Treatment of Ich in Retail System
I have a relatively new fish system (has been stocked about 6 months).
It has 6 divide 70 gallon and 3 undivided 70 gallon display tanks, a 100
gallon sessile invertebrate flow through unit attached,
<... trouble. Your invert., actually non-fish system/s need to be
and another 600 gallons of water circulating around in the filtration
systems. For a total of about 1300 gallons. The filtration is still
under construction to some degree but mostly operational. Currently I'm
turning over the water in the tanks ~8 times per hour. There are two
pumps with this job each pumping through their own inline 440w TMC
<Helps; but of and by itself won't prevent parasitic, infectious issues;
nor cure them>
The biofilter, skimmer, etc are all supplied by ancillary pumps. The
tanks are all bare bottom but do have small amount of porous rock to
give the fish a little structure. To date, I've had one or two fish
break out in Ich but showed little stress and recovered quickly without
However, I had a recent outbreak which was bad enough to treat and I
think my poor management of the situation has now turned into a
disaster. I have done much research on your site for many years yet
still find myself struggling to understand disease management well
enough to apply it effectively in our system, but want to! I've also duo
of full line stores to run and my fish guys all have their own ideas of
what to do and I need a
system that we can apply effectively and practically now and in the
1 week and 1 month ago... our first major Ich outbreak occurs in one of
our divided 70 gallon tanks stocked with an Achilles tang,
indigo hamlet, dwarf lion, dog face puffer, goldbar wrasse, Toby puffer,
and falco Hawkfish. All Sm to M in size and in the tank between 1-3
months or so save the dog face puffer and all except the little lion
were voracious eaters and apparently hardy specimens. The tang and the
puffer broke out at approximately the same time. One of my fish guys
caught it quick and we isolated the tank from the system. We put an
Aquaclear filter with some media from the main systems bio filter and
added a heater and water circulation. We did a 3 day treatment of
formalin in the tank using quick cure at the recommended dose and over
that period increased temperature to about 84. The treatment at first
seemed reasonably effective and we did a large water change on the tank
on day 3 but kept the tank isolated and increased the heat to 86, at
which point I thought Ich was unable to reproduce which I thought I had
read in a text book a couple years ago but upon further research
realizing may only apply to the FW variety
though still effective in speeding up lifecycle as I understand. Well
after a week or so the tang had a recurrence and we started another 3
day regime of the formalin. The tang was lost shortly thereafter and
most of the other fish broke out as well. This time around the Ich were
much more abundant and effected the majority of the fish. During
treatment the wrasse died but the rest of the fish pulled through and
the tank went another couple weeks before my fish guys had some concerns
about water quality and ongoing maintenance/reliability in the isolated
tank. At this point all the fish were given a freshwater dip and moved
into other tanks.
The isolated tank was cleaned with a bleach solution and left to dry
before being added on to the system. It's about a week later now and I
have 7 or so fish from various tanks who now have Ich, a couple fairy
couple blue tangs, a long nose butterfly, a porcupine puffer, and a
flameback angel. The puffer, angel, 1 of the blue tangs, and one of the
fairy wrasses are all new fish only about a week or so in the system.
I've tried to identify probably causes and I have a plethora of options.
A. Previously QT'd fish still had Ich when they were spread (although
the tanks that now have the Ich have one of those fish in them).
B. New fish just brought it in on them
<Quite probable this time of year>
C. Sterilizer effectiveness waning?
D. Stress related to a couple of buggerups I made
<A contributing cause/influence>
(I did some work on the system using both pvc glue and silicone
and I started running water through these components several
hours later and afterward did some research and discovered that until
its fully cured can contaminate the water) E. Some sort of cross
contamination from nets or buckets from the previously quarantined tank.
<Maybe... what do you use for a dip?>
I considered several options including copper (The invert tank can run
on its own if needed),
<Ah; thank goodness>
but really don't want to introduce copper into the system as I've heard
it can persist and plague invertebrates even after using media to remove
it. I thought about the same with formalin but that seemed too extreme
situation and the wide variety of fish in the system. So I ended up
moving all the affected fish to their own divided tank (on the system)
and removed the rock. From their gave them all a SW formalin bath using
recommendation of .75 ml per gallon. Most of the fish bathed for about
45 minutes in well circulated tank water. I lost the flameback during
the dip but he wasn't looking real great to begin with. My plan is to
giving the dip once daily to affected fish and continue moving affected
fish to the rock free tank and scraping the walls and floor of this tank
every few days. Does this plan seem prudent?
