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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis 8

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 7, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, Crypt FAQs 25, Crypt FAQs 26, Crypt FAQs 27, Crypt 28, Crypt 29, Crypt 30, Crypt 31, Crypt 32, Crypt 33, Crypt 34, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,

Please... no so-called "reef safe" treatments in my system. Gomophia egyptiaca

Ick Problems Hello, Let me apologize in advance for the length of this e-mail. <And I apologize for the long answer!> I have a serious problem of ick. I have a 125 gallon fish only tank w/ live rock. I have 3 yellow tangs, 1 mandarin goby, 1 snowflake eel, 1 banded moray, (I know the eels are predators, only temp pets) two coral banded shrimp, a cleaner shrimp, 2 serpent stars, 4 brittle stars, a two band anemone fish clown fish, a white anemone w/ purple tips, two banded cat shark eggs (again only temp pets, I know they will get big) <that they will>, and some blue leg hermit crabs. <First, run thorough water tests (pH, ammonia, nitrite, check water temp, salinity, everything you can think of and make sure nothing is out of whack. If you do not remove the causative factor of the stress your fish are under, you'll be hard pressed to fix them up. Try to think of anything that could be stressing them out, maybe bullying, who knows> My 3 tangs and clown fish have ick, pretty bad too. I am new to saltwater and hope to fix this problem correctly. I asked my local fish store and they just suggested a chemical to put in the water, <Eh, they've likely suggested one of the various "reef safe" ich meds on the market which, at least in my experience, rarely work, and even so on only the lightest infestations. If they have recommended copper, malachite green, Formalin, etc, please don't use them as you will lose all the invertebrate life in your live rock.> I truly believe that there is a better way to do this <me too!> that's why I'm writing. I did some research on your site and found tons of help. Now for the fun part of me asking some questions. This is what I have in mind to do: I was going to buy a 40 something gallon garbage can, I have a strong power head now, I was going to take some water out of my tank put it in the garbage can, use the power head for circulation and air, put all the fish in there (except the eels, they are being traded in this weekend) do I need to put the shark eggs, live rock, shrimp, star fish, and anemone in there to or just the fish? <If you plan on doing the garbage can thing, make sure you have a heater in it, as well as some type of bio-filter (preferably also a protein skimmer). A big power head will keep the water moving but make sure that the fish are not going to be blown around. Provide cover for them with NON-LIVING rocks, such as tufa rock. Just the fish go in here, don't worry about the eggs.> After the fish get in the garbage can I was going to raise the tank temp to 82 and lower the salt to .10, is that the right thing to do? For how long? <No, simply let the tank go without fish for at least a month and it should be safe to add the fish back. It may not be necessary to remove all the fish to the barrel, remove the blatantly sick ones and any that you suspect may come down with it next. You can always remove one that gets sick later to the barrel.> How long will the fish need to stay in the garbage can, what kind of med, or treatment do I give them once in the can? <Keep them in there until the disease has been gone completely for a few weeks, preferably a month. Guidelines for treatment can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm> I am like I said new to this and would like to take the time to do it right. Will they be o.k. in a garbage can, what about a heater won't that melt through the plastic? <Buy one that you can get a heater guard for (plastic heater "cage"), Tronic heaters come to mind.> Will this ick get off the fish, will it leave the tank? <Unfortunately ick can spring up just about any time if there is stress on the fish> I need some serious step by step help, I would greatly appreciate it guys. <Check out all the links on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm, you'll find a wealth of info!> Again sorry for the length, hope you will help me out of this pickle. <Good luck, and make sure you test your quarantine barrel frequently so they are not inadvertently killed by rising ammonia/nitrite levels or a falling pH . -Kevin>

Fishless tanks for ridding parasites Hi,     I am removing all my fish from my large tank and letting it go fishless for 35 days to rid it of the ich parasite.  I have a snowflake eel in there and would like to know if he counts as a fish host? should he also be removed?   thank you so much Lynn <Yes, unfortunately the eel will act as a vector if not removed as well. Do keep the top on securely, completely in your quarantine system. Bob Fenner>

- Treating Ich - Hi guys <Hello, JasonC here...> I've got a problem with ich in my 6'x2'x2.5' reef tank. stock:-         9x1" red sea green Chromis         1x2.5" six line wrasse         1x4" blue dart fish         1x1.5" black mantis shrimp with white stripe across its back         2x colt corals         1x pearl bubble coral         1x long polyped toadstool leather         1x yellow Fiji leather         green polyp xenia         and various polyps, tunicates, sponges and coralline algae         20kg of Fiji LR water parameters are:-         ammonia 0 mg/l         nitrite 0 mg/l         nitrate<10mg/l         alkalinity 15 dKH         s.g 1.024         ph 8.4 Is there any way I can treat the fish within the tank as its nigh on impossible to catch the fish as they quickly dart into the LR as soon as a net is dipped into the tank. <Not really... most treatments that promise to be 'reef safe' are anything but.> I've been to my LFS which recommended using Waterlife's Myxazin. <This product is for fungus and fin rot, wouldn't do a thing for the ich.> I don't know whether you know of this product if so what do you think about its effectiveness. <It's probably plenty effective for the purpose it was designed for, but would be useless against ich.> any help would be greatly appreciated. <Prepare yourself for the big chore, and think about perhaps removing all the decor, perhaps some of the water and catching those fish out. The invertebrates can stay, but you should isolate the fish to separate quarantine systems and treat them there. More on this for your reading pleasure here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > great site guys keep up the great service you are giving us mere mortals. Paul         <Just so you know, I'm mortal too. Cheers, J -- >

Re: Ich-What Else Jason <Hi.> Thanks as always for the fast reply.  I have been monitoring the copper levels which I try to keep at .015-.02.  Occasionally it dips to .01.  I have 10 fish which will be too crowded for a 10-20 gallon QT which is why I treated the main system.  Assuming that I can keep the level at .015 how long should treatment last? <If I recall it's about 14 days - two weeks or so.> Thanks again, Joe <Cheers, J -- >

Dipping away ich, wouldn't that be nice? Hi again, sorry to bother you again.   Could you tell me if dipping liverock and corals in Kent marine coral dip (called Tech D) for the specified time would rid the rock and corals of any ich tomites?? <Mmm, no. Very strong oxidizers, biocides needed to do this by dipping... not a useful technique for ridding resting stages of Cryptocaryon.> Thank  you so very much, the best to all of you in the New Year! Lynn <And to you and yours. Bob Fenner>

- Why oh why? - Hi guys <Hi, Joe... JasonC here.> Despite conventional wisdom, and for numerous reasons, I treated my display tank with copper (.015-.02) in an effort to eradicate Ich.  It is now two weeks into the treatment and I still see a few spots present.  Should I continue treatment, change methods, give up, and is this usual? <Well... the reasons for isolating fish for treatment are myriad. In your case, what has likely happened is that your substrate and other decor is absorbing some of that copper so that the 'treatment' is not at an effective dose/level to actually kill the ich. If I were you, I'd get my hands on a 10 or 20 gallon tank and isolate the fish you want to treat in a bare system, perhaps with some PVC pipe as decoration. In the main system you will probably need to run poly filters or activated carbon for a couple of days to weeks... you might want to get a copper test just to monitor when the copper has leached out of the substrate. Also keep an eye on the various nitrogenous wastes as it is quite possible to do some damage to your biological filter with the copper.> Just in case you need the info my temp is 82.5, 8.2 ph, salinity 1.021 and everything else in line. Happy New Year! Thanks, Joe <Cheers, J -- >

