FAQs on Marine Parasitic
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Parasite-infested Systems: Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Marine Tanks
2, Parasitic Reef
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Problems, Diagnosing Parasitic
Diseases, References on Parasitic
Diseases, Index Materia Medici for
Parasitic Diseases (medicines), Treating Marine Parasitic Diseases,
Using Hyposalinity to Treat
Marine Parasitic Diseases, Hyposalinity Treatments 2,
& Best Crypt FAQs, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine
Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic
Disease, Parasitic Worms,
Marine protozoa; trtmt. 11/10/18
Lots of questions for you!
I have a 55gal QT with a mappa puffer, queen angelfish, and harlequin
Tuskfish at the moment, and unfortunately am struggling with some sort
of protozoa. The symptoms are very different between them: the puffer
seems to be behaving totally fine (eating, swimming about, being
social), but is covered in white specs and has cloudy eyes - assuming
ich. The angelfish and Tuskfish look fine, but are not behaving well
(breathing 115 breaths per minute, lethargic, and won't eat) - marine
<Perhaps either, even both>
I'm treating with copper sulfate (0.2 mg/L), but haven't noticed much of
a change in 4 days!
Yikes. Considering something more aggressive.
<Yes I would... For one I would definitely (NOW) drop the specific
gravity... to about 1.010... yes, drastically. AND do this ASAP. Not
only will the lowered density help the fish breath more easily (they may
be dead in a short while otherwise), the sudden decrease will impugn the
Kordon's Rapid-Cure ingredients are listed as: Triethylene Glycol,
Polyvinylpyrrolidone K-29, and Malachite Green. There's quite a bit of
info online about Malachite Green, but I can't find any on the other two
1. What does Triethylene Glycol do? Is it toxic to the fish? Will it
kill the bio-filter? Will it kill both marine ich and velvet, and if so,
at what part of their life cycles?
<Mostly is a carrier/binder... won't kill the parasites and should not
2. What does Polyvinylpyrrolidone K-29 do? Is it toxic to the fish?
Will it kill the bio-filter? Will it kill both marine ich and velvet,
and if so, at what part of their life cycles?
<Got me... PVP itself is used in quite a few all in one
"dechloraminator" products... makes the fishes a bit more slimy. Don't
know what the designation K-29 refers to... NOT an IUPAC descriptor;
likely some snazzy commercial modifier. I WOULD write, contact Kordon-Novalek
(or the Net; you may have to pay) re their MSDS with your concerns>
3. Malachite green: Believe it is toxic to the fish and will kill bio
filter alone with all protozoa? What part of the protozoa life cycle
does it kill?
<Can be useful in arresting protozoa; and yes, will subtend
nitrification; and in strong doses, some conditions more/less toxify
4. Can this be combined with Methylene blue (to help oxygen transfer in
the fish)? What about formalin? Copper sulfate?
<Methylene Blue is the safest... AGAIN, take out about half the seawater
and replace it w/ dechloraminated new/freshwater. Formalin is a
biocide... useful in some applications; better for dips/baths for
hobbyists than direct application. CuSO4 is a fave for several
applications. You can read
what I have archived on WWM re.>
My local fish store sold me a bottle of "Copper Sulfate".
1. Is Copper Sulfate (CU 2 I think) chelated?
<Might be; should state on the container... if just CuSO4, not chelated>
2. Is it correct that ammonia reducers convert CU 2 to Cu 1 which is
<Mmm; not so much, or often an issue>
If so, will "API Stress Coat", "API Tap Water Conditioner", or "Instant
Ocean Marine conditioner" do the same thing with the copper (since
they're advertised to neutralizing chlorine and heavy metals)?
<They will do degrees precipitate out copper; more/faster non-chelates>
3. Can this be combined with Methylene blue? what about formalin?
<The former should be fine; I would skip formalin use: TOO dangerous,
I have four total ammonia testing abilities:
1. API Ammonia Test Kit (drops into 5mL water)
2. Seachem Ammonia Alert color wheel (always in the aquarium)
3. Seachem multi test ammonia free and total (drops and powder mixed in
a little tray)
4. Tetra easy test strips (swirl strip in water).
1. How do you test ammonia if you're treating with something that dyes
the water (like malachite green or Methylene blue)?
<Can usually see through the dye; there are other test moda, including
strips... titration, send away (too slow) electronic methods>
2. Which ammonia test kits work when treating with Formalin? Copper?
<These don't interfere w/ colorimetric assays>
3. Will the dying protozoa add to the ammonia buildup?
<Not appreciably, no. HOWEVER (man that's big), the increased stress on
the fish WILL be greatly contributing>
I use seachem marine buffer and in all the water I mix just to make sure
the pH is where I want it. Is there a drawback to this other than cost
of buying the product?
<Not as far as I'm aware, no>
Will it interact with any of the medications listed above?
<Will if added directly to the tank. BETTER by far to pre-mix synthetic,
additives and store new water and use a few days later>
Thanks for the help. There's a lot of info out there, but it's a bit
<I do understand. IF it were me/mine I'd drop spg, READ re the use of
quinine/s and use them instead of the med.s you list. AND do all this
soon, as in ASAPractical. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Marine protozoa
Thank you so much for the detail and quick response. My fish appreciate
it too! :-)
<The initial reaction from the salt/solids dilution will amaze you; and
please them Val. Cheers, BobF>
Marine Velvet Dormancy 10/16/18
Hello Bob and Team!
<Hello Anik, Wil this morning>
Hope you are doing well. Like any reefer, I’m constantly reading about
preventing any disasters.
<Like any good/responsible reefer!>
The topic of my paranoia this week is Marine Velvet. Some facts about my
setup: my display tank is 100G mixed reef; shows no signs of marine
Velvet and never has. There’s been a sign of ich once, which made itself
visible on bullied fish but that cleared up on its own and everything
has been clear since. Btw I QT everything, and medicate every new fish
with PraziPro and Cupramine and observe after.
<Quarantine is fine but there´s no need to medicate if fish are not
sick, treating healthy fish just makes any pathogen more resistant to
medications and this could be a problem in the future if fish happens to
Typically I QT for 3-4 months.
<4-5 weeks is more than enough>
The one time I didn’t was when I added a mandarin to my DT, no QT :(.
Current roster, two ocellaris clowns, male Anthias, melanurus wrasse,
yellow Coris, yellow flanked fairy wrasse, flame angle and tiny blonde
<I hope you are aware that the Naso tang will need a bigger tank (a few
to several hundred gallons) to have a long, healthy life.>
Anyways, questions; is it possible to have marine Velvet present in a
tank but kept at bay from infestation by keeping water parameters in
check and general conditions clean/healthy/happy to hold the velvet in
<Actually that is how it works; velvet as well as other diseases are
always present in the system water but with good maintenance and feeding
practices, you can keep them away of your livestock indefinitely.>
What I am getting at is can a fish have velvet for months and not be
symptomatic until something triggers it?
<As I mentioned, disease is always present but only attacks your fish if
its immune system is compromised.>
Depending on your answer, I may go against your advice from a few months
ago regarding Ick in the DT (referring to that one fish mentioned
above); I may just move all my fish to QT and treat them and run the
tank fallow out of straight paranoia.
<I don´t see the need of treating your fish without been absolutely sure
they are sick, you are going to add unnecessary stress. I wouldn´t move
them to QT>
I have two wrasses and a flame hawk in QT right now and would like to
plan my next steps to add them to DT...but would like to avoid disaster.
<If you have quarantined/observed them for at least 4 weeks, you may
transfer them to the DT.>
Thanks Team! Anik
<You´re very welcome. Wil>
Are you able to tell me what this is?
I quarantine my fish and have had pretty good luck in keeping my fish healthy
and happy. Unfortunately, last Feb I had something show up in the tank. It
started with my male trigger, then moved onto my female trigger and the other
big fish in my tank (a few tangs and a Foxface). It didn't seem to affect my
smaller fish (dwarf angels, baby tangs, clownfish etc.)
I pulled everything out and into a quarantine system, where they have remained
since. I did lose a few of my bigger fish, but luckily that's where the losses
ended. I decided to keep my main display fallow until mid
November in hopes that whatever this is, it will have a cycle that is
I've never seen any evidence of Ich or velvet. The exit wounds were rather
large, and ultimately the fish that died had secondary bacterial infections
which may have been the cause of their demise.
