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FAQs on Paravortex, Black Spot, Black "Ich", Turbellarian Worm Disease 2

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Worms, Roundworms

Related FAQs on Blackspot Disease: Black Spot Disease 1, Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do 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

Paravortex on a sailfin tang   6/25/12
I have a desjardinii tang which is about 14 inches long, he is in my sps aquarium which is kept at 11 DKH and 420-450 calcium ideally. The temperature is 78-80 degrees consistently. I rescued this fish from a tank full of tangs (mostly yellow) that had Paravortex, and he had not eaten for a week. When I removed him from the previous tank I gave him a 8 minute freshwater dip in hopes to kill the Turbellarian.
<Usually does it. I'd add a bit of formalin (and aeration) on the next go>
A few days after being in my system he began to eat. I have had him for 2 months now and he was doing great until I upgraded a week ago to a bigger aquarium. He did break out with some Ich which I expected, but he also has a slight haze over his eyes. He is also eating, but not with the voraciousness he once did. I sometimes can see small black lines on  him which are around 1/4" long. My problem is that since he is dark in coloration I cannot conclude whether he has black Ich or not. I do not want to lose such a nice fish, but quarantine and treatment will be difficult on such a large fish.
<Just the dip/bath>
 I know the best treatment is Praziquantel. I would assume that an 8 minute dip would kill the worms, but at the same time cannot explain the black lines
<"Just stress">
 which seem larger than black Ich in my experience. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
Terry Baldwin
<Better to move the fish to a clean setting after the bath:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Black Ich, in comm. setting   2/24/11
Dear WWM,
I own a small saltwater store and have issues with various fish diseases (as to be expected).
<Ah yes>
I'm really more into coral so I was hoping you could help me with a fish question. Recently black Ich popped up in one of the systems.
It is present on a yellow tang and a unicorn tang. I've treated the system with National FishPharm Praz-tastic at first 8 spoons / 200 gallons for 1 week with the skimmer turned off (as read online) and recently with 20 spoons / 200 gallons (as read on the package). It's been about 3 days and it's only getting worse. I haven't gone the freshwater dip route because I don't want to remove the fish into another system.
<Mmm, this really is the best route...>
I don't think dipping the fish and putting them back into the same system would get rid of the black Ich
so what do you suggest I do?
<Dip and move...>
I want to rid the whole system of black Ich without leaving it fishless for 2 months as we need to have fish in our systems to sell.
<Place fishes/groups that are much less likely to be infested w/ Paravortex in the infested system>
Although I do have a hospital tank it is meant for a couple fish not a whole system worth of fish.
Thanks for any input,
<Mmm, you could try purposeful cleaners alternatively... You have read
here: http://wetwebmedia.com/blkichcuref.htm
and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Black Spot Disease   4/6/10
Sorry in advance for this rambling question (novel),
I recently bought a yellow tang who developed black spot disease (or so I think) I noticed around 6 (and yes I counted them) spots on him that look like finely ground pepper. I read that the best treatment is a FW dip followed by a QT period of 4 weeks without recurrence.
<This is so>
Some back story first. I have a 55 gallon QT with a 2215 Eheim, a Coralife Super Skimmer 65 gal, 30lbs crushed coral and about 10lbs LR and 2 clowns as permanent residents and to help keep bacterial filter going. I have had 2 A. Ocellaris, 1 Domino Damsel,
<The alpha fish here>
3 peppermint shrimp, and a reef lobster
in my main 120 gal display (water parameters have not been perfect (ammonia <.25 ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrates < 10 ppm, ph 8.0-8.2, temp 77.5 F, clowns have been in tank for about 2 months with 30 lbs LR and 80 LBS live sand using Eheim pro series 3 for tank with Berlin x2-turbo skimmer).
Unfortunately after buying the tang and placing him in the QT (with acclimation of 1 cup every 10 for over 1:30 (it was a big bag) minutes after 40 min temp acclimation time) I noticed the ammonia shot up over night from 0ppm to more than .50ppm. To try to fix this in hopes that ammonia will decrease and bacteria will catch up I did a partial water change (around 20%) this lowered the ammonia to less than .25ppm. Later that day I retested and found .50ppm ammonia. So, thinking that the rise in ammonia was due to no/poor cycle (though testing during setup showed a cycle and all the LR and CC was growing algae) I took the poor guy out and moved him directly to my display tank (which is larger and has better/more filtration) once again acclimating him. I realize this may have been a mistake but seeing as I had so few fish in there to begin with I was more concerned about the tang¹s health than that of the damsel and clowns.
On to the point. My LFS told me it would be ok for me to do all I did, except the transfer to the show tank, with what I had and water quality wouldn¹t be an issue. Now I think my tang has black spot, but as I am relatively new to the hobby (tanks had living stuff in them for 2 months and I¹ve been doing reading since last august) I¹m not sure. I want to tank the tang out and perform a FW bath on him then put him back in the QT tank (small ammonia jump in first 48 in display). The question comes in two parts: 1) have I sufficiently stressed out the tang for now and should I just leave him alone for a bit (he is eating whatever I put in the tank brine, Mysis, green Nori, full spectrum pellets, and red algae growing in the tank even though I acclimated him twice in as many days and on the first try he got twisted in the net :() or should I take him out and dip him to prevent the infection from worsening (if it is indeed an infection) or spreading.
<Mmm, up to you... this Turbellarian infestation (not an infection, as the causative organism is a worm, not bacterial, fungal...) can be transient, is rarely "that" debilitating. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/blkichsympf.htm
and the linked files above>
The second part (2) is: how should I handle the QT situation with the rapidly rising ammonia (or was I premature in moving the tang)
<... see WWM re... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ammmarcontr.htm
and the... and: http://wetwebmedia.com/quarsysfiltrfaqs.htm
should I put the tang back in the display or should I put him in the QT (or buy more LR). Everything I have read describes ammonia spikes when adding new fish to a young tank as being relatively small and they dissipate quickly however no nitrites were shown by the tests either before or after the water change so I was afraid I messed something up.
<Keep reading>
Thanks for the hours of your life you may have wasted answering my questions,
<... Ok...>
(p.s. If you want to remove something from this email to make is shorter its fine with me)
<No worries. Bob Fenner>