<Mmm; worth trying if this is all the facilities you have>
Aggressive enough? Should I isolate the tank again (I'd rather not, the
fish didn't do great last time around and it seems the UV sterilizers
may aid in treatment but do I put the other tanks at greater risk?)
<I'd re-do the plumbing... isolate the two systems... non fish to one
(algae, plants, invertebrates), fishes to the other... and treat w/ what
you prefer. Chelated copper if you want; a quinine compound even better>
Should I do FW bath instead of SW?
<? Yes... pH adjusted... See the SOP on WWM. Sorry; am at an airport and
short on time to look up>
The SW is much easier with less room for error than the FW and there are
so many conflicting reports on effectiveness of FW bath as treatment and
highly variable tolerance times that it's not nearly as practical.
<Aye ya... my talk at this year's Aquatic Experience show this wknd in
Chi town is about this.... Have campaigned for decades to eradicate the
naiveté of folks... including in the trade>
I've also considered hyposalinity but many conflicting reports there as
well from industry pundits ranging all the way from it's a bogus
internet myth to it's far and away the best and most effective ongoing
<Again; please use WWM. ALMOST all stores, wholesalers utilize
artificially low spg (but not hypo. as a treatment; it rarely works)...
a good idea on several counts.>
I know my current plan is practical enough, but do you believe its
effective enough to implement as our "official system" for dealing with
this problem as it occurs. Are there other measures or advice you would
recommend? At what point would you consider fish safe to relocate?
<... MANY... can't do the Vulcan mind-meld (unfortunately), and there's
WAY TOO MUCH to re-key. WHAT you need to know is archived on WWM. See
how to use the search tool, indices>
What would be a prudent length of time to restrict livestock sales on
1. tanks that had an infection but have no further outbreaks and
2. Tanks that are on the system but did not experience any outbreak 3.
Fish that have been treated and recovered
<There is no set answer here w/ any degree of confidence. Were it my
shop; so few organisms involved, I'd bleach the systems; treat the fish
For new fish, mostly I understand FW dips are a worthwhile measure and
plan on doing that in the future as well as rearranging my tanks to get
new fish in their own tanks between orders both to minimize stress and
potential impact of disease transmission. Full QT system big enough for
new fish may be in my future but that comes at a heavy cost (retail
comes at a premium!).
<Ah yes. Are you attending Aq. Exp.?>
Thanks for your time and effort, not sure where I'd be without your
<We'll be chatting. Don't lose heart or give up. Bob Fenner>
Re: Treatment of Ich in Retail
System, plus some mgmt. questions
Wish I was in Chicago hearing you talk but sadly no, I'm here in the weeds.
<Ahh; home now... in S. Cal. MUCH warmer!>
Quick update on the situation is fish seem to be recovering okay using the SW
formalin bath. I'm fine tuning our freshwater dip method before I go that extra
step. Thus far I have am having a heck of a time getting pH to
match. My ph meter goes wacky in the RO buffered water.
<Oh yes; needs to be mixed up hours in advance of testing>
Add to that my fish system stays at 8.0. Alk is fine and I've calibrated and
tested my pH monitor multiple times. So I just haven't worried about it. But
getting my buffered water stabilized at 8.0 or even within .2 has been difficult
to do and to test since it tweaks my tester.
Re: Separate Inverts. Our invert system is physically separated from our coral
system with an aisle in between the two so I couldn't think of any way to join
them. However, your vehemence was enough to inspire a little
more innovation and I think I can make it work using float switches to transfer
water back and for the between the systems without the need to share a sump (our
sumps and filters are all in a room ABOVE the display
systems which often necessitates some creativity (this choice was made as a last
resort of a do the best we can retrofit type of scenario)).
<Yes. KEEP these two separated>
Re: Hyposalinity. Prior to adding the invert system we were
running our fish system at 1.019 which made acclimation from Quality Marine
easier as that's what theirs came in at, and seemed like a fairly widely
good thing for us to do. However, I ran across this article
at reefkeeping.com that made me feel real stupid for carrying on the
practice as it was a "Newbie Myth" propagated by pet stores to save money on
I will say, from an anecdotal standpoint we didn't have any issues with crypt
until we started bringing up the salinity. Additionally the general response
I've seen on WWM is that fish should be kept at natural sea level.