I have attached a video of what it looked like in hopes that you can shed
light on it so I know how best to ensure that it doesn't come back and kill
<I see the white growths on your Trigger. These look like monogenetic
Trematodes. Do you have a low power scope that hooks up to a USB port? I'd
like to see a sample closer. Alternatively this could be some sort of
Microsporidean infestation. The worms are easy to treat (see WWM), the
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Marine Velvet vs. Freshwater Velvet
Hello, after all these years of being in this hobby and servicing
aquariums, I can’t believe that I need to write for advise from you
I quarantine all marine livestock for four weeks using CopperSafe at 2.0
because I service 20 marine aquariums for folks and business and I move
many fish through my quarantine tanks.
<Good to have, use a strict S.O.P. here>
I had two jobs that became low on fish and against all my rules of
quarantining livestock, I jumped the gun and took fish out after only
two weeks in my tanks. Well as Murphy’s Law prevails within a couple
weeks fish in these two jobs started dropping like flies.
After witnessing the fish struggle and die I’m fairly sure they have
velvet, I do not see the tell tale signs of “ICK” on their bodies but do
see the velvet type of film on their bodies before passing away.
<Both can be/come so virulent and undetected/undetectable... REALLY need
to sample body slime, perhaps a clipped gill section, and look at under
I’m always ready to learn more and dove into the net to reread on this
subject I found that this parasite also thrives with photosynthesis!!
<Yes, Amyloodinium is a Dinoflagellate, a single celled algal species>
To my surprise both jobs are brightly lit with out side light near by!!
My only thought on getting away from these parasites now that the fish
are almost all dead is to bomb the job with a heavy dose of copper and
let the tank sit for a few weeks.
<Mmm; having been in the aquarium service business myself a few decades,
I encourage you to liquid chlorine bleach "nuke" this system.... per the
procedure outlined on WWM, rinse, fill, rinse... re-fill and start
again; just to be sure>
Another thought is to take these jobs to freshwater “African Cichlids”
to be able to have colorful fish for these jobs in a matter of days.
<Ahh yes; another possibility>
But my question to you folks is, will this marine form of Velvet be able
to live in freshwater if I don’t manage to kill all the marine velvet
and switch the tank to freshwater?
<I think you should be safe here; the freshwater should kill the marine
Thank You for any help in this matter.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Tank Transfer/ Medication Combination
Dear WWM Rockstars:
1) Thanks in Advance:
As always, I'll regale you with the tale of how I was desperate to get
into the reef aquarium hobby as a way to deal with my disabilities from
serving in Iraq. Through your site and through the many emails we've
exchanged, your team has been awesome at helping not only me, but the
good people who care about growing coral and fish health. So, thanks for
your service to us hobbyists and scientists alike! It is very much
valued by the silent hobbyists everywhere.
As to my matter - its fairly simple but instead of posting on one of
those forums I'd like to get some practical advice from you. I know the
importance of QT from your advice - I also know that it is pretty
impossible to tell what parasite you may have on your fish unless you
skin scrape. I've got a parasite issue, want to try the tank transfer
method and wondering if you had any advice on concurrent meds along with
the tank transfer to target external parasites.
<Unfortunately; all sorts; first and other hand>
2) Background Information:
So I looked at my fish the other day and they appear to have white spots
on the fins - larger than I know Ich to be but not cottony (word?) like
velvet. I only see a speck or two of white stuff on the fish themselves
and I've got good flow and light grained sand so its possible that speck
is just sand on the slime coat? I don't see specks everywhere or on
other fish. Again, I don't have the expertise or equipment for a skin
scraping. So its a slight possibility I've got Ich - maybe some flat
The following fish are in the tank right now
(5) Pajama Cardinals
(1) Bi color blenny
(2) True Percs - bonded
(1) Purple Tang
(2) Kole Eyed Tang
(2) blue lined goby - cleaner goby.
The gobys and blenny are pretty small - about 2".
<These really don't "like" metal, dye exposure... neither the Tang>
Everyone is eating fine - like pigs. I give them a garlic infused fish
food - New Life Spectrum TheraA - sometimes I soak in Selcon and I feed
the tangs garlic infused Nori.
What methods would you employ here to clear the fish up? Given that we
don't know what exactly it is, would the tank transfer method be
<You can try. I'd be reading re pathogenic disease (ID) period .... on
WWM; CP is the route I'd go if I had no further clue here. Bob Fenner>
Thanks Rockstars, you are appreciated greatly.
Re: Tank Transfer/ Medication Combination
Thanks Bob - you are a legend in your own time/mind - I'll let you
choose :). You're a legend in mine anyway.
<I'd bet dollars to donuts that you know MUCH more re cars, sports...
So what I gathered is 15mg/l of CP outta do the trick. The fish are in a
25 gal/~95L QT system - so this would be (95*15=1421/1000) 1.42 grams of
CP is what I'm getting - that seem correct to you?
Originally before putting them in my tank I did a QT of these fish with
copper because I saw a white looking stick-like thing (anchor worm
<Mmm; no; more likely (monogenetic) Trematodes>
but couldn't find any photos that matched the disposition on the fish)
protruding fro the base of a Pajama Cardinal's pelvic fin - it was about
1-2 inches long.
<Oh! Perhaps a parasitic copepod then>
So I've listened to your sage advice already and come up bust. Marines
don't like to loose a battle, so taking these little bug terrorists of
my tank is a top priority. Are there some general strike options that
would get 95% of all common bugs?
<Yes... am hesitant to mention directly; as I don't think/sense that
such an approach is warranted. That is, that doing a blitzkrieg
treatment for bacterial, protozoan, other -zoitics is better than not in
the majority of cases (more losses from mis-handling, exposure than
"saved" new livestock):
BUT a pH adjusted freshwater bath (w/ or w/o adjuncts as gone over on
followed by isolation, treatment w/ an Anthelminthic like Prazi-, and
combo. antimicrobial, anti-protozoal like Metronidazole.... as some
Standard Operating Procedure... IF DONE CORRECTLY.... would likely save
a good deal of easily lost livestock enroute through chains of custody.
NOW, let me put this in perspective: IF most wild livestock were
corrected well, handled the same, held and shipped properly, THIS/THESE
processes would prevent MUCH MORE loss than any prophylactic treatment
routine. Would you read here:
Should I drop in a little PraziPro and do some freshwater methalyene
blue dips as well?
<Ahh; you're way ahead of me. Yes; these would likely help>
You mentioned sailing past Iwo Jima - are you currently aboard a ship? -
<No, my dad was a lifer in the NAV... I was a draftee many years ago,
was married w/ a gal who was a Major in the AF.... spent more than half
my life in "the militaries" of the US. The loss of life on this one
island, the posing for the flag raising pic... offend me. Apologies if
if so thanks again for getting back to me so quickly. If you have time,
drop by Iwo Jima and have a snort of whiskey for me and the fallen. Bob,
If you're ever in Los Angeles, I'd like to buy you dinner or a drink for
all the help you've given me and the thousands I know who access your
<I thank you for your kind words and offer Josh. BobF>
Thanks again Mr. Fenner.
I wonder if you can help with an issue with my regal please.
He is currently in a quarantine tank with a hello, foxface and PJ Cardinal after
something wiped out the majority of my fish in the main tank. I originally
thought velvet due to the speed they started to die after I added corals on live
rock, which is where I assumed the parasite came in on.
They have been in quarantine for 13 days. Tomorrow, I was due to
transfer them to my 200l reef, whilst the main tank is fallow.
<?! I would NOT do this. The Paracanthurus has some parasite... I would treat
ALL fishes ASAPractical where they are>
All fish looked fine, but yesterday the regal started flashing against
everything. Today it looks like this. Other fish look fine.
<Toxic... needs to be zip... See, as in READ on WWM re NO2>
Copper 0.5mg/L tested 3x daily to maintain therapeutic levels throughout the two
<A good clue... the embedded spots on this Regal Tang may not be susceptible to
<Not much time (for your fishes)... I would def. do the drastic DROP in
specific gravity for here, right NOW. Down to 1.012, even 1.010... in the hopes
of saving your fishes. I would proceed to READ re the use of
Chloroquine (di) Phosphate (CP) on WWM and go ahead and treat with this AND an
anthelminthic (likely Praziquantel), directly in the water. You need to act NOW.
Re: Parasites? 2/12/16
Thanks very much.
