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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 3

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

Related  FAQs: Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Marine Parasitic Disease, 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 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27, Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 30, Crypt 31, Crypt 32, Crypt 33, Crypt 34, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,


I've done some reading on your web site on Ick. Well, lets start at the beginning. I have a 55-gallon tank w/an ecosystem sump set up and it has been running for a month now. <Okay> Amonia-0, Nitrates-0, Nitrites-0 1 Yellow Tang, 2 Damsels (1 sgt, 1 domino), 1 Cinnamon clown, 1 pigmy cherub, 1 Condy anemone, 3 snails, 2 hermit crab - of which I've only seen one of over the last week?? <Don't know what you've seen> Over the last few days, I've noticed my water getting cloudy. I did a water change this last weekend, after checking water conditions, stated above. Which might explain the missing Hermit crab? <Possibly> Upon looking closer at the fish, I see little white spots, maybe Ick?  <Could be, could be something else, perhaps nothing in the way of biological disease> But from what I've encountered w/Freshwater in the past, I've never seen the Ick spots move?  <Not much... do grow a bit at times> If I look closely at the side of the tank, out of the water flow, I can see them move, and even closer I can see them on the rock. <Oh! These are likely some sort/s of crustaceans... many possibilities here. And likely not problematical unless your fish livestock are greatly weakened> Now, I'm thinking this is why the water is cloudy? But, I'm still unsure as to what they are?? Is it Ick, or is it some other parasite? <I would assume nothing... and look to other means of clearing the water... perhaps adding a bit of live rock, macro-algae... otherwise not adding chemicals, "treatments"> The only thing I have been doing differently is adding Coralife for the Condy, a couple of times a week, but I'm wondering if it could be the yeast? <Could be> Or am I way off? <Can't tell from here> Thank you for steering me in the right direction. P.S. I love your web site and all of the information that it brings to us - Thank you for putting it together! JD BENNETT <Thank you for your participation, additions to it. Let's chat over your situation a bit if you'd like. It is not clear to me exactly what your situation is, or the root causes of the symptoms from what you list. Bob Fenner>

Ich question <will answer, Anthony> Not sure if I have ich or not, but got a question about it. Since ich reproduces by falling off of the fish and to the bottom of the tank - do cleaner shrimp that eat/pick the parasite off fish, also eat them when they fall to the bottom ?  <in a healthy thriving (very diverse live rock/sand) environment there are many things that will eat the large tomites of the contagion "Ich"... however, don't count on the cleaner shrimp for picking them out of the substrate. They tend to flourish in substrates without microscopic predation (tanks w/o live rock or diverse fauna)> Are they able to see/detect this state of the parasite and eat/kill/control them ?  <minimal at best> Or is the parasite protected in that stage ? <Ich infections are best treated in a bare bottomed quarantine tank for certain. Kindly, Anthony Calfo> Thanks, Ed

Ick won't go away! Dear Sir; <I don't really work for a living <wink> so you can just call me Anthony> I wrote in about 2 weeks ago concerning my harlequin tusk fish w/ ick. I have since put him in a quarantine tank w/ bare bottom and filter w/ floss only. <good except for the filter floss bit... why not sponge filtration or some other biological. Otherwise, are you doing daily water changes to prevent fluctuations in NH3, NH4, etc? This sounds stressful to me (and especially to your fish (smile)> The tank has a air stone and an Ebo Jager heater. The temp I raise to about 85 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours each night, otherwise it stays at 80 degrees.  <Aiiiieeeee! Who the heck suggested that boner of a move?!? Hehe... but seriously, the nightly temperature swing is extremely stressful to many marine fishes! If the fish was perfectly healthy and disease free in your care for several years and you had even one sharp drop of five degrees... I wouldn't be surprised if it caused Ich (and just talking about such a drop in the same room as a Blue Hepatus tang can cause it...hehe, the little Ich-magnets). My friend this is a surefire stressor to induce Ich...severe on a fishes resistance. The recommendations of elevated temp in popular literature are for extended duration under conditions of O2 saturation. Your temp increase is sharp and short, you don't have awesome O2 saturation potential (Skimmer and/or Ozonizer in play) and you haven't mentioned a dissolved oxygen test kit. Cease and desist immediately my friend> I lowered the salinity to about 1.023 and have done several small water changes, all while treating the water w/ "quick cure".  <a good medication for this, BTW daily water changes for eight days alone can cure Ich in an otherwise "perfect" QT> After 5 days of treatment he looked perfect. I did a good size water change w/ ocean water (all I use) and a day later this guy has ick again. What can I do???? <when you say...ocean water. do you literally mean, water from the ocean? If so, I'm quite certain that your will have frequent bouts with parasites algae and more as long as it is untreated. A very dangerous and unpredictable habit. Seawater has microscopic plankton which includes many undesirables that must be screened. Please sterilize or simply use artificial seawater which is consistent and reliable> Spencer <kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Ick won't go away! Anthony, <greetings, my friend> I won't fluctuate the temp any more, and got a sponge that fits okay in my filter. <excellent... a lesson learned> I'm going to try water changes for the next week or so to relieve my fish of icking in the future (when funds allow) I'm going to purchase a CPR bakpak. Do you think this along with water changes will be sufficient as a quarantine tank to first introduce fish into? <not at all... it is honestly not a proper quarantine. A separate, isolate simple set-up with a sponge filter, heater, cover, and not mush else will be fine and inexpensive. You could afford a bigger QT that way too. Kindly, Anthony>

