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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 7

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 6, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27, Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 30, Crypt 31, Crypt 32, Crypt 33, Crypt 34, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,


New Tank & Tangs Hello again crew,  <Good Day> Hope all is well. I have a Ich issue in my new tank.  <Yikes>  I wrote a while back ago and took the advice on the transfer. Happy to report no losses thanks to the crew! The problem I am having is this. I moved all the fish and rock to my new 500 gal Reef tank. It took 2 months ( Before the move) to cycle. For a little over a month Everything has been in the tank and doing well, until a few days ago. I have 1 Naso tang, 1 Powder blue tang, 2 Hippo tangs. They love their new 10' home. When they were in the old tank I never had any Ich issues at all. Now the Powder blue and the 2 hippos are covered in Ich. The Naso has cloudy eyes. I am not sure why this is. I tested and then Had the water tested and all is O.K. ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate between 10-20. PH is 8.2. Phosphate barely reads. The water is clear as I have ever had it. I change the water ( As all my tanks) 20% every weekend.  When I had the fish in the old tank, I could never get the nitrates under 80. The load was too much for it and as the Tangs are getting bigger they needed more room. They seem to really be happy. I think they are too big to pull out and put in a hospital tank to treat for Ich. I have anemones and corals so I cant treat the tank. I was thinking about fresh water dip but I wanted Your advice first. Can you help? ( I don't mean with the dip, just advice would be fine, although the crew coming over for a service call.. Hmmmmm..) Thanks in advance.  <Scott, I would suggest removing the anemones and corals to a QT tank and treat the display tank using a copper based medication. Also add a vitamin supplement to their food such as Selcon or even some of the garlic extracts out there. James (Salty Dog)>

Medication Question Hi Bob! I have got an Ich problem in my 90 gallon FO tank despite 3 weeks of quarantine. I noticed it  in on the new Hippo tang I introduced about 3 weeks ago. At that time I had already purchased two butterfly fish who were occupying my 15 gallon quarantine tank. On my LFS advice I treated my main tank with CopperSafe to make sure that the disease does not spread to other healthy fish. The Ich on the tang cleared up within 3 days but it would continually scratch itself on the rocks. LFS advised Formalin treatment. I went through that and treated the tank alternate days for five days. The tang is still scratching every now and then! Water parameters are OK and other fish are comfortable too.  Since I need to keep the copper in the tank for at least 1 month (2 weeks have passed), can I use any other medication like Tetra's MarinOomed along with CopperSafe? If not, what are my options since the quarantine tank is already occupied with these butterfly fish who are finicky eaters. I fear I will have even more problem feeding them with the tang since it eats like a pig. Appreciate your advice. Regards, Sandeep <Hi Sandeep, I would not treat the main tank with anything more. Remove the Tang to the QT with the Butterflies or to another QT and treat with nothing but 0.25 ppm free copper, testing twice daily.  It is likely all these medications have affected your biofiltration and you should be testing your main display for ammonia, nitrites, etc. I would go to the quarantine section of WetWebMedia.com and stop listening to your LFS regarding treating ick. If you can only use one QT, then get some plastic plants and a few pieces of PVC pipe for the fish to hide out in. I wouldn't worry about the butterflies too much unless they really won't eat. Your main tank will need to be fallow for at least a month. Be patient with the copper, your fish will stop flashing.  Best of luck!  Craig>

Re: "flashing" I keep hearing references to fishes with ICK "flashing".  What does that mean?  Ana M. Saavedra <When fish scratch or rub on objects or items in the aquarium, like rocks, substrate, heater, etc. from ick irritation.  Craig>

Butterflies Aren't Free Mornin fellas... <Hey there- Scott F. here!> Am getting a tad frustrated with my saltwater tank. 90gallon, live sand, huge canister filter, etc.. Creatures:  2 small clowns, shrimp goby, mandarin goby, small little boxfish, pistol shrimp,  coral banded shrimp, cleaner shrimp - yep, he still hasn't become a cocktail for my CBS, 2 emerald crabs, 45 hermit crabs, 25 snails, had 3 butterfly Aurigas. Everyone is doing just peachy except for my Auriga Butterflies.  I have read on your site that they are pretty hardy fish that are easy to keep. <They certainly has the reputation of being one of the hardiest butterflies for aquariums> Anyhow, I introduced 3 butterflies together 3 weeks ago.  I introduced them appropriately to my tank but did not quarantine them ~ yaya, I know, I just bought a doctor/quarantine tank and will quarantine all new creatures from now on. <Good! You spared yourself from the lecture...  :) > One of them died overnight while the other two were fine.  I then replaced the butterfly with another Auriga.  All 3 were doing well for a week or so, when one day I noticed what appeared to be a criss-cross laceration on the side of one of the butterflies.  He survived a couple of days and then died.  The other two were doing fine... 4 days  after the death of the aforementioned, I noticed another butterfly sitting upright, but at an angle at the bottom of the tank.  He had a small laceration in the bottom of the middle of his side.  Called Big Al's to ask what was up with the Butterflies they were giving me.  Before I even mentioned their behaviors to the guy at Big Al's, he told me that the Butterflies were probably scraping themselves against my liverock because of an itch and that that was the likely cause of their lacerations. <A possibility, for sure...but what's the cause of the "itch"...?> He didn't think anything in my tank would go after the largest of my fishes (the Auriga's).  Ya, my butterflies and only my butterflies over the past two/three weeks had been swimming slowly up to a rock and then quickly slamming their bodies against the rock.  Their is perhaps tiny little bubbled skin marks behind the gills... not sure if it is a bacteria or if it is just the fishes appearance. <Nope- not part of their appearance...under normal circumstances> So, I bought a 20gallon hospital/quarantine tank and used my main tank's water.  Water seems to be ok and now my last two butterflies are in the tank.  I bought "REEF SAFE KICK-ICH" to treat it. <IMO, this stuff is better used as salad dressing than a fish "medication"...and please don't use it in your main tank! It's really a "pepper sauce", intended to make the fish slough off body slime in the hope that the parasites go with it...Also- are you sure that ich is what you are dealing with? Please verify the illness (assuming it is an illness, not just an injury) before using any medication. Sometimes, administering the wrong medication can be worse than not medicating a fish at all.> This morning, my butterfly with the small laceration on the bottom middle of his side is laying on my hospital tank bottom.  It looks like he has a newly developed sore on his dorsal fin (it's a little reddish).  He can't  swim upright but seems to have a lot of energy.  I left him there while I go to work.  I expect him to be dead when I return from work leaving me one butterfly with no lacerations (but the guy still seems to rub against rocks as I described above). So... questions: a) do you think it is the 'ICK' causing them to rub against the rocks...thus causing the lacerations?? <A possibility- ich definitely can cause fish to scratch> b) is this REEF SAFE KICK-ICH a good treatment??? <Umm...I don't really have anything nice to say about this stuff...> c) are butterflies really easy to keep?? <IMO, not really! Butterflies need very stable water chemistry, lots of space (Aurigas can reach almost 10 inches!), high oxygen content, brisk circulation, and an established aquarium. They are usually the first fish to decline if your water quality falls off. Aurigas and Long Nosed butterflies are considered the easiest to keep of a rather touchy group> d) any idea why I have had such bad luck with JUST my butterflies??  All other creatures are happy campers. <As above...The species we're discussing are not "difficult", but I would not classify them as "easy", either!> Is their anything I haven't done that I should be doing???  May I have overlooked something?? Please help...Dave <Well, Dave-Quarantine, of course, is the best thing that you can do. Apart from that, selecting good, healthy specimens is very important...These fishes don't always ship well, and can "break down", as Bob likes to say, quite easily...These fishes need lots of space, too-a very important and often overlooked factor in the husbandry of these (and many other) fishes, IMO. Don't be discouraged by this experience. Do review all water parameters, recheck your husbandry procedures (i.e.; water changes, feeding, skimming, etc.), study your future purchases very carefully, and choose healthy specimens that are eating at the store. Go for it. but do read all you can and be prepared for a better run at it this time! You can do it! Good luck!  Scott F.>