I shall start to reduce the SG now, and am picking up Chloroquine in the morning
(it's 11pm here in the UK).
I have not heard of Praziquantel, so shall have a look online and see if it's
something I can source over here.
<Yes; in the UK you may need the help of a veterinarian (or perhaps an M.D.?) to
gather both these compounds. The lowered spg will hopefully buy you time>
<As many welcomes. BobF>
Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium? 10/12/15
Thank you all for your help and support in this very rewarding, albeit
frustrating at times, hobby.
Here is my situation:
I've had all of my fish for over a year in a 100 gallon reef tank, so a parasite
must have gotten in via a rock, coral, or invert, or my fish have been
<Some parasite species, groups are very likely always present; put another way,
it is extremely difficult to have SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) systems for some
parasites; e.g. Cryptocaryon>
In May, I moved the tank to our new house. Everything went fine, but I did lose
my cleaner shrimp a week later. Then, I had a tank leak a couple of months ago
and had to move everything to temporary quarters for about a week. Finally, I
moved everything back into the new tank a little over a month ago.
Well, I noticed the flame angel had white spots (like it was sprinkled with
salt) a couple of weeks after the move to the new tank. The was at the end of
August. Then my royal gramma was covered in spots and hid constantly. I lost
these two a couple of weeks later. After that, I have had about one fish death
every couple of weeks. Some had labored breathing and flashing on the rocks
before they died. I lost 4 fish.
Last week I decided to remove the remaining fish to a quarantine tank and allow
the tank to go fallow. Both of my ocellaris clownfish looked like they had been
lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar around their head region, and the yellow
tang frantically visited the remaining cleaner shrimp, and scratched on rocks.
The two wrasses and clown gobies seem to be unaffected.
<A good clue>
I am currently performing tank transfer method (TTM) on my remaining fish.
I have read that this can eliminate C. irritans if administered correctly.
<Mmmm; more like forestall the ill-effects of hyper-infestation while host
fishes hopefully develop sufficient immunity>
The first morning after the move, I lost one clownfish. I did the second tank
transfer last night, and this morning I lost my yellow tang. He was breathing
very fast after the transfer last night, and this morning he was on his side
before he died. I took some photos of him that I can upload later. What is
strange is that he looked like he was covered in powdered sugar. I placed him
into freshwater to see if anything came off and some tiny white flecks are
floating in the water. He is very red around his mouth and his tail
area, almost like a bacterial infection was beginning.
<These last are secondary... to the Protozoan (primary)>
So what should I do now?
<Read? I'd be treating with a Quinine cpd. (CP)>
I plan on finishing the TTM and keeping them in quarantine for the full 72 days
(while the DT is fallow). Could this be Brooklynella or Velvet?
<Not the last (symptomatically); and far more likely Cryptocaryon than Brook>
I don't think it is because everything didn't die quickly. Can crypto get so bad
on a fish that they look cloudy?
The slime coat is intact and not coming off in sheets. There is no velvety
sheen. I took skin, fins, and gill biopsies and took some photos. I've attached
them. I also did some video and can clearly see the parasites rotating in the
flesh. Let me know if you would like for me to send you the video.
<Please place somewhere on a Net server (e.g. YouTube) and just send along the
Someone else mentioned it might be velvet, but how did it get into the tank?
<Not Velvet likely; as this would have killed all fishes summarily; and
presented different symptomology. See WWM re Amyloodinium>
What to do now? Should I treat the survivors with formalin and/or copper?
<You could run a bath with the former enroute to moving the fishes.... again,
take your time and READ on WWM (and don't confuse yourself); or Ed Noga's work,
or... NOT the hobbyist bb's>
This is very frustrating and will never happen again. EVERYTHING will be
quarantined for at least two months before it is added to the display.
Thanks for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium?
<Just Bob is fine Heather. I don't have a doctorate>
Thank you so much for the prompt reply. The remaining five survivors are
doing well with the tank transfer method, and I will put them in their
quarantine tank next week. All of the spots are gone, and all five are
eating. I have the ocellaris, yellow clown goby, green clown goby, solon
fairy wrasse, and a melanurus wrasse left. I'm very glad to confirm that
it is most likely C. irritans, and I will try to upload the video to YouTube or another source and send you the link. Some other videos of
crypto on YouTube look the same as mine.
So Chloroquine phosphate looks to be the drug of choice. This would also
take care of velvet, just in case I have a carrier. Where should I find a
<See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuinSourceF.htm
and make it known if you have suggestions re improving WWM use.... the
search tool is on every page, the indices....>
My vet's office? I've heard of some online sources selling inferior
quality packets. Should I also dose with Prazi since these fish were not
<Possibly; if you consider it of worth at this time>
I guess it couldn't hurt. They all came from Live Aquaria, and I've never
had this much trouble with their stock before.
<A very good supplier; the "A" player at this/their level>
I'm still betting the crypto cysts hitched a ride on some rock or coral.
And 72 days fallow would be sufficient in your opinion?
<See WWM re.... after a couple weeks, the further value in such operations
dwindles to very little. Better to use dips/baths...>
Should I continue to skim during this time?
<If this doesn't remove medications, is worth the trade in improved water
I am feeding the inverts daily.
I am honored to converse with you, and I own a couple of your books that I
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Pretty sure I've got this little bugger in one of my coral frag tanks
(Halofolliculina corallasia). It has been taking out corals like crazy.
Checked it out under a microscope after dipping the corals (thinking it was
black bugs) to discover it didn't look like a crustacean at all but rather a
tube or poop. After reading this article I'm pretty confident in my diagnosis,
however can't find any information about what to do. As of right now we are just
disposing of dead corals using disposable gloves so that we don't spread it
around. Any thoughts?
<For browsers, the quick wiki:
I'd be treating either the system or the moved/enroute corals with a quinine
compound to kill this Heterotrich. My first choice is Chloroquine (di)phosphate.
See WWM re dosages, protocols. Bob Fenner>
Re: Halofolliculina corallasia
Thanks for the reply Bob. Searched for the dosages and protocols and didn't find
much re: corals other than CP is harmful and that corals should be removed when
treating fish. Also searched the web at large for using CP
on corals and didn't find much there either. I do have CP at my disposal in good
quantity and would love to start saving some corals. Perhaps you can provide
I'm presuming this is a dip scenario
<I'd stick with the same maximum as per system treatment 20 mg/l>
Duration of dip?
<Half an hour... with spg reduced a thousandth or two... Some folks might add a
good deal of iodide-ate and perhaps several mg/l of a hexose sugar>
Repeated dips required?
<Possibly; but not usually>
Will I be able to tell if the protozoa are dead after dip by looking at them
under the scope (They always appear dead to me)?
<You should... try adding a drop of household strength H202 to the cover slip
edge. Should move them if alive>
I've read multiple sources say it spreads through direct contact. Should I be
concerned about it traveling around on egg crate?
<Yes; anything wet is suspicious>
Are you aware of any natural predators, maybe a shrimp of some sort?
<I am not>
Re: Halofolliculina corallasia (Holotrich parasite of Scler)
Just thought I'd follow up for other readers to confirm that this dip was
<Ahh! And thank you for your report/follow-up>
So far we are at about 6 weeks with no recurrence after a single dip done for
the most part as you suggested. 20mg/l in slightly reduced alkalinity <salinity?
really spg> with the addition of Lugol's solution. I skipped the sugar as I
didn't have any on hand and couldn't find any at the grocery store). We ended up
doing a longer length dip, after looking at the critter under the microscope
after half an hour (with a touch of alcohol also as you suggested) they were
quite wiggly. So we ended up doing closer to an hour, however, after looking at
them again under the microscope they were still quite wiggly so I think it was
actually just too much activity from the alcohol making them look alive. I'm
still not sure on that one.
There was one we had under the scope whose tube appeared to poop when we added
the drop of alcohol, not sure if that was one of the buggers dying or some other
microscope foible. Anyway, appreciate the solution,
<Again, appreciated. Bob Fenner>
Re: Halofolliculina corallasia 9/10/15
Haha. Yes... spg. Not alkalinity.
