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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis 30

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

Related FAQs: Best on Crypt, Crypt 1, Crypt 2, Crypt 3, Crypt 4, Crypt 5, Crypt 6, Crypt 7, Crypt 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27 Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 31,  Crypt 32, Crypt 33, Crypt 34, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Fish Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3, Quarantine 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7Quarantine 8Quarantine 9Quarantine 10Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantining Invertebrates

Crypto or something else?  11/30/09
Good evening folks. Happy Thanksgiving! ( it's still Thanksgiving weekend after all!).
<Yet more free paid days off for civil servants. Who's paying?>
I'm a little confused on a possible crypto outbreak. I had to treat three butterfly fish and a rock beauty angel in a hospital/quarantine tank with quinine sulfate (from the good folks at National Fish Pharmacies) for two weeks after a crypto outbreak. The quinine did the trick, or so I thought.
Treatment ended 5 days ago and so far no signs of crypto on the b/f fish.
The rock beauty never showed signs of crypto originally, but as I am running the tank fallow for six weeks ( fourth time in 1 1/2 years !!!!
Aaaaargh!!! ),
<No fun... Better/best to bolster the resistance, acquired immunity of your fish stock perhaps>
It had to be removed, plus it would have eventually come down with crypto, too, as we all know. The rock beauty in question here has survived crypto outbreaks all 3 previous times so it may have some immunity to it and is probably a carrier!
<Ah yes>
The original crypto outbreak on the butterfly fish had the usual pin-head sized white dots of uniform size and shape, looking like a fine dusting of salt. The white spots on the rock beauty however, which appeared 2 days ago, are not uniform in size and look more like tiny bits of cotton all over the body and fins.
<Can/could be "just" mucus or... Need microscopic examination to be sure>
The white spots are easier to see when viewing the fish head-on. The fish is not darting or scratching or acting like a fish with crypto, so far. It does want it's tankmate, a saddleback butterfly to "clean" it. The saddleback picks at it once in a while but seems to be annoyed at the rock beauty's constant requests! The rock beauty's fins are starting to fray but it's color and eating habits are fine. I realize the fish has "something", but before I treat for crypto again, I want to be sure it isn't fungal or bacterial in nature.
<Isn't... at least not primarily>
My gut-instinct is that it is crypto, but would like another opinion, so I have attached a photo (sorry about the size, I couldn't figure out how to make it smaller, data-wise). It's not a great photo, but it shows the non-uniform looking white spots (if you zoom-in on the fish!). What do you think?
<Can't tell>
Thanks for all of your hard work on this site. Barely a day passes that I am not spending at least an hour or two reading FAQ's and articles here at WWM. I don't think I could live without this site (or at least my fish wouldn't!).
<I wish we lived nearby Mike... I'd bring my cheapy QX scope over and we'd look at a slime scrape. I'd be reading here:
and the linked files above... for ideas, direction here. Bob Fenner>

Mail  11/29/09
Was reading the dailies today and you omitted something on one of your replies.
Should have read....<I wish we lived nearby Mike... I'd bring my cheapy QX scope over and we'd look at a slime scrape while we were having a beer or two. I'd be reading here:
and the linked files above... for ideas, direction here. Bob Fenner>
<Mmm, I don't get it James... this is what is present and IS what I intended. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Mail
I don't believe you read my insertion.
<Oooooh, the bier or three stmt. B>

Re: Crypto or something else? & BF dis.   11/29/09
Thanks for the quick reply, Bob. The saddleback butterfly, who has been "cleaning" the rock beauty, has a blood-red, swollen mouth now (doom I know for B/F fish!). Wonder if it could be from "cleaning" the rock beauty?
<Mmm, doubtful. Much more likely resultant from dashing around the small system in the dark, banging into things>
Parasite or bacteria that has been transferred, perhaps?
<Mmmm, duet... not really... Most all are omnipresent to extents>
Anyhow, I'll keep an eye on things and treat with Crypto Pro (quinine sulphate) if I feel like the mystery spots are looking like Ich on the rock beauty. Not sure what to do for the poor saddleback.
<Not much can be done unfortunately... Keep some light on outside the system at night. BobF>

Re: Crypto or something else?& BF dis., beh.   11/29/09
Think I have figured out how the saddleback is damaging it's mouth. It seem to "peck" madly at the front glass as it swims up and down on it's side.
Very strange!
<Mmm, actually... not "strange" in the meaning of "uncommon".
Butterflyfishes and many other families display both territorial behavior in detecting their reflections, and "do this" sort of thing in small volumes>
Anyhow, put a fresh oyster in the tank tonight and it went to town on it!
<Ah! Very good>
Continued after feeding to keep going up and down the glass though, which is troubling.
<Do please tape a piece of paper (newspaper will do) on one end and a long side of this tank... Should have a discernible effect immediately>
Thanks again for the insight and quick reply. I won't trouble you any more on this particular subject. Take care.
<Never a trouble Michael. BobF>

Treatment for marine ich and marine velvet infestation combination  11/28/09
Hi bob and crew ! First of all i thank you for this great site and for painstakingly answering us hobbyists tiresome questions. I am a medical student from hot and humid Bangalore, south India. I own a 30 gallon reef tank with a few corals, live rock, crushed coral substrate, a venturi skimmer, an external canister filter and metal halide lighting. The piscine inhabitants are a 2 inch regal blue tang, a 3 inch yellow tang,
<Both these will need more room, particularly the Paracanthurus>
a blue streak cleaner wrasse that feeds on brine shrimp and even flakes and occasionally cleans the fish,
<And this Labroides dimidiatus won't live long or well in this setting either>
a yellow watchman goby and a bicolour blenny. Water parameters are : nitrates 05 ppm, ammonia and nitrites 0 ppm, ph 8.2, ca 400 ppm, trace elements are dosed regularly, sp.gr of 1.024 is constantly maintained and temp is under control. I know this is over crowded but i am shifting them all to a 210 gallon tank in Singapore where i reside.
<Ahh! Let us hope all will be well in time then>
Due to constant harassment from the yellow tang, the hippo or regal tang has been under a bit of stress lately and consequently has been infected by Cryptocaryon and Amyloodinium ! I've detected a bit of the infestations on the other fish as well. The hippo tang keeps scraping itself on the rocks and aside from that it feeds well and swims actively. I ve currently shifted all of them to a qt. I know that a combination of hyposalinity, freshwater dips, copper medication and increase in temperature will cure the Amyloodinium.
<Not likely here, no>
But i do not know if this treatment will cure the Cryptocaryon as well. Do i have to separately treat them for the Cryptocaryon?
<Mmm, no... copper compounds can cure both, however the system itself is not conducive to success here... Absorbing the medication, being stressful>
Pls do advice on this regard. Also I've heard that gobies and blennies are notoriously sensitive to such treatments. How do i treat them?
<Actually... better to treat all with CP... a Quinine compound. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm>
I do not want any causalities due to my over indulgence in treating them.
Your advice and guidance is highly appreciated as i know you are very busy people. Thank you. Blesson
<Do look about there at school to see if you can secure Chloroquine Phosphate... and soon... and the use of a gram scale. Bob Fenner>

Re: Treatment for marine ich and marine velvet infestation combination  11/30/09
Hi Bob and crew,
A very good day to you all. Thanks for replying so soon, never expected it to be this fast.
<If I see summat that I perceive as urgent, I try to get to ASAPractical>
Anyways, I have shifted all the fish to the quarantine like I already mentioned. I also immediately got the Chloroquine Phosphate as it is available here and quite inexpensive.
<Great news!>
Never knew about this anti - malarial drug being used for fish until I got your reply Mr. Fenner. A heart felt thank you for that.
<Is a newer, up-and-coming (sorry for so much English/American euphemistic terms) treatment for many Protozoan complaints>
I also read up about it on the page you mentioned. From what I read, its dosed in 10 mg/ltr, is that right ?
I have got the CP in tablet form which I have powdered and weighed to the gram. As I understand a weekly 25% to 50% water change should suffice with the medicine replenished ?
Will dead rock absorb the medication ?
<Only to a small extent. Can generally be ignored>
And I will be keeping the fish in qt for almost two months with the treatment going on for four weeks. I do not want to medicate the tank as there are a few Hermit crabs and Snails in there I forgot to mention. I know the medicine is toxic to them, hence the treatment in the qt.
Will leaving the display fishless for a period of six weeks or more be sufficient to get rid of the Ich and Velvet (the velvet more importantly) or do I have to medicate the tank after all ?
<The lack of fish hosts for this long period should serve to starve these parasites>
And lastly will hyposalinity and temperature increase help as well or should I just stick with the medication ?
<Increasing temperature will... The remaining invertebrates may well not take kindly to lowered specific gravity>
Im sorry bout the nagging questions, the improper grammar and everything, as a medical student I am a really busy person hardly having enough time to sit down and properly send an email.
<I do understand. Am nearly astonished that you make/find time for your aquarium hobby!>
I have had to text all these mails to you from my phone. I apologise for the inconvenience. And a thank you for your valuable advice.
<Glad to share with you Blesson. Bob Fenner>

