Go Back   The Reef Tank > The Reference Place > Fish Archive

Old 08-04-2000, 07:19 AM   #1
Little fish in a big pond
JennM's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Canton, GA USA
Posts: 5,915
Is anyone using garlic as preventative medicine?

Hi all,

I've been reading with interest, around the 'net, that people are successfully using garlic for the treatment of ich.

Is anybody else besides me using it as a preventative measure?

I added a new fish to my tank this week, that had some tail damage (no symptoms YET, and I don't have a q-tank YET). As a precaution, I am feeding the tank frozen brine shrimp soaked in garlic juice. I use a bit of tank water to thaw the brine shrimp and add about a teaspoon of garlic juice to the mix, and let it sit in the fridge to "marinate" for a while. I only have 4 fish, so I only use about 1/4 cube of brine shrimp for this purpose.

Any comments? Suggestions? Experiences?

JennM <---learning every day.
JennM is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 08:58 AM   #2
Little Fishy
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Posts: 21

Hia Jenn.

I'm currently using garlic to treat a hippo tang I added without quaranteening. He's been spot-free for almost 2 weeks now, and I'm feeding garlic every other day until the ich life cycle has completed.

I don't think, however, that I'll continue with garlic after that. I'm going to start soaking brine in vitamins.

I think that the best defense against disease or parasites is a healthy fish.
Chessman is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 09:27 AM   #3
Little fish in a big pond
JennM's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Canton, GA USA
Posts: 5,915

Thanks for the reply. Elsewhere I was told that I was "lame" for doing this.

I absolutley agree that healthy water conditions and good nutrition are the best defence, however in this case I am using it because I bought a fish (well a few, but the others were DOA..that's another post!) online, and I am not thrilled with the condition it arrived in.

From now on, I'll stick to my LFS.

JennM is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 09:47 AM   #4
Little Fishy
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Posts: 21

Lame?? Geez. I guess some people have nothing better to add.

I think you're right on. Rather than aclimate a fish twice and put it through the stress of adapting to a new home twice in one month, I think it's kinder to the fish and far better in the long run. ESPECIALLY when you consider that most q-tanks are set up specifically for a new fish and are much smaller than display tanks.

If you're lame, I'm right there with you...

BTW, where were your flamed at?
Chessman is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 09:59 AM   #5
Little fish in a big pond
JennM's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Canton, GA USA
Posts: 5,915

Well I won't air my dirty laundry from elsewhere here, but I am glad to know that I am not considered crazy by everyone

I've often pondered the pros and cons of a Q-tank. Perhaps if I had lots of delicate (and expensive) livestock, a Q-tank would be a practical idea, but then again, the stress of moving an animal twice makes a convincing argument against it.

As it stands, my tank has a Coral Beauty, 2 Tomato Clowns and a few inverts. So IMO at this point in time, adding wrasse without quarantining first is a calculated risk.

However, if I had bought it at the LFS instead of online, I could have improved my odds because the wrasse got wouldn't have been one I would have chosen. It's a bit worse for wear, but so far so good (knocking on wood).

FWIW, I have found this board to be very helpful. People here tend to use tact!

JennM is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 01:46 PM   #6
Little Fishy
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Mtn. View, CA. 94040
Posts: 18

Hi All! I've got a question for you. I've heard of plenty of people using garlic to treat ich with plenty of success. But has anyone found there to be harm in it also? Some sort of unwanted side effect?
Allison is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 02:33 PM   #7
Little fish in a big pond
JennM's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Canton, GA USA
Posts: 5,915

Hi Allison.

I read a similar thread a while back (here or on another reef BB), and that same question came up. Nobody reported any side effects. Now I suppose that doesn't mean there isn't a potential for them, but nobody who particpated in the discussion noticed anything.

It IS after all, just a plant, albeit a terrestrial one.

The way I see it, if it helps, great. If it doesn't and there's no harm done...well, there's no harm done

FWIW, my wrasse is looking better (his tail is beginning to heal) and no sign of ich yet (knock on wood).

