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Author Topic: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide  (Read 3331 times)
Goldiegirl
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How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« on: November 13, 2011, 01:40:11 PM »

Many of you have heard me prescribe the use of a hydrogen peroxide treatment when a fish is displaying fin rot, a wen infection, or other signs of external illness/injury. I thought I would compile a step-by-step picture guide to treating your fish.

1) In this first photo, my fish had gotten a tear in his fin from another fish. Note the red veins in the tail...a sign of irritation. If your fish has a tear (or multiple rips) in the fin, always test the water to see if you are having an ammonia spike. Sometimes fish have shredded fins when there is detectable ammonia in the water.
2) Within 24 hours, the fin has developed a white edging around the tear. This is fin rot attacking. At this point, treatment is nessesary. Don't wait until the fin rot gets out of hand to treat! Start right away as soon as you can see visible symptoms.
3) You will need a jar of Hydrogen Peroxide to treat the fish. This can usually be found at your local drugstore.
4) You will also need a brand-new Q-tip. Saturate one end in the peroxide for a few seconds. I use the cap of the jar to hold the peroxide in.
5) Now you must capture the fish for treatment. Never use a net to capture fish with! Not only does this stress the fish out when you chase them around with the net, but the thrashing of the fish in the net can cause further injury. If you have trouble catching the fish with your hands, use a plastic cup with no sharp edges to catch the fish in. If your fish is to big to fit in a cup, some have sucess using an empty, cleaned-out ice cream container. If you decide to use your hands, wash them first without any soap and dry them thoroughly on a towl. Most goldfish congregate at the surface of the tank in hopes that you will feed them. It shouldn't be hard to scoop them gently out of the water, especially if your fish is blind, like my little Koko! The other fish will be very curious about this. You can see Crystal attempting to get food out of the deal in this photo.
6) It is time for the treatment. Hold the fish over the water incase he decides to wriggle free. It is normal for the fish to excrete more slime than usual as you hold them. Koroit is being good and holding pretty still in this photo, though he does try to jump every once and a while. For excessively squirmy fish, you can put them in a bowl of tank water to treat them over if you like. Using the saturated q-tip, gently dab the area thoroughly. Some things not to do: do not rub the fish too hard. Also, do not leave them out of the water for more than 30 seconds as this will stress them out. Do not put the peroxide in the fish's eyes if you are treating a wen infection. Try not to drip peroxide in the tank. It is not dangerous to the fish's safety, but it can cause minor irritation.

When you put the fish back in the tank after treatment, you will usually see a cluster of bubbles forming on the area. Do not worry - this means that the disinfectant is working!

Repeat this proceedure daily while visible symptoms are detectable.

7. This picture was taken after 2 treatments. Note the black on the fin...a sign of healing! Yay! The fin rot is clearing up.
8. This picture was taken 5 days after initial treatment. Koroit is as good as new! No harsh medications that destroy your good bacteria were nessesary to clear it up.

Happy Fishkeeping!

Goldiegirl

 Wink
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 01:48:30 PM by Goldiegirl » Logged
Nossie
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 01:50:07 PM »

Wonderful article! And even better with the photos, very educational Smiley
(Love the pic where Crystal wants food... Wink)

sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky sticky!!!
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 02:08:25 PM »

Awwww thanks Nossie!  Wink

Hahaha I know right! She's about to eat my arm off! Her mouth seems to be getting bigger every day. :O
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2011, 02:10:27 PM »

Thank you for posting this! I have seen you mention this method and was curious about it. Are your fish somewhat used to this or do they naturally lay calmly? If they are used to it- how did you train them? Just lift them out occasionally? I am very, very nervous to try this but I want to be prepared just in case. So this is the only treatment you used? I wish I had known about it back with Michael-Quincy! Great article!
CheriAlex
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Skwishee
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2011, 05:20:46 PM »

Great advice GoldieGirl!

One random question, how long is the shelf life of hydrogen peroxide? Is it something you could buy and have on hand for a few years?