Ich again Hi WWM guys, <greetings from friend/author Anthony Calfo!> First off, thank you for all you do for aquarists and our livestock. You save many lives in your endeavor. <thank you... I chose this career exactly for that reason...and the fact that I was to short to be a fireman...hehe>  I have what appears to be a common ich infestation,  <yes, but have your fish caught it from you yet... and just how itchy are you?> but with an additional variable that I'd like to run by you.  <this doesn't involve a story about the south side of town and a tutu does it?> I believed that my infestation was cured (rather in check) by lowering spg, maintaining high temp, and adding a UV sterilizer.  <OK...perhaps> I returned spg to 1.020 and temp to 78ish. I also removed 1/2 of the bio-balls from my sump in preparation for mud/LR/Caulerpa filtration. My nitrates came down from about 80, to 40 within a week or so, with my water changes. My nitrites have risen to .25 pH is 8.4-8.6 For the record, I have dipped and quarantined all new additions, but the ich-prone tang must have carried enough to infest my tank. I've never treated with copper. <I hope you don't most likely> I assume that my nitrite rising is affecting the fish health,  <not so much as any one water change with water accidentally 3+ degrees cooler... that is the easiest way to flare Ich in marine aquaria...are you checking the temperature of your evaporation and water change waters?> and a contributor to the ich problem.  <unlikely at this level> If I return the bio-balls, will the bacterial level re-establish quickly, or would I be as well to wait without re-introducing the bio-balls? <shouldn't need the bio-balls with enough live rock> I have a host of inverts, 50lbs LR,  <get more please> and only 3 fish in my 72 gallon aquarium: 1 clown, 1 blue tang, and 1 lionfish. My quarantine tank is a 30 gal hex (not having expected to put multiple fish in at one time, live and learn...). My tang has a serious infestation, and has shown many spots every morning for the past 5 days or so. My lionfish may have developed some spots overnight, last night. The clown looks fine. Since the spots returned on the tang, I have reduced spg to 1.017, and raised temp to 83. The tang shows no improvement, actually deterioration. <do look at today's post called Re: Cowfish II for protocol on meds, QT WC's and the like> I am unable to fit all of the LR into the QTank in order to introduce copper into the main system. < actually a bucket or plastic garbage can (new... no chemicals) with strong water movement will be fine instead> Ideally, I would treat all fishes with copper in my quarantine tank, but I'm not comfortable with all 3 fish in a 30 hex, it's rather tall and narrow. <agreed> I'm afraid the tang's activity will be too stressful for all. If you think this is worth trying, I plan to put the wet/dry on the 30, and run my cc skimmer & Caulerpa only on the main tank during this period, and probably ever after. <copper is not your med of choice , however...the lionfish is quite sensitive as a scale less fish to it, and any remaining calcareous media (gravel) will just suck it up... what you need is a bare-bottomed aquarium and daily water changes from the bottom for 8 days to remove the larval tomites> Secondly, I could remove the lionfish to the quarantine, monitor him, and possibly adding copper to his water.  <see above> This would allow for a cleaner shrimp in the main tank, and after 6 weeks or so, I could switch the lion and cleaner - and maybe find the cleaner a new home. <OK... may help, but don't count on to effect a cure> Thirdly, should I spring for a 20long or what recommended size, and quarantine all 3 fish in that? I'd rather not buy yet another aquarium, but will if that's the best course of action for my fish. <admirable> I love this hobby, but really had no idea what I was getting into a year ago. I would support legislation to mandate reading of your FAQs and horror stories of livestock losses to anyone interesting in a marine aquarium! <even with me participating now?> Thank you again for all the help I've received from you in the past, and going forward. <kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Ich again Hi Anthony, <Salute, Daron> As you have noted, I sympathize with my fish - I've been itching for weeks. <And I bet you the rapid breathing from the gill parasites is quite embarrassing for you on the phone...hehe> Is copper a safe treatment for me? I don't have scales either, but I've been carrying pennies around in my pockets for a few days. <copper bracelets will be sufficient...they help with joint aches as well> Seriously, you gentlemen at WWM have definitely made my life easier, but it's still stressful and expensive to keep these guys happy. Without your FAQs and answers, I would probably have already lost all my fish a few times over, then taken up bowling. <"the horror...the horror..." signed, "Kurtz"> Thank you for your advice - I do have a few questions about my course of action, though.  <OK...buy your own shoes if you must bowl> I am deciding between removing the (bought as dead, but now very alive with copepods) sand substrate, LR, and inverts from my 72 and the choice of purchasing a q-tank for the 3 fish. <believe it or not.. here's the suggestion if we must move the fish... leave the rock and sand untouched...buy/borrow a 55 gall food grade plastic drum (or like vessel(s))...kill the poser on the tank momentarily and drain into the drum... with the last remaining water, the fish will be easier to catch and lower stressed in your doing so...remove the fish to the bare bottomed quarantine and proceed as normal. And simply pump the water from the drum right back into the display tank. A fast water/sump pump for the drain and fill will make very short work of this. The full 4-week quarantine period will leave the display fallow/without a viable fish host and reduce the parasites sufficiently> Will I need to keep the current sand, LR, and Inverts fallow for a month or so? <as above but leave undisturbed> If I run filtration such as my wet/dry on the FO, will that support the tomites, similar to how the substrate does? Sponge filter? <best bet is a bare bottomed hospital tank with a sponge filter suspended off the bottom...and rinsed gently in the old daily water just before that water is discarded> I'm thinking my best approach may be to move the inverts, sand and some of the LR to the hex, and the rest of the LR to a trash can.  <sounds like too much work to me> I can then keep my wet/dry on the 72, so I it won't have to cycle with my sick fish in it - <the need for filtration for the fish will be tempered in QT by the daily WCs> unless I change more water than I am foreseeing.  <daily for more than a week in QT> And, I'd might as well circulate water through my UV sterilizer - I know it isn't the cure-all I once thought it was, but it should help. <agreed> Thank you for your insight, it is much appreciated. <you are quite welcome...good luck. Anthony>

55 gal ick prob. This is Jake's girlfriend Denean. Our 55 gal. tank has ick, a majority of the fish have it, our water tests out fine, and our quarantine tank is too small to treat all the fish. Can the lionfish we have in there be treated with copper with all the rest? We have RX PX but it says not to use with lionfish, and we want the ick out of our system. (Chevron, Yellow, and Convict tang. Humu Humu Trigger, blue dam., flame angel, and a snowflake eel) <Please read through the mass of articles and FAQs files on marine ich, its treatment posted on WetWebMedia.com Much to relate that has a good deal of "if this, then so" complement. Read and act, quickly. Bob Fenner>

Ich Hi Steven, thanks for the reply. I am doing some personal research on hyposalinity and have been told that the ONLY way to rid Cryptocaryon irritans is with hyposalinity and copper. <Add freshwater dips and daily water changes in a quarantine tank.> Knowing this and having a large size reef tank with fish, inverts and about 200 of LR that copper would not work with this application. Hyposalinity not being safe with all inverts, is there anything that a person can do to rid ich? <Difficult now to rid Ich. Your best protection is quarantine new fish and to remove sick fish to a hospital tank.> I know that there is several products on the market that state reef safe and invert safe to rid ich . One that comes to mind is "Kick Ich" by Ruby Reef. Inc. Do you know of any studies that have tested this products for the success? <No true studies on this product that I know of, but there is anecdotal evidence that the product does work. There is also evidence that this product can be detrimental to some corals, leathers in particular and possibly others. -Steven Pro> Thanks for your reply, Barry

In the Thick of Ick Bob, <Anthony Calfo, my friend, in your service> It's me again from my Wife's email account. My Purple Tang has Ich. It looks like someone sprinkled salt on him. I looked at him on Thursday and he was fine. My wife had ACL surgery Friday and when I got home Saturday, he was sprinkled with white dots. Today, he looks a little better and there are fewer white dots than yesterday. My water conditions are near perfect with a trace of ammonia (I've done two 10% water changes the last three days to help correct that). <ahhh, but beyond the ammonia, what else is going on that could have caused the Ich? What is the day/night swing in temperature. What size is your heater, etc?> My question is what to do now. I have a 90 Gallon All-Glass Reef Tank with 100lbs of LR, 20lbs Live Sand, A cleanup Crew consisting of hermits, snails, sally Light Foot crabs, Emerald Crabs, Decorator Crabs, Haddoni Anemone, Blonde Naso Tang, Blue-Headed Wrasse, Clarkii Clown and a Orchid Dottyback as well as numerous corals (please see the link for all the coral types) http://www.slabe.net/Reef.htm. I do have another 30 gallon tank (use to be freshwater) in the closet not even set-up yet. I'm not quite sure what to do. I've read about Hyposalinity cure  <I am not a big subscriber to this methodology for most> but that doesn't treat "The System" as you're article mentioned on disease. In addition, I was going to setup the other tank tonight anyway with an Aragonite Sand bottom and a hang-on filter and use this tank as a quarantine <quarantine a great idea but not with sand (harbors parasites and absorbs medicants... must go bare bottomed (the tank...not you)> on all new fish purchase but even if I get it setup today and add a damsel fish tomorrow, it still won't be cycled for a month or so, <you need to read a lot more on how easy quarantine is... a sponge filter can be ready and running in your main tank or sump at all times without needing a ferocious damsel in a boring display tank at all times. Leave filter running in future and only set up secondary tank when needed> so I'm back to square one and completely lost. <be sure to always QT all fish, coral, rock I the future> I don't want to lose any corals, inverts  <not possible... Ich is non pathogenic to these animals> <sorry, but a possibility> and especially any pricey fish (The Blue Haddoni & Blonde Naso). I wish I could just do something with the Purple Tang by itself but I don't know what to do... Please help...Need good advice quickly...Christopher Slabe <sorry again... but the issue must be addressed in the tank in some way. Feeding medicated food is mildly helpful. Maintain stable temperature is critical. Small frequent and proper temp water changes from tank bottom will also reduce parasites. Lightly lowering the salinity may be stimulating (moving up to 2/100th point daily from 1.024 to 1.019 but watch inverts carefully). Otherwise... the dam has already sprung a leak. We need to find the problem (what stress caused the Ick) and address it. Anthony>

