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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 10

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

Related FAQs: Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27, Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 30, Crypt 31, Crypt 32, Crypt 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 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,

Calcareous materials, live or not, absorb most medications.  A Fungia species...

Ich control, wishing...  12/18/05 Hello Crew, <Hello Kirk> I had a quick question that I was not able to answer by searching the FAQs. I wanted to know if the Pro-tomont and tomont stage of ich would be included in the diet of sand sifters such as sand sifting stars, sea cukes, etc.  If  so, is there any evidence that they would offer any help in the control an infestation? <If they did, and very unlikely, it wouldn't be enough to matter.   Happy Holidays.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Kirk More Issues With Ich >Hi! >>Hello! >Long time reader, infrequent question asker.  Really enjoy the information provided on the page, I consider it one of my #1 resources.   I have a 60 gallon tank, I purchased a flame angel and introduced the specimen into the tank (I don't have a Quarantine tank as such, I inherited the larger tank). >>You know what we're going to say, right?  And, as a longtime reader, you also know that quarantine doesn't need to be done in a proper aquarium.  But now it's moot, let's continue. >The fish looked grand in the store, however, 3 days after introduction the fish developed Ich.  I have never had ich in my tank before, or any disease for that matter but it had to happen sometime, ya know, with my reckless abandon and all... *ahem* >>AHEM!   >Anyways, I have the tank running under a hyposalinity treatment, I have also been feeding garlic, doing bi-daily water changes (10 - 15%).  The fish no longer shows signs of ich, but I imagine that is just because the trophonts have fallen off.  I have been doing a gravel siphoning with every other water change and have been moving ornaments around here and there to vacuum under them.  None of the other fish (yellow tang, maroon clown, Heniochus Bannerfish) are showing signs of the disease and they all seem to be taking the hyposalinity treatment well. >>Good. >Here's the question portions... Is there anything else I should be doing (besides quarantine) to my tank to ensure the disease doesn't spread anymore?  I don't relish the idea of treating the tank with copper as Centropyge loricula is known to be somewhat copper sensitive, and formalin treatments are fairly hard to find in most of the shops in my city. >>Well, if you're automatically factoring those treatments out, then the only thing I can tell you is the set up a q/t, freshwater dip all fish before you put them in it, and let that display lie fallow for 6-8 weeks.  The garlic has only been proven to have some antibacterial effects, and there is anecdotal evidence that it seems to stimulate feeding response. >Also, my tank is equipped with an underground filter powered by two Powerhead 802's, the post powerful ones of the AquaClear label, it sucks down food instantly which prompts me to turn the pumps off during feeding, is it possible that the suction from the gravel bed will keep the encysted ich babies on the bottom of the tank and break their life cycle by not making them able to attach to a host? Far fetched maybe, but is it possible? >>Yes, VERY far fetched, not at all likely that they'd be entirely "trapped" within the confines of the U.G.. >I will keep it at the current gravity (1.012) for about a month and see what happens, is it a safe attitude to have that assuming after 5 weeks of treatments and there are no reoccurrences or ill effects of the fish due to hyposalinity that I can consider the problem finished?  Should I be considering a more aggressive treatment for the problem?  I'd appreciate any advice you might have. -Bj Rampton >>Hyposalinity would be better at 1.010, sometimes even as low as 1.007.  Always consider more aggressive treatment, since you can't get the formalin in town, order some (cuz we can tell you're online ;) ) and have it on hand.  Remember, you have to be careful with this stuff as well as with copper.  (My own experience with flames doesn't show them to be exceedingly sensitive to copper treatments, but formalin will certainly work as well if it comes to that).  The big thing is that to eliminate the possibility of reinfection you'll need to let that display lie fallow.  Search for Terry Bartelme's articles on ich, too, he's written much about this parasite.  I would go with 6-8 weeks with no ich observed before I felt it was no longer an issue.  Marina

Scratching Ich Has Him Scratching His Head! Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> I have had my yellow tang for 2 months now, and today he started itching on my live rock and glass. He goes vertical and itches very fast. He's rubbed some scales off. Have any ideas what it is, and how can I treat it?  I have a reef tank, so no medicine. I figure its a parasite because that's what make fish itch. <Well, that's a pretty good hunch...Certainly sounds like a parasite of some sort. Since improperly medicating the fish is as problematic as NOT medicating him, I would not be in a hurry to remove him and dose with copper, formalin, or another medication...I'd actually start with freshwater dips. I would consider removing him to a separate tank for observation and regular FW dips of at least 5-10 minutes duration. If you are going to leave him in the tank (and I'm not so sure that this is the best approach), then by all means try cleaner shrimp. They may help eliminate some of the discomfort...> Maybe one of those cleaner shrimp could pick his parasites off. <Yep!> He's 5 inches. I don't want to see him die. I'm very attached to him. No visible signs of disease, dots, or anything. <Keep observing him closely, and try to study the vast resources available on the WWM site to make a positive diagnosis. Be decisive, but don't make panic decisions and go crazy with medication...Hang in there...Regards, Scott F>

Ich Treatment My Bannerfish had huge Ich. I dipped it for 3 minutes into this solution: 1L of fresh water, pH, Ca, temp, alkalinity - same as main tank <good> One drop of Methylene Blue 5% solution <this stuff works good> 3 drops of Aquatronic Formalite II (15% formaldehyde, copper and nickel sulfate)<would not have used this...read more at this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm>   After I transferred the fish into main tank (it's been 1.5 hrs ago) the breathing rate of fish is about 10x normal!<yes, freshwater dips are very stressful on the fish, and it didn't help that you used Formalin II-very toxic to the fish (outlawed in some states too!!)> But the Ich spots are all gone and the fish cleaned up perfectly.<good to hear> Is it normal for the fish to have this breathing rate after FW+Formaline+copper dip (3min) or did  I overdose on Formalite II?<could have-normally freshwater dips are used with one medication only (not a mixture of 3)> I'm not sure if 3 drops per liter of this solution might have been too much? <believe it says 1 or 2 drops per gallon> It doesn't say how much copper sulfate is in there, but maybe at that dose it was too much for the fish? <could be> Anyway, the fish is alive, just breathing very, very rapidly... will it get over it, <possibly> or is it possible that after that does of copper and Formalin, the fish will die?<maybe> I.e. is copper still toxicity remaining after the copper has been removed? Perhaps too much copper for 3 minutes got into the body of the fish?<do read more at WWM on treatments of ich, would keep your aquariums water in top shape, keep the lights off and maybe a blanket/sheet over the aquarium (to reduce stress) and hope for the best, Good Luck, IanB><<... was this fish returned to the infested tank? RMF>> Thank you, Luke

Sticking It To Ich... Hi Scott, <Hello, again!> Formalin medications are effective for Ich, too? Which commercial Formalin-based meds do you recommend? I'd rather stay away from copper, as I've heard one needs to monitor/test it constantly for it to be effective...? <True- copper requires regular testing to assure that you are maintaining a proper therapeutic dosage, and not poisoning your fishes. Easy to accomplish with an inexpensive copper test kit, but if you are not up to this, then by all means try a different medication. Kordon, Aquarium Products, Sea Chem, and others market such products. Check out our sponsors' links for details...Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions concerning dosage and treatment period exactly...And please don't use one of those so-called "reef safe" "cures" in your display tank...To do so will result in the voiding of your WetWebMedia warranty, and permanent restriction to keeping Gambusia affinis (mosquito fish- beautiful if you like gray fish with clear fins!) as your exclusive pet fish, for the rest of your natural life span! LOL. Get the point? Don't waste time with them! You're too smart, and keeping mosquito fish is really boring!> The problem I'm having with putting fish to an isolated tank is the fact that there will be no bio filtration in that tank...? So ammonia levels will be a problem? I will not have time to change water in there every day... or shouldn't I? Thanks, Luke <Good question, Luke. What I got into the habit of doing a long time ago (thanks to the writings of Bob over the years) is to keep an extra sponge filter (I use the "Dirt Magnet" brand...As "Mr. Nutrient Control Nerd", the brand name freaks me out- but it works great!) sitting in my main system's sump, so that it is always "pre-colonized" with a population of beneficial bacteria. When I need to set up my quarantine tank when I impulsively find that fish that I've been geeking out over at the LFS, I simply pop it in the QT (which was filled with water from the display tank), hook it up, and I'm ready to go. Sterilize the sponge when you're done using it, and place it back in the sump for next time...Easy! Same approach works for your "hospital" tank. You should always have one or two of these ready at all times for situations like this. It only takes a few days to get one of these sponges colonized, and I have never had a nitrite or ammonia situation in the QT as a result of this. If you need to, this would be one of those cases where you can also throw in a bacterial culture like Hagen's "Cycle", or Fritz's "Fritz-Zyme" to help "kick start" things if you can't wait for the sponge to thoroughly "acquire" a bacteria population. As far as water changes during treatment- do make regular (like very other day, if possible) small (1/2 to 1 gallon max, in a 10 gallon tank) changes, siphoning detritus at the same time. This is important, because water quality and environmental stability, not to mention, attention to overall good husbandry habits, are especially vital in a small tank. Good luck! Get to it and beat this thing, okay? Regards, Scott F>

Attacking Ich... One last question, if you don't mind..... <Sure- no problem...> If I set up a quarantine tank of any type, does it matter what type of filter system I use, considering that they'll only be in there a few weeks, and do I keep medicating that tank with Formalin, or just try a copper treatment? <Usually, it's okay to use an outside power filter, sponge liter, or inside box filter...simple and effective. Use water from your main system, and usually, you'd "pre-colonize" the media in the main tank to acquire beneficial nitrifying bacteria> Thank you so much for your help. It's nice to get a fast response from someone who knows what's going on. I never seem to get a straight answer from the people working in the local pet stores. <Glad to be of service! I hope that this information is of use to you! Regards, Scott F>

