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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis 27

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

Related FAQs: Best on Crypt, Crypt 1, Crypt 2, Crypt 3, Crypt 4, Crypt 5, Crypt 6, Crypt 7, Crypt 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 30, Crypt 31, Crypt 32, Crypt 33, Crypt 34, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Fish Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1,

Cryptocaryon and other protozoan parasites are hard to "make out" on light colored fishes.

SW... crypt, stkg... (aquarist needs to start reading) -06/19/08 hello My name is Katrina I have had my saltwater tank for a year now. It was set up in a 10 gallon to start off then a 30 gallon I used the old filter, mollies and a damsel to cycle the tanks <Bad idea> now I am into a 75 gallon. I do my water changes every 3rd month and I change my filters also ph is at 8.0 no nitrates or nitrites. I have a blue tang ,yellow tang, 2 Ocellaris clowns 2 damsels, engineer goby ,and my mandarin goby. <All in a 75g? geez> Ich has broke out in my tank I have a QT tank that is 30 gallon and I am treating it with Copper everyone seems fine but my mandarin he is very sluggish his eyes are sinking into his head and his eyes are clouded <Likely starving to death, perhaps among other problems.> What can I do for him he wont eat just anything he is very picky. <Um, yeah... did you bother to research this fish before you bought it? Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm> I thought about giving him a swim in the copper tank then putting him back in the big tank so he can eat but I am afraid of ich breaking out on him only. <Unlikely... these are slimy fish, relatively resistant to external parasites. Again, lack of diligence/research will often kill your animals faster than anything else.> he will be the only fish in the infested tank. I am at a loss what to do for him. <About the only way to *try* and save him now might be to feed him live copepods you can buy from Adelaide Rhodes, http://www.oceanpods.com/ However, good luck trying to target feed him. It's likely the other fish will get to the pods first unless you isolate him. And it might already be too late.> Please help I am running out of time. Thank you Katrina <Best, Sara M.>

SW Ich trouble, need help please!    6/19/08 Hello, I have found your site very useful and I tried following it but I ran into a problem. <Following?> I have a 55gal fish tank (planning an upgrade to 75gal soon) with a small 2-3inch dog face puffer, <Needs more room than either of these> a 2-3 inch flame angel, a 3 inch bullet goby, a 1/2 inch yellow clown goby, and a 2-3 inch flame goby. I also had a 2-3inch falcula butterfly fish in there too but he just died yesterday. I bought him three weeks ago with the flame goby. My tank properties are as follows: 0 Nitrite, a lot less than 20 for my nitrate (dip strip not exact), ph 8.3, and salinity is 20ppt. <Too low> I have an ammonia alert meter <I don't trust these> as well and its always on "safe." I measure these twice a week and keep the tank clean at all times. I vacuum the bottom every other day <... too frequently> with a sludge extractor and I only use DI water in the tank. I add Nitromax <Not reliable...> every two to three weeks. I have a three way canister filter with a UV light system attached and a Berlin hang on protein skimmer. The heat is constant at 79 degrees F. I have about 30lbs of live rock with algae on it, <Good> a few tiny hermit crabs, and live sand for sediment. No corals or plants. I feed the fish daily. I feed them mysis, blood worms, (they refuse reef food) and additionally I give the puffer 4-5 pea size pieces of squid, mussels, crab, and shrimp meat from the grocery store. I soak all of the food in Selcon before serving it. I have had most of the fish for 6 months. All seemed to be fine until the butterfly angel wasn't hungry anymore for two days and then on the third day developed labored breathing and died. <No... quarantine... entry "strategy"...> I noticed what looked like sand <Oh oh> in his fins a few days ago and I didn't think anything of it until he was really sick (my puffer always has sand stuck to him so I figured it was real sand). The same day it died, I investigated the other fish. The puffer developed the same sand like marks on his fins, which weren't sand. So I realized it was an ich outbreak. He has been acting normal, excited to see me, eating well, swimming well, not scratching, and his eyes are clear. After further investigation, I noticed the bullet goby has about two tiny crystal spots on his back fin and the flame angel has about five tiny spots through his tail and body. The flame goby and the yellow clown goby look clear. This morning I took out the carbon pad in the filter and added three packets of Super Ick Cure <No! Not to your main tank...> (3.6 mg Malachite Green and 60 mg Nitrofurazone per packet) as soon as the pet store opened at 9am. That's half the recommended dose since the puffer has soft scales. <...> So my problem was that the outbreak looked worse this evening than it was this morning when I put the medicine in. The puffer has about 5 spots on each side fin and the tail fin, as well as about 5-10 spots on his body. They are hard to see since his fins are always white and his body is white unless stressed. I called the LFS and read your site, both advising a fresh water bath. <... along with being moved to new setting> I spent about an hour preparing the solution just right. After I finally caught my puffer, he blew up as big as he could, I quickly put him in the bath for about 5 seconds but when I realized he was too upset and would not deflate, I quickly put him back in the tank. He floated upside down for about 10 seconds before deflating and went in his rock cave all upset and sulking- labored breathing and his coloring was a little dark. His stomach looked a little spiny from being inflated so far. That is my problem. I was too spooked to continue and the other fish weren't cooperating so I left them alone. I am worried that I may have gotten the puffer too stressed out and I may have compromised his immune system further. <Well-stated> He seems fine now though, he's begging for food. I don't think I can do it to him again. I am wondering if the medicine alone will help. <Not what you have done, no... Neither Malachite nor Furan cpd.s will effectively cure Crypt... esp. at half dosage, and with being chemically complexed in a set-up with rock, gravel... You should have read a bit more... quarantined/dipped-bathed all new fish livestock...> I read to turn the light off and I think I'll do it tonight. The directions for the medicine say to add another dose in 48hours and then 2 days later add the carbon back into the filter and do a 25% water change. <... My friend... this treatment is worth than worthless here. Please... don't "follow" my stmt.s/advice if you will, but READ references rather than listen to whomever this was at the LFS...> The LFS told me that if I don't see a change by tomorrow the medicine is probably not going to work <...> and not to try raising the temperature because the puffer won't tolerate it. <?> I read I can't use copper because it is harmful to the puffer since he is so soft. I also read to continue the medicine dosages for two weeks to ensure the parasite is gone, but how do I know that I won't poison the fish? <... read re these materials... at least on WWM> The puffer library says to quarantine all of the fish separately for four weeks, is that really necessary? <It is a very good idea> It also eludes that success rates are low. I am really worried and I want everything to be okay with my fish. What should I do? <Read, soon... formulate a plan... get/set-up/use a "treatment tank/set-up"... bare... use effective treatment... these are again gone over and over on WWM> Please help, I love my fish and I can't bear to part with them. The diver from the LFS even brought back the puffer from Christmas Island especially for me on special request. I attached a picture I just took of my puffer along side my flame goby and flame angel for you. Thanks a lot for any assistance, Lesley <I do wish we could start "way back" and make sure you had useful knowledge, effective procedures for excluding these sorts of problems. You have a great challenge ahead of you... I would get the new trtmt. sys. going stat., and read re possibly using Quinine and hyposalinity... Bob Fenner> Re: SW Ich trouble, need help please!   6/19/08 Bob, I'm sorry to have seen that my request for help was so cumbersome to you. <?> I have read your website extensively but before I go to extremes I wanted individual advice. <Your situation is not unusual... bad advice from a LFS, a lack of understanding in general. And there is no specific way to counsel you other than what I have proffered... at least that is known by me> You actually make me feel worse about the situation by ridiculing me. <... please> I read the QT and hospital sections. <Then why did you dump Malachite and an antimicrobial in your main system? This makes no sense> I needed to know if this was appropriate for my fish as all are sick yet they are all so different. Some have soft scales, some hard and some tolerate temperature and salinity changes while some may not, just as copper is appropriate for one but not the other. Also, if I did a quarantine, your site is not specific on what water to use, contaminated water from the main tank, from store, or brand new? <New is best if another (used) source can't be trusted> All details I wanted to know before moving around fish. Most puffer facts on your site are four years old and links to reference articles are broken as well. <Please tell me where these are so they can be fixed> Maybe there have been new medicines/methods since then, that's why I asked. I requested help because I am not an expert but I am trying. I found your response to offer no specific advice and to be quite discouraging. I apologize for disturbing WWM with my lack of expertise. In the mean time I have taken other measures. Thanks. <... Good luck to you, your livestock. RMF> (And later:) Actually another user on your site said they used Super Ich Cure and the counselor had no objections and actually said to continue the use. My lack of understanding comes from multiple sources who all have different opinions and products labels. There is no fish care Bible available, every hobbyist has different advice, all I can do is live and learn. Thanks again, I do not require a response.
<<I would make an input here re the reality of there being conflicting viewpoints on several topics, particularly disease treatment on WWM. Though there are others here who have personally kept more puffer than I, I want to state that it is S.O.P. in the trade to treat all Tetraodontiforms, including all puffer species with copper, chelated and not. There are many wholesale and retail operations... decades back to present who do so... Mine/ours inclusive. Copper is more irritating to some groups of fishes than others, but it is still the medicant of choice for external protozoan parasites. One must of course adhere to certain principles of testing, monitoring water quality... RMF>>

2nd time with ich, Marine treatment 6/4/08 Dear WWM crew, <Hello> Thank you so much for all your helpful advice. <Welcome> Two days ago I did a major cleanup of my gravel (vacuumed + 30% water change) in my 75 gal. tank and yesterday I noticed white spots on my yellow tang. : ( Let me back track a little. About 4 months ago I bought a vermicular angel fish and put him in my tank... yes... 2 days later he had ich. <A lesson on QTing.> Being new to this hobby (now it's been about 6 mths) I went running to my LFS, they quickly sold me a product Kent XP because it was "reef safe" and I had some live rock + sand and some shrimps, snails and hermit crabs. <Are you referring to Kent RXP? If I remember correctly this is one of those pepper based products, which is not going to help your situation.> I went home to use it but my angel died and my yellow tang now had some spots. I also have 5 blue/green chromis, 2 cardinals, one molly, one engineer goby and 1 oc clown. Sooo I used the product for 14 days, followed the instructions and to my surprise the ich was gone. Or so I thought... <Doubtful...> Which brings me to today. Since then I found your web site, wow. I love it. I am in the middle of transitioning my FOWLR to a reef tank, and last week a bought 20 lbs of live rock, which came from the display tank of the LFS, so I thought it would be safe to put it in my tank. Then my yellow tang got ich. What do you think happened? 1- The live rock had ich so it was re-introduced? <Reintroduced? No, was most likely still there, which is not to say the LR did not bring in reinforcement.> 2- The ich was in the tank all along and the cleaning of the sand stressed the yellow tang so he succumbed to the parasite? <Cleaning and stress probably had little to do with it, the fish was most likely already well infected, perhaps the cleaning pushed it over the edge, but I would guess the fish was never ich free.> Well, after the first incidence of ich, I bought a 10 gal. tank for QT. I've had it running for 2 mths now. When I saw the yellow tang, I took him out and put him in the QT. I was about to put him through hyposalinity when I read Bob's comments on hyposalinity and how it was not proven 100% effective. <I kind of disagree with Bob a little bit on technicalities here, I do believe hypo can work if done very strictly, however I don't think it is realistic for the average hobbyist to maintain SG with the necessary accuracy to work in practice, so it is not a route I would generally recommend.> Soooo, what shall I do? According to him, I should use copper. <Copper is pretty tough on tang and clowns, and the goby may have trouble too, although it will work without question as long as it is maintained at therapeutic levels. The quinine family of drugs, or formalin will work also, but with their own drawbacks and issues. Take a look over WetWeb and see what you feel most comfortable with. Try starting here and WetWeb FAQs http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php > So now the question is, should I treat all my fish with copper in the QT tank and let the DT remain fishless for 4 weeks? <4 weeks is the bare minimum, does not leave a lot of 'wiggle' room, I would count on double that time.> Are there too many fish for this 10 gal. tank? <Assuming you still have all 10 fish, then yes by far. 29G tank are still fairly cheap and small, if you could go this route I think you have a much better chance at success.> Also, my engineer goby is about 5 inches long and is always buried under the sand, will he be OK in this tank with a bare bottom? <Lots of PVP pipes here should help.> Please advice, I am going to my LFS and buy the copper so I can start today. <I suggest taking a day to come up with a plan, your chances of success will increase greatly.> Thank you once again for all your help. This is the 2nd time I get ich and I don't want this to happen once I get all my corals + other inverts in the DT. So I want to do things the right way. Thank you, Sincerely Erika <Read over the articles and FAQs, come up with a plan that you feel comfortable and able to execute, and proceed. Be prepared for large daily water changes, have aquarium "tool" dedicated to the QT only, and pick up some Bio-Spira if you can find it to give the bio-filter a jumpstart. Good luck.> <Chris>

Crypt, Marine Treatment 6/4/08 Hi All! <Hello> I was hoping I would never have to write this email, but it seems that I have a crypt episode in my 75 gallon reef. My tank is 18 months old, and I found your site while it was cycling, so I was educated about and have employed quarantine procedures since my first fish. Alas, I moved my tank last month, and now I have Crypt. I am assuming that I stirred something up in the sandbed when moving the tank, and the fish may have had an outbreak a couple weeks ago, but I attributed it to everything being "silty" from the move. <Uh oh.> I have set up my hospital tank (29 gallon) but I fear I now the 29 gallon will be very crowded. I also have my 10 gallon QT tank that I can set up. After hours of reading, I am doubtful that my selection of fishes can tolerate copper (which I have ready, with a test kit). <Copper is very effective, so having 2 tanks can be useful here, copper for those that handle it well, and another treatment in the other tank for those that do not.> The fish showing signs are: Magenta Pseudochromis Neon Goby and my pair of False Perculas Other fish are: (not showing signs) Lyretail Anthias 6 Blue-Green Chromis and my Scooter Blenny <I would treat all as those they are infect, as they most likely are, just not symptomatic.> I believe that my Anthias is getting the spots too, but he takes advantage of the Cleaner Shrimp every morning and evening, so he never has spots for long. <Studies of shrimp guts do not indicate they feed on the parasite, at least not directly, more likely picking at the wound around the infection site, but does seem to help control the infection.> I am going to fallow the display 5-6 weeks, and I was going to treat everyone with copper in the hospital tank, but after reading, I have found that most of my livestock is sensitive to copper (I think I read- all but the Pseudochromis are)! So should I put him in the 10 gallon and treat only him with copper, and the rest in the 29 with hyposalinity? <I would probably go with a uniform treatment here, too much work, chance of confusion for just treating a single fish. Check out here for details on several treatment options and see what you are most comfortable with http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php .> My other thought was to put the Blenny in the 10 gallon with an established HOB refugium I have and monitor him for crypt, but not treat yet. The Blenny eats frozen Mysis, but I don't want him totally stressed but not being able to graze after plunking him on a bare bottom tank with PVC pipes. While leaving the rest in the 29 with hyposalinity. <Possible, the dragonet is sort of a wild card here, fairly ich resistant so it is possible it is not at least a "carrier". Unfortunately to me there is no right or wrong answer here, both treatment and non-treatment carry their own risks.> Thoughts, ideas, opinions? This is my first time dealing with this, and it seems there are so many options out there. Thanks a bunch!! -Esther <As I was answering another similar query to this a few minutes ago I was thinking how easy it is to treat for Crypt if only the fish could handle it. Unfortunately that is where your issue is in my eyes, a question of balance between an effective cure and poisoning your livestock. Now if you are feeling especially motivated, and can get another 29 cheap the transfer method could work nicely for you, especially with the dragonets. See here for some details on that method http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2004/mini5.htm . Otherwise consider which other treatment methods suit you best.> <Chris>  

Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crypt... again  6/1/08 Bob, Since we discussed this yesterday, help me with some logic. I found an ABT at a store yesterday, the fish had been there at least 4 weeks. I saw it at this location a while back and remembered it, and since it was still there I decided to take a look at it. I purchased it, a 4" Specimen which looked healthy and was eating well. I took the fish home, acclimated it, and gave it a 4 minute FW bath, PH adjusted, prior to introducing it to the tank. It acclimated well and was eating last night. This morning, it was covered in Ick. <! There is very likely a resident population/infestation> Now, from all that I have learned from here, I am making an assumption that the ick is NOT a result of introduction from this fish. My logic is that by giving it a FW dip, it having no prior signs of ick, and by not introducing any water from the bag into my tank, there is no way that this much ick could have been introduced and show up in 12 hours on the fish... Which means that it was present in the main system. <Yes> Now you may recall that ick was defeated some months ago using the Quinine Sulfate. <Mmmm, this doesn't mean it was completely gone... the cysts could have survived the treatment> Aside from some new live rock, there haven't been any introductions, and certainly nothing recently. Obviously, the new Tang, being weaker, stressed, susceptible so to speak, has ick... but no other fish (at this time) shows any cysts at all. Those consist of the Passer Angelfish, the Lunare Wrasse, Yellow Tang, and a Tomato Clown. But, despite all the care I've taken, I have this scourge in my system again. <Expressed again... was always there> Now, unfortunately, I had to go to work this morning (don't mention to my boss I'm more concerned about my fish than making calls...) so I was unable to do anything right away, but hopefully I can get home early this afternoon to do something. The 20gallon QT tank, nor any tank of any manageable size, is going to work as a hospital tank while the system goes fallow, so I'm faced with using the Quinine again. <Mmm, maybe... I'd wait out this appearance and see if the current situation resolves (not solves permanently) itself> I've got some live rock with fan worms, etc, that I might can fit in the 20gallon, and of course I can pull the snails as well. How long, after this first coating of ick, would you guess a fish has to live? <Perhaps years...> Reason is: If the ick has been present all this time, will the other fish develop it now? <Not likely... sometimes a hyper infection can/will develop... people, particularly in the West don't understand that such parasite-host relationships are not a matter of all or nothing... but a balance, ever-shifting...> My guess is no, if they've been resistant all this time. If it's too late to save this ABT ($50 flush), is it better to take the time to formulate some other plan? My first choice is to save this fish, of course. Thomas Roach <If it were me, mine, I'd be patient... wait for now... boost the fish, systems immune system... with probiotics, garlic, what have you. Don't panic (shades of Doug Adams). Bob Fenner>

Re: Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Tang, Crypt  -- 06/02/08 Hey, thanks again, Mr. Fenner. I'll give you an update... Friday AM was the day the ABT was completely covered in 100's of the cysts... Getting home Friday afternoon, I guess it had cycled because they were off him. I'm feeding them a tad more now to make sure they get energy/nutrition to fight it, soaking the food in garlic and not adding medications. Saturday all day, no cysts were present on any fish, including the ABT. Today, Sunday morning, there are some cysts present on the ABT, but not hundreds, more like 8 - 10, which I think it could handle. No treatments have been done, I held off the quinine on a gut feeling (hey, maybe some of your knowledge transmitted through a 6th sense or something...). Anyway, continuing along this path, and I'll send you updates. Thanks for validating my course of action! Thomas <Welcome Thomas. BobF>

Re: Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crypt  6/5/08 Hey Bob, quick one this time. I wrote this one below on Monday this week... we had no signs of ick until this morning, Thursday. I did a 10% water change last night, vacuuming substrate and scrubbing hard algae off the glass. This morning most of the fish have a small outbreak of ick, not just the ABT. This is the first time the other fish have shown any cysts. Think the stress of the water change may have caused it, and do you think I should continue the non-treatment or go to the quinine bullpen? It had been about 5 days since there had been any active sign of the Ick. Thanks, Thomas Roach <Mmm, if it were mine, the Quinine. B>

Re: Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crypt Ok, will do. I've got the 20gal to put some of the LR in, with some clams & such, maybe save a few ?pods. I had some fan worms that did survive the last treatment, not so confident on them making it, though. I guess I'll start this process tonight. Ugh. Misery. I better buy some more beer. <Good quality as well> I suppose it was worth a shot to see if they could outlast it. It certainly wasn't like ick I've seen... this seems much more noticeable, as far as cyst size. <Remember the cysts are NOT the Crypt, but the hosts reactions...> It's definitely ick, makes me wonder if that horrible deal I had to mess with last year was Oodinium. But they just don't seem near as numerous as ick I've seen in the past this time. And the smallest tad larger. Quinine it is. Will post results. Thomas Roach <Thank you. BobF>

Re: Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crypt 6/6/08 Ick combined with my In-Laws for the weekend... I'm thinking Mexican beer, maybe Corona, but perhaps Modelo. Try the Shiner Bohemian Black if you get a chance, but make sure it's ice cold... <I do like the Shiner Bock specialty biers... but would likely go with the Negro Modelo...> I began treatment this morning. I siphoned 20g of water from the main tank into a 20g bare bottom tank and pulled as many hermits, snails, and 3 large LR pieces that had inverts and tube worms on it to try and save them. Dosed with recommended quinine from NFP. Obviously I replaced the 20g with fresh salt water. How long do you think the Quinine will take to begin being effective and providing relief? <Within a day> I have been feeding heavier the last couple of days with mysis and Emerald Entrée to try and keep the fish strong, as the ABT has seemed thin. As of treatment this AM, they were all eating well and aggressively. Have not seen any labored breathing or rapid gilling, very little flashing, but they definitely had the ick on them. <Try PabloT's Thera A... his Spectrum pelleted food with garlic...> Last Q: This 20g tank with LR and inverts... does it need to sit for 4 weeks before reintroduction? <Four, six or more... B> Thomas Roach  

Re: Stumped on med effects, Crypt 6/25/08 I had hoped so, too. I cannot believe this, but this morning I had 2 ick cysts on my ABT, and two or three on my Lunare Wrasse. The little cleaner wrasse had made a full recovery from his imbalance, btw... There had been no signs of ick since this email, which was Thursday. 5 days later, I have 4 or 5 ick cysts. <No fun> I'm not sure now what course to take. The quinine killed off every invert except for some hermit crabs. I still have my 20g QT tank running with some live rock, snails and pods for reintroduction after it has been fallow for another few weeks. The ick sighting this morning in the main tank, though, sickens me. I'm not sure I want to put them through another 9 day Quinine bath because of the stress of this last extended treatment. As you may recall, we went with Quinine initially because of the banded cat shark that used to reside here. <Yes, I recall> Well, he's long gone, so that isn't an issue now. I regret having to treat the main system. Copper is a no-no, as I have read that it can be absorbed into LR and silicone, and remain a danger forever; not to mention the tangs don't like it. There is not much in the way of FAQ, deservedly so, in regards to treating a main system. <Yes... Want to discourage... entirely> But before I get hoodwinked into trying some of these Pet Supermarket Ick 'Snake Oils', I thought I might see if you had another idea. Methylene Blue (sp) will whack the bio system, I believe, so we don't want that. <Won't do any good anyhow> And even with the trials, I'm not giving up on the hobby, btw. We'll get through it somehow. Hope this email finds you all well! Thomas Roach <Perhaps time to try "striking a balance here" Tom... With subclinical Crypt... BobF> Re: Stumped on med effects 'Subclinical Crypt'... hmmm... You know, I'm sure this is what I had before, prior to introducing the ABT. <Yes Tom... this is so> I'm just not sure how we got to that point, or would get back to it. <Getting the fish livestock "up to par" health-wise... allowing the Crypt to be less virulent> You know, I recall dealing with Ick prior to finding WWM, but I also know I did everything wrong you can think of. I remember dosing with 'Quick Cure', the formalin/malachite green ick remedy, and after reading all the FAQ on it, I can't imagine how my fish lived through it. <Really does/can work... these compounds are of use... just toxic> Garlic of course, I've used. And RXP, generally considered worthless as well. <Is> All this 'crap' on the market really frustrates a person, what we need is an aquatic FDA to regulate these claims. <I vote yes> Whatever procedures you recommend to attain this 'subclinical crypt' I shall follow, o wise one. :D Thanks so much, Thomas Roach <Will ruminate... BobF>

Ick Remedy Bob, I went by an LFS and bought this... I'm not using it yet, but I had not seen it before. I figured at worst I could tell you what it is and get an opinion, and if you think it's not safe or worthless, I'll take it back. It's called 'ParaGuard', and it's made by Seachem. "A safe alternative to formalin... Contains no toxic methanol". "...employs a proprietary, synergistic blend of aldehydes, malachite green, and fish protective polymers..." and "...only fish and filter safe aldehyde based parasite control product..." That is the pertinent info on the bottle. Any thoughts? Thanks again! Thomas <Worth trying. Was just reading about ayer while making/splitting up the FW Ich FAQs files. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ick Remedy  6/26/08 I may try it, then. I may wait a day or so first, though. This morning, the ABT didn't show any cysts at all, the only fish with some was the Lunare Wrasse, which I would have thought to be the most resilient of the tank. When I first bought that ABT, he was thin, his upper body seemed painfully thin, but through varied feeding with vitamins, he's really 'thickened' up and is definitely in much better shape. I believe all of my fish are quite healthy, so I've got a good shot at this. I bought some more vitamins last night, along with Garlic Extreme (along with this 'ParaGuard', I dropped $60 on three bottles of liquid). What I found interesting about the ParaGuard is that it makes the claim of 'safe' with a different combination of seemingly effective chemicals, verses a safe claim using some green tea extract bull hockey and herbal horse feathers. You say you were reading about this particular product? So damn nervous about putting something unknown in the tank... Thomas Roach <SeaChem is a good company... Doesn't sell "pigs in a poke"... Just that resident, established situations with ciliates are so entrenched... B> Re: Ick Remedy, Ctenochaetus sel.  - 7/2/08 As an update, I still have not used the ParaGuard, so alas, I cannot give you any feedback. We seemed to have reached the symbiotic relationship in the tank with the ick and the fish... I have seen a cyst or two once in a while, but has been what, a week now? We've had no major outbreaks and seemingly no concerns. I have been feeding with Garlic Extreme and a vitamin supplement, and they seem to be doing very well. <Good... is a place... perhaps not the ideal one... that I'd hoped for you> My questions now turn to Tangs, and I saw a tang at a major chain store which really caught my eye. I did not purchase the tang, as I don't like to purchase livestock from these stores due to the frequent ick sightings in their tanks... however this fish was very gorgeous and I know it was there by mistake. It's something I'd like to try in the future if I can get one from another vendor. I've done some research on the fish, as best I can... it's called a Flame Fin Tomini Tang. <A very nice Ctenochaetus species appearance wise and for aquarium use> My reading so far consists of your book and perusing the FAQ here, and there's not a whole lot of data. Mainly I am looking for resilience and compatibility info, so bear with me. The two tangs I have now, the yellow and the Atlantic Blue, are of different genus, which is what I attribute to their compatibility which is very good. The Passer angel causes more flak between them, which is nothing more than a tail flick here or there. This fish, the Tomini Tang, is from a third genus altogether, and if I'm not mistaken, a different geographical range. Your book mentions the other two species in the genus, mainly the Kole Tang, and most of the FAQ has to do with the Kole Tang. I've found a few references to the Tomini in FAQ, but nothing specific. I was wondering if you might take a few lines to tell me your thoughts on this fish and it's compatibility and it's durability. <Is a sturdy member of a tough genus... readily accepts foods, aquarium conditions. However, I hasten to add that this fish, likely any addition of members of the entire suborder Acanthuroidei, are not for you here... Your tank is already "tang-ed out"... with the two you have, and unfortunately the addition of another is too likely to bring about too strong/virulent a comeback in the Crypt> It is quite the gorgeous fish, not sure if I'd even add it at all, but something I might consider now or sometime in the future. <In another system> Once again, we all appreciate your time spent and thoughts on our various needs, questions, and issues. Thanks so much, Thomas Roach <Thank you for this update Thomas. BobF>

Re: Ick Remedy  7/3/08 Ah, yes, I really didn't plan on adding any fish now. In the event of an untimely fish death I might, but hopefully that would only occur from old age... and you answered part two as well, that of the reoccurrence of ick that adding a new specimen (not just of tangs, but of any fish) might cause. That bothers me more than anything, really. Even if I lost a fish or traded one in (thinking Lunare wrasse at some point, it is quite boisterous, and eternally hungry), I'm not sure how I would bring about another addition. <Slowly, deliberately... mixing new water from the quarantine to/from the main/display... assuring new fish/es are very healthy before moving> I have too much live rock to 'start over' with. I would like to add a few small chromis (green or blue) damsels if possible, perhaps 3 or 4. What do you attribute the current stock's resilience to crypt, the presence of garlic in their system (meaning ingestion, of course) or just overall health? <Mostly the latter... perhaps with a bit of acquired immunity tossed in... lastly the viability of your system> My 20g QT would be of size to hold a few Chromis, which I could feed with garlic and vitamin supplements, if that is the trick. It's an odd situation I have, indeed. <Mmm, not odd at all actually Thomas. By my estimation a majority of captive marine systems have resident protozoan parasite populations> My wife likes corals, and I'm toying with the idea of a 55 gallon reef ready tank to build a coral display, many soft corals (reading that these are easier for beginners). Think that is too small of a tank to house a Tomini as a sole occupant? <Mmm, eventually, yes> How you answer all these so timely is amazing. I'm assuming you have a small fridge near your computer to keep beverages handy. <Heee, I key quickly. Cheers, BobF> Thomas Roach

Re: Ick 1/5/09 Another update regarding... Bob, I had reached a point to where I was out of ideas, as none of my tactics had worked. As I mentioned, I ended up netting out and disposing (humanely) of my Atlantic Blue Tang as he seemed to be the primary carrier. At this point, I said screw it... if all of my fish had to die and the tank had to go fallow for months, then that was the course of action I would be forced to take, other than investing a lot of money and space that I just don't have. In the meanwhile, the Tomato Clown became the 'next' carrier, with many cysts and one really cloudy eye, hovering in one spot but thankfully still eating. Not wanting to give up completely, I used no medication whatsoever but began feeding the fish their food soaked heavily in Kent's Garlic Extreme. Over the course of 5 days, the cysts have disappeared from the clown and his eye has cleared up. No other fish has symptoms of ick. I am not recommending this as a treatment, please don't take it that way. It is merely a continuation of my story, so to speak. I don't know why the heavy garlic has this effect. I'm still faced with the fact that ick resides in the tank, so adding additional tankmates is still a daunting task. I'd of course like to hear your opinions on the subject, but this is where we stand now. Hope you all had a safe and happy New Year! Thomas Roach <Thank you Thomas... "whatever works" is my common mantra in these cases... I do want to share with you the fact that I have "gone nuclear" (whatever pronunciation)... and not only advocated, but been involved in totally dumping, bleaching, wiping out whole commercial systems that had become entrenched with Protist issues as yours... Bleaching everything, returning the marine life to the sea in the case of on-site collection companies... Am very glad to see that you have not given up. Your friend in fish, Bob Fenner>

Ich Battle, nuances of truth... not the same as the real thang 05/24/08 Hi crew, I'm having an ongoing battle with Ich in my 125 FOWLR. <No fun> As I acquire exceedingly expensive fish, I want to take care of it once and for all. There is about a one inch crushed coral substrate.  My question is not regarding treatment, but rather, how best to do the treatment under my circumstances.  I'm considering removing my live rock (only 60 lbs.) from the main tank and keeping it in a clean trash can with water, heater and power head. Removing snails, hermits and urchin to container with live rock. I would then add a few PVC pipe pieces for cover and treat the tank with Cupramine (an ionic copper formula from Seachem). <Nah> I'm considering this method because I don't have a hospital tank large enough to house my current livestock (Blue Jaw Trigger, Harlequin Tusk, Cuban Hog).  So my question is this: using the ionic form of copper, will it be possible to remove all but trace amounts of the copper from my system using Polyfilter and or chemi-pure after treatment making my tank safe once again for inverts? <... won't work> Will this be the best method of treatment in my situation? I've done so much reading on the subject, but can't quite make up my mind as to whether or not I should go through all this. Many "authorities" and some of my fishy friends claim that Ich is always present <Incorrect... am out at Interzoo... with Preis Aquaristik, the boyz from TMC, even the OFI pitch with a DNA scanner that can/does detect 60 disease organisms... Your "authorities" are ill-informed... there are specific pathogen free systems, organisms> and all you can do is maintain optimal conditions and reduce stress as much as possible and the fish will naturally fight it off. <Oh, something like this IS so> But after a couple close calls with initially healthy specimens, I question this theory.  Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jason <See my ancient, though revised pitch on "the three sets of factors that determine livestock health"... and call me in the AM. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich Battle 05/24/08 Bob, <Jason> Thanks for the reply. I've read your "three factors" article and also my copy of your book cover to cover a couple of times. In your response you mentioned what exotic locales you are currently visiting as well as some other interesting tidbits of non-relevant info but no real solutions. Maybe I didn't do enough pre-question butt kissing that seems to be required for help? <... cheap cynicism doesn't become you> You guys are the most awesome source for info on the web! Ah, good times. But seriously, isn't copper the best means for killing ich? I welcome a helpful response. <... not the best means, but almost assuredly the most common. Prevention is the best method, hands down... there are vaccines (not available in the U.S.), techniques of dipping/baths for exclusion... the matter of "balance" you mention... Quinone cpd.s can be efficacious... as detailed on... WWM... Putting copper in a main display, particularly with any source of carbonate present... is a slippery slide to oblivion. RMF> Your Friend, <Def. please. To me a friend is someone who turns you on to the good things they've found and reciprocally, away from the bad. You've done neither> Jason

