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FAQs on Avoiding, Treating Parasitic Disease with Hyposalinity: Methods, Protocols

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 Dangers, Provisos... Hypo Success Stories... Hypo Failures, or Not Quite Yet 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,

Need to have a plan Stan... enough containers/tanks to treat all, a notebook to jot down your observations, actions.

Re: Purple Tang   5/4/10
Hi again Simon,
<Hi Tracey>
I know you are busy this week
<Yes, but no problem>
but when you have time I need your help again.
<Ok, lets go!>
My new set-up is a 270g DT with a 150g refugium and 2 smaller sumps. I am currently running the 150g as a hyposalinity tank separate from the DT with a small amount of sand and pvc pipe at hypo salinity 1.009
<With a refractometer? Calibrated with RO water?>
, the sump has recently completed its month long cycle and reads Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate not detectable, PH 8.2, temp 80. Now that the cycle is complete in the sump
<do you mean the 270?>
I would like to move my fish from their 40g QT tanks.
The fish list is the Purple Tang and Majestic Angel you helped me with previously, also there is a Naso Tang <Lituratus?>, Hippo Tang and Marine Beta. The 40g's read Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, salinity 1.009, ph 7.8. I know you said the spots I was seeing on the Majestic could be stress related but it really looks more like a parasite of some kind to me
<How long have you had the fishes in these conditions? Hyposalinity therapy is for a minimum of 6 weeks, for good reason, as it is not always 100% effective even in these timeframes>
and now there is a white pimple like thing on the Beta's chin.
<Mmm, a photo would be useful here.. have you perused our FAQ's on parasitic infections?>
I would like to do the freshwater dip we talked about before moving these guys
<You already have the fishes in 1.009.. if there is a parasite that is resistant to long periods of hyposalinity, my bet is that it will be resistant to a freshwater dip also>
and have read Bob Fenner's articles which state to match the pH, he also seems to like using Methylene Blue with freshwater.
<Yes, if you go this route this is what I would do, for the reason stated above>
Finally my questions, believe it or not we also have a freshwater tank which reads PH 7, would it be a good idea to use the water from the FW tank for the dips?
<No. Do you realise that these fishes should be brought up to normal salinity over a period of weeks? 1-2 notches a day at a time? After this has been done, I would drip acclimate the fishes to the 270 in buckets, then dip/ place using tap water, buffered w/ baking soda, plus the Methylene blue>
How close do I have to be with matching the ph, if I did not adjust for it they would go from 7.8 to FW 7 to 8.2? Is there any reason not to use the Methylene Blue or is it just the Angel that would be sensitive to it?
<I would use the Methylene here, after you have double checked that all you have done so far is up to scratch. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I4/hyposalinity/OST.htm>
Thanks so much
<No problem>
Re: Purple Tang... to Simon   5/4/10

Hi Simon,
<He's sent note he'll be out for a few weeks... getting situated in his new home>
I think my week was worse than yours this week, my 150g sump that had just completed its cycle had a heater explode in it and took the side right out of the tank,
<Good gosh!>
I had 150g of saltwater on my floor. Long story short I think the heater company is going to replace my tank. In the mean time my fish are still sitting in QT, poor guys, this happened the day they were to move
into the 150g which was at 1.009.
<Low... a technique I don't generally endorse>
I do understand about increasing the salinity slowly which I am in the process of and yes I do use a refractometer and RO water. I have added Cupramine as I am still seeing a few spots of ich
<I'd be reading about, using a quinine compound. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm>
and I thought maybe it would also get rid of the pimple like thing on the beta's chin. Other than what I have already stated the fish are quite fat and healthy. I will read again on dips using Methylene Blue. I have baking soda in a Tupperware container that was baked a few months ago, will it still be good?
<Likely so to bolster pH sufficiently>
The 270g was set up and cycled separate from the 150g sump and has almost completed its cycle. My plan was to move the fish I have now into the large sump and QT a few more delicate creatures that would be introduced to the display first but now I'm not sure I have the patience and if the heater company does not come through for me I may not have a large sump.
Thank you for your help and time once again. Hope your move was successful.
<Will send this note along to him. Bob Fenner>