<... 11.3 megs of pix... for one breaking down Damsel. We demand that
queriors limit what they send us for the reasons stated on how you found
to write us>
I have a 220 gallon aquarium that was setup in June. We have been slowly
adding fish to it. I had 4 yellow-tailed damsels, 3 blue damsels, two
orange Ocellaris clowns, one chocolate Ocellaris clown, one coral
flame Hawkfish, one blond Naso tang and three Heniochus. I
added two new fish last Friday, a saddle backed butterfly and a
<No mention of dip/bath, or quarantine. You're detailing the beginning
of expensive lessons>7
Both looked healthy at the time of acquisition. On Saturday all of the
fish in the tank were eating and healthy. On Sunday night I noticed one
Heniochus and the long-nosed butterfly were swimming in place and not
eating. Last night I came home from work and most of the fish
were covered with white spots and in obvious distress. Today, the Naso
tang, yellow long-nosed butterfly, saddle backed butterfly, one
Heniochus and one yellow-tailed damsel are dead.
<... soon the rest>
One Heniochus is near death and one orange Ocellaris clown is in great
distress. I am attaching pictures of one of the surviving damsels. Can
you identify the problem and advise a course of action? Thank you.
<Not with great confidence from mere photos. Need sampling and
microscopic examination. Where to refer you to read? Maybe here:
and as much of the linked files in the header as it takes for you to be
satisfied that you understand your options (now). Going forward:
prophylactic measures... Bob Fenner>
Re: Disease. Quinine use
I am sorry about sending too many pictures. Thank you for the
I will read it and greatly appreciate your prompt reply.
<Ah, welcome. BobF>
Re: Disease 10/22/14
I have spent some time reading your recommended links and it looks like
a treatment with Quinine is in order. Is there a particular Quinine
product that I should be looking for? Thank you again in advance.
<Ah yes. Chloroquine phosphate. B>
Re: Disease. Using WWM 10/22/14
Thank you. I am having difficulty finding Chloroquine phosphate. Do they
sell it at pet shops? Is there a particular brand name with this
Many thanks again.
Re: Disease 10/22/14
How long for a disease to show up? 3/10/14
I have a question as to how long does it take for a disease such
as brook of velvet to show up on a fish.
<How long from when? What? Oh, I think I understand from your writing
below... These and many other pathogenic diseases can be non-clinically
The reason I ask is I purchased a Cherub Angel and a Tailspot Blenny in
January. They had both been in the LFS for 3 months and 3 weeks,
respectively. I did freshwater dips on both of them when I brought them
home. They were both clean (no flukes). I then commenced the tank
transfer method in the event of ich. I did 4 transfers every 3 days
which equated to
16 days. On the 16th day I moved them into a permanent QT that I've had
set up and is fully cycled. They stayed in that QT for 30 days. I moved
them into the main last night and today the Cherub sort of looks like he
has a sheen to him. His fins are also torn up but I think that is from
fighting with the royal gramma. So my question is Is it possible for
velvet or brook
to lie dormant during the 6 weeks of quarantine or is this just me being
extremely paranoid? Thank you!
<Is possible either the fish/es are/were carriers, or more
likely, that the system itself is infested. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich or Velvet? 11/18/13
Thanks for all your help.
I have all fish in QT… and Kole tang died, one Chromis died… and it now
looks as if the ocellaris are on their way out.
I have been treating with Cupramine for 5 days now (and testing copper
levels). Began to see an improvement, however this morning the
clowns don’t look so good.
I have attached a pic of the female clown.
Could you help me in identifying the diseases/parasite?
<See WWM re... do you have a microscope?>
I though it was crypto, but now I think velvet. Shouldn’t
Cupramine have helped?
<.... IF velvet all would likely be dead. Looks symptomatically like
Cryptocaryon in this pic. Cupramine at proper levels should have helped.
See WWM re this as well. Too much to re-re-re-state, esp. from an
Cephalopholis fdg. SW issues from FW comets?
I have an 11-year-old Miniatus Grouper that I occasionally feed
live freshwater feeder fish
<A poor idea... Thiaminase, fatty issues... and more>
to. 90% of the time I feed frozen silversides, krill, etc. I
was recently told by another saltwater hobbyist that my grouper could
get internal parasites from feeding him/her the freshwater feeder fish.
I know external parasites wouldn't be an issue, but what about internal
<Good question (among other reasons; I don't know). The worm issues I'm
familiar with tend to be fresh or marine specific...>
And what treatment could I provide to eliminate them if this really is a
<Likely the usual mixed in antiprotozoal (Metronidazole) and
anthelminthic (my choice would be Praziquantel) would "do it">
I have decided to not feed live feeders anymore.
Thanks for any information/advice.
<Thank you for your query. Bob Fenner>
Desperate; crypt... crowded sys.
First thank you and the crew for all the hard work on your
website. Your website is a blessing, and I look at it constantly.
Unfortunately I happen to be in a bind. I have a harem of
scribbled angelfish. One male and two females. They seem
to have all gotten sick. It looks like some of my other angels
have gotten sick as well. The tank is a 120 gallon mixed
<Mmm, too small... esp. given your stocking list below>
Occupants of the tank are as follows. Neon Wrasse, Grey
head Wrasse, Yellow Coris Wrasse, Majestic Angel, Regal Angel,
1/2 an inch flame angel, Flameback angel, 2 firefish, Rabbitfish,
mandarin, 10 chromis, and a mystery wrasse. The tank has
a 35 gallon sump, NO3 reactor, Phosban reactor. Parameters ph
8.2, CA 370, Alk 11.3, Ammonia 0, No3 5ppm. I had a spike in NO3
last week that had it between 15ppm-20ppm. I have
concluded that I have monogenetic Trematodes.
<Mmm, in addition to the Crypt?>
Some of the reasons for this are the constant shaking back and
forth by the angels. At times the scribbled angels widely open
their mouth, and gills. They are constantly with my cleaner
shrimps. When I freshwater dip I do see white flatworms on the
bottom of the bucket I don't see hundreds, but I do see some.
Since this is in my display tank I have been forced to dose
Prazipro. I removed Purigen, shutoff the skimmer, and added a
filter sock to help with waste.
I praziproed on Tuesday morning 1oz. On Wednesday I also was able
to take out the two larger scribbled angels (the male and large
female), and gave them a 12 minute freshwater dip mixed with
Methylene blue followed by a 50 minute formalin bath.
<W/ aeration hopefully>
On Saturday night I did a 30% water change, swapped filter socks,
followed by adding .5 oz Prazipro. On Sunday I added another .5oz
Prazipro. Also not sure if this is a factor, but will mention it.
I noticed that my temp was down to 73.6 this morning. Upon
inspection my heater was not working. I swapped heaters, and
raised the temp back to 77. Temperature should not be an issue at
this point. Attached are the current photos of the angels who are
the sickest. The largest female's eyes are fully white. She
is still attempting to eat, but its is kind of tough when you are
blind. It also looks like she is getting a secondary infection of
<I do agree>
Here are my questions. Do I wait, and follow through with the
<I would continue this treatment AND add a quinine compound
If so how long. I am thinking of a 30% water change on Wednesday,
and then redosing. Do I take out the sickest female, and put her
in my QT tank, and use some other treatment options?
<ALL the fishes need to be treated immediately... IF I'd
seen your note last night I would have responded right
If so what would they be? I don't want to rush, or be
impatient. At the same time I want to be responsible owner of
these fish. Please Help!
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm
ORDER the quinine... Treat ASAP. Bob Fenner>
Re: Desperate, Crypt plus...
Thank you for your quick response. I read the post quickly, and
will read very thoroughly tonight. In response to the formalin
bath I did use aeration during the 50 minute bath. I also added
an air stone to the tank Saturday night since the skimmer was
<Ahh, thank you. As you likely understood, my comment/s
are/were directed to all who might read our
Here is what is going on today. Fish look better. I think
Prazipro levels are at the correct dose because my GSP has
finally not opened up. (I had this in my notes after the first
dose when I used this medication a while ago that it did not like
it same goes for my green stylo.) (This time after my first
treatment GSP did not close, and my green stylo which did not
like the last go around was still fine. They both currently look
like crap which leads me to believe I am at a therapeutic dose
for the fish) (All other Sps are fine except or two that RTNed.
:( ) Crypt seems to have receded on the large female, but eyes
are still white, and the white is a little stringy.
Despite that her eyes do look a little clearer. She was feistier
than usual today attempting to get food. She did ingest seaweed
as this is in the same spot everyday.
What I gathered from using quinine is that it is not reef safe,
or invert friendly.
