on Marine Protozoan
Related Articles: Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts
Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease,
Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine
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 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,
Disease, Biological Cleaners,
Treating Parasitic Disease,
Using Hyposalinity to Treat
Parasitic Disease, Infectious
Please Help! 3/20/20
First off, I’d like to thank you for all of the effort and contributions
you have made. We are so lucky to have you available as a resource .
Also, thank you for providing accurate, informative, and educational
information. It is very much appreciated. :)
<Thank you very much for your words, we are really glad to help
Moving along, I’ve had a 55g marine DT that had been
established (and was running very smoothly) for a little over one year.
Two days ago, this all changed when I purchased a dog face
puffer from my LFS.
Please keep in mind that I’m still a newbie at this and have researched
quite a bit but still have a lot to learn if and when I ask a stupid
So, two days ago I bought this dog face puffer (which appeared to be
healthy and happy and no visible signs of stress or infections) from the
same LFS and have never stumbled upon an issue until now. my
puffer has ICH and velvet.... ��
Ignorantly I was under the impression of Hospital Tank was for diseased
animals not taking into consideration that preventative methods are the
best cure. STUPID! But now I know. I set up a HT for the DFpuffer, the
radial filefish, and a Valentini puffer. The water parameters were
within range for a FOWLR with the exception of the pH being low (testing
at 7.9)I’m going to leave my DT FALLOW for 78 days but in the meantime I
am treating the three fish in a 20 gallon HT with KORDON’s RID- ICH plus
and API stress coat. I’m keeping the salinity low at 1.019.
<A very good product, but better used as a preventative/prophylactic
resource, not when fish are already sick, I would use copper instead,
but since you already start the treatment... low salinity is fine>
It is only day 3 and I am following the manufactures instructions on the
back of each bottle only using a lower dosage because I don’t want to
stress the puffer.
<I understand your concern but the downside of under dosing is that the
treatment may not be as effective as when using the exact manufacturers
I do a 50% water change daily and have given him a seven minute
freshwater bath both days. It really seems to help but it does stress
him out. He is almost visibly clear of the white spots. However he is
acting very strange. I’m concerned and I could really use your advice.
He is breathing heavily, not eating much, and is very lethargic (except
for these semi-aggressive bursts. He’ll push his face up to the wall and
shakes his body rapidly and whips his head back-and-forth as if he was
trying to get something out of his gills.
<This are signs of acute stress>
I also found him rubbing up against the glass and spins or rolls over
very fast crashing into the other side of the tank HARD! The parameters
in my HT are
<What about water temperature?>
(I know this is high. I’m doing at least a 50% water change daily and
I’ve cut back on feeding. I am curious to know if I could add KENT‘ S
pro ammonia detox with the Rid-ICH treatment? And/or if it would help
<I would keep the water changes instead of the Detox and add plenty of
oxygen to this tank, an air stone or two in addition to your current set
He looks a lot healthier today than he did prior to treatment but I’m
concerned about his behavior..
Do you have any advice/ for me so I can help him feel better. We both
would very much appreciate it. Thank you!
<Please do a good reading on the following link and related
Re: Please Help! Snoop DF
Thank you for responding quickly.
The temperature fluctuates between 77.4-77.8
I will continue doing the 50% water changes daily. Would you recommend
continuing his freshwater baths daily as well?
<I would skip a day between dip/baths to reduce stress>
And for how long would you treat them at the recommended dose? I’m
nervous because he didn’t do well when I gave him the recommended amount
he started to relax and calm down when I diluted it a bit. I’ll try it.
<If the recommended dose is stressing your DF, keep the lower dose
you’ve been using.>
I also put in a large air stone.
Here are some pics I’m Snoop Dogg before treatment after his first day
of treatment and my HT. Would you recommend putting a UV sterilizer in
there just for free-floating Tomites?
<UV sterilizers are very effective at killing free floating pathogens
but do nothing to the ones attached to a substrate or to the fish skin.>
Thanks again and if you can think of anything else that can help please
let me know.
<Please do read the links where you have been referred to>
also he seems to be sensitive to light so I keep it more ambient
<I advise you to use very dim light during treatment, the lower the
stress, the faster the fish will recover.>
Re: Please Help!
I cannot thank you enough for all of your support and help. You’re the best!
I have one last question for you regarding my situation. Post treatment, I
will be transferring them from the HT and into a QT for 78days. (This will
ensure enough time has lapsed for any possible remaining ICH to have an
unsuccessful reproduction cycle.)
<Keep in mind that Ich is never completely eradicated, so I don’t think 78
days is necessary, a month is more than enough to ensure all the live stock
is healthy and ready to go into the DT.>
I thought they would be more comfortable in there if put some dry rock and a
little substrate. I’m just worried about the nitrogen cycle being that this
will be a brand new set up. Do you recommend a quick start or any amazing
product that will help me at least balance the cycling process?
Unfortunately I was not expecting any of this to happen so I did not have an
Inhabited cycle tank at my disposal tank. Any recommendations would be
greatly appreciated. Here are some pics
<There are several brands of nitrifying bacteria on the market that help on
the nitrification process, two of my faves been Brightwell Aquatics
Microbacter-7 and SeaChem's Stability, but I think you still have time
(while your fish recover) to put some filter media in the display tank to
get colonized by nitrifying bacteria; a filter floss or a fine mesh with
coarse gravel or other filter media should get inoculated in no more than a
couple of weeks, then you can place it in an external filter, on the QT set
up... BTW, I see that you have too much natural light on your HT, If
possible dim the tank room a bit or cover the tank and put some pieces of
PVC or some other similar inert objects inside, so that your fish can hide
and remain calm.>
The HT or Treatment Tank:
The QT Tank (in the process of set-up):
<Please read more and write less. Greetings. Wil.>
Possible Brooklynellosis 3/2/20
Hello, several months ago I purchased a yellow tang, after 3 weeks of
uneventful quarantine I moved it to DT. Which hosted 1 Large Bannerfish,
1 Juv Emperor Angel and 2 perc. Clowns, all that I¹ve had for about a
year and doing great. The DT also has corals. Within a day in DT the
Tang had some white mucus that went away in a day.
<Mmm; this could be "nothing"; stress, mucus production...>
Several days later one clown disappeared dead in live rock somewhere.
I didn¹t notice any problems on it.
In a couple days my Bannerfish and Angel started getting white spots,
and slime all over and looked real bad. I moved them both to QT and they
were dead the next day. - they ate just fine the day before.
Since this the yellow tang has been thriving.
I got a new Angel and after 3 weeks QT and doing well moved it to DT.
Within a week it stopped eating, looked bad, I moved it back to QT and
it died the next day.
And just the other day my surviving clown has disappeared.
Based on what I¹ve read and how fast the fish died I suspect Brook in my
What puzzles me is the Yellow Tang which I suspect was the source is
thriving and shows no problems.
<... sometimes hosts have acquired immunity... like vaccine effect>
My question is can a fish host this disease and not be affected by it.
<A resounding yes; this can occur>
I'm pretty sure I need to remove him and let tank fallow for 6-8 weeks
but I want to be sure before I do this. If I do , do I need to treat him
with formalin in DT?
<IF you are reconciled to that treatment protocol. My usual statements
here re the use of simple, inexpensive microscope and related tools.
Skin slime sampling might easily show the causative organism here. For
what you have invested money, time... likely emotionally here; I'd do a
bit of reading, set on a path of acquiring, using a 'scope (or having a
shop, friend help you), and proceed from a position of knowledge. Bob
So called Mystery Disease?
Good day great folks,
The pic says a thousand words?
<Maybe more. Crypt evidently. DO READ on WWM ASAP; and ACT NOW! I'd be
lowering spg to about 1.010 to buy you/these angels time... NOW (assuming
other life present can tolerate low salinity). Bob Fenner>
So called Mystery Disease? /Wil
Good day great folks,
<Good day Evelyn>
The pic says a thousand words?
<Does look like Cryptocaryon Irritans, you need to isolate these angels and
treat them with copper and hyposalinity; sorry but I'm not sure if you are
still on time, they look pretty bad. Wil.>
Re: So called Mystery Disease?
<Uhh, the only way to tell is sampling... ciliate, two dissimilar nuclei...
I hope you're done reading...>
And that’s what I thought but the shape is very irregular.
I read something on your site, about an Emperor—cumulative stress
They are eating and swimming and generally seem fine. This is post Cupramine
treatment, after being clean for 1 month in a new, clean tank. There was an
incident a couple of days ago where all equipment stopped as it became
unplugged, in the morning when I saw them they were in respiratory distress.
And now this, almost all of a sudden.
<Mate, your animals are soon to be dead. B>
I thought you would like the pic for reference. They are triangular in shape
and on the frenchi, in patches.
Thank you, Evelyn
Re: So called Mystery Disease? /Wil
Good day Wil,
They are isolated. Look closely, their shape is very irregular, clustered on
the frenchi. I have read posts about a ‘mystery’ disease
and was hoping anyone there would be able to share some of their knowledge
<Haven't heard of that>
I know it looks like crypt but is it really? Their behavior suggests
<To be 100% sure, only by taking a tissue sample and observe it under a
They have just come out of quarantine and placed in a clean observation
I will certainly keep you posted in my findings. I read something about
‘cumulative’ stress. Any thoughts/ experience on that?
<Well, stress is (as in humans) the trigger for almost any disease, that´s
why we always advice keeping top water quality and a stress free
environment... Prevention is better than cure.>
<Glad to help. Wil.>
Re: So called Mystery Disease?
"His breathing, swimming, eating seems normal and he isn't scratching
against any surfaces. I thought maybe Lymphocystis, or fungus, but
wanted your opinion.
<Mmm, the best/most likely "explanation" or root cause here is
cumulative stress...> "
<<The above is an excerpt from another person and your response. His
Situation was similar to mine. Anyway. I will keep you posted on their
progress. Many thanks for the reply.>>
<<Ahh, thank you for this clarification. Am almost sure this is the
pathogen mentioned. AND would do as I've suggested; a precipitous drop
in salinity (to favor the host, disfavor the Protozoan), and TREAT per
what else you have stock wise. AS gone over and over on WWM. DO please
write back if a/your path you're choosing isn't clear. Bob Fenner>>
Re: So called Mystery Disease? /Wil
His breathing, swimming, eating seems normal and he isn't scratching
against any surfaces.
<Sometimes they seem unaffected, but not indefinitely. I would treat
them ASAP, just as Bob suggested.>
thought maybe Lymphocystis, or fungus, but wanted your opinion.
<Lymphocystis "diameter" is bigger and does look like a cauliflower.
Disease Identification with Photos
Hello Bob and crew!
<Bri! Please re-size and re-send your msg.s WITH MUCH SMALLER files... you've
crashed our mail server. Kbytes, not Mbytes. Thx. Bob Fenner>
Disease Identification 5/19/18
Hello Bob and crew!
It's been years since I've emailed you! I love using your site as a resource. I
have a purple tang going through tank transfer (1.5 weeks so far) with recurring
white spots. There were no spots for a week, but
yesterday a few appeared again. When I first got the fish, the original spots
were concentrated on the ventral side, with only a couple on the rest of the
body. There were maybe ten total. Fish breathing rate was (and continues to be)
normal. Coloration is good. Appetite is fine. There were no spots for a week,
but overnight a few showed up. There were only five spots on the fish this time,
all concentrated on the left pectoral fin. I decided to clip a section of the
fin and take a look under the microscope.
Attached are photos taken at 10x magnification. I'll try to attach a video as
<Please post the video elsewhere; perhaps YouTube, and send the link to it
instead. We have limited mail server space>
Any thoughts on what this may be?
<From the size... looks too big to be protozoal... Perhaps just accumulation of
body mucus... Happens>
Note in the videos that all movement is created by me changing the focus so you
can see the whole cyst.
The organism was not moving at all and I did not see any cilia or flagella.
<Me neither... is this a dry prep.? That is, was there a slide cover over this
specimen with water around it, supporting it?>
However, I just started treating with Seachem Paraguard 12 hrs before taking the
sample, so maybe these parasites are dead?