That Yucky Ich Again! I've a 100 gallon fish only tank which has been running beautifully for over a year now. It's stocked with a yellow tang, juv. Koran, a orange-spot trigger, couple of small filefish (these are looking for a new home) a couple of damsels and a pair of percula clowns. This tank has very brisk water movement via two powerheads, and a Rio 2500 in-sump pump which runs the sump, and then pushes the water though a UV sterilizer (new bulb) back into the tank. Oh, and there's a big skimmer in the sump as well. <Cool!> Anyhoo...just a couple of days ago a few of my fish broke out with ich. I can't understand why as I haven't introduced any new fish and as usual I've been doing water changes and cleaning the skimmer out regularly. I caught all the affected fish and gave then 3 minute freshwater baths. I also gave the tang and angel one even though they didn't show signs. <That was a nice move- decisively executed!> I performed a 25% water change and I treated the tank with "Organi-cure" (copper-based). <Well- you kind of did it right, IMO! I don't like to dose medications in the main system-very problematic, both in terms of keeping medications at therapeutic levels (meds are often absorbed by rocks and sand) and for the potential damage to desirable invertebrate life forms.> Then next morning it looked as if the white spots were pretty much gone. However, one of my damsels kicked the bucket.. (I've had this particular fish for years, he was my first saltwater fish, ever). Later on that day I again gave the fish another round of freshwater dips.....this morning the damned white spots were back! The angel has a couple spots on his tail and the damned triggers and filefish are covered in the stuff. No one else is affected. <If it's ich- it's just a matter of time!> I was considering purchasing a couple of cleaner shrimps, however I used to have 2 of them and they mysteriously disappeared - I suspect the trigger and filefish them, though they did seem to coexist peacefully enough at first. What can I do at this point to stop this Ich from continuing and do you think it wise to purchase more cleaner or peppermint shrimps? <Shrimp are a nice "first line of defense" when dealing with ich, but I would not rely on them as a "cure". My recommendation: Get all of the fish out of the tank, place them in a separate tank for treatment with a commercial copper sulphate preparation (per manufacturer's recommendations), and let the main tank run "fallow", without fishes for at least one month. In the absence of hosts (the fish), most of the parasite population will crash, falling to levels that most healthy fish could resist. Conduct regular water changes and other maintenance during the fallow period. It really works, believe me. Nothing is 100% guaranteed, but this is a very simple, proven method to eradicate the disease in most cases. It's not the most fun course of action, however.> I am willing to let the filefish go, as they are too aggressive for my taste, but I am rather attached to the trigger. I appreciate your help! Thanks, Tana. <Just "stay the course", Tana- you'll beat this disease if you are patient and diligent. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: my blue jaw trigger fish (ich) I recently bought a blue jaw trigger fish online and when I received the fish it was very shy, but as time goes on its seems to be getting better, but when I received the fish I noticed white spots on its upper and lower fins and its caudal fin, its been about 5 days and now all the fins on the fish have the white spots, and the upper fin has a small piece missing, what should I do? Ricky <Much for you to read, consider... and a need to act quick here. Your trigger (and possibly other fish/es) have a protozoan infestation called "ich". Please start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and read through the linked files (at top, in blue) on ich/Cryptocaryon and its treatment. Depending on whether you have invertebrates in the system, you might be able to lessen your fish's troubles by environmental manipulation (elevated temperature, lowered specific gravity) in place, now... otherwise you will need to isolate, treat it/the fishes elsewhere. You need to study and act quickly. Bob Fenner> Re: my blue jaw trigger fish How do I give the fish a freshwater dip like how long, what should the specific gravity be? <These issues are covered here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> Should I use treatments like "rid-ick" or "kick-ick". <Copper-based medication... as covered here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copperfa.htm> For the freshwater bath should I up the copper to .10-.15 <No... not recommended. Bob Fenner> Ricky Re: my blue jaw trigger fish The web page you sent me for the freshwater dip bath is to confusing for me to understand could you basically tell me what I need for a blue jaw triggerfish? <What you need? How would I know what you already know? What it is you need to know? The articles posted on our WWM site are devised for about a fifth grade reading level (by cloze test). I suggest you have someone read them with you, explain, look up words, concepts that you find too difficult. Bob Fenner> Ricky

Re: Got Ich? Hey Crew, Thanks J-- for your reply. <You are more than welcome.> I wrote the last e-mail around 9:30 EST.  It's now 6:42 and my tank lights just came on.  My Royal Gramma is hiding in "his" cave, sticking his head out in weird slow movements.  When he came out quickly I saw he still had some white dots on his fins and head.  My larger F. Percula was laying on LR "resting", but he just now got up and is swimming around.  It's a "jerkish" like swim, not the graceful swimming I'm used to from him.  My smaller F. Percula had a faint white film on its tail when the lights turned on, they went away fast, but he has a hard time swimming.  He stays at the top of the water, he can make it down for like 15-30 seconds before he goes back up.  I'm going to try to setup my old 12 gallon and make it a QT, but it won't be ready for at least a day or two.  I'm going to also try and find some medicated flakes and feed those to my fish.  Just try and keep everything stable and "make the fish happy".  In a hour or so I'll do an extra water change (I usually do WC's on Mondays).  Thought I'd update you guys, any idea what that white film was? <Probably just the mucus layer, but something you should keep an eye on.> Thanks!! Phil <Cheers, J -- >

Grim Holidays battling ICH Bob, Thanks for the getting us in the right direction, we have lowered the main to 1.018 spg at 84 degrees per your recommendation.  Looks like the fish in QT are getting better by the day, especially the yellow tang which has no more white dots.  I guess almost everyone has to learn quarantining of new livestock the hard way. But I do have a couple more questions.  We are planning to get a cleaner for the tank (once we are back in order).  We were leaning to getting a neon goby, since the cleaner wrasses are best left in the wild.  Will a good sized (1.5" and above) neon goby survive with a 2.5" Dwarf lion "inhale" habits? <I give you good odds (more than 80%) here. Most fishes, even those from areas where these Gobies don't occur, recognize them as allies> Cleaner shrimp I guess would be out of the question.  How about cleaner hogs? <Only small ones... for a large system. I would stick with the Neon Goby choice> Thanks for all your hard work all, Robert      <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

- Got Ich? - Hey Crew!! <Greetings, JasonC here...> I was looking at my 29 gallon FOWLR tank and noticed that my Royal Gramma had "dots of snow" on it.  I also saw it rubbing its sides on the LR.  After reading through the site I'm 99% sure its ich.  In two and a half years of keeping SW fish I've never had any sicknesses, so I'm a little nervous on what to do.  My QT is full at this time so I'm in a rock and a hard place! <No kidding... any chance of firing up a 5 or 10 for the Gramma?> The Gramma was transferred two days ago to the 29, he was in a 12 gallon for around 6 or 7 months.  He IS eating, so that's a plus. <Indeed.> The only other fish are two False Percula's that came out of QT today and were placed in the tank. (they were in QT for 4 weeks).  I found the ICH after they were placed in the tank.  I was told that if I ran a very small amount of copper and later ran carbon (I do now) it will remove the copper in time. <How much time do you have? Not that much, I'm sure... copper has a way of working its way into the substrate and rock work.> Or is it possible to get a Cleaner Shrimp? <An option, but not a guaranteed one. Likewise, not an option if you run copper.> But if I did I'd have to QT for at least 4 weeks.....  Anyone have an idea. <I think you could sneak a cleaner shrimp in there without quarantine.> BTW the QT is a 29 gallon, there is a Fu Manchu Lionfish in there now.  Any help you can give will be great! <Well... I would keep things under observation for another day or so, then perhaps take action with a pH-adjusted freshwater dip and perhaps more if the situation warrants. Sometimes a fish will respond to stress by becoming more susceptible to a parasitic infection and in a day or two they're fine. The problem with ich is that once you see the spots, you've had the problem for a couple of days previous, sometimes more. Again, you might want to consider yet another quarantine tank, one you can run copper in, and re-quarantine this fish. The filtration need be no more fancy than a sponge filter with an air pump and don't forget the heater. If you haven't already, check out this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Phil <Cheers, J -- >

Re: ich in small tank Thank you for all the info but as I expected the damage was already done. Christmas began with dead fish. Thank you for your help and after some reading I will be purchasing a much larger system in the near future. I thought about using the eclipse setup as a quarantine tank for that. <A six gallon system is very small for this but can work if the fish are also very small. Only one fish at a time please and feed lightly...very lightly> Thanks again for your help and a very informative website. <You're welcome! Keep reading and learning...THAT is the secret to success. David Dowless>

