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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis & Velvet:  & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Puffers & Kin  

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

Related FAQs: Marine Puffer DiseaseMarine Puffer Disease 2, Marine Puffer Disease 3Marine Puffer Disease 4 Marine P uffer Disease 5, Marine Puffer Disease 6, Marine P uffer Disease 7, Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5Crypt 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", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes,  &  Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Infectious Disease

Chemically Treating Puffers...

Copper can be used (in RMF's opinion) but at the lower effective, physiological dosage... and only with careful testing... twice or more frequently daily.

Many others prefer to use Formalin (dips) or Quinine cpd.s

Long horned cowfish question     3/16/16
I've had my salt water tank for over two years now and my cow fish about the same time. He's done great until I added a very small amount of coral to the tank (about 5 weeks ago).
<Mmm; might be the source, of the pathogen, or enough added stress to elicit... Crypt
Now he has these white specks but that's it, behavior, eating and everything else is fine I'm just concerned with how he looks and my other fish are perfectly fine.
<Won't be for long>

All my levels are "perfect" according to the liquid drop testing (I've noticed the stick strips say my levels are crazy
<These strips are neither accurate nor precise. Try reading on WWM re>
but I've also read a lot about those being inaccurate a lot due to the maintenance required to keep them "good"). He has a very well rounded diet of seaweed, algae tabs, Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, blood worms, dry plankton, and flake food with garlic (not all are at every meal they are separated Morning and night) my tank has a 3 stage filter ( mechanical filtration, chemical with an ammonia reducer, and a bio filter all changed regularly but not on the same days) I also have a protein skimmer 150 gallon. This is my first saltwater tank, however it's my dad's second so he's the more experienced one and claims he's okay but I'd rather have a professional reassure me. We did our routine water change about 3 weeks ago and still no change.
<Trouble.... deaths coming unless you act quickly>

His name is Otis
<My man!>
(after the cow from back at the barnyard) and I'm worried. I do have copper safe
<... See... as in READ on WWM re puffers and copper exposure... NOT a good idea. NEED to READ and act... lowered spg in the short term to buy you time.... CP; other quinine... NOW
on hand if it is Ick but I don't want to give him any chemicals without knowing due to his sensitive skin.
I also notice a few other posts on your page say to lower the salt but I'm concerned about how that will effect the other fish.
<Better by far than the alternative>
Another person said it was "dead" skin
<... no. Dismal>
and to remove it with a cotton swab but he will eat plastic when acclimating other fish, corals, etc. (all of my fish are bought local from the same shop every time and have NEVER had a problem) this is new sense in
the two years I've had the tank nothing has ever happened *knock on wood* the only time a fish has died is when two have jumped out of the tank, but we now have a glass lid to prevent that.
He's very social and still comes to the tank to great me and other people.
His behavior hasn't changed just his skin. I'm also worried cause when I put the coral in he accidentally bite me and there was some blood, but like I said he has a thing for plastic and I had my hand in the bag trying to
get the coral out (which the coral is doing great as well)
My live rock is kind of low but the local shop here doesn't sell much and I don't like buying online during the cold weather and living in upstate New York our weather has been crazy!! Lately
Thank you so much and I really hope my dad is right and I'm just overly worried ( I do the same with my boys too).
<The reading; ASAPractical; formulating a work-able plan and then....
ACTION. Write back (after reading) if your path is not clear
. Bob Fenner>

Re: Long horned cowfish question       3/17/16
I did lower the salt level as suggested. I only lowered it to .0022
<1.022 likely>
(I'm hoping I remembered that number correctly) which is only a few levels lower than my tanks "normal" and will lower more tomorrow.
What level do you recommend?
<... please search, read on WWM ahead of writing us>
I also bought vitamin drops to add to the food and will be adding krill to his diet and live snails.
All other fish and coral are looking/doing fine.
<Not too much lower if you have corals; other invert.s... Perhaps 1.021>
Any other ideas for him?
<YES! The reading re Cryptocaryon and puffers:
Didn't I stress the need for READING then ACTION? Your fishes may soon be all dead
I wasn't sure on some of your abbreviations so I hope I acted correctly.
Also did you get the photos I attached to the last email? There was no comment on if it looked like Ick or anything.
<.... ?~! Re-read below... SW Ich IS Cryptocaryon.... Bob Fenner>

Puffer and Cupramine          5/27/15
Hey Bob, I have a dog face puffer in a bare bottom QT for treating Ich. His eyes are a little bit cloudy but that's it for symptoms so far. My question is will 0.3 of Cupramine be enough to rid him of the parasite?
<Maybe... Tetraodontids, puffers in general don't "like" copper exposure.... often kills them w/ exposure... and Crypt can often "hide" buried deep enough in their copious mucus. Better to use Quinine compounds for Protozoan issues w/ these an many other fish groups... This is gone over on WWM
He's doing fine now on that dosage and I'm nervous to bring it up to full concentration. (0.5) Also should I keep him exposed for the full 14 days or less?
<Mmm; well... insufficient strength in equivalent of Cu++ concentration will not effect a cure period; only marginally poison fish hosts>
My other fish are in a separate QT with levels of about 0.4 and doing fine.
I just hope that's enough to kill the Ich.
<Should be>
Thanks as always,
<Need to test for [Cu] at least daily (twice if it were me/mine) and adjust (add more). Bob Fenner>
Re: Puffer and Cupramine          5/27/15

Ok, I will begin filtering out the copper with poly filters. Can I still dose CP after the filters stop turning blue?
I have a container of "Fish Quine" which is CP, but it expired in 2013...
I'll have to order a new batch. I just don't like the fact that the hobbyist cannot test for it like copper; plus there are so many different conflicting views on how to properly dose it. I followed the directions during my last outbreak and killed a pearl scale butterfly. How would you dose it if you had to.?
<As posted on.... WWM>

Ich/Puffers and Hypo   2/21/15
Hey crew, thanks for doing what you do!
<A pleasure, honor and life-fulfilling to share>
Question, I see that you don't recommend hypo treatment for Cryptocaryon (SW "Ich"). In the case of Holocanthus puffers, copper treatment is suggested to be potentially very harmful.

I'm just doing the freshwater dip now and heading to the quarantine tank.
Was set to hypo, but if you don't recommend hypo, what would you recommend for Holocanthus that you would consider a safe, effective treatment?
<Chloroquine phosphate is best currently. Use the search tool on any page on WWM...>

I did do a search using some terms but didn't come up with something (probably just didn't do it right!)
Thanks very much,
Scott Goorland
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

Bob as a ps- I know in my last note I went from the no hypo/copper to some level, but just trying to find something prophylactic till I get my hands on the right stuff.... Thanks so much again
<Figured, but thank you for this clarification. BobF>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

Bob, thanks so so much for your super fast reply! I've read your articles and books for what seems to be a very long time! (I was a U of Miami grad in the 90s from the Marine Science school, went a different direction but never left the love of it!) I've read up before on Chloroquine, hear super things about it. Your support of it is even referenced in a Pufferforum
post. I even was able to get some Dr G's which i soaked shrimp in and feed the puffer with it while I got the QT set. Of course, Dr. G's only provides an internal medication, and does not treat the external parasite in the tank. That would require dosing.
<?... the quinine does treat for external Protozoans>
The problem I've had is that I can't seem to find anyone that carries it.
<... See here:
Most of the LFS's have never even heard of it. And the one that sold me the Dr G's, who swears that Chloroquine does wonders, doesn't carry it because he's just start up and dealing with start up costs. I can't quite understand why if it's as effective as I've read, it isn't fully commercialized.
<Meh... newer tech; the regulations... expense of start ups; lack of momentum...>
I'm going to see if I can find it somewhere, I haven't had much success on the web either. Any thoughts on where to find a product?
The LFS guy is trying to order some for me from a place in Gainesville, FL (we're in West Palm Beach) if he can. But he says it will be until Thursday before he could get any in. (he did say the market for this should open up, in his opinion it's been limited to commercial operations).
In the meantime I was going to try one of two options to get things going for the puffer. I dipped him in fresh water last night on the way to the QT for 10 min.s. 'Most' of the Crypto came off. He's swimming happily in the QT and begging for food. (note, all the other scaled fish will be placed in a separate QT and copper dosed, and the DT left fallow for 6 weeks). I am considering starting either a hypo treatment combined with a daily formalin dip and daily 50% bottom vacuumed water changes; or a half dose Cupramine regime, which I've read can be effective against crypto and if slowly dosed up correctly is safe for puffers (of course, keeping a close eye on levels and behavior to make sure). Any thoughts on these as
prophylactic while waiting for a Chloroquine supply?
Thanks again,
Scott Goorland
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

