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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis Causes/Etiologies  

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

Related FAQs: Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Hyposalinity & Ich, &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3, Quarantine 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7Quarantine 8Quarantine 9Quarantine 10Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantining Invertebrates

Introduction... through new stock, anything wet and infested... and established sub-clinical infestations. There are specific-pathogen free systems, organisms

That being stated, the resting stages of Crypt can encyst, live for months w/o fish hosts...

The real deal is to do your best to secure good specimens, quarantine and/or at least dip/bath them, provide them with good care, environment... and avoid excessive STRESS.

Cryptocaryon Tomonts on Invertebrates?     3/18/14
Hello all!
Quick question: Is it possible for skunk cleaner shrimp or Seastars purchased from the LFS to have Cryptocaryon irritans cysts on them?
<Mmm; yes. Actually "anything wet" can be a vector>
I'm planning on a quarantine procedure, but just trying to weigh the benefits of 2 months of quarantine for these animals and the stress placed on them. I know everything with a hard surface (hermit crabs, emerald crabs, live rock, corals) should go through 2 months of QT before adding it to my tank, since tomonts could be on the hard surface. But what about Seastars and shrimp?
Little Bri
<A couple weeks isolation should eliminate/reduce the potency here. Bob Fenner>
RE: Cryptocaryon Tomonts on Invertebrates?

Quarantine will be for 2 weeks then. Thanks!

Marine Ich vulnerability/different strains     5/1/13
Hi again Bob,
Hope you are well! I have a question regarding susceptibility of tangs and variations of Ich pathogens.
<Ahh! A very interesting topic>
I recently bought an Achilles tang which I know are susceptible to Ich, however he had been in a qt tank at my lfs for 8 weeks which also runs a copper treatment throughout the system.
 My own DT stock showed no signs of Ich, however I am not assuming the pathogen isn't present but there is an immunity within the fish stock already there?
<All, and always to a degree>
 However, since the introduction of the Achilles he has now showing Ich.
This has then resulted in my own stock showing to a lesser extent, <Not uncommon... could be the Crypt was/is resident in your system (very common)>
Could this be due to a strain he is not immune to within my system?
<To a (lesser) possibility/likelihood; yes>
 Is the Ich pathogen somewhat like the common cold in that it can mutate from one fish to another?
<Again; an interesting speculation. I don't know, but have read such mumbling in scientific papers>
So could a previously Ich free fish which is introduced as Ich free, to a system which has Ich free stocks, develop Ich from an ever present strain, to which existing stocks are immune, mutate said strain, thus causing existing stocks to become susceptible and show signs?
<This I would/will answer w/ a resounding affirmative: Yes; have observed MANY times>
Would the pathogen be a close enough mutation that good water and quality food would overcome said infection or would hypo be needed?
<I strongly believe that hyposalinity is strongly over-hyped; that it does more harm than good in many/most cases...>
 All stock is showing a healthy appetite. I have read the above which I hope makes sense!
<Some confusing change in tense in the fourth sentence; but no worries. I know what you're getting at>
Highest regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Chiller temps; poss. role in SW dis.      2/8/13
Hi guys Tim butler here, I searched wwm but didn't see any topics similar to mine.... That could be a bad sign.
So the tank is a 350 gallon, running for 3-4 years now, with a mildly oversized skimmer sized, running 75w uv, carbon, PhosBan, Purigen reactors, 75 gal sump etc etc, and a chiller rated at 2k liters,
salinity is 1.025
Ph 8.2
Nh3 0
No2 0
No3 10-15ppm
Po4 1-2ppm
<High, but likely ok>
Here's the issue with that all out of the way, I recently installed and began running the chiller, previous water temp was 31.5, I live in Thailand and temps range from 39-30 all year round. Thus the addition of the chiller, was super excited to get the temps down for happier fishes.. So I slowly began dropping the tank to 26 degrees over a 2 week time period, one degree at a time. I dropped the temp to 26 and went out of town for 2 days, got back home to a disaster, 3 Heniochus butterflies, 1 show size grey angel, a small v tail grouper, all dead... My golden puffer, purple tang, and hippo tang all coated w Ich in a 48 hr time period... So I slowly raised the temp back to 31 and Ich gone in 48 hours. Is it possible I dropped the temp too fast or went to cold w these guys, could I have "awoken" something that was inactive at the higher temps, or is it just a coincidence that this happened w fish
<Likely the temp. drop was a major influence here>
I've had for a few years and would have had a outbreak regardless of the chiller... I know it's counter intuitive but I'm a bit nervous w dropping the temps again. I'm thinking about going super slowly w the temp reduction like a degree a week maybe?
<Worth trying>
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time,
Tim butler
<Please do report back your further experiences here. Bob Fenner>

Transfer of Fish After Marine Ich    9/14/12
Hello WWM Crew,
Recently, my 65 gallon reef aquarium encountered marine ich after my tank sprung a leak!
<Any source of stress might "bring on" such infestation/s in a sub-clinically infested system>
Two out of the five fish in the tank acquired ich and died. I treated the tank with Vertonex,
<This is Malachite Green and what?>
but it was to no avail. However, my Ocellaris Clownfish, Bicolour Blenny and Banggai Cardinalfish showed no signs of ich and survived. It has been about two months since the outbreak and the fish are healthy and still showing no signs of ich. I am about to downgrade my system in to a 30 gallon aquarium and I was wondering if the fish could contract the ich after the stress of the move.
<Likely they still have Crypt... and/so yes; the Protozoan could re-evidence itself given conditions more favorable to it, less so to its hosts>
I plan on using the live rock and sand which are currently in the display.
Thank you for all the help you have given me!
<Hopefully whatever "immunity" your present fishes have "acquired" will see them through this move and beyond. I would not add more fishes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and as much of the linked files above as it takes... Re. Bob Fenner>

BTA's and Ick   5/15/11
Greetings WWM,
This is the first time I've felt the need to email you. The site is absolutely fantastic as I'm a newcomer to the hobby of being a saltwater newcomer. I have been reading quite a bit on wet web media, what a jewel it is!
<Thank you>
Brief background: I have a small 32 gallon tank I use as a QT tank.
However I have not brought any new fish in for some time and was using it as a safe house for two small True Perculas and one black and white Ocellaris. I also added from my DT, two small juvenile RBTA's for the fish to be with.
I did something I'll not do again, I brought in a Powder Blue Tang (it was a very gentle fish).
<Very susceptible... to...>
It developed Ick and went the way as many Tangs have. I am now "Tang-Shy" and will not be working with this species for some time if ever. To be honest I did not read wet web media regarding "Powder Blue Tangs" and the propensity they have for being very hard to keep. I've learned a lesson I'll not soon forget.
<I sense this>
I'm going to start treatment in the QT and need to know if anemones carry Ick or other forms of parasitic disease that I need to worry about.
<They and anything else "wet" can transmit this external parasite>
I'd like (I need to) remove them and place them back in my main display tank for the duration of the treatment. I have not been able to find anything solid regarding this type of cnidarians and thus have aired on the side of caution placing them back into my main display. I'm most concerned that they take in system water to inflate, but do the parasites that cause saltwater outbreaks get inside of them and then get flushed out?
<The intermediates can settle on most anything... typically "on the bottom"; hence some treatment moda call for daily siphoning>
Or do they carry these parasites on the outer surface of their bodies?
<This latter mostly>
Any information would be very helpful.
<Sorry for the delay in responding, am out presently (at the Bay to Breakers run). Bob Fenner>
Re: BTA's and Ick: Sender's Response    5/15/11

Mr. Fenner,
Thank you for your fast response over the weekend. It's truly an honor to receive help from the one and only "Bob Fenner". After reading your response
to my question regarding BTA's I need a bit of simplified clarification.
You stated that anything "wet" can be a host
<Sorry for the misstatement (have been running and drinking too much this wknd; Not a host, but a vector... a carrier, though providing no nutrition; not harmed by the parasite, but simply functioning as a transport>
to some of the more common saltwater parasites. In regards to an anemone, when you wrote " The intermediates can settle on most anything... typically "on the bottom"; hence some treatment mode call for daily siphoning"
I take it that you are referring to the individual attacking cells
<Mmm, no. To the reproductive units and resting stages. Please see WWM, the rest of the Net, books re life histories of common marine parasites>
and they can and do attach to the anemone's foot. I also am understanding that you suggest that having the parasite enter the anemone's tentacles is rare, but can still happen?
<The body cavity, coelom, of Actinarians is often quite open to whatever is in the water>
If this is the case, then what is the correct way to reestablish them into a display tank where a fish or group has been subjected or infected with Saltwater Ich or any other parasite such as Crypt or White-Spot or Velvet.
<Largely to simply leave such possible/potential sources in a setting sans fish hosts for weeks. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fallowtkfaqs.htm
These BTA's look and act healthy. They eat like little pigs! Since I can't keep them in the QT during any chemical treatment, can I just place them back into the display tank?
<Mmm, yes... IF there are no fishes that they might transmit issues to from the QT>
Is there a duration of time to wait? Is there a dip or bath that can be suggested?
<The former yes, the latter no>
Thank you again Mr. Fenner for your expertise in this matter.
<Am glad to share what I know with you. BobF>

magical Whitespot   1/2/11
Hi Crew.
Just a quick question if I may?
<Sure; you just did>
I have a large tank which has been up and running with no major problems, for about 3 years.
I inhabit this tank with various corals, fish and inverts with no new additions for the last 8-12 months. All residents were quarantined for 6 weeks and no-one has shown any signs of illness before now.
I had a pair of Mandarins, one of which, decided it was bored of his female friend and decided to kill her. I didn't retrieve the body and as a result, had an Ammonia spike, which I put down to the death.
Over the next couple of days I undertook large water changes but now all of my fish have been infected with Ick.
I have removed all of the fish to QT (which was no easy task) and treating whilst letting my tank go fallow for 8 weeks.
For 2 years I have noticed no signs of Ick. I followed QT procedures and saw no signs of infection on any fish. I feed frozen and flake food so have not introduced the Ick with live foods.
Finally my question.
Has the Ick been in the tank all this time without raising its ugly head?
<Likely so; yes>
If so, how can I make sure that reintroduction will not happen if I decide to add anymore livestock I the future, obviously QT and monitoring didn't work?
<Mmm, define "work"... I'd say/write "yes" in that you and your fishes have not suffered a Cryptocaryon "outbreak" for the stated three years. Did this procedure outright exclude the parasite? Obviously not>
Will the 8 weeks fallow period rid me of the parasite, or is there a chance it may survive?
<There is a smaller and smaller chance w/ the extension of time... but by this means, never zero>
Everything I have read says that this shouldn't have happened as everything was done by the book.
<Other reading will show/state otherwise>
Thanks for all the knowledge I have gained from your site over the years and for any additional info that you can give me. Keep up the excellent work, we need you.
<Glad to share! Bob Fenner>

Re: re: Raccoon Butterfly cleaning, Crypt presence/omni?   12/6/10
Hahahaha! That's too funny. Bob, while I have you....am I reading the literature correctly that Ich really is present in all systems?
<Some folks believe so. I do not... though it is likely present in a majority, though non-symptomatic in most>
Basically from what I gather, its just a matter of it getting out of hand and uncontrollable based on the status of the fish's immune system.
Just want to make sure I am understanding correctly with all those "big" words.
<Welcome. B>
Re: re: Raccoon Butterfly cleaning, Omni/present Crypt  -- 12/08/10

Hey Bob, so if Ich is indeed present in majority of tanks, does that mean that when the fish resist it (with high immunity) they will not count as a host for the parasite and it will continue through its life cycle and die
<More likely that a "low grade", low presence is extant... Not enough to irritate the hosts show symptoms>
Not sure how to get it out of my tank without a fallow period or meds. All of my fish yawn a lot and on occasion itch themselves (not often though).
<Natural behavior; not necessarily indicative of infestation>
They just swim as if something is bothering them (no spots).
<Mmm, you may benefit from reading here:
and the linked files above.>
There are micro bubbles in the water on occasion and wasn't sure if that could do it. Your input on this matter would be appreciated....again lol.
Thank you
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: re: Raccoon Butterfly cleaning
Hey, I didn't understand the first reply in my email from you. You state:
"Not enough the hosts show symptoms....". Not quite sure what that means.
<... the infestation bioload is insufficient to produce macroscopic
symptomology... Maybe the word "that" between enough and the would make more sense. B>
Live Rock and Ich 6/9/10
Is it possible/likely to bring ich or other fish parasites or diseases into a tank via freshly collected liverock, live sand, or ocean water?
<Is possible, somewhat likely.>

Re Live Rock and Ich 6/24/10
Okay, so I didn't take your advice and you were right...! Although it is also possible as I have had an ich outbreak in the past that I thought was successfully eradicated (Cupramine for 3 weeks + fallow display for 6+ weeks) but might have come back.
<Is possible.>
I have a 100 gallon essentially FOWLR (regal tang, Koran angel, long nose and pebbled b-fly, flame angel, various crabs, sea Cuke, feather dusters, and very diverse micro-stuff) with 2 inch sand bottom and liverock, very good circulation and powerful skimmer. I am in a bit of a different situation in that I have access to Tidepools, et cetera and want to be able to move stuff into and out of this tank.
<Back into the wild? If so, do not do this unless EVERYTHING is collected local and never exposed to anything that is wet from a store.>
To add a bit of complexity, as I know that the preferred solution is QT with copper + fallow display, I have noticed tiny fish that can come into the tank on liverock (and my sons net them in Tidepools) so I am not very confident that I would even be able to remove all the fish from the tank (have no idea how many of these little buggers I have in there).
What are my options to add UV and/or ozone to systematically keep ich in check?
<Would be of limited effectiveness.>
Or any other suggestions would be welcome. Thanks guys!
<One of the Quinine drugs may work here, but will kill off snails and perhaps the crabs. See here for more
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm . Otherwise it is just a matter of optimum conditions and hope the fish's immune system can control the infections.>

