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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis 17

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 16, 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 Fish 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,

Gots to remove the non-vertebrates... ?

Acclimation Techniques Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> We are trying to eradicate ich. When giving a freshwater bath to new arrivals prior to quarantine, your article indicated to match pH to the New Tank's water. 1) Shouldn't we acclimate the fish with a few cups of water before putting him/her into the Dip? It seems that shipping water may be a much lower pH than a normal tank - and we don't want to risk shocking the animal. <Good point. That's my personal procedure. Replace some of the water in the bag/bucket with water from the quarantine tank, try to match the pH in the dip as closely as possible to the quarantine tank, and proceed from there. However, I have seen many people skip this step and go right to the dip without problems. I'm not recommending this "shortcut", but I have seen it done before many times. I'd take the conservative approach myself.> Also a couple more dip questions: 2)Is RO/DI water with Reef Buffer the best thing to use for a new fish? We saw the post where someone's fish died after they used distilled water and are getting a little paranoid. <I'd aerate the RO/DI before using it> 3) Should we also dip fish before adding to fallowed tank who have been in quarantine 2 months with no signs of ich? <I'd probably pass under these circumstances. They don't need any additional stress> If so, how long would you recommend for a Watchman goby and Hippo tang? Thanks as always!!! Doug <As above. Sounds like you're doing things right! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Sick fish in treatment part 2 2/11/05 Hi Adam, thanks for your quick reply. My readings at the time were fine, I can't remember exact numbers. I know had a slight reading on nitrates.  <Please test for everything again and reply with actual numbers. Knowing what you are testing for as well as how the values relate to each other is often important.> Sorry, I know my last message was hard to follow, I would remember things and go back. My rock was never exposed to any chemicals [paid too much$$] After 2 days in a row freshwater dipped, the tang still itchy. I am debating on whether too do it again, too much stress. What do you think? <I generally only use FW dips as a "on shot" treatment on the way to a hospital or quarantine tank. FW dips are not effective on parasites that are deeply imbedded in the skin of the fish, so it only serves to reduce the parasite load in the very short term. Other treatments must serve as the cure. More importantly, your description has not convinced me that your fishes problem is parasites.> Oh yeah their food: green, brown, red algae strips, frozen emerald entree, frozen brine shrimp plus, frozen Mysis shrimp, frozen pygmy angel food, frozen Cyclop-eeze [spelling?], zooplankton various flake and pellet[ not used often] <Outstanding! Kudos for quality and variety!> I also have Selcon vitamins recommended by the guys at Premium Aquatics [they are in Indy, as am I, about 10 min. from my home, I agree, great company, great bunch of guys. Especially to put up with me!] I also use garlic on their food.  <The folks at Premium are top notch! Do chat this up with them and seek their advice as well, perhaps even have them come take look?> So I think I picked a bad fish although she is a fighter to have made it this far. Do you advise more dips or leave her [and you] alone? I don't want to hurt her anymore. Thanks, Kim  <I wouldn't suggest any more dips unless you see solid evidence of parasites. (glancing is not proof) I would still be looking at water quality. Best Regards. Adam>

Reef safe" ich medication Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2005 Hello WWM Crew,  <Hello Eric, James (Salty Dog) here.> I have used your website an awful lot, as it has been very helpful. I know you have probably already answered my problem but I am still confused about what to do. I have a yellow tang with a pretty bad case of Ich. I stupidly bought "kick ich", and so far it has yielded worthless results. Believe it or not I isolated the yellow tang (he is my only fish) in a hospital tank to apply medication, however I moved him back to the main tank for two reasons. One, the kick ich claims its reef safe, which I seriously doubt. The second reason was I was having troubled keeping the ammonia and nitrite levels at a safe level in the 10 gallon ht. I don't have a sponge filter to apply to ht, however I know its a good thing to use the display tank water.  My question is, how can I keep the ammonia/nitrite problem in check? If I do frequent water changes, then how can I keep the medication at an affective level?  <Eric, unfortunately, in my opinion, there is no effective medication for ridding ich in a reef tank. I think Sea Chem's Prime would work for you in your QT. Try to stay away from the chelated copper medications as test kits will not read correct levels. Use an ionic (copper sulphate) copper medication. A test kit is required since it quickly precipitates in the system. Do not use any carbonate material for substrate as this will quickly absorb at least half of it in a couple hours. Keep the level between .15/.20. You will need to monitor the level daily. Good luck, James (Salty Dog)>

Taking The War To Ich! Hi Bob, <Scott F. in today!> This is Gulnar (the wife) reading ich FAQs on your website and trying to come up with a plan for tomorrow. Yes, we sure had some magic dynamic going for 14 years. Sorry we pushed it over the edge, and ironically on the eve of getting a 120 gal. Needless to say, we returned the LN Butterfly the next morning (over a week ago) but the damage was done.  I noticed the spots on the Sailfin Tang this morning, and most of the fish did not eat today, so assume all the fish have ich. This is our first encounter with ich, and I would love to give it my best shot to save our fish which we've had for years and are obviously very attached to. (committed to QT from now on) <A battle that you can definitely win with some quick and decisive action! Glad that you are committed to quarantine for the future! You won't regret embracing this process!> Michael has started raising the temperature of the tank today. I will do a water change and start reducing the sg gently tomorrow. I am getting ready to set up 1 (maybe 2, to spread the load) 10 gal. hospital tank/s with main tank water to get fish out (no small task, as we have 100-150 lbs of live rock - there is no other bio filter media for the last 7 years or so). <You could put sponge filter in the display tank for several days in the hope of "colonizing" the sponge with beneficial bacteria for filtration in your treatment tank. However, there is a very good possibility that some medications can wipe out significant populations of the bacteria. Frequent water changes are a very safe bet in the "hospital" tank; just make sure that medications are replenished to maintain a proper therapeutic dose.> I am not very savvy about all this, as I have pretty much sat on the side lines until recently. <Sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on things, however!> But I do not want to give up on the fish, so any help is most appreciated. <That's why we're here!> I see that the advise is to get all the fish out of the tank and let it go fallow for over a month. <I am a huge proponent of this technique. It has a very high success rate at eradicating ich from the display tank> Am I right in assuming copper cannot be administered to the main tank because it would kill the live rock/bio-filter/beneficial bacteria?. <It will definitely kill many inverts, some microfauna, and may actually be "absorbed" by the rock and sand, becoming bound up and effectively reducing the therapeutic benefits of the medication. It is always recommended to treat in a dedicated "hospital" tank with a bare bottom and inert decor, such as PVC sections, etc.> IF THAT IS SO, some specific questions: 1. Is 10 gal hospital/QT tank big enough for 6 fish for 1 month? <Really depends on the size and types of the fishes. Frankly, a Sailfin Tang would not do well in such a small tank. I'd either spread out the population over several tanks or other containers (plastic trash cans and the like), or try to find a (used) tank of a larger size, like 40-50 gallons. Even in a treatment tank, a larger tank affords greater environmental stability.> 2. Since not established, would 2 gal ( or more?) water change everyday keep ammonia, nitrite, nitrate at acceptable levels?  (Apologize for ignorance, will commit to self-education after crisis) <Please, no apologies! You're doing great! Yes, water changes done regularly will be a definite aid in keeping the water quality up. Just be sure to regularly test for copper concentration (if you elect to use Copper Sulphate as a treatment) to make sure that you are maintaining a proper therapeutic dose.> 3. Please advise if copper is the way to go in the QT tank? If so, which brand/type and a source for overnight delivery, if LFS does not carry. <Copper is good stuff if you follow the manufacturer's directions carefully and test regularly. I like Mardel CopperSafe or Cupramine by Sea Chem. Both of which can be ordered from places like Drs. Foster & Smith, etc. However, there are some fishes (particularly Centropyge angels, Puffers and many Tangs) which do not do well with copper over the long term. I have never encountered difficulties with copper, but that doesn't mean that it's foolproof, of course! If you are concerned about Copper, perhaps a Formalin-based product would be a better choice for you.> (Hope directions are idiot-proof). <They are pretty good! Just remember to get a copper test kit if you go the Copper sulphate route> 4. Is FasTest for copper a good one? Is this for chelated or "free" or both? <I believe that this test is only for "free" copper. Do check the Aquarium Systems (manufacturer) web site.> Your preference? <I like the SeaChem Copper test kit, but Fastest are excellent, and I use them, too> 5. Are "Dip test Strips" any good to keep an eye on the QT? 5-in-1 Quick Dip strips? Ammonia Alert? <As long as you don't need a real high degree of accuracy, I suppose that these tests would work. I'd rather have the Fastest or SeaTest kits, though> 6. Additionally, would fresh water dips also help? How often? <They can be of some help; however, freshwater dips alone are not a cure, IMO. They can help supplement other treatment techniques. Remember, they do cause some stress for the fish, which could be potentially problematic to a sick fish. If you are not confident with FW dips, I'd consider the potential "down side" before attempting. All in all, I find them to be useful if done correctly.> Sorry for the long message. <No need to apologize!> Thanks for your help. Look forward to your response. Please reply to both of us. Thanks again. Gulnar <Hang in there, guys! You can do it! Regards, Scott F.>

