Antibiotics

mattzang

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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
there's an lfs near me that would give you a heart attack. they have a DT FOWLR they run with fish just constantly covered with ich and they think it's fine. i mentioned they should probably be careful to dry their hands at least before putting hands in other tanks and they were like nah it's fine see and then they'd dip their hands in the ich tank and then go soak their hands in their frag tank :eek:

i don't go there anymore :cool:

they even poured a little copper into their shark tank one time. it was such a minute amount i think, but they thought that was proof sharks can handle copper.

this is a visual approximation of the two owners:

 

Jessican

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Fremont, CA
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Ugh, @Jessican! That's horrible! I'm sorry about the trials; it always seems to come in waves with our tank, too, at times. Fingers crossed that all will be well now that you have a plan in place. Keep us posted!
The thing that gets to me the most is that in the tank where I'm doing something completely experimental, the fish all seem happy, are eating well, and I've lost absolutely no one. You'd never even know there was a parasite in there unless you happen to see one of the few spots first thing in the morning. In the QT/hospital tanks, though, regardless of whether I'm prophylactically QTing new fish or treating known sick fish, it's losses left and right despite "proper" treatment protocols. At this point, I pretty much plan to treat any future issues (fingers crossed there won't be any, but I'm not that optimistic) with peroxide in the DT, even if I still need to play with dosages and timings.

Everybody says never to trust anyone's QT but your own, but I don't remotely trust my own QT at this point. If it weren't for @Humblefish and his efforts to build this community where we can access truly quarantined fish, this would drive me right out of the hobby. I just want to enjoy the fish, I can't keep watching them die. :cry:

Fortunately, the gramma and the clown are looking much better after the peroxide bath and addition of CP to the tank - it no longer looks like anybody is in immediate danger. They looked just awful this morning. They're getting a full 30 days this time, though, since I can't say for sure that it was from the water I picked up last night. It's possible that the original 14 days in CP that I did either didn't work, or I managed to carry parasites into the fresh QT with them, and it's just taken little bit for the parasites to gain a foothold again. I guess we'll see how round 2 plays out.
 

mattzang

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The thing that gets to me the most is that in the tank where I'm doing something completely experimental, the fish all seem happy, are eating well, and I've lost absolutely no one. You'd never even know there was a parasite in there unless you happen to see one of the few spots first thing in the morning. In the QT/hospital tanks, though, regardless of whether I'm prophylactically QTing new fish or treating known sick fish, it's losses left and right despite "proper" treatment protocols. At this point, I pretty much plan to treat any future issues (fingers crossed there won't be any, but I'm not that optimistic) with peroxide in the DT, even if I still need to play with dosages and timings.

Everybody says never to trust anyone's QT but your own, but I don't remotely trust my own QT at this point. If it weren't for @Humblefish and his efforts to build this community where we can access truly quarantined fish, this would drive me right out of the hobby. I just want to enjoy the fish, I can't keep watching them die. :cry:

Fortunately, the gramma and the clown are looking much better after the peroxide bath and addition of CP to the tank - it no longer looks like anybody is in immediate danger. They looked just awful this morning. They're getting a full 30 days this time, though, since I can't say for sure that it was from the water I picked up last night. It's possible that the original 14 days in CP that I did either didn't work, or I managed to carry parasites into the fresh QT with them, and it's just taken little bit for the parasites to gain a foothold again. I guess we'll see how round 2 plays out.
I feel your pain. A few months ago I decided I wanted to upgrade tanks and didn't want to rely on hope to fill the next tank up, so I decided I'd QT all fish. Either myself or a professional. I threw in a lot of money on equipment/tanks/meds/hanna copper checker/etc. I wanted to be as prepared as possible. And still, endless failure. Even fish that made it through QT would maybe just die anyway too. I had a starcki damsel, chronicled on this site somewhere, that outlasted all 3 fish I ordered from liveaquaria. Christmas wrasse dead early on, possible spinal injury. Royal gramma got some nasty bacterial infection. Starcki damsel #1 got uronema, so there was lone starcki #2. I dosed everything imaginable to cover bacterial/uronema while also doing copper for 2 weeks. He makes it thru QT and into my sterile observation tank he goes. Dead a couple days in.

