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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 11

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

Related FAQs: Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 12Crypt 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,

Crypt/Ich on a PBT... "ich magnet"

White Spot treatment in marine aquarium, using Methylene blue ... Uh, no...   6/12/06 Dear team, I find myself in an emergency situation. My 1.5 yr old marine tank cracked! <Yikes!> I pulled water, corals and my two fish (a full grown Volitans and juvenile Emperor) out into plastic storage tubs, with heaters and air stones.  I BOLTED out to the nearest LFS and brought home a new 4ft Aqua One tank, sand etc. I set it up overnight, <Fixing whatever the source of initial breakage I hope/trust> filled it the following day, but lost my Volitans to stress before she could ever go into it. 48hrs later, with the sand still not settled, my Emperor (Empy for short) was decidedly not happy, so rather than lose him without a chance, into the new tank he and the corals went. Alone, with "everything different" and a tank not yet cycled up, he was frantic to find Nibs (the Volitans). I closely monitored the water, bought more living rock, and found a baby Volitans (4inch body length). Empy calmed a little and teamed up with "Dude" (baby Volitans) immediately, BUT, he has White spot. Before reading about Methylene blue on your site, I used Sulfate tablets as told by the LFS. <Neither one effective against Cryptocaryon...> It slowed the cycling up and didn't help Empy, indeed, it probably set him back, and required me to do more frequent water changes to get rid of Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate that were not there before the tablets went in! <Would very likely have occurred irrespective...> I now wish to ask; Can Methylene blue be used in a tank containing corals? <Not advised... not efficacious> I am afraid that if I pull Empy out into a dip, he will stress to death, but I just have to try to help him! He is just going through his colour change, and overall, is looking a little better today than in the past week (I think the UV sterilizer is helping).  It has been a month of Hell, but I think we will make it as long as I stay away from the tablets I was told to use! Will the Methylene blue kill my corals? Please help...your site already has, I just need more! I have seven aquariums, 2x6ft tropicals. the 4ft marine, and some "little ones", and I can normally "hold my own", but this time I really got "caught short". Thank you, in anticipation, and thank you for having a web site which is SO brilliant! Janie. <Ten big breaths and read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above. The affected fishes all must be removed, treated elsewhere... not with Sulfa drugs or Methylene Blue... Bob Fenner>

Epsom Salt + Hyposalinity + Kordon's Ich Attack -- OK?    3/2/06 Hi Bob & Crew,    <Cam>   Thanks for such prompt response on my earlier query on Epsom salt in Main Display Tank, to treat my red bar Anthias' pop eye. Your response endorsed it. Appreciated!    Well, thing get rough here. Is it Murphy's Law (bad things happen together...??)?. <Events do seem clustered... perceptually> My emperor angel has developed Ich, I suspect. It is certainly not air bubbles but white dirt/dots on head and fins. I think some get onto one eye (looks dusty). Its breathing is OK still. Still happy and eats like pig. I did a 7 min fresh water bath on it today, hoping to relieve it from the parasites attached. I see some dropped off but some still remained.    I have been doing speed reading on your site & hoped to adopt the following procedure to treat the tank and emperor to tilt the balance of health/disease in our favor. <Good way of putting this> I intend to effect hyposalinity (1.018) + Higher temp (mid 80s) + Kordon's Ich attack (hope it works as it claims --) for the tank, which is the main display tank.    Side note: I have treated emperor angel with copper in the past. It developed HLLE after the treatment and I really hope I don't have to do it to this emperor angel which is still HLLE free. Besides, I have an infection in main display tank. I have to control it in main display tank.    <Yes>   Before I take the plunge, I would appreciate further clarification from your vast experience:-   1. If I have to put Epsom salt to treat my red bar in a hyposalinity tank. Is it alright? <Should be, yes>   2. What's your view on Ich Attack. <The Novalek product?: http://www.novalek.com/korgd20.htm Only out of blind respect for owner/mgr. Bob Rofen do I give this some chance of actually working... I don't believe he would be part of selling "a pig in a poke".> You mentioned that its is worth trying in your previous response to one hobbyist who asked similar question. Does the response still hold today? <Mmm, I would not use this product myself... nor endorse its use in your circumstances>   3. I have 2 cleaner shrimps in my main display tank. do you think 1,018 SG salinity is OK with them? <No... will likely cause their demise>   4. How long a period for a hyposalinity treatment is deemed optimal? 2 weeks or 4 weeks? Trying to seek a balance that most parasites are controlled/weakened and fish/shrimps do not have to suffer for long.    <... am not, NOT a fan of hyposalinity for actual, advanced (discernible) parasite treatments... As you will find by reading WWM, print works by myself>   Thanks in advance for your help. I am really grateful that you set up such useful site. I also own your books. Great work!      Best regards. <I do wish you well... to cut to the proverbial chase, I would remove all fishes, treat with a chelated copper solution... Bob Fenner>

New Fish- Old Disease! Hello <Hi there! Scott F. at the keyboard today...> My name is Eric, I have a 55 gallons reef tank, the problem is that every  new fish I put in my tank gets ich in 3 days. I don't understand why. I already have a pygmy angel, some goby's, etc, and they're still okay, what's happening? <Well, hard to say. Usually, there is a considerable amount of stress associated with acclimating to a new tank for a fish. And, as we are aware, stress is a big factor in disease...You can eliminate a lot of potential disease problems through careful selection of new animals and utilizing a quarantine process religiously. Do a search of the WWM site for lots of information on these topics! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Ich and Fallow System 09/04/03 Hello, <Hi Jeremy, PF with you tonight>        About 2 months ago I had a nasty out break of ich in which I lost a purple and powder blue tang. Upon reading several posts I decided that the best course of action to remove the ich from my system was to remove all of my fish and let the system go fallow for a while. I caught most of my fish, but was never able to catch a watchmen goby. My tank has ran for 2 months now with nothing in it but shrimp, crabs, snails and 1 watchmen goby. In your opinion would it be safe to return fish to the tank without fear of the ich still being present or do I need to remove the goby and continue to go fallow for 6 weeks? Thanks for you time, Jeremy <Well Jeremy, IMO, I'd err on the side of caution and get the goby out and let the tank lie fallow. I figure better safe than sorry. If you do decide to put it in, make sure you have several cleaner shrimp on hand, they'll help contain any possible outbreak.>

Ich I have a 220g FOWLR. right now all I have is 6 Chromis, a regal tang and a red sea raccoon. they've all been in there a month plus.<ok> I took them out for a 45 days before to get rid of ich but now its back.<not good, you might have to take down your aquarium and reset everything up. I don't suggest treating your main system with copper sulfate> ever since I put them in the tang and the butterfly get a couple of spots every week or so. it doesn't seem to do any harm and it doesn't really get worse.<yes, this too happened to me a couple of months ago before my trip out to LA.. quarantining the fish and allowing the main system to go fallow for a month or so is the only cure> I have two cleaner shrimp and I realize they can only do so much but I really cant take the fish out for another 45 days. do you think they will be fine? <eventually the cleaner shrimp/fish will prove ineffective. they will be overwhelmed> I planned on adding more fish but its been on halt until I worked out the ich and am wondering what to do.<your going to have to let your tank go fallow. and if that fails you will have to sterilize the aquarium and start from scratch. unless you want to add copper sulfate to your main system. which will have adverse affects later on> Greenex has worked good for me before on these same fish and I've thought about taking out all the inverts and medicating if it gets worse.<honestly I would rather start from scratch than do this> what are the odds? <the odds of the ich coming back. after they reproduce is very great and about a 99.9999% chance-and the cleaner shrimp won't be able to save the fish when this happens :(> thanks <good luck, IanB>

Ich thanks for the reply. this is all really frustrating for me, I've had my aquarium up and running for almost a year, I've spent thousands of dollars and all I've ever had was live rocks and snails. I guess my only choice is to take out the fish and wait another month to 45 days. but when I do add fish again could you please give me a list of fish that are more immune to ick? <tangs as a whole tend to be ich prone, I advise Quarantining all fish for at least 3 weeks prior to introduction into the main aquarium> last time I waited 45 days in the main tank and quarantined my fish separately during this time and had no symptoms of ich during that whole period then when I add the fish back, the ich is back. should I just not keep a tang at all?<you can keep tangs. you just have to minimize stressors> I've read everything I could get my hands on and know that some fish are more hardy than others but most references just compare fish in the same family. I know some butterflies are more disease resistant than others and I know that damsels rarely get ick. but what are some other fish that will help me totally avoid this problem in the future?<triggerfish, eels, lionfish, most wrasses> at this point all I want is a tank full of fish. thanks<be patient my friend your luck will change soon, IanB>

