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FAQs on Malachite Green Use in Aquariums

Related Articles: Malachite Green, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks, Formalin/Formaldehyde, Use of Biological Cleaners, Aquatic Surgery, The Three Sets of Factors That Determine Livestock Health/Disease

Related FAQs: Medications/Treatments 1, Medications/Treatments 2, Medications/Treatments 3Antibiotics/Antimicrobials, Anthelminthics/Vermifuges/Dewormers, Copper FAQs 1, Organophosphates, Epsom/Other Salts, Formalin/Formaldehyde, Furan Compounds, Garlic, Homeopathic Remedies (teas, pepper sauce, other shams...), Mercury Compounds/Topicals, Methylene Blue, Metronidazole, Quinine Compounds, Sulfas, Treating Disease, Treatment Tanks, Medications/Treatments II, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Garlic UseAntibiotic Use Marine Disease 1, Puffer Disease

Malachite Green (Kordon Corp. Argent Labs)
: Malachite and Formaldehyde (Aquatronics)
Malachite Green & Quinine HCL (Aquatronics)
: Formalin and Malachite Green (NT Labs)
Malachite Green (Weco Labs)
: Malachite Green and Gluteraldehyde
QuickCure: Formalin & Malachite (Aquarium Products)
Rid-Ich +
: Formalin and Malachite Green (Kordon Corp.)
Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Multiple sick fishes    7/15/12
Dear WWM Crew,  I have been scouring your pages to try to find some  information on what steps to take in curing two of my sick fish.  I am  in the process of learning the hard way that a quarantine tank is  absolutely necessary, and I would like to apologize for my fish  keeping negligence in advance.
<The vast majority of folks belong "to this club"; myself included>
  I purchased a Spotted Bristle-tooth  Tang from my LFS three weeks ago and did not quarantine, again so  sorry.  The tang was doing very well in my 75 gallon FOWLR tank for  the three weeks that I had it.  Other tank mates are a Black and White  Percula clownfish, one PJ Cardinal and two Banggai Cardinals.  Woke up  to find the tang dead on the sand bed and the fish had no apparent  signs of any problem, and was eating/swimming fine the night before.  
I removed the deceased fish and observed the other tank mates for  problems.  All seemed well for the day, and then I noticed what seemed  to be a heavy infestation of Ich on the clownfish.  I removed all fish  from the display tank and treated with Nox-Ich
<Mmm, Malachite Green... not my treatment of choice. Very harsh>

 in separate quarantine  tanks.  The next day all cardinals were dead and all that is left is  the Angel and the clownfish.  I fresh water dipped the two and placed  into a newly cleaned quarantine tank.  Both fish responded well with  the fw dip.  Today, day three of quarantine, I have noticed that both  fish are swimming aimlessly, refusing food, and have milky looking  eyes.
<The burn from the Malachite likely the cause of loss of the Apogonids and eye cloudiness>

 I do not know what I need to do to treat these fish, I have  copper safe available, or formalin, to treat them in separate tanks  due to the Angel's copper sensitivity, will this be enough to save  these fish?
<Might be>
What other treatments or methods would you recommend.  
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptcures2.htm
These fish are also refusing to eat anything that is in the tank, and  I have been soaking all foods, seaweed, Mysis, brine and flakes in  Selcon.  Please help and thank you for such an amazing informative site.
<Bob Fenner>

Mysterious Cherry Shrimp Deaths- 8/20/11
I added 30 Cherry Shrimp about 4 weeks ago to a planted shrimp-only 10g tank, and every day one has died.
At the time, 2 Otocinclus were added. The Otos are fine!
Now I'm really confused on why they're dying. This is what I know - Ammonia and Nitrite are 0. I'd test PH and other, but I don't have the kits for that.
<Well do check. At minimum check the pH; Cherry Shrimps do best in water that has a pH around 7 to 8. They dislike very acidic, very soft water.>
There shouldn't be anything wrong with the water source - the four Amano Shrimp in my 30g are thriving from the same water source - so that's got to rule out copper, metals, etc...
No Hydra or Planaria present.
Tank has a matured sponge filter. Flow appears to be okay, with numerous tiny oxygen bubbles about.
Temp is 78F because of Summer.
<A bit warm for Cherry Shrimps, but shouldn't be fatally so. Ideally, 20-25 C/68-77 F, towards the cooler end of the range in winter, but not substantially above in summer. Extra oxygen is useful. Do bear in mind that these are subtropical, mountain-stream animals that aren't well adapted to stuffy, sluggish, warm water conditions.>
There is some lava rock in the tank with moss growing on them.
I add half a Hikari algae wafer every 2-3 days. There is algae growing in the tank.
The majority of shrimp are healthy - scavenging the substrate, climbing the tank glass, rock and plants and swimming about happily - but then one of them acts lethargic, sometimes trouble swimming, mostly keeps to the lava rock and ends up dying within 2 days. I'm really not sure what's going on, and it's really frustrating because I've made this tank as shrimp-friendly as possible. Additionally, any females with eggs seem to drop them. All I can guess is that a plant had been treated with pesticides (but I do 25% water changes on all tanks weekly, so it should have been diluted right?) or stress somehow - but if it's that, what's causing the stress?
<Possibly, but it's unlikely a plant from another tank could carry enough residue to harm livestock in your aquarium. But certainly worth considering.>
I hope you can help.
<There's nothing obviously wrong here. Copper and formalin are two common killers, but you say you haven't used them. The water is a bit warm, but not high enough to kill Cherry Shrimps. The tankmates seem okay, though sometimes mixing bigger shrimp species with smaller ones doesn't work out, the bigger ones killing the smaller ones (perhaps if they aren't getting enough calcium or protein any other way?). I'm not a huge fan of lava rock for a variety of reasons, but good quality stuff should be aquarium-safe.
If these shrimps are a new purchase, I'd perhaps suspect the batch being dodgy, or else be more reflective on how the shrimps were adapted to the new aquarium. Review purchasing, quarantining (if done), acclimation to your water chemistry, and so on. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Mysterious Cherry Shrimp Deaths (RMF, how persistent is Malachite Green?)- 8/20/11
Just had an idea. The aquarium silicone has been stained turquoise-blue with Malachite Green. However, the treatment was performed (as far as I can remember), a year and 3 months ago. Is it possible the staining could still retain it's toxicity?
<Possible, but my gut feeling is that after 15 months any residual Malachite Green would be at such a low concentration it's unlikely to harm your livestock. Of course the shrimps may pick at algae that bioaccumulate the stuff, so it's hard to say. Filtration through carbon or something better like PolyFilter or HyperSorb may be worthwhile, but if the aquarium isn't large, and shrimps are key to your long-term plans, perhaps replacing the tank with a new one, and using this as a hospital/quarantine system makes sense.
I've asked Bob F. to comment here. He may have an idea on the toxicity, persistence of Malachite Green. Cheers, Neale.><<Olde Malachite Green in the Silastic seal should not be an issue. RMF>>