Re: In The Thick of Ich Anthony, <hello, Ohio buddy!> I think that the Purple Tang obtained Ich when I introduced a  <as you called it a baby horse of a fish >  Blonde Naso. It is much larger than the Purple Tang and I think maybe the Tang just got scared and got ich? <stress could certainly cause it but would be much less likely if all fish went through strict quarantine> Does this sound like it might be a culprit? Here are my next questions based on your responses: 1) How do I lower the pH as you mentioned?  <my mistake... I misspoke!: I meant to say lower your SALINITY as a stimulant by 2/100th point per day towards 1.019/1018> I currently use a Kalk Calcium addition system with a Dosing Pump and that keeps the pH high. Adding a buffer solution also keeps the Alkalinity high which resists the lowering of the pH. I have a Electronic pH monitor to easily be able to tell the drop but I don't know how to drop it... <if it is under 8.7 during peak daylight... don't worry about it. Natural seawater is 8.45 and can easily swing up to 8.6/8.7 with no trouble in aquaria> 2) I do have two sponges that water flows through in my sump. I could use one of those?  <yes, converting these mature sponges can make excellent and ready bio-filters!> I'm going to do a search on a quarantine tank in your database... <excellent... best regards, Anthony>

Re: Ich/velvet and stuff like that. Hi Bob, I have some questions. Since I am treating my 55 g tank with CopperSafe (removed all inverts/corals to a 20g QT) would a water conditioner/detoxifier affect the copper?  <Could, yes> I had to use filtered water but not RO which I usually use, therefore I added some Tetra water conditioner to the water and mixed it with Instant Ocean salt.  <No worries here.> Then added some of it to the 55 g tank (tank was low after I moved most rock/inverts/corals). Then I added CopperSafe per the directions. This morning the fish left in the tank yellow tang/blue damsel) are both ok (blue damsel is not scratching anymore). Did I reduce the effect of copper by doing that? <Only way to tell... and there are a few other "things" that will/do remove the copper... is to test... at least once daily... and re-treat.>  I just want to make sure no parasites are left behind planning to leave the copper in for 2 weeks). <Is there something about reading that bothers you? I would read through reference works, at least the WWM site... instead of patch working your understanding of how to be an aquarist "after the fact" by asking questions about what you've done...>  Btw, I've tried to get an opinion from another LFS on treating ich etc.. <Ahh, good> and the owner (who was very friendly) said CopperSafe would not be removed from the system (I know by using Polyfilter/carbon it can be removed per WWM) and that is what I'm planning to do. <"Would not be removed"... Umm, you/they can do a very simple experiment... add the product to a sample of water... test it over time... Magic! Where's it going?> Also, my undulated trigger, after showing some discoloration in his body, his skin is now peeling off he's in another QT by himself now proved to be too aggressive anyway)). The QT was coppered when I treated my yellow tang. Now the trigger's left eye is covered by what looks to be something like 'skin or white film' and he's very sluggish. Any ideas what happened here? <Study> Thank you for the advice, you've been a great help in dealing with this mess. I will keep reading WWM when I have free time). <Don't do anything w/o understanding what you're doing... Bob Fenner> D.

Ick...Ich Hello Bob, <You actually have Steven now. Bob is off traveling until next week.> Hope all is well. Quick update, I got the herbal ich attack and emperor aquatics 25 watts, in the mail yesterday. I successful transferred and fresh water dipped all the occupants of the 125 gallon and they are now in the 55 gallon. I have began treatment with the Herbal ich attack and will keep you posted on results as it appears to be fairly new. I was on WWM last night trying to find the procedures for leaving the tank empty, but all I gathered was that I should drain system and add freshwater for a couple of hours <Please do not do this. You are correct. It will kill your beneficial bacteria and any life on you live rock.> then add salt water up to 0.015 to kill parasites. At what point do I raise the salinity to normal limits and won't this throw the nitrogen cycle off. I don't want to have to recycle the system again. Please give me the step by step process, I'm trying to kill those parasites for good this time. I will also hook up the new UV sterilizer, kind of double kill here. I know you recommend leaving the system empty for 2 months, do you think this could be sooner with use of the new UV sterilizer. <You can probably get away with one month.> Thanks Again, Gillian

Help on Cryptocaryon in a 200 Good morning, Bob: We have a Cryptocaryon outbreak. I've read a number of your responses to other folks with the problem, but perhaps we're needing a more tailored response. We have a 200-Oceanic we've been running for over 2 years now. It replaced a 75-gallon we ran for a year. We've dealt with Cryptocaryon periodically. The copper works, but we have live rock and nowhere to place it. Our second tank houses the inverts. <Perhaps you will have to move your fishes... wait quite a while... as the system is so well-established...> We moved our Achilles tang to the smaller 30-long. He was most infected. <Very typical> He's fine now. We know he can't survive in the small tank so we'll need to move him back. In the 200 we have about 6 inches of sand as a base. Critters: a Picasso trigger (obviously can't move him to the invert tank), a pink-face wrasse (same problem), lemon meringue wrasse Cook Island velvet wrasse yellow tang purple tang Naso tang (did have the Achilles) flame angel Acanthurus angel puffer 2 maroon-and-yellow clowns a gorgonian a sponge and one crab until the trigger finds him. <Yes> No new fish have been added recently. We have plenty of social room, so there is no aggression other than the occasional sibling nips during feeding. We'll try lowering the gravity. The tank (we're in South Texas) usually runs about 80 degrees. Last coppering we followed instructions to the letter and still lost an uninfected wrasse. The Acanthurus and the puffer have it fairly badly. The pink-face doesn't show much but is scratching. The flame and both other wrasses show no signs. We use R/O water. <I see> We have a cleaner wrasse borrowed from our fish store but we moved him to the smaller tank to work on the Achilles when the pink-face bit him. The small tank has a tri-color wrasse, a yellow tang, a Goby and pistol shrimp, two fire shrimp and some snails. It'd be a buffet for the trigger, so we can't move him. He doesn't seem to show any infestation but if the others have it....Any ideas??? <Yes... though I suspect you can see this coming... Another tank/set-up... for treatment, quarantining... isolation. Bob Fenner> Much thanks, Susan

Ich I hope not!!! Mr. Fenner, I am sorry to bother you again I have been trying to use your chat forum for my questions). As you know we lost about 8 fish about 2.5 months ago due to What appeared to be Velvet. I saved one Hippo tang and left him alone for about 6 weeks. Where he had no signs of anything for 4 weeks. We bought two tank raised I believe) true perculas two weeks ago both fine) and last week bought a Desjardin Sailfin tang. We dipped the tang in fresh water before putting him in our system. He now has a few small white spots in various parts of his body fin, side, and tail). He doesn't scratch on rocks, but has visited the cleaner shrimp a few times not often). My hippo scratches maybe once a day or every other day and is not using cleaners at all (he really did before). Should I be concerned? <Should you be concerned? Yes...> I don't want to lose any of my fish and ESPECIALLY my Paracanthurus hepatus! My husband wanted to start feeding medicated flakes, but I said NO. <No reason not to try them, really> I read so much on your site that this may or may not be anything that I wanted to check with you first. <Mmm, "it may or may not be something"> Temp is 81-83(dropped a few degrees the night before last, maybe my problem with spots???)Trying desperately to keep stable. Salinity is at 1.023 am going to lower slowly to 1.020 and do have two very good cleaner shrimps. My question, is this ich? and should I be worried it is going to wipe my system out again? Thanks in advance. <Might be ich, might wipe out your system. Bob Fenner>