Yuck! It's Ich! I have a 36 gallon saltwater tank that's been set up for about 2 months now. I have about 10 lb.s of live rock, Coral beauty, mandarin, yellow tail Damsel, maroon clown, orange percula clown, cleaner shrimp, emerald crab, red crab, Sebae anemone, two hermit crabs and some snails. They all seemed to be doing great until one day I found the percula clown loaded with white ick. So I did a 20% water change and added cycle tank to the requirements for my tank and I also added some vitamins. All the levels are low. Salt level is 1.022, temp is 80 degrees. <Good that you did a check of all tank parameters. Stability is very important in maintaining a healthy aquarium> It seemed to do good for about one day. Then the ick came back, but this time the Coral Beauty, percula clown and the mandarin all have ick. I tried dip baths. That doesn't seem to be helping at all. Now I'm afraid I'm going to lose them all. What should I do?  Please Help! Lori <Ok, Lori- here's my advice: First, since the ich parasites are in the tank, all of the fishes are at risk. So, what you need to do is remove all of the fishes to a separate aquarium (10 gallons is fine) for treatment with an aquarium remedy containing copper sulphate, such as CopperSafe or Cupramine. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding dosage and duration of treatment. See the wetwebmedia.com FAQs on ich for more information. DO NOT TREAT IN THE MAIN TANK! Meanwhile, the main tank needs to sit "fallow" without fishes, for at least one month. By not having any fishes to serve as hosts, the parasite population will "crash", resulting in a diminished population which most healthy fishes should be able to withstand. Conduct regular water changes and other maintenance in the aquarium, even though there will be no fishes in it during this time. Once your fishes are cured, you can return them to their aquarium. Remember, quarantine all new animal purchases for at least 3-4 weeks before placing them in your main tank. This will give you a chance to ascertain their health, get them eating, and intervene as necessary if diseases appear. And, of course, it will help keep disease out of your main tank. I predict that you will embrace this practice after going through this ich battle! It's not fun, but it does work! Don't be discouraged, be patient and see the treatment through! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Strikes Back ("Return of The Trophonts") Dear WWM <Scott F. here today> I have followed your advice on the fallow 1 month, and copper 21 days in hospital tank thing, however, WS comes again!! <Tenacious little parasites, huh?> This time I am having a very big problem. I have 3 big fish, (shoal, powder blue and a Moorish idol.) and couple of small ones (2 regal tang, 2 clown, box, fire goby, coral beauty angel, clown trigger) I think it is not possible for me to fit all fish into my hospital (33 gallon with hang on filter and skimmer, heater FULL SYSTEM). What should I do?? <I'd get a large plastic bucket of known quantity (like 5 gallons or more) and add a heater and box filter. It's a makeshift facility at best, but it's the best you can do at this point.> Should I do a water change in the main tank, if so, how much? <During the fallow period, I always encourage people to execute regular maintenance procedures, including water changes, just as you'd do if there were fishes in the tank> And also, I bought a solution called Chem-Marin. It says reef safe and will cause pH drop. Have you heard anything about this product? Or should one use it?? <I don't believe that there is such thing as a "reef safe" medication. How can this stuff only affect the ich trophonts, but not the other microfauna in the system? Sounds fishy to me. Get some other opinions on this stuff, though, if you want to use it> Is Kent Rx-p better and reef safe?? <I have no experience with this stuff> Is any of my fish cannot be treated with the above medication?? <I don't know what is in these "medications", so I don't know the potential "side effects" that they can cause> What should I do now???  I am waiting for your reply to take action!! I have prepared the hospital already. <I'd get everyone out of the main tank again, go for at least another month of fallow treatment, maybe two, if you can. Treat the fishes with legitimate medication for the recommended duration. Continue regular water changes, etc in the main tank. In fact, you can increase water changes if you wish. Be patient, you need to really wait it out! before re-introducing the fishes! If this still doesn't work, you may need to break the tank down, so I'd go for the longer fallow period first. Also, maintain absolutely stable conditions in the tank upon your fishes return.> Also, have you heard of a salt name Marine Enterprise?? Is it comparable to Reef Crystal?? I have done Ca  and pH test on both instant ocean and marine enterprise salt, I found that the marine enterprise is better performed. <I have heard of this brand, but not in many years. I don't have any experience with it> Also, what brand of UV sterilizer is best in design and most effective?? <Wow! Too many options to really give you the perfect answer. You'll really have to do some reading to decide that!> My local shop recommend me a brand called AQUA, it is 275 Canadian dollars.. I don't know if the Coralife double helix 9w will do the trick. Eric <really depends on the size of the tank, the "kill time" in the unit, etc. I'd post a question on the WWM Chat Forum to hear what other hobbyists say about the models that you are considering. Also, do a search with the Google search feature on the wetwebmedia.com site under "UV Sterilizers" and see what you find. Good luck! Hang in there, okay? Regards, Scott F.>

Re: ich in small tank I recently and I think unfortunately purchased a 6 gallon Eclipse setup that my LFS had setup for saltwater. <Uh oh...6 gallons? This is your first saltwater experience? Almost every book says buy the biggest tank that you can imagine ever owning> I have had success with freshwater but jumped into this pretty uneducated. <You have no idea how sad this makes me. If you don't start a crash course in saltwater literature very soon you are likely headed for some depressing times ahead> The tank had been running for several weeks at the store <Yes but the store could afford to add more fish every time one dies...and they probably did large water changes and tested the water constantly. You're gonna need to do the same thing to have any chance at success> with a gold striped maroon clown, <Oh jeez...this fish is way too big for this tank. Even if the fish is small he needs more swimming room. If not aggressive already, he will become aggressive in the near future. One of the best reference works for the saltwater hobby is Marine Fishes by Scott Michael. I don't think that I have ever found a fish listed in that book that needs less than 20 gallons. No matter how you look at it, a 6 gallon tank is really reducing your odds for success. These tanks are too hard to keep stable and nearly all marine fish grow too big to keep in a tank this small> a Dartfish <Needs at the very least 20 gallons. The maroon will quickly start picking on this peaceful guy> a Condylactis anemone <I'm feeling your pain. I don't like the way any of this sounds. The Condy? Another poor choice> and about 3 lbs of live rock. <Good idea!> I have had the tank for about 4 weeks and last week the anemone died. <Yes...and the one you have now will likely die also...maybe not today or tomorrow...but soon> I removed it immediately but now my other fish have ich. <Have you been testing the water for ammonia? Even if the fish are small, the tank is already psychologically crowded. The Condy could have been a carrier. Have you quarantined anything?> The guy at the store has had me treating the water with quick-cure. <Not a good choice. But good luck anyway!> After reading here I lowered the specific gravity and started showing improvement until yesterday. The clown is now completely covered <With cottony-looking stuff? That's Amyloodinium AKA marine velvet. Covered with what looks like salt? Cryptocaryon AKA ich. Both common and both kill> and is showing some difficulty swimming. Any ideas? <Keep reading and learning> I plan on purchasing a much larger set-up next month but after educating myself a bit I understand that that wont be ready for several weeks. <My friend, there's really no way to be gentle about your situation. You have bought a tank with live animals that you apparently know very little about. This is NOT a recipe for success! You need knowledge fast and unfortunately you're gonna need to spend lots of time reading/learning and buying a couple of books. The saltwater hobby really isn't difficult if you set the tank up correctly, stock the tank correctly, and maintenance the tank regularly. Please get started learning right away. Your  critters are depending on you! I wish that I could solve your problems with this email but I can't. Read at Wetwebmedia.com about setup, maintenance, stocking, etc> Please help...a dead fish is not what I wanted to give my wife for Christmas <Ummmm...If I were a beginner I would never even attempt a 6 gallon Eclipse setup. You're asking for problems. I really am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. David Dowless>

Grim Holidays battling ICH Happy Holidays WWM crew, <And to you and yours> Well its kinda grim with us cause we are currently battling with Ich.  We are following you sites recommendation on letting the tank fallow for 5 weeks while we have are Tang, Dwarf Lion and Damsel in our QT with CU treatment. We have already lost 4 fish to this (2 clowns and 2 blennies). Its kinda sad looking at our lonely main tank with only LR, LS, a Chocolate Star and Hermits.  We were actually planning to add some coral these holidays but the ICH set us back.  Now the question, do you think it would be OK is we went ahead and added our planned corals while going through the treatment ?  We planned to get a Xenia, some mushroom coral, and possibly some Trachyphyllia. <No... you should have, now lower your spg and elevate temperature of the system... per many citations/FAQs on WWM... while your fishes are out... And this environmental manipulation is hard on non-fish livestock> Just in case you need our specs, 55 gal with 30 lbs of LR about 3/4" LS.  Filtration is a Sump with bioballs and Miracle Mud.  Lighting is a Helios 36" PC.  Our return has a "loop" with nozzles at about 700-600 GPH flow.  Currently our protein skimmer is connected to the 10 Gal QT.   Thanks for your AWESOME site and contributions to the hobby, Robert. <And you for your participation. Bob Fenner>