Got it! Fish Pharm CP. Not cheap but worth it! Will keep extra on hand (and thus also support the market growth!) Do you have dosing instructions on WWM?
If so I can do a search, or I can contact fishPharm. Will also look at that NLS Ich Shield Powder, seems to contain chloroquinine as a dip. Re your question of why I mentioned Dr G's for internal, what I meant to say (I probably could have said better) is as I understand it, the product works on the fish itself (internally and externally), but not on the tank water in the QT where the crypto will still remain unless I somehow treat that as well?
<Don't understand this statement... but quinines are not effective on free-swimming and off-host intermediates as far as I'm aware. B>
Thanks again for all you do Bob
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo

Hoping to help spread the word, here's another supplier I found, no word on quality:
50-63-5 | Chloroquine diphosphate salt, 98% |
N4-(7-Chloro-4-quinolinyl)-N1,N1-dimethyl-1,4-pentanediamine diphosphate
salt | J64459 | Alfa Aesar| Alfa Aesar
| 50-63-5 | Chloroquine diphosphate salt, 98% | N4-(7-Chlo...Hazard
Statements ...
| View on www.alfa.com
<Thanks. B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

As I understand it, I can treat the fish with CP foods, but even with treatment if the off host intermediates are still in the water, unless I eradicate the off host forms as well, they'll just keep attacking the host.
If quinines don't treat off host intermediates, won't the problem just continue as a cycle until I find some way to treat those as well? Scott
<A few approaches can work here: Moving hosts to non-infested systems serially... in actual practice, IF one is dealing w/ a single (not multiple, over-lapping) generations of Protozoans, eradicating those on the host fishes generally effects a system cure. Reducing the numbers and viability of parasites off-host can be done in numerous ways... B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       2/21/15

Now that is great! Looking forward to the employment of the method! Thanks
again for all. Scott G.
<Ah, welcome. BobF>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo        3/1/15

Hi Bob, the tank transfer method with a FW dip in between seems to be working well for the porcupine puffer
<Ah, good>
, no new spots showing up, about to move to the third transfer (trying to keep it every three days for four switches, with daily water changes in the tanks). Two completely matching systems that each get washed down and left dry for a day before resetting. Cutting the dip as it's been heavy on the stress (for him and me watching him!). Slowly lowering SG down to 1.016
for his comfort. Got NLS Ick Shield Powder on hand in case after the fourth switch I need to try to move to Chloro-Q treatment. (Got word that major shipments of CP have been moved to Asia due to a new Malaria outbreak).
<Yikes; this ancient human nemesis still kills more than a million people /year>
He's eating well. That said, he has a cloudy eye and lethargy. I'll try to boost his immune system with a food soak in Selcon or something similar, but I also am considering dosing an antibiotic. A search on WWM indicates Kanamycin is the favorite, but it's not carried locally. I'm going to express order some, but is there another antibiotic you recommend that may
be more available?(assuming you recommend one at all?)
<I don't; really... though Furan compounds are a fave for extended baths>
I read on WWM that Erythro isn't preferable for salt bacteria infections.
Can't seem to find anyone locally that has anything as a broad spectrum.
Scott G.
<Do look for a cheapy e-download of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease; Diagnosis and Treatment"... You'll enjoy, benefit.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo        3/3/15
Thanks for the book tip, I'll make sure to pick that up asap! (haven't found a cheap version yet, looking, but I'm not too concerned even if I can't, seems worth the investment!).
<.... ?! Just took a look....
I thought somehow the Kindle vers. was ten dollars... it's 84.49 US!!! Even the first edition is too much money used>
Unfortunately the porcupine puffer again has gone a bit downhill. He was really energetic and perking up until the tank switch with the dip in between. He didn't react well to the new tank at first, jumping around seemingly trying to get out. Once he calmed down, and ever since, he's been very listless.
<Patience here>

Pale. I don't see any more crypto spots on his skin, but his eyes have cloudy spots in both now. He's also every so often swimming and turning on his side, and trying to push his side around his gill area into whatever object is beneath him, or the tank bottom. Then he'll remain in a back corner facing away for lengths of time. I halted the tank changes, did a water change last night, raised the temp up 2 degrees from 76 to 78. At this point I'm concerned he needs some form of meds asap.
(also thinking there may be shock symptoms from the salinity switch from fresh to salt again? The dip was at matching pH and temps). He did eat today (vitamin enhanced). To be on the cautious side I dosed a slightly below recommended dose of KanaPlex, concerned that I needed to do something asap. But I'm thinking perhaps the crypto is there but I'm not seeing
anything more than his eyes? And perhaps I should do a water change and start dosing the NLS Ick Shield Powder, which indicates a quinine component. I'd do both since I don't know if it's either, but I don't know that I can mix those meds.
<Time going by. B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo
Yep those are the prices I found as well. but honestly, if you think that's the best out there to help, it's worth to me.
<Mmm; did see one (I think first ed., for $47.50) on Jim Foshey's site last night: Not searchable; so just call him:
Doing my best to stay patient... Keeping up with daily water changes. Only dropped SG slightly to 1.020.
<A thousandth per day raising back up.... can be dropped precipitously>
Temp at 77. Antibiotic seemed to help at first but now not much more. Of course its only been a day.... He's still looking a bit rough, eating, but still has white spots on eyes and listless and when he does he keeps turning on his side and pushing down into the tank bottom. Now I may be seeing why. Instead of white spots, now he's developing brown spots. You can see in the attached photos of yesterday vs. today, across the front of his face between the eyes the brown spots developed between yesterday and today. I now notice it at least seems to be more present elsewhere, and there's one above and behind his right eye that is a small bump of the same color that may be a sore, but hard to tell yet. Any idea on what could be going on?
<Quinine burned. BTW, do NOT send us 11 meg pix files... a few hundred Kbyte is our limit. Bob Fenner>
Thanks much Bob. Scott G.

Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo      3/4/15
My sincerest apologies about the photo sizes. I feel awful about the chemical burn. Just awful. He looks miserable but still eating.
<A very good sign>
Would the burn be a reason for spotty/cloudy eyes and for his consistently trying to rub his left side on the bottom of the tank?
He's also now pulling his left eye into his body on occasion. Anything I can do for him at all but wait?
<Stable, optimized conditions, good nutrition...>
Thanks so much.
<Welcome. B>
Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo       3/5/15

Skin starting to look better but the crypto looks like it's back, fiercely.
Didn't see it until under flashlight this mornin, small white dots everywhere.
<... can't tell what this is... w/o sampling, 'scope.... Could be coalesced mucus... >

Plus small dots on tank bottom. White rather than gold and no sheen so really hoping not velvet, but all over, small, and only visible under flashlight. Considering chemical free (with ph/temp adjustment) fresh dip into the duplicate QT today, then continue to optimize conditions. He did eat today.