Currently these fish are being treated in my display tank which
is a mixed reef. The pictures are of the sickest fish. The other
angels are not displaying any degree of crypt. They are just
showing signs of flukes.
<Well... you could go the route of hoping (dare I say praying)
for some sort of immunity here...>
To clarify I therefore should take out the scribbled angels and
get the QT tank to the same level of Prazipro?
I should then add the quinine compound. I understand that this
will not eliminate the crypto problem because it will always be
in my display tank, but could allow the angels to regain strength
in quarantine, and beef their immune system up.
I would want to create an equilibrium until I am ready to treat
the whole tank for crypto ie it is there, but if treated well,
and water parameters are correct they should be fine. At the same
time I don't want the infection to kill the one scribbled
angel. With that being my rationale would moving her to the QT
tank make the most sense?
What about temperature in the QT tank? Is 75 degrees okay for
Should I freshwater dip with Methylene blue before adding to the
<Yes I would... w/ Formalin added>
I have a 40 gallon QT. Can I put the two smaller scribbled's
in one, and get a second QT tank for the male?
The eyes are white for the large female, and the male. The
smaller female is okay, and is still eating. The larger
female's eyes are white and the white substance is somewhat
stringy on her eye?
<Their own mucus, produced in quantity>
Is this from flukes, or yet another secondary infection in
addition to flukes, and crypto? If it is should I treat with a
wide spectrum antibiotic in addition to quinine, and
<I would not; no; Not likely to be helpful here>
In addition all three scribbled angels have rapid breathing (not
surprising). The other fish do not except for the Regal, and the
Majestic? Dwarf angels can't really tell. They look fine as
they are baby dwarfs.
<I REALLY want to emphasize the direness of your situation.
ALL these fishes could (easily) die from debilitation/weakness
related to the parasitic situation here. I would be reading,
observing, acting w/ knowledge VERY carefully here>
Thanks, and sorry for all the questions. It is my science
background coming out.
<No worries at all Nick. Ask away. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Desperate 10/31/11
A couple of more questions. I will be following this advice when
I get home today due to the dire nature of this situation. To
clarify is it better to do a freshwater dip with Methylene blue,
then off to a 50 minute formalin bath, or put the formalin in
with the freshwater dip?
<Mix all together>
If so would a twelve minute dip suffice, or should it be
<Twelve minutes will get you about all you can...>
How much formalin goes into a freshwater dip?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
the first tray items on dips/baths and formalin use>
Some people from my local club are suggesting potassium
permanganate as treatment option. What are your thoughts?
<KMnO3 is WAAAAY too dangerous for most hobbyists' use.
Too strong an oxidizer... Please learn to/use the search tool on
WWM (on every page)... as you don't want to wait on me/our
Where does one acquire quinine compound?
<... also posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuinSourceF.htm
Most LFS do not seem to carry.
What about copper?
I know angels are very sensitive, but could it work or is the
risk not worth it?
<IF this is all that is available w/in reasonable time... see
WWM re its use on/w/ Pomacanthids. B>
Re: Desperate 10/31/11
Hopefully final question before the treatment begins. I can not
acquire quinine sulfate today. I can order some, but it will not
arrive until Friday assuming that I can't get it faster from
another source. Could I use Malachite Green instead.
I know it is not as benign, but I feel my choices are limited. I
know I will have to monitor Ammonia, and Nitrites.
Would you take this path of using Malachite Green in the absence
of quinine, or would you use something else?
<I'd either cross my fingers and hope for the best or use
a chelated copper solution in the meanwhile. B>
I will read up on this treatment in the mean time.
Thanks again for everything!!!!
Re: Desperate 11/1/11
After researching I found the safest dose of Cupramine for angels
to be at .35 mg/l.
<Mmm, this is the maximum free copper (cupric ion) exposure
for scaled fishes...>
Would this give a level of 1.5ppm?
<? With what product, test kit? Cupramine?>
I will test regardless not sure if you knew. Should I get the QT
tank right up to the therapeutic dose, or titrate over a couple
of days to get the angels used to it (follow the bottles
Re: Desperate 11/1/11
I found a post that helps. So mg/l is analogous with ppm.
<They are equivalents>
So the goal is not .35, but .15 mg/l?
<This is the low side of exposure, effective dose. B>
Re: Desperate 11/1/11
Sad to say, but none of the fish made it.
<Arrghhhh! I did TRY to convey the "direness" of
your situation... the state of infestation of the Angels whose
pix you sent along, the over-crowded condition in the
Maybe I was to aggressive, and should have waited with the copper
treatment, and gone the other route of crossing my fingers. I
want to recap with you because you have been so helpful for
taking your time to help me out. Hopefully I will learn from
this, and other people can learn from this to avoid loss from
So I did a freshwater dip in three gallons of RO/DI water,
formalin, and Methylene blue. I buffered the water, and matched
the temperature to the tank, and put in an air stone. I added
formalin (37%) at 2.7ml per gallon totaling to 8.1 ml of formalin
for the bath. I also added Methylene blue per the bottles
recommendation (believe it was for a total of 40 drops, maybe 60
don't recall of the top of my head). I freshwater dipped the
fish individually for 15 minutes, and then placed in a bucket
with my tanks water.
<Again, w/ aeration... just to note for others>
I did not notice much stress. I did see a ton of flukes at the
bottom of this dip. This was the first time I saw so many flukes
after a dip. I was also shocked because the main tank has
Prazipro in it, and it has been a week of treatment thus far.
<Again... Am NOT a fan of treating for most of anything in
main/display systems... For obvious reasons>
I would have thought that a lot of flukes would have been
eliminated already. Does the size mean that they might have need
a higher concentration of Prazipro in the water?
In the one quarantine tank of 40 gallons I added Seachem's
Cupramine. The directions said to achieve a level of .5 mg/l add
16 drops per gallon then 48 hours follow the same procedure.
<WITH testing of concentration>
According to the bottle this For freshwater add half as much to
achieve a level of .25 mg/l. I also buffered <?> the tank
with Prazipro two teaspoons which is the recommended dose for 40
gallons. I added 45 drops of Cupramine which would have given me
a level .175 mg/l. Figuring this would be good since angels are
sensitive ( 45/x=64/.25). I acclimated them to the quarantine
tank, and placed them into the tank. When I placed them in after
an hour I did see the little one fighting to jump put, but after
a couple of minutes she calmed down.
The large male I quarantined at a friends house, and added even
less Cupramine, and no Prazipro. The level of Cupramine was 1.25.
I was going to add more in 48 hours to get the angel to the
correct dose since they are sensitive to copper. He was
acclimated to my friends tank QT tank over an hour. SO he went
into the QT tank at about 12:30am. My friend who is an aspiring
lawyer checked him out again at 3:30am after he finished school
work, and he seemed fine, and not stressed. Any ideas besides the
obvious of Cupramine. Were these guys to<o> far gone.
What stumps me is that the little one was sick, but not that
<Can't tell just from looking>
to have all three not make it at the end of the night is wild.
The common link was the Cupramine, and the dip. Any ideas.
Besides acquiring quinine sulfate are there any other
recommendations you would make?
<Not at this juncture, no. Bob Fenner>
Re: Desperate 11/1/11
Thanks for the information. I know you told me the direness of
the situation hence why I followed your recommendations (as much
as I could minus the quinine sulfate). I drove two hours to a pet
store that told me they had the quinine sulfate only to be
disappointed that it was Kordon's Ich attack that contained
*naphthoquinones* (don't think that was what you meant).
Trust me I am heart broken as I rarely lose fish, and take it
very personally. Especially when it is fish that are as beautiful
and rare as those three. Despite the tragic loss there are still
other fish in the tank that will need help.
I am concerned for the Majestic, and Regal.
They are not showing symptoms yet, but I have to assume they are
infected, or maybe I shouldn't assume. Would you proactively
<Not quarantine, BUT treatment; yes>
In regards to the Scribbleds would it have been better to have
done the dip, and then allowed them time in QT without any
<No way to tell>
Then have titrated the Cupramine a couple of days later? In
theory minimize the stress, or space it out? I guess at that
point it was a crap shoot no matter what I did due to
<More this, yes>
If it was eye flukes, the LFS said that these flukes are more
protected from medications, and freshwater dips because they are
inside the eyes.
