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FAQs about Isopods 1

Related FAQs: Isopods 2, & FAQs on: Isopod Identification, Isopod Control, Isopod Reproduction... & Crustacean Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Disease 1, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Disease 4, Parasitic Disease 5, Parasitic Disease 6, Parasitic Disease 7, Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Related Articles: Isopod Crustaceans, Crustacean Parasitic Disease, Shrimp

Creature Id - Sphaeromatid Isopod - 8/8/07 Hi, guys. <Hi Jason> I've been reading on your site for a long time and it has been very helpful to me. <Always good to hear!> I have found something that I cannot identify and I was wondering if you could help. <Hope so> I am including a picture and a link to my youtube videos to see it in movement. <That's great, thanks!> It looks like some sort of bug. <It certainly does, doesn't it?> It lives in my refugium and is about 3/8 inch in length with a tan colored segmented body. It has many tiny legs under its body which it uses to crawl around in my Chaeto and two large spike appendages on its posterior section. It has two little black beady eyes <Heee!> and I can't find info anywhere. Can you help? <Yes! It’s an isopod (and a male, at that) in the Family Sphaeromatidae, otherwise known as a Sphaeromatid.> Is it OK to have? <Yep, these are harmless little scavengers.> Have I found something new? <Heee! Well, indeed it may be new to your tank! Please see this link for more info: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/rs/index.php. Also, halfway down the page at this WWM link, see query titled “Critter IDs Please, with photos attached”: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopodfaqs.htm . You can clearly see those beady little eyes you referred to!> Thank you Jason <You're very welcome, and enjoy! -Lynn> Video links... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI4ulf8rDdc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znaUnSXTAhA

Satan... is an Isopod?    7/17/07 Bob, I swear, if I believed there was a Satan, I imagine this is what s/he would look like: http://www.quartzcity.net/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/giant-isopod.jpg ;-) Sara <Heeee! Can you imagine being on the deep sea floor bottom with a whole bunch of these ginormous rolly pollies!? No thanks! B>

Crazy Bug?? Isopod ID   7/13/07 Dear Crew, Happy Friday. I found this bug swimming frantically around my tank this morning before the lights came on. This thing is BIG--like 3/4" long. It does not appear to be an amphipod--almost looks like a sand flea that one finds at the beach. <Ugh, heaven have mercy, it's an isopod. I'm not an isopod expert, so I can't tell you for sure if it's an Aegid or Cirolanid, but my money is on Cirolanid. In any case, they're horrid little creatures. Granted, many of them are scavengers. However, unlike the happy bristle worm scavengers, many of them have the propensity to turn into blood-sucking little horrors if they get hungry enough. Other species are actually obligate blood sucking parasites (which means they have to feed on the blood of your fish... or your blood even). And they're crafty too. Many of the parasitic ones will only attack your fish at night when you're not looking. So your fish can slowly die of anemia before you ever see them. I know this might all sound like a bad camp-fire horror story, but it's true. And do keep your hands out of the tank at night. They don't always know a fish from a human and blood is blood. ;)> Can you ID it for me and tell me whether it's good or bad and where it came from (I presume my live rock)? <It's most likely bad or could become bad. And yes, it probably came in on live rock. How do your fish look? If you see any spots on them or if they start to look sick, you could have a serious problem.> Thanks! <De nada, Sara M.> Andy

Re: Crazy Bug??  – 07/14/07 Sara, Based on the pictures contained in the following webpage, I think my blood sucking deviant is an Aegid Isopod. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/rs/index.php <Yep, that's a great article and the one I referred to after seeing your bug. I can see why you'd say it's an Aegid. Maybe it is. But look at the shape of the final segment, it's more of a triangle and pointy (like the Cirolanid). And look at where the eyes are on the first segment. The Aegid's eyes seem to go past the first segment into the second segment whereas the eyes of the Cirolanid stay within the first segment. But anyway, we could probably talk about this all day and still not know for sure. Like I said, it takes someone with a more intimate knowledge of isopods to be certain. But I will look for such a person and see if we can't settle this. :-) In any case, I think both types are probably equally vile. Best,
Sara M.>

Mystery pod   5/24/07 Hello there, <Hello to you> I purchased copepods from a supplier and received this isopod in the bag.  The guy states that it will only eat algae <Mmmm> but I am worried that the bag of copepods might have smaller ones and I won't be able to see them for awhile.  I didn't put the bag of pods in my tank. <Not this one I hope/trust> I am trying to culture them for my mandarin. Here are some pics of this creature.  It doesn't look like a Cirolanid because it seems to have long appendages on the back same as with the Aegid.  I am wondering if it is a Sphaeromatid. Thank you for your assistance. Cher <This could be a member of any of these three families. I would exclude it from your system. Bob Fenner>

Re: mystery pod   5/24/07Hi Bob, If I mail it to you, would you be able to tell what it is then? Cher <Mmm, better to call around the local college/s... that have an organismal Bio. or better, Zoology Dept.... See if someone there does much with Isopod Taxonomy. If not someplace close, I'd check the Net re who you might mail it to... ask how to preserve... Bob Fenner>

Re: oh, and good luck, Isopod ID    5/24/07 Good luck finding someone to ID isopods!!! I did a summer of that as fresh marine biology graduate for an environmental survey company.   And isopods were possibly the worst things to ID. I'm impressed if a layman can get them down to family level by eye; even with a microscope doing much better than genus was often impossible. Cheers, Neale <Ah, yes... I sorted and Id'd benthic marine invert.s (mainly errantiate polychaetes) locally for a couple of years as a grad student... Some eye strain now! BobF>

