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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 12

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

Related FAQs: Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 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,

Help me Save my Coral Beauty Hi guys... <Ceri> Well I just bought a Coral Beauty Angel, he looked OK in the LFS but the next day after bringing him home he developed white patches on the fins and I am starting to see small white specs on him. <Man, this is the year for parasitic troubles!> Not many just a few. So, I read, read, and read some more on your site. This is what I have done. Good news, I put him directly in a QT tank. I have raised temperature to 80 and lower salinity for hyposalinity conditions. I have also ordered some Methylene Blue and CopperSafe. <Good moves> So, here are the questions. How many times do I perform the fresh water dip with Methylene Blue? Only once? <Once (on the way into QT) is best> Once a day? Leave him there for 3-5 minutes? <About right...> How do I know if this stresses the fish? <Observation... that the fish isn't laying over "too much", breathing "too hard"...> Also, won't putting him back into the affected water re-start the ich? <Bingo, yes... the reason the dip/bath is best performed en route...> Should I start the copper treatment as soon as he is returned to tank? <ASAP> If he looks better I understand I need to stop the copper treatment through water changes. <Actually, no... you need to keep a physiological dose of free/cupric ion present for the two week treatment period... you may well not see the "ich itself"...> I then want to bring water to the same conditions as my main tank. I am worried that lowering the temperature will bring Ich back, is that possible? <Not if it is not present...> Please advise, I want to save this guy. So far, he still looks good, but not eating as well today. Poor thing has no algae to eat in the QT, hope this is OK. I have never done a fresh water dip before, I am probably more stressed than the fish! Thanks...Ceri. <Likely... these baths are not of themselves that much strain on the fish... the netting is far worse... Bob Fenner><<Wish I would have emphasized that once the Cryptocaryon was off the hosts, it would not "magically" reappear like freshwater (Ichthyophthiriasis) ich. RMF>>

Re: Help me Save my Coral Beauty Thanks Bob, really appreciate your help. Since catching this guy will be stressful...and I would have to put him back into the same QT, should I skip the dip and go for the copper only? <Yes, I would. Thanks for the clarification> (yes lessoned learned, will dip all new first FIRST) Copper hasn't arrived yet, I will start as soon as it does. Do I keep the water at hyposalinity during the copper, or can I bring it back to normal? Thanks...Ceri <Can leave low if the fishes being treated are not "too" stressed already... a balance my friend. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Help me Save my Coral Beauty, ich Great, thanks Bob. I will slowly bring water conditions back up to normal. I don't want to fight monitoring copper and hyposalinity tank at the same time. My QT has live rock and substrate it in (thanks to LFS who suckered me into it). I will remove before starting copper treatment as I understand it makes an accurate reading difficult <Actually will quickly absorb the copper> (from the FAQs on your site !!) and will ease in removal of these nasty bugs !! Thanks for the support. Ceri. <You're welcome my friend. Steady on. Bob Fenner>

Coral Beauty/Copper - Follow-up Hi guys...well I am sad to say my Coral Beauty has taken a turn for the worse. I started copper and now he looks TERRIBLE. Appears as if there are no white specs on him, but there is a large white fuzzy patch, that is growing, right next to his, well, butt. Nitrite and Ammonia levels have spiked through the roof. I did a 20% water change Fri, 50% water change yesterday, and 50% water change today and levels are still high. I have decided to stop the copper and just focus on getting the water to normal. I added PolyFilter...  <Good>  ... and added a new filter cartridge in the Emperor 280. Question is, what happened to this poor fish? Does copper kill the bacterial function of the filter? <Yes, especially at the .25 level I see below>  I am desperate and just don't know what is wrong with him, or how to help. Please advise. The directions on the bottle are not clear, and the copper test kit always read over .25 of copper in the tank, even after water changes.  <Copper is an effective method of killing diseases if used properly and with care. For angels, the copper level shouldn't exceed .15, .25 is dangerous. Are you using an ionic copper or chelated, or which brand/type are you using?> Was the treatment done in quarantine in a rock/substrate free tank?  Also, since I was reading your site last night, I have a question for my main 65 gal tank. I have 75 lbs live rock, Fluval 404 with carbon and bio-material, Emperor 400 bio-wheel, and a Prism skimmer. Should remove the bio-filter material from the Fluval 404? Is this adding nitrates? <I don't believe you have enough live rock to remove the bio material. Yes the rings can increase nitrate slightly.>  Also the Fluval is adding tons of tiny bubbles in the tank, I was thinking of replacing it with a Eheim Wet/Dry canister filter. Is this a good choice?  <There are better ways for less $. Even though the Prizm is rated for a tank your size, it is not that efficient to handle it. I use one myself on my 29 mini reef. Just great for that.>  If it is, I should not use the bio- material for that as well since I have live rock - right? < If it were me, I would seriously think about adding a hang-on refugium with a live sand base and add some Caulerpa. This will help control the nitrates and nuisance algae. You will need to buy a small PC fixture to place over the refugium. CPR is coming out with their hang-on that includes a built-in skimmer. This would add to the skimming efficiency of your system.> Question 3 - sorry - full of uncertainty today. I will do a freshwater dip with Meth. Blue for each new fish from now on BUT - the directions say to leave the fish only in the dip 10 seconds. I have read that the fish should be there 3 to 5 MINUTES. Which one is correct? And to be safe, it is good to dip when moving from the QT to the main tank just as an extra precaution? What is the correct concentration of blue to use?  <I'd follow info on the bottle.  Here is a link on disease prevention that has info on FW dipping. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm. James (Salty Dog)> 

Coral Beauty/Copper Follow-up, Doesn't Look Good.. Thanks for quick reply. Sorry to say, Coral Beauty basically dead. On it's side breathing very hard, I added water, and some of the bio-material from my main tank to QT tank, but afraid it is too late.  Yes the QT is rock and substrate free (well there is a teeny bit on the bottom since I removed existing substrate before treatment.) I used 7ml of CopperSafe for 10 gal tank, per directions. I feel terrible, I just killed this innocent fish. I really want to be sure this does not happen again. Directions said to leave in the copper filter, was that a good idea?  <Ceri, usually when a fish gets that bad, copper will just finish it off. It' very important to treat right at the onset of the disease. If the directions say to leave the carbon in place, then that's what I'd do. Sorry. James (Salty Dog)> 

- Weird Case of Ich in - Hello everyone...  <Hello.>  I got a weird case going on here with my 29g saltwater tank... 4 weeks ago I had bought a yellow tang.  Had if for a week and I had got ich, white little grain[s] of salt on its body and fins. I did a water change in the display tank, treated the tang in the hosp. tank with copper and it died three days later. I still got a clown fish and a yellow goby, cleaner shrimp, 3 snails, 8 hermit crabs that I already had for two months before I got the tang and they have no symptoms. The day after the tang dies I notice these little white things floating around in my display tank water. I thought it was the ick but was told they were copepods and that they're good. Weird that it so happens when the tang got ick I get copepods...  <Is it so weird?>  I treat the display tank with Marine Aquaria No-Ich. So I wait a month, then I buy an orange tail damsel. Everything is fine and a week exactly I notice the same symptoms on the damsel. This time I notice that the damsel is rubbing itself on the rocks, all other fish in my tank have no symptoms. So I remove the damsel and I flush it. <What, no quarantine? What if when you get the flu someone flushes you?>  Could it be the aquarium store fish are sick with ich or my tank is infested? <Could be both.>  Note that I got both the tang and the damsel from two different stores but they use the same distributor... what would you suggest for me to do?  <Start quarantining all new arrivals. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm  > Display tank fish are looking ok with no symptoms. Forgot to mention the 20lbs of live rock and sand. What would you do if you were in my shoes?  <Buy a quarantine tank and start using it.>  Rena xp1 filter, 2 powerheads, protein skimmer, 29g TruVu thanks. <Cheers, J -- > 

- Treating Ich with Hyposalinity - Hello crew: <Hello.> I am currently letting the main tank go fallow, and my fishes are in a 20gallon QT with filters heater, I know how a proper Qt should be setup so I do not need info on that.  This is the first time I try hyposalinity and before I used copper most of the time. The reason why I try this is because I have 2 very sensitive fish in the list, 1 being a sub adult regal angel and a juv Blueface angel. From the observation, they have ick. Not like they have velvet. because they are still behaving normally and actively searching for food, eat well in the QT and no scratching of any kind. Also, I notice when the ick fell off the fin of the fish are not transparent anymore... and it is not velvet because I see no slime, not breathing too rapidly either.  <Ok.> I put them into the qt on Monday and gradually lowering the salinity, from 1.025 to now 1.010. However the ick is still present.. should ick Trophont be killed at this kind of salinity?  <It "may" but really hyposalinity on its own has never worked for me.... you'll need to use this in addition to some other methods to kill the ich. Because of the sensitivity of these fish to copper, I'd recommend formalin. Do make sure you follow the directions to the letter as an overdose will likely be fatal. Make sure you also use a gravel vacuum to clean the bottom of the quarantine as you'll be able to remove the sessile stage of ich this way and potentially break the cycle. Likewise, once you start the formalin treatment you'll need to have many days of water changes ready to perform perhaps 25% a day or more to keep the water quality tip-top.>  The qt temperature is 82F. and no ammonia..  The concern is I can see my fish getting more ick on its body today, then before I lowered the salinity 4 days ago... and the fish is still live and eating, swimming and behaving normal[ly]. Should I add copper now???  <See, previous comment.>  I really love this 2 fish and so not want them to die.  <And neither would I... but act now... don't wait.>  Please help me !!! Desperate.  Eric <Cheers, J -- > 

- Treating Ich with Hyposalinity - Should I wait to see if they will get any better? <No... parasitic problems don't "just go away" and in fact have a nasty tendency to get worse as the parasites multiply.>  I have heard that formalin is very dangerous to my fish and myself and I do not know how to administer them.... if I really need to do this can you tell me how much should I add to my QT?  <The directions are on the container... will vary from brand to brand so I can't give you a generalization. Formalin can cause problems, but if you follow the directions to the letter, you should be all set. That and of course don't drink it and you will be fine.>  I have a 20 gallon QT. how about dips? <You can do that too... again, follow the directions on the bottle.>  And how to prepare dip solution? <You can use fresh or saltwater... a bath is longer than a dip, and a bath in a formalin solution would be what I'd recommend here if you don't want to add formalin to the quarantine tank.> Will the siphon and dip everyday further stress the fish? <More than being covered with parasites? My friend, you need to understand that from the point you put the fish in a quarantine tank, they were under stress. What do you think would be less stressful - someone siphoning the tank or suffocating because your gills are full of parasites?>  I prefer to put my hands in the qt as little as possible... stress is a "initiator" of disease right?  <Stress can open the door to disease, but as I mentioned, this door was opened quite a while ago.> If hypo treatment is so unsuccessful in your opinion why people still advocate?  <They typically advocate this IN ADDITION TO other treatments.> Eric <Cheers, J -- > 

- Ich Problem - Dear Mr. Fenner, <JasonC here this time.> I wrote you earlier regarding ich problem and after reading through few more pages of FAQs, I decided the best course of action (actually, more practical for me) would be to move all my inverts to my reef tank (29gal) and separate the refugium and reef tank and treat the 50gal tank for at least 2 months. The look of parasites living on my fish was just unbearable, so I'm shooting for eradication at this point. I moved all rocks (some to refugium due to limited space in 29gal) and inverts and plumbing to separate the tanks. Right now, 1 canister filter (aged) is only means of filtration (I expect the nitrate to start showing up in numbers soon and some smell after carbon removal). Dartfish seems to hate life being exposed, trying to hide behind artificial decors, but that goby that tagged along with live rock was missing.  <Get some PVC fittings for your fish to hide in... this will be important to keep their stress levels in a reasonable range.>  I looked around to see if it jumped out, and it didn't. I figured it must've moved with the rock and spent past 3 hours emptying out my 29 gal and refugium looking for him. Since I have corals in this tank, it takes monumental effort to check this tank. I've prepared some buffered water to start lowing spg and I've lowered the water level in the 50gal to about 2/3 full. I'll be using a slow drip method using IV tubing and siphoning to adjust the spg. I'm guessing at about 34gal of water now, adding .5gal per day will amount to about .1% (by volume) or .001 per day. I'll adjust copper level after addition each day. I m planning water swap as needed with matching spg to give the fish best chance. Hopefully the filter will keep the bacterium and only nitrate will be of concern.  <Once you start up the copper in earnest, you will not be able to keep your biological filter running. Have several water changes ready to go and expect to change at least 25% every other day.>  I hope this is a sound plan as I'm getting in a bit of panic mood from reading about dead fish... My other concern is about the goby. I have no clue where he's hiding. I'm almost positive he's in the reef tank if he's still in the water. But I haven't seen him, so I don't know. With the tank almost full of rocks, it' lil be impossible for me to get him out of there.  <Yes... difficult to find/catch these fish once they've made a home in the rock.>  Will he die from ich eventually if I can't find him?  <Quite possible.>  I've done a fairly thorough search for him and I didn't see him (rocks have a lot of holes and I tried a gentle flush with powerhead with each rock). Should I turn my reef tank upside down (actually orderly removal into Tupperware's and buckets) and look for him again?  <I'd drop some food in to see if he shows himself.>  It's 4AM and I still can't get any rest, and probably won't until I start taking some serious actions...  <Do try and get some rest... you'll need to be on your toes for the next couple of weeks and lack of sleep will not do you or your fish any favors.>  Thank you for your insightful help.  Sam <Good luck. Cheers, J -- >