Crypt Case First of all, thanks for all your previous help. <You are very welcome!> I have the new 75 gal. tank where my fish (tang and angel) got ick in one day, after the 4th day of being moved to the new tank. It looks pretty bad. If I do move them to a hospital tank and use all of my new tank water, a sponge filter, and medicate with copper,. won't my hospital tank go through a big cycle that would hurt the fish? <Yes, but it is much easier to perform water changes in a smaller volume QT.  A 10 to 20 gallon QT would work fine and water changes could be done with two five gallon buckets. (One new water, one old) You have to change water in either system if it holds fish. Changing 50% of 75 gallons is much more difficult and expensive than 50% of a 20 gallon...> My filter media is new from the old new tank because my old filter died and I didn't know it, and it was all foul so I got rid of the old media. Hence I don't have anything biological to move to the hospital tank. I can't move the sand or live rock in there because the cooper would kill it. I don't know what to do. Thanks for all your info.,  Cheryl <You have to cycle both tanks, but the smaller QT with fish is easier to maintain without a cycle and by testing for ammonia, nitrite daily and copper twice a day.  Just keep new water going, matched temp, pH and SG and change it out to keep wastes under control.  Now you know why I say, "fire" your LFS!  Craig>

Ick (parasitic system, where's the WWM referral? Here come more/similar queries!) I have a 55 gal reef tank which for some reason now has ick in it. If I take the fish out and treat them, how the heck do I get the Ich out of my tank? <If you leave the fish out of the display tank for one month. the parasites will all die. They cannot live without a host.> Thanks <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ick on my purple tang Hello, I recently bought a purple tang which was a pretty decent size, I added him directly to my reef tank and of course he got ick within a few days . After a week I noticed he was not getting any better in fact worse now he would not eat and swimming lethargic at the top so I took him out and put him in a 10 gal tank with just a rock to hide behind, a filter and a powerhead for oxygen. I am using rid ich medication and changing water everyday he got better the first week, and started eating again. I am supplementing my frozen foods with garlic, Zo?and marine c vitamin, he was getting better everyday the first week, on my second week now, I have noticed he is breathing very rapidly and he constantly stay s almost completely pale white hardly any color but as soon as I walk in the room he comes out to eat but still stays discolored I have been checking my water parameters daily and everything is fine. By the way there is no light on the tank at all.  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks or help !    <Stop the Rid Ick, perform a FW dip as per directions on WetWebMedia.com, change water in QT to remove Rid Ick and dose with copper at 0.25ppm for two weeks, then two weeks w/o copper. Test copper twice daily with the proper test for the copper you use. Hold your main tank fallow of fish for at least one month. There are no short cuts. Please QT all new fish for at least two weeks before introduction to display with healthy fish.  There is much valuable information available on WWM. Type "ick", "copper" and "quarantine" in the google search engine at the bottom of the page.  Let us know if you need more help!  Craig>

Killer Wrasse turns into ick Thanks for the quick response...Am really impressed. <You are so welcome David, we aim to please!> Comments about my mandarin goby.  He is such a small little guy, why would I need 150 gallons?  I have 90lbs of live rock but what are you referring to when you mention pod production?   Hmm... you don't think he will last too long? (aside from my Coral Banded Shrimp having him for dinner?) <LOL! Yeah, the shrimp is a problem. These fish eat copepods produced in a well established (one year or more) large aquarium. To find out more about Mandarins and their requirements, please jump over to: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm> My Dragon Wrasse is safely back at the aquarium, I am planning on getting a Cleaner Shrimp in return. All the fish were on edge with that green monster in the tank, they are so peaceful now.  Also, my 3 butterflies keep scraping their bodies against my live rock and park themselves in front of my Coral Banded Shrimp.  Are they scraping their bodies against the rock because of some sort of irritation do you think? <YES! Likely ick. You don't mention a quarantine tank, but you better read about them on WetWebMedia.com before you buy one more fish!!! The cleaner shrimp is a great idea, maybe two or three.  Remove the coral banded shrimp or he will hunt the cleaners too. Perhaps trade him for a more peaceful cleaner.> Will a Cleaner Shrimp help their situation? <Absolutely, although you may have to QT and treat all of your fish if this progresses.> Last question before I leave you guys alone. What in your opinion are good community type creatures to add to make my tank complete?  Is a Blue Tang a good choice as a last fish introduced to my aquarium... they are territorial aren't they. Thanks again! Dave <Whoa Dave, slow down and get your feet wet here.  You have flashing fish, an aggressive coral banded shrimp, and no quarantine tank. Adding any Tang is the final step into total ick disaster. PLEASE read the article on marine quarantine at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm  Before you do anything else!  Craig>