Ick problem Thank you for your help. Just a few more quick questions. If I go the garbage can route and put just the fish in there, should I put my 2 cleaner shrimp in there with the fish? <Not if you plan on using copper, malachite green, formaldehyde, or combinations thereof. If the med is not "reef safe" you'll lose the cleaners> Would it be o.k. just to take a heater from my tank and put some pvc around it and put it in the garbage can, what about one of my magnums (250) can I use that for biological filtration, along with the power head I mentioned? <The magnum is fine, especially if it has been on the main for a while. Your main tank needs heat too, if you don't have another heater, you'll need to buy one. The pvc may not allow the water to circulate through enough, the safest way is to find a heater guard made by the manufacturer of the heater.> All water levels are fine. So if I take all the fish out except the eggs and add no fish for 6 weeks won't the sharks get the ick? Will they be o.k.? <No worries, they'll be fine> So if I go the garbage can route all fish will be in the can and in the tank I will have 2 sharks, 5 star fish, crabs, 2 banded shrimp, and a snail. Do I still need to do water changes weekly? <No need to change your maintenance procedures> I don't have a protein skimmer I don't have the money just yet, I am going on vacation in July I was going to buy it when I got back. <You don't need one, but it would be helpful> I will read some more but real quick when the fish are in the can, do I use copper? What about fresh water dips like now, would that do anything or no? <You can use copper sulfate on the fish in the can, but you must also test and adjust it regularly. Freshwater dips will also help, give them one on the way in to the barrel> Again sorry for the long e-mail but every local pet store you go to tells you something different and I really don't want to get into the habit of putting harmful chemical into my tank. <Yes, no need to nuke the main> I wish to do this to the best of my ability, otherwise what's the point you know. Thank you so much. <Good luck!!! -Kevin> Bill

Marine Ich (I think) Hi, My hippo tang has developed about 5 or 6 white spots on his body, is breathing rapidly and looks a bit pale. I've read through the articles and Q&A on disease but am still somewhat confused. So, what is my best plan of action?  My tank houses 2 clowns, 1 yellow wrasse, 1 hippo tang, 1 cleaner shrimp, a few turbo snails, and 1 brittle star. Coral include, a leather, candy cane, bubble, torch and assorted polyps. If I move all the fish to a quarantine tank, is it true that the parasite population will crash with no host? If so how long would that take? Would I have to remove my shrimp, star fish and snails to? What would be the best treatment in the quarantine tank, what brand of medication? Is it ok to treat the other fish even though they show no signs of disease since they will all be in the quarantine tank?  Thanks for your time and info.  Angelo >>Good morning, Angelo, Marina here.  Ok, you seem to be observing a parasitic infection, classically ich, either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium.  Look up "hyposalinity ich" in the Google search engine on our site and you'll find PUHLENTY to read, eh?  Also, look up "parasitic disease" as well.  Now, onto using hyposalinity: remove all the fish to however many hospital-quarantine tanks/containers (doesn't have to be a tank, per se) as necessary to avoid overcrowding.  They're going to be in there a good 6-8 weeks while you let the main display lie fallow (fishless) to deprive the parasites of hosts.  This will clear the display of cysts.  The fish can be treated either using hyposalinity or copper (I generally don't recommend Formalin, as it's a bit tricky to use), though I'll suggest the hypo route initially, saves you time and money (you'll need a test kit if using copper).  You *will* need to be sure that the salinity in the q/t is around 1.010 or less to be effective.  It will take the fish a couple or three days to acclimate to the lower salinity (try a drip method if you can set up a container w/drip line).  They should be free of ich after 30 days, but you don't want them back in the main till you're sure it's ich-free.  If you bump up the tank temp that will speed up the parasite's lifecycle--be careful here, no more than 84F what with the corals.  That should do the trick for you.  Also, utilize nutrition as a means of fighting disease, use a supplement such as Selcon (soak food in it for a bit) a few times a week to give all fishes a boost.  I will also suggest having on hand some Spectrogram and/or Melafix in case of secondary infections at the parasite wound sites.  Best of luck!  Marina

Striking Back At Ich! My marine tank was set up about 3 months ago. It is my first crack at it. I have a 55 gallon with a wet/dry trickle filter and a protein skimmer. The tank contains only a few small damsels, a yellow tang, and an angel, with 4 small hermit crabs. About a week ago, most of the fish started showing white spots. I'm not sure if it's ich, but I suspect it is. A local pet shop advised to treat with formalin, which I started doing. I have treated every other day for 6 days for a total of 3 doses so far. Initially, the fish seemed to be doing better, but now the angel seems to be in bad shape. He is sluggish, listing to one side. And spots are now showing again on the blue devils. <Could be a response to the medication...Centropyge Angels don't always do well with medications, copper, Formalin, etc. He may simply need a "break" from he medication> Unfortunately, I do not have the capacity to set up a QT, so I'm treating the main tank. Is there anything else I can do? Should I try fresh water dips, and if so, how often? <If you're going this route, try freshwater dips, try them once a day for about 4-5 days...> Should I lower the salinity and raise the temperature? Right now the salinity is at 1.022 ppm, and water temp. is at 77 degrees. Should I do water changes , and if so, how often? <Frankly, I'd set up a Rubbermaid container as a hospital tank, remove all of the fishes into this container, and let the system run "fallow", without fishes, for about a month. Meanwhile you could expose the fishes to lowered specific gravity or other treatments...You'll have a greater degree of success if you treat outside of the display, and the causative ich parasite population will crash for lack of hosts. I don't believe in continuously bombarding fishes with medication (particularly if you have a fish that's not taking the medication well, like your Flame Angel), so you may want to give the fishes a bit of a "break" from the medications in the "hospital" facility, and then resuming treatments as needed...> Please help. My kids are frantic that they will lose their pets.......Thanks. <Hang in there...Be sure to use effective medications/techniques, and utilize the "fallow tank" technique, and you can pull all of these fishes through. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sneak attack? Ich on fishes  I acquired a Blue Line angel about two months ago and things had been going well until three or four days ago when he started to breath rapidly, the only external signs of anything afoul were ich like spots on his eyes. I promptly gave him a fresh water dip w/formalin  totaling 5-8min. <a good move IMO> and upon removal his respiration rate easily doubled. <Immediately after, yes... but minutes/hours later it should be stable or better if dip was done properly (pH adjusted, water aerated before being used... scary close match with tank temp, etc)> At that point I thought it best to just keep an eye on him which made for a long evening, some 4-5hrs later his breathing slowed down but not to a normal rate. <Ahhh... yes, good. As it should be> The following day I gave him another dip exchanging the formalin with Methylene blue and putting him in a Q-tank with copper and antibiotics. <Yikes... I was with you on the repeat dip (needed) and the Methylene blue (increases O2)... but you lost me on the copper. Angels are very (!) copper sensitive.> He had been eating up until two hours before I put him to sleep, he finally started to list over on the bottom. I had to have my wife put him down for me and explain to my little one why we perform euthanasia. It tore my heart out to see him slowly suffocate, today, we'll be burying him per my daughters wishes. My original point of this correspondence, it's been my experience that ich doesn't kill that quickly, does it? <You are very correct. Most folks think takes a few days... but even that is not true. It establishes a week or more in advance (usually 2+weeks) and is expressed very subtly at first as the closing of one operculum or occasional scratches or glances off rock long before any "spots" appear> I forgot to mention that he had a 1/4" bump on his side that didn't break the skin nor raise the scales, its cycle was about five days and went away on its own with no intervention. Do you have any thoughts? <The bump on the side also was not fatal and quite likely secondary. I can't be sure with certainty what the cause of death was... but prolonged siege by the parasites unnoticed contributed... the Os o the display may be depressed and amplified it... the copper treatment may have been the killing blow on an already stressed fish. Formalin is very "safe" on a wide range of fishes... Methylene blue is good for most (except scale less fishes) ... and copper has severe limitations IMO (efficacy and range of tolerant species). Formalin and FW dips always get my vote. Sorry for your loss my friend. Best regards, Anthony>

