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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 4

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 3, 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 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27, Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 30, Crypt 31, Crypt 32, Crypt 33, Crypt 34, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Infectious Disease

No fish species is entirely immune to Crypt.

Ich in mornings = Cryptocaryon Dear Crew, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I know there are lots of posts on ich. We've had our Naso tang for over a year and we had ich (black and white) upon introduction. We know the standard treatments, hyposalinity, increased temp, copper, fresh water dips, cleaner shrimps. We never use copper (bad for tang's gut, I hear) or fresh water dips (rather traumatic). <I disagree wholeheartedly on the FW dip read... it is much less traumatic than a long term chemo treatment. The key is to do it properly (temp, ph adjusted, oxygenated, etc). I have had a couple thousand tangs in my wholesale experience through dips as long as fifteen minutes.>  Our tang gets a few ich spots (either black or white) in the mornings. <a giveaway that it is Cryptocaryon with its short fast life cycle> It's occasional and probably the shrimp pick it off over the course of a day or two (it disappears and the shrimp jump on the fish). We've been trying to start introducing corals so we can't reduce salinity as much (used to keep it at 1.021--now it's at 1.024) and our temp is 82. Nitrates are near zero. Fish looks otherwise fine. pH is a little low--close to 8 (Salifert--less than 8.3). Why mornings?  <above> Is there anything we can do? For example, it's likely that pH and temp go down overnight.  <the pH drop is normal and natural due to respiration (although I hope you don't let it dip below 8.3 for a reef tank). The temperature drop I cannot explain other than saying it is a flaw. How is it possible if you have thermostatic heaters? Temp drops are surefire ways to flare Ich> Perhaps, it's because the fish doesn't move at night? Would increasing water movement help?  <nope> I hate to have this little fellow condemned to a life of being dinner for those nasty parasites. It probably keeps the shrimps happy but they eat flakes. Thanks, Allyson <trap the creature in the morning when the fish is sluggish... remove to QT with Formalin and/or copper for four weeks during which time the parasites in the tank will wane without a viable host assuming you correct the temp fluctuations. All will be just fine in one month. The best course of action. Best regards, Anthony>

Naso Relapse... Anthony, I have a feeling I'm going to wear out my welcome,  <no worries, my friend> but unfortunately I am in need of some advice yet again. I used the search option on your web page but could find very little info about my new problem. If you remember we have been going back and forth about my blonde Naso, which became ill over the weekend. Well since the transport into a QT, and subsequent treatment with Greenex which started on Monday, his ich cleared up, his appetite increased and the gilling ceased. In fact he was looking very good, up until last night. The ich has come back, which isn't a big problem I was expecting that.  <indeed> The new problem is that the poor guy now has cloudy eyes. To be exact it looks like there is a kind of film which has coated the eye. Also he refused food, both last night and this morning.  <secondary infection or response to the aggressive Greenex treatment> I searched on WetWebMedia.com for any articles relating to this. Really all I found were articles relating to exophthalmia, which he definitely doesn't have. There is zero swelling around the eyes. <agreed> I set up the quarantine tank using water from the main display. So my thinking is that whatever was in the main display, to cause his sickness in the first place, is still there making him sick.  <the water was appropriate... the fish is immuno-compromised and brought it in on his, er... person> I was hoping that treatment would help this. Could this be a side infection, initiated by the ich weakening his immune system?  <either or both> Is this yet another type of protozoan infection? Is there anything I can do, outside of a quick water change, to aide him? Should I do anything? <I still rank freshwater dips above all including Greenex> I realize this is a lot of questions. But since I'm not out of the woods yet, I was hoping you could help point the way. <no trouble... a common problem. Naso may still be quite fine in a week. Easy on that Greenex please. It is cure or kill.> Thank you, Michael Mariani <best regards, Anthony>

Cryptocaryon I am from Sydney, Australia and am hoping you can share some advice with me on how to successfully treat white spot. I am new (3 months) to my marine aquarium and by error in judgment purchased a regal blue tang from a back yard dealer and hence my tank has become infected with white spot, even after treating with Cupramine it went for a while but has returned and infected my entire tank, should I be more patient or should I dispose of the offending fish to save all my other fish. <Do not get rid of the fish. Please do quarantine all new fish from now on. I would also look at your tank for some sort of trigger for the Ich; poor water quality, temperature fluctuations, etc. Please look at the FAQ's on Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon. -Steven Pro> Regards, Ian

Recurring Ich Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> You've probably answered this type of question before, but I can't seem to find a link with the answer.  <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and many of the links at the top of the page...more to be activated soon in the coming months...> I have a 135 Gallon reef tank that has been set up for about a year. I have a Purple Tang, a Yellow Tang, A hippo, a Flame Angel, 2 Perculas, and a Gramma in there. They have all been quarantined and freshwater dipped. There's a skimmer on it and there are about 130lbs. of live rock. Temp. is at about 82-84F and the salinity is 1.021. Corals are just some mushrooms, polyps and a colt coral. Everything was fine for 7-8 months (where very little if anything else was added to the tank). Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere the Hippo and the Purple Tang developed ich (I assume it is ich because there are white spots on their body).  <larger like grains of salt would indicate Cryptocaryon, fine spots like dust or talc would indicate Velvet (Amyloodinium)> The Flame also had it to a lesser extent. I was surprised because most of these fish had been doing fine for several months in the system.  <commonly is aggravated by temperature swings between night and day. Try checking the temp at different times of day... if more than two degrees, stabilize with a second heater (always a good idea and so inexpensive in the big picture)> It had also been a good month since anything had been added at all. I turned my skimmer off and treated them with No-Ich (I think it's made by Marine Vet) and used Tetramin's medicated food almost exclusively. I used the heavier dosage that No-Ich recommended for the longer period of time (1 month).  <wow.. you are lucky the flame survived it. They are sensitive to dyes and metals> After a couple of days the ich was gone but I finished the cycle per their directions. Throughout the month spots would come back but then quickly go away. Since by the end of the cycle it was gone, I figured it was working. I "restarted" the tank with a 25% water change and turned my skimmer back on. I should note that throughout the entire problem the fish had never shown any outward signs of stress and continued to eat very well. If it weren't for the dots you'd think they were completely healthy. However, after a few good weeks it came back again. The Hippo always seems to get it the worst, and then the Purple Tang and the Flame to a lesser extent. I wasn't confident that another treatment of the No-Ich was the answer. So as I procrastinated a day or two on what to do next, the ich cleared up again. To make a long story longer, this slight outbreak of ich keeps popping up and going away every couple of weeks or so.  <daily temperature fluctuations or water for evap top off several times weekly that is not temperature adjusted/heated can indeed cause the reoccurrence> It can be so quick as to be on the fish in the morning and gone by the end of the day.  <this is a conspicuous sign of Cryptocaryon and its short life cycle> It doesn't seem to effect the fishes behavior and since it keeps going away I've almost started to ignore it. However, I know that is not a good idea and I'm looking for a way to get rid of it once and for all. I can't think of anything that is going on in the tank that could be causing the fish any undue stress and leaving them susceptible to disease. The temp. is a little high, but it has always been a little high in every reef tank I've had.  <is it aggravated by the lights and drops at night?> All of my Ammonia, Nitrite etc. seems to be in check. The only problem I seem to have is getting the Alkalinity above 2.5.  <wow.. indeed low but not likely a cause for Ich... try another brand of buffer> Short of breaking down the tank (which I don't have the space or the equipment to do), what kind of options do I have to rid myself of this problem? What would cause it to break out then disappear if the conditions are stable and the fish are seemingly healthy and don't appear stressed? I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for your time. Joe De Palma <the temp of water change and evaporation top off water if often unheated and overlooked. It can be a persistent scourge even when the tank temp is stable. Do explore all options and test if necessary. Please brown the FAQ's on the link above as well to see if anything sounds familiar. Best regards, Anthony>

