Nathan Hill looks at a treatment for flukes in aquariums and ponds that's effective, but needs handling with care.
This small package of innocuous looking powder from Fish Treatment Ltd goes a long way when it comes to fish medication.
Many fishkeepers will be aware of negative long-term effects of treating flukes in an aquarium or pond. There’s the repeat dosing, handling of hazardous chemicals and devastation wreaked on the filtration as the medicine does its work
By comparison to many formaldehyde and/or malachite-based fluke treatments, this product comes with something of veterinarian standard — praziquantel. This means it is much more powerful than most available medicines and, moreover, praziquantel is well studied. This is a focused antihelminthic product that delivers.
Normally, this product would not be available to hobbyists, but a small animal exemption scheme has allowed the treatment to be used on ornamental fish.
Dosage is straightforward, although probably easier in a pond. From this tiny 10g pouch comes enough treatment for 2,500 l/550 gal of water, making it a little awkward to calculate the dosage on a 75 l/16.5 gal aquarium. However, with a little arithmetic and some clever dilution, treatment can be scaled accordingly.
As with any medication, careful handling is required, but praziquantel is used abroad to treat human illnesses, although this practice is not legal in the UK.
Given the various laws surrounding the use and disposal of this product, you may wish to speak to your local council about the best way to discard any that’s unused. It may not be best in the bin!
That may sound a long-winded disposal procedure for a medicine, but, given the effects of praziquantel, it’s a minor chore compared to its benefits. It may not be the cheapest product, but still beats calling in a vet for what will effectively be the same prescribed medicine.
Price: £18.95 for 10g