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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 16

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 14, Crypt FAQs 15, 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,

Too late?

Lionfishs' dislocated jaws and ich   3/10/06       Hello  again,   I am getting ready to set up my 140, but am trying to clear up an  ich problem  in my 55 before I transfer the inhabitants. <Good idea> My 55 is a FOWLR, there are  two  6" volitans that I've had since they were 2" and never a problem. 6  weeks ago I introduced a gold bellied dog face in anticipation of up  grading to  the 140. The 55 is going to be the qt so when I brought the puffer home  I did  not have a qt. Instead I did a fresh water bath.. I know... I  know...  A few days later the puffer  was covered in ich and I began fresh water baths for all three fish and  over  the course of three days lowered the sg from 1.020 to 1.009. Twice a  day for  three days I continued the fresh water baths with all three fish. Once  there was no visual evidence  of ich on the fish I began counting to four weeks with the tank at a  specific  gravity of 1.009. Everything was perfect for the first week, all three  fish  were eating. At the beginning of the second week one of the volitans  dislocated  its upper jaw. <Likely from a physical trauma in this crowded space> I have kept several lions over the past two decades and  this was a first for me so I rapidly researched it on your site and  wrapped the lion in a saltwater wetted non-colored cloth I  massaged the upper jaw back into almost perfect place. <Ah, good!> He began eating  again  with in a week. At the beginning of the third week the other lion fish  dislocated its upper jaw but to a further degree than the first lion.  (I have  never witnessed quarrels among the tank mates. They sleep/rest with  fins  intertwined and when ever some new enters the room they intertwine  their fins  and drift through the tank looking like a giant lion fish.) <A threat gesture> The second  lion’s  upper jaw has no flexibility, I have tried massaging it into place  but it  remains the same and she is not eating. Upon the four week mark with no  visual  signs of ich, I began restoring the tank to a s.g. of 1.020. It has  been four  days with the tank at 1.020, I have introduced no new fish, no live  feeders,  no  food that was not previously frozen for at least a week and  today I  found my puffer with traces of ich <Yes... hyposalinity treatments rarely "cure" parasitic infestations... See WWM re...> and one of my lions with one or two  specs. I  did a fresh water bath on all three. My question is... Do I lower the  s.g.  again or do I nuke the tank with a modern medicine of your choice. I am  willing  to lose my live rock but would prefer not to use something that will  imbed its  self in the rock and make it unusable for a future reef. It is my  understanding that copper treatments will do just that to live rock.      Please help, I care deeply for these guys     Jason <Mmm, well, first of all a 55 is too small for just these Lions, second, I would not mix a tetraodont puffer with them... in the 55 for sure, lastly, the means to treat the crypt is posted on WWM... Bob Fenner> Question about fish sickness - Non-native English-speaker Hi there, <Saludo!> I have had my 180 gallon saltwater tank for over three years now, and never had a problem with any marine parasites, viruses or anything else. I haven’t added a new fish to my tank for over a year and some month, so it has been pretty much always been the angel emperor, French angel, two clown fish and one red fire cleaner shrimp. Last year I noticed that the two angels had spots (they weren’t really spots, it looked like the fin was clouded somehow) on the fins only, which cleared itself up after two weeks or longer. Since then, no recurrence. Two weeks ago, I noticed that they both have the same problem again (only the two angels). I was wondering what that might be, cause I haven’t added any new live stock to the aquarium or any live rock either, so, them getting a parasite is pretty out of the picture, right?? <Yes... likely Cryptocaryon, White Spot... a resident, permanent infestation in your system... re-surfacing during times of stress with your Angels> I was thinking about Lymphocytes, cause it disappeared and now a year later, same thing again. But I wanted to add some new fish in about two weeks that I already ordered, and how am I going to do that with them having a constant, but not fatal, health problem, ,that just pops up from time to time?? Would it infect the new stock? <Very likely so, yes> How can I completely eradicate this problem? <Eradication will be very difficult, requiring the removal of all fish hosts, a long period of having none present (months here), or bleaching/killing all that is in the tank... starting over. However, a measure of control is possible... perhaps with the addition of purposeful cleaners. I suggest some other Lysmata shrimp that will go with your L. debelius> I have waited over a year to be sure and safe to add new fishes after their first outbreak... now they got it again! Please help me! Sandra P.S.: I got an email re-send from you saying I should correct my English and grammar, well, my original language is German and Spanish, so if I don't speak that perfect English like an American, I am really sorry. <No problemo, entiendo perfectamente. Gracias usted. Bob Fenner> <<Aqui no hay "problemo", tenemos una problemA.  Muchas, muchas y besos para ti!>>

Ick-What Else Can I Do? <Hi, MikeD again> Thanks for the info guys, it was comforting to know that I was pretty much doing everything right.  However, more time has brought on more questions.  It has been about 11 days since we moved Sushi to the new tank.  It took about 5-6 days for the Ich to disappear from his body and fins fully, and he appeared to be Ich free for about 4 days when I started to see little dots on his fins.<That's about right for new parasites to have attached and grown big enough to be visible>  This was a little surprising since I figured tank parameters would prevent this,(86F, 1.012sg, 8.2pH) and we have been doing extensive maint. on the QT(50-75% water changes almost every day to keep the ammonia down and siphoning the bottom to get the cysts), but I chalked it up to a couple of lucky ones that found his fins quick before they burst in the low salt water.<Each cyst that hatches out on the bottom divides into approximately 200 more, so getting down to "just a couple" is next to impossible> Unfortunately, I must have been wrong because last night he had them all over his body again. He isn't breathing hard at all (like last time), but this obviously worries me.<It should, as the breathing will become labored as the gills become infested>  I thought that free swimming Ich couldn't survive in water that was below 1.014sg. So here are my new questions: 1. I read something that suggested taking the sg down to 1.009 in the QT. Is that advisable?<Yes. It's not guaranteed that hyposalinity alone will kill all parasites, with best results in this range> 2. I bumped up the temp in the main tank to 90F, how long without a fish host before the Ich in that tank is eradicated? ( I have read some sources that say as little as 2 weeks, and then others claim 6 weeks).<I'd go with 6-8 weeks myself. The higher temps will help speed up the process, but these are very tough organisms, as you're finding out.> 3. I didn't do anymore dips, but I was fully aware of the "puffer air problem" you discussed. When I did it initially I used a glad ware bowl and scooped him up. I dipped him in a 5 gallon bucket, so the small amount of water I moved with him didn't affect the salinity. Should I start with daily dips since his chance of getting puffed with air is nil?<I've not seen any evidence that dips are effective in the time before the fish becomes stressed or severely injured and would personally suggest against it....I NEVER dip my fish for Ick> 4. I stopped using the Methylene Blue since it was messing with the pH and ammonia tests (yellow and blue make green), but should I start using it again?<I have best results using a product called "quick cure" that's Methylene blue and formalin, used for 5 days> 5. Is this pretty normal for it to come back in these water conditions, or do I have a particularly evil strain of Ich?<ALL strains of ick are particularly evil...in an aquarium where attaching to a fish is almost a certainty, it assumes epidemic proportions with great regularity> 6. How and how long before I can safely assume that there is no longer any Ich in the QT tank or on my puffer?<After a good medication regimen, it should be gone in the Q tank in a week, at most> A quick response would be incredibly appreciated,  I am getting really frustrated.<LOL! Frustration will only help the ick parasites.  The more the fish is stressed, the lower it's resistance and the better the odds of reinfestation.> Thanks again,<You're welcome. Hang in there.> Jason

"Curing" Ick (10/31/04) I have a 6 feet marine tank for about a year. The fishes are all stable and I'm real glad. Recently, I added a I feet tank to my room. <How many feet?> The waters crystal clear and stabilized. However, I've noticed that after 3 weeks, my snapper which is a real hardy fish was down with ick. I cured it with medication, but without quarantine. <You did not cure it, you simply killed the parasites that were visible on the fish. Study the lifecycle of the Cryptocaryon parasite to understand that it was almost certainly not gone from your system.> Now the ick is gone but within 7 hours when I got back from college, the fish's covered w "salt", which I believe its velvet. <Possible, but more likely a recurrence of the ich. It usually comes back far worse the second round because the thousands or millions of parasites in the sand/rock/water all go after the fish. Having two virulent parasites in the same system at once is not as likely.> It died the next day and it really pains me. <Always sad indeed.> The other golden maroon clown is infected with the same with covering all over its body and fins. From your site, I believe its velvet. <Possible, but Ick seems more likely--very similar in appearance. Treatment is similar too--mostly agents that kill ick kill velvet. You must remove all fish from this tank to a quarantine ant treat there. Check out recent articles about Ick and Velvet at www.reefkeeping.com.> So, I brought the salt water level content down to 1.016 to kill the parasites. <Not nearly low enough--must be 1.010--too low for safety of your biofilter and any invertebrates in your system.> However, you recommended fresh water dips, which I don't understand? <Some recommend FW dips, others do not. Bottom line is that 1.016 will not work.> As in for how long should a fresh water dip be, and the time period? <Skip the dips and treat in QT with 1.010 and maybe meds.> Lastly, I don't have a quarantine tank, I have one, but no filter or skimmer or that sort of equipment. <All you need is a bare tank, a simple mechanical filter (I use an external power filter, others use internal sponge), and a heater.> Will this velvet disease attack my fishes for ever?? <Yes> How do I clear of this endless combat with this disease. <You must remove all fish from the system, treat them, and leave the system fish-free for 6-8 weeks. All the info you need is in the parasite FAQs and the articles at the site I recommended. Plenty of reading and work in store to succeed. Good luck, Steve Allen.> More Ick Questions (10/31/04) Dear Bob, <Steve Allen helping out tonight.> I had an outbreak of ich in my reef and fish tank, with one of the fish (resembles a high-fin-angelfish but with more goldfish like fins with 'scale-less' skin texture and beautiful black & white markings) coming down first. He was isolated, treated with Cupramine for 3 days with no effect. His old white spots were dropping off fast but with immediate traces of new much smaller spots appearing all over his body. <Perhaps not enough copper. One should always monitor copper levels to assure safe, effective level.> As soon as I saw his white spots dropping off I did a 100% water change with new does of Cupramine. <This is not the best way to do it. You need to maintain correct levels. A 100% water change should only be used in desperate situations, because it is very stressful to the fish.> I did this for 3 days until I lost my patience, then, switched medication to malachite green. <Often helpful, though often not by itself.> This had an immediate effect with white spots disappearing with no new spots re-appearing in his body.  Now he's been free of any ich symptoms for 10 days. <Good. Don't put him back until no spots for 4 weeks in a medicine-free tank.> Unfortunately, my Percula clownfish & a blue damsel came down with 1 or 2 spots on their fins 2 days ago. They were isolated by themselves in my second QT, and were treated with malachite green. Then a disaster struck. After being in QT for 12 hours, the blue damsel was on its side at the bottom. It died quickly without reviving. The clownfish looked OK, but I did a 100% water change just in case with no medication. <This is a more appropriate use of a 100% change.> Next day, I tried again, I added malachite green to the QT, but within 5 minutes the clownfish was losing its balance, then died quickly. <This strongly suggests that the malachite green killed them somehow.> I know that I did some drastic things like 100% water changes out of panic, but I believe that malachite green killed my damsel and the clownfish. <I'd say so.>  But, my black& white angelfish survived through so many days of malachite green in his QT. How come? <Some fish are more sensitive to certain chemicals than others. Amy possibility of an overdose in the second tank?>Is malachite green more toxic than copper based-medication? <tough question, and the answer is different for different fishes. There is a fair amount about this compound in the FAQs. There are also a series of excellent articles about the pros and cons of the various treatments for ick in the archives at www.advancedaquarist.com and www.reefkeeping.com. I highly recommend that you read them carefully.> Heart-broken. <Sad indeed. So sorry to hear of your loss.> Kelvin Chu Hong Kong <Try to make certain that they did not die in vain. Learn from this episode and make sure that you rid your system of ich. If you keep it fishless for 6-8 weeks, the remaining parasites should die out so that there is no recurrence so long as you quarantine all new acquisitions for 4 weeks.>