-Possible Isopod issues-   1/20/06 Hello all! <Hello, Justin with you this evening.> First of all, THANK YOU so very much for your amazing site!  It is such a wealth of fantastic information, and is truly (in my humble opinion) the best wet-pet resource on the web! <Well its all due to many people who help, and the crew here. Ill pass your thanks on to Bob.> I currently maintain a 120G fish-only tank.  In addition to the 3" puffer (Diodon holocanthus), there is also a 4" angel (Pomacanthus imperator), 4" lion (Pterois volitans) and a couple of small (1-1.5") damsels.  Salinity - 1.021, Temp - 80*F, Ammonia - 0, Nitrites - 0; Nitrates - 5ppm. <An interesting mix, have you seen any aggression out of the Lionfish?  most of the time puffers, and lions may squabble, much to the lions detriment when the puffer breaks off spins or nips fins.  do keep an eye out for long term issues.  You also will probably need a bit bigger tank long term for these guys as all the fish get to 15" + other than the damsels.> A couple of days ago, I noticed a small white spot medial to my puffer's left eye.  The spot does not look like Oodinium or ick, but is rather large (2-3mm) and flat.  This morning, I noticed two more ventral spots... also 2-3mm each, flat, and completely circular!  They do not look like any sort of parasite that I know of, and it seems very strange to acquire trauma with those manifestations.  Also, the spots are bright solid white, and almost appear "indented" into the skin.  What on earth could this be? <The indented part seems very odd, as most parasites are bulges outward or bumps. It may be an isopod of some sort that has decided to attach on. they can be fairly easily treated in hypo salinity dips or by using a anti parasite medicine in a hospital tank for a few days.  However, From what you are saying it is hard to give you a definite answer on it.  Can you maybe send in a good photo of the area in question.  It would be much more helpful in identifying the culprit if one exists.  Also herding the puffer into a container and gently rubbing the area to see if it comes off or is an actual indentation may save you further headache here.  My puffer enjoys digging up substrate (I have sand) and little pieces get stuck in the spines and look very odd and are a similar size to what you are saying.  Also mine enjoys playing in the sump return pipe and getting micro bubbles all over him as well.  It could be a benign item like that.> His attitude is perky as always, and he is eating great!  I am at a loss on this one... any ideas? <You have me a bit stumped as well on this, but Id check the basics first, and a gentle rubbing of your finger on the area may reveal a simple answer to your concern.  Try watching it for now and see if any more appear or if they disappear all together. I will forward this to Bob for some further ideas.  If you can grab a photograph of the area and send it in as I said above, it may be much more telling.> Thanks in advance for everything! Christine <Thank you for being clear, and including everything tank wise I needed to know to focus on the issue.  Hope we can figure this out.> <Justin (Jager)>  

Clownfish mouth... Isopod? What's up? I greatly appreciate all of your time, help, and effort with the site and the mounds of info you guys supply.  I have attached a picture of my TR gold stripe maroon clown. I just noticed the "thing" in his/her mouth yesterday and today it appears the same. I have had him/her for a year and he/she still acts the same and feeds with the same manors. Also there are no other marks on his/her body. To me, it appears to be a fungus or possibly a deformity in the jaw. Any info you can supply would be great and hopefully I e-mailed the picture correctly. If there is any other info I can supply please let me know because this is a great fish. 90 gallon 120 lbs of live rock 7 LPS xenias Schuran skimmer 30 gallon refugium 1 Powder Blue 1 Gold Stripe Maroon Thanks again, Greg <Not quite clear, but your Clown may well be infested with an Isopod. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopoda.htm Tough to extract, but if you want to give this a try, you'll need help, holding the fish... and with forceps, extracting the crustacean from the "tongue" bone of the Clown... can be done with or w/o anesthetic... Bob Fenner>

SW hitchhiker thing Hello gang, <Bryan> Hope all is well. I have a small 20g tank with a 2-1/2" Taenianotus Leaf Scorpion. Tank parameters are temp: 76-77F, NH3:0, NO2:0, NO3:20, Sal:30. Co-habitants include many Columbellid snails, 2 or 3 Clibanarius hermits, 1-1/2" Mithraculus type crab, Zoanthid polyps, a bundle of Chaetomorpha, and the usual micro/macro tag-a-longs. Filtration is by AquaC Remora and 25% IO water change weekly. The fish did a 4 week QT, no copper, no hypo or F/W dip. The rest of the tank (including live rock) was directly introduced. I noted this character on the surface film, 1/8" in diameter resembling a small freshwater Argulus louse. It breaks the surface tension and begins floating downward. I can see a swimming or oscillating motion but the sucker descends in a straight path... until it contacts the Leaf Scorpion and gloms onto the fish's side. The Scorpion reacts by doing its side-to-side thing. By morning, the little arthropod-y thing is gone. So... Is this little creature familiar to anyone? I realize the description is vague and pictures non-existent but was hoping that it is a common, non-pathogenic fellow. I will also check with Shimek. Thanks Bryan <Is it grey/ish in color... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopoda.htm.  Bob Fenner>   

Unidentified Creatures, Friend Or Foe? - -05/07/05 Dear WWM crew, Although I haven't heard back from you with regards to my last e-mail, I did in fact find a picture on-line of my mystery creature and I'm afraid it isn't good news.  It's described as a my isopod although google didn't give me any links when I tried that word.  I've attached the picture to this e-mail.  The website for Tampa Bay Live Rock is where I found this picture and they recommend that you remove it immediately as it will act as a fish parasite.  Do you know anything about these creatures? <What you have is an "isopod"...I believe the "my" was used to show possession as in "hey!  That's my isopod" <G>.  These organisms are indeed parasitic, have a read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopodfaqs.htm and on the associated links in blue.> Thank you again for everything that you guys do! Best wishes, Karen <Regards, Eric R.>

Isopod with a taste for Beef Steak Dear Bob, <Bob is out right now. Mike G here> I just woke up this morning to find that my young tomato clown, BeefSteak, had some sort of external parasite attached to his posterior dorsal fin.  <Never a good sign.> The organism appears fairly complex and I can observe a segmented body along with two spots which seem to be eyes. I would estimate it's size to be somewhere around 2-4mm in length and of a light grey color, darker grey near the head. <Sounds to me like a Cirolanid Isopod> My best guess would be that this is some form of an isopod although I've never seen one attached to a fin in this way and it is rather small. <Everything starts small and grows when provided with nourishment. In this case, your fish is providing the nourishment.> I don't know if I'd be able to get the little clown out of my 55 gallon reef without destroying anything in the process. Do you think I should worry about this little parasite, because I most definitely am. <ANYTHING attached to and feeding on your fish should concern you.> I mainly do not want him spreading to any of my other fish. Any information you can give me would be much appreciated. <Here are a few articles and FAQs on Cirolanid Isopods. http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/rs/index.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopoda.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopodfaqs.htm  I wish you the best of luck in exterminating this parasite. Mike G>