Re: Treatment for marine ich and marine velvet infestation combination  12/1/09
Hi Bob and crew,
I am really impressed by the vast knowledge and the passion towards this hobby that you folks have clearly demonstrated by taking the valuable time and effort to reply to every one of us hobbyists' never ending questions,
especially paying immediate attention to people like me with emergency situations at hand and by providing this wonderful store house of information in the form of a website. I have set up the treatment in the qt and things should be fine from now on I guess, will only keep you updated on stuff if anything takes a wrong turn (would not want to be an additional burden on you busy folks).
<Not a bother. We are here to help folks as yourself in situations as these>
I have been into freshwater fish keeping since I was seven yrs old, I am 23 now in case you are wondering :). It is my passion and my life, no matter how busy I have been or will ever be. I am however new to the marine aspect of this hobby which had been on my wish list for quite some time, until having set up this 30 gallon only about 3 months ago.
Now looking forward to the 210 gallon reef I am planning on. Please do advise on how I can make the existing tank a more healthier system, provided you find the time to do so obviously.
<Mmm, best for you to peruse WWM re small systems here:
and the linked files... articles and FAQs files above>
I am beyond excited at the prospect of learning so much from the faqs and articles on the site. It helps us beginners learn from other people's mistakes and in situations where we cannot you are there to guide us. A wonderful thing on your part. I cannot express enough of my gratitude towards you people for the help lent and will definitely recommend the site to all my friends in the hobby. Please do write more articles in depth, especially about the individual species.
<Ahh, my/our friend. A great pleasure to read your self-accounting. You may be sure that we are constantly working on the site, other aspects of content provision in the interests of ornamental aquatics>
And Mr. Fenner, feel free to call on me for any sort of assistance if you are ever visiting India. Thank you so much and keep up the good work :)
<Blesson, I do hope we have occasion to meet. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Another case of "should have listened to you!", Crypt, 11/27/09
Happy Thanksgiving to Bob and Crew at WWM!
I am sure that you are all having a much better time than me, as I try to fight the Ich that has taken over my fishes and my waking hours.
I made several mistakes and now, I accept full responsibility. Advice that I will always remember and live by: "Quarantine Quarantine Quarantine " and "Nothing good ever happens fast in this hobby!"
<I had to learn the hard way too.>
I have Ich in my display tank - 225 gallon reef with Powder Blue Tang, Atlantic Blue Tang, Flame Angel, Clown Fairy Wrasse, Lubbock's Wrasse, Cleaner Wrasse and Filament Wrasse.
<For future reference I would avoid getting more cleaner wrasses, do dismally in captivity. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm .>
After ready many many many (I can go on some more) pages, I'm confused to what exactly I should do now.
Fishes are eating well, swimming well, breathing a little faster on my PB Tang, and they are all going to the cleaner wrasse.
Parameters are pH 8.0 (I'm working on bringing it back up to 8.4 *slowly*),
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Phosphate 0.5 ppm.
*Plan 1: Hyposaline Treatment for 3-4 weeks then slowly bring SG back up over one week*
I had set up a 55 gallon hospital tank with matched temperature at 80 degrees, pH 8.4, and specific gravity of 1.009 (15ppt) according to my salinity refractometer and my plans were to catch all fish and place them in there. Then I learned that this is not such a good idea, especially that it does not ERADICATE Ich.
<It does work, but the margin for error is much smaller than most people realize. Go over 1.009 even for a day or so and the treatment will not be fully effective, and go much lower and you will start doing damage to the fish. An effective but difficult treatment, which is why I generally try to avoid it.>
So, I did a partial (25%) water change in my display tank with ro/di water and brought the specific gravity from 1.026 to 1.023. Which leads to Plan 2.
*Plan 2: Hold Salinity at 1.020 and treat with Copper or Quinine Sulfate*
I am now raising the specific gravity in my hospital tank to 1.020 and my thoughts are to capture the fishes tomorrow and place them in the lower salinity tank and start Copper or wait and order the Quinine Sulfate. It seems that Copper is the only product that the aquarist can monitor the medication level and dose appropriately, this is why I am leaning towards Copper versus Quinine Sulfate.
<Tangs tend to be very sensitive to copper, so that may be a problem for you. If you go down the copper path use a chelated copper, which tends to be easier on the fish.>
1. What do you suggest that I do?
<I would prefer the Quinine Sulfate or Chloroquine Phosphate over the copper due to the tangs.>
2. I've read that some wrasses are sensitive to copper, so if I dose "lower" than recommended will I be able to eradicate Ich?
<I would not, more likely just exposing the fish to copper without the therapeutic benefits.>
3. In your opinion is Quinine Sulfate better than Copper in this situation?
If it is, it will take me several days to get the Quinine so during this time, would you leave the fish in DT or move them into the hospital tank?
<I would leave them in the display.>
4. Besides running my DT without fish, I've got a Turbo Twist 36 watt UV sterilizer running off an old Magnum 350 that is dedicated to the UV, another Magnum 350 running with the micron filter, would you lower the SG to 1.020 to help decrease the Ich?
<I would not adjust the SG, it won't really make a difference at that level. The UV may help some.>
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
I admit that it must get old sometimes, or makes one want to give me a "whack on the head" for my questions - it really is nothing new.
<We don't mind, as long as the reader is willing to learn, it really only gets frustrating when people get angry because you did not tell them what they wanted to hear, not what is really going on.>
I could have avoided this by actually DOING what I've learned on your web site then to think that I'm too "lucky".
<As stated earlier, I learned the hard way too.>
I guess it makes it easy to play Russian Roulette when I'm not the one having breathing difficulties because my lungs are filled with Ich!
<Well stated, more people should look at it like this.>
I've learned my lessons for certain now. I will always live by the rules when it comes to fishes. I just want to do the right thing to get my fishes feeling better.
I really appreciate the vast amount of information on WWM!!!
Best wishes,
Jamie Barclay
<Welcome and good luck.>

Re: Another case of "should have listened to you!", 11/27/09
Thanks Chris for your quick response!
To give you an update. Last night, after returning from Thanksgiving dinner, my husband had a panic because the Powder Blue Tang looked "really bad".
He was covered with fine white powder from head to tail and his was having trouble eating the brine shrimp in front of him. I really need to not REACT to my husbands outbursts but what can a wife do? Well, so I managed to catch every fish with the exception of the Filament Wrasse as he was very good at diving into the sand...and they are all in my hospital tank now.
Temperature 80 degrees, pH 8.4.
I want to try either Quinine Sulfate or Chloroquine Phosphate but I couldn't get them till sometime next week. Would you do hypo saline now at 1.009, or would you leave them in 1.023 and do Formalin? Or just leave them alone for now?
<If you do not feel that the fish can wait for the quinine I would go with the Formalin. Just be aware that formalin is pretty toxic to both fish and people, so make sure to wash your hands after handling and keep any in the household kids away from it.>
About the cleaner wrasse, it was another example that there is a HUGE difference between learning and doing. I saw the wrasse and the people at the LFS recommended them because of the Tangs (now I know that they don't even EAT the ich). I asked if this particular type were obligate parasite eaters and they said, "No, they will eat them when the ich is there or other times they will eat food. Look, see how he is eating the brine shrimp?"
Humm...Makes me really analyze myself regarding my decision making abilities!
Thanks again!
<Easy to get led astray by salespeople at fish shops, they need to sell products to make a living. Some are very good and knowledgeable, but many also know much less than what you would expect.>

Re: Another case of "should have listened to you!", 11/29/09
Thanks again.
I have some formalin with malachite green at home will give it a try. I will keep you updated.
<Sounds good.>

Re: Another case of "should have listened to you!" 11/29/09
Hello to you all at WWM!
An update on my hospital tank.
I've kept the fishes (Powder Blue Tang, Atlantic Blue Tang, Flame Angel, Clown Fairy Wrasse, Lubbock's Wrasse, and Cleaner Wrasse) in my 55 gallon hospital tank for the past 36+ hours now. I had dosed some malachite/formalin "Quick Cure" 50 small drops ONCE, then recalled that this
is very harmful if fishes have abrasions or broken skin (reading from your web site). So, the specific gravity was 1.018 and so over the last 36+ hours I've stopped the Quick Cure and have been lowering the salinity. This morning, it's at 1.013 and here is my question.
1. Quinine Sulphate will be arriving sometime Tuesday. Should I start raising the salinity back towards 1.023 so I can then add Quinine Sulphate?
<I would.>
2. Would you continue to drop the salinity to 1.009 tonight and half hour prior to the water change add 1 ml per 25 gallon of Formaldehyde. Wait 30 minutes to give the formaldehyde time to work then do a 20 gallon water change. The fishes skin looks somewhat improved since couple of nights ago so maybe they are ready for another treatment. Just ONE treatment and wait with SG 1.009 till Tuesday and add Quinine Sulphate?
<I would not mix medications here, just wait for the Quinine.>
3. In quarantine, my fishes' appetite have decreased greatly. Any advice?
<This is one thing I do like garlic for, it does seem to be an appetite stimulant, try soaking the food in a little and see if you get a better response.>
4. I still have not seen my Filament Wrasse and he's in the tank - I hope he is alive still. Do you think I could have trapped him under the rocks when I put the rocks back in the tank?
<Possible but fairly unlikely, they are pretty good at getting out of the way.>
I really cannot express how grateful that WWM is here for me, and countless others, during our time of need.
It is interesting how with all the techno logic advances in aquarium keeping, we still cannot EASILY eradicate ich. I guess the parallel is how we still can't cure the common cold in humans.
<It would be tough to engineer a parasite better suited for infecting captive fish, it is fairly uncommon in the wild.>
Thanks again!
Jamie Barclay

Re: Another case of "should have listened to you!" -- 11/30/09
I got your e-mail!!! I don't know what happened!
I know you must have MILLIONS of questions to answer not to bother you!!!
Sincerely sorry!
<No problem.>

Re: Stocking Question...continues. Crypt system... induced  11/10/09
Greetings to Bob and everyone at WWM!
Hope that all is well with you and the team.
I have to say that I'm sure that YOU are doing much better than I am at this moment. So here goes my story...
After finding out what to stock and who to place first in my 225 gallon reef, I went to the LFS where I've been keeping an eye on a specific Kole Tang that they've had for around four weeks. I brought my husband along, thinking that I cannot be the only one with all the fun and wanted to share the joys of reef keeping with him.
I did the "boo-boo" by asking him if there are any fishes he would like. Now remember, I'm the one who has been doing all the "homework" studying on fishes and their temperaments/requirements, and he takes a look at the Powder Blue Tang swimming with the darling Kole Tang and said, "Ah! I remember this fish from when we were snorkeling in the Maldives!" He lit up like a kid in a toy shop! Alarms were going off in my head and I was like, "No Powder Blue for us dear, they are also known as THE ICH MAGNET!" "Oh, but he is so beautiful!" I replied, "Ah, remember how big that lagoon was in the Maldives? Well, it's used to all that space..." Well, even though I know you will laugh at our banter back and forth for the next half hour, the ending was I ended up bringing home (to the worst of my judgment) a 4 inch Powder Blue, 3 inch Kole, and 2 inch Atlantic Blue Tang.
<The last, Acanthurus coeruleus, historically does very poorly in captivity>
At this point in my story, I would like to plead with you not to ban me from ever writing to you again. Please don't say that... :(
<Heeee! Never>
The story of the Atlantic Blue was my pathetic attempt to draw my husband's attention away from the Powder Blue, then he said, "Oh honey, look at how the little guy is getting picked on by the bigger one. We must save him."
Okay, by now you might think my hubby sounds like a little girl but he is actually really manly! Anyway, we brought the three Tangs home and they went into the beautiful 225 gallon reef. All went well from the start it seemed, they really liked each other and the three would swim together exploring the tank. One week later, my hubby asked when I'm planning on moving our fishes into the new tank (the Clown Fairy Wrasse, Flame Angel, and Pajama Cardinal Fish). I told him that we need to put the fishes in by groups so to decrease the chance of interspecies aggression (something like that - fighting amongst their own kind). Okay, that didn't last too many days (10 days from adding the Tangs), so here we go to the LFS, getting Wrasses this time. We ended up with a Filament Flasher Wrasse, Lubbock's Wrasse, and a Blue streak Cleaner Wrasse.
<Labroides dimidiatus... not hardy in most all cases>
We decided not to add the Cardinal Fish. So a few days ago we added the Clown Fairy, Lubbock's, Flasher, and Cleaner Wrasses plus the Flame Angel. Now, I must say, I felt really lucky that they all get along well. They all eat like little piggies. My parameters stayed at Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0, pH 8.4, Phosphate 0.5.
<This last will prove high>
Three nights ago, we left the window open... The temperature in the tank went down to 72 degrees from where it normally stays around 78.
<Yikes! This is way too great a change in such a short time... Surprising for such a large volume of water>
Yesterday, ICH on the Powder Blue and a few spots on the Kole. Today, Ich on all three Tangs, few spots on Flame Angel's head. The Cleaner wrasse goes to work - but I read somewhere that they don't really EAT ich...
<Mmm, can, will... but not often to the point of "curing">
My "buddy" from the LFS says, grab those guys and fresh water dip them! Then he said, drop the salinity to 1.020 and raise the temperature to 84 degrees!
I said, as calm as I can in the midst of a melt down, "I think ich is from stress. I know it was when the temperature dropped to 72. I'll just leave things be for now.
<I wouldn't do this either... "Had you read...">
I'll dip if I notice an increase in respiration or worse." They are all still eating like piggies. They chase the cleaner wrasse around to get cleaned but I think I'm feeding all of them so well that the cleaner is not "hungry" for ich, it prefers brine and mysis!
<Yes. This is so>
Well, I've set the temperature at 79 degrees, it may fluctuate one degree up or down but nothing more. They get vitamin soaked frozen mysis, brine with Spirulina, Formula One and Two with Spectrum Pellets thrown in there for good measure. They eat around five cubes a day total and I feed several times when they start knocking the food syringe around (they are very smart, they know to do that to get more food).
Any advise, words of encouragement, or a good scolding - I will accept.
Thanks as always, and really...THANK YOU for providing a forum for this type
of discussion!
Best Regards,
Jamie Barclay
<I would going the CP route here... Quinine. Read here:
and the linked files above.
and not the infested system wait and hope route. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Question...continues. Tangs, Crypt f's   -- 11/10/09
Thanks Bob for your quick reply!
I'll look into Quinine. In the mean time, I think I'll start lowering my tank salinity to 1.020 by dropping 0.001 per day and start raising my temperature to 82 degrees.
<I would drop the SpG immediately to at least this low... won't cure the problem but will "buy you time" as the Americans are so fond of saying>
Question about the phosphate, why is it staying at 0.5?
<... steady source/s of input, recycling... dissolving live rock components, foods...>
It was there when I set the tank up and I thought it might go up or down, but it is holding steady. Should I get those phosphate removers? If so, which brand do you recommend?
<... Please search WWM before writing>
I have not run carbon in this tank either, I was going to write you specifically on that topic another time, but I guess since I'm here, why not ask now? I have three other "nano" sized tanks and the best one is the one without carbon!
An update on the ich today, the Powder Blue has it the worse but no worse than yesterday, the Kole and Atlantic Blue are a little better, no ich on the Flame Angel today. No ich on any of the wrasses. Do you think fishes in the ocean get ich?
<I know this for a certainty>
Thanks for taking the time for my questions,
Best to you!
<And you Jamie. BobF>