Yellow tang, black spot and other fish 4/14/2009
I've been reading your FAQs. pages on black spot disease and still have a couple of questions. I have a 125 gallon FOWLR with a queen angel a red Coris wrasse and a niger trigger all still in the later juvenile stages. I also have a 90 gallon reef with a very small Juvenile imperator angel, a green chromis and a recent addition yellow tang. ( I did quarantine him without medication for two weeks before adding).
After a couple of weeks I noticed black spots on the yellow tang and after observing him for a week with no improvement I pulled him and the other fish from the reef tank
<Mmm... I don't know re "pulling" all, or even the Tang>
and put them all in quarantine and treated with Coppersafe.
<Might not be treat-able with Copper...>
I noticed no improvement in the tang after a week and ended up adding carbon, performing a major water change and a fresh water dip with immediate positive results.
<Ahh! As proscribed>
Is my reef tank now unsafe to return the fish to for several months? (Any fish?)
<I'd try it and see. See WWM re Paravortex... if "this" is what "it" is/was, not a great cause for concern>
I seems like my only other option is to add them to my FOWLR system, which I have add very good luck keeping healthy and disease free.
<Mmm, your universe appears to be a bit too didactic... There are diseases/health all about you...>
They all seem to be doing well in quarantine. But it is not a good long term option.
Will they eventually be safe to add to the FOWLR? Or like ick, do I need to be concerned about future stress related outbreaks of black spot disease on the tang?
<The small Turbellarian which is what most folks refer to as "black ich" can become resident...>
I was not planning to mix the angels, even though I have seen it done countless times successfully and am willing to try. I'm thinking of adding a divider if I introduce them temporarily to temper any instinctual aggression. Thank you, any advice you give is much appreciated!
<I would not be overly concerned Mark... Look into stocking an interesting biological cleaner and return these fishes to their system. Bob Fenner>

