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FAQs 5 on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 

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 4Crypt FAQs 6Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Marine Parasitic 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 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...  &  Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,

Crypt can be introduced via anything wet. Echinaster luzonicus (Gray 1840).

Ich Hi, 10 days ago I placed a PolyFilter in my sump to remove copper that I have been running in my tank. I also started to add B- Ionic 2 part solution buffer and calcium. I was also told that I should add magnesium to the mix as well. I started to add all three and noticed that 4 of my fish developed ich.  <unquestionably unrelated> My dogface, Huma trigger, purple tang and hippo tang all had ich this morning. When I came home tonight the only fish with ich now is the dogface. <the waxing and waning is a common symptom of Cryptocaryon... look out. Medication in a bare QT tank is going to be necessary. Be sure not to medicate the main display (simply leave fallow). Much info on this common problem in our Wet Web Media archives if you'd like to browse there> Will the ich resolve by itself or do I need to do something?  <almost certainly will not resolve itself and a Quarantine tank is necessary (in use, it might have prevented this in the first place)> Can the ich outbreak be from the fish being used to copper in the water and now that there is none caused them to have the outbreak? Thanks. <I guess that means that they are relatively new fish and were bought from a store that runs copper? At any rate.. no my friend. It is more commonly flared by stress and especially temperature fluctuations. Do check morning noon and night readings and see if you fluctuate 3 or more degrees. This is a common cause. And please do read in our archives how to set up and use a QT tank for all new fishes. Never put a new fish directly into a display... that's an invitation for a disease outbreak> JPK <best regards, Anthony>

Marine Ich Help I have a lion fish , lipstick tang , yellow eye tang , yellow tang , cleaning wrasse, clown and domino damselfish, 22Kg live rock, leathers and feathers 100 Gal tank with a sump tank and a protein skimmer.  My problem is all my fish have white spot. What can I do to treat them since I can't use copper? As you can tell we are new at this, hope you can help. <<Oh my... I'm sorry to say Amos, that any advice I have for you is a bit like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. It's certainly not hopeless, but you need to act now. If the white-spot, which is most likely Cryptocaryon [ich], is truly system wide then the remedy will require both quick and drastic action. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, will be to remove these fish to individual quarantine tanks for treatment with copper or similar therapy for about four to six weeks, allowing the main tank to go fallow for the same period - no fish. You could try some pH-adjusted, freshwater dips but with the ich on all the fish, you're going to be doing a lot of dipping, and I'm not sure this would be enough at this point. These problems can be avoided in advance, but it seems a little late for that now. Please read up on the following links, they will provide some more background as well as a more detailed course of action: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >>

ICK ON NEW FISH? Hello,  <<And hello to you... JasonC here.>> This is my first time writing to you. I think your website is one of the best saltwater info sites I have seen on the net so far. Anyway I have had a 56 gallon tank for about 6-7 months now. I just bought an emperor angelfish. He is still a juvenile and I can't wait to see what he is going to look like when he gets older!  <<Try to imagine a serving plate - these fish get quite large. If you're in for the long haul you will need a larger tank in the near future.>> I have seen what looks like ick on him, I also have 2 Clarks anemone fish two yellow tailed damsels and a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata Amboinensis). My question is...I saw the little white spots on him this morning when I turned on the light. There is one spot on his fin that seems to be concentrated white spots like a bunch of them in one spot) right near the tip of his fin possibly Cauliflower disease?).  <<If the spot looks lumpy like cauliflower, it is likely Lymphocystis, which is not uncommon among freshly shipped Angels. There's a good chance the cleaner shrimp will take care of it.>>  I came home from work and it seems like all the spots are gone except the concentrated looking spot on his pelvic fin. Is it possible that the cleaner shrimp is eating ridding him of the ick?  <<Is a very strong possibility... and certainly in time. White spots in the morning aren't unusual. Without over-simplifying too much, the fish get ambushed while they are sleeping, and then shrug it off once they wake up.>>  And if so can I depend on him to get rid of the problem?  <<I would definitely try to go this route first... cleaner shrimp can be quite industrious and the Imperator is wise to this fact.>>  The Emperor fish seems to be fine, good color, normal appetite.  <<Good, good.>>  Should I try fresh water dip?  <<Not quite as a last resort, but I would try and let nature take its course for at least a week. If the problem doesn't seem to be getting any better, then I would try the dip. In the big picture, you really want to avoid any additional stress on the fish, and the dip will certainly be stressful for both you and the fish.>>  I have not seen any spots on the other fish.  <<Good deal.>>  I hate to put him under stress he seems quite happy so far. <<Yes, yes... let's see how the cleaner shrimp does.>> Thanks, Chris Answeeney <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: protein skimming, ich treatment/avoidance  Anthony, Thank you for the prompt response. May I ask a pair of follow up questions? <my pleasure> Care to recommend your favorite HOT, low profile (not much space surrounding tank to hang anything much thicker than a CPR skimmer {remora is one that comes to mind)?  <exactly... and I an not one that personally like ANY HOT skimmers (my primary complaint is that water is generally pumped up into them and it is difficult to get the thinnest targeted surface water to them... the most protein rich water). IMO any skimmer fed water from even 1/2 below the surface is going to lag behind in performance and certainly below 1 inch. Those with an internal surface extractor cup are helpful as long as you keep the tank water level very consistent through daily evap top off. That said, I really like the Remora and Remora Pro performance and profile. A good value.> I've tweaked what adjustments there are and have never gotten much skimmate out of the thing, even when new or after cleaning. <understood... quite frankly (and this is just my personal opinion... not a WWM consensus) I am not thrilled with most CPR products. I have recommended their skimmers though for aquarists that need an affordable model because for most folks willing to work a little it can fare well. However I would put a half dozen better skimmers in front of it and advise spending the extra $100 plus to get them. Do measure if EuroReef's hang-on skimmer will fit for you too> And what is your feeling about dealing with the ich breakout - improve water quality and watch for improvement or treat aggressively in QT tank and then return fish to improved water quality? <normally I say QT. Probably will say so here too. But am more concerned about "why" and how to prevent it. If you do have measurable temp swings... enough said. If not temp, then we should investigate further> Thanks again for all your help, Charles <truly my pleasure. Anthony>

Quarantine Tank Bob, Hope all is well. I have a 90 gallon system with probably about 75 gallon sump. I filter this system mainly with algae scrubbing and protein skimming. Not to mention about 150 lbs of live rock. My fish (5" Golden Butterfly, 2" Tinker Butterfly and 4" Juvenile Emperor Angel) have ich. They have been in tank for probably 10 months and have always eaten very aggressively. They have from time to time had a dusting of ich but always fought off with no problem. I always watched how they ate closely and never saw a problem. The system was running so well with minimal effort that it lead to daily feeding and off to work or kids ball games. The Golden stopped eating yesterday so I immediately set up my quarantine tank and put him in today. My intentions are to put all three in and go fallow, (and give system a good cleaning with water changes). <Sounds like a good plan.> The Golden was my immediate concern because he was only fish to stop eating. He was very easy to catch that trusting soul. I have a twenty gallon quarantine tank and dividers. My question is, do you think I need another Q tank or will twenty be OK if I watch Ammonia real close and keep fish separate? <Seems kind of cramped to me, about a 8" x 12" x 16" area for each. You maybe able to get away with it. I would feel better if you had a 30, though.> I do have Red Sea Skimmer on Q tank, heater and plan on doing partials every couple of days. <Sounds good, but no biological?> Also, should I set up a Penguin filter jammed with some bio balls for some biological filtration? <Yes> I usually don't worry about biological filtration because of copper (I use Cupramine). <There are other options besides copper; daily water changes, freshwater dips, etc.> But I do plan on extended Q tank stay 6-8 weeks and will hopefully only use copper for two weeks. I have sought your advice in past and it has always paid off. Overall at this point the fish are very healthy. Any other advice surely appreciated. Thank you in advance, David Stanley <Overall, your plan sounds ok. -Steven Pro>

