Monday, August 27, 2007

Diseases & Medications

Discus don`t usually die for "no reason". Don't ignore the signs of diseases on your discus fish...

Hole in the Head

Uaru amphiacanthoides and Astronotus ocellatus. If treated correctly it need not be a problem. The most important treatment is heat treatment. Over a couple of days raise the temperature from 30C to 36C. Additional aeration will be required to ensure adequate oxygen supply. This temperature must be maintained for 8 to 10 days for full recovery, unless the fish goes into stress. In addition to heat, the fish can be given Flagyl (Metronidazole) orally every three days for the duration of the heat treatment.

Internal parasites

Internal parasites in the gut can be assumed, if the fish becomes emaciated or produces white, jelly-like faeces. To treat the fish soak some live blood worms or black mosquito larvae in a solution of 10 ml of liquid Flagyl to 200 ml of water for about one hour. Then feed the worms or wrigglers to the fish. This treatment can be repeated every 2 to 3 days for 10 days. If the fish is not eating, then the job is a little more difficult. Consult your local aquarium shop.

External parasites

External parasites come in many types...

* Jungle Labs Parasite clear which is used when they are scratching themselves on objects in the tank. Dosage is one tablet for every 40 litres of tank water, repeating two weeks thereafter.

Bacterial infections

* The best medication is Chloromycetin and is powder form. The dosage is one teaspoon to 100 litres of water. It is always fast acting, improvement should be noticed in 8 hours. A second dose after two days may be needed, no need to remove the previous dose as it dissipates out after 12 hours. Store Chloromycetin absolutely dry and away from light.

* The other medication is Oxolinic Acid. Solution of half a gram of powder in 500 ml of de-ionised water can be created and stored. The dosage is 1 ml of the stock solution to 10 litres of tank water. This treatment is only effective on some types of infections.

White Spot and Velvet Disease

These two diseases are rare in Discus. If you do happen to get these parasites the heat treatment will cure it without drugs.
*White spot is treated with 34°C for 10 days
*Velvet Disease is treated for 2 days.
Heat treatment can cure many problems, because most parasites can not withstand high temperatures.
*Costia: 33°C - 34°C for 4 days.

Where to obtain these medications
* Flagyl (liquid Flagyl) is a prescription drug
* Para-Ex is available from aquarium shops.
* Chloromycetin, can be obtained in capsule form
* Oxolinic acid can be obtained from a chemist


Heat treatment...
*use a separate low watt external heater and check the temperature!
When administering medications, calculate the tank capacity accurately to avoid overdosing.
Take the internal dimensions in centimeters and multiply the length by width by height to the water line divided by 1000.


Natala said...

Well written article.

henry said...

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henry said...

chloromycetin Chloramphenicol works by preventing bacteria from producing proteins that are essential to them. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow, replicate and increase in numbers.