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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis 21

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 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, 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, Hyposalinity & Ich, &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3, Quarantine 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7Quarantine 8Quarantine 9Quarantine 10Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantining Invertebrates

Re: Saltwater questions: Epaulette and Snowflake Eel   2/24/06
Hey Bob,
Thanks for the reply. Your crew have made my transition from fresh to saltwater so much easier. I have a couple more questions to ask you. First
of all, how long after a tank has cycled (or reached a zero ammonia and nitrite level) should a water change take place?
<... posted on WWM... a few weeks>
I would also like to know if I can feed my fish some seaweed flakes which I bought from an Asian grocery store...except they contain a little bit of
corn oil and sunflower oil. Will this pose a problem?
<Likely not. But I would take care to not allow a "scum" to form, stay on your water surface>
These were the most plain flakes I could find. Last of all, an owner of one of my local fish stores commented to me that getting 'white spot' was an inevitable part of keeping saltwater fish despite any quarantine measures which are used.
<Incorrect. There are SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) marine systems, entire culture facilities. If Cryptocaryon is disallowed, it does not magically appear...>
He said that it would happen sooner or later. Is there any truth or merit in his statement?
<Not unless s/he means that marine whitespot can "hide" undetected if not excluded, no>
I am determined to prove him wrong. ;) How does the amount of live rock in one's tank affect or keep at bay the symptoms or severity of White Spot??
<Good question... I suspect there is some negative correlation here. The more LR, the less prevalent the infestations>
Once again, thanks in advance. Regards,
<Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich  - 2/21/2006

Hi again.
<...? No prev. corr...>
Well, I lost my Lemonpeel angel to Ich. Didn't see it coming. So my question to you now is: I have a gamma who needs to be treated but I Also have two Percula Clowns who do not have any spots on them (yet) should I take them out and put them in copper too? Or perhaps take them out and put them in a hospital tank with no copper?
<... you're joking right?>
I also have a Diamond Watchman Goby. I was told he was pretty much immune to the parasite? True or False? Now, If QT The goby will her survive without sand?
Thanks so much
<... take the time to search, read over these issues on WWM... and soon, or all your fish will perish. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich  - 2/21/2006
Thanks Bob,
I have been reading on the site and it does say to treat all fish which I know is the standard procedure when treating the parasite. I also read however that its not smart to treat a fish that does not have the parasite or exhibiting any issues and the clownfish are very sensitive to copper.
<They all... and the system "have" it>
I just wanted your opinion on this matter and what you would do in this situation.
<... you have it... Bob Fenner>

Ick...  - 02/20/06
Good morning James(?)<James it is.>  Bob here.  you helped me with red slime/diatoms. Amazingly, they seem under control. <Good to hear.> Water change, sand work four days ago and the tank looks great.  However, now that is all under control, the fish are dying.  Spent yesterday reading here about ick.  So I followed what I thought was the correct procedure.  Set up the hospital tank, raised the temp to 28 from 25, set up a fresh water dip, caught my blue tang, dipped
for 5 minutes, put the tang in the hospital tank and this morning it is dead. What did I do wrong, <Was the QT the same temp/ph as the main tank?  Could just be that the tang was too weak to go through the FW dip.> and what about my French angel, flame hawk and snow flake eel?  Do you think the ick came in with the snails that I bought a week ago?  <Unlikely.  I'd keep an eye on the remaining fish and if ich shows up, transfer to QT and treat.  Tangs are usually the first to come down with the disease, Frenchie would be next.  James (Salty Dog)>

Possible Ich -- To Treat or Not to Treat?   2/13/06
Hi, Crew--
First, thank you so much for the support you provide.  I read your website daily and try to put your counsel to good use.
In this case, though, I feel like I need some direct expert advice. I have a 24 gallon Nanocube which has been stable for thirteen months.  The tank contains 20 lb. LR/LS, 1 Cherub Angel, I Royal Gramma, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Frogspawn, 1 Open Brain, 1 Bubble Coral, an ever-spreading colony of Star Polyps and a few snails/ crabs.  Water parameters:  Temp: 78 degrees, SG 1.025, Ph: 8.1, dKH:  
7, Cal: 420, Amm: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 12.5.  I do weekly water changes of 4-5 gallons with Catalina sea water and keep a bag of Chemi-Pure in the sump. These water parameters are consistent for my tank and everyone seems happy.
On Monday, 1/30, I had a 26 hour power outage.  Horrified, I inserted a battery-powered airstone and wrapped the tank in down comforters.   
<Good moves>
The temperature descent from 78 degrees was gradual, finally holding at 72 f.  I was sure all livestock would be dead by morning, all the same.  Amazingly, when power was restored everyone looked fine and I left the tank alone, hoping to avoid additional stress.  The morning after the outage I baster-fed a slurry of Prime Reef, Mysis and Cyclop-eeze and then did a 5 gallon water change. I also added a recommended dose of Kent Vitamin C, hoping to bolster any challenged immune systems.
At 9am the morning after the power was restored I thought I might have detected a vague white spot on the head of my beloved Cherub Angel.  I may have imagined it -- the spot didn't spread or grow and my little fish was as energetic, hungry and curious as always --  
picking at the live rock & substrate, etc.  The "spot" disappeared by 4pm and I decided I'd imagined it.
On Wednesday night, 2/8, however, I lost the lights on my Nanocube.    I ordered a replacement canopy via overnight delivery and was able to provide at least some light by using the canopy from my Eclipse 12 gallon QT.  Not great, but at least some form of illumination.  The replacement canopy arrived on Friday morning and I installed it right away.
On Friday evening I noticed a re-emergence of the spot on the Angel's head.  Today the spot hasn't spread or changed, but her behavior has.  Although still eating voraciously, she is behaving differently -- swimming rapidly against the current with her fins tucked, spending lots of time moving vertically in the front corner of the tank (from bottom to top of the corner) and then darting among the LR.  She's spending relatively little time picking around for things to eat as she normally does, and she seems to have lost patience with her tank mate the Gramma.  She's not scratching or rubbing (so far as I can tell), nor does she seem "salted" or "dusty."  Her respiration appears normal, she's not gasping at the surface and her eyes are clear.
I filled my QT tank and have prepared a freshwater dip -- but I haven't tried to net my fish yet.  Based on what I've written, do you  
think my fish likely has Ich and should be treated immediately?
<Tough to say re a/the parasitic possibility, but I would (if it's not too hard) move all your fishes... too likely there is a toxic response from the power outage from your cnidarians/corals... that is really the principally fault here...>  
Given the environmental stress the tank has sustained I'm hesitant to inflict further insult unless truly indicated.  Also, I want to  
clarify the treatment regimen if she does have Ich -- freshwater dip without Methylene Blue due to Angel sensitivity?  
<Worthwhile in transition to the other tank, yes... pH adjusted>
Formalin instead of copper in the treatment tank for the same reason?
<No, neither>
Should I use Rid-Ich+ (Formalin & Malachite Green)?
<I would not at this point>
Thank you so much for any advice you can offer.  I'm worried I'll do the wrong thing and kill my fish.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Bob Fenner>

Re: Possible Ich -- To Treat or Not to Treat? To read or not?   2/14/06
Thanks, Bob.  I really appreciate your advice.  A toxic reaction   makes sense.  Unfortunately, capturing the fish is proving impossible without taking the tank down.
<Might be expedient...>
  Do you think I can manage the problem with daily water changes
or is it best to just press on and get them out?  How long should I keep them in the aux. tank?
<Posted along with many other pertinent points that there just isn't ding dang time to go over (again) here. There are some forty more questions to respond to currently, then all to format, fix, post and parse... See WWM please. The Google search tool, indices, links...  Bob Fenner>

Ich / copper / knowledge transference  2/7/06
I'm about to fire up the QT tank and treat all of my fish for Ich. I have a compressed Toby and want to double check and make sure he will be okay with Copper Sulfate?  I think all of my other fish should be fine.
<I'd keep the therapeutic dose at the low end (0.15-0.20) and use a chelated brand>
Also, how long should I treat with copper in the QT tank before I start adding carbon to remove the copper?  
<Much, much more to state here... and is stated on WWM... see there re Crypt, Copper use... Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich / copper ... reading, knowing what you're doing  2/8/06
I plan on using Copper Safe, which recommends 2.0ppm.
<... this is the equivalent of 0.35 ppm for free copper...>
  I just want to double check with you that .15-.2 will be sufficient as that is a considerable difference?  
<?... please, read... on WWM re>
I read on WWM that 2 weeks is the time recommended to dose with the copper.
<Yes, generally>
I will also plan in increasing temp in my main tank to 82 when it goes fallow for 6 weeks.  Should I do hyposalinity in the main tank in conjunction with copper in QT?
<You're joking? Please... read... on... Bob Fenner>

New introduced fish dying of Itch... Parasitized SW System  - 2/4/2006
Thanks a lot  for your help in advance.
And Sorry for my writing since English is not my native language.
<No worries. We make exceptions for such>
I have a simple question: Is it possible that Itch kills a new introduced healthy fish in just two days?
<Mmm, yes... along with other stress>
I had a mayor Itch problem about 2 months ago, some fishes died, but the ones that didn't now are completely recuperated and doing very well.
Two days ago I introduced two damsels, thinking that Itch had gone, they did fine for 2 days, but died in the morning of the third day completely covered of white dots.
Can Itch be that lethal and kill the new fishes in just two days?
<Yes, can>
The rest of the fishes that were on the tank are still doing fine.
Is it possible that Itch by itself be the reason of the fishes to die?
<Generally not by itself. Other factors, mostly water quality, other environmental factors are also at play here>
Assuming everything else is more or less all right:
Salinity 1.024
Nitrates 5
Nitrites 0
Ammonia 0
PH 8.3
Alk 13 DKH
Temp 80°F = 27°C
<These are all fine>
The damsels were introduced following the acclimatizing process.
I mean, Can the water conditions be perfect (not that mine are) and Itch alone still keep killing every new fish introduced?
<Yes... the system itself has the ich/crypt, and the state is hyperinfective... a strong pathogenic reaction to new fish hosts. Please give the section on ich/Cryptocaryon a read over on WWM... particularly the parasitic systems FAQs files: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. You need to decide whether you want to rid the system itself of the problem (requiring moving all fishes... treating them elsewhere)... or keeping pretty much just what you have now. Bob Fenner>
Thank you very much

Ich question   2/2/06
     I've read mountains of info on your site and others about ich prevention and treatment. All very good info but I have a  question that may not be answerable.
     Several weeks ago I took delivery of what was supposed to be a Naso tang but was accidentally sent a Powder Blue. Rather than send it back, I decided to take on the task, knowing this fish's reputation. He arrived in 59 degree water due to a bag/box mishap on his way to balmy Minnesota but I brought him along slowly and eventually got him into quarantine. After 2 days he was eating and in 2 weeks showed not a sign of trouble. The qt tank was small so I was eager to get him into my 180 gal  F.O. with 200 pounds of algae-rich rock.
     A juv Koran owns the tank and is similar size to the PB. I placed him late in the afternoon and the 2 did skirmish despite the blackout and mirrors placed on the sidewalls. Early the next morning the PB was covered head to tail in ich. I promptly removed him and put him back in qt and within 4 hours I was almost unable to see any sign of the ich. He ate wonderfully and by the next day was completely clear.
<The ich/crypt is not visible... only the more extreme irritation/manifestation of "spots"/mucus... both tanks, all fishes are now infested...>
     My tank has been running for @ 6 years and I've never had an ich issue except a small sprinkling on my hippo tang two years ago after a temp problem. The question I pose is; Will this always be an issue trying to establish a PB into my aggressive system that is supposedly without ich?
Or perhaps my qt time was ineffective and following a second span as well as meds for the problem, and removal of the Koran for a few weeks, I should try him again?
<I would, likely yes. Can't live in the quarantine>
I simply don't want to threaten an otherwise healthy tank for the pleasure of adding this fish. Thank you for your opinion.-Steve
<If your fishes have been present since the incident with the Blue Tang... your system itself is infested. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. You are faced with a very common situation... trying to maintain a balance in your and your fishes favor in a parasitized system... or catching all out, moving... Bob Fenner>