New Tank With Problems Hi- I hope you can answer me in time.......... I have 3 damsels, (1 domino, 2 striped) and 20 baby sergeant majors.  <I hope the 20 Sergeant Major Damsels is a typo. Either way, way too many fish for this stage and the Sergeant Majors and Domino are a poor choice for such a small tank.> Approx. 15 hermits, and about 10 snails with a dead sea fan and dead coral. I have a 26g bow-front with a TetraTec PF300 filter, and whatever UV light that came w/ my tank. I have had the tank and everything in in for 4 weeks now, and as of 3 days ago, started noticing problems w/ the damsels. The 2 striped damsels have always had little white spots on their fins, which I assumed was ich, yet never got rid of them...(too soft-hearted?)  <No need to get rid of them. Treatment would be useful.> mainly because they never showed any signs of stress. Well, now the domino, as well as the 2 stripes have not eaten in 3 days, and yesterday, I noticed that their eyes seem to be bulging (slightly). Both eyes on the domino, and one on the stripes. Their diet consists of marine flakes/granules/brine shrimp cubes, which I let fully melt before adding. I feed once or twice daily and try to switch it up so they don't get bored. My S.G., pH and ammonia are fine, but nitrites/nitrates are a bit high, but then again, have been all along. What can I do to help these little guys? Thanks, Michelle- Ft. Lauderdale <Please refer to the various articles on WWM concerning cycling your tank and treatment for Cryptocaryon. You seem to be experiencing water quality problems related to how new your tank is. This is bringing on the various diseases in your fish. -Steven Pro>

Advanced Aquarist Fish with Ich This morning I noticed that my Powder Blue Tang, and Oriental Sweetlips have white dots which I diagnosed as ich. I raised the Temperature to 84 degrees increased both circulation and aeration, and began lowering gravity which is at 1.023.  <.001-.002 daily until 1.018 would be fine) I don't have a quarantine tank to treat these fish. Hoping that you can give me some advice and what steps I should take.  <a ten gallon tank is so small and inexpensive when compared to what you have invested in money and lives in the main tank...do consider. In the meantime, freshwater dips are a good bet. Organic dyes are harsh on sensitive fish like the tang and Sweetlips...really fishes for advanced aquarists and advanced husbandry (including QT)...else this is common and contributes to the rate of mortality so often reported with these species. Sorry for the soapbox, but we see this too often> Would dips in Methylene blue help and if so how many times a day and how long should the dip be performed or should I add copper safe to the aquarium or some form of copper.  <can't use blue or copper with these sensitive fishes...especially the Sweetlips. Formalin dips in addition to the FW baths. Formalin in QT would likely save them.> I have a 90 gallon tank with a wet\dry system a Prizm skimmer, an 15 watt U.V sterilizer. Also should I keep the lights on I heard that slows the spread of ich is this true.  <really a legend... only some unshielded metal halide lamps throw enough UV to even possibly be therapeutic but even then its a stretch. Do archive how to best apply UV (prefiltered water, weekly carbon, monthly unit cleaning, new bulbs every six months). Protocol for dips and formalin as well in the archives and FAQs> Thanks for all your help. <best regards, Anthony>

Advanced Aquarist Fish with Ich II Is it possible for me to setup a QT tank in 1 day.  <absolutely... best case scenario, you could use some dirty filter media or a secondary filter (like a power filter with a sponge/floss insert (don't clean it)). Worst case scenario... you will have to fed lightly and do small daily water changes for the first week or so... which you would have to do even with an established filter to control Ich. With Cryptocaryon, one can theoretically cure a fish of Ich by siphoning the bare bottom of the QT tank for 8 consecutive days to break the Tomite/larval life cycle of the parasite. Add some formalin and or fresh dips to that equation and you have an extremely good chance of having cured fish in 14 days> My powder blue is about 2 1\2" and my Sweetlips is about 3 1\2" would a 10 gallon QT tank be enough for them?  <again...the water changes in most any QT relive the temporary and sometimes necessary crowding> Would a whisper 1 be a good enough filter for the QT tank and how long should I leave it in my main tank running before it can be used for the QT tank?  <if one has to buy a filter, I like the Hagen Aquaclear models with two foam block inserts (instead of one foam, and one carbon) for their effective bio-filtration (more so then the floss cartridges of most models like the Whispers)> I don't know if I read your last email correctly but I should add the formalin to the QT tank and perform the fresh water dips. <exactly... Formalin can be added daily in a QT tank in addition to or instead of the short baths. The FW dips are usually very helpful regardless of QT or display treatments. Anthony>

Advanced Aquarist Fish with Ich III I also read on your website that Formalin is very toxic and Methylene blue is very bad for fish yet you said that with these sensitive fish I should use Formalin why is that can you please explain this to me. Thank you very much. <it all depends on the application... Formalin is effective but aggressive and easily overdosed. Yet it is not especially harsh on any one group of fishes categorically. It is toxic if allowed to freeze whereby the precipitate paraformaldehyde is formed (dangerous). However, it is assumed that you will not have occasion to freeze your stored meds, and dosed properly in QT is useful IMO. Methylene blue is really more appropriate for bacteria and fungus, for starters... not really for parasite control. And while it is generally considered to be mild on fishes, it is very damaging to biological filtration (critical that this med not be used in main displays in part for this reason). Furthermore it is an organic dye which overdoses scaleless and small scaled fishes severely. So mild for most, but dangerous to sensitive fishes like Sweetlips, lions, eels, etc. Regards, Anthony>

Re: ich The powder blue is in the QT tank and he looks to be doing very well no signs of ick. Do you think that the Sweetlips could be developing something else? What type of antibiotics should I have on hand. <please refer to my previous replies to you on this query and to the WWM fish disease section. The WWM archives are really a wealth of information for folks that care to browse them. Begin at the homepage/index or use the google search feature to narrow your inquiry. best regards, Anthony> 

