Medication Dosing Guide

I wanted to compile a quick reference of the most common aquarium medications we use, and provide dosing guidelines/ranges for each. Below you will find information pertaining to both aquarium brand medications and related generics. Generally speaking, using generics (I buy from here) is preferred because they are more pure and contain less fillers. However, you will need to use a small digital scale to accurately measure generic medications. Also keep in mind that some medications (especially antibiotics) will have ranges listed – lowest to highest tolerated therapeutic range. It’s best to use the low range when treating species that are known to be sensitive to medications (e.g. anthias, dragonets, wrasses, scaleless fish, etc.) However, sometimes the only way to overcome a virulent infection (or similar) is to treat at maximum therapeutic.

** Antibiotics **

Ciprofloxacin: 1-2 hour bath treatment @ 250mg per gal. Repeat every 24 hours for 7 days. Methylene Blue can be added to increase efficacy.

Enrofloxacin: 9.5 – 19 mg/gal daily for 7 days; can be used both in a QT or as a 5 hour bath treatment.

Erythromycin (for eye infections): 12.5 – 25 mg/gal every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10-14 days.
Aquarium Brands: E.M. ERYTHROMYCIN (1 packet per 10 gallons) or Maracyn (1 packet per 10 gallons).

Kanamycin Sulfate: 25 – 37.5 mg/gal every 48 hours (24 hours for severe problems) with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 – 14 days.
Aquarium Brands: Seachem Kanaplex (1 scoop per 5 gallons) or AAP Spectrogram 1 capsule per 10 gals (Kanamycin/Nitrofurazone synergistic combination, which can also be used with Metronidazole.)

Neomycin Sulfate: 25 mg/gal every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days. For fish tuberculosis, use for up to 30 days.
Aquarium Brands: Seachem Neoplex (1 measure per 2 gallons. Repeat this dose every 7 days to a maximum of 3 weeks.)

Nitrofuracin Green Powder: 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gallons every 24 hours with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10- 14 days.

Nitrofurazone: 10 – 25 mg/gal every 48 hours (24 hours for severe problems) with a 25-50% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 – 14 days.
Aquarium Brands: API Furan-2 (1 packet per 10 gallons) or AAP Spectrogram 1 capsule per 10 gals (Kanamycin/Nitrofurazone synergistic combination, which can also be used with Metronidazole.)

Sulfa drugs (Sulfamerazine, Sulfamethazine, Sulfathiazole): 25 mg/gal every 48 hours (24 hours for severe issues) with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for a minimum of 10 days.
Aquarium Brands: API Triple Sulfa (1 packet per 10 gallons) or Seachem SulfaPlex (2-3 measures per 10 US gallons. Repeat this dose every 72 hours for a maximum of 3 weeks.)

** Copper Products ** (therapeutic level) and dosage required to achieve this

Copper Power (2.5 ppm): 1.48ml per gallon (or use this dosing calculator)

Copper sulfate pentahydrate (0.20 ppm): More info here

Cupramine (0.50 ppm): 4 drops (0.2ml) per gallon OR 1ml per 5 gallons

Cuprion (0.20 ppm): 1 drop per gallon

* Both Coppersafe and Kordon Copper Aid (2.0 ppm) can be used; however follow the directions on the label AND confirm reading via Hanna High Range Copper Colorimeter HI702. Actually, I would use the Hanna checker on all of the above as you may still need to dose a little extra in order to achieve full therapeutic.

** With copper never reach therapeutic all in one dosage! It’s best to take at least 4-5 days (longer is ever better), dosing small amounts several times per day.

** Dewormers ** (External)

Fenbendazole: 12 hour bath treatment at 25 mg/L (95 mg/gallon)
** Bath must be repeated in about a week. Use this treatment calendar to determine when is the best time to do the SECOND bath: http://www.marineparasites.com/paratreatmentcal.html

Hyposalinity: 15 ppt (1.011 SG) for 5 days eliminates juvenile and adult flukes + eggs.

Praziquantel: 9.5 mg/gal (not easily water soluble so mix in a cup using a few drops of vodka before dosing)
Aquarium Brands: API General Cure (1 packet or scoop per 10 gallons) or Prazipro (1 teaspoon or 5ml per 20 gallons)
** Must be dosed at least TWICE, usually a week apart. Use this treatment calendar to determine when is the best time to add the second dose: http://www.marineparasites.com/paratreatmentcal.html

** Dewormers ** (Internal)

My recipe for food soaking deworming medications can be found below.

Using a shot glass:

  • 1 scoop (~ 1/8 teaspoon) of medication (API General Cure or Fenbendazole** + Metroplex)
  • 1 or 2 scoops Seachem Focus (this makes it reef safe + binds the medication to the food)
  • 1 Tbsp food (preferably pellets or frozen food)
  • A pinch of Epsom salt to help expel dead worms/parasites
  • A few drops of saltwater or fish vitamins
  • Stir until a medicated food slurry has been achieved.
  • Feed after soaking for 30 mins.
  • Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers for future use.
  • You can feed this mix 1-2 times per day.  Not recommend to exceed 2 feedings per day with medicated food.

** There have been some reports that Fenbendazole doesn’t always bind well to food, even when using Seachem Focus. Fenbendazole also doesn’t appear to be as “reef safe” as praziquantel, metronidazole – the two active ingredients found in General Cure. Therefore, caution must be taken when using it in a tank with corals.

** Misc. **

Acriflavine: Best to use Ruby Reef Rally @ 1 teaspoon per gallon in a 90 minute bath. :Thumbs_up_green:

Chloroquine Phosphate: 40-60 mg/gal for 30 days (or 14 days and then transfer to a sterile observation tank at least 10 feet away)

Formalin (37% formaldehyde):

  • In-tank treatment: 1 milliliter (ml) per 10 gallons, or 2 drops per gallon daily in a bare aquarium.
  • Bath treatment: 30-60 minutes @ 0.6 ml per gallon, or 12 drops per gallon.

Freshwater Dip: No longer than 5 minutes (more info)

Hydrogen Peroxide: 20 ml of 3% H2O2 per 1 gallon of saltwater for 30 minutes

Methylene Blue: Best to use an aquarium product such as Kordon or Fritz.

  • 30 min bath (preferred): 1 teaspoon (5 ml) per 5 gallons.
  • In a quarantine tank: 1 teaspoon (5 ml) per 10 gallons every other day for 10 days with water changes before each treatment.

Metronidazole: 12.5 – 25 mg/gal every 48 hours (24 hours for severe problems) with a 25% water change before each treatment. Treat for 10 days.
Aquarium Brands: Seachem MetroPlex (1-2 measures per 10 gallons. Repeat this dose every 48 hours for up to 3 weeks or until symptoms disappear.)

** You can use MS-222 Tricaine for both sedation and euthanasia: https://pentairaes.com/tricainer-s-topical-anesthetics-ms-222.html

The spreadsheet for determining both dosages can be downloaded here: https://pentairaes.com/media/docs/treatment_calculator_excel_2010.xlsx