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Ruby Reef Hydroplex

SKU: Rubyreef-hydroplex
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HydroPlex is a scientifically developed copper free, antibiotic free, broad spectrum aquarium pharmaceutical that is effective for the control of parasites and microscopic organisms found in aquaria and ornamental ponds including bacteria, ciliated protozoa, dinoflagellates, copepods, small [platy]helmenthics and annelids. HydroPlex™ is especially effective, and strongly, recommended, in a dip regimen for cleansing new arrivals of unwanted parasites and bacteria, especialy if a quarantine tank regimen is not practical. It is very effective for treating diseased fish via a dip regimen or in hospital tanks.

HydroPlex`s important attributes include:

  • Effective Disease Control
  • Safety
  • Ease of Use

HydroPlex™ contains a unique blend of trade secret anti-microbial formulations available to the hobby industry exclusively through Ruby Reef™. These formulations are widely used in over-the-counter health care products (e.g., in antibacterial and antifungal products) and in a broad range of cosmetics and beauty aids (e.g., as antimicrobial preservatives). In-other-words, they offer broad-spectrum protection against infectious disease, while being safe for human and animal exposure as well as for disposal down the drain.

The ability to blend these formulations in a single aqueous solution was made possible by the development of a biologically inert stabilizing system. Specifically, the HydroPlex™ stabilizing system allows the component ingredients comprising three formulations to be combined in one solution without any loss (e.g., due to chemical cross-reactions) in the range or effectiveness of any of the three anti-microbial activities. In fact, if stored away from bright light or direct sunlight, HydroPlex™ has a [predicted] shelf life of 5 - 10 years at room temperature.

HydroPlex™ DOES NOT CONTAIN copper, antibiotics, formaldehyde, malachite green or methylene blue.

The development of HydroPlex™ required the collective experience and resources of a three-member product development team. This team included:

  • Ruby Reef™
  • An R & D partner that specializes in chemical and biomolecular disease management products for commercial aquaculture, environmental and water resource management, and plant and animal agriculture; and,
  • An internationally renowned marine biology research institution located in Woods Hole, MA; the scientists at the Woods Hole institution have made substantial contributions to "calibrating" HydroPlex™ for a variety of applications.

How does HydroPlex™ work?

HydroPlex™ integrates three scientifically proven levels of control. One level aggressively exploits a biochemical vulnerability common to molds, fungi, yeast and microalgae. A second level provides a broad-spectrum shield against infection by microbial organisms. The last level is extremely effective against bacteria, other microbes and small parasites that depend on aerobic respiration for energy.

HydroPlex™ employs a highly penetrative principle that acts -- irreversibly -- on the biochemical machinery responsible for extracting energy from molecular oxygen. Thus, even small exposures permanently deprive bacteria, ciliated protozoa, dinoflagellates, etc. of the energy required for motility, feeding and reproduction. Due to its excellent penetrative properties HydroPlex™ offers the means for rapid control of microbes and parasites attached to or embedded in gill tissues, attending vasculature and surrounding structures.

What are the applications of HydroPlex™?

  • Dips, especially for New Arrivals and Diseased Fish
  • Hospital and Quarantine Tanks
  • Marine and Tropical Fish
  • Koi and Goldfish
  • New Ponds* and Aquaria
  • Recycling Old Ponds* and Aquaria

* HydroPlex™ is intended for use with ornamental and other closed system ponds that do not discharge into the environment.

Important Notes

  • DO NOT USE HydroPlex™ with amphibians or cephalopods.
  • HydroPlex™ is effective for the treatment of Vibrio infections in cephalopods; however, cephalopods may display symptoms of distress and should be closely monitored during treatment.
  • HydroPlex™ is NOT REEF SAFE and is NOT recommended for use in other established aquaria because it may compromise biological filtration.
  • Corals should be closed and polyps should be fully retracted prior to exposure to dip strength HydroPlex™. Some corals display symptoms of distress when exposed (with polyps extended) for long periods (1 – 3 days) to hospital strength HydroPlex.™ Open corals should be closely monitored during treatment.

Instructions for Use of HydroPlex™


1.0 Ounce/Quart for 10 Minutes

  • An effective barrier against the transmission and propagation of parasites borne on new arrivals;
  • A water treatment strategy that rapidly quenches external infections of bacterial, fungal or other parasitic origin.

When HydroPlex™ is used at either dip or hospital tank strength (see below) it rapidly penetrates the mucous coat and gill tissues of fish. Ciliated and flagellated protozoa thus exposed suffer irreversible effects upon contact. Similarly, when used at dip strength, HydroPlex™ neutralizes most bacteria, fungi, yeast, molds and microalgae within 5 - 10 minutes.

Therefore, HydroPlex™ dips should always be used to control transmission and propagation of parasites and microbes on new arrivals including fish, crustaceans and snails. Dip experiments with corals and other potentially sensitive species are in progress (see Test Results).

General Method:

Aerate and equilibrate fish + packing bag or dip water to the receiving aquarium. Stop aeration and add 1.0 oz HydroPlex™/quart with mixing. Let stand without aeration for 10 minutes and then transfer fish to a recovery tank, or to a hospital/quarantine tank containing 2.0 ozs. HydroPlex™/5 gallons.

Do not exceed the dosage and time frame recommended herein for dips: 10 minutes @ 1.0 oz/quart.