Re: live rock and ick questions II Hello again Anthony, Just wanted to tell you I'm going to use the formalin like you suggested, but no one in the area has it in stock so I'm stuck waiting here for it to arrive mail order.  <indeed, not the only med or even foolproof... but all things considered will serve better or best in this case> The stores did have formalin/malachite green combinations but after looking over your site I seen that malachite green can be deadly to the tangs. In the mean time I called around a few animal hospitals and found one that deals with marine fish and that he could do a scraping of the skin and gills and identify the problem.  <wow...outstanding!!!> My concern is the transportation of the fish, I will probably bring along the yellow tang. They suggest putting the fish in a cooler with water from my main tank. I agree with this, but do you think I should get one of those battery operated air pumps since it will be about three hours by the time the fish will be back home? Hopefully!  <absolutely a great idea> Also maybe a little Amquel or Cycle for the ammonia?  <I don't believe you need either...water changes will be fine instead> Or should I just wait until I get the formalin? From what I read, formalin sounds like the best treatment for parasites.  <really a case by case basis... with large scaled and tough fishes that clearly have Crypt... copper is fine after all. But gill flukes are very tough to cure and copper is not the ticket then. Really case by case> I just like to be sure, I don't want to treat them for something that isn't there and stress them out again when I do know what to treat for. I looked on Kordon's and Aq-Products web site and neither mentioned turning UV or skimmer off during treatment, could you please tell me? <recommended in both cases as standard QT procedure> Man, I wish I ran across this site and picked up CMA about 8 months ago, I don't think I would be having these problems. I put each fish in a 20 gallon bare bottom tank with a little hide out and cheapo tetra tec filter and treated each one with copper, but after looking over this site it seems copper is mainly just for ick.  <correct...and very good for it too> Also while I was on my formalin hunt I was checking out the live rock and every place that had it, the rock had no coralline algae coverage at all, it was just an ugly brownish color. In all their tanks it was covered in green and purple algae, looked beautiful. I finally asked the last place I was at why it didn't look like it does in their tanks and they told me the algae will come back with time and the addition of calcium. Is this true?  <absolutely true...just a matter of a few months and consistent dosing of calcium and Seabuffer> Or do you think I would be better off ordering from one of the online retailers? I'm using a total of 220watts All Glass compact fluorescents with the 9325 K bulbs. Would this amount of light be enough to sustain the algae growth on a 125 gallon?  <fine for live rock... but not all coral/invertebrates> One more thing I seek your advice on is my wet dry filter. It is probably 12 or so years old and the bio media is this big roll of filter felt with a black plastic mesh rolled inside, I believe its called DLS.  <wow! I haven't seen that for years!!!> I guess my question is: would using these plastic bio-balls as there called, be a better media for the bacteria to colonize?  <better yes, but if you haven't had ammonia problems and the media is not terribly soiled, why bother> The area where the plastic media can go is 16x11x8. Is there a desired flow rate through these things? Is it possible to flow too much water through them?  <yes...high flow or channeling is a problem indeed. Moderate flow is recommended> One thing I noticed in your Q's and A's is the Prizm hang on protein skimmer, and that you guys rate it for about a 30 gallon tank. I couldn't agree more, I have used it for five months and it never pulled out more than a few ounces a week. I think the collection cup evaporated just as fast as it could pull anything out.  <hehe... yes, to say that most of us are less than impressed with its performance would be an understatement> Maybe I can use it for curing my rock.  <actually a very good idea for high nutrient systems> Recently purchased a Berlin Turbo and the cup is full approx. every three days.  <not bad... but do aim for daily production> The gunk collected smells so bad I have to dump it down the street. If you don't have time to respond to all questions, I would understand, my main concern right now is transporting the yellow tang or if you don't think its necessary I'll just wait for the formalin. Thank you very much kind sir. <the gill scraping is not necessary but a wonderful option. Your call as long as the fish looks strong in the meantime. I'm inclined to leave him rest at home, do freshwater baths on it and wait for the medication. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: ich III Thank you very much for your response on both my emails both of them were very helpful.  <very welcome> I'm having a tough time finding someone who sells formalin.  <several popular products have this in it... it is also available from some local pharmacies. If it is too much trouble that way, any of a number of mail order places stock it and can have it to you within 48 hours. But strategically from a mail order company near you> A couple of friends of mine said they have had great results using copper power have you ever heard of this stuff and could that be used in my QT tank instead of formalin.  <again... copper is very effective only on tolerant large scaled fishes (some tangs, clowns, damsels and the like) but extremely toxic to small scaled and sensitive species like Sweetlips and even Powder Blues. The Powder Blue has an awful reputation in captivity for many reasons, not the least of which is their tendency to suffer parasites easily> I also noticed that the spots on my powder blue tang this morning are disappearing  <very common... Ich has an extremely short life cycle (within 24 hours)... the spots commonly wax and wane> and I have not moved him to the QT tank yet what do you make of that.  <QT is always best> All fish are eating very well including the 2 with ick do you think the ick on the fish is just from stress.  <we have no way of knowing for certain> Do you think I should wait to see if the fishes immune system can get rid of the ick on its own or move them to the QT tank right away.  <too many fish die from such hesitation... if you are asking me for my best advice, it is a daily water change in a small QT tank with medication. With stable temperatures, good food, etc (proper QT) the fish has an extremely good chance of being cured within 2 weeks. Without it you stand to watch the pathogen possibly flare and take every other living fish out with him, or anything in between. Best regards, Anthony> Thanks for your help.

Re: ich IV I was reading that the temperature of the water should be under 80 degrees is this correct? Should I also remove all carbon from the filter that I'm using. <temperature is subjective... cooler has more oxygen but favors conditions for parasites during treatment. Warmer is better is you have very good aeration/oxygenation. And yes, do remove chemical filtration like carbon during medication treatments. Regards, Anthony>

Re: ich V I was able to buy formalin-3.  Is this good for curing the ick.  <if it is pure formalin, yes. If not you may have to watch more closely or lighten the dose dependant on what/if the combination drug is> I set up my quarantine tank the pH, temperature and specific gravity are identical to my main tank. Do I need to drip the fish or just move him right into the QT tank. <a brief acclimation of 15 minutes is recommended. Anthony>

Re: ich VI Do you think it is necessary to do fresh water dips everyday or would the QT tank be enough.  <daily freshwater dips are extremely effective and recommended for most fish. 5-8 consecutive rids most large external parasites like common Ich> I would think the fresh water dips would put a lot of added stress on an already sick fish.  <nope... if done properly, it is less stressful than chemotherapy like a 21 day copper treatment. Bona fide academics have run tests to this effect. FW dips are stressful, but not as stressful as parasites chewing up their gills...hehe> I'm currently using a 10 gallon QT tank and using formalin 3 as the medication each teaspoon treats 10 gallons of water with 10mg/l of formaldehyde its says I can double the dose but I have only used I dose can you give me an opinion on this thanks always. <as I mentioned before, I have no direct experience with this product. the double dose is likely fine with large scaled fishes, but I would resist with weak or known sensitive fishes like scaleless species. Anthony>

Scratching Fish Hi, I bought a hippo tang one week ago and he has been scratching on the rocks ever since. He has no white spots on him, so what do you think it could be? Should I remove him? I don't want to stress him out any further. <P. hepatus Blue regal/hippo tangs are also known as white-spot Ich magnets. Odds are very good that you are days to a week away from a visible infection. Do research in the WWM archives and beyond subjects on quarantine and Ich treatments...articles and FAQs. Do act fast, my friend. My advice will include 4 week quarantine, freshwater dips, small daily water changes in the QT tank and some medication. Best regards, Anthony>

Moray Eel/Ich V This brings up an interesting thought then. If it's possible to break the ich lifecycle with vacuuming the bottom of the tank (religiously, since the crypto parasite falls off in the am daily) - then couldn't the same be accomplished with a vortex diatomaceous filter? Assuming in a small enough tank (10/20gallon), and a higher powered vortex to create enough suction flow at the bottom of the tank - wouldn't this be even better than vacuuming the bottom since it runs 24/7? <That would also be assuming that the diatom filter could capture eggs and tomites and I am not sure about that. Besides, you would still need to clean the filter daily to remove them from the system. The water changes have the added benefit of stimulating the immune response of the fish, too.> Just wondering. Thanks. Jim <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ich/Diatom Filters Re: Moray Eel/Ich V Robert, correct. <It was actually me, Steven Pro who responded previously.> The assumption would be that the pump pulling water will be strong enough on the bottom (or you moving it around every am around the tank) to draw the eggs/cysts into the filter. <I was not too worried about this.> It appears the 'cysts' of a crypto parasite are 200 to 400 microns. Diatomaceous filters generally filter down to about 1 micron, a bit higher to be safe. <This was where I had my doubts the diatom filter would be effective.> But yes, the key for success are probably the following : A) Adequate current draw from the bottom of tank (preferably bare bottom) to insure that tomonts are sucked in. Or physically moving it around the entire tank bottom to facilitate this B) back flushing of the entire filter with fresh water every day to remove captured tomonts. I think I may try this within ich magnet the next time I have a fish with ich - just to see the results and whether this works. What do you guys think? Jim <I still think you are better off with the daily water changes. -Steven Pro>