Help with Lion Fish!!! Ich Treatment 5/17/08 Hi! <Hello> I love your web site and have read quite a bit of it. I recently had a Toby Puffer pass away in a QT from ICK. We were treating him with Nitrofuracin Green Powder, but I think we just treated him a little too late. <Unfortunately what you were treating him with has no effect on parasites, its ingredients, Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone and Methylene Blue are antibiotics, not anti-parasitic.> The problem, is that my very active Lion Fish Paula is now showing signs. He's not as active as usual and his appetite isn't completely gone, but he doesn't eat regularly. <Not a good sign.> There are just a few spots on him, but I want to get him in the QT, which I have washed and am preparing for him now. <All fish in the tank need to be treated in the QT to prevent re-infection.> I have two questions: 1.) Is it safe to wash, dry out and reuse so soon after a fish died from ICK in it? (Theo, the puffer passed away early this morning) <As long as it has been completely washed and dried there should be no problems.> 2.) Do you think Nitrofuracin Green Powder is a suitable treatment for my Lion? <No, an ich specific treatment is needed here, preferably quinine sulfate or formalin due to the lionfish's sensitivity to copper.> Thanks for your help and a great site!! Heather & Paula the Lion Fish <Welcome> <Chris>

Ich- Ack!, Marine Treatment 5/13/08 Hello Crew, <Hello> I hope you all are doing great! <I am, and to you too.> I have an all too familiar subject to speak of on your site- Ich! <Ok> My tank (175 gal bowfront, FOWLR) has been running for about 2 years now, and all of a sudden we've got Ich. My Foxface, Heniochus, Purple Tang, Queen Angel (teenager), both Neon Gobbies, and all seven Green Chromis have had it for about 5 days now (Coral Beauty has thus far been resistant). <Probably still infected, just not sympotmatic.> I've been treating the display with 'No Ich' for a couple of days (Skimmer & Carbon Reactor are both shutdown), and although the situation hasn't gotten worse, it's not getting any better either. <I strongly suggest against treating the main tank, especially with a "medication" that does not list it's ingredients.> My wife and I are planning to move all the fish to Quarantine tanks (not sure if one 60 gal tank is best, or three 20 gal?), add copper, and pray. <I would try to go with a combo of these if possible, otherwise the 60.> One fish guru at my LFS that I've known for years suggests my wife and I are already doing everything we can; he says in his experience (he's battled Ich for years in his reef tank) even when he's removed all the fish from his display (for 6-months at a time!) the Ich still remains in the display. I thought I read somewhere that the Ich population can't survive without a host for more than a month? <The science says it cannot live without a host. Most likely his continued problems are due to incomplete treatments for the fish or cross-contamination with another infected tank.> Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, we really appreciate it. Daniel <Welcome> <Chris>

RE: Ich- Ack!, Marine Treatment 5/13/08 Chris, <Hello> We are going to go with three 20 gallon tanks to Quarantine all the fish. Just to make sure, each Q-tank needs: Heater, Pump, Copper medication, Light No filters since we'll be using copper, correct? <Yes, although you could try to use an inexpensive sponge filter to try to get some biological filtration going. Also, Tangs are very sensitive to copper, I would look into using a quinine sulfate on this fish.> Thanks again, Daniel <Welcome> <Chris>

Ich or not to Ich 4-2-08 Hello there, <Hi. Yunachin here.> I appreciate the time you guys have taken in the past to answer my questions. I always review first, before firing away an email. <Good to know.> I've got a 125 FOWLR, Regal Tang, Porcupine Puffer, Flame Tang, Hawkfish and Auriga butterfly. I added the Flame and Auriga about a month ago. In 2 weeks, the puffer started to show cottony specks on his fins. I would give him freshwater baths to fight it off. He would look good one day, then back to his original state. <Were these fish quarantined before introduction into the tank?> To further fight this, I decided to use garlic in their food (or at least boost all the guys immune systems). In addition, I spoke to my LFS and began introducing Kick-Ich to the tank about a week ago. With Kick-Ich you must turn off the skimmer and remove all carbon and filters (done). A week later as I am finishing up the treatment, the auriga and flame begin to show cottony like specs on their fins as well (nothing on body), in addition to a thin layer of 'cloudy eye' to their eyes. I am in process of larger water change, as nitrates have gone up with skimmer off and no filters. I feel like I'm in a no-win situation. I have dipped the parties with issue noted above, but just looking for more techniques/ideas on what to do. Is the cottony specs most likely ich? Is the cloudy eye (bacteria) from high nitrates? <Not likely ich at all. I cannot stress enough about quarantining any new fish you get before introducing them into your system. Also you never want to add medications to your main system. A hospital tank is always the place to treat fish that are potentially ill. Adding unneeded medicines can do more harm than good as I am sure you have noticed. I would do a large water change, about 75%, turn on all of your equipment and let your tank run. Get a quarantine tanks ASAP and get the sick fish into them and treat with an antibiotic like Formalin and Furazolidone/Nitrofurazone for five days. Do not treat with copper as puffers are very sensitive to it. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm; > Let me know what other info you need. <Do the water change on the tank and get those fish into QT. Definitely keep me posted.> Thanks <You're welcome, and Good Luck --Yunachin> Neil

Re: Marine ICH... No reading, useful data, pix, or prev. corr. FOLLOW DIR.s! 04/22/08 Hi Crew, <Delia> This is a follow up email with my ich problem in the tank. Last night, we saw that the blue tang is on the edge of passing. Today, we can't find him anywhere, so I think we have to find his body now. We decided to get the QT, <... too late for quarantine... Now a treatment system> even tough it's already too late for the blue tang but I think it is safer for the rest of the fish. <Is the only route to go> My ocellaris black and white clown (4 years old) have this greyish (suede) look like all over his skin. I'm not sure if this is his MARINE ICH? <Me neither... Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm scroll down to the area on Protozoan Diseases of Marine Fishes, Cryptocaryon, Identification... you're wasting time writing now, and your fishes lives> the little one that I've purchased 2 weeks ago got this same symptoms until today, his covered with this long white thing (looks like his covered in cobweb). <Please... think of how this reads... meaningless. Do send along a photo or two if you can> I don't think it's the worm disease that I've found on one of your disease FAQ. My yellow tang, yesterday was getting better from his white spot, today I notice there's a tiny red dot on his left lip. PLEASE HELPPPPP! What's sufficient to quarantine this 3 fish? <What do you mean? Quarantine systems are described on WWM, their set-up, maintenance...> Should I give them the methylene blue and fresh water dip before placing them on the QT? <... up to you> What medication should I give these 3 fish on the QT? <What three fishes? You haven't included prev. corr.... again, all treatments are archived/indexed> Would these medication work for the kinda different symptoms that they currently have. Should I change 50% of water on my display tank? (150 litres). We're thinking of getting a custom 6 foot tank, but not at this point of time. Thank you for your help. Best Regard, Delia Suteja <This is all posted... READ. Send specific questions if you are not clear... not general ones that are gone over and over already. Bob Fenner>

Ich or not to Ich And now QT RE: 4-3-08 Thanks Yunachin for your advice. My only issue is space for a quarantine tank. Can I use a 6 gallon bucket and connect an air stone for 3-4 hours a day? Something similar? Thank you again. <No, You would do better purchasing a 10-20 gallon tank due to the fact that you will need filtration. Read up on quarantine tanks here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm; Most often it is better to spend the money on a small quarantine set up, than losing money on sick fish. Good Luck. --Yunachin>

Super Ich?  3/14/08 Dear Mr. Fenner, I think I may need counseling. I will be as brief as possible. After suffering multiple losses from a case of Oodinium I heated the main system to 85 degrees and let the tank go fallow for 10 weeks. At about the eight week mark I set up my QT (bare bottom, PVC pipes, hang on filter with sponge from my Nano) and purchased a Yellow Tang and an Orange Spotted Goby. I had observed them in the LFS for about one week prior. I believe this particular dealer runs copper in their system. <Mmm... if relying on this as a prophylactic therapeutic treatment... you must need know this... and that the concentration is constantly high enough...> These two fish thrived from day one. I waited a full 4 weeks prior to adding them the main system which was left alone for 10 weeks. Today is day 14 since in their new home and you guessed it, to my horror, ICH! <So... I take it this is not related to the previous incident with Amyloodinium/Velvet> I feel as though I am always so careful. Per your advise I have read many of the articles on Ich prevention and it's life cycle. I always use freshwater + Methylene blue dip prior to adding to the QT. Is it possible that the parasite survived in cyst form in main system for so long? <Possible? Yes... again... you're talking two different causative organisms here> Does the type of substrate, I have about 1.5 inches of black sand, affect the survival <Perhaps... I think the presence of organic "mulm" is likely more of a factor in such extension> To add to my problem I now have a Pygmy Angel and a Flame Hawk fish occupying my QT. My kids told me to go to the fish store and ask them what to do. As I have learned this is not always a good idea. I told them that my best advice has come from the "guy who wrote the book." Would it be best to break the whole system down, use bleach, let it dry and entirely replace the substrate. After doing well in the hobby for about 5 years I now understand why so many get frustrated and leave the hobby. I'm not ready to do that. Thanks for listening. Sincerely, Mark Conley. <I do sympathize with your situation, and wish there were some "killer technology" I could avail you to give strong assurance that this situation might be resolved for sure... You are indeed faced with the two extreme choices... to dump/bleach the system, starting over... Or continue some means of treating the present... A formalin-based dip will kill the resident trophonts... I would review the general articles on both these scourges: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm (and soon), and make this decision... through knowledge and action. Bob Fenner>

Yet another case of crypt... and RMF's ongoing crap attempts at sarcasm   3/9/08 Hey crew! <Howzit?> I'd really like to field a question to you guys. <Well, okay!> From what I gather on the site, copper or comparable alternatives are best bets in a hospital tank treating crypt, along with hyposaline conditions (<1.010) if the fish can handle it for 6-8 weeks while the main tank goes fallow. <Mmm, depends... on what means by "best", the species involved, their apparent health otherwise...> I've been going in circles with the LFS which have been insisting that upgrading to a much larger UV filter and supplementing food with garlic along with vitamin C will cure crypt. <Mmm, will not... I'll bet you any sum in the universe> They've made claims that they've cured massive outbreaks of crypt in their 2400 gallon show tank this way. <Mmm, define "cured"> In a lack of judgment I listened. You've probably already guessed it didn't work. <What a shock! Okay... am terrible at cheap drama> While I was doing this (since I had my doubts from the beginning) I've put together a quarantine tank and the only thing left to do is move the fish. Our current setup is a 180gal FOWLR (since our xenia died within minutes of adding a teaspoon of concentrated garlic...) <Yummy on pizza, some soups... and not too bad for breath... as long as all are consuming... Oh, back to your story> We have a 6" powder blue tang, 6" Koran angel, 2.5" flame angel, two 4" yellow head sleeper gobies, very large tentacle anemone, 1.5" black/white false percula clown, couple cleaner shrimp, 1" yellowtail damsel, 1" striped damsel, and a handful of turbo snails/stars/etc. Tank is approximately 4-5 months old, our first attempt at saltwater... and either the powder blue tang or the Koran introduced the ich (last two fish added) <Easily done... not quarantined...> We're running wet/dry with a 40gal sump, couple 1200gph return pumps, needle wheel skimmer, and 50 watts of UV on one side of the return, along with 200 watts of HOT5 and 400 watts of PC. I've also put together a 56gal column hospital tank with identical water parameters (1.022 salinity, 82F temp, 8.4PH...) with a canister filter (no carbon), small UV filter, bare bottom with PVC pipe for fish hiding decor to use as the quarantine tank. I've got cold feet. If at all possible I do not want to put the fish through the stress of being moved. They are all eating fine and active, although the Koran seems to scratch himself on the aragonite and the rest of the fish seem to fling their bodies against the water jetting into the tank, like they are trying to knock something off of them. Is there absolutely anything I can do to deal with the ich without putting the fish through the move between tanks? <Sure... seek to strike a "balance" of sort; like the 2,400 gallon tank folks... See WWM re Parasitic Marine Tanks...> This just feels like too many fish to quarantine in such a small tank and I've got a gut feeling they wont all survive the juggling. Thanks in advance for all of your help and insight... because of this site and Bob's book I've had exceptional fortune keeping fish alive, and I want to do everything in my power to "right" the situation I've caused through poor quarantine practices. David <Read on!: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and as much of the linked files above as you can stomach, till you understand your options, the logic/rationale, even (gasp!) science behind your situation. Bob Fenner>

Crypt 03/06/2008 Hello Eric, <<Good Evening Don, Andrew here>> Hope all is well with you/WWM crew. <<All doing very well thank you>> I am one of those guys that learn like a mule. So I bought a Powder Blue Tang and I did the freshwater bath for 6 ½. minutes and quarantined for about 2 ½ weeks <<I would quarantine for 4 weeks>>. I know crypt was either on him or in the tank still. Its not bad. He gets about 3 - 5 spots daily. All the other fish are showing no out right signs of infection. I have the 75 gallon up and running it was cycled already even though I know if/when I have to use copper (bought a couple hundred tests for testing multiple times daily) I'll lose all bacteria. Got that covered to by installing a RO/DI unit for massive water changes. Question is at what point would you take out the fish put in QT and go fallow for 6 weeks? <<The infected fish should be held in quarantine and run hypo salinity for. This process will last about 6 weeks. The display should be left to fallow through-out this period. If not left to go fallow, cysts that could of fallen off the infected fish and attached to rock and sand can simply just re-infect another or same fish. BY going fallow, it removes the much needed hosts from the tank for the ich to attach too. Read more here and the linked articles and FAQ's>> <<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm>> <<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm>> Bob this note is to you personally, I don't know you but I really mean this that without this web site and crew I would have never learned all the information you wrote. I go on forums and it is a joke what they have to say so a big thanks. <<Bob will see these kind words, and am sure will pass on thanks for your kind comments>> Don V. <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Crypt 03/07/2008 Sorry for the mix up. I must have asked the question wrong. <<its fine, we'll try again..>> At what point would you go fallow because I have read a ton of FAQ's say that if Crypt is seen here and there on maybe say 1 fish and not all WWM had responded to just keep an eye on the tank and add biological cleaners. What I was wondering/asking when do I need to go fallow or I might be not understanding the answer and your telling me as soon as you see the outright tell tale sign of salt like dots go fallow right away no matter what. <<Realistically, as soon as Ich is seen in the aquarium, fish should be removed to quarantine and allow the display to go fallow. Personally, i would not just monitor them/ leave them in the display. Lots of opinions on the treatment / control of Ich.>> I completely understand the life cycle of the parasite and I do know if a heater would quit or electric go out or undue stress Crypt will go completely out of control. Sorry again. Don V. <<Hope that clears the query up for you Don. Thanks. A Nixon>> Cleaners not consuming Crypt   3/5/08 Bob Quick question for you. Will cleaner shrimp and cleaner gobies, like say the skunks and Neons, eat the cyst shelled stage of ich that would be laying on the sand and live rock? Will they eat the other two stages also? Thanks again for your time, Todd <Mmm, not the resting stage really, or should I state, not reliably... the other stages can't be seen...

