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This is a powerful stain, sometimes known as a tanning agent due to cross-linking of proteins it causes (Burns, 2000). It belongs to a class of drugs known as acridines, which bond to the nucleic acids of disease causing organisms. The resulting cross-linking damage kills microbes (some bacteria, fungus, and especially ectoparasites).
Acriflavine is useful for the treatment of open wounds, external protozoan infections and skin parasites, and the control of Columnaris bacterial infections (Flexibacter sp.). Consider using it when seahorses show the following symptoms: increased respiration, loss of normal body color, scratching themselves with their tails or scratching or on objects; lethargic behavior, randomly distributed powdery or dust-like spots on their body, having a yellowish cast (Oodinium); frayed fins, body lesions with reddish color and diffuse white areas (Flexibacter).
The best thing about Acriflavine is that it is very safe. Fish tolerate it very well and it does not effect biofiltration so it can be used to treat the main tank. Acriflavine can be use with methylene blue to aid respiratory distress and increase its effectiveness against protozoan parasites.
Acriflavine is sensitive to strong light and UV and will decompose in their presence. Treatment tanks should be kept under diffuse light and away from sunlight during treatment.