Disclaimer: This post was written in 2010 and may be out-dated as I have migrated over to the new Daydream Discus website from the old DiscusFishy.com site.
Yeah.. so, I said the hell with it, and threw in both treatments (Quick Cure & Fungus Clear; as you can see the picture of the tank with the tinted meds in there) at the same time. Discus fish (especially adults) are not given enough credit on how hardy they are. It's been about an hour or so since I've thrown in the Fungus Clear (on top of the already Quick Cure in there), and those darn fish are still bowing and picking at the cone, so I would say they are okay. For now, let's hope. If things show otherwise, I have a water change ready to them at a minute's notice.
Here's My Treatment and How It Breaks Down:
Gill Flukes - The most popular freaking disease to ever effect discus has hit home. Like others say, this is the 'gift that keeps giving'. They are extremely hard to get rid of. However, one trick is to keep good water to begin with. Because it's usually when discus are stressed out when diseases can really be a problem. For adult discus, as long as you keep them fairly healthy, they should be able to live without much problem with gill flukes. There's a few options to go to get rid of these crappers: salt dip, formalin, total fish tank change, PP (potassium permanganate).
We must first understand the life cycle of gill flukes: these suckers were designed to survive like cockroaches. As adults, they free swim throughout the tank to find fish to host on, if they don't in a few days, they usually die, but not without laying eggs. These eggs can lay dormant for usually 3-5 days (some research even say a month), but in normal fish tank temperature, I've experienced mostly 3-5 days. So anything you do, you have to kill the majority of adults first, then wait a few days to kill off the hatches from the eggs, then again and again until you kill off almost all of the free swimmers and hatchlings before they can lay eggs. There is no medication that will kill the eggs, only the free swimming fluke stage.
Salt Dip - Salt dips work fine. It's usually taking a high amount of salt into a small bucket, dipping the fish in there for a few minutes, then putting them back in the tank. Theory is the parasites all die during the dip,but I have one objection to this method. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THE FLUKES AND EGGS STILL IN THE TANK? It will only kill off what's on the fish, then they go back into the problem tank and get re-infected. Unless you switch the tanks they are going back in. Get more info on how to do a salt dip here: http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?t=70580
Formalin - Is my personal choice. It kills almost all the free swimmers effectively.I've used this med a lot of times. It's fairly easy on the fish as well. But you must be careful to follow directions or you will end up with a tankful of dead fish and be pissed! I like to use Quick Cure which has formalin in it, along with malachite green. It's like $3 at Wal-mart.
Potassium Permanganate - I have personally not used this and do not know much. I know it's rather harsh on the fish and bio filter of your tank. I've always stuck with formalin cause it kills the free swimmers really good, haven't ran across a reason to gamble with PP and see an extra advantage that PP may have. Some may argue against this though? Maybe if you have a suuuper infestation.
Total Tank Change - This is almost a guaranteed win if you have an extra tank and equipment to pull it off. You first put them in a temporary tank, then make your current tank fluke-free. To know 100% that this tank has no flukes is to empty it, wipe it down with alcohol, then let it sit dry for a month. Same with the filters and everything else in the tank. When you fill it back up, you will have to use a fish-less cycle to make sure there's no chance to get flukes in there. Then give the fish a salt bath and you can now safely put them back in the new tank.
Pop Eye - This is caused by a bacterial infection. Simple fix, I use Fungus Clear ($3) and follow the directions on the back. Do a few good water changes, and it's cleared up. So this is my schedule for treatment and reason why (I would say generally this can be followed for most as a treatment for mild flukes and popeye, granted your fish are in fairly healthy shape and not near the brink of death):
Make sure you have plenty of aeration going on in the tank, oxygen levels will be a lot lower due to meds.
Day 1: 50% water change, Quick Cure - kill free swimmers
Day 2: 50% water change, Quick Cure, Fungus Clear - kill more free swimmers and any hatching flukes from eggs in there already
Day 3: Quick Cure - kill any hatching flukes from eggs in there from before treatment
Day 4: Nothing - Fungus Clear needs 4 days before water change
Day 5: Quick Cure - hit the free swimmers from the previous eggs
Day 6: Wipe tank walls down to knock off eggs, 50% water change, Quick Cure, Fungus Clear - kill any free swimmers that may have hatched late
Day 7: Quick Cure - kill any free swimmers that may have hatched late
Day 8: Nothing
Day 9: 50% water change, Quick Cure - kill any free swimmers that may have hatched late
Day 10: Nothing
Day 11: 50% water change, Quick Cure - kill any flukes that may have hatched from a small window chance of adults laying eggs
Day 12: Nothing
Day 13: 50% water change, Quick Cure - kill any flukes that may have hatched from a small window chance of adults laying eggs
Day 14: Nothing
Day 15: 50% water change, Quick Cure - kill any flukes that may have hatched from a small window chance of adults laying eggs
Day 16: Nothing
Day 17: 50% water change, Quick Cure - kill any flukes that may have hatched from a small window chance of adults laying eggs
Day 18 and on: hopefully these suckers are all gone!
This is my version of plan considering the normal hatch rates of flukes and such, and it is long enough and timed well enough to knock out most if not all these stupid parasites. I'll let you all know how it turns out.