Ick...Giving the hobby one more try!!!!!! Hey Craig/WWM crew, Before I express my frustrations, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to you guys for all your help/tips. And also to greet you all a Happy and safe Holidays. <Hi Jun, We are going to get you a Happy Holidays yet.> I have ich again (strike 3) and unfortunately they killed my 2 tangs (they are my only fish inhabitants in my reef tank). My tank was fallow for 5 weeks and I quarantined the 2 tangs for 3 weeks and everything was fine (no disease and fish are healthy and eating). My water parameters are ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are all 0, alkalinity 11, Ca 400, pH 8.4 and SG 1.023. My temperature is around 79 deg F (daytime) and 77 deg F. (nighttime). I put the 2 tangs in my main tank and 3 days later, ICH, (white spots) on their fins. I started to panic and tries to catch them to no avail (they were still healthy). I stopped my attempts to catch them for I am putting too much stress on them. So here is what I did. I transferred all my corals (small fragments soft corals, mushrooms and polyps) and my 2 sand sifting stars to my 10 gal QT and started to decrease my salinity in the main tank (over 3 days). Again everything is fine (fish are eating) up to 1.017 (SG). After 24 hours I lowered my salinity to 1.013  and the following day they're dead. Did I do this process right? I tried some biological cleaners first (cleaner gobies, about 5 of them but they only hide) still no luck with cleaner shrimp. I installed an aqua C remora pro in my tank and it's still in it's break-in period. Was the bubble coming from the skimmer contributed to the stress? Is it possible to get rid of ich 100 % without starting the tank over? I started increasing my temp to 82-83 (I did not do this during my previous fallow period) and I am going to have my tank fallow again for the 3rd time. I still have my tank's SG at 1.013 (2-3 days) and LR are still in there. Are my LR still live? I know tangs are ich magnets unfortunately, I am also a tang magnet. I am planning to move all my corals back in my main tank once I get my RO unit installed hopefully this coming week and once I get the SG same as my QT (1.023). Sorry if this e-mail is too long, you guys are the only one who can understand my frustrations (my friends sure don't). Thank you again and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!! Jun <Well, your friends at WWM understand!  I have been here and it's not fun!  I'm really sorry to hear about your tangs. It is possible that they had Velvet, not ick which may account for the seriousness of their illness.  If your tank is now without fish, match the SG (1.023-1.025) and run your tank fallow for two months. I did this and even after this period of time and a like time in QT, my Purple Tang had a few spots. I used Tetra anti-parasite food to keep it in check which it did. I have not had any ick since, except on a couple of new Sailfin Tangs which were in QT and responded to the food without copper. Your LR is likely just fine, increase the SG in there to normal. Make sure the Tangs you buy are healthy, active and eating before you bring them home for the QT.  Perhaps from a store that QT's as well.  QT for as long as practical (I bought new fish a few weeks into the fallow period and QTed them for about a month and a half in a good sized QT (20 gallons).  If you still see a few spots upon release into the main, feed the food as directed for two weeks and any remaining ick should be done.  Make sure you scrub and really sterilize any of your equipment that might cross-contaminate your main/QT/old tank stuff as ick is easy to spread this way. Just take it slow and steady and be deliberate and you should be fine.  Let us know if we can help!  (and Have a Happy Holidays!) Craig>

ICH in Miracle Mud ? Hi WWM crew, Happy Holidays to you all.  Just a quick question for me today.  We are currently battling with ICH in our marine FOWLR tank.  Will ICH infest our Miracle Mud sump?  We are planning a total breakdown of our main tank while we treat the fishes, but we really don't want to do this on our sump too. I have searched all over the site for someone with the same dilemma but could not find any close references. <Well, the daughter colonies... can/do "rest" in many types of settings... but I would not be "so concerned" with the mud harboring these that I'd dump the mud. Best to engage a bit of environmental manipulation and leave the system w/o fish hosts for a month or more... and not worry. Bob Fenner> Thanks for the help, Robert

Ich harbor Hi Bob, <Hey Nick> I have had two Blue Hippo tangs die from either Velvet or Ich ( I am not sure of the diagnosis) and there is only one other fish in the tank. He is a small yellow with bluish spots Watchman Goby and he is healthy, eating and has no sign of any problems during any of the deaths. My question is will either of these parasites die off with him in there. I know they will without a host in a month's time but I am wondering if my Goby will act as a miniature "Typhoid Mary" by not getting either parasite but somehow help it continue it's life cycle. <Good question... for me there's too much of a risk that your goby is supplying a low-virulence haven for the parasite/s... I would go the route of removing it to another system, elevating temp., lowering spg. and letting the system go w/o any fish hosts for at least a month... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks, Nick

Dead Euphyllia ancora and ick Dear Craig: Hello! How do you do? <Hi Mimie, I'm alright, a little jet-lagged after returning from Florida> Well, some bad news, my hammer coral died yesterday. Don't know why, everything seemed perfectly in order waters params etc. It started dissolving after you told me to give it full-spectrum lighting. Not pointing the finger at you but I guess it started to die once I placed it in my tank. But for the life of me, I don't know why. Oh, and my fan worm died too. However, the other corals and fish are doing fine, except that the Sailfin tang has gotten an ick infection which I thought I completely eradicated months ago. I am very dis-spirited now. <Uh-oh.  Sounds like something happened here. Any sudden temp or other changes that maybe happened unbeknownst to you that also set the ick off? This usually happens with a temp drop or maybe came in with the hammer, which may have been sick or infected already. These corals also are susceptible to brown slime bacterial infections and such.  Tube Fans are sometimes difficult to keep for extended periods due to their filter feeding requirements.>   Anyway, I started feeding it garlic soaked mysis shrimp. He's not really taking it, kinda nibbling on it. It seem really bad in the morning but disappears during the day. The fire shrimp too seem to be helping out by cleaning him. A strange observation. <Try to find Tetra anti-parasite medicated food, this works well for those spot attacks before they get going.> Well, that's the latest. I know that my water is top-notch...I do 20% changes weekly. Can't do any better than that. I don't know...Best, Mimie <Make sure your water changes are temp/pH/SG matched as this could cause some of your problems.  Sorry to hear of your difficulties, don't feel alone, we all have these things happen sometimes. My Best, Craig>

Saltwater Ick Dear Mr. Fenner: <Petr> I would like your advice on dealing with Ick.  I have a 55 gal saltwater with Tidepool w/ BioWheel sump, LifeGuard mechanical filter, Mag Drive 700 pump, two Rio power heads inside the tank, and the SeaClone 100Gal skimmer.    I also have about 10lbs of live rock and another 20lbs of dead coral rock.    The tank has been running over a year now and the water parameters seem to be fairly stable (pH ~8.3, ammonia & nitrite not detectable, 9dKH, 300ppm Ca, Phosphate < 0.05ppm, 1.023 spg, 78F temp).  I use RO/DI water (weekly 5gal change, keep water aerated in a bucket for 24 hours before use), dose Kalk, Reef Builder, Reef Advantage Magnesium, Reef Iodide, and run Black Diamond Carbon.  I do realize that more live rock and better skimmer would be desirable and I plan to get better skimmer in the near future. <Well stated... and though I would choose other makes, models of gear, your parameters and testing protocol point up good husbandry> Q: Over a period of time is dead coral rock become a home to the beneficial nitrifying bacteria and will it function just like live rock does? <Yes> When I converted from freshwater into saltwater, I made a decision not to invest too much money into the livestock before I make a reasonable progress in maintaining the tank. <Outstanding>   After dealing with outbreak of Cyano- and later green hair algae, I think it was a wise decision.  I managed to learn how to control the algae mainly because of all the posts on your web site.  I started off with Powder Brown tang, Coral Beauty, Six-line Wrasse, and a blenny (I cannot quite identify the species).  I also have a number of Blue Leg hermit crabs, three Astraea Cone head snails, and one Bumble Bee snail. In my quest for better water quality trying to eliminate green hair algae, I purchased from a LFS some macro algae and put it into the tank.  I did not quite know what sort of disease preventative measures I should take before putting it into the tank and so I just dumped it in.  A week later I noticed white spots that looked like grains of salts on my Tang and the Coral Beauty.  The Tang seemed to hang in front of the power heads, I guess attempting to get the parasites off.  I purchased a 20gal tank, moved the fish in and treated them with Cupramine.  I ended up losing the Coral Beauty right away.  Three weeks later I move the fish back to the display tank per advice I got in my LFS.  The week later the Tang showed the same symptoms again.  At that time I had to leave for a several days and did not have the time to repeat the treatment.  When I got back I noticed that most of the spots were gone.  I also noticed that they reappeared after a water change.  Also the Wrasse and the Blenny showed no signs of the disease.    Eventually I ended up repeating the treatment and lost the tang. <... your system actually has the ich infestation> A couple of month later without the Wrasse or the Blenny showing any sings of the disease, I purchased Yellow Tang from a different LFS and added it to the display tank.  The people in the store claim that they quarantine new fish they get and that they also use copper to prevent parasite infested fish to be sold to their customers. A week later I noticed the same white spots on the Tang. <Yes... again, your system has the resting stages and feeding ones cycling in/out... you must need remove the hosts (fishes), perhaps "speed things up" by elevating temperature, lowering spg... to cycle them, weaken them... get these stages out of your main system, while treating the fishes in your 20.> This time around I took the time to read up on treating Ick.  I moved all the fish to the quarantine tank and kept them in there for over five weeks (Oct. 29 - Dec. 5 according to my log).  I treated them with Cupramine using the manufacturer dosing recommendation (2 drops/gal on the 1st day, 1 drop/gal on the 3rd day). <Need to use a test kit... not just add indiscriminately (w/o testing)... as all cases/situations are different... and it is very easy to thus end up with too little, too much active ingredient (free cupric ion)>   The symptoms of the disease disappeared.  However, due to a faulty heater I almost electrocuted myself and lost the Wrasse and the Blenny. <Yikes!> The Tang developed HLLE that I hope can be reversed with better nutrition and water quality.   <Yes, you are correct> Also during the same time I slowly (over a period of 2 weeks) lowered the SPG in the display tank to 1.020 and increased the temperature to 83F. <Ahh, good... I would lower the spg even more... to 1.015 likely, or if there are no outward signs of stress (on the live rock etc.) down to 1.010> During the last couple of weeks in the quarantine tank the tang has not shown any symptoms of Ick.  I worked on getting the water parameters as close as possible in the two tanks before I moved the Tang back.  Yesterday, three days after the move, I noticed a few white spots on the tang again.  I will need to observer the Tang for another day to determine if the symptoms are the same. <Yes> Q: Is it possible for Cryptocaryon to survive this long without a host or did it somehow survived the copper treatment in the qt and showed itself only after the fish was moved back to the display tank? <Could be either one... a month (or longer) with the environmental manipulation you mention is generally long enough to eliminate all but the most entrenched, virulent populations of Cryptocaryon... but the dosing of copper products w/o concurrent testing... is fraught with danger> I am trying to figure out what to do next.  Should I repeat the same treatment and lower the SPG even more in the display tank? <Yes... and not to worry re doing this over a couple of weeks... w/o sensitive animals (like shrimps, crabs, mollusks) go ahead and lower it in a couple of days> Should I use copper more aggressively in the qt? <Mmm, not more aggressively... a physiological dose does all the good it can do... Much more is deadly... but allowing the cupric ion content/concentration to drop below the dosage alternatively does no good at all> Should I try to use a cleaner shrimp or Neon Blue Goby instead? <I wouldn't at this juncture... unless in your estimation the fish/es can't take more copper treatment> Now I know that the prevention is the key, but I would like to figure out how to deal with the disease without having to tear down and sterilize the system.  Any suggestions? <I would "go back" and try the treatment protocol in both the fallow main system and treatment/quarantine tank... with the lower spg, perhaps even a higher temperature (85 F), and using a copper test kit this time for the treatment tank.> Best regards, Petr <Press on my friend. You are on a path of utility. Bob Fenner>