Ich "living" in live rock?, 2/4/10
Please keep up the stellar work, which we hobbyists have come to rely upon.
<Will do.>
After a widespread ich outbreak, I let my 125-gallon display tank go fallow. After this, I took several pieces of live rock from the DT to seed a quarantine tank (since then I have learned to keep sponges in my sump for this purpose).
<Much better idea.>
Over the ensuing few weeks, the quarantined fish developed ich and died. My question is, what, if anything do I need to do to return the live rock to my DT without fear that ich may be living in the rock anxiously waiting to infest my DT again?
Thank you,
<Allowing it to remain in a fishless system for 6 weeks should clear it of any ich parasites.>

Cross contamination, 11/17/09
Just into the 9th day of quarantine of my yellow tang, I had reserved him 3 weeks prior at the LFS he was kept in a system no copper just UV.
Anyway 2 days ago I fished some uneaten Nori out of QT tank with a small net I use for that purpose, then not thinking I fished some other debris out of display tank with same net, what are the chance I could have spread something ie, whitespot ?
Best regards,
<The chances are quite slim, but it is technically possible. I would not worry about it too much.>

Treating live rock for possible ich infestation  10/25/09
Good evening! And my wife thanks you for sucking-up hours of my life weekly as I devour your excellent website!
<You're both certainly welcome~!>
Bet you get that one a lot. I've had a raccoon BF and Naso Tang in 20g quarantine for two days with a large piece of live rock ( plus filter, heater, plastic tubing, etc...). They are certainly enjoying the buffet!
Problem is, I believe the BF fish is coming down with ich. I'll medicate as last resort. I finally beat ich after 3 attempts and no loss of fish in my main tank, so I am an "old" pro, unfortunately, at this. Question is, I
want to save my live rock and put it back in the display tank (won't use LR next time in QT, learned my lesson!).
<Mmm... is often a useful addition...>
If i soak it in fresh water for say 24 hours will this kill most if not all of any crypt living in rock?
<Yes, along with most of the live part of the rock... I'd just let it go fallow, in place, sans fish for weeks...>
The outbreak seems to be just starting as the fish only has a few spots on tail. I used Methylene Blue in a 10 min. fresh water dip after acclimating the fish when I brought them home two days ago. Thanks for your help and keep up the excellent work. I truly enjoy reading the articles and FAQ's daily. BTW, I have had good luck with copper safe in treating ich, what would you recommend for the BF fish and Naso should medicating become necessary?
<I would not... both species tend toward the "too-sensitive" end of the spectrum in terms of copper touchiness... Quinine compounds would be my first materia medica choice here... But... I don't think you'll need any such treatment here. Bob Fenner>

Ich and inverts? 6/17/08 Morning Crew :D <Hello> This may sound like a strange question, but is it possible to introduce Ich (or any other parasite/disease) into a reef tank on invertebrates such as clams, shrimp or corals? <Oh yes.> Knowing how susceptible these are to copper I'm assuming a QT would be used here, in which case what would the procedure be, i.e. would the usual 4-5 week quarantine period be enough or too much? <Would be just about right, as long as you do not QT it with fish of course.> What signs would you need to look for? <Nothing you can see really, just time for the potential parasites to complete a lifecycle without fish.> Many thanks again for all your help and for such a great resource, Carolyn <Welcome> <Chris>

Aquarium Store dismay, Airborne Crypt? Most of what we send you are questions, but I like to relay interesting experiences as well, and this one again caused some dismay. I know without a doubt that it is well covered in the materials posted on your website, but I know there are many like me who read the daily FAQ, and I can't see any harm with reaffirming what we know to those that might read it. I was in a local Houston store, a very large one, who is dedicated solely to aquariums. I have long wanted to keep an Atlantic Blue Tang, and they had one in stock, a juvi, and I studied it long and hard. I did not purchase the fish due to possible overstocking and compatibility issues, but I did stare at it for quite a while. I began discussing the possibility of purchase and asked the associate about whether or not she thought it was a good idea to FW dip a tang prior to putting it in the QT tank and whether or not tangs can handle the stress of a FW dip ok (oh, and please give me your opinion on that, I won't take their opinion, you're about to read why.) She proceeded to tell me that ick was ever present, and is brought on by stress. It is like the cold virus, she said. always around, just that some fish are resistant to it and some are not. Just like how you might catch a cold and I might not. <A widely held notion> I disagreed with her, saying it's possible to have a sterile system and maintain it. Get this. she told me ick was airborne. AIRBORNE. <... ?!> It can get in your tank through the air. I really could not believe that I was hearing this. My question is, how can a successful store maintain this theory? <Note Thomas... it is NOT the store, but one individual> Obviously they have many resources and run successful set ups, provide advice to hundreds of people. The thought that it is airborne is ridiculous. but my understanding is that it is quite possible and even absolutely necessary that you eradicate the ick parasite from your tanks to maintain healthy livestock. <A matter of degree. There are many systems with resident parasite faunas> Why else would we look for healthy livestock, quarantine fish, etc. Where does this idea that ick is always present come from and why does it remain? <Likely a good part of this is derived/held over from an older idea re freshwater ich (Ichthyophthirius) which is much more often present in resistant resting stages. Bob Fenner> Thomas Roach

Saltwater Crypt 12/3/07 Hey Crew, <Hello> Thanks so much for the great website! A wealth of info here for sure! <Many years of collective knowledge here for sure.> I recently inherited a 3 1/2 inch copper banded butterfly from my LFS. Certainly not a fish I would have chosen, but I had a credit that was about to expire. I have a 55g FOWLR in my garage with approx 120 lbs of live rock infested with way too many Aiptasia anemones. No other fish are currently in the tank. I acclimated the fish and after a couple of days it started going to town eating the apaisia. I also noted that it had what looked to be a mild case of crypt (ich). <All too common.> The fish looked great and felt at home in this tank and I elected not to treat. The fish has done a wonderful job cleaning up the Aiptasia, nothing short of amazing. It has been a month now and the fish is showing no signs of disease. My worry is that I have a 200 gallon FOWLR in the house that has been a closed system for 2 years and doing great and I don't like the idea of having a potentially infested system in my house. <Be careful not cross-contaminate the 200 by using the same tools (nets and what have you) in both tanks.> The purpose of the 55g in my garage was for quarantine of shrimp and snails before addition to the main display. <Good> Because of the low bioload the 55 looks spectacular. <I bet.> Do fish in captive systems ever fight off crypt infestation without specific treatment? <Yes and no, they can develop a natural immunity to it, but I would not call that tank crypt free with this, the fish is probably still harboring a low level of parasites.> Do I need to set up a separate system to treat the copper band butterfly? <I would if you plan on moving it to the 200 or moving or using the 55 as a QT again.> Will the 55 g system pose a risk to my 200 g display, if say, after 2-3 months, without further action and no apparent sign of disease, I leave the copper band in the system and start using the 55 for quarantine of inverts? <Small chance but still possible ich could be transferred to the 200.> Am I asking too many questions? <Not at all.> Thanks and happy holidays, Jimmy <Welcome and good luck.> <Chris>

Crypt  11/4/07 Hello! <Hello Dave, Scott V. here.> I sent a couple of questions a few months ago but never heard back. Not sure if I was ignored (doubt it) or the message didn't get through for whatever reason (most probable), but would like to try again if I may. <Never ignored, lost in transit into internet limbo most likely.> New question; I am planning on transferring a pair of Yellow Watchman Gobies and one Orchid Dottyback from my 20 Gallon 'mini' reef that's about a year and a half old, to a recently set up 120 gallon tank. When I originally set up the original 20 gallon, I believe that it was ICH that killed a tiny Neon Goby that I also had. The remaining 3 fish may have had the occasional spot for a few weeks (not sure, it may have just been dirt!?). But since then, for over a year, have been (superficially at least) very healthy with no signs of disease. <Good, congratulations on the new set up.> Now, since these fish may theoretically have sub-clinical Cryptocaryon infestations, how do I avoid transferring the parasites into my new tank? Should I quarantine the fish with hypo-salinity for 2 weeks? I read on your site that Gobies do poorly in quarantine and in fact may be one of the few exceptions about quarantine. Is that the case? How would you handle this? Thanks very much, Dave <If your fish have showed no signs if infestation for over a year then I would just move them directly to your new tank. You have effectively quarantined them already for one full year. Have fun with your new system, thank you, Scott V.> Re: crypt 11/4/07 Hi Scott! <Hello Dave.> Thanks for your quick response; you effectively said what I was hoping to hear (less work for me...hurray!)!! <Good.> But I wonder, since marine Ich can technically infect fish without the visible spots, is it possible that my fish may have strong partial immunity and thus not show signs, yet still infest my new system? <There is no 100% guarantee, but I would feel comfortable in your situation. It can infest a fish showing no signs, but more likely to be resting in your system, if it is still there at all at this point. Immunity is not likely. The best thing I feel you can do at this point is to give your fish the best environment possible to keep them healthy. After quarantine, stability and water quality is the name of the game. > Just trying to be cautious, though perhaps I'm being a "piscine hypochondriac" (yes, I did just make that term up). Thanks again. Dave <I understand the apprehension; you care for your fish and want what is best for them. With this kind of husbandry your fish will do just fine. Your term could be used to describe many reef keepers, including myself. Happy reefing, Scott V. >

Is "Ich" always present in our aquaria? -- 10/30/2007 Hello Again, <Mark> Thank you for the feed back about my Queen Angel. I have another question for you about treating Marine ick. I have heard varying opinions about ick always being present in the aquarium and for that reason I was reconsidering my livestock. I have a Juv. Queen Angel a Juv. Niger Trigger and a Juv. Blue hippo Tang and a couple of green chromises. All the fish get along great. But I am reconsidering the Blue Hippo Tang because of it's reputation as an ick magnet. I am fond of it, but do not want to keep exposing my fish to ick. I just read an article ( _http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/marineich.html_ (http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/marineich.html) ) that suggests that you can completely eradicate ick from your aquarium if you leave the fish out for 6 weeks and successfully treat live stock with either hypo salinity or copper. Is this a proven theory and would that include " ick Magnets" like the blue hippo tang? <Mmm, well... there are specific pathogen free systems, yes> Also I am treating with Coppersafe and not hypo salinity, because my Queen Angel has Lymphocystis I'm eager to quite treatment with Coppersafe and add a sponge from the main display along with water changes to improve her environment. She has been in treatment for two weeks in a separate hospital tank from the other fish. Is two weeks too short of a duration to begin removing the copper from her tank and maintain her in a non medicated environment? <No... if the copper has been maintained at a physiological dose for this duration, it has done all the good it can/will. Further exposure is deleterious to the fish/es> Thank you again for your time, I trust your advice and would rather not add the Blue Hippo back if it's not possible to keep her without having my hospital tank up and running all the time. Mark (Queen Angel Dad) <It is hard to separate/eradicate many "successful" parasites from their hosts, and there are many instances of reservoir "waiting"... infested systems. But a SPF system, group of fishes is possible. My fave example is the culture facility of TMC's in Chorleyside... Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich... transference     9/11/07  Hi, I have tried to research this question myself, but I haven't found any info that rules it out. Is it possible to transfer ich from an infested tank to a new one by moving a piece of live rock or coral from a the ich tank to the new one? <yes - S.M.>

Another ich (crypt) question -- 07/23/07 Hi, Crew <Adam> Is there such a thing as a "super resistant" strain of crypt? <Indeed, yes> I know what you must be thinking. "I'll just send this guy a few links to archived articles about quarantine tanks, hospital tanks, copper, formalin, hyposalinity, parasite life cycles, raised tank temperatures, cross contamination between tanks, and tell him to keep reading". As you may have guessed, I've done my studying. <Good, me too> I have a 180g reef that's doing beautifully. I have a second tank (125g FOWLR) that I set up six months ago. I'm a seasoned veteran of the ich wars, so I wasn't expecting any problems with the second tank. I've marched from one fix to the next, giving each treatment its specific time period (or more) of treatment. I'm considering tossing the surviving fish and tearing down the. I've only "stayed the course"  because of the huge amount of money I've thrown back this system. <I do understand this as well... These events can really "try ones soul"> Thanks, Allan <Maybe a go with Quinine? Bob Fenner>

Re: Another ich (crypt) question -- 07/23/07 Thank you for your quick reply. "Yes", wasn't the answer I was hoping for (super resistant crypt), but it does answer many questions. I've never considered quinine. I guess I'll be taking Bob's advice to most of the masses, "Keep reading". Thanks, Adam and Bob. Allan <Welcome my friend. BobF> Ich and Other Interesting Commentary   7/2/07 Dear Crew, <Andy> I have a question and some commentary. As you know, many LFSs run all fish tanks in parallel, meaning they all share the same water. Of my 4 LFSs, 3 do. I have already purchased one blue hippo tang from my favorite of those 3 that came down with ich, and I have to believe that at any given time, more than a few fish are swimming around with ich in its various stages at any one time. <Likely so> So my question (maybe rhetorical) is, given what I now know about ich, its life cycles, how hard it is to kill, etc., it seems to me that any fish (other than the species that are ich resistant) I buy has a very high (insert %) chance of bringing ich with it to my home (all the more reason to quarantine). <Yes... "too high a percentage" to suit me> As people in the "industry", do you agree? <Mmm, I suspect that amongst the approximate two dozen current Crew members that I am most of this description here (we're mostly hobbyists rather than "in the trade")... and/but I do agree> I guess it's just not economically or practically feasible to run a large tank system on a tank-by-tank basis. <This and other advantages... dilution of wastes et al.> Now the commentary. My tank has been running fallow for a little over 4 weeks because I was one of the many who was impatient and thought I didn't "really" need to quarantine. <Ah, yes... here comes the casual refrain...> I'm gearing up for a fish re-entry and purchased a pacific sailfin tang yesterday and am going about this the right way by quarantining it for at least 2 weeks. I have a 30g QT and I've learned that I can boost my bacteria levels and keep my QT water parameters good when I introduce a new fish by also adding a few lbs of cured reef rubble that my LFS sells for $3.99/lb. I figure that the rubble is cheap enough that if I need to treat the water, I can just remove the reef rubble before I add copper, etc. By reading the CMA, Reef Invertebrates, and WWM every day, I have learned so much--more in 5 months than I ever knew 20 years ago when I started (dropped the hobby when I went off to college and law school and then lived in a tiny brown stone for 9 years). So when I bought this fish yesterday, I asked the employee whether (i) they run the reef rubble tanks on the same line as the regular fish tanks (no) and (ii) they run a low dose copper in the reef rubble water (thus selling me oxymoronic dead live rock). The employee (probably an 17 year old high school student) looked at me for a minute and then said, "I don't think so, or, if we do, not as much as we should.". <Good reply> Now I know that the LFS doesn't pay its employees $15/hr, and I know (because I was one of them) that the employees are mostly "kids" or young adults who love the hobby and work while in school, etc., but I am really amazed that management of these places doesn't teach employees about basic husbandry issues so that they can advise clients at least on a low level. <Mmm... we could discuss this issue... for "quite" a while... Do you believe in something of "an/the invisible hand" in commerce/economies? I do, and sense that you and I are of like minds here... What "we" get is close or becoming usually "what we deserve"... i.e. are paying for in the "real world" (to distinguish this from arbitrarily funded activity like that of large bureaucracies, esp. governments and their over-plagues of civil servants/masters> There is so much more to service than being able to tell a client whether one fish will get along with another fish or what foods are good. I'll bet everyone, at some point, runs up against disease. <Yes... conscious or not> I guess the point of my commentary is, thank God there are resources like WWM out there. <Yowzah!> I stumbled upon your website by accident 6 months ago when preparing to restart the spending spree. Although I didn't *initially* follow all of the advice I read, and although I still read conflicting advice from expert to expert, this site (and the ability to ask questions) is invaluable to me personally and I just wanted you guys to know that. Andy Bulgin <Thank you my/our friend... Excelsior! BobF>

