Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tips and Tricks: Fish Medications

If you read my other blog, Critter Corner, you will probably have heard that Squirt has a fungal infection. Basically he got a little hole in his tail fin, probably from flaring too much, causing it to split, and a fluffy white fungus started growing in it. 

So I have now with all of Squirt's fin rot issues, and his new fungus issues, had a lot of experience in giving fish medications. 

So I have some tips, tricks, and recommended brands for you:

Tip #1: 

ALWAYS carefully read the instructions that come with the medication! You don't want to overdose or under-dose.

Which brings up Tip #2:

NEVER overdose! It can kill your fish! And avoid giving less than the dosage, because that could actually result in the bacteria/fungus becoming immune to the medications. 

Tip #3:

Don't skip doses, this can also result in the bacteria/fungus becoming immune to the meds. 

Tip #4:

Most of the time instructions will tell you either to remove activated carbon from your filter, or not put in fresh activated carbon while using the medication. The reason is that the fresh activated carbon will remove the medication from the water, which would defeat the purpose of the medication being there in the first place. So if the carbon already in your filter is really old, you probably don't have anything to worry about. However if it is newer, you will want to remove it while medicating your fish. 

Sometimes, like with my filter, the carbon is inside the filter cartridge, so you have to take out the whole filter cartridge, but then there is nothing to filter the water. So here is my tip: 

Replace the filter cartridge containing carbon with either a filter sponge or an algae scrubbing pad. Most fish-keepers have an algae scrubbing pad to clean the tank, so this is an easy fix. It works the same as the filter without the carbon removing the medications.

Tip #5:

Most medications make the water cloudy or discolored. Once you are no longer medicating the fish do a 25% water change and put fresh activated carbon into the filter, this should clear the water up fairly quickly.

Tip #6:

Unless the directions specifically say not too I usually mix the medications with some water before adding to the tank, that way there aren't spots of highly concentrated meds in the water that could harm the fish.

Now I have some recommended brands:

The BEST brand of any fish medications in my opinion is Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. They have great reviews, there products are really good quality but not expensive, and they do there job really well.

The other brand of medications I sometimes use is Mardel. They have a wide range of medications. They literally have a medication for everything. What I like about Mardel brand is that their products are easy to use and found pretty much everywhere. I find that their Maracyn 2 medication works really well getting rid of fin rot. However when it comes to anit-fungal medications I would recommend going with Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Anti-Fungal Medications instead of Mardel's Maroxy Anti-Fungal. 

The Maroxy uses chlorine to kill the fungus, which I think is odd for two reasons. Chlorine is very toxic to fish, and unless you have no chlorine in your water, you are probably putting dechlorinator into your fish tank, so the medication would be useless. 

Oh I also have a tip about a medication called Bettafix. It is a natural remedy for fin rot and it is meant specifically for bettas. It is great, except really meant for small bowls, if you have a tank larger than one gallon you will go through one bottle really fast.

And this is important to know if you have a betta fish. There is a medication for fin rot called Melafix. NEVER use this with a betta fish, it is actually quite toxic for them, which is why the  company also makes Bettafix as an alternative. If your betta has fin rot I would recommend using Maracyn.


  1. Great tips and I'm glad that Squirt is all better!
    Love and hugs,

  2. I guess the potential for fin problems with the Betta is pretty with all those glorious, flowing fins they have. So glad you could fix it again and Squirt can continue building those happy bubble nests.
    -Animal Gram

  3. oops! - in last comment, it should have read "is pretty 'high' with". Nothing pretty about fin fungus, I'm sure. Should have reread it before posting.