FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot,
Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two
Fronts, Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic
Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine
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Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion
Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power,
), Formalin Containing: (e.g.
Quick Cure), About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive
Fishes: By Fish Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and
Butterflyfishes, Tangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin... &
Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks,
Parasitic Reef Tanks,
Marine Velvet Disease,
Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease,
Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,
main tank Ich? Crypt
Good evening crew,
First of all, thanks for all the support and answers available to the
vast fish keeping crowd, you guys (and gals) are a pillar of support to
Bare with me, this e-mail is a long one.
<Okay. Take your time>
My main tank is a 105 gallon, ph is at 8.0, salinity at 1.024,
ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are all at 0. I'm not using a sump or a
protein skimmer (although I know they are very highly recommended),
because due to
space issues, neither will fit in my setup.
<Mmm, perhaps a hang-on skimmer...>
My LFS recommended a "natural" filtration system, using live
rock. So currently there is about 160 pounds of live rock in there,
which is doing the trick as I have not had any issues with
ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. I understand that this method will restrict
the amount of bio load in my
setup, but a small price that I have decided to pay. I just feel that
this information might be a bit useful to know.
About a year ago, I had an Ich outbreak in my main tank. At the time, I
had a false percula clown, and a dwarf flame angel. It was the first
time I set up a saltwater aquarium, and didn't realize the
importance of quarantining fish before adding them to the main tank. I
decided to buy a quarantine tank, a small, 10 gallon.
I lost the flame angel, but the false percula clown survived. I set him
in the quarantine tank, treating him for Ich while I decided to leave
my main tank fallow for 8 weeks.
After all was said and done, the false percula was re-added into the
main tank, and the next fish to join him was my porcupine puffer, who
was about 4 inches at the time, but he is about 5 inches now. They grow
pretty fast, it has only been about two and a half months.
Before adding the porc into the main tank, I quarantined him for almost
a month. During the quarantine session, he developed Ich, which I
treated with fresh water baths, hypo salinity, and a malachite green
solution known as "Nox-ich".
<Am familiar... Malachite Green as the active ingredient...>
It worked and the Ich disappeared from the porc. Although I did
purchase copper, I decided not to use it, after a thorough search on
your website recommending not to use copper with porcupine puffers.
Either way, I left the porcupine in quarantine for another 2 weeks
after the Ich disappeared from him. Thinking that it was gone, and
after 2 weeks of no sign, I added the porc into my main tank.
My next fish was a blue hippo tang. He was quarantined for 3 weeks, in
which period I was pleased to see that there were no traces of Ich on
<Are very susceptible>
As a side note, during this quarantine period, I decided to return the
false percula, as he was still a small baby, and I feared for his
safety with the porc. So currently there was only the porc in the main
swimming and healthy, but obviously bored.
After the 3 week period of Ich-free quarantine, I added the blue hippo
into my main tank.
The porc hardly noticed, as the tang tends to just hide in a small hole
in the live rock, and only comes out during feeding time.
<Perhaps more in time>
About a week ago, I purchased a Foxface rabbit fish, which is currently
in the 10 gallon quarantine, and about 5 days ago, I saw, to my
disbelief that the porc showed a few spots of Ich on him. Nevertheless,
I was very surprised, as I thought I had taken the proper steps to
completely eradicate Ich in my main tank.
<Mmm, no. Nothing you have written would assure this>
I looked up methods of curing Ich in a main tank, but all the research
I did only pointed me towards two directions, either copper, (which is
impossible with the live rock), or hypo salinity... (which is
due to the live rock).
<Quinine compounds: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuinSciUseF.htm
and the linked files above>
Today is the first day that the porc refused to eat. Up until
yesterday, he was hungrily gobbling food right out of my hand, but
today he only seemed to pick at it. He constantly tries to eat it, but
its almost as if his
mouth is tender?
<Maybe... otherwise just doesn't "feel well enough to
because he doesn't seem to be able to bite or chew properly.
I'm not sure what to do at this point. E-mailing you guys is always
a last resort for me.
<Not to worry, and don't wait>
Is there anything I can do in my main tank to help?
without having to take apart 160 pounds of live rock to try and catch
the two fish? I have been soaking their food in garlic, but I can't
just rely on that, I don't even think its very effective...
<Not very, no>
What did I do wrong?
<Mmm, not much... the system set-up could be better... Disease is
directly and indirectly moderated by aspects of environment... Read
and why not? The linked files above>
this is the most frustrating part... I followed all steps more than
carefully, I treated all fish, quarantined them before addition into
the main tank, plenty of freshwater baths, made sure not to infect the
main tank by sharing equipment... yet the Ich still survived on the
<Likely so... but could have been resident in the
enough to now completely spread all over both fish?
<Sure... it's biological... is reproducing>
Its very disheartening to know that all my efforts were just in vain...
<Not in vain... look/realize the time you've had (thus far)
enjoying your fishes>
Even if I did have to battle the two fish and get them in the
quarantine, the 10 gallon is definitely not enough for all 3 fish (blue
hippo, porc, and Foxface). I tried catching the porc today to give him
a freshwater dip,
<? Of little use... counter-productive if you're returning
it/them to the infested system>
but after 20 minutes it was to no avail, and the last thing I wanted to
do was the stress him out even more.
I'm at the point where, although I know how ineffective they are,
am wondering if purchasing a cleaner wrasse will help at least a little
<Mmm, not likely>
The manager at my LFS swears by them, he says he has kept one for a few
years I believe, stating that every once in a while his multiple tangs
show signs of a couple spots of Ich. After a couple days of noticing
the wrasse cleaning them up, the spots disappear. Is this possible?
<Yes... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/biocleaners.htm
Please forgive me for the essay you have just had to read, I am just
trying to provide as much detail as possible.
My sincerest thank you in advance,
<Do this reading... soon. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>
Saltwater Ich 12/14/10
Hello WWM Crew,
I have poured over your site as well as many others, but alas I cannot
seem to rid myself of a rather persistent saltwater Ich problem.
I set-up a 180 gallon FOWLR aquarium about 8 months ago. I developed a
nasty Ich problem, which wiped out the fish in the tank. I allowed the
tank to go fallow for 4 months, and since that time I have quarantined
all new arrivals for a period of 3 weeks before adding them to the
All new fish are slowly drip acclimated into the quarantine system, and
given a pH adjusted freshwater bath (per your site) just before they go
into the quarantine tank. They then spend 3 weeks in the quarantine
tank, and if they are eating well and appear to be disease-free they
are given another pH adjusted freshwater bath before being drip
acclimated into the display tank. This is straight from your site.
At this point I have a yellow Porcupine Puffer, a Flame Angel, and a
<"A"? This is a shoaling species>
in the display. I also have 7 Turbo snails and approximately 10 small
hermit crabs. Despite the above procedures the fish now have another
nasty infestation of Ich (they have been in the 180 gallon for about 3
weeks and are eating well, not breathing hard, etc...). Would you
recommend removing the snails to another tank and treating the display
system with copper sulfate?
<I would not>
I hesitate to do so, because it will kill the organisms on my live
rock, but I've run out of less invasive ideas. Any advice you could
provide would be appreciated.
<You are faced with basically two definitive choices: 1) to leave
all as is and hope/trust your fishes "fight off" the present
infestation... Read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above till you understand this option. And 2a) to
again move the fishes elsewhere or 2b) leave them in place, possibly
moving the invertebrates, and treat... w/? A quinine compound; CP
likely. Read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuinSciUseF.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cryptcures2.htm
... Despite anyone's best efforts, all it takes is the introduction
of one viable vector to set such parasitic episodes. Can indeed be
trials that tempt one's soul. Bob Fenner>
Please help!, Cryptocaryoniasis Treatment
Hi there guys :)
My system is as follows. 210 FOW 150 lbs of LR plus 10 gallons of bio
balls in 30 gallon sump with a 25 watt "Aqua" UV, big skimmer
etc. My livestock right now consists of a Vlamingi, a Regal and a Kole
Tang, 2 mated Ocellaris clowns, a Queen angel, watanabee angel and a
Midas blenny. I've got a situation over here dealing with ICH. Here
we go... I brought in a fish from a different store (a thing I said
I'd never do), and he pretty much immediately got Ich or maybe he
just always had it... Jumping ahead for a moment, the place I got this
fish (Kole Tang) told me after all this that he keeps Cupramine in his
tanks ALL the time.
<Generally in a store setting this is not useful as it is rarely run
at therapeutic levels and many fish including tangs do not handle this
form of chemotherapy well.>
Good for him I guess, being that he's only keeping them short term
and has a pretty high turnover rate. He also advised me to do this as
well. Ok, so after seeing the Kole tang virtually covered with Ich my
Vlamingi also started showing signs (white spots behind his gills and
rapid breathing) as well as my regal tang. Now I'm starting to
panic. He tells me to treat with copper right away in the display
<Obviously a bad idea.>
He said if I move them all in this state they most will probably not
make it through the night. I have a 55, and 20 gallon Aqueon type tanks
for hospital use BTW. So I treat the display tank (I know, very bad and
stupid) killing the live rock but saving all of the fish. I raised the
temp to 82 and lowered the salinity to .017 for 2 weeks. They all
seemed great, till I lowered the temp and raised salinity to .019
slowly over 3 days. I get up this morning and my Vlamingi, Kole, and
regal tangs are again showing signs of Ich. Scratching, etc...
Obviously I can't trust this guy 100% so I now need REAL help from
WWM. :) Should I move all fish to the 55 and treat in there while I let
the system go fallow for a month or so, or do I just keep 1/2 strength
copper in the DT forever?
<Copper is not something you want to expose your fish to long term,
remove all fish and treat in a hospital tank. I would think about one
of the quinine drugs and my preferred treatments here as tangs and
clowns often do not respond well to copper. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm
Assuming the 1st idea is most realistic, and being that there's no
biological filter in the QT's do I just keep doing water changes
from the DT to keep the fish alive with bio while letting the tank go
<Not from the display tank as you could be moving fresh doses of Ich
into the hospital tank, but yes, lots and lots of water
If so how much/how often?
<Daily to start, less often as a biofilter becomes
I know it's a lot of fish for a 55 freshwater type tank from PETCO
but I'm just at a loss.
<It is definitely going to be tight in there, but if they are
heavily infested you don't have much other choice.>
Just FYI, I really only want LR (DR now) for bio, not for actual live
growth or coraline algae. Will the rock still act as a biofilter even
<It will probably work in this regard, the issue is the rock absorbs
copper and then releases it slowly back over time which can negatively
effect your biofilter.>
Thanks so much guys!
<If you have not already check out these articles.
can Santa cure my Ich for xmas?
<Ho ho ho!>
Hello yet again crew. I am sick and tired of dealing with Ich so I want
a second opinion on my game plan for killing these frustrating little
I have two false percula clowns, 1 firefish goby, 1 snowflake eel, 1
Sixline wrasse, and 1 1" blue hippo tang in my 90g display. I have
read on your site that clowns do not always do well with a hypo
treatment, and I am not sure about the eel but I do not think he would
do well either. I am thinking of using copper
<I would not>
on my fish but am not sure the eel would survive this course of
treatment. I have a spare 55g tank that is empty that I can set up to
do either copper or hypo to treat my fish or a 29g. I also recently set
up a 40g breeder for a frag tank that is cycled with live sand in it
and NO fish so after treatment I could transfer the fish to this tank
for six weeks to let my display run fallow. My questions are this: Most
of my fish are small
except for the eel who is 12" will the 40g breeder be able to
sustain these fish to let my display run fallow if I can keep up on
<If you monitor water quality... yes>
Second what course would be better for my stock list the hypo or
<Neither. I'd treat w/ a Quinine compound. Read here re:
and the linked files above>
Third I would really like to treat in a spare 29g tank I have so I
could use the 55g for a reef later, and the 29g would be easier for
water changes during treatment is it possible?
And finally can I use a home made fish trap to catch my fish so I
don't have to rip all my coral and rock out?
<Mmm, really better to just use two nets, perhaps a skilled friend
w/ one of them>
or is this just a freshwater fish trick?
<Can work w/ marines, but the likelihood or your collecting all in a
day or two is nil>
I have done the research and am confident I can handle either treatment
I just want the treatment that will do the most good for my fish and
the most damage to the scourge of reef owners.
Grateful to have a site like yours Zach P.S. Happy Holidays!
<And to you and yours Zach. Bob Fenner>
Re Ich 12/3/10
Thanks for the link Bob
I have fed twice with Metronidazole and this has treated the fungal
Fish seem to still have post Ich infestation (and a few spots still)
plus visible irritation of the gills. What's worse is my Quarantine
tank has had an outbreak of Ich also. Never rains eh. All fish appear
bright and alert apart from obvious irritation and feed normally.
This leads me to believe it was present in the live rock that I used to
cycle the quarantine tank and the main system LR.
<Mmm, there are some folks that assert this and other biological
pathogens are pretty much present in all systems>
Other than setting up two new quarantine tanks to get a handle on this
and totally de stock which is the gold standard to treat this, I have
taken the advice of the LFS and upped my ozone dosage drastically.
They are of the mindset that ICH is an ever present background parasite
(I know debate rages about this being true or not and would appreciate
your opinion on this; I myself am inclined to agree, but that's
<I know of SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) culture systems, whole
I know ozone will not eradicate this tenacious parasite but it did seem
to tip the favour last time my fish were stressed into fighting it
Many thanks, an Ich assaulted aquarist.
Copper, Stocking, Marine... over and mis-stocked,
Crypt self-induced issues 11/23/10
I read you article about searching WWM for answers first but to be
honest I'm too scared to move on with my situation without getting
a response from an expert.
My story is this. My 55 gallon tank had in it a Dogface Puffer,
Porcupine Puffer, Japanese Surgeon Fish, Kole Tang and a Cleaner
Wrasse, I know the Tangs needed a bigger tank but I am going to upgrade
to a 90 or 110 UK gallon at the start of the New Year,
<This will not be large enough for your current livestock, the
puffers need a larger tank than the tangs, and please don't buy
another cleaner wrasse, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm
I have about 40 pounds of Live rock which has a few finger corals on it
but not many, and a CUC which sits at 16 Snails (13 Turbo Snails, 3
Bumble Bee Snails), 1 Emerald Crab and about 8 Red Legged Hermit Crabs,
I have a TMC Protein Skimmer and an Aqua One Canister Filter and a sand
bed about 2-3 inches deep.
<The puffers are going to take care of your snails and probably the
crabs soon enough.>
My problem started a few weeks ago when I had an Ammonia spike and my
Dogface got Ich, the next day I got to my LFS and was advised to try
eSHa Wide Range Marine Treatment since it was reef safe,
<I can't find what is actually in this product, but if it is
marketed as reef safe chances are that it is ineffective. My advice, if
it doesn't tell you exactly what is in it then don't use
by the next day I could see the Ich on the other fish, I treated the
tank with the eSHa and the fish seemed to pick up a little for a day, I
was also advised to use Amquel Plus to deal with the Ammonia which it
did very good, I was told to dose the tank with the eSHa and re-dose a
week later to pick up anything the first week missed, needless to say
the eSHa didn't work in the long run as the fish picked up 1 day
but went down the next with more Ich spots on them.
