Category Archives: Bacteria

Bigger Batch Issues w/ Medicated Food

Making a big batch is a little bit more difficult because mixing the confectioners glaze/medicine mix have to be done evenly so it really kind of takes two people. One person to drizzle and one person to stir.

*Note: this document is intended to convey “how I do it“ and has nothing to do with recommendations, prescriptions, or instructions to you. If you think so, you are mistaken.

This batch called for roughly 700 mg of medicine per pound of food based on a 3% feeding rate and I put in 1500 total. It’s 2 pounds of food. If I had it to do over again, I would have made this with 2000 mg to account for some of the loss of medication during the crushing process. Continue reading Bigger Batch Issues w/ Medicated Food

How and What To Use To Make a Medicated Food For Fish Part 4

How and What To Use To Make a Medicated Food For Fish Part 4

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Now you know a new way to bind medicine to Koi and goldfish pellets in order to get medicines into the fish orally. It’s pineapple flavored, safe, easy to make and not oily. You don’t have to make paste foods, and the food stores well. The fish take it very well, it can be made on a base-pellet of your choosing and it’s very flexible limited only by what you can obtain to mix in it. Continue reading How and What To Use To Make a Medicated Food For Fish Part 4

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish (Part 2)

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

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So now we can take advantage of all the legal workarounds available to us by choosing especially privileged vets (the ones somehow above the regulatory restrictions that brick-and-mortar vets face), and “pet” pharmacies with enough lee-way to sell is what we want without regulation. Continue reading New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish (Part 2)

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

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FDA has downregulated medicated food to be available only by prescription. The manufactured food “of choice” is made with “Aquaflor” which is Florfenicol. It’s good, but the only Vet that can legitimately prescribe it will have been directly-and-in-person to your pond.

Continue reading New Way to Make Medicated Feed For NON-Food Fish

Sterilizing The Tank

“I’m going to break down, and sterilize the tank, gravel and plants.”

It’s promised often and it’s USUALLY unnecessary.

Sterilization of Environments is suggested as “The Way” to prevent diseases. This is widely advocated at the retail and wholesale level. They logically feel that a sterile environment is preferable to one that might harbor a pathogen from “the last batch” of fish. This is perfectly logical and actually works for some people.

On the other hand, it also means that your system (unless you use an existing filtration system which defeats the point of sterilization anyway) is starting from ‘scratch’ and will have to go through the entire nitrogen cycle again. This means that the incoming fish will have to bear up under Ammonia, then Nitrite, and then Nitrate, only then being rewarded by some algal growth and stability. I wager that the nitrogen ‘roller coaster’ is worse for the fish than anything (parasitic or bacterial) they could bring in with them.

Sterilization is usually unnecessary. It costs the system its entire ‘balance’ and you lose the beneficial bacteria and algae.

Besides, after you sterilize a system you’re only going to Bioseed it again, so it’s unsterile again.

After you’ve sterilized the tank and gravel, when the fish come back in, they will soon defecate in the tank, and will thereby (in most instances) inoculate the tank with the same pathogens that you’ve just tried to annihilate.

Most of the time, when you’re sterilizing a tank to “get rid of whatever killed the last batch” you’re actually trying to ‘sterilize’ a water quality problem that you didn’t know you had.

When the fish come in, you would observe the rules we laid out for Quarantine, especially observation (or the use of a microscope and diagnose any parasitic burden as early as possible). The earlier you diagnose and treat the fish, the better off you will be.

If you DO sterilize a tank, gravel and ornaments, set it up as new and do the following:

  1. Seachem Neutral 7.0 Buffer
  2. Plants for cover, live or plastic
  3. 78 DF temperature
  4. Sponge filter suitable to tank size
  5. Air pump to push sponge filter and aerate water
  6. Dechlorinate
  7. Bioseed

You won’t fail with the ‘new’ system.

