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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 14

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

Related FAQs: Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 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,

Methylene blue freshwater dip Bob, <JasonC here today in his stead...> I have a 18 in. Emperor angel, he's in my 240 gallon tank. Anyhow, I freshwater dipped him with Methylene blue. He was covered with little white dots, aka Ich. My question is, how come, after I dipped with for 5 min, the white dots are still on his body? Shouldn't the dip kill the little white dots ? I thought that the dots would fall off while he's in the freshwater? Also, the tiny little white dots, is that the parasite that I'm actually  seeing? <The best analog for the white dots is a scab - they are a sign of skin irritation that is caused by the Cryptocaryon parasite - aka Ich - so, no... they won't fall off in the freshwater dip, but you should see improvement in time.> Thanks, Lee <Cheers, J -- >

A Few Little White Spots (4/16/04)  Hi Guys, <Steve Allen tonight>  I have a 100 gallon tank with live rock (covered the back glass) <Stacked up against the back? Bad for circulation.>, 6 inch Volitans lionfish, 4 inch Niger trigger, Coris Wrasse and a yellow, purple & Regal Tangs. <Too many big fish for this size tank. You need 200G as they grow.> I also have a uv filter. My fish all get on really well and are always hanging out together. <This is only temporary these fish are not likely to continue to get along in such tight quarters for long.> My Regal always has 3 or 4 whitespot on him, they fall off then 3 or 4 days later they return. <Recurrent ich. Likely to increase & spread if not controlled.> The other fish don't get them and my Regal eats and acts as normal. This has been going on for a few weeks. After my latest reading marathon on WWM, can I add a neon goby <Lion food> and cleaner shrimp <Trigger food> to help with the white spot or will they be eaten? <The latter> Or should I remove all the fish into another tank and treat them with copper to be safe? <I suspect that your UV may be helping a bit here. No doubt the most effective treatment, but also the most labor intensive, would be quarantine & fallow. The cleaners would be nice if you didn't have the trigger & lion. It's your call on this. The infestation may dwindle with continued UV and lots of water changes, but no guarantees. Check the Ich FAQs for links to articles elsewhere on the web for more comprehensive info.> Many Thanks, James Barclay.

A Few Little White Spots 2 (4/19/04)   Dear Steve, <Back again today.>   Thanks for your reply. <A pleasure>  I am moving in 2 weeks so will use the opportunity to buy a bigger tank.  I can go as big as needed so  what size will keep all these fish happy for a long time? (240G would be really nice, but 180 might do. Both are 6' long, but 240 is deeper.> Also, you mentioned lots of water changes.  My current regime is 5% twice a week. <A good regimen> So, how much and how often to help control the ich? <The water changes really do not control the ich. Your UV may be helping a bit. Since you have to catch your fish to move, quarantining and treating (maybe just hyposalinity) while you set up the new one gives you a chance to rid the system of ich. 2 months with no fish should allow all of the parasites to die off.> Kindest Regards, James Barclay <Hope this helps.>

Ich Battle Update (4/24/04)  Hello, <Steve Allen with you again.>  The clowns are doing fine in the hospital tank. Thanks for the help! We removed the clowns from the 125 gallon (after your last email) and are waiting.... going to wait for two months this time. <Smart to be patient.>  My question is.. I ordered a UV sterilizer on the advice of a marine depot person among others.  I know they are controversial, given our short-lived SW experience, should I use it? <I use one myself, which puts me a bit out-of-synch with the others of the crew. Let me say this: It is never a substitute for proper husbandry and strict quarantine. Continue to utilize I personally believe that it adds additional protection. There is an article by Scott W. Michael in Aquarium USA 2004, which you should still be able to find at PetSmart or Petco. Read his take on it and then decide. Do be sure to use one that is the right size for your tank and used the correct flow for killing ich with the wattage you are using.>  If you recall our story, we haven't had very good luck in that main tank except with inverts and corals (ich).  On one hand it seems like the UV sterilizer could be the extra help we are looking for and on the other we don't need any extra heat and because of space, it won't be very easy to mount. <What brand did you order? The HOT TurboTwist from Coralife only needs a few inches on the back of the tank.>  We're just gun shy after having waited 39 days the first time we let the tank go fallow and then more ich. <Understood.>  Appreciate your thoughts. <FWIW. Hope this helps. You may want to study the issue a bit more on WWM & elsewhere.>

Ich question... Hurry Hi!!! <Not quite as exuberant as you, but how goes it? Michael here> I have a quick question....I just recently purchased a torch coral and the day after placing the coral into my tank, my pygmy angel has a few white spots on him/her (thinking it is ich). Is it possible that the coral brought in the ich??? <Cryptosporidium spp. you mean? Yep, or the water it was transported in...always quarantine new arrivals for at least 4 weeks!> My other two fish (Percula Clown fish and Firefish) are doing great. No signs of white spots on them as of late. The Pygmy angel is doing great, eating well, and still very active. No scratching against rocks. This is contradicting because it has only been the first day that I have spotted the pygmy angel with white spots....Maybe given a few more days and it will get worse (who knows). If I take out the angel fish and leave the other two fishes in the main tank, will they eventually fall prey to ich as well? <Possibly, if they become stressed in some manner crypt could most definitely set in> What I am trying to say is that are there already ich infestation in my main tank? <Well, the organism has been introduced, and won't likely commit suicide in the near future> Also, if I was to take out all of my fish so that the parasites won't have a host (eventually dying off), would I have to take out the torch coral and the button polyps as well.....Can parasites such as ich host on the coral and button polyps?? <If you were to move your fish to a separate quarantine tank, treat them, and successfully treat the crypto, your main tank should be free of crypt in about 2 weeks of not having a host (Crypt can only affect fish)> Thanks <Anytime, good luck, and quarantine your new arrivals in the future! M. Maddox>

Ich Meds for Puffers I have two dog face puffers with ich and was glad to find such detailed articles on how to treat for it. I have been looking for the product mentioned in three articles, Mardel Marine Maracide. I can't find the "Marine" version at any local fish stores or on the web.  <Well, time to come clean, I said that had been a mis-type on my fault. Please read below my improved method of treating puffers.. I have been doing some heavy duty research and work studying ich. My marine puffers have recently come down with it. With my puffers I have been doing different methods for treating ich! and have been very happy with the results. I was turned on to a product called Stop Parasites or Biospheres Antibacterial for treatment, following directions exactly. The person that I had learned this trick from had said to turn off the lights during treatment. I originally thought it was just a bit of superstition but after chatting with a microbiologist on the matter he gave me this bit of advice. Free Swimming Ich is attracted to light, the parasites swim up towards the source of the light were it expects to find a host. Keeping the lights of just makes it more difficult for the ich to find a house and failure to do that within a day or so cause the ich cyst to die without reproducing. (interesting bit of trivia that might make a difference when treating medicinally). I have raised the tank temperature during treatment which speeds up the metabolic processes of the parasite as well as the fish to help in immune systems. Also I have found that puffers do quite well if you begin to SLOWLY lower your specific gravity to somewhere around 1.016-1.018. the lower salinity is safe for puffers, but ich cysts will not survive the reduced salt levels. I have also found that giving my puffers a 10-15 minute freshwater bath VERY helpful. Most marine fish should only be given 5-8 minute freshwater dips, but with puffers they seem to handle it quite well, and the freshwater dips of 10+ minutes really work great at removing the parasites from the fish. While you treat the tank for the remaining parasites with the medicines listed above. Also during this time vacuum the substrate to remove the fallen cysts, it's something that is over looked frequently. I do like the "Stop Parasites" medication. because it's a natural product. made from a hot-pepper, mint based liquid. It's reef safe (even said to be human safe). Have Tetracycline on hand in case you need to help with secondary bacterial infections.>  Thanks in advance for you help! Kim  <sorry for the confusion, but I have been treating my puffers this way and have been extremely happy with the results. in fact I have been keeping my puffer's tank at a slightly lower salinity and it seems to be keeping them quite happy and healthy. I was amazed at how well the freshwater dips worked on my fish! Good luck with your puffers. Magnus>

- Ich, Quarantine, and a Mandarin Dragonette - Hi, I just found out about this website, thank you for the hope you offer my fish!  I have a complicated question, and don't want to overload your system, but I tried to include as much background as I thought might be relevant.  And probably forgot to include some too. I have myself and my fish in a corner by simply reacting and not studying up. I thought my fish would be covered with ich and die in 3 days if I didn't get some meds in the tank right away.  I went down to the LFS and was given a choice of 3 medications and no idea what they would do.  I started the treatment that night with Kick-Ich.  The next day I started searching and found your site. On your advice a 20 gal tank for quarantine is set up and running now.  (not on your advice) I also bought a 15 w UV sterilizer.  When I installed the UV I noticed my skin burning from the display tank water.  (Kick-Ich?)  After reading your opinion on this I stopped after 2 treatments.  Also the snails become unconscious??? in the display lying fully exposed on the sand so I moved them to the QT. <Would expect the snails to react negatively to the Kick-Ich. Would just remove them period... certainly not to quarantine where you might need to treat the tank with something that might just outright kill the snails.> I have a 5 year old 60gal. tank, not sure but 50 or so pounds live rock, 3" sand/gravel bed wet/dry filter and sump (have photos if you want)  2-tube 40 watt light fixture Salinity 1.020; ammonia 0;  PH 8.3; Nitrates under 10 (the kit is only in increments of 10) I have an AquaC skimmer but have not used it since the (Grrr) Rio pump quit. The tank has been pretty stable for a year or so.  I have a Percula Clown, Yellow Tang, 2 green Chromis Damsels, some snails and BL hermits.  A couple of weeks ago I added a coral beauty and a mandarin dragonet (who has been eating well from day one though I am watching him carefully)  The coral beauty was not so lucky, she was stressed out from the move and hid for 3 days.  When I finally chased her out I could see she was in trouble, one eye cloudy and a clamped fin complete with white spot starting where the black spot was.  In addition I could see the white specks on her.  The previous inhabitants had some spots for a few days but not now, but both the mandarin and the coral beauty have spots and ALL fish are twitching and chafing.  The white patch on the angel is turning black again and the eye is better, but the spots are there the same from the day I first noticed them, more in the morning, less in the evening. I hope the preceding was not too much, but now I need a course to follow.  I plan to freshwater dip the fish, mandarin last, and place most in the QT. Mandarin goes to the new 10 gal I will set up for him.   I have Formalite 2 to treat the QT, but not the mandarin?  I will do a large water change, (aerating a.k.a.) on the display.  I think I need a separate QT for the mandarin and have read your answers to this dilemma, or should I leave him in the main tank? <I would quarantine the Mandarin.> I would like to go a month with no fish in the display but I refuse to sacrifice this little guy to starvation. <That may happen no matter what - your tank is too small to support one of these fish long term, even if it were the only fish in the tank.> (working on a refugium solution).  Am I on the right track? <Sort of, but I wouldn't let your whole world hinge around a fish that was a poor selection in the first place. I'd go ahead and try isolating all these fish and continue to attempt to keep all the fish eating, including the Mandarin. Go ahead with the pH/temperature-adjusted freshwater dips for all and keep under observation.> Thank you for your time.  Kevin. <Cheers, J -- >

- Ich Cursed Tank? - Dear WWM crew,  I have been keeping saltwater fish for almost seven years now, and have had my fair share dealings with dreaded ich.  I have a 240 gallon system with 250 lbs. live rock, an ozonizer running through a CPR BakPak.  This tank has been setup and running for over a year now. The tank was left fallow for six weeks, and then I proceeded to quarantine and add a golden puffer  first, three weeks later a harlequin tusk, then four weeks later I added a XL Koran Angel that was in the tank for about seven months.  The Koran angel was constantly picking at the puffer and shredding the fins on the tusk.  So, I found him a new home.  I then replaced him with a Emperor Angel, but left this Emperor in QT for six weeks due to a Sohal Tang coming in that I had been waiting for!  Both of these fish were QT, however I added them at the same time hoping this would not make either to territorial.  The tang and the angel and even the tusk got along fine.  The shocker was the Tang was attacking my puffer! <Not really a shocker if you truly know these fish.> Literally darting across the eight foot long tang to attack my puffer.  The tang had been in the tank for three weeks, when I realized this was not going to work.  I had to tear pretty much all the rock down to catch the tang, and this is where my problem seems to have started. The remaining fish all seem to have come down with Ich within days.  I assumed it was due to the stress of tearing down the tank, and nets everywhere to catch the tang.  I also figured the water quality was good ( I know you like specifics, I will give them to you later), the fish were otherwise healthy and eating well, and they would fight it off.  Two days later my Angel had bulging cloudy eyes and was hiding.  I took him out to QT, he died the next day.  Then my puffer started hiding and would not come out to eat.  I removed him to QT (yesterday), where he looks awful but is still alive.  The harlequin looked fine yesterday, but this morning he his starting to hide, and I noticed a few spots on him.  ARGGGGGH!   Tank Parameters are PH 8.3 11:00am,  SPG 1.021, Nitrite 0,  Ammonia 0,   Nitrate 10, Phosphate .3, Residual ozone 0, ORP 340, Temp 79. Do you think all of this came about by taking the rock out to catch the tang? <Very likely, yes... unfortunately, the rearranging of the rock would have made some changes to water quality that wouldn't have shown up on any test kits... probably this was a source of sufficient stress that the fish's immune systems took a dip and this made them susceptible to Cryptocaryon.> I have heard you say that losing fish is ok if you have learned something from it, what can I learn from this? <I've never said that... but do think you might learn to better research your mix of fish before actually stocking them. The Sohal tang, while a beautiful fish, grows to almost the size of a small tennis racquet and even in a tank the size of yours will feel cramped. In the wild these fish are the kings of the reef, cruising with great agility in and out of the surf zone... something that is very hard to replicate in captivity.> I feel like I did all that I could, and I am devastated by these losses. <Understood... there's nothing fun about it.> I am hoping you can help me learn something from this that can help prevent it next time.  I tried to be as thorough as possible but if I left something out please let me know and I will answer it.  I really need some of your guidance here.  Sincerely,  Jen <Cheers, J -- >