Breaking The Cycle of Ich Hi everyone!  I recently had an ich problem in my 55 gallon reef tank. I removed a tomato clown, a saddleback clown, and a bicolor blenny to quarantine. <Good job!> I couldn't catch my pygmy angel, who had several white spots on it.  I also couldn't catch my blue tail damsel or my Firefish.  Those little suckers!!! <Yep- a very frustrating prospect. Often, you'll need to break down the decor to access the fish...not a fun prospect, huh?> Neither the Firefish nor the damsel showed any signs of ich.  The angel made frequent visits to the resident cleaner shrimp for a couple of weeks, and now shows no sign of the disease. It's been at least three weeks since I removed the other fish to quarantine. I treated them with a 5 min. freshwater dip each (Which I must add, the blenny torpedoed out of) and a week of copper. After the week of copper I added Maracyn for five days to prevent any secondary infections. <Good procedure if monitored carefully> The two clowns in qt seem ok, as they eat voraciously and swim around rather happily. The blenny is the one I'm worried about.  When I first introduced him into my tank, he didn't eat any of the foods I offered, but he did eat algae off of rocks and glass.  Since he's been in qt for three weeks, I don't see him eat anything!!! He swims around at times, but basically just hangs out in a piece of pvc pipe.  What can I do to get him to eat?? <If this guy seems to munch on algae in the display, then I'd put in a couple of algae covered rocks for him to pick on, at least to get him started eating again> Also I tried reintroducing my tomato clown to the display, and he was ok for a couple of days, but then he started getting spots again, so I Fw dipped him for three min. and back into qt he went.  Is this normal?  for none of my fish in the display to show signs...but for my clown to get it after a couple of days?  Could it have been from the stress of the move? <Well, sure- the stress of the move could have induced a re-occurrence of this disease, but the real problem, in my opinion, is that the Cryptocaryon parasite is still present in the system. By not removing all of the fishes (yep- you can guess where this is going!), the disease remains "in action" in the tank. It's best to remove ALL of the fishes (even the ones that don't seem to be sick) from the display, and place them in the treatment tank. Meanwhile, the display will run fallow, without fishes, for about a month...This will cause the parasite population to crash for lack of hosts...The biggest drawback to this technique is to remove all of the rockwork in order to get the fishes out! Unfortunately, short of dosing copper in the display (just a HORRIBLE idea), there is no other reliable way to disrupt the life cycle of the causative parasite, and effect a reasonably reliable cure.> I don't know....I want to reintroduce my qt fish, since they are all healthy and I'm worried about the blenny not having enough to eat.  But catching them in the display again if they show signs would be such a pain in the a$$!!!  Please help!!!  Thank you so much, Karina <I hear ya, Karina! I think that reintroducing the fishes into a tank where disease may still be present is too great a risk. Yes, the blenny needs to eat- but it's important to address the bigger picture, and treat all of the fishes....Hang in there , and you'll be successful! Regards, Scott F> Fighting The Good Fight With Ich- In Different Ways Hey Scott: <Hello again!> Thanks for the info in your response to my previous email.  I was able to catch my "powder blue ich magnet" (no, not affectionately...infuriating!!) and place him in a quarantine tank.  I couldn't believe it but (even more infuriating) he now eats offered foods like a pig (garlic soaked brine and mysis) and all the parasites seems to have dropped off. <Great to hear. Stay the course with this guy. No sense in rushing now. The fact that he's eating is awesome...A fish that eats is a fish that lives!> I will keep him there a good 4 weeks until I know he is healthy and then absolutely not return him to my reef!  He is going to a local fish store for a credit! <It's a tough call- but I certainly can't blame you for wanting to choose that course of action!> As for my reef, I do not have another tank set up to medicate my fish but I did catch my chevron and black tangs and did a two minute FW dip on each and which each handled well (swimming normally about 20 minutes after being returned to the tank and eating about 2 hours later). <It really is amazing how well most marines tolerate the FW dip process. If you can push the "dip time" to 3-5 minutes, that would be even better> I am gradually raising the temperature and increasing the photoperiod, continuing my addition of Coral Vital, and feeding garlic soaked food.  I will also soak begin soaking my food in the anti-protozoan you suggested, and then wait and see.  Hopefully everything will work out.  I really, really hate losses.    <I'm pulling for ya! I know that the fallow tank routine was almost impossible for you, so it's good to see that some of the other techniques are acceptable for you. I'll bet that you'll be successful if you stay with it!> Anyway, thank you very much for your help. Michael S. Jacobs <Any time, Michael- Best of luck to you the rest of the way! Scott F>

Sticking It To Ich! Sorry for bugging you guys again, and I'm sure this is everyone's favorite subject.  Just to let you know, I did read over the FAQs for about three hours before I decided to send this email (that's why my eyes are so crossed). <I hear ya- lots of info. out there! Scott F. here today!> Anyway, I was stupid and impulsive when I added some newly added fish to my main tank.  I did not QT, but did do a 3 min. FW dip. <Well, still better than nothing at all (not much...)...> Well needless to say, I've had a rather bad Ich outbreak.  Almost all the fish are showing signs.  I have in my 125g tank a 3" porcupine puffer, 4" B&W Heniochus, 2.5" Flame Angel, 3" Yellow tang, 1" Domino Damsel, 3.5" Lawnmower Blenny, 2" Scooter Blenny, 1.5" green spotted (brackish) puffer, and a pair of clowns (Sebae and Clark)...odd pair.  I do have a QT, but it's only ten gallons.  I also have a 30 gallon Rubbermaid container that I make up my water in.  I was thinking of putting my Emperor 400 on that container and adding all fish except for the puffers and the blennies.  I've read/heard that puffers and blennies are sensitive to copper. <Some can be...You could use a preparation containing Formalin for these fishes...> I've also heard that Flame Angels are sensitive, but I don't think that there is much room in the 10 gallon QT. <Centropyge angels can be a bit sensitive to copper, but I have used it without incident...Just avoid prolonged exposure and test carefully...> I've purchased some SeaCure (is this stuff OK?) along with a copper test kit and am planning on treating the fish in the 30 gallon. <This stuff is just fine, if used as directed. I commend you for testing...If you dose copper, testing is absolutely mandatory!> I plan on doing FW dips with Methylene blue for the puffers and Blennies.  Or could I add something else like Formalin to the FW. <Yep!> I don't want to kill these fish.  I've tried to come up with the simplest plan.  Last time this happened (I'm obviously not a fast learner), it was a nightmare.  I lost my Ocellaris clown pair and about 10 other damsels along the way.  Also, I haven't had too much success with FW dips lately.  I always PH and temp match the water, but my fish seem to die after a 5 min dip.  Is 3 min.s OK? <3 minutes is the minimum, IMO- but if 5 was disastrous for you, then stick with 3!) I've too much money and time invested to give up, plus these fish are so enjoyable to watch, but am really getting discouraged by Ich. <You will beat this thing. You are approaching it just fine. Don't be discouraged- just stay the course on the treatment> My tank was Ich free for 6 weeks before the new fish arrived. <And it can be that way again if you run it fallow for a month or more...> Also, do you know of a place where I may purchase some copepods for my scooter blenny to eat while in QT. <Try my favorite place, Indo Pacific Sea Farms in Kona...> Once again, I'm sorry for asking a question about a topic that has been covered so many times on you website, but the more that I read the more confused I was getting.  Thank you for any help that you may provide. <Never a bother...Ich treatment is something that can be extremely successful if approached correctly...and you seem to be approaching it correctly!> Also, if you see anything that I may have left out, please let me know. Vince <I think that you're okay...Be sure to follow the medication treatment instructions to the letter, keep water quality in the "hospital tanks" as high as possible, and hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich? on Yellow Boxfish <Hello! Ananda here tonight> We have had our boxfish in our tank for about a month.  He has been very healthy with no signs of disease until today when we noticed about 30 or more white dots all over his body.  We suspect ich, but the dots do not seem to be clustered around his fins....yet?  He is still eating, breathing and swimming as usual.   <Those are good signs.> We know not to treat him with copper since he is a scaleless fish, and we know he secretes a toxin, which could kill everything in our tank, when he becomes stressed.   <Yup.> Our concern is will he release this toxin if we try to remove him from the tank to do freshwater dips?  Should we do freshwater dips?   <Yes, it's possible that your cowfish might release toxins if the freshwater dip stresses it sufficiently. You can minimize the stress of a freshwater dip by ensuring that the dip temperature and pH exactly match that of the display tank, and by aerating the dip tank. However, some people prefer to save freshwater dips as a last resort for these fish.> Is there any other way to treat this fish?  We have already started to raise the temperature to 80 degrees and are starting to lower the salinity as well.   <You've already started on the primary treatment: lower salinity and higher temperatures. These would be best carried out in a bare-bottomed hospital tank, along with daily water changes, siphoning from the bottom of the tank to get the greatest number of ich cysts. I've read that people with cowfish are more likely to use UV sterilizers -- which are good only against the free-swimming stage of the parasite, mind you -- to help combat ich. Another favorite of the crew on the Cowfish, Puffers, & More discussion group seems to be StopParasite. I have no experience with that particular product, so I suggest you check the Cowfish etc. discussion group for peoples' opinions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CowfishPuffers_andMore/ > Is it possible that this is something other than ich?  His tankmates are a Foxface, a damsel, a Kole tang and a couple of snails.  Thanks for any advice you can give. <More on Boxfishes here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/boxfshfaqs.htm ... --Ananda>

Ich Cures? (Cont'd.) I also noticed that they have third medication called Formalite II (by Aquatronics), besides the Seachem Cupramine and Mardel Coppersafe. Would this one be more effective that the other two? It contains 15% formaldehyde, Copper and nickel Sulfate. The dosing is one drop for 1 gallon, but it doesn't say how long it should be dosed for and if the dosing should be repeated... <Well, any of these could be effective if dosed according to manufacturer's instructions, and in a bare "hospital" tank> I just want my fish to get better... :-( <I don't blame ya!> I think this one might be better as it has both copper and formaldehyde. On the other hand, I'm not sure if formaldehyde will not kill my turbo snails, hermit crabs, Banded Coral Shrimp and the bio filter and live rock? (Please see my previous email. I must treat in the main, 35gallon tank... I have no extra tank :-( (and no money to buy one right now...). I have no corals, anemones, clams etc.. just fish, snails, hermit crabs and the cleaner shrimp). <I'd get a large Rubbermaid container (you can get 'em at places like Wal-Mart, Target, etc. for 10 bucks or less...) and use it as a "hospital tank"...I know that there is some added expense and inconvenience to having an extra tank in one form or another- but it is money well spent, and will more than pay for itself over time in the heartache, time, and money spent on not quarantining new arrivals...An extra aquarium should be part of every new tank setup budget...Skipping quarantine is just not worth it- trust me. And you really don't want to medicate in the main tank...> Please help as soon as possible. Sorry about all the emails tonight, but I really trust your knowledge the most and really hope you can help me... <No problem- that's why we're all here!> Huge, huge thanks for your help. Luke <Your welcome, Luke...Steady as she goes, here! Regards, Scott F.>