Malachite green and formalin? 9/1/08 Sir, <<Now BobF chiming in to supplement Ian's effort>> I have searched the net but could not find much help with exact dose of formalin and malachite green. I bring in regular fishes and they are often infected with white spot. I plan to use malachite green and formalin. I bought malachite green crystals of 90% strength and formaldehyde liquid 37-40% strength. I want to add a combination of above chemicals to treat marine white spot. How much of each should I use to prepare the stock solution? <<Mmm, not much... I would not treat with any more than a 0.15 ppm (mg/l) solution in-tank... an immersion bath (dip) of more (up to 2 ppm) could be employed... but the animals need to be watched during... aeration supplied if used with formalin>> I would prefer to add these chemicals to the hospital tank and let the fishes stay in it for the entire cycle of the parasite. I will do a regular water change of about 25% and add the chemicals on every alternate days. <<Mmm... a dangerous path here>> For this type of treatment what should the exact dose of the above chemicals be? <<Are you capable of performing the mathematics of extended notation, for making molar solutions, percentages? If not, I would NOT use the Malachite at all... Instead, read on WWM re other means of treatment... Likely simply pH adjusted freshwater baths (with the formalin if you wish): http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm>> there are not many off the shelf products available in India so please help as you did last time, regarding the lion. <<Oh... if just this one animal read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>> I do appreciate your promptness in resolving my issue. Thanks again. With warm regards, Babu Banik. <Hello, I would read more about treating on here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm. I have never dosed with crystals. I have always used a premixed formula that included instructions. Treating with formalin and malachite green can be very dangerous and toxic to your fish. I would recommend using a product such as Cupramine. Good Luck and hope the links help, IanB>

Liquid Super Ick Cure... Malachite... staining with nary a clue    8/23/08 Hello to you guys, I am writing to you as i am seeking for a possible way to reverse a mistake i made with the application of the product Liquid Super Ick Cure. <http://aquariumpharm.com/Products/TechSheet.aspx?TechSheetID=31 Malachite Green> You see, i am a newbie to reef tanks and had mine since 6 months ago. Everything was well until i introduced a Longnose Butterfly fish 5 days ago. <... sans quarantine> He was doing well until yesterday when i noticed that he was hiding behind rocks and was swimming sideways. I also noted the presence of white spots in its' fins and some in its' beaklike mouth. It does not seem to have any appetite as well as looking rather lethargic. I hurried to the nearest major marine store and inquired about a possible remedy to this condition. <? Condition?> The sales person told me to buy the said product. I hurried home and applied the product to the system following the directions of the bottle. One reminder got me worried as it states that is not good to apply it to a reef aquarium as it may harm corals and other sensitive invertebrates. <Oh yes> I Googled the product and was immediately alarmed. I called the pet store but they were not much help. I proceeded to apply a new carbon filter as well as changing 25% of the water. Any other suggestion that may reverse my mistake would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. <...? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Malachite Green... not for Crypt    9/25/07 Hi Crew, <Kelly> I can't find explicit instructions for the use of Malachite Green. <Mmm, should be posted on the bottle... varies per stock concentration... You've read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm and the linked files above? Evidently not.> I have a Klein's Butterfly and a Foxface with Ick, which I have removed from my main tank to a 10 gal QT tank. At the advisement of my LFS I purchased Kordon Malachite Green <... not effective for Crypt by itself> and dosed the QT today. My dilemma is that I don't know what to do now. I can't find the treatment protocol. When do I do a water change, how much water do I change, and how do I dose the malachite with water changes? <... Let's skip ahead and have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptcures1.htm and the linked files above...> Also, I have to assume my display tank has ick, right? So, at the end of the treatment period when I reintroduce them back into my main tank will they just become re-infested? I have a snowflake eel, lunar wrasse, bicolor blenny, blue devil damsel, 2 neon gobies and a flame Hawkfish still in my 75 gal FOWLR tank. Can I just use hyposalinity and high temp to run the parasite through its cycle? (Please say it is just this easy - I fought a huge ammonia battle only a month ago!) Thank you for your help. Kelly <Have just skipped down... get reading... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Nox-Ich and live rock?  4/6/07 Hey dudes thanks for all the help that you have provided. I used Nox-Ich in my tank to cure ick but, I goofed up and used it with the live rock in my tank. <Now blue LR> Is there anything that I could do to be able to use it in a different tank with corals for just the foundation? <Should be fine... the Malachite Green stain will not "re-release" in the water to an appreciable extent> I was also wondering if I would be able to use the tank that I treated ick in for a in-sump refugium? <Sure> Thanks for the help U DUDES ROCK!! GREAT HOBBY AND CHICKS DIG IT!!    <I wish. Bob Fenner>

