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Aquarium Public Enemy #1


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I strongly recommend you do not give antibiotic food or antibiotic water treatments to fish who do not have bacterial symptoms.

Trinket how do you feel about medigold for new fish? Rick recommends that and I just finished giving it to my new shubunkin.

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One of the HUGE problems in medicine these days are drug resistant bacteria. Have you ever wondered why you are not given the same antibiotic as you were years ago? It is because the bacteria have been exposed to those antibiotic agents enough times that they develop immunities.

Let's look at it more specifically.

Let's assume you have an infection. You treat with antibiotic A. It is prescribed for 10 days, but you only take it for 8 because you feel better. By taking the antibiotic A, you have killed off ENOUGH of the bad bacteria that you feel better. But within a population of anything - bad bacteria included - there are always individuals that are slightly different than others - ones that may be a bit stronger or have a bit of immunity to something - in this case, antibiotic A. They are not killed in the first 5-8 days. Some of them still live at the end of 8 days. By taking the drugs, you give your own personal immunity a chance to conquer the rest of the bad bacteria, but not before you go back to work and spread them around. But you are spread the ones that were somewhat resistant to antibiotic A.

Next person that gets this infection may or may not be able to kill all the bad bacteria with antibiotic A. If they fail too, but only kill off the ones that are more susceptible, the ones that are left to reproduce are the ones that are RESISTANT to antibiotic A. Within a few generations, antibiotic A will no longer kill the bad bacteria - for it is no longer the same strain of bacteria that it was before. All the susceptible bacteria were killed - leaving only the resistand ones to reproduce - effectively creating a NEW bad bacteria - one you cannot kill with antibiotic A.

Now you need antibiotic B. It, too, will have the same problems.

In medicine, we are so far beyond antibiotic A - we have been the rounds of the alphabet several times and back. It is getting harder and harder to find antibiotics that work on some bad bacteria.

Fish are in the same world as we are. EVerytime you treat a fish with "antibiotic A", you expose the bad bacteria to that drug. If you manage to kill 999,999 bad bacteria and leave one resistant one, that one will reproduce and grow until you have a colony of bad bacteria that cannot be controled by "antibiotic A". You have to use something else. We are running out of "something elses".

Medigold is one that has been greatly overused. IT continues to work well for many fish that come in from Thailand and such because they do not treat with antibiotics. The fish have never been exposed to it - so the bad bacteria have never been exposed to it. Antibiotic A may work the first time - or second time. By the third time around, it will have less effect and, before you know it, your bad bacteria has mutated and grown beyond it - antibiotic A no longer works.

We have limited number of antibiotics available to us in the fish world. It is a shame to spoil the use of one through careless use.

If you use Medigold as a propholactic in incoming fish - "just in case", you are exposing all the bacteria the fish carries to the drug. Your fish may be able to clear anything it has by itself, given less stress and good water. To expose the fish before it is needed is not a good idea.

If you use Medigold as a prophylactic in incoming fish and only "treat for a few days" - you are doing an even WORSE thing - for you are just begging to create a drug resistant bacteria. IF you do decide to use it you MUST use it for the FULL treatment time at the FULL treatment dose.

Antibiotics should NEVER EVER EVER EVER be used unless there is a specific, diagnosed bacterial disease you are attempting to cure......

Let me repeat that....

ANTIBIOTIC SHOULD NEVER BE USED UNLESS THERE IS A SPECIFIC REASON - A SPECIFIC DISEASE THAT YOU ARE WISHING TO TREAT. THEY ARE NOT A

PROPHYLACTIC , THEY ARE NOT A TONIC, THEY ARE NOT FOR QT BLANKET TREATMENT.

In doing so, you make it so the antibiotic will NOT work for you in the future. It will not work for you, it will not work for me and it will not work for future fish keepers.

Antibiotics are truly WONDER drugs. AMAZING. But they will cease to be - cease to work - unless we use them with a lot more thought and care.

Once again - LESS IS MORE.

DO NOT treat your new Shubunkin unless there is a specific reason to do so. Do not treat your other fish unless there is a specific reason to do so. Do not use antibiotics without specific reasons. If you do use them - make sure you do the ENTIRE treatment time - 10 days, 14 days, whatever - and at full treatment strength. No half doses. No forgetting doses.

If we all take care and THINK before we use the few weapons we have against disease, those weapons will continue to be around for us all to use in the years to come.

