Fish Meds Becoming Unavailable? - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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General Freshwater Discussion For all topics relating to freshwater fish to the in's and out's of maintaining a freshwater tank.

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Old 07-17-2018, 08:03 AM   #1
infolific
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Default Fish Meds Becoming Unavailable?

A recent search for fish meds (no actual need, just planning) is making me feel like more and more are being pulled from shelves. API General Cure, EM Erythromycin, Hikari Metro+, and Hikari BiFuran+ are gone or difficult to find. I wonder if others are available only as long as current stock lasts.

Anyone else noticing the same or hearing explanations of what's going on?
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:22 PM   #2
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I'm on Fishlore (which is global but largely US-based, in terms of users) more than this forum, and there's no question that a lot of the meds used in the hobby, esp re antibiotics, are now tightly controlled and harder to find outside of the US. But I've found that with some searching, and maybe spending a bit more, and maybe treating with two sep meds instead of one mixed, you can usually find what you need. I've also found some US suppliers will ship things here that are not available from domestic retailers. Also, angelfins.ca has a decent selection of medicated flake foods, including antibiotics and antiparasitics.
In a nutshell, pretty much everywhere except US is clamping down on antibiotic availability. I think a lot of folks (in US, but also here) were found to be buying fish meds in bulk for human use, because it was cheaper. Overuse in general, and poor disposal, have resulted in resistance being more and more common. So many govts pulled the plug on the products (at least without dr prescription), not just the use (eg human vs pet/agriculture).
I know you said you're not shopping for anything specific at this time, but is there a product in particular you're looking for?
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing what you've read elsewhere.

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Also, angelfins.ca has a decent selection of medicated flake foods, including antibiotics and antiparasitics.
I like the idea of medicated flakes, but getting the fish to eat them isn't always successful. Especially the ones that need to be eaten within 10 seconds to prevent the meds from seeping into the water.

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I know you said you're not shopping for anything specific at this time, but is there a product in particular you're looking for?
I like to keep my eye on a few for use with quarantining new fish. A general antibiotic, something for external issues, and a dewormer. When General Cure disappeared I figured it could easily be replaced with Prazi and Metro, but now Prazi has become harder to find. This kicked off some searching and of the 12 "common" meds I checked:

- Big Als had 1
- AquariumDepot had a bunch, but in quantities of 1 only
- AngelFins had a bunch from Seachem, but had nothing from API and little from Hikari
- JL Aquatics fared the best
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:59 PM   #4
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For a dewormer you can use febendazole, it's typically sold for dogs but there are instructions out there for dosing aquariums.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:55 AM   #5
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Were you using big als website to check their inventory/availability? I've found seachem -plex medications on the shelves that aren't listed on website. Can't recall what it was right now, but I know I've run into that.

But I think you've sort of hit the nail on the head, in that the era of one-stop-shopping is over. You can still find most of the meds you would need or want (or at least viable alternatives), but you're not likely to find them at the same place at the same time. It definitely makes it hard to respond to new problems. You can keep an inventory of what you think you'll need, but it might be expired by the time you need it, and you might not have what you need if you bought the wrong meds. Or you can hold off on purchases until you actually need something, but then you might not be able to get it.

Are you into breeding/selling, or hobbying? I've always had a hard time rationalizing the high cost of saving 1-2 sick fish, when replacement fish are just a few bucks (if you even need/want replacements). But there definitely are situations where meds are appropriate, even for the general hobbyist like me. I'm thinking of the sunken belly, not eating, no external symptoms situations, where you probably can't save the fish that won't eat (the weakest in the group, or the first to show signs) without treating the whole tank with a med that is absorbed via skin/gills, but, if you can get the right medicated flake or pellet food, you can save the rest of the tank. I guess what I'm trying to say is that with fish that won't eat, medicated food might not save the fish that's not eating, but they are very valuable in protecting the rest of the tank (which is presumably the larger part of your investment). Assuming you use the right medication.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Were you using big als website to check their inventory/availability?
Both, but I can check online more often so I relied on that to get a sense of availability. A store may just be out of stock the day I show up.

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You can keep an inventory of what you think you'll need, but it might be expired by the time you need it, and you might not have what you need if you bought the wrong meds.
This is the sort of thing a club could solve. It could keep a collection of meds that are sold to members when needed and then replaced ahead of time. The selection could be decent given the pooling of money. I wonder if any clubs actually do this.

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Are you into breeding/selling, or hobbying? I've always had a hard time rationalizing the high cost of saving 1-2 sick fish, when replacement fish are just a few bucks (if you even need/want replacements).
Just a hobbyist. I consider figuring out what treatments work and don't work as part of the hobby just like figuring out how to breed different fish. It's less about the financial considerations.
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:13 PM   #7
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I spoke with the owner of my LFS and he confirmed that meds are slowly disappearing from the Canadian market. He believes it's being driven by environmental concerns.

Also, he's expecting that the Seachem line of meds will start to disappear from shelves this fall.
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:34 AM   #8
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Getting my methylene blue over the internet...
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