Medication That Will Stain Silicon - 10/11/06 Thanks Chuck.  Will the malachite Green permanently discolor my decor or just the sealant in the corners? <Different brands of Ich cures have different strengths of malachite green. I have seen aquariums that have been stained with Malachite Green so when you use this medication it is always possible it will stain objects.> I have plastic and fabric type fake  plants in the tank along with plastic rocks and caves.  One last question  Chuck........I really enjoy my yellow lab's personality and it seems a lot more  active than other types of cichlids, which species is most like the  yellow lab as far as being active and personality goes?  I would like to  fill my tank with other species of cichlids that mimic the yellow lab. Thanks again < Your Yellow Labidochromis swims among rocks looking for little invertebrates to feed on. Other cichlids to consider as take mates would be Melanochromis johanni, Ps. saulosi, Cyno. afra, Cypt. moori, or almost any open water Utaka type.-Chuck>

Malachite green question   5/25/06 Wet Web Media Staff, <Ryan> Your site is wonderful and I thank you very much for all of the help you provide to everyone. I was just hoping you could answer a quick question for me. I was going to buy a used tank off of someone in the area, and I found out that he used malachite green in it 2 times. I don't want to buy this tank if I can't have live rock and coral in it, so I was just hoping you could provide me with a little information on this situation. Is this tank unusable for live rock and coral since it has been dosed with this in the past? <If the tank is cleaned good, you should not have any problems.  The silicone used in the tank (if glass) will probably be stained with the dye.  This is almost impossible to remove safely.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks! <You're welcome.> Ryan

Black ghost problem... poisoning with Malachite   4/28/06 Hi <Hello> I really hope you can help me. About 2 weeks ago my Clown loaches and blue rams started to show signs of Ich. <No fun> After being given advise by my local fish store, I purchased WS3 medication to cure it. <... malachite green, Acriflavine and quinine sulphate (WS3®, King British)> Only after reading your site have I found out that Black Ghost Knife Fish are sensitive to medications <And the Clown Loaches...> and I have started to notice that my BGK is swimming lazy, has greyish white patches down the side of him and his fins have become torn and have red patches. I don't know if this is Ich, Slime disease or a fungus growth with fin rot. Please could you help me.. Many thanks. Steve. <... with what? Malachite Green should be dosed at most at half concentration with the loaches, Knifefish... This, along with temperature increase should effect a cure for Ich. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files at top and on WWM re these fishes "Health FAQs". Bob Fenner>

Ick... Malachite Green    4/14/06 I know what I am dealing with and am using an old cure but am looking for a product I have not seen in 15 years or so. It is called Nox Ick. Best product I ever bought by the time you use the bottle you lost it . Where can I find it please help. <Alas, Weco Corp. (makers of DeChlor, Nox-Ich...) are no more. However, there are other brands of Malachite Green (the active ingredient): http://wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm Read on. Bob Fenner>

Velvet! Jumping all the way in w/o knowing what you're doing   03/07/06 I am currently reading over your site looking for answers regarding the issue. I have a 150gal, it is now FOWLR....It went through a rough move. Now an outbreak of velvet. Resulting in the loss of several fish.  Still living is a white-faced surgeonfish, and a clown. I've been trying to capture the fish to put into QT....damn rocks! <Really best to systematically dismantle, drain here> I have lowered SPG it is now at 1.017, Should I lower it more? <... I would not> I have raised the temp. to high 80's. <This, these will not effect a cure here> The clown has clouded eyes, ragged fins and a velvety coating. Its breathing is rapid early in the morning and at night, throughout the day the coating appears to subside. The tang has very rapid breathing throughout the day, but the spots on it are less. In the mornings, it appears to have dark spots that are spotted all over then gradually fade away as the day progresses. ? <Yes> I realize this to be a no no, but I have treated the main display. <With?> Until I am able to capture the fish, I don't know what else to do (other than try a little harder I suppose). I have been using Nox-Ich.... <... Malachite Green... in the presence of LR, calcareous substrate? Won't work... except to stain all> I guess I wasn't really aware of what was in that....is it something that can create problems for things to later grow on the LR? <... You're hopefully joking> Hard lesson learned in this whole situation (as always). Anyways, If I performed a freshwater dip... I put water in a bucket (sterile bucket), get ph and temp and spg (?) to that of what they are currently in?  (I was once told there is no such thing as a stupid question, but I think I may get reprimanded/laughed at here...) What would be recommended to add to that dip? Methylene blue (I don't currently have this)? Or....could either the Nox-Ich or MelaFix work (I realize that these are probably the worse "meds" I could own now) ? Or would just the simple freshwater be of some relief to the fish with no medication being involved until I can get what is recommended? I will be giving baths from here on out where needed. I haven't done one and the article re the issue was a little scary. Sorry for any repeated questions and really, thank you for your help! I will continue about my search on the site now. Sincerely, Codie <... have just skipped down. Please see WWM re Amyloodiniumiasis, Parasitic Tanks and Reef Tanks... Bob Fenner> Rid-Ich Affecting Catfish  11/7/05 The guy at the pet store told me it was ok to put Rid-Ich in the tank with my Raphael catfish. He started staying up at the top of the tank gasping for air. I took him out and put him in another tank. He is on the bottom breathing very hard. Looking swollen. I checked the water and others. Ok. I have a horrible feeling my baby is going to die before you get this. I wanted to know if it was to late for him or is there something I can buy to make him better.  Peetsi <Rid-Ich is a very good medication. Rid-Ich is an older form of a malachite green and formalin combination that was found to be very toxic to scaleless fish such as catfish and loaches. It is to be used at half the recommended dosage and says so on the bottle. A new formulation came out a couple of years ago called Rid-Ich+.  This is suppose to be a safer medication than its earlier formula. The clerk may have confused between the two different bottles, especially if both were on the shelf. They still look almost identical. You did the right thing by removing him from the tank. Place him in a net in a quiet corner of the tank with plenty of aeration and hope for the best. There is no antidote for you fish and it will try and purge the copper from its system over time.-Chuck> 

