Re:Pete Giwojna

Pete Giwojna

Dear Tim:

You can always reach me at the following e-mail address: [email protected]

With regard to mixing the antibiotic you mentioned, let me just say quickly that in my experience both neomycin sulfate and kanamycin sulfate, which are aminoglycoside antibiotics, can be mixed safely with sulfa antibiotics. And I have also combined nifurpirinol with kanamycin or neomycin when I wanted a potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic with good antifungal properties as well as good antibacterial properties. This makes me think that you could possibly combine Furan2 with an aminoglycoside antibiotic (e.g., neomycin or kanamycin) with good results, but that is a combination that I have not tried out personally and I can therefore not say for certain whether or not it would be safe and effective.

However, I would be inclined to be very conservative and err on the side of caution when it comes to combining Furan2 with aminoglycoside antibiotics AND sulfa compounds. The reason for this is that Furan2 is already a combination medication that incorporates two nitrofuran antibiotics (nitrofurazone and furazolidone) plus good old methylene blue. That gives it both bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties, and makes it active against various gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Therefore, if you were to combine Furan2 with neomycin and say triple sulfa, you would be mixing seven different antibiotics together (an aminoglycoside antibiotic, two nitrofuran antibiotics, three sulfa compounds, and methylene blue), which is not advisable.

As Yanong cautions in use of Antibiotics and Ornamental Fish Aquaculture, "Combining different antibiotics is generally not recommended. Antibiotics work at many different sites on and in the targeted bacterial cell. Using more than one antibiotic can result in interference between them and, as a worst case scenario, the antibiotics can essentially ‘cancel each other out.’ Most bacterial infections can be treated effectively with a single antibiotic."

So you must be cautious when combining antibiotics. Stick to combinations that you know are safe and produce a synergistic effect when used together (e.g., kanamycin or neomycin plus sulfa drugs).

In the case of Furan2, it can be safely combined with Aquarium Pharmaceuticals antiparasitic medications such as Acriflavine to increase its effectiveness and guard against secondary infections when you are treating for parasites, but I would be cautious about combining it with other antibiotics. If you are dealing with a virulent infection and you feel you have nothing to lose, then you might possibly consider using Furan2 in conjunction with either neomycin or kanamycin and see what happens, but I would avoid combining it with sulfa compounds as well.

In addition, Tim, you should be aware you have to take special precautions when administering acriflavine or Furan2 or other nitrofuran antibiotics because they are photosensitive and can be deactivated by light. That means you’ll need to darken the hospital tank while you treat the seahorse(s). Do not use a light on your hospital tank, cover the sides of the tank with black construction paper or something similar, and keep an opaque lid or cover on the aquarium during the treatments. Remove this cover from the aquarium only long enough to feed your seahorses.

You should also note that Furan2 will cause discoloration of the aquarium water, turning it a shade of blue-green. This is harmless and can be removed after the treatments using activated carbon filtration. Furan2 will impair beneficial nitrifying bacteria and disrupt your biological filtration, so it should be administered in a hospital tank. Gradually lower the water in the treatment tank to 64°F-68°F, if possible.

Best wishes with all your fishes, Tim!

Pete Giwojna

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