Here you mention in your response that almost all wholesalers and stores keep
artificially low spg in their fish systems with good reason. Amidst my
confusion, I'm gathering that it IS good for me to do as commercial
operation, NOT good for a hobbyist to do. Please confirm.
<Yes; the biz is different than end-users/consumers. I would keep all but Red
Sea fishes and species that live in close association w/ invertebrates (Clownfishes
the best example) at artificially low spg... for salt savings,
greater DO, reduced external parasite loads...>
Re: Sterilizers. I have these guys setup (I hope) to provide
level 3 sterilization which to my mind would aid in battling even these hardy
protozoa. This is according to the recommendations here,
turning 8x hour and running 880w of their sterilizers in my 1000g turnover
volume. Where they state Max Sys Vol of 1056 at 4x, though they recommend 7x for
Marine ornamental aquariums.
Re: "Finding everything I need to know on WWM". All I can do is
smile there. Yes it's a wealth of information, almost too vast. Over the last 12
years spent many sleepless nights browsing and searching.
<Don't like you losing sleep>
I have a couple other questions relating to management thoughts that have been
I know you recommend formaldehyde. None of our regular wholesalers sell this
without malachite green which really makes a mess. Would ParaGuard be an
<Mmm; yes; worth trying. Though, you likely can order formalin/formaldehyde from
out of state>
Couple Acclimation questions:
1. Do you know of or have any sort of guide for approximate lengths fish can
dip/bath. For example, Small Tetras, ~30 seconds vs. Tangs 60 minutes etc. that I
can use as a starting point for staff getting this figured out?
<Not really... is an individual "guess" per species, sizes, apparent state of
health... Better to under-time than over, AND always be present, observing
2. Currently our acclimation process is simply neutralize ammonia in shipping
water with prime and drip acclimate until pH of shipping water matches tank
water. I've been studying up on the Guerilla method and your acclimation
power point presentation. Is a video of you presenting this available anywhere?
<Ahh! There will be very shortly. Tiff recorded my presentation this weekend for
this purpose. Thank you for asking>
I did not find it on YouTube. If not, I'm going to have some questions for you
but I'll keep them pending.
What's your analysis of a good markup for marine aquarium livestock.
<For inexpensive livestock (e.g. most damsels) three-four hundred percent...
most all three hundred, expensive species (tens or more dollars cost) doubling>
I'm just crunching some numbers in my head and it seems that if I were to be
doing this in the best way possible, I'm going need to mark up my already
expensive (MAC Certified and SSC) livestock a lot more. If I distribute the cost
of ordering, shipping, and receiving, quarantining, and moving livestock in
batches of say $1000 at a time (which I'm estimating at about 30 hours per order
from preorder > ready for sale)... if I price even close to my competitors, then
I'm giving away the fish.
<All too common in our trade>
Granted, its still probably a better way to go as giving away the fish is better
than killing the fish. Do I just need to get this system down to such a degree
of perfection that it's easy-peasy. Is this just the way it has to be to earn
dry goods business?
<Some folks have argued (myself included) that the livestock really does just
drive dry-goods sales... and that the latter pay the bills. There are a few (not
many) shops that make money selling fishes, invertebrates, plants... but not
The problem there is that my dry goods margins are shrinking like crazy as
ecommerce grows. I saw Bulk Reef Supply mention in a YouTube comment on a MACNA
talk recently that the industry is moving to a 30% standard margin and that
retailers aren't setup to survive on that.
I'd say he's definitely right.
<I wholeheartedly agree. I WOULD NOT offer/sell anything that you can't
make/clear a forty percent NET margin on... overtime otherwise you will go
broke. Our own stores gave up selling tanks, stands, canopies, some
lighting, pump, filtration lines as others locally (LFS!) were giving these
away. No sense>
I guess I'm rambling beyond the point of productivity here... so I'll let you
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
commercial holding tank questions; Crypt...