Attacking Ich...The Not-So-Fun (But Successful) Way! 8/5/05 Hi, <Hey there! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> I have a 110 gal. salt water tank with Anthias, oriental Sweetlips, clownfish, yellow tang, and a coral beauty.  I also have some inverts; Starfish, Shrimp, Lobster, Crabs and Snails.  I have recently had an outbreak of Ick.  Some of the fish have the white dots all over them, but you can only see them when my "blue" power compact light is on, but when all the power compacts are on, you can't see the dots.  Also, none of the fish are scratching themselves.  This is Ich, isn't it???? <Sounds like it may be...> Anyway, I went to a popular fish only store in my area and they gave me a bottle of Malachite Green, from Marine Enterprises Intl. Inc.  They, as well as the companies website, say that it is safe to use this with inverts, but your website article on this product states that its deadly to these. <It is not wise to use this stuff around inverts, IME.> What should I do???? <I would remove the affected fish and place them in a separate tank for treatment with an effective medication, such as copper sulphate or a formalin-based product. Let the display run "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month...Lots written on this technique right here on the WWM site!> I've read your articles on separating the fish into a quarantine tank for a month and fresh water dipping, but I really don't want to do any of that. <Okay...> That being said, what is the best solution to this parasite without removing anything from the tank???? <In my personal experience and opinion, I have yet to find a truly effective way to treat this illness in a display tank containing fishes and invertebrates. The risk of "collateral damage" is simply too great. I'm not a big believer in the so-called "reef safe" "medications"...For lots of reasons outlined here many times previously. It's not fun, but it's well worth the effort to remove the fishes from the display tank for treatment in a dedicated aquarium.> Is this Malachite Green the best solution??? <I would not use ANY medication in the display tank. Period. It simply is not a good move, IMO.> And again, Is it really safe like the company says it is??? <I wouldn't think of using this product (or any product) in a (mixed fish/invert) display tank...Just not the best move you can make, as far as I am concerned.> Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Jeff. <Glad to be of assistance, Jeff. I'm afraid that my recommendation is to take the course of treatment that you don't want to. I cannot recommend treating in the display tank. I wouldn't do it with my fishes, so I wouldn't tell you to do it! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Stained tank, Malachite Green Hi: <Hello there> I would really appreciate any help you can give me on this subject.  I have ruined my new fish tank by treating a fish for Ich with Rid-Ich+.  The silicone seals have stained blue. <Yes... Malachite Green...>   I know that the label on the bottle warned of this, but I was trying to save my fish and wasn't too worried about that at the time.  Well, now the fish is better and I am left with a stained tank.  Is there anything I can do about this? Thanks so much! Laurie van Raalte <Unfortunately, no. The stain is permanent. Bob Fenner>

Paraguard same as Formalin? Hello Everyone, just have a quick question regarding Paraguard by Seachem. I bought this product under the assumption that it was a Formalin product, however now I find that it is Malachite Green and Gluteraldehyde. <Yes> Currently I am trying to cure a clownfish of Ick and am a little hesitant to use copper. Anyways, wouldn't Gluteraldehyde have the same mechanism of crosslinking protein as Formalin would? <To some extent, yes> So is Paraguard an alternative to Formalin, or should I possibly look for another medication? Also can you possibly list a few Formalin based products (For whatever reason I cant seem to find any). Thanks a lot for you help and time, you guys rock -Mark <Mmm, up to you... there are a few approaches to "treating" for Cryptocaryon infestations... which you can review on WWM... I would not expose your fish or yourself to formalin/formaldehyde or Gluteraldehyde for any extended period of time... better to use as an extended dip or bath... You do know the life cycle of this parasite? The need to isolate hosts? All hosts? Copper is hard on Amphiprionines... but most folks don't have the patience, diligence to use other compounds, keep changing water... Bob Fenner>

Malachite green/quinine and Ich G'day guys, <Good morning Luke, MacL here with you today.> I have found your site most informative.  <Many thanks for the nice words.>  I have a 530 litre, 5 foot by 2 foot, by 2 foot Tropical reef tank set up. In my tank I have 2 Pajama cardinal fish, 3 Green Chromis, 1 regal tang, 1 mimic tang, 1 mandarin fish, 1 scooter ( Neosynchiropus ocellatus ). I also have 1 pink Goniopora - bowling ball size, 1 green Goniopora - apple size, 2 species of Discosoma, 1 group of Zoanthus and 2 Anemones. I have a wall of live rock along the back of my set up, Serpulorbis inopertus and Haliotis varia are quite common through this wall. 18 months ago I successfully treated an outbreak of Cryptocaryon irritans on my regal tang with a 4 day treatment of Quinine hydrochloride and malachite green. All of the above species in my tank survived, though the Gonioporas went into themselves for 8 days. Everything has been fine until now.  Recently I added 1 clown wrasse, 1 18 inch snowflake eel and 1 Pentaceraster tuberculatus. I now have another out break of Cryptocaryon irritans. The regal tang has a good smearing of white spots and most of the other fish have 1 or 2 spots on them. No fish are showing physical distress YET.  I believe the white spot came into my system on the clown wrasse though at the time of purchase no physical signs were noticeable. For future use I will be setting up a hospitable / Quarantine tank. I know I will have to remove the Pentaceraster tuberculatus before using the same treatment as before, Quinine hydrochloride and malachite green, but I do not know if I should remove my snowflake eel?  <Definitely take him out of the tank while the treatment is going on.> Please your opinions would be greatly appreciated.  <Good luck, MacL> 

