Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus). Credit: Oregon State University

Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus). Credit: Oregon State University​

It appears that the over use of antibiotics in the ornamental fish industry (cichlids included) has created drug resistant bacteria. Antibiotics are frequently used on healthy fish during shipping and captivity as a preventative measure. A study found some level of resistance to 9 different antibiotics used in the hobby. Resistance to tetracycline was found 77% of the time. As the drug resistance gets stronger, medications will no longer be effective. What once was easily treatable could become a death sentence. Another consequence of stronger, untreatable bacteria is an increase risk to people. Although transmission to humans is uncommon, it can become more frequent. For more information on this study visit