<? Not inside>
Is there some evidence of this, or just a myth? In general are
parasites protected more from their environment in larger
<Mmm; a qualified yes. BobF>
Possible parasitic infection in marine fish
I am having a couple problems with my system, and thought I should ask
the experts before I lose anymore fish. Here are the tank specs:
150 gallon RR with a 6" sand bed and around 200 lbs. live rock 40
gallon sump with protein skimmer
20 gallon macro algae refugium with Chaeto and Caulerpa with a 3 "
sand bed and 20 lbs. live rock rubble
2500 GPH Reeflo Pump
16 39 watt T5 lights (8 actinic & 8 white)
1 Coral Beauty Angelfish
1 Yellow Coris Wrasse
1 Green Mandarin Dragonet
1 Blue Spot Jawfish
1 Royal Gramma Basslet
1 Ocellaris Clown
6 Blue Green Chromis
1 Scopas Tang
1 Cleaner Shrimp
4 Peppermint Shrimp
Several Cerith and Nerite Snails
3 Extra Large Turbo Snails
Several Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
1 Emerald Crab
2 Bubble Tip Anemones
1 Green Finger Leather Coral
Pulsing Xenia (taking over)
Several different Zoanthids
1 Torch Coral
I do a 25% water change every other week. The salinity is kept at
<I'd raise this a few thousandths. See WWM for rationale>
pH at 8.3, and the temperature is between 76 and 78 degrees. Ammonia 0,
Nitrate 5ppm, Nitrite 0, Phosphate 2ppm,
<Whoa! Really? I suspect you're missing a/the decimal point
and calcium 460 ppm.
<Mmm, alkalinity and Mg conc.?>
The system has been running for 6 + years with no problems or
Until now. In 7 days, I have lost 3 Ocellaris Clowns, and 2
They look and act normal, eat well, then suddenly are swimming upside
down and die a couple hours later.
The one thing out of the ordinary is that several of the fish have long
white feces. They are fed a mixture of frozen Super Brine, Mysis
Shrimp, Reef Plankton, and Bloodworms.
<I'd scratch the Bloodworms (implicated in troubles...), and
Artemia (of poor/consistent food value), add Cyclops>
I only feed what they consume in a couple minutes every other day.
Copepods are occasionally added for the Mandarin. I have spoken to my
LFS about the symptoms, and was told that it is a parasite that cannot
be treated and all of my fish will probably die because there are no
effective treatment options.
Does this sound correct? Is there something I can at least try?
The other problem is a sudden algae bloom.
<Mmm, well... if your HPO4 is what you state...>
This started about 4 weeks ago. The sand and rock is covered in brown
algae and the glass is dusted with green algae. The only recent changes
are the Deep Sand Bed and the addition of the Jawfish and the Scopas
Could the algae bloom be related to the fish deaths?
<Possibly... but more likely the opposite, or co-related... As in
whatever has brought about the loss of the Damsels (Clowns are
Pomacentrids as well), is very likely positively correlated with the
Thank you for all your help!
<Mmm, how to help/assist you proceed/ing from here... You need to
read, and soon: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
but I would not "treat" the system as such yet... Perhaps
supplementation through the foods... HUFAs, Vitamins, AAs... as in
products like Selcon, Vitality... added/soaked a few minutes before
offering... Until there are actual signs... of infestation, infection,
I would not move the fishes elsewhere for chemical treatment. Bob
Need some help yet again! I've noticed a small outbreak in my show
tank and I'm not 100% sure what to do. A while back I bought a
Bi-color angelfish who had some parasite problems.
<Mmm, of what nature?>
Not having a Quarantine tank ready, I went ahead and added it to my
For around two weeks everything was fine, but afterwards the fish
started getting a cloudy eye and being very sluggish. Also noticed my
Hippo tang having a few problems along with my Royal Gramma. I gave all
3 fish a Formalin 3 dip
<... and placed these fishes back in the infested system?>
and the Gramma and Tang cleared right up. Unfortunately I lost my
Bi-color. My question is on my Hippo I've noticed no signs of any
parasite but he is rubbing against rocks and the sand bed.
<Some such behavior is "natural". Not to worry>
Should I do any kind dip or purchase a cleaner shrimp to try to help
<The cleaner would be my choice here for now>
Any information would be greatly Appreciated.
Thank you for your time,
<Uhh, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm
and the linked files above... till you have a "sufficient"
appreciation for your situation. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasites and Fish Mysteriously Dying
Thanks Chris. So your suggestion is to take out the Mandarin but OK to
leave hermits, shrimps and snails to break the parasite cycle?
<That is what I would do. Do keep a close eye on the mandarin to
make sure it has something to eat.>
Re: Now an angel... Quinine, SW parasitic dis. (?) of what
sort... Confusing oneself w/ opinions from differing sources
So I wanted to tell the rest of the story.
After you said I needed to raise salinity and use quinine (and this was
after about 3.5 days of treatment with prozipro and lowering salinity
to 1.011) I added carbon, turned on the UV and slowly started raising
the salinity. I called National Fish Pharmacy to ask if I could use the
Cryptopro in lower salinity as I did not want to raise it quickly. In
talking with Brian he convinced me that I needed to treat again for
flukes -- that it was not ich. This was based on the data that the fish
was hiding, not eating well, and breathing hard.
<? These can be/are symptoms of Cryptocaryoniasis... and can be
symptomatic of trematode infestations>
So I treated again for flukes instead of ich and I very slowly raised
the salinity according to your instructions. It went from 1.011 to
1.015 in about a week. Well the ich returned and the fish was looking
terrible. I have treated a fish for flukes before and the fish usually
looks better very quickly and this was after another 4.5 days on
<Prazi-Pro... as in the product containing Praziquantel... for
But he was looking terrible so I started the process to get the
prozipro out again but it takes 48 hours and the fish died before the
48 hours was up.
Now I still had the goby and he was showing symptoms so after the 48
hours of small water changes and carbon, (Brian said not to use UV as
it sucks oxygen out of the water
<... No... generates higher DO... even Ozone/O3... nonsense>
and he also said to leave the salinity alone so I did) I treated with
quinine. Last night was the 7th night of treating with the quinine and
the goby is dying this morning.
Originally I did not write to you for advice on how to treat ich. I
wrote -- with all of the details because I was worried it was something
else. I gave the fish a freshwater dip at one point to check and see if
it was velvet but there was no cloudiness in the water and there was no
evidence of velvet when they died. As I mentioned several times I was
confused because nothing seemed to be effective. The only symptoms I
could see were hiding, not eating, redness in the gills, a strange
texture on the gills (not fluke shapes) and difficulty breathing.
<... need a scope...>
Brian still insists that it was flukes and that I did not treat it long
enough or early enough. And that the ich was a secondary infection. If
this is so then I should have stayed with the hypo and prozipro. I
don't know what I have learned from this except that I want to buy
quarantined fish from now on.
<Thank you for this input Sherri... Other than prophylactic measures
like dips/baths and quarantine, it may be worth your while to invest in
an inexpensive microscope (see my input re on WWM) and a stock
reference work on fish disease ID and treatment (see re Ed Noga...).
Help! Parasitized system choices 10/11/09
3 months ago I had a whitespot outbreak in my reef tank.
Took all the fish out and put them in quarantine tank but lost most.
Lost a kole tang, a magnificent powder brown, a maroon clown pair and a
royal gramma. The only fish to survive were the comet grouper and the
neon damsel (no surprise there).
We left the display tank empty of fish for 5 weeks.
In the meantime we purchase a pair of ocellaris clowns and a very small
lipstick tang. They stayed in quarantine for 4 weeks before being put
in the display tank.
Purchased a purple tang that was in the coral display tank at my LFS
for 6 weeks. We watched this fish for the whole six weeks in the LFS,
no sign of any problems so he went directly into the display tank.
Then I acquired an achilles tang ( I had been after one for over a
put him in the quarantine tank. He was in there for 3 weeks with no
sign of white spot but he developed a cloudy eye. I had planned to keep
him in quarantine for another week but was advised by the LFS to put
him in the display tank as the cloudy eye was because the quarantine
tank was too small and the achilles was probably stressed.
Put him in the display tank. A week later he developed white spot!
The white spot is getting worse.
He is the only fish with white spot. All the others are fine.
The achilles is still eating well and seems active.
But as you can imagine I am stressed out! I absolutely love this fish
and don't want to lose him.
What should I do?