Another ich outbreak Hi we have just had another ich outbreak (sigh) really don't know how no new fish were introduced.. could be eggs from the last batch.. who knows. <How long has it been? if the tank hasn't gone fallow the ich could have always been there. Sounds like there is something stressing the fish. Have you checked for stray current? Is your water levels steady?>  Anyways I put my Scopas tang and false Percula in a 10 gallon quarantine tank along with a coral beauty that was getting ready to go in the 55 gallon show tank. The fish have been in for 2 weeks so far. The ick is gone and I removed the copper with water changes. My tangs mouth is starting to get small fungal like growths on the inside he still eats like a pig so I'm not worrying too much. Now for the big question. I have purchased a 135 gallon tank which I'm in the process of setting up. There is no water in it yet and my plan was to transfer the water from the 55 into the 135 then add however much more is needed. <If you have ich and the tank has not been empty for 4  weeks I would NOT add the water unless you plan to wait four weeks to add anything.>  If I do this how long will I have to wait until my fish can go back in? I was going to wash all the aragonite substrate in freshwater to kill any of the ich eggs is this all right and will it get rid of the ich? <Depends but it will also kill your live bacteria> Also how deep should my sand bed be? I was goin to use the aragonite as a base and then put live sand on top, will this work or should I just go with a 1" of live sand? Also (last question) will 350 watts of metal halide be enough for just soft corals and shrooms? the tanks is only 18" high instead of the standard 24" so I think it will make a difference.. but I don't know. <Should be okay for softies but depends on how spread out it is.> Thanks a lot for your time and your irreplaceable site <Good luck MacL>

Formalin with Sensitive Fishes Hello WetWeb crew person who takes this question    : ) <Hello! Ryan with your question today>      I’ve made it a habit to peruse this most awesome website almost everyday as new challenges arise in my marine animal keeping odyssey. <Phenomenal thing to say!> Thank you all for your much needed knowledge, time and caring for our piscine critters and their sometimes bewildered owners. <Sometimes?  Just joshing>      I am seeking advise on treating a pretty sensitive flasher wrasse (not sure if P. carpenteri or p. filamentosus) for a rather persistent case of crypt..  He is in a 15 gallon bare bottomed, PVC pipe quarantine tank along with 5 Stonogobiops gobies.  PH  has remained at 8.0.     I tried a fresh-water dip on the wrasse with adjusted ph to 8.0  and temp around 78f, and the wrasse went stiff and flared, lost color and dropped to the bottom and lay there within 5 seconds. He didn’t move when I scooped him out and put him back in the quarantine where he spent twenty four hours breathing heavy and lying in a corner before he recovered. <Doesn't sound too promising>  In fact, I believe I was more out stressed by how he reacted.  Am not inclined to do that again. <And likely not necessary, if the proper medications are added to the quarantine setup.>      Decided to treat with Kordon Formalin-3 because it seemed this was the better choice for a sensitive fish. <Yes, I was about to suggest it> The biological filter crashed after first treatment. <Predictably> Have been dosing according to directions on bottle for 7 days at the 10ppm.  Temp. is at 80f.  Because of the filter crash I have been doing 30-50% water changes a day while siphoning bottom, and dosing new change water only. <In QT, 30% daily water changes are almost mandatory!  In a perfect world, you shouldn't rely on the bacterial filter in this scenario> Also am adding Seachem Prime to help protect the fishes from the unfortunately present ammonia and high nitrites. <OK> Throughout this, so far, 7day ordeal, the wrasse and gobies having been eating (feeding sparingly) with a ravenous appetite.     On 7th day (AAAAAAARGH!, my back is killing me), about 3 new Ich spots appeared on the wrasse’s dorsal fin. <It's time for copper>      My questions come from total lack of experience in treating marine fish....would you recommend I stay with the Formalin-3 at double the recent dose to 20ppm (which is what I've begun to do as I wait for a response)? and observe if it was simply that the dose was simply not strong enough? Or do you recommend using the heavier duty formalin (staying with the same type of chemical) for ponds from a company like Aquarium Products instead (I have to order off the internet)?  Or  go on to Coppersafe which I worry will maybe pound the wrasse and gobies more than the formalin.  Is switching medications  way too detrimental to the fishes health? <Run carbon, and in two days with water changes, start copper treatment.  Buy a copper test, you'll need it to get the treatment levels correct.>      I am trying to be as conscientious a caretaker as possible and absolutely appreciate the time taken by you to consider and answer my questions. <Yes, and overcoming ICH is the nastiest business in the hobby!  Be patient, you're on your way to curing this ailment!  Feel free to write back if the copper doesn't do the trick.  Cheers, Ryan> Thank you so much, once again,  Esmeralda

Emergency Question (continued) <MikeD here again> I appreciate your help. You know the only invertebrates to survive was my small spiny lobster. No fish deaths yet. The Hyposalinity method is a great recommendation now that most of my invertebrates are gone. <That would seem to be your best bet under the conditions, then, after the Ick is under control, possibly rethink your combination in terms of the ADULT sizes of your charges. While this often seems idiotic while all of the fish are small, some have such a rapid growth rate that the wisdom of doing so soon becomes self evident, particularly as the true nature of each fish approaching adulthood manifests itself.  Once the nursery school stage is past, it's amazing how much more important the whole logistics becomes to avoid wholesale slaughter.>

Ich I have a 100 gallon reef tank and it is doing great except for that fact that I can't put any fish into it. I have 3 Anthias that never show the signs of having Ich but they must be host because I have gone months with just them in there, then I will add fish that has been in quarantine and it will come down with Ich within two days. <Sounds like the tank is holding the Ich and the Anthias have built up an immunity to it.> This has happened twice. Will I have to find away to remove the Anthias and have the tank empty for a month to eradicate the Ich? <A fallow tank is really the only way to get rid of Ich permanently. There are some ways to combat it on the fish you are putting in, things like cleaner shrimps etc. But to truly get rid of it you have to let the tank sit pretty much empty.> Also I have one bristleworm that pops out of a rock every once and a while. Is it important for me to trap him? <Bristles are usually good. Good luck, MacL> Thanks, Andy

Taking The war To Ich! Hi: <Hi there! Scott F. at your service!> I hate to be redundant but your site is great!  What a resource for people to have.   <We're happy to be here for you. We have a lot of fun helping our fellow hobbyists!>   I have a 100 gallon tank set up for 6 weeks.  It is mixed with a few soft corals and approx 7 fish.  I have not wanted to go through the expense or the effort to set up a QT tank but I can see that it is the only way to treat disease properly. <And the best way to prevent it, too!> My Yellow Tang has spots on his fins that seem to fade as the day wears on.  How long will it take for the disease to progress if it is indeed ICH? <Well, this disease has a well documented life cycle, and can be defeated with attention to this. We have a number of articles on the WWM site under "Parasitic Diseases" which offer excellent overviews of diagnosis and treatment. Sounds like Ich to me, but further observations on your part will confirm this.> Also, in a reef tank it is all but impossible to catch a fish that is still relatively healthy.  Is it common practice to dismantle the tank in order to catch fish or is there a method that works that you can share. Thank you. Larry Regan <I am alternately applauded and vilified for my views on this matter, but I would do whatever it takes to remove the fish from the aquarium for treatment in a separate aquarium. Treating in the display is simply not an acceptable option, IMO. Once you've had the miserable experience of pulling out rocks and corals to catch a sick fish, you'll never again forgo quarantine! You can easily defeat ich, but it does involve getting the fish out for treatment. Roll up your sleeves and take the battle to the illness! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