To Treat or Wait? I live in Florida. Coldness is hardly ever a problem down here when it comes to thermoregulation of the tank. The AC is always on . . . however, it got cool enough the other night to turn the AC off and leave the windows open. Ahhh . . . When I awoke, the house was pretty cold. I ran to check my tank and to my horror I found the normally 78-79 degree tank is now 71!!! Trying not to panic I slowly closed some but not all the windows. Over the course of the day the temp slowly raised back to 76 by the time I went to bed. A day later . . . lo and behold: ICK. White ick on the Hippo Blue Tang, and black ich on the body of the Sailfin Tang. The Gold-Striped Maroon Clown and Royal Gramma are both fine. The tangs are both acting fine. Eating well, and reluctantly going to be cleaned by the Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. My quarantine is currently occupied by a gorgeous Imperator Angelfish I recently purchased. I don't want to add the two Tangs to the 10gal quarantine with the healthy Angel. I went out and bought another 10gal to treat the tangs with. The question is: Should I go ahead and treat the tangs in the separate hospital tank now, or should I give them a day or two to see if they improve? Thanks, The never-going-to-leave-my-windows-open-again aquarist, John Michael Woodward <John, purchase a heater, they are about $28 and will prevent this in the future. They don't come on unless needed so they don't add any unnecessary heat there in Fla. You have a dilemma. If you let this run it's course (with *all* of your fish in the display) when you add your beautiful angel fish it will now be out of a clean QT and into an ick infected tank. The fact is you have ick in your display and the temp change stressed the tangs and brought it on. This may also happen to your angel upon intro. If this were me I would probably remove everyone to a QT and treat the whole shebang and leave the display fallow for a month. If I were a gambler I would let the cleaners get it under control and then plan on treating everyone anyway if they all get ick when I introduce the angel. A tough call but your call. I would definitely get the heater.... Good luck! Craig> 

Treating Disease In The Main Tank? Hi, <Hi there- Scott F. here tonight!> I have a marine reef tank with many invertebrates, shrimp, snails, crabs, etc. One of my fish developed a disease and I need to treat the entire tank without effecting the corals and invertebrates in any way. Someone recommended an herbal treatment for ICK and supposedly other diseases and infections. Does this work well and not effect the wanted residents of the tank? What is it? <I have to tell you that this stuff, IMO, is garbage! How can a medication claim to only kill the "bad guys" and not harm corals, etc.?  Don't fall for that. Perhaps there is merit to some "natural" remedies, but many are not worth it. Ich is a parasitic infection and really needs to be attacked in a separate treatment tank with copper sulphate at a therapeutic dosage. The main tank should be left "fallow" for a month or so to reduce the parasite count. Please do not medicate your main tank! For more information, use the Google search feature on the wetwebmedia.com site and look up Ich treatment> Also do you recommend metal halide lighting over VHO.  How many watts per gallon and what Kelvin temperature?   Thank You, Tim <Well- no real rule here- largely depends on your animals and their needs. Lots of ways to go from. Read up and have fun! You'll be fine! >

Re: Help with Dogface Puffer Hi Bob, Leslie here.  <Hi Leslie, Craig here> You helped me a while back with a tank that had unsuccessfully gone through treatment for Amyloodinium infestations on 3 successive occasions. I asked about microwaving the contents of the tank, my Dad's suggestion..... since I had tried everything else I could think of to kill the darn bug. <I can relate to the desperation!> Anyway...... I have had my Dogface Puffer for about 6 weeks. He is a real looker. Pitch Black with clear black speckled fins and a white caudal fin with black speckles. Several weeks ago he developed some of what I believe to be Ich spots on his pectoral and dorsal fins. I saw him flash a couple of times, nothing continuous. He developed an occasional spot on his body which have disappeared. This is a FO tank 50g. I know small for him, but he is only 4" at this time. I have plans for a bigger tank. The thought of investing in a huge tank for this fish, after all those tank crashes didn't seem to sensible. I figured I will get the BIG tank if I can keep him alive long enough to need one. I hope not a stupid mistake. At the suggestion of a highly respected published friend in the marine community I have been using something called OST....osmotic shock therapy. Are you familiar with this? If so what are your feelings about using it prophylactically in a Q tank as well as to treat parasites?  <Lowered SG in conjunction with copper and temp raised to 83F in a QT is the preferred treatment. This is fine if done over time....days.> The recommended specific gravity for FO tanks is 1.010. for 3 to 4 weeks. So I had this guy at that specific gravity for about 3 weeks, when I slowly slowly increased the specific gravity to 1.018 the spots began to appear. He otherwise looks and acts very healthy. The spots have been quite stubborn. I panicked at first because the Amyloodinium outbreaks started like this. I have since increased the temp of the tank....slowly to 80 to 81 degrees, fed garlic laced food and treated the tank with a product called Stop Parasites. The spots look about the same. One of the spots on the pectoral fin is a bit bigger, perhaps looking like 4 or 5 coalescing spots, but not as bright as the other spots. On that fin there is a tiny area at the fin tip directly in line with the bigger spot, that looks like it is worn away, just a very small area. I placed a 15w UV unit with a 90gph flow rate on the tank 3 days ago and FW dipped him last night for 15 min. He did very well......not even phased by it. They look a bit better today. Is it possible this is not Ich or perhaps something in conjunction with Ich? What else would you recommend I do for him. Thank you so much for your help :) Leslie <Yes, remove to quarantine tank and treat with copper @0.25 ppm free copper as above. For more on this go to WetWebMedia.com and enter "copper" into the google search. I wouldn't advise any of the stop parasite type treatments. Craig>

Re: Ruby Reef Kick Ich Hello, Is Ruby Reef Kick Ich really safe for 'all' invertebrates and fish? <I did a small test with this product and it works ok for Ich, but I tried it in a quarantine tank as an experiment so I cannot say if it is safe for invertebrates.> We have a 72 gallon tank with 90 lbs of live rock. It is about 3 months old and we have recently started adding fish/corals, a couple of weeks ago. Currently we have several snails, hermit crabs, an emerald green crab, burgundy Linckia, cleaner shrimp, powder brown tang, green Chromis, a new bi-color blenny and bubble, candy, and frog spawn corals (one each). We were away for 4 days and came home to a real mess after using a feeder cube. There is brown algae everywhere and our tang had a bit of ich on him. Today the blenny and 2 of the Chromis do too. We did not have a hospital tank at first so none were quarantined (lesson learned). <A big mistake which you and your fish are now paying for.> My question is, can we safely use the Kick Ich with the starfish/corals? <I would be extremely reluctant to do this.> We've read quite a bit about using garlic to combat ich and would like to try that as a natural alternative to copper. Is it true that you can feed them chopped fresh garlic or would the oil be better? <I would use a commercially prepared extract.> We could try and quarantine the fish but they'll be tough to catch because of all the hiding spots in the LR. Any advice would be most welcome. <Please read from www.WetWebMedia.com regarding treating parasitic infestations, fallowing a tank, proper set up and use of a quarantine tank, etc.> Thanks, C & J <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Fighting Ich Scott F., Thanks for the quick response.   <No problem!> I will continue the regimen for three weeks as you prescribed.  If the main tank is infested, how long would it take for the Ich to show up on the other fish?    <Hard to say- could be a few days, could be a few weeks. In all honesty, it may never show up. The "what ifs?" are the best reason for letting the tank go fallow for a month...This way- you're in control!> Regarding tank size; I had not planned on a larger tank at this time...it was all I could do to convince my wife to secure this one...however, she seems to enjoy the one we have, so it may not be out of the question.  The LFS advised that the tank should be large enough for the Queen Angel; however, I value your input over theirs as it is not motivated by the sale of a fish. <I totally understand your situation! Great that your wife enjoys/supports your hobby! Your LFS unfortunately, did not really give you responsible advise, IMO. In the short run, sure-a 75 will work for the fish. But in a very short time (probably within a year), this fish will need a larger system, and a larger one still to live out its full life span comfortably. They really should have pointed this out to  you at the LFS. With the level of care that you're providing your fish, I know that he'll do great! Hang in there and take care!> Thanks again for you advice. Best regards, Jeff Detweiler <So glad that I could help! Regards, Scott F.>

