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API General Cure ( Is This A Cure For Everything?)

If you own a fish tank and searched online for fish diseases for some reason, you may have read about API General Cure here and there. Many aquarists recommend using this product for several fish diseases as they have experienced success with this medicine.

Let’s find out what API general cure is when we can use it, the dosage, ingredients, alternatives, and a lot more.

API General Cure

What is API general cure?

It is a general medicine that treats several parasitic diseases in fish. As the name suggests, API Fish Care Pvt Ltd makes it, and it is the most popular anti-parasitic medicine made for aquarium use.

This medication can treat both internal and external parasites infections in fish and is generally safe around turtles and snails.

What is API General Cure Good For?

As per the official page, this is suitable for use in several parasitic diseases, including fish lice, Velvet, hole-in-the-head disease (Hexamita spp. & Spironucleus), gill & skin flukes (Dactylogyrus & Gyrodactylus ).

It is also effective on internal parasitic diseases like cestodes (tapeworms) and trematodes (flatworms).

Is API General Cure safe for a freshwater tank?

Yes. it is completely safe for use in freshwater tanks. The ingredients in API general cure are safe for any aquatic life, including turtles and invertebrates like snails and shrimps.

Therefore you can safely use cure in any freshwater tank without harming your fish.

Is this safe for saltwater aquariums?

Yes. API general cure is also safe to use in saltwater aquariums.  The ingredients in it is also safe for saltwater creatures.

So, this medicine is known as an all-rounder for parasitic diseases of both fresh and saltwater aquariums.

API general cure ingredients

If you are an experienced aquarist and know a bit about fish medications, you might wonder what ingredients this product consists of.

Actually, knowing the ingredients help you better to decide whether to use this drug for your fish or not because some fish species are sensitive to certain medications. It has only two active ingredients to fight against parasites.

Below are the exact amounts the medication contains per teaspoon.

  • Metronidazole 500mg
  • Praziquantel 150mg

As you see, API general cure has only Metronidazole and Praziquantel as the active ingredients. These medicines are proven to be safe for any fish, turtles, snails, and plants.

API general cure instructions

For best results, the product recommends removing activated carbon or filter cartridges from the tank because these filter media may remove the medication from the water once you mix the medicines into the water. The product also recommends continuing the aeration for better results. 

You should mix the medication into the aquarium water with the dosage of one teaspoon for every 20 gallons.

If you have a larger fish tank, you can add four tablespoons of API general cure for every 240 gallons or add one cup of API general cure for every 960 gallons.

You need to repeat the treatment after 48 hours. Wait for another 48 hours for the medicine to work. During this time, do not add filter media to the tank. Run the filter without filter media for aeration.

Once you finish treating your fish, change 25% of water, add the removed filter media and fresh activated carbon for better biological filtration.

The dosage

API general cure dosage would be,

  • One teaspoon for 20 gallons of water or
  • Four tablespoons for 240 gallons of water or
  • One cup for 960 gallons of water.

Change the dosage according to your fish tank size.

How long does it take for API general cure to work

Usually, the medicine starts to work right away. However, it will take about a day or two for you to observe any changes in your fish.

Usually, fish behavior changes within a day, and they get their appetite back within about two days. If you observe these changes in behavior, you can assure that the medicine has worked as expected.

However, in some cases, the medicine doesn’t work efficiently right away. This is why we repeat the remedy after 48 hours for extra safety.

For fish that don’t get better within the first two days, they will get better after the second dosage. If your fish only has parasitic infections, its health will improve after the remedy. If it still shows any symptoms, your fish probably has a bacterial or fungal infection.

API general cure alternative

Although you can buy each ingredient from the pharmacy as an alternative, these medications require prescriptions in order to buy.

So, unless you have a prescription from a vet, you wouldn’t be able to buy Metronidazole and Praziquantel over the counter.

Other than that, only a few alternatives are sold in the market for fish care. However, most of the alternatives contain only one ingredient whatsoever.

Fritz Paracleanse

One alternative is Fritz Paracleanse which contains both ingredients present in API general cure. Instructions and dosage are similar to API general cure, so you can use this product as an effective alternative if found.

Hikari Metro+

Hikari Metro+ is another alternative that works well with fish parasites. One downside is that this product contains only metronidazole, which is less efficient than API general cure.

