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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 6

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 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, 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 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...  &  Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,

Invertebrates don't "get" Crypt, but they can vector it

Ich I sent in a e-mail concerning my niger trigger. It had little white spots and white patches. Well now it looks more like ich and some are red??? Can this be ich if it looks almost red? But if it is ich it doesn't look like it has any effect on my trigger. Like he acts normal, eats well, no cloudy eyes etc. but the only thing is that he looks like he has ich. should I treat the ich or just let him fight it off??? Please answer back. Thank you. <The redness could be coming from sores.  I would treat for ich if that's what it is.  I can't tell whether it has ich without seeing it. <James (Salty Dog)> Re: new reef tank issues Hello Craig. <Hi Steven,> I do not have a secondary tank to quarantine the damsels. Will a small uv sterilizer work? I am told it will eliminate the ick, but will also damage good organisms.  <No. Will kill Ick in water column but cannot circulate all the water in all the various crevices and such...so Ick will remain as long as there is a fish host (which the UV can't cure either). You can purchase a pretty nice QT set-up for the price of an ineffective UV.>  How long should the light be on ?  <Your main should run for twelve hours, it has corals that need the light. You can keep a QT for fish bare and dark (with a few plastic plants and places to hide). Do scrap the UV idea, it won't eliminate Ick> Can I add corals such as brain, clams, torch, etc. with ick in the tank once it has completed cycling?  <The Ick will not affect any other aquarium inhabitants but fish. Please keep in mind that Ick could come in on corals and rock kept in systems housing fish, so are to be QT'ed too.>  The only residents in my tank now are some snails, a couple crabs, and some things (polyps I think) growing on the live rock. <No worries there.> If the tank is without the infected fish for 1 month, will that be the end of the ick life cycle in the tank? I appreciate your ongoing help. Steve. <That is the life cycle. There are some particularly "virulent" forms that may persist, but if you read the links to disease, you will realize that the month fallow should be spent improving the conditions that led to this spike of Ick in your marine environment. To prepare for returning fish perhaps you should look into some cleaner shrimp and gobies to get after any remaining stress related outbreaks. You can check them out at Aquaria.com, or any of the other livestock sponsors of WetWebMedia.com. Sure hope this helps! Craig>

Fallow tank question Hi, all... <Scott F. with you this evening> I had a bad outbreak of ich due to a variety of reasons several months back, and lost all fish in a reef tank. <yuck> I corrected what I think were the problems, but left the tank fallow only for 2 weeks before repopulating with a couple of fish (I'm *trying* to learn patience in this life :)). <It IS a virtue, they say!> Too soon, so I had another outbreak that killed the fish again. Or so I thought. It's now been 4 weeks fallow, and I'm waiting another week before introducing any new fish (which are currently quarantined). The tank seems healthy (the corals are growing and thriving, but they seem lonely :)). However, I noticed that the last bout did *not* kill all the fish - I have a tiny goby that I bought in combination with a pistol shrimp during the repopulation a month back. For the first time in weeks, he poked his head out while I was looking, and he seems fine. There is *no* way to get him out of the tank without completely ripping the tank apart, which is not something I'm willing to do at this point. Is this a setback to the "fallow" program?  <Well, honestly-yes- sigh> He's obviously resistant to ich - would he still be a "carrier"?  <Certainly a possibility> What are my options? < A really tough call here-prudence would dictate that you remove the goby, too-but...You may just want to wait a few more weeks to see if the ich manifests itself on this fish. Maybe try some biological cleaners, such as shrimps; reintroduce your fish and hope forth best. It's a risk either way-you just have to make the call that serves "the greater good"> ( After close to 5 weeks, I'm looking forward to getting fish back into the tank. Arthur <You've done a great job being patient-keep up the good work>

Temperature in Relation to Cryptocaryon Treatment Does raising the temperature during copper treatment for subject disease hasten treatment <Increased temperature does in fact speed up the lifecycle of the parasite and is generally effective in quickening the cure.> and if so, to what temperature for a fish only tank would you recommend excluding quarantine? <Based on your last statement, "excluding quarantine", I take it you have decided to copper your main display tank vs. isolating the diseased fish into a proper hospital tank. That is an absolutely horrible idea, but regardless, I would aim for 82*F.> Thank you, Stephen Pace <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

ICH Treatment-Temperature <Hi Stephen, > Does raising the temperature during Copper Treatment for subject disease hasten treatment and if so, to what temperature for a fish only tank would you recommend excluding quarantine? Thank You, Stephen Pace <Raising the temp to 83F will hasten the life cycle of the parasite, not shorten the length of treatment. This is usually done in a QT accelerating the free swimming stage where it can be treated with copper. This is during treatment only and the temp should be slowly lowered back to a normal range over several days afterward. I recommend treatment in a QT. Please visit WWM for more on disease, ick, temperature and salinity manipulation in the treatment/QT tank. Hope this helps, Craig>

Ich Dear Bob, <Steven Pro here this evening.> I have a chocolate chip star, peppermint shrimp, sally lightfoot and 3 turbo snails. I also have a percula clown with ich. Can I up my temperature to mid 80's and drop salinity to 1.017 with the inverts in the tank? <You can, but not the most effective way of treating the disease, IME.> I have already treated the fish in a separate tank only to have ich reappear once reintroduced. <Well then you have another problem. If you can, please remove all the fish to your hospital tank for treatment. They must all remain there for at least one month. This will ensure that your fish are clean, but it also gives the parasite eggs time to hatch, not find a host, and die. I would still raise the main tank temperature to low 80's, though, to speed up the lifecycle and force early hatching. If you did all this previously and Ich reappeared anyway, then you have some sort of system problem that is triggering the infestation. The biggest trigger is temperature fluctuations. If the tank sways more than two to three degrees over the course of the day, you have a problem.> Another hobbyist said the main tank has to be treated. <Not true, really, unless you call going fallow (fishless) treatment.> What are your thoughts? <Feel free to use the goggle search engine on www.WetWebMedia.com to guide you to more information.> Thanks, Caryn Heffner <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Humble addition (Quarantine... ich trials) Hiya, <Howdy> I, like many new devotees, neglected to quarantine my new Copper Banded Butterfly and Sailfin Tang. Now I reap as I have sown. 5 fish dead this week so far. A very, very sad experience indeed. <Arrgghhh. Hopefully your last such losses> I have followed your advice and it seems as though the Yellow Tang and Cream Angel (the last known inhabitants of the aquarium) may pull through. Common cold for fish? No, smallpox for the reef tank. Thanks for the advice, Rob <A pleasure... and you have thus helped others to avoid such problems. Bob Fenner>