Then I get frustrated and throw in an orangeback fairy wrasse that was hanging at my LFS for so long he put it on sale for $50. h2o2 bath and into my observation tank he went. He's still trucking along and is an eating machine.

Now recently, I stumbled upon a local socal guy that goes to the wholesale and can get cheap fish, but he also QTs fish. So he had a randalls assessor that I scooped up. 70 mile drive into LA later and I have me a randalls assessor, straight into observation tank he goes (no h2o2 bath I was crunched for time and kicking myself now). And just earlier today I find that fish stuck to my HOB filter, clearly on his way out. Looks like a bad bacterial infection, I'll have to post a pic tomorrow. So.. healthy fish, eating, swimming upside down like a cool assessor, then dead out of nowhere.

It's like everything QT I want or touch just dies, even if healthy. So frustrating.

Worst part is I don't even know what to make of some of the deaths. Some are just run of the mill dead. Some look like they fit classic signs of certain diseases, most of which apparently could've been eliminated with a simple h2o2 bath.

I'm at the point where I'm tempted to just h2o2 bath fish, maybe do a methlyne blue bath as well, then straight into observation they go. Then just feed medicated food and dose h2o2 nightly. Ich honestly seems like childs play at this point, the real killer of fish is the phantom overnight disease where a fish goes from seemingly good to go to dead overnight.
 

Opotter

New member
All of this is exactly what brought be to to decision to only buy fish from vendors on this site! I’m so grateful we have folks setting up business models that make the industry better and less heart breaking for hobbyists. I come onto this site and poke through the threads because I want to learn to ID these things and know how to treat them if something does sneak into my tank, but at this point I know what I don’t know so it’s really nice to have places available as a trusted source for fish.
 

mattzang

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All of this is exactly what brought be to to decision to only buy fish from vendors on this site! I’m so grateful we have folks setting up business models that make the industry better and less heart breaking for hobbyists. I come onto this site and poke through the threads because I want to learn to ID these things and know how to treat them if something does sneak into my tank, but at this point I know what I don’t know so it’s really nice to have places available as a trusted source for fish.
That's definitely the smart play, but when you just want a couple cheap fish, paying upwards of $70+ for shipping makes that $100 of fish become almost $200, plus shipping is just a general mess. So this guy is in LA (I'm in socal) so I can just drive there and pick them up. I questioned his QT process (I'm not convinced it was anything he did or didn't do) and it seemed quite thorough. Medicated food/copper/prazi/NFG and it was a 30 day QT, some people only do a 14 day, so.. he has really good reviews on a socal reefing site including a guy that lives near him and several people had seen his QT system and said they got healthy fish from him. The only other socal QT people that I'm aware of are marinecollectors and tidepoolaquatics. marinecollectors has never responded to any emails I've sent and seems only interested in QTing high end fish, so that won't work. tidepool sounds cool, but isn't a sponsor on this site, so who knows if that process is up to snuff?

This is kind of my frustration, there's so much unknown for me at least. Is my supposedly sterile observation tank infected with something? Was it the fault of the guy? Did the fish just die and there are things in life that just happen and we don't know?

Anyway, getting a little bit off topic of antibiotics.. I just was ranting to @Jessican as it sounds like she has had similar issues to me. I don't trust myself to QT fish. I don't trust wholesale to get me a decently healthy fish. I don't trust fish to not casually drop dead one day. I don't trust numerous LFS. I don't trust liveaquaria. I'd like to trust the sponsors on here, but if I just dump those healthy fish into an infected tank, there goes $200. I guess that'd at least narrow it down to what my problem is lol
 

Monaco84

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Hi @Humblefish, how effective are antibiotic baths as opposed to dosing the QT? I've never really considered this as an option before until re-reading the sticky but it seems like it could be a useful approach to avoid biofilter issues. Also for people in the UK and other countries that don't readily have access to ABX it would be a handy way to ration supplies.

