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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis 33

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 30, Crypt 31Crypt 32, 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,

Re: Marine Ichy Possibilities      9/26/13
<Nick... your email got kicked out of our sys. for too-large file size... no sense sending six megs of poorly resolved mess... Crop, re-size ahead>
Thank you so much for the last quick response.  I have an update and would like additional advice please.  I do not think the condition is Amyloodinium, but it still might be Cryptocaryon because of the larger spots.
<May be... but can only tell... Have we been over this?>
 I've attached some pictures for you to take a look at.  I'll start a little closer to the beginning with this fish.  I bought the Royal Gramma two months ago.  I quarantined for two weeks.  It seemed very healthy except it had some splotches of slight discoloration on top.  It was faint and what I looked up online made me think it was maybe a trauma on the voyage or a past scrape, and not an ailment.
 I put it in my display tank.  Everything was fine until I emailed you the last time.  The RG had a white spot on it that it flashed off within ten seconds of me seeing it.  I thought maybe it was sand.  The next day I saw a smaller white spot on it's side.  On the 4th day the spot disappeared.  Four days later I see one spot in
a different location.  The 2nd day after that the spot is gone.  The next day there is one spot on my Blue Damsel.  It is still on there today for two days.  The RG has always had a few tiny splotches, but it is now a little bit more so.  On the top it has a little less color and a few places on the side are actually a little deeper purple.  I couldn't get a picture of the damsel because she doesn't ever stop swimming.  The last thing I added was that fish.  I almost always give every fish a good look over each day, so I think this started when I first saw it.  Any advice on a diagnosis/course of action?
<... read (as usual)... Here:
Am changing my mind re penning an ID work (marine diseases, fresh separately of course) for the pulp press ('zines) and WWM. Am going to hold off and just sell as an e-book; adding to list as you read this). I would not treat w/o confirming there's something to treat for... these white spots may be coalesced body mucus... due to... Keep reading>
 I was not able to get a cleaner shrimp yet, but maybe I can this weekend.
Thank you,
<Welcome. B>

Re: Marine Ichy Possibilities     9/26/13
Thank you for your time and effort.
<Ah; welcome. BobF>

plz help... A bunch of issues (self-induced); mis-stkg., Crypt, formalin: ammonia burning... and rdg.       8/22/13
hi wwm i really need help
<I can tell; something's wrong w/ your spell/grammar checker!>
 i have a lion fish thats sick and its just getting worst i bought a juvi emperor and it had Ich

 so my lion and my clown trigger
<... this Balistid shouldn't be kept w/ a Lionfish>

caught it i didn't have a qt so i was treating in my display tank so i was using reef safe
<There is no such thing... see WWM re real Crypt med.s>
stuff it was Ich X
<This product is a scam, placebo>

so i did what the instructions said i treated for 10 days it went away for a day and came back as soon as i stopped treating so i gave i a couple days then tried it again this time it didn't work i lost my trigger and all the sudden my unicorn tang damsel and my clown fish had it so i gave up on that reef safe stuff its junk

i went out and got a qt tank i set it up and put the tang clown damsel and lion fish in there and started treating with quick cure <Dangerous ingredients... narrow range of efficacy; the formalin will kill nitrifiers... NEED to monitor ammonia, nitrite>
the clown is good and my little damsel is clean the unicorn tang died 2 days later : ( but my lion fish is really bad he's getting worst he's deteriorating slowly his spines are losing the skin covering and his wing fins are losing the tips his tail fin the top half is missing same with the fin under the tale and theirs a white film that's coming off his fins looks like lint its free flowing off him it moves in the water its not a film like your thinking its not coated on his body like one end is attached to him and it comes up off of him and waves around in the water and he's starting to get a hole on his side like a open sore with a meaty look im trying to explain it
<Yes; due to the medicine, after-effects>
 the  best i can i feel so bad for him he was eating fine till 4 days ago and all he does is lay up against the sponge filter i also have a regular filter i put the sponge in there for the little damsel and little clown
<Lionfish/s, triggers will eat these>

 just in case but my lion has never gone after them they actually get along good besides the point i tried feeding him today but he wouldn't move from the filter so i nudged him a little to get him away from the filter to get him to swim a little bit and take the sponge filter out but he didn't want to move and it seems like he's struggling to swim i feel bad that i waited this long to get help but i never knew about you guys till now i always looked for help at my lfs so it might be to late but i will try anything to save him plz plz plz help thank you
<... Help with? Are you capable of using the search tool (on every page) of WWM? If not... likely having you start reading (and soon/stat.!) here:
is the best course of action... scan all, read re topics you're well-versed in... esp. the use of Quick Cure's active ingredients. The links in the FAQs files you encounter will give you insights on how to proceed. Don't worry re feeding for now, but DO keep your eye on water quality. Bob Fenner>
re: plz help    8/22/13

Thank you so much for replying I only have the damsel and the clown cause they were my first fish I used the damsels to cycle the tank but my lion fish is small but they get along very well
<... will inhale>

 he's never attacked them even when he was hungry besides the point I know their not good tank mates but I don't plan on keeping them but I know copper is a good treatment
<... quinine compounds are better. PLEASE search and read... writing is only delaying...>

 but I know it's strong so I didn't want to use it unless I had to cause the fish is weak and I didn't want it to kill I thought the quick cure was good but I thought wrong what should I do what should I use to treat him any recommendation
 I don't know if you ever seen the back of the quick cure package
<... read my bio.... Have seen, written about...>

and the pictures of what it treats there is 2 one showing ick and another showing another disease and the fins and stuff that's what my fish is starting to look like but what should I do I've only been in the hobby
for 7 months I always did freshwater I'm always reading up online and trying what people say
The sum total of what is on "the Net" is not useful; one must discern fact from unsubstantiated opinion. READ consciously... REALIZE that many folks are trying to sell you somethings, that others, though well-intentioned, are ill-informed. SEEK to understand the underlying science>
that's why I used the reef safe stuff and the quick cure that's why I'm coming to you cause I can talk to you directly and you can diagnose my problem instead of reading on similar cases and trying what they did and putting my poor fish through hell and my water is good I do 10 to 15 gallons every week or every other week
<Don't write: READ. BobF>
re: plz help    8/22/13

Thank you
<Welcome. B>
re: plz help    8/22/13

What should I read and how do I find it is it on your website thank you
<... see our first email. B>
re: plz help
Hello I got a message from you but it was blank didn't have no text in it my last question was what do I read and how do I find it thank you
re: plz help.... Crypt; ignorance re WWM     8/23/13

Hello no reply but what should I do can I use that Methylene Blue where can I get that how about melafix cause it looks like a fungus and I been reading up on all your stuff kind of hard to understand but I get most of it please get back to me thank you have a nice day
<Read here:
re: plz help

This is what I have been reading up on theres so much good stuff on here
it's awesome thank you but I would love to get an opinion directly from
guys cause their is so much to read and allot of different things to do so
is their anything particular that you can suggest thank you
<.... keep reading
re: plz help

By the time I finish and figure it out my fish will be dead
<Read about using WWM, learn to/use the search tools... on every page.>
re: plz help

I been reading up on the dips how long can I keep a saltwater fish in a
freshwater dip before it starts affecting it thank you
<.... posted...>
re: plz help; back to the beginning... Dwizzard, dwazzard...     8/23/13

Wow you guys ain't really much help I have a really sensitive situation
here and all you guys keep saying is read I can only read so fast and
theirs so many different ways and things to do I'm trying to get help for
my particular problem I've read different answers for people with the same
problems so it's confusing I try to ask you directly so I do the right
thing and try not to stress out my fish worst than it is and all I keep
getting is read read read thanks for the help anyways

Fish sensitivity to Cupramine    7/23/13
Hello WetWebMedia,
I have a 180 gallon FOWLR aquarium that has been running for about four years.  The tank is aggressively filtered and skimmed, and contains the following fish:  1 adult Maculosus angel, 1 sub-adult Annularis angel, 1 med Powder Blue tang, 1 large Bicolor angel, 1 flame Hawkfish, and 1 med
Stars and Stripes puffer.
<The two large angels and this puffer need more room than this>

I keep the specific gravity at 1.018 to help control parasite loads and give each new arrival a freshwater dip before placing them in the system.  For the last 18 months that strategy has worked beautifully.  I haven't had Ich in that time and have not added a fish in the last 6 months.  And then all of a sudden, there is what I could call a moderate amount of Ich in the tank, and the problem is getting worse on a daily basis.
<... the crowding and its ill effects...>

My fish are fed twice daily with foods that contain garlic compounds (Spectrum, garlic Nori, etc) and all are eating well.  I'm considering using Cupramine to treat the water.
<Won't work indefinitely here>

 I am concerned about the toxicity of copper for certain fish, especially the Bicolor angel and the Stars and Stripes puffer.
<And the Tang>
  With what I have written would you recommend that I remove my Chemi Pure from the filter and dose with the Cupramine?  Will the fish survive even a moderate level of say 0.15 ppm?
<This sub-therapeutic dose won't do any good and will serve to weaken the fishes through mild poisoning...
You might read re the one-time (through foods) use of a regimen of CP/Quinine... and/or the use of cleaners (that the Tetraodontid won't consume); but what you really need is a larger system... at least 300 gallons... and the mechanicals and improved water quality, psychological good it will bring>
Thanks for your help,
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>

Specimen specific treatments and qt tank. Cu, Crypt f's      6/7/13
Hi again crew!
I have spoken with Bob on many occasion about my tanks and I feel I must return once more for advice, I recently moved all of my contents to the new 6' x 2' x 30" from my old 5'. The move to the new tank caused an Ich outbreak.
Tank occupants are as follows
Juv blueface angel
Flame angel
Sailfin tang
Achilles tang
2 percula in their Ritteri
Cleaner wrasse
9 azure damsels
Pink spot goby
And so here is the dilemma, the angels are somewhat copper (Cuprazin) intolerant, and so a lower dose/time is required,
<Mmm, yes; though no lower than 0.20 ppm of free cupric ion>
a lower dose may not work on the tangs, I can leave the display fallow and use the 5' as a QT and go hypo, however this is not a permanent fix and would only reintroduce the Ich, and my main source of advice and my main confidante (Bob) is not an advocate, the achilles is obviously worst affected however Percs are showing signs. all specimens are feeding well and are appreciating the extra room in their new home. and so the question is, treat or not to treat, do I upset the occupants in the new tank, subject to stress and move and treat?
<If they're feeding with gusto, I'd not move/treat (just yet). Try boosting immunity et al. w/ soaking foods in HUFA, Vitamin mix/es, freshly chopped/squeezed garlic...>
And if so with what method do you recommend? Or leave them to fight off the Ich on their own?
<Ahh, let's have you read here for a while: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above, as much as it takes for you to strengthen your resolve to set on one path here>
The infestation is worsening on the achilles. Most all are not showing any/few signs.
Your help is once again greatly appreciated
Jim Millar
<... Do you have the means to measure ORP/RedOx? I encourage you to read re this measure of system/life viability and do the simpler things that can to improve it. Bob Fenner>

Advise on an Ich Problem     6/6/13
I have searched all over and I get so many conflicting answers that I would like to ask you as a final word before I take action. I have been in the hobby since November 2012
I recently upgraded from a 42 gal reef tank to a 110 gal FOWLR. All of my fish are young at this point.  I kept my sailfin tang from previous tank and bought a snowflake eel, Dog face Puffer, Picasso and Niger Triggers.
The next morning after I put them in (May 27th)  I noticed they had Ich. What I have done so far is raised the temp to 80 degrees, I have started putting Selcon vitamins on their food.
<The temp. won't make a difference, but the Selcon's a positive>
 I have fed them a variety of different frozen foods and fresh foods. I tried soaking some food in garlic juice I made.   It seems to me the Ich is gone and then back again. The puffer is easiest to see the Ich on but in the afternoon I don't see it and then the next morning I see it.
<Ah yes; quite common>

The local fish store kept their salinity low about 20 and I have mine at about 25,
<With a 1.0... in front of these measures of specific gravity>
 I believe that is why I never saw the Ich on them at the LFS. At least that is what I think.  I never had Ich before on my previous fish.  I do not have a sick tank. 
<Well; you do have an entrenched Crypt infestation>
Should I just keep trying to keep them healthy with vitamins and good water quality and hope they kick the Ich problem or is this something I will have to live with unless I get a sick tank.  I really don't want to stress them out by doing that. I don't think I can put the proper medicine in the main tank.
<Umm, up to you; the choice of course is yours... I would NOT add medicines to the tank here... for reasons gone over and over in articles and FAQs files on our site, books I've penned... IF you are of the impression that the Protozoans here are not weakening your stock (e.g. all are feeding with gusto), I might well forego moving, treating... You can't really use cleaner organisms... as many of your fishes will consume shrimp, small fishes...>
My water quality is all in the proper ranges, I have a sump and a protein skimmer.
I hope I have given you all the info you need.
Your valued advise will be most appreciated.
<I'd have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files as you encounter them, find them of use. Bob Fenner>
Re: Advise on an Ich Problem     6/6/13

Thank you Bob.
<Welcome Barb>
The sump I had was a temporary and tonight the LFS came to my house and installed the bigger one, She gave me some herbal medicine for the Ich and I wondered if you have ever heard of it. It is from Microbe-lift - Herbtana for reef & marine.  

it is a 100% natural expellant for parasitic diseases.
I should put 4 tsp in daily for 10 days. Not use the protein skimmer.  It says its an immune-enhancing stimulant which expels most parasites before serious problems develop. I am assuming something like the garlic and Selcon does.  Have you heard of this or had any experience with it?
<You'll read on WWM re>
  I will take your advise since my fish are eating with gusto and seem very energetic.
Thanks again  :-)
Re: Advise on an Ich Problem     6/6/13

I just read in one of your links of someone used the Herbtana and it didn't work.  ¯\(°_o)/¯
<None of the "herbal remedies" does reliably. B>

Surface Film, cloudy water and Fish with Ich!     6/3/13
To whom it may concern,
I started up 187 gallon FOWLR 4 months ago.
I started slow, quarantining my percula clown and 2 Banggai cardinals for 4 weeks then adding them to the display tank after the display had cycled. I wondered <likely wandered, but I understand you> into a fish store and found the best looking juvenile emperor I had ever seen!
I purchased him. The shop owner had overheard me speaking to one of his employees about quarantining my fish. He proceeded to tell me that quarantine was not necessary with his fish because he keeps them all for two weeks and makes sure they are eating pellets before he sells them.
<... helpful, but no guarantee>
I knew better than to put the emperor into the main display. However, I had waited for 10 years to finally set up my dream aquarium and for what ever reason I just put the emperor in the main display. 2 weeks went by and the emperor looked great! Eating well, he just looked content.
I went back to this same fish store and purchased more fish and introduced them straight into the display tank. 15 in total over 3 weeks. A mixture of juvenile large angles and juvenile tangs.
<What species? This tank is going to be very full>
For the past week my water has appeared to get cloudier and cloudier with a film developing at the surface.
<Bad! You need to scoop the film off, dip a pitcher, wick it off w/ plain white towels>>
Its a 5 ft tank and I cannot see through it from end to end.
<STOP! Stop feeding, stop adding any livestock>

All the fish have Ich now, the angels are getting their forehead sunk in & water quality is turning to garbage and it is all my fault because I knew better! I waited 10 years but I couldn't wait 6-8 months to stalk <stock> properly!
I run 2 mp40w EcoTechs and a Tunze wave box. SWC 250  Extreme skimmer.
Temp is 79. PH is 8.2. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 & Nitrate is N/A because I am out of my API test solution.
I have my 33 gallon quarantine tank still running and cycled.
Do you think I could take out all 15 fish and put them into the 33 gallon

and treat with copper and let the DT go fallow for 8 weeks?
<... aye yi yi...>
I have a juvenile Emperor Angel, 6" Queen Angel, 6" French Angel,
<... only one of these can fit into a tank of your dimensions>

 Juvenile Naso Tang, juvenile Hippo Tang, juvenile Sailfin Tang, juvenile Yellow Tang 5" Niger Trigger for big fish.
Do you think the 33 gallon would work.
<It will not>
If anyone reads this please learn from mistake.
I knew better! I have been reading on your site for 10 years and thought I would never cut corners.
I am sick to my stomach right now.
Please advise.
<Beg the store to take back your livestock, NOW!>

Thanks for your time!
I know you respond to more posts on this topic than you should.... Sorry.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<The current set-up can't support what you have in it, neither can the 33... Bob Fenner>
Re: Surface Film, cloudy water and Fish with Ich!   6/3.5/13

