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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis (and Other Protozoans) & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Tangs & Rabbitfishes 3

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

Related FAQs: Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 1, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 2, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 4, & Tang D isease Tang Health/Disease 2, Tang Health/Disease 4, Tang Health/Disease 5Tang Disease 6, Tang Disease 7, Tang Disease 8, Tang Health 9, Tang Disease 10, Rabbitfish Disease, Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesPuffers & Kin...  &  Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Infectious Disease

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Ich Treatment, SW, Tangs, Toby...   10/7/08 Crew, I recently purchased a 125 gallon tank from someone who was getting out of the hobby complete with fish live rock and a few inverts. <I see your pic... very nice> I currently also run a 180 gallon reef tank which has completely separate nets and equipment. The 125 had been up and running for about 3 weeks when 2 fish started showing signs of ich. Here is the stock list of the tank as it came. 150 lbs of live rock DSB- new when I set the tank back up, with slight seeding from the old Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Coral Banded Shrimp Misc Large Hermits and Huge Turbo Snails Misc Soft Corals (xenia, zoos) 2" Picasso Trigger <Mmm, will likely eat the Hermits, Snails, perhaps more in time> 2" Maroon Clown 2" Saddle Puffer 3" Hippo Tang 3" Yellow Tang 2.5" Powder Brown Tang After reading over the WWM archives, I have decided on the following plan of attack. (Please correct me on medications:-) 1. Setup quarantine tank with salinity, temp and ph that matches the display. 2. Catch all fish except for puffer and move to the quarantine tank (55 gallons). 4. Move puffer into 5 gallon tank heavily bubbled and dose with formalin for 30 minutes, <Mmm, may well be too long... Likely ten minutes will do all the good that can... I would definitely be in constant attendance, ready to move this fish...> transfer to separate 10 gallon for 6 week stay. <Hard to keep such small volumes stable....> 3. Dose OrganiCure to the 55 gallon tank, no carbon just filter floss filtration for 6 weeks, with frequent water changes and copper testing. <Mmmm, I'd rather go the quinine/Chloroquine treatment route with this mix of fish species...> 4. Return all inhabitants to the main display tank (- the yellow tang, maroon clown and hippo tang that I may sell off to make the quarantine period go smoother). My 180 has been a great success from all of the information that I have read and used off of your site. I included a picture to show it off. Thanks for your help, Tim <I do think I will finally stop putting off my minor "expose" re the use of Chloroquine phosphate... 10 mg/l... Please do read re this, and quickly order, start using... Much better... safer, less toxic than copper, formalin. Bob Fenner>

Blue hippo tang and powder brown tang, hlth.   9/28/08 I recently noticed my blue hippo tang scratching the left side of his face on a rock. Upon looking at him close I notice three micro white bumps all in a exact straight line, needle point size, <Mmm, most likely evidence of neuromast destruction... aka HLLE> and same on my powder brown tang but he is not scratching, what do you suggest? They are both swimming great and eating like crazy between Green algae and brine shrimp, blood worms, and krill. Troy <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
power brown and blue hippo tang, dis., reading   10/1/08
I have powder brown and blue hippo tang that were both seen scratching so I took a closer look and saw very few salt like granules on their bodies looks like crypt but not sure. Does crypt look anything like HLLE? <Mmm, not really... the latter can be evidenced by small, discrete whitish dots, but is almost always symmetrical, in a pattern, masking the "pit organ system" of the fish> Last night looked worse than today, should I just raise heat and lower Salinity or get them out of tank and do a fallow as soon as possible? <... you should read> I also have a clown tang, a porcupine puffer, and a clownfish with no problems that I can see all fish are eating great and swimming great in a 100 gallon tank 60 pounds live rock. <... a pic might help here... Otherwise look at ours. Peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm And reading re the species you're keeping... the Clown and Powder Brown Tangs are very susceptible to protozoan and environmental troubles... as you'll see, are seeing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue hippo tang and powder brown tang... and other copper sensitive fishes -- 10/5/08 I diagnosed my fish of having crypt. I have put all fish in a 35 gallon plastic container, and letting the tank go fallow. I am treating with copper ( Cupramine). I am having a heck of a time keeping the ammonia down. I am using ammo lock and Kordon Amquel plus and doing daily water changes almost need to do it twice a day. There is a blue hippo(3 inches), a powder brown(4 inches), a Porcupine puffer(5 inches), and a Foxface(3 inches). I feed real lightly. Can you suggest any other good ammonia remover? Also after five days of copper treatment (keeping the level at .50) the whole inside of the black plastic container was lined with tons of white like elongated salt like substance they are real easy to brush off any ideas what this my be?? I will try to get a pic if it forms again before I remove it. Troy <... wouldn't treat these fishes with copper... read re Chloroquine... quick. BobF> re: Blue hippo tang and powder brown tang 10/6/08 Where can I find this stuff I can't find any place on the web to buy it? Thanks, Troy <...? I see it in many places putting in the term: "Chloroquine for sale". B> 

