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FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis Phony/Non-Cures 1

Related Articles: Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts, Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes,

Related FAQs: Bunk Crypt Non-Cures 2, Bunk Crypt Non-Cures 3, Bunk Crypt Non-Cures 4, & 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 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Cures That Do Work, Hyposalinity & Ich, & Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine 1, Quarantine 2, Quarantine 3, Quarantine 4, Quarantine 5, Quarantine 6, Quarantine 7, Quarantine 8, Quarantine 9, Quarantine 10, Quarantine 11, Quarantine 12, Quarantining Invertebrates,

NOT Recommended: There is NO such thing as effective AND "reef-safe" medication. NONE. RXP... X for experimental? "Kick-Ich", kicks nothing Garlic, best applied to pizza, not a cure. Melafix, not a fix. "Vital", Reef DNA... Not! Probiotic Marine Formula, No-Ich, Hydroplex, Oodinex, Marine Immune Plus, and Marine-Max... "chemical free!" Herbs? Tasty! Crypt can't be practically filtered or UV'd out Re: Cleaner Organisms: Shrimp, Wrasses... Will help, won't cure. Organicure... contains... Formalin... a toxic biocide Magnets? You're joking.

Hydrogen peroxide for Cryptocaryon?      01/17/19
Hi all,
Have you ever tried using sunrise and sunset doses of hydrogen peroxide to eliminate crypto?
<No... and would not recommend it. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizer. It could potentially kill the parasite at certain stages of its life cycle, and it might work for killing the parasite on the fish.
However, you would need to apply this treatment outside the main system and would be completely guessing at the dose since, to my knowledge, no one has conducted a thorough study to establish an effective non-lethal dosing schedule. Thus, I would advise you to stick with the tried and true method
of putting all the fish in a QT tank (with copper and/or reduced salinity) for 6-8 weeks. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm>
Matt Parsons
Re: Hydrogen peroxide      01/17/19

Good afternoon Bob. I just have a follow up question regarding dosing hydrogen peroxide. In our earlier messages you said to monitor my ORP while dosing.
<Yes; can drop immediately and dangerously low>
What I am finding is that the HP almost immediately shaves 80-100 points off my ORP reading. I normally run at about 360-380 ORP and within minutes after dosing HP it drops to 300-280. It takes about 6 hours to climb back up to the 360-380 range. What exactly am I looking for with the ORP while dosing HP?
<This exactly. I would NOT have ORP drop more than 100 units (micro-siemens/cm.) per dose>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hydrogen peroxide for Cryptocaryon?      01/17/19

Yes I'm talking about in quarantine. I have a 7 tank quarantine system to treat all fish. All bare bottom, PVC pipe, separate filtration each, etc.
<Sounds great.>
I do this for a living.
<Ah, then I expect you know what you're doing.>
I usually use copper. I started experimenting with reef medic by PolypLab which is a peroxide salt based treatment, and it did eliminate most cases of crypto in my QTs over the past 10 months.
<Would you mind elaborating on that? When you say "over the past 10 months," does that mean it took 10 months for the Ick to clear? Or are you simply saying that you've been using PolypLab, as needed, for 10 months now? Also, did you use the PolypLab alone? (i.e. without hyposalinity or copper?) If you used the PolypLab in addition to hyposalinity and/or copper, how can you be sure it made a difference? Did the parasite clear faster? These are not rhetorical questions. I am curious to know.>
I could set up a bubble magus dosing pump to deliver the peroxide at the time of excystment before dawn. The oxidising effect could eliminate the swimming stages before they could reinfection the fish.
<Interesting idea! Now, if only you had a device and software capable of automated biological image analysis to evaluate the tomite population in treated vs. untreated QT tanks and in each over time. Do you happen to have any friends studying aquaculture technology at a university?>
<Cheers, SaraL.>
Re: Hydrogen peroxide for Cryptocaryon?      01/17/19

I used the PolypLab reef medic without any hyposalinity or any other methods. I do love hyposalinity, but I have found it does not give a 100% cure. It is very positive for the health of the fish, and will eliminate
visible traces of the protozoan, but it's just treated as a stall tactic now.
I used the PolypLab on 9 groups of fish in quarantine over the past 10 months. In 7 cases, I had complete elimination of the disease and the fish moved onto their display tanks with no additional sign of recurrence of the disease.
<The trouble with any observational data involving treatments for this parasite is that fish can, and often do, recover/resist infection all on their own when provided a low-stress environment for a sufficient period of time. Honestly, I personally believe that wherever there are fish, there is Cryptocaryon irritans. It's simply a matter of the relative strength/health of the fish vs. the parasite. All the things we do to manage this problem are, in essence, methods for weakening the parasite and strengthening the fish.>
Unfortunately this morning, I visited a 6 month old display tank, where all fish were treated 2x per day by me with PolypLab for a minimum of 4 weeks in quarantine, and I see the telltale signs of crypto on a powder blue and an Emperor angel which means the PolypLab failed. I use a flashlight at night to check for signs of the disease religiously, and all fish that went into that tank were clear.
<It happens - again, I do believe this parasite is virtually ubiquitous.>
Also- I was given a batch of fish (2 clowns, 1 coral beauty angel, 1 bristle tail file, 1 cardinal, 1 ytang) that were completely healthy.
<Or seemed so>
They went into quarantine, and we're dosed with PolypLab 2x daily (due to my abundance of caution). And amazingly, after 2 weeks with no symptoms, one morning the clowns were covered in white frost, and the next day the yt died. Copper stopped it within a day and rest of fish are healthy.
<Good to know you were able to save the rest.>
So PolypLab is out and I'm back to copper, but I keep wanting to find something potentially less toxic.
<I highly recommend adding a canister filter with a micro filter and diatom powder to the QT tanks. Diatom powder can/does filter out the swimming stage of the parasite. Obviously, it's not going to catch every last one of them, but if you really don't want to use copper, diatom powder + hypo-salinity should do the trick.>
Re: Hydrogen peroxide for Cryptocaryon?      01/17/19

I half agree with you on the ubiquity of crypto, and I half disagree. And I disagree because of my experience with Acanthurus surgeonfishes.
<Well, perhaps I should have qualified... I believe the parasite, in some stage or another, and to some degree or another, is present in something like 98-99% of systems with fish.>
I have kept several powder blues and Achilles tangs in tanks with zero symptoms for years, however over the long term, it's very hard to maintain that level of perfection. All of those fish are currently showing spots, but it's not currently dragging them down. In the case of my clients absolute diamond of an Achilles tang, we had it for over two years with zero spots. Last winter, a car plowed into a neighbour's business, and killed his power. Neighbor had a reef tank that had crypto infection 3 years earlier. All fish had been removed and treated, tank remained fallow for over 8 weeks. Fish back in, crypto never seen again.
<You tell an interesting tale - but "never seen again" doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't there.>
Fast forward to car crash- I took all fish home for care during power outage. Neighbor and client took liverock from neighbours tank and placed directly into Achilles reef sump. Two weeks later Achilles showed spots that have been present ever since.
<Are you sure it's Cryptocaryon? I'll concede it's an intriguing/suspicious coincidence... but seems odd the fish would have it, uninterrupted, for so long.
Sara L.>
Re: Hydrogen peroxide for Cryptocaryon?      01/17/19

"if only you had a device and software capable of automated biological image analysis to evaluate the tomite population in treated vs. untreated QT tanks and in each over time. Do you happen to have any friends studying aquaculture technology at a university?"
I don't know anyone studying aquaculture anymore. I used to know people who knew people who were involved at UNH, but those days are long gone.
<Hmm, well, if you are super ambitious, you might make due with a centrifuge and a good microscope, count the tomites in a sample volume and do an estimation...>
I may mess around with this and try and come up with a protocol to control crypto with cheap, safe hydrogen peroxide.
I'll drop you a line if I get some good results.
<Please do. Oh, and please do also see BobF's remarks/response in the dailies today to another gentleman also asking about hydrogen peroxide. DO be sure to monitor ORP as you experiment! Also, again, I do suggest you try using a diatom filter - or just a canister filter with a micro filter and diatom powder. I used to work at a LFS and one of my jobs, every morning, was to change out the diatom in the canister filters on all the tanks with newly unpacked livestock. I tell you honestly, I don't recall that we ever had an issue with Ick that lasted more than a week.>
<And to you,
Matt Parsons
Re: Hydrogen peroxide for Cryptocaryon?      01/17/19

Yes the Achilles has had uninterrupted symptoms of crypto ever since. About 14 months now.
<Seems like a long time - I would have expected it to either get worse or go away. ::shrug::

Ich Issues
Ok Gents, first off great website and great info but couldnt really find anything on the followingOk we have a 270gallon system with several predators inside. 4 eels (yellow head, Black ribbon and Zebra) 2 Stone fish
and a Volitan Lion fish. Also in the same tank some yellow wrasses (eventual feed for the stone fish) and quit a bit of Blennies a small Red Grouper and a small panther grouper both last aditions.
The tank has a sand bed and some life rock though not too much.
Parameters are OK though Nitrates seem to spike sometimes but all the rest is OK. This tank has turned into the predator tank due to lingering ICH issues through the years which turned it into what it is now. ICH has never
been properly removed.
<Crypt is VERY hard to eradicate from a system once entrenched>
Now the idea would be to remove the entire sandbed leave the life rock and leave the eels and Rock fish only as they seem not effected by any of the ICH issues Both groupers and the Lionfish seem to suffer most from the ICH.
So remove all other fish and leave the tank without any other fish except for the Eels and Rock fish for about 2 months.Would this eradicate the ICH issue or can ICH survive with the Eels and rock fish inside?
<Won't; no>
I was of the assumption that ICH has no effect on those fish?
<They can/do act as reservoir hosts>
But can the ICH survive with them present so not that after 2 months we add fish (properly quarantined now) to the display and ICH breaks out again...?
<Can and will>
Please advise and Thank you as always from Thailand
<Take the long read on WWM re this ciliate. Bob Fenner>

Ich issue... Crypt, Acanthurids, using WWM       2/10/15
Sent from my iPad. Hi, my name is Shelley and I have questions about ich.
Last month I purchased some new fish that have been in quarantine. My new clown was starting to show signs of ich so I started using Herbtana
<Mmm; not a fan... this "herbal" remedy is just not reliable... operates only within a narrow range of water parameters, conditions... Has just been proven itself as a cure>

in the qt. well, I think I cross contaminated with my dt because my Atlantic blue tang is showing signs. His eyes are cloudy and his breathing is rapid. I wasn't thinking and I was using the same cleaning tools for water changes.
<D'oh! Parasites may be easily transmitted about by anything wet>
My problem is I don't have another qt and my 2 tangs are large, about 4-5 inches. So, would I be able to buy a tote from Wal-mart, remove lr and inverts and start hypo salinity in the dt. I cannot remove all the sand because I have to much. What will happen to the sand and at what rate do I lower salinity to and how long do I leave it at that rate.
<Is this a question? I'd be reading on WWM re Tangs, Crypt, Cures that work... do you need help using the search tool, indices? Bob Fenner>
Any suggestions would be helpful. I have had this tank running for 3 years and have 2 large tangs that I don't want to loose. Thank you.
Re: Ich issue
Sent from my iPad. I am sorry I bothered you about this problem. I just wanted to know if hypo would kill my sand bed.
<... you've confused what WWM is... you can just look this up.>

I thought it might be less stressful to remove the live rock and inverts than to cram 10 fish into a smaller tank. I know my mistake was stupid, and I am sick about it. I was just looking for some help or suggestions. I won't bother you again. Sorry.
<Not, never a bother; but do put yourself in our "place": We have no idea what you already "know"... and can't spend the time re-writing/keying "complete answers" to vague, broad issues... HENCE the accumulation of input (FAQs) and survey articles covering common topics... and their constant addition, revision. LEARN TO/USE the search tool and indices on WWM... You will find there is a wealth of useful information archived there IF ONLY folks will take the few moments to use it.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich issue; still not rdg.
So sorry but it's me again. I don't want to be a pain but I still have some questions.
<No worries... for browsers and to remind me where to place this; the prev. corr. mentioned herbal remedies>
I lost my Atlantic blue tang 4days ago and I don't know if I am dealing with ich or velvet.
<Only can be ascertained by way of sampling and microscopic examination.

Have you read on WWM?>
My other tang and assorted fish seem to be doing ok other than a few white spots. I lost the abt during a fresh water dip. I think he was too far gone for this. If this is velvet would I be seeing symptoms on other fish by now or does it take time to show up?.
<Takes no time... all would be dead if this Dinoflagellate. READ>
The symptoms my abt had were loss of color, erratic swimming, and heavy breathing. I never did see spots on him so I was thinking velvet but am not sure. Other fish are eating fine, breathing normal and are not showing signs of stress at all.
<... could be "anything" at play here. NOT necessarily pathogenic.
Acanthurus coeruleus; not an aquarium hardy species. SEE WWM re this species as well. Bob Fenner>

Ich Treatment with Hyposalinity     12/11/14
My entire tank has ich. Its a 240 gallon tank. No corals but some crabs and snails with about 400 lbs live rock with not much life that i can physically see growing on them. I have two star fish but that's extent of inverts. Can I use hypo salinity in my main tank to treat ich with the live rocks remaining in the system? Filtration system is based off live rock and refugium.
<Rarely works; though some folks are a fan. You can read all of our opinions... where? On WWM>
I do not own a quarantine tank large enough to house all my fish. Fish are too large. Fish are about 8 yrs old. Fish apparently got sick when I moved the aquarium.
Look forward to your response.
<Time for you to read... and quickly. Esp. the sections on quinine cpd.s. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich Treatment with Hyposalinity     12/12/14

Thank you for the reply. Can you send me the link for the recommended area to read?
<? Use the search tool Chris... there are too many of "you" daily to have the WWM Crew direct>
I currently am using SICCE Hyper Cure, running a ultra violet light, feeding food with parasite medication, and feeding fish garlic. Last thing I think I could try is the hyposalinity to try to rid the fish of parasites.
Some of the fish have become to get a bacterial infection. I have dosed tank with Melafix.
<Worse than worthless>

I have no quarantine tank available and can not afford to buy one large enough to handle my 15 fish at this time.
I am trying everything. possible to get this issue resolved.

Dormant Cryptocaryon? Using WWM?      10/21/14
<Uh yeah>
I have a 250 gallon fish only aquarium with a mix of puffers, surgeonfish, and angels. I had a Cryptocaryon outbreak in the spring, and brought the salinity of the main tank down to 1.011.
<As the slogan goes: "How's that working for ya?". Doesn't work>

I hit 1.011 in the middle of June. By July 1, everyone was clear with no spots visible anywhere.
All the fish took the hypo very well, and approx 8 weeks later I started bringing the salinity back up. About two weeks ago, we hit 1.019, and I'll be damned but I'm seeing Cryptocaryon reemerging on some of the fish.
There have been no new additions since the spring.
<Oh! Imagine my surprise!>
Is it possible for a Cryptocaryon cysts to stay dormant for 8 weeks or longer?
<Yes. Please... search, read ahead of writing us>
Thank you!
-Matt P
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Dormant Cryptocaryon?
Hi Bob, I want to thank you very much for your response. I have great respect for you, and am honored to have your attention. Just a little background, I have extensive experience with fish, marine and fresh. Right now while I type to you, I can look at my multiple tank quarantine systems and count about 2 dozen fish that are undergoing 4 week quarantine/observation with Praziquantel prophylactic treatment. I do aquariums for local schools, libraries, non-profits, etc. With all due respect, I have done extensive reading on your website, among many others. In fact, here at my desk I can pull and read "Aspects of the biology of Cryptocaryon irritans" by A. Colorni. which I keep front and center, along with Fish Disease by Noga.
I have successfully treated crypto on multiple occasions. I have destroyed it here in my bare bottom quarantine tanks with Cupramine. I have successfully beat it out of a 200 gallon reef tank using standard protocol for Hyposalinity, catching all fish from tank and moving them to a bare bottom treatment tank, and then utilizing hyposalinity in the treatment tank while the reef remained fallow for 8 weeks. That worked, however I lost the surgeonfishes, in part I believe because I improperly put both of them in the same 75 gallon treatment tank and they got too stressed from being that closely confined with one another. The problem I'm having with the tank I emailed you about is the sizes involved. The fish are large and moving them to separate treatment tanks is not a good option. So I wanted to treat their main display as a large treatment tank and try and root out the crypto using hypo in the display tank itself.
<Well; the causative organism won't go entirely, but one can "tip the balance" to fish hosts via such techniques>
There are no inverts, and it's not a reef type tank. Just a fish only with liverock and livesand, plus a refugium downstairs with a deep mud bed and mangroves (plus skimmer, rowa reactor, UV, etc.). In your response you said "Doesn't work". What specifically are you referring to?
<Hyposalinity itself to eliminate Protozoan fish diseases.>

Using 1.011? If I were to go to 1.008, would that potentially lyse my Tomonts? I have been operating under the assumption that Tomites needed salinity above 1.012 in order to swim to and attach to a fish, and that
after 4 weeks, there will be no more Tomonts left to hatch Tomites. Are there specific flaws in these assumptions?
If so, what are they?
<Specifically the length of time of embedded intermediates; perhaps off-host resting stage>

Thank you very much for your time. -Matt Parsons
<Thank you for requiring further discussion Matt. I will try to be more informative: Have yet to see scientific proof that hyposalinity (lowered specific gravity exposure of infested fishes) as employed by hobbyists,
effect a real, permanent cure. Rather than paying partial lip service, in any way encouraging the general public (myself; though yes, others here, independent content providers I've purchased writing for WWM) DO consider
hypo. a reasonable treatment modum. I AM a fan of bare bottomed tanks/vacuuming, the use of quinine compounds, some very wide copper compound use with most fish families. AND a giant fan of exclusion SOPs
(dips/baths, pH adjusted freshwater, often w/ formalin).
Some friends in the trade utilize quite low spg as an ongoing means of external parasite control; in turn saving money on salt mix, lessening other (e.g. algae) maintenance issues.
Re: Dormant Cryptocaryon?
Thank you for your response.
<Glad for the opportunity to put forward my understanding; and learn from others>
I have two options at this point-
1- try some sort of quinine compounds after thorough research.
2- just keep the salinity low. The Fish really don't seem to mind it, and yes it does save quite a bundle of money for salt, and the rocks certainly stay clean of encrusting algae growth as well.
<Ah yes; as prev. mentioned, one friend, Mitch Ichinotsubo (who penned a fish disease book w/ Bob Goemans notably), told me at a Fish Hlth. Conf. we were presenting at that he keeps his FO service accounts permanently at 1.012 spg>
I've read differing reports on the long term effects of depressed salinity on the marine teleost kidney function.
<Yes; I as well. I do know that many advanced bony fishes do venture into brackish to pure freshwater, sometimes for extended durations... apparently with impunity>
That's my only fear with keeping the tank at depressed salinity indefinitely. But like many things written on the internet, there's a damn good chance it's bunk.
<I expressly do NOT take anything in print or vocalized as "true"; the Net of course inclusive>
I've been of the hopeful mindset that Crypto could be rooted out of display tank. It's starting to look like the sort of thing that needs to be managed long term, without ever a clear decisive victory.
<A good point of view IMO/E>
I am in a position where people call me to fix their problems once they are well in over their heads. As such, It can be painful for me knowing how important proper quarantine with prophylactic treatment is to preventing
these issues, and that most of the time, people haven't done that and I have to sweep up the mess. I do my best, and have a pretty solid track record of keeping fish alive and healthy for years and years (Seems like a deep mud bed with macroalgae really makes a big difference in overall health for fish along with proper nutrition).
<I do concur. Oh, and to toss in, proffer my dos centavos: the addition of vitamins and HUFAs>
I am going to try and monkey around with the salinity in this tank for the next 3 months. I may keep it at 1.011 for 3 months, and then try and bring it down to 1.008 for 3-4 hours to potentially lyse any remaining Tomonts
that have not yet hatched. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky. I'll keep you posted, it'll probably be about 6 months before I truly find out if this new protocol works.
<Mmm; am given to (hopefully) suggest to some budding/searching grad. students that they work out (or just find in the pertinent literature) a protocol for sustaining the various life stages of this and other parasites... and DO the science; determine under various conditions the efficacy for treatments. For instance, DOES the use of Melaleuca HAVE any pharmacological property/ies? I think not; judging from years of second hand reports; but...>
Thank you again, it's been a pleasure. Most people's eyes get a bit glassy when I start talking fish. I've gotten so deep into the biology of Fish and coral keeping that most people have no idea what I'm talking about.
<A pleasure to share. BobF>

Sick Naso in QT... Rdg. really; re Crypt, med.s that don't work, N. lituratus hlth f's       6/4/14
Hello everyone at wetwebmedia.com!!! I love your site and really appreciate the help you offer!!
<Ahh, greetings Marco>
I bought a Naso tang after I unfortunately lost my blonde Naso a few days after putting him in the Display tank. The new Naso came from the LFS with a mild case of Ich
<Of which they are VERY prone>
and I put him in my quarantine tank and started treating with Ich attack by Kordon.
<Mmm; do see my comments. Though an old time friend owned and ran the company... and a new younger one of forty years acquaintance does now; this product and all "herbals" I'm aware of have efficacy troubles in "real world" settings. What to state: They rarely work>

The fish was doing great, there are no white spots left on it's body
<Umm; they just cycled off... will be back... PLEASE read on WWM re Cryptocaryon; AND FAQs on Cures that work>
but yesterday I noticed it's stomach looked rather small, "pinched" and it's appetite decreased.
<Very common that stressed, and medicated Tangs (Acanthuroids period; and some other fish groups) lose their stomach fauna... and DO have to eat almost continuously... Brown Algae (macro) a giant plus... ALL this is gone over and over; archived on WWM>
Today it wont even come out of it's hiding spot. The tank is a 50 gallon.
<Only for quarantine I take it... See WWM re Naso lituratus... period>

Water parameters are:
Ammonia: zero
Nitrites: zero
Nitrates: zero
Temp: 79.9
Alk: 10
The only thing that I did yesterday was treating the tank with PraziPro and a 20% water change along with the Ich attack recommended dose.
Is there anything I can do to help the fish.
<All sorts... first off; I'd likely make the executive decision to return this fish to the main/display system... as this is already infested... and "fight the Ich" there... Per: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files at top in this series... till you can recite a plan of action>
I feed him Formula 2 pellets, Nori soaked in Selcon, Rod's food (herbivore preparation) and red seaweed soaked in Selcon and Garlic extreme.
Thanks in advance and my best wishes to the crew.
<Welcome... do the reading and if anything is unclear or incomplete, please write back. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Naso in QT      6/4/14

Thank you very much Bob for the advice. Yes, the 50 gallon tank is a quarantine tank only, my main tank is 180 gallon.
<Ah good>
The fish is in real trouble now. After I finished typing my previous question to you, I went to check on the fish and he was floating around almost dead. I must admit I freaked out and after contemplating the possibility of having accidentally poisoned him by using Ich attack and PraziPro at the same time,
<Mmm; also... Tangs/Acanthurids NEED high dissolved oxygen... not easy to do in a 50>
I got some water from the display tank into a bucket and very gently put the fish in it with an air stone for aeration. The fish is still alive and trying to swim but his body is arched and only moves his lateral fins. Is this it for my fish? Is there anything at all that I can do for him?
<Too much to relate, re-key...>
Thanks again!!!
<The reading... and quick/pronto! BobF>

Tank transfer method for Whitespot      4/23/14
I am after some feed back about the tank transfer method for treating fish for white sport.
<... to avoid Cryptocaryon I take it. This is posted on WWM. Have you tried searching?>
I am more than lucky to have the facility to conduct this over the 5 transfers that seem to be the minimum recommended in forum posts such as the extensive on Reef Central. I am keen to hear what you think about this method. The science behind it and how it takes advantage of the crypt life cycle seem sound.
<Useful in some cases, circumstances, but not generally the route I encourage... for practical reasons: Once someone realizes their system is infested, there are almost always multiple generations at work... host fishes being moved about is not only debilitating to them, but accomplishes little as the Protozoans are being moved with them to the new settings>
Thanks for your thoughts. By the way I don't have Whitespot in any of my fish. I have traditionally QT all fish and do a round of hypo as a catch all. I just thought the tank transfer may be simpler and more certain at eliminating Ich. I would also like to add some fish to my main tank that are more difficult to hypo for extended periods due to diet such as the mandarin.
<Search; read. Bob Fenner>

Ich or Velvet?     11/10/13
I have a Kole tang that suddenly is covered in a velvety substance.
I’m assuming it’s marine velvet… but I also thought it could be marine Ich.