Free Swimming Parasites in Infected Tank? Hello WWM Crew! I think your site is great, it is one of the most comprehensive sites on the aquarium hobby I have seen. Anyway I have a question. About 2 weeks ago, I had an ich outbreak in my 60 gallon which housed a dog faced puffer and a tomato clown. I quickly quarantined the fish and am hesitant to use copper in my main tank because of the live rock and things that live in it. <Agreed, I do not like to use copper in display tanks and would never use it in the presence of liverock.> I've decided to let the tank fallow for a few weeks <One full month, please else a few of the cysts may still survive to re-infect your fish.> and while I was looking at my tank, I could see these little white things floating around and a few of them were swimming. They looked like little oval dots with tiny tails. Could this be ich in its free swimming stage? <It would be difficult to impossible to see Cryptocaryon free swimming with the naked eye. It is much more likely that this is some sort of plankton. It is one of the indirect benefits of fallowing your tank. The populations of pods blossoms without your fish predators.> They almost look like baby sea monkeys. Any help is much appreciated! Ron <Best of luck to you with the Ich! -Steven Pro>

Attacking Ich! Hello Ladies and Gentlemen of the WWM Crew, Who do I have the honor of chatting with this morning? <Scott F.- honored to be with YOU!> The crazy seahorse lady here who has extended her addiction to Puffers.....Egads what's next? <Breeding pygmy angelfish, soft corals, stony corals, non-photosynthetic gorgonians...no stopping here!> I am curious about cleaner goby behavior. I have a little story before my questions...... I have a wild caught Gobiosoma randalli. I have been battling ich in a FOWLR tank for quite a while now. The 2 Dogface Puffers clear up for a couple of days and show symptoms again, on and off for 5 to 6 weeks. I tried everything that has been recommended........a specific gravity of 1.010 and a temp of 83,  garlic laced foods,  pepper based solutions  and Kick ich. They all seemed to help but not for long. I refused to go the copper route.  I was at my wits end. Out of desperation one day I decided to do something most would consider rather drastic. I removed all the substrate. I siphoned it out during a water change. I added a few large pieces of cured LR to  off set the loss of the bio filter I removed with the sand. The water quality has remained stable, without any spikes. The hyposalinity, elevated temp, removal of the substrate, running a UV 24/7, diatomaceous filtration 4 to 8 hours every few days, the addition of a cleaner goby, and daily FW dips for 30 min, which btw they loved they even ate in there had the most impact. My fish are finally free of any  signs of ich for about 2 weeks now. <There is a very good basis for what you did. Without going into a lot of detail here, it is theoretically possible to eliminate ich in a bare tank with nothing but massive daily water changes, siphoning from the bottom of the tank. The thought process here is that the ich "cysts" can be siphoned out of the tank as they enter their free swimming phase, and never get a chance to re-infect the fishes...It's not entirely that simple, but there is some merit to the idea...> I am nervous though, because the cleaner goby still spends time on the puffers. It is really pretty amazing to watch and  certainly a very interesting interaction.  I got a few really good photographs, should you be interested in posting any. The goby lays on top of these 2 big fat fish (well big and fat by comparison) and just picks or nibbles. The Puffers become almost motionless and just quietly hover in the water, absolutely still, almost like they are in a trance. The goby occasionally burrows inside the gill opening. 1/2 of his little body disappears and it looks like he is going to get lost in there. The Puffers do not appear to be bothered by the cleaner at all, as a matter of fact they look like they are enjoying it. <amazing behaviour to watch!> Do these little cleaners pick at more than parasites? What other parasite will they consume? <I couldn't give you an exact run down, to be quite honest, but let's assume that they could consume whatever parasites they could fit into their mouths...> Should I assume I still have a problem in my tank. There are a couple of other small fish who never showed any signs of ich and the cleaner never goes near them. So I am curious if they only clean infested/infected fish? <Tough call here. Even though your radical idea is effective at reducing ich, I'd have to say that the "infestation" is still in your system. The cysts can be in the rock, and lots of other possible "hiding places", if you've removed the substrate. I really think that the most effective simple technique for reliably reducing the parasite count is to leave the tank "fallow", without fishes, for a month or so, as the parasite population will crash for want of hosts. Not 100% perfect, but very, very effective!> Is the diatom filter effective in removing any other pathogens, besides the free swimming stage of ich? <Well- "pathogens" is a pretty broad description...Let's just say that it can do an effective job of eliminating the tomonts after they leave the fish and settle on the substrate, if you siphon from there> How long do you think I should wait before adding new substrate? I am planning on using one of the commercially available bio active sands...like Natures Ocean. <All depends on when you feel a "cure" has been achieved...One month, two months...really hard to predict, unfortunately> Do you have any idea if the old sand could safely ever be reused? I rinsed in for a long time in FW, until the water ran clean and clear. Then I laid it thinly spread out on cookie sheets to dry in the sun.    <Some people would even go so far as to bleach it, put it in a tank with chlorine remover, change water, and filter with PolyFilters, etc...If it were me- I'd treat it like toxic waste for some time! Certainly a wasteful thing to do, I know- but, as you are aware- once you've been through an ich battle, you'll do just about anything to avoid having it happen again!> Thanks so much for your time and help, Leslie <And thanks to you Leslie- for stopping by! Good luck with your treatment efforts!>