It's an Ich-idemic Around Here Today (4/7/04)   I officially have a bad case of marine ich. <Arrgh> And believe it or not, it was introduced into my tank from a "tank raised" Ocellaris clownfish from FFE. < LiveAquaria.com ? Still need to QT even tank-raised for 4 weeks.>  Anyway, now I know that I must run my tank fallow, which I will do for 2 months just to be safe. <Wisest, IMO.> My question is, what exactly is fallow? <No fish in tank. Inverts can stay.> Besides fish I have a few polyps, a hammer coral, an open brain, a turbo snail and a BTA way on the other side of my tank.  I also have live rock with a lot of featherdusters.  Which, if any of these corals/inverts/LR will I be able to host ich, and thus should be taken out to assure there will be nothing to host on? <None are hosts. The ich organisms do spend part of their lives on the substrate, but in the absence of fish hosts, they eventually die off. Raising the temp a bit may enhance this die-off. As for treatment of the fish in QT, read the ich articles/FAQs on WWM plus this article and its second part:  http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm> Thanks so much! <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Out, D****d Ich! (4/7/04)   Hi, <Greetings. Steve Allen tonight.>   This morning I discovered a breakout of ich in my 65 gallon tank <Ugh!>, it looks like four out of the seven fish in the tank have some spots. The tank also contains about 55 Lbs of liver rock and two starfish. I have a 33 gallon aquarium available to set up as a treatment tank but I have a couple of questions regarding this. My plan is to move all the fish into the treatment tank and treat them with a copper based medication for 4-5 weeks while the main tank runs fallow. <2-3 weeks of copper plus 2-3 weeks of additional time in QT should suffice.> Do I need to remove the starfish and/or live rock from the main tank also? <No. Leave the fish out for 6 weeks and the ich ought to die off.> And what do I do about establishing biological filtration in the treatment tank as I don't have 2 months to let it set up? <Do you have some filter material from your main tank? You can also use some main tank water. Bear in mind that copper will make it difficult to sustain biofiltration. You will need to monitor ammonia and nitrite and do frequent water changes. Also important to monitor the copper level. Use a sponge filter or a HOT power filter if you have one kicking around. Do read all of the articles and FAQs on WWM about ich treatment. Also try here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm>   Thank you. <Hope this helps. Good luck.> Ich Questions (4/7/04)   I have just recently added a Cherub Angel and an anemone to my 29 gallon salt water tank. The Angel showed signs of ich only hours after being added to the tank. <Bummer. That's why we recommend 4 weeks of quarantine for new fish.> I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank, but I hesitate to use it b/c the last 2 clowns I admitted to the quarantine tank did not make it. <They may have died of whatever you were treating them for. If you keep the QT tank water quality up with frequent water changes, a 10G tank can easily house a couple of fish for several weeks.> The clowns have immediately taken to the anemone and seem happier than ever.  Do you suggest that I move the Cherub Angel and Domino Damsel (who showed signs of ich this morning) to the quarantine tank and treat them there. <Definitely. In reality, you ought to remove all the fish and let the tank stand fish-free for 4-8 weeks. Read the Ich FAQs on WWM.> Or should I move the anemone (and clowns) to the quarantine tank and treat everyone in the main tank? <Never treat the main tank. Too much risk of killing your biofilter and other beneficial micro-creatures, not to mention other inverts. Also, if you use copper, your rock and sand will be permanently contaminated and ruined.>   Also, which ich treatment do you suggest for a 29 gallon tank. <QT for the fish, copper or Formalin in the QT, fallow tank 4-8 weeks with the temperature around 82-83 degrees. Read WWM FAQs and here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm> I have had ich problems in the past, but my water quality is the best it has been and it has been months since I have had an ich outbreak. <I bet you're wishing you hadn't put that Cherub in there to re-introduce ich to your tank. BTW, a niche big Rubbermaid container with a heater and a sponge filter works great as a QT. I kept mine in an extra bathtub for the duration for quick & easy water changes.> There are a total of 6 fish, all under 2" in the 29 gallon tank, plus live sand and the anemone. <Your tank is full and is borderline too small for a Cherub anyway. Also, you can count on that Domino to get very mean over time. Now might be a good time to remove him from your tank for good.> All the other rocks are plastic. Any help is much appreciated! <Hope this helps. Good luck, Steve Allen> Thanks, Dave

- Ozone for Ich? - Hi Chris here I have a 90g  miracle mud reef system I run a UV and 50mg Ozonizer I have cleaner wrasse among the group of fish in my tank i.e. emperor angel common clowns, Blue-cheek gobies. My tank also consists of 90kg of live rock in the main tank and various corals. My sump consists of Caulerpa miracle mud Rowa phos. Now the problem being is the dreaded ich parasite on my angel who I have fresh water dipped only once as I don't want to cause him any more stress than the parasite already is my  cleaner wrasse is doing his bit but its not enough. I have checked all my water quality parameters as I do regularly and everything is fine I was wondering if I could turn my ozonizer up a bit and if so for how long and at what rate as I usually run it consistently at 5mg. <Ozone will have no effect on the protozoan Cryptocaryon which is Ich.> I don't have the option of medication or quarantine as I have no other tank set up. <Ahh, but you do have the option... go buy a quarantine tank now or risk the chance of loosing ALL your fish.> Could you please give me some advice thank you. <Don't wait - time is a luxury you don't have. Cheers, J -- >     

UV sterilizers Hi, <Hey there> Need some advice (thanks in advanced). Btw, if you can remember me, I'm the one that seeking your advice about the "free" Snow Flake Eel that come with the live rock. Well, FYI, I manage to trap it and now its at a diff. tank (living happily - I guest). <Ah, good> a) Can I turn on my UV sterilizers for long-term. My tank is with Coral & fishes? (My friend told me that the coral might not "open" anymore because the water quality change --- friendly microbe. also get killed) <Should be left on continuously. No worries re killing off too much of the beneficial water-borne microbes> b) If can not turn on for long period, what is the recommendation? <Leave it on> c) I'm suffering for white spot 2 months ago. Most of my fishes died. left only a cleaner shrimp, 4 small fishes. I try to perform a "fallow" but couldn't catch the fishes, however after 6 weeks when I see no sign of white spot I then introduce 1 African Crown, 4 Common Crown, and 2 weeks later all dies due to white spot. Must I remove all fishes? <Yes my friend> d) If I manage to catch all the fishes, Can I leave the cleaner shrimp inside while performing the "fallow"? <Yes> e) Due to the white spot, I purchase a 9W UV Sterilizer. Will this be the BEST solution (against white spot) for me to always turn it on? and perhaps couple with a "quarantine tank system" for new fishes? Or the UV system is already enough? <Quarantine... and possibly dip ALL new fishes. The UV alone will NOT prevent or cure Crypt infestations. Bob Fenner> thanks.  rgds, ws teoh Persistency And The War On Ich  Hello Crew,  <Hi there! Scott F. here today>  I have had miserable results dealing with ich in my show tank. Over the course of the last 2 months I have quarantined fish (4 weeks), treated with copper, used hyposalinity (1.009), freshwater baths, run my tank fallow at 86F (4 weeks)...and the ich still returns. I am about to give up. I am on my last attempt now before trading it all in for some goldfish! If you don't mind, I would like to ask a question or two.  <Sure...ask away!>  I have just quarantined my fish again, am treating with copper (again) at 15% above recommended dosage,  <Yikes! Don't do that! Following manufacturer's recommendations concerning dosage is extremely critical, as you can cause more harm than good if you overdose>  I have my "ich" tank at 92F right now. So, my question. Will the 92F harm my biological filter, live rock?  <There could be some loss of life among the inverts with prolonged exposure to this temperature>  Just curious, do you happen to know the highest temp that ich can survive at?  <Not off hand...Not sure if any studies were ever conducted along this line>  At 92F, how long will it take ALL ich to complete its lifecycle?  <Unknown, but I imagine that it would significantly speed up the life cycle>  Any suggestions you can give would be most appreciated at this time. Thank you again, so much!  Jeff  <Quite honestly, I'd follow the same approach that you have been, but I'd keep the tank at "regular" temperatures, and push the fallow period to about 2 months...Be sure to keep at regular maintenance tasks (i.e.; water changes, media replacement, etc.) during this time. Stay at it; don't quit yet! Be patient and persistent. You WILL win! Regards, Scott F.>

Learning From A Total Wipeout Hi Scott <Hello there!> How ya doing? <Fine, thanks!> White spot disease has basically taken the lives of all my fish. <Ugggh. Sorry to hear that> From 6, I only have my first inhabitant left, my Yellowbelly damsel. Even my clowns have both died. <Yuck> I made such a good start but I am well aware that its all part of the game. <Well, learning to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases is, unfortunately, an important part of the learning curve in the marine hobby. It may provide just a little bit of comfort to realize that this was a learning experience (one that had a very dear price, unfortunately), that will hopefully result in you changing your techniques to include quarantine for all new fishes without exception, and to have a separate "hospital" aquarium or container when the need arises.> What do I do from here. I was thinking of changing my setup and I am now caught up whether to go for similar fish again or go for a Volitans Lion, something I have always wanted. <These are reasonably tough fish, but I think that you might want to "cut your teeth" on more inexpensive, commonly available specimens. Not that damsels are any less precious than a Lionfish, but you will be working at perfecting your skills with fishes that are more abundant in the wild.> What else would I be able to keep with this guy in my 350 litre tank? Regards, Ziad Lambada <Well, you'd have to limit your choices to fishes that won't fit in its mouth; you'll also have to consider your tank's ability to house such a fish, or group of fishes. You can read a lot on the WWM site on compatibility of various species. Do some research on your options, let your tank run fallow for at least 6 weeks, and start over a little wiser for the experience! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Make a wish tank has ich Hi, Thanks a lot for your previous advice and reply! I had a few more things to ask if you didn't mind. <No problem> Would you please recommend a copper test kit, we have two clowns set up in a hospital tank and can't find the test kits locally. <I'm a big fan of Salifert brand kits. You should be able to find this at www.drsfosterandsmith.com > I read that while using Coppersafe I should also use an antibiotic.  Is that correct? <I would not use an antibiotic unless you have reason to suspect a bacterial infection.> The directions said to treat for 5 to 30 days if I am not mistaken (ICH). (Other people tell me one week.) ?? <Generally 21 days. Read the FAQs on copper (start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copperfa.htm ) for more details.>   While I'm here do you have a certain brand of refractometer that you like? <Many don't actually have a brand name. The handheld ones that are good enough tend to cost at least $70 online. The cheaper ones and generally not as good.> Something easy to use as we've only had a SW 125 gal since Nov. and are still learning.  If you have the time...any heaters for SW you have found very reliable? <Ebo-Jager has a good reputation, but any heater can fail eventually.> Any websites you have had good luck ordering from? <www.marinedepot.com , www.drsfosterandsmith.com and www.inlandreef.com have all treated me well.> Thank-you very much. Meb <Hope this helps. Steve Allen> Treating Ich Thanks for your response. <You're welcome!> What do I need (please detail every item) to set up a sick tank. Check this link- it's about quarantine, but the procedure is the same with a "hospital" tank:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm Also, I have read you cannot get the copper out of the display tank ever. Is this true? <Not "ever", but it will take a long time...> If so why can't I dose in display tank if a fish only tank?? Also does the copper go into the glass, etc. of the tank too? If you tell me I can get the copper out, then when I put fish back in don't I have to buy all new live rock and substrate?? Thank you so much for your help. I ask multiple sources and they all give me different answers...........all very confusing! <It sure can be confusing. The real issue regarding copper is that it is absorbed by rocks,  substrate, etc., and maintaining a proper dose is difficult. Proper control of dosing is very important with copper.> I don't have a lot of money so I need to start slow, but I don't want to give up. But, I need to start with taking care of the few little critters I do have and do right by them. Thanks again!! <My pleasure. Regards, Scott F.>