Personifer Angel/Please Help... mixed Angels, Crypt likely   9/2/06 Hello Everyone: I have read just about everything I could about the Personifer (I think) I have a 180 gallon all fish and live rock tank. My Personifer angel is about 3 ns half inches long and has white spots that are more spread around then close together. In the book by Robert M Fenner (great book) it looks like it could be Amyloodinium Ocellatum more then it could be ich but am not really sure. <Mmm, could be either from this description... but if Amyloodinium this fish would be soon dead... a few days> My PH is 8.4 and everything else is great and my salt level is between 1.022 or 1.024 somewhere in the middle. I have about 3 other peaceful angels in my tank also. <Mmm, likely not compatible> I just want to know please,  how can I cure him? I have a 10 gallon tank I could set up. I have copper, QuickCure. Please tell me directly on how to save him And how can I look up a fish where just you guys talk about the fish only?  Please help me I really love this fish and I paid $200 dollars for him. I live in New York and it bother me to see this.  Please reply to Joey Harper   <A bit more to this... you need to treat all, including the tank itself. Set some time aside (and soon) and read, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above. You need to formulate a plan, get more treatment tanks, start making new water for change-outs... Bob Fenner>

Low Salinity Quarantine? 8/22/05 Hi all, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I am going to set my QT up in a few weeks, which leads to my question.  Would it be okay to quarantine all new fish with hyposalinity to prevent any disease?  After the quarantine period, I would then acclimate very slowly to the salinity of the display water.  If this seems okay, what would be a good salinity to quarantine with?  Thanks. <Well, there are many hobbyists and wholesalers that advocate lowering the specific gravity (to 1.010-1.012) during quarantine because it is thought that this will lessen the possibility or ferocity of (parasitic) illnesses. There certainly seems to be some merit to this process, but I personally do not employ it. I believe that maintaining "normal" specific gravity during quarantine may be a bit less stressful...One less environmental adjustment for a newly-acquired fish to make. Similar to the reasons that I don't use "prophylactic" medication while quarantining fishes. That's just my take on it; certainly NOT the last word on the subject! give it a shot and see if it is ok for you. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Crypto and hyposalinity 8/9/05 Good Morning,    I have a 180 g fish only tank to which I recently added a emperor angel.  This angel is a beast.. aggressive and a great addition, now king of the tank ( others.. Naso tang, powder blue, majestic angel, Fiji Foxface, purple tang )  unfortunately, even though I used a QT for a month the display tank came down with crypto.   <No...> I have two questions.. I have a refugium and I have heard from the ecosystems site (M. Paletta ) that crypto can be difficult to eradicate when miracle mud is in use  Is this true ??? <More difficult, yes>     My second question: I treated the entire tank after taking the macroalgae out with hyposalinity ( SG 1.010 brought down slowly over 5 days )  Fish are all doing great.  I am feeding high moisture foods ( mysids, formula I, II )  How long should I, can I treat and is it likely that the crypto will return as a problem as  I bring the salinity back up SLOWLY? Thanks Jimmy <Almost certainly you will not be eradicating this parasite... optimized conditions, purposeful cleaners... you may achieve some sort of uneasy balance... Please read... on WWM re hyposalinity treatments, Cryptocaryoniasis... Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity 8/9/05 Dear Bob,     Thanks for the reply on hyposalinity.  One last question.  ( 180 g FO tank )  I started the hyposalinity treatment after four fish in the tank came down with crypto. <Lowering Spg will very unlikely effect a permanent cure...>   I plan on eventually putting LR in the tank.  I have read on WWM extensively.  Are there any other options for treating the display ( it currently has no inverts ) that will eradicate the crypto but not harm the biological filter bed. <Mmm, no> Currently all inhabitants are doing well, eating like pigs and are free of infection in SG 1.010  ( Naso tang, blue tang, majestic angel, emperor angel, Fiji Foxface ).  Should I continue with the hyposalinity or should I consider other options. <The latter> Will formalin wipe out my bacterial bed if used at the conventionally prescribed doses ? <Oh yes... a general biocide... crosslinks proteins... building blocks of all life on this planet... Do please read on WWM re marine ich... consider copper treatment... and soon. Bob Fenner> Thanks Jimmy