Puffer With Ich Recently I emailed you guys about my puffer getting stuck in my uv sterilizer pump, well now he has healed up great, but now has a pretty good case of ich.  I just came off a week of using Melafix, and performed about a 20 percent water change for the wound.  Now I want to address the ich problem, tonight I soaked his food in garlic juice.  The remainder of the fish have no signs of ich.  The ich on the puffer has reached his eye.  In addition I have one star polyp and 1 xenia. I would like to keep them.  Plus I don't have a separate tank, and at this time of year I don't know whether I can afford another one, however this is my favorite fish. Thanks a ton. David White, Ann Arbor MI <Well, David- treating ich really requires a separate aquarium to do the job. My concern is that once ich is in your system, the parasites have the potential to affect all of the fishes unless you treat them, or leave the tank "fallow" for at least a month to deprive the causative parasites their hosts, the fishes. If you absolutely cannot get a treatment tank for these fishes, perhaps you could try an inexpensive plastic garbage can, or a Rubbermaid type container of known volume, equipped with a simple inside filter and heater? Copper sulphate is the generally accepted treatment for ich, and should never be administered in the display tank, particularly if you have inverts and corals present. Garlic as a treatment is not 100% proven to be effective. Much of the evidence for garlic's use as an ich "treatment" is anecdotal. In theory, a substance produced by crushing fresh garlic has some properties which can mask the receptor mechanism of the parasites, making them unable to find their hosts. While the theory seems to have some validity, much more refinement and research is yet to be done before garlic can be considered a "treatment", rather than a preventative. I guess another treatment option would be daily freshwater dips of the puffer for about 5 minutes, if you cannot treat him in another tank. Do keep a careful eye on the other fishes in the tank...There is a distinct possibility that they may become infected, too. Please do not use one of the allegedly "reef safe" treatments- they can be really ineffective and wasteful, IMO. Do some research on ich in the wetwebmedia.com site using the Google search feature for more info. Good luck!  Regards,  Scott F>

Re: help---ick!! I have a question about running a QT tank. I will get to it toward the end..... I bought the one I have being that my pink/yellow damsel came down with ick (not sure) but also had a worm like parasite coming from behind its anal fin.  It seemed to be doing great after isolation (QT tank with coral substrate wrapped up in a bag and pantyhose for biological help, 2 coral skeletons from the main tank and pvc for hiding) for 2 wks in hypo (also medicated with formalin) but then overnight, came down with the heavy breathing, not eating, staying on the bottom and leaning over on its side and  the worm looking parasite appeared again and it passed away :( We also lost another damsel that we introduced to the main tank with a green Chromis it was paired with prior that also had the same symptoms and died- before we had a QT tank or even knew what one was. I think that is how the pink/ yellow one became exposed and probably all my other tank mates?) Just so you know , the Chromis is still alive with no problems, yet?..... Anyway, I have a salt tank 30 gal.- with mostly natural biological filter substrate (live sand 5 " deep), about 50 lbs live rock, some coral skeletons, and some crushed coral substrate (wrapped in a holding bag surrounded in pantyhose tied up) as an additional biological filter aid. Heater, power head (with additional filter to help keep clean) and a Skilter 250 filter / protein skimmer with added aeration stones. All parameters of the tank are good , ammonia is 0-but the nitrites have been high so there have been 25% water changes (don't know what else to do to help lower?) It has slowly been coming down, I check every day and do water changes still every 2 days. <I would lose the crushed coral in the bag (traps too much crud) and really work on cleaning the filter regularly (in old tank water) being careful to not cross-contaminate between your main tank and quarantine tank. I would rely on LS and LR for bio-filtration/metabolism.> Well, that damsel was never introduced back into the main tank due to its passing. But it was in the main tank from the beginning/ start-up. We got the tank already set up and running for about a year from a friend. We saved everything- the tank water, the live rock , the fish, the invertebrates, the crushed coral she used a substrate. We added the live sand as a biological filter aid and kept the coral in the bagging to aid the bacterial growth too since it was already cycled in that original tank. All the fish were also hers-consisting of the pink damsel, a yellow tang, and two horse shoe crabs. Everything was up and running for about 3 weeks and we went out to get some reef janitors- snails(3), hermit crabs(8) and one common cleaner wrasse. <These don't do well at all in captivity. Please read about any future planned inhabitants at WetWebMedia.com, just type name in google search and read article links. Cleaner Wrasses are endangered in the wild and should be left there. Cleaner Gobies are captive bred, inexpensive and fairly hardy for their 1-2 year life span.> Well, Im new at all this- didn't know about hypo or QT tanks or anything until after I lost the damsels; and I didn't know about QT'ing them prior to introduction/ acclimation to the main tank. I only thought it was for QT'ing after they showed signs of illness etc. So, needless to say, the cleaners were never introduced to the QT, hypo or isolation. They have been in my tank now for about a week and I noticed my yellow tang which she had for almost 2 years, has become pale in color yesterday, would scrape against the rocks, breathing heavily and would stay in a corner at the bottom of the tank. Would still eat it and when the cleaner wrasse would come out- it would follow it everywhere but when the wrasse hid, my tang would hide back in the corner with fast gilling. So this evening we gave it a freshwater dip-7-10 min.s- maintained the same temp and ph and then put it back home with the lights out. Now its just lying against the live rock on its side. The flakes on its fins are still apparent- thought it might have had some gill flukes or something else suffocating it. Well won't tell if it helped until I continue to "eye" it. I pray it makes it, I hate to see these creatures get yanked from its true homes to live in captivity only to suffer and succumb to death! My question is what do I do now? The QT tank water parameters are fine but being the damsel just passed, I didn't want to QT the tang into a more parasitic environment or a place where I had medications and a recently dead fish! <Change out the QT water to remove most of the formalin, medicate with copper as per the copper pages on WetWeb, leave salinity alone for now, raise temp to 83F. Test copper level (0.25ppm) twice daily, and ammonia/nitrites daily. Change water to maintain water quality in QT.  NO ROCK, SAND, etc. Just PVC, plastic hiding places, bare bottom tank. Place all fish in QT for two weeks copper and two weeks no copper to observe if successful with treatment.> Am I supposed to start the QT tank over? <Yes, with all fish as per WWM copper/QT pages.> Run it as a hypo tank? or cycle it as a normal salt tank to isolate any future fish? <Leave both (main and QT) normal SG.> Can live rock or substrate be placed in a QT tank to help it cycle, do you have to remove these prior to hypo or can the be in hypo? <Leave in main tank for one month fallow period without fish. Inverts, rock, etc are fine in main.> Also, the skeleton coral that were in the QT tank were placed back in the main salt tank. Did I just give a death sentence to the rest of the tank mates? <No, since you are going to treat all. Please do not cross contaminate once you start the QT.  All buckets, nets, containers MUST be separate or cleaned and sterilized before use.> Should I go ahead and clean the QT, then quarantine my tang with hypo for 3 weeks? <Yes for all fish. No hyposalinity, just copper and 83F.> What do I do with my salt tank? Do I need to remove all the fish into QT since they probably have been exposed & do hypo? Do I need to go out a buy 3 more QT tanks or can they be QT'd together? <If it's large enough they can all be together.  It doesn't have to be an aquarium, it can be a Rubbermaid container. Just leave your main tank fallow of fish for one month and feed the shrimp, crabs, etc as normal.> Should I freshwater dip all the other fish now? (the Chromis, cleaner wrasse) Should I put my live rock in there too or leave in the main tank? <No. This is stressful and the copper will take care of it. Do NOT dip or treat your live rock with anything. Just leave it for the one month.> If I take all the fish out for 3 weeks so the parasites, ick, have no host will they die or still live due to having the crabs ,hermits, and snails and substrate/ live rock present? <They (ick) will die.> Should I hypo my main salt tank with the live rock in there and if so, what am I supposed to do with the invertebrates? <Not necessary, just leave fallow. The inverts stay home and relax while the fish are at the spa.> ANY advise, help, step by step instructions you can offer would be of great help at this point. I DO NOW know that I will freshwater dip EVERYTHING (even my live rock) I obtain and QT with hypo for 3-4 weeks before putting in the main tank. <Please do not!!! Some fish do well with freshwater dips and some do not. Please read the quarantine section of WetWebMedia.com (just type quarantine, ick, or copper in the google search engine). All of your fish and corals should be quarantined for at least two weeks to be sure they are healthy before being introduced into your main tank. ALL fish get QT. Don't dip or treat your live rock, you will kill the life on it you paid dearly to get and preserve. It's easy enough to keep rock in a chem free QT or Rubbermaid container until it's safe to add.> But for now- how do I get my main salt tank safe , my QT tank optimal and my fish quarantined/ disease free? Thanks so much for your time!  Sheri <Follow above and check out WetWebMedia.com quarantine/copper and ick links and FAQs.  There is much help there as well.  Best of luck!  Craig>