Ich Treatment Question - How to Proceed From Here  6/24/08 Hi, <David> I have a standard 90g tank that is currently sitting fallow due to ich. I had an outbreak in my tank, and all of its inhabitants were infected. My fish livestock consists of a Kole Tang (3.5'), Purple Tang (3'), Foxface (4.5'), Percula Clownfish (2'), and a single Chromis (1'). The ich started out on the Purple Tang (which also had the worst infestation) and spread to the other fish in short order. Now all of my fish are divided between 2 20g long aquariums with some PVC 3' fittings, HOB filter, and heater. I have been treating the ich by keeping 0.5ppm Cupramine in their water at all times. The fish are all doing much better. They have been immersed in the copper for 10 days now, and for the most part seem healthy. The Foxface, clown, and Chromis are all doing great. I drop in some Brine Shrimp Plus+ and all of them readily eat it. I also keep some Nori on a clip for the Foxface (I should mention that these fish are together in one tank.). The other tank houses the two tangs. They aren't doing quite as well as the others. They don't swim around a whole lot, and the Kole hides in the PVC 90% of the time. If I reach my hand into the tank to change put more Nori on their clip, they dart around the tank, so I figured they can't be that bad off. <Agreed> The biggest difficulty I have had with this quarantine procedure is the water changes required to keep the ammonia at bay. I did not use a sponge from the main tank as a biofilter because I did not want to risk bringing more ich into the QT tank (and I figured the copper would kill it anyway). This requires lots of water changes. To make it a bit easier, I have a 35g trashcan that I fill with my RO machine. I mix up the salt in the trashcan for use in my DT as well as the QT tanks. Since I need to add copper to the water for the QTs (don't want to add copper to my trashcan because I use that water for the display tank), I have setup a 10g tank with a heater and HOB filter to be used for mixing/aerating the QT change water. I fill the 10g with fresh water, add copper, and allow it to circulate overnight before adding to one of the 20s. This means that I can change a max of 10g a day. I have been spending several hours a day changing out QT water, but it has been worth it to help save the fish. <Good> This morning I checked on the fish as I do everyday before I head off to work. The tangs were huddled in the corner and the Kole was swimming backwards in semi-circles. The Kole has done this in the past when showing aggression to the other fish, so I figured he might be on the mend. However, I reached my hand in the tank to change their Nori (They don't eat much. I'm especially concerned with the Kole having nothing to graze on) and neither of them moved. They were sluggish enough to the point I could pet them (not good). I immediately did a full battery of water tests thinking the last water change might have been off (I was thinking I OD'd on the copper), and the parameters were ok with the exception of ~1.0ppm ammonia. I really don't know how it got this high with all the water changes, but it is what it is. I didn't have time to do a huge water change (best I could have managed was 50% anyway), so I transferred the two tangs to the 10g QT tank which was filled with 'fresh' water. I had not yet added copper to the 10g, so it only has a small amount of copper leftover from the previous doses. I also added the carbon insert to the HOB filter to help remove the rest of the copper. <Ok> The question is: where do I go from here? My thinking is to tear down the 20g QT tank and refill with fresh, non-medicated water and allow them a break from the stress. I still have 4.5 weeks left before I can add them back to DT, and I wanted to keep them in the copper for 2 weeks, but at this point I'm thinking the best thing for the fish would be to stay in a non-medicated QT. <This is what I would do as well... either going with an enroute pH adjusted freshwater dip with formalin and aeration... or switching to Quinacrine as a medicant. Copper exposure and tangs.... not good for too long> I've read about ich treatment by doing a series of 100% water changes, and I'm hoping that after 10 days the ich parasites have dropped off the fish. <A couple times in this time frame> By switching them into a clean tank, I will have left all the ich behind. <Perhaps> My other concern is the eating or lack there of. Both tangs would eat nonstop in the DT prior to this whole mess. Now, they barely touch their Nori (loved it before...at least the purple did). The Kole is a different matter. I'm concerned that he doesn't have anything to graze on and is just going to starve over the next few weeks. I've contemplated buying a small piece of live rock for him to munch on, or putting him back in the DT early (really don't want to do that). Any suggestions? The water changes are a big challenge, and I don't know how I'm going to change more than 10g a day for the next 4.5 weeks, but I'll make it work if needed. Thanks in advance. I apologize for the excessive length. <Mmm, likely a few things will come to mind, mainly reinforcing what you already know, to degrees of confidence, by (re)reading the Surgeonfish areas on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Sailfin Tang and Ich   6/19/08 Hello Bob and crew, A little over a month ago I bought a 3-3.5 inch Sailfin Tang, Zebrasoma veliferum. After 4 weeks in my 20 gallon quarantine tank he was completely healthy, at least so I thought. I acclimated him to my 180 gallon reef tank last night and this morning he has the classic white spots of ich. He has been breathing rapidly but is acting calm and swimming out in the open. He is voraciously eating sheets of Nori and formula two pellets. This afternoon I captured him and gave him an 8 minute, ph buffered freshwater bath. Now he is back in the quarantine tank. <Your main system is/was infested...> I ordered some Formalin on the internet so when that comes I will give him another bath. By the way the other fish in the 180 gallon tank are 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, and 2 Yellow-tailed Blue Damsels. Should I take them out too? What else should I do for the tang? Thanks! Marcus <I would likely settle on a "balanced approach" here re your system and the Crypt. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above till you understand. Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish with velvet...treating with formalin   6/7/08 Hello to you all! Hope your day's been a great one thus far! As everyone always says, thank you so much for the service you provide to those of us with a love of all aquatic living things! <Welcome to all> I am writing you as I am more-than-slightly-obsessed (according to my husband) with ridding our Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus (Lo) vulpinis) from what we believe is marine velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum). Thankfully, Foxy was in one QT tank (we have 2 up and running right now) when we observed the disease, so the fishes in our main 125G tank have not been introduced to the disease. <As you say, thank goodness... or more accurately, your preparation and awareness> We took her out of the QT she was in, did a 30 minute formalin bath, and moved her to the other (without fish or invertebrates) QT tank. Here is the current setup: 29G QT tank is set up with a skimmer, lighting, and is bare-bottomed. Temperature in the tank is 82 degrees F, specific gravity is 1.022, and levels of ammonia and nitrate are 0. Symptoms that led us to the velvet diagnosis include: rapid breathing, mottled coloring (though this can happen for many other reasons, we are aware), and very fine white spots that spread VERY rapidly over her body over the course of one day-even over her eyes. We have seen marine ick before and the white spots were finer and spread so much faster than with ick. <Does sound/read as Amyloodinium> Upon making this diagnosis, we knew what our two main options were: copper or formalin. <Really only the two together or formalin> Seeing as we did not have copper, and we knew we needed to act quickly, we opted for the formalin treatment, knowing that it is a biocide and has mixed reviews on the WWM site. We dosed the QT tank with the recommended dosage for continuous immersion according to the manufacturer's directions (Aquarium Product's Formalin-37% Formaldehyde). Because formalin removes oxygen from the water, we added a hang-on filter (carbon removed) and an air stone for extra oxygenation of the water. <Good> This initial dosage was added to the QT tank about 36 hours ago. Observing Foxy throughout the day yesterday was painful, as I was so afraid she would die (either from the velvet or the formalin). She made it through the day, though, ate some New Life Spectrum pellets and algae soaked in Selcon, and looks "better" today. The white spots seem to be gone (leaving behind black marks), her breathing is not quite so rapid, and she is not as mottled; she did shed her mucus layer yesterday. She is still hovering near the bottom and "hiding" under the algae clip. The formalin seems to have chemically burned her eyes. I hope this is enough background information for you! <Appreciated> Now for my questions...According to Aquarium Products' website, additional doses of the formalin should be added to the water every 48 hours "until a cure is achieved." Any ideas about what that means? <Mmm, they're covering their bases/rearsides...> I read about the life cycle of Amyloodinium ocellatum, but I don't know how quickly the formalin will kill all stages of the parasite. <With dipping, moving the fish... the one treatment should be it> With ick, fish can "look" better, but a further round of the parasite can be just around the corner; it's deceptive, I know. Is this velvet disease similar? <Can be, but is generally more "surface" active, removed with formalin exposure> How long must I then treat with the formalin to MAKE AS SURE AS POSSIBLE all stages of the parasite have been killed? I certainly don't want to subject Foxy to formalin unnecessarily and potentially injure her further, or even possibly kill her, without cause. On the other hand, I want to make sure it's GONE, too! <I do understand... due to its toxicity... I would hold off and just observe this fish for now> After the formalin treatment (hopefully you can give me some ideas about WHEN that should be...), here are the options I've thought of, and I'd like to get your opinion on which one is most sound--or maybe you have another idea that is better: 1) Leave Foxy in current QT tank and use water changes and PolyFilter to remove formalin. <This is what I would do> 2) Perform a pH adjusted freshwater/Methyl blue dip and then place Foxy back in the first QT tank (cleaned out...see clean-out steps in the following paragraph) filled with new mixed saltwater/water from our 125G main tank. <Perhaps> 3) IF the formalin has indeed killed off all stages of the parasite during the course of treatment, could we do #1 or #2 above, watch her for signs of the disease, and then put her in the main tank after the initial quarantine period is up, or do we now need to start a new 30-day count-down clock for the quarantine? <I'd do one and start the countdown> Last question: I was reading that the parasite is tough to rid from tanks, equipment, etc. Yesterday, I tore down the QT tank Foxy was initially in. I rinsed all with freshwater, and am now soaking all in a bleach solution. <Good protocol> We would LIKE to use this tank as the one we move her into after the fw dip (following the formalin treatment), before we later move her into the main tank (when that will be is based on your opinion...). Is there anything else I could or should do with the contaminated equipment to eradicate the little nasty parasite? <No> Or should we, to be safe, allow the QT tank to sit dry and for months and buy a NEW QT tank for Foxy, if putting her into the main tank is not your recommendation? I certainly don't want this to resurface while we're gone and our friend is taking care of the fish. <The tank and gear used should be fine to use post bleach-washing and rinsing> Yikes; this is so long. I apologize for that, but I have made it my mission to cure our Foxy of Amyloodinium ocellatum and do the best job with follow-up that I can. I do hope this makes sense, and is not too confusing! I appreciate any advice you have, and look forward to your input. Thanks so much, and have a GREAT day! Beth Norman, in New Mexico <Thank you Beth. Bob Fenner>