Taking Charge In The Ich Battle I have had my tank set up for about 6 months now, and I have my first ich outbreak. <Gee...Fun!> I do weekly 10 percent water changes using Coralife salt & well water (RO water hard to find around here.)  Would distilled be better? <Well, depending on source, it might be. Distilled water from copper stills could be problematic...I'd try to find a source of RO> I bought a powder blue tang knowing that they are "ich magnets", but with all of my levels looking fine, I thought it would be fine.  And I didn't quarantine it before adding it to my tank, either.  I have learned many valuable lessons in the past week, this being the biggest. <Yep! You'll never make THAT mistake again, I guarantee it!> I have several soft & stony corals in my tank, and no quarantine tank.  So copper is out of the question.  I didn't want the powder blue to suffer, so I gave him to my friend who has since treated the ich and is doing fine.   <Glad to hear that> But now the rest of my fish have it.  I have a Yellow-Tailed Damsel, a False Percula Clown and a Yellow Tang, all with a few white spots.  In vain, I added "kick ich", which did nothing. <Not surprising...> I have read about getting a Rubbermaid container and using it for a quarantine tank, which I plan on doing tonight. <Excellent, my preferred method for a "M.A.S.H. unit" for your sick fish!> I have a powerhead & heater for it already.  My question is, how long should they stay in there using copper, how big should the container be, and what makes the ich go away in my display tank with the fish out of there? <The container should be large enough to accommodate all of your fishes, or several smaller containers if you have to split the population up. These containers come in pretty large sizes, so you should not have to much trouble finding one to suit your needs. My treatment of choice is copper sulphate or a formalin-based product. Follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter in regard to concentration and duration of treatment. Test for copper if you go that route. The display tank sits without fishes for at least a month, preferably 6 weeks, depriving the causative protozoa their host fishes...That's all there is to the "fallow tank" technique. Do all regular maintenance (water changes, media replacement, etc.) during this period> How often should I change the water? <A couple of times per week in the treatment tank, IMO. Test copper as you go to maintain proper therapeutic dosage> My levels in the display tank are: Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates - trace, PH - 8.0, Salinity 1.023, Calcium 400,  Phosphates 0.8 & temp is 78 degrees.  I am sure there is something not right in my tank, otherwise they would not get the ich, right?  Thanks in advance for the help. - Roger <Well, not always. Sure, lapses in water or environmental quality can lead to ich, but simply bringing in an infected fish and exposing the rest of the population to the disease can do the trick. Follow the widely discussed (at least on the WWM site they are!) treatment procedures we advocate, and I'm sure that things will turn around for you in a short time. Good luck. Regards, Scott F> Another Ich Battle... I have a 54 gallon saltwater corner tank that I lost 3 fish to Ich in about 6 weeks ago. I dosed my tank with copper before I lost them ......but I waited too long to treat ( I am a novice). <All part of the learning curve...Don't be too hard on yourself> My question to you is...........the tank sat empty of fish for about 5 weeks and I tested the copper level it is below efficacy level at about .1 .....I just bought a Lemonpeel angel 2 days ago and it looks like one fin is getting white spots on it. He's still eating aggressively but occasionally scratches on a rock. So tonight I dose my 54 gallon with about 50 drops of copper and turned my skimmer off. I don't have a copper test kit. <You must check for copper whenever you use it, or you will not be able to maintain a therapeutic dose, or you may even overdose> I will get one tomorrow........but I know you have to catch Ich really quick and I don't want to overdose or underdose my fish before I can get a kit. <Exactly!> With a little copper in the tank, and the copper I put in tonight should I wait till I test tomorrow........to put more in, also is it safe to keep my skimmer off for 3 weeks to keep copper level up. <I would not add any more copper until you can test for it. Also, you really don't want to treat in the display tank. With all of the substrate, etc., it becomes very difficult to maintain a proper level in the tank. s far as the skimmer is concerned, I'd keep it on...But, as I said before- I would not treat in the display!> I don't want nitrate levels too high and have to do a water change before the copper kills the ich. I have live rock by the way and it is a marine tank only. I know the rock is pretty much sacrificed by the copper. <Yep> I just want to do right by this fish and don't want to get discouraged. Thanks and I appreciate any help I can get. <Well, I'd back-pedal a bit and do all that I can to eliminate copper from the display tank (Poly Filter or CupriSorb excel at removing copper). Then, Id let this tank sit without fishes (or copper) for another 6 weeks, performing regular water changes and other maintenance as usual. The fish should be treated in a separate tank or Rubbermaid container with copper or formalin, per the manufacturer's recommendations. Read all about this "two front" approach to ich treatment on the WWM site. You can beat it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Ich Remedies... Hi, guys...You've been so helpful to me in that past that I would like to ask you one more question covering a common ailment and a claimed new remedy.   <Sure...> My new purple tang contracted ich about 10 days ago, shortly after I put him into the tank; with hindsight, I should have set up a quarantine tank, but had no ick problems with my tank previously (which is an expanded 145 gallon reef tank, converted about two months ago from a 65 gallon reef tank). <Well, a lesson learned...right?> The tank contains lots of soft corals and a purple clam; also, a Flame Angel, Kole Tang, true Percula, Royal Gramma and three very small Sapphire Chromis, in addition to the new Purple Tang.  It is a peaceful tank.  I use a Euro-Reef skimmer, and fortunately have had no problems with the fish or corals until the tang got ich. <Not an uncommon occurrence!> Calcium is about 450, and other test readings have been fine.  Temp is constant at 76-77, controlled by both heater and chiller. Now the plot thickens.  I was told by my service guy that I should try something new for the ich problem, as garlic, vitamin C and Ick-Away (and its ilk) aren't very effective. <Generally not> That new medication is called Exodin, is made in Germany and (according to the box and instructions) is "reef-safe."  It contains "acetic acid, dimethlglycol and Aquadest ad 100."  The service guy told me that two of his clients have used it, and one experienced no problems with his corals and the other did, but was temporary. <Hmm....> Well, I boldly tried the Exodin, and followed the dosage instructions carefully.  Result:  The Purple Mushroom corals have withered, and other Mushrooms don't look very good; the Torch, Hammer and Frogspawn have retracted and do not look well.  The Xenias and Leathers are fine, as is an Open Brain.  A Cup Coral is OK, not great.  A friend told me to trust the tang to get better on his own, and get rid of the Exodin by doing a 20% water change and adding a Polyfilter and two bags of Chemi-Pure. <Good recommendations> I am inclined to agree, as I think corals should be paramount in a reef tank. What do you think?  Should I work on saving the corals, and just hope the fish can fight off the ick?  So far, only the tang and one very small Sapphire Chromis seems to have it.  Is there anything else you might recommend?  Have you ever heard of Exodin?  Putting it in was a dumb move, wasn't it?  I think I should've waited until the reef-keeping community has had more experience with it.  Thanks much, as always, for your thoughts. Best, Ralph B. Westlake Village, CA <Well, Ralph, I would not beat yourself up so bad. While I am fiercely opposed to using "treatments" in the display tank, I think that you did what you felt would be effective, and I cannot fault you for that. Experimentation is part of our hobby. However, I am a big advocate of a more conventional, old-fashioned technique, removing the fishes for treatment in a second aquarium. Ich will generally not "go away" without some intervention on your part. Treatments need to address the life cycle of the causative protozoan. By all means, get the medication out of the display tank, and do remove the fish to a separate tank for treatment. If this is not an attractive option for you, then you may very well have chronic ich problems until the disease is attacked. It is not fun to break up the tank decor, etc. to get out fish, but it does work very well...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Treating Ich (3/14/04) Hi, <Greetings, Steve Allen here.>   We set up a SW 125 gallon double bowfront aquarium in Nov. for my 14 year old son who had cancer last year as our version of Make a Wish for him. <I hope he is doing well and that his treatment is successful.> So far we haven't been able to keep fish alive.  We cycled the tank with two damsels, added things slowly based on the recommendation of the guy who owns local SW store who also suggested a Naso tang which promptly got ich and died. <Perhaps you should try another retailer. A Naso is a poor choice for a beginner and really ought to end up in a bigger tank.> We use calcium every other day, iodine once a week and another supplement every other day, name evades me for the moment. <Are you testing the levels of these in your water?>  We let our tank stay empty after the ich problem for over a month, 39 days. <Good move, but apparently needs to be longer at this point.> We have 85lbs of LR (we ordered this from the first dealer, when they delivered it turned out to be LR from someone else's tank, two years old) <Dishonest on his part.> sump with protein filter, 2 Rio 3100's pumps in sump for protein filter and tank. Sub compact lighting. Added two smaller power heads yesterday for increased circulation. <Good> Have  had 4 corals, inverts, Sand sifting star, brittle star and two Condy anemones for a long time.   We added 3 tank raised clowns from a different dealer (have a relative who knows him well) who has had an aquarium service business for 20 years. We didn't QT the clowns, he had them for 2 weeks in the store, always orders from the same 3 places, and claims 95% success rate with clowns. <Guess you got the 5% end on this deal. Always quarantine.>  The tankmates to the clowns we have are alive and well, no signs of ich and are still in his shop. Anyway our clowns have ich. <Your tank probably still has ich.> How long will we have to allow our tank to be without fish this time?  6 to 8 weeks? <Yes>  We're so discouraged. <Understood, but you can win this. Look on the bright side - by leaving your tank fishless for 8 weeks, you will promote the growth of all sorts of fascinating little inverts. Do you have any cleaner shrimp? A few of those would be nice to have and they can be in there during the fallow period.> Please give us the best way to treat for ich. <Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm > I thought we would try hypo. sal until I read your website. I would give up if this wasn't for our son.  (Not to mention the fact that we ripped out most of a wall, bought filter for water and all of this other expensive stuff)  Both dealers seem to take a wait and see approach to the ich problem, well the first did have us feed garlic on the food and a special kind of food (no chemicals) and the 2nd had us lower the salinity to .019 in our main tank which I don't know if it is good for our corals, inverts and Condys. <To succeed, hyposalinity treatment needs to go much lower -- 1.011 range -- which would kill your inverts.> Why don't they tell us to do more? <They're primary interest is selling stuff, not in supporting customers after a sale,> One dealer said two weeks was enough to let the tank be fish free for. <Not very knowledgeable about the life cycle of Cryptocaryon.> Both dealers feel ich is stress related and that it is in most tanks. <Debatable> Everything I read is different but I'm new at this. <We all are or once were. As you have probably learned from your son's treatments, there are many opinions on disease treatment. Unfortunately, there no randomized controlled trials in this field.> We have done regular weekly water changes of a minimum of 15 gallons (more when there ich shows up). We have a three cylinder filter system that the second dealer uses)  Ph, Nitrates, ammonia, nitrites have not been a problem. (zero on ammonia and nitrites is vital.> Temp at 77-78 78.9 unusual but has happened.  Sorry this is so lengthy, it is late and we need help.  Thanks again!  Mother of two. <Do read the article I linked to and all of the linked pages there. You can win here. Give the full 8 weeks without fish for the best hope. There's plenty of interesting things to watch in there while you wait. You can also spend some time researching a good mix of fish to add. Do bear in mind that all Tangs are considered "Ich magnets." Good luck with this and I also hope all goes well for your son.> Nasty Nitrates, Nasty Illness (Ich Again!) Hello Everybody, I am in a situation whereby my Purple Tang, Flame Angel, Blue Lip Angel, Powder Brown Tang are all infected with ich, all started by the recently bought Powder Brown. <I have a feeling that you didn't quarantine him long enough, right? This is no fun, but you're learning a good lesson on the value of a full duration quarantine procedure! Try to embrace this practice in the future, okay? In all fairness, though, these fish can be somewhat touchy, so this kind of thing does happen...> My tank is 120gallon size and I have in addition 2 cleaner shrimp, an anemone, a Tomato Clown and 3 damsels. Presently, the Powder brown is in the Quarantine tank and is getting better, but the rest which are still in the display tank, have a few dots of white spots on their fins and tails. My house is too small to set up another tank as I read that I need to keep the display tank fallow for 6weeks to rid off this disease. <That's my preferred technique!> Can you be advise what is the next course of action. <You can obtain a large plastic container, such as the "Rubbermaid" line, which come in sizes large enough to accommodate a number of fish. They are cheap and useful alternatives to an aquarium, and they work great in pinch! Try the fallow tank technique. It's a pain in the rear to catch the fish, but the results of this technique are worth the effort, IMO. Plus, once you've done this, you'll never want to do it again, so you'll have the incentive to be absolutely rigorous in carefully selecting and quarantining all new arrivals in the future!> My nitrate level is abt 50, although I change water 10% twice a week. I have not be able to get the nitrate level down despite all these water changes, I suspect the tomato clown is the cause of it. I have seen him waging its tail on the substrates stirring up all the dirt from it, he has been doing this quite often sometimes quite violently. He will bite on the rock for support and will wagged its tail furiously causing a clouds of dirt all over. Is it the normal behaviour of such fish?  Thanking you for your reply to this matter. Regards Richard <Well, Richard, this sort of behavior is quite common with clownfish. I'd consider some light siphoning of the substrate to remove some of the detritus. Also, if you are using any mechanical filtration media, such as pads, etc- do change them or clean them very frequently, as they trap this detritus and can cause nitrate buildup if left unchecked. Not sure what kind of filter system you're running, but wet-dry systems tend to accumulate nitrate over time. Lots of ways to reduce or eliminate nitrate, all of which are covered in great detail in the articles and FAQs on this site! Do a key word search using "nitrate" with our Google search feature, and you'll find plenty of stuff to help you solve your problem! You can do it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Feeding Copper to Fish (3/11/04) I've heard that you can take a batch of adult brine shrimp and add copper to their container, wait an hour, and drain the shrimp with a net and add directly to a reef and if the fish eat the brine shrimp, then the copper is going to clear the ich....is that true? <No way. Ich is an external, not an internal parasite. Additionally, the fish will poop/pee (forgive the pediatrician terms) copper into the water, thereby contaminating your tank. There is only one proven way to rid your tank of ich--the quarantine/fallow technique. Never put copper in any form into your system. Some people have managed to control ich with cleaners, ozone, UV, garlic, and such, but this is rare. You might want to read Scott W. Michael's article in Aquarium USA 2004, which you can find at any PetSmart or Petco. Perhaps some of the things in there will help you, but the fallow/quarantine method outlined on WWM is tried and true. Steve Allen>