Could you confirm which disease it is for me?
<.... doesn't look like either of these Protozoans to me... Something "more sinister", like poor water quality issue, perhaps stinging... What else is in this system? What additives, supplements et al. are you pouring in? Bob Fenner>
And I believe this guy is probably to far gone.
Friday he seemed fine… today (Sunday) he looks terrible.
Thank you for your help.
Matt Kasperski
Unfortunately, this is the best pic I can get.  It does appear more velvety than sprinkled with ‘salt or sugar’.
I’ve probably just answered my question.  But I thank you for your time.

Re: Ich or Velvet?     11/10/13
It’s a 6 month old system… (75 gallon).
Other fish are 2 ocellaris clowns, 3 Chromis, 1 melanurus wrasse.
Also 2 Birdsnest corals and a Montipora, cleaner shrimp… assorted snails.
<All these should be okay>
I moved from VA to TX back in June… 
The system was set up immediately in June and was ‘seeded’ with a few pieces of live rock from my old (4 year running) system.
I thought I had Ich in this new setup (even though all fish were quarantined for 6 weeks in a smaller tank).  I have been treating with ‘Kick Ich’
<... here's the problem. Ala pepper sauce. You've been scammed>
 for two weeks… (I know, it probably doesn’t work but I was desperate).
Was performing 25% water changes twice a week before a new dose of Kick Ich was added.
Aside from adding the Kick-Ich, I have added buffer (sodium carbonate) occasionally to combat low Alk.  Regular water changes are performed every two weeks and I would have assumed water quality was ok.
All the fish look a little ‘off’ today but the Kole tang looked the worst.
All are in hospital tank now… and I was wondering what would be the best course of treatment.
OH… and how long should I leave the DT fallow?  8 weeks?
<... posted on WWM... I'd look into quinine cpd.s>
I have attached a better pic of the Kole tang in the hospital tank.
<... poisoned by the scam product. Search, read re this on WWM as well. BobF>

Possible cure for early Marine Whitespot.    11/9/13
I like most marine hobbyists have battled Whitespot as far from Australia to the UK.
<... and points in-between>
 Sure accurate doses of Copper are effective but in an invert or mixed tank a no go and can leach back into the tank after months from rocks etc and turns clear silicon seals blue etc.
<Mmm, not the last unless really treated...>
 I think I have found a possible cure. I have read UV can control
<Not; helps, but does not control. See WWM re>
 Whitespot but then I thought if you can have the correct wavelength, correct water speed through the unit (too fast and not enough exposure to sterilise the Whitespot) and correct turnover of entire tank volume via good all round water circulation and a short time interval for entire tank water to pass through the UV unit you should stand a chance. My UV unit
turns the whole tank volume over about every 20 min.s. I had many problems with Whitespot over the years, anyway I had run Copper in my tank and taken it out and purchased a SunSun JUP01 (around $30) and stocked my tank, all fish pH/temp adjusted freshwater dipped
<Also REALLY helps>

and never had any problems with Whitespot for about a year. I had not previously freshwater dipped all new arrivals so was not sure which is effective the dip or UV.
<I am VERY sure>
Well I recently added some inverts (which cannot be freshwater dipped) and a small Regal Tang, a well known Whitespot magnet and you guessed it - about two days later the Regal had Whitespot. I had been turning my water pump off at night as it is noisy when sleeping but leaving the UV on. I then decided to keep the pump 24 hours and now there is not a Whitespot in sight.
<Uhh, how much time has gone by? May well just be "cycling off" the fish host/s>
Goodbye Whitespot will not miss you. I am therefore concluding that if the water movement in the whole tank is enough so that near to or all water can be captured by the UV steriliser it is effective in early stages of Whitespot. Not a spot in sight. I write this to help fellow fish keepers as I do believe that no matter what size of the tank if you get the balance correct you are going to win, but possibly only in the early stages of Whitespot.
Kind regards,
<Thank you for sharing. And do keep your eyes open. Bob Fenner>
Adam follow-up: UV and Marine Whitespot.       11/20/13
I wonder if you could place this on your site below my last email on the subject for the benefit of others.
<Will look for, add>
My attempt to control marine Whitespot with UV has failed although I think the logic behind it is sound, but the application is not easy. If the situation could be created where all the water in the tank passed though the UV several times an hour it should work,
<Given the UV is strong enough>
the problem is in my opinion there are always going to be slow flow areas like the base of rocks, sand  etc, so if you have the dormant cycle in these places releasing several hundred infectious free swimming parasites and a fish is nearby, they become infected. Most of my fish seemed to not be infected but a small Regal Tang seemed defenceless. Anyway they are all still alive and eating and I did not want to risk the balance of war with Whitespot so I starting treatment with Copper. I have read Cupramine is one of the best treatments. Make sure you have an accurate Copper test kit as I have had to put three times the dose over 48 hours to get to the required dose of 0.5mg/l. I am not sure if the reason is my high alkalinity where the carbonates bonded with the copper
<Always an issue>
but care is also needed not to overdose, make sure you have plenty of activated carbon just in case of overdose. Purple Tangs and I think several other fish are very sensitive to Copper so I am keeping my eyes on my Regal Tang.
<Thank you for sharing your notes, observations. Bob Fenner>

Ich... SW, MUCH rdg. on WWM     8/22/13
Is there some reason you've sent this msg. four times to us? B
Ich problem

Hello Crew
<Rich; you only need to write us your message once>
Wish I were writing under different circumstances. I have a 180 FOWLR with a few snails, hermit crabs and a cleaner shrimp. The system has been up and running with no problems for about six months until recently. I slowly added the following fish with a two week stay each time in my 30 gallon quarantine tank: Two zebra barred dart fish (had three but one jumped out and was found too late), six green Chromis, one melanurus wrasse, one red head solan<r> fairy wrasse and a magnificent Foxface. The Foxface was the last edition about two weeks ago. My LFS said that they were worried for me to put him in such a small quarantine tank since he is about 7 inches. I was told to watch for ammonia spikes and be ready to add SeaChem stability to control any spikes.
<Not a proper method
... can/will only treat/deal w/ the ammonia present then... Not that produced continuously>
Eight hours after acclimating the ammonia was at .5. I added the stability and tested the next morning; it was at .75. I dosed again but within two hours it was at about 1.0. At this point I panicked and moved him into my display tank. You guessed it, ten days later he came down with Ich.
<Mmm, actually "already had it"; just the induced stress of shipping, handling... induced expression>
I have been putting in Herbtana
<... not a fan. See WWM re such "remedies". They rarely work>

 for three days because of a friend with five tanks that swears by it, but I am skeptical about it. I am at a crossroads at what to do. My quarantine is too small for all of these fish, and I am not sure what to use on them anyway. In the past, when I had a smaller display tank, 55 gallons, I tried quinine sulfate twice with no success. I followed the instructions to the tee, but the fish died before the end of the treatment.
Only the Foxface is displaying the signs of Ich right now, but I know that it is only a matter of time. All appear healthy, i.e. eating well and swimming around normally so I would like your suggestion as to what to do before it is too late. Thank you.
<Let's have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the linked files above... till you understand your options here... Bob Fenner>

plz help... A bunch of issues (self-induced); mis-stkg., Crypt, formalin: ammonia burning... and rdg.       8/22/13
hi wwm i really need help
<I can tell; something's wrong w/ your spell/grammar checker!>
 i have a lion fish thats sick and its just getting worst i bought a juvi emperor and it had Ich

 so my lion and my clown trigger
<... this Balistid shouldn't be kept w/ a Lionfish>

caught it i didn't have a qt so i was treating in my display tank so i was using reef safe
<There is no such thing... see WWM re real Crypt med.s>
stuff it was Ich X
<This product is a scam, placebo>

so i did what the instructions said i treated for 10 days it went away for a day and came back as soon as i stopped treating so i gave i a couple days then tried it again this time it didn't work i lost my trigger and all the sudden my unicorn tang damsel and my clown fish had it so i gave up on that reef safe stuff its junk

i went out and got a qt tank i set it up and put the tang clown damsel and lion fish in there and started treating with quick cure <Dangerous ingredients... narrow range of efficacy; the formalin will kill nitrifiers... NEED to monitor ammonia, nitrite>
the clown is good and my little damsel is clean the unicorn tang died 2 days later : ( but my lion fish is really bad he's getting worst he's deteriorating slowly his spines are losing the skin covering and his wing fins are losing the tips his tail fin the top half is missing same with the fin under the tale and theirs a white film that's coming off his fins looks like lint its free flowing off him it moves in the water its not a film like your thinking its not coated on his body like one end is attached to him and it comes up off of him and waves around in the water and he's starting to get a hole on his side like a open sore with a meaty look im trying to explain it
<Yes; due to the medicine, after-effects>
 the  best i can i feel so bad for him he was eating fine till 4 days ago and all he does is lay up against the sponge filter i also have a regular filter i put the sponge in there for the little damsel and little clown
<Lionfish/s, triggers will eat these>

 just in case but my lion has never gone after them they actually get along good besides the point i tried feeding him today but he wouldn't move from the filter so i nudged him a little to get him away from the filter to get him to swim a little bit and take the sponge filter out but he didn't want to move and it seems like he's struggling to swim i feel bad that i waited this long to get help but i never knew about you guys till now i always looked for help at my lfs so it might be to late but i will try anything to save him plz plz plz help thank you
<... Help with? Are you capable of using the search tool (on every page) of WWM? If not... likely having you start reading (and soon/stat.!) here:
is the best course of action... scan all, read re topics you're well-versed in... esp. the use of Quick Cure's active ingredients. The links in the FAQs files you encounter will give you insights on how to proceed. Don't worry re feeding for now, but DO keep your eye on water quality. Bob Fenner>
re: plz help    8/22/13

Thank you so much for replying I only have the damsel and the clown cause they were my first fish I used the damsels to cycle the tank but my lion fish is small but they get along very well
<... will inhale>

 he's never attacked them even when he was hungry besides the point I know their not good tank mates but I don't plan on keeping them but I know copper is a good treatment
<... quinine compounds are better. PLEASE search and read... writing is only delaying...>

 but I know it's strong so I didn't want to use it unless I had to cause the fish is weak and I didn't want it to kill I thought the quick cure was good but I thought wrong what should I do what should I use to treat him any recommendation
 I don't know if you ever seen the back of the quick cure package
<... read my bio.... Have seen, written about...>

and the pictures of what it treats there is 2 one showing ick and another showing another disease and the fins and stuff that's what my fish is starting to look like but what should I do I've only been in the hobby
for 7 months I always did freshwater I'm always reading up online and trying what people say
The sum total of what is on "the Net" is not useful; one must discern fact from unsubstantiated opinion. READ consciously... REALIZE that many folks are trying to sell you somethings, that others, though well-intentioned, are ill-informed. SEEK to understand the underlying science>
that's why I used the reef safe stuff and the quick cure that's why I'm coming to you cause I can talk to you directly and you can diagnose my problem instead of reading on similar cases and trying what they did and putting my poor fish through hell and my water is good I do 10 to 15 gallons every week or every other week
<Don't write: READ. BobF>
re: plz help    8/22/13

Thank you
<Welcome. B>
re: plz help    8/22/13

What should I read and how do I find it is it on your website thank you
<... see our first email. B>
re: plz help
Hello I got a message from you but it was blank didn't have no text in it my last question was what do I read and how do I find it thank you
re: plz help.... Crypt; ignorance re WWM     8/23/13

Hello no reply but what should I do can I use that Methylene Blue where can I get that how about melafix cause it looks like a fungus and I been reading up on all your stuff kind of hard to understand but I get most of it please get back to me thank you have a nice day
<Read here:
re: plz help

This is what I have been reading up on theres so much good stuff on here
it's awesome thank you but I would love to get an opinion directly from
guys cause their is so much to read and allot of different things to do so
is their anything particular that you can suggest thank you
<.... keep reading
re: plz help

By the time I finish and figure it out my fish will be dead
<Read about using WWM, learn to/use the search tools... on every page.>
re: plz help

I been reading up on the dips how long can I keep a saltwater fish in a
freshwater dip before it starts affecting it thank you
<.... posted...>
re: plz help; back to the beginning... Dwizzard, dwazzard...     8/23/13

Wow you guys ain't really much help I have a really sensitive situation
here and all you guys keep saying is read I can only read so fast and
theirs so many different ways and things to do I'm trying to get help for
my particular problem I've read different answers for people with the same
problems so it's confusing I try to ask you directly so I do the right
thing and try not to stress out my fish worst than it is and all I keep
getting is read read read thanks for the help anyways

Fish sensitivity to Cupramine    7/23/13
Hello WetWebMedia,
I have a 180 gallon FOWLR aquarium that has been running for about four years.  The tank is aggressively filtered and skimmed, and contains the following fish:  1 adult Maculosus angel, 1 sub-adult Annularis angel, 1 med Powder Blue tang, 1 large Bicolor angel, 1 flame Hawkfish, and 1 med
Stars and Stripes puffer.
<The two large angels and this puffer need more room than this>

I keep the specific gravity at 1.018 to help control parasite loads and give each new arrival a freshwater dip before placing them in the system.  For the last 18 months that strategy has worked beautifully.  I haven't had Ich in that time and have not added a fish in the last 6 months.  And then all of a sudden, there is what I could call a moderate amount of Ich in the tank, and the problem is getting worse on a daily basis.
<... the crowding and its ill effects...>

My fish are fed twice daily with foods that contain garlic compounds (Spectrum, garlic Nori, etc) and all are eating well.  I'm considering using Cupramine to treat the water.
<Won't work indefinitely here>

 I am concerned about the toxicity of copper for certain fish, especially the Bicolor angel and the Stars and Stripes puffer.
<And the Tang>
  With what I have written would you recommend that I remove my Chemi Pure from the filter and dose with the Cupramine?  Will the fish survive even a moderate level of say 0.15 ppm?
<This sub-therapeutic dose won't do any good and will serve to weaken the fishes through mild poisoning...
You might read re the one-time (through foods) use of a regimen of CP/Quinine... and/or the use of cleaners (that the Tetraodontid won't consume); but what you really need is a larger system... at least 300 gallons... and the mechanicals and improved water quality, psychological good it will bring>
Thanks for your help,
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>

Ich, Reef Safe Medication 5/31/08 Hi, I had a few questions here I need the answer to. <Ok> First of all, can snowflake morays get ich? <Yes> No matter how many times I have ich, my snowflake never has any white spots. <They are pretty resilient, but can still harbor ich.> Second, Do you like the NO-ICH medicine by FishVet? <I believe the active ingredient is 5-Nitroimidazoles, and no I do not.> It is said to be reef safe and I would like to have some just to be safe. <Not safe for your reef tank.> Lastly, How many purple Firefish should I get for my 30 gallon? <One> I have a percula clown in there and I wanted to add some more fish after the Firefish too. <A 30 gallon does not have a whole lot of room, I would not have more than 3 fish in that sized tank.> Thanks! <Welcome> <Chris> Ich outbreak in a 36 gal mixed reef 4/21/08 Greetings WWM crew, <Hello> Happy Monday. Hope you all are having a good day. <Can't complain too much.> I wish I didn't have to write this email, but I have spent many hours reading FAQs and articles for the last week and a half about marine ich to the point where my head is spinning. I know what I need to do, I just don't seem to be able to get it done. About 12 days ago, Ich raised it's ugly head in my 36 gallon mixed reef. The tank is just over 8 months old and the only recent addition (2 weeks ago) to the tank was a Lysmata A, prior to that nothing has been added for 2 and half months. Put him in when I noticed the first white spots. Unfortunately the shrimp hasn't shown any real inclination to clean my fish even though they line up for him. <This happens more often than not in captivity, not much can be done about it.> I have been trying, unsuccessfully, for the last 10 days to catch my fish so I could move them to a hospital tank for treatment and allow my main tank to go fallow. I have 50+ lbs of live rock in the tank and there are just too many escape routes and hiding places. <Often necessary to remove the rock unfortunately.> I lost my Kole Tang on Friday of last week. <For future stocking, this tank is way too small for a tang.> The remaining fish are a percula clown, 2 green chromis and a filamented wrasse. I have some soft corals (2 mushroom rocks, xenia and toadstool leather) and an open brain. The one thing that keeps me from wanting to tear down the tank is my rose BTA. Corals and anemone are all doing very well, and I'm concerned if I start tinkering with my tank it will have an adverse affect on the anemone. <It may, but if done carefully it should be ok. Also see WWM about keeping corals and anemones in tanks together, especially smaller tanks.> My LFS recommended a product called Rally, however, I am very reluctant, based on what I've read, to use any of the so called "reef safe" additives. <They are either ineffective or toxic, neither is good.> Quite frankly, I have read much good about them, and believe they'll do more harm than good. <Agreed> I've started incorporating NL Spectrum's Thera+A pellets into the feeding regimen. Is it possible that temperature swings of 2 to 2.5 degrees F would have been enough to stress the fish to the point where it could have weakened their immune system? <Is possible although that is not too bad of a swing.> Since the weather has warmed somewhat, my tank temperature seems to fluctuate more then it has in the past. <Easiest to just raise the temperature a degree or two and increase circulation.> At this point, I'm just feeling kind of helpless and hopeless. My apologies if I've rambled on. <No worries.> Is there anything else you might recommend I try short of tearing my tank apart to remove the fish? <That is your best bet at treating, otherwise just good water quality and food is all you can really do.> Also, just wanted to say thanks for all great information and time you all spend to make this site such a great resource. Thanks, Mike <Sounds like you know what you need to do, just can be tough to go through it.> <Chris>

Marine ICH, Treatment 4/21/08 Hi Crew, <Hello> It was just 2 weeks ago that I emailed you guys to help me identify my ocellaris clown (black and white). Since then I have purchased a friend for him. Everything is fine until now. We notice when we purchase a yellow tang that he's scrapping to the rocks and ask the local fish shop if his okay and was told that it should be fine as long there's no white spots on them. A few days later, we notice the blue tang starts doing the same thing and 3 days after that, I can see the white spot just underneath his skin. We rushed to another fish store (because my local fish store closed on weekend). Given triple SULFA, but we didn't trust their opinion as much and we thought it will be better to do water change and wait until our local open up. <Won't help with Ich.> We went to our LFS and do water test and everything was normal. Then we were given VERTONEX by Aquasonic (contains malachite green) and told them that we don't have a QT. <Toxic stuff.> They mentioned that it works like a dye but weren't told that it could also turn the silicone and some of our live rocks into patches of BLUE. (but our fishes come first then anything else). <I would not have used this, especially in the main tank. Hopefully a QT tank will be a priority to purchase after this experience.> We follow the instructions, to use it for 6 ml (for our tank: 150 litres) <Too small for any tangs really.> for 4 days. 4 days on, the blue tang look better and we thought that it's working, then we do the water test and shocked that the nitrate was roofing crazily. <The Malachite Green is killing off your live rock and bio-filter.> We then purchased 30 litres of sea water and do water change that night. 2 days after, the blue tang and the yellow tang got this glassy eye and the blue tang look like when you print a document and your printer is running low on toner. If you know what I mean. <Result of the drop in water quality, but both will quickly outgrow that tank and need to find new homes anyway.> We are absolutely desperate of how to help him get through this. <Improved water quality, less toxic treatment in a hospital tank.> I have prepared another 12 litres of salt water to do water change tonight and should I follow the other local fish shop to put in the triple-SULFA as instructed? <I would not.> Should I add in carbon to take the malachite green of the water (if yes, in the actual tank hook it on the top or inside the filter). <Yes, inside the filter.> We have the EHEIM Classic 2217. I'm sorry for the lengthy email, but really your response is the ONLY thing that we can trust at this point of time. Thank you SO MUCH for your help. Best Regard, Delia Suteja <Not much can be done here with a hospital tank. Malachite Green is high toxic and may have caused permanent damage to the LR, and the Triple Sulfa will not effect the Ich parasite. Best bet now is to increase water quality and try to get them to eat. About all you can do without a separate tank for treatment. Also, neither tang will do well in such a small tank, so it will be worth looking for a new home for them.> <Chris>

Probiotic Marine Formula 3/20/08 Hello-can't find much info on this product's effectiveness or actual intended use. <Active ingredients sodium chloride and Nitrofurazone.> The few complaints I have seen on forums claim it did not cure Ich infections in their display tank. <The active ingredients in this product can not treat parasitic infections.> I purchased a bottle and the label does not state that treating the display tank for sick fish is it's purpose. The only information on the bottle is it is to be used for preventive maintenance. <Bet lawyers had a hand in that.> I just wanted to know if this product can prevent healthy fish from getting bacterial infections, specifically Vibrio and if it is safe for my display tank without any long term negative effects. Thanks, Dane <I would not treat the tank prophylacticallly and I have my doubts that this product will prevent much of anything.> <Chris><<Well-stated Chris... right to the point... RMF>>

