I am writing to let you know my experience by using a medicine on my discus fishes called “Stress Heal”. These are widely used medicines for discus diseases to add slime coat, chlorine remover, stress relieving, fungus diseases, immune boost etc. These medicines are not strictly for discus though but are used as a cheaper options to costlier medicines such as Seachem, API etc..
I used this medicine specifically to help remove chlorine from aquarium and add slime coat, because chlorine does remove slime coat of discus, and my water has lot of chlorine in it.
The other day, I got a big bottle of “Stress heal”, as I had bought new imported/high grade discus juveniles worth 1800/- each and wanted to keep my new and old 8 discuss stress free. As a rule I never add water from aquarium shops and put fishes either by netting or gently by hand to avoid contamination. Well, in this case too I added the fish to tank the same way, and as I had changed water earlier that day I added stress heal med as per dosage advised on bottle. Within fraction of minutes, I saw all my discus got clamped fins, were breathing rapidly and were turning dark. I thought the new discus that I got were sick and have spread the disease to my tank. I immediately moved all the discus to a hospital tank. This is when my stress level started as I did not know which med to add. For 2 weeks I was so stressed that all I could think for whole day was what my discus are doing.
Well few days passed, and I saw that my fishes were not getting worse, I meant is they were in same condition not good nor bad, they were fighting hard to live. I did a water change on that day as it was due, and then I did the worst possible thing, I added stress heal medication again after gap of many days to my tank. Boom!!! The discus started panicking, they were all at top of aquarium, some dashing and some falling on one side.
Soon, one by one, my discus started dying. Off late I had learnt not to have emotions with discus, but there were few pairs which were very old and had started laying eggs. They were bought at around 2 to 3-inch size and grown to over 6 inches. I remembered all the days when I made food for them, the days when I chose not to take my family out as I had maintenance to do on my discus tank. Each day one discus died and I carried it and threw it out with heavy heart. Only when they started to die did I realized what killed my fishes. The med which I thought would save my fishes resulted in their death. I could save 2 fishes and have never added any type of medication till now and they are doing just fine.
I would say I had a collection of discuss as I did not buy what ever was available in market. I had also experienced discus death earlier and I was not much moved then as I was new to discus hobby then. But this time, it was purely fault of the medicine. I also wrote to Stress heal company, but the response was a diplomatic one asking evidence which would give them a legal stand. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take it up with them legally as what he asked made sense and due to the stress I underwent when my discus started to die, I did not care to save evidence.
So, I am writing to you guys to let you know that not to use STRESS HEAL medication on your fishes especially discus who are sensitive. Each discus I lost would have been around 3k at minimum in market. I lost two breeding pairs which I was able to establish after 3 years of discus keeping.
I hope none of you lose your fishes to such medicines, happy fish keeping to you guys.
Stay away from unknown medicines, especially stress heal.
Email the company with what happened/ serial number. Keep the bottle too if you haven't thrown it away.
I did email the company, they asked for dead fish pics, water parameters etc. I have not had to keep records of these in my entire life of fish keeping. I also know that if i go legally they would put same questions , answers of which i couldn't provide
I would try to pursue it further with the company if possible. Even an invoice of the purchased fish/ bottle being sent for testing could help. I had an issue with caribsea and one of their sand products. I sent them what little info I had and a sample of the sand and they fully replaced the substrate/ covered the fish loss. I totally understand the heartbreak of waking up to another dead fish and no answers.
OK,let me follow up on them and see, though in my country these things don't work out legally, but still there is hope. I will keep posted on updates
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