<Mmm; maybe, but, could be as stated>
Or eggs of gill/body flukes perhaps?
<Not eggs... would be off the fish's body>
The fish has been treated with PraziPro, but only one round for 2 days. That was
a week ago.
Thank you for sharing your ideas! I'd like to get more specific with my
treatment protocol and your advice is much appreciated!
<Do try removing the blobs from the spines, scales, put under a cover slip with
a drop of water, and re-shoot and send. Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Disease Identification with Photos 5/19/18
Oops! Sorry! I reformatted/resent the photos, but the video is only 3 seconds
and I can't get it condensed to less than 1.8MB. Hopefully the pictures are
enough for identification purposes! I thought that the
parasite might be Amyloodinium, but it's way too big!
<Yes; too big for any fish parasite I'm aware of>
The photos are only magnified 10x. Then I thought it might be the beginnings of
Lymphocystis from stress?
<Nah; not likely>
It isn't pear shaped like the photos of Cryptocaryon on WetWebMedia, so I'm
guessing not that.
Re: Disease Identification
Thank you for your input! I did prepare the fin clipping as a wet mount, so the
photos are taken with water supporting the body mucus blob.
It dried up within about 20mins of taking the photos and the blob shriveled to
about a quarter of its original size. The fish hasn’t shown any more of them, so
I’m unable to take another sample for you so far. I’ll send more photos of the
issue resurfaces. Thanks again!
<Thank you. B>
Re: Disease Identification 6/16/18
Hello Bob and crew!
I thought I'd give a follow-up email for our string (see below). My
purple tang did not show any further signs of the white spots through
quarantine. It is now living happily in my display tank and appears perfectly
healthy! It appears to have been environmental, just as Bob predicted, and my
guess is that it was due to sub-par water quality while doing the Tank Transfer
Method in quarantine.
Thanks for the advice! Add one more happy fish to the list of all those that you
<Thank you for your update. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldflake angel white stringy poop
Just an update. I've sent the fish poop for microscopic test and the photos are
attached as below.
<Mmm; can make out the copepods, not the single celled (circled) life>
I was only told that the protozoa are jumping actively. Currently I've re
commenced to dose with Metronidazole and Praziquantel. By looking at the
pictures, am I going the right direction with dosing with Metronidazole or more
should be done? Thank you and much appreciated.
<Need more resolution... clearer, more close up, resolved pix. Bob Fenner>
Marine Oodium : QT/Fallow period... Reservoir hosts...
I brought a fish home about 3 months ago that ended up having Oodium <Oodinium>.
I misdiagnosed initially as Crypto, realized 4 days in that it was
Oodium. By the time I got my QT set up, I had lost 3 of my 6 fish. The
4th fish was heavily affected and went to QT for copper treatment for 17
days. He's been clean and healthy for 6 weeks now. I have 2
other fish, a Mandarin and a 6 Line Wrasses that were completely
unaffected. They have remained in my DT the whole time.
<Yikes... have to tell you, these fishes are hosting the parasite though
Catching the 6 Line would've meant tearing my entire tank apart and I
didn't want to do that. Moving forward, I purchased 4 new fish who are
all in QT with my existing Angel. One got a couple spots of Ich that
in 12 hours, but I already had started copper in the QT for everyone
just to be safe. My question is, how long should I wait before adding
the fish to the DT?
<A tough question: Tis a balance choice that only you can make. IF the
quarantined fishes are "healthy enough"; they may not "get" the
Being that the tank isn't truly fallow, I'm not sure how long I should
<Again, a "toss up"... you want to wait as long as you can, but NOT if
it is weakening the quarantined animals... else wise, they will succumb>
I couldn't find an answer anywhere. I searched and asked many. Some say
2 months, some say 3. The 6 Line and Mandarin have remained 100%
healthy with no signs whatsoever of Oodium.
<It's in there... they're acting as reservoir hosts>
Tank specs for reference : 60 gallons. I just added a sump to replace my
canister. I do weekly 10 gallon water changes and run a healthy amount
of carbon. I was using Hikari Ich X (3% formaldehyde) for about 2 weeks
prior to removing the Angel that went through copper treatment. I don't
know if that had any effect on any of the free swimming stages of the
<More to this>
Thank you in advance for your help. I'd rather be safe than sorry and
wait as long as I need to to add the fish.
<I'd like you to read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Marine Oodium : QT/Fallow period
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I know my situation isn't ideal,
but it is what it is. I also know there are no definitive answers. I read
through several of the articles in the link you gave me. I had an idea last week
about possibly doing a water change on the QT with water from the DT. Kind of a
controlled experiment, to see if any Velvet arises in the QT fish. I thought
that might be safer than putting everyone directly in the DT in a month or so.
What are your thoughts on doing that first?
<I wouldn't do this... better to delay to the last day in the hope that the
health of the QT fishes will improve>
Another question I have for you, when I got Velvet a couple months ago, it took
a full month for my fish to become infected, and a couple of them made it 2
weeks with the Ich X treatment, 1 of which went into copper. Normally I
hear that fish die within a day or 2 of seeing symptoms. Any thoughts on that?
<Oodinium is usually fatal w/in a few days notice of symptoms. You REALLY
can/should invest in a simple microscope (see WWM re), sample and look at the
parasite... Easily differentiated. I suspect the fishes have/had
Cryptocaryon, based on what you've stated>
I'm sure it was Velvet that I had and not Ich as the spots were more like dusted
sugar with very pale coloring to the fish and very heavy breathing, along with
some flashing on the rocks.
<Mmm... again; easily confused symptomatically>
It seems velvet is everywhere right now. I've keeping saltwater tanks for over
10 years and never seen so many issues with Velvet, Ich, and Flukeworms. Thanks
again for your help and advice Mr. Fenner! Always appreciated. I spend a lot of
time reading through your articles, they are so incredibly helpful!
<Thank you for your kind, encouraging words Blaire. Bob Fenner>
Re: Marine Oodium : QT/Fallow period
One last thing I should add, as it may not have been clear. I have 5 fish in QT
right. Only 1 was originally in the tank from the Velvet or Ich
outbreak. The other 4 are all new fish that I bought to replace the lost fish.
So when I mentioned the possibility of a water change on the Qt with water from
the DT it was more so to see if there were any life stages left in the DT.
<Rest assured, there are>
That way I could treat immediately rather that trying to catch all the fish
again. Also, all the fish in the QT are 100% healthy as of now. Everyone is
eating, putting, stress free, and very social. No signs of illness or stress at
all. I keep a very close eye on the tank. It's established with plenty of
ceramics, HOB, powerhead, and I used plenty of Dr. Tim's. I also keep an ammonia
alarm badge on there as well. SO keeping them healthy in the QT isn't an issue.
I have a second tank as well if need be.
<I might well place all five fishes there>
I'm just trying to very careful about how I add the fish to the DT. I have no
problem waiting longer. I'd absolutely rather be safe than sorry. Thank you
again Mr. Fenner. I so much appreciate all your help and advice. It can be a lot
of work helping so many I'm sure. But I have the utmost appreciation for your
<You're welcome; and I may be over-emphasizing the likelihood of "much" in the
way of a potent infestation residing in your DT... Just the same; there is a
high likelihood it still bears the Protozoan... just, as time goes by,
at increasingly smaller population and virulence. You might find it comforting
and discomforting to read, realize that most captive systems do have latent
populations of parasitic diseases... "Only waiting" for weakened hosts
(principally through poor environmental conditions, secondarily via inadequate
nutrition) to manifest themselves on fishes. Bob Fenner>
Help! 2 New sick mandarins
Sorry about the file size! I linked to YouTube instead..full screen will make it
easier to see..
Dear WWM crew,
First of all, thank you for building such an incredible site with such a wealth
of reliable information! I would be lost without you! I believe the new pair of
mandarin dragonets I just got in 2 days ago (in QT) are infected with Costia
(Ichthyobodo) and I can't seem to get rid of it!
<What have you tried thus far?>
I looked at the shipping bag water under a microscope and found lots of
I attached a video I took of them if you don't mind confirming that this is in
<From the shape, movement; likely so: Here's a better vid:
Unfortunately, I did not dip the mandarins before putting them in QT- I was
nervous about the high ammonia levels of the
shipping water (0.50 ppm)
<At times MUCH higher>
and wanted to transfer them quickly.
<For browsers, see my Acclimation protocols on WWM. Once ammonia is diluted out
of shipping water and fish/es, not a big deal to dip if they're otherwise in
After I discovered the parasites a couple hours later, I took them out of QT to
give them both a dilute formalin/Methylene blue dip for 30 minutes and they both
seemed like happy fish the whole time. The next day I fed them baby brine shrimp
and they both ate. I repeated the dip, but took them out after 20 minutes
because they appeared stressed like they were looking for a way out of the dip
<Typical behavior; had it been freshwater, formalin containing or seawater>
Today I fed them baby brine again and decided to leave them alone, however now
the female looks extra slimy and is breathing heavy.
<Mandarins are naturally very slimy>
I took a look at the tank water under the microscope and the parasites are in
the tank too. I don't think another dip would help at this point. Should I treat
the whole tank now??
<Yes I would>
What course of action do you think I should take???
<A quinine compound... see WWM Re. Bob Fenner>
parameters look fine- 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 8.2, temp 78F. I greatly
appreciate your help!
Marine velvet 8/14/15
Can you please look at the attached pictures and see if this is velvet?
<.... humans can't "see" Protozoans... But this does NOT look like Amyloodinium
symptomatically to me... likely Crypt. SEE, as in READ on WWM re diagnosing....
requires sampling, a 'scope....>
He had ich last week but got better. He still eats but swims on the bottom and
looks listless....no other fish seem to have any of these issues
<.... some fishes, Zebrasoma....>
<.... READ my young friend. We can't help you unless you help yourself. Bob
Re: Marine velvet 8/14/15
Thank you Bob. All I've been doing is reading.
Alot <no such word> of websites talk about a gold powder with velvet and it
looks like it has that. I have not seen a
white spot on him in over a week. Most of my fish had ich but with good diet
they fought it off. Have been healthy for quite some time.
<.... T'were it velvet, all these fishes would be dead. BobF>
Re: Marine velvet 8/14/15
Thanks a lot :) I guess I will monitor for now....
<I'd be.... reading.... on WWM (and other reliable ref.s). B>
Hippo Tang w/ Ick or Brook?
I have been in this hobby for 8 years now, I have read and read and I
always go back and re-read your site. It is a GREAT source of helpful
information. Thank you. I have a 75 gallon set up with fish and coral,
a 10 gallon hospital tank for quarantine. (the best thing I ever did). I
bought a Hippo Tang and did a freshwater dip + a formalin dip and put
them in the quarantine tank. After a few days the Hippo showed some
on his top fin and I decided to lower the salinity. I know you say that
this treatment doesn't always work, but I have always done it and it had
worked wonderfully until now.
I am very detailed and followed the hyposalinity treatment faithfully
for 8 weeks but the Hippo still kept 1 white spot on his side. So I
figured this is why you don't like the hyposalinity. So I went back to
your site and read for other treatments. I raised the salinity gradually
and decided to use Cupramine. While I was in the process of raising the
spg, he got more and more white spots so I started the
Cupramine. I have used it for 2 weeks now and have not seen any
improvement, rather I think it's getting a little worse.
<... Mmm, the spotting... may not be Crypt... Do you have a microscope?
I'd be sampling, examining>
The white spots aren't like regular Ich, more like spots with whitish
areas. Your site says the copper is the best cure for Ich, so I went
back to read more. I found that sometimes Ich is confused with
This is my question, should I continue with the Cupramine?
<I would not... IF copper isn't working w/in a week... it likely won't.
Better to try/use quinine compounds IF protozoan>
Or should I get rid of the copper and use Quick cure to treat the fish
<See above; WWM>
Thank you very much for your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Sick Purple Tang 2/12/14
I have spent multiple days searching the web looking for some image that
would answer my question, however, I have been unable to diagnose my
fish with any degree of certainty.