Ich, SW/FW, Dips concerns 10/3/09
Hello SW Supermen,
<Maybe his sidekick Pokey>
You guys are the saviors of SW fish. And that is a serious compliment and you guys should feel proud. Thanks for all the service you provide.
<Welcome Adeel>
Alright then, here is my latest headache. My fish have started showing signs of ich. And this happened after I had placed every single new fish in QT and gave them FW dips. How sad is that. Anyways, this is my plan of action since the fish already have ich spots on them:
1) Take my fish out and give each a FW dip and then place them in the QT tank that has freshly purchased SW. Here I will treat them with QuickCure in reduced dosage for a few days.
2) Meanwhile, I will completely drain out the main tank and fill it up completely with FRESH WATER (This is my all out attack against ich and I feel so happy). I will keep the tank with all the decorations/settings
intact immersed in the fresh water for a couple of days. I will increase the temperature (may not matter but still).
Note: I have very little LR and 3 shrimps/crabs. I will move the LR and shrimp/crabs to a different bucket with air stone. I will keep the LR here for at least 6 weeks or should it be more?.
<The longer the better... but after six weeks there is not much likely to be gained>
3) After 1-2 days, I will drain the fresh water out and fill my main tank with SW again. I know I will have killed the beneficial bacteria, but at least the ich and velvet (if any) and all other host of parasites will be
gone...hopefully since this is like a FW dip for the entire tank.
Fish I have: 1 Yellow tail blue damsel, 1 black chromis, 1 Yellow watchman goby, 1 coral beauty angel, 2 percula clown, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp.
Finally, I will introduce the fish in the main tank. I will not buy any new fish and I have Amquel, SW test kits along with BioSpira and LR (trusted source) to keep track of the new cycle that will begin and also to control any ammonia, nitrate/nitrite readings.
Any suggestions you have? Please please tell me that my main tank will be rid of all ich/velvet/parasites by giving it a FW bath as per my plan?????
<This is hoped to be so>
Thanks for your help once again.
<Wishing you success, Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich, SW/FW, Dips concerns - 10/05/2009
Dear Bob,
Thanks for your response. You are definitely a Superman!!!!!
<Mmm, maybe a super petfish man!>
I'll just recap my issue. Tank had ich. Transferred fish to QT. Emptied main tank and filled with total FW for 3 days.
In the QT, all the fish seem fine except one. I see big white spots all over my coral beauty one day and the next day I see smaller sized spots.
Now third day again I see the big sized spots. Fish is eating well and seems healthy overall. (Treating QT with QuickCure and temp at 82F)
1) What's going on with the Coral Beauty and its spots??
<Might not be parasitic... but "mucus" from stress, the medication. Only through sampling and microscopic examination can this be distinguished>
2) Is the ICH dead in the main tank (filled with FW for last 3 days) by now? I also plan to drain out the water and run it dry for at least 1 full day.
<Is likely all dead>
3) Do you recommend Hyposalinity?
<In general, no. Please read here:
and the linked files above>
I plan to transfer all my fish (6) immediately to the main tank (45 gallon) and keep the salinity at 1.008-1.012 SG for about 30-45 days. Will this kill the ich if any fall off from the fish?
<Maybe. It might kill the fishes as well>
Is this a good idea? (Of course I will be monitoring the water conditions, and salinity with hydrometer etc)
<Please read where directed above>
4) What does Hypo do to the cycle? Are beneficial bacteria able to develop during hyposalinity?
<Can stall them to wipe nitrification out entirely>
Thank you once again. Really appreciate your super help.
<Welcome. BobF>

Ich and blindness 9/5/09
Hello, and thanks in advance for considering my problem /question,
I have a beautiful P. Volitans named Vlad the Impaler who is about 8 in. long. He has always been a voracious eater of pre-frozen silversides , lancefish and (dried) baby shrimp. He is in a tank with 90 lbs live
rock, crushed coral substrate, some fake corals for hiding spots and color, a 120 gal rated trickle filter w/ bioballs and (small) sump, large overflow box/ prefilter with 2 bags of 11.4 oz ChemiPure Elite, sandwiched between layers of blue and white filter floss, two porous sponges for bacterial growth, one Koralia 3 and an Aqua C EV120 powered by a Mag 7 w/a ball valve to control flow. The tank has been set up since late January of this year.
He has two roommates, a powder blue tang ~4 in, a porcupine puffer ~ 4 in, and a green brittle sea star.
<How big is this system? What shape?>
About a month and a half ago to two months ago, Vlad the lion accidentally poked a hole in Iggy the puffer's eye. I kept Vlad in a separate partition in the tank whilst Iggy healed and added VitaChem weekly. He was blinded in that eye for a few days but healed up amazingly after a week or two and can see perfectly out of both again. All had been going great until two weeks ago when I bought a 13 lb procured rock to aid filtration and put it directly in the tank without quarantining it.
<Oh oh>
I did not realise this could be a problem, but coupled with a weak immune system from his recent injury, It must have been as Iggy the puffer got ich . I raised temp and lowered salinity slightly to 1.019.
<Mmm, won't "do it">
I freshwater dipped him which he hated but seemed ok afterwards a few days later, it showed up on Tuco , my powder blue tang, then Vlad the lion who had only three cysts-two on one eye, one on the other. I decided to dip them all separately in freshwater 80 degrees and pH @ 8.2 same as display tank. One of the lionfish's eyes burst during his five minute dip,
and the other became completely cloudy. The puffer and the tang did well and were moved to a 29 gal. QT. being treated w/ quinine sulfate for one week.
<Ah good>
I had no other tank to put Vlad the lion in so he stayed in the display after I did a 25 % water change and siphoned of all the substrate in the display tank. Vlad's eyes appeared to heal some after a week, but he has
yet to have eaten.
<May take much more time>
He swims a lot and seems to be hunting but I don't think he can see very well if at all. The ich went away on those fishes in the QT but the small tank stressed the puffer so that he got abrasions on his upper lip and top
of head, so I moved them back.
I read a lot on your pages and saw the two front approach, thought long and hard about how to handle treating all fish whilst allowing main tank to become fallow and could not come up with a good answer. Vlad being large and venomous, and Iggy the puffer injuring himself, I decided to reverse the process and quarantine the rocks and seastar instead. I emptied out the QT, refilled it and used Chemipure Elite to remove traces of meds perhaps left behind in it, moved the star and all but one of my rocks into both it
and the 10 gallon and treated the display tank. It was just the only way I could think of to get them all treated and to allow perhaps the rocks to go fallow for 6 weeks. I am now down to the skimmer, one big rock, bioballs and floss for filtration.
All are now in display tank being treated with quinine sulfate as directed, tang and puffer eating well, the lion swims actively, looks a bit hungry but won't eat anything I normally feed ,even if I drop it on his nose. As a
last ditch effort to see if anything will tempt him, I did a no-no and bought a couple of feeder comets. No response from him still I'm afraid he will die although he is fat and looks great despite the slight clouding of
his eyes.
<Not to worry... the Lion can go w/o feeding for a few to several weeks in its present condition>
Fin coloration a bit darker than usual. pH 8.3, Ammonia:0 Nitrite: 0
Specific gravity: 1.019
Any help greatly appreciated.
PS: I plan to upgrade my tank size later
<Likely needed... Your Lion will likely resume feeding once the system is returned to near seawater strength/concentration. Stick with your present plan, offer food every few days. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich and blindness 9/5/09
Hello Bob,
<Hi Jenney>
Thanks so much for prompt response and your help! I can't believe I forgot to mention tank shape and size! Sorry. It is a 90 gal rectangle.
<I see... so you will/should be looking to upgrade in time...>
The powder blue and puffer are eating very well but keep getting reinfected daily.
<These protozoan problems can be "the Dickens" for sure>
However we are only on day two of the quinine sulfate treatment...My lion breathes normally, did shed a few days ago three or four days after his eye injury and never rests. He isn't darting around, just "cruising" endlessly.
I wish I could see him relax for a bit. He's always been an active fish and usually only rests after feeding. His vision is definitely impaired, could its acuity return?
<Yes, could>
Also, should I remove the crushed coral substrate, or just keep vacuuming daily during treatment?
<At least this latter>
I plan to keep the live rock and inverts in the QTs for 6 weeks and I hope this works. Will they be reuse these rocks in the display tank after they have been in fishless tanks for 6 weeks?
<I don't understand the question. Such rock can be reused... carries less a chance of vectoring as time goes by>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

300 Gallon tank with Ich 8-30-09
I read your informative article on battling ich on both fronts this morning after noticing my Mimic Tang had some ich spots. I also have a Koran Angel, a coral beauty, a Falco hawk fish, a few blue chromis, a bi color
Pseudochromis, two maroon clowns, and a sail fin tang. The system has about 200 lbs of rock and about a 4 inch sand bed. The system has been up for about a year and a half, the pH was a bit low , 7.6. I am not sure what caused the outbreak, am I not keeping my system properly?
<Not if the pH is 7.6...did you remedy this?>
I have two rapid pro filters and two skimmers plus the sand and rock.
I read to get all the fish in a hospital tank after the freshwater/methyl. blue dip followed by copper treatment.
<Should work, be careful (as always) with copper...I would definitely try Quinine sulfate first, copper as a last resort. Quinine sulfate can be had from www.nationalfishpharm.com>
I am a bit concerned for the matter you stated that tangs are sensitive to the copper treatments, possibly the other fish.
<Ionic copper is incredibly poisonous. Ensure you administer it correctly - read our FAQs regarding>
Should I use the Methylene blue alone?
<Not effective against crypt/ich - use in the dip, not in the QT tank, as it will affect the biofilter>
I read to keep the main tank as normal without the fish for at least a month.
<I've been in a similar situation, I kept the display fishless for two months, and used two UV sterilizers plumbed inline on the returns>
Am i suppose to siphon and stir around the sand or leave it alone?
<Stirring twice a week couldn't hurt>
I know I need to act fast, even though no other fish is showing symptoms, they all are great eaters and don't appear to be scratching or showing stress. My hospital tank is a 55 gallon. Anything else i should know
before acting?
<Make sure the hospital tank can handle the influx of livestock, biologically speaking. I advise you to have Amquel+/Prime on hand, as well as a biological additive such as Stability, and keep a close eye on water
quality! Be prepared for 50-100% water changes every few days, both to help combat the disease and to maintain water quality>
Your help is greatly appreciated.
<Anytime - next time please use proper spelling and capitalization!>
<Mike Maddox>