Copper usage Hi again Anthony. I understand the problems of coppering most display systems; as it happens, I have very little substrate, although a fair amount of rockwork; <Yes... all calcareous media is a problem: sand, rock, gravel, shells, coral skeletons, etc. More importantly, any substrate beyond a bare glass bottom is an invitation for larval parasites to fester and develop> I have always thought that, assuming the parasites (e.g. ich) are discovered on day one (i.e. as they are first attaching) a shot of copper maintained for a day or two would slow them down enough to keep them off at least some of the fish. Is this wasted effort? <yes, my friend. You are mistaken. Infections begin in the gills and soft tissues as much as two weeks before a single spot is observed on the exterior of the fish. And the life cycle of many is well under 24 hours for some... so your chances of catching them with copper are unrealistic> I am really not a big fan of any medication, and in my experience long-term copper ( even the 14 day treatments) too often result in a fish that never eats again, <agreed... it concentrates in their flesh. A precarious pickle... not enough is useless and too much kills all. I personally never use copper... ever. FW and Formalin baths for my fishes. No "biomagnification" here> particularly with smaller specimens and angels. <yes... angels are ultra copper sensitive, agreed> But I would appreciate your thoughts on this question: do you think ich, crypt, Ood and the like are always inevitably present, waiting for a trigger? <yes... no such thing as a sterile fish, dog or human> Or are there truly (possible) parasite-free systems? <impossible> This business of temperature change as a common trigger bugs me; I do a fair amount of collecting on vacations, mostly snorkeling in 4 to 10 feet of water, and the temp changes are considerable, especially near shore; then again, I can remember several years ago meeting a lot of Moorish idols who loved wonder bread; quite a difference a closed system makes. <many flaws to this theory here and real scientific data in closed systems exists (redundantly) to quantify the effects of temperature on rates of pathogenic incidence. We cannot possibly compare the ocean to a closed system when aquariums have so many parameters deficient compared to the large stable open ocean (which boosts fishes immunity). Oxygen saturation (HUGE difference here between home and ocean), DOC levels, etc. Furthermore... of the hundreds of species you see in the shallows, how many of them actually stay there during low tide, monsoon rains and hurricanes. And how many (most!) move down the reef nightly and as necessary. We could go on for quite a while here <G>>. Good question though. Thoughtful indeed> But I would love to have system where little accidents could happen without the revenge of the parasites. Do such exist?   <yep... huge understocked aquariums. An old story but tried and true> Thanks again, Steve. <kind regards, Anthony>

Strange infection Hi Anthony, thanks for your thoughts. The French actually was QT'd I just didn't think to mention it; <good to hear my friend. Still unusual for it to show after 4 weeks in QT. Quite rare in fact unless the QT was abbreviated> his recent addition was noted because, in my experience, any deviation from routine is suspect. Anyway, he made it into the system because he kept swimming into my net in the Keys; <Awww...that's really cool/cute! :)  > I thought leaving him would be bad karma. <indeed... someone has to rescue the mentally compromised fishes from the reefs <G>> I hope the friendly personality will persist. If not, the 10" clown trigger will probably keep him in line ( I know, I know, but he grew up in the tank from 1" with the rest and, alas, took on his owner's calm and amiable disposition) <ughhh... no comment> WRT the longnose, the spots tripped the panic alarm; I know not to wait with ich and its like, and moving everybody out isn't doable; <understood... but everybody doesn't need to be removed. Just the afflicted. The unaffected will simply navigate the 4 week absence (hopefully) as unsuitable hosts while the infected cures in QT> I dosed the 180 with Cupramine per the mfg instructions. <Oh... no. Where to begin... Ahhh. Copper is very limited in efficacy as a rule. Great for a few parasites and useless for most others. It is never to be dosed in a display with rock, gravel or sand. You would literally have to dose and test copper 2-3 times daily to maintain therapeutic levels. My guess is that your substrate is simply sopping up copper (not effective) and the fish can only hope to cure on their own> Its been 5 days now and everybody else is still clean; the longnose "spots" have consistently remained (i.e. no drop off apparent) but have reduced considerably in size; his behavior has returned to normal although he has yet to resume eating. If I don't see continuing improvement, I'll try getting him out; your draw-down idea makes sense; the garbage cans I figured, pickle barrels would not have entered my thoughts. I still would like to know what this stuff is and the trigger, but I understand the difficulties. <I do wish I could help you. Alas... it could be so many things from the general description. Do seek Untergasser's Handbook of Fish Diseases (TFH). A nice inexpensive book with great photos for reference. Else Noga's new work for the current info> By the way, I just recently discovered your site, and more than anything else appreciate what seems to be the underlying philosophy, that we are dealing with living, often intelligent creatures which deserve our best efforts. <Thank you kindly my friend... and compadre in salty arms <G>> Too many people only out there for the buck; I've been in the hobby since the mid-sixties, and I've lost my share of fish, but never for lack of trying; people who knowingly market bogus treatments should be warehoused with the rest of society's vermin.   <You've met Marc Weiss? Used Melafix... heehee. I suspect> Regards to all of you, Steve. <with kind regards, Anthony>

White spot on my blue tangs. hi there...sorry to bother u... I am just beginner on marine reef. I just  recently bought 3" blue tangs <Tangs? Not tang? You mean more than one?> for my 33gallon tank <Uh-Oh!> before I put him to my tank. I just changed the water after 5 hr then I put my blue tangs inside my tank. After 2 days I saw white spot on the body but the tangs seem good in swimming and eating very well only the white spot on his body. what should I do? <One white spot? Watch carefully for a while. I wouldn't worry too much about one spot. However, these fish are known as "ich magnets" and it is certainly possible this fish may have ich. He needed to be placed in a quarantine tank before being placed in your main display> must  I change the water? I check the NO2 and its ok. What is the problem bob and what must I do? <My friend...I see a couple of problems...Your tank is really too small to house a blue tang long term. I  know it probably looks like it's doing alright now but he will grow...up to 12"! Here's my advice: Before purchasing any other fish get a good fish book. Michael Scott has a book called "Marine Fishes". It's a small pocket size book that is needed by virtually all hobbyists. Secondly...you also need a good book on husbandry techniques. I suggest Bob Fenner's book "The Conscientious Aquarist". Lastly, peruse the wetwebmedia.com facts and articles section to learn the basics about aquarium setup, water chemistry, aquarium husbandry and much, much, more! David Dowless> thanks <You're welcome! Keep reading and learning!>

Treating Ich Naturally Hey Crew...Ok having read much of your FAQs and writing to you previously regarding my Ich problem. I am decided in attacking it thusly and would appreciate your input; Tank BIO: 150 REEF SG: 1.024 Temp: 78-80 PH: 8 - 8.3 Asfur Angel Sohal Tang Potter's Angel Pygmy Angler Blue throat trigger 1. Gonna compliment the 3 cleaner shrimp with some gobies. How many do you think I need? Should I buy more cleaner shrimp too? Problem is that the Angler will eat the gobies...probably while trying to clean the poor frog! <Possibly. They are pretty fast! You could go with two or three gobies and maybe five shrimp in 150 gallons. You will need to feed them, likely with your fish. 2. What Diatomaceous Filter do you recommend. Do they all work the same? Without endorsing can you just give me the first letter of the manufacturer you would use? Furthermore when should the filter be used? <They all work more or less the same, some with a pleated paper filter that can eliminate the need to use diatomaceous earth in your marine tank (diatoms). Size, set-up and flow rate are other considerations you need to make. This isn't really necessary, IMO. Look at any of our fine WetWebMedia sponsors, they all stand behind their products.> 3. Tetra Medicated? I cant seem to locate this food. <Try E-bay or your oldest local fish store. My fish store just stocked up with a new batch for $3.79 each, so they are still out there and well worth every penny. This alone can cure ick if it is the only food and your fish like it. Mine act addicted to it. The active ingredient is Metronidazole, or Flagyl, and it is a very effective antiprotozoal.> 4. Will also try that Kent Marine Garlic marinade. <I'm not a big believer in garlic for ick and I wouldn't goof up the medicated food with an unknown.> 5. Where should I float my temperature and SG without damaging the Monti. Caps. and various Acro. Sp.? <83F and no change to SG.  Hope this helps you out!  Craig>

QT for corals and ick Hi, am curious if Ick comes in with corals and the corals are put in quarantine for 4 weeks will the Ick die off or can it survive on the corals and still enter the main system even after the 4 weeks of quarantine?  Thanks again, Jeff <Hi Jeff, Without a fish host it is unlikely that ick (usually on the live rock mount) will survive this QT. It's not impossible but highly unlikely.  Not to worry, your plan is quite safe. Craig>

