Thanks. My problem lately is that I started off knowing nothing about 25 years ago, got really good with the tanks for about 15 years, and then in the last 3-4 years, I've let the water quality go - just nitrate build-up mostly. Two tanks have 0 nitrate, though.
I'm not blaming the divorce, but all-around, I've let everything slip. Only at this point when I added the platys a few months ago did I start having any problems with fish deaths (I know the water quality made my very old fish more susceptible.)
I find it more than a coincidence that every tank they've been in has had this wasting problem, including my chiropractor's tank, which is otherwise pristine. This is what makes me certain that they came from the fish dealer infected with something, and it's not only a water quality problem. :(
As I am sure you know this Kristen, so for others that don't know- the high nitrate can affect the fish immune response, the established fish can tolerate that slow rise in the nitrate and be fine, but once new fish are added that came from low nitrate tank to the high nitrate tank the shock either made them really sick or killed them and then those new fish infected the old fish due to their low immunity from living in high nitrate.
The first response from seeing sick or dieing fish is to make a water change and then the double wammy from low immunity and then the sudden swing in nitrate that shocked the original fish killing or making some of them sick.
Even after the adjustment it can take the fish awhile to restore their immune response if they ever do and any little parasite or pathogen can make them sick or kill them faster than it normally would had they not been living in a neglected tank.
But life happens to all of us....I went through something like this myself about 5-6 years ago when I first got sick, the tanks and fish were the last things on my mind and it took me near 2 years to get back the 5 years of work and research that I had lost. I lost a lot a great fish in my line and had to start from scratch- but at least a couple of good things came from it, I got to retire early due to disability and I got the internet and that has helped me speed things up.
When used for the right reason, in the right dosage and the right amount of time-both these items are great for natural treatment.
This is true, however, not for all species of fish. There are a good number of species of fish, even for medicinal purposes, who cannot handle epsom salts, or any other type of salt added to an aquarium. The garlic/salt treatments should be considered based on what species of fish is being treated, and only for certain problems.
Garlic helps to strengthen the immune system and also is an appetite stimulant. Garlic, as mentioned also works as a "fush" of the fish's system, and it also helps promote the fish's ability to create body slime. Garlic does NOT, however, kill parasites... it simply helps the fish to deal with them. This is an important note for anyone who is using garlic to get rid of parasites... it won't do that, nor will the epsom salts.
Haven't been around, because I'm getting stressed here. But anyway, I haven't had any more casualties. The two sick platys are slowly getting better. I'm not seeing stringy poop in the "healthy" fish anymore. Haven't been able to catch the two sick ones pooping in a few days. I'm feeding them only crushed Jungle anti-bacterial and anti-parasite food. Keeping up the water changes.
"Garlic helps to strengthen the immune system and also is an appetite stimulant. Garlic, as mentioned also works as a "fush" of the fish's system, and it also helps promote the fish's ability to create body slime."
Which is why I feed New Life Spectrum to my other fish every morning (they get good quality flake in the evening) and to my bettas twice a week.
New Life Spectrum food is expensive and can be quite difficult to find in some areas. That is not an easy cure all to the problems being discussed here and not an appropriate food for all species of fish. It is also not the only food that contains garlic.
While it's true that NLS is a tad pricey, it's well worth it, IMO, and is available to all that have a computer (which is how I purchase it).
Have been using it for a couple of years now & all my fish are doing GREAT!!! Have to admit, though, I do not feed it exclusively like it is suggested. I believe the "kids" should get variety in their diet.
Lion Mom, besides needing a computer a person would also need a credit card... there are those of us here who don't own a credit card. There are also a lot of kids (under age 18) on this forum, so they wouldn't have credit cards either. As mentioned... there are other options that work just as well, sometimes better.