White Spot, Ich, Cryptocaryon- Nasty By Any Name! Hi, first timer to this site.  We have a problem with white spot (sorry at work haven't got time to go thru all the FAQ's) have live rock, anemones, I dead, unwell, no extra tank have tried bathing live in the country (Australia) only 1 aquarium place in town. HELP ME PLEASE Cheers Sharon <Well, Sharon, this disease can be maddening to eradicate. The most simple (and effective, IMO) technique is to remove the infected fishes from your display (You don't need to get another tank- you can get a large plastic trash can or other container to do the job.) and treat the infected fishes with copper sulphate or a formalin-based preparation (taking care to follow the manufacturer's directions concerning dosage and duration). Meanwhile, the display tank will run without fishes for a month or so to help interrupt the life cycle of the causative protozoa, greatly reducing their numbers to a level that otherwise healthy fishes can withstand. Please do read up on the WWM site under the "Parasitic Disease FAQs", where you'll find tons of information on identifying and treating these maladies effectively. With prompt attention, you can defeat this disease! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Ich Strikes Again! Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I just bought a small yellow tang about a week ago for my 75 gallon tank and it started out doing great.  But lately he has been showing signs of ich.  The thing is he is covered with spots in the morning and when I get home later he seems to be doing much better.  He is not showing any other signs of ich (no scratching, eating great, active).  Do you think this is ich? <Hard to be certain 100% without a picture, but if it looks like ich, acts like ich...you know the rest!> If it is what would be the best way to treat it I do have Live rock in my aquarium)?  Any help would be much appreciated,     Thanks Ben Matson <Well, Ben, I'm a big fan of the "fallow tank" technique, which involves removing the fish from your aquarium and leaving the tank without fishes for a month or so. The infected fish is treated with copper sulphate or formalin in a separate aquarium. Do check up on the "Parasitic Disease FAQs" on the WWM site for literally tons of information on who to tackle this annoying, but common, illness.> Plotting Best Course - Treating Ich >Hello, >>Hello. >First of all thank you for this excellent, informative site. >>You and all others are welcome. >My problem is that, I discovered that my newly acquired (and not quarantined of course) blue tang has marine ich, which I assume is in the early stages. My display aquarium has another fish, a Foxface, which does not display any of the marine ich symptoms. I also have some live rock, a cleaner shrimp, some snails and an long tentacle anemone in my tank. >>Ok, a mixed system, to be sure.  I won't ask why you didn't quarantine, but will gently admonish you to please try to make it standard protocol. >I understand that the only safe way is to prepare a hospital aquarium and move the infected fish to this aquarium and either do a copper or hyposalinity treatment. >>Yes, this is generally correct, however, ALL vertebrate life must now be moved out of the display, as even if a fish doesn't show much in the way of symptoms, it is still quite possible that it allows enough parasites to host that they can continue living in the display.  No fish = no ich. >My question is, since I do not have a hospital aquarium at the moment, shall I use some matured water from my display tank or shall I prepare a fresh mix of saltwater which is temperature adjusted to the water in the display tank? >>NO display water at all, this defeats the purpose.  Freshly mixed and aged (at least a day or two), brought to temperature AND pH adjusted.  Then bring down the salinity a point or so each day, should be down to hyposalinity levels (1.007 - 1.010) within a few days to a week. >My second question is, if I prepare a fresh saltwater mix, can I use the sponge from the sump in my display tank in order to transfer the beneficial bacteria to the hospital tank? >>You could indeed, but know that you'll be likely adding more parasites.  However, if done from the beginning the hyposaline conditions should inhibit further growth.  Also have on hand some Bio-Spira (marine).  Also, remember that any watertight container, including a 33 gallon trash can lined with plain black plastic bags can be used for treatment.  Remember to use a heater unless the area's ambient temperature is very stable.  I will also recommend having a second trash can with unused, mixed seawater for water changes. >I assume this would mean that I will [bring] some of the parasites that cause ich to the hospital tank. >>You're absolutely correct.  You really do seem to have a good handle on what to do here. >Shall I avoid this? >>Honestly, I think it would be better to reduce the chance of ammonia and nitrite spikes for these fishes (more specifically the tang, the Foxface can take it), as that is stressful. >Considering that the other fish does not seem infected, shall I keep it in the display tank? >>I recommend against this and feel that all fish should be treated regardless. >I am worried that the existence of the Foxface will mean that the display tank will not go "fallow". >>Again, you are quite correct. >Is it possible for a fish to be a host for this parasite although it does not show the symptoms? >>Yes, and now some suggested searching/reading: Steven Pro and Terry Bartelme have written (Terry rather extensively) on treatment efficacy and protocol. >Would this cause the blue tang to become infected again in the future, once it is treated in the hospital tank and then returned to the display tank? >>All too commonly, my friend.   >About letting the display tank go fallow, will the existence of invertebrates and live rock hinder this process? >>Not at all, as a matter of fact they allow the ich to die off while maintaining a stable marine environment and keeping your cultures of nitrifying bacteria alive.  I would suggest a wee bit of overfeeding to ensure your cultures are larger (i.e. at fish-load levels).  Maybe once or twice a week, drop a bit of raw shrimp or just overfeed a wee bit. >Thank you for your time.  Best regards, Gorkem Ersoy >>You're welcome, Gorkem, and as I said, you seem to have a good handle on the situation.  I hope this has been helpful to you, and best of luck treating this ubiquitous parasite.  Marina What to do? Live rock from an ich infested system >Hello Crew: >>Hello Eric. >I have not written to you guys for a long time. This time, I have 2 main questions. My friends 150 gallon tank is fully infested with ich, we noticed it today on the powder blue, and emperor angel. >>Yep, once one's got it, the whole system should be considered infected. >His system is reef and has live rock and sand and a couple pieces of corals. Fishes included (powered blue, emperor angel adult, 2 juv Koran, purple tang, clown tang and a Red Sea angel). >>I call "overcrowded system"!  Doesn't matter *why* he's got two Koran juvies in there, what he needs to know is that the peace won't last long upon commencement of the maturation process.  Also, do watch those tangs if they're presently small/juveniles, too.  For the animals he has, he should be housing them in a system at least DOUBLE the size they're in, in my honest opinion.  Why do I bring this up?  Because, overcrowding is a really good way to get disease going. >Fishes are still eating and swimming good with no rapid breathing/scratching. >>Good, very good. >Temp 82F, sal 1024, pH 8.24, NO3-10ppm, PO4=0. >>Warmish, but good. >Question 1: He is determined that he only wants a fish-only system after this ordeal, the fished that we have bought has been quarantined for 14 days and showed no sign of illness. But at the end.. >>Mistake number one.. or maybe number two, after overcrowding.  Proper (and PROVED) quarantine protocol is a minimum of 30 days (and this next bit is key) DISEASE FREE.  Anyway, I can certainly understand his sentiments. >Anyway, we are thinking about moving the live rock and corals out, leaving a thin sandbed and some crushed corals in sump. >>That shouldn't be a problem. >And do the copper and hyposalinity treatment in main display. >>Uh uh. Nope.  No way.  I would not do that if I were you.  Wouldn't be prudent <in her best George B., Sr. voice> >The reason behind is that he has a 50 gallon QT but no bacteria count, (due to previous QT period, the filter is used up and cleaned) should he do the copper and lower salt 0.001 everyday till 1.010 and temp 82F??   >>Whoa there, big fella.  You both DO realize that if you intend to use copper (choose copper or hypo, and honestly, I urge you to try hyposalinity FIRST, but make it one or the other, not both) that it WILL KILL *ALL* nitrifying bacteria, right? >Any better ways to do this?? >>Yep!  A brief primer, with additional reading for you stout men: First, I highly recommend he thin the herd.  I don't think I can recommend this highly *enough*, actually, because I'm sure your mother taught you, as mine did, prevention is a good thing.  So, IF he's committed to using his display to treat, then he MUST strip it down of all organic, porous material first.  This material will absorb the copper (rendering it null and void in the water column), it will harbor for this parasite (making it near impossible to eliminate), and its nitrifying bacteria WILL die off when coppered, thus making a stinking mess. My Recommendations are as follows: (and please search the site for more comprehensive information) *Get more containers for treating the fish with hypo OR copper (remember above preferences).  Large trash bins lined with black plastic bags work well enough for Mom here (do make sure they are NOT "anti" anything, no scent added, nothing - just plain plastic).  They may or may not need heaters (depending on your local conditions).  Filtration of some sort is needed, at least for water movement.  If it must be cheap, then air-driven sponge filters should do just fine.  If you can get it down there, Bio-Spira is an instant dose of nitrifying bacteria, otherwise, you're committed to water changes on a daily basis, which isn't so bad because using copper you have the same commitment as well. *Make sure you have either a lab-grade float hydrometer (my preferred) or a decent refractometer, as there is no way you can otherwise make an accurate assessment of salinity - rather important when utilizing hyposalinity. *Thin the herd!  (Did I mention he either needs to put those fish into a system of at least 300 gallons, or thin the herd?)  Thin the herd! *Assigned reading: search for articles on ich treatment by Steven Pro, Terry Bartelme, Advanced Aquarist Online Magazine (found via reefs.org - search the database).  These will be much more detailed than what I can do here, regarding both methods of treatment. *Consider also formalin, generally same caveats as copper, but no test available, and do use gloves when handling. *Let the display go fallow for 6-8 weeks at a higher temperature (82F-84F). >Question 2: He also wants to sell me the live rock to my new system, should I purchase the rocks? >>ONLY if they're uncoppered.  Let him know, though, that with the fish he's got, they'll really do much better if he leaves the live rock for them.  Really. >Is it safe if I am determined to let this new system to be fallow for at least 3 months?? >>Absolutely, mate!   >What water parameter should I maintain during my cycle period to make sure no ich is left after this 3 months?? >>You shouldn't cycle at all, but otherwise, just maintain the normals, doing water changes as necessary, and hold at a slightly higher temp to speed up the lifecycle of the parasite. >Question 3: Will 84F and 1.010 salinity kill macroalgae in the new tank's sump and coralline in the rocks?? >>Probably not the coralline, but quite possibly the macros.  In my opinion 84F is a bit high (close to those coral bleaching temps), but plenty of folks go at that with no problems whatsoever, so your choice on that.  A note on hyposalinity for treatment of ich - 1.010 is the top end of hypo, the range being 1.007 - 1.010.  However, if you're speaking simply of how to treat the rock once moved to your new display, keep it fallow (NO fish) for that period of time and nothing else need be done. >If so, what parameter is safest yet suitable for my inhabitants during cycling? >>Again, don't worry about a whole cycle on the live rock.  HOWEVER!  You must be sure to keep it out of your display for that 6-8 weeks I spoke of, or what I like even BETTER is the three months you mentioned.  Remember, the parasite will eventually die off sans hosts, but it has been known to last as long as 72 days.. though I believe that that would have only been attainable at significantly lower temperatures. >Question 4: Should I add the macroalgae after I test positive for NO3 or should I add right away? >>Your choice. >Question 5: Last, when I dose Cupramine from SeaChem, I follow the bottle instruction dosage. However when I use the SeaChem test kit to test dosage, I do not get any reading, even after duplicate tests attempt.  should I trust the test kit or dosage instructions?   >>If you're putting any copper into a system that has sand, gravel, crushed coral, dead coral heads, ANYTHING porous, you will likely have a VERY difficult time getting enough of it in there to get proper readings.  Really, this *must* be administered in a bare tank only.  It's just too dangerous to do it any other way, my friend.  (Bare tank can have PVC pieces in it to offer hiding places and security to the fish, but it's completely non-porous and can easily be sterilized.) >Please help. we must act fast. Some of the fishes in his tank are mine and I do not want to lose the powder blue.  Eric >>Well, you've got my best advice, and please, DO find those other online articles, they'll help you greatly in your decision and treatment of the fish.  I will also advise you to, if not already doing so, start soaking the dry food in Selcon.  Nutrition and water quality are THE two most important issues to address, especially when treating for disease.  And remember, quarantine MUST be 30 days!  Marina

What to do? Live rock from an ich infested system -II >Dear marina: >>Dear Eric... >So you are saying that the only way the main display is treated well is to take out all gravel/porous material... then wouldn't it have an ammonia spike?? >>No, I'm saying that the gravel and porous material will absorb copper and harbor parasites.  That means that you'd be wasting time and money treating with copper in the display, along with the added fun of losing ALL nitrifying bacterial colonies, as the copper will kill them off.  Better to treat in a bare tank that allows no safe harbor for parasites, allows you to dose much more precisely with copper, and will leave you with easier water changes (I think I forgot to mention that in the bare container you should siphon off the bottom daily to remove dropped cysts - use airline tubing for greatest control). >And either way I will have to deal with ammonia.. right? >>Not if you use hyposalinity and a dose of live nitrifiers, as well as do those daily water changes till all is settled. >Then what I might do is to get all fish to a 50 gallon... QT, and try to get the BioSpira... and water change... >>I don't know the sizes of the fish, but I wouldn't try to stuff them into a 50 gallon, I'd get at least one large trash bin, OR I'd get a storage tub/container (think Rubbermaid clear-sided.. or not, containers).  Both would be in the 30-40 gallon range, both work well and are easy and quick to set up.  The Bio-Spira is a concoction of live nitrifying bacteria.   >I will do the hypo first, do I lower the salinity slowly everyday till 1.007?  temp 82F? >>You can lower it a point or two over the next few days, yes.  Keeping a slightly warmer temperature does indeed speed up the lifecycle, but with the hyposalinity your first task is to ensure the fish are comfortable.  If they're being kept already in that temperature range, I'd keep it there.  Remember to keep pH MATCHED! >Let the system fallow for 8 weeks? Good enough? >>Ought to be, yes, though that three months you mentioned would be darn near guaranteed. >Eric >>I hope this gives you a better idea what to expect and a good game plan.  Remember the reading!  Marina Sticky Ich-y >Hi!   >>Greetings! >I picked up Bob Fenner's book, "The Conscientious Aquarist" and to be honest. it would have saved my initial tank crash had I had it!  A wonderful and invaluable resource, for sure!!!!  The Bible for fish keeping!!!!! >>One of them, to be sure. >I made the mistake of adding a neon goby to my main tank 2 days ago.   >>A neon goby, in and of itself was the mistake, or was the mistake adding a fish without first quarantining. >It looked covered with ich, yesterday, so I immediately converted my 5 gallon fresh, empty tank into a quarantine by draining it completely removing the substrate, adding water from my main tank with tiny pieces of live rock and removing the fish.   >>I suggest losing the live rock, it will provide harbor for the parasite.  Instead use pieces of PVC. >I am adding "ich attack" (have had great success with it in the past) and may drop the salinity if it doesn't improve.. tank temp elevated to 80 to speed the process.   >>Tank temp can go higher, not familiar with Ich Attack, but since it's a medication, DEFINITELY REMOVE the live rock.  I prefer going with the least harsh treatments first if at all possible, so in my opinion you should have gone with hyposalinity (1.007 - 1.010) *first*.   >Do you think I need to treat my main tank?   >>With medication?  I wouldn't recommend that at all.  What I would recommend is removing all fish and letting it go fallow a minimum of 6-8 weeks. >I will keep a close eye on it.. Regards, Lisa >>I suggest doing a search on ich articles by Steven Pro and Terry Bartelme, as well as searching our extensive database on parasitic treatments to round out your plan of attack.  Otherwise, you're moving quickly and on the right track.  Marina