Sweetlips with Ich? I have been doing fresh water dips and adding formalin to the qt tank with daily water changes yet my Sweetlips is still showing signs of ick he is still eating very well and doesn't look like he is effected by the ick. I have been treating them for a week do you think I should up the dosage of formalin or maybe add something to the fresh water dip or just continue with the treatment as is. Always appreciate your suggestions. Thank you <to be honest... a week of consecutive daily FW dips and W/C's in a medicated QT usually shows at least some, if not significant improvement. You may want to buy or browse a good book on fish diseases to try to confirm if it is truly Ich (something we regrettably cannot do via e-mail). I would not increase the dose, again because this fish is sensitive to meds (the reason we did not do copper). We get e-mail almost weekly on this species. It is categorically sensitive, disease prone and best left for species specific tanks and advanced aquarists. My advice would be to continue as you have been especially since the fish is eating well (no brine shrimp right?...else he is starving on it). Selcon soaked food fed to the fish (or fed to the prey like guppies, before they are fed to the Sweetlips) would be helpful. Odds aren't great though, I must admit. Hoping you have a trooper there. Anthony>

Ich and Now Oodinium Hi Steven/Bob, I have a fish only with live rock,75G have been having problems with my first ich outbreak since I was a teenager. The trigger and Sailfin tang started with just plain ole ich. I started treating with kick ich, because I didn't want to harm the live rock. My Miniatus is very resistant, is still fairly healthy. The trigger has some ich and maybe slight Oodinium, still fairly healthy. Now the Tang has full blown Oodinium, I removed most of my live rock to another tank and started treating with Mardel CopperSafe chelated. The tang is in dire straights as of right now, but still eats and is totally coated in Oodinium, rapid breathing. I did freshwater dip him today to hopefully keep his gills somewhat clear so he doesn't suffocate, does this help with that? <Yes, but will not effect a cure with the animal being replaced in the infested system.> Or are the cysts protected in the gills too? <Yes, please read through the marine parasitic disease sections posted on WetWebMedia.com> Anyways I just wanted to say to readers out there forget the new treatments if you want to save your fish. <Agreed... most are shameful shams... replete with misleading advertising/promotion> Use copper if you have a fish only or fish only with live rock, remove the live rock to another tank. Or if you have a large enough quarantine tank, which I do not, especially for my 7 inch Miniatus, go that route. You may not be able to return the live rock back into the tank, if you do what I'm doing, but at least if you really have had your fish for years like I have and you love them you will give them a fighting chance before they pass their tolerance threshold. And coral skeletons replicas ain't so bad anyways for aquascaping for a fish only. I attribute my Sailfin Tang's Oodinium outbreak to my late decision of deciding to use copper. Because I was busy fiddling with less effective treatments, kick ich, rally, my Sailfin may die in a few days. Hopefully he will make it though. And why does everybody say copper harms biological filtration when the manufacturer directions for CopperSafe chelated explicitly says it does not effect biological filtration?  <Generally not> Are they lying or what? Will I ever be able to add live rock to this tank again?  <Yes, assuredly. The residual and re-released copper can be safely removed via chemical filtrants> It has no substrate by the way, just some Tufa left in there. Filtration is lifeguard fluidized, Fluval 204, AquaClear 500 and Berlin skimmer, plus 50lbs of live rock which is no longer in there. There is the Aquariums Systems copper remover product, which claims to remove chelated and free copper very efficiently with no leaching which I plan to use after treatment and PolyFilters, activated carbon and water changes. Will it be safe to add some live rock again after a few months? <Yes> PS Running my Berlin skimmer will not reduce the copper, right? <Skimming does remove copper compounds> Just checking. Other than the tougher groupers, triggers, damsels and some of the fish that are now being tank raised, I'm beginning to feel that not many other fish types should be available in this hobby anymore. I read through these posts about these fish suffering and dying over and over again. Personally I feel most of the fish that are offered out there are not good aquarium subjects and I feel bad that I heard almost 50% of fish shipped die from the shipping stress alone. <This stated value is too high. Likely less than 10% is close> I personally feel that in the future, I may work toward having certain species of saltwater fish in the trade banned from import with large fines involved. Moorish Idols, Regal angels, other angels, tons of misc. butterflies, mandarin fish, wild caught seahorses, orange spotted filefish, the list goes on and on. These sensitive species shouldn't be caught or sold anymore, except for maybe scientific reasons. Freshwater is a different story though, most species tend to be extremely resilient for the average educated hobbyist, but I'm sure a lot of species of them shouldn't be in the trade either. Thanks for listening and thanks for any info, Dennis <Thank you for your valuable input. Sorry for the delay in response. Been out of the country for a while. Bob Fenner>