<Looks like this Xanthurum has Cryptocaryon or Brooklynellosis; you
don't see the SOP on WWM for sampling, looking under a 'scope to
identify such Protozoans?>
I have had this purple tang, Kalinda, for about four months now. She lives
in a 150 gallon FOWLR system and she has been a great fish, very lively,
great eater, and kind to her tank mates. A few weeks ago I decided to
rearrange the rocks in the tank and take out some faux sea grass that
the more timid fish liked, but that I could no longer handle looking at
with all of the growth on it. After doing this, I noticed that my tang
had a few white spots on her. I figured it was Ich, so I let her be and
decided not to stress her out and see if she could fight it off (I will
add that before I added her to this tank, my regal tang whom I had had
for 8 years died in the system. The regal became ill, had white on his
body, refused to eat, pretty much hung out at the bottom of the tank,
and did show some signs of labored breathing.
<All classical symptoms>
Even with fresh water dips and copper,
<... have you searched, read on WWM re the use of Quinine?>
I could not get this poor regal to recover. I figured that this might be
caused by his age, but, after the outbreak I just went through, I am
questioning that). After a few days, the white spots on my purple did
not go away, the coverage on her didn't really look like Ich, and she
stopped eating. At this point, I pulled her from the system, gave her a
fresh water dip, and placed her in a hospital tank with Cupramine. I sat
up with her overnight (may sound weird, but I really like my fish) and
she did not show any signs of improvement and her berating became very
labored. I did not think she was going to make it to morning and as I
sat up all night, I continued researching and considered that she might
have velvet or Brooklynella. However, looking at her and looking at the
images online, I couldn't tell. She did make it through the night, but
spent the night dipping to the bottom and hovering at the top for air
and she seemed to be getting worse. I debated on whether or not to
continue copper (for Ich or velvet) or switch to Quick Cure in case it
was Brooklynella. Because my regal did not recover with copper and
because my purple seemed to be getting worse, I set up a tank with
Quick Cure and Stress Coat and transferred her. By the next day,
she had most of her color back and her breathing was improved but she
refused to eat. By the second day, she was breathing normally
and she went to town on seaweed and her frozen food! It has now been
five days since the crisis and she has all of her color back, her fins
are healing, and she is swimming all over and eating like crazy.
So now my questions: 1) Based on the attached images, what do you think
attacked her? 2) The Quick Cure said to treat the fish for three
<Either this or dips/baths in just the Formalin component>
I did this and I am now running carbon and Purigen through her filter. I
am also doing daily water changes and have lowered the salinity in her
hospital tank. Do you think I should put her through another treatment
of Quick Cure at the two week mark (or four week mark - I am thinking
about the life cycle of the parasite). 3) Should I treat her with any
antibiotics (her tail fin did become frayed on the back edge)?
<Just the handling, copper and formalin exposure... I would not add to
Finally, I am not sure what introduced this problem into the tank. I did
place three small rocks in the refugium before the regal became ill.
These were dry rocks, originally from the ocean, they sat out in the sun
for some time and then I soaked them in fresh water. I also
added an Allardi clown to my tank at some point.
<A ready source of/for the Brook>
I don't remember if the clown came before or after my Regal became ill
but he had been in quarantine for over a month and I didn't see any
signs of illness. In any case, I removed all fish from the 150 and I now
have them in quarantine tanks (there are a lot of tanks in one room
right now). I plan on allowing the tank to go fallow for 2 months - is
this a good plan?
Is 6 weeks enough? I don't want to stress the fish out for any longer
than I have to, but whatever this killer is needs to die.
Thank you in advance for your help!
180 Bow Front Reef (SPS, LPS, Softies); 4 AI Hydra LED; 2 Vortech MP40;
Reef Octopus POV DC2 (downright sexy!); 36" Trigger Ruby Sump/Refugium;
Apex Standard Control System. // 150 FOWLR, 2 Kessil Sky Blue LED, 3
Tunze Nanostreams, 36" Trigger Crystal Sump/Refugium; Apex Light Control
<... As the combo. product WITH Formalin seemed to remove the symptoms,
I would read re:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Likely Marine Velvet infection in display tank where the
fish appear immune. Impt. Questions
I appreciate the vast knowledge of the site and have used it quite a bit
to try to understand the hobby, but I haven't been able to track a
specific answer to the question I have. Basically, I had two fish die,
which raised alarms, and my LFS and I couldn't pinpoint cause. My water
parameters have been consistently normative. I did not quarantine
(tragic flaw), because my LFS does quarantine, but I purchased a fish
from a different store, and I believe that fish was the fish that
introduced Velvet into my display tank because it was the first to die.
The second (an already introduced Toby puffer) followed shortly
<IF Amyloodinium, likely all fishes would die... and show symptoms>
The tank is 90g FOWLR with a valentini, dwarf lionfish, Foxface, dwarf
angelfish, goby, and a rainbow wrasse. The two that died were a
saddle puffer and a flame angel (which I replaced with the current one).
The deaths occurred over a month ago.
Because none of the other fish appeared affected at the time (nor have
they shown symptoms at two a half months), I didn't suspect Velvet,
but I had a 30g freshwater that I converted to saltwater by taking LR and
saltwater from the other tank, and I introduced two clown Perculas to
They looked healthy for a couple of weeks. One day, they were fine. Both
were eating and were fine. The next day, one was dead and the other was
swimming in the flow and had a white velvety hue. I pulled it out, gave
it a freshwater dip, but it died before I could get it copper treatment.
Long story longer, I Googled "Velvet," and the image of the clown popped
up. It was an exact image of what my fish looked like.
<Mmm; could be other Protozoans>
I'm going to let the thirty gallon lie fallow, but the 90g, from which
the infestation likely occurred, I don't want to molest. The fish in the
90g appear well. My question is, will the Velvet die off if the
fish in the tank aren't affected, or will it continue to live? Also,
will I be able to introduce new fish to that one, or will I have to be
wary of an outbreak?
<There are folks; plain hobbyists to academics, who've stated that some
parasitic diseases can/do induce immunity; and I do believe this is so,
as well as the possibility of such infestations "laying dormant" or
existing in sub-clinical states in captive systems... "waiting" for
weakened stock, conditions to "become" hyperinfective... How to avoid
troubles? The assiduous use of quarantine/isolation ("hardening") of new
specimens... even slow introduction to the extant system by way of
adding some water from it to the isolation system after the new
specimen/s is/are stable.
This sort of topic is touched on in the "Infected States" FAQs files
that are linked here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and here:
and the linked files in series>
Thank you for your time.
<And you for yours. Bob Fenner>
Fallow Tank question... re: inverts...
I'm living through a marine velvet episode, thanks to
making the most basic-of-all-mistakes (failure to quarantine).
<Ahh. An ounce of prevention...>
Survivors are being moved to hospital tanks for treatment. My question is
this: I have two inverts which can't tolerate the medication/s... a
skunk cleaner shrimp... and a green brittle star. My question is this:
can they stay in my reef during the 'fallow' period...
<Yes but don't forget to spot feed.>
or are they able to 'host' the velvet (if indeed it is Amyloodinium).
I'd like to leave them in there... but don't want to risk reinfecting the
fish AFTER my fallow period.
<As long as the fallow period is long enough, you will be good.>
I've looked through the forums... saw that initial infection can come into
a tank with these creatures (or live rock... or just about anything else
that's 'wet')... but figured it was probably just a hitchhiker, rather
than an active parasite in these cases. Can you let me know your
thoughts on this?
<Amyloodinium can be introduced to the tank in a variety of ways but it
needs a fish to survive long term.>
Hydroxychloroquine <report on use in stead of CP)... &
Supposed Protozoan infestation appearance w/ various fish hosts
It has been about 4+ years since I had to treat any fish for parasites,
so I was fascinated to find the references for the use of Chloroquine
Phosphate now. Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember seeing this
at all a few years ago.
<A relatively new/er treatment>
In my Hospital Tanks, I am treating a parasite that I believe NOT to be
Ich and possibly not Velvet either. I could be wrong about this. It was
introduced by small Yellow Clown Gobies, which did not survive. I
do QT all new arrivals, but had read recommendations for a short QT of
these fish, due to poor survival rates in QT. Unfortunately, the
short QT didn't work out for me. I also lost a Gold Bar
Maroon Clown. Once truly infested, this parasite moved quite
rapidly, but did not have the typical appearance of Velvet or Ich (to
<Look up "Microscope" use on WWM... I have an olde light transmission
type AND a QX (really neat and inexpensive) one w/in reach of me here>
I might have thought the Maroon Clown had Ich, except that the Clown
Gobies really looked so different. Also, I do think the rapid
progression was not consistent with Ich, and the spots are quite large.
<The spots are not the parasite/s... but reaction sites... same as
diseases of humans and other animals, plants... quite differing
Technically, the Clown Gobies had one minor skin change for 2 days with
no other symptoms, then nothing for 2 weeks. During those two
weeks, they ate well and seemed fine. No itching, scratching,
flashing, twitching, breathing funny.... nothing. Then literally
overnight they were covered with spots, and they died within 48 hours
(despite/because of? copper).
The Maroon Clown had a similar pattern. Minor skin change for 2
days, then nothing, then rapid progression. I am including a
picture of my second GB Maroon Clown, in hyposalinity before copper.
<Mmm, does "look" like Crypt>
Thankfully, he has now recovered. I did try to look at
scrapings of the deceased clown under my microscope at work, but the
magnification was only 100X, and it was difficult to see.
<Ahh; need a few hundred magnification>
Maybe I saw some tiny oval-ish parasites, but I couldn't really tell.
Soon, I will invest in/find a better microscope to use at home.
>Ah good... the QX or similar model...<
I did see a picture of a Yellow Clown Goby with spots similar to mine
(http://fishfantasy.blogspot.com/) - the spots on that fish were
attributed to velvet. I think these spots are much larger than
what I would expect from velvet,
<Agreed... and the fish didn't die almost immediately...>
but I do not have enough experience looking at sick fish to really feel
like I am a good diagnostician yet. Perhaps you could lend your opinion?
Many chat boards call everything "Ich". I've been running SW
tanks for 10 years, but I haven't treated/seen enough sickness to feel
<I've seen a good deal, written and given talks... including the last
two years of NEU's Fish Health Conferences>
Because of it's potential rapid action, and already losing fish, while
waiting for the medication to come I tried multiple different
Hyposalinity, I believe, has been ineffective.
Sterilizing tanks and transferring between tanks was not effective.
I only tried one formalin dip (on the already very sick and now deceased
GB Maroon Clown) as a desperate measure (unsuccessfully). I do
think that copper was helpful, but I really don't like using copper.
<Too narrow efficacy for many cases, circumstances>
I also apparently did not have the correct copper test for the Cupramine I
was using, so I didn't feel comfortable maintaining that treatment - but
I had to do something to avoid losing my fish. I was able to use a
couple of doses as a temporary "fix" and the fish clearly improved.
As soon as the level dropped slightly from a small water change, I saw
I did order a different copper test online, but was stuck waiting for its
arrival. At any rate, after researching current treatments, I
ordered Hydroxychloroquine Phosphate through my Medical Office because
the price was a LOT less expensive ($15 for a bottle of 100 tablets,
250mg each) than Chloroquine Phosphate. I received this a couple
of days ago and began to treat my fish. I am also still (of
course) slowly raising the Hospital Tanks out of hyposalinity. It
seems as if the Hydroxychloroquine is doing its job. The fish look
great. As far as I can tell, in people the dosing is
similar between the two medications, with Hydroxychloroquine requiring
possibly 80% of the Chloroquine dosing. I researched a number of
articles involving human use, and I could see no reason to avoid
In some instances, it was suggested that this version was somewhat less
toxic to the eyes. It is, at times, used in people long-term to
treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it seems like the Retinal Toxicity is
likely an effect from long-term use. Of course, this information cannot
be directly transferred to fish, but it is at least a place to start.
