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Old 05/13/2006, 08:01 AM   #1
leebca
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: So. CA
Posts: 2,902
Exclamation Melafix and Pimafix - How They Work & Don't Work!

It's the end of my third day at InterZoo 2006 here in Nuremberg, GERMANY. Part of my objective for coming here was to obtain information regarding fish medications.

I had the opportunity today to speak with people in the (large and impressive) Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (API) booth. I had a long conversation with their Research Project Manager, including new medication packaging, fish medications in general, and some interesting specifics about Melafix and Pimafix.

API makes and packages Melafix and Pimafix. They come in 'industrial strength' and 'regular strength' concentrations. I've used both in my evaluations.

I asked why there was inconsistent results between users and indeed, even in my own applications of these products. These chemicals are 'natural' organic compounds gotten from plants.

I was told that it was quite simple. . .These products (Melafix and Pimafix) only kill some kinds of bacteria. I asked if he meant gram negative or positive and the answer was, "No." What he meant was that, irrespective of gram stain results, the bacteria that is thwarted by these products is a finite group (which is mostly unknown).

They know, for instance, that Melafix wipes out mycobacterium and a few others. What about the other bacteria?

They don't know. One aquarist's fish could have a type of bacteria that Melafix will kill, and another aquarist will have bacteria it won't touch. So one aquarist may say, "It works!" and the other says "It doesn't work." Both can be right.

There is a small downside to their use, which shouldn't be cause for general concern, but nonetheless the aquarist should be on the lookout for this situation:

Both Melafix and Primafix are organic compounds. The bacteria in the tank water (not necessarily the ones on the fish) they don't kill sometimes uses the Melafix and Primafix as food! This means that when you add these medications to a tank (especially a tank that has not been maintained well or one that hasn't had regular water changes) there is a small chance that a bacterial bloom will ensue and take up dissolved oxygen. This could mean that you could see, under such circumstances, your fish significantly increase their respiratory rate.

I was told an interesting tidbit. . .The above affect seems to be happening quite often in Italy and API hasn't been able to figure out why, yet.

The fish may seem to be desperately trying to get oxygen and, in effect, they are. This will of course be adding a significant stress factor to an already stressed, sick fish. If the aquarist has any doubt or concern about this, perform an oxygen test before and during the treatment for monitoring purposes.

API has not done much work at trying to figure out all the bacteria that these two compounds are effective against. They don't seem to want to go much further with it. Since aquarists don't know the exact bacteria that is infecting their fish, it might be a moot point whether it was of value knowing what bacteria it was good for, anyway.

However, in the professional arena (public and private aquariums, for instance) where scrapings and identification of infections are performed, not knowing whether Melafix and/or Pimafix will treat the bacteria isn't worth the risk. You'll find they don't use these medications.

The concern with an aquarist using these products is that it might not work. When that happens, the bacteria causing the problem can continue to multiply and adversely affect the fish. Most fish should be able to survive a 'mis-treatment' if they are well fed with the proper nutrition. Again I'll plug this thread:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=785228

In such a case where Melafix and/or Pimafix can't kill that particular bacteria, the fish suffers longer by not having been given a successful treatment. Usually, the fish should not expire by this lost time. But if the infection has progressed significantly and/or it has become systemic and/or the fish has stopped eating, I'd still suggest a known antibiotic over the use of these medications. Under these circumstances, the wrong choice of medication could mean the fish will expire because it couldn't wait any longer for the effective medication.

Is it reef safe? Yes -- up to a point. I was told that in its proper final reef-tank concentrations, some corals may retract during the treatment period. This doesn't mean the corals are dead. It usually means they have become irritated by this chemical's presence. So far, I have been assured by API that when this occurs, the coral will survive the treatment and come out again after the treatment, without harm. API knew/knows of no other reef concerns. But, like the bacteria issue, API hasn't tested the product on a wide spectrum of corals, invertebrates, and marine life.