Re: Ich/Puffers and Hypo      3/15/15
Bob, I just wanted to send a note of thanks. The puffer, Fugu, is doing great.
<Ah, good>
It took a lot of work, daily water changes, having two QT's set up and changing every three days, freshwater dips, plus having to catch the other fish in the display tank and set up a QT for them, but with patience, hard work, and a lot of effort and a little loss of sleeping time, the payoff has been in seeing Fugu slowly come back to the happy guy he was before all
this started. No more spots, skin color normal, swimming around looking for food, eating all too well. I really did benefit from your recommendations on more natural routes, patience, and decreased use of meds.
<I appreciate your saying so.... MANY people seem to express that they "just want ""the"" answer"; as if I have some sort of truth to impart (I do not)... I much prefer offering what little I have confidence in, the background rationale, and helping folks to decide (as in nothing's decided till it's done) on their course of action>

Just the tank transfers, water changes, fresh dips, and slight hypo to 1.016 to ease his osmoregulation. He's in a 40 QT now, moving him to a 75 holding tank while i wait for the display tank to cycle through for remaining crypto. Slowly bringing up the SG a point per day. Will move the other fish into the 75 with him (only a few small Chromis and a goby) in a few weeks when they're done with their treatment. By the way, catching Chromis and a goby from a 180 reef tank isn't easy!
<Oh no>
But I built a trap 12x14x7 out of acrylic with a sliding trap door that i now call the "How to build a better Fish Trap"!
<I STRONGLY encourage you to at least post this design... here/WWM, on hobby bb's... if not write up your experiences and this for pulp 'zine publication. I will gladly help you make the submission>

just a few pieces of food, it's big enough the fish swam in, done. One Chromis was a hold out, until i threw two back in, they schooled, went right in. Still lots of work to keep the family happy, but with the cloud lifted, we're really excited. Fugu is getting up there, he's about 11, but we're hoping to have him around for some time going forward!
Thanks again for your help, WWM, and everything it does for us all.
Scott G.
<Certainly welcome. Thank you for the follow up, and DO consider what I've suggested above. Bob Fenner>

Urgent advice on a Crypt (suspected) infestation      11/7/14
I have a several month old large 75 gallon marine setup with a 20 gallon sump.
I started with a 9" lionfish as my first fish after first establishing with approx 25KG of live rock and 75KG of coral sand topped with 10KG of CaribSea live sand.
Then some snails, a hermit in the refugium and all sorts of bristle worms and so on appeared from the live rock. I added the Lion Fish who didn't eat for a few days but then started taking from a wooden skewer and developed a very healthy appetite. About a month later I added a large 7"ish porcupine puffer,
<Yikes... puffers and lions aren't usually good tankmates... the former eating all the food, and getting poked/envenomized by the latter>
who had been in my LFS for over 8 weeks with no issues, no qt procedure at all though. However he was eating almost immediately and seemed very healthy and a great fish. Then several weeks after that I added a 3" plus
<Hard to feed w/ these other fishes present and also venomous>
no QT procedure again,
boy have I learnt that lesson!, who immediately set to work on my green hair algae and was very happy. About a week later I upgraded the tank to a 125 gallon. All fish were in large plastic heated buckets with canister filter for about 6 hours.
<All righty; but stressful as you know>
I added more new Coral sand and more CaribSea. After I added them back the Foxface was never the same, and retired under a cave looking very under the weather and a little blotchy, my wife thought she saw some spots but never certain. A couple of mornings later he was dead.
Then a couple of days later I could see spots on the fins of my puffer, the next day his eyes had started clouding over and by the next morning he was blind, as you can see in the picture, with lots of white spots and started
to almost lose colour and go grey, there were also obvious spots on the fins and body of the Lion and his eyes were a little cloudy. I spent hours and hours reading but have no hospital tank and after initial excitement at
things like Rid Ich and soon realized copper was my only hope if I was correct about Crypt and decided on Cupramine after speaking to SeaChem who said it gets absorbed but doesn't bind with calcareous material
<Mmm; to degree/s>
and could eventually be removed using CupriSorb, but most importantly was less toxic on scaleless fish.
<True; compared with elemental copper solutions>
I removed all the inverts I could
and put in my first dose, but couldn't get a test kit anywhere, so ordered one for next day delivery. Within hours the remaining inverts were dead and dropped to the sand bed as expected, but also the puffer that was already
breathing very hard, retired to a corner and was panting and very short breaths. Over the next few hours his breathing stayed the same rate, hardly any movement but got deeper, so I began to hope a little. During that evening almost all the spots appeared to go on the Lion and his eyes looked better, although this is hard to see properly as the spots look at their worst under the blue LEDS, in between with the white lights on and almost invisible with no lights and normal daylight or incandescent.
The next morning the puffer was dead and the Lion appeared covered again.
I went and got my test kit and it showed negligible copper,
<Yes; dropped out of solution; and absorbed by various sources>
less than .1, so I added another full dose and got it to .25, then monitored during the day, having to redose, as expected to keep it stable, the lion again seemed to clear itself during the evening and shed its epidermis again and started swimming a little, (it was always a lazy fish during the day anyway) then the next morning it was down to about .15 so I gradually redosed up to about .4 to .45 as directed by SeaChem and tested over and over during the day, having to redose about 8pm, but only 5ml to get back to the right dose. I guess that the absorption is slowing down, again as SeaChem said it would. I also, after reading more and more, decided on a freshwater dip with double dosed Methylene blue, 5 minutes, which he hated and immediately hid in a cave he barely fitted in for several hours, however, by the time we went to bed he was swimming very strongly as he used to at night in the various currents and on his 5th day of not eating still refusing food. However all his dots appeared to be
gone just leaving behind little scars, presumably where cysts had dropped from.
Now this morning the tank was down to about .35, so I've added enough to get back to just over .4 ( I am pretty awful at these colour tests though)
<Everyone I know is; myself included>
but he again appears covered in little white specs, and still refusing to eat, but only trying once a day, he is sitting on the sand near a cave, however that isn't unusual for the time of day. But with the dose never dropping below .3+ for over 48 hours, I don't see how he can be infested again.
In the water column, especially under the blue lights, there are hundreds of similar sized specs washing about, I assume small coral sand, or dead copepods, is it possible that as the Cupramine increases the slime coat
that these are just sticking to him when he stops swimming about?
and I am thinking he is being reinfected but he isn't?
<Could be>
I plan on continuing this for at least 14 days, however SeaChem have suggested extending to 21 as I am not treating at .5, although this will possibly mean he won't have eaten for 23-24 days by then. Should I increase
the strength, ( I am making a reference .5 sample up side by side with every test to ensure I get the dose right) or extend the treatment, repeat the freshwater bath or........
<No value in increasing the dosage beyond what is physiologically useful>
Any advice gratefully received,
<You can/will find my articles and thousands of responses to Cryptocaryon organized and archived on WWM; in articles and books I have penned...>
I loved both of these fish and would hate to lose my Lion too, I have loads of freshwater tropicals, Discus and Koi and nothing has bothered me as much as these two getting sick, and my knowledge to look after them is
apparently woeful. I have included SeaChem support in this email as their team have been incredibly helpful
<Ah yes; a VERY good company, staff; REAL products>
and responsive, so any help from anybody to try and save him would be gratefully received.
Water parameters are;
PH 8.2
Ammonia was zero but showing a trace (But SeaChem say Cupramine causes this as a misread)
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5 (I have left my skimmer running)
Carbonate Hardness 11-12
I have also spoken to a very helpful exotic pet, but he just reiterated I was doing the right thing and that Crypt was always present in marine tanks and then I found he gets advice from my local LFS when he's stuck, who has also been very helpful so decided not to pursue that route.
<Mmm; well; we need to move back, proverbially to square one. Your "case" (circumstances, events) are very common. NEED to assemble compatible (more) livestock, NEED (as you state) to do your bit re preventing pathogenic disease introduction (dips/baths, acclimation, quarantine/isolation...), NEED to have a ready plan to counter probable issues like Crypt... not w/ what you've done above. SEE WWM re the use of quinine compounds. Lastly, as tough as it is to do (or say), don't be disheartened: These mistakes, losses are mostly preventable. When I was young/er, folks had a very hard task at just keeping Symphysodon (almost all wild-caught or F1s) alive...
Bob Fenner>
Re: Urgent advice on a Crypt (suspected) infestation      11/7/14
Sorry, I forgot the pictures.
<Ah yes; BobF>