Re: ICH! Thanks for your reply,  <<my pleasure.>> I was treating with quick cure for a few days, but now switched to Coppersafe as even a half dose of the formalin and malachite green looked to be giving them chemical burns (not sure if I was just seeing things, but there skin seemed a little more pale, could have been just the stress I suppose).  <<Well, these treatments are harsh, just like nasty cough medicine makes you gag and become pale. ;-)>>  I guess I have two follow up questions: One is that my poor loaches hate the quarantine tank because there's nowhere to hide, as I took out all decorations because I didn't want there to be extra places for the cysts to latch on to. Since removing the decorations I've kept the tank covered most of the time (except for feeding and for inspection) with a towel so they don't get so stressed by movement outside the tank and I read that darkness seems to help cure ich as well any truth to that?). Is there a better way to isolate shy fish? I have read that the quarantine tank should be bare bottomed and without decorations so that the parasites have nowhere to hide.  <<Ah sure... some large PVC fittings, pre-made Y's and elbows will work just fine. Safe to use in the quarantine as they won't react with the water or absorb the copper. Also, it sinks.>>  The other is that I don't have room for all the sick fish in my tiny 5 gallon quarantine tank (heck, the three loaches alone are too big for this tank), I do plan to get another isolation tank after this (my first bout with any type of disease since I dove headfirst into this hobby about two months ago), but since my 40 gallon tank isn't planted (yet), would it be alright to just put all the fish back in that tank and just treat that with copper for about a month? <<You run the risk of stunting/damaging/wiping-out the biological filter in this system. I would recommend against it.>> All the fish seem to be doing better now (haven't noticed any scratching for a few days), and I never really saw the 1 mm dots that are characteristic of ich, just saw very tiny dots and lots of scratching, so it was just somewhat of a minor breakout I guess, though I will continue to treat and monitor. <<Monitor, then treat... I don't have any experience with Loaches, but I know that there are several marine fish for whom scratching is a normal, everyday occurrence and it has nothing to do with disease or parasites. What the fish's motivations are is only known to the fish, but it's a good thing to keep in mind before grabbing the bottle of copper and dumping into the tank at the first scratch.>> Thanks again, Jason <<Cheers, J -- >>

Disease, scam remedies I was wondering if you had any experience with medication Kick-Ich?  <a dubious remedy at best> It says it is safe for invertebrates, and reef safe.  <it always amazes me how such products claim to be able to kill invertebrate pathogens but not harm desirable invertebrates (microfauna, plankton, corals, etc.)> I had an out break of ich and am trying to get rid of it without much luck. Thanks Pat P.S. I am learning so much from this site ,but found it a little to late. <indeed, the best course of action is to remove your fish to a bare bottomed quarantine tank where they will stay for 4 weeks. The display will run fallow for that time and not require any harmful medication in the absence of viable hosts. Freshwater dips and copper or Formalin can easily cure most common infections in QT. Treating in the display tank is never an option in my opinion. You only other option would be to net the fish from the display for freshwater dips daily... still parasites in the tank though that can find a host. Please do keep studying, sharing, and enjoying the hobby! Best regards, Anthony>

Ich <<Greetings...>> In my 240 gallon I noticed on my regal, and purple tang that they have ich. I always keep my copper at .15 in the tank,  <<constantly? This won't promote long-term good health in your fish. Copper is toxic.>>  and I'm surprised the fish got it.  <<Well... your decor and substrate would be absorbing some of this. I assume you are using a test kit to determine these values?>>  I boosted the copper up to .20 Now the fish in the tank are regal, purple, Sailfin, and yellow tang, blue ring angel, SFE, and chainlink eel, male blue jaw trigger, Niger trigger, blue line trigger, and a small queen trigger.  <<That is a lot of fish, even for a 240 - I hope your filtration is robust.>>  Do you have any tips to give me against ich?  <<Do you quarantine these fish before you put them in the main tank? That would be my suggestion.>>  Please help me. Also, I have been looking for a queen trigger for a year and finally found mine a month ago. Now I don't want to loose him, because he is so cool.  <<They are cool, but are well known for being quite hostile towards just about everything. Hope this choice works out for you.>>  If the ich does get worse, can I set up a smaller tank, do a Fw dip on the queen and move him to the smaller tang (by himself).  <<Should have done this from the start, you may find soon that you need lots of smaller tanks to take everyone out of the main tank and run it fallow for a while.>>  Is this a good idea or should I keep him in the big tank?  <<pH-adjusted freshwater dips and isolation in quarantine are a good plan, yes.>>  If the small tank idea works, what should be the minimum tank size for him for about a month.  <<Something large enough to move/turn around in - you didn't reveal the size of this fish. I like 20-long as an all-around good quarantine tank, if this will work for you.>>  Thanks! <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Ich Bob,  <<umm, JasonC again, at your service.>>  I know that there is always going to be ich in your tanks, however it is up to the water conditions and the fish Ich becomes a problem. <<Actually, it's up to you... the fish don't have a choice. They are just passengers, you drive the bus.>>  I notice that my Yellow Tang every once in a while will get some white dots on his fins, but my other fish wouldn't. The first time I saw this I wanted to immediately put him into the hospital tank for treatment, but I took a moment to calm down and left the fish alone. I did a couple of water changes and he drop the Ich within days, but every once in a while the same thing happen again. I don't think that I have a Ich problem, I just need to keep better quality of water.  <<Well, I would agree with your last statement, that keeping up water quality is important - this is quite true. But something you should understand about parasitic infections is that these things have a life cycle - what you see is the irritation from the parasite. When the spot goes away, the parasite falls back into the substrate where it will reproduce by the hundreds.>>  Would it be a waste of money to introduce a cleaner shrimp or a neon goby?  <<Not at all.>>  Last time I had a cleaner shrimp it died of a unknown cause and I also have a bubble coral. Anyway I would like to have something that can eat this type of stuff.  <<Yes, cleaner shrimp and neon gobies can help you get on the positive side of a problem, and keep things tidy afterwards.>> Thanks <<Cheers, J -- >>