Very Confused, Crypt 8/9/09
I have been reading over your FAQ's for about a week, hours at a time, and I am still confused! I'm sorry if I overlooked information but that is a lot of information to go through! Your crew is amazing and has helped me a couple times and I would like to enlist your help once again if possible.
First some background. I had some of my fish in a smaller tank for a couple months and then moved them to a larger tank. My tank is very young (about a month) and I realize that there are many sensitive creatures in here for a tank so young, that being said I have learned my lesson and now know to study up before buying.
My Tank:
55 gallon Reef
10 lbs dead rock
30 lbs live rock
Some mushrooms
Hermit crabs
some small snails
numerous tiny feather dusters
Caribbean Sea Slug (Nudibranch)
<Tough to keep.>
Long Spine Sea Urchin
Pencil Sea Urchin
<So are urchins.>
Brittle Sea Star
<Hopefully not of a green variety, a fish eater.>
Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
Lawnmower Blenny
Royal Gramma
2 True Percula Clowns
Had a Hawaiian Feather Duster - He left his tube, I saw him when I moved a live rock and now I don't know where he is or if he's alive?
<Probably died, but time will tell.>
Probably died my tank is so young...poor thing...I feel bad :(
I do a 25% water change monthly
<Probably best to step this up, I do about 20% weekly.>
Tank parameters: Salinity 1.026, Temp 80F, Calcium 500, PH 8.2, Ammonia & Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5
<Calc is abnormally high, what is your alkalinity?>
Here is what is going on. My female Percula showed signs of what I thought was ich so we moved her to our QT tank, then the royal gramma also showed signs so we moved him to QT. Signs were, a white "dusting" on the fish, scratching on rocks. (I didn't know much about ich at the time, I know more now) We got a "quick ich" 3 day treatment and they both looked good so we put them back in the main display. Obviously, this is not nearly a long enough treatment for the life cycle of ich.
Upon further research though, the white on them seemed to match the description of velvet. I have left them in the main display and now there seems to be NO white spots, or "velvet" or anything on them.
<Good, velvet is very deadly, so if the fish are still alive without treatment more likely ich.>
Although I have seen both the female Percula & royal gramma "scratch" against the rocks. The small percula & lawnmower blenny have never showed any signs of anything. Throughout all of this both fish have still had a great appetite and have never stopped eating.
Ok now that you have some background, here are my questions
Since the fish aren't showing any physical signs should I leave them alone for now?
<Probably best, just watch closely and be prepared to treat if necessary.>
Should I give them a Formalin bath?
<I would not until something more is seen.>
When you guys say Fresh water dip, do you mean Fresh water, or fresh sea water?? I've read your how to dip/bath links and it doesn't specifically say.
So fresh water? yes or no please?
<Temperature and pH adjusted fresh water, as in 1.00 specific gravity.>
My other problem is my filter for my QT tank stopped working. I cannot get another one for a couple days. So I cannot QT them yet.
Should I dip them and put them back in main display?
<I would not at this time, if symptoms worsen then you could dip them.>
If so do I dip and then do they have to be rinsed before going back in main display so no copper makes it back in there to the inverts? Which all the inverts are doing perfect right now!
<They do not need to be rinsed, the amount of contaminant that would be moved back is negligible.>
Please let me know what you would recommend as I trust your advice. I'm sorry to have a million questions for you but I want to make sure I am doing it right!
<No problem.>
Thank you so much to the whole WWM team!!

Re: Very Confused, Crypt 8/10/09
Thank you so much for your response.
I thought, if it's not broke - don't fix it, so I figured it would be best just to leave them and observe.
<Often best, sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease.>
My Brittle Star is a black one that has been with the fish in the small tank and moved to the large (so about 2 or 3 months) together. He has never showed any interest in the fish.
I'm sorry but I'm not sure what your looking for when you say alkalinity, I know my PH is 8.2, which if I understand right is "base" or alkaline and not acid? Is there another test for specific alkalinity that I'm not
<There are tests for alkalinity, which in this context refers to the stability of pH, and has a relationship to calcium. Overly simplified explanations but a start, see these articles for a better explanation.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm .>
Please correct me if I am wrong in any of that!
<Not wrong, just more to it.>
Also I thought the calcium is rather high but I have not yet found how to reduce it. I also am fairly sure that the tiny white spirals on my rock and glass are calcium deposits. Any advice on lowering this would be very much appreciated. And thank you so much for the clarification on the FW dip :)
<See the articles for guidance.>
(Btw, so far the urchins and Nudibranch have been doing very well, I know they are hard to care for, so I hope it all works out with them!)
I have not positively identified the Nudibranch, if I sent a pic, is there a chance maybe you or your team could identify him? (I don't know if he inks??)
<Sure, Lynn is excellent at this, as are several other crew members.>
Thank You

Understanding Ich Life Cycle... Not Reading -- 08/06/09
Sorry I forgot to mention I also have a skunk cleaner shrimp. But only the lawnmower Blenny lets the shrimp clean it. The others won't.
<That's fine... more information never hurts,
Josh Solomon.>

Re: Understanding Ich Life Cycle... Not Reading -- 08/06/09
Thank You Josh
<You are welcome, I hope the links helped.>
I actually did search "vibrating clownfish" or something of that manner but didn't seem to come up with anything. I think I used yahoo? Oh well, I'm very sorry about that, I will check out all the links you gave me.
<No need to be sorry, what I would recommend in the future though, is to use the Google search link on our homepage, that will allow you to search through the results more quickly.>
As far as the tank goes, some of this livestock was in a smaller tank that was established for a little while and then transferred to the larger tank.
I do realize this tank is very young, and I do realize I should have done a lot more research and establishing before adding these animals to a young tank. I have learned my lesson as far as that goes! You mentioned this is a lot of livestock, is my tank over crowded?(I attached a picture)
<No I would not say it was overcrowded, what I meant was that it was "a lot of livestock" for a tank this new.>
The treatment that we did was a "quick Ich" that was a 3 day treatment.
Upon further research I did learn this is not nearly long enough for Ich.
<Yes, certainly not enough, the life cycle of Ich is much longer than 3 days and unfortunately it is only vulnerable to most medications for a small portion of the life cycle.>
As far as the possibly "anemones" go, I feed them extremely tiny mysis or krill every 3 days with a little syringe, just spray some over the top and it sticks to
the "tentacles", and then they bring it towards their center and eat. They have grown a lot since I got them. They are an orange/brown color with a green mouth.
<You can shoot us a picture of them so perhaps one of us can ID them, many of the smaller anemones that appear on liverock have the potential to spread rapidly, sometimes to quickly to control.>
One actually got up and moved to a different section of the rock. They can close up in there base it seems and go all the way into the rock crevice where their base or foot is anchored. I am attaching a picture. I hope you can see them okay. I would just like to be able to identify them so that I can properly care for them.
<Oops, you did send us a picture... It is hard to tell from one photo, but my guess is that it is a Majano anemone, often considered a pest.
Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemoniafaq2.htm and the related links.>
Again I am sorry for not being able to find the further research on vibrating clownfish.
I don't mean to waste any of your time, I know you do a lot!!
Thank you again.
<You are very welcome, Josh Solomon.>

Re: Vibrating Clownfish and Some other questions 8/6/09
Re: Understanding Ich Life Cycle... Not Reading

Oh my gosh! A pest and I have been feeding it! Oh wow! I have attached 4 more photos to see if you can possible for sure identify it.
<I'm afraid I am going to stick with my belief that these are pests. Maybe some other crew members will chime in.>
The man at the pet store said they had a bubble tip anemone that somehow got trapped in something or shredded or something like that and these were the result and they are bubble tip anemones.
<I'm afraid this sort of thing is all to common with retailers.>
On one of the pictures you can actually see the "bubble tips" but I just want to make sure. I don't want to keep feeding them if they are pests! I looked at the link your gave me for the pest anemone and yes it does look
like mine...sigh..that's sad. I am going to also read your on your site about how to get rid of these pests.
Also the other links you gave me for marine Ich were very very helpful.
Thank you so much. Unfortunately now, I think it is velvet rather than Ich and I am researching that to learn of life cycle/treatment/prevention as well as Ich.
<The FAQ's cover treatment in detail, but let us know if you run into any problems you can't find an answer too.>
Thanks for all your time in helping me. (I didn't think my tank was over crowded! I thought you just meant for it being new, but I had to ask).
<Good luck, Josh Solomon.>

Fin Ich or something else?! SW Crypt in a FOWLR Reading 7/21/2009
Hello, my name is Cassandra
<>Hi Cassandra.>
I have been searching and searching and have stumbled upon your site and hope that maybe you could help me.
<Will certainly try.>
First of all I need to say that we (my husband and I) have a 75 gallon saltwater aquarium. It has been set up for about 4 months now and we have not had any problems until lately. We went to our local pet store and got a few fish, a tang, maroon clown, damsel, and a chromie.
Before getting these 4 fish, we have in our tank a goby, another damsel and another maroon clown, which have all been completely healthy the whole time we have had them.
<That is a bit crowded for a 75 gallon tank. Read here:
After getting home and acclimating them we put them in the tank--now, we knew should have had a quarantine tank set up, but we did not, and now we regret that.
<Unfortunately, it usually takes a hard lesson such as this before it sinks in.>
Once we put the 4 new fish into the tank we noticed that the tang did not look so good. He had white spots all over him and his color looked a bit off---faded like.
<Sounds like classic Marine Ich.>
Since we are new to the saltwater aquarium hobby we began to think of what may be wrong. My husband then remembered about Fin Ich and we thought that was what was wrong so we started reading online about solutions for that.
<A smart move.>
We decided to do a freshwater dip on the tang.
<That can help, but it will not cure. Dips are much better as a preventative rather than a treatment:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >
In retrospect we should have waited so as to not stress the fish out even more...but we did not wait...and while in the freshwater the tang stopped moving and fell onto his side. We put him back into the saltwater tank where he was lifeless for about a minute--floating on his side. But then, slowly he started to move again and began swimming again. He was fine, or so we thought, for 2 days, and then one morning after waking up, I noticed that he was not looking good. He was at the bottom of the tank against a rock and barely moving. I kept an eye on him throughout the morning and he did not move much except to the back of the tank underneath a rock where he stayed until he died.
At the same time when we bought these 4 recent fish we noticed that the damsel also has white spots--his are more bigger and on the tips of his fins, although I can see 2 little white spots on his body. Since we have brought these fish home I have been slowly noticing that now both of out maroon clowns and our chromis have tiny, very tiny, white spots all over them. They are a bit hard to see unless they are under the purple lighting. and I can see that one of the maroon clowns has these spots on her eye. The spots on the clowns do not look the same as the spots on the damsel because they are much much smaller and on the body of the fish compared to the damsel that has big spots mostly only on the tips of his fins.
<Do read and look at the pictures and see if anything looks familiar:
What I am wondering is if 1.Could the spots on the clowns be the same "thing" as the spots on the damsel?--Could they be bigger on the damsel because he had this "thing" when we got him, compared to the clowns that got it from him---or the tang that died...
2.Is this Fin Ich?
<Marine Ich or Cryptocaryoniasis is the correct term.>
I have read so many conflicting views of what fin ich is, and how to treat it.
<It can be a pain to get rid of.>
3.What else could these be a sign of and how can I go about treating it??---before hopefully losing my fish.
<Based upon what you are describing, it is Crypt. As to treatment, you have two options:
1. Remove all of the fish and put them into a quarantine tank, treat with copper, and allow the main tank to remain 'fishless' for at least four weeks to break the life cycle of the parasite. Read here and the linked pages at the top: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm
2. Treat the tank without removing the fish with Quinine Sulfate - This will kill any and all snails in your tank.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm >
A few things about our tank--it is 75 gal, we have 7 fish, 1 shrimp, 12 or so hermit crabs, 100+ lbs live rock (we got as 'dead' rock--dry), if you need to know any specifics please let me know because it is my husband that knows and hooked up the filters, and does all of the water changes, and checks all the levels of everything. Everything has been normal lately....
I have tried to get pictures of the infected fish but can not get a good one...you can not even see the spots on the clowns in the photos. I have read about copper based treatments to treat ich will kill my shrimp, and will stay in the water....and we eventually want to get corals so I am not sure that is something we want to do.
Are there any ideas you have of what this may be/what we can do?!
<Please read the linked articles I gave you above - they will give you all of the information you need to make an informed decision in regards to treatment.>
Thank you so so much for your time.
<My pleasure.>
thanks again,