African Red-Knob Starfish Hi, I have just treated my tank for Ich with Rid-Ich+ by Kordon. In the process the corners of my tank where the silicone seals were have turned blue. I have tried scrubbing clean but it won't come out. Any ideas on removing the stains? <Can't be removed practically...> If not it's a pleasant coloration to the tank. <Good> My main question is that I am getting a African Red-Knob Starfish and am worried that on its travels around the tank it might soak up the Rid-Ich through the silicon and be harmed. <Mmm, nope. Once absorbed... transformed... gone. You might want to run a bit of activated carbon, Polyfilter to assure yourself> What is your insight on this? The starfish is an expensive investment and I don't want to have it die due to the Rid-Ich in the silicone or anything left over in the dirt. Also, my tank doesn't get much algae, what would I need to feed the starfish, or do I need to? Thank you. <Mmm, a few important things to impart to you... One, I would not treat your livestock in your main/display tank (for reasons that are likely obvious to you now), and this star is not a good choice for most all types of marine systems... http://www.google.com/custom?q=African+Red-Knob+Starfish&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Re: Rid-Ich Just a quick follow-up. Do you think Rid-Ich is still present in the sand?  <No... please read here re Malachite Green: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm and the Related FAQs linked above> Also you say """One, I would not treat your livestock in your main/display tank (for reasons that are likely obvious to you now)""" What reason's are those, just the coloration? <...... no my friend... please read on WWM re... the loss of nitrification, kill-off of other beneficial life...> The coloration I can deal with, its actually quite unique, but could anything else have been harmed or soaked up the Rid-Ich and might harm future fish? I have a Bio-wheel type filter and am worried that the bacteria culture on it may have been harmed even though the Rid-Ich label says it won't. <Incorrect> What is your take? Or am I just being a worrier? <Good to be a worrier> I have a damsel and a clown in there and they are doing excellent as of now, no more signs of Ich and things are looking good. I am going to do a partial water change today and then let the tank cycle for about a week before I decide on the starfish. I read the link you sent me, thank you. I do not have any live coral in my tank or anything that the starfish could harm, just a damsel and a clown who are living happily together. <Ah, good> I was thinking about getting a chocolate-chip star, ~$5 to test things out before jumping in and getting the ~$40 red-knob (which would really put a nice touch to my tank-- red starfish, orange/white clowns, black/white damsel and aqua blue corners thanks to Rid-Ich, haha) After reading a lot the chocolate and the red-knobbed are very similar, and I would much rather lose the Chocolate than the red-knob. Your opinion on my proposed venture would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.  <All of what little I know is posted. Bob Fenner> 

Nitrification, Malachite Green... Sorry to keep e-mailing, but I just needed a clarification on the following..  Me: I have a Bio-wheel type filter and am worried that the bacteria culture on it may have been harmed even though the Rid-Ich label says it won't. You: <Incorrect> Are you saying that the label is incorrect and my bacteria culture has been harmed?  Or That I am incorrect in thinking that it has been harmed?  Thanks. http://www.fritzpet.com/article_preferencesofnit.html  <... read my friend. Bob Fenner> 

Rid-Ich, ridding Malachite After reading your last message I feel like I made a horrible mistake using the Rid-Ich+. I read the article on Malachite Green and it has scared me. I feel like my aquarium has been compromised by the situation. Any words of wisdom would be great. Thank you.  <... carbon, Polyfilter... Bob Fenner>

- Malachite Green - Hello, Can malachite green be used in my main saltwater tank with fish and inverts to control Ich?  <It "can" but it shouldn't be used in your main display.> 55g with live rock, bubble-tip anemone, small mushrooms, royal Gramma, two percula clowns, yellow watchman goby, yellow tang.  <Oh for certain... your invertebrates will perish if you use this in your main tank. Would suggest you put together a quarantine system and isolate/treat your fish there.> My tang has started scratching and twitching but has no white spots on him, however my Gramma appears to have the white spots, I proceeded to give them both a freshwater bath today for a period of five minutes with Methylene blue and It seemed to really help.  <Yes, although once you see spots on the fish, that means you have the parasite in your tank... re-introducing the fish to the aquarium will expose them to the parasites - again.>  I have a 20 gallon qt tank that the fish were initially QT'ed in for 4 weeks prior to putting in the display 2 weeks ago. <Suggest you put them back in quarantine - all of your fish, let your tank go fallow for about six weeks. Will allow you to use whatever means necessary to treat the fish without affecting your invertebrates.>  Everyone is eating well and appear healthy otherwise. All help is appreciated. Sorry If my answer is in your forums, So far I haven't found It.  <Is for certain in our FAQs.>  Thank you for all that you do!! <Cheers, J -- >

- Greenex Strikes Again -  Hello Crew, I have another question my tank had caught Ich and the guy at my LFS told me to use Greenex so I did. Now all the LFS are telling me to throw away all my sand and recycle my tank. The Greenex worked alright, done a great job of killing Ich, but it took my fishes, corals, and invertebrates too. <Doesn't sound like a good cure to me... I would fire the fish store that gave you this advice [to use the Greenex on your tank].> Sigh... of all means I don't want to have to recycle my tank, so I wanted to make sure about what you all think before I take action. <You must re-cycle the tank at this point, but you probably don't need to throw out your sand... run some activated carbon for about a week or two and you should be good to go.>  Thanks,  Chris  <Cheers, J -- > 