Thank you.
All fish are brought back to fish store except the emperor, clown, 2 Banggai cardinals. 
They are in my 33 gallon qt.
Appreciate your direct responses.
<Am hopeful that they will be helpful. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Re: re: Stars and Stripes puffer, bully      6/6/13

Hi guys
I just got a reply from Bob the other day to an email I sent a few weeks ago so thanks for the reply and help Bob and just to let you know that my emperor is doing fine now thanks to a good water change, the large White spots on his/her body have gone and it's bright colour is back again and it is back eating and back to being the boss
<Ah, good news>
 but you also warned me about my stars and stripes puffer maybe intimidating the emperor, well I have just noticed one of my lyretail Anthias has a chunk taken out of it's back (the Anthias seems to be doing fine he's eating and swimming around) and the only fish capable of doing that would be my puffer, is this typical puffer behaviour?
<Unfortunately, quite common>
 I have a few small fish in the tank that i don't want the puffer making a meal off, and even though he is one of my oldest and favourite fish I don't want him killing all my fish, is there a possibility that this could happen and if so do you think I should hand the puffer back to my LFS?
<Mmm, is there room for another tank?>
Also do u have a section on your site on how to set up a quarantine tank?
<Ah yes: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
 I have a spare 2 foot tank that I want to turn into a quarantine tank.
Again sorry for all the questions but as always your great help is also greatly appreciated.
P.s sorry if the start of the email seems as if I'm being a little sarcastic i really was and am grateful for the response and the help :)
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Re: re: Stars and Stripes puffer, bully
Re: Re: re: Now large puffer donating     6/6/13

Hi Bob
Unfortunately I don't have another tank and i wouldn't have  the room for another good sized tank as much as I would love one, the tank I have now is 5x2x2.5 it's 187 gallons (US) which, if the puffer reaches it's potential 50cm, will eventually become too small for him, I'm reluctant to hand him to my LFS as he is a good size and  I think most the time they see £ signs and will sell a fish to anyone regardless of the size of their tank or their experience keeping certain fish, although I don't know many people with a large predator tank either so It looks like I have a job on my hand to find him a suitable home but hopefully I will, so as always it's been a pleasure Bob and thanks again for your help.
<Ahh, Craig's List there in the UK, or alternatives: http://forums.eukhost.com/f21/craigslist-alternative-uk-6169/
are what I'd try. BobF>

Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system; crypt      6/3/13
Hi crew,
We recently moved our mature 7-8 year old 4ft reef tank to a slightly smaller (just over 3ft, 300l) system. The move went well (I thought), with fish being kept in a holding tank and live rock - in a heated and aerated container, with plenty of flow. I used a mix of old and new tank water and new live sand and also Seachem Stability. Water was tested daily and there were no spikes, ammonia and nitrites were 0, nitrate was very low.
About a week after moving the fish into their new tank, we noticed some were occasionally itching. Fish moved were: an Eibl’s angel, six-line wrasse, pair of common clowns, a domino damsel
<Keep your eye on this Dascyllus... too dominant in most settings>
and our beloved coral goby. All fish have been with us for at least 2 years and everything was QT’d before adding to main tank. Never had an outbreak in the old system. The wrasse started first but he recovered after a few days and has been fine since. Then it was our angel which we sadly lost the other day – we are heartbroken as he’s been with us for 8 years! The goby shows no signs of Ich or anything at all but first thing in the morning the black domino damsel looks covered, same as the female clown. Both fish are otherwise well and feeding very well. I have my QT on standby, together with some Cupramine and a Salifert test kit. The dilemma is this – do I leave them be and hope for the best, avoiding stress from trying to catch and move them (also worried about how the wrasse and goby will deal with the copper). Or do I take out asap and treat?
<I would have taken out and treated. Sorry for the lateness of this reply/response... I would still remove and treat>
I have some very important and hard exams coming in 10 days (mature student!) so timing is not ideal to say the least. I also fear that if I don’t treat, even if they recover, newly added fish would still catch it and then the whole thing starts again. Ideally would like to keep them in QT for at least 6 weeks in order to rid the DT of the parasite. How it got in our system is another question but I guess it’s too late to worry about it now.
<Likely a very olde/long-term resident infestation. Most all systems have them/these>
The only stock added to the new tank were some clean up crew and a small mushroom rock (yes, I know it can live in rocks and substrate...)
<Yes, anything wet>
Please help!
Many thanks
<Again, I apologize for the time lag here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system   6/3.5/13

Thank you so much for your reply, Bob. Yesterday we decided enough was enough and took the fish out - had to literally rip the tank apart to get the wrasse hiding under the very last bit of rock! They are all in a HT now, started dosing Seachem Cupramine.
 They seem ok, apart from the female clown.
Have put some bits of pipe and fake plastic plants (never thought I'd be seen buying those) so the fish are a bit more relaxed now. I think main concern is now to keep ammonia and nitrites down as I am only running a small cobra filter with sponges which I had tucked away in my sump. I am also using Seachem Stability to help the filter.
Is it really true that even running the tank fallow for a few months would not guarantee Ich free environment?
<Strictly answered, yes. The longer though, the more sure>
By the way, visited the shop where we
purchased the mushroom rock and most fish had signs of WS, quite a few were scratching, etc...
<Ah yes>
Thanks again
Jo and Colin
<Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system, Crypt f'      6/16/13

Hi Bob,
Sadly we lost most fish, apart from a coral goby who is a little fighter and our large six-line wrasse. We are near the end of the 2 week Cupramine treatment but I am concerned that the wrasse is not tolerating it well at all.
<Mmm, no. Labrids don't "like" copper exposure... Have you read on WWM re treating this family? I'd use quinine compounds>
He hides in a pipe most of the time (which is fine as he is quite secretive anyway) and doesn't come out to feed, although it looks as he likes the smell of the food as he does start to move about in his pipe. He still looks quite fat but I am very concerned about him. Have you got any ideas? I am about to start removing the copper with active carbon in a few days and hopefully this should help. He's been with us for at least 5 years and I'd hate to lose him.
Also, as well as quarantining fish, I will start to dip and quarantine all corals. I know coral dips do not kill WS but is there anything to be done to prevent this entering my tank again?
<Isolate all incoming livestock for a few weeks... will weaken any potential/transported parasites>
Many thanks once again for your replies.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system    6/27/13

Hi Bob, just another little update. I removed the copper after the 2 week treatment and the wrasse pulled through! After 3 weeks of no feeding, breathing fast and hiding in a pipe, often upside down, I was starting to think about looking into ways of perhaps putting him out of his misery...
Then a few days after removing the copper, he just started taking flake. Not much but enough. And I sometimes think he has a trouble seeing the food but he does manage and most importantly he gets really excited when the food goes in. His colour is good and he is nice and fat. I am going to keep the DT fallow for 11-12 weeks and during this time hopefully the wrasse will make a full recovery before going back in. There were visible effects on the goby who fed very well and was its usual self throughout the treatment. One tough little guy.
Thanks again for your help.
<And thank you for this update Jo. BobF>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system     8/25/13

Hi again,
Just one more question if that's ok as I've searched everywhere and I can't find anything similar. Firstly, a little update - the remaining 2 fish (sixline wrasse and coral goby) survived the 12 week period in the QT and this morning we moved them back to the DT. They are very happy and settled in straight away (I wonder if they remember this was their home?).
<Have speculated re the extent, length of memory of fishes et al... I DO believe many have long-term, involved recollections>
 Now the sixline wrasse has always had this little white-ish little lump which looks as it's something on the inside, protruding a little but no breaks in the skin, etc. It is on the back half of his body and has been there for years.
I have since noticed another one of these but he doesn't seem bothered by them and there's nothing on the goby. We decided to move them back to the DT as they'd had enough in the small tank and I didn't want to treat him anymore for something that I can't even diagnose.
When they were acclimatising in the bag, I got a close look at these little things and they looked a bit like little blisters maybe. The fish were getting stressed in the bag so we released them quickly (temp and SG matched) and they settled in well and fed. I am now a little worried as the wrasse now has some reddish marks where the blisters were, I think they might have got damaged in the bag. He is not bothered by it at all. I've searched for images on all sorts of marine diseases (thought it might be Lymphocystis) but can't see anything similar. I know this is a bit useless without a photo but I couldn't take one, sorry.
Any thoughts?
<Not much w/o at least detailed images... I too would do nothing here treatment-wise. Likely a long term physical trauma>
Many thanks once again
Jo :)
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system   8/25/13

Thank you, Bob, I will keep an eye on him. He fed well and tucked in as usual, just as the lights dimmed down. My poor goby on the other hand looks a bit lost and I think he is looking for the short bit of pipe which he slept in for the past 3 months, feeling a bit sorry for him and tempted to pop one in the DT for him :)
<I'd put a/the piece of pipe in the DT as well. B>

Re: after Ich outbreak -update, and Crypt sys. f'       6/4/13
Hello Mr. F,
Now I understand what '' living with Crypt '' means, and I got to tell you, it's not easy!!! But I really hope that I will find the ways to be
successful in this attempt.
<Am hoping with and for you Andrei>
But, I need some help, and here is where your beautiful and helpful organisation comes in:-)
I took out of the DT the hepatus that seemed to maintain always the parasites on his skin, it was not stressful because I got him with the fish trap. After a freshwater bath he is now in qt. And I introduced 2 days after the Z. xanthurum that was in qt for 4 weeks with water from DT. I kept it for the first 24 hours inside the fish trap just to acclimate it with the other fishes and also to be able to get it out if it got spots.
Well, after releasing, the A. japonicus beat it for a day, now they are good and the xanthurum is eating with all of them, but he got spots!!!
I am going to leave him in there and wait for some days, and act only if the others will get worse.
But, my problem now: what do I do with the Z. cornutus that is sitting in qt for 2 weeks now and eating Ocean Nutrition Angel Formula that contains sponges, and also Spectrum pellets that he grabs from the bottom, not while they are floating. He is definitely not perfect in qt because of the water condition, but introducing him in the DT considering the state he is in, he will probably be harassed by the others. And also the crypt... I have a friend that has a small nano (130 liters ) with clowns and damsels and some other small fishes and inverts that has been set up for a year now, should i place him there until the things calm down in my tank and he gets fat?
<A tough choice... I would go w/ the friends 130l for now>
 He doesn't have the ideal parameter, but at least the tank is  cycled and the only thing to worry about is the nitrites, but my qt is worse, for sure, and roughly the same size.
I don't even begin to think about when and how I will reintroduce the hepatus in the DT again....
And, that's all for now... I am just installing a new chiller for my tank , and a calcium reactor, so I have to go ahead, just waiting for the times that will be more calm and enjoyable.
Thank you again,
Andrei  from Romania
<Keep the faith/hope my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update    7/14/13

Hello again Mr. F,
First, let me tell you that I really enjoyed your article on Coral Magazine.
Now, another moment for me to seek some help in my attempt to live with this parasite has come.
Following your advice I did nothing in my 250 gallons reef tank and let the situation settle. All the residents are ok now ( Naso, Chelmon rostratus, a pair of ocellaris clowns, a Xanthurum, and a pair of mandarins ) except for the beautiful Acanthurus Japonicus. In the first 2 weeks of his introduction he was ok, no spots, than I removed a Paracanthurus Hepatus from there because he had some spots for several days and placed him in qt.
Then I introduced the Xanthurum that immediately was full of spots
<Dangers... from allowing such "hyper infection" on new/recycled hosts>
 ( even after 6 weeks in qt with water from DT) , and also the Japonicus developed spots. After 3-4 days the Xanthurum was ok, but the Japonicus kept on having spots. And now, 5 weeks later the situation is the same: everybody is perfect but the Japonicus that every night is full of spots, but he eats like the others and graze the rocks and swims around , he even eats out of my hand ad he is more calm than when I introduced it in there, when for weeks he
kept speeding around the tank like crazy ( he is a big specimen ).
Now, what should I do with the Hepatus in qt that is sitting in there for 5 weeks, and also if you remember I have a beautiful Zanclus Cornutus in my friend tank that eats spectrum pellets and all kind of foods. When and how should I introduce these 2, while the Japonicus is full of spots every night? ( even though he seems all right and the others are top shape )
<I'd wait a few weeks more before introducing these two other fishes... By this time the Japonicus will hopefully/likely be symptom free (though not parasite free... the infestation will persist likely indefinitely in this system... NEW fishes should be "immunized" by having system water introduced to their quarantine every day for a few weeks>
I feed a variety of foods, enriched with vitamins, the water is very good ( I have SPS doing great in there) , I use 24/7 UV and ozone.
I don't think the Hepatus can handle much more the little qt tank, and he is also a big specimen..
<A question of balance here/then. I'd more the Paracanthurus sooner rather than later>
Thank you in advance,
Andrei from Romania
<Welcome; BobF in San Diego, Ca.>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update    7/22/13

Hello Mr. F,
<Mr. S.>
A quick update on my situation:  I followed your advice and waited with the introduction of the other 2 fishes in the DT. But my japonicus dose not shows any signs of improvement. He has dozens of spots every day on him, the other are asymptomatic, and all ( including the Japonicus ) are eating very well, grazing, swimming etc normally.
So this is what I did: I introduced the Hepatus that was in my qt for 5 weeks or so, but placed it in a big Plexi cage with suction cups and holes so the tank water can pass, and he can enjoy the light and the "view" of the reef. I fed him, but unfortunately after 3 days he had also spots, quite many.
But this time was easy, I just took him out, did a fw + Methylene blue bath and back to qt he is. 
Now I am thinking about another plan: to take out the japonicus with the trap and place him in the qt and treatment, and let the system with the currently asymptomatic fishes settle for some time, and after try to reintroduce them again, one by one. The thing I don`t understand is how the Japonicus can be ok 2 months now with so many spots on him, but still eating etc. ?
<Low "grade" infestation... Like you and I having a long-standing "cold" or such... Not "that" (hyper) virulent>
My problems are: these 2 beautiful tangs will not last indefinitely in qt, and I also have the Moorish Idol in my friend 120 liters tank that is doing ok, he is in there for almost 2 months, he is eating all kind of food and doing ok. How will I be able to introduce him and more important when?
<When you want to risk it... and best by "inoculating" the fish by introducing water (daily if possible) from the infested tank to its>
He too doesn't thrive in the 40 gallons small tank.
<No; does not>
when is this going to end? ah well, at least they all eat and seem to be ok, ( I know they are not ok )  not even flashing...    
thank you,
<And you, BobF>

Re: after Ich outbreak -update     7/24/13
Hello again Mr. F,
I think is time to change the title of our discussion, because it is time for me to move on. I feel like if I ask one more question about how to introduce fish in a crypt infested tank Is not going to do good on either of us...Anyway, just for your information, the Japonicus is showing less spots every day, I even think that today had almost none, so you were right, he is probably becoming asymptomatic .