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Thank you for your lengthy and very insightful post Daryl! :)

I most certainly(as does Rick) agree with you about not feeding medicated food as a preventive maintenance. Here is Rick's quote:

"MEDI-GOLD should NOT be fed as a daily food nor as a preventive. Feeding MEDI-GOLD daily or as a preventive will make it ineffective when your fish are sick and really need an Antibiotic food. MEDI-GOLD is to be fed to SICK or STRESSED fish ONLY , and then for at least 14 to 30 days."

However he does recommend using it for new fish. Here is his quote:

"MEDI-GOLD is a good food to feed to your NEW fish for 10 to14 days after you receive them. It will help them fight off any Bacterial attack they might suffer from being stressed from shipping."

So you are definitely disagreeing with Rick on the latter correct?

Edited by Jack of Hearts
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At the risk of making this very lengthy thread even longer, this newbie would like to say thank you for all the discussion on meds. The fact that it generated so much discussion proves that this is a subject where people need more information, and also that there is a lot of knowledge here people have to share. I wish I had read all this stuff a month ago! Somehow this information ought to be put out there with blaring lights and klaxon horns, for people new to fishkeeping to read.

I'm also hoping somebody starts a detailed thread on scraping fish, using a microscope and identifying parasites.

Thank you all for a wonderful site, the information that everyone shares at Koko's is invaluable.

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Yes. Most definintively .... YES. I disagree with the final statement. Do not treat a fish unless there is a specific reason to do so.

The first and most important thing you can do for a "new" fish is to sit down and observe it. Make note of what you see. Is the fish stable? Is it lethargic? Does it have open injuries or obvious parasites?

If you can openly see something that is decidedly wrong, then you need to sit and THINK about the best way to proceed to "cure" the problem. 99.9% of all problems can wait for at least a few hours if not days for observation. OFten, the problem will straighten itself out given a chance.

NEarly all freshly shipped fish have stress that causes them to bottom sit lethargically. They almost all pop out of this within 1-2 days given time and lack of stress. This needs no treatment. Most fresh, open wounds are best left strictly alone. Kept in pristine water, they will heal themselves more quickly than if "treated". A fish newly introduced to different water will often flash - not indicating parasites, but indicating simply that the water is "different". Time will also help you determine what the flashing means!

IF and WHEN a specific problem arises that is not going away or healing or is getting worse THEN you need to determine if further treatment is needed. Many problems are many layered. As said about flukes - they are often the underlying cause of a tremendous amount of problems. A scrape/scoping is ALWAYS a good idea for a new fish. After the fish has just been allowed to hang out for a day or two, scoping is the next order of business. There are manyproblems that you cannot see with your eyes. You need a microscope.

A single scraping is not a definitive "negative" on parasites, though. I do at least 3 in a sitting - done at least at several several sittings before I will state that a fish is "cured" or parasite free. Examining what sloughs off in a salt dip or what is contained in an elimination is also a valuable, un-invasive method to identify problems. (If you have a whole football field and only one football sitting on it, you need use your binoculars to look a whole bunch of times to see that football from the skybox. If you have 39483374734983217983217 footballs on the field you will see them within the first field of view. It is that way with flukes and other parasites. If there are only a few of them you need to look many times before you can say that you see none. )

Medications are stressful to a degree - depending on what they are and how they are used and what else is wrong with the fish. Mis-diagnosis of problems and misuse of medications is FAR worse than doing NOTHING.

Take your time. Think about it. Watch the fish. Make written notes of all you see and think you see. It is helpful for you so you can look back and see just how long the fish flashed or bottom sat or whatever. Scope the fish. Think again. If you have a problem, you will then be informed as best as you can be so you can solve the problem in as quick and efficiant method as possible.

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I'd like an opinion on the question that Debbie asked also. I've never treated Moby and Florence for flukes, as they have been in the same tank together with no other fish, no live plants, etc.

Do they ever yawn or yawn and roll their eyes?

Edited by Jack of Hearts
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"MEDI-GOLD is a good food to feed to your NEW fish for 10 to14 days after you receive them. It will help them fight off any Bacterial attack they might suffer from being stressed from shipping."

So you are definitely disagreeing with Rick on the latter correct?