Porcupine puffer with ich (08/28/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have been reading your puffer FAQs.. but yet to find any help for my problem. I have an 80 gallon tank w/a porcupine puffer fish, a lionfish, a trigger fish and a yellow tang (the latter have been moved to a non-infected tank).  my puffer has had ich for about two weeks now...other than the obvious visible symptoms, and heavy breathing and sometimes twitch- like movements he is eating and functioning fine. <So you have just the puffer in the 80 gallon tank? I would put him in his own hospital tank and let the display go fallow for at least a month.> After calling my local fish store as advised I turned up the heat to around 82 degrees, kept the lights off and have done a few water changes.  The levels test fine.  My boyfriend has gone several dips that while clearing the fish up a bit...still has not gotten rid of the problem. We were advised not to do anymore for fear of stressing them out even more. <Dips alone will not get rid of ich if you're putting the fish back into an infested system.> We treated the tank with Marisol (I believe that was the name) for a week daily, and it seemed to have no helpful effect.  The lionfish has gotten worse w/one clouded eye now, and the puffer's white patches are getting more dense in some areas (make sense)??? <Cloudy eyes are usually a symptom of poor water quality. You might want to check your test kits.> We are trying to stabilize a hospital tank to put them in...but it probably won't be ready for a month. <Good grief, don't bother trying to cycle a hospital tank right now. Get the infected fish in there ASAP. Then you'll do daily water changes to keep the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates under control and bring the specific gravity down to 1.010. And keep the tank temp up.> I really don't want my fish to die...please please please email me back with any suggestions...I will appreciate it indefinitely!!!  Thanks again,  Bonnie <Do check out the ich articles and FAQs on the WetWebMedia site, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm. --Ananda>

Help my with an ich outbreak PLEASE! 08/27/03 <Hi Carla, PF with you tonight> On my way to bed tonight I stopped my saltwater tank as always. Noticed that my yellow tang and purple Dottyback are both covered in ich. I think it was introduced by a neon goby that only lasted 3 days. (I did not quarantine him....I know BIG mistake....won't happen again.) I have just removed all fish from tank except the Dottyback which I was unable to catch. He's gone into hiding and I'll try again in morning. My questions: Is there anything I can put in the main tank to help kill the ich faster without harming my live DSB, live rock, and shrimp? Have put all fish in a q-tank and immediately added "Nox-Ich" which a LFS advised me would be good to add to my q-tank with new fish as extra insurance. My q-tank is only 10 gallons. I have put 2 clowns, 1 yellow tang, 2 yellowtail damsels and I hope 1 purple Dottyback in it. How long can they safely stay in there? What should I be doing to the q tank while they are there? Should I move my BioWheel to the q tank as well? Or should I just keep a vigilant watch on the ph, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates while they are in there? This is my first saltwater ich outbreak and I don't know what to do. I really don't want to lose my fish. Too much money and love invested in them. Thanks in advance for your help. Carla in Kentucky <Well Carla, first off, go here and read up: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm on ich. That will answer a lot of your questions. Anti-ich medications are copper based, and will nuke your DSB, your LR, and your shrimp. Like all good things, the way to win out over ich in your tank is time. The QT is rather crowded, you can use any container that will hold water, such as storage containers. You can get a larger one at many stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Just use a plastic storage box. You're going to have to begin treatment immediately on the fish. Be sure and use a copper test kit, and be careful because the clowns have a hard time with copper. Read up on ich treatment, and if you have more questions, let us know. Good luck, PF>

Ich follow-up questions 08/27/03 <Hello again Carla> This goes along with my earlier email asking about ich. If I change out all the water in my main tank, rinse the live sand and live rocks with clean water and rinse out the empty tank, will that get rid of the ich in the tank or will it still be there? If this is an option, should I use salt water or plain water to rinse the sand and rocks? Just a thought Thanks! Carla <Well, no not really. Rinsing the live sand would turn it into not-so-live sand, especially with fresh water. You could try and hurry the ich cycle in the tank by turning the temp up, but then that could well kill your inverts. I'd just wait it out, unfortunately patience is your best solution. Have a better one, PF>

Double Trouble (Illness And Nitrite) Hey Crew well I am completely dumbfounded please help! <Will try! Scott F. here today> I have a 220 gallon tank 175 lbs of live rock 175 live sand refugium wet dry system 55 gallon sump Aqua Clear Aquatics Macro Skimmer (Rio 3100 running it) and a Pentair 40 UV.  Well here's the dilemma: This tank was doing just fine; it has been setup for about 1 year. I added one fish at a time. (lime wrasse, harlequin tusk, blue hippo, yellow tang, dog face puffer, pink tail trigger and my latest addition,  Mr. Queen Angel. <Quite a collection! That's about as many fishes as you'd want in this tank...> The angel developed what I believe to be a fungus due to the fact he scratched himself raw just above his eyebrow on both sides. He then developed ich and fungus.  I then noticed the trigger coming down with it so on and so forth. <Yep- ich is highly contagious...You need to take steps to treat all of the fishes and address the presence of the causative parasites in the main tank> I purchased Maroxy which said it was ok and will not harm biological filtration. Well, it did. <Yikes...My advice across the board is never to medicate the display tank! A bit late for you now- but it holds true in the future! Treatment should only take place in a dedicated hospital tank or containers of suitable size to hold your fishes> The next morning 3.0 nitrite, 80 plus nitrates, ammonia 0 ph 8.4  I have quarantined the angel all is well with the other fish,  I have since changed 50 gallons of water and 70 gallons. <Aggressive moves, but probably warranted under the circumstances> Nitrite dropped to 2.5 nitrates 60 ammonia still 0 ph 8.4 cycled with Prime- a new product to me. It says it will detoxify the nitrites and nitrates so that your filter can take over.  I can't take the fish out- I only have a 20 gallon qt. The fish are eating again the disease has subsided and my skimmer is producing a milky type of matter in collection cup. <Possibly colloids from the Prime? I think that this is a situation where you may want to utilize a commercially available nitrifying bacteria product, such as "Cycle" or "Fritz Zyme" to help speed things up> I was thinking that I should do a 50% change next after a few days. Your thoughts please. <Well, if the fish have to stay put, I suppose a series of water changes would help. However, you need to do two things: 1) Re-establish the biological filtration that was lost, and 2) Address the presence of the Cryptocaryon parasites in the tank. My advice would to find some large containers (like Rubbermaid trash cans) to house all of the fishes for an extended period of time, and to treat the illness properly. Meanwhile, the display tank should run "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month to help "crash" the parasite population. You will probably need to "feed" the empty tank to help re-establish the nitrifying bacteria population to cycle the tank. It will take patience and a lot of water testing, but you can do it. Otherwise, you can leave the fishes in the tank while it re-cycles, but the ammonia and nitrite might doom the already stressed and ill fishes. Once the tank cycles, you could then engage in the fallow tank routine and attack the illness...It's a matter of priorities. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