The bottom line is that no aquarist should leap to the conclusion that Melafix and/or Pimafix will or won't cure the fish. No one should promote its use NOR dissuade someone from using them. All anyone can say is that it did or didn't work for them AND they should direct the inquirer to this post so that the aquarist can make up their own mind whether to try it or not. This post provides current facts of its sometimes successful use, from the manufacturer's knowledge and experience, so that the aquarist can make an informed decision. Let's try to be level headed. Enquiring aquarists want to know!

Even an aquarist who has had success with the product might find that the next time their fish is infected, the product won't work. This would mean that this next infection was of the bacteria that Melafix and Pimafix can't kill. Regarding this possibility, keep in mind that if it was successfully used once, the bacteria it kills are gone and only 'the other ones' are hanging around. So it would make sense that the next time, there might be a lesser chance of it working.

I asked if there might be strains resistant to the products and so far none have been reported to API. If it is the type of bacteria that it kills, it will kill it. If it not the kind of bacteria it kills, it will leave it alone (or rarely, provide food for other bacteria to grow).

I hope this helps those who wonder if Melafix and/or Pimafix will work!

Now to a second feature. . .It seems that in higher concentrations, it is useful to clear up and/or stop tissue degeneration of many corals. Julian Sprung will soon be addressing how to use this in a dip/bath method in his upcoming book.




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Old 05/15/2006, 09:35 AM   #2
Triggerfish
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Re: Melafix and Pimafix - How They Work & Don't Work!

Quote:
Originally posted by leebca
These products (Melafix and Pimafix) only kill some kinds of bacteria. I asked if he meant gram negative or positive and the answer was, "No." They know, for instance, that Melafix wipes out mycobacterium and a few others.
thx for the write-up

i never recommend these two products to customers. way to 'hit or miss' and exactly for the reasons you mentioned above. manufacterer really has no idea.
ginger root extract and tea leaves or whatever. w t f .

wouldn't either of the Maracyn antibiotics provide a wider range of effectiveness. so why bother with another mystery magic potion.


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Current Tank Info: 110g mixed reef
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Old 05/15/2006, 07:43 PM   #3
leebca
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I can't disagree with you Big T, but there is the real world.

With less than 1/3 of the aquarists using a quarantine process and them being too 'stressed' to remove the fish from their tank and use the proper meds, I'd rather see the fishes helped than allowed to suffer or die.


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Old 05/16/2006, 07:38 AM   #4
Triggerfish
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i'd honestly be surprised if the total number of aquarist that use any type of quarantine process is greater than 10%.


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Old 10/28/2015, 10:13 AM   #5
tony2u
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Thumbs up Great write up

Quote:
Originally Posted by leebca View Post
It's the end of my third day at InterZoo 2006 here in Nuremberg, GERMANY. Part of my objective for coming here was to obtain information regarding fish medications.

I had the opportunity today to speak with people in the (large and impressive) Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (API) booth. I had a long conversation with their Research Project Manager, including new medication packaging, fish medications in general, and some interesting specifics about Melafix and Pimafix.

API makes and packages Melafix and Pimafix. They come in 'industrial strength' and 'regular strength' concentrations. I've used both in my evaluations.

I asked why there was inconsistent results between users and indeed, even in my own applications of these products. These chemicals are 'natural' organic compounds gotten from plants.

I was told that it was quite simple. . .These products (Melafix and Pimafix) only kill some kinds of bacteria. I asked if he meant gram negative or positive and the answer was, "No." What he meant was that, irrespective of gram stain results, the bacteria that is thwarted by these products is a finite group (which is mostly unknown).

They know, for instance, that Melafix wipes out mycobacterium and a few others. What about the other bacteria?

They don't know. One aquarist's fish could have a type of bacteria that Melafix will kill, and another aquarist will have bacteria it won't touch. So one aquarist may say, "It works!" and the other says "It doesn't work." Both can be right.