Re: Rabbitfish with velvet...treating with formalin - 06/08/2007 Hello, Bob (or whomever reads this)! Thank you for your reply. I'm glad to know we're doing some things correctly to treat the case of velvet on our Rabbitfish; it feels good to have confirmation, as well as some needed advice. There is one thing I would like clarification on, if you don't mind: the second QT tank in which Foxy is currently residing has also had exposure to the Amyloodinium parasite (it's a long story as to why she was in both tanks at various times during her quarantine). As I re-read my post, I realize that I did not explain that part. That is why I was asking about whether or not the continuous formalin immersion would prevent her from being re-infected and/or kill off the other stages of the Amyloodinium. <Continuous exposure to formalin is not suggested... very dangerous. Best to dip/bathe and move to new water... in this case, to amend/change our prev. corr. back to the orig. QT> If it will NOT do this with certainty, we should perhaps then choose the 2nd of the options we discussed in our correspondence: removing her from the QT tank and performing a pH adjusted freshwater dip (with Methyl blue), then placing her in the bleached/rinsed OTHER QT tank, using water from our 125G main tank. What are your thoughts? <Yes... with the new info. presented here, this is best> We will be leaving on a vacation in about a week and we'd like to have Foxy healthy (and velvet-free) in her QT tank by that point, so our friend coming to take care of our marine buddies while we're gone won't be stressing out about sick fish. She is not knowledgeable about medicating fish, and we don't want to burden her with that responsibility! Thank you again for your input! Have a wonderful day! Beth Norman <Thank you Beth. BobF>

