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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis (and Other Protozoans) & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Tangs & Rabbitfishes 4

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 3, & Tang Disease, Tang Health/Disease 2, Tang Health/Disease 4, Tang Health/Disease 5, Tang 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 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, 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 Butterflyfishes, Puffers & 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

My ich magnet tank      3/25/18
I always wanted the challenge of keeping lots of Achilles tangs-37 of them. I thought you might get a kick of this! I might add some more in the near future.
<Neat! Mind if I post this w/ your stmt. on WWM?
Thanks Pablo, BobF>
Go ahead.
<<Shown: Pablo's pic w/ the Achilles (dark), and a shot of him and his 1,400 gallon tank I shot while visiting in 2005>>

New Fish (Tang) - Quarantine      11/9/17
Good afternoon Crew,
I feel your forum has a mixed bag of answers,
<... we don't have a forum>
and although I was pretty confident with my previous decision, I'm now undecided. I've successfully treated numerous fish for crypt via Cupramine in the past and have yet to experience a loss during that process.
<Acanthurids don't tolerate copper exposure well>
I enjoy the comfort of knowing I have a crypt free tank.
<I doubt this is the case... Most all hobbyist systems (99 plus percent) have resident Cryptocaryon et al. infestations>
In Sept I bought a Kole Tang that I knew had Crypt, and requested both a guaranty on the fish and $ discount from the store because of this. The Tang was active, alert, plump, and feeding... thus I figured he'd be a good
candidate to QT and utilize Cupramine to get him healthy for my display.
Finished the 16 day treatment and he was still feeding and looked vibrant and healthy, so I introduced him to my display tank. 60g with two Picasso clowns, yellow watchman goby, royal gramma, and a rose BTA. Everyone left
him alone and for the first few days he was somewhat shy, but still active.
Approaching the two week mark in the display tank he remained hidden and I can't recall seeing him eat in the display tank ever, although I purposely left some hair algae alone for him to pick at. Roughly two weeks, the Kole
Tang died. I know I used the proper dosage of Cupramine, and if I was slightly off... I was likely slightly a lower dose than higher. Previously Bob Fenner suggested that Tangs are definitely more sensitive to copper treatments than other fish.
<Ah yes>
Maybe it was the Cupramine?
<Quite possibly a contributor>
Maybe it was something from the collection process - but then I'd suspect perhaps this fish wouldn't have been active and feeding for the first few weeks. Maybe he grazed my BTA, but I wonder if touching my BTA could cause a two week decline and death in my Tang? Stumped.
<I agree w/ all your speculations>
So, in a long winded question... I'm afraid to add a new Tang directly to my display tank. This seems like the least stressful way to introduce a Tang, but I'm very concerned with a new Tang bringing crypt back into my
<You are wise here>
If it was you, how would you introduce a new tang?
<Isolation, sans treatment for a few weeks, lowered spg (1.012). Possibly CP feeding>
I do have a 20g bare bottom QT available. I hate any fish loss, and just want to do what's best for my existing reef community as well as any new acquisition. Thanks again!!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: New Fish (Tang) - Quarantine      11/9/17

Thanks. So, I assume gradually lower salinity from store water to the 1.012, and then eventually up it to my tank that sits at 1.023?
Possibly CP Feedings?
<... Please search WWM re Chloroquine Phosphate use>
Not following you there.
<Sorry re. BobF>

Achilles Tang        10/27/17
Greetings WWM Crew!
<Hey Dan!>
I hope all is well. I have been wanting to keep a small (~4") Achilles tang in my 5-ft. mixed reef tank. I understand I will have to move the Achilles at some point, but I think I will be able to enjoy a small one for a couple of years.
<At least... if raised from small, a five foot long system might do for several years>
My aquascape is open with swim throughs. Strong, non-linear flow. I have an efficient nutrient export system where my nitrates (<5ppm) and phosphate (<0.03ppm) are low.
<All good>
All my inhabitants are healthy and happy with an occasional spat between the purple & yellow tangs.
<Ah, yes>
I have a lot of wrasse for pest control & aesthetic reasons: 3 leopard wrasses (bipartitus, meleagris, and choati) ~4" each, red Coris wrasse ~7", 2 different fairy wrasses ~ 4" each, yellow Coris ~4", melanurus wrasse ~4"
2 Zebrasomas for algae control: purple tang ~6" and yellow tang ~4"
2 cleaner shrimps
10-12 peppermint shrimps for Aiptasia control
various snails
My husbandry in terms of feeding is 4-5 different types of algae based pellets in the morning and then LRS, Rods, & PE Mysis at night.
<Tres bien!>
My main concern is aggression with the Zebrasomas, particularly with the yellow tang. He is just territorial with a particular cave in my reef
tank, otherwise he does not bother anyone. I can always use my acclimation
box and/or mirror on the side of the tank trick to reduce aggression, but
re-aquascaping is highly unlikely due to my corals. So, I want your
opinion if it is a good, worthwhile endeavor to try a small achilles tang?
<If the Achilles is small; as you state, about four inches overall or less,
you should see only minor "jousting" twixt it and the Zebrasomas>
Many thanks in advance.
<As many welcomes. Do please write back w/ your observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Achilles Tang      11/1/17

Hi Bob or Crew at WWM,
<Hey Dan>
Thank you for the quick response with my last correspondence and your invitation to report back on my quest to find an Achilles tang. As you know, the Hawaiian legislation is making the search difficult with all my LFS. Luckily, I just found a suitable size, 3 ½ inch Achilles at LiveAquaria.
<Ah yes, and good>
I have the following questions regarding the quarantine process:
1. I have a 15 gallon quarantine tank that has served me well in terms of acclimating difficult to keep fishes like my leopard wrasses. What are your thoughts in terms of a 3 ½ inch Achilles, would it be more beneficial to have a short QT period (~ 1 week) vs. a full QT period (2+ weeks)?
<Likely somewhere either one or two weeks; only to be determined by your observations of the fish's apparent health, stability>
The thought here is to get the Achilles in a larger, surging display tank with stable water parameters asap.
My methodology is always to observe and then react based on how the fish is behaving.
<Mine as well>
2. When it comes to treating delicate fishes with medication, I do not treat my QT tank if the fish does not show any sign of parasite/disease. I think copper, etc. will cause undue stress and maybe more deleterious, especially when it is not necessary.
<Very harsh on this species. I would resort to other (albeit less effective treatment moda: extreme drop in spg... 1.010; perhaps consecutive pH adjusted freshwater dips/baths, and moves to re-set up system... to exclude intermediate phases>
I may perform a preventive dip prior to transferring it to the main display tank.
<Yes I would; as well as one on the way into quarantine from shipping>
I use Blue Life Safety Stop, it is a 2-parts dip (part 1 is formalin and part 2 is Methylene blue).
<Ah yes; am very familiar>
If the Achilles shows no sign of parasite/disease, should I even use the dip at all?
<I would dip unless the fish is shaky from being moved>
Again, I want to minimize as much stress as possible.
Being in this hobby for years, I always appreciate your work & contribution to help hobbyists like myself and further this niche, challenging, but rewarding hobby.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang; hlth., and Cu f'      10/18/17
Good afternoon Crew,
I unfortunately experienced a loss in my tank last night - my Kole tang.
I've had a Kole Tang previously for years... a curious outgoing fish that was constantly on the move. I have a shallow 60g tank, 79f, 1.024 salinity, no signs of nitrates/nitrites/ammonia - although I have been purposely
allowing a little hair algae to grow for the upcoming arrival of my Kole Tang. I'd say overall I feed rather lightly, sometimes every second day (but am observing my fish growing/fattening up), and only enough that just
a small amount of thawed frozen Mysis/brine/etc... falls to the substrate for my snails/crabs/serpent star, etc
I currently have a few corals, bta, two clowns, yellow watchman goby, royal gramma... I noticed a plump Kole Tang with what appeared to be ICK at my LFS and offered to buy him at a greatly reduced price because I've
successfully QT and treated ICKY fish with Cupramine in the past, and without losses. The Kole Tang went straight into my 30g QT bare bottom tank and I followed the Cupramine instructions as always. The Kole Tang would sometimes eat, sometimes not, but frequently picking away at scraps that had stuck to the foam cover on the filter. He remained active and plump for the 16day QT. With the Cupramine treatment over and no signs of white spots, and what looked like a healthy active fish... I introduced him to my display tank.
The Kole Tang's been shy, not as active, and while I've witnessed him picking away at the glass and rocks from time to time, I rarely saw him feeding with the other fish. Almost two weeks later... Last night, he was on his side in the corner of my tank and breathing rapidly. He still looked to be of a healthy size, but something was obviously wrong. I felt that removing him at that point would cause more stress and certain death.
Watched my cleaner shrimp jump on him at that point, and the Kole Tang swam away. I checked on him this morning and his outer body had been completely picked away by hermit crabs and my serpent starfish.
Question... do you think the death may still be Ick related, even though he appeared to have successfully finished a Cupramine treatment?
<Ick/Crypt might have been a factor... to extent here. As well as the copper exposure. I suspect this fish had a trauma issue though. Perhaps from collection, holding, transport...>
I don't think anything in my tank could've harmed him, and he had no wounds of any sort. I'm assuming my small to medium sized bubble tip anemone wouldn't have been the culprit (unless the BTA had actually caught him and was eating him)?
<Could have had a brush here as well>
I'm stumped... I thought I had success in saving this fish from the store.
<Sometimes Dave, sometimes not. Bob Fenner>
Re: Kole Tang     10/18/17

Could a simple brush from the BTA have done something like that?
<Not likely a Ctenochaetus tang would perish from glancing a BTA; no; not of/by itself>
I was thinking possibly trauma from collection, but in the QT he was really active, breathing at what I perceived to be a normal rate, etc... Cupramine indicates to treat at .5mg/l, and that toxic levels exist at .8mg/l My
treatment was definitely at .5mg/l, having checked multiple times throughout the 16 days. Are some fish (tangs?) more delicate with copper treatments?
<Re copper exposure; there is no sub-physiological dose. Akin to old treatments of humans by mercuricals and arsenicals; you're killing the host by degrees along w/ the parasite. Tangs are amongst the most sensitive fishes to copper poisoning. Bob Fenner>

Trying to save my fish; CP f'      9/10/17
I had a group of 5 fish (juvenile Queen, an adult Imperator, a Powder Blue and Achilles tangs and a smaller Blue Jaw Trigger) in my 160 gal QT system, made up of 3 - 55gal tanks plus sump. They have been there since Aug.
12th. They seemed to be doing good at first. They were in lower salinity water for over two weeks ~ 17ppt, temp 78F, pH around 8. I started to slowly bring the parameters up to match my display when I saw Ick break out on the Tangs.
<Very common; as you likely know these two Tang species are VERY susceptible>
I lowered the salinity back down to 17ppt and did 2 treatments of Chloroquine Phosphate (from National Fish Pharmaceuticals) . After a week the trigger died. The Ick seems to have morphed into Amyloodinium
ocellatum - cloudy eyes, shedding slime, patchy white on the Achilles...I'm not sure if the darkening pelvic fin is on the Powder Blue is a symptom of something else.
<Could be sampled, looked at under a 'scope. Perhaps just chemical/physical burn>
The tangs have stopped eating.
<VERY bad>
The two angels are still in better shape - I only see white spots on the eyes and they are still eating well. I gave both tangs a fresh water dip yesterday but didn't see any improvement. I pushed the salinity lower to 14ppt. I am about to do a 25% water change and give another treatment of Chloroquine. Am I missing something?
<The CP may be hurting more than helping here. >
Is there something else I should be doing? Here are some pictures.
<IF these were my fishes, I'd NOT use the quinine, but just drop the spg.
down to 1.010, and hope. They may be too impugned to come back at this point>
I would appreciate any suggestions you might have Thanks,
Mike Spizzirri
<I would have you read re others experiences w/ CP (on WWM) as well. Can be tricky in use: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuinTrbFixF.htm
and the other Quinine FAQs files linked above. Bob Fenner>

Hepatus Tang & Ich        8/11/16
Dear Bob & Crew,
<Hey Joe; "where you goin' w/ that fish net in your hand....?">
Thank you again for your passion for marine life! Love the books especially!!
Just a quick question today. I have a Blue Tang (Hepatus) in Quarantine that I would like to add to my year old 155g in-wall reef. I've had ich wipe out my fish before and it is not pretty. I am extremely nervous about adding the new addition. If I could start over, I would add the Hepatus first to prevent spreading ich to other fish.
Regardless, I do think that I will add it to the display shortly. The tang has been in QT for 3 months. Upon arrival it displayed a small degree of white spot that has come and gone repeatedly. Coloration, personality, and appetite are wonderful! It is in QT with a Clarkii Clown which curiously has shown no evidence of ich for the duration of the 3 months. I am feeding a variety of pellet (NLS, Ocean Nutrition) flakes and many species of dried algae, all soaked in garlic concentrate. Feeding is three times daily and the Tang appears to have grown a bit.
Any thoughts on successfully acclimating this fellow (2.5" by the way) to the display?
<You haven't treated the fish prophylactically as yet? I would at least dip/bath it incoming and enroute to the main/display... and likely have fed it CP per the SOP on WWM or Goemans and Ichinotsubo>
Current fish in the 155g are: 5" Sailfin Tang, Flame Angel, 5 Blue Chromis, 2 Skunk Clowns, and a Mandarin Goby. I was planning on NOT administering a freshwater dip for fear or stressing it.
<Better this than casual Crypt et al. introduction>
You may disagree. I will also be gradually matching the salinity and temperature of the two tanks before introduction.
I've noticed that several people have these fish that exhibit the onset/offset of white spots and that it does not always transmit (at least visually) to other fish.
<Well-worded. Yes to "it not showing" and most all systems having latent infestations>
I find it interesting how virulent ich can be at times while other times seemingly be innocuous.
<Ahh! Wise of you to state>

Thanks so much!!Joe
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Purple Tang - Ich - Cupramine      6/9/16
I have a dilemma and would appreciate your great advice as always.
<What's up?>
Note that I have a permanent running and fully established 75 gallon QT/Hospital tank.
About 4 weeks ago I purchased a Purple Tang (maybe 5 inches in size).
<What did Gurley Halleck expound when seeing his first worm in "Dune"? "Egads, what a monster"! This is a big Zebrasoma to purchase, collect from the wild>