A failed crypt battle  6/18/09 
Hey crew,
I just wanted to ask if anyone had ever battled a case of crypt that was un-curable. I introduced crypt into my display via live rock (the only thing I didn't think to quarantine!) and ended up wiping out my entire system. Here is a brief description of my ordeal:
Once I noticed the parasite, I moved the fish from my 260 gallon system (1 baby map puffer, 1 adult pair of O. meleagris, one baby O. cubicus, a Commerson's frogfish, an adult emperor angel) into a 40 gallon, bare bottom acrylic hospital tank filtered by a wet/dry, skimmer, and U/V sterilizer rated for a 250 gallon system. The skimmer and U/V sterilizer were used intermittently, depending on which medication was being attempted.
My efforts to cure the crypt were:
1) Daily 75% water changes, after scraping the bottom of the tank to remove any cysts, with careful vacuuming of the bare floor, corners, and seams
2) 11 days of dosing Quinine sulfate at recommended dosage, followed by a week of double dosing
3) Hyposalinity (1.010 SG) for two weeks
4) Treatment with Praziquantel, Acriflavine, and metronidazole
5) As the fish worsened, and after all of my boxfish were dead, a last ditch effort with malachite and formalin at half the recommended dose
6) Regular freshwater dips/baths of 15-20 minutes every other day, with Methylene blue added (I started the dips after the first two weeks of quinine failed to have an effect)
In addition, regular dosages of Methylene blue and Maracyn (erythromycin) were added to reduce secondary infection (which became apparent, especially on the boxfish and puffer) as well as to help with blood O2 sat. Liquid vitamins (especially B vitamins) were dosed regularly, as was Selcon. The fish ate fine until the last 48 hours of their lives. I aerated the tank heavily with two air pumps. The temperature was elevated to 84, but lowered to ~75 as the fish worsened to help increase oxygen content in the water and reduce metabolic rate.
I ended up losing every single fish listed above. The only fish that was introduced to this strain and survived was my zebra moray. I have a yellow tank and a sharp-nosed puffer that are still alive, and in surprisingly good condition, but I cannot cure this and I doubt I'll be able to do anything but euthanize them in an effort to not contaminate anything else. The tang actually has barely showed symptoms this entire time!
I have obviously encountered crypt often, and cured it successfully (usually with Quinine) but this is just beyond me. I don't even understand how there were enough parasites to continue reproducing after daily scrapings/cleanings and 75%+ water changes. I have never worked this hard to save my fish, nor failed so completely. My efforts literally made no impact whatsoever, and the outbreak worsened like clockwork, every 48 or so hours.
My map puffer was eating and seemed unaffected until it became apparent that his gills were too damaged/parasite laden to oxygenate his blood. After staying up about 36 hours dosing hydrogen peroxide, valerian root (anti-stress) and Methylene blue, he and the emperor angel were the last to go. Even the freshwater dips seemed to have almost no effect - the sloughing that often occurs during a dip barely happened, even on fish that were completely parasite-laden. This strain seems osmotically invulnerable, as well as completely disease resistant!
I am honestly afraid to ever encounter this strain again, and don't even want to buy any more fish for fear of this ordeal recurring. Is there anything else I could have done? I never attempted copper due to the boxfish and pufferfish, but aside from that, I can't think of anything else I could have done. After the vast amount of time/effort/money put into my month long treatment efforts only to fail utterly is very frustrating. I hope someone can shed some light on this for me!
Thanks guys,

Re: A failed crypt battle
Can't offer any wisdom here, but let me at least say I'm sorry about your travails.
I have to confess that I've never found UV to be the cure-all it's often touted to be; while it may reduce the rate at which parasites spread from fish to fish, I have never found that it totally eliminated them.
 As an aside, one option always worth bearing in mind is that many marine fish have a high tolerance for brackish water, so reducing the salinity of the system for a period of a few weeks may be one way to
completely break the cycle of re-infection. Obviously, live rock, macroalgae and most invertebrates won't survive this. But if you can establish via Fishbase or similar that your marines are brackish- tolerant, and it's worth mentioning at least some invertebrates such as Clibanarius tricolor certainly are brackish-tolerant as well, then this could be worth doing.
 You'd probably be surprised how many reef fish enter brackish water: many Arothron for example, as well as clown triggers, some Canthigaster puffers, some batfish, a few damsels, numerous snappers, even one or two butterflyfish! They wouldn't live in brackish water indefinitely, but for a couple of weeks, if you kept the pH and alkalinity high, I'd fully expect them to cruise through reduced salinity levels without the least fuss.
 Or perhaps Bob would disagree!
<<I do... there is often too much traded off, lost in osmotic et al. damage/stress, most celebratedly renal, kidney damage from too much, too often variations in "salt strength" and variable composition exposure. RMF>>
You already know my story of buying a couple of Arothron hispidus as freshwater fish!
 Cheers, Neale

Re: A failed crypt battle'
Wow, that is a tough strain. I've never had one anything close to that.  I've been lucky in the two times I've had to fight crypt, it always cleared up with copper. never heard of using hydrogen peroxide or valerian root on fish, what protocol did you follow for dosing? (More for my curiosity than anything else.)The only thing I may have done differently was to take a "damn the torpedos" approach after the quinine failed to work and used copper. Had another thought as well, since some of crypt strains are resistant to copper, and clearly, you have a quinine resistant strain, what about treating with silver nitrate (AgNO3)?

Re: A failed crypt battle'
Sorry to hear this--most people that have had complete Cryptocaryon losses have done so from lack of action; clearly that wasn't your problem. :) Remember that sometimes all you can do is still not enough if the parasites have taken hold and caused irreparable damage. Often the fish are infected long before they show signs, and without the go-to weapons of copper available because you have scaleless fishes, your treatment options are limited. I think you did a very thoughtful job and just had no luck. The only things , in hindsight, I might have done is to increase the FW dips to daily (pending the fishes remaining unstressed), and separated out the fishes that could undergo copper treatment and used that. Otherwise you did everything possible and more. I agree that UV is not really effective--it will only kill things in close proximity that have enough UV contact time, and since Cryptocaryon spends such a proportionally short part of the life cycle free swimming, the bugs you remove this way are few compared to the ones you remove through water changes and dips. What it will do is to kill off some of the bacterial load into he water, which I would argue is not always a good thing. It has been shown that fish, like pretty much every other living thing, have a well established cohort of symbiotic bacteria which perform all sorts of beneficial activities either in the gut, on the skin, etc. Any time you upset the balance between "good" bacteria and "bad", you put the fish at a disadvantage immunologically. Recent research in aquaculture facilities has shown that encouraging the growth of bacteria (adding probiotics usually) increases the immuneocompetence of fish (adults and larvae) and invertebrates. So, until I saw active secondary infections I would have left out the organic dyes and antibiotics. Some people advocate the use of other immunostimulants like beta-glucan; it wouldn't have hurt but in this case I don't think it would have helped either--its mechanism of action is better suited to bacterial infections. Your nutritional strategy was excellent, and the valerian is interesting--do you have any references to its use? Very cool idea.
Christine Williams

Re: A failed crypt battle 6/18/09
Sorry for your troubles Mike. I completely agree with Neale. Marine won't survive this in the long run (if you keep the hospital tank completely barren of anything but fish). The UV sterilizer, even if it kills the ick in the water column, won't kill the other life stages of the invert. Super hyposalinity in an isolated hospital tank is the only "sure-fire" way I know of to really kill this parasite for good...
Good luck,

Please list this as at least a supplemental treatment with medications, it has value! Allium! 6/19/09
I saw the email I sent below posted with my subject line, but not with my email body other than the quoted text by Sara I used to preface it, just FYI. The remainder did not make it onto the FAQ for one reason or
<Ahh! Thank you for re-sending... your part did not "make it"... but has now. Will append. B>
Thomas Roach
"Re: A failed crypt battle 6/18/09
Sorry for your troubles Mike. I completely agree with Neale. Marine won't survive this in the long run (if you keep the hospital tank completely barren of anything but fish). The UV sterilizer, even if it kills the ick in
the water column, won't kill the other life stages of the invert. Super hyposalinity in an isolated hospital tank is the only "sure-fire" way I know of to really kill this parasite for good...
Good luck,
I had this same problem! Again, well documented I think somewhere in your FAQ, as Mr. Fenner and I went through treatment options and frustrations for months. I did not see garlic mentioned as an option. This guy can email me for details if he would like as well. The resistant strain of ick is extremely difficult to cure. My short version is I battled it for months, with Quinines and formalin. When had reached the point of despair, I halted all medications, and the only treatment I used WAS FOOD SOAKED IN GARLIC EXTREME, at a higher dose than recommended on the bottle. The Ick was gone in three days. I took mysis shrimp and thawed it in a cup, draining off the thawed water. I would put 8 drops of this concentrated
garlic in it, mix it and allow it to sit for a while. I would add some of the dried pellets (the name escapes me) as well since they would also absorb garlic, and fed the fish. I have never had a re-occurrence of ick since,
even after adding tangs.
What does it mean? Not much, I suppose, as it's not a scientifically proven method. But it undeniably worked for me. There were no other contributing factors. I'm not saying stop your medications. I am telling you DO try this along with your medications. At least recommend it as an additional option. I was really surprised when the ick was gone. but it was gone, and is gone.
Thomas Roach

