“ Brand: Love Fish / Type: Health „
Regular readers of my review may know that I have a tropical fish tank. A few months ago I upgraded our tank from a small one to one carrying over 100 litres of water. This allowed us to purchase some more fish and having had problems with fish dying prematurely in the past we have always been very careful to inspect our fish carefully when purchasing them, much to the annoyance of the sales assistant who is serving us in our local busy pet store.
The fish who caught white spot in our tank were two of our three clown loaches. Now clown loach are orange and black generally so it is usually quite easy to notice white spot as soon as it occurs due to their colour. These fish had only been in our tank for around one week when they first started to show signs of white spot.
Now my husband knows a lot about keeping tropical fish, or so it seems when he is almost constantly talking about the fish, so as soon as I spotted the white spot he knew that we needed a suitable treatment for this. The treatment that my husband purchased in his mad dash to our local pet store was this Love Fish white spot treatment. Before we added this to the tank we turned off the filter and removed the carbon filters that our filter holds. Also in addition to this we raised the temperature of our tank one degree from 25.5C to 26.5C over the course of a few hours. During this time we read up more about white spot to see what the best method was to prevent further infection of other fish and also to treat the two affected fish and the tank sufficiently first time.
There are very clear directions on this bottle which state that 1 ml of this treatment must be added for every 10 litres of water in the tank. Now this is very simple to follow but I would like there to be a little more information on the packet regarding the temperature of your tank and other tips to help eradicate the disease as quickly as possible. Now because we had read lots about the treatment of white spot we knew that it is imperative to keep treating the tank until after the last sign of white spot has vanished as spores can live in the water and re-infect fish. The packaging does state to re-treat the water after 4 days but we re-treated our water every 4 days for 4 separate applications until we could no longer see any white spot on either of our two infected clown loach.
Our white spot seemed to have been caused by the addition of new fish to our tank, the clown loach, and these were the only fish that were affected with two of the three fish being affected by white spot and one appearing to be perfectly healthy. A test kit can be used to check the water quality to rule out other underlying causes such as poor water quality but we test our water frequently and have the ideal levels for the specific fish that we are keeping in our tropical tank.
Now signs of white spot are white spots, naturally, but there are other conditions that can cause white spot also so looking online for photographs if you suspect white spot or just want to be aware of what it is can be a very good idea so that you are prepared. White spot is a parasite and once fish are really suffering it is not unusual to see them scraping themselves back and forth along rocks and other ornaments to try and relieve the intense burrowing under their skin that is eating away at their cells and slowly killing them. Once the fish start scraping themselves then the spores can be free in the tank ready to attach themselves to other animals and plants meaning that your whole fish family can end up getting infected time and time again unless you treat the tank until all sign of white spot has gone.
As I mentioned earlier we started to raise the temperature of our tank by one degree over several hours. We then worked on increasing the temperature of our tank right up to 28-29C. We did this over around 24 hours to try and avoiding any big shock to our fish and none of the other fish seemed to be adversely affected by this which was important as stress can increase the chances of healthy fish developing white spot.
When we were checking for white spot we were also doing 15% water changes in our tank every 4 days, using the normal chemicals to treat water and avoid other problems and nasties, and then we were using this treatment again. This, I believe, helped to remove some of the spores and nasties that were floating around and we also cleaned the ornaments, as we normally do every fortnight any way, to try and avoid any disease being left behind on them.
With regards to the fish in my tank one survived and one died. The one who died was showing bad symptoms (rubbing along the gravel etc) within a day of me noticing spots on him suggesting that he was not well when I bought him and the situation just got worse once he (or she?) was in his new tank. This fish did seem to improve in terms of spots covering his body, quicker than the other clown loach that was affected, but sadly we found it one evening dead in one of our plants just resting there. This was sad and the fish seemed to change colour and get lighter also, all of which suggests that he was doomed from the start while the other fish stayed a fantastic colour and just generally didn't seem to be quite as affected despite having more spots and taking longer to show signs of those spots disappearing.
Once there was no more sign of any white spot within our tank we were able to use our filter once again. Now it is worth mentioning that we did not leave our fish without oxygenated water and instead we had an air line going in to the tank making bubbles for lots of oxygen to be added to the water. It is never advisable to turn a filter off and have no way of adding additional oxygen to the water. Once the white spot was eradicated we were able to gradually lower our temperature back down which we chose to start doing 2 days after the time we knew we didn't need any more treatment and then we dropped it back down 1 degree per day and replaced all of the carbon filters that sit inside our filter, 4 of them, to make sure the water was back to being crystal clear within just two days.
This treatment did not manage to save one of the fish but it did save the other and none of our 28 other fish were affected either. In all I would say that this treatment worked very well despite it not containing all of the relevant information to allow us to correctly save and treat our fish. I am rating this 4 out of 5 as most tropical fish owners would do research before using a product anyway, as we did, and so I feel that the lack of instructions while being a bit of a disappointment isn't necessarily as damaging as it could be with a product relating to other pets. I would definitely recommend this white spot treatment and while this product recommends on the packaging that you use this each time you add new fish to the tank we buy one or two fish every month and this would be quite a palaver and potentially damaging for our fish to keep having the temperature raised at the same time. I feel that 4/5 is a worthy rating for this but the lack of detailed instructions means that I just cannot give it the full 5.
Some time ago - my youngest picked out some lovely guppies from a local pet store. Although I inspected them carefully before purchase - I must have bought them at just the wrong time. the following night these guppies were covered in small white spots. I immediately went back to the pet shop and was given this remedy.