Ickyness of ich Hi Guys...I think that is safe...I don't think there are any girls giving advice....well we got it  <not usually, but several WWM crew ladies with critical jobs: Barb, Patti... Di> I hate it and I really need it to just go away...ich...it really stinks...well I'm not sure how it smells but anyway...I have read through the site till I'm blue...well maybe just blind with a numb back side ...OK this is what I would like to know...does the copper KILL ich or just boost the fishes immune system...or both?... <the former but not all stages and must be dosed in a bare bottom QT tank and perhaps as much as twice daily with a test kit to confirm proper dosage> and since I didn't have it till I put the stinky little hermit crab in there I just took him but so... its fish only again...and with two little fish in a 45 gal tank...I think I would rather just treat the tank then set up a quarantine tank... <I don't see how that will be possible... too much rock/sand/gravel to absorb copper, render ineffective, harbor parasites> can you fresh water dip hermit crabs?.... <nope... and no need either> tomorrow I am going to buy copper and a test kit.. <excellent and may be necessary> I also need to do my regularly scheduled water change ..should I do that before or after adding the copper.. <several total in the next week to reduce parasites... siphon the bottom> I'm thinking before so I don't have to re adjust the copper...and just for grins and giggles could a person just keep treating a tank with copper and add new fish to it or does copper cause organ damage?.... <yes... long term complications. Not recommended> or some other horrible malady?... sorry if these questions are already answered some where ..the site has so much information...I just loose track of where I have gone...not that its hard for me to loose track... <no worries, understood> oh btw...I did raise temp lower spg and feed medicated flakes with no avail...so copper is next... <FW dips with any course of action for the fish too please. And bare bottomed QT tank is the only way to go> I hope the poor little fish live through this...like mean old Pseudochromis paccagnellae would die....thanks for the help in advance Cherri <best regards, Anthony>

Reef Safe Ich Meds I saw two things (No-Ich Marine and Probiotic Marine Formula) that claim to be reef-safe ways of combating ich; however, I'm very skeptical. What do you think about these? <Nothing in particular I would say about these two, but in general I would never use any meds in my reef tank.> Thanks, Kevin <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

White spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly Hello, <<And hello to you. JasonC here...>> I was needing to get information on treating what seems to be marine ick on my Copperbanded butterfly. It is on one side fin and the tail.  <<Are these fins well salted or just a few spots? If not more than I few spots I probably wouldn't be concerned, I would just keep up the observation.>>  No other fish is infected. I have coral and invertebrate in my tank.  <<Do you have a cleaner shrimp or neon goby?>>  Is there something that I can use that won't hurt my coral and inverts? What do you suggest! Daniel <<Well, in all but the most extreme cases, I try to leave the medications in the bottle and instead either let nature take its course or add more nature, meaning biological cleaners. Problem parasites like ich and the like are present in tank water almost 100% of the time, and usually a healthy fish can deal with a parasite or two... it's when parasite numbers grow to epidemic proportions that things get weird. Cleaner shrimp and neon gobies can help keep these parasites in check. Here's some reading for you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/neongobies.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >>

Re: white spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly Hello Jason,  <<And hello to you, Sir.>> The Butterfly has only about 2-3 spots on fin and 2-3 spots on tail. I have 2 cleaner shrimp, but no goby. Thanks, Daniel <<Sounds good to me, I wouldn't worry much about those spots. Do keep the fish under observation, look for scratching behaviors, to make sure things aren't growing out of proportion. No worries yet. Cheers, J -- >>

Tang and puffer disease question Hi, I have a hippo tang, yellow tang, maroon clown, Huma Huma trigger, and dogface puffer. My hippo tang and puffer seem to have Ich, that won't go away. All other fish are fine. On the hippo tang, I noticed what appeared to be a pimple next to one of his gills and then he broke out with ich. One of his eyes is also starting to become cloudy. The puffer develops ich in one location and the next day it is in another location. I don't understand? <Completely normal. Ich has a short lifespan and is constantly dropping off the fish, depositing eggs (cysts), and then reinfecting in a different place.> I dropped my salinity to 1.021 <I would go lower, 1.018.> and raised my temp to 83 F. All fish are eating well, and swimming like crazy! I have been doing fresh water baths for the hippo tang and puffer for 9 min each for the past 2 days. <Good> Neither fish seems to be getting better? <Two days is not enough time to effect a cure. You will be battling this for at least one month.> Does this seem like ich, or something worse? <No, sounds like Ich.> Will the freshwater baths be fine for treating or do I need to add medication? <I would stick with them for the time being. If you do decide to medicate, please do so in a separate quarantine/hospital tank, not the main, display tank.> Thank you. JPK <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ich Dear Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro this morning.> Thank you for your kind reply. I am very sorry to disturb you again; however the local dealer (Indonesian) seems to have limited knowledge on aquarium keeping and the casualties in their own aquarium is very high. My clownfish's white spot disappear after I administer copper treatment yesterday. However, the white spot reappear (in the treatment tank) this morning. Is this normal? <Yes, Ich has a short lifespan. It lives, breeds, and dies all with 24 hours, so your fish are constantly being infected by new parasites.> I do not have activated carbon filtration but do have thick gravel and rocks and I continue to apply copper treatment as instructed 2 weeks treatment. Am I doing the right thing? <Far better to administer copper in a separate quarantine/hospital tank that does not have any calcareous media; sand, crushed coral, liverock, etc.> Can the disease be killed permanently? <Yes, as long as tank conditions are optimal. Poor water quality and temperature fluctuations are triggers for outbreaks.> How can I be sure? Liao I Ching <Ich infestations take awhile to get rid of, approximately one month before you are completely safe. -Steven Pro>

Some Advice Please, Ich in a New Tank Hi There I'm very new to this hobby and this is my third question in 2 weeks. My apologies for bugging you so much. My 65g fish only tank has been up and running about 9 weeks now, and up until now my fish have been very healthy and the water parameters I can measure have been stable (apart from what appears to be a bit of an outbreak of diatoms that started a week ago). <Very normal for diatoms to bloom in a new tank. Usually, they disappear on their own after a month or two.> Until this weekend I had 6 fish - 2xDamsels,2xClowns,1xSailfin Tang and 1xTwin Spot Wrasse. This weekend I added 4 new fish - Picasso Trigger, Koran Angel, Sweet Lip Oriental, Salarias (?) Goby. <May too many fish too quickly and the Sweetlips is an awful choice. In the future, research your animals before purchase.> I don't have a quarantine tank ( bad idea after reading many of your articles and something I will set up ASAP). The supplier only received them on Friday and I added them to my tank on Sunday and they all looked very healthy when I first introduced them. Today I noticed some small white spots appearing on all 4 my new fish, none of the other fish have them yet. From all the articles on your site I can only match these symptoms with "Marine Ich". <Good guess.> I'm sure that the fish have had a very stressful couple of days - they were shipped from overseas, spend a couple of days in a shop's tank and then were moved into another new tank, probably 3 different water conditions in the space of a week. <All the more reason to give them sometime to adjust in a proper quarantine tank.> Secondly - the other fish have been quite aggressive towards them ever since I introduced them into my tank. Do you think all this stress can cause them to get white spot or am I seeing some other stress related symptom ? <No, sounds like textbook Cryptocaryon.> If this is white spot, should I try the "Hyposalinity" method? <Sure. I would also consider freshwater dips.> If so, can you maybe give me some more details of what exactly to do i.e.. lower the SG slowly to about 1.017 and increase the temperature a bit? <We have all written about this many, many times. Please search through the site for the info you require.> Or should I leave them for a couple of days and see what happens ? <I would definitely begin some sort of treatment.> I know I've done many things wrong here and I've definitely learned many things over the past couple of weeks, but right now I'm at a loss and really need some advice here. Kind Regards, Chris Cronje (South Africa) <Good luck to you. -Steven Pro>

