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FAQs on Avoiding, Treating Parasitic Disease with Hyposalinity: Failures and Not Quite Successes

Related Articles: Hyposalinity or Osmotic Shock Therapy (OST) by Pete Giwojna, Marine Parasitic DiseaseMarine Ich: Fighting The War On Two FrontsQuarantine, Quarantine of Marine FishesSpecific Gravity, Salinity,

Related FAQs: Using Hyposalinity to Prevent/Treat Marine Parasitic Disease 1, Hyposalinity Treatments 2, Hyposalinity Treatments 3, Hyposalinity & Ich, & Hypo Methods, Protocols... Hypo Dangers, Provisos... Hypo Success Stories... & Treating Parasitic Disease, Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3Parasitic Disease 4, Parasitic Disease 5, Parasitic Disease 6, Parasitic Disease 7, Parasitic Disease 8, Parasitic Disease 9, Parasitic Disease 10, Parasitic Disease 11, & FAQs on: Parasite-infested Systems: Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Marine Tanks 2, Parasitic Reef TanksParasitic Reef Tanks 2, & FAQs on: Preventing Parasite Problems, Diagnosing Parasitic Diseases, References on Parasitic Diseases, Index Materia Medici for Parasitic Diseases (medicines), Treating Marine Parasitic Diseases, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Marine Parasitic Diseases, Hyposalinity Treatments 2, Fallow Tanks, & Best Crypt FAQs, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners,

Lethargic fish in hypo salinity        4/10/12
Dear Bob/Crew
Is it normal for fish to become very lethargic, almost comatose while undergoing hyposalinity treatment?
<Happens at times; yes>
I have two royal grammas, who were the worst affected by an outbreak of Ich, and they seem really out of it in the hospital tank, while everyone else is okay.
However, occasionally they seem to snap out of it, feed, and behave normally.
<Common behavior for Grammatids>
They have been at 1.009 SG for just over two weeks. Both have bloated to some extent also, although both have also gone down in this swelling over time. This is presumably an osmoregulation issue, or worse, perhaps an indicator of systemic organ failure?
<Perhaps both; either>
Should I hoik them out of there pronto or hold the line? My instinct says to get them out of there. What is the bare minimum of time I could risk having the display system fallow and the hospital tank at low salinity?
<Am not a fan of hypo... I'd return to normal salinity>
It should be said that I have lost half my stock and feel very guilty and foolish for not quarantining. Everything was going well and now I risk losing fish that have been with me for years. Very woeful indeed, but a lesson finally learnt.
<Ah yes>
Any help would be much appreciated,
<Do search/read on WWM re hypo... some folks are very pro... Not I. Bob Fenner>

Ocellaris Clownfish, hlth.        8/8/12
I hope you can help. I have 2 clowns (they've been in hypo-salinity
<Not advised for Amphiprionines, or other fishes that live in close association w/ invertebrates that also don't tolerate low Spg>

 QT for 6 weeks so far because they got Ich when I first got them), they're both basically the same size, they do fight, but I'm hoping they'll establish their pair before the lesser one is a goner. Anyway, the one that seems to be the one to stay male, since i got him has had this 'cracking' on him. It was only a bit when i first got him, and it has expanded to both sides, and longer lines. Have any idea what it is? I've attached a photo, he's not dead! Just a quick snap while I was taking them out for cleaning the QT.
Thank you!
<These fish need to be returned to normal water density. Bob Fenner>