Qt tank and Ick, lots of reading   3/2/08 Hello, I Have removed all My fish from a 95 Gallon Reef tank because of a Ick Breakout and Placed them into a 55 Gallon Qt <Not quarantine, now treatment> Tank I have a Hippo tang a yellow Tang and Vermillion Tang and a Dragon Wrasse and Two Pink Skunks and 2 Blue small Damsels ... What is the best Medicine or Remedy that is safe <None are safe and effective... all have elements of risk> for all fish to cure the ick in a QT Tank I have Bought the copper treatment <There's more than one> and test kit but have kept it about 0.15 0.20 or lower <Lower is of no use> as I was afraid of hurting the fish is there a better way and safer way my one skunk has Popeye also now and not eating Is this from the Copper .. <Might be, indirectly> I plan on a 25 % water change today and have been reading about the Epsom Salt treatment and thought I would go that way for the Popeye but still don't want to put the fish back into the reef tank till I know the ick is Gone .. They have been in the Qt tank For 7 Days Now and have a long way to go before I put them back into the Reef tank I also checked all the other standard tests and the check out ... Thanks JIM <A bunch of reading for you: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm scan down to the sections on Crypt... Bob Fenner>

Ich...oh me oh my, more reading   3/2/08 Hello Folks, <Chris> First off, thanks for the great site. You guys provide a wealth of information, that I should really listen to more often. So, my tank is currently being burned with a nasty case of ich. I've lost my two clowns already, and i have two mollies that are showing a few white spots, but otherwise appear to be ok. (Eating, no heaving breathing, no scratching/twitching). The last fish in the tank is a yellow-tail blue damsel who is showing no white spots and appears to be healthy. Other inhabitants in the tank are a skunk cleaner, an emerald crab, and 3 Nassarius snails. The tank is 55G with SG = 1.023, <I'd raise this... see WWM re> Nitrite = 0, Ph = 8.1, Ammonia = 0, and Nitrate is < 10ppm. I have read that it's possibly for ich to obtain a "happy balance" with a tank that isn't highly stocked like mine. <Mmm, yes> That is to say, that the fish will appear healthy, but the ich will never really go away. So, what to do? I (now) have a small 10G hospital tank set up. Lets say it's possible to get those 3 fish out of the main tank and in to the 10g quarantine. How long would I have to wait to guarantee that the ich would be gone from the display? <See WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Scroll down to the section on Crypt> Is it possible for the inverts in my tank to keep it alive? <No> Also, I haven't been using any copper medication on the display tank because I heard that it will seep into the rock and basically make it impossible to keep inverts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <Read> Also, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to be using that QT from now on. But, I guess you don't really believe prevention is the best medicine until you make a mistake like this. Thanks guys, Chris <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Marine ich woes -02/27/08 I have a problem with ich in my reef tank. I have researched extensively and asked my LFS many questions and have gotten so much conflicting advice. The guys at our LFS seem very knowledgeable and we have heard great things about them from the aquatic community around us. But most of their advice goes against a lot of what you guys recommend. Here is the problem. <Differences of opinion exist, I'm sure.> We have a 180 gallon tank with a regal tang, Sailfin, 2 Perculas, harlequin clownlips, yellow tang, unicorn tang, 2 skunk shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, 2 star fish, and various turbo snails and red hermit crabs. We also have 5 different kinds of coral and 1 anemone. All of which we didn't quarantine or fresh water dip at the advice of the LFS. <Yikes! Intelligent people might disagree about the freshwater dipping, but you should certainly quarantine! I don't understand why anyone would recommend against it!> Recently we added a show size powder blue tang. Initially he was very healthy. After several days he developed ich. We contacted "our guy" at the LFS and he said that wait it out and everything would be fine. <Oy, this was NOT good advice.> He got worse, we insisted that he come out to our store to check on him. He brought some reef safe chemicals and said it would all be okay. Well, Kahuna (big tang) died this morning and we are all very distraught. <I'm sorry.> We feel very irresponsible and mislead by the LFS. <Indeed, you should have removed the sick fish and treated him/her with hyposalinity.> All the other fish seem to be doing okay. Our Sailfin had what looked to be the worst break out but he never stopped eating or being active. <lucky> My question. What now? We don't feel comfortable listening to our LFS and I have found sooo much contradicting info about chemical treatments, natural treatments, hypo salinity, raising the temp in the tank and my head is spinning.  <Well, one thing is for sure, you should always quarantine new fish! Secondly, even if you didn't quarantine initially, you certainly should after a fish falls ill/infected. Hyposalinity is one way to treat it without meds. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hyposalandcrypt.htm As for the medications, some work, some don't (and sometimes some work and sometimes they don't). In any case, it doesn't hurt to try any of them IF you quarantine the sick fish. If the sick fish is quarantined, you can use meds that might not be safe for marine inverts. For more on ich treatment, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm> We would appreciate any help/advice you can give us. <Always get a second opinion (and read as much as you can). :-)> Thanks <Best, Sara M.>

Re: marine ich woes -02/27/08 Thanks for your advice. Here is where we stand now. All fish are still eating except the unicorn. We finally caught him and put him in our home tank that has two skunk shrimp and 2 large hermit crabs. The salinity is lower at home. <How low? If you want to treat ich with hyposalinity, you have to bring the salinity much lower than is safe for marine inverts like shrimp and crabs. That's why the fish to be treated has to be quarantined. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hyposalandcrypt.htm> We also have some garlic power liquid to soak in their food. Our LFS brought us Melafix and Pimafix to treat the water in our show tank. Is there anything else we could/should be doing? <It's hard to say without knowing the actual state of your fish. If the ich outbreak is bad, you might consider setting up a quarantine tank and treating them all with hyposalinity. Read about the life cycle of the ich parasite and how it spends some stages of its life in the sand bed and in the water column. This is the reason people will remove all the fish from the tank with the sandbed/substrate to starve the parasites to death. Again, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm> Thanks so much for all your help. <De nada and good luck, Sara M.>

Ich-fest 2008, Marine Treatment Options, 2/21/08 Hello again WWM Crew! <Hello> Thanks for all of your help on past issues. I hope I am not asking too many questions, as I try and read everything here at WWM I can, and then ask a question if I am still confused. <No worries.> I wanted to ask your opinion on an ich outbreak. <Ok> After a long but valuable waiting/cycling period, I had just completed (finally) moving my livestock over to my new 125 g (with ls/lr) tank about a week ago. Everyone was doing fine, loving life, and the new space. Water parameters are, and have been daily for the past week : ph 8.3, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates reading between 5-10, salinity 1.024 and water temp at 78 degrees. <Good> Having just moved the livestock over a week ago, obviously I am watching them closer than usual and as of 10:30 last night, not one had any (visible) signs of ich. This morning, at 7am, this is what I found: Flame Angel (ich spots visible) Black Back Butterfly (ich spots visible) Blue Hippo Tang (ich spots visible) Black Perc. Clown (ich spots visible) Tomato Clown (ich spots visible) Gold/Maroon Clown - NO visible signs of ich Banggai Cardinal - NO visible signs of ich Pajama Cardinal - NO visible signs of ich 3 Stripe Damsel - NO visible signs of ich <Not good.> I also have 3 peppermint shrimp, 1 chocolate chip and 1 red knobbed stars, and about 15 or so various hermit crabs (blue legged, red legged, and 1 neon blue striped) I wanted to mention that there are no quarrels between the fish. The clowns are all tanks raised, has been introduced simultaneously to the old tank a while back, and have always gotten along great, and no one else seems to be bothered by anyone. <I would watch the clowns very closely here, the Maroon in particular will get more aggressive with maturity.> I've been watching the behavior in the new tank to see if anyone was being aggressive, and it does not appear to be an issue (at least all of the time that I am watching). <Good> My question is, being that my main tank is now infested, how should I go about treatment? <Remove all fish and treat, let the main tank run fallow for 6 to 8 weeks, details listed on WWM.> I'm thinking it would be best to treat all of the fish(except the inverts), since even the ones that do not show outward signs of ich have still been exposed to it. <Yes> I do have the old tank running still (just in case), but need to take it down in a week or so due to space limitations. <Will need to find some way to keep the fish out of the main tank for up to 8 weeks.> I still have the old (crushed coral) substrate in there, but the LR has all been moved over. <The CC will be a problem since it will react with most medications making it difficult to maintain therapeutic levels. I would plan on removing it if you are going to use this tank.> The water numbers for this old tank, as of today, are almost the same as listed above for the new tank. ( ph 8.3, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates reading between 5-10, salinity 1.024 and water temp at 78.4 degrees <Good> I have read through the great information here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the associated links, and seem to now have a basic plan of attack. I was planning on moving all of the inverts to the old tank and treating the main tank. I was going to raise the temp of the main tank from 78 to 83-84, but wondered if a schedule of 1 degree increase every 24 hours was too much too fast? <Is ok, but I would not use the main tank, if so all LR and substrate will need to be removed. Looking for just glass, water, some filter media and PVC for hiding spots.> Also, I was going to take the salinity from 1.024 down to 1.018 and wondered what a schedule of decrease should be? <Would not bother, not low enough to help treat the parasite.> Finally, medication. Given the mixture of fish I have listed above, which medication should I use? <With the tang and clowns I would stay away from copper, probably go with formalin dips along with hyposalinity (1.009). Otherwise perhaps a Quinine.> I am really timid about using toxic medications(as I have no experience with such), but if I need to I need to. <Will need to treat the fish (outside of the main tank) in some manner to kill the Crypt.> What I'd really like to know is how you (if this was your tank) would attack this outbreak? <Remove all fish from the main tank, and do formalin dips along with hyposalinity (1.009) while allowing the main tank to run fallow.> Thank you again for the wonderful site, the great information, and your time. Mike P. <Good luck.> <Chris>

Saltwater disease??? Reading, knowledge, intelligence, wit...   2/14/08 all hail BOB, <Yikes... all this while I thought/figured the U.S. was turning to the inevitable aristocracy... Maybe there's room for some sort of new religiousosity as well?> I have inverts.... anything you swear by to get rid of the ich? <Uhh... reading...> again my tank is 550 plus the sump... with 6-700 ish pounds of live rock its hard... no wait... I DON'T want to chase down the fish... <Too big a system for that... have to drain...> plus the stress on them would make matters worse... <Better than dying?> I have so many crabs and critters that I don't want to kill, so the regular treatments don't fit my plan... any ideas? this is getting quite expensive to treat. Thanks a zillion, Jim <Your options are spelled out, the rationale presented... here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Dear WWM crew. I have a clownfish that is not looking so good. would the anemone shock the parasites off of the fish. thanks. <Eddie, Please list the following information: Tank Size. All inhabitants. Tank Parameters: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, PH, Salinity, Calcium Recent changes to the tank you have made. Water change schedule. How long the clownfish has been sick. Picture of him if applicable. Thanks--Yunachin>

Quitting salt, water all fish dying, Need more information... Crypt, no reading   2/13/07 Dear WWMCrew, I have a 36 gallon bow front saltwater. All of my water parameters are fine, <Fine is relative, please give exact numbers> the salinity is 1.020-1.021. <A little low.><<A lot. RMF>> Please help me because I am so close to quitting this hobby. I have had quite a lot of fish because they all keep dying. My coral beauty dies my two clownfish died now my new clownfish has died and my two tangs and my threadfin and my wrasse and that's all from what I have remembered. <That seems like way too many large fish in a 36 gallon, especially the tangs and butterfly which need much larger tanks. A 36 should have 3 to 4 small fish max, especially if you are new to the hobby.> They all have white spot. <Quite curable, see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm.> Mainly it is all the fish from the stores. <Do you have another source for livestock than the store?> The rest are fine. please help. thanks <Need more information to be able to help. What is your current stocking, what are you water parameters, have you treated the Cryptocaryon irritans (Ich)?> <Chris>

Re: Quitting salt, water all fish dying... still not reading...  2/13/08 Dear WWM crew, I emailed you before about quitting the saltwater hobby. All of my fish have been dying and my clownfish is sick. Is there a way to cure it without quarantining him. <Not really, your options should be laid out on the ich pages from before and here http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php .> I have two cleaner shrimp, <Of minor help here.> 1 purple fire goby, two clownfish and an anemone. <The anemone does not really belong in this tank, they are very fragile and really only appropriate for large, established tank. Fresh water dips may provide some temporary relief but will not be a cure.> Will the anemone shock the parasites off the fish. <No> The water parameters are fine and it is a 36 gallon tank. He has been sick for two days now. thanks <Outside of treatment in a hospital tank your options are limited to pretty much maintaining good water quality and feeding nutritious foods while hoping the fish's immune system and combat the parasites.> <Chris>

Re: Quitting salt, water all fish dying... READ, get some rest and call me in the AM...  2/13/08 Dear WWM crew, I have emailed you a lot because of all my fish dying. My ph is a 8.0 to 8.4 <A big range, is it changing this much intraday?> and my nitrites are 0 and my nitrates are 15 and every thing else is great. <Ammonia?> Will an anemone kill the parasites on my clownfish. thanks. <No> <Chris>

Help! What Went Wrong?... Crypt, info., dipping, reading  -- 02/07/08 Hi crew, I am writing to you right now as a very worried fish keeper. I have just been given a royal scare by my blue spot puffer fish. <... a male Ostracion meleagris?> My tank has recently been infected by the dreaded ich parasite and I am in the process of procuring all the relevant items I need to quarantine my 6 fish. The carrier of the disease (my new yellow tang) has been quarantined for one week now, and I was living in hope that I had noticed the symptoms and moved the problem fish early enough to avoid an outbreak of ich. <Mmm, no. By the time symptoms are discovered, this protozoan has already gone into other stages... leaving the host, reproducing...> Much to my chagrin I noticed the telltale white spots on my puffer fish this morning. The plan was to quarantine <Mmm, let's skip this term... too late... now it's treatment...> my puffer and my blenny together so I could treat them both with hyposalinity (I didn't want to subject these two to harmful chemicals such as copper etc). <... Hyposalinity rarely works... you have not read on WWM re...> Four of the fish (perc clown, yellow wrasse, strawberry basslet, and Tailspot blenny) seem to be ok with only the basslet showing any white spots, although I have seen the blenny flashing against the live rock. <The system is infested, all fishes need to be removed, treated...> However, tonight the puffer seemed to be in much discomfort with all of his fins infested and most of the body covered in white spots. The fish was continuously scraping against the rocks and substrate and was 'sitting' on the skimmer intake and turning a black colour. Feeling very sorry for the poor guy I decided to give him a freshwater dip and relocate him to a 10 litre container with freshly mixed saltwater by himself. <The dip's a good idea, the tiny volume, not> I carefully buffered some RO water to 8.2 pH and added boiled RO water to get the temp to exactly 79F (temp of the main tank). I then arranged the 10 litre Rubbermaid with fresh saltwater at 79F nearby and got started. This was my first attempt at a freshwater dip but I have been reading about them for some days now in preparation of the inevitable quarantine of all my fish. I turned the lights off in the main tank and waited a few minutes for the puffer to settle down in his usual corner. I caught him with the net after a little chasing and put him into the freshwater. He started swimming straight away and circled the small bucket several times before staying still and turning black for a little while. He then started swimming around again and I waited for total of 8 minutes before netting him again. I thought that the procedure was going pretty well so far. When I caught the puffer and put him in the newly prepared saltwater (same pH, specific gravity, temp of the main tank) he sort of freaked out and started darting back and forth for about 20 seconds then sank to the bottom of the container upside down, breathing very rapidly!! I sort of freaked out myself and the only thing I could think to do under the circumstances was to catch him in the net and put him back in the main tank which then rendered my freshwater dip pointless. He swam back and forth and opened his mouth wide which was I found unusual then lay down on the substrate where he usually sleeps and has remained there for the past hour breathing very heavily. His eyes are clear and responsive but I'm so scared I've done the little guy more harm than good. Can you tell me what has happened or what I've done wrong? <Likely "just" stress here... perhaps low DO in the dip, new tiny system...> I did this thinking it was best for one of my favourite fish and now I feel worse than watching him scratch himself silly with the ich. The puffer is only an inch and a half long <What species is this?> so I thought a 10 litre tank would be fine for that size of fish. He hasn't moved for hours and I'm afraid he'll be dead or dying by the morning. Ugh what a bad feeling. I wish someone would hurry up and invent a miracle cure for this cursed parasite. <As far as I'm aware there is no such thing currently. There are effective vaccines, but not sold in the U.S... and the ding dang trade self-enforce simple exclusionary practices to greatly diminish the import and spread of these contagions...> Please let me know if I've done something fundamentally wrong because I'm not sure I want to carry out any more freshwater dips whilst moving them to the hospital tanks. M Wilson <I need to know the species you're dealing with here... and you need to read more re the etiology. Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... You have a hard decision, perhaps a few to make... To try to strike a balance and keep an infested system going as is (a tenuous proposition), or to remove, treat all your fish livestock, leave the system fallow... Bob Fenner>