Controlling marine ich Dear Mr. Fenner, I've just noticed 4-5 white spots that I'm sure is marine ich on my A. japonicus. I freshwater dip my fish but I don't use the quarantine tank (I'll know better next time). I have a fairly complicated setup using 50 gal tank (wife wanted a freshwater-look-alike tank like the one from dentist's office in Finding Nemo) attached to my 29gal reef-tank and 20gal refugium. I use a canister filter on fish side (50gal) and a second canister filter to move the water to reef side and return the water to 50gal via siphoning hard piped PVC pipes. Reef tank has 45kg(about 90 lbs) of live rock and all the critter that came with them. Fish side has about 20lbs of live rock and artificial decors. Reef has been well established before I added 50 gal tank 2 weeks ago. All the water is aged because I saved the old water from water changes for 50gal when we started to talk about a "Nemo tank". Anyways.. I have added only couple more fish to the system and now I'm at a pause until I can recoup from this ich. So far, only noticeable outbreak seems to be on the tang. Other fish have no indication of any ich except for perhaps the Dartfish being overly shy ever since we got him (we don't see him when we feed him). Tang did have a hard time adjusting and hung around the filter inlet for 4 days without any sign of feeding.  < Wow, when that happens it is rare to get them to make it.>  She (we arbitrarily gave a sex to it) was offered number of different foods without feeding observed during adjustment, but now she eats everything from finely chopped broccoli to brine shrimps (prefers brine shrimps over anything else though... funny how she is under herbivores...) I feed them 4 times a day in small amounts varying veggie menu constantly.  < A variety, and a healthy variety at that, is very important here. >  Unfortunately, brine shrimp or Mysis shrimp is always part of diet because of raccoon butterfly.  < This is great. By definition a herbivore eats about 30% of it's total food as veggie matter, but still about 70% as meat. So you want to feed this to your tang. >  Anyways... I'm sorry for the long details, but I'm trying to describe that I am trying my best to keep the fish happy despite certain cosmetic demands that has to be met. I know that the best thing to do for them is to treat with copper in hospital tank and fallow the main tanks (I might have to resort to this in the future). But I've read your FAQs on ich and cleaners and seems that you do recommend cleaners to try to keep ich under control.  < Yes, it isn't prevention, but is just like you said, control. >  My fish are really happy now and I'd like to try some cleaner shrimps but before I put down hundred dollars or more (they are a bit pricey here at about $25 a piece), I was wondering if there is anything that'd make them die (like my raccoon picking on them to death as there isn't much hiding space) and what number is a good number.  < I would try one cleaner shrimp. Maybe also one cleaner goby, but not several animals like you are suggesting. >  I can certainly get more live rocks (they are free for picking) but again, I'm hesitant on adding too much to 50gal for cosmetic reasons. Should I look into some wrasse as well?  < Well a cleaner wrasse may work, but I'd try the shrimp and goby first. >  If so, should I quarantine them or just into 50gal? And also how many if shrimp only and shrimp/wrasse mixture?  < One shrimp. > Here's the inventory of my tanks- 50gal side--->2 true percula and 1 red bubble tip anemone moved from reef side for 6 mo, 1 small 2" raccoon butterfly-new addition, 1 medium 4" A. Japonicus- new addition, 1 fire Dartfish-new addition, 1 unknown goby - it hitch hiked with live rock as LR here on Okinawa are from local waters, and some snails that came with rocks (and oh yeah, some macroalgae I bought for the tang). 29gal side--->crabs, at least 10 with varying size and species, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 electric flame scallop, medium green Staghorn Acropora, medium blue ridge corals, green colony polyps, couple of snake polyps (I think that's what they called, everything here is in Japanese, so it's hard to get definite names). 50 gal is lit with 4-32Watt fluoros (2 actinic and 2 full spec) (wife really wanted the anemone but didn't want the ceiling mount light) and 29gal is lit by 175MH and 2x55watt compact fluoro (actinic). As far as I can tell, everyone is happy, including the ich. Water parameters are rock solid steady (even after new larger fish addition) at 1.025spg, 8.4pH, 0Ammonia, 0Nitrite, <1ppm Nitrate, 24C or about 75F. I'm still anticipating a slight rise in nitrate level from activation of canister filter, but so far, no noticeable change in water has been noted.  <Good luck. Take it easy, and don't go overboard causing more stress. > < Blundell >

A rainbow of colors to treat ich... blue, green or copper Hello Bob! Thank you for your very informative articles. I'm new to marine tanks. I have two saltwater tanks; one 55 gallon and a 10 gallon quarantine tank (I'm at work but will send the other stats later). The fish in the small tank just came down with ich. Should I remove live rock and hermit crabs before performing a copper treatment on the fish? <... you will have to> If so, I don't want to chance contaminating the big tank by transferring the hermit crabs and live rock to that tank, but am not sure how to store them while quarantine tank is being treated. <You... need another tank> Also, I went to the fish store and they gave me a copper treatment kit, copper test kit, and "ich Attack" from Kordon (it’s positioned as being “100% organic and safe for reef and live rock aquariums”). Do you know if the latter works very well? <I do not. But, the owner of the company, Bob Rofen is not a fakir... I am very curious to know how the product singles out the one type of protozoan though.> I also have some hermit crabs in the larger tank and am now worried that they might spread ich to the clownfish. Should I treat the hermit crabs for a fresh water dip or take all of the hermit crabs back to the store because they are suspects for carrying ich?  <Do not freshwater dip the Hermits... or any invertebrate marine animal...> I just finished reading "Fighting the war on two fronts" and wanted to pick up some Methylene blue to treat all of the hermit crabs in the big tank (and then maybe put some of them back or take them back to the store). <Mmm, better by far to take the tact of isolating possible vectors... in the absence of fish hosts, the Cryptocaryon will die out or lose much of its virulence> At lunch (and also before reading your article is when I bought the Ich attack. I also have Rid Ich at home and noticed that it contains formaldehyde and chloride salt of malachite green (but strangely enough the water turns BLUE).  <Yes... this is the Malachite> Also, I’ve read that poor water quality, stressed fish or a sudden change in water temperature could trigger an ich outbreak. <Yes... though marine white spot is far more often "imported" with new livestock than triggered in place> Do you have an opinion about which one may have been the biggest culprit? I’d like to narrow my focus to see what I need to look for in the future to prevent something like this from happening again.  <No way to tell given the information you have provided. Bob Fenner>

Re: a rainbow of colors to treat ich... blue, green or copper Hello Dr. Bob, <Just Bob> Thanks for being so kind and sharing your wealth of knowledge to help people that you don’t even know. I saw your name on another site as a reference and thought it was cool because you just personally responded to a message that I sent you just yesterday. <Mmm, wouldn't you?> So, here is what’s gone on since my last message: Quarantine tank: 10 gallons Emperor filter fit for a 50 gallon tank Underwater heater Live rock and gravel Temp 79 degrees (raising it from 75.9) Salinity is about 1.021 (I think but will have to get back to you because I forgot to write it down) Two damsels with ich (discovered yesterday morning). We treated the fish to a freshwater bath last night, but it didn’t last for very long. The small fish immediately fell to the bottom of the container and rolled onto its side when we put him into the freshwater dip. We took him out right away because he was so stressed. The larger fish we left in for almost a minute before he started thrashing around and hitting his head.  <Happens... you did pH adjust the water... it was about the same temp.?> Initially, we prepared a Methylene Blue dip, but decided against it when we read conflicting information between the manufacturer’s directions and your treatment instructions. Your instructions said to turn the water dark blue and leave the fish in for about two minutes, but the container recommended a larger dosage and said in bold letters that the fish was to remain in the Methylene dip for no more than ten seconds. <Mmm, either one... Methylene Blue is VERY safe... in fact it's administered intravenously into "blue babies" in some cases, places... where folks don't go for blood mixing> I also was hesitant because I didn’t want to risk squishing the black fish because I wasn’t able to really see them in the dark blue water and that’s why we pulled the plug on the Methylene dip. Should we try to dip the fish again? If the answer is yes, should we follow your instructions for the Methylene dip or the manufacturer’s? <Either way... > We did NOT treat the Quarantine tank with copper, but instead used Rid-Ich because I treated them with a dose before I left for work in the morning and the bottle recommended against using multiple treatments at the same time. I also removed all of the hermit crabs and took them back to the store. <Mmm, you need to do a bit of re-studying... the rock and substrate in the treatment/quarantine tank? No good... the copper kills the life there, and the material absorbs the copper.> A bigger problem surfaced this morning when we noticed that one of the clown fish had two white spots on its body. He is located in the main tank, 55 gallons, 78 degrees with two clowns, five hermit crabs, two damsels and some live rock.  A friend of ours recommended that we purchase a UV sterilizer so, I hopped online and bought two Turbo Twist 3X UV Sterilizers from Drs. Foster and Smith. I read that you CANNOT treat the fish with copper and a UV sterilizer at the same time because the UV sterilizer rips some of the copper molecules apart and makes the copper dosage deadly; it also read that you aren’t supposed to use it with other treatments. With regards to “other treatments” I’m assuming that they are referring to the Rid-Ich medicine. Do you know if the UV sterilizer can be used with Rid-Ich?  <Can be> So, we’re not sure what to do now. Are we supposed to pull out all of the fish from the large tank and surely condemn them to death by moving them into a smaller quarantine tank with the damsels that are covered by ich? <If this is the only treatment system available... yes... you might throw in some chemically inert decor... like PVC parts, pipe... for habitat... need to remove the LR, sand...> If so, would you recommend that we strip out the rock and gravel from the quarantine tank and turn it into a copper treatment tank or simply continue with the Rid-Ich? Or should we move forward with a third tank and make it a bare bottomed copper treatment tank? Also, what would happen if we left the four fish in the larger tank (including the clown fish with one or two white spots on it), hooked up the UV sterilizer to it and did NOT treat it with any medications?  <... this "going back and forth" with questions won't work... too much lag time... Again, if you're interested in saving your livestock, please read on WWM, elsewhere, talk with others... and make up your own mind re a treatment protocol... Now, as this parasite can proceed quickly...> Thanks in advance for all of your help. It just gets difficult because there are so many differing opinions when you start investigating diseases and treatments online or asking friends & pet store employees for their opinions. Regards, Tiffany <Tiffany... don't become confused... ask point blank why the people who are telling you believe (the science, fact) what they are telling you...> FYI: I returned the 100% organic product because another fish store person said that, “it didn’t work”. I guess he tried it before and didn’t have success with the product. No offence to your friend. <None taken... I have known Dr. Rofen in the trade for more than thirty years... Kordon/Novalek/Oasis... the ARCS... are venerable companies... but even the best have some clunkers now and then. Bob Fenner>

- Kick Ich Kicks Nothing - To may whom dear concern: I have a blue face angel fish and it has ich on it, I was trying to cure that disease with so many ways but it still has ich on its body. I  tried to quarantine and give the medicine for that fish but still it does not cure for the ich; therefore, the medicine that I give is kick ich medicine. <This product does not qualify as medicine and only succeeds at separating you from your money... will not kick anything with it except yourself.> Also, it does not want to eat at all. <Your fish is still ill, you must take other measures to tackle this problem.> I was wondering if you could please help or tell me about how to cure that disease, I will be appreciated. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm > Thank you, Teddy Y. <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Micro Bubbles Or Coral Fish Disease Thanks for your reply Mr. Fenner. <Welcome> It turns out a day later all fish started to get the spots. I ended up '''''purchasing a 20 gal tank and some quick cure from my LFS. They were quite upset when I refused to buy their $40 bottle of Kick Ick. They then suggested a copper med but I refused that also (based on the Coral Beauty not taking to copper well). I settled with Quick Cure that uses Formalin and malachite green. I freshwater dipped the fish and transferred water from the main tank to the hospital tank by means of the discharge hose of my UV filter. My next questions are do I dose the tank every day with quick cure for the five days recommended or do I dose it only once? <The five days... it "disappears" very quickly... the formalin complexes... crosslinks all peptides... building blocks of life> Also do I need to have a substrate on the bottom of the tank or can it be bare? <Should be bare... but you also need to monitor ammonia, nitrite... and be ready with water changes... and re-treatment... due to the death of nitrifiers> So far the second day into the treatment everyone appears to be doing well. Is there anything more you would suggest me doing? <Nope> Thanks for your help. Your website is the most valuable tool for me and I feel without it I may have given up and stuck with freshwater fish long ago. Thanks again Brad <Thank you for being part of it. Bob Fenner>

- Micro Bubbles Or Coral Fish Disease, Follow-up - Hi Bob, <JasonC here this time.> It has been about 7 days QT now and this morning the ick started to show up again. The clown had one spot and the coral beauty had 6 to 8 spots. After the 5 day treatment everyone looked great. All were eating well and looked very healthy. I have been successful in keeping water quality good with a small change per day. My question is should I re treat with the quick cure for another five days or do as the bottle says and add Clout?  <I'd keep going with the quick cure. Even though the bottle says five days, it typically takes at lest 14 days to fully treat fish with ich.> If the answer is to keep treating with the quick cure should I treat longer that the recommended 5 days? <Yes... shoot for two weeks.> Thanks in advance for your help.  Brad <Cheers, J -- > 

Fish in transit... with ich?     On 2/11/05 I bought the final fish for my 75 gallon tank - a Flame angel.  When I saw her in the tank in the LFS there were two of them.  The one in the tank just above the one she was in appeared to me to have ich.  In fact I said to the dealer, "it looks like this one has a little ich" and he said, "I don't see any ich".  She, on the other hand, looked good and I saw no sign of ich at all.      I brought her home and put her in my 29 gallon quarantine tank (that has two small pieces of live rock in it ( otherwise bare).  I had to go on an overnight trip to Baton Rouge on Thursday but placed a small amt of flake food in two cups (one for Thursday night and one for Friday morning) for someone else to feed while I was gone.  Came home this evening and it appears to me that she might now have ich on her caudal fin.  I don't see any on her pectoral fins but she moves pretty fast and it's hard to tell.  I'm not sure it's ich (I keep trying to convince myself that maybe it's food remnants that are stuck to her fin) but I'm thinking maybe it is.  Otherwise she looks great - good weight, great color, etc.       What should be my next step?  Should I keep her in quarantine and not treat her - on the theory that it will go away by itself? Should I try a freshwater dip (which scares me), or should I take the live rock out of the Q tank and start copper therapy?  If I take the live rock out of the Q tank, is it safe to put it back into my main system if it has been exposed to a fish with ich?     I'd very much appreciate your advice on this.       Thanks,     Toni <I would do the first... keep the fish in quarantine... and not treat it. Did you dip this fish on the way to being placed in quarantine? I definitely would do so on the way to your main display. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fish in transit... with ich? Well, I didn't do the freshwater dip (because I was afraid) but I watched the fish for almost a week more and then on Thursday the 17th I was sure that the fish had something. There was something on both his caudal fin and his pectoral fins. On Friday the 18th I noticed that the fish was now swimming at the top of the water column?? I then did a water change, tested the water to make sure everything was ok - which is was - removed the live rock to a bucket of saltwater taken from my main tank and added a powerhead to that. Now the fish was in a bare tank. I removed the sponge carbon filter and threw it away and added a little less than three capfuls of ParaGuard to the 29 gallon quarantine tank. I woke up this morning and the fish was dead. <From?> After removing the fish from the water it appeared to me that a small portion of his caudal fin was gone. I thought maybe he had tail and fin rot. I'm really worried about how I'm doing things now. Is it possible for a fish that looked healthy in the LFS to come home to a QTank and in 3 weeks develop tail and fin rot and die? <Yes... but... to be clear/er... the "rot" is/was very likely just decomposition... happens quickly> The other flame fish that was in the tank above her in the LFS is still there. This is a tough hobby if you live in a small town. There are 2 fish stores in this land-locked town and I have concerns about how cavalier they are with their livestock. Neither store does any quarantining. <Even if they did, I would still do my own> One store has every tank in the store on the same water system so I think if there's something in one tank it's in all their tanks. The other store has very poor management and goes for long periods with no fish at all.  <Mmm, there's always "mail order"> Tonight I put a new carbon sponge filter in the QTank to remove what ParaGuard might be in there. What is your advice on whether or not I should put the live rock back into the Qtank?  I worry it might have organisms on it from the sick fish and contribute to the death of any other fish I eventually place in there. What do you think? Should I throw the live rock out? Would it ever be safe to put back into may main tank? <Yes... leave it somewhere... in the quarantine system... for a month and no problem> Also when will it be safe to put another fish in the QTank? <Another month plus> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Toni <Toni, you would do well to have one or two good reference books that you could read "all the way through" and gain a good/thorough understanding of what is going on here? I sense a profound desire to understand, and can assure you that the "experiential" model/mode of learning as you've been doing is very unsatisfying... There are many disparate, spirited, opposed opinions/facts re aquatic animal health... hard to discern them w/o a complete background in set-up, maintenance, simple chemistry and physics... Bob Fenner> 