I quickly set up a hospital tank after both the Tangs died, I used a
spare 15 gallon tank I had, I know it was too small but all my fish
were small and I was at a last resort, I started hyper salinity
<Do you mean hyposalinity, as in less salt, hypersalinity would be
more salt than normal and bad for the fish.>
and got some Waterlife Cuprazin from a LFS, I know both can't be
used at the same time but by this time my fish were really at
death's door so I was hoping the copper treatment would help
them a little till the hyper salinity could be started properly,
<Both tangs and puffers do not respond well to copper, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm
I dropped my salt from 1.025 to 1.020 and was planning on dropping it
more but by this time all the fish had died, I was gutted,
<This is not enough to be effective, which is what can make
hyposalinity tricky, 1.009 is where you need to be to effectively
combat the parasite.>
I only treated the tank 2 times with the copper, I added about 1.5ml
twice, I used the Canister filter from my Display Tank as this was the
only filtration I could get my hands on, my question is, how do I clean
the Canister Filter and Thermometer properly so I don't have copper
going back into my main tank, I know the filter Media will go in the
bin, I have a Poly Filter in the canister at the moment and I have
added some Carbon also, I'm unsure on the correct procedure to get
the copper off the plastic Canister Filter so it will be safe to put
back on my display tank,
<It should be fine after a good rinse.>
or is the amount of Copper I added so little I shouldn't have a
problem. the Thermometer I have is a new 1 I bought for the Hospital
Tank but I would like to use it so I can heat up my water for water
changes and air the water for 24 hours.
<It should be fine.>
As I said at the start you have probably answered this question a few
times but I'm scared I add my Canister Filter back to the Display
Tank and kill everything I have in there including my Live Rock.
<This should not be a problem.>
eSHa Wide Range Treatment: http://www.eshalabs.com/oodinex.htm
Waterlife Cuprazin: http://www.waterlife.co.uk/waterlife/cuprazin.htm
<One of the quinine drugs is what I would use for treating puffers
and tangs for Cryptocaryoniasis, it is tolerated much better than
Help with Ich in display tank
Marine Ich, Quinine, FOWLR 11/22/10
I have been a long time fan our your website and was hoping you could
provide me with some info. I have a 300Gallon FOWLR aquarium that has
been running for about 6 months. All water parameters in order. I
currently have a bamboo cat shark, porcupine puffer, Humu trigger, red
breasted wrasse, lookdown, yellow tang, and a fox face. I just recently
lost my Mappa Puffer to marine Ich that I have been fighting with for
over 2 months.
Unfortunately I made the mistake of not quarantining my porcupine
puffer and the result of this decision has been a tank full of marine
<As long as you learn from it, it's a useful experience.>
I do not have the room to set up a quarantine tank due to the size of
the fish. I understood it is not advisable to ever treat a display tank
but this has become my only option. I have already opted out of copper.
I have read some about quinine sulphate and have already purchased this
medicine from National fish Pharm.com. In your opinion would this
treatment be the best for the display tank or is there another type of
medicine you would recommend? Thank you very much for your time.
<The bamboo cat shark rules out my favorite method of dealing with
Ich (hyposalinity). Quinine sulphate should do the trick. Have you read
the pages and pages about marine Ich and it's various treatments?
Things to keep in mind: Turn off UV's, skimmer, carbon, and intense
lights. Quinine doesn't affect all stages of Ich, so you should
probably treat for about a month. It kills inverts, so take out all
your snails/crabs/etc.. Do some good water changes after adding the
quinine, as there will be invert die-off. Just add the proper amount of
quinine back in the replacement water.>
-- Zach Stinner
quarantine of new/ sick fish
First, I want thank you folks very much for all the great advise and
help that you give.
I have been keeping freshwater tropical fish for about the last 20
This September, I took the plunge and started a saltwater reef tank. I
guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.
<Heeee! "To err is human"... to be a successful saltwater
Anyway, everything has been going great. Mostly due to my local LFS and
to info that I have found on your site. Fortunately, I figured out a
long time ago that research is the key to success with any Hobby/
However, I have run into a strange situation that I have not been able
to find a answer to anywhere.
I recently purchased a six spot goby and a citrinus clown goby from my
local LFS that are now residing in my quarantine tank. In the display
tank, which is only a 55 gallon, I have my clean up crew, two Oc. Clown
fish and a Yellow Tang. All my parameters have been great and stable.
Now. The Yellow Tang really stressed out when it came out of quarantine
and into the display tank.
<Zebrasoma spp. really need large/r volumes>
It is now showing definite signs of marine Ich. Now, this is where my
question comes in. Can the Tang with Ich be added to the tank with the
two fish that just went into quarantine? There is no possible way for
me to set up a second quarantine tank.
<It can, but will bring the Crypt/Ich w/ it... You may want to ask
your LFS/store to take back the two gobies for now. Alternatively, you
may need/want to treat the 55... w/ CP, other...>
Thank you in advance for your help.
<Do review WWM re "Marine Ich" and Parasitized SW systems.
Sick fish, Cryptocaryon irritans 10/31/10
Thanks for the wonderful service you all provide. I have been
having a problem with my fish the last 6-7 weeks. I introduced 2
angels about 3 months ago, an emp and queen, the queen did not
make it, (not eating) but the emperor seemed fine.
<Hope this is a huge tank.>
After a month since I had the emp, it has been bad at scratching,
tail twitching, cloudy eyes, blotches etc (I thought flukes).
<From the pics it looks like Cryptocaryon irritans, aka Ich to
About 4 weeks ago, I did some mod.s to my tank, I took the dsb
out, put in a new improved sump. I had to empty the whole DT
including the substrate (fine play sand). When I emptied the
tank, all the LR and sand went into plastic drums with aerators
and pumps, it only took about 3 hours. I monitored the tank, I
ran it on Seachem stability for the first 10 days, and all is
fine water quality wise. I did keep an eye on the substrate to
monitor for any sulphur build up from turning the substrate sand
around (the sand is very active and is over 18 months old). I
have had no problems with my water that I know of, ammonia is 0,
Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10-20, PH 8.4, salinity is 1.025.
About a month ago, my Clarkii clown started showing the same
symptoms as the emperor, tail twitching, rubbing, white spot,
cloudy eyes, and both fish sit in front of one of the pumps,
almost as if the flow is cooling their skin.
<More likely poor gill functionality due to the parasitic
This is when I really noticed it. The fish have all been eating.
I then treated for flukes with Prazi pro, the fish did shudder
during treatment, but then after 5 days there was still no
improvement, so I re-dosed.
<See here for more treatment options. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php
This is when the other fish actually got worse, especially with
white spot, during the treatment, so I switched the skimmer on,
did a 100% water change over a week, and ran the carbon media
<These treatments all need to be administered in a hospital
tank where proper dosing can be administered.>
Could the shudder during the Prazi treatment be the Prazipro
burning the infection inside the gills (sort of like alcohol
burns an open wound). But it seemed that the Prazi was not
working, and so I thought it must be something else from
<Does not look like flukes to me.>
The clown died this morning (Pics are attached), I saw the clown
in the dying stages, so I caught the clown, put it down, and then
placed the body immediately in fresh water to look for parasites,
of which I don't think I saw any. I then also lost a yellow
tail damsel the same morning (it had also not been well for at
least 2 weeks). And the 3 Ocellaris clowns are again showing
signs again, of like a dusty dry w/s (they showed this during the
Prazi and I think it improved).
<With all these clowns and large angels I do hope it is a huge
Or could it be brook or velvet.
<These would have already killed all the fish, are much more
deadly than Cryptocaryon irritans .>
I am thinking that it is not brook/velvet because surely it would
wipe the tank out in a few days.
<Agreed, more like Cryptocaryon irritans.>
The maroon clown seems fine, of all the fish in the tank.
<How many clowns do you have in this tank?>
On the infected fish, the blotchiness gets far worse when just
before the lights go off, and when they come on, after 2 hours of
the lights on, they seem fine. Could this be a parasite infection
caused by stress from moving the fish to a holding tank while I
worked on the main tank, or could this be like brook or velvet,
could it just be a bad case of w/s.
<Not caused by the tank changes, just allowed to get a
stronger hold with the added stress. If Cryptocaryon irritans is
not in the tank it cannot infect a fish regardless of how
stressed it is.>
The yellow tang does seem fine, maybe a bit one or two spots of
w/s in the evening (I would of thought the tang would be ten
times worse for w/s than the clowns).
<Usually but not always, the clowns were already stressed from
having all the other clowns around I would be, making them more
susceptible to infestation.>
I also have a purple fire fish that shows no signs of problems, a
Anthias that has one or two white spots. The wrasse seem fine,
except the bipartitus that is swimming against the glass, which
it never did before.
<All are likely infected just not symptomatic.>
Is this just a case of white spot, or an infection that is
stressing the fish, either bacterial/fungal, why would the clowns
show more Whitespot than the other fish, or is this worse
<I would be Cryptocaryon irritans.>
Please can you offer me any advice, as this has been going on for
a while now, and even my wife said that it is bringing me right
<Treat all fish outside the tank, allowing it to go fallow 6
to 8 weeks.>
I am adding antibiotics to the food, what I got from the vet,
Baytril and I am adding vitamin B complex to the food (I am in
<Won't help here, copper, a quinine compound, hyposalinity
are a few of your options, each with their own advantages and
I also add about 4 drops of garlic. I let it soak and then
<Worthless, perhaps harmful to fish's livers as a few
studies seem to suggest.>
The fish do seem to still eat well, I can tell they don't
like the added meds as some will spit the food out and then take
another morsel which they prefer.
<Keep them well fed.>
In the attached pics, it is blotches behind the emperors right
gill fin, and they can appear bad for thirty minutes, and then
seem like they were never there. I will in about 10 days have a
qt tank available.
<They may not last this long to be honest.>
Many thanks Seun Lamprecht
Re: Sick fish, Cryptocaryon irritans
Many thanks for your reply.
I did not know that the crypt would also give the fish cloudy
eye's, that was what made me believe flukes.
<Cloudy eyes are generally a secondary symptom to many
different illnesses, if I remember the pictures correctly the
clown and angel were showing salt like white spots all over,
which is classic Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans.>
What are the best vitamins/medicines to treat the fish orally
inside the display tank.
<None. See here for more
They are all eating and I feel my best bet is to try and boost
It is a big tank and breaking it down to get the fish out would
be extremely difficult.
<Best to start QTing fish before adding them.>
Many thanks for your support and advice
Cryptocaryon and Sudden Cleaner Shrimp Death,
Hi WWM Crew. I really like your site; it's really informative and
So here's my story: I had a 29 gallon tank running for about 2
months. Everything was fine; my ocellaris clownfish, firefish, and
Falco Hawkfish were doing well. Then the problems started to begin when
I got a royal gramma.
<Not a good tankmate with the firefish, there may be aggression
Well, I'm 14, and as a teenager I acted stubbornly and just decided
to acclimate and put him in the tank.
This ended up being a very fatal mistake to my aquarium. When I bought
the gramma, he was in a tank with another gramma that was very sick and
had many cuts on it. Even a clarkii clownfish had Popeye in the same
tank'¦ very stupid of me to buy from there.
<Live and learn.>
So I acclimate him properly and put him in the tank, and he's just
swimming around, looking for a "territory" I guess; he would
usually stay behind a rock after a few days, so it became his spot.
After about a week, I see white spots on his fins. I ignore it for a
while and the next day Crypto is on my clownfish; my firefish and
Hawkfish were fine, but my firefish started acting weirdly and started
going to the very top of my tank.
<Most likely all are infected.>
He would never do that; He's usually stay near the sand. Anyway, I
finally decide to quarantine, knowing that I should have done that a
very long time ago. I'm using hyposalinity, which is working well
for my fish; they lost all the spots after a few days.
<Watch the salinity closely, otherwise the treatment may not
During this time I got a cleaner shrimp and put him in the main tank,
which also has a hammer coral frag, some yellow polyps, 4 hermit crabs,
and a coral banded shrimp. I dealt with that issue by putting my CBS in
my other tank which as a 20 gallon. So after a few days, I notice that
my cleaner shrimp starts to stay in the same spot; he looks fine, but
he doesn't move around as much. I feed him frozen food and flake
food. Then he starts to tip over easily; the water flow just takes him
to some part of my tank; he's still alive but not moving. Finally,
he died (unfortunately). So I have 2 questions: how long will it take
for Cryptocaryon to die in my tank without a host?
<Minimum of 4 weeks, 6 to 8 is much better.>
I'm using a UV sterilizer for any free floating parasites too.
<Of limited use.>
Also, why did my cleaner shrimp die?
<I would guess due to acclimation issues, they are very sensitive to
He was doing perfectly fine until a few days after I bought him. Could
it have been that there wasn't enough algae?
<They are not really algae eaters.>
I really miss him, and I'm going to try and just wait until I add
anything in my tank for a while.
<Probably a wise move.>
Also, my ammonia was 0, nitrites 0, and nitrates at about 5 ppt.
More Ick questions, Treatments 10/23/10
Recently I e-mailed and your feedback was helpful regarding a
blue tang and the Ick that he has. For starters, thank
you for your information. At this point, I have to say I am now
confused by varying thoughts on how to treat this and need more
feedback. I decided to purchase a tank to place my livestock in until
the symptoms on the fish resolve and to give my display tank time to
rid itself of this infestation.
Anyway, I started by using hyposalinity in the quarantine setup I have,
but this hadn't proven to be very effective.
<It can be effective but the margin for error is pretty
Then, I read about using formalin, so I bought QuIck Cure and used for
the recommended 48 hours.
<Also effective but very toxic, can be worse than the
This did help some, but the fish did not act like they felt very good
and I already felt guilty about using a chemical to treat this (this
was a tough decision to use this, but got anxious about a lack of
results from hyposalinity).
<All treatments take time.>
I have since been working to remove the QuIck Cure with small water
changes every other day and by adding the filter carbon back into the
filter. Since then (for the last 3-4 days) I have been doing daily
freshwater baths or dips for approximately 5-7 minutes. This seems to
be helping overall, but slowly. I am trying to be patient, which is not
easy for me.
<Is somewhat effective but not a cure, the fish are reinfected when
put back in the QT, and the FW dip will not effect deeply embedded
All of the fish are eating well and continue to be very alert and
They have stopped scratching on things, but some still have some
<Too be expected.>
Anyway, there are a couple of questions that I have regarding this,
which based on the research I have done on WWM, seems to be the most
preferred approach overall.
<It's not really a cure, but can help in acute cases. Depending
on the fish copper or one of the quinine drugs are generally the
Is there a maximum amount of days that I do the freshwater baths before
I give the fish time to see if they heal themselves?