half-black angel question, Crypt f'  6/17/09
Hi guys and gals,
Please allow me to preface my question by thanking you for the seemingly unending supply of information on your site. That being said, I am uncertain what to do about my current aquatic situation.
I have a 55 gal FOWLR tank with 60 lbs of live sand and 30 lbs of live rock that has been running for a year. In our tank we have a Percula Clown, Yellow-tailed Damsel, Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, Emerald Crab, Blue-Legged Hermit Crab, Sand-Sifting Sea Star (regrettably purchased before discovering minimum tank size recs), 1 or 2 Turbo snails, 4 Cerith Snails, and 6ish Nassarius Snails.
We use only RO/DI water for our 10-12% weekly changes. We have a Unimax 250 filter with UV sterilization, AquaC Remora Pro HOB skimmer (with the Mag3 pump), and Coralife 50/50 light.
At the beginning of June I bought a Pearlscale Pygmy Angel and added him to our QT (10 gal, no LR, LS or other species, running for a year).
Conditions 80 deg, 1.024, 0 NH3, 0 nitrites, 10 nitrates, pH 8.0. The fish was at the LFS for 3 or 4 weeks and was doing well and very lively each time I saw him there. He seemed to be a hardy specimen, so I brought him home. We kept him in the QT for two weeks and things were going swimmingly so we decided to transfer him to our display. The conditions in the display were: temp 80, 1.024, 0 NH3, 0 nitrites, 20 nitrates, and pH 8.0. After acclimation for an hour, we added him to the water with the rest of the crew. He swam around the rock, through the caves, and seemed to be doing well. Five hours later I noticed that he had numerous, little, white spots on the dark half of his body.
<I see these... along with the red-faced Angel>
They seem to have appeared all at once (pics attached).
<Likely Cryptocaryon>
The other inhabitants of the tank are status quo. My concern is the possibility of this being ich or some other virulent condition which would necessitate transferring him back to the QT for treatment.
<Mmm... don't know if I'd go this route... Is likely the Crypt was/is resident...>
I was under the impression that ich is more insidious in its arrival.
<Not necessarily. Imagine a scenario in which the parasite is living permanently in your main display... A new weakened fish with low acquired  immunity is placed there... will this result in hyperinfection? Who knows?>
The fish had been eating well in the QT up until today and had no outward signs of a problem.
Could this possibly be a stress response in the fish or do I need to transfer him back to the other tank?
<Stress is definitely one component... I would be reading re ich-infested systems: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above...
and shooting for some sort of balance here... via improved water quality, nutrition, probiotics...>
Thank you in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
PS--I can provide more pics if needed. Or I'll at least try...he can be hard to photograph!  

Hello Crew... Crypt... reading    6/4/09
Thanks for all your help in the past. We have a 250 gallon system, 2, 125 tanks. A tang in one of the tanks got ich...then the rest followed suite.
We moved them into two hospital tanks...completely lost one tank as the box fish died and killed all. The other tank, everyone is alive. We have a porcupine puffer, stars and stripes puffer, unicorn tang, fox face and a king angel. The king angel and the fox face are not eating. We have tried everything doused with garlic.
<Not efficacious>
We are not sure what else to try
<... read>
and are wondering if we should move these fish back to the display tank. Our LFS says we need to run the tank fallow for 39 days for the ich to die off.
<Reminds me of the even figures "the" gov't, other bureaucracies come up with/fabricate for display to the masses>
Is that accurate or can we put them back in the display tank to see if they are happier and will eat? What do you think?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cryptcures2.htm
I'd look into trying a Quinine or Levamisole here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hello Crew... a bit more reading   6/4/09
I apologize. I just read the whole big write up on your site about ich and the proper treatment. We need to keep the fish out for at least a month.
It has only been since May 19th, so not enough time to rid the display tanks of ich. I guess what I do need then are other suggestions to get the two fish that are not eating, to eat so we don't lose them. Thanks again.
<Please see the previous referral. Be chatting, BobF>
Thanks for all your help in the past. We have a 250 gallon system, 2, 125 tanks. A tang in one of the tanks got ich...then the rest followed suite.
We moved them into two hospital tanks...completely lost one tank as the box fish died and killed all. The other tank, everyone is alive. We have a porcupine puffer, stars and stripes puffer, unicorn tang, fox face and a king angel. The king angel and the fox face are not eating. We have tried everything doused with garlic. We are not sure what else to try and are wondering if we should move these fish back to the display tank. Our LFS says we need to run the tank fallow for 39 days for the ich to die off.
Is that accurate or can we put them back in the display tank to see if they are happier and will eat? What do you think? 

Marine Ich 5/30/09
I have a 65 gallon reef tank. Just starting out with the tank but also just starting out in the hobby. I took things slow and setup the tank with live rock and let it properly cycle. After about 6 weeks and perfect water parameters I purchased a couple of clowns and a toadstool coral. Everything was great except for an annoying mantis shrimp that came in on my live rock. I've tried a few times to get rid of him but he's more clever then I am. Anyways I'm going to carry on building out the tank and let him be for the time being.
<Cool! Mantis shrimps are among my favourite beasties; I did an undergraduate project on them years ago, and have enjoyed them every since.
Yes, they are very clever! My specimens learned after a single trial that something wasn't edible/killable (e.g., a steel rod) and wouldn't attack such items. It's the "spearer" species that tend to be threatening to fish; small "smasher" species are more likely to target similar sized shrimps, snails and clams. There are mantis traps on the market, and they are definitely fun animals worth isolating and maintaining in their own tank, a refugium, or whatever.>
Most recently I purchased a Frogspawn corral, A colony of Pulsing Xenia's and a Potters Angel. Everything was going great but then I noticed that the Angel was getting whitespots on him. I gather that it's most likely Marine Ich. I really regret not following any quarantine procedures now.  So I purchased another tank and removed the Potters Angel and I'm currently treating him with Formalin-3. He appears to be getting better but has only been on the treatment (1 teaspoon in a 10 gallon tank once a day with a 20% water change every two days) for about a week. He's still got some spots but they are fewer and smaller. He's eating and seems pretty happy in there.
Here's my dilemma... I have not moved my two Percula Clowns over to the quarantine tank because at first I was told just to remove the infected fish and treat that one. But some sources on the internet have said that all fish have to be treated every time one fish displays spots. Is this true?
<You should treat all the fish; even if you can't see the cysts on some fish, they may be carrying microscopic stages, or the cysts could be on the gills, where you wouldn't see them. Admittedly, some fish with thick slime coats don't tend to get Marine Ick all that often (the Anguillidae and Muraenidae, for example). But even if they're asymptomatic, that doesn't mean the juvenile free-living parasite stage can't stick to the mucous for a while, and then hop off onto a more promising host.>
The clowns looks completely healthy, eating well, calm, not breathing hard, perfect skin. I'm half way through the treatment of the angel and I'm
hoping that I won't have to start at square one. Is there any chance that a fish would not catch the Ich and would not allow the life cycle of the Ich to keep going in my main reef tank?
<It's possible, but I wouldn't bet the ranch on it. Marine Ick has a free-living stage that will transport between tanks via nets, buckets, fish, corals or any other wet surface. The only sure-fire way to deal with Marine Ick is to quarantine (and treat) all the fish in the hospital tank, and leave the reef tank fallow for a period of several weeks (at least 4 weeks at tropical temperatures, longer for coldwater systems). The free living stage can't live for more than a few weeks away from a host, so assuming there aren't any fish in the tank, it will eventually die out.>
Thanks very much for your expert advice!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Is treatment for crypt necessary? 5-22-09
Somehow I got ich in my reef tank again after being ich free for over a year. I have read pages about treatment/fallow display tank and been there done that. But what is your opinion about just letting it "run its course" and just do nothing? Right now I have a 180-gallon tank with 2-tangs and 2-clowns. Of course the tangs are the ones showing the ich. So far they are eating find and active as ever. They are just scratching and taking pit stops at the cleaner shrimp station. Actually, as of yesterday the hippo tang looks clear and healthy, meanwhile the powder brown has the white spots. They kind of flip flopped infestment times. I know ich works in cycles. I was just wondering your opinion on doing nothing besides keeping up high water quality and high diets.
<Seeing as they're marine fish, it's "crypt, not "ich"...and the problem is never going to go away, and will only get worse if additional fish are added. As always, I recommend the fish be moved into a hospital tank and treated with quinine sulfate, and the display be left fallow for six weeks. If no additional fish are desired, a U/V sterilizer will probably keep things under control, although it won't eradicate the parasite>
Thanks for your help.
<Anytime! Mike Maddox>
<<RMF disagrees... many, if not most marine systems do have a resident ich (yes, the name can be, is applied to marines)/Crypt infestation... Given some sort of "positive" stability, most systems don't develop "very" debilitating outbreaks>>

Re: An addendum for/to you, Re:  Is treatment for crypt necessary? 5-22-09  6/1/2009
I had a similar situation that exploded on my when I added new fish...crypt was barely present for months, until the new fish (being more susceptible) caused a rampant infestation! I'm sure things could work out either way,
but after my experience I answered on the side of caution! :)
<I see. BobF>

Can ich disappear on its own?/Marine Disease 5/21/09
<Hello, whomever you are.>
I have an odd question. Can saltwater ich come and go in two days?
I have two fish in my 29 gallon tank, a clownfish and a Royal Gramma. Two days ago, I noticed what looked like small clear and/or white spots on the royal gramma's head at feeding time right before lights out, as well as some light dusting on his tail. I decided I would set up a hospital tank in the morning, after researching the best course of action for treatment. The next day I didn't see anything on the fish's head, though his tail still looked like there were some tiny spots. I spent all my free time reading every article on this site regarding saltwater ich, but after several hours and a massive headache, I couldn't decide which type of medicine to use. (I have both formalin and Copper Safe in my "fish medicine cabinet," but the more I read, the more I'm afraid the treatment may be worse than the disease, yet I'm not sure what else to medicate with). By the time I was ready to break out the hospital tank, the Royal Gramma looked almost spot-free. Today he looks perfectly healthy, and is acting normally (the only sign of disease other than a few spots was a few rubs against the rocks when I first noticed the spots; no lethargy or lack of appetite). Does ich ever come and go that quickly?
<No, if it is indeed ich, the spores likely broke, leaving the fish looking clean. The new reproduced spores will actively be searching for a host.>
Should I wait and see or be proactive?
<If the spots come back, I'd do a dip, pronto.>
<<For what reason/s James? Will stress the hosts, and the infestation is still present... RMF>>
I'd rather not put him and his tankmate through the stress of a freshwater dip and move to a hospital tank if they're not really sick,
<A freshwater dip will be less stressful than formalin and/or copper. If the dip doesn't work, then I'd go with formalin before resorting to copper. Have you read here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm>
and I'm not sure if the fish or I will survive the stress of trying to catch him when he ducks into one of several holes in the live rock every time I approach the tank.
<Yes, literally impossible without removing the rock.>
Has anyone ever heard of ich that goes away on its own?
<As above.>
Thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

