Make your own Melafix
Some new guppies of mine came home from the LFS with a case of (what I'm almost certain is) bacterial fin rot. The fish were already isolated and I added conditioning salt and Pimafix (this was the most helpful medication I had on hand). I read on this forum that Pimafix used in conjunction with Melafix could work wonders on fin rot, but unfortunately it was too late at night to go out and buy a bottle.
After a little more research into Melafix, I found that API's tropical fish-grade product is nothing but a 1% solution of Tea Tree Oil (melaleuca alternifolia). My girlfriend had bought a 2 ounce bottle of 100% tea tree oil to help heal her ear piercings. I did a little bit more poking around on the net and found that other fish keepers had already discovered this little money-saver. So, I whipped up a batch of roughly 1% tea tree oil with 99% dechlorinated tap water and dosed the fish as per the Melafix instructions.
It's only been about 18 hours, but the fish certainly aren't looking any worse. I'll post more if I have any problems and if the treatment is successful. If it is, I'd venture to say making your own Melafix is a really great way to save money.
That's awesome! Be sure to keep us posted. If it works for you I might try it out myself.
just to clarify
melafix is not tea tree oil, it is from a tree in the same genus as that of the tea tree.
The plant used to make melafix is melaleuca cajuputi, also known as melaleuca leucadendron. Tea tree is melaleuca alternifolia.
however, the OP is quite correct in that making the above solution will have just as much benefit as melafix and be kinder on your wallet.
personally I use pond melafix which is a 5% solution and therfore you need 5 times less than melafix.
for those that have nowt else to do, google melafake
and see what it throws your way
I used the tea-tree method in the past with success when I couldn't get hold of melafix.
Well, I couldn't find much comparing the two, but I did find a quick blurb from a medical study stating that tea tree was the most effective of the oils tested: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10399193
I also found an article written for PFK that detailed a study on the use of tea tree to treat fish, and it was very favorable:
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Melafix uses the other stuff because if they tried to sell watered down tea tree oil everyone would just go buy tea tree oil instead. Just a thought :D
however it should be noted that melaleuca cajeput has more anti-spasmodic and antiseptic indications (respiratory infections etc) and less anti fungal and immune stimulant indicatiors than melaleuca alternifolia.
Actually, the particular Tea Tree Oil I'm using is melaleuca alternifolia, but I believe other Tea Tree Oils marketed as such are actually melaleuca cajeput.
Since my study is not really any sort of precise scientific study, I can't give exact results. However, since I've been using the Tea Tree Oil in addition to the Pimafix, I've definitely noticed much improvement. One guppy was missing a substantial portion of her tail but much has already grown back. The other was missing her entire dorsal fin with white fuzzy patches at the base of the dorsal fin and the dorsal base of the caudal fin. The Dorsal fin is almost entirely regrown with just a tiny white patch left at the front of the base of the dorsal fin, and the white patch from the base of the tail is gone completely. Both fish are swimming actively and seem completely healthy. I began the Pimafix regimen last Thursday evening, so I plan on continuing treatment into tomorrow of both medications.
Hopefully soon both guppies will be fully healed so I can get the medicine out of the water, add the lovesick male who's been spending time in another tank, and procede with the fry production.
Sounds like good stuff! Is good to have someone with experience with it and have positive effects.
Update: the guppies are almost completely healed. The white areas at the sites of the fin rot have disappeared and the fins are almost fully regrown. I'm going to keep up with the Pimafix/Homemade Melafix regimen for a few more days before I add the male back to the tank, just to be safe. I'll probably post again after the male's in the tank, because that should be the final indicator. If he gets fin rot, well...that'll be bad. But if he doesn't, I think it's safe to say that the treatment will have worked.
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