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Fine Filter Pads for Help Combating Ich/Marine Velvet
New tank/Ich transfer 4/12/15
... Crypt prevention
Ich. SW; learning 1/17/14
commercial holding tank questions; Crypt...
Whitespot/Disease Control, again 2/11/13
White Spot. Prevention - 1/25/13
Re: Ich treatment, need advice
Display Tank - Recovery from failed Ich fight, Crypt prev.
Please help with ICH protocol 6/18/12
Ich prevention - hyposalinity for TR Maroon Clowns - too
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
Ridding inverts of Ich before adding to DT? & Removing
Question about Ich on Corals -- 10/12/11
White spot mistake. Crypt prev., Infested
Marine Ich, Avoidance 5/17/11
Re: recurring Ich problem
magical Whitespot 1/2/11
Ich outbreak after trigger addition, vis a vis O3 use
for Crypt prev. 10/7/10
Which quarantine procedure do you recommend for a
Halichoeres melanurus? 9/19/10
Quarantine and Copper and Cryptocaryon: Crypt
treatment, quarantine. An excellent example 6/10/2010
Re: Quarantine and Copper and Cryptocaryon: Crypt
treatment, quarantine. An excellent example 6/12/2010
Ich treatment on 2 fronts sorta,
Ich "living" in live rock?,
Local Fish Stores stance that Cryptocaryon irritans is
present all the time in the closed system aquaria.
Quarantine and Ich prevention
Snails aren't carriers of Ick ... but?
Is treatment for crypt necessary? 5-22-09
Re: Is treatment for crypt necessary?
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>