I would like to talk about the big picture now, the tank. I feel like sending you 1-2 photos of my tank, that way you could make a better idea, and the discussion gets more personally... ( I don't know if this is what you want, considering the fact that you receive maybe hundreds of letters every day, but...)
<Only a few; not hundreds>
I have a 220 g tank driven by classic Berlin method: an oversized skimmer : the new ACone 3.0 from aqua medic, a open sump with 3 reactors: one phosphate reducing,
<If not necessary, I wouldn't use... periodic Lanthanum dosing is highly preferable>
 one filled with activated carbon ( Korralensucht ) and one with bio pellets ( 1 litre ) . Then a pump sends water to the chiller, and then another one ( 6500 l/h ) sends it back to DT . I also use a UV after the activated carbon reactor and a ozone reactor connected to the skimmer. The top up water is made by an RO unit and automatically passes through an Kalkwasser stirrer. All these equipments are AquaMedic.
In the DT there is live rock covered in coralline, but I have started from dead rock that turned live. I use a 3x250 w MH lamp with 20.000 k plus 4x80 w T5 tubes. As you can see from the photos I have mainly SPS, not small frags, but 15-20 cm corals, some LPS, etc.
<I see these>
The tank is 1 year old, as is my knowledge in reef aquariums. In this time I have read so much on your site and others, now I have subscription to Coral magazine and a fish room...
But I find myself in some odd situation, probably because my lack of experience: I have the feeling that I mix different methods of reef keeping without consistent results.
<This is a VERY common state amongst aquarists, human endeavours period>

I have a nitrate problem,
<What leads you to believe this?>
I think I don't have enough live rock to sustain the bacteria I need. I was thinking of adding some kg of SeaChem matrix bio, maybe in a bag around the return pump, that will act the role of a lot of live rock. I dose Prodibio for 3 months now, but maybe all these bacterias don' t have the right place to grow.
<I'd add as large a sump/refugium as you can fit... a DSB there, RDP lighting... and leave all else as is>
My nitrates are around 20 ppm right now.
<Not an issue or worry>

 There are so many ways to reduce nitrates, maybe even grow some macro algae in the sump.
<Yes; this is best>

 I do a weekly 7% water change and switched from red sea coral pro to new premium SeaChem line AquaVitro Salinity .
The sand bed in DT is only 1 inch and is very clean and white, I don't have problems with algae, and I only need to clean the glass of the tank once a week.
But I feed too much: 4-6 cubes per day ocean nutrition formula 1&2 , Mysis, etc, 2 spoons on soaked algae/Spirulina/flakes in vitamins and ginger and garlic juice and some spectrum marine pellets, and I only have ( as we have so much discussed) a Naso tang, a Acanthurus Japonicus, a Z. Xanthurum , a Chelmon Rostratus , 2 mandarins, 2 percula clowns and 3 Nematolactis magnifica. Is this the key? How much should I feed? I tried to feed them to be more resistant on crypt, but they are all ok now..
<The foods, feeding are fine... your fishes appear healthy; the nutrients used by your other life...>
I guess the main idea here, because for the rest I am aware that I have to figure out by myself , is that I am trying to ask you if it is possible to have great results with SPS colour and growth without going along with some very demanding and complicated ways like ZEOvit, that for sure gives great results, but can go wrong in some many ways.. but I think I already know the answer...
<There are several principal ways to have "SPS success" with quite a few sub-methods... What you have here thus far is fine. I would add the larger-est refugium w/ DSB... RDP, macro-algal culture there...>
Thank you for helping on a confusing time for me aquarium wise ..
<Glad to share our involvement. Bob Fenner> 

commercial holding tank questions; Crypt...   5/16/13
Hi Bob,
It has been awhile since I last wrote you so I figured I would check in as I had a few questions I am hoping you can answer.  Last time we spoke I was about to open my new saltwater shop and you were helping me figure out my issues regarding ammonia spikes with the new dry rock and instead adding the fresh live rock to the set up in the fish holding system.  I'm happy to say that business has been really good since opening and I have been busier than I could have ever expected to be honest in my first year.
<Ah good>
 I am so busy some weeks that I have trouble keeping up with getting new livestock in to the shop after everything is sold on busy weekends.  Which leads me to my questions.  If you recall my store consists of a 1000g fish holding system and a 800g coral/invert system.  The coral/invert system does fantastic.  I run a skimmer and ozone and dose supplements for the corals as needed.  No problems there. The fish system however has been a headache from the start.  No matter what I do I can not seem to get things the way I want them.  If you remember I have a centralized system of 24 x 40g breeder tanks with an inch of aragonite sand
<I'd switch to coral sand... for looks, function; though not really a giant step forward here>
and one or two live rock pieces for each tank.  One 3ft LED strip light on each tank. In the back I have a 150g sump
<Is there room to add volume here? I would>
with a commercial sized protein skimmer, an Ozotech 1g ozone generator, and a Emperor Aquatics 300w HO UV along with 900w of heaters.  Salinity is kept at 1.022-23.  Temp: 74-75 in the winter months, 76-77 currently in the spring months as the retail space is on a concrete slab floor which stays cool.  No ammonia, nitrites, <10 nitrates.  I have also been corresponding with Bob Goemans regarding my current utilization of Chloroquine phosphate through the holding tanks as I have had good luck in the past using it in a hospital tank setting.
<I do hope/trust that you're not using CP on a continuous basis>
 My question in essence deals with disease prevention.  Every time I get a new shipment in of fish I see crypt spots pop up on the tangs and angels within a few days of arrival.
<Ahh, very common... the rule rather than exception>
  I was hoping running the CP through the holding tanks at 10-15mg/l would prevent this from happening
<Mmm, no... copper would be an order of magnitude better>
but it does not seem to be as effective as I hoped.  I am not sure if the rock and substrate are effecting the effectiveness of the drug or if the tank lights are degrading the medicine or even having an effect at all.  I turn off the ozone and UV when medication is present.
<Yes; have to>
  And have been redosing every 5-7 days as directed by Ed Noga and Bob G. I have tried the Guerrilla acclimation technique and have been ordering from reputable wholesalers (QM, SDC) without much luck in preventing outbreaks on new arrivals of certain Ich susceptible fish.
<You likely have a resident infestation... Are you "up to" the possibility/practice of bleaching the receiving/holding/isolation area every shipment? Moving some clean filter media from another system (perhaps the invertebrate sump)? Otherwise... I might stoop to the use of a chelated copper product in your fish system>
 I am thinking in going a couple different directions at this point...
1.  Setting up a three level QT rack in the back room big enough to hold 30-40 fish upon arrival.  Treating fish as needed for 1-2 weeks then moving up front to displays.
2.  Pulling all calcium based live rock and sand from fish system and replacing with bio balls, faux ornaments, inert freshwater gravel so as medications are more effective and I can treat fish system with copper or formalin if necessary.
<Ah yes>
3.  Adding more UV and Ozone to the system in hopes that better sterilization will be achieved without medications.
<What is your RedOx/ORP currently? I'd keep it (safely) consistently under 400...>
My concern obviously is once the fish have visible spots or symptoms in the retail holding tanks that they are no longer a sell-able product and the shop loses money and time treating and rehabbing the fish.
<Yes; not practical>
I guess my question then would be what is your preferred method for keeping a fish system healthy in appearance.
<As you've done and stated: Have stable, optimized holding facility, buy initially clean stock, quarantine/treat if necessary enroute to offering for sale...>
 I do not want to over medicate but it seems my ozone and UV are not enough on their own.  Perhaps I am undersized?
<Perhaps; a factor is volume size for sure... but only "a few percent" of your issue/situation. Again, like most all shops, you have a resident/in-place parasite situation>
 Other stores in the area run inert substrates and fake decor in their fish systems.  I am positive the one store uses formalin in the system when adding new arrivals and then UV there after.
<I'd use the formalin only in (heavily aerated) dips, short immersion baths>
  Their fish always seem to look in good health although I do hear they have high initial losses.  I am worried that my live rock and sand is harboring a lot of the disease.  I would like to keep some sort of substrate and decor in the tanks as I do promote reef tanks and Fowlr as my main selling setups. 
Any input you think would be helpful I would be glad to consider at this point.
Thanks again Bob!
<Though it can become a "bad habit", I'd lean, direct you to try the copper route (testing for and adjusting daily) at this time. Going forward; when you and your market will pay for it, separately holding incoming livestock shipments... Bob Fenner>
Re: commercial holding tank questions, Cu use       5/26/13

In the past I have used Seachem Cupramine.  I have never had much luck with using it though on dwarf angels such as flame and potters angels and wrasses.
<Mmm, these families members don't "like" copper for sure>
  My research says you are supposed to ramp up the dosage until recommended level is reached or run half levels for dwarf angels and not use at all with some wrasses. 
<Mmm, no; or not really... the active ingredient (check whether you're using a chelated kit...) should be at 0.35 ppm free copper (Cu++); no more than 0.50 ppm, nor less than 0.20... you'll have to check... see below>
How would I do this for new fish shipments if the copper is already at full strength in a holding system?
<? Don't follow you>
Out of curiosity why do you say the Chloroquine Phosphate only lasts a day or so after dosing?
<Often falls out of solution in typical settings... photo-oxidized et al.>
  I thought most authors were recommending treatment every 5-7 days.
<... Mmm>
 I was basing my dosing regime off of Norga <Noga, Ed.> and Goemans literature on CP use and dosing once a week-10 days.  I have been very happy with using CP in the past but it seems no one knows or follows a standard dosing regime for disease treatment or which diseases CP actually is effective on eradicating.
<Most all external Protozoans>
  I also liked CP for its algaecide like properties in the display tanks. 
From what I understand copper will do the same for combating algae?
<Yes... more olde timey>
  For the UV, it is an Emporer <Emperor> Aquatics HO 150w per bulb model. 
The Ozotech ozone generator is 1g/hr but no air dryer which then reduces the output by half I believe.
<Highly variable depending on temperature and (relative) humidity>
 But if I am running copper I can not run UV or Ozone anyways if I understand correctly?
<Yes; correct>
  The QT tanks have been ordered and I am hoping to put together the new holding system this upcoming week.  I am still not sure which direction to go on sand and rock in retail displays as it is a big endeavor to change out. 
<Then I'd leave out for now... just have to check the alkaline reserve, perhaps adjust more often... that, and/or more expensive, larger water change-outs>
 I will have to ponder more on this subject.  Thank you again for your guidance.
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Re: Re: re: commercial holding tank questions; was Crypt, CP, Cupramine f's, quarantine sys. des.      6/13/13

Hi Bob...a short update on the store...I'm in the process of changing over all the live rock in the store holding tanks and large main sump to fake resin decorations out in the front tanks and bio balls in the filtration room to get ready for a possible copper treatment if necessary in the fish system.
<Mmm, do bear/keep in mind that you'll still need to monitor (daily) and re-add on a regular basis. The copper med./s will fall out of solution even in "just" plain saltwater systems, sans any décor... from the alkaline water and absorption by biota>
 Currently the Chloroquine phosphate is still running through the system, would you recommend trying to remove that before treating with copper?
<Mmm, no>
 I obviously have no way to test to see how much remains in the water as that is one of its drawbacks when using.  I was thinking I could turn back on the ozone and UV to remove the CP?
<It is so transient... and not trouble "mixing" w/ Cu; that I wouldn't/don't worry re>
 I have also reduced the salinity in the system down from 1.023 to 1.015.
<May as well drop a few more thousandths... to 1.012... even for most fishes 1.010... just need to take your time "re-upping"... a thousandth per day or thereabouts>

 It definitely seems to be helping with the general behavior and outward appearance of the fish.  ORP is almost 300 now with no skimmer, ozone, or UV running because of the CP.
<I should make a brief comment here; so am doing so: To others/browsers: (please) don't use CP, other "chemical means" to raise ORP (or as algicides....)... >
 I'll be glad to get the skimmer/ozone going again to remove it from the water and get the ORP back into the 400s.  My question is regarding using copper for the 1000 gallons system if necessary.  Which type do you recommend for a LFS setting?
<Mmm, much to say/relate: let's have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptchelcucures.htm
see the upper right box?>
 As I mentioned earlier, all the live rock is being removed, but there still will be some live aragonite sand present in some tanks.
<Then copper will be lost a bit faster than if it/this were absent. No big deal>
 I was leaning toward just a regular ionic copper sulphate mix and maintaining it at .15 ppm
<... too low... Shoot for 0.20>

 along with the salinity at 1.015.  Is there an economical commercial brand to use or should I go the DIY mix route? 
<I'd use the commercial chelated here. IF this were a very large public aquarium I MIGHT make up my own citrated (10% citric) CuSO4 . 5H20 aqueous solution... but even then would likely just make a deal, purchase (rather than make) my own chelated mix. Look for the one gallon size... even comes in larger... not for your use here>
Most ionic brands recommend 1 drop per gallon of saltwater.  So if I have 1000 gallons, and 1 drop = .05 ml, I would need 50 ml of copper sulphate?  Does that sound right?
<... no my friend. Even more dangerous is what you sound like. Do you know stoichiometry? How to make molar solutions? Please, for here/now, just purchase the brand/s mentioned on WWM>
  I was also looking at CopperSafe (chelated) and also Copper Power Blue (not sure if it is ionic or chelated) but it seems I would need large gallon sized quantities of those forms of copper.
<Both good products, and one gallon will last you a good long while>
  CopperSafe instructions are 4 ounces per 100 gallons?  Seems like a lot to be dosing in a commercial setting.  Also, seems like most wholesalers/LFS are running UV/ozone as well?
<Often the case; yes>
 Is this possible with copper present?
<Mmm, yes; though these cause (even) faster "drop out", and the coating of sleeves of ozone made via UV are a pain to clean... acid wash. Better to turn off UVs during/IF using Cu>
  The CopperSafe specifically states on its label safe to use with UV and skimmer.
<Is safe, just not as efficacious... think on this idea: Copper won't stay in solution in seawater period... it gets ad- and absorbed even faster w/ more biota/physiological activity present, more so w/ alkaline décor (sand, gravel, rock) present, faster w/ higher (more concentrated) specific gravity, faster still at higher pH, ORP, UV use.... Do you understand? I would use whatever brand, a good test kit...>
 I would like to utilize UV and ozone if possible.
<... go ahead and try this then... Just monitor/measure for free Cu at least once daily, re-adjust>
 I know that is not possible with brands like Seachem Cupramine.  Finally, the new QT holding system is also nearly complete in the back room.  I still cannot decide how to plumb them together though.
<I would NOT do this. Keep both systems COMPLETELY separate... I'd go so far as to bleach the filter media, perhaps the entire quarantine system between each use... Yes; and re-inoculate w/ media from a known "clean" system each week/two weeks... whatever the new livestock incoming schedule is. You do NOT WANT to mix anything wet... nets, specimen containers, hands, cleaning gear twixt the Q system and the store's livestock display systems>
 I will be glad when the stress of re-doing this system is complete. 
<Ah yes; I do know>
I hope that the upgrades will translate into healthier fish and more profit for the shop.  As always thanks for your input.
<Am very glad to be here for you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking list , opinions please? Crypt concession        5/8/13
Hi Crew,
Just as a follow up for the collective experience value: with all the combined measures taken (UV, Quinine, Sulfates, substrate rotation, hyposalinity, Metronidazole, Formalin/Meth Blue/FW dips etc.) this tang "appeared" to be cured after 4 -5 months of yo-yo treatment in quarantine, only to die in the display about two weeks later of Ich. This brings my total number of fish saved over the last ten years from Ich and Velvet, to an impressive zero. I think the next fish I get with Ich will be quietly put down to save it and me the pain... I officially give up on Ich treatment.
Thanks for all the help regardless.
<Yeeikes... Might be time to "go back to zero": Bleach the tank, all its contents and water-touching gear; start w/ fishes from a known, starting-healthy state... run through quarantine, dips/baths, do your best to maintain an optimized, stable environment. Bob Fenner>

