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Including Separate pages for:
Antibiotics/Antimicrobials, Chemical & Parasite Treatments, & Organic Treatments

Further Recommended Reading:
Fish Diseases | How to Treat Sick Fish
TRUE Aquarium UV Sterilization; How to Use a UV-C Sterilizer

Aquarium Information
-A great source for current aquarium information that is updated regularly as new research become available.

Chloroquine Phosphate, Quinine Hydrochloride-Sulfate for Aquarium


Chloroquine Phosphate, AAP Marex

Chloroquine Phosphate, Quinine Hydrochloride, & Quinine Sulfate are anti-malarial drugs that are also often very effective for single cell ecto-parasites in fish, especially Cryptocaryon, Oodinium, Brooklynella, and occasionally Ichthyophthirius Multifilis and flukes in freshwater

Quinine drugs work by causing a pH elevation in intracellular organelles of parasites, this is thought to disrupt the intracellular transport of membrane components and macromolecules, and phospholipase activity leading to cellular failure of these parasites.

Chloroquine was developed from Methylene Blue (also used starting in 1891 as an anti-malarial drug) & Quinine Sulfate in 1934. The formula of Chloroquine & Methylene Blue is also similar (MB: C16H18ClN3S / Chloroquine: C18H26ClN3).

In marine aquariums, Chloroquine Phosphate is generally the better choice over Quinine Sulfate. Chloroquine Phosphate is more effective from my experience (but also more easily and fatally overdosed). When combined in a synergistic combination with Pyrimethamine, as in the product "AAP Marex", it is even more effective for treatment of Oodinium as well as other Ectoparasites and Flukes (Pyrimethamine is generally used to treat serious parasite infections [toxoplasmosis] of the body).

Chloroquine Phospate is a drug that degrades quickly in water and must be pure to be effective, with most aquatic sources are not 99% pure.
With this in mind be mindful of the discount aquarium product seller placebo product "New Life Spectrum's Ick Shield Pellets", even assuming properly soaked with pharmaceutical grade 99% pure Chloroquine Phosphate (which is doubtful), this product simply cannot work because Chloroquine Phosphate has only been proven to successfully target the free swimming stage of EXTERNAL parasites. Which is why you must dose the powder in a hospital tank. There is no proof it is effective on trophonts feeding on the fish. Even if food soaking were somehow effective on preventing trophonts from attaching, you'd have to be sure each & every one of your fish ate it for 72 consecutive days.
Bottom line, AVOID this product.

The above referenced from this article:
Aquarium Medications Part Two; Quinine

Marex This combination found in AAP Marex works more quickly than chemical treatments such as copper since it immediately acts on the parasite, including in gill filaments, which copper and many other chemical treatments only act on free swimming stages of many Ectoparasites.
This synergistic Chloroquine Phosphate/Pyrimethamine combination is the fastest acting treatment I have ever used for Oodinium, although I have often found a follow up treatment with Copper or keeping the main aquarium without fish for 4 weeks will improve long term results (as copper seems to have more long term permanent killing power).
This combination of Chloroquine Phosphate/Pyrimethamine is also an excellent treatment for gill flukes in freshwater and can generally be safely combined with Praziquantel for severe cases.

Further Reading: Marine Oodinium Disease | Brooklynella & Amyloodinium Ocellatum


Malachite Green & Quinine Hydrochloride for treatment of fish Ich
Quinine Sulfate/Hydrochloride is useful for resistant strains of Ich (especially on scale less fish), as well as Protozoan caused sliminess of the skin and Rams disease (symptoms of whirling disease).
Also useful for resistant strains of Hexamita when combined with Metronidazole.
When Quinine Hydrochloride is combined with Malachite Green, this is one of the most effective and proven Ich and similar single cell ectoparasite treatments available! AAP Super Ich Plus is one such product that combines both and is the Ich treatment of choice for difficult cases of Ich (although for sensitive fish such as Cory Cats & Loaches this product/combination should be used at half dose and combined with Triple Sulfa).

DOSAGE : 250 mg per 10 gallons of water. Once a day for 4-5 days. Do a 25% water change before each treatment. Quinine Hydrochloride is generally safer than Quinine Sulfate more effective when available.

Quinine/Chloroquine is found in (Recommended place to purchase to support this free information & the professional aquarium keeping hobby):

*AAP Super Ich Plus (Malachite Green & Quinine Hydrochloride)
*AAP Greenex (Marine version of Super Ich Plus)
*AAP Marex
*AAP PolyGuard (as quinacrine)

Suggested other aquarium information resources & products:

Fish Diseases, How to Treat Sick Fish
Fish Diseases | How to Treat Sick Fish

Aquarium Medications, Use of replacement UV Bulbs for disease prevention
Replacement Aquarium/Pond UV Bulbs

Replacement of your UV Sterilizer's UV Bulb/Lamp every six months with a true level 1 capable bulb is a MUST for optimum disease prevention and aid in Redox balance.

