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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis Identification 1

Related Articles: Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts, Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes,

Related FAQs: Identification 1, Identification 2, Identification 3, Identification 4,

& Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Hyposalinity & Ich, & Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3, Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6, Quarantine 7, Quarantine 8, Quarantine 9, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantining Invertebrates,

Most of the time symptomatically looks like white discrete dots... pin-head size... can occur with more dust-like Amyloodinium, aka Velvet disease... Even air bubbles and sand grains. Neither pathogen can be seen directly with the naked eye. Behavior of hosts might include rapid to very slowed breathing, swimming about rapidly to sitting on the bottom, a lack of feeding

Another ich question... perhaps 04/14/2008 Hi Crew, I know you don't get tired of these... an ich question. On Friday I picked up a latticed butterfly and put it in a QT. All appeared to be fine. Saturday it had 3 spots on its tail fin... and I know it's ich. <... maybe> Since researching WWM I know they are sensitive to chelated copper. I did do a fw dip with meth. blue for 4 min... fish was extremely stressed. I had Cupramine on hand but didn't have a Seachem test kit. I found one in town, went and got it. Came back and dosed as directed. Tested the tank and got no results. According to the FAQs on WWM this is not too uncommon. Here's the problem. I have no way of testing this copper within the 48 hours as recommended... any suggestions on another way to test? Also fish seems a little stressed, would it be prudent to filter the copper out and try another method, formalin dips or 50% water changes every other day for 2 weeks, to combat this? Thank you Jennifer <I would hold off on treatment period... this may well not be Ich/Cryptocaryon... are the spots located directly over the fin rays? Possibly these are just reaction sites from rough netting... A well-resolved picture would help... Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich question... - 04/14/08 Hi Bob, Update: Sunday I did a 50% water change (using main tank water) and am currently using a PolyFilter to get the copper out. I would have sent pics but they are too small to see in the pic, not to mention the little bugger wouldn't sit still. 1 of the 3 spots is gone. The spots are not on the fin rays they are on the very edge of the fin. <Both telling... this is not Cryptocaryon> At what point do you think I'll know for sure it's ich and what would be your recommendation for treatment given that latticed butterflyfish are copper sensitive? <... posted... In general, best to use quinine.> Is Cupramine ok for this fish? <IF it had something for which Copper is useful to treat...> I have researched this disease to death so I am quite familiar with its' lifecycle and the treatments. I just don't think this fish was doing well with the Cupramine, stationary in the corner, heavy breathing. Since the water change moving around more and normal respiration. <Thank goodness> And FYI on the SeaChem test results.. according to SeaChem if there is a lot # on the powder reagent then that is the problem. <?!> They have revamped their test kits. Thank you Bob Jennifer <And you Jen. BobF>

Re: Another ich question... - 04/15/08 Dear Bob and I say dear because if you don't think this is ich I'll sing your praises even more than I already do!! In all of the research that I have done I have yet to see that the spots needed to be on the fin rays but it does make sense. The 2 remaining spots are gone. She hasn't scratched that I've seen but I try to stay out of the room to keep her stress level down. <Good point, practice> I shall continue with water changes to keep up water quality. She hasn't eaten since I brought her home but seems interested in picking at tank wall and floor. <What they do> I've put mysis shrimp in the clam shell as suggested on WWM but nothing. I'll try other tricks. <Fresh/er live rock...> Thank you again Bob for all of your great advice!! Jen <Welcome! BobF>

Re: Another ich question... -- 4/15/08 I wrestled with the live rock idea because if it was ich meds would kill...well you know the rest. However, she did eat some shrimp. By the way I did see those 2 spots after all on her tail (had to press my face against the glass), which now makes 48 hours. Thanks again, Bob! Jennifer <Jen, can you send a well-resolved, close-up pic? BobF>

Re: Another ich question... 4/16/08 Bob, I don't know "well resolved" these photos are but it's the best I could get. It was stressing her out. The spots have gotten a little bigger. You can see them at the very edge of her tail. I did another 50% water change siphoning the bottom. Just out of curiosity if quinine is so effective and is safe for sharks why isn't it the cure most recommended overall? Thanks Bob. Jennifer <Mmm... this is almost certainly NOT Cryptocaryon... on the basis of placement, size, and the lack elsewhere on the body. What it is... likely... is Lymphocystis... a viral-environmental-stress complaint. NOT treatable by "medicines" per se, but ameliorated via environmental improvement, enhanced nutrition, alleviating/lowering stress overall. Do know that this species of Butterfly is NOT easily kept in captivity... Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich question... 4/16/08 Bob, That is great news!!! I've dealt with Lympho before.. you actually helped me through it with my coral beauty. He's thriving in the display tank. I'm sending another pic for better clarity. I took my book (your book) into the LFS for reference and I was positive this was a Latticed Butterflyfish. If not then what is it? Thank you. Jennifer <... is a Raffle's... see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/Goodchaetodon.htm This one is dangerously thin. I would move it post haste to permanent quarters... with plenty of live rock, other feeding. B>

Re: Another ich question... 4/17/08 She started eating mysis shrimp yesterday.. couple times a day. I put a well algae covered piece of live rock in with her today that she's picked at some. Thanks for all of your help and reassurance!! Jennifer <Ahh! Good news... and yes to there being a few common names for this Chaetodon species. Cheers! BobF>

Re: Another ich question... BF not eating 04/21/08 Hi Bob.. need some help. My Chaetodon has pretty much stopped eating. It was picking at the live rock and has now ceased doing that. I've tried everything I can find on WWM... mysis, Cyclops, clam, krill, worms.. nothing. Now she stays in the corner of the tank where as she was actively swimming around. I'm concerned. The only thing I didn't try was brine. Any ideas what I can try? Thank you. Jennifer P.S. The Lympho spots fell off. <This BF is in your main tank now I take it. I would avail yourself of appetite stimulants... my fave are those containing Selco's product. Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich question... 04/22/08 Thank you. I'll shop around for Selco products and give it a try. Jennifer <Please do so... and quickly. Selcon is a fave and quite readily available. As stated early on the Lattice/Raffle's butterflyfish is not easily kept in general... mostly due to feeding (or lack thereof) issues... B>

Re: Another ich question...04/22/08 Perhaps I misunderstood, but I chose this BF due to it being listed on the "good Chaetodon" list as noted in the link in your previous email and in the Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Is this going to be a losing battle or should I try to take him back to the LFS? Jennifer <Mmmm, I do concur with you re this fish's listing... how to put this... the Raffle's is on the border of good to medium for Chaetodontids... not amongst the "best" choices (e.g. Aurigas, Raccoons...). IF the folks will take this fish back, I might return it, but it will very likely perish due to further handling... How to further elaborate re BF's? I have friends in the trade who won't/don't handle the family period... Due to too many "anomalous deaths"... One way of stating this is some sort of arbitrary scale could be made for all fishes, livestock viability... with BF's starting at half the score/scale period. Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich question... BF 4/23/08 That's good to know. If this one doesn't make it I'll will give up on the BFs. There is a LFS that I usually buy all livestock from and they told me they won't sell BFs because they don't live long in captivity...should have listened to them. Thank you for all your help, Bob, it is very much appreciated!! Jennifer <Welcome Jen! BobF>


Coral Beauty & Crypt ID 04/14/2008 Hi, <Hello> I have a nice Coral Beauty that I picked up a 3 weeks ago. He's been in my QT since day one. I read on WWM that these guys don't tolerate FW dips (and I'd lost a CB 2 days before after dipping). <Mmm, all a matter of degree... have "dipped" many> So I did all I could to transfer the absolute minimum of the LFS's water into my QT; and I thought I did this well. Now, for the past few days, I'm seeing white spots on the Coral Beauty. The spots are smaller than salt and I'm not sure it's actually Cryptocaryon. In the morning, he'll have numerous spots and they seem to drop off gradually to almost none by mid-day. <Mmm, symptomatic> He's eating well and is always curious of me when I get up close. The QT is 20-gal, bare, with a few plastic/PVC hides. The CB is the only inhabitant. Even though I'm not happy about this guy's health, I AM relieved that I went against the LFS's advice to just put him straight in my display tank because "coral beauties aren't known to carry disease". <Not so> So my question is, do the white spots have to be salt-grain sized to be crypt or can they be smaller; say, like flour? <Yes, can be, are variable in size. The white/spots are actually not the causative organism but the fish/hosts response/mucus to their irritation. More irritation locally equals larger spots...> As to treatment, I have a stock of Cupramine and a test kit. Seachem seems to recommend .5 to .8 and from what I've read, this fish will be sensitive so the dosage should be .5 and no more. <Correct> Does this sound reasonable? Is there a better way to treat this particular fish if it is indeed crypt? <A dip/bath would have been efficacious. Now you are optioned to either risk that, successive vacuumings, or possibly the use of Quinine compounds... lastly the introduction of a specimen with an ongoing infestation of whatever vitality> Since he's alone in a bare QT and I have lots of treatment time all options are open; I'd just like some good advice before I proceed. Thanks always, Mike. <Actually... "time is of the essence"... the longer in "QT" isolation in a small system, the more debilitating/harder on the specimen... stressful. You apparently have a good grasp on your options here... Choose well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral Beauty & Crypt ID 4/15/08 Thanks for the reply Bob. Added the 1/2 dose of copper as per the instructions <... Half dose...? What does this mean exactly in terms of concentration? If less than 0.15 ppm at any time, this treatment will do no good... But will be slowly poisoning the specimen> this morning. He was fine & feisty when my wife came home at 5 today but when I got home at 9 he was lying on his side. Sleeping; I presume. : ( m. <... Mmmm... if the light was still on, this is a bad sign. BobF>

Re: Coral Beauty & Crypt ID -- 4/15/08 The Cupramine instructions say to dose 1ml/10Gal then repeat after 48-hours to bring the final dose to .5 ppm. <I see... this should be okay in terms of real/therapeutic dose of cupric ion/concentration> So I administered the first dose in the AM and he was dead that night. <Ahh!> He was eating like a pig but took a turn for the worse I guess; as you describe in your web article on this fish. It's too bad; he was a nice specimen and I really, really liked him...and he cost $40. Your book's excellent by the way. I'm enjoying it. However, I've had bad luck lately. Starting to wonder if I'd get longer-lived enjoyment out of just throwing my money into street and watching the chaos. My display tank is doing pretty good though. <Sorry for your loss. Bob Fenner>