I think I have (my Fish) Ich! Hi, <Hello> It me AGAIN! I am new as I said to the Saltwater Fish world and do  need GOOD Help! I did read the posts on ICH but again since I am new I  wanted to ask to be sure. I read that it looks like salt, it this true? <... If you read the Cryptocaryon materials archived... you would not ask this> If so I  think my Hippo Tang has a mild case. I did speak to the store in which I bought  him but they told me to leave him as this sometimes goes away by itself <No... never> and I do  have a cleaner shrimp that may do the job. Is this true, should I leave him, as  he or she is not the only fish in the tank? If not what is the best way to treat, I have read that 30 days is the best way to assure that if any eggs are present that this will kill them, if so will this hurt any fish in the tank such as my Red Knob Star, Shrimp, or Crab? I know I can not use any copper based products.   I also have a Potter's Angel, she is very beautiful but does not seem to eat like the other fish, I feed seaweed, Marine Cuisine, and clams. Should I purchase special Angel Food for her? One last question, should I purchase a protein skimmer, again I have asked this and keep getting different answers. I  have a 75 Gallon tank with a Eheim Filter and Bio wheel. Looking forward to the correct advice from you.   Deb <My advice is to spend some time educating yourself... and quickly... you may lose all your fish livestock if you don't act with intelligence. And soon. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above UNTIL you understand your options, what you're up against.... then apply yourself. Bob Fenner> Re: I think I have (my Fish) Ich! Bob, <Deb> As I stated I DID read the post on ICH but there were so many that being  new I  just wanted to make sure by asking. <No need to read all... just enough... till you are satisfied with your understanding> I just found your site a few  days ago, before this I read and tried to educate myself  as much as I  could before taking on this hobby, asked many people for help before I set  up our tank. As I had explained to (salty Dog) there it just to many different  opinions out there and my husband and I have become very confused as to what is  right and wrong. <... Sort through the mass of "noise" for factual matter... and decide for yourself which is useful> We did not just decide to set up a tank without trying to learn anything about it. Just as I posted we were told to leave the Tang alone and see  it the ICH goes away you say NEVER, this seems to be the way. I have gone to the site you told me to go to and will try the things suggested. As I go along with  this hobby I am learning slow is the best way to go, <You are correct here for sure> I would not have mixed fish  and non-fish together until we had a lot more knowledge about keeping a  saltwater tank, as there are to many things that can go wrong until you really  have this under your belt! I am only sorry we were not given good guidance from  the start as you can not possibly learn everything about this hobby by just  reading, it seems to be a live and learn kind of thing. Thanks Deb <Thank you for your input, observations... it is indeed a wonderful hobby... but one fraught with a good deal of lack of, and mis-, dis-information. It does sound like you are on a "right path"... and have a good, discerning mind. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Ick on my shark - How to treat First, thank you for taking the time to help us hobbyist.  The wealth of information you guys share is amazing. My situation: I have a 110 gal FOWLR (and fine grain sand) DAS tank/filter/skimmer housing a 4" dogface puffer, 5" antennata lionfish, and a 7" banded cat shark (I know this tank is too small to keep the shark for long, <Do monitor nitrogenous waste content as well (ammonia...) as the Dutch Aquarium Systems filters are puny, inconstant> plans for the near future include a custom 12' 350-400 gallon tank built into my living room wall). My last addition to the tank was a 4" Porkfish. My problem: Everything went fine for about 2 months then all of the sudden Ick broke out (the day before I left town for a week I noticed it). When I returned the Porkfish was very sick and died a couple days later. My puffer is also ill now. He has taken to swimming directly in front of a powerhead - I guess it is kind of like being rubbed without being scratched by the rock - really a neat behavior but I would rather have never witnessed it. My shark is showing a handful of Ick spots. The lion is fine. I have lowered the SG to just under 1.018 which has helped but not cured the problem. <It won't> It seems like they are not getting worse but they are not getting better.  I assume a lot of the parasites are dying due to the SG but the stronger ones are living to attach to a host.   <A good way to put this> Instead of a massive infection killing my puffer I am afraid of the cumulative impact they are having on his gills.  If I don't get this treated I am going to have a puffer with emphysema.  All parameters (pH, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia....) are good. Whether I move the fish to a treatment "tank" or treat in the main tank - what medication can I use? I am afraid CopperSafe will kill my shark. I have Paragon II but I do not know enough about it to use it just yet. What can I do?  Should I go lower on the SG, around 1.015? Thanks <You might have success with a combination of elevated temperature (to the mid 80's F.) and the administration of Quinine Hydrochloride solution... sold still... and used as an anti-protozoal with some fishes. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-27,GGLD:en&q=quinine+hydrochloride+fish+disease&spell=1 This is a treatment I have used with success with juvenile sharks... many years ago... as a consultant to public aquariums. Bob Fenner>

Kole Tang and ich problems I plan on putting some Caulerpa in the AquaClear filter with 4" sand bed and some live rock under a clip on light. Will this help reduce phosphates and nitrates because the Caulerpa is in there? <Macro algae does help reduce these>  Also how would I gravel vacuum a fine sand substrate? I have the Oolite Aragalive so if I vacuum the bottom the sand comes out also. Would garlic and Reef solution along with vigorous filter pad cleaning help with the ich? <No>  <I didn't know you had a fine sand bed. You probably should add (if you don't have) some sand stirring critters. I guess the AquaClear 110 would probably work to a degree, but with a 4" sand bed in the filter I'm thinking that the water flow through the sand won't keep up with the 400+gph pump on the filter. James (Salty Dog)>

Kole Tang and ich problems Thank you for the reply. I do have another question however. What should I do in the meantime with my tank. I have 2 true perculas that aren't showing any signs of ich. I add coral vital and reef solution to my tank every couple of days. <Clowns are a little more resistant to the disease. I would leave them in there for now and monitor. I would change 10% of the water weekly and use a gravel vac when doing this.>  I am definitely going to buy a hospital tank but I don't know which size is good. <At least a 10 gallon> I plan on having a hippos tang in the future, also. What should I do to my tank now while the two clowns are in it. <As I mentioned above> An Eheim 2026 that I will be putting a bag of Chemi-Pure and replacing the filter pads when they are delivered to my house today. Also have an Aqua C remora skimmer that I have running when I'm in my room because I added MelaFix to my tank and it skims that like crazy. When it is done skimming that my skimmer will be running full time again. I also have a question about the oily surface film. After about 3 days from a water change I get this on the surface. I have no idea how to get rid of it. I also have a AquaClear 110 coming in the mail today which I will be setting up as a hang-on refugium. Do you recommend anything for this filmy problem. I saw the pre-skimmer box AquaC makes but it is really big and not pleasing to look at in the tank. Anything advice on this film and the ich solution will be helpful!  <The Chemi Pure should remove most of the oily substance. Also use a powerhead with an aerating feature to help remove the slime. The skimmer box is what will aid greatly in removing surface substances. This AquaClear I assume is a power filter. I don't think this is large enough to serve as an effective refugium. Do not add any fish for at least four weeks. The ich will just attack other fish you may add. And do quarantine any new arrivals. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)> 

Shotgun Medicine... Hi, I had my fish in a qt tank since Friday with copper and Maroxy and then started to use Maracyn because one of the tangs started to get red spots. My question is: How long will it take before the fish stop getting these white spots over their bodies. If there is copper in the water shouldn't the ich start to die. The fish seem to be getting more and more white spots on their bodies. I keep the water up to 82 degrees and don't put the lights on until about 2pm and turn them off at 9pm. Is there anything else I can do to help them? Thanks, Cindy >>>Hey Cindy, I don't normally recommend this "shotgun" approach to medicating fish as it can cause more problems that it solves. The best approach to treating for C. irritans is to run Hyposalinity. You do this by lowering the salinity to 1.009 over the course of a week or so, and leave it there for 3 weeks. Using copper is akin to a person getting Chemo, it's just slightly more deadly to the disease than it is the fish. I suggest you do a search on the C. irritans life cycle and learn exactly what you're dealing with (Trophont, tomont, tomite, etc). Jim<<< 

ICH Dear Bob, <Not Bob today but JasonC - greetings.> In august we got a 72 gallon salt water tank.   Everything has died from itch, 3 tangs, Lion fish, damsels, all anemones.  Well, we waited for about a month bought a UV sterilizer and waited again and we already had a shark egg that hatched 4 weeks ago,  He seems to be fine but 4 days ago we  bought a puffer that we discovered today has those white spots on his eyes and a few on his fins.  We have  already treated the tank with green X but nothing seems to help what can we do. <Good grief - Greenex is horribly toxic stuff and shouldn't be added to your main system. You need to establish a quarantine tank and quarantine all your fish before you add them to your main system - quite likely at this point you have systemic issues that need to be addressed in addition to the treatment of your fish.> The store that we buy from gives us advise but everything they sell us has the disease or gets it soon after we put it in the tank. <Sounds woefully familiar - consider firing this store and finding one of their competitors. Also, please read here for more information on these topics: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm > PLEASE Help. Linda <Cheers, J -- >

Treatment of Ich (marine) Hi, <Hello> I need some help on ich.  I have read one of your articles that talk about attacking ich on two fronts, one removing the fish into a quarantine tank and treating them, and also dealing with the main tank. <This is so> I have a 75 gallon reef tank, and I have lost two fish in the last four days, a Sargassum Trigger and Yellow-eared Angel to ich.  The Trigger started it.  He was in the tank for a little over a month, when I first noticed it on him about two weeks ago.  I have read and been told by more experienced reefers at the LFS, that fish will sometimes work their way through it without intervention. <Correct> He was eating great, I add Garlic in their food everyday, and not wanting to put anything in the tank, I thought I would try letting it go.  He did fine for about a week and a half, then all of a sudden, he got really bad. <Typical cyclicity> I tried treating the tank with reef-safe medicine, <A misnomer... oxymoron... there is no such animal/medicine> but he got worse.  At last I tried a freshwater dip, but he died anyway...he was probably too infected.  A couple days later, I noticed the Angel had it too. I tried a freshwater dip on him too, but he died as well today.  This makes me sick.   My problem is, though, I have a Red Firefish and a Purple Tang still in the tank, but I don't have a quarantine tank to put the two fish into and getting them out of a reef tank can be horrible to say the least. <Is it worse than losing them?> What can I do?  I would really be sick if my Purple Tang died.  Any suggestions would be truly appreciated. I feel as though I am fighting a losing battle no matter what I do. Thanks, Paul <It seems (from the above) that you are well aware of your choices/alternatives. If it were me, I would do what is necessary... drain the tank down if so... to remove these fishes to a separate treatment tank... leave the main system fishless (perhaps lower spg, elevate temp.) to facilitate the weakening, die-off of the causative organism (Cryptocaryon). Bob Fenner>

Big Tank Problems Hello, <HI> I have a 125 gallon marine tank. <how long has it been set up?.>  It is live rock, inverts, and reef safe fish.  I have roughly around 250 lbs of live rock.  I have a huge drip filtration with bioballs and prefilter and a Berlin skimmer.  I also run a refugium to lower nitrates.  It for the most part has been a extremely stable system.  However, I recently had 2 fish disappear, and these were active fish so I now they had to of died some how and there was no chance of recovering the bodies do to the massive maze of rocks, I let them go into my bio load, I have plenty of cleaners to eat the bodies.  I did expect this to affect my water quality and it did. <what were the 2 fish and how big were they? if they were big this could cause the ammonia to go up>   My ammonia and nitrites went up and I was initially worried because I do have some expensive sensitive fish.  So I went off direct feeding of the fish so as to not add to the bad water quality, and let them strictly forage off the rocks, but this did not help in time.  I had some fish get sick.  The ick parasite.  I have a fairy wrasse, a powder blue tang (which had the presence of ick off and on anyway) <always> , a chevron tang, and a Majestic Angel which is my prize fish and eats food like a pig and is beautiful and full bodied, get sick.  The angel, the PB Tang and the fairy are still very active and except for the parasite present look good, no sign of distress. The chevron on the other hand is looking in distress, not like he is ready to die, but not happy.  I also should mention that I run a double helix UV, and have a CB Shrimp which forages parasite from my sand bed and 2 Skunk Cleaners, which for some reason do nothing but hide, they never clean my fish from what I see.  I so far have continued to not feed, is this a good idea? <no improving water quality is a good idea. Do water changes to bring down ammonia>  I also am going to do a big water change using RO water as always, is this a good idea? <yes but no more than 50%>   And I am going to dose Vit. C to boost immune systems when I get it, I currently was out.  What more can I do?   Is there something more I can do? <I don't know what you salinity is at but you can lower it to around 1.016-1.017. this will help eliminate some of the ich without harming the invert, as long as you do this over a slow period of time, at least a few days. also you can feed a garlic supplement. the best thing you can do is improve the water quality by doing water changes and bring down ammonia and nitrites>    Or am I doing it.  There is no chance of netting the fish for quarantine, the stress of catching them and ripping the tank would most definitely stress them way to much, and I may end up with more sick or dead fish.  Am I doing all I can do, and do I just need to wait it out and let the fishes immune systems do there thing?   Also, why are the cleaner shrimp not doing there deed? <most of the time when cleaner hides all the time something is picking on them witch will cause them to hide. They may have a cleaning station set up beside you rock work.> Or are they more than likely, and they are just doing it from deep within the rock?  Why would they stay secluded deep in the rock and not come out?  Any help is much appreciated and will be a life saver, literally.  Thank you. John

Small, shallow pond in cold weather are and treating Cryptocaryon Hi. I just found your website today. Very helpful, but I still have two questions that are kind of answered in FAQ but I would rather have them "personalized"! <Okay> 1. I live in Northern Cal where the winter temp averages 40 and rarely (if ever) goes below freezing. I have a 60 gal 14" pond with a pond comet, a fancy goldfish and a small butterfly koi. (and a bunch of mosquito fish) I have been told they'll be fine and I've been told they cannot winterize in such a shallow pond. What do you think? Also, I've received varying opinions on whether or not to leave the pump running. Someone told me it's too disturbing to them. <Mmm, if the water doesn't get to the point of freezing, and the pond itself is sheltered thermally (near a large building, trees, stones...) you may be fine leaving all going (including the pump). If in doubt, I would move the fish indoors (or the garage) for the cold season... soon. Not advisable to move when it is colder> 2. I have a 25 gal salt-water tank (I know, I know....too small. I'm moving to an 80 gallon in a couple months.) I have 2 false percula clowns, a yellow tang and a little scooter blenny. Also various snails, crabs, shrimps corals and live rock. They have what I think is ich. The tang became super-stressed when I did a water change, that's when it all started. I got "Marine Aquaria No-Ich" from the store and after 1 dose I noticed a substantial change (for the better) in the tang and one clown. (I thought for sure the tang was going to die the night I treated it and other clown wasn't as sick) Turns out another guy at the store said DON'T TREAT YOUR TANK!!! He said never trust what the bottle says. (This stuff is supposedly reef safe) <There is no effective ich/Cryptocaryoniasis treatment that is reef safe> I am supposed to treat every three days for 2 weeks and am on the 2nd treatment. The fish seem much perkier and the corals seem unaffected, well, except a bubble coral that took a tumble off the top of a rock about a week earlier. It's looking "iffy". ANYWHO, What is your opinion? Just to clarify, the fish are perkier but still have white spots and the tang has brown spots. All are eating (ferociously!) Also, since I have to take the carbon out, won't the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates get too high in 2 weeks? By the way, I am using the eclipse system...until I move to the 80 gal. OK. Blah Blah Blah. Sorry so long but REALLY appreciate your feedback. Thank you so much! Lisa <Thank you for writing. You can find MANY of our and others opinions on these broad topics posted on WWM. I would peruse them and change your treatment regimen now as in ASAP. The "medicine" sold to you is only temporarily killing the ectoparasites on the host fishes and causing them to produce a bit more mucus... like our new governor, "they will be baaccck". Bob Fenner>

