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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis: Prevention

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

Related FAQs: 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: Identification, "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 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7Quarantine 8Quarantine 9Quarantine 10Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantining Invertebrates

Might Include: Selection of good species, specimens, Quarantine, Dips/baths... Providing optimized/stable environment, nutrition, and food supplementation, use of biological cleaners

Vaccines... coming...
UV, ozone... can help... won't prevent.... or cure.

Garlic, best for warding off vampires, making tasty pasta et al. dishes

Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?      12/5/19
Good day Nobel folk. An update...
Now, we learned and understood that eliminating crypt from a main tank was something 99.99% impossible,
<Can be very difficult; yes>
because we did not have enough QT tanks established to house all of our fish we decided to go ahead anyway while at least we set up several tanks around the house-a pleasure many of you I’m sure have had. After 45 days and 150 ml of Cupramine, a ‘clear’ window appeared. We maintained the levels for 30 post last spot. And on this bleak and cloudy morning we find ourselves back at square one, at least with 4 cycled QT tanks on hand.
So, it cannot be done. This is the third attempt in our history that we have attempted to treat Crypt in the display—to no avail. We tested Cupramine levels twice a day for 50 days. The dose required was 70ml, with absorption, the total dose was 150ml.....
Now for the dismantling...... bleaching.....obsessing over anything white or tang flying in the stream of the powerhead.
<Best to carefully (to avoid stains on carpet, clothes...) chlorine bleach (as gone over on WWM) all in place, including filters, media...>
And, the unavailability of Cupramine in Canada.
<? Wonder why. Bob Fenner>
Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?      12/5/19

Yes, Cupramine, PraziPro, Kanaplex, Metroplex, all API treatments like general cure—-EVERYTHING—-
I can understand the anti- microbials, for the prevention of the creation of ‘super bugs’. People do not dispose of them properly....But Cupramine?
<I know naught. Perhaps friend, fish pathologist and Canadian Myron Roth has insight here. Myron?
Bob Fenner>
Re: What looks like the crypt but is not?      12/5/19

.....It gets interesting
<Ah yes; the plot thickens as they say. B>

Fine Filter Pads for Help Combating Ich/Marine Velvet      3/19/17
Hi Team,
I had an interesting hypothesis that I wanted to get your opinion on.
Would using fine filter socks/pads that are 50/100 micron be able to help control an outbreak of Marine Velvet and/or Ick?
<Mmm; would likely reduce incidence, but not totally control. DE (Diatomaceous Earth)... would be better>
I was doing some reading and it seems like the trophonts of each would be larger than 50 microns, so it would beg the question. Obviously like UV (which I think this would compliment) it can't eliminate it because it won't have full access to the entire volume of water at all times-but I would think that it could help prevent outbreaks when used in a sump in a tank with high water turnover and good circulation?
<Yes; help. Will/would require very frequent cleaning>

Assume that you could have a decent combination of filters (e.g. 200 micron + 100 micron + 50 micron stacked together and changed often.
Anyone heard of trying this approach?
<Oh yes. Screening like this is commonly employed by facilities using natural seawater for culture. Bob Fenner>

New tank/Ich transfer     4/12/15
And a cheery hi there!
<Howsit Kirsten?>
I have read much of your website for years, and really appreciate all the experience you provide to help all of us. So now I would love to have an opinion on something I am about to do…or not.
I currently have a 92-gallon corner tank which I am about to switch to a classic 120-gallon rectangular tank. I will be setting them up side-by-side, so that transferring everything over should be easy to do. I plan to move the rocks and sump over, arrange the rocks, and then add completely new sand before moving the fish.
However, in Dec. 2013 I had a pretty bad case of Ich in my tank - only my tang and cherub angel survived. I have, over the course of the past 11 months, added new fish, including gobies, blennies, a mandarin dragonet, and a Foxface rabbit fish, among others. I realize that at least my tang and angel are still “carriers” of the Ich…
<Possibly; but I would have you know that almost all systems, fishes have non-clinical infestations...>
What I am wondering is (and I am thinking it won’t work the way I am thinking): if I run the new tank fallow for 6-8 weeks while keeping the fish in the old tank (with the sand in it, and using pvc as hiding places instead of rocks), then the new tank will break the cycle of Ich, but the fish will still have it since they aren’t truly being quarantined (and I can’t really truly vacuum the sand of all the torments that might drop off the fish). So even after a 6-8 week period, I would still have Ich on the fish, and thus reintroduce it to the new tank. This would therefore defeat the purpose of the 6-8 week waiting period, other than the fact that any mini-cycle of the tank won’t affect the fish.
<Yes; and possibly to likely weaken the fishes... stirring on a more "clinical" expression>
Am I right in that?
Or should I do the waiting period and treat the fish with something during that time (which would effectively ruin the sand for future use)?
<I would not. I'd just move the fishes in once the new system is up, stable... a day or so>
I am open to suggestions - I don’t believe I have seen this question asked (I did look), and appreciate any and all comments.
Thanks, Kerstin:-)
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: New tank/Ich transfer     4/12/15

Thanks very much, Bob, for confirming what I thought.
<Glad to confer>
I would actually leave my current tank up, but it’s a quarter circle tank, and after 6 years I am tired of trying to make my equipment work with it (and having sand blow all around), hence the move…long time coming.
Have a great Sunday,
<Ah, thank you. Up in Portland, OR, giving a talk. Cheers, BobF>

... Crypt prevention       3/29/14
Life is never short of challenges! Having lost all but 3 fish to Ick I moved these to QT and left the main tank without fish for 8 weeks. Having got to the end of 8 weeks I returned 5 blue green Chromis to the main tank. 
3 of these had Been in the QT for the full 8 weeks and 2 were those remaining of 4 added to the QT 2 weeks earlier. The 2 lost in the QT showed no obvious causes of death. All were FW dipped with Methylene Blue for 5 min.s before going into the QT. 10 days after being back in the main tank one showed signs of inflamed gills rapid breathing and lethargy suggesting Marine Velvet and died inside 12 hrs of showing problems. Now unsure whether to remove fish again to QT and wait another 8 weeks for parasitic life cycle to end or to continue restocking with fish that have been FW dipped and in QT for at least 2 weeks. I sense I have just undone all the good of leaving the main tank without fish for 8 weeks. Would welcome you views. Thanks as always
<Can't really hazard any more than a guess... you could still have parasitic issues in/with the main display... the duration of "going/being fallow" is really only a percentage game; not non-analogous to warranties on car batteries or hot water heaters... There is NEVER a totally safe length of time. Bob Fenner>

Ich. SW; learning     1/17/14
You guys are awesome and I have learned so much from the tons of reading!
To fight an Ich outbreak, we fallowed the tank for 48days , salinity was maintained at 1.025 and temp was 76degrees. We also treated the fish with cupramine for Ich in separate tanks. After 48 days, we reintroduced the fish into the main tank and then after about a month, our dogface puffer scratched his eye, and then began showing signs again of Ich. This has now also affected our coral beauty. Both fish seem to be healthy and trying to fight if off (giving Vitamins and greens), but we want to rid of this completely.
<May not be practical>
We are planning on re-quarantining our fish and snowflake eel (not together) but we wanted to know what the best course of action to take to rid the Ich.
<A few options...>
We have read some about emptying the display tank and running it with bleach and then rinsing. Do we have to go this extreme or if we refallow the tank, and lower the salinity and raise the heat, is this a better option?
<Nuking it is the only way to be (absolutely) sure>
What is your opinion on removing the rock and placing in another tank with no livestock to allow the Ich to die off?
<Anything wet can/does harbor parasites>
Should we dip/soak the rock  in RO water to rid Ich?
<Won't "do it">
  Do I need to worry about the Matrix we have in our sump?
<... anything... wet...>
Can we place this in a tank with the rock until the tank fallows out or  bleach the tank out? Should we go with new sand completely or should we also allow this to run through bleach water?
<Bleached, rinsed is fine>
 I have read that sometimes fallowing a tank alone, even for months, may not always rid the tank. What about using vinegar to clean the tank?
<CH3COOH is not as effective as chlorine>
We have a snowflake eel that will be in a separate tank. I know they usually don't show signs of  Ich, but from my understanding they can be carriers of it.
<Ah yes; all fishes>
So if we do not use any chemicals/treatments on him how long should we keep him out of the main tank to avoid him possibly carrying the Ich back in the main tank?
<...? Indefinitely>
We have two pieces of rock that I'm concerned about. One has some sponge on it so I don't want to bleach it and one rock has two mini maxies that refuse to move off. If we place these two rocks in a quarantine tank, would this allow the Ich to die off if no livestock  is with them? If the eel was in the same tank as these two rocks, would that possibly be an issue while we try to rid the Ich? 
<Better to have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above>
Sorry for the long email, but I am about to pull my hair out trying to get rid of the Ich. =]
We are about to receive another shipment of fish in a few weeks so we want to make sure that not only our fish are healthy, but the Ich is gone.
<Won't be>
We have been in this hobby for nearly a year and we have learned a lot from your site. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

commercial holding tank questions; Crypt...   5/16/13
Hi Bob,
It has been awhile since I last wrote you so I figured I would check in as I had a few questions I am hoping you can answer.  Last time we spoke I was about to open my new saltwater shop and you were helping me figure out my issues regarding ammonia spikes with the new dry rock and instead adding the fresh live rock to the set up in the fish holding system.  I'm happy to say that business has been really good since opening and I have been busier than I could have ever expected to be honest in my first year.
<Ah good>
 I am so busy some weeks that I have trouble keeping up with getting new livestock in to the shop after everything is sold on busy weekends.  Which leads me to my questions.  If you recall my store consists of a 1000g fish holding system and a 800g coral/invert system.  The coral/invert system does fantastic.  I run a skimmer and ozone and dose supplements for the corals as needed.  No problems there. The fish system however has been a headache from the start.  No matter what I do I can not seem to get things the way I want them.  If you remember I have a centralized system of 24 x 40g breeder tanks with an inch of aragonite sand
<I'd switch to coral sand... for looks, function; though not really a giant step forward here>
and one or two live rock pieces for each tank.  One 3ft LED strip light on each tank. In the back I have a 150g sump
<Is there room to add volume here? I would>
with a commercial sized protein skimmer, an Ozotech 1g ozone generator, and a Emperor Aquatics 300w HO UV along with 900w of heaters.  Salinity is kept at 1.022-23.  Temp: 74-75 in the winter months, 76-77 currently in the spring months as the retail space is on a concrete slab floor which stays cool.  No ammonia, nitrites, <10 nitrates.  I have also been corresponding with Bob Goemans regarding my current utilization of Chloroquine phosphate through the holding tanks as I have had good luck in the past using it in a hospital tank setting.
<I do hope/trust that you're not using CP on a continuous basis>
 My question in essence deals with disease prevention.  Every time I get a new shipment in of fish I see crypt spots pop up on the tangs and angels within a few days of arrival.
<Ahh, very common... the rule rather than exception>
  I was hoping running the CP through the holding tanks at 10-15mg/l would prevent this from happening
<Mmm, no... copper would be an order of magnitude better>
but it does not seem to be as effective as I hoped.  I am not sure if the rock and substrate are effecting the effectiveness of the drug or if the tank lights are degrading the medicine or even having an effect at all.  I turn off the ozone and UV when medication is present.
<Yes; have to>
  And have been redosing every 5-7 days as directed by Ed Noga and Bob G. I have tried the Guerrilla acclimation technique and have been ordering from reputable wholesalers (QM, SDC) without much luck in preventing outbreaks on new arrivals of certain Ich susceptible fish.
<You likely have a resident infestation... Are you "up to" the possibility/practice of bleaching the receiving/holding/isolation area every shipment? Moving some clean filter media from another system (perhaps the invertebrate sump)? Otherwise... I might stoop to the use of a chelated copper product in your fish system>
 I am thinking in going a couple different directions at this point...
1.  Setting up a three level QT rack in the back room big enough to hold 30-40 fish upon arrival.  Treating fish as needed for 1-2 weeks then moving up front to displays.
2.  Pulling all calcium based live rock and sand from fish system and replacing with bio balls, faux ornaments, inert freshwater gravel so as medications are more effective and I can treat fish system with copper or formalin if necessary.
<Ah yes>
3.  Adding more UV and Ozone to the system in hopes that better sterilization will be achieved without medications.
<What is your RedOx/ORP currently? I'd keep it (safely) consistently under 400...>
My concern obviously is once the fish have visible spots or symptoms in the retail holding tanks that they are no longer a sell-able product and the shop loses money and time treating and rehabbing the fish.
<Yes; not practical>
I guess my question then would be what is your preferred method for keeping a fish system healthy in appearance.
<As you've done and stated: Have stable, optimized holding facility, buy initially clean stock, quarantine/treat if necessary enroute to offering for sale...>
 I do not want to over medicate but it seems my ozone and UV are not enough on their own.  Perhaps I am undersized?
<Perhaps; a factor is volume size for sure... but only "a few percent" of your issue/situation. Again, like most all shops, you have a resident/in-place parasite situation>
 Other stores in the area run inert substrates and fake decor in their fish systems.  I am positive the one store uses formalin in the system when adding new arrivals and then UV there after.
<I'd use the formalin only in (heavily aerated) dips, short immersion baths>
  Their fish always seem to look in good health although I do hear they have high initial losses.  I am worried that my live rock and sand is harboring a lot of the disease.  I would like to keep some sort of substrate and decor in the tanks as I do promote reef tanks and Fowlr as my main selling setups. 
Any input you think would be helpful I would be glad to consider at this point.
Thanks again Bob!
<Though it can become a "bad habit", I'd lean, direct you to try the copper route (testing for and adjusting daily) at this time. Going forward; when you and your market will pay for it, separately holding incoming livestock shipments... Bob Fenner>

Whitespot/Disease Control, again  2/11/13
Dear Crew,
I would like to share with your readers that having been in the hobby for many years and like most of your readers battled and generally lost with marine Whitespot that I think I have devised a way to keep out of trouble.
Firstly dipping in all new fish in pH and temperature adjusted water for 5 min.s.
<Freshwater dip, correct?>
Secondly running a UV on a permanent basis. My UV turns over the full volume of water every 20 min.s. It also has the added function of aerating the water which is controllable. I do not think it is an upscale product, more budget end made by Sun Sun. I have not had any problems for three months after adding three new fish in that time.
<The freshwater dip is something we have always recommended; for sensitive fish this is not a good idea.  The UV will kill any spores that pass through the reaction chamber, but once they have attached to the host it has no real benefit in curing the fish.  Thank you for sharing your experience with us.  James (Salty Dog)>
 Regards, Adam.

White Spot. Prevention  - 1/25/13
Hi Crew, I would like to help others in my situation. Having fought for years with marine white spot and finally clearing my tank, however I am restricted on where I can buy my fish and the retailer's fish often have white spot even if it is not in the visible stage.
<Common... w/ many/most all sources>
 So over the last few months every new fish I have dipped in pH adjusted to 8.3 freshwater for around 4 minutes and have had no problems at all. I would recommend this to everyone, perhaps less for scaleless fish, tangs etc. I agree quarantine is better but not everyone has a separate tank for many reasons.  Regards, Adam.
<I do concur... have written articles, in books re... Oh, yes; and is posted/archived on WWM. B>