-Tang and sandsifter problems- Hello crew - I hope all is well for you.  Thank you SOOO MUCH for the service you provide! <You are entirely welcome!> I have several questions (hope you take time to read/answer all, please excuse the length but I want you to have all relevant details) so I will begin with the "possible emergency".  I have searched your site but did not find anything that addressed my fishes' issues exactly: 1)  My tangs recently developed a case of ich and I am struggling with treatment options since there are many hiding places within the live rock, making catching the tangs (to put into a QT) VERY difficult and stressful for them.  I have a 180 gal tank with a Hippo, Yellow, Naso and Kole Tang (all approx 4"), a pair of maroon clowns with BTA, Diamond Goby, Red Lip Blenny, a few small damsels and a variety of inverts (basic algae / detritus cleaners + flame scallop, 3 cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermint shrimp, etc.).   So obviously, using copper in my main tank is out of the question.  My tank has been up for about 3 months now and has had zero nitrates/nitrites for 2+ months (SG=1.0235, pH=8.2, Ca=280 yes LOW and Temp=81?F <temporarily elevated to accelerate ich life cycle>).  I am also running a 25W UV.  I added all tangs to the tank 2 weeks ago.  Since I did not want all the tangs fighting and possibly dying I added them all at the same time. <Too many ich-magnets to add at once...> Unfortunately I felt 5 tangs (originally there was a Powder Blue also) in my 20 gal QT would be too stressful for them so I put them directly in my main tank (cringe - I know). <The only way to do it would be to quarantine them separately. You would likely have had no problem introducing them one by one, but I'd go with a max of 3 for a 6' tank.> All was fine until, about 4 days ago I noticed the Hippo Tang flashing on everything and I noticed a few salt crystal-sized white spots on the Naso, Hippo and Kole. Terrified of an impending ich takeover I began researching reef-safe ich medications (again worried about stress of catching fish + stress of them being stuffed in a 20 gal QT). Although none of these medications appear to be even close to the effectiveness of Cu, the best reviews I found were for "Stop Parasite". What is your opinion of the effectiveness of "Stop Parasite" and it's effect on inverts? <I've yet to run into a reef safe med that works, including that product.> For a 180 gal tank, treatment of the main tank is going to be expensive (and possibly ineffective or risky for inverts).  Currently I am trying the "let their own immune system fight it off" approach but I know ich can turn nasty FAST.  I am feeding them Formula One pellets (containing some garlic) as well as a mixture of silversides, brine shrimp and zooplankton soaked in Selcon and minced garlic.  Over the past 4 days, using this approach, the number of white spots has not increased and all fish are still eating voraciously (white spots and flashing have not decreased either). So what do you recommend: Continue the "natural immune system approach" <It's obviously not working, something needs to be done fast!> (maintaining high water quality, UV, cleaner shrimp and diet), using a reef-safe medication in my main tank, catching and QT'ing all fish - or something else? <Well, unfortunately, methinks that you'll have to get them out. It appears that they aren't going to be able to ward off the infestation themselves, so they'll need to be treated in another system. I'd suggest quarantining them separately, or at least with partitions, in a few tanks (could even be Rubbermaid bins, just keep them separate with plenty of swimming room). There you could use copper sulfate, formalin, and malachite green; a very powerful combination since the fish are getting pretty bad. You should also do a freshwater dip on their way in to the QT system. Check out our articles and FAQ's on quarantine.> 2) My Kole Tang has been acting strangely for the past few days.  It swims very quickly toward the glass and briskly along the glass with its tail "scalpels" extended and fins flaring.  Sometimes it darts quickly back and forth or shakes.  It has three cuts on its nose, presumable from this activity as well as sometimes running directly into rock. <Potentially from the other tangs> Otherwise it appears very healthy.  Do you think it is attempting to attack its reflection or do you think this is related to the ich mentioned above or some other disease? <Sounds a little stressed by the disease, but we won't know for sure.> 3) I have had two lawnmower blennies and an eyelash blenny die.  Originally the only (known) inhabitants of my tank were a lawnmower blenny, 6 damsels, a diamond goby, starfish (sand sifting, brittle and serpent), tiny blue and red leg hermits, snails, flame scallop, coral banded and peppermint shrimp, small queen & fighting conch and emerald crabs.  This first lawnmower blenny lasted about 2-3 weeks; munching algae the entire time.  After adding the tangs and a few more critters (horseshoe crabs, sand crabs, sea cucumbers, more tiny blue leg hermits) I also added another large (approx 3 1/2") lawnmower blenny.  After about a week I added a smaller red lip and eyelash blenny.  Approximately 5 days later I found the lawnmower blenny dead.  The next day I found the eyelash blenny dead.  All had been eating well, there were no signs of torn fins, bites, parasites, spots, etc.  They were just alive, munching on algae one night and dead the next morning.  What could be causing this? <Sounds like bad fish, again, hard to tell> 4) My Orange-spotted Diamond Goby (approx 6") has been in my tank for nearly two months - apparently doing well (constantly sifting sand).  For roughly the past week I have noticed this goby getting thinner and thinner until now I am concerned it could starve to death any day. <That's a problem with these guys, since you have horseshoe crabs and a sand sifting star, you have way too many things competing for the same food source. Another bad thing about this is that your sandbed is pretty much sterile, as far as critters are concerned. I'd remove all the sand sifting things for now and add a bunch of live sand.> I can see its ribs.  I feed all the fish very well (3 times daily, an alternating variety of Formula 2 pellets, seaweed, silversides, brine shrimp).  The starfish, crabs, etc. living in the substrate all seem to be fed well.   For the past 3 days I have been squirting brine shrimp from a baster directly in front of this goby.  I also added a few feeder guppies one day and some small pieces of silversides on another day. <Ix-nay on the feeder guppies, freshwater fish are not to good for marines.> The goby has sampled all of these but I am still worried since I do not notice it looking any better.  What could be wrong?  What can I do to save this fish? <You'll have to relocate it to a tank with ample live substrate for him to sift through. It's unfortunate, but there's just not anything left in your sandbed.> 5)  I am in the process of curing live rock.  Unfortunately, during the first 3 days when I was preparing my next batch of RO water, the ammonia level in my rock-curing 32 gal trash can spiked to over 8 PPM (off the test chart)!!  Since Ammonia does not immediately jump to 8 PPM, it must have been at toxic level for probably two days.  I did a 100% water change (scrubbed the rock and moved it to another container of aged sea water of same temp) and it has been curing there for three days.  Ammonia is just now starting to re-appear so I scrubbed the rock again and moved it back to the original container (clean water of course).  After the initial extreme ammonia levels, do you think I will have any life on this rock? <I'm sure some stuff survived> I currently have a fish-only tank, so I am not overly concerned with sponges, etc. but I do not want to lose the nitrifying bacteria or coralline algae and it would be nice to have a few surprise (good) inverts as well.  Also, I initially dipped the rock I a 1.040 SG saltwater solution to hopefully rid the rock of undesirables but nothing came out.  This was before the ammonia issue.  Is this an indication the rock really never had much life to begin with or does the hyper-salinity dip not work well to drive out inverts? <It's good for getting stomatopods out, and really shouldn't hurt anything else too bad. > Believe it or not, that was my last question.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING THIS FAR (and hopefully for providing answers)! <I wish you much luck, and would suggest that you do a little more research on the critters that you purchase in the future. We're always here! -Kevin> --Greg

The War On Ich Continues... Hi again - could I get some follow-up advice on a lingering Cryptocaryon situation? <Sure!> The odd behavior I described below seemed to continue for most of last week - I would see spots on the butterfly in the evening but by the next morning they were mostly gone, so I continued to just feed garlic soaked food without any other special treatment.  Well over time it seems the number of spots is gradually growing and I noticed quite a few this morning, so the butterfly got another 15 minute freshwater bath, which he handled fine.  He also still eats and acts fine, and the other two fish still seem unaffected. <Butterflies can be a lot like tangs in the way they react to environmental changes, etc. I have seen butterflies (and tangs) which contract ich like clockwork any time a water change is made, or any time other, even minor environmental changes occur...Frustrating!> So at this point I am planning to move the butterfly to a 18 gallon quarantine tank because things don't seem to be getting better in the main tank.  I have read on your site that most butterfly fish are sensitive to copper, so am I right in assuming I should not use copper in the quarantine tank in this case?  If so, should I just rely on an extended period of reduced salinity then?   <Not a bad idea, along with daily siphoning of the bare-bottom of the quarantine tank to remove any cysts as they fall off the fish.> Should I continue freshwater baths - if so, how frequent?   <I'd try every other day for a week, and see how that goes. Ultimately, you may need to resort to medications, such as Formalin-based ones, dosed precisely as indicated by the manufacturer> I also have a UV sterilizer I will put on the tank, but the bulb has 3-4 years of continuous use, so might not be very effective. <Well, it's a good thought...UV may help in killing some free-swimming stages of the disease...Perhaps it's a good time to invest in a new bulb> Thanks again! Keith <No problem, Keith. I think that you're doing it right. Go slowly and carefully, and try to avoid further stressing the fish. Freshwater dips can be stressful, but they are quite effective if properly controlled. Do continue to observe the display tank, and consider the "fallow tank" approach previously mentioned, should it become necessary...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

-Consistent ich- Dear WWM crew, This is my first try at a saltwater tank, and I purchased it about six to eight weeks ago.  I have a 55 gallon tank, with a power head 301 pump, a magnum 350 filter, and have crushed coral at the bed of my tank.  I recently upgraded my light system to  a SmartLite set up with 65 watt PowerCompact bulbs.  The problem I have had is a high mortality rate of fish due to ick.  I have gone through about 4 yellow tangs, 4 clown fish, 2 blue tangs, a rusty angel, and a lot of money and frustration. <Eek!> I initially used about 4 blue damsels to cycle my tank when I first got it. I also have about 6 turbo snails, a hermit crab, a red banded shrimp, about 3 feather dusters, and 3 anemones. The anemones are great looking sometimes, bad looking other times. <What kind of anemones?> I have my lights on from about 7 in the morning to 10 at night. <That's a 15 hour day, no doubt stressful to your inhabitants. Keep it under 12 hours.> I live in Paso Robles, Calif., where it gets real hot in the summer time.  My water temp is about 82 degrees right now. <Has it gotten much higher?> I have sought advice from the guy at the pet store where I got my stuff at, and have tried to follow it as much as I can.  I  have about half a tank high full of live rock.  I stopped mixing my own water and started using the fish stores water to improve the water quality.  I took a test about 30 minutes ago and I have a real low ph reading of 7.4 to 7.2. <Definitely a big stressor that could lead to ich, check your carbonate hardness.> My nitrite is 0, my nitrate is o, my ammonia is about.25 . <Ammonia should be zero always and forever once you have cycled. Any trace means that the biological filter has been disturbed or can't keep up.> How do I bring by ph up? <Add one of the many available marine pH buffers. Check your carbonate hardness, it must be very low if you never add buffer. Bring your carbonate hardness up to 8-12 dKH and the pH should raise itself and become stable.> It seems if you look at my tangs cross eyed or something, they get ick. <Your water quality is not so good; hence your fish getting sick. Remove the stressors and the ich should follow.> I used this stuff called kick-ick, and it stopped it a little, but not enough to save my fish.  I currently have  4 Chromises and a clown fish in my tank, and they seem to be hanging in there.  My question to you guys is, what next? I love my tank, but the money drain is frustrating.  I love tangs, and all the colorful fish, as well as the anemones, but what am I doing wrong  that keeps killing them? <For one you need to fix your pH; should be around 8.2> Do I need a protein skimmer? <I would strongly suggest it> Is my filter sufficient? <If the tank is half full of live rock, that should be all the filtration you need.> Are my lights on too long? <Yep> Do I need to just settle for a giant lizard terrarium? just kidding, I think] <Haha, yes I'd highly suggest one ;) > I feel like I'm so close, yet so far away.  Anyways, I would really appreciate some sound  advice from your neck of the woods.    Thanks so much. <Get everything under control before adding more fish, and PLEASE, quarantine quarantine quarantine EVERY fish before they enter your tank. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm for more info. -Kevin>   Roger

