The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged Methylene Blue



Every bit of data I have says “8 days to hatch”. I went back and looked…every spawn I tracked, 8 days. Eg. if a spawn occured on the evening of the 1st, it will hatch after lights out on the night of the 9th. Everything suggests that.

So it’s an incredibly tense evening after MISSING the last spawn. Back on 7-19, they threw down another nest.

The latest Lightning Maroon Spawn, photographed on 7-20-2013

The latest Lightning Maroon Spawn, photographed on 7-20-2013

This is simply torture. The eggs LOOK ready. But all my data says NO, they’re not.  The tank temp is 83F…warmer lately because it’s summer.  Could 7 days be it? Incubation times are definitely temperature sensitive.

I’m torn.  I just went and looked again.  The dilemma is simple.  So long as I don’t KILL the eggs by pulling them too early, the safer bet would be to pull them tonight.  That’s likely what I’ll do…it’d be nice to get another group of Lightnings off the ground.  Even if I’m successful, the offspring from a hatch tonight wouldn’t be at market size until January 2014 (unless I really pushed for crazy fast growth).

Update – 3:30 AM, 7-26-2013 – I pulled the nest with 5 gallons of broodstock water and placed it in a BRT.  I did something I’ve never done before – added 2 ML (40 drops, roughly 8 per gallon) of Methylene Blue  to the water.  This is my standard procedure with freshwater Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare); a process so bulletproof that if the eggs die, I’m comfortable with the belief that the eggs were bad, NOT the incubation.  Methylene Blue was implicated in my most successful artificial incubation attempt with Pterapongon kauderni, the Banggai Cardinalfish, during my research for the Banggai Rescue Project book, The Banggai Cardinalfish. I have no doubts at this point that using methylene blue in the holding water during hatching can only help things.  We’ll see…

So just discovered the female PNG Maroon dead this morning.   End of her story.  The entire tank has crashed out…once agian, a tank running for months and at one point had 150 small black ocellaris in it.  .  Both anemones I had in the tank are dead too.  Basically I was unable to do anything yesterday with the house closing and the move, and that was all it took for things to crap out big time.  As best as I can piece together, I’m going to blame the Methelyne Blue dip.  Here’s what I think happened.

I think that despite the rinse water following the Methelyne Blue dip, that enough Methelyne Blue made it back into the tank to kill the anemone.   Afterall, the fish that had just been dipped went straight back into the anemone, possibly carrying with it whatever small amounts of Methelyne Blue made it past the rinse.  And then it rolled around in the nem, so any MB that was absorbed in the slime, even in that short 10 second dip, would’ve been directly brought back to the nem.  Once the anemone died and fouled the small tank, soon after, the PNG Female was overcome with ammonia and general decay and being already in poor healthy, *poof*, a dead fish.

Lesson learned – I’m sure I’ve read it before, and I should have thought it through earlier perhaps.  You can’t use a medicated dip on a clown that’s hosting in an anemone, lest you bring that medication back to the tank and thus, kill the anemone.  At least that’s what I THINK happened here, as I really have no other explanation for why it’d suddenly die off.

So, lacking anything else worthwhile that I could really do to help this fish along, I turned to the group of advisers. I had my own ideas, but when I approach this group of people, I’ve learned I may get better advice if I hold my own ideas back and simply come as a blank slate. Generally, what I’m looking for is one of two things. #1. Consensus among the adviser’s advice and/or #2. Confirmation of my own plans by seeing my own ideas show up independently from one or more of the advisers. Needless to say, the advisers often disagree, or offer their own twists on a general premise. Some say nothing unless inspired to action by something specific.

When it came time to bounce the latest twist off the advisers, Boomer was the only one who came back with straight up “here’s what I’d do”. It just so happens that on this one, Boomer happened to mention a lot of the same things I was already thinking.

In looking through my medication arsenal, I had a feeling that sooner or later, the Methylene Blue would be called upon. It is something I ordinarily keep on hand as it has MANY uses. Ironically, when I told Mark Martin to not worry, that I had a fully stocked medicine chest on hand, one of the first things that came up early on in this project was of course, Methylene Blue. And of course, it, along with Malachite Green, were nowhere to be found. My best guess is that when we moved from Chicago to Duluth, I must have tossed them out (probably not wanting to risk the leakage of MB and MG onto anything/everything we owned!).

Well, since realizing I didn’t have it, I picked it back up. Tonight, it got used. Lacking any other real antibiotic to throw at the eye infections on the female PNG Maroon, interim treatment with Methylene Blue seemed like something that at best, could not hurt. It may not HELP, but certainly would not hurt.

Given that the female is LOVING her RBTA, as well as the fact that MB would kill off the Caulerpa in the tank and likely any other algae grown, as well as some or all of the nitrifying bacteria, my decision was to apply MB as a dip. I honestly wanted a “longer” option, but Kordon’s dosage instructions were clear. If under “constant treatment”, dosing to 3 ppm MB is recommended. For a DIP however, the treatment is 50 ppm of MB for 10 SECONDS.

Honestly, 10 seconds seems like it’s too brief to really do anything, but lacking any other solid dosage alternatives (i.e. dose at X ppm for a 30 minute dip), I went with 50 ppm for 10 seconds.  In a nutshell, did the math to figure out how much Methylene Blue it’d take to get 50 ppm in 1 gallon of water (it turned out to be around 8.3 ml).  Measured out 1 gallon of water from the tank into a 5 gallon bucket.  Added the MB (did 8 ml).  Set aside another Quart of tank water for a RINSE to be used AFTER the dip.  Netted the fish off the RBTA and dipped it for 10 seconds (counted in my head).  Pulled the net out of the dip, and poured the rinse water over the fish (soas to keep MB from getting back into the tank) and returned the fish to the tank.

On the upside, this was a VERY quick procedure.  My understanding is that I can probably do this treatment twice daily.  Given that I may simply be UNABLE to get an alternative antibiotic tomorrow unless the Kanamycin shows up, I will probably do this dip again tomorrow.  If I do, I’ll take some pictures of the procedure.

Hoping to save her good eye…

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