You will have to use approximately 10g per 10 gallons of water. Increase or decrease the amount accordingly.

Hikari Prazipro

Hikari Prazipro is another popular API general cure alternative available in the market.

This product has only Praziquantel as the active ingredient and is effective for flukes, flatworms, tapeworms, and turbellarians. It is a water-soluble liquid and requires one teaspoon of Prazipro for 20 gallons of water.

Seachem Metroplex

This is another metronidazole-based anti-parasitic medication sold at fish stores. This medicine is said to be effective against Ich, Hole in the head, and velvet disease.

Since Seachem Metroplex doesn’t contain Praziquantel, it can not be used as a successful alternative to API general cure.

API general cure for the hole in the head

The leading cause of hole in the head disease is a parasite called Hexamita. When your fish is infected with this parasite, it is required to treat them with metronidazole medication.

While you can use any other alternative medicines that contain metronidazole, API general cure is a proven treatment against the hole in the head.

However, you will have to eliminate other possible causes for effective therapy against HITH. Other possible causes are activated carbon present in the tank, poor water quality, overcrowding, and improper nutrition.

Does API general cure treat ich?

It is not specifically made for treating Ick. Although metronidazole is an anti-protozoan medication, it is less efficient against the Ichthyophthirius multifiliis parasite.

Therefore, API general cure can not do much damage to Ick; hence it will not cure Ick. So, you will have to go with another medication made explicitly for treating Ick.

One such effective drug is API Super Ick Cure, made from the same company.

If you plan to treat Ick with API general cure, you will have to mix the medication with food and give the medicine internally.

This way, metronidazole has a better chance to work well and kill the Ick parasite.

If you use medication to treat Ick, you need to be careful as overdosing can severely hurt your fish and other aquatic life.

Unlike other anti-parasitic medicines that are generally safe with all aquatic life, Ick treatments are usually not safe for certain species.

Will API general cure kill beneficial bacteria

No. it will not kill beneficial bacteria in an aquarium. The ingredients present in this medication are not powerful enough to kill beneficial bacteria.

Therefore, API general cure will not disrupt the biological filter in your aquarium. This has been stated in the product description as well.

In fact, beneficial bacteria may absorb from the water preventing the fish from absorbing the medicine. So, it is essential to remove any biological filtration from the aquarium before treating your fish with API .

Does API General Cure treat fungus?

This is an anti-parasitic medication and not an anti-fungal medication.

Therefore, it can not cure any fungal diseases present in the fish. You will have to opt-in with an anti-fungal medication like API Fungus Cure to treat fungus in fish.

Seachem para guard vs. API general cure

Seachem Paraguard is an effective anti-parasitic medication used in exotic fish. API general cure is an effective anti-parasitic treatment but is generally used in any fish tank.

Although both products are anti-parasitic drugs, each product is used to treat different diseases in fish.

  • API General cure is metronidazole and Praziquantel-based medication, while Seachem Paraguard is aldehyde-based.
  • API general cure treats Velvet, wasting disease, anchor worm, fish lice, hole-in-the-head disease (Hexamite spp. & Spironucleus spp.), and gill & skin flukes (Dactylogyrus spp. & Gyrodactylus spp.)
  • But Seachem Paraguard treats ectoparasites like Ick, external fungal/bacterial/viral injuries like fin rot, velvet, body, and gill flukes.
  • Both medications are copper-free. So, both medicines are generally safe to use with invertebrates like snails and shrimps, turtles, and scaleless fish like loaches. If using for scaleless fish, you will have to use a partial dose in the initial days to be safe.
  • API general cure is recommended to use in both freshwater and saltwater aquaria. But, Seachem Paraguard is not recommended to use in reef aquariums.
  • API general cure will take only about five days maximum to cure the fish, but Seachem Paraguard takes about two weeks to cure the fish. This, however, depends on how severe the disease is.

Tetra lifeguard vs. API general cure

Tetra Lifeguard and  API general cure is completely different medications used for different diseases.

As mentioned before, API general cure is an anti-parasitic medicine used to treat parasitic infections.

But, Tetra Lifeguard is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial medicine used to treat several fish diseases. It can treat fungus, ick, flukes, red streaks, milky or shedding slime, bacterial gill disease, mouth and fin rot, clamped or torn fins, and ulcers.