Re Parasite id help, original and follow-up ** >><<  3/26/13
Hi I'm looking for a little help with an ID. Some background on the fish...
Began as a 72g with un-quarantined fish. Majestic angel,
<... needs more room than this>
flame angel, 2 maroon clowns, exquisite wrasse, cleaner wrasse,
<... inappropriate species here>
Everyone has an opinion I guess, I've had him for 6 months and he eats everything I put in the tank. My opinion is if you keep one, it needs to be
fed 4 times a day or more to stay healthy.
>> Mmm, yes. Much has been written re Labroides captive use... particularly L. dimidiatus... most (90+ % die w/in a day of collection. Some small part of one percent live a few months in captivity<<
Fiji blue damsel. After 2 days, Exquisite wrasse got some white fungus cottony looking patch and died within a week despite eating well. All was fine after that so I don't think that was related. I did add a hectors goby some time after and I began seeing some spots on my clowns, but none that looked like Ich. These were more cottony/fungus looking. Some other fish
(majestic and cleaner wrasse mostly) began scraping on rocks. Majestic got some large white patches I almost thought could be velvet and died within days. At that time I broke down the tank, thinking I had Ich and not really sure if/what else.
* Not a tear down per se, I had to take it apart and re organize to catch the fish. Broke it down was not the right term.
I used tank transfer method. *
<What is this? Leaving the intermediate states of parasites behind? Dipping/bathing fish/hosts enroute?>
* I'm rather surprised if you haven't researched tank transfer method for crypto. I have faith that worked and it only makes sense that if you move the fish to a brand new tank every 3 days, all the parasites have to eventually drop off the fish to complete their life cycle. 3 days is not enough time to drop, cyst, hatch and reinfect the fish. Within 3 transfers the fish should be crypto free if the method is followed correctly.*
>>Am very familiar w/ various ectoparasitic exclusion techniques... just wanting to be clear, prompt you to describe for the many browsers who will read your posts over the years<<
to treat the remaining fish, and I had a newly set up 125g with only 2 fish (dogface puffer and a juvi red Coris). The dogface puffer I was also sure had Ich, and so I caught these two and treated them with the rest from the 72g. I set up a 20g which I already had cycled, and used that for the wrasses. treated with Cupramine (3 wks) and then PraziPro (1 wk).
<Why the Prazi?>
*Why not? fairly safe med for all, and puffers are known for internal parasites Prazi is good for. *
The rest (Puffer, flame angel, 2 clowns, Fiji damsel) as I said I used tank transfer (I did about 6 or 7 transfers 3 days apart using 32g trash cans bleaching and drying in between).
<... won't work>
*Why? It seems to make a lot of sense compared to the crypto life cycle... *
>>... see WWM re... Or just wait/see. The stress of moving fish hosts, embedded forms...<<
No signs after that and from there they went to a 90g qt that I cycled specifically for these fish. I did not see any signs on them from here, but I did treat with Cupramine for 3 weeks to be on the safe side, and then one week of Prazi. I left my 72g and 125g fallow during this time, but I did add snails and some coral frags in the mean time. I went about 8 weeks with no fish but I did add some snails to both tanks only about 2 weeks before reintroducing fish. The flame angel and cleaner wrasse went back to the 72g and seem fine.
The 2 maroon clowns, puffer, Fiji damsel, and red Coris went back to the 125g. That was about 3 weeks ago. Last week I noticed a small white spot on the larger maroon clown near the dorsal fin. That is in the first picture.
I kept an eye on it but there was no other signs of anything on the fish or any other fish.
All of a sudden this morning the larger maroon clown is now covered with similar spots as the first. I really don't think this is Ich, as usually when I see it I can id it very easily with certainty.
<Can't w/o sampling, microscopic examination>
* Not much I know of that looks like it besides velvet which you would find out much faster that its not if that were the case. *
>> See Ed Noga's works... Can be downloaded via the Net for a fee<<
These spots are irregularly shaped, and all over. Some on their lips, very edge of some fins, and on the body. There is one spot that is larger than the rest near the clowns dorsal fin which almost seems cone shaped but fuzzy looking. All the other spots are fuzzy looking and around some the skin seems somewhat darker in the immediate surrounding area.
<See WWM re marine parasite ID> * I probably should have mentioned your looking at a 4" clown, and those clumps are sesame seed size or bigger, not salt sized.*
>> I see... take a look on WWM re Amphiprionine parasitic diseases; there are images, good descriptions<<
I took a lot of pics to try to show this but you can only see so much in a picture. The best pics I can find online seem like brook but I can't tell because it seems so different in all the pics I see. Also I would think if it were brook they would all be dead by now. I tried to send image links for the pics if it doesn't show in the email then you should be able to paste the links in your browser. Also Parameters are 1.025, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5-10 nitrate, 1200 Mg, 400 Ca, 8 to 8.5 dKH in both my tanks.
Thanks for any help. Dave
<Does look like Crypt... on the Premnas... in a badly bleached anemone... but what to do? Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reefparfaq2.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
*anemone isn't bleached, it is green, bad cell pics, camera doesn't like leds much. I am thinking that it is some sort of fungus/fin rot type of disease. No other fish are affected still at this point. There are several more clumps on him not and some look to be eating away at the fin. I attached another photo. Look at the rear of the adipose fin. About 3/16 of an inch now is eaten away there. Fish still eats well too.
Anything I can try to use in the display? It wont be an easy task to catch him, and I have new fish about half way through their qt process in 2 qt tanks. So convincing my wife I need to set up a 5th aquarium won't go well.
>> I'd go the route of (simply, just) trying to boost immune systems in place... See WWM re infested systems/reefs. B<<

Copper... Crypt eradication... entrenched in a system      3/6/13
Hi, I have had my 90 gallon reef ready tank up and running for about 7 months or so now. I have about 95 pounds of live rock and about 2 inches of live sand. I tried to fresh water dip most
<... has to be all>
 of my fish
before they came into the tank but some how still managed to get ick. My Powder Blue Tang and Blue Hippo tang both have little white spots over a lot of their bodies.
<The former is VERY susceptible>
It popped up in about a day and a half.  I want to make my system ick free so I don't have to worry about them getting it again whether they are stressed or not. 
<... now the system "has it"... Extremely difficult to eradicate altogether>
I have read that if you take the fish out and copper treat them and leave the tank fish free, the ick will not survive and it will be out of the water system and off the fish.  Is this true, and if so, how long does it need to be fish free?
<Is semi-true and the longer the better to reduce infectivity... several weeks. But, again, even waiting months will not totally remove the Cryptocaryon>
 (Btw... What is this method of removing the fish considered... Quarantine?)
<... or isolation, letting the system go fallow (sans fish hosts)...>
I have a few corals and stuff too.
  Tank inhabitants: Powder Blue Tang, Blue Hippo Tang, Flame Angel, 2 Cardinal Fish (one is carrying eggs at the moment), 2 Ocellaris Clown Fish, 1 Yellow Tail Damsel, 1 Diamond Goby, 1 Code Goby, 1 Mandarin, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 2 Pistol Shrimp, 1 Serpent Starfish, 1 Oyster, a bunch of hermits and snails, 1 Emerald Crab, 1 Pipefish, 2 Mushrooms, 1 Frogspawn Coral, 1 Duncan Coral, 1 Branching Hammer Coral, a bunch of Pink Birdsnest Coral frags, and a bunch of Zoa polyps. I have a 30 gallon sump with a protein skimmer and refugium. If I want to do this procedure, I can leave the corals, starfish, mushrooms, shrimp, snails, pipefish
<... no fishes>
and crabs in the tank, right?  Will the ick host on any of that? The rest of it should be safe to copper medicate? 
<... it>
 If I do that, do you have any pointers to keep my system going ok?
<All posted, and in books, articles...>
Should I drop a little food in the tank to keep the cycle up so all my good bacteria doesn't die?
<A good idea; yes>
I need to leave all the filtration and lights on for the corals.  Will my copepods, live rock, and live sand still do alright and be ready for the fish when I place them back in the display?
<Likely so>
I should probably add them slowly anyway, I assume. Trying to make this work as smoothly as possible and get it done as quickly, safely, and accurately as possible the first time.  Your help and tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
<Do keep reading as well; on this topic, what is related, linked on WWM.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Copper... still not reading     3/7/13

Would you recommend a hyposalinity remedy over the isolation method?
<...? No; see WWM re...>
 If I tried this, I would want to go down to around 1.014 for about 4-5 weeks? In your expert opinion, knowing what species are in my tank, what would you do?
<Have you read what is posted/archived on WWM to give you a sound rooting in what is going on here; so that you can/could make your own informed choice of action>
What do you think has the best overall success and my best chances of getting rid of ick permanently?  I don't think I will get any new fish and if I have to replace any from death, I will make sure to quarantine them all and dip or copper them so this does not happen again.  Thanks for your feedback and quick response on the last email.
<... I'd try first bolstering the immune systems of the fishes... Start your reading here:
and the linked files above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello Mr. F,
I like very much the idea of growing my own macro algae , and I was thinking about a refugium, so I will do it for sure. Just have to find the source for the algae, but if they import fishes and invertebrates, why wouldn't import algae too?
<Assuredly someone there does so>
Just a quick question: given the fact that my tank is back to normal, but normal means that the Hepatus always has some crypt spots on him, and that I also have in there A. japonicus that is clean now, but very very susceptible, and also that I will eventually have to Introduce the Z. Xanthurum that I have in qt, and also the Z. cornutus ( that is now eating out of my hand but only Mysis and Spirulina for now, but I think I am very close to convince him to take Spectrum pellets, I know this is the only chance for him in the long term and Mysis won't be enough nutrition for him )
 , would not be a good idea to take the Hepatus out and treat him in some way, he eats very good and he is very fat so I think he will be ok in qt
tank and also ready to take some kind of treatment ( at your suggestion ) ?
<Worth trying... and in the meanwhile introducing the Purple Tang and Zanclus>
And then reintroduce him in the DT? or not?
Thank you,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     6/6/13

Hello again Mr. F,
Well, I followed your advice, and my intuition and placed the Z. cornutus In my friend tank. He keeps in there an anemone as well as crabs and snails, so the water quality should be acceptable. We will see what happens.
About my DT, the Xanthurum has fitted in but he still has the spots. Maybe 20 on each side, maybe less. Today while he was eating I saw something hairy coming out of his anus, and I immediately thought parasitic infection - he stayed for more than 4 weeks in qt - but it looks very much like the hair; that is on the mussels that I feed to the Chelmon, usually I keep the mussel in my hand and when they are done I remove all the rest, but yesterday they bite so hard that I dropped it in the tank, so I am thinking he may have eaten that...
<Could be the byssal threads... I'd wait off on adding an anthelminthic to foods>
  But all the others, including the A. japonicus ( which I consider the most susceptible ) have no spots for 2 days now, even if he would have 2-3 around his head in the last days with all this happening in there,  and eating and are all active ( the Xanthurum also.. ).
<Ah good>
Now what? Should I leave all like it is and wait for the Xanthurum to heal/immunise , or should I try to get him out with the fish trap ( I am not sure if he will enter there ), given the fact that all other seem to be immunised.
<I'd just wait>
I am sorry to bother you with all this questions, but for me now they are very important.
Thank you,
<Welcome. BobF>

Ich treatment question    2/21/13
Greetings again from Colorado! Hope your day is bright and sunny, snowing like crazy here!
I need to ask your advice on something.
My tank has come down with Ich. Apparently the 2 week quarantine of my latest addition was not long enough. Lesson learned.
The Ich has gone through a few cycles and is spreading, I must act quickly.
I have decided to go the Hyposalinity route. Preparing a hospital tank.
<See WWM re Hypo; rarely works>
Question is- Once I isolate all fishes from the display tank and start lowering the salinity- how will I feed my Mandarin?
She is currently fat and happy, plenty of bugs to graze on. I think if I chance introducing bugs from the display I will re-infect the treatment tank.
I have another non-infected tank with plenty of bugs, but I think if I put in bugs from it they will immediately die due to the lower salinity. She probably won't eat them.
<See WWM re Callionymid feeding>
Wondering if you have any suggestions?
Even though the Mandarin shows no signs of infection due to her thicker slime coat I think if I did not treat her I would risk re-infection when the other fish are put back in.
Another thought would be this- this illustrates the logic of having a reef only tank and a fish only tank. If I were to keep the treated fish out of the reef tank permanently, leave the Mandarin in the reef, would the Ich perish after a fallow period or live on in the Mandarin? ( I think I know the answer, unfortunately)
Appreciate your thoughts, thanks very much as usual for your help.
<Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reefparfaq2.htm and the linked files above. BobF in San Diego>
Bob in Thornton, Colorado.

Cryptocaryon, QT End?     2/10/13
I’m essentially suffering from “paralysis by analysis” and looking to get my hand held! I bought a Royal Gramma and placed it into a 10 gallon quarantine tank. Within a couple days it had a single white spot on it’s chin, and an oblong white “scratch” over it’s eye. I saw the fish scratch one time against a PVC pipe, and assumed it had ICH but wanted to be sure before nuking the fish with copper. I was expecting to see more spots develop, but instead the one on the chin was gone in a day. The eye problem was gone in a couple more. Nothing more unusual appeared, no more scratching witnessed, the fish outwardly looks perfect and it’s been 7 weeks now. So on the one hand I definitely don’t want to introduce disease into my 120 which houses a couple gobies and a bunch of corals, and I’ve heard of people doing exactly that even after having asymptomatic fish in quarantine for even as long as 9 weeks.
<Can happen unfortunately, but sometimes adding a new fish and mixing up the dynamics of a tank can lead to stress, which lowers immunity, which can take an existing minor infection already in the tank and allow it to become symptomatic.  It is hard to determine where the infection actually came from which is what make this parasite so difficult to contain.>
 On the other hand I don’t want to unnecessarily poison the Gramma with copper...perhaps I’m just being lazy... Looking for some wisdom, should I treat with copper for  a couple of weeks, should I just observe in quarantine another 3 weeks or so...what would a pro do?
<I think we have all been at this point with our tanks and it can be a stressful situation.  You are rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns on the continued QT.  If it were my tank I would probably go 2 more weeks, that would put you just past two typical life-cycles for Cryptocaryon and if it has not manifested itself by then you have to assume (makes something out of u and me) that the fish is clean.  Short of killing and dissecting the fish there is no way you can ever know for sure, but it seems like in this case your Gramma is probably going to be ok.>

Curing Ich by Drying Tank/Running Freshwater/Disease/Treatment 1/10/13
<Hello Reed.>
 This is the first time I've ever asked a question, although I've read and been helped by many of your articles. I have a 46 gallon bowfront soon-to-be macro algae tank. But, unfortunately due to not quarantining (stupid I know) my fairy wrasse which was the only fish in the tank, caught Ich. I was wondering, while the fairy wrasse is in the hospital tank, could I drain my tank of water for a week or two to get rid of Ich? Or run freshwater for a while? I realize that I would have to go through another cycle but was looking for some new live rock as well. Do you think these are dumb/pointless? Should I just go fallow for 8 weeks?
<With the "soon to be" plan you have in mind, I would just run freshwater in it for about a week, empty, and then let dry for a day or two.>
Thanks for all your help,
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Puffer Disease - fin "spots"?    11/26/12
Bob: Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Quick updated, the puffer is still eating, but seems very lethargic, breathing heavily, and his coloration is much darker. I do see a few (2-3) distinctive new white spots on the Rabbitfish as well.
This is a game of tough calls - what would you do?
<Get out one of my microscopes... have a cheapy old fashioned one and a QX 3 USB type two arms lengths away... and take a smear sample of the skin mucus and look/see what this is. BobF>

Continue to watch and leave as-is? Or, transfer the puffer to a hospital setting so he can fight and build immunity in a non-infested tank?
I have two other fish that have been in QT for an extended period. Seems at this point I should wait for a period of time before introducing them into the display, and continuing to inoculate them with display tank water.
They are generally hardy specimens with regard to parasites (Chinese Hawkfish / C. Pinnulatus, Engineer goby). How many weeks would you wait until after seeing the last display tank spot before introduction?
<See WWM re>
Thank you, Dave
Re: Puffer Disease - fin "spots"?    1/3/12

Bob, continuation of questioning on puffer disease as per the previous emails below...
I see these spots beginning to return to the porcupine puffer,
<... review my previous writings to you re hyposalinity... Am hunting for an appropriate axiomatic statement: "Oh, if I only had a dollar for every...">
now that I have exited hyposalinity. If you will recall from the pics and descriptions previously provided (I can recap if this would help) - these are not spots, but larger splotches on the fins.
<... can't tell w/o sampling, microscopic examination>
 I began the hyposalinity treatment when the puffer seemed to be almost overwhelmed by this affliction (stopped feeding for days, labored breathing, clearly near death). He made a complete recovery during hypo, with splotches responding to this treatment and completely disappearing (although there was a curious eye splotch that occurred at one point). As of now, there is clear progression but no other visible symptoms. I am afraid to wait/observe as the last round of this battle didn't go very well...
I just did a 4 minute freshwater dip, to see if evidence of flukes/worms may be seen. I saw no effect from this dip.
Honestly, I don't see how I could get a scrape from the puffer without causing damage to its delicate fins and/or significant distress.
<Some damage, stress... worth it... Think on "going to the doctor or dentist" yourself... procedures...>
I do not see any other fish developing any such external problems.
<So? What you going to do?>
Any thoughts on what I could be missing in terms of possible disease here?
This is frustrating, I'm tempted to re-establish perfect water quality then return to the <1.010 hyposalinity level and attempt a full 6-8 week treatment. I maintained this level initially (despite the system distress) for a full 2-3 weeks after observing the last splotches on the puffer, but clearly that duration did not eliminate this pathogen. When he was first placed in the tank, water conditions were near perfect (Am/NO3/NO4, pH/temp, etc).
<Just the usual; for you to keep reading... WWM is not a complete, direct, nor well-organized compilation re fish disease... as yet. There are works that are, and these are cited on WWM. Did we discuss Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment" tome? Am given to understand an e- version of the second ed. can be downloaded for about ten dollars. I'd be "casting your net" a bit further than simple e- chatting on the Net... Bob Fenner> 

Re: Puffer Disease - fin "spots"?     1/3/13
Bob, thanks for whacking me with the idiot stick. I find that a whack a day keeps me on track, although probably more annoying for those who need to administer than it is painful for me...
<Uhh, well, happy to help>
I (of course) decided I needed to proceed exactly as you prescribed, but also that I couldn't stomach a smear without first observing, so I loaded the puffer in the car and took a long drive to the well-known "fish doc" in the area (at an LFS...not a biologist but well versed in disease ID and, as I understand, is consulted by the Denver Aquarium on issues)...
He did several smears, which I was able to observe. His diagnosis was that no evidence of pathogens and a generally healthy slime coat seemed apparent. Hmmm.