Marine Death mystery ... parasitized marine systems  2/2/06
Hi to all the crew at WWM.
I am now 3 months into the marine hobby and have read books, WWM of course and sought the advice of many sources.  I am writing to you to help me solve a mystery which has eluded me and my respected LFS.   I have a 4ft (200L) reef tank with 2 canister filters, 1 x 2200Lph SEIO powerhead, Prism Protein Skimmer and 8W UV Sterilizer.  I introduced live rock, clean up crew (hermits and snails) all at the correct times of maturity. I only use RO water and add calcium and other nutrients. I gradually stocked the tank with fish, taking careful notice of measurements of water quality.  At its optimum stage I had, 1 x Black Pyramid Butterflyfish,
<Needs more room than this>
2 x male Percula clowns, regal tang, yellow tang, rusty dwarf angel, 6 green Chromis, 2 blue cheek gobies and one yellow clown goby  And on the invert side, 3 cleaner shrimp, 1 x anemone crab, half dozen blue legged hermits, 20 snails, 1 blue star fish, 1 small red starfish (not sure of name, he has a black cracked pattern on his body with black tips to his legs), 2 feather duster worms, and assorted corals (leather, mushrooms, xenia etc).  I have about 10 Kilos of live rock. This setup was surviving well.  The Regal Tang did have a problem with white spot shortly after introduction and as I couldn't get him out of the tank to treat (these fish are fast), I was advised to use Octozin
(which is harmless to inverts).
<and is ineffective... Your system has the crypt/ich still>
After treatment as a safety precaution I fitted the UV sterilizer. The Regal's white spot would sometimes come
back and disappear (leading me to believe that the problem could just be air bubbles).  All other fish looked ok with no signs of illness.
<Operative word: looked>
Now at the point when things started going wrong, I did three things (all of which I am informed wouldn't have caused this dramatic a problem). I installed 2 x 39W T5 tubes (marine glow and white) to add to my existing 2 x T8 bulbs.  I also started adding Iodine to boost the growth of my corals and I bought some phytoplankton.  A couple of days later I noticed my red starfish was curling up its feet. The next day it had lost a leg (which I found and discarded).  It wasn't until a couple of days later I realized that the starfish hadn't been attacked or got caught on something, it was actually disintegrating, leaking a stringy substance into the water.  The remains were removed from the tank and a 50L water change administered.  During this period, my dwarf Angel suddenly died.
<Cumulative stress... weakest animal...>
Two days later, I noticed lots of white dots on the butterflyfish, he was swimming on his side and by 1am that night, he died.
Then two days later one of my clownfish went missing, presumed dead (didn't find remains).  Next day, noticed white spots and discolouration on both tangs, and by the end of that day both were dead.  Then finally the remaining clownfish died (again with white spot signs and discolouration).  During this period of mass death the nitrite level rose to 0.1 and nitrate to around 60.  
I also did a few water changes (maintaining salinity of 1.024), lifted rocks to check for dead or decaying matter and replaced most of the substrate and again treated the tank with Octozin a couple of days later.
<You'll learn... are learning>
I have good water circulation throughout the tank with the powerhead located almost at the water surface.
It is worth noting that during this entire period and today, I have not suffered any invert or coral losses, in fact they all look very healthy, the corals are even extending more (which I put down to the additional T5s and iodine).  The 6 Chromis, yellow clown goby and blue cheeked gobies are all in good health and eating very well.  Surely if the problem was down to bad water quality it would have affected the most sensitive inverts, like my blue starfish.
A couple of weeks ago my water quality was returning to acceptable levels so I introduced a black clown. This unfortunately died 3 days later with the same symptoms in day two of the Octozin treatment.
<Yes... as will almost any new fishes added>
Obviously I am going to wait for a month or so before adding any more fish, and will do several water changes to try to reduce the nitrite and nitrate level (reading between 40 and 60 at the minute). I am however concerned that the problem will spark off again as soon as I introduce
more fish.
  Now that no other fish I have are affected
<They are actually... just not symptomatically...>
would you say that if the problem was parasitic, the parasite would die eventually if it doesn't have anything to feed on?
<Yes... the logic, rationale of allowing such infested systems to "go fallow", sans fish hosts>
Would white spot kill that much livestock that quickly?
<Oh yes... think about the confines of the system/world...>
What would you suggest I do before I restock with more fish?
<Posted... see WWM re Crypt... many articles, FAQs files...>
   Did I load my tank too quickly?
<Too much, too soon, yes, and w/o quarantine...>
Ammonia levels are zero and have been constantly zero for some time (according to my liquid test kit).
Please help as I cannot work out what could be causing the problem.
<Mmm: no quarantine, use of a placebo medication, cumulative losses, infested system>
The manager of my LFS (with a marine Biology degree) even came to see my tank and said everything looked really good; he was surprised with such losses that the inverts and corals hadn't suffered as well.
<... they aren't susceptible to this parasite>
On close examination of the dead tangs, apart from slight white spots and degradation of the fins, nothing else appeared wrong.
Latest measurements by me read: Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, nitrate 40, salinity 1.024, pH 8.2. Temp between 26.5-28.3 (measured throughout the
day).  T8 lighting on from 10am till 8:30.  T5s on from 11 till 7:30.  I have a feeling my liquid test kits are not as accurate as the tablets
used by the LFS as their readings show levels when mine show 0.  I need to take a sample of water to them to see if I still have nitrite and their reading of nitrate.
Andrew Deacon
<Your plight is all too common. Please start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm
then on to the linked files at top... till you understand your situation, options... You need to separate the fishes... treat them elsewhere... Bob Fenner>

Ick from corals?   1/31/06
Hi crew,
I have a question about the source of ick. My blue tang and royal Gramma have suspicious white spots on them today. I have had both fish for over 1 year in a 90 gal reef. I have recently (past 2 weeks) added some corals to the tank: 3 SPS (Acro sp, birds nest), 2 Acan lord frags, 1 Micromussa, 1 Blastomussa wellsi. These corals came from local people that sold them from their apartment & garages. Can corals be a source of ick?
<Mmm, yes. Actually any wet substrate that has recently "come in contact" with such pathogens>
These fish have been healthy since I bought them a year ago. I have a cleaner shrimp that's been in the  
tank for a year as well. The blue tang has been going to the shrimp for cleaning; haven't seen the royal Gramma get close to the shrimp.  
The blue tang has half a dozen spots on each side.
<Does sound like Crypt...>
The tanks is a 90 gallon mixed reef that has been running for 16 months. I live in San Diego and do 10 gal weekly water changes with NSW from Scripps. Haven't checked nitrate, ammonia, in a while; Ca = 430; Alk = 9; salinity = 1.026. Euro-Reef CS8-2 skimmer, AB Aquaspacelight 650 watts total DE HQI. Should I try to remove the fish to quarantine?
<Mmm, a tough question... I would leave off, make this decision based on the choice between likely further advance in numbers/pathogenicity, and the return to "balance" in the current set-up... I strongly suspect your system has/had the crypt/ich... and that adding the cnidarians only triggered its expression>
I have a 20 gal setup for a year for qt with 2 clown fish, peppermint shrimp, hitchhiker crab and some overgrown corals (colt, xenia, GSP)
<Please make it known if my comments aren't clear. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ick from corals?   2/2/06
Thanks for the reply.
The following morning, all fish looked and behaved perfectly normal.   There were no visible white dots anywhere. It has been 2 days and it looks like I avoided an outbreak.
<... more likely is "just" cycling... "Will be baaaaack">
I'll have to think about installing some better lighting over my 20 gal tank so that I can quarantine SPS corals better. It currently has 2x65watt power compact; my main tank has 650watts HQI. I've been looking for a reason to buy a 20K HQI pendant to replace the power compacts :)
Glad to be able to share the good news.
<Be chatting... observing closely. Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity in a tank with a BTA   1/27/06
Hello Crew!
I have small cowfish and blue throat trigger with a severe case of ich.  I wanted to try hyposalinity treatment on the display tank because I don't have a hospital tank that could hold the trigger and cow (only 10 gallons).  The problem lies in that there is a maroon clown with his BTA in the tank.  I would like to know what the lowest salinity that the BTA could tolerate and for what amount of time?
<I would not fool with spg here and the anemone>
Also, I would like treat with copper on these two fish because I don't want to risk losing them due to the advanced stages of ich and the minimal success rate of hypo treat.
I think that the blue throat can tolerate normal amounts of the copper (please tell me if there is anything special about treating the trigger vs. other "hardy" fish) and that the longhorn cowfish can only tolerate very small amounts copper.  So it appears that I would have to buy another 10 gal treatment tank and treat them with different levels of copper in separate treatment tanks.  I have looked at the Boxfish FAQs and Boxfish Disease FAQs and have seen that Mr. Fenner has said that small amounts of copper can be used on the cowfish but I can't find how much copper to use in any of the FAQs for the cowfish.
<The lower limits of efficacy: 0.15 to 0.20 free cupric ion ppm>
  I am desperate here and need the suggested amount of copper for treating a cowfish, along with the appropriate temperature, duration of treatment, and salinity level for his treatment.
<Upper 70's F. for most species, two weeks, and 1.018>
A little off topic here, but could you guys tell me (or direct me with a link) how to get lionfish/scorpionfish to eat prepared foods.  I can't get my Cheekspot scorpionfish, diabolus, and antennata lionfish to eat prepared foods but strangely my fuzzy dwarf lion will only eat pellets.  Strange situation, one extreme to the other within the Scorpaenidae family.  I'm confused, you?
<All the ding dang time. The feeding is a matter of "practice" with meaty food items, a "stick" to attach same to and dangle in front of the fish. Bob Fenner>
Thanx again,
Garen Wright

Add-on to "Hyposalinity in a tank with BTA"   1/30/06
a couple of things here that I forgot to add to my first email:
<If re-writing, please always include previous correspondence>
1.  I forgot to tell you that the copper that I am using is Cupramine by Seachem and I am also using the Multi-test by Seachem.
2.  If I use 10 gallon hospital tanks for copper treatment, how often and how much of the water should I change out in order to keep the Ammonia under control.
<Test it and change accordingly. I would seek to keep ammonia under 0.5 ppm>
3.  Is it really that helpful to use a polyfiber pad in a filter or can I get away (safely) by using a powerhead for water circulation?
<... Polyfiber? As in a mechanical/sieve structure? Is useful, though such need to be kept clean>
It just seems that if I am changing the water often and with a Python, that a filter will just serve to circulate water in the same manner as a powerhead because I will be vacuuming waste out with my water changes. (I apologize if the way I worded this question is confusing)
<Does make sense... I would likely use a powerhead, but with an intake foam fitting... for some particulate filtration as well as to prevent livestock from being sucked against the intake.>
4.  If I keep the Blue-throat in a 10 gallon hospital and the Cowfish in a 10 gallon hospital (separate hospital tanks)  what is the minimum that I can feed them over the treatment period without adversely affecting the strength of their immune system.
<Only trial can tell here... I would keep a close eye on their apparent "index of fitness"... that is, fullness in the abdomen region... and keep feeding to a minimum... likely something every other day... but not much>
5.  When being treated with copper, do fish rely evenly on their immune systems and the copper to fight off the crypt parasite or do they rely more on one than the other?  If it is uneven, what would you say the percentages are.
<Mmm, don't "rely" on either... Immune systems are always in play... the copper acts as a proteinaceous precipitant mainly... poisoning the fish/es, causing them to produce copious amounts of body slime/mucin... sloughing off adult parasites... as well as poisoning "swarming" intermediates when they are in the water column... the last the reason why one needs to have a "treatment dose/concentration" present at all times.>
Garen Wright
<Bob Fenner>