medicating food for Cryptocaryon irritans 09/19/09
Good day all! have written to you before many years ago, still love your informative site
<Me too... more and more as time goes by>
I have a large reef aquarium with hard and soft corals ,numerous invertebrates in 5000 litres it has been running since August last year 2008, it replaced another 5000 litre FOWLR aquarium whose glass cracked after 12 years, fortunately it was laminated glass so it gave me time to construct the new one and move the stock over.
<Yikes... you were fortunate>
I have constantly had battles with whitespot tried many different remedies including hyposalinity but never used copper as it was not feasible, would
kill my live rock and shrimps. Through the years the whitespot has never really decimated my fish most seem to survive with it and continue to eat normally, Some of the fish are over 20 years old the average age is actually close 5-9 years for the majority.
<I see>
Presently I have an outbreak and all though quite a few fish show spots only one seems to be taking strain my Adult French angel( 11 years with me) is still eating but his breathing is laboured and he sulks in the shadows after he has eaten. I recently acquired Chloroquine phosphate tablets and was thinking about making a medicated food gel with them that I could feed them taking great care so that most gets eaten and very little would fall on invertebrates in the aquarium, the dosage seems to be 3.7g per 300g of gelatin but I have some questions about this process.
First to make the gelatin food, you need to use hot water to mix the gelatin would this denature the medicine?
<Mmm, no... or at least not if you allow the temperature to drop sufficiently (comfortable skin temp.) after mixing the water and emulsifier/gel>
Do I add the medicine as the gel cools?
<Ah yes>
Not quite sure how to make this medicated food properly.  Second do you think feeding this medicated food every 2nd day is the way to do it?
<I would feed daily>
Third do you think I should not go this route at all given that some of the fish are old , it might compromise their immune systems more?
<No... I would GO this route... use the CP... is quite safe and effective as detailed>
Currently all water parameters are normal PH 8.2-8.3 KH 10/11dkh Ca 370 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 2.9 mg/l(Hanna photometer) Phosphate 0,25
temperature 26-27 Celsius Sg 1.024 I feed them frozen foods mixed with vitamin c and beta glucan and garlic and alternate this with pelleted foods also mixed with the vitamins, I'm worried that in my attempt to cure with medicine I might actually kill them.
<Highly unlikely>
The water is filtered through a Uv sterilizer 55w at 1000 litres an hour and prior to this it goes through 10-20 micron cartridges changed as they
clog and slow the flow down to 500 litres per hour,
<Do get/use at least a "second set" here while the other is rinsing, air drying>
don't know if this helps maybe trap some free swimming white spot?
<Mmm, some, but not all... Cryptocaryon intermediate stages require about an order of magnitude smaller sieve to be trapped>
How large is the free swimming infective stages?
<Please see WWM re... am out in Sing. standing up... sans ref.s>
Also it is ozone treated in a small protein skimmer for just that purpose, I have larger skimmers for actual skimming.
<Ahh, good. I don't see a measure offered above for RedOx measure... I would keep this high... 375 mv>
So do you think it is worth medicating the food?
<I definitely do>
or just trying to ride it out with high water quality and boosting the immune systems of the fish.
Thank you for your advice!
Shawn Cambouris
<Am hoping ChristineW will chime in here with her input. Bob Fenner>

Quinine..sulfate or phosphate???   5/11/09
I have been reading WWW and have decided to treat my minor ich outbreak, in my QT tank with Quinine. The questions is, I have seen Quinine referred to as both Quinine Sulfate and Quinine Phosphate. Are these different, does one work better than the other or is it all the same thing.
nationalfishpharm.com sell the quinine sulfate version so I was thinking about ordering their "crypto-pro" Thank you.
<Likely your best approach is to use Chloroquine Phosphate... Read here:
Bob Fenner>

ICK problem, and dilemma with new tank?, 4/22/09
I currently have a 10 gallon saltwater tank with a juvenile (3.5 inch) porcupine puffer and a valentine puffer, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 long tentacle anemone, and various snails and hermit crabs.
<Too small and you likely won't have the invertebrates for long.>
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20-40 (varies). I know this is way too small of a tank for these fish.
That is why I am currently cycling a 45 gallon long tank with two aqua-clear 70 hob filters, 1 aqua-clear 70 power head, 120 pounds sugar size oolite aragonite, and 50 pounds of live rock.
<Still too small for a fish that gets larger than a football.>
I am currently looking for a good skimmer in the $200 price range that will be employed when the tank is finished cycling. I know that tank too is also to small, but I currently live in Myrtle Beach and I am moving to
Charlotte in a year, where I will be building a custom 300+ gallon home for my FWF (friends with fins).
<The Porc puffer will likely not last that long, stock for what you have now.>
I am currently going to school for civil engineering, I just can not stay away from my favorite hobby anymore. I think that the 45 gallon will be big enough for another year, and not that difficult to move 350 miles.
<Moving tanks is difficult, even at this size.>
My problem is that my porcupine puffer keeps getting these outbreaks of ick. I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank, that I did not have before I got my puffer, yes I learned my lesson. Now my entire display tank is infested and I do not want to transfer anything to my new 45 gallon tank. I had my puffers in the bare bottom qt tank for 3 weeks, medicating them with Mardel CopperSafe, being careful not to overdose my scaleless friends.
<3 weeks is not long enough, the parasites life cycle is at least 4 weeks.>
The spots went away, but I wanted to make sure that the ick was gone so I left them in the tank for a few more days until it looked like they were being bored to death. I felt sorry for my pals and acclimated them back to the main tank using the drip method, which they did not like at all.
<Back into an infected tank.>
They have been back in the main tank for about two weeks, all of the levels exactly the same except for the Nitrates 0-10, which I blame on the lack of fish in the tank, the two puffers act normal, just like there is nothing wrong, and I wake up this morning and the ick is back. I guess my question is what do I do to eradicate this terrible parasite and prevent it from getting to my new tank when I transfer my fish, and invertebrates over to it.
<Need to treat the ich completely, can take up to 6 weeks to clear the fish in QT of the parasite and break the lifecycle in the main tank. Also I would investigate Quinine Sulfate for the puffer, they are very sensitive
to copper.>
Your website has been so helpful, but my wife gets pretty mad when I set at this computer and look at page after page of discussions and answers.
Thank you for any advice that you can give because I truly feel like you guys know exactly what you are talking about. I love your website. Thanks again, sorry for the long email.
Concerned puffer lover. James
<I would think about finding a new home for the porcupine puffer, it is not likely to do well even in the larger tank.>

How to create a quarantine tank to get rid of ich and accommodate a watchman goby 4/22/09
Quarantine Tank
One of our fish in the tank came down with ich, and now we would like to quarantine the other fish to help get rid of the ich in the DT. We have not quarantined our fish before this since this is a new tank for us and we had not had a QT until now. The question is, I want to create an appropriate tank for quarantining that will be okay to keep my Watchman Goby in. From what I understand, it is not recommended to keep sand in a QT. Will a goby survive without sand on the bottom of the tank, or will he be too stressed?
<You will need to create cave like structures for it to call home, will have a calming effect on the goby. The Watchman Goby can survive without sand.>
I have also read that some have used silica based sands in the QT. Is silica sand okay for a goby, and will it prevent ich from reproducing in the QT.
<No sand is going to prevent ich from reproducing.>
I am wondering about silica sand b/c <because?> I have read on WWM that it is better to keep in the QT instead of aragonite (calcium based substrates).
<I believe that is leading to using copper, as aragonite will absorb copper.>
We plan to keep the fish in the QT for several weeks so the ich can run its course in the QT and DT to hopefully eradicate the problem. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated since we would rather not use any copper based products for treatments.
<Yes, is better to go that route first. Do provide healthy nutrition, will go a long way in disease prevention.>
Also I have heard that hyposalinity treatments can be difficult on fish.
<Not if they are reasonably healthy. Read here.
Thank you for the great site with all the helpful info.
<You're welcome.>
I'm enjoying the reef invert book. I find it very informative.
<Totally in agreement with you here, great book, and Bob thanks you for this.
If you haven't already, do read here.
James (Salty Dog)>

White spots (ich?) on new clownfish, 4/22/09
Hi. I have a 20-gal. tank, and had one percula clownfish for 6 years. A month and 1/2 ago he died in the space of a few hours when the tank heater malfunctioned, and the temperature went up to almost 95 degrees. It was terrible, because he was perfectly healthy, and I had no idea the temp was increasing.
I bought a new heater the next day, kept the (empty) tank running the entire time since the levels (PH, nitrite, salinity, etc.) were all very good, and two weekends ago (10 or 11 days) bought two new percula clownfish
at Petco. Since I had no other fish, I did not quarantine them, but put them into my tank after acclimating them. I did NOT pour the Petco water into my tank.
<Still can transfer parasites.>
They were doing great, but this morning one came out of his sleeping place (a conch shell--in the tank the whole time) and he's covered in white spots on both sides, though his eyes still look clear (just since last night!).
I read through various WetWebMedia entries, and I guess he has "ich."
<Definite possibility.>
All the entries I found were about new fish (introduced into healthy tanks with other fish) who got sick, but my case might be different (I hope) since they're my only fish.
<Still the same issue.>
My questions: Will the other fish definitely get it?
<Most likely already infected, if not soon will be.>
Since I have only the two fish in the tank, should I quarantine the sick one (in tank water, or new saltwater)?
<QT both or neither, just one and you will just return him to an infested tank.>
Or should I treat the entire tank and "dip" both fish?
<I would try to avoid treating the main tank if possible, will damage your live rock and any invertebrates you have. Also difficult to maintain dosing levels with the rock and sand absorbing many medications.>
Is the tank water permanently diseased?
And with what should I treat them?
<A few options here, all with pluses and minuses, see here for ideas http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php .>
I'm confused about the various solutions offered, though "Ionic copper solutions" sound best.
<Can work, but need to watch the levels closely as clowns are sensitive to copper.>
Unfortunately, I have to go to work now, and can't be back till after 5:00. I will buy & do whatever you suggest, because I want to save my fish.
Losing Jerry six weeks ago was horrible, and I will do anything to save my new pets. Is there anything I can do in the meantime to help before I leave @ 9:00 AM?
<No, better to come up with a plan than act rashly.>
Thanks so much for any and all advice, because I just don't know the best course of action to take for both fish. (They get along very well with each other, BTW.) Thanks, Lee Amanda Tatum

Marine Ich: Hyposalinity/Ich Attack 4/14/2009
<Hi Wes>
I have a 55 gallon with an ich outbreak.
1 clown, striped damsel, blenny and a couple of crabs and snails left.
I've been dosing it with Kordon's Ich Attack.
<While I like most of Kordon's products, Ich Attack is pretty much useless.
Any medication that tells you to use it when there are no symptoms as a disease preventative, and to double the dose if the infection is "severe", will not list the ingredients, and states that the best results are achieved when infections are "anticipated" isn't really a medicine.>
The spots on my clown keeps coming back. Its almost a week now since the treatment. I'm considering hypo on the whole tank.
<Hyposalinity is not effective by itself.>
Will hyposalinity kill the beneficial bacteria from my LR and LS? <<It might. RMF>>
<No, but it will harm any invertebrates on your LR and LS. Please read here:
The best way to treat ich is to get the infected fish into a hospital\quarantine tank and because you have clownfish, treat with quinine sulfate. You can purchase quinine sulfate at:
You can read more about treatment treating with quinine here:
As an absolute last resort, you can treat your display tank with quinine, but it will kill all snails in your tank and can be toxic to other invertebrates.>
<You're welcome>