Sticking It To Ich! (Ich Treatment) I just added a blue tang and a butterfly fish to my 55gal tank and they have infected my tank with ick. <Uh Oh..> Up until now I had just placed the bag in the water and let the fish swim out of it after an hour or so. I had never begun to think about a QT tank. Since reading your web site I just set up a QT tank. <Glad we set you straight! A great practice; one that will benefit your fishes immensely!> My question is, the rest of my fish only have a spot or two on them and seem to be doing a lot better than the tang and butterfly are. Do I have to place them in the Qt tank as well? I have two damsels and a fuzzy dwarf lionfish. <I would- it's far better to treat the fishes (or even observe them) in a separate tank. Also, this leaves the main tank without host fishes) for the ich parasite- which gives your fish a better chance to fend off any future attacks...> I have already treated the tank with CopperSafe as per suggested by the local fish store. <I hope you mean that you treated them in the bare quarantine/hospital tank, right? That's the correct way to do it..> But it does not seemed to have helped the two infected fish at all. I assume that I should sweep the crushed coral to pick up any parasite in the bed of the tank. <Yikes! Sounds like you treated in the display tank! It's a no-no for a lot of reasons, including the simple fact that these medications tend to get bound up in substrate and rock, rendering them...ineffective! Do remove the fishes and try the treatment again in your bare quarantine tank!> let me know if what I am doing is the right thing and the right way and if there is any thing else that I can do to hopefully save my beloved fish. <Check out this link to an article I wrote on a good way to attack ich: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm    > Thank you, Josh <You're welcome! You can beat this thing! Regards, Scott F>

A Noble Experiment (Ich Treatment) About how big," in microns preferably", is the free swimming stage or tomont stage of these protozoa? <Anywhere from 60-370 microns in size> Can they be filtered out effectively? <In the free-swimming stages, it is theoretically possible, but probably rather difficult, because the density of the protozoans in the water column is rather sparse. Usually easier to siphon out the tomonts after 12-18 hours, when they create a cyst and attach to substrates. Using daily 100% water changes, siphoning from the bottom in a bare tank may allow a successful cure without using medications, as you are probably aware> I have a 20 gallon QT  tank with a piece of PVC pipe and two smooth round rocks about eight inches in diameter without any bottom substrate I.E. gravel  that I am experimenting with. <Good> I'm trying to eliminate these critters by using a 1/12 hp Little Giant pump linked to a filter canister.  I am also implementing a 30 watt double helix UV sterilizer  with a flow rate of about 1 1/2 gallons per minute. <Interesting...> Hyposalinity  has been established at a reading of 1.008 and I am also using light manipulation.  I have set the temp to 82 degrees," I realize only the one type of protozoa will be affected". I plan on getting a protein skimmer before I start. The tank has been established for about 2 months now with a whisper 30-60 bio-filter that was established by live rock.  I was basically wondering what size filter I should try and use in the canister or if I'm just wasting my time and use it for extra filtration? <Not a waste of time, but you'd want to go with a micron sleeve of some sort> I plan to go to the LFS and buy one of the most infested damsels and try to cure then return it if it gets better or he might just become the local in my QT tank? Just a thought.  If this doesn't work I will just let the tank go fallow for a month or so, I've got nothing but time. <Interesting and noble idea...ell worth the experiment> That's my new saying after I failed so miserably on my first attempt at saltwater. Just wanted to let you guy's know, if it wasn't for your site I would have already given up on keeping saltwater fish.. Thanks again. <I like your expression...Do take your time and carefully record your results. I wish you luck on your experiment. Regards, Scott F.>

The Civilized Approach To Attacking Ich! Hi Scott, <Hello again, Jim!> Thanks again for the advice.  It did help me to save some of the fish, but was too late for a couple.  With this experience I will react a lot quicker next time. <It's all part of the learning curve, I guess...The fish didn't die in vain- other fishes will benefit from this lousy experience...> I did have a couple of questions if you have the time. <Of course!> Have re-read your and other articles on reducing the risk of reinfection.  The consensus approach seems to be to just let the main tank go fallow for a month. <I favor this approach, myself- it is one of the more reliable techniques, IMO...Not fun- but it works> I am so paranoid at this point I'm wondering what the downside of something more aggressive might be, other than extra labor/hassle. <Depends on what "aggressive" means!> Specifically, since I only have live rock and about 1/2" of crushed coral in the tank, and am still battling microalgae, my thought was to try and kill off (or at least more effectively reduce) the crypt and the micro algae. <Well, you have different pests that have two different causes- and require different approaches to beat...> The options I have come up with are as follows: 1)  Remove the rocks, give them a freshwater dip (maybe 30 minutes?), rinse and dry out the substrate, sterilize the inside of the tank and sump with bleach and rinse it out well, and then put it all back together.  Mix up some new water and recycle the tank. <Well, this would certainly kill the algae and any remaining parasites- but you'd essentially be starting over with inert rock and sand after this process...And the materials would really have to be cleaned out well, or bleach may continue to leach out for some time. And, the whole "algae succession" that we experience in newly cycled tanks will happen again! when you kill of the microfauna and other algae on the rocks, these are "undefended" surfaces, ready for re-colonization by nuisance algae!> 2) Crank up the temperature (85 or so) vacuum the substrate daily, lower the specific gravity, and do some large water changes.  My only thought here is that the temp increase might actually promote more algae growth. <Well, the increased temperature may accelerate the life cycle of the parasites, but the concurrent reduction in specific gravity can be detrimental to any inverts in the tank. Also, the oxygen capacity is reduced at higher temperatures, so higher temps and a sizeable bioload can create a bad situation- quickly...> The only thing I am concerned about is the live rock, which does not have anything living on that I can see other than some coralline algae and the dreaded microalgae.  I do have another batch (90 lbs) of cured rock that has not been in the display where the crypt was that can help reseed the rock (I'm guessing). <Well, adding new rock will help re-seed the system, as you suggest- but remember, you will also be adding abundant nutrients, and nutrients help fuel algae growth...My advice is to let you tank go fallow for a month or even more (like 6 weeks-or 8 if you can handle it. This should result in a serious reduction in the parasite population. As far as tackling the algae problem is concerned- it's all about nutrient export! Use aggressive protein skimming (yielding a few cups of stinky dark stuff per week), liberal use of chemical filtration media (Poly Filter and/or activated carbon), and regular small water changes (like 5% twice weekly). These tactics will help reduce the available nutrients in your system, and help reduce the nuisance algae. Bleaching and tearing down the system are extreme steps that I would only use under the most dire of circumstances (like when all of the more "civilized" approaches discussed here fail!), so try these easier methods first...Hang in there-you can do this!> Putting aside the level of effort required (I really don't mind, and really want to do whatever I can to clean up the crypt and the algae), whaddya think? Option 1, 2, some combination, or just leave it alone? <Go fallow, bro! It's best or all concerned, IMO> Thanks again for all the help. Best regards, Jim <Glad to be here for you! Regards, Scott F>

The Civilized Approach To Attacking Ich (Cont'd.) Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks.  Sounds like great advice.  I don't want to start the algae battle all over again.  Time for a couple quick follow ups? <Sure> Spent about half the day getting all the algae of the glass, cleaning substrate, doing big water change.  First, advice to rookies like me, if you build in a Calfo tank-length internal overflow box with culturing shelf, don't let the algae get out of hand.  Nearly impossible to clean without being double-jointed and having infant-sized hands! <Hah! Good tip. The full length overflow concept is great, though..> Q1 - I have learned from you and the site microalgae is mostly about nutrient/control export, so looked first to my AquaC EV180, which is producing about a cup of very dark (and very nasty smelling!) skimmate a week. <Excellent> Have read several times on the site that it should be a lot more, so thought about getting a bigger pump.  But when I e-mailed Jason at AquaC he said that amount was probably about right for the bioload I have (which is even less now - one purple Firefish).  Does this sound right to you, or should the algae growth alone be providing enough gunk to generate more skimmate? <I would follow Jason's advice on the pump issue...However, there are other methods of nutrient export (i.e.; water changes, etc.) that can supplement a great skimmer> Q2 - The Firefish has survived the whole crypt nightmare completely unharmed.  In fact he has never looked more healthy.  (No one left in the display to scare him into his whole at feeding time.)  I know that the ideal is to remove ALL fish for the fallow period to remove hosts that might keep the parasites alive, but it will literally require removal of all 100 lbs. of rock to get him out. <I hate the process, but it really is the best way, IMO...Everyone out...> My reasoning for leaving him in his if he is not infected he is not acting as a host, so will not impede the fallowing process.  Rationalization from someone trying to avoid live rock removal nightmare or reasonable assumption? <I feel for you- but I think it's definitely in your best interest to get him out. Not what we want to do- but it's the most effective means, IMO. Leaving a fish in the tank will definitely impede the process...> Q3 - If I vacuum the substrate every day or every other day, am I destroying my denitrifying bacteria?   <You may be destroying some of the bacteria, and possibly disrupting the denitrification process> Won't the live rock repopulate it? <To a certain extent, yes> Since the tank is almost lifeless, do I need to worry?  I really want to do everything I can, without doing more damage, to get rid of the parasites. <Well, as long as there are "nooks and crannies" for the dormant parasites to hang out in, there is a risk...> Thanks again.  Sorry to be such a pest.  Don't know what I would do without you and the site (would have probably given up by now). Best regards, Jim <Well, Jim- you're not a pest, and I certainly enjoy hearing from you. I know that the fallow technique basically...sucks! But this is the way to go, IMO...You won't enjoy the process, but the results will be worth the effort, believe me! Regards, Scott F>

Ich, cont'd. Hey, I've been treating ick the last couple weeks, two to be exact, following your guidelines. I removed my butterfly tang and five Chromis, gave them a 15min methyl blue dip and put them in a 30g q-tine tank with Coppersafe. I have no test kit, or anything that would readily absorb copper, plus I did routine water changes and replenished the copper in makeup water.. I tried a Salifert copper test kit and it never worked so now I'm ordering an Aquarium Pharm. dry-tab test kit. The only problem is my two week copper treatment is up. This is my second time battling ick and I want to make sure I never have it again. <Then read this article and commit it to memory: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm > I'm letting my 220g go fallow for 4-6 weeks <Shoot for six.> and then I plan on putting back the fish. My question is what do I do now to ensure I have no more ick outbreaks? <Avoid excess stress, and work on excellent nutrition... more will become apparent to you when you read that article.> As of now I see no spots. But that's what I thought last time I put fish back in after letting it go fallow. Should I wait two weeks and do another dose of copper just to be safe? <I'd just wait... you'll be able to observe these fish, and if you do wait the full six weeks, then you have plenty of time to re-treat if there is another problem, but I doubt it.> Then another freshwater dip before putting them back? <This I would do.> Or just a freshwater dip? Or neither? Thanks for all the help.  Brandon  <Cheers, J -- > 

Fallow Won't Work?  It Will If Done Correctly >Dear crew: >>Greetings. >Unfortunately, ich and velvet has come back into my system again... I have tried fallowing, 3 times and never succeed. >>My bet is you didn't fallow long enough for ich, and fallowing alone isn't sufficient for velvet, it's QUITE tenacious, often requiring strict sterilization procedures. >So this time I am going to try garlic and hyposalinity together. >>Um, alright.  I'll be honest, the ONLY efficacy proven for garlic is antibiotic, with *some* shown to be slightly effective against internal (gut) parasites.  If you're dealing with ich and velvet, I'm going to strongly recommend you use formalin--search our site for usage and proper procedures.   >I just wanna know, how far I should lower the salinity. >>Hyposalinity (only to be used with vertebrates!), in order to be effective against ICH, is 1.010.  With velvet (Amyloodinium), you MUST combine with freshwater dipping, as well as medication. >My tank now is 1.025, and I have a lot of inverts in the tank. >>You cannot hope to treat the fish in this tank properly. >I have cleaner shrimps, clams, mushrooms, leather coral, devil hand, hammer-head, galaxy, finger, polyps, bubble coral... >>None of it matters, the fish MUST be removed to a quarantine system.  The tank must be left fallow for a minimum of 6 weeks, in my honest opinion (8 are better), and when dealing with velvet it may ultimately be necessary to go even longer, or considering stripping it down.  Again, search our site for more comprehensive information. >In the LFS they recommend 1.020 lowest for my inverts... is that true and is that enough to help my fish to rid ich?? >>I wouldn't risk the inverts to a salinity that low, quite honestly, I think they were trying to help you with the course you seem determined to take.  I believe you'll lose invertebrates taking this route.  Also, there is NO WAY it will have enough of an effect on the ich parasite to be anything but stressful for the inverts.  As I stated previously, with ich it needs to be 1.010 (can be a bit lower, but be careful to observe the fish).  Since you're having such trouble with this hypo/fallow thing, I suggest you also search for articles by Steven Pro and Terry Bartelme (I believe Terry addresses garlic use). >Also, the product kick-ich, is it useful? >>No, it's useLESS. >Or safe for the coral described? >>I wouldn't waste the money or the time going with what's proven to not work in the manner claimed.  Please, don't treat in the system holding the corals and other invertebrates. >Second, if I want to get rid of ich once and for all, should I sell everything and start all over again??? >>No, you need to do this and do it right.  I have no idea how long you've fallowed, but this may be part and parcel of your problem. >The thing is I am really sick and tired about this parasite, and it cost me, both time and money, and fish loss through copper treatment in QT... >>I understand, but there really is a way around this all too common malady. >If so, can I reuse the live rock??  Another way to rephrase this is, will the live rock and coral contain the parasites?? >>Yes it will, which is why fallowing for a long enough period of time is so important. >Lastly, if I start a new system, should I use a product called Araga-live?  Is the live sand in a bag... also, if I want to seed a QT, what should I use instead of fish? shrimps? live rock? >>I wouldn't spend the money on it myself, of course, I'm a frugal woman.  If you wish to begin cycling a q/t system, use fresh shrimp, enough to get the ammonia up (just a piece or two should do, depending on size of q/t). >Eric >>Marina