Black spot, maybe not   12/26/08 Hi there, <Hello Dan> Sorry to be a bother, but I have a confusing situation over here. I have a 90 gallon reef tank with; yellow tang, blue tang, two clown fish, anemone, clam, cleaner shrimp, sally light foot, purple lobster, leather corals, hammer corals, some polyps, mushrooms and other bits and pieces. As well as about ten, well established mangroves growing in my sump refugium. Everything was going quite well until I added a yellow eyed Kole tang (which I do love) to my reef. Two weeks later I noticed black bumps and some color fading appearing on my blue tang. As well as some lateral line and forehead peeling on my yellow tang. So I went on the Internet and found your site. I think my blue tang has the black spot disease, <Mmm... actually... you would very likely see this now, concurrently on the Yellow, Zebrasoma flavescens... I think you may be witnessing Microsporideans... not really treatable... and not very debilitating> but I didn't notice any info about the spots kind of bumping out a bit, <Good description... and likely shiny, kind of shaped like cones... whereas Paravortex is dull, flat...> and one day he was fine and the next he has 20 spots on him. So I am guessing I need to quarantine him, but what about the Kole (who is fine except for only eating off the rocks so far) and yellow tang? <Again... or for emphasis, I would NOT move these fishes... at least as yet...> I think I can deal with the yellow tang as it seems as his peeling is do to poor water quality <?! What leads you to think this?> and stress. I am about to do a water change and hook the skimmer back up (after two years off due to the mangroves). <I would> Should I quarantine all of the tangs? can I do them all together? What product would you recommend? <No, yes, None> Could I do it in my mangrove tank or will the medicine possibly hurt them? <Depending on what's used, yes> Sorry again and thank you for your help. I have never had a sick fish before and was upset to see him, I do have a good photo if needed and also don't know how to find this page again. <Mmm, should be here with your message/response. Please do send the image along> Thank you Dan <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

black spot, maybe not 12/27/08 Hi there again Bob. <Dan> I was worried about waiting another day to treat my fish, so I made a executive decision and went against your advice to wait to move the three tangs into a quarantine. I see why you said wait as it does seem to cause a lot of stress (for the fish and my girlfriend and I) to try to catch them. I was only able to catch the infected blue tang, but did so without disturbing my reef which seemed good as I have seen what happens when you start moving rocks around. I went to my LFS and showed them the same photo of the blue tang I sent you, <I still haven't seen this image> and he told me to quarantine all three and to treat the fish with aquarium Munster proto Marin Intensiv, <What are the ingredients here?> which I did do. I was reading the instructions and noticed that it said nothing of treating black spot or Microsporideans. I know I should have waited until you saw the photos but he seemed to be getting worse and I wanted to get him treated as soon as possible. I have the feeling I am not treating him with the right medication. What should I do now? <...> I know you will have probably answered all my questions in my second email but just in case, should I keep treating him with the proto Marin, and if not than what? >... nothing< should I catch and quarantine the other tangs? <... already answered> What about the other fish? <... How would I, anyone be able to determine what is actually going on here?> I have been reading about dips - would you recommend doing this? and should I keep my fish quarantined for 4-6 weeks? also I have a Marineland hot magnum that came with cloth like filter like those in vacuums, would this work for my hospital tank? or if not could I fill it up and run it with the sponge filters? Sorry for going ahead as I have read some of your articles where people did the same thing and they seemed annoying. Also sorry for two emails at once, I just wanted to keep you posted and if you thought the blue tang would be better off back in the reef tank, another day would not have gone by. Thanks so much for all your help. I appreciate it. Dan. <... Please, see, read on WWM re Acanthurid Health, Protozoans, Infested Systems... B>

black spot, maybe not 12/27/08 Hi Bob Thank you for getting back to me so fast. What lead me to believe that the yellow tangs peeling is do to poor water quality is that, It had happened to him before and when I started trying to improve my water quality it went away. He may have started peeling before I introduced the Kole tang, and I have noticed that a lot of the yellow tangs in LFS do have the same problems. I guess I diagnosed him with the head and lateral line disease. I did have a few mangroves slowly die in my sump a few months back when on vacation, and when I questioned the guy at the LFS about his peeling he guessed that my nitrites were high, which they were, and said it generally happens when water quality is low and they are stressed. Do you think thou I could be wrong and my yellow tangs problem could be related to the blue tangs black spots? <Mmm, indirectly, yes... the pitting is very likely mostly due to "poor water quality"... is a type/form of HLLE...> I should mention that all of my fish are acting normal and are as hungry as ever, thou I have noticed the blue tang rubbing a bit on the live rock. I couldn't find any information on Microsporideans. Will my other fish be affected if I do not quarantine the blue tang? I read some where to remove activated carbon, I run Chemi-pure in a hang on filter should I switch it off or change products? <... I would keep using the Chemi-pure> As for the blue tangs bumps, on the blue part of his body there are bumps with a black spot in the middle and around the spot on the rising sides of the bump seems to be whitish. However on his black markings he seems to only have one or two white spots, and on his fins and tail just black dots no bumps. Does this sound like Microsporideans? <Could be... but... net cause/s?> Is there anything I should do? Hopefully the photos are usable and helpful. Thank you very much for your time Dan <Keep reading. BobF>