Re: Urgent advice on a Crypt (suspected) infestation      11/7/14
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the response. And the Facebook accept:)
<Ah, welcome>
As I'm now keeping the dose reasonably stable in the tank and the damage is done to the rock and sand, is there any point in added stress by moving to a 4' tank I have free up for another freshwater fish but could use as a
temp hospital tank?
<Yes; easier to control sans the decor, substrate... IF not too much work>
I was considering moving him to this and trying to treat him, then running the old tank on RO freshwater for a week to kill everything!
<I'd bleach/nuke it...>
then moving it back to marine and not moving him back until that had matured. Or is the best thing to do, as it feels like, to carry on as I am?
Would the freshwater idea even work!
<Not as assuredly; no>
And I will be doing a lot more reading before restocking, on either qt, tank transfer or at least freshwater Methylene blue dips for any new fish.
lol also read up on the Quinine treatments but expect that to be very hard to come by in the uk.
<Can be done however... ask around re a friendly veterinarian, or medical doctor>
Incidentally, I chose the lion and the puffer after reading a lot of anecdotal stories about them cohabiting well, and intended to feed them both by hand, having a maximum of 4 fish in the tank, with them being pets rather than a display?
<Not in my opinion/experience... which is lengthy>

Re: Urgent advice on a Crypt (suspected) infestation    11/7/14
After a lot more reading I can't believe I didn't try the quinine route first, but I guess too late to switch meds now, would you agree?
There appear to be two compounds you favour for a display tank, is it quinine sulphate you would recommend. Whatever way this goes I'll get some in in preparation.
<CP is better>
I couldn't get my head exactly round the dosing and there isn't a way to measure it so I would have to get that spot on I guess.
<Close; and easily done. See WWM re>
Also as a bit of an update, and not wanting to jinx things, he's looking a lot better this evening, the extra specs seem to have washed off while he is swimming and just covered in little discoloured scars and his eyes are slowly clearing too. I'm sure I'll be all despondent again in the morning but heading towards hopeful!
<Keep moving forward. B>

Re: Urgent advice on a Crypt (suspected) infestation. Puffer f' too    11/14/14
Hi Bob,
<Hey Trev>
Just an update and some more advice please?
The copper levels are reasonable stable and slightly fluctuating between .45 and .5 but very little having to be added to the display tank now so I've left him in it.
He looks completely clear and his eyes are also crystal clear and he is as active as he's ever been.
<Ah good>
However it is now 2 weeks since he's eaten, he shows no interest in his food,
<Not to be worried, nor either surprised: These (puffers) can/do go w/o feeding for weeks at times; and the copper exposure, having Crypt have contributed to the non-feeding>
I have tried him with skewered lance fish, mussels, etc, exactly as he used to eat, but he isn't at all interested, almost actively disinterested, I am trying once a day, except for 1 day when I left it in his tank for the
whole day while at work. Should I just carry on trying once a day, every other day, or just stop worrying about it.
<More the latter...>
He is swimming at the front of the glass looking out, for a good hour plus a day, looking hungry, but just not eating. He doesn't appear to have lost any weight and generally looks well proportioned still.
<Ah, good>
I was planning to do the treatment for 21 days as I was initially running at a lower dose than the recommended .5, but now I am running at the full .5 dose of Cuprinol would you recommend running for the 2 weeks at that dose suggested by SeaChem or the 21-28 days I planned?
<As long as you deem prudent... not much to be gained by going beyond the 21 days under "normal/usual circumstances">

<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Urgent advice on a Crypt (suspected) infestation    11/14/14

That's great! Thank you.
And really hope they do a great job of the Foundation series:)
<Oh, welcome and I as well! So wish I was young (and handsome) enough to play Hari Seldon... or better R. Daneel Olivaw! BobF>
Re: Urgent advice on a Crypt (suspected) infestation    11/14/14

That would be a hell of a role!
I always dreamed of being a Lensman:)
<Another great series. B>

Ick, UV and QT, 7/6/10
Hi Team,
We have a Valentini puffer in a quarantine tank at present, who is showing signs of Ick. She is currently sharing the qt with two Chromis (no signs at present).
<But probably still infected.>
I've read a lot of discussion on Ick which says "a bare bottom tank for qt is only half the solution", and others which say "UV in a display tank is only half the solution".
Could they work well together as a whole solution - i.e.. a bare bottomed tank with good circulation, which passes its water through a UV to kill the cysts when they drop?
<A UV will not effect a cure, and a bare bottom tank alone does nothing but provide a suitable tank for chemotherapy.>
What are your thoughts? Do you think the UV will kill the cysts, as opposed to just the free-swimming parasites?
<Will not kill either reliably.>
(pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all good in qt. Salinity is normal; I am hesitant to drop the salinity as I have read conflicting information on how this does/doesn't stress the fish over extended periods.)
<I would investigate one of the Quinine drugs for use with a puffer.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm .>
Best regards,

Dogface Puffer Whitespot 6/15/10
<Hello Nigel>
firstly may I say a huge thank you to you for providing such a brilliant website.
I have a problem with my Dogface Puffer fish which seems to have a small degree of White spot or Ich and today I noticed his eyes have a slight cloudiness to them. He's quite a big fish at about 9 inches in length.
His White Spot problem is showing a few small white spots on his fins and a few spots around the edges of both eyes as well. The White Spot isn't causing him to 'scratching' against rocks at all.
His behaviour is unchanged from a highly inquisitive fish and likes to be gently 'stroked' under his chin - he seeks the attention and will sulk if he's ignored.
He hasn't lost his appetite either <all good so far> so it seems his condition isn't bothering him too much, yet. He eats Lance Fish which I always defrost before feeding him but seems not to want to eat Cockles anymore or at least Lance Fish is his preferred choice at the moment.
<Needs a more varied diet than this.. can you get some New Life Spectrum pellets into him somehow? Perhaps by stuffing them into the Lance fish, or by soaking them a little and squashing into a large ball>
I am keeping a very close eye on his teeth, I know they need to break open shells to help keep their teeth from
over growing.
<You might need to trim these manually http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/puffer_dentistry/puffer2.htm>
I have been treating him with a medium dose of 'Paraguard' which I'm told is a natural and copper free treatment which should have helped to clear up the White Spot, but it doesn't appear to be having any positive affect --
<It's not terribly useful at all>
I'm not really for medication treatments especially for Puffer fish.
<Mmm, sometimes this is the only method>
I have increased the water temperature by a few degrees to around 28C in an effort to try to speed up the White Spot cycle and then eliminate the problem with Paraguard.
<This won't work. The medication would have to be in the water at the required strength for the full lifecycle.. 6 weeks plus..>
I have also lowered the salinity level slowly over a few days via small (10%) water changes using just RO water, from 1.023ppm to 1,018ppm, in an attempt to try to stop the White Spot from carrying on its lifecycle.
<This also won't work.. needs to be 1.009 for hyposalinity therapy, even then this is not a guaranteed method for success>
The tank is an open topped 5ft x 2ft x 2ft with a 4ft Metal Halide light over. A Fluval canister filter, TMC Ultra Violet (new bulb fitted 2 weeks ago) a Vectron V2 skimmer and a SEIO 8200 power head which is providing a
huge amount of water movement across the 5ft length of tank. I have around 40kg of ocean rock with a few good hiding places big enough for the Puffer to swim into, the rock is pilled almost to the water surface in one section,
creating a 'cliff face' affect for my Lion Fish to hang on to, which he does. The Lion Fish is the only other tank mate and is around 8 inches from fin tip to fin tip.
Water parameters are:
Salt now at 1,018, Temp 28C, PH 8.4, Nitrate 5, Nitrite 0, Phosphate 0.1, Ammonia 0
I would really appreciate any help you can give me to get this incredible animal back to health.
<Well, my thoughts are that trying to manipulate the conditions in the tank to combat the Crypt, such as temp and salinity, have altered the water quality, possibly by affecting the nitrifying bacteria or causing a die off in/ on your system so that your puffer is showing these cloudy eyes. Or, this change in conditions has affected the already suffering fish more directly. In short, it is better to optimise conditions in your system rather than the opposite so that the fishes immune system is better able to combat these low level infestations itself. If you decide to treat the fishes look to quinine (Sulphate or Chloroquine phosphate) preferably in a QT tank with the main system left fallow http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm >
Kind Regards
<No prob.s!>