Re: crypto and hyposalinity 8/11/05 Dear Bob,    I am very thankful for your advice.  I would use copper to treat my fish but my experience with copper and nitrite sensitive angels ( emperor, majestic ) is not so good. <Better than losing your livestock though...>   Hyposalinity clears the ich in 5 days <... but does not remove it from the system...> but I am concerned about the long term eradication of ich from the system. <Ah good, me too> It seems to me that once these fish become afflicted with crypt then the battle is uphill.  Even with copper at adequate levels for the prescribed length of time in a QT recurrences do occur <Very rare... if the therapeutic dose is maintained...> and the fish are more apt to get a reinfection because of the immune suppressant effects of the copper.  Do you have personal experience with copper treatment of above species?   <Ah, yes... a very great amount> Should I run a QT with copper at all times in order to allow the biological cycle of the tank to mature  with copper ? <Posted... on WWM>      I think that for this go round I may need to rely on the hyposalinity ( sg1.010 ) ozone, UV sterilizer, frequent water changes, and garlic extreme / good nutrition get me through since my filter in the QT may take a hit if I add copper ( my fish have done so well and look to be disease free with the hypo, ozone, UV etc that I feel that I may be doing more harm than good by turning to copper.  Is my thinking off base on this issue i.e. do you think that I will regret this approach ? Thanks Jimmy <I do agree with you re cycling, copper and QT... But I would still go this route... rather than ping-ponging with Crypt... Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity 8/12/05 Dear Bob,      After reading extensively on hyposalinity and crypt, and, of course, with your help, I am reaching the conclusion that eradication of crypt from the marine system can only be achieved with QT and copper treatment and letting the display lie fallow for two months. <There are a few other approaches... but none as assuredly successful> I was somewhat enchanted by Steve Pro's recommendation that hyposalinity is his #1 choice because it is easy on the fish. <... if only it worked>   I am beginning to realize that there is much controversy re: hyposalinity as a cure, but more often than not, the attestations as to its effectiveness are followed by reports of outbreaks 6-12 months later. <Or generally much sooner> I have a 180 g FO tank and I really want to do this right but I only have a 29g and 55g tanks set up as QT, neither of which have been cycled with copper so the addition of copper will disrupt the biological cycle of the tank/filter.  What is the best way to treat with copper so as not to disrupt my bio cycle ? <Minimal doses with a chelated formulation... twice daily testing... Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity a thanks to the crew 8/12/05 Bob,     Now that I am convinced that hyposalinity may not achieve long term cure for the treatment of crypto, I am curious as to why you think it does not. <Historically it just hasn't... in the vast majority of cases.> I cannot see any signs of visible infestation in the fish that I have treated.   <... not visible to the naked eye> I suspect that the proponents of this method of treatment for marine ich would argue that hyposalinity is the equivalent of allowing the tank to be fallow.   <No... or not valid... Is there a difference between a present, though not observable infestation and none at all? Yes> Is there a "subclinical" or low grade infection that occurs even at low salinity that slows down but does not completely disrupt the life cycle of the parasite?   <Bingo... though, for clarity's sake, the term infection is used for infectious disease... bacteria, fungi... and not Protozoans like Crypt> Would using hyposalinity with a Metronidazole or a malachite green formalin combo like Kordon's Rid Ich+ achieve the desired result ? <In what sort of treatment mode? As a dip? As long time immersion? Maybe... the point is to remove the feeding stages from their host fishes as well as destroy (here's the hard part) all intermediate stages... in well-established infestations, systems... this can be very difficult... lowering Spg, elevating temperature in the infested systems themselves is of use in "speeding" up the metabolism, cycle of the parasite> As an aside I note that Kordon states that their product does not disrupt the bio cycle. is this true ? <Mmm, strictly speaking... are you referring to Malachite Green?... this is so... but indirectly, this use often does lead to a check to loss of nitrification. For Malachite AND Formalin, biological filtration is indeed kaput, finished> (It has been my experience to be wary of products that make this claim)      I must digress and take one moment to thank you for all of your help.   As a Biology Major and an MD with a background in pharmacology, I have found you and the crew at WetWebMedia to be an excellent source of information, sympathy, encouragement for those dedicated to the hobby.  As I have pursued the hobby through the years I have found myself reading more and more to seek a reasonable consensus of opinion amongst the experts rather than just believing the label or the LFS is always "right" Thanks and have a nice day  Jimmy <Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity: hypo does not work 8/15/05 Dear Bob:     I must say that as much as I initially resisted the concept that hyposalinity ( 1.010 ) does not work for marine crypto: I am now a believer that it is not the panacea that people once thought it would be. <Or have tried to promote it as such> I have a 180g FO tank that came down with crypt shortly after I added a gorgeous Emperor Angel. <... no quarantine?...