How To Peroxide (H2O2) dosing for parasites in reef tank

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drstardust

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Any thoughts on doing this longterm as a management tool? Not with hopes of actually eradicating anything, but with a similar goal to UV sterilizers et al.
 

Jessican

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Does H2O2 kill flukes and ICH as well?
It should kill anything in a free-swimming stage. We’re not sure that it can penetrate encysted parasites (or ich on the fish since it burrows pretty deep) but I don’t see why it wouldn’t kill free swimming ich or flukes. I think the key is treating long enough to catch any free swimmers if you have ich that’s encysted in your tank.
 

kouma

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Thanks Jessican. Did you have your skimmers and powerheads on of off during treatment? Also you mentioned that UV enhances the treatment, how so? Do you dose directly to the tank or the sump?
 
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Jessican

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Thanks Jessican. Did you have your skimmers and powerheads on of off during treatment? Also you mentioned that UV enhances the treatment, how so?
I kept everything on during treatment - skimmer, gyres, return pump - and even added carbon back in once I realized that the oxidation reaction has the potential to create toxic byproducts (same reason you have to run the output of an ozone reactor through carbon). So really I kept the tank running completely as normal while dosing.

According to this, UV actually makes peroxide into an even stronger oxidizer: https://iaspub.epa.gov/tdb/pages/treatment/treatmentOverview.do?treatmentProcessId=-300168699

In my personal experience, once I added the UV, I was able to lower the amount of peroxide being used and ultimately stop it altogether. Fish that still consistently had spotty fins during peroxide treatment completely cleared up within a day or two, which indicated to me that they worked even better in combination than alone.
 

kouma

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Thanks Jessican, this was very helpful. Did you measure your H2O2 (PPM) during the treatment?

In my case, I am dosing based on 55-60ppm. When I measure after an hour or two, I still get 50ppm. However, I have noticed that a few hours later it falls into 10ppm or even 3ppm. This tells me that the potency of H2O2 degrades quickly. Is there a reason why we dose every 12 hours? I think the potency of H2O2 would degrade into nothing much sooner than 12 hours.
 

Jessican

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Thanks Jessican, this was very helpful. Did you measure your H2O2 (PPM) during the treatment?

In my case, I am dosing based on 55-60ppm. When I measure after an hour or two, I still get 50ppm. However, I have noticed that a few hours later it falls into 10ppm or even 3ppm. This tells me that the potency of H2O2 degrades quickly. If there a reason why we dose every 12 hours? I think the potency of H2O2 would degrade into nothing much sooner than 12 hours.
I was aiming for much lower, because mine is a full-on reef - I was dosing around 1mL/5gal, which is only about 1.6ppm. @Sashaka went as high as 75ppm but damaged the tank’s cycle, so be careful going too high.

I did try to measure using a Hanna test kit, but the numbers I was getting weren’t making any sense, so I gave up on that. What are you using to test? The Hanna kit that I found only went up to 10ppm if I recall correctly.

I’ve no doubt it degrades quickly - we started at every 12 hrs because that’s what was “known” to be reef safe, but we upped it to every 8 hrs and then added in overnight dosing (I did every 15 min for 6 hours, and I think @SKKY did every 10 min), which seemed to make a bigger difference. Frequent dosing overnight seems to keep the concentration up, especially since the lights aren’t helping to degrade. I did try to keep the levels up during the day, too, by dosing every 1.5 hours, but that’s when I started to run into toxicity issues with inverts and corals, and problems with an algae that started to take over. That was the point where I backed off of the dosing and added UV.
 

kouma

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I am using Bartovation (they come under different names) test strips 100 for $20 from Amazon. The range is: 0, 1, 3, 10, 50, and 100ppm.

Glad to know that the 12-hours magic number is not set in stone. I will start testing my H2O2 concentration every two 2-3 hours and whenever I see it below 10ppm, I will dose to bring it up to 50ppm.
 

Tmfda742

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*** The information contained here is only EXPERIMENTAL at the moment. Use at your own risk!!! ***

Disclaimer: I am in no way advocating this as a replacement for prophylactic quarantine or treatment in a hospital tank for active outbreaks. I think the decision to try to manage an outbreak in the display vs going fallow and treating with medication is going to be a personal one. I personally don’t think treatment in a hospital tank is always practical, especially when you have a large tank with large and/or numerous fish.