It has been awhile since I last wrote you so I figured I would check in
as I had a few questions I am hoping you can answer. Last time we
spoke I was about to open my new saltwater shop and you were helping me
figure out my issues regarding ammonia spikes with the new dry rock and
instead adding the fresh live rock to the set up in the fish holding
system. I'm happy to say that business has been really good since
opening and I have been busier than I could have ever expected to be
honest in my first year.
I am so busy some weeks that I have trouble keeping up with getting new
livestock in to the shop after everything is sold on busy weekends.
Which leads me to my questions. If you recall my store consists of
a 1000g fish holding system and a 800g coral/invert system. The
coral/invert system does fantastic. I run a skimmer and ozone and
dose supplements for the corals as needed. No problems there. The
fish system however has been a headache from the start. No matter
what I do I can not seem to get things the way I want them. If you
remember I have a centralized system of 24 x 40g breeder tanks with an
inch of aragonite sand
<I'd switch to coral sand... for looks, function; though not really a
giant step forward here>
and one or two live rock pieces for each tank. One 3ft LED strip
light on each tank. In the back I have a 150g sump
<Is there room to add volume here? I would>
with a commercial sized protein skimmer, an Ozotech 1g ozone generator,
and a Emperor Aquatics 300w HO UV along with 900w of heaters.
Salinity is kept at 1.022-23. Temp: 74-75 in the winter months,
76-77 currently in the spring months as the retail space is on a
concrete slab floor which stays cool. No ammonia, nitrites, <10
nitrates. I have also been corresponding with Bob Goemans
regarding my current utilization of Chloroquine phosphate through the
holding tanks as I have had good luck in the past using it in a hospital
<I do hope/trust that you're not using CP on a continuous basis>
My question in essence deals with disease prevention. Every time I
get a new shipment in of fish I see crypt spots pop up on the tangs and
angels within a few days of arrival.
<Ahh, very common... the rule rather than exception>
I was hoping running the CP through the holding tanks at 10-15mg/l would
prevent this from happening
<Mmm, no... copper would be an order of magnitude better>
but it does not seem to be as effective as I hoped. I am not sure
if the rock and substrate are effecting the effectiveness of the drug or
if the tank lights are degrading the medicine or even having an effect
at all. I turn off the ozone and UV when medication is present.
<Yes; have to>
And have been redosing every 5-7 days as directed by Ed Noga and Bob G. I
have tried the Guerrilla acclimation technique and have been ordering
from reputable wholesalers (QM, SDC) without much luck in preventing
outbreaks on new arrivals of certain Ich susceptible fish.
<You likely have a resident infestation... Are you "up to" the
possibility/practice of bleaching the receiving/holding/isolation area
every shipment? Moving some clean filter media from another system
(perhaps the invertebrate sump)? Otherwise... I might stoop to the use
of a chelated copper product in your fish system>
I am thinking in going a couple different directions at this point...
1. Setting up a three level QT rack in the back room big enough to
hold 30-40 fish upon arrival. Treating fish as needed for 1-2
weeks then moving up front to displays.
2. Pulling all calcium based live rock and sand from fish system
and replacing with bio balls, faux ornaments, inert freshwater gravel so
as medications are more effective and I can treat fish system with
copper or formalin if necessary.
3. Adding more UV and Ozone to the system in hopes that better
sterilization will be achieved without medications.
<What is your RedOx/ORP currently? I'd keep it (safely) consistently
My concern obviously is once the fish have visible spots or symptoms in
the retail holding tanks that they are no longer a sell-able product and
the shop loses money and time treating and rehabbing the fish.
<Yes; not practical>
I guess my question then would be what is your preferred method for
keeping a fish system healthy in appearance.
<As you've done and stated: Have stable, optimized holding facility, buy
initially clean stock, quarantine/treat if necessary enroute to offering
I do not want to over medicate but it seems my ozone and UV are not enough
on their own. Perhaps I am undersized?
<Perhaps; a factor is volume size for sure... but only "a few percent"
of your issue/situation. Again, like most all shops, you have a
resident/in-place parasite situation>
Other stores in the area run inert substrates and fake decor in their fish
systems. I am positive the one store uses formalin in the system
when adding new arrivals and then UV there after.
<I'd use the formalin only in (heavily aerated) dips, short immersion
Their fish always seem to look in good health although I do hear they
have high initial losses. I am worried that my live rock and sand
is harboring a lot of the disease. I would like to keep some sort
of substrate and decor in the tanks as I do promote reef tanks and Fowlr
as my main selling setups.