Yet another case of crypt... and RMF's ongoing crap attempts at sarcasm 3/9/08 Hey crew! <Howzit?> I'd really like to field a question to you guys. <Well, okay!> From what I gather on the site, copper or comparable alternatives are best bets in a hospital tank treating crypt, along with hyposaline conditions (<1.010) if the fish can handle it for 6-8 weeks while the main tank goes fallow. <Mmm, depends... on what means by "best", the species involved, their apparent health otherwise...> I've been going in circles with the LFS which have been insisting that upgrading to a much larger UV filter and supplementing food with garlic along with vitamin C will cure crypt. <Mmm, will not... I'll bet you any sum in the universe> They've made claims that they've cured massive outbreaks of crypt in their 2400 gallon show tank this way. <Mmm, define "cured"> In a lack of judgment I listened. You've probably already guessed it didn't work. <What a shock! Okay... am terrible at cheap drama> While I was doing this (since I had my doubts from the beginning) I've put together a quarantine tank and the only thing left to do is move the fish. Our current setup is a 180gal FOWLR (since our xenia died within minutes of adding a teaspoon of concentrated garlic...) <Yummy on pizza, some soups... and not too bad for breath... as long as all are consuming... Oh, back to your story> We have a 6" powder blue tang, 6" Koran angel, 2.5" flame angel, two 4" yellow head sleeper gobies, very large tentacle anemone, 1.5" black/white false percula clown, couple cleaner shrimp, 1" yellowtail damsel, 1" striped damsel, and a handful of turbo snails/stars/etc. Tank is approximately 4-5 months old, our first attempt at saltwater... and either the powder blue tang or the Koran introduced the ich (last two fish added) <Easily done... not quarantined...> We're running wet/dry with a 40gal sump, couple 1200gph return pumps, needle wheel skimmer, and 50 watts of UV on one side of the return, along with 200 watts of HOT5 and 400 watts of PC. I've also put together a 56gal column hospital tank with identical water parameters (1.022 salinity, 82F temp, 8.4PH...) with a canister filter (no carbon), small UV filter, bare bottom with PVC pipe for fish hiding decor to use as the quarantine tank. I've got cold feet. If at all possible I do not want to put the fish through the stress of being moved. They are all eating fine and active, although the Koran seems to scratch himself on the aragonite and the rest of the fish seem to fling their bodies against the water jetting into the tank, like they are trying to knock something off of them. Is there absolutely anything I can do to deal with the ich without putting the fish through the move between tanks? <Sure... seek to strike a "balance" of sort; like the 2,400 gallon tank folks... See WWM re Parasitic Marine Tanks...> This just feels like too many fish to quarantine in such a small tank and I've got a gut feeling they wont all survive the juggling. Thanks in advance for all of your help and insight... because of this site and Bob's book I've had exceptional fortune keeping fish alive, and I want to do everything in my power to "right" the situation I've caused through poor quarantine practices. David <Read on!: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and as much of the linked files above as you can stomach, till you understand your options, the logic/rationale, even (gasp!) science behind your situation. Bob Fenner>

Marine ich woes -02/27/08 I have a problem with ich in my reef tank. I have researched extensively and asked my LFS many questions and have gotten so much conflicting advice. The guys at our LFS seem very knowledgeable and we have heard great things about them from the aquatic community around us. But most of their advice goes against a lot of what you guys recommend. Here is the problem. <Differences of opinion exist, I'm sure.> We have a 180 gallon tank with a regal tang, Sailfin, 2 Perculas, harlequin clownlips, yellow tang, unicorn tang, 2 skunk shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, 2 star fish, and various turbo snails and red hermit crabs. We also have 5 different kinds of coral and 1 anemone. All of which we didn't quarantine or fresh water dip at the advice of the LFS. <Yikes! Intelligent people might disagree about the freshwater dipping, but you should certainly quarantine! I don't understand why anyone would recommend against it!> Recently we added a show size powder blue tang. Initially he was very healthy. After several days he developed ich. We contacted "our guy" at the LFS and he said that wait it out and everything would be fine. <Oy, this was NOT good advice.> He got worse, we insisted that he come out to our store to check on him. He brought some reef safe chemicals and said it would all be okay. Well, Kahuna (big tang) died this morning and we are all very distraught. <I'm sorry.> We feel very irresponsible and mislead by the LFS. <Indeed, you should have removed the sick fish and treated him/her with hyposalinity.> All the other fish seem to be doing okay. Our Sailfin had what looked to be the worst break out but he never stopped eating or being active. <lucky> My question. What now? We don't feel comfortable listening to our LFS and I have found sooo much contradicting info about chemical treatments, natural treatments, hypo salinity, raising the temp in the tank and my head is spinning. <Well, one thing is for sure, you should always quarantine new fish! Secondly, even if you didn't quarantine initially, you certainly should after a fish falls ill/infected. Hyposalinity is one way to treat it without meds. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hyposalandcrypt.htm As for the medications, some work, some don't (and sometimes some work and sometimes they don't). In any case, it doesn't hurt to try any of them IF you quarantine the sick fish. If the sick fish is quarantined, you can use meds that might not be safe for marine inverts. For more on ich treatment, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm> We would appreciate any help/advice you can give us. <Always get a second opinion (and read as much as you can). :-)> Thanks <Best, Sara M.>

Re: marine ich woes -02/27/08 Thanks for your advice. Here is where we stand now. All fish are still eating except the unicorn. We finally caught him and put him in our home tank that has two skunk shrimp and 2 large hermit crabs. The salinity is lower at home. <How low? If you want to treat ich with hyposalinity, you have to bring the salinity much lower than is safe for marine inverts like shrimp and crabs. That's why the fish to be treated has to be quarantined. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hyposalandcrypt.htm> We also have some garlic power liquid to soak in their food. Our LFS brought us Melafix and Pimafix to treat the water in our show tank. Is there anything else we could/should be doing? <It's hard to say without knowing the actual state of your fish. If the ich outbreak is bad, you might consider setting up a quarantine tank and treating them all with hyposalinity. Read about the life cycle of the ich parasite and how it spends some stages of its life in the sand bed and in the water column. This is the reason people will remove all the fish from the tank with the sandbed/substrate to starve the parasites to death. Again, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm> Thanks so much for all your help. <De nada and good luck, Sara M.>

Ineffective Copper Treatment. 2/27/08 I am finding Marine Ich to be a real nuisance. I have pulled all of my fish from the main tank for the second time in less than a year because of Marine Ich. The first time all fish spent two months in QT (while the main tank remained fallow) and were treated with copper for the fist two weeks. When the fish were returned to the main tank after two months the signs and symptoms of Marine Ich returned within a few months and I eventually lost the Niger Trigger. <No fun for sure> This is was my motivating factor for pulling out all of the rock and corals again so I could get the fish into QT again. This is the second two week course of copper treatment for these fish in a years time. I used Cupramine again and kept the levels between 0.25-0.50 (Salifert Test kit) as directed by Mr. Fenner last year. I did test each day and sometimes twice without problems or fluctuations in the copper levels. All signs and symptoms of Marine Ich disappeared during the treatment. The fish are now at five weeks in QT tank and two weeks post treatment. After the treatment was completed I did two fifty percent water changes and added charcoal. Copper levels are undetectable and the water parameters are Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, ph 8.3, Alk 3.00, water temp 82, and Specific Gravity 1.025. Now for the problems. The Foxface is again air gulping at the surface and the Blue Hippo Tang had a white spot on it yesterday. All of the respiratory rates on the fish are increasing as well. Copper can cause increased respiratory rates but I do not believe this is the problem since the fish's behavior changes are 2 weeks post treatment. I can only demise the Ich has returned. <Ho buoy> I am now at a loss for an appropriate treatment method without increasing the health risks to the fish. Is Copper still an option or should I consider other options (Hyposalinity) for both the fish and the QT tank? I have reviewed the Conscientious Marine Aquarist and the treatments listed there primarily refer to dips (if my understanding is correct) except for Malachite Green, Methylene Blue, and Copper Sulfate. Other websites lean towards hyposalinity by lowering the salinity to 1.012 over 72 hours with careful monitoring of Ph, and water temp. <I would try the Quinine route.... and thereafter... attempt at "balance"; i.e. keeping the system optimized in the fish/hosts favor> I know there are many treatment options out there but I am at a loss for what would be the safest and most effective treatment for the fish at this time. Any advise you have in this matter would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Sincerely, Ward Budde <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Another ich question! Treatment Failure 2/26/08 Hi Guys, <Hello> I have reviewed as much information on ich as I can find, both on your valuable site as well as others, and I am still at a loss. So I am hoping you can give me some words of wisdom. <Will try> I have a 150g currently with only 2 inhabitants, a purple and a regal tang. In January I had a bout with ich so I set up my old 65g with a BioWheel and mini skimmer I had lying around. I did hyposalinity which seemed to give them relief and they regained their strength and within 2 weeks there was no sign of infection nor sick behavior. I left them for another 3 weeks just cleaning and changing water as I don't like the idea of using chemicals unless absolutely necessary. During this time I also raised the salinity back to normal. Anyway after 5 weeks of the display running fallow and no signs of infection I put them back in. Within 2 days the regal is scratching again and hanging out in high flow areas. So my questions are, if the fish never recovered why didn't it show in the other tank, yet show up as soon as I put them back? <Most likely was caused by the tank change, can be stressful for fish and leaves them more susceptible to infection. The hypo helped knock down the parasites to a non-symptomatic level, but did not rid them all.> If the problem is in the display how did the parasite survive 5 weeks without hosting, plus I raised the temp to over 80degs to speed up the cycle? <Probably did not, but was still on the fish.> As many have said before me your website is a tremendous source of information. Thanks on behalf of all of us caught by this obsession. <Welcome> Dayne <Chris>

Garlic Supplement (as Crypt trtmt.) and High Nitrates (rel.?) 02/19/2008 I have 30 and 75 gallon tanks salt water/reef set ups. A week after adding a fish to the 75, I noticed white spots this fish (only this fish). My LFS suggested soaking the food in "Garlic Guard" by Seachem. I would then feed both tanks with this food. The white spots disappeared within a week but the store suggested that I feed the supplement for a full month because if it was ick, the disease would come back in about a month. <<Feeding a fish garlic will not fight or remove Ich. The fish needs to be removed and placed in quarantine and treated>> I took readings recently in both tanks and the nitrates were high, extremely high in the 30 tank. Could the supplement be causing my problem? <<If you feeding a lot, then, yes its possible>> Since diagnosing the problem, I've drained about 20 gallons of water from the 30 gallon tank and intend to drain about the same amount in the next couple of days. Any other suggestions? Thanks. <<Quarantine the fish, back off the feeding a little to once per day, or even once every two days. Continue water changes until nitrates are under control. Please read here and linked articles and FAQ's regarding Crypto http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm >> Larry <<Thanks for the questions Larry, hope the above helps. A Nixon>>

Ick Question, disappointing resp. 2/5/08 Hi - <Hello Eric> My community tank is infested with the disease and I've lost a tang and flame angel to it. I still have two damsels that seemed to be unaffected by the outbreak. My question is this: do I have to remove the Damsels to have the tank go fallow for a month? Can they act as uninfected or, at least, unaffected, carriers of the disease? <<<Answer this question Rick... it is YES. RMF>>> I'm asking because, as the only two fish left, I really don't want to tear down all the aquascaping just to get them. Thanks, Eric <I would let the tank be for 3 weeks with the damsels and see if they exhibit signs of Ich. If not, I would double check water parameters to make sure all is well and then reintroduce new fish to the system. Keeping up on weekly water changes helps maintain very good water quality and reduce the stress that can allow Ich to succeed. Please check this link for more info and treatments.... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm HTH, Rich.. aka... Mr. Firemouth>

Reef tank ich; dealing with vampires -- 01/28/2008 OK, so I have been fighting with ich in my reef tank for two weeks. LFS recommended raising temp and feeding with garlic elixir. <You also need to be using crucifixes to get rid of the little vampires'¦ Really, while garlic was shown to be able to kill freshwater Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifilius) at ridiculously high concentrations, there is no proof whatsoever it will help with marine Ich (Cryptocaryon irritans). It probably won't do any harm and the tank will get an exotic smell, but it also won't kill the parasites.> Temp raised to 83deg. No luck ich is getting worse visible on both my gold rim and powder blue tangs as well as my lawnmower blenny. Have an orange spot goby and a pair of maroon clowns with no signs yet. Decided to set up the QT tank and dose with product called copper power. <Good decision. You also need a matching test kit to keep the copper level constant.> From reading your FAQ I know to leave the affected fish in the QT tank for two weeks. <Rather more.> I have two questions. 1st should I have all of the fish in the QT tank during this time to clear the ich out of the main tank? <Yes, you need to, anything else won't work. Only a few fishes are more or less immune to Cryptocaryon, but even those should get some kind of treatment to be sure.> 2nd how long should it take for the ich to cycle out of the tank with non sick fish or no fish at all? <At least 4 weeks, 6 are better. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , which will answer your questions re marine ich in more detail.> thanks, Dan <Welcome. Marco.>

Ich... Crypt conundrums, Ich X product... 12/7/07 Hello <Todd> I have had problems with ich in the past and have read tons of stuff on the parasite. I had lost everything to the parasite last time around. I let my aquarium go fallow for over 2 months, nothing but live rock, snails and crabs. Bought a yellow tang, damsel and a tomato clown, quarantined them for four weeks and saw no sign of any disease, put them in my 120 gallon and about a week later what looks like small white grains of salt started to appear again, then they were suddenly covered with them. Put them back in the quarantine tank, lost the damsel and clown, now treating the tang with copper. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong? <Mmmm... perhaps nothing you are doing, but somethings more you could do...> Is it possible the ich didn't die during the two month fallow period I stretched the fallow period just to make sure? <A possibility, yes... more distal as time goes by...> I know one of the fish could have been a carrier and not showed any symptoms, should I treat everyone before they enter my display tank, I know I shouldn't but that's how I feel. <This is one approach... immersion or baths/dips...> I would hate to get a full aquarium then bring one fish in after quarantine and get everybody sick!!! <Yes... happens way too frequently... And most all could be avoided... by collectors, wholesalers, retailers, consumers... Better "up the line"... through simple pH adjusted freshwater baths, possibly with adjuncts> I have excellent water quality, excellent water movement and excellent skimming. The only problem that I see is that my temp is a little high, my aquarium is a in wall set up and its in a closet in the other room and I need to install some fans to blow colder air from the basement to get it down to about 78 degrees, now its at about 84. But wouldn't that temp just speed of the life cycle of the parasite so they would have died quicker during the two month fallow period? <Also might stress the livestock hosts...> The high temp would also spread them quicker if they were still there or introduced again when I added fish rite? <Right> From what I have read after two months of going fallow they shouldn't be there? <Again, less likely with more time going by, elevated temperature, decreased spg...> Could it be something else in there besides ich, that looks like ich, that the fallow period isn't getting rid off? <Yes... but if protozoan/parasitic, should likewise "die-back" with time, lack of hosts> From what I have read and seen in pictures it looks like ich. If I drop the SG to like 1.009 is that going to hurt my live rock during my next fallow period? <Yes... see WWM. I would not lower the spg this far> I'd hate to rip down the tank and throw away $1500 worth of rock and sand and buy all new rock and sand!! But I don't know what else to do. The fish seem very healthy when I get them and during quarantine, my LFS runs ICH X in there system and the fish that I buy are there for two to three weeks before I pick up, so if they had any thing it should be gone even before I quarantine, a few other fish have been from LiveAquaria. I had a 55 gallon for years and never had a problem, even without a quarantine tank, not even a dip. Now I quarantine and freshwater dip, spent a bunch of money on a nice setup and have had nothing but problems. I think I'm just going to get a cat!!!!!!! HA HA Just kidding fish are to cool!!!!! <I do like cats as well> I have a feeling its coming from my tank because of how fast it is spreading. What do you think of ICH X? <The Hikari product? Water, formaldehyde (<5%), methanol (<2%), malachite green chloride (<0.1%)... I would NOT use this in a marine setting... see WWM, articles, books by myself re each of the active ingredients... Too toxic, transient and ineffective against marine pathogens> Or should I just stick with copper, it seems that its the most liked for this parasite. <You should read> Thanks so much for your help!!!! And for the best fish website out there!!!!! Todd <Please use it. Start here (again if necessary, the case): http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Scan the titles... take good notes... and write back with specific questions if you want. Bob Fenner>

Malachite Green... not for Crypt 9/25/07 Hi Crew, <Kelly> I can't find explicit instructions for the use of Malachite Green. <Mmm, should be posted on the bottle... varies per stock concentration... You've read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm and the linked files above? Evidently not.> I have a Klein's Butterfly and a Foxface with Ick, which I have removed from my main tank to a 10 gal QT tank. At the advisement of my LFS I purchased Kordon Malachite Green <... not effective for Crypt by itself> and dosed the QT today. My dilemma is that I don't know what to do now. I can't find the treatment protocol. When do I do a water change, how much water do I change, and how do I dose the malachite with water changes? <... Let's skip ahead and have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptcures1.htm and the linked files above...> Also, I have to assume my display tank has ick, right? So, at the end of the treatment period when I reintroduce them back into my main tank will they just become re-infested? I have a snowflake eel, lunar wrasse, bicolor blenny, blue devil damsel, 2 neon gobies and a flame hawkfish still in my 75 gal FOWLR tank. Can I just use hyposalinity and high temp to run the parasite through its cycle? (Please say it is just this easy - I fought a huge ammonia battle only a month ago!) Thank you for your help. Kelly <Have just skipped down... get reading... and soon. Bob Fenner>

(Ich) please help part 2, wasting time, lives 7/25/07 I got home last night and my clown was showing all the signs of infection scratching against decorative coral, locking into one place, which he never does, swimming up to one of my damsels and exposing his side as if he wanted the damsel to clean off the parasites etc. I had another idea on the way to work since this is a fish only tank would it be possible to remove the live rock place it in its own tank and treat the main tank itself until all signs of infection are gone? <...> If possible how long should I keep the rock by itself? <...> I would remove the carbon filters then reinstall after treatment. Will this remove enough of the medication to reinstall the live rock?, or should I just throw out all of my crushed coral , bleach all the decorative coral then install the separated live rock when I purchase the new 240 gal. Please advise Thanks Pat <Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM and READ... Your stock will be dead by the time you go through all this meaningless rambling. Maybe start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshdisart.htm and the linked files above where you lead yourself. BobF>

Ick on Neon Gobies 6/28/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Samuel, MacL here with you on this fine and lovely evening.> I am spoiled and lucky that I did not have ick for 3 years. I just added some snails and frags (no QT) <EEK> and it is 10 days later and my pair of neon gobies have a few spots. <In my experience its very rare for a neon goby to get ick.> I also have a royal Gramma and a spotted cardinal and they are clean so far. The gobies always try cleaning the cardinal and he freaks out. <I doooooo love cardinals.> They do not attempt to clean the Gramma, he must have let them know he is not interested. But now that they have ick why don't they try cleaning each other? <They probably do and you just don't see it. > Is it best to take action right away or is it OK to wait a while to see if they can beat it on their own? <This is such a tricky call and whatever I tell you some people will say I am wrong. BUT if it was me I would watch them to see what happens. I will say that usually the time to see if the ich are getting to be more is first thing in the morning if you only look at night you often miss how many are actually in the tank.> I will not ask you what to do because you have already done that a few thousand times. I think people keep asking because they think their situation is unique and they do not like the idea of having to catch their fish for removal from the display. So they hope a new magic formula is available. And most of the time it is their own fault (myself included). <I think that people always hope for a new magic cure too. Some have tried things like vitamin c and garlic when they first see spots of ich and for many it does work so that's a possibility as well.> No QT is our version of Russian Roulette. Thanks

ICK ~ To Copper Some? or... To Copper All? To read some? Read all? -- 06/17/07 Hi, I heard about your site and that you guys could possibly provide some insight or help? <Possibly; will try> Anyhow, 200gallon salt tank with lots of live rock. I have recognized a butterfly and a wrasse with what appears to be consistent with the description of ICK. I don't want to use copper on my main display tank <NOT advised> and I have a quarantine with appropriate parameters set up at all times. <And you have used it religiously? Now you need a treatment tank...> I figured my wrasse would be the toughest to catch, but after dropping a piece of shrimp in between my oversized net and the glass... I was able to catch him literally first attempt. The butterfly took about half hour, a sore back, and tired arms... <Best to use two arms... two nets... maybe a friend, possibly remove the decor, rock...> Anyhow, upon further reading through your articles I see the suggestion of quarantining all fish even if they have no apparent signs. <... ALL fishes are potential hosts... ALL must be treated> I have a regal tang and a Foxface left to catch. Interesting how tangs and rabbits are supposed ICK magnets, yet they are the ones that appear fine? hmm, back to my dilemma. Let's just say 5hrs combined over two days and I still have two fish in my main display. <...> Too much liverock. <...> Part of the problem is I have massive pieces of Tonga that barely fit through the 3 openings in the top of my tank in the first place. Your thoughts? <That you're wasting your time, trying to waste mine/ours... Any fish left in the system is a reservoir host functionally. You're forestalling the time/interval to effectively treat all> Keep my eyes peeled on the Tang and the Foxface for ICK problems in my main display, in the meantime medicate the wrasse and butterfly? i.e. leave the other two alone? I fear that I am severely stressing them out after about 2 x 2-3hr sessions of chasing. I read through your site, and I don't have anything to store that much water in... as far as lowering the water. I dunno, I'd also hate to use copper or a Cupramine on a fish with no signs. I don't mind keeping my other two fish quarantined for awhile if necessary. That ICK, if it was going to attach to the tang or the Foxface, would like do so within days/weeks? I mean, if I medicate my ICKY fish and then keep them quarantined for 4 weeks... and my tang and Foxface are fine would u say that ICK in my tank would have died off ? What would you suggest? Ideally, if I had smaller pieces of liverock, I'd empty the tank... but I came close to dropping one of these Tonga pieces once before... I think would easily crack the bottom. They're in about 20-30lbs pieces. Derek <Have just skipped down. Back to the drawing board with you. Read. Bob Fenner> Ick Cure and the Meaning of RMF 6/12/07 Hi Crew, <Hello> I just came across this and was wondering if anyone of the Crew has tried their product that cures ick? http://www.nosickfish.com/products.php <Oh boy, where to start on this one. I will say I think they have some wonderful marketing people, and if they worked for me I would give them all a huge raise. As for whether their product can live up to its claims, I am doubtful to say the least. I have not come across any nor have they provided any scientific quantifiable data to support their claims.> I can't believe I just figured out what/who RMF is-Read My Friend. <Sure you don't mean RMF? As in Robert M. Fenner? Although "Read My Friend" is also very appropriate and something I'm guessing Bob may start using. Actually while I'm thinking about it, when used by Bob, "Rate My Fannie" might be more accurate.><<Heeeee! BobF... not an acronym for Big ole Blubbery Fan-whale-oh!>> Unfortunately it falls on deaf ears. We are in the 'want it now' generation. <So true, the concept of delayed gratification is dead. I'll choose an easy scape-goat and blame TV and the internet.> Why waste time reading when an expert can tell you what to do. So instead of using their time they waste your time. <Sometimes unfortunately, but we still love doing it.> Thanks for your time. <Always a pleasure.> <Chris>