Aquarium Transfer Crypt questions - 06/27/07 Crew, Bob, you answered my last one, about transferring the 80 gallon tank occupants to the new 200 gallon. With much conversation with the Missus, we will be able to put up the 200 gallon in another spot, so I will be able to get it filled and somewhat stabilized before the transition. The goal at fish transfer is to move the FX5 to the new tank to move the bacteria with it, theoretically adding enough biofiltration to handle the new fish along with the wet/dry and skimmer, etc. As you know and have told me, my system has ich, we have been a month without any signs of it, and it appears one day on the dogface puffer. I had thought Sharks were not susceptible to ich, but reading the FAQ on sharks and Crypt there is a Q/A where a shark has it. Mine, thank heavens, does not. <Symptomatically> The Passer and the Yellow Tang and two firefish do not, either. I sat and studied them last night for an hour and the other fish show no inkling of it. (Garlic?) I gave the puffer a freshwater bath this morning to try and alleviate the guy. Obviously I do NOT want to move ich to the new tank. What I was thinking. I could treat this 80 gallon with copper after moving the shark, but how in the world to move him without taking ich with him??? <Have to be treated...> Even if I netted him into a bucket of water, is ich present in droplets, and wouldn't that be enough to start a new colony? <Yes> And, it's in the live rock, too, I'd imagine. Copper remains in live rock after treatment. I hate to ruin all that live rock. My main concerns, naturally, are the fish though. Anyway, we are picking up the 200 gallon on Friday, and I'm going to get substrate and salt this weekend to begin the process. As a side note, I wanted to mention how I cycled my 80 gallon initially. I filled it with the substrate and fresh water, and purchased 2 sailfin mollies. Over the course of a week or so, I added salt, gradually raising the salinity. The mollies converted to saltwater fish, and cycled the tank with no negative effects. They were pets for a year or two before they passed on. I don't know if you recommend this process, but it was fascinating. Thomas Roach <Read. BobF>

Live Rock and Ich Parasite 6/14/07 Hello crew, <Hello> I have Live rock that I pulled out of a marine tank that was infected with Ich. The rock has been in a black plastic garbage bag in a Styrofoam cooler for about 2 months. The rock is still damp. <Must have smelled lovely.> I would like to use this rock in a refugium. <Will need to be recured I think.> Now to my question. What are the chances that the Ich parasite is still alive but dormant on the still damp rock. <Very close to 0.> I do not want to reinfect anything with this rock. <Exceedingly unlikely.> Any ideas or suggestions on how to proceed would be fantastic. Thanks Harry <Your real concern here is the die-off on the rock, it will need to be recured outside of your aquarium, otherwise it will trash you water quality and drop a ton on nutrients into the system fueling algae and other undesirables. Ich should not be an issue here.> <Chris>

Marine Ich Issues 4/10/07 Background:  Changed system from a 50 gallon to 125 gallon.   Yellow tang Blue hippo Scooter blenny Yellow watchman Yellow tailed damsel. Snowflake eel Yellow striped maroon clown BTA <Ok> Situation:  Ich outbreak after changing pH levels (mistake made----too drastic of swing) Remedy:  QT fish, with copper treatment for 4 weeks.  Fish seem to be clean of ich, display tank left fallow for 4 weeks. <6 to 8 weeks is much better, 4 is the absolute minimum.> Reintroduction of fish into main display a week ago all seems good to go so far (no reoccurrence as of yet.) <Good> Question:  Purchase a new Sailfin Tang (4 inches).  Placed him in the QT tank which still has some levels of copper in it, all other parameters are ok  Ammonia 2.0 <Way too high.>  ppm and nitrite .25 ppm. <Also too high.> Copper 1.5 ppm (CopperSafe) (not great but ok.) <Needs to be at the manufacturers recommended level to be effective, otherwise just stressful.> Sailfin seems to have an outbreak of ich now in the QT.  (seems clean by daylight hours but many white posts in the evenings?) Possibly due to not the best water quality but with copper in the water it is tough to get water quality primo in the QT tank. <Daily or more water changes.>  At any rate, could the outbreak of ich on the sailfin be from a parasite from the LFS or could it be from the actual QT tank, that has been dosed with copper for over 5 weeks? <Most likely from the LFS, but depends on the copper level of the QT, if it falls too low then the ich can survive.> If it is from the QT tank, doesn't that put my newly introduced fish into the main display at risk?  <Would mean that, although I doubt that is the case.> Thanks for your thoughts, Scotty <Chris>

Damage control on sick fish... another crypt-ich tale...   - 02/21/07 Hi, I am embarrassed to have to tell this story leading to my troubles granted it is my own fault.  First thanks for the site and hours of reading over the years. <Welcome> I have a 75g reef with 30g sump/refugium with ER cs6-3 skimmer and lots of water circulation.  My inhabitants list, powder blue, <Really needs more room...> potter angle, starry sailfin blenny, diamond goby, scooter blenny, fairy wrasse, cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermints, cucumber, globe urchin, and fighting conch.  Tank has been running for 2 years now and my troubles started with I recently added the powder blue and fairy wrasse.  This is where I messed up... I didn't quarantine those fish before adding them to my display.  I got excited and listened to the LFS tell me it they quarantine all fish in the back and this fish was ready to go. <Am sure there is no (more) need to "whip you"... re... as it's obvious you're more than contrite... but vanishing few stores (though there are a few) can actually "say" this with certainty> My fault, I know better.  So, now the powder blue has ick.  It was eating Nori though, so I decided to try fresh chopped garlic on the food <...> and good water quality to try and let the fish's immune system win the battle. <......> So, after 2-3 cycles of ick on the powder blue the potters all of a sudden stopped eating and hid in a cave all the time.  There was no aggression between them, only some between the tang and sailfin.  After closer inspection the potter had lost it's color especially around its belly and the entire mid section of the fish was swollen to about 1.5x normal thickness.  Not just the gills, it looked like the whole belly.  The potters was thriving for the last 8 months, so it was a drastic change in a days time. <Yes... a shame... as this species is not usually easily kept, healthy> Amazingly that night the fish's color looked brighter and it did come out and feed. <Cycling...> The fish hid again after feeding and 15 later lost much of it's color again.  I kept thinking if it would eat the Selcon and garlic soaked food it might get better, but after two days of hiding and eating it has now stopped eating for 3 days.  The swollen belly look was gone after 2-3 days, but color still looks very faded.  Just tonight I found the potters with one cloudy slightly swollen eye.  Adding to the trouble is the sailfin blenny which is now biting its tail and swiping the sand, so it likely has ick also. <Yes... already has... just subclinically in terms of "dots"> Water parameters are all good Ammonia, NO2, NO3 all 0, 1.025 salinity, 8.2-8.4 pH. So, finally questions about my options...  I have a QT tank, but it isn't up and running.  So, my only hope on filtration would be to steal pieces of LR from the main tank and do many large water changes. <Uh, no>   So, what would I do in the QT? <Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarsysfiltrfaqs.htm and the linked files above...> I would choose hypo salinity for the ick, <I would NOT... won't effect a cure... will come "right back" given the mix of species related> but I don't know exactly what is wrong with the potters. <...... really?> I'm guessing he has ick (don't see any visible spots though), <Yes> but I don't know what else?  Bacterial? <Perhaps... but this is secondary...> I'm really concerned about putting three fish into the 20g long let alone the fact that the tank isn't even cycled. <Will have to monitor, change water... seek other remediation... and use a dip/bath immersion procedure enroute, careful chelated copper use...> Also, the aggression between the tang and blenny would be rather concentrated. <Likely lessened with crowding... but do add PVC or other chemically inert structure if the one tank is all you have> I'm concerned the potters might spread more disease in the display tank if I do nothing.  Any advice on the potters?   <Is posted...> Could I treat ick with hypo in the QT at the same time as any meds for the potters assuming them necessary?  What about the hypo and meds causing invertebrate die off on the LR and fouling the water, that might be worse then no LR!  Thanks for any advice on how to salvage my situation.  Regards, Andy <Read my friend... and soon... Penitence later. BobF>

Can Live Rock Bring In Ick?   2/20/07 I searched the WWM and could not find a definitive answer to this...can live rock bring in ick? I know that ick can be brought in with anything wet so how can you tell if it has it? Thanks <I think you answered your own question, my friend.. No way to tell if it has been infested though, there are no outward signs you will see.. Adhering to a strict quarantine regimen at all times, with all additions will serve to ease your mind here. -JustinN> Re: C. bispinosus swimming erratically, incomplete understanding of Crypt lifecycle...  2/19/07 Hello all, It is not that much later, but I have figured out what the issue was.  The C. bispinosa was in fact reacting to it's own reflection. <Ah, quite common> I have allowed algae to take over both sides of the glass, and he/she has since stopped the erratic swimming.  The fish did however, wind up with a slight Cryptocaryon infestation. <Mmm, perhaps "stress" related, eh?> I tried to catch it, much to no avail.  I really have no idea how people are capable of catching these guys in the wild. <Two nets...> I left the little guy in there, as I thought that I might kill it by over stressing it.  I left him with the hope that it might clear up on it's own.   <Uhh, no... it won't> I came into possession quite by accident, I might add of a Pseudocheilinus hexataenia.  Right about the time the C. bispinosa disappeared, so did the P. hexataenia.  When they both reappeared, a day later, the C. bispinosa was quite clear of any malaise. <Mmm... no my friend... the Crypt has simply "cycled off"... it is still there... will be back "with a proverbial vengeance"...> I wonder did the P. hexataenia clean him? <No> I have not seen any mention of them doing this in the wild, although I have heard of them doing it in aquaria.  Do you guys, and gals know of this?  At any rate, the H. crispa is doing fine, and has taken on a much more brown/tan color. <Ah, good>   So I guess that it is none the worse for wear after the brush with the S. elegans. A special thanks to Mr. Fenner on this one, Brandon R. Foster <Brandon, please do read re Crypt on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm scroll down... Scotter and I's articles re... So you know what you're up against. Bob Fenner>

Re: C. bispinosus swimming erratically, crypt   2/20/07 Hello all, <Brandon> I am sure that Mr. Fenner will read this so I am adding this for him.  Mr. Fenner I have in fact already read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm, as well as http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm, and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm.  This is why I thought the disappearance of the trophonts was quite odd. <Mmm... is not, assuredly> They were literally there for 24 hours.  I got from those articles, that they remain attached for approx. seven days. <Mmm, no... not macroscopically... appreciably... for a first time/line of infestation... usually only a day or two> I guess that a 24 hr phase is not odd? <Correct>   I am not arguing the point I was just hoping for some edification on this.  As per the referred texts, I have removed the fish from the tank, and I am waiting for a reappearance on the Centropyge, before I go all buck wild with copper or formalin.   <I would not wait... is debilitating to the host/s> I guess he is going to get another month in QT.  I thought four weeks at the outset was good enough.   <Usually so> I quarantined all of these guys, and I did not add any store's tank water to my display.  This is very concerning. <Yes, agreed... I do wish we were "face to face"... as I'd like to be able to gauge your reaction, non-verbally... to expedite this communication... I encourage you to adapt/adopt a routine dip/bath procedure for all incoming fish livestock... presented/archived on WWM> Well thanks for the help, I am going to be running fallow now.  Heh, I guess it's a good idea that I set that 55 gallon up.  How convenient, I just put live rock in there like a day ago.  I was going to give coral propagation a go in that tank.  It's QT now lol.  I appreciate the info, Brandon R. Foster <Hang in there my friend... Bob Fenner>

Tearing down 29g, No, Let it be... Fallow to Contain Ich   2/14/07 Hi guys and gals: <Hi Royce!  Mich with you tonight.> I'll try and make this short. I have 3 tanks.  A 135g main tank. Also, 20 gallon quarantine for medicating as last resort.  Lastly, 29 g with live rock and sand for newly acquired fish or ones that don't play nice. Purchased powder blue tang and acclimated him to my 29g. He quickly contracted ich and was gone 2 days later. To quick to respond with any treatment in my 20 g. <Sorry for your loss.> Now I know I'm in trouble. ICH in my 29g. Can't treat it because of the live rock and sand. <If there is no fish in the tank, you do not have to treat it.  Just allow the tank to remain fishless for at least one month.  This will interrupt the life cycle of the parasite.  It cannot survive without a fish as a host.  No fish, no parasite.  This is referred to as allowing the tank to go fallow.> My question is since it's only 29g I would prefer to just break it down rather than letting it go fallow for a month or two? What is the procedure in doing this to ensure the removal of ich? <I would discourage you from doing this.  Not so much because of the ich, but you will lose a lot of beneficial organism currently present in your live rock and sand.>   Will the live rock or sand carry these guys back into the tank? <If you take the live rock from the 29 g and place it directly into your 135 g without allowing it to go fallow for a month in the 29 g, the rock could very easily introduce ich into your main system.> Thanks! <Welcome!  -Mich> Royce

