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How do you know if a product/medication works as advertised ?

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How do you know if a product/medication works as advertised ?

Post by alexmtl on Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:10 pm

How do you know if a product/medication works as advertised ?

Recently several posts have been generated which created some thought about medications and their use in the aquarium. While some of these medications are well known and have significant data to attest to their efficacy, such as antibiotics and hormones used in fish farming and medications used in the commercial fish culture trade, how does one know if a product actually works?

Google is a great way to start however you have to careful as to the origin of the source. Sometimes you may be lucky and find university or government sourced documents which list the effective medications, the affected disease and the target fish species population. Rarely you may come across scientific journals which test a true hypothesis and vet the effectiveness in a truly empirical manner. Sometimes you will find anecdotal remarks or comments, perhaps by an industry expert or experienced hobbyist. However how do you really know if the product works ?

Does "Betta Water" work ? You can find bottled water for your betta in 0.5L containers (google betta water and check images). Does it work ? Probably. Is it any different than de-chlorinated water ? Maybe.

Does "half dose Melaleuca" <product name omitted>, a botanical extract work on betta fish ? I do not know. Maybe manufacturers can publish the evidence. Many aquarists seem to attest to it's effectiveness.

Does "full strength Melaleuca" <product name omitted> work ? It is quoted as an all natural treatment and protection against bacterial infections and one at least one website, states enormous research backed by universities and extensive laboratory tests, even a patent. (Just because it has a patent does not confer effectiveness, only exclusivity).

Sulfa drugs have been well documented to treat animal diseases. But fish ? Antibiotics used in humans work. However we ingest an biotransform the medication through our digestive system and render a different active product, which then takes effect in our system. How then can aquarium water transform a well known medication (usually the same formulation) and have effect on a fish ?

Aquarium antibiotics have been known to be purchased by humans as a last resort to cure their own maladies. Wait, aren't humans different from fish? How then can a medication effectiveness logically be transferred to other organisms.

When searching the LFS shelves, how do you determine what works as advertised, or do you ask the LFS salesperson, a fellow hobbyist, or Dr. Google ?
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Re: How do you know if a product/medication works as advertised ?

Post by GaryE on Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:23 pm

I ask Dr Google if he/she can cough up research. I'm pretty confident about how medicinal dyes work, don't use antibiotics on fish and won't buy any product that doesn't list its ingredients so I can try to look them up.

I think a major scam hitting the hobby is the simple printing of the words "natural" or "herbal" on bottles. It means nothing you can verify.

This limits my purchasing. Right now, my medicine cabinet is Malachite green, Methelyne Blue, Malachite green mixed with formalin, prazi-pro for gutworms and levamisole for nematodes. Plus betafix antiseptic, which I have had good results curing small wounds with, in very rare uses. I have some polysporin I use for turtles.
That's it.

Prevention and careful purchasing are my real weapons.
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