Nitrates and Unhappy Inhabitants -- 6/11/07 Hi Alex, Josh here again. <Hey, Josh.> Thank you for all your help in the last reply. Since then, the starfish died (that was ugly) <I bet. Yuck.>, the diamond goby in the quarantine tank died, <Aww'¦> (it looked like the infection spread into his gill since it was closed to begin with), my 2 turbo snails died, and all seven small snails. <gosh!> Not a good weekend... The four remaining fish in the tank and the tang in the quarantine tank are still OK. The Ich treatment says it gets rid of it in 2 days. <<No... RMF>> It has been about 4 or 5 and it still has one of the spots on the top edge of his fin. Should I keep him there for several days after it is not visible at all? <Yes. There needs to be a few weeks of symptom free before believing it is truly gone. Plus, it is in your tank also, so it does need to be fish free for a few weeks also, and all the fish need to be treated elsewhere. Read here'¦ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm > Is there anything significant with all my snails literally dying at the same time? <Yes, as you are aware, something is amiss in the water chemistry that is affecting all the inhabitants. It could be simply the high nitrates caused this cascade reaction. The possible disintegrating sponge could be a factor, as well as allelopathy between the corals (search WWM on this topic). Introducing the polyps and mushrooms which may have been irritated by the nitrates and then been extra noxious also probably contributed.> All hermit crabs are fine too. <Well one piece of good news! They are tough buggers.> By the way, I did mean 1.021 for the specific gravity in the last email (not sure where I really came up with that). <Ah. Do strive to move this toward 1.025 over time. Stop topping off with fresh water for several days. When you change water, match whatever the current SG is in the tank to avoid shocking any inverts.> Also, I could put the two damsels in with the two small clowns in my wife's 12G tank but my two big cinnamons would tear the small clowns up. <Yep! And you don't want to infest your 12 gal with ich either.> The quarantine tank with the tang would be the only place those two could go and that is a lot of fish size wise for that ten gallon tank especially with the type of filtration on it. <Those don't sound like safe places for them, I agree. Any chance you have room for one more tank somewhere for a few weeks? The cheap aquarium kits at the pet store chains (20 gal or so) are about the cost of one fish, so would be a good investment, and then you have a bigger quarantine tank for the next time you buy something new.> Is it OK temporarily if I do maybe a 10% water change every other day or twice a week? <The toxins in the tank do need to be diluted ASAP.> I'm going out to get an RO unit tonight. <Good!> Should I do some big water changes while the fish are out? <Yes! When the nitrates have come way down you will know you have also diluted whatever other toxins had built up. Give it some time to be ich-free and let the water chemistry restabilize, any recycling to complete, then slowly add back your fishes.> Thanks again, Josh <Hope things get better soon'¦ Alex>

Puffer, Waspfish ,Trouble... Ich 6/1/07 I have a 100 gallon tank, 80-100 pounds live rock, serious filtration (XP4 and bio wheel sump), turbo twist, protein skimmer, all my water levels are perfect. Nitrate 10, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, ph 8.2 and good salinity. I have a dog faced puffer fish, cockatoo waspfish, peacock lionfish, and a green mandarin fish. I am pretty sure my fish have ich and I have added kick ich. <To the main tank? If so not good.> Hopefully everyone will be fine. <Unlikely without quarantine and proper treatment.> I have 3 concerns. One, my puffer has been sleeping at the top of the tank on top of one of my powerheads for as long as I have owned him, but now he curls up at the bottom and closes his eyes, is that normal? <Most likely nothing of concern.> He eats like a pig and other than his white dots seems fine. <But that is a big problem.> Two, now my waspfish is staying in the exact same spot on the power head close to the top of the tank as the puffer did. Is he having trouble breathing??? <Probably why the puffer is no longer sleeping there. He may be having trouble "breathing" since Ich attacks the gills first.> And 3, If my fish had ich wouldn't all of them get it because my lionfish has no spots? <Lack of spots does not mean he is not infected, see here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm .> You guys rock, I love how you interject your answers, I hope you can guide me to help my fish stay healthy! Thanks a million, Trevor <Welcome> <Chris>

Copper & Ick... should've read first 4/24/07 (sigh) Our Blue Tangs have been in quarantine so long that I barely remember life before the quarantine tank on my dresser. When we first got them they seemed fine after 5 days so we put them in the main tank. <Not long enough...> We had an ICK attack ... but THAT lesson is already learned. Now we have them in a bare tank @ 79.4 degrees with a Whisper Flow filter I hate to go into details that have been covered many times, but I'm so frustrated I don't know what else to do. 1. Kordon Ick*Attack according to mfr instructions -- no change after 14 days. <Not a fan of this product...> 2. Kick Ick by Ruby Reef according to mfr instructions -- no change after 14 days. <Worthless> 3. Copper Power according to mfr instructions -- no change after 20 days <... Likely no testing of free copper...> 4. Cupramine according to mfr instructions -- no change after 24 days <Ditto> The first two products did NO GOOD at all -- and I suspect that their "reef safe" chemistry makes them weak. <Agreed... are not efficacious> Copper Power and Cupramine both seemed to have cleared the ICK right up until each day we discussed placing the Tangs back in the main tank: <Uhh... the tank has this parasite... You're returning the host to the parasite...> Yesterday they looked fine, today they look like a relief map of the Sierra Nevadas (white spots as well as bumpy blue skin). The good news is that the bare tank bottom has a lush green algae carpet like we dream of having in our display tank. <Indicative of insufficient, continuous copper exposure...> Oh yes, never mixed ANY of the above ... in fact, bought an extra bare tank so I could clean and rinse between treatments. I'm certain that I haven't dosed the copper properly, <With testing?> which brings me to my problem: Copper Power is supposed to be 2.5ppm but the AQI test reads from 2.0 then jumps to 4.0 -- no way to read 2.5 <Need to get/use another (brand) test kit> Cupramine is supposed to be .5ppm and the AQI test kit test that number but the yellow is FAR too pale to really read. 2.5? 5.0? barely a difference when looking down through a test tube. <... see above> I have not found a single SeaChem test that reads copper. Period. FIVE tries now from 3 different LFS -- same. <Please write them re> So I bought an Instant Ocean test kit -- my favorite for everything else ... and it only tests to .25 ppm and nothing more. Useless for Cupramine AND Copper Power..... etc. I'm getting SO SO SO TRIED of spending money and seeing no results. <I sense this> If Copper is the best solution .... what's the best copper to put in solution (Pun alert!!!) and what test kit will accurately read it? Regards Allen <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above. I am a fan of chelated copper solutions, but only with matching test kit use... and infested tanks need to be left fallow (sans fish hosts) for at least a month, to avoid re-infestation of fishes. Bob Fenner>

Re: Copper & Ick 4/25/07 I will read and digest the articles attached, as we have already done with an excellent 2 part article by Steven Pro. <Good> Just to set your mind at ease about a FEW things. 1) Once we introduced Ick into the main tank and lost fish, etc. We did leave it fallow and re-cycled it and now we have no problems with it. <Good to know/read> 2) The PBTs (Poor Blue Tangs) have had the four different ICK treatments in four different physical tanks and have never been back in the main tank since the original outbreak. <Ahh... so all fishes were removed?> It just SEEMS like thinking that they've been clear 'long enough' and maybe time to put them back in -- is what cycles the Ick again. (Obviously not a possible connection except for Murphy's Law) <Maybe...> 3) So ... yes, it HAS to be the copper and the inability to test accurately -- but therein lies the problem. <Likely so... Cupric solutions are not easily kept in suspension in alkaline environments...> Even if I DID get a Seachem test that worked ... no one has yet told me "Cupramine treatment and Seachem test is the way to go" or "I use Copper Power and the {whomafluzit} test kit and get accurate results every time" or "use the Instant Ocean test with {dumbahickey} treatment and it will work", etc. <Okay... straight out... I would look to Hach or LaMotte test kits...> Tanks, lights, filters, etc. all work the same way, using the same physics, so it's often a choice of money or style but the meds ... is more like a black art and a lot of us, <Is way too much voodoo... agreed> I think, are looking for the brand name endorsements from someone we trust ... and as much as I LIKE my local LFS (all three) .... well ..... yanno...... (sigh) Anyway ... I'll read & digest. Maybe I'll lower their salt or increase MY bourbon D <Heeeeee! Am having a rum as we key and read... I wish you and your fishes well. BobF>

Sick little goby - please help!! Phony Crypt med. system toxicity... need... to read 3/8/07 Hello WWM crew, I would like to thank you for your wonderful site!!! I have found the answers to almost all of my questions on your site since acquiring a salt water tank 2 years ago. I was going to post to the 911 section of the chat forum, however presently the registration option is unavailable and I am not quite sure what to do with my problem. <Let's see> I have a 180 gallon reef tank that houses a pink skunk clown, a black & white clown -- we are still out on his exact classification, 4 P.J. cardinals, a keyhole pygmy angel, a yellow tail damsel, 3 engineer gobies (I adult, 2 juvenile that we got 6 months ago), <Neat animals> a sailfin, what has been labeled as a 'white tail Kole tang' (I cannot find any information on this fish, nor can I even find a picture of a similar fish -- he is longer than a Kole tang, his coloration is grey -- soft of a cross between lavender and black, and his tail is white) <Likely an Acanthurus thompsoni... some have white caudals... other areas of their distribution they are uniformly grey... See WWM, fishbase.org for pix...> The tangs were both removed from the tank 2 weeks ago for a suspected case of ich, and are currently in a 30 gallon quarantine tank. <Mmmm... if they have "it", the system itself has "it"...> The have been treated with copper and are looking SOOO much better. I have been treating the main tank with Kick-Ich <Worthless... kicks nothing but your pocketbook...> since removing the tangs. My current problem is with one of my 'baby gobies.' No surprise, the gobies hang together, and have made permanent residence out of one of the base rocks in my reef structure. The smallest of the three is very timid, and usually only comes out at feeding time'¦and even then he doesn't travel more than 4 inches from his 'safe place.' He NEVER comes out from behind the rock structure to swim in the 'display' area of the tank. Last night he was swimming all over the tank and even laying down in the sand in the front section of the tank. He did this 3 times for about 3 minutes at a time. The third time he came out front, he was unable to control himself and got hung up in the current from the powerheads; <Stop the "Kick" product... it's poisoning your system...> I also noted that he was 'gasping' on his third trip out front. At that point I became concerned and pulled him out of the main tank to join the tangs in the quarantine tank. He floated and blew around that tank for about a minute, mostly upside down, then was able to pull himself under the small rocks that are in the tank. I thought for sure that he would be dead this morning, but he scurried out from under the rock when I lifted it up. Unfortunately, he got caught up in the current again (which isn't much at all in this tank) and was swimming upside down for 2-3 minutes without any control before finding his way back under the rock. He is still gasping for all he is worth. Any ideas??? Thanks so much!!! Susan <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptnoncures.htm and as much of the linked files above as you sense that you need to understand your situation... Bob Fenner>

Re: Snowflake eel, blue tang, convict tang II, Ich treatment 03/06/07 Hi there, do you know of any other medications which are safe and effective in a reef tank for treating ich? <All really effective methods (e.g. hyposalinity) should be used in a hospital tank or in a tank without invertebrates.> Today he had a lot more spots on him and they turned into raised bumps. Could it be fin and tail rot? <Probably ich stage A described at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm.> I really want him to get better, because I have treated my tank with tri sulfa over 10 times and it removed ich every time. <A hospital tank with hyposalinity is your best chance. If that is impossible, you may try to fight the free moving stage, which will break out in some days with your UV sterilizer and use tri sulfa to prevent secondary infections, but success is much less probable compared to treatment in a hospital tank. Cheers and good luck, Marco.>

Re: Snowflake eel, blue tang, convict tang III; need a hospital tank for proper ich treatment; how to catch an eel 03/06/07 Hi WWM, I treated the blue tang with tri-sulfa and some spots disappeared, but he started scratching again. I do not have a hospital tank, so what else can I do and are corals classified as invertebrates. <See last email. Your corals are invertebrates and without a hospital tank, there is not much you can do without harming or killing them. Please read the WWM link sent in the last email. The life cycle of marine ich and the so far known methods of treatment are described there. Another good article is http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library/hospital/swich/.> If I choose to do hyposalinity what should I lower the salinity to? <Specific gravity of 1.009 for four weeks, but your corals will not enjoy that. Only use hyposalinity in a tank without invertebrates.> I am going to try and catch the eel, and are there any other ways of catching a snowflake eel then pulling apart the rockwork? <A clean bottle with a small piece of its favourite food and an opening large enough. Bury it in the substrate. Watch at night. Chances are good you will find your eel sitting in the bottle. Close the bottle under water without getting bitten and transfer him carefully to a plastic bag for transport.> Thanks, Maison <Welcome. Marco.>

Ich Medication 2/27/07 Hey crew, <Hi> I have one question. What, in your own opinion, is the best Ich Medication treatment? Any success with Ruby Reef kick ich or No Sick Fish? Thanks Mike <Copper, hyposalinity, and if really desperate formalin. None of these are reef safe and must be administered in a hospital/QT tank. I don't put much stock in anything else. Please read here http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> <Chris>

Oh Help us please! Overstocked and Unprepared - Crypt... a whole lot of fish life in a big system 2/12/07 Hi, <<Hello>> We just purchased a 300-gallon salt system which had been running for 1 year. It had the following: <<had?>> 300-gal. acrylic tank w/ black background, large overflow box w/ return Wet dry dimensions 6 x 19w x 20H <<Mmm, seems rather small considering...>> Custom 125 Sump Filtration System with Refuge Two Recirculating Protein Skimmers ASM G3 & G2 500 Watt Water Heater Two 25 watt UV Gen-X Pump Two Hamilton 4 foot light kits, each with 4 pc 96-watt bulbs in an ABS canopy 250 pounds of LIVE ROCK (Tonga branch) Approx. 2' of Live Sand '¢ 3 1/2 ft. Tessellate Eel <<Do be aware this monster reaches 11ft in length in the wild>> '¢ 1 ft gold spotted Eel '¢ 1 ft ??? Eel '¢ Extra Large Stars & Stripes Puffer '¢ Medium Brown Dog Face Puffer '¢ Extra-Large Figui Black Puffer <<...? Don't know what this is...likely a black color-morph of the Dog Face puffer>> '¢ Extra-Large Emperor Angel '¢ Medium Bicolor Angel '¢ Large Blue Face Angel '¢ Large Majestic Angel '¢ Large Passer Angel '¢ Large Flag Fin Angel . Large Cream Angel '¢ Medium Scopas tang '¢ Extra-Large Sailfin Ind. Tang. <<Yeeikes! That's a bunch of aggressive fish flesh...even for a 300-gallon tank...and somewhat incompatible too. I can only imagine the physical and psychological strains on these fish from living/growing up in this 'too small' environment>> When we picked up the tank, we noticed that the puffer's eyes were a little cloudy with spots. <<Mmm...>> We were told "they were known for that" and it was ok. We have had the tank running in our home for 3 weeks now and it is apparent that the white spots are not just on the puffers. It is on all of the angels and tangs at varying degrees. <<Indeed>> After doing research on the web and your website <<Better late than never I reckon>> we are convinced that it is ICH. We do not have a hospital tank... what can we do? <<Some hard truths/times in store for you my friend. Under the best of conditions this tank was a ticking bomb...if not from environmental degradation/disease then surely from stress/aggression related to too many large and incompatible species in too small a volume of water...likely the stress of moving the tank/inhabitants, along with the associated damage/reduced efficiency of the biological filter (already too small for this fish load) has accelerated the process. These fish 'need to be removed from this system' and relocated to appropriately sized and segregated vessels for treatment while the display system sits fallow for six-weeks. During this time you will need to do your research and decide which 'few' of the 'compatible' animals you want to keep the most, and find appropriate homes for the others. There's something to be said about starting slow and learning as you go... I sense you are new to the hobby, and you have definitely 'jumped in to the deep end of the pool without a float' with this tank/setup purchase. I implore you to find a local 'guru' to help you with this predicament if at all possible (someone from the local fish club or a trusted fish store owner/employee). And start reading all you can re FOWLR systems/setups/filtration, as well as researching the individual fish species re captive care requirements/adult sizes/compatibility/suitability>> We love the fish and the tank and we don't want to lose anyone. <<I understand your attachment, but it is my opinion you can not keep this quantity/mix of fish successfully in this aquarium. In the best interest of the fishes you will have to learn/decide; based on your research, which can be kept healthy in this system for the long-term>> Jim/Laura <<I'm happy to help where I can but the onus is on you...you know where to find me. Regards, Eric Russell>>

Re: Oh Help us please! Overstocked and Unprepared - 02/12/07 Thanks for your help. <<Happy to assist>> We have been fish people for over 15 years. <<Then I guess I'm a little confused by some of the statements in your original query>> We had a 200-gal salt tank about 10 years ago. We started a family and that took all of our time so we sold the fish and tank. Currently we have 4 freshwater tanks and now the 300-gallon salt. We believe in low population and high filtration. <<...?>> Yes, the tank is very overpopulated and with very dirty, messy fish. <<And then some...yes>> Now I have one more question. <<Ok>> We called 3 local salt stores. None of them offer "hospital assistance" and do not know of anyone who does. <<As stated earlier, the responsibility is upon "you" to provide what is needed here. If you are unable or unwilling to do this perhaps you could "give" the fish to the stores...maybe providing you some store credit in return>> We are located in southern California. All of the stores recommended Kick Ich which is safe for reef tanks. Some have used it in their own tanks and have had great success. Does this stuff really work - or am I getting a sales pitch? <<Is a "pitch" in my opinion. This product is a waste of money and a loss of precious time...these fish need pH adjusted freshwater dips followed with treatment with a copper sulphate preparation...following the manufacturer's directions closely. EricR>> R3: Overstocked and Unprepared - Crypt 02/13/07 Thank you again for your assistance. FYI we bought the tank with everything and ALL of the fish. The tank had been running with all the fish for 1 year. All that we have done is move the tank along with all of its 425 gallons of water to our home. <<This was understood>> If we had set up this tank on our own we would never have placed so many fish into the tank. <<I'm not sure what you are trying to convey here...nobody is laying blame...but the fact is these fish are now under your care and are your responsibility. How you choose to proceed will determine their quality of life. EricR>>

Oodinium/whitespot... Unbelievable (almost) mis-mix, parasitic problem 2/12/07 Hi there you guys <Jo> We need some help please. We have an Aqua Medic Anthias 120 aquarium. 115 Gallons, Turboflotor 1000 protein skimmer, post skimming trickle filter and mechanical filter module, Twin 150 w metal halide lights with 10,000k AquaLine lamps. There is also a UV fitted. The tank is set up with live rock. Livestock (what's left) is, 1 large regal tang, 1 large yellow tang, 1 Emperor Cardinal, i file fish, <What species please> 2 percula, 2 black & white clown fish, 1 Clarks clown, 1 cleaner wrasse, <Not easily kept> 1 midas blenny,1 blue throat trigger fish, 1 lyretail wrasse, 6 Chromis, 1 batfish, <! What species? Get very large> 1 coral beauty, plus, 1 brittle star, 2 sand sifting stars, 1 clam, <Won't be happy in this setting... too much activity from the fishes> 2 leather corals, 1 toadstool coral, 1 sea rod, <...> 1 malu anemone, 1 other anemone, <Not compatible with each other or the other Cnidarians...> 1 cabbage coral, 2 mushroom corals, 1 asparagus coral, 3 large turbo snails, 1 hermit crab, 2 carpet anemones, <...> 1 Goniopora coral, <...> 1 boxing shrimp & 2 cleaner shrimps. We have an outbreak of whitespot, <Yeeikes... "When it rains..."> and are losing lish on a daily basis. We have been treating the tank with Exodin <........> and have gone through 2 treatment cycles, but with no benefit. <Need to be treated... elsewhere... the fishes separated... immediately> We had been advised to shut down the system when treating but as I understand it the cycle of the whitespot is 6 weeks in all, and obviously we can not shut everything down for this amount of time. <... no> Can you please give us some advice on what to use, and how to go about it, so that we may save the livestock that we have left! Many thanks Jo & Graham <Where to start here? You have way too much life... and much of it incompatible here... You need to separate and treat the fish life in another system (or two)... If at all possible, practical, stop doing all else and READ re the "Systems", "Compatibility" of all the species you list above... and make a list/discrimination amongst them... for 1) What can go together in this volume, 2) What you need to separate, give away, return... And READ here ASAP: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... as long/far as it takes you to understand what you're up against... and FIRE whoever has sold you the mess you have... AND avail yourself (set up, use) of a Quarantine system for all new livestock... I do hope you don't end up quitting the hobby out of frustration... but you have many trying times ahead. Bob Fenner>

Re: Oodinium/whitespot... Unbelievable (almost) mis-mix, parasitic problem 2/12/07 Thanks for your response. <You need too read... and act... NOW...> We have since lost all 5 clowns & the midas blenny. The file fish is a tassel file, <Gets way too large for your system...> The Batfish is an orbit. <Ditto> The clam is in a quiet area of the tank, and seems happy, not had any problems with it. <It will perish soon> All the corals are healthy and feeding, and growing, We have had no losses there. We are in the process of setting up a separate tank to put the fish in, to treat. <Ahh, thank goodness> As I understand it if we allow the tank to lay with just the invert's and treat the fish elsewhere we will have a good chance of clearing the problem, possibly in 6 - 8 weeks? <Hopefully> I am uncertain as to where the 'itch' came from. <Then... read> We had no problems for 3 months, and didn't think we had transferred anything to the tank with any form of disease. It didn't appear after an addition, and I wondered if it was caused by stress?? <Ah, yes... with a latent infestation present> Our tank maintenance man came to day and performed a 25% water change, cleaned the tank and sand, and suggested that we use no treatment in the tank, <Good> and live with the results. <Uh, no... the results will be the loss of all fish livestock...> He recommended we add more cleaner types to the tank, turbo snails, hermit crabs and blue cheek goby? Any comments on this?. <... dismal> As for the store that sold us this 'mess' as you call it, we will be shopping elsewhere from now on. <I would> We will need to ask advice from someone as to what we need to re home. We were not told we couldn't have certain anemones together ect. <... and no such word as ect.> I find it very hard to ID for sure the types we have, and admit i am unsure of compatibility. <Obviously> we have tried our best, <... Perhaps given a lack of useful, direct information> but obviously we have failed to a point, and must now concentrate on what we have left. <Again... the urge to action... with knowledge here... READ, understand for yourself the current situation... and the impending doom... This mix of livestock is a proverbial time-bomb... with an ever-shrinking fuse. Bob Fenner>

Crypt, Inverts....what to do? 2/11/07 Hi <Hello.> I recently discovered my clownfish had Marine ich. <Uh-oh.> I started treating the tank with Ruby Reef's Kick-Ich medicine and my fish died after the second day I started treatment. <Not a fan of display treatments, proper QT is key.> I am still treating the entire tank with this medicine, <I would discontinue...there is no need if the tank is fishless, just let it run empty for at least 6-8 weeks.> and I am half-way of finishing the 15-day treatment. I currently have: 3 adult snails, a 4mm baby snail (very cute), 3 hermit crabs, an electric fire scallop and live rock. <An even bigger reason to discontinue the medication use.> I want to know if these can be infected with Marine Ich as well, <Nope, the medication is more a threat to these....> and what is the best thing I can do to have a once again healthy tank. <Quarantine future additions.> The temp. in the aquarium is set to ~82 degrees Fahrenheit and the salinity specific to gravity is at 1.025. In addition, I noticed this week my three hermit crabs molted at about the same time. I want to know if this is something normal, or if it could be related to the ich or this medication (5-nitroimidazoles). <Much on crypt. posted on WWM, do search...Adam J.> <<Is related... RMF>> -- Maria del Mar