External Parasite Good day, <And thou> I recently purchased a Percula Clown fish and he is doing well.  The next morning I observed something attached to his rear tail fin.  It was transparent like having 2 small black eyes and many little legs underneath.  It was almost like a pill bug but more skinny in width and see through (you can see its insides).  It even had a tail of some sort and closely resembles a small crustacean or something. What is this? <Likely as you describe, infer... a parasitic isopod> I immediately removed the clown fish and placed him in a freshwater dip for about 3 minutes.  This thing obviously didn't like the fresh water and soon fell off swimming in circles on the bottom and eventually dying. <Good move!> Did this thing come from the live rock in the tank (I have 27 pounds in a 55 gallon setup).  It obviously came from somewhere because it was not attached to the clown when I purchased him at the store.  I searched long and hard to find a photo of this thing and I can't find out what it was.  So far this is an isolated incident.  Should I be on the lookout for more or should some sort of treatment be started.  Or, did I do the right thing and I can sit back and relax because this won't hurt the fish.  If this happens again do I proceed the same way? <Yes, yes, yes> Thanks for taking the time to help, Dave <Take a read here Dave: http://wetwebmedia.com/isopoda.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top)... such incidents are rare, but do happen in aquariums. Bob Fenner>

External Parasite Good day,<Hello, MikeB here.> I recently purchased a Percula Clown fish and he is doing well.  The next morning I observed something attached to his rear tail fin.  It was transparent like having 2 small black eyes and many little legs underneath.  It was almost like a pill bug but more skinny in width and see through (you can see its insides).  It even had a tail of some sort and closely resembles a small crustacean or something. What is this? I immediately removed the clown fish and placed him in a freshwater dip for about 3 minutes.  This thing obviously didn't like the fresh water and soon fell off swimming in circles on the bottom and eventually dying. Did this thing come from the live rock in the tank (I have 27 pounds in a 55 gallon setup).  It obviously came from somewhere because it was not attached to the clown when I purchased him at the store.  I searched long and hard to find a photo of this thing and I can't find out what it was.  So far this is an isolated incident.  Should I be on the lookout for more or should some sort of treatment be started.  Or, did I do the right thing and I can sit back and relax because this won't hurt the fish.  If this happens again do I proceed the same way? Thanks for taking the time to help, Dave <Dave, try looking up Planarian on the internet.  My hunch is that it is a flatworm parasite.  It can be prevalent in fish that are purchase and not quarantined for an extended amount of time.  I would suggest keeping a close eye on the fish an make sure it doesn't come back.  If it does then quarantine it.  Thanks MikeB.> <<Likely is a pill bug... a parasitic Isopod. RMF>>

Isopod identification continued Hello,  As always thanks for all the help, answers and ideas you provide.  I just need some help identifying what type of Isopod?? this is as I am 1 week away from moving my liverock to my main display tank and noticed these creatures.  I have be unable to tell if they are the Sphaeromatids, Cirolanids, or Aegids? I have attached 2 photos to help. Please help as I would rather fight them if needed in the QT tank then in the Main display. << I wouldn't hesitate to add them to my tank.  I think you'll be fine.  Your other email with references to the Reefkeeping article was helpful.  I think the author of that article could be of value here. >> Thank you for you help. Mark
<<  Blundell  >>
Isopod identification Just thought you would like to know that I was reading the Reefkeeping issue http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/rs/index.htm and noticed the following in regards to Sphaeromatids "They can be recognized immediately by a couple of distinctive characters. First, each individual has the capability to roll into a ball-like terrestrial pill bug. None of the other isopods likely to be found aquaria will be able do that." So I decided to try see if I could get a couple of them I have in a container to roll up. After about 2 seconds of touching them with a zip tie I was able to get all 3 of them to roll up. Does that mean that they are definitely are "Sphaeromatids" or is it still possible they are "Cirolanid". << Well that is a way tough question. I would be tempted to contact the author of that Reefkeeping article and ask them about it.  Sounds to me like they are Sphaeromatids. >> Thanks for you assistance in identification. <<  Blundell  >>

Isopod identification continued Just wanted to let you know that I contacted the author or the article below "Dr. Ron" at Reefcentral and he confirmed that these are Sphaeromatids. << Sounds good. >> As always thank you for your assistance. << Glad you got it all worked out. >> Mark <<  Blundell  >>

Parasitic Isopods Hello guys! <Hi there! Scott F. in today> I really need some help. I just set up a new 150 gallon reef and released some fish I've had for some time into it. About a week later (last night) I discovered a small (1/8 to perhaps 1/4 inches) isopod has attached itself to the tail of one of my pajama cardinals. <Yuck> I have not had a chance to even try to capture the fish yet. I know I must capture and remove. I guess what I am asking is I have heard that once you have one (one RC) you likely have a lot more and a typical nightmare. Please tell me this isn't true. It doesn't say that in Bob's book! If it is what should I do? Thank you all so much. Brian <Well, Brian- where there is one, there could be others. Don't run off headless and do something that you'll regret later. Short of "nuking" the tank with aggressive medications (which I DO NOT recommend), you just need to stay very vigilant, and be prepared to remove any fishes that become afflicted with these guys in the future. Remain calm, observe your fish very carefully, and stay alert! Sometimes the best course of action is not to do anything...Regards, Scott F> 

Pesticides for killing isopods... ahhhh, No. 5/10/04 Hi Guy's <howdy!> Great site! <thanks kindly> Was wondering what your thoughts are on the use of dog heartworm medication (Melbemycine oxime) to eradicate Cirolanid Isopods. <a dreadful idea/advocation... its efficacy runs the gamut, but more importantly, it will kill far many more desirable crustaceans in the main display than bad ones. The bad ones should be/have been easily screened in  a proper 4 week quarantine on arrival> I'm aware I'll loose all crustaceans, at least the ones I don't remove, but see very few options. <ahhh.. OK. Although I cannot agree> I believe they arrived in the aqua cultured LR that I cycled the tank with. <yes... they are common in Florida live rock... especially that dreadful heavy stuff from shallow coastal waters (many parasites there)> Tank has been up and running for about 6 months. The predatory Isopods made their presence know, at least to me, only this past week. I've caught and removed 3 pods from two different fish. <sigh... I regret you have learned this way as many of us do. But QT is not an option, and must be done for all things wet: fishes, corals, live rock, sand, plants... everything! There are too many pests, predators and diseases that can and will be carried in with live products> A tank raised Perc. And a bi-color angel. The tank is 72g bow front, 85lbs of LR, 4inch sand bed, Thanks for your thoughts on this. Mike <remove the fishes to QT and trap for isopods in the display with meat. Read more on this in the FAQs on this subject in our archives at wetwebmedia.com. Anthony>