Fish white spots - is it ick? 3/14/08 Hello <Daniel> The next day after I bought this Imperator, white spots started to appear. I moved it to the QT, treated him 7 days with Aquarium Munster's Protomarin Intensiv (20mg copper sulfate pentahydrate, 1mg tetramethyl-4 & 4-diamino-triphenyl-carbinol) and a 30 minutes dip in Aquarium Munster's Furamarin (24mg Nifurpirinol). <Was the free copper ion level checked... at least daily... to assure there was a constant therapeutic concentration (0.20-0.35 ppm)? I think not> It started to look better after the treatment, but now, after 2 weeks of that he turns more and more to white. I noticed the discoloration is amplified especially when the lights are off. Few months ago I lost a Forcipiger with the same symptoms. The other fish feel fine. Could it be a fungus? Or internal bacteria? <Mmm, not likely> Please find below the water parameters: Temperature: 78.8F PH = 8 KH = 8 NH4= 0.5 NO2= 0.1 NO3= 10 PO4 = 0.5 Cu=0 Ca=420 Salinity = 1.025 I'm looking forward for advice. Thank you Daniel <This Angel appears to be (still) infested with Cryptocaryon... I would read thoroughly here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Crypt, or something else? 2/24/08 Hi Crew, <Tom> I'm sending a couple of photos of a small white bump on a Firefish, that I thought was Crypt but now I'm not sure. <Not Crypt, but great pix> I had placed two Firefish, a Longnose Butterfly, and a Mandarin together in a 30 gallon QT about 3 weeks ago. The LNB came from a different LFS than the other three fish. The LNB came down with a classis set of fresh-from-the-LFS Crypt symptoms within hours of bringing it home, which was cured with copper sulfate. All fish now appear healthy with the exception of this one spot on the one Firefish, and that spot hasn't changed for at least 9 or 10 days. The Crypt on the LNB had cycled off in about 3 days in the 81 degree QT and never came back. The LNB and Mandarin were removed from QT/copper over a week ago, dipped, and have remained clean. The two Firefish have remained in QT/copper (tested/stable @ 0.2 PPM) for 3 weeks now. The Firefish is active and hungry. Since this spot hasn't cycled off, does that mean it's not Crypt? What do you think this spot is, and what would you recommend I do next? Thanks, Tom <Is very likely a "bump" from getting poked... by the Forcipigers spine/fin... Will heal in time. I would go ahead and place the Nemateleotris. Bob Fenner>

Ick Issue, SW 2/5/08 I sent an email the other day. Perhaps it slipped through the cracks or something. But here it is: will my tank go "fallow" with two Damsels in it that have weathered the Ick scourge? <No, the tank has to be devoid entirely of fish. Fish that weather one bout of Ick can still play host to another bout. In fact, by the time Ick becomes serious in a freshwater or marine aquarium, the chances are the parasite has been through several cycles of reproduction, quite possibly infecting the same fishes again and again.> Will the protozoans somehow go dormant on the fish or live in the fish unaffected for 30 days or so. <Absolutely no reason to assume that this is the case. A fallow tank has to be just that, fallow, i.e., devoid entirely of anything that could potentially play host to the Trophont stage of the Cryptocaryon parasite.> I just don't want to have to take apart the tank in order to get the two fish if I don't absolutely have to. <Unfortunately, there is no "get out of jail free" card on this one.> I'm planning on leaving the tank alone for at least one month, only feeding the inverts. and presumably the Damsels. What do you think? <While Bob may have a different opinion on this, my suspicion is that you will have to remove all the fish from the system, whether you want to or not. Cheers, Neale.> <<Mmm, no... what you've written is so. RMF>>

Marine ick after 10 weeks no fish, Actually Something Else 1/16/08 Hi, after reading every article on Marine Ick (MI) I see general consensus that after 6-8 weeks w/o fish MI is gone. <Most likely.> My question is whether or not it can live longer? <Not really, but cross-contamination is very easy to d so it seems to live longer.> I have a 75 gallon reef tank and after too short of a QT and only a couple of freshwater dips my last fish brought in MI. Lesson learned. I went on vacation unknowing MI was in the tank and when I got back it was full blown on all my fish. I removed all fish to Qt and treated them with ick cure. They all survived and are doing great. However after I removed the fish I noticed several hundred white circular spots with tiny arms all around them stuck to the inside of the tank. <Hydroids?> After a few weeks they disappeared and then would reappear only in smaller quantity 5-10 days later. This has continued since I removed all the fish and I am now down to 2 of these white spots that I feel are Tomont cysts. <The cysts are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye, so this is something else.> It has been 77 days total and I am skeptical on putting the fish back in. Could it be something else I am seeing? <Most definitely is.> They are too small to take a picture of and I do not have access to a microscope to examine them. The tank runs at about 74 degrees, 1.026 specific gravity, Ca 430, 0 for ammonia and, no2, no3. There are 6 crabs, 1 snail, tons of limpets, soft corals, SPS corals, 1 clam, mushrooms, Christmas tree worms. Thank you, Mike <These are something else, perhaps hydroids, or some other form of Cnidarians, see here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm .> <Chris>

Is this ich... Mmmm, no 1/5/08 Hello crew, <Tom> I was wondering if you could look at the attached picture. I noticed that our Fridmani Pseudochromis has some white spots. Is this crypt? <I don't think so... the discreteness, placement... looks more like a mechanical injury... jumping, or fighting...> I have never seen it like this. I have a 170 gallon tank with a thirty gallon refugium and a closed loop. The parameters are AM = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 0, PH = 7.9, ALK = 10 dKH, Cal = 420, Phos = .02, Salinity is 1.025, temp 79F. My other fish are clear of spots and they are as follows. One Blue Hippo Tang, one Yellow Striped Maroon Clown, <Could have been tussling with this Premnas> one Long Nose Butterfly, one Lawnmower Blenny, one Scissor Tail Goby and five Blue Green Chromis. Thanks for any help you provide. Tom <If it were Crypt, almost assuredly the Paracanthurus would show it in spades... I would not be concerned here, not "treat" this system, or its occupants. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Cryptocaryon Breakout... maybe 11/9/07 Greetings, <Salutations> Well, after making it through 6 weeks of quarantine, I have a Lemonpeel angelfish (a.k.a. ich magnet) that has developed Cryptocaryon a few days after adding to the main display (about 3 very familiar white spots on tail). The main tank had no other fish and had been recently cycled with ammonium chloride and Fritz Turbo Start 900 (great product, no intentional plug). <No worries> All tank parameters are good (NH3 - 0, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 10 ppm, pH - 8.1, Temp. 78 - 80 F, Salinity - 1.022). This fish was clean a full four weeks after two weeks of Cupramine in QT. He's eating well, etc... I did add live rock to the main display after curing in a separate container. <Might be a/the source... and this may not be a pathogen period> The live rock was very clean with little die-off, so all readings were normal after a couple of days. I'm just about sure the Cryptocaryon came from the live rock. <Me neither> Should I have quarantined the live rock just like fish (i.e. 4 weeks minimum).? <Some would, particularly if the source/chain of custody had the rock in a centralized system with possibly infested fishes> There is no other possible source as the fish was absolutely clean for the six week quarantine. My dilemma now is what to do.? Is there any treatment to try in the main display that won't mess everything up.? <Not really> If not, is there anything that could be done to speed up the fallow period in the main tank.? Are we looking at a full 30 day fallow period?? If so, is this time period solidly reliable as I don't want to go through this again.? If we ever do have a nuclear war, two things will surely survive, cockroaches and Cryptocaryon, aaarrrggghhh! Thanks, Greg <Again... I wouldn't be so sure this is Cryptocaryon, or other protozoan... unless you can confirm with microscopic examination, I would not panic here (credit to Doug Adams I guess)... but just wait for now... see if whatever this is cycles, returns... Or just dissipates... as in body mucus. Bob Fenner>

Possible ich and how to proceed... Not Crypt 11/6/07 Hello, <Hi there> I have a Bird Wrasse that I believe may have ich. I have read Bob Fenner's articles, Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis; Marine Aquarium Fish parasitic Diseases, and Scott Fellman's article Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts. I would like some direction before I proceed. <Okay> First, my Wrasse has developed a "bubble" on the top portion of his beak <This is a natural developmental growth... likely> and has had labored breathing for about 2 weeks but was eating and swimming well. His eating and swimming started to slow down and he began to remain in his cave lying on the sand. He is very shy and will hide from everyone but me - until now. He has not eaten in 4 days as of today and only moved yesterday because I was cleaning. Several days ago I saw what looked like sand on him. <Not uncommon...> Today I have been able to see him better and it is definitely not sand. I can see white flecks on his body and fins. I cannot see his head very well as he is facing the back of his cave. <... do you have other fishes present? Are they showing symptoms?> I am certain that the buffeting is causing him stress. I believe at one of the BTA's is also causing him stress and quite possibly may have been stinging him. One of my BTA's moved down toward the opening of the cave. This mean that Mr. Wrasse could not enter or leave without touching the BTA. I have repositioned the rock with the BTA as well as another rock in front in an attempt to keep his tent acles from touching. I am hopeful that the BTA will not move back down. I have 90-gallon tank with two Eclipse hoods modified to fit power compacts and a SeaClone protein skimmer. Yesterday I cleaned the tank and adjusted some rocks around Mr. Wrasse's cave (there is an opening in the front and the back) because my Maroon Clown has been nonstop buffeting, covering Mr. Wrasse with sand, which is partially why I had originally thought it was sand. Moving the rocks a bit did not stop my Clown from buffeting (I didn't expect it to). I was hoping to relieve Mr. Wrasse from the amount of sand being thrown in his face. <The Maroon clown may be a big part of the problem here> As for additional inhabitants, I have a Longnose Hawkfish, a Royal Gramma, a Copperband Butterflyfish, <This last would show Crypt first... or most any protozoan infestation... ahead of the Wrasse> a sand starfish, a tube anemone, and three BTA's, several snails, hermit crabs (several quite large), and various other growing things that look to be some type of sponge (some yellow, some white/clear), and 2 somethings. <?> I don't know what they are. They came attached to a shell some time ago. They do not move. From time to time, their shells open lightly and a clear tube will come out. The are about 1/2 in length. The Copperband was the last to be added, approximately 2-3 months ago, when I has an Aiptasia infestation, which has been completely cleared up. Mr. Wrasse, Mr. Clown, and the starfish are the oldest. I have had them about 2 1/2 years. Here are my most current specs (just tested): Temp. 80; SG, 1.022-1.023; pH, 8.4-8.8; Ammonia, 0; Nitrite, 0; Nitrate, greater than 10 but less than 20; Calcium, 380. I do not know why my calcium is low. I use Instant Ocean Reef Crystals and have not had a problem with low calcium until now. I have a 10-gallon quarantine tank with a sponge filter. This tank was used one time for a sick Angelfish 2 years ago. After reading the articles, it seems to me that I need to remove all of my fish into a quarantine tank. Do I need to move all the living beings with the exception of the live rock/sand or is it sufficient to move only the fish? <I would move Mr. Premnas... elsewhere myself, permanently> Also, my local LFS told me that I should use water from my existing tank to start up the quarantine tank. Is this advisable if I suspect ich? <I would NOT move this fish, nor treat it... IF any of the fish has Crypt, all do... the system does...> How long should the quarantine tank be up and running before I move inhabitants into it? I do not imagine that my 10-gallon tank will suffice, especially if I am looking to keep more than one fish and certainly if they may need to stay a month. What size tank do you suggest and what type of filtration would be advisable? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Felicia <I'd re-read the articles above... and the linked FAQs files above them. Bob Fenner>