Tetra Lifeguard is generally used as an all-in-one solution to treat fish diseases when you are unsure of the condition.

It is a five-day treatment and requires the removal of active carbon and other filter media during the treatment like API general cure. 

Seachem metroplex vs. API general cure

Seachem Metroplex can be used as an alternative to API general cure as Metroplex is also an anti-parasitic medicine.

Seachem metroplex has metronidazole as the active ingredient and is said to be effective on Ick, hole-in-the-head disease, and velvet disease.

However, since metronidazole is not a powerful anti-biotic, the curing of Ick is doubtful. On the other hand, API general cure also contains metronidazole as an active ingredient, but the percentage is low.

But you should note that mixing them with food can work wonders and cure Ick when given these medicines.

Can general cure and Melafix be used together?

You can not use API and Melafix together because that will overdose the medicine. As we said before, both medicines contain metronidazole which can be dangerous if overdosed.

Overdosing metronidazole can cause necrosis, inflammation, edema, and even death of your fish. Therefore, never use general cure and melafix together.

Can you use aquarium salt with API General Cure?

Yes. You can use aquarium salt with API safely. You can use aquarium salt to treat bacterial and parasitic infections like Ick.

It also promotes health in fish. Suppose you suspect a secondary bacterial infection like fin rot with a parasitic infection. In that case, you can safely add aquarium salt and API general cure together, and it will give you better results.

Can you use general cure and erythromycin together?

Yes. You can use API with erythromycin. Erythromycin is a medication used to treat bacterial infections like fin rot, body slime, mouth fungus, Furunculosis, etc.

Both medicines do not react when mixed together, so it is safe to use both medications simultaneously.

If you want an all-in-one solution to cure your fish when you have no idea about the disease, you can use general cure and erythromycin together.

You can get API from here

Related question

Will general cure help fin rot?

No. API general cure will not cure fin rot. Fin rot is a disease caused by a bacterial infection or a fungal infection.

To treat fin rot, you need to use either anti-biotic or anti-fungal medicine, depending on the signs and symptoms of the fish. Since API general cure is an anti-parasitic medicine, it can not treat fin rot disease.

Is General cure safe for plants?

Yes. API general cure is safe to use with live plants. The active ingredients in this medication do not harm live plants in any way. Therefore, you can use API general cure with plants in your aquarium.

How do you medicate fish food with the general cure?

If you suspect internal parasites in your fish, mixing the medication with food is more effective than mixing the product to the tank water.

Since fish do not like to eat medicine directly and medicated food, you will have to follow a recipe. One recipe will not work well with certain fish species, so you’ll have to try different recipes to have success.

Recipe 1: 
1 scoop of API general cure
one scoop Seachem Focus (if you have a reef aquarium)
1 tablespoon of fish food (pellets or flakes)
1 pinch of Epsom salt
Few drops of fish vitamins

Stir the mixture well and keep it for about 30 minutes until it soaks well. Make small pellets-sized balls and freeze them well. You can feed this medicated food about two times per day. Do not exceed two feedings per day to be safe.

Recipe 2:
one scoop of garlic powder (some fish love the taste)
1 tablespoon of fish food (pellets or flakes)
Few drops of saltwater/tank water

Mix the ingredients well and keep them aside for about 30 minutes. Then make small pellets out of the mixture and store them in a freezer. You can now feed your fish with this medicated food. Most fish will go nuts because of garlic powder. However, do not exceed two feedings per day.

Recipe 3:
1 scoop of general cure
1 teaspoon of fish pellets

Mix the ingredients well and let them soak for a bit. Then you can feed your fish with this medicated food. We recommend two feedings per day.

This is the easiest recipe, but fish tend to ignore the food when prepared this way. Therefore, we recommend trying one of the recipes given above.


API general cure is a fairly strong medication used to treat fish lice, Velvet, hole-in-the-head disease (Hexamita spp. & Spironucleus), gill & skin flukes (Dactylogyrus & Gyrodactylus ).

we can use to treat Ick and other internal parasites when given as medicated food. API general cure is the go-to medicine of many aquarists when fish are sick and preventative medicine when introducing new fish to the aquarium.

Although there are some negative reviews of the medicine which states that it does not work as expected, the majority are positive reviews.

So, we recommend using this product if you suspect parasitic infections in your fish.

Credit to : KGTropicals
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.