<Is a choice you'll have to make... to treat or not... and if to
treat whether to move all or not... and then, what to treat with. IF I
were to treat these fishes at this juncture, I'd use a Quinine cpd.
in situ. Read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm>
Water is good. 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, ph 8.0, 0 phosphate.
<Or IF I were to shoot for some sort of parasitized system balance,
I'd be reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above till I understood the ramifications of this
choice. Bob Fenner>
Trying to save my clown (trigger): SW Velvet. Disease
identification and treatment. 7/31/2009
You have a wonderful website with a great deal of great
I have a 165-gallon tank that has been up for 3 months. We have 1 clown
trigger (4 inches), 1 nigger trigger (3 inches), 1 yellow tang (5
inches), 1 blue hippo tang (4 inches), 1 raccoon butterfly (4 inches),
1 yellow head goby, and 1 dragon goby (both 3 inches).
The water measurements are ph 8.2, ammonia 0.00, nitrates .20, nitrites
0.00, and hydrometer reads 1.022. The temperature of the tank ranges
from 78.9 to 80.9. The tank has live rock and sand. We also have a 65
gallon tank that had been up for a year.
<Don, Thank you for providing these details. Also, while everybody
gets along now and everyone 'fits' in this tank, you are likely
to have some behavioral problems down the road.>
Yesterday my powder brown tang looked like it had swam through a snow
storm. It started swim in small circles and refused to eat dinner.
Within about an hour he was dead.
<That is fast - too fast for Crypt. How long did you have this fish,
how long was it quarantined, and how was it behaving recently?>
This is the first fish that we have ever had that has died. I had just
did a 35 gallon water change the day before and moved the direction of
one of my powerheads more at the rocks. I buy saltwater from my LFS
same place I have been using the last year.
<Not likely a contributing factor.>
This morning it took a long time for our clown to come out of his
When he did we noticed some real light white spots on him similar to
those on the powder brown.
<Spots or bumps?>
He ate excellent this morning and we kept the lights off after the
At the dinner feeding the spots are still there and he ate excellent
again. He appears to be swimming fine.
All of the other fish in the tank appear fine and there are no signs of
white spots on any of them. They all are eating well and swimming as
Could this be ich or what?
<Based on what you are telling me, it is possible, that or
<Read here for descriptions and pictures that can help you identify
the disease and treatment options:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisood.htm (Deals with clownfish, but
I am at a loss, since it is now on my clown. Everything I have says
tangs are walking ich carriers but very little on clowns. Any help and
advice would be great.
<Do read above the linked articles above and see if you can
determine the disease..>
Marine Ick... and more, reading 6/21/09
I have a potters angel which I have been treating for marine ick with
Formalin 3. I feel bad because I stopped the treatment too early and
now the spots have returned. The angel is still in my qt tank and
I'm now going to do a second round of treatment but I'm
wondering how he will handle another 6 weeks of formalin? Is there a
<... quite a few... read on WWM re...>
Second question. I also have 2 false clowns that were exposed to the
angel for about a week when he had spots originally in my 65 gallon
reef tank. They have never shown any visible signs of white spots and
they eat and act well. So they have stayed in the main tank for the
last month while the angel has been in my 10 gallon qt tank and they
still don't show white spots. Should I treat them along with the
angel in my 10 gallon qt tank even though they have never shown a white
spot since I purchased them 4 months ago? I'm just concerned that 3
fish in a 10 gallon qt tank is too much? Will they always be suspect as
carriers no matter how much time goes by without spots?
However there's a twist now. I just noticed that one of the clowns
pooped out a long stringy white thing?
<Please learn to/use the search tool on WWM re... this, these are
all gone over and over>
Could this be a symptom of Ick or some other parasite?
I read on one of your FAQs that this type of poop doesn't
necessarily indicate a "pathogen" however I'm unsure what
exactly is meant by pathogen?
<A biological contagion... causative organism of disease>
Is a parasite a pathogen or does that only refer to germs and/or
<Encompasses all such agents>
Will formalin 3 treat stringy white poop problem as well?
<No... not w/o killing the host first... see WWM re Formalin as
I'm sorry for all the questions but I'm kind of new to this and
really need some help because I'm feeling like I'm letting my
<... the search tool... listed on the home page... each of all the
other thousands of pages... Bob Fenner>
QT disaster, please HELP, SW parasitic disease... reading
>/// are we starting en media res? Where's the prev.
all 4 of my fish out of my 180-gallon reef and started treating with
Quinine Sulfate for Crypt, as recommended from one www adviser. I used
the recommended dosage on the bottle. My powder brown which looked most
affected before the QT started looking much better but then one morning
had blotchiness all over him and was dead a few hours later.
<Mmm, I might have (FW pH adjusted) dipped/bathed the most afflicted
fishes enroute... to "knock off" the bulk of parasites
The same day my clownfish was laying on its side and my hippo tang is
breathing heavily. I said that's it and did two 25% partial water
changes within 8-hours and I also through the carbon media back into
the bio-wheel filter.
<... on the quarantine/treatment tank? This will remove the
Now looking at my remaining clownfish and hippo tang, I see what looks
to be powder on the fish,
<Whitish? Of what apparent size?...>
especially the hippo tang. I can't tell if this is Marine Velvet or
not because the entire tank/ glass walls have powder on them from the
Quinine Sulfate. I just fed the tang and it ate everything but it is
very hard and I am watching it right now struggle to stay upright. I am
thinking about putting it back into the main tank which has been fallow
for only a week. Please help, what would you do?
<A bit more reading. Bob Fenner>
Re: QT disaster, please HELP, more reading
In regards to the message, below. I decided to do a freshwater dip with
Methylene blue for 4-minutes.
<Oh! Should have been done when the fishes were moved in the first
Then I put the tang back in the fallow main tank since it is very
stressed in a small tank and my QT has .25 ammonia ( I have been using
Amquel+ to take care of that)
<Won't do so ongoing... need a biological filter... More
The freshwater dip did nothing at all to remove any of the powder
looking stuff all over its body. Does this mean that it may not be
Marine Velvet, because it did not remove any of the powder which I
thought were parasites?
<Not necessarily, no. Both parasites can be "so embedded"
that the mucus spots/dots (which is what we see, not the actual
parasites) look permanent>
Now I have my 2x clowns in the QT still and my tang in the DT by
<?! Why in the display tank?>
If/when the tang dies I think I would feel better if it died in my reef
tank, its home. I just don't know what to do anymore.
Re: QT disaster, please HELP 6/6/09
Thanks Bob, I did read your white paper on Marine Velvet, but it
doesn't really say that there is anything that will eradicate
marine velvet from fish, for sure.
<Mmm, I do want to state/admit... that as far as I'm aware and
concerned there actually ISN'T anything that will eliminate
Amyloodinium from fish for sure...!>
With crypt we know that copper works well but it seems to be hit or
miss with velvet. My hippo tang is dead now so I am left with a fallow
display tank and still have those two clownfish in QT with a slight
white dust on them. I feel VERY bad about my tangs, especially the
Hippo I had for 2-years. I am really questioning myself about the
decision I made to take all the fish out and throw them in QT.
<Good to question, bad/sad to have lost your fishes>
The Hippo didn't even look bad (powder brown did)
<"Looks can be deceiving". Appearance is not indicative of
but I stressed it out to the max and caused it to die. I thought it was
small cases of crypt the tangs were getting, but it looks to be more
like velvet now. It must have come on a live rock a coral was on or
something, because I haven't added any new fish in months and even
when I did I QT'd them. Thanks again.
<Can be introduced via anything wet. B>
Re: QT disaster, please HELP... parasitic
Thanks again Bob, so if you were in my shoes what would you do? I have
a 180-gallon fishless reef and a clownfish pair that may have been
exposed to velvet in a QT. I know the reef will be left fallow, but I
am scared to ever put the clowns back in. Thank you.
<Well... likely the system is and will be infested... see/read on
WWM re "parasitic reef systems"... B>
Ich AND Velvet - Need help fast! 04/04/09
You have been so helpful in the past, both through books (Conscientious
Marine Aquarist) and WMM which have helped me with my new 120 gal tank
be successful. I waited 7 months to stock my tank (hard to be patient,
but I was) and my tank has become my pride. I started stocking in
December and was adding the last of my fish (3 tangs). Now my demise is
giving in and buying a fish not on my list (and against your advice) so
I deserve what I get and am mad at myself for putting my fish through
I bought the 3 tangs on 3-14-09; zebrasoma flavescens (yellow),
Acanthurus japonicus (white faced), and my mistake, the Paracanthurus
hepatus (blue hippo). I gave them all three a freshwater dip with
methylene blue for 5 minutes and then into a 10 gal QT tank.