Taking The War To Ich- The Battle Is Joined!  Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks for your response. I'm so very grateful for your point-by-point response to my long email. Thanks for all your efforts and all this good information. <Glad to be of service...that's what WWM is all about!> I have been at your website FAQs every minute I get and into the night, essentially taking a crash course, and am in info-overload, and experiencing some confusion, (To stay with Kick-Ich or go QT). <it is a bit overwhelming...Sometimes it is okay to just stop and take a deep breath before proceeding...> As I have not yet taken decisive action, in the 3 days that have gone by, we started first dose of Kick-Ich Thurs. AM (says it's reef safe), though I know you don't agree. <I guess my biggest concern about so-called "reef-safe medications" is that I am curious how something can target just the Cryptocaryon parasite without doing any collateral damage to physiologically analogous creatures in the tank. That's what worries me about the stuff...I just don't believe in using any "medications" in the display. Nonetheless, I respect and understand your decision to take action...I cannot fault you at all!> We needed to do something, as it was day 3, thought to give the fish some relief, and the QT is not set up yet, as we have to prepare to tear the LR down to remove the fish to the QT, filter still to arrive, etc.  <Yep...Ya gotta lay the groundwork...>  Now we're Preparing to set up a QT this Saturday, but we have no bio-filter. There are 6 fish to be treated, (all eating at the moment). The 5-6" Sailfin Tang, which is covered the worst; the 4" Regal Angel, seems covered not as bad but eyes are cloudy; 4" Square-Backed Anthias, Flame Angel and Blue Devil damsel don't look as bad; and can't tell if the Sailfin (I think) Algae Blenny has ich spots or not.  <Best to assume that all fishes in a "hot" tank are ill. You may not need to treat them, but they should be observed carefully in isolation nonetheless.> All have to be accommodated in 55 gal QT, as I will already be stretched keeping up with one QT. I am very anxious about my ability to pull this off without a biofilter. The only filter we have in the ich-ridden 55 gal display tank is the LR, which is no good for treatment tank.  <Correct. Your best allies will be (IMO) water changes and a good sponge filter.> QT/Hospital tank elements- your thought?: - 55 gal tank (following your advice, and coming to my senses)  - Bio-Wheel 330 with mechanical filtration, (I don't see a sponge filter in Drs F&S catalog) <Well, the BioWheel will colonize some bacteria as it matures. Dr. Foster and Smith do have sponge filters...Do check their website, too.> - Visi-Therm Submersible 300W heater - will set to maintain at 82 F day and night. Is that OK? <Elevated temperatures are helpful to speed up the life cycle of the causative protozoa, but do make sure that the tank is well aerated/filtered, as the warmer water holds less dissolved oxygen.> - PVC fittings - various sizes <Good. Inert "decor" is a great idea and won't interfere with medication.> - 35-40 gals of water from display tank (nitrates may be 20-40, typically are)- 15-20 gals new water, temp and sg matched to display tank <Sounds great!> - tubing to siphon bottom of QT for daily water change <I'm glad that you are doing that. Frequent water changes will help as the biofilter matures in the QT.> - Ammonia stick-on alert Am I forgetting anything? <Nope...Sounds good> Medication at the ready - your thought?: -Formalin, (Aquarium Products) - 16 oz. (I don't think copper is an option, having a flame angel and SFin tang. Do you agree? <Although I am a big fan of copper, and have used it for tangs and dwarf angels, I would not recommend it because of the potential "collateral damage" it can cause for these fishes. I agree with your decision to use a formalin-based product.> -Kent Detox (Is this OK to use in case of an ammonia spike?) <I have not used this product, but I'm wondering how it will interact with your medication. Formalin will have a negative effect on the biofilter. Personally, I'd arm myself with a "bacteria in a bottle" product (like Cycle, etc.) and dose it regularly in the hopes of keeping up with the tank's needs.> -Methylene Blue (getting it, but probably won't use, considering down-side risk you mention) <Actually, not too much down side, IMO. However, it is of no real effect with Cryptocaryon...> -Coppersafe or Cupramine - get later as back up <Hopefully, you won't need a "second round" of meds, but both are excellent products if used as directed and copper concentration is regularly measured.> Am I forgetting anything? <Nope. You seem to have it wired!> Test kits FasTest Multi kit +refills - Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH FasTest Copper - get, if needed  Am I forgetting anything? <Again- sounds good!> Questions - Sorry for the number of Qs: 1. We saved 20 gal from the water change yesterday (Thurs. morning), and is currently being brought up to 80 F, no filter yet. Will that still be good for this weekend to start the 55 gal treatment tank? The display tank is also a 55 gal. (FOWLR). <I think it will be fine for this purpose.> 2. Will it be OK to do another water change within 2 days (Sat) to get another 15 -20 gals to start the treatment tank? <I'd wait a little longer- like 3-4 days, and keep up that interval during treatment, or as warranted.> 3. I'm afraid of the FW dip, and you mentioned the stress may be too much for the 2 that are the most sick. Also, I'm ignorant about PH and how to raise or lower it in the QT and FW dip, and may not have time to learn that. Any ready answer will help greatly. <The dip process is really not that scary, but if you are not comfortable with the process, I don't really see a downside to skipping it. Better to use this technique prior to quarantining newly-received fishes.> 4. What is the down side of NOT doing the FW/M.Blue dip? <Really not much, IMO. In theory, it can help remove or kill some of the Cryptocaryon protozoa that are on the fishes' bodies. However, its effectiveness as a primary theory is questionable. I've seen some research which indicates that the necessary duration to effect significant eradication of the protozoa would cause the fish to expire in the process...Not a good trade off, if you ask me!> 5. When should I start using Formalin immediately, as have read reluctance to use meds, but SF Tang is fully covered in fine white spots, and the regal angel's eyes are cloudy (repeating myself, sorry) <I'd start right away, as the sooner you start, the sooner you can discontinue the dosing. Follow manufacturer's directions to the letter regarding dosage and duration.> 6. Is Formalin as effective as copper? <It is, if used properly> Downside of Formalin? <It can disrupt filtration, and like all medications, can be deadly if dosed improperly.> How can I verify that I am maintaining the Formalin levels prescribed? i.e. no test kit <Follow manufacturer's directions without deviation!> 7. You mention that you have not encountered any difficulties with copper. Are you referring to its use with Flame Angel or Sailfin Tang? <With both. The real problem with tangs and copper is that the copper is thought to be harmful to the digestive fauna that these fishes harbor in their intestinal tract. If these fauna are killed, the fish may not be able to properly digest it's food, leading to further problems. Granted, this is usually caused by long-term exposure to copper (several weeks...Usually longer than you need to effect a cure, BTW), but it warrants consideration. As far as Centropyge Angels- they are categorically sensitive to copper, with a few exceptions. I have used copper many times on both fishes without incident, but that does not mean that I recommend it to everyone. The risk is there.> 8. How long/days has Formalin to be used? Haven't got it yet, so don't know the directions. Do you know of its success rate? <Depends on the manufacturer's recommendations and concentration. As far as success- it can be very successful, if used as directed.> 9. Assume I should add Formalin (1 ml to 18 gals) to new water on alternate days as prescribed, to maintain dosage.  <Good idea. Do know exactly how much water is in the tank, so you can accurately gauge requirements> 10. Will I need to do a 5%, 10% (6 gal) or 20% (12 gal) water change every day? <I'd go for every three or four days, as outlined above.> 11. With daily water changes, will there be need for make-up water, as bound to be evaporation. So have to medicate make-up water with Formalin as well? <I would. You need to maintain a proper therapeutic dose> 12. With the QT daily tests, will I need a high degree of accuracy? Meaning, will tests strips be accurate enough? <I think that the inexpensive strips will do the job.> 13. Are Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate Tests to be done once or twice a day? <Once a day is plenty. eventually, every other day will do.> 14. Any other daily tests to be done for the QT? <Well, I'd mainly be concerned about the parameters outlined above> Speaking of tests, I have not done any tests this week, since noticing the ich. Nitrates typically are 20-40. Will this have adverse effect on the success of the treatment? <Not to my knowledge.> 15. Just curious, if we had a sponge in display sump ready for QT, once you start adding copper or Formalin, would the bio-filter die totally? If so, is there a benefit in having a "dirty" ready sponge with this type of medication? <There would be some potential "die off" of beneficial bacteria with formalin, but an established sponge gives you a "jump start". Do consider replenishing with a product like Cycle, as outlined above.> 16. Lastly, yesterday was day 3 after we noticed the ich, but the spots have not disappeared or diminished. I read that after 8-24 hours of the feeding stage, then they drop to bottom, but that is not my experience. Your thoughts? <Hard to be sure, but I suspect that they will soon.> Anxiously waiting for your quick response. Thanks very much for your time and attention. Gratefully, Gulnar <A pleasure, Gulnar. Take it slow and steady- be confident, and you'll win this war! Regards, Scott F.>

Blew it (or ICH) Hello, sir (madam?),  <Madam this time, you got me, MacL and how are you this fine day.> I have a 240 gallon marine tank, salinity at 1.025 at 79 degrees, skimmer, 200 pounds of live rock, Eheim 2260 canister, two powerful powerheads circulating lots of water. MH/PC combo lighting. Nitrite, Ammonia undetectable, nitrate sub-10, ph at 8.2 to 8.4, depending on who is interpreting the colour of the test water (stable, whatever it is). <Sounds wonderful> I have a healthy, ravenous BTA, and healthy, growing mushrooms and star polyps. One coral banded shrimp, three skunk cleaners, 20 Trochus snails, 15 spotted snails (some sort of Nassarius). The only fish in the tank have been the seven blue/green Chromis I introduced to "test" it. They are very cute and have done famously.  <Really nice tank I believe.> So how'd I blow it? Well, one of my local LFS, which has a good and healthy marine section, has had a 150 bowfront display tank running for several years. In it were lots of corals, live rock, giant clams, shrimp, etc. A nice reef and -- the purpose of the tank -- it had just about every computer and piece of machinery you can buy running on it. The tank has had the same three blue/regal/hippo (Acanthurus hepatus) Tangs in it for the last two years. They recently decided to break the tank down and had an auction. I bid for and won the largest tang, and a nice big piece of live rock with a Hydnophora sp. coral on it.  <How on earth could you resist that?> I thought about it, and decided (wrongly, I guess) that given that this ich-magnet species had been living in that tank for two years without incident, and that my tank only had the Chromis in it, and that it would be at least a month before I added any more fish, it would be better for the fish and me to forego quarantine.  <I understand, No lecture cause I understand for sure.>  It seemed to work. After an eight minute freshwater dip, in he went. The next day, he began eating, and he has not stopped. I have never seen anything eat like this fish.  <Tangs can be such pigs but so wonderful.>  Red and green seaweed clipped two or three times a day, frozen/thawed Hikari "marine algae" mix, Mysis, krill. He is thick, fat, fast, and has great colours. Of course, just after I thought I had cheated fate, he has shown five spots that are unmistakably marine ich. He has not flashed even once, and still pigs out all the time. His colours are undiminished.  <Before you go any farther have you considered adding a cleaner shrimp?> Of course, with my inverts and my live rock, I can't treat the tank by hypo or by copper. Catching this streak of blue lightning for a move to quarantine is going to be next to impossible.  <This is why I mentioned the cleaner shrimp, often with a mild outbreak they can stop it dead in its tracks.> So my question is: Given the mildness of this first assault by the little parasites, and the vigour and happiness of the victim, is it worth waiting to see if, like the Chromis, he can withstand the next assault, once these drop off and multiply? Or is that so impossible I should get my rubber gloves on and rip my tank apart right away to catch him? I think you probably know which one I am hoping to hear.  <I personally would try to add a couple of cleaner shrimp. The worst that happens is that you end up with two new invertebrates that are great. The best, they stop the ich. But you will have to be aware and watch your fish closely to make sure that the ich doesn't get worse. If it does you will have to put on the gloves and take care of things. Good luck, MacL> Thanks, all. Simon.

Follow-up on blew it Thanks very much.  <You are most welcome Simon.>  To answer your question, I have three cleaner shrimp (that is what I meant by "skunk cleaners", sorry).  <No worries I am always very cautious about names.>  Your email is very reassuring and I will hope for the best.  <I have seen very light cases just disappear with cleaner shrimp and if I might be so bold to suggest, you might try feeding some of the foods with garlic in them or add garlic to the food.> If the worst happens, well, I guess I have a nasty afternoon in my future. Thanks again and best regards. <Good luck Simon and let me know what happens, MacL>

Ack! I blew it! Or, more in the saga of "Life with Ich" MacL,  <Simon I am so very sorry, I've been down with migraines. I hope I am not too late.> Well, as I feared, it is back, and this time it is worse (about ten spots).  <Unfortunately that is the cycle of ich and it will drop off and continue to multiply.>  So am I going to have to tear the tank down, catch him, move him to the 75 gallon Quarantine tank, and treat for a month of hypo with copper?  <Okay you can do the hypo salinity without doing the copper. You would need to take all your corals out of the tank.> or should I wait for one more cycle? <I would go on and do it now.> My new question is this: My 7 little Blue/Green Chromis are unaffected by the Ich. Can I leave them in the main tank with the inverts and live rock for the month or two of treatment, on the assumption that if they aren't acting as hosts, they aren't supporting the Ich?  <If you let your tank go fallow, that means removing EVERYTHING from the tank including the invertebrates and only leaving the rocks. If you do hyposalinity you must remove the corals and the invertebrates because the invertebrates cannot handle the lowered salinity.>  Or do they have to be moved to Quarantine with my Tang?  <Simon, I'm so sorry, I'll be here every day from now on if you have any more questions. Don't use the copper unless you plan to permanently remove all your invertebrates, have dead rock and no corals. Right now as I see if you have three options, one, hyposalinity where you remove the invertebrates and the corals to a quarantine tank. Two, letting the tank go fallow where you remove everything but the rock to the quarantine tank for at least a month. Three, copper where you treat with copper and then plan on not having invertebrates or live rock or corals. Let me know if I can help you MacL> 

