Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Paravortex, Black Spot, Black "Ich", Turbellarian Worm Disease, Cures, Accounts

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Worms, Roundworms

Related FAQs on Blackspot Disease: Black Spot Disease 1, Black Spot Disease 2, Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Products/Manufacturers... & Fish Worm Diseases 1, Marine Worm Parasites 2Marine Worm Parasites 3, & FAQs on Marine Worm Parasites: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... Flukes/Trematodes, Tapeworms/Cestodes, Leeches/Hirudineans, "Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites... & Yellow Tang Disease, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, RoundwormsYellow Tangs, Tang Health/Disease

Prevention/Cure: Generally just excluding this external pest with pH-adjusted FW dips... or moving infested fishes (and others) to new settings using such a bath in-between... allowing the main/display system to go fallow (sans fish hosts) for a month or more... Extreme cases... anthelminthics...

Ich/black ich  8/20/09
I added a yellow tang to my 125 mixed reef without qt. Rookie mistake, because he brought friends with him- ich and black ich.
<No fun>
So I'm going fallow for three months to allow the ich to die off. During that time will the black ich parasite die as well or can it live in the tank for that long without a host?
<Very unlikely to survive this long sans fish hosts. Bob Fenner>

I thought fish ate worms not vice-versa! Paravortex treatment   05/23/09
Dear WWM crew,
I have a question concerning Paravortex. I have positively identified this worm in my tank. Nitrates are at 0, nitrites are at 0, ammonia is at 0. Temp is 76, salinity is 1.023?
<Mmm, a bit low>
I have an orange shoulder, Naso, and chocolate tang all infected. My system is 200 gallons, with around 200 pounds of rock. My question is that I would like to eradicate these worms without removing the fish. The system is
FOWLR, but I have 2 eels, a zebra, and snowflake in it. I also have 1 cleaner shrimp. Based on research I read on your site, Mr. Fenner's response to one email said that cleaner shrimps would help.
<Maybe "could" would be a better choice of word>
I also have a Gobiosoma. These were both in the tank when the worms appeared however, which has me wondering whether it is effective or not, or maybe I need more shrimp for this size tank?
<Mmmm... not for this issue>
I find that my cleaner shrimp stays with the eels most of the time.
<A safe place to camp out eh?>
What would be the best route in your opinion, quarantine is not an option, because I want to fully eradicate this beast, as it is my second battle, the previous was concluded with me using hyposalinity and basically destroying my filtration in the display. Now it seems the hypo did not work. I would like to do this naturally, is there a way?
<There are... effective, relatively safe anthelminthics... My first choice here is Levamisole... second, Prazi(quantel)... Please see WWM, elsewhere on the Net, read the circulars/enclosures/labels re use... Bob Fenner>

Kill them all? WWM Crew - I'm starting to collect a library of strange advice from my LFS. I bought a very nice juvenile Yellow Tang from them, which I did not inspect that well before hand. A few days later it has black-ich (Turbinella worms?) and is in a quarantine tank ready to start the best treatment I can (copper? Formalin? Daily FW dips?) <I'd recommend Formalin and FW dips... see more here (follow FAQ links at top of page too: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > When I told the LFS about this, the senior reef guy pulled me aside and whispered, "Take it out and kill it. I'm the only one here that will tell you this. Don't put any more tangs in your tank for 6 months." <he is mistaken... Black Spot on tangs is very curable... and limited in infectious rates> Of course I'm not going to do this, I'll either cure the fish in the QT or let the worms kill it. It's strange getting this kind of advice, since it makes no sense from a customer-oriented business standpoint, from an animal husbandry standpoint, and from the have-patience-and-never-give-up-attitude standpoint that is necessary for successful reef/combo tanks. <agreed> Plus, searching the literature leads me to believe that black-ich (black-spot) is not that hard to cure anyways .... ? <quite correct> I've read this page : http://wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm and it seems to confirm that it is not _that_ bad. I'm not sure there's a question here, unless you have any ideas about a.) the best treatment to start it on, and b.) why would I get this kind of advice? Thanks, SLC <I do believe you will be fine with the treatments commonly prescribed for the former on the pages you have seen/researched... as to the latter question, simple misinformation that the clerk carries on and alas... has not challenged himself to reconsider/look higher. Best regards, Anthony>