<FW dips will remove some of the attached parasites, however once
the fish is placed back in the tank they are quickly
Or do I do this until the spots completely disappear?
<Unfortunately the spots are not really an indication of
infestation, the Ich parasite first infects the gills and is pretty
nonsymptomatic. The spots are just mucus covering the wounds left by
the parasite imbedding itself.>
Or do I continue to do this daily even after the spots disappear?
<I think you need to take a more aggressive approach to cure the
fish of the disease.>
Also, not all of my fish are showing obvious signs or
symptoms of having this parasite. Should I be dipping them daily as
<They are most likely infested, just not symptomatic.>
Or just see if they show signs and/or symptoms?
<I would treat them all in the QT with copper or quinine depending
on the fish you have.>
Do I add an antibiotic to prevent a secondary infection?
<I would not.>
I have been feeding New Life Spectrum A+ to help with their immune
<Is a good food.>
Finally, I have left the salinity at 1.017.
Do you think I should leave it there, or slowly raise it back up to
<I would raise it back up, does nothing to the parasite at this
level and just stresses the fish.>
Or wait until the signs and symptoms are gone before I do this? Clearly
confused on a few things, but am glad to see that this is slowly
<I'm afraid it is not a long term cure. See here
and here for more http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php
, note there are two parts to the second article. >
Thank you for you help
p.s. I will never add a fish again without quarantining first. You guys
are very right on that! Lesson learned.
Re: More Ick questions, 10/27/10
Sorry about all of the questions regarding Ick, and thank you for all
of your help. I have been treating my saltwater fish for Ick in a
quarantine tank with copper. This is the third day of treatment, and I
the freshwater dips to avoid stress. Today, I have noticed on all of
the fish increased spots and mucus. Should I do freshwater dips again
or should I watchfully wait? I tested for Ammonia and Nitrite and they
both remain at zero.
<It probably doesn't make much of a difference as FW dips are of
limited effectiveness against the ich parasite, but if the fish are
acting ok, still eating and swimming about you could give them another
ICH, DSB for FOWLR tank, Sharks, Tangs and
Ich, Oh my 10/13/10
Thank you in advance for all your help. I greatly appreciate it! I have
a 220 gallon FOWLR tank with approximately 100 pounds of live rock.
Tank is running an Aqua C EV-400 protein skimmer, bioballs, and a FV5
Fluval canister filter(I know the canister is no longer essential with
the sump, I clean it weekly and just use it for chemical media, extra
water flow, and extra biological filtration). My livestock are a
~15" bamboo shark,
<Topping out at over 3 feet long this will probably need a larger
home at some point.>
~6" Vlamingii Tang, ~5 Desjardini Sailfin Tang, ~7" Raccoon
Butterfly, and lastly a ~3" Harlequin Tusk. I made the ill fated
mistake of introducing the butterfly and tusk without quarantining 2
weeks ago and now am learning quickly from my mistake. Yesterday I
noticed my Butterfly has Ich and my Tusk showing a few spots as well. I
immediately pull my 55 gallon sump apart as it needed to be redone
anyway after a divider slide out of place. I filled the 55 gallon with
water from the main tank and hooked up the canister filter so that I
have some biological filtration in the quarantine tank and won't be
needing the canister upon replacing the fish in my main tank.
<This much livestock will likely overload any filtration you have on
a 55 gallon tank, consider setting up a second hospital tank to spread
out the load, and watch your water parameters closely or you are going
to do more harm than good here.>
I freshwater dipped with Methylene blue for 5 minutes each(besides the
shark) before placing in the 55 gallon tank. I treated the 55 gallon
tank with quinine sulfate as this is safe on sharks unlike most Ich
Until recently I had not been using RODI water for my tank and dealt
with some algae problems previously so the rock in my tank currently
have no coralline algae growth. One week ago I purchased 150 pounds of
live rock from someone taking down their reef tank and was planning on
of the rock currently in my main tank with this new and better rock
I currently have this live rock curing to make sure it cycled(and yes
in my stupidity I quarantine the new rock but not livestock, don't
know what I was thinking). I guess my questions for you are....
1. Now that my main tank is fallow, if I remove all the live rock (I
was going to anyway) and the substrate(crushed coral (not the best for
my shark despite what my LFS said))
<The shark will appreciate this.>
and clean the tank, can I put in a DSB with the new live rock and let
it cycle while treating my fish in the quarantine tank? Then I would
slowly introduce one by one when all fish are healthy.
2. The second part of that question would be if a DSB would be the
right choice or should I just put in
a 1/2" of sand? I plan on building a sump for the protein skimmer
and changing from bioballs to a refugium as well.
<A DSB could work here, although you are going to lose some water
volume with it. As long as you continue with good tank maintenance are
don't expect the DSB to do much more than limit nitrates you should
3. Is that the best choice also?
<A remote DSB might work better, but I think you will be fine with
Lastly, I am just noticing now some dark discoloration around the mouth
of my Sailfin tang and what looks like a few very small black worms on
<Black Ich perhaps? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm
4. Is the discoloration from the treatment?
<Perhaps, or water quality.>
5. Are the worms going to be killed off from treatment or does that
need to be treated with something different?
<Possibly, might want to FW dip the fish again.>
I again am so thankful for your help and promise to never introduce
livestock without quarantining again.
Re: ICH, DSB for FOWLR tank, Sharks, Tangs and Ich, Oh my
Thank you much Chris for your help.
After righting the email and thinking
about the 55 gallon set up I purchased a 45 gallon Rubbermaid as well
and put some of the main tank live rock, heater, and powerheads in
there to help with the bio load. So three fish in each quarantine
In my sump I had planned a DSB and a DSB as I stated in the main tank.
The more DSB the better to help with nitrates of these messy eaters is
my thinking on this, correct?
<It will definitely help, but with the shark lots of water changes
I guess my main concern with the main tank DSB is zones of sulfur and
making sure that does not happen with my setup. I have read that slight
turning of the sand periodically can help, lots of water flow, and
<You don't really want to disturb the deeper parts of the sand
bed but you can stir the top. Good water flow is very
I am wondering what the cons of using a sand like Durascape from home
depot that has "trace amounts of silicates" as the package
states would be?
<Stuff like this makes me nervous, I always wonder what else might
be in there. I think in the long run you will be better off with the
more expensive but pure aragonite.>
Having a large tank, the LFS aragonite sand would be quite expensive. I
have read on here that in freshwater tanks it does not do anything bad
but can't seem to find a definitive answer to this for a saltwater
<Saltwater is more reactive chemically than freshwater, so there are
some concerns there.>
I would mix in some aragonite to help the seeding process as well.
Thanks for your time and help.
Odd case regarding Crypto.
Approximately three months ago I had an outbreak of Cryptocaryon in my
main display tank. I fallowed the tank and removed all vectors for the
disease to be transmitted. Six of the seven fish were treated using the
label's recommended therapeutic dose for twenty-one days. The fish
were then kept in there quarantine tanks for an additional 4 1/2 weeks
with no further signs of any issues concerning Cryptocaryon. A total 7
1/2 week fallow period went into the main tank with nothing added.
The caveat here is that the seventh fish, a Mandarin Dragonet was kept
in his own system so that I could maintain his food stores and that he
would also be spared from the Cupramine. Needless to say the Mandarin
received no specific treatment for Cryptocaryon.
<But this fish is still a 'vector' as you say.>
She did not show any signs of infection either for the entire 7 1/2
<These fishes produce copious amounts of slime, which makes it
difficult for the parasite to enter the skin, so it is rare to see the
infestation present itself here. The most susceptible place for
infestation on all fish however is the gills, where the skin is the
thinnest, and this is also the place where you cannot check for
external signs of the parasite. In short, the fish was infested>
The fish were returned to the main display tank two and a half weeks
ago and things have been status quo. Yesterday I noticed large white
raised dots on the Blue Tang in the tank. Today they're gone, so
I'm assuming the parasite has moved on to the next stage.
No other fish are infected
<Mmm, they probably are, just not showing the signs so readily. The
white dots are not the parasite itself, but the reaction of the fish
host's skin TO the parasite. Thus, different fish react
and all of the fish are retaining their appetites along with their
Similarly there's no flashing or scratching from the Blue Tang.
I'm stumped at this point <Mmm, it's pretty simple really,
and I would not worry too much at this point>
The only vector I can think of here correlates to the Mandarin.
<Yes, but there is also the possibility that the fallow period you
used was not long enough, or both. Studies have been done on the
life-cycle of this parasite, but not on all possible strains, and in
all tank/ water conditions which could affect the length of the
The research that I've read states Cryptocaryon does not have a
delayed life cycle which I understand to mean that the parasite would
have needed to attach to the fish, bore in, release, etc., or it would
simply die off. (Correct me here if I'm wrong).
<No, you have done your reading here which is commendable, and you
are quite right, but many aquarists experiences counteract the
lifecycle lengths that are stated in much of the literature. Most put
the lifecycle at about 4-5 weeks at normal reef temps, but it is well
known that this is not enough time in most all cases>
At no point did the Mandarin show any ill effects from Crypto, nor did
I see any visible cysts. What's your opinion regarding people's
anecdotal stories of Crypto popping up from time to time after
prolonged periods of no new introductions to one's tank?
<That it is already present as a low level infestation (mostly in
the gills where it is not noticed) which occasionally manifests itself
and disappears, or takes a hold/ becomes visible when a stressor is
added/ conditions become favourable>
I'm debating going through the entire fallow process again as
I'd like a Crypt free system however I'd like your opinion
concerning maintaining high water quality, foods, etc.
<I would 'hold fire' here and see what happens. Optimise
diet & conditions as much as you can and try to strike a balance.
Most systems do have these latent infestations>
Assuming no further genetic variants would be entering my tank, would
the Crypt parasite simply perish due to a lack of genetic diversity or
am I likely to be plagued with this issue for what I've read to be
<Mmm, I have read somewhere that it can disappear after time due to
this.. it's not something I could comment on in any assured way
Also, regarding Dragonet quarantine. How do these species and other
Gobioids fair with Hyposalinity.
<As well as any other to my knowledge, but this would not be my
choice. Dips w/ freshwater & formalin, followed by a short (perhaps
10 day) quarantine in full strength seawater with Chloroquine phosphate
could be done here, if the aim was to prevent the introduction of
Crypt. Done in a fully 'cycled' QT tank. You might be able to
feed the live crustaceans to the dragonet successfully with CP present,
but I have not tried this. If not then 10 days is not an especially
long time for an otherwise healthy fish to go without http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm>
Similarly, how does their food source (Amphipods, etc.) hold up with
<It dies. Saltwater invertebrates cannot take the low salinities
that are required to kill off Crypt like fishes can.>
Ich question, Crypt, Symptomology
I want to thank you for all of you information and help for my sw
Recently I purchased a Blue Tang and he has done very
well. Daily I have been checking him because of my paranoia of him
displaying signs and symptoms of Ich. Two days ago, I
noticed nothing, however yesterday I noticed randomly placed little
white spots on his body. I watched him for sometime, and they did not
disappear. I noticed one late last week that did disappear.
I have no cleaner fish or shrimps, so I wondered if it was just sand.
Anyway, I did (out of fear) decide to do a freshwater dip on him.
<... and place the/this fish back in the infested system?>
I sort of used the net to gently wipe him, and the spots were easily
Is it possible to see so many visible spots on a fish in just one
<Oh yes. Protozoan complaints/parasites of fishes have great rates
Would these spots be so easily brushed away if they are a parasite?
<Mmm, well, you should know that the actual spots are NOT the
parasites, but "reaction mucus" (produced by the fish host
due to irritation); so, yes, can be easily "washed
And would he have spots in one spot that are gone the next day if it
<Again, yes, very possible. Think of this situation: perhaps all the
spots are due to a single "daughter cell" production... all
finding, and leaving the one host at about the same time... Like
ArnoldS spiels... "They'll be baaaaacck!">
I read on the WWM about blue tangs to opt out of a quarantine to avoid
<Not usually this group of fishes, no. I encourage the
dipping/bathing AND quarantine of all Acanthuroids>
I just don't know how much watchful waiting I should do. None of
the other fish in the tank have any spots. I have noticed no itching
from the tang. Any insight would be appreciated.
<All I know is posted on WWM... including the above responses. I
would be studying the life history of Protozoan Parasites of fishes,
and in particular the likely scenario you're faced with here:
Mmmm, and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Treating A Stress Ich Outbreak With Ozone
Jim from the UK here. I am getting back into reefing after a long pause
(I have kept fish /invert tanks for 5 years prior). I have set up a new
120 gallon system and cycled with cured live rock and Tetra Marine
My first fish were clowns (added after a 2 week cycle) all parameters
<I hate that word "normal". Knowing actual is much
They are a very nice pair (proven pair) of Bicinctus Red sea
They seemed to settle down fine but after a couple of weeks I had a
minor outbreak of Ich.
I have decided to invest in an ozonizer this time around and am
currently doing a medicative dose of 75mg/hour
<No such thing as a medicative dose. Too much ozone can be dangerous
to the inhabitants if not administered safely. Is best to use a ORP
monitor or better yet a RedOx controller. A good ORP level would be
into my skimmer plus I am also using garlic infused feeds. Mr. Fenner
your books are an inspiration to me and you may castigate this seasoned
pro because I freshwater dipped the clowns prior to addition to the
main tank. I didn't quarantine; feel free to tell me off.
I am new to ozone addition but have read that it has very good
anti-parasitic qualities (the dosage was recommended to me by the
<The ozone will only kill the parasites that come into contact with
it in your skimmer.
Ozone does provide for much better water quality which helps the fish
fight off parasitical infestations much better.>
The clowns are seemingly on the mend and was wondering how long I
should keep up this dosage of ozone? 2-3 weeks?
<Actually, continued use of ozone is very beneficial to the health
of a system and I would use continually but to at least monitor with an
ORP meter and ideally, control with a RedOx controller.>
I am stringent with water changes and there are zero nitrites and
ammonia in the tank. I see this as a minor territoriality/upset between
the mated pair. <?>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Treating A Stress Ich Outbreak With Ozone
Many thanks for your reply.
<You're welcome, and please reply to original thread in the
future. Gives me an idea what has transpired so far.>
I will consider investing in a RedOx controller but for now my stated
dose 75mg/hr is only slightly above the recommended dose by the TMC
unit, so I feel does not need monitoring just yet.
<You are correct, is slightly higher than the 25mg/50 gallon
I have considered a UV steriliser but find they do raise my water
temperature into the mid 80's.
<Much, much better off with ozone.>
Clowns do not seem to have any ICH spots now so I am hoping this is a
settling in outbreak. Do other tank owners find this with new clowns
(more so with wild paired clowns)?
