is complete, place the fish in a heavily oxygenated bucket with clean saltwater and glide the fish through the water until he is revived. Dosage for Intramuscular dexamethasone varies from 1-2 mg/kg. Dosing info for enrofloxacin and other fish antibiotics can be found here.

You can also food soak antibiotics; this is especially useful for treating internal infections. Neomycin (e.g. Neoplex) will not get absorbed by the fish’s gastrointestinal tract, thus making it an excellent antibiotic to soak in food. I’ve also had success using kanamycin (e.g. Kanaplex) to treat internal infections. Metronidazole (e.g. Metroplex) is another good option and can also be used to treat internal flagellates. See Table 1 (here) for other ABX which can be soaked in food. It is also important to use a binder to greatly reduce the loss of medication to the water through diffusion (this also makes food soaking reef safe). Seachem Focus, unflavored gelatin or agar are all examples of binding agents that can be used. My recipe for food soaking ABX can be found below:

Using a shot glass:
1 scoop (~ 1/8 teaspoon) of medication
1 scoop Focus
1 tbsp food (preferably pellets or frozen food)
A few drops of saltwater or fish vitamins
Stir until a medicated food slurry has been achieved
Feed after soaking for 30 mins

Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers for future use

ProsCan be mixed with other medications; however effectiveness may be limited if used in the presence of an immunosuppressant (e.g. copper, Chloroquine).

Cons/Side EffectsSuppresses appetite, depletes the water of oxygen (so provide additional gas exchange). Antibiotics dosed in water are notoriously slow acting in fish.

Further reading below:

Use of Antibiotics in Ornamental Fish Aquaculture

http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/AquariumMedication2.html
 
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ColinT

New member
Hey Humblefish, when treating a fish in a quarantine tank with an antibiotic like Erythromycin, I assume that it does no good and maybe some harm to set up an Aquaclear filter with bacteria in the sponge as the antibiotic will probably just kill the bacteria. For this type of set up, should I use Prime and water changes to control the ammonia then? Thank you!
 

Jessican

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Are the marks on the white areas of this clownfish something that warrant antibiotics? I never see marks like these in a DT, but any clownfish I have in a QT tank seems to get them. He’s currently in a QT where I just started dosing General Cure, so that contains metro, but should I add Kanaplex and/or Furan-2, or wait and see if the metro helps?

0A4D08CE-5FF2-4A20-B692-08D7F34F4384.jpeg


He’s also been eating metro and fenbendazole-laced food for the past two weeks for stringy white poo, but that internal route isn’t helping with the external marks.
 

Jessican

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@Jessican Whenever I see weird stuff on clownfish, I always dose Kana + Metro. That seems to resolve many issues they have.
I'm on day 8 of dosing metro (on the high side - 250mg/10g) & kana for this guy, and he's not looking any better. He might even look worse? He's acting better, though - up swimming around, rather than just hanging out at the bottom of the tank, and he's still eating just fine. Should I keep going with the metro + kana this week, add in Furan-2, or maybe do a cipro bath? Or maybe a rally bath? I'd like to get him out of the QT next week and back into his tank, since the fallow period will be over, and I'm pretty sure QT water quality has something to do with these marks, but I'm not sure it would be okay to move him back looking the way he does.

Edit: the more I look at him, the more I think that maybe he needs another round of copper or CP. I can't get a good picture that shows what I'm seeing - he looks better in photos than he does in person - but my gut tells me there's something else going on. None of the marks look like open wounds, so maybe I'll try a 150ppm peroxide bath and then into a clean QT for observation before I medicate with anything else. :confused: Should I maybe do a Rally bath before the peroxide, or is that unnecessary?
 
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Jessican

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I tried to get some photos and video. YouTube keeps borking the video quality when I upload, so I don't know how useful this will be:

And then photos, which I think make him look better than he looks in person:
1624BAED-4C8C-4440-A879-F0347A7599EC.jpeg


EE2EB302-81FF-4EA5-AEFE-E7277B44FF62.jpeg


7452B14A-4CA1-4AA9-94A6-73A8E986C654.jpeg


I mean if I saw these photos posted by someone else, I'd say he has brook. But he's spent the last week in the high end dose of metro, so how can that be? Am I on the right track at all with antibiotics?
 

