Re: NANFA-L-- Quick Cure or Salt

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Quick Cure or Salt
From: Todd D. Crail (tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Date: Mon Dec 13 2004 - 21:47:17 CST

----- Original Message -----
From: Lori Austin

 Is quick cure a darter killer?

It could also be hydroids. It could also be some stray voltage. There are a lot of things that make fish "scratch".

What I will say is... I've never really gotten worried about scratching to the point where I'm willing to poison my fish. Anyone with a science mind should immediately recoil in horror when they see "quick" and "cure" conjoined :)

As far as "darter killer"...

We recently had this happen out-in-the Lake Erie Center in a tank I WAS supporting. There was an outbreak of ectoparasites paired with scratching that was causing some scaring on the fish (darters, longear, BN, SRB, and RS dace). My hypothesis was there was some stray voltage, but I didn't have time to get out there to check, and they only had a crappy multimeter, which I wasn't up for explaining over the phone. I told them to do the heaping tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons and I'd be out the next week. _Nothing_ had died nor even appeared to be in trouble. It was a light manifestation, I wanted to see what a water change would do first to rule out nitrogen or dissolved organics (there was also a tannin issue I wanted to shoot first).

What ended up happening was... That salt order sounded like it would hurt the fish, they only put in 1/2 a teaspoon per 10 gallons. But for some reason, wether through flashy packaging or a name that just sounds like the silver bullet... The Quick Cure was what was used. And not just used... Done 2 times the recommended dosage. A whopping 6 drops per gallon!

Now given that the "high end " recommended dosage is ONLY 3 drops per gallon (which if anyone would like to do the math on how many parts per million that is in a highly dilute formalin solution to begin with, be my guest) and they had put in 6 drops per gallon... the outcome seems a little bit grotesque to be called a "cure".

There are now zero Etheostoma left (there were about 30.. this is a 120) and only two blackside darters surviving as far as we know. The fish-in-first... We pulled them out, put them in a cup, and left them out in the air for 8 hours. They looked as colorful and as beautiful as they did when they died (all fins extended btw), when we returned. Now that's freakin' nasty... but not as nasty as what's happening now.

The living are getting infections of filamentous protist (fungal like protist, whatever they call them these days) in sections of tissues that are now necrotic / bordering preserved. It's quite lovely. This is what's happening on the sunfish and those 2 blacksides anyway.

The dace, believe it or not, have yet to show any symptoms of any trouble!

So now we can't even troubleshoot the system because who knows when who's liver is going to just kick out? I grounded the tank (there were about 10 volts, which is normal) and said "Enjoy."

So the answer is... Yes, it will kill darters given a sufficient concentration (which I doubt you could call it concentrated :) But I should add the caveat that this crap will kill anything given enough of a dose. We use it to fix specimens for later study, and things... things where we don't want them to rot. I'm not sure if that's in the best interest of the living :)

Perhaps as a last ditch treatment, but by no means until after a solid salt treatment and some thoughtful troubleshooting.

Oh and white suckers... If you want a more true scavenger, I'd get a madtom instead of a sucker. You'll actually be overfeeding to keep the suckers...

That said... I've had great success with the one I'm keeping (tripled in size since I got him in Feb, which can be viewed as a problem) but I leave a lot of food around for them (suckers period) to browse on as they like. There will be food laying around for-in-least 3 hours, if not longer. A deep sandbed allows me to do this... I don't know that it would work with a light biological like gravel or traditional methods of aquaria.

I'm also keeping in a robust and _growing_ fashion... 2 northern hogsuckers, a spotted sucker, a black redhorse (juvie) and a shorthead redhorse (6").

I'm not worried about the redhorse getting too large... What aquarium that features native fish wouldn't want a tank raised redhorse? :) 'sides... Sound like a great excuse to get a room in the building-in-school and set up a 300 gallon livestock tub too.

Okay, enough procrastination... back to studying :)

The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

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: Sat Jan 01 2005 - 12:41:55 CST