> The first fish (no surprise) to be afflicted with this malady was a powder blue tang the others looked fine but who knows. <Ah, yes... good bio-indicators...> I quarantined this fish from the system in a 55 g tank and dropped the salinity to 1.010 in both the quarantine and the display.  I have written a few times questioning if hyposalinity is a reasonable treatment given the fact that fish in the display are doing so well with no overt signs of disease (I run a UV sterilizer as well as ozone as well as frequent water changes every other day in the display but I run a bare bones, but well cycled quarantine ). <Ah, good> It has been three weeks and today I noticed that my quarantined powder blue indeed has crypt while in a salinity of 1.010, subtle but still there.  I took therapeutic measures and he is swimming in copper now to the tune of a therapeutic dose and the rest is out of my hands.  So what do I do about the fish in the display that are all doing so seemingly well? <Am sure you already know the answer to this Jim...> Does combining hyposalinity with 5-nitroimidazoles make sense or would I just be wasting my time and money? <The latter my friend> What do people that keep reef tanks after they quarantine one diseased fish in a system that has other residents?  Thanks Jimmy <... you need to remove all fish life... treat all... leave the main system sans hosts... Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity: hypo does not work  8/16/05 Bob,     I did quarantine the Emperor before for 1 month but still had the problem with the crypto. <Did you treat (prophylactically) with copper?> Is a 55 gallon quarantine with daily water changes for all the fish in the 180g display enough or am going to have problems ? <Can't tell... you just have to try, monitor and see> This is the only tank that I presently have set up for QT purposes ?  ( Fish = Large Emp Angel, Naso Tang, Majestic Angel, Foxface, Purple tang ) <These two angels together... not a good idea...> All fish are still eating and doing very well i.e. no exterior signs of disease.  Do I need another QT ? <Maybe>     Kordon's Rid Ich+ is said not to disturb nitrification ( this is a 11.5%formalin USP grade  4.25% and a zinc free chloride salt of malachite green .038% ) <... we've been over this? Formalin is a biocide... crosslinks peptides... did you not state you had some bio-medical academic background? Look up the MSDS information on this compound> I guess you would not recommend treating the main display with this? <...> Because ? <... posted on WWM: ...> it would not work ? or I would have trouble getting it out of the system after treatment done? You have been a big help separating wheat from chaff re this issue. And I will be patiently persistent Jimmy <Then read... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm Please learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM... Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity Treatment in QT (4/7/04)   Hi again! Thanks so much! <You're welcome. Steve Allen back with you tonight.>   I've started to lower the salinity of the QT .. it now reads 1.018 (from 1.020, .001 lowered per day), temp stays at 82 F (it's hot here due to summer season) .. I've also read in the site's forums that 1.015 would be the tolerable level for the fishes, and other articles say that its 1.017, I'll try to adjust between these levels as long as the fish can tolerate. <I'd go lower n a QT. I've seen recommendations as low as 1.009. Read here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm  Part 2  is in a later issue of the same on-line mag.>   I'm doing daily water changes (10-20% water changes) to the QT and siphoning the bottom. <Good, sucks up the tomites.> I'm also doing FW dips with Methylene Blue, doing it every other day to avoid causing too much stress to the fishes (forgot to mention that the 2 false Percs and Sebae are 1 inch juvenile, hopefully to get a bigger home for my family, and a bigger tank for them to transfer before they get big, as they eat a lot) . There are still some ich specs but slowly improving. <I would stop the dips once your salinity is in range. That plus the elevated temp should cause the last spots to go away.> We don't have Formalin medications here, <Where is here?> and copper test kits  =( but I saw a Malachite Green treatment, and copper (but not sure if its chelated), could I substitute either malachite green or copper in their FW dips treatment? <Copper in the FW dips really won't help. Longer exposure (continuous for 14 days) is preferred. Malachite green is sometimes added to FW dips. At this point, I'd keep the salinity low and the temp up for a few weeks. Then gradually raise back to normal and observe for a few weeks more to make sure the ich does not recur. Total time out of tank around 6 weeks. This may seem long, but if you can sustain it, your odds of not having ich again will be much better.> It's getting better, thanks for all the help ! <Glad to hear. Hope this continues.> Romel