Wonder Shell
AAP Wonder Shells

The ONLY Authorized online seller of the full line of this unique product. Only FRESH product, not clearance product!!

Hydro Sponge Filter

AAP Hydro Sponge Filters

THE PREMIUM Aquarium Sponge Filter with as much as 5 TIMES the bio and mechanical capacity of commonly sold Chinese knock offs!!
Definitely worth the extra $1-3

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Aquarium Fish Merbromin External Columnaris-Bacterial Treatment



AAP Merbromin for Aquarium, Pond Fish Wound treatment, Columnaris Merbromin is a lessor known product to many newbies in the hobby due to difficulty in obtaining, but to those who have been in the industry and hobby for a long time its benefits are well known.
In fact this is a product NO SERIOUS AQUARIUM KEEPER SHOULD BE WITHOUT, especially when one considers its low costs and benefits

Merbromin (AKA Mercurochrome) is a topical antiseptic often used for minor cuts and scrapes in people. Merbromin is an organomercuric disodium salt compound and a fluorescein.
It is useful on external infections because of its permanence, and lethality to bacteria, in particular Columnaris.

Part of the difficulty of obtaining this product was concerns over its mercury content, however due to the low cost versus high costs of producing studies to disprove these allegations (which were never proven), most production has stopped for human use.

External Columnaris treatment using Merbromin from American Aquarium

HERE IS FURTHER INFORMATION (Courtesy American Aquarium):

  • AAP/Aquatronics Wound Control/Merbromin is a swab or paint-on disinfectant with PVP emulsifier for: wounds, scrapes, and abrasions as well as opportunistic bacterial infections that often result from these problems.

  • A topical antiseptic and oxidizer used for injuries, exposed wounds & open sores (with both bacterial and fungal infections), and exposed multi cell parasites such as Anchor Worm.
    Due to its anionic character, it is often an excellent choice for exposed EXTERNAL bacterial or fungal pathogens (including some parasites or at least secondary infections there of). However for this same reason if much living tissue is exposed or for gills, Methylene Blue would be a better choice.

  • A scrape against rocks or a bite on the scales can result in a serious infection. The simple process of catching the fish and painting the affected area will often prevent more serious problems or aid in an in tank or hospital tank treatment with antibiotics for more serious infections.
    Wound Control should also be used after any operation such as extraction of visible parasites.

  • All Fish safe assuming the fish can be safely handled without causing further injury.

  • USE:
    Net the fish. Gently use the net or hand to hold the fish in place (applying Req-Q, StressGuard or similar to your hand or net prior to application may be helpful). Apply Wound Control through the net or use a cotton swab to apply directly on the area.
    Place the fish in a hospital tank or quarantine box if possible & treat in tank if needed (Consider following the application of Wound Control with a Medicated Fish bath too). In a calm protected area the fish heal faster and less fish stress will occur when catching the fish.

AAP Merbromin

Further Reading:

Suggested other aquarium information resources & products:

Fish Diseases, How to Treat Sick Fish
Fish Diseases | How to Treat Sick Fish

Freshwater Aquarium Care
Freshwater Aquarium Care

Aquarium Medications, Use of replacement UV Bulbs for disease prevention
Replacement Aquarium/Pond UV Bulbs

Replacement of your UV Sterilizer's UV Bulb/Lamp every six months with a true level 1 capable bulb is a MUST for optimum disease prevention and aid in Redox balance.

Aquarium UV Sterilization, sterilizer use, heater information
Aquarium/Pond UV Sterilizer Use

This article covers many aspects of Aquarium & Pond UV Sterilization from how, why, facts, myths, and maintenance including the importance of changing UV Bulbs regularly.


Oregon Grape, Berberine for Aquarium Fish Treatment



Oregon Grape Root Plant for Aquarium Fish MedicationBerberine is a plant based alkaloid that has been used medicinally for a long time in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
The Berberine alkaloid is present many plants including: Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), Coptis chinensis (Coptis or goldenthread), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric), and most notably Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape).

The berberine alkaloid is generally found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of the plants.
Berberine extracts and extractions via boiling of dissolved chemicals in the plant roots have demonstrated significant antimicrobial activity against a variety of organisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans, helminths, and chlamydia.

Currently, the predominant clinical uses of berberine in human use includes bacterial (especially of the gut) diarrhea, intestinal parasite infections, and ocular trachoma infections.
Oregon grape root has synergistic antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and bile-stimulating properties as well.

The picture above shows an Oregon Grape Root Plant along with the rhizomous roots with their brilliant yellow pigment in the inner bark shown in the inset.