Ich Hi Everyone I have a 55 gallon reef tank that until today had only a diamond goby and a cleaner wrasse <Have you read our coverage of cleaner wrasses on www.WetWebMedia.com?> and assorted corals in it. I introduced a small Kole tang today which I studied over very well before buying. <I think I know where you are going with this. You did not quarantine him did you?> This fish was clean as a pin, that is until he was in my tank for all of three hours. Now he appears to have a massive case if ick. Is it possible for it to explode this quickly or is this something else caused by being put in a new tank? <Neither, this is standard for new unquarantined fish. Placing a new unquarantined fish in your tank is a gamble and you just rolled snake eyes, my friend. Please see our articles and FAQ files on quarantining fish, treatment of parasitic diseases, and fallowing a tank.> Thanks, Robert <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Ich or not? Hi Everyone, I have a 55 gal. reef tank that until today had only a diamond goby and a cleaner wrasse and assorted corals in it. I introduced a small Kole tang today which I studied over very well before buying. This fish was clean as a pin, <which means nothing... please QT all new fishes for 2-4 weeks. Else, you are taking chances with living creatures and their very lives> that is until he was in my tank for all of three hours. Now he appears to have a massive case if ick....is it possible for it to explode this quickly or is this something else caused by being put in a new tank? Thanks, Robert <Common marine Ich can have a cycle of less than 24hrs... so you will see the fish clean for half the day and covered for the other half. Still... this may just be mucus from the stressed new entry that has attracted particles of sand or debris. Watch to see if the spots move. Else... you'll be getting that QT tank after all. You cannot medicate in the main display (substrate absorbs meds, gobies are small scaled and will OD, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

Hyposalinity/Ich Hi Craig/WWM I need your advice. I'm planning on decreasing the SG (1.012, gradually) in my main tank and increase the temperature to 82-83 (gradually). <With your corals and inverts I wouldn't lower SG.> My SG right now is 1.023 at 77-78 deg. How slow is the modification/change should be? I have leather corals, polyps and mushroom in my main tank. I also have a lawnmower blenny, sailfin tang (I only did a FW dip before putting him in, I know shame on me) and a cleaner/neon goby (he hides a lot and not doing any cleaning yet). My water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, Ca is 400 and PO3 0. Would this environment modification kill my soft corals? How long can I keep my main tank in this low SG and increase temp (without killing my soft corals)? Will my neon goby be a cleaner someday (he's tank raised according to my LFS)? My fish/es does not show any symptoms yet? (knock on wood). I already loss a sailfin tang with a FW dip (I guess too stress and weak from ich). My tank was fallow for 5 weeks before adding the tang. By the way, I'm doing this to prevent ich (?). My quarantine tank has copper from my previous sailfin (ick). I read about copper causing some damage to tang's digestive system (that's the reason I only did FW dip with my new sailfin). I know the best prevention is QT. But can I perform this modification at my present situation? and would this help eradicate some of the ick in my system?. Thanks again for your help, Jun <Wait and see if you get symptoms on any other fish. The neon Goby may or may not be a cleaner, I have two tank raised Neons and they clean my Tang while the shrimp clean everyone else. You can run your main at 83F but I wouldn't lower the SG because of your other inhabitants. I suspect your sailfin was pretty weak already.... I would see if you have any symptoms and treat them if necessary. Good luck!  Craig>

Back in the Ich again... with plenty of med.s Bob, I had just gotten over a bout with Ich with a clown trigger in a 75 gallon quarantine tank and he had also developed a little cloud eye while he was quarantined, a combination of Cupramine and Coral Vital DNA knocked out the ICH and I tried using Furan II for the cloudy eye which seemed to improve the clown triggers condition. As it turned out I traded this clown trigger for a powder blue tang and before placing the tang in this same quarantine tank, I drained the tank and sprayed it down with peroxide and rinsed it out and put about 30 gallons of saltwater solution from my main 135 gallon tank into this tank and replenished the remaining 45 gallons with instant ocean mix to get the specific gravity up to 1.024 and set the temperature to 81 degrees. The powder blue tang has now been in this tank for a week with no signs of ICH at all and he is eating Seaweed Select which I hang on the side of the tank. I just noticed however, that he is showing signs of a little cloudy eye disease. I was just about to introduce him into my main 135 gallon tank too. Here are my questions: 1) is this disease a bacterial disease? <Possibly. Could also be ick/parasites, physical damage in limited area.> 2) is this contagious? <Depends on the cause> 3) could it be that my water is not clean enough due to inadequate filtration? <Ummmm....would test if it were me and perform water changes as needed...even daily as required during QT. 4) I was thinking of putting him in my 135 main tank which has live rock and a wet/dry system and the water is properly filtered, would this be a mistake, could this be transmitted to my other fish? <I would monitor water quality, wait to see if he shows any further signs of parasites, and wait unless he's running into stuff and that's causing the problem. If so, I would likely move him into something big enough to finish the QT. I'm the super safe paranoid type when it comes to ick and velvet.> 5) I just started using EM tablets but do not see any signs of improvement, I did have success using Furan II with the prior occupant of the quarantine tank but I am concerned that the powder blue tang, being a more delicate fish, may be adversely affected by strong medications, what do you recommend in this situation? <Plain unmedicated water, 83F, 1.023-1.025 SG, daily testing for amm/nitrite/nitrate. Keep an eye out for ick, flashing, etc. The eye should clear up under optimal conditions. The treatments are more likely the cause than the cure. Hope this gets you through it! Craig>

