FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot,
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Re Nitrate up pH down James Please Help/Nitrate Control
Sorry about my breakdown a few days ago.
<No problem and quite understandable. I've been through a few
wipeouts in my early years in the hobby and I know the feeling but
never gave up, just learned as much as I could but unfortunately
information wasn't as readily available as it is now. The few
books available then were primitive compared to today.>
I saw a new episode of Tanked and it made realize that I am obsessed
with the hobby and I will never be able to quit it. The money part about
loosing these animals is not the part that hurts. It is more like
loosing Family member. I have kids and all the fish are named.
Something crazy happened in my quarantine tank. I went down Saturday
afternoon to check on my tank. Two angels were dead and everybody was
laying on the bottom breathing really heavy. All there eyes were clouded
over its was a bad scene. Before I did a water change I check all levels
in the tank. nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. Were all at zero. S.g. 1.023
temp 74. The day before that I moved The Annularis down stairs to the
quarantine tank because he was covered with ick and was not going to
treat my main tank. All the fish were fine a few Ick spots here
and there. I decided to treat the ick in the tank. I have two Wal-Mart
back filters on the tank and airstone. I pulled filter cartridges with
carbon out and replaced them with Aquarel filter fiber. I had a lion
fish down in there and did want to use copper so I used Kordon
<Worthless in my opinion.>
Did everything by directions turned lights off and walked away. The next
day is when I found the angels dead. So after pulling the Angels out I
did a 25% water change and added carbon. I was thinking maybe the ick
attack poisoned them.
<Unlikely, it's makeup is organic herbs.><<RMF disagrees>>
That night everybody was swimming around still seemed a little stress, but
seemed to be getting better. Yesterday same scene. Foxface, and Sixline
wrasse dead. Small porcupine puffer, clown trigger, lion fish, and small
tusk. Were laying on the bottom eyes clouded over all ready to die.
<I believe an ammonia spike is what killed them.>
I moved them upstairs and they were all dead by this morning. Yellow
tang died in main tank today too. I have a small majestic angel in my
main tank, and purple tang that is looking pretty bad now. My blue face
angel and Tusk are stressing, but are still eating. My blonde Naso,
Picasso trigger, clown fish, green Chromis, blue jaw trigger, and starry
blenny all to seem stress free. I have somebody coming bye to test my
water today. If my water is fine then I am starting to wonder if my ro-di
system is the cause. The filters are a little dirty, but seem to be
<The only sure way to tell is with a TDS meter and they are very
inexpensive, Mmm like around 20 bucks at Premium Aquatics.>
I am all out of Ideas, and afraid to do a water change.
<You need to slow down and regroup. James (Salty Dog)>
Allicin (Diallyl thiosulphate)
Hi Crew, Yes the dreaded Ich problem. Has
there been any trials of either placing crushed garlic in a sock, or
similar and leaving it floating in a tank for several hours and
changing it everyday, or prepared Allicin to add to a tank?
<To be clear, there is no evidence that Garlic (Allicin) has any
effect on the parasite Cryptocaryon (Marine Ich). The only
anecdotal evidence is that the garlic acts as an appetite stimulant
which helps a fish that is otherwise stressed out to feed better and in
theory, help it fight off the parasite better. Again, there is no
evidence to support this, just a hope. There are only 3 ways to deal
with this parasite and all take place in a QT tank. Copper Treatment,
Hypo salinity, and the tank transfer method. Please search WWM for
details about each.>
Do you think the first suggestion could harm my reef tank even if it
does not help with the Ich?
<No harm other than unnecessary nutrients and the fact that your
water may smell like garlic....;)>
Re: Allicin (Diallyl thiosulphate) 4/2/12
Hi Crew, Thanks for your reply. If I calculate the rate of flow and
have good water movement throughout the tank and I have read up online
what are the most effective UV's how much success is there in
keeping the Ich under control.
<UV's are only good to the extent that every individual free
swimming parasite actually goes through the UV with the proper dwell
time. They may help in keeping a massive outbreak from happening, but
again, they will not eradicate the parasite from your system and cure
your fish. Please see my prior response surrounding the only three ways
to resolve your Ich
Ich. Garlic 4/2/12
Hi Crew, I have a 5 inch Regal Angel, Copperband Butterfly, 11/2 inch
Emperor Angel, 2 Ocellaris clowns and a Purple Tang. Two days ago the
Purple Tang (having thinner mucus) had about within 24 hours ten white
spots, which spread to the other fish except the clowns. Being a reef
tank my options were limited so I soaked live brine shrimp in
freshly cut garlic
<Of no use whatsoever...>
for 15 min.s and feed them for the last two days. All spots are
gone, even on the Purple Tang.