Aquarium or pond use of Oregon Grape Root is still in its infancy as of writing this article, however based on human use, and how this this product works, there is clearly a lot of promise as both a treatment of its own and as a back up to other treatment in wide ranging problems from Columnaris to internal parasites of fish.

Oregon Grape Root has potential to aid in antibiotic effectiveness in treatment of difficult to treat diseases such as Columnaris as it contains a specific multi drug resistance pump inhibitor (MDR Inhibitor).

Resistant bacteria work by utilizing a pumping mechanism in its cell that when antibiotics enter that cell the pump immediately pumps out the antibiotics so it can have no effect on the MRSA cell. Oregon Grape Root works by blocking the bacteria's ability to pump out antibiotics.
Quoted Reference: [1]

Here is a list of Potential Treatments using Powdered Oregon Grape Root:

  • Eye infections
  • External wounds
  • Mouth infections
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Digestive issues, including Dropsy

Use; Solaray Oregon Grape Root CapsulesDo NOT use tinctures, rather powdered forms that are generally available in capsule form, although concentration can vary greatly (I recommend Solaray brand from Nutraceutical, but I have not tried evert brand either).

Current and experimental use is opening a 400 mg Oregon Grape Root Capsule into 10 gallons of water along with the antibiotics such as Nitrofurazone and Kanamycin. This can be added to the aquarium or a fish bath that also employs Methylene Blue and possibly other antibiotics (20-30 minutes in a fish bath).
Use in conjunction with other medications is suggested in most moderate to serious infections or internal worm infestations.


Organic Aquarium Medications; Oregon Grape Root

Aquarium, Fish Parasites, Worms; Treatment of Internal Nematodes

Oregon Grape; Wild Medicines

From medical herbalism to phytotherapy in dermatology: back to the future


I personally have had the best results from the Solaray brand of Grape Root capsules, likely do to purity of the powdered grape root in the capsules

Product Resource:
Solaray Oregon Grape Root

Suggested other aquarium information resources & products:

Fish Diseases, How to Treat Sick Fish
Fish Diseases | How to Treat Sick Fish

Aquarium Medications, Use of replacement UV Bulbs for disease prevention
Replacement Aquarium/Pond UV Bulbs

Replacement of your UV Sterilizer's UV Bulb/Lamp every six months with a true level 1 capable bulb is a MUST for optimum disease prevention and aid in Redox balance.

Aquarium Medications, do not purchase at Amazon
Purchasing Aquarium & Pond Equipment via Amazon

Amazon Reviews for Aquarium Products

Aquarium Medications, beware of aquarium forums for information
Aquarium Forums for Information such as LED Lighting, UV, Filters, more

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Aquarium Copper Facts and Use; Cupramine, Copper-Safe, Testing


Revised: 1/16/19

Copper Aquarium Treatment

Copper has long time been used for treatment of aquarium algae, fish parasites, and snail eradication. This includes external treatment of freshwater and marine Ich, Oodinium, and fungus. It is has been said on popular aquatic sites, that people are attracted to using Copper as a treatment in the display tank, because it does not discolor the tank, but with using Copper, caution and some understanding does needs to be involved. Improper use can cause harm to the tank. Water chemistry and other environmental factors will determine dosing details of the Copper treatment.

The Copper used for treatments can stay in a tank for close to a month. If there are any live rocks or ornaments in the tank, the Copper will be absorbed into the material and slowly lech it's way back out. There are only certain ways to remove the Copper from the water, which is one reason to use caution. This is something I will go into later in this post.

A certain level of Copper concentration is required for an effective treatment, and is different depending on tank needs. These therapeutic levels can become toxic to other fish species and invertebrates in the tank. This is another reason why caution needs to be used with this treatment. Chronic use of Copper will affect fish health. Higher levels can damage fish gills and other body tissues. It has also been shown that there is a decrease in fish immunity, with chronic use (Yanong2, 2013).

The use of Copper in low pH can become even more toxic, so much more caution needs to be used. Not only is copper more toxic in acidic water, but the acidic water itself can be a problem. In fact, when the pH is below 6.4, the helpful, nitrifying bacteria in your aquarium begin to stop functioning.

Here are some caution Copper levels to be aware of:

  • Dangerous level of copper for shrimps is 0.03 mg per litre.
  • Dangerous level of copper for algae and bacteria is 0.08 mg per litre.
  • Dangerous level of copper for some fish, snails and plants is 0.10 mg per litre.

Copper will need to be maintained at least at 0.12-0.18 mg/L and for a therapeutic level and for no less than 14 days(Blasiola,2000,p.146).