Any input you think would be helpful I would be glad to consider at this
Thanks again Bob!
<Though it can become a "bad habit", I'd lean, direct you to try the
copper route (testing for and adjusting daily) at this time. Going
forward; when you and your market will pay for it, separately holding
incoming livestock shipments... Bob Fenner>
Re: commercial holding tank questions, Cu use 5/26/13
In the past I have used Seachem Cupramine. I have never had much
luck with using it though on dwarf angels such as flame and potters
angels and wrasses.
<Mmm, these families members don't "like" copper for sure>
My research says you are supposed to ramp up the dosage until recommended
level is reached or run half levels for dwarf angels and not use at all
with some wrasses.
<Mmm, no; or not really... the active ingredient (check whether you're
using a chelated kit...) should be at 0.35 ppm free copper (Cu++); no
more than 0.50 ppm, nor less than 0.20... you'll have to check... see
How would I do this for new fish shipments if the copper is already at
full strength in a holding system?
<? Don't follow you>
Out of curiosity why do you say the Chloroquine Phosphate only lasts a
day or so after dosing?
<Often falls out of solution in typical settings... photo-oxidized et
I thought most authors were recommending treatment every 5-7 days.
I was basing my dosing regime off of Norga <Noga, Ed.> and Goemans
literature on CP use and dosing once a week-10 days. I have been
very happy with using CP in the past but it seems no one knows or
follows a standard dosing regime for disease treatment or which diseases
CP actually is effective on eradicating.
<Most all external Protozoans>
I also liked CP for its algaecide like properties in the display tanks.
From what I understand copper will do the same for combating algae?
<Yes... more olde timey>
For the UV, it is an Emporer <Emperor> Aquatics HO 150w per bulb model.
The Ozotech ozone generator is 1g/hr but no air dryer which then reduces
the output by half I believe.
<Highly variable depending on temperature and (relative) humidity>
But if I am running copper I can not run UV or Ozone anyways if I
The QT tanks have been ordered and I am hoping to put together the new
holding system this upcoming week. I am still not sure which
direction to go on sand and rock in retail displays as it is a big
endeavor to change out.
<Then I'd leave out for now... just have to check the alkaline reserve,
perhaps adjust more often... that, and/or more expensive, larger water
I will have to ponder more on this subject. Thank you again for your
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Re: Re: re: commercial holding tank questions; was Crypt, CP,
Cupramine f's, quarantine sys. des.
Hi Bob...a short update on the store...I'm in the process of changing
over all the live rock in the store holding tanks and large main sump to
fake resin decorations out in the front tanks and bio balls in the
filtration room to get ready for a possible copper treatment if
necessary in the fish system.
<Mmm, do bear/keep in mind that you'll still need to monitor (daily) and
re-add on a regular basis. The copper med./s will fall out of solution
even in "just" plain saltwater systems, sans any décor... from the
alkaline water and absorption by biota>
Currently the Chloroquine phosphate is still running through the system,
would you recommend trying to remove that before treating with copper?
I obviously have no way to test to see how much remains in the water as
that is one of its drawbacks when using. I was thinking I could
turn back on the ozone and UV to remove the CP?
<It is so transient... and not trouble "mixing" w/ Cu; that I
wouldn't/don't worry re>
I have also reduced the salinity in the system down from 1.023 to
<May as well drop a few more thousandths... to 1.012... even for most
fishes 1.010... just need to take your time "re-upping"... a thousandth
per day or thereabouts>
It definitely seems to be helping with the general behavior and outward
appearance of the fish. ORP is almost 300 now with no skimmer,
ozone, or UV running because of the CP.
<I should make a brief comment here; so am doing so: To others/browsers:
(please) don't use CP, other "chemical means" to raise ORP (or as
I'll be glad to get the skimmer/ozone going again to remove it from the
water and get the ORP back into the 400s. My question is regarding
using copper for the 1000 gallons system if necessary. Which type
do you recommend for a LFS setting?
<Mmm, much to say/relate: let's have you read here:
see the upper right box?>
As I mentioned earlier, all the live rock is being removed, but there
still will be some live aragonite sand present in some tanks.