Your Book (actually marine ich) Good Morning Bob, Hope all is well. I started my quest of becoming a conscientious aquarist last night, your book is really good, I wish I had gotten it sooner. <Thank you. Much good help in putting it together> I would have avoided a lot of the mistakes I have made thus far. I found supplier around here that carries the Vecton UV sterilizer you recommended. <Great> I also have began to consider, letting my system fallow for about 6-8weeks, but get rid of what I think is ick. I am sure any more, because it's strange. The spots are mostly present in the morning on the black coat of my Personifer angel, however about an hour later they are gone. This angel sleeps on it's side up in a piece of live rock and the side facing up is covered but the other side is not. My LFS owner, thought it may be substrate particles under the slime coat at night. Does that sound logical? <Most likely what you describe is ich, Cryptocaryoniasis... it is frequently transient in not-too dire circumstances, non-hyper-infestations> Now I don't know what to think <When, where in doubt, add nothing> because the shoal tang shows no spots, but constantly rubs against rocks, a sign of ick.  <Not necessarily... they do this to some degree in any case> I got 2 cleaner shrimp and 2 cleaner wrasse, while the shrimp did nothing the cleaner wrasse did a good job of getting rid of spots, but last night I found the bodies of the 2 cleaner wrasse, with their stomachs gone and this morning one of the cleaner shrimp were dead. So Bob I'm running out of ideas here. It's getting frustrating, now my thought was to let the system go empty for a while.  <I consider this a good idea> My concern is, I'm not sure if my 55 gallon is large enough to hold all my live stock for 2 mths. I have 1 Sohal tang 6inches, 1 regal angel 5 inches, 1 Personifer angel 4 inches, 2 Kole tangs 4 inches, 2 damsels and 2 clown fish. Can I house these fish in a 55 gallon setup with a Emperor 400 and a Skilter 250 with built in protein skimmer, for a 2 month period maybe with added filtration.  <Probably so... with testing, proper feeding, water changes...> Any ideas, suggestions Bob on my white spot situation. Sorry to bother you, I am starting to feel like I am taking all your time...thanks again Gillian <Study, contemplate, act... you are the maker of their world. Bob Fenner>

Re: Your Book (actually marine ich) Ok Bob, So I a have decided to let the system go empty for a while. I will need to treat the fish with copper to kill the parasites and continue treatment throughout that time to prevent them from coming back, since the quarters will be close. But now I am going to run into the same problem with the Sweetlips and copper use again. Is there any treatments else I can use besides copper that will eradicate the parasites, but not harm the Sweetlips. <Please do read through the Daily FAQs today... Dr. Rofen was kind enough to send along a response to a querier re their new "Herbal Ich Attack"? remedy... I consider this worth trying> If not I'll try to see if someone can hold the Sweetlips for me until the treatment is over. Also after using the copper in the quarantine tank, I have noticed the water getting cloudy. After reading WWM I think it's a bacterial bloom from copper usage, because the copper killed everything. <This does happen> Do you think this will harm the fish once I put them in. The water parameters are excellent right now, despite cloudiness. <Kia orana, life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Parasitic diseases (Re: Herbal Ich Attack) Responding to your message.  <Thank you for this Dr. Bob... Am hopeful that this is indeed as worthy a product as you state. Will post to our principal site: WetWebMedia.com for others perusal. Hope to see you about at the trade shows. Bob Fenner> Hi, Is it necessary to turn a skimmer off while medicating with Herbal Ich Attack?  <<No >> How long should I treat? My yellow tang is still waking up with grainy spores (ich) , this is day 3 of treatment.  <<Ich has a 3-4 day cycle and sometimes longer for the tomites to hatch from the white cysts. Even when you cannot see them, cysts can be in the mouth and gills and embedded in the skin and scales. The tomites hatched from the cysts are re-attaching to fish within hours. The medication (whatever it is) diminishes in strength by the hour, and some tomites may not be killed, if full treatment has not been made the day they hatch and are in the free-swimming stage.  Often daily treatments for 7-8 days, and sometimes longer are required to kill all the tomites before they become attached. Actually treatments  twice a day (even if just half dosage each treatment) would be more effective because we are in some instances of Ich that they are more resistant to treatment and as well it would help in getting rid of and suppressing fungal infections Herbal Ich Attack has a reason for being because it is not harsh on the fishes and does not affect the filter nitrifying bacteria. We tested many marines with this medication, including yellow tangs with good success. I hope you have the same results. Robert Rofen, Novalek, Inc., U.S.A.>>

Ich update Hi Bob, A couple of months ago I did not quarantine two little Blue Green Chromis for long enough and my tank became infected with Ich. You probably remember. <Yes. A painful lesson> I remove the fish to a 38 Ga. and treated with copper after dipping in Methylene Blue. The Ich returned a week later. I tried Malachite green and formaldehyde plus dipping. The Ich returned again. Then I lowered the S.G. and it got rid of it for good. I let them stay in the Q-tank for almost two months to lower the Ich in the main tank. Now my fish have been returned to the main tank and have been there for over two weeks. Perfect health and full of vigor. They all survived and are fat and sassy. Thanks for all your help. Just wish I tried the lower specific gravity first. Man that sure did the trick. <Thank you for relating your ordeal and success. Bob Fenner> Zimmy

Parasitic diseases (Re: Herbal Ich Attack) Good Morning Bob, After reading through WWM I see no mention on treating Brooklynella with peroxide. Is that an acceptable practice? <Not in my "book"... too hard to measure, too dangerous a proposition... Other treatments (formalin et al.) are proposed for treating this protozoan (Brooklynella hostilis)> It seems that this is what my maroon clown fish has. One of the LFS's I go to suggested to dip the fish in 1 liter of saltwater for 15 min.s after adding 5 ml of peroxide. The white stuff/film is now peeling off, but the fish looks stained and weakened (won't eat either). I researched the web as well, and I couldn't find any info on treatments with peroxide. One website mentioned treating it with formalin/performing freshwater dips etc. but everyone seems to be trying something different (I guess prevention is better than cure in this situation). <Yes, definitely. One of the principal reasons I refer people to trying specific pathogen free tank-bred, reared amphiprionine stocks> Also, should I leave my skimmer on while I'm medicating with Herbal ich attack this is for the 55 gallon tank, the maroon clown is in a QT).  <Contact the manufacturer (Kordon/Novalek) re this issue... yours is still the only mention I have of this products use> The LFS guy said it doesn't matter as long as I remove the carbon which I did before I started medicating). What are your thoughts on Hardness Plus? The LFS told me to add that every other day to keep my pH from fluctuating but this morning it was 8.3 ppm. <For what reason are you using this product? To maintain, elevate pH? What is the unit of scale you mention? How much is your pH fluctuating in how much time, time frame? What is the soluble carbonate make-up of your system?> The yellow tang still has grainy spores on him and there was some discoloration on him (which seems to go away after the lights come on(?)) so bottom line, I am still medicating with Herbal Ich attack (day 3).The scratching seems to have stopped though. Thank you for your advise. D. <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Parasitic diseases (Re: Herbal Ich Attack) (Actually a/the broader stroke of aquarium husbandry period) Just to maintain pH. It was recommended by the LFS expert I purchased my fish/corals from. Also, he said to use Alkalinity plus which I am every other day). pH sometimes fluctuates from 8.0 to 8.4 (I have seen it dropping down to 7.6 (once over night) but it is mostly at 8.2 during the day).  <You should investigate the reason/s behind these pH swings... and get out of the expensive supplement habit... Better salt mixes (with more alkaline reserve), more and more soluble substrates, carbonaceous live rock... better filtration... use of macro-algae... Do read over the set-up, maintenance sections of WetWebMedia.com here> You had recommended to increase aeration, and the system (55 g) now has 3 power heads (MJ 1200, 900, Rio 600). I have not measured the Carbon dioxide; I am using the aquarium pharmaceuticals test kit. Also, I have brought this to my LFS before... <Excuse me... brought what? A water sample for testing? Some criteria, e.g. C02 can't be measured with time, moving the water about> the Penguin 330(w/ BioWheels) is rated at 330 gph, however the BioWheels are kind of slow at turning. Would filtration have something to do with the pH? <Yes... in many profound ways...> Should I get a better filter? <Yes, IMO... a sump type, refugium with live algae, lighting would be ideal> I am also running a Remora skimmer. I have spent more than one grand only too see my fish having problems (oh I have also done another 10 g water change with instant reef-never hurts). D. <Please take a step or two back here... forget about how you've gotten to where you are... and consider your possibilities. Perhaps have another "fish friend" come by and review what you have... Join our chatforum: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/... to get others input on what you might do. You are very likely an element of your continuing problems... with the use of countervailing chemical strategies... that are partially toxic, create instability. Look to changing your system to being more homeostatic, more self-regulating. Bob Fenner>