Re: black spot maybe not... Reading? Definitely not  1/4/08 Hi bob <...> You have been so helpful so far. All three of my tangs are in a quarantine tank now. I don't understand why they shouldn't be qt?? there are obvious spots all over one tang that must have come from my new fish, as I have never had any problems before. Why is that medicine toxic? Thanks Dan <... Dan, learn to/use the search tool. B>

Black Itch on Yellow Tang?   8/29/08 Gday Bob, <AJ> Im unsure what's wrong with my Yellow tang. It has a small cluster of very small black spots on its right side half way down the body. They dont seem to bother it and havent spread either Ive noticed them there for about 2 months he/she doesnt scratch either. At the moment its in a QT tanks and Ive treated 2 x with Paracide and 1 x with Trisulfa tablets + 2 x freshwater dips and the cluster is still there. What could it be please? The fish eats well and is in no distress. Thanks AJ <Mmm... is very likely Paravortex... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Easily treated... not very debilitating... Read. Bob Fenner>

Praziquantel and Paravortex - 7/1/08 Morning crew, <Good morrow to you> I suspect my yellow tang may have developed black ich. <Developed...> With its classification as a Paravortex, a Turbellarian worm, would Praziquantel be a suitable remedy? <Mmm, unnecessary but yes...> I understand that a freshwater dip is also recommended, but would Praziquantel have better effects of eradicating the Paravortex life cycle in the tank itself? Thanks, Brian <Likely so... though time going by w/o host/s almost always "does it"... You have read on WWM re? Bob Fenner>

Black Ich Yellow tang   5/30/08 Hello Crew <Wayne> I've read a good portion of your FAQs on Black Ich. While I've learned a lot, I'm still seeking your advice. I don't want to over react. If you read on about my QT problems, hopefully you'll understand why I'm hesitant to QT my Tang. My tank is a 210, with 220 lbs of LR. I have 7 Green Chromis, 2 Firefish, 2 Scarlet Cleaner Shrimps, 5 Peppermint Shrimp, a few crabs and snails, Frogspawn and green star polyps. The tank has been up and running for about 3 months now. <Not long...> I just added the Tang after 2 weeks in QT (more on this later). He's been in the display for 1 week. Yesterday I noticed 8-10 black spots that seem consistent with Black Ich. It's a really subtle infestation at this point. <Paravortex is... sublime> My Water params are good. Temp is very consistent @ 80, Ammonia, Nitrites are zero, nitrates are 2-5 ppm. I do weekly 20% water changes using RODI water. Salinity is 1.025. Ph is always low...usually 7.9 - 8.0. I'm working on this. The Tang has just started (yesterday) to use the cleaner shrimps. It's so neat to watch. Should I be QT'ing this fish? <Mmm, no. I wouldn't> Or should I wait it out? <Yes...> Maybe some good nutrition, time to settle in the display, and help from the cleaner shrimps will clear this mild infestation? <Yes and this turbellarain is not "that" debilitating> I feed a mixture of foods (formula 1 and 2, green and red seaweed, mysis shrimp, Spirulina brine shrimp/flake food, and a modified Eric Borneman recipe). The tang eats all readily. I do plan on adding a Powder Blue, and Hippo Tang down the road. <After a few more months at least> I'm hesitant to QT this fish as I have a hard time maintaining good water params in QT. The reason he was only in QT for 2 weeks, was that I couldn't keep up with water changes. I have a 28gal that I use for QT. I use a sponge filter with sponges that have been seeded in my sump for more than 6 weeks. I can't keep nitrites down. I have always had problems keeping up with water changes in QT tanks. I was doing 15 gal water changes daily, and that wasn't enough. This is nothing new, I've had other tanks in the past, and have always had problems keeping Ammonia and Nitrites down. <Yes. Typical challenges> What would you do? FW dip and Qt this fish, or give it a chance in the display? <This last> Also, just want to confirm that this parasite won't infest my Chromis and Firefish. <Not likely> This parasite exclusively feeds on Tangs correct? <Mmm, no... has been found on other families> So without a tang in the display, the life cycle will be disrupted. Am I correct? <Yes, usually... but can take months to die out> Thanks again for all your help! Don't know what I'd do without the Crew! Wayne <I'd proceed as you are now... not worry re. Likely the worms will be consumed by the cleaner shrimp. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Black Ich Yellow tang  05/30/08 Thanks for your prompt reply Bob. Just a few questions pertaining to adding the Powder blue and Hippo Tang. You say not to add them for "a few more months at least." Should I wait a few months after there are no more spots on my Yellow tang? Or are you saying to wait a few more months because my tank is young. <The latter> Is the idea to not add any fish until my tang is completely spot free? I fear he might always have a few spots on him...and if that's the case, I'll have to QT at one point or another. Thanks again Bob/Crew! Wayne <Welcome my friend. BobF>  