Malachite Green For Ich (4/29/04)  Hi again ! <Steve Allen with you tonight.>  Sorry if I'm bombarding you with lots of questions, but your crew and this site is the only one I trust for marine related questions. <Thanks for the vote of confidence.>  Would like to ask if Malachite Green is really effective against Ich, and if it is at what stage does it kill the Ich (is it in the free-swimming stage, reproduction stage at the substrate, or when attached to the host)? <I would not rely on this medication alone. Also, it can be dangerous if not used very carefully. Read here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/skip/sp/feature/index.htm  and search the term on WWM for details. The reefkeeping.com reference is part 2 of an excellent 5-part series on Ich.>  I have 2 false Percs, and 1 black saddleback in my QT. The saddleback is new and replaced my Sebae which perished in the Ich war. The Percs are better, their on the 2nd week going to 3rd, no trace of Ich, but I may be wrong. I've treated them with 1 week malachite green at 1.017 sg <Hyposalinity only works at much lower SG (1.010 range)>, and daily siphoning, and it seemed to work (no obvious grains on the fish, same with the saddleback), and they're now at the recovering and RnR stage. After a week of no symptoms I placed a small clay flowerpot <I prefer PVC fitting--more inert.> and I saw the 3 of them sleeping inside, which is good, and weird, to avoid them sleeping at the QT bottom and get reinfected. <Any Ich on the bottom will find its way onto the fish even if they don't sleep at the bottom.> I'm waiting for the 6 weeks fallow period for the main tank, which is why I'm looking at stocking of corals.  I'm afraid of putting the fish in the main tank after 6 weeks. Though there are no longer obvious symptoms, I wouldn't want to start all over again. <A couple of extra weeks may help. Do read all 5 of Steven Pro's excellent articles.> Thanks for all you help. And patience! Romel <Your systematic and patient approach will yield success in the end.>

Treating Marine Parasites (Greenex, Rally and Kick Ich... three strikes, you're out!) <<JasonC here, Bob is off diving>> Mr. Fenner, sorry to bother you again, but.... The symptoms on my fish were getting worse (Ich and marine velvet) so we got a skimmer, but then started using Rally and Kick Ich by Ruby Reef to try to save fish and had to turn skimmer off. I ended up losing my Gold rim tang, Heniochus, and true Percula. Obviously these meds didn't work. I know you said to get Alkalinity right and keep water quality excellent, lower salinity slowly) and raise temp. I did these as well, Water is great, salinity is at 1.019 normally it is at 1.022 0r around there. Temp is around 80-82. We ran activated carbon through tank to pull meds out and try something a little "harder". We began using Greenex yesterday. My clown died but he wasn't going to make it regardless. Now none of my fish are eating. They are all hiding. I am now running carbon, protein skimmer and UV sterilizer to pull meds out as I believe Greenex is quite toxic. <<UV won't take any medications out of the water>> What else can I should I do. <<probably not much, reflect on what has transpired. Successful Marine tank keeping requires as much work before we put fish in the tank as after. >> We are kind of thinking to try to let the fish fight it off on their own. The shrimps are cleaning them and salinity is lowered. Please help we are running out of options. Remember we can't use hosp tank and we have inverts. <<I don't recall the details - this is an important piece of gear, perhaps more important than a UV filter>> If this were your tank given what we can and cannot do, what would you do at this time? <<wait it out, try to make arrangements for a quarantine system for future residents>> We have two hippo tangs and one true Percula left, two cleaner shrimps both working hard) I thought of neon gobies, but am afraid of getting any new fish.. HELP!!!!!! <<well, the neon gobies are pretty hardy and may be a good place for you to get started again, however... you should really consider carefully how you might squeeze in a quarantine system. This one item could have saved you much of this heart-ache. Certainly a good idea to just let things run their course and see how the Greenex works out. You are quite correct about the toxicity of Greenex, and it probably should have been avoided. In any case, keep running the carbon, try to encourage your fish to feed but don't over-do it. Cheers, J -- >>

Greenex...reef-safe? NOT! One more quick question. . . what is about Greenex that makes it so harmful? <The active ingredients are Malachite Green and Quinine Hydrochloride (a fairly nasty chemical).> Why do they say on the bottle that it is "reef safe" if it has done so much harm? <It claims to be "invertebrate safe", which is a pretty big difference. Many larger inverts can tolerate the stuff, but much of the smaller life in reef tanks and many corals will be harmed.> Is there ever a situation where you would recommend using this stuff? <The best situation for the use of any medication is in your bare bottom hospital tank. -Steven Pro> <and adding that the malachite wreaks havoc with filter feeders and many Octocorals>

Re: Formalin 3 and Methylene blue Dear Bob, thanks a lot for your answer. One more question: You mention "1-3 mg Methylene blue (one to three ml.s of stock solution) per gallon treated for prolonged immersion). ". What if I use the Methylene blue for freshwater dips of about 4 minutes? Should I use the 3mg per gallon or even more? <Yes, quite safe> I do not know George Reclos, but I will try to find a way to contact him. Do you know his e-mail? <Likely you can contact him through his website: http://www.rddiagnostics.com/auriga.htm> I have read that you have published a new book. Can you tell me its title and if when it will be available to get it from Amazon.co.uk, where I have bought also "The conscientious...." ? <Apparently not sold by the UK part of the company. But is by the parent: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/103-1623087-3559848> THANKS AGAIN! Thanassis <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Formalin 3 and Methylene blue
Dear Anthony, <Anthony is off to hobby and business conferences for the weekend> my retailer has found somebody who told him that he could provide him with Methylene Blue. He did not mean the packaged form, i.e. small bottles produced by the aquatic medicine industry, but he said he can create the right mix. Could you tell me how the solution is made (for example we know that Formalin 3 is made from 37% formaldehyde). I just want to be sure that he does not make the wrong mix (!...). <Tried to find John Farrell Kuhn's "Index Medicos" for fish med's with no luck. There are formulations listed in Edward Noga (Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment, and Nelson Herwig's "Fish Diseases"...). "1.4 g to 380 ml of water (= 3.7 mg/ml)..." adding 1-3 mg Methylene blue (one to three ml.s of stock solution) per gallon treated for prolonged immersion). Do have your pharmacist (Do you know the chemist/aquarist George Reclos (Athens)?) contact me if there are further questions. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Thanassis

Greenex... wipeout... again WWM Team, I was reading through your Daily Q&A and read a post where a user had his tanked wiped out the day after he added Greenex and wanted to let you guys know that this exact thing happened to me about 6 months ago. I had a couple of fish sick with ICK and cloudy eye my pet shop recommended Greenex since I had some invertebrates, well after dosing my 180 gallon tank with 180 drops of Greenex the following day EVERYTHING was dead. I don't know what they put in that stuff but it had wiped out my tank just like it wiped out his, needless to say I've learned my lesson but paid a hefty price tag for it.