Re: Ich treatment, need advice     11/25/12
Hi Bob,
So first, I have some sad news. Not long after I wrote you last I had to move the QT tank from the garage to the laundry room as the weather in Calgary turned nasty a full month earlier than it normally does. Our garage door is powdered glass, and the QT tank was creating so much humidity that as soon as the weather got cold, the condensation of the door was getting out of control. The garage was also hovering around 16 degrees at night, so the heater was essentially running 24/7. However, the Cupramine treatment went beautifully, and all my fish actually seemed to improve in general demeanour and acclimation.
<Ah good (for the last)>
2 weeks ago, 10 days before the fish were to go back in the tank, we had a large party. At some point in the evening, one of my guests closed the door to the laundry room and I didn't catch it. There is a large server stack in that room that houses the home automation equipment, and with the door closed the room rapidly heats up. I didn't realize the door had been closed until I went downstairs to feed them at 11 the next morning and opened it to find every fish had perished. The room and water were both in the mid 30s. I've tried to find the right words to describe what that felt like, both for the loss and because I blame myself, but so far I haven't been able to.
<Aye ya. Of what use is blame?>
To be honest, if the display tank wasn't built right in to my house, I would have quit the hobby that day.
I saved the filter by running it in a 5 gallon bucket for a day while I cleaned out the QT tank and decided what to do. All together, I'm more than the price of a nice car in to this tank, removing it will require a significant renovation to both the electrical, plumbing, flooring, and walls of my house, and leaving it as a giant box of corals seems ridiculous, so I have decided to start re-stocking. However, I want to pick your brain over something.
I'm in grad school, so I have access to scientific journals and I've been reading up on crypt the last couple of weeks. From what I've been reading, I don't see how a 14 day course of Cupramine could possibly be sufficient to eliminate the parasite:
<Mmm, depends on a few circumstances... IN a bare treatment tank, NOT returning the fish hosts to the previous (infested system)...>
First, I routinely visit all the stores that carry salt water fish in my city, and I can say with absolute certainty that every single one of them has Ich in their systems.
<Not uncommon... I tried, 30-40 years ago to encourage the trade (collectors, distributors, wholesalers) to adopt a protocol involving dips/baths... to greatly decrease the prevalence of external protozoan issues... w/ some, but little success on my part. The principal "cause" of folks dropping out of the hobby; is, not surprisingly such "mysterious/anomalous losses">
 I've seen it on the fish, and I have made a point of learning how their tanks are plumbed together so I know there's not a single holding tank in this city that's not been exposed. Basically, I don't believe you can buy an "Ich free" fish in this city. One store seems better than the others (I've seen the least Ich infected fish there), but it's specialty isn't salt water, so it's supply is also the most limited. Whether you can see signs of the infection or not, every fish available here has been in water with the parasite, so according to the same logic that backs the advice of removing and treating all fish from an infected system, any fish from a store where Ich is present (in this case, all of them) must be treated as though it has it, whether or not it's showing visible symptoms. To not prophylactically treat all fish from the local stores, in my mind, would be no different than telling someone they could expect to enact a system cure by leaving the 'uninfected' fish in their display and only removing and treating the ones with visible spots. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and I know each and every one of them was exposed.
<I do concur>
Second, hypothetically speaking, let's say you have a fish enter a quarantine tank from the store on day 1 and it has Ich - whether you can see it or not - and you want to treat it with a copper compound. I only know the protocol specifically for Cupramine, so I'll focus on its directions, but I assume that the other brands have a similar protocol to avoid toxicity. You can't drop a fish right in to water with 0.5ppm of Cupramine without risking it's demise, so you need to put it in copper free water and slowly raise the concentration over the course of 3 days. I also can't see it being wise to add a fish to a quarantine tank and then immediately add your first dose of Cupramine. The safest thing to do for the fish is let it get settled and make sure it's eating before you start.
At least a day or two, longer if the fish won't eat and is not showing signs of a visible or severe infection. If on the first night, trophonts leave the fish and encyst (both possible and likely), you now have encysted tomonts somewhere in your QT system by the time you add your first dose of copper. Even if you did add Cupramine the first day, you shouldn't be at therapeutic levels by the time the first trophonts leave the fish that night, at least not if you're following the directions as stated by Seachem. In any case, I have yet to see anyone state with anything other than a guess that the detached Trophont/pro-tomont is as susceptible to copper as theronts.
<They're assuredly resistant... beyond the exposure concentration that fish hosts can tolerate>
 Now, the literature is quite clear that tomonts have a high degree of resistance to just about anything we can throw at them, including copper and low salinity. Also, while it's an extreme case, the literature has examples of tomonts successfully producing infective theronts 72 days after they encyst, but in less extreme cases they seem to have little trouble remaining in the resistant tomont stage for up to 6 weeks.
<Even longer...>
So, given that tomonts are both resistant to copper, and can easily outlive the recommended duration of Cupramine treatment, and there will almost always be an opportunity for trophonts to leave a fish and encyst before the fish is bathed in therapeutic levels of copper, how is it that a 14 day course of Cupramine is regarded as sufficient to eradicate the parasite?
<Generally the parasite is weakened sufficiently, and the host fish not... that a balance is struck in favor of the fish>
I understand that anything longer than that is a risk to the fish,
but a protomont could just as easily encyst within the biological media of a quarantine tank filter as it could on the glass. Given the lack of desired substrate for crypt in a properly set up QT, it seems even more likely that they would find their way to the filter intake, and no amount of vacuuming will get to those. Furthermore, If you're doing it right, you will leave the fish in quarantine for at least two more weeks following the end of copper treatment, which exposes it to the very real possibility that by the time it does go in to the display, it's gills are once again harbouring invisible trophonts, ready to start the cycle all over again. 
Is there something about Cupramine that I'm missing?
<Mmm, well, copper ion exposure does act as a proteinaceous precipitant, causing fishes to produce and slough off more body mucus... and the more superficial parasite fauna embedded therein>
 Is it more effective against tomonts than your standard free or chelated copper medications?
<It is not... ligated copper compounds are preferable for staying in solution longer than Cu++ in acidic solutions>
 The advice that is given over and over on the web is that to fight this parasite you have to understand it and its life cycle, and yet everything I now know about that life cycle seems to indicate that the manufacturer's recommended use of Cupramine is not sufficient to eliminate it.
<I encourage you, others to incorporate a pH adjusted freshwater dip routine, possibly w/ formalin (see WWM re) going from system to system, including isolation/treatment/quarantine>
Even the University of Florida recommends a minimum 3-6 week course of copper in infected systems to try and account for the parasite's extended life cycle, but I'm sure that would be horrendous for the fish. 14 days only seems long enough for the fish to become free of trophonts, and prevent infection of any new theronts within the window of active treatment, but unless it were to act on all external stages of the parasite equally, it's not long enough to break the life-cycle. It's starting to seem to me that the only way to truly and definitively break the cycle is the tank transfer method, as it's the only one that destroys this disease's wild card, the tomonts. I generally really believe in Seachem as a company,
<I as well... know the previous owner and his son who currently manages, quite a few of their employees, and much of their product lines>
 so I'm not suggesting they're up to anything nefarious, but I'm wondering if the published 14 day recommended course is what they state because it's safest for the fish, as opposed to most effective against the parasite.
I understand how large companies need to 'cover their behinds' in situations like this, but my goal is the eradication of the parasite.
Am I out to lunch?
<Mmm, no; or we both are. Hope this isn't an expensive restaurant>
 I'm looking at an unplanned and unwanted 14 week fallow period (minimum)
<Two months... t'were it me, mine... there is such a thing as "hyper-infectivity"... and lowering specific gravity and raising temperature w/in reason are means for "speeding up" the effectiveness of "going fallow">
 for my display at this point, and I would hate to blow it now. I've already got new fish undergoing Cupramine treatment in QT, and I'm wondering if I should either maintain the copper levels at 0.5ppm for the full 4 weeks I had intended to quarantine them, and remove them to the display without ever reducing the copper level in the QT tank, or if I should still only do 14 days of Cupramine,
<The fishes, your observations...>
 but remove them to buckets on the 14th day, bleach bomb the tank and filter, and completely reset it so they can finish quarantine both tomont and copper free. It will suck to lose a cycled filter, but ammonia is so much easier to deal with when you're not worrying about binding agents increasing copper toxicity. Going forward, I think I'm going to subscribe to the tank transfer method.
<Is a helpful adjunct/addition to control>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Display Tank - Recovery from failed Ich fight, Crypt prev. f'     10/21/12
Bob (or other Crew),
Thanks again to Bob for coaching me during my attempt to combat Ich throughout my system, which ultimately failed due mostly to not transferring fish out of the 200G display tank for treatment.
I'd appreciate advice on whether you believe my display tank may be Ich free (or at least, restored to a condition where it is safe to restock).
I had a single fish - a Bluehead wrasse - survive the Ich run which killed all fish (puffer, harlequin tusk, engineer gobies, maroon clown, tang, trigger). It has been swimming solo in the tank since 9/12, with no observable signs of pathogens.
<They are almost assuredly still there>
During this timeframe, I gradually increased the copper (Cupramine) to a very high level (.6ppm+), as confirmed by my Seachem copper test kit. I have also dropped the salinity to 1.014, and raised the temperature to near 80 degrees. I continued this "campaign" until the two peppermint shrimp in the tank (both alive with the wrasse on 9/12) could no longer be seen alive at night.
The shrimp did disappear, around 10/9, so I stopped increasing copper and decreasing salinity at that time. Micro/macro algae has never fully died off, but seems to be growth-limited and not spreading at the moment.
Finally, I do notice occasional scratching against rock, around the gill area, by the wrasse. However, despite the hellish conditions he seems to be in, he seems extremely active/energetic and voraciously eating.
My concern would be that I have not hit a lethal zone for the parasites, primarily as it seems the algae should have died. Would the algae typically die before, or after, parasites during treatment protocols?
<Before or during>
I had hoped to run the tank fallow, but have not had any success in catching the Bluehead wrasse.
<How to put this... there are folks who (strongly) believe that most all captive marine systems are Crypt-infested... that expression of the parasite is a matter of stressed livestock... w/ many possible stressors to account for. Moving the Thalassoma alone won't alleviate the possibility/probability of re-infestation here by much... Being careful as to what you buy species, specimen wise, isolating/hardening (quarantine) ahead of their introduction, and doing what you can do optimize, stabilize living conditions... is about all you or anyone can do to promote a healthy state>
Do you think it is worth a try to remove the copper and restock?
<At some point, yes... Repeat the above statement, adapt, adopt as your petfish mantra. BobF>

Please help with ICH protocol    6/18/12
 <Hey Sal>
I purchased a Dussumieri tang and it arrived via mail on Saturday. My blue line angel did not appreciate this and chased him around the tank. I moved the blue line to the sump and there is peace once more. I did not quarantine this fish. It now has ICH. I feel like a moron but there is no point in looking back. I will do everything I can to fix this situation and quarantine new individuals from now on.
 Tank inhabitants are as follows: live rock, live sand, 2 bimaculatus Anthias, 1 mappa puffer and 1 blue line angel. I have purchased Cupramine and test kits. I am unsure what to do here.
<... not put this in an established system w/ LR, LS>

 The tang looks fine other than the white spots. It is eating great and swimming around. There are no signs of symptoms on any other fish.
1. Do you think it would be ok to play a wait and see game and see if he gets better on his own?
<Yes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above>
I feel like tearing the tank apart would cause stress to everyone involved. Can this fish get better on his own with great water quality and food or, am I just endangering all the other fish by waiting a couple of days?
 <I would wait myself>
2. Would it be ok to treat just the tang in quarantine and monitor the other fish? Have they( and the system) been exposed to the infestation already and its too late?
 <Best to leave all as is for now>
3. Is the Cupramine safe to use with the mappa and blue line angel?
 <Mmm, marginally. IF puffers, angels are initially healthy, they can/will stand up to a chelated copper regimen>
Please help. I know I've made a mistake and will never do it again. I'll wait for instructions before proceeding.
<Doing my best bit. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help with ICH protocol  6/19/12

Hey Bob-
Thanks for your quick reply. Just to let you know, the tang doesn't have a single spot on him today. I'm confused. I got him Saturday. He had no spots. Yesterday he had plenty of Ich on him. Today he has none.
<Likely just "cycled off"... you have a "one generation" incident... in the not too immortal words of a mesomorph ex Ca. gov.: "they'll be back">
Does that make sense? Could they have dropped off in one day? Is it a miracle? Should I lay off the drugs?
<Not a miracle, but I would still lay off... and hope. B>
Re: Please help with ICH protocol   6/20/12
Ok- I will hope. When can I expect the new batch of guests to arrive on the prized fish's hides?
<... two, three days, at low 80's F... See WWM, elsewhere re Cryptocaryon "life cycle". B>

Ich prevention - hyposalinity for TR Maroon Clowns - too drastic? 6/18/12
Hello Crew,
Having lost a PYTB tang and Lionfish to Ich during prevention quarantine, I don't want to leave any chance of a repeat with my new specimens. Currently I have in 30G QT (bare-bottom) juvenile Maroon Clowns (2), Engineer Gobies (3), and several peppermint shrimp and hermit crabs.
10 days ago, I noticed an Ich spot on one Maroon clown. I promptly did a Temp/PH-matched 33% water change with salinity reduction (IE, net SG drop from 1.021 to 1.017). The Maroon Clowns seemed to be hanging on by a thread from the salinity drop. I cautiously but quickly raised the Salinity back 1.1.019, and they came through. Yesterday I removed the inverts and tried again to drop to 1.017 via a 15% water change.
Again, they seemed very distressed, so I again restored it to 1.019.
Also to note, I have seen no Ich evidence since the first water change.
<Too fast for the fish and not low enough to effect the Ich parasite.>
I wanted to try a 30 day 1.009 hyposalinity treatment, but am now afraid to try this with the Maroon Clowns. WWM (Pete Giwojna article) advises that clowns are sensitive, but I wonder if my specimens come from a more sensitive source (they are both tank-raised, from ThatFishPlace, so I assume they are reared from common lineage).
<Probably not any more sensitive than any other clown if healthy.>
Is it possible I'm moving too fast with salinity reduction?
Or perhaps I'm overly anxious when they respond with distress, and that I should allow more observation time? They swim near the surface or back corner of the tank (facing down), wobble and start/stop swimming against the current, bang themselves against the floor/tank, etc. Water Parms 75F temp, 8.2PH, 0Amm/Nitrite, <5ppmNitrate.
Otherwise, I know Pete's WWM article advises benefit of prolonged hyposalinity at/near 1.017, although there is heated debate on the 'net regarding whether there is any benefit if treatment is not at 1.009SG (i.e., ranging from absolutely none to yes at any reduced level in that the parasite is weakened). I'm curious as to what the WWM Crew's recent opinion on this may be.
Thanks as always...Dave
<I have to disagree with Pete here, and am not a fan of hyposalinity.  It's too difficult in most case to maintain a therapeutic level while not going to low for the fish or high enough to allow the Ich to survive.  If you are determined to treat I would go with one of the quinine medications.>
Re: :Ich prevention - hyposalinity for TR Maroon Clowns - too drastic?  6/19/12

Chris, excellent, thank you for this counter opinion. I will immediately begin a return to normal salinity. Over time, I think it is eroding their general well being.
<My opinion is these animals evolved to live in natural sea water, giving them a different environment is rarely helpful.>
 How quickly can I plan a return
/increase to normal SG range?
<Slowly, a few 10th specific gravity a day, up is generally harder on the animals than down.>
 I don't have capacity to drip raise it, but will do it as gradual as you recommend?
<As slow as possible.>
Also, do you think a Quinine preventive measure is too extreme? If not, any specific regimen you suggest (i.e. dips or periodic quinine exposure). Thanks!
<Follow the directions on the medication closely, it can be overdosed.>

Disinfecting main display tank for Ich and reintroducing fish in a timely manner.  6/7/2012
Hello,  I have a 220 gallon fowlr tank with a 55 gallon sump. The system has been running for 6 months. Prior to that most of the rock, sand, and filter media was in a 125 for 5 years. Thanks to Craig's list I found a sweet deal on this 7 foot long tank. Anyway back in February I had an Ich out break after adding I yellow tang to my system. I quarantine all fish for 4 weeks normally in Cupramine after they are eating good in quarantine.
So usually a total of 5 to 6 weeks. Well I said normally because i did not with the yellow tang. I get my fish through my aunt who owns a pet store and I receive them straight from the wholesaler. I thought to my self, what are the chances of getting a parasite? Well pretty good I guess.
<Mmm, yes>
 So I moved all the fish to my two quarantine tanks. A 55 gallon and a 40 breeder. I then treated all the fish with Cupramine at a level of .3 to .5 ppm using a Salifert test kit twice daily while the main display fallowed for 2 months.
The fish are, 1 five inch Australian tusk fish. 1 white faced powder brown.
1 desjardinii Sailfin tang. 1 long fin banner fish. 1 Klein's butterfly fish. 1 bi color goat fish. 1 6 inch Naso tang. 1 twin spot hogfish. 1 magnificent fox  face. 1 bi color angle fish and the yellow tang. All was going great for the two month treatment.  I then began adding fish back to the system. About two a week as I watched the water quality. When I added the tangs in last I started to see some white spots appear again.
 everything was in check. Ammonia 0. Nitrite 0. Nitrate 2. Phosphate 0.
Specific gravity 1.025. You can not imagine how mad I was! So I figured I'd ride it out and hope the build up resistance. It got worse. So I put all fish back into treatment. Clearly I have a tough parasite on my hands here.
I am in the process of bleaching my whole system.
<Might be best>
My question is what would be the best way to establish the tank again with out keeping fish in quarantine for a year?
<The usual: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcycmethf.htm
I have had luck with bio Spira in the past on sponge filters. Any advise is greatly appreciated. Josh
<I'd go the blitzkrieg route... w/ a commercial culture, some new live rock, possibly some mulm from a (very trusted) established system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Disinfecting main display tank for Ich and reintroducing fish in a timely manner.    6/8/12

Thank you Bob for your reply. One more question for you. Will leaving the main tank just air dry for a week rid of any attached cysts?
Thank you, Josh
<Unfortunately, no... Have seen viable dried cysts... really need a biocide... like chlorine bleach, formalin... to assure their death. Bob Fenner>

Ridding inverts of Ich before adding to DT? & Removing Cu,     3/25/12
Hi Crew,
I have read all the FAQ's on Marine Ich... I have a question that I can't find the answer to.  I put copper in my DT with my fish, LR , & LS a couple months ago b/c I didn't have a QT setup yet (do now) and a couple people told me it was fine to do as long as I removed all inverts which I did.  I found out very soon after that it was a bad thing to do and within 24 hrs, transferred all DT contents to a 50 gal QT. 
First question: I put all my inverts in a friends tank and she got several new fish since then and did not QT and had an outbreak of Ich in her tank.
She has not left her tank fallow to kill off the Ich and I am going to be getting my inverts back from her tomorrow and am worried that they will have Ich on them and infect my tank again. <There is a very slim possibility that a cyst could be attached to a shell or in the water you transfer over, but it is a slim possibility>  I do plan on QT for the inverts for at least 4 weeks, <No need to go this long, the 4 week suggestion for  fish is because the parasite can be in its dormant stage for this long before presenting as the fish is the host.  The parasite cannot host on an invertebrate.  Keeping the Inverts in a separate tank/container for 1 week would be plenty adequate to ensure any cysts have 'hatched' which at that point the free swimming parasite would not be able to find its host and die>> but there are some of them that I am concerned about.  I have pencil urchins, hermit crabs, and turbo snails who are largely, if not totally, dependent on a cycled, mature tank with algae growth which I don't have in my QT tank.  I have a HOB filter in my sump that I plan on putting on the QT and also using the water from the DT to fill the QT.  It is bare bottom.  I have also read the FAQ's on QT setup and I understand for the most part but I am confused as to how a non cycled tank w/o any bio filter can sustain any type of livestock for the recommended time of at least 4 weeks w/o doing daily WC's <Again, 4 weeks not necessary for what you are trying to achieve.  A water change every couple of days will deal with any ammonia that may happen to crop up>.  Is this what is expected? 
What is recommended QT procedure for things like urchins, hermits, & snails? <As mentioned above>
I might normally just go ahead and put them in the DT due to the concern of lack of food in the sterile QT but I am very wary to do so with the knowledge that they are coming from a tank infested with Ich.
Second question: After removing everything from the DT and putting it in  the 50 gal QT, we thoroughly cleaned the DT out and started over completely with all new LR & LS.  We had thought that we would just have to throw out the LR & LS that we had in the tank with the copper treatment.  We transferred the fish back to the DT a couple of weeks ago but hadn't had the time to drain and take down the 50 gal QT we were using. (our new QT is a 30 gal, just so you know we are talking about 3 different tanks here)  A couple of nights ago I was noticing that the LR in the QT had lots of coralline growing on it.  All the coralline that had originally been on the rock before the copper had turned white after putting in the copper so I was surprised to see new colorful growth. <Different types of coraline have different  lighting requirements.  Once your full light is on, this species may fade away and others replace it> I was even more surprised because we haven't turned on the lights on the tank since taking the fish out 2 weeks ago and I thought that light was necessary for coralline to grow.???  As I was examining the coralline on the racks, I got an even bigger shock.  There was all kinds of life on the rocks!!!  Tons of copepods and amphipods, mini feather dusters, pineapple sponge, snails, small starfish (pretty sure it's Asterina) etc.  How is this possible after having so much copper in the tank!?  Since finishing treatment I have done several WC's and not added more copper back in and have been running poly filter in a canister.  I always wanted them, but never had any pods at all before treatment and now they are everywhere!  After seeing all the creatures in there, I did a copper test with API copper test kit.  It is definitely not 0 but is less than .25ppm.  I also tested the water in my DT and it was 0 so I know that my test kit is good and not just showing that there is copper in there when there is not really any.  I just don't understand where these things came from period, and how they are alive in there after having copper in the water for more than 8 weeks now! Thoughts???  Also, I don't have any pods in my DT now and really want some.  Is there any way I can transfer them over w/o transferring the water or rock that has copper in it?  I'm assuming that any readable traces of copper would be harmful to inverts but the evidence in the QT tank with all this life blooming says otherwise.  What do you think???  I do not want to contaminate my DT with copper again!  It was a very expensive newbie mistake!!!  On the other hand, if you don't think the levels of copper showing on my test kit are high enough to hurt any inverts, I would LOVE to be able to use my rock again!  It is very nice, beautiful rock- much nicer than a lot of the new rock that I had to settle for the 2nd time around.  <The Rock can absorb the copper and leach it back into the water column over time.  It is possible for you to fully remove it over time using GAC, Poly filters, and Cuprisorb.  That being said, if you are seeing invertebrate life, it has likely reduced to adequate level>
I am even now questioning if the copper was effective on killing the Ich since there is so much life in the tank now. <Hard to say as you do not mention what type of copper you were using, what levels you kept it at for the treatment period, and how you were testing it>  My fish seem to be Ich free, but it is my understanding that this is very common in hobbyist's tanks to have it in the tank but not see any signs of it except for times of stress that causes outbreaks on the fish. <Agreed>  I also am worried that there may be some sort of internal parasite that has been/is killing my fish.  I had written to you about 3 wks ago about my Koran Angel that was bloated and had white stringy poop and not swimming right.  Seemed indicative to internal parasites, but I couldn't imagine how it could be since there was nothing new added to the tank since they were put in 5-6 wks before and the fish was healthy until all of the sudden.  It died the morning after I wrote to you for advice.  We were devastated and it is even more frustrating to not know what the cause was.  Now my lawnmower blenny is not eating and swimming sideways, sinking to the ground and just laying, sometimes upside down.
This has been going on for 4 or 5 days now and I can't believe he is still alive!  He has been bloated for weeks but otherwise seemed happy and healthy and always ate well. <Perhaps a swim bladder issue>  I had guessed that his bloated belly was due to him being in the QT with no algae to eat since the copper had killed it and he was eating too much protein.  I give dried seaweed on clips but he has never touched it.  I feed Seaweed Extreme pellets, but even they have about 30% protein.  I was very saddened to see him struggling so much the other day and although he is still holding on, he has not improved and I do not think he is going to get better. Crossing my fingers though...  So to sum up, the last part of my ramble, do you think there could be a parasite that is attacking my fish internally one by one?  And if so, what steps should I take??? <I doubt anything like you describe would kill them one by one, they would all succumb.  Any issues with the other fish other than the Blenny? 
That being said, PraziPro is a very safe medication that be used to treat for flukes which tend to be an issue in our hobby and is a good measure to use if you are already QT'ing and treating your fish>
Sorry for all the questions.  This hobby is so much fun but can be so stressful and frustrating when you are having such problems and don't know why or what to do!  I am so grateful that your crew is so knowledgeable and
willing to help!!!  I, and COUNTLESS others appreciate it soooooo much!!!
Re: Ridding inverts of Ich before adding to DT?    3/25/12

