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FAQs on Avoiding, Treating Parasitic Disease with Hyposalinity 3

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: Hyposalinity Treatments 1, Hyposalinity Treatments 2, Hyposalinity & Ich, & Hypo Methods, Protocols... 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,

Cryptocaryon and Chloroquine Phosphate     5/9/17
Hello from Romania,
<Howdy from California Andrei>
I hope you are all well. And thank you again for your valuable help you provide for all of us.
<Thank you and welcome>
About my current problem : because of a terrible accident with my calcium reactor in September I have lost everything in the tank so I took that opportunity to restart from scratch in my 350 gallons system consisting of DT, and one refugium and 4 sumps filled with live rock in the basement .
So I dried and washed all the rock, changed the sand in the refugium, etc.
When everything was ready, I decided to start the system in the following way :
not having any critters at all, I placed all the system in hyposalinity (SG at 1.008 - 1.009 ) with the plan to fully stock with fishes, and then keep it like that for other 3 weeks and then get the SG at sea levels and begin to stock with corals and invertebrates. I also have at hand enough Chloroquine Phosphate to treat all the system if necessary. ( you have no idea hw hard is the find CP here) . So I begun to put fishes in : Acanthurus Leucosternon, Acanthurus Achilles, Acanthurus Sohal, Paracanthurus Hepatus, Zebrasoma Xanthurum, Zebrasoma Flavescens x2 , Centropyge Bicolor, Centropyge Loriculus x2 , Centropyge bispinosus, Odonus Niger, Pomacanthus Imperator, Pomacanthus Xanthometopon and some wrasses, gobies etc. For a period of weeks while I added fishes, all the Acanthurus were spotless.
Problem : I begin to lose some fishes ( achilles, one of the flavescens, the loriculus ) apparently the ones that were not eating active enough or were shy, or were the target of aggression. But I am not so sure anymore.
<Oh Andrei! How I wish you had added a handful of hardy Damsels to first check the viability of your system. It may be that the issue/s here are non-pathogenic>
The fishes that died didn't had any sigh of the disease, but the last week I have seen some white spots on the Hepatus and some on the Leucosternon, even though the latter eats voraciously ( just like the Sohal or Xanthurum or Imperator). I am planning to add some more fishes that are on the way :
Pygoplites Diacanthus, Zanclus Cornutus and Chelmon Rostratus. ( I know they sound pretentious, but before the disaster I have kept all these fishes for years and in good conditions ) So, what do you think I should do : stay at this low SG, add all the fishes and stick with the plan, considering that the spots I see are introduced with the last fishes and when they will reach the right moment in their life cycle they will day and the hypo works?
<Hyposalinity rarely (never) brings about permanent Cryptocaryon eradication>
Is the low SG that is causing fishes loss, or maybe the crypt that seems to be resistant to the low SG?
<Likely low SG has something to do w/ overall stress; and this is the root "cause" here>
And if the crypt is resistant, is there any other reason I should keep low SG? Or use the CP, turn off the lights and
If I use the CP should I do it at this SG or wait until I get at higher SG?
Should I use the CP now or after the other fishes arrive ( in about a week ).
<I'd NOT add more livestock for now. I would NOT pour the CP into the system, but administer it to the fishes via foods... as gone over in Noga (I and II) and on WWM>
I know that these are many questions, but it was the best way to describe my indecision, and maybe some others will benefit from the clarification of these problems. Also, the way I planned to start this tank, until now it seemed for me the perfect and safest way in the right conditions, but I am not so sure anymore, maybe you help me clear this out.
Thank you very much again,
Andrei Sbarcea/Romania
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity      7/26/15
Hello. Tim here.
I have a small porcupine in quarantine at the moment as when I purchased him I noticed white spots on his fins and eyes after a week or so.
<Mmm; there are folks who think that many fishes and systems (if not all) have "latent" (reserve) protozoan infestations. Best to be patient; work on improving environment, immune response of hosts; rather than over-react>
I have been using hyposalinity as I don't like using copper on puffers.
<Hypo rarely results in cure... please READ on WWM re>
It's been three weeks now and there is no more sign of Ich and he has been eating the whole time. I will keep him in the low salinity for a few more weeks.
<Weakening immunity>
So I'm writing here as often on this site I see responses saying that hypo does not work but I have not been able to find any explanation to this.
<Explanations in general follow the fact the fishes, some groups like Tetraodontiforms, incl. puffers, have thick, slimy external make up... Some Protozoans deeply embedded.... the lowered salinity resulting in even more mucin production. Use these terms in our search engine (on every page)
I am not disagreeing but could you please explain why you think hypo does not work.
<Have no time to re-key... and am out of the country (Curacao) where the Net is come/go and diving is fab.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment     12/6/12
Recently, I had email exchanges with you regarding Ich in my main tank, and fear for my porcupine puffer's survival.
<I recall>
Since, I decided to try a main tank hyposalinity treatment (as employed with auto top-off and refractometer measurement). Having seen this described on WWM, and reading on the 'net numerous accounts of success with this method for FOWLR tanks such as mine, I took the plunge.
From an Ich (or other unknown pathogen?) standpoint, it seemed to have
very quick results when the I reached a 1.009 SG. The puffer stopped its slime coat shedding, all heavy breathing and spotting disappeared, and it seemed to return to its normal health and eating - with rapid speed. It almost literally came back from the dead. Tankmate flashing stopped as well. And, health/behaviorally no fish seemed to notice the change (aside from temporary low feeding and activity after each adjustment). The algae has died off and I had to start wet skimming, otherwise all has seemed fairly normal. I took measurements, and noticed no measurable impact on the biological filter.
I then decided to complete my stocking
<?! The whatever it was/is is likely still present...>