Important! Continue to run carbon while dosing peroxide. It may break the peroxide down faster, but it is necessary to prevent the buildup of toxic byproducts of oxidation.

Recommended use: Temporarily treating a parasite outbreak in a display tank while a hospital tank is acquired/set up, and fish are captured and moved. This can take the initial panic out of the equation and buy precious time for the fish. We don’t know for sure if this could eventually eliminate a parasite on its own without causing harm to the rest of the inhabitants, so long-term use is risky.

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At the beginning of this year, I was faced with a disease outbreak in my Reefer 525 (~139g system). I believe it was velvet. I’ve dealt with this before in my smaller tanks, and despite treatment with copper or cholorquine phosphate, still lost 8 out of 14 fish (57%). This time around, though, I’m dealing with a much larger tank, with much larger fish (still 14 total), and rockwork that couldn’t be removed to facilitate catching the fish. So I decided to try something somewhat unconventional: treating the velvet outbreak in the display by dosing peroxide.

I fortunately caught the outbreak early – only one fish had spots when I started dosing, and wasn’t showing any of the other outward signs of the disease (flashing, hiding from light, loss of appetite, or swimming in the flow of a powerhead).
  • Starting dose: 1mL per 8 gallons (15mL) every 12 hours
  • Week 2: increased to 1mL per 8 gallons (15mL) every 8 hours
  • Week 4: increased to 1mL per 5 gallons (24mL) every 8 hours, and added overnight dosing (1mL every 15 minutes for 6 hours)
I did wind up increasing the dosing frequency after this to every 3 hours, then every 1.5 hours during the day to try to keep the peroxide concentration up. Unfortunately, this is when I started to see algae issues, and wound up with spreading hair algae, as well as diatom and dino outbreaks, despite my nutrients staying relatively high, so I won’t get into that dosing schedule. I backed it off, and ultimately settled on this dosage:
  • 1mL per 5 gallons (24mL) every 12 hours, just before lights on and just after lights off.
  • 2mL every 15 minutes for 6 hours overnight (for a total of 48mL)
Note: I do think it’s important to start at the 1mL/8-10 gallon every 8-12 hours to give the tank time to adjust, and work up to the higher and more frequent dosing.

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Other thoughts/concerns:

- Is it 100% reef safe? I'd say no, but what is? There's always a trade-off somewhere. Although I only lost 3 out of 14 fish (21%) with this method, I did lose several inverts and a few corals, although most did survive unscathed (whether the losses were directly due to the peroxide or due to the toxic byproducts that built up when I wasn’t running carbon, I can’t say).

Invert losses: All trochus, margarita, and turbo snails, 1 tropical abalone, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 pincushion urchin, and 1 maxima clam (not dead yet, but not looking great, so I expect I'll likely lose it)​
Coral losses: Only softies/polyps (pipe organ coral, toadstool leather, finger leather, purple gorgonian, several kenya trees)​
Invert survivors: All nerite, cerith, and bumblebee snails, all money cowries, 1 tropical abalone, fighting conch, electric flame scallop, various hermit/pitho/strawberry/pom pom crabs, rock flower/BTA/mini carpet anemones, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 sexy shrimp 3 urchins (tuxedo, short spine, and Halloween), and 1 maxima clam. The BTAs actually continued to split like crazy while I was doing this – there were probably 12 in the tank when I started, and that number at least doubled.​
Coral survivors: SPS frags (pocillapora, millepora, digitata, bonsai acro, various montis, psammacora, potato chip, elephant skin), large monti cap, variety of LPS (frogspawns, hammers, torches, cristata, acans, favias, pearl bubble, leptastrea, gonis/alveoporas, moseleya, fungia plate, turbinara, duncans, lobos, galaxea, blastos, candy cane, pectinia), one zoa colony (it actually went from 2 polyps to 5), and several mushrooms​

- Did I have far better fish outcomes than I would have if I'd pulled everyone into treatment and gone fallow? I believe so. I've seen far greater losses when I've treated with CP or copper in a hospital tank. The fish continued to behave normally, and I didn't see any appetite suppression the entire time, besides that one anthias that I lost.