Spots That Won't Go Away! Hi, <How goes it, Michael here> My level of copper in my tank is .50 ppm. Is that enough to treat marine ich? <Too high, I'm afraid.  I would lower it with water changes or carbon to .25 ppm> The test kit I have only goes up to >or = to 1 ppm. Please respond quickly and thanks for the info!! <No problem, good luck.  Make sure to monitor your water quality while dosing.  M. Maddox> My level has been that high for weeks and the 2 spots on the tang and the 4 on the blue damsel are not going away. Why is that? Maybe the spots on the damsel are scales? They kind of stick up Thanks thanks <Scott F. following up. Mike was right on the mark. Maintain proper copper levels for the manufacturer's recommended duration. As far as the spots are concerned, you might be dealing with something that copper is not effective at treating. Rather than continuous exposure to copper, I'd probably discontinue using it for a while. Observe the fish carefully for a few days "post-copper"...See if they are improving, declining, or maintaining their current status. Could very well be some sort of scale distortion or other non-infectious condition on the fish. Be alert...Regards, Scott F.>

Moving Time For Anemone? Hoping you could help me with a general question.. <Will try!> I have a 30 gallon reef tank and a 200 gallon reef tank, the 30 was infected with ich and all my fish died. <Yuck. Sorry to here that> I also have a carpet anemone in that tank. Just wanted to know if it was safe to add the anemone to my 200 without infecting any of my tank on that tank with ich. Is the anemone a carrier for ich?   Thanks a lot <The anemone in and of itself is not a carrier for the disease. However, rocks or substrate that the animal may be attached to could harbor some tomites. My thinking is to let the anemone remain in the fishless aquarium for a few weeks before adding it to your new tank. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Going On The Counterattack Against Ich! I have a 90 gallon saltwater tank with the following fish: 1 Porcupine Puffer, 1 Valentini Puffer, 1 Dogface Puffer, 3 Banggai Cardinals, 1 damsel, 3 blennies, 1 Sailfin Tang, 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Bannerfish, 1 Misbar clown, 1 spotted Hawkfish, 1 arrow crab, and 1 sally lightfoot. <Quite a crowd...> The colors on the banner fish began to fade and it died within a couple of days.  The porcupine puffer had spots on his body and eyes.  The sail fin tang got covered in white spots and the yellow tang got black spots all over his body.  Two of the cardinals stopped eating and had what looked like injuries to their lower jaws.  The Misbar Clown began to look spotty.  The Dogface Puffer also had white spots.  The blennies, Valentini Puffer, one cardinal, Hawkfish and damsel showed no signs.  I do not have a hospital tank so I treated the tank with Coppersafe and Maracyn 2 starting on 09/21/04.  I also caught and dipped the fish that I could: the Porcupine Puffer, the Misbar Clown, and the Sailfin Tang.  The Porcupine Puffer cleared up nicely and looks better than when I first bought him. <Good to hear. Sometimes, puffers don't do well with copper exposure, so do be careful when using this product with some puffers...> The Sailfin Tang also cleared up and seems more lively.  The Yellow Tang seemed to clear up, but on 09/30/04 I noticed red blotches along his fin line.  The next day the yellow tang seemed to have lost all of his fins and had nothing left but spikes (picture attached). <Looks horrible.> The Yellow Tang died that day.  The two cardinals, the Dogface Puffer, and the Misbar clown all died. <Sorry to hear that...> The levels in the tank are as follows: PH 7.8/8.0, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrate 20/40, temp-76-78, and salinity .024.  The only stress that I can remember in the tank was between the Banner Fish and the Yellow Tang for one day, and two of the cardinals chased each other on a regular basis.  Is it the ich killing my fish or is it the copper exposure?   <Quite possibly both. Copper can be very hard on some fishes. The damage to the tang could be the result of copper exposure, or a secondary infection, like vibriosis, etc. When using copper, it is absolutely critical to monitor copper levels with a test kit to avoid overdosing. Just following the manufacturer's directions concerning dose is not enough...Ya gotta test!> How can I set up a quick hospital tank if I don't have time to cycle it?   <Any large container with water from the display, and filter media from the tank can work in a pinch. Frequent water changes will be required to keep ammonia in check. And, of course, with frequent water changes, you'll have to test regularly for copper concentration to make sure that you replace it as required to maintain a constant therapeutic level. Not impossible to do at all...Just requires staying on top of things.> Are they diseased from being exposed to ick or from stress? <Well, stress creates lowered resistance to disease...> Please help, I don't want anymore of them to die and I would like to replace the other fish eventually.  Thank you in advance, Julie. <Well, Julie- you're on the right path as far as identifying and treating is concerned. You need to get either an extra aquarium or large container to serve as an emergency tank for the future. It's a good practice to keep a sponge filter or other mechanical filtration media in the display tank sump at all times, to "pre-colonize" beneficial bacteria, so that you'll be ready to go as needed. Keep a close eye on the fish, and do check out the many, many FAQs we have on Marine Ich and other parasitic diseases here on the WWM site. With quick action, you can save these fish! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Ich Woes (9/28/04) Hi, I have a 30 gallon reef tank that's been up and running for about 9 months. I've recently came down with a case of what I thought was ick. All of my fish have little white spots on their fins and tail and there scratching on everything. <Almost certainly ick, aka Cryptocaryon irritans.> I gave them all freshwater dips which worked for a couple of days and they're all itching again. <Yes, because if that kills anything, it only kills the parasites on the fish. There are still many hundreds or thousands of individuals in other life cycle stages in the tank. Read the ich articles from last year in www.reefkeeping.com and www.advancedaquarist.com for the crucial understanding of lifecycle, prevention & treatment options.> My fault for not quarantining new fish.<Virtually everyone who does not quarantine comes to regret it eventually.> I've had ick in a freshwater tank before and it killed everything in a matter of days. <A different animal entirely.> My saltwater fish have been infected for about 2 months and not one fish has died and everybody is active and otherwise happy. Is it possible that it's not ick? <I doubt it based on your description.> I thought ick was deadly if not treated right away? <Not always. If gills get heavily infested yes, but otherwise healthy, well-nourished, strong fish can withstand ongoing/recurring Cryptocaryon infestation for quite some time, if not indefinitely if id does not become extensive.> So if it's not ick what the heck's going on? <Ick> I'm setting up a 20 gallon quarantine tank now so that I can move them out of the 30G and treat them. I know that my 30G has to stay empty for 4-5 weeks to kill the ick that's living in my system. I just want to make sure that I'm treating for the right disease. Please Help!!!! <I can't think of anything else. Amyloodinium can have a similar appearance, but usually is rapidly fatal. Do read the referenced articles for help. Steve Allen.>

Is It Ich? I do not have any pictures to send you as my camera is not working, but I have two gobies, a dark bluish, gray clown goby and a green pinkish stripped clown goby. Both have tiny white spots, the size of pinpricks on them. My question is, is it ich? I do not know what ich looks like. Could this just be tiny particles of sand on them? Any help ASAP would be appreciated. I did look through your site, (that's where I pulled the pictures from) but could not find any info on disease. It just said that they are pretty hardy. If it is ich, how do I treat them? Thank you! Chris A. Betts <Well, Chris- if it is ich, you'll typically see these little spots, accompanied by "scratching", decreased activity, and lack of appetite in some cases. as far as identification and treatment are concerned- you should refer to these articles here on WWM to get you started: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm Good luck in your battle! Regards, Scott F.> Marine Ick Bob, <Jeff> I want to start by saying that I really enjoy reading the postings.  They have really helped me to gain a better understanding of my saltwater system. <Me too> Here is what I have: 55 gal FOWLR, Wet/Dry filter, Rio 360 pump, two power heads in the tank, protein skimmer, 50#of crushed coral, 12# of LR, with other coral skeletons for decoration. <Okay> My livestock originally consisted of:  5 damsels, 2  snails, 2 blue leg hermits, a coral beauty, a hippo tang, a yellow mimic tang, and two false pecs.  Everything with the exception of the coral beauty was under 2", or less. Just as a side note, I have learned the value of a quarantine tank, at the cost of the mimic tang, snails, hermits, and both false pecs...enough said there. <Yikes> A couple of weeks ago I noticed that my coral beauty and the hippo tang both developed Ick.  I did not see any of the warning signs, other than a high Nitrate level, but they both were covered in white spots, seemingly overnight.  I did not have any type of q-tank, as this is a new set up and all of the fish were bought at the same time, except for the damsels (these were in the tank for 10 weeks for cycling).  I consulted my LFS and he suggested treating with No Ick.  He said it was invert and LR safe.  He also suggested garlic with the food. <... am sure you are familiar with my opinions with these materials, approach> He did not say it would cure the ick, but it was a start.  I read over the medication, and started using it per the directions, after a 50% water change.  There was no difference in the amount of spots after 4 days. <No surprise>   I was testing everything each day.  on the 5th day I noticed a large ammonia spike. <What? With the "reef safe" "med.?". What a shock!> I did a 30% water change, and added Ammo Lock.  I rechecked it the next morning and the ammonia had spiked overnight.  I knew at this point I had to do something,  all of the fish had spots.... stress from ammonia?? <Possibly a co-factor, but really just the causative organism cycling, reproducing...>   I called a buddy and he had a spare tank for me to borrow.  I set it up with an airstone and some water from the main tank.  I had read about copper treatment on your website, so I purchased Cupramine, and a test kit.  I dropped the SPG to 1.018, raised the temp to 83, and set the copper at about .35 per the directions.  I was doing 50% water changes per day and dosing with copper after the change, per the testing. I am happy to say that after one full week, the spots are gone. <Yay! Congrats>   I am planning on maintaining the copper for another week and then gradually getting back to normal in the QT.  What are your thoughts on what I have done thus far??? <The second trial I am in agreement with> Here is the problem now.  My main tank was off the charts with ammonia.  My best guess was that the No Ick killed all of my biological filtration. <Mine as well> Again, from reading postings, I dropped my SPG down to 1.012, raised the temp, and did several water changes.  The only thing left in the tank no are the decorations and the LR.  I am not sure if it has been hurt or not. | <It has, but likely not irreparably> I did find several bristle worms, and other critters floating (the ammonia spike???).  How long do I need to leave this tank fallow and at a low SPG?? <About eight weeks> What can I do to ensure I have eradicated all of the unwanted critters, with out harming the LR, if not already???? <About the same amount of time... in all likelihood you will not attain a 100% "kill" of the Cryptocaryon... but the likelihood of it gaining pathogenicity is small> I know I will need to keep the fish in the QT for at least 3 to 4 more weeks.  My best guess is that the main tank will have to completely re-cycle again.  I hope to speed it up some by utilizing the LR and adding Stress Zyme.  Any other suggestions?? <Patience... visits to stores, friends tanks, contemplation> Again, thank for the website and you sharing your knowledge with beginners like me!! Sincerely Jeff Hutcherson <A pleasure, Thank you for sharing your experiences. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Ick Good Morning Gang!! <Morrow Jeff> In a previous email to Bob I discussed my problems with Ick, and all the issues in my main tank.  Well, here is the follow-up and a couple more questions. <Okay> As noted before, my main tank did go through another cycle due to the loss of all bacterial filtration.  This was caused by the No Ick. (I do not recommend this product to ANYONE!!) <Me neither!> After I returned form a weekend camping trip with the family, I tested everything in the main tank.  To my surprise, ammonia and nitrites were at zero.  However, nitrates were off the charts.  The tank is still fallow and will remain so for another 4 weeks.  What do I need to do at this point to get the nitrates down to an acceptable level?  SG is around 1.012, and the temp is around 83-84. <Best, cheapest, fastest? Change a good part of the water> The other question pertains to my Coral Beauty.  She is in the Q-tank with the other fish at this time.  I have stopped the copper treatment.  There are absolutely no signs of Ick.  The CB does have other areas of concern, There are a couple of "white feathery things hanging off the very end of the tail fin.  These do not look at all like the ick symptoms.  She also has a cloudy mold area just behind the anal fin, about 1/4" in diameter. Again, this does not look at all like the ick spots.  Any ideas what either of these could be? <Yes, "secondary" infections and/or the result of the same. Bacteria and fungi... that should "go away" of their own accord with time. Keep up water quality, vitamin-enhanced feeding, perhaps place a bit (a few pounds) of live rock... and be patient> If so, what suggestions do you have to treat these areas?  All of the other fish really look great and have good color. Everybody is eating well and are very active.  I have not seen any heavy breathing, or any other signs of stress. Thanks again for you advice!!  You guys and gals are very much appreciated!! Jeff <Congratulations on saving your livestock. Bob Fenner>  