 list as quick as possible, to allow all final planned specimens the opportunity to run through the same hyposalinity treatment period (i.e., which I plan to stop at 8 weeks).
I have seen some cycling since adding the new specimens. I started to measure Ammonia and was very surprised. Then it occurred to me that this was no anomaly for having added about 30" of heavy-eating predators (plus eel) to my 200G system. After my first measure of Ammonia (.25ppm), I did a full dose of Dr. Tim's and double dose of Topfin Bacterial Supplement.
<Mmm, at low and varying specific gravity... nitrification can be tricky>
I have seen Nitrite rise to .25ppm as well, and the Ammonia has remained at that level. Nitrates have gone up quite a bit, to 40ppm (I am about to activate a DIY upflow algae scrubber, scaled to my tank size, for this messy crew).
Otherwise, I neglected to watch the PH closely for a few days and subject my fish to a low PH. My clue that something was amiss was the puffer's skin coloration being very light. It seemed to have return to normal.
Now, however, I am very worried again about the puffer. It has not moved much over the last few days, and today there was a dramatic loss of feeding-time vigor. I had to drop a small piece of shrimp right next to his nose to get him to nibble a little of it, whereas typically he zooms like a Hummer across the tank for a whole shrimp (running over all in path). My suspicion is that the Ammonia is causing this. I don't see any "gasping for air" at the surface or signs of ammonia poisoning for anyone, but I can't imagine what else could be causing this. No outward signs whatsoever of pathogens or harassment from tankmates (in fact, he seems to be the only one who has avoided the turf war / battle wounds that are now calming down in the neighborhood).
My question is - should I start aggressive water changes or dose with Seachem Prime (or both in succession)?
<Such water conditioners are only "spot" treatments
... only useful for now to a very short period of time. The/a answer would be/might be, useful for troubles that need to be addressed immediately, NOT useful for ongoing problems (which you have here, having bumped off the nitrifiers w/ the lowered spg)>
 I have tried to withhold this to allow the cycling to complete naturally, and thought the fish could fare this slight Ammonia level temporarily.
<Mmm, debilitating>

However, now I think I need to act in some fashion for the puffer.
Thoughts? It also occurred to me that the Ammonia could be mis-stated by the API saltwater test given the hyposalinity level of my tank?
<Not likely; no>
Also, my tank water stinks. Not "fill the house or room" stink, but when I'm near it. I figured this to be the algae die off and didn't take much concern - should I?
<Yes; possibly a source of trouble as well>

FYI, other tank mates: Bluelined Rabbitfish, Bluehead Wrasse, Engineer Goby, Stocky/Chinese Hawkfish, Volitans Lion, Harlequin Tusk, Maroon Clown, Tesselata Eel.
Thanks! Dave
<I'd be ready to steadily raise the density of the water here... Bob Fenner>
Re: Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment     12/6/12