How do you know if it is really Ich? Dear Bob. Greetings and here's to hopefully an insightful question. I have spent the last few hours going over your disease pages and have a question of how do you truly diagnose if it is Ich? <Okay> As you may or may not remember I have just moved my fish into their new tank. From a 30 gallon to a 130 Gallon. Big difference. <Yes... I wish our wallets, free-time could/would enlarge like this> The new tank is set up with a temp of 79?F a SPG of 1.025 and running 400 watts of Dual Power Compacts. Eheim Professional wet dry filter 500 GPH and an Emperor 280 with Bio Wheel. Venturi Protein Skimmer 400 GPH and 40 Lbs of live rock. The live rock was cured and then brought over from the old tank. Fine grade Aragonitic sand. The system is about 7 months old. Livestock are the Hawaiian feather dusters, 1 Yellow Sailfin Tang, 1 Tomato Clown, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 2 flame gobies, 1 Scooter Blenny, 1 Bubble tip anemone, my new pulsing Xenia and a few assorted Hermit Crabs, 1 CBS and two Peppermint Shrimp 1 of which has eggs. All are about 1"-2" in length. On bringing everything over from the old tank, everything, and everyone was given a freshwater dip as per your specifications in both your book and on the website. As was the live rock. The only exceptions were the shrimps. The sand is new and was rinsed in distilled water prior to placing it in the new tank. <Okay> Everyone is very happy with their new home, eating voraciously and very active, they have been there for about 4 days now. The Tang has been very effective at eliminating the algae and eats a 2"x2" square of Nori every two to three days as well as the Mysis Shrimp and the Brine Shrimp that they get as a "treat" every fourth day. I also do 16 drops of Kent Iodine and 16 drops of Kent Kalkwasser daily. Once a week the tank gets a dose of Strontium/Molybdenum as per the dosage requirements. Ph is 8.2 Ammonia is .25 Nitrate is 0 and Nitrite is 0. <Sounds good> I spent a couple of hours this evening looking at each of the individual fish and here are the "Ich"? observations. The Tomato Clown has one white grain like substance on his right Pelvic Fin. The Tang has about 12 of the same similar "grains" on his lower caudal fin lobe, the Scooter Blenny has nothing, the Banggai Cardinal has nothing and the Gobies have a few spots on their Pelvic Fins. The white spots are about half the size of the head of a pin. <Does "sound" like ich... not uncommon> The "spots" have been there for a few days now and they gradually disappear as opposed to getting more numerous. What, if anything should I be doing?  <Mmm, not much more than you are... actually.> I have a quarantine tank set up for all new species and they spend three weeks in there before moving to one of the main tanks. What would you do. Do you think that it is Ich? Should they all be moved back to the 30 Gallon and be treated allowing the main tank to go Fallow for a few months? <I would leave all as they are for now... maybe add vitamins to their foods (soak the Nori etc.), perhaps another Cleaner (probably a Gobiosoma goby)> Or could it be something completely different such as something that could be eliminated by the addition of a "Cleaner" shrimp other than the CBS, whom everyone is afraid of as he tries to grab them as they come near or the Peppermint's that are more interested in eating the food than cleaning everyone else? <May be time to trade out this Stenopus for a more "friendly", useful Lysmata species... in the new, larger system, both would probably fit... I would put in one, two Lysmata amboinensis> At a loss here just playing it day by day until I can fathom an answer. <Wish I had said this> Cheers and thanks again for all of your help. Along with everyone else's. <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner> Julian Hunt

Herbal Ich Attack Bob, This is supposedly a new product created by Kordon. I see no info on this in your web site. What are your thoughts on herbal treatments? This is "again" supposedly reef safe, and has been used locally per my LFS with no side effects/complaints. D. <Have no experience, data re this/these products. Do know the owner/manager of Kordon/Novalek, Dr. Bob Rofen... he is "the real thing"... honest, competent... an industry leader. Bob Fenner>

MY TANK IS CHUCK FULL OF PARASITES Hello, I have just been reading your FAQ section on diseases and parasites. I found out what I needed to know which is (it is impossible to get totally rid of ich and the likes without nuclear weaponry ) so I am content to do never-ending battle with these creatures of destruction. I will have to read further into these articles you have posted. Thank you very much for this site. Now for the questions that I have: 1. I have a crab that has obviously came in with the purchase of some liverock. This crab has a dark stripe down its back and red eyes. at fist we thought our larger emerald crab had a Dr. Jerkily Mr. Hide thing going on because the two were never seen at the same time . the devil crab has eaten our smaller emerald (much to the horror of my girlfriend who loved the little guy dearly). Please if you can tell me the name of this devil and is it dangerous to anything else? <Like your descriptions and tenor... Don't know species or other useful information re this crab... but would bait it out, remove it from the system> 2. I have a starfish that I cannot identify. It is hard like a snail shell and moves like a snail never bending one of its five points. It is about the size of a dime maybe a little smaller. It is a tan color with some light patterns. The star is always on the move and seen frequently. any identification will be helpful. <Mmm, for both the above animals there are hundreds of possibilities...> 3. we have a thirty gallon tank with 5 damsels (3 three stripe and two blue with yellow tails), 1 Mandarin goby, 1 pearl scale butterfly, 1 emerald crab, 1 ?? crab (the devil), 1 decor sponge crab, 1 flame scallop, 1 Condy anemone and three or four blue leg hermits. Do you think that is too much for that tank ? <Yes... could, should be twice the volume minimum for what you list> thank you for your time and information . I will read more of your FAQ to do battle with the parasites in my tank I would like to add a cleaner shrimp or wrasse but will wait for your reply. Thank you, Jeffery Blevins <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner, who had a friend named Tom Blevins here in San Diego years back.>