I purchased it from a reputable LFS. It was eating like a pig, was active, and showed no signs of illness. They stated that it had been in their possession for a few weeks.
<I see>
As I do all new fish arrivals, I put it into my QT/Hospital tank for close to two weeks.
<Mmm; no dip/bath enroute? I would do so... to "knock off" Protozoans, Trematodes... external issues>
It was fine, eating like a pig, no issues, no illness. Thus, I moved it to my 150 gallon DT. This tank has been disease free and all the readings are very good. I believe in "over-filtration", thus there's plenty of flow, a UV filter, oversized skimmer, oversized sump pump, refugium (with Macroalgae, red mangroves..), and about 100+ pounds of live rock...etc. I have high powered LED's on the tank. There's been no issues of aggression within the tank and the Purple Tang would be hypothetically considered the most aggressive type of fish in that tank and the currently largest fish
for that tank, excluding a well fed 10 inch Snowflake Eel that minds his own business and who's been a good citizen.
<Echidna spp. usually are>
Other inhabitants are a 3 inch Flame Angel, a 3 inch Koran Angel, a 4 inch Majestic Rabbitfish, and a 3 inch Sailfin Tang.
I knew that I was "rolling the dice" with the Sailfin Tang already being in there, but after a lot of reading and visiting with LFS' I was fairly confident it would work as I've previously introduced a Sailfin Tang into a different 150 gallon tank with an established Yellow Tang that has worked out well thus far and for over a year. IMO, from research and experience, it seems like the Sailfin Tang's are more likely to co-exist of the Zebra species if introduced at a different time.
<This is my and many others (recorded) experience as well>
After a little bit of posturing back and forth maybe for 2 days, the Purple Tang and the Sailfin Tang adjusted and accepted each other. I never witnessed any chasing or nipping, simply a bit of posturing, flaring up of the fins. The Purple Tang continues to eat well. However, within the last week the Purple Tang has developed Ich. None of the other fish display any signs of Ich.
<Common and not uncommon>

The Purple Tang continues to eat like a pig, swims all over the place, and seems very healthy, very happy, except for the Ich, always very eager to eat, getting excited when I approach the tank. I feed him and the tank a mix of mysis shrimp, brine/Spirulina, and algae sheets.
Since he developed Ich I've been adding Socol, VitaChem, and Metroplex mixed with Garlic into the food this tank eats. All of the fish eagerly eat at each feeding which is 3 to 4x a day. Usually I feed 2x a day, but I stepped up feedings to hopefully strengthen their immune systems.
Here's my dilemma, I could move the Purple Tang to my QT/Hospital tank, which seems like a no brainer, and for most any other fish I would do it ASAP, but this Purple Tang, despite its case of Ich is a very happy fish that's very active and eats like a pig. I am concerned about stressing it out, trying to catch it, then move it to a new tank. Might this put it
into a downward spiral?
<It could; yes>
I've always successfully used 1/2 the recommended dosage of Cupramine to treat Ich. Keeping the fish in QT for 4 weeks. I just ordered some Dr.G's Caviar that includes CP too that I intend to feed this 150 gallon DT with the Purple Tang. I've done some research on Purple Tang's and Cupramine and it appears that they might have more sensitivity than most other fish to Cupramine?
<Tangs and allies... and a few other fish families/groups too... You can search, read this on WWM, in books I've penned>
Thus, this too, makes me think I should continue to treat the DT with medicated food. However, am I doing the right thing? Would you move the Purple Tang to the QT? Thank you.
<I would NOT move the Tang... but leave in place, continue w/ the feeding treatments you're doing and have planned. Some archived input on the subject here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Fw: Purple Tang - Ich - Cupramine       6/9/16

I forgot to mention that this 150 gallon DT with the Purple Tang is a reef tank, thus my use of treatment so far by medicated food.
<Ahh; please read here as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reefparasittksfaqs.htm
and the linked.... B>
Re: Purple Tang - Ich - Cupramine      6/10/16

Thanks Bob. I very much appreciate your expertise. I really needed someone of your caliber of experience to review my dilemma and give their opinion.
<Glad to share, render it>
My gut has been to keep the Purple Tang in the DT considering it behaves very healthy, eats like a pig, seems really well adjusted, except for the Ich, but I've been torn, knowing that I have an established QT. Thanks again!
BTW, note that on my QT/Hospital tank, for all new arrivals, unless I am aware of any sensitivity to Cupramine, I dose the QT tank with 1/4 to 1/2 the recommended dosage of Cupramine for two weeks as my method to treat for any diseases before introducing them into the DT.
<Mmm; well; the standard spiel re treatments, moda am sure you're familiar w/; and Cu++ exposure period... does more harm than good beneath some threshold "physiological" dose... likely near/below 0.15 ppm you're poisoning the fish hosts more than accomplishing any positive effects>
This strategy has worked really well for me on new introductions thus far except for this Purple Tang. I have ParaGuard, PraziPro, and Ich Attack available in my arsenal to use too that I had tried in my earlier reef/fish
keeping days for new arrivals, however, from experience, I've had by far the most success with Cupramine at a reduced dosage thus I've stuck with it for new arrivals. Beyond this, my strategy for any new coral arrivals is to use ReefDip for 30 minutes.
<Ah, good. I've used and caused to purchase hundreds of carboys of Cupramine. Am a fan as well. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Purple Tang - Ich - Cupramine      6/10/16

A worthy summation re Cu use in aquatics: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa165
Re: Purple Tang - Ich - Cupramine     6/11/16

I thought I would report back to you the status of my Purple Tang based upon our mutually agreed decision to keep him in the DT vs. stressing him out and moving him out of the DT. I am very pleased to report that after about a week of the medicated food treatment I described below, around 90% of the Ich spots are gone and he now has just a few spots, while none of the other fish have displayed any Ich.
<Ah, good>
I believe our strategy of keeping him in the DT with the medicated food cocktail with extra feedings has made a difference.
<Yes; a matter of balance. Shades of John Venn! Have you recently read this?:
If he had shown any signs of being passive, hiding, or as you've said in past posts to others, i.e.; a party in the corner with himself I believe, I would have definitely moved him to the QT and administered Cupramine.
However, despite the Ich, as he was very active swimming, looked strong, was eating like a pig, not hiding at all, the decision to keep him in the DT with this treatment method appears to be working well. Quite pleased.........
<Again; the reading... and understanding. Most all systems are subclinically infested... READ. B>

Ich, to treat or not to treat?       8/31/15
Hello WWM Crew,
Thanks for all the valuable info on this site and helping us keep our tanks healthy. Here is my situation. I have a 90g reef tank that has been up and running for 8 years with no problems, thanks to WWM. I have a Yellow Tang that has been in there for 2 years and no problems with him. He acclimated well, no Ich or black spot and is getting big and fat. I recently bought some Blue Reef Chromis(cyanea)and had them in QT until I read it was better to FW dip and place them in the main display, so I did.
Well my Royal Gramma killed them and I didn't have enough time to get them out. About a week later my Tang developed some white spots, ragged fins, scratching and visiting the cleaner shrimp but was still eating like a pig so I thought it is Ich. There were no changes in my water parameters stable as usual. I removed him and gave him a 14 minute FW dip and place him in a tank with new saltwater that has being running and is cycled. About 2 days after the dip he started eating and acting normal. The white spots that I thought were Ich haven't returned as of yet. The more I read about Ich I think it might not have been Ich because the spots were more like white head pimples ready to be popped. I bought some Cupramine, a copper test kit and some Methylene Blue but I'm not sure what the best thing to do is.
<Good... to be not sure>

After reading about Tangs and copper I am wondering if it would be better to just FW dip him again and place him in the main display or treat him with copper if he might not need it. The only symptom he exhibits now is he swims across the tank and does the shaky dance, but this might be because he is in a 20g long(too small). In your expert opinion what would you do?
<Not treat... the system will be worse for wear... read re the use of CP (Chloroquine), and treat via food>

Also none of my other fish were inflicted with this they are all doing well. Thanks in advance for your valuable expertise and time. Brian
<Do please keep me/us informed. Bob Fenner>
RE: Ich, to treat or not to treat?       8/31/15

Hi Mr. Fenner,
Thanks for the info. I will look for CP tomorrow.
I also purchased NLS Ick Shield which is supposed to contain CP but I was reading from a post in February 2015 that you didn't have any experience with it, have you any info on this product since then?
<I have not; but do know (and have high confidence) that this product is real. Pablo Tepoot (owner, manager) and I are old friends>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich, to treat or not to treat?       8/31/15

Hi Bob,
I've been reading more about the NLS Ick Shield pellets and Ian Tepoot says that it contains ingredients from the Chloroquine group. My tang has been eating these pellets. There is also NLS Ick Shield powder which contains the same. Reading about the powder if I can't find CP I think the NLS powder would be the next best thing. I will keep you informed as I am
going out to find CP. Thanks so much for your interest in my dilemma.
<Welcome. BobF>

New Tang Trtmt.      6/4/15
Hello Bob,
I have incoming tonight 3 small tangs from a local wholesaler.
I would like to quarantine for the first time, but being these aren't exactly gobies or.clownfishz I have a decision to make.
I have a spare 29 gallon tank, equipped with hob power filter, 600 gph power head, and heater. I took media components, such as filter floss, sponge, and PVC pipe that's been sitting in my fish on only tank sump for biological bacteria for a few weeks
I can set tank up, input some media that could be my biological filtration.
Or I can skip bio filter, and do the tank transfer method every 48/ hours, not letting ammonia build up.
<I'd use the media.>
Since they are ultimately going into my display tank at the end of it( which I believe to be parasite free) I can use water from display tank, which also allows me to do 20 percent water changes on my display every 2/days, instead of just making new water only to go down the drain two days later.
<You may well have to check the water twice daily and change a good deal of it out daily>
I have the 29, I can transfer fish, into say an equivalent size rubber maid, bleach and rinse 29, and switch back to 29 in 48/ hours.
I know that's a lot of work but that's what I have the means to do. The other option is cycle the 29, and run copper, but I have a feeling a 29 with no live rock or sand may not biologically hold the ammonia output.
Any suggestions for my case would be appreciated. Thanks
<I'd read on WWM re Tang Diseases... and summarily dip/bath them enroute (after acclimating); in a pH adjusted freshwater bath... per the S.O.P. posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tang trtmt.       6/5/15

Hey Bob,
Read the pH temp adjusted baths, will definitely that do that in between transfers.
<Real good>
There will be 4 transfers, 3 days apart. I will probably wait for the 2nd and 4th session to use Prazi pro for flukes, worms etc.
<Okay... though the dip/bath should remove most all the external... look closely at the dip water... give it a stir...>
Goal would be try to get them to eat before adding any medication.
<A bit of triage evaluation is useful: IF the specimens are in apparently good health, treating them from the get-go is the route to go. Often in captivity, just in from the wild, being moved... they just worsen in isolation>
I see various answers about sanitizing. What's the most recent verdict or methodology, 1 part bleach to 10/parts water for a few hours, rinse, rinse and air dry at least 24 hours?
And in theory with tank transfer, since ich can be water borne and fish carry water in them, can they hypothetically carry ich in there bodies during a transfer?
<Not in... or at least we should define our terms; but "on", though at times deep-embedded in the tissue around and under scale insertions>
Or is that simply over thinking the process?
Thank you, Bob
<Welcome. B>

Achilles tang with stubborn ich       5/3/15
Hi Crew,
I have been always trusting your site as the ultimate online authority on everything-reef and it’s now time where I’m hoping that you may be able to help me with some advise on a distressing situation in which I have found myself.
<Let's see>
I am writing from Sydney, Australia, which gives me access to many wonderful corals, but unfortunately severely restricts options for disease treatment, since most of the common fish medications are simply unavailable down here.
I have recently acquired a pair of tangs (Achilles and Purple) from a fellow aquarist for my 6x2x2.6 tall mixed reef. These are supposed to be the final two fish in my main system, so I’ve been searching for nice specimens for a while, hoping to find a pair already accustomed to each other. In addition, now was a uniquely-perfect time to buy them, since I have just established my second system which so far has been housing only a single zebra moray and could therefore serve as a nicely-sized QT (4x1.5x1.5 plus sump), before its ultimate fate as a FOWLR eel and lion display. Since my early reefing days, when I lost over $1000 worth of fish to Cryptocaryon after adding a bunch of new critters to my tank without quarantining, I’ve been fanatical about quarantining all my livestock including corals, snails and macro algae religiously for 6-8 weeks.
I have a rack of three permanent quarantine tanks set up in the garage (two for fish, one reserved for invertebrates), but unfortunately none of them is even remotely suitable for an Achilles (they’re 50L, 80L and 90L, respectively) so the new 4x1.5x1.5 sounded like a perfect compromise, preserving biosecurity of all but one of my livestock while giving the Achilles reasonable room to adjust to its new home.
Note that, since I began applying my QT protocol, I have never experienced a disease outbreak (I lost a few fish to aggression, and a few newly-purchased specimens in QT, but never in display.) So my experience with disease diagnosis is virtually non-existent, besides the good ol’ friend Cryptocaryon, which got me started on the obsessive QT path in the first place and whom I revisited a few times since, while lending my QT setup to fellow hobbyists to help out with outbreaks in their own systems.
Of course, two weeks after acquiring the fish, the Achilles started breaking out with classic symptoms of Whitespot. Some of the spots were more like short dashes, but otherwise had the right size for Cryptocaryon.
<Appears to be Crypt>
Because of the eel and the deep (10-12cm) aragonite sandbed in the “QT”, I could not apply my treatment of choice (Cupramine), so I embarked on (new to me) hyposalinity treatment.
<Hypo rarely if ever effects a permanent cure>
I dropped S.G. to 1.014 (measured using Milwaukee electronic refractometer) over the course of 48 hours and continued observing the fish - pH remained stable at 8.2 (I buffered the RODI water with Seachem product) and ammonia has been undetectable. All three fish (moray, purple tang and achilles) seemed happy and eating well. However, the spots on the Achilles stayed, so, five days later, I dropped salinity further to 1.009 (I waited that long to do it on the weekend when I’m around to react to any issues.)
<Excellent note>
All has been good (no disaster, but no improvement either) until yesterday morning, when I observed his condition to deteriorate further (see photo.) The tang was literally covered with spots and was mostly sitting in a powerhead stream, swimming around a bit but always returning to his spot. He chased some Mysid shrimp that I tried to feed him, but didn’t bother to actually catch any. In the evening, however, he improved, ate and was swimming around normally again. However, the spots are now covering most of his body and, around his mouth, seem to be almost flaking away.
So now I’m thinking this may not be Cryptocaryon after all. Could it be Amyloodinium, given that the fish is still alive after being infected for a few weeks?
<Mmm; no. Velvet would have killed this fish in a few days time>
Or could it even be flukes -
<Could be>
I’ve seen a few photos on the web where what the author claimed to be flukes looked a little like flaking-off bad case of Whitespot, not unlike what I’m observing on my tang?
<... Did you run this fish through a pH adjusted freshwater bath? See the protocol on WWM for eradicating flukes>
Either way, what course of treatment would you recommend, both for the tang and the other two inhabitants of the system?
<...? These are posted, archived... You may well need help/cooperation from a friendly vet. or medical doctor for chemicals>
Because of the eel, I can’t administer Cupramine in the current system, but, if advisable, I could transfer the Achilles to a cycled 80L QT I have vacant, or even set up a new 2x2x2 cube that is currently sitting in my garage dry, using the two filters taken out of the 80L QT and a cheap protein skimmer.
<I would def. transfer the Achilles, running through the bath enroute.>
I also have access to ParaGuard, formalin (with few days’ delay)
<Good; use the last in the dip/bath>
and Praziquantel tablets if the infection is determined to be flukes rather than protozoan after all, but that’s the whole extend of medications available to me.
The other major hurdle to administering Cupramine (and the main reason why I’m writing to you today) is that the tang is currently under hyposalinity treatment, and I fear that bringing the salinity up out would either take too long or stress the fish further.
Finally, what treatment do you recommend for the infected system itself to protect its other two current inhabitants and before its future conversion to a FOWLR display?
<.... do you need help using the search tool, indices on WWM?>
Note that, unfortunately, I don’t have another system large enough to host the zebra moray during the treatment, so any procedure would have to be eel-safe.
I look forward eagerly to any advise you may have.
Patryk Zadarnowski
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Ich on purple tang HELP... learning what WWM is, how to use it       12/10/14
I recently purchased this purple tang from my local fish store.
<... did you dip/bath it? Treat it prophylactically? Isolate, quarantine?>