Crypt, Quarantining for yourself    1/25/06
Hi crew, I think I may have a major issue right now. Today I noticed small flecks on my pair of Dartfish. They have been acting otherwise normally and feeding well. I'm extremely worried it may be marine itch or something close to that. I have a 330 gallon tank, fully equipped for a reef setup (protein skimmer, UV sterilizers, etc.). The fish weren't quarantined because the dealer said they quarantined all incoming stock and my parents didn't want to spend extra money/time to establish a quarantine tank.
<A mistake... few dealers have the facilities, discipline to truly quarantine (though there are a few... e.g. AquaTouch in Phoenix)... with water mixing, shared containers, nets... cross-contaminating...>
The only other fish I have at this point are a Royal Gramma and a dozen Green Chromis. The Gramma was  
purchased at the same time as the Dartfish with no unhealthy signs. The Chromis have been in the system for a month with no issues. Should I try to establish an  emergency quarantine tank?
<Will have to treat all...>
Would a cleaner goby or shrimp pick off the itch?
<Mmm, the larger... yes... but your system will have the ongoing problem... new fish hosts, challenges in the environment having it re-surface>
The  biggest problem is that my family is going to Utah in two days for a three day  vacation. I would have to wait until afterwards to do anything.
Would this make  it worse?
What are the chances of the others getting it?
<If it is Cryptocaryon, almost assured>
If I can't stop  it, how long would I have to wait to get fish again, if ever? Please let me  know. Thanks.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm
and the many linked files above till you understand what you're up against. Bob Fenner>

What is the best treatment? Small tang/fish, crypt...   1/25/06
I am looking for the best way to treat my P. hepatus.  I have always tried to use a quarantine setup for new arrivals, but now I found myself in a situations and I don't know which way to go.  So here is the deal, I have a Blue Tang that is about 1 inch in size
and through quarantine (10 gal) he did very well, no signs of infection, eat very well, very fat, and colorful
fish.  After the Q tank I decided, because of his size, to put him a 20 gal FOWLR (well base rock not really live, yet) with only one other fish, an A. frenatus (same size).  The only reason I did this is the main display tank, although large enough, has a few bullies in it and I wanted the Blue Tang along with the Tomato to gain a little size before entering the open waters.
<Likely a very good move>
Since the tang has been in the 20 gal he is eating very well, very active (plays around with the Tomato Clown all day), but, and there always is one. The tang is now showing signs and symptoms of Ich.  So what should I do?
<Mmm, for one, be cautious... re this "really" being crypt... might just be "stress markings"... For two, look into biological cleaners (my choice? A Gobiosoma/Elacatinus Goby)... I would also bolster its immune system, through feeding/supplementation. I would avoid copper with such a small specimen if I could>
Remove the tang and go back to the Q tank for meds? Leave it and treat it in the 20gal (no inverts or corals)? FW dip/bath then to Q tank?  I hate to move this fish all around.
<Me too>
I don't mind treating the 20 gal; it's more of a grow-out tank for little guys getting ready to go to the main tank.  Also, what would you recommend for a medication, I have never really had to deal with Ich, but my thought is to lower the salinity to 1.010-5, raise the temperature to 82, and add a little malachite green hydrochloride for a week.  Does this sound like a good plan?
Thanks, Bryan
<I would try the Cleaner for now... and of course, treat the fishes (with copper) before moving into/with other fishes/systems. But hold off till the Tang is at least twice this length. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel Not eating... Melafix/tea non-treatment  - 01/24/06
Hi Bob,
I hope you can please help me with this? I have had a 3.5 in Flame angel for over 7 months now. About 7 weeks ago I had a bad case of ick that ended up killing my Bicolor blenny before I could get it under control. I finally have it under control with no signs of ick for 6 weeks. The problem that I am having is the flame angel hasn't eaten in about 6 weeks.
I treat the ick with MelaFix (which now I am not sure was the best thing).
<... is not... the ich is still there... its presence (sub-symptomatic) is likely largely at play here>
I feed the tank spectrum, flake, live brine, frozen brine, Mysis and bloodworms. The flame
angel eat great before and eat everything that I gave him. He hasn't loss any weight that I can tell, but he is eating the normal food. He also has come very shy and hides in the rocks a lot. There is nothing in the tank picking on him and everything else is eating well. About 1 week ago I noticed that his tail (the purple part) was tearing and since he had no appetite I thought it maybe fin rot so I again dosed MelaFix which helped the fin rot within 2 days but he still isn't eating. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your help.
<... if people are sick with a parasite, do they think of drinking tea to cure themselves?>
90 Gallon FOWLR, Copperband Butterfly, Flame Angel, Yellow Coris wrasse, 6 line wrasse, Kole tang, pair of clowns, shrimp goby, Bartlett Anthias,
diamond goby, yellow spot goby  
Chase Brodsky
<You will find the Cryptocaryon resurfacing should this system be "challenged" or another fish added... see WWM re treating Crypt. Treat the cause, not symptoms. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich stress  - 01/24/06
Mr. Fenner,
Thank you, again, for your help.
I have read the articles and FAQ's on treating ich and setting up a quarantine tank. I have a 10 gallon set up, which I filled 1/2 way last night with water from my main tank (20 gal). I have a ceramic air-stone and a small heater & thermometer. I'm going to get some PVC pipe for him to hide in, as recommended. I plan to fill it the rest of the way and run the power filter if he's going to have to stay there a while. This morning I removed the goby and put him in the quarantine tank. The spots were back.
<Oh yes>
I am going to try the freshwater/Methylene blue dip on him. I am afraid of putting my coral beauty and clown in the quarantine tank, since they are not showing symptoms,
<... they will. All have to be treated...>
I don't want to over-react and do more damage than good. They are a bit freaked out as it is since I moved their rocks and things around and had to mess with the skimmer. I don't want to use copper because I do not have access to a copper test kit (PetSmart doesn't carry and my fish store doesn't believe in anything but garlic treatments).
<Thank goodness they aren't human MDs>
I don't know if I can get Formalin.  So I guess my questions are: will my cleaner shrimp protect the coral beauty from getting the ich?
(he's a very active cleaner) If I decide to remove the coral beauty from the main tank, is a 10 gallon big enough for him (and the other 2) to survive long enough for the main tank to go fallow?
If I do let the tank go fallow, do I feed the hermits and shrimp?
Are the turbo snails safe?
<Likely so>
Am I doomed?
<Assuredly not>
Thanks again, sorry to be such a newbie.
Karen Garrett
<You are what you are. Knowledge... borne of study or experience is power (with a forthright mind). Become yourself. Bob Fenner>

Aggression, Ich and lessons learned   1/20/06
50G tank
192 W PC lighting
1 3" Maroon Clown
1 3" Fuzzy Dwarf Lion
1 2" Six Line Wrasse
1 3" Pygmy Angel (white and black body with yellow stripe down face)
1 2" Compressed Toby/Blue Spotted Puffer
2 Emerald Crabs
1 Sally Light Foot Crab
1 Porcelain Crab
20 hermits if they are all still alive
4 Turbo Snails
55lbs or so of LR.
Crushed Coral Substrate
Macro in Sump
Ammonia - 0; Nitrite - 0; Nitrate - 10-20.
Temp - 76
All was fine with my tank.  Then I added a coral banded shrimp.  I then noticed the Angel acting a bit more aggressively, darting at a couple of fish and backing into shrimp, etc.  Regrettably I didn't think much of it and the situation seemed to improve. A couple of days later I added a 1" Yellow Tang.
  I have learned the hard way now why a QT tank is truly needed and a 4 week QT.  
<Oooh... good>
Immediately the Angel attacked the Tang in a voracious way.  I tried to train the Angel to not be making a noise on the tank glass or with my hand in the tank; I tried lights out, etc, etc.  I finally got a breeder box and placed the Tang in there, but too late.
<Better the antagonist, the Angel>
The Tang died last night.   I'm not certain what killed the Tang...sheer fright/stress, Ich or me doing a FW dip incorrectly (too cold).
I did notice what I am quite sure was Ich on the Tang.  There was some white material on the side of the fish which I could rub off with my finger.
What was most likely the cause of the Angel attacking the Yellow Tang?
<Territoriality. This system is too small... among other things>
Was it probably because the addition pushed the tank into being over populated or more likely because of similarity in body shape and that they both had Yellow color?
<Mostly the former, some of the latter, yes>
Was the Tang too small?
<Yes... best "started" at three inches total length or so>
If the tank is at max population now, then I may remove the coral banded shrimp if that will allow me to add another fish or I may exchange a fish for another.  If the body shape, color or size were factors, I would like to try a Purple Tang maybe.
<You don't have the room>
In regards to Ich...I think I saw what could MAYBE be Ich on the Clown. I can't tell with the Fuzzy dwarf Lion because I'm not sure if what I see as white specks on hi is Ich or the "fuzzy" natural part of his skin.
<You'll know soon enough>
Now that 1 fish in my tank has had Ich though, what is best/required?
<Either to wait/see, or to move all... and treat... Covered over and over on WWM>
I have raised my tank to 81 degrees.  I will continue to do weekly 20% water changes.  I'm considering getting QT tanks now and moving the fish into those for 4 weeks with a Methylene Blue dip before and after going into QT.  Is this necessary or is there a treatment I can do to the main tank?  
I have heard something about Jungle Juice or something along those lines.
<A caustic material used for eliminating glass anemones...>
From reading WetWebMedia, it sounds like there is no treatment that can kill Ich and not harm the LR/Reef.  
<This is correct>
It also sounds like Ich is a huge debate and whether it is ever truly gone versus always present.
<Mmm, no... there are pathogen free systems>
This is my first tank ever and I only have 3 months experience.  I'm trying to learn and do best by the creatures, but I am making some mistakes along the way.  Unfortunately those of those mistakes could have been averted.  Now I get it.  Much I have been told or learned from various LFS I have found has either been misleading or totally inaccurate.
<Happens... what did our moms say? "Don't believe everything you hear/read">
My biggest concern now is why did the Angel attack the Tang so much so (went on for a few days and at times seemed to be subsiding) and what
does that mean to what I add or subtract from the tank now and what about the Ich?
Thanks for any feedback/comments
<Keep reading David... and observing closely... I would not add any more fish life to what you have here. Bob Fenner>

Ick, my tank has ich! Useful facts, you lack knowledge!   1/17/06
Hello there, crew;
<Howdy Brent>
Well, it happened, my tank came down with ich.  For fish life, I have a Regal Tang, 2 clowns, 2 damsels, and one flashback Dottyback in a 46 gallon aquarium.  My substrate is about an inch of CaribSea aragonite.  I run a Fluval 304 filter and a Coralife Super Skimmer on the tank.  The tank has been up and running since early November of 2005. my chemistry is as follows:
pH - 8.2, NH3 - 0, NO2 - 0, NO3 - 10ppm, S.G. - 1.021, Temperature is 20 degrees Celsius. I've removed my turbo snails (4) and my live rock (18lbs).  It was easier
this way than to remove all the fish (live rock and turbo snails being much easier to catch!! :) )  I've left 1 cleaner shrimp, and 2 blue legged hermits in the tank.  I've also removed the carbon from the filter (The sponges, pre-filter and bio-max are still in place).  I'm currently treating the tank with Mardel CopperSafe,
<Not safe to use with crustaceans... or in a tank with carbonaceous material>
carefully following the instructions and dosage that were contained in the box.
<... needs to be tested... with a chelated copper test kit... the concentration maintained...>
My question is:  Is it all right to continue running the protein skimmer with the chelated copper sulfate in the water?  
<Can be run with testing, replenishment of the copper... at least daily>
I currently have my skimmer shut off.  Is there anything else I can be doing to help my fish?  all are still eating well, and scratching like crazy, with frequent visits to the shrimp.  Also, what copper testing kit would you recommend?
<... Please... read... on WWM re>
Thanks for your help in advance.  You have a great website, and I enjoy reading it all the time.  I'm optimistic that all the fish will survive.
<You need to treat the fishes apart from the non-fishes, substrate... Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich in the tank   1/18/06
Dear Mr. Fenner and crew;
<All part and parcel>
Ok, I've done as advised by Mr. Fenner regarding the treatment of my tank.   I've removed the cleaner shrimp and hermit crabs, and scraped out the aragonite substrate.
<Scrapped, as in removed...>
I've tested the water for copper, and my concentrations are 2.0 according to the colour change when compared to the card contained with the test kit.  
<Is a suitable/chelated test kit I take it>
I've re-read the instructions that came with the copper medication, and it said that if administered properly, it would maintain a concentration of 1.5
- 2.0.  Is this a correct therapeutic dosage?
<Sounds/reads like it>
  It also said that this medication was safe with invertebrates with an exo-skeleton.  
<Not always>
After my e-mail with Mr. Fenner, and speaking with the guy at the LFS (who cringed when I told him the shrimp was in the tank, and was surprised it wasn't
dead), I decided it was best to just remove it from any more harm.
I've read the articles on WWM regarding "Fighting the War on Two Fronts", plus several of the FAQ's and I was just wondering if there is anything else
I should be doing?
Also, what is your opinion on Kent Marine Expert Series RX*P?
<Posted... it's a sham>
Is it a worthwhile medication to add to the tank instead of copper sulfate?  Thanks for all the help, once again, guys and gals.
Brent in Calgary
<Keep reading Brent in Calgary. BobF in San Diego>

Re: White Spots! - 01/14/06
Dear Eric
<<hello Akila>>
Thanks for your advice.
<<I hope you find it useful>>
Today I returned my clown tang to the fish store because he was heavily infected with white spots.
<<Mmm, very good...though frankly I'm surprised they took it back in such condition.>>
Unfortunately I don't have a quarantine tank
<<A worthwhile acquisition/expense, considering your investment otherwise.>>
but I got hold of Copper Sulphate to treat the white spots.
Now I only have the Banner fish, the Threadfin butterfly, Clown fish and the Wrasse
<<Cleaner Wrasse if I recall.>>
and I think they are also infected with white spots because they seem very weak and have lost the appetite to eat.
<<Is very likely so.>>
As I don't have any invertebrates can I directly put Copper Sulphate to my main tank?
<<I don't think you have a choice here...yes.>> <No, Eric, no!!! RMF>
Eric, you have to help me with my Banner fish because he doesn't eat and is very lethargy.  When I bought him, his Banner fin was very thick but now it is very thin.  Also he seems to be disturbed by the Wrasse.
<<Are you sure this is a Cleaner Wrasse?  Do ensure you don't have a "false" or "mimic" cleaner wrasse (Aspidontus taeniatus taeniatus).  Do a Google search re our sight and the NET to be identify.>>
He is hiding in a corner without eating.  Is he threatened by the Wrasse?
<<If as I suspect, yes.>>
He was fine yesterday and had the thick fin but today everything has changed.  Does this have something to do with white spot disease?
<<Is another possibility, yes.  EricR>>
Appreciate your response.
Best Regards, Akila

Re:  White Spots! II - 01/14/06
Dear Eric
I am in a big mess.
<<So I have surmised.>>
My whole system is a mess now.
<<Too much too fast my friend.>>
I am sorry to bother you this much but I have no other alternative than telling you.
<<No worries mate, I hope I can be of some help.>>
All my fish are badly infected with white spots and there are some velvety patches on them.
<<I suspect either your tank was not as "cycled' as you thought...or more likely you put too many fish in at once and overwhelmed your biofiltration.>>
They don't eat and are not active.
<<Very bad>>
My Bannerfish is very weak.  His banner fin is bitten of my wrasse so I removed the wrasse.
<<Good move...I suspect you have (had) a mimic cleaner wrasse...bad news...>>
I got hold of Chelated Copper Sulfate but there is no clear instruction on the bottle.
It says to use 5ml of Copper Sulfate to 40L of water.  So my tank has 300L and I should use 60ml right?
<<Mmm...by my calculations this would equate to a dose of 37.5ml.>> <The calculated gallonage is 300 liters? The actual gallonage is actually appreciably less... due to displacement by rock, gravel... RMF>
So I did it.
<<Likely you have poisoned your fish with an overdose of copper...a large partial water change is in order.  Be aware that you have also wiped out your biofiltration.  You will need to do large water changes every couple days...you will also need to replace your live rock once you finish treating these fish.>>
I have no freaking test kit to measure copper levels and it is practically impossible to find one in the local market.
<<A dangerous situation my friend.  You need/must be able to measure the copper in your tank.>>
The instruction on the bottle says to use copper for 2-4 weeks.  So
does that mean I should put 60ml of copper sulfate everyday?
<<NO!...add the copper sulphate to a reading (you need a test kit!) of 15ppm...then maintain this level for 2-4 weeks as necessary.>>
My clown is on the surface level doing badly.  I am lost I feel like the end of the world.
<<I'm sorry for your/the fishes pain...this could have been averted with proper quarantine/observation/treatment before placing in the display.>>
I have 100's of very very tiny white spotty creatures running all over my tank's glass walls.  What are these?
Are these causing white spots?
<<I think not.>>
How do you kill them off?
<<The copper will do it.>>
If by any chance my Bannerfish survive this crisis will his fin grow back?
<<If it wasn't cropped off too close to the base it should, yes.>>
I appreciate you response.
Best regards,
<<For your sake/the fish’s sake Akila, do learn from this experience.  Slow down a bit and set up a proper quarantine tank.  Regards, EricR>>

Re: White Spots! III - 01/14/06
Dear Eric
<<Hello Akila>>
Do I have to remove my activated carbon from the canister filter because I am using copper sulfate?
Best regards,
<<Regards, EricR>>

Re: White Spots! IV - 01/16/05
Dear Eric
<<Hello Akila>>
I returned all my fish to the Pet Store today but I didn't get any cash as expected.
<<I imagine not...>>
Anyway this was the best thing to do as I am starting from scratch from today onwards.
I removed all water from the tank and the filters.  I washed the tank with freshwater but I didn't take the sand out cuz that's too hard to do.
Anyways will there be any diseases still in the sand that'll affect my new cycling process?
<<Will be fine in time.>>
I hate those small white dots that move on my glass.  Will this again be a problem when cycling?
<<I doubt they were the problem the first time round...either way...shouldn't be a problem now.>>
I never had this problem when I cycled my tank earlier!
<<I don't think your problems arose from how you cycled the tank, I believe the issues began with lack of proper quarantine and stocking too quickly.>>
What is the cause of those pests?
<<Please do spend some time reading this and the related links:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm >>
I am going to take time for the cycling process this time.  Probably wait for about 1 1/2 - 2 months before introducing expensive fish.
<<More expensive to the fish my friend...  Do spend the time reading/researching.>>
I am going to take everything very slow.  Are there any good tips to start the process?
<<Here ya go:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fishonsetup.htm >>
Do you know any website where I can get fish supplies like the
test kits, marine salt etc. online through a credit card?  There are many sites but they don't ship internationally.  Do you know any site where they delivery supplies to Sri Lanka?
<<Hmm, off-hand no I don't.  Try contacting Marine Depot or Doctor's Foster and Smith...you may also have luck with one of the UK venders...email them and ask.>>
Thanks my friend for helping me.  Really appreciate everything.  I am going to take your advice this time and do everything extremely slow.
<<Research, research, research...>>
Thanks again & again
Best regards,
<<Cheers my friend, EricR>>

Ich  1/11/06
I have had a real problem trying to remove Ich from my aquarium.  I have a 5 inch porcupine puffer that I've had for 6 months and the whole time I've had him it's been a nasty cycle of him showing systems of ich and me treating it.  I have a 46 bow front with a 3 inch Niger Trigger, a 7 inch snowflake eel, the puffer, and my most recent addition a 4 inch Imperator Angel.  Although they are all aggressive, there is minimal amounts of disputing and none of it is directed towards the puffer.  My water conditions are fine but the more I treat it the more bacteria I kill.  I've used quick cure, copper, and I recently succumbed to a fresh water dip.  Every time I finish treating the tank ich always comes back.  Is the puffer the problem or just showing the signs? <I think you are the biggest problem right now Brian.  A 46 gallon tank is too small for just the puffer alone.  They grow quite fast and attain lengths of up to 1'6".  All the fish you have get quite large and all with the exception of the angel are huge waste producers.  You are going to have to choose which one of these fish to keep and find homes for the others or get a significantly larger tank, no less than a 120 gallon.  In such small quarters the disease spreads rapidly.  Do not know if you are aware of it but for an effective cure using copper the treatment must continue for a minimum of 24 days until all cysts have burst and are destroyed.  Do read here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  and here on stocking level FAQ's.  James (Salty Dog)>  
Brian Brantley

Crypt confusion, knowledge, Nirvana... reading WWM   1/11/06
Thank you in advance for answering my question.  Recently, I treated my Yellow Tang for Ich successfully.  My other fish (Humu Humu Trigger 3'', Porcupine Puffer 4'', domino Damsel 2'', and Epaulette Shark 8'') did not show any sign of disease,
<... all are affected, hosts...>
so after 2 weeks of treatment the Yellow Tang went back in the show tank.
<... the tank "has" the Crypt>
My tank is 300 gallons with Reef Concepts skimmer and a trickle filter.  About 1 week after reintroducing the
Yellow Tang I have noticed tiny black spots all over him.
<Likely Paravortex... see WWM re>
My trigger is scratching as well and may have some spots on him.
<This is almost undoubtedly the Crypt...>
  All other fish show no signs of disease.
<They are non-symptomatic... won't stay that way>
All fish eat well and appear healthy.  How should I handle this?
<Don't think you're going to like what I have to state...>
  Remove all fish and freshwater dip?
<That's a beginning>
How long should I keep all them out if I do this?  Can I just remove the 2 infected? If I must remove the shark how should I treat him?  Thank you.  
Eric Alspaugh
Winston Salem, NC
<... you've got a bit of reading to do... go, peruse WWM re Cryptocaryon, Crypt Systems... all fishes need to be removed, the system left fallow (w/o fish hosts) for a month or more... with environmental manipulation... the "Black Ich" problem is easily solved... as you'll soon know. Bob Fenner>

Life Cycle of Cryptocaryon irritans - 01/09/2006
Hi crew, although I realize there is an absolute wealth of information regarding Ich on the site, I still have a quick question about it:) I recently had 2 Percula Clowns become infected and so removed them, put them into QT for over a month and treated them. In the meantime no other fish in the main tank has become infected.
<They will in time. It's in your system. These should be removed to QT as well.>
Would it be safe to assume the tank is no longer infected or could there still be an outbreak waiting to happen?
<A ticking time bomb I believe.>  
(I heard up to 70 days!)  Thanks for any help, Steve Morse.
<Steve, here's a couple of pieces for you to read
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm . Better to be safe than sorry here. - Josh>

Lost Email & Other ?'s   12/28/05
Bob & Crew,
I sent the below message on November 30th and have yet to hear from you.
After reading FAQ's about FAQ's I learned that some email issues were encountered in November.  I will send this to your hotmail account (you recommended this to another guy that had a similar problem).  I hope this doesn't inconvenience you.
<No. Thank you for the follow-up and note>
I can honestly say that I have made the most sincere effort to find the answers to all my questions.  I am still at a loss for the below dilemmas.  I will change a few things to update you on recent happenings.
Thanks & Happy Holidays!
Thank you for your site, it is the only addiction that my wife doesn't seem to mind!
<Mmmmm... you know... this intro. is not new... methinks this was responded to>
I have a 135 g reef tank with a 75 g sump.  It was set up in January '05 and things had been going very well.  I bought an Achilles tang about 2 months ago and following the advice on your site, I quarantined him for over a month.  During the quarantine period, he developed a case of ich, which was quickly cured by the use of Coppersafe.  After resetting the QT clock and waiting 4 weeks, he was introduced into the main tank.  Just recently he developed another case of ich, so I am assuming his tank mates were carrying the parasite.  My existing fish were not QT'd, but showed no sign of infection for 6 months.  I have had it with ich!  I tore down my entire tank (12 hours I'll never get back) and removed every fish.  My fish included the Achilles, 2 convict blennies (update: 1 convict blenny, I fear the cats ate a jumper), 1 long fin fairy wrasse, 1 blue spotted watchman goby, and a mandarin.  Every fish except for the mandarin went into my 35 g QT tank that has been up and running for over a month, plus I threw in some sponges that were in the sump for just such an occurrence.  The QT has a large Emperor double bio-wheel and a SeaClone 100.  The achilles was in bad shape, so I had to add Coppersafe immediately.  I ran the protein skimmer very rarely while dosing with copper.  The mandarin is set up in a 2.5 g tank with some live rock that is crawling with pods and Mysid shrimp.  The water in the 2.5 g was from my main tank.  I know the mandarin will crush the contents of the tank in short order, but it is better than nothing in my opinion.  Update: I have been transferring small pieces of LR back and forth from the main tank to satisfy the mandarin- seems to be working well.  I have been performing regular water changes in both tanks.  I plan on keeping all inhabitants in QT until January 27 (2 months).
Question: I have read that it is a good idea to use your display tank water to perform daily water changes on the QT.  If I am assuming that the display has ich (in the substrate, rocks, etc) I think this would be a bad idea in my particular situation.  Would that be correct?
<Yes... your system itself is parasitized>
Update:  Still waiting on your response.  No display tank water has been added to QT.
<Good... needs to be left out>
Question: There is no copper in the 2.5 g...does there need to be in order to ensure that the mandarin is not a host?  Update: 30 days in QT, no signs of ich.
<Can/could still be a reservoir host. I would leave out of the main system, contact with other (more susceptible) fishes for a good two months>
If he is picking at rocks, can I assume he is eating?
<As long as not (too) thin>
Also, I am getting anxious to put the mandarin back in the display on account of his eating habits.  The 27th will be 30 days.  Good idea or should I wait 2 months for him as well?
<Oh! Yes>
Keep in mind that eliminating ich is my primary concern.
Question: I have read that some fish, in particular Tangs, are sensitive to copper.
<Yes... they're about a six on a scale of ten re such sensitivity>
The achilles is looking much better after 2 days in the coppered up water.  How long should the treatment last? (1 capful of Coppersafe per 4 gallons of water)
<Two weeks>
  Update: After 3 weeks I started to perform the water changes without replacing the Coppersafe.  All seems to be well in the QT.
I haven't changed any filtration media, so I am assuming trace amounts of copper are still around on day 30.  Can I be sure of ich elimination?
<Mmm, not absolutely, no>
Last Question:  Both my tank and sump are buzzing with a seemingly infinite number of Mysid shrimp.  Is it possible to have too many Mysid shrimp?
<Practically... no>
  I fear this is a stupid question,  but I don't see the lack of predators affecting amphipods/copepods in the same way.  Pod population seems to have gone down substantially.
Thank you once again for your time, it is very much appreciated.
PS- just a suggestion, but wouldn't it be even more helpful if the search string results directed you to the title of the question where the key word is located, rather than just the FAQ #, for example?  No offense intended, just a suggestion.
<A good suggestion... but for two difficulties... the search tool is not of our making (it's Googles) and often the titles/subjects aren't descriptive enough to not at all relevant...>
BJ Wincott
<Bob Fenner>

No Sugar Coating on this one: Just Plain’ole Poor Husbandry  12/24/05
<Adam J’s disclaimer: Reader Discretion advised.>
I recently moved so to prep for moving my 70 gallon tank, I moved the regal blue tang, Lopez tang, clown and 4 stripe damsel, carpet anemone, corals, to a smaller tank.
I moved the 70 gallon, and reset it up with a new wet/dry filter (old one wasn't powerful enough and water quality was suffering), a uv filter and new aragonite sand.
<No protein skimmer for such a HEAVY stocking load.>
I dipped all the live rock before the transfer.
<Dipped in what?>
I cycled the tank with 3 small yellow tangs and everything went well.
<Huh?! Please tell me you’re kidding... no seriously….I have to know where you got such a horrendous idea. It’s just wrong on so many levels I don’t even know how to say it in a constructive manner:
1.) NEVER start a nitrogen cycle with live animals, cruel and unnecessary
2.) Tangs are quite sensitive to water quality, and during the cycle, that’s about as bad as water quality can get. So even if cycling with live animals was a good idea (which it isn’t) I would not do it with tangs.
3.) Quarantine all livestock before introduction into display…tangs especially are notorious for brining Cryptocaryon into a system.
4.) This tank is too small for 1 adult tang of any species let alone 3 to start.
5.) I doubt three tangs would get along in a 70-gallon tank…and that’s IF they survive the ammonia, and that’s a big IF.
…..Yet you seem to think everything went well….I apologize, this is the first time I have seen something like this, I’m normally quite calm. My friend please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm In particular please read the paragraph titled: About Damsels & Torturing Other Wildlife.>
About 45 days later, chem permitted, I moved everyone in.
<So now we have added a H. Paracanthus (Regal Tang) and another tang to a 70 gallon tank and other fish and invertebrates as well to an already inappropriately, overstocked tank.>
Everyone got along well
and the improved water quality had my anemone and corals flourishing. A week later, I brought home a clown tang (love those guys!)
<…This tang is one of the hardest to keep, not to mention one of the largest and meanest surgeons out there. This specimen alone needs a 180 gallon tank (minimum) and that’s with no other tangs in the tank.>
and a starfish from the LFS. Everyone was doing well but 4 days after, my blue tang (who has HLLE but have had him for 3+ years and never had any other issues) had white and black ich.
<Honestly……I’m not surprised at all.>
I didn't have a quarantine tank prepped and didn't know to dip (would have dipped and then quarantined him in retrospect, correct? what treatment?)
<In retrospect most of these animals should not have been in your care to begin with, Quarantine should occur before addition to the display. Please read here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php .>
but I did add MelaFix to the water.
<Generally speaking; never treat the display tank.>
Next day the Lopez and the clown tang had white ich
, the following day everyone was doing better and the clown tang had no visible ich at all.
<Oh no it was there, simply in a different lifecycle, read here:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php .>
This morning, all tangs were dead (6! Argh!) but my perc. clown and damsel are fine and the corals, anemone and starfish all seem to be fine.
<Your clowns and damsels are still afflicted with Cryptocaryon.>
So my question is...what now?
<Time to move the remaining fish to quarantine, see the above articles for more detail.>
It's a new tank and everything appeared to be fine, could it be the clown tang from the LFS introduced the ich/parasite?
<Or any one of the other unquarantined animals in there as well.>
Is it likely just the ich or something else I should look into? is there anything I can do to treat the tank or do I have to empty/start again?
<LOTS of LARGE water changes and a protein skimmer to start with.  Time to slow down, gain some patience and begin reading and researching proper methods and responsible aquarium keeping. Start here www.wetwebmedia.com .>
concerned obviously for the remaining fish and want to neutralize the problem. I was shocked about the yellow tangs who'd never had any visible ich whatsoever so I'm uncertain as to that being the cause.
<In such a small tank there was likely a domino affect, first off if one fish had crypt/ich they all did, its as simple as that. Since this tank was overstocked and new I’m sure the nutrients were/are quite high, one fish dies, then the ammonia spikes and causes another to die and so on.>
Please advise, and thanks (so sad to lose those guys after the 3+ years when they seemed so happy initially in the new tank!)
<See the above and research and read vigorously…..I need some aspirin…..Adam J.>

Re: Kole Tang EMERGENCY  12/24/05
I e-mailed yesterday about a Kole tang that has an ich infestation.
James instructed to catch him and treat him with copper.  Unable to catch him last night, I added a cleaner shrimp and a dose of Marine Max - as suggested by my LFS based on his experience with the product.  
Dilemma of the night - he LOOKS better - better color, looks like he may have eaten, fewer and smaller ich spots,<Fewer ich spots doesn't mean the parasite is waning.  Once they enlarge they burst into many more individual cells that will be looking for a host very soon.> etc.  But, he is resting
upright on the sand against a rock and breathing pretty hard. <Doesn't sound very good to me.>
Will a possible chase tonight be his doom before the ich?  The better
color is a big mixed message! <Yes it is.  As I said earlier, if you don't catch and treat he is going to die anyway, so the choice is yours.  Rarely will non-copper based medications cure a fish infested with ich.>  Still try to catch him and treat with copper?  I just don't know where he stands at this point.  Please advise ASAP - I know - it's two days before Christmas - so I really appreciate
your help that much more. <I've been advising but apparently you don't want the hassle of removing him which is going to require removal of most rock so the stress from the catch is minimal. Do quarantine future purchases for at least 30 days. James (Salty Dog)>

Copper As Treatment for Marine Ich. Not Without Research - 12/15/2005
Dear crew,
<Hi there Carlos.>
I've read your articles re Marine Ich.
I understand that the recommendation is to isolate the fishes and treat them with Copper Sulfate while letting the main tank go fallow. I would like to know if I could just put the Copper in the main tank because I don't have the facilities to house all my fishes in a separate tank.
<Was not covered!?>
Besides, it would be extremely difficult to catch the fishes without stripping the tank which I don't plan to do.
<Then you should not treat the main tank. Have you read on other treatments (hyposalinity, increased temp.)?>
I have a 75 gallon fish only with live rocks running.
<Not if you put in Copper.>
Will the copper kill the beneficial bacteria in my filter?
Lastly, how long should the copper treatment last?
<Not covered either!?>
It is now afflicting my Powder Brown Tang and Brown Tang.
Thanks a lot and more power to you!
<Carlos, there's just not enough time or space for me to relay all you need to know. All of this has been specifically covered and is waiting in our disease FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
Scroll down to the 3rd section Disease Treatments. Perhaps you've looked in the wrong place before. - Josh>

Ick and Formol  12/15/05
Dear Sirs
Can I use Formol
<A 40% solution of formaldehyde>
to treat ick in a Yellow Tang?
<Not safely>
The dosage, 20 drops for eight litres is ok? This dosage is recommended for Discus and during one hour with good aeration. An alternative will be 3 drops for ten litres during 24 hours.
Thanks in advance
Best regards
<Do be careful if you proceed... be in constant attendance, ready to remove the fish from this bath. Do also read re formalin/formaldehyde use and other means to treat Cryptocaryon posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

I'm done with ICH!  12/13/05
Bob & Crew,
I sent the below message on November 30th and have yet to hear from you.
<Sorry re... have been away, and the Crew has been deluged>
I can imagine how busy you guys are (your own fault- you know too much!), but I just want to make sure it didn't get lost or some other computer glitch.  I have been reading your site like crazy and still am at a loss for the below dilemmas.  Thanks & Happy Holidays!
Thank you for your site, it is the only addiction that my wife doesn't seem to mind!
I have a 135 g reef tank with a 75 g sump.  It was set up in January '05 and things had been going very well.  I bought an Achilles tang about 2 months ago and following the advice on your site, I quarantined him for over a month.  During the quarantine period, he developed a case of ich, which was quickly cured by the use of Coppersafe.  After resetting the QT clock and waiting 4 weeks, he was introduced into the main tank.  Just recently he developed another case of ich, so I am assuming his tank mates were carrying the parasite.
<Very likely>
My existing fish were not QT'd, but showed no sign of infection for 6 months.  I have had it with ich!  I tore down my entire tank (12 hours I'll never get back) and removed every fish.  My fish included the Achilles, 2 convict blennies (eel gobies?),
<Among other names... Pholodichthyids nonetheless>
1 long fin fairy wrasse, 1 blue spotted watchman goby, and a mandarin.  Every fish except for the mandarin
went into my 35 g QT tank that has been up and running for over a month,
<Where did this last fish "go?">
plus I threw in some sponges that were in the sump for just such an occurrence.  The achilles was in bad shape, so I had to add Coppersafe immediately.  The mandarin is set up in a 2.5 g tank with some live rock that is crawling with pods and Mysid shrimp.
<Ah, good>
  The water in the 2.5 g was from my main tank.  I know the mandarin will crush the contents of the tank in short order, but it is better than nothing in my opinion.  I will be performing regular water changes in both tanks.
Question: I have read that it is a good idea to use your display tank water to perform daily water changes on the QT.
<If this is "clean" of parasites...>
  If I am assuming that the display has ich (in the substrate, rocks, etc) I think this would be a bad idea in my particular situation.  Would that be correct?
  If so, how long should the tank run fallow before I can confidently use the display tank water in the
<A month or two...>
I would appreciate you err on the side of caution! :)
<Two then>
Everything says, 'at least a month' but I never want to encounter ich again.  Nothing in the future will enter my tank without a proper QT... including corals, inverts, and LR.
Question: How long can the mandarin go without live food?
<If it takes other...>
Should I buy some live brine shrimp to hold him over?
<Worth trying>
Also, there is no copper in the 2.5 g...  does there need to be in order to ensure that the mandarin is not a
<Mmm, the Callionymidae are remarkable for not reservoir hosting this and other external parasites...>
Question: I have read that some fish, in particular Tangs, are sensitive to copper.  The achilles is looking much better after 2 days in the coppered up water.  How long should the treatment last? (1 capful of Coppersafe per 4 gallons of water)
<Two weeks>
Last Question:  Both my tank and sump are buzzing with a seemingly infinite number of Mysid shrimp.  Is it possible to have too many Mysid shrimp?
<Not IMO/E>
Thank you once again for your time, it is very much appreciated.
PS- just a suggestion, but wouldn't it be even more helpful if the search string results directed you to the title of the question where the key word is located, rather than just the FAQ #, for example.
<Wish this were so... the actual search tool is not ours, of our making... is Google itself. I encourage folks to search and use the cached version with (Boolean composed) terms, thus presenting highlighted words... easier to further sort through. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
BJ Wincott

Ich  12/8/05
Greeting from New York and happy Holidays to the whole crew. 
<And to you from Michigan>
I have a 30 Gallon, FOWLR, skimmer, carbon filter, 2 Inches of sand. Tank has been up and running for 9 months after being cycled. I had an ich epidemic 2 months into it, killing all fish. 8 weeks later and a cycled quarantine tank later (used sponges from 30 g), I started again. I now have 2 false perculas, 1 Royal Gramma, 1 small diamond goby, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 blue leg hermits, 5 Margarita snails, 6 Nassarius snails and 5 Trochus snails and one red brittle star.
I do a 5 gallon water change weekly and check levels every other day. 
Three questions:
1) My quarantine tank is 10 gallons. I quarantine each fish for about 2 weeks,
<Not nearly long enough. See here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm
but notice that the water needs to be changed almost every 3 days (nitrite levels start showing). Is this normal? or do I need better filtration. 
<Normal with your set up.> 
I have a sponge and carbon filter and a powerhead on this tank.
2) I want to get one more fish, but not sure if I can. 
<You are real close to the limit of the tank. If I was to add another fish, it would be a small goby or something on that order. No angelfish as you mention below. You could probably get away with adding the lawnmower blenny. Having a sump does improve the carrying capacity but you don't mention of one being used.> 
I was thinking either a small angelfish (between a Coral Beauty or Flame angel) or an algae eating blenny, since I now have a lot of hair algae (between Lawnmower or Horned).
3) I tend to clean the inside the tank to clean the algae build up on the tank (its acrylic) about twice a week. Should I refrain from doing this? My wife thinks I stick my arm way too much inside the tank :) 
<I really don't see a problem in doing that. I know wives stick their arms in wallets too many times.> 
My suggestion to you for your quarantine tank is to keep a few snails and crabs in there to keep the denitrifying bacteria active. You shouldn't see much of a raise in the nitrite when you quarantine a fish providing it is just one fish being in QT.>
Thanks for your advice, Germán E. Ospina 
<You're welcome and Happy Holidays. James (Salty Dog)>

Clownfish, Possible Ick? 11-26-05
I have had my 90 gallon saltwater fish tank with a 30 gallon refugium for a year now. Water quality and everything else is perfect. In the tank are 90 pounds of live rock, a snowflake eel -12inches, clown trigger-6inches, Huma Huma trigger-5inches, dragon wrasse-4 inches, 2 maroon clowns about 3 inches, bamboo shark- 5 inches, and a domino about 3 inches. In the future I am planning on upgrading to a larger tank. 
All have been perfectly healthy for a long time until we recently noticed two decent sized white spots on the best fish in our tank, the clown trigger. One spot is on upper tail fin, and the other on the fishes side. The fish seems to be acting fine not scratching or rubbing and is eating well, but these spots are very recent. Normally after he eats his color fades, this time we noticed that he turned very dark, black were he is normally white. That is the only change we have seen in his behavior and that was only one instance. I read you article on treating ick, so the question here is what to do with all the livestock? 
I have a 30 gallon quarantine tank set up but it is impossible to fit all my livestock in it. Is there a way to treat in my display tank? Also will it affect my bamboo shark or live rock? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
<Wait.  Wait until the outbreak gets to be too much for your fish before doing anything drastic. In all honesty many fish are ich carriers and they will sometimes show ich when stressed, but it will go away or they will deal with it on their own. So, my advice is wait. Travis>
<<Uhh, this would NOT have been my approach, here....  Something, some new/recent introduction, brought the parasite.  An aquarium absolutely CAN be "ich-free".  At this point, quarantining/treating all fish except the shark and eel would be my tactic - and investing in a MUCH larger tank before long....  -Sabrina>>

Sick fish... Crypt  11/16/05
Good Morning,
First I want to thank you for all of your advice up to this point. It has been great!  I knew sooner or later it would happen...............and I guess the only bright side of this event is that I only have (had) 2 fish in the tank. 1 day ago I noticed my Flame Angel acting strange...... staying near the top of the tank, not gazing
like it use to. This am
I found him at the bottom of the tank. He had the dusting of white spots, fins were frayed. I have since move the other fish, (clown) to the QT tank. I'm planning on treating with copper and slowly lowering the salinity from 1.026 down to about 1.015. I'm I on the right track?
<You're on one, but not the one I'd take>
The main tank values look like this(55 gallons) been up since May. LR with CBS, 1 BTA, Frogspawn, Xenia
salinity 1.026
ammonia .25
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
temp 79-82
I just changed out 4 gallons a day ago and have been doing that every week.  Does ick move this fast?
<Can, yes>
Could it possible marine velvet?
<Yes... could even be both>
I thought I would have a little more time to catch it?
<Mmm, no>
My understanding is I don't have to treat the main........but continue doing water changes etc...and wait at least a month before introducing any fish.
What about the QT tank? Once (hopefully) my clown looks clean, how do I go about cleaning that tank and how long should I wait until a fish can be QT in that?
Thank you once again!
<Lay some time aside and read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm.  Esp. the sections on Cryptocaryon... and soon. Bob Fenner> 

Sick fish... Crypt... Ick problem and new arrivals  11/16/05
I emailed you earlier this morning about a case of ick (I think) in my tank.  Since that time I have moved the clown (only 2 fish in the tank, the Flame Angel died) to the QT tank and have applied a treatment of rid-ick, lowered the salinity from 1.026 to 1.022
<I would use other medication... would not drop the spg this much/fast>
and raising the temp gradually to 84-85. I ordered some scarlet red hermits and margarita snails last week online. They should arrive in a day or two. What should I do with them??
Can I put them in my main tank? I have always QT everything in the past but now my QT tank is not available.
Any suggestions?
<Sorry to state, in my advanced decrepit mental condition, I can't recall folks circumstances twixt emails... I would either place these animals in a non-treated system, give them away, ask someone to hold them for me, or contact the shipper and delay... Bob Fenner> 

Re: Sick fish... Crypt ... ick problem and new arrivals, We Can Only do so Much via Email Messaging  11/16/05
Ok, you wouldn't not use Rid-Ick....... sooo..... is it a secret or can you tell me which product/products you would suggest using?
<Is posted...>
I'm trying to do the best I can here. I'm not looking for a pat on the back, just some advice.  Sorry to be wasting your time.
<Only I can do this. Please... learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM. There is much needed "ancillary", related input... that cannot be easily related going back/forth... BobF> 

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!???? Clownfish disease  11/9/05
I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS!!!!!!  My BRAND SPANKIN NEW Clowns have once again, stupid white specs on their dorsal fins (along clear part). 
I don't get why this keeps happening. I am treating the entire tank with Kordon's Ick Attack because I have heard many success stories with it. 
<<Cannot find what is in this stuff, but they sell as a "cure-all", am incredulous with all such products whose  manufacturers make such claims.  MH>>
Plus, the Clowns are still active and eating and I don't want to further stress them with catching, copper etc....
Any input is greatly appreciated
<Mmm, these spots could be "nothing"... if other fishes appear unaffected, infested, I wouldn't panic, treat with anything. Bob Fenner> 

Re: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!????  11/9/05
Thanks Bob!
So do you think that I should just do a water change and put my carbon back in? Leave it alone.
<Yes. This is what I would do>
The Royal Gramma appears to be fine, but then again I can't always get a good look at it.  My last clowns got the same issue and they are dead. The Ich attack says it will not affect animals unaffected and that it can clear, fungus, flagellates (sp), and other infections as well. 
<Mmm, I don't know how such a thing is possible...>
I just don't want to have to deal with another two clown deaths here. That would mean 6 clowns. Yea, its sick.
Thanks for any help.
<Are these clownfish tank-bred? You might want to look around for another source. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!????  11/9/05
Yes sir. Tank bred. I have bought each pair at a different, reputable dealer. Obviously its something I am doing wrong.
<Mmm, not necessarily Jon. Many difficulties "show up later" that are of little cause of purchasers... for instance "chilled" livestock... that has been subjected to cold may look fine for a several days to weeks, but can be doomed no matter what you do.>
Thanks for your help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Re: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!!!!!!????  11/9/05
I suppose. By the way, I just picked up your book. Great read. Best one I have read yet!  -Jon
<Glad you are enjoying, gaining by it. BobF> 

Big Oops! Reading time!  11/9/05
Ok, Its Ich. My Gramma has it now, so what course of action do you think I should take. I just put carbon back in the filter and did a water change. This just keeps happening so I really don't know what to do. I only have a 10 gallon tank which could be used as a QT and I don't know how suitable that it. I would have to get a sponge filter too.
<... Uhhhhh>
This is getting so stressful. I cannot believe that I did not QT the Gramma. AHHHHH Never again will I do that. What if I treat all the fish with Clout. I'm just terrified to use copper.
<<I'd be more inclined to use copper rather than Clout, that is strong stuff.  How about hyposalinity here?  Marina>>
<Take a few deep breaths... a few more...>
Thanks so much for your help in my mistakes. I am a stubborn SW novice.
<Well... be an informed stubborn SW novice. Read on WWM re ich/Cryptocaryon, its treatment... Bob Fenner> 

What Do You Recommend?  11/9/05
Would you recommend the Medication, Clout??
<I recommend reading> 

Hello!  Read, Read, Read, Because It's all Here!  11/9/05
Earlier I inquired about using Clout to treat Ich because I really prefer not to use copper.  The Ingredients in Clout are Phenylbenzylindene, dimethyl, phosphonate, methylnitro and inert ingredients as non-toxic binders.
What do you think???
Now, I know this is a stupid question but I should not just remove my crabs and starfish and treat the whole tank because It will kill my Live rock and Sand, Right? Or pose other problems in the long run?

ICH INFO!  Who Are YOU?  11/8/05
<<Don't yell at us.  MH>>
Thanks in advance or the help I will be getting! Anyways I tried to find as much literature I can about how to differentiate between Ick, Oodinium and secondary bacterial infection. All info I could get was the ick has spots
something like a talcum powder but as per my knowledge this power is visible to naked eye only after they have stated on the body and grown in size. How does one identify them in the earlier stage?
<Scratching....fast gill movement> 
I believed that the fish scratching against something means they have the ick on them but that's the same symptom they show when they have Oodinium as well as secondary bacterial infection. So how does one identify what the fish is suffering from?
<I provided you with some links... all the info you need can be found through those links and the WWM website!> 
<<Who "I"?  Where are the links.. but more importantly, who are you?>>
Could one fish be a carrier without showing any symptoms and eating fine? (I don't mean a newly introduced but someone who has always been in there)
<Yes...I have had fish that have had ich eat just like normal> 
Pictorial explanation would be really really appreciated. Please help me on this because I don't want to end up treating my fish with something they don't have. I personally don't really like the combination of fish and chemicals. And Bob trust me u need to be worshipped! Thanks a million!
<Bob says thanks :)> 
<Here are some helpful links http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm 
<<That's one link, here's two, but who are you??  Whoever you are, you should know enough to capitalize your "I"s and first names.  MH>>
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm >

Whacking Ich Once And For All! 11/4/05
<Hi there! Scott F. with you today!>
I just started my first saltwater tank 5 months ago, after 1 year of research and preparation. My tank is doing very well, it is a 90 gallon reef with:
Over 100 lbs of LR
5" DSB
2 Yellowtailed Damsels
2 Percula Clownfish
1 Yellow Tang
1 Royal Dottyback
1 Regal Tang
2 LPS hard corals (Frogspawn and Bubble)
Pulsing and Waving Hand Xenia
Different kinds of polyps and mushrooms
30+ Trochus Snails
2 Cleaner Shrimp
After purchasing my Regal Tang, I placed him in my QT tank for a month, then placed him in my main tank, but I still got ich.
<Bummer, but it does happen with these touchy fish.>
For about 2 months now he has ich, but is very healthy. He will have about 5-10 spots a day, some days none at all. Also, my Yellow Tang will have 1 on its tail, and some days it won't. My other fish show no signs of ick or weakness.
<Again, a rather common occurrence, in my experience.>
I was wondering if I can just take out my 2 Tangs and treat them if the other fish show no signs. 
<You could, but the stress of removing these guys may be problematic for the other fishes. If you are going to get some of the fish out to attack ich, you might as well deal with the headaches and get 'em all!>
It would be hard to catch the Damsels and Dottyback unless I rip apart the tank. I was planning to keep the Tangs separate for about 2-3 months to treat, to "fallow" the main tank and to see if the other fish developed ich. Do you think this would be ok, or should I rip apart the tank?
<Well, the definition that I embrace for "fallow" means NO fish at all in the display. Not fun, a real pain, but a legitimate (and I think, the only), effective way to attack this parasitic disease in the display. Once ich is in your tank, it's IN your tank, and the other fishes may be susceptible. Granted, Tangs do have a propensity to contract this disease when seemingly every other fish is healthy, and sometimes they even fight it off, only to get it again, with the other fishes rarely, if ever showing signs of the illness. 
    Nonetheless, my opinion is that if you are going to the trouble to get the Tangs out, you might as well make a stand, endure the pain, and get EVERYONE out and attack the problem once and for all. The truly "fallow" tank will deprive the causative protozoa the opportunity to find hosts (your fishes) to complete their life cycle, making this a highly successful way of managing the disease. Granted, no treatment is 100% certain to be effective, but this method has worked well for us, and many hobbyists, for decades.> 
Also I read that tangs are very sensitive to copper, so I'm planning to use a non-copper medication like Kick-Ick in my QT, do you know of any other non-copper medication or should I use copper?
<I would not use Kick Ich, myself. However, you could use formalin-based medications. Copper, although potentially rough on Tangs, can be used successfully, and without collateral damage to the Tangs, if the manufacturer's protocol is followed precisely (and copper levels monitored rigorously. 
It's your call. 
Either way, you are taking the correct approach by removing the fish for treatment outside the display. Best of luck to you! For more on ich treatment, do read our friend Steven Pro's writings on the topic hear and in "Reefkeeping", as well as my own ramblings on the "two front" approach to attacking ich here on WWM. Good luck in your fight! Regards, Scott F.>

Attacking Ich Without Collateral Damage! 11/3/05
Hi guys,
<Scott F. your guy tonight!>
I just noticed I have an ich breakout in my tank and I need your opinion. The tank is a 75 gal FOWLR and contains a Yellow Tang, Flame Angel, Maroon Clown, Lyretail Anthias and Green Chromis. For now only the Tang and Angel are showing signs of ich.
My question is: Considering the potential sensitivity to copper of Angels and Tangs, which approach do you recommend? The copper treatment in a QT, leaving the tank fallow or hyposalinity (dropping the MT spg to 1.010 for 4 weeks). The problem with the copper treatment is the sensitivity and also the fact that I only have a 10 gal QT which may be small for these 5 fish and it may be extremely difficult to keep ammonia/nitrites level
low/at zero. What do you think? You're help is very much appreciated. Thank you.
<Well, Steve- you sort of answered your own question. Yes, copper sensitivity is an issue for Tangs and Angels. I have personally employed copper sulphate as a treatment with these fishes without incident, but not everyone agrees that this is a good idea. Tangs, in particular, have digestive fauna that are damaged by continuous exposure to copper. I am not a big fan of hyposalinity, having experienced very mixed results with this technique in the past. I am a firm believer in the "two front approach" to fighting ich: Removing all of the fishes to a separate tank, or tanks, for treatment with copper sulphate or formalin, and letting the main tank go "fallow", without fishes, for about a month. 
You could still try hyposalinity in the tank(s) where your fishes are being kept. If you do not have a large enough tank to accommodate all of your fishes, consider inexpensive "Rubbermaid" containers, or other plastic containers of various sizes. They serve as excellent emergency "hospitals" for fish. Do read up on the WWM site for many possible "alternative" ich treatment methodologies. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.> 

Cryptocaryon irritans
I have a recently cycled, now stable 46-gal FOWLR tank. Along with a dozen or so mix of snails and hermit crabs I have a Perc Clown and a Hippo Tang. 
<This specimen will outgrow the tank eventually.> 
The Tang has Ich (I did not properly QT it first - I've learned). 
<Ok no lecture for you tonight.>
The Clown looks perfectly fine. 
<Chances are it is still infected.> 
Can I QT the Hippo only or must I remove both fishes from the display tank? 
<Yes all fish must be removed.> 
That is, might the Theronts die off with only the single Clown available?
<No any fish food…..that is any fish will be food for Cryptocaryon, read here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php.>
<<Do also look up Terry Bartelme's, and Steven Pro's works/articles - both give excellent, pertinent information not only on life cycle, but on control and treatment. MH>>
<You are Welcome, Adam J.>

A Tricky "Ich"y Situation
Hi Crew.
<Hello Steven, you've got Justin with you tonight.>
Let me say that my problems are a function of actions from Pre-WetWebMedia knowledge.
<Mmm. Well you have found us now, and seem to know what to do for the future so that's good.>
I started a very expensive (around $10,000.00) investment in a nice 215 gallon marine aquarium with all of the gadgets, 40 watt gamma UV sterilizer, Tonga Live rock (250 lbs.), 50 gallon wet/dry with built on refugium with crushed Tonga live rock/Caulerpa, power heads, Iwaki pumps, PC's with moonlights, DSB with live sand, Turboflotor 1000 skimmer (really providing a good amount of daily skimmate), etc..
<Tis a very nice setup. I wish I had the money to spend on such a system... but enough fantasizing, onto the issue.>
You ask what is my problem?
<Hee Hee, well generally people don't write to us to complain about the food.>
Well I cycled the tank and began adding expensive fish.. large 30" Zebra Moray, 4" Orange Shoulder Tang, 2.5" Chevron Tang, 5.5" Fiji Bicolor Rabbitfish, and 5" Longnose Butterfly. No QT process, dips or anything other than a good long acclimation process that includes a drip acclimation after equalizing the temperature.
<Ok, stop here, I like the drip acclimation you've done a gold star for effort, however, no q/t? on such expensive fish..... ouch!> 
The fish were bought from The Marine Center and Marine Depot live, both of which I researched and have good reputations.
<Good that you researched, but no store can guarantee parasite free fish. And no tank is parasite free either, just in a balanced stasis that keeps everyone happy....>
<<There is good empirical data that shows tanks can indeed be parasite-free.  Takes diligence and care to achieve.  MH>>
Back to my problem. I think I have ICH! I have a few tiny white spots on my Chevron and what may be a few spots on the tail fin of my Butterfly.
<Mmmhmm, wouldn't surprise me to have stress ich with these fish and no q/t. the stress of shipping alone is enough to trigger a virulent period of ich multiplication.>
Also I have tiny looking white granules or white eggs on a few of my rocks and sides of my tank (could this be Ich too)?
<No, ich is invisible to the naked eye, too small to see. you are likely seeing various copepods or forms of coralline algae. What you see on your fish are the scabs from the ich being there, where they irritated the mucus membrane.>
So far everyone is eating well (except Butterfly who hasn't eaten since I put him in 4 days ago)
<Butterflies generally do the worst in shipping and are the first fish to go on a hunger strike, also being from an online store who knows what they fed it or even if they got it to eat, since the fish come in one day and generally are sold before the week is out. Try clams or oysters on the half shell from your local seafood supermarket.> 
and very active. No labored breathing or scratching yet. For the sake of this email let's assume I have ich and cannot employ a QT tank.
<Mmmm this is doubly bad. must have some way to separate your inhabitants from your corals LR etc as no viable treatment for ich is safe around these things.>
Is there anything that is both safe and effective for treating ich in my main tank that will not kill my live rock (250 lbs.)? 
<Unfortunately no.> 
I have heard of Rid Ich and garlic as treatments but do not know if these are a waste of time. 
<They are. Rid ich generally only seems to rid you of money better spent on another product.> 
Also is scraping or scratching almost always a symptom or sign? 
<No some fish do scrape or scratch around the rockwork and bottom but a constant scratching or scraping is not good as a rule of thumb. Look into cleaner shrimp or cleaner gobies like the neon cleaner goby. (NOT the Cleaner Wrasse, this fish doesn't survive in captivity without constant fish parasites etc to remove, without them they die off.).
The shrimp and the goby should help keep things under control but unless it is a true cleaner shrimp the one with a red band down its back and a white line down the middle of the red band, its not guaranteed to clean. coral banded shrimp are an example of one who may clean but usually doesn't.>
One last question: my DSB of fine live Aragonite sand releases bubbles when the eel or hermit crabs stir it up. Is this releasing methane from decaying matter? 
<Yes, is possible, however methane usually is formed deeper in the DSB where the anaerobic bacteria (oxygen free) live as they produce it and a few other gasses as byproducts of breaking tank wastes down. It is fine as long as you do not get a very large trapped bubble , and the tank has a lot of surface water movement to replenish o2 and release co2 and nitrogen from the water.>
I hope you can give me some sound advice as I have become quite the fanatic with this hobby, spending several hours per day and I am really fond of my fish and would hate to have a total wipe out. Your help and advice is greatly appreciated.
<Please look into a hospital/Quarantine tank to add to your investment, and q/t all fish for 4 weeks before adding them to your system. One bad move and as you have seen a very expensive waste of fish can happen. Hope it gets resolved.>
<Justin (Jager)> 

Oh Dear, Now ICH?!?!?!  Defiantly Dipping with Methylene Blue - 10/17/05
Hey Bob, Travis, Steve, and everyone else!
<<Hello, Travis here.>>
Once again let me express how grateful I am for your help. It means a lot.  I seem to be a little unlucky so far in the Marine Tank experience.  My clown who has internal parasites has apparently now developed Ich.
<<You may need to stop internal parasite medication and do a large water change to attack the ich. Unfortunately your clown is not eating which makes this a harder situation. That will have to be a call you make on your own.>>
Great. Now, the real trouble, is that his mate back in the tank, has  Ich too!
<<Not good.>>
So, now,,, I can see the spots on his dorsal fin and around  his head. How far along am I now with Ich. Will my Chromis get it?
<<Ich is a nasty critter, but fish can fight it off if they are in good health. Many fish have ich, but they exist in a delicate balance with the parasite. Ich usually rears its head when something is stressing the fish.>>
I  have about 10 pounds of rock, is that contaminated now?
<<The short answer is no. Ich makes cysts and the cyst will be in your rock, but running the tank fallow will allow them to hatch and die.>>
I read  through your entire ICH section on WWM but cant seem to target it  exactly to this situation. I have a 29gal tank. My Chromis does not  show any signs of Ich but I think he might get it. I have inverts in  the tank so how do I make sure that the tank is rid of the parasite,  will letting it run fallow work?
<<To clear your display tank, you will need to let it run fallow for 6-8 weeks. Use that time to think about why QTing is extremely important.>>
What do I do with the infected  fish?
<<Infected (All) fish should be treated with a chelated copper solution. Cupramine would be my suggestion. I would also suggest raising the temp in the QT a few degrees (83-84 degrees, but add an airstone as this and the copper will remove oxygen) and lowering the salinity slowly(1.015). Do not go to true hyposalinity unless you have treated fish, in this manner, before as mixing hyposalinity and copper is a very delicate situation.>>
I take it I need to perform formalin dips now but I defiantly  will be dipping with Meth Blue from now on along with quarantine.
<<Use Cupramine for ich and formalin for brook. Dip when appropriate.>>
I  made the stupid mistake of thinking that because my fish was tank  raised he would be ok.
<<You have to remember what systems they were in between the breeder and your home display. Wholesale and fish store systems all house wild and captive bred fish. This means every fish is exposed to what the wild ones bring with them.>>
I hate being a novice.
<<We all start somewhere and many of us wish we could start over...>>
Any help is always appreciated.
Thanks! -Jon

Re: Oh Dear, Now ICH?!?!?! - 10/17/05 Part 2
Thanks Travis for that very thorough explanation/procedure!
<<Always glad to help.>>
This may be good news.
<<Let's hope so.>>
Obviously I have stressed these fish out to the point in which they  were vulnerable to the parasite. Probably from me putting my hands  in the tank so much. Anyhow. This morning, my female clown had pretty  visible spots on her head and fins. Left her alone because I had to  go to school. However when I came home, she was swimming around with  her friend and I could not see any of the spots visible anymore.  Maybe a tiny bit on the fin where it had begun, but to the point  where it is very faint, even at angles.
<<Ich will be less visible during the day and cyst are most visible at night or early morning.>>
So at this point, I don't want  to further stress or re-stress the fish and possibly allow the  parasite to attack again by going after the her with the net and  putting her in QT, nor do I want to scare the other fish and make  them vulnerable by doing this. (green net in tank is always cause for  alarm.)
<<Throw that green net in the trash. Try to fine a white small pore net or better yet catch your fish in a specimen container. Those green nets are very sharp and can really damage fish, especially their eyes (Corneal abrasions=Popeye).>>
So should I just leave my tank alone? See what happens. Isn't Ich always present in water and fish just contract it when they are  weak?
<<I would leave them for a few days. Ich is in most systems, but if you run the tank fallow for 8 weeks you should be able to clear the tank.>>
Basically I am asking will my Chromis get it just from being in  the water or only if he gets stressed out?
<<He can get it by being in the same water. Stress just increases the likelihood and severity of infection.>>
And my overall question  is, if the fish resume normal health and behavior, what's the  situation with the cysts on the rock and the sand, leave it? Will it  die if my fish are strong? And will my tank re- stabilize from the  parasite without me having to tear down and remove decor, rocks etc...
<<To truly rid the tank you would need to sterilize everything. The second best and most realistic choice is to run the tank fallow and allow the parasites to die off. The third option is to let the fish reach a balance with the parasite, but remember that any new fish added or decrease in immunity of your current fish will most likely turn into an ich outbreak.>>
Perhaps this may turn out ok? 
<<Might need to help it along, but you will be fine.>>
Thanks again for your guidance, Jonathan

Tang with Ick Question 10/11/05 
<<Stan, some of my/other input. Cheers, BobF>>
Hello Crew: 
<Hi Stan, James here today>
I currently have a purple tang and a desjardini tang in my QT (20gal)
<<RMF would NOT mix two tang species in QT>>
which I plan on adding to my 150 gal reef system once they pass QT. They've been there for about a week and are both eating like little pigs and seem to be doing fine. I've been feeding them a variety of foods which includes Spectrum Thera-A Anti-Parasitic Formula, Julian Sprung's Seaveggies, Ocean Nutrition Marine Pellets Formula 2, Kent Marine Platinum Reef Herbivore Fish Food which are sometimes soaked in Vita Chem. 
However, in the last couple of days, I've noticed some white spots on my purple tangs body and fins. Can't really see if the Desjardini has these same spots or not because the spots are not as contrasting as on the purple tang. I assume it's ick, or the beginning of it. So I looked here and read some articles that hyposalinity and/or a cleaner shrimp might do the trick without medications. So I added a shrimp a few days ago and then this weekend started researching how to do the hyposalinity treatment. 
<<Not with the shrimp present. RMF>>
Instead of finding out how, I found more articles claiming that hyposalinity was a waste of time and wouldn't work long term. So I guess my question is, how would one go about treating ick long term in QT? Isn't that what a QT tank is for?
<<Not really what "quarantine is for"... a period to review, observe health, behavior, possibly treat there/then... but also for "rest". RMF>>
I know everyone has different opinions, but what do most people do? Medicate? If so with what? Any help would be very much appreciated. 
<Stan, if it were me, rather then stress the fish out with hyposalinity treatment, I would treat with copper. A copper test kit is a must along with daily testing to insure an effective and safe level is kept. Recommended dose to maintain is 0.015-0.020ppm.
<<Dude! Of what? Free copper/cupric ion... PLEASE understand that there is a difference in reading/s with chelated copper and their corresponding kits. RMF>>
I would treat for a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degree temperature. The ick cyst casings are unaffected by the copper so we have to wait till all hatch out where at this stage they can be effectively killed by the copper. The ich that is embedded in the skin of the fish also is pretty much unaffected by the copper. Only in the swimming stage, after hatching and when they have to find a host, is when they are most vulnerable to copper. James (Salty Dog)>

Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/11/05
Thanks James (Salty Dog):
OK. So a treatment with copper it is. Any recommendations as to what copper brand / type to use? Isn't there chelated or non chelated ? 
<Yes, there are chelated/non chelated types. If it were me I'd go with Aquarium Systems Sea Cure Copper treatment along with their FasTest Copper Test Kit. Fortunately for me I've never had to treat a tank in 10+ years, but if the problem arose, the above would be my choice.>
<<... three weeks... with an unchelated copper... on tangs? I would NOT do this... I'd go with two weeks, and a chelated make/model with accompanying at least daily tests. RMF>>
And I assume that I need to move the cleaner shrimp to my main tank since he won't make it thru the copper treatments right ? 
<Stan, all inverts must be removed. Google our WWM site on copper treatment for more info. James (Salty Dog)> 

Re: Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/13/05
Thanks for the quick replies James (Salty Dog), very much appreciated. 
<You're welcome>
But I'm a bit confused here and was hoping that you could maybe point me in the right direction. 
Just as a reminder, I've left the replies back and forth as a memory refresher. After talking on Monday, I went out to my local pet stores looking for copper but could not find any, believe it or not they were all out. So I ordered it mail order that night.
Well here's the confusing thing. On Tuesday, when I checked in on them and watched them for awhile to see how they were doing, etc. I noticed that my Desjardini tang was laying on its side and the cleaner shrimp was going to town on him. After taking a closer look, I saw that the purple tang no longer had white spots on him either (this is while the lights were on). Am I going nuts ? 
<<James... respond to the question/s! Not going nuts... the "spots" are reactions... do cycle on/off... RMF>>
Unfortunately, I noticed that my Desjardini tang had a two spots missing from the top/rear of his fin. I'm guessing Mr. purple is the reason. However, when I checked on them this morning (lights still off) the purple tang looks like it has
some type of spots on it (not white), and its body was a bit discolored. The Desjardini on the other hand, seems like the spots that were missing on its fins are filling in already.
So here is my dilemma. Do I treat the tangs with copper ? 
<Stan, this treatment must last at least 21 days to be effective and are you using a test kit to insure safe and effective doses?> 
Why do I see spots one day and not the next? Will treating them, if they don't have anything be a bad idea or more harmful then good ? 
<You have gazillions of cysts laying on the bottom waiting to hatch and find a buddy. Continued treatment is necessary to kill all the hatchings.> 
And do I keep pushing my luck in trying to keep two tangs in the same tank ? I'm sure the 20gal isn't ideal but I'm hoping that the extra space in the 150 will allow them to get along. 
<The 150 should be fine, you have to accept the fact there will be occasional aggression. Its recommended that no two alike tangs be kept together.> 
I know it's pushing it. Could go either way. They could get along, with the occasional "I'm boss" reminders, or they may destroy one another.
<<This is something you NEVER want to see.  If the two tangs are also close in size, you are probably pushing it too far with their compatibility, this is not what could be considered "conscientious". MH>>
Should I separate them in the QT tank ? Should I get rid of one of them and just go with one ? 
<If the aggression gets up to the next level, then I'd probably trade one in. James (Salty Dog)>
I know there's a lot of questions here, many of which are hard to answer, with no definite yes or no. But I'd really appreciate any input that you guys might have.
Thanks in advance 
<You're welcome. Do compatibility research in the future if you are considering buying two alike fish.> 

First bout with ICK 10/8/05
Hey guys...it's 3:10 am in Birmingham Alabama and I'm not so patiently staring at 3 fish (2 Tangs and a Lion) in a QT. I have searched the site but failed to find the "dumb question" section so I have to ask.
I'm dealing with my first bout of ICK and have been/am going through the quarantine process, dips and treatment, (as outlined on WWM site) etc., however my question lies in the show tank.
I plan to leave it fallow as you call it, but everything I read said to remove "fish" (here is the dumb question) I still have 2 sand stars a chocolate chip star and 5-6 hermit crabs and a small stingray (also about 50# live rock and sand) still in the
tank. Are any of these considered "hosts" to ICK? 
Can the tank be considered "fallow" with them in it? Or do they need to go into a QT all to themselves? 
Thanks in advance for taking time for a newbie (love the site)! 
<Mark, the stingray will have to go in QT. The inverts can stay. Allow at least 30 days before putting any fish back into the tank. An elevated temperature (80-82) helps speed the process up. James (Salty Dog)> 

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