Re: Ich Bob, Fish are doing fine, eating very aggressively. Follow me around tank looking for food. I do see a slight increase in parasites on the body. No scratching or hiding. Will the parasites run in cycles or will they keep increasing in numbers? <Increasing if conditions favor them> Should I leave well enough alone or consider hyposalinity? <One avenue of control.> I have read your articles about and was wondering why you do not get complete kill if you go to 1.010 specific gravity for an extended period of time (what would that period of time be)? <Mmm, tolerance by some individuals, allowance for more resistant stages...> Of course I would elevate temp. Freshwater dips are so effective that I would think you could do some major damage to parasites. What else would you lose? <The hosts> Have 3 butterflies, goby for cleaning, snowflake eel and live rock. Also have a few snails and hermit crabs. D. Stanley <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich (More like disease/health equation components) Bob, Fish are doing great. I was wondering about the balance between heath/disease. Keeping fish with live rock (and some parasite) Over time if the fish stay healthy and can keep fighting of parasites will the parasites die off or will they always be around looking for the first opportunity to overcome a weak fish? <More often the latter> Will there over time, be a winner, loser, or will balance? <A sliding, more fluid type of balance> Fish have had small signs of parasites on fins and tail but not body for a week now. Do not see any fish getting worse maybe better. No hiding and eating everything they can aggressively. Like all hobbyist, at some point I will want to introduce new quarantined fish to system. D. Stanley <I understand... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm elaboration of very useful model. Bob Fenner>

Re: cloudy water (spg actually) Is it better to keep salinity slightly higher? Or is better where it is,1.020? <On a permanent basis... the vast majority of systems and livestock are best kept in near seawater conditions (about 1.025)... and much easier to keep clear, non-cloudy> And can you recommend and effective ich preventative/ treatment that will not harm inverts? -Pat <Yes... optimized, stable water quality/conditions, utilizing vitamin preparations in nourishing foods, placing useful biological cleaner organisms. Bob Fenner>

Suspect Cryptocaryon in main system... Bob, I have your book the Conscientious Marine Aquarist an am using it extensively. <Hope you find it of use> About 2 months ago I noticed salt looking specs on my Yellow Tang, Orchid Dottyback, and Flame Angel. Rest of tank (55gal) seems fine. Some data: Tank population: Maroon Clown pair, 6-line wrasse, Falco Hawkfish, Banded Coral Shrimp, Fromia Starfish, Sebae Anemone, 20-24 blue leg hermits, 20-30 snails, approx. 60 lb. live rock with critters. Tank: 55 Gal, Fluval 304, Aquaclear 300, Red Sea Prism skimmer, JBL 4 x 55W compact f., power head. Initial treatment was freshwater dip for the tang, Dottyback, and flame angel. I treated water with Methylene blue and pH adjusted. Significant reduction in number of specs. I repeated treatment 2 days later as I was trying to speed up cycling of 10 gal. hospital tank to move them to. I moved them into the 10 gal tank 6 days after initial visual indications of problem and 20 days into cycling of 10 gal tank. Treated with Copper. Dottyback perished. Tang and Flame made full recovery. Questions: My main tank still has all other fish in it and they show no signs of anything being wrong. I am surprised that the clown fish are doing so well. They do however show translucent areas of about 1/8 inch that come and go within hours on tails and fins. I moved tang and flame back into main, and they came down with spots again 4 days latter, they are now spotless in hospital tank and at 7 days of treatment with SeaCure copper. What do they have and do I need to "fallow" the main tank?  <Most likely a lingering infestation of crypt as you suggest> How complete is "fallow"? Do I move all creatures noted above to more tanks including live rock? <Mmm, yes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasitf.htm and beyond> Last data: I am pretty nearsighted and when I look at tank without my contacts or glasses I can see what appears as white critters on tank glass. I believe them to be protozoans or some other small thing.  They have two "whiskers" at the head and 1 single tail. I can not see them with normal vision. They have been in tank for a longer time than this breakout. <Not related... likely some sort of small species (there are many) of polychaete worm> Here's the killer I think, I added a Threadfin Butterfly that never ate and died after about 6 days in the main tank. It never showed any symptoms of the white specs. This was one week prior to outbreak. I know, bad mistake! <Yikes...> What do I do to fully recover. <Read for now... on the WWM site... to help develop your treatment strategy. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Dale

Cold Question (parasite survival, marine) Mr. Fenner, One odd question. Can parasites survive in cold, below freezing weather?  <Mmm, yes... not usually tropical aquarium ones though.> After my copper treatment for Ich, I rinsed my buckets and them left them overnight in below freezing temperatures to make sure the parasites are eradicated completely. Hopefully, this is the case. <Hopefully. Bob Fenner> Ron

Ich Same old story. Let my tank go fallow for a month (wasn't sure if there had been ich exposure to it. Quarantined 3 butterfly fish for 3 weeks with copper and 5 minute freshwater dips with Methylene blue once a week and upon putting fish in main tank. I introduced fish one at a time, every two days. First fish to go into tank 6 days ago is showing signs of ich, I'm sure other will follow. They are eating well and mannerism normal. The system is 90 gallon with about 100lbs of live rock. I have 40watt UV sterilizer with algae scrubber and Tunze p. skimmer. I have Ozone available, but don't use it. I have read your website pretty extensively and also have your book. Of course, with all your consistent info on what to do to treat main tank and re-quarantine the fish, I have questions about trying something a little different.  <Okay> Trying to cut down on the fallow time of the main tank. From what I understand, could be months with no real guarantee. <Yes> I really want to keep the live rock and not introduce copper to main tank. I was wonder if I remove all the rock and freshwater dip it for one hour?  <Mmm, might help more than hurt> or whatever time would kill any attached parasites. <Likely that resting stages would not perish... and likely they are present (multiple generations) already> I believe freshwater dips are key to the quarantine process. I don't know how effective it work with rocks. Then put rock in vat of saltwater with high temp and low salinity. Do the same for gravel or just remove and replace. Treat the fish in quarantine and bring everyone together in about three weeks. Sounds great? <I would try the "environmental manipulation, adding cleaners, bolstering immune systems with vitamins and iodide added to foods" approach first...> Tell me there is easier way or what you think. I guess I left out that I would drain system when fish. rock, and gravel is removed. <Understood> I have become more experienced in the quarantine process and have the setup to make it work so if I can rid main tank of ich, I feel I can prevent this from happening in future. Hope your dive trip went well. Just got tickets yesterday for Caymans to dive with kids over spring break. D Stanley <Do think your present situation over a bit more... before taking drastic action... very hard on the Butterfly fishes... and the "balance" of health/disease may be just slightly away now... And do instead dwell on the near future of enjoyment, sharing with your family in the tropical West Atlantic. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich/FW dips Bob Do you recommend a freshwater dip for a new arriving fish before putting him in quarantine, or waiting a couple of days? <Not all fish species, specimens routinely... some arrive too weak to dip, others are historically worse off for the operation, unless they are judged parasitized...> I am talking about an overnight delivery instead of a fish from LFS. How long of dip is best? I am watching fish closely. If 5 minutes is effective on killing parasites I obviously don't want to leave fish in dip for ten minutes. I understand that some fish will react differently. But I guess I am asking what is optimal. <Please read my dip/bath articles starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the FAQs files beyond> By the way, my current butterflies seem to be fighting off parasites. I believe you can judge a lot about a fish by closely watching him eat. <Yes! This is so> If there is any change, something is probably up. These fish would peck at my finger if I let them. Saw two of three pecking at algae. Time will tell. What is best, in your opinion, vitamin, for supplement with my concerns?  <A liquid complex...> What do you think about garlic? and garlic and vitamin supplements on the market?  <Both, all of these have their place... my opinions, related background information are posted on the WWM site... there is a search feature there if you don't want to avail yourself of the Marine Index/Site Map> Fish don't seem to crazy about it, but if it is important they can be trained to eat it. D. Stanley <Not altogether unlike human food preferences, eh? Bob Fenner>

