For our full, in depth four page internet page Aquarium/Pond Medications page, please click on the picture below:
Including Separate pages for:
Antibiotics/Antimicrobials, Chemical & Parasite Treatments, & Organic Treatments

Aquarium Information
-A great source for current aquarium information that is updated regularly as new research become available.

Aquarium Copper Facts and Use


Copper has long time been used for treatment of aquarium algae, fish parasites, and snail eradication. This includes external treatment of freshwater and marine Ich, Oodinium, and fungus. It is has been said on popular aquatic sites, that people are attracted to using Copper as a treatment in the display tank, because it does not discolor the tank, but with using Copper, caution and some understanding does needs to be involved. Improper use can cause harm to the tank. Water chemistry and other environmental factors will determine dosing details of the Copper treatment.

The Copper used for treatments can stay in a tank for close to a month. If there are any live rocks or ornaments in the tank, the Copper will be absorbed into the material and slowly lech it's way back out. There are only certain ways to remove the Copper from the water, which is one reason to use caution. This is something I will go into later in this post.

A certain level of Copper concentration is required for an effective treatment, and is different depending on tank needs. These therapeutic levels can become toxic to other fish species and invertebrates in the tank. This is another reason why caution needs to be used with this treatment. Chronic use of Copper will affect fish health. Higher levels can damage fish gills and other body tissues. It has also been shown that there is a decrease in fish immunity, with chronic use (Yanong2, 2013).

The use of Copper in low pH can become even more toxic, so much more caution needs to be used. Not only is copper more toxic in acidic water, but the acidic water itself can be a problem. In fact, when the pH is below 6.4, the helpful, nitrifying bacteria in your aquarium begin to stop functioning.

Here are some caution Copper levels to be aware of:
  • Dangerous level of copper for shrimps is 0.03 mg per litre.
  • Dangerous level of copper for algae and bacteria is 0.08 mg per litre.
  • Dangerous level of copper for some fish, snails and plants is 0.10 mg per litre.

Copper will need to be maintained at least at 0.12-0.18 mg/L and for a therapeutic level and for no less than 14 days(Blasiola,2000,p.146).

Here are some therapeutic levels that will help:
  • .15-.20 ppm for Oodinium/Brooklynella (most freshwater applications)
  • .20-.25 ppm for Crytocaryon

A note for marine tanks, the amount of copper you will need to add for treatment, will be high initially, but then will need to be brought down over subsequent days. Copper will be absorbed into corals and substrate, to the point no more Copper is absorbed. This needs to be taken into account when attempting to maintain a therapeutic level.

This is mainly important for treatment of display tanks, but is not something to worry about for bare hospital tanks.

Note: Copper basically kills parasites by poisoning them more than the fish, so never over dose!

Always have a copper test-kit on hand!

Do not use with snails and invertebrates. Do not use in reef aquariums and note; when used as an algaecide, the copper is absorbed by the algae then released when it dies.

Basic Copper:
Copper is a heavy mental that can be found naturally in many forms. The form of Copper that is typically used in aquarium set-ups Copper Sulfate, or properly known as Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate. The reason this form of Copper is used, is when it is placed in water it dissolves and attaches to the most water molecules. During this process, Copper Sulfate splits into Copper (Cu2+) separately and Sulfate, along with water. It is strictly the Copper (Cu2+) that is measured and used to combat a number of issues within the tank. Like stated before, maintaining proper levels of Copper Sulfate can be difficult because of other components in the tank, such as Carbonates, which are part of Dolomite, which when dissolved can become complex and remove the Copper. Also, other living organisms can bind to the element, which effects levels.

There is also Chelated Copper, which is a compound added to Copper Sulfate. These agents help keep Copper in a solution by forming a ring structured Copper. These complexes become stable in a different form and more of a complex form of treatment. For the most part, most aquarium keepers use Copper Sulfate rather than Chelated Copper, because of the strength and the difference in effort to remove the treatment from the tank. The use of Chelated Copper is advised only in hospital tanks.

Because Copper can be difficult to dose, after figuring out the amount needed for your tank and needs, start the dosing amount at half the amount! This is best done by mixing the Copper Sulfate with some distilled water. In marine tanks, add half of the mixed solution to the sump and the other half to the tank, so to miss all of the "hot spots" in the tank. Make sure not to add high amounts of Copper to the sump as it can damage the biofilter by killing beneficial bacteria. After the Copper has been in the water cycle long enough and has equally distributed, then measure the Copper levels. Add more Copper, allow it to mix and re-measure until the concentration levels are met.