Crypt - 10/22/2006 I'm about at my wits end with this problem. <Can be extremely trying> I've read almost everything on the web (including your web site) and in books about the disease and its treatment and have followed some of the described treatments (copper, hyposalinity, fallow tank, etc) but it keeps coming back. <Not gone in the first place...> Below I'll describe what I've done and maybe you can spot something I've missed. <Okay> I should note that I religiously check and keep my water parameters within guidelines and as stable as possible. <And you're going to adopt strict quarantine practice> I also do at least one water change a week. Thanks in advance for your assistance By way of background: The first time I had Ich in my 120 gallon Reef tank was 4 months ago (hippo tang 1st, then a Purple tang, followed by a Foxface & a copper banded Butterfly. On advise <advice> from my LFS, I tried a "Reef Safe" treatment <There are no such remedies that are effective. Period> which, after multiple tries, did nothing to cure or even alleviate the problem. During this iterative process, I installed a UV system in hopes of further aiding in the treatment - no luck there either. I then broke down the tank, removing all fish to my LFS & a hospital tank. After reading everything published on the Web and in 4 or 5 books, I elected to put copper (.15) <This concentration in ppm is on the lowest end of the range of efficacy> in the hospital tank (the LFS's tank had copper as well) <The majority of LFSs likely maintain some copper level in their fish holding systems> and then left only corals, shrimp & crab in the 120 tank for 35 days. Additionally, I did three 20 gallon water changes (more to get any residual of the "Reef Safe" medication out of the tank than any thought of removing any of the Ich parasites) <No need> After the 35 day fallow period, I began reintroducing fish into the tank at a controlled rate 3-5 a week (just from my hospital & the LFS tanks). <.... no quarantine?...> 2-3 weeks into this process Ich symptoms began reappearing, first on a Heniochus, next a Foxface, then a goby and then a flame angel and two Gudgeon. At this point, my LFS Owner suggested that I "start over": Get rid of my sand, rock & water (120 tank and sump). <Poor advice... not necessary or useful in the least here> This I did, and again send several of the remaining fish to either my hospital tank or the LFS. I then bought new sand & rock and restarted my tank from scratch. I put back the coral, shrimp, crab & anemone and left it fallow for 2 plus weeks. During that 2 week period, all of the fish at the LFS were in copper <I wouldn't "bet" on this...> and were looking pretty good as were the fish in hypo-salinity (1.018) in my hospital tank. For the last 7-8 days in my hospital tank I put in copper (.15). Current Scenario: After that period (3 weeks+/-) I reintroduced the 7 fish from my hospital tank back into the restarted 120 gallon reef tank and left them for 7 days. Nobody showed any signs of Ich up to that point. Next I put a velvet wrasse and an Eibli Angel from the LFS's copper tank in my Hospital tank (now a quarantine tank with no copper and normal salinity) <Yay!> and left them there for 4 days (4 days because they'd been in copper at the LFS for 10 days +/- prior to being moved to my tank). After I moved them to the large tank at the end of the 4 days, I added no fish for 5 or 6 days I then added 4 tangs <What species? A 120 gallon volume isn't enough for a mix of most> (mine) from the LFS's copper tank back into my 120 gallon tank. Two of the tangs (Purple and Chevron) had been in the LFS copper tank ever since the end of the first break-out (2+ months), the mimic had been in the LFS for 3 weeks in another tank with copper in it and the sailfin had been in the LFS, in copper, for 2 + weeks. That was twelve days ago. Two days ago I noted 4 Ich spots on my Purple Tang and yesterday that was up to about 20 and there were 6 on my Foxface. The only suggestions, other than posting this plea was to make sure that I soak the fish's food in Garlic <Not generally efficacious...> (which I have always done - since day one of my having fish) and add Coral Vital <Worthless> (1 capful per 10 gallons) every day. Can anyone offer any advice on additional step I might take (other than give up on the hobby). Your thoughts and feedback will be greatly appreciated. Regards, Teri <Am out of the country on a very poor connection, but strongly encourage you to (re)peruse all the Articles and as much of the FAQs files on Cryptocaryon archived on WWM (see the indices, search tool)... I would NOT "trust" anyone but yourself to quarantine and treat your livestock... I WOULD have a higher titer of free cupric ion present at all times during treatment... as much as 0.35 ppm. Bob Fenner>

Ich breakout, crowded marine systems, Magical Magnet Cure-alls! - 05/13/2006 Hey Guys, <What about the women here? Am wondering if "guys" covers all genders nowadays.> I have recently introduced a new Tusk to my aquarium. I have a 120 FO with skeletal corals. I have a huge wet/dry and a 25 UV going. After introducing the Tusk my Blue Face Angel was giving him problems. <This tank is too small for a Euxiphipops...> Not surprisingly the Tusk broke out with ich. He has obviously been scratching because he cut up the top of his tail. I have removed the Blue Face Angel and put him in another aquarium, however my Tusk, Picasso, Golden Arothron, and Volitans lion have ich now. None of these guys have ever had ich. <But your system did... you/they did actually have a sub-symptomatic crypt infestation> I don't want to treat with copper. I just recently ordered a product called ECO-Aqualizer that is supposed to help with the immunity of fish, and almost cure anything. <Heeee! Magnet technology... Hope you've also got a pyramid hat to cogitate furiously with... See WWM re reference to this product, the owners...> Not sure if you've heard of it. However do you have any suggestions? I love my fish and it sucks to see them with ich after they have been doing so well. ~Sam <Uhh... sure... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and the linked files above... and soon... formulate a real treatment plan, execute against it... Or your fishes will perish. Bob Fenner>

Ich Advise and advice ... poor information and ignorance 5/21/06 Currently have Ich in my 55 Gallon Reef Tank. I have installed a UV Sterilizer <Won't cure> and am about a week into "Kick-Ich" treatments. <Worthless> I have also removed the charcoal and turned off the skimmer. Is there anything you might suggest further?? <...> Also, have you ever heard of the SANO Remedy? I have read some testimonials from users, and they have all been good. Thanks <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Scroll down to Parasitic Systems/Reefs, Cryptocaryon, Phony Remedies... and read. W/o useful, accurate knowledge and action... soon... your fishes will be dead and you out of the hobby. Bob Fenner> Ich questions I'll say! SW impudence 3/23/06 Hi, bad news today I've got Marine Ich. <Could be worse. Your fishes could have it> I woke up this morning and my Rusty angel was on the brink of death. I gave him a freshwater dip but he'll probably die. <So will you, but let's make it later rather than sooner eh?> I never really knew what Marine Ich looked like. I'm experienced with freshwater Ich but Marine seems trickier. I know freshwater Ich is definite white spots on the fishes body but what threw me here was that the marine Ich looked like tiny bubbles. I read that one article Ich v. Air bubbles. I shut off the protein skimmer for awhile and they were no air bubbles. so Marine fishes should have absolutely no signs of white spots no matter how small right? and they should exhibit little to no flashing? <You're getting there...> I have notice some of my other fish have had small white spots in the past and were flashing but due to my inexperience I thought little of it. I think they weren't as affected as my Angle because I use this stuff called Reef DNA <Tis garbage> that is supposed to inhibit Ich attachment to fishes skin. <Heee and cure baldness?> I have also been thinking is Freshwater Ich and Marine Ich the same organism <No... same holociliate grouping though> because sometimes I share my thermometer between my two tanks although, the freshwater tank has been Ich free for a year or so they could have been transferred and liked it better in the Marine tank. I've read up as much as I could on your site and I've got a pretty good idea of what I have to do. but what should the size of the isolation tank be? my current tank is a 30 gal. and is getting to the point of, or is, over stocked with 5 damsels, 1 zebra goby,1 striped Dottyback, and my angle; if he survives. all I have to work with is a 10 gal and a 55gal. both are extremes and I would rather not use the 55 because of the large amount of water and water changes. also apparently a Rusty Angel is the type of Angel that does not tolerate copper well right? any input would be great my basic plan is isolation of all fishes, let the main tank run fallow for 5 weeks, and treat the isolation tank for a week or so. Thanks, Shawn <Have just skipped down... read: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... do this soon... Bob Fenner> Flame Angel Not eating... Melafix/tea non-treatment - 01/24/06 Hi Bob, <Chase> I hope you can please help me with this? I have had a 3.5 in Flame angel for over 7 months now. About 7 weeks ago I had a bad case of ick that ended up killing my Bicolor blenny before I could get it under control. I finally have it under control with no signs of ick for 6 weeks. The problem that I am having is the flame angel hasn't eaten in about 6 weeks. I treat the ick with MelaFix (which now I am not sure was the best thing). <... is not... the ich is still there... its presence (sub-symptomatic) is likely largely at play here> I feed the tank spectrum, flake, live brine, frozen brine, Mysis and bloodworms. The flame angel eat great before and eat everything that I gave him. He hasn't loss any weight that I can tell, but he is eating the normal food. He also has come very shy and hides in the rocks a lot. There is nothing in the tank picking on him and everything else is eating well. About 1 week ago I noticed that his tail (the purple part) was tearing and since he had no appetite I thought it maybe fin rot so I again dosed MelaFix which helped the fin rot within 2 days but he still isn't eating. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your help. <... if people are sick with a parasite, do they think of drinking tea to cure themselves?> 90 Gallon FOWLR, Copperband Butterfly, Flame Angel, Yellow Coris wrasse, 6 line wrasse, Kole tang, pair of clowns, shrimp goby, Bartlett Anthias, diamond goby, yellow spot goby Chase Brodsky <You will find the Cryptocaryon resurfacing should this system be "challenged" or another fish added... see WWM re treating Crypt. Treat the cause, not symptoms. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater ich !! 9/25/05 Hi Bob, <Ramy> After reading the WetWeb archives about ich, I know that you don't believe in what is called the reef safe medications. <Have never encountered one that was safe... and effective> My question is regarding a new medication by nosickfish company, www.nosickfish.com All the reviews claim it is a miraculous medication. What is your opinion ?? <Mmm, have met the young fellow who rep.s this stuff twice now... last week's MACNA, last IMAC... seems earnest, yet won't/can't say what the product is, the history of its development... how it works... so am doubtful... However, I would "cast your net out" a bit further and ask fellow hobbyists for input... on the large/r BB's like Reefs.org, ReefCentral... re their experience/s> My regal and powder blue tangs are heavily infected and there is no way I can tear up the tank to catch them. It is a 150 gal , SPS tank and a few clams . HELP !!!!! Ramy, Canada. <I would prepare for "the worst" by setting up a treatment tank, be ready to drain... and quarantine all newcomers... Bob Fenner>

Re: Saltwater ich !! 9/30/05 Hi Bob, <Ramy> Thank you for your reply. I emailed the nosickfish guy and he replied back saying that this medication is not 100% effective but they have 85% success rate over the other medications !!! <I see... the young fellow I met twice seemed earnest> So here I am , 4 cleaner shrimps, 1 cleaner wrasse and 3 neon gobies. The Regal tang is doing great but the powder blue is heavily infected and it is a coward as it does not allow any of the cleaner shrimps or the neon gobies to touch her. Any other suggestions, it is very hard to catch the fish in this setup with all the SPS . <... drain the tank to catch out all fishes... the sessile invertebrates will not be harmed by this temporary air exposure, and this is much easier on the fishes> P.S. I feed with the garlic flakes and mysis shrimps . <I don't put much stock in garlic (though I do put garlic in most of my stocks...)> Thanks again. Ramy, Canada. <Do read over the parasitic disease, systems articles, FAQs files on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Ick treatment suggestion for my LFS 9/28/05 Hello, I wrote to you recently about my ick problem... I know my approach was probably backwards.. But it seems to be working... I pulled and my liverock (about 150lbs) of it out of my main display and added malachite green to my display tank to treat my fish only and it seems to be working... 1 week left of treatments left to go.. and all appetites are back... Anyway I just wanted to tell you that my LFS guy told me I could have treated my main display tank for 2 weeks with no adverse reactions from my fish or inverts... He also swears that he treats his 250 gallon in store display tank with malachite green and has never lost a fish or invert... How could this be? <... don't know... a sub-lethal (to the livestock) dose... luck?> I have been using him for about 10 years and he has never steered me wrong in the past.. He owns a very popular store in New Jersey... needless to say I did not follow his advice....This could be why we make terrariums out of our fish tanks.. hehe <You are (painfully) correct here. Again, there are few bonafide methods for parasite eradication in marine aquariums... these are stated, investigated over and over in the scientific (not the hobbyist) press... Nonetheless, there persists ignorance in abundance, products of soda pop, hot pepper, other make-up that are sold, good-sellers, that result in huge losses of livestock, hobbyists, business... amazingly self-defeating. Having spent decades in the trade, including fourteen years "on the floor" in retail, am continuously incredulous at how gullible the public apparently is... Heard recently (on a PBS Sunday game show) that two out of five Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth... Bob Fenner>

Re: Help with Ick, still not reading... Hi Bob, thanks for your advice...again. You said I have a "sort of" infestation because only 2 of my 8 fish seem to have it. Is this a "better" time to treat it with something like Ick Attack because I'm catching it at an early stage, instead of setting up a QT???? <Nope... the "ways to treat", rationale are all... still posted on WWM... read them> In your opinion, are products like Ick Attack more effective on a small infestation, rather than if all 8 of my fish had it????? Thanks again. Jeff. <This product is a scam... I would not use it for anything... you've been swindled... study my friend. Bob Fenner>

Sera Cryptopur Hello, <Hi there> Have you had any experience using Sera Cryptopur for treating itch. <No, I use Goldbond on my feet. Oh you mean for saltwater ich/Crypt. Nope... here's their pitch: http://www.sera.de/English/autoframe.htm?url=http://www.sera.de/english/News/news.htm > It says you can use it in the main tank along with live rock and inverts as it does not contain copper. What do you think.. <That there is no such thing as an effective treatment that kills some invertebrate w/o killing other invertebrates... Bob Fenner>

Feedback on Aquapharm Pro Series Cure Ich Product Hi again! <Hello> Thanks a bunch for all your help. I'm currently have a hyposalinity QT tank set up for my parrotfish, batfish, and boxfish. They're temporarily in a rather small tank. I plan to move them to a bigger one so as to house all the remaining fishes in my display tank. Unfortunately, the sailfin tang's condition deteriorated and didn't make it pass the FW dip which was frustrating since I had him since he was li'l guy!!! :-( I do however have a question regarding AquaPharm's Pro Series Cure Ich medication. Have any of you used it? <Mmm, no... this is a product of: http://www.aquapharm-india.com/ and not something not listed by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals I take it> How effective was it in getting rid of the ich? Also, it doesn't state what its ingredients are, just that it doesn't contain copper. It also claims that it is safe for invertebrates, and corals. <Umm... ingredients not listed... safe for non-vertebrates... Not a possibility> (I've attached what's printed on the bottle label.) But when I do use it, the anemones tend to shrink for the first few days. <Uhh, what do you think?> Does this mean that it's a temporary occurrence? <Life itself is temporary... I would NOT use this product> Should I continue to use this medication in my QT tank for the infected fishes? <I would NOT. Look for a REAL product.> They're pretty much clear of clear but I'm going to wait for another 4 weeks before I put them back into the display tank, that is, if I can catch the remaining fishes in the display tank. They're pretty slippery li'l guys to catch!! It would be much appreciated if you could let me know of any feedback about its usage. <Study my friend... very likely the visible stages have just cycled off... perhaps with the general poisoning of this product involved... they'll be back> Also, according to the site, I should increase the temperature of the display tank to speed up the lifecycle of the ich. I'm currently using 2 fans on top of my display tank. It's usually around 26 - 27 degrees and the plants and anemones are doing well. But I was told that anything higher than those temperatures, the plants will suffer. Is that true? If so, what should I do? Take out the plants too? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs files (linked, in blue, at top) until you understand what you're up to here> As for the harlequin shrimp, when I feed them starfish, would I have to QT the small red starfishes too to avoid bringing ich into the system? <Study> If so, would it have an adverse effect on the starfishes if I put them in with the others in the QT tank which is currently in hyposalinity. <The hyposalinity will NOT eliminate the Cryptocaryon by itself...> Btw, I also have tank containing a few pufferfishes, 1 dogface puffer, 3 white spotted puffers (s,m,l sizes), 1 other puffer (but I don't know the English name for it), 1 scorpionfish. So far the fishes get along fine. The scorpionfish is usually next to the sponge filters whereas the largest of the white spotted puffer just sits at the bottom of the tank until a piece of food comes his way. However, since the puffers are very aggressive during feeding time, the li'l ones usually miss out on the bits of shrimps that I give as the larger ones keep stealing them away from the li'l ones. Is this behavior normal? <Yes. You may have to feed the smaller individual especially, perhaps move it to other quarters.> When I feed the scorpion live freshwater fish, the largest of the white spotted puffer keeps catching them for himself!! So......... I do wonder if the scorpion ends up eating at all. Any suggestions? Thanks again. Still trying, Lisa <You're doing fine thus far... just need to apply yourself, learn a bit more> Pro Series Cure Ich? safe for corals and invertebrates is a scientifically formulated medication for the control of marine ich (white spot). It contains no copper and it is safe for corals, invertebrates and delicate fish and will not damage the biological filter. Cure Ich? also eliminates the free swimming parasites that feed on the fish and end up leaving an open wound which eventually cause a bacterial infection. Symptoms may include any white spots, body fungus, visible sores or wounds, discoloration, fish rubbing against objects, loss of appetite and increased respiration. Cure Ich? is also a treatment of Velvet, Coral fish disease (Oodinium), Slimy skin disease (Brooklynella), Fin and tail rot, Mouth fungus (Flexibacter Columnaris). <And balding, dementia and what ails you... You've been swindled. Bob Fenner>

Lack of knowledge, phony medicines, Crypt I have a Lionfish and a Foxface Fish in a 75g tank. All of the parameters are fine. I've been trying to kick some sort of parasite or ich out of my tank. I am losing the battle. <... are you inferring you've been treating the main tank with some sort of chemical regimen? Not smart> I've already lost my Kole Tang and Basslet Fish. I've been using Rally and Kick Ich with no positive results. <These products are worst than worthless... they are toxic placebos concerning parasite treatment> I've even aerated the tank as much as possible to help the fish breathe and I am currently losing the battle. I even tried to over medicate the tank to help with it but, it is not working. <...> I am to the point I am going to abandon my main 75g tank and move the remaining inhabitants, Foxface Fish and live rock into a 10g tank. <Oh, good idea> What do I need to do to the main tank to get rid of ich and the parasites once the inhabitants have been removed? After I moving the occupants should I do a water change and leave it empty? All medications have not helped my fight against the parasite/Ich. Help <Uhh, time to study, then act. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

No Question But A Confirmation. Ruby Reef's Kick-Ich I thoroughly enjoy your site and the information. <Me too> A number of references have been made regarding Ruby Reef's Kick-Ich. My experience with the product has also not been good. <It's a sham> There seems to be a significant "unexplained" mortality rate when using this product. Fish that have no visible signs of ich are found floating within 12 hours of dosage even though all directions are carefully followed. Slime slothing [sloughing] was witnessed in most of the fish. <You would observe the same results from pouring in most any kitchen food product... vinegar, mustard...> The fish become lethargic for a period of time, followed by air gulping even though water quality is good and there are no ammonia traces, at the same time, fish with swim bladders seem to lose control of buoyancy, become weaker and die. <Yes> Transfer of the fish to another system void of the "medication" does not seem to help, however it may if the fish are transferred as soon as any type of behavior change is noted. <Good descriptions> Fish with ich show no signs of improvement but worse than that they seem to attract the ich like magnets during the secondary bloom. <I concur> At the end of the treatment cycle when the protein skimmer is turned back on cups and cups of effluent are generated even though Nitrate, nitrite levels are imperceptible. This may be a bacteria bloom in the skimmer itself however its more likely a reaction between the product and the skimmer bacteria. John <You[r] and I's [my] observations agree... the product is worse than worthless... as it leads people to believe they're actually "doing something" of value, helping their livestock. Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang scratching, Kick Ich product SCAM, Good Day <Hello> Well, my Hippo tang is scratching persistently and my yellow tang is scratching now. I knew I should have waited about the Kick Ich -- that is one $31.00 lesson I learned. <This product... how many more times do I have to state this?... is an outright SCAM... there are NO reef safe anti-Cryptocaryon cures... NONE... What leads people to believe there could be? What would select this protozoan and yet leave others be? Arggggh!> I have a 20 gallon QT tank I am going to set up today. Should I use 10 gallons of water from my tank and 10 gallons of fresh saltwater or should all 20 gallons be fresh saltwater since I do not know what is going on in my tank? <I would use the current aquarium water... less stress, comes with beneficial microbes... the ich will be killed...> My yellow tangs cloudy eye has healed, but he still has the large brown spots on him and his lips seem to have a little brownish color around them today. With what and how should I treat my fish once I get them into the QT tank? All your help is greatly appreciated. Sherry <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files (in blue, above) where you lead yourself... QUICKLY... and act with knowledge. Bob Fenner>

Reef safe" ich medication Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2005 Hello WWM Crew, <Hello Eric, James (Salty Dog) here.> I have used your website an awful lot, as it has been very helpful. I know you have probably already answered my problem but I am still confused about what to do. I have a yellow tang with a pretty bad case of Ich. I stupidly bought "kick ich", and so far it has yielded worthless results. Believe it or not I isolated the yellow tang (he is my only fish) in a hospital tank to apply medication, however I moved him back to the main tank for two reasons. One, the kick ich claims its reef safe, which I seriously doubt. The second reason was I was having troubled keeping the ammonia and nitrite levels at a safe level in the 10 gallon ht. I don't have a sponge filter to apply to ht, however I know its a good thing to use the display tank water. My question is, how can I keep the ammonia/nitrite problem in check? If I do frequent water changes, then how can I keep the medication at an affective level? <Eric, unfortunately, in my opinion, there is no effective medication for ridding ich in a reef tank. I think Sea Chem's Prime would work for you in your QT. Try to stay away from the chelated copper medications as test kits will not read correct levels. Use an ionic (copper sulphate) copper medication. A test kit is required since it quickly precipitates in the system. Do not use any carbonate material for substrate as this will quickly absorb at least half of it in a couple hours. Keep the level between .15/.20. You will need to monitor the level daily. Good luck, James (Salty Dog)>