- Is This Bad? - Hey there. <Hi, JasonC here...> Thank you for running such a wonderful website.. I am new to the hobby of saltwater fish tanks and in the midst of my first scare. Can you take a look at these pictures and let me know if you think my fish (a yellow tang) might have ICK?? <Hmm... doesn't seem to be from the pictures, but it can be hard to tell. I don't see any white spots... ich typically presents itself as if the fish has been salted from a salt shaker. He seems ok at night when the lights are on (I can't really see any spots?). but in the mornings, I swear I see white little spots on his fins that weren't there a few weeks ago. <Is not unusual for a fish to pick up a spot or two over night and then lose them during the course of the day.> I have been reading a ton about ICK and am trying to figure out if my fish might have it..  I sure hope not!! <Well... ich is one of those funny things, it's very hard to have a system that is 100% ich-free, but if the fish are healthy and relatively free from stress, they can often cope with the ich on their own. As an example, one rarely [very, very rarely] sees ich on fish in the wild.> I have a 75 gallon tank with 1 yellow tang, 2 clown fish, 1 lemon damsel, and 1 longnose butterfly. and 1 hermit crab. no live rock or live corals. <Consider getting some live rock for this fish to graze on.> The long nose is new (approx 1 week old) and I am afraid he may have introduced a disease to my tank??? <If you didn't quarantine it, then that is a distinct possibility. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm > The tang seems to be eating fine and acting normal. But she is hovering above my crab on occasion and letting him pick at her skin with his claws. Almost like she is trying to get him to scratch her side. <Possible.> She is not rubbing up against rocks or coral or anything though. <Well... given that crab might be more selective... I'd solicit the cleaning services of the crab, although this is the first time I've heard of it.> I am torn as to what to do. <I'd keep up the observation for now.> All of my other fish seem very healthy and happy. and she MAY be ok. maybe I'm just being paranoid... <A little paranoia is ok in this instance I think, just don't let it run away with you.> The guy at the fish store says that if she has any spots, or if she is scratching herself, I should remove the hermit crab and treat my tank with copper for 3 - 4 weeks.. What do you think? <Don't do that... pick up a second, small tank for a quarantine system and treat the fish there. Don't add copper to your main tank.> I don't want to put copper in there if they don't need it, but he says that if you don't treat it immediately it can hit their gills, etc and cause major problems or death.. <This is true but I still wouldn't treat the main tank.> Can you tell anything from these pictures? <Not really... please do read those links and these as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm > Thanks so much! Todd <Cheers, J -- >

- Non-ich-magnets - Hi all, Hope things are going well.  I have several questions for you.  I have a 75 gallon saltwater FO tank with no live rock.  I had considered getting a Klein's butterfly as I have heard that it would be good for a beginner. <Very hardy once established> However, I recently heard in a local fish store that ALL butterflies are prone to parasitic infections and that I should stay away from them unless I was very experienced at dealing with that type of thing. <Sounds like more of a problem with the fish that THEY get. There are several very hardy butterflies that you should have no problem with, including the Klein's.> Please tell me what you  think.  Also, I currently have a pair of false perculas and a royal Gramma.  I had thought of getting a yellow tang at one time, but am scared because I have heard and read that they are all very inclined to ich and also usually bully other fish already in the tank. <Tangs are a little more susceptible to ich than some other fish, but provided that the fish is well acclimated and quarantined in a different tank (check out: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm) you should have no problem.> Are chances good that if I get one I will have to deal with ich, even with proper care; and would I have problems with them picking on other fish? <If the store you are dealing with consistently has parasitic problems with butterflies and tangs, you may want to find another shop! Simply quarantine and you should be all set. Should something happen it is very easy to treat in the QT.> Also, are there any types of tangs that are less susceptible than others to this disease? <Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tangs,.htm> Any recommendations as to a  fairly peaceful and hardy fish I could add to what I already have that shows itself a lot? <How about building up a good amount of live rock and going for a Centropyge angel? ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm) Tangs and pygmy angels will benefit tremendously from the addition of live rock (the algae and critters are excellent natural food sources). Otherwise, be sure to feed these guys small amounts of a variety of algae based frozen foods several times per day. Good luck! -Kevin> As always, thank you so much for your help and patience with all my questions, James

Ich Dear WWM crew, This is my first try at a saltwater tank, and I purchased it about six to eight weeks ago.  I have a 55 gallon tank, with a power head 301 pump, a magnum 350 filter, and have crushed coral at the bed of my tank.  I recently upgraded my light system to  a SmartLite set up with 65 watt PowerCompact bulbs.  The problem I have had is a high mortality rate of fish due to ick.  I have gone through about 4 yellow tangs, 4 clown fish, 2 blue tangs, a rusty angel, and a lot of money and frustration. <Quite possible the most common reason for giving up on the hobby, hang in there, it gets better.> I initially used about 4 blue damsels to cycle my tank when I first got it. I also have about 6 turbo snails, a hermit crab, a red banded shrimp, about 3 feather dusters, and 3 anemones. The anemones are great looking sometimes, bad looking other times. I have my lights on from about 7 in the morning to 10 at night. <A little long, 12-14hrs is good.  Anemones are one of the harder creatures to take care of, it is best to add them to established tanks.> I live in Paso Robles, Calif., where it gets real hot in the summer time.  My water temp is about 82 degrees right now. <That is ok, but I would not want it to get too much hotter.> I have sought advice from the guy at the pet store where I got my stuff at, and have tried to follow it as much as I can.  I  have about half a tank high full of live rock.  I stopped mixing my own water and started using the fish stores water to improve the water quality.  I took a test about 30 minutes ago and I have a real low ph reading of 7.4 to 7.2. My nitrite is 0, my nitrate is o, my ammonia is about.25 . How do I bring by ph up? <I would do frequent water changes, around 10gal per day.  Test your water from the store make sure it is not the problem.  You will want to raise it slowly, around .2 per day, so test frequently.> It seems if you look at my tangs cross eyed or something, they get Ich. <Especially if it is already in your tank.> I used this stuff called kick-ick, and it stopped it a little, but not enough to save my fish. <I have not heard great things about this stuff.> I currently have  4 Chromises and a clown fish in my tank, and they seem to be hanging in there.  My question to you guys is, what next? I love my tank, but the money drain is frustrating.  I love tangs, and all the colorful fish, as well as the anemones, but what am I doing wrong  that keeps killing them?  Do I need a protein skimmer? <Would be helpful.> Is my filter sufficient? <I'd add a skimmer> Are my lights on too long? <A little>  Do I need to just settle for a giant lizard terrarium? just kidding, I think) <Ha, not yet> I feel like I'm so close, yet so far away.  Anyway, I would really appreciate some sound  advice from your neck of the woods.    Thanks so much.  Roger <The best way to get this taken care of is to set up a second tank as a quarantine/hospital tank.  Use some old tank water so the fish do not go through a PH shock on the way in.  This tank should be bare, no substrate, some large PVC elbows or something similar for hiding, and a filter (sponge filters work well).  This is where you treat your fish, you never want to add medicine to the main tank even if they say it is "reef safe". Use our google search tool to search for Ich for recommended treatments.  In a perfect world you would have had the sponger from your sponge filter in your tank so it would be seeded with bacteria and ready for the qt tank, but this is not a perfect world and the meds in the qt tank will probably kill off the bacteria anyway (which is why you do not want to medicate the main tank, it can destroy your biological filter).  So test the water in the QT tank frequently and keep a lot of clean water on hand for water changes.  Let your main tank run without fish for at least 4 weeks to interrupt the life cycle of the parasites.  Hope this helps a little, Best Regards, Gage>