Re: Possible ich and how to proceed 11/06/07 Hello, Bob, <Felicia> Thank you very much for your prompt response. Much appreciated. <Welcome my friend> >As for additional inhabitants, I have a Longnose Hawkfish, a Royal Gramma, a >Cooperband Butterflyfish, ><This last would show Crypt first... or most any protozoan infestation... ahead of the Wrasse> None of my other fish are showing any signs of ich or any other illness (no rapid breathing, all are eating well and swimming). These symptoms are limited (so far anyway) to Mr. Wrasse. <Is not crypt then, assuredly> This morning I found that Mr. Wrasse had wedged himself between a rock and the back wall of the tank. There appear to be more whitish areas and, of course, the rapid breathing. This will be day number two that he has not swam and day number five for not eating. Last night I dropped some finely chopped krill near him; he did not even attempt to eat. This morning I added roitifers (which he normally loves) and nothing. He is about 7 inches long. How long can a fish of his size last without eating? Any suggestions to perhaps entice him to eat? <You have moved the Maroon?> >Also, my local LFS told me that I should use water from my existing tank to >start up the quarantine tank. Is this advisable if I suspect ich? ><I would NOT move this fish, nor treat it... IF any of the fish has Crypt, all do... the system does...> ><I'd re-read the articles above... and the linked FAQs files above them. You are recommending that I not remove the fish. In "Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis," you state in closing, "Isolation of fish livestock, hyposalinity and elevated temperature, administration of copper medication with testing will cure all but the most entrenched cases." <The root cause of the trouble here is the Premnas... it's likely biting the Gomphosus... the white marks are mucus...> Of course, I will reread the previously mentioned articles as well as read the linked FAQs, but I am a bit confused. Is it your thought that perhaps the Wrasse does not have ich and is simply under stress from the constant buffeting of the Clown or that perhaps he does have ich but is simply too weak and under too much stress to move? Felicia <Let me try to be more clear. The CLOWN must go... It needs to be removed from the system. BobF>

Re: Possible ich and how to proceed... Gomphosus, A. frenatus incomp. 11/06/07 Good evening, Bob, <Felicia> I regret to inform you my beloved Bird Wrasse did not survive the morning. My husband contacted me at work and gave me the bad news. I instructed him to remove the Wrasse immediately. I rinsed him off and closely inspected him. I found no signs of ich -- all white spots disappeared upon rinsing, so it was indeed sand that was upon him. I had guestimated that he was about 7 inches long and was surprised to see that he was actually 8 1/2! <Yes... turning into (likely a magnificent) male> No, I have not removed the Clown as I do not have a tank set up to do so. He is still buffeting and throwing up sand. <Is the alpha fish here. Do you understand this? Anything else of size will be attacked... stressed...> I have been watching him this evening and noticed that he is attempting to chase the other fish away from his BTA's. <Bingo> They do not seem to be impressed and do not leave - for long anyway. I have not seem him actually hit anyone, but I imagine that he may start doing so (or perhaps is and I have yet to see it). I am going to have to get a new tank set up as soon as I can and move him as I do not want the others to be terrorized and fall pray in the same way. I had no idea that my Wrasse was being terrorized to such a degree to cause his demise. Both the Wrasse and the Clown were introduced at the same time (approximately 2 1/2 years ago) and always seemed to "get along." <Ah, yes... does happen> I appreciate all your help! Felicia <Thank you for this follow-up. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Ich? 10/3/07 I'm wondering if there is anything type of disease/parasite that looks like ich? <Oh yes... quite a few other protozoans even...> I had a damsel in a 20 gal. tank by its self for about 2 months with no signs of ich. There was a small case that was taken care <How?> of with no relapses about 3 months ago. I tore that tank down and moved the damsel to a 75 gallon about a week ago. The only other thing in it is live rock. <D'oh!> About 70 pounds or so. Is it possible it could have lived on the rock even though I don't believe it can? <Oh yes... BobF>

Detecting Marine Ich 9/1/07 Bob & Co, How are you all doing? <I am doing well... the shadow of Buddha is upon us due to your concern; thank you> I have a two month old FOWLR tank. I had a damsel in there for 6 weeks and a couple of times I started seeing very small white patch on his tail. <Could be... many things... not necessarily pathogenic> First time I thought he had the Ich and I put him in QT but the spot disappeared as soon as I put him in . So I put him back in the main tank. Next time the spot/patch appeared it went away again in a day or so. I have lot of white debris that comes off my live rock and thought it was that. I now have a solitary Auriga I bought from Aqtc Warehouse in SD, in the tank that I added two days ago (without QT gulp!). I now see a similar patch in his tail tool as in the case of the damsel. He is acting normal, eating everything I feed him and picking non stop on the Live Rock. I am confused now if its ICH or just a case like the damsel's. How can I tell for sure? <Mmm, really only microscopic examination... possibly culture...> Can live Rock debris stick to tails? <Mmm, uhh, can... but likely there is some aspect of the main system that is effecting this change chemically> I read from your site, sometime bubbles can look like ICH. But these are not bubbles. Thanks Gans <Yes... I would make a water change, use some activated carbon in your filter flow path... perhaps consider adding live macroalgae... in the long-term the benefits of a tied-in refugium, DSB there... and let time go by with careful adding of other livestock, their quarantine... These situations have a way of sorting themselves out. Bob Fenner>

Re: Detecting Marine Ich -- 09/01/07 Hi Bob, Thank you for the advise. <advice> Today the white patch/spots have disappeared from the Auriga's tail! <If this is protozoan... perhaps simply cycled off...> Anyway I have added some activated carbon per your advise. <advice> I have another question which I am unable to find the answer from the wealth of material on your site since there is so much! The PH of my tank is borderline at 8.0. Can you recommend a PH buffer that I can add to my fresh water top off's that will raise both PH and alkalinity? <This is posted, but I would not be concerned with the stated pH> I see that you don't recommend baking soda to beginners and I am a rookie. Thanks Gans <No worries... we are all new at some time, place. RMF>

Re: Attn: Sara M (Ich Question) 8/30/07 Hi (again), Just wanted to thank you for your quick response to my questions (and drawn out story/history of my tank). <no problem> I've got one more question for you. (If I have more over the next few days, you'll be the 2nd to know.) Are the parasites that cause Ich in salt water, the same as fresh water? <Yes and no. They're both protozoans, but different genera. Freshwater Ich is Ichthyophthirius multifiliis... hence the short term "Ich." Marine Ich is Cryptocaryon irritans. People only started calling the marine disease "Ich" because it looks like freshwater Ich. Maybe we should be calling it "Crypt" instead. :-)> Once again, thanks! (from the fish too) <Hehe... de nada.> Paul <Best, Sara M.>

Is it ICH?? A Doobie Bro.s chorus? 7/5/07 Ok I have a couple of fish that are showing some symptoms of ich. My Black Hawaiian trigger and two 3-strip damsels are rubbing up against the rock. They keep rubbing right above their eye and no where else. I've been watching them for two days now and I cant see any physical sign (white spots) of having ich. My water tests show a low pH of 7.8 but everything else reads at 0. Can you please point me in the right direction. Thanks, Jared <Sure: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Read on! Bob Fenner>