It seems like it is used interchangeably with Chloroquine Phosphate for
the treatment of malaria, in areas of the world that are not known to be
resistant to this drug. I am writing to ask you if you are aware
of any reason that I should not be using this as an alternative to CP?
<I am not aware of such contraindication>
And also to mention that it might be a less expensive alternative that
others could consider as well.
<Thank you for this report Lynn. Bob Fenner>
Requesting Advice - Treatment for Possible
Velvet or Crypt New Coral Beauty 6/17/12
Hello WWM Crew,
I wonder if I can ask your advise on a course of treatment for a newly
purchased (still in quarantine) Coral Beauty for my SPS system.
About three weeks ago I purchased this "almost perfect" fish. He came
from a highly reputable LFS specializing in reef systems. The person at
the store told me he came from someone who had to break down his system.
From inspection of the fish he looked vivid, plump, energetic and
curious. Very well acclimated and no signs of disease whatsoever.
Following my usual protocol, I introduced the Angelfish into a ten
gallon quarantine tank
<Mmm, a bit too small>
with water from my SPS (established for 5+ years). Because he was already
acclimated into an aquarium environment, I did provide the "luxury" of
adding some live rock and some Chaeto from my display for what was
intended to be a 30 day quarantine. The Centropyge did fine from the
start, eating almost right away.
<So far, so good>
About five days ago, in the morning I noticed what appeared to be very
tiny specks of white spots on the "face". Very tiny, approximately one
third the size of salt grains, roughly a dozen or so spots. I
immediately thought Crypt, but noticed no telltale spots on the Pectoral
or Caudal fins. In any event I thought action was needed and proceeded
to do a 100% water change using display water, a complete cleaning of
the QT and I removed all the LR and replaced with plastic pipe for some
No telltale signs until this morning. Today I found similar specs,
roughly the same amount and a bit farther down each side. Still nothing
on any fins. Unfortunately these spots appear too small to come out on a
photograph. The CB is still active and alert, eating well as of last
I would like to pursue treatment right away, but I am still not sure if
this is Crypt, or possibly Velvet. (I have never seen Velvet "up close
and personal" so I can't be sure).
<Microscopic examination of body slime mucus...>
Can you offer any advice as to what I might be dealing with?
<... could be a protozoan, could be air bubbles or other, might be simply
accrued mucus spots from stress... other possibilities>
Without not knowing for sure at the moment, my immediate plan for
treatment is to lower the salinity (not considering hyposalinity yet -
but believe it or not did perform successfully on a Flame Angel once -
very tricky to maintain proper biological balance) and raising the water
temp to about 82F. I will also "re-install" an old UV treatment lamp
(with new bulb) and performing daily 100% water changes.
I suspect the above will be a good start but likely not enough to fully
eradicate whatever I have. Should I consider some type of dip as well?
<Not if just returning the fish to the possibly infested system, no>
My concern here is that it is my understanding that Centropyge are rather
sensitive to chemical treatment.
<Yes... however IF you deem/find that this is Crypt or other such Ciliate,
I'd give a quick read on WWM re Quinine compounds:
and the linked files above>
Again, any advice you can offer would be highly appreciated.
<Mmm, and here:
Thanks in advance for your reply.
<Thank you for your query. Bob Fenner>
Fw: Requesting Advice - Treatment for Possible Velvet or Crypt New Coral
Hello WWM Crew,
Further to my email yesterday (below) I have a few pieces of additional
First, in a stroke of luck this morning, the Coral Beauty spent about five
minutes in direct morning sunlight. I was able to take the attached
photo, which shows the spots in question with clarity. Note these spots
appear mainly on the "face" of the fish.
<Yes; does "look" like Crypt>
Additionally, I note no scratching, flashing, or labored breathing which
strikes me as odd given the indications on the face.
I'm still not certain what I am dealing with but this appears to be
either Crypt or Velvet.
<Me neither; still>
Yesterday I did a 100% water change from my SPS display, lowered the
salinity from 35 to 33 ppt, and raised the water temperature to about 82
F. I also installed a small UV sterilizer with a new (8 watt) bulb.
I don't think this will be sufficient and that some type treatment (dip
or in QT) is probably need to save this beautiful fish. My concern is
that this species is very sensitive to copper and other medications
(Formalin) and that this is my one best shot to get this right. Would
you kindly advise your opinion as to which course of treatment might be
<You have a few choices. As this is such an early, likely "single stage"
infestation (if biological), I am more inclined to try dips/baths and
moving the fish to another non-infested setting>
Thanks again for your assistance and the invaluable web resource.
Oodinium? Desperate in Massachusetts!
Hopefully you can help with a problem that I'm dealing with. Here's a
quick background: 155 gallon tank with sump total actual water equals
140 gallons. Salinity 1.025, Ca - 400, dKH 8 - 9, Mg = 1400, pH 8.1 -
8.2. No detectable nitrogen compounds. Temp normally 78 - 79, but the
recent warming trend has been causing swings from 80 -82. (A chiller
will be installed this week). Tank has been set-up for 10 months now.
About 4 months ago I added a powder blue tang, without first
A week later most fish are covered in Ich. (Lesson learned...). QT for all
fish: PB tang, yellow tang, 2 cardinals, banner-fish, 2 pearly jaws, a
clown and a flame angel. All in a 35 gallon tank. Copper at 0.5 ppm for
two weeks followed by 0.25 for an additional two weeks, then 5 weeks
I lost the 2 jaws and the angel. The other fish responded well to
treatment and showed no ill signs after the first week.
So after nine weeks of letting the tank go fallow, the fish were
returned to the display tank. Lost the yellow tang within two days,
(stress from the move?)
all other adapted well. Finally we get to my current issue. Within a week
of returning the fish to the powder blue developed small bumps (think
goose-bumps) only on the blue portion of its body. No detectable white
spots. They are so fine they don't show up in photos. I think I see them
more from the shadow they cast and are washed out in pictures.
Netting would require removing rock to chase down, so I keep the QT
ready and watched all fish closely. Some days the bumps almost
disappear, some days he's covered with them. Breathing is normal, no
scratching or flashing, eating well, appears to be in perfect health,
except for the bumps. All other fish are normal.
Five weeks pass and I convince myself this is benign,
so the replacement flame angel that has been in the QT tank is introduced
to the display. (bad move). The flame was held for two week in copper at
0.25 and an additional 3 weeks without showing any issue.
Two days after being in the display it is bumpy like the tang. The next
day, very fine with spots are detectable, possibly seen because of the
darker colors. Now he is hiding and I can't see him long enough to
inspect or try to photograph. Still all other fish seem fine.
I am 98% certain this is not Ich. This could be Oodinium, but, from all
I have read, that should have killed the tang (and most likely
everything else) long before now.
<I don't think this is pathogenic... most likely just a reaction to the
I don't know what to treat for, never mind how to treat. I have access
to two cheap, used 55 gallon tanks and am seriously contemplating
putting the fish in one for whatever treatment, coral in the other,
bleaching the DT and starting from scratch. Am I over-reacting?
This is a hobby of patience. I'm 52 and still learning the meaning of
<Am sixty and further still>
Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance,
<I'd just be patient here... IF still (overly) concerned, use formalin
in the freshwater dip/bath enroute to the main display. Bob Fenner>
Fish with Specs on the,
I have another question on my 150 gallon FOWLR tank. Two nights
ago I noticed two specks on the side of the Coral
Beauty. I do not think they were there the day
before.<Nice observation> I have been pretty good at
looking at all the fish daily these days. The speck looks like a
grain of sand and very white. Last night there was only one speck
on the side (looks
like the same spot as last night) and now one above the eye. The
Copperband also has HLLE that I am trying to fix too (I think it
has gotten better in the last few weeks, or at least not
worse).<A fish with HLLE should be the first to show signs of
ich.> Last night I also noticed one speck on the Niger Trigger
(above the eye and 1/2" back) that was not there the
before. The Niger (and sometimes the wrasse and puffer) are
constantly throwing sand around.<Interesting, may have found
the cause.>I am hoping these three specks (two on Copperband
and one on the Niger) are indeed just sand.<Quite possible>
If it is ich, would it be worse than just a couple of
specks.<Most likely.> I have read through the FAQs. I know
there is the
life cycle and the cysts come and go, but I thought if it was
ich, it would be more obvious. But I am still a newbie. All
the fish are fat, except the Copperband, but I think that is more
because of the struggle to get some food.<May need to be spot
fed.> The Copperband does not look thin, just not fat like the
others.<Try spot feeding until it is healthy.>
If it is ich, can I treat the display with Chloroquine
phosphate.<No. Chloroquine Phosphate is deadly to
invertebrates. There are undoubtedly a large number of
invertebrates living in your rock and substrate that would be
killed. The invertebrate die-off could have catastrophic
results.> The fish are not small and I doubt I should
put them in my 55 gallon QT even if
I could catch them all without removing all the LR.<Large
Rubbermaid totes make great hospital tanks...>
Some other notes:
Around 18 months ago I had what I believed was ich and treated
with Cupramine. At the time, my biological was bio-balls
and no live rock. I have since removed all the bio-balls
and have 6 pounds of LR in the tank, 20 pounds in the sump, and 4
liters of Seachem Matrix in the sump. My tank currently has:
7" Porcupine Puffer in tank for 1 year 9 months
24" Snowflake Eel in tank for 2 years
6" Red Breasted Wrasse in tank for 10.5 months (6 weeks in
QT, treated with Cupramine and Prazipro)
3" Coral Beauty in tank for 5 months (6 weeks in QT, treated
with Quinine Sulfate and Prazipro)
6" Banana Wrasse in tank for 3 months (6 weeks in QT,
treated with Quinine Sulfate and Prazipro)
4" Niger Trigger in tank for 3 months (6 weeks in QT,
treated with Quinine Sulfate and Prazipro)
At the time I treated with Cupramine, I only had the puffer and
eel.<Scaleless fish such as morays and puffers should not be
exposed to any copper products.>
If it is ich, I am wondering if I never eradicated it 18 months
ago, or if one of my more recent fish had it and the QS
treatments did not work.<Both are possible.>
Thanks,<Not a problem, Jordan>
Looks like Ich, but not?
I have a Vlamingi Tang with a strange malady. I would put his age at 7
years, I have had him for 5 in a lightly stocked 180g SPS reef. The
reef is 15 years and see little fish turnover. This is actually my
first sick fish, not to say I haven't lost a few. The details here
are a parasitic white spot infestation, now before you start with Ich,
it's been discussed in depth with peers on RC and the conclusion is
<... sampling, microscopic examination?>
I've seen hundreds if Ich pics, this parasite is a lot smaller than
the visible Ich trophonts, they are about 1/32 and one third the width
like tiny rice. He's had it before but never more than 24 hours at
a time, he's now had it for a week, is really covered 1st thing in
the morning and seems to clear up mostly by the evening. No other
symptoms, no welts or lesions, eats, swims, breaths normally and no
other fish have this. In a state of panic, I did a freshwater dip. I
caught him with a tiny fly hook and in retaliation got a dorsal spine
in my thumb, that may get a separate email though. Isopods were
mentioned but I'm skeptical.
<Me too... are easily definitive>
All water parameters for my reef are monitored and perfect. Im not
convinced that this is harmless though and this is my favorite fish.
Thanks in advance for you time and as well for you incredible website,
it is invaluable to the hobby.
<Let's see... If you were nearby, I'd lend you the first of
second edition of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis &
Treatment"... for you to peruse the symptomology... there are
quite a few conditions and parasites that can show as you describe.
Perhaps you can borrow a copy. Really need a look/see
microscopically... Have on my long list of writing projects to develop
a check list, dichotomous key for such... Bob Fenner>
Re: Looks like Ich, but not? 2/18/12
Thank you Bob, I purchased the book from Amazon, and will start
shopping for a digital microscope.
<See WWM re... I have use the Mattel/Intel one more than my olde
I will send you some info if I find something strange and exciting.