Thank you so much for your reply and advice!  I was using Copper Power, a liquid containing 1.26% copper sulfate.  I followed the instructions and the API test kit read that the copper was at 1.0 ppm (maybe higher)... After talking to people on forums and researching online, I found that those levels were too high so I did a water change and didn't add copper so I could lower it to 0.5 ppm.  It has been too long ago for me to remember specific time periods but it was probably about 1 week at the higher levels and well over 3 weeks at the lower levels.  I was recommended the Copper Power<Not familiar with the product> at my LFS but it was only 1 of 2 brands they carried (no Cupramine) <I would order some if you can to keep on hand if you are going to use this type of treatment.  It is much milder on the fish and as effective>
and the Copper Power directions only told to put one ounce per 20 gal of water.  No instructions as to what levels to maintain at and no phone # or website to contact for questions. 
You mentioned a swim bladder issue with the lawnmower blenny... I have read lots of contradictory info about them not having swim bladders and many people with lawnmowers experiencing the same symptoms as mine...<It is true that they do not have bladders, I was making a general statement, sorry for the confusion> Do they in fact have a swim bladder? 
The lawnmower blenny is the only fish currently showing any signs of problems.  At the beginning of copper treatment a couple mo.s ago, we did have a Royal Dottyback that experienced the same symptoms and finally died after a week and a half.  I thought it was due to the copper because it started showing symptoms the morning after we added the copper.  Then we had the Koran Angel with the same symptoms about 3 weeks ago.  It died quickly after showing symptoms compared to the Dottyback and the Lawnmower.  Do you think it is just coincidence that all 3 fishes are experiencing the same symptoms so far apart in time or is it the same thing infecting them? <It is possible that the excessive copper at the beginning along with the prolonged exposure at a relatively safe level (.5ppm is the high end) caused these issues, but that is cautious statement based off the information you have provided.  Here is a link to an experiment to show the effect of high levels of copper on ornamental marine fish. 
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/10/breeder. >
Are you saying that it would be wise to treat with PraziPro when QTing fish whether or not they show any signs of parasites? <I do think it is wise and I do so myself.  It is effective against not only external parasites like flukes, but internal worms as well, here is a link to the product, read the description. 
Do you think it would be beneficial at this point to remove the Lawnmower from the DT and put in a HT for PraziPro treatment? <The behavior you describe is not indicative of having any type of internal or external worms/flukes.  So that treatment will not likely impact this specific issue.> He has not been eating
for days so I don't have the concern of there not being algae to eat in the
HT. <A valid concern and your number one issue is getting him to eat.  Is he not interested in dried Nori?>
And lastly, is there any way to transfer the pods from the QT that has low levels of copper still in it to the DT???  MY DT is 70 gal with a 30 gal sump/refugium. <I would be very cautious about getting any water containing copper into your DT.  If there is a way you can get the pods out with a net of some sort, strain them, rinse them with fresh saltwater, and then put them in, that would be fine>
Thanks again! <You are welcome> Lindsey <Bobby>
Re: Ridding inverts of Ich before adding to DT?

The lawnmower has never been interested in dried seaweed of any kind.  He died this evening :(  Sad but I was expecting it.<Sorry to hear, they are very personable fish>  I will find and get some PraziPro & Cupramine to have on hand. Thanks so much for all your help!<You are welcome>

Ich issues with multiple fish.   1/6/12
Hello WWM staff,
We are having trouble keeping fish in our tank.
<Keep jumping out?>
 We have had our tank up and running four about 4 months now. We had two clown fish that developed Ich and died while treating them in our tank.
<An exceedingly poor idea to treat marines in the display/main tank>
We left the tank for a month with only invertebrates. We have 4 Turbo Snails, 2 Sand Snails, 1 Emerald Crab, and 1 Decorator Crab. We were very wary about getting a new fish, it is heart breaking to lose them. We are trying to learn as much about this hobby as quickly as possible.
<Good. Take your time>
A little about our tank, its 55gal. 75lbs of mature Live Rock (we bought from a 3 year old established tank)
<You'd benefit from adding/trading out ten pounds or so for new>
Ammonia 0, Nitrate 20, Nitrite 0, PH 8.0 (put a buffer in with the weekly water change today to make it 8.4) Salinity 1.024. A Coralife Protein skimmer, and a Backpack Bio-Wheel penguin pump. We do a 5 to 10 Gallon water change once every 7 days. We check all the levels every other day so the only thing that ever really changes is the Nitrate. It fluctuates between 0 and 20. We have been talking to our LFS about being apprehensive with getting new fish. We were told there is no way to know if your tank is ready unless you get a fish and try it.
<Even then...>
So we bought a Kole tang. We did not use a QT tank because it is the only fish in the tank. For the first few days he did great eating, and darting around as I have read on WWM is the norm for Koles. By the third day his color seemed to have faded a little but he was still eating and swimming great. I saw no spots just a dulled color, I read here this could be stress.  Today (day 6) I noticed his face was white and his "skin" seemed to be "peeling" quite badly, he was not swimming much. We quickly set up the QT tank and medicated it with Ich X,
<... Formalin and "a less toxic form of Malachite Green"... Won't work>
 using the water from our large tank, within 15 min of moving him to the QT tank he died. I feel like I have read, and read, and read so much and can't find an answer to help with my Ich problem.
<Something else at work here... Some source of toxicity... the formalin>
 Just to keep the fish healthy and keep the water levels with in range. We have had no spikes, or much of a fluctuation in anything. I am not sure the Kole had Ich, I attached a few pictures for your input. I am sad and frustrated that we have lost 3 fish now. I don't want to be harming my fish, and every LFS I go to, I get different information. I love your site and read on it every day to try and learn every little bit I can to help us. We are looking in to getting rid of our back pack filter. We are told they are not very good. If you have any filters you would prefer, I would love your input as well. Thank you so much for your time, and for such a useful site!
<... I encourage you to consider bleaching (yes a bio-cide) this entire system... draining, refilling... and re-cycling all to start anew. We can/could go back and forth w/ what you did before to treat the Clowns... but t'were it me/mine, I'd start clean here. Bob Fenner>

Formalin burned...

Quarantine 12/2/11
Hi Crew,
<Hi Sam>
This is just a plug for the idea of QT even though I don't do it. Over the years I have had a few outbreaks of ick but since I just have a 24 gallon I take the risk of putting new fish straight in. The other day I decided to pick up a Apogon compressus (blue eyed cardinal) from someone who was closing up his tank and lived nearby. As it turns out I should never have gotten that fish because it is too big for my tank. For some reason or other I thought it grew to 2.5 inches max. One place I checked today showed as much as 4.5.
<Common wild size is more like 3.5 inches and likely less under captive conditions.>
I picked up the fish and got home in 15 minutes so I figured that QT was not even needed since it was healthy in his tank for over a year and 15 minutes of stress shouldn't hurt him. Anyway, within 24 hours he has it. 
So far he is eating well. At this point I don't know if it is worth trying to remove him. If none of the others fish pick it up I will just hope he gets over and immune to it. Otherwise I will have to take them all out and treat. I still have copper that I used a few years ago. But lately you have been suggesting other meds so I will keep them in mind as well.
<Live and learn.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Question about Ich on Corals -- 10/12/11
Hi Bob,
Thanks for all the advice on my conspic. Its totally fine now and eats and poops like a pig and he's getting really fat.
<Ah good>
He has been in QT for 3 months already and ill be increasing the salinity soon so I can add him to my main. The advice I got from WWM was really invaluable and I'm really thankful there's something like this on the internet.
Anyways, I have a question regarding ich. My main tank doesn't have any ich but I would like to add a few Zoa frags from a friends tank that does have ich. I'm worried that maybe a parasite or 2 would travel along with the Zoas into my tank.
<You have good reason to be hesitant here>
Should I QT these for a month in a separate tank or would like a day or 2 be enough to wash the ich off?
<I'd quarantine the frags for two months>
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Question about Ich on Corals -- 10/12/11

Right, ill do that! My coral qt isn't that fancy though so I'm just worried that the frags wont be as healthy when they get to my main. Ill just try to compensate by doing water changes like twice a week or something!
<Good; better this than an untimely Crypt infestation! B>
Thanks again!

White spot mistake. Crypt prev., Infested sys.    9/29/11
Dear Wet Web Media,
Here comes the all too familiar story of Marine White Spot Disease.
<Aye yah>
First off the background story. I had a 120 gallon tank with a red sea Sailfin tang. I added a flame angel and it had ich. I know this was a mistake and I learned the hard way. I scrambled to set up a quarantine tank but unfortunately it was too late and the flame angel died. I quarantined the tang a 5 days ago but found him dead today. He had no sign of any type poisoning at all so I'm assuming he died of a secondary infection. My question is how long should I wait until adding new fish to the main tank again.
<Mmm, depending... mostly on whether you'd like to/can raise temperature, lower salinity... a few to several weeks>
Also, until then how should I keep the bacteria population from decreasing again?
<Minimal feeding of proteinaceous food... a pinch of flake, dried food every few days>
I did observe that the fish were clean in the morning then infested by the end of the day which makes me think it was the short life cycle strain of white spot.
<Mmm... a more complex possibility... but if this explanation gets you by, okay>
I have the temperature at 80. Finally, don't worry I learned my lesson on quarantine unfortunately it was just the hard way. Thank you for all your help and time.
<Mmm, do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cryptprevfaqs.htm
and as much of the linked files embedded as you can gain from>
Michael R
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: White spot mistake.    9/29/11

Dear Wet Web Media,
I would love to get fish in the tank asap (without jeopardizing the new fish obviously). Therefore I would be willing to try one of the two options you gave me. I am just worried if my Ricordea Florida, chili coral and my snails and crabs will be ok with hyposalinity or the raise in temperature.
What do you think.
<Better to take the longer route... NOT modify the env.. Six weeks fallow (sans fish hosts) will get you as close to 100% as you're likely to go>
Also, what are the more complex possibilities you
mentioned I am curious and want to know.
<The spots observable from parasitic irritation are a reaction by the hosts... their reaction is based on a few factors... initial health (genetic and ontogenetic/developmental), impinging, impacting elements of the environment ("water quality", nutrition, social factors, light intensity...), as well as your alluded to "strength", strain of hyperinfective pathogen/s. BobF>
Thank you,
Michael Rosa

Marine Ich, Avoidance 5/17/11
Hi there,
I have been reading articles on marine Ich the last few hours on your site. I am setting up a 180 gallon tank with all the bells and whistles. I have been reading a lot about quarantining your fish for at least a month, and then putting them in your prized show tank, Only then to come down with the nasty disease still.
<Can happen but QTing greatly reduces the chances.>
So I was wondering would it be better to keep sand and gravel out of your show tank, So if you get the disease it can't settle in sand or gravel?
<It can settle almost anywhere, rock, equipment, and the like. There is some speculation it has trouble with glass but there are plenty of other opportunities for it in a standard aquarium.>
An emergency water change and the vacuuming the bottom of your tank with slow flowing uv would do the trick don't you think?
<It will help limit the parasite's numbers but will not eliminate it.>
I know Ich only lasts a month in most cases, but that could be the deal breaker.
<It's lifecycle is a month but can last indefinitely given host fish to infect.>
(at least according to my wife)It would be a lot easier to fight it I think... My LFS has nothing on the bottom of his tanks and seems to be disease free.
<Correlation does not equal causation, I think you are giving too much credit to the tank setup and not enough to their fish selection and other husbandry techniques.>
I have battled and battled with Ich in the past, and I don't think my wife will put up with me much longer losing $200 fish or do I want too.
<It is a fairly treatable disease if you are willing to put in the time and effort.>
Should I add the sand after my tank is complete or should I skip it altogether?
<Up to you, I personally prefer and use sand.>
I have read a lot of the benefits of sand, but not to sure if I want to risk it.
Thanks, Jim Dogg
<I have seen Ich plenty of times in bare bottom tanks, it is definitely not a cure-all here.>

Re: recurring Ich problem   2/21/11
Hi Bob,
<Good morrow Jana>
After careful and long consideration I have decided to give it another go to get a crypt free system! I know it is near impossible, but I want to tackle the problem from all possible angles. Here is my plan of attack. I would really appreciate your opinion on this.
Opt. 1: I will remove all fish to a separate tank and let the main tank go fallow for 2-3 months. In that time I want to drain the substrate, boil it, dry it and only re-introduce towards the end of the fallow period. I don't have much coral, so I'm not too worried about it. Is it okay to rinse and scrub the live rock under fresh water before returning to the main tank or will it destroy all live on it?
<Exceedingly little will survive such treatment>
During the fallow period I also want to raise the temperature about 35 degrees Celsius and drop the salinity to 1.010. I read somewhere on your website to do this for about 2 weeks, but would there be any benefit to keep it like that for the entire fallow period?
<There is some benefit>
What is the lowest salinity and highest temperature the live rock can survive in?
<Some life can/will persist at lower and lower spg, higher and higher temp.... The values you state are "fine" for the purpose you have in mind>
And what about the miracle mud in my eco system, will it be able to handle this low salinity and high temperature?
Is one able to rinse or soak the miracle mud in freshwater or will it destroy its' beneficial properties?
<Such rinsing will not destroy its beneficial (chemical and physical) properties>
What would you rate the chance of success? (sorry about this direct question).
Opt. 2: I could nuke the entire system, dry out my live rock and start afresh.
How long would the live rock have to lie in the sun (Queensland, Australia - very hot) for?
<A week>
I could easily replace filter media for new ones, but what about the miracle mud? If I want a 100% success rate, would I have to discard it, or is there any way one could dry it out and re-use?
<Dried out and reused>
Would it still supply the supposed benefits for the next year or two?
<With some new added to re-seed biologically...>
I presume my more successful option would be no 2?
On the fish front I'm planning on doing the transfer method described on your website (as I've lost too many fish with copper :-(), every 3 days transfer fish to rinsed and dried new tank, doing this for 2 weeks!?
Would you prefer this method to the hyposalinity one or can I combine for better results?
<I am not a fan of hyposalinity>
Thank you so much for your patients, <patience> I really value your opinion,
Kind regards, Jana
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: recurring Ich problem, SW prev.     2/22/11

Thank you! I will let you know how it all went; I am quietly hopeful.
Regards, Jana
<Thank you, BobF>

magical Whitespot   1/2/11
Hi Crew.
Just a quick question if I may?
<Sure; you just did>
I have a large tank which has been up and running with no major problems, for about 3 years.
I inhabit this tank with various corals, fish and inverts with no new additions for the last 8-12 months. All residents were quarantined for 6 weeks and no-one has shown any signs of illness before now.
I had a pair of Mandarins, one of which, decided it was bored of his female friend and decided to kill her. I didn't retrieve the body and as a result, had an Ammonia spike, which I put down to the death.
Over the next couple of days I undertook large water changes but now all of my fish have been infected with Ick.
I have removed all of the fish to QT (which was no easy task) and treating whilst letting my tank go fallow for 8 weeks.
For 2 years I have noticed no signs of Ick. I followed QT procedures and saw no signs of infection on any fish. I feed frozen and flake food so have not introduced the Ick with live foods.
Finally my question.
Has the Ick been in the tank all this time without raising its ugly head?
<Likely so; yes>
If so, how can I make sure that reintroduction will not happen if I decide to add anymore livestock I the future, obviously QT and monitoring didn't work?
<Mmm, define "work"... I'd say/write "yes" in that you and your fishes have not suffered a Cryptocaryon "outbreak" for the stated three years. Did this procedure outright exclude the parasite? Obviously not>
Will the 8 weeks fallow period rid me of the parasite, or is there a chance it may survive?
<There is a smaller and smaller chance w/ the extension of time... but by this means, never zero>
Everything I have read says that this shouldn't have happened as everything was done by the book.
<Other reading will show/state otherwise>
Thanks for all the knowledge I have gained from your site over the years and for any additional info that you can give me. Keep up the excellent work, we need you.
<Glad to share! Bob Fenner>

Ich outbreak after trigger addition, vis a vis O3 use for Crypt prev.   10/7/10
Hi All
<Hiya Jim - Darrel here>
Your thoughts as ever very welcome and well received.
<Ok, well, you're going to get some. I'm copying the Boss who may have a thought or two to add><<>>
Jim your UK aquarist here. I recently wrote about using ozone to assist in the defense against ICH. Well sadly after I added my Assasi trigger to my main display tank the two red sea clowns have a dusting of white spots again, as well as the trigger himself. There are territorial disputes (mainly at lights out when finding a place to sleep) which are evident by the large female shrouding the(half her size may I add) the trigger and dominating him. The male sort of joins in and the trigger semi puffs up but generally seems unfazed.
<The territorial disputes are normal and to be expected. The Cryptocaryon - not so much>
The fish feed well and don't appear to be breathing heavy or in any stress,
<But then, every infestation starts out with a few spots, don't they? Then they build from there>
'¦ the Ich is not what I'd call a major infection.
<But then again, another term for major infection can easily be the death of some fish><<It will be>>
The small male clown flicks occasionally but the Ich infestations do seem to die off after a few days when these disputes are resolved and regular feeding continued.
<Well, one theory that many aquarists share is that crypt, like the common cold, never goes away completely - but that healthy fish in a healthy system simply tolerate the few parasites, essentially shrugging them off, until or unless that fish gets debilitated in some way that allows the infection to take hold. If that is the case, the fish may show increased susceptibility during times of disputes. That said, the general experience in the hobby is that once they get a foothold, they don't ever just "go away" like you're describing>
I don't quarantine (yes I know it makes me a pariah). In the past as I've stated I have overcome every Ich infestation with strict water changes and vitamin/garlic soaked foods.
<Water changes are a well established technique for dealing with the free-swimming Tomites before they find a host. To me, the logistics of changing enough water with enough frequency to remove enough Tomites to actually affect the course of the infestation is daunting. Running the water through a higher wattage UV sterilizer and/or exposing a large flow of water to Ozone would seem to be less of an effort on your part and less stress on the fish, as well.>
<I also use Garlic to treat my fish and it {quote}SEEMS{quote} to work, especially with surgeonfishes '¦ but I'm unaware of any scientific basis for that belief. For all I know it could be something that just keeps me occupied while nature runs it's course, but like any religion or superstition of any primitive culture, we aquarists learn what we think we learn and stick with our beliefs for decades>
The ozone is backing up this theory I feel and while it doesn't let me off the hook with quarantine I know, I have to feel that more stress is caused by netting/hospitalizing/copper treatments than allowing a dispute to resolve and provide optimum environmental conditions to the treatment of this annoying parasite.
Your thoughts as ever very welcome and well received.
<Really? Well here are my thoughts:>
<It seems to me like an awfully mean thing to have done to an established tank with healthy fish.>
<It seems like bringing a person with H1N1 Influenza into your house and telling your family that after everyone adjusts to the new family member and at the same time recovers from the flu - then we'll all be happy. Unless one of us dies. Then not all of us will be happy.>
<Whether the stress of the disputes is causational in the Crypt outbreak or incidental, you're asking the fish to fight for their place in a disrupted natural order at the same time they're fighting a life threatening disease.>
<And you're doing this because it is too much trouble to place the Trigger in a separate tank for 6 weeks to let him get accustomed to your water and climate and to identify any potential diseases that he may have? And this is ON TOP of perhaps 4 or 5 dozen diseases, contagious and otherwise, many of which science has not yet identified that can be fatal to the new fish and others to which he has been exposed?>
<Jim, you say that not quarantining makes you a pariah. To be perfectly honest, Jim that is NOT the word that comes to my mind, but this is a family site>
<You asked for thoughts and those are mine. I do not, however, speak for Bob Fenner or Wet Web Media -- both of which, I'm sure, are grateful that I do not>
<Bob? Please correct me?>
<<I don't find anything factual to correct or profitably add Darrel. I do consider that Ozone might play some indirect roles in limiting diseases of various sorts, but I don't think its use, by and of itself will prevent infestations from spreading, nor cure extant ones. I would add a general link to our/WWM's Cryptocaryon archives: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
scroll down... BobF>>