Re: Dogface Puffer Whitespot   6/16/10
Hi Simon,
<Hello Nige>
Thank you for your advice,
I will try quinine as you mentioned
<Mmm, I would not -- unless in a QT setting -- this could make things worse if used in the display. It sounds like you might have some success with 'striking a balance' here and I would try this first by optimising water quality and diet before going down drastic lines>
and New Life Spectrum pellets for a better and more varied diet.
<Yes -- my Lionfish eats these.. try the 'Thera A' - rolled up into large balls>
I'll also reduce the water temp and raise the salt level back to normal over the next few days and monitor all water param.s carefully.
<I should yes>
Today I noticed hardly any white spots on his fins which I also know doesn't mean it's gone <correct> and his eyes were much clearer too, more like they're supposed to be.
<Yes. I would not treat here until you have explored other avenues as posted>
Kind regards
<No problem>

Porcupine Puffer... hlth  9/7/09
Hello. I have a 75 Gallon aquarium that currently only houses a small porcupine puffer and live rock. My readings are 0 for everything except nitrates which are 20ppm. And so here are my questions. My aquarium has been fallow
<...? You just stated it has a fish in it>
for 4 weeks because I thought I might have a possible ich problem. I have been housing all of my fish, the puffer, a yellow tang, percula clown, and a blue damsel in a 20 gallon quarantine tank with daily water changes. I placed them all in quarantine because I thought the puffer possibly had ich (which is one of my questions). While in quarantine, the few white dots that were on the puffer, went away, never returning. None of the other fish developed these spots. I did not medicate. In the meantime, my 75 gallon was running fallow and i still did my regular water changes. I purchased a new powerhead for the 75 to use along with my other two. The nitrates in my 75 shot up from 0 to 20 in a matter of two days after i placed the new powerhead.
<Perhaps the improved oxygenation spurred on nitrification here>
I have not been able to lower them regardless of constant water changes and filter cleaning ( Fluval 305 ).
<... there are other means. Read here:
and the linked files above>
Anyway, I returned the puffer back to the 75 to see if the white spots would return. ( i did this once before and they did ). The white spots are back!
<Mmm, yes... not unusual actually... many systems are as yours... Infested>
Well I wanted to retrieve the fish to put him back in quarantine and as soon as my fingers touched the surface of the water, I was SHOCKED. The culprit was the new powerhead. Can stray voltage cause high nitrates?
<Interesting to speculate. I don't know>
What about the white spots on my puffer?
<More stress could definitely be a factor>
Is this ich or something else entirely?
<Can't tell from here>
If it's ich, why are my other fish not contracting it, especially the tang?
<... more resistant? Acquired immunity?>
I have been trying to research other causes of these white spots but I'm coming up empty handed.
<... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm
and the linked files above... need a 'scope...>
Please help. I'd really like to return my fish back to the display tank.
To describe these white spots, they are salt-like white specs. My puffer has only had a few at a time the three times he's had them. Also, he's never had trouble breathing or eating. Thanks in advance for your help.
<Might well be "something else" Protozoan, helminth wise... Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffer with possible ich 8/26/2009
Hello. I have a 75 Gallon open-top tank with a Fluval Canister Filter, protein skimmer, a hang-on filter for extra filtration, and 3 powerheads.
My readings are as follows, nitrates:0 nitrites:0 ammonia:0 ph:8.2. In my display tank I have a 3" porcupine puffer, 1 small percula clown, and about 60 lbs. of live rock. I just recently added the puffer to my display tank ( he had been in a 20 gallon quarantine tank alone for several weeks with no problems after I purchased him ). A few days ago I noticed a few very tiny translucent white spots on his fins and body.
<Mmm... not likely Crypt>
I put him back into quarantine immediately where I am also housing a newly purchased small yellow tang. A few days have passed and the white spots have not multiplied nor either of my other fish ( in main display or
quarantine ) have showed any signs of these white spots. Could this be something other than ich?
The puffer seems fine. He's very active, he eats like a pig, and his breathing is very normal.
<Good signs>
I'd rather not go to any extremes as far as medications or hyposalinity until I know for sure. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help.
<I would place this fish and not worry. Bob Fenner>

Cuprazin and puffer, 8/5/09
Hi please can you help as I can't seem to find the answer I am looking for.
<Sure, but next time please use spell and grammar check before sending queries, otherwise we have to correct these before posting.>
Can I treat my (Scooby) dog faced puffer ( 9inch long) with Cuprazin for Whitespot.
<I cannot tell what its active ingredients are, do not seem to be listed anywhere, so that alone would keep me from using the product. Judging by the name I'm guessing it is some sort of copper formula which puffers are very sensitive to, so no I would not recommend using it.>
I have treated my rectangular trigger with Cuprazin with success but from reading many different reports I'm not sure if my puffer will tolerate it.
<I would guess you may run into trouble here.>
I'm not sure about the FW dip incase I stress him and he blows up.
<Is of limited use for white spot, may help temporarily.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >
Could you please advise me on the best method to treat my puffer, as I get different responses from my LFS (garlic, lower salinity, increase temp etc).
Thanks for your time please please help as I think this works up me and my husband more than the fish.
<I would recommend either Quinine Sulfate or Chloroquine Phosphate, which should be used in a separate hospital tank. Failing these then formalin or as a last resort Chelated Copper, but look around the FAQs, I believe there are links to places in the UK where QS and CP can be found, which I think will be much better options here.>

Sick long horn cowfish, Crypt treatment... NOT reading WWM before writing, using sham "trtmt.s"  6/17/09
I purchased about 2 months ago and he's about 5-6" long in a 36 gallon tank
- 2 clowns, 2 shrimp right now.
<Much too small of a tank for this fish, needs a larger tank now. See here and related FAQs for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/boxfishes.htm .>
He got what appeared to be ich about 4-5weeks ago. Treated with Kick Ich
<5- nitroimidazoles, not an effective treatment.>
without any filters, seemed to get better so put the filters back in, he got it again, so treated for 3 days with
Rally, which seemed to make him really lethargic.
<Are you treating in the main tank? This is rarely a good idea, impossible to maintain therapeutic levels and can wreak havoc on your biofilter.
Rally is Acriflavine, Aminoacridine and formalin, which are antiseptics and formaldehyde, not something I would add to my main tank, and with the exception of the formalin of questionable use here.>
He was head down floating in the bubbles for almost 24 hours and then just laying on the bubbles after
that. I immediately changed out 25% of the water, put filters back in and he seemed to get back to normal as far as moving around within 24 hours.
All during this time he had no problems with his appetite or breathing.
Now the ich (or whatever) is back all over him, including his eyes, which also look a little cloudy.
<Not surprising, what are your current water parameter. Test and make you are not seeing a ammonia/nitrite spike which is compounding your issues.>
My fish expert that I buy from is on a cruise and cannot get in touch with her. I don't want to lose this fish. She suggested stopping all treatment until this weekend to see how he does.
<Is better that over treating.>
I give him immo?? Vitamins, and medication and algae in his food.
Do you have any suggestions as to why these treatments have not worked?
Thank you,
<To be blunt you are not using effective treatments in my opinion. For a scaleless fish like this I would be treating with either formalin, which is very toxic to both humans and fish but better than copper in this
particular case, or ideally with a Quinine based drug, which while expensive is effective. In either case I would be treating outside the main tank in a dedicated hospital tank. However long term this fish cannot
stay in this sized tank, its just too small. See here for more, and check out the links at the bottom for more excellent articles
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .>