Often, due to binding (adsorption) of Copper to components of the system, more Copper than the amount calculated initially will be needed to reach the appropriate concentration. Copper measurements should be taken twice a day, with more copper added if necessary. As discussed previously, treatment may last 3–4 weeks or more, depending upon the target organism and specific situation.

Treat based on what solution you are using, but try to bring your Copper level to .15 -.20 ppm for Oodinium/Brooklynella (and most freshwater applications) and .20- .25 ppm for Crytocaryon. Please revisit the therapeutic levels I stated above. Generally, it is easier to maintain these levels, while not having to do repeat testing and follow-up dosing, while using Chelated Copper, but please remember the use of a hospital tank. When treating a tank, make sure all materials and filtration component (ie. carbon) are removed. If necessary, high organic bioloads or detritus should be removed. Baseline water parameters should be check prior to treatment. This includes, ammonia, nitrite, pH, temperature, alkalinity, and salinity. Gradually dose to the therapeutic level over a 2-3 day span. This allows time for the fish to increase internal and physiological mechanisms to protect their bodies against the toxicity.

  • Wait 2-4 hours to add after use of any water Redox reducing water conditioners. This will include SeaChem Prime, Kordon Novaqua, Kordon Amquel, Jungle Start Right, API Stress Coat, etc.
  • Use in aquarium systems that have an established healthy bio filter.
  • Do not mix with Sulfa based treatments/medications.

High quality active Carbon will do the trick for removing Copper. You can place a separate filtration unit containing fresh, activated charcoal at the rate of 170 grams per 57 liters of water (about 0.375 lbs per 15 gallons) on a system to remove Copper. Once all the water has cycled through the carbon, test for free copper concentration. If Chelated Copper has been used, water changes will be necessary. Dolomite may also be used, if it is removed afterward. If tests continue to show a high free Copper concentration, a complete water change may still be required to remove copper from the water. Copper levels should be monitored throughout this process and for several weeks afterward, in case Copper that was previously bound to substrate or complexed in solution, is released as free copper.



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Praziquantel as an Aquarium Fish Treatment for Worms, etc.


Praziquantel is an anthelmintic (an-thel-MIN-tik) or anti-worm medication.

It aids in preventing worms and treating infections caused by the worm.
Praziquantel treats schistosoma (infection of worm that lives in the bloodstream), liver flukes (infection of worm that lives in or near the liver), and gill fluke (infection of worms that live on the gills).
It also treats skin flukes, flat worm, tape worms, and turbellarians (sub-division of flat worm).
Praziquantel does NOT treat pinworms or roundworms.

Fish Gill Fluke attached to gill filament
The picture to the left displays a magnified Gill Fluke. The inset shows a a lessor magnification attached to a gill filament.

Praziquantel works by causing major spasms to the worm causing them to be paralyzed.
The worm is then destroyed in the intestine of the host or is passed through the body of the host through their stool.
Praziquantel can be used in humans, cats, dogs, fish, and others.

The advantage of Praziquantel is that it's harmless to all species including fish and is not toxic to plants. It also has no negative impact on aquarium filters, while clearing the worms fast and fully, even with fry.


For fish use, in tank treatment is the best.
The medication is absorbed directly from the treated water into the fish.

Typically, one treatment is all that is needed to cure the infection. The traditional suggestion for fluke infestation is repeating a single treatment in four or five days after the first treatment is given to kill emerging larvae which may have survived.

There are no known side effects of Praziquatel, but there have been studies to show it can become toxic in high volumes, which are somewhere around 40x to 50x greater than recommended dosing.
For more information see:

Further recommended use of this medication for fish requires any carbon to be removed from the tank and UV sterilizers to be disconnected from electrical power (turned off).
This is due to both of these striping the medication out of the tank, making it useless. The medication can also be administered by soaking the fishes food (10-15 mins) in the Praziquatel and then feeding to affected fish.

For more information on food delivery of medications, please see:
Aquarium Medications

Sources of Praziquatel:

For further information on flukes and worms, please see this excellent article:
Aquarium Answers Parasites Article

To step up to a higher level of Aquarium/Pond Fish Care, I highly suggest reading this article that provides factual information about the use of UVC Sterilization to prevent fish disease, not only directly but more importantly by improving fish immune response by also improving water parameters such as Redox Balance:


Suggested other aquarium products:

For PREMIUM Replacement UV Bulbs that are the best low pressure high efficiency bulbs, not the 7-14% poor efficiency bulbs sold on eBay or Amazon for prices lower than it costs to make the better low pressure UV Bulbs:
High Efficiency UV Bulbs

For premium USDA food grade certified aquarium silicone sealant:
Premium Aquarium Silicone
Most silicones are not USDA certified, thus you are placing your fish in an environment that may be less safe if you use these lesser silicones sold at most hardware and even pet stores.