Possible ich...freaking me out Hi there Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a 75 gal wet dry acrylic. U.V, protein skimmer too. I have 10 Percula and 10 red saddle clowns. 4 goby cleaners, and 2 cleaner shrimp. <hello Clownville, USA> 3 massive anemone, carpet, purple tip long tentacle, etc.  <hmmm...do consider the severe aggression that mixed anemone species impose on each other in the long run (allelopathy). Works for a year or two, but they usually end up poisoning each other (sensing each other in the tank and shedding noxious compounds that are never completely removed). I'd bet a lot of money that the carpet will be the "last man standing"> Several crabs and conch and many hermit crabs and a couple starfish. I bought a clown 2 weeks ago from a local pet store and next day total ich. Following day, dead. resp distress. even after a fresh water dip 2 min. No ich on the others, but NOW I'm freaking out...2 of my clowns have 2 white spots each...uuuhhhgggg.  <yes...uuuhhhgggg> I know, I know, I should have a quarantine tank but don't. I will now if I don't die of a coronary. <Your fish and I both thank you> One clown has the same dot on the tip of the fin for days/ not moving,  <yep...a bad sign. Not an air bubble> The other has dots, then not, then dots again.  <sounding like Cryptocaryon (not Oodinium)> No distress, no problem feeding, perfect water tests. what do I do before it is too late. valium, then what for the fish. I have lots of empty tanks in the basement, but what a heavy load to put on a new tank bio system. <yes... try to maintain a very stable temperature in the tank (check for night drop and add a second heater if necessary), continue to feed well... medicated food and small daily water changes will help a little. You may let your SG slide slowly don to 1.018 and still be OK with the inverts. Observe for three days... if stable or improving, ride it out. If not, pull the fish and medicate (main display fish fallow with inverts 4 weeks).> help me please. Renee Stavenik, RN PS I will never miss quarantining again...I now have a grey hair from worry. <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Re: possible ich...freaking me out Wow, Anthony, that was fast...I am still up reading all the postings with similar issues on your web site. I never check my email but was kinda hoping someone was there, ich is a fast killer. I have been changing 10 gal per day for a couple days since the bad fish died. I immediately sent the temp up to 84, 3 or 4 days ago, maybe 5. It is all a blur of stress to me. I added that second heater days ago. <you are on the ball...> What is night drop... the sound my 4 children hear when I have that last nightmare over this, before the coronary. <most all tanks suffer at least a slight drop in temperature at night (aquarium lights off and home thermostats dropping ambient temperature). Many aquarists never notice this drop because they check their tanks the same time each day and see the same temperature (morning, after work, whatever). Temperature fluctuations of as little as a 2 degree drop can flare Ich. 4 or more degrees can definitely do it and cause great stress. Having two heaters on you tank is recommended for everyone... good move> Also...never heard of allelopathy...I will take heed. <essentially=chemical warfare. Explains why so many aquarists seem to do "fine" with various coral and anemones and then have them die after a year or more. Silent chemical poisoning that stinging animals level at each other constantly. It gets pretty nasty by accumulation between water changes and especially in tanks without very aggressive protein skimming and chemical filtration. Do read more about it. Author Eric Borneman has written quite a bit about it...very interesting stuff> Those tanks in the basement are calling my name. My sg is 1.023, I will gradually drop it down to 1.018. over what time period? 24 hrs./??? <Aieeeeee! Slower please...hehe. Good and bad things should happen fast in a well maintained aquarium. .001-.002 per day in drop> going to sleep now, in the am, sg down, and set up quarantine in prep for possible fallow. should I use partial change water in new tank?  <yes please (50% say)> filter media, pre bio from clown tank, or new filter media.?? <seeded/dirty bio media please> my kids will die if anyone in Clownville is harmed. With 4 kids under the age of 9, every clown is named. <yes...understood... pulling for the team here!> We stare at that tank for hours. They want to try to snuggle in the anemones like Joey and Lucky do. What size tank for the quarantine...your choice, 10, 20, or 30 gal. Fluval 403, or 203. Or should I break out the big Eheim canister.  <30 gall for that many fish with a larger bio filter and water changes (small daily from the bare bottom) if necessary> Had salt water tanks for over 22 years, since I was a kid. Some BIG ones too. Never ich, no disease. Weird. Since kids, only one tank, and tons of equipment in the basement. <outstanding!> I will check email in the am...you are a savior...this felt like therapy. just knowing someone is out there to help me with my disparity. remember, save the clowns....  <absolutely...screw the dolphins and whales...lets save the clowns!!! hehe... > night night you rock....Renee RN <best regard, my friend. Anthony>

Re: possible ich...freaking me out Hey guys, ok, now one more fish has tiny white spots maybe 4. Another small fish has a slimy coating. What's that? <could simply just be a mucosal response to the same parasite (spots)...medication needed either way (freshwater dips would be nice too)> I am freaking... what next. I am setting up a 10 gal NOW waiting for reply. what to buy re: meds, bio starter, temp needed, sg, etc. <stable temp, the lower salinity (1.018), skip the bio starter products and do small daily water changes in a bare bottomed tank by siphoning unseen cysts off of the bottom, quick cure, formalin or copper with a test kit... and keep on rockin in the free world. Anthony> Thank you so much, Renee RN

Re: possible ich...freaking me out Is it better to remove all the invertebrate and treat the fish in their own tank? Renee Stavnik RN <QT tank is always best... rock, sand, etc will temper meds and favor/foster parasites. Anthony>

Re: possible ich...freaking me out Took an hour to catch 3 fish. Narrow opening on the acrylic and too many inverts to damage. I had 21 more to catch...so I took the easy way out. caught the slow inverts, a cleaner crew 3 big anemone, shrimps 2 starfish etc, etc. Didn't know I had so many.  <too bad... wish I had talked to you on this topic. Best way to catch a tankful is in the AM and to simply turn the doser off and drain most or all of the clear undisturbed tank water into a clean garbage can. Only after it is drained to the water level of the fishes back do you begin to catch the fish (now in a less dimensional plane..). Much less stress on you and the fish this way with so little water. Only takes minutes to drain with one inch hose and not much longer to catch fish scooting in one inch of water. After the targets are caught, pump the water back in with a pump or tank powerhead and some tubing. A WWM crew member just did this on his 90 gall in 35 minutes complete !!> Took me all day to move them into a 10 gal. packed, too packed. <whoa... I thought you mentioned that you had a 30 gallon available. 21 fish in a 10 gallon, if possible, is going to require massive daily water changes> Now I treated my empty 75 gal tank with copper safe. Only half strength for the 20 clowns. Is this correct. Couldn't find it anywhere in your copper FAQs <not sure where the half strength idea came from... clowns aren't; sensitive to copper which must be maintained with a test kit at a therapeutic level of .25 ppm> I left one dead coral in the tank for security of clowns, no bottom.  <plastic ornaments would be better... the coral will soak up copper and (making it harder to dose daily) and could poison you inverts/anemones crawling on it later> I guess the coral is history.  <Naaaaaa... we could use poly filters to eventually strip the copper away> sg lowering. temp 83. etc. Will the wet dry survive? <most likely fine or a quick bounce back> What next... is the invert tank in grave danger? <lost track of where the inverts are now if the clowns stayed in the 75 gall> Thanks again, Renee RN <best regards, Anthony>

Possible ich...freaking me out I put the inverts in a 10 gallon Sunday. I have a 30 gal, but I started to set up already in anticipation of putting the clowns in...not getting a response about the 30 gal till after inverts moved. Cool way to move them the fish, what a mess I made.  <no worries... we live and learn. You now have an easier method to use or advise friends of next time> How much water should I change each day. Today I changed 1/2 gal. only. I don't mind doing this as of now.  <depends on water quality (straying pH, ammonia, etc)>  Should I break out with the 30 gal. I am afraid to move them all again, stressful on them.  <agreed... if it is just the fish in the 75 with a single piece of coral, fine... medicate there. But if there is a lot of rock and sand in there... I'd pull it or move the fish because it will get ruined>  What is most sensitive to moves. Maybe I will move only the strong ones. What should I do.  <treat them all in one place... no need to spread the stress and disease around. Containment>  Today 2 red saddlebacks died, slime layer falling off these fish. Not sure what is going on. 2 others have this kinda slime peel on their lateral sides. Could I email a digital photo to better describe it. A picture is worth a thousand words. <true but not necessary with clowns... a very common ailment and very dangerous (high mortality). I really think Formalin is best in this case combined with freshwater dips if possible (but not at the expense of stressing the fish if you can't catch them quickly)> I put in CopperSafe. I have a weird test kit. I was looking for a ion one like in your copper articles but  only found a different one, starts with an s. goes up to 1.0 on the tester, it says don't go higher than 2.5.  Not chelated test I believe. <hmmm... I have not personally used such a kit. I will defer to the manufacturers recommendations. Best regards, Anthony>

Ich freaking me out what are these spots still on my fish today, slime kinda <likely a protozoan infection so common on clownfish... do read more about it and treatments (which you are already doing) at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm Let me encourage you to use the wealth of information in the WWM archives (articles, FAQs, photos and more) and use the google search engine on the WWM to narrow your search if necessary (I prefer to just browse). Best regards, Anthony> <Looks like Brooklynellosis to me... Please see the Google search feature on WWM re "Brooklynellosis" and/or the FAQs files on Clownfish Disease: starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and beyond. Need to act, quick. Bob Fenner>
Possible ich...freaking me out Should I really use formalin instead of copper safe.  <some aquarists love it, some hate it. I find it to be a necessary evil without access to a vet and prescribed meds as most aquarists are. Giving advise without seeing the fish or scoping it is really educated guesswork. When you say that you have sudden and severe sliming on clownfish species with sudden deaths... that rules out common Cryptocaryon for me and implies something more aggressive (a protozoan, Brooklynella, whatever). Again, I say Formalin for this species of fish and these symptoms> I did read that the red saddle clown farm raised is sensitive to copper. I cant find it though. Slime killing them. The test is SeaChem. What level do I test to. It goes up to 1.0 <as I mentioned before I have no experience with this test kit. Simply read the kit and copper solution's instructions and heed the manufacturers recommendations> What is Seldane, I am using it to feed the fish with. <do you mean Selcon or Selco? The HUFA food supplement. Very good lipid/fatty acid supplement. Anthony>

