First, the fish must eat a particular amount for the medication to work. Most fish don't like the taste of the medication, so there is a bit of a challenge to get it right. The medication concentration is based on an amount that the average fish will eat. We want the fish to eat about 2% of their body weight in food each day. Young fish may eat more, but that is okay. There is a substantial safety margin in all of these products.
Follow these steps:
- Feed only one type of medicated flake at a time.
- Get them accustomed to the brand by letting them develop a taste for either our Freshwater Flake or The Works Flake before attempting to treat with the medicated flake.
- Raise the temperature in the treatment tank. You want it towards the higher end of their tolerance range. Higher temperatures equal a higher metabolism, which means they will eat more. It's better that a bit too much medication gets into their system than too little.
- Feed the medicated food exclusively. This means no other food of any kind during the full treatment period.
- Feed only what they can consume in 5-10 seconds if the flake contains a water-soluble medication. Yes, that's right - 5-10 seconds! Water soluble medication dissolves rapidly into the water and it loses its effectiveness the longer it is in the water uneaten. 90% will remain in the food within the first 10 seconds. This means feeding only a couple of flakes and letting the fish eat them immediately. Wait 15-20 seconds and then repeat. Do this multiple times until the fish is full. If they don't eat the food within 20-30 seconds, you need to remove it and dispose of it. They must not eat the food after the medication leaches out because it leaves less room for the food with it. It can take a long time to feed this way, but if you don't want to be bothered, then you may as well not treat at all. The above holds true for all medicated fish foods, not just medicated flakes. You would be wasting your time to just dump the food in, hoping they eventually eat it. Keep in mind that the same principle holds for vitamins and minerals in fish foods. Many very rapidly leach into the water and all feedings should be done similarly to the above description if you want your fish to get the most out of their food.
- Once the fish stop eating the food, immediately quit feeding. It does no good past that point and can harm future feeding volumes. Feed immune-boosting foods after the treatment period and then re-treat a week or two later with the medicated food if the pathogen calls for it - like egg-laying parasites.
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