The directions are pretty limited on this bottle. It says to use 1 ml for every 10 litres of water in your tank, and it does tell you that you must remove all carbon filters - but it doesn't tell you to raise the tank temperature - which will eliminate the infection much more quickly, or give adequate information on retreating. It says only to repeat the does after 4 days. It does not mention the fact that you are meant to repeat until 4 days after the last sign of white spot on any fish. It also recommends adding this treatment every time new fish are added and as a routine preventative. I would most strongly disagree with this recommendation - it strikes me as way to sell more stuff.
I would not dump chemicals in my tank unless they are really needed. This does contain Formaldehyde and Methanol and trust me these are strong chemicals. You aren't even meant to let this touch your skin - but your fish will be swimming in it, breathing it, and absorbing it throughout their bodies. If they have white spot - you don't have much choice - but I would not use it otherwise. The bottle says this: "Harmful by inhalation, if contact with skin occurs and if swallowed. Limited evidence of carcinogenic effects. May cause sensitisation by skin contact. Possible risk of irreversible effects". I don't think I need to tell you - you absolutely must keep this well out of reach of children.
So my first advise is to completely ignore the label and do not use this product unless your fish actually have white spot - but how do you know? White spot disease is a very common parasitic disease in fresh water fish - but it isn't the only thing that causes white spots. Your first clue is that white spot usually occurs in newly added fish first - or just after new plants have been added. This is because the parasites spend part of their life cycle on plants or any object in the aquarium. If white spot should suddenly appear on fish that have been in your tank for some time - my first thought would be to check the water quality immediately. Very poor water conditions can cause white spots. Test kits are readily available in almost any pet shop that sells fish - or most of these places will test a small sample of your water for free.
I would also note that white spot is just what the common name says - spots. These are usually the size of a pinhead, clearly raised and have a fuzzy appearance. An Internet search will find you plenty of photos to aid in identification. If your fish has white fungus on the fins, or large patches of white - it isn't white spot - it may be fin rot, a fungal disease or more likely infection from an injury. It is possible though for fish with very advanced white spot to injure themselves itching on rocks and thus have infected injuries and white spot.
White spot , also known as Ich, is caused by a parasite. The parasite burrows under the skin of a fish, where it will be in constant movement as eats the body cells of its host. Once it is mature it will cause intense itching - driving your fish to scrape against rocks etc until it digs its way through the skin. It will then attach to a plant or aquarium fixture - even gravel and make itself a wee cocoon where it will divide - into as many 1,000 of the little blighters. These will then enter a free swimming stage looking for other fish to infect. It's a very nasty disease and I can only imagine it must be torment for the poor fish. The problem is you can not kill the parasites when they are in their cocoon, or on the fish. They are well protected by a thick shell or the fishes own skin and scales. The parasite can only be killed when in the free swimming stage so the trick is to move it to the free swimming stage as quickly as possible.
The life cycle of the parasite is strongly affected by the temperature of the water. When treating for white spot - you want the temperature as high as possible to accelerate the parasites life cycle and reach the stage where the things can be killed quicker. In a fresh water tank you should raise the temperature to 28 - 30 degrees. In a cold water tank it is advised to introduce a heater bring the tank up to 22 degrees c. Abrupt temperature changes are very stressful for fish - and stress makes this disease worse. You need to raise the temperature very slowly - no more than 1 degree every 3 - 4 hours.
Some sites recommend waiting until the temperature has been raised for a week to start treatment - meaning you will need less of the chemicals. Personally, I would prefer to start treatment asap. This is a deadly disease. I immediately start on the recommended dose as well as raising tank temperature. I repeat the dose every four days, doing a 20% water change each time. I inspect the fish daily. When there are no signs of infection, I give one more dose 4 days later and then 4 days after that another 4 days later I do a 50% water change and install carbon filter pads for a week to remove any residual traces. I also like to drop all ornaments in boiling water - but I can't honestly say if this does anything other than make me feel better.
You may also consider the addition of aquarium salt to your tank to aid in the recovery process and reduce the risk of secondary infections. Be careful to add no more than the recommended amount and if in doubt, ask your local fish store for advise before using. i believe their are a few species that do not do well with this.
On my last occasion using this, the fish in question all died within the week. They had broken out pretty badly and sometimes this happens, especially with the stress of being moved etc... I was happy enough with the product though - because none of my other fish were infected or ended up floating in this time period. I had Kuhli loaches and an aquarium frog at the time, both of which are very sensitive to medications, and they all survived. So in my opinion this product was as safe as a can be to be effective, and it did prevent any free swimming parasites from infecting my other fish - so it was effective. I am giving this product 5 stars on efficiency and safety, but only 1 for instructions. This rounds it up to 3 stars. I would not hesitate to use this product again, and I am happy enough to recommend it IF your fish has white spots. I do not recommend it as a preventative. I also strongly recommend that you raise the temperature and continue treatments until all signs of the disease have been clear for at least 4 days. If in doubt, please google "how to treat white spot" and you'll find plenty of information, or ask for advise with a trusted pet store that sells fish. And again - please remember this is an extremely toxic product. I would note that dogs seem to be attracted to some of these fish treatments as well. Please be very careful where this is stored. Make sure both your children and your pets are safe.
*** In order to use this or aquarium medication correctly- you must know the amount of water in your tank. Here are a handy site to determine water capacity on common tanks, but if in doubt ask your local pet shop or google the specific tank you own. Please remove the spaces after each / or google Aquarian advisory service aquarium calculations.
http:// www.users.globalnet.co.uk/ ~xeno/ calculat.htm
Please note - My experience is of fresh water tanks only. I have no knowledge of salt water aquariums - I do not even know if this product can be used in a saltwater tank. If you are keeping salt water fish - please seek specialist advice.