Re: possible ich...freaking me out Hi Robert <Anthony Calfo in your service again, my friend> Came home from work today and my fish look great....all are eating and playing again. I think the copper is working. all spots are gone and the slime is now subsided. <excellent!!!> Hey, I CAN get prescribed meds. I am a critical care nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit. what meds are good for fish.  <too many to list here... but do refer to the more recent work on fish pathology by Noga. For a less expensive but still very accurate reference (quite easy to read/follow with flow charts, etc) buy Dieter Untergasser's "Handbook of Fish Diseases". Many references in these books to effective meds not available to all aquarists (needs scrips)> Yea Selcon, supplement. I also throw out a lot of iv lipids (20%) we use on babies. any good for fish? <interesting... but not sure... lets see if Bob or any others follow up after this is posted> We toss out a lot of Gentamycin, Ampicillin, claforan, erythromycin, vitamin solutions, trace elements. We toss a lot of calcium as well. Any of these usable in a tank? <some yes... do be careful though. Erythromycin is what is used in the trade to kill red slime algae (also used as a gram positive antibiotic but not useful for many diseases occurring in fishes...broad spectrum is better)> What is the best plan to DIY a protein skimmer.  <depends on the style you like and how much you want to spend versus how much maintenance you are willing to do daily on it. In my book, I detailed the common Nilsen-style countercurrent monster that is incredibly efficient and inexpensive, but is rather unattractive in PVC and does require a small daily adjustment most days (although most skimmers air-driven OR Venturi really should be tweaked daily for optimum performance). If you want something high tech/modern... many plans abound on the net. A favorite site I often reference is www.ozreef.org. An Aussie site with a great DIY link> Where can I purchase acrylic. I want to create a wet dry unit, flat acrylic. <expensive and you need some good tools to machine acrylic properly. Do good research first. Try a keyword search on a search engine for sheet acrylic, cell cast, and extruded supplies and spider out to find a supplier near you. Freight is critical and there is bound to be a supplier within driving distance of you wherever you live if reasonably close to a big city> also, where is the best place to purchase fish and anemone on the internet. <I almost never recommend buying live animals sight unseen. Establish a good relationship with a LFS, and buy them out of the bag if necessary and take straight to a QT tank (although out of the bag is not always a good habit if you are inexperienced).> Thanks, Renee (I bought that red sea test kit THAT reads free copper!) <excellent... Anthony>

Help Treating Ick Hi Bob <<JasonC here, Bob is away diving.>> I have an expensive clown trigger in my 72 gal. I had an Ich breakout and added copper (Its at .20 ppm now) and lowered the salinity to 1.014 temporarily. The tang cleared up but the trigger is infected. Is this due to the cycle of the parasite? How badly was my bacteria media affected? <<somewhere between stalled-out and dead I would guess. Sometimes these things make a recovery, sometimes they have to start all over again. Copper is serious stuff, best used as a third or fourth option and not the first.>>  Is there anything else I can do to stop the from spreading?  <<Don't introduce fish into your tank until they've been through a couple of weeks of quarantine. Once you put a fish with parasites into your display tank, within a day or so, the parasite will have made the rounds. Do read up: Parasites & Marine Tanks: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thanks, Joe <<You are quite welcome. Do also run some activated carbon to pull out the remaining copper. Cheers, J -- >>

More on Help with Ick I am treating my tank with kick ich, you say same symptoms? Like having white spots and everything on them?  <<yes, with white spots on them...>> Cause this is what's happens, I looked again today and my Mandarin goby, choc star, brittle star and eel still don't have any one them and you would think the goby would cause he stays on the sand bed, my water smells like garlic is that ok?  <<the parasites that cause ick don't care where you hang out, if you're in the water, they will find you sooner or later. Keep watching. As far as the garlic smell, it will pass or you can help it along with some activated carbon OR... are you running a skimmer on this tank? That would also pull out the garlic oils in a day or two.>> I hope the kick ich works, it is a 13 day treatment  <<ok>> I won't be totally depressed if al fish die as long as I can still have life in the aquarium.  <<good attitude, but it would be better if we didn't lose anything, yes?>> Does ich affect hermit crabs or snails, I have several of those. <<nope, these guys are immune to ick. Cheers, J -- >>

Do Starfish and Snails get Ick? If I can never have fish again, can I go ahead and buy snails and hermit crabs even now?  <<if you must, I'm just a big fan of taking things slowly. Learn to appreciate the things that are in the tank.>>  I mean is it certain that they don't' get ich and you say starfish are good at resisting it, what are some good starfish that will live in a 55 gallon?  <<I'd say just about any one except a crown-of-thorns [eat live coral] or basket star [too fragile]. All Seastars are partial to tip-top water quality so if anything is off-kilter because of the kick-ick, then you may want to wait a little while before placing an expensive specimen. Cheers, J -- >>

Do Snails Get Ick? <<JasonC here...>> That's good, that snails and hermits don't get ich, that way I can have a bunch of them,  <<what's a bunch?>>  you said starfish don't' get it either right? <<I did say that, didn't I>> You see I am wanting to save my fish and I have had people to tell me if I just leave the ich in there I can have starfish and snails and hermits, but some say it kills everything including live rock. <<I think perhaps those who are telling you "it" kills live rock mean this: some of the items one might use to treat ick [copper, etc.] are pretty close to poison, and often invertebrates [snails, Seastars, etc.] suffer 100% mortality when you pour this in your tank. If will kill the stuff that makes live rock live. That being said, ick - the parasite Cryptocaryon - will NOT by itself kill live rock, but you can by trying to treat it.>> Thanks for your help. <<Cheers, J -- >>

Identifying Ick... <<Hello, JasonC here filling in while Bob is away diving.>> My yellow tang has twice become covered with white spots in the last two weeks. The spots disappeared the first time in one day. The second time the spots appeared and then disappeared in a span of 12 hours. Is this ich? <<it may well be ick, yes.>> I have a cleaner shrimp in the tank, can he remove the ich as quickly as it arrives?  <<often times, this is the best treatment available [100% natural - "reef safe"] but things can spiral out of control - it is only one shrimp after all. The Cleaner shrimp are hard workers though and as long as your fish wanders up to the bar, the shrimp will clean it. If all you have is the one tang, then it should all work out fine. Just keep an eye on it.>> Thanks - Chuck

Moray Eel/Ich We have a moray eel in my tank, and one of our tank inhabitants came down with ich (treating with copper in our quarantine tank). Anyhow, we noticed our moray occasionally scratching the side of his head on the sand and we think he has ich in his gills as well.  <possible> I know they are fairly hardy and don't get infected often,  <correct> but what is the best treatment for the eel ? I know of the following treatments, but don't know which is best for a scratching moray: -Formalin in q-tank - long term exposure -Formalin/fw dips <above two are possible with observation (and a covered lid on FW dip bucket...hehe)> -Copper/Cupramine (I thought eels are sensitive to copper, not sure) <very correct> -Hyposalinity and raising temp. <stimulating but may not effect a cure alone> Is there a recommended treatment for moray eels, and anything that should definitely be avoided ? Thanks <yes... Never copper or organic dyes (blue, green, etc)> Jim <best regards, Anthony>