Possible Ich -- To Treat or Not to Treat? 2/13/06 Hi, Crew-- <Juli> First, thank you so much for the support you provide. I read your website daily and try to put your counsel to good use. In this case, though, I feel like I need some direct expert advice. I have a 24 gallon Nanocube which has been stable for thirteen months. The tank contains 20 lb. LR/LS, 1 Cherub Angel, I Royal Gramma, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Frogspawn, 1 Open Brain, 1 Bubble Coral, an ever-spreading colony of Star Polyps and a few snails/ crabs. Water parameters: Temp: 78 degrees, SG 1.025, Ph: 8.1, dKH: 7, Cal: 420, Amm: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 12.5. I do weekly water changes of 4-5 gallons with Catalina sea water and keep a bag of Chemi-Pure in the sump. These water parameters are consistent for my tank and everyone seems happy. On Monday, 1/30, I had a 26 hour power outage. Horrified, I inserted a battery-powered airstone and wrapped the tank in down comforters. <Good moves> The temperature descent from 78 degrees was gradual, finally holding at 72 f. I was sure all livestock would be dead by morning, all the same. Amazingly, when power was restored everyone looked fine and I left the tank alone, hoping to avoid additional stress. The morning after the outage I baster-fed a slurry of Prime Reef, Mysis and Cyclop-eeze and then did a 5 gallon water change. I also added a recommended dose of Kent Vitamin C, hoping to bolster any challenged immune systems. At 9am the morning after the power was restored I thought I might have detected a vague white spot on the head of my beloved Cherub Angel. I may have imagined it -- the spot didn't spread or grow and my little fish was as energetic, hungry and curious as always -- picking at the live rock & substrate, etc. The "spot" disappeared by 4pm and I decided I'd imagined it. On Wednesday night, 2/8, however, I lost the lights on my Nanocube. I ordered a replacement canopy via overnight delivery and was able to provide at least some light by using the canopy from my Eclipse 12 gallon QT. Not great, but at least some form of illumination. The replacement canopy arrived on Friday morning and I installed it right away. On Friday evening I noticed a re-emergence of the spot on the Angel's head. Today the spot hasn't spread or changed, but her behavior has. Although still eating voraciously, she is behaving differently -- swimming rapidly against the current with her fins tucked, spending lots of time moving vertically in the front corner of the tank (from bottom to top of the corner) and then darting among the LR. She's spending relatively little time picking around for things to eat as she normally does, and she seems to have lost patience with her tank mate the Gramma. She's not scratching or rubbing (so far as I can tell), nor does she seem "salted" or "dusty." Her respiration appears normal, she's not gasping at the surface and her eyes are clear. I filled my QT tank and have prepared a freshwater dip -- but I haven't tried to net my fish yet. Based on what I've written, do you think my fish likely has Ich and should be treated immediately? <Tough to say re a/the parasitic possibility, but I would (if it's not too hard) move all your fishes... too likely there is a toxic response from the power outage from your cnidarians/corals... that is really the principally fault here...> Given the environmental stress the tank has sustained I'm hesitant to inflict further insult unless truly indicated. Also, I want to clarify the treatment regimen if she does have Ich -- freshwater dip without Methylene Blue due to Angel sensitivity? <Worthwhile in transition to the other tank, yes... pH adjusted> Formalin instead of copper in the treatment tank for the same reason? <No, neither> Should I use Rid-Ich+ (Formalin & Malachite Green)? <I would not at this point> Thank you so much for any advice you can offer. I'm worried I'll do the wrong thing and kill my fish. --jag <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Bob Fenner>

Ich v. Air bubbles 8/13/05 I recently treated my orbit batfish for ich. His eyes were cloudy, breathing heavily and in bad shape. After successful copper sulfate treatment for two weeks I returned him to his 90 gallon home 5 weeks later. The main tank remained fallow for 5 weeks before his return. Everything appeared ok for a few days. Suddenly I started noticing what I thought were white spots on his tail again. After a few days they appeared to be all over his body. When I turned the lights on late at night they appeared all over. I was extremely upset and debating whether to do a second copper treatment or to try with garlic soaked food and just leave him with the cleaner shrimp since too much copper can be dangerous <You are right to be concerned here> Suddenly I had a thought that perhaps it was not ich. He wasn't scratching and his eyes were still clear. Appetite fine. Looking carefully in the water I noticed lots of tiny air bubbles from my protein skimmer. Looking in my 4 other reef tanks I did not see any similar spots on the fish. <Bats, Spadefishes are slimier than many other groups of fishes... and with the copper treatment, this specimen would be even slimier... more susceptible to air bubbles sticking on it.> However the protein skimmers in those tanks were in the sump and there were no air bubbles in the tank. I turned off the protein skimmer. Much to my happy surprise the supposed "ich" had all disappeared within 3 hours. Apparently what had happened was that the air bubbles were attaching to the slow moving batfish. With the light reflection off the air bubbles the air bubbles appeared to be ich. Now I am an experienced marine hobbyist with over 10 years in the hobby. I am also a well know Manhattan attorney so am usually pretty careful how I do things. Yet I came very close to committing fish malpractice by treating for ich when all I had was air bubbles. <Heee! Case closed counselor> The point of the story is that it is not so easy to tell simply by white spots if you have ich or not. <Yes> If there are any tiny air bubbles in your tank it would behoove the aquarist to first shut the protein skimmer for a few hours and see if the "ich" is really air bubbles. Slow moving fish appear to be magnets for air bubbles. Sadly I would bet there are thousands of cases of fish being treated for "ich" when all they had were a case of air bubbles. <Agreed... with dire consequences often> It's worth the time to shut your protein skimmer for a few hours to find out. Obviously if your fish are already scratching, not eating, and have cloudy eyes this extra step is not necessary. William J. Unroch, Attorney <Thank you for this. You have saved many organisms, other hobbyists... Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich v. Air bubbles What a great thing to say. Coming from you it is very flattering. You have saved thousands more organisms than I every will and your site is wonderful. I think my comment was needed since I had never seen that issue discussed before. When I realized I had air bubbles and not ich on the fish I was shocked that even with all my experience I was almost ready to do copper. <As a keen observer of human nature it seems so likely... and yet you had the further intelligence to see through such a "reflex" reaction> Light plays strange tricks on tiny air bubbles. They look white, they build up on the fish over a few days, and even an experienced aquarist can think it is ick - I did :). Hope you mention this in one of your wonderful articles. Thanks again William J. Unroch, Attorney <Will do. Excelsior! Bob Fenner> Are there other diseases that look like crypt but are not crypt ? 9/17/05 Dear Bob, I have a question re: diseases that may look like marine crypt but are not. As you know I have recently had a crypt outbreak in my display which is successfully being treated with copper in QT's and allowing the display to lie fallow. I am noticing that my large Naso tang has been developing what looks like white-ish pimples that look larger than crypt over the head, gill opercula, and the body. He is in QT with a purple and a powder blue ( 55 gal ) I noted these lesions when the fish was in the display and they looked like crypt. The fish also had smaller lesions salt grain sized that I definitely thought were crypt. Now after 10 days in copper at therapeutic levels in a 55 gal QT I see that many of these areas are unchanged. The areas around the head definitely look like HLLE. ( the raised white areas have been followed by areas of depigmentation and mild tissue erosion ) The dusting of crypt on the fins is "gone" While in copper all fish are doing great except for the fact that the tangs have developed a touch of HLLE. Could I be dealing with something other than ich on the Naso ? <Possibly, but not likely. Copper use is effective against most all external parasites... Very likely this is "just" a reaction of your tang to copper, stress...> Could this be HLLE ? Can :HLLE effect the body of the fish also ? <Yes and yes> These areas resemble crypt but are larger. Fins and gills (probably) are spared. I am using Cupramine with SeaChem test kit as recommended. The fish are eating like pigs. Copper levels tested twice daily with addition of Cupramine to keep level at .5 mg/L. If these areas do not heal after 3 weeks of copper could one assume that we are not dealing with crypt and would it be safe to return the fish to the display? <Yes> An unrelated question. How long would you recommend that Live Rock, and skunk cleaner shrimp be QT'd before addition to an established display in a FOWLR tank ? <A couple of weeks. Take a look at these "pimples"... do they appear bilaterally symmetrical? On both sides of the fish in about the same area? Is likely "neuromast degeneration" (aka HLLE)... will hopefully "cure" on the fish's return to the main system. Bob Fenner> Thanks Jimmy

Brooklynella or ICH? Treat for both... 9/19.5/05 Was wondering if you could help me ID This... I don't want to let this destroy my tomato clowns but some say ich and one says Brooklynella but I want to be sure and treat it right and quick photos are here: www.fearstyle.com/photography/wtf/ they are a tad large and first stab photographing with a macro lens its hard to keep a moving subject in focus :( - Scott <Well Scott, the easiest thing to do is treat for both. Your pictures were a little too blurry for me to make a definitive diagnosis, but it is easy enough to deal with both possibilities. I would give the fish a formalin bath on its way into a quarantine tank where it is followed up with a hyposalinity treatment. -Steven Pro (a blast from the past at MACNA).>

Cryptocaryon not responding to copper 8/3/05 Hi Bob? <Yes> Still battling mysterious spots on Naso Tang Finished copper treatment and crypt appears to be gone '3 weeks now". As you suggested I tried PraziPro and did get some improvement the Naso is in with a Hippo Tang 'Quarantine" for about 6 weeks total now, the Hippo developed some HLLE from copper I assume but is slowly recovering. <Ah, good> My thoughts are to move the hippo to the reef for better water quality to help with the HLLE and treat the Naso in quarantine again? <Mmm, actually... the spots may be something relatively untreatable... like subcutaneous worms of some sort... For all the balance of good/benefit, I would leave it in the main tank... perhaps add purposeful cleaner/s... Lysmata shrimp are very good with tangs> I have run two seven day treatments with PraziPro., the spots turn from white to a yellow color and some, about a third have dropped off. Can I increase the dose or try a dip possibly? <Not a good idea... one treatment will do about as much good as can> And is it safe in your opinion to put the Hippo in my reef, he has shown no signs since the crypt. Thank you so much for your assistance I believe I am making headway but this stuff is resilient to say the least. Please read below if you need a refresher Shaun <I would run both fishes through a pH adjusted freshwater dip (with aeration) enroute to returning them to your main system. Bob Fenner> Is this ich? Good Afternoon <Almost> We have a 54 gallon AGA Salt Water Aquarium with 2 false clown Percs and a handful of snails and crabs. Also about 35 pounds of live rock. All are doing well and swimming and eating like piggies. (We have had the fish for 2 weeks). 2 or 3 days ago I noticed a small white "fuzzy" on the back of one of the clowns. It doesn't seem to bother him in the least. It has not multiplied or changed in any way. I have read numerous articles on ich and quite honesty, it doesn't resemble what they say. It is bigger than a grain of salt.. more like a pimple. <Perhaps just an "owee"> We don't have a hospital tank but are planning on setting one up this weekend. Do I need to treat for ich now or can I wait and see if this is really what it is. Or maybe that freshwater dip I've read about? <I'd hold off on all for now... not worth the trauma of moving, dipping...> I was expecting a yellow tang and a cleaner fish to arrive this weekend, but I have postponed that. Thanks in advance! Mary <I would look into a cleaner goby or perhaps a cleaner shrimp... Bob Fenner>