Conscientious Marine Aquarist (ich treatments) Dear Mr. Fenner, <Hello> I live in Indonesia and always have the love of diving and keeping aquarium. My previous attempts have been only complete failure without proper understanding of water quality. I really hate to see any one of my stock die. <Me too> Thank you for your lovely book of Conscientious Marine Aquarist which I really learned a lot and enjoy reading it. My newly assembled tank finally started to show some promise. <Ah, good> Recently, both of my newly introduced Clownfishes are suffering white spot diseases. I quickly removed it and place in a quarantine tank with copper sulphate dosage. It was cured (white spot disappeared) after 4 days and I decided to put it back to the main system. <Mmm, needs to be treated, kept isolated for two weeks> Only 2 days after the clown fishes was put back to the main system, white spots started to reappear (not on the other 2 damsel fish). I have anemone in my system, what should I do to clean the main system? <Let the system "go fallow" (without fish hosts) for a good month. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and the treatment FAQs files linked (in blue above)> There are also other Damsel fishes, should I remove them as well? <Yes, all fishes> How long should I continue to keep the fish in a quarantine tank if after all white spot disappear? <At least a month> Do you publish any other aquarium book? <Yes my friend. Please peruse the WetWebMedia.com site for these, and make it known if anything is unclear. Bob Fenner> Best regards! Liao I Ching

Ich Hello again, Here is the situation. I have a new Kole tang that I FW dipped w/copper (I believe .4 ppm) before adding to my tank. There is a small amount of ich in the tank (the fish get a few spots which disappear a day or two later thanks to cleaner shrimp). However, the tang is developing more spots, so I quarantined him. Now I have a few questions. 1) Is a SG of about 1.010 (under 16 ppm Salinity I believe, is this correct?) too low for the tang? The SG would be lowered slowly. <That is the lowest I have seen used. Do so carefully and watch your fish closely for adverse reactions.> 2) If I do the lowered SG, would you recommend treatment with medications? <No, should be enough all by itself.> 3) If yes to number 2, would you suggest formalin or copper (.2 ppm?)? <Neither. Pick one method of treatment; Hyposalinity, Copper, or Formalin and stick to it.> My concern with copper is that I also use the q-tank for inverts and I wasn't sure if the copper would be removed enough with activated carbon. Will it? <Easily removed from the water. Nearly impossible to remove from calcareous media; liverock, crushed coral, etc.> 4) Would a UV filter be helpful for removing the rest of the ich in the main tank? <Helpful, but not needed. Leave the tank without fish for one month and all cysts will have hatched and died by then.> What about for when quarantining livestock before addition to the main tank? <You should always quarantine all livestock for one month.> Thank you in advance, Kevin <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Flame Angel - Quarantine Tank and Ich Hello Crew, I am at a loss of what to do, so here I am to ask a question. First though tank parameters: Main tank - 55 gal - 60 lbs live rock - 20 gallon refuge - T1000 skimmer - 1 cleaner shrimp - been setup for 1 year - 0 NH4, 0 NO2 - 0 NO3, 8.2 PH, 300 Ca, 80 temp, 1.020 salinity (I know calcium is low. But except for the live rock and a few crabs and snails, no animals in my tank require much calcium. I am not dosing calcium or alkalinity at this time.) <Ok, sounds fine.> Quar tank - 20 gal - bare bottom - sponge filter rated for 60gal tank - power filter rated for 40 gal tank - setup for 6 weeks - NH4, NO2 et al. explained below - Temp 80F, 1.020 salinity, 8.2 PH Several months ago my DIY refugium came unglued releasing a cloud of fine sand throughout my tank. All previously healthy fish survived this silt storm and the rebuild of the refugium (this time with proper acrylic solvent), but broke out with ich. A hospital tank was used along with fresh water dips, but only 2 green chromis survived which were returned to the LFS. The main tank sat empty except for the cleaner shrimp for 4 weeks. I then set up the hospital tank as a quarantine tank and cautiously added a flame angel. <Bad idea to use a Flame Angel to cycle this new tank.> NH4 and NO2 quickly rose in the quarantine tank despite light feedings and daily 25% water changes from the main tank. NH4 rose to 0.1 before dropping to 0.25, and NO2 never got below 0.1. The angel died with just 2 days left in its 4 week quarantine. I waited two weeks until the quarantine tank's NH4, and NO2 dropped to 0 then purchased a second flame angel. Now 2 days later NH4 is 0.05 and NO2 is up to 0.1 again. The flame angel is sulking in a corner and not eating. And to add further insult has broken out with ich. <Everything you have related so far is to be expected, including the death of the fish.> I have tried feeding Mysis shrimp and flake food to no avail. I perform water changes 20 minutes after feeding to remove the uneaten food and change 25% of the water. Any suggestion on what should be done? <Yes, quit using flame angels to cycle this tank.> Should I use copper and further destroy the weak biological filtration? <No, continue the daily water changes and hope for the best.> Should I put the fish in the main tank contaminating it with ich, but hopefully providing better water conditions? <Might help, but you will need to leave this fish in their all by itself for at least one month, possibly two.> There are no other fish to get contaminated in the main tank. If the flame does perish in the main tank I could start the 4 week waiting period before trying to add fish again. <Correct> Any other suggestions? I fear this fish will perish soon if action is not taken. <Me too.> Thanks, Michael Torzewski <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Flame Angel - Quarantine Tank and Ich II Steven, Just a note. I was not attempting to cycle the tank with a flame angel. The main tank has been cycled for 1 year. The filters on the quarantine tank have been running on the main tank for 6 months, and was set up 6 weeks ago. NH4 and NO2 after rising fell back to 0 before the addition of a fish. All water in the quarantine tank came from the main tank. This is the process outlined by Bob Fenner for setting up a quarantine tank. <And I agree with the process. I think the problem was with your application of the process. I am not sure about what happened when, but it appears you fallowed the tank for 4 weeks and then used those filters to setup the QT tank. That is probably where your problem came in. Most of the bacteria would have died off due to an unavailability of food, i.e. ammonia from fish.> For some reason the bacteria content on these filters even though they and been in an active tank for some time was very low and not able to handle the additional fish without falling out of balance. So besides "not adding a flame angel to cycle a tank" which was never my attempt at all. Do you have any advice. Do I have a better chance of saving this fish by continuing water changes and using copper in the quarantine tank, or placing the fish into main tank contaminating it with ich but providing better water conditions for the fish. <Daily water changes can effect a cure for Cryptocaryon. If you are sure that is what your fish have and the only thing, just do the daily water changes. I believe the copper would be more harm than good at this point, though I do not have a lot of faith that this fish will make it.> Thanks, Michael Torzewski <Good luck. -Steven Pro>