ICK problem Hello Dr. Fenner, <WWM crew member Anthony in your service> It has been a long time since I have had to seek your advice, <a good thing to hear> I have had a sudden and hard attack of ICK in my 46 gallon semi reef tank. It started with my flame angel. I dipped him in the Kent Rx-P product. I used the dip because I do not want to add anything chemical that I can avoid. The flame died, and I noticed my yellow tang and two clowns caught ICK. I dipped those three, one clown died, the other not sure which way he will go and the yellow tang looks a lot better. This all happened over a five day period. All the chem.s are in good order in the tank, little high on nitrates, did a water change. <wow... I find this product to be very interesting... has many warnings and claims in product literature like " * Not some rotten sugar-vinegar concoction that claims to "make ich go dormant" * Not just a pepper sauce, RxP™ treats multiple stages * Thin consistency - not a barbecue gravy that pollutes the aquarium. " {that is a direct quote}... but then the product literature goes on to warn that it contains Pepper which can be irritating to some. Some people have overlooked the word "just" in that second phrase/sentence and thought the marketing was critical of the pepper compound. Furthermore, they go on to state within several paragraphs of warnings, "All Systems: RxP™ is not recommended for lionfish, stonefish or scorpion fish". In aquariology, lionfish have demonstrated a similar sensitivity to medications that dwarf angels (like to copper, Dylox and organic dyes)...perhaps angels should be added to the list. Read these statements and more at Kent's page for your further consideration: http://www.kentmarine.com/rxp.html. I'm wondering if it is possible that this product has too strict of an "application" for your needs. I know it does for mine> It appears that ICK is running amuck in my tank. I believe that I am past the hospital tank solution.  <was the angel new and quarantined first for 2-4 weeks?> Should I keep trying the dip or do I need to look at treating the tank. <a hospital tank for all remaining fish is recommended while the tank goes fallow. Long bath with daily Formalin dose in QT and daily fresh dips will take care of the matter in a little over a week, Still leave fish in QT for at least 2 weeks including last 5 days of stay showing disease free> As for inverts, I have numerous black & white crabs, several types of snails, one star sand cleaner, two brittle stars <yes... some of the many reasons for not medicating the display> The tanks has a small verity of polyps and mushrooms along with lots of Caulerpa. Fish wise: one clown, yellow tang, six line wrasse, damsel, cardinal, lawn mower blenny The other thing I noticed is there is a lot of discolored areas on the clown around the top of his head, mainly the white is off color. <could simply be a fright/night pattern from stress over the pathogen> I know I have a big problem here and I would appreciate any advice you may have. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer. Dave <best regards in your endeavors. Anthony>

Ick (?) Hello, I have a Picasso triggerfish and I just introduced him into my 72 gallon tank with a yellow tang a Percula clown a damsel and a coral beauty angel. He comes out only to eat and then goes back in his cave and hides all day but then I noticed that he had a bad case of ick so I went to the store and asked them what I should do. They said that I should try medicating it but I've tried every one and they didn't work but I heard that buying a garlic than mincing it in with the food would take care of it. Is that true? Do you think it will kill the ick and my fish will live? <Without knowing what particularly you have tried, it is difficult to give you advice on what to attempt now. Please read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and the various FAQ files linked from there. -Steven Pro>

ICH BLUES Hi Bob, <Steven Pro at your service this morning.> Not so good news from me this time. The good news is that my 55 gal with one juv. male garibaldi is great, had him almost a year and he's growing well and there's been no problems. My 75 gal has gotten it's first ich outbreak ever since I've had it set up now, for about two years. My Sailfin tang has lots large white spots and some are on my Huma Huma. I FW dipped them both today, for about 2-3 minutes. <Not nearly long enough to be effective. 5 minutes as a minimum with these tough fish easily taking 10 minutes> My Miniatus is resistant apparently, and my small puffer is pretty clean also. I have so far reduced the salinity from 1.022 to 1.015 over the past 2 days. I removed my 2 serpent stars and put them in my 30 gal SW before I did this. Other than those four fish, there is just lotsa live rock in the tank. How low can I safely reduce the salinity and for how long should I do it? <Go no lower> I turned the temp up to 80F. I am treating with KICK ICH reef safe ich treatment. What is your opinion of this product? Does it work? <I have heard of some success stories. I have also heard of some incidents of massive losses of soft corals that seem to absorb the product. No need for you to worry, but I did want to mention this for others who will feed this in the FAQ's.> What do u recommend that wont totally wipe out my live rock? <I would dip them again for a longer period.> Thanks, hopefully all will go back to normal in my tank after a few weeks of hyposalinity, I'm not used to this sort of thing, I was always under the impression that if you have great water quality and environment the fish won't stress and they will fight off infection. I guess I'm wrong after all! Thanks, Dennis <No you were right. There is normally a triggering event/cause of outbreak.> PS If you leave a tank without fish hosts in it, how long does it take to kill off all the ich spores etc? <Six weeks to two months should do it.>

Re: ICH BLUES Hello again, Well so far the KICK ICH treatment is NOT working very well. I have further reduced my salinity from 1.015 to 1.014. Tomorrow will be day four of treatment. The fish have many ich spores still, but not a life threatening amount and they are still behaving/eating/breathing normally. The temp is still 80F. If I decide to use another chemical to treat for the ich, is there anything I can use that won't kill off my coralline algae and will keep my bio filtration unaffected? <Freshwater dips and/or quarantine in a hospital tank while the main tanks goes fallow are the only options to keep the liverock pristine. The other medication option is one that uses a combination of formalin and malachite green, but this is not much better than copper for your rock and inverts.> I don't have very much invert life on the rocks thanks to trigger and puffer, so I'm not really worried about that. I just don't want to lose my precious coralline! And copper kills all I hear. I am hesitant to remove much of my live rock and then treat, because other than the lifeguard fluidized sand filter and a Fluval canister, I know it's probably doing the bulk of the nitrification in the tank. Any recommendations? <See above comments> Thanks again, Dennis <Good luck, Steven Pro>

ICH Bob, I just recently started with my reef tank, my continual problem is almost every fish I put in comes up with ICH. I have tried different methods of acclimation and still have the same problem. I am thinking of installing a 40 watt UV on my tank. I presently have a 50 gallon tank with a EuroFil 180 sump. 2 Rio pumps, a CPR 102 overflow, with a Excalibur skimmer. I have 60 lbs of Fuji live rock. I am also running a Hagen 304 canister as back up. Any input would be great. Thanks, Mark Johnson <Much to say, relate here. Do carefully read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and the linked files beyond. There are a myriad of things you can, might, should do to avoid ich and other parasitic, types of diseases... Good selection of specimens, dips/baths/quarantine, proper set-up and maintenance... You would do well to develop a more "holistic" approach to marine aquarium keeping... for your livestock, and you. Bob Fenner>