when I first brought it home noticed spots. they accepted to take it back and treat it for an entire month. it looked fine after its treatment at the store.
<Ahh... no>
after treatment brought it home again looked fine for two days. It is still eating good and active but I wake up today to this please help
<This fish has at least apparently Cryptocaryoniasis... have you read on WWM re diseases of Zebrasoma xanthurum? Do so... quick. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich on purple tang HELP      12/10/14
Unfortunately no I did not quarantine.
Although I set up a tank and currently have it running now.
<Ah, good>
After taking the fish back to store I did treat my display tank (fish and rock only) with Cupramine and all were fine Never showed signs just a precaution.
<Likely worthwhile>
I visited the store often to check on fish and always showed improvement.
That's why I'm so surprised the fish became this infested overnight
<Do the reading... Tangs in general are very susceptible; almost always "latent carriers" of Crypt, Trematodes and more... NEED to do your own assuring of initial cleanliness>
It is a small local shop and I have always received good advice and service The tang is now in quarantine. I plan to treat him with Cupramine also. Would u suggest fw dip as well?
<I'd (re) suggest the reading. We're not a hobbyist bb.

tang trouble... Mystery treatment; no data      8/3/14
Recently my Kole tang got Ich and I put it in a treatment tank with my LFS own brand of ich treatment.
<... Ingredients?>

Yesterday I finished treatment and transferred him back to the main set up. upon transfer i noticed his skin seemed splotchy like his slim coat is less or more in tact in some areas and now it has something wrong with its lips. It looks like teeth overgrown, because he's a bristle tooth tang and they look like bristles is where i drew that conclusion. also it seems very thin, at first he grazed like crazy now that he's back i only see a nibble here and there and never have a seen him flock to feeding tim with everybody else. Im hope its just from treatment and the weight will return- as for his lips idk what to do
<....? READ here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: tang trouble
ps. any input would help thank you very much for your time
<... help with what? See WWM re Crypt treatments that work. Bob Fenner>

Sick Naso in QT... Rdg. really; re Crypt, med.s that don't work, N. lituratus hlth f's       6/4/14
Hello everyone at wetwebmedia.com!!! I love your site and really appreciate the help you offer!!
<Ahh, greetings Marco>
I bought a Naso tang after I unfortunately lost my blonde Naso a few days after putting him in the Display tank. The new Naso came from the LFS with a mild case of Ich
<Of which they are VERY prone>
and I put him in my quarantine tank and started treating with Ich attack by Kordon.
<Mmm; do see my comments. Though an old time friend owned and ran the company... and a new younger one of forty years acquaintance does now; this product and all "herbals" I'm aware of have efficacy troubles in "real world" settings. What to state: They rarely work>

The fish was doing great, there are no white spots left on it's body
<Umm; they just cycled off... will be back... PLEASE read on WWM re Cryptocaryon; AND FAQs on Cures that work>
but yesterday I noticed it's stomach looked rather small, "pinched" and it's appetite decreased.
<Very common that stressed, and medicated Tangs (Acanthuroids period; and some other fish groups) lose their stomach fauna... and DO have to eat almost continuously... Brown Algae (macro) a giant plus... ALL this is gone over and over; archived on WWM>
Today it wont even come out of it's hiding spot. The tank is a 50 gallon.
<Only for quarantine I take it... See WWM re Naso lituratus... period>

Water parameters are:
Ammonia: zero
Nitrites: zero
Nitrates: zero
Temp: 79.9
Alk: 10
The only thing that I did yesterday was treating the tank with PraziPro and a 20% water change along with the Ich attack recommended dose.
Is there anything I can do to help the fish.
<All sorts... first off; I'd likely make the executive decision to return this fish to the main/display system... as this is already infested... and "fight the Ich" there... Per: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm

and the linked files at top in this series... till you can recite a plan of action>
I feed him Formula 2 pellets, Nori soaked in Selcon, Rod's food (herbivore preparation) and red seaweed soaked in Selcon and Garlic extreme.
Thanks in advance and my best wishes to the crew.
<Welcome... do the reading and if anything is unclear or incomplete, please write back. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Naso in QT
Thank you very much Bob for the advice. Yes, the 50 gallon tank is a quarantine tank only, my main tank is 180 gallon.
<Ah good>
The fish is in real trouble now. After I finished typing my previous question to you, I went to check on the fish and he was floating around almost dead. I must admit I freaked out and after contemplating the possibility of having accidentally poisoned him by using Ich attack and PraziPro at the same time,
<Mmm; also... Tangs/Acanthurids NEED high dissolved oxygen... not easy to do in a 50>
I got some water from the display tank into a bucket and very gently put the fish in it with an air stone for aeration. The fish is still alive and trying to swim but his body is arched and only moves his lateral fins. Is this it for my fish? Is there anything at all that I can do for him?
<Too much to relate, re-key...>
Thanks again!!!
<The reading... and quick/pronto! BobF>

Re: after Ich outbreak -update      3/3/13
The scared Hepatus that I was worrying about is now eating Nori and some pellets that I place right in front of the spot he lives in in the q.t. But is still very frightened and whenever he sees me he leans on a side and then runs hiding. In time he will probably come around, he's got 2 more weeks in the q to go. But my problem is. Ow with the other q.t. Where my Chelmon rostratus lives. It has been in there for 2 weeks and cleaned up the Aiptasia on the rock i had prepared for him and now eating Mysis. But I have noticed that he begun shaking spasmatically his head from side to side.
<They, Butterflyfishes, many others, do this naturally>
The water parameters are ok for a quarantine tank( nitrites < 50/ Nitrates <10) , i have in the tank some Zoanthids just for checking water quality and they open regularly.
<Are toxic... to fishes, you. See WWM re>
He is still eating well, out of my hand and there seems to be everything ok, at least externally. I know that misys is not enough nutrition for him, what should I do? Place him in the 1000 l display
where the water parameters are optimal and there are lots of things to scrape of live rock?
<Yes, I would move this fish now>
( the DT is fallow for 5 weeks so you can imagine how many living things grew on the live rock)
Or should I treat him for parasites in the q.t?
Thank you
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/12/13

Hello Mr. Fenner,
Thank you for your quick answer, especially on a Sunday morning.
<Enjoyable every day>
This shows how much someone from across the world like me, can rely on your  prompt advice, and believe me, sometimes it is all we have, aquarium wise.  
I am bothering you again with a behaviour/environmental question: I have introduced as you suggested the Chelmon in the 1000 l display tank after a FW/Methylene bath and he feels great, he stopped the head shaking and is eating good ( he only accepts Mysis and brine but has a lot of live rock to search for food).
Also in there is a Naso Elegans that has finished his quarantine period and doing fine, he also received the bath at the end of Q. But the question now is the Hepatus: in the 80 l quarantine tank he acts as scared as the first day after 24 days now ( he was half dead from the shipping being delayed, I acclimated him briefly - 40 minutes- and managed to save him ). Whenever he sees me he runs and hides leaning on a side.
<I'd dip and place this fish in the main/display tank as well. Will calm down, become more social in time>
 I was placing half Nori sheet on a clip with vitamins on it and at the end of the day it was eaten, and also sometimes he would stick his head out of his bowl and catch some pellets, but yesterday I noticed he didn`t eat his Nori. The nitrates are "on the yellow side of the test" in the QT and I am worried about him. Introducing him in the display together with the other 2 fishes could entice him to eat, or he will be even more scared and never come out of some cave?
<Move it>
I will also remind you that my tank came down with Ich and it remained fallow for 6-8 weeks, but I also know that probably I never eradicated 100 % the parasites
<Almost no one ever does... not to worry (look up the English word "obsess") here> and now is a question of environmental factors that would keep my fishes
happy. During his Q,  I constantly introduced water from the DT to the QT of the Hepatus to adjust him to possible presence of the parasite.
<A good technique>
 I also run 24h UV and Ozonizer in my DT. But I was planning to introduce a healthy and happy and eating fish in this "questionable " DT, not a scared and stressed tang that is a Ich magnet on the first time, but honestly I don`t think that another week or two in the QT would change his behavior.
So what should I do?
<Third time's a charm: Move this fish>
I know that this email is too long, but maybe it is better if you know all the facts.
<Ah yes>
Thank you in advance,
Andrei from Romania   
<BobF in San Diego, but wishing we were out diving somewhere the water is warm and clear>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/12/13

hello again Mr. F
well, I can assure you that San Diego is far closer to a nice and warm beach than Romania, so in my humble opinion you shouldn`t complain.
( me neither personally, but that is another story). So, after checking several times the mail today, I received your answer, and after work begin all the preparations. The dip water was Methylene bluish, THEN, passing in front of the DT, I froze: 2 white spot on the Chelmon side!!!! ( I am not 100 % sure it is Ich, but... )
 After all the ordeal I went through!!!
<Two spots... not likely Crypt. And if available, I'd use formalin/formaldehyde in your dips>
So: I shouldn`t move the Ich magnet Hepatus in the DT now? What do I do?
Continue observing the Chelmon in the DT ( Naso shows no symptoms) ? I feed them with vitamin and garlic and ginger enriched food. They have been in there for 10 days now.
When, if ever, should I move the hepatus?
<... I'd still be dipping the Paracanthurus and Chelmon enroute to placing in the DT>
Should I tear down the tank and let it dry and restart again? I plan to introduce some beautiful fishes in the tank and I currently have a lot of thriving corals, inverts and coraline covered live rock.
Where is the boundary between observing fishes in the DT and keep them happy and taking them all out and threat them with copper and restart the tank?
<See WWM re infested systems. B>
( this tank remained fallow for 6 weeks minimum) so if I tear down the tank I would start it again! What should I do with the corals?
thank you again,
( I was not expecting to write/bother you so soon again)
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/12/13

Thank you again,
Well, this is reassuring. I think I have read all the WWM pages on re infestation, that is where I get all my knowledge on the topic..
So you would still be placing the Paracanthurus in the DT?
<... already wrote>
The Chelmon Rostratus is already in there following your advice, so the question is on the Hepatus...
<... yes, Paracanthurus hepatus...>
Thank you ( and once again, for me is still unbelievable that I can get advices from one of the best in the field, comparing to the LFS 300 km away)
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/13/13

Ah yes, now I get it. Misunderstanding on my side. Thank you for your patience.
The 2 spots on the Chelmon were exactly on the same position this morning and none more, so there could be a chance this is not Ich, because as far as I know the parasite falls down after some time and others are attaching, but not on exactly the same position..
In the afternoon I will give him a bath assuming I can catch him without stressing.
thank you again,
<... B>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/21/13

hello again Mr. F,
I am seeking advice again on this very bumpy road I am travelling with my tank:  the 2 spots on my Chelmon Rostratus that I was talking about are gone and everything seems fine, I introduced the scared Hepatus and within the first hour in the DT he begun coming out and next day he was the boss, ( of the Naso) , and eating, swimming in the open etc. But now, after 5 days after his introduction I have noticed last night 3 spots on him . This morning they were still there, in the same position but I think they are bigger and whiter... I think I am pretty sure they are Cryptocaryon... The question as always: what to do?
<At this point in time, nothing. Do read here:
and as much of the linked files above to grant you sufficient understanding. Your system IS likely infested, but your best course of action... highly unlikely to "treat">
 As you probably remember, the tank was fallow, now I am feeding Nori, Spirulina, Mysis, with vitamins, garlic and ginger, and there are only these 3 fishes in the 1000 liter tank with lots of mix corals, and a clean up crew. I run constantly 50 mg of ozone, and a UV in the sump.
Should I wait and see, maybe he will fight on his own?
<Ah yes>
If there will be more spots, at witch point do I have to take him out, and more important, what o do?
<... read for now. And don't obsess>
 I have let it fallow once and it seems that it cannot solve the problem, drying it all and start new, what do I do with the corals?
thank you in advance,
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update      5/26/13