Ich treatment course Sun, 6 Feb 2005  I have so enjoyed looking through your content and have gained a wealth of information from it.  Thank you for your obvious love for this hobby and for saving the lives of countless fish and wallets of countless people. Hello Christy, and your welcome.  Salty Dog here, and will try to help you.> Forgive me if there is a clear answer floating around in the search tools and past questions.  I really have searched for quite some time (to the point of some serious eye strain-ha) and want to get your opinion on my situation. I have a 125 gallon tank with a raccoon butterfly (4") 2 percula clowns (2") and 1 skunk cleaner shrimp.  I recently added the butterfly and shrimp and it seems that was enough to stress one of the clowns and he now has ich.  He is still acting good and eating but is covered in spots.  I know that now my whole main tank is infected but am concerned that pulling out all three fish for a hospital tank  (and to let my tank go fallow) will be too stressful on all of them.  (I only have a 10 gallon hospital tank which doesn't give hiding room to the clowns, they are still a bit skittish of the b/f)  I tried and tried to catch the sick one but I am causing him even more stress. And am also concerned that just removing him alone will mess up the camaraderie the 2 clowns share. <Christy, the first thing you must understand is that no fish you buy, no matter how good it looks, is a happy fish.  They have spent the last two weeks of their life under stressed, underfed and placed in a whole new environment.  With this in mind, that is when fish are the most vulnerable to disease since most of their systems including the immune system shut down.  They are only interested in escape.  This is why it is so important to quarantine new fish.  I strongly believe the butterfly brought in a gift with him and now the clown is infected.> The clowns aren't a bit interested in the shrimp but the b/f is constantly stopping by for a good cleaning.  Will he be able to keep the b/f from getting it with such frequent cleaning? <They do help, but it is impossible for the cleaner to completely eradicate the problem as when a cyst breaks, hundreds of new cells become water borne looking for a host.  Fish that have adapted well and fed a good diet can fight off diseases as their immune system is back up and running.>  And I guess my main question or thought is that perhaps this clown will pull out of this and be alright on it's own and ich will die down due to the fish not hosting?  I did not quarantine this shrimp<invertebrates are not vulnerable to ich.> but I'm thinking the clown was maybe a carrier all this time<possible> and just never came down with it?  I don't know, I just know he seems so good right now, but then so stressed when I try to do anything. <Since the damage is already done, you may want to keep observing. Do 10% weekly water changes as you should have been doing as a weekly maintenance chore.  If seems to worsen, your left with no other choice but to catch the fish in question.  It will usually entail removal of your rock or some of it to catch the rascal.  When in quarantine, treat with an ionic based copper.  Test kits cannot read chelated forms accurately.  Check copper levels every other day and adjust if necessary.  A level of .15 to .20 is sufficient.  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> Any thoughts? suggestions? Thanks in advance Christy

Immune resistance to ick???..... I have a 130 gallon hybrid system which contains live rock, undemanding corals such as mushroom anemones, polyps, some hammer coral, star polyps, feather dusters, and the usual hermits, snails, and a reef lobster. It's basically a Berlin set up, an active protein skimmer,   and I have attached an Ecosystem refugium with minimal Caulerpa. There are four "immune to ick" fish, namely, a Foxface, algae blenny, small parrot, and a long nose hawk.. Here's the problem, whenever I add another fish (no matter what species) it breaks down with ick in 72 hours and dies. <Yes... though there are such things as acquired immunity to parasitic infestation... the present fish are still carriers, the system itself is still infested... and will continue to be... until you change this> The fish added are not attacked by the existing inhabitants and have been properly acclimated....It's just so frustrating since I cannot add anything else to this system. The coral is thriving and all the water chemistry parameters are fine....Any suggestions.  I have tried removing the four fish and going fallow for a complete month with no success. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Harvey <Ahh, may take more than a month... or perhaps coupling, helping this length of time with elevated temperature (mid 80's F) and slightly reduced spg (1.021, 1.022...)... Perhaps six or eight weeks... Bob Fenner>

Ick Problems follow-up 5 Feb 2005 Thank you so much for your reply. I do have just two additional questions. 1.If I decide to take the hyposalinity route, in addition to, of course removing the corals do I need to remove the snails, hermits, and detach the ecosystem with the Caulerpa?  <Interesting question. If the ecosystem has snails, hermits etc then they will not deal well with the hyposalinity so if it is possible, in my opinion, I would detach it and let it run solo for a while.> 2. The tank runs at about 80-81 degrees, would you suggest cooling it down to mid 70's to help prevent the ich proliferation?  <The ich spreads and multiplies faster at a higher temperature so if you can get it down it will not spread as fast. If you do the hyposalinity you would be okay to leave the temperature up so that the ich go through their life cycle a lot faster. But for the most part you want to get the temperature down for the life and comfort of your fish, corals and invertebrates. Usually around 78 is good.> It's just so frustrating/interesting that the existing four fish exhibit complete immunity to this plague!!  <I'm not sure immunity is the proper word. They probably are still carrying it and therefore spreading it and its a possibility that should they get stressed or weakened in any way that they will break out with it.>  You would not know that there is ich without adding new fish!  <Actually I have seen this happen many times. You are not alone. Another thing is, that any new fish is stressed and in a weakened condition and that allows the ich to attack. EVEN if they seem to be in great shape they are coming into a new environment and therefore more vulnerable. You might also have good luck with garlic and vitamin C additions. I find them very valuable in my personal experience with fish. Harvey don't give up I know this seems very confusing and difficult but it can be beaten. Good luck, MacL> Thanks for you insight and recommendations.  Harvey

Hippo Tang scratching, Kick Ich product SCAM, Good Day <Hello> Well, my Hippo tang is scratching persistently and my yellow tang is scratching now.  I knew I should have waited about the Kick Ich -- that is  one $31.00 lesson I learned. <This product... how many more times do I have to state this?... is an outright SCAM... there are NO reef safe anti-Cryptocaryon cures... NONE... What leads people to believe there could be? What would select this protozoan and yet leave others be? Arggggh!>   I have a 20 gallon QT tank I am going to set  up today.   Should I use 10 gallons of water from my tank and 10 gallons of  fresh saltwater or should all 20 gallons be fresh saltwater since I do not know  what is going on in my tank? <I would use the current aquarium water... less stress, comes with beneficial microbes... the ich will be killed...> My yellow tangs cloudy eye has healed, but he  still has the large brown spots on him and his lips seem to have a little  brownish color around them today.  With what and how should I treat my fish  once I get them into the QT tank?  All your help is greatly  appreciated. Sherry <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files (in blue, above) where you lead yourself... QUICKLY... and act with knowledge. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hippo Tang, ich One other quick question -- I also have 3 green Chromis and 1 clown (Nemo) along with the 2 tangs.  My question is should I move all the fish to the  20 gallon QT tank and is this tank big enough for all the fish? Thanks again Sherry <Read where you've been sent... all the fish livestock need to be treated, the system itself is now infested. Bob Fenner>

Immunity to ick? 4 Feb 2005 <Hi Harvey, MacL here with you.> I have a 130 gallon hybrid system which contains live rock, undemanding corals such as mushroom anemones, polyps, some hammer coral, star polyps, featherdusters, and the usual hermits, snails, and a reef lobster. It's basically a Berlin set up, an active protein skimmer, and I have attached an Ecosystem refugium with minimal Caulerpa. There are four "immune to ick" fish, namely, a Foxface, algae blenny, small parrot, and a long nose hawk.. Here's the problem, whenever I add another fish (no matter what species) it breaks down with ick in 72 hours and dies. <Ouch!> The fish added are not attacked by the existing inhabitants and have been properly acclimated. It's just so frustrating since I cannot add anything else to this system. The coral is thriving and all the water chemistry parameters are fine....Any suggestions.  I have tried removing the four fish and going fallow for a complete month with no success. <In order for it to go fallow you would need to remove EVERYTHING; shrimps, snails, crabs and possibly freshwater dip most of the corals (although there is debate about the freshwater dipping). Interestingly enough I am dealing with something similar in a tank that I am working with at work. You could remove all the corals and try hyposalinity. You'll find a lot of discussion about that on the site and I personally find it very effective. Another option is that you might find that if you use a diatom filter it will help get rid of the ick by removing all the free floating ick. I know how frustrating fighting this battle can be. Have you tried using a cleaner shrimp in the tank? Often they will catch the ick at an early stage and take care of any problems before they become out of hand. Let me know if you need any in-depth information about any of this. Good luck, MacL> Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Harvey Nitrates and Ich Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 Thank you very much for your response to my last question I really appreciate your site. I have a few more questions to ask if you don't mind about nitrates, ich and ph. I know bacteria breaks down ammonia into nitrite and then another type of bacteria will turn the nitrite into nitrate. My question is what to do about the nitrate.  <Chris, if your system is in balance, nitrates will be released in the form of nitrogen. They would never be at zero, but in the low range.>  I know that you do water changes to take the nitrates out of your tank but is there another way to control nitrate levels. <Yes, watch your feeding and stocking level of the tank along with weekly 10% water changes.> The reason I'm asking is because my tank got a little thrown out of balance. 37 Gal Ammonia .03 Nitrate: 60 ph: 7.7 (I know this is really bad) temp: 79F 1 blue damsel, 1 coral beauty, and 1 sand sifting sea star (I know). The tank has a 4 inch sand bed and 4 lb of live rock. I just recently added some live sand to the aquarium (25 lb) to bring the sand depth up for my sand sifting sea star. Before I did this the readings on my tank were fairly normal. .01 ammonia, Nitrate: 10 ph: 8.1. My question is basically how the ph could get so messed up like that in a matter of 3 days. <Well, as I read it doesn't appear your tank is overloaded. Probably when you added the live sand you probably had some die off in there and the increased organic load dropped your pH.>  I decided to do a 10% water change and added a little baking soda mixed with water to raise the ph. <You need to check your alkalinity level. Should be between 8-12DKH. At this level the ph should stay normal providing there are no other problems in the tank.>  The other question I have is about ich. My blue damsel has been acting a little weird lately. He has been rubbing himself up against the heater, the glass, and the live rock in my tank. I checked him out and there are not visible spots on him. He has approached my cleaner shrimp a few times and allowed the shrimp to clean his mouth. I've been told by my pet store that this could be Ich but wonder if he is acting weird because of the pH. <The damsel family are pretty hardy and I doubt seriously they would react to a drop in pH unless it was dramatic.>  I was also told to treat it I should not feed my fish for 3 days so that there energy is spent on fighting the infection rather than digestion. <The fish do need the energy to help resist the disease.>  Personally I'm a little suspicious since energy kinda comes from food and the fish need energy to fight the infection. <Amen again>  Also I was told that I don't necessarily need medication to treat the ich and that I should be able to run its course naturally. <One thing you need to do Chris is get yourself a 10 gallon tank to be used for a quarantine tank. Your new additions should be placed in there for three weeks for observation before they go into the main tank. Do a search on the wet web for quarantine tanks and you will find all the info you need.>  Also where does Ich even come from?  Christopher Swanson <Usually from dealer's tanks. If a fish is healthy they can normally fend this off. Poor water quality actually increases the fish's chance of becoming infected. A 10% water change weekly is most recommended. You won't see overnight results, but in a month you should notice a healthier tank. James (Salty Dog)>