Kicking Ich- The Effective Way! (Pt. 2) HI Scott. <Hello again!> Thanks for the advice. <My pleasure!> I will say that Kick-Ich did a pretty good job in the original part of the infection, when about half the fish showed ich. It was nearly all gone within a three days. As of today, I can't see any signs of infection at all. So, I think it did some good..... <Well, do familiarize yourself with the life cycle of the causative protozoan. As part of its life cycle, the Cryptocaryon protozoa leave the infected fishes several days after they appear to move on to the next phase of their life cycle. Don't be 100% convinced that they are history... They usually return...Be vigilant!> Anyway, I'm moving a short distance in three weeks, and will take that opportunity to let the tank lay fallow, and treat the fish with copper. I'd imagine that will do the trick... <Yep...that will get 'em!> Thanks very much, I do appreciate your time and all the good advice from WetWebMedia. Mark <Glad to be here, Mark. Do realize that I am a bit opinionated when it comes to ich treatment, but my advice-nor anyone else's-should be taken as the last word on the subject. I simply recommend what has worked for me and many others with the highest rate of success...Always be skeptical and go with your instincts. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Kicking Ich-Follow Up... Hi Scott. <Hello again!> Just for the record, or information, the ich spots on the fish did disappear (and never returned) about three days after I started with the Kick Ich treatment. I'm not surprised the spots went away in that time frame however, its been three weeks, and except for one or two small spots on the pectoral fins of two of the fish (which I don't happen to see today), the ich never came back. Could be coincidence, of course, but based on that, I do think it did some good, killing the free swimming stage as advertised..... <Glad to hear that it worked for you. I won't bad-mouth the stuff, but just choose not to use it myself, or recommend it to others...> On the other hand, despite a water change, I think the leather coral has croaked, and the pearl died some time ago. Kick Ich is supposed to degrade or decay over time, but perhaps the concentrations get too high without a water change over the course of treatment. <Could be...> Also, the directions say to dose by tank/sump size, never mind about the live rock, etc. I'd guess my live rock is 1/4 the volume of the tank, so perhaps that was a factor. <True with any additive, medication, etc. Good point! This is, of course, one of the many reasons why I generally advocate treatment in a separate tank> Anyway, I figured kick ich was worth trying, since the local fish store guy swore by it. I'm looking forward to moving the tank like a trip to the dentist, but at least I should have a clean aquarium as a result... <This is true!> Thanks, Mark <Thanks for sharing your experiences with our readers, Mark! Good luck the rest of the way! Regards, Scott F>

Marine Ick Bob, <Jeff> I want to start by saying that I really enjoy reading the postings. They have really helped me to gain a better understanding of my saltwater system. <Me too> Here is what I have: 55 gal FOWLR, Wet/Dry filter, Rio 360 pump, two power heads in the tank, protein skimmer, 50#of crushed coral, 12# of LR, with other coral skeletons for decoration. <Okay> My livestock originally consisted of: 5 damsels, 2 snails, 2 blue leg hermits, a coral beauty, a hippo tang, a yellow mimic tang, and two false pecs. Everything with the exception of the coral beauty was under 2", or less. Just as a side note, I have learned the value of a quarantine tank, at the cost of the mimic tang, snails, hermits, and both false pecs...enough said there. <Yikes> A couple of weeks ago I noticed that my coral beauty and the hippo tang both developed Ick. I did not see any of the warning signs, other than a high Nitrate level, but they both were covered in white spots, seemingly overnight. I did not have any type of q-tank, as this is a new set up and all of the fish were bought at the same time, except for the damsels (these were in the tank for 10 weeks for cycling). I consulted my LFS and he suggested treating with No Ick. He said it was invert and LR safe. He also suggested garlic with the food. <... am sure you are familiar with my opinions with these materials, approach> He did not say it would cure the ick, but it was a start. I read over the medication, and started using it per the directions, after a 50% water change. There was no difference in the amount of spots after 4 days. <No surprise> I was testing everything each day. on the 5th day I noticed a large ammonia spike. <What? With the "reef safe" "med.?". What a shock!> I did a 30% water change, and added Ammo Lock. I rechecked it the next morning and the ammonia had spiked overnight. I knew at this point I had to do something, all of the fish had spots.... stress from ammonia?? <Possibly a co-factor, but really just the causative organism cycling, reproducing...> I called a buddy and he had a spare tank for me to borrow. I set it up with an airstone and some water from the main tank. I had read about copper treatment on your website, so I purchased Cupramine, and a test kit. I dropped the SPG to 1.018, raised the temp to 83, and set the copper at about .35 per the directions. I was doing 50% water changes per day and dosing with copper after the change, per the testing. I am happy to say that after one full week, the spots are gone. <Yay! Congrats> I am planning on maintaining the copper for another week and then gradually getting back to normal in the QT. What are your thoughts on what I have done thus far??? <The second trial I am in agreement with> Here is the problem now. My main tank was off the charts with ammonia. My best guess was that the No Ick killed all of my biological filtration. <Mine as well> Again, from reading postings, I dropped my SPG down to 1.012, raised the temp, and did several water changes. The only thing left in the tank no are the decorations and the LR. I am not sure if it has been hurt or not. | <It has, but likely not irreparably> I did find several bristle worms, and other critters floating (the ammonia spike???). How long do I need to leave this tank fallow and at a low SPG?? <About eight weeks> What can I do to ensure I have eradicated all of the unwanted critters, with out harming the LR, if not already???? <About the same amount of time... in all likelihood you will not attain a 100% "kill" of the Cryptocaryon... but the likelihood of it gaining pathogenicity is small> I know I will need to keep the fish in the QT for at least 3 to 4 more weeks. My best guess is that the main tank will have to completely re-cycle again. I hope to speed it up some by utilizing the LR and adding Stress Zyme. Any other suggestions?? <Patience... visits to stores, friends tanks, contemplation> Again, thank for the website and you sharing your knowledge with beginners like me!! Sincerely Jeff Hutcherson <A pleasure, Thank you for sharing your experiences. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Ick Good Morning Gang!! <Morrow Jeff> In a previous email to Bob I discussed my problems with Ick, and all the issues in my main tank. Well, here is the follow-up and a couple more questions. <Okay> As noted before, my main tank did go through another cycle due to the loss of all bacterial filtration. This was caused by the No Ick. (I do not recommend this product to ANYONE!!) <Me neither!> After I returned form a weekend camping trip with the family, I tested everything in the main tank. To my surprise, ammonia and nitrites were at zero. However, nitrates were off the charts. The tank is still fallow and will remain so for another 4 weeks. What do I need to do at this point to get the nitrates down to an acceptable level? SG is around 1.012, and the temp is around 83-84. <Best, cheapest, fastest? Change a good part of the water> The other question pertains to my Coral Beauty. She is in the Q-tank with the other fish at this time. I have stopped the copper treatment. There are absolutely no signs of Ick. The CB does have other areas of concern, There are a couple of "white feathery things hanging off the very end of the tail fin. These do not look at all like the ick symptoms. She also has a cloudy mold area just behind the anal fin, about 1/4" in diameter. Again, this does not look at all like the ick spots. Any ideas what either of these could be? <Yes, "secondary" infections and/or the result of the same. Bacteria and fungi... that should "go away" of their own accord with time. Keep up water quality, vitamin-enhanced feeding, perhaps place a bit (a few pounds) of live rock... and be patient> If so, what suggestions do you have to treat these areas? All of the other fish really look great and have good color. Everybody is eating well and are very active. I have not seen any heavy breathing, or any other signs of stress. Thanks again for you advice!! You guys and gals are very much appreciated!! Jeff <Congratulations on saving your livestock. Bob Fenner> Treating Ich In A BIG Tank! Thank you for the help you have provided me in the past. <We're glad to be of service! Scott F. here today> I do have a quick question. I have a 700 gallon tank, primarily fish, with some live rock and mushrooms. Anyway, water parameter all check out properly, and things were going well until about 6 weeks ago, when I noticed several fish with the salt like spots. I know your opinion on treating the fish in a QT, but with my size and number of fish, it becomes a little difficult, so I treated with Kick-Ich. Seemed to work OK, did two treatment periods (26 days). When done, there were still a couple whitish areas, didn't really look like salt grains, on their tail fins (no scratching noticed at all with any of the fish). So I cleaned the tank and watched. Over the next few days, a few more spots slowly developed on tail fins, so someone suggest marine RXP. Waste of time. <Grr... The joys of trying to attack ich in the display! Well, your circumstances are a bit different than most people, so I guess I understand your desire to proceed in this manner> Spots got worse over course of treatment. Finally, I went out and picked up Nox-Ich. Years ago, last time I had similar problem, malachite green worked, so I decided to try (I did pull my main mushroom rocks out of the tank, however the sporadic ones still in the tank don't seem effected at all by the treatment). Next morning everything was gone on all the fish. Yesterday I put the 3rd treatment in, and there are still no signs of anything on the fish. My question is, can the problem really be cured in just 3 days of treatment? <I have my doubts. You need to think about the life cycle of the causative protozoan, and use a treatment that either attacks the organism at all phases of its life cycle, or which provides a means to disrupt its life cycle> Is it possible this wouldn't have been ich, but maybe just some type of fungus? <Well, the symptoms of these two maladies are distinctly different. Do read up on the FAQs for more information on making proper diagnosis on them> Would you recommend doing anything else, or just let this final treatment dissipate, and then clean the tank and see what happens. Any thought you have would be appreciated. Thank you. <Well, I guess at this phase, I'd do what your proposing. Exposing the fishes to another round of medication may be more stressful for the fish than it is helpful. Observe the fish for a while to see if the treatment has succeeded, then decide on your next course of action from there. With a little luck, maybe you licked it. Do, however, remain vigilant and ready to act again if the need arises. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Ich Strikes Again...And Again! Shortly after setting up my tank my fish got ICH. I went to the Local Fish Store (LFS) and asked the guy there. I purchased a 22$ bottle of what was suppose to be reef safe Ich Killer (Kick Ick). Turned out to be a 22$ bottle of water basically. <I'm not a big fan of the stuff, but some people swear by it...> In following the instructions on the bottle, my fish only got worse and I ended up loosing them all except for two. I then discovered your site and asked you guys questions. I took the remaining two fish out and put them in a hospital tank and treated with copper, hyposalinity, and a higher temp for 5 weeks. During this 5 weeks my display tank went fallow. I added the two fish back in without signs of ICH for a good while. <Good work!> I found two fish that I really loved at the LFS (Purple Tang and a Flame Angel). I went every other day to look at these two fish for two + weeks. I purchased the fish and got them home and put them in my QT tank (Yes you taught me to QT my fish too). <Excellent!> They stayed in QT for 4 weeks without any signs of ICH what so ever and no signs of ICH in the main tank either. Note: I did NOT add any new live rock or corals to the main tank since it went fallow. I took the fish out of QT, fresh water dipped them, and added them to the main tank. Two days later my Purple Tang has spots of ICH. I removed all rocks, removed the water, and changed the substrate completely. I added the water, the rocks, and put the fish (Purple Tang) in the Hospital tank. Went through all this and found the next day my Flame Angel had a couple spots. My two Chromis are fine. What did I do wrong (besides not taking all the fish out and putting them in the hospital tank) and how can I prevent this in the future? <Well, your procedures sound quite good, actually. Unfortunately, some fish are simply more susceptible to ich than others, However, the only thing I probably would have done differently is to remove all of the fishes from the display. I know it sounds like a pain, but my thought is that the fish that remain in a tank where ich was present are potential carriers of the disease...> Well this morning my flame angel and my two Chromis are fine without spots and I treated my Purple with copper in the hospital tank. <Glad to hear that!> I have been posting things about this on my reef club's board and I am getting everything from Ich is always present and you can't get rid of it, just prevent it. <Well, there is much controversy on that topic. I am slowly starting to embrace that theory. Like any disease, ich is opportunistic, and will attack fish that are stressed or otherwise in a lowered state of resistance. Yes, quarantine and excellent water quality (i.e.; a low stress environment) are definite aids to preventing this illness> I feed my fish a lot of garlic and vitamin soaked foods and they are all eating and healthy otherwise. They also talk about getting a UV Sterilizer, should I? <I don't run one, myself, but I have friends who swear by 'em> What are the benefits to using a UV Sterilizer and what are the down falls? <Benefits are another means to combat parasites on a full time basis. Down falls are another chunk of change to plunk down, and the cost and maintenance (minimal, though) of operating one.> Will this help with my ICH issue? <It may help prevent future outbreaks> Did you see anything that I did wrong in the above text? What could I have done better and how can I stop this or put it at bay at least? <Honestly, other than using the "reef safe" product initially, I see little wrong with your practices. Perhaps a 6 week fallow period would have been a bit better, but other than that- sounds fine. Just continue doing what you're doing!> Sorry for the long e-mail but all help needed!!!!! Thanks, JB <Stay the course, JB- you're doing fine! Regards, Scott F.>

The Dreaded Ich Dilemma (3/7/04) Hello. <Hi. Steve Allen tonight. Sorry for the delay. One of the crew is out and I helping to clear his inbox.> I have a 150 Gallon Reef tank (48 x 24 x 28) by Clarity Plus with dual corner overflows. I have a CPR 294 with dual Protein skimmers that leads into an additional CPR Sump. The water then flows through a micron filter into a chiller into a CPR Refugium Pro and back to the tank using an Iwaki 100RT. In addition there is a 57Watt UV with 200GPH flow within the extra sump before the Refugium line which leads back to the tank. My Lights are PFO with 2-250 MH, 2-110 VHO, and 2-2 Moon Lights. My tank has 150 Pounds of Live Rock from Tonga, Fiji, Bali, and the Marshall Islands. In addition, I have 50 Pds of Live Sand from an existing system. <Sounds like a very nice setup.> There is a mix of 25 corals in the tank from Hard, Soft, and Fire Corals. The fish population is a Purple Tang, Blue Tang, Imperator Angel, Lawnmower Blenny, Royal Gramma, Cleaner Wrasse, Blue Dot Puffer, Bi-color Angel, Niger Trigger, Clown Sweetlips, Ocellaris Clown, and about 250 small Snails, Crabs, Shrimp, cucumbers, and Stars. <That's a lot of life, even for a 150. Several big fish in there. They're likely to get crowded over time. Do you test for ammonia, nitrite & nitrate? Perhaps one is elevated, thus stressing your fish to the point of getting ich.> The tank has been set-up for about 4 months.<I think part of the problem may be having added too much too fast. It should take closer to a year to get to this level. I'm guessing you did not quarantine each new fish.> There is some random coral picking, which was expected with the mix of fish I have. <Correct. Hopefully it won't get out of hand.> The problem is: 1) That ICH has started to Break Out on all the fish, and I can't catch them to FWD or Quarantine them. I used RxP and Oxy by Kent, but the corals all closed up and it didn't work. <Yup, a waste of $ and time. Also, this is evidence against the efficacy of UV in controlling ich.> 2) Even though coralline algae was heavily present on the live rock, no new coralline has grown. <May be missing something they need.> So, 2 part question....Any secrets to catching fish within a reef tank? <You're not going to like this, but the best (probably only) way to rid your tank is to get all of the fish out of there and treat them with medicine in one or more large Rubbermaid tubs and leave them out of the tank for at least a month. Read all about this starting with the ich articles & FAQs. As for catching them, the only way to accomplish this is to remove the corals & the rock and drain down the tank enough to catch them. Search the FAQs for more info. Big problem and many hours of work. I'm sure you wish you had quarantined each of those fish individually for 4 weeks. By my math, that's 44 weeks to get to where you went in 16. I truly feel bad for you as I had to do this once with far fewer fish in an 80G. I learned my lesson.> How to stimulate Coralline Algae growth? <Check your calcium level. I suspect it will turn out to be a little low. Could be another trace element. You'll have a month to get your coralline and invertebrates thriving while your tank is fallow (fish-free). Thanks, Adam <Hope this helps.>

- Ozone for Ich? - Hi Chris here I have a 90g miracle mud reef system I run a UV and 50mg Ozonizer I have cleaner wrasse among the group of fish in my tank i.e. emperor angel common clowns, bluecheek gobies. My tank also consists of 90kg of live rock in the main tank and various corals. My sump consists of Caulerpa miracle mud Rowa phos. Now the problem being is the dreaded ich parasite on my angel who I have fresh water dipped only once as I don't want to cause him any more stress than the parasite already is my cleaner wrasse is doing his bit but its not enough. I have checked all my water quality parameters as I do regularly and everything is fine I was wondering if I could turn my ozonizer up a bit and if so for how long and at what rate as I usually run it consistently at 5mg. <Ozone will have no effect on the protozoan Cryptocaryon which is Ich.> I don't have the option of medication or quarantine as I have no other tank set up. <Ahh, but you do have the option... go buy a quarantine tank now or risk the chance of loosing ALL your fish.> Could you please give me some advice thank you. <Don't wait - time is a luxury you don't have. Cheers, J -- >

UV sterilizers Hi, <Hey there> Need some advice (thanks in advanced). Btw, if you can remember me, I'm the one that seeking your advice about the "free" Snow Flake Eel that come with the live rock. Well, FYI, I manage to trap it and now its at a diff. tank (living happily - I guest). <Ah, good> a) Can I turn on my UV sterilizers for long-term. My tank is with Coral & fishes? (My friend told me that the coral might not "open" anymore because the water quality change --- friendly microbe. also get killed) <Should be left on continuously. No worries re killing off too much of the beneficial water-borne microbes> b) If can not turn on for long period, what is the recommendation? <Leave it on> c) I'm suffering for white spot 2 months ago. Most of my fishes died. left only a cleaner shrimp, 4 small fishes. I try to perform a "fallow" but couldn't catch the fishes, however after 6 weeks when I see no sign of white spot I then introduce 1 African Crown, 4 Common Crown, and 2 weeks later all dies due to white spot. Must I remove all fishes? <Yes my friend> d) If I manage to catch all the fishes, Can I leave the cleaner shrimp inside while performing the "fallow"? <Yes> e) Due to the white spot, I purchase a 9W UV Sterilizer. Will this be the BEST solution (against white spot) for me to always turn it on? and perhaps couple with a "quarantine tank system" for new fishes? Or the UV system is already enough? <Quarantine... and possibly dip ALL new fishes. The UV alone will NOT prevent or cure Crypt infestations. Bob Fenner> thanks. rgds, ws teoh Treatment of Ich (marine) Hi, <Hello> I need some help on ich. I have read one of your articles that talk about attacking ich on two fronts, one removing the fish into a quarantine tank and treating them, and also dealing with the main tank. <This is so> I have a 75 gallon reef tank, and I have lost two fish in the last four days, a Sargassum Trigger and Yellow-eared Angel to ich. The Trigger started it. He was in the tank for a little over a month, when I first noticed it on him about two weeks ago. I have read and been told by more experienced reefers at the LFS, that fish will sometimes work their way through it without intervention. <Correct> He was eating great, I add Garlic in their food everyday, and not wanting to put anything in the tank, I thought I would try letting it go. He did fine for about a week and a half, then all of a sudden, he got really bad. <Typical cyclicity> I tried treating the tank with reef-safe medicine, <A misnomer... oxymoron... there is no such animal/medicine> but he got worse. At last I tried a freshwater dip, but he died anyway...he was probably too infected. A couple days later, I noticed the Angel had it too. I tried a freshwater dip on him too, but he died as well today. This makes me sick. My problem is, though, I have a Red Firefish and a Purple Tang still in the tank, but I don't have a quarantine tank to put the two fish into and getting them out of a reef tank can be horrible to say the least. <Is it worse than losing them?> What can I do? I would really be sick if my Purple Tang died. Any suggestions would be truly appreciated. I feel as though I am fighting a losing battle no matter what I do. Thanks, Paul <It seems (from the above) that you are well aware of your choices/alternatives. If it were me, I would do what is necessary... drain the tank down if so... to remove these fishes to a separate treatment tank... leave the main system fishless (perhaps lower spg, elevate temp.) to facilitate the weakening, die-off of the causative organism (Cryptocaryon). Bob Fenner>

- Kick Ich Kicks Nothing - To may whom dear concern: I have a blue face angel fish and it has ich on it, I was trying to cure that disease with so many ways but it still has ich on its body. I tried to quarantine and give the medicine for that fish but still it does not cure for the ich; therefore, the medicine that I give is kick ich medicine. <This product does not qualify as medicine and only succeeds at separating you from your money... will not kick anything with it except yourself.> Also, it does not want to eat at all. <Your fish is still ill, you must take other measures to tackle this problem.> I was wondering if you could please help or tell me about how to cure that disease, I will be appreciated. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm > Thank you, Teddy Y. <Cheers, J -- >

A Better Way To Treat Ich? I have a 60 gal. with some live rock and inverts (shrimp and crabs). Recently I had an outbreak of what appeared to be ick. After losing my flame angel I set up a 10 gal QT and am treating a royal Gramma and some damsels with Cupramine. <A good product. Be sure to follow the directions to the letter!> A six line wrasse and Firefish have no visible signs of ick. I put the Gramma back in the main tank after several days of treatment and he promptly developed more spots within 2 to 3 days. I read through many of your archives on treatment etc. It sounds like treating the whole tank is a big no-no and that most "reef safe products" are in fact ick safe products or are dangerous for inverts. <That's my take on it! By the way, when attacking ich, you need to treat ALL the fishes (or at least, remove them for observation) or there is a good chance that your "healthy" fishes will contract the disease> What I read was very helpful but not quite specific enough to my questions. any help with any of the following questions would be greatly appreciated. 1. If I put some live rock in the QT tank with this help or will Cupramine kill the beneficial critters in it? <I would avoid anything but inert materials (such as PVC pipe sections, etc) in the treatment tank, as the live rock may "absorb" some of the medication, making it tough to maintain proper therapeutic levels for the duration of the treatment period. Also, as you surmised, many creatures living within the rock will be killed by the copper. Also, if you ever intend to use the "treated" rock again in another system, it may stay "hot" (i.e.; leaching copper) for some time...All in all- best to avoid using rock in a treatment aquarium> 2. Should I remove/treat all of my fish or just the ones that appear infected. <As outlined above- best to remove them all...If they don't show signs of the disease, they still have been exposed...Better to be safe than sorry> 3. If I keep the fish out long enough, will it starve out the ick from the main tank. If so, how long should I QT? <Well, the theory behind leaving the display "fallow" (without fishes) is that it will deprive the parasites of their hosts (i.e.; the fishes!), thus breaking their life cycle and causing the parasite population to "crash" for lack of hosts...quite an effective technique. I'd leave the tank fallow for at least a month; a month-and-a-half would be even better!> Any help or suggestions would be wonderful as I do not want to continuously treat, reinfected, and re-treat the same fish. Thank You, Keith Nutt <Well, Keith- I agree...It's best to utilize a tried-and-true treatment technique that addresses the life cycle of the parasite, such as the "fallow tank technique". We see this problem a lot at WWM, so I did write an article on the subject that addresses this technique...Hope that it may help you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