Ich issue After reading all your excellent posts I have begun to question my long-time friend/saltwater store owner. He is strongly suggesting a "wait a few days and see" approach as I would prefer some kind of immediate action. I have 65 gal. and 30 gal. fish only tanks. The 30 has been going strong for several years. The 65 is only 1 1/2 months old. This past weekend we decided to purchase some fish to go in the new (65) before we migrate the 30 gal. guys over to the new. My wife and daughter picked out a Koran angel, powder blue and Sailfin to start with the 6 cycle damsels. They had been in for 2 days when I noticed some dusty spots and light marks on the angel. Today I came home to find the powder covered with white specks. The Sailfin has no signs of issues (yet) and the Angel does not have the same small spots as the powder blue. All are eating well and my local fish friend recommended raising the temp to 86 along with leaving 1 light on 24/7 and wait a couple of days and see how it looks. My water conditions are ideal and I have a wet/dry, 25 watt UV, chiller and protein skimmer. Should I go ahead and drop the SG to 1.017 at this point or wait the 2 days out with the temp increase? You have probably answered this one several times but I am desperate to keep my daughters fish alive. I am somewhat hesitant about the freshwater dipping and medication without trying any basic measures. Please advise. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <The most basic and effective thing that you can do is invest in a quarantine tank. Remove the fishes to a separate system and treat them for two weeks with a copper-based ich treatment, using test kits for free copper levels and ammonia. Lower the specific gravity in your main system (to about 1.017), keeping the temperature around 84F and let the whole system go fallow (w/o fishes) for at least a month (two is better). For more info on treating your fish please check out the links below. http://wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm With proper treatment your fish should prevail, Good luck, Gage> 65 gal. Koran angel Sailfin tang Powder blue tang 6 damsels A=0 Nitri=0 Nitra=15 SG= 1.024 PH 8.4 original temp= 80 Thanks, Jonathan Moore <<These species... are misplaced here. RMF>>

Ichy Tank Purchases... Hi, Your advice is greatly appreciated. I wanted to buy the metallic green hairy mushrooms in my local fish shop but there is a problem. There is a powder blue tang in it infected with ich. Is it safe to purchase the mushrooms? Is it ok to say that if I do a fresh water dipping before putting it in my tank will solve the problems? Thanks. <Hello! Craig here answering your query. While it is unlikely the mushrooms themselves would carry ick, it is possible, and the rock the mushrooms come on will almost certainly introduce ick or at the very least an increased risk of an ick outbreak. As for all new introductions, it is important to observe good quarantine protocols. A quarantine set-up would be a most wise investment.  Take my word for it my friend, none of us is immune. Better safe than sorry. Take Care, Craig>

First time ich follow-up Hi Bob, <Bob is home, but likely still bleary from literally driving 4 of the last 7 days! Anthony Calfo at bat again, bud> I chatted with Anthony while you were enjoying Indonesia, he was very helpful and tutored me through the trials and tribulations of treating sick fish for the first time. <its nice to hear that I'm good for something <G>> Following Anthony's advice, the main tank lay fishless for a month, while my lone surviving damsel pined away in the QT. After a month of copper and no further signs of ich, she moved back into the main tank and a beautiful maroon striped clown came home to do her time in a bare tank. <excellent QT protocol my friend> The damsel is doing very well back in the big tank, the hermit crabs are getting huge (we bought them new housing and half of them have upgraded and tripled in size in six weeks!), but the chocolate chip star we loved so much lost interest in life shortly after the damsel moved back in. she just dropped off the glass, crawled under some coral and slowly died over the course of a week. <alas... too common with sea stars... they are hungry creatures that need large tanks (over 100 gallons) and/or almost daily feedings... else they starve in weeks/months> It's been two weeks alone in a bare tank, the clown looks and behaves beautifully, and we'd like to move her over to the main tank. I've heard bad things about the damsel (blue devil),  <the name says it all> and am worried that she'll terrorize the clownfish.  <Possible> What's the best way to introduce them?  <A tea party with Vienna sausages. Nothing says, "Howdy Friend" like a plate full of fancy wieners> I'm planning on just arranging her a new spot away from the damsel lair and watching what happens.  <that could work too> Is that asking for trouble? <nope... maroons are also aggressive and they may be well suited. The change of territory is wise. Adding with dim or no lights can be helpful too> I'd like to keep the damsel around, she's been through so much and is doing so well, but there's no question the clown is much more interesting and will be the one we keep if there are any problems. does it make sense to move her over to the bare tank while the clown gets comfortable, or will it be the same when they are introduced later? <they have to meet some time... no worries. A necessary risk here> The starfish was so interesting, we'd love to have another. I'm concerned that there's something wrong with the environment and/or diet that lead to her early demise.  <the later likely> Do chocolate chip stars need a more balanced diet than pickings and the occasional injection of food near them?  <they need chunks of meaty food several times weekly if not a small amount daily. Indeed... a hardy star fish once established but still needs a lot of food. Not reef safe either> After she retired to the bottom, we tried adding a live small neck clam, but I think the damsel ate the bulk of it. Once again, any advice is much appreciated!  <there is an extensive section on these Asteroid sea stars in our new upcoming book. Perhaps we can carve out an excerpt soon with permission from our editor <G>> Thanks so much for the support you've already provided. Pete French <our great pleasure... best regards, Anthony>