<Tank bred clowns are generally hardier than the wild
I know they are wild caught and as such are more susceptible to disease
so I hear. I realise I have broken the quarantine tank rule but I have
found that with dips and keeping water quality/species interaction at
an optimum, that I avoided all disease problems in my previous tank,
but did have the occasional Ich outbreak when new fish were
<No guarantees. James (Salty Dog)>
Wrasse compatibility and an update on hyposalinity treatment
of Cryptocaryon irritans 9/12/10
Greetings to Bob and Crew at WWM,
I hope that things are going well with you and yours!
It has been several months since I've written about my battle with
a very entrenched C. irritans infection in my 225 gallon system. As you
may remember, this all started November of 2009 and I have tried
formalin, quinine, Chloroquine, and the last was hypo-salinity. My
fishes have been kept in the main tank with salinity at 1.010 or 12 ppm
for the past two and a half months. Hypo-salinity was my "last
resort" as my fishes' Crypt infection was coming to a very
severe level and I needed to give them relief FAST. It took almost
three weeks for each and every spot to disappear, I believe (thinking
back) it was because it took me a week to finally drop the salinity
from 1.012 to 1.010. I've learned a lot from this experience and
I've also gained a ton of patience. To anyone who thinks
quarantining one's fish for six or eight weeks is long - just
imagine fighting Crypt for ten plus months! And honestly speaking, I
know my battle is not over yet! My plans are to continue hypo through
October and start raising the salinity slowly over a week or two in
November. I then will wait and monitor for another four weeks for
recurrence and then after that, introduce my poor corals and start
stocking again. Through all this, I consider myself fairly lucky that I
didn't experience total wipe out, but I was saddened by every
little life I lost. I still have my original Powder Blue tang, Kole
tang, and Atlantic Blue tang - who grew from silver dollar size to a
huge 6 inches in length and a bright yellow to a deep blue.
Current inhabitants beside the tangs are:
4 x firefish gobies (Nemateleotris magnifica, a pair and two
1 x Randall's goby (Amblyeleotris randalli)
1 x some type of variant (white/grey/purple) yellow watchman goby
(Cyrptocentrus cinctus) Is mine a female?
Pair of Amphiprion ocellaris
1 x Cleaner Wrasse (original from November 09)
11 x Emperor Angel (Pomacanthus imperator - grew from 2 to 4 inches in
2 x female red scooter blennies (Synchiropus stellatus)
1 x clown fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis)
1 x Starry blenny (Salarias ramosus)
I'm looking to restock with the following and also have some
associated questions regarding each:
First and most importantly: I will quarantine each fish or pair for
eight weeks to observe for any signs of infection and also to make sure
that each has acclimated to a multitude of foods which my (and my
favorites are Ocean Nutrition Formula One/Two frozen and pellets, and
New Life Spectrum pellets - I honestly believe that the health and
longevity of our fishes' success ties in with their willingness and
ability to accept these highly nutritious foods.
<We are in agreement>
Male Synchiropus stellatus
Pair of yellow head jaw fish (Opistognathus aurifrons) - Is there a
difference between ones collected from Mexico versus Florida?
<Mmm, not really. Are about the same hardiness historically from
wherever collected... and very few are currently aquacultured>
Pair of Yellow Watchman Gobies (Cyrptocentrus cinctus)
Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) - I've read that
can be real bullies when mature, is that the normal tendency of
things? /> <Not this species as much as the
"lined" ones. Not to worry>
If so, if I start with a smallish specimen and put him in last, would
that help my chances of having a peaceful fish?
Orange spotted blenny (*Blenniella chrysospilos)*
Pair of Aurora Gobies (Amblyeleotris aurora)
Pair of Citron Gobies (Gobiodon citrinus) - would these be "too
small" for my tank and be eaten by someone?
<Not if you have Acropora corals for them to occupy>br />
Hybrid Angel - *Centropyge flavissima x C. vrolikii - *I would love to
a Centropyge flavissima in addition to the hybrid and read that
Lemonpeels are "less aggressive towards other Centropyges"
but not sure what your thoughts are?
<... that your system is getting very/too crowded. Do you have plans
for having another tank?>
Collection of Halichoeres wrasse (My favorite is the *Halichoeres
melanurus, *but I also like, *Halichoeres leucurus, Halichoeres
vrolikii, Halichoeres chrysus*) I would LOVE it if I could have one of
each in my system, but if not, I'll be happy with just the
Melanurus! Questions regarding this are: If I can keep multiples of
this genus or do they not get along?
<... I'd stop stocking the 225>
Will these Halichoeres do well in quarantine or would you observe in
LFS for a week to two, make sure its healthy and eating, then dip and
place in display? I've read several different opinions on this
genus and would love to know of yours!
<Is posted on WWM. One/singles are fine in captivity>br />
Lastly, I'm planning on getting a pair of cleaner shrimp, and
pistol shrimps for all my shrimp gobies! My tank will really be
Thank you so much for all the support now, past, and I'm sure,
future.br /> Your site is truly invaluable!
Re: Wrasse compatibility and an update on hyposalinity treatment of
Cryptocaryon irritans 9/12/10
Good Morning Bob!
Thank you for your reply!
I'm actually glad to read that you believe that I'm will be
It reminds me of the difference between things ON PAPER versus actual
LIVING SITUATION. I was thinking that since most of the fishes I'm
adding are either bottom or rock/crevice dwellers, I have lots of room
creatures are paired their territory dramatically increases, and that
will create more disputes amongst the inhabitants. I will definitely
buckle down when it comes to adding more fish! I don't have
Acropora nor plan on
having them so no Gobiodon citrinus for this tank! My rock work is 250
lbs with LOTS of very thoughtfully placed nooks and crannies BUT in NO
WAY (since you pointed out) that I can have FOUR separate "homes
territories" for each of the goby couples and Jawfish couple, I
will keep the single Randall's and female Yellow Watchman and
consider adding only the pair of Aurora gobies.
The reasoning behind the male Synchiropus stellatus is because my two
females are seen chasing each other around the tank, no damage is
actually done but I was thinking that the male lesson the aggression to
girls" up with their female angst...but, wait! Wouldn't a male
actually bring MORE competition between them?!?
<Not necessarily, no>
If you asked me which fish of the list I *really* would like to add -
it would be the Pseudocheilinus ocellatus and Halichoeres melanurus. I
hope you will say that I have room for these TWO "Swimming"
fishes! Yes? NO?
<Yes... just no more>
If "yes", since each of the four wrasse is from a different
genus will this help decrease violence between the wrasses and increase
the possibility of success?
As always, I really respect your expertise and appreciate the
thoughtfulness and time you put into answering questions! I really
enjoy reading your responses because they always MAKE ME THINK even
more realistically and logically about my thinking process and
<And you, BobF>
Paracheilinus filamentosus <MIA> & PBT Ich
Dear Wet Web Crew,
I am the proud new owner of a 90 gallon saltwater reef tank. I bought
it from a friend of mine who had the tank up for 5 years and moved it
to my house in May. I have been slowly adding fish and corals to my
tank and currently have a line up as such:
1 Powder Blue Tang
<Really needs more room than this>
1 Royal Gramma Basslet
1 Blue Damselfish
1 Mandarin Dragonette
1 Tomato Clownfish
1 Foxface Rabbitfish
1 Paracheilinus filamentosus
1 Rose Bubble tip anemone
LPS, SPS, and soft corals under 2 250 Watt halides and 2 96 Watt
The water keeps coming back fine (1.025 salinity, 8 KH, 400 Ca, 0
Nitrate, 8.3 pH).
Anyways, down to the question. When I added my Paracheilinus
filamentosus about 3 weeks back,
<... no quarantine? Dip/bath?>
he was doing great. Eating, swimming around, good colors and such.
About 2 weeks after that (1 week ago) I added the Powder Blue Tang.
<Ditto? A mistake>
There was no visible aggression between anyone in the tank, however,
now the wrasse is nowhere to be found. He came out to eat once 3 days
ago, but I haven't seen him since then. Last night I moved some of
the rocks around to see if I could find a corpse, but to no avail. Is
there any particular reason that you can think of that the wrasse would
go MIA. I cannot find him anywhere.
<Dissolve quickly if lost here, good poss. it left the tank...
perhaps a pet ate it there... Harassed by the Tomato? Eaten by the
It should probably be noted that my Powder Blue has a decent case of
Ich. I've been reluctant to pull him and treat because he looks
otherwise very healthy. He is eating and looking very good. I'm
hoping he will pass it on his own.
On that note, I have some of the Seachem Metronidazole and Focus that
is said to fight Ich and is reef safe. Is it worth using on the food,
or do you think it is a waste/.dangerous?
<I would hold off... this anti-protozoal is not likely to effect a
real cure here... as it cannot/should not be administered long (enough)
term to "take out" all stages of the Crypt>
Thank you very much for your time and expertise,
<Mmm, I do want to refer you... Here:
and the linked files above... to grant you insight into your probable
situation/outcomes. Bob Fenner>
Ich or something else?, Crypt? 7/9/10
I have a 100 gall with three triggers (clown, bursa, niger) an adult
Sailfin tang, an adult lionfish, and a snowflake eel.
<Too much for this tank.>
My fish are getting white spots on their fins only and this
wouldn't usually concern me but this has happened before. My little
brother also has a saltwater tank (75 gal.) and his fish did the same
thing and continued to eat until they died.
<Not uncommon if it is ich/Cryptocaryon irritans.
I think someone in my family may have contaminated my tank while I was
out of town.
<Why would you think this.>
I gave the fish in my brothers tank garlic in their food to boost their
immune system (I am currently doing this to my fish) and all but two
fish died (he started out with at least 7).
<Worthless or worse, some new evidence that garlic damages the
liver, and no evidence that it does much good for ich.>
I did make a few mistakes like not doing as many water changes as
necessary. I also do not have a quarantine tank (I would use my bothers
tank but the remaining two fish still have this).
<I would invest in one, will save money in the long run.>
What is this?
<Hard to say without a picture or more detailed description, but ich
is very common. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
What happened in my brothers tank seemed to be ich but the fish would
eat until the parasites covered their eyes and they could no longer see
their food and they still used smell to find some food.
<This is what happens when it goes untreated, the fish suffocate as
the protozoa destroys the gills.>
But there were never and they did not scratch nor did the ich make a
cocoon around the fish.
Is there anything I can do to save my fish?
<Yes, read. Start with the links above, also here
Quarantine and Copper and Cryptocaryon: Crypt treatment,
quarantine. An excellent example 6/10/2010
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
<Hi Carl, greetings from my temporary home in South America.>
As always, thanks for your informative articles and FAQ pages. I find
them very useful.
<Glad that you find it so.>
As an adjunct to my 500 gallon system I run a quarantine system
consisting of three bare bottomed 40 gallon tanks plumbed in series
attached to a 30 gallon sump.
Four weeks ago I purchased and quarantined a Naso lituratus, an
Acanthurus Lineatus, a Ctenochaetus Cyanocheilus and six Pseudanthias
Squampinnis. After a week in quarantine the three Tangs displayed
<Why am I not surprised?>
which I treated with two weeks of Cupramine at 0.5ppm and three 100%
water changes and tank disinfections at days one, seven and fourteen
(though not directly referenced on your website, I've read studies
that suggest that one hour of exposure to 40 degree Celsius - 104 F -
water kills a high percentage of Protomonts and Tomonts.
<I've read the same study, though I will offer that it is
incredibly stressful to your fish...>
As overkill I do 4 hours of 45 degree freshwater with 2.4mg/L chlorine
<copper?>. In the unlikely event that you haven't read this
University of Florida article, here it is http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa164).
The two weeks of copper were up on Sunday, and it's now been 14
days since the disappearance of any Trophonts on the fish. If I
understand the life cycle of this disease correctly, I think I've
got it beat. My question is whether you would judge it safe to move
these fish to the display system.
<Though I am not a fan of raising the temp that high, I must commend
you on your strict quarantine procedures. To answer your question
directly, I tend to be conservative in my quarantine and medication
procedures, but, I've never had an outbreak of crypt in my display
tanks either. As long as your fish are healthy and not showing signs of
stress, I would still give it another week.>
They're all eating well and behaving as normally as fish living in
a bare bottomed tank with PVC shelter are likely to behave, and
it's been a month since quarantine. My standard quarantine period
is one month, but I can't decide if I should restart the clock when
the ich developed.
<I generally 'restart the clock' For safely\piece of mind,
as long as your fish are not showing any symptoms and\or signs of
stress I would leave them another week to ten days..>
I don't really want to keep them in quarantine overly long-- it
seems that after a month or so mortality increases.
<I agree. but that must be weighed with the overall risk to the main
So, in the immortal words of Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man, Is it
<Well, I'm fresh out of cloves for the moment, but I would still
give it a week more.>
<MikeV, Melbourne, Fl, currently in Santiago Chile.>
Re: Quarantine and Copper and Cryptocaryon: Crypt treatment,
quarantine. An excellent example 6/12/2010
Thanks a lot, will do. You've echoed what my gut was telling me. My
display is Crypt free, and I'd very much like to keep it that
<I'm the same way. You know that the one time you didn't and
it broke out in your display you would be kicking yourself.>
I should add that with my procedure the fish aren't in the tank
when I raise the temperature- having the three tanks allows me to move
them to a different tank, isolate it, drain it, and then raise the
Enjoy Santiago-- it's a great city, and thanks again.
<Arrived home today - I did enjoy the city very much.>
Icky Fish... SW reading - 5/22/10
I have a baby Bamboo Shark egg, which will be hatching in the next
couple of weeks. It is healthy, but I can not say the same for my Lions
and spiny puffer...they all have Ick! I know its terrible, but my
question to you is,
if I treat the entire tank with a half dose of Pimafix,
would there be any possibility of it harming my shark egg?
<In a word, yes>
If so, what product, if any, would you suggest I use?
<... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm
scroll down to "Crypt", "Treatments That
I have already tried taking the fish out of the tank to treat them
(Pimafix dip for 5 minutes)
<This plant extract is of no pharmaceutical use whatsoever>
and then doing a small water change before they were put back in. This
continued on for about 4 days, and I saw no improvement. Please help,
I'd hate to lose my fish to Ick, and I fear for what the outcome
may be for my shark.
Many, many thanks - Laura
<Read. Bob Fenner>
I have to apologize for the last inquiry about Ick. I asked a
friend to email you while I was at work and totally botched it
I have sent you a couple/few pictures so hopefully you can help.
I think this is Ick? I have lost 3 fish,(covered with white
spots) and am trying not to lose anymore. Would Ick cause the
fin/tail deteroriation and cloudy eyes? The secondary stage? My
other fish have no spots or deterioration. I have read some of
the site and you recommend crypto pro/quinine sulfate. I have
tried all the pet stores by me and none of them carry this. I
called the NFP and can order this, but it will have to be mailed.
My LFS suggested to (in a hospital tank of course), remove all
starfish and Anemones to a tank, remove fish to another tank.
treat fish with Cupramine, and a formalin and a freshwater dip
everyday. (I don't want to put too Let the main tank remain
fallow for 4-6 weeks with the temp. raised to about 90 speeding
up the life cycle and killing the parasite. I am worried about my
Sailfin tang and the Cupramine. Would you recommend this or would
you wait for the QS?