Unknown marine worm and Ick 2/3/05 - Someone's too Excited! Constant problem with whitespot! Treated fish 3 times! 2 clownfish fine, but regal tang and yellow spotted boxfish poorly! <Whoa! Calm down! <grin>. Treated with what? Most fish store remedies are pretty useless. Please see here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm and beware that boxfish may not tolerate drugs, freshwater dips or hyposalinity as well as other fishes. Take particular note of the technique of moving the fish every three days to disrupt the life cycle of the parasite.> Found worm in the tank with a torch last night! White worm about 5 inches long and very thin! Put worm into bag with water from the tank! Now it has separated into two parts and is now looking black/stripey! Any ideas what it is and could this worm be stressing my fish out and that's why they keep getting whitespot!  <Wow! All those exclamations are making me jumpy. <laughing> It is almost impossible that this worm is causing stress to your fish, and it certainly isn't causing whitespot. Most such critters are harmless if not beneficial, and very few are harmful. If the worm is large or has visible teethy mouthparts, I may discard it. Otherwise, I would likely return it and enjoy it for the amazing diversity it represents. For most such critters, it is appropriate to assume them innocent until proven guilty. Best Regards. AdamC.>

New longnose butterfly with spots

Hello, <Howdy> Some background: 55 gal saltwater reef tank approx 14 years old. Wet/dry filter, protein skimmer. Lots of live rock, Sailfin tang, Regal angel... <Pygoplites?> ...Squarespot Anthias, flame angel, blue devil damsel, cleaner shrimp, leather coral, fluorescent green carpet anemone, some plants. <All in a 55?> Regular water changes, addition of trace elements and calcium. Today we (my wife and I) purchased a longnose butterfly from a shop we have done business with for years. In the store the only thing noticeable was a small bump on one side that an aggressive damsel was picking at. Feeling sorry for the poor guy we bought him and he is now in our reef tank. Here's the catch. When we got him home we went thru an acclamation period of about 3 hours, floating the bag, mixing tank water with the bag water, lights out in the tank, etc.  When we finally did put him into the tank, and later turned on the lights, we noticed small (very, very small) white spots on his head, and fins. His body looks clean, and the spots don't appear to be raised. These were not at all evident in the store's lighting, but seem to be enhanced by the blue actinic lighting in our tank (my guess).  Not sure if this is early stage of ich or what, so here we are.  Please look at the attached photos and give us your opinion.   Thanks very much in advance. Look forward to your reply.  Michael & Gulnar - Bethel, CT <Mmm, looks like Cryptocaryon rather than "normal" stress coloration markings to me... I would (have) quarantined this and other new specimens if you had a larger system... as it is, with such a tiny tank, so much life already, I would NOT have added any more... possibly upsetting whatever magic dynamic you had... What will you do now? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  Bob Fenner> 

No Question But A Confirmation. Ruby Reef's Kick-Ich I thoroughly enjoy your site and the information. <Me too> A number of references have been made regarding Ruby Reef's Kick-Ich.  My experience with the product has also not been good. <It's a sham> There seems to be a significant "unexplained" mortality rate when using this product. Fish that have no visible signs of ich are found floating within 12 hours of dosage even though all directions are carefully followed. Slime slothing [sloughing] was witnessed in most of the fish. <You would observe the same results from pouring in most any kitchen food product... vinegar, mustard...> The fish become lethargic for a period of time, followed by air gulping even though water quality is good and there are no ammonia traces, at the same time, fish with swim bladders seem to lose control of buoyancy, become weaker and die. <Yes> Transfer of the fish to another system void of the "medication" does not seem to help, however it may if the fish are transferred as soon as any type of behavior change is noted.  <Good descriptions> Fish with ich show no signs of improvement but worse than that they seem to attract the ich like magnets during the secondary bloom. <I concur> At the end of the treatment cycle when the protein skimmer is turned back on cups and cups of effluent are generated even though Nitrate, nitrite levels are imperceptible. This may be a bacteria bloom in the skimmer itself however its more likely a reaction between the product and the skimmer bacteria.  John <You[r] and I's [my] observations agree... the product is worse than worthless... as it leads people to believe they're actually "doing something" of value, helping their livestock. Bob Fenner>

Help treating Ich  Bob et al., I would really like to ask for some advice on my specific situation. I have a 72G bowfront reef tank with a 4" DSB, lots of live rock, LPS corals (torch, frogspawn, candy cane, pearl bubble, Lobophyllia, Trachyphyllia, Cynarina, Favites, and tongue corals), 4x4' VHO, 20G refugium, Poseidon 2 protein skimmer, a few Astrea snail and a few hermit crabs, a fire shrimp, one lone green Chromis that I've had for five or six years, and a mandarin (my mandarins do fine, I have TONS of copepods and small worms). I used to also have a Fiji (half black) Foxface and a marine Betta in there, but the Betta died in a move this summer, and the Foxface took a sudden liking to coral after almost two years and killed a colt coral (I know, don't mix softies, but I'd had it for years) and a Scolymia before I realized what was happening and moved it to another tank. SG 1.024-1.025, Temp 76-78, Amm 0, Nit 0, Nitrate also 0 according to my Salifert kit, CA is off the scale, but I'm not adding anything. Recently purchased an DI/RO unit as the tap water in the new house seems to be high in both CA and dissolved organics. Alkalinity is also kind [of] high, according to my brand new Salifert kit, at 5.43. Is that possible?  <Hello Jim. If 5.43 is dKH, that isn't high.> While shopping for a new, larger tank Friday, I happened across the healthiest Powder Blue Tang I have ever seen at an LFS. I have stayed away from this species for years, despite its beauty, because I know how difficult they can be to keep, but this one was gorgeous. Alert, active but not too active, of a good size (5-6"), free of all visible signs of disease or trauma, breathing slow and steady on both sides, and pigging out on Caulerpa. He's a real porker! A good 3/4" thick and full both above and below his head. Well, I bought him. And because my QT is 20G and this is a big fish, and because I didn't want to stress him out (aren't pbt among the worst at coping with the stress of being netted/handled?) and because there was basically no other fish in the tank anyway, I put him directly into the system. I was hopeful that if a few small ich parasites emerged, the shrimp would take care of them. Well, by the next morning they had. I started feeding garlic laced food right away (I was going to do that whether I saw ich or not) Now it's Monday and the fish has a full-blown case. He's still breathing normally, and eating, though not as aggressively, swimming fine but hiding a lot. And I'm not sure what to do. Virtually every time I have removed a fish from any of my tanks to a QT tank, it has died of the stress, while I have nursed a few fish back to health in the main systems. In fact, now that I think about it, the Fiji Foxface had a very minor case of ich two years ago in the 72G! But then the tank recently spent a couple of months with the Chromis as the only inhabitant, so I was hoping that would have been cleared out. I have heard so much conflicting info on ich. I've heard that it is always present, you can't get rid of it completely, all you can do is keep your fish healthy and strong so they don't succumb. I know hyposalinity works... in fact, I keep my 150 FO permanently at 1.013 and haven't had a spot of ich in years. Two questions:  1. How would you treat the tang? I've read over the FAQ. Garlic and medicated tetra food in the tank, and maybe add another biological cleaner? I haven't seen the shrimp do much for the tang. In fact, I've only seen the shrimp a half dozed times in the more than a year it has lived in there! Add another fire shrimp or a striped cleaner? Would you subject him to the stress of a Methyl blue/Freshwater dip? Isolate in a 20G QT? I'm very leery of using any copper product, though I do have a bottle of Organicure, if needed. Any other thoughts? 2. I am buying a 150G as a new reef tank tomorrow. I was planning to move all my LR and sand from the old tank to the new once it is stable, as well as adding some new LR and live sand. But if I move the LR/sand over, won't I be moving over the ich, too? Is there a way to prevent this? Part of the reason for the new tank is that the center brace on the 72G snapped, so I don't have all the time in the world to vacate it! Any suggestions on how to proceed? <What I would do to prevent transferring the ich is to leave the rock in the bowfront with water circulating of course, for three weeks. Without a host, the ich will die. As to your concern about the center brace....I would get a pipe clamp (very reasonable) and clamp it across the middle very lightly. Also use a board between the tank and the clamps. This should prevent any problems as to breakage. I'm wondering, is the support just a place to support a glass top. Seventy gallon tanks generally don't require a brace. As to the powder blue tang, welcome to the ich magnets. I certainly would qt him and treat with copper before he gets in a weakened stage. Make sure you use a copper test kit. Too much can kill and not enough won't kill the ich. Bob Fenner wrote an excellent article in Volume 21, Issue 1, 2004, on the powder blue. It is titled "The Powder Blue Tang, Acanthurus leucosternon, Not Easily Kept" I believe if you go to the Aquarium Systems Site you will still be able to access it. James (Salty Dog)>  Sincerely, Jim Jensen

Dreaded ich Well, my systems been set up a year and a half and this is the first time I've had ich. The only thing I've introduced new to the system is a 2 lb. live rock - about two weeks ago. I've always quarantined new fish and haven't added any for several months. <Mmm, as you likely know, "ich" and other organisms can be/are live rock transmitted> Last night, I noticed that Fritz, Fridman's Pseudochromis, has ich on his left side and dorsal fin. I think it's ich. On his fin, there is one salt sized grain, but on his side, it looks more like a soft dusting of powdered sugar in two spots about the size of a shirt button. <Maybe> I've done hours of research over the last year and a half and have been obsessed with my new hobby. I'm aware of the treatment regimen I now must face. Remove all fish to quarantine tank for a month or more for copper treatment and let main tank go fallow. I've always utilized the fresh water dip before adding new fish to quarantine. <Mmm, not so fast here> Now, my problem, what do I do for Moby, my Mandarinfish? If I put him in quarantine, he won't get to eat. So my thoughts are, I'll place him in quarantine anyway. I'll place a small sponge in my sump each day to get it filled with pods and then squeeze this into the quarantine tank on a daily basis. Do you think this will work? I know it will probably provide him with food, but I may be transferring spores to the "clean" tank. Help???  Thanks again for your time and great information. <You show tremendous concern and careful forethought here... If it were my system, I would try adding a purposeful cleaner organism at this juncture... either a Gobiosoma/Neon Goby or a Lysmata species shrimp... please don't "jump to conclusions" or possibly over-react... quarantine, treatment at this point may be more trauma, trouble than it's worth. Bob Fenner>

Dreaded Ich Thank you for the info. Unfortunately, I already panicked and got the fish out of the tank yesterday. So, I guess I'll stick to this treatment since it's already begun. I had thought it was important to get the fish out of the tank, before the parasite became free swimming. <Too late... the system is infested if your fish are showing signs...> I was scared and I can't bear to lose one of my little fishies. In your response you suggested I wait and not leap to conclusions - so in case this happens in the future - besides the cleaning organisms - what should I look for/do during the initial days after I notice someone with signs of disease? <Please see WWM> I do have some Lysmata sp. (both Skunk Cleaner and Fire/Blood Shrimp). I also have a couple of the neon gobies who are also in quarantine.  Since, I've already followed this route, what would you suggest I do about the Mandarinfish? Thanks, Sher H. <Read... on WWM re parasitic disease, Cryptocaryon... all fish need to be isolated... Bob Fenner>

Is this ich? Good Afternoon <Almost> We have a 54 gallon AGA Salt Water Aquarium with 2 false clown Percs and a handful of snails and crabs. Also about 35 pounds of live rock. All are doing well and swimming and eating like piggies. (We have had the fish for 2 weeks).  2 or 3 days ago I noticed a small white "fuzzy" on the back of one of the clowns. It doesn't seem to bother him in the least. It has not multiplied or changed in any way. I have read numerous articles on ich and quite honesty, it doesn't resemble what they say. It is bigger than a grain of salt.. more like a pimple.  <Perhaps just an "owee"> We don't have a hospital tank but are planning on setting one up this weekend. Do I need to treat for ich now or can I wait and see if this is really what it is. Or maybe that freshwater dip I've read about?  <I'd hold off on all for now... not worth the trauma of moving, dipping...> I was expecting a yellow tang and a cleaner fish to arrive this weekend, but I have postponed that. Thanks in advance!  Mary <I would look into a cleaner goby or perhaps a cleaner shrimp... Bob Fenner> 