Something is horribly wrong! Please advise!   Crypt, hypo... trouble  11/4/11
Hello Bob and Crew at WWM,
I am sad to say that I've got Crypt...again. I believe that I introduced it by not quarantining my ROCKs long enough. I had them quarantined for 12 days during which I did three water changes. I think if I just stand out in a lightening storm, I would have the luck of being stricken and I would deserve it! Since my last bout with Crypt, I have religiously quarantined my fishes, corals, clean up crew for at least a month if not longer. I blame myself for trusting my LFS that the rocks are "clean"...
I am ten days into hyposalinity, and in my seventh day at 1.008 or 10 ppt.
My pH is stabilized with bicarbonate at 7.95 which is where it normally hangs around at without supplementation at 30 ppt... It is a 225 gallon with a 13 gallon fuge and 13 gallon sump. I've been doing at least 40 gallons of water change every other day. The Crypt went away on day two at 10 ppt, but here is the really strange thing and I cannot figure out what it is that I'm missing.
Every day, one of my fishes would die.
<Combination of the Crypt (exsanguination), debilitation and low salinity exposure>
This started three days ago. The first was my Starry Blenny. I just noticed one evening that he suddenly looked stressed, was sitting in a hole and breathing rapidly. I checked my ammonia level and it was 0.25 ppm,
<And this>
0 nitrite, 20 nitrate and noting that while in hypo, the tests are not accurate. I immediately did a 40 gallon water change leaving it at 1.008. Next day, he was very lethargic and died.
On examination of his body, he seemed perfectly fine, but his mouth was gaping open.
<The loss of RBCs, oxygen carrying capacity>
Yesterday, I found my coral beauty dead behind a rock. I thought maybe someone picked on her and in fright, she got herself stuck...on examination of her body, again looking fine, but she looked a little bloated
<The hypo, osmotic leaking>
and again mouth was gaping open. Today, my husband noticed that my Kole Tang was swimming very very quickly in circles counterclock-wise. I took her out of the tank and tried to increase the salinity a little to 1.010 thinking maybe it is a reaction of some sort,
she died within four hours of starting to swim in circles. On examination of her body, I noticed that she was not soft like normally recently deceased fishes, her fins were all stiffly held erect and again, her mouth was gaping open. I performed an 80 gallon water change this evening after noting that my Atlantic Blue Tang was not his usual self. At first I thought it was because his buddy, the Kole, died, but he started swimming around looking very vigilant, holding his dorsal and anal fins erect.
Normally at lights out, he swims near the floor of the tank going between the rocks but now he is swimming near the top in the "brightest" corner of the tank. I noticed that my emperor and powder blue tang goes and checks on him, and something is not right.
Oh no, now he is swimming couple of feet and turning around and this tank is six feet long! Okay, he is now just hanging out in a corner of the tank, which I've never seen him do...
What is going on?
<As stated above>
I've tried to look everywhere and read anything about fishes swimming like this but none with such a quick death. I don't think my Atlantic Blue will be with me for long and he will be the fourth fish who died. I want to know what this is so that I can better help them.
Please please please help!
Jamie Barclay
<Am generally not a fan of hyposalinity for the many cases/trials as yours here... but what CAN be done in the short/er term when there is evidence (not always simply visual) of hyperinfection? Answer: Some sort of bath/dip (freshwater, w/ Methylene Blue, Formalin, serious aeration, while present/observing fishes) THEN immediate move to a chemically bare TREATMENT system... WITH? Quinine of some sort best nowayears... All posted and gone over and over on WWM... including your previous brave efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Something is horribly wrong! Please advise! 11/4/11

Dearest Bob,
Thank you so much for your reply.
<Welcome Jamie>
I came home early to start doing water changes as last night as I lay there thinking and thinking, I was wondering if there was some type of toxin in the water as the fishes had no change of appetite or behavior until within 24 hours of their demise.
I would do the chemically bare TREATMENT system with Quinine as I do have that on hand, but I am leaving for Asia tomorrow morning and that my pet sitter is very limited in her ability to manage a new system as that. I'm thinking the "best" that I can do in my current situation is that I need to increase the salinity. Last night, at my hubby's encouragement, I increased salinity from 1.008 to 1.010. I was thinking of keeping it there for the next 10 days as that is how long I will be gone, but now I'm thinking maybe I should increase it to 1.012 now and 1.014 tonight roughly 12 hours later.
<Yes I would do this>
I know it is not the BEST but do you think that it is better plan than to keep it at 1.010?
The poor Atlantic Blue is still with us...sort of, laying on his side and breathing regularly but I think it's all brain stem function now. The Emperor Angel, Powder Blue Tang, Cleaner Wrasse, Flame Hawkfish, and pair of Clowns (who are caring for their batch of eggs) all appear "normal" picking at rocks, the algae sheet that I've put in there interested in their environment.
I cried and cried and cried yesterday and tried to tell myself that these are just fish which I do love to eat all the time...but they are no longer the yummy dish when you get to know each and every one of their personalities and their interactions with you.
Thank you, always, for your insight, knowledge, and support.
One of your biggest fans,
<Steady on my friend. Realize that you're doing all you can. BobF>
Re: Something is horribly wrong! Please advise! Crypt, hypo.    11/6/11