Someone should see if this could be stickied Cheesy (How do we bother people to do such things on here?)
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Ron H
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2011, 07:00:20 PM »

cheers Goldie, very informative and the pictures are a great help and very well done, karma for you...  I also use it to treat my avian freinds... and Skwishee I do believe it carries an expiry date (mine does) but you can get small bottles of concentrate (which I have ) from the chemist or drug store and its not that expensive, it needs to be diluted though, instructions are on the bottle ... it goes by a variety of names as well, hydrogen peroxide, peroxide of hyrogen, etc... Just noticed it can also be diluted and used as a mouthwash too...
and c'mon Mods make it a sticky... Thanks
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laurencasualty
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 07:59:41 PM »

Koroits beautiful  Cheesy
STICKYSTICKY  Tongue
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2011, 02:07:03 PM »

(Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
Thank you for posting this! I have seen you mention this method and was curious about it. Are your fish somewhat used to this or do they naturally lay calmly? If they are used to it- how did you train them? Just lift them out occasionally? I am very, very nervous to try this but I want to be prepared just in case. So this is the only treatment you used? I wish I had known about it back with Michael-Quincy! Great article!
CheriAlex

Thank you Cheri  Smiley To answer your questions: This was the only treatment I used to heal his fin. I used no medications or salt...only the peroxide. My fish are very comfortable around my hands in the tank, as I feed them by hand and put my hands in the tank to clean it frequently. They always want to nibble my skin to see if I am a possible contributer to their food supply! This makes it easier to capture them when the time comes. As Koroit is one of my newest fish (I have had him now only for about 4 weeks) and have never performed this treatment before on him until now, it was all new for him. He did wriggle a little bit, but he was pretty still. Fish do not normally hold completely still when out of the water. If they did, it would mean something was wrong with their health if they didn't struggle to survive. Koroit is just a more calm fish (my telescope-eyes usually are) and did not thrash as much as the others. Some fish really are quite hyper and twist like crazy when out of the water! This is why I recommend holding the "spaz" over a shallow bowl of tank water instead of the tank so it is easier to recapture them.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2011, 02:13:02 PM »

And thank you all for your kind words!  Grin If you have any suggestions, feel free to add your two cents.  Wink

Interesting about using peroxide for birds as well, Ron! It really is a wonderful disinfectant...though, as a mouthwash, I don't think it tastes too wonderful, but it does do the trick!  Tongue

And thank you too, Laurencasualty, for that! Will pass that onto Koko...interesting little fish that one; selected him for his elaborate finnage and color. Closer inspection makes me think he also has a bit of pompom in him too, as his nostrils are shaped like little flowers. He is also really sweet and easy-going.

Thanks again guys!  Smiley



« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 02:19:00 PM by Goldiegirl » Logged
Nossie
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2011, 02:49:47 PM »

His nostrils do look pretty full for his size... Smiley A pom pom telescope, how cute! Cheesy (And such a rare color... *jealous*)

On a side note, my goldfish are also pretty used to my hands since I tend to be arranging and cleaning up the tank pretty thoroughly so they see them quite a lot, newbies always nibble at first, but later realize that there really isn't any good food on there. (I should try rubbing my hands with their gel food sometime, lol Grin)
And I noticed that whenever I need to catch a fish, once they're in my hand and out of water they tend to relax and just let me move them where it's necessary Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2011, 04:57:45 PM »

I almost didn't get him because when I first saw him at the store he wouldn't move around much, just hovered in the corner. But a few days when I came back he looked a whole lot better so I snatched him up lol! For the next week or so he still acted a little stressed; sitting on the bottom and not swimming a whole bunch, but I salted the tank and within 2 weeks he was all better. I think it was just 'cause he was from a new shipment and was all stressed out.

Rubbing your hands with gel food is a good idea! I bet they would love that! Mine don't seem to care whether or not I have any food...to them hand = hope. Or maybe they just like the flavor of warm skin.  Tongue


Here is a photo of his nostrils up close...they look pretty fluffy to me.
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2011, 06:51:04 PM »

What great pictures!! He is so cute.
Skwishee- I just picked up a bottle this evening for $1.50 and it doesn't expire until September 2015!
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2011, 08:51:31 PM »

Ok how is this for irony: I just mentioned to Lauren (I think) yesterday that my fish haven't been ill in 15mo. Then I thouroughly read this thread, studied it carefully. Today whilst out I bought the peroxide "just to be safe" and just now I saw a white-rimmed tear in my own moor's tail! He really didn't care for being lifted out and I couldn't clearly see the tear after lifting him so I just dabbed all the edges (ok?). My question for you Goldie is since I already have the meds should I treat or just use this method?
Also I moved his tank-mates rather then him in case the tank is contaminated...Should I move him to iso? Or does it matter since he is now alone?
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laurencasualty
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2011, 09:59:40 PM »

should have knocked on wood Undecided best of luck with the moor. i am certainly not the expert but i will put in my experience with eva: she began growing a small spot of fungus on her body and i only had to dab on the peroxide once and it cleared up no problem, no "real" meds needed  Smiley
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2011, 10:08:42 PM »

Thanks Lauren. I really hope this clears up easily because I will simply die if something happens to him.