Miscellaneous (Tangs, Ich) Hi Bob, or Steven, or Anthony, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I hope everyone is doing great. I have a few questions. First, are Tangs more susceptible to ich than other fish?  <many do seem to be (mostly from temperature drops like when new/transported and from improper cooler water changes> The reason I ask is that I have a 75 gallon tank with a flame angel, a flame hawk, a purple Firefish, and a newly added juvenile Sailfin tang (I had previously kept the Sailfin in a 30 gal for the last six months but as you can imagine he got too large for this tank), some snails, hermit crabs and a cleaner shrimp, 45lbs live rock. Within a week of adding the Sailfin very small white specks (about 5-10 at this point) appeared on his body which I attribute to ich.  <quite possibly... and is this tank much cooler (more than 3 degrees?> None of the other fish show any symptoms whatsoever though the angel and flame hawk will allow the cleaner shrimp to groom them. Before I had the Sailfin in there I had a purple tang which also displayed the signs of ich which is why I ask my question. I gave the purple a pH balanced Methylene blue fresh water dip for 10 minutes and quarantined him for three weeks before sending him back to the LFS (I too like one of your other daily questions tried to put the Sailfin and purple together. Big Mistake! and if the other reader is reading this I can assure him/her as you did that it will never work). Do you think I should quarantine the Sailfin or do you think the cleaner shrimp will take care of it?  <please do QT the fish... never rely on cleaner fish/shrimp to effect a cure once an infection sets in> Unfortunately, I haven't seen the tang go to the cleaner shrimp. Do you think the tang will utilize his services? <hard to say, but again... don't count on it> Finally, The purple Firefish is also having problems. He won't or can't close his mouth. It looks like lockjaw or something. Have you ever heard of this?  <yes... commonly a dietary deficiency (usually a precursor to death when it reaches this stage. Has the Firefish been allowed to eat a narrow diet or one of whole prey items only (brine shrimp and the like)?> Is there something I can do? He seems to be eating just fine though a little awkwardly. <Selcon and VitaChem (they are different) in food ASAP> Thanks, Jeff <quite welcome, my friend. Anthony>

ICH PROBLEM and water temperature Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I've got a big problem here as I have lost some of my beautiful large angels. The temperature of my 200G FOWLR tank is about 79F to 82F  <does it fluctuate this much or more daily? If so it is contributing to the Ich problem... temperature drops are proven to flare Ich.> and I've noticed that every early morning, most of the angels have numerous white spots on their bodies < a sign of Cryptocaryon (Ich)... not Oodinium (Velvet Ich)> and they would perish after 3 to 5 days. I managed to catch some of the angels and dipped them in freshwater for a few minutes but it seems to send them to the nether worlds a bit faster. My Sohal tang seemed unaffected. Massive water change was done a few days back but the problems recurred. <were these fish quarantined for 2-4 weeks before entering the display. You really should if not. Saves money and lives> Could the cold morning temperature be the problem?  <yes... any temp drop (by the book) of more than 2F can cause Ich to flare> My LFS has been trying to convince me on acquiring a UV system.  <buy a cheap hospital tank instead and invest in a second/better heater for the main display> What are your recommendations as it pains me to have my fishes die after keeping them for almost 3 years. Thanks in advance. <much agreed my friend. No worries, easy to correct problems here. Anthony Calfo>

Re: Kent Marine RxP I've had a recent outbreak of ick in my tank because when I added by protein skimmer, I rearranged the tank and readjusted the heater. the tank went from 76 to approx 73, fairly quickly...  <yes...temperature drops are a surefire way to incite Ich on marine fishes> I noticed it after I saw my hippo tang  <AKA Ich magnets...hehe> freaking out (lost all color, and swimming crazily), and checked all the levels, and noticed the temp dropped. I slowly brought it back up - and now I see little white spots on him (hippo tang), my purple tang, and my coral beauty. (or, at least this is what I think caused it)... no new fish, or anything like that. Water quality is great... ammonia 0, salinity 1.022, nitrate 0, nitrite <10, ph 8.3, & just did a 20% water change last Thursday..... temp in tank is 77 degrees. I've treated the tank with Greenex for a week now - seemed to get better, but this morning I noticed more. <small daily siphoning of water from tank bottom is very helpful for effecting a cure...do consider for a week or more as well> I'm at a loss. I have live rock (6 pounds) as well as a choc. chip star, and 2 hermit crabs. Supposedly the RxP is really good, and won't harm inverts (except for the starfish, I am going to put him in a makeshift holding tank until the RxP is out). <honestly not thrilled with that idea> My quarantine tank had Cupramine in it. <and you are worried about the coral beauty with Copper? yes a bit, but the other fish would benefit by a proper medication treatment in Quarantine> Would you suggest taking all the sick fish out - and just treating them with copper? I've read that the ick can get itself in the gravel, etc... so it is good to treat the main tank.  <please no, do NOT treat the main tank. treat in a bare bottomed quarantine tank... calcareous media is never to be coppered if used with invertebrates. It will be absorbed into the rock, sand, shell, etc. By putting fish in a proper 4-week quarantine...the tank parasites will be reduced/die without a viable host> I've also read that dropping salinity to 1.017 <possibly helpful> and temp up to 80 will also help  <more tricky and less effective> - but I've heard that tangs don't appreciate the lower salinity. <not true...they are quite tolerant> Or.... should I take out all the inverts, and treat the main tank with Cupramine? Your thoughts are always very accepted - I love your book. You have some amazing pictures in there, well worth the $$....~Bill <agreed...with regards, Anthony Calfo>

Ich question Hey Anthony, thanks again. Understood on that. However, for whatever reasons (aesthetic, etc), I use the CaribSea Puka shells for a bottom (<1").  < a very attractive media but dreadful at trapping detritus> It can easily be removed on the q-tank,  <yes...never substrates in QT because they absorb medications and allow pathogens (like larval tomites of Ich) to flourish> but is this not recommended at all for a main tank (it is FOWLR) ?  <even without above said problems...1" is too thick for any substrate used for pure aesthetics...just becomes a nutrient sink. The rule is 1/2 inch or less...or for denitrification with sugar fine sand...over 3" at all times> Live sand is better, but in a pseudo predator tank, I'm not going to be able to put any substrate dwellers without them being in some sort of peril...  <although adequate water flow and current should keep most detritus in suspension and a goatfish (sand-sifting) species can hang out even in some tough tanks> There may be a few species, but I believe those end up eating cleaner shrimp. . . Oh, but nature is so much fun. . . I still don't think its ich in my case. I've seen fish with ich, and its usually small white salt spots.  <agreed from best I could tell from your photo> This particular one started as small white spots on the fins, but then the spots have faded a bit and become larger (they look to be larger than 1mm). perhaps ich is larger on fins than on the body? <nope...as you first suspected...like grains of salt> Dunno on that one. There were some spots on the body as well, but those have faded and look to be gone, but there were larger than sand grain specks as well. The fact that it left kind of scares me as well since I know ich leaves the skin and re-infects even stronger. . . However, the fin spots are still there (remnants of ich after they have left?) <possible, yes> Thanks, Ed <Kind regards, Anthony >

Ich in a Quarantine Tank, Thank Goodness Follow-up Hi <Hello> Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I've bought some medication but I'm going to go with the daily water changes to see if that helps. I'd rather try that than chemicals if I can. I don't want to loose this fish and I certainly don't want the white spot in the main tank so the wrasse is in the quarantine tank for the duration. As I said before the tank has just paid for itself! I'm just surprised everyone doesn't use one. <Me too. Think about how much money you have saved by not infecting the main tank and fish and how much easier it is to treat an animal in quarantine. I hope others learn from your post.> Thanks again, Phil <You are welcome. -Steven Pro> 

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