There is a small downside to their use, which shouldn't be cause for general concern, but nonetheless the aquarist should be on the lookout for this situation:

Both Melafix and Primafix are organic compounds. The bacteria in the tank water (not necessarily the ones on the fish) they don't kill sometimes uses the Melafix and Primafix as food! This means that when you add these medications to a tank (especially a tank that has not been maintained well or one that hasn't had regular water changes) there is a small chance that a bacterial bloom will ensue and take up dissolved oxygen. This could mean that you could see, under such circumstances, your fish significantly increase their respiratory rate.

I was told an interesting tidbit. . .The above affect seems to be happening quite often in Italy and API hasn't been able to figure out why, yet.

The fish may seem to be desperately trying to get oxygen and, in effect, they are. This will of course be adding a significant stress factor to an already stressed, sick fish. If the aquarist has any doubt or concern about this, perform an oxygen test before and during the treatment for monitoring purposes.

API has not done much work at trying to figure out all the bacteria that these two compounds are effective against. They don't seem to want to go much further with it. Since aquarists don't know the exact bacteria that is infecting their fish, it might be a moot point whether it was of value knowing what bacteria it was good for, anyway.

However, in the professional arena (public and private aquariums, for instance) where scrapings and identification of infections are performed, not knowing whether Melafix and/or Pimafix will treat the bacteria isn't worth the risk. You'll find they don't use these medications.

The concern with an aquarist using these products is that it might not work. When that happens, the bacteria causing the problem can continue to multiply and adversely affect the fish. Most fish should be able to survive a 'mis-treatment' if they are well fed with the proper nutrition. Again I'll plug this thread:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=785228

In such a case where Melafix and/or Pimafix can't kill that particular bacteria, the fish suffers longer by not having been given a successful treatment. Usually, the fish should not expire by this lost time. But if the infection has progressed significantly and/or it has become systemic and/or the fish has stopped eating, I'd still suggest a known antibiotic over the use of these medications. Under these circumstances, the wrong choice of medication could mean the fish will expire because it couldn't wait any longer for the effective medication.

Is it reef safe? Yes -- up to a point. I was told that in its proper final reef-tank concentrations, some corals may retract during the treatment period. This doesn't mean the corals are dead. It usually means they have become irritated by this chemical's presence. So far, I have been assured by API that when this occurs, the coral will survive the treatment and come out again after the treatment, without harm. API knew/knows of no other reef concerns. But, like the bacteria issue, API hasn't tested the product on a wide spectrum of corals, invertebrates, and marine life.

The bottom line is that no aquarist should leap to the conclusion that Melafix and/or Pimafix will or won't cure the fish. No one should promote its use NOR dissuade someone from using them. All anyone can say is that it did or didn't work for them AND they should direct the inquirer to this post so that the aquarist can make up their own mind whether to try it or not. This post provides current facts of its sometimes successful use, from the manufacturer's knowledge and experience, so that the aquarist can make an informed decision. Let's try to be level headed. Enquiring aquarists want to know!

Even an aquarist who has had success with the product might find that the next time their fish is infected, the product won't work. This would mean that this next infection was of the bacteria that Melafix and Pimafix can't kill. Regarding this possibility, keep in mind that if it was successfully used once, the bacteria it kills are gone and only 'the other ones' are hanging around. So it would make sense that the next time, there might be a lesser chance of it working.

I asked if there might be strains resistant to the products and so far none have been reported to API. If it is the type of bacteria that it kills, it will kill it. If it not the kind of bacteria it kills, it will leave it alone (or rarely, provide food for other bacteria to grow).

I hope this helps those who wonder if Melafix and/or Pimafix will work!

Now to a second feature. . .It seems that in higher concentrations, it is useful to clear up and/or stop tissue degeneration of many corals. Julian Sprung will soon be addressing how to use this in a dip/bath method in his upcoming book.



Thanks for taking the time to share your findings


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Old 11/18/2015, 02:58 PM   #6
twreefer
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Posts: 20
I had recurring ick in my freshwater tank that just kept coming back over and over. Melafix was the thing I finally found that cured it and kept it from coming back. I use a small dose monthly, water stays crystal clear, and it gives the tank a very nice clean smell. Depending on your flow, it can cause a lot of bubbles though.


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