Re: first time ich follow-up Thanks for the quick response, Anthony!  <my pleasure> I guess we'll give up the starfish idea; too bad, they're pretty cool creatures.  <Agreed... and no need to give up on the idea if you have the time to target feed one several times weekly> The damsel really liked the clam; is it okay to drop a live littleneck in there every now and then for a varied diet?  <Likely safe... but there is a slight risk of disease/contamination transmission from this food item that lives low on the food chain> or should we stick to dead seafoods? <likely safer to feed mostly the latter... previously frozen to kill pathogens> Our LFS hasn't been terribly helpful getting us up the learning curve; they'll sell you a creature and not tell you a thing about its diet.  <Alas... too common of a problem. Vote with your feet and consumer dollar and don't return if you feel they have been a great disservice... assuming they will not listen to reason :) > The livestock on display is in great shape, and they have to have 100 salt water tanks alone, but the folks who know what they're doing just don't want to interact with air breathers, I guess. instead they hire a bunch of teenagers to catch and bag their fish and interact with the public. <yes... too true... a shame> I'm planning on doing a water change today, arranging a spot for the clown, and then going off to my bachelor party (!).  <yikes... beware of Mermaids and Sirens> After my "low self esteem breakfast", they'll be introduced tomorrow morning so we can keep an eye on them all day. <Behave yourself, my friend... the marriage is much more rewarding in life than any single wild bachelor party :) > I looked up PARC (phillyreef.org), it looks like they haven't been around too long but are starting to get established.  <yes...agreed> If you'll be there the December 11, let me know and I'll try to make it. <will do... they haven't confirmed and only mentioned the date in passing. We shall see as we get closer. I'll look forward to meeting you> Thanks for all the help! <best regards, Anthony>

Ich I have another question for you.  <<Shoot...>>  This one regarding ich. If I were to quarantine all my fish, and treat medications, which would be the safest considering I have a Coral Beauty and Flame Angel?  <<Copper, but you could also start with just a pH adjusted freshwater dip.>>  Also in allowing the tank to go "fallow" for a month, do you recommend using the same bare bottom tank for treatment,  <<Yes.>>  do I need to provide some sort of hiding places for them?  <<I would, you can use pieces of PVC pipe and/or large fittings for them to hide in. The PVC will not absorb or react with any of the things you might treat with. Cheers, J -- >>

Ich Hello Bob,  <<Actually, it's JasonC today...>> I recently lost several fish in a 72 gallon saltwater to what I believed to be ich or velvet. I used green-x & was then told by my local fish dealer to drop my density slowly from my normal 1.021 to 1.015 to hopefully save the last 2 fish, a maroon clown in very poor health & a porcupine puffer that seemed to be doing well. I was told to leave it for 2 weeks at the lowered salinity & also raise the temperature to 81 degrees. They also instructed me to use a Spectrum Thera+A which has garlic in it. The clown was also dipped in FORMALIN -3 for 50 minutes. After all was said and done both fish came through with flying colors. I waited for the 2 weeks then raised the salinity back up slowly. We thought it was safe because there were no signs of disease so we purchased a medium size blonde Naso tang. He looked great...for 2 days and then white spots appeared. Later that night we noticed him twitching and darting. The next morning we dipped him in Formalin-3 (which the fish dealer had already done before we purchased him 3 nights earlier). I'm sure by now you can tell I have no QT.  <<All this could have been avoided if you did...>>  I have been told to lower the salinity down slowly to 1.009 and keep it there for 4 weeks.  <<Egads.. please don't do that as you will likely lose all your fish. I would consider that now is a good time to get a couple of 20g tanks as start your quarantine systems... isolate these fish and allow the tank to run fallow for about six weeks. You can lower the salinity, but anything lower than 1.018 is going to cause significant stress on the fish.>>  Also, the tang is eating a dried seaweed. The dealer instructed me to put a liquid garlic on this food which I have done.  <<For whatever it's worth, I don't subscribe to the concept of garlic as a cure - perhaps as a preventative, or promoter of good health, but certainly it will not kill ich or Oodinium.>>  He is still eating it. I also purchased a cleaner goby, but I haven't seen him clean anything yet. I would certainly appreciate any advice you could give me.  <<Start quarantining!>>  Both the clown & puffer appear fine as well as the new goby, but the tang is still darting and I noticed a film on one of his eyes. I also have about 45 lbs of live rock. I am presently at a density of 1.0135.  <<Don't run the SPG this low.>>  Also how often can a fish be dipped in this Formalin-3 ? Will 4 weeks get rid of this disease?  <<Not if the problem is still in the tank. All of these parasitic diseases have life cycles. When you see spots on your fish, these are irritations caused by the parasites and most often, the parasite has already dropped off and is already making 100,000 copies of itself to come back and haunt you another day. Consider quarantining everything - running the tank fallow. Please read this link and the FAQs beyond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thanks, Gary in Kentucky <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Ich Jason,  <<Hi,>> Thanks for the quick response. I had read Bob suggesting Hypo-salinity by slowly lowering the salt density to 1.010 to many different people. Is this not something you agree with or is my situation different?  <<Well, perhaps you and I are reading different pages, and for me, I'm just working from memory but I can't ever recall anyone recommending anything below 1.015 unless it was a freshwater bath, but I wouldn't be surprised. Keep in mind that it's not supposed to be a permanent condition and keeping the specific gravity low for several weeks will cause stress on the fish. On the flip side, and from my own experience, I've never had any luck with using 'just' hyposalinity as a curative measure. Your absolute best bet is to run the system fallow. I offer these two URLS for your reading pleasure: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm >> In getting a QT tank or tanks, should I use water from my 72 gallon and then use copper to get rid of ich?  <<You can do this, but keep in mind that it will be next to impossible for biological filter bacteria to thrive/survive a copper treated system so you will need to do large, frequent water changes to keep ahead of the ammonia - perhaps 25-50% every other day.>>  Do I put the fish in during the copper treatment, or wait till the treatment is complete?  <<You put the fish and the copper in the quarantine tank - don't put anything in the main display, not even fish - let it go fallow.>>  I'm really a rookie at saltwater, so I appreciate your wisdom. I understand to keep the 72 fallow for six weeks. Could I get by with one 20 gallon tank for 6 weeks with a 4 inch puffer, a 3 inch Naso, a 2 inch maroon clown & a 1 inch neon goby?  <<I really wouldn't recommend it - something will not make it through that type of crowding.>>  What do I lower the density to in the fallow tank?  <<I wouldn't even bother - I've run this routine myself - you could, and it won't hurt, but you'll need to bring the conditions back to normal before you re-introduce the fish. I would just turn up the temperature to 82 or so and put the parasite reproduction into overdrive - with no host fish to live on, their numbers will soon be depleted.>>  Do I keep the QT tank at 1.021?  <<Or perhaps even closer to 1.025 which is the average for the world's oceans.>>  Last question, Does live rock carry disease & do I leave the rock in the fallow tank.  <<It can 'house' it, but it won't promote parasitic disease. By taking out the fish, you will break the life cycle of the parasites. I would leave the live rock in the fallow tank and give it a chance to recuperate from the hyposalinity - low SPG is especially harmful to invertebrate life and potentially some of the fauna in the live rock.>>  Well, I guess that was two, but thanks.  <<My pleasure - take it slow. Cheers, J -- >> Gary from Kentucky