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Tetracycline; for Fish in Aquarium or Pond


Tetracycline Hydrochloride for Aquarium FishTetracycline Hydrochloride is derived obtained from Streptomyces aureofaciens (and other antibiotics of natural origin) or occasionally synthetically from oxytetracycline.

All antibiotics derived from streptomycetes are generally Gram-positive, although Tetracycline Hydrochloride and other antibiotics derived from streptomycetes can have some gram negative activity as well. Also, Tetracycline Hydrochloride is generally more effective for aerobic bacteria
Because it is primarily gram positive, it is generally a poor choice for Columnaris (Flexibacter). Another related antibiotic is Minocyline which can be effective (but still not a first choice for Columnaris though) and it is often confused with Tetracycline Hydrochloride.
Please Reference: Columnaris in Aquarium Fish

Tetracycline MoleculeWhen absorbed, Tetracycline is widely distributed to the organs and tissues of fish. It is eliminated unchanged primarily via the Kidneys and may accumulate with repeated dosing in fish with impaired renal function such as with many cases of Dropsy (which generally makes Tetracycline a poor choice for Dropsy).

Tetracycline Hydrochloride mode of action is as a protein synthesis inhibitor via an aminoacyl-tRNA binding mechanism to the 30S subunit. Mode of resistance is the loss of cell wall permeability. Tetracycline is best used in the treatment of bacterial infections that are gram-positive and SOME gram-negative infections in fish and interferes with the production of proteins that the bacteria need to multiply and divide (bacteriostatic). However many bacterial pathogens have developed resistance to Tetracycline Hydrochloride.

Common uses for Tetracycline Hydrochloride in fish include (generally gram positive causes of these symptoms);

*Fin and tail rot (split, ragged and deteriorating fin and/or tail)
*Popeye (protruding eyes, may be cloudy or hazy)
*Gill disease (swollen, discolored gills, gasping for air and a decrease in activity)
*Some secondary infections after treatment of other infections or parasites.
Reference: Gram Positive Streptococcus in Fish


I do not recommend the use of Tetracycline Hydrochloride for bleeding or ulcers in fish as Tetracycline has been shown to cause anemia in fish (and also humans to a lesser degree, which is the last thing you want to do with a bleeding fish.

Tetracycline can lower red blood cell count, because of this I would not use with injured fish. Tetracycline becomes dangerous past its expiration date. While most prescription drugs lose potency after their expiration dates, tetracycline can become toxic over time.

Side effects include: neutropenia (a condition of an abnormally low number of white blood cells), producing a “brown foam” on the surface of the aquarium especially for marine aquariums, and potential destruction of nitrifying bacteria.
s well, Tetracycline Hydrochloride is easily absorbed where calcium is present in larger quantities, which often renders this antibiotic useless in saltwater and high GH (hard water) freshwater aquariums.

The combined use of Tetracycline AND Erythromycin should be avoided (the side effects of these two antibiotics combined will generally negate any benefits obtained when used in combination).


Tetracycline Hydrochloride can be a useful antibiotic, especially when others fail, however Tetracycline is more useful in warm blooded animals (humans and Veterinary) than in fish.


Directions from API Tetracycline; 250- 500 mg per 20 gallons of water. Every 48 hours (24 hours for severe issues) with a 25% water change before each treatment. This product will not work in water with a ph above 7.5- NOT FOR MARINE USE! (also not effective in freshwater aquariums with a pH above 7.6)


*API Tetracycline, for purchase
Recommended source to purchase based on extensive aquarium and pond professional experience dating back to 1978.




Further Suggestions:
Prevention of disease is important, please maintain your water chemistry including KH, GH, pH, Ammonia, Nitrites, and even Redox, as all these parameters play a role in disease prevention.

The use of a UV Sterilizer maintained by changing the UV Bulbs every six months can be helpful in prevention (including Redox).
Product Reference Links:
*For UV Sterilizers:
*For premium high out put UV Replacement Bulbs:

Suggested other aquarium information resources & products:

For Aquarium Disease Prevention:
*Aquarium Disease Prevention

*For UV Sterilization, Facts & Information:
Aquarium & Pond UV Sterilization; Sterilizer Use

*Aquarium Lighting
The most up to date and researched article on the subject of aquarium light use for fresh or saltwater aquariums.