<Mistake... these species can't be crowded together like
I changed 2 gal of water out each day and had no chemistry issues
(ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all stayed 0) by doing that. I have a sponge
filter and some PVC piping for them to hide in and an airstone to add
more water since my powerhead seems to move the water around too much
for them. QT tank is set at 80 degrees. All three eating good, feeding
in the evening mysis shrimp and Formula 2 I soaked the food in garlic
one day and the next day in Selcon. In the morning, I fed the Spirulina
Following your advice to a tee until on day 15 (3-30-09, they started
bullying the hippo from getting food, so I was concerned about 3 tangs
in a 10 gal anyway so since they were eating well and looked fine (no
spots, eating, no flicking) I moved them to the display tank. (I use a
Fish Corral box instead of netting them seems less stressful), also
gives me a good look at them and the ability to drip acclimate them to
the display and keep them in the Corral in the display for a few
minutes to let the other fish check them out without immediately
<All good points>
I let them go and they all swam around and none of the fish fought with
them. So for the next 24 hours I watched carefully to make sure they
weren't picked on etc.
So on 4-2 (Tues) I see spots (like sugar) stuck to the blue hippo body
and dorsal fins and some on the dorsal fins of the chocolate tang.
Panicked I quickly caught the blue hippo in the corral and looked
closely at the spots!
How could I miss that? I did another freshwater dip in methylene blue
for 5 minutes and back in the QT she went. I then added 8 drops of the
Quick Cure (Formalin, Malachite Green) to the 10 gal QT daily. I caught
the yellow and she didn't have a single spot on her so I put her
back into the display (probably a mistake). I couldn't catch the
chocolate, but when I got home from work, she didn't have anymore
spots on her, but I was concerned about stressing her more trying to
catch her ï¿½ she's a smart one and wouldn't
fall for my corral tactics.
Last night (4-3), the hippo was covered in velvet (looks like she was
rolled in flour). So what I thought was Ich turned to velvet?
<Mmm, no... could be either, both>
She died this morning (4-4) in the QT :-(. I've been up all night
reading about the stages of Ich and velvet ï¿½ but I
am hesitant to tear my 120 gal down and send all the fish off to the
hospital (which I would need a bigger tank) if none of them show any
signs of illness ï¿½ except the 5-6 spots on the
white faces fins.
So my question (finally ï¿½ you say) is, given the
display tanks exposure to the blue tang for 24 hours and the chocolates
possible illness (probably brought on by my panic to get her out) do I
watch and wait?
<Mmm, a toss-up... I'd wait, while ordering
(its now been
4 days since the tanks exposure to the tangs). Do I take down my tank
and catch all my fish and move them to the hospital (not sure how big I
would need ï¿½ see list below).
And finally, I'm not sure what to treat for (which is my main
reason for writing to you (and its unfair since you cant see
ï¿½ thus the long email I'm trying to give you
all the details to help). What I thought was ich turned out to be
<Not able to say/state, but if Amyloodinium had taken effect in your
main system, very likely all fishes would be dead by now>
But then I would think, as fast as that kills, my whole tank would be
more in trouble than it seems. So if I move them all-out, how do I
treat them? I've read how you leave the main tank fallow for at
least 8 weeks. I can probably keep my invertebrates in, so I can find
those answers in your site readily enough. If I move them, I should
keep all in the display except for the fish (but can the mandarin stay
in as well given her thick slime coat?) When I called my LFS, they
suggested two directions: buying a cleaner shrimp or cleaner wrasse or
tearing the tank down and putting a UV light on the display.
<Mmm, possible good advice...>
Tank parameters: Euro-Reef 180 skimmer, Eheim 1262 return pump, Current
Sundial T5HO 4x54 watts, on 8 hrs, 125# live rock, 1 inch sugar fine
sand in display and 50 gal refugium with 6" deep sand bed (sugar
fine). Refugium lights on for 12 hrs at night with Chaetomorpha linum 3
Maxi-Jet 1200 and 2 Koralia-4 circulating the tank.
1.026 sp gr
0.03 phosphate (use RO)
Astrea turban snails (6)
Nassarius snails (4)
Coral Banded Shrimp
Emerald Mithrax crab (2)
Green star polyps
Red mushroom rock (4)
Order of introduction ï¿½ all quarantined first
Pajama spotted cardinals (5)
Green Mandarin (1 Â½ yrs old from old tank)
Royal Gramma Basslet
Coral Beauty Angelfish
Flame Angelfish (they both get along well)
Cinnamon clownfish (9 years old from my old tank)
Diamond Watchman Goby
Yellow Tang (zebrasoma flavescens)
White faced tang (Acanthurus japonicus)
Any thoughts on my parameters is appreciate as well, but not top
priority since I know that if I am dealing with disease I have to move
quickly today and go buy a tank and set it up today. My 10 gal QT needs
to be bleached and cleaned, but cant put all these fish into it. How
large with this population would you suggest since they have to be in
it for 2 months?
<... fifty or so gallons>
Now that my QT tank has velvet in it, am assuming I'll have to
throw my sponge filter away?
<No... any water, surface could be infested>
If I need a 50 gal hospital tank for these fish, I would need an
additional filter ï¿½ what type would you suggest if
I have to treat with medications?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cryptcures1.htm
and the linked files above... and here:
And finally, if I have to treat ï¿½ what do you
suggest for the above symptoms? And the moral of the story
ï¿½ minimum 30 day QT for tangs <And one to a
a whole year of careful planning down the drain and am hoping you give
me something positive ï¿½ as I hate to stress all
these fish out if I'm wrong.
The White Faced tang is showing no signs of sickness (fast breathing,
scratching ï¿½ only the couple of spots on the front
fins). All other fish are also without signs of sickness.
<Let's hope you can settle on a low-pathogenicity resident
situation. Bob Fenner>
Marine Parasite Problem 3-31-09
<Hello, Mike here this afternoon>
I currently manage a marine aquatic laboratory. We have two closed
saltwater systems (since the lab is fairly landlocked): one large and
one small. At any given time, we typically house mummichogs and
cephalopods. Since September 2008, we have only maintained mummichogs
and larger predatory fish, and no cephalopods. However, we intend to
house some cuttlefish this coming semester.
<Neat! I did a bit of work at the National Research Center for
Cephalopods (NRCC) in Galveston, TX>
Since we brought in our first cohort of mummichogs in October 2008
(collected from the wild - we culled as many as we could identify with
visible parasitism), we had a terrible parasite problem.
<Can you be more specific?>
We were hesitant to use any copper based parasite killer in either
system for fear that residual copper compounds may inevitably kill
cephalopods (should we house them in the future).
<This may or may not be an issue, depending upon a variety of
factors; but you are correct about there being better alternatives to
copper based medications>
By November, about 25% were dying a day, and by December, they were all
dead. We contacted an aquarium shop and they suggested two things
instead: 1) to increase the temperature (which we cannot do) and 2)
switch the systems to freshwater. We elected to go with the second
option, and turned both systems into freshwater. After a week in
freshwater, it seemed to have worked. However, by the second week, the
parasites once again took hold, and killed off our population.
<An internal parasite, then?>
We brought in a new cohort in late February 2009, and they were doing
well for an entire month. This time, we kept the large system
freshwater, and the small system saltwater. However, over the last two
weeks, we've seen massive parasitism, and accelerated mortality.
I'm not sure if this is due to residual parasite problems or a new
<Likely a new invasion, although it would be helpful to know what
parasite is causing the mortality>
I don't think this parasite will jump hosts if we bring back
cephalopods, but we're not sure. Also, I froze some fish specimens
just in case we ever considered to do any histology.
<Highly recommended if you haven't determined the species of the
Given our situation, and our attempts to drop salinity and avoid copper
dewormers, what would you recommend as a successful, alternative
solution? We would really appreciate your help, since this issue has
plagued us all year.
<A little more information would be helpful. Are you using UV
sterilization? Ozone in the marine systems? Any idea what
type/kind/species of parasite? If not, what symptoms are being
displayed? Water parameters of the system? Flow rate and filtration
<Let me know. Mike Maddox>