Sick Fish? Dear Bob, It is probably too late but here goes. Two weeks ago I purchased a blue girdled angelfish. After getting it home and close observation I realized she had ICH. I had a healthy 93 gallon saltwater aquarium with a Naso, regal, flame angel, scarlet Hawkfish, maroon clownfish, sunburst anthias and a damselfish. My water conditions are always pretty close to perfect. I maintain a copper level of .15. I have raised the copper level to .2. I have done two 25% water changes and am not running the protein skimmer. My Vecton uv sterilizer is on the way. I lost my flame angel and anthias. The regal tang really had the white spots and then appeared to have white lint/cotton. The angel has white spots, the Naso looks like pepper on fins and black on lips. All have very cloudy eyes. I have also done 2 fresh water dips. They were swimming around and eating but now hiding out and not eating. I spoke with my local fish guru and he said not to put any other medication in tank other than copper. I really feel the fish need something else. Can you help? Thanks Mona. <You have been treating your system? Better by far to remove the fish livestock, treat them in a calcareous-substrate-free treatment tank, manipulating spg, temperature... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Am sure you don't need to hear/read it, but you have a "parasitic tank" of your own making... w/o careful selection, quarantine (especially of sensitive species) it will take a while to cycle out the ich/Cryptocaryon from your fallow (fish host-less) main tank... Bob Fenner>

Ich.... Hello Bob, I was not sure how to get this question on the website, but I need some advice. <You're, we're here> We have a 125 gallons tank that has ich in it. We have lost a butterfly, tang and now our lionfish has ich. We tried to treat the tang in a hospital tank with the copper treatment. He only lasted 4 days. We are now trying the hyposalinity approach. <Can be run at the same time...> We are in the process of lowering the salinity but we have a lobster, and 2 crabs that we are wondering if the hyposalinity is going to be deadly to them.  <Possibly so... needs to be adjusted slowly... and not too low... Please read through the "ich/Cryptocaryon" materials posted on our site, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm following the many linked files (in blue at top) as you read> I have read that once you have copper in a tank it will always remain. <Not so. Practically, all forms of copper ostensibly precipitate out in time... most all within days to weeks> Do you think there would be enough copper in a glass tank that would be harmful to the crabs and lobster. Thanks, Belinda <Not after it's been running... please read over the "removing copper" parts of WWM here... use carbon, Polyfilter if concerned re residual copper. Bob Fenner>

Ich Follow-Up Hi,  The ich outbreak referenced in my earlier emails (see below 75 gallon tank) has left me with a blue damsel and assorted snails, crabs and live rock, the other fish didn't make it. Having spent numerous hours going through the WWM site looking for the definitive answer I'm still left wondering what next as there are many reasoned opinions. My damsel is impossible to catch without tearing out all the liverock. I'd appreciate your advice given the following possible scenarios: 1. Low impact: leave everything (substrate, damsel, liverock). Improve water quality (nitrates were high), run ozone and possibly diatom filtration to help eliminate parasites, add cleaner shrimp. No additional fish for a month <Probably longer to be sure and a lowered salinity maybe helpful.> (presumably adding gobies for cleaning would just provide additional hosts) <Correct> Or 2. Mid impact: take liverock out, capture damsel and send to QT (I went through the liverock removal/QT exercise with the damsel at the initial outbreak and am loath to disturb the tank again if it can be avoided and still achieve parasite control) and continue as above. <Even though it is much more work, it is the better option.> Or 3. High impact: remove fish as above in 2 but remove substrate and replace, move remaining denizens to another tank, fresh water dip liverock, start all over (sigh) <This will do far more harm than good.> Advice greatly appreciated, Charles Shatzkin PS: another follow-up re: Aqua-C. FFExpress screwed up my Remora order twice (sending wrong prefilter box twice). Jason Kim sent me the right one directly and was a helpful as anyone could be, both with service and advice. Best possible service. <I have heard nothing but good about him and his company. I am sorry I could not have met him on my trip to SD. Bob said he was off on a fishing weekend. -Steven Pro>