<Nah... just cycled off...>
I know I am not out of the woods yet but as there are no spots even on
the tang as the life cycle is not always in sync I hope the smell of
the garlic has confused the Ich to find it's host. Will keep you
updated but I do think there is something in the garlic theory. Here is
an interesting article from over ten years ago -
<No sale. I'd be reading... Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich. 4/3/12
Bob, I tend to suspect you are right, however if this is the case
surely everyday a few white spots would appear as the life cycle is not
in perfect harmony?
<Mmm, no; most cases start, express themselves in a synchronous
fashion at first...>
Today Tuesday there is not a spot in sight. At 26C how long until the
next wave of infection?
<Three-four days... I'd be reading on WWM, and acting... start
and the linked files above. BobF>
FAO Bob Fenner. Cryptocaryon update, garlic 3/4/12
Hi Bob, As for you readers I write with an update..
I write not to provoke an argument as I am sure you see more Ich
comments than I do, however as you know I run a reef tank that did have
Ich but I left it fallow for nearly four weeks at around 30C as higher
temps speed up the life cycle. Five days ago I added fish, perhaps I
should have set up a QT tank but had two small clown fish in the tank
for a few days and they were fine. I appreciate there is a risk of
transfer with the new fish but took the chance. My small Emperor Angel,
Purple Tang, Regal Tang are still Ich free and eating but my Copperband
has a few spots on him today perhaps as he is the only fish who did not
eat the garlic soaked food, all the other fish ate garlic soaked
I've brine shrimp. I did source some live brine shrimp but sadly
cannot source anymore so I am feeding Mysis with the hope of getting
them onto New Life Finicky Fish Formula, which the Emperor and Purple
Tang already eat. Again, the only fish to get Ich is the Copperband who
is not eating the garlic soaked Mysis. There has to be some correlation
I cut about four/five slices of garlic and leave with the food for
around 15 min.s in about 1cm of bottled drinking water before feeding.
Surely the Purple Tang is normally 10 times or more susceptible. I
would at this stage have to put the non transfer of Ich to the other
fish down to the garlic.
I feed them about 4 times a day. I freshwater dipped my Copperband for
7 min.s and about 90% of the spots are gone. I hope to maintain this
process until the fish become immune or I can kill enough of the
(pregnant) Whitespot off by daily freshwater baths as the spots are
100's of babies about to enter the tank. The problem I now have is
that the Copperband will only eat brine which I cannot source. I hope
that when he sees the other fish eating Mysis he will adapt. I felt
cautious about buying him as I know they are difficult to get to eat.
My tank water is fine sourced from the tropical Indian Ocean I am sure
if not the Regal would be in trouble.
Luck is with me. More Crypt 3/4/12
Hi Crew, I could only source frozen bloodworm as I live in an island in
the Indian Ocean as an alternative to Mysis that all the other fish ate
except the Copperband and all the other fish chewed on it but spat it
out. The Copperband loved it, perhaps not ideal nutrition for him but
should give me some time to acclimatise him on to other foods. The
white spots have all gone I trust from the long freshwater dip, would
they normally stay attached for more than approx 12 hours, I would have
thought 2-3 days? I am going out for a drink now, marine fish keeping
is a challenge but I have been doing so for over 30 years and still
love it. Regards, Adam.
<And you, BobF>
Re Ich Battle. 4/6/12
Hi Bob, I understood that all Tangs are much more susceptible to
<Mmm, some in particular... Acanthurus achilles, A. leucosternon, A.
Tonight all my fish except the Copperband and the Regal Tang are
Do you think they have built immunity from the sea?
I have freshwater dipped the Copperband and Regal for 7 min.s and the
spots are gone from the Copperband, the Regal still has a few but these
were only on his tail fin and are not like grains so maybe another
<Mmm, you'd do well to get/use an inexpensive 'scope... the
QX series is what I use/endorse nowayears... and borrow a copy of
either edition of Ed Noga's Fish Disease book... learn to make
I would like to ask two questions. If the infection only attacks the
Copperband and I freshwater dip him everyday do you think that will
eventually break the life cycle of the Ich as the grains of Ich only
appear on him at dusk and if I catch them quickly they do not seem to
have time to dig into to his skin as they are gone after the freshwater
<Mmm, no... the vast likelihood is that the specimen will instead
die from handling, osmotic shock>
My second question although I am happy this is the case why do you
think my Purple Tang is spotless? Regards, Adam.