Also FWIW, I have not had any ich symptoms on any fish in this tank (again, knocking on wood!) but my intention was to prevent a potential outbreak due to the stress of introducing a new fish. Otherwise my water params are fine, and the tank is not over-stocked, and they eat a varied diet.

JennM is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 03:06 PM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 5

Heya guys and gals! Smitty91 from AquaLink.

Garlic is a winner as far as I'm concerned. I've used it successfully once (haven't needed to use it since ) to treat my hippo tang when he broke out with ich.

Any visual signs were gone within the first 24 hrs. or so. After that, he became active again and hasn't had it since.

What I did:

I took one capsule of garlic oil, and punctured a hole to squeeze the oil out into bowl of tank water and fish food. I soaked the food for about 10 - 15 minutes and then fed.

Granted, you may attract any Italian within 100 yds. , but the smell resides before morning. (or, maybe I just got used to it and couldn't smell it anymore? )



Reefin in the US-of-A!
Livermore, CA

See 2 of my skimmerless
40gallon tank pics @


Email: [email protected]
Smitty91 is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 03:24 PM   #9
Little fish in a big pond
JennM's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Canton, GA USA
Posts: 5,915

Thanks Smitty!

The thing I have noted from the various posts I have read, is that it doesn't seem to matter what form of garlic is used (though I have seen people post preferences for water-based solutions).

*I* happened to have a jar of minced garlic in the fridge (for all that Italian cooking I do, even though I am not Italian!) and I simply drained a bit of the liquid out of that, and mixed it with frozen brine in a bit of tank water, and put it in the fridge to "marinate" for a while.

So we have that way, Smitty's garlic capsule method, and I've read that people use Kyolic or McCormic's garlic juice.

Any other methods?


JennM is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 04:38 PM   #11
Rick O
Good boy
Rick O's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Marietta, GA, USA
Posts: 7,888
Images: 54

Hi Jenn,

I'm a believer in garlic. Although I have never had to treat a fish with ich I do feed it to them periodically as a preventative measure. I haven't seen any studies done that would prove that it does work, but I have seen many posts from people that say it does. I use the McCormicks garlic juice and the fish don't hesitate to eat it. I have read posts from people using the oil that it will leave an oil slick on the surface of the water. I would say it beats some of the other methods of treatment I've read about (copper, hyposalinity).

I did quarantine my lawnmower blenny and he wouldn't eat and always stayed hidden. But when I put him in the reef tank he immediately started eating and would swim all over the tank.

Rick O is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 05:32 PM   #12
Little Fishy
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manila, Philippines
Posts: 489

Hi everyone.

Garlic (in fresh form) has been used as preventative therapy in captured reef fishes for at least a decade here in the Far East, and in freshwater tropicals for at least 30 years. I myself have used it --but as a reactionary measure and not a steady part of the diet, for nearly a decade.

Allium derivatives seem to be a fairly recent craze there in the States. What is known is that it is a powerful antifungal and a fairly broad-spectrum antibacterial treatment. The effect it has on Cryptocaryon (salt ich) trophonts was a surprise --it proved effective in helping fish shake off a number of parasites as well!

I have to caution that while the 'cysts' fall off, they remain viable. Allium/garlic doesn't kill the lil' bugs.

Downsides to excessive garlic feeding (according to Garcia, et al, 1994) are irritation, erosion of the gastric cavity. This can be evidenced by blood and mucus trailing from the anal port. It does not seem fatal, as ramping down dosage allows the fish to heal easily in days: the antibacterial properties of the garlic prevent complications in such ulcers. I'm guessing excessive doses may interfere with digestive processes as well, by upsetting gastrointestinal fauna profiles. But hey, Spaniards, Italians and Filipinos don't seem to eat less for it, haha

Garlic can be caustic stuff, so dole it out judiciously (it can be hard to restrain yourself when you see the fish so hungry for the morsels, hehe). I prefer to lay off of it when there's no need, and then dose heavily when there is. Works for me, and I absolutely agree water quality and intelligent stocking rates come first.