White spot problems From Bad To Worse (Cont'd.) Hi <Hello again. Scott F. back with you!> I lost the Powder Blue. The Emperor is now breathing heavy and has no spots but small white patches and lots of loose "skins" on his fins and eyes and stopped eating. Filtered with carbon for 12 hours and put in Paracure (copper). Salinity is 1.010 is this OK? <Copper is a good way to go, if you follow manufacturer's directions, administer it carefully and monitor concentration regularly.> Questions - What are symptoms of secondary infections and damage caused by medication? <Often, you will see discoloration of the skin, damage to the fins, and other signs of potential distress.> Do the fish also breathe heavy? <This is a symptom a several possible maladies, ranging from Amyloodinium, advanced ich, or other parasitic illness, to environmental lapses.> Is it possible to have white spot first and then Amyloodinium? <Possible, but kind of unlikely, IMO. There are two separate causative protozoa which give rise to these diseases, so unless your fishes were exposed to both, there is not any "progression" from one to the other that I'm aware of.> Is there a site with info on medication side effects on different fish? Thanks for the advice. <Hmm...I'm not aware of any web site that covers this, but you may want to do some key word searches on the larger search engines, as well as check out a good disease reference manual, like Untergasser's, or others. Also, medication manufacturers might have such information on their web sites, or at least be able to forward you to such information. Perhaps some of our WWM readers are aware of sites on the 'net for this information. Do post a query on the WWM Chat Forum!>

Hyposalinity Or Medication For Ich Treatment? Hi crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have am having serious issues in battling ich this time around. <Uh- Oh...> All of my fish (1 Flame Angel, 1 Valentini Puffer, 3 Firefish and 1 Neon Goby) were infected with ich. I removed all from my 100 g. and put them into 2 separate 10 g. QT cycled tanks. The Flame Angel Beat up the Firefish so I got a second-hand 29 g. with a divider and moved all fish in there. I lowered the sg to 1.010 and ever since, I'm having bad water quality issues. I tried Bio-Spira but it doesn't work at that sg. <Not sure of that- I would follow the manufacturer's guidelines to the letter. I've never been a big fan of hyposalinity for a variety of reasons, but regardless- water quality can be brought in line through good husbandry techniques...> I change 10 g. twice daily in effort to reduce nitrites. Ammonia is now 0, nitrite usually 0.1-0.2. I was using tap water for the change water but the chloramines (.25 ammonia even with Prime) were creating larger nitrite spikes (.5). I am running to my LFS daily to get 20 gallons of DI water. <Unfortunate, but your solution is a good one, given the circumstances...> It's been almost 2 weeks and it's getting very expensive and time-consuming. I spend 5 hours a day changing/getting water. I can't install a RO unit at this time. <I'm sorry to hear that...It sounds like actually procuring the water is eating up most of your time? Daily water changes are not a great idea in a situation like this, IMO. Possibly more disruptive than helpful. Consider increasing the SG (gradually, of course) back to "normal" parameters. This will allow you to use the currently ineffective "bacteria in a bottle" product. You could then treat with a common over-the-counter ich medication, such as copper sulfate (for fishes that can tolerate it) or a formalin-based product.> To make matters worse, it's been 10 days of hyposalinity and the fish have ich again. I lowered the sg to 1.009. My flame angel's lips are white (probably from bad water quality). <Hmm...not sure about the cause, but water quality is certainly a possibility> All fish are still eating. I think the cure is worse than the disease at this point. <Well, as I've previously stated- I am not a big fan of hyposalinity. Not to say that some medications are any less stressful, but they do have proven track records.> I think I might have to raise the sg back to normal, and use some other treatment. <We're on the same wavelength!> I've had success with hypo in the past, but that was only 1 fish at a time not 6!. I'm probably not siphoning all the eggs out (the firefish are very jumpy and prone to fly out of the tank when I siphon). <Understood> Should I continue hypo, and if so how long? Should I treat with formalin too? I can't use copper because of my scaleless fish. My main display is fallow (I'm keeping it this way for 4-6 weeks). <Regular specific gravity and formalin-based medication would be my recommendation> Thanks for any advice you can provide Tired, Angela <Do a little "course correction" here, Angela- and carry on from there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Ich Dilemma   Evening all! I've found this website to be a wonderful resource with my new adventure with the salt water tank I started up this year - keep up the great work! I wrote one other time when I was having a problem with trying to acclimate a Coral Beauty.... wasn't successful after 2 attempts with that type of fish and the LFS provided a Lemonpeel Angel instead and that acclimation went fine. Now for my woes... Marine ich (only had freshwater ich once in about 20 years and it was easily treatable) ;-( I've got a 55 gal tank with the following inhabitants (and unfortunately a case of ich): 1 yellow tang (Nasa) 1 longhorn cowfish (Spike) - aware of the size issue here and will provide a larger tank when necessary 1 Lemonpeel angel (Sunny) 1 Checkerboard Hawkfish (Tiger) 1 Yellow tail damsel (Frac) 1 Domino damsel (Spot) 1 Humbug damsel (Jailbird) 1 Blue devil damsel (Electric) 1 Diamond watchman goby (Rolex) 1 Condy anemone (Annie) 2 Turbo snails (Escargot and Escarget) 2 Skunk cleaner shrimp (Stripe and Pepe) Live rock Here are my thoughts/questions: I've got a small (5.5 gal) quarantine tank and am thinking of moving the anemone, shrimp and snails to it. Do I need to move my live rock to the other tank as well? My reason for thinking of moving them is that this way I can try hyposalinity in the main tank with the fish since I can't use copper as a treatment since we have a cowfish. Is this the best thing for me to try to get rid of the Ich? I started soaking their food in garlic solution that I bought this week, but then was trying to figure out the best approach with such a small quarantine tank available. I had thought about moving the fish to the QT tank, but nixed that idea with the # of fish I have - I can't see the # of fish I have surviving very well in such a small QT tank in addition to the fact that I have a cowfish and can't treat him with copper. Other ideas? Is this a good approach? Is 4 weeks of hyposalinity sufficient? Thanks in advance. Denise (Lafayette, Colorado) >>>Hello Denise, Given all the ins and outs of your situation, I would move the inverts and treat the main tank with hypo. I think that's your best solution at this point. Remember that the salinity must be dropped to 1.009, and you need a refractometer to do this properly. You also need to keep the salinity at this level for at least 3 weeks. You said you're aware of the size issue with the cowfish, but also be aware that should this fish be killed, or die for any reason, your entire tank can be wiped out from the toxins. Good luck. Jim<<<

Everyone out! (Fallowing A Tank For Ich Treatment) I would first like to say that your website is awesome! <Glad to hear that! We enjoy bringing it to you every day!> I know you guys are very busy but there are a few questions I need to ask you about fighting ich.  Just a few days ago I discovered ich on my Regal Tang. I have set up a 6 gallon hospital tank and have put almost all my fish (2 clowns and a Regal Tang) in it. I have left my Mandarin Goby in my 55 gallon display tank since I don't think he will survive a month in the hospital tank. <I understand your concern, but "fallow" means NO fish at all. Perhaps you could set up a separate tank for the Mandarin, supplying him with all of the food he can heat, substrate to forage in, and some rocks?> My display tank has 80lbs. of live rock with lots of little critters for him to eat. I have read that its ok to leave a goby in the display tank during its 4 week barren period to kill all the ich.  Will this be ok or should I take him out and put him in the hospital tank as well? <Everyone out! Really the best way to take advantage of the fallow technique...> I have raised the temp of my display tank to 83 degrees and will lower the S.G. to 1.017. My next question is, I would like to add two cleaner shrimp to my main display tank. I currently have had a 2 1/2" coral banded shrimp in there for 4 months will he try to kill the new cleaner shrimp? <Certainly a possibility...These are nasty little guys, IME!> If so what type of shrimp could I add that would help get rid of the ich but would not be eaten by the coral banded? <No real guarantees, to be honest. A variety of shrimp will work, but the real issue is compatibility with the BCS that you currently have...DO check out the July/August issue of "Conscientious Aquarist" right here on the WWM site for nice piece on shrimp by Jim Fatherree!> And my final question is, my 6 gallon hospital tank has be getting ammonia readings of .5 for the past couple of days. <Yep. You have a lot of fish in there for that size tank. Perhaps you could get a large Rubbermaid plastic container to serve as another improvised "treatment center". This may help spread out the fish a bit, and won't cost you an arm and a leg.> I have been changing 1 gallon of water a day with clean water. <The best thing that you can do in this situation...Good move!> I have also been dosing the hospital tank with CopperSafe.  The directions on the bottle say to add 1 TSP per 4 gallons of water. So for every gallon of new water I put into the hospital tank should I add 1/4 TSP of copper safe? I just want to make sure I don't kill my fish by adding too much copper sulfate. <Good thought. I would underdose if your not testing...By the way, why not get a copper test kit so that you can maintain the proper therapeutic level of copper without estimating or guessing? Really the best (and only-IMO) way to administer copper. It just makes sense.> Any info. on any of these questions would be a huge help thanks for you time. Brendan Byrne <Well, Brendan- Sounds like you're on the right path! Keep up the good work. Do consider a copper test kit, and perhaps some other container to help divide up your sick fish. This will make it easier on them- and on you! Best of luck, and feel free to write again any time! Regards, Scott F> Don't Dip for Ich    Hi, My 30 gallon reef tank is having an outbreak of ick. I'm pretty sure that my yellow tang brought it home. I've read some info on how to get rid of ick. I know how to do the freshwater dip. I have a 10 gallon tank set up as a quarantine tank. I'm worried that if I move all of my fish to the 10 gallon tank that it won't be big enough. I have 2 scooter blennies, 2 Percula clowns, 1 algae blenny, 1 yellow tang, 1 engineer goby, all of which are pretty small. Do you think that it's big enough to hold so many fish? I've read that you have to keep the tank empty for about 4 weeks to get rid of the ick that's in the tank? Is that true? Is there anything I can do to speed this process up? Any help would be really appreciated. >>>Hello Heather, It's too late to quarantine. The time to quarantine is BEFORE you introduce the parasite into your system. Now, you have C. irritans running amuck in your system, and your job is unfortunately much harder. Forget about freshwater dips. C. irritans is an obligate protozoan with a life cycle (theront, Protomont, tomont and Trophont stages) that prevents you from treating it by a simple dip of any kind. At this point, you MUST remove all fish from you system and let it stand for at least 4 to 5 weeks in this state. No fish. Your fish must be treated with either hyposalinity (1.009) for 3 weeks in a hospital tank, or a commercial medication can be used such as "Cupramine", again in a hospital tank. Yes, the 10 gallon is too small for this purpose. I would invest in at least one more for treating your fish.     Please read the following article, all five parts in their entirety. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2003/mini1.htm http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/dec2003/mini2.htm http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2004/mini3.htm http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/feb2004/mini4.htm http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2004/mini5.htm This will give you a good handle on this pathogen, and hopefully you will avoid this problem in the future by quarantining your fish before introducing them into your display. If you have any further questions after reading the article, please feel free to drop me another line. By the way, a 30 gallon tank is MUCH too small to keep a yellow tang (or any tang) for very long. These fish grow fast, get rather large, and are VERY active. 75 gallons is the minimum tank size for a yellow tang - long term. Jim<<<