Parasitic Isopod? When I got up and checked my fish today, I couldn't find one of my Clowns. After searching, I found him on the top floating and thought he was dead. After he twitched a little, I saw a worm about 1/2" long attached to his side ( It looked almost like one of those bugs in the yard that roll up into a ball when you touch them or like a baby Armadillo as my daughter calls them). I got the digital camera and turned on the light to get a photo. I got two semi clear ones but the thing jumped off and disappeared. The clown has a laceration on his side but seems to be doing OK right now. What should I do? I have attached one of the photos.  Tank is a 110 gal FOWLR 60lbs live rock. Approximately 1 month since setup. <Well, this is a really wild photo of what appears to be a parasitic isopod, a potentially nasty parasite. I'd keep an eye on the clown, and possibly do a dip in Methylene blue in a separate container of tank water, just to avoid a possible infection. Meanwhile, you may have to consider the tank "hot", if this nasty parasite is still alive in there. I'd read up on these creatures on the WWM site, and consider an appropriate course of action. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Isopods? 4/6/04  Much appreciated Anthony. I really cannot track anything back to an Atlantic addition to this new tank.  <and they are not restricted to the Atlantic, or even tropical waters for that matter - they are global... like Elvis. They simply are most common in our hobby from Atlantic substrates>  The only things that had been in the tank when they were first noticed are sand (CaribSea) new bags, and Marshall Island Live rock from Premium Aquatics. Tank and all filtration were new. It has to be the LR!  <yes>  I am going to set up a trap method tonight with 1" airline tube, filter floss, and thawed fish. I could seal and send you a specimen?  <I'm really not an expert on microcrustaceans... Ron Shimek really is more experienced/able and interested in such matters. Do consult him at reefcentral.com to send a sample perhaps>  Any thought on taking a good out of water pic? Steve  <above or below the water in a confined area (deli cup perhaps)... I prefer using a flash most always for fast shutter speed. Anthony>

Parasitic Isopods And The Aquarists Who Hate Them! Thank you for your reply, Scott.  I originally believed that velvet killed my new fish and did not look very closely at the dead bodies for other causes.  The velvet was so obviously all over each fish.  Now that I have found the isopods, I also wonder if they played any role in the fish deaths, and that I simply did not think to look for multiple causes at the time. I'm beginning to think these isopods may not parasitic.  From a couple of sources, it is said that isopods which can roll up and swim upside down will be detritivores.  My bugs do both, but I am still very confused. <I have not heard that, but it seems like an interesting theory! I suppose that they could have played some sort of role, but I agree that velvet was probably the primary killer..> As you stated in an earlier reply that feeding the tank meaty foods would definitely prolong the parasitic isopods' lives.  Are you now saying that any decaying food, even plant matter, would give these guys enough to eat until a tasty fish comes their way? <In theory, yes! That's why it is tough to eradicate these little pests.> If so, I'm sorta scr*wed, then, aren't I? <Nope...Just challenged...You will win this battle...> How about if I add household non-scented ammonia to the tank instead of meaty or vegetable foods that will decay? <Personally, if it were me, I'd simply leave things alone, and I'd conduct regular maintenance on the tank. I believe that respiration and metabolic processes of the existing fauna in the tank will provide sufficient ammonia to keep things going> The tank is 72g, with 80+ lbs of LR, lots of soft corals, some unidentified but beautiful macroalgae, 3" aragonite sandbed, and about a mix of 30 Astrea and margarita snails.  Any suggestions to save the tank but kill off the isopods, if they prove to be parasitic, are very, very welcome. Again, thank you for your time and expertise. <Well, it is certainly possible to employ biological controls, such as hogfish, and Meiacanthus species blennies, to mention a few. They are not 100% reliable, but they have been cited by some hobbyists to be predators against these little nasties. In the end, careful observation and patience will be the best counterattack for you. Remember, although they can be dangerous, many fishes can survive the attacks of these creatures until you can treat them. Usually, very small fishes or fry are more likely to suffer fatal occurrences as a result of isopods. Again, I think that diligence and patience on your part will win out. Short of totally breaking down the tank, this is your best strategy! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Critter IDs Please, with photos attached The first photo is of a worm that looks like a bristleworm, but has some differences.   <agreed... is Polychaetous, but not specifically a "bristleworm".> Have seen this 3" worm on the glass of my 42 gal reef a few times during the day. Doesn't look like a bristleworm because of the "mop" head, and BWs don't usually come out in broad daylight. Photo taken at 4:30 pm, just around feeding time.  There appears to be no damage to corals or fish in the reef this worm is in. <I frankly have no idea what this worm is but am comfortable that most are overwhelmingly safe if not useful as scavengers. You might send that pic to Dr Ron Shimek over on ReefCentral.com (he has his own forum)> The last three photos are of three bugs we sucked out of a well established 72g reef in which had recently lost all our new fish, mostly dwarf and larger angels.   <my friend... please (!) do be careful. Watch your own hands in this tank. They are parasitic isopods and actually can nip/bite you. We have some data on our wetwebmedia site about them as well as in our Reef Invertebrates book. Much abroad on the net too about them. Treatment is possible but an effort> Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the tank at the time of the last fish death were 0 ppm.  Had the flashlights out the other night and these bugs were swimming about near the front glass, though some were walking on the sandbed at times. Looks like some kind of isopod, but I cannot say for sure from all the research I've done if they are parasitic or not.   <they appear to be to me> The bugs were about 1/8th of an inch in length when first caught. Have since set up a 5g tank with LR, sandbed and macroalgae from reefs that do not contain these bugs and have added a green Chromis to determine if the bugs will infest the fish.  Over the week the fish has been in the 5g, the bugs have grown twice their original size, have been seen on the glass and sandbed, and the Chromis remains healthy.   <the Chromis for now may be too small and/or fast> Currently in the 72 gal, at night, there are pinhead sized bugs on the glass that look like the young of the three bugs now in the 5g. Can you please ID the worm?   <I'll call him Joey> Also, can you tell from the photos of the bugs if they are parasitic? <seems so yes> If they are, I imagine a long period of time, say 2-4 months, without fish would eliminate these bugs if they are parasitic and have no hosts. <actually... they are on record going over 6 months and still surviving> It has been 3 weeks since the last fish died.  During the fallow period I am continuing to feed the tank daily to maintain high levels of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria until the time we will stock the 72g with fish again. TIA for your time and consideration. Beverly <wishing you the best of luck my friend. Anthony>