Bob, thank you for the quick reply and guidance.
<I sense/d the need to do so>
It seems that hyposalinity treatment accounts generally confirmed that bacterial filters would not be harmed, including some of the experiments or examples mentioned in the WWM OST article and by other WWM contributors.
<My opinion and experience has been otherwise. You will note that most makers of "Nitrifying bacterial products" offer a freshwater and marine package>
 I suspected the cycling was seeing was due to adding other fish.
<Mmm, doubtful that this alone is at work here>
 From your response, it seems I misunderstood what is really going on here with nitrification impact. Do you think adding more bacterially seeded media or live rock may have a positive impact?
<In time, yes...>
Perhaps that is a better strategy than emergency water changes or spot treatments?
<It is indeed>
As for the stocking, I had read (similarly from the above sources) that near-pathogen free tanks were achieved after running sustained hyposalinity (including some experimental systems where months to years were attempted).
<Some people believe so. There is a friend who is co-author of a fish disease book who has a service co. that keeps his tanks (FO) at 1.010 spg and a titer of free cupric ion continuously; and reports no pathogenic disease issues for years>
It seemed I was simultaneously achieving both disease treatment and quarantine/preventive hyposalinity treatment by adding all fish - allowing eradication of existing pathogen to continue while also eliminating any likelihood that new pathogens could come from new fish.
<I would not do this... IF there's problems in a system, better by far to not potentially add to them. BobF>
Re: Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment    12/7/12

Bob, thank you kindly. I have found a trove of WWM FAQs that address hyposalinity failure, and have spent the last several hours reading.
Somehow, I never found that before. Bang head against wall, repeat 600 times.
<Ahh; I have tried to organize, place related materials near each other in the indices, placed links on the individual articles and FAQs pages as "Related" at top>
For the multitude of successful accounts, my early assessment is that failure could be a more likely outcome in my tank. It seems that failure of nitrifying bacteria is a common thread in the FAQ topic on hypo failure.
I will put all bacterial media I have in the system, neutralize the ammonia with Prime for 24 hours (to allow time for my water reservoir to build), then do a water change. Then, I will slowly adjust the salinity back to normal and continue on this path (gradual on density change but as rapid as possible on water changes). During this time I will see if the nitrification begins recovery, as it seems some report that the bacteria impact seems temporary at adjustment.
Nauseating deja vu.
Thanks, Dave
<Be of good cheer Dave. You're doing what you can. BobF>
Re: Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment    12/7/12

Bob, another question on adding additional bacterial media. Is this likely to compound the ammonia issue in the near term? IE, will more bacterial death due to hyposalinity shock cause a rise in ammonia?
<Mmm, no; or at least not much. There is very little protein/amino acid/ammonia biomass in such prep.s>
 Sorry for the quick/compounded questioning, I'm getting nervous...
<No worries. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment    12/7/12

Bob, is it possible that certain life forms in the rock are to blame?
<Blame? As in be a source of nitrogenous compounds? Yes>
 Such as, encrusted sponges that don't survive a hypo plunge that are found in some but not all systems...thereby causing such adverse impact to the system that the biological filtration can't keep up...?
<Oh yes... you didn't... have... these... live rock... in place when/where you dropped the spg I hope/trust>

The stink (getting worse) reminds me of what I smelled on a few pieces of my live rock, when I first got them (straight from Fiji) and cured them.
Based on research at that time, I suspected the smell was from sponge death. Now I'm recalling that stink, and wonder if this could explain a common culprit in hyposalinity display tank failure?
<? LR should not be subject to such changes in spec. gravity>
Well...doesn't change my path of heavy water changes and diligent observation...but thought I'd check.
Also, I read a recommendation last night that it is good practice to dose with Prime when Ammonia is present, before a water change is performed.
This will reduce the Ammonia to a less toxic form before the new water is added.
<Only temporarily>
Since new water will likely cause an upward pH adjustment, toxifying the Ammonia that is left in the system, Prime may help reduce this impact.
Sound or bunk?
<... I wouldn't rely on such de-aminators in such circumstances. B>
Re: Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment    12/9/12

Bob, thanks for the update. I did have my live rock in place, which I see is a common denominator with the hypo failures reported at WWM FAQ.
<Ugh! Can be a REAL mess Dave... massive die-off of most all life in, on the rock... Crustaceans, Molluscs, Worms, Ascidians, Sponges... all>
It is interesting that many have reported no observed ill impact in display tank hyposalinity (with live rock in place in FOWLR setting only), which is what encouraged me to give it a go with my FOWLR (before realizing I have a major issue).
Well, I will continue the observations and return to normal...I did a 40% water change, with very small upward adjustment as I didn't want to add any more stress to the tank crew. Stench is now almost unnoticeable, water much clearer, and all seem much happier. Good to see...water changes to continue...and now, to plan on how to remove the Tesselata. Eel bites and frantic behavior for many, this specimen is a terror....fortunately only about 12-15"...
<Keep moving forward... B>
Re: Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment      12/12/12