Ick (Aaargh!!!!) Hello- <Cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service> I've got some kind of parasitic infestation in my 125 Gal. fish and live rock tank (no corals). I see white salt spots on bodies and fins and some fish are scratching (Majestic Angel, Cuban Hog, Harlequin Tusk).  <large like grains of salt would indicate common Ich (crypt.) whereas fine like talc would suggest marine velvet (Oodinium)> There is no respiratory distress or loss of appetite. The only fish that don't have spots are three that have been in this tank for 4 yrs- a Foxface, a red flame hawk, and a long nose hawk-  <yes... common for fish that have suffered this parasite before...some immunity> plus a recently added algae blenny. <not yet at least> First, I removed the live rock to a trash can with aerator, dropped SG to 1.017, raised temp to 82 degrees.  <to be done gradually over days for fear of mitigating the condition> Then, I lowered the SG in the 125 gal to 1.014 from 1.022 all at once,  <not recommended although I have done it before and will do it again <G>> and I am gradually -over several days time -raising the temp from 76 deg to 82. <OK> I dropped SG on Monday. It's now Friday. All of the fish seem to be tolerating low SG. All are eating and moving around the tank except for a yellow banded maroon clown. The clown has been hanging out in a cave under a rock but did come out to feed last night. <no worries... let her pout, they are hardy> The low SG appears to be working (spots are disappearing). I'm most concerned about the angels- the flame has cloudy eyes that are a bit popped, <do add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per 5 gallons (split dose over a day or do in installments and dissolve in seawater first)... this is aimed to relieve the exophthalmia (Popeye)> and head shaking behavior, and the Majestic looks great but also has head shaking. Also last week the majestic excreted a long stringy mess. Didn't look good. <you have indicated three different things... a possible bacterial infection (Popeye), spots and head shaking (Ich) and now stringy white feces (internal parasites perhaps> Stephen Spotte lists head shaking as one of the clinical signs of Amyloodinium disease.  <it is a VERY general symptom of gill irritation which could be from Ich, Oodinium, gill flukes, nitrogen poisoning and so many other things> Spotte says that Amyloodinium is persistent and fishes can never recover totally, and there will be another out break at a later time.  <only true in the sense that we are al carrying potentially pathogenic organisms at all times that can be expressed with stress. Your chances of getting or keeping a sterile fish or even Oodinium free are as unrealistic as your own digestive tract being sterile or so-called "disease free". Have no fears. Good husbandry will carry fish many years! (Nancy aquarium in France, case in point: numerous fishes over twenty and even 30 years old!!! (incl Perc clowns) with basic sponge filtration. If you keep and use a quarantine tank ( I suspect you didn't for these new fish which is why you have an outbreak in part) you'll find that you can easily temper the impact of such pathogens. Not cure forever... but easily temper. It is standard and necessary protocol for responsible aquarium keeping> His advice is to destroy everything, sterilize the tank and start over. I'm not going to do that.  <keep in mind that you are citing a reference that is likely over 15 years old (copyright). Perhaps more. Spotte is a great scientist... but times and knowledge have evolved!> I've read that Cryptocaryon disease is not a as deadly.  <agreed> Does Cryptocaryon also infect the gills and cause head shaking? <yes> Spotte lists respiratory distress as a clinical sign of Crypto but not head shaking. <again... cannot be taken so literally... simply gill distress> I have never used copper even though I have a bottle of Cupramine- I keep reading the directions and reading Spotte, Moe, Tullock, and Fenner (of course). If I use the copper I will use it in the exhibit aquarium, pull it out with PolyFilters after treatment, discard the dead coral rock decor, and return the live rock to the main tank.  < I would advise you to simply use a proper QT tank and let the tank simply run fallow for the QT duration (4 weeks)> I will not use a separate treatment tank. (The exhibit aquarium is in my restaurant and I want to keep the fish in it.)  <then it will be done at the increased risk of their mortality. I do not fault you for it... they are your charges/responsibility. But know that you are taking the long way around the barn! Medicating a tank with calcareous substrate that will absorb copper like a sponge means that you will be dosing and testing for copper levels at least twice a day each for about 21 days. Not at all practical> OR I may pull the angels out of the exhibit tank, place them in quarantine, and possibly treat only the angels with copper. <yes, my friend... this would be better> But I would prefer to continue with the low SG and after 6 days raise the SG to .017 and hold it there for another week, and then raise it to .021, hold the live rock in the trashcan for 6 weeks and then put it back in the exhibit tank. <all good ideas... I concur> Am I shooting myself in the foot by not using the copper?  <for Crypt I will agree with copper use. Not much else for copper> The fellow I buy my fish from says that if I wait too long to use the copper, then the disease will establish itself in the aquarium and I will always have problems.  <not true> What do you think about that head shaking? You're probably doing some head shaking yourself right about now. <heehee... I though the web cam was turned off <G>. You are a good sport!> Thanks for your help and thanks for putting together a great website. Sally <I wish you the very best of luck! Kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Powder blue tang issues Hello, <Hi there> I had a powder blue in a QT for almost five weeks with no problems at all. Three days ago my QT UV sterilizer broke. Yesterday my powder blue woke up with a mild case of ich.  <Yikes, typical> There are 6 cleaner gobies in the QT, and they are doing their job. I gradually dropped the salinity to 1.018 and raised the temp to 80F. I am aware of the benefits of the fresh water dips, and used them many times.  <Mmm, did you this time?> The problem with this powder blue is that he is extremely shy and neurotic. <Also not unusual> I am not sure what might stress him more - fresh water dips or the sight of a net (or a plastic container, or a hand to get him to the dip). Considering his fear factor, should I still try the dips, or wait and see how he will turn out tomorrow? Thank you. <I would have dipped/bathed the fish on its way into the quarantine system... Now...? I might wait another day or two... try adding vitamins to the food, water... Bob Fenner>

Help Please help me. I have a 120 semi-reef with and Asfur angel. My brother gave me his purple tang which is the same size as the Asfur. The tang had ick, and I put in my tank and the ick was gone in two days w/out any medication. <Not gone... just cycling off to reproduce... it'll be back... and soon>  Yesterday I did a 25gal water change and I notice today that my Asfur has got ick. <Bingo>  In my tank I have Skimmer, cleaner shrimps, and a 40w U.V. Should I put medication or let do it on its own. <I would try adding a Cleaner, likely a shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), and augment the foods you give both these fishes and their water with vitamins. Please read through WetWebMedia.com re these issues, practices.> The tang and the angel don't fight to kill each other, once a while they would do what I call their little dance then you would see them swimming like nothing never happened. <This is fine, to be expected> Please help me, you guys are the true professional. Thanks Miguel <Study my friend/amigo, nos vemos, Bob Fenner>

Ich solution Dear Bob, Guess that I would like to share my experience. I've went through 3 bouts of ich problem throughout the whole of last year and lost the whole batch my prized angels and BF's. Water changes, medication and whatever nots did not help. My friends suggested copper, not possible as I've got LR and Soft corals. I did not consider UV as many friends claim it does not work and problems in cleaning the plastic sleeve periodically. About 4 months ago, I noticed that my LFS store installed fluorescent fixtures in the sump with special UV germicidal bulbs. I was cynical at first as I always thought that the water has to be within a few mm away from the bulb for it to work. In this case, the distance was more than 8 inches! For the next 10 days or so, I noticed a marked improvement in the loss of new arrivals and also reduction in algae formation on the glass. I've no choice but to try this method. To this date, almost 3 months now, my angels are still alive and kicking and no sign of ich. The bulb I use is only a 18W Philips TUV FL (in the sump )or an equivalent that is Sankyo Denki. Please note that both bulbs are rated as germicidal and do not look too long into the lighted bulb as it may cause blindness. <Yes> My tank is a 200G and for the first few days, it was switched on for 24 hours. Now, I leave it for 12 hours only.. I have no explanation to this but who cares, it worked for me and I would like to share it. <Thank you for this. Will post for others edification, consideration. Bob Fenner>