<You're in a tough place... your fishes, tougher... The
Pholodichthys does appear to be Crypt infested... the Lion et
al... dissolving due to?>
I would appreciate your help. Oh, my LFS said your book is great
reading for a saltwater tank, and your website is wonderful.
<You need to do "something" QUICK, if it's not
too late already... The dips might help/save your fishes... while
waiting for the Quinine treatment. Bob Fenner, finally in Egypt
after traveling for two days>
Concerning Ich - Crypt control in
marine tank. 5/16/2010!
Hello again crew,
I have a quick question regarding treatment of Ick.
I have moved all my fish to a hospital tank and treated with
<Do make sure you keep the copper at the proper level.>
due to not finding QS anywhere local.
<Mail order is the only place I have found it.>
I had to do something quick!! I lost some but the others seem to
be doing good.
Now for my main tank- its 150 gallon with live rock, a few
starfish, crabs, and anemones. (I had previously used "kick
Ick" waste of money-Ick came back tons worse!)
<No surprises there.>
I have two Tidepool two filters, so I put in new pads and carbon
to draw out any meds. My temp is up to 80. You state to let the
tank run fallow for 4-6 weeks?
<Yes - though I prefer letting the tank go fallow for 6 weeks
rather than 4. It breaks the life cycle of the parasite. With no
hosts on which to feed, they will die off.>
Leaving the current creatures in there is ok?
Then I would change all pads and carbon again before returning
<Always a good idea.>
Do I drip the fish again to acclimate them?
<If the salinity is different between the hospital tank and
the main tank, yes.>
My LFS advised I should take out the starfish, crabs and
anemones, put them in their own tank, turn the temp to 95 on main
tank and let it run for 4 weeks to kill off the Ick, otherwise it
won't kill off. Should I be doing this?
<I would not. - that would also kill off any small critters in
the tank you can't see.- worms, copepods, etc.>
Thanks again for your help.
<My Pleasure, MikeV>
Treating saltwater tank for ich: Reading\Shotgun approach to
I have 2 fish in my saltwater tank that consistently flash - Royal
gramma and Sixline wrasse. It's a 46 gal. fish only - Inhabitants
(royal gramma, Sixline wrasse, maroon clown, scooter blenny, pajama
cardinal, blue/green Chromis, coral beauty, skunk cleaner, zebra turbo
snail, 2 unknown snails -I think turbo, about 10 dwarf hermits).
<Too many fish for such a small tank.
It's been running about 8 months. Parameters are good.
<What does 'good' mean exactly? Numbers, actual test results
are helpful, broad generalizations are not.>
The gramma has been in about 6-7 months, and the wrasse about 3 weeks.
I have noticed he gramma flash since I've had it, about once a day
or every other day - now every half hour it seems since I introduced
the wrasse. The
wrasse also flashes once in a while, a lot less than the gramma.
<Do you see anything on the fish? evidence of parasites, any other
odd behavior - such as scratching, etc? All Fishes do flash from time
to time even if they are healthy.>
I quarantined the wrasse 3 weeks and treated for ich - I treat for ich
and other fungus whether I see spots/fungus or not.
<An abysmally bad idea....>
I see no spots/fungus on the gramma and wrasse and none of the other
fish flash - all eat well and are very active.
Everyone gets along.
I don't want to try and remove those fish - stress for me and
<If there is some sort of disease present, removing them and
treating is about the only way to effectively treat them.>
If there is something there it's probably in the tank.
I was thinking of treating the entire tank with Kordon ich attack to
try an eliminate ich or other fungus/parasite.
<Ich has very distinct symptoms that are very noticeable. Read
<Fungus is uncommon in a marine tank as well.>
It worked in my freshwater tank. I'm a little nervous about
it's affect in the saltwater tank. Saltwater fish can be more
sensitive and I don't want to degrade the water quality or kill all
the natural filtration from the live rock. What are your thoughts?
<Read the linked pages I provided. Keep an eye on things and see if
you actually notice any symptoms.>
serious ich or velvet problem... Reading
I have a major problem and need some help. I have a 125 gallon reef
tank with corals, inverts, LR and a fixed aquascape. Removal of my fish
is not possible without destroying the permanent aquascape. I made an
oops and added a powder brown tang w/o quarantine
<A giant error>
because he came from a friends tank and had never shown any signs of
disease for a few months. After a few days thousands of white spots
appeared on his body and his fins started to look ragged. I treated the
tank with kick-ich
and a product called Sano
<See our site re...>
and also began feeding garlic extreme and he died within a few days
anyways and I couldn't find him. Well about a week later the rest
of my fish (harbor goby, yellow tang, maroon clown and 3 damsels)
developed these white spots and ragged fins, I continued the Sano,
kick-ich and garlic but they are showing no improvement.
<Not surprising... had you read...>
I already knew that these treatment methods were probably useless
<Oh, this is the first sensible statement>
but it's all I could think to do. I can remove all of my corals and
inverts to a separate tank but I cannot move the fish
<Yes you can...>
so I was thinking of hypo in the display
but I think that is probably a bad idea that will kill all of my
coralline and the biological filter. I also considered low levels of
Another option would be just to let them fight it off by themselves but
I am afraid they will die.
The real problem is I am not sure if it is ich, brook or velvet. If it
is ich it's the first time I have ever seen it almost completely
cover the fish including the eyes. I thought that I had read somewhere
that gobies and tangs couldn't get brook and that it only affects
damsels and clowns for the most part. Velvet I have no experience with
but the fish don't have heavy amounts of slime on them. I am
leaning towards a severe outbreak of ich but it doesn't make sense
to me that the fish weren't under any additional stress and I had
all of these fish for 2 years with no problems.
All of my water parameters are
in check except for my phosphates which are around 1.0 ppm. The tank
has only been up for about 2 months and has been seeded by multiple
different and healthy reef tanks. Any suggestions would be greatly
<... to read: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm
and the linked files above, particularly "Cures that work",
and onto Quinine compounds... and soon. Bob Fenner>
Re: serious ich or velvet problem 4/5/10
I lost all of my fish save the harbor goby and 1 damsel. Do you have
any suggestions on how I could catch these 2 fish without destroying
<Traps of various sorts... but again, I would likely take all
apart... put back tog... Alternatively, you could take the
"acquired immunity" route...
Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above, till you understand the concept, your
As I said the aquascape is fixed to piping and acrylic rods so removing
it isn't an option. I would like to catch the remaining 2 and have
the tank fallow for 4-6 weeks and raise the temp to 85 and lower
salinity to about 1.018.
<Really won't do you any good>
If I am unable to remove the fish I was thinking of adding a uv and
micron filter and using malachite green
along with raising the temp and lower salinity. Will this work? I have
read on the ich subject time and time again but there is sooooo much
conflicting information it's hard to know what to do.
I know that everything will be quarantined from now on no matter
Thanks again, Chris
<Please... we/I can't help the 30-40k people that use WWM
everyday unless they search first, and cooperate and read where
they're referred to. Bob Fenner>
Goldrim Tang... induced troubles, Crypt
I bought a Goldrim Tang last week , picked him up Monday.
I know they`re prone to white spot so started to run a uv sterilizer
the same day.
He seemed to have a few white spots by Tuesday which had gone Wednesday
Then Thursday he was covered in spots and rubbing against rock
Actually thought he was rubbing against objects in LFS but thought he
was ok as there was no sign of spots.
I am still running the uv, feeding garlic soaked foods and treating
system with ESHa Oodinex.
<The system? Not a "bare" treatment tank? This is a grave
No other fish seem to be infected (only have 1damsel 1 clown and a
<The operative word here: "seem">
Just wondering if this treatment sounds ok.
<Likely has cycled off... will be back... read here:
and the linked files above>
I have turned off the external canister filter as it contains carbon
and am just running 2 internal filters for the 3 day treatment.
Nitrates still at 0 and only 1 day left.
The Tang is still eating but has lost most of his colour and spends all
day in front of a powerhead (maybe it gives him some relief).
He has a slight round scar(?) on each side of his body behind the
Wondering if I have used the ESHa at the right time as I know the
parasite can only be killed when free swimming and as the treatment
lasts 3 days I don`t want to strip it out of the water before this
<Your system is infested>
Also heard it exits its host at night so by timescale was hoping that
would be any time now.
Shall I run the external filter for a couple of days then treat again
or just repeat medication immediately.
Hope this is clear. Have tried to give as much info as possible.
PS Temperature about 27C.
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
Goldrim Tang additional info
Sorry forgot to say its in a reef tank and also no white spots visible
anymore but not sure if there just not visible cos so pale.
Cannot rid tank of ich - yes we can! (where have I heard
that before??) 3/13/10
<Hiya Royce - Darrel here>
I'm a frustrated aquarist.
<Welcome to the club '¦ we have T-shirts and coffee
I have the Conscientious Marine Aquarist and look forward to getting
the 2nd edition.
<It's great, isn't it? They put a lot of work into
I wish I knew then what I know now.
<Nature is a stern teacher, Royce. She gives us the test FIRST and
only after we learn the if we passed or failed do we get the
<Another way to look at it is that we learn from our mistakes ... so
when one of us turns out to be one of the most learned people on the
aquatic subject I've ever met .. makes me wonder what a screw-up he
must be. Wait '¦ that didn't come out right '¦
what I meant was '¦>
<[Editor's note: I MEVER NAKE mistakes!]>
I've had a 135g tank with live rock and live sand for about 5 years
now, with an Aqua C skimmer on the back. I've made a lot of
mistakes unfortunately, specifically with not quarantining my fish
before putting them in my main tank. I've battled ich ever
<our old nemesis Cryptocaryon irritans '¦ evil, malevolent
and misunderstood - just like my ex-wife>
specifically with any tangs I have tried to add. They would get ich and
of course none of the other fish would.
<well, that may not be quite accurate -- two schools of thought
here: One is that you get "rid" of Ick and the other is that
your stock and your system are in balance and the small amount of
Cryptocaryon irritans that exists in your system and even on your fish
doesn't have the opportunity to get out of hand. Like catching a
cold -- the rhinovirus is always around us and 99% of the time
you're exposed to it your immune system destroys it, but when
you're wet, tired (and or ironically enough COLD) your immune
system lets a few by and the virus gets a foothold. Same thing
I understand tangs are susceptible to getting this.
<yes, for several reasons.>
So, I started all over, by leaving the tank empty for about 4 months.
Since then I initially added a pair of clowns, blenny, cleaner goby,
and a few cleaner shrimp. Quarantining all of them for a period of 2
<Here it comes>
They have been in there about 6 months now with no problems. I just
recently bought a red sea banner fish from live aquaria's divers
den (wysiwyg) who also claim to
quarantine their fish for a period of time before selling. When I
received the banner fish, I quarantined it for about 2 weeks and no
sign of problems.
<Queue the ominous music '¦..>
Well he is in my main tank now and it's been about a month and
I'm seeing what I believe to be many ich spots on his back fin.
Here I go again.
<yep - again>
<I FEEL YOUR PAIN -- in fact, I've lived it>
<Ever heard the old adage that one sure sign of insanity is to
repeat our same behaviors while continuing to expect different results?
What you have here is just one tiny misunderstanding: Once we correct
that, we can open a window into a bigger world:>
<You merely need to understand your enemy>
<The Ick parasite can be attached to your banner fish for as little
as one or long as seven days. After it drops off it crawls around for a
day or two and then makes itself into a cyst (like a cocoon) where it
divides into daughter parasites and this process can take as little as
three and as long as twenty eight days. When the cyst finally bursts
and the new parasites swim out looking for a new host, they can swim
for at least one more day before dying.>
<The life cycle of your enemy is quite variable '¦ and 14
days isn't long enough -- in fact, it's right in the middle of
what is likely to be it's productive cycle.>
I understand I can take him out and treat him, but my question is after
even leaving my tank fallow for 4 months and quarantining my fish why
am I still unable to keep healthy fish. I was hoping to add a pacific
blue tang next, but I know now that would be difficult, since my banner
fish has contracted ich.
<With all due respect and apologies to the body of work here on WWM,
the most readable article I've ever read on Marine Ick is a two
part article written by Steven Pro. Since he didn't publish it
here, I'm going to be snooty and not give you the link '¦
but if you put the four words Marine Ick Steven Pro into Google I'd
be surprised if it's not the first one that comes up>
<Now let's talk treatment. What you're going to hear next
are my opinions. Technically they are known as the
"Right"¢" or "Correct"¢"
opinions, but my editor is smarter and more experienced than me and he
may add a correction .. so here goes:>
<I treat severe outbreaks of Ick with Copper. Copper is the ultimate
weapon. It's the nuclear option. Unquestionably the most effective
treatment there is. But just like any nuclear operation '¦
it's dangerous, messy and has the potential to do far more harm
than good. HAS to be done in a sterile quarantine tank'¦ You
have to test 2-3 times a day and almost every test will indicate more
copper (add & re-test .. repeat test again, etc.) or too much
copper (water change, test, now too little copper, add more, test
again, now too much, water change '¦. ) meanwhile the copper
that is saving the lives of your fish by killing the Cryptocaryon is
also toxic to those same fish! If that's not enough '¦
irony being as ironic as it is '¦ Regal Blue Tangs are one of
many species to which the copper is especially toxic.>
<Resist with all your might the desire to buy Kick-Ick or any other
remedy because they don't work>
<Small outbreaks can be treated with re-quarantines, frequent water
changes and fresh water or formalin dips -- and this is what you should
do: Remove your banner fish to a sterile tank that has been drained,
scrubbed and filled with new water (not drained from your tank). Ick,
it turns out, doesn't cyst-up as well on bare surfaces (turns out
that it can't adhere at all to fiberglass) so without a substrate
you change the odds in your favor. Do a 2% water change daily
'¦ but do so by siphoning and vacuuming the bottom. This sucks
out some of the cystic-stage beasts, again tilting the odds. Then a
formalin dip every other day for two weeks -- and then continue to
quarantine him for the remainder of SIX WEEKS!!!!!!!>
<Now this is what I learned as a novice, Royce. Things that
absolutely do NOT work and in fact seem incur the wrath of the thing
from the wherever:>
<If he was going to get Ick he'd have gotten it by now>
<What's the deal with 6 weeks? It's been 5 weeks and 5
<Honest honey, I was only on that web site to do research for an
article I'm writing>
<Which brings us to policy: Many more experienced here will have
differing and even more valid opinions than mine '¦ the
problem is many of them come with "Well, you could do this or you
could do that and other people do the other thing." This process
certainly will help you find your own path, but other times (at least
speaking for myself) I just want someone to tell me THEIR path so that
I can copy it and get on with my life - and that's what I'm
<Quarantine in a sterile tank for 6 weeks. That's 1008 hours and
not a minute less.>
<If you add a new fish to the QT tank '¦ even a tiny one
'¦ even one from your existing tank, the clock starts again at
<Every fish gets a fresh water dip prior to introduction to
<10% water change every other day. Yeah. That one bites.>
<I feed my marine fish several small feedings a day and the first is
Selcon pellets that have been soaked in Kent Garlic Extreme. As weird
as it sounds, garlic does seem to have a tiny bit of prophylactic
effect on Cryptocaryon>
I do 20% water changes every 2 weeks
<Not so good an idea. Think about this from the fish point of view:
their natural environment is constant and now you give them a slow 14
day slide of water content (much more than ammonia, nitrates, nitrites,
etc.) and then a sudden 20% change. Imagine your room temperature
sliding from 74 to 58 over 2 weeks and then suddenly changing back to
74 over a period of 15 minutes -- that's exactly the case for
abusing your immune system that allows the common cold to get to you.