Ich, anemone compatibility, BioBale Hi Guys, <Jason> Thanks for your time, your website is incredibly informative! I'm relatively new to the hobby, having only started my first 30 gallon saltwater tank a little over six months ago, and I can't seem to learn enough. <Me neither!> My tank's current residents include a false percula clown, a sailfin blenny and a domino damsel who is residing in a long tentacle anemone. I also have a serpent star, a brittle star, two peppermint shrimp, an emerald crab and somewhere around fifteen hermit crabs. My lighting is a 2x65w Orbit lighting system, and for filtration I have a BakPak skimmer accompanied by a Whisper 30, <Good> a MaxiJet powerhead with a sponge filter attached, 3 inches of sand and 30lbs of live rock. I have had some trouble with the BakPak where the path to the path to the output valve gets clogged (my suspicion being that the BioBale is responsible)... <Me too... you can remove this (I would)> ... causing the skimmer to overflow and dump onto the floor. This was very disappointing and makes me leery of sustained use of this particular skimmer, do you know of anyone else having problems with this unit? <Often hear of same... have told Suk Kim (owner of Creative Plastics Research) re.> Anyhow, all of my tank's inhabitants were doing very well for a while, most surprisingly the anemone who I was a bit apprehensive about taking on but has nearly tripled in size since purchase. Well, my poor little fish came down with a case of the ich recently and I had to move them to a hospital tank that I had just set up and treated with copper. The hospital is pretty small, as I wasn't really sure of what I was getting into and the people at the LFS were less than helpful (apparently they are fine with over stocking my tank with incompatible fish (my first inhabitants) but quite testy with answering questions when problems arise). The hospital is only a 5.5 gallon tank and currently houses my clown, blenny and damsel. I've been keeping an eye on the levels and they tend to be ok and the fish seem to get along. Would it be wise to upgrade the hospital tank to something larger in mid treatment (I didn't think so, and I really want to be cautious here because the fish haven't been eating much (or at all) since being put in the hospital).  <This size system is too small to treat all your fishes... AND they ALL need to be treated... taken out of the main tank as you've done...> Also, I have never seen the blenny eat either the flake food or the shrimp pellets that I feed the other two fish, will he get by in the hospital?  <Not indefinitely... and this fish does NOT eat these foods much if at all> There is little algae growth for him to munch on and I am not sure what to supplement his diet with while he is being treated. Also, I was curious if getting a cleaner shrimp might deter future ich outbreaks.  <Will indeed help>  I've read that they've been known to clean Tangs and some other species, but would they do my clownfish or damsel any good? <Yes> Do they eat parasites when they are free swimming or still dormant in the sandbed? <No, just on host fishes> My next question is about coral and anemone relations. I've seen it written often that you should not mix the two, but I have not found much justification for this printed in literature. <Mmm, they have aggressive mechanisms... stinging cell structures, digestive dominance... to prevent competition for space, light, food in the wild> My LTA has his foot firmly planted in the sand and I was interested in growing some small button polyps on the uppermost reaches of my live rock. I understand that anemone movement can potentially knock over corals, but my anemone appears happy and unlikely to move, and my intuition is that the polyps should not be as sensitive to the anemone's movement as something larger and more branchlike anyhow. <I would hold off adding other stinging-celled animals to this size system> Lastly, I was just curious if using my hospital tank as a refugium for better filtration when it is not needed for sick fish is a good idea and if there are any good tutorials on setting one of these up around.  <Ah, a good idea... much archived on WWM re> Thanks again for all the great work!  Jay <Glad to share. Bob Fenner> 

- Is This what I think It Is? Ich - Afternoon Gents... <Morning...> ICK! A quick summary: Two Percula Clowns Yellow Watchman Goby Royal Dottyback Hippo Tang Serpent Star Assorted Crabs, Shrimp, Snails 90lbs liverock. I keep my tank at 26oc and 1.024 salinity.  I introduced my Tang directly into my main display (as your website suggests) 3 weeks ago.  During the last week, I have signs of a potential ICK problem.  The Tang rubs his body on a larger shell in my tank frequently, has no visible white spots, is quite active, and feeds well (actually, the little sucker is getting nice n plump... he's just under 2" long).  The Royal Dottyback also has no signs of white spots and occasionally rubs himself on some rock. With respect to the Dottyback, I mean occasionally in that if the Tang wasn't 'itchin' I probably wouldn't even pay attention to the infrequent rubs of the Dottyback.  The Yellow watchman and the Clowns have no signs of spotting nor do they rub. Would a Tang display this behaviour regularly if it didn't have a skin irritation of some sort like ICK? <Not on a regular basis, no.> If there are no noticeable spots should I still be concerned? <Yes... the spots are like scabs, a sign you already have problems... scratching is an indication that you have a developing problem.> Two years ago, I did keep up to 3 Butterflies who scratched themselves on rock very frequently, were constantly fighting over the cleaner shrimp, and eventually I believe cut themselves on the rock (or maybe it was from the fighting) ~ no more butterflies.  I have no signs of Ick since then (over 18 months of ICK free tank)... or perhaps it was dormant. If this does sound like ICK to you... or if it becomes more noticeable as an ICK problem... I would prefer to treat by slowly increasing temperature to 28oc (or is this a tad high?) and lowering salinity to 1.021. <Not an adequate treatment regimen.> If these adjustments are made over several days/week, do you think my invertebrates... especially star fish would suffer? <Inverts should be fine down to about 1.018 SPG, no less.> I am going to be increasing my water flow via 2 new powerheads and will be doing more frequent water changes. <This is not going to help with your parasitic problems.> My livestock retailer mentioned that Clowns and Gobies are resistant to ICK, any truth to this? <Only mildly... any fish can develop parasitic problems if the parasites numbers are sufficient. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Thanks guys. Dave P.S.  Is a serpent starfish with a fleshy white bare disc with 4 legs in good condition a goner? <Possible.> This is another serpent star in my quarantine tank that I am getting ready to flush... but the lil guy keeps moving/walking. He looks awful, can see right through his disc and leg socket. <Not a good sign.> Any hope? <I suppose there's always hope, but sometimes it's not reasonable.> I already know and have remedied the cause of why this happened. <Sounds good. Cheers, J -- > I need your help (again) please please , (I can't afford to lose anymore sleep). Simple ich/crypt problem I've been reading all the archives and Bob's book  and can't find a case exactly like mine ... (some close to mine but not close  enough to rid my confusion and extreme nervousness). For the first time in the  10 months that I've been in saltwater I have ich. <Ahh, I see the reason for your sleeplessness now... Wait! It's your fish livestock, not YOU with the ich!> I did a water  change and the next day my blue regal tang had some spots on it. It started off  as 2 or 3 spots for a few days but no more. Having never had ich I didn't immediately recognize what it was and thought my tang had just banged himself  around. well 3 days later (Thursday) I came home from work and the tang was  covered.. (about 40 to 50 spots). I went out that night and bought a 30 gallon  "hospital tank" with a emperor bio-wheel and of course a heater. <Good> I caught the tang and put him in the hospital tank and started treating with quick-cure,  (formalin based), I did this on Thurs. night. <What about your other fishes?> In the emperor I placed one  of the filter pads from my canister filter for bacteria and filled the 30 gallon  half full with water from the main tank and half mixed salt water, also in there  emperor I placed two poly pads for filtration. <Stop! The Polyfilter will remove the copper...> Sooo... in the main tank 54  gallon, I have 3 peppermint shrimp, 2 skunk cleaners, one yellow tang, two  percula clowns, flame angel, and blue damsel. So far no one else has any spots,  (Fri. night) and are still in the main tank. -Parameters Eheim 2215 canister and CPR Bak-Pak S.G. in both tanks 1.020 -main tank- Ammonia- 0 Nitrates-20 Nitrites- un measurable Temp- 81 to 82 in both     Now please please please answer my quick questions  instead of telling me to read the archives because I have already and I have to  had lost about ten years off my life worrying the way I have for the past  week. -Question- AM I DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT???? <No... you need to move all fish livestock, the Polyfilter from the treatment tank> ( I'm soo nervous that I'm not that my boyfriend is thinking about putting me in a home if I keep it up.. :) Am I missing any steps or is there anything I could be doing  different? <Yes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files (in blue, above)... UNTIL you understand what you're doing here and stop being nervous about it> Should I drop the SG in both tanks even with the shrimp or just  the hospital.. or neither? <Read> I'm still new to all this and not sure what else  to do. I don't want to stress the other fish out by catching them if they aren't  showing any signs of illness but I will if I have to. Oh, and the spots are  almost all gone on the tang in the hospital tank so is it working? <Maybe... or might be simply "cycling"... as you'll soon understand> when can  I put him back in the main tank? Thank you sooo much for putting up with me  and especially this e-mail. I do think it's wonderful what you guys do for  nervous wrecks like me. Hope to hear from you soon!!     Sincerely,                     Heather,  from freezing Chicago.     P.S. I'm going to join the CMAS as soon as I get my  next paycheck so hopefully I'll have a whole support group in my area. :) <If you think it is wonderful, than make use of it. Study my friend. Bob Fenner> Ick Hello whomever might be on tonight, I have a question about treating my fish for ick (which I have in my display tank ). I am planning to freshwater dip and quarantine my fish but I am not sure all will tolerate such treatment. Here is a list of my fish. 2 damsels, 1 clown, 1 flounder, 1 mandarin goby, 1 powder brown tang (the one with the problems), and 1 blenny. are all of these ok with copper? <Uh, no... unfortunately the Clown, Mandarin, Tang and Flounder are rather copper sensitive... I would try environmental manipulation as a treatment here... along with the dip> fresh water dip? Oh and should I remove my sea cucumber from display? Thanks for having such a great site Karl <Umm, you need to read it a bit more Karl. I would NOT try to treat your fishes in the main tank... Please re-read WWM, including ALL the sections on Cryptocaryon, UNTIL you understand what you're up against, and your best options for action... do this ASAP... as you can win this battle, but only if you act decisively, quickly. Bob Fenner> Saltwater ick in a reef tank hi I  was hoping you could tell me the best way to get rid of my ick. I have a 500gal reef tank and my fish have came down with ick. all I have right now is my live rock, brittle stars, feather dusters, Turbos and my fish. I have 15 fish in my tank and can not get them out with all my rock. even if I did my qt is not big enough to put all the fish in.                       thanks, matt   <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, at top) and once you know your options, act NOW! Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich, Turbellarians and General Sterilization procedures First - my compliments to your group for a Christmas Eve reply!  Thanks Mike.<Sure, No problem.> We'll in the few days since my initial email, a total ich disaster transpired (Christmas day no less)- After going 7 months without any problems, I lost a blue damsel, my squirrelfish, the initial offender (yellow tang) and now looks like my puffer is next.  Other than the pH being a little low at 7.9 my other parameters are pretty good (undetectable ammonia and nitrates/nitrites).  Only semi-healthy one is my lipstick tang and even he has shown subtle ich/velvet sighs recently. I have a 10 gallon QT but am wondering if I'll be able to keep him alive in it while I re-establish the display tank.  He's a local fish (Hawaii) and maybe I should return him to the reef and start from scratch?  Or... let my display go fallow while I treat him with either copper or formalin in the QT?<I think that would be the best bet.  Returning the fish to the wild would be bad if the fish is sick.>  Or just tear down the tank, decon, and re-establish - the latter seems most secure.<It would be the best but would also be the most work.>  I decided not to treat the display tank after reading multiple posts not to do so and because it would not allow my to add inverts later.<Good Call.>  Tough questions I know,,, what are the odds of me keeping a 6-7 inch Naso alive in a 10 gallon tank for 6 weeks, assuming daily 1-2 gallon water changes, and a course of either copper or formalin (formaldehyde)?<Your chances would be pretty good with the regular water changes.  The fish would not like it but it would be better than any other alternatives.> Last question - for future reference - I plan on F/W dipping new arrivals in a F/W, Methylene blue, and formaldehyde bath in the hopes of eradicating any external parasites and then QT for 4 weeks.  Is this reasonable?<Yes, Good Idea.>  My concern is that a fish could still harbor ich and look good for the 4 week quarantine and then bring it to the display tank again. I would rather risk losing a fish on day one to the formaldehyde than recolonize my tank. <Ich will always be present in the tank.  It is in massive concentrations that you want to avoid along with fish that have weak immune systems.  I think your quarantine plan will work fine.> Is it possible to have a totally Ich, velvet, and worm free tank with religious isolation, pretreatment and good husbandry? <It will never be free but completely under control. Good Luck. MikeB.> Regal Tang and Ich Hey guys, I've emailed you before with some questions regarding the keeping of a requiem shark and thanks to your responses and the info on WWM, I've steered away from that idea. Anyway, I've some more qualms with a different issue regarding a very small pacific regal tang, otherwise known as the palette tang etc... this guy is really small, about 2" long from the mouth to the end of the tail. I saw this little guy at a LFS and immediately noticed a number of white spots which I suspected to be ich, however the owner of the store assured me that these spots were not ich and shouldn't pose a threat. so of course, despite my suspicions, I went ahead and picked it up. the white spots are not too many, but nevertheless, apparent on the body. the tang is housed in a reef tank with a skunk cleaner, several different polyps, a bunch of hermits, some snails and a feather duster. my current filtration consists of a hang on filter using carbon and gauze-type filters, another hang-on turned refugium utilizing Caulerpa (sp?) and LR rubble. other than that, I've got a heater set at 78 degrees, 9.6 watts of PC 50/50 per gallon and powerheads. I really want to get this fish nice and healthy so I can give it nice long happy life. what am I to do ? he's only been in my tank for one night and seems just like a normal shy tang, it hides just like all new fish, picks at the LR, "plays dead" and doesn't swim around too much. my skunk cleaner has been busy "cleaning" the tang, its literally all over it, all of the time !!! Thanks a lot in advance and I look forward to hearing from you soon >>>Hello Will, First things first my friend - NEVER *EVER* put a fish directly into your display. ALWAYS quarantine, no exceptions. This rule applies all the time, but especially for tangs of this genus, as they are extremely susceptible to C. irritans infections. Secondly, no fish should ever be purchased unless it is 100% healthy in appearance at the store. Frankly you should have trusted your own suspicions and steered clear of this fish - but you have it, so let's deal with that. The first choice - the fish needs to be removed and put into a quarantine/hospital tank ASAP. You've already put the fish in your display, so true quarantine isn't possible at this point, but if he does in fact have marine ich (C. irritans) then you need to run ether a commercial medication or hypo-salinity, with the nod going to hypo for greatest effectiveness. To do this you need to lower the salinity to 1.009 over a period of a few days. Keep it here for two and a half weeks or so, raise it slowly to normal levels, and continue to observe the fish for another six weeks. You need this time because if we are in fact dealing with ich here, your main display is also affected. Although no fish are present, the parasite will remain in the system for some time. The system needs to be run without fish for at least two months. If all is normal after that time, you can reintroduce the fish back into your display. Second option, feed garlic and hope for the best. DO NOT add any other fish until you see no signs of the parasite for at least two months. It works sometimes, other times it doesn't - you take a chance. Cheers Jim<<<