Parasitic Attack Hi Bob, <Steven Pro in this morning.> Great site you have here, very informative. I have a situation here, recently I found some powdery looking spots on my Emperor. I removed it and placed in a QT with CopperSafe & a sponge filter running. It will be 2 weeks this weekend the Emperor is in the QT tank. Two days ago I tour down the tank and move all other fishes to the QT tank as the main tank has also be affected. My question is : 1) Since I recently placed the other fishes which could be infected, will the Emperor be affected again since it was moved in 2 weeks ago? <Possibly> 2) Since I have tore down the tank do you think that most of the parasite will be killed? <Will die regardless without a host, the fish.> 3) When do you think I can place the fish back in the main tank, as I don't want it to be affected again - hard work :)? <Wait at least two weeks after all fish are completely cured. Should be about a total a four weeks for all of them in quarantine together.> Regards, Ragu <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Siphoning Cryptocaryon/parasites technique question Hi Bob, I like this method a lot! <... In a bare bottomed aquarium, common Ich can be cured simply by siphoning the tomites/larvae off of the bottom for eight consecutive days. Ich cure that simple> My question is: Can this method be used in the main tank?  <Not to effect an actual cure... The stated approach is merely a "percentage game" of removing some resting stages... it won't get them all> If I were to siphon the larvae using the draw of my HOT Magnum filter, are they so small that they would just go right through and back into the tank? If stuffed with cotton, would that catch 'em? <Yes to going through these filter media... You might use a Diatom (tm) filter and earth...> I already took out the carbon so that the copper and follow up antibiotics would go to work. Also, my crushed coral substrate is so old that it was to be replaced soon anyway, 1/3 at a time, as you recommend. Finally, do copper bonding agents like Cop-a-way really work in your opinion, rendering them unabsorbable by non-fish livestock (if I ever decide to go that route)? <Yes, do work> Thanks for your patience and wisdom, Jonathan, Los Angeles <And you for yours. Bob Fenner>

Got ich? Garlic won't really help much... Tuskfish <<Greetings, JasonC here...>> Sorry to bother you again,  <<no bother>> I am sure you are pretty busy. Your never gonna believe what happened. I woke up this morning, 2 days after getting my tusk fish, and he has come down with ick!! I have never had a breakout of ick in my system since I have had it set up which was about a year ago.  <<do I detect you did not quarantine the tusk first?>>  I had been supplementing his food with garlic-elixir which is a garlic and iodine supplement and he seemed to have been doing fine until today. <<certainly not a guarantee of much, as you now know..>>  I checked my water and everything is in check, my nitrate was a little higher than usual at 10 ppm. My specific gravity was 1.021 until the breakout (now at 1.018) and my temp is now at 85 (from 78). The tusk fish is now in a 10 gallon Q tank no substrate and one piece of coral. I have copper running in that system at the recommended dose and a small powerhead and AquaClear 200 running on it without the carbon media. There is a light on the system but I leave it off to reduce the stress. He has been in the Q tank for about 6 hours now and seems to be doing fine.  <<that all sounds good, could probably use a larger tank - like a 20L for quarantining a small tusk. You could/should probably return the display system to NSW conditions if no signs were seen on other occupants.>>  Is there anything else that I should be doing?  <<making sure it eats, and that you change 25% of the water every other day. You really should have started off like this, perhaps withholding the copper, and letting the tusk "hang" in quarantine for two to four weeks so it can get used to your rhythms, and you can get used to it - how they behave, what makes them happy, and what stresses them out.>>  and what kind of chances does it have of recovery?  <<all other things being equal and provided it was from a good source, I know from my own experiences with Tuskfish that they are amazingly tough. And I really mean that - like Rambo or Terminator tough. If your tusk has good girth - not skinny - then it will most likely weather this storm, no problem. Don't exceed the recommended dose on the copper.>>  I know your busy but I have never lost a fish before (aside from a few damsels) and would hate to loose such a wonderful (and expensive) one, anything you can direct me in would be greatly appreciated.  <<well, keep the top on the tank... how's that for some tusk advice? This I also know from personal experience. That and always, always quarantine all new arrivals along with a pre- and post- quarantine pH-adjusted fresh water dip. Don't place for several weeks. Any fish that doesn't make it out of quarantine, wouldn't have made it anyway.>> ~Matt <<Cheers, J -- >>