Thanks, Dr. Ron! (A Happy Ending) Scott, <Hi there again!> I wanted to let you know that the bugs pics I sent you were IDed by Dr. Shimek as sphaeromatids and are harmless.  The Chromis in the 5g test tank did not become infested with them in the three weeks they were together.  All is good :)  Thanks for your time :) Beverly Edmonton AB Canada <Well, no one likes a happy ending more than me! Glad that Dr. Ron was able to ID these little creatures for you! Onwards! Regards, Scott F.>

Critter IDs Please 12/12/03 Anthony, I wanted to let you know that the bugs pics I sent you were IDed by Dr. Shimek as sphaeromatids and are harmless.  The Chromis in the 5g test tank did not become infested with them in the three weeks they were together.  All is good :)  Thanks for your time :) <much thanks fo0r sharing this, Beverly. I will be sure to reference it and consider. Thanks kindly, Anthony>

Sweetlips Isopod I saw your article "Grunts, Porkfish & Sweetlips" online and your photograph of a Diagramma pictum with a couple of parasitic isopods on its head.  Did you collect any of these isopods? <No, just took the picture>   Would you like to have them identified?   When was the photograph taken? <In Pulau Redang, Malaysia, about two years ago> Thank you. Bert Ernest H. Williams, PhD, Prof., Dept. Marine Sciences, Univ. Puerto Rico <Thank you for your interest, offer. Bob Fenner>

Parasitic Isopods 6/11/03 I recently managed to capture a small .5 inch isopod in my 10 gallon reef aquarium. <yikes!> Amazingly, I had to pull an all nighter to capture this bug in a mantis shrimp trap in which we thought the isopod was a mantis. I have tried the last several nights to find another one using the same method, yet i have not seen one since. <indeed... many are only nocturnal> I am not quite sure if they are all gone, or maybe i have more, so i was wondering if there might be any more methods of capturing another and possibly the babies. Alex <meat in a cage... literally. And a sacrificial fish in a mesh container just the same if you must. These parasites can be scary and hard to remove. They certainly can bite you just the same... look out :p Anthony>

Question about an Isopod in my Tank. Hi, I have recently cycled my tank and I am noticed tons of these little guys running around my tank.  They seem to hang around the back wall and on the glass.   <Thus far> I recently moved and I have all my fish in a 100 g Rubbermaid stock tank for the last 3 months during the setup and cycling of my new tank.  I put 300lbs of Fiji rock into the tank to start a new system. I am ready to start adding my fish, but I am extremely worried that I might have the BAD isopods and I do not want to expose my fish to them. <Me too> I have some pictures of the creatures as well as a thread I started on reefcentral.com trying to get some information about them.  I got some responses but nothing definite.  If you could please take a look at the thread, here you can download the images and possible, hopefully let me know if I am ok or not.   I really want to put my fish into the new system but I don't want to hurt them.   <Will look> I know you guys are extremely busy, but if you could take a quick peek and maybe get back to me today that would be extremely awesome!  I met Bob Fenner at a talk he did here in Colorado at Marine Showcase.  I think he would remember me, my company is designing and building the website for Aqua-Medic USA. <Ah yes, I recall> Here is the link to that thread: <A href=" http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=196239">http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=196239 > Thank you, John Michael <I would try a "test fish" here... perhaps a damsel or two... to see if this species of isopod is a "fish eater" or no. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question about an Isopod in my Tank. Did you find anything out yet? :) John <No definitive way (from a pic) to tell the habits of this isopod species... hence the suggestion to try "test fish" at this juncture. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question about an Isopod in my Tank. Hi, Is it true that only one kind of isopod can roll up like a ball, like a rolly polly bug? I found this in an article and the kind that can are scavengers.  Mine roll up into a ball. John <Do think many can roll up... a defensive mechanism. Bob Fenner> Creature from movie" Alien" has got my pajama cardinal! Guys, woke up today to find this creature, isopod i guess, clamped on the face, mouth, of my cardinal. Did not look like the poor fish could open his mouth, just like in the Alien movie. Tried to catch fish but impossible in 450 reef tank. Worried these monsters could get out of control, only seen one though. Does any type of fish eat these things? <Not really. Good idea to get/use a fish trap (these are sold in the pet-fish industry (there's an ad in FAMA currently...) or from large warehouse stores (they're the same plastic traps for small rodents, but no fish sticker...> I recently moved a few pieces of rock from refugium to main tank and assume that is how this thing got into main tank. It is quite large, over 1/4 inch. Thanks, Paul <Maybe... bizarre. Catch the host, remove and toss. Bob Fenner>

Cirolanid Isopod Hey bob, I've noticed a wide spread of Cirolanid Isopods in my 18gal live rock tank. I'm guessing the liverock has introduced them into my tank. I read that you recommended a wrasse in trying to exterminate these "bugs". What type would you recommend?  <Mmm, would try baiting, trapping these out in such a small system... likely any labrid that might do the job would be too big. You can make a tube (plastic pipe, clear or not) lightly stuffed with "filter fiber" with a meaty food in the middle... and "fish" at night> Would a common cleaner wrasse do the job? <No> thanks, Jason <Catch them, remove them, study them. Bob Fenner>

Interesting Find-Cirolanid Isopod Hello Bob et al; I started up a marine tank about 10 days ago. I have been reading and researching on your site for the last few months. My tank has been cycling about 10 days now (ammonia is starting to go down, and nitrites are coming up.) A couple of nights ago, I found what I believed was a Cirolanid isopod, on the substrate, after lights out. I tried to net the sucker, but missed and he went into the live rock somewhere. The next night I put a coke bottle trap in. About an hour after lights out, I looked in the trap, he wasn't in there, BUT he was sitting in the sand outside the trap. Once again I got my net, and with a little skill and a lot of luck, I CAUGHT HIM. I had my wife take pictures of him and I have attached them to this email. Question: Is this the dreaded Cirolanid Isopod? His length was about 3/4 of an inch long. <Not so dreaded... but an isopod. Bob Fenner>
Thanks; Kevin
Re: Interesting Find-Cirolanid Isopod Hello again Bob; Thanks for your quick reply. I have learned a lot from you and your colleagues. But, I thought that the Cirolanid isopods were bad to have in your tank, because they are parasites to fish. I read that they can kill your fish one by one. I thought that they could be identified from harmless isopods by their big eyes, which is why I thought that the one I caught was the bad kind. Maybe I should have left him in the tank. (He's dead now though). Can you clarify? <These crustaceans are rarely of consequence in captive systems, and easily removed as individuals. Bob Fenner> Thanks for providing a great site for all of us interested in the hobby to learn!!! <It is (generally) a great joy, and source of enlightenment to me as well> Kevin D