Yuck, It's Ich! Mr. Fenner, <Scott F. here for you tonight> You haven't heard from me in a while, which means things have been going moderately well. Up until now. I purchased a Banggai cardinal last Thursday and added him to the tank. When I got him he looked healthy, but I soon realized something could have gone a little differently. It seems he was collected from the wild, is this possible? He is mostly nocturnal but seems to turning more diurnal (if that's even a word).  Up until now it hasn't been eating much and I was a little worried, it'll take little bits here and there but not really a full serving. What is a good food for me to feed him that he will readily accept if in fact he was caught in the wild? <Well, wild-caught or captive bred, this fish will eat "meaty" foods, such as mysis shrimp, chopped clams, krill, etc.> My second problem is I think he has ick!!! This being my first SW tank I'm not too up to date on this problem? I know its sort of stress related <That is a contributing factor, along with environmental conditions> and the Cardinal is undergoing and putting up with a lot of stress from the adjusting process and not eating. As of now this is my only fish in the tank but I can use medications because of my inverts in the tank. I did not quarantine him at all, he looked healthy and I don't really have any space to set up a quarantine tank (which is my fault). What steps can I take now? <Well- I'm not gonna scold you for skipping quarantine- but please, please PLEASE do consider even a small tank (5-10 gallons) for a quarantine tank in the future. It does not have to be kept running continuously, and is your best line of defense against disease with new fishes> Here are my tank parameters which I don't not think add to the stress, they all seem quite normal. These were all tested yesterday: Amm 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 7ppm Ph 8.0 alk 4 dKH 11.2 Ca 370ppm Phosphate 0.25ppm Temp 78F (Just upped it to about 80F) Lighting 12hrs/day SG 1.026 <All seem acceptable> I also did a 2 gallon water change last night with SW that was aged and aerated 24hrs. <Keep up those regular 10% weekly water changes, maybe even smaller amounts more often would be a good idea> My tank setup is as follows: 20gallon long 25lbs Live rock AquaC Remora Skimmer 10 Scarlet Hermits 1 Scarlet Cleaner shrimp 2 Peppermint shrimp 3 Margarita Snails 3 Cerith Snails 15 Nassarius Snails First what is a good next step for me to take? <First, before you start the treatment process, check the resources on wetwebmedia.com about this disease. Make sure that you are dealing with ich. Treatment should take place in a separate tank> If a quarantine tank is needed could I go get a 5gal tank with a circulator and just do 50% water changes daily to keep Ammonia levels down, and then be able to treat with medication? <Yes, but you really should use a sponge filter, which can be "inoculated" with beneficial bacteria from your main tank when not in use. Water changes would be important in this tank, yes! Once again, make sure what you are dealing with (illness?) before you start a course of treatment! Keep reading, and feel free to contact us if you have any more questions!> Thank You for any help and comments, Mike <Thanks for stopping by, Mike. Just keep a close eye on things, and take action when necessary. Your doing a great job so far! Good Luck!>

I Can't Believe It's...Ich! Dear Bob, <Scott F. here this evening> Subsequent to my recent emails to you on a more advanced topic, I am now sort of embarrassed to say my fish got ich. <In the immortal words of Forrest Gump "...It happens!"> In short, I had a pink tail trigger in isolation for fighting with a regal tang. The decision was made to keep the trigger, and return the tang. Long story, but beside the point. All the normal acclimation routines were adopted, and the trigger transferred to the main tank. The following day he was showing ich in the fins. I didn't panic, I thought he'd shake it off, as I've seen fish do before. But it got worse.... so I decided that I'd give him a helping hand, and reduced the s.g. from about 1.025 to 1.020. In the last couple of days he has shown a slight improvement, but far from cured. I am reluctant to drop it too low, as the tank contains a young Maculosus angel (3") and a red sea 4 line wrasse, which appreciate higher spg's. <Good thinking!> The angel has now shown increased rate of breathing, which from experience I know is not a good sign. Am I totally wasting my time lowering s.g. further..... should I just go ahead and dose the entire tank with a commercially available copper treatment??? <I know a lot of people like the idea of lowering the specific gravity to combat ich- I'm not one of them! I agree with you-I am a firm believer in copper, properly administered and monitored to fight this affliction. However, I would implore you to medicate in you quarantine or hospital tank for many reasons> It is FO, no LR or anything. I ain't got plans on getting LR either, so I not worried about future traces of copper effecting LR. <It's not so much that the copper will linger (it can)- it's that the presence of rock (live or otherwise) and substrate materials can reduce the efficiency of the copper by absorbing it, making the maintenance of therapeutic levels of this medication difficult. Also, to really help rid the system of ich, you should consider removing all of the fishes for a minimum of 30 days to let the life cycle of the ich parasites run it's course, and hopefully reduce population density to a level that your healthy fish can resist. It really does work. If you are dead set on medicating in the main tank, and you're sure that you will NEVER place inverts or coral in the tank, then go for it, but make every effort to maintain proper therapeutic levels during treatment. You really should remove as much remaining copper as possible after the treatment is completed through water changes, Poly Filter, etc. Lingering copper levels can be hazardous to your fishes long-term health.> Many thanks for reading - again I sort of feel embarrassed pestering you with this, I thought I was well able to handle such incidents..... just like a second opinion before diving in with copper. Regards, Matthew <I've been down that road a few times myself. Hope that my input is of use to you! Good luck!>

I Can't Believe It's Ich! (Cont'd.) Thanks Scott....... I have the treatment and test kits and all that on the ready. Off to dose the system...I'm gonna be as mild as possible at first...and proceed from there. Thanks again, Regards, Matt <You're gonna beat this thing! Keep up the careful procedures! Good Luck! Scott F.>

Parasite problem I was wandering if there is a way of curing ick without medication like a low salinity of 1.015 <Please go to www.WetWebMedia.com, use the search tool on the homepage, and read through the "Cryptocaryon", "Marine Parasite", "Hyposalinity"... sections. Bob Fenner>