Also, is there a danger of transferring dangerous bacteria to a DT (if for example a fish fights off infection in QT without the use of ABX) or is it one of those things that is always present in most tanks but exacerbated by poor WQ, disease, stress etc?

Cheers

Nick
 

Humblefish

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Hi @Humblefish, how effective are antibiotic baths as opposed to dosing the QT?

Also, is there a danger of transferring dangerous bacteria to a DT (if for example a fish fights off infection in QT without the use of ABX) or is it one of those things that is always present in most tanks but exacerbated by poor WQ, disease, stress etc?
Ciprofloxacin (250mg per gal) for 1-2 hours every day can be highly effective. Adding Methylene Blue to the bath will increase efficacy.

Some harmful bacteria are almost always present in a DT (like germs being everywhere), but a healthy fish's natural immune system keeps it at bay. However, you definitely want to keep virulent gram negative bacteria (like Vibrio) out of your DT. A UV sterilizer is actually really good at removing bacteria from the water column (good & bad).
 

Monaco84

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Ciprofloxacin (250mg per gal) for 1-2 hours every day can be highly effective. Adding Methylene Blue to the bath will increase efficacy.

Some harmful bacteria are almost always present in a DT (like germs being everywhere), but a healthy fish's natural immune system keeps it at bay. However, you definitely want to keep virulent gram negative bacteria (like Vibrio) out of your DT. A UV sterilizer is actually really good at removing bacteria from the water column (good & bad).
I have a feeling getting ciprofloxacin over here will be pretty tricky but I can give it a try, it might not make it through customs. We can usually get hold of the Seachem and API meds via ebay, are any of these suitable as a bath? I have some furan-2, kanaplex, triple sufla and metro but not in large enough quantities to do a full course dosed into a QT.

I understand why ABX are controlled over here but its so frustrating when bacterial infections surface and the best option is to order from the US, wait a month and pray the fish doesn't succumb in the meantime and that the meds don't get stopped at customs! The official route through the vets is a joke, you can either take a sick fish into them (i'm sure the stress of this will be just what the fish need!) or I was quoted £200 for a home visit which given the current situation wouldn't be happening any time soon anyway.

Thanks

Nick
 

Humblefish

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I have a feeling getting ciprofloxacin over here will be pretty tricky but I can give it a try, it might not make it through customs. We can usually get hold of the Seachem and API meds via ebay, are any of these suitable as a bath? I have some furan-2, kanaplex, triple sufla and metro but not in large enough quantities to do a full course dosed into a QT.
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.

I understand why ABX are controlled over here but its so frustrating when bacterial infections surface and the best option is to order from the US, wait a month and pray the fish doesn't succumb in the meantime and that the meds don't get stopped at customs! The official route through the vets is a joke, you can either take a sick fish into them (i'm sure the stress of this will be just what the fish need!) or I was quoted £200 for a home visit which given the current situation wouldn't be happening any time soon anyway.
I used to live in London, and I know exactly what you mean.
 

edwarb17

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I feel your pain. A few months ago I decided I wanted to upgrade tanks and didn't want to rely on hope to fill the next tank up, so I decided I'd QT all fish. Either myself or a professional. I threw in a lot of money on equipment/tanks/meds/hanna copper checker/etc. I wanted to be as prepared as possible. And still, endless failure. Even fish that made it through QT would maybe just die anyway too. I had a starcki damsel, chronicled on this site somewhere, that outlasted all 3 fish I ordered from liveaquaria. Christmas wrasse dead early on, possible spinal injury. Royal gramma got some nasty bacterial infection. Starcki damsel #1 got uronema, so there was lone starcki #2. I dosed everything imaginable to cover bacterial/uronema while also doing copper for 2 weeks. He makes it thru QT and into my sterile observation tank he goes. Dead a couple days in.

