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Author Topic: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish  (Read 10166 times)

Offline psymongreen

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Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
« on: February 06, 2011, 11:16:46 pm »
A bit of history first...

On Friday, I had one Prestella tetra with a lump on its nose and a pencilfish that looked like it was missing some scales. As per one of my other posts, the male pencilfish like to rub against each other in a Daft display of macho.

On Saturday, I decided to get a qt for the Prestella, in case it was ntd (as per previous post) and also some anti parasite meds. Started running the new filter in my main tank ready...

Sunday, in lfs for some RO, it was suggested that adding more female pencilfish may help stem the aggression between the males a bit. Also, the Melafix that was recommended for the tetra would be good for the pencilfish scales.

Straight home with RO, heater in ready... The plan was to do a 25% water change on my main tank, and to put some of that in the qt tank, along with the filter. Thought it should help get the qt up to speed quicker as tank water quality is pretty good. Then, add the RO like normal to my main tank.

Later, back out for 3 more female pencilfish...

So, I decided that I'd try the Melafix before moving the Prestella to the qt as according to the instructions it is safe for all aquatic species - even sensitive ones.

Anyway, I add the 3 pencilfish as per the way I've added all my fish so far and all looked ok.

Added Melafix as per dose instructions...

5 mins later, I've got a dead pencilfish. I put this down to being new - maybe ph shock? I was a bit worried as I'd not had this before. I also noticed 2 more near the top. I thought, uh oh, I just got a dud batch from lfs. Should have been okay though - it was the same batch the other 6 had come from 2 weeks previous...

Sure enough, with in a couple of mins both fish had started to spiral and ended up on the bottom, not breathing.

Then I noticed pencilfish number 4 dead on the bottom and 1 more at the surface like the first lot. At this point, I pulled all the remaining pencilfish out of my tank over to the qt. Unfortunately, it was a not slow.

At this point in time, out of the 9 pencilfish I had, only 3 are now alive, and I don't think one of them will make it until morning.

I did some Google research on Melafix - loads of forum hits like the one I'm writing here. For some reason, Melafix is fatal to pencilfish. I will be writing to MARS to make sure then add a warning. Apparently, it effects Bettas the same way. No such warning on the bottle though - even though lot of people have found out the hard way like I just did.

I'm glad a did Google though - as a loss of 6 (probably 7) fish in 1 day has made me feel awful. It made me feel a bit better knowing it wasn't my water quality that had done it - I just wish I had done more research on the 'miracle' blue bottle everyone raves about  :(

Just thought I'd pass this one - it might just save some fishie lives...



Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 10:26:00 am by plankton »
So long, and thanks for all the fish...

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    Offline Hayley

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    Re: Melafix - a warning...
    « Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 12:19:52 am »
    :( So sorry to hear that, I'm sure someone had a similar problem with melafix and pencilfish (johnny maybe?) Anna Robinson of MARS is a member on here so you may get a response via the forums, you could try PM'ing Anna to alert her to this thread so we can get a MARS response on here  *dontknow*



    Thank you for sharing, fingers crossed for you other fish
    Whoop-de-doo Basil, but what does it all mean?

    Offline psymongreen

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    Re: Melafix - a warning...
    « Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 09:00:09 am »
    Thanks Hayley,

    I lost another one over night - but he didn't look good when I went to bed. The 2 that are left in the qt seem ok now - a bit quieter than normal though.



    Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
    So long, and thanks for all the fish...

    Offline plankton

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    Re: Melafix - a warning...
    « Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 10:00:21 am »
    It was Cindy, Hayley.
    I've put this warning up many times, maybe we should "sticky" this?
    Sent from my PC as I still don't understand the the logic for mobile internet usage ;) *grin*
    I really hate "autocorrupt"!!!

    "We found this spoon sir"

    Take it easy
    Ian

    Offline psymongreen

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    Re: Melafix - a warning...
    « Reply #4 on: February 07, 2011, 10:08:55 am »
    I've dropped Anna a PM asking if MARS are A: Aware and B: Could put a warning on the bottle.

    I'm glad they were not the first fish I'd added - it would have probably been enough to make me give up :(

    Please could you put a sticky up? It might just be the thing that saves some extra fishie lives.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish...

    Offline plankton

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #5 on: February 07, 2011, 10:27:03 am »
    I've "stickied" this, in case Anna wants to post anything :)
    Sent from my PC as I still don't understand the the logic for mobile internet usage ;) *grin*
    I really hate "autocorrupt"!!!

    "We found this spoon sir"

    Take it easy
    Ian

    Offline Hayley

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #6 on: February 07, 2011, 07:22:15 pm »
    Thank you Ian, I knew it was someone on here.  Let's hope you can get something done about it psymon, it should really be on the bottle as many people will not know about the problem, MARS have in effect caused the death of your fish by not placing a warning on the bottle :(


    Good call to make this a sticky.


    Sorry you lost another one, fingers crossed for the remaining 2 :)
    Whoop-de-doo Basil, but what does it all mean?

    Anna Robinson

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 07:46:03 pm »
    Hi People

    I've sent a reply to Psymon's PM discussing this - I'm happy to post the info in my PM again here if he wishes me to.