Which quarantine procedure do you recommend for a Halichoeres melanurus?    9/19/10
Hello everyone at Wet Web Media (aka: my favorite site on the web!).
First of all, I just wanted to thank Bob and everyone at WWM for providing this wonderful forum to educate people regarding the precious creatures that we bring into our homes.
<Welcome Jamie>
I've done a search on the quarantining of wrasses, especially Halichoeres species and specifically Halichoeres melanurus on WWM and the Internet and I've got lots and lots of conflicting information. As I read another's query on WWM, Bob suggested that "<A pH adjusted dechlorinated freshwater with
half the usual dose of formalin, heavy aeration... done in your presence...>" as the Halichoeres melanurus tend not to fair well in quarantine. I understand that it is stated clearly...
Here is my question. Since I've learned the dangers of not quarantining fishes - I have a 55 gallon quarantine tank. I was planning on using it bare bottom with PVC condo for this wrasse, but after reading the above. I was thinking that since I need to get more sand and live rock for my DT and I do want to quarantine "anything wet", can I do the dip on the melanurus and then keep him by himself in the tank with the live sand/rock for eight weeks to 12 weeks watching for illness?
It will definitely be more comfortable for him and if he shows illness, I have a 20 gallon that I can immediately make into a hospital tank to treat for illness. What are your thoughts on this?
<Should work... do keep the top covered to prevent jumping>
Another question is more general regarding "quarantine"...
Does keeping a fish in a tank that is established with live rock and sand by itself for a long time equate to "quarantine"?
<Of a sort, yes... Isolation might be a better term>
I've read on WWM that part of the process with quarantine is to stress the fish somewhat so that any
illness will show itself (I'm not sure I read that right but it seems that way).
<Some folks endorse this idea, practice>
So, if I have a fish for three years and it is happy, healthy and growing, showing no signs of illness can I accurately say that this fish is disease free?
<Likely so>
The reason I ask this is that after the battle with C. irritans, I NEVER NEVER want to risk introducing it into any of my tanks. I have several tanks and I was wondering that if I moved my fishes from one established tank to another, am I running any risk (if I've never seen crypt infection for the past two years)?
<There is always some risk... This, other Protozoans, can reside on/in hosts unexpressed... for years>
Thank your for your patience with me and taking the time and energy to answer my questions!
You do not know how much I respect your expertise and guidance!
Best wishes,
Jamie Barclay
<And you, BobF>

Quarantine and Copper and Cryptocaryon: Crypt treatment, quarantine. An excellent example 6/10/2010
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
<Hi Carl, greetings from my temporary home in South America.>
As always, thanks for your informative articles and FAQ pages. I find them very useful.
<Glad that you find it so.>
As an adjunct to my 500 gallon system I run a quarantine system consisting of three bare bottomed 40 gallon tanks plumbed in series attached to a 30 gallon sump.
Four weeks ago I purchased and quarantined a Naso lituratus, an Acanthurus Lineatus, a Ctenochaetus Cyanocheilus and six Pseudanthias Squampinnis. After a week in quarantine the three Tangs displayed Cryptocaryon,
<Why am I not surprised?>
which I treated with two weeks of Cupramine at 0.5ppm and three 100% water changes and tank disinfections at days one, seven and fourteen (though not directly referenced on your website, I've read studies that suggest that one hour of exposure to 40 degree Celsius - 104 F - water kills a high percentage of Protomonts and Tomonts.
<I've read the same study, though I will offer that it is incredibly stressful to your fish...>
As overkill I do 4 hours of 45 degree freshwater with 2.4mg/L chlorine <copper?>. In the unlikely event that you haven't read this University of Florida article, here it is http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa164). The two weeks of copper were up on Sunday, and it's now been 14 days since the disappearance of any Trophonts on the fish. If I understand the life cycle of this disease correctly, I think I've got it beat. My question is whether you would judge it safe to move these fish to the display system.
<Though I am not a fan of raising the temp that high, I must commend you on your strict quarantine procedures. To answer your question directly, I tend to be conservative in my quarantine and medication procedures, but, I've never had an outbreak of crypt in my display tanks either. As long as your fish are healthy and not showing signs of stress, I would still give it another week.>
They're all eating well and behaving as normally as fish living in a bare bottomed tank with PVC shelter are likely to behave, and it's been a month since quarantine. My standard quarantine period is one month, but I can't decide if I should restart the clock when the ich developed.
<I generally 'restart the clock' For safely\piece of mind, as long as your fish are not showing any symptoms and\or signs of stress I would leave them another week to ten days..>
I don't really want to keep them in quarantine overly long-- it seems that after a month or so mortality increases.
<I agree. but that must be weighed with the overall risk to the main display tank.>
So, in the immortal words of Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man, Is it safe?
With thanks,
<Well, I'm fresh out of cloves for the moment, but I would still give it a week more.>
Vancouver, BC
<MikeV, Melbourne, Fl, currently in Santiago Chile.>

Re: Quarantine and Copper and Cryptocaryon: Crypt treatment, quarantine. An excellent example 6/12/2010
<Hi Carl.>
Thanks a lot, will do. You've echoed what my gut was telling me. My display is Crypt free, and I'd very much like to keep it that way.
<I'm the same way. You know that the one time you didn't and it broke out in your display you would be kicking yourself.>
I should add that with my procedure the fish aren't in the tank when I raise the temperature- having the three tanks allows me to move them to a different tank, isolate it, drain it, and then raise the temperature.
<I see.>
Enjoy Santiago-- it's a great city, and thanks again.
<Arrived home today - I did enjoy the city very much.>

Ich treatment on 2 fronts sorta, 2/10/10 
Good afternoon.
<Good morning now.>
I have a 20 gallon reef tank that somehow has appeared to have become mildly infested with ich or at least a spot making parasite that has a 3 or 4 day cycle. I say somehow because I have not added any new fish in months and all livestock throughout the reef's life had been quarantined....however I had added some new snails that I did not
properly quarantine.
<Possible it came in on the snails, or was always there but at a nonsymptomatic level.>
I have about 25 lbs of liverock and a decent amount of soft corals and a few LPS. Recently I purchased a larger tank (40 breeder) and have added new sand and water. What I want to do is catch my fish and put them in a 10 gal hospital tank, and treat with copper,
but my question is on the liverock and coral in the 20. I want to move this to the new tank ( as well as filtration and such) and I wanted to seed the new sand with some of the old from the 20, but knowing that the ich cells favor the substrate I am not sure how wise this would be, let alone what might have encrusted to a rock or in between a Zoa
colony. What do you think the best course of action is here. I am aware that by moving the rock that either the new tank or the old tank ( if I choose not to move anything just yet) will have to be fallow of fish but since I am going to have to basically dis-assemble my reef to catch the fish I thought a move at that time might not be a bad idea, or at least less cumbersome and stressful and easier to maintain.
<I agree.>
Would it be wise to use water and sand from the 20 and also, is it 6 weeks of fallow time or less if not moving much sand?
<I would still go a minimum of 6 weeks regardless of moving the sand or not, and I personally would use the sand and water since the tank is going to run fallow anyway.>
Thank you in advance.

Ich "living" in live rock?, 2/4/10
Please keep up the stellar work, which we hobbyists have come to rely upon.
<Will do.>
After a widespread ich outbreak, I let my 125-gallon display tank go fallow. After this, I took several pieces of live rock from the DT to seed a quarantine tank (since then I have learned to keep sponges in my sump for this purpose).
<Much better idea.>
Over the ensuing few weeks, the quarantined fish developed ich and died. My question is, what, if anything do I need to do to return the live rock to my DT without fear that ich may be living in the rock anxiously waiting to infest my DT again?
Thank you,
<Allowing it to remain in a fishless system for 6 weeks should clear it of any ich parasites.>

Local Fish Stores stance that Cryptocaryon irritans is present all the time in the closed system aquaria. 1/25/2009
Hi crew,
Just wondering if you knew of any valid studies that have been done or reported on the prove or dispute the idea that Cryptocaryon irritans is always present in closed marine systems.
<Mmm, not aware of any... and have heard/read this speculation at times over the years... however I do know of culture facilities that are SPF (specific pathogen free)...>
I have had some local fish stores tell me very strongly that they believe that this parasite is always present and that your fish only show it when their resistance is lowered somehow.
<Used to be my mantra re FW Ich>
These are very nice shops with quality live stock. Where are they getting this from?
<The fish or the LFS employees?>
I of course don't agree at all and have told them that. I have a Master's degree as a fishery biologist,
<Oh! As do I, RMF>
and I've been working with and keeping marine fish since 1975. The only times,...
I've ever had an outbreak was after the addition of a new fish, a piece of live rock, a clump of Chaetomorpha or Astrea (which came from a system with fish in it)....non of which were quarantined properly. It only takes the introduction of one of the four stages of the parasite to get them going.
I believe these local fish stores tell their customer's this,....so they won't have to take the blame if someone purchased some live stock from them and introduced the parasite.
<Ah yes. This seems the most likely explanation to me as well>
I'm sure they tell them...well, if you just got an outbreak about 2 weeks after you introduced some of our live stock,... you must of stressed your fish out somehow during that time.
It has been my experience that if this parasite is present the fish will show it....some more than others, of course,....if its not in the system...you won' t see it.
I find it hard to believe that these local fish stores can make the statement that its always present. Their telling me that a system that is crypto. free for months and years (only appears Ick free); and you could get an outbreak if the system gets stressed in some way....even with no new additions to the system.
<I have encountered "sub clinical" instances of Cryptocaryoniasis on many occasions John... but I suspect that there are indeed "Crypt-free" systems as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Quarantine and Ich prevention   11/3/09
Hi crew,
<Good morrow to you Claudio>
First of all, a big thank for your effort and precious info on the site.
I have a question on proper quarantine protocol and specifically on ich prevention in the display tank.
My display tank is a 180 g reef that I am trying to keep it as disease free as I can to the best of my ability. I am quarantining pretty much everything wet I place inside the display, fish corals, rocks and even the Chaetomorpha I initially placed in the refugium.
<Sounds good>
(the only things I failed to quarantine were snails, 2 clams and a Linckia starfish. I know I took a risk there but I was not sure how to properly quarantine and feed these animals). My display has been running very well and so far completely disease free for the 6 months it has been operational.
<All right>
Discussing with many in the hobby I repeatedly hear that a ich free tank is a myth.
<Mmm, are actually rare, but such "unicorns" do exist>
I do not subscribe to this statement. As any transmissible disease, if the offending parasite is not introduced, it may be difficult but certainly possible to have a ich free system.
<We are in agreement; and I have been to aquaculture facilities of size that are specific pathogen free>
Given this premise my question is on a proper quarantine protocol and here I am a little bit confused. As I read the FAQ on QT it is recommended over and over to QT the fish withholding any treatment unless disease become evident. As far as crypto is concerned I believe it is a safe assumption to consider any purchased fish to at least be
colonized by ich. Surely these fish will have encountered ich at some point in their journey to our tanks, either in the sea, in the transhipper holding tanks or the LFS.
<Mmm, possibly. I suspect that the prevalence of Cryptocaryon in the wild is not high... and many collectors, wholesale facilities are set up to individually sterilize shared water, utilize net and specimen container sterilizing techniques...>
Most will have received copper treatment at some point,
<Again, this is a fading practice. The larger, better wholesalers do not use copper IME>
however one cannot be sure if the proper concentration and necessary time to eradicate the parasite has been
<I do agree with this statement>
The QT protocol I have been using is to place new fish on the QT.
Acclimate for several days, then start treatment with Quinine Sulphate dosed according to manufacture instructions. This medication opposite to copper causes minimal disruption to the biologic filter and ammonia spikes have not been a problem. Almost all fish have tolerated this well, only exception was a diamond goby that appeared overly stressed..
<Could be attributed to handling, the small environment>
After treatment (usually takes 9 days) the fish are dipped in fresh water with metilene
blue and then introduced in the display tank.
Is my reasoning flawed or perhaps I am just over killing?
<Well... as you state you did not isolate some other livestock... these Protozoan complaints can be vectored by anything wet), there is some chance there of contamination... But I don't consider your protocol to be
I am relatively new to the hobby and I would truly appreciate if any of you could elaborate on the matter. This would be very helpful to me and possibly other who are trying o do "the right thing".
<I think you're fine here. Bob Fenner>

Snails aren't carriers of Ick ... but?  8/18/09
Dear Crew,
After making all the rookie mistakes and going through the Ich cycle, the Hair Algae cycle and now the Red Slime Algae phase I'm ready to start a new cycle. What I want now are 5 to 10 Nassarius snails to help keep the sand bed churned and this is my fear: If a system has Cryptocaryon, and I assume that most commercial stores contain at least some fish that are cycling the disease,
<Often the case>
that means that free swimming tomites are guaranteed to in the water that coat the snails that I buy. I understand that, in theory, the few that can hitch a ride in the water are no danger to fish that are healthy, but I'm of the opinion
that the Crypto are always in the water, like the rhinovirus is in the air and that it doesn't take much to upset the balance. My LFS tells me that my concerns are unfounded. I know they're not typical concerns, but I'm not sure they're irrational. What do you think? What about a fresh-water dip (5 minutes) for the snails? ANY suggestion other than "hope"?
<I wouldn't dip the snails... too likely to kill them... But you can isolate them (quarantine) for a few weeks... which will more than likely result in the resultant phases dying sans a fish host. Bob Fenner>

Is treatment for crypt necessary? 5-22-09
Somehow I got ich in my reef tank again after being ich free for over a year. I have read pages about treatment/fallow display tank and been there done that. But what is your opinion about just letting it "run its course" and just do nothing? Right now I have a 180-gallon tank with 2-tangs and 2-clowns. Of course the tangs are the ones showing the ich. So far they are eating find and active as ever. They are just scratching and taking pit stops at the cleaner shrimp station. Actually, as of yesterday the hippo tang looks clear and healthy, meanwhile the powder brown has the white spots. They kind of flip flopped infestment times. I know ich works in cycles. I was just wondering your opinion on doing nothing besides keeping up high water quality and high diets.
<Seeing as they're marine fish, it's "crypt, not "ich"...and the problem is never going to go away, and will only get worse if additional fish are added. As always, I recommend the fish be moved into a hospital tank and treated with quinine sulfate, and the display be left fallow for six weeks. If no additional fish are desired, a U/V sterilizer will probably keep things under control, although it won't eradicate the parasite>
Thanks for your help.
<Anytime! Mike Maddox>
<<RMF disagrees... many, if not most marine systems do have a resident ich (yes, the name can be, is applied to marines)/Crypt infestation... Given some sort of "positive" stability, most systems don't develop "very" debilitating outbreaks>>

Re: Is treatment for crypt necessary? 5-30-09
Ok, my hospital tank will finally be cycled probably by tomorrow, so I will pull the fish out. I heard that Quinine Sulfate only works on one resisting strain of crypt and doesn't work on the common crypt. Do you know if that is true?
<It will just as effectively.>
Thanks again
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Quarantining Of Chaeto And Cerith Snails 12/4/08 Hi crew! <Hello Jennifer> Quick question...I just received some Chaeto and Ceriths purchased via internet. The Ceriths arrived on a piece of damp paper towel and the Chaeto was just in a plastic bag (no water). I dripped both of them and put in the QT. The Ceriths emerged fine. Question: Was QT necessary? If so, should I QT for the usual 4-6 weeks? I'm pretty anxious to put the Chaeto in my refugium. <Personally, I'd feel comfortable adding both the Chaeto and Ceriths to the system. Some folks quarantine everything, and if it makes you feel comfortable in doing so, do it.> Thanks! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Jennifer

Re: Quarantining Of Chaeto And Cerith Snails 12/5/08 Thanks for the quick response, James! <You're welcome.> So what do you think the chances are of contracting ich through a paper towel? <Slim to none.> I'm an ichaphobe...I've fought it more than I care to count. <If it would make you feel better, contact the etailer and ask if their Ceriths and Chaeto are kept in fish systems. If the answer is no, then you can feel pretty assured you won't have ich problems.> Thanks again for your help! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Jennifer

Quarantine, SW, LR to avoid Crypt et al.  11/13/08 Greetings, I hope this message finds you well. <Yes, thank you> I read the excellent article about quarantine written by Anthony Calfo. Unfortunately, I read it after I had already stocked my tank and come up with crypt resulting in a now fallow 120 gallon reef with the five remaining fish fully cured, but quarantined until my display tank has been empty for at least 42 days. I have learned my lesson! <Good> However, with regards to live rock, I just want to be sure that I fully understand what precautions need to be taken before introducing live rock from a very reputable fish store. Currently I have about 20 pounds of live rock purchased from two separate local fish stores. They are currently quarantined in a 20 gallon long aquarium that is in the process of cycling so that I will be able to eventually use it as a frag tank. How long should I leave this rock in quarantine before placing it into a small "fish only" tank? <A good question... as most all stores have little actual success in keeping "wet gear" isolated from their live rock tanks (if even on separate recirculating systems), it may well be prudent to isolate such new material for a few to several weeks... in the hope of rendering pathogens less virulent> Thanks for the excellent information posted here. Best regards, Jeffrey Castaldo <And you. Bob Fenner>

A case of rehoming Bluechin triggers.., avoiding Crypt   6/30/08 Evening all :D <Carolyn> Am sure this question must appear somewhere on WWM but I can't find it for love nor money, so hope you don't mind me asking it :) <Please go ahead> I'm (hopefully) rehoming a pair of Bluechin triggers (male and female) however the current owner has recently had ich. I'm still keen to take the animals now they are on the mend (he says only a few spots left) however they will be popped straight into my hospital tank on arrival. Now then.. 1. given that the animals will be stressed from the move, should I still freshwater dip them before they go in the treatment tank? <Yes, I would... with formalin, aeration...> 2. are triggers ok with copper treatments so long as the instructions are meticulously followed? <Yes> 3. OR would it be better l (i.e. less stressful) leaving the animals without copper for a few weeks and see if they are indeed over the ich, treating if any signs occur? <Up to you... if they appear healthy, I might skip the copper, go with simple observation for now> They will, ultimately, be going into my 5ft tank upgrade once they're done in QT but I'm terrified of introducing ich :o Any advice on how best to ensure this hated parasite never makes it past QT would be greatly appreciated. Thanks as always, Carolyn <As often welcome. Bob Fenner>