Ick\hyposalinity Hello, <Hi there> My 400 gallon FOWLR has Ick. The regal tang is getting pretty covered and most of the fish have a few spots. I have been reading about treatments and all the FAQs for hours and hours. I'm now a little confused about what to do. I will definitely let my main system go fallow and put my 10 or so fish into 2 x 75 gallon treatment tanks. I will change 25% of the treatment tanks water every day. Now, do I use the 1.010 hyposalinity method or do I use copper? <Could use both, either, neither> If I use copper what should the salinity be? This hobby is no fun at the moment. Kind Regards, Jim <Keep reading... on WWM re Cryptocaryon/iasis... treatments. Bob Fenner> 

Hyposalinity and ich Hello there, < Hi > I searched your website but could not find anything addressing my question. I have a 150 FOWLR tank with Marine Ich and have been keeping salinity down between 1.016 and 1.017 for the last 6 months. I've also been using some cleaner shrimp and would love to finally get some neon gobies to add to the effort.  < Wow cleaner shrimp at that salinity?  If you would have asked I'd say they would die, but I guess I not. >  I also hear that low salinity actually makes it easier for the fish to breathe as well.  < It may.  I'm not sure, but it sounds logical in some regards. >  How long can I keep the salinity at this level?  < Well with fish for quite some time.  With invertebrates I'd say not long.  I would keep it at maybe 1.019 or 1.020. >  I have heard many fish stores keep their salinity low to reduce parasites and save money on salt.  < If it is to fight parasites that is good, if it is to save money that is a store not worth visiting. >  I find these to be two very attractive reasons for myself as well. Are there any long term negative effects on Fish at this level?  < Yes, but there may be some long term benefits as well.  I think that is too low, and I'd probably keep it a bit higher just to be safe. >  Are some species of fish more susceptible to low salinity issues than others?  < Certainly.  Some fish are very tolerant (even brackish in nature) and others can't take the change. >  Should I raise the salinity?  Why? Would I risk an increase in my Ich?  < Yes probably so.  But I think using garlic is a good idea, or just trying to improve the overall health of the tank.  That is a better treatment for ich than hyposalinity. > Thank you for your help in this question.  < Good luck. > Brendgol Majewski <  Blundell  >

Hyposalinity & Ich Questions Hey again, How are you guys and girls today? <<Marina here, doing very well sporting a new "do".>> Well I don't think you remember so I'll tell you my problem again. <<Well, I forget names anyway, so that's a good idea.>> I had a bad case of ich on my 2 false Perculas and 1 royal Gramma. You suggested I move them to QT and I did so. Well I have lowered the salinity in the QT to 1.016 and raised the temperature to 86 degrees in both tanks. <<1.016 isn't low enough to even make a dent as far as C. irritans is concerned. You'll need to accurately get that level to at LEAST 1.010, and can - maybe should - go down to 1.007 for best efficacy. Know also that raising the temperature does a few things *besides* speeding up the lifecycle of this protozoan parasite. It increases the fishes' metabolism, lowers the O2 saturation, too.>> I was wondering how long should I let my main tank run fallow for? <<6 weeks MINIMUM! Most advise 6-8 weeks, I think 8 are much better. And that's the fallowing bit. To be clear on the q/t - it's got to be a minimum of 30 days DISEASE FREE. Too many folks misinterpret the purpose of q/t, so, here it is for however long the net exists.>> Also, when you meant hyposalinity how low does that mean? I read somewhere on this site that it is not effective until below 1.009. If this is true should I lower the Qt salinity to about that? <<Read above, and search for articles on using hyposalinity by Terry Bartelme (I sure do hope I got that spelling right) and Steven Pro. Search Advanced Aquarist (to be found on reefs.org), as WELL AS searching our site on marine parasitic diseases, etc. For treating this marine disease, hyposaline means below ( "<" less than) 1.010.>> Thank you for your help and a good day to you. <<You're welcome, and when the KIDS notice I got my hair cut is when it'll be even better.. no, wait, when my sourdough starter shows that doubling in volume is when it'll be even better.. no, wait, when my OVEN is fixed..! Best of luck, mate. Marina>>