Empty Tank, But Full of Hope! Hi-ok so my tank got the dreaded ich. I have done a freshwater dip on my clown, but my Royal Gramma I just can't get to. My questions are these: Is it possible for a fish to survive this outbreak? <It really depends on the fish and the extent of the infection. If it reaches the gills, it can become life-threatening> If so can my tank "go fallow" with a fish in there, considering I do not have a QT. :(, and if my fish is ok in there when do I begin the "fallow" process? <Well, "fallow" means "without fishes". The purpose of the fallow period is to deprive the causative protozoa their host fishes, which disrupts their life cycle. Yes, it sucks- but you have to get all of the fishes outta there to affect a successful treatment> If all the fish die, when to I begin the countdown to "fallow" my tank? <Well, the "clock" would start when the last fish is out of the tank. I hope that it doesn't come to that, however. The worst thing about this process is the necessity of tearing apart the decor to get to the fish.> Is there anything I can do for my tank that is reef safe-I have live rock, a snail, and a crab in there, that doesn't involve a QT? <In my opinion, I don't really see a reliable, viable "reef safe" option to treat in the display tank. Some people favor hyposalinity, but I am not a big advocate of this technique for a number of reasons. That's why I like the fallow tank technique> My tank is small and what had happened was typical California weather. The temp. went from 60 degrees to 80 the next day...Raising my tank temp from a controlled 78 degrees to 82 degrees in less than a 24 hr period. I have right now tried to control this major temp problem, cuz it looks like we're ready for summer now-lol, by raising my heater to 80 degrees so that way at least there is some consistency. <Good point, Heather. Consistency in all environmental parameters is so important for long-term success.> Thanks so much-Heather <My pleasure, Heather. My advice would be to get a Rubbermaid container large enough to hold all of your fishes, and treat them in there, while letting the display go fallow for a month or so. This type of container is a fine, inexpensive make-shift "hospital tank", so you might want to try it. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>

A New Weapon Against Ich? Hi, guys...You've been so helpful in the past, and I would love to have your thoughts on a new treatment for Ich from Germany.  First, a bit of background.  I added a rather large purple tank and a flame angel to my 145-gallon reef-tank last Tuesday, and by Saturday the tang contracted Ick.  I have been told subsequently that Ich is not uncommon when adding a purple tang to a new environment. <Well, these fishes can be unusually prone to ich problems as a result of handling and collection stresses> I haven't had any other problems with my aquarium other than red slime algae many months ago, and the other fish (the new flame angel, as well as a royal Gramma, percula clown and Kole tang which I have had for some time) are doing fine.  I have begun to add the "usual suspects" to combat the ich, including garlic, Ich-Away and vitamin C, although I did not quarantine the tang before placing him in the tank (as perhaps I should have). <You definitely need to embrace a quarantine procedure here> In any event, I was also told by the guy who services my tank that there is a new and effective treatment for Ich that is produced in Germany and is now being sold in the US at some LFSs.  It is called Exodin.  It is a liquid, and a small amount is added to the tank every other day (three adds in total), based on the volume of water in the tank.  Supposedly it will not affect corals if used as recommended.   <Grr...new product, but a claim that I've heard before...I can't understand how a product can target just the ich protozoan and not harm physiologically analogous but harmless life forms...> Have you had, or heard of anyone having, any experience with Exodin?  My service guy has told me that he has had two clients that have had success with it, but acknowledged that it's new and there has been little experience with it in the US. <I have heard of the product, but don't have any experience with it. And, don't get me wrong- it may be a good product...I just cringe when I hear that a product is acceptable to administer in a display tank with corals, etc.>Any thoughts you may have would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks much. Best, Ralph (Block) Westlake Village, California <Well, Ralph- I am a big advocate of treating fishes in a dedicated "hospital tank" with a proven medication, such as copper sulphate or formalin. The other part of the treatment is to let the display run "fallow", without fishes, for a month or so, to cause the ich protozoan population to "crash" for lack of hosts. Not the easiest procedure to perform, but I feel it is a very effective, time-tested technique...Experimentation is certainly an important part of the hobby, but at least consider more effective, proven techniques as well. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Fighting Ich and Adding Corals! From a newbie -- Ich / Controlling water parameters I have recently moved five damsels into 10 gallon hospital tank to treat for Ick.  I am using Hydroplex by Red Reef.  (Not sure of the results yet) <Not familiar with this product, but I am glad that you are treating in a separate system!> How can I control  ammonia levels and pH in such a small tank with such a big load.  Have done 50% water changes for the last two days but plan to let my main tank lay dormant for six weeks to let the Ick clear.  That will be a lot of water to change! <Yep- it is a lot of water to change, but it really is a good way to go in a rather crowded small tank. I'd also monitor other water parameters, such as specific gravity and alkalinity, just to be thorough. If you are using a product that contains copper sulphate, do monitor regularly to assure that you're maintaining a proper therapeutic dose. Tank is glass bottom with a polyester filter (no carbon) and a heater. <A good way to go...> Only thing in the main tank is a few snails and a emerald crab who look like they have run out of algae to eat.  Fed the crab a little flake food but all the snails are at the top of the tank or stationary on the LR.  How do I keep them going without fish in the tank? <Do just what you're doing> I have turned off the Bak-Pak 2 skimmer but continue to run the heater and Fluval for circulation. <Personally, I'd run the skimmer, even in a fallow system. In fact, I'd conduct all regular maintenance, such as water changes, media replacement, etc.> On the issue of live rock in the main tank (55 gal)  should I put the rock on top of the sand or move the sand out and put it right on the glass?  Have 2"-3" of sand from Florida that is very fine and sirs up a storm easily. <Well, I've done it both ways. I generally place the rock on the sand, myself.> How do I vacuum it without sucking it out of the tank. <Well, you generally don't want to disturb anything but the top 1/2" or so of sand, or you might disturb some of the very processes that you want to foster.> Do I need more sand? <I'd go for a 4 inch sand bed, myself> Do I need any other equipment to keep the tank healthy for soft corals and fish? <Just continued good husbandry practices, and regular use of chemical filtration media> Also what kind of sand stirrers and corals do you recommend for a beginner? <I think brittle stars are fine. Coral choices abound, but you'd do well with Sinularia, Sarcophyton, and a number of other species. Check out Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation" and Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" for more on the selection, care, and identification of corals for your system> Will eventually have a 440 watt VHO system but will start with 220 watts of VHO. <A good start with many of the less demanding soft corals> By the way, I posted once before but could not find my questions posted. How do I find my answers and what times is this forum staffed. <Sorry that you didn't find your post before. we try to turn them around as quickly as possible. The page is updated a couple of times a day, sometimes more often. We are "staffed" essentially 'round the clock, since we have Crew members all over the country!> Thanks in advance.  I have enjoyed reading your responses to other posts. Steve <Glad that you enjoy it! Good luck with your system! Regards, Scott F>

Attacking Ich In A Separate Tank! Hey All, Best site on the web, 'nuff said! <Glad to hear that! Scott F. here today> ...Ok, so I don't need to be quick to kill the ich, but I want it dead and have a question regarding theQT.  I have read extensively on your site regarding, destroying ich, the vital importance of QT, and allowing an infested tank to go fallow.  I have a 6-month-old 55gal FOWLR that has ich (TO ALL, HEED THE MANY WARNINGS ABOUT PATIENTLY QUARANTINING ALL LIVESTOCK). <Couldn't have said it better myself!> All tested water parameters are excellent.  Anyway, the occupants are Yellow Tang-2", Percula Clown-1", a Lysmata cleaner shrimp, plus various snails, and Blue-Legged hermits.  I've decided to let the 55g go fallow and put the 2 fish into a 20g QT. Here's my question: I want to cycle the QT.  Virtually everything I've read here says to cycle a tank with live rock, aged filter media, or as last resort, prepared bio-agent, but most everything also says to avoid the use of live rock in a QT, so I'm left with aged filter media, or bio-agent to cycle the QT. <Right> I would prefer to use aged media because it is cheaper and readily available.  My QT has an old Penguin 125 Bio-wheel, a heater, a powerhead with air bubble infuser and PVC hiding pipes.  Can I take some of the bio-balls from my existing 55gal wet-dry filter and place them inside my Penguin bio-wheel mechanical filtration chamber to assist in the cycling process, or will this simply move the ich (and any other undesirable "bugs") to my QT, thus defeating its sole purpose in life? <You certainly can, and should, use existing media from the display tank. Sure, the possibility of ich getting into the quarantine tank exists- but this is the absolutely optimum place to fight it! The environment of the quarantine tank (no substrate, inert decor, etc) makes it very easy to treat disease in there.> I want to get the fish into QT as quickly as possible to prevent further health deterioration, but don't want to make an "aged-bio-ball" move that will be counter-productive. <As above, I'd go for it, myself> Any of your usual expert and well-conceived advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Jimm <Glad to help! Regards, Scott F>

75 Gallon Stocking II Hey again,<Howdy!> I forgot to mention about the tang the ich thing won't be a prob.  I've got a UV.  <UVs are no guarantee against ick, it only is effective when the ick is actually in the water column, which is not for very long.  I would set up a quarantine tank now as they are one of the most important components to being successful.>Is this still a no go due to size?<Yes, they are also very touchy fish.  You can read up about all this some more at our website: www.wetwebmedia.com.  Cody> Akira

The Dreaded Ich Dilemma (3/7/04) Hello. <Hi. Steve Allen tonight. Sorry for the delay. One of the crew is out and I helping to clear his inbox.>   I have a 150 Gallon Reef tank (48 x 24 x 28) by Clarity Plus with dual corner overflows. I have a CPR 294 with dual Protein skimmers that leads into an additional CPR Sump. The water then flows through a micron filter into a chiller into a CPR Refugium Pro and back to the tank using an Iwaki 100RT. In addition there is a 57Watt UV with 200GPH flow within the extra sump before the Refugium line which leads back to the tank. My Lights are PFO with 2-250 MH, 2-110 VHO, and 2-2 Moon Lights. My tank has 150 Pounds of Live Rock from Tonga, Fiji, Bali, and the Marshall Islands. In addition, I have 50 Pds of Live Sand from an existing system. <Sounds like a very nice setup.>   There is a mix of 25 corals in the tank from Hard, Soft, and Fire Corals. The fish population is a Purple Tang, Blue Tang, Imperator Angel, Lawnmower Blenny, Royal Gramma, Cleaner Wrasse, Blue Dot Puffer, Bi-color Angel, Niger Trigger, Clown Sweetlips, Ocellaris Clown, and about 250 small Snails, Crabs, Shrimp, cucumbers, and Stars. <That's a lot of life, even for a 150.  Several big fish in there. They're likely to get crowded over time. Do you test for ammonia, nitrite & nitrate? Perhaps one is elevated, thus stressing your fish to the point of getting ich.>   The tank has been set-up for about 4 months.<I think part of the problem may be having added too much too fast. It should take closer to a year to get to this level. I'm guessing you did not quarantine each new fish.> There is some random coral picking, which was expected with the mix of fish I have. <Correct. Hopefully it won't get out of hand.> The problem is: 1) That ICH has started to Break Out on all the fish, and I can't catch them to FWD or Quarantine them. I used RxP and Oxy by Kent, but the corals all closed up and it didn't work. <Yup, a waste of $ and time. Also, this is evidence against the efficacy of UV in controlling ich.> 2) Even though coralline algae was heavily present on the live rock, no new coralline has grown. <May be missing something they need.>   So, 2 part question....Any secrets to catching fish within a reef tank? <You're not going to like this, but the best (probably only) way to rid your tank is to get all of the fish out of there and treat them with medicine in one or more large Rubbermaid tubs and leave them out of the tank for at least a month. Read all about this starting with the ich articles & FAQs. As for catching them, the only way to accomplish this is to remove the corals & the rock and drain down the tank enough to catch them. Search the FAQs for more info. Big problem and many hours of work. I'm sure you wish you had quarantined each of those fish individually for 4 weeks. By my math, that's 44 weeks to get to where you went in 16. I truly feel bad for you as I had to do this once with far fewer fish in an 80G. I learned my lesson.>   How to stimulate Coralline Algae growth? <Check your calcium level. I suspect it will turn out to be a little low. Could be another trace element. You'll have a month to get your coralline and invertebrates thriving while your tank is fallow (fish-free). Thanks, Adam <Hope this helps.>

Hindsight is 20/20 Hey guys, <Hey! Ryan with you today> Hope all is well there. Now on to the problem. <Can you please make the effort to capitalize your sentences?  It takes away time from others when I have to edit your message.> I have a 100 gal. tank with 55 lbs live rock 60 lbs of substrate 40 lbs of live sand. Two  Fluval 404s a CPR dual BakPak skimmer, and two 802 powerheads. My lighting is power compacts. I have 1 Tomatoe 1 lemon peel 1 banner 1powder blue tang and 1 yellow tang. My inverts are 1 Sebae 1 long tentacle 1 coral banded and 2 cleaner shrimp along with 100 snails and hermits 3 emerald crabs, and 2 brittle stars. Well I went to work this morning and I got the call that my Heni was dead (covered with "salt") also my powder blue was salted. Well I don't have a qt tank as my LFS qt for me so I had my friend (he has marine tanks too) get a starter tank set up and transfer all fish to it  using water from main tank. I dosed the qt tank with copper (sea test). Do I need special lighting in my qt tank or will standard fluorescent do? <Standard lighting will be fine> also some of the substrate was transferred to the qt tank about 1 half cup) will this have a negative effect. <Many like the bare-bottomed approach to battle with ich; By vacuuming from the bare glass, it's possible to suck up cysts which could possibly infect fish.> I plan on letting the tank go fallow but understand I can still add corals during the fallow stage?. <It won't host on your corals, but I certainly would be very careful about water quality at this point.> Also will the tank water transferred help cycle the qt tank? <Yes, but maintain 20% water changes daily> I am worried and don't want to loose any more  fish  but did the best I could at the time. Also will the cleaner shrimp help eat the resting stage ick? <No, only clean necrotic tissues and cysts from your fish...nothing to be counted on> what else can I do. <Quarantine in the future, treat with hyposalinity and copper in quarantine now.  Good luck! Ryan> thanks for your help its always helped in the past.