<The spots... are only symptomatic... the host fish's
reaction... the actual parasite is too small to see... Your fishes may
be infested. BobF>
RXP, worthless 4/7/12
Hi, I was trying to find
information on RX-P and read the article below.
<See my/the archived comments on WWM re this scam. B>
Surely by adding water from the main tank you would be re-infecting the
QT tank? Re: RXP Bob, You have won me on quarantine tanks. I have
managed to borrow a 15g tank that now houses my lion while I am dosing
with RXP. <Ah, good on the quarantine> I might even set it up in
the kids room with a BioWheel or something similar. Would this tank
handle say 2 Chromis and a damsel and the occasional new fish on
quarantine duty, <Yes, but not with the Lionfish present if it can
swallow same...> what about sand on the bottom. <Not unless the
animals involved require it... better to use the BioWheel, and periodic
water changes from your main system to return water quality to
center... If sand, live rock are needed, better to place them in a
glass dish (like for burrowing wrasses let's say), to facilitate
removal... otherwise these materials change water chemistry, absorb
medications> Also have you any thoughts on vitamin c for Ich
<Doesn't work...> And how long should a new fish spend in the
q tank <Depends on species, condition... Take a look (again) at
quarantine, acclimation materials posted on site: Home Page > and is
necessary to dose with copper every time a new fish goes in there.
<Once again, this depends on the species involved and their apparent
health... in general, no... I would freshwater, pH adjusted dip new
fishes... then place them in quarantine for observation and
"hardening" for the desired/requisite period of time, and
engage copper treatments (probably needing to be tested and re-applied
daily...> Cheers, Scott
Ich. Ongoing Crypt non-cures 4/8/12
Hi Bob, Having observed my various marine fish contract Ich all except
my clownfish who I presume has a thicker mucus covering to protect him
from the anemone and to his advantage Ich.
<There are speculations re, yes>
Most methods seems to focus on killing the Ich directly in it's
free swimming stage, however has there been any focus on trying to get
a chemical to stimulate more fish mucus production to provide a barrier
to stop the Ich being able to reach the fishes body.
If this could be achieved then the life cycle of the Ich could be
broken and the fish would survive. Regards, Adam.
50/50 Ich 4/8/12
Crew, I know what you think of RX-P but here is my situation. Following
on from earlier emails all my fish were covered in spots yesterday and
I dosed at 1/4 recommended dose to observe fish up to the recommended
dose in stages of a couple of hours each dose, therefore over 8 hours
or so. Last night I feared the worse having seen Ich wipe out a tank in
24 hours after the swarming spots. Tonight my Copperband is free from
spots, all fish are eating, Porcupine Puffer fins still covered, Purple
Tang less spots, Regal Angel no spots also the small Emperor who has a
few spots and is blotchy is cleaning" the Regal.. The ocellaris
clown still not affected. I have NOT been using a skimmer as I thought
if there is an adverse reaction I can go to the beach and change the
water. I have just dosed at half dose again, so I am exceeding the
recommended timing, corals, starfish, anemone is fine so far. I know
this might be a life cycle event where things look better before they
get worse but every other time I fish have had Ich (I have been keeping
marines 30 years) they have nearly all died. Today they are ALL alive
actively swimming and eating. I am also feeding Mysis and bloodworm
soaked for 15 min.s in freshly cut garlic. Regards, Adam.
<... rarely cures... Am accruing your observations.
Re: Ich. Re RXP I take it 4/9/12
Has anyone succeeded yet?
<None that I know of w/ this product.
Ich. RXP scam 4/10/12
Hi Crew, Ich update - all fish still alive and eating. The Ich has
decreased there are very few white spots, even the Tang is clear.
However there is to various degrees blotches on the bodies and fins
which I suspect is extra mucus and still some Ich and a response from
the fish to the invaders but very few seems to produce white spots.