Re: Help! What Went Wrong?... Crypt, info., dipping, reading    2/11/08 Hi Crew, <Mr. Wilson> Sorry for the confusion regarding my original email below, Bob. My puffer is a Canthigaster bennetti or Bennett's Toby. My LFS sold him to me as a 'blue spotted puffer'. <Okay> Following the seemingly successful freshwater dip my fish got over stressed when I attempted to put him in a hospital tank (a 10 litre tank, bearing in mind the fish is about 1.5 inches long). My only option was to put the puffer back into the main tank where he seemed to recover gradually. In the morning he was eating again and did not seem to be as stressed with the ich as the day before. I am aware I will need to treat all fish now and let the tank run fallow. <Ah, good> I note your thoughts on hyposalinity but what course of treatment would you then recommend for scaleless fish? <Posted> I am very wary of treating them with copper etc as they are particularly sensitive to it. <Yes... there are other techniques, methods, materials...> I am planning to let the tank run fallow for 2 months and I also plan to remove all the substrate and discard it. I will then wait 8 weeks and replace with more live sand and let it run for a couple of more weeks and add the fish back to the main tank. I hope to treat with hyposalinity and large water changes to eradicate the parasite. I hope I will be able to treat without copper / carcinogens. Regards M Wilson <We'll see... In the meanwhile, please set aside some time to peruse WWM re marine parasitic disease/s, their treatment... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Ich resisting treatments, hypo. failure, quinine poss.    2/6/08 Hi and thanks in advance for your help! I will do my best to have proper grammar but I m French so excuse my errors. <No worries. We make especial exception for non-native speakers, writers> I have a problem with marine ich that I can't seem to be able to resolve, I have been reading a lot on your site and many others and I'm now at the end of my resources and don't know what to do next. I will give you a description of my system and a step by step of what have been done to help resolve the issue. Tank is 78 gallons 4feet long and for filtration I have a basement sump 54 gallons with refugium filled with a deep sand bed and Chaeto, just over the sump there is a 25gal frag tank with a 2' sand bed and a few live rocks, in sump protein skimmer and 70 lbs of live rocks in the tank. We want to add a 220 gallons linked to the same system but will not do so until this ich issue is resolved permanently. I only have about 4 more months because these fish grow fast. We started the tank in august 2007 and by the end of September we introduced 3 fish ( a pink tail trigger 3.5', Picasso trigger 2', hippo tang 3' that all get along great) since we wanted to introduce the 3 fish at once for territory issues we broke our fundamental rule of 6 weeks quarantine period.. big mistake'¦ <Oui> within the first week ich started and quickly became out of control.. I read a lot about the parasite in question and decided to go with hypo salinity treatment of the display tank <This rarely works> so we removed the live rocks and moved them to the frag tank and turned off the pump and valves for the sump we have a shotcrete structure in the tank that cover the overflow and provide some hiding place plus we added some base rock and live rocks we didn't like that much and made some caves for the fish to hide when needed. We also added a canister filter and then lowered the salinity to 1.009 after 4 days the ich was gone we then waited 4 weeks and brought the salinity back to 1.023 over the course of a week or 2 everything was fine'¦ a few days after we connected to the sump and ich was back again. We then waited a week and it got so bad that we decided to start hypo salinity again'¦ I added some rocks in the sumps during week 3 of the treatment and thought it might had contaminated again.. so this time I decided to not add anything to the sump system at all (there is a medium white spotted crab and a few snails in there) we continued hypo salinity for 5 weeks then we took 2 weeks to bring the salinity back up and waited 2 more weeks with the system in full salinity for a total of 9 weeks without linking the tank to the sump. Everything was great no ich and healthy fish so we brought the rock back up from the frag tank 2 days ago and aquascaped the tank as I was preparing to connect the sump again we noticed that the hippo is cover with ich again and the pink tail have some too. <No fun> I was under the impression that ich could not survive more then 4-5 weeks without a host and that invertebrate were not consider has host. <Was with a host... not killed... the embedded trophonts/Crypt in the skin/connective tissue of the triggers, tang> With the rock in isolation with only a few corals and inverts for 9 weeks I assumed they would be fine? What is the next step I don't know what to do anymore and I m very discouraged. Thanks in advance for your help. Marc <I would go the quinine treatment route. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Marine ich, Treatment options, plans 1/31/08 I'm looking to eliminate ich that I have in my 90gal reef tank and was wondering what my best option is going to be? <There are a few, details available here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm .> Noticed recently that some of the fish have ich especially my hippo tang. <Tangs are very susceptible.> This system has been set up for about 2 1/2 years with fish for about 2 years all added within the same month. I'm looking to removing all my fish and placing them into another tank. My problem is first of all of the live rock and corals that are in the system... there's almost no way I can catch all my fish without removing basically all of it. My next problem is where to put all my fish where they will be safe treatable and healthy for 2+ months. I don't really have the money or need for another aquarium but I want something kind of large to keep the fish happy and not so aggressive also to keep the stress level down (the hippo is a drama queen). Was wondering if I could buy like 2 large storage totes, one to put the rock in so I can catch all the fish and the other to put the fish in. <Many do this, just make sure to get food grade containers to avoid any potentially toxic chemicals. Their biggest downside is that it is difficult to get a good look at the fish to check their health.> Could the fish be safely kept in a storage tote? (just so you know I would be getting the largest tote I could find guessing but around 40-50gal tote) What type of stuff, filters skimmers lights etc would they need to be able to stay in the tote for like 2 months? <Heaters, water movement and sponge filters are the way to go here, avoid the skimmers and carbon when treating since it will pull out the medication.> I have plenty of extra heaters and an extra carbon filter or two laying around. <Go with a plain old sponge filter here to start with.> I even have a nice extra light if needed. And during these 2 months I plan on treating the main tank with "rid-ich marine" only because it says reef safe and I don't think it would hurt to treat that a few times during the 2 months even when there are no fish present. <I would avoid treating the main tank with anything, the Ich parasite cannot complete its life cycle without a host. Your main concern here is cross-contaminating from the hospital tank.> I also plan on treating the fish in the tote with whatever you tell me to :) as I'm sure you know a good one to use. <All listed on WWM, articles linked above.> So that was my plan and was curious to what you thought and more importantly if my idea is good (using totes) what is a must have in the tote with the fish in it because they will be in there for close to 2 months. <Water quality is the biggest problem, be prepared for lots of very frequent water changes.> <Chris>

I have some issues maybe you can help?, Marine Ich treatment options, 1/31/08 * Hello all! <Hello> I first must tell you how grateful I am to have found you! Your site has saved me before so I'll give it a go!* <Good> I have a 155 bow front tank that is in the wall. I have limited access to it from the front ( only the center for the most part). The rear access is limited as well because of the height (4ft off the floor). <That would be a problem.> I have FOWLR witch consists of a snowflake ell, 4 damsels, 3 clowns, trigger, q angel, yellow tang, hippo tang, br tang, snails and h crabs. I have a sump system with: 20watt uv, protein skimmer as well as a ro machine no qt tank (Du!!). <I highly recommend investing in a QT, helps you avoid many issues altogether.> That being said I am still learning 2 years later with minimal problems (knock knock). I recently added the 2 tangs (brown and hippo) because of my access problem (behind the bar I might add) I have a hard time catching even netting fish that have passed (I was sold a bridge when it was set up). The 2 tangs have ich (the first out break in the tank) with my limited access and lack of a near by hospital or ems unit what would you suggest? Thank You again for your support! Keep up the good work for all of us that don't! * <Without a separate tank to treat the fish in you are limited to keeping the water quality high and good nutrition hoping it helps the fish's own immune system to combat the parasite. Avoid treating the tank, any effective treatment is not safe for the main tank, regardless of what they advertise.> <Chris>

Any last ditch differential diagnoses prior to copper treatment for suspected marine ich? Perhaps reading    1/9/08 Hello all, Thank you for your prompt attention to this question. I am a new marine aquarium hobbyist that has a 47g bowfront reef tank 60lbs live rock, an Orbitz light system a Rio 2100 powerhead a MaxiJet 600 powerhead a remora protein skimmer (MaxiJet 1200) one clown fish, one pajama cardinal one blue Chromis and one baby tang <This system is too small for an acanthurid> added in that order approx 1 wk apart. <Sans quarantine> All fish getting along no fighting that I am noticing. All play nicely together. Besides the Pj's loner status. I just traded the larger one greater than 3 inches that came with this tank (broken down by someone who was moving). I'll trade him in when he gets bigger too. (also a half dozen snail hermit crabs, one small green torch, one small colt coral, and one soft coral that I haven't been able to ID yet that my husband bought. Several days ago I noticed small white salt like spots on the blue Chromis in the morning under the actinic lighting that appeared to be ich. <Likely is Crypt> Being so new in the hobby I was really hoping I was wrong. I read and read and thought for sure it was ich. Came home from work that evening and surprise-gone. Next morning/evening same cycle. 3rd morning spots on tang-lots-in the evening gone. When the spots are gone doesn't matter what lighting they are under-really not able to be seen. None of the fish scratch/flash have cloudy eyes poor eating habits. <Good description, observations> Water chemistry is good: ph 7.6 (yes a little low <Actually, this is disastrously low... pH scales are base ten logarithms... If your "pay" were this different from "normal" you'd be howling> I was working on bringing that up), nitrate 5ppm, nitrite 0, ammonia 0 phosphate 0.09. Had the water tested the day the ich showed up (3 days previously) Salinity 1.025. I know that the cysts from ich can drop off, but I wasn't sure that it would or could follow such a pattern. <?... Please... read on WWM re...> I have set up a quarantine tank cheapie set up from Wal-Mart (60 bucks) <Too late for quarantine... now you have a choice for treatment or...> (14g) no substrate pvc pipe for hiding spots, all filtering stuff from the hang in filter removed, and am working on heating it up right now as we speak. Cupramine is in the tank as directed to 0.5ppm (per directions on bottle). Any last ditch ideas that this could be before I start the copper tx? LFS said I didn't have to do the freshwater dip if I was doing the copper. Do you agree? Potential micro bubbles?? I read the article how the guy turned off his protein skimmer and the "ich" disappeared....don't think that is the problem. Also, I do need a surface skimmer. I have noticed that the oily film is a little too present for my liking. (In the meantime directed powerheads to break surface of water more readily to drive the protein down so that the protein skimmer could possibly pick it up more.... Counting on you to give me a differential diagnosis. Or is it really and truly ich? Thanks, Erika <Have just skipped down. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... You need to understand your options... and these are gone over and over... Bob Fenner>

Re: Any last ditch differential diagnoses prior to copper treatment for suspected marine ich?  1/9/08 Hi Bob, Just wanted to let you know the fish were quarintined for two weeks prior to my getting them from the fish store. <... then... where did this parasite come from?> Thanks for the input all fish are now in the quarentine tank receiving copper treatment. <... Please... read... don't write. RMF>

Re: Any last ditch differential diagnoses prior to copper treatment for suspected marine ich? 1/9/08 debating on the subject of "all fish carry ich" vs. it can be quarantined out. <Not often simply through quarantine procedures> Wonder if it could have been stress induced between the tang and blue Chromis the two fastest active fish in the tank. You input is appreciated and you knowledge on this subject is probably infinite... I am in the medical field, in anesthesia and it takes years to acquire the knowledge and skill to perform my job and to do it well. When I was in school, the learning curve was huge, and there were many opinions and many ways to perform the same job. Some methods were in direct opposition to each other. It is very frustrating. But certain methods worked well in the hands of some and not so great in the hands of others. <The actual factors, instances must need be studied... patterns, consequences ferreted out> When my LFS says I don't have to quarantine they have already done it, <Mmm... there are some (I know of three in the U.S.) who have facilities, the actual discipline for this... REQUIRES: separate facilities... a locked room, really... STRICT separation of all equipment... for a MINIMUM of two weeks. Does your store have this? IF not...> I take them as a local source of authority on the subject. I do talk to them about some of the potentials of cross contamination etc. None of the store workers etc. quarantine their fish at home. They thought it was an extreme methods to quarantine for another several weeks in addition to their two week quarantine. <Again... Please... read... my books, articles...> Another argument for not taking the fish out to treating the ich given to me by the LFS was that often you induce more stress on the fish when your tank is that much smaller and conditions are not the same as the main tank. (lighting from the cheap bulbs in the quarantine tank vs. Orbitz lighting system etc. Really would like your opinion on this. <This is a very valid concern, equation to consider> I spend more time reading marine contents than medical contents right now. <Heeeee!> Often times in conflicting opinions it is most wise to discuss the subject vs. just reading, taking it for gospel and still making mistakes. (Thus M&M morbidity/mortality conferences in the medical field-issues are discussed as to what went wrong, options opinions and resolutions) <No gospel here... but I did read the M and M weeklies for a few years... Morbid (sorry for this) interest. BobF>

Re: Any last ditch differential diagnoses prior to copper treatment for suspected marine ich?    01/13/2008 update: approaching 1wk of hospital tank Cupramine tx for crypto. I had told you that my ph in my main tank was low-using SeaChem marine buffer to increase my tank ph-tests confirmed by LFS that ph up to 8.2 only after using twice on main tank. <Please read... re the addition of alkaline material and cupric ion... these are "contraindicated" as they likely say at your school (Mayo)> Will continue to monitor. Reading somewhere that the ph is lower than desirable in new salt water mix I added (obviously too much) to my new salt water that was aging for my HT. <I'd be looking at other brands...> I use oceanic SeaSalt <I'd be...> mixed ro water aged 24 hrs and heated with one of those tiny heaters. No powerhead (is that completely unacceptable? (Pls advise). <Posted. Please read> Anyway I got a snowstorm <From...?> in my HT, immediate water change of as much as I could (approx 6 of 14 gt).~(50%) That's all the new salt water I had ready. (I live in a condo) no garage-no extra room either. Most of precip. was suctioned out. Worked on getting rest of precip out over next several days of daily 50% water changes. (still added Cupramine-tested seemed to be 0.25.-0.5 Blue Chromis. clown fish doing well eating well, PJ cardinal listless not as interested in food-barely feeding. Tang faring probably worst emotionally/neurologically. Appeared yesterday to not be able to see bumping into pvc not reacting to hand in front of glass not feeding. (this tang is juv-1-1/2 in.). Feared copper tox. <You're right> even though testing and reading through top of test tubes. Took water sample into LFS, tested said NO copper. Told problem with buffer- <Oh! They're right> said it bound to the buffer and precip out. <Correcto... see my comment above> NOW question: I would say the tank today looks as clear as prior to buffer ever being added. Tang seems to have perked up. Ammonia level appear to be the lowest on the colorimetric reading chart (forgot the ppm) nitrites 10 prior to daily50% water change. Ph 8.2 Sm. amt precip still on bottom of HT, Do I dose up copper heavier to match the color chart recommendations (awful hard to tell) or will it continue to bind until all precip on bottom of HT is absolutely gone? <... you should read; but yes> Since according to LFS says "0" copper do I have to start counting my HT time from day zero? <Yes... correct> I've been reading for 3 hrs tonight learning lots... <Ah, good> but have not found this question answered.-though I love my tank-not the most ideal way to spend Sat. night. Pls advise. <Unfortunately... present day knowledge transfer mechanisms do not allow for much improvement here... I don't know (much) of what you know/don't know... so can only re-direct you to delve further... the use of copper compounds is actually well-elucidated... it's just that there is so much material and too much dissonance in the hobby interest/collective mind re> PS the fish don't hide in the 2in pvc pipes only behind it...therefore not a whole lot of known hiding space to fish, any advice? <... more PVC parts. BobF>