Hyposalinity Technique WOW ! ultra speedy response. I'm really amazed with the very supportive & informative consultation from WWM crew. <We try our best!> Last few questions regarding Hyposalinity methods (s.g reduce to 1.009), will it kill following : 1. fishes - 1 Huma Huma trigger, 1 shrimp goby, 2 green Chromis, 1 Sailfin, 1 yellow mimic tang, 1 maroon crown, 1 royal Dottyback. <The fish should be okay if the decrease is done carefully> 2. Hermit Crab <I'd remove> 3. Feather Caulerpa <Definitely remove!> 4.The good bacteria colony (aerobic & anaerobic) in live rock and sand bed. <Probably not> My current s.g is 1.021, should I reduce it to 1.009 ? Or just 1.015 will do? <If I were to use the hyposalinity method (and I wouldn't!), I would not go below 1.015, myself> To reduce from 1.021 to 1.009, how many days shall I take in order not to 'shock' my fishes? <I'd lower it (to 1.015, as we discussed above) over at least 3 or 4 days> Will 2 weeks of hyposalinity treatment sufficient? <Hard to say. Could take longer- maybe a month> Shall I increase the temperature to 90F to enhance the process ? <Nope- I'd keep it around 80 degrees F or so> p/s : I know u don't like hyposalinity method, <Gee- what gave that away! LOL> but I really wish to hear your opinion so that at least I don't violate too much from the normal practice of hyposalinity. <I think that the course that we discussed is fine. I guess that I may sound a bit closed-minded about this technique. Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying that this practice won't work. It just hasn't worked for me (or anyone that I know, for that matter), but many successful hobbyists report that this approach has worked well for them. There is a valid theory behind it. It's just that I cannot (and will not) ethically recommend a course of treatment that I have personally found to be ineffective. Do try it, and it may work well for you-in which case, I encourage you to use this as your default treatment technique in the future. Take careful notes and share with others. Again, don't forget to give it a suitable length of time to get a good cure.> Thanks. Best regards, PJ <My pleasure, PJ! Good luck! Do let me know how things work out for you! Regards, Scott F>

Hyposalinity Vs. Medication In The Battle Against Ich Thanks for your advice, I think I would better try the Seachem ParaGuard first rather than taking the risk on Hyposalinity treatment. Btw, can you pls help answer the earlier questions (pls scroll down) posted by me ? Thanks so much. Best Rgds, PJ <Hi PJ- sorry that I missed the rest of your questions the first time.. Ich is a highly contagious disease, and can affect fishes in many different types of setups and at many different stocking levels. The key to control it is timely intervention and an understanding of the life cycle of the causative protozoan, Cryptocaryon irritans. I know you expressed a bit of concern regarding the "two front" ich treatment technique that I advocate in my article, however, I believe that this is one of the most effective techniques that you can utilize, because it addresses the life cycle of the protozoan. With this approach, you are "treating" the tank as well as the fishes. The most important part of the treatment, besides rapid intervention, is to let the display tank remain "fallow", without fishes, for an extended period of time. This is crucial, because once Cryptocaryon is in your tain, it's IN your tank! By denying this protozoan it's hosts (your fishes!), you are interrupting its life cycle, which will result in a significant demise in it's population. Treating your fishes in a separate tank enables you to have greater control over the process, and to assure that medication is being maintained at proper therapeutic levels throughout the treatment period. ParaGuard is a fine medication, but-like any treatment, it should be used in a separate tank. Medicating the main system is problematic, IMO, for a variety of reasons. I know that it's not fun to disassemble the rockwork, but I think that the long-term benefit of this process outweighs the temporary annoyance! It's hard to say how long a fish can live while infected with this disease. If it gets into the gills, it is possible for it to be fatal in a relatively short time (days, perhaps); or the animal could be rendered susceptible to an assortment of secondary infections which could do it in. Take action now, while treatment is simple. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Back To Normal (Returning Fish To Normal Specific Gravity) Hi all, <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> I was wondering if I needed to slowly raise the salinity ~5ppt a day from 14ppt back to 35ppt to return fish back to my main system after a month in hyposaline conditions. Or, can I safely do a drip acclimation that spans that range in salinity? It seems that water changes with NSW conditions would be safer but the drip would be easier, please advise. Thanks, Ryan   <I'd be more comfortable with the gradual increase to 35ppt. The drip method can work, but it might be a better idea to do it the slow way...HTH! Regards, Scott F.>