Hello again Mr. F, all the way from Romania,
<Salud Andrei>
The time has come for me so seek some guidance again. In the meantime I have done some progress but there are still a lot of information and processes that I need to fully understand. ( and your site is the best resource, in my opinion)
A quick refresh on my story: full Ich out brake killing everything in my 1000 l reef tank on Christmas, 3 months of fallow state than repopulation.
Slowly, a Chelmon rostratus, a Naso elegans,
<Note to other readers, this is likely N. lituratus elsewhere>
 2 mandarins, and the last one : a beautiful A. Japonicus. All of them eating very good from my hand. I knew that there is still crypt in the tank, because the hepatus always had 3-4 spots on him, but a equilibrium seemed to have been reached.
<Ah yes>
 I introduced the  Japonicus ( after 4 weeks in qt with water from the display) , and everything seemed fine. 2-3 spots, then gone, and for 3 weeks only the hepatus showed some spots. Until last night when I noticed considerable more spots on the hepatus ( 10-15 - maybe more ) and on the japonicus the same. They are all good, eating and acting normal.  I also have a cleaner shrimp that does some work.
The only thing that changed was that I introduced 2 sand Seastars and 8 Nassarius snails.
My question: is still waiting time?  In qt I have a happy Xanthurum , 2 clowns, 3 nematolactis magnifica and ( please don't judge me yet) a Zanclus cornutus
<Wow. Impressive>
 that I kind of save from the lfs and is eating and I have hopes for him.
So not much space in my 4 qtanks. In the display I now have extensive corals: 5-6 sps colonies that are growing and doing fine ( still a lot to learn there ) and other beautiful lps . ( 30 cm Catalaphyllia beautiful )
All the fishes are fat, eating very good a variety of foods and vitamins, fresh squeezed garlic juice and Ginger juice on the Nori.
If it is not waiting time ( good I hope it is.. ) what should I do?
<I would do nothing other than what you are already doing stock-wise. IF you're concerned regarding the balance/equilibrium of the Crypt here, I'd delve/look further into means of improving water quality and nutrition (e.g. Ozone use, Spectrum Pellets...>
Thank you in advance,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update      5/27/13

hello ,
If the "salud" was intended to be in Romanian, the right one is "salut",
and thanks for trying, I appreciate it.
And thanks for the quick answer.
Well, the next morning when the lights went on, the Japonicus was free of spots and stayed like that the whole day, and the Hepatus returned to his normal 2-3 spots. This morning I observed that the cleaner shrimp was above the spot that Japonicus sleeps in, so he probably does his job during the night.
But, what is the meaning of this incident of them developing more spots than usual?
<A shift, in the balance of host, parasite... likely related to environment in some fashion/s... degraded water quality, some new stress from a tankmate... Could be many things>
 I forgot to tell you, but I use ozone ( 50 mg/h) connected on my skimmer ( AquaMedic ACone 3.0 designed for 3000 l) , now 24/7 but I have already ordered a Apex Neptune system that includes an ORP probe that will control this feature.
<Ah yes; a nice unit, and nice fellow who owns, manages this company>
I also include on my feedings Spectrum pellets that the Japonicus doesn't eat, but the Hepatus and Naso fight for, they eat like 20-30 pellets each per day.
<Neat! Have you considered culturing your own macro-algae as food... I've just finished a piece (article) for Coral Magazine... that will run at the MACNA issues, and in German and Italian am pretty sure... and one of the sidebars the editor asked me to crank out touched on this subject. I will attach it here>
What do you think about my feeding procedure: I mix chopped Nori and Spirulina with vitamins (daily) plus garlic juice, ginger juice ( weekly) in some tank water and then feed with a spoon, so the fishes run for the bits around the tank. I am asking this because I have the feeling that a lot of unnecessary nutrients are introduced like this by the juice that surrounds the Nori.     
<Only a bit of nutrient really... These prepared algae are mostly non-nutritive, the Allium and ginger... water. I'd grow my own Gracilaria, Ulva, Sargassum...>
thank you again,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     5/29/13

Hello Mr. F,
I like very much the idea of growing my own macro algae , and I was thinking about a refugium, so I will do it for sure. Just have to find the source for the algae, but if they import fishes and invertebrates, why wouldn't import algae too?
<Assuredly someone there does so>
Just a quick question: given the fact that my tank is back to normal, but normal means that the Hepatus always has some crypt spots on him, and that I also have in there A. japonicus that is clean now, but very very susceptible, and also that I will eventually have to Introduce the Z. Xanthurum that I have in qt, and also the Z. cornutus ( that is now eating out of my hand but only Mysis and Spirulina for now, but I think I am very close to convince him to take Spectrum pellets, I know this is the only chance for him in the long term and Mysis won't be enough nutrition for him )
 , would not be a good idea to take the Hepatus out and treat him in some way, he eats very good and he is very fat so I think he will be ok in qt
tank and also ready to take some kind of treatment ( at your suggestion ) ?
<Worth trying... and in the meanwhile introducing the Purple Tang and Zanclus>
And then reintroduce him in the DT? or not?
Thank you,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Ich treatment for Achilles tang in quarantine     10/9/12
Hello Crew,
After spending several hours reading from the site I felt it best to send an inquiry for clarities sake.  I have had a 6" Achilles tang and 4" Foxface in quarantine for about 4 weeks now.  Both have been eating very well with regular feedings of Spectrum Thera A pellets and Nori sheets. 
Everything was normal until last night when I noticed discoloration (white spots)on the Achilles tang.  He has showed <shown> no signs of distress until now and all water parameters are within limits (Salinity 1.025, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites).  Today he barely came out of his sleeping spot to feed.  Overall he looks distressed.  Foxface shows no signs of trouble. 
Weight on both animals is excellent.  So now to my question:
*         Knowing that the Achilles is a sensitive fish and assuming that this illness is either Marine Velvet or Ich, what is the best course of treatment? 
<CP... see WWM re Quinine compound use>
My LFS suggested Rid-Ich+,
<I wouldn't...>
but your site has some pretty strong warnings against formalin/malachite treatments (except as a dip).  I am also concerned that repeated removal and dipping would increase the stress on these fish and actually accelerate their demise.  Am I wrong about that?
<You are not wrong>
*         Copper treatments also appear to be universally lethal to this species of tang.
<Not lethal necessarily, but unduly debilitating usually>
*         Should I attempt to freshwater dip them? (also highly stressful)
<As part of what treatment regimen? No sense doing so and just returning the fish to the infested quarantine>
If this were any other type of tang I would go straight to copper treatment, but I would hate to make a fatal mistake after having nurtured this specimen so carefully over the last month.
<Most other Acanthurids, Acanthuroids are "sturdier", more treatable, less subject to toxicity due to copper exposure... than this species, Acanthurus leucosternon and A. nigricans... these three are "touchy">
Please provide any direction/clarity you can so I can attempt a rescue.
Bob McCook
<Do be reading re quinine cpd.s... IF you can't get your hands on CP quick, drastically lowering spg may forestall a too weakened state. Bob Fenner>

Foxface in quarantine not eating   3/17/12
Dear Crew,
I love your web site!! So much good info. Thanks.
I bought a 3" Foxface 1 week ago.
<Mmm, overall length? On the lowest end of size I'd collect/buy>

 I put him in a 10 gal lexan tub that I use for quarantine
<Am a bigger fan of prophylactic dips/baths for Siganids... quarantine by and large is more harmful than useful w/ these fishes>

. It has a small filter & piece of PVC for hiding. There are some bubbles produced by the filter waterfall & there is no cover on the tub. Nothing else in the "tank". I noticed some Ich on his pectoral fins, so brought the Sg down to 1.015 & temp to ~80F. The Ich is gone now.
<Mmm, not likely, no... the manifestation (mucus reaction series) is not obvious... is still there at this spg>
I also treated for 2 days with Erythromycin as some of the other fish at the LFS tank had a bacterial skin infection. No signs of infection on the Foxface & the water in quarantine was changed. Sg is back to 1.025, temp is 78F.
He has not eaten since being put in the quarantine (1 week),
 still tends to stay in one spot & is showing his stress colors until I turn on the lights in the room & look at him, then his black spots go away & he starts swimming around, but still won't take food - algae sheets or pellet food.
Should I leave him in QT for more time, put him in the display which is a 90 with ~80# LR, corals, 2 yellow tail damsels, 1 ocellaris clown, 1 pajama cardinal, snails & hermit crabs? I'm afraid to put him in the display tank while he is not eating.
Doug S.
<I'd do the dip/bath... Please read here re:
Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich like spots 1/9/12
<And ladies>
I have tried to find in the WWM already posted literature something related to the 0.5 mm white spots I am seeing in my powder blue tang pectoral fins. Cannot find HD close-up pictures.
<These are posted here and there on the Net... such spots can be (though not necessarily) indicative of a few species of Protozoan parasites, most often by far Cryptocaryon. And on Acanthurus leucosternon... VERY susceptible/common. Put the common and scientific name of this tang and the words Ich, Crypt in the search tool... found on every page of WWM>
After a rigorous Copper treatment
<... not a fan of Cu exposure on Acanthuroids>
of 21 days plus a 2 week observation period, I introduced my little, very energetic powder Blue to the DT. He was showing some fin damage do to the confined space in the Quarantine tank and PVS pipes but no scratching or white dots on skin.
<Mmmm, here it comes...>
I freaked-out when looking closely to the fish i I still saw what i believed was damaged pectoral fin scars. i witnessed him flicking couple times on rock so i took him out of DT and to a 30 minutes fresh water dip.
After the Dip the spots remained on him. During the FW dip I was able yo handle him and observed ( with a magnifying glass )
<Need more magnification. A few hundred power... again, see WWM re>
the little spots. They appear to be inside the structural nerves
of fins ( pectoral ) . They all are perfectly aligned ( inside ) with these fins nerves ( ribs ) and they did not come of after a 30 minutes of FW dip.
<Mmm... perfectly aligned... these might be just "damage/repair areas"... not parasites>
My question is: does Ich is able or can be selective of the spot on witch <which> it attaches?
<Mmm, to some extent, yes>
if all of the spots coincide with the fin structural conduits " nerves " or ribs of fins can we consider it as Ich?
<Maybe not, as stated>
Thanks for your comments.
<Skin scrapings, microscopic examination is definitive. Please read here:
Bob Fenner>

Ich and hyposalinity question 7/1/11
I've been a fan of your site for quite a while now and you guys have helped me save my fish many times. I have a question though about Ich and hyposalinity.
<Go ahead>
2 weeks ago, I got an achilles tang. Its in my QT tank now which is now in hyposalinity to make sure that he doesn't bring any Ich into my main tank.
The salinity stays at around 1.008-1.009 throughout the day and I make sure to keep the water level as constant as possible. I have to refractometers that I use to double check multiple times a day. To keep nutrients down, I do water changes with RO water and salt mix of the same salinity level and I change around 40% of the water every 5-6 days.
The strange thing is that the achilles has 1 white dot near its eye. From experience, it seems like its Ich. How could this happen when my QT is in hypo?
<Mmm, could be summat else... or just resistant, embedded>
My achilles has been in hypo for 2 weeks already and the 1 dot just showed up this morning and it got me concerned. To be sure, I added quinine sulfate to the tank but only half the recommended dose on your site first.
<No sense... Full dose or nothing>
What do you guys think?
<That this Acanthurus is VERY susceptible to reef Protozoan disease; that hyposalinity rarely "works"... as posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich and hyposalinity question 7/1/11
Hi bob!
Thanks for the quick response! Just to clarify, I added half first then the other half when I got home so as to not shock the achilles.
Ill read up more on WWM regarding this
but just to be sure, would combining both hypo and quinine sulfate make sure that the Ich dies and stays dead even for the achilles which is highly susceptible?
My DT remained fallow for 2 months and right now, there's only 1 Yellow tang and 1 peppermint hogfish in there(those 2 fishes underwent 2 months of hypo
and QT) so I think its fairly safe to say that the tank is Ich free and would like to keep it that way even after adding the achilles.
<We'll see... I am doubtful, dubious... you are likely to have troubles.
Frayed Pectoral Fins, follow up 7/6/11

Hi Bob or WWM crew,
I followed your advice on adding quinine sulfate to my QT in hypo and the dot on my achilles is gone. I do fairly large water changes on the tank, around 40% 2x a week to keep water quality good. The weird thing now though is that the pectoral fins of the achilles seem to be a little frayed.
<This may be due to the QS itself... search WWM re>
Aside from that, he is in tip top shape. I feed him 2-3x a day with mysis soaked in vitamins and Nori.
What do I do about the frayed fins? Do I just keep the water quality good and it will go away or do you suggest I treat with something?
<Move the fish in a few days, to a large, established system. BobF>

Black Tang pale post-Ich 2/4/2011
I am a newbie marine hobbyist. I have researched for a few weeks about ICH.
I have my QT up and running, and have been treating 6 clowns, 3 damsels, 1yellow tang, 1 hippo tang, and 1 black tang. The black tang is our newest family member.
I've had this guy for 3 weeks. When I brought him home from my local aquarium store, within 3 days I had a Huge ICH infestation in my 100g display because I didn't QT and treat him for ICH before putting him in my main tank. Such a stupid rookie mistake!
<That you won't make again after this experience.>
Moving right along, all my fish seem MUCH better after 36 hrs, i.e.- eating much more, swimming rather than laying down, etc.
<This is good.>
My black tang (Otis) is acting healthier, but he's turning VERY PALE!
The Ich med is called "Cure QuICK" (don't know if that matters or not, I have done my reading on that brand of med, and my black tang, and have yielded no real answers for this problem).
The local aquarium store that I bought him from says he's called a Honduras Tang. When I bought him, he was all black, with a white/yellow triangle on his caudal peduncle. He's approximately 4" long and 3" tall.
Now that he's been QT'd, he's PALE, almost a light grey. What is wrong with him, and how do I save him? Or, is this problem not life threatening?
<Tangs do pale considerably when stressed. He has a lot of stress in a cramped QT, being sick, water quality may be problematic in the QT. Assure all parameters are good in QT. Most likely water changes are in order. If you don't have test kits, get some. pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. If Ammonia and Nitrite aren't zero, do BIG water changes. Copper levels too high can be a problem. Have your store test your water also if you don't have or aren't confident with the test kits. Feed plenty of algae for the tangs. If this is all good, try adding some cover for the tang to hide in.
Tangs need a lot of space. He is new, probably scared of the others.
Maybe put him in his own tank. He has been the most stressed. He was infested the longest. He has been moved and is most likely being picked on by his new tank mates. I wouldn't add more tangs. I have one purple tang in a 75 gal, and he wants more room.>
Please Help!
<Good luck, keep researching. Lots to learn in this fascinating hobby.

