View Full Version : Getting rid of Melafix in tank

07-28-2009, 05:33 AM
First off, before I get to my question, I have to say that quarantining a fish is so far a total bust in my experience. I had another thread going about Bambi (who probably had Ick), and Fabio with cloudy eye. To get the background, you can read more about that in this thread. http://canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=54313

While Fabio seems to have improved with my course of action (more on that to follow), Bambi, the trigger fish was starting to look more and more... what's the best way to desribe it... white spots yes, but it was so hard to tell if it was a damaged scale because he was looking quite scratched up from banging the rocks so hard. But his rock banging had greatly increased, so I decided I had to do something, and opted for quarantining him. I figured to treat him for a few days for ick, then put him back in the tank. Well. He was almost impossible to catch, and I finally had to remove almost all the rocks to do so. I put him in a 10g tank with the Fluval 404 filter running, and the ick medicine (and a few plastic things for him to hide behind. I knew he was stressed, but he ate so I figured he'd be okay for a few days. WRONG. He was dead by morning. :cry: I just feel sick about it. So far I'm 0 for 2 with quarantining fish, but the first one was nearly deady by the time I did so,so it wasn't a surprise. THIS was a shock.

Anyway, prior to this, I decided to treat Fabio's cloudy eye with Melafix. I dosed the whole tank for five days, since I read it was safe and I really was trying to avoid quarantining anyone (I'll be even more reluctant to do so now) and his eye is looking better. What I read about this doing this (treating with Melafix) is that you should shut off your protein skimmer while treating, and do a 25% water change when you are done. I did the 25% water change today (about 40 gallons replaced), and STILL the protein skimmer is overflowing. What should I do? Does it eventually dissipate? I leave for a holiday on Friday, and the neighbour kid is watching the tank. I'd really like to have everything working as it should be! The Fluval 404 is going full tilt, adn the water isn't looking too bad. The glass I think is cloudy from the oil in hte Melafix though, which frustrates me as I can't Windex the inside! Yesterday, before the 25% water change, there was a very slight trace of ammonia and nitrite, but after it was neg again. pH is slightly higher though. It's always sitting at 7.8 and now is 8.2.

So what should I do to get rid of the Melafix and get my skimmer going again? Oh, I put a big carbon thing in the overflow.


i have crabs
07-28-2009, 06:10 AM
lots of carbon and waterchanges

as for the qt situation it could have been a few things.
1. its a new tank and will cycle like a new tank, so adding a fair size fish into a 10g could have made an amonia spike
2. you said he was hard to catch, im no doctor but when fish get scared/stressed from something like being chased by a big net they build up acid in there blood. lactic acid maybe? cant remember the exact details with out looking it up. anyway after being chased around like crazy the acid kills them shorty after.

and i still advise you to look up some articles on ich, maybe from reefkeeper magazine online,
only putting 1 fish in the qt and treating them will kill the ich on the actual fish which will take closer to a week, and its recomended to treat for 2 weeks, but without treating all the fish and leaving the tank bare for a few weeks your not completely getting rid of the ich just the symptoms,

other red flags that hit me in the face are amonia/nitrite showing up at all, and the other fish having cloudy eyes which sounds like a bacterial problem, it sounds like your doing waterchanges which are good but something dosent seem right to me.

are you using tap water or ro/di?
how long are you mixing up the water before adding it to the tank?
maybe do you have some pics of the tank?

07-28-2009, 02:59 PM
Thanks. So I should just keep changing water and checking to see if the skimmer works after?

Answers to your questions:
For the QT tank I used the water from the main tank, and the filter from the main tank. I didn't check for ammonia, but I can't see that it would have been cycling. It was crystal clear. Still water in that tank, I will check. (I was told I could actually remove my fluval from my main tank set up. I haven't done it yet, and I'm glad I didn't with the skimmer being out of commission. But, for a time, I just moved it over to the QT tank.)

Yes, I knew that QTing just one fish would not get rid of the ick, but from the information I got, it sounded like it would always be there anyway, and so long as the fish are healthy it shouldn't be a problem. It seemed that it had gotten past the point where Bambi could heal himself, so I thought to intervene (big mistake!). I know it's a small tank, but I figured to watch the water quality like a hawk, and change water as needed. (and it was an awfully big filter for the size of the tank). Some products claim to cure ick quite quickly, but I never really got to find out. I do believe it was stress that killed him. :cry:

I think the ammonia and nitrate showed up because everything was so 'disturbed' in getting him out. I vacuum the crushed coral weekly, but I don't move rocks to do so. I have an eel that lives under rocks, not to mention other crabs etc. My thought on it is that it was simply due to the detrius once buried in these rocks was showing up. As well, I haven't been using the skimmer for nearly a week now due to the melafix (though I've been feeding lightly).

I am using tap water treated with AquaPlus. I had Instant Ocean salt, but last purchase bought Red Sea, and I have been using both for a crossover time. I finished the Instant Ocean yesterday. Normally I prepare the water the night before, but with a 25% water change I do not have the capacity to do that, so I just made it up and added it. I also added quite a bit of Cycle yesterday because of the size of the water change, but I don't usually use Cycle.

Here's a pic the first day after set up. I didn't have the skimmer yet. I can get a more recent pic, or if you have something specific you wanted to see I can get that.

07-28-2009, 03:35 PM
I tried to check the ammonia in the QT tank, but I guess because of the purple/blue medicine in the water the test came out invalid. It turned a colour not on the chart.

One other parameter to mention, is that the temp is sitting at 83.6. We're having a heat wave here (but the tank is in the basement). I imagine that would encourage more bacterial growth, but it wasn't this hot when the cloudy eye developed.

08-05-2009, 03:18 PM
So things are still not back to normal. :cry:

After treating the tank with Melafix, I did a 25% water change, then 10% each day for several days.

I took the skimmer out of the tank, put it in the bathtub, and let it run with freshwater for awhile to try to remove any residual Melafix in the unit itself.

Then I had to go out of town for a few days and had to leave the skimmer off (obviously).

Yesterday I did about another 20% water change (as part of moving the rocks... more on that in the next thread).

I had four large packages of carbon situated in various positions in the sump since the initial waterchange.

And STILL the skimmer is foaming over. Ugh.

I'm beginning to think the thing is cooked. There are a stream of bubble that come up from where the tube attaches to the front. Would that have anything to do with it? Any suggestions?? I haven't been able to run the skimmer for 2wks or so. My water parameters are good, but I have been changing the water a lot.