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In my experience, treating sick fish is often difficult, expensive, and/or doesn't work.

For those that have healthy fish and haven't had problems, I salute you! You obviously have a good source of healthy fish and take good care of your fish. But you've also had a little luck.
Well said. I suppose in certain circumstances there might be a few medications that work. I've tried most of them, and I'm 100% convinced that I've done more harm than good trying to treat fish diseases.

Don't suppose though that a UV sterilizer is a sure-fire device that will forever rid you of the worry of diseased fish. Waterborne critters are the only ones that a typical UV unit can zap. Waterborne transmission isn't the only pathway for one fish to infect another.
 

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Don't suppose though that a UV sterilizer is a sure-fire device that will forever rid you of the worry of diseased fish. Waterborne critters are the only ones that a typical UV unit can zap. Waterborne transmission isn't the only pathway for one fish to infect another.
This is true. Not all the parasites will end up getting zapped by the UV, the lucky ones will have already attached to a host before then.
 

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While that may be true, if you choose not to use a UV sterilizer, you risk of getting water borne pathogens from newly infected fish will increase substantially, which, with nothing to kill them, the pathogens will spread to and eventually infect your healthy fish. Your only option at that time becomes to use high levels of salt(which can wreak havoc with your plants) and turn up the heat in the hopes of killing the pathogens. If that does not work, you are left with the task of tearing down your tank, thoroughly disinfecting everything, discarding plants to be safe, and rebuilding, placing the fish in a quarantine tank for observation to make sure that they are clean so that you don't reintroduce the pathogens into the water of your rebuilt tank.

People also seem to look at the use of a UV sterlizer as one way street(i.e., what can it do to protect my fish?). What people fail to realize is that a UV sterilizer can help mitigate the risk of you contracting a deadly infection like S.Java and SALMONELLA PARATYPHI B, during routine tank cleaning where you may be exposed.

Like Diana I would rather not go through the hassle of setting up a quarantine tank and medicating sick/new fish or tearing down, disinfecting, and rebuilding a infected tank. A UV sterilizer may not be a be all end all, but using it as means to prevent the spread of pathogens could save you a ton of work in the long run. And for me, the most important factor is reduced risk that I will contract something while cleaning the tank.

As far as the UV sterilizer not killing the pathogens already present in diseased fish, I don't care. I deal with a reputable supplier that offers a 30 day money back guarantee, and usually most parasites will mature and kill the fish before the 30 days, at least that has been my experience.
 

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So for us how don't really use filters/pumps (using one on my 20g-long to remove get rid of algae - take out DOC), is the sponge prefilter suppose to stop very small animals from entering like baby shrimp, fry, laval (fresh water planktonic creatures).

I just want to be informed in case I want to add this. Looks like the submariner would be good for UV sterilization and some water flow.
 

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So for us how don't really use filters/pumps (using one on my 20g-long to remove get rid of algae - take out DOC), is the sponge prefilter suppose to stop very small animals from entering like baby shrimp, fry, laval (fresh water planktonic creatures).

I just want to be informed in case I want to add this. Looks like the submariner would be good for UV sterilization and some water flow.
It depends on how coarse or fine the sponge is, most pre-filters are designed to prevent larger debris like plants leaves and possibly fish waste from entering the UV chamber. I don't think it would stop tiny shrimp, fry, rotifers or other small organisms from coming into contact with the UV light.
 

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Don't suppose though that a UV sterilizer is a sure-fire device that will forever rid you of the worry of diseased fish. Waterborne critters are the only ones that a typical UV unit can zap. Waterborne transmission isn't the only pathway for one fish to infect another.
This of course is true, but I'd bet on a UV controllng disease in a tank better than a quarantine tank. Even if you quarantine your fish for a long time there is no guarantee of their condition once put into the main tank. At least with the UV I know the transmission of disease will be limited to contact. I would take those odds any day. But as Diane pointed out, it's just much easier for new fish to deal with the limited pathogens in the tank when they stressed out.

Plus the UV let's you enjoy rearranging your tank and not worrying about a GW outbreak from released Ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
It depends on how coarse or fine the sponge is, most pre-filters are designed to prevent larger debris like plants leaves and possibly fish waste from entering the UV chamber. I don't think it would stop tiny shrimp, fry, rotifers or other small organisms from coming into contact with the UV light.
Dear Raul,

The sponge pre-filter on my Submariner is extremely coarse. I don't think it would stop anything but the biggest pieces of debris. The short exposure to UV may not kill small organisms like Rotifers and fish fry.