Getting Rid of Ich Once And For All? 4/25/08 Hi Crew, <Hello> I've always found your site incredibly useful-thanks for all the quality information you provide! Apologies for (yet) another ich question. I'm sure it's one of the most common. <We do get lots of them.> I was wondering if there is a full-proof way to rid ich from your main system short of taking everything out and starting from scratch. <Yes, but it requires a fishless system, otherwise it is always a bit of a gamble.> I have a 180g FOWLR tank with a shallow sand bed that I plan on leaving fallow (don't have any inverts). I'm willing to do 6 or even 8 weeks if need be, but I'm wondering if there's anything more I can do to ensure the main is ich-free after that time. <It will be, the hard part is making absolutely sure the fish you add back in are not infected, which is nearly impossible.> Turning up the temp? <Helps> Siphon out the sand completely? <Drastic, but would help.> Hyposalinity? <Will kill off your biofilter and live rock/sand.> Perhaps treating with quinine sulfate? <I would not in the main tank, unnecessary.> All of the above? I'd prefer not to do anything that would make it unlivable for inverts (i.e. copper) as I'd like to keep the option open. <Then any chemical treatment is definitely out, although not really necessary anyway.> I plan on treating my quarantined fish with quinine sulfate. As a follow up question, do you recommend doing hyposalinity in conjunction with quinine sulfate for the quarantined fish? <No, not a good idea to combine treatments, too rough on the fish.> Thanks much in advance! Wes (and my fish) <Welcome> <Chris>

Such audacity!!! Where and wherefore art thou crypt?  10/16/07 Crew (and Bob, if you are back.), <Tom> Sad to say, the shark did indeed pass away. And of course he did it on a day I was out of town, so he stunk horribly when I got him out the next day. fortunately with a large water change we averted any problems. So again, no one should buy these animals as their requirements go beyond even intermediate experience levels. <... agreed> Now, get this. And, I know the answer to this, but I want to tell you what happened this weekend, so I'll ask the question and then tell you. Can you achieve an ick free system completely? Now the story. I went to the best, most trusted LFS store, and purchased a yellow tang as a final addition to our tank to go with the Passer and the wrasse. I have him currently in a 20 gallon QT with a sponge filter and a piece of live rock, no medications. He is looking very good and eating Mysis shrimp and algae sheet pieces. When I selected him, I was speaking with the associate, asking their opinions on a FW dip and quarantine, mentioning that in no possible way did I want to take a chance of introducing ick into my system. (if you've read my emails, you might be familiar with the ferocious battle with ick in the main system that I've had. Bob should know me by heart by now). <Yes> This woman told me, and without a doubt tells every customer they have, that QT is the way to go (I agree) but that ick is ALWAYS PRESENT in any system, that fish build an immunity to it, but that stress or poor conditions can bring it on. <This is a common belief... one with some merit> I took her little pad and wrote this website down for her, she then said that she hated this website! She said I ought to talk to the store owner (who presumably is the primary knowledge source) because they maintain that ick is always present, and that there was no other explanation for a system running for 6 months disease free and then having a sudden outbreak. <... Well, does have to come from somewhere...> Now, keep in mind, that for the majority, the store is very knowledgeable, has the most complete line of equipment and fish, and a huge dedication to saltwater. I reasoned with her a bit. If Ick is a protozoan, and you either start a system without fish and it runs fallow (thus having no hosts and no survival of parasites) OR you treat an ick infested tank with a medication (such as quinine, as I did.) and it kills every parasite/protozoan in the tank, ICK CANNOT BE IN THE TANK UNLESS INTRODUCED! <Yes> I don't understand why this is such a hard concept for them to embrace. it's perfectly logical, right? You can't spawn life from non-life. Or am I missing something, then? If this tang goes for 4 weeks without any signs of parasites, I want to move him to the main tank. Think I should FW dip him prior? If this fish has any ick, it should appear at some time in the next week, right? <I would pH adjusted FW dip most all in transit... likely with a bit of formalin added to the dip...> I could not believe that someone in a position to influence so many hobbyists would not be interested in looking at such a wealth of knowledge as you guys have. Thomas Roach <There are indeed specific pathogen free systems... Not often produced, maintained, encountered... BobF>

Tangs Getting Ich -- 9/24/07 Hi, i am thinking of purchasing a yellow tang for my reef tank. will a UV Steriliser STOP it from getting ich or will it just help it. <The latter. Bob Fenner>

Immunity to ich - 7/4/07 Hello to all and Happy 4th of July! I have a question concerning immunity to ich. I have a couple of fish that have gone through a couple of bouts of ich. They were in a QT, meds and recovered. The main tank ran fallow for 2 months, which they have been in now for 3 months. My question is this: What exactly is immunity? <A lack of susceptibility to a given disease or condition... two "general" categories... "Natural" and acquired... likely the latter is what you're referring to here> Does it mean that ich will never use that fish as a host, <"Never" may be too absolutist here, but generally, yes> thereby I'll never see a white spot on them? Or does it mean they will have a better chance of fighting off the ich and not succumb as easily as an "inexperienced" fish would? <More this latter> I have a new fish in a QT for 4 weeks now that I was going to introduce to the tank but wanted to get an answer on immunity first. I don't ever want to go through ich again. Thank you. Jen <Interesting to speculate, discuss... there are actual immunogenic agents that exist... for pet-fish... in Germany, elsewhere... NOT sold or licensed for use in the U.S. yet... Bob Fenner>

Re: Immunity to ich - 7/4/07 Thanks, Bob...that being said since I haven't seen spots on the fish in the main tank in 2 months I'm going to go ahead with the transfer of the QT fish in a week or so. <Good. I would> There was a very distinct possibility of contamination 2 months ago and I held my breath but everything I read indicated these fish probably would be immune... henceforth, my question as to what immunity entails. Concerning the immunogenic agents... my brother lives in Germany.. would this be something to check into or is it too new or dangerous for the average aquarist to use? Thank you again for wonderful support and knowledge you so gracious pass along! Jennifer <Mmm, don't think this is a good idea... These vaccines are still restricted... Believe me, I checked into this years back... hoping to be a combo bazillionaire and pet-fish hero by introducing and distributing these products in the U.S... BobF> Re: Immunity to ich 7/5/07 Boy.. you most certainly would be a hero! I don't want to sound pessimistic but are these agents scientifically proven or are they liken to the "reef safe" ich products that don't actually work? I guess I'm a little jaded. And if they are proven why are they restricted in the US? Jennifer <Mmmmm, they are assuredly a/the "real thing". BobF>

Oh yea one more thing I battled ich  -- 06/14/07 and had to unfortunately put my tomato clown back in the main tank due to water supply went bad and got it fixed only after 2 weeks of treatment/main tank fallow and it's been a week and a half later and no signs of ich or scratching. Of course I put the heat to 90 for a couple days and all my inverts survived and I didn't mean to put it that high but all turned out ok. So the question is I have now 4 Chromis in my new quarantine tank and planned on putting them in the main tank after their nice 4 week vacation but how long does one wait to see if ich comes back? <Mmm, about this long... Really... the Clown may have induced/developed immunity... all, any new fish/es may contract...> (I have read all FAQ's and realize it could take several months) but still wanted your opinion on the matter. I would hate to take the clown out and put him in the q tank with Chromis and start formalining them all. Thank you very much for your time and endless efforts to help us all. Please be patient with all of us as we love your answer's/assurance. Don V. <I am hoping... and think you may be too... that the Crypt is "all gone"... Bob Fenner> Ok I appreciate your input, but one more question. If a fish is immune/induced does the protozoan die in the tank after so long or does it live still on/in the fish but I just don't see the end result being the salt like grain? <Can be the latter, but some protozoans can/do encyst on other materials... wait/last for months, sometimes many... RMF>

Please Post This re: Ich... Fellow Hobbyist Urges Others to Employ QT Tank    6/5/07 Dear Bob and the rest of the Crew, <Hi Andy, Mich with you today.> I know you probably have received 700 of this type of message, but each testament from a hobbyist buttresses your work and advice. <Yes, can.> Starting 20 years ago, I kept marine tank (fish only) for about 10 years. Every time I introduced a new fish, I always employed fresh water dips, and I never had a fish with visible signs of ich. So, 20 years later when I finally decide it's time to set up my 110-gallon tank again, I started doing a lot of research. I bought Bob's book and read it cover to cover. I surfed the net; I reviewed all my favorite fish store web sites, and I made a list of all the items I needed to get myself going again. When I was ready, I purchased all my gear and set it up. The one piece that I was missing was a quarantine tank--my mom had an old 30-gallon tank at her house and I was waiting for her to bring it with her the next time she was in town. Well, I spent $500 on cured live rock and dropped it in my tank for 2 weeks until my water and tank looked great. Then, I decided that I needed fish, and needed them "NOW". So, I went out and bought a small gold stripe maroon clown for the tank, and he did--and continues to do--great. About 2 weeks later, my tank went through the normal diatom bloom, so I bought a bunch of crabs, snails and a lawnmower blenny. Everyone is still doing great. Then about 1 week later, I decided that I needed a yellow tang. He did great also. THEN, I decided I needed a blue hippo tang, so I bought one. Now, although I used fresh water dips, I did not quarantine any of them. I had set up my QT, but it had only been running about 3 weeks by the time I bought the blue tang and I didn't want to add any expensive fish into that environment. Plus, I knew that ich happened, but it wasn't going to happen to me. <Hahaha! Yeah, right!> So, everyone looked great for 2 days after I introduced the blue tang, and then it happened . . . "Dori" got ich. I had read everything on this site, in Bob's book, etc., and I knew that I was totally screwed. I immediately quarantined the blue tang, but I still had 3 fish in my display tank. The yellow tang had a few spots on him, but otherwise he was--is--doing great. My maroon clown has never shown any symptoms. So, today I found this great new fish store in my town--a very small, almost "boutique" fish store that caters only to marine hobbyist. A real gem--the owner talked to me from the time I walked in until the time I left. By the time I left, he had me convinced that I had to capture all my fish and that it simply would not be ethical to buy anymore fish until I let my tank go fallow for 6 weeks. So . . . I just spent 5 hours breaking down my tank to capture all of my fish, and they are now being treated with copper in the QT. I'm praying that they all survive the treatment. In doing so, I totally screwed up the carefully planned layout of my live rock, and I had to re-arrange it some other way because I couldn't remember how I had originally arranged it. In the process, I also spilled 2 gallons of salt water all over my floor because I was rushing around like a lunatic trying to get all this done. If that wasn't bad enough, I forgot to unplug my skimmer and dropping my arms in the tank to rearrange everything pushed the water level up in my sump, which sent my skimmer into overdrive spilling a cup of waste into my cabinet, which promptly leaked out onto my floor and made my entire basement stink. Needless to say, my wife is ready to leave me. <Yikes!> I just wanted to share my story--the story of an idiot who, despite having a law degree, refused to take the most basic advice from everyone and their mothers--USE A QUARANTINE TANK!! <Thank you for sharing your story.> If I save one person, I did my job. <I'm certain your goal will be accomplished, some 20,000 reader view our site daily!> Andy

Ich preventatives... RMF not a buyer   2/26/07 Hello, <Brian> I recently had an outbreak of ich in my saltwater aquarium (fish, live rock, shrimp, and hermit crabs), that killed a couple of my fish even after quarantining and treating them.  As you can imagine, I am now a little paranoid about adding new fish, even after a quarantine period. <Yes... a "natural" feeling>   I recently saw this product: http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/product/productInfo.web?infoParam.mode=7&infoParam.itemKey=214342 <I see this... a Novalek (Kordon) product... and really do like the tabs down below to read a bit more re> It claims to be safe for reef and live rock tanks.  I'm wondering what your thoughts are  this and what could be the pros and cons to using this sort of product. Thanks in advance, -Brian <Mmm, well... I REALLY have great respect for the company's owner, Dr. Bob Rofen... and for this r/e-tailer... But I would not commit to being "pro" this product or its overall/general statements re being an effective preventative... Think about this... if such a product was truly effective... at the stated cost per dosage... some seven dollars retail to "treat" 960 gallons... wouldn't everyone in the trade use it? Do the companies involved offer any sort of guarantee of efficacy? Am sorry to be (not just seen, but be) an old "fuddy duddy", but will have to stick with what I know will/does work... Have seen specific vaccines against Cryptocaryon for instance... sold in Germany, elsewhere in W. Europe... and will endorse these... if they ever make it to the "States"... but not these organic remedies... due to the vagaries of water chemistry they cannot carte-blanche fulfill on such promises as being "preventatives"... ph-adjusted FW dips/baths, quarantine will accomplish much more... w/o the chances of toxifying ones systems. Bob Fenner>

Re: ich preventatives   2/26/07 Wow, thanks a lot for the quick reply! <Welcome Bri> These 'vaccines' sold in Europe that you will endorse, is it even possible to order them being from the US?   <Mmm, no... or at least not as far as I'm aware... I had looked into this possibility (of importing), seeing the owner in Germany a few times... assured that the cost of documentation, dealing with the FDA of the U.S. was too much...> Also, what do they consist of and how do they work? <Mmm, sort of like Jenner and cowmaids... Please read here: http://www.google.com/search?q=cryptocaryon+vaccine&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7PCTA> Thanks, -Brian <"They" are coming, assuredly. Cheers, BobF>  

Cryptocaryon, Lack of QT and Fallow Tanks - 1/18/07 Hey Bob and Friends, <Hello, Tim. JustinN with you today.> I am presently dealing with a crypto. outbreak in my main tank.  This resulted from my adding fish too quickly and not giving each one long enough in the QT.  I knew better (thanks to all your help and info on this website) and took a chance.  Now I'm paying the consequences.  Literally. <Yes, we all make our mistakes; is part of the human condition of learning, I do believe.> Anyhow, my problem is this - I have removed all the fish from the main tank to allow it to go fallow except for one.  He is a little yellow damsel and I cannot catch him.  He hides in the rocks as soon as he sees me coming.  I'm concerned the parasites will continue to thrive as long as he is in there. <You are correct here; the tank is not fallow until this damsel is removed. The parasites need a fish host to live on, and even if he's not showing outward signs of problems, he can/likely will continue to be a carrier in the display tank.> I wouldn't be too disappointed if he had to be left to sacrifice, but he doesn't seem to be infected right now.  Taking care of the more prized fish and the tank itself is just higher priority.    <This is a somewhat disheartening notion, my friend. All aquatic charges (and all things in your care, for that matter) should be considered equal and worthy of equivalent care. Likewise, you will not be taking care of the 'more prized fish' nor the tank itself, unless you get that damsel out of the tank and allow it to run fallow.> How should I proceed and do you have any suggestions for catching him?  Thanks for any help! <You must get the last fish out, my friend; remove rock if necessary. This is the only way you will definitively solve your current maladies.> Tim Steuber P.S. Please reply to both email addresses above, thanks. <No problems, mate. Hope this helped you! -JustinN>

UV sterilizers  - 03/11/2006 Do you know much about  UV sterilizers <Some...> Do you recommend the use of  UV sterilizers in home aquariums <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/UVFAQs.htm and the linked files above> I  hear they work well in controlling  parasites such as ich . <Can help... but won't eliminate their possible introduction, spread... See...>   Is it true. Thanks for responding <Bob Fenner> Is ich gone. Crypt roulette  - 04/27/06 Hello, <Hi there> This is the first time that I have written you.  I have been reading your FAQ and it has helped me tremendously, but I have gotten myself into unknown territory.  I have had a few 10-55 gal freshwater tanks over the years, but after about a 10 year hiatus I decided to give saltwater a try.  About eight weeks ago I started up a 37 gal tank with 20 lbs of live sand and 30 pounds of live rock, a canister filter and power head.  I allowed this setup to cycle for four weeks and right when the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels fell in place I had a brown algae outbreak. <Common> I went down to the LFS and purchased a clean up crew consisting of 6 turbo snails and 6 blue-legged hermits.  After a week the clean up crew had down an outstanding job and it was time to stalk the tank. <And stock it too?> The first week I purchased a Percula Clown and a Firefish, <No quarantine...> after drip acclimation they went directly into the tank (no QT a this time).  The Firefish did not make it 24 hours and after talking with the LFS they said the Firefish had just come in two days previous and this one may not have been over the stress.  At this point they did not have anymore Firefish so a purchased a Royal Dottyback and a Banggai Cardinal. After drip acclimation these fish also went directly into the tank.  Now enjoying my three fish was a lot of fun, but I started reading about the Dottyback and how territorial it was, so I wanted to get another reef fish before the Dottyback claimed all the holes and caves in the rock as his own. Two days later I brought home a Six-lined Wrasse (This was the sales guy at the LFS's idea.  I have now read and witnessed that the Dottyback is obsessed with chasing the Wrasse) and another Percula to keep the first one company.  Another drip acclimation and into the tank they went.  I now know I was pushing my luck by not having QT, but luck prevailed and I now had five healthy fish in the tank.  I knew that I had gotten the five fish pretty quickly and the stress level was probably pretty high while everyone found their place in the tank with their new friends.  I let things go for three weeks and the fish all seemed to have adjusted well, but I wanted to get my sixth and last fish for the tank.  For the whole three-week period when I would go to the LFS to buy premixed saltwater for my weekly 15% water changes, I had my eye on a Coral Beauty Angel. <This tank is too small...> After the three weeks had ended and my chemical levels where all still very stable at ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate < .1, PH=8.2 and temp= 80-81 I made the trip to the LFS to pick up the Angel that was still there.  I brought the Angel home and followed my normal drip acclimation and into the tank routine and things were great.  The Angel ate both Mysis shrimp and flake at the first feeding the next morning and has been eating very well since.  The Angel has not been chased by my territorial Dottyback and has been swimming around the live rock picking off hair algae and acting as normal as she was at the LFS. Now finally to my problem.  Two days after bringing the Angel home I noticed a couple of tiny white spots on her body.  Knowing about ich I was immediately concerned and mad at myself for not getting around to buying a QT.  The next morning I as I looked at the Angel I did not see the spots that I had the night before, so I figured maybe they were a couple of air bubbles or something.  That night there were definite tiny white spots on the velvet blue body and yellow fins of the Angel.  Today at lunch, I ran out and purchased a 10 Gallon tank to setup a QT. <... now a treatment tank... too late to quarantine> When I got home to set it up and move the Angel, I could not see any spots on her.  My question is should I still setup the QT and move the Angel or at this point should I just leave her in the show tank with the other fish? <... I would wait at this point. Your system is infested if this is crypt... Will require treating all. Bob Fenner> Clownfish, Possible Ick? 11-26-05 I have had my 90 gallon saltwater fish tank with a 30 gallon refugium for a year now. Water quality and everything else is perfect. In the tank are 90 pounds of live rock, a snowflake eel -12inches, clown trigger-6inches, Huma Huma trigger-5inches, dragon wrasse-4 inches, 2 maroon clowns about 3 inches, bamboo shark- 5 inches, and a domino about 3 inches. In the future I am planning on upgrading to a larger tank.  All have been perfectly healthy for a long time until we recently noticed two decent sized white spots on the best fish in our tank, the clown trigger. One spot is on upper tail fin, and the other on the fishes side. The fish seems to be acting fine not scratching or rubbing and is eating well, but these spots are very recent. Normally after he eats his color fades, this time we noticed that he turned very dark, black were he is normally white. That is the only change we have seen in his behavior and that was only one instance. I read you article on treating ick, so the question here is what to do with all the livestock?  I have a 30 gallon quarantine tank set up but it is impossible to fit all my livestock in it. Is there a way to treat in my display tank? Also will it affect my bamboo shark or live rock? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. <Wait.  Wait until the outbreak gets to be too much for your fish before doing anything drastic. In all honesty many fish are ich carriers and they will sometimes show ich when stressed, but it will go away or they will deal with it on their own. So, my advice is wait. Travis> <<Uhh, this would NOT have been my approach, here....  Something, some new/recent introduction, brought the parasite.  An aquarium absolutely CAN be "ich-free".  At this point, quarantining/treating all fish except the shark and eel would be my tactic - and investing in a MUCH larger tank before long....  -Sabrina>>