So I am still left with some questions, but at this point will continue the march to normal SG, observations, and continued reading (as you have prescribed)...Keep the stick handy in case I get off course again...
<I'd be moving this fish to the permanent display. BobF>

Re: Clown and royal gramma scratching   12/30/12
Thanks Bob! At home is the best place to be! Jennifer
<Agreed. Feliz anno nuevo! B>
Ich, microbubbles or oolite sand  12/31/12

Hi crew..I'm in need of expert advice.  I've noticed my Royal Gramma scratching on the sand yesterday and today. Also he has not been hanging out around his cave. He has not had any spots until today.  Also my Coral Beauty has spots but is not scratching. It also looks like he has spots on his eyeballs.  No other fish (Falco Hawk, Bicolor Blenny, Ocellaris clown, Sleeper Goby) has spots or is scratching..well the clown does scratch occasionally and has for some time. .  About a month ago I upgraded my tank and added oolite sand which I did not have before.  Also I notice a lot of microbubbles in the tank.  I've attached some pics.  I hope I resized them to the recommended size. Thanks crew!! Jen
<Does appear to be Cryptocaryon in terms of size, distribution... I'd be reading re the various approaches to treatment and not; starting here:
and as much of the linked files above, that you lead yourself through that you deem prudent. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich, microbubbles or oolite sand  12/31/12
Thank you for your reply. I came to the same conclusion after my blenny was scratching. I have been doing copious research on your site. After which I have several questions but I'll just ask this one: Which of the following fish are copper sensitive?
<Let's make up a scale... 1-10, more to less sensitive>
 Coral Beauty <5>, Bicolor Blenny <3> Sleeper Goby <4>, clownfish <3>, Falco Hawkfish <7>, Royal Gramma <5>? From what I researched it appears all but the later two are sensitive. What is recommended to treat them?
<... that you read; make up your own mind. Am partial to none, the use of cleaners and quinine compounds in that order in general>
All sensitive fish will be put into a separate QT. Thanks again. Jen
<Cheers, BobF> 
Re: Ich, microbubbles or oolite sand  12/31/12

Wow! They are all pretty sensitive. When you mention cleaners are you referring to shrimp?
<... please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM. B>

Re: Ich, microbubbles or oolite sand    12/31/12
Please forgive me but it's been 7 years since I've had to deal with a case of Ich and the last time I researched it "cleaners" were not on the top of the list for curing an outbreak.
<Ahh, they're near there for me... though not a "cure" per se... but tipping of a balance perhaps>
 But as in everything vast improvements/research have produced more options to curing this pest. I did research on the quinine and I think that is the way I am going to go. Thank you. 
<Please do send along your further observations. B>
Re: Ich Chloroquine    12/31/12

I would like to give cleaner shrimps a try but my Hawkfish killed the last shrimp I had in the tank.
<Ah yes; and any other likely to be added. It (the Cirrhitid) would have to be removed>
I'm having a hard time finding somewhere that sells the quinine online.
<... sources are posted on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuinSourceF.htm
 I researched WWM for suppliers and the ones I've talked to sell it in 50 kilos or more. Also I recently came across a blog
(http://www.kevintaylor.ws/tag/chloroquine-phosphate/) where you stated that the Chloroquine could be added to the food. Is this something that still can be done with efficacy in a reef tank?
 Can either Chloroquine or quinine be added to a reef tank?
 I thought about just taking out the corals, rocks and inverts. I did research this but the posts were 4 years old or older. On a different note with it being the holidays I won't be able to get anything for at least a couple of days. What can I do in the meantime? Water change, lower salinity? Thank you again!
<... keep reading. B>
Re: Ich Chloroquine    12/31/12

Thank you!
<Ah, welcome. B>

Ich. Nitroimidazole antibiotics, Carbon sel.  11/22/12
Hi Crew, I am glad to say I have not lost a fish since July however Ich keeps returning every few months
<Mmm, balance...>
 as I only treat with Copper for about one month. I do water changes with natural seawater
<I'd switch to, use synthetic>
 which is a possible carrier but I tend to believe that there are varying times when the Trophont (non fish cyst) stage can exist, I have read up to 28 days, but in my case if my deduction is right it is a great deal longer about 2 months.
<I agree w/ you; perhaps even longer under some circumstances>
 Anyway I have now <you mean not?> treated with Copper as I will have to wait maybe two weeks to get the following product delivered and was wondering if I place carbon in the aquarium when it arrives and leave it in for a week, test for Copper and if Zero add inverts and leave the carbon in for a month and continue to treat with No Ich Marine located at http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=19768
 do you have any ideas on if this product is effective in curing Ich as I have been waiting to keep inverts for months now.
<I'm not a fan of this type of Nitroimidazole antibiotic (but do consider Metronidazole of use where/when properly applied)... Too many sources of interference in captive systems, too many incidences of it just not
working... But, you're, of course, welcome to try it and see for yourself>
 I have also read some carbon can release phosphates into the water so do you agree that placing the carbon in distilled water first is effective?
<Not really; no. Better, best to just buy a good grade of carbon that has little to no soluble HPO4>
 Regards, Adam.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich.  11/22/12

Thanks for the reply I guess I will have to place the carbon to remove the copper and then remove it before treating with either treatment as carbon will also absorb them.
<Yes... please search, read on WWM re carbon use and copper removal. B>
I'll do some research on Metronidazole. 
<And this. B>

Re: Ich treatment, need advice   12/29/12

Hello Bob!
Well I've started the process of rebuilding. When I e-mailed you last I had fish in QT getting treated with Cupramine. Unfortunately, I lost a couple of fish in the process, which has steeled me against copper even more unless it's absolutely necessary. I obviously can't be sure if it was the copper that did it, but both times the fish went from robustly eating with no signs of distress at lights out to dead when I checked on them in the morning. Needless to say, I'm keeping my supply of Cupramine and my copper test kits handy for an emergency, but I'm going to do my best to avoid using it at all costs. So, when the Cupramine treatment was over (I ran it for 3 weeks), I caught my remaining juvenile doliatus Rabbitfish and Australian harlequin tusk, placed them in bucket with therapeutic levels of copper still present, then drained and completely sterilized my QT tank and canister filter. I then removed the 40 gallon breeder tank that had been taking up all the counter space in the laundry room, and replaced it with two 15 gallon tanks, each with it's own heater, powerhead, light, PVC lengths, and glass cover. I then transferred my fish from the water with therapeutic levels of copper to the new, sterile environment that had no possibility of being infected with crypt tomonts. I kept them in that tank for another week, maintaining water quality with large water changes and prime. The tusk and the Rabbitfish have now been in my display for approximately two weeks and I'm happy to report that there is absolutely no sign of crypt, or any other illness present with these fish. For future use, I set up the sterilized canister filter on a 5 gallon bucket in my garage and have been cycling it using pure liquid ammonia.
The reason that I'm e-mailing you today is regarding my next batch of fish that are presently three quarters of the way through the tank transfer protocol downstairs. I've purchased a medium to small copper band butterfly, a Swiss Basslet, and two purple Firefish. Again, I'm happy to report that not only are the fish all still alive, they're thriving. From a crypt perspective, this method seems to be highly effective, and since there's no appetite suppression going on, each fish is acclimating and eating aggressively, including the CBB. However, while the CBB is both fat, active, alert, curious, and is already starting to associate my presence in the room with food, he has black spots on one of his pectoral fins and his tail that I simply cannot diagnose.
<Me neither... I see these in your pic>
My first instinct was 'black Ich' but I've looked at dozens of photos of those worms now, and this doesn't seem to fit the bill. They also didn't seem to be changing from the time I purchased him until today, when I noticed there there is a new patch of black that has appeared above the main blemish on the pectoral fin. I'm going to be giving a 1 week course of Prazi-pro after the final transfer in a couple of days, but without knowing what this is, I don't know if that will correct the problem, or if it even really is a problem that requires correction. It might just be pigment in the fins, but to me it almost looks like flecks of charcoal have gotten stuck to the tissue, and seems external.
I've attached the best photo I could get of the two affected fins here. I also have a short video that shows it a little better that I could upload to YouTube if you can't tell what this is from the image. I've posted this on the Canadian reefing forum, but so far no one seems to have any suggestions. I've worked so hard to make my system 'Ich free', I would hate to introduce some other health problem that's even harder to fix.
Thanks again for your time, you have been an invaluable resource,
<I would add a purposeful cleaner organism w/ this Chelmon... maybe a Lysmata sp. shrimp... Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich help, awful timing    11/19/12
Looking for some advice here. You all have been a great resource for me and I always point people to your site. There is a wealth of information here.
<Ah yes>
     I have an Ich outbreak, my first in many years. It is because of a recent addition of 2 clowns and a sailfin tang. I did QT them for about 2 weeks, obviously not enough. I was hasty in the move because it's a decent sized tang and my QT tank is only a 20gL... Big mistake....My tang now has Ich after looking good in QT. I have a swallow tail angel that now has some spots on her fins, a royal gramma that has it and a six line wrasse that is flashing a bit, but no spots. Every fish is eating very well. I feed sheets of Nori daily, frozen Mysis, a marine flake and reef chili. They are all fat as heck and healthy, even the new arrivals. I guess the stress from the move was enough to trigger the outbreak. I know what to do, I am setting up a 55 gallon that I had in my basement to start a copper treatment.
<Mmm, I think I'd wait/see for right now... perhaps try methods of boosting "immune response" of your fishes (supplementing foods mostly)... and Not move the fishes. Please read here:
But the problem is the timing of this! It is currently the 18th of November.
My wife and I are traveling to her fathers for Thanksgiving the 22nd and have planned and already paid for lodging in Williamsburg VA Thurs night through Sunday. I will not be here to monitor copper levels or make water change after water change that will be needed in a tank without biological filtration and significantly over crowded as it is.
<All the more reason why I would not move the fishes. IF you had sufficient concern that this infestation might "go nuclear" (hyper-) I'd precipitously drop the specific gravity... IF not, I'd forestall any further action and just hope>
My params. in my display are spot on, no ammonia or nitrites, nitrate less than .05 and ph goes from 7.9 to 8.15 during the day (per reef keeper readings, and working to raise ph and lessen the swing dosing two part via two 1.1 ML per minute pumps reading the graphs one the controller I am getting closer to keeping this much more steady). Alk is about 8.2 and calcium is 410 to 420. It is a 180 gallon with a 35 gallon refugium and a 33 long sump. Filtration is just a skimmer, carbon in a bag and a phosphate reactor. Also about 130 pounds of live rock and a deep sand bed (newly added from dry sand). What do you suggest?
<As above>
Do I just feed the heck out of them and do a big water change before I leave and start treatment and the fallow state  for the display once I return?
<Better this than treatment, moving>
Or start treatment now and hope that everything will be okay in the hospital tank while I am gone. I have a friend that is coming by to feed the fish, but I don't expect them to do water changes for me. I know there is risk with both, but looking for the lesser of two evils I suppose.
Thanks in advance.
<Enjoy your trip, vacation. Bob Fenner>
Re: Marine Ich help, awful timing     – 11/19/12

Thank you very much for your response. Your suggestion is the most logical.
I do have coral in the tank, a clam, shrimp, snails and crabs. Would it be best to possibly  move all the coral to the 55 gallon for the time being and drop the salinity in the display? 
<A call I can't make w/ much confidence... t'were it me though, given what's been stated, I'd just leave all in for now>
Some coral is completely attached to the Liverock so I would have to rearrange the tank, probably quite stressful and maybe not a good idea at this time.
<Yes; agreed>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Marine Ich help, awful timing – 12/02/12

Just an update. Thanks for the advice. No issues at all, not even a spot of Ich and it has been several weeks. No treatment, no tank torn apart, just good water quality and feeding a varied diet. I will just wait for some time before adding any other fish.
<Ahh, very good>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>

Specific Ich treatment based on fish species    10/25/12
Hello WWM marine experts!
Unfortunately, I am showing signs of an Ich outbreak in my 75 gallon reef display, despite a 5 week fallow period for Ich, and my fish being in QT for the 5 weeks and showing no signs of Ich after 2 weeks of copper and ParaGuard treatment. Perhaps I should have waited 6-8 huh! I added a new inhabitant after returning my fish to DT thinking I was Ich free, a Mandarin Goby.
 I FWD'ed it for 5 min.s, tolerated it perfectly, showed no signs of disease, so introduced him. Currently only my Hippo Tang shows a couple spots and I believe I saw 1 or 2 on the Mandarin as well, hard to tell if sand or Ich though. I am going to assume all are infected and treat them all and leave DT fallow for 8 weeks. I successfully treated my Tang and Ocellaris Clown with copper for 2 weeks before. Will it be too risky to treat them again now 3 weeks later with copper since they were already exposed or do you think they will be fine since they tolerated it before?
Do you suggest a different treatment all together?
<I'd look into quinine... CP>
I also have a Banggai Cardinal, can I treat him the same way as the Clown and Tang (with copper & Paraguard)? Lastly after reading your page on Dragonettes, I know that pretty much the only way to treat my Mandarin is to use hypo and increase temp, but to what level and temp and for how long?
<... see WWM re Chloroquine Phosphate>
I will use a 29 gallon QT for the Clown, Tang and Cardinal and put the Mandarin in a separate 10 gallon. If I put some Chaeto (for pods) in the tank and supply it copepods daily, do you think it could survive 8 weeks in QT to let DT run fallow?
How would you treat a Hippo Tang, Clown, Cardinal and Mandarin for Ich if they were yours?
<... see above>
Oh and off topic but I purchased an AquaC Urchin skimmer after reading your preferences of skimmer brands and it is AWESOME! Thanks for writing your likes and dislikes on here, it is most helpful when researching new products to buy when someone you trust gives their opinion/experience with it! Thanks so much! Ashley
<Cheers Ash. Bob Fenner>

Current wisdom for treatment of Copperband with Crypt? 10/5/12
Hello all,
I have poured through the available resources on your site looking to find the current recommended treatment for Crypt with a Copperband Butterfly. I could not find a definitive answer, so I am asking here.
I took delivery of the Copperband, a Kole tang and a Firefish one week ago yesterday. They were all placed into a 20 gallon QT tank with subdued lighting, PVC pieces for comfort, heater and sponge filter. After two days, the Copperband readily accepted frozen Mysis. The Kole and Firefish eat this as well, and I supplement their diets with other items (which the Copperband doesn't touch, but since it is on Mysis in the QT, I don't believe it is anything to worried about).
<Not yet... but would wean onto something more fully nutritious... my choice NLS Spectrum pellets (small size)>
This morning, I noticed the Copperband has a few small white spots, like salt crystals, on the front fins and rear fin. Looking at photos of crypt,
it looks identical. It doesn't look like lymphocites (sp?) <Lymphocystis> to me.
What would the recommended treatment be, considering I also have a tang and Firefish in the same tank (and should treat them as well since they have been exposed, according to your site)?
<Mmm, yes... either a quinine compound (CP) or copper-based med...>
If the recommendation is quinine based, is there a second recommendation (it will take me some time to procure the quinine, and I would rather start treatment now if at all possible rather than wait for shipping to arrive, especially with the weekend coming up)?
<Freshwater dips might "get you by" in the meanwhile... knocking off surface parasites, along with some vacuuming of the bottom to remove encysted intermediate forms>
If hyposalinity is called for, I have done it successfully in the past with a purple tang. I have an accurate hydrometer and have an RO/DI filter at home ready to go.
<Am not a fan of hypo... as stated on WWM under my name/responses>
In the meantime, I have raised the temp to 80* since it appears to be a recommendation for all possible crypt treatments to raise the temperature.
Thank you for your assistance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner
Re: Current wisdom for treatment of Copperband with Crypt?    10/12/12