<And you, BobF>
How to Break Brooklynella Cycle in a
Tank With Several Healthy Fish 2/11/12
I have combed through your site as well as the internet at large about
how to treat/cure Brooklynella, but I am still at a loss for my
particular issue. I have a 72 gallon reef tank, with perfect water
quality (tested often) and a list of healthy fish including a Coral
Beauty Angel, Green Bird Wrasse, Cleaner Wrasse and a 6 line Wrasse. My
problem is that when I put a properly quarantined fish (4 weeks) into
the tank, no matter how healthy it is, within 3 days the fish is dead
<How are you sure this is the causative agent?>
If treated and put back into the tank, it just happens again, yet the
above listed member remain fine. I have performed large water changes,
have a 25 watt UV sterilizer and keep my water pristine, but any
addition seems to have the same fate, without fail. I am hoping there
is another answer besides removing all of the fish and letting the tank
remain fishless for 8 weeks while the parasite dies off. I am
thinking about adding another UV unit, in hopes to eradicate the
parasite that way,
as my current unit does not seem to be handling it. Any insight would
be greatly appreciated.
<See WWM re this Protozoan, the use of quinine compounds. Bob
Re: How to Break Brooklynella Cycle in a Tank With Several Healthy Fish
From all of the various diagnosis sites I have read, along with the
pictures of affected fish,
<... has to be sampled, viewed under a microscope>
I am 99% sure that this is the issue, as they match exactly. It begins
with heavy breathing, then mucus on the fish, pale color and then spots
on the fins and body. They all also seem to seem hard against the
current, seemingly to get more oxygen. From first sign of body changes,
to death, is usually only 12-20 hours. Before it hits, the fish are
eating and behaving normally.
How can my other fish, in particular a moderately sensitive Angel be
thriving in a tank that is a death sentence for any new comers?
<Two words: "Acquired immunity"... many explanatory
I will take a look at the site you sent and see if any clues can be
gleaned that way.
Thanks for all your useful advice!
I recently had an outbreak what I believe to be Uronema in my tank. Out
of six fish I have only one survivor, an Ocellaris Clown, in a hospital
tank. He has some pitted lesions as well as some hyperactivity then
listlessness as described on the site. I read ph adjusted freshwater
baths and formalin dips are useful in treating this. My other question,
I have read that this parasite does not need a fish host to survive, is
<Many believe so... I'm not so sure>
My tank is running fallow right now with some hermit crabs, 1
peppermint shrimp, and 2 Emerald Crabs. Am I going toned to completely
clean my tank
or will this parasite die out with time?
<I would move all fishes through a freshwater bath (pH adjusted, per
what is posted on WWM), and either leave the tank fallow (empty of fish
hosts) for several weeks, or bleach it and re-establish nutrient
cycling ahead of reintroducing your fish livestock>
Thanks for the help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Brooklynella or not? 11/6/11
This is my first time contacting you and I am asking for some
<You are a stranger here but once>
I have recently lost 5 fish, Dottyback, chromis, male saddleback,
rusty angel and powder blue tang very quickly. I still have a
very small valentini, a chromis, and the female saddleback. She
stopped feeding for a day and he eyes seemed to gloss over. She
started breathing very fast and occasionally flicking herself
against the back. Her white stripe at the front began to look as
though the black was wry slightly coming through.
This was five days ago and she has got no worse and is feeding
well there is no sign of mucus etc. The other two fish are
apparently fine and look great and feeding well. My local fish
store told me its Brooklynella but I'm not convinced somehow.
His suggestion was to treat the whole tank with an nt labs
<Who, what company is this?>
for a month and then begin to restock. He also suggested that the
best thing to do with then clown was to kill it.
I didn't want to do it. I have an old tropical tank I could
uses as a qt tank but just don't know what to do for the
Please advise. Many thanks
<Need more information, photos if you have them...
well-resolved. Have you read on WWM re this Protozoan, Crypt? Do
so, ASAP. Bob Fenner>
Re: Brooklynella or not? 11/7/11
Thanks so much for getting back to me.
Here is a photo though it is not as clear as I would like it:
<Mmm; this does "look" more like Cryptocaryon to
me... and judging from the other fishes you previously listed as
5 days ago I treated the tank with:
<... anti-bacterial? Can be used for treating (Amyl)Oodinium?
"Reef safe?". Don't list ingredients... Nah! No
When this runs it's course (another 5 days) my local shop
wants me o then use this for a month though it isn't reef /
<Forget this as well. READ re the use of Quinine compounds,
and the linked files above, AND: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuinMedF2.htm
and the linked files above>
I have read so much from everywhere that I'm totally
<... read for clarity. Facts, history of knowledge... Skip the
Thanks so much for taking time with me.
I love my tank (it's only a red sea max 130) but it has given
me years of pleasure.
<And you, Bob Fenner>
White spots that aren't Ich?
Thanks for the help last email on the conspic. The lateral line
infection cleared itself up well and its already healing quite
<Ah good... the lateral area did just appear to be
The Conspicuous Angel has been in QT for about a month. The
salinity is set at 1.009
<Mmm, am not a fan, but have friends that do use such low
and during its first 2 weeks there, I treated with quinine
sulfate to make sure there wouldn't be any Ich. Strange
enough, just when the infection of the lateral line cleared up, a
couple of days ago, strange white spots which I'm pretty sure
isn't Ich because of the prior treatment with quinine and the
fact that it is still in hypo. Its also the only resident in that
tank and I've been doing regular water changes with salt mix
and RO/DI water.
<This IS some sort of Protozoan infestation... could be
Cryptocaryon, might be Brooklynella... possibly other
Attached above is also a picture of a Scribbled Angelfish that my
friend got at the same time and from the same store that the
Conspic Angel came from. His unfortunately died 3 weeks ago and
it was covered in white spots.
<Yes... very likely a goner at this stage>
It was also in hyposalinity which also lead him to believe it
wasn't Ich. Near the end, my friend did FW dips leading him
to believe that his Scribbled had flukes but that he was too late
in treating it.
<Might have Trematodes in addn.; but the spots on the side
here are not them>
Im just worried that it might be the same thing that's on my
Conspic right now as well. Right now, my best guess would be that
its flukes as well and that the white spots are the necrotic
tissue where they buried in?
Im not really sure though so I was hoping you could add some
input as to what to do.
<T'were it me; nothing>
Thanks again for all the help and more power to you guys!
<And you, BobF>
Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment? 6/2/11
Dear Bob and friends,
You folks helped me a few years ago and I need your help again.
My fish - nearly all of them - are dealing with a scourge that
was probably brought on by the introduction of snails in my 350
gallon saltwater aquarium. The snails were an addition the
aquarium service thought would help deal with algae.
My question is in regards to the treatment being taken, led by my
aquarium service owner (whom I found through contacts Bob
referred to me when I was dealing with flukes). Here's the
deal: just about all the fish - my Vlamingi tang, purple tang,
red sea angel, Bannerfish, Cuban wrasse, Hawkfish, and probably
the 3 damselfish are covered in what looks like a white mold. My
two spot hogfish buried itself at the start of this and so I
can't observe it. It began with reduced appetite a day or two
after intro of the snails (on 5/23). I saw white spots on the
faces of the fishes - even flakes of white, like chunks of lint
attached to the angel's eyes. The angel was pale. The fish
were becoming increasingly listless and not eating. Thinking it
was flukes (again), and in consultation with the aquarium service
owner, I treated with Prazipro on 5/26 and 5/29.
<Mmm, not flukes/worms... Protozoan>
Seemed to make no difference except the angel wasn't as pale,
but remained listless.
The aquarium service owner suggested a big water change, which I
did on 5/30 - removing 100 gallons and adding fresh water so the
salinity was brought down from 1.019 to 1.014. But this
didn't solve the problem from progressing.
A technician came over to dose the tank with Dylox on Tuesday,
<Also not useful here>
The fish haven't improved and have even gotten worse with the
white coating moving from their heads to coat their entire bodies
like mold. I believe the parasite may be internal
because I can see on my v. tang, the biggest fish in the tank,
with what I think is similar to a rash, a reddish pattern under
his skin, suggesting to me that his troubles are under the
surface. He's very uncomfortable, making darting movements
occasionally, to vent his pain, no doubt. It's a horrible
situation in that aquarium right now and makes me sick to think I
can't solve the problem. The purple tang is now pale and its
body has more
<Need to be treated ASAP... I'd use a quinine compound,
Chloroquine Phosphate if readily available... Can be ordered via
the Net, but the stores or service co. may have in stock. DO call
From what I'm able to ascertain through reading online, the
Dylox may not be the correct treatment if my fish have crypt,
velvet or Ich.
<... it is not>
It seems copper is the correct treatment for these issues.
<This is the olde, standby treatment, but is quite toxic...
and not useful for all types of situations>
I'm attaching a picture of the Vlamingi tang in hopes someone
can try to identify it's condition. Please help. I think
these fish - that are between 5 and 9 years old - may die! I am
losing sleep and even taking time off from my work in order to
deal with this crisis.
Can I apply copper in spite of having had applied this treatment
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/QuinSciUseF.htm
and the linked Related FAQs files above>
As I was writing this my Vlamingi died'¦. Sooooo
Thank you in advance for reading this,
<This "problem" is external; one cannot tell w/o a
skin tissue swipe and microscopic examination, but this looks
like both Velvet AND Cryptocaryon on the Tang (though it could be
just the latter). You NEED to read, and act immediately to save
the rest of your fishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment? 6/7/11
As I communicated below, I've been dealing with issues
related to an influx of a parasite. I've done lots of
reading, but without a definitive diagnosis,
<Requires microscopic examination of at least body slime of
the supposed afflicted fishes>
I and the owner of the aquarium service who is working with me on
this are stumped. So far I've lost the Vlamingi Tang (as
mentioned in the last email), and a Yellow Bar Angel who died a
few hours later (they were companions) - on 6/2. I found the
carcass of the twin spot hogfish yesterday -
<My friend... this protozoan infestation will eventually kill
all your fishes if not treated>
which considering the rate of decay may have died around the same
time as the other two, or even earlier. I also lost a damselfish
yesterday. Right now my Hawkfish is on the bottom of the
aquarium, struggling to stay upright. My Bannerfish, 2 damsels, a
Cuban hogfish, a Foxface, a purple tang, and a clownfish are in
various states of debilitation.
All of these fish are over 5 years old, well fed, provided
regular care, and previously very healthy. I've done so much
<Won't help... and from the types/species of fishes
afflicted, and the length of the etiology, can assure you that
this is NOT Velvet, and IS almost assuredly
Having a saltwater aquarium was not really a choice: it came with
my house. It is 400 gallons and is serviced by a reputable
However that company introduced the parasites that are now
killing my fish, presumably via snails. The symptoms manifested 2
days after the snails arrived. So I have lost faith in the
service, to some extent, but the business is better run than any
I have known. The owner has a degree in marine biology, was
recommended by someone Bob Fenner recommended, so I'm not
dealing with incompetence (as I was prior to this service
<Happens, accidents as well>
Anyway, I want to say a little about how we are dealing with the
problem. I say "we" because I can't do this on my
own. I rely on others to service my tank, so now that there is a
problem, I need them to help me deal with this scourge. Bob
recommended treating the tank with Chloroquine phosphate.
<I still do>
Well, the service owner didn't have that, but he did have
quinine sulfate. So we did a huge water change - of about 250
gallons - on Saturday. We lowered the salinity to 1.010, and
added the quinine sulfate. I have seen some changes in the
infected fish. First, they don't seem as irritated and
distressed as they did before. The Bannerfish is not swimming
into the jets any longer, however its eyes are cloudy.
<This will persist for some few weeks even if/when the
parasite is eliminated>
It is seen occasionally swimming in the tank, but only briefly,
as is the Cuban hogfish and the Foxface, a little. Otherwise,
they are hunkered down trying to do as little as possible. The
fishes' skin is darkened, which the service owner told me
would happen from the quinine sulfate (it causes the mucous layer
to slough off, as I recall he told me).
