Hi All, just looking for some advice on the use of Droncit to clear flukes completely. I've been using this, but my fish seem itchy again! Here's the background;
I have 4 fancy goldfish (2 adult, 2 babies) in 165L tank. Before you say it, yes, I know I'm overstocked, and this was kinda deliberate (PFK people, you know the story!). I had my 2 adult fish in the 165L, then I got 2 baby moors from Frances on PFK. I planned to take only 1 and keep to the correct stocking of the tank, but I couldn't resist a real cutie of a panda baby moor! I always did, and still intend, to upgrade the tank in the next few months. The tank is stable, the filter is coping fine, and I change 1/3 of the water in the tank twice a week. All fish healthly and happy.
However, since about the summer, and before I got the baby fish, the adult fish have been irritated by something, scratching, losing the odd scale etc. This was minor irritation, with no slimecoat changes at all. But at the start of December, things got much worse. They were almost jumping out of the tank with irritation and their slimecoat started to react leaving white patches all over them. I treated according to the Johnson and Hess book - added salt to the tank to 0.3% and left for 11 days. This had no effect apart from helping the slimecoat, so I treated for Flukes using Droncit. The fish had also been lethargic, fins clamped and gills clamped with rapid breathing, so I assumed I had a fluke problem when the salt didn't work.
Within a day or 2 of the first Droncit dose (2.5mg/L) the fish were like new! No scratching, slimecoat healing, no clamping and their energey levels were amazing! I added the 2nd dose on day 4, when the fish were beginning to scratch a bit again. That was about 2 weeks ago, and the fish were again brilliant. Scratching completely stopped, they were very lively and no fin clamping. Thought I'd cured the problem.
Now, since about a week ago, 2 of the fish have been scratching again (only the adults, the babies seem to have had little irritaion at all since they joined the big tank). It's really annoying that they seem to be irritated again now after such a drastic improvement in them after the Droncit. The moor is also starting to sit on the bottom of the tank again on occassion and not look too happy. It's making me sad.
So, my question is, is 2 doses of Droncit enough, or for a very bad fluke infestation should I have added a 3rd dose? I'm assuming now that some flukes survived and have started to breed again and irritate the fish. Should I re-dose with Droncit again, using 3 doses this time at 4 day intervals? Would appreciate any advice, if anyone has experienced this and can comment on the effectiveness of Droncit?
Thanks very much, and sorry for the huge message! :)
Do you know for certain it was flukes causing the problem? I know you had a lot of problems with flicking and scratching over the summer but couldn't actually see anything on the fish? Is there any way you could bring yourself to do a scrape to look under a microscope? The Johnson and Hess book has instructions on how to do one properly.
I can't answer about the Droncit I'm afraid but I'm sure someone can soon.
Hi Laura, sorry to hear you're having more problems with your moor :( I'm so glad we have found this forum, it feels like we're a family again lol!
Anyway, I think you should do the next step to determine what is wrong with your fish for sure (if you haven't already done so) - a microscopic scrape. Be strong! You have the Hess book, and now the help of everyone else to guide you through. I think it needs to be done to determine what to do next. I'm confident you can do it. I have decided that I would definitely do it if I saw symptoms of flukes/parasites.
I am having issues of mucus strands all over my panda, but I have researched and decided it's due to the double dose of Stress Coat that I've been using to help heal a split in my moor's tail, so I did their water change last night and just used the normal dose to remove chlorine & chloramine to see if it makes a difference.
I've read up on the use of Droncit and there seems to be various ideas on how best to use it. The most popular seems to be to treat every day for 3 days. Repeat weekly for 3 weeks. Dose rate 250mg/100lt. I suspect your two doses aren't quite finishing them off
"Treatment when the treatment is worse than the disease kills fish"
Thanks everyone. It's really nice have found this forum and be able to get help and advice again.
I am 99.9% sure it's flukes. As I don't have a microscope and am pretty terrified to do a scrape anyway, I followed the advice in Johnson and Hess and used blanket treatments to rule things out. But I'm only prepared to use at the moment, and have only used, treatments that are kind to fish, filter and plants. I have no desire to wipe out my filter bacteria! So using the salt and then the Droncit which I know have no ill effects seemed like the best idea to cover all parasites.
As I said, the salt had little effect so I tried the Droncit and the improvment in the fish was startling. I haven't seen my moor and fantail so active for months. The gill clamping and rapid breathing has stopped, so I assume they had gill and body flukes.
Jay - I too have read many conflicting dosage guidelines for Droncit. The J&H book is conflicting too! The section on Flukes says a 3rd treatment may be necessary just in case, but the Droncit section suggests only 2 treatments needed. And I have read the advice online too on various sites about dosing several times and for several weeks. I read that Droncit stays active in the water for approx 3 days. Combine this with the lower water temp of the tank slowing fluke hatching etc, I re-dosed on day 4. But I am inclined to think that yes, some of the flukes may have survived or hatched after the 2nd dose was ineffective and have started to reinfect.
Does anyone know how many doses of Droncit are safe? Would 4 in total be safe for example, if I dosed every 3 or 4 days? Frances - could you perhaps ask the goldfish experts tomorrow for me?!! :)
(you can ring the tel. number on there and they will post it out to you if you can't get it)
In the US they swear by Jungle Anti-Parasite formula but it's not available here.
Is there not a big lfs/koi centre that would do scrape for you?
Also just to check basics again (sorry but always worth it) - what's your tap water pH when it comes out of the tap, what's your tank pH? Is your water treated with chlorine or chloramine, which dechlorinator do you use?
Thanks Cathie. My tank ph is always 7.4. Nitrates have increased since increasing stock - constant 30-40ish. I've never tested my water ph to be honest - is it worth doing if the tank ph is ok?
I always use dechlorinator as I believe my tap water contains chlorine and chloramine (got a report from the water company!). I use AquaPlus and always have done, no problems.
Fish a bit itchy tonight again. I think I will order some more Droncit and use 3 or 4 doses. I do worry though about how much is safe to use. Although, I've read it's really difficult to overdose on it?
I don't know of anyone who would do a scrape for me - it would have to be me doing the scrape! If I can avoid putting the fish through the stress of this (and me!!) I will. Surely it must stress the fish? I'm inclined to try the longer course of Droncit since it was so effective before, and then if this doesn't work, investigate with a microscope.
I will look into the Sterazin - thanks for that info. The other option is a UV of course, but it might be wiser to wait until I upgrade the tank before buying and installing one of those. How easy/difficult are these to install or use? You can just use them to zap bugs can't you and then stop running it?
I would also suggest running a pH test on freshly drawn water from the tap like cathie said, just so you can rule this out.
Lots of water companies add additives to make drinking water more palatable to us humans. These can wear off and evaporate over 24 hours. My tap pH for example comes out at 7.5 and drops to 6 after 24 hours and the opposite can occur as well.
Water changes with freshly drawn tap water can cause pH yo-yo's in these scenarios, over this 24 hour period and differences in pH have been known to cause flicking. May not be an issue at all and it probably is parasitic, but surely better to rule out this out before dosing with meds, just so you know
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If your Nitrates have increased since increasing stock you need to up your maintenance or increase water changes. Testing tapwater is always a good idea, sometimes a problem with the tank can be directly related to the water supply. It's not unknown for tapwater to contain trace Ammonia and NitrATE as high as 50ppm.
"Treatment when the treatment is worse than the disease kills fish"