Treating and preventing cavefish diseases

Recently we've had some of our fish get what looks to me like a bacterial infection that results in wasting away of the tail, raised fins, and eventually death. What is your experience with treating infections in your fish? How do you disinfect your tanks? We have polycarbonate tanks that I plan to autoclave. Should I autoclave nets as well? I appreciate any feedback!


  • Hi Misty,
    I think you need to make sure that your UV filter is working. If there is problem in UV filter, fix it as soon as possible. Meanwhile you may treat malachite green ( or quick cure (
    Tetra are very weak under the treatment of commercial medicines but a half of conc. of above medicine worked well. make sure that you dose these medicine for twice as long as indicated. You may also warm up the system a little bit (if you are 72F, you may try 76F) to activate their immune system too. You might ask Kelly O'Quin. He recovered his system from an infection.
  • Thanks for the response Masato! The infection we were seeing was in fish housed individually in tanks. We have treated them successfully with 455mg doses of Triple Sulfa once per day for four days, with a 100% water change on the third day. We are also following this protocol from Zfin now to sterilize our tanks before adding new fish:

    "Tanks that are emptied of fish need to be cleaned and sterilized before another batch of fish can be introduced. Drain the tank and remove it from the rack. Remove and discard all tape, air pipettes, and siphon tube netting. All other parts (lid, back, and water fittings) are kept with that particular tank. Clean all parts with brushes and a scrub pad. Clean the tank thoroughly with a scrub pad, taking care not to damage the silicon water seals on the inside (algae should be left if very gentle rubbing will not remove it). Once the tank and parts are clean, they need to be sterilized in bleach. Place all parts except the lid into the tank and cover them with about 3" of water. Add 1/4 cup (~65 ml) of bleach to a 10-gallon tank (½ cup to a 30-gallon tank; 1/8 cup to a 5-gallon tank). Wash the bleach water thoroughly around the inside of the tank by hand, using a pad, sponge, tank back, or other means to expose all inside portions of the tank to bleach. Immerse the lid in the bleach water and then place it on top of the tank to trap the fumes inside. Leave the tank overnight. The next day, rinse the tank thoroughlywith tap water and then rinse with dH2O. Allow the tank to dry completely. After drying, reassemble the tank, fill with system water, and let it sit overnight before adding fish."
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