Ick I've had the ick problem for a long time now. Six months now. I've tried everything that I've heard of. garlic, low salt, 85 deg. temp. A steady temp. at 78 deg. Stuff call NO ICK. It's a 72 gal. bow. It had 40 pounds of live rock./wet dry, sump. It was a reef tank. Now I want it to be a fish only tank. Yea not a good idea now! Not to sure if it is in the sand or the water or both. <The mature parasites are attached to your fish, their eggs attached to everything (glass, sand, rock, etc.).> (both I would say) Fish in the tank are lion, black trigger, and a puffer. I could put them in a copper tank. <No you can't.> I heard that puffers and lions don't like copper. <Correct> I was thinking of no fish in 72 gal. very low salt (Maybe none?) amount in tank. High temp. for four weeks. <Four weeks at 82*F, no fish, and normal salinity, and all the eggs will have hatched out and died without a host.> Is there an easier way around all this? <Yes, Don't get Ich in the first place. Maintain an excellent environment and quarantine all new livestock for one month.> Water is in great shape. Now that there is no corals in the tank is there something I can and to the tank? <No, you fish are sensitive to any effective medications.> Any help would be great. (I've given up hope on saltwater) Thanks for your time,  Chris <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ich Hi Bob,  <<Actually JasonC, Bob has dashed off to a tropical paradise for another diving junket.>>  Yet another question about getting rid of marine ich. I've read an article on Osmotic Shock therapy that mentions dropping tank salinity to 1.012 or 1.010 for three weeks once valuable inverts are removed.  <<Also referred to as hyposalinity - it can work, but that SPG range is rather low in the long haul, and could be detrimental. You can accomplish the same thing using a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip of five to ten minutes.>>  It claims that bacteria and fish will survive this lowered salinity, ich will NOT.  <<Inverts will not survive either. If you really want to go this route, I wouldn't lower the salinity any farther than 1.018.>>  It does also mention, a complete system cleaning and large water change, which I know are also tools used in combating ich. I know you recommending removing fish to a separate system for treatment, but if this is not practical, does the OST approach work?  <<Not as the only method - it can be used as part of a system of treatment, but in my experience your best bet would be to remove the fish to separate quarantine systems and run the tank fallow for six weeks.>> W. Tripp