To Treat Or Not To Treat? (Ich Treatment?) Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Sorry to bother you again on my ICH situation. It is frustrating because I do not know whether to treat for ICH or not. <A tough call...> I have a continuation of my last email. The first clownfish I had that showed white spots on his one fin died after a few days with my hyposalinity and raising the temperature approach. <Hard to say if it was the "disease", or the stress of the "treatment"...> I removed him immediately and now my second clownfish is seemingly fine. <Good to hear> He once showed one white speck but that disappeared after a freshwater dip in Methylene blue. He is alive and well and showing no visible signs of ICH, no spots anywhere on his body or fins, he is swimming normally, no scratching, no hiding etc. The ammonia count was a bit high so I did a 100% water change today with water from my 6 month old display tank. <Good call> The problem with this fish number two is that he just won't eat. It's been 3-4 days now and I've tried Spirulina flakes, freeze dried bloodworms, bio-pure brine shrimp and Cyclop-Eeze zooplankton. He aggressively swims up to the food but doesn't ever eat it. I do not know whether to treat him for ICH because he seems healthy in every way except the non-eating part. I just do not know what to do at this point ! I don't want to start copper treatment if he doesn't have ICH, but I'm afraid he will be more susceptible to ich or dying if he won't eat. <Well, not eating is not a good thing, but I think it would be worse to subject the fish to the stress of a copper sulphate treatment if it isn't necessary> I'm frustrated and concerned. If the first fish died from ICH a week into my QT and my second fish is still living a week beyond. If there was ICH in the tank wouldn't white spots be appearing all over him by now ?? Any help would be appreciated. Signed, totally stumped!! <Quite possible, although some fishes show very few spots, while others are just covered! If it were me, I'd keep the fish in the QT and keep trying to get him to eat. I'd use some liquid vitamins, such as VitaChem, added directly into the water, to help provide some supplemental nutrition (fish do drink, and he might take on some nourishment in this way) until he starts eating. I would avoid the copper or other medications at this point unless very obvious symptoms manifest themselves. Perhaps there is no infection at all...Could be a myriad of possibilities. Sometimes, just good observation, nutritious food (when the fish eats, that is!), and clean water conditions can help you "turn the corner" with a fish that seems out of sorts. Be patient, don't give up, and stay with this guy. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Is It Ich- Or Just A Hallucination? (Possible Ich Outbreak) I feel all ichy. <I could come up with all sorts of crude responses to that one, but I'll refrain! Scott F. with you today!> I have a 75 gal. FOWLR tank, I consists of Rusty Angel, Snowflake Eel, 2 Damsels. All the water tests are in order. The other day I bought some additional live rock for the tank. To make a long story short the Rusty Angel came down with what I believe to be ich. He hasn't had it very bad only 3 small white spots for a couple days, so I haven't gotten too aggressive with the treatment yet. For the past few days the white spots have been disappearing, with the last one going away this evening. I am a little confused on what to do, can I assume that the Angel is overcoming the problem or is this something that normally happens and they come back or what? <If it is ich, the "coming and going" of the spots is a normal symptom of Cryptocaryon (marine ich). They do leave their host and enter a "free swimming" phase...If it is ich- don't be fooled into believing that the fish has somehow "shaken" the infection. It's still something that you need to be very concerned with> Should I wait a couple of days to see what happens and then take further action? Thanks a lot. Mike. <Well, Mike, in the absence of other symptoms, I suppose that a rush into a potentially stressful course of treatment would be, ahem- ill advised. However, do keep a close eye on things, and be prepared to take action if it is necessary...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

I think I have (my Fish) Ich! Hi, <Hello> It me AGAIN! I am new as I said to the Saltwater Fish world and do need GOOD Help! I did read the posts on ICH but again since I am new I wanted to ask to be sure. I read that it looks like salt, it this true? <... If you read the Cryptocaryon materials archived... you would not ask this> If so I think my Hippo Tang has a mild case. I did speak to the store in which I bought him but they told me to leave him as this sometimes goes away by itself <No... never> and I do have a cleaner shrimp that may do the job. Is this true, should I leave him, as he or she is not the only fish in the tank? If not what is the best way to treat, I have read that 30 days is the best way to assure that if any eggs are present that this will kill them, if so will this hurt any fish in the tank such as my Red Knob Star, Shrimp, or Crab? I know I can not use any copper based products. I also have a Potter's Angel, she is very beautiful but does not seem to eat like the other fish, I feed seaweed, Marine Cuisine, and clams. Should I purchase special Angel Food for her? One last question, should I purchase a protein skimmer, again I have asked this and keep getting different answers. I have a 75 Gallon tank with a Eheim Filter and Bio wheel. Looking forward to the correct advice from you. Deb <My advice is to spend some time educating yourself... and quickly... you may lose all your fish livestock if you don't act with intelligence. And soon. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above UNTIL you understand your options, what you're up against.... then apply yourself. Bob Fenner> Re: I think I have (my Fish) Ich! Bob, <Deb> As I stated I DID read the post on ICH but there were so many that being new I just wanted to make sure by asking. <No need to read all... just enough... till you are satisfied with your understanding> I just found your site a few days ago, before this I read and tried to educate myself as much as I could before taking on this hobby, asked many people for help before I set up our tank. As I had explained to (salty Dog) there it just to many different opinions out there and my husband and I have become very confused as to what is right and wrong. <... Sort through the mass of "noise" for factual matter... and decide for yourself which is useful> We did not just decide to set up a tank without trying to learn anything about it. Just as I posted we were told to leave the Tang alone and see it the ICH goes away you say NEVER, this seems to be the way. I have gone to the site you told me to go to and will try the things suggested. As I go along with this hobby I am learning slow is the best way to go, <You are correct here for sure> I would not have mixed fish and non-fish together until we had a lot more knowledge about keeping a saltwater tank, as there are to many things that can go wrong until you really have this under your belt! I am only sorry we were not given good guidance from the start as you can not possibly learn everything about this hobby by just reading, it seems to be a live and learn kind of thing. Thanks Deb <Thank you for your input, observations... it is indeed a wonderful hobby... but one fraught with a good deal of lack of, and mis-, dis-information. It does sound like you are on a "right path"... and have a good, discerning mind. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

- Powder Blue Tang Problems - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Hello, I am a new aquarist. I have a 180 gallon acrylic, 500 watt reef / fish tank with a sump with a Euro-reef skimmer, via aqua chiller 77.5 degrees, rock bed, uv, miracle mud Caulerpa (razor) bed growing, 3 month old tank with a 3100 driving it and 2500 power head inside for flow. I have a nitrate bag in the sump. I have 5 anemones, 2 scallops, 10 emeralds crabs, 40 hermits, 2 brittle stars, 2 urchins, zoanthids, brain coral, mushrooms, 2 blennies, a dragonet, little strawberry, royal Gramma, purple fire fish, 2 perculas, a large copper band butterfly, (the tang and butterfly are buddies the largest fish and in the tank last), the butterfly is fine. I have probably 100 lbs of rock from around the world. Nice purple coralline algae on it. I also dumped in 10 lbs if GARF's grunge when I started the tank. I have 4 inches of sand for a substrate Everybody is fine except the Tang! Total of 10 fish, (I'm under the 1" per 5 gallon rule) 1) I seem to have a lot of detritus build up on the rocks though. <Not unusual - you can clean off with a turkey baster.> 2) Also have a odd dark brown slime growth that's on the substrate, its like chocolate pudding almost, I used chem.-clean already, did nothing to it! It starts in little batches and grows. <Sounds like BGA - Cyanobacteria - can be addressed with more flow, and caution about over-feeding.> 3) My Powder Blue did have a little ich, I cured that, but now it is hiding and developed these symptoms! a) little spec's all over, like clear see thru areas, not white, not ich, but larger than ich. b) Light dusting of detritus on it. c) Eyes look cloudy I feed everybody frozen mysis shrimp that's soaked in extreme garlic. And feed the Tang Seaweed Select green marine algae dried seaweed. Can you help me with my Powder Blue Tang; I'm worried about him! <Hmm... those pictures sure look like ich, and don't really bode well for your tang. I would immediately put that fish through a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip with formalin in the bath and then place in a separate quarantine system - don't put it back in your main tank. Just based on your pictures, I can't honestly tell you that all will be well... your fish looks to be in serious trouble, and you need to take action now. If you don't have a quarantine tank, you need to get one immediately - dip this fish, and then isolate it. If it makes it through, you will probably have to continue treatments for a couple of weeks, and try to nurse it through. The Powder Blue tang is a notorious fish for its susceptibility to parasitic problems, and as much so for falling victim to rough handling in the capture/shipping process. Here is some reading for additional background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/badacanthurusaq.htm > Sincerely, Ryan Gilmore
P.S. Attached pic's for you!
<Cheers, J -- >

- Is This Bad? - Hey there. <Hi, JasonC here...> Thank you for running such a wonderful website.. I am new to the hobby of saltwater fish tanks and in the midst of my first scare. Can you take a look at these pictures and let me know if you think my fish (a yellow tang) might have ICK?? <Hmm... doesn't seem to be from the pictures, but it can be hard to tell. I don't see any white spots... ich typically presents itself as if the fish has been salted from a salt shaker. He seems ok at night when the lights are on (I can't really see any spots?). but in the mornings, I swear I see white little spots on his fins that weren't there a few weeks ago. <Is not unusual for a fish to pick up a spot or two over night and then lose them during the course of the day.> I have been reading a ton about ICK and am trying to figure out if my fish might have it.. I sure hope not!! <Well... ich is one of those funny things, it's very hard to have a system that is 100% ich-free, but if the fish are healthy and relatively free from stress, they can often cope with the ich on their own. As an example, one rarely [very, very rarely] sees ich on fish in the wild.> I have a 75 gallon tank with 1 yellow tang, 2 clown fish, 1 lemon damsel, and 1 longnose butterfly. and 1 hermit crab. no live rock or live corals. <Consider getting some live rock for this fish to graze on.> The long nose is new (approx 1 week old) and I am afraid he may have introduced a disease to my tank??? <If you didn't quarantine it, then that is a distinct possibility. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm > The tang seems to be eating fine and acting normal. But she is hovering above my crab on occasion and letting him pick at her skin with his claws. Almost like she is trying to get him to scratch her side. <Possible.> She is not rubbing up against rocks or coral or anything though. <Well... given that crab might be more selective... I'd solicit the cleaning services of the crab, although this is the first time I've heard of it.> I am torn as to what to do. <I'd keep up the observation for now.> All of my other fish seem very healthy and happy. and she MAY be ok. maybe I'm just being paranoid... <A little paranoia is ok in this instance I think, just don't let it run away with you.> The guy at the fish store says that if she has any spots, or if she is scratching herself, I should remove the hermit crab and treat my tank with copper for 3 - 4 weeks.. What do you think? <Don't do that... pick up a second, small tank for a quarantine system and treat the fish there. Don't add copper to your main tank.> I don't want to put copper in there if they don't need it, but he says that if you don't treat it immediately it can hit their gills, etc and cause major problems or death.. <This is true but I still wouldn't treat the main tank.> Can you tell anything from these pictures? <Not really... please do read those links and these as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm > Thanks so much! Todd <Cheers, J -- >