Re: Crypt in a big reef... Quarantine!  Be Human - Learn From Others' Experience How do I feel about quarantining all incoming livestock now? <Yeah, tell us all about it!> Well I guess that when I kept tropical fish and got white spot it was a whole lot easier to treat it but getting white spot in a 130 gallon reef tank with corals inverts and a lot of money spent on it all is a nightmare world! From now on nothing gets in my tank without going through the quarantine tank I can now see why having a quarantine tank set up is so important. If my first purchase had been a hospital tank and I had seen it as being more important then the latest skimmer or wizard gizmo my fish would all be ok and I wouldn't be spending more money on salt for all the water changes I'm having to do now not to mention the hours I have spent worrying about my fish surviving all this. So if I was telling others about keeping marine fish I would say this.. Get a quarantine tank set it up and DO NOT I repeat DO NOT! Let any fish in your tank with out passing the quarantine period first. I would then add to that.. ok you're not taking me seriously are you your thinking no I will be ok... Well your wrong you won't be ok the dreaded white spot will come after you and when your up to your neck in ick infested water and your fish look like salted kippers you will remember my words...USE A QUARANTINE TANK! <Thank you! Bob Fenner>  

Immune resistance to ick???..... I have a 130 gallon hybrid system which contains live rock, undemanding corals such as mushroom anemones, polyps, some hammer coral, star polyps, feather dusters, and the usual hermits, snails, and a reef lobster. It's basically a Berlin set up, an active protein skimmer,   and I have attached an Ecosystem refugium with minimal Caulerpa. There are four "immune to ick" fish, namely, a Foxface, algae blenny, small parrot, and a long nose hawk.. Here's the problem, whenever I add another fish (no matter what species) it breaks down with ick in 72 hours and dies. <Yes... though there are such things as acquired immunity to parasitic infestation... the present fish are still carriers, the system itself is still infested... and will continue to be... until you change this> The fish added are not attacked by the existing inhabitants and have been properly acclimated....It's just so frustrating since I cannot add anything else to this system. The coral is thriving and all the water chemistry parameters are fine....Any suggestions.  I have tried removing the four fish and going fallow for a complete month with no success. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Harvey <Ahh, may take more than a month... or perhaps coupling, helping this length of time with elevated temperature (mid 80's F) and slightly reduced spg (1.021, 1.022...)... Perhaps six or eight weeks... Bob Fenner>

Omnipresent crypt? hi guys, well maybe you can explain something to me. I'm confused. I'm under impression that ick is always present in a marine tank. so what happens is a fish gets stressed, for whatever reason, and losses his slime which allows for the ick to attach.  is this right, the whole story? <Mmm, no. There are Cryptocaryon-free systems... and there are systems that do have latent, low-pathogenic loads of this and other protozoan parasites. Often there are environmental influences that trigger, pre-dispose more full-scale infestations and possible related mortalities... as well as nutritional inputs, genetic...> so I'm thinking why don't I just keep my salinity at 1.016. I mean besides keeping everything else in order. <Mmm, well, low spg is in turn stressful... though many stores, wholesalers purposely keep their water less than natural seawater strength, this is not encouraged for the vast majority of permanent displays> is there a way to help fish keep their slime, besides not stressing them out. <None that I'm aware of> I do not understand separating fish from the main tank when ick is constantly present.  it seems just as stressful on the fish. I know ick is a never ending battle. oh well, forward march. <The logic of removing fishes from an infested system embodies being able to treat them while not destroying the biological filter and other micro- and macro- non-fish life in the main display, yet encouraging the death of fish-host parasites in their absence... and allowing the parasitized fishes to be treated separately in an environment that is hostile to non-fish life. Bob Fenner>

Attacking Ich In A Separate Tank! Hey All, Best site on the web, 'nuff said! <Glad to hear that! Scott F. here today> ...Ok, so I don't need to be quick to kill the ich, but I want it dead and have a question regarding theQT.  I have read extensively on your site regarding, destroying ich, the vital importance of QT, and allowing an infested tank to go fallow.  I have a 6-month-old 55gal FOWLR that has ich (TO ALL, HEED THE MANY WARNINGS ABOUT PATIENTLY QUARANTINING ALL LIVESTOCK). <Couldn't have said it better myself!> All tested water parameters are excellent.  Anyway, the occupants are Yellow Tang-2", Percula Clown-1", a Lysmata cleaner shrimp, plus various snails, and Blue-Legged hermits.  I've decided to let the 55g go fallow and put the 2 fish into a 20g QT. Here's my question: I want to cycle the QT.  Virtually everything I've read here says to cycle a tank with live rock, aged filter media, or as last resort, prepared bio-agent, but most everything also says to avoid the use of live rock in a QT, so I'm left with aged filter media, or bio-agent to cycle the QT. <Right> I would prefer to use aged media because it is cheaper and readily available.  My QT has an old Penguin 125 Bio-wheel, a heater, a powerhead with air bubble infuser and PVC hiding pipes.  Can I take some of the bio-balls from my existing 55gal wet-dry filter and place them inside my Penguin bio-wheel mechanical filtration chamber to assist in the cycling process, or will this simply move the ich (and any other undesirable "bugs") to my QT, thus defeating its sole purpose in life? <You certainly can, and should, use existing media from the display tank. Sure, the possibility of ich getting into the quarantine tank exists- but this is the absolutely optimum place to fight it! The environment of the quarantine tank (no substrate, inert decor, etc) makes it very easy to treat disease in there.> I want to get the fish into QT as quickly as possible to prevent further health deterioration, but don't want to make an "aged-bio-ball" move that will be counter-productive. <As above, I'd go for it, myself> Any of your usual expert and well-conceived advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Jimm <Glad to help! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Here, Ich There, Ich Everywhere? (12/19/2003) Hello my saviors, <How about "humble servants" instead?> I am new to Marine aquarium keeping, but am a fairly experienced fresh water hobbyist. I brought home a Coral Beauty angel yesterday and noticed he had a twitch and several white spots.  The shop's tank was too algae covered for me to be able to notice this in the store. <bad store, find another> Today they said to me that ich is in all tanks <not>, but only affects fish when they are stressed out and have weakened immune systems. <Yes, they are more susceptible then, but healthy fish get ich too, just like healthy kids get strep throat.> They have told me to return the fish for 3 days of treatment <insufficient!--more like 3 weeks> and then to reintroduce him to my tank. <Please, no!> Talk about stressing out a fish!!! <amen to that> Questions: 1. Is ich in all tanks. <No. It is true that many tanks may have a little ich in them, but with proper quarantine and good husbandry, an ich-free tank is possible. Start to learn here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm> 2. I have snails, coral banded shrimp. Hermits, and 60 pounds of live rock.  Can I use that new garlic, pepper type non-chemical treatment? <generally useless therapy; if it kills ich, it probably kills inverts, if it doesn't kill inverts, it probably doesn't kill ich.> Can I use 1/2 a normal Copper treatment. <never, never, never ever put copper into your display tank. Even a tiny amount can be deadly to inverts. If you need to use copper, do so only in a quarantine tank. More learning here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm> 3. Am I doomed to buy another tank and let this one lie fallow for a month. <Do you already have other fish in the tank? Personally, I would (politely) demand that the LFS buy the Angel back from you at full price. Then, I would never set foot in there again. They clearly are not interested in making you a successful marine aquarist. They just want your money. Apparently, they can't even take care of their own tanks if they are coated with algae and their fish are infested with ich. My LFS doesn't have a speck of algae in his tanks and every fish I bought from him and nary a spot of ich. One did have Lymphocystis.> Please deliver me from my ignorance. <Spend the weekend reading WWM and you will be much more knowledgeable.> <BTW, if you have other fish in the tank, you need to keep a good eye on them. If any show signs of ich, you ought to remove all of them to QT & treat. In any case, I would not add any fish to the tank for four to six weeks to hopefully allow all the ich parasites to die for want of a host.> Jeffrey Roger <Steve Allen>

Get Religion, Get Quarantine! >Hey again, >>Hey for the first time. >I call my 220g a live rock tank because for a year now that's all it's been.  I've managed to kill many fish with ick, including an emperor angel, regal tang, raccoon butterfly, red sea raccoon, Pearlscale, flame angel, Flamehawk, tusk, you get the picture. >>Yeah, you don't seem to believe in quarantine, eh? >Well this time, the third time I let my tank go fallow I want to get it right. >>Then get religion, get quarantine. >I've tried copper before in q-tine before for two weeks.. >>Two weeks only?  And.. why copper a fish that isn't sick?  Have you tried hyposalinity?  Freshwater dipping before placing into q/t?  Formalin?  Another source of fish? >..followed all advice on here and 45 days later after reintroduction I had ick again. >>Uhh.. not *you*, the fish, right? >This time I'm trying hyposalinity. And this time I'm doing whatever it takes to beat this. >>I do hope you have a good refractometer.  You can't do proper hyposalinity and hope measure very accurately the low levels of salinity required (1.007 - 1.010). >Right now all I have left is (are) 5 Chromis and a Flamehawk in q-tine with salinity at 1.009. >>I do hope this is accurate. >I'm going to wait 30-45 days and then slowly raise the salinity and every other possible parameter to match my main tank and then reintroduce fish. >>But.. how long has the tank truly been fallow?  It really must be a minimum of 6 straight weeks (8 are much better), and I'm not sure, by what you've written, that you've gone this minimum time.   >Now my question is: should I no longer have ick to battle with, at least with these fish? >>Not if you're only going the 30 days, this is insufficient.  I strongly recommend going two full months. >And now I'm so bent on never reintroducing the parasite, I want to either use a mandatory application of copper or hyposalinity every time I q-tine new fish. Is this feasible? >>Yes, hyposalinity is standard for many well-seasoned fishkeepers.  Copper can get tricky, but it is also used in aquarium shops where hyposalinity wouldn't be such a good thing (taking fish directly from a hypo situation to full seawater salinity).  Include as a standard protocol in your regiment a freshwater dip (excepting particular fishes) with Methylene blue (enough to turn the water a medium to dark blue).  Minimum of 7 - 10 minutes. >I'm just really determined to actually enjoy more than live rock? >>Are you?  I might be.. except for the fact that, if you get uncured rock and manage to preserve a great deal of the original life on it, live rock can often be infinitely more fascinating than an old, stinky fish.  (j/k) >Ok one more thing. >>Ok. >From what I get copper should only be used for only two weeks. >>Roughly, yes, but also no.  It also depends on the levels you keep it at, as well as what fish you're coppering.  This is where a substance like Formalin comes in. >And ick can sometimes remerge to free swimming form up to 28 days later, right? >>LONGER!  This stuff has some serious shelf-life, mate.  (As you're beginning to surmise, yeah?) >Well wouldn't hyposalinity be the treatment of choice because it can be utilized longer and have a greater chance of killing the late bloomers? >>Yes, and no.  There are reports (coming from Hawai'i) that there are some subspecies of C. irritans that are quite adaptable to changing salinity.  However, from what *I* understand, it's supposed to be rather rare that we get these in our home systems. >And shouldn't all fish be put back in the main system from a q-tine containing copper at the end of the two weeks, because it negates the chance of an infestation that wasn't visible in q-tine? >>No, and no.  Here's the part of the deal that someone didn't tell you; once the fish are ich-free, you MUST begin q/t ALL OVER AGAIN.  That is to say that once they are parasite free, the 30 day counter starts over, from the beginning, from scratch.  Get them through 30 days CLEAN, and you are golden.   >I know you're supposed to wait 45 days, but if you use hypo for 30 then raise salinity back and use copper for the remaining 14 days in q-tine, wouldn't that be the only way to be surely eradicated? >>Not necessarily.  Why would it take you 14 full days to get the fish back to full salinity?  This should take a week at MOST.  Search TerryB (on reefs.org) and Terry Bartelme, as well as Steven Pro on Google (general Google, not our search bar alone) - see what they've written on treating ich.  Then, just make SURE you've got the fish going through that 30 days clean before you do anything else, and remember to f/w dip before putting into q/t and BACK into the display.  Marina

Skipping a Couple Weeks of Q/T Can Get You This (ICH!) >Hi guys I hope that you can solve this dilemma I am having. >>I'll give her a go. >I have a reef tank that has been set up for a while now, going on a couple of years.  About two months ago I put in a juvenile Emperor angel, I had fish in the tank prior to his introduction, but mainly tangs, damsels etc. >>Ok. >The emperor was quarantined for a couple of weeks, showed no signs of disease, and was eating like a pig, so I introduced him to the reef.   >>Two weeks is only half a proper quarantine.  30 days minimum is usual protocol. >He is not tearing anything apart which is surprising and has proven to seem pretty reef friendly at least as a juvenile. >>Just watch the LPS corals, mostly. >Then about a month later he showed up with small ich spots on his back fin.  Only on his back fin though.   >>Hhmm.. all is not well. >I started the garlic feeding to try and get rid of it, but to no avail.   >>Of course not, garlic shouldn't be touted as a "cure" for ich.  It *is* a mild antibiotic, and has shown some promise for dealing with internal parasites, and much anecdotal evidence points to its efficacy to stimulate feeding, but it is hardly a cure for ich. >I also tried a freshwater bath regimen, but also to no avail.   >>You can't dip the fish then put it back in the infected tank.  Know that with any vertebrate hosts, your tank can now be considered "infected".  This fish will now need to spend at least 30 days in a hospital tank, I'd use hyposalinity first (1.010 - 1.007.. you'll likely need a refractometer to determine this low salinity accurately), rather than immediately medicating with copper or Formalin, with f/w dipping both prior to introduction the hospital, and prior to reintroduction to display ONCE it's been determined that he is ENTIRELY ich free.. Which is a bit of a moot point unless you remove all other fish and fallow the tank for 6 - 8 weeks. >The fish still acts fine, and I have had this guy for well over two months and he is still eating and acting fine.  Is there any other suggestions you can give me to help solve the problem? None of the other fish are displaying any symptoms of the ich, and since this is a reef tank, I cannot treat the Emperor in the tank itself. >>Even if it weren't a reef I couldn't, in good conscience, advise you to treat the display.  Another suggestion is to get several neon gobies.  They often act as cleaners, though for a juvie you want to find them on the smaller side.  Otherwise, it's back to the hospital for him.  Please, search our FAQs for even more information on ich and treatment, too. >I tested the water, hoping it might be a sign of poor water quality, but my water is impeccable, with many hard corals thriving. >>We REALLY like to know what was tested, with what kit, kit age/storage, and exact readings. >Should I put him back in the hospital tank again and maybe try a copper treatment?  Any help would be helpful.  Jonathan Feelemyer >>Please see above.  If hypo doesn't work, then copper or Formalin would the next step.  Marina

Skipping a Couple Weeks of Q/T Can Get You This (ICH!) - II >I cannot feasibly take all my fish out of my reef and put them in a hospital.   >>Understood. >I can put the emperor back into the hospital and treat it there, I have heard bad things about this species and ich interaction so I don't really wanna use copper, would rather treat the fish with natural means such as freshwater dips.   >>Dips alone will NOT do it, my friend.  Please reread my previous post regarding hypo, and it also mentions Formalin.  We have much information on site regarding both treatments. >Additionally, no other fish are showing any signs, not even one spot, now that of course does not mean they are not infected, but since they have been established for so long, I am not really going to remove them all as a preventative.   >>Not exactly a "preventative", know that this is the ONLY means of ensuring complete and total eradication of the parasite now present. >Now I have heard that garlic has ways of making the skin of the fish taste a certain way so as to not attract ich, but in reality, I know this is not a cure all.   >>At *best* it's a preventative.  The question of affecting the "flavor" of the skin/slime coat has little more than hypothesis to back it up. >I have a cleaner wrasse in the tank, and he kinda picks sometimes but mainly leaves the emperor alone so far as I have seen. >>Oh my.. A cleaner wrasse..?  Please see our site regarding long term viability/survival of cleaners in such systems.   >The tests, alkalinity was 8-11, NO3 about 20 NO2 0ppm NH3 0ppm pH 8.3.  Calcium OK Iodine Ok Feeding: soaked garlic food with Zoe Marine Vitamins and Nori Seaweed, Angel formula soaked in Garlic Xtreme. >>The test results and feeding regimen look very good, and as suggested before, garlic *seems* to show some efficacy regarding stimulation of feeding.  Feed offered appears to be quite healthy for the fish.  It seems the best you can do is separate this animal into its own hospital, starting under hypo.  Use this time to feed the bejesus out of the fish, get/keep him FAT.  Hopefully, between your feeding regimen, the hypo, and some time by himself, he'll get through it without requiring additional medication, yes?  If such is the case, and AFTER he's cleared up you get him through 30 days of q/t CLEAN, then it's time to try him again in the display.  Keeping my fingers crossed - Marina

ICH Dear Bob, <Not Bob today but JasonC - greetings.> In august we got a 72 gallon salt water tank.   Everything has died from itch, 3 tangs, Lion fish, damsels, all anemones.  Well, we waited for about a month bought a UV sterilizer and waited again and we already had a shark egg that hatched 4 weeks ago,  He seems to be fine but 4 days ago we  bought a puffer that we discovered today has those white spots on his eyes and a few on his fins.  We have  already treated the tank with green X but nothing seems to help what can we do. <Good grief - Greenex is horribly toxic stuff and shouldn't be added to your main system. You need to establish a quarantine tank and quarantine all your fish before you add them to your main system - quite likely at this point you have systemic issues that need to be addressed in addition to the treatment of your fish.> The store that we buy from gives us advise but everything they sell us has the disease or gets it soon after we put it in the tank. <Sounds woefully familiar - consider firing this store and finding one of their competitors. Also, please read here for more information on these topics: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm > PLEASE Help. Linda <Cheers, J -- >

Ich success I am writing this e-mail as both a huge "thank you" as well as a lesson for others. After reading here for enough months I decided I would never again add a fish without QTing 1st. Thanks to the staff here for their firm stance on this issue. I bought a variegated Foxface on Sat afternoon, a real beauty! The next morning he was covered in ich. Boy was I glad I listened to the crew here now. So here's what I did after I calmed down and searched all I could read here and elsewhere. 1st I gave a 7 minute Fw bath (ph & temp matched). Then I removed 25% of the sw and replaced with Fw. Each day I would repeat this until the sal was 1.010. I also vacuumed the bottom real good each time. I continued to vacuum the bottom each day for 10 days. I also removed and washed in Fw all the pvc pipes of all the "eggs". After daily water changes for 10 days I went to every other day, then every few days. I can now report the fish has been ich free for over 4 weeks, eating great and looking well. I am now ready to have him join the display ich free. And best of all I did not have to subject him to copper. I hope this will encourage more people to us a qt and try the copper less as well as "snake oil cures. I, and my now healthy fish thank you. <Yay! Congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner> - Non-ich-magnets - Hi all, Hope things are going well.  I have several questions for you.  I have a 75 gallon saltwater FO tank with no live rock.  I had considered getting a Klein's butterfly as I have heard that it would be good for a beginner. <Very hardy once established> However, I recently heard in a local fish store that ALL butterflies are prone to parasitic infections and that I should stay away from them unless I was very experienced at dealing with that type of thing. <Sounds like more of a problem with the fish that THEY get. There are several very hardy butterflies that you should have no problem with, including the Klein's.> Please tell me what you  think.  Also, I currently have a pair of false perculas and a royal Gramma.  I had thought of getting a yellow tang at one time, but am scared because I have heard and read that they are all very inclined to ich and also usually bully other fish already in the tank. <Tangs are a little more susceptible to ich than some other fish, but provided that the fish is well acclimated and quarantined in a different tank (check out: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm) you should have no problem.> Are chances good that if I get one I will have to deal with ich, even with proper care; and would I have problems with them picking on other fish? <If the store you are dealing with consistently has parasitic problems with butterflies and tangs, you may want to find another shop! Simply quarantine and you should be all set. Should something happen it is very easy to treat in the QT.> Also, are there any types of tangs that are less susceptible than others to this disease? <Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm> Any recommendations as to a  fairly peaceful and hardy fish I could add to what I already have that shows itself a lot? <How about building up a good amount of live rock and going for a Centropyge angel? ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm) Tangs and pygmy angels will benefit tremendously from the addition of live rock (the algae and critters are excellent natural food sources). Otherwise, be sure to feed these guys small amounts of a variety of algae based frozen foods several times per day. Good luck! -Kevin> As always, thank you so much for your help and patience with all my questions, James