Ich Counterattack! Hello crew again, <Hi there! Scott F. at your service!> I wanted to run something by you to see if it was feasible... I wrote earlier about attempting to rid my show tank of Ich. My quarantine setup is as follows: Two 10 gallon tanks side by side, one with the fish in it and the other acting as a sump. The fish tank has a siphon going from it to the sump and the sump has a Rio 800 going through a 15 watt UV sterilizer (with a brand new bulb) before going back to the fish tank. In the sump is a CPR Back Pak and an Aqua Clear 300. My routine is this: 5 gallon water change daily, vacuuming the bare bottom of the fish tank. Also testing for Ammonia and Nitrites daily, for I had no Bio Filtration seeded that could put in that tank. I am getting a little paranoid about the levels, which are .2 ppm for both. I put a piece of Live rock (at least a year old) in the sump tank, assuming the UV will not allow any parasites from the live rock go into the fish tank. I will allow that piece of rock to go fallow after the treatment. Does this sound safe (as far as not cross contaminating the fish)? <I would not have included the live rock in the "sump" myself, but this seems to do the job (I would have used a sponge or other filter media from the display tank to seed the sump- but this is okay). Also my livestock consists of: (1) Percula Clown, (1) Flame Angel (the really Ich laden one), (1) Valentini Puffer, (1) Yellow Tail Blue Damsel, (1) Small Yellow Boxfish, (1) Royal Gramma. I realize this is quite a lot for a 10 gallon tank, 20 gallon volume. <It is...But your water change regimen makes sense here...> The puffer and boxfish are the reason I am not actually treating the quarantine tank with anything. <Just as an FYI: Your concept is not bad. However, the "no med" treatment technique involves 100% daily water changes. The theory is that this aggressive water change schedule (siphoning from the bottom) can remove parasites at all phases of their life cycle). I don't know if even 50% water changes will do the trick. It may be better to use a medication such as formalin to do the job.> Is there a recommended dip solution for the Flame angel to help rid his body of Ich? He is starting to show signs of fatigue. <Dips may or may not be successful for helping rid fish of ich. I have used them myself prior to treatments in the past, but I am wondering about their effectiveness. The theory is that they plunge the fish and parasites into osmotic shock, which the fish can tolerate better than the parasites. I suppose that there is no harm in executing a proper freshwater dip. Medicated dips are probably of limited effectiveness, because the infected fish is not exposed to the medication long enough to make a difference. Consider treating with effective and appropriate medications if these other efforts fall short.> Thanks a million for your endless information! Michael <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.> Kicking Ich- The Effective Way! Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have a 75 gallon established reef tank. After a 30% water change, I had a few fish exhibiting signs of ich. I treated with Kick-Ich for 2 weeks, and am starting a second round of treatment since one fish still shows spots on its pectoral fins. <Grr...> Mushroom and plate corals look OK, but I had a pearl coral die, and the stalk of a good sized leather coral sort of rotted away. Kick-ich is supposedly reef safe, but are these types of coral known to be sensitive to it? Or is it possible for Kick-ich to build up to toxic concentrations even when following the directions? <In my humble opinion, there really is no such thing as a "reef safe medication". It's safe to assume that it would be almost impossible for a "medication" to target only a specific organism for destruction, while not harming physiologically analogous desirable organisms. It is entirely possible that the "active ingredients" in this preparation may have irritated your coral. My recommendation for "treating" the display tank is to remove all of the fishes, and let the tank run "fallow" for at least a month. This interrupts the life cycle of the causative protozoan, and gives you a very good chance at eradicating the illness.> Water quality has been good, I plan to do three 20% changes over the next week, prior to the remaining Kick-ich treatments. Would this be OK as regards killing the remaining ich? <Well, as I indicated above, I'd run the tank fallow, and treat the fish directly (with an effective medication, such as copper sulphate or formalin) in a dedicated treatment tank. This affords you much greater control. Again- my caveat is to avoid adding "treatments" of any kind into the display. I'd use the water changes as an opportunity to help remove the product from the water, then I'd proceed to treat as I described above. Not the only way- but it's my personal preference and it has worked well for others.> Thanks! Mark <You're quite welcome! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Kicking Ich- The Effective Way! (Pt. 2) HI Scott. <Hello again!> Thanks for the advice. <My pleasure!> I will say that Kick-Ich did a pretty good job in the original part of the infection, when about half the fish showed ich. It was nearly all gone within a three days. As of today, I can't see any signs of infection at all. So, I think it did some good..... <Well, do familiarize yourself with the life cycle of the causative protozoan. As part of its life cycle, the Cryptocaryon protozoa leave the infected fishes several days after they appear to move on to the next phase of their life cycle. Don't be 100% convinced that they are history... They usually return...Be vigilant!> Anyway, I'm moving a short distance in three weeks, and will take that opportunity to let the tank lay fallow, and treat the fish with copper. I'd imagine that will do the trick... <Yep...that will get 'em!> Thanks very much, I do appreciate your time and all the good advice from WetWebMedia. Mark <Glad to be here, Mark. Do realize that I am a bit opinionated when it comes to ich treatment, but my advice-nor anyone else's-should be taken as the last word on the subject. I simply recommend what has worked for me and many others with the highest rate of success...Always be skeptical and go with your instincts. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Kicking Ich-Follow Up... Hi Scott. <Hello again!> Just for the record, or information, the ich spots on the fish did disappear (and never returned) about three days after I started with the Kick Ich treatment. I'm not surprised the spots went away in that time frame however, its been three weeks, and except for one or two small spots on the pectoral fins of two of the fish (which I don't happen to see today), the ich never came back. Could be coincidence, of course, but based on that, I do think it did some good, killing the free swimming stage as advertised..... <Glad to hear that it worked for you. I won't bad-mouth the stuff, but just choose not to use it myself, or recommend it to others...> On the other hand, despite a water change, I think the leather coral has croaked, and the pearl died some time ago. Kick Ich is supposed to degrade or decay over time, but perhaps the concentrations get too high without a water change over the course of treatment. <Could be...> Also, the directions say to dose by tank/sump size, never mind about the live rock, etc. I'd guess my live rock is 1/4 the volume of the tank, so perhaps that was a factor. <True with any additive, medication, etc. Good point! This is, of course, one of the many reasons why I generally advocate treatment in a separate tank> Anyway, I figured kick ich was worth trying, since the local fish store guy swore by it. I'm looking forward to moving the tank like a trip to the dentist, but at least I should have a clean aquarium as a result... <This is true!> Thanks, Mark <Thanks for sharing your experiences with our readers, Mark! Good luck the rest of the way! Regards, Scott F>

Fallow Hello all, Sorry about the confusion regarding the Sea Chem Reef Builder last week... I am currently (as of tonight), allowing my tank to go fallow. Too many bouts of ich. Anyways, my question is: I left my urchin in the show tank knowing he will not survive in the quarantine tank. Will the tank still go fallow with him in it? << I'm guessing so. Not really sure I understand what you are trying to do. >> Also a couple of peppermint shrimp are in there, but I figure Ich can't get to them. Thank you for your help! << Peppermints are sometimes easy to catch.  Try putting some krill in a little plastic bottle.  They often run inside and you can just lift the jar out.  Otherwise, yes you may have to leave him in. >> Michael <<  Blundell  >>

Going Fallow (9/17/04) Hello all, <Steve Allen again today.> Sorry about the confusion regarding the Sea Chem Reef Builder last week... <No problem. Don't know how the message vanished.> I am currently (as of tonight), allowing my tank to go fallow. Too many bouts of ich. Anyways, my question is: I left my urchin in the show tank knowing he will not survive in the quarantine tank. Will the tank still go fallow with him in it? <Yes> Also a couple of peppermint shrimp are in there, but I figure Ich can't get to them. <Correct, by fallow, we mean free of fish, which are hosts during the parasitic phase of Cryptocaryon. Invertebrates can stay. This will be a good opportunity for your microfauna to recover in numbers to be live food. Go 4-6 weeks. Keeping the temp a bit high speeds the process. Here is a link to Part 1 of Steven Pro's 2-part article: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm Terry Bartelme's 5-part series at www.advancedaquarist.com begins in the 11/03 issue of that on-line mag. These will help.> Thank you for your help! <Glad to be of service. Hope it helps.> Michael Freshwater dips for marine ich Thanks for the great web/information site.  You are save MANY lives, and making this hobby possible - at least for me.   Lots of Marine Ich stuff to search through - I just can't seam to find this one... Question on Marine Ich on yellow tang in Quarantine tank.  We have been watching her closely and found symptoms of ich last evening - performed w/c and FW dip (adjusted ph, temp, air stone & M. Blue) worked well fish was calmer and returned to normal swim patterns upon QT tank return.  This morning ammonia present performed 2 more 40% w/c over 2 hours. She seams to be begging (swimming up to the front as I approach) & looks like the ich is back. How often should the fresh water dips be administered?  << Not that often.  Once you do the dip, I'd put the fish into a new system, otherwise it will just get infected again.  The freshwater dip works well to kill all the parasites on the fish, but it is also stressful to the fish.  So after doing that, I'd either medicate that hospital tank, or move the tang to a new tank.  Good luck. >> Thanks, Pascal <<  Blundell  >>

Ich in display Crew What's the latest thinking on ich.  My father is suffering right now, and has been for a week.  He has lost a bicolor blenny so far, and has remaining a perc. clown, a 6 line wrasse and a coral beauty.  We tried dropping the SG in the main system to 1.015 at 26C but I don't believe that's helped a bit.   We have finally got the fish into a separate system that has an internal power filter.  There are pvc pipes, a plastic plant and eggcrate for cover. I have dropped the SG to 1.012.  The fish were all not showing spots but were uncomfortable, all sloughing slime a bit.  Treatment options are... 1. Just hyposalinity 2. Copper (Mardel CopperSafe) 3. JBL Punktop alias Malachite green I fear for the coral beauty if I copper effectively.  I would also like to add a piece of live rock for the C.B. to pick at., obviously copper will nix that. I think the ich crept in on live rock.  I hate this ****.  I'm QT'ing everything for him from now on. ***Run hypo in the hospital tank - 1.009. You will need a refractometer in order to do this. Keep it here for at least 14 days. Keep the display tank clear of fish for at least 60 days. Ich creeping in on live rock is a rare occurrence, but it DOES happen. Copper is old school, hard to implement properly and hard to monitor, and I never recommend it's use.   Good luck! Jim***