Tang with ich, what do I do? Dear Adam,   I guess I had my hands in the tank one too many times ... Over the past week, I was making a lot of circulation changes -pretty much adding or removing a pump every alternate day. Today I installed the surface skimmer box to my remora pro. Six hours later my Kole tang is down with Ich!!! << Yep, sounds like too much stress. >>   All my livestock was quarantined for 3-4 weeks. The tank was fallow for 10 weeks the last time I had ich -march 2003. Unfortunately I made the mistake of introducing the Kole tang last June with just 2 days in QT -he was very miserable in the QT I was ready to give up the hobby due to a hair algae problem that he solved. That decision is now haunting me.... << We all have tough times in this hobby. >>   I just set up the QT today with water from the display. Tomorrow I'll be tearing up my 80 lbs of live rock to catch my three fish. << I wouldn't do that.  I'd wait it out. >> I'm planning to have the orchid Dottyback and ocellaris clown in the 10G QT, and the Tang separately in a 50G tub with 15G of water. Alas my spare skimmer will be on the 10G. Since the tang is the only one with symptoms, I want to treat him separately from the other two. Does this make sense? << It makes sense, but I wouldn't remove the fish and treat them. >>   After treatment, and a 8 week fallow period, I intend to introduce the clown and Pseudochromis back to the display. As for the tang, I've realized that a 72G isn't big enough for such an active animal... Would an abalone or some of the less toxic seaslugs keep the glass and live rock hair algae free? << Lots of snails. >> Or do you see a blenny in my future. Tangs are definitely out until I get a 6+ foot tank someday! << I really wouldn't remove the fish and go fallow.  If it were me I'd just leave everything alone.  I think you will cause more problems. Hermits and snails are the best for algae control, and I'd stick with them. >> Thank You, Narayan <<  Blundell  >> Ich Again? 12/29/04 A few troubles that concerns me is the fact that one of my orchid Dottybacks will not eat too much. Perhaps he isn't interested in brine shrimp, or the fact that he is still kind of small. <hmmm... do resist using adult brine shrimp... even baby brine is not that dense. Better still consider Cyclop-eeze or minced krill... Pacifica plankton or Mysid shrimps. All are more nutritious than brine shrimp> He eats about 5 brine shrimp, but it seems awfully little when compared to how much the pair of orchid Dottyback eats in the larger tank. Will orchid Dottybacks accept pellets? <yes, most Pseudochromids are quite amenable to prepared foods> Also, I've noticed some rubbing against rocks from the sunrise Dottybacks and the orchid ( only 1 of them)? Could it be the side effects after eating a bristleworm? <Ooohh... not likely - either water quality or impending parasite infection> If it was ich, wouldn't my purple tang be the first be infected or the angel? <not necessarily... each fish has different tolerances and immunities (the tang less so if it had it once before)> And what is the main difference between a fire worm and a bristle worm? <fireworms have some/more venom with the setae/bristles. They are fairly uncommon too... most people only see common bristleworms> Thanks a million, Best Regards... Alan <rock on my salty brother. Anthony>

Lack of knowledge, phony medicines, Crypt I have a Lionfish and a Foxface Fish in a 75g tank. All of the parameters are fine. I've been trying to kick some sort of parasite or ich out of my tank. I am losing the battle. <... are you inferring you've been treating the main tank with some sort of chemical regimen? Not smart> I've already lost my Kole Tang and Basslet Fish. I've been using Rally and Kick Ich with no positive results. <These products are worst than worthless... they are toxic placebos concerning parasite treatment> I've even aerated the tank as much as possible to help the fish breathe and I am currently losing the battle. I even tried to over medicate the tank to help with it but, it is not working. <...> I am to the point I am going to abandon my main 75g tank and move the remaining inhabitants, Foxface Fish and live rock into a 10g tank. <Oh, good idea> What do I need to do to the main tank to get rid of ich and the parasites once the inhabitants have been removed? After I moving the occupants should I do a water change and leave it empty? All medications have not helped my fight against the parasite/Ich. Help <Uhh, time to study, then act. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Blue Tang Ich I have started my first 55 gallon saltwater aquarium and I have having some problems. I have one Hippo Blue Tang, one Porcupine Puffer, two Tomato Clowns, one Purple Lobster, three Emerald Crabs, one Urchin, two peppermint shrimp, one Cleaner Shrimp, and Twelve Turbo Snails. I also have Live Rock and one Purple Feather Duster. My question is both my Porcupine and Hippo Tang have ICH. I have removed them from the main tank and place them in the QT with medication. I need to know if I should do a water change in the QT with them being treated?<Only if the ammonia, nitrite or PH are out of balance.> Also, I need to know what to do about the ICH in my main 55 gallon tank, I have left both of my Tomatoes in their because I do not see and visible signs of ICH on them. I do not want to remove the inverts since they are very hard to get a hold of. What other remedies can I do to prevent this out break again before placing the Porcupine and Blue Hippo Tang back in the main tank after a 2 week QT with medication? Mark <Hello, I would leave the fish in the QT tank for 6-8 weeks for the ICH to leave the main display tank.  This will be enough time for the ICH to die off and not come back unless there is further stress in the tank.  Good Luck MikeB.>

White Spot? Hi Was hoping you could help me out with a potentially urgent question. I have a melanopus and it looks as though he has white spot - although I am not sure? There appears to be tiny little specs of white on the body and fins. They are very small specs and not raised.  They do not seem to be near the gills.  Is this just discoloration or do you think it is white spot? I can't say I have noticed anything different about his behaviour. He is eating and swimming normally. My water quality seems to be fine and he has been in the tank for about 3 months now. He has always seemed to be quite scared - more so then any other fish I have ever kept - if I stick my hand in the tank he will hide for ages - despite having been in the tank for so long. I noticed the white specs about a week ago. They are more visible when the light is off and there is some direct sunlight. When the light is on, it is much harder to see. I have also stocked in the tank the following: 1 small anemone 1 sea urchin 1 mushroom coral 1 Star Fish I have heard that copper based medication can be used to treat whitespot - and I have also heard that copper can harm/kill invertebrates. So that leaves me with a slight problem. If I have to, I can give the sea urchin and star fish to a friend to look after. Does the copper affect the anemone and the mushroom coral? I would prefer not to have to move them. <yes, absolutely it effects them.  I would suggest not using copper in this instance.> I don't have a hospital tank - and if I did it wouldn't help because the melanopus can smell the net a mile away and will hide for hours if he sees it. So catching it is impossible. Any thoughts on the best way to handle the situation? Thanks for your help! Regards Simon <Simon, you might have to take the decorations out and catch the fish and put it in a quarantine tank.  A freshwater dip will work.  There are some organic solutions that will cure ick that are reef safe.  There are many different types and I would suggest researching them before using.  The best bet is to use a quarantine tank or to give the sick fish to a friend to quarantine for you.  good luck MikeB.>

MikeB Re: White Spot? Mike, Thanks for the response.. I took the corals, starfish and urchin out and gave them to a friend to look after. Could the clown fish be adversely affected by me taking the anemone out? He is acting weird - although that could be the whitespot. I'll try the copper given its only rock left in the tank. <<Mmm, need to remove the rock as well. RMF>> Regards, Simon <Simon, remember, once you use copper and cure the fish you have to do a 100% water change to remove the copper from the water.  This can be generally stressful on a newly healthy fish.  Removing the anemones will affect the fish and might be part of the source.  Stay your course and let's see what happens.  MikeB>

