Medication of Scaleless Fish + Invertebrates - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-23-2012, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Medication of Scaleless Fish + Invertebrates

I'm surprised that we don't have a topic for this yet. Anyone here please post with experiences, what does and doesn't work. I realized that I want to know my options if ever my cories get sick.

Invertebrates include crabs, crayfish, shrimp, snails, and clams.
Scaleless fish include, but are not limited to, corydoras cat fish and all other catfish, knife fish, eels and ropefish, Certain eels and ropefish, may be salt tolerant to a degree due to naturally occurring in brackish water, but will prove intolerant to medication.

I've only found info on treating ich. If anyone has a good resource, please post it.

For treating ich, the safest way is to simply raise the temperature to 82F. If illness prevails...

Medication that should NOT be used (ingredients to watch for):
-potassium permanganate.
-copper based medications (most likely kills plants as well.)

With caution:
-malachite green, formalin (use 1/2 to 1/4 recommended dose, always in a separate QT tank as it will stain your silicone in the aquarium, among other things).
-medications such as Melafix and Pimafix (also danger with any anabantoids)

Safe treatments:
-natural medications such as Pimafix and Melafix (for inverts)

It is ALWAYS vital to watch any scaleless fish for heavy breathing and deviant behavior (aside from what the illness would be causing.)

Source: Treating Ich/Ick on Scaleless Fish Species

Anyone want to add anything? We need more info than just ich, lol.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-29-2012, 11:59 PM
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I treat all new fish for parasites while in quarantine - I've administered many, MANY treatments on a wide range of fish.

Heat treatments for ich should really be higher than 82. Different strains can withstand different temperatures, and if you don't raise it enough to interrupt the life cycle, you will essentially kill your fish as the warm water speeds up the life cycle of the parasite. 86 is high enough to treat all but the most heat resistant strains, which I've had to go up to 90 to take care of.

I have used malachite green and formalin (at full strength) in a quarantine tank with snails and they were not affected at all. I also did not lose the cycle. That's not to say that it WON'T do those things (though it never has for me), but the risk is significantly lower than it's led on to be.

I also have used prazipro, at full strength, with inverts and scaleless fish without incident.

I've used pima and melafix, but did not find it any more beneficial than water changes. I've used it on anabantoids, at full strength, without incident.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-30-2012, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the ich. I knew there were resistant types, just didn't know how far you can take the heat up. :)
Thanks for the medication suggestion too!

Looking through threads on here and other forums, people seem to have mixed luck with everything regarding scaleless fish.

The thing about melafix and pimafix is.. that well we're not sure how well it works. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. I've read many a case of betta dying from these products. The leaf extract is highly toxic to the labyrinth organ, but we can't really tell how much is in the product and compare to how much is lethal, not sure that we have numbers on all that. But can we tell if it was from the medication or lack of proper medication? I wouldn't use it for anything but the lightest of illnesses, in early stages. Pimafix did take care of the fungus problem I got from fish food cycling though.

It seems touch and go with treating them. Every fish reacts differently and for different reasons.


In general, scaleless fish are notorious for being salt intolerant.
However this is not always the case. Certain fish, like black ghost knifes, are pretty tolerant of being treated with aquarium salt for illnesses, and soom seem to do well in salt treatment.

Aquarium salt dosed at 1/2 teaspoon/gallon is a safe start to treating problems in fish like cory cats. Always take care to be sure that the cories do not seem to be troubled by the salt, decreasing in health rapidly. In this case, switch out the salt and move onto a more powerful medicine.

Epsom salts are a common cure for bloat and constipation in fish. In scaleless fish, there are a few options to turn to before using salt. For fish that are omnivorous, feeding a deshelled frozen pea is a good first option. Another option is fresh or frozen brine shrimp (I wouldn't use freeze dried). These are a natural laxative for fish as well.
If problems continue, move on to epsom salts. Plain, non scented, epsom salt, with no additives can be used. At 1/2 teaspoon/gallon, built up to 1 teaspoon/gallon.

Hope this is going to be helpful to someone at least. Most of that came from memories of experiences on this forum/the betta forum. :)

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-03-2012, 10:55 PM
Anyone know anything about antibiotics on scaleless fish? Advice on that would be welcomed, as unfortunately salt can't cure everything. :(
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-15-2016, 11:32 PM
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More scaleless fish

I treated my tank once with malachite green and found out the hard way that Climbing Spotted Perch, which are one of my favorite fish, are included in that list. I woke up the next morning the medication had killed several fish. I cannot remember the others, sadly. These had been in my tank for a long time and they were BIG. The climbing perch were still alive, but barely. Luckily I had a small quarantine tank that doubled as a plant tank and threw the fish in there. Much to my surprise, both of them survived. So now I have ich again and I need move these fish again.
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cories , safe , scaleless

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