Aquarium Fish Medication: Risks, Costs, Alternatives

Aquarium Fish Medication: Risks, Costs, Alternatives

Pets are not just a hobby or pastime, but a full responsibility. Even if they’re fish living in your coffee table fish tank, we’re the ones responsible for getting treatment for them when they’re ill. However, medicating fish involves researching the medicine that’s available for them. One should also be sure to see that the medication is actually formulated for treating the fish’s symptoms.

Fish diseases could be difficult to pinpoint unless one is professionally trained in such things. A biopsy or necropsy may be needed for an accurate diagnosis. There may even be the need for special culturing in a laboratory, as is done for humans.

Fish Tank Fish Symptoms 

Matching the symptoms to the treatment is the best way to treat your fish if a vet is not immediately available. You would have to carefully read the labels on each bottle of fish medication you consider. Of course, it’s best if you have an ichthine vet on hand. This is a vet who would know how to treat sick fish. They would hence be able to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment.

A fish owner shouldn’t ever go for an unseen, amateur diagnosis. This means one should avoid online vets, aquarium experts, or other such professionals. Employees at pet stores may have some valuable input of the medication, but we should definitely ask about the symptoms first from a doctor.

The Treatment Cost:

If a fish is heavily diseased, it could be kinder and more economical to simply euthanize it. Experimenting around with medications would make a fish suffer more than it has to. A specialized vet and the medications you have to buy could cost quite a bundle.

An easy way to euthanize fish is to put them in water and freezing the container. You could also keep it in a container with one part water and two parts consisting of hard liquor. However, this is a decision only the fish owner can make.

Fish Medication Schedules

It is not recommended to keep any fish constantly medicated. Medications are very stressful to a fish’s body and may result in a rise in the fish’s susceptibility to get more diseases. Many fish owners already have medicated tanks for the well-being of their fish. If the fish still get sick, it means the disease is strong enough to be immune to the ideal medications. There is hence little point in trying out a regimen of strong medicines.

Medicating the Tank

If you have just started medicating the fish tank, you should finish the medication cycle that’s already begun. Your fish may be acting and looking healthier, but there’s still a chance that a disease-carrying organism may yet be present. The elements of the disease that have gone through some of the treatment and still survive would be more resilient. Hence, it’s important to let a full medication cycle run, otherwise you risk exposing your fish to even stronger carriers of the disease. This would make future treatment much harder. If you’re in touch with fish keepers or have another tank, the disease is also likely to spread if not taken care of properly.

Fish Medication Alternatives

There are also alternatives to medication for treating fishing, such as salt tonics, salt baths, etc. This may take care of some diseases but leave others untreated. It’s hence important to use a prescribed medication from the right expert. Such a method is also easier on the fishes.

Adding salt to their water could make the whole tank toxic for certain kinds of fish as it’s not always possible for them to tolerate a high salt content. One should simply not use the salt bath or tonic method if they possess a freshwater tank. However, if salt seems to be the best option, be sure to use salt especially made for freshwater aquariums.

Regular salts usually contain some iodine, which is toxic for fish most of the time. It may be an important nutrient for humans, but not for their fishy pets.

When medicating an aquarium, one should definitely remove any traces of carbon from the filter. If any working piece of carbon is left behind, it would effectively do away with any medication you put in. This would mean that you’re not really doing anything for the fish’s treatment. If the carbon doesn’t work, it should be removed anyway.

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