HTH and you should post how much you dose and in what form, aside from the reactions, so we can all share knowledge


[This message has been edited by horge (edited 08-04-2000).]
horge is offline  
Old 08-04-2000, 07:41 PM   #13
Nyxll's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Erie,PA, USA
Posts: 8
Images: 8

I use a little Kyolic Garlic in my food everyday. Usually I make enough food for 3 or 4 days. I mix about 1/8 oz of each of the following: mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and emerald entre and about 10ml of saltwater in a small ziplock bowl once its thawed I put in like 5 drops of Vita Chem and Kyolic garlic(small dose). I have only been doing the garlic for a couple weeks now but my once ich prone hippo tang has no spots of ich as of yet.


[This message has been edited by Nyxll (edited 08-04-2000).]
Nyxll is offline  
Old 08-05-2000, 12:17 AM   #14
TRT Administrator
Doug1's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Southern Oregon,surrounded by dreadnecks
Posts: 40,629
Images: 28

Interesting thread everyone. I'm well aware of the use of garlic as a treatment but this is really the first thread Ive seen re: garlic as a preventative. It seems to be one of those love it or dismiss it things but what the heck, several people have reported good results with it. As long as they continue and you keep the other ramifications in mind I see no reason not to use it if you get the results you desire. Seems like garlic combined with Selcon and or other vitamin supplements along with as stress free environment seem to produce disease free fish. I'm sure there is a lot more involved but if it works most of the time what the heck, got to be better than toxic treatments for suspected pathogens
If those of you who do use the treatment or propholactic garlic could log methodology and dosages in reef journals and monitor results say over a years time, it might provide a little better data to work with

Reef as if your life depended on it, yours might but the sea's does
Doug moderator TheReefTank
Doug1 is offline  
Old 08-05-2000, 07:37 PM   #15
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Tampa,FL
Posts: 1

i first used garlic oil on my yellow tang 2 days after i noticed the ich. not only did it work but the fish loved it! i soak the food (alge,brine,flake,whatever) for about 15 mins,

very important: drain the excess oil out. i read a post where the person complained the garlic polluted the tank. after further investigation this person was putting the food in without straining and made a big mess.

anyway, all is well and i treat them every now and then with an italian dinner.

btw, my first day here, good to see familiar names

[This message has been edited by RoadDog (edited 08-05-2000).]
RoadDog is offline  

frozen brine shrimp , mower blenny , mysis shrimp , tomato clown , tomato clowns

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question About Medicine krystalclown General Reef Discussion 2 02-04-2007 09:11 AM
Kent Garlic Extreme -vs- SeaChem Garlic Guard bucket brigade General Reef Discussion 1 10-19-2006 07:59 PM
preventitive medicine Havre General Reef Discussion 6 11-05-2003 10:57 PM
essential medicine cabinet 105man General Reef Discussion 7 08-26-2003 12:01 AM

Similar Issues
Issue Issue Starter Forum Replies Last Post
can I put garlic in my saltwater tank? obrut General Reef Discussion 21 2012-04-20 19:14:06
garlic can increase appetite? davesy General Reef Discussion 2 2003-01-31 20:49:22
how much garlic in my aquarium Brooke Front Page News 0 2002-08-31 08:37:19
crushed garlic how long until the allicin enters bloodstream horge Advanced Archive 6 2000-12-29 09:19:00
is garlic soaked food safe for corals Allyson General Reef Discussion 17 2002-03-15 19:39:21

Sponsor Our Community

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:49 PM.

Powered by
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Our lawyer tells us that, by pressing the "New Thread" or "New Reply" button, you acknowledge that the opinions and information expressed in your article are yours alone and not those of thereeftank.com, dba The Reef Tank. Further, you agree to indemnify The Reef Tank, its moderators, administrators and agents from any and all liability which may arise as a result of your article. (C)opyright 2006 TheReefTank.com