To the esteemed Mr. Fenner (never a bad idea to compliment those you are imposing on!),
<I guess>
Following up on my suspected crypt infection on the Copperband butterfly:
I opted for CopperSafe from Mardel.  I did find copper test kit.  I administered the recommended amount of copper.  6 days ago.  I did a partial (4 gallon) water change two days ago, and added in the appropriate amount of copper back with the fill water.  Copper test kit verifies.
But the white spots are still there, and there are a couple march large white 'blotches' on the fins.  Looking at photos of Lymphocystis, it looks like a strong possibility (especially since the copper didn't knock anything noticeable off the fins).  The larger spots are much, much larger than the smaller salt like spots - probably 2-3mm.
<Mmm, not Crypt, not Protozoan>
The Copperband continues to eat Mysis with gusto (as well as live brine, but they lack any significant nutritional assistance unless they are gut loaded, which is kind of hard to do), but isn't paying much attention to scallop, clam, spectrum pellets or Spirulina.  I have tried to soak the Mysis in garlic and feed the same time as the spectrum A pellets to get it to move over to the pellets, but so far, it isn't budging.  But I digress...
<Shades of J. Alfred Prufrock>
So should I continue to keep in copper,
<I wouldn't>
or begin to dilute out (or use chemical stripper) the copper.  I also have a Kole tang in there (since it was in the QT with the butterfly, and suspected exposure dictated all fish in that QT go through treatment).  I don't want the Kole in the copper much more than 10-14 days.
Kind of confused now....do I continue copper?  Discontinue?  Put Kole in display?  Put Copperband in display?  Medicate with something else?
Medicated food?
<... I'd discontinue the Cu... move all through a dip/bath... Try purposeful cleaner/s in the main/display, perhaps the medicated food route>
As always, much thanks and appreciation.
Paul B.
<Welcome. BobF>

Treatment period for Ich...Ugghh..      9/23/12
Hello WWM Team,
          I am several weeks into my first saltwater tank. I purchased it already set up and running for 2 years from a friend, or course new water had to be added after moving it. It is a 75 gallon FOWLR for now (hope to get metal halide lighting soon for corals) with a 10 gallon sump with bio balls. I have probably 100lbs of live rock and about 1.5 inches of live sand/crushed coral substrate. Inhabitants are a 3.5in Blue Hippo Tang, 3in Copperbanded Butterfly, 1 Chromis, 1 Ocellaris Clown and various hermits, snails, 3 Mithrax crabs and 1 serpent star. All fish have been perfectly healthy since being reestablished at my house, about 3 weeks now. I noticed some dark spots on the tang about a week and a half ago. I wasn't familiar with black Ich yet, so I just observed the fish to see what happened with the spots and since they weren't white spots, I didn't immediately suspect Ich. I asked my LFS (Nikki @ reefs2go.com) for any input and she told me about your website. What a blessing! So after much research on here I determined it to be "black Ich". After several more days, the tang became covered with dark spots and got them on it's eyes as well.
<Should be able to rid by simple pH adjusted freshwater dips/baths>
 So again after more research I went out and bought a 10 gallon QT(small I know, going to get a bigger one today and keep 10 gallon for Hospital tank). I tore the DT apart to catch all the fish, though only tang showed signs of Ich. I have no substrate in QT, tank just PVC pipes for hiding.
There is a hang on back filter with just plain filter pad, no carbon. I filled tank with water from DT and have added the appropriate amounts of CopperSafe (5ml per 10 gallons) as well as the recommended dose of 5ml's daily of Paraguard. I also freshwater dipped the tang before going into treatment tank.
 The fish have been in the treatment tank now for 4 days and the tang looks so much better, I thought I was going to lose it! The fish do not appear to be stressed, all are eating and breathing normally. I do a 50% water change daily with new saltwater to control ammonia and vacuum bottom. Then I replace the 2.5ml's of CopperSafe that I removed by replacing 1/2 of the water content.
<Mmm, you need to get/use an appropriate test kit for the copper>
 I add the Paraguard also right after the water change so it is in the tank for 24hrs at a time. My DT is fallow, except for the inverts, and I have read on your site that it should be so for around 6-8 weeks (correct?)
<Yes; the longer the better>
 I will continue to do 20 % water changes to DT throughout the process and vacuum the substrate to remove any cysts that I can. My question is how long do I treat the fish with CopperSafe and/or Paraguard after all signs of Ich are gone?
<Just the two week regimen>
 And once the treatment period is over, which I imagine will be before the fallow period for DT is over, Do I still keep the fish in a QT with just PVC tubes until DT is ready or should LR or LS be added, if so they would have to be new and not from DT right?
<Better to isolate/quarantine yourself for a few to several weeks>
 Have I done everything right so far, so if/when this happens again I will be sure of my methods?
<All sounds/reads as fine thus far>
 I am new to this hobby and your website, and I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to be successful for the sake of my fish! Every step I have taken thus far has been learned simply from reading this site. I can't believe all the things I have learned! Thank you for you time and knowledge and any help/criticism/suggestions you may have! Ashley
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Ich, consumed by corals...?    9/11/12
Dear Crew,
    I want to start this email out by saying my tank has no ick nor have I added anything new, and cheers! I have been doing research, and found that many corals ingest copepods, or other organisms from the water column. I also believe that I once read that ick's life cycle involves being in the water column.
<Part, yes>
I was curious as to whether or not corals could consume the ick parasite,
<Have not heard, read of such...  a possibility>
and benefit from the nutrients it may or may not have. PS.
sorry if I spelled it wrong the whole time, being in German I want to write "Ich" instead of "ick" but I feel like "ick" is right.
<Both are fine, understood. BobF>

stupid lazy mistake, Crypt?    9/2/12
Hello All
Ok Im the first one to crucify myself for laziness and stupidity.
I have a Red sea max 250, a yellow tang and a blue tang that have been with me for a few years.  I just got rid of my clownfish (it had gotten too big and too aggressive after 4 yrs).  I traded him for/purchased a flame angel that I put into the DT 12 hours ago.  (Yes stupid).  I went to do my evening feeding and he came out…. I think I see ick--small fine white dots.  After kicking myself, I had to remove half my live rock to catch him and set up a QT.  I plan to use rid ick
<Mmm, Kordon's?: http://www.novalek.com/kordon/ridich/index.htm
see WWM re this product>
 and hypo salinity (1.010) for the next 6 wks and maybe a dip in Methylene blue.  What I am wondering is if I need to catch my yellow tang and blue tang and isolate them too. 
<... you've got a bit of reading to do. Yes>
They are both very healthy and I wonder if 12 hours in a 65g tank with the flame angel got them infected.
<The system itself is infested. You can wait/see... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above>
 I did not put any of the water from the fish store into my tank-- so the load is only from the fish.
<So... a single/generation input... should re-show in about 3-4 days>
 I just started getting corals this month after 4 yrs of FOWLR.  I have a few mushrooms, frogspawn, pulsing xenia, and bubble coral.  Is there anything I can put into the DT to prevent my fish from catching ick that won't hurt my inverts.
<Not really; no>
  Should i just quarantine them anyway? Yes I have learned my lesson.  TIA, Alice (fish owner that is painfully learning my lesson)
<I'd search/read on WWM re Cryptocaryon, your options... Bob Fenner>

Ich treatment, need advice     8/19/12
Hello WWM crew!
Well, if there was every a time where I realized how unforgiving this hobby can be, it's right now. I'm dealing with what has turned out to be a really severe infestation with Cryptocaryon, and I'd like your input on how I'm choosing to deal with it, and what I might be able to do to ensure this is a complete and total system cure.
<Mmm, well, this is all posted, archived, gone over and over on WWM>
First, the fish list, as I know some species respond differently to different treatments, but I'm not sure if I've got anything I need to be especially careful with:
1 powder blue tang
1 purple tang
3 Banggai cardinals
1 labouti wrasse
1 leopard wrasse
1 Australian harlequin Tuskfish
2 red Firefish
4 square spot Anthias
1 copper band butterfly
1 cleaner wrasse
<... See WWM re... searchable by species, family>
1 long-tail tripod fish (Tripodichthys blochii) - this last one was something of an impulse purchase. I'd never seen anything like it, and, not surprisingly there's next to no information on them online. Based on it's behaviour I'd assume it never comes up to where the sun is very bright as it hides in the shade until my LEDs go in to twilight mode, at which point it cruises around picking pods off the rocks. If I knew someone who ran a dedicated deepwater tank I'd give it to them as I think it would be happier, but it eats everything I feed it, and seems generally very healthy other than not loving the lights in my tank. Very cool fish.
The tank is a 275 gallon reef, with a 100 gallon sump. I know that once your system has Ich, you can either try to manage it, or you can take drastic measures to eliminate it.
<This is so>

 I would have opted for the management through general fish health approach if I didn't have such an Ich magnet of a powder blue. I was hoping his immune system would cope on its own, but he went from having only a few spots to being nearly overwhelmed in less than 24 hours. The purple tang is affected as well, but doesn't seem as bothered by it. The only other fish with obvious spots is the tripod fish, though the rest of them have started flashing.
My sump design is pretty unique, in that it allows me to isolate 3 out of 4 chambers from the display system above so that I can do water changes using the largest, 50 gallon chamber. My QT tank is only a 40 gallon long, which I don't think is big or cycled enough to handle all 17 fish at once, so what I've done is isolated the 20 gallon skimmer chamber, 17 gallon frag chamber (which currently houses 50 pounds of cycled Marco rock and 3 inches of sand for remote pod breeding),
<... the calcareous parts of your substrates will interfere, absorb most all med.s>
 and 50 gallon water change chamber from the main display tank, and then used the pump that I would normally use to drain the water change chamber to pump water back in to the skimmer chamber. Basically this created a new, isolated 3 chambered  system. I then spent a night catching all my fish (heck, I needed to re-aquascape anyway), and have distributed them across the three isolated sump chambers.
 I then dropped the salinity in the sump QT system to 1.010, used baking soda to keep the pH at 8.1, and turned the temp up to 81 degrees.
<So far so good in my estimation>
I thought I was doing the right thing until I sat down and red the WWM FAQ on hyposalinity and Ich. I didn't realize you guys were so unimpressed with this as a treatment method, and now I'm worried that after all that work I'm not going to enact a full cure.
<Highly unlikely, yes>
 The salinity has only been down to 1.010 for 24 hours now and the powder blue seems markedly improved, and is eating vitamin enhanced brine again.
However, the purple tang actually seems to have more spots than before. So far none of the fish seem stressed, and the water quality hasn't changed.
My skimmer isn't doing much anymore at this salinity, but I'm leaving it running to keep the oxygen high. My plan is to leave the salinity at this level for 30 days, then start slowly bringing it back up to the display level of 1.025, and watch my fish for any signs of illness for the rest of the 9 weeks the display will need to be fallow. Do you think this will be enough to eradicate Ich?
<Doubtful... no>
 I don't want to use any sort of a copper or formalin treatment here because this system will eventually be returned to use as a my system sump.
If you guys don't think that will be enough, I think I have a back-up plan for how to medicate everyone separately (though not all at the same time), but I'm really hoping it won't have to come to that. If I haven't eradicated the Ich with the 30 day hypo treatment, there will be another 30 days where the fish are in the sump QT system, should I see evidence of it's resurgence in that time if it hasn't worked?
<Not necessarily; but likely, in time, yes>
Also, do you anticipate that the hypo treatment will kill off the bacteria in the rock in the QT system?
<Definitely will>
I'm hoping it can continue to act as filtration while they're down there.
<Mmm, no. I encourage you to study and use a chelated copper product... on the low side of effective dosage (0.15-0.20 free copper)... See Lance Ichinotsubo and Bob Goemans work/s re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich treatment, need advice   8/19/20

Thanks for the fast response Bob,
<Welcome Adam>
It looks like I'm going to have to figure out the logistics of doing a copper treatment on all my fish. That will probably require a second quarantine tank.
It's going to take me a couple of days to get that organized and bring the salinity back up to 1.025 (from reading on WWM I don't think I want to combine hypo and copper),
<Mmm, actually, Lance does this in his service company tanks on a continuous basis (they're fish only)>
 but as of this morning my powder blue has taken a turn for the worse. He's literally overwhelmed with spots at this point. It's my understanding that hypo doesn't treat parasites that were already inside the tissue of the fish, so I'm assuming that what I'm seeing today (48 hours after beginning hypo) is the expression of what he was already infested with.
<Likely so>
I've only ever seen something this bad once before, and it was the day before the fish who had it perished. Do you think there would be any value in doing a freshwater dip of the tang right now?
<Yes... pH adjusted, with aeration if extended in time>
 I know it's sometimes recommended to do the fresh water dip before you start hypo, but I'm not sure if doing a dip after hypo has begun is useful/safe.
Thanks for your time,
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Ich treatment, need advice     8/21/12

Thanks again Bob,
<Welcome Adam>
I did the freshwater dip on both tangs last night. The powder blue didn't seem bothered by it at all and stayed in for a full 5 minutes, but the purple started exhibiting signs of severe distress after 3 minutes so I halted the treatment for him. Both tangs ate normally after the fresh water dip. I also called around the local stores to try and get a formalin solution for dipping, but it looks like no one here sells the concentrated stuff anymore for legal reasons or something.
<Yes; this biocide is banned in many places, States>
I checked on them again around midnight after the lights went out <Mmm, best to not disturb fishes during darkness periods>
and the powder blue was upright, but bumping in to things.
<Not unnatural if/when disturbed after "going to sleep">
This morning, both fish are spot free, but I fear it was too much for the powder blue. He's still breathing, but not swimming at all, either upside down or on his side getting blown around in the current.
Honestly I'm surprised he's still alive at all. I'm guessing that his gills were also overwhelmed by the parasite and with so much trauma from them bursting he's not able to get enough oxygen.
<Mmm, could also be loss of body slime integrity, hemolyzation...>
The QT system showed a bit of ammonia this morning, so I did a 20% water change with salinity, temp and pH matched water in the hopes that the powder blue can recover, but I've never seen a fish come back from something like this. I'm going to give him a couple of extra hours and if he's still doing this (I can't imagine this is comfortable at all) I'm going to consider the most humane way to euthanize him.
<See WWM Re>
I'm pretty gutted. I'm considering donating the remainder of my fish to someone with an existing and functional copper treated QT tank. Daily 20% water changes aren't going to be possible for me in a week as I have to return to heavy field work out of the city. I think in a few weeks I'll try bringing my QT tank up to therapeutic levels of copper and then letting it re-cycle fishless (I use ammonium chloride for fishless cycling), then starting over with the fish. I know not everyone advocates prophylactic treatment for parasites
<Most all stores do, all wholesale operations, all institutions...>
 (I certainly never used to), but I'm pretty sure that's how my tank was infected. I'm not sure which of them brought Ich in, but they certainly weren't exhibiting any signs of it when I put them in my display, even after quarantine. I know some fish can have sub-clinical infestations that don't present obvious, outward symptoms, but whoever it was able to release enough of the parasite in to the water to completely overwhelm the powder blue, who was my most recent addition. I fear that if I put the purple back in the main tank, I won't be able to add a second tang like I had always planned because it will have 'claimed' the space by the time a replacement for the powder blue is finished being QT'd.
<Could happen>
In another, slightly related question, I'm using a conditioning agent from AquaVitro in the QT tank. It smells just like Prime and claims to do the same things so I'm pretty sure it's the same compound.
<Both are fine products of SeaChem>
 It claims to 'remove ammonia and detoxify nitrite and nitrate', but I'm not sure of the chemical reaction involved.
<Can be "looked up" if you're interested>
Obviously it doesn't 'remove' ammonia, it would either react with it and convert the molecules in to some other product, or simply bind to it in a way that makes the ammonia less toxic to animal life.  Would a standard ammonia test still register any ammonia in the water if the binding agent was being applied in the appropriate quantities?
<Most test/reagent kits, no... there are some (total vs. free ammonia) kits that can>
Again, thanks for all your help.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Ich treatment, need advice     8/21/12

Again thank you so much. I'll just finish this off by letting you know that the powder blue did not make it. However, I've beefed up the filtration capacity of my QT system and added bacterial supplements for both fresh and marine systems (I'm between the two so hopefully something will take!). I also did a ton of reading on the Cryptocaryon irritans life cycle today and I think my impulse to get rid of all my fish was premature.
<Am glad for this>
On the face of it, I've only lost a single fish. I have another making clear and marked improvement, and the rest seem as healthy and hungry as ever. I'll work out with my fiancé how to keep the water quality up to snuff while I'm out of town, and wait out the 9 week period my main system needs to be fallow. If I do add another tang, it will not be from the group of 'Ich magnet' Acanthurus', and it will receive a full prophylactic treatment and quarantine.
<Ah, good>
 If I time it right, I will be able to purchase, quarantine and introduce it to the main display at the same time I re-introduce the purple tang.
Again, thank you for all your help.
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Ich treatment, need advice     9/8/12