Ongoing Ich Problem, Crypt causes   1/24/07 Bob: <Teri> I wrote you a couple of months ago regarding my previous problems and future plans regarding Ich. After my last outbreak I removed all fish and put them in a 90 gal bare tank (with water properties very close to the tank they came from). After they had acclimated I brought the copper level up to .25ppm. I removed all water, sand and rock from the infected tanks and cleaned both (the small one (24 gal quarantine tank)) I dried and ran fresh (RO) water through for 36 hours). I replaced the water, sand and rock in both. <... for what reason/s?> I then put the corals, sponges, shrimps, urchin, clams, snails & hermit crabs back in the 120 reef tank and ran it fallow for a little over 2 months. <Okay> After about 3 weeks the bioload on the 90 gal bare hospital tank was hard to control with so many fish in it, so I put 7 small ones in the 24 gal (which has sand & rock) and ran it as a quarantine tank with no copper for 4-5 weeks and had my LFSs keep 12 others (8 in copper .20ppm+/-, 3 isolated in a 20 gal stand-alone rock tank).  The 12th that the LFS kept (Carpenter's wrasse) we put in invert cubes (without copper) and left it there for 5 weeks (didn't develop anything during that time). <... my friend... Crypt was likely just sub-clinical... is still there> I left the ones at the LFS there for roughly 5 weeks and none of the fish showed any signs of Ich. <Again... most stores have resident (ongoing) parasite "issues"... Cross-contamination is the majority rule rather than exception> After a total of 4 weeks I began to reduce the copper concentration in the bare 90 gal tank, down to .10-ppm. <No sense... Most any value below 0.15 free cupric ion is more deleterious than useful. Do you understand this stmt.? Not useful to have less than a physiological dose present> Last week I moved the 5 from the 24 gal tank back into the 120 gal tank and watched them for over a week -- all ok. I then moved 6 from the LFS back to the 90 gal tank (including 2 new ones), 3 to the 24 gal & I put the one from the invert cubes and two that've been in the isolation 20 gal rock tank for 5-6 weeks (with no sign of problem) into the 120 gal tank. Last night I found a heavy infestation of Ich on the one from the invert cubes <... more susceptible species, individuals... the vector almost certainly from the LFS...> (I pulled him from the 120 gal tank and tried to keep him in a small container (w/air stone & heater) but he died sometime last night. So:  My current status is:   9 fish in the 120 gal reef tank,: (2 maroon gold stripe clowns,   1 Firefish,   1 Gudgeon,   1 Rainford Goby,   1 Scissortail dartfish,   2 Neon Gobies &   1 Cleaner Wrasse) <Inappropriate...> 3 fish in the 24 gal quarantine tank: (1 Potter's Angel   1 Eibli Angel &   1 Flame Angel) all getting along, <But very stressed, I assure you, in this proximity> 6 fish in the 90 gal bare quarantine tank: (1 ½ black Mimic Tang   1 Lemonpeel Mimic Tang   1 Kole Tang   2 Wrasse &   1 Foxface) I'm obviously going to leave the fish in the 24 & 90 gal tanks where they are until I see what might develop in the 120 gal tank. <Yes... this is what I would do as well> Since there's obviously been an outbreak of Ich in the 120 gal and so that I can effectively plan for current treatment and eliminate future issues: 1. Is it most likely that it came in with the wrasse from the Invert cubes or did it manage to survive 2+ months in a fallow tank? <... from the store> 2. What should my next steps be (I've read and re-read all of the FAQs regarding Fallow tanks, Quarantine tanks, Ich treatments, etc) and am at a loss as to what else I can do. <You are at the "cross in the road" where you can broadly decide on one of two paths... the re-treatment of all outside the infested system... Or staying the course, hoping for a balance in a sort of "ping-pong" of infestation in the present situation... with tools like supplementation, good water quality, perhaps ameliorative measures like the use of UV, Ozone... to tilt the balance your way...> I thank you in advance for your invaluable advice. Best Regards Teri Hewson <I am overly familiar with the situation you are in... and entirely empathize... I have taken whole holding facilities animals back down to the shore and released them... in the hope that some would cure/survive... While nuking/bleaching their on-land systems... to rid this pest... Bob Fenner> Re: Ongoing Ich Problem  1/25/07 Bob: <Teri> Thank you very much for your time & insight. <Welcome> A couple of clarifications: 1.  The .10ppm copper comment - I'm in the process of doing water changes to get it down to 0.00ppm and that's where it was when I introduced the fish (Yes, I do understand your comment.  I didn't mean that I expected it to have any "medicinal benefit".  Sorry for the mis-cue). <Mmm, and in an effort to be clear/er... there is actually a residual debilitating effect of resident copper... I encourage you to purposely remove it... With activated carbon, PolyFilter, a product engineered for this purpose.> 2.  Regarding your question on why I removed the sand, water and rock.  It was in hopes of eliminating as many Ich entities as humanly possible (obviously could do anything to eliminate them from the corals and their coral or rock bases), in hopes that that step, plus the 2 months of fallow period would eliminate the critters. <Not a worthwhile activity IMO/E... the tomites are about in "enough" quantity to cause your fishes (and you) woe... I'd leave all present> Do I take it from your comment regarding the Ich at a sub-clinical level, that no amount of fallow time will ensure that no Ich remain in the tank? <Mmm, correct in an absolute sense... but was referring more to the situation at hand... that the fish in the cubicles "just didn't show" signs... but were highly likely infested> To guarantee no more Ich in the tank, would you recommend starting over from scratch (including new corals/inverts) and then follow your quarantine/F/w dip procedures when SLOWLY reintroducing the fish? <Mmm, no... not unless let's say this were a service account, or some sort of wholesale facility... that required this expedient... I would re/consider the option ranges as stated... to re-treat all (yourself), allow the main system to go fallow... or try to achieve a balance of infestation w/o deaths> With regard to the 'ping-pong' direction:  I do have a UV system.  What supplementation measures would you recommend as the most effective (usually). <Posted... along with the concomitant rationale...> Relative to your comment following the Cleaner Wrasse:  In my defense, I got him before I read that they're not a good aquarium candidate, and now he, along with my clowns, is my longest lived fish. <Wow! Very good> He will, in fact, beat all other fish to food when it's introduced into a tank (bare, reef or what-ever) and he's a pretty active cleaner as well. Finally:  Most of the remaining fish in the 120 gal reef tank have gone thru at least one outbreak of Ich, so are probably ok to leave in the tank? Other than they'll be providing hosts for the Cryptocaryon?  Or should I remove them. Thanks again for your advice Best Regards Teri Hewson <This is so. RMF, who wants to remind you that much of what is presented is done for "general" consumption... i.e. written in mind with ultimate posting, reading by all.> PS:  I'll split up the Angels if you think that's best (but they really don't seem to mind each other). <Up to you.>

Re: Ongoing Ich Problem, note to move copy of corr. to Copper Use FAQs   1/26/07 Bob: Again, thanks. Your comments Re: copper finally sunk in. Added activated carbon, metal sponge and am doing 10gal water change/day. I'll let you know how the situation develops. Cross your fingers, please Regards Teri Hewson <Thank you. BobF> Another fuller vers. of ping-ponging with Crypt, overcrowding...    3/19/06 I sent an e-mail earlier and after contemplation I have come to the conclusion that I did not put in near enough info so I beg of you please disregard my earlier e-mail. First off I have a well established fifty-five gallon fish only saltwater tank my levels are all in the green so to speak. One of the first fish I got was a black spotted dog face puffer. After about two months with him I added another fish that brought ich with it, after reading some of your suggestions I decided to go with fresh water dips and treating my whole tank, after about two weeks all of my fish seemed to clear up, <The Crypt is still there> needless to say I now have a quarantine tank. About every three weeks (between eighteen - twenty six days) he gets white ich looking spots on his fins but they don't get to his body, and it does not seem to make a difference if I treat him or not and they go away after about week. Sometimes he scratches and gills but that only lasts about a day maybe two at the most. So I had originally come to the conclusion that this was just going to be his habit and up until recently it hadn't really been an issue, a week and half ago my local national pet store received a couple saltwater fish that that they had no clue what they were and were offering them up for adoption, one just happened to be a helmet cowfish and being that I am a huge fan of cow fish I brought him home. <This tank is too small for just the Tetraodont you already have/had> He spent a week in my quarantine tank he showed no sign of problems so I moved him over and with in a day he presented with spots on his fins just like my puffer and at the same time, as of right now it is only on his fins. My questions would be should I just ignore it? <No... with the added "stress" of this new crowding influence, all will too-likely succumb...> If not am I going to be treating these two fish every three weeks for the rest of my days? <... hopefully not> Is it ich? <Likely so> what other treatments should I try? <Read where you were sent previously> Is there a natural treatment besides a neon goby that I should try? <No... won't work> Because my neon goby ignores all of my fish. I understand all of you do this on your own time so no rush getting back to me when ever you have the time but any knowledge would be helpful. I thank all of you for you're time if you need more info e-mail me at <Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Ich question   2/2/06      I've read mountains of info on your site and others about ich prevention and treatment. All very good info but I have a  question that may not be answerable.      Several weeks ago I took delivery of what was supposed to be a Naso tang but was accidentally sent a Powder Blue. Rather than send it back, I decided to take on the task, knowing this fish's reputation. He arrived in 59 degree water due to a bag/box mishap on his way to balmy Minnesota but I brought him along slowly and eventually got him into quarantine. After 2 days he was eating and in 2 weeks showed not a sign of trouble. The qt tank was small so I was eager to get him into my 180 gal  F.O. with 200 pounds of algae-rich rock.      A juv Koran owns the tank and is similar size to the PB. I placed him late in the afternoon and the 2 did skirmish despite the blackout and mirrors placed on the sidewalls. Early the next morning the PB was covered head to tail in ich. I promptly removed him and put him back in qt and within 4 hours I was almost unable to see any sign of the ich. He ate wonderfully and by the next day was completely clear. <The ich/crypt is not visible... only the more extreme irritation/manifestation of "spots"/mucus... both tanks, all fishes are now infested...>      My tank has been running for @ 6 years and I've never had an ich issue except a small sprinkling on my hippo tang two years ago after a temp problem. The question I pose is; Will this always be an issue trying to establish a PB into my aggressive system that is supposedly without ich? <Yes> Or perhaps my qt time was ineffective and following a second span as well as meds for the problem, and removal of the Koran for a few weeks, I should try him again? <I would, likely yes. Can't live in the quarantine> I simply don't want to threaten an otherwise healthy tank for the pleasure of adding this fish. Thank you for your opinion.-Steve <If your fishes have been present since the incident with the Blue Tang... your system itself is infested. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. You are faced with a very common situation... trying to maintain a balance in your and your fishes favor in a parasitized system... or catching all out, moving... Bob Fenner> Marine tank questions, ich and anemone behavior 8/9/05 Hello, this is my first attempt at using a site such as yours, you do have lots of information. I have three questions: 1. Has anyone ever reported having ick breakout after feeding brine shrimp (frozen) mostly, I've had problems in both African and marine tanks now. <Yes... there are intermediate, resting stages of ich that have been found, photographed in with brine shrimp... dried, freeze-dried, live and frozen... One of the reasons I, others suggest rinsing in freshwater for a few minutes before feeding.> 2. Is it possible for inverts. to harbor ick and other nasty creatures, even after the fish are cured can the inverts. re-infect the fish. <Not likely, but possible... as the intermediate stages can wait... the rationale for separating these life forms during quarantine, treatment...> 3. Has anyone experienced an Atlantic anemone coughing up a white ball with what looks like eggs in it, after about 24hrs the ball breaks up and no sign of it can be found. what was it???? <Yes. Likely a reproductive event> Thanks for any help with these questions Suggestion: convert your articles into PDF so they can be downloaded for easy reference. <Good idea. Bob Fenner>