SW Disease: Crypt: Treatment\Quarantine\Medicating Display Tank\Severe Overstocking\Reading 4/13/2009
<RMF: Any Additional Input?><<Mmm, no. What you've done is good, complete>>
<Hello Jesus,>
I have a problem with ich in my tank <An all too common, and avoidable problem. Read here for instructions on how to keep it from showing up in the future:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >
I've had it for 10 days and even though no fish have died I still see fish scratching and I still see white spots on some fish
<Are these fish still in your main tank or in a quarantine\hospital tank?
Read the following pages and the linked pages at the top of each page:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm >
I've been using Quick Cure I also brought my salinity down to 15. <1.015>
<I get the feeling you are talking about your display tank.>
What else can you recommend? I really appreciate you're help thanks.
I have a 210 gallon fish only with plenty of not live rock.
<You are talking about your display tank; "not live rock"... Any rock left in a tank long enough will become "live" with time. How old is this tank?
Of course, if you are putting Quick Cure in the display tank, it is likely dead rock now, even if it was alive.>
I have a:
Yellow Tang,
Hippo Tang,
Black Tang, <Zebrasoma rostratum perhaps?>
Tomini Tang,
care bean blue, purple, <???>
Queen Angel,
Emperor Angel,
Flame Angel,
Lemon Peel Angel,
Coral Beauty Angel,
Potter<s> Angel,
Mata Angel, <Mata Tang>
etc. <You mean there are more fish than what you have listed already?>
<This tank is grossly overstocked. There is no possible way that this amount of fish will be sustainable in a 210 gallon tank, a few of the fish you listed get from 1 to 2 feet long. I would advise you to return as many
of these fish back to the store as possible, but since they are infected, it is your responsibility to treat them before returning them.>
Equipment I have: wet dry, protein skimmer, Ocean Clear, UV light 40 watts, Fluval F5, 0 ammonia.0 nitrite, pH 8.2, nitrate20ppm, and I do 15% water change weekly.
Please help what I am doing wrong.
<You have backed yourself into a very tight corner with no easy solution.
The simplest\best way to treat ich is to get the infected fish into a quarantine tank and treat with copper or quinine sulfate, and let the display tank go fallow (without any fish) for 4 - 6 weeks. Given your stocking load, You are going to have to do one of two things:
1. Buy several smaller tanks to treat the fish. This will involve several water changes per day
2. Treating the main display tank - Use quinine sulfate, available from www.nationalfishpharm.com This will kill any mollusks (snails) in the tank. It is toxic to other invertebrates to a lesser degree You will have
to monitor water quality daily and execute large water changes between treatments. You can read more about dosing with quinine here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm >
Thank you.
<Best of luck>

Ich is icky! Crypt decisions  -- 04/12/09
Hi all,
I have read a lot of the articles on ich treatment on your website very helpful, thanks a bunch! I have two tanks set up, a 8gallon BioCube (consisting of my coral, shrimp and other inverts) and a 50 gallon reef
display tank. I only started the reef tank up in January and followed all of your great instructions on that, however was not practicing quarantine management (dumb, dumb, dumb of course, I know now) and have managed to get everything to be ich infested. My large tank has a Solaris goby, a orange spotted goby a 6 line wrasse and one clown fish left, also live rock and sand, but no coral as of yet. I have set up a quarantine tank for my other clown that I transferred to my little tank when he became sick and transferred him into it today, it is bare bottomed and I have put Coppersafe into it, I cant test the level of copper because my LFS did not have a copper test,
<Foolishness... can easily be ordered online>
but I figured the clown wasn't doing well at all in the first place so he looked doomed either way.
<... defeatist attitude>
It has been 4 hours since i placed him in the tank and he is still doing loop de loops but is still alive, we will see in the morning. My question now is my wrasse and my other clown have two spots each on them and I don't know whether it would be better to lower my salinity to 1.017-1.018 and raise my temp to 82 and send my cleaner shrimp in to deal with the ich
<The lowered spg will kill the shrimp...>
OR pull them both out and put them in the copper quarantine as well?
<Up to you>
I've read that gobies don't handle copper well
<This is so>
and I am worried that they might get it as well, but if it's already in the display tank and they haven't got it yet then.....i think I'm just worried that as long as there are any fish in the tank with or without spots that the ich will have a place to hide, but I cant treat the display with copper, so how do I get it out, or do I just get it to a reasonable level?
<"It" being the crypt? Your choice... Read here:
and the linked files above>
(the first death was basically overnight and two weeks ago) If it looks like there is no ich on the fish in approx. 5-6 weeks in the main tank and I kept the gobies in the tank (and possibly the wrasse and last clown with the shrimp), is it okay to add the quarantined fish back?
<Maybe... the system will be infested from here on out... Weakened states, too much stress and it will express>
Thank you so much for your help!
<A bit more reading is suggested before your deciding, acting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Water pump..More about Crypt Treatment 4/10/09
While we are chatting do you think a copper dip could help with ich?
<Copper treatment can.>
Or do you have to do the fallow thing?
<Both if the main system is infected, with all the fish in a quarantine tank for treatment. DO NOT treat in the main system.>
I have a Foxface and hippo with ich. All others appear ok. It's been over two weeks now. I have tried nosickfish, and Medic. No results, no cure anyways.
<I am not familiar with the products and the manufacturer seems to provide no info on the active ingredients....do read
WWM re the issue. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm>
Sent from Penny Pendergraft
Ellcar Ventures Ltd.
<Sent from Scott V. of WWM and Glass-Holes.com.>

Lionfish with Ich... parasitic reef sys.    4/10/09
Good Morning!
I have read through the Lionfish threads on this site, as well as countless others, and have yet to find a thread similar to my situation. First I'll give you a little history on my tank. It's a 55 gallon that was set up in
December of '08.
<Mmm, a bit too small for Pterois...>
I had a major ich outbreak that took all of my fish in January. My tank sat fallow for 6 1/2 weeks. About 3 weeks before my fallow period was up there was a small (3-4 in.) Volitans Lionfish at my LFS who had been in there a while. I asked the owner about it and he said it was very healthy.
Needless to say, he ended up following me home.
<Heee! You must live in a swamp!>
I kept him in the quarantine for the remaining 3 weeks, and he showed no signs of any parasites or disease. 6 weeks was up so I put him in my display tank. For the first week and a half everything was great, but I
noticed 2 small zits (not markings) on his side at the start of week two.
The spots disappeared by evening, but I know that that doesn't mean they are gone for good. Sure enough about 5 days later (today) I noted one spot on one eye and the other is somewhat cloudy towards the top. He has also been spending the majority of the time towards the bottom of the tank just hanging out. When I introduce food though he quickly swims up to the top to get it. Here is where you come in. Moving him back to the quarantine would just stress him out more, and the ich obviously still in my tank, so he would have to stay in there for 8 weeks. I have a reef environment so treating the tank is out of the question. Should I just let him ride it out and hope for the best?
<This might be best... at least better>
I haven't weaned him off of live food yet. I was planning on trying the "starve" method for 4 days and then introducing the dead food, but I am afraid to not give him food if he isn't feeling well. Any advice will be
much appreciated!
<Please read here re others experiences along the same vein:
and the linked files in the series above. Bob Fenner>

Crypto/ich issues... Ridiculous stocking, sans reading   4/8/09
Hi WWM Crew!
I have a few questions and tried perusing your FAQ first but couldn't find the exact answers I was looking for, sorry if this is redundant! My fiancé and I have a combined 65 gallon fish only + 30 gallon frag tank + 33 gallon sump system. Currently in the 65 is a DFP, rabbit fish, two anthias, a snowflake eel, a copper banded butterfly, and two black clowns (w/ rose anemone). My fiancé has patience issues and didn't quarantine our first fish (BIG mistake and has since learned his lesson). Most of the fish have shown signs of Ich/crypto with obvious infections that come and go. They still eat fine so we monitor the situation and move them to our quarantine tank if necessary (otherwise leaving them be to reduce stress). We recently got a beautiful, healthy powder blue tang
<This species needs much more room than you list, have... I'd say a six foot long tank that is "well-aged"...>
which caught the parasite and promptly died within 8 hours. In our frag tank we have a 6 line wrasse, diamond goby, Catalina goby,
<A coldwater animal. Misplaced here>
barnacle blenny and....a banded cat shark
<No... please tell me you're joshing>
(yes we know the tank is WAY too small - we just got the egg two weeks ago and thought we had more time until hatching so as to procure a larger tank). We have since bought a new 240 gallon tank and will be moving everything over within the next week.
We feel that this provides us with the best opportunity to clear our system and fish of the parasitic infection.
Our normal course of action would be to QT the fish and treat with copper while establishing the new tank with all the precautions necessary there.
<Mmm, along with dips/baths going to...>
However, we were at a loss with what to do with the shark (we can't keep him and the DFP in the same tank anyway, let alone not being able to treat him with copper).
<Trade this shark in, to someone who can, will care for it, or get another tank>
Upon finding readings on your website I have come to believe that quinine treatment is our best option all around. First question, will quinine harm corals?
<Not directly>
Also, will corals carry the parasite?
<Anything wet can be a vector>
How do you microscopically determine whether it is Ich or crypto?
<... These are the same species... See WWM re>
And finally, if quinine can't be used in combination with corals, what do you recommend as far as freeing them from bugs? Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing from you!
Katie Torley
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: crypto/ich issues 4/8/09
Thanks for the info. I guess I wasn't clear when I referred to not being able to keep the DFP and banded cat shark in the same tank - I meant the same QT tank (making it easy to treat the other fish with copper and the shark with quinine). The shark will go in the 240 gallon we have and the DFP will remain in another tank (we heard the DFP will try to eat the sharks eyes, any truth to this?)
<Yes, a possibility>
While some say it's ok to keep the shark in this tank for his entire life, we don't feel comfortable doing that and WILL trade it in when it get's bigger or will get an even bigger tank (current footprint is 8x2). I guess what I'm really getting at here is if quinine IS the most effective treatment of parasites in sharks?
<Maybe Protozoans, but not all parasites, no>
What other actions can we take to make sure we don't end up introducing it into our new tank?
<... please see WWM re... there's too much to relate to here>
Can the shark be freshwater dipped without problem (he's not even currently showing infection signs but better safe than sorry!).
He just hatched Friday night/Saturday morning and has already been eating for two days. We're pretty attached and want to make sure nothing happens to him. Would there be issues with quarantining him and the snowflake eel together for quinine treatment?
<Again... some small possibility>
Thanks for all your help!
<Welcome. BobF>

Need some help with my 300g reef!! Reading re Crypt mostly  4/6/2009
Hi Guys!!
<Perry Como parley vous?>
I have read your web page for some time now! Love it.
I am having some trouble getting rid of ICH. I have a 300g reef tank with a 150g sump. Tank has a 36w UV filter, i gave ozone but don't use it.
I got to my tank one day and there it was! ICH, took all my fish out ( had to remove 400LB of rock!) and took them to a friends place with a 100g quarantine tank.
they have been there for 5 weeks. The problem is I got a call a few weeks ago from a friend that imports fish ( forgot to say that live in Colombia South America ) that he got 2 Moorish idols, I love these fish, but the must be left at sea!. he told me that he did not want them he just gave them to me.
I have good experience with finicky fish, but my tank had ich!... so i put them in my hospital tank at home ( small 40g) they were in there or 2 weeks with copper, but did not eat at all, so i got in contact with my reef pals and we decided they had a better chance in the main tank than in the 40g tank, so we put them in the 300g.
<... in an infested system?>
that was 4 days ago.. the firs day we got them in there the started feeding.. spectrum, frozen foods, etc..... but today i the got ich!!....
the tank had been fish free for almost 4 weeks and the idols looked perfect.
I have to make a decision... leave them there and keep feeding them spectrum with Flagyl or take them out. I really don't want to take them out... you know the stress to them and the corals! what do you think I should do? i have the rest of my fish at my friends place, do i leave them there until the ich clears??
thank you sooo much for your help!
<... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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