<This is so>
The Foxface had these dark splotches - like pin pricks and
bruises - after the treatment, which have faded quite a lot since
yesterday, Sunday, when they seemed to have increased. These may
be areas where a parasite attached. He did a little eating
yesterday. The clownfish is easier to look at with a magnifying
glass. His entire body is still sprinkled with the white dots,
with some a little larger than others.
To me, they look like lice, but both my cat's vet and the
aquarium service owners have checked slime coat I collected in
the aquarium water and used microscopes to examine it and they
both said that the dots in the slime coat were hard, like sand.
We have presumed this is a crypt infection, but can't be
<... microscope... for the third and last time... Size of the
ciliate, two unequal nuclei...>
I've lowered the temperature to 79.5, two degrees down in two
days, in hope that it will slow down any reproduction of the
parasite and provide a little more oxygen to the fish (who may
have impaired respiration through their gills). This is just the
most horrible experience. I am emotionally really beaten up by
it. We are going to try to get a vet from Long Beach Aquarium to
help with diagnosis as a further measure.
I'm truly exhausted from this ordeal - mostly the loss of my
dear Vlamingi Tang, who seemed to me to be an old soul in a
I know this isn't a question exactly. I just feel I need to
update my last email. I saw some photos online of copepods
attached to the fins of fish and wondered if THAT could be what
we are dealing with.
I know that is a long shot and probably wouldn't explain the
quick death of my Vlamingi and Angel - the two biggest fish in
the tank. Anyway, if you are going to scold me for not doing what
you told me, please go for it. I'm just terribly sad and
demoralized by all of this. I wish keeping fish wasn't so
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment? 6/7/11
OK. I'm going to use the Chloroquine phosphate as soon as
I'll do anything to save them. Thank you.
Do you know of any place that stocks Chloroquine phosphate in
L.A. where I could go pick it up?
<I do not... would do as you, call about and see who might
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment? 6/7/11
Thanks again, Bob -
I'm trying to locate the dosage'¦.
<... is posted on WWM>
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment? 6/14/11
Dear Bob, et al -
I now have a HUGE re-infestation of crypt (presumably).
I have spent the whole weekend looking into the tank, apprising
my fish. I fed them a little this morning. I saw a small spot on
the Foxface and the purple tang. I didn't notice anything but
a behavior change in the Bannerfish yesterday evening. It seemed
it was trying to shake something off, swimming up near the jets.
I attributed it to a more sensitive reaction to the increased
salinity because none of the other fish were doing it. However I
did see a little flashing from the Cuban Wrasse yesterday. Now,
after the death of the Vlamingi and Angel, the Bannerfish is the
largest fish in the tank, AND it is the most coated in white -
eyes and body - like it was just spray painted - some spots are
big, others fine. This is an utterly aggressive parasite and I
fear for these fish's lives. Tomorrow, the vet at the Long
Beach aquarium offered to do a scraping and give a definitive
I hope it won't be too late to matter. What bothers me is
that this re-infestation took place so soon after treating with
CP and while the salinity was profoundly low. I put the CP in on
Saturday and tweaked the salinity yesterday. I double-checked the
# of grams I needed for the CP with an aquarist, and I measured
it carefully and administered it right. I raised the salinity
0.001 yesterday to 1.011. I doubt such a little tweak increase of
salinity could have sparked this'¦. This mystery would
be more interesting if I didn't have to witness so much
I am afraid to raise the salinity again today, which is 24 hours
after the last increase. Please advise.
<Likely the CP was "taken up" by materials... in the
This is really hard to figure out!!
Thanks for your attention to my challenges!
P.S. The clownfish died sometime early this morning. (Yesterday,
I set up a quick hospital tank to give it an antibiotic but,
sadly, had no luck catching it.)
<Would not have helped. B>
SW parasitic dis. ID 1/9/11
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment?
Hello again. Thanks for all the help. The fish are rather
however I finally received the Chloroquine phosphate and gave the
tank a dose (40 mg/gallon) today. There are conflicting emails on
the WWM regarding length of treatment. Is it correct to apply
only one dose?
<Yes... this IS what I would do>
Is that one dose for 5 or 10 days?
Other emails refer to multiple doses, so please clarify.
<One dose period usually "does it">
Thanks SOOOO much!
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment? 6/12/11
Bob, et al -
A brief update: one of the damselfishes died within 2 hours of
dosing with CP. I suspect the chemistry. It exhibited signs of
toxicity - swimming in place, obviously stressed.
I felt helpless given the fact
I have only one tank and the CP treatment is an important
opportunity for the entire community of fish to recover from
Still, I suspect damselfishes are sensitive to quinine.
<May well be>
Another died shortly after I used the quinine sulfate (June 4, as
an emergency treatment in lieu of CP). It too seemed to react as
if poisoned by the chemistry. But not all damselfishes were
negatively impacted that time'¦. Perhaps the most
Or my choice to use a combination of hyposalinity and a quinine
The other fishes seem to be tolerating the CP: so far, so
There is some concern for the clownfish, however, who has a dark,
somewhat reddish patch on the outside of one of its gills. It may
be the primary struggling fish in the tank at the moment. It is
getting thinner. I saw it eat just a little on June 5, and
This spot appeared overnight after a treatment of nitrifying
bacteria. I wonder if it is an infection from some opportunistic
It looks slightly raised, like an infection. It may have been
caused by my attempt to net it (to take the fish to a fish vet
who offered to do a scraping and give a definitive diagnosis):
the attempt failed, so I am sans diagnosis (though am going
forward with observations indicating crypt). Another possibility
is that the spot may have been caused by a spike of ammonia.
Ammonia went very high suddenly - to 2.0 on June 8.
It was supposedly 0 two days earlier, according to an aquarium
tech. The Hawkfish was on the floor of the aquarium struggling to
stay alive that day! We did a big water change - about 30%, and
used Polyfilters and carbon on 6/8 - but it still lingered around
1.0. The aquarium service's owner came over yesterday, did a
50% water change and poured in a gallon of nitrifying bacteria.
The ammonia returned to 0 in about 8 hours. The Hawkfish is doing
really well now, better than I've seen it since the start of
the invasion. It's been flitting from one perch to another
and may be eating a little. Love that guy'¦.
Whew! This is one wild ride! It's consuming all of my
discretionary time - I just can't let down my guard for a
Now that the ammonia has been brought under control, allowing me
to remove the Polyfilters and carbon, I've proceeded with the
CP. I'm banking on this cure.
Fighting so many fires! (Thank you for all of your support to my
I wonder if the hyposalinity may be causing problems with the
damsels and clown: even so, I don't know what else I can
<Not much at this junction. B>
|Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment?
Bob, Thanks again. I know I've taken a lot of your time with
reading my anecdotal record. I'm very grateful.
The infection on the clownfish seems larger this morning. I'm
attaching a picture. Is there any treatment I can start for
<Not of use>
<Start returning the specific gravity to near natural seawater
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment?
Please, I'm sorry to bother you so much, but I am following
your advice. I wonder if you would advise me on how to raise the
salinity. I've bought a salt mix that produces 1.022 salt
levels when mixed according to directions. Given the 400 gallon
tank is currently at 1.010 and the goal is to daily increase it
0.001, would adding a 1/2 gallon at 1.022 be about right to raise
it 0.001? I'm lousy at this sort of math!
<Not to worry Barbara... I'll assume you've found this
on WWM or the Net... best to do slowly, one or two thousandths
per day. BobF>
Re: Crypt? Ich? Velvet? Treatment? 6/13/2011
Never mind regarding the last email. I found a salinity
calculator online: http://www.saltyzoo.com/SaltyCalcs/SalinityAdjust.php
Answered my question.
Thanks to you for setting my compass'¦.
Hi WWM people,
<Andrea, "Woman of the Sea">
I have read over your site several times trying to figure out how to
tell the difference between Brooklynellosis and Marine Velvet.
<Easy to do w/ a "scope, skin scraping, exam.>
The reason I ask is because I had 3 fish in my 125 gal cycled
Added in this order: maroon clownfish, black and white Bannerfish and
then a yellow tang. The first two were doing fine, then when I added
the tang the black and white Bannerfish. died. It only took about a day
after first seeing the white "film" on him. The Tang then
died shortly after. I took the clownfish out and put her in another
tank to treat her. I was treating her with copper because I thought it
was Marine velvet. I now think it might have been Brooklynellosis.
<Could be both or even something else... The Tang, BF would likely
have not succumbed to Brooklynellosis>
But the truth is, I have no idea! Both symptoms sound the same to me.
Well she died after 2 weeks in the QT. What I am confused about is, if
this was either illness, why did the clownfish live so long?
<Sometimes does... you might have prolonged this fish's life via
the copper treatment>
The other two died over night after I saw the first of the symptoms,
yet the clown fish lived several weeks longer. Did I treat the
clownfish for the wrong illness?
<Can't tell from the material presented>
Symptoms were: white film on their sides, scratching against the rocks
and stopped eating. The only symptom the clown fish had was the white
film cover on her. Only about a day before she died is when she stopped
eating. She always acted very normal up until then.
I have learned my lesson the hard way about QT. I now have a 29 and a
smaller 5 gal out and ready for any new fish I will get in the future.
I am letting my tank set fallow for a month. Is this long enough, I can
go longer as I am in no hurry.
<The longer the better... raising temp. will help. Please read here
I want to make sure this is out of the tank before adding any new
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Sick fish, Cryptocaryon irritans 10/31/10
Thanks for the wonderful service you all provide. I have been
having a problem with my fish the last 6-7 weeks. I introduced 2
angels about 3 months ago, an emp and queen, the queen did not
make it, (not eating) but the emperor seemed fine.
<Hope this is a huge tank.>
After a month since I had the emp, it has been bad at scratching,
tail twitching, cloudy eyes, blotches etc (I thought flukes).
<From the pics it looks like Cryptocaryon irritans, aka Ich to
About 4 weeks ago, I did some mod.s to my tank, I took the dsb
out, put in a new improved sump. I had to empty the whole DT
including the substrate (fine play sand). When I emptied the
tank, all the LR and sand went into plastic drums with aerators
and pumps, it only took about 3 hours. I monitored the tank, I
ran it on Seachem stability for the first 10 days, and all is
fine water quality wise. I did keep an eye on the substrate to
monitor for any sulphur build up from turning the substrate sand
around (the sand is very active and is over 18 months old). I
have had no problems with my water that I know of, ammonia is 0,
Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10-20, PH 8.4, salinity is 1.025.
About a month ago, my Clarkii clown started showing the same
symptoms as the emperor, tail twitching, rubbing, white spot,
cloudy eyes, and both fish sit in front of one of the pumps,
almost as if the flow is cooling their skin.
<More likely poor gill functionality due to the parasitic
This is when I really noticed it. The fish have all been eating.
I then treated for flukes with Prazi pro, the fish did shudder
during treatment, but then after 5 days there was still no
improvement, so I re-dosed.
<See here for more treatment options. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php
This is when the other fish actually got worse, especially with
white spot, during the treatment, so I switched the skimmer on,
did a 100% water change over a week, and ran the carbon media
<These treatments all need to be administered in a hospital
tank where proper dosing can be administered.>
Could the shudder during the Prazi treatment be the Prazipro
burning the infection inside the gills (sort of like alcohol
burns an open wound). But it seemed that the Prazi was not
working, and so I thought it must be something else from
<Does not look like flukes to me.>
The clown died this morning (Pics are attached), I saw the clown
in the dying stages, so I caught the clown, put it down, and then
placed the body immediately in fresh water to look for parasites,
of which I don't think I saw any. I then also lost a yellow
tail damsel the same morning (it had also not been well for at
least 2 weeks). And the 3 Ocellaris clowns are again showing
signs again, of like a dusty dry w/s (they showed this during the
Prazi and I think it improved).
<With all these clowns and large angels I do hope it is a huge
Or could it be brook or velvet.
<These would have already killed all the fish, are much more
deadly than Cryptocaryon irritans .>
I am thinking that it is not brook/velvet because surely it would
wipe the tank out in a few days.
<Agreed, more like Cryptocaryon irritans.>
The maroon clown seems fine, of all the fish in the tank.