<Then copper will be lost a bit faster than if it/this were absent. No
I was leaning toward just a regular ionic copper sulphate mix and
maintaining it at .15 ppm
<... too low... Shoot for 0.20>
along with the salinity at 1.015. Is there an economical commercial
brand to use or should I go the DIY mix route?
<I'd use the commercial chelated here. IF this were a very large public
aquarium I MIGHT make up my own citrated (10% citric) CuSO4 . 5H20
aqueous solution... but even then would likely just make a deal,
purchase (rather than make) my own chelated mix. Look for the one gallon
size... even comes in larger... not for your use here>
Most ionic brands recommend 1 drop per gallon of saltwater. So if
I have 1000 gallons, and 1 drop = .05 ml, I would need 50 ml of copper
sulphate? Does that sound right?
<... no my friend. Even more dangerous is what you sound like. Do you
know stoichiometry? How to make molar solutions? Please, for here/now,
just purchase the brand/s mentioned on WWM>
I was also looking at CopperSafe (chelated) and also Copper Power Blue
(not sure if it is ionic or chelated) but it seems I would need large
gallon sized quantities of those forms of copper.
<Both good products, and one gallon will last you a good long while>
CopperSafe instructions are 4 ounces per 100 gallons? Seems like a
lot to be dosing in a commercial setting. Also, seems like most
wholesalers/LFS are running UV/ozone as well?
<Often the case; yes>
Is this possible with copper present?
<Mmm, yes; though these cause (even) faster "drop out", and the coating
of sleeves of ozone made via UV are a pain to clean... acid wash. Better
to turn off UVs during/IF using Cu>
The CopperSafe specifically states on its label safe to use with UV and
<Is safe, just not as efficacious... think on this idea: Copper won't
stay in solution in seawater period... it gets ad- and absorbed even
faster w/ more biota/physiological activity present, more so w/ alkaline
décor (sand, gravel, rock) present, faster w/ higher (more concentrated)
specific gravity, faster still at higher pH, ORP, UV use.... Do you
understand? I would use whatever brand, a good test kit...>
I would like to utilize UV and ozone if possible.
<... go ahead and try this then... Just monitor/measure for free Cu at
least once daily, re-adjust>
I know that is not possible with brands like Seachem Cupramine.
Finally, the new QT holding system is also nearly complete in the back
room. I still cannot decide how to plumb them together though.
<I would NOT do this. Keep both systems COMPLETELY separate... I'd go so
far as to bleach the filter media, perhaps the entire quarantine system
between each use... Yes; and re-inoculate w/ media from a known "clean"
system each week/two weeks... whatever the new livestock incoming
schedule is. You do NOT WANT to mix anything wet... nets, specimen
containers, hands, cleaning gear twixt the Q system and the store's
livestock display systems>
I will be glad when the stress of re-doing this system is complete.
<Ah yes; I do know>
I hope that the upgrades will translate into healthier fish and more
profit for the shop. As always thanks for your input.
<Am very glad to be here for you. Bob Fenner>
Retail fish store questions, treatment/s for livebearer
losses – 11/19/12
I recently found your site and it has been very helpful, so thanks!
I run a retail full line pet store and have had some years hobbyist
experience (though we know how different that is!). However, I
have had some struggles with disease.
<Most all of us do; in fact, there are no exceptions I'm aware of>
We currently follow your acclimation procedures, but do not have the
facilities to quarantine. We have been feeding frozen food
with Metronidazole and Sea Chem's focus as well as a few drops of liquid
garlic every other day for the first week upon arrival. This has
done away with the Ich issue and helped with overall health.
However, we still get issues with our live bearers and some bacterial
problems. I prefer not to add too much to the system for obvious
reasons, would rather have things fed to them orally when possible.
Any suggestions are much appreciated!
<Mmm, well, you do what you can water-quality wise I take it... provide
a good staple food (am a huge fan of the Spectrum line)... Do you have a
system in-place for tracking losses, including the sources... where you
buy from? This can really help in the long/er haul. Please see here Re:
<There are some pro-biotic items of worth... I really don't want to
encourage you, the practice of continuously feeding Metronidazole (too
toxic in constant use) or antibiotics (trouble to no use), even
Anthelminthics... Bob Fenner>
Angelfish Die Off, FW comm. 9/27/07 Hello
<Hi there> I own a live tropical fish store in Michigan and
within the past six months, I have not been able to keep freshwater
angelfish alive. Is there a problem that you know of that is causing
these poor creatures to perish after 72 to 96 hours of arrival?