    Offline Ruthie

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 08:15:11 pm »
    Damn, sorry for your loss!  *rip*

    Why doesn't it only affect certain fish?
    Juwel Rio 180 - Tetratec EX1200

    3 Guppies - Male
    12 Copper Harlequin
    13 Cardinal Tetra
    6 Rosy Tetra's
    6 Peppered Cory's
    3 Oto's
    1 Assasain Snail

    to be continued........
    .

    Offline johnny70

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 08:45:36 pm »
    It was me too, I never saw Cindy's warning :( there is for sure something not right with this and pencils. :(

    Offline Hayley

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 09:10:06 pm »
    Ahh, so my memory isn't failing me *hug*


    Hopefully Psymon will give the go ahead for Anna's reply to be posted here.
    Whoop-de-doo Basil, but what does it all mean?

    Offline psymongreen

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #11 on: February 09, 2011, 10:48:53 am »
    Hi guys,

    official response:

    Hi Simon

    I'm sorry that you have had this horrible experience. Mars Fishcare (MFC) have done a lot of research on Melafix and pencilfishes. The usual tests were carried out as part of the development of the product, and they did not show any problem with pencilfishes and the product. At some point after that, someone raised this idea of it being harmful to pencilfishes, so MFC did extra tests. These also showed no problem. The question was asked as to whether there could be some unknown factor about keeping pencilfishes in a tank in someone's home that couldn't be replicated in the lab. So MFC recruited a series of hobbyists who kept pencilfishes in their tanks at home, and had them use Melafix in a trial. This also showed no problem.

    You probably can get a lot of hits if you put this problem into Google, but then you would probably also get a lot of hits if you put something like "I was abducted by aliens" - such is the nature of the internet. Once an issue gets to a certain level on the internet it becomes self-sustaining like this. I appreciate though, that this info doesn't really help you very much at the moment. I can pass your comments on to the head of API, Gary Jones, if you wish, so you will at least be sure that they have been heard.


    I've not had a chance to reply to the mail yet, as I've been off - not feeling so good myself. I've only got 2 pencilfish left now, both in the QT. So far I've not managed to get either of them to eat anything since they have been in there, so not holding out much hope for them either. Both are just staying in the same place - about 1 inch off the substrate and not moving much. All my other fish are fine.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish...

    Offline billko

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #12 on: February 09, 2011, 12:31:36 pm »
    Hi guys,

    official response:

    Hi Simon

    I'm sorry that you have had this horrible experience. Mars Fishcare (MFC) have done a lot of research on Melafix and pencilfishes. The usual tests were carried out as part of the development of the product, and they did not show any problem with pencilfishes and the product. At some point after that, someone raised this idea of it being harmful to pencilfishes, so MFC did extra tests. These also showed no problem. The question was asked as to whether there could be some unknown factor about keeping pencilfishes in a tank in someone's home that couldn't be replicated in the lab. So MFC recruited a series of hobbyists who kept pencilfishes in their tanks at home, and had them use Melafix in a trial. This also showed no problem.

    You probably can get a lot of hits if you put this problem into Google, but then you would probably also get a lot of hits if you put something like "I was abducted by aliens" - such is the nature of the internet. Once an issue gets to a certain level on the internet it becomes self-sustaining like this. I appreciate though, that this info doesn't really help you very much at the moment. I can pass your comments on to the head of API, Gary Jones, if you wish, so you will at least be sure that they have been heard.


    I've not had a chance to reply to the mail yet, as I've been off - not feeling so good myself. I've only got 2 pencilfish left now, both in the QT. So far I've not managed to get either of them to eat anything since they have been in there, so not holding out much hope for them either. Both are just staying in the same place - about 1 inch off the substrate and not moving much. All my other fish are fine.
    Sorry to hear of the problems you have had and the official response seems to be  that it's perfectly safe  to use on these fish.
    Just wondering if any other folk with pencilfish on the forum have used Melafix without any issues.

    Billy
    "I have the Discus bug, and glad there is no known cure"

    Offline SanctaxTerra

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #13 on: February 09, 2011, 02:58:13 pm »
    Sorry for your losses.  *rip*


    Not sure about the rest of you but I found that last bit about 'being abducted by aliens' to be just a little bit unprofessional...

    Offline drain_bamaged

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    Re: Melafix - a warning about Pencilfish
    « Reply #14 on: February 09, 2011, 04:01:34 pm »
    I dont think it was meant to be unprofessional or flippant, i think it was just used to try and get a point over and unfortunately it can be true with regards the net...the bad reports tend to be a bit disproportionate simply because no one seems to bother putting the good results on here. I have heard on more than one occasion of others apparantly having problems when using it with Pencilfish too but other than their actual report and their references to existing reports already out there on the net no one seems to be able to say for definate that the two are linked where as the company in question tell us they are aware and have done all they can to try and find out if there is a problem and upto now have not been able to. Personnally i think it's a respected company that have at least acknowledged that there 'could' be a problem and apparantly have not simply chosen to ignore it or deny any possiblity of it, maybe a warning of 'possible' problems on the box might be an idea at least until it's 100% certain one way or an other.

    John