<How many clowns do you have in this tank?>
On the infected fish, the blotchiness gets far worse when just
before the lights go off, and when they come on, after 2 hours of
the lights on, they seem fine. Could this be a parasite infection
caused by stress from moving the fish to a holding tank while I
worked on the main tank, or could this be like brook or velvet,
could it just be a bad case of w/s.
<Not caused by the tank changes, just allowed to get a
stronger hold with the added stress. If Cryptocaryon irritans is
not in the tank it cannot infect a fish regardless of how
stressed it is.>
The yellow tang does seem fine, maybe a bit one or two spots of
w/s in the evening (I would of thought the tang would be ten
times worse for w/s than the clowns).
<Usually but not always, the clowns were already stressed from
having all the other clowns around I would be, making them more
susceptible to infestation.>
I also have a purple fire fish that shows no signs of problems, a
Anthias that has one or two white spots. The wrasse seem fine,
except the bipartitus that is swimming against the glass, which
it never did before.
<All are likely infected just not symptomatic.>
Is this just a case of white spot, or an infection that is
stressing the fish, either bacterial/fungal, why would the clowns
show more Whitespot than the other fish, or is this worse
<I would be Cryptocaryon irritans.>
Please can you offer me any advice, as this has been going on for
a while now, and even my wife said that it is bringing me right
<Treat all fish outside the tank, allowing it to go fallow 6
to 8 weeks.>
I am adding antibiotics to the food, what I got from the vet,
Baytril and I am adding vitamin B complex to the food (I am in
<Won't help here, copper, a quinine compound, hyposalinity
are a few of your options, each with their own advantages and
I also add about 4 drops of garlic. I let it soak and then
<Worthless, perhaps harmful to fish's livers as a few
studies seem to suggest.>
The fish do seem to still eat well, I can tell they don't
like the added meds as some will spit the food out and then take
another morsel which they prefer.
<Keep them well fed.>
In the attached pics, it is blotches behind the emperors right
gill fin, and they can appear bad for thirty minutes, and then
seem like they were never there. I will in about 10 days have a
qt tank available.
<They may not last this long to be honest.>
Many thanks Seun Lamprecht
Brooklynella question 8/19/10
Hello today crew...
I just lost an entire tank of fish to disease. I had a member of my
local reef club over and they told me it appeared to be crypt (marine
ich) as the fish looked like they were rolled in salt.
<Typical appearance, but there are other causes>
I proceeded to feed them a more varied diet augmented with Selcon and
<Not a valid treatment>
After about a week the fish started falling off one by one, and
quickly. A fish that looked fine would
become listless and heavy respiration in 10-12 hours, and be dead the
next morning. A member of the reef club has looked at the fish post
mortem and decided that it appeared to be Brooklynella.
<Could be... but could be summat else, even more than one
pathogen... do you utilize quarantine, dip/bath procedures?>
Unfortunately what is lost is lost, but my main question that no one
can answer is what do I do from here with the tank. Currently the tank
has a few soft corals an RBTA and 5 cleaner shrimp (attempting to clear
up the ich).
<Can't, don't do this>
Will the brook parasites eventually disappear in the same way that
crypt would, and if so what is the "safe" amount of time
before starting over.
<Several weeks... 6-8>
On the bright side, it will let me have some time to build a healthy
Thank you for your assistance and I look forward to hearing from the
<In the meanwhile, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
Take your time... Bob Fenner>
Unknown Disease? 6/5/10
I've got a 20 gallon setup with 1 fire goby, 1 small yellow damsel,
1 hermit crab, and 1 pygmy angelfish/cherubfish.
5 or 6 days ago I bought the pygmy angelfish from a local saltwater
This dealer has always had extremely healthy fish, and this one looked
to be no exception. Due to this, I unwisely skipped my quarantine tank
and started this fish off in my regular tank. Just today the fish has
gained a coat of
what looks like extremely fine white pollen grains scattered
intermittently over the scales. Yesterday the fish was spotless.
Can marine ich appear this suddenly?
<Yes... and Velvet along w/ a few other less noted Protozoan
The fish has not been scraping himself on rocks, breathing quickly,
refraining from eating, or acting unusually
in any way (at least not yet).
<The last is prophetic>
My tank had marine ich a year or so ago and I remember the spots/cysts
on the fish being considerably larger than these I am seeing now on the
pygmy angelfish. Does this fish need to be transferred to my quarantine
tank and treated for ich ASAP, or would that just be an unnecessary
stress on the fish?
<All fishes need to be treated... and soon! There are a few
options... but if possible, at all practical, I'd use CP... as it
will treat all possible Protozoans... Read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm
You may (for lack of the quinine) need to pH-adjusted freshwater
dip/bath the fishes enroute to isolation (w or w/o formalin addition),
even treat with a copper compound while waiting/ordering the CP if not
available locally... Haste is necessary here. Bob Fenner>
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Re: Unknown Disease? SW, Protozoan...
My quarantine tank is only 5 gallons (I used it only for single, small
fish), and from all the sources I looked at, the CP is out of my price
range. Even better, I've got to leave for a work trip in 3 days. Is
there anything I can do to start battling this now besides freshwater
<See WWM re possibilities...>
I've got a 15 gallon tank in our basement that I *could* set up as
a quarantine tank.
<... not quarantine. NEED treatment immediately>
I'm just worried that the stress of re-cycling the fish would do
although the situation they're in right now is certainly not a good
one- I've learned my lesson about not quarantining. What would you
suggest given this situation?
<... treatment. B>
The Constant Battle and the Warriors who survive... SW
parasitic disease 5/26/10
Hello WWM Crew,
I have to admit regrettably that for some reason or another despite
quarantine and allowing my aquarium to run fallow (besides my inverts)
for 6 weeks or more multiple times I always seem to end up with
parasites over running my tank. Now I am guessing Cryptocaryon irritans
due to research but due to my lack of inexperience in other marine
diseases I could be wrong.
<There are quite a few possibilities really>
So I am at my breaking point I have been winning and losing (more
losing) this battle on and off for the past 2 years. BTW I almost
forgot my tank setup:
200 gallon glass aquarium, Fluval fx5, modified rapids pro wet/dry,
400 (minus the BioWheels) for nitrate battles, Ammonia 0ppm Nitrite
Nitrate < 5ppm. I have tried everything listed on the marine ich
pages and have constantly made sure garlic has been in their weekly
diet but to no avail I still am losing this war.
<Have you tried Quinine? Please read here:
I do however have one fish that has been an excellent survivor Echidna
nebulosa. So a new thought occurs to me.
Could I have a tank with just moray eels?
Well I know I can but could you give me some input on what species
could co-exist together well.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/snoflkeelcompfaqs.htm
Also I am wondering I have had my snowflake co-exist with snails all
along is that rare or do they all leave snails alone for the most
<Echidnas are partial to crustaceans... leave most all else
I would like to keep those alive as they are my main clean up crew.
Thanks for any input you might have on the situation.
<Be chatting, Bob Fenner>
I'm not 100% sure this is black ich.... SW
parasite diag. 4/21/10
I've scoured and gathered as much info as I could about black
ich around the web and especially your site. For starters, about
my tank: 125g w/ 60g sump, skimmer, live rock, live sand, above
the tank refugium, plus in sump refugium, 2 Koralia 4's, and
mag18 return pump. Tank is fowlr -- but has a rock w/ mushrooms
that hitchhiked, very few inverts (5 or 6 hermits, 5 or 6
assorted snails). Tank has been established for 4 months,
livestock were moved from a smaller tank. Inhabitants are 1
ocellaris, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 1 Firefish, 3 blue/green Chromis,
1 diamond watchman goby (added him a month ago), and 1 small
pistol shrimp -- and our latest addition, a yellow tang, is the
reason for this email.
First off, I did not QT (yes, I know, this is the risk I take,
especially with tangs). I got him 4 days ago from my LFS. Drip
and temp acclimated for 2 hours, and he's been eating clipped
algae sheets, Mysis, Spirulina, anything I put in there. He's
a small one.
Today, I noticed black splinter looking things...
this is why I'm emailing. I cannot get a picture -- he's
<You need to practice>
It was suggested in a forum that it could be black ich. There are
only 2 or 3 pictures I've seen (one is that yellow tang image
in your site and one is black ich on a hippo tang),...the problem
is, the ones on my tang don't look like spots...they
literally look like tiny splinters of wood. Could that be the
start of black ich?
<Mmm, no... perhaps these are monogenetic Trematodes, maybe
I also noticed a very light gash along his side. I'm thinking
it could have happened while trying to scratch himself on the
rocks to get rid of the parasites?
The little "splinters" look like the gash, except
they're poking out a bit....ironically, as I write this,
I'm wondering now if this could be the start of WHITE
ich...hrm..so if it is white ich, would the scratching start
before the white spots show up?
Ok, so if this is black ich, how long before it turns into the
spots that I see on the fish? Like, what comes first -- the
itching or the spots?
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/blkichsympf.htm
and the linked files above>
Some observations about his behavior:
- I see him brushing the sand and sometimes the rock with his
pelvic fins, like he's just brushing the areas. But I could
interpret them as rubbing because of the parasites.
- When I first got him, he paced up and down the tank, pressing
himself against the glass..but I attributed it to just adjustment
Upon some research on products, I settled on getting Seachem
Paraguard. I even spoke to a representative. It's not copper
or formalin based.
It's invert safe, but with caution -- she suggested a partial
dose at first to get them used to it. Since I'm fowlr, I will
just take out the shrimp, cuc, and the rock w/ the mushrooms and
put them in a qt tank. I will treat the main tank.
<I would not do this>
I'm assuming the eggs have been dropped and in the substrate
at this point, so I want to kill them there, too. The rep and my
lfs did warn that with any meds, it will cause stress, so I'm
aware that I might have some casualties, but I'm hoping it
turns out well. Any opinions you might have with this product are
welcome (so far, majority of the reviews raved about this
<People have got to learn... as in understand, that anyone
writing anything on the Net doesn't make it so...>
As always, thanks for your time, crew! You guys are awesome!
<Is there a chance you have access to a low power microscope?
Please search WWM re such use. Bob Fenner>
Re: I'm not 100% sure this is black ich.... --
Please forward to Bob Fenner.
I took what you said into advisement. Are Trematodes and
parasitic Turbellarian similar?.
<Mmm, yes... both groups are part of the Flatworms, phylum
Platyhelminthes, and all that this implies... similar morphology,
I sat patiently, and managed to get a decent shot of the black
<Mmm, this does look like Paravortex>
I saw what might be a possible start of HLLE as well.
<Mmmm, not really... perhaps some collecting/shipping
damage... should heal up w/ "good care">
He is still eating heartily (I've seen him many times
munching on algae sheets, and he eats anything I put in the
<A very good sign>
He's also got jerky movements -- shaking his head/body to the
right (the opposite side where the black spots are), as if trying
to dislodge something.
I'm guessing that since he's eating, the ich (if he has
it) and hlle might have gone away on its own under normal
circumstances. But because of that black parasite looking thing,
it will just weaken him, so he might not be able to fight the
ich, correct? That guess made, I will go ahead and do a
freshwater dip and qt him .
<Good... this is really all that is necessary to remove the
The descriptions I saw on WetWeb seem complicated for the
dips....I've also seen some instructions to literally take
rodi, make it the same temp as the main tank, and just put the
fish in for a few minutes. Of course WetWeb says the dip is a
"specially prepared solution". But can it be literally
just tank-temp rodi?
<Sorry... didn't see this... regular tap/freshwater, pH
adjusted is best>
You mentioned Glutaraldehyde as being the active ingredient in
Seachem Paraguard...so that ingredient should hopefully aid in
killing whatever parasite is on the tang?
<Mmm, not if this is a worm, not really>
I'm thinking he has ich, too...it's just not
<? Not likely>reviews I've read claim it worked on
their fish's ich, as well.
Thanks in advance!