<Yes... a couple in particular... One, an older plaque of Octomita
that was the causative organism of "Angelfish Disease" years
back... can/should be treated with treatment of existing systems (with
Metronidazole/Flagyl), and strict quarantine and treatment with same
for all questionable/Far East imported angels or angels that may have
come in contact with... The second syndrome is "just
exhaustion/stress" from import... Both situations can/are best
remedied by buying your Angels from local, or as local as you can find,
breeder/s> My suppliers out west will not ship to anyone via plane
because they have had other customers complaining of the same problem.
Six months prior, angels were great, healthy, and eating. Now they come
in looking healthy but within a couple of days, perish. Could it be the
same as with the piranha deal? <Mmm, yes> Thank you! Sincerely,
W.L. <Try the Metronidazole... get folks about you to breed/supply
you... Bob Fenner>
|Hospital tank common filter. Copper
removal, re-addition 9/24/07 Dear Bob, I am daily reading
and reading your notes and FAQs. <Me too> I am sometimes
confused and most of the time getting educated. <We share this
impression> Your site is wonderful. As I discussed earlier about
my plans of quarantine using one central filtration system which I
have already constructed. I wish to modify it slightly. I have made
a final sketch attached. I would appreciate your suggestions. <I
see it/this...> After the fresh water dips the new fishes shall
be kept in these tanks for two weeks in Cuso4 on 0.25ppm, SG 0.017
at 28 deg. Cel. <... okay> In the system there are two racks
A and B with 9 tanks each total 18 tanks having sponge filters.
<Again, the water should flow to and from each separately...>
Total water vol. in 18 tanks is 1200 liters. The filtration sump
(water vol. 200 liters) is further divided in to three sections: 1.
To eliminate Cuso4 from returning water of hospital tanks using
Activated Carbon. Carbon shall be replaced every week). 2. To
remove the NH3 and No2. using biological filtration. 3. Storage
area for adding Cuso4 again to maintain 0.25ppm of Cu and
recirculating back to the racks. <Mmm, how will you accomplish
this careful removal, replenishment?> The water circulation
shall be done alternatively once every week <Needs to circulate
continuously... to avoid the ill-effects of metabolite
accumulation...> for rack A and B controlled by the gate valve.
The returning water shall pass through the U.V.(30 watts) <Need
more watts than this... covered on WWM> After the removal of
Cuso4 and biological filtration, the treated water shall stand in
the third section of the sump for addition of CuSo4 with aeration.
The first two sections shall be aerated by the undergravel filter.
After two week of treatment the CuSo4 shall be remove and the
filtration system shall be kept on continuously. Is it possible for
me to acheive this filtration. Will the biological filtration be
stable. <Maybe... As I ask/ed... how will you know how much
copper has been removed, how much to re-add?> Regards, <Good
ideas though. Bob Fenner>
Most Common Nitrate Export Method at LFS
7/2/07Dear Crew, <Pablo> At local fish stores (LFS), I notice
that very few tanks seriously employ refugiums, DSBs or live rock. Sand
and rocks appear to be ornamental in most tanks. They seem to use a
variant of the "bare bottom" method. What is the primarily
means of nitrate export at an LFS? <Mmm, likely water changes...
replacement of such with bagging, selling the livestock... Some shops
do incorporate various means of filtration that incorporate nitrate
reduction/export... LR, DSB's, lighted algal et al. refugiums,
chemical filtrants... physical devices like UV, ozone that affect such
nitrogenous accumulation... What would you do? Bob Fenner> Thanks,
Paul. LFS Hello, <Hello Jonathan, James here> My
name is Jonathan, and I spoke to you before. I'm pleased to talk
with knowledgeable people about fish. Right now I am in a unique
position. I work nights at a local pet store with salt water fish.
I'm 7 year fishaholic. Right now, I can try things out and gain
insight into what products work. <Nice position to be
into> I'm interested in helping the fish out, and will
learn whatever I can. <Great!> So off the bat, I know there
are things I can't control and realities that exist. Some fish will
always die due to the stress of shipping, that's just unavoidable.