Hindsight is 20/20 I just wanted to say, your advice saved my clown!  He is alive and  well today after I gave him the 15 minute bath (friends thought I was  nuts!)  In addition, used the same technique for my yellow Hawaiian tang  that had black spot disease (parasites).  Although he could only tolerate  it for 3 minutes, it did the trick! Thanks Very Much! Nadine <Thank you for this mention of what can be "spastic" dipping behavior. Bob Fenner>

A Little Less Salty, Please (Hyposalinity Treatment) What is the highest temperature and the lowest salinity I can go that cleaner and peppermint shrimp can exist in? I have had Ick for two weeks and I want to try the cleaner shrimps and a Gobiosoma goby. Thanks for the info. Cheryl <Well, Cheryl, I'd be hesitant to recommend a SG less than 1.018 for shrimp, although I suppose that it may indeed be possible to adapt them to a lower specific gravity over a very long period of time. The most common hyposalinity treatment uses a specific gravity of 1.015, although there is no one "perfect" number that I am aware of. Proceed with caution, and monitor water conditions carefully. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Hyposalinity Therapy And Inverts... Hello to all at WWM: I have what I hope to be a relatively quick question. I just introduced a  flame angel in my 110 gal system and guess what.....he has Ick. This is after 2 week QT and eating beautifully. <Bummer. I don't know if it would have made a difference in this case, but I usually recommend a 3-4 week quarantine period, just to give any potential diseases a little longer to manifest themselves...> Here lies my problem...I would like to use the hyposalinity therapy which I have found very effective in the past, but this time I have brittle stars involved. Right now I have two brittle stars in the tank that are fairly large, body about the size of a quarter and legs around 6 in. My problem is I am having a problem trying to get them out with all the rock, etc. I know they can't handle an SG of 1.010. At this point the angel only has a few spots (it's been about a week). I have lowered the SG to 1.016 and have been feeding foods soaked in garlic and vitamins. <Unproven, but potentially a viable treatment...> The other fish in the tank show no signs of infection......but you know Ick! I was wondering if I keep the SG at this level will the brittle stars be able to handle it for awhile? <It would be  a risky proposition, in my opinion...> I lowered the SG primarily to ease the osmotic pressure for the fish and just in case I can lower it quicker from 1.016 to 1.010 than from its original level of 1.022. From what I have read this approach may be effective..... <It has proven effective in many instances. However, I have not favored this technique, myself. I have seen it to be rather hit or miss...I prefer more aggressive treatment courses in a separate aquarium, for the greater degree of control that is afforded...Not he best way, but that's what has worked best for me...> I guess I'll know as the life cycle of the ich has a chance to proceed. If I couldn't catch the brittle stars, I was thinking of using a product from Chem-Marin's Stop Parasites. Have you heard or used this product? <I have heard of the product, and I have seen it marketed as "reef safe". I am always a bit cautious about products described in this manner. Think about it: How can a cure target just the ciliated protozoan that causes ich, without causing damage to physiologically analogous benign animals that reside in a reef system? Your guess is as good as mine. I won't bad mouth a product that I have not used...I just recommend keeping a skeptical eye with this, or any product. Try the product if you must- but I'd use it-or any treatment product- in a separate treatment aquarium. It seems to be effective without using chemicals. <Let us know if it works for you.>    Thanks for your most valuable input, Gene <A pleasure, Gene. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Porcupine puffer with ich (08/28/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have been reading your puffer FAQs.. but yet to find any help for my problem. I have an 80 gallon tank w/a porcupine puffer fish, a lionfish, a trigger fish and a yellow tang (the latter have been moved to a non-infected tank).  my puffer has had ich for about two weeks now...other than the obvious visible symptoms, and heavy breathing and sometimes twitch- like movements he is eating and functioning fine. <So you have just the puffer in the 80 gallon tank? I would put him in his own hospital tank and let the display go fallow for at least a month.> After calling my local fish store as advised I turned up the heat to around 82 degrees, kept the lights off and have done a few water changes.  The levels test fine.  My boyfriend has gone several dips that while clearing the fish up a bit...still has not gotten rid of the problem. We were advised not to do anymore for fear of stressing them out even more. <Dips alone will not get rid of ich if you're putting the fish back into an infested system.> We treated the tank with Marisol (I believe that was the name) for a week daily, and it seemed to have no helpful effect.  The lionfish has gotten worse w/one clouded eye now, and the puffer's white patches are getting more dense in some areas (make sense)??? <Cloudy eyes are usually a symptom of poor water quality. You might want to check your test kits.> We are trying to stabilize a hospital tank to put them in...but it probably won't be ready for a month. <Good grief, don't bother trying to cycle a hospital tank right now. Get the infected fish in there ASAP. Then you'll do daily water changes to keep the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates under control and bring the specific gravity down to 1.010. And keep the tank temp up.> I really don't want my fish to die...please please please email me back with any suggestions...I will appreciate it indefinitely!!!  Thanks again,  Bonnie <Do check out the ich articles and FAQs on the WetWebMedia site, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm. --Ananda>