Dogface Puffer with Crypt 3-25-09
<Mike here today, replacing Pufferpunk as the resident puffer "expert">
It goes without saying your site is filled with useful information that I am proud to say I consult on a regular basis.
<So do I>
About 3-4 weeks ago I noticed the first signs of Ich on my Dogface (Yellow belly varietal) Puffer. At that time I slowly raised the temp to 84 and added fresh garlic to his diet. (This may or may not be beneficial but he seemed to enjoy it.)
<This is not a cure, but will assist medications by hastening the life cycle>
The ich continued to spread and after consulting with a few LFS as well as a tank maintenance co. I decided to treat with kick-Ich due to the fish being scaleless as well as having some invertebrate tank mates. As per instructions I discontinued use of protein skimmer and carbon. The ich did not get better or worse.
<I have used kick-ich before, and I agree, the medication does nothing>
I ended the treatment 4 days ago and decided to try a PH adjusted fresh water bath per your site.
<This isn't a cure either, and should only be used if the fish is covered in parasites...for a light infestation I don't recommend a dip>
This seemed to stress the fish out more than it potentially helped. Today at about 9 am I found the puffer completely inflated and stuck to the bottom of a power head. I turned to power head off and freed the fish but he is still inflated (almost 6 hrs now). I tried to "burp" the puffer earlier thinking he may have swallowed air but to mo avail. It is unclear if his fins or pupils are moving. With the obvious exception of today the fish as held a great appetite. Any suggestions...is the fish dead? I have
read that his toxins may release into the tank potentially harming other fish. Is this true?
<Without observation, I cannot tell you if the fish is alive or dead.  Watch the gill openings for signs of movement. Puffers have toxic flesh, but will not release this toxin into the aquarium upon death; just do not allow the fish to decompose in the aquarium if it is dead. In the future, move the puffer to a QT tank and leave the main tank fallow for 6 weeks, while you treat the QT with quinine sulfate. Quinine sulfate is a 'wonder drug' for curing crypt IMO, especially with puffers, sharks, and rays. You can purchase it at www.nationalfishpharm.com.>
<Anytime, and good luck>
<M. Maddox>

Re: Dogface Puffer 3-26-09
Thanks for the fast reply. Sadly the puffer had bean pronounced dead.
<I'm sorry>
I have a 155 bowfront with a lunare wrasse, maroon clown, and a hippo (blue) tang as well as a Tiger Cowry Snail and various cleanup crew. The hippo has a few spots and the wrasse had one spot which has gone and never reappeared. Would you recommend doing a water change then treating the tank with Quinine Sulfate?
<I recommend moving the fish to a separate quarantine tank and treating there, because quinine sulfate will eradicate all molluscs and possibly other inverts> Should I restart the protein skimmer and carbon filtration?
<For now>
The temp is at 82.5 should I slowly bring this back down to 78.5? Any other suggestions?
<Leave the temp elevated while treating the fish in a QT tank>
Thanks for your help,
<M. Maddox>

Dogface puffer worries, Ich treatment 2/10/09 Hi <Hello> I have a 5 month old 55 gallon tank with live sand and live rock. and a Skilter (filter and skimmer combo) and keep salinity around 1.25. I have a juvenile emperor, a coral beauty, a couple damsels, a yellow tang, a green spotted puffer and of course, a dog face. <Too much for this tank.> About a month ago I had a case of ich and I lost my juvenile emperor. <You probably still have the parasite in your tank.> Around that time i noticed spots on my dogface's fins and I dosed the tank with meds, extra frequent water changes, temp raised to 82, but symptoms persisted. <I would never recommend treating a tank with LR and live sand, impossible to maintain therapeutic levels of medication due to the reactiveness of the rock, most effective medications will decimate the life on your rock, and make maintaining water quality almost impossible.> Then my tang broke out all of a sudden with thick spots and even on her eyes. <Water quality? What medication did you treat with.> My LFS suggested a product called Copperpower. <Copper should not be used in the main tank, and tangs and puffers are very sensitive to it.> So after I put that in everyone got better. Today my dogface has spots on his sides (obviously not air bubbles) and he is swollen. he might be a little puffed, but there appears to be bulges (and even after a big meal he never got like that) I think that fresh dips are in order, the only thing is that he is a very sensitive fish. he gets really stressed from anything and everything (except food:) ) <I do not think that will help in this case, something environmental is wrong. Check your water parameters and do some water changes. This could also be a reaction to the copper.> He won't eat or even move for a couple days. how long do u think he should be dipped for? <Dips are for external parasites, I see no reason to go down this path at this point.> I don't have a quarantined tank yet <You need one badly.> - if i went out and got one tomorrow do u think a 5 gallon tank would be big enough for a 3 1/2 inch long puffer, and would a heater be enough or should i get a filter too (seeing as this is going to be for just fresh dips)? <You need a filter and heater for a QT, but 5 gallons is not large enough for the fish you have.> And since I've learned that copper is bad for scaleless fish, should i do some massive water changes? <Yes> I just did a 10 gallon change today and was going to do another 10 tomorrow. what percentage do you suggest? <I would test for copper, if you detect any keep doing changes. Carbon and poly-filters would be helpful here. Also time to do some reading on ich, your current methods of attack have little chance of success.> I'm so worried about my little buddy! Thank You for your help!!! <In future correspondence please spell and grammar check before submitting, otherwise we have to do this before posting. At this point you need to stop and take a breath. Good places to start are http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm .> <Chris>

Porcupine Puffer possibly has ich (UNCLASSIFIED)  12/20/08 Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE <... is this email being spied on? Is this one of my/our civil servants using the public's dime/time? One out of too many...> Hello, <Mmm, yes> I recently set up a 125g FOWLR tank. It has a canister filter, protein skimmer, and two powerheads. I have 130 pounds of live rock and 10 pounds of live sand and 60 pounds of sand. The tank has been up for three months. (The first month no fish were in the system) I have a Porcupine Puffer and yesterday (12/19/08) I noticed a few white spots on his two side fins. They look like little bits of sand. <Might be> I thought that that was what it was little pieces of sand since Puffer likes to go to the bottom of the tank after a meal and rest, but after a few hours of observation I am concerned that it may be ich. <Could be, but doubtful> Puffer is not really active during the day, but at night he come to the top of the tank and begs for food. He rests a majority of the day, but he has never been that active. He seems healthy by all accounts. He eats well and besides being a little timid around the other fish (Harlequin Tusk, Naso Tang, Pearlscale Red Butterfly, Blue Jaw Trigger, and 5 Green Chromis)he doesn't seem to have any issues. I have read your forums on Porcupine Puffers with ich but I feel the information given is to scattered and there are conflicting opinions. <Same as it ever was> I would like to know if a freshwater dip is worth even trying. <Mmm, no; not IMO/E> I know one of your forums say certain stages of ich easily resist freshwater dips. I just don't want to put puffer through the stress of being removed from his tank and then the huge stress of being in freshwater. <I am in agreement with your point of view> How resilient are puffers against ich? <Mmm, more than middling> He only has a few white spots on his fins and nowhere else. Each meal is soaked in garlic which I hear helps guard against ich, <Nah> but does it do anything to combat the illness once a fish has the illness. <Zip> I have read that the ich parasite doesn't like the odor of garlic <Methinks you've got these Tetraodontiforms mixed up with vampire lore> and the smell will keep them from attaching to the fish. I have no idea if this is true, but if it is will the parasite detach because of the garlic. It is really hard to get good information so I appreciate the assistance. If you need anymore information please ask. Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE <I too have not caveats (to mention)... But would take a wait and see approach here... Most likely these two "spots" are nothing. Bob, citizen, person who generates GDP, Fenner>

Ich Treatment, SW, Tangs, Toby...   10/7/08 Crew, I recently purchased a 125 gallon tank from someone who was getting out of the hobby complete with fish live rock and a few inverts. <I see your pic... very nice> I currently also run a 180 gallon reef tank which has completely separate nets and equipment. The 125 had been up and running for about 3 weeks when 2 fish started showing signs of ich. Here is the stock list of the tank as it came. 150 lbs of live rock DSB- new when I set the tank back up, with slight seeding from the old Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Coral Banded Shrimp Misc Large Hermits and Huge Turbo Snails Misc Soft Corals (xenia, zoos) 2" Picasso Trigger <Mmm, will likely eat the Hermits, Snails, perhaps more in time> 2" Maroon Clown 2" Saddle Puffer 3" Hippo Tang 3" Yellow Tang 2.5" Powder Brown Tang After reading over the WWM archives, I have decided on the following plan of attack. (Please correct me on medications:-) 1. Setup quarantine tank with salinity, temp and ph that matches the display. 2. Catch all fish except for puffer and move to the quarantine tank (55 gallons). 4. Move puffer into 5 gallon tank heavily bubbled and dose with formalin for 30 minutes, <Mmm, may well be too long... Likely ten minutes will do all the good that can... I would definitely be in constant attendance, ready to move this fish...> transfer to separate 10 gallon for 6 week stay. <Hard to keep such small volumes stable....> 3. Dose OrganiCure to the 55 gallon tank, no carbon just filter floss filtration for 6 weeks, with frequent water changes and copper testing. <Mmmm, I'd rather go the quinine/Chloroquine treatment route with this mix of fish species...> 4. Return all inhabitants to the main display tank (- the yellow tang, maroon clown and hippo tang that I may sell off to make the quarantine period go smoother). My 180 has been a great success from all of the information that I have read and used off of your site. I included a picture to show it off. Thanks for your help, Tim <I do think I will finally stop putting off my minor "expose" re the use of Chloroquine phosphate... 10 mg/l... Please do read re this, and quickly order, start using... Much better... safer, less toxic than copper, formalin. Bob Fenner>