Some fish arrive in very poor condition, they are hard to help. But
once I get my hands on them, I want to try. P.S. I'm also fortunate
enough to work with an experienced veteran who is open minded and
willing to try new things. (as long as I don't tint the color of
the water, or of course endanger the fish) Off to a salty start. Our
salt water section is about 16 tanks, some with a partition. Each tank
is about 80 gallons; total system is about 900 gallons. Each tank
having 2 very large sponges filter each attached to a powerhead, also
the tanks are centralized, each sharing a common source of water
through a sump with wet-dry. I have one tank shut off from the system,
which acts as a treatment tank. We have copper in the system to help
combat disease. Occasional use of Maracyn is also delivered. One
interesting issue is the red Cyano bacteria we get on the crushed coral
substrate. Since we cannot limit lighting, it has to be on about 14
hours, and we have a dealer fish load. We are combating this foe by
removing heavily infested gravel into a bucket to dry out, occasionally
mixing in some MelaFix on the gravel. By rotating the gravel in this
manner we are making progress. Also increasing water changes and
removing debris in the tank helps. We are about to Chemi-clean. An
expensive option, but recommended to help get rid of the infestation.
Any tips would be appreciated. <The Cyano you are experiencing
is helped along by excess nutrients. I suggest cleaning the sponge
filters in salt water every other day. Some dealers do not put any
substrate on the bottom. This makes vacuuming easier in removing waste
from the tanks. Maracyn works much better than MelaFix for killing
Cyano.> My main concern is marine angels. They come in and half the
time they do poorly / die. Mostly Im referring to the large angels, the
dwarfs are a bit better. One recurring issue is when one of the eyes
gets cloudy, from just a little to completely. I don't like
thinking that there is nothing I can do. The fish can be eating great,
well adjusted and swimming fine for weeks. But the eye gets worse and
worse, and then the behavior changes to being lethargic or hiding, then
death. I was thinking about trying a medicated antibacterial food
for the ones that will eat. Medi-gold comes to mind, since it seems
powerful, yet untested on tropical or marine. I'd be willing to try
others. I also have SeaChem's Focus. Something which lets me bind a
medication to food, even if I have to have a vet prescription med I
could try that. I can separate to treatment tank. I can perform
freshwater dips if very necessary. Please any suggestions?
Dealers I know will not stock large angels for just that reason. They
will special order only. Most dealer's tanks are overstocked and
that adds to the fungal/bacterial problem. Obviously, dealers want to
sell the fish as soon as possible to relieve the overstocking problem.
If I were to "stock" large angels in my store, I would have a
180 gallon or larger tank for that purpose, where I could treat the
angels I have for any diseases. I would also dose this tank with an
iodine supplement. I would also employ the use of UV sterilization in
all systems. One dealer I frequent has a large Lifeguard UV system. I
rarely see a diseased fish in his tanks. Also I'm looking to entice
fish to eat. off course many will not eat the first few days. It seems
also, that many never learned to eat fish food.
<True> Like the angels which pick off the gravel, but seem
to snub whatever I try. Any recipes you have. I have SeaChem garlic
guard, <Good> and a little food processor. Could I make
something more appealing? <Yes. Here is a link to an article
by Adam Blundell on a homemade recipe.> <<Where is a
RMF>> Thank you again for any words you have to offer.
<You're welcome> Any referrals to books or articles would
also be appreciated. <Search the Wet Web Media. There are tons
of articles just waiting to be read that cover most any subject. James
Bio-balls and LR, CuSO4 in commercial systems Dear Bob,
<Charles> Thx for your advice. Can I place bio-ball and live rock
together in my holdings without removing any of them? Will nitrate
level going down? <Yes, and yes, it should> I guess UV light is
still cheaper than Ozonizer such as SANDER. <Yes... to buy and
operate> What do you think of alternative such as adding Copper
Sulphate? Do you know the exact dosage for 1 litre such that it will
kill all bacteria but not toxic enough to kill the fishes? <Very
dangerous to use copper sulfate on an ongoing basis... if you do get
involved in such practice, make your choice a chelated/sequestered
variety (e.g. Coppersafe)... I encourage you to develop and adhere to a
protocol of pH-adjusted freshwater baths (on arrival) instead to
discount the introduction and spread of ectoparasites. Information re
these practices can be understood from a cursory reading of materials
archived on WWM. Bob Fenner> Charles