Stingrays and Medications....

Nic

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so I'm kinda sick of hearing you can't use any meds with rays when I have treated ray tanks with multiple types of meds with no ill affect... I had a situtation in the past where my Q tank was too small for my large group of dats with dat disease... heavy doses of maracyn and maracyn two cleared this problem and did not affect anything my rays did... I had a ich outbreak before and treated with seachems paragaurd with no problems(even used this in extreme doses to save colony of clownloaches) I even went as far as experimenting on some retics from lfs with meds... found that the fungus problems from stingers or disk damage can easily be treated with maracyn or paragaurd.... also have successfully used ridick and rid ick+ in the same tank with retics... seachems stressgaurd has helped multiple rays I have had with heavy breathing and stress from shipping etc... but I still rely on salt for that purpose.... any and all feed back is welcome wanted to put this out there cause everybody says no meds with rays its complete myth...

Nic :)
 

Miles

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I think that alot of the 'don't use meds with rays' stems from the notion that many rays have died from treatments.. From hobbyists to distributors over the years, I am sure they have killed a number of rays from medicating on central systems, or high doses on closed sytems..

So then the mythology began, that 'rays can't handle meds!'

When I think it is more likely that the ray was on the verge of death, already being kept in horrible conditions after being improperly shipped, and the meds just 'push the ray over the edge'..

A healthy ray can handle a number of medications.. My LFS got my retics in for me, and she had a parasite problem with some loaches upon arrival. She treated the entire system with flubendazole, which is suppose to be very harsh and I have been told it would kill my rays. The rays stressed, burrowed, and faded in color.. However, they were in good conditions being offered black worms 24/7, and none perished. The 2 I own that were treated with flubendazole have darker coloration, eat better, and are growing quicker than the 3rd that I purchased, which was only treated with Prazi.


I think that it is best however, that advanced stingray keepers suggest that no medications is the best medications. If you purchase a healthy animal, do your research, and provide a proper environment, hopefully their will never be needs for these type of harsher meds.. So, while it is 'Okay' to use these meds, it should be taught that optimal environment is the best treatment and prevention.. avoid meds if possible.
 

Miles

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DavidW;1333613; said:
I tried flubendazole on some rays once, they melted...it was not good
:(
There are also long term effects to consider when medicating, maybe a ray can tolerate a med for a short term, but internal damage can be caused, esp to kidney function etc., especially with repeated multiple treatments
Rays don;'t respond to some meds like scaled fish, more like inverts do, and most problems can be treated simply with better water changes/water quality
I had a ray melt on me once, but we weren't medicating it. I think it was parasites and malnutrition, although it was eating, just not enough.. came into the shop one day to see the disc literally wasting away..

I agree that most problems can be treated/prevented with water changes, better water quality, and less stress..
 

Gr8KarmaSF

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Ive used medication with my rays as well, though I usually go half dose with massive water changes!
 

Nic

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i would start the first week in half doses and gradually increase till what ever i was treating was gone.... the last time i was running full doses of maracyn and maracyn 2 maracyn plus and furan 2 but the tiger ray couldnt be saved... nor could half of my dats....
 

Gr8KarmaSF

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We always here about adding salt and increasing temp.

How bout people also share just how high they put their temps? Ive always wondered how high is to high?

I put my temp at about 89. Anything higher and I get nervous!
 

Nic

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Miles;1749793; said:
I have some time this week.. I am going to write an article for the website on "Ray Safe Meds"..
thought stingraysource didnt want that when i offered before to write a articale... when i was treating i took notes on all effects reactions appetite etc....

gonnelro;1749822; said:
I think raising to about 86 is as high as you should go. Anything higher than that could be too high, and I wouldnt leave at 86 for long periods. Generally temp between 80 and 82 for long period is acceptable, and raising it up to 86 is alright for shot term, but add in another air stone or some other form or aeration during period of higher temp. I know this isnt related to rays at all, but I once but a blue diamond discus in a sick tank and cranked up the heater, and the damn thing was broken and wouldnt turn off, and the tank got up to 100F overnight!! Believe it or not, I changed the heater, brought them temp down to 88 which is where I wanted it, and the fish was fine (sold it about a year after that, but acted normally for the entire year after this incident), so go figure.
i had a pair of motoros thriving at 86 and up for over a year... my tank in the summer would daily hit 96f

tank125;1749827; said:
How much salt and an explanation about why, ie. what it does, etc. would be good.
general cure and preventative ;)
 

Nic

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Oct 8, 2005
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salt has always been the fish tonic... helps slime coat,heavy breathing, fungus, some bacterial issues... only seems fit to use it as a safe treatment for rays... when used correctly it is harmless.... meds are more touchy... i dont know if the furan2 doses took my tiger ray out or if she was just too far gone for meds to help... the motoros in the tank were fine but in the care of somebody else died for no reasons... all other rays treated in tanks with sick fish or treated for there own problems with maracyn and maracyn2 are all alive and healthy to date with other people.... i will swear by those to meds being fine with rays...
 