Let’s just say, for the sake of argument that you’re not persuaded, and you want to be sure that there are no “leftover” pathogens in the tanks when your new fish come in. Here are some ideas you could employ with good success.

  1. Double dose Potassium permanganate with peroxide reversal. See formulary.
  2. Leave tank unoccupied for 14 days at seventy-five o This will eliminate parasitic pathogens, which require a host to survive for that long at that temperature.
  3. You could apply Formalin at 50 PPM with water change in four hours. This would also annihilate any parasite that might have been left behind. If you were concerned that flukes may have been there, you would repeat this treatment in 4 days.
  4. You can accomplish, against my advice, 100% annihilation of all viruses, bacteria and parasites with a 1:30 Clorox bleach dilution with water. Simply spray down tank or aquarium surfaces and wring out the sponges [or other filter media] with this dilute solution. Rinse with freshwater and refill, then you must de-chlorinate. Beneficial nitrifers are also annihilated.

A Topical For Bacterial Sores or Ulcer Disease in Koi

A Topical For Bacterial Sores or Ulcer Disease in Koi

With bacterial sores, one of the key elements is killing ALL the germs in the area. removing as much dead tissue and grossness as possible in ONE PASS and leaving something disinfectant in the vicinity as long as the water will let it stay. That seems to require a “stain” like Mercurochrome or similar.

Except Mercurochrome is pretty much straight-up mercury and good luck getting that (You can, lol – just click here).

An old standby for me is Iodine. But you need an aggressive staining iodine and you need to be able to get it ON a wound while getting dead-stuff OFF the wound.

Enter, Tincture of Iodine, 7% – 10% very strong.

And WOVEN gauze sponges. (See below) Most of what you find these days are “non woven” because they are considerably softer and MORE ABSORBENT. Finding “woven” gauze is kind of hard these days.

Ulcer disease in Koi debridement wounds iodine
^ Where to buy: WOVEN gauze sponges.

But when you’re debriding a Koi or other fish wound, you don’t care about absorbent, you need a “gentle roughness” for scrubbing. Not scrubbing, more like, rubbing. Kind of rubbing, but mainly “removing” dead stuff and “stopping while you’re ahead”.

You get the idea from the above that it’s a “finesse” sort of “experience” thing.

A Topical For Bacterial Sores or Ulcer Disease in Koi

Tincture of Iodine is available in several strengths. I used to buy the two-percent solution off the shelf at the drug store, but I felt like I needed something stronger. So I inquired of my local pharmacist and he supplied me with a seven-percent solution, which is fabulous for wound cleaning. Care must be taken to avoid using it near the gill. It may run under the gill cover and damage gill tissue. Fish hate that. ‘Really.

Tincture of Iodine will stain you severely, but does not ‘hurt’ the skin. It could do serious eye damage and so I must recommend that you wear protective eyewear. If this compound gets on the cornea of the fish, it will be of no consequence, as the cornea of the fish seems able to withstand this compound easily.

Use of this and almost any other topical should be limited to a single use. Once the wound has stopped bleeding, seems less red, and the edges seem to be ‘organizing’ into a thick white rim, do NOT re-apply any topical. You will disrupt the necessary migration of epithelial cells across the wound. This is the only way that large sores will heal. If you’re doing daily scrubs on the wounds, they cannot heal. A vicious cycle is propagated.

Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas

Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas

Finrot and mouthrot are bacterial or fungal infections that occur to Bettas or Siamese Fighting Fish when they’re worn down by chilling, poor water quality and, or parasites.

By themselves without parasites, in good warm water, Bettas don’t get finrot or mouthrot. (Although you can BUY stressed fish that soon break with it.)

Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas
Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas

So, what to know when Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas?

This video protocol steps you through Treating Finrot and Mouthrot In Bettas with specifics and it’s successful.

What’s in API’s EM Erythromycin?


Active Ingredients: 200 mg Erythromycin per packet.

