When your fish is sick, one of your tasks will be to learn how to administer medications at home. There are six ways to give medication to a fish:
- By adding medication to a hospital tank
- Through a long bath or a short bath
- With an injection (you probably will not want to attempt an injection on your own; consult a veterinarian who treats fish)
- Topically (ointments)
- By dipping
The first rule is to never treat a fish in the main community tank; always put your fish in a hospital tank or quarantine tank. If you have chosen a short bath, you will need a treatment container that you can use just for the bath. After the bath, you will want to have a clean hospital tank to house the fish in until treatment is over.
You should read the instructions that come with the medication so you will know how the medication is to be administered.
- Oral: Fish are orally medicated by mixing the drug in with their food. Foods are also available that are pre-mixed with antibiotics. This treatment is unpredictable since you don't know how much of the medication will actually be ingested. Leftover food must be removed to avoid pollution. The antibiotic will become ineffective after a while anyway.
- Administering medication in the hospital tank: Add the correct amount of medication according to the size of the hospital tank.
- Long and short baths: Add the correct amount of medication or treatment compound at the recommended dose. Put the fish in the container and leave her there for the required amount of time.
- Injections: This is not something that should be done by a pet owner. Seek the help of a veterinarian when medication injection is called for.
- Topical: Take the fish out of the water and place her on a wet towel. Dry off the area to be treated by blotting with filter or blotting paper. Apply the ointment or topical treatment, and return the fish to the hospital tank.
- Dips: Dips are done by mixing the specified amount of medication or disinfectant in the correct amount of water. The fish is captured in a net, held in the dip for the specified amount of time and then returned to the hospital tank. This is a very effective treatment for salt, malachite green and disinfectants.