That Pesky Ich Again Hi guys <Scott F. here for you> I was away for a few days (my daughter fed the fish) and when I got back a Scribble Angel, Heniochus, and a hippo were affected with Ich. I can't figure out why I had the outbreak (water quality is great, I use a chiller so temp variation is not a factor and I quarantine new additions for what might be too short a period of 2 weeks). <Yep- a possibility- always use at least a 3 week-or longer quarantine period!> I have treated the fish only main tank (since the QT is only 10 gallons) with a .15 concentration of copper for 18 days already. The Scribble can't seem to shake the Ich.  <Yikes! In the future, please treat all sick fish in a quarantine tank! Copper is extremely tough to get rid of in your main system. Plus, as you are finding, copper can bind with substrate and rocks, diminishing it's concentration/effectiveness! Since you have larger specimens, please do find a larger tank for treatment, a 20 gal or so would work> I have not as yet tried Fresh Water Dips figuring that the copper would take care of the situation  <not at 15, should be .25, and that may be another factor in its ineffectiveness.>  Is it common for Ich to survive in copper treated water for this long and should I continue treatment or will it jeopardize the health of the other fish. I intend to isolate only the Scribble tonight and continue copper treatment.  <good idea, but try freshwater dips first. Give him a break from copper for a few days, then start a proper therapeutic dose in the QT tank. Test to make sure copper level is proper, per manufacturer's instructions> Should I continue the copper in the display tank as well and if so for how long. <Once again, I'd cease using copper in the main tank. Remove all affected fish into the quarantine tank for treatment. Employ PolyFilter medium in the main system to help remove copper. The main system should sit fallow (without fish) for a month or more to let the parasite population diminish. Continue water changes/maintenance during this period.> Thanks as always. I anxiously await your response, Joe <Make the above changes to your treatment techniques, and things should work out fine! Good luck!>

Saltwater ICH and water temps Anthony, <cheers, mate> I have a 46 gallon Bow Front aquarium. I have Live Rock, a Rabbitfish and a Coral Beauty Angel fish. I try to do about 2.5 gallons a week water change.  <the weekly water change is wonderful... kudos to you. Do consider large portions though. At least 10% (~5 gallons)... more would be better (10-15 gallons)> I have a Prizm hang-on protein skimmer,  <and if your skimmer does not yield dark skimmate consistently (almost daily or daily) do look through our archives on the many complaints with this skimmer. There are some great alternatives on the market> a Fluval canister and a Emperor 280 filter. They are to help keep water clear. My main filter is my live rock. I have about 40lbs of the Fiji rock.  <all else agreed and excellent> I have 2 questions. Every time I do a water change (once a week) just 2 to 3 gallons my Coral Beauty Angel gets Ick spots.  <this is a very common occurrence. I'm wondering if your make up water isn't aerated and heated a day or two in advance? Water changes with water that is even slightly lower in temp (2F) can easily cause Ich. Quite common indeed.> I have done some reading and I have been slowly decreasing Salinity levels and waiting to see the Ick spots disappear off the fishes skin. <this is only a secondary treatment at best... can cause more harm than good under 1.018 for many fishes> I am down to 1.012 according to my Deep Six Hydrometer.  <dangerously low in my opinion. Only suitable for hardy and tidal species> I want to know how low you can lower salinity and keep Ich off your fish as well as have them be healthy.  <its all about stability. You water change isn't the problem, but the way it is conducted... something is stressfully different: lack of aeration, lower temperature, not buffered to match display, etc. Some people even mix their salt up right before they use it! Arghhhh! Scary low dissolved oxygen and the chemical reaction of dissolving salt burns fishes gills, eyes, etc.> I have heard Greenex works well and doesn't harm Live Rock but I don't want to use chemicals for the long term and this is becoming a problem. <despite claims, Greenex IS NOT invertebrate safe. Many invertebrates and desirable microfauna are killed. Think about it... how does it kill a parasitic arthropod but not kill the beneficial arthropods (amphipods, copepods, etc). Sponges, sea squirts and so much more are also killed. Greenex and all meds should only be dosed in a bare bottomed QT tank> I was told 1.016 is OK as far as Fish health but it didn't take Ich off the fish at this level so I'm down to 1.012.  <still not gonna spare you from Ich... might even prolong it by virtue of the tress imposed on this angel that never sees this salinity naturally> I want to add my Purple Tang to this tank and stop there with the three fish in the 46 gallon. He is currently in my 55 gallon and also has a problem with water changes and ICH (Also he is not too friendly with my Maroon Clownfish) so I thought one tank with Ich susceptible fish all together with low salinity to help naturally keep it off them.  <do also keep and use a proper QT tank when necessary> I do have to put my hand in the tank to scrape algae including hair algae. This stresses the fish and I know that, but I have to be able to maintain my tanks.  <agreed... and the hand in the tank for algae should not be a big deal> The algae problem is better since I lowered light time to 6 hrs a day. <the algae is not growing from light, its growing from nutrients (likely mitigated by the skimmer that hasn't been giving you a full cup of coffee dark skimmate every day)> I just want a suggestion on how to keep the 3 fish mentioned above in my 46 gallon without them getting Ich every time I put my hand in the tank or change water. Is low salinity a good way to go and how low should I go?  <nope... but a second heater in the tank to prevent daily fluctuations in the tank by day/night would be excellent!> In my 55 I will have a pair of Maroon Clownfish and a Scott's Fairy Wrasse and two Feather Duster's. I thought no more fish in this tank but maybe a bubble coral or mushroom coral. I do have Custom Sea-Life 50/50 lights. 96 Watt bulb for the 46 and two 65 watt bulbs for the 55 gallon.  <very nice... use carbon regularly too to maintain water clarity and do be sure to feed the bubble coral several times weekly. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm> I appreciate your advise............Chet  <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Saltwater ICH Anthony, I appreciated your advise and will work on your suggestions.  <a pleasure my friend> What is a good temperature for my tanks.  <saltwater fishes can adapt to a wide range of temperatures with adequate oxygen saturation (75-84 easily). What they cannot tolerate in the slightest are fluctuations. Increases are safer than decreases. Studies have shown that a drop as small as 2F can induce Ich> I currently have them at 76 and they get to 78 with the heat from the lights.  <that's not too terrible... but be sure the daily (night/day) hi-lo is not worse than that. 2 heaters are always recommended for marines and you can simply set your heaters for 78F so they work at night to match the inevitable daytime temp. Then you have no temperature fluctuation> I know the lower the temp. the better for the Ich parasite. How do you feel about using UV sterilizers to help control ICH?  <a complete waste of money. They are VERY strict in application to make them work as parasite control. UVs are really best for algae control. To kill parasites, the water has to be superbly prefiltered with no particulates, crystal clear (weekly carbon and or daily ozone), the bulbs need to be changed every six months, the units flushed monthly at minimum, blah, blah, blah.... a real pain in the but. QT of all new fishes for 4 weeks on entry and stable water temps are much easier, effective and cheaper!> I saw a new one called a Turbo Twist 3X but it gives 200GPH flow and my Fluval 404 gives 340GPH. Is that too fast for it to do any good?  <very slow flow is also critical for a good kill rate in UVs> It's a 9 watt bulb and good for 125 gallons.  <I disagree... 9 watts is not even remotely effective on a 125 gallon tank despite claims. I'd suggest 15 watt bare minimum... 25 watt much better for a tank that size> My tank is 46 gallons so I guess that's ok but I'm not sure about flow rates. Thanks for you help, Chet <best regards, Anthony>