Re: Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin   1/11/08 Hello again Bob, I'm sorry to be a pest..... <Not a problem> The copper treatment that I have is Cupramine. After reading extensively I am now paranoid about the testing side since it seems that what should be a simple task is made difficult by poor information provided by manufacturers. <?> Cupramine is described as 'ionic' by the manufacturer, but on WWM you state that a 'chelated' test kit is required. <Is copper chelated with an amine group> I understood 'ionic' to mean 'free', but I also thought that Cupramine was 'copper bonded to an amine'. <... both are so as far as I'm aware> There are posts on WWM that state Cupramine is non chelated as well as ones that state it is chelated. I have decided that it is 'chelated'. <My assumption as well: See some of the links here: http://www.google.com/search?q=is+cupramine+chelated%3F&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7PCTA. The amine group is organic... polar... uncharged... so the Copper here is considered ionic (i.e. charged), unlike most chelates/sequestering agents that effectively remove the overall charge of the combined molecule...> The Seachem test that I am basically forced to order to go with the kit I have does not work according to many people that have posted on WWM. The Salifert test that I already have measures free or 'weakly chelated' copper. There is no copper product that I have found that is described as 'weakly chelated', so will the Salifert one work with Cupramine or not? <Mmm, it will... in so much that it will measure the part of the Cupramine that is "free", in the form of cupric ion... the bound up portion of copper here is unimportant... UNTIL released... which will be a "steady state" (first order reaction) in time, decreasing in rate... unless "something" changes... e.g. temperature, pH substantially. The real short answer: Yes> Some people seem to have used it and got results, others not. If so, then the Salifert test is reported as having an almost undecipherable colour strip anyway so I am not confident about using that either. <Look to Hach, LaMotte... other brands of colorimetric assay "kits" if so> Most copper test kits on the internet do not say if they measure chelated copper or not. Obviously by not stating what type of copper they measure means that a) they are losing out on potential business by not describing their product accurately and b) if they can't even tell you what they measure then they can't be very good. <I think the manufacturers by and large just don't know enough of whom they're selling to, what they're selling...> The only other kit (that states it measures chelated copper) on sale in England that I've been able to find is the API one which everyone says is, for want of a better single word, 'not very good'. <Agreed> I feel that the only way to safely measure the copper using Cupramine is to use two kits and cross reference the results. First to test on a sample before adding to the QT. Unhappily I will use the Seachem and Salifert kits for this purpose unless you can suggest another to me to use alongside the Seachem one that you know will do the job. <I think you will be fine> As for the half strength for the tangs, the full strength of Cupramine is stated as 0.5ppm, so the strength that I am intending to go for is 0.25ppm. This is above the 0.15ppm threshold that I believe is required. <Yes... and thank you for this opportunity to have this made clear> I have also read that with concentrations below 0.3ppm some of the biological filter in the QT may remain intact. (I am also worried about this because if the copper is bonded with an amine then will my ammonia test kits read false positives?) Please advise if I have the wrong end of the stick! <These are also so> I feel a useful tool for the hobbyist would be something along the lines of a study or an excel type spreadsheet, i.e. which brands of copper treatment work with which brands of test, along with a star rating for the test itself, whether the treatment is 'chelated' or not, and required strengths for effectiveness. If there is such a thing in existence then I would be most grateful if you point me in it's direction. Yours in great admiration, Simon, England <Clear thinking here Simon... I thank you. Am going to send your note along to a friend, Steven Pro, who is given to doing such tests/testing. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Re: Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin, Steven Pro request 1-11-2008 I have heard of some folks getting defective copper test kits from both Seachem and Salifert. Right now, I would likely go with Seachem, as they quickly addressed the problem and sent out a bunch of new test kits to people. Salifert continues to have problems with a range of their test kits. I believe Habib is having health issues again and that is affecting things. <Wowzah! Thanks much for this VERY timely input Steven. BobF. A side note re these "kits"... most all reagents for petfish assays are actually made by other companies...>

Re: Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin, Steven Pro request 1-11-2008 Bob, <Simon> Thank you for your quick response I feel much happier about the situation. I did not realise that being bonded to an amine would still leave the copper ionic. <Mmm, yes... review/remember from H.S./upper level? Chemistry... that ions are charged particles... metals are naturally (by themselves) positively charged (vs. anions, which are negatively... have an excess of electrons...)... The "amine" is an organic matrix (like the building blocks of proteins, amino acids...) are non-ionic... to degrees "polar" molecules... When bonded, whether you own up to words like chelation... to copper/cupric ions, the overall molecule is ionic...> This makes more sense to me now. I have heard from Steven Pro also who has suggested that both Seachem and Salifert have their quality issues so I will press on with using both test kits just in case. <Good plan> Thank you again, Simon, England <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin, Steven Pro request  01/22/2008 Hi Bob, <Simon> I have moved forward with the formalin dip on the eel at the weekend and all went well. 200ppm for 40 minutes, he is more than happy to be back in the reef tank munching on all the snails that have exploded in numbers since he left! <Ah, good> On with the copper med in the QT and I feel obliged to tell you the problems that I have had so that you can post this for other people to read. <MUCH appreciated> Unfortunately all of my fears have been realised. I bought two Seachem tests from different suppliers and neither one worked satisfactorily. There is a reference solution in the box which is supposed to be 0.5ppm. One test showed zero on this reference, the other showed the lowest shade of blue possible without being clear. <Yikes...> I tested both kits and a Salifert one as well on a known volume of water (10litres) with enough Cupramine to give a 0.25ppm reading as per the instructions on the bottle. Neither Seachem test kit showed a reading at all. <Please do write, email these fine folks in Atlanta, GA re...> I have negotiated a refund for one of the two so far. As a side note the Seachem test kit states that Cupramine is NOT chelated. This is a contradiction and goes back to my earlier complaint of the manufacturers not describing their products accurately. <Yes... I concur and sympathi/z/se> The Salifert test did show a very light shade of blue with the 0.25ppm test solution, although this looked more like the lowest shade on their test strip, and was a hint only not at all like 0.25ppm was supposed to look like. This was not satisfactory either. In order to get a blue colour that I can measure in any way I have to use a thinner test tube from a different kit and double the amount of water used and solution from the Salifert test. Then, looking down through the top of the tube, I can see a blue colour. I have matched this colour and am now using it as a reference for the 0.25ppm concentration that I need. <Mmm, am given to mention that for what is at stake here, your obvious "high level" of sophistication, I would read up a bit, look to a titrametric method/test kit here...> Needless to say I am not particularly happy with this, but I have no option to continue with the copper treatment in the QT like this as I am very time constrained now. This is because one of my tangs is starting to show signs of HLLE from being in there so long, I need to get him back in the reef tank asap where he can munch on all the different algae's that have grown in his absence. <Yes> I am worried that the copper treatment is going to accelerate this condition over the next week, so I really want to put him back in after 8 days of the copper treatment rather than 14 (my understanding of the lifecycle is that any parasites that were on him should have dropped off after 7 days, with the copper preventing re-infection). <Mmm, yes... a note for others reading here: HLLE effects are to a large degree reversible...> Before the water change last night the angel was breathing heavily. I have two ammonia test kits, one with salicylate <I have changed the spelling> (green test strip) and a Salifert one also and both showed zero. Nitrite is also zero. I was expecting a positive ammonia test really, because I thought that the amine in Cupramine would show a false positive <Mmmm.... maybe not... may be quite transient...> but this is not happening, so I assume the heavy breathing is because of the copper? <Very likely so> As another side note, am I able to use AmQuel at the same time as Cupramine if required? <I would not... may well "complex" the copper/source> Another reason I want to get him and the angel in is because I am not confident about the testing side of this at all. I have measured the same amount that I used on the test, but the blue shade that I am getting is lighter, so I have added 50% more Cupramine to bring the supposed concentration up to 0.37ppm. This is still a lighter shade on the test. I am using the Salifert one, but since I have to double the amount to get a blue shade I am now going to have to buy another before the week is out. These companies are giving me a sub standard product and at the same time forcing me to buy more of it. I find that frustrating to say the least. <I sense this... and want to mention my having used many gallons of this product commercially... with synthetic and natural seawater... it does "disappear" sometimes very rapidly, due to interaction with sources of carbonate, bicarbonate (substrates, even just water)... so getting, keeping a titer/re up can be trying... to put this mildly> I am running two canister filters on the QT, there is no charcoal and PolyFilters have been removed. I have the ceramic and porous bio media and sponges inside both. Are these adsorbing the copper, and is that why I am getting a lighter shade? <Very likely yes> Tonight I am considering removing all the ceramic media from these. I am doing 25% daily water changes anyway. Would this be your advice? <Yes> I have been very careful with the measurement of the water volume and Cupramine and am confident that I have added the correct concentration, do you think that I have maintained the correct level giving the information that I have provided to you, or could the level have gone below the required dose for the parasite due to the media in the filters? <Can, could easily slip below> In the end it all boils down to this: Given the HLLE problem on the tang, heavy breathing on the angel, my careful Cupramine measurements which are countered by the virtually useless performance of the three test kits, is it wise to put the two tangs and angel in the reef tank Monday (8 days later) or not? <I likely would> My household and I thank you deeply for your patience with this long message, Simon, England <Am very glad to share with you Simon. I wish you life, good will. Bob Fenner>

Ich in the display 1/6/2008 Hello crew, we have become addicted to your site, we read the FAQ's everyday, once we start reading we can't stop and can recite some parts by heart. <Oooh, I do hope you'll be joining us in responding someday soon> So here's our situation... we are new to the hobby, we did not quarantine and have learned our lesson, too late. We have a 75 gallon tank, started 4 months ago. SG-1.025, Am-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-20ppm (but the new refugium should bring that down soon), temp-stable at 78-79, KH-fluctuates 8-10. We have 2 false percula clowns, 1 jeweled blenny, 1 dwarf flame angelfish, 1 small Foxface lo, 1 Paramonacanthus japonicus filefish and 1 Lactoria cornuta, juvenile. We also have assorted hermits, cleaner shrimp, urchins, Featherduster worms and a hitchhiker porcelain crab (who we could never catch!). We know our mistake here, we love the Lactoria so much but it did come with white spots. It feeds normally, acts normally and we have read countless material on this, which says this is common with this fish. However it seems to have spread to our Perculas. We have just identified this in the last day, it does not seem to but severe however it is obviously spreading. All treatments seem to be impossible in tank because of the diversity of life. <Is so... fishes need to be treated... elsewhere> Space is our biggest restraint because we live in a studio apartment. Any advice on what we can do, we have read your site repeatedly and the more we learn the less we know. It seems we need to remove all of our fish, treat them in a separate hospital tank, and somehow remove the ich from the display tank. <Not so much as remove, as ignore... will "die back" in time w/o host fishes> Is this our only option? If so how big would the hospital tank be? <About what you have currently... Is there a shop/LFS or other earnest aquarist nearby who might help you to move/treat all at their place?... You might be able to treat all in a large plastic tote (or two)... with heaters, water changes... but quite a hassle...> Does is need a protein skimmer? And what about filtration for all these fishes? <Just "good" water quality, whatever means employed> Not to mention water changes as the display water infested with ich would be out? <Correct> Would we have to cycle a new tank? <Mmm, no... not practical...> As you can see from reading your site we are more confused and have more questions than answers!! Please help and thank you for having patience with us, we really want to succeed and don't want to add to the numbers of people who drop out of this hobby due to ich! Jess and Layton <A very hard lesson indeed. The other alternative is to try and seek an uneasy balance here... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin  1/5/08 Dear Bob, <Simon> I have a 180 gallon reef aquarium and recently came down with a case of Crypt. I think this is because at the time I was not fully aware of the need to QT everything, including rocks, coral and algae. After buying a horde of new stock (all of these things but no new fish for nearly a year) my Powder Blue came up with the spots. <A "very catching" species> Since reading extensively I have learned from my mistake. I know which shop they came from because when I went back there a few days later, some of the fish that they had in the same system as the rock/ algae that I had bought were infected as well. <Can come from "any shop"... even the best do have their parasite issues... ONLY a few that have entirely separated acclimation/quarantine/holding facilities AND the discipline for their use... can claim to avoid passing on these instances...> Immediate action was to set up the 75g bare bottomed QT with hypo 1.009 which I have now done (I have a Moray so no copper). All fish are in there and have been for 6 weeks now. I moved the canister filter over that I have running on my ST for this purpose for the bio filter. Maintenance on the QT is a weekly 50% water change combined with scrubbing all surfaces first to remove tomonts. I temporarily drop the salinity to 1.005 for three hours in between the water changes based on A) study done by Woo, Chung http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1995.tb01874.x and B) Colerni 1985 (in which they used 3 hours and found it effective). All fish seem to be in perfect health and feed very well. <Thank you for passing along this reference, account> Problem I have now is what to do next. I know that Hypo is not usually 100% effective. Three weeks ago I saw over a period of 2 days a couple of white spots on one tang, and a single spot on the other. These disappeared after a day. This is the only sign of the parasite that I have seen over this whole 6 week period, but I know that with all these things where there is 1 there is likely 100. I intend to raise the salinity up over the next two weeks in the QT to 1.021 and then administer a copper treatment to eradicate the parasite. <Mmm, okay... perhaps a Quinine treatment would be better... but, as you say, there is still likely to be a latent infestation> I have a Zebra Moray eel and I believe that they are sensitive to the copper treatment. <Yes, this is so> When I get the salinity up to 1.021 the fallow period in the tank will be 8 weeks, so I can (hopefully!) safely start moving the fish back into the ST (which is 1.023). I intend to put the eel in first. Since I believe that there may be crypt still in the QT (albeit at low levels) should I use a formalin dip on the eel before I put him in the ST? <I would do so> I am unsure if he is showing signs or not as he spends most of the day in his tube poking his head at me! I am fully capable of researching things myself, but one thing that I do not have that you do is years of experience with this sort of thing, particularly eels, crypt and formalin etc. (I have read all your stuff). Would you dip the eel or not? <I would, though only for a short duration. True eels (lack scales, have slimy skins par excellence...) generally don't have much in this way of "embedded" Protozoans... slough off easily> On the copper treatment, since I have tangs, should I do full strength and move the tangs after 1 week, then the others a week later (Volitans, Emperor Angel)? Or do 1/2 strength for the full 2 weeks and move them all at the same time? <This latter if they appear to be able to "take it"> I am leaning to the full strength for the 1 week as I would rather stagger the fish into the ST than move them all at once so as not to overload my system. What would you do with regard to this? <As stated> I am sorry to have written such a long e-mail, but I feel that the situation is a little different to normal ones because of the eel. I want to do the best I can for the animals that are in my care. Thank you in anticipation, Simon, England <Thank you for writing so well, completely. Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin  1/10/08 Bob, <Simon> Thank you for your reply, I am quite happy that the course of action that I have decided on is approved! <Heeeeee! But what if we're just two Butterflyfishes dreaming that we're petfish aquarists, owning/treating a human fish tank? I guess it's still nice that we're in concurrence here... hey, did you see the tasty worms on that Porites we just passed over?> I will go for the 1/2 strength option <Mmm... wait a moment... half strength of... Copper? Won't do any good if below a physiological dose...> for two weeks and move the tangs straight over if they start to show any stress after the first week. I have started raising the salinity a few days ago and I will let you know the outcome in a few weeks time if you would like it posted. <Please do> Regards, Simon, England <And read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cuduration.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Possible Ich... 'life is a series of experiences, reflections... choosing ones path'  12/24/07 Hi Guys, <Mike> I have a 54G reef aquarium with sump filtration, AquaC remora protein skimmer with carbon in the prefilter box/bubble trap, 2 maxi-jet 900 for circulation, 40# live rock and 40 # live sand. Inhabitants are 1 royal Gramma, 2 false Percs., 1 Banggai cardinal, 1 Firefish, 10 snails, and 2 emerald crabs. I perform 10% water changes twice a week with RO. Levels are as follows: specific gravity 1.024, ph 8.0, temp 77.2, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrate-0, phosphate-0, calcium-400, dKH-8. <Sounds/reads as very nice> Initially I only had the clowns and the Gramma in the tank. I recently added the Firefish and cardinal (about two weeks ago) following a 21 day QT. About two days ago I noticed a few small white specs on the royal Gramma. The next day they were gone and I supposed that I had no problem. However, today more specs reappeared on different locations of the Gramma's face and fins. He was rubbing against the rocks frequently. The other fish appear to be asymptomatic at this time. Does this sound like ich or could it be something else? <Could be Crypt, could be something else...> I have read the articles on WWM and have the QT tank ready to go. However, the QT tank is only 20G; will it be able to handle the 5 fish during the 40+ day quarantine period? <Likely so...> The QT tank has a Magnum 250 filter with carbon and prefilter sponge and a maxi-jet 400 with pre-sponge. Should I add some lava rock and bio-Spira? <Not the lava rock... perhaps the nitrifying product in time... Some PVC parts to break up the environment...> I am concerned that the bio filter will not be adequate to handle the livestock. <A valid concern> It recently handled the Firefish and cardinal without incident. Readings consistently had no ammonia or nitrite and about 10-15ppm nitrate. Once I can collect the fish, I plan on doing a Methylene blue freshwater dip and copper treatment. Do you recommend any particular brand of copper and copper testing kit? Are any of the fish I have particularly sensitive to cooper toxicity? <Mmm, please see WWM re the copper products... all are to a degree sensitive... I would actually NOT move, treat them as yet... Your infested system may be better left as is... the fishes' immune systems bolstered (mostly via food/feeding)... I strongly suggest putting all on a Spectrum pellet diet...> Thanks and happy holidays, Mike <Your "standard" options are posted... I do encourage your reading a bit here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm about the fifth tray... on Parasitic Systems... Bob Fenner>

