Re: NANFA-- Antibiotics
Tue, 12 Nov 2002 14:15:51 EST

Yes, I agree, the use of antibiotics has gotten completely out of control.
People want to give their kids antibiotics for cold and flu viruses neither
of which is affected by antibiotics. I love my Mom but she has some odd ideas
when it comes to medicine. When she or somebody else she knows gets a cold or
flu she will take (or give to someone else) a couple of antibiotic pills she
has left over from the last prescription that she didn't take all of because
she started feeling better before she was through taking them. A great many
people do this type of thing and the results are that bacteria are evolving
resistance to antibiotics at an alarming rate. The same is true in animal
husbandry, petshops sell antibiotics by the ton and recommend them for
everything. some even recommend just add an antibiotic regularly to "keep the
fish healthy." Often using or not using an antibiotic will have little effect
on the survival rate of fish. The best fish medicines are dips and baths in
separate containers or simple cures like salt. Adding a good slime coat
restorer to the collecting bucket is a great preventative. Sometimes
antibiotics are the only way to go but when you use them follow directions
closely and don't use them as tonic to insure fishes health (or your health
for that matter). I honestly think that most fish disease problems result
from rough handling and poor environmental conditions. A healthy environment
can cure many fish problems without the need to add antibiotics. Plant
growth, whether algae or higher plants, is a big part of a healthy tank and
fish health is usually a reflection of the health of the aquarium. An
aquarium is like a living organism, fish in perfect health will get sick and
die in an unhealthy tank and sick fish will get well in a healthy aquarium.
Even the infamous "ick" is often resisted by healthy fish in a healthy
aquarium. The healthiest aquarium I have has no filtration, is running over
with plants, the gravel is full of MTS snails, Asian clams, worms, detritus
covers the bottom, and a small magnifying glass reveals untold numbers of
various creatures on every surface. sick fish get well and well fish stay
that way in this aquarium. The only problem is that aeration must be used due
to the high organic content of the water. My advice when it comes to
aquariums is don't be a neat freak, a healthy aquarium is not a polished
plate glass parlor. scuba or snorkeling will reveal that nature isn't neat
and tidy and many fish do not live well in a sterile clean aquarium,
especially fish collected from nature. Even the notorious marine reef tank
does better if they are allowed to develop in a more natural less clean way.

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