Note on Erythromycin: Erythromycin is most effective against gram-positive bacteria, such as Streptococcus species. The vast majority of bacteria that cause disease in fish are gram-negative, so erythromycin should only be used after culture and sensitivity test results confirm it will be effective. Also, erythromycin is not very effective in a bath treatment, and it should only be administered by injection or in feed. Erythromycin is not FDA-approved for use with food fish. (Reference

What's in API's EM Erythromycin
What’s in API’s EM Erythromycin

Labeled as a “Broad Spectrum” antibiotic, that’s not exactly true. But people still like it anyway. 

Directions for Use:

For best results, remove activated carbon or filter cartridge from filter and continue operation.

For each 10 gallons (38 L) of water, empty one packet directly into aquarium.

Repeat does after 24 hours.

Wait another 24 hours then change 25% of the aquarium water.

Repeat this treatment for a second time, for a total of 4 doses.

Then make a final 25% water change and add fresh activated carbon or replace filter cartridge.

Treatment may be repeated, if necessary.

This package treats up to 100 gallons.

Four doses required for full course of treatment.

What’s in API’s EM Erythromycin


Antibiotics And Fish: The Best Article

Dr Yanong on Antibiotics and Fish

Dr Yanong wrote this down in Florida for the fish farmers and the aquaculture people, and is keenly important to, and relevant to, the tropical and pond fish trade.

It is extremely thorough and the section on bath treatments with the doxycyclines / OTC’s against certain bacteria and in varying water quality was interesting to me. But the discussion of the new thiamphenicols, (Florfenicol) was also illuminating.

antibiotics and fish

Antibiotics And Fish: The Best Article

What’s in API’s Finrot and Body Cure

What’s in API’s Fin (Finrot) and Body Cure?

Answer: 250mg Doxycycline per packet.

Application to the water provides variable degrees of absorption. Dirty water, high organics, less absorption. Clean water and no gravel, like in a 5 gallon bath at 78 DF? better absorption.

So it’s a hit or miss. If the water is harder (more calcium), it will work “not as well” and if the water is softer (less calcium mineral content), it will work better.  The pH (alkalinity) of the water is irrelevant. Besides aiding fish immune systems when warmer, temperature of the water is also irrelevant.

You can test for literally EVERYTHING that might be impacting the fish, or thre treatment with the following kit, specifically:

columnaris bacteria
Checks nitrogen (all three ways) and pH and Hardness. Amazing.

The above test kit has the Ammonia reagent on the same pad – unlike Tetra’s *other* offering which has 6 tests on one strip and the Ammonia kit separately. Which is fine, whatevs, it’s just less convenient.

Finrot: Fin and Body Cure by API Ingredients

Finrot should respond well to a sufficient dose of Doxycycline (API Fin and Body Cure) in the water.

Doxycycline has a hard time killing much of anything except Columnaris bacteria / Flavobacterium –  the common cause of “FinRot” and “Tail Rot” with “Cotton Wool” disease which looks like tufts of white or off-white ‘fur’ sticking out of damaged tissues.

This is why they say it won’t hurt your biofilter. It’s just not geared to kill those types of germs. At least not meaningfully.

Fungus can look exactly the same way as Flexo/Flavo/Columnaris bacterial infections, but I have to admit, fungus is “bigger” and “puffier” than cotton-wool bacterial infections. Fungus is almost like a boofy, white ‘Fro’.

This isn’t a stupid product. I mean, it won’t work if you’re neglecting water quality. NOTHING CAN SAVE FISH IN POOR OR COLD WATER.

So you really need to make sure your water is clean, aerated, properly filtered, low in nitrogen byproducts, and neutral or otherwise appropriate in pH.

Then if you’re looking at cotton-wool ‘tufts’ of infection on tail, fins, mouth or body, TRY IT.

Does Doxycycline even WORK in water bath? Could we expect it to work on Finrot, Mouthrot, Tailrot?

Yep. (Reference)

Finrot Article