Re: Rabbitfish with velvet...treating with formalin - 06/09/2008 Hi, Bob! Thank you a second time for your advice. Foxy was FW dipped yesterday and is now in her new water in the other QT tank, happily eating algae off of her algae clip. I am so relieved that she seems to be healthy after the formalin exposure, though I suppose we're not out of the woods for sure just yet. I cannot believe the rapidness with which she has returned back from the almost-dead (with the velvet); she's a tough cookie! Thanks again, and have a wonderful day! :) WWM is just such a fantastic resource for us all! Beth Norman <Ahh, thank you for your kind words and update Beth. Formalin really can be a lifesaver at "whacking off" external issues... Cheers! BobF>

Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crypt... again  6/1/08 Bob, Since we discussed this yesterday, help me with some logic. I found an ABT at a store yesterday, the fish had been there at least 4 weeks. I saw it at this location a while back and remembered it, and since it was still there I decided to take a look at it. I purchased it, a 4" Specimen which looked healthy and was eating well. I took the fish home, acclimated it, and gave it a 4 minute FW bath, PH adjusted, prior to introducing it to the tank. It acclimated well and was eating last night. This morning, it was covered in Ick. <! There is very likely a resident population/infestation> Now, from all that I have learned from here, I am making an assumption that the ick is NOT a result of introduction from this fish. My logic is that by giving it a FW dip, it having no prior signs of ick, and by not introducing any water from the bag into my tank, there is no way that this much ick could have been introduced and show up in 12 hours on the fish... Which means that it was present in the main system. <Yes> Now you may recall that ick was defeated some months ago using the Quinine Sulfate. <Mmmm, this doesn't mean it was completely gone... the cysts could have survived the treatment> Aside from some new live rock, there haven't been any introductions, and certainly nothing recently. Obviously, the new Tang, being weaker, stressed, susceptible so to speak, has ick... but no other fish (at this time) shows any cysts at all. Those consist of the Passer Angelfish, the Lunare Wrasse, Yellow Tang, and a Tomato Clown. But, despite all the care I've taken, I have this scourge in my system again. <Expressed again... was always there> Now, unfortunately, I had to go to work this morning (don't mention to my boss I'm more concerned about my fish than making calls...) so I was unable to do anything right away, but hopefully I can get home early this afternoon to do something. The 20gallon QT tank, nor any tank of any manageable size, is going to work as a hospital tank while the system goes fallow, so I'm faced with using the Quinine again. <Mmm, maybe... I'd wait out this appearance and see if the current situation resolves (not solves permanently) itself> I've got some live rock with fan worms, etc, that I might can fit in the 20gallon, and of course I can pull the snails as well. How long, after this first coating of ick, would you guess a fish has to live? <Perhaps years...> Reason is: If the ick has been present all this time, will the other fish develop it now? <Not likely... sometimes a hyper infection can/will develop... people, particularly in the West don't understand that such parasite-host relationships are not a matter of all or nothing... but a balance, ever-shifting...> My guess is no, if they've been resistant all this time. If it's too late to save this ABT ($50 flush), is it better to take the time to formulate some other plan? My first choice is to save this fish, of course. Thomas Roach <If it were me, mine, I'd be patient... wait for now... boost the fish, systems immune system... with probiotics, garlic, what have you. Don't panic (shades of Doug Adams). Bob Fenner>

Re: Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Tang, Crypt  -- 06/02/08 Hey, thanks again, Mr. Fenner. I'll give you an update... Friday AM was the day the ABT was completely covered in 100's of the cysts... Getting home Friday afternoon, I guess it had cycled because they were off him. I'm feeding them a tad more now to make sure they get energy/nutrition to fight it, soaking the food in garlic and not adding medications. Saturday all day, no cysts were present on any fish, including the ABT. Today, Sunday morning, there are some cysts present on the ABT, but not hundreds, more like 8 - 10, which I think it could handle. No treatments have been done, I held off the quinine on a gut feeling (hey, maybe some of your knowledge transmitted through a 6th sense or something...). Anyway, continuing along this path, and I'll send you updates. Thanks for validating my course of action! Thomas <Welcome Thomas. BobF>

Re: Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tang, Crypt   6/3/08 Another update... No signs of Ick anymore... assuming it's still in there, but the ABT has survived the initial stress of introduction and has been doing quite well. I kept expecting to find him covered in white dots, but after that last bit of cysts there has been nothing. The only thing I have done is soak all food in SeaChem's Garlic Guard prior to feeding, which has been mysis shrimp or Emerald Entrée. I've wondered about the validity of garlic... it definitely seems to have some measurable effect, wouldn't you think? <Yes... perhaps best described as an immunity booster> This Crypt thing is interesting. It's beyond my capabilities to do, but I wonder if anyone has done some testing on it. <Oh yes> I guess the biggest mystery to me is how it can survive in the system without showing itself on the fish for months and so readily appear on a new addition. <The showing is/are larger/more massive infestations... subclinical expressions are very common> If this ABT makes it, which all indications at this time is that it will, then my livestock collection will be complete and it won't matter, but it is a fascinating question. Thomas Roach <Yes... and to try to clear up the difference between "curing" systems or livestock therein vs. diminishing the leaning/balance of such infestations... Many medicines do the latter (e.g. Quinines)... not the former (more the realm of Coppers). RMF>

