Melafix killed my pencil fish

Freckles

Just to reiterate, melafix does kill pencil fish.
I have lost 3 so far within 30 minutes of adding a standard dose, for the first time.
They were healthy, began gasping, then I googled and discovered the reports of issues. The remainder are panting, losing colour, static. The males are worse affected.
API claim to have done tests clearing melafix, but that is simply a lie. My fish died an unnecessary and painful death. Make sure and share the information.
I have done a 90% water change, but as this is essentially tea tree oil it's hard to get out. Any advice; do I skim the surface?
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

I am sorry it took something like this to bring you to us. I will recommend you run some carbon in your filter. Keep it fresh. It should help pull this stuff out of the tank. Add extra air stones to keep the water well aerated. Turn your filter up if possible.

As you have sadly found out the hard way. It is best to read as much as we possibly can before we add anything to our tanks. It is best not to only depend on what the maker of a product says.
 

Ouse

Welcome to FishLore.
Just to reiterate, melafix does kill pencil fish.
I have lost 3 so far within 30 minutes of adding a standard dose, for the first time.
They were healthy, began gasping, then I googled and discovered the reports of issues. The remainder are panting, losing colour, static. The males are worse affected.
This is the problem with dosing medications as a preemptive measure. Until they’re needed as a last resort, water changes and maybe dialing down the pH is all that’s necessary. Medications are overrated.
API claim to have done tests clearing melafix, but that is simply a lie. My fish died an unnecessary and painful death. Make sure and share the information.
This is just another reason why I don’t quite like API. As far as I know, their products are pretty popular in the states, not so much over here (although they’re definitely found here), although the practicality of their products is far-fetched.
I am sorry it took something like this to bring you to us. I will recommend you run some carbon in your filter. Keep it fresh. It should help pull this stuff out of the tank. Add extra air stones to keep the water well aerated. Turn your filter up if possible.
So am I. I think it’s important to add: after three days, the carbon should be removed; it shouldn’t be installed into the filter permanently.
 

StarGirl

Welcome to Fishlore!

You can skim the surface if you see a slick of it. You can lay a piece of paper towel gently flat on the surface and remove it gently and it will get a bunch of the top surface gunk out. You can use a cup to sort of siphon it out. Just put the cup into the water so the water is not getting in and lower it until the cup just starts to bring in water. Go very slowly. You can see the scummy stuff just go into the cup like a small stream.
 

Freckles

Thanks for the advice everyone. I've increased the filter so it disturbs the surface more. I have a small amount of carbon in my filter but will try and get some more asap. I had dome some general research into melafix, which suggested it was tea tree oil, and there were different opinions, but you would really have to do a detailed search stating sick or dead pencil fish in combination with melafix, to get that information. I've written to the company and left an amazon review. I think the onus is on a company to provide information, but even worse, to claim a product is safe after people raising issues, is dishonest and simply means that other hobbyists have their fish suffer. I have had one Cory with red blotch, which I treated with meth blue in a hospital tank for a day (not sure if he's better); and one peacock flashing repeatedly, who has long stools; and one very new baby Cory who is a bit peelie wallie as we say here in Scotland – pale and listless. I was worried there was a parasite in the tank and melafix seemed a good place to start, before I moved on to a parasite based medicine. There is a lot of conflicting advice. But yes, I will keep researching and asking questions. I have a Fluval 107 with a spray bar, 2 air lines to sponge filters, and a new eheim 70 that I was seeding for a new tank, so there's a lot of bubbling and filtering going on (it's a 100 litre). I just hope the tea tree hasn't permanently burnt the gills. Thanks again.
 

mattgirl

So am I. I think it’s important to add: after three days, the carbon should be removed; it shouldn’t be installed into the filter permanently.
I don't run carbon in my filters since it normally isn't needed. I do have to ask though why you say it shouldn't be in the filter permanently. In this case I should have gone into more detail when i said "keep it fresh" I should have said change it out every couple of days until all the medication is out of the tank.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I've increased the filter so it disturbs the surface more. I have a small amount of carbon in my filter but will try and get some more asap. I had dome some general research into melafix, which suggested it was tea tree oil, and there were different opinions, but you would really have to do a detailed search stating sick or dead pencil fish in combination with melafix, to get that information. I've written to the company and left an amazon review. I think the onus is on a company to provide information, but even worse, to claim a product is safe after people raising issues, is dishonest and simply means that other hobbyists have their fish suffer. I have had one Cory with red blotch, which I treated with meth blue in a hospital tank for a day (not sure if he's better); and one peacock flashing repeatedly, who has long stools; and one very new baby Cory who is a bit peelie wallie as we say here in Scotland – pale and listless. I was worried there was a parasite in the tank and melafix seemed a good place to start, before I moved on to a parasite based medicine. There is a lot of conflicting advice. But yes, I will keep researching and asking questions. I have a Fluval 107 with a spray bar, 2 air lines to sponge filters, and a new eheim 70 that I was seeding for a new tank, so there's a lot of bubbling and filtering going on (it's a 100 litre). I just hope the tea tree hasn't permanently burnt the gills. Thanks again.
It sounds like you are doing all you can at this point. Hopefully by keeping fresh carbon in there it will help pull the rest of it out of there and you won't lose any more of your fish.

BTW: another water change may not be a bad idea.
 

Ouse

Thanks for the advice everyone.
You’re welcome. :) I hope you pull through!
I don't run carbon in my filters since it normally isn't needed. I do have to ask though why you say it shouldn't be in the filter permanently.
It removes micronutrients that the fish need, which can potentially heighten the chance of illness. I don’t think it’s efficient or cost-effective to (permanently) have carbon in the filter, as you’ll be rinsing and replacing it often. If there’s no meds in the system, there’s no need for chemical filtration such as carbon. It’s a waste of time, effort and space in the filter really.
In this case I should have gone into more detail when i said "keep it fresh" I should have said change it out every couple of days until all the medication is out of the tank.
Ah, I see now. :)
 

Freckles

I lost another one last night, but the rest now seem OK. I'd welcome any advice on what to do with the peacock goby with long term flashing and long stools, but that's a different topic!
 

mattgirl

I'd welcome any advice on what to do with the peacock goby with long term flashing and long stools, but that's a different topic!
Right, you are more likely to get answers if you start another thread in the proper place to address this problem.
 

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