Eliminating Marine Ich Hi Bob. Just found your website and read with great interest many of the Q&A regarding Marine ich. <Yes, a great deal of trouble and source of lost livestock (and hobbyists!) that could be easily avoided by simple dips/quarantine... by the dealers side or hobbyists...> I have had an ongoing presence of ich since I set up my 125 gal. Marine aquarium and transferred the livestock from my old 55. I have read your book and tried most of the methods mentioned to control or stop the ich. I used to treat my fish with copper (Cupramine) with mixed results when my tank was fish only. But on setting up the 125, I decided to go the middle route: fish, liverock, and the usual tougher inverts. Plus the ich. <Good attitude> Only now with the inverts I need to either catch the fish and treat with copper in a separate tank, or use a non-chemical approach. I tried cleaner gobies, cleaner shrimp, even a cleaner wrasse. Hyposalinity, UV sterilizer on 24/7 (useless) "reef-safe" snake-oils, even garlic in the food. <Well-stated... "the gamut"> Finally in desperation, I broke the tank down, put my surviving fish in my old 55, sterilized everything, soaked my substrate in hot tap water, then sun- dried it for 2 weeks, and kept the reset-up tank fallow for six endless weeks. I put the fish back in 1 at a time over 2 weeks ( about 8 survivors). No ich. Three weeks into the new "clean" tank, I started to see ich dots. <Arggghhhh> I've never really gotten rid of it since then. It is definitely entrenched in the system, but until recently, only a dot or 3 daily on a couple of fish. <I would do my best to "keep balance"...> I recently bought a Hippo Tang, gave him a good look over and a quick FW bath. He seemed fine. Now I know why they're called ich magnets. My fish are covered. I've pulled all my inverts but the live rock (separate tank now) and have dropped my salinity to 0.017, temp is at 84. 24 hours has passed and fish still show ich. No one has died. No change in activity, eating; except for flashing. I figure to give this a week. If I see significant change, I'll continue for 4-5 more weeks. If not, I'm prepared to pay the price of Q tank laziness and break down my tank, separating fish from ich for up to 2 months. Sorry to be so long winded. <No worries. Necessary... very hopeful your hard-won/earned experience/learning/reflections will aid others> Questions. If free swimming ich dies without a host in 24 hours, how long can the cyst stage remain alive and waiting? <You're not likely going to like this... weeks to months> Is having a completely ich-free aquarium impossible, assuming I do root it out, AND quarantine everything from now on? <Yes... there are specific pathogen free facilities (for instance, TMC's culture plant in England. I am of the opinion that there are such things as hosts without parasites...> Can ich "infest" live rock even if that live rock is sold from a fish-less tank?  <Not as far as I know> Hoping to hear from you. Thanks. Wayne Tripp <Good luck, life my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Eliminating Marine Ich Hi Bob. Thanks for your really fast reply. Since I've got my home computer and found your website, I find myself checking it daily. Today when I got home I noticed most of my ich loaded fish weren't. They still have ich, but there seems less of it. <Might just be "cycling out" generation wise...> I've removed all my pricey treasured inverts to a separate tank. I was prepared to devoting a good part of my week-end breaking down my tank, housing all my fish in the old 55 gal. tank, and following your directions of filling the 125 with fresh water, waiting, refilling with weak salt-you know the scenario. It's yours. BUT, now that my fish have less spots, I'm really torn as what to do. All fish are eating, colorful and swimming everywhere like normal. <You could just wait> I know I'll never get rid of the ich completely without a 2 month fallow period, but I'm just a little reluctant to stress my fish with a newer smaller tank that'll be overcrowded, and 2 weeks of copper treatment. I've built up a small collection of fairy wrasses (Carpenter, Melanurus, Solar/Tricolor) that I really don't want to lose. I'd value your opinion. <Yikes... these are/can be touchy fishes> Also, you mentioned you're a diver and that you'd been in Hawaii. Molokini, Maui?  <Yes> I'm a diver also (so many fish-keepers seem to be) and have dived in the Caribbean, Cozumel, Oahu, and Maui. I'm curious: got a favorite fish watching \ collecting island?  <Gosh. Many. Molokini is fun on the inside and out (when it's calm), Cozumel is very hard to beat for ease of entry, drifting, beauty and intactness... the Red Sea is spectacular almost along its entire length... Sipadan and other Malaysian spots are incredible for large, numerous animals... the Lembah Strait in the Northeast end of Sulawesi is phenomenal... Many, many other places... several life time's worth> Taken enough of your time Bob. I really would like your opinion on living with the ich vs. Wiping it out. Thanks. W. Tripp <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm, wait till tomorrow to "make up your mind". Bob Fenner>

Re: Eliminating Marine Ich Hello again Bob. <Steven Pro here this morning.> I waiting overnight and sure enough, my Flame Angel and the fairy wrasses still had visible signs of ich. <Yes, a common misconception due to the short life cycle of Cryptocaryon.> So I'm biting the bullet and separating fish for copper treatment, and breaking down the tank. I'm using the procedure of dumping all the water, running tap water in for the overnight at least, and then draining and refilling with a weak salt mix. <Seems awfully extreme. Much easier if you are already removing the fish to a quarantine tank to merely allow the tank to go fallow.> Question. Since I've removed my inverts and live rock and am housing in other tank and Rubbermaid tubes, BUT intend to reintroduce it to the tank, what do I do about the substrate. In a fully set up 125 that's a lot of aragonite/coral sand. Won't the live rock etc. still have ich cysts clinging to it waiting to be reintroduced. <For a while they will be lying in wait, but a one month fallow period will take care of all.> I AM going to go fishless for 2 months in the display tank. <Even better. Save your back and leave all the rock and sand in the display. The cysts will hatch in 3-28 days depending on temperature and die within 24 hours without a host (fish). I would remove the fish to quarantine and treat there, while increasing the temperature in the display to 80*F.> Should I leave it in the 125 when I run the load of pure tap water? <Only if you wish to kill all life on your liverock. Not a good idea, especially when there are far better alternatives.> Would it help if I pulled as much as I could out and rinsed it outside in tap water, then sun-dried it? <See above notes.> Eagerly awaiting your reply. Thanks, W. Tripp <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Copper/Ich Hey guys, I'm medicating a hospital bare bottom, no rock/sand, only PVC) tank with copper (Cupramine) and have it at the therapeutic level of 0.45 (it's asking for 0.5, but its fairly close and I believe copper is active at 0.15-0.20 in fighting ich). Anyhow, I know it only works on the free swimming stage, but is it normal after sticking a fish with spots (not quite fully infested) in there for 2 days, for the fish to actually get worse lots of white spots) on the 2nd/3rd day ? Is this just from already infected parasites in the fish just coming to the surface ? <Yes, very likely. The "spots" are actually mucus and damage on the fish's dermis...> I saw a fish in copper solution go from just a few spots to like covered (didn't make it) in 2 days. I thought it was my copper levels, but they were checked 3 times by 3 different sources myself and 2 stores) and they all checked in from 0.3 to 0.5, so I know the copper is in solution. If this is normal, then I'll just have to wait it out. Thanks, Jim <Yes... lessons in "reality"... by the time "ich" (et al. dis-ease conditions) are "registered", there are still "events to go". In action, watch the timing, "Bob".>

UV Sterilizer and Advice (chiller, ich) Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this morning.> Need your help. I have a big aquarium about 1000 liters. Currently there is only fish and livestock due to hot temp in the aquarium about 30 C. <That is 86 F for the non-metric users.> I planning to make a chiller out of a small fridge. Do you think this will work. I got the blueprint from Don Caster from one of the website. Please advice. <I have seen many of these plans before. It may work, but not nearly as effectively as a commercial unit.> I have few tangs and few angels in the aquarium but somehow is got infected with ICK (white spot). After dying of few fishes, I have used Copper Safe in the aquarium, and it seem to help but now and then the ick seem to come back. <Sounds like you have an underlying environmental issue; water quality, temperature fluctuations, etc.> How can I be sure to kill all the ICK. <You will never be able to kill all the Ick. It will always be present in some small number and the fish will tolerate it. It is when something occurs that makes the parasites multiply, that puts your fish in harm.> If I am planning to start a reef aquarium, how do I remove all the copper solution from the water. <PolyFilter will remove it from the water, but nothing will remove it from your calcium based media; liverock and sand. You will need to remove all this and replace. The biggest reason why it is best to treat in a separate bare bottom quarantine/hospital tank.> Will a protein skimmer help? <Help with overall water quality, not copper. IMO, all marine tanks should have one.> I was told also to used UV sterilizer. What voltage should be safe for my aquarium. I saw one from one of the local store that say it can process about 7000 liter or 10000 liter. But the voltage is also 9V. Are those usable for my scenario? <Generally, I do not recommend UV's for hobbyists. They are usually ineffective and your money would be better spent on a protein skimmer and a quarantine tank.> Please help as I have ran out of ideas. Thank you very much. Cheers, Daniel <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ich Treatment Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob tours Australia. Last I heard... he was spotted on one of OZ's beautiful nude beaches. Rest assured though... Bob is too discreet to sun soak in the nude. Instead he opted for a lovely, Teal colored, thong bikini. He almost got in trouble for it too... the Department of Agriculture thought he was smuggling plums but then realized their mistake with some embarrassment.> I have a 5 month old 105 gallon fish only system that has developed Ich, the purple tang being the main recipient. I have used Kent RPX for two weeks followed by 5 doses of Quick Cure and the infestation is still alive.  <It sounds like you treated the main display and if that was the case, the medications were rendered seriously ineffective by the calcareous media in the tank (any gravel, sand, rocks, shells, coral, etc... they soak up the meds). The directions for such medication do or should say to medicate in an isolation tank> I am now attempting to lower the salinity to 1.015 in an attempt to affect a cure. What is the best approach in a fish only system? <low salinity helps but almost certainly will not cure alone. I would advise removing the fish to a bare bottomed QT tank and retreat with the quick cure. Freshwater dips and possibly low QT salinity will help as well. Do research the archives on these topics. A lot of good questions, answers and articles (Quarantine, Ich treatments, etc)> Thanks, Joe <good luck, my friend>