Another question; It would be much easier to dip his tail in a dish of peroxide, possible? Or too much?
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laurencasualty
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2011, 10:13:04 PM »

hmm, don't know about that one. wouldn't try it till i knew it was ok for sure. prob best to cocentrate it only on the areas that need it, but that's just my guess. also see what the others say regarding the use of additional meds. i'm guessing you'll be advised to see how the peroxide works first (since overmedicating is very bad), but heck i'm learning something new everyday here; i've only been keeping fish and on the forum about a month  Tongue
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2011, 10:24:58 PM »

Lol, thanks- I actually meant the questions for Goldie but thanks for the advice anyways. I probably will wait and see if this works, if it's no worse tomorrow then I may not need the meds at all.
His tank-mates (3/4" fantails) are having the time of their life in the big boy's tank, lol.
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laurencasualty
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2011, 10:50:33 PM »

haha i know, i just like to feel helpful  :/
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2011, 10:52:41 PM »

Smiley Thats a good thing!
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Nossie
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2011, 09:30:55 AM »

I might just throw in my 5 cents Wink
About the meds, I'd concentrate on the peroxide, at most you could add some salt to the tank, but I doubt that would be necessary since you reacted so early Smiley Always try to keep the medicine usage to a minimum, it'll just be healthier for your fish that way and save you money.

If you'd dip his tail in the solution it might somehow be a bit too much and irritate his skin, I think at least, since this chemical is pretty strong from what I've read about it. It's used to bleach hair for instance, so maybe you should take it easy and just put it where it's needed, maybe even this one application will suffice? Smiley
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2011, 11:47:18 AM »

Thanks Nossie. It looks the same but no worse this morning. I will wait and see before adding the meds.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2011, 12:09:43 PM »

Sorry I missed out on the question! Like Nossie said I wouldn't drench the tail in the peroxide - it should be used moderately. Perhaps shining a bright light over the fish while treating him could help you to see the infected area a bit better. And because your fish is isolated already there is no need to move him around and stress him out. If the tear is seriously infected and it is showing little improvement you can also consider adding a small concentration of salt to the tank to speed up the healing process as well as keep your beneficial bacteria safe. Just keep doing the daily treatments and keep a close eye on it!  Smiley
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2011, 12:16:58 PM »

Ah! Thank goodness you're here Goldie! I have been way stressed, I stare fixedly at his tail then pace to the computer and back! Lol. At least it is no worse today. Is once every 24 hours best for this treatment? I treated last night and then this morning after about 14 hours, should I do again tonight? Would you prefer I start a new thread rather than clogging up your article?
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2011, 12:25:03 PM »

Lol Cheri don't worry about it! This isn't my website after all. Yes, I find it best to treat once every day, taking a break for their sleep at night as doing it too frequently causes stress...something a fish definately doesn't need when trying to recover from something. How severe is the tear and the rot? That is also a contributing factor when considering how often to treat. If you can post a photo that helps us advise you too.
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2011, 12:37:46 PM »

I will attempt to get a pic this evening. It is very minor, a tiny little frayed bit, the size of the head on a pin. The white rims the area but also extends a bit to cover more of the edge of his tail. Thanks for your help GoldieGirl!
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2011, 12:42:42 PM »

No problem! Yes, that definately sounds like fin rot is trying to set up shop on your fish's tail. Does the tail bubble much when you put the fish back in the water after treating? If not, it could mean that you are not coating the area thoroughly enough. But if so, it means the disinfectant is doing its job. Keep in mind it could take up to a week for it to get back to normal. Also, look out for any signs of black on the tail as an indication of healing. Sometimes it helps to take a magnifying glass and inspect it closely to see if the rot is getting worse or clearing up.
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cheri_alexander
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2011, 12:47:42 PM »

Yes it bubbles for much longer than I was expecting. I just realized my peroxide is only a 3% solution. Do you know what yours is?
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2011, 12:51:15 PM »

Same I believe. Apparently one can purchase a much higher concentration of peroxide not to be used for medicinal purposes.

That is perfect.  Wink The bubbles, like I said, indicate that it is working and destroying that finrot. So I would just keep up with that and not worry to much. You can refer back to my photos of my fish to see what stage your fish is at every day if you like.
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Skwishee
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2011, 05:46:33 PM »

Hey guys, just a question, fin rot is white yes? How the heck would you see it on a fish who has a pale tail?

I only ask because Luckys tail goes from orangey/red at the base to being white/opaque at the end. Are there any other signs of fin rot just so I know for the future? Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: How to Treat a Fish with Hydrogen Peroxide
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2011, 05:50:35 PM »

Fin rot is very distinct even on fish who have light colored tails. The opaque tail is discernable from the solid white edging. Bloody streaks in the tail are also a classic sign.
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