Nic

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Oct 8, 2005
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rob craig;1754249; said:
was always told 1 teaspoon salt for 10 gallons of water when talking fish,is this the same for rays?
i have been following mikes advice and doing 3 pounds of kosher salt per 100 gallons when treating.... i keep about 3 pounds in my system at all times though...
 

Miles

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I will do the work, you guys just read.. (I hope when ya'll come back from the Synposium everyone will be experts and learn me :D )

Pathogen diagnosis

The ability to correctly identify pathogenic organisms (e.g., monogeneans, cestodes, nematodes, crustaceans, protozoans, bacteria, etc.), in combination with an understanding of their life history, will lead workers to make informed diagnoses and implement more effective treatments. In particular, it is important to understand primary and secondary health concerns. For example, it may be determined that an outbreak of monogeneans has been exacerbated by the presence of environmental stressors (e.g., poor water quality, high population density, etc.). Once monogeneans have infested a population of elasmobranchs, a secondary bacterial infection may ensue and ultimately result in specimen mortality. Any treatment regime should thus address the primary infection (i.e., monogeneans), the secondary infection (i.e., bacteria), and importantly, any conditions that have aided the disease process (i.e., poor water quality and/or high population density), for the regime to be effective.

Monogeneans represent the greatest challenge to newly-arrived elasmobranchs. These organisms are difficult to eradicate because of their ability to remain viable, without a host, for extended periods of time. Control of these pathogens, through quarantine, is recommended. If quarantine is impractical, serious consideration should be given to the application of a medicated bath (e.g., praziquantel) before elasmobranchs are moved into their destination aquarium. If an elasmobranch is suspected to have a specific pathogen, but is asymptomatic and presents no risk to other animals (e.g., in the case of speciesspecific parasites), it may be deemed appropriate to leave the animal untreated (i.e., forgo prophylaxis). For parasites (e.g., trematodes, cestodes, etc.) requiring an intermediate host that is not present within the system, it is advisable to let the parasite perish naturally. Wherever possible, it is preferred to keep treatments to a minimum. Although chemotherapeutic treatments are obviously intended to aid elasmobranchs, medication will always present an associated stress that could do more damage to the host animal than the intended target pathogen.

-Mode of medication-

Immersion (bath)

When preparing medicated baths it is critical to accurately assess the volume of treatment water before adding the medication. Water volume can be determined by using a calibrated flow meter, a calibrated container, or by a calculation of vessel volume. For aquariums with irregular dimensions, volume can be calculated by adding a known weight of salt and measuring the change in salinity. Dividing the weight of added salt (grams) by the change in salinity (g l-1 = ‰ = ppt) provides the vessel volume in liters. Once the volume of the treatment vessel is known, it is important to accurately calculate the amount of drug or chemical to add to the vessel to achieve the desired dosage. It is highly recommended to have two people perform the calculations independently to ensure accuracy.

An important consideration, when applying medicated baths, is an understanding of the chemical’s reaction to LSS components (e.g., some chemicals are destroyed by ozone), and indeed their impact on LSS components (e.g., some antibiotics can damage the beneficial bacteria inside biological filters). Another important consideration is the possibility of synergistic effects—e.g., the presence of nickel at just 2.0 μg l-1 will double the effect of a copper treatment (Sorensen, 1991). Thus, a 2.0 mg l-1 antiparasitic treatment of copper effectively becomes a 4.0 mg l-1 lethal dosage of copper, in the presence of 2.0 μg l-1 nickel. In some cases synergy can be used to advantage (e.g., a lower concentration of two treatments—copper and organophosphates—can be used to effectively treat ectoparasites).

Once a bath is complete, medicated water must be safely disposed in accord with domestic and international regulations. This precaution is important not only for the products themselves (i.e., antibiotics, heavy metals, organophosphates, etc.), but also filter media (e.g., activated carbon) used to remove products from the water.

Oral
When administering oral medications it is important to have an accurate measurement of specimen weight, before calculating dosages. The smaller the animal the more critical it is to have an accurate and precise measurement. Some oral medications may be rejected by an elasmobranch because of their unusual taste. To disguise the taste, it may be necessary to secrete gel caps, filled with the medication, within a food item.

Parenteral (injectable)
As per oral medications, it is important to have an accurate measurement of specimen weight before calculating the dosage of injectable medications. Most parenteral treatments are administered intramuscularly (IM). Do not sterilize the injection site with alcohol prior to administration as alcohol can damage elasmobranch skin. Intramuscular medications are typically administered via a large muscle mass (e.g., the dorsal saddle) and in some cases multiple injection sites may be required if a large volume of medication is to be administered. Massaging the injection site, during and after administration, can reduce the risks of medications leaking out of the intended site.

Protocol formulation

In addition to the removal of hooks and tags, the treatment of gross lesions and abrasions, and the potential treatment of inappetence, a quarantine protocol for elasmobranchs should address the following problematic organisms: external parasites (i.e., monogeneans, crustaceans, and protozoans), internal parasites (i.e., cestodes, nematodes, and protozoans), and potential secondary bacterial infections.
 
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