- New Way to Treat Ich? - Hi Bob and WWM crew First let me say what a wonderful site this is. You guys have helped me many times in the past. This is my first time writing to you guys because I usually find my answer without bothering anyone. I was wondering is there an article in your site that explains in detail treating ich in a Q tank by doing daily water changes and vacuuming the bottom of the tank to remove parasites. <Not as such, but you have essentially outlined one mode of action that is reasonably effective.> I have read most of the facts concerning ich and I have seen this technique mentioned several times but it doesn't really give to many details. <Basically, when the protomonts detach from the host-fish, they drop to the substrate, or in this case just the bottom of the tank. By performing daily water changes, including vacuuming the bottom of the tank, you can remove these intermediate stages from the tank and halt their continued reproduction and eventual infestation of the fish. This technique has shown to be relatively effective, but should be used in conjunction with other therapies: freshwater dips, treatment with copper, etc.> Thank You so much for your time. Vince <Cheers, J -- >

Ich- Taking The Battle To The "Home Front"! Hey Scott, <Hi there!> How's it going? <It's Friday! Goin' well!> I just had a question about marine ich.  I am  the guy that was struggling with my protein skimmer. I'm sure you remember me. <Yep!> My question has to do with my Flame angel.  He's doing well and I've had him about a month and a half now.  He has good color, is aware and active, and has a good appetite.  He does however have some ich spots on his face, side fins and tail. Not severe though.   I took him out of my main tank and gave him a formalin dip (about 20 minutes) and then put him in my hospital tank. <Good procedure. Formalin is a much better choice than copper with Centropyge angels> I'm treating the boy with Paragon II (wide spectrum anti -parasitic/bacterial powder) it seems to be working because the dots are not as visible as before.  Then I gave him another 2 minute formalin dip yesterday,  and put him back in the hospital tank continuing with the Paragon treatment. <Dips are okay, but I think I would avoid a medicated one if you are already treating him with meds in the "hospital" tank. A straight freshwater dip would probably be just as effective at this point. It can be stressful, but it does work. And I think that the duration needs to be 3-5 minutes to have an effect>   Now here's the big question.  All my other fish in my main tank have no visible ich spots and seem very healthy.  I have been treating the main tank with "Kick Ich" <I don't like that stuff, myself> , turned off the skimmer, and have the sterilizer on still.  I read an article about combating ich yesterday and it said to put "all" your fish in the hospital tank to let the main tank sit fallow so that the ich has no hosts and will eventually die.  Do you think this is a good idea? <Yes I do...In fact, I wrote an article on WWM advocating this same process. It does work very well. It's not fun- but it is effective!> It makes sense but I'm going to have to cram my  1) flame angel 1)  large yellow tang,  three percula clowns,  two Chromis and (1) blue devil in a ten gallon hospital tank.  Kind of crammed and they have no  ich spots. <Well, you could use a larger Rubbermaid container, which is an inexpensive alternative to a tank. You can use water from the display tank, and "seed" a filter sponge with beneficial bacteria from your display (One of the reasons that I continuously keep a sponge filter in my display tank sump is so that it is ready to go when I need to set up my quarantine tank or "hospital" tank). Even though these fishes are not displaying signs of the disease, they have been exposed to it, and should be observed carefully> I'm concerned because this same angel had ich about 2 1/2  weeks ago, I treated it for  (5 days as instructions recommended) then put him back in the tank but unfortunately,  the spots started showing up again 2 1/2 weeks after putting him back in the tank. <Because the Cryptocaryon protozoan is still in the tank...The "fallow" approach addresses the display tank problem> What would you recommend to get rid of this ich once and for all? <The "two front" approach that we're discussing should do a very good job. It's almost impossible to get a "guaranteed" 100% eradication with any method short of breaking don and sterilizing the tank, but this technique has worked for me and countless other hobbyists for years...Give it a try> Thanks again, Ed Kraselnik <My pleasure, Ed. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Warrior! Hi Scott, <Hi there!> Thanks again. <You are quite welcome!> I know when I  emailed you last, I told you that the ich spots were not too visible on my flame angel, but the next morning when I woke up, the angel had much more pronounced white spots that were much more visible and more plentiful. A real bummer.  So that really ruined my morning.  So I went to work with the dot covered fish on my mind. <Been there- felt that! I can relate!> When I got back home from work, to my pleasant surprise, the fish had zero spots on him!! It's like the mature ich tomonts jumped off him.  I think that the tomonts left the fish (am I right?) <Well, the causative protozoa does enter a free swimming phase after about 5-7 days, so this may be a god observation> and hopefully jumped into unfavorable waters which were a medley of anti-parasitic (Paragon II) and a little bit of copper (very little) So next I dropped the salinity to about 1.015. <A whole lot goin' on in that water...> Also the droppings the fish was producing appeared to be whitish (probably internal infection?) so then I added a bit of Metronidazole. <Whoa, dude...Slow down on the meds- are you trying to mummify your fish or something? :) Seriously, your intentions are okay, but please don't keep dosing medication after medication. Sometimes, these types of heavy-handed "cures" can result in more problems for the fish.> Finally last night, luckily I checked my ammonia and nitrite levels and they were sky high. (I guess all the beneficial bacteria was killed?) <Very likely, with that "cocktail" of medication! Prompt attention to water quality is vital here. In fact, do some water changes and begin using carbon and/or PolyFilter, even though they will remove some of the medication. You need to eliminate nitrite and ammonia ASAP!> So I had to get him out of the hospital tank ASAP.   So I gave the angel a 2 minute fresh water dip and put him back in the main tank. (Lots of effort here )  Anyway the fish looks great. He has not a spot on him, is eating well and is very active and aware. <I would not have used this approach, but if it's working for the fish, that's all that counts. Observe him and all other fishes carefully. I am not so certain that this fish is cured, and the potential is that the Cryptocaryon is still in the display tank, waiting to attack a stressed out fish.> In the main tank I'm using this RX-P by Kent marine (anti-parasitic) Pepper liquid.  Its supposed to be very good. It makes my eyes water so it must be potent. <I'd use it in salsa or on a steak before I'd put that in my display tank, but I suppose it's effective for some people. I guess I should be more open minded about these kinds of "cures", but I just haven't seen enough unbiased research done confirming their effectiveness. I hate to see people run around trying all of these different things and ending up losing fishes needlessly which could have been cured with a more "conventional" technique. Just my opinion, of course!> So I'm adding that to the main tank every other day for a total of 12 days. Hopefully, It'll knock out any other stages of the ich that could be left. <I think the concept of this stuff is to irritate the fish into sloughing off body slime which may have the protozoa in it. After the material is sloughed off, I'm not sure how this kills the Cryptocaryon protozoa...> What a pain!  But the angel seems fine again. Well, I guess this is a lesson to quarantine from now on and be wary of any new additions to the main tank. Do you think I have a good chance of nailing the ich as I described? Thanks again. Ed <Well, Ed- you sure have worked hard to defeat this disease, and I commend you for it! I may have used different approaches, but if this has worked for you, I'm happy. I am glad that you are now a convert to the quarantine process. If everything is okay from here on out, you definitely dodged a bullet. Be vigilant and ready to treat again should the disease manifest itself again. Do consider the more simple (well, except for getting all the fish out, that is) "two front" strategy that I advocate. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

The Ich Warrior Goes To Battle...Again! Hey Scott, Hello again!> Well, I guess you were right.  The ich is still in the main display tank. I come home today to find my flame angel again (3rd time now) with ich spots. Small but they're there. Just only 4 days from removing him from the hospital tank! This disease is friggin' relentless!!! <Yep...and YOU have to be in order to defeat it!> So now I put the flame is back in the hospital tank, which by the way has not had enough time to develop any nitrifying bacteria after all the meds, which means now I'm going to have to do water changes probably every day or 2 for a month in the hospital tank. <That's the best that you can do under the circumstances> I don't know about this RX-P I told you about but it looks like I may have to do the fallow approach you wrote about.  How did you set up the Rubbermaid tub? Can I just put a chunk of the live rock in the Rubbermaid tub to break down the waste? (I have no backup sponge with developed nitrifying bacteria on it) <Well, I approach it just like the quarantine tank. You just use a sponge filter or other filter, throw in a heater, and you're in business.> What about light for the fish? Did you put a cover on the tub with holes in it? <Light is optional- fluorescent would be fine. You can cover with egg crate> What a Bummer, Dude. Take care, Ed <I hear ya', man! Just try the fallow tank technique, treat the fishes with a good medication, and hang in there! You'll beat this thing. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

The Ich Warrior Is On The Offensive! Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Appreciate your quick response in my time of aquatic turmoil. Do you think Formalin 3 is a good treatment for the flame angel in the hospital tank? The bottle of Formalin says that the dose can be repeated every 24 hours is that o.k?  I'm going to go easier on the hospital tank meds this time around. <I'd follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter with this, or any medication> Like you said,  you must be relentless back to the ich parasites to beat this thing and you're not exaggerating one bit!! <Yep, but you CAN beat it!> I'll let you know how this thing goes. <Please do! Good luck!> Thanks again, Ed <Go get 'em, Ed! Regards, Scott F.>

The Ich Warrior Fights Back! Hi Scott, <Hello again> Bad news.  My angel finally died to the ich. (I had him for only 1 and 1/2 months.) I guess he couldn't take the third round of the ich on his body. I think the stress from treatment, dips etc. and the parasites on his scales finally got the poor guy.   Its a bummer,  but now I'm learning how the disease works (the cycle of the parasite)  so that I can eradicate it hopefully for good.  Anyway, thanks for all your help again. <Sorry to hear of your loss. I suppose if it helps you learn a few new things and acquire some skills that will help prevent future losses, then the fish will not have died in vain> Oh, just so you know, I called Kent Marine today and asked them about the RX-P product.  Its just as you said, the pepper is an irritant to make the fish slough off the slime coat but the thing that actually kills the ich, is an all natural ingredient that is supposed to nail the ich in its  free swimming phases. He says it does work and its worked for them at Kent. <I see. I wonder what the "all natural ingredient" is?> Oh, one last idea I wanted to know your opinion on.  I'm sure  you've heard this before.   A few fish places that I've gone too say that "ich is always in your tank.  There's always (A little bit)  But its just a matter of a fish getting stressed out and the ich taking advantage of the stressed fish to latch onto."  Now...should any ich, whether ich cysts or cells ever be in your tank?  I think not, right?  It only takes one cyst to get the nightmare rolling. I'm curious if I'm right or their right. Take  care, Have a good weekend Ed <Well, Ed- that question is sort of controversial, with many differing opinions. I am of the opinion that once the Cryptocaryon protozoan gets into your system, there are always a few left. However, there are many people out there who feel that the causative protozoan is only brought in with new fish...So much still to be learned about this disease. One thing that everyone seems to agree with is that the best "cure" is prevention; specifically, quarantine for all new fishes. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Requiem For The Ich Warrior! Thanks again Scott, <You're welcome!> Kent Marine didn't say what the all natural ingredient is in the RX-P,  but they sounded confident on the phone that it really works. <I'll bet!> Anyway, I'll take one step at a time and like you said, I'm learning, (especially how persistent, relentless, and prolific a parasitic disease can be!)   Its terrible losing the poor  fish, but I think its part of the learning  process and part of the hobby. Hey, if this hobby were so easy, everyone would be doing it, right? Take care, Ed <Yep! Hang in there, Ed! Regards, Scott F> Finishing The Job (Completing Ich Treatment) I had an Ich outbreak in my 75-gallon reef tank and moved all the fish to a 25-gallon plastic storage container with lots of PVC pipe, airstones and a sponge filter for copper treatment using Coppersafe. The fish (two Hippo Tangs, a Juvenile Atlantic Blue Tang, four Ocellaris Clowns, six Green Chromis, a Mandarin and a Royal Gramma) have had two weeks of treatment and all look and act great now. However, I want to give the main tank another two weeks without fish before returning them. <A great idea> My question is, do I need to do large water changes immediately to get the copper out of the treatment tank now that the fish are healthy, or can I just do the normal top-offs and 2-gallon-a-week changes while I wait this period out? In other words, is it harmful to the fish to be in the presence of copper for longer than two weeks? <Well, it can be hard on some of the fishes, such the tangs. You could also use some filter media, such as CupriSorb or Poly Filter, which excel at removing copper from the water, to help speed things along> My other question involves my main tank, which has been running without fish but with two Peppermint Shrimp, two cleaners and various crabs and snails. Since I've had the fish out, I've noticed an explosion in the number of tiny shrimp (Mysid, I assume) and those tiny bug-like creatures that look like roly-poly bugs or beetles. I'm not complaining, but I'm curious why this is. <Sounds like amphipods, which are essentially harmless scavengers. They also serve as an occasional treat for fishes.> Are they just out in the open more because there aren't fish? Is this a common thing? <Yes and yes! That's another "side benefit" of the "fallow tank technique" that you see me ranting about all the time on WWM. The lack of predators can create a huge increase in the population of otherwise cryptic animals, all of which add to the diversity of the system.> And, incidentally, I won't make any exceptions to the quarantine procedure once I get past this ich episode. I added the mandarin without quarantining it because it had been in the tank at the LFS for over a month and looked very healthy. Live and learn. <Yep! You're on the right track! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Thanks for all your help. <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F>