I will keep you all informed as to the filter's efficacy, etc. This is a "work-in-progress".

BTW, I will be giving a talk on mycobacteriosis at the Raleigh Aquarium Society's workshop in Feb 2008. I'll have more info then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Hello Everyone,

Just reporting that I am very pleased with the Submariner UV sterilizer. It is quiet, and the UV light is still working (there's an indicator for light UV activity).

While I cannot predict what will happen in 2010 (or beyond), I can say that the Submariner seems to be working okay so far. I am sure that there are other UV sterilizer brands that will work fine. After all, it's only a matter of UV light hitting water-borne organisms in a way that maximizes UV exposure.

I believe that plants will remove toxins (ammonia, nitrite, H2S) and that UV sterilizers will counteract fish diseases (pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and viruses).

One needs both for a successful NPT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
No, but the club usually shoots for the last weekend in February.
That would be great if you could make it.
 

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Diana,
I really enjoyed hear you talk at the RAS workshop this past weekend. When I walked in I knew virtually nothing about MB. You gave lots of great information that was clearly presented and very easy to understand. Thank you.
 

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Hey all, sorry to dredge this old thread up.... I am about to set up a 45 gallon bowfront. I was going to use one of these JBJ subs for water movement & UVS. The lower priced one is rated for 40 gallons. With the layer of soil & rock, & the displacement of water from the wood &/or rock I expect that I will be closer to 40 gal, than 45. Anyone think I would suffer by getting the smaller unit?
 

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So, I got my 15 wild cardinal tetras and 6 corydoras yesterday. The good news is the corys are all looking great. One is acting a tad shy, but coming around. The tetras obviously came with mycobacteriosis.

I have 8 tetras left so far. One had a hunchback and looked really scaly. I'd read Diana Walstad's article, so I was aware this could happen (thank you!!!) and had my UV sterilizer running for a few weeks when I first set up the tank for the blackworms and snails and shrimp. Then, I started it up again for the last couple of weeks getting ready for the fish to come, and I had it on the same timer as the siesta light period. Today, I set it to run 24/7 because of the sick fish.

I'd say 6 of the 8 are eating really well and even bickering with each other, which is great normal behavior. A couple are looking a tad pekid, but look like they may come around. I had to euthanize a few that were obviously sick and should be removed.

4 arrived DOA. I didn't have a quarantine tank and wanted to hurry up my normal acclimation process because I wanted to get them out of the dead fish water, so didn't get a good look at the obviously sick ones before they went into the tank.

I'm feeding them baby brine shrimp and am hoping that they'll get stonger and the UV light will help them survive and thrive.

The ones that died in the tank, kindly died where I could see their bodies, but not before a snail and/or shrimp got a few bites. I'm concerned that the snails and shrimp will be the next to get sick.

I had a question for Ms. Walstad: Did you have snails or shrimp in the tanks when your rainbow fish got sick and did they eat any infected bodies, and did they get sick?

Also, the UV filter I have is only a 3 watt for an 17 gallon tank (ADA 60P tank). It's rated for 20 gallons. I can feel suction and water movement, and the light is working. Hope it's good enough. This is the one I have:

https://www.amazon.com/AA-Aquarium-...0051C62IQ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

I'm also obsessive about washing my hands after putting them in the tank, so fortunately, I already have that good habit. But, now I'm really reluctant to put my hands in there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
A UV sterilizer is a good to use whenever you add new fish. I keep one on hand for just this purpose. The one you bought sounds fine.

I don't think that you have to worry about snails and shrimp getting mycobacteriosis from whatever species of EM (environmental mycobacteria) that fish might be carrying. My snails did not get sick.

Humans getting Fish TB is fairly rare. Just don't clean tanks when you have an open wound, sores, pin pricks, etc. Unbroken skin is an excellent barrier to EM.

Parasites are probably a bigger problem with incoming wild fish than Fish TB. Read my article on fish diseases. Professional importers of valuable wild-caught fish often use a series of dewormers, including levamisole.

The UV will help, no matter what. It will help with bacterial infections secondary to the parasites. And if the parasites are small enough, it will kill them too.
 

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A UV sterilizer is a good to use whenever you add new fish. I keep one on hand for just this purpose. The one you bought sounds fine.

I don't think that you have to worry about snails and shrimp getting mycobacteriosis from whatever species of EM (environmental mycobacteria) that fish might be carrying. My snails did not get sick.