Like, Totally Radical, Seriously Different Ich Treatments! Hi. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I am having a bizarre experience with what I think is ich and am looking for any suggestions you may have.  My tank is a 110 gallon oceanic reef ready.  I have a sump that is approximately 15-20 gallons and a refugium that is another 10-15 gallons.  My filtration is approx. 100 lbs of live rock (blue ridge rock, allegedly from Panama).  The tank has a sand bed approximately 5 inches deep, no plenum.  My skimmer is an Excalibur in-sump, rated I believe, for 200 gallons.  The tank has been up and running for approximately 1 1/2 years, but the refugium was added about 6 weeks ago. <All sounds good so far...> My water tests fine.  The only potential problem being my KH of 9. The specific gravity is 1.024.  Temp ranges between 77.3 and 79.7 degrees. My tank is heavily stocked with both corals and fish.  All my corals appear to be thriving.  I have multiple types of SPS, most of which are growing onto adjacent rocks.    My soft corals and LPS are doing equally as well, with most of them attaching to the rockwork as well.   I currently have the following fish in my tank:     Goldflake Angel (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)     Golden Angel (Centropyge aurantia)     Bellus Angel (Genicanthus bellus)     Black Tang (Zebrasoma rostratum)     Chevron Tang (Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis)     Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon)       True Percula - pair (Amphiprion percula)     Peppermint Hog (Bodianus opercularis)     Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus)     Swissguard Basslet (Liopropoma rubre)     Lavender Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lineatus)     Conde's Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus condei)     Rosy-scales Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis)     Clown Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis)     Orangeback Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis)     Flame Hawk (Neocirrhites armatus)     Sunrise Dottyback (Pseudochromis flavivertex)     Six Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexatenia)     Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus)     Canary Demoiselle (Chrysiptera galba). <I know it's not the time to "dig", but I really have to point out that your system is way, way overcrowded. You have some truly magnificent fish, but for long-term success, you're gonna need either a much larger tank (like 300 gallons plus), or divide the population into a couple of smaller (like 100 gallon) tanks. If for now other reason than the fact that you have several tangs that will require ample room, you will need to upgrade. Granted, your water conditions sound good, but long-term husbandry with such a crowd will be a problem...Stress will ensue- and stress leads to disease....Just think about it, okay?> Here is my problem.  Approximately 3 1/2 weeks ago I added the powder blue tang.  He was the first fish I have added in a couple of months. I obtained him from a friend who had him in a quarantine tank for about a week and he appeared and behaved fine. <Okay...constructive criticism for the future: New fishes, regardless of source- need to be quarantined a minimum of 3 weeks; a month is really better...this will give most diseases a chance to manifest themselves...A fish like the so-called "Powder Blue Ich Magnet", as it is (affectionately?) known by more than a few hobbyists, requires extra-close attention during quarantine to watch for such symptoms> His introduction to my tank was smooth with about 2 days of displaying toward the Chevron tang, but no actual fighting. He did not eat any foods I offered in that time, but did graze on the rock. About 4 days after being introduced to my tank, he still was not eating offered foods but continued to graze and I first noticed he was covered with white spots, which looked like ich. <If it looks like ich, acts like ich, it probably is ich...> About 2 days later the Conde's wrasse, the black tang and the chevron tang also broke out in white spots. Since that time, now 3 weeks later, the Conde's wrasse no longer has any spots but all three tangs are still covered.  Additionally, the powder blue tang still does not take introduced food and only grazes from the rock. Despite this, he appears well fed and does not have a sunken belly.  All other fish, including the other two tangs, eat like pigs and all nicely filled out. <Glad to hear that the fish are eating. As far as I'm concerned, a fish that eats is a fish that lives...> Also, I have seen the demoiselle and lavender wrasse very infrequently scratch on the rocks, but they do not show any exterior signs of disease. In the three weeks of infection I have yet to see any of the fish with spots, scratch up.   <Well, the scratching is not something that has to evident to confirm the presence of ich...>    To "treat" this, I am currently soaking my foods in garlic (Seachem) and adding Coral Vital to the tank at the recommended dosage. <Garlic is a potential preventative, because it contains a substance called Allicin, which may provide a chemical "mask" that blocks the receptor mechanisms of the Cryptocaryon parasite with a sulfurous signature. As far as it functioning as a "cure"; the jury is still out on this one. Much of the evidence supporting the alleged effectiveness of garlic is anecdotal. This certainly does not mean that it won't work, but much more research needs to be done before garlic extract can be labeled a bonafide "cure", IMO. I'd put my money (and my fishes' lives) on more tried-and-true medications, such as copper sulphate or formalin-based products.> The only other additions to the tank are once weekly iodine and strontium (ESV) and, on alternating days, a two part Calcium/Alkalinity buffer (ESV) and Kalkwasser for make up water. <Sounds fine> I have, about 3 times in the past year, had ich in the tank.  In each instance it seemed to afflict only my chevron and black tangs and passed in about 3 weeks with similar "treatments."  This time, however, it does not seem to be working.  I can, if necessary, remove the chevron and black tangs since they are voracious eaters they readily enter my fish trap. <Great news! They really need to be removed for treatment. As you know, tangs are unusually susceptible to ich...> Since the powder blue only grazes, he will not enter the trap and I cannot remove him without destroying the reef and corals.   <Grr...an awfully frustrating prospect...> So, that is my story.  Any suggestions on combating this disease?  Thank you in advance. Michael S. Jacobs <Well, my normal treatment protocol for ich, as you have probably heard me suggest to WWM readers ad nauseum, is to remove all of the fishes (regardless of if they show signs of the illness or not) for treatment in a separate aquarium with a medication such as copper sulphate or formalin. Meanwhile, the display tank runs fallow for about a month, causing the population of parasites to "crash" for lack of fish hosts...A radical, unpleasant, and difficult course of action in a well established reef system, but a very, very effective one. That's one option. If this is simply unacceptable, you could try the use of "alternative" techniques, which may or may not get the job done. Some ideas: Purchase a number of Lysmata cleaner shrimp, and let them go to work...Also, increase the tank temperature (gradually) to 82-84 degrees, as it may help speed up the life cycle of the parasites...There may be a negative impact on your corals from prolonged elevated temperatures, however, so do consider this if you try it...Another, "out there" idea that may have some merit: Increase the photoperiod to say, 16 plus hours. The thought here is that the parasites will have more difficulty "finding" the fishes while they are on the move...Still another idea is to use "medicated" foods, such as Tetra's, or try soaking foods in Metronidazole (an anti-protozoal medication). Other ideas: very frequent water changes, including siphoning of the substrate- the thought being that this process will help remove some of the free-swimming or encysted parasites which dwell in the substrate during part of the life cycle. And, finally- consider continuous use of a diatomaceous filter, which has the appropriate fine filtering capability to remove free-swimming parasites. Okay...there you have a round up of "alternative"  treatments to investigate and experiment with. Some of them may work, many attack specific aspects of the disease, but can be of dubious effectiveness...Nonetheless, they may offer you hope. Honestly, I'm a big fan of the fallow-tank-and-copper method, which has worked for years...But I certainly won't discourage you from trying other ideas. And, do share your results with others, okay? Hope these help! Good luck! Scott F.>

ORP level for controlling Ick?  5/103 Wet Web Media Crew Hello, I have a reef tank 500 Liters, and I'm using Aquazone 100 mg With ORP Controller, What I would like to know - How high should the ORP level be if I would like to Kill \ Weaken the ICK? thanks in advance,    Asaf. <there is no direct/correlative reading of ORP for controlling parasites. Disease control begins with proper quarantine of all new livestock in a separate vessel for 4 weeks prior to entry in the main display. That said... a good Redox value with ozone in the aquarium is around 400mv (350-425mv range). Stability is better than occasional spikes to unrealistic highs (some folks push ORP to 450mv or higher). Best regards, Anthony

Ich Cures? Which one of those would you recommend against Ich? Kent Marine seems to be pepper based and claims to eradicate all 3 stages, but need to use Kent Poly-Ox with it (not sure what it is, but I've heard it's dangerous). Ruby-Ick reads that it will only go after the free swimming stage of Amyloodinium, so I'm not sure if it will cure the one already present on fish. Both of them seem to be safe with bio filtration and invertebrates and seem much safer than copper. What is your opinion on this? <Well, since you asked...In my opinion, it's best not to treat in the display tank at all. I am an old-fashioned fish nerd that agrees with the tried-and-true methods in this case. How can a "cure" simply target the specific parasite without damaging benevolent creatures of similar biological composition? Too risky, if you ask me. I'd remove the fishes (all of 'em) to a separate treatment tank, use a commercial copper sulphate or formalin preparation in the treatment tank (copper WILL kill inverts!), and let the display run "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month, conducting regular water changes and maintenance in the tank during this time. After a month or so without fish, the vast majority of the parasites will "crash" for lack of suitable hosts. This is not a fun procedure, it's not easy- and it's not even a 100% guaranteed cure (none are!), but it has a high success rate, because it attacks the disease by breaking  the parasite's life cycle. And it won't put any undesirable substances in the display...A good trade-off, if you ask me! Good Luck! Regards, Scott F> Will copper kill crabs, snails and cleaner shrimp? <<Of a certainty, yes. Bob F>> Thank you.