Re: twitching tang... more need to read  - 05/31/08 Ok, sorry. Let me start from the beginning. I introduced a tang into my 75g tank. <Sans quarantine, dip/bathing?> I have 3 chromis and a scooter blenny in here as well. Well a couple days after I added him, spots showed up. I'm thinking its ich, but I don't want to set up a qt, <... too late for this> and stress them out if that's not what it is. Anyways, the spots on my tang disappeared and he began to twitch. Not a lot but he would twitch once or twice. Do tangs do this? <... the spots will be back... They're off reproducing, metamorphosing... You should read... and soon... re protozoan parasites of marine fishes. BobF> Tang Parasite... Crypt, reading   4/25/08 Hey Guys, Just want to let you know, just like everyone else I find this site really helpful and it's really cool you do this to help people. OK, I have a Sailfin tang 5-6 inches with some type of parasite. I'm not sure exactly what it is because it doesn't really look like ich, more of a dusting of white rather than actual white grains perhaps velvet?. <Perhaps... there are other Protozoans, conditions...> However, I gave him a ph-temp adjusted freshwater bath for 5-6 minutes and a few hours after, he was covered in "Ich looking" spots everywhere. <Oh... then likely was/is Cryptocaryon> Much more defined and white, like grains of salt. I was inclined to dip him again that evening simply because it seemed to me that the 5-min dip may not have been long enough and perhaps only brought the parasite to the surface. <And your system itself is infested...> However I didn't dip him again and 1 day later he looks like he did again before the dip- dusting of white. A few other things, he also seems to have developed "small breaks" in his colouration, like small black irregular shaped discolourations. He has also developed 1 cloudy eye, and 1 eye with just a few blotches of murky white. <All symptomatic...> Otherwise he seems really healthy, eats like a pig, active, ect. <No such word> I know this is a lot of questions at once, but some direction would be much appreciated. I guess the real question I have from all of this is can/should I dip him again for longer, is it possible that the dip only brought the parasites to the surface? If I dip him again, and the white spots appear bigger, should I dip him AGAIN for the second time in that day?.. I have been in the hobby for about a year, 2 tanks, very keen interest. I also have a quarantine tank but I was told by several people that It would be more stressful to my 6 inch tang to leave him in a tank that small then It would be to just add him to my display. So here I am with parasites. My tanks- 1- 36 gal corner tank- 25-ish corals running for a year and doing great.... 1- 110 gal tank (that the Tang lives in along with a skunk clown, 3 cleaner shrimp and cleaner crews) The 110 gal has been running for 8 weeks (the tang has been in there for 4) with 175 lbs of live rock (all cured) I run a EuroReef rs-100 and a 30gal sump, 250w MH and 2- 96w PC. All levels are good. Nitrates- 0 Nitrites-0 Ammonia- 0 Ph-8.0-8.2 Temp- 82-83 SG- 1.024-1.025 Calcium- 400 Sorry for the length! Thanks again.. <... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm  and the linked files above where you lead yourself... You need to formulate and act against a plan (with knowledge)... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Purple Tang has ich, advice needed on emergency hospital tank 4/23/08 I have a 90 gallon reef setup that has been running well for about a year and a half. I have great husbandry, and perform 3x 5 gallon water changes a week. Here are my parameters: ph 8.3, nitrate 0, phosphate <1, calcium ~380, 79F, SG 1.025. All my fish went through a 4 week quarantine in a 29 gallon, and I haven't added any new fish in about 6 months. <Ok> I recently added some large rocks with mushrooms - this is the only new addition to my tank. Now my purple tang has ich. (I know he will outgrow this tank, I have near future plans of a 220 when I move in august). Today is the third day of his visible spots and I am hurrying to setup a quarantine tank again as I didn't leave it running because I considered the tank stocked. The problem is I sold off the 29 gallon equipment, and all I have left is a 10 gallon setup. Will this be large enough for my 3" purple tang while I treat him for ich? <I would try to go bigger, maybe a large Rubbermaid container, usually can be had pretty cheap.> Also, how can I kick start this system and prevent or minimize a cycle? I thought about putting a large sponge (about 12"x4"x4") that is in my sump, dividing the skimmer chamber from some rubble live rock, into the quarantine. <Would work well if you can get a little water flow through it, but will have to be discarded after use in the QT tank.> Would you recommend this? <Best bet.> I have the bio wheel of a backpack filter for the quarantine under the drip tray in my tank, it has been there overnight. How long does the beneficial bacteria take to populate this? <Would probably need at least a week if not more.> Should I be running a skimmer on this quarantine? <Not during treatment.> The only spare one I have is a hardly useful SeaClone 100. <Good for after treatment to keep O2 levels up.> Livestock Purple Tang Swissguard Basslet 3x Green Chromis Purple Firefish 2x Percula Clowns Watchman Goby 6 Line Wrasse Neon Goby (went missing yesterday - another story, crab suspected. Missed though as he could've helped with the ich some) <Where are these fish going to be treated?> Pacific Cleaner Shrimp Mithrax Crab (possible goby killer - has gotten quiet large) On another note, I have also recently had a nasty outbreak of Valonia bubble algae. I have attempted to scrape the rock clean with a siphon running to gather everything up, but despite my bi-weekly or so efforts to keep these guys at bay, they always seem to find some place to grow. Would a uv sterilizer be beneficial at this point? <May be of some use, but I would not spend a lot of money on it.> At least for the moment to help control the bubble algae, and perhaps even a little more pressure on the ich if it does get loose in my tank? <Is already loose in your tank, just a question of how bad the other fish are infected.> I have the pumps and hosing and my LFS has a Coralife 8w sterilizer on sale right now. <I would not bother with such a small model, will not get your money's worth out of it.> Thanks as always for your helpful advice! Josh <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Sailfin Tang/Health 4/23/08 Hello again, <Hi Dave> I would like to get a pic of him but for now he staying behind the rocks.  The spots are pin sized and dusted on him as if you blew some sprinkles on him and what's throwing me off is that is on his fins as well. I didn't think ich would attack the fins ...they are so transparent. It would seem to be a bad spot to suck the blood out of a host aside from the fact the c. irritans burrows under the scale to get to the flesh of the fish. I also didn't get  the link you wanted me to look at for some reason. <The reason is me, forgot to paste. Here you go. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebrasom.htm> This particular tang does have large freckles all on his face which is normal to the species or at least in comparison with some other pics I was able to find online. In the meantime I'll keep trying to get a pic. <This fish needs to be treated quickly. Go for a freshwater dip first and do read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm. I'm also thinking this fish may be infected with Amyloodiniumiasis. Do read here also. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm Thank you, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Dave