Re: Parasitic Outbreak Bob,  <<Actually, JasonC... Bob has headed off on another diving junket.>> It's me again.  <<Hi, Me.>>  Sorry to bug you, but... here I go. First off, let me say thank you (again) for your advice before about adding in the cleaner shrimp & lowering the specific gravity. Upon going out to get the cleaner shrimp (which I've yet to acquire b/c of the holiday weekend) I stumbled upon someone who highly recommended Kick Ich. Since, as I mentioned before, I'm "paranoid" on a GOOD day, I'm pretty skeptical of this "safe for all fish/corals/you name it" "miracle drug". Sooo... I spend a day ho-humming around reading & trying to decide if I'd rather lower the specific gravity or use this so-called "miracle cure".  <<Go for the standard methods - avoid the snake oil.>>  I did a water change yesterday in preparation for whatever kind of treatment to begin today. After reading & sleeping on it (& wasting more precious time) I have more questions for you (& I PROMISE I'll be better about following advice this time).  <<Promise?>>  Let me just give you the run down of what I have. I have a 20 gallon tank, setup for 4 years, no problems till now. I have a Yellow Tang, a black & white Damsel, a yellow-tail blue Damsel, a Percula Clown & a Mandarin (who is starving).  <<Can't say that I'm surprised about the latter.>>  I've been reading more through your site today realizing that I have to start treatment NOW, and I've come across several articles where it's been said that lowering the specific gravity alone will not effect a cure. <<That is correct, is only one treatment in a system of treatments.>> I have one live rock in this tank & a few mushrooms on another rock. At this point, since it seems that the yellow tail damsel, who until this point has been the hardiest of all, is suffering with these critters in his gills, should I just scrap the FEW corals & introduce copper into the tank?  <<No, do that in a separate system - copper will go into the silicone as well as the live rock and substrate.>> If you do recommend treating with copper, after treatment is over are there any steps I need to take to prevent poisoning or anything like that to the fish?  <<Just follow the recommended dose.>>  What about biological filtration afterwards?  <<That's why you're going to do this in a quarantine tank, right? Copper will most certainly affect biological filtration.>>  I plan to go to other fish stores tomorrow in search of a cleaner shrimp... <<I'd say it's a bit late for this now.>>  will I be able to introduce him in while tank is in treatment - either with meds or by lowering specific gravity?  <<Any invert will likely die if you treat with copper, as for lowering the SPG, in a similar way inverts will begin to crap out below 1.020-1.018 so I would hold of on the cleaner shrimp.>>  I'm sorry to be such a pain.  <<No pain for me...>> In another un-related saga, is there any way that I can save the Mandarin? <<Save? Not sure how one would do that, short of a new system more appropriate. Problem with starvation is that it compromises the whole animal... likely no way to 'save' it.>>  I (apparently foolishly) thought that I had enough copepods in the tank to keep him happy.  <<Need on average, a year-old plus... 100g tank per one Mandarin.>> I've considered calling the store from which I bought him & asking if I could just GIVE him back to them.  <<But is their system ready/capable of providing a home?>>  He was pretty fat there & I hate to see him starve. Maybe they'd fatten him up & he could go to the home of someone who actually has enough to feed him.  <<Wishful thinking... not that it's not possible, but your Mandarin is likely on it's way past the point of no return.>> Thanks for all your help. Hopefully my next email truly will be of success. -TJ <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Parasitic Outbreak Hi there!  <<Hi.>>  It's me again.  <<Hello, Me.>>  It's been what... 4 hours since my last email? (are you getting ready to block my address yet?) :) After further reading on your site I think I have finally come to somewhat of a decision (no applause please). I would like your advice on the matter (of course) & I do apologize for my rather hasty & desperate email earlier in the day. (I tend to freak out... in case you had not noticed *heavy sarcasm*) The plan that I've come to is this: Scrap the plan for building a QT tank over time & just get it over with now.  <<Ah good - you do mean get over it and purchase a quarantine system, right?>>  Lower the spg in the current tank for the time being. (how low & how many days?)  <<Don't bother with hyposalinity at this point.>>  (raise the temp?)  <<You can, will speed up the life cycle of the parasites - 82F should be fine.>>  Let the QT tank have a little time to cycle (how long & can I speed this up?  <<Don't even bother... just start off with some water from the display and plan of doing large water changes every other day.>> The plan will be to have a 10 gallon tank, put crushed coral in the bottom, <<No substrate.>>  have a Whisper filter on the back, heater of course, hood, light, all that jazz. Few "dead" corals for hiding purposes... not a lot.)  <<No to the coral too, you need PVC plumbing bits - things that won't absorb any medication you might choose to add.>>  After the QT tank has had a little cycle time I'll do a freshwater dip on (all?)  <<yes, all - make sure the temperature and pH in the dip water match that of the tank.>> The fish in the tank & set them up in the QT tank where they will remain for 2 months before going back into the main tank, which will remain fallow for this time.  <<Sure, that will be fine.>>  Now... just a few other questions & I hopefully will be out of your hair (for at least the next 24 hours) :)  <<No worries.>> Depending, of course, on what period of time you recommend for the QT tank to cycle, will depend on what the spg is in the display tank. If it is still low, depending on how long I need to keep it lowered, will it be necessary to match the spg in the QT tank to that of the display tank if I plan to do a freshwater dip before introducing them into this tank? Upon taking them OUT of the QT tank, will they need to have a Fw dip again?  <<I would.>>  Should I just go ahead & use something like Quick Cure in the QT tank or wait to see if the spots reappear?  <<You have that as an option - perhaps wait and see how the dip does.>> After re-introducing them into the display tank, I will add a cleaner shrimp (or two depending on what you think).  <<Or perhaps add the shrimp while the tank is fallow - no harm will come of it, and it will help you enjoy the tank while there are no fish.>>  I really appreciate you help. I realize that even after 4 years of this, I still know so little! Your site is so helpful & it is so nice to be able to email someone & get answers that are reliable.  <<Glad we can be of service.>>  My LFS people know their business, but sometimes seem reluctant to give me ALL the answers (i.e. telling me about the great anti-parasite flake but offering no other means of treatment/management-perhaps I don't ask the right questions or they assume I know it all already?).  <<Or both.>>  Thanks a million (from both myself & my fish)! TJ <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: first time ich <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob models hula skirts and coconut bras in Indonesia> Thanks for the quick and meaningful response, Anthony... although you have made me "jealous" of Bob! <And you have made me "suspicious" of you... are you jealous of Bob because he is in Indonesia or because he wears bras? <G>> Actually, after noticing a certain paranoia about losing power while not being home and ending up with a wet mess, I bought a cheap UPS which if the specs are right should give about 28 hours of power to just the pump. And for the first time in years, we haven't lost power once this entire summer.  <heehee... Murphy's law!> The opposite did happen; one heater's thermostat blew and brought the temp up to 85 for a few hours until I noticed. In retrospect, I figured that may have hatched just a huge pile of spores, but I suppose the stress is more likely to have been the cause if the fish were likely to be carriers anyways. <Yes... and believe it or not: the stress of the spike was not as severe as if the tank was brought down as suddenly (knee-jerk reaction by the aquarist). Studies have shown that a 4 degree drop can incite as many or more cases of "Ich" than a 10 degree increase! Stressful either way indeed though> The freshwater was not aerated, that's a sad thing to have overlooked; I've been very careful about aerating saltwater mixes overnight before changes. The freshwater bath is what appeared to cause the immediate stress for all of the fish, and the two really sick ones never quite recovered from that. <ahh... agreed. And a common mistake that most of us have committed> ok; I've been changing the water 20%+ every two to three days.... can it go longer than that? To keep that up for a month in QT and then for another month with the new fish is a lot of mixing.  <the size of water changes is generous. For parasite control... a small daily water change siphoned from the bottom to get tomites for 8 days is usually sufficient. Regular weekly schedule after that> I've got four fresh 5 gallon buckets set aside for aquarium duties; can I mix up two or three of those at one time and use them over a couple of weeks worth of changes? Do you normally formalin the freshwater bath, or give them a saltwater bath for a while before adding them to the QT tank? <many different methodologies. I put little or nothing in most FW dips and prefer long baths in QT for meds> Thanks again for your response, it's really been very helpful. <my pleasure... best regards! Anthony>

Ich <<Greetings, JasonC here...>> Hi. I was wondering if you could help me.  <<I can certainly try.>> I have a 75 gal saltwater tank with about 6 snails, 2 brittle stars, 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 cleaner shrimp, and ich. I had a longnose butterfly that developed a white salt-like covering and a raccoon butterfly with the same. We also had a orange diamond goby that started breathing hard but we never really seen the white spots on him. I also have a pink and blue spotted goby that seems fine. My longnose, raccoon and orange goby have died.  <<Sorry to hear of your loss.>>  The only things in my tank at the present time are the pink and blue goby, snails, shrimp and stars. Can I or should I lower the salinity and raise the temp or would this affect my inverts?  <<You could, but would work best with a six week fallow period. If so, you could raise the temperature, but I would skip the hyposalinity for the sake of the inverts - the fallow period will accomplish plenty.>> I did treat my longnose with copper for a few hours, until we noticed her having trouble breathing and freaked out then put her back in the display tank. We knew she was going to die. thanks for all info you can share with us. Also should we remove the pink and blue goby and let the tank go fallow for a while.  <<Yes, this would be the best way to go... run the tank fallow for about six weeks, and keep the goby in a separate quarantine tank.>>  We do have about 75 lbs of live rock and about 90 lbs of live sand. Thanks for your help, Melody <<Cheers, J -- >>