Powder brown tang (Acanthurus Japonicus), hlth. 12/29/10
Hi crew.
<Hello Jase>
I have a difficult question for you guys/gals. I had my 3" pb tang in qt for over a month which I just transferred to the main display tonight. Within the month of qt I treated with Prazi pro and quinine
sulfate (separately) for sunken belly and Ich. The tang was mostly full bodied and now, a month later, you can see the bones on top of his head and spine.
<Mmm, worrying, and also common for Tangs coming out of quarantine.. one of the dangers>
Throughout this month I fed frequently with spirulina sheets, new life spectrum, Mysis, and bloodworms soaked in a multivitamin/Selcon. Can I nurse him back to good health (appearance wise)
<Oh yes>
or is there less of a chance of that happening?
<If feeding and not being hassled, then there is a good chance>
I am just concerned that the meds damaged him
<Yes, particularly his 'gut fauna'>
but I am hoping its just from being in a small tank for such a long time with mediocre water quality. He is eating an unbelievable amount and his color is slightly faded but gets better each day. Is there hope here or is he more likely going to remain thin and slightly faded? Any suggestions /input would be of importance/appreciation.
<I would just keep doing what you are doing Jase, particularly with the NLS pellets. Make sure he is not being bullied by others. These animals can recover to full health, even from the sunken area above the eyes>
Thanks much everyone,
<No problem>

Greetings Dispensers of Knowledge - need advice Marine Crypt on Purple Tang. 11/20/2010
<and salutations!>
I have been reading/lurking for some time now and am learning a lot. Maybe too much. Sometimes I'm afraid to touch my tank after reading everything I could do wrong albeit inadvertently. My Master's is in
Computer Science, not chemistry/biology. ;-)
<No problem, mine is in electrical engineering.>
I currently have a 75g reef, 30g sump, MP 300 skimmer, Fluval canister (carbon) hang-on fuge growing copious amounts of Chaeto. Water parms are good: 0 on everything, even nitrates. Temp ranges 77-80 throughout the day (I use 2 150W MH on a 10hour cycle inside a 12 hour 4 T5 actinic/daylight cycle), pH ~8.1 (morning) to 8.3 (midday). Alk is "high" (stupid test kit, will invest in better one soon).
<The API test kit is pretty good actually.>
About 10% water change bi-weekly, supplementing with Kalk drip, iodide, stront & myob weekly. I do not currently have a calcium/dKH test. Am trying to find a good one - do not want to invest in a cheap one that's inaccurate and end up screwing up the environment because the test told me something was off that wasn't.
<The API Calcium test kit is pretty good too. Accurate to about 20ppm, which, for a casual reefer who doesn't keep a ton of stony corals and clams is fine.>
Inhabitants are currently 1 purple tang, 1 b/g reef chromis (plus the 4 Jimmy Hoffa versions he apparently took issue with, schooling my $%&),
<Heheheheheh in my experience, not unless that tank is huge...>
an inherited, mated pair of Percs, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, and 4-5 softies.
Aside from my very moody toadstool, all are looking healthy and growing well. Coralline is growing like mad and I'm fairly certain I managed to acquire a nice population of Montipora from the LR I picked
up from the LFS because it, too, is growing like a weed.
<Sounds like a nice setup, and stocked well. Monti is one of my favorites, fast growing, easy to frag and colorful.>
So the problem is the tang. ::sigh:: He's almost certainly got a case of Ich, though the only symptoms he shows are spots and occasionally twitches.
<Hmm... how many spots?>
He's been like that for over a week now. He is eating voraciously - and by voraciously I mean I can feed the tank 3 times a day and they act like it's not enough. I make up a mix of Mysis, brine, spirulina, and pellets with some tasty garlic (which he apparently hates) and feed that in the morning, then supplement with flakes twice more during the day. If it hits the water, they eat it - as if they've never been fed before.
<Yep. >
The tang has been in the tank about a month (and no, I didn't QT -
<Consider both wrists slapped. If you cannot QT, at the very least, do a FW dip with formalin or Methylene blue It will knock off most if not all of the parasites the fish may have >
and having learned the hard way now have a QT set up and ready to go ;-)) and has doubled in size already.
<Do mix some other greens in there - Nori or Kombu - available at the grocery store. Tangs are very susceptible to HLLE
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm >
I am having a hard time netting him, and am not really looking forward to moving all the other inhabitants/LR to get at him. I am also afraid of stressing him more by moving him to the QT (14H) such that he expires.
<Tang catching is best done with multiple large nets and two or more people. It also helps to have the nets in the water for about an hour before you try to start catching them.>
I've been reading here and elsewhere, and strategy appears to differ based on hobbyist. I've seen some advice to the effect of "let him try to fight it off himself, supplement with garlic" if he's otherwise
seeming to be doing fine to "get him out right now OMG I can't believe you are letting him suffer at all like that, I'm calling the ASPCA".
<Depending on the circumstances, the treatment does fall somewhere in between.>
My options as I understand them are:
1. To absolutely remove him and treat him. Now. Like yesterday.
<Always valid, not to the point where you tear the tank apart.>
2. Treat the tank with No-Ich - anecdotal evidence seems to indicate no adverse affects to the rest of the tank, but I am leery of running with no skimmer/no charcoal for weeks on end. My skimmer works very
efficiently (it's well-over sized) and pulls good skimmate on a daily basis. I look at that mess and think "I certainly don't want to leave THAT in the tank!".
<I've never seen any evidence that no-Ich works. Copper, Formalin, or Quinine Sulfate are proven, time tested cures. yes, they require more effort, but they work.>
3. Continue to supplement with garlic and watch the tang to see if he can fight it off himself.
<If it is a very minor case, yes. Do remember, garlic sometimes helps, garlic is not a cure.>
The other three fish with him appear unaffected. He's not appearing stressed (except by the presence of a
net) and not having trouble breathing. His eyes are clear, there's no cysts/blemishes near his gills, just white spots all over his beautiful purple body.
<Here is the key. Define 'all over'. Is it 10 - 20 spots on the side of the fish, or does it look like it has been rolled in sugar? If the former, I'd be more inclined to give the fish a FW and formalin dip, or wait and see. If it is the later, I would not delay treatment.>
I read about the lawyer who discovered his case of "Ich" was just air bubbles. I was optimistic, but after close observation - those are not air bubbles. :-(
<Nope, it is likely Ich.>
Your thoughts? I don't want him to die, he's a beautiful fish who likes to beg for food every time he sees me at the glass and that's endearing, but I'm leery of moving him to QT when it might be worse for him - or not moving him to QT when it might be best for him. Augh! See? Too. Much. Information.
<Ok, here is a tried and true Ich remedy.: 1. Get a QT tank ready and a large bucket filled with temp and pH adjusted fresh water and a powerhead to provide aeration ready. See here:
Treat the water in the bucket with Formalin, and the QT tank with copper or quinine sulfate. Get the fish in the FW dip bucket. Let him soak for a good 10 - 15 minutes. (Less if the fish starts stressing out too much) then move to the QT tank.
Personally, I prefer treating with Quinine sulfate, as it is easier to use than copper, and you do not need to use it as long.
http://www.nationalfishpharm.com/products4.html Since it is not likely available in your area, you will probably have to start with copper. Treat for a minimum of 4 weeks. Watch the fish in QT and the rest of the fish in your tank closely. If any of the other fish start showing signs, get them into the QT tank quickly. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm >
I am also eagerly (and impatiently) awaiting the arrival of my 150g and from reading I assume that to keep that system clean I should just start from scratch? Or if I do transfer any water/substrate I should let it
sit fallow for 8 weeks to let the stuff die off?
<Letting the tank go fallow is best, then you can transfer the substrate, and the water. if you want.>
Sorry for such a long involved e-mail, but you all seem to appreciate more information as opposed to "tank good, fish sick. Help." ;-)
<Heheheheh... Yes We would always rather have a glut of information than none at all.>
Thanks much for all your efforts and great advice!
<My pleasure.>
Re: Greetings Dispensers of Knowledge - need advice Marine Crypt on Purple Tang. 11/21/2010
Greetings again!
<Hi Lori!>
I will look into the API kits - I've read good things about them and your recommendation backs that up.
<I like all of their kits except for the nitrate test.>
I managed to net the tang this morning - he couldn't resist breakfast. :-)
He was very stressed about the move to the QT but calmed fairly quickly and was nibbling at his breakfast a few minutes ago.
Sulkily, but nibbling nonetheless. I'll assume that's a good sign.
<Yes, Give him some places to hide, that will make him feel more secure.>
His fins were covered this morning with more spots though he still (thankfully) was showing no other distressing symptoms. He's got far more than 10-20 spots per side though not "rolled in sugar."
<Definitely spreading then.>
But it is getting worse and spreading, not better - so I opted for treatment. Am treating per recs and hoping he can recover.
<Good. These treatments are time consuming, but they do work.>
Thanks for the advice and confirmation he needed treatment sooner rather than later!
<Best of luck, do write back and let us know how it is going.>

In Need of Logical Advice for Regal Tang with Ich: Paracanthurus hepatus with crypt 6/22/2010
Hi All,
<Hi John.>
First of all, thank you for this site. I have never utilized the ask feature before, but I have read and found lots of excellent advice here that I have put into practice. Today, I basically need advice on what to do with my Regal and Yellow Tangs.
About six weeks ago, I lost the last of my fish to a rather harsh strain of ich. From the first white-spot sighting until the death of the last fish was just over a week. Although I'm certain the chasing/catching was a stressful ordeal for them, I moved all the fish, with exception of the diamond goby and cleaner wrasse (neither of which were showing any symptoms), into quarantine and treated them with API Super Ich Cure (not my first choice, but it was the only thing I could find at the local shop).
<I'm not a fan.>
This treatment did not help, all the fish quarantined were dead within four days. I tried using a Kordon "reef-safe" treatment in the display tank; however, I'm fairly certain that it was a complete waste of money.
<I Agree.>
The diamond goby turned up missing two days later (found him under some rocks being eaten by the crabs. The cleaner wrasse lasted two days after that (I came home from work and found him being eaten as well).
Not wanting to treat the display with copper, I let the tank go fallow for 5+ weeks (allowing at least 28 days for the tomont stage, and several more days for the theront stage). In the meantime I acquired a Regal Tang and a Yellow Tang which I kept in quarantine for about three weeks. I would have kept them in longer, but the Regal Tang seemed to be a bit stressed from the tank-size (30 gallon).
<Not uncommon.>
Both were eating very well and showed no signs of disease or parasites....so, I did what I considered to be the "humane" thing, and moved them into the larger display tank (135 gallon). That was three days ago.
This morning when I saw the Regal Tang (under the blue LEDs), he had what appeared to be about 20-25 white-spots all over him. I will get a better look this afternoon when I get home, but if it is ich, I face a rather difficult decision. Should I try to catch them, put them back in quarantine and treat with copper? I'm afraid this might be very stressful (especially the catching part), or should I leave them, continue to feed well and hope for the best (I find this advice all over the internet in regards to Regals with ich)? If I do the latter, and the Tangs can fight off the ich, does that mean the ich will die without any other fish to host?....or is that just wishful/delusional thinking on my part?
<A bit of wishful thinking. Ich never truly goes away in any system, it just gets knocked down to an insignificant level.>
As of this morning, there were no white-spots that I could see on the Yellow Tang, but I might be in for a surprise when I get back home.
<Regal Tangs do tend to be more susceptible than others.>
I would really prefer not to lose these fish (if the ich is as bad as last time....I only have a few days). What is my best coarse of action at this point?
<If he still has the spots this afternoon, and it is on fact ich, I would get the fish out and treat with copper.>
Tank Specs: 135 gallon; running approximately 5 months; Ammonia: 0; Nitrites: 0; Nitrates: approx 10-15; PH: 8.3.
Tank inhabitants: Regal Tang (approx 2.5in); Yellow Tang (approx 2.5in); green star polyps (approx 2x3.5in); 130lbs live rock; 2 inches of crush coral; 10 Mexican Turbo Snails; 1 Zebra Turbo; 50 Nassarius Snails; 50 blue
leg hermits; 20 red leg hermits; 2 peppermint shrimp; 1 sand-sifting starfish (approx 2.5 in); 2 large bristle worms that I am not sure if I should keep or not (approx 6 in each).
<My Pleasure.>
Re: In Need of Logical Advice for Regal Tang with Ich 6/23/10

<Hi John.>
Thanks for the quick response....greatly appreciated. If it turns out to be ich, I'll pull him out and start treatment. Should I also pull the Yellow Tang out for treatment at the same time and let the tank go fallow again?
<If the Yellow is not showing signs, I would leave them for now.>
If so.....how long should I leave the tank? Last time was just under six weeks.....I expected the ich to be gone by then.
<There were still a few in the tank.>
If the ich is never truly gone from a system, and the Regal Tang is so much more susceptible to it, does that mean I will never be able to keep him in the tank, or will he eventually build up a tolerance/immunity of some kind?
<They 'catch' it when they are stressed - either by poor water quality, being moved, etc. Once it settles in, it will be able to fight it off.>
Again, thanks for the assist.
<My pleasure.>

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

Ich/Acanthurus Disease 4/29/10
<Hello Mark>
I have read many of the articles and Q&A but still have a Q. Too many assumptions to list but I have had ich in my tank and assume ich is always present in some form. An outbreak just needs a triggering event is that accurate?
<Close. If poor diet and water quality exists, the fish will be much more susceptible to a disease and/or parasitical infection.>
If this is incorrect and my tank is unfortunately 'contaminated' is there any species of Tang that I could put in the tank and if I keep parameters normal and stress to a minimum expect to have the fish survive?
<Unfortunately, water parameters alone are not indicative of good water quality.>
My story ...220 gal reef with 150 refugium/DSB, 1 Jawfish, 4 gobies, 2 blennies, 2 clowns all was well....added a Powder Blue Tang and Powder Brown Tang (2-3 inches) against a lot of good advice, lasted 2 months, 2 dead tangs, 2 dead clownfish.
<The Powder Blue Tang is a very difficult fish to acclimate and is very susceptible to ich.
There are two species of the Powder Brown tang. The easier to keep A. japonicus,
White Faced/Cheeked Tang, and the A. nigricans, or Gold Rim Tang. The later is most difficult to keep generally lasting about two months in the aquarium.
<Do have a read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GoldRimSs.htm
and here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm
Will offer much more information than I have the time to say here.>
Everyone else is doing fine. Parameters were near perfect all of the time.
My Question is really about what I stock going forward. I can not tear down my reef and decontaminate. Do I have a ticking time bomb?
<Possibly, if poor nutrition/water quality exists.>
Can I add other fish that are not ich prone and expect longevity?
<Most of the ornamental fish we keep are susceptible to ich. Be best to concentrate on water quality and good nutrition.>
Are there (pretty) tangs that are not ich prone?
<The Yellow Tang and Regal Tang are more forgiving than the Powder Blue/Brown
Tangs in terms of ich magnets, but excellent water quality/nutrition is still a must for all tang species.
May want to read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm
and here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Goldrim Tang 4/8/10
Hi Bob,
Thanks for help...Have read for many hours now on white spot treatments and parasite life cycles.
Tang still the same...few white spots and body colour slightly blotchy but much better than a week ago.
Just seems funny no other fish itching at all and not a single spot on any.
From reading the threads on your website I think my best plan of action at the minute is to carry on with uv and feeding garlic soaked foods and hope the fish can beat the parasite itself. I noted one of your people saying that if all water parameters are kept well the fish can hopefully beat it on their own.
<Can, yes>
Will try for now as nothing too drastic happening.
Have dosed with Oodinex twice and am in touch with them so maybe use that too depending on their next response as there has been no ill effects from it.
Have never seen my corals and anemone looking so well.
Fingers crossed.
<And you, BobF>
Re: Goldrim Tang 4/8/10
Sorry Bob...But was even thinking could this just be a disease similar to white spot ?
I know there is marine velvet .
<Doubtful this is Amyloodiniumiasis. Else all fishes would likely be dead>
Not sure but my gut feeling is white spot and Oodinex is the reef treatment for everything anyway( allegedly )
<Am not a fan... http://www.eshalabs.com/oodinex.htm
of such "homeopathic" cure-alls... B>
Re: Goldrim Tang, UV use for parasite control 4/8/10
Last one Bob then I will leave you in peace .
Just been reading about uv sterilizers on your site and seems they are close on useless for ich control.
<Only nominally effective... more so for improving water quality...
indirectly useful... And can't be used along with some medications...>
Would it be better situated in middle of tank rather than at one end. Also powerheads placement will surely affect uv results...Sorry lost again.
<Let me/us "skip to the proverbial chase" Gary: in almost all cases, fishes need to be removed to a treatment system, NOT in the main/display tank... for reasons of absorption of med.s, destruction of other micro- and
Tang showing many white spots now against his newly retuned colour.
Am I best just putting him in a QT tank now and facing the problem head on.
Why would all parasites end up on same fish and none on others....
<Differential susceptibility, by species, individuals...>
If others were affected surely something would be showing by now. Thanks again
<Keep reading. B>
Re: Goldrim Tang 4/9/10