Fighting Back Against Ich! Hi Guys, you have the best site on the web!  I don't know what I would do without it. <Glad you find the site so useful! Scott F. with you today> I have a 55 Gal with 45 LR 1 Yellow Tang 1 Domino Damsel 1 Clown 1 Coral Beauty I put the angelfish in about a week ago and the tang made him crazy. The first few day he wasn't eating then he came around and all seemed ok. I came home from work one day and he was covered in Ich. <Bummer! Stress, as you now know, is a major contributor to lowered resistance and susceptibility to disease.> I don't have a hospital tank so I just kept on reading and asking questions.  I saw on your site to get a Cleaner shrimp and Goby,  so I purchased 1 shrimp and they didn't have a goby so I got a Cleaner Wrasse. <Well, to be honest- cleaner wrasses are not great long-term choices, and usually don't find enough to eat, slowly starving to death in captivity...Sorry to be so negative- but the shrimp is a much better long-term choice, IMO> 5 minutes after I put them in the tank the Angel was all over the shrimp.  For to days they were both behind a rock and would not come out.  Finally they both arose and the Angel was as clean as can be and smoking a cigarette! The Wrasse seems to like the tangs and hangs on him a lot. <Well, I'm glad that he's engaged in cleaning behavior...!> My question is:  Is the ich gone?  Am I in the clear? Thanks, Michael <Well, Michael, not to sound too pessimistic, but I'd have to say "probably not". My rationale for this is that the ich parasite (Cryptocaryon irritans) goes into a free-swimming phase after it detaches from your fish (this can happen anywhere from 3-7 days after the spots show up on the fish) and attaches to a suitable substrate, such as sand, rock, or the aquarium glass in an encysted form, called a tomont. Then, the tomonts cells divide within the protective cyst, forming up to 200 "daughter" parasites, called tomites, which re-enter the water column to locate and colonize on a suitable host (i.e.; your fishes!), or die trying. It is during the free-swimming and encysted phase where most hobbyists think that they have "cured" ich! Please don't be fooled by this phase of the parasite's life cycle. They will be back- and in greater numbers! The time to act is now! If it were me, I would use this free-swimming and encysted phase of the parasite's life cycle as an opportunity to counter-attack! If you remove all of the fishes to a separate aquarium, plastic garbage can, Rubbermaid, etc., and let the tank run "fallow", without fishes, for about a month, you will have deprived the little vampires of their hosts, seriously disrupting their life cycle, and killing the vast majority of the parasites in the process! Conduct all routine maintenance on the tank during this period. If required, you can treat the fishes with a copper sulphate preparation, along with freshwater dips, in the separate "hospital" tank/container. This way, you've covered both bases, treating the fish and attacking the problem within the display tank. The fallow tank routine is not the most enjoyable process, and it's not the only way- but it works, and can prevent a seemingly endless cycle of ich in the tank. I'm sure that you'll be successful in your battle if you give this approach a try! Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Marine Ick >Hello, >>Hi, Mike. >I have a question concerning marine Ick, I have a 180gal reef tank that has been running about 9 months, I have only 10 fish in the tank along with soft corals, shrimp, starfish and hermits/snails. There have been no new fish introduced in 5 months, and all are doing well. My question is can ICK be contracted without the introduction of new fish?  Is it always present waiting for an opportunity to strike the weak and stressed. >>There are two schools of thought on that, one being that it is ALWAYS present (no matter how diligent your q/t procedures), the other being that if you follow diligent q/t that allows time to eradicate should it express itself you can treat and cure. >I was told that it could be in the tank dormant for long periods. But based on reading your website about quarantining fish for 4 weeks to break the cycle it does not seem correct. >>It can only lie dormant for so long, it must find a host within a few weeks or it will die.  If this were not the case, then the method of clearing a display by allowing the tank to lie fallow (sans vertebrates) for 6-8 weeks wouldn't have any effect.  Yet, it's a very good method of clearing a system with sensitive inverts. >If you can please tell me if ICK or other parasitic diseases can be lurking in my tank just waiting. Oh by the way I do quarantine my fish before putting them in my main tank. Thanks Mike >>I know of none that can last indefinitely.  If you follow proper q/t protocol (minimum of 30 days, starting with a f/w dip) then you should have few to no troubles.  This is the method used at LBAOP, although they tend to go ahead and prophylactically treat many fishes with copper or Furazone to ensure they're all clean before going into display.  Marina

Purple Tang Question? >I have a purple tang with ich.  I have a 75 gallon tank with about 80 pounds of live rock.  I have 1 brown Lobophyllia and 1 bulb anemone.  I have a clean-up crew which is 2 brittle stars, 1 sea cucumber, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, and several red legged hermits and turbo snails.  My fish are the purple tang, six-line wrasse, 2 green Chromis, blue spotted goby, and a tomato clown.  About a week ago I noticed my tang came down with ich really bad.  He was totally covered with the ich.  It was so bad I didn't think he was going to make it.  I don't have a sick or quarantine tank so I decided to try and treat my tank with Kick-Ich.  After the fist dose the tang seemed better.  He seemed to do a little better each day of treatment.  He is swimming around and eating like normal.  Today makes exactly a week of treatment and he looks as bad as the first day I treated the tank.  He swims over to the cleaner shrimp but it seems they can't make the connection.  When the tang first came down with the ich the shrimp seemed like he was helping, but not anymore. Everyone in the tank is doing great.  I feel so bad for the guy.  Is there something you could suggest?  He's a fighter and I would hate to lose him. >>Hi Randy.  Truthfully, I would be remiss if I told you to try the Kick-ich again or any other similar treatment.  The fact is that they are unproven as cures.  There are two methods that I know of that are completely *proven* as cures for ich, and both absolutely require that you remove all vertebrates (unless your display had no inverts in it) to a q/t-hospital tank.  They are hyposalinity and copper.  I strongly suggest you set up a hospital system (it doesn't have to be devised of a fish tank, it can be any non-reactive watertight container), move all fish into it, and choose for them either of the two options.  If you opt for hyposalinity, you'll need to bring it down to 1.010 or less.  If you opt for copper, you'll need a test kit (those who say you can do this w/out the test kit are tempting fate).  In the meantime, slightly increase your tank temperature to 82F and let it lie fallow for 6-8 weeks.  I'm the "better safe than sorry" type and would let it go with no fish for 8 weeks.  Kick-ich is pretty much a waste of money and you lose precious time when it comes to aggressively eradicating this persistent pest. >My water: >salinity is 1.024 >PH is 8.2 >ammonia 0 >nitrite 0 >nitrate 10 ppm >>If possible, try to get your nitrates at least in half.  Persistent low levels have been associated with problems with disease and the like.  Good luck!  Marina

Re: Purple Tang Question? >Thank you for responding so quickly.  >>Quite welcome, Randy.  Sorry it wasn't in time. >I'm sad to say that over night my tang has died.  What should be my next step?  You suggested cutting my nitrates in half...how can I accomplish this?  >>A 50% water change would do the trick, should cut them down to under 10, I would think.  I need to let you know that your system is not free of ich, so if you plan to replace this fish with another tang (or similarly easily affected animal) you'll need to go the hospital tank route. >Once again thank you for your help...my only regret is not finding you sooner. >>Ours as well, but now you know.  However, don't be too disheartened, as it's not uncommon for some species of fish to succumb to ich VERY quickly.  This is why I get so irritated when shops sell something like Kick-ich, when it *won't* treat the ich (the cysts fall of no matter what--it's part of the lifecycle) and simply leaves the owner unaware.  Here you are thinking you'd done something to treat the problem, but no.  Anyway, in my opinion you want to also consider how you can best provide NSW (near sea water) conditions in as stress-free an environment, with the very best nutrition possible for your fish.  This is *especially* true if you haven't got the hospital-q/t system (though I really stress q/t ALL new additions, minimum 30 days).  These pathogens are present in the wild, and the fish can fight them off because they're quite healthy.  When you have an animal that can't fight them off, it means there's an underlying problem.  Wait to replace the fish, address these other issues, and I'm sure you'll have much better success.  Marina

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

Marine Ich (article) Hey Bob! <Scotter!> Attached is my latest offering for the WWM site- An article on  an approach to treating Marine Ich, which I hope that our WWM readers may find useful. Hopefully, it addresses a lot of the questions on the ich treatment procedure that myself and the other Crew members discuss so often in the Dailies. <Agreed. A winner! And I just finished a piece on the same ding dang topic! Will post yours along with> I'd also like to solicit this one to some of the other publications out there. My last piece on nutrient control is going to run in FAMA later this summer, and I'm kinda stoked about that! I like FAMA, but I was thinking about submitting this to one of the other mags, like TFH or Aquarium Fish. Any recommendations as to who the article should be sent to at these pubs? <Mmm, either would be fine. And either is likely to run it...> BTW, are you going to be on the Big Island in July or August? Nadine and I may be back out that way visiting family in Kealakekua, and it would be cool to check out your new digs, catch a few waves at Pinetrees, and maybe clink a few bottles down at Quinn's! (assuming that you're around, that is?) <Will make extra effort to be there then. About what time of the month? Do you two want to stay at the Mamalahoa house?> If not then, I'm sure that the opportunity will present itself again down the line! Thanks for the invite... Hope that you enjoy the place! <Looking forward to it.> Anyways- please post the article on WWM as you see fit. Any comments or criticisms are always welcome...Still getting my feet wet in the writing realm! As always, thanks for all of your inspiration and support! Scott F. <Thank you my friend. Bob>

Ich Reading your FAQ articles on marine ich. I had an outbreak in my main tank that started four weeks ago and my last fish died Tuesday. <Sorry> Does this mean I have to run my tank an additional four weeks without fish? <It would be best> I thought ich was always present in the water and stress causes the outbreak. <You are correct, but when there is an outbreak there is a whole lot of Ich hanging around, reproducing and what not.  By letting the tank run without fish the life cycle will be interrupted and most of the Ich will die off. -Gage> Thanks Steve

