Methylene Blue

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Methylene Blue is a chemical dye with antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties.  It is most often used to avoid fungus killing eggs from a spawn, however, can be used on older fish with caution as noted below.  Can be used with freshwater or saltwater.

Treatment: 2-3 mg per liter.  A simple way to dose is to add 1 drop at a time, max of 10 drops per gallon, until the water is a light to medium blue.  It is best to not overdose as it will have a negative affect.  Always treat in a separate quarantine tank as the chemical dye will kill off the bacteria required to sustain a healthy biological cycle and process waste.

Toxic to live plants.

Can be used with invertebrates.

Silicone seals and decor may become stained and remain blue.  I once had a glass tank where the glass became tinted from this product.

Avoid skin contact.  Methylene Blue is an irritant and not easily removed.

Avoid getting on clothing as it will be a permanent stain

Treatment of Eggs: When pulling the eggs from the parents place the breeding slate or cone in a hatching container.  Add Methylene Blue one drop at a time.  The water should be a light to medium blue and the eggs should remain visible.  Approximately 40-45 hours after spawning the eggs should be removed from this chemical dye as it is known to burn the gills and is suspected of causing the swim bladder to not properly inflate, greatly affecting the fry's ability to swim and remain suspended in the water column.  All traces of Methylene Blue should be removed prior to the eggs hatching, which will occur around 48 hours after spawning if kept at 80F.

Dip Treatment: Kills external parasites such as flukes, ich, oodinium and some protozoa.  In a quarantine tank place fish to be treated.  1/2 tablespoon per gallon of water.  Color will be a very dark blue.  Leave fish in this dip for no more than 10-15 seconds to avoid gill damage.

Nitrite or Cyanide Poisoning Treatment: When fish have been exposed to cyanide or high levels of nitrite their ability to take in enough oxygen is greatly depleted.  Treating these fish with Methylene Blue can help to raise the oxygen levels as it increases the oxygen carrying hemoglobin in the blood.

Preventative or Low Dose Treatment:  1 teaspoon per 2 gallons water should produce a light to medium blue color.  Add fish to this solution for a maximum of 1 hour with saltwater species or 10 minutes for freshwater species.