Clown black spots... Paravortex?  10/7/06 Hi everyone, <Alan> I have had a pair of ocellaris clowns now for about 4 years, they have had black spots on and off over this period.  I never really worried about it since most people say it is common. <Yes>   Lately though I got curious about it since it didn't seem to come and go with their ever changing choice of "hosts" in the tank.  I had read one account that said this was caused by a kind of bruising as they adjusted to their new homes. <Mmmm> In the last few weeks it was getting pretty heavy on them and I even saw a few other parasites on them.  Since I hadn't added anything to the tank in over a year, and QT everything that did go in I found it strange.  Thought maybe the two were connected somehow.  Now there were no spots on the white bars only on the orange portions of their bodies.  But to deal with the white spots they were taken out and are now in a 10 gal tank.  On the way in they got a FW dip for about 10-12 min.  Within a min or two all of the black spots were gone. <Interesting...> I have seen this before only at work in treating yellow tangs with the black spots caused by a parasitic flatworm. <Yes, these two might have been Paravortex> It was fast just like happens to them.  But everything I read says clowns are not likely hosts for this parasite, and neither the two spot hogfish (B bimaculatus), or the orchid Dottyback (P fridmani) were affected, <Mmm, actually... see Noga, Ed... Fish Diseases, Diagnosis and Treatment... some seven families, 135 species of fishes can/do serve as hosts> and this has been going on for years in their company.  Well I went to work, and we have a large pair of ocellaris, who also have had black spots for as long as I can remember, dipped them and they were gone in minutes.  My fish came from a different store about 100 miles away from the one I work at since I moved.  Seemed strange to me that maybe this isn't as harmless as is thought, and I wish I had more clowns to try it on.  I also wish there was some way to find out how long clowns with spots live compared to ones without. <This Turbellarian doesn't seem to be "too debilitating" as a "space parasite"... Or, imagine, there are many "levels" or teleologically "stages" to becoming a "real" parasite, and this flatworm is "just a beginner"...> But there is a question, how long should I let the tank go without fish how to starve out the parasites? <At least a few weeks... likely a month or more if the system is/was "well-established"... as I suspect that these "semi" parasites can live by other means...> And if it is a flatworm of some kind would something like flatworm exit do anything? <Most of these "remedies" are not... They're dismal fakery...> Or maybe Prazi? <Maybe> I have used that with good results on tangs that didn't seem bad enough to warrant a FW dip.  Anyways I am gonna be late for class, I apologize if I made a few grammatical errors in my rush. AJ <Mmm, au contraire. Thank you for this report. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich Hello there, <Howdy> I know you are very busy so I will get to the point.  <Good> We have had our yellow tang about 3 weeks, eating well, enjoy his life. Today I noticed that he has black spot that seem to protrude. Almost as if you touched him you could feel the bumps. <You have sensitive touch!> I tried to find that description in your numerous responses but did not. And a little fraying on his lower fin. My water levels are all in check. Do have a problem with brownish/red algae that I am trying to control. Can you point me in the right direction.  <Yes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the Related Disease FAQs linked above...> His tankmates include 1 blue damsel, 1 Chromis, live rock, 2 crabs, 2 peppermint shrimp and 1 anemone. It is a 30 gallon tank. <.... Erk! This tank is too small for this fish...> I am new and reading a lot and found out patience in adding new fish is must. <Ahh, correct!> I lost 2 clowns in the beginning from lack of knowledge of water quality and 1 from white ich which I did a freshwater dip. Not a good turn out on that, don't prefer to do that again. This is my daughter's (8 yrs old) Tang, used her b-day money for it I really do not want him to die she will be heart broken. <I as well> Also so can you suggest a good book with how to treat disease and algae control methods. <Mmm, there is plenty actually on WWM re both these topics... and the Net is currently much easier to access such information> Thanks so much Tina <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich (treatments) Thanks for the response and believe it or not I was able to get rid of the black ich. Based on a ton of information I read on your website, I chose to try the freshwater dip and it worked. For anyone thinking to try this really read about it and follow it exactly, I did not have that information the one other time I tried and had failure sorry to say. It has been 6 days since the dip and he is back to his perky little self again and spot free.  <Good> Oh, I do not know if this may help anyone and correct me if I am not right. But if it can help someone else great. I have read where people have had great success with adding garlic to their diet. I had tried that early with a fish for 1wk to remove white ich with no response to the garlic then did the freshwater dip which failed. I read that if a fish dies after a correctly done freshwater dip that there is probably a secondary infection. This time I chose not to do the garlic and went right for the dip within a day of the spots appearing. I think this may have stopped the disease from getting worse. This is just a observation on part for what worked for me. Have a great memorial day. Tina <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner> 