Ich Attacks... I had the old 40 gal. tank and moved up to a 75 gal. tank, (two weeks ago) added live sand and the sand added ick to my system. I finally had  to move my hippo tang to a 5 gal. tank and treat with copper. He was at the cleaner shrimp all the time but they couldn't keep up with the ick. <Well- they probably helped a bit...> He had eaten much the last two days before I moved him to the 5 gal. tank. I moved him wed. night and now it is sat. morning and he seems to have most of the ick gone....but his whole body color is splotchy and not the deep blue color. He has eaten just a little bit in the 5 gal. tank. He is naturally a very shy fish and I wondered if I could move him back to the main tank sooner  because the small tank wasn't cycled and the ammonia goes up to 1.0 and I change 1-2 gal. water a day. I know he is suppose to be in there 7-14 days...but I think his stress level is a lot higher in the small tank (besides the ammonia level). <This might be one of the rare occasions that I'd recommend purchasing a commercial nitrifying bacterial product to "jump start" the nitrite cycle in this tank. As you postulate, the added stress from ammonia is certainly not going to do this fish any good.> I wondered if the cleaner shrimp could take care of  rest of the ick if I put him back in the main tank  now, or tomorrow. The coral beauty in my main tank goes to the shrimp but I don't notice ick on him and my cardinal fish has had a few spots, but I can't see anything this morning. Of course my temperature in my main tank is 82 . I wondered how low my salinity can go with a cleaner and fire shrimp? Thanks for all of your help, Cheryl <Well, Cheryl, unfortunately, the life cycle of the ich parasite requires the full 14 day plus treatment to eradicate the disease successfully. The parasites enter a free swimming stage early in the life cycle, which will give you the impression that you've cured the fish, but this is not the case. Please do water changes in this tank, maintain proper therapeutic copper levels, and stay with the treatment course. Also, I'm concerned about the presence of ich in the main tank. As I've often advised people, you really need to remove all of the fishes from the main tank and begin observation and/or treatment in a hospital tank, and to let the main tank sit "fallow" for about a month without fish. This will interrupt the life cycle of the ich parasites in the tank, and the population will crash for lack of a suitable host. Keep a close eye on your fishes, and hang in there! Good luck! Scott F.>

Cryptocaryon:  light infestation Dear Mr. Fenner <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am an avid fan of your site and have read your  wonderful book, <excellent my friend... we are all fans and students of life <G>> I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I have kept marines for many years and currently have a 5000 litre system consisting of fish ,live rock and mushroom anemones and 3 bubble tip anemones and about 19 cleaner shrimps 3 of which are Scarlets cleaners and the rest are the usual common striped Lysmata from the indo-pacific, the tank has been running for 9 months since I drained it and redid it due to a leak in the fiberglass lining , the current stock  of fish are a large clown triggerfish about 20 cm (very good nature doesn't harm cleaners or mushroom or bubble anemones at all nor any of the other fish though he is boss of the tank when I try to clean it he does attack the cleaning poles in his territory), <yes! They have intelligent and interesting personalities> a queen angelfish, a asfur angel, a rock beauty, a flame angel, a bicolor angel ,a majestic angel (navarchus), a French angel and a passer angel, <My goodness... that really is too many angels to put together. It really is an unnatural and high stress environment> 2 common clowns who live in green bubble tip anemone and one maroon clown , his female was bullied to death by the commons but now there is  more peaceful situation with him alone and he resides in a large rose bubble tip anemone, an Atrosalarias (brown), Salarias fasciatus, watchman goby, harlequin tusk and the real bully of the tank a purple tang who thinks sometimes he can take on the trigger too sometimes. Some of the fish are really old approaching 8 years in my care and thus I estimate they are probably over 10 years old as they were full grown or haven't grown much since I got them. <good to hear about their age> My conditions are quite good ph8.3, ammonia 0 , nitrite 0, nitrate 5.5 ppm kH 10 and calcium is 300ppm sg, 1.023. I use natural seawater which I collect from our public aquarium on the waterfront in Cape Town I store this for 2 weeks before I use it and I keep it circulated and aerated in dark container during this time I change about 1000 litre of water a month, <it would be nice to see more frequent and larger water changes to help growth and water quality even more, but you clearly do have a successful tank overall. Kudos to you my friend> and I use a large Sander venturi skimmer 9ft tall and small red sea Berlin one which I run ozone in controlled with Redox controller. <all good> I am fanatical about quarantine and have 3 quarantine tanks all the fish in my main tank including live rock, anemones and shrimps are quarantined for between 2 weeks in case of invertebrates and rock to 4 weeks for the fish, <excellent!> I am very much against using medicine ( most time I find they do more harm than good) and prefer lowered salinity to help combat parasites if they appear in quarantine time. <agreed for many cases> Despite these efforts I believe I introduced a form of Cryptocaryon to the tank when I added 50 kilograms of live rock which was held in a container for 2weeks) <inevitable, but yes... 4 weeks is a minimum for running fallow in QT> to the system over a month ago to supplement the 100 kilograms already in the tank and to create new territories for the fish, I have lost no fish and none are scratching but I see the odd spot like one or two occasionally on the tang and on the trigger and harlequin tusk, the angels for the most part seem  free of spots but they probably do have some I cant see. I have seen the fish especially the trigger make use of the substantial number of cleaner shrimps in the tank and am thinking that my ozone use is maybe keeping the numbers of parasites low,  also since I noticed the spots I started feeding them pellets soaked in garlic and vitamins. but it seems the spots come and go as the parasite is going through its life cycle, I  wondered if you could suggest something I could do to further reduce the parasite levels in the tank. Leaving it without fish is not a great option as I don't have sufficient space to house all in my QT tanks, l <understood... and it would not guarantee eradication anyway> lowering salinity might help but I fear it may harm my mushroom and bubble tip anemones and my substantial number of cleaner shrimps, <agreed. It will harm the invertebrates and is only therapeutic, but not likely to effect a cure> None of the fish are showing any stress besides the odd spot and all are eating well, but if you could give me any additional advice as to how I might clear the spots I would be very grateful to receive it. Yours Sincerely, Shawn  <alas... there is no clear solution. It is not likely to be rid entirely from any system, good husbandry and water quality to boost immunity instead is a better route. You have a very fine system otherwise outside of the unnatural concentration of like and competitive species. I am quite certain that you will always have a recurrence of this problem for the elevated stress of the tankmates mixed. Your tank is quite large, there are an enormous number of cleaner shrimps, you are using ozone and skimming properly. Short of larger water changes (sterilized of course) and less fish in the tank, I don't expect that you could reduce the persistence of the parasite easily. I also don't think it will present any significant problem with your continued good water quality. Best regards, Anthony>

Big Tang, Reef, What Size Trouble? Dear Bob & Co., Probably asking for it but here we go. Bought a Sohal Tang that was 1 week at the LFS. Brought it home into my QT for 2 weeks but never made it. Didn't find any fare I offered palatable for one week though appeared healthy. Worried and sympathetic I grabbed it and tossed it into my main tank (150g FULL BLOWN REEF, assorted Acro sp., Monti. sp, LPS, clams, Asfur Angel (3in) Potter's (2in), Yellow Tang (1.5 in), Blue-throat Trig (2in), pair of Nigripes Clowns (1 in), and a small toad angler (2 in), shoal of green Chromis (for the angler)). Ok 2 days later the Sohal busts out with ICH. I've been in this hobby for sometime and know the mistakes I have made in this case. On the positive side the Sohal is munching everything green, red, or brown that is algae in the tank. Such a proficient grazer, but is yet to eat anything offered. About 3 days later the Asfur, Yellow tang, and Trigger started to show same symptoms but to a much less degree (scattered dots, perhaps 10 on each fish). Checked water chemistry knowing things will be stable and they were. So far I am in the second week of this...fish do not seem stressed at all...no scratching, heavy breathing, flashing, fighting. ( I think I am very lucky to have what appears to be only white-spot disease (Cryptocaryon), as opposed to velvet (Amyloodinium) which I understand will kill in combination. I tried to use a hand magnifier but couldn't see any white dusting). They do the same dance when I walk by, thrashing about in anger...FEED ME PLEASE!!!!This morning the fish outside of the Sohal seems to be recovered from the dots. But I do know that they (dots) are most likely in the free swimming stage, going to reproduce. Im not panicked because with each of these cycles of dots to no dots...the dots seem less and less, in fact the clowns showed no symptoms at all. But will this cycle be ongoing perpetually for the life of this tank or its inhabitants? Will someday one side succumb to the other? Sans regular maintenance what else can I do? Regards, Dennis <Alright Dennis, I'll spare berating you for doing something you know is not very bright...... I MUST wonder with all you have invested, what on earth were you thinking? Do you gamble? Anyway, aside from a torturous teardown, I would get a few cleaner shrimp, a few cleaner gobies, and some medicated Tetra Antiparasitic food and go for it for a couple of weeks.  Feed nothing but the medicated food according to label directions. I break it into smaller bits for smaller fish. If this doesn't work, then it's QT and copper time for one and all and at least one month of no fish in your reef.  Tell me you won't do this again! No more Russian Roulette!   Craig>  

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