Attacking Cryptocaryon With A Fallow Tank I have just started to run my tank fallow to rid a crypto outbreak. I have 10 fish and have not lost any yet; the freshwater dip and QT seem to have relived them so they can start to recover. <Glad to hear that!> I am planning to do hyposalinity (only) treatment for them in QT. I have a refractometer and will lower the salinity slowly. But I was reading something on this site actually that scared me. Here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  it says,  "In actual fact cysts of Cryptocaryon can stay viable for a few to several months, hence ultraviolet sterilization, use of biological cleaners, allowing systems to go fallow... only decreases the number and virulence of these parasites. Once in a system, the system itself is infested and the only practical means of control becomes providing an optimized and stable environment."  So does that mean that even if I allow my tank to go fallow for 6 weeks and I quarantine anything new going into it, there could still be some Cryptocaryon irritans in my tank and it might lead to another infestation? <Well, yes...No treatment is 100% successful every time. By running the tank fallow, you are depriving the causative "parasites" their hosts (your fishes), which will result in the majority of them being eliminated. A few will survive, but the thought process here is that the parasite count will be so low that otherwise healthy fishes should be able to resist the "advances" of any remaining parasites. Short of "nuking" the tank with copper (a no-non!) or completely breaking it down and sterilizing it, there is no sure-fire way to eliminate every possible remaining parasite. However, the fallow process is so successful that I recommend it without hesitation> Along the same lines, this protocol would mean you would need to QT coral upon arrival, but wouldn't the amount of time needed to guarantee no ich cyst on coral be detrimental to the coral w/o proper lighting.  Thanks, -Ryan <Well, Ryan, it actually would not. In fact, since you are keeping corals or other animals in a smaller tank for quarantine, even lower-level lighting will suffice for a while. Also, you can compensate for the lower lighting by feeding them more! See this link for more on the process: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Causes of Ich - WWM Crew, <Hello, JasonC here...> I was told that ich is caused by stress and that it is always present but becomes apparent when the fish is exposed to stress. Is this true. Thank you, Nancy <Boy... that is a good question. Hope you don't mind a long-winded answer... for starters, ich - or Cryptocaryon - is a ciliated protozoan, which means it is able to get around, move on its own. It also has a life-cycle which means as long as it has hosts, it will be 'around'. The easiest analogy is fleas... they land on your dog or cat, have a feast, lay eggs, and the poor animal has more fleas... and then they move into your rug... and then you have fleas. This is a gross oversimplification but it will do for our purposes. So... the protozoan we know as ich is 'around' - this can be reduced by careful quarantine, freshwater dips, etc. but is difficult to eliminate 100%. So... then there is stress, which in a similar way is hard to eliminate completely; living in captivity is stressful, feeding time is stressful, but these pale in comparison to competitive stress or stress from hostilities and other environmental conditions. A fish, or even a human for that matter under a more than usual amount of stress will become more susceptible to disease(s). A fish in excellent health can encounter Cryptocaryon and eliminate it through natural means. A fish suffering from excessive stress will likewise encounter ich but not overcome the parasites as easily. Then we revisit the life-cycle issues, and in this case, the fish is susceptible enough that it is invaded by parasites, and fights a losing battle against ever-increasing numbers of parasites as successive generations drop off to produce more parasites. In this case it's a vicious circle because being sick causes stress which... well, you get the idea. So... does stress cause ich? Not directly... does stress make it easier to catch ich, most certainly. Hope that helps. Cheers, J -- > - Re: Causes of Ich - Jason C, Thank you for your response to my question. <My pleasure.> It was very helpful. We recently had an ich problem in our 50 gallon and treated the tank with copper safe. <Oh... you really shouldn't treat the display system with copper - too many things to absorb the copper for starters, rock, sand/gravel, etc... makes it hard to have an effective dose. Also, copper treatment to be effective needs to be constant for about 14 days. So, anything less is just an irritant.> The ich went away after just a few days and a week later we introduced some new fish to the tank and they all died by the next morning. <Perhaps other reasons... but truthfully, you should quarantine ALL incoming fish, always. Not doing so will pretty much guarantee parasitic problems.> We tested the water and everything looked normal except the nitrates were a little high. I am in the process of testing for copper after two twenty gallon water changes. <You should also run some activated carbon in your filtration loop - will remove any stray copper from the system as it leaches out of your live rock.> My question is if we leave the tank fallow for a two week period with the temperature up to 95 degrees, will this cure the system of ich or any other parasite? <Well... I wouldn't recommend this temperature, mostly because it will do-in your live rock... also to have an effective fallow period, you need to let the tank sit for about six weeks. Even at 95 degrees, two weeks is not enough.> Or would it be preferably better to take out the live rock (in a hospital tank) take out the gravel and give the tank doses of copper. <Better to put the sick fish in quarantine tanks and copper them there. Let the tank run fallow if you think the problem has become systemic.> Thanks for all your help! Nancy <Cheers, J -- >

Yucky Ich Problem I have a relatively small tank (40G) that had an outbreak of saltwater ich, killing off all but 1 of my fish before I realized there was a problem.  Now I have a pink shrimp goby that is heavily infested. I also have several hermit crabs, emerald crabs, and snails that seem to be unaffected by this disease.  With the exception of my green brain the corals seem to be doing fine as well.  My question is if I quarantine this fish will the other inhabitants of the tank be alright?  Or will the eventually become infested as well? Tamara <Well, Tamara- there's no guarantee that your fishes will or will not contract the illness. However, when you're dealing with parasitic illnesses, such as ich, it's important to remember that the causative parasites leave the fish at some point during their life cycle, and enter a free-swimming stage, where they ultimately will attach to a substrate (i.e.; sand, rock, etc) for a period of time, before emerging once again to wreak further havoc. My philosophy is that once ich is in your tank, it's IN your tank! With that in mind, I highly recommend the (unfortunately) rather tedious approach of removing ALL fishes from the tank (even the apparently healthy ones) to a separate tank for observation and/or treatment (I prefer copper sulphate or Formalin preparations-follow manufacturer's instructions). In the mean time, the display tank should run "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month. By depriving the parasites of their hosts (your fishes!), you will help break the life cycle of the parasites, which will result in a significant "crash" in their population. During the fallow period, conduct all routine tank maintenance (i.e.; water changes, media replacement, etc.). After the one-month period, and after the fishes are cured, you can reintroduce them. Not a fun process, but it is truly effective, and really addresses the problem of the disease being present in the display tank. BTW- you can leave your corals in the display aquarium without concern while the tank is fallow (no problems-because you are not "treating" the display with medications). Hope this works for you! Good luck! Regards, Scott f>

Ich and BioWheel Dear WetWeb: I have a 29 Gallon setup with 21 Lbs. of LR, an Emperor 280 BioWheel, SeaClone Protein Skimmer, and a powerhead. In tank I have fish: Tomato Clown, 2 Green Reef Chromis, and a Banded Goby. Tank is up and running for 3 months. One month ago right after I introduced a blue regal tang he came down with ich and died today. No other fish show any signs of ich. The Banded goby is very white in color and would be hard to detect the ich. I know ich is still in the tank, but will my BioWheel harbor the ich and if so what should I do. All fish seem healthy and show no signs of ich. How long should I wait to add any other fish? <The BioWheel can harbor ich just as much as the live rock, substrate, and the tanks inhabitants.  The only way to get rid of the ich without completely destroying your biological filtration (meds in your tank), is to remove the fish to a separate tank and let the main display go without fish for at least 4 weeks.  This will disrupt the life cycle of the parasite, and with no hosts it will die off.  I would keep watch on the current inhabitants for at least another month or so before adding any more (small) fish.  The 29gal does not allow for many fish due to size constraints. -Gage >  

Ich and The Fallow Tank Technique Bob, <Actually- Scott F. on call today> Just wanted to give you my observations on this subject after running my tank for 3 years, and to see if what I am saying makes sense.  I was foolish when I started out and did not do a 3 week Quarantine when I stocked.  I lost most of the first fish within a few weeks to ich. <An unfortunate, all-too-common occurrence!> To make a long story short I had the tank running well for about 2 years without a loss after my initial failure, when my Queen angel developed what I would call tumors on the gills. These were not parasitic in nature and nothing I tried would help. The fish just got weaker and then one day, he had ich.  I had added nothing new to the tank in over a year, so my only conclusion is that ich is always present and will take advantage of anything weak or stressed. <Probably not far from the truth...Despite some good treatment techniques, no cure for ich can be 100% successful. Some parasites may linger in a dormant phase for some protracted period, waiting for the right conditions to rear themselves again...> The angel died a few days later even with the cleaning of my cleaner shrimp that I have had for over 2 years. I then lost a tomato clownfish within a few days after that to ich. The ich had gotten very virulent (i.e. aggressive). I removed the other fish and the cleaner shrimp to Q and did nothing other than watch closely. (The Q tank is a 20g long and has 10# of LR to keep water parameters good. I would remove LR if I needed to treat with copper)  The main tank went fallow for 4 weeks.  All the fish survived. They went back into the display tank, and after about 3 days I notice a little ich starting on the 3 green Chromis. The cleaner shrimp took care of this and it has been 2 months and I have not seen any sign of ich. So to my theory: Ich is always present and will attack any stressed or sick fish. Healthy fish are able to fight it off when the ich is weak and does not have a strong foothold. Once is gets a foothold it becomes much stronger and will kill otherwise healthy fish in a closed system. The only cure is to fallow the tank with the outbreak for 3 to 4 weeks, and you get the weaker form again. <Well, I agree that ich is most likely present in most tanks. However, I don't think that there are different "forms" of the parasite. It is, as you have correctly postulated- a very contagious disease. You may need to run a tank fallow for more than a month...These parasites are very tenacious! I still believe that the fallow tank technique (in conjunction with a proper medication in a hospital tank for the afflicted fishes) is the most successful long-term solution to beating an ich outbreak, as it causes a severe disruption to the life cycle of the causative parasite. Maybe it doesn't kill every last one- but as you suggested, it can reduce the population to a level that otherwise healthy fishes can withstand. Ich is highly treatable if caught early enough; it's getting the parasite out of the display tank that's the hard part!> Let me know if this is wrong, but it fits all my personal observations over the past 3 years. <I think that your observations are right on. Keep up the interesting observations, and thank you for sharing your experience with your fellow hobbyists! Regards, Scott F>

Breaking The Cycle of Ich Hi everyone!  I recently had an ich problem in my 55 gallon reef tank. I removed a tomato clown, a saddleback clown, and a bicolor blenny to quarantine. <Good job!> I couldn't catch my pygmy angel, who had several white spots on it.  I also couldn't catch my blue tail damsel or my Firefish.  Those little suckers!!! <Yep- a very frustrating prospect. Often, you'll need to break down the decor to access the fish...not a fun prospect, huh?> Neither the Firefish nor the damsel showed any signs of ich.  The angel made frequent visits to the resident cleaner shrimp for a couple of weeks, and now shows no sign of the disease. It's been at least three weeks since I removed the other fish to quarantine. I treated them with a 5 min. freshwater dip each (Which I must add, the blenny torpedoed out of) and a week of copper. After the week of copper I added Maracyn for five days to prevent any secondary infections. <Good procedure if monitored carefully> The two clowns in qt seem ok, as they eat voraciously and swim around rather happily. The blenny is the one I'm worried about.  When I first introduced him into my tank, he didn't eat any of the foods I offered, but he did eat algae off of rocks and glass.  Since he's been in qt for three weeks, I don't see him eat anything!!! He swims around at times, but basically just hangs out in a piece of pvc pipe.  What can I do to get him to eat?? <If this guy seems to munch on algae in the display, then I'd put in a couple of algae covered rocks for him to pick on, at least to get him started eating again> Also I tried reintroducing my tomato clown to the display, and he was ok for a couple of days, but then he started getting spots again, so I Fw dipped him for three min. and back into qt he went.  Is this normal?  for none of my fish in the display to show signs...but for my clown to get it after a couple of days?  Could it have been from the stress of the move? <Well, sure- the stress of the move could have induced a re-occurrence of this disease, but the real problem, in my opinion, is that the Cryptocaryon parasite is still present in the system. By not removing all of the fishes (yep- you can guess where this is going!), the disease remains "in action" in the tank. It's best to remove ALL of the fishes (even the ones that don't seem to be sick) from the display, and place them in the treatment tank. Meanwhile, the display will run fallow, without fishes, for about a month...This will cause the parasite population to crash for lack of hosts...The biggest drawback to this technique is to remove all of the rockwork in order to get the fishes out! Unfortunately, short of dosing copper in the display (just a HORRIBLE idea), there is no other reliable way to disrupt the life cycle of the causative parasite, and effect a reasonably reliable cure.> I don't know....I want to reintroduce my qt fish, since they are all healthy and I'm worried about the blenny not having enough to eat.  But catching them in the display again if they show signs would be such a pain in the a$$!!!  Please help!!!  Thank you so much, Karina <I hear ya, Karina! I think that reintroducing the fishes into a tank where disease may still be present is too great a risk. Yes, the blenny needs to eat- but it's important to address the bigger picture, and treat all of the fishes....Hang in there , and you'll be successful! Regards, Scott F> Time For Action! (Attacking Ich) HI, Lynn here again. <Hi Lynn- Scott F. here today> I have a 125 gallon marine tank with a large variety of specimens. I have been reading this web site and many others for months now. I'm quite new to this hobby (about 1 year). So far, I have had ample luck with my tank. Unfortunately,  1 loss to me is 1 to many. <Agreed!> I wrote recently about my ill Foxface Lo I had purchased in an attempt to save  ( he passed away this evening), but he did give it a good fight. Well, here I am again with another possible problem. Unfortunately, it's possibly ich. Treating Ich is hard enough in even a qt tank. My tank houses 1 Stars and Stripes Dog Face Puffer ,1 Majestic Foxface ,1 Lionfish,1 Silver Scat, 1 Snowflake Eel, 1 Engineer Goby, 3 damsels, Turbo snails, hermit crabs, about 50 lbs of live rock (rough guess), a few live plants, Serpent Starfish( 1 adult and uncounted amounts of baby stars which came in  new live rock) which I started to keep in qt tank but had to place in main tank after a few hrs of quarantine due to medicating Foxface Lo ( in fear the spectrogram would kill off the baby starfish). As of now I only have a 10 gal quarantine tank. <Hey- it's better than no quarantine tank. Keep in mind, however, that a quarantine tank is not a permanent feature, and should be broken down when you're done using it.> My new tank won't be ready for delivery for at least one month- 125 gal.. I had my puffer in qt tank about a month ago when he stopped eating. He had a case of "cloudy eye". I keep close watch on my water quality levels. I check no less than 2 times per week all have been good- ammonia has never topped over 0.25, nitrates at .0  nitrites .0. Bi-weekly water changes ( 25 %), top-offs every week salinity 1.020- 1.023, ph 8.2 temp 80-82 F. Because of the venomous nature of some of my fish, I feel a dip would be out of the question. I have noticed the slimy bubbles (like grains of salt ) bringing me to conclusion of ich, as your FAQ has stated ( in text and photos) on at least my Foxface and my Puffer. <Do consider treating these fishes with Formalin, as opposed to copper...Puffers don't do well with copper at all, in many cases> The rest of the fish are a lot harder to tell but I fear chances of the rest having it are highly probable. It's impossible to fit all these fish into a 10 gal tank, or even the non fish into it + live rock which  are harboring baby stars an other livestock. <Rubbermaid containers or large trash cans make great emergency treatment facilities...> I feel I should treat as soon as possible, before it affects there health. <Sounds like it already has!> I have read all the articles you have posted throughout your website and other sites. How can this be done without absolute  casualties? Or unnecessary stress to my tank? <Do read up on the "two front" ich treatment technique that I have exposed on WWM, as well as the many other parasitic disease treatment FAQs and articles on WWM. Lots of good information here!> P.S.-The symptoms of ich have been present for at least 1 month. It has taken me this long to identify it (through articles and photos) So I know the new rocks and plants were not the cause, they were introduced this past weekend. <Well, they could lead to potential future problems. I'm a very conservative type, who quarantines EVERYTHING that goes into my tanks...Really a practice worth subscribing to. Keep a good attitude, take prompt action, and hang in there. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Starting Over Hi <Hi there! Scott F. with you> I absolutely love your site and visit it at least a few times a week. I recently had an ich outbreak in my tank that killed my hippo tang :( The ich has been gone now for about 3 weeks. I'm going to wait another 2 before I add anything else. <Sorry to hear about the tang. You may not like my recommendation, but here goes...I think that you should remove the rest of the fish (sick or not) and put them in your quarantine tank (you do have one, right?) for about 3-4 weeks. Even though these fish show no signs of the disease, it is in your tank. Ich parasites need a host. If there are no hosts in the tank, most ich parasites will die. Also, by removing your remaining fish (which may very well be "carriers" of the disease), you have chance to observe them and treat hem without damaging the invert life in your main tank> I have a 90 gallon tank with 90 lbs of live rock. I use a wet-dry and a SeaClone 150 ( I need to upgrade this I know). <Hey, if it's pulling out dark yucky stuff twice a week or more, it will do for now> In light of my tang dying,  I was thinking about changing the live stock in my tank. Right now all that's in there is a few damsels, a tank raised clown, and a yellow tang. I was wandering if I removed them all except the yellow tang could I add a Volitans lionfish, a Huma trigger, and a striped burr fish??? Would this be too much for my system?? I know they are all messy eaters except the tang. <Yep- they are...And potentially very large. I'd probably choose between the trigger or the lion, and work your population around that fish. As far as the Burrfish- they're very cute, but once again, they get huge, and can really tax your filter system. Please reconsider your stocking list for this tank. To accommodate all of these guys (they all make great pets) for anything approaching a normal life span, you really need a much larger tank!> if they can all be added is there a certain order I should add them?? I do already have the yellow tang in the tank though......... If one does need to be excluded which would be best??? <I'm partial to the trigger, but they can get aggressive as they mature-tough call here. The lion is big- and eats slowly- the tang may be a source of annoyance...> I really love all 4 of these fish they seem to all be so different from one another and have personality which is exactly what I want to go for in my tank. <Yep, a classic dilemma. But you really have to consider the maximum size that these fishes attain, when considering them. You may want to try other, similar species that don't get quite as large. Check the wetwebmedia.com site for lots of descriptions of fishes that would fit the bill. Have fun, and good luck!>