Fallow Won't Work? Revisited, This SHOULD Have Worked  >Dear Marina:  I have used strict procedures in fallowing given by you guys. 1st and 2nd time is 2 months, then last may is 3.5 month.  >>Wow, even though I don't know who, exactly, advised you, I would REALLY think that the ich would have been licked by that long a time without hosts.  >The last time I actually changed 70% of my tank's water, and lowered the salinity to 1.008 , and nothing in the tank for 3 weeks, then slowly raise salinity back to 1.020 and re-introduce the live rock and inverts, treats all fish with copper and sale it back to my LFS, then fallow for 3.5 months.  >>Um.. a little confused here.. you made the tank completely bare? What did you do with the live rock and inverts while "fallowing" the tank? Did the person who advised you inform you that "fallowing" only means no vertebrate life? I mean, if you were going to go to all that trouble (removing most if not all life), why didn't you just sterilize it? As I understand you, you treated your fish with copper, then sold them back to the shop, leaving the system fishless for 3.5 months, yes?  >Well, anyway, I think the only way to get this once and for all, is to start all over.  >>That is a very tough pill to swallow, mate.  >..or accept the way it is... I mean, the fish tank now is not that bad, and it is not a big outbreak, but it is very discouraging to see my own tank kill itself... and the struggle is my corals is all fine!...  >>Again, very tough.  >Really do not want to move the existing coral and risk of taking the coral/inverts life with 2 fish...  >>Oh my, all this over two fish? I must admit, were I in your position I'd have a hard time accepting this. But I would also go the formalin route. I'm wondering if the C. irritans and Amyloodinium aren't staying rooted in the live rock and substrata associated with your corals, too. If it is, there is essentially no practical/safe means of treating. Very tough, very difficult.  >last questions:  If I want to reuse all inverts and live rock, how long do I have to make the tank fallow?? 1 year?  >>I am honestly at a loss on the answer to that. I mean, good lord, 3 months, that's twelve weeks, REALLY should have taken care of it! It's just ridiculous that this stuff is SO virulent. One year, I suppose, I mean why not? You've been battling like all get out with this, what's a year at this point?  >If I want to have 2 fish tank separate, 1 for coral nibbling fish and 1 for reef, should I connect the water in both tanks together or keep them separate? Eric  >>I would keep them separate myself, or at least "separately". That is to say that, should you again experience troubles with the fish you want to be able to isolate the reef system from the fish system. However, in a commercial setting, in my own experience reef/invert systems are ALWAYS run separately from the fish systems. I am wishing you the very best of luck defeating this problem, it's got to be absolutely MADDENING. Marina

More on What it Means to "Fallow"  >Dear Marina:  >>Yes Eric?  >Well. Your fallowing means to keeps all life away? Not just fish??  >>JUST fish, all vertebrate life, which means that all Invertebrate life is not included in this. This is because, as I'm sure you know, the parasitic organisms that plague hobbyists' fishes cannot infect invertebrates (specifically of course the C. irritans and Amyloodinium).  >Please tell me just fish because I will be absolutely mad.  >>Absolutely positively JUST FISH.  >And if so, should I keep the corals and live rock in a separate system?? But the thing is, if I keep the live rock and corals in a separate system, will it store the ich though?  >>You're having terrible problems eradicating these buggers, and honestly, YES, the ich and velvet can likely find safe harbor within the live rock and coral skeletons (the exposed/non-fleshed bits). Frankly, I've only run across one other person who's fallowed their system longer than my suggested 8 weeks and still not found relief, and they did NOT go 14 weeks as you have. I'm wondering if brief freshwater dips for the live rock and corals might not be a good idea, but I would have to consult one of the coral specialists we have to be sure it wouldn't ultimately do more harm than good. I can tell you that when dealing with a very unwelcome species, the mantis shrimps, I've had folks take each bit of live rock, and separately dip them in fresh water, which usually QUICKLY drives out the shrimp. They immediately remove it back to saltwater and no harm is done. I also know that many folks will give their newly acquired corals a quick freshwater dip in order to reduce likelihood of introducing plague Nudibranchs, flatworms, and the like, but this is something I've never done and cannot properly advise you on (other than, of course, the usual admonition to match for temperature and pH). I will bcc some others on our crew who may have better experience with this, let's see if they have some insight to offer. Marina 

Ich Outbreaks  Hello WetWebMedia Crew. I've gotta say, awesome and extremely informative website - best I've seen and probably best that I'll ever see. I also had Bob's book and it is the best as well.  I had a few questions but the whole story first. I've had my 50 gal. tank since June now and around the August, I had an ich outbreak. It wiped out about $200 worth of fish and I was extremely sad. Now I have a 10 gal. quarantine tank. I left my main tank empty for over 4weeks and then introduced a pair of maroon clowns and they've been fine (no ich). When I went to Hawaii in mid September, I bought a yellow tang and quarantined him/her for over two weeks with no signs of parasites. Once I put him/her into the tank, the tang broke out with ick (Cryptocaryon-not Amyloodinium). I bought a cleaner wrasse since I did not want to medicate the tank and it did it's job but eventually died due to a lack of food source. I also have a CSL UV sterilizer on 24/7 since I had the outbreak. After about a week, I saw a few ich looking salt specks on the tang again so I decided to dose the tank with Copper Power to a level of .15 ppm. The LFS said it will not kill my LR at that level and it didn't according to my last last test which was two days ago. That was about 3 weeks ago. Since then, no ich, spots, etc and I placed activated carbon for about 1 week to help remove the copper. I also have a 1" electric blue-legged hermit and three emerald green Mithrax crabs as well since the beginning of my tank and the copper did not affect them. This past Monday, I bought a Pygmy/Cherub angel at my LFS that had been in quarantine (Copper Power in tanks) for two weeks. Instead of putting it in my QT, I placed it directly into my main tank. Just yesterday, I saw that it had a few specks on its fins and scared that it might be ich, I decided to dose the tank again with Copper Power. I also saw a few specks on the tang. I turned off my Aqua C Remora skimmer since I didn't want the copper to "precipitate," if it does that. This morning, the specks on the fins of the angel were gone but 1 or 2 specks were left on its body. Hopefully all specks will be gone in a few days. Now, my question: If I lower the salinity to 1.10-1.09, to help get rid of the ich outbreak, will my crabs be affected and die due to the change?  <you do not need to lower it that low drop it to around 1.016 it is not good for inverts and there are other options try a neon goby very effective cleaners and will eat regular food too. Also try feeding garlic supplement there are a few on the market now Kent makes one and eco-systems makes one both work well. last search on this site for ich you will get a bunch of other info. thanks for the question Mike H>  I know that lowering the salinity is not good for "inverts" but does that include crabs and hermits. Would it be wise to keep the copper levels at around .15 AND lower the SG or would that be too much stress??? I also read that angels don't do well with copper but my Cherub was very healthy and active.  The specs on my tank are: 50 gal, ~65 lbs LS, ~75 lbs LR (30 Fiji, 45 Marshall Island), Aqua Clear Aquatics Pro 75 Gal Wet/Dry with media removed and in the process of adding broken LR into the sump (thanks to the info on your site), CSL 9 watt UV Sterilizer, 250 watt 10K metal halide + 55 watt PC Actinic, and Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, and Nitrate-30 ppm (I'm assuming because of the prefilters and media being too efficient). Any suggestions and advise will be greatly appreciated.

Ich's Everywhere, Ich's Never Done >Hey guys- you run a truly AMAZING site... OK, I'm new to this (but doing a LOT of reading and researching), and I'm getting my real trial by fire (ick). Here is what I had going: -70 gallon FOWLR tank with 20 gallon sump, chem/mech filter and protein skimming in the sump. -conditions were 78 degrees, 1.023 salinity, 8.2pH, Nitrate 3, nitrite and ammonia 0, alkalinity high. -Fish were 1 yellow stripe clown, 1 harlequin tusk, mated pair of dwarf fuzzy lionfish, 1 clown trigger, 1 tang, 1 tiny snowflake moray. Here is exactly what happened: everything was hunky dory until I STUPIDLY added the unquarantined Tuskfish it had a couple of tail spots (looked like the freshwater ich I've seen), so I pulled him to my 10 gallon QT tank, but only after he had been in the tank for a day or three (DOH!)...was hoping he had not shed to the main tank yet >>I think you already know that's a hopeless hope. He looked healthy, so I didn't treat him, thought it was "shipment-itis" as documented elsewhere on your site, so I let him be though slowly lowered his salinity to 1.016. >>Good move, but not enough.  Need to go 1.010. >He got much better and seemed ich free, so I felt "wow this was easy" (calm before the storm).  Then the tusk went from symptom free to covered with spots in 12 hours.  12 hours later he looked terrible, barely swimming, covered in goo, appeared to be dying.   Simultaneously, I noticed ich spots in my main display tank on my clown trigger and tang ("Damn, it got out before I pulled the tusk!"). >>Predictable, my friend. >Did a bunch of research, so I put the tang, clownfish, trigger and Tuskfish in the 20 gallon sump (after FW dips for everyone but the Tuskfish who went nuts when I tried), which I disconnected from the main display tank, and am dosing (and testing) with copper as a 2nd hospital tank. >>Ok.. but not hyposalinity? The moray and the pair of fuzzy dwarf lionfish are in my 10 gallon hospital tank with a bubbler and a sponge filter.  No one but the inverts are in the main tank, which will sit and simmer empty for six weeks. >>Best plan. Questions- -Am I doing anything obviously wrong (i.e. fishies with CU that shouldn't be, etc), apart from not initially quarantining like a moron? >>Heh.. no, not obviously.  The sump is effectively separated from the main, and I call it thinking on your feet.  Do plan on many, large water changes, a bit difficult of the sump is on the floor (that whole siphon thing). >What do I do with the lionfish/snowflake moray?  They are now in no treatment with no symptoms (no spots yet)...do I let them be? >>You can, but I would let them be in hyposaline environment, just to be safe. Formalin?  Malachite green?  What would you suggest exactly? >>Formalin before the M.G., have it on hand.  Prefer Cupramine over Coppersafe (prefer SeaChem products), have it with quality test kit on hand.  Siphon bottoms of tanks daily, if the tusk is showing lots of spots then just f/w dip him in a larger container.  If breathing heavily you can add Methylene blue to help, or H202 (IIRC, 1tsp/gallon) for O2 saturation help. >Can one even SEE ich on a fuzzy lionfish?   >>As surely as one can see it on a porcupine puffer, I'm sure.  Depends on how good your EYES are, though. >Will I even know if the world's smallest moray and fuzziest lionfish ever get ich? >>I think so, if by no other indicators than the other obvious (outside of spots, the heavy breathing, the excessive body slime, so on). >How much water change do I need to do to keep ammonia down in the Cu tank?   >>That would be dependent upon test results.  Count on around 50%. >What level of ammonia is "ok?" >>When the animals are stressed in this manner, NONE. >Should the tang (with his ich) be in there with the Cu? >>Yes. >What about his tummy fauna? >>I've not witnessed this oft mentioned (though only on our site) phenomenon.  I HAVE witnessed scads of tangs being coppered at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, they didn't suffer for it.  If you're not comfortable coppering anyone, then go with formalin. >Should I run the protein skimmer in the 20 gallon copper tank? >>No. >If not, how do I oxygenate? >>Surface agitation; it's the only place where the CO2-O2 exchange actually takes place anyway. >Thanks... I have no idea how I coped before I found your site (though I have all your more basic books too).  Noah >>Well, somehow you did, eh?  Marina

Ich's Everywhere, Ich's Never Done II >Lionfish and moray eels are ok in hyposalinity?   >>Yes.  Have yet to read or hear (empirical/anecdotal evidence) otherwise. >I thought I read somewhere that things like eels will pump up and explode (figuratively if not literally) in hyposaline environments? (or is that just rays skates and sharks?) >>I've not experienced this, have never used hyposalinity for rays/sharks. >Also I guess I should hyposalinize while coppering the Cu tank? >>You could, though I would try hypo first, then move to copper if it doesn't work.  Some fish won't be able to handle both hypo and copper (dependent more on individual health).  Do search Terry Bartelme's articles. >Did you mean 50% water changes DAILY?   >>If that's what it takes to keep ammonia to zero, then that is what it takes.  As I said, it's dependent, many factors to consider. >Yikes that's going to be a pain in the butt...(and yes the sump is on the floor, so siphoning involves laying on the floor). >>Yes, that will be a pain.  You might wish to find a small external pump to help. >Once I'm done coppering all the tanks (2 weeks) but I'm waiting for the 4 more weeks it tanks my main tank to run fallow, is it ok to put fresh live rock in the QT tanks so they can run with much fewer water changes? >>Yes.  However, 4 weeks fallow can often NOT be long enough.  Do it right the first time, go with 6 weeks as a minimum. >Thanks again! N >>You're welcome.  Marina

Ich! >Hi, >>Hi. >I have a yellow tang and Firefish that appeared to have white spots, I think they get "Ich" so I put them in Q-tank. >>Good move, as long as ALL vertebrates are put into the q/t. >But why those spots appear more in the morning and almost disappear during the day? >>You know, you're not the first person who has observed this, but I don't have an answer for you.  You may wish to Google "Terry Bartelme" and see if he has anything to say regarding this phenomenon. >Should I use copper-based medication, is it safe for both my yellow tang and Firefish? >>It is safe, yes, but I would try freshwater dipping and hyposalinity first.  I would go with Cupramine by SeaChem, rather than the popular Coppersafe, though.  There is also the option of formalin. >Last time I use it for my blue tang and clown, their condition (skin & fins) got worse and died in 2 days. >>Not knowing more about that previous situation, I can't say what factors can be attributed to their demise. >Please advice, thank you. >>Hyposalinity works best at a level of 1.010-1.009 (sometimes even less).  Be sure to soak their foods in a good supplement, I really like Selcon.  This is to ensure they've got good nutrition going for them as well.  Be sure the q/t bottom is bare so you can siphon the bottom daily to help remove cysts.  Marina

Attacking Ich! I bought a coral beauty a week and a half ago.  It looked great in the store, and initially after getting it home.  I freshwater dipped it for 4 and a half minutes and put it in a 10 gal quarantine, and began the whole waiting thing. <Good to hear that!> I noticed about 3 days after getting it home that it had a dusting of tiny white spots. I guessed this was ich, and planned to get medicine the next day. When I got up the next day, the spots were gone. I figured maybe the fish was just stressed from the dip?  I did not medicate. It looked fine (no spots) for about a week, but yesterday I noticed that it once again had a dusting of white spots.  I gave him a 9 and a half minute freshwater dip (ph and temp adjusted), and totally drained the q tank.  I washed out the quarantine tank, tossed all filter media, and cleaned everything well with tap water.  I then refilled the q tank with water from my main tank.  The q tank has an 8 watt UV on it (I know you are not big fans of these, but I had it hanging around). <I like UV- If you have it, use it!> Should I do anything else to ensure no ich comes back?  More dips?  Medication? <You could continue the FW dips, and if they appear to be working, you don't need to medicate. I'm a big fan of copper sulphate as the medication of choice, but this stuff is not well-tolerated by Centropyge angelfishes. A formalin-based product is a better choice for this species, if you want to go the medication route. You could also employ 100% water changes/bottom siphoning in the quarantine tank, in the hope of removing all of the cysts/free swimming stages of the Cryptocaryon parasite from the tank...> I can't find medication that has formalin but not malachite green anywhere around here. How long should I wait after all signs of ich are gone before adding him to my main tank? <I'd wait at least 2 weeks, possibly 3 weeks> I have been doing 50% water changes on the q tank every other day, but the nitrite still is usually around 1 ppm.  I know this is not great, but I just don't have time to do water changes every day.   Will this be a problem? <It will not be a source of comfort, for sure! This is one of those rare cases where it may be beneficial to use one of the commercially-available "bacteria cultures" to give a boost to the biological processes that you need to foster...> Any advice you can give on ridding my coral beauty of ich is appreciated.  Thank you, Ken Roe <I hope that these ideas will give you some food for thought. Regards, Scott F.>

