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Medicated Dips and Baths


A medicated dip involves adding a drug to the water a fish is immersed in for a time lasting between a few seconds up to a few hours or so. A bath is overnight to a few weeks. The goal is to either treat something on the outside of the fish or have the drug be absorbed into the fish. It is necessary to consider how well the fish will tolerate being caught and moved to the dip (unless you have the privilege of treating in the current tank holding the fish then flushing). Also consider how effective the dip will be versus feeding the fish medicated food, injecting the fish, or treating the aquarium in which the fish regularly lives. In this guide, we will only go over a few powerful medicated dips. These are separate and may be slightly different than regular quarantine tank protocols and are generally used after an individual fish becomes sick and if a stable quarantine system is not available, the quarantine is too large for dosing, or the quarantine system is already medicated with other drugs and interactions between drugs are either negative or unknown.


A note on eyes: Eyes being cloudy or puffed out are usually the result of something else. Cryptocaryon will often cause cloudiness from secondary bacterial infections on one or both eyes. A scratch or irritation from a flatworm parasite will cause cloudiness and popeye on usually one but possibly both eyes. An internal infection may also cause both eyes to pop out and sometimes get cloudy from the stretching of tissues or secondary bacterial infection. If fish have eye problems, try to solve the underlying cause at the same time as you medicate for potential secondary bacterial infection.


With all dips and baths, it is important to maintain temperature and aeration (though don't move the water too much as this may cause turbulence and stress to the fish). If longer than overnight, be prepared to monitor water quality and able to do water changes with re-dosing of medications.

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