The Perfect Cure For Ich? Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I've been reading through your website for several weeks now and want to thank you for all the great info you've made available!  The guys at my LFS have been telling me that there is no way to 100% remove ich from a display tank aside from tearing it down, cleaning it and starting over. <Yep- that's about right!> They say that even if the tank is allowed to go fallow for several weeks there will still be some small amount of the parasite remaining.  They suggest that the quality of the water and the overall strong health of the fish will keep ich from becoming a real problem. <I agree! As a big proponent of the "fallow tank" treatment, I always temper this advice with the caveat that no treatment is 100% successful at eradicating this scourge from your tank. The object of the fallow tank is to encourage the parasite population to crash for lack of hosts. There are always a few parasites that will linger in the substrate, or elsewhere in the system, in a "dormant" mode- waiting for the right situation to arise before striking again. The thought process here is that the parasite population will be reduced to a level that otherwise healthy fish should be able to fight off> For instance, if you introduce a new fish it may show some signs of ich after a bit but if it is vibrant and healthy in the first place it will beat the ich much like a generally healthy person will beat a cold.  We humans are surrounded by germs, diseases and parasites everyday with out getting sick.  It is only when we let ourselves get tired, stressed out and rundown (i.e.. live in an unhealthy environment) that these diseases have a chance to act on our system.  Is there any truth to this? <I agree, for the most part. One of the reasons that I harp on utilizing quarantine before introducing new fishes to the display tank is because I feel that many disease symptoms don't manifest themselves for several days, or even weeks. It is really important to keep the environment stable, and your fishes well fed, for the very reasons that you mention. However, there are times when fishes cannot simply "shrug off" the infection, and medical intervention becomes necessary. The bottom line is, quarantine your new fishes religiously, keep environmental parameters consistent, and feed a variety of quality foods regularly. Couple that with careful observation, and you can't do much better than that> Thanks for your time! Bryan <Any time, Bryan! Sounds like your dealer has some good quality advice to give you...And a knowledgeable dealer is a great ally in your hobby. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Could I have parasites? Hi guys!  well, two nights ago I noticed that my trigger looked like he was scratching himself on rocks.  He was still doing it last night, and also last night, my eel contorted his body a little bit.  then, today, my damsel (the only other fish in there) was scratching himself occasionally.  The trigger tends to scratch himself way more at night than during the day.  I went to my LFS, and they said it was probably a reaction to ammonia levels, but I don't have any ammonia in my tank. however, I do have a little bit of nitrites, which means that I very recently had higher ammonia, probably due to a piece of LR that I put in my tank about a week ago.  if it is indeed parasites, I want to find out quick so I can treat accordingly.  all other parameters are good (ph, temp). could my LR have introduced parasites?  WHAT DO I DO!!!! < The live rock is likely the culprit here.  It sounds like your tank has the dreaded ick.  You are probably going to need to move all current fish to a separate tank to be treated and the main tank will need to go fallow for at least 4 weeks.  You can find all the info you need at the links below. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm Cody>

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

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

Staying The Course (Finishing Disease Treatment) Hi crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member today!> I have a 220g FOWLR system where the fish got ich.  Moved the 6 of them to a 33g medicine tank, they have been in there for 3 weeks with copper. <Good procedure> I know you suggest 6 weeks for main tank to go fallow, but the fish seem quite healthy - I guess the issue is the ich parasites are in the main tank though.  Am I playing with fire if I put them in now?? <I'd have to say yes...You've done a great job in curing your fishes, and you went through all of the trouble to get them out of the display tank for treatment- please don't stop now...Give it the full month- to-month-and-a-half of fallow time...> When I do put them back, should I introduce one fish per day to reduce stress?? <I'd reintroduce them all at once, myself, but you are more comfortable, you can certainly do it gradually> Do I need to give them a fresh water bath?? <Generally, there is no need to freshwater dip the fishes prior to reintroduction...As you are aware, the purpose of a freshwater dip is to help assist in removing parasites from the fishes' skin (parasites can't handle the osmotic shock of a FW dip like the fishes can), so if you are still concerned about parasites, you may want to leave them in the treatment tank for a while longer...> Thanks. Joe <My pleasure, Joe...Keep up the good work! You're almost home free. Just be patient! Regards, Scott F>

It's ick, not Skimmer bubbles Hi all ... As I always say, I wouldn't be in this hobby if it wasn't for you. I have a 30 gallon tank with a few good pieces of LR, 2 damsels, 2 angelfish and a snowflake eel. I also have a DSB, not live (yet). I had just bought off of eBay a skimmer rated for 180 gallons with a flow rate of 1200 L/H. I set it up in my tank and away it went. It seemed that it would work great but after having it on for a few hours I noticed that my fishes were stressed out and started to have symptoms of Ich. And I know its Ich because it didn't look like bubbles and after turning off the skimmer for a long while, the white spots stayed. Believe it or not, the ich is not the problem. I can deal with that. My problem is that I think the reason that the fishes stressed out is that there was an enormous amount of fine bubbles in the water. I mean they were scared out of their brains and swimming around trying to scratch off the tiny bubbles and/or the white spots. And all of this happened after I had turned on this 180 gallon rated skimmer. The skimmer is a Jebo 180 which is somewhat like the Turboflotor hang on. What do you recommend me to do to cut down on the bubbles or eliminate this catastrophe waiting to happen, with the amount of bubbles and all???  Thanks for your time and efforts in keeping us informed and well educated. God bless ... Regards, Ash <QT fish and treat for ick. The skimmer and bubbles are not an issue. I think it is a coincidence that the skimmer bubbles and ick showed up at the same time. Forget the bubbles and treat for ick, that is why they are "flashing" and scratching. Please read about ick and copper treatment in a quarantine tank at WetWebMedia.com.  Best of luck!  Craig>

Saltwater Ich Dear Mr. Fenner, <Don helping out tonight>        I woke up this morning to find that my small Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) had small white dots on his body and his body seemed a duller blue. I have two cleaner shrimp that keep cleaning him. The tank is a 30 Gallon with LR. Any medicine would kill the LR and Inverts, right? <Yes, never treat the main tank for this reason. You can choose to ride this out with the cleaners or move the fish to QT and treat there. See here for more: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm. Good luck with your tang. Don> Thank you Bob

Shrimp Compatibility and Ich Control First off, I want to say that your website has been an invaluable resource to me over the past couple of months.  I can't express my gratitude enough.  Anyway, I have a mini reef with a few corals (bubble anemone, yellow polyps, mushrooms), some snails, hermit crabs, a clam, and two peppermint shrimp.  I would like to add a couple "cleaner" shrimp that can take care of any ich in the event that they may present themselves.  I realize the peppermint shrimp are considered cleaners, but will they also take care of parasites (namely ich)?  I got them in the first place to take care of my glass anemone, which they took care of readily.  So my question is, what specific cleaner shrimp would be compatible with my existing ones to take care of ich (I read about the coral banded shrimp and its violent nature towards other shrimp)?  Or if not a cleaner shrimp, will any other type of animals do the job without disturbing the reef or sandbed?  Thanks in advance.  Sandy. >>Hi Sandy.  The lords and masters are always pleased to know that they and their minions are helpful to all who seek knowledge. >>What you haven't mentioned yet is the presence of the animals that suffer from ich--fish--that would be in need of cleaning services.  If you have no fish in the system, then you have no need to be concerned, as the invertebrates don't suit the protozoan's lifestyle. >>If you do have fish, then as far as cleaners go, Lysmata amboinensis and L. grabhami (the Eel or Skunk Cleaner Shrimp) are the most effective and reliable for these duties.  However, they'll also need to be directly fed (especially in systems with small fishes only). There should be no compatibility issues between these and your other shrimps, assuming you have a suitably roomy tank (minimum 40gals). If possible, please try to find out more specifically which "Peppermint" shrimp it is you have, as some erroneously labeled as such have been known to cause problems with cnidarians, zoanthids, corallimorphs, corals, and anemones.  You don't appear to be having a problem, but it's better to be safe than sorry.  (I apologize for the clich?) Marina

ICH TREATMENT Hi,  <Howdy> I've read a number of your related articles but had a couple of questions which I could not find the answers.  I have a 220 g tank with 100 lbs of live rock, a couple of toad stool leather corals and a large cleaner shrimp.  I also have a purple tang, small clown trigger, small emperor angel, tomato clown and percula clown.  Everything was fine till one day the clown showed signs of ich this has spread to the purple tang.  I have a 33 g quarantine tank which I have put all of the fish in (after an extremely painful 2 hrs. of trying to catch them).  Of course they seemed extremely stressed when I put them into the q tank after chasing them so I did not do a freshwater bath.  I kept them in the dark for 24 hrs and have now treated with CopperSafe.  I used the water for my main tank for the q tank.  My questions are 1) I will keep my main tank fallow for six weeks, is it ok to leave the shrimp and coral in there? <Yes> 2)  when doing water changes in the q tank is it ok to use water from the main tank (all parameters are the same so thought it would be less stressful) or am I just putting in "infected" water? <I would use fresh-aged water> 3) The temp. is 78 and spg of 1.020 is this ok or do I need to adjust seeing as I am using copper?   <Might want to raise the temp to 80 slowly> 4)  All replacement water during water changes will get additional copper, do I still need to perform the freshwater baths or is the copper treatment enough, I'm worried it will stress them even more?   <I would get a copper test kit to make sure you do not overdose.> 5)  Six weeks in this q tank is quite long my plan was to do a copper treatment for 2 weeks and then the last four weeks just the regular water from the main tank, is this ok?   <The treatment should continue as long as there is ich on the fish. Then the 4 week QT period starts. After the last ich disappears. If the ich comes back you need to start over> 6)  This is a huge pain in the butt, is there something that can be done in the future to reduce the chances of ich, I know - quarantine and water quality, how about keeping the temp. at 80 will that help in the long term, any suggestions?  It seems that over time it's almost inevitable just like people getting sick. <Ich may be present, we have to provide a pristine environment to make sure it does not get a 'hold' on our fish.> thanks <Good luck, Don> Joe