Scratching Ich Has Him Scratching His Head! Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> I have had my yellow tang for 2 months now, and today he started itching on my live rock and glass. He goes vertical and itches very fast. He's rubbed some scales off. Have any ideas what it is, and how can I treat it? I have a reef tank, so no medicine. I figure its a parasite because that's what make fish itch. <Well, that's a pretty good hunch...Certainly sounds like a parasite of some sort. Since improperly medicating the fish is as problematic as NOT medicating him, I would not be in a hurry to remove him and dose with copper, formalin, or another medication...I'd actually start with freshwater dips. I would consider removing him to a separate tank for observation and regular FW dips of at least 5-10 minutes duration. If you are going to leave him in the tank (and I'm not so sure that this is the best approach), then by all means try cleaner shrimp. They may help eliminate some of the discomfort...> Maybe one of those cleaner shrimp could pick his parasites off. <Yep!> He's 5 inches. I don't want to see him die. I'm very attached to him. No visible signs of disease, dots, or anything. <Keep observing him closely, and try to study the vast resources available on the WWM site to make a positive diagnosis. Be decisive, but don't make panic decisions and go crazy with medication...Hang in there...Regards, Scott F>

Re: Ich again? (No... still) Hi WWM crew, all my fish are scratching themselves against the sand and I don't seem to know why. I have a Naso tang, blue powder tang, clown tang, Achilles tang, flame angel, and a Cuban hogfish and they all seem to be scratching against the sand now and then. What is this a sign of? <Cryptocaryoniasis> I've recently rid my tank from ich 4 days ago with copper treatment and all the spots on the fish are gone. <Mmm, no... they're just cycling into more feeding/Trophont phases. Your system still has the parasite. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the FAQs beyond> There is absolutely no ich spots. Another question, do clown tangs and Achilles strive peacefully together? <Almost never. Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm and the genus Acanthurus FAQs, Compatibility, Disease... linked above> Because ever since I bought the Achilles tang two days ago, the clown tang is constantly chasing after it. Is it because the clown tang has a thing with the color black? Thank you for your time and knowledge. <These fish species are incompatible... You have a few important tasks ahead of you. First, study what saltwater ich is... its life cycle... get and use a treatment tank... it's going to have to be large due to the types of fishes you have... and study how to treat these fishes there. You need to do all this NOW. Bob Fenner> -PHT-

Free Swimming Parasites in Infected Tank? Hello WWM Crew! I think your site is great, it is one of the most comprehensive sites on the aquarium hobby I have seen. Anyway I have a question. About 2 weeks ago, I had an ich outbreak in my 60 gallon which housed a dog faced puffer and a tomato clown. I quickly quarantined the fish and am hesitant to use copper in my main tank because of the live rock and things that live in it. <Agreed, I do not like to use copper in display tanks and would never use it in the presence of liverock.> I've decided to let the tank fallow for a few weeks <One full month, please else a few of the cysts may still survive to re-infect your fish.> and while I was looking at my tank, I could see these little white things floating around and a few of them were swimming. They looked like little oval dots with tiny tails. Could this be ich in its free swimming stage? <It would be difficult to impossible to see Cryptocaryon free swimming with the naked eye. It is much more likely that this is some sort of plankton. It is one of the indirect benefits of fallowing your tank. The populations of pods blossoms without your fish predators.> They almost look like baby sea monkeys. Any help is much appreciated! Ron <Best of luck to you with the Ich! -Steven Pro>

Re: Powder Blue Tang, Possible Ich Outbreak Hi Scott it's me again sorry for all the questions but I am getting even more concerned after reading some information on the site about ich and fish dying. <Not a problem, my friend-that's what I'm here for> My Lion seems to be twitching a little bit a using his pectoral fins to swat at himself, just started. my wife reminded me that last Saturday we stupidly put in a cleaner shrimp that became dinner 3 hours latter. Could this have anything to do with this problem? <Possible but unlikely. And the idea to use "biological" cleaners, such as shrimp is generally a good idea, actually> How can I tell for sure if it is ich? <Fish with ich generally exhibit "scratching", and a sprinkling of small white spots throughout the infected fish's body> Will this cause me to have to do something drastic to my main tank? <At this point, I would operate on the assumption that all fish in your main system are infected, and follow the freshwater dip, copper sulphate treatment protocol in your hospital tank as outlined previously. If it were me, I'd let the main system run without fish (leave the inverts alone) for at least a month performing routine maintenance as usual during that time) while treating the fishes in the hospital tank. DO NOT add any medications to your main system! With time, patience, and quick action on your part (not to mention, careful observation), you will be successful at beating this malady. You're on the right track-keep it up! Regards, Scott F.>

Copper/Ich Hey guys, I'm medicating a hospital bare bottom, no rock/sand, only PVC) tank with copper (Cupramine) and have it at the therapeutic level of 0.45 (it's asking for 0.5, but its fairly close and I believe copper is active at 0.15-0.20 in fighting ich). Anyhow, I know it only works on the free swimming stage, but is it normal after sticking a fish with spots (not quite fully infested) in there for 2 days, for the fish to actually get worse lots of white spots) on the 2nd/3rd day ? Is this just from already infected parasites in the fish just coming to the surface ? <Yes, very likely. The "spots" are actually mucus and damage on the fish's dermis...> I saw a fish in copper solution go from just a few spots to like covered (didn't make it) in 2 days. I thought it was my copper levels, but they were checked 3 times by 3 different sources myself and 2 stores) and they all checked in from 0.3 to 0.5, so I know the copper is in solution. If this is normal, then I'll just have to wait it out. Thanks, Jim <Yes... lessons in "reality"... by the time "ich" (et al. dis-ease conditions) are "registered", there are still "events to go". In action, watch the timing, "Bob".>

Ich Dear Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro this morning.> Thank you for your kind reply. I am very sorry to disturb you again; however the local dealer (Indonesian) seems to have limited knowledge on aquarium keeping and the casualties in their own aquarium is very high. My clownfish's white spot disappear after I administer copper treatment yesterday. However, the white spot reappear (in the treatment tank) this morning. Is this normal? <Yes, Ich has a short lifespan. It lives, breeds, and dies all with 24 hours, so your fish are constantly being infected by new parasites.> I do not have activated carbon filtration but do have thick gravel and rocks and I continue to apply copper treatment as instructed 2 weeks treatment. Am I doing the right thing? <Far better to administer copper in a separate quarantine/hospital tank that does not have any calcareous media; sand, crushed coral, liverock, etc.> Can the disease be killed permanently? <Yes, as long as tank conditions are optimal. Poor water quality and temperature fluctuations are triggers for outbreaks.> How can I be sure? Liao I Ching <Ich infestations take awhile to get rid of, approximately one month before you are completely safe. -Steven Pro>

Ich Hi, 10 days ago I placed a PolyFilter in my sump to remove copper that I have been running in my tank. I also started to add B- Ionic 2 part solution buffer and calcium. I was also told that I should add magnesium to the mix as well. I started to add all three and noticed that 4 of my fish developed ich. <unquestionably unrelated> My dogface, Huma trigger, purple tang and hippo tang all had ich this morning. When I came home tonight the only fish with ich now is the dogface. <the waxing and waning is a common symptom of Cryptocaryon... look out. Medication in a bare QT tank is going to be necessary. Be sure not to medicate the main display (simply leave fallow). Much info on this common problem in our Wet Web Media archives if you'd like to browse there> Will the ich resolve by itself or do I need to do something? <almost certainly will not resolve itself and a Quarantine tank is necessary (in use, it might have prevented this in the first place)> Can the ich outbreak be from the fish being used to copper in the water and now that there is none caused them to have the outbreak? Thanks. <I guess that means that they are relatively new fish and were bought from a store that runs copper? At any rate.. no my friend. It is more commonly flared by stress and especially temperature fluctuations. Do check morning noon and night readings and see if you fluctuate 3 or more degrees. This is a common cause. And please do read in our archives how to set up and use a QT tank for all new fishes. Never put a new fish directly into a display... that's an invitation for a disease outbreak> JPK <best regards, Anthony>

Ich question Hey Anthony, thanks again. Understood on that. However, for whatever reasons (aesthetic, etc), I use the CaribSea Puka shells for a bottom (<1"). < a very attractive media but dreadful at trapping detritus> It can easily be removed on the q-tank, <yes...never substrates in QT because they absorb medications and allow pathogens (like larval tomites of Ich) to flourish> but is this not recommended at all for a main tank (it is FOWLR) ? <even without above said problems...1" is too thick for any substrate used for pure aesthetics...just becomes a nutrient sink. The rule is 1/2 inch or less...or for denitrification with sugar fine sand...over 3" at all times> Live sand is better, but in a pseudo predator tank, I'm not going to be able to put any substrate dwellers without them being in some sort of peril... <although adequate water flow and current should keep most detritus in suspension and a goatfish (sand-sifting) species can hang out even in some tough tanks> There may be a few species, but I believe those end up eating cleaner shrimp. . . Oh, but nature is so much fun. . . I still don't think its ich in my case. I've seen fish with ich, and its usually small white salt spots. <agreed from best I could tell from your photo> This particular one started as small white spots on the fins, but then the spots have faded a bit and become larger (they look to be larger than 1mm). perhaps ich is larger on fins than on the body? <nope...as you first suspected...like grains of salt> Dunno on that one. There were some spots on the body as well, but those have faded and look to be gone, but there were larger than sand grain specks as well. The fact that it left kind of scares me as well since I know ich leaves the skin and re-infects even stronger. . . However, the fin spots are still there (remnants of ich after they have left?) <possible, yes> Thanks, Ed <Kind regards, Anthony >