Hello Bob!
Just wanted to update you on the progress. In the past 4 weeks I've really gotten the hang of how to run my modified sump as a QT system, so I've decided to stay the course with it. It's also extremely convenient to work with, as it can be drained and refilled almost at the touch of a switch.
<Ah yes>
 The sump QT system went through a cycle that I battled with AquaVitro and massive water changes with heavy dosing of bacterial supplements. I also added the canister filter that powers my much smaller remote QT tank. I did lose some of my smaller fish at this stage: the Firefish both jumped,
<Very common>
 and the cleaner wrasse simply vanished (which is odd considering there's not many places to hide), but the 'big guys' got through it seemingly unfazed. I would say that the CBB became even more bold and adjusted than before, as he now eats directly out of my fingers.
<Ah good>
As this is part of my sump, I have decided against a copper based treatment of any kind. Instead I'm hoping that an aggressive synergistic hypo-salinity plus Seachem Paraguard approach will fully eradicate the parasite from my fish. I got in touch with Seachem directly and they claim that the active ingredients in Paraguard will disassociate in 24 hours, so I don't have to worry about any toxins absorbing out from the rocks and sand in one of the sump chambers after the sump is brought back online with the main display. They didn't recommend combining Paraguard with a specific gravity of 1.010 because of the increased strain on the fish, but I did some digging online and found some people who have combined Formalin/Methylene blue/Malachite Green treatments with a slightly less intense hypo treatment (SG 1.015) with success. So, my plan so far has been 30 days at SG between 1.009 and 1.010 (buffered to pH 8.1 and temperature maintained at 27 degrees Celsius), then a 'flex' window where I will raise the SG to 1.015 and administer Paraguard for a period of time, then a third period where I will return the SG to 1.025 and continue administering the recommended daily dose of Paraguard. My hope is that any encysted parasites that have somehow survived the 1.009 SG alone will be taken care of by the follow up treatment with Paraguard. The longest recommended course of Paraguard I've seen is 3 weeks in a QT system, so I was planning on doing two weeks with 1.015 SG plus Paraguard, and one week of normal SG with Paraguard alone.
I lowered the salinity on August 17th which means I'm only a week away from raising the salinity and administering Paraguard, so unless you think there's something inherently wrong with this plan I'll stay the course.
<Worth trying given your circumstances>
I haven't seen an Ich spot in weeks at this point, so I'm hoping this will enact a full cure. They'll get a few weeks of observation for recurrent spots before they go back in the main display.
I'll let you know if this is successful.
<Thank you. BobF>
Re: Ich treatment, need advice    9/25/12

Hello Bob,
So I'm afraid that my QT protocol has failed. I have to chalk this up to experience as the sump, while technically possible to use in the manner that I was using it, was definitely an experiment from the get go. There are two points in the system as I had it running where water could potentially get from the DT to the QT, but under normal operating conditions shouldn't have happened. However, I've been having a heck of a time with my Herbie style overflows recently, and last weekend they basically over-filled my tank (assisted by the ATO system which kept adding more as the level in the return chamber fell) to the point where the emergency stand-pipe was triggered. That stand-pipe drains straight down to main chamber of the QT system. *sigh*. I wasn't home when it started, but by the time I got home, enough water had entered the QT system to raise the SG to 1.012. Lo and behold, 4 days later my purple tang had 2 spots of Ich, after 5 weeks of hypo and a week and a half of Paraguard. I was hoping I would get away with it, as the DT had been fishless at this point for 5 weeks, but Murphy wasn't having any of it and I'm back to square one.
Regardless, I've done what I should have done in the first place. On Friday I re-set up my separate QT tank in the garage and transferred all my fish, giving them each a fresh water dip before the transfer. It's much smaller than I would normally feel comfortable keeping that many fish in, but after the losses I had at the start of the outbreak it's not as cramped as I initially feared it would be. This QT tank also had a canister filter which I was running in the sump QT system, but I'm still dealing with another cycle as I'm sure the rock in my sump QT system was still picking up a huge amount of the waste processing. With the smaller total volume of the system however, I'm able to do much larger water changes by percentage, so those plus my trusty bottle of AquaVitro Alpha  and I'm so far not seeing any overt signs of ammonia related stress. I picked up some Seachem Cupramine, and the Seachem copper multi-test (which I have been led to believe tests for both chelated and ionic copper) and am going to try the copper route.
Now I'm just waiting for the cycle to be complete, as I don't want to add the additional stress of a Cupramine treatment plus ammonia and nitrite. In the meantime, I'm using a gravel vacuum to vacuum the bottom of the QT tank with each water change.
I do have a few questions for you:
1. The canister filter has 4 trays, 2 with foam pre-filter pads, 1 with plastic bio-balls, and 1 with ceramic rings that are supposed to distribute the water it moves through the canister. Should I remove the ceramic rings for the Cupramine treatment?
<I'd leave all present... the "bio-gunk" present may take up some copper, but no big deal>
2. Is there any benefit to leaving the salinity low while I'm dosing Cupramine?
<Some folks (e.g. friend Lance Ichinotsubo) say yes>
The only reason I can think to leave it lower would be to reduce the concentrations of other ions that Cupramine could react with, like calcium and carbonate, but I'll be testing daily and adjusting the concentration as necessary, so I'm not sure if it would be better for the fish overall to receive treatment at their native SG.
3. The protocol I keep seeing online and on WWM calls for a two week treatment course of Cupramine. I understand that the Cupramine only treats the free swimming stage, not the encysted tomont stage. While I'm vacuuming the bottom of the tank with each water change, it seems to me that tomonts could just as easily lodge in the filter material, which I have no way of safely cleaning without re-setting the cycle. Is two weeks really long enough?
<In almost all cases, yes>
 Is there something more I could do at the end of the two week treatment to be sure my QT system is truly free of Ich?
<Elevate the temperature... a few degrees F.>
Do you see any value in extending the Cupramine treatment by an extra week?
<Not really. A trade off w/ being too stressful, debilitating>
Again, thanks for all you help.
&<Steady on. BobF>
Re: Ich treatment, need advice   9/27/12

Hi Bob,
Once again thanks for everything. I hope this will be my final question on the topic:
<Lo dudo>
Do you think I would be better off waiting until the cycle that I'm battling in the new QT system is complete before I initiate Cupramine treatments, or would it be best to start now?
<I'd start now... you'll have to count/rely on water changes anyway>
I'm dealing with the cycle with AquaVitro Alpha and changing 65% of the water when my API test kit goes darker than 0.25ppm of ammonia, which has been once every other day since Saturday. The only fish that developed new spots in the last QT arrangement was the purple tang, and all fish received a 3-5 minute FW dip between the last QT system and the current QT system (I gave the purple a 6 minute dip to be sure). Since then, no new spots have appeared on any of the fish, though with the filter having been transferred with them from the last system, I'm anticipating seeing more spots in the coming days. However, I'm not presently faced with an emergency situation with the Ich specifically, so I'm not sure if waiting to initiate Cupramine treatment until the water parameters stabilize is a better course, or if I should take the 'hit 'em hard, hit 'em fast' approach.
<Welcome. B>
Re: Ich treatment, need advice - 10/18/2012

Hi Bob,
Just wanted to update you and let you know that I followed your advice and started the Cupramine treatment the day you sent your last e-mail, taking 3 days to get to therapeutic levels. It was a little dicey there for the first week as I was battling both nitrite, ammonia, and dosing copper, so I added a second HOB filter (bringing the total number of filters on that
tank to 3) and the cycle eventually sorted itself out making things much easier. I had to go out of town unexpectedly near the end of the treatment so they got a few extra days with the Cupramine than I had intended, but I've done daily water changes this week to bring the levels down. So far the only complaint any of my fish could lodge would be a small patch of what looks like white fuzz on one of my Banggai cardinal's lower lip. I don't doubt the process was hard on their immune systems, so if it doesn't clear up within the next 48 hours I'll give him a round of anti-biotics in my 5 gallon pico. Everyone else came through with flying colours.
<Ah good>
Now I wait and cross my fingers no tomonts survived the treatment trapped in the filter material. I wish I had just done it right the first time. My calendar pinged to remind me that tomorrow was supposed to be the day the fish would have gone back in the display had the sump hypo QT system worked the way I had hoped, but since there was still Ich in the sump QT and I had to put the sump and display above it back inline with each other, the 9 week clock reset the day I moved the fish in to the garage. I'm also still dealing with the fallout of my display tank effectively having no nutrient export for the 5.5 weeks the fish were using all the filtering machinery in the sump (basically a recipe for Demesia), but I'm finally getting it back under control. Lesson learned, this hobby doesn't forgive cut corners.
Thanks again for everything, I have really, really appreciated it.
<Thank you for this report. BobF>

Ich treatment concerns     8/11/12
Hi Crew! I hope everyone is doing well. I am currently battling ich, again. Hyposalinity has failed to eliminate it,
so I am going to move on to Cupramine. I have a 75 gallon QT tank set up, and will be moving my fish over tonight. The residents of the infested tank are: Longhorn Cowfish, Lunar Wrasse, Harlequin Tusk, Dwarf Lionfish, Flame Angelfish, Scopas Tang, and a Zebra Moray Eel (the eel will not be treated due to sensitivity). My concern is using Cupramine to treat the cowfish, as well as lunar wrasse and harlequin tusk. In researching the use of Cupramine, I have seen conflicting information regarding the safety of using it to treat boxfish and wrasses. Some sources say that it is safe as long as the correct dosage is maintained
<This is so>
(I will be testing twice a day), other sources say that it is lethal to boxfish and quite harmful to wrasses. I sincerely hope you can clear the water on this, since I adore my fish and wish to cause them no harm. Can you please advise as to the safety of Cupramine treatment on boxfish and wrasses?
<as long as the free copper equivalent range of 0.15-0.35 at highest is maintained, there should be no dire, long term trouble>
If Cupramine is simply not acceptable, what other treatment would be effective but not cause harm to my fish?
<All are to degrees deleterious, but the current "best" choices are quinine compounds. See WWM re>
.Currently my fish are all eating well and quite active, I would very much like to start their treatment before this changes. Thanks for taking the time, your work is much appreciated!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster? And to be moved to Quinine use f'  8/7/12
I just put my last fish in my long-planned 200G FOWLR system, for what should have been my final hurrah. However, I am very fearful that I just doomed it to Ich!
I collected fish from LFSs here in town that are reputable, employing a rule that every specimen was at the fish store for a 4 month minimum (and sized relatively well to my pack). This was so that I could jump straight to Freshwater dip and main display introduction for as many fish as possible. A calculated risk that would allow me to introduce all in my cast of "bruiser" personalities as close to simultaneous as possible.
<Always best to provide your own isolation/quarantine of new stocks... One can never tell, NEVER, what has been mixed with what, how livestock have been treated by others elsewhere>
 Fish are, in order of near back-to-back intro: 2 engineer gobies and a maroon clown (fully QT'd by me), blue chin trigger and porcupine puffer (not QT'd by me but were at LFS for 8 months), Bluehead wrasse and hippo tang (not QT'd by me but were at LFS for 4 months), and Australian harlequin tusk. The last 3 were picked up just today at the same LFS.  The one exception to the 4 month minimum rule was the tusk, a real beauty, prepaid and special ordered for me to the store 4 days ago.
The tusk (7") had been with the hippo tang (5"), each in separate 30G partitions (with other fish) of the same system. I could see the tusk was clearly stressed by the small quarters, and also noticed some light scratching and small Ich spots on these 2 fish. The LFS owner agreed that there was Ich, but said he had not noticed them before and speculated they came from another recent addition.
<... and so it goes>
 I trust this to be true, as I had seen the hippo several times over a few months and saw no Ich. This LFS is extremely reputable also, one of the most renowned in Colorado.
I spent the long car ride home strategizing on how to manage this. I decided to use copper (Copper Power) in the freshwater dip followed by DT intro, having speculated that the 30G quarantine quarters I had could not be prepared quickly enough and believing its small size would likely compound the stress of these large fish. I hoped that the dip would help these fish "shake the Ich off" quickly, fearing that my quarantine capability would do more harm than good.
<Entrenched Ich/Crypt and other Protozoans can be "deeply entrenched" in the skin, immune to eradication by dips/baths>
The tusk took quite a beating from the acclimation and dip (likely because it was compounding its recent capture and shipment), but I see no spots on him in the display. He is swimming vigorously and naturally, although hasn't eaten with the others yet. The large hippo also took a beating, but conversely is eating well and has about a dozen spots on his main body (i.e., none on fins or tail). I now realize that the lesser lighting in the fish store didn't help me assess that this much Ich was present.
I am very concerned. I wonder if I should try evasive action and catch/remove the hippo (if even possible given my rockwork). It probably would also be risky in prolonging his agonizing day, although my bigger concern is the overall system.
If I should catch/remove ASAP, what is a suggested approach? Full quarantine, 1/2- to 24-hour malachite green/formalin bath, etc?
Or am I overreacting? Please let me know what you suggest.
<T'were it mine, I would just wait at this juncture; yes, do nothing... Am hoping that this infestation will be transient, not become pathogenic>
Finally, can you comment on whether you believe a diatom filter is beneficial for Ich removal in a system.
<Of nominal, minimal benefit... a dilution if you will... with the free swimming forms getting sucked up, trapped therein to some percentage/degree... the same can be said of ultraviolet sterilizer use...>
 This LFS owner seems to have some old school notions about how to treat for the disease, and suggests this, although he does say he's never had system problems with Ich in using it.
Again I trust his word, as his reputation is outstanding here.
Thanks, Dave
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?       8/7/12

Bob, thank you for your response. For as much as this is covered ad nauseum
on WWM (and everywhere else in husbandry guides), your response was gentle.
Someone should beat me senseless for this mistake and asking how I should manage it...
<If there were time (and it was useful, instructive) I could regale you w/ MANY tails/anecdotal accounts of the oh so numerous similar mistakes I have made... am glad to still be around to keep making them...>
This morning, I see the tang suffering. The excitement of yesterday, and new acclimation, seems to have made him go from borderline to bad (spots, breathing, scratching). The tusk has worse symptoms than it had yesterday as well. Now to avoid bad to worse...or consider I may already be at worse...
<Patience for now>
I would like to try a display tank Crypto Pro regimen. I know this is risky, but...I can't catch him....I have a FOWLR and no current/planned corals/inverts...I understand bio filter impact will be small...but that I will lose the algae (biggest risk/downside I am accepting, in addition to general tank chemistry risk)...
<... up to you>
I fell off my chair after reading your email (a "what have I done" moment), considering that even these other fish likely had continuous and ongoing exposure in LFSs through tankmates that came and went.
So this served to bring me more peace of mind with planning a display tank treatment (i.e., near-virtual eradication for my final fish grouping).
I called NFP and asked...after they strongly advised against they said..."well, if you're determined to try and we can't change that...then this is what you should do...". The employee who took my call didn't know if it would impact the bio filter, and thought it would.
<Can, at concentration, duration...>
I thought I'd dose tonight, after lights go out, as suggested by NFP: dose as indicated, except once weekly after a 25% water change, for 2 weeks. I will vigilantly watch tank chemistry, turn off skimmer, and remove carbon.
If I see any chemistry problems, I will accelerate the water change/redose...cross my fingers and hope for the best...
<You've seen them for now... re-read and re-write if this isn't clear...
Oh, and read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and as much of the linked files above as stalls your actions here. B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?       8/8/12

Bob, thank you a thousand times!
<As many welcomes>
What a read, somehow I had entirely missed that FAQ set.
Well I employed patience, at your suggestion, and observation throughout the day. I noticed the night time brought back the symptoms, and that the hippo had maybe 3x as many Ich spots as in the morning (say 3 dozen spots).
I also noticed that, whereas the tusk found a hiding place for last night's sleep, he just stayed directly in the return pump's stream, bouncing around
and in a completely vertical posture, belly exposed to the water current.
I interpreted this as its attempt to gain relief from the irritation.
<Mmm, worth trying biological cleaners>
I also saw possible spots on a few other fish - the Bluehead wrasse, the maroon clown.
Needless to say, per the anxiety I mentioned before, I started the tank treatment tonight. In addition to measures I previously mentioned, I also reduced the daylight hours (do you suggest a light cycle time that is optimal for the Crypto Pro? IE, the light interaction with quinine?).
<I'd leave off if there's no biological need>
I will keep you posted...
<Real good. BobF>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?     8/9/12