Commercial Packing Bags and Similar Professional Applications:

A more aggressive dip strategy is available for packing and transport bags (e.g., trans-shipments of Indo-Pacific specimens) that bear high densities of fish, high bacterial counts, and/or a high probability of infectious parasites. Add 1.0 oz HydroPlex™/quart as described above. If fish show no undue signs of stress, loss of equilibrium, etc. after 5 minutes, add a second dose of 1.0 oz/quart with mixing. Let stand an additional 5 minutes (10 total minutes) and then transfer fish. However, at a total dose of 2.0 ozs/quart, transfer fish immediately if they display symptoms including loss of equilibrium, extreme clamping of fins or the onset of an unusually inert demeanor. Fish displaying extreme symptoms will typically regain normal vigor and appetite within 24 - 48 hours after transfer to a recovery tank.

Do not dip more than 5 minutes at 2.0 ozs./quart.


2 Ozs./5 Gallons Every 24 Hours.

Elimination of infectious agents in the treatment tank.

We have performed field tests on diseased fish and new arrivals using 2.0 - 4.0 ozs. FreshStart™/5 gallons in hospital and quarantine tanks. Striking results have been observed during experiments with diseased freshwater and marine fish displaying protozoan parasites, infected lesions and ulcers, and a variety of other maladies (see Test Results). Similarly, use of HydroPlex™ in quarantine tanks for new arrivals sharply reduces the incidence of disease, while improving the health, vigor and display quality of fish (e.g., prevents infection and promotes rapid healing of torn or damaged fins).

Our systematic field tests with diseased specimens have focused primarily on freshwater fish including goldfish, Koi, livebearers, cichlids, discus and loachs. One somewhat surprising observation, seen in two experiments with guppies, is that a single exposure to HydroPlex™ at 2.0 oz/5 gallons appears to retard, if not eliminate, wasting disease.

Prolonged exposure to HydroPlex™ at 2.0 ozs/5 gallons has proven completely safe for all fish, crustaceans and snails tested to date, and will therefore constitute the dosage recommended on the label instructions. However, prolonged exposure to 4.0 ozs/5 gallons has proven safe for all crustaceans and snails tested, and most -- but not all -- fish.

By comparison, 2.0 ozs/5 gallons is dangerously toxic to tadpoles, toads and frogs, and gilled newts and salamanders, and noticeably irritating to squid and octopus.

Due to its extremely efficient and rapid modes of penetration, HydroPlex™ is intended primarily for use in "new water" hospital and quarantine tanks that have not been cycled. However, a "loading dose" regimen has been refined for effective use of HydroPlex™ in cycled or mature aquaria (see below).

The bacteria and other bioload components in a cycled or otherwise mature aquarium will typically absorb all the available HydroPlex™ within 60 minutes at a starting dose of 2.0 ozs/5 gallons. Such exposures are adequate to control all protozoan and microbial parasites accessible during this period (as well as collapse the biologic filter), but no long-term protection (including tissue penetration) is afforded.


Add 2.0 ozs. HydroPlex™/5 gallons immediately before adding fish.

If necessary, HydroPlex™ can be added at 2.0 ozs/5 gallons every 24 hours thereafter. Do not add more than 4 total doses in any 72 hour period (i.e., @ 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours). Do not aerate for at least 1 hour after the addition of HydroPlex™. Biologic filtration (e.g., a pre-cured over-the-back filter) can be started 24 hours after the last addition of HydroPlex™, or after an adequate carbon filtration step. Due to lack of biologic filtration, water changes may be required. Tanks treated with HydroPlex™ will typically develop a turbid appearance as they begin to cycle.


Add 2.0 ozs HydroPlex™/5 gallons at 0, 1 and 13 hours, and at 37 and 61 hours as required.


For rapid quenching of primary and secondary infections in open wounds, ulcers and sores.

The bioactive formulations in HydroPlex™ are found in a wide range of facial cosmetics and body lotions. They are also found in concentrations up to 1% - 2% in over-the-counter healthcare aids such anti-bacterial soaps, shampoos and oral hygiene products, as well anti-fungal creams and ointments. HydroPlex™ thus affords predictable safety for transient contact. Consequently, HydroPlex™ can be applied locally at full strength, with a cotton swab or an eyedropper, to promote the rapid healing of ulcers, sores, wounds and other open lesions displaying signs of bacterial or fungal infections. However, gill tissues should never come in contact with full strength HydroPlex™. The already excellent penetration of HydroPlex™ can be enhanced by mixing it 1:1 with hydrogen peroxide from a local drug store or supermarket immediately prior to application.

Koi & Goldfish

HydroPlex™ promotes the rapid healing and recovery of Koi and goldfish suffering from external parasites, primary and secondary bacterial/fungal infections, and fin and tail rot. One commercial distributor in Massachusetts credits HydroPlex™ with saving the cash value of an especially diseased lot of Koi that did not respond to treatment with formalin, malachite green and/or antibiotics (see Test Results).

Pond maintenance.

Outdoor goldfish and Koi ponds are chronically plagued by algal blooms and fish parasites. However, many parasite problems can be avoided if the parasites are not introduced with new fish. Therefore, immediately prior to adding new goldfish or Koi to a pond, they should be dipped in HydroPlex™ at 1.0 oz/quart of pre-equilibrated water for 10 minutes. At the end of the 10-minute dip period the fish can be transferred to the pond by netting or by pouring.

Manufacturer Info

Ruby Reef
Ruby Reef was incorporated in 1998 after three years of product development, product stability and beta site testing, and market testing by Dr. Sam Grillo. Ruby Reef`s products are based on both a high level of scientific acumen and efficacy, and a thorough understanding of both fish diseases and the associated problems experienced by aquarium hobbyists. Ruby Reef provides scientifically sound disease management products as good or better than any available to aquarium hobbyists.

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