Greetings Bob,
I just wanted to give you an update whilst waiting for my flight to leave Montreal.
The Atlantic Blue died yesterday and after doing a total of 160 gallon water change and increasing salinity, things are much improved. I even made a total of 120 gallons of water for my friend at the LFS to use if needed.
Now that there is absolutely nothing for me to do, I've done a lot of reflection.
You are absolutely right about the salinity and the general poor condition of the tank that caused their demise. I just wished that I written you much earlier when I lost my Starry Blenny and I may have prevented the other lives from being lost.
One thing that I remembered from my last battle with Crypt was that I was at 1.012 for three months and noticed that every four weeks or so I would get two or three very small tight spots on the Powder Blue, then when I raised salinity up to 1.018 was when I had another outbreak.
<Yes... a friend in the trade (and co-author of a recent book on fish disease) related that he keeps all his Fish Only service accounts at 1.010 AND a titer of free copper. I was very surprised... as these conditions to my experience often lead to troubles>
I then read Leebecca's (sp?) account on ReefSanctuary.com about 1.008 and I lowered it that time over several days and kept it there for 117 days which was when I successfully fought off the Crypt infection with no loss. I counted myself lucky that time and this time, I went too fast and too drastic in the lowering of salinity.
The infection was not so bad that the fishes were so "deathly" ill as they were all eating well and not showing worse for wear, except that I saw spots. I should have SLOWED down things and do more sitting and watching, maybe my little friends will still be with me today.
It was the worst for us to lose that Atlantic Blue Tang as we got him as a beaten up little guy the size of a silver dollar, still bright yellow with that blue ring around his eye. Watching him grow to be a 8 inch giant with beautiful coloring that he changed with his mood, or literally fighting with him whilst trying to place rocks or corals as he tries to move them for me...
Thank you again for your support.
<Welcome, BobF>