Day one...yikes....
Fish seemed extremely healthy and comfortable today, also eating heartily, although likely attributable in part to being more acclimated.  I saw more spots on the fish, the tang/tusk especially...however, no scratching or twitching. I wonder if the trophonts have at least lost their "sting", if they haven't yet died off the hosts?
<Likely this latter... are cycling>
While it appears the hippo tang may be breathing rapidly (is there a normal breathing rate for P. hepatus?),
<Yes... 90 breaths per minute thereabouts, depending on activity rate, temp.>
 in all there still seemed to be no distress. Water was slightly cloudy.
I used Crypto-Pro based on a fairly close estimation of water gallons, and have the temperature at 79 degrees (should this be higher?).
Satisfied with visible cues, I thought I'd do a quick check of water parms with the hope that I'd go to bed early after the last few short-slept nights with this issue. It also occurred to me that I forgot to check the parms at first dose last night, however water quality was excellent the night before dosing (Amm/Nite 0, Nitrate near 0, PH 8.2). Incredible results. PPM: Ammonia ~2,
 Nitrite .1, Nitrate ~30. I added Seachem Prime (fully treating for Amm 2mg/L) for emergency treatment.
<A good idea>
I also decided to rule out that one of the engineer gobies had died in the tank, as I was not certain whether I had actually seen both since they were introduced. After having moved all rockwork, I confirmed this did not occur (so much for the engineers' PVC "city" I constructed, now on the basement floor, and the aesthetically-principled aquascaping I painstakingly assembled which is now a non-glorious pile of rock).
So it seems the Crypto Pro treatment caused either a large die-off or a bacterial filter problem.
<Could have; indirectly>
 Since I had painstakingly removed all die-off from, and fully cured, the live rock introduced (flown from Fiji to my LFS per my preorder), I am speculating it was the latter (i.e., bacterial filter impact). There were 4 peppermint shrimp in the tank, but I assumed they may have been already eaten by the fish (and/or that their deaths couldn't cause such a quick spike for this 240G system).
<Shouldn't have... likely the Protozoan/Protist die off from the treatment...>
The other possibility is that the API test kit readings were false positive due to the treatment? Doubtful as I don't see this experience described by others?
<Not likely so>
At this juncture it seems I should stay the course (assuming that some re-cycling may begin and it can't get much worse? Is denial the name of a river??).
<Yes and yes>
If I stay the course, this would entail continuing to monitor water quality and employing daily 25% water changes (or as close to that objective as I can get for the 240G-total system, based on my RO unit output). After my first water change, I will test to see if Ammonia has at least leveled off, if not dropped (as I understand in using Seachem Prime, the Ammonia will be converted to a non-toxic form for bacterial filter conversion but will still display the same level reading in test?).
<Mmm, I'd use a bacteria culture... Dr. Tim's, or others>
 So long as the Ammonia has not gone higher, I will keep the skimmer off and carbon out, and redose the Crypto Pro at a level that replaces what was lost due to the water change and continue the regimen.
Let me know if you have any thoughts...hope I'm not on the verge of being "one of those guys" in the hobby...i.e., early/spectacular crash/burn followed by posting everything on Craigslist for pennies on the dollar and the line "I need it gone asap"...running out of leash from work/home on sustaining this hobby....well on that note, time to hit the sack! Maybe there will be pleasant surprises tomorrow!
<Let's hope so>
Thank you Bob...
<Welcome. B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?     8/11/12

Day three...relief....
Yesterday, I did a 45% water change on the system (about 80 gallons, the largest capacity I can go with my mixing vats). Readings taken thereafter showed Amm 1ppm, Nitrite .125ppm, Nitrate 2.5ppm. Aware that the Ammonia reading partially registered the "non-toxic" form created by the dosing of Prime from the previous night, I tried not to be overly concerned. For safe measure, I redosed Prime and replenished the Crypto-Pro to a full dose per the lost water. This morning, I dosed with a bacterial supplement (TopFin, only choice at local Petco), at your suggestion. Tonight, I see the levels are all negligible except Nitrate has slightly gone up. Wow, back to  normal!
Curiously, I also saw at least one peppermint shrimp hiding in the live rock.
Herein lies the lesson for me, if a future display/main tank treatment of Quinine is to be attempted. I will not do one without having immediately available: the largest water change reserve possible, nitrifying bacteria, and anti-ammonia agent such as Seachem Prime. I got lucky this time...although probably caused heavy ammonia grief (on top of Ich discomfort) for my fishes for not being ready. Fortunately none have perished...phew.
Now on to another major challenge. The hippo tang has become the tank tyrant, and needs to be banished. Everyone else hides...aside from the poor (and quite larger) puffer, who has a torn caudal fin and white blotches on his cheeks (I assume this is due to stress)...and now relentlessly paces the back wall of the tank as if he is trying to escape. I  see this becoming the new severe threat. I have set a large trap in the tank (eggcrate basket)...hoping to allow the fish to become familiar with it...and will try to bait it with clams on the half shell (a hippo favorite)...else I do yet another full rock removal...
<Ok. B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?     8/14/12

Day 8...more aggressive treatment?
<Let's see...>
I haven't noticed any significant issues in the Crypto-Pro treatment regimen, having continued to monitor tank levels closely. However, I do see Ich spots returning as of yesterday. They are particularly bad again on the Hippo Tang, who I had to catch and put in a 16x9x9 eggcrate enclosure in the main tank due to major aggression problems. I assume he is highly stressed in this small quarters, which is contributing to Ich vulnerability.
I have followed NFP recommendation to date, so I am surprised at this development. I see some spots on the other fish as well. I am wondering if I should restart the treatment cycle at an aggressive dose.
My tank now has about 4.5G of Crypto Pro, as dosed when treatment began and restored to this level due to the emergency water change for ammonia control. This is as NFP advised, and corresponding to .28G per 10G dosage on the package.
<About right...>
However, a quarantine system in following the dosage directions would have 1.54G per 10G in completing the daily suggested 25% water changes and full re-doses.
<Too much>
Therefore, I am wondering if I should start the treatment cycle over today, doing daily incremental doses that would replicate this increasing level in a quarantine system. I wouldn't be able to quite do 25% water changes daily, but could do as much as possible and adjust my dosage to reflect the increasing Crypto Pro that would be running in the system.
I called NFP about this, but the pharmacist has been out sick since last week. They are going to check with the chemist and I will hear if he has any suggestion. Do you have any opinion on this?
<It may be time to switch to a copper product...>
Worried...so appreciate your thoughts!
<Understood. BobF>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?     8/14/12

Bob, thank you for such a quick reply. Copper it is...Will continue my reading/planning but based on quick research (your literature) I am drafting my regimen. This is what I have so far:
I have Copper Power on my shelf, however I see in reviewing WWM FAQs there may be concern with test kit results and use of this product. I will have Cupramine and a Seachem test kit on overnight order shortly.
<I would wait on the latter>
As I don't see any concern discussed with Quinine and Cupramine running simultaneously, I will complete the Quinine regimen by doing a 25% water change and redosing dosing today. Then, will start Cupramine tomorrow at a lesser dose (1/3 dose 1st day, 1/2 dose 2nd day, full dose 3rd day).
Seems this approach will ease the copper introduction for the more sensitive fish in my tank (all populants: engineer gobies, maroon clown, harlequin tusk, porcupine puffer, hippo tang, Bluehead wrasse, blue chin trigger). It will also continue the "attack" on all stages of the parasite for a slightly longer duration. Also, I see particularly heavy Ich spotting on the hippo tang.
<Typical of Surgeonfishes>
I will run Cupramine to ensure full Ich cycle coverage, through for 6 weeks.
<Should only take two>
Thoughts or feedback?
Thank you, Dave
<Let's get this thing solved! B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?     8/14/12

Bob, thanks. You said I should wait on the latter - were you referring to use of the test kit?
 In other words, I run Cupramine as soon as it arrives, and test kit after the 2nd dose (but not right away)?
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster     8/15/12

Okay, so just continue Quinine for now... Following with Cupramine after Crypto-Pro treatment week 2 is completed in 7 days?
<I'd use the copper product and test kit as soon as available. B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster    8/15/12

Thanks Bob.
I redosed Quinine and started Cupramine last night. I see heavy Ich spots on several fish, so it probably was well timed. Thank you for encouraging copper.
The tusk is in bad shape, but this may also be due to battle scars from his recent escape. I have eggcrate covering the tank openings, however somehow he still managed to torpedo out of the tank two days ago. I had no idea, except that a neighbor boy who was viewing the new tank ran upstairs and said he thought a fish was on the floor behind the tank. I thought, not possible, but decided to inspect. I found him, thought he was dead, and placed him back in tank's return flow. He resuscitated and swam behind the rocks after three minutes, but has not been well. So it won't be a surprise if he succumbs to the current Ich infestation first.
<"When it rains..." testimony to clustered events in our universe. B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster    8/15/12

Bob, maybe I should write a book on how to kill fish slowly.
In adding the 1/3 dose Cupramine last night (after 25% water change and with Quinine), I also added bacterial supplement and Prime (i.e., a complete system dose). I tested this morning, and added another 2/3 dose of Cupramine in discovering that Copper levels were undetectable with the Seachem test. Then, I discovered a read online indicating the danger of mixing Prime with Cupramine (i.e., reduction of Cu2+ form to the very toxic Cu+). Unfortunately I would have been aware of this danger if Seachem mentioned this hazard on the label of one or both products.
I called Seachem, they advised that I run carbon and skimmer in the tank for several days, until the Prime has exhausted its efficacy (i.e., 24-48 hours). They also suggested a large water change.
At the moment, I am building my mixing reserve up for another large water change. I haven't yet added back the carbon or skimmer. As the fish are generally in poor condition with the Ich infestation, I am wondering whether it is better to gamble that the toxic copper traces are likely low enough (due to rock/sand absorption) to allow for continued non-carbon/skimmer tank treatment (allowing quinine and non-toxic copper administration). A risk, but I fear that removing medication levels will kill most of the fish anyway.
<TEST for free copper... now... assure that it is under 0.35 ppm... IF it's over, do all the above mentioned... carbon, skimmer, water changes>
Do you have any thoughts on which path I take? IE, stay the course at this point, or try to remove all meds and start over?
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster    8/15/12

Phew, immediate relief at your lightning fast reply with guidance...followed by...more relief! I see the free copper does not test at more than .20-.25 ppm.
<Ah good>
I had been speaking again to Seachem when your email came through. This time, to a more senior/informed chemist named Amanda.
<I have met this young lady... She gave a talk... I believe re Al poisoning in marine systems>
From her guidance, I was feeling more assured that the problem would have manifested itself in immediate/substantial form last night, and that risk may be slightly overstated by Seachem to promote caution. She also stated that they see water turn red when the reaction occurs in the lab.
When I asked her opinion on how to proceed, she was lightly fumbling to advise (as I can understand, given this is touchy guidance for them). At that moment, I saw your email come through...and told her I would be proceeding as you suggested...not surprisingly, she emphatically agreed with the approach ("When Bob Fenner speaks...").
I did express my frustration with the label issue, although said that I'd be far more upset if I lost $2000 worth of fish last night...she apologized
and assured me that re-labeling happens to be in process for their products, and this concern has been discussed by the team.
<Greg Morin (the owner) and his father before him are known, friends of  mine. I deeply respect the company, what they represent>
OK, back to otherwise staying the course, continue tests every few hours and wait until the Prime is exhausted before any more Cupramine goes in...
<Actually, any time/when the Cu level drops below 0.15 ppm>
And keep rooting for the tusk who seems to be holding on as he starts the 16th hour of his death dance...
<Please don't be too bothered by this experience David. This too shall pass. B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster     8/21/12

Hi Bob, Thanks for all the support in the process...if you don't mind, I'd like to run an update by you...
<Please do Dave>
Day 14 of Crypto-Pro / Day 7 of Cupramine...
No one has died - phew! Well... As for the tusk, I'm not sure if this is good news. He seems to continue his death dance (i.e., day 8), generally lying down (sometimes completely hidden, necessitating my chasing him out to make sure he didn't die)...heavy breathing, and when he swims he runs hard into rocks/walls... I am starting to wonder if he should be euthanized, or sent to another hobbyist (if I can find one) who can provide a separate, permanent (or hospice) home for him. No feeding either. It's a very big disappointment, he is a gorgeous large fish that was very well mannered before his woes started (i.e., the 5 minute carpet surf).
<I'd hold off on euthanizing, moving any>
Otherwise, everyone looks healthy and eats heartily, although slightly lethargic and I see/expect the copper treatment doesn't make the tank very comfortable.
Today I plan a 25% water change, Cupramine test/redose to maintain level, and no more Quinine replacement (i.e., as today ends the prescribed 14 day treatment regimen). I have noticed Ammonia/Nitrates (.25ppm or less) in the tank on occasion, which I have attempted to manage with biweekly 25% water changes and continued bacterial supplements. This has given me anxiety, especially that I can't use Prime to manage, but I continue to believe the Crypto Pro is the larger driver of this and I hope that today's reduction (as the beginning of removal), followed by a large bacterial supplement, will help. Ich spots did get very bad over the week, but have disappeared on all but the puffer.
Last week, Amanda from Seachem advised that I slowly raise the Copper to .5 to ensure the "kill zone" is achieved. Right now, I am between .3-.5.
Should I follow this advice?
<I would not... too dangerous, and not necessary in my long experience>

Then start the 2 week treatment window?
 I worry about the fish that are sensitive to copper and/or dually tolerating the Crypto-Pro, but need to put the whole-system health as highest priority now.
<I understand>
In addition to replacing the tusk I hope to remove the non-favorite aggressors in the tank (hippo tang, blue jaw trigger) then add a new/smaller hippo tang and a large volitans lion as the final planned specimens for the tank. I like that the tank is lightly stocked, and want to keep it that way.
In this stocking change, I see two options: 1) wait, let everyone settle in after copper runs through, potentially plan tank stocking changes in a few months, or 2) make the changes now, during copper treatment - to hopefully preserve an "Ich free display" and also to avoid letting the current inhabitants become overly comfortable/territorial before final cast of characters is in place).
<I'd hold off, wait>
Thoughts, feedback? Thank you! Dave
<Welcome. B>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster - 8/24/12

Hi Bob,
Day 10 of Copper...
The tank continues to have Ammonia (.25ppm) and Nitrites (.5ppm), in addition to higher Nitrates (40ppm). I don't see the bacterial supplementation helping this much (I tried Dr. Tom's and Topfin),
<These cultures are mal-affected by copper exposure; unfortunately>

and can't use Prime with the Cupramine. I expect this is due to the FOWLR display medicating - Crypto Pro, Cupramine. I will continue the 25% water changes, and possibly try for an even larger change than that soon.
I am trying to maintain a copper level between .2-.3.
The tusk is still in rough shape. Has not eaten, and generally lies under rocks or haphazardly swimming/floating/drifting around the tank into the walls and rock every few hours, appears to be completely blind. Now I see he is picked on by one of the gobies as well.
I talked to the LFS in town that I now trust, exploring whether I can pay someone to help QT/medicate him in isolation. This may not be an economical route, although it was mentioned that its eyesight issue could be related to a secondary bacterial infection (or possibly primary from the carpet jump)? I wonder if it is worthwhile to try to treat this with an antibiotic
bath, and if so what product should be used? I assume his blindness may be irreversible at this point?
<I wouldn't add further treatments... B>
Re: Display Tank - Recovery from failed Ich fight - 10/22/2012

Bob, thank you. I will start anew with the assumption that infestation will occur in my tank if future stressors are not holistically sidestepped, and will use a thoroughly re-vetted stocking plan that is light and made of very hardy specimens (naturally and hardened by quarantine).
With one exception. The first "dream team" entry I removed in re-planning was a PYTB tang (and all surgeonfish members as possible). However, I decided I will re-add this fish to my stocking list, and put it in the tank as the first new entry (with at least one month gap before other entries).
By doing this, I will let it serve as my new "mine canary". If Ich is still likely to be an issue, I most likely will see expression in this fish given its relatively poor natural parasite resistance. At first sign of parasites on the tang, I will re-assess display tank readiness (while of course employing hospital tank treatment of the tang as needed).
I will acquire one based on careful observation and as much historical verification possible...then employ my own quarantine observation...and send to display tank while copper is still being removed from it...and follow it with time/observation then added tankmates (puffer, engineers, GSM clown, tusk, lion) only when all signs appear positive...A legitimate plan?
<Yes... to reinforce or mention if not done already: DO mix some of the extant (main system) water in with the quarantine, isolation... a cup or two per day... to, in essence, "inoculate/vaccinate" the new fish/es. Bob Fenner>

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