Greenex I have a 50 gallon show tank with a Kole tang, Spanish wrasse, a clown, a multicolor sea urchin, 2 damsels, 2 fire gobies, and a flame angle. My clown got ick a few days after I got him. <That is why we always recommend any and all additions get a four week quarantine period.> My friend that owns the pet store I bought it from recommended Greenex. I had had problems with my fish dying after application before but was convinced that it was my tank because it was still new (about 3 months old). <It could also have been the disease itself that killed the fish, not the treatment.> My friend convinced me of it, but I took his advice because it worked on his fish. I made sure this time to check my water before application, every thing was perfect. I applied it as recommended, 1 drop per gallon. The next day the wrasse, tang, urchin, clown, angel, and one goby was dead along with one of my sand sifting stars. <Wow!> Is it just me or is this stuff killing my fish? <I have had bad experience with this product on invertebrates, so I would believe it is possible that your urchin and starfish was effected, but too many other variables to say for certain the medication killed the fish. The speed of the deaths does lend credence to your suspicions, but it is also possible the clownfish was infected with Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon. Amyloodinium is harder to see and may have spread unnoticed. A quarantine/hospital tank is a must. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com regarding set up and proper use.> I mean none of these fish were sick. I have had most of them for almost 6 months and no problems, no signs of being sick and all of a sudden mass die off! I checked my tank again every thing was fine. It seems every time I add this stuff to my tank all my sensitive fish (expensive fish) die! <See, I would see the problem as every time you add a unquarantined fish, it becomes sick in your tank, infects everyone, you then treat the whole tank, and you experience deaths.> Is it just me or can it be the Greenex? <It is possible, but you have other forces at work here. -Steven Pro>

Malachite green. (Say what?) Hello Bob, We have Ich in our tank. I think we now have it under control, or getting it there. We have lowered the salinity and are using the UV sterilizer. I also got some malachite green to put in the tank. The bottle says how much to put in but it doesn't mention how often or how long you should use it. Can you give me some idea so we can fully control the Ich. Thanks, Belinda <For... a marine, brackish system? What sorts of livestock? What treatment history? Please take a read through what's posted on our root web: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ using the Google search tool at the bottom of the homepage with the terms "Ich", "marine parasites", "malachite green". Bob Fenner>

Quick Cure Medication 6/7/03 Hi I was wondering if I could use A parasite killer called Quick Cure on my yellow tang it says the ingredients are Formalin and Malachite green? thanks JM <you certainly can... and the combination of ingredients in this product are one of the very best treatments for external parasites on fishes. However, it cannot/should not like most medications ever be dosed in the main tank (efficacy and contamination of/by the sand/gravel/rocks). Please be sure to only dose and treat animals in a proper bare-bottomed hospital tank. Kind regards, Anthony>

Rid-Ich Overdose? Follow-up (4/2/04) Steve, <Hi again.> Thanks a lot. Here are some answers to your questions... a) The fish were in there for 3 days before the Ich epidemic.  <They may well have brought this Ich in with them, just not visible yet.> b) The QT was empty for a month+ before the fish were introduced. <I highly doubt any Ich was left viable in there.> c) Yes I had 10 lbs of live rock in the QT for the angel to feed on and tried to salvage it after the mess-up and moved it back to the display.  <I would advise against LR in QT. Most angels will eat enough frozen, flake, or pellet food to sustain themselves during that period.> d) QT also had a blue legged hermit crab that wasn't affected. f) The recommended dosing of Rid Ick is one teaspoon per 10 gallons. And within parentheses it said 5ml. That's how I ended up with 9ml. I did a 50% water change an hour before the dosing.  <Well, then you did not exceed the recommended dose. Hard to day why they died. As previously mentioned, I'd suggest more fallow time and patience in re-stocking. Consider adding only one fish at a time to the QT. I know it will take a lot longer, but it decreases the risks of problems.> Thank You. <You're welcome, and good luck.>

Question Re QuickCure In today's Q&A, you wrote that QuickCure was "toxic," and  you suggested that it's not very effective. I don't  quite understand why it's toxic. If I remember  correctly, it contains formaldehyde and malachite green.  Aren't these both rather common ingredients in Ich  remedies? ((The reason that I ask is that I recently  had good success with the product, and I don't want to  use it again if it's as toxic as you say)). Thanks..... >> Both malachite and formaldehyde (a general biocide, cross-linking peptides...), apart and together are toxic... But, yes, valuable treatments for external parasites of fishes... BUT, if you re-read the entire post, the malady being treated for is NOT susceptible to either/both these compounds... therefore, the person administering them is wasting their time, "just" poisoning their fishes unnecessarily with a "medication" that is not efficacious IN THIS CASE.  Bob Fenner
Question Re QuickCure
Bob:  Thanks for your clarification. I don't mean to question  your expertise -- just wanted to know why I should avoid  using QuickCure in the future. Sounds as though I should  stick with good ol' copper.... jwl  >> No problemo with questioning, challenging, outright correcting my "expertise"... believe me. And do agree with you about sticking with Cu++... except for some problems (like Uronema, Glugea...) that formaldehyde/malachite really comes in handy for. Bob Fenner