"Kicking Ich!"  The Right Way! Hello WWM Gang, <Hi there...Scott F. with you today!> I have found myself reading over your extensive FAQ's on various subjects on many a late night, and you guys have been helpful to me before. So, I have returned for more advice! <Glad we could be of help!> I have a 55 Gallon saltwater tank with a 6" Lionfish, a 5" Bird mouth Wrasse, a 2" Spotted Puffer, and a 1.5" Three Striped Damsel. <Some nice fish! They will get pretty large, however- so I assume larger quarters are in the near future for this bunch?> I have approx. 25lbs. of live rock (I've been adding slowly).  Anyway, on to my question... Last week I noticed my wonderful lionfish had been invaded by ick spots. <Bummer> I unfortunately do not have the means to run a quarantine tank, so was advised by the LFS to dip him using Ruby Reef's Hydroplex.  I did this for about 10 min., and to my delight, much of the spots had diminished, and over the week he seemed fine (appetite and activity remaining normal).   <Quite frankly, I'd credit the diminished spots to the life cycle of the Cryptocaryon parasite, not the Hydroplex. As you may be aware, following it's "attachment" to the fish, the Cryptocaryon parasite enters a "free swimming" phase, where it will attach to a suitable substrate (i.e.; rocks, sand, etc.) in a cyst. Following the "encysted" phase, a new generation of these little &^*(&()* comes out to attach to your fish again- in greater numbers...Don't be fooled by an initial decrease in the spots...A proper ich treatment addresses the life cycle of the parasite, keeping medication in the water for a much longer period> Then, this morning I found him looking the same as last week's ich scare (with the spots), and dipped him again. <Yep- that's the whole life cycle thing. Frankly, I'd rather you utilize a freshwater dip than the Hydroplex. I don't know much about this stuff, but if it claims to eliminate ich in one dose, it's sketchy to me...> Not only that, but I went all out and got myself a UV Sterilizer as well (I'm hoping this might catch the parasites during the free-swimming phase??) <Well, it is certainly possible...UV sterilizers are a very useful tool in aquarium maintenance!> Would you find it advisable to dip the lionfish again if needed?  If so, how frequently?  I'm concerned that repeated dips could cause more harm because of stress. <I'd go for every other day. Yes, FW dips are a somewhat stressful procedure. Essentially, you are creating a situation where the fish will incur some osmotic shock. The thought is, fish can take the stress much better than the parasites can...Sort of the "lesser of two evils". If it were me, I'd opt for treatment with a commercial copper sulphate treatment in a separate container of known volume (if you don't have a spare tank, you could use a new trash can, Rubbermaid container, etc.). Whenever ich appears in the community tank, it is dangerous to assume that it is just affecting one fish. Once the parasites are in your tank- they are IN your tank, and the potential exists to infect all of your fishes...I take a very conservative (and often unpopular) approach: I remove all fishes from the main system for about a month. The fishes showing signs of the disease receive the copper sulphate treatment. Those that don't are kept under observation in a separate tank or container for this period of time, and medication is administered if the illness manifests itself. Meanwhile, the main tank sits "fallow", without fishes. All routine maintenance chores (water changes, filter media replacements, etc.) are conducted during the "fallow" period. By depriving the parasites of their potential host, the population of these nasties will generally "crash", and you'll be able to return your fishes to a tank that is, for the most part, free of parasites. Check out these links for more on this technique:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm > None of my other fish have shown any ich symptoms, and oddly, my lionfish always has appeared to be the strongest/healthiest of the group.  Do you have any further recommendations of what I can do to keep my beloved lionfish from succumbing to those parasites? Thanks in advance!-Dave <Well, Dave- you've got my 2 cents worth on the subject...I'd at least consider removing the lionfish for individualized treatment, although I really prefer the fallow approach...Your call. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Kicking Ich (Part 2) Scott, <Hi there again!> I want to thank you for your response.  I appreciate the fact that WWM is out there for us hobbyists to go to for help, and that you respond in such a quick and useful manner. <Thank you for the kind words! We pride ourselves on being able to share with and learn from our fellow hobbyists!> As of today, my lionfish is still in my main tank, and is doing well (since the first signs of ich 2 weeks ago).   <Glad to hear that!> I've done the every other day FW dip approach . . . the other day though, after noticing a return of spots that concerned me, I utilized the Ruby Reef Hydroplex again . . . and like before, it appeared to be helpful.  The product does not claim to eliminate parasites after one dip... it is in fact vague in the respect that it does not tell you how many dips should be appropriate. <I wish it would be more specific!>   Although the ich has not vanished, it has not been found on any of the other fish, and has not increased in numbers on the lion (at least, not noticeably). <That's good to hear...If you can keep it contained, so much the better. Although ich does enter that nasty free-swimming stage, where it can attach to other fishes- so caution is still in order here. And, of course, there is always the possibility that this is not ich!> My brand new "Turbo Twist" UV sterilizer- I have faith is a factor in this. <Quite possibly. U/V may have a positive impact!> This morning I checked, and saw a return of spots on the lion, then, strongly, upon returning from work, there were none to be found on him!  But, what I saw in the tank was a type of "slime" hanging off some of the fake plants and live rock in my tank, upon which I could see the evil little ich spots.  I've heard of lionfish 'shedding,' is that what I am seeing here?   <Quite possibly. Hard to say, but it may very well be the case..> I removed those spotted slime things, and am closely observing the lion- who, is being his feisty "look out or I'll eat you too" self.  Is it possible that this "shedding," along with dips and UV sterilizing could lead to the result I am hoping for? <It is quite possible. I wonder if this is a natural reaction, or if it was precipitated (no pun intended) by the Hydroplex. Some of these so-called "remedies" are little more than "pepper sauce", as many hobbyists have called them. They seem to "cure" ich by irritating the fishes...This irritation may result in the sloughing of body slime...A trade off, IMO, as it leaves open the possibility for secondary infections due to a lack of protective slime on the fish...My theory- but it may be on the right track. I can't bad-mouth a product that I don't use, but I think this stuff warrants further investigation by hobbyists and qualified scientists...If it is good stuff- that's great news for the hobby. However, I prefer the more "old fashioned" copper approach, myself. Now, copper is not for everyone, either- but it has a long track record of success if used wisely. Do keep doing what you're doing, as long as you feel that it is working...> Is there a harm in FW dipping, or Hydroplex dipping after his "shedding" has taken place? <I'd feel safer with just the FW dip- without the Hydroplex. If the shedding of slime was a response to the Hydroplex, you probably want to go easy on the fish for a while.> On a side note, thank you for your advice and instructions on the "fallow" approach.  I just don't have the funds/equipment right now for the extra filtration, pumps, heaters that I'd need.  So, hopefully my "poor mans approach" will work. Thanks again! -Dave <I understand...It's certainly not the only way to cure ich...However, I consider it among the most effective...Hang in there, observe your fishes carefully, and good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Treatment? - 7/8/03 Hi there...<Hey you've got crew member Phil tonight!> First, I have to congratulate all of you on a first class website...<Many thanks!> Well done.  Here's the issue: I set up a new marine tank 3 weeks ago with the intention of having fish, LR and a few hardy inverts.  I didn't want to cure the LR in the display tank (too messy) so I brought home 4 damsels to cycle the tank, this was 10 days ago. <For future reference when you cycle a tank you don't need to add fish.  Raw shrimp can start the process just fine.  Read up more on WWM> My LR is due to arrive in 3 days, at which time I was going to cycle it in a Rubbermaid out of the way.  Ok, here's where the velvet comes in...about 3 days ago I start noticing a whitish sheen to one of the dominos. He's scratching and dashing, typical for velvet right?<Velvet or Ich>  None of the others seem to be affected (yet).<Consider them "hot".>  So, what should be my response?<Place all 4 fish in a QT and do the normal 4 weeks etc>  As far as the tank parameters go...sp is 1.021 and temp is about 80, yes the ammonia and nitrites are up because it is cycling.<I'd raise the sg up to around 1.024  Should I remove all fish and let the tank go fallow like you suggest?<That's the best plan.>  And if that is the case, should I continue with the plan to cure the LR in a Rubbermaid or would it be possible/better to cure the LR in the tank since there wouldn't be any fish hosts for the velvet, anyway?<I'd stick to the plan, LR in the Rubbermaid.>  I was going to return the damsels to the store when I was done cycling with them...I think that's pretty much out now. <One of the reasons I don't like to use fish for cycling.> Thanks for any help you can give,<Hope this helps, if you have anymore questions feel free to write back.> Gretchen <Phil>

- Anybody ever hear of this "ich" stuff? - Hey guys, I have read all of the information and FAQ's provided on marine ich and it's various treatments.  I am currently battling an outbreak on my puffer, and am using a "long bath" of Formalin (2-4 teaspoons every 24 hours for a 20g QT tank) as the main treatment.  I also started supplementing the treatment with FW dips.  I did the first one last night for 4? minutes and it went very well (water same temp and PH).  How often should/can I do these?  It was the only bit of information I couldn't find. <Formalin should clear it up in a few days. If the fish is in good shape, you can do it every other day. Every day is pushing it; you run the risk of really stressing the poor thing out. A less stressful thing to do would be to supplement your treatment with some copper sulfate. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks, Ryan A.

- Temperature Related Ich   - Hi, <Hello to you, JasonC here...> Read through the faq's etc.. I have a 160 reef I just stocked with fish, I did not notice one of my heaters was not working, consequently, my vlamingi has ick (between temp shifts and shipping stress). I would pull him out but I am sure it is in the tank already, I think by moving him or fresh water dipping him I would stress him out more. <You might think that, but in the longer haul, the stress of being invaded by parasites will be too much, and the capture and dip stress will seem a distant memory. I really would go to the trouble of going through at least the first dip and then quarantine. Isolation would be more useful at that point in case you need to repeat the dip or dose with something more specific and harmful to the main tank - the capture will be easier.> I am using garlic, added several cleaner shrimp, the Vlamingi does not seemed to be stressed, there is not inter-fish aggression in the tank. <Ok.> I was think of using the higher temp method in addition to the garlic, Bob's comments suggest raising temp to 85 will help kill the ick, but will it adversely affect fish or shrimp? <It will affect everyone - their metabolism will rise to match the temperature. Raising the temperature of the tank only speeds the current life-cycle of the parasite... they will come back, so this treatment works best when the tank is run fallow.> Do you have any other suggestions? <Capture, dip, quarantine the tang... observe other fish in main system to see if problem is spreading, if so, repeat the first bit with the remaining fish and run the tank fallow for six weeks. Cheers, J -- >