Box/cow fish parasites. Parasitized systems, alternatives... reading   8/24/08 I've had a Blue male, Black female box fish and a Cow fish for several years now. One thing I've noticed is they always have Cryptocaryon, I just have to try and control it. I've tried hospital tanks and the only successful/safe medicine was malachite green. However after using low salt and meds for 2 months and returning them to the 180 gal. tank, they would get "it" <Uhh... the system itself has "it"...> again after a few months. Is it true that they always have/carry ick or Cry.? <Nope> I've found the best long term solution to housing Box and Cow fish is to have only them as tank mates, and to use a low salinity of 1.016-1.018. This has kept them symptom free. My main question is, I will keep the low salt for 2-3 months, then raise to 1.022-1.023 for 1-2 months then back down when the first spot shows up. Is this potentially harmful? <Yep... shortens their lives... due to "stress", kidney damage mostly> How long can I keep 1.016 for? <Months to years> This method seems to be the least stressful to the fish and I don't have to keep a hospital tank as well. What kind of salinity's do you recommend? <Near seawater...> Am I too low and then not going back high enough? I want to give the fish the best long term care as possible, but need to keep the salt low to avoid problems. Thanks. <... There are other means of treating/excluding protozoan complaints with the puffer families... Read on WWM re Quinine cpd., dip/bath (with formalin) procedures... Peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Inverted puffer gill -- 04/21/08 Hello, <Hi.> My dog face puffer is having issues, her gill keeps getting inverted back into her breathing hole, in front of her side fins. <You usually cannot see the gills at all, puffers only have these small slits (gill openings) in front of the pectoral fins, the gills are inside. I'm suspecting a physical injury (pump, other fishes) here based on what you describe, but I fail to visualize it, even with a puffer in front of me.> Like when a dogs ear flips backwards, it's like that. <Something wrong with the gill opening (is its skin being sucked inside?) or something coming out of it? A picture would help with diagnosis!> When it happens, she can't breathe that well, as it doesn't open. I keep finding it like this over and over again. If I show her the can of food she gets all excited and will snap it back out but next time I look, its back inverted. This seems to be happening all the time. She has stopped eating entirely now. She doesn't swim around either. <Both no good signs'¦> Any suggestions? <Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon parasites on the gills can result in problems with breathing like breathing with one gill, do you see a velvet like white layer on the skin or small white spots? Flukes can result in similar problems (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm and search this link for gills). If something is coming out of the gill slits or if the slits themselves are hurt, there is not much you will be able to do yourself, except for providing a good water quality and varied diet (I hope it will eat again), and hope for the best. Maybe a veterinarian could solve the problem by fixing whatever tissue was hurt or torn apart, depends on the size of the puffer and skill of the vet. Good luck, I hope your puffer's conditions improves again. Marco.>

Dogface puffer with Ich... poor env. period - 4-11-08 Hello! <How goes it? Mike here tonight> I have looked around on your site and haven't seen anyone with quite this situation; then again there is a lot on here so I'm sorry if I've missed something. <Here to help, no worries> I've had my dogface puffer in a 40 gal tank with a clownfish and a mandarin goby for about a month or two now and my tank has had very steady levels other than a slight mishap the other week where the salinity was spiked for about 1 day. <Hopefully your dogface is still small - FYI he'll attain a 12" + in length. Also, please read our archives regarding your mandarin> And only a little - I wish I could be more specific but I was away and it was my dad who noticed and put some of the freshwater (treated for the tank - just no salt added) in to bring it back to normal (I have a hydrometer in the tank with a "green" area where the salinity is ok.. he said it was still in the green - just more salt then there usually is. <No problems here> My puffer - Bubbles- has been great until a couple of days ago - he started to develop ich. <Puffers are prone, unfortunately. However, they don't develop diseases for no reason - he's probably being stressed in some way. What are your water parameters?> I went into my LFS and they said they were getting cleaner wrasse brought in so I should try one of those (they're coming into the store tonight). This seemed like a "holistic" alternative to a fresh water dip - and wouldn't hurt. <Not a good idea - don't buy the wrasse. Not only is the wrasse likely to develop marine ich (Cryptocaryon), but even if it doesn't, it will likely starve to death due to its specific dietary requirements> Yesterday afternoon I noticed that he was bloated, hiding (which is not his normal behavior - he acts like a puppy always begging for attention and putting on a show), and appeared to be coughing?? <He's been stressed, as well possibly some GI issues> I had some gobies to try to entice him to eat as well as possibly help him to "de-bloat" (another recommendation from my LFS - they thought he may be constipated and it was due time for him to have a treat and something to gnaw on). His usual diet is gobies as a treat, brine shrimp and bloodworms - which he has been quite happy on for me. <Try to vary the diet a little, adding meaty seafoods. Remember, adult brine shrimp have very little nutritional value> I'm concerned about the coughing as I haven't seen a fish act and look like he has a cold before. As additional information he's been looking pale longer - as though it's taking him longer to wake up in the morning, he didn't even act like he saw the gobies when they were put into the tank for him. <Definitely stressed. And do you literally mean gobies as food?> Last night at one point I had to "rescue" him - he had wedged himself between a plastic barrel decoration that I have and the glass; I'm assuming he was trying to scratch after this he seemed to be more nervous than usual (and has been since, although still hangs around the barrel) and has ignored food completely. <Puffers commonly wedge themselves on purpose while digesting or sleeping, don't worry too much about this, and they also will ignore food if stressed or in poor health> Also - his eyes look sad...I know this isn't the best description but the look in them is heartbreaking...and he normally could cheer you up from the worst mood. <I know what you mean - my favorite fish is my A. hispidus (stars-n-stripes puffer)! The eyes of a puffer are actually very good indicators of health> Thank you in advance! I hope this is enough to have some ideas. <Make sure you have adequate filtration for this messy fish in your smallish tank (and that you have plans to upgrade relatively soon), and that all of the parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, temp) are within norm. A large water change would also be beneficial - make sure the replacement water is the same salinity, temp, and pH, and let it mix for an hour or more. Also, read our archives regarding curing marine ich, and good luck> Charis
<M. Maddox>

Black Dogface Puffer Illness, Crypt, poisoning, reading   3/15/08 About 3 weeks ago we noticed ich on our black dogface puffer. We set up a hospital tank and administered non-copper ich treatment. <Of what variety?> The ich was gone within a couple of days. <Uh, no... just cycled off the trophonts...> After a week of being healthy, we started noticing cloudy eyes and a white film all over body (that comes and goes). When he has the film, he is very lethargic and doesn't eat.. just sits at bottom of tank. Do you have any ideas as to what this might be? We have also done water changes and administered MelaFix. <Worse than worthless. See WWM re... you're poisoning...> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Concerned Puffer Owner <And one that needs to read: See WWM re Tetraodont health, Cryptocaryon... Bob Fenner>