Thanks again Bob....
Tang now full of white spots again....no ifs or buts...nothing else infected.
Oodinex is useless....
<Yes, we are in agreement>
will cease usage today and all their people do is send a big list of questions. Basically I've followed the instructions, repeated it and it doesn`t work...but no ill effects either.
<Might as well add water... cheaper and as effective, perhaps more>
So will carry on letting fish fight it himself, monitor till Monday then think of buying a QT tank.
<Not quarantine, but treatment... all the fishes... You've been reading re the use of Quinine cpd.s...>
Thanks again for the sensible help.
<30-40k folks served every day... Since the mid-90's... BobF>
Re: Goldrim Tang 4/10/10

Hi Bob,
Tang not at all well today.
<... are you surprised?>
Just lying on bottom of tank , rapid breathing.
Can`t swim now.
Still other fish fine.
Think it is too late to do anything now.
Advice please.
<... as always; keep reading. B>

Re: Goldrim Tang, killed, no reading 4/15/10
Hi Bob,
Tang died as expected.
Do a lot of the infesters get removed with the dead fish or do they exit the dead fish ?
<Mmm, don't know>
Anyway bought a QT today as my Clarkii is rubbing against rocks although no white spot visible but tail fin bit ragged.
<... my friend, have you read where I've referred you to? ALL fishes need to be removed and treated>
Will quarantine my remaining 3 fish.
Will Clarkii be ok to separate from his anemone as it has looked so much better since he arrived...now a perfect specimen.
Secondly an antennae goby...Will he be ok without sand.
<Yes and yes>
Was just going to use this 25 gallon tank with heater filter and a few hideaways.
<All chemically inert, like PVC pipe I hope/trust>
Will treat with Cuprazin in QT tank before rejoining main tank in 5-6 weeks.
<Cu++... an extremely poor idea with these fishes. Don't write back w/o reading where you've been referred. B>
Does this all sound ok ?
Last fish is a blue damsel.

Tangs with ich in QT Crypt control in QT Medication and dosing. 4/3/2010
Hi WWM Crew!
<Hi Mike>
A number of years ago I had an ich outbreak in my DT. I believe that it was from a Flame Angel that I added to the tank only after 10 days of QT.
I now know that this is about 20 days to short. I first tried to treat the QT tanks with chelated copper, but I found it extremely difficulty to maintain the proper concentration.
<It is a challenge.>
I don't know if I should give the mfg name, but both the copper medication and test kit were by the same mfg. I never saw any shades of blue using the test kit after adding copper to the tank. I even tried to test the copper medication directly. I should have seen a color change then but I didn't. Out of fear of adding too much copper, I just followed the mfg dosing schedule on the bottle (I now understand this is dangerous). After two weeks of treatment, you guest it, white spots again!
<Really need longer than this to truly break the lifecycle.>
At the time, my LFS suggested that I try Formalin.
<Umm... as a dip>
The fish in the QT tank were: 1 Flame Angel, 1 Royal Gramma, 2 False Perc Clown, 1 Diamond Goby, and 1 Blue Hippo Tang. They said to follow the mfg's instructions on the bottle (see dosage level below). After four days
of treatment, all the fish looked good (I now know this is normal too). I stopped the treatment as directed and waited. After a few days, the white spots were back.
<No Surprise there.>
After about 12 weeks, and most of the fish dying (a bad way to quickly solve the ich problem), I didn't see any signs of ich for a period of four weeks.
<Formalin is a biocide - it kills ALL life. Hence it should not be used for anything other than a dip. Read here:
I then returned the surviving fish, 2 False Perc Clowns and a Royal Gamma, back to the DT which was fallow the whole time. I haven't seen any ich in my DT since then, or at least during my waking hours!
Since then I have strictly practiced quarantining all new fish for a period of at least four weeks before adding them to my DT.
My DT is 75 gal reef tank, 20 gal sump, salinity 1.025 (told this was good for shrimp), UV sterilizer, and a protein skimmer. I have a 20 gal QT with a power head, air stone, heater, and a hang on filter. It sits empty in the garage until needed. I use water from my DT when setting it up.
<All sounds good.>
Finally, the questions and problems. Over the years, I have tried numerous Blue Hippo Tangs.
<A species that seems to be an "ich magnet">
Every time with the same results. A few days after adding them to my QT they get ich. I try to treat them with Formalin following the mfg's instructions, the ich returns, they stop eating, and then death. I decided to stop killing fish for a while, so I quit buying them until recently.
I went to a new LFS, and they said that I should be having this much trouble with Blue Hippo Tangs. They even said to add them directly to my DT.
<I would not trust that LFS.>
I let them talk me into trying a Blue Hippo again, and I also bought a False Per Clown (the male I had in my DT recently died). I put them into my QT tank, against the advice of my LFS (because of my white spot filled nightmares).
They both came from the same DT at the LFS so I thought it was okay to QT them in the same tank.
<Should be fine.>
I started with the salinity at 1.025. After a few days, I did a 8 gal water change. Both of the fish were eating and appeared very healthy. A few days later, the white spots appeared yet again.
Before treating with Formalin this time, I contacted the mfg of the Formalin product I was using. They said that it was safe for Tangs,
<Tangs are very sensitive to Formalin.>
and that I should treat them for 28 days performing daily water changes and Formalin dosing based on the ich life cycle.
<I disagree.>
I added 10 ml every day as directed (5ml per 10 gal) in conjunction with 8 gal water changes. The Formalin bottle says that it contains less than 5% formaldehyde, so I don't know the exact concentration. I also started slowly lowering the salinity to 1.016 with the daily water changes, since this is what the LFS keeps their fish at. I also thought that the lower salinity would help slow the ich production.
<I think it can help, but it will not cure.>
This might have just doubled the stress factor though. In addition, I increased the water temp to about 81 deg.
After 10 days the ich is still present and now it appears the fish are just about dead.
<Stress and long term exposure to Formalin.>
I didn't see any real significant distress in the fish until yesterday.
They were both swimming and eating well (Romaine lettuce, garlic soaked Thera pellets, Mysis shrimp, and Formula 2). I immediately did at 30% water change, changed the poly filter, and did not add any more Formalin. I
also tried a temp PH adjusted FW dip on the Clown, but it was laying on its side after about 2 min. I quickly put it back in the QT. I did not do this for the Tang, I figured the stress would just kill it. It's probably too late to do anything else now, but they are still breathing.
<I would stop the formalin treatments immediately. Add activated carbon to try and soak up as much as you can.>
If Tangs do not handle copper or Formalin well, what do you do in a QT when these fish show signs of ich?
Most of the information that I have read on WWM is for cases where you have ich in your DT. A FW or medicated dip just puts the fish back in an infected tank. What am I missing in my reading? I really hate to continue
killing fish like this. I think that Tangs just might not be the fish for me.
<There is a third, newer option Quinine. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm >

Re: Tangs with ich in QT Crypt control in QT Medication and dosing. Quinine Choices 4/5/2010
Hi Mike,
<Hi Mike.>
Thanks for your quick response, but the Tang did not make it.
<Sorry to hear that..>
So far the clown fish is still alive and continuing to eat well.
As you suggested, I added carbon to the filter to remove the Formalin.
You also suggested to try Quinine next time. What should I do for the clown now?
<Keep in QT, if it starts to show signs of Ich, then treat with quinine.>
If Quinine, which compound do you recommend?
Should I use Quinine Sulfate or something else?
< http://www.nationalfishpharm.com/ sells quinine sulfate which works well.>
Thanks again,
<My Pleasure.>

Poor Tang. Hippo hlth. 3/4/10
My Hippo Tang seems to be having some sort of parasite problem. On his side is what basically looks like a white head pimple (appeared within 24 hours), almost like something attached itself to him or came out of him.
<Just one such spot? Don't worry>
He is on the rebound (Hooray!) from an HLLE issue, which the folks at WWM graciously helped me (and him) out with solving, Thank You.
At first I freaked out when I saw the "zit" and started to lower the salinity, but then decided against putting him under any excess stress that may send him into an HLLE downward spiral.
I am fairly sure it isn't ich, as it doesn't look like a grain of sand and as far as I can tell there is only one maybe two (could be starting)
"zits". Appetite and behavior are not affected.
I can't find any good images of flukes to compare, so I turn to your expertise.
<Not a trematode...>
I should mention one important yet embarrassing piece of information.
While I wasn't home, a family member introduced a new fish to the system.
They proudly told me how they acclimated it and made sure it could live with its fellow tank mates (it was a fish I was looking into purchasing).
Sadly, no quarantine, my heart sank.
The new fish doesn't have any symptoms or sign of disease, so maybe the timing is coincidental.
I have a ten gallon quarantine tank that will not house all of the fish (Hippo Tang, 2 Clowns, 2 Firefish, and a new scooter blenny). If they need medication (only the Hippo Tang has "zits", should I just medicate the main tank, while moving my live rock, shrimp, and snails to the quarantine?
Thank you
<I would just hold off, wait here... Would not treat the fish, move it... Read on WWM re Paracanthurus if you get the urge. Bob Fenner>

Re: Poor Tang -- 3/6/10
Thank you for such a speedy reply.
The disease has progressed on my Hippo Tang and it almost definitely looks like Ich now (White dots in various locations on his body).
I purchased Mardel CopperSafe,
<... see WWM... I don't suggest copper med.s use on/w/ Acanthuroids>
but am having second thoughts on using it (I have not yet).
Where the ten gallon Qt tank is so small, I would have to treat the main tank.
<Definitely a No... don't do this>
Which would effect the entire system, including beneficial organisms I cannot see.
I would like to attempt non chemical treatment.
I have already turned the heat up, and am ready to start lowering salinity.
Do agree that this is the best course of action?
<Mmm, Quinine/s... see ...>
Also would you recommend moving live rock, shrimp, and snails to the QT will using such a treatment (I also have three polyps (of some sort) that keep dividing, perhaps them too)?
Thank You
<Keep reading... and soon. B>

Re: Poor Tang 3/10/10
My Blue Hippo Tang still has ich, though with improvements in breathing and activity.
I returned the copper medication, good thing I had second thoughts on using it.
I did purchase Kordon Ich Attack, and have been treating the display tank for four days (along with a temperature increase).
<What do you think of this (alternative medicine) product?>
I feel foolish for thinking that such a amazing product could exist. It is true to its word in not effecting inverts and allowing for steady water parameters. The lack of spike in ammonia probably indicates that the product isn't even killing other pests (worms) in my tank.
<Likely so>
I am going to finish out the directed dosage though, as while no cure something I am doing is helping my Tang.
I have also pumped the fish's diet full of vitamins in hopes of boosting immunities. I have read garlic can help, but I must disagree, I think it only acts as an attractant.
I am in the hunt for an affordable 55 gallon QT tank, hopefully it will suffice for my Tang, 2 clowns, 2 Firefish, and scooter blenny.
If I still don't have a QT big enough and the Tang still has a bad infection of ich after organic treatment, I am going to have to medicate the display tank with non organic medication. I know it is a really bad thing to do and you already said definitely not, but I can't just watch my fish die, he is truly part of the family.
<... this runs contrary to your statements re not dedicating resources for it/their care>
I have read that if treatment to a display tank is a must, the drug of choice is Quinine (I believe you also recommend using it, only in QT).
<Chloroquine Phosphate is my/the current "genie in a bottle" here... But should be administered in "bare" hospital settings>
Also I think it is the best choice for my Tang.
I have seen some brands like Aquatronics contain Quinine, but with malachite green. Is this okay?
Do you recommend a brand?
<No, but some sources... read here:
I will keep researching before doing anything "crazy", giving up is not an option.
thank you
<And you, BobF>

Re: Poor Tang, & Quinine f' 3/22/10
I wanted to give you an update on my ich situation.
I searched all my local (and some a long drive away) marine fish specialty stores for any medication containing quinine. None of the stores had the medication (even the ones that normally carry it).
I then found National Fish Pharmaceuticals (mentioned on your fine website) and talked with an extremely helpful gentleman. With his recommendation I purchased Crypto-Pro.
Kordon Ich Attack treatment was suspended and a large water change combined with normal filtration and protein skimmer was administered.
After filtration of Kordon ich attack the skimmer was shut off and carbon was removed.
Live rock, snails, polyps, shrimp, and hermit crabs were moved to a separate (already cycled) tank.
Following instruction from the gentleman on the phone and not the instructions on Crypto-Pro I administered the product.
Today is day seven after the initial treatment and all fish are looking great and water parameters are where they should be.
I am on the fence to administer a 'just-in-case' dose tomorrow.
<Okay, though will comment (for browsers esp.) that such is generally unnecessary>
As a precaution everything removed from main tank will be kept in the separate tank for a few more weeks, I don't want to risk any parasite living on the live rock or perhaps some infected water re-entering the main tank.
A large water change followed by smaller water changes and normal filtration and skimming will be run for at least some time to ensure removal of medication.
Thank you for all the advice, you and the rest of the team run a superb service.
<Thank you Adam... for this careful, well-thought out addenda. Life to you. BobF>

