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Fresh Water Dip Protocol

Active Ingredient: Not applicable. Works via osmotic pressure.
Indication: external parasites

Contraindications: The organism cannot tolerate osmotic changes. It is critically stressed.


Mode of Action: All marine organisms are adapted to a certain specific gravity/salinity however the tolerance they show to salinity variances may differ. Most parasites do not tolerate hyposalinity conditions, as water due to diffusion will move into their cells and due to lack of compensation mechanism their cell membranes may rapture or their metabolism may be highly affected and so  they will die. But most marine fishes tolerate short term exposure to hyposalinity conditions.



  • Clean bucket or other container (that has never come in contact with chemicals) that is suitable to accomodate a fish – allow for movement. Volume can be about 15 L
  • Dechlorinated Water
  • Sodium Bicarbonate or other buffer to adjuct pH
  • Thermometer & pH meter
  • Stopwatch
  • Airline
  • Artificial Hitch (for Seahorses)


  • Fill a small tank with aged, aerated, dechlorinated freshwater. Match
    the pH and temperature to that of the tank the Seahorse/Fish is currently in.(Temperature can be prepared to be slightly over that of the tank - loss of heat may occur)
  • Add an artificial hitch and an airline.
  • Place the Seahorse/Fish into the fresh water and observe its reaction.
  • If the Seahorse/Fish thrashes or shows signs of irritation leave it in the
    freshwater for 8 minutes minimum, 15 minutes maximum (Discomfort is
    an indication that the dip is killing parasites).
  • If the Seahorse/Fish lays listless at the bottom check to see that it is
    breathing, its eyes react to movement, and it responds to being
    touched. If this is the case, leave the Seahorse in the fresh water for 8
    minutes minimum, 15 minutes maximum. If the Seahorse becomes
    unresponsive, immediately return it to the hospital tank.
  • Observe the Seahorse/Fish for 24hrs for signs of improvement.


Additional Treatments:

One of the following may also be used:

Methylene Blue (0.4 ml or 8 drops of ~2% solution per 15 L of water)
Lugol solution (1 drop of 5% aquatic solution per 15 L )

Disclaimer: There are no standrad procedures. Every therapy may be followed but with your own responsibility. It is suggested that more than one sources is considered.