It's like everything QT I want or touch just dies, even if healthy. So frustrating.
I am in the same boat as you, unfortunately. I COMPLETELY feel you. I'm ready to leave the hobby but I've forked out a TON of money getting my DT up and running and almost a year's worth of time so I'm sticking it out (with extreme anxiety and frustration). I've lost 2 Tangs, an anthias, and two clownfish in QT. Despite having my DT cycled since January, I've had absolutely no luck in adding a single fish. I managed to get a davinci clown QT'ed but I skipped the medicated food since I was thinking prophylactic treatment would be better and just stick to ich/velvet mitigation. Added him to my DT after thirty days in quarantine - about a month and a half later, he died of either brook or HLLE.

When I first set up my QT I killed my first tang and the clownfish due to Cuprion, which is basically the worst copper treatment EVER. Followed Humblefish's QT protocol and used copper power instead, which was much more successful. Then BAM out of the blue, my tang and anthias die four days before they're done with treatment - 45 days in QT, 2 weeks of copper treatment.

Now I've got another yellow tang in QT and he's looking mighty stressed despite looking stellar when I got him. He started acting strange after treating with medicated food, and it was getting worse each feeding, so I stopped on day 8. I feel like everything I quarantine fails miserably and I'm never going to have a fish in my display. The only saving grace is the fact that I'm fairly successful in my coral-only tank, which means I haven't completely failed to grasp the basic concepts of marine aquariums.

My fingers are crossed for your new method! You're not alone in your frustration!
 

Humblefish

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@edwarb17 Perhaps some different QT methods will work better for you. See links below:



 

mattzang

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I am in the same boat as you, unfortunately. I COMPLETELY feel you. I'm ready to leave the hobby but I've forked out a TON of money getting my DT up and running and almost a year's worth of time so I'm sticking it out (with extreme anxiety and frustration). I've lost 2 Tangs, an anthias, and two clownfish in QT. Despite having my DT cycled since January, I've had absolutely no luck in adding a single fish. I managed to get a davinci clown QT'ed but I skipped the medicated food since I was thinking prophylactic treatment would be better and just stick to ich/velvet mitigation. Added him to my DT after thirty days in quarantine - about a month and a half later, he died of either brook or HLLE.

When I first set up my QT I killed my first tang and the clownfish due to Cuprion, which is basically the worst copper treatment EVER. Followed Humblefish's QT protocol and used copper power instead, which was much more successful. Then BAM out of the blue, my tang and anthias die four days before they're done with treatment - 45 days in QT, 2 weeks of copper treatment.

Now I've got another yellow tang in QT and he's looking mighty stressed despite looking stellar when I got him. He started acting strange after treating with medicated food, and it was getting worse each feeding, so I stopped on day 8. I feel like everything I quarantine fails miserably and I'm never going to have a fish in my display. The only saving grace is the fact that I'm fairly successful in my coral-only tank, which means I haven't completely failed to grasp the basic concepts of marine aquariums.

My fingers are crossed for your new method! You're not alone in your frustration!
sorry to hear man. QT definitely isn't my favorite thing in the hobby, but the way I've tried to look at is if I didn't QT all that crap that killed fish in my QT would've been in my DT.

my plan for the future is continue the plan and just raise copper really slowly. like. 1.0 ppm to 2.0 over a week or so. the other meds i don't seem to have much of a problem with. ran a bunch of fish through GC recently and even wrasses had no issues. but copper is another beast.
 

scubabeth

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San Antonio, TX
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@edwarb17, I'm sorry about all of your heartache with QTing your fish. Don't give up! In regard to the yellow tang currently in your QT, check over Humble's recommendation for QT items to make sure something obvious isn't in play. Since you posted here, you probably read through it all, but, if not, the first page of this thread goes over a sample set up. (For example, the ammonia badge to monitor in QT since tests give false readings when medications are in the water, or making sure there is really good surface agitation to keep O2 in the water.)