Re: Sailfin Tang/Health 4/24/08 Good morning James, <Good morning Dave. First off, always reply with the original content. I cannot remember everything we talked about. And, do cap all proper nouns such as names of fish, companies, etc. and do a spelling check. Saves me time as I have to correct/edit before posting.> main display specs 55gal reef tank Emperor 400 Magnum 350 protein skimmer fuge combo 24watt uv sterilizer lots of inverts and 4 coral and mushroom polyps water parameters are all solid I was able to catch him last night and I put him a 3 gal pico QT. I think it is ich <It is.> and I am treating the fish with Cupramine. It also had some weird fecal matter and this concerns me. I will include some pics. <I see, the fish is definitely stressed and will continue to be in that three gallon jug. Should have at least a ten gallon tank, not expensive at all. As for the fecal matter, I do not believe this fish is getting a nutritious diet. Do read the link and linked files therein that I sent you last time. All of the questions you are asking can easily be found on our site, do learn to use, very informative.> I'm just worried that some of the ich sloughed off into my main display tank. I made the foolhardy mistake of being in a hurry and not being patient. <Yes you did, and I'm sure plenty of cysts are present in the main display.> I went back to LFS and had a closer look at the other few fish in the tank I purchased the tang from and they all had the same spots. I should have looked before I leaped. <Yes, would have been pretty obvious.> The only other fish in my display are a Blue Devil Damsel and a Cleaner Wrasse. I have had both for over a year now (fortunately the wrasse eats flake food). <I hope you have a better diet than just flake food, especially for the tang.> Do you think they will get infected now as well? <The damsel is a very hardy fish and I don't expect him to contract the disease. As for the Cleaner Wrasse, I've never saw one pick itself clean, so there is a very good chance this fish will inherit the disease.> I do have UV sterilizer (24 watt) running on the display. <Will help, at least kill all spores passing through it.> If the two fish don't get infected and a month passes allowing the ich cycle to run its course do you think it would be safe to add fish that have been properly QTed? It would certainly be a pain in the butt to catch those two guys but if it must be done it will. <Right now, I'd concentrate on getting a larger tank for the tang and future inhabitants of the QT. After a month, re-evaluate the situation. Worry more about correcting the problem at hand, not when you can add more fish. I'd keep a close eye on the Cleaner Wrasse for signs of ich and be ready to transfer him to a QT if you want a chance at saving him.> Thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)><<... this fish and all others will be dead soon if not treated... NOT quarantined. TREATED.  Poor advice. RMF>> Dave

Marine Ich question 03/26/2008 Thanks so much for your great web site! <<Thanks for the kind comments. Andrew with you today>> I recently purchased a Kole Tang which I put into my 20 gallon quarantine tank. He broke out with Ich about 2 weeks after purchase. I treated him with CopperSafe for 10 days after which he looked and behaved great. I then did water changes sufficient to reduce the copper level to zero. After two more weeks he broke out in Ich again. I again treated him with Copper for two full weeks. He is eating great and does not seem to show ill effects from the treatment and the Ich appears to be gone. My question is how long should I keep him in quarantine and how can I be sure he will not get Ich after I add him to my display tank? <<I would suggest you stop treating with copper, and go down the hyposalinity route to eradicate the Ich. More info on this can be found here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and linked articles and FAQ's. Do you have anything like live rock or substrate in this QT tank? If so, get rid. They are an ideal place to harbour the parasite. All you need in there is heater, filter and some Plastic pipe work for hiding holes>> If you think there is no way to be absolutely sure he will not get Ich again, should I just take him back to my LFS since I do not want Ich in my tank and know that Tangs are prone to get Ich? <<Yes, tangs are very prone to Ich, however, with a good treatment, you can overcome this issue. Use the route mentioned above, hyposalinity>> Thanks for your help. <<Hope this helps, thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Re: Fish Compatibility - Bully Gold-Rim Tang... actually Crypt, using WWM  -- 02/07/08 Hello crew!! I am writing to you and copying our previous conversations in this email. I have run into some trouble with my 125 gallon setup (going on 1 year with no issues). Recently my Powder Brown came up with ICK. <Acanthurus nigricans is very susceptible> I immediately QTd the entire livestock into my 46 bowfront. Unfortunately the Brown died (was really fast, less than a day when I noticed and diagnosed the problem). My two remaining fish are surviving in the QT and I am dosing with Oodim Ex (LFS recommended). <... check the ingredients here> Last night I came home from work and was surprised to see that the Auriga Butterfly had turned a shade of black (not night time black). <Poisoned> He was swimming into things and seemed out of it. I ran a full water chemistry test and found that my Nitrates in the QT were 100PPM. <!> I was shocked. I immediately began changing the water. I changed close to 70%. I made sure to match the temp, PH and salinity. Tonight I will go and see how things are progressing and change more water. I will continue to QT the Auriga and hi remaining tank mate the Huma Huma and fallow the main tank for at least 6 weeks. Should I stop dosing the medicine? Will the Butterfly recover? <... Please read...> The reason my QT nitrates were skyrocketed was because I used water changed from the main tank. I measured my main tank and found the Ammonia to be zero, Nitrites were high <Toxic...> and Nitrates were high as well. I was completely dumbfounded!!! I had gotten lazy and checked only PH,NH4 and salinity on a regular basis. <More than I do... if all is going fine...> Now, I am sure that the Powder Brown became sick partly due to my water chemistry problems. <Likely so> In the future, what can I do differently with my system to reduce/eliminate my Nitrate and Nitrite problems? <"Groan..." All posted...> Should I consider a DSB? My system currently has 2 overflows into a 40 Gal sump. My main tank has around 3" of Aragonite (fine) sand. I read in your DSB site that 6" is ideal. I am not sure that I want 6" in my main tank. Can I use my sump (which is now bare bottom) as my DSB? The sump is under my main tank and dark, do I need lighting? If so, what type (fluorescent, halogen??)? Should the lighting stay on all the time? I sand alone good enough, or do I need to put algae in the sump? If you suggest starting a DSB in my sump, then should I take the fine sand from my main tank, reduce its level to 1/2" adding this to the sump? If not 6" by then, can I add new sand on top? As always thanks for your continued support and help. Your website is a wealth of knowledge and comfort. <Have just skipped down. The answers to the questions you posit, and much more useful ancillary info. is posted, over and over... please read before writing. BobF>