Ich Treatment and Prevention (8/31/04) The spots are stationary, and they are not scratching or darting. I'm sure it's ich, I bought some Kick-Ich today and began treating. <This product seldom rids a system of ich. Read the ich articles and FAQs as well as Steven Pro's excellent ich series beginning in last fall's issues of www.reefkeeping.com > It's a 75 gallon (85 with filter) parameters are Ph 8.1, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 4 nitrate SG is 1.024 I introduced the puffer 2 weeks ago, but he was not the first to show spots. <Even so, the ich may have come in with/on him. 4 weeks of quarantine before introduction is the safest practice.> Would reducing salinity to 1.020 likely reduce future outbreaks or diseases? <Not likely. The level needed to wipe out ich is more like 1.010. There is evidence that Cryptocaryon are becoming more tolerant of mildly lowered salinities in the range you suggest. I don't think it's worth the potential negative effects on your livestock to keep it this low.> Thanks <You're welcome, and good luck. Steve Allen> Marine Ich- Let Nature Run Its Course? I have done searches on the web (Google) and they say to just leave it alone. If the tang has good water quality and there is no one or nothing causing stress it will go away, that the tang will fight it off.  Is this true? <I have heard this "theory" many times, and all I can say is that I wouldn't chance it with my fish, unless we are talking about two or three spots on the fish's body. Generally, even relatively mild cases of this disease will require some intervention on the part of the aquarist, or you will have an endless cycle of recurring ich in your display. It's so much better to err on the side of caution. My technique for treating ich is not fun, but it achieves a high rate of success at eradicating it from your display tank. remember, part of the life cycle of the causative protozoan (Cryptocaryon irritans) involves it "detaching" from the infected fish after several days. This is where a lot of people get fooled, thinking that the fish has 'shaken the disease", or that it has "gone dormant". Nothing could be further from the truth, IMO. The protozoa will be back- and in greater numbers. By removing the fishes to a separate tank for treatment or observation, and allowing the display to run without fishes for at least a month or so, you are breaking the life cycle of the protozoa, and affecting a better chance at a "cure" for the entire tank!> My fish in  the tank with the tang are 2 puffers, 2 damsels (yellow tail and blue) and one Chromis. Water specs: ammonia and nitrite are at 0, nitrate 10,and  at 8.1. <All sound fine. Nonetheless, if you have this disease in your system, I'd address it at some point. Significant manifestations will require intervention. Observe carefully, make your decision, and go for it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Is It Really Ich? (8/23/04) Hey guys thanks for the great resource. I've used it a ton. <Me too. Steve Allen with you tonight.> Anyways I've looked everywhere for an answer and cant seem to find it so here goes. I introduced a cowfish to my tank not knowing about this thing called quarantining (thanks for the info I now have one) it ended up giving my whole tank ich. I set up a quarantine tank do 50% water changes every 5 days treating with formalin, salinity 1.01 and room temperature <actually, it is increased temperature (low 80s) that speeds the parasite life cycle to get rid of it faster. Lower temperature slows and prolongs.> to fight the ich and have been doing so for about 3 weeks now. The clownfish only had one piece of ich on his chin when he went into the QT tank.  The damsel and the cowfish seem to have almost completely recovered but this one piece of ich on the clownfish just wont fall off his chin.  It seems to have gotten slightly bigger since I put him in there. <May not be ich then. Do a search on lymphocystis to see if it might be this. Ich looks like little grains of salt.> He is starting to eat less and less and I am starting to become concerned. <Any number of causes here, including the low temp, the formalin, the low SG, or the bump. I'd suggest you start getting rid of the formalin at this point. Raise the temperature back to normal gradually. If everyone seems fine, you can start to bring the salinity up slowly.> Everywhere I've read said this should have fallen off within a week. <Yes> It's been 3 now so I'm confused as to what I can do. Is this ich? <Perhaps not.> Should I manually remove it or is there something I can do to get rid of it? <If it's lymphocystis (fish warts) there's no real treatment available or required. Manually removing it risks bacterial infection> How long should I keep my normal tank fish free before all the ich is gone out of it? <Minimum 4 weeks, preferable 6. I'd even consider 8 to be really sure. Increasing the temp a bit will speed things along.> Thanks for your time, Jeremy <A pleasure. Hope this helps.> Disease ick or bacterial? Hi, <How goes it?  Michael here tonight> I have noticed that 3 out of 4 of my fish have white spots, but only on their fins. It has been there for about 2-3 weeks but I initially figured it was just sand, so I ignored it. But now 3 fish have it, volitans lion, harlequin tusk wrasse, and a dogface puffer, but my yellow tang seems unaffected. They are small sugar-like pieces. I called LiveAquaria.com phone number and they said it was likely bacterial. I have noticed in the last week that the lion has been near the heavier water current rather than sitting in a corner. <Are the fish "flashing" or 'scratching' themselves on the rocks or other tank decorations?  Are they darting around, seemingly inexplicably?  Do the spots sometimes disappear, and then appear elsewhere on the fish at a later time?  If so, it's likely crypto.  If not, then possibly bacterial.  How large is the tank, and what are the current parameters?  Have you introduced any new livestock that could have introduced any pathogens?  Get back to me> Thank You, Jonathan <Anytime - M. Maddox>

Fighting Back Against Ich Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I wrote a few days ago to M. Maddox, hopefully this will be forwarded to him, but if not I will re explain here. All of my fish have Ich: Yellow Tang, Dog Puffer, Harlequin Wrasse, Volitans Lion. I started using Kick-Ich 7 days ago, but I am not sure if its good, so I am bringing my salinity down 0.02 a day, I am not sure if I should use about 1.015 or lower. <I am not a big fan of this product, but some people claim that it works for them...As far as lowering specific gravity is concerned, I would definitely shoot for lower than 1.015, but do it gradually. I'm not a big fan of this procedure, either.> I do not know how this outbreak started. Water parameters are amm.0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5, Ph 8.1. However, every morning I have some house lights on, I think it may have caused this, so  I will be getting 24 hour reef type lighting if my fish survive this. Am I doing everything I need to destroy this, and is hyposalinity effective if used for 4-8 weeks. <In my opinion, it is of questionable value as an ich treatment. Some people swear by it; I have never found it to be effective- and I don't recommend it. My personal favorite treatment technique is to remove the affected fishes to a separate aquarium for treatment with proven medications, such as copper sulphate (but NOT for the puffer; a formalin-based product is better). Meanwhile, you'd let the display run without fishes for 4-8 weeks to disrupt the life cycle of the causative protozoa. Not a fun, or easy technique to utilize- but it works for me. There are other things you can do in a hospital tank, such as daily 100% water changes, which can theoretically remove the parasitic stages of the Cryptocaryon as they fall away from the fish. Again- a great technique because it addresses the life cycle of the protozoa...> I'm not sure if this is also a factor, but I recently switched to RO/DI water and since had a fish die and then the ich outbreak, but it doesn't seem likely. <Not likely, IMO. Ich is generally caused by an introduction of a "vector" of some sort; a new fish, rock, substrate, or other material from an infected system. Added to a tank where a fish is stressed (and vulnerable to infection), and there you have it...Not sure if this was the case in your tank,, but do investigate all possibilities > Sorry for the long e-mail, but I know you can help. Thank You, Jonathan <No need for apologies, Jonathan. Utilize a treatment that addresses the life cycle of the causative protozoa, and you should be able to defeat this scourge! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Kicking Ich! Dear Crew, <Scott F. on call today!> I have spent some time researching this issue on your FAQs, but can't seem to find the answer.   <Well, let's see if we can!> We have a 45 gallon reef tank with several inverts (mostly live soft corals) and three fish, a coral beauty and two ocellaris clownfish.  About two weeks ago, one of our clownfish appeared to have some fine, white, dust-like particles attached to its fins and body.  No other signs of distress - no rapid breathing, no flashing, eating very well.  We feared ICH and immediately removed the fish into our quarantine tank. <Good, decisive action on your part!> We gave the fish a freshwater bath.  After about 24 hours all of the particles had disappeared and he returned to normal.  We kept him in quarantine for several days, and then with no signs of distress, returned him to the main tank (his friend was very glad to have him back). <In the future, you may want to utilize a longer isolation/observation period. The life cycle of this disease requires more time to be completed, and returning the fish too soon could be risking the health of his tankmates> Just a note- in the interim we went out of town for the weekend, and had our LFS attend to feeding and maintaining the tank.  We asked them to keep an eye out for any signs of parasitic infection - they noted that all our fish looked healthy and okay, water quality was very good, and that the tank seemed to be in very good condition (not that we always trust the LFS). Then, just a few days ago, our Coral Beauty had the same spots, again with no other signs of distress.  We again, thought ICH or even possibly marine velvet. <Good theory> We, at the recommendation of websites like yours and our LFS, purchased a reef-safe treatment, and have now dosed according to directions. <I don't think that you got the recommendation for the "reef safe" treatment from WWM! Most of us cringe at the thought of such "cures"...LOL> The Coral Beauty has returned to normal with no particles (parasites) and no signs of distress. <I'm placing my bet that it was due to the life cycle of the causative protozoa, not a result of the effectiveness of the "medication". Yes, I seem to be a bit down on these products, but I really have my doubts as to their effectiveness...> All three fish seem to be eating, breathing and behaving totally fine.  But, I, of course, am an overly protective and terribly paranoid mother of these three fish.  Do you have any thoughts on what these particles might be, and what action we should continue to take? Best Regards, and thank you! Christine <Well, Christine, I applaud you on your dedication to your animals! My thinking from afar is that this is, indeed, Marine Ich. I am a big advocate of removing all fishes from the display tank and leaving it "fallow" for a month to 6 weeks or so. This will create a disruption to the causative protozoa's life cycle, which can help wipe out the disease from the display tank. I have an article on the WWM site called "Marine Ich: Fighting The war On Two Fronts", which explains my Ich treatment philosophy. Steven Pro wrote an excellent series of articles on ich in "Reefkeeping" on-line magazine that you should check out as well. Hope these tips help...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Wiping Out Ich Hi, <Hi there, Scott F. here with you.> Yesterday, I went to the LFS and got a tang, but since the tank was so dark I could not see the ich on the fish. When I put the fish in I noticed that it had around 10-20 white dots on it. It kept scraping itself on the fake coral.  Well, today most of the ich seemed to have fallen off the fish with the exception of a few white dots left. <Don't be fooled-it's still there...> The tang is still scraping itself but not as much. Should I treat the tank right away or wait to see if more fish are being infected by the dreaded ich?  I do not want to loose my fishy! Just in case you want my water specs, Nitrite and ammonia: 0, Nitrate between 10 and 20, and pH is 8.1. Please respond quickly and thanks! <Well, there are a few things that you need to do. First- in the future, be sure to quarantine all new arrivals without exception.  This will make it easier to keep disease out of the display tank. Also, do try to look at the fish very carefully before purchasing. Don't be afraid to have the dealer catch the fish and let you take a look at it before purchasing, or ask him/her to feed the fish. You can even put down a deposit and ask the dealer to hold a potential purchase for a few days before taking it. As far as treating the disease is concerned, I always recommend treating the fish outside of the display tank. Read up on our favorite treatment techniques on the WWM site. With quick intervention, you can easily eradicate this scourge. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich battle 10 Aug 2004 Hi! <Hi Scott, MacL here with you this evening> I've got two semilarvatus golden butterflies and one Klunzinger's wrasse in my 135. <Lovely fish.> I've been battling with ich for about two weeks and have been treating with hyposalinity. <Usually very effective although its tough of butterflies in my experience.> Although the battle with ich seems to be going  well, one of the butterflies seems to be in a worsening condition. <Ahhh I can see that happening with a semilarvatus.> At the very outset of the ich I was doing FW dips, and I noticed scratch down his side.  I assumed it was from dodging around while I was trying to net  him out. <Possibly so> Since then that scratch has healed, but his body form on the  whole continues to look more and more battered. <That's not abnormal for butterflies in hyposalinity conditions, also the butterfly might be doing it to himself.> Looking at him in the light many of the scales seem sunken in and whitened. <This could possibly be an after affect of the ich parasites on the fish.  They do internal damage as well as external damage to the fish.>  This morning I woke up and now he has Popeye. <This could be caused by the fish rubbing on stuff or possibly having run into something. You can treat Popeye with Epsom salts. One tablespoon per five gallons then repeat after three days with another half dose. A water change in between will be helpful. > Foul play? <Its possible but not likely.> The butterflies were very closely associated in the beginning, swimming around and almost dancing  together. <They are a schooling fish.> It seems as though now one of them is in a more highly weakened state the other has turned on it, and I'm not sure I know enough about fish aggression to really tell the difference. <Turned on it how? Leaving it behind as they swim? Or something more aggressive? If the fish are being aggressive to each other you need to get the one being hurt OUT!> All eat piggishly well, and otherwise seem to be responding well to treatment. I would rather treat the Popeye in my main, it's already a treatment tank at this point and everything but overcrowded. I'm also worried that my BF's will not re-associate with each other if I separate them. <They are a schooling fish they should go back together once they are on equal footing.> Hehe...I'm also  worried that they won't re-associate if I DO leave them together however.   Lastly...is it entirely possible that I'm looking a little too deep into this and one of my butterflies is just recovering from the ich more poorly than the other. <I understand you are anxious about your fish though. My thoughts on this are pretty simple though, if one fish is hurting another get the one being hurt out to give him a chance to recover.> Say I were to QT...I've got a 29 that I treated with copper two weeks ago but didn't use. <Well the biggest thing about doing a quarantine at this point is you cannot just put the fish back into regular salinity. You would have to make the quarantine tank the EXACT salinity as the other tank. Then raise the salinity in a VERY VERY VERY slow manner when the quarantine is over.>  Would you recommend draining and bleaching it out or should I not worry about it (I'll have to do a massive  water change to lower the salinity even if I don't)? <You can still use the copper but I personally hate using copper when I'm using hyposalinity. The big thing is giving the fish some recovery time without being picked on.>  AND...if I do take my  battered little friend out of his home, will I be able to put him back if it truly is an aggression issue (I would hope that could it at least go either way  since they did well when they were both healthy)...and if it isn't? <They are a schooling fish, they should be okay schooling together if you need to put them back in together. Generally if you are having aggression issues is a stronger versus weaker thing or perhaps you aren't having aggression at all.> And  with a case like this, would tank size make a difference in their aggression  levels to each other (say if I bumped my tank up to a 240-300 long term)?  <One thing that might help is rearranging the tank when you put them back together. Of course the bigger the tank the better but honestly I think you are on the right track here. If they aren't fighting then leave them together and treat the tank. Good luck, MacL> Thanks guys! Scott