Humans getting Fish TB is fairly rare. Just don't clean tanks when you have an open wound, sores, pin pricks, etc. Unbroken skin is an excellent barrier to EM.

Parasites are probably a bigger problem with incoming wild fish than Fish TB. Read my article on fish diseases. Professional importers of valuable wild-caught fish often use a series of dewormers, including levamisole.

The UV will help, no matter what. It will help with bacterial infections secondary to the parasites. And if the parasites are small enough, it will kill them too.
Thanks so much for the info and reassurances. Wow, very eye-opening article! Poor fish! The guy I bought the fish from is in Florida and did say he'd treated the fish and they were eating fine. But, they were obviously sick, at least a good number of them, so I'm really disappointed in this seller. I sure wish I could find a cardinal tetra hobbyist to sell some to me. I've heard the San Francisco aquarium society is amazing, but they aren't having meetings/auctions right now because of Covid.

I'm down to one cardinal tetra. It looks good and acts normally, and even ate some dry fish food along with the baby brine shrimp. Hopefully, it will make it. It's actually quite bold checking out the tank, even though it's alone, so crossing fingers.

But, one of the corys started scratching itself against the gravel, which is a sign of ich, so I'm raising the temperature of the tank slowly to 86 degrees. They otherwise are very active. But, there was one who was acting a bit shy and most of the time was off by itself, although active - just not hanging out with the others, and I noticed it's top fin was clamped down a bit. I'd hoped it would come around - it had gotten trapped in a corner of the tank and I rescued it, but it was stressed out more than the others, too. Hopefully, the heat treatment along with the UV filter will bring him around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
These fish could be carrying parasites other than ich or just totally stressed out. That's sad that you're just down to one or two.

My aquarium club RAS does all their bulk fish orders only from the Wet Spot. Believe me, the RAS senior members are extraordinary picky, so I would vouch for the Wet Spot without ever having gotten a fish from them. I've never heard any complaints from RAS members-10-40 per year that get fish from these bulk orders. Cardinal Tetras, both wild and TR (?) are for sale for $3-4 each at Wet Spot.
 

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These fish could be carrying parasites other than ich or just totally stressed out. That's sad that you're just down to one or two.

My aquarium club RAS does all their bulk fish orders only from the Wet Spot. Believe me, the RAS senior members are extraordinary picky, so I would vouch for the Wet Spot without ever having gotten a fish from them. I've never heard any complaints from RAS members-10-40 per year that get fish from these bulk orders. Cardinal Tetras, both wild and TR (?) are for sale for $3-4 each at Wet Spot.
I can't thank you enough for this reference! I'm happy to pay a premium for healthy fish. Wahoo! I'm psyched they're on the west coast, too, so shipping shouldn't be as traumatic for the fish. Getting from Portland to San Jose shouldn't involve a lot of transfers.

I've got the temp up to 82.6 degrees so far and everyone is looking fantastic now. I haven't seen the one little itchy cory scratching at all since this morning and he's swimming with the pack now. The lone cardinal tetra also looks amazing and has eaten a gajillion live baby brine shrimp as well as some flake food and has really colored up and is boldly hanging out in the light now.

I'll give them 10 days of the heat treatment and if all is still looking good, I'll order more cardinal tetras from Wet Spot. Wahoo! I'm so excited about this reliable source. Thanks so much!

What I love about wild fish vs TR is how bold they are about searching out food in the tank, as opposed to just expecting manna to fall from heaven lol. That way, I can take off for a few days once in a while and let them hunt the blackworms in the tank, etc. Also, I like that they aren't inbred, and that they were strong enough to survive getting to my tank - I think they're normally healthier and more resilient. It's been many years since I've had fish, though, and things seem to have gotten worse as far as diseases and parasites, so this may no longer be true.
 

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Wow, I just read the fish guarantee for the Wet Spot, and it's amazing. Instead of the usual demand for photos of dead fish in the bag (as if I would stop to take photos instead of rescuing the live fish in that bag), they ask for a water sample and to send it to them along with the dead fish, so they can test them. Unheard of and brilliant. That says so much about their operation right there. I'm so excited to buy cardinal tetras from them.

Once I get my cardinal tetra school, I don't foresee putting anything new in my tank ever going forward. These fish are long-lived, normally, and I'm good on plants, as long as there aren't any meltdowns. In fact, I've already given away a ton of ramshorn snails and some plant trimmings on Craigslist - and I only set up this tank on June 4th! This method works! Okay, enough gushing :)
 
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