I'd have to disagree with that too. I'm very weary of antibiotics as well, I'd *never* use them as a preventative (on fish or anything else for that matter). I have used medigold in the past for unknonw illnesses, but not when there is no sign of trouble. I'd sooner watch new fish closely for signs of trouble and then use meds. If the fish doesn't have any major problems and the QT tank is good, their natural immunity should be enough to fight off a little bacteria.

I'm also hoping somebody starts a detailed thread on scraping fish, using a microscope and identifying parasites.

I second that! I just finished a shift in the lab and I being all seedy...poking around in the supply cabinets and drawers...in order to see what we might have that I can use for fluke scrapes :D

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So why do you guys think Rick is recommending that Medigold be used on new fishes? I don't really buy the line that he is a salesman or businessman and he does what he does to sell his product. I don't think he would do anything to jeopardize the health of our pets just for the sake of increasing his revenue. I don't think that for a minute. He must have his reasons for recommending medigold to new fish. He has always given me sound advice and pointed me in the right direction. He has flat out talked me out of getting something from him in the past because he thought that it would not help that particular situation. Also when Sosh had beginning stages of dropsy a couple of years ago, the members here told me to get medigold. When I emailed Rick to order medigold, he told me that medigold will probably not work and I should get metromed; which was a miracle cure and Sosh recovered 100%.

To be honest with you, because of Daryl & Trinket's posts, I am leaning more towards not feeding medigold to new fishes. I am not really arguing that point with you guys but I would like to hear Rick's side of the story. I think I'm going to email him to see what he says.

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Whoa, this is quite a thread.

I have to say, I also agree with daryl on the using the antibiotics only when needed and not on new fish. Like she said, bacteria are becoming resistant to a lot of medications. We will soon run out of options if we haphazardly medicate, either incompletely or preventatively.

Also while I think Rick really really knows a great deal about gf, he has given me some less than stellar advice in the past (loooong story). He has a lot of great gf products, many of which I use regularly. However, I've learned it's important to check around and not depend too much on one person for advice for treating your goldies. :blink:

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I fully respect Rick's knowledge and opinions. He has the knowledge and experience of several lifetimes - and that he is willing to share that with us is wonderful! His first quote:

"MEDI-GOLD should NOT be fed as a daily food nor as a preventive. Feeding MEDI-GOLD daily or as a preventive will make it ineffective when your fish are sick and really need an Antibiotic food. MEDI-GOLD is to be fed to SICK or STRESSED fish ONLY , and then for at least 14 to 30 days."

says nearly word for word what I have been saying..... He only differs in that I do not feel that simple stress is enough of a reason to treat with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not a preventative. Rick is NOT just being a "good salesman" - he is a dedicated, intelligent fish-keeper. He knows what he is talking about through years and years and years of hands on experience.

The second quote is, as I have contended several times, perhaps taken out of context....

"MEDI-GOLD is a good food to feed to your NEW fish for 10 to14 days after you receive them. It will help them fight off any Bacterial attack they might suffer from being stressed from shipping."

I am ASSUMING that Rick means if there is actually a problem with the fish. I, personally, would observe. But many do not have the ability to scope and do not have the experience to know what they may or may not be seeing. In that case, I can see where this could be, might be a recommendation. I do not feel it is a good one - if he is indeed advocating treating without specific reasons. But I simply do not believe that this is what he is saying - for this quote is directly at odds with his first quote! I feel that this one is somehow being misunderstood - perhaps his definition of "stress" is different than mine.

I do not want to fight - or have hard feelings here. I do not want anyone upset. I do, however, seriously wish to stress that antibiotics are never to be used unless there is a specific reason to do so. Using them as a shotgun treatment or as a preventative or as a short term "tonic" is a very very BAD idea. Drug resistant bacteria is a very serious - extremely scary thing in this world. It is getting worse month by month. THe bacteria are becoming resistant faster than we can invent new antibiotics. Misusing antibiotics will, in the future, make it so that they do not work for ANYONE. Antibiotics are wonderful - but they are for a very specific purpose - and not to be used without specific reason.

If there is one subject I am VERY familiar with - it is drug resistant nasties. I have been on IV antibiotics - so many different types and varieties - for MONTHS, trying to beat a drug resistant skin infection. It is AWFUL. My life is centered around this stupid infection - one that, not too many years ago simply would not have existed. It does now - and owes its very existance to over use and misuse of antibiotics.