Yuck, It's Ich! Mr. Fenner, <Scott F. here for you tonight> You haven't heard from me in a while, which means things have been going moderately well. Up until now. I purchased a Banggai cardinal last Thursday and added him to the tank. When I got him he looked healthy, but I soon realized something could have gone a little differently. It seems he was collected from the wild, is this possible? He is mostly nocturnal but seems to turning more diurnal (if that's even a word).  Up until now it hasn't been eating much and I was a little worried, it'll take little bits here and there but not really a full serving. What is a good food for me to feed him that he will readily accept if in fact he was caught in the wild? <Well, wild-caught or captive bred, this fish will eat "meaty" foods, such as mysis shrimp, chopped clams, krill, etc.> My second problem is I think he has ick!!! This being my first SW tank I'm not too up to date on this problem? I know its sort of stress related <That is a contributing factor, along with environmental conditions> and the Cardinal is undergoing and putting up with a lot of stress from the adjusting process and not eating. As of now this is my only fish in the tank but I can use medications because of my inverts in the tank. I did not quarantine him at all, he looked healthy and I don't really have any space to set up a quarantine tank (which is my fault). What steps can I take now? <Well- I'm not gonna scold you for skipping quarantine- but please, please PLEASE do consider even a small tank (5-10 gallons) for a quarantine tank in the future. It does not have to be kept running continuously, and is your best line of defense against disease with new fishes> Here are my tank parameters which I don't not think add to the stress, they all seem quite normal. These were all tested yesterday: Amm 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 7ppm Ph 8.0 alk 4 dKH 11.2 Ca 370ppm Phosphate 0.25ppm Temp 78F (Just upped it to about 80F) Lighting 12hrs/day SG 1.026 <All seem acceptable> I also did a 2 gallon water change last night with SW that was aged and aerated 24hrs. <Keep up those regular 10% weekly water changes, maybe even smaller amounts more often would be a good idea> My tank setup is as follows: 20gallon long 25lbs Live rock AquaC Remora Skimmer 10 Scarlet Hermits 1 Scarlet Cleaner shrimp 2 Peppermint shrimp 3 Margarita Snails 3 Cerith Snails 15 Nassarius Snails First what is a good next step for me to take? <First, before you start the treatment process, check the resources on wetwebmedia.com about this disease. Make sure that you are dealing with ich. Treatment should take place in a separate tank> If a quarantine tank is needed could I go get a 5gal tank with a circulator and just do 50% water changes daily to keep Ammonia levels down, and then be able to treat with medication? <Yes, but you really should use a sponge filter, which can be "inoculated" with beneficial bacteria from your main tank when not in use. Water changes would be important in this tank, yes! Once again, make sure what you are dealing with (illness?) before you start a course of treatment! Keep reading, and feel free to contact us if you have any more questions!> Thank You for any help and comments, Mike <Thanks for stopping by, Mike. Just keep a close eye on things, and take action when necessary. Your doing a great job so far! Good Luck!>

Ich or not? Hi Everyone, I have a 55 gal. reef tank that until today had only a diamond goby and a cleaner wrasse and assorted corals in it. I introduced a small Kole tang today which I studied over very well before buying. This fish was clean as a pin, <which means nothing... please QT all new fishes for 2-4 weeks. Else, you are taking chances with living creatures and their very lives> that is until he was in my tank for all of three hours. Now he appears to have a massive case if ick....is it possible for it to explode this quickly or is this something else caused by being put in a new tank? Thanks, Robert <Common marine Ich can have a cycle of less than 24hrs... so you will see the fish clean for half the day and covered for the other half. Still... this may just be mucus from the stressed new entry that has attracted particles of sand or debris. Watch to see if the spots move. Else... you'll be getting that QT tank after all. You cannot medicate in the main display (substrate absorbs meds, gobies are small scaled and will OD, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

Ich Hi Everyone I have a 55 gallon reef tank that until today had only a diamond goby and a cleaner wrasse <Have you read our coverage of cleaner wrasses on www.WetWebMedia.com?> and assorted corals in it. I introduced a small Kole tang today which I studied over very well before buying. <I think I know where you are going with this. You did not quarantine him did you?> This fish was clean as a pin, that is until he was in my tank for all of three hours. Now he appears to have a massive case if ick. Is it possible for it to explode this quickly or is this something else caused by being put in a new tank? <Neither, this is standard for new unquarantined fish. Placing a new unquarantined fish in your tank is a gamble and you just rolled snake eyes, my friend. Please see our articles and FAQ files on quarantining fish, treatment of parasitic diseases, and fallowing a tank.> Thanks, Robert <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Fighting Ich Scott F., Thanks for the quick response.   <No problem!> I will continue the regimen for three weeks as you prescribed.  If the main tank is infested, how long would it take for the Ich to show up on the other fish?    <Hard to say- could be a few days, could be a few weeks. In all honesty, it may never show up. The "what ifs?" are the best reason for letting the tank go fallow for a month...This way- you're in control!> Regarding tank size; I had not planned on a larger tank at this time...it was all I could do to convince my wife to secure this one...however, she seems to enjoy the one we have, so it may not be out of the question.  The LFS advised that the tank should be large enough for the Queen Angel; however, I value your input over theirs as it is not motivated by the sale of a fish. <I totally understand your situation! Great that your wife enjoys/supports your hobby! Your LFS unfortunately, did not really give you responsible advise, IMO. In the short run, sure-a 75 will work for the fish. But in a very short time (probably within a year), this fish will need a larger system, and a larger one still to live out its full life span comfortably. They really should have pointed this out to  you at the LFS. With the level of care that you're providing your fish, I know that he'll do great! Hang in there and take care!> Thanks again for you advice. Best regards, Jeff Detweiler <So glad that I could help! Regards, Scott F.>

Eliminating Marine Ich Hi Bob. Just found your website and read with great interest many of the Q&A regarding Marine ich. <Yes, a great deal of trouble and source of lost livestock (and hobbyists!) that could be easily avoided by simple dips/quarantine... by the dealers side or hobbyists...> I have had an ongoing presence of ich since I set up my 125 gal. Marine aquarium and transferred the livestock from my old 55. I have read your book and tried most of the methods mentioned to control or stop the ich. I used to treat my fish with copper (Cupramine) with mixed results when my tank was fish only. But on setting up the 125, I decided to go the middle route: fish, liverock, and the usual tougher inverts. Plus the ich. <Good attitude> Only now with the inverts I need to either catch the fish and treat with copper in a separate tank, or use a non-chemical approach. I tried cleaner gobies, cleaner shrimp, even a cleaner wrasse. Hyposalinity, UV sterilizer on 24/7 (useless) "reef-safe" snake-oils, even garlic in the food. <Well-stated... "the gamut"> Finally in desperation, I broke the tank down, put my surviving fish in my old 55, sterilized everything, soaked my substrate in hot tap water, then sun- dried it for 2 weeks, and kept the reset-up tank fallow for six endless weeks. I put the fish back in 1 at a time over 2 weeks ( about 8 survivors). No ich. Three weeks into the new "clean" tank, I started to see ich dots. <Arggghhhh> I've never really gotten rid of it since then. It is definitely entrenched in the system, but until recently, only a dot or 3 daily on a couple of fish. <I would do my best to "keep balance"...> I recently bought a Hippo Tang, gave him a good look over and a quick FW bath. He seemed fine. Now I know why they're called ich magnets. My fish are covered. I've pulled all my inverts but the live rock (separate tank now) and have dropped my salinity to 0.017, temp is at 84. 24 hours has passed and fish still show ich. No one has died. No change in activity, eating; except for flashing. I figure to give this a week. If I see significant change, I'll continue for 4-5 more weeks. If not, I'm prepared to pay the price of Q tank laziness and break down my tank, separating fish from ich for up to 2 months. Sorry to be so long winded. <No worries. Necessary... very hopeful your hard-won/earned experience/learning/reflections will aid others> Questions. If free swimming ich dies without a host in 24 hours, how long can the cyst stage remain alive and waiting? <You're not likely going to like this... weeks to months> Is having a completely ich-free aquarium impossible, assuming I do root it out, AND quarantine everything from now on? <Yes... there are specific pathogen free facilities (for instance, TMC's culture plant in England. I am of the opinion that there are such things as hosts without parasites...> Can ich "infest" live rock even if that live rock is sold from a fish-less tank?  <Not as far as I know> Hoping to hear from you. Thanks. Wayne Tripp <Good luck, life my friend. Bob Fenner>

Help Please help me. I have a 120 semi-reef with and Asfur angel. My brother gave me his purple tang which is the same size as the Asfur. The tang had ick, and I put in my tank and the ick was gone in two days w/out any medication. <Not gone... just cycling off to reproduce... it'll be back... and soon>  Yesterday I did a 25gal water change and I notice today that my Asfur has got ick. <Bingo>  In my tank I have Skimmer, cleaner shrimps, and a 40w U.V. Should I put medication or let do it on its own. <I would try adding a Cleaner, likely a shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), and augment the foods you give both these fishes and their water with vitamins. Please read through WetWebMedia.com re these issues, practices.> The tang and the angel don't fight to kill each other, once a while they would do what I call their little dance then you would see them swimming like nothing never happened. <This is fine, to be expected> Please help me, you guys are the true professional. Thanks Miguel <Study my friend/amigo, nos vemos, Bob Fenner>

ICH PROBLEM and water temperature Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I've got a big problem here as I have lost some of my beautiful large angels. The temperature of my 200G FOWLR tank is about 79F to 82F  <does it fluctuate this much or more daily? If so it is contributing to the Ich problem... temperature drops are proven to flare Ich.> and I've noticed that every early morning, most of the angels have numerous white spots on their bodies < a sign of Cryptocaryon (Ich)... not Oodinium (Velvet Ich)> and they would perish after 3 to 5 days. I managed to catch some of the angels and dipped them in freshwater for a few minutes but it seems to send them to the nether worlds a bit faster. My Sohal tang seemed unaffected. Massive water change was done a few days back but the problems recurred. <were these fish quarantined for 2-4 weeks before entering the display. You really should if not. Saves money and lives> Could the cold morning temperature be the problem?  <yes... any temp drop (by the book) of more than 2F can cause Ich to flare> My LFS has been trying to convince me on acquiring a UV system.  <buy a cheap hospital tank instead and invest in a second/better heater for the main display> What are your recommendations as it pains me to have my fishes die after keeping them for almost 3 years. Thanks in advance. <much agreed my friend. No worries, easy to correct problems here. Anthony Calfo>

