FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot,
Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two
Fronts, Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic
Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine
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
31, Crypt 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
Butterflyfishes, Tangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin... &
Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks,
Parasitic Reef Tanks,
Marine Velvet Disease,
Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease,
Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,
Re: Marine Ichy Possibilities
<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
<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.
Re: Marine Ichy Possibilities
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.!)
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
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
for 7 months I always did freshwater I'm always reading up
online and trying what people say
<STOP! 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
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
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
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
re: plz help; back to the beginning... Dwizzard, dwazzard...
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
my particular problem I've read different answers for people with the
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
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
Thanks for your help,
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>
Specimen specific treatments and qt tank. Cu, Crypt f's
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
Tank occupants are as follows
Juv blueface angel
2 percula in their Ritteri
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:
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
Your help is once again greatly appreciated
<... 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
<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
I hope I have given you all the info you need.
Your valued advise will be most appreciated.
<I'd have you read here:
and the linked files as you encounter them, find them of use. Bob
Re: Advise on an Ich Problem 6/6/13
Thank you Bob.
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
<You'll read on WWM re>
I will take your advise since my fish are eating with gusto and seem very
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!
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
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
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.
<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....
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
All fish are brought back to fish store except the emperor, clown, 2
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
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
<Mmm, is there room for another tank?>
Also do u have a section on your site on how to set up a quarantine
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
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
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:
are what I'd try. BobF>
Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system;
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
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
<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
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>
<Again, I apologize for the time lag here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system
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...
Jo and Colin
<Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system, Crypt f'
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
Many thanks once again for your replies.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system
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
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
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
<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,
<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
Re: Please help with a treatment dilemma - 8 year old system
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'
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
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,
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
<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...
<And you, BobF>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update
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
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...
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.
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
<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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
I thought most authors were recommending treatment every 5-7 days.
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
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
I will have to ponder more on this subject. Thank you again for your
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Re: Re: re: commercial holding tank questions; was Crypt, CP,
Cupramine f's, quarantine sys. des.
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?
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
<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
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:
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
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
<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
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 ** >><<
Hi I'm looking for a little help with an ID. Some background on the
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
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
>>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
<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
>>... see WWM re... Or just wait/see. The stress of moving fish hosts,
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
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
<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
Thanks for any help. Dave
<Does look like Crypt... on the Premnas... in a badly bleached
anemone... but what to do? Read:
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
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
<... 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
<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...
<... 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,
<... 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?
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?
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.
<Do keep reading as well; on this topic, what is related, linked on WWM.
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
<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
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
and the linked files above.
Re: after Ich outbreak -update
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?
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,
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
<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?
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
<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
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.
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
<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
Re: after Ich outbreak -update 3/13/13
Ah yes, now I get it. Misunderstanding on my side. Thank you for your
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
thank you again,
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?
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
Hello again Mr. F, all the way from Romania,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
<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
And then reintroduce him in the DT? or not?
<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
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
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.. ).
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
<I'd just wait>
I am sorry to bother you with all this questions, but for me now they
are very important.
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
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
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
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
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
<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"?
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
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
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
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
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
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"?
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
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
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
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
I'm having a hard time finding somewhere that sells the quinine online.
<... sources are posted on WWM:
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
<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
as I only treat with Copper for about one month. I do water changes with
<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
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
working... But, you're, of course, welcome to try it and see for
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>
<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
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
<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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
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>
Specific Ich treatment based on fish species
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
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?
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
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
Thank you for your assistance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner
Re: Current wisdom for treatment of Copperband with Crypt?
To the esteemed Mr. Fenner (never a bad idea to compliment those you are
Following up on my suspected crypt infection on the Copperband
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
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,
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?
<... I'd discontinue the Cu... move all through a dip/bath... Try
purposeful cleaner/s in the main/display, perhaps the medicated food
As always, much thanks and appreciation.
Treatment period for Ich...Ugghh..
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
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
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!
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Ich, consumed by corals...? 9/11/12
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.
I was curious as to whether or not corals could consume the ick
<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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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?
I'm hoping it can continue to act as filtration while they're down
<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,
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
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.
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
Thanks for your time,
Re: Ich treatment, need advice 8/21/12
Thanks again Bob,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Re: Ich treatment, need advice
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
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
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.
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
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
<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
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
<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
<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
Once again thanks for everything. I hope this will be my final question
on the topic:
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.
Re: Ich treatment, need advice - 10/18/2012
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.
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
<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'
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
<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
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
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.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster?
Bob, thank you for your response. For as much as this is covered ad
on WWM (and everywhere else in husbandry guides), your response was
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
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
<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
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:
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
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,
and in a completely vertical posture, belly exposed to the water
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
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
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,
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
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
<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
<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...
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster? 8/11/12
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
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
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...
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster? 8/14/12
Day 8...more aggressive treatment?
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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
<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
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
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.
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
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
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
<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
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
<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
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
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
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.
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
Re: Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster - 8/24/12
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
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
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
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
<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.