Another Round of Ich... Hello Crew, <Scott F. here tonight!> Please help crew, I'm having serious issues with my tank. I've had my tank for about 4 months now. Its 55 gallons with about 50lbs of live rock, 10 gallon sump with refugium, Aqua C Remora skimmer, Magnum 250 filter, and I recently added an 8w UV. After my 2nd month, I had a serious ich outbreak and all my fish died, so after researching your site I decided to let the tank go fallow for 1 month. I also raised the temp to 82, dropped the salinity down to 1.017, and added the UV. <Good procedures> After the month, I added an Algae Blenny, and a week after, I added a Chocolate Tang. The Chocolate Tang soon started to scratch on the rocks and showed signs of Ich. <Did you quarantine these fishes before adding them? I certainly hoped that you did...It would be a shame to have done the whole fallow tank routine, only to have started the cycle again with new fishes...> I purchased 3 cleaner shrimps and after about a week the ich seemed to be gone. <Probably not gone...More likely, it was in it's free-swimming stage, or encysted in the substrate...Don't be fooled by this...> 1 week later I added a Coral Beauty Angel and it started to show signs of ich but the shrimps cleaned them. All the fish were doing great for like 3 weeks, no signs of ich, eating, and active. Last week I came home from work and the Coral Beauty just disappeared. No signs  of him what so ever. I'm assuming the hermits got to it but it was a decent sized fish, about 3 inches. <Well, they may very well have gotten him after he died...Marine scavengers are very efficient!> I came home today and the Algae Blenny was face up in one of my powerheads. He seemed to be doing so great, and the Tang is still alive and seems to being doing well, no signs of ich. Every time I check my water parameters, all the readings are perfect, 0 ammonia, 8.2 Ph, 0 nitrites and very, very low nitrates. I do bi weekly water changes and use RO water. I cant seem to figure out what's going on. Do I still have ich or maybe parasites of some sort? <Frankly, I'd operate on the assumption that the disease was not eradicated the first time, or was re-introduced with the new fishes.> Should I transfer the Tang to my QT and let the tank go fallow again? <This is exactly what I'd do. I'd give it 6 weeks, this time. Be sure to conduct all regular maintenance on the display tank during the "fallow" period. It sounds like you were doing the right thing the first time...It just may have not been long enough...Since you have a quarantine tank, I assume that you're using a full 3-4 week quarantine period for all new animals. Just remember the basics, follow a good treatment protocol (in the separate aquarium, not the display), and be patient. No treatment technique is 100% effective, but the fallow technique will work well in the majority of situations. Don't give up- you'll turn things around before you know it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sounds Like Ich... When adding live rock to our fish only tank, there was an immediate presence of small white dots on our glass Couple weeks later, fish have white dots on them in am, improving to almost nothing throughout day. Good behavior except for some mild rubbing, excellent appetite and no change in breathing. Any thought? Thanks. Russ Mangrove <Well, Russ, I suppose it's possible- although the cysts are around 200-400 microns in diameter, and can be tough to see. It is also possible that the spots you observed on the glass were not parasites. They could have been bryozoans, planarians, or some other type of relatively harmless life forms. It is certainly possible, however, that Cryptocaryon (marine ich) could have been present in or on the rocks in a "dormant" or "encysted" phase. Sounds to me from your descriptions like your fishes do have some sort of parasitic infestation...possibly ich. Do verify what you're dealing with by using the resources that we have on the WWM site, then take appropriate actions as required. If you are dealing with ich, I'd strongly recommend the "fallow tank" technique, which we've outlined here on the site. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

ICH Hi, I hope you can help me with the following questions concerning Crypto... First of all, instead of medicating (e.g. meds that affect the free swimming stage), would this be a better solution: Isolate fish in a bare bottom tank, run UV light (9W CSL double-helix) at 100gph (the tank is 20gallons). Would this be enough to kill all the free swimming parasites and therefore slowly eradicate Ich ? <UV's cannot effect an actual "cure", though they do seem to do so in some cases where slight improvement in the overall system water quality may tip the balance between health/disease in the fishes side. Otherwise UV use can significantly reduce the number of free-swimming tomites. An initially improved situation is often perceived in initial infestations with a synchronized population of adults cycling off their hosts (every 3 to 7 days)... only to resurface in great numbers due to the confines of captivity. Found this on the WWM site> Secondly, how exactly does copper kill the parasite?<The same way it kills invertebrates lol. I don't really know exactly how it kills the parasites but I will email Anthony Calfo and hopefully find an answer for you> And lastly, if untreated, how long will it take for Crypto or Amyloodinium to kill a fish?<Really it depends. how severe the case is, the fish infected etc. I would say on average about a couple of weeks (covered by the little white dots, not eating, breathing very rapidly). Also sometimes the parasite infects the fishes gill, therefore it suffocates the fish to death. this usually kills the fish faster), IanB> Thanks, Luke

Treatment for Ich Hi, one more thing. I was told today that feeding marine fish with food dipped in Metronidazole (antibiotic?) will eradicate Cryptocaryon/Ich? Is that true? <From what I have read, feeding food dipped in antibiotics are used to prevent secondary infections. " Affected individuals must be isolated and treated ASAP. General procedure calls for dipping/baths, possibly lowering specific gravity, and continuous exposure to 0.10-0.15 ppm copper. Antibiotic feeding is recommended to prevent secondary infection."-From WWM site, IanB> Thank you, Luke

Ich Again? Dear WWM Crew, <Scott F. here for you> I know you must get thousands of questions, but I really could use some expert advice. I have a 240 gallon tank with approx. 250 lbs of live rock.  This tank with the live rock had no fish in it for six weeks, to insure optimum health. <Smart! Very smart!> Currently the tank has a 11" Golden Puffer and a 9" Harlequin Tusk, both fish appear to be in extremely good health.  Both fish eat well, have brilliant colors, clear eyes, and are very active!  Here is my concern, they both will occasionally have small white spots on their pectoral and tail fins. They do not scratch or dart about the tank, as I would expect if these spots bothered them.  I know Puffers and Harlequins are very resilient when it comes to parasites and disease, so I am wondering if these spots could be a mild case of ick?  But how would it survive without a host for six weeks, while the tank sat empty? <Well, it certainly can be ich. Unfortunately, no treatment protocol is guaranteed to be 100% effective... Some Cryptocaryon cysts enter a "dormant" phase, where they fall into the substrate and await proper conditions to strike again...It's possible that the ich can be controlled with good husbandry, stable conditions, and time. If it persists, unfortunately, you'd want to utilize the fallow tank treatment technique yet again. It's possible that you could use some environmental manipulation (such as higher temperature, or hyposalinity- neither of which I am a big fan of, though), or try the as-yet-inconclusive use of garlic extract in the fishes' foods. Garlic contains a substance called Allicin, which may provide a natural way for otherwise healthy fishes to resist this parasite...> My water parameters are:  SG 1.021  PH 8.4  Amm 0  Trite 0  Trate 0  Temp 80 I have a 12" Koran Angel in QT  that will be the next addition to the tank, however with these spots on the fish already in the tank, and the Koran being more susceptible to parasites I am very concerned about what my next step should be.  Your direction here would be so greatly appreciated!! <I think that you're on the right track by delaying the introduction of this fish into your display until the "ich issue" is resolved conclusively...> Thank You, Jen Marshall    <Hang in there, Jen. You're doing okay here...just keep observing, be patient, and take any additional actions that you need in order to assure a good recovery for all of these guys! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

There's ich swimming' around in my tank!!! I'm  sorry to kept bothering you guy/s.  Just recently I've been seeing this little white almost look like a grain of salt.  They move around in my tank but my fish doesn't have any on him.  Which is a good thing.  I was wondering if this is a concern and what can I do to get rid of them if they are harmful?? <No worries, if it was going to be a fish parasite, there's no way that they'd be visible w/ the naked eye.> I also have some red looking algae growing on my fake coral is that a concern?? <Likely a little Cyanobacteria, in a fish only tank it's only of aesthetic concern.> Like I said the white little grain of salt things are not on my clown trigger. <That's good!> Thank you for your time.  By the way I have live rock which I heard its hard to treat the tank because of that. <Yes it is, but you don't need to treat. It's probably air bubbles or some kind of critter that has reproduced in your live rock.> Any information would be greatly appreciated. <No worries! -Kevin> Scott