Re: Cryptocaryon irritans treatment...here we go again! Simon's go  -- 7/7/10
Greetings the AWESOME crew at WWM, that of course includes Mr. Fenner!
<Hello Jamie, Simon with you today>
Questions and update regarding my Crypt Tank.
It's been 6 days since I've dropped the salinity to 1.011 and continued Chloroquine phosphate, pH is 7.8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20. I'm still seeing ongoing C. irritans on most affected fish. The PBT is alive and still hanging out at the power head, not eating much but he was really porky before and hasn't lost much weight.
Questions are:
1. Is this normal to see on going new Crypt eruptions with hypo?
<Can happen, yes. This is why these lowered salinity treatments are usually done over a 6 week period. The Chloroquine also, over three weeks.>
Are the "new" spots just maturing from previous infestation?
<The spots are not the parasite itself. They are a skin reaction to the parasite, which is itself embedded. So the spots could, yes, be 'maturing'. They could also be 'new'. The longest recorded time for a parasite to remain on the fish is 7 days to my knowledge. But that does not mean that some cannot stay on for longer, and I am not clear about whether the skin reaction will remain for a short time after the parasite has left the fish or not, but this is also possible to my mind>
I know that hypo should "pop" the Crypt on the fish
<No. Nothing will do this, and only Formalin to my knowledge will dislodge some parasites from the fish itself, but not those deeply embedded. The parasite is protected by the skin of the fish. It is the free swimming stages that you are trying to kill by the treatments, either the 'drop-off' (Protomont) stage, or the 'hatching out' (Tomite) stage. Have you researched the lifecycle?>
but I'm really not seeing this.
<For the reason stated>
2. Should I try to lower salinity some more, to 1.009 or so?
<This is where I would go IF I were using this treatment method>
My Emperor Angel is showing raggedy fins and tail - is this from the Chloroquine or stress from the hypo, or the Crypt?
<A combination of the Hypo & Chloroquine & Nitrates most likely.. just general water quality not being at optimum, coupled with stress'¦ looking at your past posts on the subject and your fish list I would be very surprised if you did not have some fatalities here>
3. Is the pH alright as it continued to hang out at 7.8 as long as it doesn't continue to drop?
<The pH is low but expected with the hypo treatment.. the least of your worries here IMO>
4. I'm going on vacation to Taiwan next Thursday (8 days from now), should I leave the tank at hypo or start bringing it back up to 1.023?
<? I have to say that I think this was a mistake on your part by going this/ these roads while knowing that you are not going to be around to see the whole thing through. This needs micro-management on a daily basis.. with observations of your fishes the whole time, removal of dead ones, water changes etc. etc. Things can go wrong here very quickly indeed. You need someone to do this for you while you are away.. they need to be fully briefed, and prepared for the worst. If you can find someone then I would stick to your chosen methods for now. If not, then you will need luck in abundance>
Don't know what I would do without WWM!
<Me neither!>
Thank you!!!
<No problem>
Re: Cryptocaryon irritans treatment...here we go again! -- 7/8/10
Good Morning Bob,
<Hello Jamie, Simon again. Did you send your previous message twice? I have just realised that Bob has already responded to you, but since I am available now, and in the interests of continuity, I will continue..>
With the number and size of the fishes. I only have available now a 55 gallon tank.
<I agree that this is probably inadequate>
I was wondering what your thoughts are if I were to remove all my rocks and sand from the display.
<? You are treating in the display with rock and sand present and you wonder why your previous treatments w/ quinine did not work? This is recorded on WWM many many times, substrates can render chemical treatments, including quinines, useless>
That way, I have a "HUGE" 225 gallon hospital tank that is connected to my current filtration system which is the LifeReef system.
<This is a possible approach, and more likely to work. Treatments should never be done in the display IMO>
I will start raising salinity back up to 1.023 SLOWLY as to make the tank parameters more stable and treat with either Chloroquine or quinine. I already have the Chloroquine on hand and the quinine should arrive tomorrow. I'm thinking of using quinine again as it was something that actually made the Crypt "fall off" the fishes from my observation.
<No it didn't. The parasites will only leave the fish host of their own accord, which you would know had you researched this.. http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php . There is a great series of 5 articles by Terry Bartelme on the subject that are worth reading if you can find them on the web.. as well as Bobs here on WWM and the many many FAQS on the subject>
Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated!

Re: Cryptocaryon irritans treatment...here we go again! Hypo link    7/9/10
Thank you for your input.
<No problem>
I know. I've made several mistakes along the way. I can only blame myself for the crypt at the stage it is now.
I do have someone to care for my fishes while I'm gone for the 10 days. I have a pet sitter who comes and feeds and monitors things twice a day who is thoroughly briefed regarding what to watch for, and I'm close with my LFS
which is a bonus because they are available in case I need an emergency water change.
<This is good news>
I asked my hubby if we can cancel our trip but he said that is not an option.
I know that you are surprised that there has not been deaths due to the crypt but in all honesty, I've lost fishes to the "manipulations" I've done
<This is actually what I meant.. many, sometimes most, losses are due to the treatments and "manipulations" as you say of the aquarist rather than the problem itself.>
the original Kole tang when I took him out and placed him in a small hospital tank and then overdosed him accidentally on some commercial ich medication. I lost one exquisite wrasse and one Anthias when I was using
quinine and they jumped out of the tank before I put the screen on my egg crates, and I lost our 2+ year old red headed fairy wrasse when I didn't pick up on the stress the quinine was causing on him. I am most surprised by
the Anthias as they have consistently shown NO signs of crypt infection and I never thought of them as "tough" fishes.
<They are also infested, even if you cannot see the signs>
Another thought I had this morning was to remove all the rocks and sand so that I end up with a "cycled" 225 gallon hospital tank.
<This will make the medications work better, but there are problems with this approach:
1) Removing the rock and sand will also remove a large part of the biofilm, i.e. your biofilter, so the tank may not be 'cycled' at all, in fact the opposite is perfectly possible, depending on your set up, but at the least you will get a 'setback'.>
2) You will not eradicate the crypt in the system unless you medicate for the full lifecycle (8 weeks or so) as some will remain encysted on/ in the rest of the system. This is why removal to a separate QT vessel and a fallow period in the display is the most effective protocol. Unless you medicate for the full 8 weeks (not recommended) all you will be doing is decreasing the 'numbers' of parasites here, at the expense of the health of the fishes. And as I'm sure you are aware, a lowered immunity makes the fishes more susceptible anyway, so there is no guarantee that once you bring things back to normal the whole thing won't explode again.>
I thought of taking the salinity back up to 1.023 and then treat again with quinine again as it was one medicine that looked like it was dislodging the crypt from inside the fish.
<No, we've been through this.. the crypt is not dislodged by anything (except sometimes formalin), it comes off by itself, when it is ready, after it has 'had it's fill'.>
What are your thoughts on this?
<I think that you are in for some rough times ahead. Either way is not ideal, but changing things around just before you go on holiday is asking for trouble. Murphy is there, watching you right now.. I would not have gone with the hypo at all, but now you're there I would be tempted to leave things be (without further meds), have your neighbour keep an eye on them all and then make another judgment when you get back. Possibly moving all to the 55 then, or you might find that 'striking a balance' going forward is your best approach>
You and Bob have been so very helpful! And even though sometimes I don't do what WWM recommended - trying what makes sense in my mind, you are still here and willing to respond to my e-mails. 
<We are indeed!>
I am very grateful for that!
<No problem at all. I do implore you while you are away to read/ learn about this parasite and it's lifecycle.. understanding it is the key to beating it.. perhaps printing some web-based articles and digesting them thoroughly on the beach is an option for you. Try this one as well as the others you've been pointed to, it details the parasite as well as Hyposalinity 'therapy' http://www.chucksaddiction.com/ich.html >
Thank you for taking your time and thoughts!
<No problem>