Salt water fish problem, Ich Woes Right now I have a volitans lion about 6 in, stars and strips puffer about 7 in and a wrasse (green with purple markings on head yellow on back fin a pins on side fins). He is about 7 in also. I had a problem with ich about 2 months ago. I treated with Cupramine and everything's been looking fine since. But the wrasse has been scratching on some of the rocks every once and awhile. I see no other signs of ich, and right now my copper level is about at .25 and I'm trying to get rid of the copper, but I was wondering if I should be worried more than I am about the ich thing. Thank you for listening. Jr. <Well Jr., the fact that your wrasse is scratching could mean that there are still lingering parasites, or there are other possibilities (hard to know from here). Definitely a cause for concern. Do read the disease FAQ's on wetwebmedia.com, and see if there are any visible signs of ich or other conditions. As far as the treatment of ich- you really should always treat in a hospital tank, not your main system. Copper can be difficult to get rid of in your system; can remain for long periods of time. Use of filtration media, such as PolyFilter will help remove some of the lingering copper. If the ich persists, you may need to remove all of your fish for about a month and let the tank go "fallow", without any potential hosts, which can create a big reduction in the parasite count. Without the presence of the fish hosts, a large percentage of the ich parasite population will perish. Keep reading, observe your fishes carefully, and maintain good water quality. Good luck! Scott F.> 

Ich Returns? Hi Bob/Anthony (I'm convinced you two are conjoined twins at this point), <Scott F. for Anthony and Bob, who are both out spreading the WWM gospel> we've chatted before about ich. I had a single blue damsel survive my first outbreak and quarantined her for a month while the main tank lay fallow. I put her back in the main tank while the beautiful new maroon clown stayed in the QT for two weeks before introducing them. all went surprisingly well, the damsel did nip at the clown but it wasn't bad and they seemed to establish an understanding pretty quickly. A couple of days ago the damsel started scratching again, no spots, breathing fine. assuming the worst but not wanting to overreact, I moved the damsel to the QT and today (when time allowed) gave her a freshwater bath. The clownfish has been fine all along, and is loving life without the pest (sorry, "damsel") around. Water quality is fine; no ammonia or nitrites, ph at 8.4, nitrates under 30ppm. I had been keeping the temperature around 76f, and was encouraged to bring it up to 79-80, which is where it is now. Is it ich again? Will fish scratch for any reason other than parasitic infection? I've been told "no". So far there's no spots or labored breathing or anything other than the damsel scratching to indicate anything is wrong. I'm planning on keeping the damsel in QT (no copper) for a week or so and observing both fish carefully. I'm worried that he tank is infected again and the clown has been resistant to this point. Should I assume right now that the ich is back and subject them both to life together in a bare 10 gallon tank with copper while the main tank lies fallow again? Pete French <Well, Pete- it's hard to say from here, but seems possible that it is ich. If it were me, I'd rather err on the side of caution and let the tank go fallow again. Perhaps some means of separation in the QT tank would work to prevent aggression to these two fish. Your plan to remove the fish and observe is a good one, IMO. You are a wise aquarist to have a hospital/quarantine tank available! Keep in mind that, even with the tank going fallow, it is impossible to assure that every single parasite has been eradicated. What you hope to accomplish with a fallow period is to reduce the number of parasites to a level that your (healthy) fish can resist. Keep observing your fish in quarantine. Freshwater dips can help, but be prepared to use copper if they do have ich. Always monitor copper levels during treatment. Be patient, perform regular water changes in the main system, and don't give up!>

Ich Havens Thanks for the quick response, <No problem-glad to help!> the only other question is will the ich parasites live on the live rock? (There is one snail and one cleaner shrimp). <Usually the "dormant" parasites end up in the sand, but I guess it would be possible for them to be in rock as well. As outlined previously, letting the tank sit "fallow" will help. You can never completely rid a tank of ich-but numbers can be reduced to the point where healthy fish would be able to resist them. Good luck! Scott F.>

Ich Attack! Hi Bob, <Scott F. Stepping in for Bob today...> I'm looking for some guidance. Just started a FOWLR 200 gallon tank. It has been running for about 10 days with 30 pounds of live rock. I bought 8 green Chromis damsels, everything was fine for about 4 days. This morning, arghh!, they are all sprinkled in ich, overnight. Do I need to get them out of the main tank and treat with copper in a quarantine tank?, do I leave them and see if they will be able to overcome it on their own? <Yep- remove them into your quarantine/hospital tank and treat for ich with a commercial copper sulphate product. Follow the instructions carefully, and be sure to test for concentration during treatment> Going forward are the parasites now going to always be in my water and affect any other fish I get? Am wondering should I have bought a dog? <To a certain extent, the ich parasites could lay dormant in your system for a while, waiting for the right conditions (suitable hosts and environmental factors) to strike again. That's the bad news. The good news is that if you let your tank go "fallow" without fishes for at least a month, most of the parasite population will "crash" because there is no host. This will reduce the concentration to a level that most healthy fish should be able to withstand. Keep up your regular maintenance (i.e.; water changes, etc) during this time. When you purchase new fish in the future, always quarantine them for a minimum of 21 days before introducing them into the main tank. With quick action, patience, and continuous good husbandry practices, you'll beat this! And, sure- I'd get a dog, too! Good luck!> Thanks for your help!!! Joe Jugovic, CFA

Can you help with ich? Hope this the right address for Q&A!!! Hello, <Hi Vicki> I have recently discovered what appears to be ich in my 75 g tank (on a Sohal, porcupine, and Klunzinger Wrasse). I tried removing them to a 10 g. quarantine tank treated with Coppersafe (I followed instructions EXACTLY!). My fish were fine for about a day...then WHAM, they all started breathing rapidly, sitting at the bottom of the tank, and looking generally awful. My wrasse was on his last fin, when I decided to get them back into the main tank. All have regained their vigor, but also retained their ich. <A 10 gallon QT is a little tight for these guys, depending on their size....> What am I doing wrong?! I already tried Sea Cure Copper for ich on a dwarf angel--same results:(. Again, I was meticulous following those directions! My water tests fine for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. I am afraid of copper now, and am feeding anti-parasite food/doing freshwater dips to keep the ich at bay. Have also added a UV sterilizer for future problems. I think I'm getting ich-obsessed. Please help me--I don't want to lose another fish! Vicki <Alright Vicki, you need the copper and more importantly, you need the test kit for the copper you have. PLEASE go to WetWebMedia.com to the copper FAQs http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coppertestfaqs.htm ands read the faq's about the types of tests and the copper they test for. Maintain the free cupric ion at 0.25 for two weeks and test daily. DON'T overdose!!!!! I bet you have too much copper. There are a ton of links and FAQs on copper at WetWebMedia. The tests can be had from most of the WetWeb commercial sponsors. Craig>