Cirolanid isopods I hope I'm being helpful... What I've found so far: Fresh water dips may or may not be effective. Reports of these things living for hours in freshwater are not uncommon. Some respond immediately to freshwater dips, others not. <Yes> Putting raw fish into a narrow necked vase can be used to trap them. I'll assume that the cut off coke bottle top inverted into bottom of the bottle would work as well, but see no reports. <Can work... I like a clear tube (plastic, glass) with coarse filter fiber jammed on either side of the meat bait... to entangle the to-be-removed pests (so they don't get out when you're retrieving the trap). The white polyethylene "Grobflocken" by Eheim is best IMO here> There is some talk of juvenile hogfish being effective, but some doubt among others. Some report of Canary blennies, but they seem not to be effective. It seems that the pods will attach to the inside of the blenny's mouth, tongue, or gills and drop off as though it were external upon lights on. The hogfish are reported to be smart enough to chew before swallowing. They reproduce sexually, about 30 at a time. I'm trying the vase method. We'll see. Some have reported trapping over a hundred of them. Reef Central is replete with mail and articles on the critters. <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

Fish Lice I wrote last week about fish lice, I've received no answer as yet. <our sincere apologies, but we having e-mail difficulties. We received no message and intentionally ignored none> I'm a little further down the road than I was then. Please, if you will, give your somewhat more seasoned opinion than mine on my thoughts and intended course of action. I have an infestation of what I know to be fish lice (Argulus). They are exactly as pictures I've seen and are in the 1/3 to 1/2 inch in size. They came in on uncured live rock from Florida. <hmmm... are you sure that you are not referring to marine parasitic isopods (Anilocra sp and the like)? There is a picture of one attached to a grouper in Bob's great book (CMA)> As every form of treatment I have come across (Potassium permanganate, Dimilin, Copper and Phosphates).  <hmm... freshwater dips and bait are generally sufficient. Do be VERY careful of using these metals as treatment. Certainly not in your main display with rock and sand (will contaminate calcareous media).> I have found no other general remedy. Fresh water dips are effective on the infected fish, but these guys feed at night and run for cover when the lights are on. <actually FW dips are best... you really cannot have that many "lic" in the tank. And none that cannot be baited with fresh meat on a string> It seems inevitable that I should remove and dispose of all live rock and live sand.  <OMG... that's insane, my friend. Please... take a deep breath, simply bait the tank with neat and FW dip infected fish on sight as needed. In short time all will be fine. To avoid this in the future be sure to QT all forms of aquatic life for a full and proper 4 weeks... fish, inverts and live rock. You have this problem because of eagerness to stock the tank with fish, which was really an ill-advised risk at any level to put fish into a tank with uncured live rock under one month aged regardless of what your chemistry said> I intend to purchase some "Texas Holey Rock". Luckily I'm in Austin, Texas, and the stuff can be had for around $0.25 a pound.  <but it is not live and will take over one year to become anywhere near as biologically diverse as the worst quality ocean harvested product> I then intend to go to the LFS and get a "seed" live rock and see where it goes from there. Another $6.00 a pound for the stuff is out of the question. <agreed... your rock is fine... just QT in the future (please, especially with the fish. You spend all of that money on a system and then play Russian roulette by firing unscreened animals into the display...or fish at the unscreened rock)> I believe this will be nearly as effective and after some amount of time, should yield a similar appearance. <I disagree strongly. It will take more than a year and still never be as diverse. Else you are assuming that the one piece of random "seed" rock you buy is not only as diverse as all of the other rock you have, but that the diversity with all breed and thrive in proportion and that no one organism will out compete the others into local extinction. I assure you.>  The question comes to livestock. I currently have a few emerald crabs, several hermits, some polyps, a carpet anemone, and three fish that seem to be of little interest to the lice. Are any of the salvageable? <all> With the large amount of uncured live rock being sent out, I find it hard to believe my experience is unusual.  <the experience is common, the reaction is unusual <smile>> Perhaps a FAQ on Argulus is in order, I'd happily help write such a thing for your approval. <that would be a tremendous help! Please do photograph and document and lets see where it goes. Do save a specimen and get an accurate ID on it too. Many local Universities can help with this> Thanks in advance! Best regards, Dale Chatham BTW, the tank can be seen at http://dale.chatham.org/Aquarium/ChathamReef/ChathamReef-001.html <Dale... I checked out the link. Your "wood's polyps" are actually Cornularia (or perhaps Clavularia) popularly known as Clove or Glove polyps...very hardy and fast growing with good strong water movement (but can suffer and die quickly without it). And the "pipe" corals are also known as solitary cup corals and may be any one of a number of like (resemblance) genera including Cladocera. Do look into Paul Humann's, Reef Coral for a better ID if you like. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Fish Lice Robert, Thanks for your earlier advice. I have done a bit more research and I think I have a definite candidate: Cirolanid isopods. The range is right, the size is right, and their tenacity and downright meanness is right. Here is the first link: http://rshimek.com/rogue%27s_gallery.htm#Cirolanid%20Isopods And, if one reads this link: http://www.reefs.org/library/article/clarke_shimek.html The prospect looks grim indeed. It appears it takes months (seven or more) to rid one's tank of these beasties. Please let me know more about the baiting method and whether you think it will work on these guys or not. <I would look into a predator of choice here to eat these pests... a wrasse species perhaps... That, or doing a thorough dumping and cleaning job> http://rshimek.com/images/Aug%208/Andrew%20Hanus%20-Clown_isopod1.jpg This one is a dead ringer for what I had, except mine was about a half inch long. They are described not as parasites but as predators, which seems more the case. The articles also describe the nocturnal nature and the photophobia I've seen in the ones in my tank. Thanks! Dale <Devise a plan and act. Bob Fenner>

 