Quarantine for LR , Algae, beating Crypt (hypo f')  9/24/05 Dear Bob,      Hi, it's me the guy that initially did not believe you that hyposalinity would not work for marine crypt. <Saludo> I have done the things I should Have done to begin with.  All is going great in my 180g FOWLR.  I treated all inhabitants with copper in their own QT's.  All of my fish tolerated copper surprisingly well.  ( I used Cupramine )  I did not lose a single fish. <Testimony to your careful measure, patience, observation>     My display now has fish in it.  And 150 lbs of live rock. A gorgeous Emperor, an awesome majestic, a very tame Naso. Plenty of hiding places for the angels to be civil with each other.  Ah, success !  On the plus side, the rock actually "cured" 2 months ago, but because of my crypt outbreak it stayed in a fallow fish display with near perfect water conditions for 2 months and even though I used only 300 watts of standard florescent bulb lighting 50/50 mix of 10,000K and actinics I am starting to see blue a green coralline algae.   <Good> Thanks for all your help!   Is this enough light for my FOWLR ? <Likely so>     I really wish to avoid the nightmare of introducing crypt into a display. So here are my main questions.   1) How long would you recommend that I quarantine Gracilaria, or Chaetomorpha, or even cured LR prior to introducing to my display ? <A couple of weeks should do it> 2) How about snails or hermits ? <About the same> Have a great weekend.  Jimmy <Thank you for the update. Congratulations on your success in beating the Crypt. Bob Fenner>

Fairy Wrasse with ich - alternate treatments 8/8/05 I have had a Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis wrasse in QT for 3 weeks now.  He has had mild ich from the get go so I took the salinity down to 1.011 measured with a lab grade hydrometer.  I thought we were over it but yesterday I looked in and he's a mass of white spots! I am tired of this and am going to treat the fish with copper, unless these fish are oversensitive.  Is this a good idea? <Fairy wrasses are at least somewhat sensitive to copper IMO. I'm not a big fan of it as it is. If it were my fish, I'd do freshwater dips from a QT tank near daily for 5 days while adding garlic and B12 to the water> cheers, Wayne Oxborough. Norway <With kind regards, Anthony>