Recurring Ich Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> You've probably answered this type of question before, but I can't seem to find a link with the answer.  <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and many of the links at the top of the page...more to be activated soon in the coming months...> I have a 135 Gallon reef tank that has been set up for about a year. I have a Purple Tang, a Yellow Tang, A hippo, a Flame Angel, 2 Perculas, and a Gramma in there. They have all been quarantined and freshwater dipped. There's a skimmer on it and there are about 130lbs. of live rock. Temp. is at about 82-84F and the salinity is 1.021. Corals are just some mushrooms, polyps and a colt coral. Everything was fine for 7-8 months (where very little if anything else was added to the tank). Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere the Hippo and the Purple Tang developed ich (I assume it is ich because there are white spots on their body).  <larger like grains of salt would indicate Cryptocaryon, fine spots like dust or talc would indicate Velvet (Amyloodinium)> The Flame also had it to a lesser extent. I was surprised because most of these fish had been doing fine for several months in the system.  <commonly is aggravated by temperature swings between night and day. Try checking the temp at different times of day... if more than two degrees, stabilize with a second heater (always a good idea and so inexpensive in the big picture)> It had also been a good month since anything had been added at all. I turned my skimmer off and treated them with No-Ich (I think it's made by Marine Vet) and used Tetramin's medicated food almost exclusively. I used the heavier dosage that No-Ich recommended for the longer period of time (1 month).  <wow.. you are lucky the flame survived it. They are sensitive to dyes and metals> After a couple of days the ich was gone but I finished the cycle per their directions. Throughout the month spots would come back but then quickly go away. Since by the end of the cycle it was gone, I figured it was working. I "restarted" the tank with a 25% water change and turned my skimmer back on. I should note that throughout the entire problem the fish had never shown any outward signs of stress and continued to eat very well. If it weren't for the dots you'd think they were completely healthy. However, after a few good weeks it came back again. The Hippo always seems to get it the worst, and then the Purple Tang and the Flame to a lesser extent. I wasn't confident that another treatment of the No-Ich was the answer. So as I procrastinated a day or two on what to do next, the ich cleared up again. To make a long story longer, this slight outbreak of ich keeps popping up and going away every couple of weeks or so.  <daily temperature fluctuations or water for evap top off several times weekly that is not temperature adjusted/heated can indeed cause the reoccurrence> It can be so quick as to be on the fish in the morning and gone by the end of the day.  <this is a conspicuous sign of Cryptocaryon and its short life cycle> It doesn't seem to effect the fishes behavior and since it keeps going away I've almost started to ignore it. However, I know that is not a good idea and I'm looking for a way to get rid of it once and for all. I can't think of anything that is going on in the tank that could be causing the fish any undue stress and leaving them susceptible to disease. The temp. is a little high, but it has always been a little high in every reef tank I've had.  <is it aggravated by the lights and drops at night?> All of my Ammonia, Nitrite etc. seems to be in check. The only problem I seem to have is getting the Alkalinity above 2.5.  <wow.. indeed low but not likely a cause for Ich... try another brand of buffer> Short of breaking down the tank (which I don't have the space or the equipment to do), what kind of options do I have to rid myself of this problem? What would cause it to break out then disappear if the conditions are stable and the fish are seemingly healthy and don't appear stressed? I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for your time. Joe De Palma <the temp of water change and evaporation top off water if often unheated and overlooked. It can be a persistent scourge even when the tank temp is stable. Do explore all options and test if necessary. Please brown the FAQ's on the link above as well to see if anything sounds familiar. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Ich (I think) Thank You for the info and I put in a big white block that will automatically adjust the alkalinity of the tank (don't remember what it is called). <It won't, sigh...> I bought the marine max to increase slime coat on fish so parasites won't attach to fish.  <It won't, bigger sigh> I have increased temp, bought cleaner wrasses, but they died because my brown tang stressed them out too much. <They didn't die because of this. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm> We have cleaner shrimps but since both are carrying babies they are not wanting to clean though they did a little yesterday) I am afraid of lowering salinity as am already having problems with KH and PH. Your site suggests getting neon gobies to clean fish, will my big brown tang also chase them? <Maybe...> Can I get more cleaner shrimps or will the spawning ones attack them. I really want to cure my fish with more environmental manipulation and less meds. <You need to separate the fishes and non-fish livestock, treat the fishes separately....> Also, should I continue feeding medicated flakes? We have a UV sterilizer and were told to get a protein skimmer will this help and can I fight the ich w/out copper? <You need to go back, read about set-up... you should have had a protein skimmer from day one... it would have helped prevent the problems you're currently fighting.> Assuming and I am almost certain it is improper Alkalinity, can these environmental things cure prob. My husband will not use copper or get hospital tank due to past experience. As always thanks for advice. <You are a prime example of "good/bad consumerism"... someone/s has/have tapped into your psyches, pocketbooks and found ways of convincing you to "buy something/s"... Don't cheat yourselves or your livestock... learn what you're doing in setting up your system first... treat your livestock in TWO different systems at this point... LEARN, if not from me, from the bulletin boards, chatrooms, even books... Don't think to act on impulse, "buying something"... Think deeply on this. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich (I think) Mr. Fenner, I read in excess of 50 pages on your website over the weekend. It said not to adjust PH, but find the underlying problem.  <THE underlying problem IS low alkalinity... pH IS adjusted easily by adjusting, rectifying your low alkaline reserve> Also, it says that parasites are caused from stress in the tank.  <This is only ONE of MANY inputs...> I cannot find anything else wrong in the tank except that the ammonia was a little high a few weeks ago and the PH has been low for about a week. The ich comes at 8:30pm and is gone by 8-9 am Everyday. That does not sound like the life cycle of ich. <It is.> Your site says it stays on the fish for 5-7 days, then falls off, reproduces and attaches back to the fish. This is not happening. <You have the beginnings of understanding... only... the cyclist in your system is multi-generational... ALL of the parasites are not dropping off according to some magical time scale... It's as if you planted vegetables on different days, weeks... some will "produce" at later times...> It is only on fish for 12 hours, once fish wake up and start swimming around it is gone.  <No... only "apparently" gone... the marks on your fish livestock are resultant (not the parasites themselves) of infestation... the fish, system "gets better" during the day, and the wound/marks of the parasites are less visible...> Our water is good. I did a 10 gal water change this weekend, ammonia is 0, nitrites 0 Nitrates are 20ppm and PH is finally at 8.2(for now) The fish all get along, so I cannot figure out what the problem is to fix it. Aside from what your site says to run copper through the system, which I cannot do. I do read where you send me, but I still cannot find the problem. Please think about what I have said and see if there is ANYTHING that seems wrong here that would cause these problems.  <You have "good water quality", yet you state there has been transient ammonia, vacillating pH? What is wrong is your lack of complete understanding...> We have spent in excess of $1500 on various things trying to fix these problems in the last 2-3 months. <This is meaningless to me... you could spend a seemingly infinite sum and still be unsuccessful> What else can I possibly do? If I use Marine-Max will it harm my fish?  <Call, write the manufacturer... or whoever you bought this product from... Why did you buy it? I don't use it, endorse its use> We want to use something natural as ALL other meds for ich including copper killed 4 of our pets (that we had for over 12 months) We use Melafix to try to ensure they do not get any bacterial infections while they have these parasites and we sometimes give them garlic elixir. What else can be done? And please don't assume I have not read your site because I have, many times. And it all relates to bad water or bad livestock. <Mmm, no. There are three sets of...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm> My water is good <Read the above sent by you in this message...> and my fish have all been in the tank at least 2 months and some much longer. Please help me, I am running out of things to do. <These doings, lack of doings are easily described... you should do what others have described that actually worked/works... environmental manipulation, isolation of hosts, parasitized systems, copper treatments... described... on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Ich (I think) Okay, I thought I had it figured out but now I am not sure. Thought fish were stressed due to lack of oxygen while inverts were awake. Could explain why PH drops in middle of night. But I bought a new air pump and new air stones and an air rod. <Has little, nothing to do with pH shift... you didn't read where I sent you...> All work wonderfully and still they all had ich this morning. Was reading more about ich and I guess it seems normal (according to this article) that ich disappears during the day and reappears when lights go out.  <No> So, I have decided to keep lights on longer as well as feed fish anti-parasitic flakes by Tetra they contain something that ich hates) and use Marine-Max by tropical Science to build up immune system as well as increase slime coat so Ich cannot attach to my fish. Does this sound like it could solve my problems. <No> We HATE to medicate the tank with all our inverts, plus have not had any luck in the past with ich meds or hospital tanks. What are your views on leaving lights on longer and how long should they be on a day while trying to battle ich as well as how long should I alter the photoperiod?  <Waste of time> What are your views on Marine-max? <Not important. You can only save your livestock by first understanding what is going on in your system, next knowing what to do at this point, and lastly "doing it". Apply yourself. Bob Fenner> 

Bob, I might have ich! Hello, Bob. Hope you rested well. <Mmm, yes... but am ready for a trip out already...> I'm sure by now, you see the "FROM:" listed, and wince. It has truly been my intent to become a conscientious aquarist, as you have so eloquently described and modeled. And, except for this last shipment I would say that I have been holding pretty steadfast towards that goal, and pleased with the resulting reef setup that was emerging. <Ah good> By the way, the bubble anemone has settled in very nicely where I placed it, and seems to be all filled out (though a couple of the tentacles have tiny white spots on their tips), and the clarkii is equally pleased. I fed the anemone tonight, and it visibly closed in on the food I squirted onto it. <Good news as well> Here's the nub of the question: Somewhere on your site I read something that gave me the impression that the slime which came out of my anemone last night might have a certain toxic affect on the tankmates. Tonight (after a community choir performance), I returned home and noticed a whole mess of small whitish spots all over my (newly introduced) powder blue surgeon. Then, looking at the rest of the fish, I noticed similar signs (but to a much smaller degree) on my Chromis, Anthias, and maybe the ocellaris. The Zebrasoma, blood hawk, and orange-tailed damsel seem to be unaffected at this time. (Also, it seems to me that there are two small dark black holes just above the "nose" of the powder blue which I hadn't noticed before... maybe they're nostrils)> <Mmm, Powder Blue Surgeons are very susceptible to ich, velvet infestations... the anemone adjustment to the system might have/be playing a role here> What are the chances that this is all some reaction to that mucous vs. that even after the 1/2hr + in the acclimation solution (with Maracyn II, Maracide, Novaqua and Methylene blue), something I introduced directly to my display tank (STUPID STUPID STUPID) brought along ich? <The ich definitely came by way of the fishes...> I've read your material (Thanks again for all your efforts), and I'll do whatever needs to be done, but I'd really appreciate some help in formulating my options. If it's ich, here's what I have to consider. In this 150gal tank, I have: 8 Chromis, 4 Anthias, 1 Firefish, 1 orange spotted blenny, 1 red scooter blenny, 1 blood red hawk, 1 yellow tank, 1 powder blue surgeon, 1 bar goby, 1 fridmani Pseudochromis, 1 orange-tailed damsel, 1 Yellowhead Jawfish, 1 pajama cardinal, 1 clarkii anemone fish. Inverts include 1 bubble anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp, 3 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 Mithrax crab, many hermits and snails, 1 sifting star, 1 maroon serpent star and a couple of large feather dusters. I also have about 14 soft corals and 1 or 2 gorgonians, along with several types of Macroalgae. <Mmm, you can/will hopefully be able to tip the system to the "health" side of balance by nutritional supplementing, environmental manipulation... you already have sufficient cleaners... optimizing the environment, keeping it stable... RATHER than having to resort to separation of copper sensitive life and chemical treatment...> Everything in the tank has been eating well, and all the corals are reproducing. I feed 2 or 3 times a day, various flake foods, sea select seaweeds on lettuce clips, and a mixture of chopped seafood with other green stuff. I soak at least one meal a day in Selcon, and/or garlic. Everything has really looked nice in there, up until last night when this problem surfaced. <The Powder Blue is a large factor... may act as a reservoir host for some time...> I have a 3"+ base of sand, aragonite, live sand, and GARF grunge, and 180 pounds of liverock. The filter is completely self contained and is inserted totally into the tank. It uses 2 Rio powerheads, plus a 3rd one circulating through my UV and protein skimmer. The filter uses mechanical filtration at the top, followed by layers of Nitrex, Chemi-pure, and bio-foam. I have recently added a poly-filter to the stack, right after the filter pad (which comprises the first-layer mechanical filtration) to help bring down the phosphates. <Lots of gear...> My water measurements are: temp 75, SG 1.022 (I've been keeping this in line with daily top-offs), pH 8.1 (don't know why this is down from normal 8.2), Alk 6meg/L, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.1 (Must be the significant increase in livestock over the weekend), Nitrate 25, Phosphate 1 ppm. <pH does just slide (closed systems are, go reductive... I would boost your alkalinity... with simple baking soda additions...> I have a separate 20gal tank available, and will purchase something else if that is necessary. If this is ich, will I need to separate the fish from the corals? <Mmm, not yet> Do you think this is too many fish for a 20?  <Will/would be crowded> During the time I am treating the fish with copper, will it destroy any of the things I may have on my live rock (lots of little feather dusters, worms, maybe corals, and many other interesting critters). In other words, would it be best to move out my corals and extra pretty / well established live rock, and then keep the remaining rock and fish in the main tank, then dose it? <These need to be kept from the copper... the system, minus all fishes, can be manipulated w/o copper... in the hopes of weakening, starving the parasites> As you can tell, I'm a bit fuzzy on the next step (I'm also a bit fuzzy just because of the late hour). Thanks in advance for your assistance in this situation. Sincerely, Jim Raub <You are on the brink of personal growth, revelation... Appear to know "enough" about what is going on, has gone on in/with your system... now you need to understand what you know, develop a plan, and put it into careful execution. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich (More like disease/health equation components) Bob, Fish are doing great. I was wondering about the balance between heath/disease. Keeping fish with live rock (and some parasite) Over time if the fish stay healthy and can keep fighting of parasites will the parasites die off or will they always be around looking for the first opportunity to overcome a weak fish? <More often the latter> Will there over time, be a winner, loser, or will balance? <A sliding, more fluid type of balance> Fish have had small signs of parasites on fins and tail but not body for a week now. Do not see any fish getting worse maybe better. No hiding and eating everything they can aggressively. Like all hobbyist, at some point I will want to introduce new quarantined fish to system. D. Stanley <I understand... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm elaboration of very useful model. Bob Fenner>