"Kicking Ich!" The Right Way! Hello WWM Gang, <Hi there...Scott F. with you today!> I have found myself reading over your extensive FAQ's on various subjects on many a late night, and you guys have been helpful to me before. So, I have returned for more advice! <Glad we could be of help!> I have a 55 Gallon saltwater tank with a 6" Lionfish, a 5" Bird mouth Wrasse, a 2" Spotted Puffer, and a 1.5" Three Striped Damsel. <Some nice fish! They will get pretty large, however- so I assume larger quarters are in the near future for this bunch?> I have approx. 25lbs. of live rock (I've been adding slowly). Anyway, on to my question... Last week I noticed my wonderful lionfish had been invaded by ick spots. <Bummer> I unfortunately do not have the means to run a quarantine tank, so was advised by the LFS to dip him using Ruby Reef's Hydroplex. I did this for about 10 min., and to my delight, much of the spots had diminished, and over the week he seemed fine (appetite and activity remaining normal). <Quite frankly, I'd credit the diminished spots to the life cycle of the Cryptocaryon parasite, not the Hydroplex. As you may be aware, following it's "attachment" to the fish, the Cryptocaryon parasite enters a "free swimming" phase, where it will attach to a suitable substrate (i.e.; rocks, sand, etc.) in a cyst. Following the "encysted" phase, a new generation of these little &^*(&()* comes out to attach to your fish again- in greater numbers...Don't be fooled by an initial decrease in the spots...A proper ich treatment addresses the life cycle of the parasite, keeping medication in the water for a much longer period> Then, this morning I found him looking the same as last week's ich scare (with the spots), and dipped him again. <Yep- that's the whole life cycle thing. Frankly, I'd rather you utilize a freshwater dip than the Hydroplex. I don't know much about this stuff, but if it claims to eliminate ich in one dose, it's sketchy to me...> Not only that, but I went all out and got myself a UV Sterilizer as well (I'm hoping this might catch the parasites during the free-swimming phase??) <Well, it is certainly possible...UV sterilizers are a very useful tool in aquarium maintenance!> Would you find it advisable to dip the lionfish again if needed? If so, how frequently? I'm concerned that repeated dips could cause more harm because of stress. <I'd go for every other day. Yes, FW dips are a somewhat stressful procedure. Essentially, you are creating a situation where the fish will incur some osmotic shock. The thought is, fish can take the stress much better than the parasites can...Sort of the "lesser of two evils". If it were me, I'd opt for treatment with a commercial copper sulphate treatment in a separate container of known volume (if you don't have a spare tank, you could use a new trash can, Rubbermaid container, etc.). Whenever ich appears in the community tank, it is dangerous to assume that it is just affecting one fish. Once the parasites are in your tank- they are IN your tank, and the potential exists to infect all of your fishes...I take a very conservative (and often unpopular) approach: I remove all fishes from the main system for about a month. The fishes showing signs of the disease receive the copper sulphate treatment. Those that don't are kept under observation in a separate tank or container for this period of time, and medication is administered if the illness manifests itself. Meanwhile, the main tank sits "fallow", without fishes. All routine maintenance chores (water changes, filter media replacements, etc.) are conducted during the "fallow" period. By depriving the parasites of their potential host, the population of these nasties will generally "crash", and you'll be able to return your fishes to a tank that is, for the most part, free of parasites. Check out these links for more on this technique: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm > None of my other fish have shown any ich symptoms, and oddly, my lionfish always has appeared to be the strongest/healthiest of the group. Do you have any further recommendations of what I can do to keep my beloved lionfish from succumbing to those parasites? Thanks in advance!-Dave <Well, Dave- you've got my 2 cents worth on the subject...I'd at least consider removing the lionfish for individualized treatment, although I really prefer the fallow approach...Your call. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Kicking Ich (Part 2) Scott, <Hi there again!> I want to thank you for your response. I appreciate the fact that WWM is out there for us hobbyists to go to for help, and that you respond in such a quick and useful manner. <Thank you for the kind words! We pride ourselves on being able to share with and learn from our fellow hobbyists!> As of today, my lionfish is still in my main tank, and is doing well (since the first signs of ich 2 weeks ago). <Glad to hear that!> I've done the every other day FW dip approach . . . the other day though, after noticing a return of spots that concerned me, I utilized the Ruby Reef Hydroplex again . . . and like before, it appeared to be helpful. The product does not claim to eliminate parasites after one dip... it is in fact vague in the respect that it does not tell you how many dips should be appropriate. <I wish it would be more specific!> Although the ich has not vanished, it has not been found on any of the other fish, and has not increased in numbers on the lion (at least, not noticeably). <That's good to hear...If you can keep it contained, so much the better. Although ich does enter that nasty free-swimming stage, where it can attach to other fishes- so caution is still in order here. And, of course, there is always the possibility that this is not ich!> My brand new "Turbo Twist" UV sterilizer- I have faith is a factor in this. <Quite possibly. U/V may have a positive impact!> This morning I checked, and saw a return of spots on the lion, then, strongly, upon returning from work, there were none to be found on him! But, what I saw in the tank was a type of "slime" hanging off some of the fake plants and live rock in my tank, upon which I could see the evil little ich spots. I've heard of lionfish 'shedding,' is that what I am seeing here? <Quite possibly. Hard to say, but it may very well be the case..> I removed those spotted slime things, and am closely observing the lion- who, is being his feisty "look out or I'll eat you too" self. Is it possible that this "shedding," along with dips and UV sterilizing could lead to the result I am hoping for? <It is quite possible. I wonder if this is a natural reaction, or if it was precipitated (no pun intended) by the Hydroplex. Some of these so-called "remedies" are little more than "pepper sauce", as many hobbyists have called them. They seem to "cure" ich by irritating the fishes...This irritation may result in the sloughing of body slime...A trade off, IMO, as it leaves open the possibility for secondary infections due to a lack of protective slime on the fish...My theory- but it may be on the right track. I can't bad-mouth a product that I don't use, but I think this stuff warrants further investigation by hobbyists and qualified scientists...If it is good stuff- that's great news for the hobby. However, I prefer the more "old fashioned" copper approach, myself. Now, copper is not for everyone, either- but it has a long track record of success if used wisely. Do keep doing what you're doing, as long as you feel that it is working...> Is there a harm in FW dipping, or Hydroplex dipping after his "shedding" has taken place? <I'd feel safer with just the FW dip- without the Hydroplex. If the shedding of slime was a response to the Hydroplex, you probably want to go easy on the fish for a while.> On a side note, thank you for your advice and instructions on the "fallow" approach. I just don't have the funds/equipment right now for the extra filtration, pumps, heaters that I'd need. So, hopefully my "poor mans approach" will work. Thanks again! -Dave <I understand...It's certainly not the only way to cure ich...However, I consider it among the most effective...Hang in there, observe your fishes carefully, and good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Disease Question, Ick Hello, I have a 80 gal FOWLR tank. I have one Red sea Sailfin Tang. Over the past 2 weeks he has experienced Ick. Usually on his pectoral fins, while they should be clear, can see scuffs of white. Only seen him scratch maybe 4 times in the past 2 weeks. From day to day this goes from just about gone to back again, he eats very well, usually Nori & seaweed select as well as angel frozen cubes. All food usually mixed with Selcon, Vita chem or Eco systems garlic. My question is will this ever run it's course or continue till the tank is empty, even though is seems to almost disappear at times? <No. This is a parasite, like fleas on a dog. Ick doesn't just go away anymore than fleas do, without treatment.> I am going to try "No-Ick" to see the results, but I feel it will cure only temporarily. <NO! Do not waste your time or money on this snake oil. It does not cure ick, it cures the scourge of money in your wallet.> I have read just about all the FAQ, but never read about a case of one fish in the tank & where the spots can come back, yet be almost gone. <You must not have read all of the FAQs or you would surely have read about No-Ick, Kick-Ick, etc.! We get lots of posts on ick like yours! Also, please read the articles on ick, parasites, copper treatment, quarantine, etc. These are far more inclusive/comprehensive than the FAQ's.> I was hoping that the fish would fight the ick & it would be history in a month or so. I have a QT tank but hate having to dismantle the rock to get him out! Thanks for your advice ! <You have two choices, either feed your tang Tetra Anti-parasite food (Metronidazole), soak your existing food in Seachem Metronidazole, or tear the tank down enough to catch and QT your tang with copper treatment as per WWM.com and copper test kit for at least two weeks. Hold your main tank fallow of fish hosts for at least one month, preferably longer. This will not go away on it's own, and any other introductions will become infested as well. QT all new fish, no matter what. Hope this helps! Craig>

Purple Tang Question? >I have a purple tang with ich. I have a 75 gallon tank with about 80 pounds of live rock. I have 1 brown Lobophyllia and 1 bulb anemone. I have a clean-up crew which is 2 brittle stars, 1 sea cucumber, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, and several red legged hermits and turbo snails. My fish are the purple tang, six-line wrasse, 2 green Chromis, blue spotted goby, and a tomato clown. About a week ago I noticed my tang came down with ich really bad. He was totally covered with the ich. It was so bad I didn't think he was going to make it. I don't have a sick or quarantine tank so I decided to try and treat my tank with Kick-Ich. After the fist dose the tang seemed better. He seemed to do a little better each day of treatment. He is swimming around and eating like normal. Today makes exactly a week of treatment and he looks as bad as the first day I treated the tank. He swims over to the cleaner shrimp but it seems they can't make the connection. When the tang first came down with the ich the shrimp seemed like he was helping, but not anymore. Everyone in the tank is doing great. I feel so bad for the guy. Is there something you could suggest? He's a fighter and I would hate to lose him. >>Hi Randy. Truthfully, I would be remiss if I told you to try the Kick-ich again or any other similar treatment. The fact is that they are unproven as cures. There are two methods that I know of that are completely *proven* as cures for ich, and both absolutely require that you remove all vertebrates (unless your display had no inverts in it) to a q/t-hospital tank. They are hyposalinity and copper. I strongly suggest you set up a hospital system (it doesn't have to be devised of a fish tank, it can be any non-reactive watertight container), move all fish into it, and choose for them either of the two options. If you opt for hyposalinity, you'll need to bring it down to 1.010 or less. If you opt for copper, you'll need a test kit (those who say you can do this w/out the test kit are tempting fate). In the meantime, slightly increase your tank temperature to 82F and let it lie fallow for 6-8 weeks. I'm the "better safe than sorry" type and would let it go with no fish for 8 weeks. Kick-ich is pretty much a waste of money and you lose precious time when it comes to aggressively eradicating this persistent pest. >My water: >salinity is 1.024 >PH is 8.2 >ammonia 0 >nitrite 0 >nitrate 10 ppm >>If possible, try to get your nitrates at least in half. Persistent low levels have been associated with problems with disease and the like. Good luck! Marina

Re: Purple Tang Question? >Thank you for responding so quickly. >>Quite welcome, Randy. Sorry it wasn't in time. >I'm sad to say that over night my tang has died. What should be my next step? You suggested cutting my nitrates in half...how can I accomplish this? >>A 50% water change would do the trick, should cut them down to under 10, I would think. I need to let you know that your system is not free of ich, so if you plan to replace this fish with another tang (or similarly easily affected animal) you'll need to go the hospital tank route. >Once again thank you for your help...my only regret is not finding you sooner. >>Ours as well, but now you know. However, don't be too disheartened, as it's not uncommon for some species of fish to succumb to ich VERY quickly. This is why I get so irritated when shops sell something like Kick-ich, when it *won't* treat the ich (the cysts fall of no matter what--it's part of the lifecycle) and simply leaves the owner unaware. Here you are thinking you'd done something to treat the problem, but no. Anyway, in my opinion you want to also consider how you can best provide NSW (near sea water) conditions in as stress-free an environment, with the very best nutrition possible for your fish. This is *especially* true if you haven't got the hospital-q/t system (though I really stress q/t ALL new additions, minimum 30 days). These pathogens are present in the wild, and the fish can fight them off because they're quite healthy. When you have an animal that can't fight them off, it means there's an underlying problem. Wait to replace the fish, address these other issues, and I'm sure you'll have much better success. Marina

Like, Totally Radical, Seriously Different Ich Treatments! Hi. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I am having a bizarre experience with what I think is ich and am looking for any suggestions you may have. My tank is a 110 gallon oceanic reef ready. I have a sump that is approximately 15-20 gallons and a refugium that is another 10-15 gallons. My filtration is approx. 100 lbs of live rock (blue ridge rock, allegedly from Panama). The tank has a sand bed approximately 5 inches deep, no plenum. My skimmer is an Excalibur in-sump, rated I believe, for 200 gallons. The tank has been up and running for approximately 1 1/2 years, but the refugium was added about 6 weeks ago. <All sounds good so far...> My water tests fine. The only potential problem being my KH of 9. The specific gravity is 1.024. Temp ranges between 77.3 and 79.7 degrees. My tank is heavily stocked with both corals and fish. All my corals appear to be thriving. I have multiple types of SPS, most of which are growing onto adjacent rocks. My soft corals and LPS are doing equally as well, with most of them attaching to the rockwork as well. I currently have the following fish in my tank: Goldflake Angel (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus) Golden Angel (Centropyge aurantia) Bellus Angel (Genicanthus bellus) Black Tang (Zebrasoma rostratum) Chevron Tang (Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis) Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon) True Percula - pair (Amphiprion percula) Peppermint Hog (Bodianus opercularis) Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus) Swissguard Basslet (Liopropoma rubre) Lavender Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lineatus) Conde's Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus condei) Rosy-scales Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis) Clown Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis) Orangeback Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis) Flame Hawk (Neocirrhites armatus) Sunrise Dottyback (Pseudochromis flavivertex) Six Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexatenia) Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) Canary Demoiselle (Chrysiptera galba). <I know it's not the time to "dig", but I really have to point out that your system is way, way overcrowded. You have some truly magnificent fish, but for long-term success, you're gonna need either a much larger tank (like 300 gallons plus), or divide the population into a couple of smaller (like 100 gallon) tanks. If for now other reason than the fact that you have several tangs that will require ample room, you will need to upgrade. Granted, your water conditions sound good, but long-term husbandry with such a crowd will be a problem...Stress will ensue- and stress leads to disease....Just think about it, okay?> Here is my problem. Approximately 3 1/2 weeks ago I added the powder blue tang. He was the first fish I have added in a couple of months. I obtained him from a friend who had him in a quarantine tank for about a week and he appeared and behaved fine. <Okay...constructive criticism for the future: New fishes, regardless of source- need to be quarantined a minimum of 3 weeks; a month is really better...this will give most diseases a chance to manifest themselves...A fish like the so-called "Powder Blue Ich Magnet", as it is (affectionately?) known by more than a few hobbyists, requires extra-close attention during quarantine to watch for such symptoms> His introduction to my tank was smooth with about 2 days of displaying toward the Chevron tang, but no actual fighting. He did not eat any foods I offered in that time, but did graze on the rock. About 4 days after being introduced to my tank, he still was not eating offered foods but continued to graze and I first noticed he was covered with white spots, which looked like ich. <If it looks like ich, acts like ich, it probably is ich...> About 2 days later the Conde's wrasse, the black tang and the chevron tang also broke out in white spots. Since that time, now 3 weeks later, the Conde's wrasse no longer has any spots but all three tangs are still covered. Additionally, the powder blue tang still does not take introduced food and only grazes from the rock. Despite this, he appears well fed and does not have a sunken belly. All other fish, including the other two tangs, eat like pigs and all nicely filled out. <Glad to hear that the fish are eating. As far as I'm concerned, a fish that eats is a fish that lives...> Also, I have seen the demoiselle and lavender wrasse very infrequently scratch on the rocks, but they do not show any exterior signs of disease. In the three weeks of infection I have yet to see any of the fish with spots, scratch up. <Well, the scratching is not something that has to evident to confirm the presence of ich...> To "treat" this, I am currently soaking my foods in garlic (Seachem) and adding Coral Vital to the tank at the recommended dosage. <Garlic is a potential preventative, because it contains a substance called Allicin, which may provide a chemical "mask" that blocks the receptor mechanisms of the Cryptocaryon parasite with a sulfurous signature. As far as it functioning as a "cure"; the jury is still out on this one. Much of the evidence supporting the alleged effectiveness of garlic is anecdotal. This certainly does not mean that it won't work, but much more research needs to be done before garlic extract can be labeled a bonafide "cure", IMO. I'd put my money (and my fishes' lives) on more tried-and-true medications, such as copper sulphate or formalin-based products.> The only other additions to the tank are once weekly iodine and strontium (ESV) and, on alternating days, a two part Calcium/Alkalinity buffer (ESV) and Kalkwasser for make up water. <Sounds fine> I have, about 3 times in the past year, had ich in the tank. In each instance it seemed to afflict only my chevron and black tangs and passed in about 3 weeks with similar "treatments." This time, however, it does not seem to be working. I can, if necessary, remove the chevron and black tangs since they are voracious eaters they readily enter my fish trap. <Great news! They really need to be removed for treatment. As you know, tangs are unusually susceptible to ich...> Since the powder blue only grazes, he will not enter the trap and I cannot remove him without destroying the reef and corals. <Grr...an awfully frustrating prospect...> So, that is my story. Any suggestions on combating this disease? Thank you in advance. Michael S. Jacobs <Well, my normal treatment protocol for ich, as you have probably heard me suggest to WWM readers ad nauseum, is to remove all of the fishes (regardless of if they show signs of the illness or not) for treatment in a separate aquarium with a medication such as copper sulphate or formalin. Meanwhile, the display tank runs fallow for about a month, causing the population of parasites to "crash" for lack of fish hosts...A radical, unpleasant, and difficult course of action in a well established reef system, but a very, very effective one. That's one option. If this is simply unacceptable, you could try the use of "alternative" techniques, which may or may not get the job done. Some ideas: Purchase a number of Lysmata cleaner shrimp, and let them go to work...Also, increase the tank temperature (gradually) to 82-84 degrees, as it may help speed up the life cycle of the parasites...There may be a negative impact on your corals from prolonged elevated temperatures, however, so do consider this if you try it...Another, "out there" idea that may have some merit: Increase the photoperiod to say, 16 plus hours. The thought here is that the parasites will have more difficulty "finding" the fishes while they are on the move...Still another idea is to use "medicated" foods, such as Tetra's, or try soaking foods in Metronidazole (an anti-protozoal medication). Other ideas: very frequent water changes, including siphoning of the substrate- the thought being that this process will help remove some of the free-swimming or encysted parasites which dwell in the substrate during part of the life cycle. And, finally- consider continuous use of a diatomaceous filter, which has the appropriate fine filtering capability to remove free-swimming parasites. Okay...there you have a round up of "alternative" treatments to investigate and experiment with. Some of them may work, many attack specific aspects of the disease, but can be of dubious effectiveness...Nonetheless, they may offer you hope. Honestly, I'm a big fan of the fallow-tank-and-copper method, which has worked for years...But I certainly won't discourage you from trying other ideas. And, do share your results with others, okay? Hope these help! Good luck! Scott F.>

Sticking It To Ich... Hi Scott, <Hello, again!> Formalin medications are effective for Ich, too? Which commercial Formalin-based meds do you recommend? I'd rather stay away from copper, as I've heard one needs to monitor/test it constantly for it to be effective...? <True- copper requires regular testing to assure that you are maintaining a proper therapeutic dosage, and not poisoning your fishes. Easy to accomplish with an inexpensive copper test kit, but if you are not up to this, then by all means try a different medication. Kordon, Aquarium Products, Sea Chem, and others market such products. Check out our sponsors' links for details...Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions concerning dosage and treatment period exactly...And please don't use one of those so-called "reef safe" "cures" in your display tank...To do so will result in the voiding of your WetWebMedia warranty, and permanent restriction to keeping Gambusia affinis (mosquito fish- beautiful if you like gray fish with clear fins!) as your exclusive pet fish, for the rest of your natural life span! LOL. Get the point? Don't waste time with them! You're too smart, and keeping mosquito fish is really boring!> The problem I'm having with putting fish to an isolated tank is the fact that there will be no bio filtration in that tank...? So ammonia levels will be a problem? I will not have time to change water in there every day... or shouldn't I? Thanks, Luke <Good question, Luke. What I got into the habit of doing a long time ago (thanks to the writings of Bob over the years) is to keep an extra sponge filter (I use the "Dirt Magnet" brand...As "Mr. Nutrient Control Nerd", the brand name freaks me out- but it works great!) sitting in my main system's sump, so that it is always "pre-colonized" with a population of beneficial bacteria. When I need to set up my quarantine tank when I impulsively find that fish that I've been geeking out over at the LFS, I simply pop it in the QT (which was filled with water from the display tank), hook it up, and I'm ready to go. Sterilize the sponge when you're done using it, and place it back in the sump for next time...Easy! Same approach works for your "hospital" tank. You should always have one or two of these ready at all times for situations like this. It only takes a few days to get one of these sponges colonized, and I have never had a nitrite or ammonia situation in the QT as a result of this. If you need to, this would be one of those cases where you can also throw in a bacterial culture like Hagen's "Cycle", or Fritz's "Fritz-Zyme" to help "kick start" things if you can't wait for the sponge to thoroughly "acquire" a bacteria population. As far as water changes during treatment- do make regular (like very other day, if possible) small (1/2 to 1 gallon max, in a 10 gallon tank) changes, siphoning detritus at the same time. This is important, because water quality and environmental stability, not to mention, attention to overall good husbandry habits, are especially vital in a small tank. Good luck! Get to it and beat this thing, okay? Regards, Scott F>

Plowing Through Parasites... Dear WWM Crew, <Scott F here tonight> Just a couple of questions for you this morning in regards to filter feeders. And as always thank you for providing an outstanding service. <Thanks for the kind words! We really love this stuff, too!> The aquarium is a 55 Gal. Low Light FOWLR system. 40w Triton bulb is the only light that this system receives. 3" DSB and about 45 to 50 Lbs of LR and filtered chemically by occasional reef carbon run in a Tidepool I (No Mech.) and a CPR SR2 modified with a wooden air stone. <That's actually a nice skimmer, IMO- if it cranks out a few cups of dark, yucky stuff weekly- it's a star in my book!> The problem is that there is obviously a parasite problem in this tank that I'm having a difficult time shaking. I have a policy that livestock should not be added from other sources that allows me to be sure that everything is quarantined, but these customers have gone ahead and added things on their own. I'm guessing this is where my problem came from. I've been trying RxP coupled with a lower salinity,(1.018) but so far I'm still losing fish in the system. <I'd pull the fishes into a separate tank for treatment with copper sulphate, and let the main system run "fallow" for a month or so, until the parasite population "crashes" for lack of hosts...not the most fun way- but the best way, IMO> My main question is would filter-feeding inverts such as sponges, scallops, feather dusters, etc. be of any help in the future to help control any outbreaks that may occur? <Interesting thought. I suppose that an argument (however weak it may be) could be made that some of the free-swimming parasites can be "filtered out" like phytoplankton would be...I would not exactly call it a reliable technique, but it may be theoretically possible...> Also, this being a low light system I thought that this might be a good way to add some beauty and interest to the tank as well since the tank will not support most corals. <It sure would...There are lots of animals that can thrive under these conditions..> There are some fish that seem to have no symptoms at all, but others are in terrible shape. I will also try some biological cleaners as well such as cleaner shrimp and neon gobies. Are spiny oysters suitable for a low light tank? <I'd pass on these animals, myself...> Thank you in advance for your help, have a great day. Myk. <My pleasure! Take care! Regards, Scott F>