However, caveat to that…:

- Do I think the parasite is gone? No, but I do think it's well controlled. After two months, I installed a UV sterilizer and discontinued the peroxide dosing. I will continue to watch closely in the coming months to see if I need to start back up again.

- Would I take this approach again? Absolutely. No quarantine or treatment regimen is going to be 100% effective 100% of the time, so if something pops up again despite my best efforts, I will choose this method over going fallow.

FTS at the beginning of treatment:
View attachment 1712

FTS at the end of treatment:
View attachment 1713

what percentage of hydrogen peroxide did you use for this?
 

Humblefish

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what percentage of hydrogen peroxide did you use for this?

3% - Like what you find at Walmart

IMG_0397-e1555121551754-768x1024.jpg
 

bbcoach81

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extract from my post on 25th Feb - Started in Jan as below
Total 4 week dosing period

FULL UPDATE:

I started dosing H202 3% on Sunday 26th after joining this thread with the tank in situation as below.
I began with a 1mg/8gal dosing schedule three times per day (8am, 4pm, 12pm - 4pm is after main lights shut off, other two in the dark) - but after 48 hours seeing no adverse affects I decided to double the dose for the rest of the time so 1mg/4gal - which on my system was 33mg x 3 daily dosing.

I synched my refugium to the main display instead of reverse lighting schedule.
I've run skimmer the full way through but removed any carbon and no UV light
No water changes
No ammonia or nitrate spikes
Lost all macro algae in refugium but copepods still alive and breeding
Fed heavy - 2x frozen feedings, auto pellet and adding some probiotic pellets to normal feeding. 1x nori sheet daily
 

PSU4ME

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Have you guys noticed any large drop in nuisance algae? I think I have Lyngbya and the starting rate was 1ml per 10 g but you guys are dosing it much stronger here so I’d expect a big impact there.

separate question. If I’m QT’ing love rock, does this, can this speed it up?
 

Jessican

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Have you guys noticed any large drop in nuisance algae? I think I have Lyngbya and the starting rate was 1ml per 10 g but you guys are dosing it much stronger here so I’d expect a big impact there.

separate question. If I’m QT’ing love rock, does this, can this speed it up?
When I got too heavy handed with the dosing, I actually had an increase in nuisance algae that I thought was dinos (fortunately, it wasn’t). I think this is due to too much peroxide affecting the biodiversity in the tank. I’ve since gotten that under control, but definitely still have a hair algae issue.

And no, I wouldn’t expect it to speed up QTing rock. I’m pretty sure it only works on free swimmers, not on tomonts. You’d still have to wait those out.
 

PSU4ME

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Thank you, I’m assuming that concentration high enough to kill tomonts are effectively nuking the rock leaving no benefit of it being “live”.

bout 30 more days to go then!
 

Humblefish

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Thank you, I’m assuming that concentration high enough to kill tomonts are effectively nuking the rock leaving no benefit of it being “live”.

bout 30 more days to go then!

It takes 60ppm chlorine 24 hours to kill Ich tomonts, so no telling how high the peroxide concentration would have to be. :eek:
 

Schnell76

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Question from a newbie on this. Would polyp lab Medic be considered peroxide since the label indicates “peroxide salts”. I’ve been treating with that and UV for 220 DT for 2 weeks and seeing improvement in the initial fish, but seems couple others are showing signs of ich. All eating and acting pretty normal.
 

Humblefish

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Question from a newbie on this. Would polyp lab Medic be considered peroxide since the label indicates “peroxide salts”. I’ve been treating with that and UV for 220 DT for 2 weeks and seeing improvement in the initial fish, but seems couple others are showing signs of ich. All eating and acting pretty normal.

My assumption is that PolypLab Medic is peroxide based, but a) It's expensive b) You don't know what concentration of H2O2 you are dosing.

In @Jessican's original post, she lays out dosage info using 3% H2O2 that anyone can buy from Walmart or a drug store. :)
 
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