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FAQs on Marine Costia/Ichthyobodo

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Help! 2 New sick mandarins      9/20/15
Sorry about the file size! I linked to YouTube instead..full screen will make it easier to see..
Dear WWM crew,
First of all, thank you for building such an incredible site with such a wealth of reliable information! I would be lost without you! I believe the new pair of mandarin dragonets I just got in 2 days ago (in QT) are infected with Costia (Ichthyobodo) and I can't seem to get rid of it!
<What have you tried thus far?>
I looked at the shipping bag water under a microscope and found lots of  them.
I attached a video I took of them if you don't mind confirming that this is in fact Ichthyobodo.
<From the shape, movement; likely so: Here's a better vid:
Unfortunately, I did not dip the mandarins before putting them in QT- I was nervous about the high ammonia levels of the shipping water (0.50 ppm)
<At times MUCH higher>
and wanted to transfer them quickly.
<For browsers, see my Acclimation protocols on WWM. Once ammonia is diluted out of shipping water and fish/es, not a big deal to dip if they're otherwise in health>
After I discovered the parasites a couple hours later, I took them out of QT to give them both a dilute formalin/Methylene blue dip for 30 minutes and they both seemed like happy fish the whole time. The next day I fed them baby brine shrimp and they both ate. I repeated the dip, but took them out after 20 minutes because they appeared stressed like they were looking for a way out of the dip container.
<Typical behavior; had it been freshwater, formalin containing or seawater>
Today I fed them baby brine again and decided to leave them alone, however now the female looks extra slimy and is breathing heavy.
<Mandarins are naturally very slimy>
I took a look at the tank water under the microscope and the parasites are in the tank too. I don't think another dip would help at this point. Should I treat the whole tank now??
<Yes I would>
What course of action do you think I should take???
<A quinine compound... see WWM Re. Bob Fenner>
parameters look fine- 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 8.2, temp 78F. I greatly appreciate your help!
Re: Help! 2 New sick mandarins, Ichthyobodo and Tea Tree Oil    10/7/15

Hi Bob!
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! I just wanted to give you an update, and perhaps offer a theory? I was able to order Crypto-pro (Chloroquine phosphate) which came in two days later. Unfortunately, one of the mandarins didn't make it that long. I began treatment on the surviving mandarin as soon as the medication came in with a single dose at 15mg/l, although by that time his breathing was already labored. He lived for 4 more days, and a post-mortem skin scrape showed he was heavily infected with Ichthyobodo.
So since at that point I had the medication on hand, I figured I'd try again and ordered 2 more mandarins, figuring I could cure any infection if I treated it early. When they arrived I found the parasite in the bag water, again, this time both were breathing heavy from day 1. I immediately dosed CP at 15mg/l, but one of the mandarins died just 2 days later, the other was excessively slimy, breathing heavy, and did not appear to be improving. So I put some carbon in the filter and did a 25% water change to remove the medication. Then as I was combing the internet for ideas on what to do, I read that mandarins are sensitive to medications (like copper) and can cause them to produce so much slime that their gills become congested and they suffocate. I also know that tea tree oil is used on people to dry out wounds like cuts/scrapes/blisters/acne (take a good whiff and it'll clear your sinuses too!), is found in Melafix and is considered safe to use on most fish. Now, I know how you feel "natural" treatments like this are pretty much useless, and I completely agree with you, but I may have actually found a use for it!!! I thought if I could dry up some of the mucus to decongest her gills and help her breathe, then maybe her immune system will be able to fight off the parasite?? So I grabbed some 100% tea tree oil from the pharmacy and put 2 drops in the tank (10 gal) while she was sleeping. By morning she had shed some of the mucus and was able to breathe normal again! She still wasn't eating so I did this for 4 more days, and now she is very active, healthy, and eating like a pig! I finally have a happy mandarin! I'm sure the tea tree oil didn't directly kill the parasite or anything, but maybe it at least helped
her breathe? What do you think??
<Got me.... as all anecdotal accounts go; it's impossible to sort out cause/effect w/ one trial and multiple factors>
I'd love to know your thoughts on this
Thank you for all your help!
<Thank you for your report. Bob Fenner>

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