Burrfish with Ich (08/11/03) Hello WWM crew!! <Hello! Ananda here tonight...> I recently bought a Burrfish and while it was in my QT tank it developed Marine ich.  Little white cysts on his fins. <Yep, that's ich.> On two separate occasions I performed freshwater dips with 8.2 ph water for 3 minutes, it was all the little guy could handle.  I then transferred him into a new QT tank with Meth-blue.  I changed 5% of the water ever other day and re-treated.  I also lowered the salinity to 1.017.   <I would go even lower -- try about 1.010-1.012.> He seemed to come around after the 2nd day, but all of a sudden it was all downhill.  It has been one week, instead of getting better he seems to be getting worse.  Please advise.  He has now developed white cysts all over his body in the QT tank. <I would dip him, for as long as he can handle it, every day. You can use Methylene blue in the dip to give him more oxygen. And be careful not to let any ich cysts back into the hospital tank. You can boost the tank temp to at least 82 to shorten the lifespan of the ich cysts. You'll want to do *daily* water changes, vacuuming up the ich cysts from the bottom of the tank.> He is still eating fine, but looks thin, I also think he has a internal worm. Please help.  DW   <Sounds like it's time to start feeding him Metronidazole-laced food if he'll eat it. If you get the Seachem Metronidazole powder, the container has directions for adding it to food. It can also be used in the tank and may help with the ich. The Metronidazole is hard to overdose, so I'd do both. (Hex-a-Mit is the Aquatronics brand of Metronidazole.) In addition to the Metronidazole, you could use garlic oil in his food. I use the little gel caps, poke a hole in them with a pin, and squeeze the stuff onto freeze-dried krill. The freeze-dried foods absorb the garlic oil better than frozen foods. Hopefully this will help!  --Ananda>

Hyposalinity And Ich Hi <Hello, Scott F. with you!> I have 2 quick questions if you please: 1. If I want to do a hyposalinity treatment ( for ich ) in my FOWLR tank what is the max temperature and minimum SPG I can use? <I wouldn't go below 1.010-1.012, and I'd keep the temperature no higher than 82 degrees F. Acclimate the animals carefully, and don't do this in a tank with inverts and coral. Remove them, or do this in a separate tank> 2. How long should I keep the tank at these parameters for effective treatment? <I'd leave conditions that way for at least 3-4 weeks...Do look at you other treatment options as well, before starting this process.. It can work, but may not be as effective as some other techniques (like letting the display tank run fallow, while treating the fishes with an effective medication. Lots of different schools of thought on this...Consider them all! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: Q-Tank/Ich Treatment Mr. Fenner, One serious question. What is the lowest one can bring the salt level, where Ich will die and fish would be safe?  <Depends on species and their current health... but 1.010 is the typically given figure... not lowered all at once, but about a thousandth per day... keep your eye on at least ammonia, pH shifts... plenty of aeration, observation...> Planning to treat Ich with garlic. Thanks <Please read through the Marine Parasitic Disease sections on our site starting with: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm There are other approaches I would use first with an existing infestation. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich Treatment Forgot one last thing. How low of a Spg level would be safe for cleaner shrimps? <Not as much or as fast as with fishes. Maybe 1.021 and this very slowly adjusted... Need to either leave them in near seawater Spg or move them to same in another system while treating your fishes with hyposalinity. Bob Fenner>

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