Re: Possible Ich   12/25/07 Thanks for the quick response, Bob. I will start spectrum pellet today. <Ahh! Am confident the use of this fine food will "arrest" the further expression of parasites here> BTW, I agree that the system "sounds/reads as very nice", and it is so at least in part because of WWM's advice in husbandry, livestocking, equipment suggestions, etc. which I have been following to the letter. All at the cost of some small donations to Amazon. Happy New Year to you and the crew. Mike <And to you and yours my friend. BobF>

Re: Possible Ich... 'life is a series of experiences, reflections... choosing ones path' 12/29/07 Hi Bob, <Mike> I switched to spectrum Thera A+, but things seemed to turn for the worse for the Gramma. Although the other fish are still asymptomatic, the Gramma was continuously flashing/rubbing against live rock. When not engaged in this, he was lying on the rocks displaying increased respiration. As a result, I decided to remove the five occupants from the display into adjusted FW dip, and then into QT (getting the Gramma and Firefish out of the show tank required quite a work). I really didn't want to do this, but it seemed that the Gramma was in really bad shape. I plan to treat with Mardel Coppersafe and the recommended total copper test kit. <Okay> While the show tank is in the fallow stage, I was wondering if this may be a good time to make some changes. I was planning on adding to the substrate to create a DSB in my show tank. Is it advisable to do so at this time? Will adding inches of a new sand bed affect the crypt's cycle, or will it change how long the system has to run fallow? <Is not likely to affect, for instance, extend the life cycle... I would elevate temp., reduce spg... as proscribed on WWM in either case> Also, I am using Oceanic salt and have to buffer dKH to balance with elevated calcium levels. <Yes... Might I ask, do you consider the "convenience" of this product worth the extra costs? Compared with making your own water from salt mix?> From reading WWM, it would appear that SeaChem or reef crystals are a better choice. <Ah, yes> It seems to me that this may be a good time to make the switch. Do you agree? <I do> Thanks, Mike <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Possible Ich 12/30/07 Hi Bob, <Mike> Thanks for the quick reply. First, I made the switch to reef crystals; I was always dissatisfied with Oceanic, but was afraid to switch salts because my system was stable with dKH buffering. <Okay> Well, I know life is a series of choices, but I'm feeling really stuck on this one. I have decided to let the show tank go fallow for the next 4-6 weeks, and the five fish will remain in QT for that time. <This is what I would do as well> I have both systems slowly working down to SPG 1.018 or so. Temp on the show tank is at 83F. The dilemma---the Gramma looks much better since the FW dip and the others look good as well. I own SeaCure and the Salifert Copper test, and Cupramine and the SeaChem Copper Test. I could go with the Free or Chelated (Is Cupramine actually chelated? <Yes... a matter of terminology, is amine "complexed"... but chelated just the same http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/CHEMWEEK/Chelates/Chelates.html> The product compares itself (superior to) "chelates"). It would appear that most on WWM advocate for the chelated and if I decide to treat I'll probably us Cupramine. From reading on the site, I believe the crew advocates for treating beyond the 14 days recommended, to approximately 21 days at .05 mg/l. Should this level be maintained throughout treatment, or do I start decreasing the dose after a period of time? <A physiological dose/concentration must be maintained throughout the treatment period> I assume that I will have to add Cupramine following water changes to reestablish the .05 mg/l therapeutic level. <Mmm, should be tested for twice a day (likely) and made up/more added daily also likely> To completely confuse myself, I read Steve Pro's extensive article on crypto treatment where he describes alternative treatments such as hyposalinity with frequent 50% water changes, formalin dips, etc. Given that the fish appear ok since moving to QT, is treating with hyposalinity and H2O changes just prolonging the inevitable Copper treatment? <Too likely so> Is early detection a factor here and delaying treatment detrimental? <Definitely yes> Being that one extended FW dip significantly decreased outward expression of problem, do you think treatment with copper is merited at this point? <Likely so> Sorry for all the questions, but my head is spinning from all the FAQ sections and related articles I've read. This is about my fourth email I've written to you on this topic; at what point do you add me to your blocked senders list?! <Never have, never will> Thanks again, Mike <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Possible Ich... reading, not writing   1/14/08 Hi Bob, <Mike> I currently have 2 false percs, 1 firefish, 1 banner cardinal, and 1 royal Gramma in a 20 Gallon QT for crypto treatment. The tank has a magnum filter (no carbon, prefilter sponge), rio nano skimmer (added last week and finally starting to produce small amounts of skimmate, but I guess that's what you get for 20 bucks), maxi jet 400 (with prefilter sponge), bare bottom with PVC. I began treatment with Cupramine 8 days ago and fish are doing well. <... I would not run a skimmer while treating with copper... will too readily remove...> However, two days ago I noticed that my Seachem Ammonia Alert read that there was some ammonia in the tank. <... of course... the principal excretory product of marine life...> Also I noticed some bubbles on the top of the water in the corners of the tank that I hadn't observed previously. I tested with API and it read slightly above .25. I did a 10% water change that did not decrease the level significantly. <... only by... 10%...> The following day I changed another 25% of the water and added Cupramine to readjust copper to .5 mg/l (Seachem Copper Test). As of today the levels in the QT are as follows: Ammonia .25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, SpGr 1.020, PH 8.3, Copper .5 ml. Do you think the Seachem Ammonia Alert and API are reading elevated ammonia due to the copper? <Possibly... try an experiment with adding the Cupramine to a zero-testing water sample for ammonia...> Seachem claims that the Ammonia Alert will not give false levels if using Cupramine; the first five days of treatment did not show any increase in ammonia. <Then the ammonia is from some other source... VERY likely the fish livestock> Could this be the Cupramine affecting the biofilter (SeaChem claims that Cupramine will not harm it)? <... yes> Given the bubbles appearing at the top of the tank, could I have inadvertently contaminated the tank (soap on hands or something; would that show as ammonia?)? Most of the fish appear to be fine; however, I did notice one of the false percs rubbing against pvc (not a lot, but a noticeable increase). Any ideas/suggestions? Following treatment, I plan to use CupriSorb or Hypersorb to rid the water of copper and keep the fish in QT for an additional week or two before returning them to the display tank. The display would be fallow for about 6 weeks by that time. How do I sterilize the equipment in the QT tank so that I can use it again for qt of inverts, etc? Sponges and other filter media will be discarded, but I was wondering what to do with the skimmer, filter, power head, and other equipment. Thanks again, Mike <Have just skipped down. Mike... these "questions" are all answered... over and over... in our archives. Please, take a stab, become facile at using the search tool, indices. BobF>

Ich... Crypt conundrums, Ich X product...  12/7/07 Hello <Todd> I have had problems with ich in the past and have read tons of stuff on the parasite. I had lost everything to the parasite last time around. I let my aquarium go fallow for over 2 months, nothing but live rock, snails and crabs. Bought a yellow tang, damsel and a tomato clown, quarantined them for four weeks and saw no sign of any disease, put them in my 120 gallon and about a week later what looks like small white grains of salt started to appear again, then they were suddenly covered with them. Put them back in the quarantine tank, lost the damsel and clown, now treating the tang with copper. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong? <Mmmm... perhaps nothing you are doing, but somethings more you could do...> Is it possible the ich didn't die during the two month fallow period I stretched the fallow period just to make sure? <A possibility, yes... more distal as time goes by...> I know one of the fish could have been a carrier and not showed any symptoms, should I treat everyone before they enter my display tank, I know I shouldn't but that's how I feel. <This is one approach... immersion or baths/dips...> I would hate to get a full aquarium then bring one fish in after quarantine and get everybody sick!!! <Yes... happens way too frequently... And most all could be avoided... by collectors, wholesalers, retailers, consumers... Better "up the line"... through simple pH adjusted freshwater baths, possibly with adjuncts> I have excellent water quality, excellent water movement and excellent skimming. The only problem that I see is that my temp is a little high, my aquarium is a in wall set up and its in a closet in the other room and I need to install some fans to blow colder air from the basement to get it down to about 78 degrees, now its at about 84. But wouldn't that temp just speed of the life cycle of the parasite so they would have died quicker during the two month fallow period? <Also might stress the livestock hosts...> The high temp would also spread them quicker if they were still there or introduced again when I added fish rite? <Right> From what I have read after two months of going fallow they shouldn't be there? <Again, less likely with more time going by, elevated temperature, decreased spg...> Could it be something else in there besides ich, that looks like ich, that the fallow period isn't getting rid off? <Yes... but if protozoan/parasitic, should likewise "die-back" with time, lack of hosts> From what I have read and seen in pictures it looks like ich. If I drop the SG to like 1.009 is that going to hurt my live rock during my next fallow period? <Yes... see WWM. I would not lower the spg this far> I'd hate to rip down the tank and throw away $1500 worth of rock and sand and buy all new rock and sand!! But I don't know what else to do. The fish seem very healthy when I get them and during quarantine, my LFS runs ICH X in there system and the fish that I buy are there for two to three weeks before I pick up, so if they had any thing it should be gone even before I quarantine, a few other fish have been from LiveAquaria. I had a 55 gallon for years and never had a problem, even without a quarantine tank, not even a dip. Now I quarantine and freshwater dip, spent a bunch of money on a nice setup and have had nothing but problems. I think I'm just going to get a cat!!!!!!! HA HA Just kidding fish are to cool!!!!! <I do like cats as well> I have a feeling its coming from my tank because of how fast it is spreading. What do you think of ICH X? <The Hikari product? Water, formaldehyde (<5%), methanol (<2%), malachite green chloride (<0.1%)... I would NOT use this in a marine setting... see WWM, articles, books by myself re each of the active ingredients... Too toxic, transient and ineffective against marine pathogens> Or should I just stick with copper, it seems that its the most liked for this parasite. <You should read> Thanks so much for your help!!!! And for the best fish website out there!!!!! Todd <Please use it. Start here (again if necessary, the case): http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Scan the titles... take good notes... and write back with specific questions if you want. Bob Fenner> Re: Crypt conundrum... treatment or stasis... Copper use   1/16/08 Hi Bob, <Nancy> I just wanted to let you know that I started to treat the Sailfin Tang, Yellow Tang and Orchid Dottyback with Cupramine in the 10g isolation tank. <Way too small...> I know that you're not suppose to put these two small tangs together, but these two follow each other around and the Yellow Tang is lost without the Sailfin Tang. I was on the second day at half dose <Less than a physiological dose of treatments is worse than worthless> when I noticed the Yellow Tang started to have the DT's. After completing a water change, the Yellow Tang went frantic and darted across the tank and ended up floating upside down. <!?> I thought it had died. I took him out of the tank and noticed he was still breathing. So I put him back in the tank and he started swimming again, and even ate a few pieces of seaweed. Relieved that he was ok, I immediately decided to stop the copper treatment. I put some CupriSorb in the tank and went to work. When I came home from work I found the Yellow Tang dead. I was sad because I wanted to keep these two together because they got along so great. I just want you to know that I think treating fish with copper is extremely cruel and should not be considered as an option for treatment. <... is one of very few> I think there are other, safer methods of treating your fish such as water changes and UV sterilizers. While they are not 100% effective, with proper nutrition the fish should become immune eventually. <Please... do tell> I recently read a study posted on the Internet about the ich parasite (I tried to locate this study again but was unsuccessful). The study was about populating the ich parasite in an aquarium by introducing new parasite free fish as hosts. The idea was to keep these now infected fish alive by replacing them with other healthy fish. I think what the study concluded was that after about a year, the parasites all died off (that is how I interpreted it - some of the terminology was difficult to understand). Have you ever heard rumors of such nature? <Don't think so> I'm assuming that if this is true, and you don't introduce any new fish into your aquarium, then after about a year or so your tank will be ich free (assuming an effort is made to minimize the parasites with water changes, UV sterilizers, ozonizers, proper nutrition, etc). <This sort of stasis is described... and archived... over and over on WWM: Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above...> I also want to mention that I have saved my Atlantic Blue Tang twice now with a UV sterilizer and water changes. <Stasis... not cure> She is currently residing in a 20g sump tank waiting to go into the new 215g tank (I still do not have my stand and I'm trying to get a different tank from Oceanic). I am also feeding her Spectrum (as you suggested) and Azoo Beta-Glucan and not only does she love the stuff, but she is doing great! <Ah good> I also want to mention that this fish is awesome! It has the most personality of any fish I've ever seen. <Ah good. A positive data point for Acanthurus coeruleus husbandry> Thanks for your help. Nancy <And you for your further input. BobF>

QT Procedures and Ich Treatment 12/4/07 I have a 75 gal tank that I recently set up about 2 months ago. I am new to this part of fish keeping, although had cared for freshwater for 8 years. I now know I should have quarantined my fish before putting them in my tank. <Yep> I put a Sixline wrasse, blenny, Firefish, coral beauty, two percula clowns, and a pajama cardinal in at first. <Too much too fast here, need to slow down the stocking.> They all seemed fine until I put a yellow tang in. He also looked good until after a week, when I noticed white spots. At this time I started doing some research, and found this great sight. My two clowns have come up with a few spots and that is it, the rest look fine. <Are still infected most likely.> I have quarantined my tang, but am wondering how I should go about treating them. I only have a 10 gal QT which is entirely too small for all these fish. I cant afford another one at this time. <Perhaps a large Rubbermaid food-grade container would be more budget friendly.> Would it be as effective to take my live rock and inverts out and place them in my QT for about 4 weeks while I treat my display tank with copper, or is it only effect to remove fish, treat them with copper and let main tank fallow for 6-8 wks. <The latter, copper can be difficult to remove from an aquarium, and your substrate would have to be removed also. More problems here than its worth. Best bet is to figure out a way to house all fish outside the main tank.> Also I was wondering if you recommend a UV sterilizer? I have one but many hobbyist have told me that they kill more beneficial organisms than bad. What is your opinion? <I don't think they are terribly effective in most cases, they need just the right flow rate and contact time to really work and most are not able to provide that. Also they are not capable of curing most things alone, and treatment is still necessary. As far as doing more harm than good, this I do not agree with, I don't see much downside to them, although their upside is limited as well.> I hope your holidays are great, and thanks for any feedback Evert <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: QT Procedures and Ich Treatment 12/4/07 Chris, <Hello> Thanks for your great advice. <Welcome, although probably not that great.> Ok right now I am treating with kick-ick, have you heard of this? <Yes, 5-nitroimidazoles, I do not believe it to be terribly effective.> It seems to be working, although I know the parasites come and go anyways. <Most likely just it's lifecycle.> Should I continue treating with this reef/invert safe treatment, and if at 3 weeks time they are still present, then should I treat with Copper, or should I just do that right away. <I would discontinue its use and set up a proper QT tank. The problem here is that the clowns and tang are sensitive to copper, I may use formalin here instead.> How long do you suggest leaving my fish in a FW dip with Meth Blue (10 Minutes)? <As long as they don't freak out too bad this should be ok.> The other question I have is one of my beloved Percula Clowns has a white blister looking thing below his lip that he developed about two days ago. Is this a fungus, or possibly just from scratching. <Could be a bacterial infection due to some physical trauma, fungus is pretty rare in the salt water side of the hobby.> How can I tell, and if it is a fungus, what's the best way to treat this. <Right now I would not use any additional treatment due to the ich medication, good water quality and appropriate food is the best course here.> Can he be treated with other fish? <For ich, yes.> The last question of this e-mail is when setting up my QT should I use water from my display tank, being its cycled, <Water does not really cycle, that occurs on solid surfaces.> or just use RO water and change water weekly while it cycles. <Probably will need daily water changes, and you can start with either, the ich treatment will make it irrelevant.> Thanks so much again. <Welcome, and check out these FAQs and related articles for more. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndiscrypt.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm .> <Chris>