- Powder Blue Tang Problems - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Hello, I am a new aquarist. I have a 180 gallon acrylic, 500 watt reef / fish tank with a sump with a Euro-reef skimmer, via aqua chiller 77.5 degrees, rock bed, uv, miracle mud Caulerpa (razor) bed growing, 3 month old tank with a 3100 driving it and 2500 power head inside for flow. I have a nitrate bag in the sump. I have 5 anemones, 2 scallops, 10 emeralds crabs, 40 hermits, 2 brittle stars, 2 urchins, zoanthids, brain coral, mushrooms, 2 blennies, a dragonet, little strawberry, royal Gramma, purple fire fish, 2 perculas, a large copper band butterfly, (the tang and butterfly are buddies the largest fish and in the tank last), the butterfly is fine. I have probably 100 lbs of rock from around the world. Nice purple coralline algae on it.  I also dumped in 10 lbs if GARF's grunge when I started the tank. I have 4 inches of sand for a substrate Everybody is fine except the Tang! Total of 10 fish, (I'm under the 1" per 5 gallon rule) 1) I seem to have a lot of detritus build up on the rocks though. <Not unusual - you can clean off with a turkey baster.> 2) Also have a odd dark brown slime growth that's on the substrate, its like chocolate pudding almost, I used chem.-clean already, did nothing to it! It starts in little batches and grows. <Sounds like BGA - Cyanobacteria - can be addressed with more flow, and caution about over-feeding.> 3) My Powder Blue did have a little ich, I cured that, but now it is hiding and developed these symptoms! a) little spec's all over, like clear see thru areas, not white, not ich, but larger than ich. b) Light dusting of detritus on it. c) Eyes look cloudy I feed everybody frozen mysis shrimp that's soaked in extreme garlic. And feed the Tang Seaweed Select green marine algae dried seaweed. Can you help me with my Powder Blue Tang; I'm worried about him! <Hmm... those pictures sure look like ich, and don't really bode well for your tang. I would immediately put that fish through a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip with formalin in the bath and then place in a separate quarantine system - don't put it back in your main tank. Just based on your pictures, I can't honestly tell you that all will be well... your fish looks to be in serious trouble, and you need to take action now. If you don't have a quarantine tank, you need to get one immediately - dip this fish, and then isolate it. If it makes it through, you will probably have to continue treatments for a couple of weeks, and try to nurse it through. The Powder Blue tang is a notorious fish for its susceptibility to parasitic problems, and as much so for falling victim to rough handling in the capture/shipping process. Here is some reading for additional background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/badacanthurusaq.htm > Sincerely, Ryan Gilmore
P.S. Attached pic's for you!
<Cheers, J -- >

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

How long tank empty for Crypto to die? My fish had marine Ich, I took them out and treated with Cupramine, for two weeks. I've transferred them bank to the main tank today. The question I have is were 2 weeks enough for all the Crypto to die in the main tank? I didn't treat the main tank and there were no fish in there for 2 weeks. Thank you. <Please use the Google Search tool on WetWebMedia.com for this and all general inquiries. Bob Fenner>

Spot Treatment (Cont'd.) Scott <Scott here, captain... (I LOVE when I can write that...just sounds soo cool...)> I dipped the fish again and this time the white spot remains.  Any change in your recommendation? Thanks again. Joe <I'm still thinking that, in the absence of other symptoms, you should continue to observe and perform regular freshwater dips...Has the spot increased in size, changed in color, or multiplied? If not, I'd still keep on top of things, by observing the fish regularly, and looking for any signs of discomfort. Give it some time. I really wouldn't want to get too aggressive (copper or formalin, etc.) until I knew exactly what I was dealing with. I'm still thinking parasite, but you really need to arm yourself with a good fish disease book, or a perusal of the WWM site to find out exactly what this may be...Hang in there...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

It's Not A Failure... A Learning Experience! Good morning, Scott F <Hello, there!>   Well, sadly to say that my royal past away today. I was having problems in my QT with nitrite's, so I rushed him to my main tank with only a week and 2 days in QT. He looked  awesome, when I woke up yesterday he had A-LOT OF ICH so, I left him in there to see if he can fight it out but it got the best of him. <Sorry to hear that...A really tragic turn of events..> Now, I know it takes one whole month for the ich to vanish from my main tank, and it  was the only fish I had, but I do have some corals, ICH doesn't get on coral right? <Ich does not "infect" corals, but the parasites can, in theory, settle among the corals in their free-swimming and "encysted" phases> And I have two Skilter cartridges in my main tank as well for bio bacteria for my qt tank. They should be safe too right? <Honestly, I'd operate on the assumption that the cartridges are "hot" (i.e.; "infected"), and leave them alone for the fallow period, before even thinking  using them in a different situation (i.e.; your quarantine tank)...> What do you think happen? My temp in my main tank is at 81. I think that's too high- what do you think? <I'd shot for a temperature from 76-79 degrees Fahrenheit, myself> I fished out my Gramma. Do you think it will be safe to get another fish in 2 months time? <Absolutely...Give it time, and the tank should be ready to go again...> Sorry for so many questions, but I don't want to give up this hobby. Every time a fish dies, it makes me a failure. <No it doesn't...Tragic though it may be- we cannot control everything that goes on with our tanks and animals...A lot of factors that affect success with animals are beyond our control...What you can do is to make the bad experience that you had a learning experience...Try to figure out what may have went wrong, and see what you can do to keep it from happening again. You are NOT a failure by any stretch, ok? Don't even think that for a minute...And, by sharing your experience with fellow hobbyists on WWM, you're helping lots of other people and animals avoid the situation that occurred with you. Draw from the experience and move on!> I don't want to fail. I DON'T WANT TO GIVE UP!!! <That's the spirit! Chin up!> Thank you so much for your time. I hope you have  a great weekend!!! <And I hope yours is a good one, too! Regards, Scott F>

Beating The Ich Out Of His Fish! Hi, my fish had marine Ich and velvet... I isolated them, treated with copper and it's almost all gone after just 3 days! <Good to hear that the trend is towards health for these fishes. Remember, the parasites in Ich tend to drop off of the fishes after several days, which often lulls us into a false sense of security, feeling that we have defeated the illness. Stay on the treatment. Copper does work rather quickly, but you need to be vigilant for the entire treatment period to assure that disease is truly knocked down!> My clownfish though, seems to have some white patches (small) in a few places... I've read that fish can get secondary bacterial infections after Crypto or Amyloodinium (spelling? I mean marine velvet :-) how does such infection look like? <Can take many forms. If you are indeed looking at a secondary infection, then you may want to use an antibiotic product, such as Maracyn. However, after you have run the full manufacturer's recommended course of copper sulphate treatment, you may want to try "resting" the fish from medication for a week or so (i.e.; use PolyFilter or other media to remove the remaining copper, and just run clean saltwater for a while)...It's not always good for fishes to be subjected to one medication after another. Maintain excellent water conditions in the treatment tank at all times> I know I can treat with erythromycin, but I've heard it's tough on the bio filter... so I'm consider Melafix, do you think it would be good for secondary infections (the fish are also showing some signs of deteriorating edges of fins, probably effect of Ich?). <Well the deteriorating fins could be from the disease, but are often signs of possible "collateral damage" from copper. Do maintain the copper level in accordance with manufacturer's directions, and test regularly to assure that you are not over-dosing> Anyway, what do you think of Melafix... <I've heard good things and bad things about it. Some folks swear by it as a treatment for minor scrapes and fin tears on fishes, other people denounce it as worthless...You'll have to judge for yourself. Honestly, I'm a big one for just plain old saltwater and immaculate conditions. Often, minor tissue damage can repair itself if good husbandry and feeding is maintained. Sometimes, that's a lot better than just dumping medication after medication into the tank...> I've also noticed that after feeding and sticking my hands into the tank, a film developed onto the surface of the water. IS this a big deal? I've noticed the water at surface is moving slower because of that. I wonder what can I do to remove it, I don't have a sump installed, just a BakPak filter/skimmer by CPR. <#1) Wash your hands (without soap, of course) before you stick your hands into the tank, #2)Get some arm length gloves (My "fish nerd club" friends tease me relentlessly about how much I love my Coralife Aqua Gloves, but they work!), #3)Remove the film by gently taking a plain paper towel and placing it at the water surface, then quickly and carefully removing it. Surface tension will do most of the work for you> Thanks for the help, Luke <Any time, Luke....Success! Regards, Scott F>

Ich success I am writing this e-mail as both a huge "thank you" as well as a lesson for others. After reading here for enough months I decided I would never again add a fish without QTing 1st. Thanks to the staff here for their firm stance on this issue. I bought a variegated Foxface on Sat afternoon, a real beauty! The next morning he was covered in ich. Boy was I glad I listened to the crew here now. So here's what I did after I calmed down and searched all I could read here and elsewhere. 1st I gave a 7 minute Fw bath (ph & temp matched). Then I removed 25% of the sw and replaced with Fw. Each day I would repeat this until the sal was 1.010. I also vacuumed the bottom real good each time. I continued to vacuum the bottom each day for 10 days. I also removed and washed in Fw all the pvc pipes of all the "eggs". After daily water changes for 10 days I went to every other day, then every few days. I can now report the fish has been ich free for over 4 weeks, eating great and looking well. I am now ready to have him join the display ich free. And best of all I did not have to subject him to copper. I hope this will encourage more people to us a qt and try the copper less as well as "snake oil cures. I, and my now healthy fish thank you. <Yay! Congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner> A New Trick Against An Old Parasite? (Another Possible Ich Cure) Hi, I was reading through the FAQ's on ich and came across a reply to someone's question by Anthony that stated the following.... "No guarantee in a tank with sand or rock (more freq copper and tests are need daily to keep levels therapeutic because sand and rock keep absorbing it further...Eeek! In a bare bottomed aquarium, common Ich can be cured simply by siphoning the tomites/larvae off of the bottom for eight consecutive days. Ich cure that simple" <It is!> If all I have to do is put my fish in bare bottom aquarium (which they are in already) and siphon the bottom for 8 consecutive days why should I mess with copper? If I'm reading this right, I guess the theory here is that eventually all parasites become "breeder" cysts and fall to the bottom of the aquarium so if you keep siphoning them out the will eventually be gone?? <Yep> Sounds to good to be true. Any thoughts on this? <No- it isn't too good to be true, actually... It's not too well known to most hobbyists, however. I've discussed this technique/principle with Anthony before, and there is very legitimate science behind this technique...It will work...Now, it's hard to guarantee 100% effectiveness with any disease, but the thought behind this (as you more-or-less correctly surmised) is that you will get the cysts in their "dormant" stage if you siphon daily...Sort of analogous to the "fallow tank" technique, but instead of depriving the parasites their hosts, you're physically removing them from the fishes' immediate environment (i.e.; the treatment tank) as they drop off of the fishes...But you need to be very thorough, and absolutely diligent...Copper is commonly used to treat Cryptocaryon, because the parasite simply cannot survive exposure to it...Of course, there is the issue of "collateral damage" caused by copper...It must be administered in an exacting manner. However, for most hobbyists, the copper technique is a more predictable technique. Remember, however, that even using this technique- you need to let the display tank run fallow for at least a month, to address the parasite population there.> Thanks, Angelo <Well, Angelo, sounds like we may need to discuss this technique a bit further in a future article...Right, Anthony? Good luck with your efforts! Regards, Scott F>