Parasitic Isopod I have a 90 gallon tank that's about three weeks old and is still going through the cycling process. I have a yellow tailed damsel an a domino damsel in the tank. I added some Fiji live rock that was cured in a LFS for 3-4 weeks. It is covered with coralline algae. Everything has been going well until this morning when I discovered (what I believe to be) a parasitic isopod attached to the domino damsel at the base of the anal fin. The domino also has some white abrasion/patches near his head (Last night when I turned the light off on the tank he looked perfect). The parasite is a yellowish color about 1/8+ of an inch long. I couldn't catch the damsel (they are fast little suckers) this morning before work so I decided that I would remove the rock from the tank and try to catch him this afternoon when I had more time. I called my wife a few hours later and she said that the parasite was no longer attached to the damsel. My questions are as follows: 1. What is this parasite and what do I need to do to get rid of it? <Likely an isopod as you state. Ridding it involves catching the host, and gingerly prying the crustacean off with tweezers... It is likely still in the tank... maybe even... Shades of Silence of the Damsels... in the fish's mouth!... check there... a common spot, attached to the palatine bones... removal, the same> 2. Why did it fall off? Is it because of the light, was it full from eating on the damsel or is it going to multiply and infest my tank? <Maybe any of these... but not reproducing on its own...> 3. What other parasites do I need to look out for from the Fiji live rock? <This is a very long list... but likely not to be the cause... the isopod likely was on the fish... not the rock... > 4. I've always heard that live rock is so good for marine systems, but now I have at least one type of parasite and god knows how many others. If I treat the tank with medications I will end up killing most of the beneficial organisms and bacteria along with the parasites. It seems like a waste to even use live rock. I've seen so much enfaces placed on quarantining fish and killing the parasites that come along for the ride on newly acquired livestock but no mention anywhere about the potential problems with live rock other than curing it, bristle worms and mantis shrimps. <The rock is overwhelmingly a good idea... and very unlikely a source of parasitic problems>  5. What do I do? Thanks, Tom Hettleman P.S. I have your book " the Contentious Marine Aquarist". It's one of the best books I've read on the subject. Thanks again! >> Contentious? Conscientious? You're making my day. Do just keep your eye on your livestock, and system, and try not to over worry... All will work out. Bob Fenner

I have a powder brown tang which has picked up a quarter of an inch long light brown crustacean on its anal fin. The bug looks kind of like a terrestrial rolly poly or pill bug. Also this thing seems to be pinching the fin. I already have a cleaner wrasse and shrimp. Do you know what this thing is and if and how I should get rid of it?  I bought your book this weekend and there the bug was right on page 148.  Also I have a white faced tang and I now feel pretty bad about buying that cleaner wrasse. Anyway the copepod disappeared after about 8 hours so I assume the cleaners got it. I am glad I bought your book. It answered a lot of questions and gave me a lot of ideas. Thanks for your time and Ill investigate further before submitting a question. Everett West >> Yes, this is a parasitic isopod... an aquatic type of rolly poly... and it is best to remove it by catching the fish and prising it off with a stout tweezers... Get ready and at the same time, daub a little mercurochrome or Merthiolate on the remaining sore with a "q-tip"... Bob Fenner

Isolating Isopods Hi JasonC, Good job filling in for Bob. <<why thank you... >> Can you give me some advice. I have a Sailfin tang with a parasite hanging on to its bottom fin. I'm pretty sure the parasite came in on a piece of liverock, but regardless its there. The thing looks like a white worm. Maybe 1/16 of a inch long and 1/32 of an inch thick. Pretty small but large enough to see some features on the parasite. I first noticed it about 2 weeks ago, and since it has doubled in size. There is now a small hole developing in the fin where the things mouth is. The tang does not show any signs that he is distressed yet, but I am afraid of letting this thing get to big, or if it reproduces god help me. I have a cleaner shrimp that cleans the tang from time to time, but the shrimp never touches this fin. I waited these two weeks hoping the shrimp would get it, but to no avail. Do you suggest a neon goby or cleaner wrasse to be added to the tank? If I could catch the tang (yeah right), would a fresh water dip be a better option? Would scraping it off with my nail work again if I could catch the tang. Last night I did notice 2 tiny white dots on another fin. I'm afraid these are small versions of the same parasite. <<Two courses of action here that I can think of, and both will require you to catch the fish. You can either manually remove the isopod, either with your fingers or tweezers OR freshwater dip it off - either one will work - the manual method will probably be quickest with the lowest trauma to the fish. Doubt the small dots you are seeing are the same thing, but if you've got one, you could have two... keep your eye on it.>> Thanks Mike T <<Cheers, J -- >>

Help with Treating Parasitic Isopods, Copepods Bob, <<Not Bob, but JasonC filling in while Bob is away diving.>> I visit your site quite frequently and have found it to be extremely helpful. <<happy to hear it.>> I have a bit of a problem. I have had my tank for about a year now. 55 gallon Marine setup with Emperor Biowheel filter, Protein skimmer, UV, Magnum 350 canister filter. FO tank. It seems I have a parasite problem, but I need some help to identify and eradicate it. My Lunar Wrasse had been acting very strangely for a few weeks. He is losing his appetite more and more these days. There were no visible signs of parasites. All other fish were OK. Within the past week, I noticed a lump developing just above his belly and saw a few spots on his face. Upon closer inspection, the spots appeared to be something "hitching a ride" on his face. They are under 1/8th of an inch in size, translucent white, and oval in shape. They appear to be attached at a single point... otherwise free floating. Tried to figure out what they may be, but can't find anything on the site. <<sounds like isopods - little "pill-bug" type things?>> Even more disturbing is my clown trigger now seems to have a couple of these hitching a ride on his eyeballs. <<that doesn't sound like fun at all.>> All other fish are still OK. Today, I noticed that the wrasse now has a small hole in the lump on his belly, almost as if something was nesting under his flesh and decided it wanted out (Almost seems like the movie alien!) <<that would definitely be no fun>> SG=1.23 Ammonia=0 Nitrites=0 Nitrates=60. I feel as though I keep the water quality at its finest at all times. <<those nitrates could be a great deal lower, say between five and ten.>> The only variable that has changed is that I lost a Kole Tang due to HLLE, so I replaced him with another. I know I SHOULD be using a q-tank for newbies, but I haven't had a problem thus far without one. <<ok, but you are going to get one now, yes?>> Please help. I'm not sure what it is I'm dealing with. <<really does sound like isopods>> I know the worst thing to do would be to panic and throw all sorts of chemicals in the tank (a bitter lesson I learned the hard way when I started the tank!), but I want to keep this problem under control. No inverts, so I could use copper if need be. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated! <<Well... most times isopods are best removed with tweezers and are much like pulling ticks off a dog. Your clown trigger though, I don't think I would advise this here as you'd end up with a blind fish. You should probably try an extended [longer than normal], pH adjusted freshwater dip, perhaps even with Methylene-blue to help ease the whole thing. Check the link for Bob's protocols for dipping your fish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the isopods... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thanks, Jon Beeson <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Help with Treating Parasitic Isopods, Copepods... (continued) Thanks for the advice.... but now another twist to the plot... This morning, I noticed a brown wormlike parasite protruding from the wrasse's lump. <<egads>> Should he be removed from the tank? Is this a danger to the other livestock? <<well, you've obviously got these and other things a-plenty so if the fish aren't in danger today, they will be in time. I would definitely take action.>> The wrasse likes to sleep under the substrate... could this have contributed to him getting this worm? <<sounds quite likely but impossible to know for sure.>> Also, how do I treat this worm? Can I pull it out of him with tweezers? <<could, I think I would try the extended, pH-adjusted, freshwater dip and start with that... go after it with the tweezers as a last resort. Many worms can lose an entire chunk of themselves and never miss a beat - grow it all back - kinda like a bad monster movie. If you were to pull at it with tweezers and only get a chunk, likely the rest would survive just fine in your wrasse - nasty. Try the FW dip first.>> Thanks in advance. Jon <<Cheers, J -- >>