Striking Back At Ich... Hi Scott, <Hey there!> Back again! <Glad to have you back!> Follow up to my crypto questions if you are willing. <Sure...> Last time I was thinking maybe the French angel had crypto, but also had this fungussy looking stuff on his fins, and was acting well (eating, breathing normally, no scratching) so thought I would try the cleaner shrimp.  They worked out on him for one morning, but since then either he or they have lost interest. <Well, they will "clean" if and when they "feel like it"...In fact, sometimes the cleaning action never occurs...> Anyway, I finally figured out the fungus like-stuff on his fins. Accidentally ran across it in the FAQs doing a searches on French angels. Almost sure it is Lymphocystis.  The pictures on the site are an exact match. <This malady is generally self-limiting, and often clears up spontaneously without intervention> And the little white specks seemed to disappear, but now they are back, though only at night.  At first I thought it was an FAQ induced hallucination (reading too many, too late at night) but now I am pretty sure and it looks to me like crypto, from what I have read - looks like tiny flecks of sand all over his body. <Sounds like it...good pickup on your part...> Still eats like a pig, still breathing normally, no scratching, but seems to be loosing a little of his normal pep. <Well, the fact that he's eating is a very encouraging sign...> I set up the hospital tank today (airstone, two powerheads with sponge filters from the display, same temp and ph, etc.), and got the copper and test kit. <Good. If you are going to go the copper route, you definitely need to test for copper concentration> I am still reluctant to start with the chemotherapy and have a couple more questions before I begin, if you don't mind. <Sure> 1) If it is crypto, is it unusual for him not to have started acting sick yet? It has been almost two weeks since I first saw (or thought I saw) the spots. <Not necessarily. These fishes are among the least susceptible fishes to disease, and are often the last fishes in a community tank to show signs of disease.> It is possible/likely that the Lymphocystis could manifest itself as little white specks on his body, that only show up at night? <Not really...This malady usually shows up as grayish clumps at the base of the fins...And often disappears as mysteriously as it appears...> 2) Shouldn't other fish (yellow Sailfin, royal Gramma, two false percs, purple Firefish) have shown up with symptoms by now? <With Cryptocaryon, you'd thing so. As previously mentioned, large angels are usually the last fish to show infections. However, there are no guarantees about this...However, the one assumption that you should make (once ich has been diagnosed in the tank) is that everyone has been exposed, and has the potential to become infected...> 3) Assuming that it is crypto, should I just try the QT first with no copper, or quit fooling around and get on with it? <Well, if it were me, and I were a bit reluctant to use copper or other medications, I'd engage in some freshwater dips, followed by a stay in the "hospital tank". It is absolutely possible to cure ich on a fish by keeping it in a bare aquarium and performing 100% water changes (siphoning off the bottom) daily. The theory is that you will be removing the free-swimming and encysted stages of the causative parasite during this process, and eradicate the illness entirely. The other treatment phase is to remove all of the other fishes from the display tank, and allow the parasite population to "crash" for lack of hosts...> 4) Should I leave the other fish in the display until they show signs of something?  If not, is copper O.K. for all these other fish?  Am I going to have to set up multiple QT tanks? (the current one is a 55 gallon). <As above- I'd consider getting all of the fishes out to the "hospital tank" for further observation and possible treatment with one of the techniques that we have discussed> 5) I did not have access to enough R.O. water (still buying it until my RO unit arrives from the states) so I set up with tap water, mixed with about 1/3 RO water, dechlorinated, aerated (overnight), buffered, no nitrates or phosphates.  I am guessing this is O.K. from what I have read but just want to make sure.  No fish have been moved into it yet. <Sounds fine...To be honest with you, the best water for the treatment tank would be water right from the display aquarium. This will cause the least amount of stress for the fishes..> 6)  If I am going for the full-on chemo, does it help to freshwater dip him (them) first, or just right into the QT.  I don't want to add any more stress than necessary, so if it is not additionally therapeutic, don't want to fool with it.  Or maybe start with the dip and quarantine and see how he shakes out? <Well, freshwater dips are definitely a stressful process...the thought is that the parasites on the fish cannot make the osmotic stretch as well as the fish can...I sense a bit of hesitancy on your part to use chemical methods to control the illness, so why not try observation and regular water changes in the "hospital tank" first?> 7) If I am waiting on the copper, but decide to add it later, after the fish is already in the QT, is it o.k. to add directly into the tank (copper sulfate) or do I need to take him out and let it mix first? <You can add it directly into the hospital tank water> Sorry to be so anal/dumb, but I want to do everything I can to make the sure that my treatment is not more deadly than the disease. <Absolutely not dumb...You are 100% right with your concerns. Improperly administered medications can cause more problem than the disease! Make sure that you read up on the disease treatment FAQs on the WWM site...Lots of good information there!> Really appreciate your help.   Thanks, Jim <Best of luck to you, Jim...I'm sure that you're going to be successful here! Regards, Scott F.>

Ich Problems - Hey guys, REALLY impressive site... very very cool... I have: - 75 gallon fish only live rock tank, with (as of right now) 1 Sailfin tang, 1 harlequin Tuskfish, 1 maroon clown, 1 clown trigger, and a pair of dwarf lions. - Water is testing well, 77 degrees, salinity at 1.023, everything steady, nitrates of 2, nitrite, ammonia 0, <And pH???> One question that I've got that I haven't seen addressed - the harlequin Tuskfish got introduced with no quarantine just yesterday (I am so evil! I'll never do it again! Agh!... man have I learned my lesson!)... Today I am noticing very limited spotting like salt granules... think its marine ich (Agh!)... <Quite possible.> I planning on pulling and treating him, but am hoping that I won't have to do a full treatment for ich for the tank, other fishes, etc, as perhaps the Tuskfish won't have had time to shed his ich yet? <The Cryptocaryon parasites are in a constant state of reproduction. If you introduced a fish with ich, then it's a pretty sure bet some of those parasites are now reproducing in your sand bed.> What do you think of that plan? <It's worth a try, but do keep an eye on everyone else.> Please please say I can possibly avoid the whole fallow treatment... <Not going to say it, you may yet have to go this route.> Thanks so much! Terrified of my first marine fish disease, just as things were getting so good! <Quarantine, my friend, and stick to it.> Noah <Cheers, J -- >

- Is This What I think it Is? - Hi, I am new to the hobby and have had my 75 gallon tank for about 3 months with about 40 pounds of live rock (still adding), a 1yellow tang, 1blue hippo tang, 3 clownfish, and a cleaner shrimp. Just recently though I noticed that my hippo tang has whit spots here and there about 10 or so.  I think it could be ich. But he is a great eater, no scratching, heavy breathing etc..  Do you know what this may be. <Really sounds like ich to me. Hippo tangs are often the first to show these types of problems. I'd give a real good check on your water parameters, make certain there is nothing that would create additional stress on the animals. Keep a good eye on the fish to make sure the symptoms don't get worse.> Thanks a lot Scott <In the meanwhile, give these articles a read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >

Ich thanks thus far. I just got through putting all fish in my 30g q-tine. I dipped them in freshwater and methyl blue for about 15 minutes. I also put stress coat in the q-tine tank, will this affect the copper once I put it in?<NOPE> also I need more cover for them, would a piece of base rock be ok with copper safe?<I would just use PVC piping> or will it absorb the copper?<it will absorb the copper> you said I need low levels of copper for a butterfly and a tang, could you define that please? <I would have the copper levels around 1.25-1.75 ppm with the tang and b/f> my plan with the copper is to put it in, in the next couple of days, am under the impression that copper only kills free swimming parasites, if that's true shouldn't I wait a couple days to allow the cyst to fall off and become free swimming or should I dose immediately? <The copper should kill ALL of the parasites>I also read on your website that copper treatment was for two weeks max, is that enough time to eradicate the parasite completely?<It should be> if not what should I do? thanks<good luck, IanB>

- Ich and New Tuskfish - I've read everything on Tuskfish and ich on your site, and would love to get your thoughts on my dilemma - I got a new harlequin Tuskfish, apparently very healthy and ick free, and introduced him without quarantine, may I burn in hell forever, ill never do that again...had trouble sleeping last night I was so bothered by what happened (ok I may have over-reacted)... My conditions are: 75 gallon fish only live rock (110 lbs liverock, some live sand) - 2 dwarf lions, 1 maroon clown, 1 Tuskfish, 1 Sailfin tang, 1 clown trigger - 77degrees, 1.023 salinity, ph 8.1, nitrate 2ppm, ammonia and nitrite zero, alkalinity 4mg/ml (cant remember the alk unit, but not dKH) - protein skimming, hang on filtering <My friend, your tank is full... you may need to do something besides hang on filtration for these mess makers.> A day after the Tuskfish arrived, I noticed that he had what looked like light ick on his tail... I know he didn't have it 24 hours previous b/c I looked really closely when he was in the shipping bag when I bought him... I freaked out because I don't want him infecting all my other fish... right now he is in my 10g quarantine/hospital tank (where he should have started), with a sponge filter, a few lbs of live rock, and some charcoal.  All the other fish are chugging away like normal in my main tank. I emailed my question in last night, but have since studied your Tuskfish section and am a bit more confused... My questions are: - Should I treat the Tuskfish in the hospital tank with Copper, give him a FW dip, or what? <I'd start with the dip - if you do get to the point where copper is necessary, you'll need to remove that live rock.> Should I let him just chill and relax for a few weeks to see if he kicks it on his own? <Well... a few spots on a fin are really nothing to be super concerned about. I'd leave the fish in quarantine for now - as you observed, this is where you should have started - and keep the fish under observation. My prediction is that this won't get any worse.> - Is it OK to leave the liverock in the hospital tank during copper? <No. Will absorb copper and hamper your ability to get a proper therapeutic dose. Do use caution when using copper around Tuskfish - they are known to develop blindness from copper overdoses.> Thought it might help with ammonia... <Address the ammonia with daily large water changes with new water.> - After the hospital, does that liverock get tossed, or is it safe to reintroduce to the main tank? <As long as you don't dose it with copper.> - Does the copper get removed by the charcoal, and therefore should I remove the charcoal? <Yes and yes.> - Are Tuskfish hypersensitive to copper if dosed and tested for properly (saw some mentions of that in your site)? <I wouldn't say 'hyper'-sensitive, but will go blind if exposed to too much copper or for too long.> What are my non-copper ick treatment on Tuskfish options? <Formalin and malachite green mix.> - If I don't treat him at all, just let him wait, when do I know he is safe to reintroduce? <A couple of weeks to a month.> Thanks so much!  You guys are my saviors... Noah <Cheers, J -- >

-Live rock, Ick, and dips- I have a question I was hoping somebody could help me with. <Sure thing, Kevin here> I have a 75 gallon FO tank with 90 lbs of live rock. My fish are a semilarvatus butterfly, a hippo tang, a Kole tang, a maroon clownfish and a neon goby, (also some snails and cleaner shrimp.) The hippo has medium stages of ick, pretty well covered but still acting and eating normal.  I'm considering a few options, including trying to catch them (I'm sure an all day ordeal) and quarantine (but I only have a 10 gallon quarantine). <May be a good time to upgrade to something like a 30 or a 20 long> The other thing I'm considering is can I remove all the live rock and give it a freshwater dip <You'll do nothing more than kill many sponges and pods, it will not eliminate the ich unless you killed everything else in the process.>, and then give the fish a freshwater dip, and siphon out all the sand, and then return everything back to the main tank?  Doesn't a freshwater dip kill the parasite within minutes, and if so would it would on the live rock as well. <Freshwater dips help kill off some parasites, but they won't get them all. Even after a prolonged dip, fish can still have ich brewing on their outsides.> Also would a 10 minute dip to the rock kill off beneficial biological bacteria. <Not only would it disrupt the biological filter, but you'd get a large surge of ammonia from all the other stuff that was killed in the process, resulting in high nitrite levels as well. Don't do it! Get the tang out, if all the fish are healthy, and this fish is just doing what hippo tangs do, the other fish should be fine. Quarantine till a month after all signs of the parasite are gone. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks a lot for your help Anthony

Ich thanks for the reply. yeah I've been treating in my main tank. I know people who have done it with results.<agreed, it does work, it is just unhealthy for the fish in the long run. Would you take prescription medicine every day "just in case"? eventually it will cause health problems. correct?> I have some copper safe and a 30g q-tine tank, but no test kit. can I use copper anyway?<yes, but best to get a copper kit ASAP and follow the directions very careful> could I fresh water dip the fish for about ten minutes and then put them in the 30g with Greenex?<NO GREENEX!> and have no more ich as long as I leave the main tank idle for a month? also I started feeding the tang more Spirulina and he seemed to be a lot more healthy, <good> but the butterfly will only eat stationary foods like oysters, mussels and clams.<oh> it will never eat floating food. I would like to give him a more varied diet.<try attaching veggies...or Nori to a clip, Good luck, IanB> any suggestions?

Ich ok I got my 30g q-tine tank and am prepared to treat it with copper safe.<good> my plan is to take water from the system and put it in the 30g to help acclimate better.<good idea also> and I was thinking of a fresh water dip with formalin,<works well. but I would use Methylene blue instead of the 37% formalin bath> for about 10 min.s. then they go in with the copper.<yes, but use low levels of copper> I don't have a test kit at the present and have one on the way. am guessing just following the directions will be fine for a couple days. but am confused about lowing the spg. is copper not effective on its own? <you don't have to lower the spg, you can just treat with copper>I will raise the temperature but am not sure about the lowing the spg because I don't have a great hydrometer.<then don't lower the spg> also should I be worried about the raccoon butterfly and tang with copper?<yes, I would treat with low levels of copper, good luck, IanB> thanks Brandon