Ich again Hi WWM guys, <greetings from friend/author Anthony Calfo!> First off, thank you for all you do for aquarists and our livestock. You save many lives in your endeavor. <thank you... I chose this career exactly for that reason...and the fact that I was to short to be a fireman...hehe> I have what appears to be a common ich infestation,  <yes, but have your fish caught it from you yet... and just how itchy are you?> but with an additional variable that I'd like to run by you.  <this doesn't involve a story about the south side of town and a tutu does it?> I believed that my infestation was cured (rather in check) by lowering spg, maintaining high temp, and adding a UV sterilizer.  <OK...perhaps> I returned spg to 1.020 and temp to 78ish. I also removed 1/2 of the bio-balls from my sump in preparation for mud/LR/Caulerpa filtration. My nitrates came down from about 80, to 40 within a week or so, with my water changes. My nitrites have risen to .25 pH is 8.4-8.6 For the record, I have dipped and quarantined all new additions, but the ich-prone tang must have carried enough to infest my tank. I've never treated with copper. <I hope you don't most likely> I assume that my nitrite rising is affecting the fish health,  <not so much as any one water change with water accidentally 3+ degrees cooler... that is the easiest way to flare Ich in marine aquaria...are you checking the temperature of your evaporation and water change waters?> and a contributor to the ich problem.  <unlikely at this level> If I return the bio-balls, will the bacterial level re-establish quickly, or would I be as well to wait without re-introducing the bio-balls? <shouldn't need the bio-balls with enough live rock> I have a host of inverts, 50lbs LR,  <get more please> and only 3 fish in my 72 gallon aquarium: 1 clown, 1 blue tang, and 1 lionfish. My quarantine tank is a 30 gal hex (not having expected to put multiple fish in at one time, live and learn...). My tang has a serious infestation, and has shown many spots every morning for the past 5 days or so. My lionfish may have developed some spots overnight, last night. The clown looks fine. Since the spots returned on the tang, I have reduced spg to 1.017, and raised temp to 83. The tang shows no improvement, actually deterioration. <do look at today's post called Re: Cowfish II for protocol on meds, QT WC's and the like> I am unable to fit all of the LR into the QTank in order to introduce copper into the main system. < actually a bucket or plastic garbage can (new... no chemicals) with strong water movement will be fine instead> Ideally, I would treat all fishes with copper in my quarantine tank, but I'm not comfortable with all 3 fish in a 30 hex, it's rather tall and narrow. <agreed> I'm afraid the tang's activity will be too stressful for all. If you think this is worth trying, I plan to put the wet/dry on the 30, and run my cc skimmer & Caulerpa only on the main tank during this period, and probably ever after. <copper is not your med of choice , however...the lionfish is quite sensitive as a scale less fish to it, and any remaining calcareous media (gravel) will just suck it up... what you need is a bare-bottomed aquarium and daily water changes from the bottom for 8 days to remove the larval tomites> Secondly, I could remove the lionfish to the quarantine, monitor him, and possibly adding copper to his water.  <see above> This would allow for a cleaner shrimp in the main tank, and after 6 weeks or so, I could switch the lion and cleaner - and maybe find the cleaner a new home. <OK... may help, but don't count on to effect a cure> Thirdly, should I spring for a 20long or what recommended size, and quarantine all 3 fish in that? I'd rather not buy yet another aquarium, but will if that's the best course of action for my fish. <admirable> I love this hobby, but really had no idea what I was getting into a year ago. I would support legislation to mandate reading of your FAQs and horror stories of livestock losses to anyone interesting in a marine aquarium! <even with me participating now?> Thank you again for all the help I've received from you in the past, and going forward. <kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Ich again Hi Anthony, <Salute, Daron> As you have noted, I sympathize with my fish - I've been itching for weeks. <And I bet you the rapid breathing from the gill parasites is quite embarrassing for you on the phone...hehe> Is copper a safe treatment for me? I don't have scales either, but I've been carrying pennies around in my pockets for a few days. <copper bracelets will be sufficient...they help with joint aches as well> Seriously, you gentlemen at WWM have definitely made my life easier, but it's still stressful and expensive to keep these guys happy. Without your FAQs and answers, I would probably have already lost all my fish a few times over, then taken up bowling. <"the horror...the horror..." signed, "Kurtz"> Thank you for your advice - I do have a few questions about my course of action, though.  <OK...buy your own shoes if you must bowl> I am deciding between removing the (bought as dead, but now very alive with copepods) sand substrate, LR, and inverts from my 72 and the choice of purchasing a q-tank for the 3 fish. <believe it or not.. here's the suggestion if we must move the fish... leave the rock and sand untouched...buy/borrow a 55 gall food grade plastic drum (or like vessel(s))...kill the poser on the tank momentarily and drain into the drum... with the last remaining water, the fish will be easier to catch and lower stressed in your doing so...remove the fish to the bare bottomed quarantine and proceed as normal. And simply pump the water from the drum right back into the display tank. A fast water/sump pump for the drain and fill will make very short work of this. The full 4-week quarantine period will leave the display fallow/without a viable fish host and reduce the parasites sufficiently> Will I need to keep the current sand, LR, and Inverts fallow for a month or so? <as above but leave undisturbed> If I run filtration such as my wet/dry on the FO, will that support the tomites, similar to how the substrate does? Sponge filter? <best bet is a bare bottomed hospital tank with a sponge filter suspended off the bottom...and rinsed gently in the old daily water just before that water is discarded> I'm thinking my best approach may be to move the inverts, sand and some of the LR to the hex, and the rest of the LR to a trash can.  <sounds like too much work to me> I can then keep my wet/dry on the 72, so I it won't have to cycle with my sick fish in it - <the need for filtration for the fish will be tempered in QT by the daily WCs> unless I change more water than I am foreseeing.  <daily for more than a week in QT> And, I'd might as well circulate water through my UV sterilizer - I know it isn't the cure-all I once thought it was, but it should help. <agreed> Thank you for your insight, it is much appreciated. <you are quite welcome...good luck. Anthony>

Ick, Lionfish and Triggers Bob, How susceptible to ick are the Lionfish and Trigger species? I have one of each (Volitans and Picasso) and it seems they are the last to contract anything, if they contract at all. Thanks, Tony <<The Volitans is about a five out of ten on susceptibility and Triggers about sevens... they can contract it, no doubt... but far less easily than tangs, butterflies, damsels...Bob Fenner>>

Ongoing Ich My current reef tank is doing well except for the introduction of fish. Almost every new fish I put in the system either succumb to ich or suddenly disappear. The big ones such as tangs, angels, and butterflies got ich whereas the small damsels and chromis vanish within 24 hours even though they appear healthy the day before. All parameters check out perfectly and the inverts (corals, anemones, and shrimp) are prospering. I had a hippo tang that contracted ich 4 months ago. Could this still be in the water and if so, how do I get rid of it? <<Wow... well, there is/are some mischief maker(s) in your system... likely a Mantis Shrimp (order Stomatopoda), that you want to get rid of... by baiting it out near night time/lights out with some meaty chunk of food near the front corner... ready with a flashlight and net... or better, by conditioning the rogue fish eater with the same sort of meaty food (once again right after turning off the lights), then placing the same bait in a "live mouse trap" (aka Mantis Shrimp trap...)... get rid of this critter before buying any more small fishes/food for it. The entrenched ich problem... yes, it is IN YOUR SYSTEM... a few ways to approach this... If it were me, I'd take all the fishes out, treat them in a separate system... and freshwater dip (pH adjusted) on the way there and on the way back (in a month or two...)... The main tank, I'd dump out, fill with straight freshwater... for a day or two, refill then with lower the specific gravity (1.010) for a week, then raise it back to normal... raise the temperature to 84F. in an attempt to speed up, get rid of the ich parasites in various life stages in your system (Lower it back down before returning fish livestock)... and before returning your fish livestock... place some biological Cleaners to help ward off any residuals... give comfort to your fish livestock. Yes, this process is going to whip your live rock organisms... not totally though, and Yes, get rid of that Mantis Shrimp (or giant worm, Pistol Shrimps...) in addition to the work on ridding the ich...And, of course, henceforth, dip, quarantine all incoming fish livestock... to exclude these external parasite problems getting into your system in the first place. Bob Fenner, who encourages you to read to your satisfaction, the pieces on "dips/baths", "quarantine", "acclimation techniques", "Cryptocaryoniasis/ich", "shrimp", "treatment systems"... posted on the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com >

Reoccurring ich Anthony, Thanks for your quick response. <always welcome> I think you may have a good point about the temperature. The few times I've checked it, it seems stable, even at night. However, it could very well be dropping a few degrees on colder nights (this problem did start in December). I always assumed that was OK because I've never seen it below 78-80.  <yes... a common problem. We all tend to check at the same time each day in our routine and even when not, rarely think to check first thing AM or in the middle of the night. Many Europeans use two heaters as standard but most American aquarists have not developed that habit> That could be my problem. It will also be interesting to see if the ich outbreaks coincide with nights that are a little cooler and there might be a little more of a temperature drop. I'll definitely keep a closer eye on it. <very good> As I mentioned, my tank tends to be on the high side during the day (82-84). I'm usually trying to keep it down a little to that 78-80 level. I even have my heater turned off (probably a mistake).  <indeed a mistake my friend... since they are thermostatic, they cannot contribute heat when other catalysts raise temperature. They stop at the preset. However, evening and nighttime when said catalysts are not in play (like lights or daytime ambient temps), the tank temperature drops with the heater off> I'm also guilty of not heating my water for topping off and water changes. Again, I assumed it was OK because my temperature is a little on the high side. <even when the tank temp is too high, a sudden drop is always bad... very often inspires Ich outbreaks. All good and bad things should happen slowly in aquaria> I'll try heating my water changes and keep a closer eye on the temperature to see if it is fluctuating on cooler nights. My only other question is it OK if my temperature is stabilized at 82-84? <absolutely! I would rather see a consistently high temperature rather than a fluctuating one that is only good half the time and runs like a roller coaster for the rest <wink>> I'll let you know how it goes and thanks again for your help. <very welcome...best regards, Anthony>

Ick? Bob,  <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a 55 gal. saltwater with a few mushrooms and polyps. My powder brown surgeon and my pacific blue tang are showing definite signs of ick, but they are eating great, swimming fine, and other than the fact they have many spots, everything is normal. I have turned the heat up, it is 82 and lowered the salinity to.21.... I am doing this gradually. Symptoms began yesterday, It seems to have no effect. I have 2 cleaner wrasses who pick at them constantly, but to no avail. Any suggestions ? Marie Belanger  <indeed... best bet will be a short stay (2-4 weeks) in a quarantine tank medicated with Formalin or a Formalin combo medication (like Quick Cure). Freshwater dips are also very helpful in concert with medication... do research the articles and archives on this web site for protocol on accomplishing these things. Please do act fast on this ... it is easy to cure but kills quickly too. Make sure all new fish are quarantined too before adding them to a tank... this will save money and lives. Kind regards, Anthony>

Ich without host Hello, Two more questions. How long will ich survive in a tank without a host? Will it completely die off or will it lay dormant? Thanks, Scott <Scott... Ich never really dies off completely... we cannot sterilize a fish or even the aquarium system without killing everything. Our goal is to dramatically reduce the numbers of pathogens while maintaining good aquarium husbandry to improve fishes resistance/immunity. Towards that end, an empty tank for four weeks is considered safe and effective. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Suspect Cryptocaryon in main system... Hi Bob, Thanks for answering. I have read all the articles at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasitf.htm and parasites and anywhere else I found referencing fallow. Wow! you sure have patience with all of us!!!! I went nuts just reading all of it. <Imagine writing it.> A last question (well I hope anyway!) Here is my plan: 1) Lower sg to 1.017 range in main tank while raising temp to 82 over the next week. Keeping everyone, maroon clown, hawk, and 6 line wrasse, with inverts, in tank. (Please advise here...) <Okay so far.> 2) Keeping tang and angel (with a damsel that was their to cycle) in hospital tank. <Mmmm, I would move the other fishes into the hospital tank... they are no doubt helping harbor low populations of parasites... that will retain pathogenicity/infectiveness consequently> I have seen no signs in main tank of problems, but I know they are there. I planned to do above until I see signs in main tank of ich. If I do I will pull all to hospital tank. <I would make the move pre-emptively> My course above is slow at reaction because I fear the 10 gal tank will be over taxed if I move all.  <Go get a twenty...> I do not want to kill them from environmental problems. Even know I am testing daily. I think ammonia is nearing zero and nitrite is falling, currently at .5 <Let it fall to zero. Feed not at all or very sparingly> Thanks Again, Dale Be chatting, Bob Fenner.>

Ich Dear Bob, Once again I need to borrow your brain for a moment if you don't mind.  <Not too much, or long... only have a bit left> As the never ending saga of my SW aquarium continues, the Ich is now back. I had major ich problems in the past and I took every recommendation you offered to rid my tank of this nightmare but low and behold it's back.  <Arggghhhh> I did notice brief appearances of the parasite on my Hippo Tang in the past few months but they would usually subside in a day or two. I'd like to contribute that to the new addition of a UV sterilizer. What ever the reason, the bug would usually disappear from the tang within 48 hours. <Yes... > I believe most recent outbreak resulted from a large temperature fluctuation when my canister filter ceased. The poor tang was literally infested with the parasite (eyes, fins, gills). It has improved over the past week but it is still very evident that the parasite is still active. The tang is eating but it also scratching a lot. I have several invertebrates in the tank so my treatment regimen is limited. I do have a QT tank but I'm contemplating if this is necessary because I have a feeling the parasite may subside if I leave it alone. Furthermore, my QT tank can not hold all my fish so even if I did remove the tang there would still be hosts for the ich to live on. I was once told that parasites that won't go away should try to be controlled/minimized at best. <Yes, a good attitude, approach...> I would really appreciate you advice on this matter. Is it a stretch to say at this degree of infestation that the ich will subside if the tang is left untreated? Or, is it worth the chase and catch of the tang for QT. <Do you have biological cleaners in this system? I would add them post haste... A general listing is to be found... on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com... get Lysmata shrimp and Gobiosoma at least... and quick!> Bob thank you so much for all your advice. Chris <You're welcome my friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Ich in Reef Bob, What is your opinion on fish with light cases of ich that are maintained in a reef tank. I have heard that in tanks with live rock the fish can cure itself. I have a Midas blenny (you may have recalled my first letter with the Magnum) that will have no spots on him for a few days, and the next day he will have around 12. This has been going on for about a month. He eats like a pig and does not "scratch". What do you think I should do? Thanks, Avery << Definitely try the biological cleaner route... to tip the balance in the host/fish's favor. Do you have any Lysmata shrimp? Room for a couple of Cleaner Gobies (Gobiosoma)... I'd add either/both of these. Bob Fenner>

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