Crypt/ich curing itself Dear piscatorial crew: <More of a stomatopodial person myself Bazza.> Hello! Hope this mail finds all of you in excellent health! <Other than the assault from Allergy Central, yes indeed.> I purchase a Zebrasoma flavescens several months ago with clear signs of ick. And after proper feeding and care, the ich disappeared. No copper, hyposalinity, dips, baths et. al. used/adhered to. I only fed it with Selcon soaked mysis shrimp and Formula One flakes. It's been hale ever since. Two days ago, I took another challenge with a Paracanthurus hepatus (the crypt magnet) and his entire body appears to be like Van Gogh's Starry Night. Poor chap! I wonder if my proper care and feeding will yield the same results as with the Zebrasoma f. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance. Best, Bazza <Well Bazaar, I think you're very lucky. Fish are just like people, some have excellent immune systems, others, less so. If the Paracanthurus h. is in with the Zebrasoma f., it will likely reinfect your fish. I'd advise adding garlic to your feeding regimen (if nothing else, it's an appetite stimulant), and a cleaner shrimp or two. As well as the dip. Here's some more to read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm>

A Better Way To Treat Ich? I have a 60 gal. with some live rock and inverts (shrimp and crabs). Recently I had an outbreak of what appeared to be ick.  After losing my flame angel I set up a 10 gal QT and am treating a royal Gramma and some damsels with Cupramine. <A good product. Be sure to follow the directions to the letter!> A six line wrasse and Firefish have no visible signs of ick.  I put the Gramma back in the main tank after several days of treatment and he promptly developed more spots within 2 to 3 days.  I read through many of your archives on treatment etc. It sounds like treating the whole tank is a big no-no and that most "reef safe products" are in fact ick safe products or are dangerous for inverts.  <That's my take on it! By the way, when attacking ich, you need to treat ALL the fishes (or at least, remove them for observation) or there is a good chance that your "healthy" fishes will contract the disease> What I read was  very helpful but not quite specific enough to my questions. any help with any of the following questions would be greatly appreciated. 1. If I put some live rock in the QT tank with this help or will Cupramine kill the beneficial critters in it? <I would avoid anything but inert materials (such as PVC pipe sections, etc) in the treatment tank, as the live rock may "absorb" some of the medication, making it tough to maintain proper therapeutic levels for the duration of the treatment period. Also, as you surmised, many creatures living within the rock will be killed by the copper. Also, if you ever intend to use the "treated" rock again in another system, it may stay "hot" (i.e.; leaching copper) for some time...All in all- best to avoid using rock in a treatment aquarium> 2. Should I remove/treat all of my fish or just the ones that appear infected. <As outlined above- best to remove them all...If they don't show signs of the disease, they still have been exposed...Better to be safe than sorry> 3. If I keep the fish out long enough, will it starve out the ick from the main tank.  If so, how long should I QT? <Well, the theory behind leaving the display "fallow" (without fishes) is that it will deprive the parasites of their hosts (i.e.; the fishes!), thus breaking their life cycle and causing the parasite population to "crash" for lack of hosts...quite an effective technique. I'd leave the tank fallow for at least a month; a month-and-a-half would be even better!> Any help or suggestions would be wonderful as I do not want to continuously treat, reinfected, and re-treat the same fish. Thank You, Keith Nutt <Well, Keith- I agree...It's best to utilize a tried-and-true treatment technique that addresses the life cycle of the parasite, such as the "fallow tank technique". We see this problem a lot at WWM, so I did write an article on the subject that addresses this technique...Hope that it may help you:    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Striking Back At Ich Hi. <Good evening! Scott F. with you!> I want to quarantine my yellow tail damsel and yellow tang and use copper for the ich they both have. I have coral and crabs, but I'm gonna move all inverts to my newly set up and cycled 75 gallon, then leave the fish in the normal 30 gallon and add medication. Then, I will throw them in the 75 after a week. Will my protein skimmer remove it? <Not to any great extent> Will the copper leach into my 75 when I throw the fish into it a week after treatment? Thanks JM <Well, a couple of things need clarification here. First, I'd only use copper in a completely bare aquarium, and I would test very carefully to assure that I was maintaining the proper therapeutic level of copper to affect a cure. If you are using copper to treat ich, it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter, and this includes maintaining the proper duration of treatment. As far as copper leaching in to the display from adding the fishes, I would discount this...Unless you are adding water from the treatment tank to the 75 along with the fish (a horrible idea), then I would not be concerned. Do a little reading on treatment procedures, and observe your fishes carefully before, during, and after the treatment process. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Treating Ick On A Touchy Fish Hi Bob and Crew, <Scott F. checking in tonight> I am writing to you because I have a Mandarin dragonette that seems to have fallen victim to a case of Ick that has already claimed the life of a Kole tang in my 72 Gallon Reef tank. I fear that the Ick is preventing "Manny" from foraging for food and he is starting to really feel the effects of this parasitic disease. I am not sure if I should treat him as I would another fish of take exception to the fact that he is extremely delicate and only feeds on a diet of copepods and amphipods. What steps would you take in order to rid him of the Ick parasite? Any help or advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated in this matter. I am thinking of treating him with Methyl-Blue in a small quarantine tank. Is this the best course of action or would this do more harm than good? <Well, Methylene Blue is really better as an anti-bacterial, and would probably have little effect on a parasitic disease such as ick. However, if you're leery (and rightfully so!) about subjecting an otherwise touchy fish to aggressive medications, then you might want to utilize hyposalinity in the treatment tank. I am not a big fan of this technique, but I have utilized it with delicate fishes with some degree of success. Do read up on this technique on the WWM site> I got him as a rescue out of a barren 10 gallon tank from a friend at my LFS. I would do anything I can to save him, as he is a really beautiful fish. Any help is appreciated - thanks. Jason <Well, Jason- I think that you can save him, but it will take pretty quick action on your part...Get that hospital tank up and running, and start treatment ASAP...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Treatment Strategy Hey, thanks for taking my question. <That's why we do this! Scott F., at your service!> Ok, my hippo tang has come down with ick after putting a Coris wrasse in my tank, doh! <Next time, quarantine...right?> My livestock includes 2 clowns, a Hippo Tang, Coris Wrasse, cleaner shrimp, brittle star,5 turbo snails, various polyps, bubble coral, torch, candy cane and a leather. My plan is to set up a quarantine system, place all fish in there at a salinity of 1.015 for about 6-8 weeks, rid the main display with no hosts and cure the fish with the lowered salinity. <"Hyposalinity" can work, to a certain extent, but in my experience, there is no substitute for proper medication when treating ick...copper sulfate, carefully administered, is my treatment of choice> I want to use a 30 gallon plastic container, heater, power head, and power filter. Can I leave the shrimp, snails and starfish in the main tank along with the coral? <As long as you're not lowering the specific gravity in the display, they should be fine.> Since the quarantine set up will not have an existing bio filter, can I get away with doing water changes every day or other day? I can get a bio-wheel but it will be new. If so how much water should I change to avoid ammonia spikes? <Well, it's hard to say- largely based upon bio-load, feeding, temperature, etc. I think that you could use simple sponge filters, placed in your sump on a continuous basis, ready to go in your quarantine/hospital system at a moment's notice. This way, when the need arises, you simply pop one in the QT, and it's "pre-colonized" with the necessary bacteria. When you're done with the QT, simply sterilize the sponges, and place 'em back in the sump for next time...This way, you're never caught off guard>> I normally use RO and de-ionized water for the main display, do you see any problem in using tap water treated with "Prime conditioner" (de-chlorinator) for the quarantine set-up? <I don't see a problem with the tap water, as long as it is otherwise suitable for fishes. Better yet- just use water from you main tank> Should I use medication in the quarantine tank? <IMO, this is the ONLY place that you should use medication> If so which is best. Will my plan work? <As mentioned above, I like copper sulfate, but you need to use it carefully with many fishes, including tangs. Always administer copper when using a test kit to confirm the concentration. Your plan of removing the fish to a separate tank for treatment and leaving the main system to run "fallow" is the way to go, IMO. However, I like the idea of attacking ick with medication in the hospital tank, rather than just relying on hyposalinity> Thanks for your time. Angelo <Any time, Angelo! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

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