Yesterday I dosed RX-P at 75% of the stated dose as I am not running a
skimmer. I am cautious to dose again as it states that it can kill if
overdosed. I have decided as the disease seems under control not to
take the risk of adding more RX-P unless the symptoms get worse. I am
going to try and speak with the manufacturer today. I believe that if I
had not added RX-P by now all my fish would have been dead. The tang at
his worse was covered with 50+ white spots and now has none. Also none
of the fish are breathing fast which is normally the near terminal
stage of Ich. In addition the fact that they are all eating shows they
feel relatively happy. They are active which as we now is not the case
with Ich at the advanced stage they become lethargic.
My inverts, hard coral, anemone and starfish are all ok. I hope this
helps some of you out there but please read my earlier comments about
increasing the dose over time and I am lucky as I live right next to
the Indian ocean so have a quick water change option if needed. I would
only do what I did if I had this option ready. Regards, Adam.
<I will not endorse any so-called "reef safe" remedy that
doesn't have scientific proof of efficacy... pepper... a scam.
Re: Ich. 4/11/12
Hi Crew, My purpose of my emails is not
to get your approval, although it would be good, but to let people have
a chance of saving their fish.
<... my same purpose... on WWM... the last seventeen years; books
and articles I've penned... including warning people of product
If RX-P is dosed as I have said in my previous emails I think my fish
have survived because of it.
<... Adam, you have no "controls" in this experiment...
What if you'd done all but added the Kent product and got the same
or even better results?>
Pepper, if it increases the mucus on the fish provides a barrier. There
is no way delicate fish like a Regal Angel, Copperband Butterfly and as
all tangs have low mucus for the sake of Ich susceptibility a Purple
Tang would have survived this long. I will wait for two weeks and then
do a large water change and see if the cycle has been broken. If not I
will start the process again. I am not dosing anymore as the fish seem
to be clear of white spots and have a misty appearance from the mucus.
Kent, the manufacturer told me that the product does not decrease in
strength without a protein skimmer or carbon <?> so I think I
have the right level. I hope you are placing this and my other emails
on your site. Regards, Adam.
<Search and see. B>
Oodinium and Crypt. Ongoing... . 4/17/12
Hi, Am I correct that the best way for tackling these pests in a reef tank is to
leave the tank with no fish for about six weeks? If I raise the tank temperature
can this time be shortened. How reliable is leaving a tank like this? Regards,
<All gone over on WWM... please stop writing and start using your time reading
Brooklynella or not?
This is my first time contacting you and I am asking for some
<You are a stranger here but once>
I have recently lost 5 fish, Dottyback, chromis, male saddleback,
rusty angel and powder blue tang very quickly. I still have a
very small valentini, a chromis, and the female saddleback. She
stopped feeding for a day and he eyes seemed to gloss over. She
started breathing very fast and occasionally flicking herself
against the back. Her white stripe at the front began to look as
though the black was wry slightly coming through.
This was five days ago and she has got no worse and is feeding
well there is no sign of mucus etc. The other two fish are
apparently fine and look great and feeding well. My local fish
store told me its Brooklynella but I'm not convinced somehow.
His suggestion was to treat the whole tank with an nt labs
<Who, what company is this?>
for a month and then begin to restock. He also suggested that the
best thing to do with then clown was to kill it.
I didn't want to do it. I have an old tropical tank I could
uses as a qt tank but just don't know what to do for the
Please advise. Many thanks
<Need more information, photos if you have them...
well-resolved. Have you read on WWM re this Protozoan, Crypt? Do
so, ASAP. Bob Fenner>
Re: Brooklynella or not? 11/7/11
Thanks so much for getting back to me.
Here is a photo though it is not as clear as I would like it:
<Mmm; this does "look" more like Cryptocaryon to
me... and judging from the other fishes you previously listed as
5 days ago I treated the tank with:
<... anti-bacterial? Can be used for treating (Amyl)Oodinium?
"Reef safe?". Don't list ingredients... Nah! No
When this runs it's course (another 5 days) my local shop
wants me o then use this for a month though it isn't reef /
<Forget this as well. READ re the use of Quinine compounds,
and the linked files above, AND: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuinMedF2.htm
and the linked files above>
I have read so much from everywhere that I'm totally
<... read for clarity. Facts, history of knowledge... Skip the
Thanks so much for taking time with me.
I love my tank (it's only a red sea max 130) but it has given
me years of pleasure.
<And you, Bob Fenner>