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Old 10-25-2010, 11:24 AM   #1 
wystearya
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Malachite Green & Formalin - ?

Just a note to start: My Betta is NOT sick. I am asking about this medication in general. I was not sure of the forum, but chose this one since it is about illnesses and treatment.

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I used to be able to find the Methylene Blue everyone mentions at Wal-mart. But it seems in the past few years stores stopped selling it, I can't find a single store that carries it. One of the pet stores thought I was confused, they didn't know about it...

Malachite Green (and Formalin) seem to now be the Ich treatment the stores carry and/or recommend.

Online research says you have to be *very* careful not to overdose the Malachite Green. It will kill plants and invertebrates too. Still, it is apparently effective against Ich, parasites, and fungus. One site says it may help fight columnaris, though I hope to goodness my fish would never get such a serious bacterial infection.

Has anyone here used Malachite Green? Would you or would you not recommend it? Why or why not?

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My online research does tout Methylene Blue as very safe, but it also says it isn't very effective. Not sure if this is true, but it has me wondering why stores no longer carry it for aquarium use.

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I mentioned Formalin. This is because the Malachite Green one store carries has Formalin in it too. This is supposedly another ingredient effective against parasites and Ick/Ich.

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Anyway, just wondering about these medications and if anyone here could tell me their experience with them.

Again - my Betta is NOT sick. I am doing research so that I can have something on hand so I can be ready should he ever get ill.

Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:17 PM   #2 
Adastra
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I only use Methylene blue as a preventative and for fish who are suffering from ammonia poisoning or other forms of poisoning. It is extremely gentle, and can even be used on eggs and fry, so for weakened fish whose immune systems are compromised, it can be a very useful preventative treatment.

If your fish ever develops ich, though, you should not use methylene blue as a real treatment. It is a deterrent, but if the infestation is severe, I definitely am a big fan of nuking it with Malachite Green. Malachite green is way more effective than salt, methylene blue, or copper sulfate based medications for eradicating ich. You do, however, have to exercise caution and treat the fish in a hospital container. Pay careful attention to the instructions and do what you can to minimize stress on the fish during treatment--do not use this treatment unnecessarily, either. It is a bit harsh, not as bad as antibiotics, but up there. You wouldn't want to put your fish through it if you can help it.

As for the formalin, that is simply to help prevent secondary infections and is not really an ich treatment. I would compare it to an antiseptic. Many other malachite green treatments use acriflavine instead of formalin for the same purpose.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:34 PM   #3 
TaylorW
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I've used Walmart's Quick Cure for my fish's Ich and it really helped! It has both Formalin and Malachite Green in it, and he was better in 3 days! With Quick Cure I later learned that it was best to use the treatment on the bottle that is for tetras with bettas, and don't use the dose listed for other fish.

I treated my fish with the regular fish dosage instead of the tetra dosage, and he was till ok though. So yes, I'm fond of this med, it works well!
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:59 AM   #4 
wystearya
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Thank you both very much. :)

I do have a hospital container and I would definitely follow the directions carefully. It's good to know it is an effective treatment should my boy ever get Ich.

By the way, is it effective on fungus? Or not?
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:30 PM   #5 
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Not that I know of. Last time I used malachite green (a long time ago) the fish developed saprolegnia his crowntail rays as a secondary infection. Fungi are very slow movers--they can kill fish, but it takes a long time compared to bacteria and only very weak fish usually succumb to it. Once they perk up and conditions improve they usually fight it off on their own unless it is very severe--in which case I would go with a topical treatment rather than treating the water.
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