*TMC Premium Reverse Osmosis Water Systems for Aquariums

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Metronidazole; by SeaChem, API, More


Revised 10/24/14

Metronidazole is an antibiotic (for anaerobic bacteria) and anti-protozoal medication used to treat various conditions internally and externally in fish.

As for Anaerobic bacteria, these are bacterium that thrive in environments in which there is little oxygen (anaerobic environments) and can cause disease in such environments as the intestinal tract and liver.

Metronidazole belongs to a class of antibiotics known as nitroimidazoles which work by ceasing the growth of bacteria and protozoa. Metronidazole works by selectively blocking some of the functions within the bacterial cells and some parasites resulting in their death.
Metronidazole is metabolized in the liver (whether a fish or a human).

Metronidazoles primary use is for the treatment of ANAEROBIC gram positive & SOME negative bacteria including those that produce beta-lactamase.
However, it is not effective against aerobic bacterium. This means Metronidazole is a poor choice for suspected bacterial diseases in open heavily oxygenated aquariums/ponds such as Columnaris, while it is an excellent choice for diseases of the low/no oxygen environment of the intestinal tract or other internal suspected bacterial pathogens (generally used ina fish food soak for best results).
Metronidazole may be a good choice for any bacterial disease present in low oxygen, high bio-load aquariums or ponds.

As well Metronidazole is effective for some protozoa.
It was originally found effective for the management of infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis.
For fish applications Metronidazole has been shown to be in particular more effective for internal and external flagellates.

Metronidazole is also sometimes effective for other protozoan parasite infections, especially for Cryptocaryon in marine aquaria as well as Hexamita & Ichthyophthirius.

Metronidazole is often recommended for disease in Cichlids which is often thought to be caused by Hexamita, HOWEVER there is considerable evidence that the cause of "Hole in the Head" is simply the lack of Calcium and even positive calcium ions. This is especially common in aquariums utilizing water softened using sodium chloride or potassium chloride to drive out hard water minerals.
Use of such water should be ceased prior to using Metronidazole and as well, the use of products such as Wonder Shells mineral blocks should also be used first before treating with Metronidazole (or combined).
Hole in the Head Disease
Wonder Shells; Unique Version

Due to Metronidazoles effectiveness against anaerobic bacteria by selectively blocking some of the cell functions of anaerobic bacteria, Metronidazole along with Neomycin is a good choice for bloating of the digestive tract (common in goldfish).
Metronidazole selectively blocks some of the cell functions in anaerobic bacteria, resulting in their demise.

Metronidazole is also effective used in combination (such as with Praziquantel) or by itself for internal parasites such as Nematodes or Trematodes.
In marine aquarium infections is where Metronidazole really shines as it is very effective internally and since Marine fish are always drinking the water around them, medication is easily transported to the infected area.
In Freshwater, treatment can be improved by soaking food as well and this is still an effective freshwater treatment as well.


Directions from SeaChem Metronidazole; use 100 mg. for every 10 gallons (40 L).
Repeat every 2 days until symptoms disappear.
Make sure any UV Sterilizer (if used) is turned off and any carbon, Purigen, Chemipure or similar chemical filter media is also removed during treatment.

To feed (use as for a medicated food), use 100 mg. with approximately i tablespoon of frozen or dried food (fried food would need to be placed in just a enough water to cover and make wet/moist). Feed until symptoms disappear.
Introduction of Metronidazole to the aquarium water when feeding is OK.

Metronidazole can also be used in a fish bath. This is generally performed at double the "in tank" dose as per amount of water used in this bath. I recommend the use of Methylene Blue and maybe salt during this bath treatment too (once or twice per day for 7-10 days).
See: Fish Baths, Dips, Swabs


*SeaChem Metronidazole, for Purchase
Recommended source to purchase based on extensive aquarium and pond professional experience dating back to 1978.
SeaChem's Metronidazole is the MOST PURE and easily used form of this antibiotic available to the fish keeping community

*Tetra Parasite Guard, for Purchase Contains Praziquantel, Metronidazole, Acriflavin, Diflubenzuron

*API General Cure, for Purchase Contains Metronidazole & Praziquantel


Aquarium Medications 2; Antibiotics, Antimicrobials

*How Medications Work, and Which Ones to Use and Not to Use

Suggested other aquarium information resources & products:

Aquarium Metronidazole, UV Sterilizer Use
Aquarium UV Sterilization; How UVC Sterilizers Work

Aquarium Metronidazole, SeaChem Products


Some of the best aquarium treatments available.

Aquarium Metronidazole, Heaters

Aquarium Heaters; Submersible Quartz, Titanium

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