Another Ich Battle... To my wonderful and resourceful crew, <I like that one! Scott F. with you today!> I have had an outbreak of marine ick in my main display tank.  I believe my Yellow Tang started it after I introduced a new Flame Angel to the tank. <Uh- oh..> My problem is that I only have a 20 gallon quarantine tank and too many fish. I have a 3.5" porcupine puffer, 3" yellow tank, 2.5" flame angle and two 2" damsels. I have about 30lbs of live rock and a few hermit crabs. The puffer has the worst case of ick followed by the tang and angel, the damsels seem to be fine.  To fight this plague I first lowered my SG to about 1.018 and also took my temp up to 80F.  I gave all of the fish a freshwater dip.  I set up the quarantine tank and put in "SeaCure" copper treatment and I put in the puffer.  I was thinking of leaving the puffer in for two days and than putting in the tang and the angle for two days. <You really may want to refrain from using copper on puffers. They do not always take well to this treatment. Formalin-based products might be a better choice> Back in the main tank I cleaned out all/most of the substrate and did about an 8 gallon water change.  Will this treatment be good enough or should I buy another tank (really don't want to but would to save the fish) so that I can quarantine all of the fish for the month and let the main clean up? <Personally, I would remove all of the fish for observation and/or treatment (if necessary) to a separate tank (or even large Rubbermaid containers). The "fallow tank" technique is generally the most successful method, IMO. As long as there are fish in the display tank, the causative protozoan can complete its life cycle, assuring you of more rounds of misery with the disease.> Thankfully, Ryan King P.S.  --- Is there any trick for moving the puffer from tank to tank?  Right now I catch him in a 1.5 gallon bag and it works ok but there is probably a better way. <I like that idea- it keeps them submersed at all times, which seems to be less stressful. Perhaps Jeni (Pufferpunk) or Ananda, (who have forgotten more about puffers than I'll ever know) can chime in if they know of a better way? Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

The Battle Against Ich (Cont'd.) Hi Scott, thanks for your long explanation & advice, I truly agreed with you. You are such a great & professional adviser. <Well, like all of the other WWM Crew members, I've learned a lot by doing things the hard way, and enjoy sharing my experiences with others. Everyone on the Crew has a similar philosophy, which is why WWM is so great to be involved with!> BTW, just have a doubt on the 20 gal QT with just a motor and sponge filter as filtration. If I put in all the 8 fishes into the QT, I believe I will surely overstress my fishes with new & crowded environment (a 'shock' and ammonia/nitrite poisoning). I just have no confident to keep them alive in the tank for 1 month long for the treatment. Any way to reduce my doubt? <Well, if you have a well-seeded filtration system, and are diligent at maintaining good quality water conditions through regular water changes, use of chemical filtration media, and careful feeding, you should be able to pull it off. Yes, I would recommend a larger tank, several tanks, or the use of a large "Rubbermaid" container or other container of sufficient size to hold all of your fish. That would certainly be a better route, but if you need to make due with what you have, give it your best shot.> In order to play safe to my fish, I have a thought in my mind that I'm not sure if it works. I plan to take out all the live rocks and Caulerpa, and leave only fishes and DSB in both the main tank and refugium. After that, I will try apply either method 1. or 2. below 1. copper treatment for 2 weeks and until the fish recover 2. Hyposalinity, lower the s.g gradually to 1.009 for 2 weeks. is it going to work ? method 1. is better or method 2. or none ? <Well, if you are dead-set on treating in the display or refugium, I'd go with the hyposalinity technique. Under no circumstances should you use copper or any medication in the display or refugium. Personally, I am not a big fan of hyposalinity, but I'd recommend that over dosing anything into the main tank.> Also, I've few more questions regarding white spots disease : 1. If we were to apply copper or hyposalinity to kill the Cryptocaryon, will the parasite just be killed when it is attached on the fish skin ? Or only able to kill when it's at 'free-living' swimming stage? <Good question. Typically, the parasite is most vulnerable in the free-swimming phase. This is why there is a treatment period that lasts about 14 days in many cases, as it gives you the best opportunity to zap Cryptocaryon at different phases in the life cycle> 2. Notice from articles that crypt can stay viable for weeks to several months. I wonder if we run the tank at 'fallow' stage for 1 month, will the fishes still get infected after we put them in? <There is no 100% guarantee of effectiveness with any treatment, but I find that the fallow tank technique tends to work well, because it addresses the life cycle of the causative protozoan, by denying it the hosts that it needs to complete its life cycle.> 3. Especially in the evening, I noticed that there is no white spot (or very few) on the yellow mimic tang's body, but the white spot is worst(10 to 20)in the morning. I think it must the life cycle that the trophonts leave the body and reattach to the fish body, am I right? <Very possible. Not sure about the timing issue, but the concept is correct> I wonder why it only attack my yellow mimic tang but not the others? <Hard to say. Perhaps this fish has the least resistance to illness, was stressed at some point, etc.> 4. I notice that the white spot on the mimic tang is getting lesser & lesser everyday and it has shown no sign of stress or lost appetite. Is there any chance that it will cure by itself without go through any treatment? <Very unlikely. As long as the protozoan is present in the system, the fishes will still be vulnerable. A lot of people think that they have achieved a "cure" when the spots disappear, but this is, as you theorize, just another stage in the Cryptocaryon life cycle> Thanks! Best Rgds, PJ <Good luck, PJ! Regards, Scott F>

When To Strike Back? (Ich Counterattack!) My Kole tang has had a slight bout with Cryptocaryon. <These guys seem to come with Cryptocaryon as "standard equipment">(I know tangs tend to be "ich-prone") I've been treating with "Prevent Ich", which contains organic Naphthoquinone.  It is a mild infestation, with nothing else in the tank affected.  I raised the tank temp to 80...it has been 2 weeks.  Less spots on the Tang, he has/is acting perfectly normal (eating like a pig).  Any idea how much longer until the protozoa releases completely from the tang?  He only has 3 spots, and they are on the top fin and tail...no gills affected. Should I just continue to wait it out? <The Cryptocaryon protozoan spends about 5-7 days "on board" the infected fish, and detaches as a single cell called a tomont, which can swim for about 12-18 hours before they attach to the substrate or glass. The next phase of the cycle takes about 3-28 days to emerge back into the water column in search of your fishes again. What this means is that you have a limited amount of time to act. The most conservative approach would be to remove the infected fish (and, indeed- all of the fish) from the tank for observation and treatment, if required, while leaving the display to run fallow for at least a month or so. As you can surmise by thinking about the life cycle time line, once the spots "disappear" off of the fish, the protozoans enter the aquarium proper, which means that it's time to get everyone out. I'd act quickly. Do check out a number of articles we have on this disease on the WWM site. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Counterattack (Disease Treatment) Hello Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I am currently treating all my fish for ich or velvet in 2 quarantine tanks. They are as follows 40 Gallon                                                    10 Gallons 1 Maculosus Angel 4-5"                              1 Hippo Tank 2-3: 4 False Percula Clowns 2"                           1 Stark's Damsel  3" 2 Lawnmower Blennies 2 Neon Gobies 1 Yellow Tang (deceased) I wanted to use a conservative approach due to the copper sensitivity of several of my fish, so I first did a Hyposalinity with PH and temp adjusted FW dips every 4 days'.....this didn't work. I then tried a formalin treatment, this also didn't work. I gave them a week off from medications and started a Cupramine treatment late last week, following the instructions to the letter (2 drops per gallon, followed up with 2 more drops per gallon 48 hours later) also dosing my change water, which I execute a 25% daily change vacuuming the bottom. I have 2 copper test kits, one shows me a reading of 1 ppm, the others a reading of .015 ppm. If someone ever came up with a series of good test kits they could make a mint in this hobby. Anyway I ordered today the SeaChem Multitest kit for copper, I would hope it would be accurate since they also make the drug. I'm not sure which way to adjust since I don't know what the actual reading is. <I'd err on the side of caution, and not add any more copper until you get that kit in. If you are doing water changes, just don't replenish copper. You can always re-adjust the copper concentration once you can get accurate test results. "Test, then tweak!" as John Tullock would say> Unfortunately, my Yellow Tang passed late Saturday night sometime, 12 hours or so after the second dose of copper, leaving me to believe that the level is too high. How can this be, I follow (what I thought) were the directions perfectly. She was eating fine and her usual active self hours before. She also was not showing any spot, however the Maculosus and several of the Clown are, mainly early in the AM. Do you think this may be velvet, with the quick death? <Could be, but this disease shows very distinct symptoms. Could have also been some other sort of stress...Hard to say from here. If water parameters test acceptable, it may very well be disease or other stress, perhaps even mis-applied medication...> She was not showing any symptoms, but I understand velvet can be stealth. I want to continue the copper treatment, but am scared I will lose others. I suppose I will wait for the new test kit and adjust accordingly, or do you think I should dilute the copper in the meantime? <As above...Be conservative> The Mac is looking a bit sluggish today, but maybe she is a bit freaked out, her and the Tang were very close, always together. To my other problem. In the 10 gallon my Starky has been scratching a lot and here eyes are very cloudy and swollen, I don't believe he can see. Is it OK to use Maracyn and Cupramine together?  I have read through WWM and cannot find a straight answer to this. Its a rock and a hard place, I know I need to rid of the parasite, but I'm not sure he can make it through the way he looks. Also could I add some Epsom salt to help with the inflammation. Sorry for all the questions, don't want to mix a lethal brew here. <Agreed. I'd attack the potentially more lethal parasitic problem first, using the copper product. Then, if still necessary, you could use the Maracyn if the symptoms dictate it as the appropriate remedy...Not together, IMO> BTW, the display tank has been void of fish for a month now, planning on leaving it this way another month. That should be enough time shouldn't it? <I'd be comfortable with two months> Thank you for your time and all of your great work. Best regards, Kurt <My pleasure, Kurt. I like your conservative thinking. It will serve you well as you fight this battle! Success! Regards, Scott F.>

Ich Counter-Attack...Follow Up Hey crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here again> Well the good news is that the fish in the main tank are looking 100% better, no visible signs except for the tang. <Good to hear that...Give the treatment its full course, and I'm sure that the tang will follow suit>   The bad news is that this morning I lost the puffer, I guess that the copper treatment wasn't so good.  But  what I read in Mr.  Fenner's book said puffers are ok with copper.   <Some are- some aren't...> Well at least now if the ich has a comeback, I can quarantine all of the fish. Best regards. Ryan King <Hang in there, Ryan- and follow the manufacturer's full treatment course...Regards, Scott F>