Copper/Disease Treatment I have another question. I recently removed all my fish from my main tank into (potential) treatment tanks. I did this because my blue tang had white spots and was scratching. My flame angel and coral beauty also had white spots. I had been attempting to treat with Kent Marine's exp (I know, I've read your opinions on this, but I was desperate until I got the tanks set-up and had time to remove them and live rock). The fish did well for several days, but then the flame wasn't eating. By the time I got them transferred the flame angel was in bad shape, and died shortly after. The other fish have now cleared up and don't have spots. They are in bare bottomed tanks, but I have not yet added copper as they seem to have improved. I assumed I was dealing with ick, but I'm now not quite sure. I was going to leave the fish in their current holding tanks for 4 weeks to allow the main tank to go fallow, but they definitely do not seem to like them, especially the yellow "Coris" wrasse who is constantly searching the bottom at night for a place to bury himself. Any suggestions as to my next course of action? Sorry for the length, and thank you ahead of time. Rich. <Yep, would treat w/copper as per WetWebMedia.com quarantine/copper info. Give the Wrasse some plastic pipe, some plastic plants and the like to hide in and feel comfortable. They don't have to be totally bare, just inert. I wouldn't trust that whatever it is is necessarily under control, although the freshwater might temporarily help and then have a population explosion. Could be velvet or ick. Treat both w/copper. Follow the WetWebMedia copper info. Craig> 

Starting Over Hi <Hi there! Scott F. with you> I absolutely love your site and visit it at least a few times a week. I recently had an ich outbreak in my tank that killed my hippo tang :( The ich has been gone now for about 3 weeks. I'm going to wait another 2 before I add anything else. <Sorry to hear about the tang. You may not like my recommendation, but here goes...I think that you should remove the rest of the fish (sick or not) and put them in your quarantine tank (you do have one, right?) for about 3-4 weeks. Even though these fish show no signs of the disease, it is in your tank. Ich parasites need a host. If there are no hosts in the tank, most ich parasites will die. Also, by removing your remaining fish (which may very well be "carriers" of the disease), you have chance to observe them and treat hem without damaging the invert life in your main tank> I have a 90 gallon tank with 90 lbs of live rock. I use a wet-dry and a SeaClone 150 ( I need to upgrade this I know). <Hey, if it's pulling out dark yucky stuff twice a week or more, it will do for now> In light of my tang dying,  I was thinking about changing the live stock in my tank. Right now all that's in there is a few damsels, a tank raised clown, and a yellow tang. I was wandering if I removed them all except the yellow tang could I add a Volitans lionfish, a Huma trigger, and a striped burr fish??? Would this be too much for my system?? I know they are all messy eaters except the tang. <Yep- they are...And potentially very large. I'd probably choose between the trigger or the lion, and work your population around that fish. As far as the Burrfish- they're very cute, but once again, they get huge, and can really tax your filter system. Please reconsider your stocking list for this tank. To accommodate all of these guys (they all make great pets) for anything approaching a normal life span, you really need a much larger tank!> if they can all be added is there a certain order I should add them?? I do already have the yellow tang in the tank though......... If one does need to be excluded which would be best??? <I'm partial to the trigger, but they can get aggressive as they mature-tough call here. The lion is big- and eats slowly- the tang may be a source of annoyance...> I really love all 4 of these fish they seem to all be so different from one another and have personality which is exactly what I want to go for in my tank. <Yep, a classic dilemma. But you really have to consider the maximum size that these fishes attain, when considering them. You may want to try other, similar species that don't get quite as large. Check the wetwebmedia.com site for lots of descriptions of fishes that would fit the bill. Have fun, and good luck!>

Re: Powder Blue Tang, Possible Ich Outbreak Hi Scott it's me again sorry for all the questions but I am getting even more concerned after reading some information on the site about ich and fish dying. <Not a problem, my friend-that's what I'm here for> My Lion seems to be twitching a little bit a using his pectoral fins to swat at himself, just started. my wife reminded me that last Saturday we stupidly put in a cleaner shrimp that became dinner 3 hours latter. Could this have anything to do with this problem?  <Possible but unlikely. And the idea to use "biological" cleaners, such as shrimp is generally a good idea, actually> How can I tell for sure if it is ich? <Fish with ich generally exhibit "scratching", and a sprinkling of small white spots throughout the infected fish's body> Will this cause me to have to do something drastic to my main tank? <At this point, I would operate on the assumption that all fish in your main system are infected, and follow the freshwater dip, copper sulphate treatment protocol in your hospital tank as outlined previously. If it were me, I'd let the main system run without fish (leave the inverts alone) for at least a month performing routine maintenance as usual during that time) while treating the fishes in the hospital tank. DO NOT add any medications to your main system! With time, patience, and quick action on your part (not to mention, careful observation), you will be successful at beating this malady. You're on the right track-keep it up! Regards, Scott F.>

Ichy Filter Problem! Dear Bob, <Scott F. here for you> I have a 29gal. salt tank (I know too small).  <Not always!>  I 'm running an Emperor 400 and an Amiracle skimmer. I have been having trouble with ich, but only on my percula clowns (tank raised). Besides the 2 clowns I have a scooter blenny and green clown goby, both of which are unaffected. The filter produces fine bubbles, even turned down to the slowest flow rate, could this be the cause?  <Nope!> The blenny and goby are on the bottom and not exposed to the bubbles. I was told this filter would be fine for a fish only tank, true?  <With good maintenance and a light bio-load, sure> I do have inverts so I can't treat the tank. I have lowered my specific gravity to 1.019 and it still occurs. I treated a previous percula in a hospital tank only to have it reappear. These are the 3rd and 4th clowns to contract ich. (They are all from the same tank at the same store) I was told to let the tank go fallow for a month but I hate to remove the 2 unaffected fish, especially if the fine bubbles could be a stress source. Your thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you--Caryn Heffner <Well Caryn, the fine bubbles are not causing the ich outbreak, but ultimately could be harmful to some inverts, such as corals. Anyways, you really should let the tank go fallow for at least a month. When the tank is fallow, the ich parasites cannot find a host, and the majority of them should die. Plus, it's much easier and less problematic to treat your sick fish in a hospital tank. Keep in mind that ich, once it is in the main aquarium, may never be completely eradicated, but you can reduce the parasite count to level that will be much less dangerous to your newly-cured fish. See wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm for more information. Good Luck!> 

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