We used to QT our fish, too, and know how tough it is to lose fish when you're trying your best. For this tank, we decided to use the QT vendors here on this site to purchase fish for our tank. They use Humble's protocol for QTing/conditioning fish, and it's amazing how close in cost they are to ones purchased online or at an LFS...and they come already healthy, eating, and used to people. I heartily recommend reaching out to them! 😃
 

edwarb17

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sorry to hear man. QT definitely isn't my favorite thing in the hobby, but the way I've tried to look at is if I didn't QT all that crap that killed fish in my QT would've been in my DT.

my plan for the future is continue the plan and just raise copper really slowly. like. 1.0 ppm to 2.0 over a week or so. the other meds i don't seem to have much of a problem with. ran a bunch of fish through GC recently and even wrasses had no issues. but copper is another beast.
I will say that when I raised my copper levels VERY slowly using Copper Power I had much, much, much better luck. Granted the fish still died, but I can tell you that it was the first time they made it through copper without dying on like...day 4 or looking absolutely abysmal. I went nuts and actually created a copper dosing schedule over the course of 7 days from 0 - 2.0ppm and then tested twice per day to get morning and nightly levels. Graphs and everything. I was devastated to lose them after all that effort.

@edwarb17, I'm sorry about all of your heartache with QTing your fish. Don't give up! In regard to the yellow tang currently in your QT, check over Humble's recommendation for QT items to make sure something obvious isn't in play. Since you posted here, you probably read through it all, but, if not, the first page of this thread goes over a sample set up. (For example, the ammonia badge to monitor in QT since tests give false readings when medications are in the water, or making sure there is really good surface agitation to keep O2 in the water.)

We used to QT our fish, too, and know how tough it is to lose fish when you're trying your best. For this tank, we decided to use the QT vendors here on this site to purchase fish for our tank. They use Humble's protocol for QTing/conditioning fish, and it's amazing how close in cost they are to ones purchased online or at an LFS...and they come already healthy, eating, and used to people. I heartily recommend reaching out to them! 😃
Thank you for your support! My anxiety is nuts right now. I seem to have an spurt of algae in my QT and I'm going to do a 10% water change and try to wipe down some of the sides, but I will tell you I am absolutely TERRIFIED about it. My tang is not going to be happy about me putting a hose in his tank.

I've been reading over and over again from this site, but re-reading and seeing if there's something I did wrong never hurts! Are you saying that people who sell fish on this site follow Humblefish's QT protocol prior to shipment?! :D
 

edwarb17

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@edwarb17 Perhaps some different QT methods will work better for you. See links below:



Thanks, Humblefish! Out of curiosity - do you think a 10g tank would be sufficient for a larger sized tang? I've got him in a 20 and it seems sufficient. I feel like since it's only 3 days each transfer it shouldn't be too bad. Do I still have to dose copper to do preventative treatment for velvet? Or is there another strategy?
 

Humblefish

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Thanks, Humblefish! Out of curiosity - do you think a 10g tank would be sufficient for a larger sized tang? I've got him in a 20 and it seems sufficient. I feel like since it's only 3 days each transfer it shouldn't be too bad. Do I still have to dose copper to do preventative treatment for velvet? Or is there another strategy?
The problem with tangs is they are heavy poopers, so putting a large one in just a 10g would risk a sudden ammonia spike. A 20-30 gallon gives you a lot more leeway. I personally prefer to QT large tangs in 40 breeders.