Any Ich-Resistant Fish? 2/19/03 I'm a new aquarist, and just got my first live introduction to ich.  I'd prefer not to deal with this monster.   <Understood, my friend... but if you succeed in the hobby... you will have to learn and appreciate using a quarantine tank properly. In doing so, you will find that your system can go many with little or no trouble from infectious disease. Please read through the archives here at wetwebmedia.com (articles, FAQ, etc) on protocol for QT. The crash course is that every living thing without exception (plants, algae, snails, coral, fish, live rock, etc) goes through a simple 4-week isolation (and treatment if necessary) period. With that kind of patience you can be assured of "disease-free" enjoyment. Otherwise... its like playing Russian roulette with living creatures every time you place an unscreened animal into your display. There is not doubt in my mind that your last bout came from a new addition in the last 2 weeks of the event.> Are there any saltwater fish that do not get ich, or at least are highly resistant to it? <eels are remarkably resistant to Ich> Thanks in advance for your help. George Nolta <Best regards, Anthony>

Marine Ick >Hello, >>Hi, Mike. >I have a question concerning marine Ick, I have a 180gal reef tank that has been running about 9 months, I have only 10 fish in the tank along with soft corals, shrimp, starfish and hermits/snails. There have been no new fish introduced in 5 months, and all are doing well. My question is can ICK be contracted without the introduction of new fish?  Is it always present waiting for an opportunity to strike the weak and stressed. >>There are two schools of thought on that, one being that it is ALWAYS present (no matter how diligent your q/t procedures), the other being that if you follow diligent q/t that allows time to eradicate should it express itself you can treat and cure. >I was told that it could be in the tank dormant for long periods. But based on reading your website about quarantining fish for 4 weeks to break the cycle it does not seem correct. >>It can only lie dormant for so long, it must find a host within a few weeks or it will die.  If this were not the case, then the method of clearing a display by allowing the tank to lie fallow (sans vertebrates) for 6-8 weeks wouldn't have any effect.  Yet, it's a very good method of clearing a system with sensitive inverts. >If you can please tell me if ICK or other parasitic diseases can be lurking in my tank just waiting. Oh by the way I do quarantine my fish before putting them in my main tank. Thanks Mike >>I know of none that can last indefinitely.  If you follow proper q/t protocol (minimum of 30 days, starting with a f/w dip) then you should have few to no troubles.  This is the method used at LBAOP, although they tend to go ahead and prophylactically treat many fishes with copper or Furazone to ensure they're all clean before going into display.  Marina

Fighting Back Against Ich! Hi Guys, you have the best site on the web!  I don't know what I would do without it. <Glad you find the site so useful! Scott F. with you today> I have a 55 Gal with 45 LR 1 Yellow Tang 1 Domino Damsel 1 Clown 1 Coral Beauty I put the angelfish in about a week ago and the tang made him crazy. The first few day he wasn't eating then he came around and all seemed ok. I came home from work one day and he was covered in Ich. <Bummer! Stress, as you now know, is a major contributor to lowered resistance and susceptibility to disease.> I don't have a hospital tank so I just kept on reading and asking questions.  I saw on your site to get a Cleaner shrimp and Goby,  so I purchased 1 shrimp and they didn't have a goby so I got a Cleaner Wrasse. <Well, to be honest- cleaner wrasses are not great long-term choices, and usually don't find enough to eat, slowly starving to death in captivity...Sorry to be so negative- but the shrimp is a much better long-term choice, IMO> 5 minutes after I put them in the tank the Angel was all over the shrimp.  For to days they were both behind a rock and would not come out.  Finally they both arose and the Angel was as clean as can be and smoking a cigarette! The Wrasse seems to like the tangs and hangs on him a lot. <Well, I'm glad that he's engaged in cleaning behavior...!> My question is:  Is the ich gone?  Am I in the clear? Thanks, Michael <Well, Michael, not to sound too pessimistic, but I'd have to say "probably not". My rationale for this is that the ich parasite (Cryptocaryon irritans) goes into a free-swimming phase after it detaches from your fish (this can happen anywhere from 3-7 days after the spots show up on the fish) and attaches to a suitable substrate, such as sand, rock, or the aquarium glass in an encysted form, called a tomont. Then, the tomonts cells divide within the protective cyst, forming up to 200 "daughter" parasites, called tomites, which re-enter the water column to locate and colonize on a suitable host (i.e.; your fishes!), or die trying. It is during the free-swimming and encysted phase where most hobbyists think that they have "cured" ich! Please don't be fooled by this phase of the parasite's life cycle. They will be back- and in greater numbers! The time to act is now! If it were me, I would use this free-swimming and encysted phase of the parasite's life cycle as an opportunity to counter-attack! If you remove all of the fishes to a separate aquarium, plastic garbage can, Rubbermaid, etc., and let the tank run "fallow", without fishes, for about a month, you will have deprived the little vampires of their hosts, seriously disrupting their life cycle, and killing the vast majority of the parasites in the process! Conduct all routine maintenance on the tank during this period. If required, you can treat the fishes with a copper sulphate preparation, along with freshwater dips, in the separate "hospital" tank/container. This way, you've covered both bases, treating the fish and attacking the problem within the display tank. The fallow tank routine is not the most enjoyable process, and it's not the only way- but it works, and can prevent a seemingly endless cycle of ich in the tank. I'm sure that you'll be successful in your battle if you give this approach a try! Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

ORP level for controlling Ick?  5/103 Wet Web Media Crew Hello, I have a reef tank 500 Liters, and I'm using Aquazone 100 mg With ORP Controller, What I would like to know - How high should the ORP level be if I would like to Kill \ Weaken the ICK? thanks in advance,    Asaf. <there is no direct/correlative reading of ORP for controlling parasites. Disease control begins with proper quarantine of all new livestock in a separate vessel for 4 weeks prior to entry in the main display. That said... a good Redox value with ozone in the aquarium is around 400mv (350-425mv range). Stability is better than occasional spikes to unrealistic highs (some folks push ORP to 450mv or higher). Best regards, Anthony

Ich Cures? (Cont'd.) I also noticed that they have third medication called Formalite II (by Aquatronics), besides the Seachem Cupramine and Mardel Coppersafe. Would this one be more effective that the other two? It contains 15% formaldehyde, Copper and nickel Sulfate. The dosing is one drop for 1 gallon, but it doesn't say how long it should be dosed for and if the dosing should be repeated... <Well, any of these could be effective if dosed according to manufacturer's instructions, and in a bare "hospital" tank> I just want my fish to get better... :-( <I don't blame ya!> I think this one might be better as it has both copper and formaldehyde. On the other hand, I'm not sure if formaldehyde will not kill my turbo snails, hermit crabs, Banded Coral Shrimp and the bio filter and live rock? (Please see my previous email. I must treat in the main, 35gallon tank... I have no extra tank :-( (and no money to buy one right now...). I have no corals, anemones, clams etc.. just fish, snails, hermit crabs and the cleaner shrimp). <I'd get a large Rubbermaid container (you can get 'em at places like Wal-Mart, Target, etc. for 10 bucks or less...) and use it as a "hospital tank"...I know that there is some added expense and inconvenience to having an extra tank in one form or another- but it is money well spent, and will more than pay for itself over time in the heartache, time, and money spent on not quarantining new arrivals...An extra aquarium should be part of every new tank setup budget...Skipping quarantine is just not worth it- trust me. And you really don't want to medicate in the main tank...> Please help as soon as possible. Sorry about all the emails tonight, but I really trust your knowledge the most and really hope you can help me... <No problem- that's why we're all here!> Huge, huge thanks for your help. Luke <Your welcome, Luke...Steady as she goes, here! Regards, Scott F.>

Quick response appreciated I have set up 8 weeks ago a marine/reef system with 90g display, 20g refugium and 10g sump, with 115lb live rock, 4" aragonite and Caulerpa macroalgae in the refugium, 1/2" aragonite in the display tank, big skimmer, everything going great.  Temp 77, Ph 8.2, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate zero, KH 10, calcium 350+, phosphate a bit higher than I'd like at .2.  Have 7 corals and polyps of different varieties, 265w compact fluorescent lights.  Other livestock:  two brittle stars, one cleaner shrimp, one scooter blenny, an electric flame scallop, 2 scissor gobies, 1 hippo tang, 1 percula clown, 1 flame angel and 2 Banggai cardinals.   I have a quarantine tank, and bought a royal Gramma and had him in the quarantine tank.  He looked fine, so tonight I put him in the main tank. Well, to my horror, once I saw him under the Brite lights of the display tank, I noticed what seemed to be ich white spots!  Trouble is, I cannot catch him.  What should I do now?  Dismantle the entire tank till I catch him and take him out?  Wince he has been in there a few hours, has he already infected the entire tank?  Are the invertebrates in any danger? Jeffrey M. Zegas <Hi Jeffery, Sorry to hear of your situation. QT should be for at *least* two weeks to reveal these things before intro to main. I *know* you won't make this error again....  You have two choices, tear the tank down to catch all your fish and QT them in copper for two weeks with two weeks to follow w/o copper while holding the main tank fallow of *fish* (inverts, shrimp, etc. okay) for at least one month, longer is better. OR, find Tetra's medicated Antiparasitic food (a discontinued but still available product) and get all of your fish eating this food for the two week period on the label. This product contains Metronidazole.  Seachem also makes a Metronidazole additive that you could use with your existing food. I would do this ASAP to get ahead of this before it becomes a full blown infestation. All the chasing and attempted netting is a lot of stress which will induce an outbreak. If you can't find the food (established fish and pet stores are the best place to start, also e-bay) write me back and I'll send you to a store that has it and will overnight mail it to you. Don't waste any time with "reef safe" main tank treatments, they don't work and aren't safe. Be judicious with the medicated food and feed only what is eaten right away. You don't want medicated food fouling your system if you choose this treatment. Best of luck!  Craig>

Re: re-ick Hey Bob, Jodie here again.  I am sorry that I've lost you, let me fill you in... <Ahh, thank goodness> I have a 6 month old, 55gal tank setup with a orange tree sponge, two flower pots, <Not easily kept> hammer coral, fox coral, brownish mushrooms, finger leather, two small yellow polyps, hermits and snails.  I had a sohal tang, <In a 55?!> a flame angel, and a maroon clown, whom all died right before Christmas of ick or a white fungus caught too late. I have a snowflake eel who survived and just placed a red scooter blenny in on Saturday.  I have treated the tank with hex-a-mit. Everything seems to be fine and do not plan on adding fish  until February.  When I do add the fish, I need a "hospital" tank before placing into the 55gal, correct? <Yes, aka quarantine tank>   I have just found your site recently and I cannot find the "hospital"/quarantine info. Is it in Set-up or Maintenance in the Marine Aquarium Articles? <Oh! Yes. Please see here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and the linked files (articles and FAQs) linked at top (in blue)> Thank you for your patience and I hope this will help you to help me. Jodie <Am glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Dipping away ich, wouldn't that be nice? Hi again, sorry to bother you again.   Could you tell me if dipping liverock and corals in Kent marine coral dip (called Tech D) for the specified time would rid the rock and corals of any ich tomites?? <Mmm, no. Very strong oxidizers, biocides needed to do this by dipping... not a useful technique for ridding resting stages of Cryptocaryon.> Thank  you so very much, the best to all of you in the New Year! Lynn <And to you and yours. Bob Fenner>

To Treat or Wait? I live in Florida. Coldness is hardly ever a problem down here when it comes to thermoregulation of the tank. The AC is always on . . . however, it got cool enough the other night to turn the AC off and leave the windows open. Ahhh . . . When I awoke, the house was pretty cold. I ran to check my tank and to my horror I found the normally 78-79 degree tank is now 71!!! Trying not to panic I slowly closed some but not all the windows. Over the course of the day the temp slowly raised back to 76 by the time I went to bed. A day later . . . lo and behold: ICK. White ick on the Hippo Blue Tang, and black ich on the body of the Sailfin Tang. The Gold-Striped Maroon Clown and Royal Gramma are both fine. The tangs are both acting fine. Eating well, and reluctantly going to be cleaned by the Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. My quarantine is currently occupied by a gorgeous Imperator Angelfish I recently purchased. I don't want to add the two Tangs to the 10gal quarantine with the healthy Angel. I went out and bought another 10gal to treat the tangs with. The question is: Should I go ahead and treat the tangs in the separate hospital tank now, or should I give them a day or two to see if they improve? Thanks, The never-going-to-leave-my-windows-open-again aquarist, John Michael Woodward <John, purchase a heater, they are about $28 and will prevent this in the future. They don't come on unless needed so they don't add any unnecessary heat there in Fla. You have a dilemma. If you let this run it's course (with *all* of your fish in the display) when you add your beautiful angel fish it will now be out of a clean QT and into an ick infected tank. The fact is you have ick in your display and the temp change stressed the tangs and brought it on. This may also happen to your angel upon intro. If this were me I would probably remove everyone to a QT and treat the whole shebang and leave the display fallow for a month. If I were a gambler I would let the cleaners get it under control and then plan on treating everyone anyway if they all get ick when I introduce the angel. A tough call but your call. I would definitely get the heater.... Good luck! Craig> 

Marine Ick Yesterday I brought home 5 damsels and added them to my 55 gallon that already contained 2 damsels. There is some live rock in the tank. This morning, 4 of the new damsels have what I believe is saltwater ick. What can I do about it? Is there any treatment that won't adversely affect the small inverts on the rock? <Much to discuss, impart here... the introduction of most any type of damselfish in this number, this size system... is asking for trouble... aggression/territoriality-wise... the ich is likely quite stress-related... I take it you didn't dip/bath these new fish/es? No quarantine? There are no effective "live rock" or "invertebrate" safe ich remedies. Please take the long read through our site re such, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm on through "marine parasitic disease", "Cryptocaryon/marine ich" FAQs, on to "parasitic tank" FAQs... to gain a "big picture" view of where you are, what you might do at this point... you need another treatment/quarantine tank... We'll be here to help you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Ick (on damsels...) I thought territoriality was only an issue with damsels of the same species? <Not so. Some species more than others re between or within group aggression... but territoriality is established amongst all species with such a small volume> Also, this evening all of the fish have skin and fins clear of spots. What is going on here?  <Spontaneous recovery... or more likely cycling of parasite life stages...> I know I'm not crazy because someone visiting remarked on the spots this morning :) Any ideas? <Lots. Read where you were referred to... promptly. Bob Fenner>

Ick I've had the ick problem for a long time now. Six months now. I've tried everything that I've heard of. garlic, low salt, 85 deg. temp. A steady temp. at 78 deg. Stuff call NO ICK. It's a 72 gal. bow. It had 40 pounds of live rock./wet dry, sump. It was a reef tank. Now I want it to be a fish only tank. Yea not a good idea now! Not to sure if it is in the sand or the water or both. <The mature parasites are attached to your fish, their eggs attached to everything (glass, sand, rock, etc.).> (both I would say) Fish in the tank are lion, black trigger, and a puffer. I could put them in a copper tank. <No you can't.> I heard that puffers and lions don't like copper. <Correct> I was thinking of no fish in 72 gal. very low salt (Maybe none?) amount in tank. High temp. for four weeks. <Four weeks at 82*F, no fish, and normal salinity, and all the eggs will have hatched out and died without a host.> Is there an easier way around all this? <Yes, Don't get Ich in the first place. Maintain an excellent environment and quarantine all new livestock for one month.> Water is in great shape. Now that there is no corals in the tank is there something I can and to the tank? <No, you fish are sensitive to any effective medications.> Any help would be great. (I've given up hope on saltwater) Thanks for your time,  Chris <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ichy Tank Purchases... Hi, Your advice is greatly appreciated. I wanted to buy the metallic green hairy mushrooms in my local fish shop but there is a problem. There is a powder blue tang in it infected with ich. Is it safe to purchase the mushrooms? Is it ok to say that if I do a fresh water dipping before putting it in my tank will solve the problems? Thanks. <Hello! Craig here answering your query. While it is unlikely the mushrooms themselves would carry ick, it is possible, and the rock the mushrooms come on will almost certainly introduce ick or at the very least an increased risk of an ick outbreak. As for all new introductions, it is important to observe good quarantine protocols. A quarantine set-up would be a most wise investment.  Take my word for it my friend, none of us is immune. Better safe than sorry. Take Care, Craig>

Ich Hi! there, <hello! Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob travels>> I hope all is well in your life. Things here in Alaska are starting to look brighter. <first day of Spring and we had an Ice storm... thanks for asking <smile>> So I need so advise. I have a 240 gal reef connected in series to a 1000 gal f/live rock. The tank got set up about a month ago. The sump is about 200gal. I have a 12" 4' Euro reef skimmer and 160 watts of UV. However the fish have ick.  <that's because you didn't mention using a quarantine tank first for all new fish. I hope you weren't counting on the UV for disease control. They are great for controlling unicellular algae but only kill pathogen within a very strict range of conditions no matter what the salesperson says. Much has been written in the archives about this if you care to look back, good sir> They have had it for two weeks now. I have lowered the SG to .018 <stimulating but will not effect a cure alone> And raised the temp to 83. However it is not possible for me to treat that tank as I do not want to kill the live rock and I can't catch the fish. <yes, my friend... you are learning about the need for a QT tank the hard way like most of us. 4 weeks in QT and little risk of transmitting pathogen short of a disaster> The fish however all eat well and have no signs of discomfort other than the indications of ick. I have another 8"-3' Euro reef skimmer that I have been thinking of adding to the sump and I just ordered a 0.25 g/hr ozonizer. <excellent... that would be my advice given the circumstances> Do you think I will get the upper hand when I add the ozone?  <a big help indeed> It seems the UV is not doing the job completely. Although I am sure it has helped some.  <limited. UV needs dead slow water, crystal clear clarity (no color...weekly carbon changes), prefiltered water (no particulates or raw water, and the housing needs to be cleaned every 3-5 weeks to rid the organic slime from building up> The flow rate through the sump is about 6k gal/hr. Do you think I should up the flow? It seems only water from the surface is filtered, or do you think there is enough circulation? <tough to tell without seeing the tank... the main ting is to eliminate dead spots in the display> Do you think I need an ORP controller for the ozone or do you think that is too small an amount to bother? <you really need a controller to dose effectively... don't skimp now, you have an incredible investment.> Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks. <you really need QT tank to run all fish through for 4 weeks first to protect your investment and their lives> P.S. On your advise I got a Maculosus Angel about 18 months ago. He is now a giant and bosses my emperor around and the rest of the guys. He really is an awesome specimen although a little shy. We call him BOB. <too cool... I never met a fish that could swill beer! Kindly, Anthony>