Bob, I might have ich! Hello, Bob. Hope you rested well. <Mmm, yes... but am ready for a trip out already...> I'm sure by now, you see the "FROM:" listed, and wince. It has truly been my intent to become a conscientious aquarist, as you have so eloquently described and modeled. And, except for this last shipment I would say that I have been holding pretty steadfast towards that goal, and pleased with the resulting reef setup that was emerging. <Ah good> By the way, the bubble anemone has settled in very nicely where I placed it, and seems to be all filled out (though a couple of the tentacles have tiny white spots on their tips), and the clarkii is equally pleased. I fed the anemone tonight, and it visibly closed in on the food I squirted onto it. <Good news as well> Here's the nub of the question: Somewhere on your site I read something that gave me the impression that the slime which came out of my anemone last night might have a certain toxic affect on the tankmates. Tonight (after a community choir performance), I returned home and noticed a whole mess of small whitish spots all over my (newly introduced) powder blue surgeon. Then, looking at the rest of the fish, I noticed similar signs (but to a much smaller degree) on my Chromis, Anthias, and maybe the ocellaris. The Zebrasoma, blood hawk, and orange-tailed damsel seem to be unaffected at this time. (Also, it seems to me that there are two small dark black holes just above the "nose" of the powder blue which I hadn't noticed before... maybe they're nostrils)> <Mmm, Powder Blue Surgeons are very susceptible to ich, velvet infestations... the anemone adjustment to the system might have/be playing a role here> What are the chances that this is all some reaction to that mucous vs. that even after the 1/2hr + in the acclimation solution (with Maracyn II, Maracide, Novaqua and Methylene blue), something I introduced directly to my display tank (STUPID STUPID STUPID) brought along ich? <The ich definitely came by way of the fishes...> I've read your material (Thanks again for all your efforts), and I'll do whatever needs to be done, but I'd really appreciate some help in formulating my options. If it's ich, here's what I have to consider. In this 150gal tank, I have: 8 Chromis, 4 Anthias, 1 Firefish, 1 orange spotted blenny, 1 red scooter blenny, 1 blood red hawk, 1 yellow tank, 1 powder blue surgeon, 1 bar goby, 1 fridmani Pseudochromis, 1 orange-tailed damsel, 1 Yellowhead Jawfish, 1 pajama cardinal, 1 clarkii anemone fish. Inverts include 1 bubble anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp, 3 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 Mithrax crab, many hermits and snails, 1 sifting star, 1 maroon serpent star and a couple of large feather dusters. I also have about 14 soft corals and 1 or 2 gorgonians, along with several types of Macroalgae. <Mmm, you can/will hopefully be able to tip the system to the "health" side of balance by nutritional supplementing, environmental manipulation... you already have sufficient cleaners... optimizing the environment, keeping it stable... RATHER than having to resort to separation of copper sensitive life and chemical treatment...> Everything in the tank has been eating well, and all the corals are reproducing. I feed 2 or 3 times a day, various flake foods, sea select seaweeds on lettuce clips, and a mixture of chopped seafood with other green stuff. I soak at least one meal a day in Selcon, and/or garlic. Everything has really looked nice in there, up until last night when this problem surfaced. <The Powder Blue is a large factor... may act as a reservoir host for some time...> I have a 3"+ base of sand, aragonite, live sand, and GARF grunge, and 180 pounds of liverock. The filter is completely self contained and is inserted totally into the tank. It uses 2 Rio powerheads, plus a 3rd one circulating through my UV and protein skimmer. The filter uses mechanical filtration at the top, followed by layers of Nitrex, Chemi-pure, and bio-foam. I have recently added a poly-filter to the stack, right after the filter pad (which comprises the first-layer mechanical filtration) to help bring down the phosphates. <Lots of gear...> My water measurements are: temp 75, SG 1.022 (I've been keeping this in line with daily top-offs), pH 8.1 (don't know why this is down from normal 8.2), Alk 6meg/L, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.1 (Must be the significant increase in livestock over the weekend), Nitrate 25, Phosphate 1 ppm. <pH does just slide (closed systems are, go reductive... I would boost your alkalinity... with simple baking soda additions...> I have a separate 20gal tank available, and will purchase something else if that is necessary. If this is ich, will I need to separate the fish from the corals? <Mmm, not yet> Do you think this is too many fish for a 20?  <Will/would be crowded> During the time I am treating the fish with copper, will it destroy any of the things I may have on my live rock (lots of little feather dusters, worms, maybe corals, and many other interesting critters). In other words, would it be best to move out my corals and extra pretty / well established live rock, and then keep the remaining rock and fish in the main tank, then dose it? <These need to be kept from the copper... the system, minus all fishes, can be manipulated w/o copper... in the hopes of weakening, starving the parasites> As you can tell, I'm a bit fuzzy on the next step (I'm also a bit fuzzy just because of the late hour). Thanks in advance for your assistance in this situation. Sincerely, Jim Raub <You are on the brink of personal growth, revelation... Appear to know "enough" about what is going on, has gone on in/with your system... now you need to understand what you know, develop a plan, and put it into careful execution. Bob Fenner>

Re: ICK-HELP Hi Bob, Thanks for all the advice. I appears that it was not ick, because I haven't seen the spots since then or the following morning. I did however get some cleaner shrimp and I continuing to use the Zoecon and garlic extreme for feedings. Thanks again and hoping you get everything you wish for this holiday season. Gillian <Thank you my friend. Congratulations on your success. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown fish with Ich? Bob, <<JasonC here filling in for Bob while he packs for his upcoming dive trip.>> I have a 55 gallon tank with 1 yellow tang, 1 maroon clown fish, 1 velvet and 1 blue damsel. I also have several green/brown button polyps, Christmas tree worms, feather dusters, some hard coral (?) that came with the LR (about 25 pounds of it) etc. My question is : Recently I noticed some little white spots on my clown fish and did a fresh water dip (4 times).  <<in what period?>> He/she has been eating fine, does not scratch at all, and all spots seem to be along its white stripe and on top of the head. My water parameters are : Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10ppm (?) pH 8.2 and Alkalinity 3 to 3.5. I have been adding Alkalinity Plus/Hardness every other day.  <<for any particular reason?>>  Does this sound like Ich, or I shouldn't worry about it?  <<could be Ick, may also be stress - you should be at least concerned>> If it is indeed ich, why isn't the clown fish scratching?  <<hasn't reached that stage or epidemic proportion. Most times the spots are like a scab - a sign that the parasite has BEEN there, but may not still be there.>>  In addition, my LPS suggested Organicure, however I am concerned that it will hurt my coral states that it has COPPER 1.25% and FORMALDEHYDE 17%).  <<you should be concerned - it will almost undoubtedly cause problems for your coral>>  Should I treat the fish separately in a QT or is the ich already established in the tank?  <<If you must treat the fish with harsh mechanisms and you want to save your corals/invertebrates, then yes you will have to remove the clown. As for the infestation of your system, it is probably too late - has it become established? No easy way to tell, give it time and the answer will be a solid yes.>> Thank you for your attention, D. <<do try to avail yourself to the assorted readings on the WWM site, and in particular do a search on HYPOSALINITY - a regimen for lowering the specific gravity of your tank to help remedy this situation. In addition, your tank is a prime candidate for a biological cleaner like a Cleaner Shrimp. Check these links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cleaner.htm  Cheers, J -- >>

