Before you add any kind of treatment to your pond or treatment bath:
1. Make sure you correctly identify the problem.
Before you can treat a disease successfully, you need to know what you are treating. You won’t be able to choose the best treatment for a problem until you know what’s wrong. Changes in the quality of the water lead to a lot of parasite problems. If you think someone has a disease, test the pH of the water. nitrite and ammonia to make sure you don’t need to do anything else before you use the treatment. It is true that many parasite (or bacterial) infections need the same treatment, and it is tempting to put a treatment in the pond just to see if it “does the trick.” Even though this might work a lot of the time, it’s not “best practice.” Check out our Diagnosis Tool to get any help you might need.
2. Remove adsorbent filter material – carbon, zeolite etc.
Almost all of the medicines fish keepers can use to treat diseases are made from natural substances (even those which claim to contain no chemicals.) Filter materials like carbon, zeolite, and so on get rid of these organic chemicals. So it makes sense to get rid of them before adding a treatment so that the level of treatment doesn’t drop below the level needed to be effective.
3. Turn off the UV.
As in number 2, ultraviolet light kills organic chemicals and, if left on during a treatment, will kill the treatment. Some treatments might even become dangerous when UV light hits them. During treatment, it makes sense to turn off the UV light. Leave the UV off for at least a week, and preferably 10 days, so that the treatment has the best chance of working.
4. Add more air. Remember that the amount of oxygen in the water may be lower in the morning.
Many treatments for diseases can lower oxygen levels, but extra air won’t hurt any of them, so it makes sense to increase airflow if you can, especially when treating in warm weather. Also, keep in mind that the amount of oxygen in the water may be lower in the morning because the underwater plants that make oxygen use oxygen at night when there is no light. Because of this, fountains should always be left running while treatment is going on.
5. Give yourself plenty of time to watch the fish.
When a sick fish is found, it’s important to treat it as soon as possible. But keep in mind the time of day, as shown in step 4, and how long you have to watch the fish after adding the treatment. Don’t throw the treatment in the pond and then go to work or go shopping right away. Even if you have used the treatment many times before, there is always a chance that the fish will have a bad reaction this time. If this happens, you must be there to change the water, add more air, or do whatever else is needed.
6. Don’t mix medicines together.
Malachite and Formaldehyde from NT Labs can be used together if you follow the instructions. We don’t think it’s a good idea to mix any other treatments, especially ones made by different companies, because you don’t know what will happen. There are, however, a few treatment myths that most people seem to believe. One of these is that you should never use formaldehyde when salt is in the water. The only idea we have about why this might be is that the formaldehyde will come out of the water as a gas if salt is present. This seems a little strange to us, since formaldehyde is used in marine aquariums where the salt level is much higher without any problems. When there is salt in the water, there is no scientific reason not to use formaldehyde.
7. Leave 7-10 days between treatments if no improvement is seen.
Before adding another treatment that might react with the first, give the first one time to work and break down on its own. If the condition doesn’t get better after the first treatment, check the diagnosis and make sure the treatment is right. For example, Malachite and Formaldehyde are not good ways to treat skin and gill flukes, fish lice, or fin rot. Even though they might help by getting rid of parasites on the skin that could be making the problem worse, the main symptoms will still be there. When you look at a scrape of skin under a microscope, you might see both parasites and flukes. Then you have to choose which problem is the most important to fix. If a skin scrape shows a lot of different parasites, the best thing to do may be to change the water. This is because a lot of different diseases is a sign of bad water quality, unless the fish were just bought and put in the pond without going through quarantine.
8. Keep an eye on how hot or cold the water is.
If the water in a pond is very cold, adding a treatment probably won’t do any good or harm. If the water is below 10 C, we suggest not treating it (50 F). Of course, you can
treat the fish when the water is colder if it is an emergency and the fish look like they will die if nothing is done. The point is that parasites, bacteria, and fish all have much slower metabolisms when the water is cold. When the temperature drops, the fish stop eating and go to sleep. This is because chemical reactions in a fish’s body happen much more slowly and not enough to break down food properly. Also, when the fish is sleeping, it doesn’t need much energy, so it doesn’t need to eat to get more. Chemicals used to treat water will also work more slowly or not at all in cold water. So treating the fish when the water is very cold is not likely to help them. If the water is very warm, it can’t hold as much oxygen, and adding a treatment could make this even worse. This could cause oxygen stress, which could hurt the fish. So we say that treatments shouldn’t be done when the water temperature is above 25C. (77 F). Obviously, if the situation is very urgent and the water temperature can’t be lowered, the treatment will have to be used, and even more care will have to be taken to see how the fish react.
Always follow the instructions on the treatment’s label about how to feed the animal. If the fish are sick and aren’t eating much anyway, it’s best to stop feeding them for a few days at the beginning of the treatment, until they get better and start looking for food again. In general, NT Labs food doesn’t react with treatments or hurt filters, so it’s safe to feed fish in a pond that is being treated. If, on the other hand, adding a treatment hurts the biological filtration system, feeding the fish could raise the levels of nitrite and ammonia, which could make the fish even more stressed. If this is happening, routine testing of the water will show it and let you decide what, if anything, needs to be done.