In a perfect world (from a fish perspective) 2% per day would be best.
Or 5% twice a week. The industry has found and pretty much
"settled on" 10% a week as being the balance between need and
convenience. 20% every other week is too much change too
Water quality is perfect by the way. Nitrates, ammonia levels, nitrite
etc all at 0.
<To go off on a wild tangent (only because this is Saturday morning
and I'm desperately looking for excuses to put off a water change)
those are really good numbers, but please don't lose sight of the
fact that they aren't even close to the ONLY things that matter in
a marine aquarium. The most fundamental challenge for keeping marine
aquaria is that the natural marine environment is constant, rarely
changes, changes are gradual and always temporary '¦ while
almost the exact opposite is true in the aquarium. In fact, it
wasn't until we embraced the fact that we could never provide a
natural environment were we able to actually move forward.>
I've read many articles and postings that claim leaving the tank
fallow for 60 days will minimize ich greatly, since there is no host. I
did twice that time and still cannot rid it entirely.
<Or what you've done is re-introduced it unwittingly>
Should I just tear down and start all over?
<No -- you just needed a 6 week Quarantine>
I've done everything, I believe by the book, and still having
<the problem is that we're all still writing that book and every
once in a while we have too many variables and not enough
Would a UV sterilizer be recommended?
<I never leave home without one. I have them in my tanks, my ponds,
even my bare quarantine tank.>
At this point I just don't know what to do.
<You're doing good things and the right things. I think maybe
all you needed was to better understand your enemy.>
<I hope I did>
Crypt. Battle 04/03/10
<Dearest fellow hobbyist>
Thank you so much for your commitment of time and expertise! Your
efforts have a huge impact on the hobby!
<Very kind words indeed, and thank you!>
Just a clarification today. One of my reef systems came down with a
case of crypt (almost undoubtedly due to a Tang quarantine cut
<Ok, I do understand this -- these fishes do not fare well in
And the fish have been recovering well in quarantine. The tank is now
running fallow with only corals, snails, and a couple of tiny hermit
crabs, all which seem to be completely unaffected. I am treating fish
with Quinine Sulfate with decent results so far.
I am planning on leaving the tank vertebrate free for a total of 4
weeks (longer perhaps?)
<8 I'm afraid, if you can. 4 just won't cut it>
with an elevated temp. of 80 degrees F.
One important detail: I was NOT able to catch my tiny Dottyback and it
most likely has since died within the rock work of the tank.
<Most likely? Or has? This is a critical factor to the success of
Do you think that this factor should lengthen the fallow time due to
flesh still being in the system for crypt to feed on?
<No, the fish needs to be living in order to be a vector>
Any other suggestions? I would like to think that I am on the right
track to producing an ich free environment for my fish!
<Are you keeping a close eye out for this fish? When was the last
time you saw it? You do realise that if there are no other fishes
swimming around in the tank, then this fish might be 'assuming'
there is a predator about and could just be hiding>.
One last item. Do you recommend having any other medications on hand
for events like these? Perhaps Quinine Hydrochloride or perhaps
<My fave is Chloroquine Phosphate, but I also keep formalin to hand
as well for dips, as well as Amquel for freshwater dips>
Thanks so much!!!
26/02/10 Stumped.... Forcipiger hlth.,
I am quite confused about medicating a Long nose Butterfly.
I recently treated my long nose with Quinine Sulfate for Ich and after
about three weeks it's finally gone.
<In Quarantine? Or in-tank? If you did this in tank, then the Crypt
will not be gone>
From a previous email one of the representatives from WWM recommended
that I treat with a product called PraziPro because my Butterfly was
flashing (he said, based on what I told him, he probably has gill
I started treating with the Prazi and ever since then my BF has
increased rapid gill movement and twitches a lot.
If in fact he did have flukes, I thought the Prazi was supposed to help
kill them.....why are they getting worse?
<Are they flukes? If you remove the fish and freshwater dip him, you
might see one or both of two things that would give you a better idea:
If he stops flashing afterwards, then it is probably flukes. If you can
see specks on the base of the dip container (usually white, so a dark
dip container might be prudent), then they also could be flukes.
Removal of these and placed under a cheap microscope will confirm. If
neither of these happen, then it is probably not flukes>.
He has been clear of spots for over two weeks
<Could have just cycled off... the fish may still be infested with
Crypt.. in the gills, thus the heavy breathing & flashing>
and I proceeded with the full treatment recommended for QS. Please
<Another possibility here... medication in the water can/ does
irritate fishes, to the point where they exhibit 'flashing'
behaviour. You might find that with the removal of the medication and
improved water quality this will ease off>.
Thank you folks
<No problem, Simon>
Zebra Moray with Cryptocaryon? -- 02/26/10
I read through everything you had regarding Zebras and Ick. I did not
find the answer to my question. I lost every fish I had in my
<Sorry for that.>
My blue tang came down with Ick and died, then my cardinal, my damsel,
and both of my clowns. Now the only living creatures in my tank are my
zebra eel and two starfish! My eel has not eaten in about a week but
although it isn't as often as normal he has gotten out of his
hiding place and swam around the tank a couple of times. I put him in a
10 gal. tank but he became so unresponsive I thought he was dead. I
decided to put him back home and he really seems better. I found out
that my salinity was WAY too high (1.027) and over a period of two days
I lowered it to 1.022. I also bought a UV light that is supposed to
filter out the little parasites.
<At least many of them at low flow through.>
My question is this...I can't remember if my eel always had a
little white in his black or if he has Ick. If he has Ick, will the UV
light and lower salinity get rid of it off of him or does he need to be
<'Ick' better called Cryptocaryon appears as raised salt
grain like bumps on the fish. See if that is what you are observing.
Morays rarely are affected by Cryptocaryon, they have a slightly toxic
slime coat and a different blood composition compared to many other
fishes. In severe outbreaks they can be affected, however, generally
their immune system is strong enough to save them from death without
further treatment. First assure if your eel is affected, then see if
the disease is spreading (heavy breathing) or vanishing, monitor it for
at least 4 weeks. If it is becoming worse, consider treatment, but be
aware that most methods incorporating higher concentrations of copper,
formalin and dyes will potentially be harmful to the eel. Hyposalinity
(SG of 1.012 in a separate tank) is an optional treatment, but will not
help in every case. I hope you get along without treatment, avoid
stocking new fishes for 4-8 weeks after the last signs have vanished
due the cycles the parasites go through. Ensure the water quality of
the tank is stable and good (high , no ammonia/nitrite and little
nitrates) and if it starts eating again add vitamins at every feeding
for a few weeks.>
Thanks for your help!
<Good luck. Marco.>
Ick, Marine treatment 2/24/10
Hi James or any of the Crew.
<Hello, Chris here.>
This is Sam with a 24 gallon Aquapod. Recently made some changes. I was
down to my Spotted Cardinal (6 years) and a Firefish (2 years). My 6
year old Clown Goby died as did my 3 year old neon goby. I also had a
Royal Gramma which the crew said should go so I got him a new home
since I could not add any fish with him there anyway.
I ordered some stuff from the Keys. A pair of Rusty Gobies. A Neon Goby
and a Blue Chromis (Crew will probably object to this one but he is
<Needs more room, will grow fairly fast if properly housed, and can
get aggressive at times, plus that's just a lot of fish for a 24G
tank, more than I have in my 46G.>
I usually do not qt but this time I just was unable to even do a fresh
<Rolling the dice.>
So they have been in the tank 3 weeks. It took over a week for the Neon
to show up with Ick. He has been through a few rounds already and so
far is the only one that has it as far as I can tell.
<They are all infected, just below symptomatic levels.>
So at this point my tank is infected and I am unable to catch him. He
is still active, eats and even tries to clean the Cardinal, which my
old Neon used to do. Not sure why just the Cardinal.
<Probably the only one that will let him.>
So if I leave it as is my tank remains infected and the Goby may or may
not make it. Or I can take out the rock and coral, catch them all and
put them in another tank and treat with copper as I did a number of
years ago and let my tank stay fishless for 6-8 weeks. The Goby may not
make it even with treatment. So I am thinking of staying put.
<I would remove and treat before it becomes a more wide spread
issue, but ultimately it is your choice.>
fish issues... Crypt story... RMF almost believes someone is
pulling his fins 2/18/10
So here's what happened. First off, my details:
300g (170g display, 80g refugium, 50g sump)
sg = 1.023
temp = 80
calc = 450
mg = 1100
<Low for what the [Ca] is>
ph = 8.1
Alk = 9
phos = 0
Existing fish (all in system for over 1 year):
2 Percula Clowns
7 Lyretail Anthias
3 Pyjama Cardinals
1 Prawn Goby
1 Flame Hawkfish
1 Flame Angelfish
1 Regal Tang
1 Yellow Tang
1 Tang Mimic
1 Chromis <A very social species>
All these fish were in the 80g tank. In December I started a 170g tank,
with the water and rock from the 80 and additional rock and water.
After 6 weeks
1 Blue-spotted Jawfish
<A cool water species... not easily kept in this setting, with the
list of livestock above. Read here:
1 Scott's Fairy Wrasse
1 Lineatus Wrasse
<These are also social/haremic species that don't do nearly as
well being kept solo>
The Blue-spotted Jawfish disappeared into the rocks after a few days
never to be seen again.
After about 2 weeks the Scott's Wrasse developed a weird fungal
infection on its face. I got him into the hospital tank but he
A week later, I added:
1 Clown Tang
<A very alpha fish, and also not easily kept>
1 Blonde Naso
1 Powder Blue
<Yikes... I can see it coming... and all this w/o even dip/bathing
let alone quarantine? Trouble-city>
1 Blue-spotted Jawfish
<Not again... no>
They were all doing fine for 5 or 6 days, eating like champs, behaving
normally. On Thursday morning they had a few ich spots, so I raised the
temperature to 85 over 24 hours and put on a diatom filter.
<... for what reasons? Won't effect a cure for
On Friday morning they were still eating and behaving normally.
<The Protozoan cycles... and we have...>
By Saturday afternoon they were all dead (all of the new tanks, plus
the wrasse and Jawfish #2).
Before they died their skin was sloughing off (like a snake shedding
its skin) and they were on the bottom in respiratory distress. None of
the pre-existing fish displayed any symptoms. All water parameters
remained normal, besides the temperature, which has since been lowered
back to 80.
Now, one of the Lyretail Anthias' skin and fins is looking ragged,
and an anemone has bleached and looks like it's on its way out.
None of the other inverts ( a various shrimp) have been affected,
though a lot of snails seem to have died. I've double checked all
the water parameters, particularly the temperature and salinity, and
done two 50g water changes. According to the controller log there were
no temperature spikes, and nothing else seems to be unusual.
I'm at a loss, and would really like to stop the rest of these fish
<A loss for what? Reading apparently... You'd do well to invest
the time, interest in learning the life cycle of the parasite you
Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
<Uhh, let's have you start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm
and the linked files above and where you lead yourself. Bob
15/02/10 unclear about ich.. Actually stocking,
<Hello Alice, Simon with you today>
Thanks in advance for your help. I apologize for my novice state.
<Everyone was a novice once, and in many things I am still
I currently have a 30g FOWLR tank that holds a clown, a small yellow
tang, and a newly added small blue tang.
<Which Blue Tang? A Paracanthurus? Disastrous, this fish needs much
more room. A six foot tank to be fair. Whatever the species of Blue
Tang we are talking about, it needs more room than this>
Despite reading on your website multiple times I failed to QT my blue
<I'm sorry to say Alice, you also failed to read re: this
fish's needs. These are well documented>
Now 3 wks later, I think she has developed ich.
So, my plan (thanks to your website): 5min freshwater dip with enough
Methylene blue to make the water pretty dark (temp and buffered) and
get some copper based medication.
<No, try Chloroquine Phosphate. Read here:
I plan to raise the temp to 82 and drop the salinity <In the main
system? No need to do this/ these>.
Now my question: My Yellow Tang and Clown show no signs of ich. Do I
have to treat them?
<All of the fishes are infested>
If I do treat them, can I keep them in my 30g and treat them all
<? A yellow tang as well. Alice, this fish also needs much more
room. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm >
I have read about leaving the tank empty for 6wks but if I do frequent
water changes would that work?
<No, this won't work. You need to learn the lifecycle of the
parasite here, your fishes are in grave danger of death. Try here:
lastly how often should I do the freshwater dips?
Once, before placing into a separate quarantine vessel>
My concern is putting my fish into my little 10g tank...
<Yes, me too'¦>
I already worried about having them in a 30g.
<So why did you buy them?>
LR is probably dead as the salinity of the water got really, really
Thanks for any advice
<Alice, I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but this is a prime
example of the worst practice in the hobby today, and what leads to the
deaths of fishes and the bad reputation of our hobby in some quarters.
The fact is, your fishes are/ were doomed from the start because you
have made the very common mistake of cramming fishes that need to grow
a foot long into a two foot tank without quarantine and with parasites.
Whoever sold you these fishes should take responsibility for not
telling you this, and for selling you these animals. If these were dogs
or cats they would have the authorities down on them in a flash. If I
was in your shoes I would go back to them and demand that they take the
fishes back and give you a full refund. If they refuse this then please
ask them to e-mail me, I am quite happy to give them an education. I do
appreciate that you are a novice, Alice, but I do think that this
retailer and some others should take some responsibility as well as
yourself for what is happening here>
Treatment Resistant Cryptocaryon irritans... & Formalin
use admonition 2/10/10
Greetings to Bob and Crew at WWM!
I hope that all is well with each and every one at WWM.
I recently shared my experience with you regarding a nasty bout of C.
irritans and Quinine Sulfate and received much helpful advice - thank
Sadly though, my battle continues due to my own stupidity. Now looking
back at things, I could only shake my head and ask myself "what in
the world were you thinking?"
In order to recap a little and to remind Bob which sorry soul I am, I
will quickly give a synopsis of events.