UV Sterilizer and Advice (chiller, ich) Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this morning.> Need your help. I have a big aquarium about 1000 liters. Currently there is only fish and livestock due to hot temp in the aquarium about 30 C. <That is 86 F for the non-metric users.> I planning to make a chiller out of a small fridge. Do you think this will work. I got the blueprint from Don Caster from one of the website. Please advice. <I have seen many of these plans before. It may work, but not nearly as effectively as a commercial unit.> I have few tangs and few angels in the aquarium but somehow is got infected with ICK (white spot). After dying of few fishes, I have used Copper Safe in the aquarium, and it seem to help but now and then the ick seem to come back. <Sounds like you have an underlying environmental issue; water quality, temperature fluctuations, etc.> How can I be sure to kill all the ICK. <You will never be able to kill all the Ick. It will always be present in some small number and the fish will tolerate it. It is when something occurs that makes the parasites multiply, that puts your fish in harm.> If I am planning to start a reef aquarium, how do I remove all the copper solution from the water. <PolyFilter will remove it from the water, but nothing will remove it from your calcium based media; liverock and sand. You will need to remove all this and replace. The biggest reason why it is best to treat in a separate bare bottom quarantine/hospital tank.> Will a protein skimmer help? <Help with overall water quality, not copper. IMO, all marine tanks should have one.> I was told also to used UV sterilizer. What voltage should be safe for my aquarium. I saw one from one of the local store that say it can process about 7000 liter or 10000 liter. But the voltage is also 9V. Are those usable for my scenario? <Generally, I do not recommend UV's for hobbyists. They are usually ineffective and your money would be better spent on a protein skimmer and a quarantine tank.> Please help as I have ran out of ideas. Thank you very much. Cheers, Daniel <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Some Advice Please, Ich in a New Tank Hi There I'm very new to this hobby and this is my third question in 2 weeks. My apologies for bugging you so much. My 65g fish only tank has been up and running about 9 weeks now, and up until now my fish have been very healthy and the water parameters I can measure have been stable (apart from what appears to be a bit of an outbreak of diatoms that started a week ago). <Very normal for diatoms to bloom in a new tank. Usually, they disappear on their own after a month or two.> Until this weekend I had 6 fish - 2xDamsels,2xClowns,1xSailfin Tang and 1xTwin Spot Wrasse. This weekend I added 4 new fish - Picasso Trigger, Koran Angel, Sweet Lip Oriental, Salarias (?) Goby. <May too many fish too quickly and the Sweetlips is an awful choice. In the future, research your animals before purchase.> I don't have a quarantine tank ( bad idea after reading many of your articles and something I will set up ASAP). The supplier only received them on Friday and I added them to my tank on Sunday and they all looked very healthy when I first introduced them. Today I noticed some small white spots appearing on all 4 my new fish, none of the other fish have them yet. From all the articles on your site I can only match these symptoms with "Marine Ich". <Good guess.> I'm sure that the fish have had a very stressful couple of days - they were shipped from overseas, spend a couple of days in a shop's tank and then were moved into another new tank, probably 3 different water conditions in the space of a week. <All the more reason to give them sometime to adjust in a proper quarantine tank.> Secondly - the other fish have been quite aggressive towards them ever since I introduced them into my tank. Do you think all this stress can cause them to get white spot or am I seeing some other stress related symptom ? <No, sounds like textbook Cryptocaryon.> If this is white spot, should I try the "Hyposalinity" method? <Sure. I would also consider freshwater dips.> If so, can you maybe give me some more details of what exactly to do i.e.. lower the SG slowly to about 1.017 and increase the temperature a bit? <We have all written about this many, many times. Please search through the site for the info you require.> Or should I leave them for a couple of days and see what happens ? <I would definitely begin some sort of treatment.> I know I've done many things wrong here and I've definitely learned many things over the past couple of weeks, but right now I'm at a loss and really need some advice here. Kind Regards, Chris Cronje (South Africa) <Good luck to you. -Steven Pro>

White spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly Hello, <<And hello to you. JasonC here...>> I was needing to get information on treating what seems to be marine ick on my Copperbanded butterfly. It is on one side fin and the tail.  <<Are these fins well salted or just a few spots? If not more than I few spots I probably wouldn't be concerned, I would just keep up the observation.>>  No other fish is infected. I have coral and invertebrate in my tank.  <<Do you have a cleaner shrimp or neon goby?>>  Is there something that I can use that won't hurt my coral and inverts? What do you suggest! Daniel <<Well, in all but the most extreme cases, I try to leave the medications in the bottle and instead either let nature take its course or add more nature, meaning biological cleaners. Problem parasites like ich and the like are present in tank water almost 100% of the time, and usually a healthy fish can deal with a parasite or two... it's when parasite numbers grow to epidemic proportions that things get weird. Cleaner shrimp and neon gobies can help keep these parasites in check. Here's some reading for you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/neongobies.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >>

Re: white spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly Hello Jason,  <<And hello to you, Sir.>> The Butterfly has only about 2-3 spots on fin and 2-3 spots on tail. I have 2 cleaner shrimp, but no goby. Thanks, Daniel <<Sounds good to me, I wouldn't worry much about those spots. Do keep the fish under observation, look for scratching behaviors, to make sure things aren't growing out of proportion. No worries yet. Cheers, J -- >>

Ich <<Greetings...>> In my 240 gallon I noticed on my regal, and purple tang that they have ich. I always keep my copper at .15 in the tank,  <<constantly? This won't promote long-term good health in your fish. Copper is toxic.>>  and I'm surprised the fish got it.  <<Well... your decor and substrate would be absorbing some of this. I assume you are using a test kit to determine these values?>>  I boosted the copper up to .20 Now the fish in the tank are regal, purple, Sailfin, and yellow tang, blue ring angel, SFE, and chainlink eel, male blue jaw trigger, Niger trigger, blue line trigger, and a small queen trigger.  <<That is a lot of fish, even for a 240 - I hope your filtration is robust.>>  Do you have any tips to give me against ich?  <<Do you quarantine these fish before you put them in the main tank? That would be my suggestion.>>  Please help me. Also, I have been looking for a queen trigger for a year and finally found mine a month ago. Now I don't want to loose him, because he is so cool.  <<They are cool, but are well known for being quite hostile towards just about everything. Hope this choice works out for you.>>  If the ich does get worse, can I set up a smaller tank, do a Fw dip on the queen and move him to the smaller tang (by himself).  <<Should have done this from the start, you may find soon that you need lots of smaller tanks to take everyone out of the main tank and run it fallow for a while.>>  Is this a good idea or should I keep him in the big tank?  <<pH-adjusted freshwater dips and isolation in quarantine are a good plan, yes.>>  If the small tank idea works, what should be the minimum tank size for him for about a month.  <<Something large enough to move/turn around in - you didn't reveal the size of this fish. I like 20-long as an all-around good quarantine tank, if this will work for you.>>  Thanks! <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Ich Bob,  <<umm, JasonC again, at your service.>>  I know that there is always going to be ich in your tanks, however it is up to the water conditions and the fish Ich becomes a problem. <<Actually, it's up to you... the fish don't have a choice. They are just passengers, you drive the bus.>>  I notice that my Yellow Tang every once in a while will get some white dots on his fins, but my other fish wouldn't. The first time I saw this I wanted to immediately put him into the hospital tank for treatment, but I took a moment to calm down and left the fish alone. I did a couple of water changes and he drop the Ich within days, but every once in a while the same thing happen again. I don't think that I have a Ich problem, I just need to keep better quality of water.  <<Well, I would agree with your last statement, that keeping up water quality is important - this is quite true. But something you should understand about parasitic infections is that these things have a life cycle - what you see is the irritation from the parasite. When the spot goes away, the parasite falls back into the substrate where it will reproduce by the hundreds.>>  Would it be a waste of money to introduce a cleaner shrimp or a neon goby?  <<Not at all.>>  Last time I had a cleaner shrimp it died of a unknown cause and I also have a bubble coral. Anyway I would like to have something that can eat this type of stuff.  <<Yes, cleaner shrimp and neon gobies can help you get on the positive side of a problem, and keep things tidy afterwards.>> Thanks <<Cheers, J -- >>

Miscellaneous (Tangs, Ich) Hi Bob, or Steven, or Anthony, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I hope everyone is doing great. I have a few questions. First, are Tangs more susceptible to ich than other fish?  <many do seem to be (mostly from temperature drops like when new/transported and from improper cooler water changes> The reason I ask is that I have a 75 gallon tank with a flame angel, a flame hawk, a purple Firefish, and a newly added juvenile Sailfin tang (I had previously kept the Sailfin in a 30 gal for the last six months but as you can imagine he got too large for this tank), some snails, hermit crabs and a cleaner shrimp, 45lbs live rock. Within a week of adding the Sailfin very small white specks (about 5-10 at this point) appeared on his body which I attribute to ich.  <quite possibly... and is this tank much cooler (more than 3 degrees?> None of the other fish show any symptoms whatsoever though the angel and flame hawk will allow the cleaner shrimp to groom them. Before I had the Sailfin in there I had a purple tang which also displayed the signs of ich which is why I ask my question. I gave the purple a pH balanced Methylene blue fresh water dip for 10 minutes and quarantined him for three weeks before sending him back to the LFS (I too like one of your other daily questions tried to put the Sailfin and purple together. Big Mistake! and if the other reader is reading this I can assure him/her as you did that it will never work). Do you think I should quarantine the Sailfin or do you think the cleaner shrimp will take care of it?  <please do QT the fish... never rely on cleaner fish/shrimp to effect a cure once an infection sets in> Unfortunately, I haven't seen the tang go to the cleaner shrimp. Do you think the tang will utilize his services? <hard to say, but again... don't count on it> Finally, The purple Firefish is also having problems. He won't or can't close his mouth. It looks like lockjaw or something. Have you ever heard of this?  <yes... commonly a dietary deficiency (usually a precursor to death when it reaches this stage. Has the Firefish been allowed to eat a narrow diet or one of whole prey items only (brine shrimp and the like)?> Is there something I can do? He seems to be eating just fine though a little awkwardly. <Selcon and VitaChem (they are different) in food ASAP> Thanks, Jeff <quite welcome, my friend. Anthony>

ICH Bob, I just recently started with my reef tank, my continual problem is almost every fish I put in comes up with ICH. I have tried different methods of acclimation and still have the same problem. I am thinking of installing a 40 watt UV on my tank. I presently have a 50 gallon tank with a EuroFil 180 sump. 2 Rio pumps, a CPR 102 overflow, with a Excalibur skimmer. I have 60 lbs of Fiji live rock. I am also running a Hagen 304 canister as back up. Any input would be great. Thanks, Mark Johnson <Much to say, relate here. Do carefully read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and the linked files beyond. There are a myriad of things you can, might, should do to avoid ich and other parasitic, types of diseases... Good selection of specimens, dips/baths/quarantine, proper set-up and maintenance... You would do well to develop a more "holistic" approach to marine aquarium keeping... for your livestock, and you. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine & Main System Fallow I'm trying to think ahead a little here. Would it be wise to put all my fish in the quarantine tank and leave them there for 4 weeks?  <Need to think even further back... and not have these problems in the first place... as you now know all too well. Four weeks may not be long enough... I would also boost the temp. and lower the spg in the main system to hasten the parasites demise...> My motivation here is to deprive the parasite of a host. Additional fish are 5 Banggai Cardinals (one carrying eggs in his mouth), Strawberry Gramma (haven't seen him for a couple of days), and the six line wrasse (showing spots so he goes in). I think this is too much for my 20. I have pieces of decorative coral from my FO days in storage which I could put in the 20 for hiding spots. But am I better off not using them to maximize water volume? <A balance must be struck... I'd put a few pieces in for function.... not too many for lost-volume and remedy-absorption sakes...> Still trying to think in Dallas....and getting thirstier in the process! <I'm having and Adam's Winter Lager as I key...Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich Eeeks! Tearing down the tank will work I'm sure but is there an alternative? The tank is too big to be torn down -- 500-gallons and it does contain lots of inverts. Will using a UV help? What about riding it out? Thanks for the response, Mark <<Worth a try... riding it out, employing a UV, increasing Redox, improving water quality  overall, and loading up with some/more biological cleaners... In the meanwhile... and for a few months following... NO more fish livestock additions... they will lack the "acquired immunity" of your present livestock... and you need to let the virulence of the Cryptocaryon lessen....Bob Fenner>>

Re: In Lieu of a Quarantine Tank... Hi again, Thanks for the advice on my disappearing goby. I wonder if I might ask your opinion on two other matters. <Shoot> An outbreak of both white and black "ich" in my tank from a new, infected fish required a freshwater bath for three of my finned friends. I captured them with a transparent plastic "fish-catcher" of my own devising, which is much less stressful than a net (and a quicker catch!) and transported each in turn to a 10-gallon tank of freshwater, pH and temperature adjusted to match the main tank, for a five minute dip. It worked like a charm. Very little stress and total destruction of the parasites, which will hopefully be suppressed from here by my UV filter. <Hmmm, on the fish....not in the environment. The UV will kill some but not all.> My tank being nearly stocked, I don't want to allocate the resources for a quarantine tank, but I'm wondering if a freshwater bath for my remaining new arrivals (only three fish) might not be a bad alternative, as long as the water's pH and temp were adjusted to match that of the transport bags. Do you think this is a good idea, or would the added stress do more harm than good? The fish in question are fairly hardy: Valentini Toby, Picasso (Huma) Trigger, and something in the Watchman Goby family (Banded, Orange Diamond, or Pink & Blue Spot)--a replacement for the dearly departed, which I'll attempt to purchase in a larger size (fingers crossed). <I don't think you will save anything skimping on a QT. In the long run it is a very bad plan....akin to Russian Roulette. Spend a few dollars on a QT, purchase *eating* fish, especially the Goby, and quarantine them before introducing them to your display. QT is not the same as treatment, which you may find necessary while quarantining, which is the purpose of this whole exercise.> My next question is specific to something you wrote about UV filters in general. You mention observing that fish who live in a UV-filtered environment might tend to become immune-depressed over time. Would you, therefore, recommend using these filters only as a stop-gap measure or not at all? Might they also be useful during the first couple of weeks when new fish are added to the aquarium, to prevent water-borne spread of infectious parasites? <UV's can be useful for spot treatments, outbreaks and new introductions. I don't use one at all but I follow a strict QT regime. The conscientious Aquarist prevents disease with proper quarantine, he doesn't resort to short cuts and then treat the resulting disease.> I value your website and advice tremendously, as I have only been at this hobby for several months now and have learned much from reading your words. Appreciatively, Thomas <Go slow Thomas, take your time and add fish slowly after a proper quarantine. Trying to push things along by skipping steps will cause you and your fish heartache, sooner or later. Craig>

Fallow Tank Hi Bob, Anthony, and Steve: <Anthony Calfo in your service> Thank you for providing such a great site. By the way, Anthony, I was glancing through a friend's copy of your book- WOW- I'm going to have to order my own copy- really a great resource! <thank you very kindly... pass the word along <wink>!> Anyways-here's my situation. After battling a pretty serious Cryptocaryon situation in my 150 gal FOWL tank (which is/was/will be in transition to a more full-blown reef system), I have opted to remove my fish population and treat them in my new "hospital/quarantine" tank, and let the main system go fallow for about 2 months. (By the way, I will NEVER, EVER go without a quarantine system again...its just not fair to the animals, and it was very tedious and traumatic removing all my fish from the established system). <very wise and agreed my friend... those of us that have learned the hard way are true converts and preach loud to the daring/ignorant (as in uninformed) folks that haven't learned to appreciate it yet> My questions are as follows: First, are the inverts that are remaining in my main system during this period potential "vectors" for future outbreaks of the parasite (I have a few serpent stars and a banded coral shrimp)? <nope> Second, should I perform my regular maintenance on the main system (I do two small H20 changes per week) during this time? <definitely... in fact, the more siphoning of the bottom you do, the thinner the population of larval cysts/tomites> Finally, is it possible or advisable to add additional soft corals during this time period?  <absolutely... you could even make the argument (weak as it is) that as feeders on plankton which includes parasites they will reduce the numbers of "Ich" in the tank> If I were to add some new corals during this period, would I be advised to wait a few weeks before doing this? <anytime you please> Or should I wait until I add the fish again in a couple of months (by the way, I assume that two to two and half months would be an acceptable length of time for the tank to go fallow?)? <more than enough...one month is typical. And remember that the fish or tank will never be sterile... just reduced in pathogen count that healthy fish can resist them> Thanks in advance for your help. Hope you had a very Happy Easter. <yes, thank you kindly and the same to you and yours. Anthony> Regards, Scott F.

Ick Bob, Need just a refresher on ick. Hope you can help. I have a 180. well established about 15 fish mostly angels (they have been together for over a year) 2 anemones. PH little low 7.8 salinity 21 temp 79.3 some have ick some do not. doing a water change and lowering salinity a little. been feeding garlic. calcium little low dKH as well trying to get all of them up to par. I have a UV as well. ick pop up about a week ago. also 100 pounds of live rock, crabs, hermit crabs, cleaner wrasse. any new ideas that might help just short of removing all fish and waiting 30-45 days? <My first course of action would be to improve overall water quality. IMO/IME, parasites are always present. They merely wait for some sort of trigger (poor water quality, temperature fluctuations, stress, physical damage, etc.) to reproduce to plague like proportions and endanger your fish. Get your ph up above 8.2, your calcium above 350, your alkalinity above 12 dKH, and lower your salinity and see if that does not bring about a remedy. If not, archive the site for various treatment options. -Steven Pro>

Re: Ich-Be-Gone! Dear Bob: Thanks for your quick and careful response. <You are welcome> If the gobies and clowns are going to possibly reintroduce the ich after all, I will have to treat them somehow as well. Cleaner goby, Purple Firefish and ocellaris clowns can be treated for ich how? <Mmm, best by avoidance... prevention through lack of exposure, optimized, stable environment, measures to limit stress... Next by foods/feeding of vitamins, HUFA enriched materials... Use of purposeful biological cleaners... More of a "balance" than a notion/certainty of no/yes are there parasites present... put another way, this is a matter of degrees of infectiousness, pathogenicity> FAQ's said someone did it at lower concentrations for longer (.10mg/l ionized copper sulfate for 21 days rather than 14). Is this effective?  <Not generally... most all treatments with copper are at their most, only effectiveness/efficacy at a two week maximum... beyond this, there is no therapeutic benefit... just more poisoning, weakening of fish/hosts... All this at elevated temperature, lowered spg for an optimized treatment interval (two weeks maximum)> Is there another product?  <Not as far as I'm aware> Or does the pH adjusted, FW dip with Meth. blue do it. <These can/do help> Will the shrimp and crabs be a carrier as well and will I have to dip them somehow? Doesn't Kent make an invert dip? What do you suggest. <Just letting the system go "fallow", w/o hosts is recommended... No need, benefit to dip other life> And as far as advice for the industry, I would say before any dealer sells any display tank, they should sell the 30 gallon hospital setup (or 2) and reduced rates and sell the display tank only when the hosp. tank passes the cycle test. <Agreed... and on the collector, shippers end of the supply chain, if only these folks would administer an enroute (to the holding facility) pH-adjusted freshwater dip to most fishes, the hobby would be much, much bigger, better. I can only guesstimate at how many people leave our interest prematurely due to losses... Many. Bob Fenner> Thanks for sharing knowledge;) Sincerely, John  <Oh, and for a lack of help, answers, availability of useful, practical information... Hopefully you, I, the internet can nudge this curve back a bit>

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