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When I had my fantails 2 years ago, I only quarantined him with a 0.3% salt solution and at the time, I didn't know about the various goldfish diseases such as the dreadful flukes, nor about Prazi. Stampede was probably a fluke carrier but at the time, the flukes were probably very few in the gills but with time, even in pristine water, they managed to multiply, making my fantail's life harder.

I don't know if I can get my hands on Prazi but... I have been meaning to ask, are there alternatives to Prazi that can do the job without stressing the fish and without destroying your nitrogen cycle?

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"MEDI-GOLD is a good food to feed to your NEW fish for 10 to14 days after you receive them. It will help them fight off any Bacterial attack they might suffer from being stressed from shipping."

I am ASSUMING that Rick means if there is actually a problem with the fish. I, personally, would observe. But many do not have the ability to scope and do not have the experience to know what they may or may not be seeing. In that case, I can see where this could be, might be a recommendation. I do not feel it is a good one - if he is indeed advocating treating without specific reasons. But I simply do not believe that this is what he is saying - for this quote is directly at odds with his first quote!

I agree with you daryl, when I read that statement it really sounds like Rick is saying to use Medi-Gold prophylactically. But there's no use in speculating what might be going on in his mind, better to ask him directly like JOH said.

If there is one subject I am VERY familiar with - it is drug resistant nasties. I have been on IV antibiotics - so many different types and varieties - for MONTHS, trying to beat a drug resistant skin infection. It is AWFUL. My life is centered around this stupid infection - one that, not too many years ago simply would not have existed. It does now - and owes its very existance to over use and misuse of antibiotics.

Speaking as a health care professional, the proper use of antibiotics cannot be stressed enough. It's astounding to know that there are people that self-treat with "leftover" antibiotics (there shouldn't EVER be any left over!). Doctors aren't blameless regarding this issue either, they need to be responsible and prescribe these meds only when necessary. You've done a wonderful job at explaining this important issue Daryl, and have given great advice (also Trinket and others, sorry can't remember who). :thumbs: You should give seminars (if you don't already).

I hope the lessons learned from this thread will be applied not only to fishkeeping, but to the fishowners themselves ;)

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I agree with you daryl, when I read that statement it really sounds like Rick is saying to use Medi-Gold prophylactically. But there's no use in speculating what might be going on in his mind, better to ask him directly like JOH said.

One of Rick's idiosyncracies is that he is very vague with a lot of stuff. Most of his products come with very little instructions. When I got his antibac bath, I was surprised that it came with a instruction "manual" consisting of only about 2 sentences. :D

I did email him regarding feeding medigold to new fish so hopefully he will email me back.

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I don't know if I can get my hands on Prazi but... I have been meaning to ask, are there alternatives to Prazi that can do the job without stressing the fish and without destroying your nitrogen cycle?

Where do you live Stampede?

I live in Canada, Quebec. Although I can order Prazi online, the thing is, I do not wish to wait 2 weeks for it to arrive, as my fish's health needs to be taken cared of ASAP.

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If there is one subject I am VERY familiar with - it is drug resistant nasties. I have been on IV antibiotics - so many different types and varieties - for MONTHS, trying to beat a drug resistant skin infection. It is AWFUL. My life is centered around this stupid infection - one that, not too many years ago simply would not have existed. It does now - and owes its very existance to over use and misuse of antibiotics.

Here here! I am coming form the same point of view, not as a fish keeper, but as a medical scientist, I used to work as a mortuary technician, the amount of patients with deficient immune systems (whether it was becasue they were too young, too old, had HIV, were undergoing organ transplant treatment) who DIED DUE TO BEING INFECTED WITH ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANT STRAINS OF BACTERIA was frightening, there was NO WAY OF TREATING these patients, and since they had no immune system of their own they couldn't fight it themselves.. These people could have been saved if these strains of bacteria had not been bred by years of antiboitic abuse.

My husband had a bone marrow transplant a couple of years ago, and the thing I was living in fear of the most was not that the procedure itself would kill him, but that he would contract one of these resistant strains of bacteria, I find this really sad, and when I hear someone advocating prophylactic use of antibiotics whether it be in any sort of animal, can you understand why I feel the need to scream? I'm sorry, back in my box now :unsure:

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I don't know if I can get my hands on Prazi but... I have been meaning to ask, are there alternatives to Prazi that can do the job without stressing the fish and without destroying your nitrogen cycle?

Where do you live Stampede?