I have a 225 gallon reef tank with Powder blue tang, Kole tang,
Atlantic blue tang, Flame angel, three wrasses (Clown Fairy, Exquisite,
Everyone got ich (all the fishes were 'new' with established
live rocks and sand), after several days of "treatment" with
garlic, Kick-ich, No-ich and many a witch's brew, I finally took
the advice given by Mr. Fenner, caught
all my fish and started quinine sulfate treatment in a 55 gallon
hospital tank. I was without C. irritans for two weeks after the 10 day
treatment and decided that this would be a wonderful opportunity to try
to introduce an Achilles tang which was at the LFS for five weeks and
looking absolutely stunning. I introduced him to my fishes while they
were all in "quarantine"
<A huge error>
as I was waiting for my reef tank to go fallow for a total of six
Well, several days later, I noticed ich on the Achilles. I thought - No
problem - I still have plenty of quinine sulfate on hand, so I started
dosing again just as I had before. This time, it did not work. After
seven days of treatment, my Achilles continued to be covered with bumps
and white spots and so luckily, I was able to take him back to the LFS
for a full refund of store credit. I'm glad to say that was a good
move because the Achilles is still alive and well at the LFS today. I
continued treatment of my hospital tank and its inhabitants with
quinine sulphate for a total of
10 days before introducing them back to the DT which was fallow for
I did it one week early because all fishes were starting to show signs
of stress from being in a less than adequate environment. Four days
later, I noticed bumps on the Powder blue tang. I called my LFS and
spoke with my buddy and owner of the LFS who recommended me to do
something slightly on the drastic side and this is where I like to
share my experience and ask some questions.
I was guessing that the strain of C. irritans I have now is resistant
to quinine sulfate as I wrote to National Fish Pharmacy and Dr. Brian
Aukes suggested it be so. I was leaving to the Maldives in SIX days
when all this was occurring and my pet sitter is limited in her ability
to handle copper treatment. So my buddy, John, offered his experience
of being in the fish trade and help - Formaldehyde.
I took all my corals, macro algae, most of my snails and hermits out
and distributed them in the multitude of tanks I have at the house. He
took my corals to the LFS for safe keeping. Now, I have, essentially a
We figured with the sump and refugium, there are 250 gallons of water.
So we dosed 25 ml of 37% Formaldehyde solution directly into the DT. I
thought my heart was going to stop but it didn't. I dosed another
25 ml on day three.
The fishes were actually doing better, showing more color and feeding
better. I did a third dose of 30 ml Formalin solution 36 hours before I
left and a 40 gallon water change 24 hours after it. At that time,
there were still spots of ich on the all the tangs. Three days later, a
fourth dose of 25 ml was given, which was followed by TWO 30 ml
treatments four days apart.
During that time, according to John, my parameters stayed
When I came home two and a half weeks later, some of the Zoanthids and
leather corals were still alive and open! But here is the frightening
thing - everyone was still alive and well, and so is the ich on the
tangs! I spoke with John some more, and we thought we needed to
increase the formalin, so I treated with a 40 ml dose three days ago on
Saturday (2/6). The next morning one can see that I've probably
killed off a majority of my good bacteria with the water a yellowish
tint and the sand littered with dead bristle worms. I've since done
40 gallon water changes each day times two, and am planning another one
today before my next 40 ml of formalin treatment tomorrow as the PBT
got into some sparring with the KT and got a scratch near the base of
his tail (I want to make sure that it heals a bit better before the
next treatment). I know from my readings on WWM that this
- Formalin in DT - is something that is not done nor recommended, but
at this time, it appears as the only thing I can do to keep the ich in
Some interesting points and questions are:
1. At 40 ml to 250 gallons, the concentration greatly exceeds the 1
drop per gallon or 1 ml per 25 gallon recommended by WWM for continuous
I know I'm probably doing damage to my fishes' internal organs
like their liver... What can I do to reverse that damage or things I
should be watching out for?
2. What type of ich is so resistant to treatment?
<I suspect the Formalin is being rapidly converted... lost
These guys have been through so much - fresh water dips of 7 minutes,
hypo saline conditions, quinine sulfate, and now continuous formalin!
How much formalin can ich stand?
3. I've learned from WWM about the life cycle of C. irritans. Ich
on fish is protected against treatment, they drop off of fish in 3-7
days during which they are resistant also?
<Yes; more so in the resting stage>
They divide while attached to my substrate and only when they hatch is
when they are susceptible to treatment. I feel like I should be dosing
formalin DAILY for 28 days but KNOW THAT I CANNOT DO THIS, so I'm
thinking I should be able to catch into the cycle with 5 treatments
every third or fourth day? I also know to dose at night as the C.
irritans hatch at night and hunt while the fishes are sleeping.
4. I am surprised to see all my fishes alive and active. I just
don't know how long they can withstand this.
I'm sure you have many thoughts going through your mind as you read
<You need to either treat the fishes in the absence of CaCO3
material, or dip them and move them to a clean setting/system
As always, I really appreciate the help and advise that is given!
<Welcome Jamie. BobF>
Ich in a 400 fowlr
07/02/10 Ich in a
400 fowlr... again
I will cut to the chase here. I have a 400 gallon fowlr tank which has
around 16 fish in it and a Zebra Moray.
Some of the fish have come down with ich
<All are infested -- even the Eel>
and I would like to know if there is any effective medication I can use
that won't harm the bacteria and life on the rock as well as the
Eel (I know copper will hurt him)?
<Yes your Eel is sensitive to Cu treatment. You could try Quinine,
this is the only thing you can really use in-tank
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm. But this really is best
done in a QT tank with the main system being left fallow>.
I have tried hypo before and it seemed like the filtration of the rock
all died is this typical?
<Yes, if the system was dropped into hyposalinity immediately as it
is normally done, this will prove too much for much of the bacteria to
My fish are my primary concern but I have around 350 lbs. of rock I
also do not want to destroy.
<In that case your only real choice is to remove all fish and treat
externally. If you want to treat 'in tank' then you will lose
life from your rock, without guarantee of success, no matter what med
Any advice would be appreciated.
<My advice is to buy, use, a QT tank before adding fishes to your
main system. What you do now'¦ is up to you. Start by reading:
28/01/2010 Urgent Question - Crypt/ Q.T./ C.P.
Well, my aquarium has ICK and I can't find proper advice about how
to handle this particular and urgent situation.
<Ok, let's see if we can help>
The problem is, as I understand all the fish must be placed in
quarantine for 8 weeks until the main tank becomes 99% ICK free.
<Yes, dependant on severity and situation>
I have an assortment of 10 fish. Copperband Butterfly, 2 black and
white clowns, 2 Anthias (I think Bartlett's), 1 Royal Grammas, 1
Lawnmower Blenny, 1 Bluestreak Wrasse, 1 Diamond Goby, 1 Randall's
<Hmmmm, some of these fishes may not fare well with a prolonged QT
I am not sure whether to go with copper or hypo, but am currently
leaning towards hypo.
<I would use neither. Chloroquine Phosphate is my weapon of choice:
I tried garlic, both in the tank and soaked in food.
Also tried No-Ick.
<In-tank medication? No good IMO>
Those attempts haven't solved the problem, although they did take
up valuable time. Now I am running out of time.
The Gramma is the worst. Still eating, but appears to be losing scales
and I can see the discomfort and scratching. The butterfly is the next
most adversely affected. I can't see Ick on the others, but the
Anthias and Wrasse are scratching.
<They are all infested, mostly in their gills where you can't
see the skin reaction to the parasite>
I understand from WWM that Gobies and Blennies cannot take long periods
in quarantine. Especially sand sifters.
<This is a difficult and trying time. These decisions and actions
can easily result in the death of fishes, especially sensitive
But I still need to keep them out of the main display for 8 weeks.
<Yes you do, in fact Noga suggests 3 months is necessary, but this
is too long a QT period for most fishes by far>
I am hoping for advice on how to quarantine all for 8 weeks, with no
<Very carefully, in as large a QT tank as possible. Ammonia is the
killer here, as long as you can keep the fishes feeding well, and keep
TOTAL ammonia to zero (or at least as low as 0.25 temporarily at first)
this CAN be done. However, this requires extreme effort on your part
and is a very stressful time, trust me I know>.
or do I take the chance and quarantine the Gobies and Blenny for 2-4
weeks, or for as long as they can take it, and then put them back in
the main tank?
<No, you will put back all of your hard work if you do this. I would
use Chloroquine Phosphate in your QT tank, with some sponges (inert) in
a canister or other large filter. I would purchase some of this fancy
'instant-nitrifying bacteria-in--a-bottle' stuff -- Hagen's
'cycle' is the one I have used successfully (Check the expiry
dates) -- and keep pouring this stuff in over the first two weeks of
treatment to help build up a biological filter. Feed sparingly and test
ammonia twice daily for the first two weeks, when you are happy with
the ammonia long term, increase feeding, and test ammonia once a day
after. Use water changes where you have to. DO NOT cease feeding, as
some fishes will refuse to eat afterwards if you do this. This is why
this is difficult to manage>.
How can the Diamond Goby survive even a few days in the no substrate
hospital tank without satisfying its nature to constantly sift
<hmmm, you could add some new dry sand to the QT after two weeks of
CP treatment if you like. There has also been some success with using
this med in the presence of a substrate but doing this is a bit
'hit-and-miss' as far as I understand. Maybe other crew members
might know more about this, am copying into the main 'in-box'
The other problem is my currently available hospital tank is only 29
gallons and I am pretty sure this is too small?
<Yes, by far - there is a good chance that some of your fishes will
die. The danger is that when your fishes go into QT they will refuse to
feed, or bully and stress each other in the confined space. Another
danger is that the feeding itself plus the excretion from the gills
will produce ammonia that will kill them. Doing massive water changes
in such a small setting will stress the fish further, especially if
they are daily. My advice is to purchase a larger QT tank>.
I certainly am amazed and appreciative of all that you do for the world
of aquarium enthusiasts. I have learned a tremendous amount from
<Well, that's great Peter and so have I! A plug for the use of
quarantine BEFORE introduction for all livestock is appropriate here,
and although my opinion differs from that of other crew members on
this, I believe that all fishes should be quarantined with the
prophylactic use of C.P.>.
<No problem Peter. If you go this road then diligence is required
here, beware of complacency as this will kill your fish as surely as
anything else. Please write back for more help with this if you need
it, I fully sympathise with what you are going through and am more than
willing to help further>.
<Simon><<Well-done Simon. BobF>>
Re: 28/01/2010 Urgent Question - Crypt/ Q.T./ C.P.
Very, very much appreciated. I am amazed at the quick response.
<That's what we're here to do>
I will implement the suggestions and report back. I probably researched
ICK treatment 50 hours over the last two weeks and nothing I came
across was as concise and accurate as this. Myself and all my fish are
indebted to you.
Re: 28/01/2010 Urgent Question - Crypt/ Q.T./ C.P.
I haven't yet started the ICK QT treatment recommendation since I
still have to find and buy a larger QT tank set-up to accommodate all
10 fish. Not trying to reinvent science, but I have a new theory based
on limited results and I hope to hear your expert opinion.
I did purchase a JBJ 13 Watt Submariner in-tank UV Sterilizer with the
plan to put the UV in the QT tank that I planned to purchase, to help
reduce the amount of free swimming ICK.
<This is no good, as UV will render most medications inactive,
especially Chloroquine phosphate as this is photosensitive. The only
method with which this would be of benefit would be with hyposalinity
in a QT tank>.
I have not used UV prior but seemed to read that UV will kill some ICK
at low flow rates past the UV bulb.
I also understand that UV kills some of the good stuff too.
<Yes, but not a major concern as there should be plenty more
'good stuff' in the system. That is, if you have not killed it
off already by using supposed 'reef safe' treatments in your
main system. These are not reef safe, as much of the microscopic life
that is integral to your 'reef' is killed off, to the detriment
Anyhow, I temporarily put the UV Sterilizer in the main tank and am
quite surprised at how crystal clear the tank water becomes. I
don't know if some microscopic ICK are being removed by the UV,
<probably yes> but there is certainly a noticeable improvement in
<Be sure to keep the quartz shaft clean, the bulb replaced and the
correct flow rate through -- a lot of work for not such a huge benefit.
More useful is Ozone IMO>.
Common opinion tends to indicate that UV will kill some of the ICK, but
this isn't a method to completely rid a tank of the disease since
100% of the tank water will not pass through the UV.
Purchasing a large QT tank to accommodate all 10 fish along with the
associated difficulties of the 8 week QT process is a little
<It is good that you find it daunting -- this means that if you go
this road you are more likely to succeed because you know the potential
which would be nice to avoid, if possible.
<I understand where you are coming from here>.
So I was wondering, if purchasing another UV Sterilizer for the other
side of the tank, <I wouldn't -- for reasons stated> or even
two more UVs, <no> coupled with the unconventional methods of
heavy garlic <maybe a little mixed w/ some vitamins in the food>,
increasing the tank temperature to speed up the ICK life cycle,
<this is playing with chemistry to try to 'fix' something.
Not a good route IMO> maybe lower salinity to 1.014 or so,
<no point in doing this unless it is 1.009, and many strains of
crypt have survived even this> vitamins to help boost the fish self
<I would do this>
and perhaps in-tank medication such as Kick-Ich
<I would never use a med. in my main system for various reasons. I
have in the past, and regretted it> could collectively become a full
solution to rid the tank of ICK.
<I'm sorry to say Peter that even if you applied all of these it
will not rid the tank completely. I think you have a choice here
between a fallow period and quarantine, or trying to 'strike a
balance' and accepting that this parasite is with you for good.
Really, that choice is down to you and what you think your fishes can
take, and whether you think you can manage the system w/ this parasite
present. Many do so reasonably successfully, but sometimes the
infestation reaches a 'point of no return' where action must be
It seems that some of the new ICK tomites will not find a host fish,
some will be zapped by the multiple UV Sterilizers, some may be
repelled by garlic <no, this is used to 'boost' the immune
system>, some may be neutralized by Kick-Ich <not w/ UV
present> and the fish immune system may become better equipped to
fight off the new reduced amounts of ICK attacks.
<I understand your reasoning, but this won't work>
My understanding is that ICK newly attached to a fish grows and then
leaves the fish in 5-7 days?
<In my experience this can be 1 -- 8 days for the visible signs
(skin reaction) to disappear>
For the situation to become progressively worse requires a constant
supply of new ICK attaching to the fish???
<Yes, but understand that some will remain attached to the fish for
longer than others, and more will remain encysted on the substrate for
different amounts of time, thus meaning that at any one time in a large
infestation all stages of the parasite are present in the
Therefore, greatly limiting the amount of new free-swimming ICK should
give the fish some short term relief and
hopefully they will be able to ultimately win the battle.
<This is a hope that many have...>
Forgot to mention, regular, even daily partial water changes too, to
help remove and further reduce the amount of tomites.
<Yes, but this is best done in a bare bottomed QT with vacuuming/
scrubbing of the sides of the tank>
Is this worth a try, or do you feel that I would just be delaying the
inevitable full QT requirement.