Nasty Little Critters/Ich Hi Bob, <Steven Pro here today.> My name is Rob and I've got the nasties. <Perhaps you should call your doctor and get a shot of antibiotics.> I've got a 30gal saltwater tank that HAD a beautiful flame angel, a yellow tang, and a small damsel. All are now in fish heaven after the white specs invaded my system. <Ahh, Cryptocaryon/Marine Ich.> I added copper to a level of 0.50ppm and lowered my sg to 100.17 <<Fish are floatin'... can't get down to the bottom! RMF>> for 14 days now with no fish in the tank. <This would have not been my choice. Medicating the main display is a just plain awful idea, IMO. Leaving the tank fishless for one month would have accomplished the same thing without ruining your calcareous media. We have written much on the subject. A quick search of our site, www.WetWebMedia.com, regarding copper, parasitic infections, Cryptocaryon, or Marine Ich will reveal much more additional information.> My question is how will I know when it will be safe to re-introduce new fish into the aquarium and during the fallow time period how do I keep my nitrifiers thriving without no fish waste to keep feeding them ammonia? <One month fallow and your nitrifying bacteria have more than likely been seriously harmed by the copper, one of the drawback of this medication.> I was thinking of adding a few damsels to the tank to see if they develop ich or not to test the waters so to speak. <Reasonable> One other thing if you don't mind, I set up a QT and was wondering what would be the quickest way to cycle the tank. <An uncured or partially cured piece of liverock will work fine.> I don't want to use anything from my display tank for fear of introducing the ich to the QT. <No fear of this at this point.> Thanks Bob for any info you could lend may way, Rob <I would definitely read up some more from the website. There is much written there on the subject at hand. -Steven Pro>

First Time Ich Hi Bob, my name is Peter.  <Welcome to WetWebMedia, the hobby and life as I know it my friend! Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob models hula skirts and coconut bras in Indonesia> I have been reading your articles and faq's on-line, and am hoping that you can give me some insight into my current dilemma. I've just recently setup my first marine system, it's nothing fancy, a 45 gallon tall tank with a trickle filter. no live rock, just fish; I'm trying to learn on a gentle slope. <excellence... patience will carry you far in this hobby> after coaxing my sacrificial damsels through the break in period and being pleased with the three survivors, they acquired a nasty case of ich before the second month was up. <do consider how/why? Does the tank fluctuate in temperature between night and day? 3 F+/- Or has there been a power outage recently? Anything else that would have caused a drop in temp?> I've been trying very hard to treat them properly, which may seem odd for $8 worth of fish, but I want to learn and it seemed worth the time and money to do it now. <not odd at all... good aquarists respect and protect living creatures that we admire so much regardless of the dollar value that someone has assigned to their life> after noticing the ich, I scoured the Philly area for a copper testing kit which hadn't expired yet.  <Hey... I think I will be giving a lecture/presentation to the Philly Marine club perhaps in December (PARC)... are you a member?> I set up a 10 gallon bare quarantine tank with a fresh batch of salt water mix and treated it with copper.  <I'm very glad to hear of the QT tank! Very wise... you truly have made all of the right moves to date... just a little bad luck with Ich> I put all three fish in a freshwater/formalin bath for two minutes, then moved them to a saltwater/formalin bath for 45 minutes. the two damsels with the obvious signs of ich (cysts) died within an hour after moving them to the quarantine tank. After the freshwater bath, their eyes became bulged and cloudy and it was obvious they weren't going to make it. <was the freshwater aerated during or at least in advance? If drawn straight from the tap it is very low in oxygen... especially with warm/hot water drawn in. They could have suffered from anoxia. Also... the QT tank should have had aged water from the aquarium... a more gentle transition> The one which had no external signs, but had been scratching against things and showing problems breathing, has been doing fine and after 8 days in the quarantine tank (with 20% water changes every 2-3 days), has shown no signs of cysts, labored breathing, or scratching, and actually appears to be in better health than he's ever been. <excellent!> From my reading and talking with the local aquarium store, I understand the main tank needs to be empty of fish for at least 15 days to allow the parasites to die off.  <actually more like 30 to be sure (a proper QT protocol)... but 15 days is reasonably good> After all the work getting the biological filter going, I wanted to make sure it would stick around so I got four small hermit crabs and a starfish to hang out in there and try to keep the cycle going.  <very well... but you could keep the cycle going just by adding a small amount of food or ammonium chloride just the same> they seem to be doing well, after two water changes to get the nitrates down to a negligible level. What should I do next? I had the heat up to 85 degrees for only about two days since the crabs seemed lethargic at the higher temperature.  <indeed warm> Was that long enough to hatch all the parasite spores?  <not likely... 8 day cycle at max end for common cysts> How long should the main tank stay free of fish before I can put the lone survivor back? I really want to get some nicer fish as soon as possible, but don't want to go through this again with fish that are more painful to flush.  <quite frankly... I'd leave it in for at least 30 days or longer until you find a new fish. The day the new fish comes home, remove the healthy damsel to the display and put the new fish through a proper QT in a ready waiting conditioned tank> Should I put more cheap and hardy damsels in to get the filter back up to speed and make sure the ich isn't coming back? How long will it take to make that judgment? <don't bother... perhaps a small hardy wrasse or clownfish suits you next?> Now that I have a quarantine tank, and am fairly certain that the 'best' place around to get fish has a good chance of selling me diseased fish,  <as do most vendors... since most fishes available are wild-caught. No such thing as disease free> How long should I give new fish in quarantine before moving them to the main tank?  <30 days is the rule and will give you peace of mind that you've done all the best routine> Does it make sense to freshwater bath and copper treat the new fish in the quarantine tank as a matter of course? <FW dips yes... copper debatable: many fishes cannot take copper and it requires minimum daily testing to maintain levels. I like formalin better> Any advice you could give me would be appreciated. I'm new to the hobby, but have been greatly fascinated and hope to continue with it. Thanks! Pete French <keep up the good work... you sound like you've researched well. Do consider joining a local marine club like PARC for fellowship and education... truly one of the best places for unbiased information. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Marine Ick Yesterday I brought home 5 damsels and added them to my 55 gallon that already contained 2 damsels. There is some live rock in the tank. This morning, 4 of the new damsels have what I believe is saltwater ick. What can I do about it? Is there any treatment that won't adversely affect the small inverts on the rock? <Much to discuss, impart here... the introduction of most any type of damselfish in this number, this size system... is asking for trouble... aggression/territoriality-wise... the ich is likely quite stress-related... I take it you didn't dip/bath these new fish/es? No quarantine? There are no effective "live rock" or "invertebrate" safe ich remedies. Please take the long read through our site re such, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm on through "marine parasitic disease", "Cryptocaryon/marine ich" FAQs, on to "parasitic tank" FAQs... to gain a "big picture" view of where you are, what you might do at this point... you need another treatment/quarantine tank... We'll be here to help you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Ick (on damsels...) I thought territoriality was only an issue with damsels of the same species? <Not so. Some species more than others re between or within group aggression... but territoriality is established amongst all species with such a small volume> Also, this evening all of the fish have skin and fins clear of spots. What is going on here?  <Spontaneous recovery... or more likely cycling of parasite life stages...> I know I'm not crazy because someone visiting remarked on the spots this morning :) Any ideas? <Lots. Read where you were referred to... promptly. Bob Fenner>