- Treating Ich with Hyposalinity - Hello crew: <Hello.> I am currently letting the main tank go fallow, and my fishes are in a 20gallon QT with filters heater, I know how a proper Qt should be setup so I do not need info on that.  This is the first time I try hyposalinity and before I used copper most of the time. The reason why I try this is because I have 2 very sensitive fish in the list, 1 being a sub adult regal angel and a Juv Blueface angel. From the observation, they have Ick. Not like they have velvet. because they are still behaving normally and actively searching for food, eat well in the QT and no scratching of any kind. Also, I notice when the Ick fell off the fin of the fish are not transparent anymore... and it is not velvet because I see no slime, not breathing too rapidly either.  <Ok.> I put them into the qt on Monday and gradually lowering the salinity, from 1.025 to now 1.010. However the Ick is still present.. should Ick Trophont be killed at this kind of salinity?  <It "may" but really hyposalinity on its own has never worked for me.... you'll need to use this in addition to some other methods to kill the ich. Because of the sensitivity of these fish to copper, I'd recommend formalin. Do make sure you follow the directions to the letter as an overdose will likely be fatal. Make sure you also use a gravel vacuum to clean the bottom of the quarantine as you'll be able to remove the sessile stage of ich this way and potentially break the cycle. Likewise, once you start the formalin treatment you'll need to have many days of water changes ready to perform perhaps 25% a day or more to keep the water quality tip-top.>  The qt temperature is 82F. and no ammonia..  The concern is I can see my fish getting more Ick on its body today, then before I lowered the salinity 4 days ago... and the fish is still live and eating, swimming and behaving normal[ly]. Should I add copper now???  <See, previous comment.>  I really love this 2 fish and so not want them to die.  <And neither would I... but act now... don't wait.>  Please help me !!! Desperate.  Eric <Cheers, J -- > 

Treating Ick using hyposalinity.. first try - II Hello: <Hi there> Sorry I might be stupid. So where should I go and get formalin? <An amazing coincidence... have been gearing up to write a series of articles... called "pathologically speaking"... and my first installment was to be... formalin/formaldehyde... I will add to the topic headings "sources" (as well as chemistry, uses, dangers...). Oh can be purchased in hobbyist quantities from either the LFS or etailers... Kordon/Novalek repackages small volumes for aquarium use for instance> LFS? Can you please tell me some of their name from a brand so I can start somewhere? I am swamped with problems already and if you can help me out by telling me which formalin to get, that will be of great help! <And, not to confuse you, but this dangerous compound is sold for "food purposes" et al. in 37% gallon containers... this is a BUNCH> By the way, the salinity reading was off when I am measuring it using an arm type meter, then I use a refractometer to check again, it is now really 1.010. will salinity higher than 1.010 keep the Ick alive and multiply? I guess my question is that is 1.010 the threshold that Ick eggs are killed?? <Mmm, how to state this clearly... the low salinity itself will very unlikely result in the outright death of all stages of Cryptocaryon... It may weaken it sufficiently... and along with a lack of ready fish hosts, cause such a loss of vitality that it won't revive unless your fishes are greatly weakened otherwise... but it will NOT kill it> Last, since formalin have so much side effects that I have to take care of, (oxygen, change water all the time, stress to fish etc.) will it better off to use copper + hypo instead? Eric <Good question... A matter of opinion, circumstances... but IMO, most scenarios, the copper, with or w/o lowered Spg is better than formalin use. Bob Fenner>

Re: treating Ick using hyposalinity.. first try, but wants another opinion I would like Bob to answer this question please! <Okay> I would like to restate I have a Juv Blueface and a regal angel in QT right now.  So if I want to try hypo with copper, can I do it with 1.010 salinity or do I suppose to raise it up a little first? <Copper can be administered at either, any salinity> Is ParaGuard a product made of formalin/formaldehyde? <See here re MSDS for SeaChem's products: http://www.seachem.com/support/MSDS.pdf  This is Gluteraldehyde and malachite green> Can it be use to treat Ick? <Can> If so which is better? Copper with hypo 1.010 or ParaGuard with hypo 1.010? <The latter> Please help as I want to start the treatment right away. <This is my opinion> If I need to raise the salinity back up I need at least 14 days and the regal angel is already decrease in appetite.... very worried. Eric <I caution you re lowering salinity this much (further stressing your livestock) AND treating with copper... if it were me/my decision I would NOT leave the Spg this low (likely no lower than 1.018 while administering physiological dosages of copper... Study here my friend... be careful with the copper use... with daily testing... Bob Fenner, who is getting around to writing that "pathologically speaking" series... Yesterday the bit on formalin: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm

Organic QT Not Working Hi all, I have had much success in the past quarantining all new fish in a small tank with salinity of 14PPT. But this time it is not working at all. I have had a Hippo Tang and pair of true Perculas in QT for a month now. They still have ectoparasites, I'm hesitant to call it ich b/c the hypo-salinity had no effect on it; but it sure does seem like crypto. So I have since raised the salinity back up to 33PPT and started feeding the fish Omega one super veggie soaked in 'Zoe' (this was the LFS advice after explaining the situation to them.) I had been feeding a mix of various seafood and dried red Nori before. I also put one of my cleaner shrimp from my reef in the QT as I know that won't really help, see I'm losing my mind! I don't see how these fish will ever get to go to my reef if I don't use copper. And I really don't want to do that as I am an "organic reefer." I make my own food never add chemicals, same philosophy in the garden too; the 'ZOE' junk was a hard sell for the LFS :). I am so frustrated should I put the shrimp back in my reef and dose copper? <I think I would like to see a picture of the fish in question. If you or a friend has a digital camera, take a photo (one is enough) and send it back as an attachment.  I do not like to recommend a treatment if I'm unsure of the disease problem.  Good luck Ryan. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Ryan

Attacking Ich Through The Hyposalinity Approach? Hey WetWebMedia team! <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> I have had my tank at 1.010 for 2 days, and I am still seeing ich appear on my fish.  Is this normal?  I thought the ich would be dead at this salinity.  I am positive it is ich.  Jeff <Well, in my opinion, hyposalinity is not the most effective method to attack ich. However, in all fairness, do give the treatment a few days to "kick in". Personally, I favor intervention with medications (copper sulphate, or a Formalin-based product, if suitable). Hyposalinity can work, but I've noticed that if a cure is not affected in the first 4-5 days, it probably won't happen. Also, don't be fooled when the spots disappear, is the causative parasites may be entering their free-swimming phase, only to re-attach again at a later time. Ideally, you should consider the "fallow tank" approach to fighting ich, as we often advocate here on WWM. Review the parasitic disease articles and FAQ's for more. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Hyposalinity? - Thanks for the help, but the tusk died anyway. <I'm sorry to hear of your loss.> I'm not sure what to do. I have had an Ick problem and I've tried copper before with a test kit but it somehow evaded me and reinfected my tank. But I've spent a lot of time on your website and in the forums. You guys seem to advocate copper usage while the other "experts" on the forum say to use hyposalinity. I've been conversing with one guy who has written several internet articles and he said to use hypo, that's it's easier on fish and can be used more than two weeks. <Sounds like Ed Fang... if this is the person, he is quite adamant about the use of hyposalinity, but I don't agree with his premise - long term exposure to lower than normal salinity is indeed stressful and causes more long term problems than it solves. You will notice that most Wet Web Media folk also advocate pH-adjusted, freshwater dips along with copper and that is really all the hyposalinity that is needed to deal with ich. If you look at the long term results of some of the larger cases sited by Mr. Fang, you will see that the livestock didn't fare so well. For saltwater fish, the density of the water is important to the regulation of their internal systems - extended exposure to hyposalinity can cause irreversible stress and harm. This is my opinion.> So I bought a refractometer and have a red sea raccoon, flame angel and a flame hawk in a 30g q-tine and I've been slowly lowering the SPG. So is it a no go one hyposalinity treatment? <Sounds to me like it's already a go - you're already on your way there. You've managed to get plenty of opinions about this... you need to make this determination for yourself.> And how does copper fully cure Ick if it can only be used for two weeks when the Ick life cycle is four? <As far as I know, the complete life cycle of ich is not four weeks, it's somewhere in the 10 to 14 day range, mostly depending on temperature. As long as the quarantine tank is bare - no substrate, nothing to absorb the copper, copper treatment will kill the parasite in most of its life stages. Anything that emerges in quarantine will be exposed to the copper and be killed. Copper is effectively a pesticide, a biocide - poison if you will... you can kill your fish with it if the concentration is too high, so yes, is does kill Cryptocaryon. We can only relate our own experiences as what has worked for us. So... do whatever your research and your mind tells you to do. It's time to stop listening to everyone and think for yourself, get going on a treatment system.> Thanks again
<Cheers, J -- >

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