Re: Brown powder tang... Protozoan... all fishes
dead... what next? 3/16/10
Well I read many articles on WWM and I separated the Brown powder tang
from the main tank. unfortunately he died two days later, and I guess
he infested the whole tang so now all my fish died. What can I do
I really love the hobby since am a marine lover but I feel down right
I don't know what to do next? should I do a water change? if yes
<... you're faced with basically two choices... to just wait,
allow the system to "go fallow" (read here:
or bleach it and have it re-cycle, add some new LR to repopulate
and how will I know when the disease is completely gone?
<In the first choice, a matter of guesswork>
all my dish died the same way trying to swim towards the surface.
Please help me.
<... Keep reading for now... Bob Fenner>
Question Regarding Ich and Brooklynella
I have read your site for months before and after getting my first
saltwater tank. And I'll start by saying I knew I should have set
up a QT tank and did not.
<If only we had a dollar for every time we've heard/read that
Rest assured that will never happen again. I have a 20gallon QT running
now, but it's a little too late. I've read all the links for
Ich and various treatments, etc. As well as detailed info on each fish
I have. I hope its okay to email you as I'm truly lost as to which
option is my best bet right now.
Display 90 gallon with Tidepool II Sump. UV sterilizer,
<Depending on the med./s used, this may need to be turned
Bought system as an established tank with no fish left (they had a fire
and lost electricity at some point) Moved 100 pounds of live rock, 60%
of water. Replaced dirty corral
substrate with 4 inch live sand bed. Cycle was short to non existent,
no ammonia detected, nitrate spiked to 60, but controlled with water
changes and adding skimmer. Currently Ammonia, 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates
5-10. Tank has been up 3 months, stocked fish slowly, but no QT. Was
selective about where I got fish, but obviously not enough.
2 Blue tailed damsels (unaffected until yesterday, now declining
2 Ocellaris clowns (now deceased)
2 black ocellaris clowns (1 deceased, 1 struggling in formalin (Rid Ich
+ QT tank) All clowns were tank raised juveniles.
1 Pink spotted goby ("appears" unaffected)
1 3" Blue tang (The fish I've always wanted and why I got the
Infested with ICH for 10 days.
Cleaner shrimp who doesn't clean (bought 2 one died on
Current one just molted today
Had bought a neon goby which did a great job but it succumbed to Ich
within days. (I feel terribly for having tried this, desperation
causing stupid decisions)
Less than two weeks after adding the blue tang, I saw what I thought
was ich, very hard to see, my husband said I was imagining it-NOT)
Raised tank temp to 81, added UV sterilizer, added garlic. Tried Kick
Ich (A WASTE OF
TIME AND MONEY- I knew it was too good to be true, but I was praying it
<Ah, yes... see WWM re my unrelenting campaign against this and
other worthless non-remedies>
No other fish showed signs until yesterday am when the clowns looked
terrible. But they don't have spots, more strings, and looks like
its peeling. So I was guessing Brooklynella.
I lost 1 almost immediately. I did prepare a PH adjusted freshwater
bath, which it lived through, but died within the hour. I then
scrambled to go buy a QT tank, and decide between copper and
Drove 2 hours to get formalin, could only get Rid Ich + (formalin and
Mal Green) I chose this as I thought it might save the clowns if it was
Brook, and might also cure the tangs ICH. One clown was almost dead by
the time I
got home, passed away shortly after moving to the new tank. I moved the
clowns and the tang. The tang FREAKED out, swam frantically and then
laid on the bottom and appeared to not be able to swim.
I was hoping she was just hiding, I left her there for 4 hours when in
the middle of the night I couldn't stand it as I thought she was
dying from the formalin and moved her back to the DT. In the DT she
slept in "her" rock, and was out swimming this am. She'll
eat anything except the Metronidazole soaked food I made. I typically
feed frozen Mysis, vitamin packed brine, Cyclop-eeze, marine cuisine
and Formula 1 and 2 flakes.
So I'm left with one small clown in the QT tank with the one dose
of Rid Ich + from last night, and the others in my DT. I'm not sure
if I should do the second dose of formalin and put the tang back in,
I'm guessing NOT.
<How will you treat this fish otherwise?>
Or if I should change the water (completely, partially, use new or
system (infected) water) and try copper or Hypo.
<I'd use a Quinine compound... CP... Maybe "start
over" treatment wise, dip/bath the fish enroute to the treatment
tank... in pH-adjusted freshwater... with formalin alone if you had
Is it too stressful to try copper at this point for the clown (if it
pulls through) or the tang who was in the formalin for 4 hours last
<I don't like/use copper on Clownfishes or Acanthuroids (the
suborder that includes Tangs, Rabbitfishes and more)... is too toxic to
Should I just leave her in my DT for a couple days to de-stress, or is
that going to kill her too?
<Too likely to die there due to whatever the protozoan
I know hypo is not 100%, but would it be safer at this point?
<See my statement above... and read here on WWM:
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/crypttangsf4.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndiscrypt.htm>
I'll leave the goby in the DT if I do copper and then pull him into
QT after copper for the fallow period for my tank... or would he still
be carrying ich and reinfect the tang?
How do you think he'll do in the QT environment. I would really
love to save my tang, but I'm afraid to make the choice on what to
do. I haven't slept the past two nights, and I'm truly at a
loss on what to do.
<Move all fishes>
I apologize for the rambling, and would humbly ask for some help. I
will obviously be letting my tank go fallow, and will religiously QT
from this day forward.
Thanks for any advice, Pam
<Do write back after reading... and this soon... should you have any
further questions, want clarification. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question Regarding Ich and Brooklynella
Thanks so much for the reply. I didn't truly expect a response. I
hate to sound like everyone of the emails I've read on your site,
but here goes.
I'm really hating the thought of moving my tang and goby to the
bare bottom small QT.
<Not quarantine, really... treatment>
I've read some accounts of using the Crypto Cure - Quinine Sulfate
in the display tank. If I moved half my rock, my snails, and my shrimp
to QT could I treat my display tank with QS?
<You could... but this isn't the proscribed SOP I'd go
I'm going to be out of town next week for work (my husband will be
here, but he's not going to be thrilled if I ask him to do daily
water changes and monitor ammonia in my non-cycled QT). My live rock
has little live growth at this point anyhow (was pretty much bare when
I got it with the tank, now has some small sponge growth and a little
green algae). How dangerous would this be?
My main concern is saving the tang, without risking ammonia spikes in
QT when I'm not here... Does QS wipe out the biologic filter (I run
a Biowheel with the rock and sand...)
<Very rarely do/es Quinine/s disrupt nitrification... if any effect,
this is indirect>
I can't get the QS today, can order it overnighted from National
Fish Pharmacy for delivery tomorrow am...Is that okay?
The only thing I could start today would be hypo, but I assume the
shift I could make in 24 hours wouldn't offer much relief
<Not worth the stress IMO... and this can very easily kill off
beneficial microbes/biological filtration>
Also it looks like my lights should be OFF during treatment with QS? Is
ambient room light okay?
<Yes and yes>
Thanks again for the response, and please don't take my asking
about treating the display as disrespect for your opinion. I'm just
really worried about not being here to oversee the QT.
<I understand. BobF>
Thanks, Pam Speck
Re: Question Regarding Ich and Brooklynella
Thank you so much for your assistance. I will write back with an
Thanks again, Pam
<Real good. BobF>
Re: Question Regarding Ich and Brooklynella
On a much less urgent note, and please don't feel you have to
respond, as I'm sure you have tons of email to look at.
1) I'm wondering how long to wait before I consider getting another
clown fish (the struggling survivor in the hospital tank did not make
it). I'm pretty certain it was Brooklynella, it looked nothing like
the ich on the tang, and was so fast, and obviously deadly. If I
understand correctly its possible my damsels can host the disease, thus
keeping it in my tank?
<Yes, this is so>
Any chance the QS will take care of that too?
<Yes... Please see WWM re this Ciliate>
(I'm sure that's too easy to hope for!) If I waited 6 months
could I put clowns back in my tank (after QT of course?) Or is it too
risky to even consider putting clowns back in unless the damsels are
gone for awhile first?
<Less risky as time goes by>
2) Eventually I would like to add a trio of McCosker's Flasher
I've seen some info in the FAQ's that QT is questionable on
these type of fish. What would your suggestion be, given that my tank
is infested. Will treat with QS and wait at least a couple months
before I start looking at additions. (I will be QTing every other fish
I decide to add, just wasn't sure with the FAQ's on these if I
should on the flasher wrasse's or not)
<This interval should prove fine>
Thanks again, and I commend you and the rest of the "crew" on
providing such a wonderful resource for those trying to learn about the
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Parasite Problems/Snake Oil Remedies --
<Hello Ashley! JustinN here>
I have a problem in my tank and I believe it is related to parasites,
but I'm not sure what to do!
<Lets see if we can help!>
I purchased a new Ocellaris clown a week ago from my LFS. I do not
quarantine as I don't have the space for another tank (I know you
will hate that!).
<You are correct, and I think you also now see the benefit of a
quarantine configuration. Please do consider setting one up in the
future -- remember, the tank doesn't have to run all the time, only
when you're quarantining new purchases. If you quarantined fish, I
bet we wouldn't be chatting now!
A few days later I noticed it had "clownfish disease" (or so
my LFS owner thought at least).
<I assume that Velvet or Brooklynella are the 'clownfish
disease' that is being referred to here -- is possible, not
I did a 5 minute freshwater dip and put him back in the tank. He looked
mostly better, but a few days after that my Purple Firefish died
It had one small white spot (about 1/2 cm or so in diameter) but no
other obvious signs of distress or disease. I also noticed that my
Banggai Cardinalfish had developed what appears to be fin rot. His fins
are smaller, the base of each fin is red, and some are covered in a
cloudy white film, one is even "glued" to his body by this
film. The clown still had one area of missing scales but looked better
<Sounds like a toxic water condition to me -- are you testing your
tank regularly on your own?>
My LFS owner recommended I treat with Ruby Reef's Rally, but this
is the third day of treatment and I see no improvement.
<And you will likely not see any improvement -- this
'medication' is akin to snake oil, a hoax... have a read
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/homeopathfaqs.htm and here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/medfaqs2.htm -- search for "Ruby Reef
Rally" within these pages for general consensus of these
The Cardinalfish is only getting worse. Just prior to this outbreak I
added a Pulsing Xenia Coral. It looked perky the first day, but it fell
into a crack and I had to gently pull it out by the stalk as I could
not get to the small rock it was on (after this I glued it to a bigger
<Not likely a problem, I have done this before without deleterious
effects to Xenia sp.>
Since doing that and adding the Rally treatment the Xenia has been
droopy, is not pulsing, and is turning a dark brown color at the
<The Rally is the problem -- Stephen Pro did a study investigating
Rally, and other similar 'cure-all' medications, and found that
within a few days, a tank treated with Rally would have its Xenia sp.
corals melt away into nothing -- very similar as to when copper is
added to a reef tank.>
I have a 38 gallon tank with a bunch of live rock, a Galaxy coral,
Frogspawn coral, many purple mushrooms, a Monti plate coral, 1 Blue
Star Leopard Wrasse, 2 Ocellaris clowns, 1 Banggai Cardinalfish, 1
Mandarin Goby, 1 Skunk Cleaner shrimp, 1 Harlequin shrimp, 1 Sally
Lightfoot crab, several blue-leg hermits, and a bunch of different
snails. I use RO water from my LFS that they mix with aquarium salt and
I do water changed bi-weekly so tank parameters are always normal.
<Are you testing these parameters, verifying their normalness?
Please do provide actual figures -- much easier to provide
What can I do for the Xenia and the Cardinalfish? Should I continue
treating with Rally, try something different, or just let it be? I am
leaving town tomorrow night for the Thanksgiving holiday (but will
return Thanksgiving night). Please help!
<Stop treating with the Rally post haste, and add some activated
carbon and/or Poly-Filter to remove the excess medication from your
water -- your Xenia may not last much longer if you don't. Beyond
this, I would test your water and verify where your parameters
currently sit -- the issues sound most like toxic water conditions to
me... please do provide further substantial details so we may paint a
better picture here. Good luck!