Achilles Tang trouble. Crypt ping pong    2/6/08 Good evening, I had an outbreak of ich in my 150 reef tank about two months ago. I have a sailfin tang, green chromis, Talbot damsel, clarki clown, and just added an Achilles tang four days ago. I have not seen any sign of ich in the last seven weeks. When I initially had it I lost several fish but all the others made it with no sign of ich. <No sign... you now know that this indicates nothing> I believed it was gone so I added the Achilles tang. Now it has ich. My tank has way too much lr and coral to catch the fish and quarantine them. <... you'll either have to "decide" (as in nothing's decided till it's done) to remove all to get to the fishes, or risk trying to establish a balance between infestation/disease-health and residence of the parasite...> I have read numerous articles on your site on how to rid it. The Achilles tang is eating and I do have a cleaner shrimp. My question is what options do I have to rid my problem? <As stated.> I don't want to lose this fish. None of the others have any signs. Is it possible the tang will survive? Why do the others not have any? <Yes and more susceptible> <Bob Fenner>

Tangs,  Crypt-hlth./sel.  01/02/2008 Hi, <<Hello, Andrew here>> I upgraded from a 65g to a 160g tank a little over 2 months ago. As soon as I transferred my fish to the new tank, they all got ich pretty badly and a few died. I did not have many fish to start with but now I am down to a couple gobies and a seahorse (which lives in my macro fuge under the main tank). <<Is it happy in the fuge?? Maybe setup a new system to give the horse a better home??>> I took all the fish out and placed them into a hospital tank. This, of course, required me to take the entire tank apart. Not a fun job. <<He he he, it's never fun, that part>> Anyway, they have been in the hospital tank for a week now. I am treating with hyposalinity. The tank will be left fallow for 6 weeks. <<Sounds like a good plan>> My question is regarding tangs. I always wanted to add a regal, yellow and kole tang but now that I've had an ich breakout, I'm really scared to attempt keeping these fish, especially the regal, due to their susceptibility to get ich. What do you think. With proper maintenance and proper quarantining, should I still be scared to try these fish? <<The majority of tangs are susceptible to Ich. As long as you carry out proper techniques for acclimatizing, quarantine etc you should not be scared, no>> I would like to add 2-3 cleaner shrimps and a couple neon gobies to help control parasites should I get another break out even with the precautions I am taking. I also have a UV sterilizer. It's just a 25 watt though. On a 160g tank, with a 30 gallon sump and 25 gallon refugium, that might not do much, right? <<No problems with the shrimp or Goby's. The UV is not really going to be very effective on a tank that large>> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much! Steve Nantel <<Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Re: Tangs...  2/1/08 Thanks for the response Andrew. You told me what I was hoping to be told. <<No problem Steve...All the best in keeping the tangs>> The tank that my seahorse lives in, I believe, is a great home for him. Its a 25g hex tank that I plumbed to my main system. It's got lights on it that are on a timer, along with a lot of macro algae and some liverock too. I have that tank under my main tank, completely to the right. I do not have a door on that side of my stand so that we can view the seahorse. It looks very neat. Thanks again! Steve <<Happy fish keeping. A Nixon>>

