When it comes to marine fish diseases, even novice aquarium hobbyists know the basics. Problems arise, however, when it comes time to treat these diseases because there are so many options available. Recently, however, new medications have been released that have been proven effective and easy to use.
Common Marine Fish Diseases
Some of the most common diseases affecting marine fish include marine velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum), Brooklynella and marine ich (cryptocaryon). Marine velvet is a type of parasitic infection that causes respiratory distress, loss of appetite and a dusty coating on the skin. This disease is highly contagious and can spread quickly throughout an entire tank if not properly treated. Brooklynella is also known as clownfish disease and it can quickly turn fatal. This disease commonly affects the gills and it is another type of parasitic infection. Marine ich is perhaps the most common marine fish disease and it, too, is incredibly contagious. This disease manifests in the form of small white spots on the skin, fins and gills of fish and it can result in respiratory and skin problems. Each of these diseases can be fatal if not properly treated, which is why it is important to have knowledge of marine fish medications.
New Medication Options
For many years, marine fish diseases were treated with saltwater baths and chemicals. These treatments were often effective, depending on the disease, but dosages and applications were widely debated. Recently, Dr. G’s Marine Aquaculture released a new line of medicated frozen and refrigerated fish foods which make treating a variety of marine fish diseases easier than ever. Rather than simply combining fish food and medication in the same container like other companies have done before, Dr. G used the process of osmosis to fill capelin eggs (which are edible for marine fish) with the medicine. Not only does this method make the food more palatable for fish, ensuring that they consume both the food and the medicine, but it also eliminates many dosing problems. Because the medications are encapsulated in the capelin eggs, it is less likely to leach into tank water, causing problems with toxicity and overdose.
Another new development in marine fish medication is the use of chloroquine phosphate to treat parasitic diseases. Chloroquine phosphate is actually an antimalarial drug but it has been proven effective against parasitic fish diseases like marine ich. Though its use has been proven effective, dosing recommendations are still under debate. While treating fish with this medication it is recommended that you perform water changes every 3 to 5 days in order to prevent overdose. Some studies have also suggested that chloroquine phosphate breaks down under UV light, so this type of lighting should be turned off when medicating your tank.
Other Tips for Keeping Fish Healthy
You cannot completely protect your marine fish from being exposed to disease, but you can limit their chances of contracting the illness and getting sick. The key to keeping your fish healthy is to reduce the stress in their environment which means keeping your tank clean. In addition to performing routine water changes and replacing your aquarium filter media, there is a simple trick you can employ to keep your tank water clean – installing an EcoBio-Stone in your tank. EcoBio-Stones are made from naturally porous volcanic rock and they are infused with live beneficial bacteria. Once installed in your aquarium, these bacteria multiply to establish and maintain the nitrogen cycle in your tank, a key element in cultivating a healthy ecosystem. An EcoBio-Stone lasts for years in both freshwater and saltwater tanks and it helps to keep your aquarium water clean, clear and free of odor. The cleaner your tank water, the happier and healthier your fish will be.