Re: ICH TREATMENT Thanks for the reply, would you please respond to question #5 on the need for a freshwater bath. thanks All replacement water during water changes will get additional copper, do I still need to perform the freshwater baths or is the copper treatment enough, I'm worried it will stress them even more?    <Agreed, I would not do the fresh water dips at this time with copper. Don>

Treating Ick before the initial tank cycle ends Hey crew! <Hey back> I can't say enough about the informative site!  Is there such thing as "too much" information.  When I get home from work I sign on a read and read and read.  However, I have run into a problem and am not sure of what to do.  This Saturday will be the second week of the cycle on my new 29 gallon marine tank.  I initially started the cycle with three small damsels, of which one died within 24 hrs, one got stuck on the intake of my power head on like the 6th day.....whoops, (I forgot to turn it down!) and I noticed last night that the last one left (a domino) has what looks like ick.  I noticed yesterday when I got home from work all of the tiny white spots on it, even on his eyes.  He has been a real trooper swimming about like nothings wrong....I was kinda shocked!  We'll I leave the light on overnight, and all but a couple are gone this morning!  What's up with that?  Is this ick?  If so, should I treat or just buy a couple more damsels and let the tank finish cycling?  I called the two local pet stores that contradicted each other.......one saying treat the tank now b/c ick will breed in the substrate and the other saying let the tank cycle, then take the fish out, and the Ick will die within a couple of weeks having no host to feed on. (I don't plan on keeping the damsels anyway)  We'll, I was actually gonna keep them until they started nipping at the stuff I am wanting to put in the tank when it matures.  I'm trying to learn all I can about marine tanks.  I hope the initial cycling is the hardest part, cause this is kinda frustrating.  Thanks in advance for your help! <The damsels are not necessary to cycle a tank. Really a rather barbaric process and an waste of life. The domino may  have ich. It needs to be removed to a hospital tank and treated. See here and the blue links at the top of the page for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm. Do not treat the main tank. Never. Only treat diseased fish in a hospital tank. Let the tank fallow (no fish of any kind) for at least 4-6 weeks. Raising the temperature (80-82) may help. This is the only way to break the cycle of host/parasite. Don>

Uh- Oh...It's Ich! Scott: <Hey There!> First of all, thank you very very much for your timely help.  Unfortunately, it is indeed ich.  I had a buddy come over to confirm my fears.  It was a combo of my inexperience, and not wanting it to be ich that caused me to goof up the diagnosis. <Hey- experience is the best teacher- now you know!> This morning, the flame angel only has one spot.  The tang has 2, but in different places than last night.  I think the UV sterilizer might be helping...either that or the fish are shaking it off.  They're still eating...esp. the tang...he's like a cow and grazes all day. <Well, the fact that the fishes are eating is always a good thing. However, the spots "disappearing" is really a function of the life cycle of the parasite, which enters a free-swimming phase during it's life cycle. Next, the parasites attach to sand or other substrates, only to re-emerge and attack again. We need to attack ich with techniques that disrupt the life cycle of the parasite> Here's my dilemma. I have numerous hiding places for my fish in the live rock, so much that netting them is going to be nigh impossible. Do you think I would be ok just letting them tough it out since the ich doesn't seem to be getting worse?  Of course if they break out all over, I'll have to do something, but am worried that the stress of netting them and then giving them a dip might be worse than the alternative. <I totally understand your frustration and concern here. It absolutely sucks to remove all of the fishes for treatment! However, the alternative is a seemingly endless cycle of ich outbreaks. Once the parasite is in the tank- it's IN the tank! Removing all of the fishes for treatment and letting the display tank run "fallow", without fishes, is really the most reliable option for eradicating this disease, IMO. The stress of breaking up live rock to get out the fishes for treatment is far less than the stress for te fishes (and you!) that will ensue if you don't take action. This type of experience will have you singing the praises of the quarantine process whenever you purchase new specimens for your tank! You will NEVER want to go through this process again!> I'd treat the tank, but have lots of inverts...shrimp, crabs, sea stars, snails, etc. Thanks again! <Yep- it's no fun. I am really skeptical of so-called "reef-safe" "cures", which supposedly attack the causative parasites, yet some how cause no collateral damage to inverts, etc. Please. please do the fallow tank procedure, and treat with a reliable medication in a separate tank. I know that with perseverance and patience, you'll beat this thing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Jeff

Crypt tales Hi Jason, <Hello.> I just wanted to give you a follow-up on the ick problem that I had in my tank. Just to reiterate, I have a 110 gallon tank with a clown trigger, imperator angelfish, formosa wrasse, snowflake eel and a few damsels... The clown trigger and imperator angelfish were diagnosed with your assistance to be the host of ick. My final course of action (after a ton of emails with you) to eradicate this problem was as follows: Raised the temperature of my main tank to approx 82 degrees over a period of 2 days. Lowered the salinity to 1.016 over a period of 2 days Utilized a form of medication called Cupramine... Initial instructions indicated treatment over a 2 day period with levels meeting 0.25 ppm... I did some research on the internet keying on Cupramine and found an article that indicated that I should raise the levels to 0.30 which I did Completed a fresh water dip on the 3 visibly affected animals in my tank (I think this is what saved them). I have also begun giving them a squirt of some liquid vitamin additives with their feeding. It's now been 10 days and appears that all is well...I have returned the tank temperature back down to 78 degrees and have begun water changes slowly increasing the salinity of the tank. <Keep in mind that it takes 14 days of copper treatment to kill ich so don't be so quick to call it a done deal.> Thanks again for all of your help <Cheers, J -- >

ICH TREATMENT Hi, <Hi Joe.> I've had a clown trigger in a medication tank with CopperSafe for two weeks now.  All spots are cleared up and has regained its appetite.  Seems to be happy again.  Would you say the coast is clear to put it back in the main tank.  The other fish in the main tank never did get any ich on them so I'm assuming they were healthy or I got the trigger out quick enough (it was a new fish, and yes I didn't quarantine, lesson learned, bought the quarantine tank). <Well Joe, I don't think you quite understand the ich life cycle. Do head over to WetWebMedia.com and type "ich" in the google search engine. Go to the articles on ich and parasitic disease. Having fish in your main, even asymptomatic fish, is still a problem. You also can't be sure your trigger is "cured" in two weeks, you should QT him for two weeks more without copper to be sure. The problem is you will then introduce him into your main tank which still has ich. Perhaps consider breaking all your fish to medicated anti-parasite food (containing Metronidazole) and feed for at least two weeks after introduction to main tank.>   I also have a juvenile emperor angel that got the ich appeared to start fading in color, and its tail almost disappeared overnight (became a little ragged stub), and lost its appetite.  I gave it a freshwater bath and put it into the copper medicine tank.  All white spots are gone, the tail appears to be growing back nicely and the appetite is great (it only has small cloudy areas on it's pectoral fins), should I just see if these cloudy areas disappear in the medicine tank or would it be safe to put into main system (220 g FOWLR).  Thanks Joe <Same situation as above. Seachem makes a Metronidazole food soak/additive, I would suggest using it with your existing food to hopefully treat the ich hosts in your main and to help the trigger and angel fight off further infestation.  Craig>

Ich, Ich, And More Ich! Hey Crew...What a great web site. Always very informative! Please help. <Will do my best-you've got Scott F. today!> I have just upgraded from a 30 gal high to a 46 gal bow front. The 46 has been set up now right at 6 weeks. From the 30 I brought a yellow tang and Picasso Trigger and Tomatoe Clown which have been part of the family  for about 5 years. They eat all the time and are very happy when I come home from work. Since they moved to there new home the Trigger has seemed to hide a lot and seems to have the blahs. I understand this may just be normal adjustment or behavior. <Yep- they can be big babies! In time, he'll overcome his apparent shyness!> Now here is the real problem. I purchased a small Purple Tang last week that developed ich within 2 days. Now it has spread to my Yellow Tang and Picasso. I was told to raise the temp and salinity which I did last night. <Raising the salinity? Yikes! You mean, lowering the salinity (i.e.' "hyposalinity")-right? Just making sure. Raising the salinity could be quite problematic> Is this all YOU can do and hope for the best? I have been doing salt water tanks since 1989 and have only had this problem one time before. I have had a lot of experience but not with ich. Please HELP! Thanks  Randy S Auburn, AL <Well, Randy, I think that the best course of action when fighting ich is, unfortunately, the least enjoyable method: Remove all the fishes into a separate tank for treatment with a commercial copper sulphate product, per manufacturer's instructions, and let the main system run fallow, without fishes, for at least a month. This will help disrupt the life cycle of the parasites that remain in the system by depriving them of their hosts, the fishes. You can do it, and it will work for you! Also, be sure to quarantine all new arrivals a minimum of 3 weeks before adding them to the main tank. Finally, I hope that larger quarters are in the future for everyone? That's a fairly substantial bioload of potentially large fish in a relatively small tank. For long-term health, a much larger tank is the best way to go... Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>                 