<As stated Peter, I think you have but two choices here. If you opt
for the 'balance' then I would employ some Lysmata shrimps to
help 'ease' the irritation, but I am sure you are aware, this
is not a cure either. From the sounds of the severity of your problem,
if it were me & mine I would be carefully QT-ing the lot for 8
<No problem, Simon>
Re: More re: Marine Ich 1/21/10
Just wanted to say thank you for the extra information you sent.
I will try another round of Crypto Pro dosing every three days until it
clears up. I would be willing however to try Chloroquine Phosphate. I
notice this is a prescription drug for malaria.
If I was able to obtain it what would the treatment instructions be
based off of dosage amounts per day or any other instructions. Thanks
<Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm
Marine Ich Treatment, 1/20/10
First, I love your site and it has helped me quite a bit.
I've got a 44g reef tank with quite a few soft corals and Zoas, and
after 8 months, I'm finally ready to add my first fish. So, I got a
pair of ocellaris clowns. Right now I have them in a 10 gallon
quarantine tank with a maxi-jet 900 and a sponge filter. I had pulled
the powerhead and sponge filter out of my display tank (it was in there
for the full 8 months.
The smaller of the two clowns had a few (1-3) white spots on him when
we first got him. The next day, he had no spots and remained clean for
five days. Now he has several spots (6+) on him. The larger of the two
has never had any spots at all.
I do a 1.5-2 gallon water change every other day (vacuuming the bottom)
and squeeze out the sponge filter every water change (just a quick
squeeze to get the gunk off).
I have not medicated yet and I'm really rather loathe to. I have
purchased a malachite green/formalin treatment, but that's some
<Can be quite nasty.>
Oh, I forgot to mention I'm keeping the water temp at 79.9F.
1) Is there something I can use that safer/less toxic/less dangerous to
use as an ich treatment?
<One of the quinine drugs, or just formalin without the Malachite
Green. Then there are the non-chemical treatments such as hyposalinity
and the tank swap treatments. I would avoid copper for the
2) I've read that fish can beat ich by themselves sometimes. It is
very few spots and the fish is otherwise healthy (no clamped fins, he
is eating very well, etc). Is this possible and can they beat it
effectively enough to be put into the display tank without
<They can develop a certain level of immunity over time, but is not
total or permanent. Many people will still add them to the tank in this
condition and just deal with a resident ich population, often
successfully, but obviously this is not ideal.>
3) If the ich (I'm assuming) came back after five days, how can I
know when the fish are fully treated and there won't be a return of
<You can be pretty confident that the fish is ich free after 4 weeks
or so without symptoms.>
4) Can I ever return the sponge to the display tank?
<If you let it dry out completely you probably could, but for what
they cost I would just toss it out.>
BTW, While I'm asking. I've noticed I suddenly have several
(3+) very, very small snails in the tank. The shells appear to be
shaped more like a freshwater or land snail than any of the typical
marine snails I'm familiar with (Turbos, Ceriths, turbans, etc). It
is still very while, almost transparent with a blue spot near the
center (is that the snail itself?).
Anyway, these have recently appeared and I'm wondering if they are
good or not.
<Tough to say, but most likely harmless. I prefer the "innocent
until proven guilty" philosophy.>
I mean, MTS appear in freshwater tanks very easily, I didn't know
it could happen in marine reef tanks though. Any thoughts?
<Live rock brings in lots of stuff you would never expect, unless
you can tell they are damaging something I would just enjoy.>
Thanks guys, you are an invaluable resource and I (and my wife) really
appreciate all your help.
P.S. Display tank stats, just in case you want them
45g pentagonal tank w/ 30 pounds live sand, 60 pounds live rock
96W PC fixture (dual 10k/actinic)
2 Cerith snails and a couple of unknown baby snails.
1 unknown hitchhiker crab
<Watch him, crabs are opportunistic feeders and may start sampling
thing you do not want eaten.>
1 torch coral (2 heads)
1 hammer (2 heads)
1 trumpet coral (now up to 3 heads, Yay!)
1 large candy cane (10+ heads)
several mats of Zoas and green star polyps (including some eye of Ra
and armor of god
2 smallish leathers
Seriously ill Royal Gamma, Crypt 12/30/09
Again appreciate your willingness to assist all of us in need. It is a
service duplicated by none and I seriously mean that! I apologize for
the lengthy dissertation but want to try and give as much info as I
possibly can to make your job easier. I did use the ICH search and read
a lot but some questions I am not finding a clear answer to.
55 Gallon wide
Small Refugium (made from an HOT AquaClear 70 Power filter) with
macroalgae (recently added x7 days ago).
40 lbs. LR (more to be steadily added as budget allows)
Jebo 304 canister with 2 Eheim fine pads, Eheim sponge (course) pad,
ceramic Bio-ring and 2 bags of activated charcoal (one under each fine
AquaTech 40-60 HOT Power filters with bio screens. Media is a simple
filter media with Activated Charcoal in both.
RedSea Prizm Skimmer
Last H2O change was 23 Dec. 09 and was 20 gallons
Ocellaris Clown (x1)
McCosker's Flasher Wrasse (x2)
Mexican Turbo snail (x1)
Nassarius Snails (x2)
Small Zoanthus colony
Various hitchhikers to include spaghetti worms, feather dusters (x3
that I know of)
Problem: Royal Gramma seriously ill
Possible Diagnosis: Cryptocaryoniasis (numerous tiny white spots (now
looking to be almost streaks) over all the body and eyes (not cloudy
yet), Not eating at all, very lethargic, labored breathing)
<Sounds like it.>
Being a freshwater veteran and basically knowing little, but learning
fast, in the SW side I suspect Ich, if this is what it is as it closely
resembles FW Ich in appearance and fish reaction to same. I'm
assuming this is not Amyloodinium.
<I would lean towards Crypt as well.>
I being a bit slow on the uptake did noticed the Gramma being a bit
lethargic, swimming a bit off kilter (not upright) and eventually
scratching against the LR. This little girl has been seriously harassed
by one McCosker's Flasher Wrasse to the point that she stopped
eating unless food floated by her without the need to move much. Also
of note is that her tail fin is almost chewed off -- from being nipped
at by Wrasse. (Side note: this one wrasse is very aggressive and feels
it owns the entire tank chasing all except the Ocellaris Clown at
random times, and even more so during the feeding period.)
<These wrasses generally live in harems, with a single male and
multiple females, you may need to add additional females to hopefully
control his aggression, or he could just be high on the aggression
scale for the species and the behavior may not change.>
This consistent harassment has caused the Royal Gramma to retreat and
remain in the LR occasionally making an appearance.
I eventually caught and removed her from the display tank as I saw her
lying on the substrate in front of the tank (by a piece of LR) after
lights out and was able to catch her (took about 3 hours for her to
offer an opportunity to get her out as I did not want to dismantle the
I acclimated her then placed her in a FW bath (nothing added to water)
for about 3 minutes until she began showing stress, then placed her in
the QT tank (after again acclimating her to that water). QT tank is a
bare bottom tank with a HOT AquaTech 10-20 filter with a BIO screen and
standard filter material with activated charcoal. I understand the
charcoal is to be removed from the system but being I am a bit cautious
Malachite Green I am leaving it in to help dissipate the malachite as
quickly as possible.
<I'm not a huge fan of Malachite Green, it works but is pretty
toxic and tough on the fish.>
Temp is set at 80Â° F with a large bubble wand and 2 small
Rio 400 power heads. Salinity is at 1.024, pH at 8.3 (no ammonia,
Simply because I do not have any copper solutions at the moment (this
will be soon remedied) I am using at Â½ strength, Weco
Nox-Ich (Sodium Chloride and Malachite Green).
<I would just wait for copper and not combine medications since you
will soon get the copper.>
Instructions call for 1 drop per gallon but I am only using 1 drop per
2 gallons. Instructions state to add drops for three days.
Should this be a bit longer since using only Â½ strength?
<I would treat for the recommended length.>
I have read on WWM various times. I have dropped a few Formula One
(which she used to eat eagerly) pellets in for her but she ignores
them. I suspect she has not eaten for nearly a week now. She is
thinning a bit. Gills are not red so she seems to be doing fine there,
still breathing a little easier now, it appears (suspect this is due to
the reduced stress level due to not being chased).
Now to questions:
How long is it healthy for the Royal Gramma to not eat before it
becomes a serious issue?
<A week or so, I would try some other foods to see if you get a
response, and live brine if the Gramma does not feed soon.>
The Royal Gramma is moving about very little, mainly lying in the PVC I
placed there for her. Is this cause for serious concern?
<Signs that it is not feeling well.>
Breathing still seems a bit labored but not as severely as before.
White spots still there after 2 days in QT - how long will it take for
these to drop off.
<Usually 3 days, but can be more.>
As for the main display, all other fish appear to be symptom free of
Ich, but watching this VERY closely now. Are the other fish in danger
of contracting this to a severe level or will their immune system fight
<There is definitely a possibility that the other fish may become
symptomatic, especially if water quality drops or other stress factors
Is Ich dangerous to or will it affect any of my inverts?
<It will not infect/effect your inverts.>
Besides making my tank fallow, is there a confirmed way to eliminate
this parasite from the main display without medicating the display tank
(I absolutely will NOT do that)?
<No, fallow is the only non-chemical means of eliminating the
I ask this as I do not have another tank large enough to put all my
occupants (including the inverts) into where there
would not be a serious loss of life and/or stress level would
<Only the fish would need to be removed.>
Is it safe and/ or advisable/necessary to do another FW dip and how
soon should that be attempted?
<I would not, is of limited use here.>
What copper solution would you recommend or use in YOUR tanks? I do not
want to purchase a dangerous or untested solution.
<Any of the name brands (Seachem, Salifert, Mardel to name a few)
with the appropriate test kits should be fine.>
Recommendation for fish illness, Crypt
I am experiencing my first outbreak of a fish illness in my
The illness appears to be ich and is currently affecting my Tomini
<Are quite susceptible>
After several hours of reading, I understand removing all fish to
quarantine for treatment and leaving the display without fish will
eliminate the parasite.
<Or, hopefully weaken it below a sub-acute presence>
The quarantine of the Tomini Tang is not a problem, it is the other two
fish in the display, a Mandarin Dragonet and Lawnmower Blenny. Since
these fish (Mandarin and Blenny) are very disease resistant because
their lack of scales, would leaving them in the display enable the ich
continue to reproduce?
If these fish can continue the reproduction of the parasite, how do you
suggest quarantining them since starvation becomes an issue?
<Just to be diligent re feeding them while quarantined>
Also, if treatment for these fish is needed, what method do you suggest
since the Mandarin is sensitive to copper?
<Quinine of some sort. Please read here:
Tank: 58 gal with 75lbs of live rock established July 2009
Sump: 16 gal with 25lbs of live rock
Refugium: 13 gal with deep sand bed, red Gracilaria algae and
Chaetomorpha algae on an Reverse Daylight Photosynthesis schedule
Lawnmower Blenny added September 2009
Tomini Tang added October 2009
Mandarin Dragonet added October 2009
Several SPS corals
Several mushroom rock
The water quality is as follows:
Nitrate 0 - not measurable with test kit
Phosphate 0 - not measurable with test kit
Temperature 77 F
Any recommendations are appreciated
<Do make your results, observations known to us. Thank you, Bob
At my wits end: Crypt control, lack of QT, Copper in display
tank. Good Candidate for Quinine treatment 12/15/2009
Hey, how's it goin?
<Hi Aaron, good to hear from you again.>
Great site. I know you have gone over this a million times. I have read
many posts but am still not sure what to do.
<We can clear that up quickly enough I am sure.>
Like an idiot I do not quarantine my marine fishes.
<Hopefully, the lesson has sunk in.>
My tank has been setup for about two years now and it has been a never
ending battle with Ich. I currently have a 6 inch Dogface, Bursa
Trigger and a One Spot Foxface. My tank is a 120 gallon with what was
live rock. I treated the main tank with Cupramine which I have read is
<No, you have essentially 'nuked' the tank. Puffers are also
very sensitive to copper.>
I have done this a few times. All of my fish seem to get better but
sure enough it keeps coming back.
<Copper only works on the free swimming stages of the
I thought treating the main tank would rid it and my fish of Ich.
<It will, but the parasite is still in the tank, ready to infect the
Guess I was wrong.
<Yes. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and
Long story short, my wife is getting to the point of having me do away
with saltwater. I really love the hobby and do not want to go back to
freshwater. I have to permanently eliminate this problem to save my
and my wallet. Can you please advise me as to what to do in this
As far as a spare tank for q/t or h/t all I have is a spare 20
<Too small for the fish in question. Since you have already nuked
the tank, I would suggest quinine sulphate: Read here:
After the treatment is completed, you may want to run sole Polyfilters
and Cuprisorb to try to get
any residual copper out of your system.>
I thank you for your time. It is truly appreciated. Aaron
Re: At my wits end: Crypt control, lack of QT, Copper in
display tank. Good Candidate for Quinine treatment
Wow, I thank you for your quick response.
I have never heard of that medication.
<It is a newer treatment>
I will trust your judgment. Will this rid my tank of Ich
Or is there still the risk of Ich coming back?
<There is always a risk of it coming back. It lives in just about
every marine tank - even those that have never shown signs of the
I am almost tempted to start over. I do plan on using a quarantine in
the future. Trust me the lesson has sunk in.
<Good, an ounce of prevention.....>
Also, is there a test kit I have to use with this like I do with the
<No tests needed, just dose per the instructions. You can get
quinine at http://www.nationalfishpharm.com You will have to do some
large water changes after the treatment is finished.>
Re: Setting up and cycling a proper QT, 12/14/09...
While I still think it's ich, I've elected to go with
Since I'm a complete newbie at diagnosing this, I think
it's possible it's velvet, and I don't want to
administer hypo for ich just to find out later I should have
dosed copper for velvet, so I figure it's best to cover all
<If it was velvet most likely the fish would already be dead,
it is a quick killer in aquariums.>
Additionally in 4 weeks I'll be going away on a week long
vacation, and I simply don't trust my tank sitter to maintain
something they know nothing about within .001 SG, heh.
<I would not either.>
So, I'm going to maintain the level at .5 for two weeks as
the label recommends. Then I'm going to keep the fish in
there for an additional six weeks to make sure the issue
doesn't pop up again. After that, I'll move them into the
main tank. Does that all sound good?
<Is what I would do.>
Also, I'm still going to be doing the water changes during
all of this; the ammonia is still at .25 (but, as you said, it
might be a false positive from the remaining Ammo-Lock - to me,
it looks like less ammonia than the first time I detected some
ammonia, so I'm guessing at the very least it is going down.
I'm aggressively siphoning what waste I see. I think the
Damsel will be a good fish and weather both the ammonia and the
ich, but I'm worried about the Gramma - are they hardy as
<In my experience they are quite hardy, not equal to a damsel
but still very resilient.>
Anyway, thanks again. And also, since I managed to nab a picture
of my Damsel (trust me, he has ich on him (his caudal fin in
particular), but not as much as the Gramma) and it turned out
pretty nice, I figured I'd attach it as well. :)