Ich help Thank you for the help. I am sorry to say that I lost two fish. (Kole Tang and Basslet Fish)<So sorry to hear that.> Both fish have succumbed to the parasite/ich in the main tank. My Lionfish isn't looking so good at this time. His eyes are very cloudy. <Did you try dipping him? Sometimes Lionfish don't do well with ich medications. They are very harsh so it might be better to do a large (about half) water change.> My Foxface Fish is still holding on strong at least visually. <That is good news for sure.  I am medicating the tank as much as possible using Rally medication and Ich medication. I hope things turn around for him. Do you have any suggestions to help salvage the remaining two fish? How long will it take before I start seeing positive results in the tank? <I would do a water change and see what happens. Some of the medications are tough on these fish.>

Ich problems I would first like to say you guys have a wonderful site I have been getting all the information I need to care for my reef tank from WWM.com. I have a quick question to ask you about fighting ich. About 5 weeks ago I purchased a 3" blue tang. I put him in my main tank without quarantining him and after 2 days he came down with ich. So after reading your site and gathering up all the info. I could on ich I took out all my fish (2 clowns and the blue tang) out and put them in a 6 gallon hospital tank to treat with copper. I treated for 2 weeks until all the ich seemed to be gone and then I let the fish recover for another 2 weeks. All this time I let my main tank (55 gallon with 80lbs of live rock) go fallow for 4 weeks. I now have all my fish back in the main tank and after 3 days the tang is getting ich again but the clowns seem to be fine. I am wondering what I should do, << First start adding garlic to the food. >> I don't want to stress the fish out any more then I have to. Trying to catch them and treating them with copper seems to really stress them out. I have a cleaner shrimp and a blood shrimp in my reef tank will they be enough to try and contain the ich that the tang seems to be getting? Right now the tang has lots of energy, eats well and only has 4 tiny little white dots on him. << In that case, do very little.  Don't stress the fish. >> The clowns seem to be in perfect health. Should I remove all the fish again and treat with copper or should I just leave them in the main tank to see if the blue tang will fight off the ich? << I prefer to leave them in. >> Any info. on this matter would be a huge help. 55 gallon tank with 80lbs of live rock 2" of sand, temp is 78 degrees, salt is at 0.025, NO2 is zero, No3 is zero, ammonia is zero and cal is at 300. Thanks for your time. << Best thing to do now is to evaluate the health of your aquarium and what can be done to ensure healthy fish in the future. >> Brendan Byrne <<  Blundell  >>

ICK on my brain!!! Hi Crew, <Howdy Greg, MacL here with you this fine day.> Hopefully all is well with you tonight.  I need some help with a Cryptocaryon issue…  I have had two firefish, a Lobophyllia and a Favia coral in my quarantine tank for three weeks and yesterday one of the fish seems to have developed a few ich spots.  The corals appears healthy but I am afraid to plane them in my display tank as they could be contaminated with crypto. <Definitely could be.> Obviously I cannot add copper to the QT to treat the fish either (and I do not have a separate QT). <understood> Is there a significant danger of transporting the Cryptocaryon to my main tank if I transfer the corals?  I could give the fish freshwater dips but, assuming this is ich, they would likely just get re-infected when I place them back in the QT.  What is the best way to handle this?  Would a freshwater + Lugol's dip for the corals have a high probability of eliminating any ich cells (without damaging the corals) so they could be moved to my main tank? <That is honestly probably what I would do. How do you plan on treating the fish since you can't use copper?> Thank you, in advance, for the advice! --Greg

Ick and corals Thanks for the response MacL.  My plans to treat the fish would be to use copper if I can remove the corals from the QT and find some way to remove the ich from them.  Once they are out of the QT, I would have no reason to not use copper for the fish (assuming firefish can withstand CuSO4 treatment). <The firefish should be okay if you use the copper to the correct dosage.  Ick will die in a freshwater dip, it takes approximately five minutes to kill them all in my experience.  I would think that iodine might also kill them so a iodine or iodide dip might work a well. I've had a great experience with SeaChem's dip.>  After the firefish have been treated for adequate time, I would just break-down the bare-bottom QT and dispose of the filter media. My main concern with this plan is that the corals could transport the ich to the main tank (and that they might not survive the freshwater dip).  Aside from buying another heater, filter, tank, light, etc for a second QT (separating fish and corals, waiting another 4 weeks) I do not know what else to do. <I think you are on the right track Greg.  You could also treat the fish with hyposalinity but the corals wouldn't take well to that either.  I think the dip is the best way to go with that. MacL> --Greg

Ick on the brain Hi MacL, just to provide an update:  I dipped the Favia and the Platygyra for 25 minutes in tank water with Lugol's (separate container, about 10 drops Lugol's per quart water). <Youch that's a long time and a heavy iodine dose.>  I followed this by a (pH and temperature adjusted) freshwater dip for 5 minutes. <Perfect!> I then rinsed off the mucous and placed the corals in my main tank.  They appear to be adjusting well - no Zooxanthellae or polyp bail-out, normal coloration. <Great sign.> I just hope this was enough to rid the corals of all potential ich.  It did kill a few amphipods, which I found in the dip water so I take this as a good sign. <I definitely think so.> I am now treating the firefish with CuSO4 in the QT.  One fish looks ok but I will be surprised if the other one lives.  It has what appear to be a strand of Cyanobacteria flowing from one of its gills (a parasitic worm, I assume) and it is unable to eat. <Poor baby, I was wondering have you tried garlic and or vitamin C like Selcon or Zo?in the water? Usually you dose it on the foods but sometimes it does absorb into the fish and help them. Garlic can also stimulate appetite.> It does swim toward flake food but the flake just glances off its face.  It shows no interest in Mysis. <Have you tried live brine?>  The other fish devours nearly anything I put in the tank. <That's good for him.> Both fish have white dots and what appears to be blisters or raised scales.  I performed a freshwater dip (with Methylene blue) a few days ago on the weaker fish but I am concerned that this fish is now too weak to take another dip.  Its abdomen is deeply indented due to its lack of eating for the past few days. <Sometimes you just cannot save them.> So that is my current status - corals in (apparent) good shape but fish not looking so good. <I hope they stay with you Chris. Please keep me updated. MacL> Thanks again for the advice! --Greg Egg-like attachments on aquarium walls 12/2/04 Hi there, What an excellent site you have! The amount of information is phenomenal, perhaps this is why I've been unable to find a question that has perhaps already been asked, but this is sort of an emergency...<Thanks for the kind words.  Hopefully we can thwart disaster!> We've got a 46 gallon saltwater tank, a couple of crustaceans (a green emerald crab and a fire shrimp) and 3 fish: yellow wrasse, blue damsel and a 4 stripe damsel. We had a clown as well,, but it died of an as-of-yet unknown cause.. but I suspect ich, however there were no white spots on him.<Then why do you suspect Ich?  Did you see spots on any of the other fish?> In order to analyze my problem, I want to first figure out what these white/yellow bottom eggs near the substrate are? Are they ich cysts? They resemble a tiny pebble, the size of about 4 or 5 fine grains of sand.. they are pearly or white and at the bottom have some yellow. They are very strongly attached to the glass and the rocks in the aquarium and there's quite a large number of them? I am so afraid that these are Ich cysts and that they could hatch any moment now and all the fish will be dead :( The fish have been showing some signs of stress and ich-like behavior. I just want to know if I should be getting rid of these egg things or are they actually a good thing? Awaiting your reply ... please hurry! :-S Maksim! <These are most definitely NOT Ick cysts.  Ich cysts are not visible to the naked eye.  I suspect that they are some sort of sessile invertebrate.  You will need to send a clear picture for a better shot at ID'ing what you've got.  In any case, it is very rare for an unidentified new critter to be harmful.  Most are harmless or even beneficial.  Best Regards!  AdamC.>

Ich and Small Fry I have a 120g. FOWLR aquarium with a 55g sump.  Half of the sump contains a EV120 protein skimmer then flows into a refugium with mud and Caulerpa.  I have a masked butterfly, purple, powder blue and blue tang, flame angel and mated pair of true perculas.  It's been over 8 months but I'm experiencing an outbreak of ich again.  I have moved the fish to 55g quarantine tank that I'm treating w/ Cupramine for 2 weeks and will leave the fish there for a total of 6 weeks. They all survived this same treatment last time.  The mated clown fish started laying eggs about 5 months ago and now are laying eggs twice a month.  At night if I shine a spot light in the tank the bottom has hundreds of small fry swimming around with the largest being the size of a baby tadpole. They have also made it into my refugium.  My question is now that I have moved my large fish is my tank considered fallow or does the ich also attack the small fry and if so now what?  I have raised the temperature to 82 degrees and lowered the salinity to .0016.  I might add that I did have a red sea ozonizer hooked up to my skimmer but it stopped working about 2 months ago (I feel that it kept the ich in check).  I have ordered the Ozotech Poseidon which is due in any day.  Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.  Also,  "A Great Web Site".  I have been referring to it for several years and have always found the answers I was looking for.  This one stumped me. Thanks, Pat <Well Pat I am not too sure either.  Here is what I know.  Ich will remain in the tank for up to 6 weeks with no host to survive on.  It will effect the clownfish fry or the fry will act at least as a host for ich.  Lowering the salinity to .0016 will effect the fry clownfish so I don't know if that is a good idea.  What I would do would be to set up a tank for the fry and catch as many of them as you can and raise them.  I suspect that the ecosystem that you have set up supplies the fry with food.  That is unique and don't know where to go from there.  I will see what I can do to find more information for you.  MikeB.>

Ich and Small Fry I have a 120g/ FOWLR aquarium w/ a 55g sump.  Half of the sump contains a EV120 protein skimmer then flows into a refugium w/ mud and Caulerpa.  I have a masked butterfly, purple, powder blue and blue tang, flame angel and mated pair of true perculas.  It's been over 8 months but I'm experiencing an outbreak of ich again.  I have moved the fish to 55g quarantine tank that I'm treating w/ Cupramine for 2 weeks and will leave the fish there for a total of 6 weeks. They all survived this same treatment last time.  The mated clown fish started laying eggs about 5 months ago and now are laying eggs twice a month.  At night if I shine a spot light in the tank the bottom has hundreds of small fry swimming around with the largest being the size of a baby tadpole. They have also made it into my refugium.  My question is now that I have moved my large fish is my tank considered fallow or does the ich also attack the small fry and if so now what? <Does do so... unfortunately>   I have raised the temperature to 82 degrees and lowered the salinity to .0016.  I might add that I did have a red sea ozonizer hooked up to my skimmer but it stopped working about 2 months ago (I feel that it kept the ich in check). <Likely did help> I have ordered the Ozotech Poseidon which is due in any day.   Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.  Also,  "A Great Web Site".   I have been referring to it for several years and have always found the answers I was looking for.  This one stumped me. Thanks; Pat <Tough call here Pat... if you have another tank to move the fry to... I would do so... and let the main tank and sumps run fallow... Otherwise you're back to "ping-ponging" with a situation favoring your livestock (hopefully) over the parasite. Bob Fenner>