Invincible Black Ich??? 12/10/07 Hi Bob, <Lane> I purchased a Powder Brown Tang about 6 weeks ago. I placed the tang in QT and treated with Cupramine for a week as preventative for ich. The fish also had a few black spots which I thought might be black ich. <Appears to be so> I hoped the copper would help with this as well, <Ah, no. If anything, would hurt the host...> but it did not appear to do anything. After week one I replaced all the water in QT and did a FW dip. <For how long?> I thought it may take a few days for the spots to go away, but after several days of observation the tang appeared to be getting a few more spots. I did another FW dip this time with Methylene blue. Once again it did not seem to help. I then decided to try Prazi Pro treatment. After about one week I still did not see any improvement, <Wow!> so I decided to do another FW dip and then try treating with Rid-Ich (malachite green and formalin) in the QT. <Yikes> After several days the spots still remained but the fish appeared to be getting fin rot and what appeared to be stressed breathing. <I can imagine> I decided to do a 100% water change and another FW dip with Methylene blue. After several days the fish was healing nicely from the fin rot, but still has the dreaded black spots. I decided once again to try treating with Prazi again, but this time I increased the dosage from 2.5 mg/l to around 4 mg/l. It has been a week and I am still not seeing any signs of improvement. <Very strange indeed> The spots seem a little more pronounced than before, but the fish does not scratch or seem overly affected. The fish loves algae and is eating tons. <Good> The biggest thing is the fish has a very pale body (semi-transparent). Is this something other than black ich? <Can't tell w/o microscopic examination> How can I get rid of this? <What you've done should have...> I really want to save this fish and really want to get it into my display tank. Your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I have attached a picture for you. Please disregard the white spots as they are just bubbles. Thanks again. Lane <Mmm, a decision (as in nothing is decided until it is done) needs to be made... whether to try re-doing a treatment regimen (if it were me, with another source of Praziquantel or other vermifuge, see WWM) OR just placing the Acanthurus japonicus directly in your display... in the hope that the (likely) Paravortex will cycle off in time, not infest other fishes there (not all are susceptible)... Which will you choose? Bob Fenner>

Re: Invincible Black Ich???   12/11/07 Bob, <Lane> Thank you for the input. Just to answer your question, the dips were approx. 10 minutes. <Gosh... these should have "done it"...> Anyway, you recommended a different Prazi treatment or placing the fish in the display tank and hoping for the best. I don't want to do this as I have a yellow tank <Tang I'll take it...> as well. I would feel much better keep my display free of issues. <I see> What do you think about Jungle Buddies Parasite Clear. It contains Active ingredients: Praziquantel; N-[[(N-Chlorophenyl) amino] carbon 1]-2,6-difluorobenzamide; Metronidazole; Acriflavine - Water ??? <The last as a carrier/diluent... I do think this product would work as well> It sounds reasonable, but I does not say anything about saltwater Compatibility. Thanks again. <All the ingredients are fine for use in seawater... NOT in your main system though. BobF>

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