Hi Bob, quick update... I have continued vigorous water changes, except none for the last 3 days. Now I see no ammonia and continued .25ppm nitrite measuring. Until now I have continued to dose Prime about every 24-48 hours, and thought perhaps I would discontinue this after next water change, to allow nitrification cycle more opportunity to "catch up" and naturally convert the nitrite. Otherwise I see continued high nitrates (30-40ppm), manage the pH as it hovers low, and have maintained about 1.009 SG. Fish all seem to be doing very well now, puffer still seems subdued but feeds very vigorously (perhaps this is his new personality in the presence of newer tankmates?). All are feeding and active - especially now that I have removed the eel. Hopefully I have averted the tank failure experience that seems common with display tank hyposalinity attempts, but watch with continued diligence and with full water change recharge ready.
<Only time can/will tell>
 No spots, although I have see a strange white clump on the maroon clownfish's fin
(very large in comparison to an Ich spot), that now seems to be trailing off. Any idea what this could be?
<Body mucus from an injury of sorts likely>
THANKS for your support/advice...Dave
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Hyposalinity main tank - preventive/therapeutic Ich treatment    12/17/12

Bob, I have continued the hyposalinity treatment and fish seem to be exhibiting normal behavior and feeding. However, I have observed a clump appear on the porcupine puffer's eye. Please see attached pictures (multiple views to hopefully demonstrate this). Initially I suspected physical trauma as there was more cloudiness and less of a raised "peak", however now I suspect a fluke/worm? Could this explain the maroon clown's fin clump (which started as white clump, then began trailing a "tail", now is diminished but still there with "tail")? Picture of this as well - at the front center of the pectoral fin (sorry for other suspended particulate and spots - clown is very active in the sand when it is not hidden).
<Not likely these disparately related fishes harbor the same Trematode/s>
I also recalled that the puffer's spots before hyposalinity (which almost killed it...slime coat/heavy breathing), also had trailing "tails" on some spots.
Is it possibly an external fluke? At 1.009-1.010 salinity, I find this hard to believe? Perhaps a slight drop is warranted, to see if this imparts any visible change?
<Not likely, but possible>
Otherwise, my system health seems to be reasonable. Water params now seem stable (although nitrates run high), water seems generally cloudy (could this be calcium precipitate from buffering agent used to keep pH higher?),
odor is gone, but nuisance algae has taken hold (no surprise).
With gratitude...Dave
<When you raise the spg back, we'll see. B>


Ich treatment... Crypt., hypo...     11/29/12
 I am preparing to move my fish from my display tank to my quarantine tank to treat them for Ich. I have five fish: two zebra barred dart fish,
<Mmm, occur in social groups in the wild>
one yellow patched fairy wrasse, one pearly scaled butterfly and a powder blue tang.
<Umm, re this last... won't likely be cured in a quarantine (small volume) setting>

 I will be trying the method of low salinity to treat them.
<... won't work. See WWM re>

All water parameters will match the display tank except for the salinity.
But I have a few questions: Presently the salinity is 1.023 at a temp of 79 degrees in the display tank. What salinity should I shoot for in the quarantine tank?
 When I move the fish, should they go thru an acclimation process similar to when they 1st arrived?
<Nope; too late for this. I would do a pH-adjusted freshwater bath, with formalin. See WWM... >
And I plan on letting the main tank go fallow for six to eight weeks, but can I start raising the salinity in the quarantine tank 10 to 14 days after the signs of Ich disappear?
<... see my first and last comment>
 Thanks for the help.
<Learn to/use the search tool, read on WWM before writing us. 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>

Re: Ocellaris Clownfish     8/9/12
I read online to do hyposalinity for Ich for clowns?
<? Not on WWM>
You're saying copper should have been done? It was like this when I saw him at the pet store, just has gotten more/longer. I've started slowly raising the salinity, to be normal by the 8 week mark. Like instructed. You didn't answer my question, what's the issue with him?
<Don't write... Read. B>

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