I live in Canada, Quebec. Although I can order Prazi online, the thing is, I do not wish to wait 2 weeks for it to arrive, as my fish's health needs to be taken cared of ASAP.

Hi - Stampede. I just wanted to say that the Fish Sempai can supply your Prazi for you

http://www.fishsempai.com/catalog.asp?category=6

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I'd like an opinion on the question that Debbie asked also. I've never treated Moby and Florence for flukes, as they have been in the same tank together with no other fish, no live plants, etc.

Do they ever yawn or yawn and roll their eyes?

No JOH, they don't. And I watched them for an hour yesterday and an hour this morning just to be sure. I have never seen either one of them do that at all.

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No JOH, they don't. And I watched them for an hour yesterday and an hour this morning just to be sure. I have never seen either one of them do that at all.

That's good. Those two activities are usually signs of flukes. Both my goldies used to do that, yawn and roll their eyes and everyone(including me) thought it was so cute. Then I learned about flukes and prazi pro and after a treatment they no longer do that.

A lot of healthy goldies have flukes and like Daryl posted, just because they don't show symptoms of flukes like rapid breathing, does not mean they are fluke free.

It sounds like your fishes are fluke-free, although nothing is certain unless you scrape and scope. I'd say it's your call whether to prazi pro or not. If you get a new fish, needless to say, you should do it.

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No JOH, they don't. And I watched them for an hour yesterday and an hour this morning just to be sure. I have never seen either one of them do that at all.

That's good. Those two activities are usually signs of flukes. Both my goldies used to do that, yawn and roll their eyes and everyone(including me) thought it was so cute. Then I learned about flukes and prazi pro and after a treatment they no longer do that.

A lot of healthy goldies have flukes and like Daryl posted, just because they don't show symptoms of flukes like rapid breathing, does not mean they are fluke free.

It sounds like your fishes are fluke-free, although nothing is certain unless you scrape and scope. I'd say it's your call whether to prazi pro or not. If you get a new fish, needless to say, you should do it.

Well right now I'm at capacity with a fancy and a comet in a 30 gallon. I've learned on here though, that just because they are not showing signs of problems, that doesn't mean that parasites and bacteria aren't lurking in the water, waiting to pounce if something happens to lower the fish's immunity. That can happen to the most experienced and diligent fishkeepers. If the Prazi won't hurt or crash the cycle, I don't see any reason not to use it once as a precaution.

Thanks for the information. This has been an interesting thread. :)

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One of Rick's idiosyncracies is that he is very vague with a lot of stuff. Most of his products come with very little instructions.

I've noticed this also on most of the products I've ordered from him. And even a couple of e-mails where I 've asked specific questions and he answered very generally.

He is, however, a fountain of knowledge when it comes to fish. Now if he'd just right this stuff down . . .

And, yes, I do know he's co-authored a book. It's sitting right next to me. I think it's time for an update. :yeah:

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Thanks to this thread I managed to find a bottle of Prazipro and started the treatment as soon as I got back home today. Now I'll be able to see the effectiveness of this product with my own two eyes. =)

That's great! Good luck and let us know how you make out. :)

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does a uv sterilizer have any effect on flukes?

Yes the real strong ones do but not the ones attached to the fish. So obviously you must still treat with Prazi.

I'm lazy so I'm going to quote Mr. Rick Hess once again... :D

"Parasites attached to the fish are of course not affected by the U.V. When a parasite is in it?s free-swimming stage of its life cycle the U.V. then will eliminate it from the water. So medication will need to be added to the tank to remove the parasites from the fish. After that the U.V. will protect them from re-infestation. A U.V. that will produce 28,000 microwatts with a contact time with the water of five seconds will kill the following parasites and bacterial pathogens found in the goldfish aquarium: Chilodinella Costia Epistylis Heximita Ichthyophithirius Multifilis (freshwater Ich) Trichodina Flukes - Dactylogyrus and Gyrodactylus Argulus Lernea (Anchor worm) Aeromonas - hydrophila, salmonicida Certomyxa shasta Edwardsiella - Septicemia Flexibacter columinaris Mycobacterium fortuitum ? Tuberculosis Pseudomonas - flourescens, putida, anguilliseptia, aeruginosa Sacrina lutea Saprolegenia hyphae."

Lolafish has this setup I believe. Hopefully she will see your question and add some real hands on experience. :)

Edited by Jack of Hearts
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