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Old 05-18-2011, 11:51 PM   #1 
nowzem's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Methylene Blue Q(?)

Can anyone tell me WHY aquarists have used Methylene Blue for years as a disease preventative? It doesn't make ANY sense to me because it is a DYE. I work in a medical lab, and we stain bacteria and fungus with it to see them better under a microscope and lemme tell ya, those little microbes do NOT die when exposed to pure, undiluted methylene blue (but they are made more visible ;) They continue to" swim" and" dance" all over the slide for HOURS.

I just read a post on another site where someone recommended using methylene blue for fin that is what sparked my post :)
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:18 AM   #2 
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I don't really know much about it except that it can be used in spawning tanks to prevent eggs from fungusing. I find it interesting that it doesn't kill bacteria and fungus.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:26 AM   #3 
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Perhaps it kills aquatic microbes and not, ahem, fecal microbes...? However...there are some of the same microbes found everywhere...pseudomonas/aeromonas for example are common human pathogens, as well as betta pathogens :) Yeast typically don't move under the scope, so perhaps it IS anti-fungal...but I'm skeptical. :)
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:56 AM   #4 
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Hmm, interesting question. I did a little bit of a search on it and the only thing I came up with that might explain it is that it's a mild antiseptic. Maybe it's mild enough to stain your samples and be able to see them for a while, but will eventually kill them if left exposed for a long enough period.

Also, I'm not sure where this info was originally obtained, but I saw an excerpt from a person's forum comment and it said "Methylene Blue works by staining cells and disabling their metabolism". Couldn't find anything about this in my short search, but sounds feasible.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:46 PM   #5 
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If youve ever had a urinary tract infection, they give you a pure dye to help ward it off as well as prevent pain...It does more than you think, its a very strong dye!

Meth. Blue is VERY powerful against many types of illnesses, but really only when used as a bath (in a high, temporary dose).
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:14 AM   #6 
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Hmmm... everything I've read about it states otherwise. I read that it is good for preventing fungal infections on eggs, but that it is basically ineffective comparatively for most other diseases. I think it is outdated, ineffective, and probably should only be used rarely (and even then it should be passed over, as it is more of a preventative tool than a "cure" and other chemicals have greater efficacy).
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