Freshwater Dips: Blackspot disease II 12/29/04 I actually had my security settings too high and it wasn't allowing me to search the site effectively. Not only did I find the information I was looking for but resources that I will return to for years!  Thanks so much for compiling and offering all of this insight. <excellent to hear! You are quite welcome> I did a freshwater dip on my Naso tang and am following up with quarantine and malachite green treatment and it already looks much better and is feeding well in the qt tank.  I will continue for three weeks in the qt and will then do another dip before returning it to my display tank. Thanks Again! Elizabeth Turner <A good rule of thumb is to release the specimen from QT only after 4 weeks of disease-free symptoms. kindly, Anthony> Population Control/Parasite Issues (Xenia, Black Ich) Hello folks, <Hi! Ryan helping you today.> Today's email has two topics.  The first finding a way to control my pulsing xenia.  My tank is as follows: -55g (will be upgrading to a 120g soon) -4+ years old -80lbs live rock -Fish:  1 coral beauty, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 yellow tang -Inverts:  1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, ~15 Astrea snails, ~5 turbo snails, ~5 red-legged hermits -Corals:  Yellow polyps, White clove polyps, blue, orange, green, pink and lavender zoanthids, 1 toadstool leather, pink cabbage coral, red mushroom polyps, orange Ricordea, 1 mosaic mushroom polyp, various sponges, pink pulsing xenia -Parameters:  pH - 1.024, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0, temp - 79F (calcium, iodine, strontium, molybdenum, etc. all within acceptable levels) My problem is my pulsing xenia.  A little over a year ago, I bought 3, 1 inch stalks of it.  Now, I've got over 40 stalks of xenia and it's multiplying by the day.  It seems to be growing out of control, and taking over other desirable corals (the zoanthids have a hard time fighting for position).  I plan on taking rocks covered with it back to the store for trade (I've got a great local LFS near me), but would also like to trim some back where it's growing on rocks with other animals.  The problem is, when I cut it back, it just grows back again out of the remaining stalks.  I don't want to *scrape* it off, for fear of damaging the other animals and possibly releasing toxins into the water.  It can be chiseled off of some of my rocks, but some of the rock frags are too small to split and have some really great zoanthids on them.  Are there any other ways that this coral can be removed from rock that I've not seen? <Xenia is commonly seen re-populating previously deserted reefs...I bet you know why, huh?  It's reefer's crabgrass!  I have many friends who have similar issues with all varieties of xenia.  Pulsing Xenia seems to be a fast grower, but Anthelia is even faster in my experience.  As for removal, I would remove the entire rock from the water and scrape it clean with a plastic scraper of some type.  As you know, the smallest piece left can repopulate a xenia colony within weeks.  Scrape, and then rinse the rock with saltwater to eliminate small pieces from straggling.  Perhaps it's easier to remove the zoos first?> My next topic has to do with a case of black ich that I recently experienced.  I purchased a yellow tang not too long ago, and quarantined him for two weeks in a 20g nurse tank.  After he showed good health and eating and absolutely NO signs of disease, I put him in my display tank. About 1 month after that, I noticed very, VERY tiny black specs (smaller than pepper) on his side.  Turned out to be black ich.  I weighted the idea of trapping him from the display tank, but this would've wreaked havoc on the tank and would've really stressed out the fish.  I can't treat the tank with traditional methods, due to the softies in there.  So -- I did something that hadn't been recommended, but was a wonderful success.  I purchased a cleaner shrimp from my LFS.  It was a healthy specimen that had already setup a cleaning station in the LFS tank.  I brought him home and within a week's time, he had acclimated, setup a cleaning station and had removed every parasite from the tang.  The coral beauty and the wrasse have shown no signs of infection and the tang has not had a reinfestation.  This seemed like the most *natural* approach to the issue, especially since it was caught very early on and since black ich is one of the slower diseases in terms of damaging fish.  My question is -- am I just lucky that this worked out in my favor? <Lucky so far...Parasites have a life cycle that doesn't always include hosting on the fish.  Just be on the lookout for a relapse, and have a QT tank ready.> I'd hate to think that I gambled with this fish's wellbeing, but my goal was truly to cure him in a way that caused the least stress and disruption to my system.  If this is a reasonable approach to addressing an outbreak of a parasite, I'm wondering why I don't see this type of treatment recommended more often. <They're highly unsuccessful at eliminating disease long-term.  It's similar to adding an algae eater into an algae-filled pond and saying the problem is fixed.  Even if he eats all algae on the walls, cells still exist that could re-populate the colony!  You're either lucky or have a false sense of security.> I normally only see cleaners advocated for prevention. <Yes, they are wonderful for prevention and display!  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks as always.  You folks are absolutely fantastic! Deb Colella

About Tangs and Black Spot Hello, <Hi there> I've read through your website and found lots of writings related to yellow tangs and Paravortex but not an exact answer to my question. Normally, people put this fish in their display tank and it turns up with black spot.  Advice is to dip the fish and move it to a different tank to allow the parasite to die off in their main tank.  My fish is in a 20-gallon nano tank that houses a few other fish and some inverts.  My question is:  Can I dip my fish in freshwater/RO water and then immediately place it into my main tank, which has been fish-free for 3 months, without fear of reinfestation?  If this approach IS possible, how long should the dip last? <This is a sound approach. The dip should be pH adjusted and include an airstone/diffuser (specifics are posted on WWM re) and the duration be about five to ten minutes. Bob Fenner> Thank you! Julie

Treating Black Spot... So should I go ahead with the freshwater dips or wait it out and see? I'm really not sure what to do next. Blue Skies, James Smith <If the symptoms do not disappear, or become worse- I'd begin with the freshwater dips, which seem to be quite successful with this illness. Then, if these don't do the trick, you could progress to copper of Formalin based medications, per manufacturer's recommendations. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: