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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis 22

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 21, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27, Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 30, Crypt 31, Crypt 32, Crypt 33, Crypt 34, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Fish Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin... Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3, Quarantine 4Quarantine 5Quarantine 6Quarantine 7Quarantine 8Quarantine 9Quarantine 10Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantining Invertebrates

Gracilaria picture Leif Hinks... algae can't take copper treatments... 

Persistent SW Ick - 5/8/2006 Hey everyone, <<Hi Marc.>> I am after some guidance. I have a reef tank which has been without fish for around 7 weeks and my fish have been in a QT (7 weeks again) where they were treated for white spot using copper and low salinity. <<OK>> I have just reintroduced the fish after all signs were gone and they were eating and moving about as you would expect a healthy fish (the salinity was brought up slowly). I have just noticed on my hippo tang what appear to be three white spots after only 1 day back in the tank. I am seriously starting to think no matter what I do I cannot beat this disease and it is starting to beat me. <<No! You will kick it, I assure you.  Tangs really are ick magnets.>> My question is should I just wait and see just in case nothing comes of it or should I go through the process of stripping down the tank again. <<At this point, if it is only a few spots, I would leave it.  Do you have any cleaner shrimps or gobies? You may want to add these to aid in keeping any ick present at bay.  No obligate cleaners like wrasses though.>> The hippo tang is the only one showing signs. The system has a total volume of ~150 gallons and all parameters look good. The fish are eating and appear healthy. <<Sounds great.>> Cheers any help would be appreciated. I have read the FAQs but just need some confirmation. Am I jumping into it too quick? <<Relax, my friend! If the disease starts to manifest more, then you can take action. For now, keep water quality pristine, and just watch. Lisa.>> Marc

Persistent Ich 5/5/06 Hello.   <Hi> I had a fish that showed signs of Ich. <Fresh or Saltwater?> I pulled him out and treated him with copper and put him back. <Did you keep him in QT after treatment to see if he was really healthy?> He is healthy but still every once in awhile will get a white dot on his fin. <Not healthy, still infected> This dot will only stick around a few days tops, then nothing. <Typical of the Ich lifecycle> None of my other fish seem to have any issues and everyone is eating and acting great. <Good sign> I really don't want to yank all my fish out and risk stressing them out if they are fine, <not fine, infected with Ich, more stressful than a properly set up QT/hospital tank> however we don't want to let something go either. <Don't, treat before a real outbreak occurs> This has been going on for months and I really am on the fence, hoping you could give me advice.  How do I truly know if it's Ich and what do you think I should do? <Fallow tank and treat fish in separate hospital tank.  Length of treatment depends on fresh or saltwater environment.  Treatment procedures for both listed on WWM> Thanks so much for your time. <Anytime> Jen <Chris>

Persistent Ich - II - 05/05/2006 Ohhh I'm sorry........saltwater. <Ah, ok>    The fish that was (is) showing signs is a royal Gramma.  He was in quarantine for weeks. <Good>   Looked great when reintroduced. <Reinfected when returned to tank> Ok, ok probably should yank them all <Best course of action> Thanks, Jen <Chris>

Saltwater Ich - 5/3/2006 Hi everyone, <<Hi Marc.>> I recently suffered a bout of ick in my reef tank but was lucky enough to catch all my fish safely and transfer them to a quarantine tank where I treated them with Cupramine and low salinity (~1.01 specific gravity). <<Good for catching it.  That SG is unnecessarily low.  QT of new additions should exclude parasites in the future.>> I was fortunate to save all the fish including a heavily infected blue tang (I think they are called hippo tangs in the states?? - unsure of actual common name). << Paracanthurus hepatus, I presume.>> I have left the main tank free of fish for around seven weeks and have raised the salinity back in the quarantine tank over the last week. <<Better to do more slowly.  Do keep an eye on water quality here.>> My questions are, is this enough time (there are no signs of ick on the fish and they are looking very healthy and eating well) and what chance do I have of knocking down the ick in my main tank. <<If the main tank has been fallow for 7 weeks, the parasite should be gone.>> I don't want the stress of the move back by the fish to cause another outbreak. Thanks for any advice Marc <<Glad to help. Lisa.  Do search for more information on WWM; such is posted.>>

Is ich gone. Crypt roulette  - 04/27/06 Hello, <Hi there> This is the first time that I have written you.  I have been reading your FAQ and it has helped me tremendously, but I have gotten myself into unknown territory.  I have had a few 10-55 gal freshwater tanks over the years, but after about a 10 year hiatus I decided to give saltwater a try.  About eight weeks ago I started up a 37 gal tank with 20 lbs of live sand and 30 pounds of live rock, a canister filter and power head.  I allowed this setup to cycle for four weeks and right when the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels fell in place I had a brown algae outbreak. <Common> I went down to the LFS and purchased a clean up crew consisting of 6 turbo snails and 6 blue-legged hermits.  After a week the clean up crew had down an outstanding job and it was time to stalk the tank. <And stock it too?> The first week I purchased a Percula Clown and a Firefish, <No quarantine...> after drip acclimation they went directly into the tank (no QT a this time).  The Firefish did not make it 24 hours and after talking with the LFS they said the Firefish had just come in two days previous and this one may not have been over the stress.  At this point they did not have anymore Firefish so a purchased a Royal Dottyback and a Banggai Cardinal. After drip acclimation these fish also went directly into the tank.  Now enjoying my three fish was a lot of fun, but I started reading about the Dottyback and how territorial it was, so I wanted to get another reef fish before the Dottyback claimed all the holes and caves in the rock as his own. Two days later I brought home a Six-lined Wrasse (This was the sales guy at the LFS's idea.  I have now read and witnessed that the Dottyback is obsessed with chasing the Wrasse) and another Percula to keep the first one company.  Another drip acclimation and into the tank they went.  I now know I was pushing my luck by not having QT, but luck prevailed and I now had five healthy fish in the tank.  I knew that I had gotten the five fish pretty quickly and the stress level was probably pretty high while everyone found their place in the tank with their new friends.  I let things go for three weeks and the fish all seemed to have adjusted well, but I wanted to get my sixth and last fish for the tank.  For the whole three-week period when I would go to the LFS to buy premixed saltwater for my weekly 15% water changes, I had my eye on a Coral Beauty Angel. <This tank is too small...> After the three weeks had ended and my chemical levels where all still very stable at ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate < .1, PH=8.2 and temp= 80-81 I made the trip to the LFS to pick up the Angel that was still there.  I brought the Angel home and followed my normal drip acclimation and into the tank routine and things were great.  The Angel ate both Mysis shrimp and flake at the first feeding the next morning and has been eating very well since.  The Angel has not been chased by my territorial Dottyback and has been swimming around the live rock picking off hair algae and acting as normal as she was at the LFS. Now finally to my problem.  Two days after bringing the Angel home I noticed a couple of tiny white spots on her body.  Knowing about ich I was immediately concerned and mad at myself for not getting around to buying a QT.  The next morning I as I looked at the Angel I did not see the spots that I had the night before, so I figured maybe they were a couple of air bubbles or something.  That night there were definite tiny white spots on the velvet blue body and yellow fins of the Angel.  Today at lunch, I ran out and purchased a 10 Gallon tank to setup a QT. <... now a treatment tank... too late to quarantine> When I got home to set it up and move the Angel, I could not see any spots on her.  My question is should I still setup the QT and move the Angel or at this point should I just leave her in the show tank with the other fish? <... I would wait at this point. Your system is infested if this is crypt... Will require treating all. Bob Fenner> Crypt...urgent _ seriously  - 4/24/2006 Good Morning <Still> I have been reading ich and puffer FAQs for the last 7 hours. I think I have the groundwork covered.  I had a small outbreak about a year or so ago and came out with no losses. That was partly a result of very diligent dips etc but a lot of luck too: You've heard this story a thousand times but yeah, <Likely more> I used CopperSafe on the advice of LFS guy and my 2 puffers and 1 trigger made it. And that was in my display tank - even all of the hermits survived. The live rock is back now. but that took forever. I'll chalk that up to luck. These fish have been there before and after looking at some risk management, they (some our fish are going on three years old) have decided copper is an unacceptable risk. I would love a response this morning. Here are the details - '¢ 180g + 50g sump. '¢ A few damsels '¢ Small Heniochus pair '¢  S&S Puffer 9" (This is his tank of course) '¢  Tiny dogface puffer '¢  Small flame angel '¢  4" Huma Huma '¢ 2 small yellow tangs '¢  mediumish snowflake moray '¢  lots of crabs and liverock My wife spotted an ich outbreak this morning, so at least we have the head start. I'm pretty shocked at how quickly it manifested though;   <Mmm, has been there all this time... just some trigger... not the fish.> this wasn't here on Friday evening. This is the early stage, everyone is behaving normally but I know I need to move quick. Both puffers have light spotting on fins - same for both Henis. Damsels are all clear. The angel and the trigger already have body spots. I bought a good hospital setup after I found out today. 55 gal generic with decent hardware. <... not so sure all these fishes will go/get along here> I have a good understanding of hyposalinity and temp etc. We are pretty good dippers too. I really just want to know what   product to pick up..? <?> I'm thinking no copper,  no malachite green, methylene blue is a maybe but Formalin at 37% is a good idea. Yes? No? <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm and the linked files above...> I need to start this now, advice would be appreciated beyond words.   I'm scared for there guys. <More knowledge will lessen to almost completely diminish your fear> Cheers, Christopher <Bob Fenner>

Re: urgent _ seriously ... Crypt - 04/24/2006 Thank you for your quick reply but  I'm confused I have re-read the formalin page; is this a cautious endorsement? <Perhaps> I guess to distill my question to it's essence: I would like to know specifically which product would be best to start treatment now; methylene, formalin or something else? Thanks in advance, c. Christopher Roberts <My friend... this is posted over and over on our site... with cautionary remarks as you suggest here. I would not use formalin/formaldehyde... or formalin... I would use a minimum concentration (due to the puffers mainly) of a chelated copper commercial product here... with twice daily testing with a matched test kit... Read on first! Bob Fenner>

Re: urgent _ seriously... Crypt  - 04/24/2006 Thank you Bob <Welcome> I appreciate your directness. Do realize that many many WetWeb crew posts here absolutely forbid the use of copper with puffers (in ALL CAPS)- period. <Yes... am fully aware of some others opinions here (have placed almost all materials on WWM... over the last decade)... My opinion, experience varies you might say> But yes, I was aware that you are a proponent of it. <Oh! Good> I am out the door to pick up a good copper test kit in a moment. Please advise a suggested dosage.   1 ppm, monitored 2x daily over a 2 week period? <... no... posted on WWM for all's review though> Many Thanks. *Hopefully I won't write you again until I just drop a brief  Thank You that all my guys are flourishing. Cheers, c. <Write away. Just do please search and read first. Bob Fenner> Finding Missing Fish/Handling an Ick Problem - 04/23/06 Hello, <<Hi there!>> I'll apologize in advance for how long this is! <<No worries my friend>> I've recently purchased a Royal Gramma to put in my 55 gallon reef tank. <<Great little fish>> The tank is 5 years old and currently has: 1 - Coral Beauty 1 - False Percula clownfish 1 - Skunk Cleaner Shrimp 10+ - Astrea Snails 2 - very small blue-legged hermits Assorted soft corals (mixed zoanthids, mixed mushroom corals, various sponges that grew out of my rock, green star polyps, pulsing xenia) 80+ pounds of live rock Parameters are: -0 Ammonia -0 Nitrites -0 Nitrates -8.3 pH -81 degrees F -420ppm Calcium -9 dKH alkalinity I quarantined the Royal Gramma for one week and he seemed very healthy. <<Usually very "sturdy" little fish, yes>> I then added him to my tank and kept the lights off for the first 24 hours. <<Usually just till the next "morning" is enough>> The Coral Beauty picked on him for a day, but he seemed to fare well and was eating and swimming about. <<Not atypical for the angel>> 4 days later, I didn't see him come out for food, so when I poked about the tank I found him and he was well covered with Ich. <<Uh oh!  Probably brought on by the stress of being chased by the angel>> Well * at this point, I basically tore the tank apart and tried to get him out, but he's effectively hidden within one of my rocks and I can't find him ANYWHERE. <<Mmm, likely found a "cave" and is holed up>> I've removed the clownfish to another tank, but haven't had as much luck with the Coral Beauty. <<Trying to extract fish from a "reef" is/can be a real trial in patience (and your fish catching skills!)>> So, now I'm wondering what to do.  I'm sure that the Royal Gramma is dead in there, but I will have to start breaking apart rocks to find him. <<I wouldn't bother with this.  If the fish has expired (likely, as you say), then the tank has "handled" it by now>> Should I do this and risk tearing apart all of my corals? <<I wouldn't...likely nothing left to find>> All of my rock is encrusted, and it was a nightmare just to move everything around from one side to the other just to try to find the fish and clean out the tank. <<I understand>> Or should I leave him and supplement my cleanup crew? <<Again, probably not necessary/a moot point by now.  The macro- and micro fauna in the tank would consume this small fish very quickly>> Also * what to do with the Coral Beauty?   He's exhibited no signs of Ich, but the tank can't possibly lay fallow for the minimum 30 days with him in there. <<True...but if the angel is "OK" now, the stress of trying to catch it may be more harmful than good.  Ick is present in most systems, and will manifest when conditions are right (weakened/stressed fish).  I would probably leave things be for now and see how the angel fares before tearing out the tank to catch it.  If the Ick continues to manifest then you know you have no choice but to move all to quarantine for treatment, and let the tank sit fallow (Minimum 6 weeks)>> I have a 30 gallon that I can move him to, that houses the clownfish, a Falco's Hawkfish and a yellowtail blue damsel. <<Getting a bit cramped>> Would that be too crowded? <<Maybe not for the "short term">> And what about the shrimp?  Can the tank lay fallow with him in there, or will he "carry" the Ich? <<Should be fine...the shrimp can indeed be a "carrier", but will not become a "host"...the parasite should die out if the tank sits fallow long enough>> I can't put him in with the Hawkfish, because he won't stand a chance. <<Ha!  This is true!>> My final question is * I'm pretty sure that the Royal Gramma didn't have Ich coming into the tank, which tells me that my tank already had Ich, but the small population of fish kept it "at  bay" (the fish may have been healthy enough to develop enough immunity to fight it off, but the stress of moving the Royal Gramma in may have made him susceptible, no?) <<Intuitive of you, yes...along with the stress of being bullied by the angel...or maybe even this individual had other things wrong that suppressed its immune system (old age?)>> Is this possible? <<Very much so>> If so, I have no choice but to let the tank lay fallow, since it's "seeded" with Ich. <<Would not hurt to do so>> In the meantime, I've done a 30% water change and have vacuumed out all detritus on the bottom of the tank (glass bottom, no substrate).  I run a canister filter, and I'm thinking about completely changing out the media in there (the live rock should have enough biological filter to carry the tank).  I'm not planning on treating with any anti-Ich meds, because of the corals and the shrimp. <<Whew!  Glad to hear...>> Any advice that you can give on this would be great!  I'm really not sure how to proceed at this point. <<Ah, but you do know/have stated what you need to do <grin>.  Optimally?  Remove the fish to quarantine, treat as necessary, and let the tank sit fallow for 6 weeks>> Thanks! Deb <<Welcome...and good luck catching the angel.  Regards, EricR>>

Finding Missing Fish/Handling an Ick Problem II - 04/24/06 Hello! <<Hi Deb!>> Thanks for the quick feedback. <<You're welcome>> I just want to clarify one thing.  In your response, you indicated that the shrimp can be a carrier of Ich. <<Yes, with emphasis on "carrier"...not "host">> If this is the case, am I truly leaving the tank lie fallow if I leave him in there? <<Indeed you are.  The shrimp may harbor the parasite, but without a suitable "host" (i.e. - your fish), it will die out with time>> If not, given that I've got a cleanup crew in there, aren't they also potential carriers, and is it even possible for me to let the tank lie fallow?  This tank is 5+ years old and has a huge array of critters in it (worms, snails, crabs, etc.).  I don't think that I can find, let alone extract, all of these critters from the tank. <<Ha!...I agree>> If they're all potential carriers, then the tank will essentially always be seeded with Ich, no? <<No...You're confusing "carrier" and "host".  While your shrimp/snails/hermits may serve as carriers/transporters, the parasite will not survive more than several weeks in the absence of a "host">> Sorry to be such a pest here! <<No worries my friend...I hope this makes a bit more sense to you now>> Deb <<Regards, EricR>>

(I think) Ich in two tanks... actually something else on glass    4/14/06 Here's the deal:  I have two tanks, one community and one housing a pair of clowns.  Suddenly one clown is showing signs of ich (crypt).  I've added nothing to either tank in months, except Caulerpa.  I realize now that maybe the Caulerpa had some cysts on it, <Could, yes... or you could have a latent/resting Crypt infestation... can rest for many months...> because that's the only way the clowns could have gotten it.  If I look closely at the glass, there are small white dots, surrounded by almost microscopic clear-white dots (looks like the smallest anemone you've ever seen, smaller than this. period). Are these the cysts? <Not of Cryptocaryon, no> Now these are on the glass in both tanks, so I assume now both tanks are infected.  Yay.  Careful quarantining of all fishes doesn't work if you don't quarantine...macro algae?  What are the odds...    <Very small here>   I have a brand-new tank that is being set up.  I plan on moving ALL the rock from the infected tanks to this new tank, and letting it sit fallow for 6-8 weeks. <I would not do this...> By then all the cysts will have hatched and it will be safe.  My question is this:  Will it be effective to treat the two tanks that the fish are in now (using CopperSafe)? <Whoa!> I will never use these tanks again, except for quarantining (fish and macro algae).  I have induced mild hyposalinity and am raising the temp to 84 as well.  Will the approx. 2 weeks that I have copper in the tanks kill ALL the cysts?  Because the fish will have to live in these tanks for the remaining 4-6 weeks while the main (new) tank goes fallow.        Does this make sense?  I'm tired and not sure I'm making myself clear.  I just want to avoid reinfecting the fish.  I have one extra tank, but can't put them all together as the female clown is deadly, so I need to treat them in their current tanks if possible.  Sorry for the randomness of this paragraph structure.  Very much looking forward to your reply, as I'm scared for my fishies!      Angelica <I understand and appreciate your intended thoroughness, but I suspect you have nothing (parasitic, pathogenic) to worry about here. I would ignore these "dots" (likely a type of polychaete worm... do you have access to a micro or meso-scope?) as they will likely "pass" on their own. Unless you see actual symptoms on your fish livestock, I would NOT move them... more stress, trouble than it will be worth. Bob Fenner> Re: (I think) Ich in two tanks    4/14/06 I see ich on the male clown in the second tank (at least, I'm 99% sure it's ich, I've never dealt with it before). I don't see any spots or anything on the fish in the other tank, but as of last night, two of three started rubbing their noses on the glass (I assumed scratching an itch), and the damsel was paler than normal.    <... may be nothing still... and I would shy on the side of being conservative... If crypt/ich, will be on all fishes in a system...>   So the tiny things on the glass are not crypt cysts? <No. You can't see these with the "naked eye"... on fish hosts, it's mostly the much-larger mucous reaction from these folks can see> Would I not be able to see them with the naked eye, even with excellent near-vision? <Mmmm, no. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the many linked files above> Unless you advise otherwise, I will continue treating the clowns, but leave the other tank alone for now.  Thanks! <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Ick Only On Fins? II - 04/04/06 Eric R, <<Debra>> Thank you for your reply. <<Welcome, hope it was of use.>> Considering the fact I tried to eradicate our entire tank yesterday, the Foxface is doing quite well. <<!!!  uh oh>> Here's what happened.  I stopped in at a different LFS on Saturday and explained the spots on the fins.  The person I spoke with said it probably isn't ick and advised me to use PimaFix and Melafix. <<Huh?!...(sigh)...typical "shotgun" approach to an unknown problem...always dangerous...  I've not used the products you mention, but I can say I've not heard good things about them...pretty much useless...>> Well . . . I dosed per instructions for 70 gallons, which I figure is about the water volume in the tank.  An hour or so later I noticed ALL of the fishes trying to swim south. <<!>> Seriously, they were all swimming against the glass on the left side of the tank. <<Yikes!  Trying to escape their environment...not good!>> The Foxface looked especially stressed -- completely blotched up. We did a 30% water change (luckily we had the batch already mixed up) <<Indeed>>, and I put carbon in the filter and hoped for the best.  Today, I can still smell the meds in the water, but everyone seems back to normal.  Ay yi yi. <<Mmm, I would do a couple more water changes and change out the carbon for fresh.>> Could compatibility issues be causing the Rabbitfish to constantly camouflage? <<Not likely considering current tankmates, but is a possibility...does the Foxface get along with the Coral Beauty?>> We also have a regal tang in quarantine that we plan to add.  I am now convinced that our tank is too small for a regal tang. <<Is my opinion as well.>> The LFS feels it is fine. <<Of course they do...>> The owner keeps saying that they rarely get more than 7" in an aquarium. <<Likely so...but doesn't mean the fish won't suffer developmental retardation from living/growing in a "too small" environment.>>   I think that is because the aquariums are too small. <<Agreed>> Even if our aquarium (90 gallon) isn't too small, I'm afraid that having 4 grazing fishes (blenny, rabbit, tang, and angel) is too many. <<Environment size/constraint is definitely an issue here.>> Again, thank you and all of WetWebMedia for your invaluable service. <<As Anthony C. was so fond of saying when he was here..."is a labor of love">> There seems to be so little consistent information out there.  I will be making a donation and purchasing a copy of _The Conscientious Marine Aquarist_ , today. <<Woo hoo!  Thank you my friend, you will greatly enjoy the book.  Regards, EricR>> Debra Marine Crypt/Ich  3/30/06 I'm pretty sure ich is what I'm dealing with. <Okay.> I've only had my tank for 5  months, but it has been established for 5 years (the guy wanted to get rid of it). I haven't had any trouble till I bought a fish and then about 32 hours later, she started rubbing against the rocks then she started getting these salt or it looks like sugar by here gills and on her fins. As of right now , no other  fish are showing any symptoms, there are 5. I've taken the infected one out, and  am treating her with chelated copper. Do I have to dip her in fresh water? Do I  have to fresh dip my other fish? Do I have to reduce my entire system? Please  tell me I don't.......Its a 72 gallon salt water tank with a canister filter. <Not a great way to filter a marine environment, look into a protein skimmer.> I  just bought a start fish. Will she be infected?? <If you meant star fish'¦then no.> Please, any advise or helpful  information would be a God send.......Thanks! <Read please; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm , http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php

Disease/Treatment ... SW... Crypt   3/29/06 Hello WWM:  <Hello Frank> I have a 55 gallon reef tank containing a Midas Blenny, Blue Hippo Tang, Firefish Goby, and an Eel Goby.  The problem I am having is that I recently noticed my tang broke out with the dreaded white spots of ich. However, I haven't noticed it on any of the tank mates and my Hippo Tang eats with as much fervor as ever (sorry for the bad rhyme).  My plan is to play it safe, remove my fish to a quarantine that I can treat with copper and hopefully let the ich cycle out of the main tank, but considering everyone seems healthy, including the tang, I'm worried that the stress of the move and treatment may cause more harm than good and was hoping to get your expert opinion.  <Not as much stress as the fish will have when the ich gets full blown.  May want to remove the tang only and observe the others during quarantine/treatment of the tang.  I'm betting all fish will eventually have ich.  James (Salty Dog)> Sincerely, Frank Benedetto Re: Microsporidean Infection/Cryptocaryon Infestation - Will it go away? No   3/23/06 Update #2 - I called Ron at Octopus's Garden right after emailing you because it just didn't look right and he also said it was ich. <There are a few fish groups that have shiny dots turn into Crypt as you've seen, described... PBT are classic> So decided to take out all the sand as well as most of the LR and start my copper treatment. Apparently, I must've had a huge infestation of those buggers living the sand <... the substrate needs to be removed to treat here...> because within an hour after I started taking the sand out using a cup (obviously kicking much of it up) the PBT developed TONS of white spots covering nearly its entire body. Do you think this is what happened? <Mmm, no... coincidental with cycling, release, more susceptibility due to "stress"...> I was thinking that it was way too fast for the ich to cycle and reproduce in such a short time (two infestations within 5 days?) <Uhh, is not such a short time...> In hindsight, I probably should've siphoned out instead to contain the ich. Anyhow, after removing as much as I could see of the sand (too cloudy) I dropped the salinity to 1.015 and added both Cupramine at the recommended dosage (1mL per 10 gallons) as well as Maracide to prevent secondary infections. On the bottle it said the copper dose should result in .5 ppm. Is this too much? <... please see WWM re> I'm also afraid that the Live rock will absorb it all, <... Wayne... you're killing me, and your system... read before you make more mistakes> but the fish always seem to do better with a little LR in there. will it still be effective and should I just bump up the dosage a bit? (ok, maybe I should buy a copper test kit. any recommendations on good kits?) <.........................> This morning, the new white spots pretty much all turned black again. Does this mean that it has left the fish and those are the scars? I'm not taking any chances and plan to siphon out anything on the bottom of the tank once I finish this email. It just seems odd that it would all happen so fast? (water temp is 82F) I'm really worried about a third infestation, this fish is still eating, but I don't think it can handle a third time around. None of my other fish seem infested. (Yellow Tang, Pinstripe Wrasse, Bicolor Blenny, Tomato Clown, Chromis, and Gold Sleeper head Goby) Will the copper dose be enough to kill then the next time the ich searches for a host? Is the 1.015 ok? Also, I'm leaving my protein skimmer on to help with filtration, it's got a sponge and the blue plastic media in it. will that be okay? Is there anything I'm missing or could do better? Thanks again for all your help! Steve <Have just skipped down. Read my friend... and quickly. Cryptocaryon, Copper Use and Test Kits, Treatment Systems... posted on WWM. Bob Fenner> Crypt and ignorance madness!   3/23/06 Hello Josh or Bob or.... <Wayne> I've got all my in a hospital tank now for treatment of a mild ich outbreak. <?>   They've been in now for 10 days, and while it started out well...all hell broke lose 2 days ago...Coral Beauty died (ich went away, but then it got fin rot pretty bad), and then one of my Damsels got eaten, and just this morning, my prized Snowflake Eel was found dead on the floor! <Yeeikes!> Very frustrating...what do I have left?.. a Lionfish, and 1 damsel.  It seems like QT'ing all my fish was just as risky as leaving them in my main tank with Ich. Anyway.. here's my question...After 10 days, my Lionfish and Damsel look really good.  No spots, cloudy eyes are gone. Should I continue to treat with Coppersafe?  Do I have to use Coppersafe through their entire stay in the hospital tank (6 weeks)? Thanks for your help. Wayne <Posted on WWM... read. Bob Fenner> Ich questions I'll say! SW impudence  3/23/06 Hi, bad news today I've got Marine Ich. <Could be worse. Your fishes could have it> I woke up this morning and my Rusty angel was on the brink of death. I gave him a freshwater dip but he'll probably die. <So will you, but let's make it later rather than sooner eh?> I never really knew what Marine Ich looked like. I'm experienced with freshwater Ich but Marine seems trickier. I know freshwater Ich is definite white spots on the fishes body but what threw me here was that the marine Ich looked like tiny bubbles. I read that one article Ich v. Air bubbles. I shut off the protein skimmer for awhile and they were no air bubbles. so Marine fishes should have absolutely no signs of white spots no matter how small right? and they should exhibit little to no flashing? <You're getting there...> I have notice some of my other fish have had small white spots in the past and were flashing but due to my inexperience I thought little of it. I think they weren't as affected as my Angle because I use this stuff called Reef DNA <Tis garbage> that is supposed to inhibit Ich attachment to fishes skin. <Heee and cure baldness?> I have also been thinking is Freshwater Ich and Marine Ich the same organism <No... same holociliate grouping though> because sometimes I share my thermometer between my two tanks although, the freshwater tank has been Ich free for a year or so they could have been transferred and liked it better in the Marine tank. I've read up as much as I could on your site and I've got a pretty good idea of what I have to do. but what should the size of the isolation tank be? my current tank is a 30 gal. and is getting to the point of, or is, over stocked with 5 damsels, 1 zebra goby,1 striped Dottyback, and my angle; if he survives. all I have to work with is a 10 gal and a 55gal. both are extremes and I would rather not use the 55 because of the large amount of water and water changes. also apparently a Rusty Angel is the type of Angel that does not tolerate copper well right? any input would be great my basic plan is isolation of all fishes, let the main tank run fallow for 5 weeks, and treat the isolation tank for a week or so. Thanks, Shawn <Have just skipped down... read: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... do this soon... Bob Fenner> Re: Marine Death mystery <Note: reproduce all from 2/12>  3/21/06 Hi Bob, <Andrew> Thanks for your words of wisdom, which did me some good.  Like many people getting into the hobby of marines, I stocked too soon and too much, which caused my problem. <Yes... but you happily have the discipline to persist, learn, act> To keep you updated, my tank now appears to be doing very well and all its inhabitants are in good health. <Ah, good> Once the last infected fish had died of the dreaded white spot or whatever it was that was killing my fish, I had all my inverts, 6 green chromis, 1 yellow clown goby and 2 blue cheeked gobies left.  I didn't separate my fish stock for treatment, but decided to try just leaving the tank as it was for a while. <One approach> I stopped adding more life to the tank and performed the usual housekeeping such as regular water changes, tests, cleaning etc.  All life carried on fine no problems.  The nitrite had dropped down to zero and my nitrate less than 20. Over a month later I added 4 firefish and a pair of Black/white percula clowns (beautiful fish).  They show no signs of ill health or white spot.  I think now that for a 4ft 200L tank I have probably reached my stocking limit, so I am going to leave the tank as it is for a while.  I am really starting to see some corals come to life on my live rock and the tank looks beautiful, so if it ain't broke - don't fix it. Thanks once again for your help.  I know I didn't quarantine the remaining fish after the outbreak but just leaving the tank for a while without stocking it seems to have done the trick. <A form of "stasis"... But do be aware... that if/when there is "environmental degradation", introduction of a weakened potential host... the Crypt/Ich will be back... "with a vengeance">   I realize for long term success I will need to quarantine new stock, but for now the system appears to be very stable (probably because my water quality is good enough not to cause stress to my stock). <One factor...> Regards Andrew <Thank you for this follow-up, relating your perseverance. Bob Fenner> Marine Death mystery Hi to all the crew at WWM. <Howdy> 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. <Next...> 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.   <Decomposition...> 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. <Correct>   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. Regards 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> Ich? Nope...'Pods - 3/20/2006 This might be a very strange question but we were unfortunate and lost all of our fish from an outbreak of what could have been many things.  We started by treating for ich and then moved to treating for bacterial and fungal infections.  We now house a 55 gallon tank with about 70 lbs. of live rock, some mushrooms, 2 feather dusters, an urchin and an unaccounted for six lined wrasse as well as some hermit, snails and hitchhiker brittle stars What we are seeing now on the glass of the tank seems to be small white bugs that move.  What exactly does the parasite ich look like? What should we do about them? Thanks. <<These are not parasites.  They are various species of 'pods.  Not a problem, at all.  They are likely prospering now, due to lack of predators in your tank.  Lisa>>

Ich? Nope...'Pods Follow-Up- 3/21/2006 Thanks so much for responding. <<My pleasure :)>> Since the fish all perished, and we have only been in the hobby for about a year, and are unsure of what caused the deaths, what do you recommend that we do as far as making sure the tank is 'clean' before we reintroduce fish? <<If it was ich, let the display run fallow for at least 4 weeks, I would do longer.>> The tank pH is at 7.8 and won't budge even with additive pH up. <<Such products create a 'swing' in pH, which is more harmful than a low, but stable pH.>> I do realize that this needs to be taken care of before any reintroduction but want to be sure that we do everything necessary before starting over. <<Buy a high-quality salt mix, and let your water aerate for a few says before use.  Hopefully this will solve your pH problem.  If not, please do Google WWM regarding this.>> Thanks <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Re: Ich? Nope...'Pods Follow-Up- 3/24/2006 Again thanks. <<You're welcome!>> Can you recommend what salt mix? <<I use Instant Ocean.>> Looking at the different types one seems the same as another.  Also, if it were a bacterial or fungal problem do I need to treat the tank even if no fish are present? Also, do I need to treat the tank if it was ich? <<Let the system run with no fish (fallow) for several weeks, and you should be just fine!  Lisa.>>

Another fuller vers. of ping-ponging with Crypt, overcrowding...    3/19/06 I sent an e-mail earlier and after contemplation I have come to the conclusion that I did not put in near enough info so I beg of you please disregard my earlier e-mail. First off I have a well established fifty-five gallon fish only saltwater tank my levels are all in the green so to speak. One of the first fish I got was a black spotted dog face puffer. After about two months with him I added another fish that brought ich with it, after reading some of your suggestions I decided to go with fresh water dips and treating my whole tank, after about two weeks all of my fish seemed to clear up, <The Crypt is still there> needless to say I now have a quarantine tank. About every three weeks (between eighteen - twenty six days) he gets white ich looking spots on his fins but they don't get to his body, and it does not seem to make a difference if I treat him or not and they go away after about week. Sometimes he scratches and gills but that only lasts about a day maybe two at the most. So I had originally come to the conclusion that this was just going to be his habit and up until recently it hadn't really been an issue, a week and half ago my local national pet store received a couple saltwater fish that that they had no clue what they were and were offering them up for adoption, one just happened to be a helmet cowfish and being that I am a huge fan of cow fish I brought him home. <This tank is too small for just the Tetraodont you already have/had> He spent a week in my quarantine tank he showed no sign of problems so I moved him over and with in a day he presented with spots on his fins just like my puffer and at the same time, as of right now it is only on his fins. My questions would be should I just ignore it? <No... with the added "stress" of this new crowding influence, all will too-likely succumb...> If not am I going to be treating these two fish every three weeks for the rest of my days? <... hopefully not> Is it ich? <Likely so> what other treatments should I try? <Read where you were sent previously> Is there a natural treatment besides a neon goby that I should try? <No... won't work> Because my neon goby ignores all of my fish. I understand all of you do this on your own time so no rush getting back to me when ever you have the time but any knowledge would be helpful. I thank all of you for you're time if you need more info e-mail me at <Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

How Long To Go Fallow After Ich - 03/19/2006 Hi. <Hello Steve.> I have a 30 gal. reef tank with Ich, my last fish died and now all I have is corals and inverts. My question is, how long will the Ich survive in my tank without any fish in my tank? <Posted.> I was able to save my Green Mandarin named Picasso, how long until I am able to re-introduce him to his home? <This fish should not be in such a small tank.> Thank you for any info you can give. <How about some links? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm .> Steve <Josh>

Re: Naso Tang ... what? Dis.   3/18/06 I'm curious about the use of "cleaner" gobies and shrimp.  My ich infestation doesn't appear to be a terrible one although I suspect my use of Quick Cure is "controlling" it to some degree.  Should I employ the use of such cleaners?  <You can, but won't eliminate it.  Stay away from cleaner wrasses, very short lived in captive systems.>  What is their reaction to products such as Quick Cure?  <I wouldn't treat with inverts present.> And will they actually help control c. irritants? <Help control somewhat, not eliminate. Glad you emailed back.  A mental error was made on my part as to using a copper test kit.  Copper is not present in Quick Cure, disregard my info.  In my opinion, the only effective cure for ich is copper treatment.  Again, do search our web site on disease control for more information.  James (Salty Dog)>

BTA problems and ICH    3/17/06 OK, I've got three problems/questions. 1) I recently added a seemingly well adjusted BTA to my tank and it hasn't opened up in the 6 days since bringing it home...it looks like an orangish Vienna sausage with a hole at the end. <<This is unusual, but not too much of a concern unless it goes on for much longer.>> 2) though I've been very careful about QT, etc... I just noticed that my Coral Beauty Angel and Fire goby both have white nodules reminiscent of ich...will my cleaner shrimp (actively servicing the angel) keep them clean enough to not worry, or do I need to worry? <<Cleaner shrimp are not very effective against Ick.  I would observe the fish carefully, and if they get any worse I would move them to a hospital tank for treatment.>> 3) I have what seems to be a "strawberry anemone" C. californicus (sp?) that came as a hitch-hiker and I'm wondering if I need to be concerned that my temps aren't low enough for him? <<There are many similar looking anemones from temperate and tropical waters and since almost no rock or livestock comes into the trade from temperate locations, I think this critter will be fine.>>   System: 55gal w/ 10 gal sump   20"x3" venturi PS   750gph return from sump via SQUID   250w 10000K MH--5hrs.--bulb is old   (2) 65w dual actinic CFLs--12hrs.--bulbs are 4-5 mon. old   70+lbs. liverock   4" DSB on 1" plenum   2 cups GAC in sump   temps from 78-81F   Ca--340ppm, alk--17dKH, NO2= 0, <<Wow!!  17dKH??  This may be part of why the anemone is acting strangely.  I would double check this result with another test kit.  If it really is that high, I would suggest figuring out why (too much buffer, very hard source water) and fixing it.  If you can rule out your source water, then water changes are in order.>> Feeding: 1/day Omega One Veggie flake, 1/day Tetra Marine flake, 1/DAY Tetra Marine pellets, Occ. Brine shrimp hatchlings, Occ. OSI sinking shrimp pellet. Supplements: Iodine-8 drops/day or every other day, Essential Vitamins-2 caps/ every 2 wks. Fish:  2 Ocelaris clowns (mated pair), 1 3" Coral beauty angel, 2 2" fire goby Corals:  Var. mushrooms, Kenya tree frag, md. Stolonifera, 7 stalks of silver Xeniid, "strawberry anemone", 3" BTA Inverts:  3 peppermint, 1 skunk, and 1 md. coral banded shrimp, 20+ var. sm. snails, 15+ var. small hermits, 2 md. serpent stars, 1 sm. sea hare, 4 lg. feather dusters. Possible clues: after the 2 hr. drip for the BTA I noticed a nasty looking film/thread coming from the Xeniids. My salinity prior to doing a 14 gal WC was 1.022 and is now 1.024-5. Just changed to IO salt and ph jumped from 8.0 to 8.6, though this was during the BTA acclimation. Just after the WC I noticed NH4 as .25 and NO3 as .12+...though readings were zeros before WC--haven't had a chance to check since...I used some Prime to try and compensate. We're in a rural area but not on well water...tap water is 7.4pH and 13dKH. Until adding the BTA and changing over to IO salt, my NH4, NO2, and NO3 were always 0's. BTA came from a well established tank and was very healthy clone until transferred to my system:-( All other corals are doing fine, though the "strawberry anemone" has been closing up during the warm parts of the day and is open and gorgeous in the evenings. My brain is too tired to think of anything else. Please help <<Hmmm... your source water has a lot of alkalinity.  I would consider an RO unit since there may also be other undesirable contaminants.  Also, you should mix up saltwater and allow it to mix with a powerhead or airstone at least overnight before using it.  This will help normalize the pH and aerate the water prior to use.  Also, some salt mixes produce a tiny small amount of ammonia when freshly mixed.  Aging for a day or so lets this dissipate.>> OK, I just did my tests and NH4 checks out at 0. NO2 is 0. NO3 is somewhere between .12 - .25. Ca is 420. Alk is 17dKH. I believe that the NO3 is the culprit for the BTA closure, though my other corals are all doing well and we just did a 14gal WC, before which we didn't have any NO3 problems. I have a little bit of red slime algae and a bit of green hair algae, but not too heavy and the sea hare and CB Angel seam to appreciate it. Do you have any other thoughts? Branon. <<That is not nearly enough nitrate to cause the anemone to be closed.  I really do believe that it has to do with your alkalinity, and your test of your tapwater seems to confirm it as the source.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>> Ich and ammonia   3/16/06 Dear Crew, <Scott> I have been hanging out and fighting the good fight against the ich since Feb 6th, although I am now down to 2 fish, a tomato clown and my emperor angel.  The emperor has its adult coloration and is about 6" or so.   The angel eats, but I haven't seen the clown eat.  Either it's eating behind my back or I'll have one fish before too long.  I had inquired earlier in the month about my fighting against both the ich and the ammonia.  I had panicked and put my emperor back into the display tank about three weeks ago and he immediately was reinfested at that time.  Fortunately I was able to catch him again within about an hour and put him back in the hospital tank.  Because of that move however, I still have evidence of ich on my two fish in the hospital tank and have been treating with copper the past three weeks. <With testing... daily>   Hopefully with another week or so of Cu treatment that will be taken care of, and I was hoping to put the fish back into my display by the end of this month. I really am not rushed to put them back and would rather be safe than sorry all except for one thing.  I cannot for the life of me control the ammonia levels in my hospital tank.  It is a 20 gallon tank down to only two fish with limited feedings every couple of days with immediate siphoning of uneaten debris.  I am using CopperSafe as my copper treatment.  I have an airstone and vigorous circulation with a hang on the back filter system (approx turnover of 5x the tank volume/10 minutes) with massive amounts of filter sponge material, some of which had been removed from my main system originally.  Even if the tank was "overstocked," one would think that the ammonia levels would build up slowly over a couple of days, but this literally only takes 12-24 hours after 80-100% water changes to get to toxic levels again. <Numbers please> My only defense is AmmoLock <May complex the copper... and is very likely giving you a "False positive" on your ammonia reading here> and massive, frequent water changes daily) which goes through massive amounts of salt, AmmoLock and copper.  This has become unmanageable!   Am I missing something?? <Perhaps a larger treatment tank, even more limited feeding, pre-made and stored new water... Is the ammonia more than one ppm?>   Even if I put those sponges in new without any initial bacteria it should have cycled naturally by now.  I am using CopperSafe which says it shouldn't kill off the biological filter, but I am suspicious that this is the culprit.  Copper levels have consistently been therapeutic.  I can't imagine this 20 gallon tank is THAT overstocked with 2 barely fed fish.  My spec. gravity is about 1.012 <... this is killing your beneficial microbes...> to help with the ich.  Also, every 3-4 days or so it seems like I have bacterial blooms which require that I wipe off the glass and rinse out the sponges during a 100% water change).  I am careful to rinse out the sponges in the tank's own water and not freshwater.     Even if I do make it through this ich fighting extravaganza, I am very nervous about the future of my hobby.  I will NEVER fight this ich again if I can help it, which means strict quarantines and I'm undecided but maybe prophylactic copper treatments before introduction in the future of all future residents. <A hard lesson learned>   But I must not be doing something right because I can't fight off this ammonia.  Even if I had a 40 gallon quarantine, that would only mean that I would have 4 ppm of ammonia and not 8, which is not any less toxic, just more difficult to dilute.  Heck, I have a spare 120 gallon tank in the next room.  This is where I have been mixing my water.  I could easily (and have considered) putting the fish in there-in fact, the water is pretreated with Cu, but I am very afraid about the ammonia levels in there because I wouldn't be able to do 80-100% water changes or neutralize such massive amounts of water with AmmoLock.   Any advice you have is greatly appreciated.  I need an in-home consultation!   I would have paid well for it and still come out way ahead! Thanks, Scott <Do raise the spg back up... and test the AmmoLock with your ammonia test kit to see if it is giving you a/the false positive... and hang in there. Bob Fenner>

Re: ich and ammonia    3/17/06 Dear Crew, Thanks for your reply as always.  Just an update and to clear a few things up: <Good> 1.  I tested my "AmmoLock" and it tests negative on my ammonia kit, so it doesn't appear to be the culprit for a false reading. <Thank you for this testing, results> 2.  My impression was that the biological media would be okay as long as the spec gravity was altered slowly, and especially if it was stable for weeks, even at 1.010. <Mmm, no... not generally... the single-celled organisms involved here are quite sensitive to osmotic changes... if not killed outright, almost always go into metabolic check...> Is it your experience that this environment is inhospitable for the bacteria? <Yes> I can raise the spec gravity back up to about 1.023, and I have enough extra sponge material in my established main system which I can put in the hospital tank to try to get the ammonia levels under control.  As I mentioned, I changed the water-100% yesterday- and today there is 8+ppm in the tank (that is as high has my test kit goes) <Yikes!> 3.  I know that my copper level was consistent because I had it all premixed in my spare 120 gallon tank and every time that I did test it it was 1.5-2.0 total copper level with CopperSafe.  I am still having problems with the ich as I just observed my fish with multiple lesions after weeks of copper treatment!! <... maybe this isn't Cryptocaryon...> Do you really think that the AmmoLock is complexing the copper and making it ineffective?  If that is the case, I am in quite a pickle.   <Not if you're able to measure it (the copper) post mixing> 4.  I'll run my strategy by you.  I'll raise the SG in my hospital up to about the same range as my main tank over the next couple of days.  Then I'll transfer the filter media that I have from my main tank to the hospital.  Hopefully that will get the ammonia under control. If that happens, then I won't have to use AmmoLock and can begin an effective copper treatment.  Do you have any additional thought or suggestions? <I do... I might (seriously) consider another approach... dipping/bathing the affected fishes and moving to a new (all clean) setting. The dip? A formalin bath... if this doesn't almost immediately render discernible positive result, I would switch to a non-chelated copper product (SeaCure is one) or mix my own copper sulfate pentahydrate solution...> YOUR HELP IS SO APPRECIATED.  I don't know where else to turn with these intricate questions.  Certainly not the LFS. -Scott       <Perhaps you will help them to learn more. Bob Fenner>

Steven Pro (I am starting to follow your path)... About Crypt  - 03/12/2006 Steven Pro <Mmm, no longer at WWM. Will cc here> Ichnorant cont- Do I have this right? Quarantine any and all marine items before addition to the display. <Good idea... with some exceptions> Treat all organisms that are potential carriers with copper regardless of signs.  ( I ask this because it is apparent that tangs can carry ich indefinitely without signs or life threatening consequences.) <I would not do this, no> Non-carriers will just be quarantined during the life-cycle limits of potential pathogens. Evidence of pathogens in the display (ich etc.) Remove treat and go fallow.... 1 to 2 months min... I have apparently healthy livestock, however, the regal periodically shows ich.  Cleaner shrimp to the rescue.  Should I go fallow?  Your thoughts? MJ <Mine are posted on WWM... "Parasitic Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks" FAQs files. Up to you to settle on a see-saw or... Bob Fenner> UV sterilizers  - 03/11/2006 Do you know much about  UV sterilizers <Some...> Do you recommend the use of  UV sterilizers in home aquariums <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/UVFAQs.htm and the linked files above> I  hear they work well in controlling  parasites such as ich . <Can help... but won't eliminate their possible introduction, spread... See...>   Is it true. Thanks for responding <Bob Fenner> AHHH!!! Ich!   3/3/06 I recently upgraded to a 125 F/O tank that is currently housing a 3.5 inch Niger Trigger, a 4 inch Imperator Angel, <Will need more room...> an 11 inch snowflake eel, and a beautiful 3 inch red sea purple tang who is the reason for this email.  I also have 3 Mexican turbo snails, 5 Cerith snails, and 10 very small blue leg hermit crabs.  This morning before I left for work I noticed my purple tang (who I added to my tank 1 week ago) <W/o quarantine...?> had 2 or 3 white spots on him.  When I came home about 7 hours later he had 50 - 60 white spots all over him!  I had a problem with ich in the past with a puffer but I have never seen it progress so quickly! <More likely than not, this infective state still resides in your system...> I know I should have a quarantine tank but I at this moment it isn't a possibility. <...>   As far as medications go I have quick cure and copper but I know that by putting either of those in my tank will kill my invertebrates.  So I put the tang in a 4 minute freshwater dip with quick cure in it and I am hoping that killed most of it. <... that's on the fish itself... will become reinfested placed back in the ich-infested system, but quick> are there any medications that could combat ich and also be safe on my invertebrates?  thank you for your help. Brian Brantley <... nope. See WWM here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and the linked files above Scotter's article. And remember, "thou art mortal"... and so are your fishes... You need to act, and quickly. Bob Fenner> Ich Me - 2/27/2006 Hello. <<Hi Pam>> Forgive me for this one, but is there anyway humans can become infected by ich? I'm just dealing with an outbreak and I'm becoming paranoid. <<Just be sure to keep your showers under 30 minutes per day, and you should be fine :).  Just kidding, not to worry my friend.>> Thanks! Pam <<You are welcome!  Lisa.>>

Disease/Ich   2/26/06 Hello to everyone. <Hello Shelly> I have a 20 gallon tank with a 2" yellow tang, 2" three spot domino and a 3" maiden goby, live rock, a red macroalgae, and a hermit crab.  The tank has been running for five weeks and I have had the fish in the tank for almost three weeks (I know the size concerns -- I just bought a 55 to upgrade to allow for the tangs size).  One week ago last Thursday evening (all of the fish had been in the tank for greater than a week without problems), the tang and Dom suddenly developed spots, almost spontaneously, but  I noticed it right after I added the calcium A and B for the first time, so I thought I would observe them in the morning to see if it was still present, thinking it might be some sort of reaction of the calcium with their slime layer. <Unlikely, just coincidence.> In the morning the spots were still present, however, an hour later, they were completely gone except for one small area on the Dom's pectoral. <Typical, the cysts burst and fall to the bottom  developing into many more cysts that will soon be looking for breakfast.> I went to the LFS, told them the problem, and they said it was probably ich -- based on the fact that it looked like sugar crystals speckling their bodies; the goby was unaffected.  They said that it probably virtually disappeared after they spent some time swimming around because of the health of the fish, water, etc.<Ha Ha, in greater numbers now.>  My levels were all great:  nitrite 0, ammonia 0 and nitrate at 10, pH 8.2.  I bought Cupramine because they said I need to treat for ich, three stage lifecycle, nip it in the bud, that sort of thing.    I removed my live rock, hermit and macroalgae to a quarantine tank (which I will always do with all new fish from now on!!). <Should have been done first.> All was well, the spots disappeared, everyone eating great (which they had been), and no signs of distress.  Previously, the fish all showed no signs of distress, even though they presented with spots.  Then, starting yesterday (Thursday), I noticed my Dom was not extending his dorsal fin, but he had no signs of spots, and he was eating great.  I went to softball practice, came home, and he is covered with spots, but he is the only one. I rushed to the LFS, and I had them test my water for copper level, (my nitrite has been high, .25 today, had to remove the live rock, external filter media cause it had carbon and the macro, which decreased my bio filtration load, <Yes, and the treatment will lower the denitrification bacteria.> but I have been doing water changes to combat this) <Good.> and the copper level is approaching 50 ppm, .5 ppm?  Whatever the basic copper test is...    So, I know my copper levels are adequate, <Adequate?  They are too high, should not exceed .2ppm.  Tangs are very sensitive to copper overdosing.> and actually a tad high. I know that the water fluctuations are not good, but it is very strange that the Dom is the first to show problems -- and I know because of his black color it may just be more apparent -- but he is truly the worst hit and the only one showing outward signs of infection. The LFS says it may be flukes, <Don't think so.> do a freshwater bath.  Did all three fish, the tang and goby for 20 minutes and the Dom for one hour.  [LFS told me to keep them in there until everything fell off -- said for at least five minutes, and told me they had actually done fish overnight!! <Overnight!  Too much stress on an already stressed out fish.>-- but I think that is because they forgot]. <Makes more sense.> After one hour, the Dom STILL had spots on his eyes.  However, he was doing fine in the freshwater without agitation, and then suddenly became very pale and laying flat on the bottom of the plastic container, so I took him out even though he still had evidence of possible flukes on his eyes.  This morning, the tang has one spot on his caudal and one on his nose.  The Dom has even more spots than last night, but they do appear to be in different places, and his eyes are looking a lot better.  At no time have I observed rapid gill rates, and today is the very first time the Dom has not eaten -- he approaches the food and is interested, but will not eat it. Big question::  I am assuming this is flukes? <Never assume a disease, must identify and treat accordingly.> I don't think it is velvet because it is very specific flecks of white, and not cloudy.  However, I was told that flukes will literally fall off after exposure to freshwater --- and one hour is a giant amount of time, so what more can I do?  Since I have been typing this, the Dom's spots have reduced to less than 6 and the tang has no evidence of any at this point???  I have searched your site for fluke answers and didn't find any appropriate, so I felt the need to write.  ?? <Sounds like you are the fishes worst enemy.  Doing this, doing that, etc.  If ich is what it is and I believe it is, the fish should have been left in quarantine and copper levels closely monitored, and the length of treatment should be at least 21 days preferably 28.  Copper treatment has little or no effect on the cysts already on the fish.  When the cysts grow/burst and begin to look for a host is when the copper is most effective.  I don't believe you looked hard enough on the web as this information is present.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm Thank you, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Shelly

ICHnorant and gotta know.......your opinions crew!   2/24/06 Mr. Fenner and Anthony Calfo, I have your books. I love your no nonsense don't get excited approach to the Marine Aquarium.  I was hoping that either or both of you would weigh in once again on the controversial subject of Ich. <Okay>      I have about 4 years into this marine pursuit (ex-discus keeper) and I am loving every minute of it.  Amazing creatures, blah, blah, blah... ok I love my fish.  Now I know enough has been written about ich to give one ich.  But I gotta weigh in for a veteran fish keeper Million$ LFS owner <A rarity! Must've made the money elsewhere> who won't post and laughs about the controversy over ich.  I will call him "Fish Man".       Fishman has over 30 years experience moving fish, and apparently enough repeat business from loyal customers like me to put up a million dollar store front.  Fishman says there is no such thing as an ich free environment. <Wrong> Fishman laughs at the multitude of scientific arguments regarding this scourge.  Fishman says ich is in the ocean, remove it from there first, and then you will have a truly ich-free environment in the home aquarium. <... What sort of logic is this? Can you come up with some equivalent analogy... fleas on dogs let's say?>   Fishman says ich can remain dormant and elusive to all attempts to eradicate it. <Can, yes> Meaning, we all have ich all the time in our fish or in our displays or both. <Mmm, no. "Elusive" I'll grant you. But there are bonafide means to eradicate such pests... is done around the world> Fishman says dipping fish in Formalin and Copper is the next step to truly weaken the immune system and virtually help the parasites finish the job. <Definitely some good points here> Yes, says Fishman, you will have success with these methods sometimes.  However, these extreme methods are not required if the ich is caught in time.  Ich not caught in time will not be helped by radical methodologies. <Can be> The fish will die...anyway.... period.... end of story.  In effect you may think you are curing an ich infested fish that would have recovered without the chemicals.  Not to mention needlessly exposing healthy fish to toxins in an attempt to cure or prevent ich in healthy display denizens.  Fishman says that fish that come in from the ocean may or may not carry ich in a dormant state. <Fishman needs to get out a bit more often... to Europe, the orient... to the larger tradeshows... perhaps the library. There are specific pathogen free facilities in our interest...> If the transported animal is installed in a healthy environment there is no need to dip them in chemicals even if they are covered with ich.  That's right, Fishman takes ich covered specimens and places them in tanks with healthy fish. No need to tear down your display because the dreaded ich has reared its ugly head in your prized aquarium.  Fishman says fish with ich can be cured without chemical treatments.   <This is so... unless one realizes that the universe is only made of chemicals, energy and space... the "new chemical" make-up of improved systems, nutrition may effect cures, yes> Place the fish in pristine water conditions, feed normally, provide cleaner shrimp and leave the fish alone.  Fishman goes on to say that any weakened fish can get ich anytime anywhere no matter how clinical you are about going chemical and fallow. <... not so> If you place an ich infected fish in a tank with weakened transported fish, they will also get ich.  He has demonstrated his techniques for treating ich over and over and over again in the last 3 years I have visited his store.  He has shown me specimens delivered that developed ich in transit and the same specimen sometimes only days later with physical symptoms of ich no longer apparent.  And days after that the same fish aggressively feeding and interacting with the population of healthy fish.  I have purchased this same fish and installed it in my display with my fish and have had no outbreaks of ich.   I have followed his methods when ich on freshly transported fish have shown up in my display.  Fishman says keep your water conditions pristine, provide cleaner shrimp and do nothing else.  Multiple times I have installed fish with signs of ich straight into the display tank with healthy fish. Gasp! The healthy fish did not get ich, and the ich infested specimen recovered fully.  Witnessed recently with Pseudochromis and Regal Tangs.  I have witnessed this many, many, many times in Fishman's store.  Fishman has impeccable water conditions, unimpeachable husbandry techniques and loads of firsthand experience with multiple specimens.  Fishman's ich infested fish recover amongst the healthy population of his uninfected fish.  Is it possible that the hobbyist's real problem starts with the harvester and the shipper and is finalized by the chemical dip it receives in the quarantine tank when it develops a few spots of ich and its demise completed by poor husbandry techniques in the display?  Is it the cure worse than the cause? Not the mention tearing apart displays and stressing out otherwise healthy happy fish by ripping them out of there homes to go fallow.  Treating the healthy display fish with toxic copper or formalin just because a few spots were found on a single fish in the display.  I swear to you the methods that I see at this store shocked the hell out of me after 100 of hours of reading articles to the contrary.  I have followed Fishman's instructions to the letter with ich infested fish, so far, he has delivered a 100 percent success rate for me.  No fuss, no muss and no chemicals and ripped apart displays.         Well, that's about it.....  I guess some experienced aquarist reading this will still consider me Ichnorant.  I know one thing, I don't tear my display apart, and I don't worry when healthy happy fish are exposed to ich.  They never have gotten it when this happens, not once.  On a larger scale, I have seen miracles performed on fish that look as though they had been dipped in sugar.  Weeks later, the same fish ich free with no chemicals or quarantined procedures applied in the Fishman's store.  I will continue to follow Fishman's advice. I suspect that in 30 plus years of experience, hundreds of thousands of fish have passed in and out of his hands.  Can and individual with firsthand experience, but no real training in the biological sciences really have the real answers regarding ich?  Your thoughts? <Are posted... please do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm There is a pattern/consequence to what is stated... the factors defined, definable for any given specimen, system... Sometimes albeit toxic treatments are efficacious, often they are not. But, as Zig Ziegler might state, "Nothing succeeds like success". If your dealer is successful with their approach/es, so be it. Bob Fenner> Ich free and loving it!
Best of Ich!

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