Here are some therapeutic levels that will help:
  • .15-.20 ppm for Oodinium/Brooklynella (most freshwater applications)
  • .20-.25 ppm for Crytocaryon

A note for marine tanks, the amount of copper you will need to add for treatment, will be high initially, but then will need to be brought down over subsequent days. Copper will be absorbed into corals and substrate, to the point no more Copper is absorbed. This needs to be taken into account when attempting to maintain a therapeutic level.

This is mainly important for treatment of display tanks, but is not something to worry about for bare hospital tanks.

Note: Copper basically kills parasites by poisoning them more than the fish, so never over dose!

Always have a copper test-kit on hand! Copper Test Kit

Do not use with snails and invertebrates. Do not use in reef aquariums and note; when used as an algaecide, the copper is absorbed by the algae then released when it dies.

Basic Copper:
Copper is a heavy mental that can be found naturally in many forms. The form of Copper that is typically used in aquarium set-ups Copper Sulfate, or properly known as Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate. The reason this form of Copper is used, is when it is placed in water it dissolves and attaches to the most water molecules. During this process, Copper Sulfate splits into Copper (Cu2+) separately and Sulfate, along with water. It is strictly the Copper (Cu2+) that is measured and used to combat a number of issues within the tank. Like stated before, maintaining proper levels of Copper Sulfate can be difficult because of other components in the tank, such as Carbonates, which are part of Dolomite, which when dissolved can become complex and remove the Copper. Also, other living organisms can bind to the element, which effects levels.

There is also Chelated Copper, which is a compound added to Copper Sulfate. These agents help keep Copper in a solution by forming a ring structured Copper. These complexes become stable in a different form and more of a complex form of treatment. For the most part, most aquarium keepers use Copper Sulfate rather than Chelated Copper, because of the strength and the difference in effort to remove the treatment from the tank. The use of Chelated Copper is advised only in hospital tanks.

Because Copper can be difficult to dose, after figuring out the amount needed for your tank and needs, start the dosing amount at half the amount! This is best done by mixing the Copper Sulfate with some distilled water. In marine tanks, add half of the mixed solution to the sump and the other half to the tank, so to miss all of the "hot spots" in the tank. Make sure not to add high amounts of Copper to the sump as it can damage the biofilter by killing beneficial bacteria. After the Copper has been in the water cycle long enough and has equally distributed, then measure the Copper levels. Add more Copper, allow it to mix and re-measure until the concentration levels are met.

Often, due to binding (adsorption) of Copper to components of the system, more Copper than the amount calculated initially will be needed to reach the appropriate concentration. Copper measurements should be taken twice a day, with more copper added if necessary. As discussed previously, treatment may last 3–4 weeks or more, depending upon the target organism and specific situation.


Treat based on what solution you are using, but try to bring your Copper level to .15 -.20 ppm for Oodinium/Brooklynella (and most freshwater applications) and .20- .25 ppm for Crytocaryon. Please revisit the therapeutic levels I stated above. Generally, it is easier to maintain these levels, while not having to do repeat testing and follow-up dosing, while using Chelated Copper, but please remember the use of a hospital tank. When treating a tank, make sure all materials and filtration component (ie. carbon) are removed. If necessary, high organic bioloads or detritus should be removed. Baseline water parameters should be check prior to treatment. This includes, ammonia, nitrite, pH, temperature, alkalinity, and salinity. Gradually dose to the therapeutic level over a 2-3 day span. This allows time for the fish to increase internal and physiological mechanisms to protect their bodies against the toxicity.


  • Wait 2-4 hours to add after use of any water Redox reducing water conditioners. This will include SeaChem Prime, Kordon Novaqua, Kordon Amquel, Jungle Start Right, API Stress Coat, etc.
  • Use in aquarium systems that have an established healthy bio filter.
  • Do not mix with Sulfa based treatments/medications.

High quality active Carbon will do the trick for removing Copper. You can place a separate filtration unit containing fresh, activated charcoal at the rate of 170 grams per 57 liters of water (about 0.375 lbs per 15 gallons) on a system to remove Copper. Once all the water has cycled through the carbon, test for free copper concentration. If Chelated Copper has been used, water changes will be necessary. Dolomite may also be used, if it is removed afterward. If tests continue to show a high free Copper concentration, a complete water change may still be required to remove copper from the water. Copper levels should be monitored throughout this process and for several weeks afterward, in case Copper that was previously bound to substrate or complexed in solution, is released as free copper.



Best Aquarium & Pond Medications
AAP Professional Aquarium & Pond Medications



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AAP Spectrogram Fish Columnaris Treatment
AAP Spectrogram

THERE IS NO MORE EFFECTIVE treatment for Fish Columnaris!!

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THE PREMIUM Aquarium Sponge Filter with as much as 5 TIMES the bio and mechanical capacity of commonly sold Chinese knock offs!!
Definitely worth the extra $1-3

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