Ich Treatment Follow Up FYI - my Cryptocaryon problem is getting better. <Glad to hear that!> It seems this new product "Prevent Ich" is wonderful. There has been great success with it (from what I hear).  I have been treating my tank, and it seems to be getting under control.  Of course, we will see if this is the case in the long run.  The product is safe for inverts. <I'd be very skeptical on claims of "invertebrate safe" from products that seem to target physiologically analogous life forms, but I am glad that the product is working for you...I have no familiarity with it...Keep careful records of your work with the product> What amazes me is that the duration of the ich has been very long as far as the spots hanging on to the tang.  I've read this is not unusual, because sometimes they do not release and live the lifecycle on the fish. <Well, much has been written about the life cycle of the causative protozoan. It is fairly predictable in duration.> He is down to 2 spots (from 6) and I have seen NO EVIDENCE of manifestation in my tank.  It has been nearly a month now. <Well, that's a good sign...Do be vigilant a bit longer...A few more weeks is a small price to pay for the potential of a healthy tank for the long run. No sense rushing things at this point. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Nitrites and ich problems Bob,<IanB here today> I have a 75 gal. saltwater with 2 tomato clowns, 1butterfly fish, 1 domino, 1 blue damsel and 1other clowns ( Nemo Type). Problem is the butterfly has ick, it is the only one I see it on. This is the 2nd day into it. We have been treating for 2 days and I removed the carbon media from the Fluval 304. Now the nitrites are rising! <WATER CHANGES are the cure for rising nitrites...dilution is always the solution> What do I do now? We are new at this. I told my wife if we are gonna be successful, we probably need a QT tank.<yes you do> Thank you for replying, Craig Cornett<I would move all the fish to Qt for about 2 months and let your main system go fallow...meaning without any fish because ich can live for quite a while without a host. IanB>

Picky feeders and Ich 2/13/04 What is the FW Sweetwater plankton?  Where can I mail order it from?  I have not heard of this before.   <a keyword search if you'll try it on any search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc) will turn up hits from various mail order companies like Custom Aquatic and Marine Depot: http://www.customaquatic.com/customaquatic/listcatbrand.asp?CatID=fo&brandID=SW http://www.marinedepot.com/a_food_swz.asp?CartId= > Is it a liquid?   <a suspension... rather like a slurry. Do order some Selcon too while you are at it.. excellent HUFA rich supplement for fishes and inverts> Also, my LFS doesn't have any FW clams...any idea where I may order or get one of these?   <if they are fresh, you can also use live FW food clams from the grocery store. Just make sure they truly are fresh (iced and not gaping) and rinse them well> I'm in Riverside, CA.  Lots of stores around by you see the advise I have been getting. Thanks for your help. <very welcome my friend... we sincerely want to see all participants succeed. Hobbyists, retailers, etc> Could you expand on the siphoning idea for Ich?   <its as easy as it sounds... decades ago it was proven/demonstrated that fishes in bare bottomed tanks could be cured of ich without medications with a daily water change from the bottom of the tank which siphons larval/waiting parasites. Must be done strictly for 8 consecutive days to break the cycle though. I have repeated this myself and learned of the technique from a Fish Pathology course at the U. Of Georgia, Athens by the world renowned Gratzek and Blasiola> I have Ich in the main tank for sure.  It has to go fallow for 6 weeks right?   <at least 4 weeks> But you said I could get rid of the Ich in the QT in 2 weeks by siphoning the bottom?   <correct... or rather... it can be kicked in 8 days... but the fish cannot be freed until an additional 2 weeks of disease free symptoms have been logged>> Should the bottom be bare glass only?   <always and without exception in QT tanks> Do you recommend the Formalin?   <yes.. I use it in preference to copper most always. But like copper, it can never be used in tanks with substrates (else it will pollute the substrate)> I want to stop dosing the tank with anything if I can.  I can't see any Ich flying or floating around like I could in the main tank. <Ich cannot be seen floating my friend... that was something else surely. And if the main tank has been dosed with copper, it was A) ineffective as absorbed by the calcareous rocks, ornaments and/or decorations... and B) has polluted the substrates from ever being used with invertebrates like anemones, some starfish, snails, etc. It has also killed a lot of desirable microscopic life forms. Hence the need for dosing in QT always (and better... running all new fishes through QT before adding them to the display). Alas, you have learned this the hard way like most of us. With a 250 gallon tank investment... I pray that you never repeat the mistake> How long should I run the poly filter? <a day or 2 is enough> It's completely blue now.   <yikes!> Been running it for about 12 hours I guess. <another PolyFilter may be needed... wait another day, do a water change, and then add a new PolyFilter> You and your site are incredible and I'm overwhelmingly thankful.  You can come have dinner on me anytime you are in my neighborhood. <ahhh, kind thanks indeed! Your success will be as satisfying as your company over a shared meal. kindly, Anthony>

Interrupted Ich Treatment? Hi Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I recently had to treat 2 Golden Butterflyfish ( Chaetodon semilarvatus ) in my quarantine tank with Cupramine ( I added my original e-mail below for more details ). It got rid of the Ich outbreak within a few days of treatment, but I am left looking for a few more answers on  the treatment and about the product. <Sure...> a). Due to the fact the fish totally stopped eating from the beginning of this treatment stage, I had to cut the time down to 6 days from the recommended 14 fearing they would become too weak and not recover. This was a judgment call on my part based on their behavior and appearance taking a turn for the worse and I believe I made the right call. Since stopping the treatment 2 weeks ago, no visible signs of the Ick parasite have returned. Now that their appetites are back and they seem healthy, should I re-treat the fish per the instructions to ensure I don't introduce the parasite into my main tank? Or, can I just conduct a low salinity w/ Formalin dip before moving them? <I think you DID make the right call! Good move on your part. Sometimes the treatment can be as bad as the illness, and you were correct in intervening here. If the fish seem fully recovered, I'd avoid another round of copper at this point. Perhaps a simple freshwater dip would be fine as a follow up, again- only if required.> I was planning on putting them in the main tank this weekend but I am hesitant because my local fish store said the shortened dosage time wouldn't totally eradicate the cycle of the parasite. I would like to get them into the main tank soon because I know they would be much happier in there and the overall water quality is better. They have been in quarantine for a month now. <Well, the LFS may be correct. I think that rather than re-introduce them at this time, you should let them "hang out" another couple of weeks in the hospital tank, just to make sure that there is no further re-occurrence. Besides, the extra "fallow time" in the display can't hurt, either. You've brought them this far- no sense in rushing things at this point> b). Although the tank ( All Glass 30 gal. ) is currently being used for quarantine and treatment, I have thought about using it for a mini-reef display tank in the future. A friend mentioned that it wouldn't be a good idea since the copper in the medication would seep into the silicone and be there forever. Is this true in the case of the Cupramine product? The LFS said that I wouldn't even have to remove my rock with this product - but I did anyway to be safe. <Good move) I obviously do not want to have copper leeching out of the silicone if I have corals and invertebrates in it. <Well, you could always drain the tank, and refill it, running Sea Chem's CupriSorb to help absorb any residual copper. You can never be too careful!> Thanks again guys! Joel <My pleasure, Joel! Good work! Regards, Scott F>

Staying The Course...(Ich Treatment) Hello Crew! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> If you don't mind, I would like to update and ask a question.  I have positively ID'd my tang as having Cryptocaryon.  That was a few weeks ago.  I tried hyposalinity at 1.009 for approx. 2weeks, but found it to be ineffective.  Rather than continuing (FOWLR) I decided to bite the bullet and separated my fish into a QT tank.  I have been treating with Copper Sulfate at .25ppm.  After 1-2 days, all signs of ich disappeared.  It has been 11 days since I started the copper treatment.  I had been running the FOWLR tank at low salinity during this time (11 days at approx 85-86F) and slowly raising salinity back to normal (no fish in it).  I would like to ask your suggestion for returning my fish to the main tank-when is it safe-(I have read life cycle of Cryptocaryon is 10 days, but others say possible 30 days-is this possible) and whether it is safe to discontinue copper treatment in 2-3 days (as directions on package state).  Thank you very very much for all your help.   Jeff <Well, Jeff, you don't need to keep the copper concentration in the treatment tank any longer than the manufacturer recommends (usually around 14-21 days). I'd keep all of the fishes out of the main tank for a full month, or longer, as dormant Cryptocaryon parasites can strike when the fishes return...No sense rushing things here...Just follow through on the treatment, and keep the newly-cured fishes in the copper-free hospital tank for a couple of more weeks, and you'll be fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Battle Plan (Ich Treatment) Guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight> A recent addition of a refugium has introduced Ich to my reef (I suspect the macro algae). So far a Paracanthurus hepatus (Regal Tang) and a Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma) are showing the spots. I have not been able to catch the ill fishes, due to the size of the reef and corals; to catch them I will need to dismantle the reef. I believe I have three options: 1. Catch all fish from the reef, treating with copper in a hospital tank; allow reef to go fallow for a month or so. Problem: The main tank is biologically filtered live rock only, my sump floss is replaced weekly - I do not have any biological filter to put in the hospital tank filter !!! <Easy to solve. I'd begin "seeding" a few "sponge filters" and other biological media in the main system's sump over the next few days, so that you'll have some ready-to-go filtration in the treatment tank.> 2. (as strongly advocated by me LFS) Treat with reef safe itch treatment. Problem: I don't want such chemicals anywhere near my reef, refugium or DSB. I don't believe it will work anyway - since when can a weak, 3 day treatment hope to kill itch? I spoke with a chemist at Waterlife (the manufacturer) this afternoon, and even they do not advocate this strategy!!! <I agree- I don't know how a "medication" like the ones being advocated can only destroy the specific protozoan causing ich, without damaging physiologically analogous beneficial life forms...Don't treat in the display tank!> 3. (as strongly advocated by my LFS) Leave all fish in the reef and, I quote, "let the few sick ones die and rely on the good water quality and UV to prevent the disease spreading to other fish". Problem: I fear my LFS is wrong, and that I could easily lose all fish. I have an ethical problem with leaving a fish to die anyway, when treatments are available. <That's insane! I won't even comment further on that one!> I believe my best (only?) option is to catch all fish and primarily treat with copper. Unfortunately I must dismantle the reef to catch the fish, but so be it. <Yep- it's not fun at all, but it is the most effective means to combat this illness, IMO> I will be using Waterlife's Cuprazin, carefully applied in line with the results of regular Salifert Copper testing. I have spoken with a chemist at Waterlife to confirm the precise copper levels for this treatment / test kit combination. <Excellent- do test regularly when using copper, and make sure that you follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter> The best biological filter I have been able to put together is an Eheim professional 2 canister containing two week old floss (from my sump), 1 kg of gravel from my LFS's marine tank under gravel filters, a small amount of mature live rock rubble, combined with (new) Eheim biological media and sponges. <That's a good start> Putting all my fish in a 100l hospital tank, served by an immature biological filter is going to require very regular testing (ammonia, nitrite and copper), water changes and careful application of copper. <Absolutely. Regular water changes and maintenance of a proper therapeutic level of copper is imperative for success> Do you agree with my treatment plan? <I do...You're on the right track here!> Without boring you with the details, I have sufficient fish in my 400l reef to regard it as "fully stocked for a reef". Do you believe I can manage such a bio load in my 100l hospital tank with the measures I describe above? or is this a road is disaster? <With an aggressive water change schedule, and careful monitoring, it is possible> I have a happy healthy mandarin fish that only appears to eat live food he finds for himself from the reef. I fear for his well-being in a sterile hospital tank. Your site says "Dragonets are notably slimy fishes that are not as susceptible to external parasite infestations as other fishes. However, they are not immune, and are overly sensitive to copper compounds...". I thought about leaving him in the reef, as long as he does not show itch symptoms. I know this goes against the "fallow" strategy, but my thinking is that as long as he does not go down with itch, then he will not have had any influence on the effectiveness of "fallowing". This logic assumes fish cannot be "carriers" of ich (i.e., carry the disease without suffering or showing symptoms). <It's a tough call on that one. I agree that you risk this fish's health by removing it from it's regular food source, so you may have to roll the dice on this one...> As always, thank you very much for all your help. Regards, Andrew <My pleasure, Andrew. I think that you are on the right track with your proposed treatment plan...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Andrew Senior

Is It Ich- Or Just A Hallucination? (Possible Ich Outbreak) I feel all ichy. <I could come up with all sorts of crude responses to that one, but I'll refrain! Scott F. with you today!> I have a 75 gal. FOWLR tank, I consists of Rusty Angel, Snowflake Eel, 2 Damsels. All the water tests are in order.  The other day I bought some additional live rock for the tank. To make a long story short the Rusty Angel came down with what I believe to be ich. He hasn't had it very bad only 3 small white spots for a couple days, so I haven't gotten too aggressive with the treatment yet. For the past few days the white spots have been disappearing, with the last one going away this evening.  I am a little confused on what to do, can I assume that the Angel is overcoming the problem or is this something that normally happens and they come back or what? <If it is ich, the "coming and going" of the spots is a normal symptom of Cryptocaryon (marine ich). They do leave their host and enter a "free swimming" phase...If it is ich- don't be fooled into believing that the fish has somehow "shaken" the infection. It's still something that you need to be very concerned with> Should I wait a couple of days to see what happens and then take further action? Thanks a lot. Mike. <Well, Mike, in the absence of other symptoms, I suppose that a rush into a potentially stressful course of treatment would be, ahem- ill advised. However, do keep a close eye on things, and be prepared to take action if it is necessary...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Whitespot Woes - Hello crew I have a 275gallon FO tank with skimmer, a UV and bioball filter system. The fish are long nose butterfly, flame angel, yellow tang, and nebulosa, they are in the aquarium since 9 months. Recent test of water quality all OK. A week ago I bought two Heniochus butterflies and I DON'T have a quarantine tank I know my mistake, so I put the butterflies in and I had to travel the same day I came back after two days and the white spots were on the Heniochus. Since I didn't have a quarantine tank I started doing hypo salinity but I started very late so the nebulosa survived actually nothing happened to it, all the other fish died other than the yellow tang which got infected badly but survived and its been 3 weeks it's all clear from the spots and the color is back and eating with great appetite. Salinity is 0.1 since one month. <0.1 - do you mean 1.010? That is incredibly low - I'd bring it up to 1.015 if this is what you really mean.> Its been basically 3 weeks that the aquarium is back to normal with the yellow tang and the nebulosa what shall I do now. <I'm not sure what to tell you - what would you like to do now? Perhaps purchase the necessary equipment for a quarantine system.> please advice, Thank you Regards, Viken <Cheers, J -- >