Crypt. Battle 04/03/10
Dearest Crew,
<Dearest fellow hobbyist>
Thank you so much for your commitment of time and expertise! Your efforts have a huge impact on the hobby!
<Very kind words indeed, and thank you!>
Just a clarification today. One of my reef systems came down with a case of crypt (almost undoubtedly due to a Tang quarantine cut short).
<Ok, I do understand this -- these fishes do not fare well in QT>
And the fish have been recovering well in quarantine. The tank is now running fallow with only corals, snails, and a couple of tiny hermit crabs, all which seem to be completely unaffected. I am treating fish with Quinine Sulfate with decent results so far.
<Okey Dokey>
I am planning on leaving the tank vertebrate free for a total of 4 weeks (longer perhaps?)
<8 I'm afraid, if you can. 4 just won't cut it>
with an elevated temp. of 80 degrees F.
One important detail: I was NOT able to catch my tiny Dottyback and it most likely has since died within the rock work of the tank.
<Most likely? Or has? This is a critical factor to the success of your endeavours>
Do you think that this factor should lengthen the fallow time due to flesh still being in the system for crypt to feed on?
<No, the fish needs to be living in order to be a vector>
Any other suggestions? I would like to think that I am on the right track to producing an ich free environment for my fish!
<Are you keeping a close eye out for this fish? When was the last time you saw it? You do realise that if there are no other fishes swimming around in the tank, then this fish might be 'assuming' there is a predator about and could just be hiding>.
One last item. Do you recommend having any other medications on hand for events like these? Perhaps Quinine Hydrochloride or perhaps copper?
<My fave is Chloroquine Phosphate, but I also keep formalin to hand as well for dips, as well as Amquel for freshwater dips>
Thanks so much!!!
<No problem>

Brown powder tang 3/2/10
Hi Guys,
I wanted to thank you guys for the wonderful information provided by the web page. I wanted to buy a brown powder tang and I did some research about it before the actual buy. I bought the fish and everything seemed fine. but now he seemed to have a disease or something else. Can you please help me identify? thank you in advance.
<Does look to be a protozoan infestation... You can/could discern by the behavior of the host... Read, and I mean quickly, on WWM re Cryptocaryon and Amyloodinium. This fish needs to be treated NOW to save it... Hopefully it is alone or separated in a quarantine system. What it has is very contagious and fatal. Bob Fenner>

Re: Brown powder tang, dis. 3/3/10
yes I recently separated the fish from the main system, can you please tell me how to cure him? thank you.
<... Please read here (and now): http://wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm
and the Related FAQs linked in the series, and here:

Re: Brown powder tang... Protozoan... all fishes dead... what next? 3/16/10
Hi Guys,
Well I read many articles on WWM and I separated the Brown powder tang from the main tank. unfortunately he died two days later, and I guess he infested the whole tang so now all my fish died. What can I do next?
I really love the hobby since am a marine lover but I feel down right now.
I don't know what to do next? should I do a water change? if yes how many?
<... you're faced with basically two choices... to just wait, allow the system to "go fallow" (read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fallowtkfaqs.htm),
or bleach it and have it re-cycle, add some new LR to repopulate it...>
and how will I know when the disease is completely gone?
<In the first choice, a matter of guesswork>
all my dish died the same way trying to swim towards the surface. Please help me.
<... Keep reading for now... Bob Fenner>

Ick and Tangs, & worthless med.s/ f' 2/9/10
I have a 100 gal saltwater tank and recently was wiped out by a combination of Ick and Velvet. I tried a combination of Kick Ick and Rally and, as advertised, they did not kill the coral. The problem is they killed the fish.
<Or at least allowed the parasites to do so.>
Anyway, I am making several water changes and want to introduce new Tangs.
I have read that the combination of an intermittent Diatom Filter and a UV filter might go a long way in preventing and eliminating unwanted parasites. However, these articles are dated. Do you recommend this combination of filters or is my time and money better spent concentrating on proper quarantine procedures and water quality? Thanks.
<QT and water quality by far are more effective.>

White spot, Marine Treatment 2/2/10
After a major move around of my reef tank my powder blue tang has developed white spot, I have tried treating with eSHa Oodinex but it didn't clear up the problem. I am now on a second course of the same treatment.
<What is the active ingredient?>
The other fish [ lipstick tang, yellow tang, 2x clownfish] do not seem affected. Any ideas how to rid this fish of his ailment.
<Lots. See here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  and here
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm  for specifics. Do be aware that tangs and clowns are particularly sensitive to copper treatments.>

blue hippo tang with ich 1/12/10
Hello, Crew.
I need a recommendation regarding proper treatment of my hippo tang. Pretty sure he's got ich; white sugar-like spots a few days ago, then they increased in number, ultimately coalescing. He's behaving normally, and eating. I've moved him to the quarantine tank and have put in some copper.
My question is whether you'd also treat with an antibiotic to prevent bacterial superinfection of the parasite's entrance/exit wounds, or whether that would be overkill/dangerous. If antibiotic, which?
<Mmm, the "later and greater" route for such Protozoan complaints, particularly on more-sensitive fish groups/species are Quinine compounds.
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: blue hippo tang with ich -- 01/12/2010

Thanks, Bob.
There are shallow pits on the tail end of one side of the fish.
There's no redness associated; just looks like little holes in the skin. The fish hides in the decorations mostly, but does come out to eat when I put a few food pellets in.
<A good sign, indication of health>
Would you treat NOW (while copper is present also) or would you wait?
<I would remove the copper and treat now>
If wait, then wait for what? Also: I have available to me products called "API Super Ick Cure" that contains Malachite Green and Nitrofurazone, and "API Furan-2" that contains Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone.
<Antibiotics, antimicrobials are of no direct use/efficacy here>
Quinine isn't available at present. Which of the other two (if either) should I add?
<Neither. Order Chloroquine Phosphate via the Net if necessary, or check with a local veterinarian (Aralen...). BobF>

Need help making a hard choice regarding fish illness/stress/treatment. Achilles Tang hlth... 1/02/10
Happy New Year to Bob and crew at WWM!
<And to you and yours Jamie>
I think it is becoming my holiday ritual to write you! This is perhaps not a very good sign, BUT at the same time, it is like having another friend to check in with during the holidays.
I've been reading on WWM around four hours each day for the past month, it is a wonderful read, I enjoy it so but I know that I would enjoy it even more if it was not for my sick fishes. I tried to find an answer to this question in all the FAQs regarding hospital tanks, quinine treatment, fallow tanks, ich/brook/Lymphocystis and couldn't come up with a solution. So here I am bugging you again. I'm glad that there is no "Life Time Limit" on the number of times we can write to you, or else my time would be up.
My problem is that I've had my 225 gallon reef fallow for a total of FIVE weeks now. My fishes are in the 55 gallon hospital tank where they were treated with quinine sulfate for ich. My MISTAKE was to purchase an Achilles Tang
<A species very susceptible to a few protozoan infestations, outbreaks, as you know>
to see if they "get along" around two weeks after completing ich treatment. Well, lucky me, the Achilles is a doll baby at twice the size of all the other tangs in treatment - Powder Blue, Atlantic Blue and Kole tang, I also have a Flame Angel and Clown Fairy Wrasse in there. These fish with the exception of the Achilles have been in this HT since Thanksgiving. I knew that combining the tangs may be trouble from all that I've learned from WWM but I thought I'd give it a try since they are all in a confined space so that if I have to remove the Achilles that I can do it quickly.
<! You must be a very good netter!>
I did a temperature and pH matched ro/di water bath of 7 minutes on the AT where I found those nice fish lice that I sent pictures to WWM prior to putting him in the HT. Well, three days after introduction of the Achilles I noticed about seven Ich like spots on him. I watched for one day to make sure that it is not air bubbles as the AT has very soft skin and the tank was highly aerated, well, they were not, so I started quinine sulfate treatment on the hospital tank again. I have been doing 20 to 30 gallons of water change each night with replacement of quinine, it is day eight of now. There have been absolutely NO signs of Ich on any of the other fishes in the HT ever since their treatment ended more than 3 weeks ago. The Achilles Tang showed recurrence of Ich "twice" each two days apart since starting quinine sulfate and both times they would show up one day and gone the next (which from what I've learned on WWM is what is expected of the Ich cycle), yesterday, I noticed some bumps under the fishes skin near the temple and there were some white pimple looking spots which are much bigger than the Ich spots I've witnessed before. I tried to take a photo but was unable to as the AT was moving way too fast. I'll try again some more this afternoon.
Here is the question:
I'm thinking that the pimple like bumps MIGHT be from stress of the current stressful situation in the hospital tank - water quality, very un-natural decorations, close quarters...
<Could well be>
I've noticed a considerable amount of stress on my Clown Fairy Wrasse and Flame Angle (who is showing some really weird blood red "mustache" looking things next to his mouth.
Aah! If I could punish myself for this stupidity I would do it...well, I guess lugging the twenty or thirty gallons of water every day should count - shouldn't it?
<Is considerable penance>
Okay, back to my question: Should/Could I take all the fishes that are NOT showing any signs of ich or illness, do a temperature/pH matched ro/di water bath and put them back to the DT?
<I might... and "shoot for", i.e., hope for some sort of "stasis"... in an established infestation here... not "that bad" a compromise>
OR Get another 55 gallon tank and put the AT in there by himself and treat and watch for two more weeks?
<I'd leave the Achilles in the treatment system by itself for another two weeks>
I think after this ordeal I'm going to ban myself to fishes that even a 5 year old can take care of!
I thought I was moving much slower than before: QT-ing my fishes for 3 weeks prior to introduction to DT, treating them, teaching them to eat pellet foods like Spectrum and Formula One/Two pellets...I was really thinking that I was doing something right because everything I read about Tangs is that they break out in Ich every time a new fish is added,
<Not uncommonly>
so that is why I thought that I had a controlled environment to add that Achilles now. I not only stressed ALL my fishes but also put myself in a corner.
I don't know what I can do to repay the kindness, support, and honest insight of Bob and all the crew at WWM!
My most sincere gratitude to you and the crew!
Jamie Barclay
<Mmm, do consider trading the Achilles back to your dealer... BobF>

Re: Need help making a hard choice regarding fish illness/stress/treatment. Crypt, Tangs dis f's 1/5/10
Hello Bob,
Hope all is going well for you. I believe that you are at some exotic destination right now?
<Nope... am home in San Diego, CA>
An update after returning Powder Blue, Atlantic Blue, Kole Tang, Clown Fairy Wrasse, Cleaner Wrasse, and Flame Angel to display tank.
The fishes are happier - eating well, swimming around, enjoying the rock
scape. Sad to say, the Powder Blue has "bumps" that I think are ich!
<Don't "jump" to conclusion, or (over) react here>
Oh, boy. I am so exhausted from ich! I even temperature/pH matched ro/di water dipped them ALL prior to putting them back! The PBT was in the fresh water for EIGHT minutes! I don't think the ich was from the DT, it had to be already on the PBT because it showed it self in one day.
<Could be from either or even just deeply "embedded" on the fish>
Minimal scratching behaviour and eating like little piggies! I'm at a loss now.
Should I give him a week to see if he can fight it off?
<Yes I would>
Or start getting the energy and strength to move them all back out?
I know that I will not be able to psychologically handle this ich if it is recurring. I've had the Clown Fairy Wrasse and Flame Angel for over two years now and I can not bear the thought of losing them.
If I do decide to get rid of the PBT, are the Kole and Atlantic Tang just as bad as the PBT?
<Mmm, no. Not as susceptible by far>
I've read on WWM that they are better, especially the Kole but I'm wondering about the AT as I've read conflicting information on them.
<Not usually kept... there's far fewer "data points" re their husbandry>
I've kept three marine tanks for almost three years now and NEVER had ich till now. I'm wondering if tangs should be permanently off my list.
I told my husband (who asked me to get fishes that "swims" which led to the tangs in the first place), "Honey-love, if I have to take the Powder Blue back. I will have a whole tank of perching fishes! No more swimmers except the Clown Fairy and Flame!" He looked sad but he has also watched me change 20 gallons of water every day for the past five weeks!
Another thought: I've read somewhere that there may be some ich that stays embedded and "dormant" in particularly the tangs and they flair up when the fish senses excitement and the ich becomes active again. Is there such a theory floating somewhere out there?
<Oh yes. Is so>
Does the tangs have something that
makes them so prone to ich?
<Soft skin, small scales... more easily stressed as a group... and they "get around" as you note... more likely to "pick up" trophonts>
I know that there is a difference in their skin structure but wouldn't that make them more prone in the ocean too?
<Yes, and are>
Dearest Bob, I wish I had better news to share after the success from quinine sulfate but I thought that you would like to know what happened.
<I do>
Lastly, I took the Achilles Tang back and they gave me store credit for the full amount I paid for him. I thought that was more than fair. I'm lucky to have such a decent and conscientious LFS so close to me.
<Yes; and glad to hear/read of this as well>
Thank you so much! Any advice, ideas, thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Jamie Barclay
<I urge patience... perhaps the bolstering of immune systems with soaking foods with HUFA and Vitamin complex. Read here re:

Re: Need help making a hard choice regarding fish illness/stress/treatment. Crypt, tangs 1/5/10
Greetings Bob,
You are so lucky in San Diego where it is probably warm and sunny! I'm in Ohio and it is 19 degrees with freezing snow.
<You can't just drive down to the beach eh?>
I read your suggested FAQs and I've been using VitaChem to soak frozen Mysis and brine with Spirulina ever since I started keeping marine fish and about a year ago, I started Selcon because of what I've read here, on WWM! I remember noting the vast improvement in not only my fishes but my corals about 3 weeks after starting Selcon soaked foods. Around the time I started Selcon, I also started the Ocean Nutrition Formula One pellets and since I've acquired the tangs, I bought Formula Two and Spectrum. I'm lucky that all the fishes I have LOVE the pellets and that supports what you say about the success of keeping marine fish is to get them onto Spectrum or the Ocean Nutrition Pellets!
<Ah yes>
All the fishes who did not take the pellets have died around a year in captivity. I also give the tangs a fairly constant supply of Red, Brown, Green, and Purple dried seaweed.
My Powder Blue Tang looks less bumpy today.
<A good sign>
I will keep watch and be patient without over reacting as you have suggested. NO ich on any other fish in the tank, some scratching but I think that is expected of tangs - right?
I've enclosed a couple of pictures for you to see. I think you can make out a few spots on his face where it is black.
<Mmm, can't quite see>
The last picture is just funny with all the fishes looking into the camera, I guess it's also a good picture for you to see how fat they are.
Thanks for letting me share my experiences with you and many others at WWM!
<Cheers! BobF>