Since you aren't having much luck using copper, why not just observe using a black molly as a canary fish: https://humble.fish/community/index.php?threads/black-molly-quarantine.55/

You will probably need to isolate the Molly to an acclimation box to protect it from the tang.
 

scubabeth

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San Antonio, TX
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I will say that when I raised my copper levels VERY slowly using Copper Power I had much, much, much better luck. Granted the fish still died, but I can tell you that it was the first time they made it through copper without dying on like...day 4 or looking absolutely abysmal. I went nuts and actually created a copper dosing schedule over the course of 7 days from 0 - 2.0ppm and then tested twice per day to get morning and nightly levels. Graphs and everything. I was devastated to lose them after all that effort.



Thank you for your support! My anxiety is nuts right now. I seem to have an spurt of algae in my QT and I'm going to do a 10% water change and try to wipe down some of the sides, but I will tell you I am absolutely TERRIFIED about it. My tang is not going to be happy about me putting a hose in his tank.

I've been reading over and over again from this site, but re-reading and seeing if there's something I did wrong never hurts! Are you saying that people who sell fish on this site follow Humblefish's QT protocol prior to shipment?! :D
We all know how hard it is to lose fish when QTing! :( When we QT'd, we bought one of those magnetic scrapers (like this one: https://www.chewy.com/mag-float-acrylic-floating-magnetic/dp/129403) so we didn't have to use a big scary scraper or a paper towel or something and bother the fish as much. If you get one, move it slowly, as it does slosh water around if moved quickly, which also can startle fish.

Yes, the vendors here are great and have been vetted by Humble; he makes sure they care about doing the right thing for fish and selling clean, healthy fish. It's so nice to know they've gone through treatment he would do. He also sells fish, but his operation is not active at the moment due to an upcoming move. Check out the vendor section, and their websites, PM them with questions if you have any, etc. They're great!

Keep us posted on the yellow tang!
 

edwarb17

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We all know how hard it is to lose fish when QTing! :( When we QT'd, we bought one of those magnetic scrapers (like this one: https://www.chewy.com/mag-float-acrylic-floating-magnetic/dp/129403) so we didn't have to use a big scary scraper or a paper towel or something and bother the fish as much. If you get one, move it slowly, as it does slosh water around if moved quickly, which also can startle fish.

Yes, the vendors here are great and have been vetted by Humble; he makes sure they care about doing the right thing for fish and selling clean, healthy fish. It's so nice to know they've gone through treatment he would do. He also sells fish, but his operation is not active at the moment due to an upcoming move. Check out the vendor section, and their websites, PM them with questions if you have any, etc. They're great!

Keep us posted on the yellow tang!
That's amazing. I've actually been thinking about what I want for my next fish once the DT has a chance to acclimate to the bioload from the anthias/tang. I will be checking these vendors out to see what they offer because I really want a reliable vendor (and if they do the QT work for me and I can just add the fish to my tank or observe for a while in QT with no meds or copper) so it's worth the money on shipping. I've had VERY mixed results with LiveAquaria and would absolutely quarantine (and medicate) because I have gotten fish with ich from them before. My LFS is fairly reliable but they've made a few comments that make me raise my eyebrow (supposedly the anthias I have now underwent copper treatment, then all the sudden they switched it and said they didn't, then said they did again).....

So far he's handling his water change fairly well *fingers crossed it stays that way* and I put a nice big PVC pipe in the tank for him so he's got a hide-out. I'm hoping this also reduces his stress.

The problem with tangs is they are heavy poopers, so putting a large one in just a 10g would risk a sudden ammonia spike. A 20-30 gallon gives you a lot more leeway. I personally prefer to QT large tangs in 40 breeders.

Since you aren't having much luck using copper, why not just observe using a black molly as a canary fish: https://humble.fish/community/index.php?threads/black-molly-quarantine.55/

You will probably need to isolate the Molly to an acclimation box to protect it from the tang.
That's not a bad idea! As long as I know the Molly isn't sick and I add him to my QT then it's a great way to figure out if treating out of precaution is worth while. Thanks, Humblefish!
 
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