Treating Ick Hi Bob, thanks for the excellent site, I've been reading as much as I can for days! I will be visiting often as I just started a 30G tank. <Ah, good to have the company> I just introduced a six-line wrasse a few days ago to my previous occupants a 3/4" yellow tailed damsel, 1 1/2" clarkii, and a 1" pygmy angel. All are eating and looking lively and healthy. Except for the six-line which I can barely see tiny white spots, about 5 of them, and who also scratches the coral a lot. I can't catch the fella without taking my coral out <For five spots... I'd try treating this specimen in place>  since there are tons of small crevices he can hide in, but I'm worried that he'll infest my other occupants <This has already "happened"... Now, more a matter of balance then a "yes/no" question of whether the infestation will ever turn hyperinfective> quickly. I've lowered the salinity to 1.020 and raised the temp to 82. Is it too late to do anything?  <No... you're already doing something. I would also go the vitamin/food soaking route, perhaps even augment with garlic, and add a purposeful cleaner organism.> Should I take the wrasse out (causing stress to the others as I chase him) or put copper in the entire tank as a precaution?  <I would do neither... Treat the whole system as above> On a side note, I wish he could help himself, he's been acting as a cleaner wrasse since I put him in, the clarkii and angel regularly try to get him to clean them. <This happens> Thanks for any advice, I'll keep checking the site to see how others deal with ich. <Do so my friend, and do write back if this is unclear, incomplete. Bob Fenner> -Jack

More on Treating Ick Hi Bob, thanks for the quick reply and the advice! I'll continue with the lowered salinity treatment and try the vitamins and garlic. Just a few more questions (sorry), I would like to get a cleaner shrimp to help out and possible a neon goby (would the goby clean a wrasse?) <Definitely the Gobiosoma... Read about them, Labroides wrasses, and cleaner shrimps on WetWebMedia.com> if I can find one. Would the wrasse or pygmy angel do anything to or eat a cleaner shrimp?  <Should get along fine> I used to have a coral banded shrimp that would chase the small fish around and sometimes eat them, so I think I'll avoid that one!  <Yes, look into the genus Lysmata>  I guess outside of emptying the tank for a long period, I have to accept that it has ich and I have to control it. <Yes, this is so> I've had a couple of other tanks before and they've done well, just was so happy that this new one had zero problems until now! Live and learn I guess!  <Yes... perhaps quarantine in the future. Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob! -Jack

Re: Ich (I think) Thank You for the info and I put in a big white block that will automatically adjust the alkalinity of the tank (don't remember what it is called). <It won't, sigh...> I bought the marine max to increase slime coat on fish so parasites won't attach to fish.  <It won't, bigger sigh> I have increased temp, bought cleaner wrasses, but they died because my brown tang stressed them out too much. <They didn't die because of this. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm> We have cleaner shrimps but since both are carrying babies they are not wanting to clean though they did a little yesterday) I am afraid of lowering salinity as am already having problems with KH and PH. Your site suggests getting neon gobies to clean fish, will my big brown tang also chase them? <Maybe...> Can I get more cleaner shrimps or will the spawning ones attack them. I really want to cure my fish with more environmental manipulation and less meds. <You need to separate the fishes and non-fish livestock, treat the fishes separately....> Also, should I continue feeding medicated flakes? We have a UV sterilizer and were told to get a protein skimmer will this help and can I fight the ich w/out copper? <You need to go back, read about set-up... you should have had a protein skimmer from day one... it would have helped prevent the problems you're currently fighting.> Assuming and I am almost certain it is improper Alkalinity, can these environmental things cure prob. My husband will not use copper or get hospital tank due to past experience. As always thanks for advice. <You are a prime example of "good/bad consumerism"... someone/s has/have tapped into your psyches, pocketbooks and found ways of convincing you to "buy something/s"... Don't cheat yourselves or your livestock... learn what you're doing in setting up your system first... treat your livestock in TWO different systems at this point... LEARN, if not from me, from the bulletin boards, chatrooms, even books... Don't think to act on impulse, "buying something"... Think deeply on this. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich (I think) Mr. Fenner, I read in excess of 50 pages on your website over the weekend. It said not to adjust PH, but find the underlying problem.  <THE underlying problem IS low alkalinity... pH IS adjusted easily by adjusting, rectifying your low alkaline reserve> Also, it says that parasites are caused from stress in the tank.  <This is only ONE of MANY inputs...> I cannot find anything else wrong in the tank except that the ammonia was a little high a few weeks ago and the PH has been low for about a week. The ich comes at 8:30pm and is gone by 8-9 am Everyday. That does not sound like the life cycle of ich. <It is.> Your site says it stays on the fish for 5-7 days, then falls off, reproduces and attaches back to the fish. This is not happening. <You have the beginnings of understanding... only... the cyclist in your system is multi-generational... ALL of the parasites are not dropping off according to some magical time scale... It's as if you planted vegetables on different days, weeks... some will "produce" at later times...> It is only on fish for 12 hours, once fish wake up and start swimming around it is gone.  <No... only "apparently" gone... the marks on your fish livestock are resultant (not the parasites themselves) of infestation... the fish, system "gets better" during the day, and the wound/marks of the parasites are less visible...> Our water is good. I did a 10 gal water change this weekend, ammonia is 0, nitrites 0 Nitrates are 20ppm and PH is finally at 8.2(for now) The fish all get along, so I cannot figure out what the problem is to fix it. Aside from what your site says to run copper through the system, which I cannot do. I do read where you send me, but I still cannot find the problem. Please think about what I have said and see if there is ANYTHING that seems wrong here that would cause these problems.  <You have "good water quality", yet you state there has been transient ammonia, vacillating pH? What is wrong is your lack of complete understanding...> We have spent in excess of $1500 on various things trying to fix these problems in the last 2-3 months. <This is meaningless to me... you could spend a seemingly infinite sum and still be unsuccessful> What else can I possibly do? If I use Marine-Max will it harm my fish?  <Call, write the manufacturer... or whoever you bought this product from... Why did you buy it? I don't use it, endorse its use> We want to use something natural as ALL other meds for ich including copper killed 4 of our pets (that we had for over 12 months) We use Melafix to try to ensure they do not get any bacterial infections while they have these parasites and we sometimes give them garlic elixir. What else can be done? And please don't assume I have not read your site because I have, many times. And it all relates to bad water or bad livestock. <Mmm, no. There are three sets of...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm> My water is good <Read the above sent by you in this message...> and my fish have all been in the tank at least 2 months and some much longer. Please help me, I am running out of things to do. <These doings, lack of doings are easily described... you should do what others have described that actually worked/works... environmental manipulation, isolation of hosts, parasitized systems, copper treatments... described... on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Ich (I think) Okay, I thought I had it figured out but now I am not sure. Thought fish were stressed due to lack of oxygen while inverts were awake. Could explain why PH drops in middle of night. But I bought a new air pump and new air stones and an air rod. <Has little, nothing to do with pH shift... you didn't read where I sent you...> All work wonderfully and still they all had ich this morning. Was reading more about ich and I guess it seems normal (according to this article) that ich disappears during the day and reappears when lights go out.  <No> So, I have decided to keep lights on longer as well as feed fish anti-parasitic flakes by Tetra they contain something that ich hates) and use Marine-Max by tropical Science to build up immune system as well as increase slime coat so Ich cannot attach to my fish. Does this sound like it could solve my problems. <No> We HATE to medicate the tank with all our inverts, plus have not had any luck in the past with ich meds or hospital tanks. What are your views on leaving lights on longer and how long should they be on a day while trying to battle ich as well as how long should I alter the photoperiod?  <Waste of time> What are your views on Marine-max? <Not important. You can only save your livestock by first understanding what is going on in your system, next knowing what to do at this point, and lastly "doing it". Apply yourself. Bob Fenner> 

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