aquarist first aid kit

Discussion in 'Illness and Disease' started by Maryon, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Maryon


    Jul 11, 2018
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    Fishes in ponds, aquariums often suffer from many diseases. Most frequently it is caused because of wrong peoples' actions like too many fishes, bad living conditions or overfeeding. Before I create my pond I would like to get some information about "aquarist first aid kit". What preparations should I have close at hand?
    Maryon, Jul 24, 2018
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  2. Maryon


    Jul 14, 2018
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    Huntsville, AL
    Welcome Maryon. I am just starting with my first pond after years of aquariums. I too am seeking knowledge before I end up in trouble and I think you came to the right place. Lots of folks here with tons of experience.
    I do think your second sentence is the answer to most sick fish problems. Avoid those mistakes and nature seems to take care of everything else. From aquarium days, I rarely had sick fish issues and I think that is because I avoided the most common house keeping issues. I always thought lots of water per fish and a big refugium kept sickness away. So far, I think that experience translates well to ponds. Different equipment and terms but the same overall thinking. Lots of water per fish, lots of water turnover per hour, a bog filter and biological filtration, and good pond keeping seem to be a great prevention. My conclusion from reading the posts here is that treating the fish after you discover an issue has a low probablity of success and treating the entire pond seems hard to do successfully if it is big pond. From my aquarium experience putting new fish through a quarantee process and inspecting and dipping plants before dropping them in is part of the good pond keeping I am concluding.
    So from a new guy to you, read the posts here, ask questions and make yourself at home. I did.
    MajorDan, Jul 24, 2018
    ShawnInfirmity likes this.
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  3. Maryon


    Sep 29, 2010
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    South carolina
    Majordan’s guidance is a good beginning. There is a philosophy held by long standing koi keepers that the only items to put in a pond are water, fish and food. You will get inundated by the vending community with stuff that falls into a category called elephant amulets. The fellow wears an elephant amulet to keep the elephants away where there are no elephants, and see it works.

    As for a treatment kit, I keep several items on hand, partially because of my role in our club, and share some with the members because it’s too difficult for members to keep them. Other items are kept by everyone. Oil of clove is good to use as an anesthetic during treatment and when trying to catch the little critters. Salt from Lowe’s or Home Depot, the softener kind, is also cheap to keep and doesn’t expire. An api test kit is a must. A sock net is important for large fish to prevent injury to their internal organs, hydrogen peroxide is important for several uses and has a long shelf life. Beta dyne is excellent as a topical. Praziquantel is good and has a long shelf life, but there is another dewormer out, I can’t remember the name offhand, that is reportedly better. Dimilin is excellent for crustacean parasites. As for the stuff I keep on hand, that is kanamycin sulfate for non- injection treatment of infections. I am not an injection fan.

    There are other items some folks use, but be careful. Potassium permanganate is effective but dangerous, as it is an oxidizing agent and can burn your fish in an overdose. Hydrogen peroxide will stop its chemical reaction. It works well as a dip or as a topical. I use terminate or pro form-c a lot. They are a mix of formalin and malachite green that works well as an antibacterial. Again excellent but can cause problems when overdosed. I use it in spring startup, in one quarantine technique, and as an occasional whole pond prophylactic treatment. Surgical scizzors, tweezers, and q tips are useful. There are also liquid bandages for topical treatment. Diagnosis requires a microscope that a koi health advisor in a local club will use to sort out your problem. Some buy their own.

    As for the rest, you will need to talk to others. I’m not a fan of melafix, stress coat, and the myriad of other stuff some of which are in the amulet category. Fungicides, for example, are generally a bad idea in my opinion but that’s just me.
    carolinaguy, Jul 24, 2018
    MajorDan likes this.
  4. Maryon

    Stephen Noble

    May 21, 2018
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    I have been very successful for my aquariums and ponds by maintaining a very low bioload (few fish to gallons) and lots and lots of live plants. Couple that with regular partial water exchanges and you should be good to go. The Archerfish in my avatar is over 11 years old. I have goldfish equally old. They live long, disease free lives with quality water and low stocking levels. Most of the problems I have helped with over the years are pond keepers who cram 40 pounds of fish in a 500 gallon pond. Where in nature do we find that density of fish?
    Stephen Noble, Jul 24, 2018
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  5. Maryon

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Jun 23, 2010
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    Frederick, Maryland
    I have nothing to treat my fish with, never have treated. Do have a lot of water room and not a ton of fish.

    Goldfish only, no koi.
    addy1, Jul 24, 2018
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  6. Maryon


    Oct 28, 2013
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    Northern IL
    I think your basic premise is wrong - fish don't "often suffer from many diseases". If that were the case, this hobby of pond keeping would soon fall out of favor as it would be too much work and a disagreeable pastime to constantly be treating diseases and losing fish to parasites and what not. Fish are like any other animal - the norm should be healthy, not diseased.

    Your first line of defense is to learn to manage your pond. Low fish load is the number one best thing you can do to guarantee your fish will stay healthy. Your water quality will be better and your fish will experience less stress in an under-stocked pond.

    Like @addy1 I keep nothing to treat sick fish, as I have never HAD a sick fish in 7 years with our pond. Parasites and diseases are NOT the norm in pond keeping. We shouldn't expect to become experts in fish disease as it should be the exception, not the rule.
    Lisak1, Jul 25, 2018
    MajorDan likes this.
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