Foxface with marine ich? 12/30/09
Thanks for a great web site, many hours have been spent here over the years!
I just received a small (2")
<Wow! Tiny>
Foxface (Siganus unimaculatus) from my LFS yesterday.
According to them, it has been in quarantine for 2 weeks before shipping to me.
<Evidently w/ other fishes infested w/ Crypt>
Now I have the fish in my quarantine tank (15 gallon, salinity 1.025, pH 8.2, nitrite nitrate ammonia undetectable by my Salifert test kits).
Immediately when I put it in the QT I noticed a couple of black spots with white "pimples" in the middle of them (see attached pictures).
Today, 24 hours later, the black spots are almost completely gone, and the white "pimples" are getting hard to see (some reduced in size, some completely gone).
The fish has not been showing any other symptoms, it has nice colors, does not scratch itself or swim erratic, breath normally.
I have never seen marine ich (Cryptocaryon irritans) in real life, and I have not found any good close ups of it,
<Oh! There are many such reference images in print works>
so I wonder if you could have a look the pictures and tell me what's your opinion? Is this marine ich as I suspect, or is it something else?
BTW, feel free to use the pictures on the web site if you wish.
<Does appear to be Cryptocaryon. See WWM re and the use of Quinine compounds for control. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang, Crypto, Reading -- 11/04/2009
<Hey there! JustinN here!>
I have a yellow tang in a 55g tank i also have 3 yellow tail damsels, 1 bicolor Dottyback, and 2 scooter blennies. The tank has been up since September-19-09.
<This tank is too small ultimately for the Tang, and likely too immature to support even a single scooter blenny, much less two. The tang has potential to outsize the tank very quickly, and the scooter blennies are obligate fauna feeders -- they will pick your tank clean of their necessary food source quickly.>
I got a yellow tang on October-3-09 and he was doing fine until I had a ich infection which i treated with Kordon Rid-Ich+.
<Treated in your display? This should be done in a quarantine tank.>
I am still treating with this the yellow tang has no visible signs of ich but the Dottyback does.
<Is parasitic, and communicable to all fish in a mixed display here. This is why Quarantine is so important.>
I have just noticed (about 3 days ago) red spots on the Yellow tang and they seem to be getting worst by the day.
<Sounds like chemical burn/irritation here>
He looks like he has hole in head. The red spots are at the tail. I can't identify what they are. My tanks recent test values are as follows: Nitrate-30, Nitrite-0, Alkalinity-300, pH-7.9.
<What is your Salinity at? Your pH is a bit low, should be in the 8.1-8.3 range -- Nitrate should be at, or as close to, 0 as possible. The nitrate alone may be enough to cause the burning, but if the Formalin/Malachite
solution is being dosed too highly, this could easily cause the 'burning' as well."
Their is a small electrical current measuring .002v in the tank.
<Most likely unrelated, but there shouldn't be stray voltage in your tank.>
The filtration is a emperor 400 filter and a coral life super skimmer for a 125g tank.
<The main thing you need here is some reading -- your tank is very immature, and is likely still going through its establishing nitrogen cycle. Exacerbating this is your stocking levels -- you have too many fish, far too soon, and the tank is still attempting to establish its biota balance. In addition to this, by treating your display tank with the Formalin/Malachite compound, you are effectively killing all beneficial bacterium/biological filtration available in your tank. These medications treat indiscriminately. More reading is in order -- start here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm
and related subheadings. -JustinN>

Tangs... a bunch of hooey and a direction to read re protozoan infested systems 05/23/09
Okay first I have a 90 reef set up where I have a Blue Hippo 5" and a yellow tang 4.5" and a 3.5" blue eyed kole tang living happily together. I also have several small angels mixed happily as well.
<Several as in the M.E. "many?">
So please don't always act like it can't be done with these dramatic it is horror stories...
<I don't>
second is where I am having the problem and thought I would add that 5 fairy wrasses live happily in this tank without all the horror stories...
<Who is reading your fishes these horror stories?>
it is my 75 reef tank. I can't get a tang to live in there. I just finally found out that a hitch hiker on my live rock; this tang disease or black spot or black ick might be the culprit.
<Nah... an old roomie (Mike Kent) worked extensively on Paravortex... not "that" deleterious a (space) parasite>
The Tangs I have put in look like dust is on them in the morning
<Oh! This is a Protozoan... likely Cryptocaryon>
and I have 2 cleaner wrasses
<Labroides not advised... and won't "cure" such issues>
in there and they would have them clean in no time I also have 2 cleaner shrimp as well, plus the fairies clean as well I have noticed. Now I know wrasses eat flat worms
<Mmm, no... only a few wrasses eat some kinds/species of Platyhelminths... most are very unpalatable>
and this tang black spot ick is said to be a flat worm so why aren't they gone yet? I can't use copper in the tank because of the coral and the only ones dying are any tangs I put in there. I raised a yellow eye kole in my micro reef and let him in there, thinking it was poor quality fish from the stores. Even he didn't survive past a month. I left it without tangs for over a month and it comes back. I have tried many kinds of different tangs and they always die in the first week. How do I get around this?
<... you have an entrenched (resident) Crypt infestation... Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tangs... another day, more reading 05/24/09

Thanks, I wasn't saying the responder directly was saying the horror stories but when I read thru the FAQs I saw a lot of complaints about mixing tangs...sorry if I offended
<No worries Rev>
I read up on this crypt thing and I think that is it. I saw it takes up to 90 days
<Most times, cases, sooner than this>
to die off in the tank and treat it typically like ick to kill it with lower salinity and above 80 temps.
<One approach>
They survived last summer when ac broke at 85 so I will let it dance into the low 80s and take the sal, to 1.020 to help speed the process.
<Won't do it>
One last question I saw it said Rabbitfish and surgeons(tangs) get it, but some of the stuff I read sounded like other fish could be affected.
<All species are to degrees susceptible>
My other fish have lived for months with no problems will they be safe as the crypt dies off while I wait out this 90 day period to kill it off.
<Read on... your other fishes are just sub-clinical... BobF>
Re: Tangs with White Spot (possible Crypt) Overstocking. 4/29/2009

Sorry for thee lack of information
<Hello Youssef, no problem>
My tank 55 gallons with sump; mechanical filter and wet and dry.
Inside I have 4 small blue tangs (hippo)
<There is no way four hippo Tangs will survive in a 55 gallon tank.>
1 large Sailfin < Grows to 16", needs a minimum of 150 gallons, 300 gallons would actually be better.>
2 Pseudochromis <Aggressive>
1 small blue damselfish <Aggressive>
2 percula clown fish <Aggressive>
1 small yellow wrasse
2 yellow clown gobies
2 cleaner shrimps
1 blue cleaner wrasse
Thanks in advance
<Youssef, your tank is dangerously overstocked. The mix of fish you have in this tank is not sustainable. It is likely that your hippo Tang does have Ich Hippo Tangs are more vulnerable to it than most, especially when stressed.>
<You will need to set up some sort of hospital or quarantine tank.
<Do consider returning most of these fish to the store. Do read here
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stocking1.htm >

Re: More Re: Hurricanes, Ick, and the like... 11/17/08 Bob, <Tom> Thanks for the follow up. I don't have questions much as updates. I had a lengthy discussion with Dr. Bryan at Natl. Fish Pharm regarding this disease. I have not had any success in treating it. I have kept Quinine in the water constantly, always with the same results - Ich present the next morning, only on this one fish. The Tomato Clown has shown some cysts present, but not always, and no where near the number as on this Atlantic Blue Tang (100+). <Dang!> Dr. Bryan said what you said in your reply... that something might be pulling the medication out of the system. There is no carbon in the tank, nor any poly filters. The UV filter has been off. The protein skimmer has been running, but only for water flow - the air intake has been off so it has not been skimming. If something is pulling medication out of the water, <The substrate... alkaline earth materials... mainly calcium, magnesium... little doubt> it is a mystery to me. The filtration is as follows: Fluval FX5, bio-media only; 150 gallon rated wet/dry filter, bio balls, standard blue/white filter pad rinsed weekly; Prism Pro skimmer with air flow turned off. Last night, I did a 20% water change and put the skimmer back on. The water quality has been deteriorating due to medication and lack of skimming, to the point where now I've got Cyanobacteria and excessive algae blooms. I have been doing partials throughout the treatment, but with the excessive treatment length and lack of skimming, I'm thinking the fish are suffering more from poor water quality than the parasite. <I agree with you> One interesting thing was that the last time I had to use this treatment, the quinine killed the Cyano... now it is not. It does seem like the medication is not in the water. So I guess I do have a question... how could medication be removed from the tank? <Again... mostly the chemical family mentioned (second column from the left in Mendelevian periodic charts... to lesser extents other materials in the water... I would move the fishes, treat elsewhere, sans substrate, other carbonaceous materials> I'm to the point where I'm thinking I may have to let this run its course. I have to move to a new house in a week and break this entire tank down. I won't take these fish to any dealer for fear of introducing this resistant strain of ick into any other systems. If all the fish die, then I can let it sit fallow for a few months, though I wonder if the ick will be gone even with that course of action. I hate the thought of doing that, though. I have some copper safe and a test kit, which I have not used. I'm sure that if I put that in there, all that live rock will absorb copper and be worthless from that point on. I've attached the best picture I could take of the tang, not that you can make much of the photo. <Is "beat"... thin... Do consider treating all in an "empty" setting> Thomas Roach
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Tang with powerful ich, re discussion Wednesday 11/17/2008 Hey, Mr. Fenner <Tom> I saw your reply posted on WetWeb, and haven't gotten the email yet so I wanted to add one bit of info. He does look 'beat' and thin... Wednesday night I gave him a FW dip to try and give him some relief, ph adjusted, for about 4 minutes. He still looks rough from that, but is eating well. I'm looking at some options for treating in a bare tank, and this is one of them, tell me your opinion.... When I move this tank this weekend, in theory I can set it up bare initially. I could leave the LR in a cooler with a powerhead while I do this, as long as necessary to let the LR go fallow. I've had a portion of LR, along with snails, hermits and starfish now for about a month, and I'm leaning towards leaving them separate even longer to fallow it out. The tank is 200 gallons, and running it with the filtration listed in the other email and quinine, would the bio media in the wet/dry and the FX5 be enough to eliminate ammonia/nitrite build up? <Should be, though there may be a lag time, a minor "mini-cycle"> Of course I'll be monitoring it, just wondering what you would expect. I think I'm not going to worry about the sand, as far as preserving bacteria. I'm going to give it a good freshwater rinsing to clean it before putting it back in, figuring the majority of the beneficial bacteria is on the LR anyhow. If this is the way to go, it will be done. Even if this fish passes, I'll be unable to add any other fish due to the presence of this scourge... I have to kill it one way or the other. Thomas Roach <Only experience can/will show here. Bob Fenner>

Naso Tang 007, hlth. 10/14/08 Dear Crew, First off, thank you for a wonderful web-site. I just happen upon it a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoying reading all the vast amount of information. It's very commendable of you to offer such a tremendous service. I do own a copy of CMA. Great book Dr. Fenner! <Mmm, no doctorate, just Bob, please> I'm somewhat of a newbie in that I left the hobby several years ago as time constraints (i.e. 3 children) along with moving to new residence kept me from re-establishing my tank. Anyhow, my reason for writing today is that I am starting up my 300 gal. FOWLR and have made my first fish purchase. One of the fish being a 6" Blonde Naso Tang. This fish was offered at discount through the retailer (F&S) you mention on your web-site frequently. (I wonder if it had been in their tank for long period of time, thus the reason for the discounted price?) <Possibly> I received the fish on Weds. afternoon and by Sat. morning he developed what appears to me to be Lateral Line Disease. I am attaching a picture for your review. <I see> The Naso was placed in quarantine tank 30 gal.(4' x 1' x 1' ) upon receipt on Weds. 10/08. The water in the quarantine tank is being treated each day with Kordon's Prevent Ich per their instructions. <Mmm, won't "treat" HLLE... in fact the ingredients here, the further stress... will drive all the other direction> Water parameters are as follows: spg 1.023, <Mmm, low, but likely better here for gas exchange purposes> ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates <5, temp. 76, ph 8.2. He is currently not accepting food i.e. mysis shrimp, krill dip in vita-chem, red algae w/garlic sheets, flakes, etc. <Stop! I would move this fish (back) into the 300 gallon setting... The etiology/causative mechanism of the syndrome shown won't "spread" as a consequence to other livestock... and otherwise the chance of this fish resolving is very small> He is not actively swimming around tank, occasional stroll and then sits on bottom. <More bad behavior> Today, Monday, he has started gilling. I have been using a power head position right at the water-line to agitate the surface so that there's plenty of air mixing with the water. <Mmm, not for this species... Move it> Could you please confirm my diagnoses and provide any other information on treatment as well as suggestions on what else can be done to save him. I read all that I could find own your web-site with respect HIHLL and seems to me that the general consensus for its cause is related to nutrition and water quality. <Yes, this is so> With that being the case, what could have caused this condition in such a short period of time (3 1/2 days) given the water parameters? <Stress period... as you speculate, just how long has this fish been kept, moved about in sub-par conditions?> Your response most appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Emailing: Naso Tag 007... reading... Crypt 10/14/08 Thank you Bob for your response. <Welcome Scott> Sorry about calling you Dr. but, a man of with your wealth of knowledge and experience certainly qualifies you to be one. Just wanted to clarify a few things. First off, the Tang did perish yesterday afternoon ( I wish I had received your reply sooner as I would have acted on your advise to move him). Secondly, I was following the personal recommendation of one Kordon's scientist/marine biologist who said I should quarantine all tangs for about six weeks <Mmm, please see at least WWM re my opinions here and rationale for same... we differ> and treat the quarantine tank initially with Kordon's organic Prevent Ich product <... and my input re this product. NOT reliable> for seven days and stop if no Ich presents. He stated that Tangs were notorious for carrying Ich <This is so> and by using this product it would likely eradicate any internal/external parasites( I assumed he wasn't giving me a sales pitch!). <Mostly> The HIHLL problem did not present until after nearly two days of quarantining. <Likely the Kordon product was more cause here...> I did not realize that the product in question would create additional stress as there is no information to contrary on Kordon's Prevent Ich label/ web-site. Thirdly, I did not do a freshwater dip as your web-site seemed to indicate that this method should not be utilized for Tangs unless parasites were observed on the fish prior to placing it in the quarantine tank. Would this have made a difference for this fish? <Perhaps... but... only can guess> So should I be employing a different strategy for my quarantining fish? <... you should... read> This Kordon product is somewhat new and does not require water changes during treatment (tremendous benefit). <... again, take a look on the BBs... others input... Kordon is a good co., with many fine products... this is not one of them> All other fish, yellow tang, blue hippo, and one spot fox face seem to be doing fine during this treatment. Thank you again for your time. Scott

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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