The Two-Front Approach To Fighting Ich Hi Scott (if your are doing your thing tonight): <Ya got me!> Bonehead calling.  Need some help. <LOL...Hope to be of service!> Got a French angel a little over a week ago (goes by the name of batman according to the 3 yr. old). <Three-year-olds KNOW these things!:) > About 5".  Amazing fish.  Will already eat out of my hand. <Awesome!> Put him in QT, but it is was a 10 gallon tank, he looked fine, was eating like a wild man, but seemed very cramped (guess you know where this is going).  After a week popped him into the display.  Two days later, what looked like fungus on two fins.   <Uh-Oh...ya jumped the gun, huh...?> Next day, at night, what looked like little specks of sand doting his body.  Better in the a.m., bought Lysmata grabhami. <A good biological cleaner...not a bad start...> Batman went straight for it, got underneath a rock with it and begged for cleaning, but so far no luck.  Specks back again tonight (btw, can only see them on his bask body under the metal halides, to give you some sense of the size).   Read through all the black so guessing from that it's crypt.  Does crypt also manifest as a cottony looking white gunk on the fins? <No, it does not...You could be looking at a different illness....> Maybe I am misdiagnosing, or maybe he has two different maladies? <Possible....> I think I have actually read too many FAQs and articles (including your "two fronts" which I liked the best) on this subject so want to make sure my plan makes sense, and get any advice you can share. First, bought a bigger QT (50 gallon) so the fish(es) will be a little happier. <An excellent idea...> questions on course of action: 1) Batman is acting fine.  Eating like crazy, has not even attempted to scratch himself (and I have spent a lot of time watching him), eyes are clear, etc.  Should I give him another day or two and see if the shrimp will get his act together or go ahead now with full battle plan? <Well, it's always a good thing when a sick fish eats. As I like to say, "A fish that eats is a fish that lives!". If you are dealing with Cryptocaryon, it's a good idea to start treatment as soon as you make a positive diagnosis.> 2) All the other fish are acting fine.  Not a mark on them (though sounds like just a matter of time before everyone has it, if it is crypt). Was wondering if maybe I am catching it before it enters its free swimming stage (if he has it) and maybe nipping further infection in the bud, so maybe just start with a QT of the angel and see how the others do?  Or everybody out of the pool now? (yellow tang, two false percs, royal Gramma, purple Firefish, which will take total rock work dismantle job to get him out). <Gulp...I know- a royal pain in the rear! However, once this parasite gets in your tank, it's IN your tank...and can be really tough to eradicate. Even though the other fishes are not showing signs of the illness at this point- they have been exposed, and the potential exists that they will contract it...Better to err on the side of caution, and, at the very least, remove the fishes to a separate tank for observation-and treatment, if it becomes necessary...> 3) As far as treatment, my plan consists of filling the QT tank about half full to start, half tank water, have newly made, and add more buffered RO water to help dilute wastes and slowly bring down the specific gravity (currently .025).  I think I got this idea from something you wrote.  No lower than about .018, then 25% water changes every other day, assuming everything tests O.K.  Slowly raise temp from current 78 to about 82.  Putting in a powerhead with a sponge filter from the main tank.  This sound O.K.? <Sounds good....Hyposalinity treatment can be successful if performed carefully. I am not a huge fan of it, myself, but quite a few hobbyists use the technique. If you can treat successfully, without harsh medications, all the better...> Also, how long does it take for the sponge in my display to collect a good coating of denitrifying bacteria?  I just cleaned them yesterday with tap water.   <At least a few days...You may want to also "seed" the treatment tank with a commercial nitrifying bacteria preparation...> 4)  Fresh water dip, 5 minutes, nothing added (Meth blue has not arrived yet).  This is another area where I have read a number of different opinions on the site and wondering which way to go.  Anthony says just doing the FW dips and vacuuming out the bottom of the tank everyday to suck up cysts will get rid of the bug in a couple of weeks. <Anthony is 100% correct! This technique is a very viable treatment regimen. However, you need to be religious about the siphoning. It must be performed every day...In fact, 100% water changes may be the best way to go...That's why environmental consistency is very important...> Most everyone else seems to favor copper.  If I go for just the dipping/vacuuming,  how frequently should I do the dips?  Daily? If I see the spots reappear? Is 5 minutes (same temp, ph, etc.) long enough? <I'd do them daily for at least a week, and I'd go for 8-10 minutes, if the fish will tolerate it. Anything less than 5 minutes is not really beneficial...> Should I just go for the copper (the copper scares me a little, but if it's what will cure him faster/better will do it)? <I am a big fan of copper sulphate, but it must be administered in conjunction with regular water testing to assure the correct level of copper. Please be sure to follow the medication manufacturer's instructions to the letter regarding dosages, etc.. Alternatively, you could utilize a formalin-based product, with similar precautions taken, in terms of following the instructions!> 5)  Have read some fish are very sensitive to copper.  Bob's book says this particular Angel can take it. <It can, but do monitor, as outlined above...> What about Zebrasomas?  Sounded from what I read that it could give him some gastro trouble. <Exactly- the intestinal fauna that live in the tang could be damaged, creating great difficulty for the fish when digesting food...Copper treatment needs to be quick and precise with tangs. Long term exposure is a potential problem...> Assuming probably not a good idea for the Firefish either (scaleless)? I suppose if everyone has to go QT I could put the Firefish and yellow tang in the 10 gallon with no copper, although will still face the cramped quarters issue. <But better than leaving them in the display, IMO...> Sorry to run on for so long.  Of course my preference would be to wait it out a little and see if the shrimp, water changes, and any other course of action I can do in the display will tip the balance in my favor and avoid what I am sure must be a stressful ordeal (for me and him), but don't want to be dumb(er) about this either.   <I completely understand. I don't relish the idea of breaking down the tank to get the fish out, but, at the very least, you should treat the obviously sick angel. In the end, I strongly advise you to try the "two front" approach that I advocate, removing all of the fishes-sick or not- for observation and/or treatment (if necessary), and leaving the display tank "fallow" for at least a month...This may "crash" the parasite population, providing the fishes with a much better chance of resisting the disease when re-introduced...> Thanks for all your help and for all the incredible resources on WWM.  Truly a remarkable website.  Too bad I did not follow the great advice re 3-4 week QT period that has been drummed into my head over and over.  Another lesson learned the hard way. <Sometimes, that's the best way to learn a lesson! You're doing fine! We're glad to be here for you to lend an occasional hand...Learning the hard way is how most of us got our hobby experience!> Best regards, Jim <And best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

Sick of Ich--Hippo Tang >Hi, thanks for your wonderful website, this is always a good source of knowledge!! >>Hello, you're welcome, we're glad it's of good use for yourself and others. >I have moved my 50 gal reef tank from my parents' house to my apartment 1 week ago.  All my livestock are fine except my hippo tang.  It was showing some sign of stress since the first day at my apartment.   >>Alright, could it have gotten chilled during the move?  This can bring on that ich pretty badly, especially with fish such as tangs. >It have get worst and last Friday I have found some ick on it.  So I have gave to it a fresh water bath with bleu Methylene. >>Good course of action, however, it may need to be placed in a hospital tank using hyposalinity (1.010). >Since that time my tang is always hiding and don't eat anymore. What could I do for him now?  I really don't want to lose him... Steve Timmons >>Set up a hospital tank with heater and some filtration, and acclimate the fish over the next two days to a specific gravity/salinity level of 1.010.  Keep him there for at least two weeks at that salinity level.  Once he's cleared, keep him in quarantine for 30 days.  Offer him a good variety of foods, perform as many water changes as needed to keep the water quality very high, and this, hopefully, will do the trick.  Marina

- Here we go again - Ich - Hi Guys, It's been a relatively long time since we corresponded and here I am again with an outbreak of Ich in my fish only marine system.  I have followed your instructions by the book, water parameters are Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Ph 8.2, Nitrate <5ppm, salinity 1.20.  I ran the tank fallow during January & February and have quarantined each addition for 2-3 weeks.  I have a chiller on the system so the water temp doesn't vary, I have power backup systems so the pumps never stop working and I do a 10% -15% water change twice a month with premixed, aerated, temperature & PH controlled RO/DI water.  I run a separate filter with carbon & Purigen, I have a UV filter and Euro-reef protein filter, in addition to my wet/dry.  My 110 gallon tank is relatively peaceful with 2 angels, 2 tangs, hawk, clown fish, & flying fish, most of them small to medium in size.  What more can I do to prevent Ich (which I haven't seen since I ran fallow) more importantly, how should I treat the fish (scribble angel & hippo tang are infected)? <These two fish are poster-children for stress-induced ich. I'd be looking for other factors that could be producing the stress. It seems to me that after running your tank fallow in the past your tank should be relatively disease free, but that really won't stop a fish with a compromised immune system from getting sick. Likewise, I would also check your UV - make sure the flow rate through it is sufficient to kill protozoans. If it is plumbed in your return loop, then the flow rate is likely too high. You should put the UV in it's own return loop with a dedicated pump.> Should I use hyposalinity in the main system to cure these and prevent the spread, or should I remove them and treat with Hypo or copper in the qt? <I would start with pH-adjusted, freshwater dips - I'm not really fond of hyposalinity as a stand-alone treatment. Hyposalinity is an additional source of stress and not as effective as say copper in quarantine would be. Again, I'd start by looking for other sources of stress in your system. Perhaps an additive, something about your water changes... something that triggers the ich outbreaks. Simply listing all the things that are right about your system will lull you into a false sense of security. You need to look for other issues.> I would really appreciate your opinion since this is really driving me insane. Thanks again Joe <Cheers, J -- >

Pipefish in or out Hi Guys , Hope your all well, <Yes, thank you> I have a query that I would like your advice on if you would not mind. I have had an outbreak of  white spot on my Sailfin tang (This will teach me to quarantine all fish ) .I have tried a  treatment called Octozin, which is 'reef safe' and I did use with no problems with my coral. The white spot  did die off for a while but soon came back more vigorously and on some other fish as well. I have decided to try and rid this pest once and for all by separating all the fish  and leaving the display tank for 4-5 weeks to run fallow . The thing is I have a Doryrhamphus excisus which I have had for quite a while. It seems to thrive in the tank without separate feeding from me. I don't want to remove this fish from the main display simply because I don't want it to starve in the quarantine tank, as well as my peppermint shrimp and snails. The question is , is this wise in regarding my aim of eradicating the parasite from my tank, and is this fragile pipefish susceptible to the disease as much as any other. <Yes, unfortunately... tube-mouthed fishes, the various pipes and seahorses are susceptible to the usually scourges of marine parasitic disease. Leaving your Doryrhamphus in the tank will serve as a host for the problem. It too must be removed> One last question is regard to filtration in the quarantine tank. Using a copper based remedy should I use some of the mature filter media from the main display filtration as the filter media...or use none and rely on regular weekly water changes with a power jet for movement. Hope you can help Many thanks for your past and present advice Rob (UK) <I would use some of the filter media to start with... monitor ammonia and either have new media (not infested from the problem tank) or culture media and new water on hand for periodic water changes. Bob Fenner>

Ich ick is killing me and my fish. I've broke down my tank before for 45 days and that's a pain with a 240g and 200lbs of live rock, its a fish only.<yea it is a pain> had no signs of disease, so I put my fish back in and its back. its been back for about a month. so I went to the fish store and the guy actually talked me out of spending a hundred dollars on a bigger quarantine tank and told me to use Greenex.<bad idea..> he said he uses it and always has great results as do his costumers. so I've been putting it in and it has seemed to be helping.<I hope you are not dumping this toxic stuff in your main system!!> I know it takes a while to break all the cycles of the parasite. I only have some Chromis, a regal tang, and red sea raccoon. the tang never seems to mind the treatment but the raccoon always hides the day I treat it. and all my fish seem to be losing the slime coat though, they look dry and flaky.<yup.. I do not use Greenex> so its been hard for me to tell if the ick is on them or not. anyhow they don't look too healthy.<yea Greenex can be very toxic to the fish> they always eat, but the raccoon worries me. does malachite green rid the fish of a slime coat and deteriorate they're fins slightly?<it can> or is the medication simply not working?<well I would use copper sulfate for Ich. And toss the Malachite green in the trash!!> I know its toxic stuff. but it was what I thought was best.<nope.. copper sulfate is the best. I use a product called copper power and it works quite well, but please treat in Qt... and not in your main aquarium (you don't wanna kill the bacteria on the LR.. or have toxic chemicals in their "home"> am almost desperate and if you think there is no hope for the Greenex to work ill go spend the money for a 30g q-tine tank. <YES DO THIS, Have you been treating with Malachite green in the Main System? If so you have made a big mistake and you need to do some water changes ...> or should I stick to what I'm doing?<No do not stick to what you are doing> it was just a huge pain before, I've had the tank for a year and never had fish in it, am sure you understand my problems.<I understand, you must Qt your fish. That is why you are having the ich problems. If your fish were quarantined for 4 weeks prior to arrival... there is a great possibility that they would never get Ich. Good luck and throw that toxic malachite green away. IanB>

- Ich - Hey guys, You have a great site here and as of late is all I read. <I'm glad you find it useful.> I just got a 100gal tank, my friend no longer needed the 100gal and I bought it (fully stocked).  Here are the specs...100gal tank, 30gal sump, skimmer, uv sterilizer, wet/dry 100lbs live sand and 100lbs live rock.  Corals include mushrooms, open brain, and leather corals.  Inverts are a cleaner shrimp about 20 or so hermits a serpent star and a Linckia star and some turbo snails.  I have a Flame Angel, a Scopas Tang, a Hippo tang, a dwarf lion, a scooter blenny, a lawnmower blenny, and a Clarkii clown, and a yellow tail damsel. These fish have been in the tank together as long as I can recall and now the tank has ick.  I think this is from the tear down and setup at my house (the tank had to be moved to bring it over to my house). <I would agree.> I really don't know what to do here.  I can't medicate the tank since it has the corals and live sand and rock, I cant QT the fish since the tank has 100lbs of rock and its impossible to catch the fish and I don't know if its a good idea to take all the rock out. <Have done it myself and it's not fun, but may be necessary. Best to get a flexible 1" drain line and siphon the tank into a couple of garbage cans - is amazing how easy it is to catch fish when you remove one of their degrees of freedom. But still, is really BEST to isolate these fish for direct treatment.> The tank has been setup now at my house for 1 month and was previously up for 2 years. So far this is what I have done.  I have gradually raised the temp to a now steady 82 degrees.  I have read about your hyposalinity procedure and began implementation of that this evening.  Currently after my first salt out fresh water in exchange I have brought the salinity down from 1.023 to 1.021 with a 4 gallon change this evening. <Do be careful - you shouldn't be moving more than 0.001 in a day.> I plan on doing a 4 gal change every night until its at 1.017 which is what I have read is recommended. <I wouldn't go lower than 1.018 - this is going to be especially harsh on your corals and inverts.> Is this a good idea, how long do I keep it down like this. <Again, I wouldn't bother with hyposalinity given the invertebrate life you have in the tank. You will most certainly lose some of it by dropping the salinity this low for even a couple of days. Without the invertebrates, I'd use hyposalinity for as long as two weeks.> Besides what I currently have going on...The UV, the cleaner shrimp, the increased temp and the hyposalinity what else can I do. <Take the fish out, give them a pH-adjusted freshwater dip, and then quarantine them so you can repeat these procedures more easily.> The Hippo Tang has gotten really really bad. <Is the nature of this fish.> And now my flame angel is getting it and the lion is looking really lethargic. <Is the nature of ich - is a parasite with a life cycle which means it will come back again and again until you reduce its numbers.> I don't want to lose all these fish.  Please advise as to how I can treat ick on this fully stocked tank with fish, inverts and corals. <Quite simply, you can't. Please consider individual quarantine.> Thanks! <Cheers, J -- >

- Ich, Forgot to Mention... - *added info.  My water params are all great...ammonia, nitrate nitrite all good and my pH is at 8.3.  I do a 10gal water change every Thursday (I am following the exact regimen the tank has been going thru before)  He said little water changes every week are better than big ones over an extended period of time.   My other question is how effective is a product called Kick-Ick or Rally. <I don't think this stuff is worth the sticker on the bottle, how's that?> I have heard these are both reef safe...but its hard to trust the people at the LFS. <Reef-safe medications come in two flavors - they either aren't actually reef safe or they are completely ineffective against anything but parting you from your money.> I don't buy anything from there without checking online first and I have read mixed reviews on their effectiveness.  But this could be that the person administering it did not do it properly.  If properly used is this ok on my reef tank? <I think both of these fit into the category of stuff that won't hurt your tank, but also won't kill ich.> I am sorry for all the questions, I hope this will help others though in the same boat I am in...a million thanks! <Cheers, J -- >