New Tank With Problems Hi- I hope you can answer me in time.......... I have 3 damsels, (1 domino, 2 striped) and 20 baby sergeant majors. <I hope the 20 Sergeant Major Damsels is a typo. Either way, way too many fish for this stage and the Sergeant Majors and Domino are a poor choice for such a small tank.> Approx. 15 hermits, and about 10 snails with a dead sea fan and dead coral. I have a 26g bow-front with a TetraTec PF300 filter, and whatever UV light that came w/ my tank. I have had the tank and everything in in for 4 weeks now, and as of 3 days ago, started noticing problems w/ the damsels. The 2 striped damsels have always had little white spots on their fins, which I assumed was ich, yet never got rid of them...(too soft-hearted?) <No need to get rid of them. Treatment would be useful.> mainly because they never showed any signs of stress. Well, now the domino, as well as the 2 stripes have not eaten in 3 days, and yesterday, I noticed that their eyes seem to be bulging (slightly). Both eyes on the domino, and one on the stripes. Their diet consists of marine flakes/granules/brine shrimp cubes, which I let fully melt before adding. I feed once or twice daily and try to switch it up so they don't get bored. My S.G., pH and ammonia are fine, but nitrites/nitrates are a bit high, but then again, have been all along. What can I do to help these little guys? Thanks, Michelle- Ft. Lauderdale <Please refer to the various articles on WWM concerning cycling your tank and treatment for Cryptocaryon. You seem to be experiencing water quality problems related to how new your tank is. This is bringing on the various diseases in your fish. -Steven Pro>

Scratching Fish Hi, I bought a hippo tang one week ago and he has been scratching on the rocks ever since. He has no white spots on him, so what do you think it could be? Should I remove him? I don't want to stress him out any further. <P. hepatus Blue regal/hippo tangs are also known as white-spot Ich magnets. Odds are very good that you are days to a week away from a visible infection. Do research in the WWM archives and beyond subjects on quarantine and Ich treatments...articles and FAQs. Do act fast, my friend. My advice will include 4 week quarantine, freshwater dips, small daily water changes in the QT tank and some medication. Best regards, Anthony>

Ich in mornings = Cryptocaryon Dear Crew, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I know there are lots of posts on ich. We've had our Naso tang for over a year and we had ich (black and white) upon introduction. We know the standard treatments, hyposalinity, increased temp, copper, fresh water dips, cleaner shrimps. We never use copper (bad for tang's gut, I hear) or fresh water dips (rather traumatic). <I disagree wholeheartedly on the FW dip read... it is much less traumatic than a long term chemo treatment. The key is to do it properly (temp, ph adjusted, oxygenated, etc). I have had a couple thousand tangs in my wholesale experience through dips as long as fifteen minutes.> Our tang gets a few ich spots (either black or white) in the mornings. <a giveaway that it is Cryptocaryon with its short fast life cycle> It's occasional and probably the shrimp pick it off over the course of a day or two (it disappears and the shrimp jump on the fish). We've been trying to start introducing corals so we can't reduce salinity as much (used to keep it at 1.021--now it's at 1.024) and our temp is 82. Nitrates are near zero. Fish looks otherwise fine. pH is a little low--close to 8 (Salifert--less than 8.3). Why mornings? <above> Is there anything we can do? For example, it's likely that pH and temp go down overnight. <the pH drop is normal and natural due to respiration (although I hope you don't let it dip below 8.3 for a reef tank). The temperature drop I cannot explain other than saying it is a flaw. How is it possible if you have thermostatic heaters? Temp drops are surefire ways to flare Ich> Perhaps, it's because the fish doesn't move at night? Would increasing water movement help? <nope> I hate to have this little fellow condemned to a life of being dinner for those nasty parasites. It probably keeps the shrimps happy but they eat flakes. Thanks, Allyson <trap the creature in the morning when the fish is sluggish... remove to QT with Formalin and/or copper for four weeks during which time the parasites in the tank will wane without a viable host assuming you correct the temp fluctuations. All will be just fine in one month. The best course of action. Best regards, Anthony>

Suspect Cryptocaryon in main system... Bob, I have your book the Conscientious Marine Aquarist an am using it extensively. <Hope you find it of use> About 2 months ago I noticed salt looking specs on my Yellow Tang, Orchid Dottyback, and Flame Angel. Rest of tank (55gal) seems fine. Some data: Tank population: Maroon Clown pair, 6-line wrasse, Falco Hawkfish, Banded Coral Shrimp, Fromia Starfish, Sebae Anemone, 20-24 blue leg hermits, 20-30 snails, approx. 60 lb. live rock with critters. Tank: 55 Gal, Fluval 304, Aquaclear 300, Red Sea Prism skimmer, JBL 4 x 55W compact f., power head. Initial treatment was freshwater dip for the tang, Dottyback, and flame angel. I treated water with Methylene blue and ph adjusted. Significant reduction in number of specs. I repeated treatment 2 days later as I was trying to speed up cycling of 10 gal. hospital tank to move them to. I moved them into the 10 gal tank 6 days after initial visual indications of problem and 20 days into cycling of 10 gal tank. Treated with Copper. Dottyback perished. Tang and Flame made full recovery. Questions: My main tank still has all other fish in it and they show no signs of anything being wrong. I am surprised that the clown fish are doing so well. They do however show translucent areas of about 1/8 inch that come and go within hours on tails and fins. I moved tang and flame back into main, and they came down with spots again 4 days latter, they are now spotless in hospital tank and at 7 days of treatment with SeaCure copper. What do they have and do I need to "fallow" the main tank? <Most likely a lingering infestation of crypt as you suggest> How complete is "fallow"? Do I move all creatures noted above to more tanks including live rock? <Mmm, yes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasitf.htm and beyond> Last data: I am pretty nearsighted and when I look at tank without my contacts or glasses I can see what appears as white critters on tank glass. I believe them to be protozoans or some other small thing. They have two "whiskers" at the head and 1 single tail. I can not see them with normal vision. They have been in tank for a longer time than this breakout. <Not related... likely some sort of small species (there are many) of polychaete worm> Here's the killer I think, I added a Threadfin Butterfly that never ate and died after about 6 days in the main tank. It never showed any symptoms of the white specs. This was one week prior to outbreak. I know, bad mistake! <Yikes...> What do I do to fully recover. <Read for now... on the WWM site... to help develop your treatment strategy. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Dale

How do you know if it is really Ich? Dear Bob. Greetings and here's to hopefully an insightful question. I have spent the last few hours going over your disease pages and have a question of how do you truly diagnose if it is Ich? <Okay> As you may or may not remember I have just moved my fish into their new tank. From a 30 gallon to a 130 Gallon. Big difference. <Yes... I wish our wallets, free-time could/would enlarge like this> The new tank is set up with a temp of 79ºF a SPG of 1.025 and running 400 watts of Dual Power Compacts. Eheim Professional wet dry filter 500 GPH and an Emperor 280 with Bio Wheel. Venturi Protein Skimmer 400 GPH and 40 Lbs of live rock. The live rock was cured and then brought over from the old tank. Fine grade Aragonitic sand. The system is about 7 months old. Livestock are the Hawaiian feather dusters, 1 Yellow Sailfin Tang, 1 Tomato Clown, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 2 flame gobies, 1 Scooter Blenny, 1 Bubble tip anemone, my new pulsing Xenia and a few assorted Hermit Crabs, 1 CBS and two Peppermint Shrimp 1 of which has eggs. All are about 1"-2" in length. On bringing everything over from the old tank, everything, and everyone was given a freshwater dip as per your specifications in both your book and on the website. As was the live rock. The only exceptions were the shrimps. The sand is new and was rinsed in distilled water prior to placing it in the new tank. <Okay> Everyone is very happy with their new home, eating voraciously and very active, they have been there for about 4 days now. The Tang has been very effective at eliminating the algae and eats a 2"x2" square of Nori every two to three days as well as the Mysis Shrimp and the Brine Shrimp that they get as a "treat" every fourth day. I also do 16 drops of Kent Iodine and 16 drops of Kent Kalkwasser daily. Once a week the tank gets a dose of Strontium/Molybdenum as per the dosage requirements. Ph is 8.2 Ammonia is .25 Nitrate is 0 and Nitrite is 0. <Sounds good> I spent a couple of hours this evening looking at each of the individual fish and here are the "Ich"? observations. The Tomato Clown has one white grain like substance on his right Pelvic Fin. The Tang has about 12 of the same similar "grains" on his lower caudal fin lobe, the Scooter Blenny has nothing, the Banggai Cardinal has nothing and the Gobies have a few spots on their Pelvic Fins. The white spots are about half the size of the head of a pin. <Does "sound" like ich... not uncommon> The "spots" have been there for a few days now and they gradually disappear as opposed to getting more numerous. What, if anything should I be doing? <Mmm, not much more than you are... actually.> I have a quarantine tank set up for all new species and they spend three weeks in there before moving to one of the main tanks. What would you do. Do you think that it is Ich? Should they all be moved back to the 30 Gallon and be treated allowing the main tank to go Fallow for a few months? <I would leave all as they are for now... maybe add vitamins to their foods (soak the Nori etc.), perhaps another Cleaner (probably a Gobiosoma goby)> Or could it be something completely different such as something that could be eliminated by the addition of a "Cleaner" shrimp other than the CBS, whom everyone is afraid of as he tries to grab them as they come near or the Peppermint's that are more interested in eating the food than cleaning everyone else? <May be time to trade out this Stenopus for a more "friendly", useful Lysmata species... in the new, larger system, both would probably fit... I would put in one, two Lysmata amboinensis> At a loss here just playing it day by day until I can fathom an answer. <Wish I had said this> Cheers and thanks again for all of your help. Along with everyone else's. <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner> Julian Hunt