Jessican

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@Jessican Rally works amazingly well when clownfish have brook. In fact, some LFS I advise just give clownfish w/brook a 90 minute Rally bath and then throw them right back into the same system. Brook does not often come back.

Is the metro you've been using close to pharmaceutical grade? Metroplex is only 70% active.
It's Thomas Labs' Fish Zole Forte, the tablets with 500mg of metronidazole in them. As far as I know, it's pharmaceutical grade.

Should I do a rally or peroxide bath then? Or should I switch to Cipro? I'm setting up a clean QT to move them into now, and have a bucket going for a bath in whatever you recommend.
 

Humblefish

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Should I do a rally or peroxide bath then? Or should I switch to Cipro? I'm setting up a clean QT to move them into now, and have a bucket going for a bath in whatever you recommend.
Both Rally or peroxide should eliminate brook, but Rally is the more proven commodity at this point. So, unless you are wanting to experiment I would go with a 90 min Rally bath.

Cipro baths would be my next move if Rally doesn't clear this up.
 

Jessican

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Both Rally or peroxide should eliminate brook, but Rally is the more proven commodity at this point. So, unless you are wanting to experiment I would go with a 90 min Rally bath.

Cipro baths would be my next move if Rally doesn't clear this up.
Rally it is then! This poor guy has been through enough, I don't want to experiment on him at this point. So after Rally, should I just observe for a bit or go ahead and resume the metro dosing?
 

Jessican

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I would just observe. Maybe just add a mild antibiotic (e.g. neomycin) to the QT for good measure.
Okay, they’re in the bath now and the clean QT is warming up in the meantime. I don’t have any neomycin, would erythromycin work? Otherwise I can order neoplex to be here on Wednesday.

Nevermind, back into CP they go. Pretty classic velvet outbreak on the royal gramma this morning. 😭
 
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Jessican

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@Jessican Was the gramma given a H2O2 bath at any point? (Just trying to figure out if H2O2 failed to eradicate velvet here.)
No, just a Rally bath last night, and he’s been in metro + kana for the last two weeks. They also all went through CP for two weeks at the beginning of the month. I haven’t used peroxide on these guys at all. Should I do a peroxide bath this morning or just let the CP do its job?

Here’s what I think happened: I didn’t have enough salt water ready last night to set up the clean QT, so I went and bought some. The closest store was out, so I went to the next one, which is the one I think has contaminated fish in the first place. Then this morning, boom, velvet. Is it possible that their fresh saltwater is contaminated too, and could cause a visible outbreak overnight like that? They said they were cleaning their holding tank and had the water in Brute cans, so who knows what else they use those for. I mean maybe it was already there and was being suppressed and then the stress of a bath just brought it out, but it’s an awfully big coincidence and at this point, I’m never setting foot in that store again. :mad: I’m so over this.
 

Humblefish

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No, just a Rally bath last night, and he’s been in metro + kana for the last two weeks. They also all went through CP for two weeks at the beginning of the month. I haven’t used peroxide on these guys at all. Should I do a peroxide bath this morning or just let the CP do its job?
I would give him a peroxide bath (for temporary relief), and then dose CP into the QT just to be sure.

Here’s what I think happened: I didn’t have enough salt water ready last night to set up the clean QT, so I went and bought some. The closest store was out, so I went to the next one, which is the one I think has contaminated fish in the first place. Then this morning, boom, velvet. Is it possible that their fresh saltwater is contaminated too, and could cause a visible outbreak overnight like that? They said they were cleaning their holding tank and had the water in Brute cans, so who knows what else they use those for. I mean maybe it was already there and was being suppressed and then the stress of a bath just brought it out, but it’s an awfully big coincidence and at this point, I’m never setting foot in that store again. :mad: I’m so over this.
Ya know, I've always been paranoid about that. LFS employees putting their hands in tanks with diseases and then fooling around with the SW vat. There are lots of @Paul Bs working at these LFS. :p
 

Jessican

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I would give him a peroxide bath (for temporary relief), and then dose CP into the QT just to be sure.
Just him, or all of the fish in the QT?

Ya know, I've always been paranoid about that. LFS employees putting their hands in tanks with diseases and then fooling around with the SW vat. There are lots of @Paul Bs working at these LFS. :p
Well, it’s a reasonable enough possibility that it’s not a risk I’ll be taking again for sure. I’m so mad at myself right now - here I’m trying to get them healthy and I just make it 10x worse.
 
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