- Ich, Follow-up - Thank you so much for you help. <My pleasure.> I never thought of removing the water and taking the fish out.  That does seem much easier. <It is... it's still a production, but you can drain the tank in less than 15 minutes and have the fish in hand not much longer after that.> My next question, and last one I promise (I know you guys are busy) Lets say I remove all of the corals and inverts from the tank and set them up in another tank.  I can easily catch 2 star fish, some snails, hermits, a shrimp and obviously picking corals up isn't that hard.  (ahh and I forgot to mention the tube anemone which is in the tank also... that bad boy will need its own tank for isolation if I can do this) Ok, so I take all the corals and inverts out and I place them in another tank and I treat my main tank with the hyposalinity for 2 weeks.  Is this the same as taking the fish out and treating them? <Well... hyposalinity is useful, but on its own I've had very little success [myself] treating a parasitic disease outbreak. I think hyposalinity is useful as part of a 'system' of treatment. And really, a pH-adjusted freshwater dip is really about the right proportion of 'hyposalinity' if you catch my drift. No sense in prolonging stress any longer than you have to so... it's really your call.> If this can/should not be done then I will do the method of draining my tank out (luckily I have lots of trash cans) and catching the fish and putting them in QT. <I would really quarantine the fish - it's your easiest and best way to keep them under close watch and snatch them out should they need additional dips or baths.> I miss my freshwater cichlid days when I could treat with Aquarisol! Aquarisol why have you forsaken the salt water fish keeper????? j/k <It hasn't - the current formulation is copper so you can do that in salt too... and you just might be soon anyway.> Thanks again!!!!! <Cheers, J -- >

Marine ich Sorry about asking a question that more than likely is covered on your site but I have no free time right now to research. I woke up this morning and my coral beauty is covered in small white spots all over his body mainly on his head and fins is it ich?? <Is the most likely culprit but could also be Oodinium.> If it is what is the best way to treat it so I don't cause damage to my reef everybody else in the tank seems fine along with him no change in behavior or anything just white spots is it ich or just what first time I have seen anything like this. <Remove the fish to a quarantine tank and treat there.> I will get to read this later today as the day is full of work and no play so if you can help please do so THANKS A million <Well, I'm sure you can appreciate that I don't have time to pen a complete response to you about this subject. It is in fact so common that we have many pages dedicated to it, and I recommend that you read them at your earliest convenience. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm Don't wait too long to take action on this as ich and Oodinium can become fatal. Cheers, J -- >

Ick timing Hi & help - I'm going to begin a battle with marine ick (ickus annoyis) and would like to ask if the best time to move all the fish from the main tank to the QT tank is after this round of ick infestation drops off the fish. <No time better than right now.> My thinking is if I move the fish when most of the ick has left the fish and begun their tomont stage, then I leave as many as possible in the display tank to die from fallowness, and consequently drag as few as possible into the QT tank. <Possible, but also accept the reality that you will likely be treating the quarantine tank with something harsh that will kill those annoying tomonts... I just don't think it's worth waiting, better to begin getting things over with, if you know what I mean.> Thanks, SLC <Cheers, J -- >

Fighting Ich The Easy Way? I'm starting to feel indebted to you guys for all the help you have given me.  Here is my question for the day.  I have a flame angel in quarantine, about 3 inches long.  He was brought in from Hawaii two weeks ago from LFS. <Excellent fish, excellent procedure, and the best place to get 'em from!> Curious about surroundings, eating some prepared food, nibbling on everything in sight, seemed healthy.  He is now in my quarantine tank, been there for two days, started showing some signs of ich, 5 or 6 spots on him. Do I have to medicate, or can I just siphon 1 or 2 gallons a day from the bottom of the tank, hoping for him to battle this on his own.   <Actually, the procedure is 100% changes, siphoning from the bottom of the bare quarantine tank. By doing this, you're removing any encysted stages of the parasite that may be present. It's not that traumatic, actually, if you are using water from your display tank as the QT water. You're simply replacing the water in the QT with water of the exact same temperature and composition; the same water that the fish will be living in for the rest of his life. Really pretty safe! I'd try this before I'd resort to chemicals, particularly with Centropyge species. Lon-term use of copper is a definite no-no with these guys.> He is still eating.  I don't want to give him a fresh water dip (my usual procedure) because I gave him one when I first got him and he didn't like it, tried to jump, spitting water at surface, etc...  I think that the stress from the dip may have actually triggered the ich. <Possible. Centropyge don't take well to FW dips on occasion! I agree with your decision not to do a dip again.> By the way I don't think I did anything wrong with the first dip, ph adjusted, temp adjusted, aerated R/O water, about 8 min.s long, the same procedure I have used with success on my tangs). <Yep- you did fine. A great procedure; it's just that some fishes don't take well to it!> If you feel I can wait this out, at what point, or what signs would you wait for to determine if I have to take further action?  i.e.: just watch him if he is acting normally with just a few spots, medicate him if he is showing further signs of disease like scratching and more spots. <You're reading my mind!> If I should medicate him, what do you recommend? <I'd consider a product with Formalin in lieu of Copper Sulphate> Thanks for your help. <Glad to be of assistance. I think that you are on the right track here. Keep this guy eating a variety of foods, give him excellent water quality, use the water change technique and he may just pull through without any other intervention required! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Dealing with Ich, Things to Do, Things Not to Do - Hello I tried searching for answers on these topics but had trouble finding them. My tank (55 gal.- wet/dry, skimmer, chiller, large rock formation w/ lots of holes w/ two perculas, one purple Firefish, one flame hawk, and one blue tang... all small) had been going well for over a year now but recently I had an outbreak of ich due to stress/not quarantining a new fish (I know very bad, but I did learn my lesson, I promise). I now have all the fish in a sick tank being treated right now, I was told to be absolutely sure that all parasites were dead to run freshwater in the main tank for a couple of days and then put saltwater back in... is that long enough/ a good idea??? <I don't think this is a good idea - if you can, keep the fish out of the main tank for five to six weeks and you will be about as ich free as is possible... concentrate on keeping the fish happy and healthy by keeping up on water quality and nutrition. Ich can often be avoided by eliminating the accumulation of stress due to environmental issues.> (fresh water has been in for 1 day now)... will my nitrifying bacteria be alive still??? <Doh, too late - no, you will need to start this tank over again.> Do my snails and crabs carry ich??? <It's possible but not very probable... I wouldn't worry about it at this point.> (they are in a bucket with just saltwater no meds while the main tank is fresh water) Do I need to recycle my tank??? <I'm afraid so.> Can I return the crabs and snails as soon as saltwater is back in the main tank??? <I'd let the tank cycle first.> I know that's a lot of questions but THANKS in advance for any help you can offer... :) Aloha, Reid <Cheers, J -- >

- Ich or Something Else - I have a adult emperor angel.  This fish had Ich when I received it.  I used a quarantine tank and Sea Cure copper treatment to get rid of the Ich. ( I have since been told that the copper was a bad idea, but it worked).  Had problems, an ammonia spike in the quarantine so he was moved to my main tank after only two weeks of quarantine. Used copper in the main tank. <Doh!> It has been a month and a half since I have seen any signs of the parasite.  But I just removed my copper via carbon and a copper removing filter material.  This I started a week ago. I haven't seen any ich parasites (resembling a little piece of salt on the angel) but I have just started seeing white spots that resemble blemishes.  These are more noticeable in the morning before I turn on the lights. <This could just be night/fright patterns as many fish change coloration when it's dark and they typically rest.> But just recently I changed from an ordinary fluorescent bulb to a Marine Glo fluorescent bulb.  I also started leaving a house light on at night so the tank wasn't a complete black out at night.  And to top it off I was 5 days late on my water change which had been a strict regiment for awhile now 3 months.  Before hit and miss. Are these form stress or parasite. <Probably a little stress due to recent changes. Do keep a sharp eye on your water quality. Other than that, as I mentioned before the coloration is probably just the night time pattern.> Could you speculate. <All day long... ;-) > Thanks for your time. <Cheers, J -- >

Ich In New Display >Dear Sir, >>Or ma'am, in this case.  Marina tonight. >I'm a beginner, starting my tank only about 2 months ago, and already in a bad case of white spot disease. >>Very common, and understandable as I read the rest of your message. >My tank is 75 x 45 x 55 >>Going with inches that's a capacity of 803.57 gallons.  Is this correct? >..fish only, contains 2 butterflies, 2 tangs, 3 small damsels, 3 small green bird wrasses, 3 cleaner wrasses, and 2 cleaner shrimps. The 2 tangs are the worst, covered with white spots all over. >>I don't suppose you have learned anything about quarantine?  Did you do any reading or research before you stocked this system? >The 2 butterflies have less, and the little damsels and wrasses have none (or not visible?) >>Correct, non VISIBLE.  Your system, though, is completely infected with ich. >The spots are worse at night, even though the temperature is stable.  I live in a tropical country, where the temperature is stable at 30 Celsius or about 86 F. >>Alright.  This means that the lifecycle of the parasite is speeded up.  I will be linking you to information on how to treat this disease. >I don't have any live corals or anemones, only fishes and some plants.  What do you suggest me to do? I was afraid I would kill all the bacteria's in my filter if I use too many copper, but on the other hand my fishes seem to need medicines. >>Actually, copper will kill ALL invertebrates, which means it would also kill your shrimps.  Quite quickly, I might add.  At this point, all treatment options open to you WILL kill your invertebrates.  They are copper (chelated or copper sulfate), and hyposalinity.  Hyposalinity is dropping your salinity down to 1.010 and holding, usually a couple of weeks can do the trick, but in some cases more is necessary. >So yesterday I moved 4 large ones into a 15gal tank (not biologically filtered yet) and used CUPRAZIN in it. I didn’t move the damsels & wrasses because they don’t seem to have ich, and the shrimps because I don’t know whether the medications will kill them. >>Good move.  However, do know that ALL the fish will act as hosts for the parasite.  If you possibly can, get ANY watertight container (I've got my koi in a kiddy pool in our greenhouse) and try the hyposalinity for a minimum of 2 weeks.  HOWEVER!  You MUST keep the fish OUT of the system for a minimum of 6 weeks, 8 are better.  This will deprive the parasite of its hosts and it will die out. >You can say I know almost nothing about salinity, gravity, and such; therefore I’m gonna need full instructions, sorry! >>Get thee a hydrometer!  If you don't know about salinity and specific gravity, I cannot in good conscience tell you that you can try copper.  That would require very regular testing, not just of the copper itself but of other compounds.  Don't get a swing-arm hydrometer, you'll need to get one that will measure as low as 1.010. >I’m just an inch from a desperate act of emptying the large tank, and start all over with new sponges and all in the filter, but it’d mean another month before the tank is OK, not to mention the fish in the Q-tank would’ve died by that time.  My questions are:  -Is copper treatment deadly to shrimps? Is CUPRAZIN? >>YES!!  To ALL invertebrates. >I’ve been giving  freshwater baths to each infested fish twice a day for 3 min.s, is this OK? >>YES!  You can go longer if the fish demonstrate they can tolerate it.  Do this with ALL fish, and put ALL fish into q/t. >Why the damsels and wrasses don’t seem to be infected? Usually the damsels get pale and rather restless at night, swimming against water flow (is this OK?), and the wrasses I don’t know ‘cos they bury themselves at sundown. >>I can only chalk it up to stronger immune systems.  But know that they will be affected. >Why the white spots seem to get worse at night, even if the temperature always stable (at 86F)? >>This I can't answer. >Will copper treatments kill the bacteria's in my filter? >>Yes, this is why we prefer hyposalinity. >Should I use a fresh new filter filling after treatments? >>Since you're not treating the main system, only worry about doing water changes in the q/t. >Please...I really need an expert right now. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. I don't want to lose my fish.  Teresa >>Not an "expert", but I've had a bit of experience with this.  Do as I advise, this is your simplest route.  Link to follow: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  -- Do follow the links found within!  LOTS of information to be found, more than I can give you here.  Best of luck, Teresa!  Marina

Fast Fishies & Ich 09/09/03 Ok. I have a 220 gallon reef tank and I have a case of ich. I have lost 2 fish so far. The problem is that I have so much room and so much live rock that I can't catch the fish to put them in quarantine. Some fish are handling it better than others. One day the look bad the next they look like they are getting better. I have corals so I am running out of options here. Before you say tear the tank down I have over 600 lbs of live rock. (not a typo)  I did try kick ich even though I heard that it is no good. I will say this. It did help a lot. The fish that were bad have no signs of ich. I have only 2 fish that are showing signs. They were the worse ones. Even though I know the fish look better I feel that this is just a band-aid on the problem. Would the corals be affected by lowering the salinity and raising the temp? If I gave you a total list of what I have I would be here for a long time. What about cleaner shrimp or neon goby? How many should I put in my tank. I have about 15 fish in my tank. <Ok, I'd say no to the lowering salinity and raising temp, unless you want to replace your corals. Unfortunately, I do think the best thing would be to remove the fish, while I only have about 120 lbs of LR, I know it's a huge hassle. Cleaner shrimp would help, the neon gobies don't always clean, and they would eventually pick up the infection themselves as well. There's some anecdotal evidence that garlic helps, but the evidence seems to be that it helps more by making the fish eat more food, so it can keep it's strength up (food is soaked in it). If your fish aren't the sort to eat shrimp (Hawkfishes, Dottybacks, etc.) then I'd say four or five would help out. I would still advise pulling the fish out though, the tank needs to stay fallow for at least 4 weeks to break the ich lifecycle. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and good luck, PF>

- Fighting Ich - All, <Yo.> First off, thanks for all the great help, you are doing good work here. Here is my situation.  I set up my first larger (80 gallon) SW tank three months ago.  Everything went well, healthy fish, etc until I took in a friend's Hippo Tang without giving it my normal quarantine (it was fighting with another fish in his tank).  Needless to say, Ich followed.  Thanks to your FAQs, we saved all but one of our fish (we lost our great dog face puffer to some sort of secondary infection) and they are in temporary homes while the main tank runs fallow.  I have dropped the SG to 1.018 and raised the temperature to 84 and plan to let it run fallow for 8 weeks total (it has already gone 3). <Sounds good.> My question is this: if I remove my live rock (about 65 pounds worth) could I also treat the display tank with copper (substrate is 1" - 2" live sand) which I could then use a poly filter and water changes to remove? <The sand would also absorb some portion of the copper and would release it slowly over time. If you ran the PolyFilter for several months you would probably get it all eventually, but... I wouldn't advise you go this route. Running the tank fallow for the period you intend will do the trick.> (I understand it would wipe out the live sand).  How low would I want the copper readings to be before it would be safe to return the live rock? <Just don't do it ;-) > Also, how long could the live rock survive if it were to live in a bucket with an airstone for the two weeks required to treat the main tank with copper? <You'd probably do better with a powerhead in the bucket, but again... don't treat the main tank with copper.> Not to worry, I am not trying to shortcut running the tank fallow, but I just want to be sure... <Keep in mind that no tank is ever 100% ich-free, but instead healthy fish with normal amounts of stress are able to deal with these protozoans on their own. Here's an article for some background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm - don't be so concerned with nuking your main tank. Keep with the plan you have now - it's a good one - don't put copper in the main tank.> Thanks for your help, I greatly appreciate it. v/r
<Cheers, J --

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