Creature from movie" Alien" has got my pajama cardinal! Guys, woke up today to find this creature, isopod I guess, clamped on the face, mouth, of my cardinal. Did not look like the poor fish could open his mouth, just like in the Alien movie. Tried to catch fish but impossible in 450 reef tank. Worried these monsters could get out of control, only seen one though. Does any type of fish eat these things? <Not really. Good idea to get/use a fish trap (these are sold in the pet-fish industry (there's an ad in FAMA currently...) or from large warehouse stores (they're the same plastic traps for small rodents, but no fish sticker...> I recently moved a few pieces of rock from refugium to main tank and assume that is how this thing got into main tank. It is quite large, over 1/4 inch. Thanks, Paul <Maybe... bizarre. Catch the host, remove and toss. Bob Fenner>

External Parasite Good day,<Hello, MikeB here.> I recently purchased a Percula Clown fish and he is doing well.  The next morning I observed something attached to his rear tail fin.  It was transparent like having 2 small black eyes and many little legs underneath.  It was almost like a pill bug but more skinny in width and see through (you can see its insides).  It even had a tail of some sort and closely resembles a small crustacean or something. What is this? I immediately removed the clown fish and placed him in a freshwater dip for about 3 minutes.  This thing obviously didn't like the fresh water and soon fell off swimming in circles on the bottom and eventually dying. Did this thing come from the live rock in the tank (I have 27 pounds in a 55 gallon setup).  It obviously came from somewhere because it was not attached to the clown when I purchased him at the store.  I searched long and hard to find a photo of this thing and I can't find out what it was.  So far this is an isolated incident.  Should I be on the lookout for more or should some sort of treatment be started.  Or, did I do the right thing and I can sit back and relax because this won't hurt the fish.  If this happens again do I proceed the same way? Thanks for taking the time to help, Dave <Dave, try looking up Planarian on the internet.  My hunch is that it is a flatworm parasite.  It can be prevalent in fish that are purchase and not quarantined for an extended amount of time.  I would suggest keeping a close eye on the fish an make sure it doesn't come back.  If it does then quarantine it.  Thanks MikeB.> <<Likely is a pill bug... a parasitic Isopod. RMF>>

Fish parasites Hello whoever is there today. << Blundell today. >> Thanks for your recent help with my Cyanobacteria problem. I took all your advice and the outbreak has all but cleared. I need some more help today please. A few days ago my Clarks clown had a parasite (fluke) hanging off the side of his body. Looked like a small flat flake. While I was getting ready to try and net him, whatever the parasite was disappeared - must have fallen off. Now my peach Anthias has a small raw looking area on its body just in front of the tail fin. I don't know if the 2 incidents are related at all or is this is a bacterial infection. The colour has disappeared in a small patch on the flesh and there appears to be a little hole on its body. << Doesn't sound good. >> I have tried in vain to catch this fish, nets, traps aren't working. He is swimming and eating normally. Can you suggest anything to put into the tank to help with this fish. << Adding garlic to the food for sure.  Also, I'd consider getting a cleaner shrimp if you don't already have one. >> What do you think of trying something like garlic extract, or Rally? << Great idea. >> I have a 75 gallon reef tank with live rock, many corals, 2 bubble anemones which have been splitting regularly so I am loathe to remove them, and lots of snails, hermit crabs, 2 starfish, a sea urchin and a very healthy worm population - besides my fish. I don't want to upset the equilibrium. The LFS said that a UV sterilizer may work. <<  Yeah that is costly, but it may help in this case. >><No... RMF> I have been soaking the fish food with Selco to try boost the fishes resistance and have also raised the salinity of the water to 1.025 to discourage parasites. I would welcome your opinion. << The salinity treatment is backwards.  To discourage parasites you lower the salinity.  Lets say down to 1.020.  This isn't good for your corals and other inverts, which is the trade off.  But I wouldn't be raising it. >> Many thanks, Sharon J <<  Blundell  >>

Parasitic Isopods Hello guys! <Hi there! Scott F. in today> I really need some help. I just set up a new 150 gallon reef and released some fish I've had for some time into it. About a week later (last night) I discovered a small (1/8 to perhaps 1/4 inches) isopod has attached itself to the tail of one of my pajama cardinals. <Yuck> I have not had a chance to even try to capture the fish yet. I know I must capture and remove. I guess what I am asking is I have heard that once you have one (one RC) you likely have a lot more and a typical nightmare. Please tell me this isn't true. It doesn't say that in Bob's book! If it is what should I do? Thank you all so much. Brian <Well, Brian- where there is one, there could be others. Don't run off headless and do something that you'll regret later. Short of "nuking" the tank with aggressive medications (which I DO NOT recommend), you just need to stay very vigilant, and be prepared to remove any fishes that become afflicted with these guys in the future. Remain calm, observe your fish very carefully, and stay alert! Sometimes the best course of action is not to do anything...Regards, Scott F> 



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