Ich in Reef - 2/12/03 I am losing fish due to ich in my reef tank. I cannot catch the fish to remove them. <They can be caught easily by several methods mentioned in the wetwebmedia.com archives. My favorite is a morning catch. Have a fast pump and a clean garbage can(s) ready... simply drain the tank to mere inches, scoop the fish gently and then refill the tank in minutes. Your sump pump will easily do this. The coral can stay out of water for much longer than the ten minutes or so it takes to drain and refill the aquarium. These fish need a bare bottomed QT to break the larval cycle of the parasite and the display needs to run fallow> I was told about a product "Kick Ich" that is reef safe. Do you have any ideas/suggestions. <Yep... don't waste your money on it. You have my assurance that it will not work at this point. QT these and all new fish, coral, rocks, algae etc in the future> Thanks, Howard <kindly, Anthony>

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>

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! >

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.>

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

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

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

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

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

Ich Hi Steven, thanks for the reply. I am doing some personal research on hyposalinity and have been told that the ONLY way to rid Cryptocaryon irritans is with hyposalinity and copper. <Add freshwater dips and daily water changes in a quarantine tank.> Knowing this and having a large size reef tank with fish, inverts and about 200 of LR that copper would not work with this application. Hyposalinity not being safe with all inverts, is there anything that a person can do to rid ich? <Difficult now to rid Ich. Your best protection is quarantine new fish and to remove sick fish to a hospital tank.> I know that there is several products on the market that state reef safe and invert safe to rid ich . One that comes to mind is "Kick Ich" by Ruby Reef. Inc. Do you know of any studies that have tested this products for the success? <No true studies on this product that I know of, but there is anecdotal evidence that the product does work. There is also evidence that this product can be detrimental to some corals, leathers in particular and possibly others. -Steven Pro> Thanks for your reply, Barry

Ick won't go away! Dear Sir; <I don't really work for a living <wink> so you can just call me Anthony> I wrote in about 2 weeks ago concerning my harlequin tusk fish w/ ick. I have since put him in a quarantine tank w/ bare bottom and filter w/ floss only. <good except for the filter floss bit... why not sponge filtration or some other biological. Otherwise, are you doing daily water changes to prevent fluctuations in NH3, NH4, etc? This sounds stressful to me (and especially to your fish (smile)> The tank has a air stone and an Ebo Jager heater. The temp I raise to about 85 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours each night, otherwise it stays at 80 degrees. <Aiiiieeeee! Who the heck suggested that boner of a move?!? Hehe... but seriously, the nightly temperature swing is extremely stressful to many marine fishes! If the fish was perfectly healthy and disease free in your care for several years and you had even one sharp drop of five degrees... I wouldn't be surprised if it caused Ich (and just talking about such a drop in the same room as a Blue Hepatus tang can cause it...hehe, the little Ich-magnets). My friend this is a surefire stressor to induce Ich...severe on a fishes resistance. The recommendations of elevated temp in popular literature are for extended duration under conditions of O2 saturation. Your temp increase is sharp and short, you don't have awesome O2 saturation potential (Skimmer and/or Ozonizer in play) and you haven't mentioned a dissolved oxygen test kit. Cease and desist immediately my friend> I lowered the salinity to about 1.023 and have done several small water changes, all while treating the water w/ "quick cure". <a good medication for this, BTW daily water changes for eight days alone can cure Ich in an otherwise "perfect" QT> After 5 days of treatment he looked perfect. I did a good size water change w/ ocean water (all I use) and a day later this guy has ick again. What can I do???? <when you say...ocean water. do you literally mean, water from the ocean? If so, I'm quite certain that your will have frequent bouts with parasites algae and more as long as it is untreated. A very dangerous and unpredictable habit. Seawater has microscopic plankton which includes many undesirables that must be screened. Please sterilize or simply use artificial seawater which is consistent and reliable> Spencer <kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Ick won't go away! Anthony, <greetings, my friend> I won't fluctuate the temp any more, and got a sponge that fits okay in my filter. <excellent... a lesson learned> I'm going to try water changes for the next week or so to relieve my fish of icking in the future (when funds allow) I'm going to purchase a CPR backpack. Do you think this along with water changes will be sufficient as a quarantine tank to first introduce fish into? <not at all... it is honestly not a proper quarantine. A separate, isolate simple set-up with a sponge filter, heater, cover, and not mush else will be fine and inexpensive. You could afford a bigger QT that way too. Kindly, Anthony>

Ich question <will answer, Anthony> Not sure if I have ich or not, but got a question about it. Since ich reproduces by falling off of the fish and to the bottom of the tank - do cleaner shrimp that eat/pick the parasite off fish, also eat them when they fall to the bottom ? <in a healthy thriving (very diverse live rock/sand) environment there are many things that will eat the large tomites of the contagion "Ich"... however, don't count on the cleaner shrimp for picking them out of the substrate. They tend to flourish in substrates without microscopic predation (tanks w/o live rock or diverse fauna)> Are they able to see/detect this state of the parasite and eat/kill/control them ? <minimal at best> Or is the parasite protected in that stage ? <Ich infections are best treated in a bare bottomed quarantine tank for certain. Kindly, Anthony Calfo> Thanks, Ed

Help - ich Mr. Bob Fenner: I hope you don't mind getting I email with a fish question directly to you. I am getting conflicting information as my fish are getting worse. Tank: 200gallon w/ 63 gallon wet/dry with 10 gallons of bioballs UV 40watt with 400 gallons per hour flow (currently off due to medication) Berlin XL protein skimmer (currently off due to medication) Two Rio 3100 return pumps 8 VHO 4' bulbs Tank contains: Yellow tang, Achilles tang, Sailfin tang, 5 damsels, flame angle, 4 neon gobies, 2 cleaner shrimp, bicolor blenny, flame hawk, arrow crab, 10" brittle star and approx. 100 - 150 hermits and snails Approx. 80-100 lbs of live rock, 3 large sponges (3"+), associate coral from the live rock that is growing quickly. Tank was started at the end of November using natural filter seawater. After 2 weeks: All tests perfect until the 2 days ago when the ammon. hit 0.1 and then dropped, pH dropped to 7.8 and is currently 8.15 to 8.25. SG 1.025-1.026 Approx. one week ago, the Achilles tang showed a couple of white spots (approx. 5 hours after purchase). The tang was put in the main tank because the wholesaler (open to public on weekends), advised the stress would kill him in a 20 gallon hospital tank. (Never do that again). The spots disappeared later in the day. The next morning their were more. It cycled: morning and night - increasing number of white small spots, afternoon - very few. Then the flame angle and Sailfin tang got a couple. I was recommended to use Kick-ich (tm). I called Ruby Reef and spoke to Dr. Grillo who advised a modified treatment. Everything appeared good for the next couple of days. As of this morning, the Achilles tang has hundreds of spots. By 8:45am, you can only see a few but many marks from where the spots were. What is this and what do you recommend. I am not at my main computer that has a detailed testing and daily observation that I sent Dr. Grillo. I have a 20gallon tank that had a royal Gramma that was purchased that showed up with ich. It has been treated since 2/3/00 with 0.2 copper sulfate. Do you think this was enough? Should I remove the rest of the fish (purchase a second 20 gallon) and start copper treatment? (was afraid of the stress to the tangs and the new angle) I could email the detail information later, but looking for some advised in a hurry. Thank You, Robert Schnell <<Oh... this is almost certainly the causative organism of marine ich, Cryptocaryon irritans... and you have clearly detailed a common pattern of expression... consequent to your hapless introduction of the Acanthurus (Achilles)... And no, the medication in the main tank will not eradicate the parasites' intermediate/resting stages... Am sorry to bolster your suggestion, but yes to moving the fishes out, treating them in the hospital/quarantine tanks.... and letting your main tank "go fallow" for a good month (two would be better)... where I would risk "speeding up" the life stages of the ich by elevating temperature... to about 84F. and possibly lowering your specific gravity to 1.019 or so... Keep an eye on your invertebrates... they will "let you know" if you are going too fast, too far... a thousandth or so per day... And do just send any correspondence through the fine folks at FFExpress.com. I respond to all e-mails in order of reception irregardless of source, but feel better about posting back to them with interchanges that I feel/think worth sharing. Bob Fenner>>

Help - ich Thank you for your quick response. I will forward future correspondence through Flying Fish. I didn't want to get into a public forum to whether this product Kick-ich works or not. <Why not? If it does, great. If not... it should get negative press... if it worked fabulously, a big plug...> I have not been getting any straight answers either with my fish not doing well. I am enclosing below a letter that I sent Dr. Grillo of Ruby Reef (Kick-ich) which includes observations and treatments. His suggestions that I use Rally and kick-ich together because he does not sound like ich after he advised me to start using this medication a week ago. The only response so far was the fish is probably too far gone and he will get back to me. <What? Does this make sense? Did this person suggest you do a simple smear prep. and take a look through a simple microscope (about the cost of two fishes or corals...). Besides, the "standard" treatments for protozoan problems of marines really fall into only a few categories... What DID this Dr. think it WAS/IS?> The questions I have is what is the best way to continue. The Achilles Tang that had hundreds of spots early this morning (counted a small section with over 40 spots), later it showed only a few spots in the late morning and afternoon. Where the spots were, there are on the skin. At night, there are many very small white spots appearing. Most of the other fish have either no visible spots or a few spots. I received the Rally and additional Kick-ich. Should I use on the main tank or not. According to Dr. Grillo, I need to add it tonight. What is your recommendation or experience? <No experience with this/these products... and no listing of them in any Index Medicus, Poison Center reports.... what are the ingredients? I don't sell or endorse smoke or worse... I would have, and would go with a tested, experimentally proven method of treatment... as I've suggested in our last e-mail... a copper based medication in a separate system> My sick tank has the Royal Gramma in there with a 0.2 mg/L of chelated copper sulfate. I have a 55 gallon tank that finished cycling using the dead shrimp method a few weeks ago. When would you recommend I can take the Royal Gramma out to free up this hospital tank? In has been in there since 2/3/00. <Not necessarily... I would probably treat all the fishes together... in whatever tank(s) will fit them all... With the copper med. and lowered specific gravity, elevated temperature...My recorded procedures and references are located at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com> I assume by your last message to start taking the fish out and treating with copper. I can pick up another 20 gallon tank for treatment. Any suggestions to putting the above fish in two twenty gallon tanks? I have had an ammonia problem with 2 damsels (too aggressive in 200 gallon) and one royal Gramma. I had to due a 25%+ water change every 3rd day to keep the ammonia under 0.2. The fluidized filter is definitely not doing its job (cycled for 6 weeks). Are there any chemicals that would remove ammonia until I can get some sponge filters working? Would you recommend a fresh water bath at this point? <Not really on both queries... best to test, do the water changes, re-administration of the copper> How long would you treat with Copper? I have been given times from 10 days to 40 days? <Two weeks should do it, and be a maximum... this stuff is toxic to the fishes as well as the parasites> You recommended to lower the SG of my main tank to 1.019. The tank includes coral and sponges. Is this OK? I have been informed to keep it around 1.025 to 1.026 / 35ppt normally as it is a reef tank. Was this advise good? <Yes, to slowly, a thousandth or a so a day... but not to the detriment of the invertebrates... if they begin to look poorly, I would raise the spg back a thousandth... the intent is to "pop", otherwise weaken the parasites present in the system... before returning any fish life> Thanks for your time. I didn't like asking all this questions at one time, but the misinformation that I am getting in the is field is costly and wasteful. Robert Schnell <There are many conflicting opinions about most all aspects of the marine aquarium interest... and many confluent, "both work" approaches... Part of the intelligent fun and frustration of the hobby. Bob Fenner>

Beginning Treatment Bob, Working on removing the fish from the 200gallon. After 3 hours, 3 caught, many to go. As per your response, I am lowering the SG by 0.001 a day and using a copper solution of 0.20 in a 20 gallon tank (pick up another tank over the weekend). I am looking for a copy of Fish Disease, Diagnosis...., so far nobody has it locally, I will try mail order next week. I attempted to look at FishNet. It is only available to CompuServe members. Question: While I leave my 200 gallon tank fishless, would this be a good time to add some additional cured live rock? Is there any treatment to be done to the live rock before it is placed in the main tank? Would you like me to attempt to resend the information on Kick-Ich sent to me by Dr. Grillo? Thanks for all the time in responding. Thank You, Bob Schnell <<Wait on the re-send... am getting a new motherboard tomorrow... and hopefully my "real" machine will be up and going... and will be able to decipher the "mime" memo. Not really much to do with re-curing some relatively cleaned up live rock... and this may well be a propitious time as you say. Do add some cleaners to the system ahead of returning the fishes... Lysmata shrimps, Gobiosoma gobies...Bob Fenner>>

Help - ich Thanks, working on your advise this minute. I am testing all three tanks and preparing to move the fish in the 20 gallon to the 55 gallon (new tank). I am printing your information from WetWebMedia as I type this. I could almost write a book on bad information and that is on the limited information that I have. On the question of normal SG, what would you recommend for a reef tank once this is over with? <Something near "normal" ocean density, 1.025 at 78F., a little higher for Red Sea biotopes> I checked the bottles: Rally: acriflavine, aminocridine, 0.245% w/v formalin Kick-Ich: 5-nitroimidazoles <Not too surprising... and am not surprised at the "variable usefulness" reports I have received regarding the one anti-ich product... Organic molecules in captivity "behave" differently depending on what else makes up the water... the imidazoles could be "lost" in these interactions.> The reason I didn't want to make public is because I have not finished the treatment. The fish are getting worse. One of my questions is if the medication as explained by me by Dr. Grillo: the medication kills the free-swimming tomites in the tank. Could the tomites have been before the treatment has started? <Could the tomites have been in the system water before the treatment? Yes, and on the fish/hosts and in various stages in the substrate...> I questioned it and have received only one answer after leaving an e-mail and phone message for him, which was to use Rally with the Kick-Ich and that "Over 100 spots!! Best you do something quickly. If it is ich or Amyloodinium (marine velvet), the gills will be compromised beyond repair in no time at such a high infection level. If other fish in your tank suddenly display such large numbers of spots, you have to consider that the problem might be the far more lethal velvet (RALLY will help). Watch closely for signs of reparatory distress. Keep me posted. I'll address your other email as I have opportunity." - No other response. If the life cycle has already started another cycle then the medication is not working. I didn't want to bad mouth a product that I have heard some very good results and some bad without all the information. If I didn't have concerns, I wouldn't be asking and following your advice. Thanks You, Robert Schnell <Hmm, don't feel I'm following all of this... there are a few standard works that directly or tangentially deal with "pet-fish" disease... You might do well to invest in a copy of Edward J. Noga, Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment... and take a note to John Farrell Kuhn's at/through CompuServe's FishNet... you will soon know who he is... if you are at all really interested in getting to the "real deal" about this ich problem and the products you're using... I wish you well, Bob Fenner>

Ich Hi Bob, our coral beauty which is new to the tank about 2 weeks has what we believe to be ich. We tried catching it to do a fresh water dip but was afraid we were causing more stress not to mention everyone else in the tank. <Good thinking> We tried a wrasse who did a great job but died the same day we bought it <Typical> We are know trying the garlic method. I read about a medication called "stop parasite" which is made by CHEM MARIN that claims to effective on ich and safe for our inverts. What do you know of this treatment. <Pepper sauce? Not a fan (except in cooking)> We also thought of cleaner shrimp but they are spendy. We would put out the money though if it would work. Thank you Brenda <Now you're talking... if your fishes aren't too ich-infested at this point, do get one (or two if they'll fit) Lysmata amboinensis (or other species), and/or a couple of Gobiosoma gobies... as cleaners. Bob Fenner>

Reoccurrence of ick Bob, e-mailed you about 2 weeks ago about blue tang infecting my tank with ick, killing all but blue devil, coral banded shrimp and mushroom. I have a 55 gallon tank with approx. 65 lbs. of Fiji rock. When first coming down with this problem, about I month ago, treated tank with RXP 3-4X. Upon your suggestion I raised temp. to 82 degrees and lowered the salt level to approx.1.014. After raising levels to proper temp. I did approx. a 10 - 12 gallon water change and added charcoal for a few days. I purchased fish on 4/7/00. I purchase a Sailfin tang, I-color angle and a featherduster. Tonight 4/10/00 I notice white spots (ich) on the Sailfin tang. I pulled charcoal and treated tank with RXP. Help... What do I do to get rid of this problem? <I have NO FAITH in the RXP and other pepper sauce products period... I would take the fish out, treat them elsewhere with a copper-based medication... Leave the tank without fish, with the elevated temp., lowered spg for a good two months... Replace the fish, add biological cleaners, and hope that this does it... and be absolutely religious about dipping/quarantining new fish livestock going forward> Is it in the live rock? <Yes, to some extent, and your gravel is host to intermediate and resting stages as well...> Should I net the infected fish and discard? <No... won't solve the root problem...> Please help me solve this problem.. Thank you for your advise in advance and helping me in this matter. <You're welcome. For more information and commiseration, please read over the appropriate sections on the site: Home Page. Bob Fenner>

Even the pro's get ich... Bob, I have a 220 coral reef tank with about 54 fish ( 40 are Chromis ). All of the sudden they have all broken out with ICK. We were using Kick Ick but it seems to only have stopped it from getting slightly worse. <I understand... not a cure, for sure... Hopefully you are availing yourself of the standard approaches in environmental manipulation (temp. elevation, lowered spg)... and appropriate cleaner organisms> What is the medication in that product ? I think it starts with an M. I have some of that same medication and I am planning on mixing it in some frozen food and then re-freezing it. hopefully direct ingestion will help <Capsicum, pepper sauce... a gimmick...joke... not a funny one.> it will be hard to catch the fish so I am going to drop the salinity to 1.016 or 1.018. I have had great luck by doing this in fish-only systems but I am not sure how it will affect the 30 some soft and hard corals. Any other thoughts ? Jim, Aquarium Design <Do this lowering slowly, no more than a thousandth per day... and all should be fine... and do add Lysmata Shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies. In the long haul you may well have to treat the system copper-wise. Bob Fenner>

And... Icky Follow-UP! Bob, In an e-mail last night I was told by the customer that the situation seems to have progressively decreased (whew!) <Good to hear> I do have Cleaner Shrimps in the tank but the 4 of them should be fired...they don't do much cleaning. (lol) <Do know of lazy Lysmata...> I am still going to drop the salinity...slowly. <Ah good> Thanks for the advice, Jim, Aquarium Design <Anytime my friend. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater Ich I was just reading through a mail-order catalog and saw four supposedly reef safe ich treatments. Probiotic Marine Formula, No-Ich Marine, Immune Plus, and Marine-Max. All are supposed to be copper and chemical free <... sigh... what pray tell is not a chemical, energy or space/vacuum in this universe?> and safe for reef tanks. <... how can/could a treatment somehow single out harmful, and exclude "useful" life processes/micro-organisms?> Have you had any experience with any of these products? Do they work? If so, do you recommend one above the others? <I know of such products... some friends, associates claim they work... have no substantial, consistent, conclusive evidence that they do "cure ich" and are "reef safe".> I have a powder blue Tang that has had ich for over two months. He eats well and seems fine otherwise, but especially in the morning when the lights go on he is covered with ich. I have two cleaner shrimp and a cleaner wrasse. They seem to keep my yellow tang in ich free, but the blue tang will only tolerate short periods of "cleaning" even though he is covered with ich. Some mornings he is so infested that he swims in the current of the main pump outlet and then swims erratically around the tank like he is going insane. I feel sorry for him, but despite my best efforts, I can't catch him to treat him in a hospital tank. He is in a 150 gal reef tank and I would lose too much to tear down the tank. <"Lose too much"? Livestock? Time? This species is very "ich-prone"... Perhaps you can post your question to BB's, Chatforums (ours: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/) and query a number of people who have actual hands-on experience with the non-copper ich-remedies for their input. Good luck my friend. Bob Fenner>

Ich Issue 9/1/05 I've been reading through your site for months now and have gathered some valuable information. Now I have a problem and I Know you'll give me a straight answer. I have a 125 gallon tank with a porcupine puffer, a blue regal tang, a zebra moray eel, and a butterfly. When I was first starting the tank I had 14 damsels (all of which the puffer has now eaten) and I noticed that one would scratch against the rocks occasionally. I didn't know about diseases so I didn't think much about it. Then once every 2 or 3 weeks I would add a new fish. Last week I noticed some salt spots on the Tang and after some research I figured it was Ich. After consulting my LFS they gave me some Rid-Ich and Melafix. <Not good...> I don't have a hospital tank big enough for everyone so I had to put the medicine in the display tank. <Worse...> I gave them the first dose Monday and they seemed to be doing fine. I gave the second dose Tuesday and they were ok until later in the night the butterfly began breathing heavily and one of his eyes is cloudy. I tested my water and it came out perfect, but I did a 25% water change anyway. When I got up this morning the Regal was laying on her side and breathing heavily. I gave her a freshwater dip and that seemed to really help, but the water is very cloudy still and I'm afraid I'm going to lose everybody. Please help, as I have grown very attached to these guys in the few months I've had them. James Wade <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... until you understand what you're doing, can formulate a plan to save your livestock, prevent further troubles. Bob Fenner> Ich Outbreak... real trouble, lack of knowledge, use of WWM 10/21/05 Hi, My tank had an ich outbreak beginning last week. Before the outbreak I had good water quality. No ammonia. No nitrates. pH was 8.2. I raised the water temperature to 83 degrees. I lowered the salt to 1.025. <... this is near natural seawater strength/concentration...> I medicated the tank with a reef safe treatment called "kick-ich" <Worthless> and have also been feeding them some garlic treated foods. <Not of real therapeutic value> My Sailfin tang looked terrible, and the other fish seemed to be doing ok with it. All of them were still eating and were active. When I came home today my tomato clown and Copperband butterfly were refusing to eat. <... trouble> The clown looked really bad so I have him a fresh water bath. Both the Copperband and the clown fish died a few hours later. <Not surprising> My other fish (Humu Humu, Foxface, Sailfin tang) all are looking a bit better. <Wait till the next "ich cycle"... it's coming> What can I do to help my remaining fish? Should I give them all a dunk in fresh water? <Not of use> Is there a better medicine I should be using? <You're joking right?> These were the first fish we have lost... The clown was our very first fish. To mitigate the chances of any future outbreaks are there any other considerations I can I do? I currently have a protein skimmer, a traditional hanging filter, and a 45 gallon refugium. Would a UV or an O-zone sterilizer be worth while? <... please read on WWM re> A reverse osmosis unit? Could this have been prevented? <Most likely yes... through careful acclimation and quarantine...> Any bonehead mistake I may have made to cause this outbreak? <None that I haven't made... regrettably... over and over...> Thanks! <Please... please take the time to search, read what is posted on WWM... for ich/Cryptocaryoniasis here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm by ScottF, the piece by myself and the linked files at top... you can search re the medications listed... till you understand what you're doing... can/do formulate a workable plan (and soon!)... the need for knowledge and action here is critical. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich Outbreak 10/22/05 I lowered the salt to 1.025. <... this is near natural seawater strength/concentration...> Oops.. I meant to say I lowered the salt from 1.025 to 1.015 <<I see>> > <Please... please take the time to search, read what is posted on WWM... for ich/Cryptocaryoniasis here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm > < Thanks for the article. I've already started the process. My yellow tang is looking pretty rough, but the other guys are looking ok. <<Good luck, life to you. BobF>>

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