Ich Hi! there, <hello! Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob travels>> I hope all is well in your life. Things here in Alaska are starting to look brighter. <first day of Spring and we had an Ice storm... thanks for asking <smile>> So I need so advise. I have a 240 gal reef connected in series to a 1000 gal f/live rock. The tank got set up about a month ago. The sump is about 200gal. I have a 12" 4' Euro reef skimmer and 160 watts of UV. However the fish have ick.  <that's because you didn't mention using a quarantine tank first for all new fish. I hope you weren't counting on the UV for disease control. They are great for controlling unicellular algae but only kill pathogen within a very strict range of conditions no matter what the salesperson says. Much has been written in the archives about this if you care to look back, good sir> They have had it for two weeks now. I have lowered the SG to .018 <stimulating but will not effect a cure alone> And raised the temp to 83. However it is not possible for me to treat that tank as I do not want to kill the live rock and I can't catch the fish. <yes, my friend... you are learning about the need for a QT tank the hard way like most of us. 4 weeks in QT and little risk of transmitting pathogen short of a disaster> The fish however all eat well and have no signs of discomfort other than the indications of ick. I have another 8"-3' Euro reef skimmer that I have been thinking of adding to the sump and I just ordered a 0.25 g/hr ozonizer. <excellent... that would be my advice given the circumstances> Do you think I will get the upper hand when I add the ozone?  <a big help indeed> It seems the UV is not doing the job completely. Although I am sure it has helped some.  <limited. UV needs dead slow water, crystal clear clarity (no color...weekly carbon changes), prefiltered water (no particulates or raw water, and the housing needs to be cleaned every 3-5 weeks to rid the organic slime from building up> The flow rate through the sump is about 6k gal/hr. Do you think I should up the flow? It seems only water from the surface is filtered, or do you think there is enough circulation? <tough to tell without seeing the tank... the main ting is to eliminate dead spots in the display> Do you think I need an ORP controller for the ozone or do you think that is too small an amount to bother? <you really need a controller to dose effectively... don't skimp now, you have an incredible investment.> Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks. <you really need QT tank to run all fish through for 4 weeks first to protect your investment and their lives> P.S. On your advise I got a Maculosus Angel about 18 months ago. He is now a giant and bosses my emperor around and the rest of the guys. He really is an awesome specimen although a little shy. We call him BOB. <too cool... I never met a fish that could swill beer! Kindly, Anthony>

Live rock and Ich questions Dear Mr.. Fenner <Anthony Calfo in your service... Bob is in an Australian jail for getting into an argument with the Steve the Crocodile Hunter and giving him a nasty wedgie> I have recently read your book and found that I am really not sure on how to go about adding live rock to my system or if I'm even able to. <always room for live rock... a great investment> My LFS told me not to worry about the nitrates in the water because I only planned on keeping just fish <unless you like butterflies, angles or tangs just to name a few nitrate sensitive creatures> and also I have medicated the tank and the organisms in the rock would not survive.  <display tanks should almost never be medicated... that's what quarantine tanks are for... strongly recommended> After reading more recent information it seems like live rock is the way to go.  <agreed.. and deep fine sand (over 3") if you want nitrate control> As far as my water parameters: nitrates are consistently around 100, ammonia 0, nitrite 0,ph 8.4, phosphate 2.0 all using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Dry Tab Kit, <phosphates are sky high or it is a typo... you should be growing algae like it is going out of style at this level> SG 1.021 and the temp. is 77. Tank inhabitants are a volitans lion 8", Naso tang 4", yellow tang 5",grey angel 5",wolf eel 12",niger trigger 4". The tank is 125 gallon and has been up for about six months. <wow... a lot of fish even for a 125 gall. As they grow you will need to thin out some fish or you will have problems> I guess my first question is: Can I add live rock to my tank even after I used Cupramine about 2 months ago and did also treat with Maracyn about 4 months ago?  <yes.. while there is still copper in the sand, assumedly you have done water changes enough to remove it from the water.> I tested for copper recently and it did not show any and also I have been running poly filters for a month now because they claim to remove all traces of medications.  <yes...excellent product!> The rock I plan on getting is supposedly already cured but they recommend keeping it out of the display tank for an additional few days.  <also agreed...test for zero ammonia> I plan on adding about 50 lbs. at a time and wanted to know if I can use my 20 gallon sick tank for curing the rock which has also been exposed to the Maracyn and the Cupramine.  <yes, as per above conditions> Would rinsing the tank out and replacing the media bags on the sick tanks filter be enough to rid any traces of medications from it?  <certainly> I have one more thing I would appreciate if you could help. For a few months now I have seen these tiny free swimming white worm like creatures on the glass, and some even on the body of the trigger fish. My best estimate is that they are only about 1mm long. I even had the pet shop owner come and check them out and he said they were copepods and that they were not a problem unless they get out of hand. <not true on either count. Copepods are tiny dots like fleas and are desirable and completely harmless... the more the better. Worm like things could be many things. Planaria wouldn't be a surprise in this overstocked tank. Still harmless no doubt> I did keep all new fish in a sick tank for a least 3 weeks and would have seen these things. Now when I clean out the canister filters or siphon out the water there are thousands of these things in the bottom of the filters and in the buckets crawling around.  <excellent.. good diversity of natural plankton> When I used the Cupramine for an ick outbreak I noticed it had no effect on the copepods at all. <interesting... no doubt the medication was reduced by the calcareous media in the tank (that is partly why you never dose the main tank)> I do notice when I dump fresh water on them they die instantly. <yep> Now it seems all the fish are effected, the lion fish sometimes hovers where the water returns from one of the filters trying to clear his gills and darts across the tank taking big gulps, the gray angel gulps at the surface of the water, the yellow tang rubs his snout in the substrate and scratches the side of his gill plate, and both the Naso and yellow tang I have seen breathing from just one gill, it's like the other is clamped shut.  <definitely a sign of parasites perhaps gill flukes or impending Oodinium> The first thing I did was check the oxygen concentration and that checked out fine.  <a wise move> I also called the Shedd aquarium here in Chicago and they seemed to think it was gill flukes and told me to use life bearer.  After reading your book it also sounds to me like gill flukes.  <you need straight Formalin for this> I guess my question is: If these are copepods can they cause these types of symptoms  <not possible> or is it possible these are gill flukes and what can I do/use to treat them. Thank you in advance. Mike <yes.. Formalin as per manufactures recommended dose. Kindly, Anthony> 

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