- Whitespot Woes, Follow-up - Hi J <Hi.> Sorry for the mistake I meant 1.01 and I already started to build a QT but my question is shall I start to take the salinity back to 1.019 gradually. And since its been 3 weeks and everything is normal can I consider adding new fish? <I'd hold off for a little longer... perhaps if your quarantine tank is ready to go, then I'd start off with one fish.> Thank you <Cheers, J -- >

- Battling Ich - Hi everyone, I recently battled ich in my 135 reef.  Three tangs & a Flame Angel were victims.  All that is left is my Flame Hawk, Firefish, & a Fairy Wrasse.  I decided to finally setup a quarantine tank for all new arrivals.  My first fish, an Eibli Angel.  He now has ich, so I decided to give him a freshwater bath with Methylene Blue.  He freaked out the minute I put him in the freshwater (same pH & temp).  I hurried and placed him back in the QT.  He is now laying on his side breathing rapidly. <Is this an up to the minute report? I'm just curious how long the fish has been lying on its side... many fish appear to do poorly in a freshwater dip, but in fact will be fine - if you didn't leave him in there for at least five minutes, then you probably didn't address any of the ich issues - you will likely still need to treat the quarantine.>   When I setup the QT, I used water from my display tank.  It had been about three weeks so I thought the ich was no longer an issue, guess not. <The fish could have had this before you got it, and the stress of the move is what caused it to show up.> Should I get the remaining fish out of the display & treat with copper in my QT and leave the display empty for a while? <Are there any signs of trouble on your fish? I wouldn't treat them unless absolutely necessary.> Are these fish going to tolerate copper? <The angel probably won't - you might want to reduce the dose just a shade so that you don't OD the angel.> This is a lesson for everyone to quarantine all new arrivals, I wish I would of.  Thanks. <Cheers, J -- >

- Battling Ich, Follow-up - Well, the angel died about two hours after I gave him a brief freshwater bath. <I'm sorry to hear of your loss.> I thought wrasse's, firefish & Hawkfish were pretty disease resistant. <For the most part, they are.> If ich hasn't appeared on them, is it safe to say the tank is ich free? <I wouldn't go so far as to say the tank is ich free, but you may have a reprieve for the moment. Keep a sharp eye on things and make certain nothing has spread to your fish.> They are eating great and seem to show no signs. <Sounds good.> Thanks.   <Cheers, J -- >

Ich Risk (2/6/04) How is the gang doing??  <Speaking for myself, fine. Steve Allen here.> I have a potential problem.  About a month ago I bought a hippo tang, who quite possibly had marine ich. <Very common. Also, I think that the overall quality/health of Hippo Tangs has declined due to increased demand after "Finding Nemo."  He has since passed away. <Sorry to hear.> I have two Ocellaris clowns and two damsels.  My question is....what are the chances that these fish will also suffer from the parasite. <How long ago did the Tang die? After several weeks Ich-free the chances are lessened. Study the Ich FAQs on WWM and act aggressively if ich turns up.> Secondly, I may have a stowaway crab in my tank.... I'm not quite sure though.  Is there anyway that I could locate this possible tankmate <Can be hard, they hide well. Do you have things in your tank that are at risk? Have you seen the crab to try o ID it. Not always necessary to remove. Check the FAQs for "trap" and "crab" together to get some ideas.> Thanx again guys..... keep up the good work. <Hope this helps.>

- Parasite Problems - Dear Jason C.: Thanks again for your responses regarding the diatom problems I have been having.  The flow rate in this 180 gallon tank has been increased to a 10-to-1 turnover ratio, and the Nassarius snails have been doing a good job keeping the sand bed active.  I believe this problem is being slowly rectified.  As sometimes is the case, you correct one problem and another presents itself.  It has been many years since I have had an ich problem in any of my marine tanks, but the other day it noticed several small white spots on the body of the purple tang who inhabits this tank.  I'm fairly certain this is ich and not Oodinium because most of the spots are round and white in color. <Oodinium can be this way too, just generally smaller spots than Cryptocaryon.> What confuses me is that the fish is showing no signs of distress, eats with gusto, is not scratching himself on the rock, and is behaving in a normal manner.  Could this be something other than a parasitic invasion? <Hmm... have seen purple tangs with poor [or loss of] coloration which presents itself like small white dots - is your fish overall pale?> Assuming it is ich, I have not had to treat this disease since way back in 1995, so I have a series of questions for you.  Catching this tang in a 180 gallon aquarium filled with nearly 200 pounds of live rock just isn't going to happen. <Ahh, that's not true - you have many options, I'd start with trying to trap it, then move on to a rapid drain and refill... catch the fish while the water level is low.> Otherwise, I would have applied freshwater dips to rid the parasite directly from him. <Is still an option.> My only plan is to treat the entire tank in the following manner:  1). feed only medicated flakes and mysis shrimp soaked in garlic (NOTE:  the medicated Tetra flakes are from way back in the mid-90's; do you think the antibiotics in them are still useful?), <No... likely the medicine in the flakes is now impotent.> 2). slowly lower the salinity from 1.024 to 1.017 over a three or four day period, <I'd go even slower if you can.> 3). purchase a pair of cleaner shrimp who may help eradicate some of parasites from him, <They won't survive the low salinity - stop at 1.020 if you go the shrimp route.> and 4). possibly adding a so-called reef safe product such as "Kick Ich" to the tank. <Skip this step.> Here are the questions:  a). will the cleaner shrimp really do any good in battling ich?, <It will do 'some' but potentially not enough good.> b). are products such as "Kick Ich" and "No Ich" a waste of time, or are they worth a shot? <A waste of time and money.> , and c). are there any other suggested in-tank remedies you can provide? <No... I'd go to the trouble of catching this fish and trying to treat it directly - am looking at having to do this myself.> The only other two fish in the tank are a Pygmy Angel (who is likely at risk) and a Scott's Velvet Wrasse (which are usually disease resistant). <I wouldn't bank on that.> As you can see, I'm treating this situation like a true reef tank because of the live rock and invertebrates within it even though there are no corals.  Thanks for any advice you can offer. <Please spend some more time reading through the FAQs on Wet Web Media - much there for you on this topic.> Sam M.    <Cheers, J -- >

Ich Again? Another Q/T Convert Hello folks  <Hi there! Scott F. with you tonight!>  Great site have read most everything on it I think. Problem is/was? ich. Did not use quarantine- very very very foolish, I now know.  <Hey- a lesson learned!>  Anyway after capturing my remaining fish (goby and tomato clown), I put them in a hospital tank (water and pvc pieces only) and treated with rid ich+ until I saw no more ich, then treated for another week after that (total of 2 1/2 weeks).  <I have not used this product; just follow manufacturer's instructions with any meds>  Fallowed main tank for almost 6 weeks. Fish looked great, healthy no spots etc. After reintroducing to main tank clown would not go near his Bubble Tip Anemone. I figured he would eventually. The next day when I checked on them he was in the BTA but was covered with white spots- I mean covered, not just a few here and there but covered! All water parameters good. Could these be "burns" from BTA and lack of his exposure to BTA for 6 weeks or do I have ich again/still?  <Yep- a reoccurrence of ich is a definite possibility.. Sounds like he might have not been "cured in the first place". Perhaps a longer fallow period is in order.>  Looked closely at his fins and they looked good. Then later that day his fins had same white looking "burns" on them. My system is 30gal,Aqua-C Remora HOT skimmer,65 watt power compacts, live rock 30#/sand20#, Bio Wheel Marineland filter system and 20 hermits,4 turbo snails, banded coral shrimp, sand star, BTA, all of which stayed in tank while fallowing. All fish removed for fallowing. A good lesson here go buy at least a ten gal system for fifty bucks that will have everything you need to set up quarantine.  <You heard it here, folks! Good idea!>  ANY HELP on this would be appreciated. Clown is eating/swimming normal as is goby who still looks great.  Thanks, Mark  <Well, Mark, I hate to recommend an aggressive course of treatment again, but I think that it may be in order. If it were me, I'd send the fish back into the hospital tank again. Regretfully, I think that medication is the best way to knock out ich. I say regretfully, because there is a certain amount of stress involved in removing and treating this fish again so soon after his recent experience. I'd use some freshwater dips, in conjunction with copper sulphate, administered exactly per the manufacturer's instructions. Test regularly to make sure that you are maintaining a proper therapeutic dose. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Counterattack!  Thank you!  <You're welcome!>  What about Mardel Coppersafe? I have some of that, but have lost the booklet that comes with it...  <Do visit the Mardel Labs website. This is a good product (the copper that I usually use) if you follow the instructions..>  As for the nitrite, I'll have to borrow my neighbor's kit (or buy one at last). What would I be looking for? Well, high nitrite, I suppose.  <Use water from your display tank, as well as a sponge filter that has been "seeded" in your main tank for a while to colonize beneficial bacteria>  As for medicating the tank, is there any way I could tell if the treatment has worked besides waiting to see if the fish are still dying?  <Well, by "medicating the tank", I'm hoping that you're referring to the "hospital" tank! If you follow the manufacturer's recommended treatment and dosage, you will almost certainly defeat this illness. Follow the instructions, and the results should be apparent!>  As for the puffer, I forget his name, but I tracked him down on the internet several months back and seem to recall that he came from India. Anyhow, the nipping has been successfully kept in check by keeping him well fed!  <Glad to hear that! BTW, if you ever need to treat the puffer, please avoid using copper- they don't take well to this chemical, and I'd be remiss not to caution you on its use>  Otherwise, he's the smallest fish in the tank and pretty much keeps to himself, eyeballing the plants in hopes of finding something small and crunchy to snack on. Thank you again!  Sarah  <Good luck, Sarah! Hope everything works out just fine! Regards, Scott F>

Battle Plan! (Ich Treatment) Dear WWM,     I wrote a couple of days ago about my trigger having ich. I have decided to treat my fish with copper in a hospital tank. <Great decision!> There are some questions I have that I just can't seem to find answers for. I have heard that some fish do not do well with copper, so I was wondering if there would be any problems with treating a snowflake eel, a Picasso trigger, and a Volitans lionfish with it. <All the fish you mention should do fine with chelated copper medications. Avoid non-chelated copper, especially with the Moray!> I understand that I need to perform a freshwater dip, then treat with copper for two weeks, then feed well for the remaining time in the hospital tank which would be 1-1 1/2 months). <That's about right!> What I don't understand is about filtration. I have read that copper with kill the bacteria in filters, so I won't be able to use one. Is this correct? <Most of the commercial copper sulphate treatments, like CopperSafe, etc. will generally not interfere with biological filtration> I have also read that to keep that ammonia down I would need to perform daily water changes. My fish are large and produce a lot of waste, so I was wondering just how much water I need to change daily. <I'd shoot for 2-5% of tank volume with smaller fishes, but with these guys, it may have to be up to 10%. You'll have to gauge this based on their consumption and elimination> I will be treating in a 55 gallon aquarium. Even if I performed 20% water changes daily would this be enough to keep up with the ammonia? <You'll really just have to observe and test as you go> Should I be using a skimmer on the hospital tank? <If you can swing it, it could be helpful. Do monitor the copper regularly, to make sure that you are maintaining it at a proper therapeutic level> After two months of having no fish in the main tank will the liverock still be able to filter my tank when I put the fish back in? <Yep. "Feed" the tank with frozen food every few days...> Should I start running a power filter on the back of the main tank so that  when I'm done using the copper I can start using that on the hospital tank, or is there a possibility that the filter may contain some ich? <You should do this to help the media (no carbon here) "colonize" beneficial bacteria. I suppose some parasites could come along, but remember- you're going to be treating with copper...Not to worry!> Sorry for all the questions, but I'm just scared something is going to go wrong when I'm treating them. I would appreciate it if you could inform me of anything that doesn't sound right with what I wrote, or tell me if I'm missing something. <Your procedures sound fine! It IS a bit scary, but you'll be thrilled when your fish pull through! Hang in there!> Would Seachem's copper test kit be all right to use if I am using Cupramine? <Yep. absolutely. Good choice> Should I still be feeding regularly when they are being treated with copper? <I would. They need nutrition during this stressful period. Just make sure that uneaten food does not accumulate...> Please be detailed and help me understand? <You pretty much have it down! Just refer to the WWM parasitic disease treatment FAQs if you need any more information. Let the battle begin! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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