Sailfin Tang, Pearlscale Butterfly With Crypt -- 01/24/08 Hellllooo Eric! <<Hey there Don!>> Ok Tang and Butterfly in QT have crypt. <<Better there than in the display, eh>> Pick my poison for me in the early stage. A) Copper, B) Formalin, C) Organic Ich Attack, besides the FW dip over 5 minutes and daily water changes. <<Hmm'¦ I've seen some folks recommend Formalin-based medications over Copper for Tangs, but I'm leery of these 'embalming fluids' but for extreme cases. If a medicant is needed, I would likely go with a Copper-based formula and keep a very watchful eye on the Tang. And though I've not tried this myself'¦if the Ich is not excessive, I might be inclined to skip the Copper and proceed with a series of daily pH adjusted Freshwater baths (could even add some Methylene Blue'¦just enough to turn the water deep blue). Performing these dips for 3-4 days at a time combined with daily siphoning/vacuuming of the tank bottom (hopefully this QT does not contain rock/substrate), and then carefully observing the fishes for a while to determine efficacy/the need to repeat, may take care of this pest protozoan over a series of weeks while possibly proving easier on the fishes than medicating (poisoning) them. But, it's hard for me to make this call. You will have to decide how much trouble you want to go to and/or what measures are necessary at this time>> Hope all is well on the new room your building. <<Yes, thank you'¦have about finished putting down the new Bamboo flooring, cabinetry and display/book shelves to do yet'¦is a 'renovation' rather than an addition'¦though there is a fair amount of 'building-in' involved>> Thanks, Don V. <<Happy to help. EricR>>
Re: Sailfin Tang, Pearlscale Butterfly With Crypt - 01/24/08
Forget it I blew it :(. <<'¦!>> I put in formalin/quick cure and poisoned them. <<Sorry to hear my friend. And not to be flippant, but and in this time/culture of instant gratification, 'quick' often means 'deadly' in this hobby. A sad and expensive lesson'¦but the 'cure' is sometimes worse than the illness. Okay, enough of the lecture'¦>> I am finally giving up the formalin thing. <<Has its uses, I'm sure'¦but you MUST know what you are doing>> It's just I have never done copper. <<Can also be abused/misused'¦but is my preference between the two>> Next time I get fish I'm just going with FW bath over 5 minutes and then QT tank him, daily dips, and clean bottom of tank (QT always bare bottom). <<Mmm, yes'¦ And please don't misinterpret my words/intent here'¦ I know you recently went through a bad bout of Ich in which you lost fish'¦but it is oftentimes good to just slow down/be less reactionary and resort to the meds only if the fishes lives are in peril. Yeah, yeah, I know'¦easy for me to say'¦[grin]>> I use my wet dry filter for vigorous water movement. Does keeping SWG at .017 help? <<Creates more stress than any good it does, in my opinion. Keep the QT at NSW levels and rely on the freshwater baths to do their jobs>> I feel like I'm making the same dumb mistakes. <<But hopefully learning from same?>> This drives me crazy. <<Many have been down this same path>> I volunteer for a wildlife reservation and mainly keep Tigers, Lions and other big cats <<Neat'¦I do like the big cats>> and animals and if they get sick we just take them to a vet! <<Indeed>> Thanks again. <<As always'¦quite welcome>> You're my only link to fish people because all the people I know think I drive myself crazy over this stuff, and how much it costs. <<Hmm, perhaps a few beers or a bottle of wine are in order for tonight. For medicinal purposes only, of course [grin]. Kidding aside'¦is obvious to me you care about your charges and about how to properly provide for them. You 'are' learning and you 'will' get better at it. Patience and moderation'¦ Regards, Eric Russell>>  

Hippo Tang with recurrent Crypt  1/16/08 Dear WWM crew, Thank you for receiving my question! <Welcome> I have a hippo tang (have had for 18 months) who I treated 1 year ago for Crypt. <Looks like with copper... resultant in the obvious neuromast destruction here (HLLE)> He successfully had 2 weeks of copper, other fish quarantined and display tank fallowed for 7 weeks. Despite all of this, he intermittently 'breaks out' when stressed (change in environment, power outage etc). Has 1 mm 'white spots' for 2 -- 3 days, then they appear to cycle off and he appears clinically 'free'. <Mmm, yes... not atypical... Your system is infested still> In between episodes he is lovely, with all other fish (2 pairs of clowns and 1 mandarin) unaffected. Display tank -- 300 litres (80 gallon), these 6 fish and various soft corals. Sp gr 1025, temp 26C, pH 8.2, amm, nitrates, nitrites 0. His last episode, he did not so readily recover from, actually stopped eating (amazing as he is always ravenous), and has since been returned to a treatment tank. He has been in copper (tested twice daily and maintained at 0.25 ppm -- never below 0.2ppm) -- he improved after a few days, then dramatically worsened and has remained covered. He has had 12 days of copper. I have started freshwater/methylene blue dips, which I think are giving some relief. He is slightly better than 7 days ago, but is still visibly covered with white raised 1 mm diameter spots -- body and fins. Some are larger -- up to 3 mm diameter, most are small. <Okay... though the copper is killing this specimen... slowly> He is in a 60 litre (13 gallon) bare bottom treatment tank - too small for him I know - am keeping ammonia down with 30 % water changes 2 - 3 times weekly, and occasional Chlor mon to neutralise the ammonia (your opinion on these products in this situation??) <Can be useful> His appetite is still great. RR is increased (approx 80/min) with open mouth. My LFS says it is not Crypt but continue copper. <... Is very likely Cryptocaryon... Do they have a scope?> I am concerned with prolonged exposure to copper with this Tang, and also -- what am I dealing with? I would value your input on this case. Continue copper? - <I would not...> how long until I should expect a response? How often should I freshwater dip? <These won't cure the resident infestation...> Should I try formalin dips?- how often? <I wouldn't> Should I skin scrape? (if so, how with a glass slide, and what should I stain with? <H and E... or any other acid fast...> Any good sites for protozoan ID? <None that I know of... look for Ed Noga, "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment"> I think scraping would be very difficult/traumatic on my scatty hippo tang .. he is crazy'¦easily freaked out'¦). <... you could try a quinine route of treatment... but returning the fish to the infested system...> I have included some photos -- difficult to capture, but they may be of help. Myself and 'Big Blue' are extremely grateful for your advise. I often and extensively utilize your website, and am grateful for the knowledge, experience and wisdom found within it. Thank you, Kim Newell <The best route (of a few) would be to cure the Paracanthurus... and place it elsewhere... and resist placing any new fishes in the infested system... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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