Sterilize tank/ quarantine live rock???? Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro, part of the www.WetWebMedia.com crew, here this morning.> First off really great site and book (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist). I couldn't find these answers in the FAQs, looked for a while hope I am not repeating someone else's questions. Couple of questions: First I had a really bad outbreak of ich in 175 gallon tank that was not solved by going fallow even after 3 months, so I tore it down and want to start from scratch. <I assure you the ich was dead that was left behind in the main display after one month. If the fish got sick again, it was from a different reason.> Is there a way to sterilize/clear the ich out of the dried out (dead) live rock so I can use it for base rock, and do I need to clean/sterilize the tank or will letting be dry for a month while I am moving be enough? <Everything is dead now.> If I need to sterilize, what should I use? <You have successfully sterilized everything already, but it was unnecessary and probably will not help/get to the heart of your problem.> Secondly, when I start again, I am aware of quarantine for fish (boy have I learned). What about live rock/sand, is there anyway to make sure that it doesn't carry some bad bacteria into my tank? <It should be quarantined to remove crabs and other undesirable hitchhikers.> Also, I was told that using a UV sterilizer with live rock in the tank would be detrimental, is this true? <It could be detrimental in a reef tank, but does no harm in a fish-only tank (although I have found then to be not very useful either for home hobbyists, businesses are another matter).> Thank you for your time, Gary <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Ich, copper, and frustration Dear Mr. Fenner, I am an avid reader of your books and FAQS, and yet have never had the need to ask you a direct question, as most of the time I get a response from your previous answers. <Am glad you find such records useful.> Nevertheless right now I am having a problem with my 90 gallon fish only tank. For about 2 years I had it stocked only with a Naso Tang, a small jeweled eel, a leopard snake eel and a big eye Popeye (squirrel). I have a modified Seaclone and just two weeks ago bought a Sanders 50 ozonizer. Everything was going great until I decided to add a lovable but ich-magnet spotted puffer. I don't have a QT tank, but at least I dipped him before putting into my tank. Sure enough after a couple of days, ich started to appear on the puffer, and then the Naso showed some scratchy symptoms. I added Coppersafe as per the instructions, and removed all carbon, stopped skimming and ozonizng. Also, I have FW dipped all the fish 4 times in 6 days. All the fish seem to be doing better, except for the Naso who it seems to me doesn't handle the dips too well (always gets discolored and lethargic after them). Today I noticed that the Naso had an apparently inflamed eye (copper poisoning?) <Possibly... and/or (more likely) irritation from being netted for dipping> and don't know if I should re-install the carbon and turn on the ozone and skimmer.  <Leave the copper treatment for a good two weeks... the ich is in a collective resting stage... will come back if you truncate the period. Also, you don't mention lowering spg, elevating temperature as part of your treatment protocol... and I do hope/trust you are using test kits for free cupric ion... it's strange your eels aren't exhibiting odd behavior if you have therapeutic copper levels> I do not see much ich on the fish, but I am afraid that the dips and copper might do the Naso in. I have been using copper for 5 days, but cannot test it as my copper test is for copper sulfate and does not seem to register the Coppersafe chelated type. <Ahhh, there are chelated-copper type test kits> Since I live in Costa Rica, there really isn't too many places from where to buy supplies and so I would have to order them on-line and the proper kit would not get in time. <There are a couple of shops in San Jose you might check> What do you suggest? Any help is greatly appreciated. Kind regards, Harold Chamberlain <Other than the above... of course quarantine of incoming livestock... Bob Fenner> 

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