Your Book (actually marine ich) Good Morning Bob, Hope all is well. I started my quest of becoming a conscientious aquarist last night, your book is really good, I wish I had gotten it sooner. <Thank you. Much good help in putting it together> I would have avoided a lot of the mistakes I have made thus far. I found supplier around here that carries the Vecton UV sterilizer you recommended. <Great> I also have began to consider, letting my system fallow for about 6-8weeks, but get rid of what I think is ick. I am sure any more, because it's strange. The spots are mostly present in the morning on the black coat of my Personifer angel, however about an hour later they are gone. This angel sleeps on it's side up in a piece of live rock and the side facing up is covered but the other side is not. My LFS owner, thought it may be substrate particles under the slime coat at night. Does that sound logical? <Most likely what you describe is ich, Cryptocaryoniasis... it is frequently transient in not-too dire circumstances, non-hyper-infestations> Now I don't know what to think <When, where in doubt, add nothing> because the shoal tang shows no spots, but constantly rubs against rocks, a sign of ick. <Not necessarily... they do this to some degree in any case> I got 2 cleaner shrimp and 2 cleaner wrasse, while the shrimp did nothing the cleaner wrasse did a good job of getting rid of spots, but last night I found the bodies of the 2 cleaner wrasse, with their stomachs gone and this morning one of the cleaner shrimp were dead. So Bob I'm running out of ideas here. It's getting frustrating, now my thought was to let the system go empty for a while. <I consider this a good idea> My concern is, I'm not sure if my 55 gallon is large enough to hold all my live stock for 2 mths. I have 1 Sohal tang 6inches, 1 regal angel 5 inches, 1 Personifer angel 4 inches, 2 Kole tangs 4 inches, 2 damsels and 2 clown fish. Can I house these fish in a 55 gallon setup with a Emperor 400 and a Skilter 250 with built in protein skimmer, for a 2 month period maybe with added filtration. <Probably so... with testing, proper feeding, water changes...> Any ideas, suggestions Bob on my white spot situation. Sorry to bother you, I am starting to feel like I am taking all your time...thanks again Gillian <Study, contemplate, act... you are the maker of their world. Bob Fenner>

Re: Your Book (actually marine ich) Ok Bob, So I a have decided to let the system go empty for a while. I will need to treat the fish with copper to kill the parasites and continue treatment throughout that time to prevent them from coming back, since the quarters will be close. But now I am going to run into the same problem with the Sweetlips and copper use again. Is there any treatments else I can use besides copper that will eradicate the parasites, but not harm the Sweetlips. <Please do read through the Daily FAQs today... Dr. Rofen was kind enough to send along a response to a querier re their new "Herbal Ich Attack"? remedy... I consider this worth trying> If not I'll try to see if someone can hold the Sweetlips for me until the treatment is over. Also after using the copper in the quarantine tank, I have noticed the water getting cloudy. After reading WWM I think it's a bacterial bloom from copper usage, because the copper killed everything. <This does happen> Do you think this will harm the fish once I put them in. The water parameters are excellent right now, despite cloudiness. <Kia orana, life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Ich I hope not!!! Mr. Fenner, I am sorry to bother you again I have been trying to use your chat forum for my questions). As you know we lost about 8 fish about 2.5 months ago due to What appeared to be Velvet. I saved one Hippo tang and left him alone for about 6 weeks. Where he had no signs of anything for 4 weeks. We bought two tank raised I believe) true perculas two weeks ago both fine) and last week bought a Desjardin Sailfin tang. We dipped the tang in fresh water before putting him in our system. He now has a few small white spots in various parts of his body fin, side, and tail). He doesn't scratch on rocks, but has visited the cleaner shrimp a few times not often). My hippo scratches maybe once a day or every other day and is not using cleaners at all (he really did before). Should I be concerned? <Should you be concerned? Yes...> I don't want to lose any of my fish and ESPECIALLY my Paracanthurus hepatus! My husband wanted to start feeding medicated flakes, but I said NO. <No reason not to try them, really> I read so much on your site that this may or may not be anything that I wanted to check with you first. <Mmm, "it may or may not be something"> Temp is 81-83(dropped a few degrees the night before last, maybe my problem with spots???)Trying desperately to keep stable. Salinity is at 1.023 am going to lower slowly to 1.020 and do have two very good cleaner shrimps. My question, is this ich? and should I be worried it is going to wipe my system out again? Thanks in advance. <Might be ich, might wipe out your system. Bob Fenner>

I've done some reading on your web site on Ick. Well, lets start at the beginning. I have a 55-gallon tank w/an ecosystem sump set up and it has been running for a month now. <Okay> Amonia-0, Nitrates-0, Nitrites-0 1 Yellow Tang, 2 Damsels (1 sgt, 1 domino), 1 Cinnamon clown, 1 pigmy cherub, 1 Condy anemone, 3 snails, 2 hermit crab - of which I've only seen one of over the last week?? <Don't know what you've seen> Over the last few days, I've noticed my water getting cloudy. I did a water change this last weekend, after checking water conditions, stated above. Which might explain the missing Hermit crab? <Possibly> Upon looking closer at the fish, I see little white spots, maybe Ick? <Could be, could be something else, perhaps nothing in the way of biological disease> But from what I've encountered w/Freshwater in the past, I've never seen the Ick spots move? <Not much... do grow a bit at times> If I look closely at the side of the tank, out of the water flow, I can see them move, and even closer I can see them on the rock. <Oh! These are likely some sort/s of crustaceans... many possibilities here. And likely not problematical unless your fish livestock are greatly weakened> Now, I'm thinking this is why the water is cloudy? But, I'm still unsure as to what they are?? Is it Ick, or is it some other parasite? <I would assume nothing... and look to other means of clearing the water... perhaps adding a bit of live rock, macro-algae... otherwise not adding chemicals, "treatments"> The only thing I have been doing differently is adding Coralife for the Condy, a couple of times a week, but I'm wondering if it could be the yeast? <Could be> Or am I way off? <Can't tell from here> Thank you for steering me in the right direction. P.S. I love your web site and all of the information that it brings to us - Thank you for putting it together! JD BENNETT <Thank you for your participation, additions to it. Let's chat over your situation a bit if you'd like. It is not clear to me exactly what your situation is, or the root causes of the symptoms from what you list. Bob Fenner>

Beginner problems Hi Bob, I really enjoy reading your responses to your column. I have probably learned more from the column than any of the books that I have read. Except yours of course, it is my second bible. Ok, now for the questions. 1. I have had an Ick problem in the past and I am extremely worried about it coming back, I have waited 30 days for new fish, fixed one of the others (lost 2) and installed a U.V sterilizer. What I would like to know is whether or not you can actually see the ick organisms in the water in any form (larvae etc...) <No to seeing them... the tomites et al. forms or Cryptocaryon are a few microns across... the "white spots" folks can see on ich-infested fishes are the symptomatic results of the irritated fish/hosts skin... and much, much larger than the ich parasite causing the reaction> I have recently seen some very small white creatures swimming to the top of the tank. They swim in jerky actions but eventually make it to the top and get pushed around by the powerheads. Should I worry about these? <I wouldn't... it's not "them"> 2. I believe that I have enough live rock in my 55 tank to make a biological filter (about 35 lbs total in the last 30-40 days), I also have an over the back, separate skimmer, and a U.V. The problem is that I disconnected my undergravel filter and a hobbyist said this could be deadly to the tank. Is it deadly? Should I clean under the plates, or leave it alone? Thank you, Ray Scheid <Hmm, deadly? Probably not... this is one, simple way to make a "previous undergravel set-up" into a "purposeful denitrator, plenum set-up"... Unless the tank, substrate was very filthy... I wouldn't change a thing... You can monitor aspects of nitrogen cycling, keep an eye on your livestock for overt signs of trouble... I doubt if there will be any.... Alternatively, you can check your measurements of nitrates with previous records... and you'll find them decreasing, decreased. Bob Fenner>

Getting Worried about Ich Bob, Hope you had a great holiday, mine was good until I noticed something in my tank last night that has me a little worried. <Hmm, good lead in for a mystery novel> Tank is a 125 gallon reef tank with about 120lbs of Manano live rock and about 2-3 inches of live sand, 175watt 10k MH along with 65watt Power Compacts. It has been up an running since September. Water conditions are in normal ranges (0,0,1), ph 8.3, sg 1.025, been wrestling with phosphate a little bit it has been about .5 to 1 ppm, temp is controlled via chiller and set to 78 degrees, silicates are minimal, all trace elements are line. Currently tank is dosed via a calcium reactor and I'm not adding any trace elements at this time. <good, likely don't have to> I generally perform a 10 gallon water change every couple of weeks, performed a 30 gallon change 1 week ago. All fill water is RO/DI water. (System is designed to give these guys the best chance at life as possible, want to keep the RIPs to a minimum!!!) <I understand, and applaud your efforts, forethought> Current inhabitants of this paradise are Chrysiptera cyanea (3), Captive bred percula (2), Zebrasoma flavescens (1), Heteractis Crispa or Malu (still having a tough time identifying this guy, he moved from just being attached in the substrate to attaching himself half way on the rock and burying the rest in the sand, has a bunch of long thin tentacles like crispa, but also a bunch of short stubby guys on the inside like malu any thoughts on what he may be?) <Likely a H. crispa ("Sebae") looking as it does from environmental effects> On to my problem. Notice that the Zebrasoma was presenting himself to the Chrysiptera last night and the Chrysiptera was picking at him. Took a closer look at the Zebrasoma and noticed he had a few white bumps on his body and a few white smudges on his fins. Could this be the dreaded Amyloodinium ocellatum or Cryptocaryon showing itself? The Zebrasoma has been in the display tank for about 4 weeks, he is eating fine (Spirulina flakes once a day, cleans off a clip of Nori everyday and is very plump and has excellent color). <Could be, or other dermal problem, perhaps reaction to just physical, chemical irritation... due to tank having been up for as long as it has... am inclined to think not a parasitic or infectious problem per se... would utilize a biological cleaner at this stage... A Lysmata Shrimp sp. or Gobiosoma goby...> I have quarantined all of my fish for 2 weeks prior to introduction into the display case, however, the only guy that got a freshwater dip with Meth Blue and quarantine before going in was the Zebrasoma. Don't ask me why the others didn't get dipped, I don't know!! From now on, all fish will get the dip before quarantine!!. <Yes> One of the Percs does appear to have one spot but having a difficult time determining if it is abnormal. All others look and behave normal at this time. <Are you starting to see spots before your eyes?> What would you suggest in the way of treating the Zebrasoma, should he be removed and dipped again and back to quarantine for 2 weeks? Should I drop the sg and raise the temp in the quarantine tank? <Would hold off on the environmental manipulation at this point... go with the cleaner(s)> If I were to treat the Zebrasoma in the display tank by adjusting the environment (sg down to 1.018 and temp up to 82) do I risk damaging the Heteractis? <Yes> I know I'm asking you to play fortune teller here but do you think I'm headed for having to take drastic measures in the display tank or am I at early stages where I can get this under control? <Balance... read over the "Disease/Three Sets of Factors piece on the www.wetwebmedia.com site... you will understand> Any suggestions as to the best way to treat this in addition to the FAQs I've looked at would be appreciated. Thanks, Jason <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

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