Erythromycin for Aquarium Fish
Erythromycin is a primarily gram positive antibiotic with a slightly "wider" antimicrobial spectrum to otherwise similar to penicillin.
A popular albeit often incorrectly and over recommended for fish infections. In humans Erythromycin is often used respiratory tract infections, which of coarse does not exist in fish (gills versus lungs).
During treatment Erythromycin is rapidly absorbed in a microbiologically active form into most tissues and phagocytes found in vertebrates (such as fish). Due to the often resulting high concentration of Erythromycin in phagocytes (white blood cells), Erythromycin is actively transported to the area of infection.
Over use of Erythromycin may result in muscle (including heart) and kidney damage, providing electrolytes, in particular calcium while treating with Erythromycin can aid in prevention or reversal of this damage
The primary disease pathogens for use of Erythromycin are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus (which often includes many eye and mouth infections of fish).
Occasionally these bacterial pathogens can result in fin and tail rot as well.
Erythromycin can generally be combined safely with Triple Sulfa for a more wider spectrum treatment (especially for use against Staphylococcus infections). Although often recommended for Columnaris and Fish Fungus, these are simply INCORRECT uses for Erythromycin.
Please realize diagnostic charts are generalizations with many inaccuracies such as use for "true" mouth fungus.
Please click on the picture to enlarge for better view
FINALLY: While I strongly recommend the use of a UV Sterilizer both before and after treatment (24/7), use of this device should be discontinued during treatment with Erythromycin.
"API Erythromycin" can be purchased here (A business with professional aquarium medication experience dating back to 1978):
*Aquarium Medications; How They Work
*Aquarium Medications; Antibiotics, Erythromycin *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythromycin
Suggested other aquarium information resources & products:
*For a proven step by step method to reduce the incidence of disease in your aquarium fish:
Aquarium Fish Disease Prevention; A Healthy Aquarium
*For Replacement UVC Bulbs to keep your UV Sterilizer (such as a TMC Vecton or Advantage UV) in peak performance, please visit this resource:
*Submersible Quartz & Digital Titanium Heaters
*Economy Submersible Aquarium, Vivarium, or Terrarium Fountain Pumps
Pumps ranging from 160, 238, 238 Gallons per Hour (gph)