I dosed it with Greenex Thanks a lot.....btw, my tank came down with Ich! I dosed it with Greenex, and all the fish died the next day. <Argghhh, I hate this product... not uncommon result> My tank got milky white and I did a 50% water change. The cloudiness continued for several day and is now dying down. I know I shouldn't have but I decided to add another clarkii for the anemone, so far so good. It's been 5 days and the clarkii seems OK. He took to the anemone in about 1hour! He now sleeps inside it and it closes around him like covers (really kewl). BTW all my corals lived through the medication just fish casualties. Thanks for the tip on the sponge for bubbles I know I need to be skimming, but I couldn't stand all the bubbles.  <Maybe relocate it to a sump?> I have a lot of brown algae on the back glass would it hurt to leave it growing or should I scrape it? <If it bugs you, scrape away... should turn green with time, improving conditions> Hey thanks again for caring so much about the hobby by taking your time with all these questions. Much thanks, Joe >> <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Greenex and UV? Hi Bob- I am currently treating my 12 gallon marine tank (fish/live rock/few inverts) with the product 'Greenex' by Aquatronics, for Ich which developed on a new fish. This product had failed me once in the past, but I caught the Ich within hours of first appearance this time and decided to give it another shot. Surprisingly, the Ich was off the new coral beauty the very next day...and I am continuing treatment. my question: Is it safe to use my UV filter while using the 'Greenex' product?  <Yes... that is, the UV does not affect the type of Malachite Green and Quinine mix which is Greenex...> I turned it off before treating in fear of a poor reaction, but would like to use it if possible. Unfortunately, the box mentions nothing regarding the issue and I have been unable to acquire any company contact info for Aquatronics. Your help is appreciated. Garin <The usual warning here re this product, apparent "disappearance" of Ich... the former is rather toxic, has little safety/efficacy margin... the latter does just "cycle off" initially until developing multi-generational stages in a system... Please read through the FAQs on "Marine Ich", and the MANY associated FAQs and article files to "Marine Parasitic Disease" on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... and be prepared to enforce other treatment... at least the environmental manipulation, vitamin prep. and cleaner ideas gone over on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: Greenex and UV?
Thanks Bob- I have read through nearly all your FAQ's regarding Ich and the sort...very helpful! I will begin the environmental manipulation, since I lost my electric scallop to the Greenex anyways. Hopefully the Emerald and Scarlet crabs will pull through the changes. <Me too... and please do write, express your concerns re "labeling" to the fine folks at the manufacturer (Aquatronics)...> I will also try a neon goby as a cleaner, but fear the trigger will have him for lunch. <Surprisingly, they don't eat them at once... recognizing Gobiosoma as allies...?> Regarding nutrition...currently I have a 3 fish: a Picasso trigger and a valentini Toby/puffer (each about an inch long), and my new coral beauty angel. What food/brand would you recommend for the best nutrition (whether it be frozen, flake, or a combination)...whatever would be best?  <Please see the "Foods/Feeding/Nutrition" section on the Marine Index on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> The angel doesn't seem too interested in the 'brine shrimp plus' flake or the frozen blood worms the others love. I thought I might try growing some Caulerpa algae in the tank for him, since he ate all my hair algae. <Add more live rock...> I will beat this ICH!! Thanks again, Garin <Good attitude. Bob Fenner>

Greenex use The guy at the fish store says that he uses Greenex to treat ick in a system with live rock and sand...I thought I remembered your website said that Greenex wasn't good.. when I got home I checked and it said that it killed some fish...the bottle states that it is safe for all fish, invert... and biological systems.. What is the deal?? Cheryl <Unless the formula has changed, Greenex is not non-toxic... too dangerous, responsible for many losses... Post this msg. to the listservs for others opinions, experiences. Bob Fenner>

Question about a disease My cowfish is swimming in circles and around its own center horizontally. It happened after I treated it with "Greenex" (Malachite Green and Quinine Hydrochloride) anti-protozoan agent against a marine ick for five days every other day. On the box of the medication, it says that it prevents exactly the same conditions as the fish acquired afterwards: scratching and darting. The fish is so disoriented that it cannot eat pieces of octopus I feed it. What should I do now? <Change water, run activated carbon in your filter flow path, lower specific gravity, toss this toxic "medication" in the trash, use the search feature (Google) on the wetwebmedia.com site and seek the commiseration of other aquarists on the Chatforum: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Otherwise, be patient and hopeful. Bob Fenner>

Another Greenex Burial Hi bob, I have a 38 gallon Berlin system reef tank. I recently used Greenex, malachite green and quinine HCl, to treat a tang that had white spots. The first two days of the treatment were fine, I kept the filters running without the carbon, turned off the protein skimmer, and continued use of Kalkwasser solution, and reef solution. Then on the final day of treatment, I decided to take out the filter block from one of my filters because I had notice that it had been dyed blue, and I forgot to shake the bottle of Greenex before adding it to the tank. After about two hours one of my Foxface started heavy gilling at the bottom of the tank, 10 minutes later it had gone from yellow to flush white started swimming upside down, did a vertical loop and flopped dead on the live rock. My second Foxface also succumbed despite an emergency water change, putting carbon back in the filter, and turning on the protein skimmer. My tang and clownfish were noticeably effected for 3 or 4 days but have now come back to normal, and my blenny never seemed bothered. Was all this a result of not shaking the bloody bottle of Greenex? Thanks for help  <More of just using this "medication"... the filter was removing a modicum of the malachite and formalin (the ingredients) lessening their toxifiying your fish... removing the filtrant hastened the effect. Bob Fenner, who is glad to read of your other fishes revival> sincerely Ben 

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