Re: QT Procedures and Ich Treatment 12/5/07 Chris, I just want to thank you again. <Welcome> This really is not a question, but I just want to make sure I have this right. Ok so this is how I go about treating my fish with ick, correct? First I get two QT tanks set up with proper parameters for my load of fish. Then I catch the fish, giving them a FW dip in Meth Blue. At this time I put them in the QT tank. In this tank I treat one tank with copper (Cupramine) and the other with containing more sensitive fish (tang and clowns) with Formalin (Rid Ick+). I do this for two weeks while at same time raising temperature to about 82 degrees and lowering SG to about 1.019. <Leave the SG at normal levels, 1.019 is not low enough to help eradicate the ich, but low enough to stress the fish, normal levels are better here.> After two weeks I should begin to bring back these levels back to normal. Then let fish sit and be observed for the next 4-6 weeks while my display tank continues to complete fallowing for a total of 6-8 weeks. At this time do another PH adjusted FW dip with Meth Blue before introducing fish to display tank. I hope I have this right, cause I have read about every article on this over past few days, lol. <Seems like you got it.> Do you think a 10 gal tank to house a yellow tang (small) and two Percula clowns, and a 20 gallon tank to house a Firefish, pajama cardinal, lawnmower blenny, coral beauty, and Sixline wrasse would be too much for bio-load if I do a 10% water change with RO water daily? <Should be for this time frame, just make sure to have plenty of hiding spots for them (PVC pipe works well).> The last question is while I'm catching these fish will it be alright to take LR out and place on towel for that time, or will the time in air kill the live bacteria? <Should be no problem.> Thanks much, Evert. <Seems like you have a good plan here.> <Chris>

Quarantine Question, Marine Ich 11/29/07 Hi crew, <Hello> I have a question concerning quarantine procedure. I have all my fishes including a purple tang in hospital for ich. I am dosing with Coppersafe at 5ml per 4 gallons of water. <Careful treating Tangs with copper, they generally do not handle it well.> I plan to keep this up for 4 weeks. How can I be sure that my fishes are ich free at the end of the QT period? <Keep them in QT for at least 4 weeks after the treatment is finished, most likely ich would show itself before then.> I understand ich can still be in the gills even if it isn't visible on the fish. If my fishes are not scratching and there are no visible signs of ich for 4 weeks can we say that ich is eradicated? <Not for sure, but is most likely the case.> I am asking because this is my third time fighting this parasite in the last 6 months. I attribute my past failed attempts to improper QT procedure. <The most common cause.> I have since made some improvements including keeping all equipment and supplies dedicated to QT and testing and maintaining copper levels. Oh, and can you tell me if it is at all possible to eradicate ich completely from tangs? <Can be done, the problem is that copper treatments are not tolerated well by tangs so other methods need to be used.> I have heard opinions to the contrary and need to hear it from WWM. Thanks a lot! <With proper procedures it can be done.> Stan Young <Chris>

Ich Treatment and Options 11/26/07 Hello everyone at WWM, <Hello> I have a little situation I need help with. I have had my 100 gallon saltwater tanks setup for a little over 2 months. I have a blue hippo tang that is starting to have small white spots on his skin. I believe this is ich. <Could be.> It is very faint now but I want to prevent it from getting worse and spreading to the other fish. <Most likely already has, just not symptomatic.> Please tell me anything I can do to stop this. <Several options here, most require the setting up of a hospital tank for treatment while the main tank runs fallow for 4 to 6 weeks. See these articles and related FAQs for more. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm , and http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php .> All my other fish are fine. No spots or anything. <Still have ich in their gills most likely.> There behavior is great, and I feed them foods with garlic. I heard that helps. <Nothing more than an appetite stimulant in my opinion.> Please give me any tips you have on how to stop this. <All listed on WWM.> And is does ich get so bad where it could ultimately take over my tank completely? <It can kill all your fish if allowed to progress that far.> My tank is not crowded at all. Only two of my fish are decently sized the rest are only 1 to 3 inches. (including the blue hippo) If you guys could help me out it would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Tom <Check out our FAQs and articles on the subject of Marine Ich, all you need to know is there.> <Chris>

Ich... Crypt reading   11/24/07 Hello, I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I just lost my Kole tang to ich, I didn't catch it soon enough and was unable to set up a QT tank to treat him soon enough. (lesson learned about QT) I now have it set up and have the rest of my fish in it. I plan on leaving them in there for 4 weeks with a copper treatment. <Mmm, only two weeks for copper exposure... any longer is not useful, and IS toxic> I also have a snowflake eel in my main tank, 75gal, with my LTA and starfish, should I be treating the eel as well? <... you should be reading. The eel is acting as a reservoir host...> I'm not sure if they are susceptible to ich as the fish are. <Not as much in most circumstances> I have been unable to find concrete information on snowflakes and ich. If I should be treating him how should I do it? I was under the impression that copper could harm it. <Harms all... Muraenids more than "average"> I hope while my fish are in QT the ich will die out of the tank. Can it host on the eel? <Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Yes> and will I be able to get it out of my system with the eel in the main tank? Thank you for your help. ~Michelle <You may find that moving the eel to yet a third tank... treating it with a quinine compound is most efficacious. Bob Fenner>

Ich Attack In My New 210 FOWLR -- 11/17/07 Hello Eric me again! <<Hiya Don!>> Well I had moved all my fish from the 54 to the 210 a couple weeks ago and they all had come down with Ich. <<Hmm'¦hopefully the 210 was fully cycled/ready to receive livestock>> I had/have Coral Beauty which is looking bad my Pearl Scale Butterfly died and my Fox Face and Tomato Clown are all in a 20 gallon treatment tank. I had used Quick Cure for three days <<Mmm, nasty stuff (Formalin and Malachite Green)'¦and likely better used just as a dip>> and stopped due to they seemed to rather have the crypt than the meds so I stopped and started Herbal Ich Attack which seems ok. <<Maybe so'¦I have no experience/real knowledge of this product, but Bob knows and has good things to say of the owner/manager of Kordon/Novalek >> I know formalin is rough stuff and I had never used copper and read FAQ's on Dwarf's and formalin and copper. Guess I'm lost at the moment, and I didn't wait at all for the Ich to get bad. What would you have done or what should I do next time? <<You are doing what you can with the quarantine/treatment/research (do be sure to follow the manufacturer's instruction of this product). And as I'm sure you have already read, you will need to let the display system run fallow for the next six weeks. Prevention is the key here, be sure to freshwater-dip and quarantine any new acquisitions (a freshwater-dip going from the quarantine/treatment tank to the display is also a good idea)'¦hopefully there won't be a 'next time.' And, do ready yourself/keep reading up on our info re these processes/procedures>> I know the Ich was from the 54, it just decided to spread. <<Was already present, yes'¦and manifested as a result of stress'¦either from the move itself or something amiss in your new display>> I feel like I read as much as possible and I'm still losing. Sucks. <<Do keep reading my friend'¦the knowledge will come'¦and is your best weapon in this fight>> Plus it doesn't help when my wife and friends tell me to quit the hobby. <<It can indeed be tough when problems arise and you don't have the support of those close to you. If I may make a suggestion'¦ Take a breath and slow things down. Take your time with the treatment of the remaining fishes while allowing the new system more time to 'mature.' Let the dust settle for a bit and hopefully things will begin to look-up>> Don V. <<Regards, EricR>>

Eradicating ich - Is it possible?  -- 11/17/07 Hello y'all, <Butch> It is with great sadness I am asking this question and will try to keep it as short as possible. <Take your time> I have recently gotten a 210g reef aquarium set up. It is about 8 weeks old (after cycling). I had a 75 a couple of years ago but moved and "upgraded" in the new house so I'm not a newbie but still learn all the time nonetheless. <I as well> I acquired an Achilles tang from a friend of mine who was moving out of the country. <Yikes... perhaps this species should have a nominal sub-specific name: Acanthurus achilles crypticus...> He had this fish for several years with no issues to speak of. I know tangs (especially Achilles) are more susceptible to ICH. In my 75 there were a couple of ICH outbreaks with my Yellow Belly Blue Tang <Neat... A new name for me for Paracanthurus> but he (and other fish) always got through it okay so when my Achilles got it I wasn't too concerned because he still ate like a pig. I didn't treat the tank with anything since I have heard the "reef safe" treatments don't really do much. <Is an oxymoron... like militaries bringing peace... There is no such thing as a reef safe/effective treatment for Crypt> I kept feeding, kept the water changes up and just tried to give the fish a stable, stress free environment. Finally when it didn't appear to be getting better I started a reef safe treatment and although it appeared to be getting better I came home the other night and was shocked at the tangs condition. I was very surprised it had made it through the night and took him out of the tank to treat in an old Aquapod I had but I was too late and he didn't make it. I will admit to not employing the use of a QT tank and have learned a very difficult lesson with my favorite fish and will be a proponent forever more. My question is this. I still have a Percula clown, a pair of skunk clowns and an African Midas blenny (possible a Tomini tang although I have not seen it in a couple of days and am afraid he perished too) in the tank. I know that as long as there are fish in the tank that the parasite has hosts and cannot be totally removed. Since it is a reef tank I cannot treat with copper so I am more than willing to remove them to a QT tank and treat them. I am curious though, if I treat them and keep them in a QT tank and keep the display tank fallow for 6 weeks would that guarantee the ICH not to come back, providing of course I QT each fish going forward? <The longer the fallow period, the "better" the guarantee> I have heard that ICH is always present (although from reading this may be due to peoples lack of knowledge of the parasite's life-cycle) <Yes... there are SPF, specific pathogen free systems... though they are rare in hobbyist, retailer settings> in our tanks but doesn't show until the fish gets stressed or their immune system is suppressed somehow. <Well put> If this is in fact true and it can never be totally eradicated, where as QTing would insure I am putting a healthy fish into my MY tank but what is keeping it from contracting the disease in the future? <A stable, optimized environment, good nutrition... careful stabilization of new livestock...> Sorry, this didn't end up as short as I'd hoped. As always thank you for you time a knowledge. Butch <A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner>

Question about a comment... Crypt. Biocide/bleach washing   -- 11/17/07 Hi Crew! *waves* I have a question for you. I was reading up on live rock and came across the below article on your site. I've been struggling now with ich for a year. I cannot rid of my tank of it, I have tried copper, I have tried fallow, I have tried kick ich. <This last is worthless> Nothing will work for me. I've decided I want to start my fish keeping from scratch, and put my existing fish into a quarantine tank, along with any new fish that arrive in the future. My question is this, I know in the below mentioned you say you can bleach soak the rocks and sand. Are you serious? <Oh yes> Can I actually do this? <Certainly> I know it sounds crazy that I ask, but really, this would allow me to really truly start fresh and do it right, without having to buy all new stuff. Please tell me this is the truth and not just a funny answer.....I imagine as long as you wash it REAL well afterwards it's reusable? <Yes... a bit more to it...> Or is there something that would easily pull out the chlorine bleach? Thanks a million. I love Marine Tanks, but I just can't get rid of ich and it's making me really uncomfortable knowing I can't get any new fish. Also, just wondering, I live in a very cold climate, gets down to -50 F here in winter. Could I freeze the sand and rock? <Could> Would this accomplish same without such harsh chemicals? <Mmm, no. Chlorine bleach is about the best, most widely-available. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm This is the same protocol...> Thanks 1.25 million, oh and can you e-mail me back? or do you just post the answers? Thanks! <Both. BobF> (the article I read on your site) Live Rock & Ich Hi Bob, I am in the process of taking down my 26 gallon tank, completely cleaning it, then re-starting. If I thoroughly rinse my crushed coral substrate and let dry in the sun will that kill off any lingering ich parasites? What should I do with my live rock to cure all ich? I would like to add live sand this go around, does it require any special maintenance? Can I get it from the beach? I have heard that I should not use live rock AND an undergravel filter as they will work against each other, so if that's the case what other filtration can I add in addition to a CPR backpack, a Fluval 2, and the live rock (3/4 pound per gallon) Maybe a good size canister like a Fluval 303? Thanks. <Well, let's see. Yes, you can rinse and air dry the current substrate to rid it of ich life stages. But I would chlorine bleach soak it, rinse it and just dechlorinate it for immediate re-use. Re the live rock, you could just let it go fallow in an aquarium with no fish livestock for a few months (2-3), but if you have no desire to preserve the living part of it, treat it with the bleach et al. process used for the sand. The live sand can be treated/maintained in a few ways. I would use Live Rock with it, indeed, just allow the live rock to "seed" the sand. Don't get the sand from the beach. A lot of trouble and problems with introducing undesirable and dying life forms, pollution... Instead just buy the substrate from a dealer, rinse it and place it before the Live Rock. You can use an undergravel filter with one or both (live rock, sand). If you'd like you could add another filter to the system, and a canister or good sized outside hang-on power filter are both good choices. Bob Fenner>

Light case of ich, Crypt   11/15/07 Hi all, I think we may have a light case of ich in our tank. (I've written previously about our clowns, Carlos and Maria who are, thank goodness, now both eating well.) We have a 60g tank with live rock and some small corals. Our water quality is good, no nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, etc. We have two cleaner shrimp, snails, hermit crabs, and a small Banggai cardinal. It appears that sometimes the clowns will have a couple salt flecks on them, other days they don't. They don't try to scratch themselves on anything, and all are eating heartily. Reading on your site, I see that you sometimes advocate non-medicating in light ich cases. My question is, is this something that will eventually take care of itself, or is even this light case something you advocate treating medically? <Posted... in this scenario... likely the former> We haven't noticed any spots on the cardinal, but his silver color might be a camouflage. If you think we should just wait it out but then it doesn't get better, at what point (severity) do you think we should transfer them to medic tanks? If you do think we should medicate, I think I read that clowns are sensitive to copper...? Thanks for your continued patience and help. ~Ashlin <I'd keep reading, but not medicate at this juncture. Too much more likely to be lost than gained. BobF>

Sensitive species Ich treatment. Crypt  11/08/07 Hello, <Billy> I have used WWM multiple times in the past, and through searching the site have never actually had to ask a question myself. I really appreciate the time and effort put into this knowledge base. I was hoping to be one of those people, of which I am sure there are many, that was able to find all of their answers using the search tool. Unfortunately my ego is not that lucky, but my fish, as yet, are unable to type so here we go. <Okay> If the answer is there then my apologies, but I was unable to find one specific enough to suit my Obsessive Compulsive tendencies. I have need to treat 2 True Percs, 1 Foxface, 1 Coral Beauty, and 1 Snowflake Moray for Ich simultaneously in my quarantine tank. I know these are mostly sensitive species, so a solid procedure would be appreciated. Again, thanks for all that is done through the WWM Crew's knowledge and experience, Billy <I would go the quinine route here... due to the sensitivity range of the fishes stated. Use the search tool here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm with the terms "crypt, quinine" and read the cached views. Bob Fenner>

Ick in a saltwater aquarium, Treatment 11/2/07 Hey <Hello> My name is Elisha and I have a question for you... <Ok> I recently purchased a coral beauty angelfish and put her into a QT tank for 4 weeks. When I moved her to my main tank, within a few days I noticed ick. At that point she is still eating, so long as her food is mixed with garlic, she is rather picky. So I removed her as well as the others from the main tank where she was with a cardinal, fire-goby and some inverts. She was placed by herself and the others were placed in a different QT tank as I am going to let my tank run fish free for a while in attempt to reduce the ick population. <Good> Now, I have freshwater bathed her and added Seachem's ParaGuard but the ick will just not go away, in fact the freshwater bath didn't do a thing and was so stressful on her. <FW dips are of limited use against Ich, the parasite burrows too deep into the skin to be effected much. The ParaGuard is pretty toxic stuff being made of Malachite Green and not as effective as some other treatments. Copper may work here but the goby is pretty sensitive too it, formalin may be slightly better in this case, although it is pretty toxic too all life, fish included. Since you have two QTs available I might try the changing tanks every day method, where you sterilize and dry out the unused tank before switching the fish back to it.> She did not eat for 2 days after that, and I did plenty of research before I did a freshwater bath (proper temp, ph, etc...) Now I am at a complete loss, as the ick does not seem to want to go away... any suggestions? <Need a more aggressive approach here, the FW dips alone will not solve your problem.> <Chris>

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