Feedback on Aquapharm Pro Series Cure Ich Product Hi again! <Hello> Thanks a bunch for all your help.  I'm currently have a hyposalinity QT tank set up for my parrotfish, batfish, and boxfish.  They're temporarily in a rather small tank.  I plan to move them to a bigger one so as to house all the remaining fishes in my display tank.  Unfortunately, the sailfin tang's condition deteriorated and didn't make it pass the FW dip which was frustrating since I had him since he was li'l guy!!!  :-( I do however have a question regarding AquaPharm's Pro Series Cure Ich medication.  Have any of you used it? <Mmm, no... this is a product of: http://www.aquapharm-india.com/ and not something not listed by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals I take it> How effective was it in getting rid of the ich?  Also, it doesn't state what its ingredients are, just that it doesn't contain copper.  It also claims that it is safe for invertebrates, and corals. <Umm... ingredients not listed... safe for non-vertebrates... Not a possibility>   (I've attached what's printed on the bottle label.)  But when I do use it, the anemones tend to shrink for the first few days. <Uhh, what do you think?> Does this mean that it's a temporary occurrence? <Life itself is temporary... I would NOT use this product>   Should I continue to use this medication in my QT tank for the infected fishes? <I would NOT. Look for a REAL product.> They're pretty much clear of clear but I'm going to wait for another 4 weeks before I put them back into the display tank, that is, if I can catch the remaining fishes in the display tank.  They're pretty slippery li'l guys to catch!! It would be much appreciated if you could let me know of any feedback about its usage. <Study my friend... very likely the visible stages have just cycled off... perhaps with the general poisoning of this product involved... they'll be back> Also, according to the site, I should increase the temperature of the display tank to speed up the lifecycle of the ich.  I'm currently using 2 fans on top of my display tank.  It's usually around 26 - 27 degrees and the plants and anemones are doing well.  But I was told that anything higher than those temperatures, the plants will suffer.  Is that true?  If so, what should I do?  Take out the plants too? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs files (linked, in blue, at top) until you understand what you're up to here> As for the harlequin shrimp, when I feed them starfish, would I have to QT the small red starfishes too to avoid bringing ich into the system? <Study> If so, would it have an adverse effect on the starfishes if I put them in with the others in the QT tank which is currently in hyposalinity. <The hyposalinity will NOT eliminate the Cryptocaryon by itself...> Btw, I also have tank containing a few pufferfishes, 1 dogface puffer, 3 white spotted puffers (s,m,l sizes), 1 other puffer (but I don't know the English name for it), 1 scorpionfish.  So far the fishes get along fine. The scorpionfish is usually next to the sponge filters whereas the largest of the white spotted puffer just sits at the bottom of the tank until a piece of food comes his way.  However, since the puffers are very aggressive during feeding time, the li'l ones usually miss out on the bits of shrimps that I give as the larger ones keep stealing them away from the li'l ones.  Is this behavior normal? <Yes. You may have to feed the smaller individual especially, perhaps move it to other quarters.>   When I feed the scorpion live freshwater fish, the largest of the white spotted puffer keeps catching them for himself!!  So......... I do wonder if the scorpion ends up eating at all.  Any suggestions? Thanks again.    Still trying, Lisa <You're doing fine thus far... just need to apply yourself, learn a bit more> Pro Series  Cure Ich? safe for corals and invertebrates is a scientifically formulated medication for the control of marine ich (white spot).  It contains no copper and it is safe for corals, invertebrates and delicate fish and will not damage the biological filter.   Cure Ich? also eliminates the free swimming parasites that feed on the fish and end up leaving an open wound which eventually cause a bacterial infection. Symptoms may include any white spots, body fungus, visible sores or wounds, discoloration, fish rubbing against objects, loss of appetite and increased respiration. Cure Ich? is also a treatment of Velvet, Coral fish disease (Oodinium), Slimy skin disease (Brooklynella), Fin and tail rot, Mouth fungus (Flexibacter Columnaris). <And balding, dementia and what ails you... You've been swindled. Bob Fenner>

Crypt, mystery losses My wife and I are relatively new to the marine world but have been doing a lot of reading and appreciate your sage advice. When our 55 gallon tank was one month old we noted white spots on our Kole Tang. They were visibly gone in 2 days after installing a sterilizer. <Do realize that it is actually your system that is now infested (could have been avoided through quarantine, dips... of new fish livestock)... and though you may keep the rate of re-infestation down, any fish may be subject to this disease with declining environmental quality, nutrition...> 1 day later our small damsel died for no apparent reason (no white spots on it). Now (a full month later) our Kole tang appears to be starving and has trouble eating. He has a white growth on his mouth. He is active and all other creatures (5 other fish) and a bunch of inverts seem very healthy with no evidence of Ich. I have read all the treatments for Marine Ich but do not want to torture all these guys if its something else. Any thoughts to save the Tang.? Treat the other fish? <You need to determine the root cause of their distress, dying... not able to discern from your explanation here... is there someone from a local fish store, or a marine hobby group, another hobbyist who could come over, take an actual look at your set-up? Sounds more like a water quality issue than biological disease. Bob Fenner> Thanks Dale VonBehren

Marine ick spots hi crew, first a quick overview. I have a 55gal LR LS with 3 Percula clowns 3 damsels, 4 spiral snails 1 cleaner shrimp and 1 brittle star. this morning I noticed an outbreak of ick on all the fish so I quickly gave them 7min. FW baths and put them in the QT. I noticed that all the spots (white pin-like) were gone after the FW dip so no med has been used yet I have some CopperSafe just in case. I cranked up the temp in the main tank to about 82-84F and I expect to keep the fish in the QT for 3-4 weeks but my question is it ok to leave the rest( shrimp, snails star) in the main tank or should I put them in the QT too, << No don't QT them. >> ( without the copper of course) BTW the QT is only 10gal but I'll keep up with the water changes everyday and I'm adding some bacteria starter too. << I'd be careful here.  I think you may want to add some garlic food.  Also I'm not sure why you raised the main tank temp, I'd probably keep it at 74 or so. >> Thanks in advance.                               Yours truly in salt                                           Gil <<  Blundell  >> Ich, Macroalgae and medication 11/12/04 Hello again to the WWM guru! <Hardly a guru, but glad to help!> I wanted to get some further input on the ammonia situation in the OT tank. Unfortunately the Flame and neon goby are covered with ich now. The LFS rep & I discussed the constant spikes despite my using cycled water and daily WCs. Guess what we figured out...I have been placing a piece of LR in there, which naturally had some die off (yes, it was newer rock, duh!!). <Yup. That will do it.> Now the thing is this, I put them quickly into the fuge (which has been unplugged from the main tank), and got a "reef safe" ich treatment to treat them while there. <The problem with these treatments is that they are most often made reef safe by recommending such a low dose that they aren't effective.> Here's the big question...wouldn't you know, there's a shipment of Macroalgae on the way and I 'm not sure if its safe to put them in the fuge while the ich treatment is proceeding. I'd place the algae in my main tank, but the hermits would likely have a heyday with them! What would you suggest?  <I would suggest having passing on the macros or letting someone else hold them for you.  I also suggest that all of the rock that will be used for a display be cycled BEFORE adding any livestock.  Your sick livestock should be treated in a separate tank, and any future additions should be quarantined.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>  Allegra in SD Big Tank With An Ich Problem Hi All, <Scott F. at your service!> I think I know the answer to this, but just wanted to double check. <No problem!> I have a 240 gal tank, (pretty much a fish only). My clean up crew: 2 fire & 4 Cleaner Shrimp, 6 crabs, one dozen Turbo snails, & a Red Serpent Star. I have about 200 lbs. of live rock. It has been set up for 1 1/2 yrs.. All fish had been QT & dipped before joining the tank. <Good procedure!> The last fish had been added over a month ago. I had ich in my first tank, a 26 gal, two yrs ago. I lived on your site for months and learned so much. I was trying to avoid ich again. All was going well until I noticed some white bumps on my 2 Two-Barred Rabbitfish 5 days ago. Everyone else was fine. I did a 40 gal (17%) water change. (I usually do 30-40 gal each week, depending on my readings. I did a set of readings at that time. All looked the same as always. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 40 (yes my wet/dry has bio balls), PH 7.8-8.0. The salinity was a little high, 1.029, so I fixed it. It's at 1.025. <Good..."normal" specific gravity is less stressful to fish> I don't run a heater, the temp is 76. ( I live in So. Cal. & the tank runs between 74 & 82). <Remember, stability is important. Whether the tank is at 74 or 82, a variance of only a degree or two makes a much healthier situation for your fishes..> After 2 1/2 days, they looked better. I did more readings and had a spike in my nitrates to 80. I did another 40 gal water change. I noticed the ich then. It showed up on my Blue Tang first. <Yep... usually, these guys are the aquatic "canary in a coal mine", often displaying signs of illness before any other fishes.> Now it's spreading. I have my hospital tank set-up, my 26 gal tank. Do I need to pull everyone and let my main tank run fallow? <You know I'll say yes! Seriously, I prefer the "fallow" technique. It sucks, to put it bluntly, but it gets the job done.> I have (1) 14 in Blue-Face Angel, (1) 12 in Blond Naso, (1) 9 in Blue Tang, (1) 3 in Yellow Tang, (2) 5 in Two-Barred Rabbitfish, (2) Maroon Clownfish-a 5 in female & a 1 in male, (1) 3 in Flame Angel, (2) 3 in Banggai Cardinalfish, (1) 4 in Yellow-Eyed Tang, (1) 3 in Lawnmower Blenny, (1) 6 in Diamond Goby, (1) 31/2 Solar Fairy Wrasse, (1) 1 in Red Fairy Wrasse. <A pretty serious crowd, even for a 240!> I have been adding garlic and Selcon to their pellet food, (for now). <NO harm in doing this, but I am of the opinion that garlic is more of a preventative than a "cure".> They usually get frozen Mysis, but the food (Spectrum Thera+A) is supposed to boost immune systems. <I've heard good stuff about this food!> And, of course, Nori. If I do have to pull everyone, how can I house them? Any help would be welcome. Thanks, Quinn <Well, Quinn. Housing big guys like this in an emergency is tough. You can use large plastic trash cans, or Rubbermaid cattle troughs, which can hold large enough quantities of water to house these fish. You'll obviously have to split up the fishes into smaller groups during the process. Be patient; don't rush the process. The results will be worth the temporary aggravation. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Ich and Powder Blue Tang Hello Fishmasters! Many thanks for all the great information, and excellent discussion forums.  I was hoping to get some personal help today if possible! I have a 125 gallon aquarium with 100 pounds of LR and a few easy to keep corals.  I have a Blonde Naso Tang (5 inches), a powder blue tang, two clown fish, two green Chromis, and one coral beauty.  I have two Cascade 1200 canisters, a Aqua C Remora Pro Protein skimmer, and a 25 watt UV sterilizer.  Water parameters: ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, nitrate: undetectable (Salifert), Calcium 450, SG 1.025. pH and alkalinity also excellent.  I do a 12 Gallon water change every 10 days. All of the fish looked healthy when I bought them and all of the ate well in the store.  I quarantined all the fish (two at a time) for an entire month before introduction and everyone looked great and was eating well.  (Can you tell that I have been reading your website?) Two weeks after introducing the Powder Blue into the main tank, I noticed a several "grains of salt" on the body of the fish  (Needless to say...my heart sank).  It was still swimming actively and eating well which was good.   << Very common for these fish. >> I moved it to the Q Tank, lowered the salinity to 1.020, maintained the temp at 80, and treated with formalin for 7 days.  I performed 12 Gallon water changes every other day.  I then ran carbon, and I watched the fish for another 7 days.  Everyone else in the main tank looked fine, and just before re-introduction of the powder blue...I noticed several more cysts.  I kept it in the Q tank, treated it with formalin again, and re-lowered the salinity to 1.020.   I noticed three small "grains of salt" on the angel yesterday in the main tank and they are gone today.  All the rest of the fish in the main tank look perfect.   The powder blue tang still looks great (eating/active), but I can not seem to kick this infection.  Is it time to try copper?  Do I need to empty my main tank and run it fallow?  Do I have some kind of sub-clinical infection in my main tank that should be treated or should I leave the main tank alone? << I'd either leave the tank alone, or better yet is to start adding garlic to their food.  I think you'll be very pleased. >> My powder blue would appreciate any advice that you have! Thanks! Jason        <<  Blundell  >>

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