Go Fallow, My Friend! Firstly thanks for providing me with hours of reading a week ;^) <Hey- that's what we do best-help you fill up those idle hours that you'd otherwise spend doing non-essential stuff, such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. Scott F. helping fill the void tonight!> Recently I've had my first Ich outbreak in a 6 month, 55 gallon, FO system.  My Pseudochromis had a few spots, thought he might fight them off *He was a new addition*  Second round of spots I dipped and moved him to a quarantine tank at 82 degrees and 1.017 s.g.  I had seen a couple spots on a 3 stripe damsel but they passed and since *a little under two weeks* No sign of infection in the 2 percs, or 2 damsels.  The Pseudochromis also has had no sign of infection and is Much healthier/livelier *still in quarantine*.  Question: Given the two week stretch without Visible sign of infection, is fallowing still urgent? <Well, in my opinion, it is still the best way, and here's why: Once the ich is in the system, the causative parasites go through a free swimming stage, as well as a stage where they will attach to substrate, rocks, and even the aquarium glass, only to "hatch out" (for want of a better term) some times later, only to start the cycle of infection again (part of the reason why the disease seems to disappear for a while). Once it's in your tank-it's IN your tank! Letting the tank go fallow helps break the life cycle of the parasites, depriving them of their hosts (your fishes!). In the absence of hosts, they'll die. Treat the affected fishes in a separate tank, or even a large Rubbermaid container, and leave them there for about a month. this method basically sucks to have to do- but it works!> I don't have a large enough quarantine *Have 10 gallon* and am very interested in your advice.  I've read this parasite infects gills and if there is a sizeable chance *per your opinion* that they are infected then I will purchase a 20 gallon and move them for a month and a half or so or promptly follow your advice *if different* <I'd go for the larger tank or a Rubbermaid, as mentioned above> Quickie: I saw small red wrasses with white circles on their backs at my LFS.  They called them watermelon wrasses, I found a couple juveniles that looked similar to them on WWM but these were markedly brighter, any suggestions?  *BTW small=2"* <I'm wondering if they are some sort of "Fairy Wrasses"? If you get a genus name, based on the pics on our site, we can discuss them in more detail...Unfortunately, common names are not the best way to identify unknown species...the names can vary from region to region (example-the "Blue Tang", or "Regal Tang", or whatever it's called...LOL>, making the process really tough without a good photo...> I'm very new to the Marine hobby *under one year* and want to thank you for an intelligent and vastly knowledgeable database for those who wish to learn and practice with discipline. <I'm so glad to be a part of this great team at WWM, and thrilled that we're helping you in your fish-keeping "career'! Don't forget to learn and share your experiences, both good and bad-with fellow hobbyists. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Any Ich-Resistant Fish? 2/19/03 I'm a new aquarist, and just got my first live introduction to ich.  I'd prefer not to deal with this monster.   <Understood, my friend... but if you succeed in the hobby... you will have to learn and appreciate using a quarantine tank properly. In doing so, you will find that your system can go many with little or no trouble from infectious disease. Please read through the archives here at wetwebmedia.com (articles, FAQ, etc) on protocol for QT. The crash course is that every living thing without exception (plants, algae, snails, coral, fish, live rock, etc) goes through a simple 4-week isolation (and treatment if necessary) period. With that kind of patience you can be assured of "disease-free" enjoyment. Otherwise... its like playing Russian roulette with living creatures every time you place an unscreened animal into your display. There is not doubt in my mind that your last bout came from a new addition in the last 2 weeks of the event.> Are there any saltwater fish that do not get ich, or at least are highly resistant to it? <eels are remarkably resistant to Ich> Thanks in advance for your help. George Nolta <Best regards, Anthony>

Disease Question, Ick Hello, I have a 80 gal FOWLR tank. I have one Red sea Sailfin Tang. Over the past 2 weeks he has experienced Ick. Usually on his pectoral fins, while they should be clear, can see scuffs of white. Only seen him scratch maybe 4 times in the past 2 weeks.  From day to day this goes from just about gone to back again, he eats very well, usually Nori & seaweed select as well as angel frozen cubes. All food usually mixed with Selcon, Vita chem or Ecosystems garlic. My question is will this ever run it's course or continue till the tank is empty, even though is seems to almost disappear at times? <No. This is a parasite, like fleas on a dog. Ick doesn't just go away anymore than fleas do, without treatment.> I am going to try "No-Ick" to see the results, but I feel it will cure only temporarily. <NO!  Do not waste your time or money on this snake oil. It does not cure ick, it cures the scourge of money in your wallet.> I have read just about all the FAQ, but never read about a case of one fish in the tank & where the spots can come back, yet be almost gone. <You must not have read all of the FAQs or you would surely have read about No-Ick, Kick-Ick, etc.!  We get lots of posts on ick like yours! Also, please read the articles on ick, parasites, copper treatment, quarantine, etc.  These are far more inclusive/comprehensive than the FAQ's.> I was hoping that the fish would fight the ick & it would be history in a month or so. I have a QT tank but hate having to dismantle the rock to get him out! Thanks for your advice ! <You have two choices, either feed your tang Tetra Anti-parasite food (Metronidazole), soak your existing food in Seachem Metronidazole, or tear the tank down enough to catch and QT your tang with copper treatment as per WWM.com and copper test kit for at least two weeks.  Hold your main tank fallow of fish hosts for at least one month, preferably longer. This will not go away on it's own, and any other introductions will become infested as well. QT all new fish, no matter what.  Hope this helps!  Craig>

- Treating Ich - Howdy Fishy Friends, <Greetings, JasonC here...> This is in regards to my 75 gallon reef.  I will give you a little background on the system.  It has been up and running since October 2002. <Ok.> About 3-4 weeks ago we switched two four strip damsels and one yellowtail damsel out for three TR Common Clown's, A Firefish, and A Royal Gamma.  Other inhabitants include, 3 Mushroom corals, 1 Anemone, 1 fan worm, 1 Arrow Crab, 1 Choc. Chip Starfish, about 20 assorted snails, about five blue-legged hermit crabs.  Water change about every other week, approx. 12 gallons.  Eheim filter, and a large protein skimmer about a cup a week at the most and a wave maker.  The fish are feed Formula one and two with flake brine shrimp. pH-8.2 to 8.4, Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ammonia all zero.   About a week ago we added an Algae Blenny.  Last night I noticed about 10 white spots on the Royal Gamma,  I immediately setup our 29 gallon hosp. tank with lots of aeration and performed a 10 min freshwater dip on the Royal Gamma.  I then checked the other fish, Two of the clowns appeared to have one or two white spots, so they too were removed to the hosp. tank after a freshwater dip  I began treatment with quick cure.  I believe the algae blenny is the main cause of this outbreak because the LFS I bought him from has had problems in the past with ick.  I normally don't buy from them but my trustworthy dealer could not get the algae blenny for a month, due to excessive algae growth I really wanted to get him. <This is hardly your dealer's fault. It's a very safe assumption that all fish coming in to stores have parasites... and by not putting the fish through quarantine before adding them to your main system, you pretty much guarantee parasitic problems throughout the display. More reading for you on this here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm > Before last night everything was great fish where all happy and appeared to be eating well.  I then decided to move the algae blenny to the hosp. tank.  Due to the coloring of the blenny it is very difficult to see if ick is present.  I also added a lg. piece of LR with lots of algae and also added some crushed coral from the main tank for additional food for him.  Is this going to be enough food to sustain him or can I use algae sheets? <Well, if you are treating with Quick Cure in this hospital tank, the rock will absorb the chemicals necessary for a strong dose, which means you won't be treating anything and killing the rock at the same time. Much better to try and supplement the blenny's food a different way and run the hospital tank either bare, or with some 'furniture' made from PVC fittings which won't absorb the copper and formalin.> Currently we have no filtration on the hosp. tank, I have a bio wheel but carbon is present with the cartridges and wheels.  So should I use this? <Take out the wheel then - the carbon will absorb the active ingredients in the Quick Cure. Pretty much, once you are in the situation of having to treat these types of chemicals in a hospital tank, you will not be able to establish a biological filter and you will instead have to resort to large, frequent water changes in that tank - perhaps 25% a day or 50% every other day.> Also I have an extra protein skimmer should this be used on the hosp. tank? <No - rely on the water changes to keep the bioload and dissolved wastes to a minimum.> I have read that protein skimmers and carbon take out the medication, is this true? <Yes, but more so with the carbon.> This morning I looked at all fish in the hosp. tank and none appear to have white spots.  So I don't know if it is gone, dormant, or if I were seeing things last night? <Parasites live in cycles - the spots that you see are typically not the actual parasite but an indication of irritation, and nine times out of ten the parasite has dropped off to reproduce. When it comes back, it will present itself in 100 to 1000 fold the original numbers.> Should I still treat them with the medicine and freshwater dips? <Absolutely.> If so how often should I do freshwater dips? <Unless the problem is severe, I would hold off on the dips and rely instead on the Quick Cure, although is this is really Ich, you'd be better off with a true copper medication - Quick Cure also has formalin in it which is pretty nasty stuff.> I thought if there are no more signs of ick in a week, I thought about putting them back in the tank, or should I wait the full two weeks. <For a copper treatment to be effective, it must continue for 14 days... after that point you can probably be safe with a final freshwater dip and re-addition to the main tank.> I have a copper testing kit, so that won't be a problem. <It's not even really important unless you want to make sure you are treating with the appropriate amount.> I also went out and purchased a Lysmata Shrimp thanks to your website), however my dealer had no Gobiosoma. <If you do get one of these, please do quarantine it before putting it in the main display.> I added the shrimp to the main tank to help prevent any ick on the one clown and Firefish. <Sounds good.> I also read on your site to leave the main tank with no fish inhabitants for a month, to prevent any additional break outs. <Longer is actually better if you can manage it - six weeks is ideal.> I have another 10 gallon tank plus the 29 gallon tank I can use to put the fish in for a month.  My ick problem does not seem to be so severe to do this, what is your opinion? <Well, if there are still fish in the main tank, then keep them under close observation while the other fishes are being treated... if the fish in the main tank become infected, use this as an indicator for what you might do next.> Thanks a lot, Happy Swimming Annette PS: Sorry guys I forgot some stuff, I increased the temp to 80-82 degrees in the hosp. tank and lowered the Salt level to 1.020 to 1.018, also I just moved the other clown to the hosp. tank, looks like he may have some too. <Good plan on the temperature and salinity change. Sounds like you might want to consider running that main tank fallow for a while. Cheers, J -- > 

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