Cryptic Crypt learning Greetings to you! <And you> Not sure if this is appropriate, but I am new to your site, (as well as new to keeping Marine Fish). <Welcome> I think I may have Ich in my tank but not sure. Occasionally I will see my Flame Angel rub against the live rock, but I have not seen any white specks. I did not witness this behavior for several weeks so I felt it was OK to add another fish, (Hippo Tang). Now it seems like the Angel is rubbing more often and the Tang is doing the same thing. (still no white specks on either fish). My other fish do not seem to be affected, (at least not yet). I have 2 Percula Clowns and a Royal Gramma. Since this is my 1st attempt at keeping  Marine Fish and I have limited space for an additional tank, I have no quarantine tank to move them to I know that I could use Kick-Ich which is suppose to be OK for use with Live Rock, (no Copper), but I am reluctant to start a treatment that my not be needed. <This product is not safe... or effective> I have 55Gal. Tank 50lbs of live rock Feather Dusters, (that came in on the live rock) Flame Angel Hippo Tang Royal Gramma Percula Clowns (x2) 20 snails 15 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs 1 Blood Cleaner Shrimp Any advice on what to do is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Joe <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the related articles and FAQs files (linked at top, in blue). Bob Fenner>

Pods and Ich? Hi, I had a severe ich problem in my main tank back a few months ago and it got transferred to one of my smaller tanks. <Oh, no..> Needless to say I am a little jumpy. Anyways, I have a small reef tank that is teaming with Amphipods. I was thinking of transferring some to my refugium that is connected to the main tank. However, I was wondering if there is anyway for Ich to survive without fish in a tank for any amount of time? <Unlikely, in my opinion> Also, the salinity of the reef tank is 25 where the main tank is 22.5. Would I have to do a gradual like for fish, or could they handle the change? Thank You. Randy <My advice is to always make environmental changes very gradually. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> Down, But Not Out (Tank Recovering From Ich) Hello Scott, <Hello again!> It's been a while since I have asked a question but there hasn't really been a need. Well, soon after your last reply, the Poma and the damsel developed ich, so I took all the fish out and put them in quarantine. I freshwater dipped the angel and the damsel but to no avail and both died a few days later (I assume from ich or medication poisoning). <That's too bad. Sorry to hear that. Do make sure that you test for concentration if you are using copper as a treatment. And, of course, follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter when using any medication. I'm sure that you do, but I'm reiterating this for the benefit of other WWM readers...> Now I only have  the pair of Maroons and they have been doing ok in the 20 gallon isolation tank, but it has been 5 weeks and I am considering re-introducing them into the 75. Is this too soon or should I wait a while longer? <If the display tank has been completely fallow for 5 weeks, I'd give it one more week and reintroduce them.> They have not had any white spot throughout the whole ordeal. I read the articles on letting tanks go fallow but I am still a bit confused. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Adam Harbeck <Well, Adam- my rule of thumb for letting a tank run without fishes is 4-6 weeks (preferably 6 weeks) before reintroducing any fishes. During the "fallow period", perform all regular maintenance (such as water changes, media replacement, protein skimmer cleaning, etc.), and be patient. No method is 100% guaranteed, but the fallow tank method gives you the best chance of defeating parasitic illnesses in the display tank without medication or completely breaking down the tank and sterilizing everything. You'll actually be surprised at the life forms that emerge from rock, etc. in the absence of fishes...A little side benefit to an otherwise unpleasant procedure! Best of luck in the future! Here's to better days! Regards, Scott F.> Ich Treatment Options Hi Guys <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> How you doing? <Doin' fine!> My Coral Beauty has white spot only after being 3 days in my tank. <Yuck. This was after a quarantine period?> I only have the Coral Beauty and a damsel in my tank which has been in there now for about 6 months. Its going to be virtually impossible to get the Coral Beauty out of the tank. Since there is only one other fish, could I possibly treat the tank directly with some medication? <I am very much against treating disease in the display tank, for a variety of reasons- not the least of which is the fact that control of dosage is very difficult. The other problem is the potential for "collateral damage" to other life forms (such as invertebrates) that reside in the tank. The best way (and the most pain-in-the-butt technique) to get the fish out. This usually involves breaking down the decor, which is no fun...> Please advise really don't want to loose this stunning fish. Thanks Ziad <Well, Ziad- my advice is to get him out for treatment. We've written extensively on the WWM site about treating ich- so pick your medication and go for it. You can beat this disease if you get on it early! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Ich In Remission? Hi Scott <Hi there!> Hope that all is well with you. <So far, so good!> I wrote in last week telling you that a new addition to my tank that being a Coral Beauty had white spot after a day in my tank. I thought the little guy was doomed but to my surprise after a few days without any treatment all the spots have gone and suddenly she looks a lot happier and active and is starting to eat as well. <Good to hear...Sometimes, this disease can go into a sort of "remission". However, it can and often will return with a vengeance if not addressed at some point> Can you explain the situation? Could the spots have been due to stress? <Well, stress is a primary contributor to disease in fishes. The disease can strike fishes that are undergoing stressful situations and make things miserable for a while!> I did a water change this w'end and all seems to be fine. Sometime ago I did have the white spot disease in my tank and all my fish died one after the other with similar symptoms to the Coral Beauty. <Well, could still happen...Do be vigilant and ready to take action as needed> The tank has been empty for a while except for one damsel which survived the entire ordeal. I thought that maybe the disease was still present in my tank when I saw the Coral Beauty with the white spot. <Could be...How long the fallow period lasted definitely had an impact on its resurgence> Well all seems fine at the moment so I ain't complaining, just looking for some kind of explanation. Thanks Again Ziad <Well, Ziad, as I mentioned above- it's just a good idea to keep an eye on things...Don't ever think that you're over it yet! Be vigilant and ready to act as needed! Regards, Scott F.>

Marine ich <Hi, Mike D here> I have just had an outbreak of marine ich<Ouch. The scourge of aquarists everywhere>. I have moved all my fish to a quarantine tank, but I am worried about my fish's mental health.<Now THAT'S a first! LOL!> There's 7 fish in a 10 gallon tank, this is goin to get a bit "cabin feverish" if there in there for a month what do I do? Get another 10 gallon tank and split them up? <Probably not a bad idea, since I don't know the size or species that you have. The crowding WILL however, keep aggression to a minimum.> Also If I take out all my invertebrate and raise the temperature to like 90 degrees will this speed up the process of getting rid of the parasites?<Yes'm. It usually won't hurt LR at all, but might he bad for some corals if it's a reef tank> Will this temperature affect live rock? thanks a lot<You're more than welcome and best of luck>

Ich Strikes Again! I've just had an outbreak of marine ick. <Yuck...An all too common problem, but quite solvable> I have a 55 gallon tank with 7 fish and live rock. There is a Scopas Tang, Auriga Butterfly, 2 False Percula,1 Pixy Hawk, a Cleaner Wrasse and a Sixline Wrasse. I left for 4 days and the temperature got too hot in the day and then dropped in the night. <Uh, oh...> This is what I believed to have cause the outbreak. <A good hunch. Environmental fluctuations are a common cause of this scourge> My butterfly and 1 of my clownfish have the whites spots but nobody else. I have moved them to a 10 gallon quarantine tank. I have left the other fish in the main tank seeing as they don't have any signs of it. What else should I do? Do I leave them in the main tank or do I buy another quarantine tank seeing as 10 gallons isn't big enough for all these fish? <Well, my personal, conservative, and all-too-annoying approach is to get EVERYONE out, even the fishes that are not showing signs of the disease. In your case, I'd place the fishes that aren't displaying symptoms in a separate tank or large Rubbermaid container. The sick fish should be treated with an appropriate medication (I like copper sulphate, administered and monitored as per manufacturer's instructions). The fishes that are not showing illness should be monitored carefully. The main tank should run "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month to six weeks, which will disrupt the life cycle of the causative protozoan> I also have a 135 gallon that will be set up soon for these fish thanks a lot. <Well, there you have my simple, but effective technique. Do read more on this procedure here on the WWM site. With prompt intervention and patience, you can win! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> How do I cure Marine Ich? I just left for 4 days and when I got back I found out that I have some sick fish << Not good, but we can help. >> I have a clownfish fish that has what I believe is marine ich. She is in the 55 gallon tank with 6 other fish. The top of her body is freckled with white dots like grains of salt what should I do? << Well to me, the choice is easy.  I would start adding garlic immediately.  I would buy some liquid garlic capsules, and add them to your fish food.  You can buy it at a grocery store or health food store. >> She doest rub or scratch on anything and none of the other fish are showing signs of it. Also my Scopas tang has HLLE. I'm pretty sure it's the diet he's on. Right now he's eating Mysis shrimp and O.S.I. flake food, what can I do to improve it? << Okay, another easy question in my mind.  I would get some Nori from a seafood or oriental market.  Or, you can buy sea veggies at a local fish store.  I think something like Nori or Spirulina will really help your Scopas.  You may want to try some other frozen foods like prime reef or something similar. Good luck. >> thanks a lot <<  Blundell  >>

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