Re: Black Dogface Puffer Illness  3/15/08 I appreciate your help although I think we waited too late to ask for any. As I was emailing you last night, my husband was doing a water change. After that the puffer swam to top and stuck his head out of water, let my husband wipe most the film coat off, but then went back down to bottom and died. :-( This is our first experience with puffers and we really enjoyed him and are sad that it wasn't a better experience. Thanks again for your advice. we will definitely read up on puffers before we get another. <I am so sorry for this/your loss... And so angry with API and whoever instructed you to pour a worse than worthless leaf extract into your main display to "treat" a parasitic condition.... IF only I, our Crew had the opportunity to properly instruct fellow aquarists on adequate husbandry... many, MANY organisms would not have to suffer or die prematurely... I do hope you sense my (palpable) frustration here... And again, I am compassionate (from the Latin meaning "to bear pain with") your situation. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Dogface puffer with raised white spots only on body; not on fins. I've looked everywhere, I can't find an answer!  2/15/08 Hello! My name is Marisa. First and foremost, thank you so much for any and all help. I have been reading WWM for several weeks and have found so many answers. I can't seem to find any information on my current question, though. I have attached three pictures of my dogface puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus, I believe?) <Yes> in his current state, and later on in this e-mail I will address the other pictures. As you can see, he has accumulated these odd bright white spots on the lower part of his body. There seems to be a line of these bumps going from his mouth to his tail along his sides. Before I spend several hours describing what has been going on in my tank for the past few weeks, let me ask this: Just by looking at these pictures, can you tell me what this is? <Mmm, no... look like discrete marks... What might be in the system that would make these?> The pictures I am specifically referring to are titled "pufferspots_1, _2, and _3." I am going to assume not, so here is some background info as to what could be causing the problem: I have a 55 gallon fish-only tank; the dogface is the only thing in there. No live rock, coral, or invertebrates. My tank has been running for several months with no apparent problems, until about... 5-6 weeks ago, when I bought a live rock from (as I later found out) the worst, least respected pet store in town. After researching the "care" online for days before purchasing my live rock, I finally went out to buy one. I was told it was already cycled and so I went ahead and placed it in my tank. It was fine for 2-3 weeks until all of a sudden I noticed my tank was extremely cloudy. There was a grayish type "mold" all around the live rock and on nearby aquarium decorations. I immediately took the rock and the nearby decorations out. My puffer seemed fine. He was eating fine, acting normal, etc. I went ahead and tested my water and my pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates were off the charts. I did a 15% water change (while siphoning a lot of the gray stuff off the sand) and the water cleared up within hours. The picture titled graystuff_1 is what was left over after the water change. I spoke to several people at my LFS (different one from where I bought the live rock), who told me to do another water change that night and treat the water with Stress Coat, Prime, and Cycle. I did a 20% water change later that night and tested my water again the next day. My pH was a little low (7.8 - 8.0), <Mmm, the pH scale is a base ten expression (sort of like the Richter Scale)... this is quite low/different than what you want> but my nitrites and ammonia were back to 0. My nitrates were still very high (100-140), <Yikes... this could be "it"> but I was told it's better to have high nitrates than high ammonia or nitrites. <Yes, but better to have none of all...> Slightly relieved, I went ahead and left my tank alone. I was told to do a 10% water change every week until my levels were back to normal... or a 5% water change every day if the cloudiness came back. No one knew what it was, but I assumed it was some sort of bacteria bloom. <Likely so> Two days after the 20% water change I checked my water again and my pH, ammonia, and nitrites were all good, despite my nitrates still being around 80 - 120. <Way too high. Needs to be addressed> I wanted to figure out what happened, though, so I asked around and discovered a specialty saltwater fish store down the street from me. An employee, who also couldn't figure out what all of this was, called his boss, who said what most likely happened was that the live rock cycled itself in my tank (even though I was told it was already cycled, ugh). He said the gray stuff was probably silt that eventually came out of the rock. That would explain why my levels shot up. <All likely so> I was satisfied with that answer because it made the most sense, and the store seemed very clean and legit. All the fish looked happy and healthy so I figured they were reputable. So, that is the first thing that happened. Here is what happened next: I got home that day to check on my puffer and studied him for about 10 minutes, just to make sure he was okay. I noticed an influx of white, sand-like spots on his fins. I had seen white-ish spots on before, over the past few weeks, but assumed it was just sand sticking to him because he liked to sift through the sand and sit in it sometimes. He often had sand sticking to his belly and face, which were the two areas that came in contact with the sand. Before I got this puffer, I did extensive research on potential diseases and sicknesses, so ich/ick was in the back of my mind. <The images do show what is likely Crypt> I tried to look up some pictures of ich online, but just to make sure I decided I should go back up to the specialty saltwater store and show them the pictures I took of my puffer--to see what they thought. The pictures titled pufferich_1 and _2 are the ones I showed to the people. The person I had spoken to the other day was not there, so I re-explained the weird rock cycling event and showed them the pictures and they declared it as ich, although they admitted ich didn't show up in pictures very well. They said the stress from the rock cycling could have triggered the outbreak, or at least intensified it. Like I said, I noticed he always had a few tiny spots of white on his fins, but they seemed to disappear on a day to day basis, which led me to believe it was sand. <Mmm, yes... you have a resident infestation...> There were about 3 people helping me at the store at this point, and they all agreed that copper was the best solution. I had read that copper and puffers do not normally mix well, and mentioned this, but they assured me that with carefully monitored dosage and the fact that it's a fish only tank, I have nothing to worry about. I asked if any of them had experience with treating ich on puffers with copper, and one of them said yes, and that his puffer is now happy, healthy, and ich-free (he had a porcupine puffer). I must have spoken to these guys for at least 40 minutes, and they were happy to help. I asked them about "freshwater dips" and hyposalinity, but they said if I've been noticing these white spots for a few weeks, I should probably start (copper) treatment immediately. They gave me a bottle of SeaCure (liquid copper treatment) <Yes... a free cupric ion solution (copper sulfate)... as opposed to chelated (which I would have used instead). A product made by Aquarium Systems...> and a copper test kit made by Instant Ocean. <Actually, also A.S.> I was told to keep my copper level between .15 and .20 mg for 3 weeks. <No lower than 0.15 free Cu++> I was also told to add the first dose over a day or so, as to not overload the puffer. So when I got home I made sure to study my puffer for about a half hour to see if he was flashing, scratching, or generally acting weird. I noticed that his eyes seemed cloudy and there was some sort of trail of wispy "stuff" hanging off of him on certain spots of his body. His eyes had been slightly cloudy (but not this bad) for the past few days, but this was the first I had seen the wispy stuff. Continuing on: I went home and took my carbon filters out. To make this easier to read and document, I'm going to list my dosage and treatment day by day. Day 1: Thursday, Feb. 7th: -added 20 drops of copper (they suggested 1 drop per gallon), waited several hours before I added another 20. -checked my copper level several hours later and it read .05 - .10. I went ahead and added another 20 drops. Day 2: Friday, Feb. 8th: -checked the copper level and it read .10 - .15. <Below 0.15 ppm is not a curative...> -I went ahead and added another 10 drops just to top it off, since it was just barely .15. Day 3: Saturday, Feb. 9th: -checked copper level and it read .15, but was still barely .15. -I added 15 drops just in case the level dropped over the next day. *Today I noticed the white spots had increased significantly, as well as the wispiness. My puffer seemed extremely lethargic and would not accept food (freeze-dried krill, frozen shrimp, and frozen squid is what I normally offer him). He hadn't eaten since Friday morning. He looked like he was bogged down by this stuff. Since it looked like everything was getting worse, I took some pictures of him and went to the specialty saltwater store. The picture titled pufferichcopper_1 is the picture I showed the people at the store. The guy I had spoken to last time was there, and basically told me, "You're only on Day 3 of treatment; there's a lot that can happen to him physically as far as getting the parasite out of him." I showed him the picture and he suggested that he is probably going through 'the worst of it'. He explained that when we (as humans) get sick, there's a period where we are overcome with all types of symptoms and problems for a number of days... i.e. with a cold, you may start with a moderate sore throat, but by day 3--even with medication--you can feel, and look, a hundred times worse. That sore throat can develop into sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and overall unhappiness, etc. He said my puffer was just getting over the hardest part of the ich, and that every fish reacts differently to parasites. <An apt description> He said to give it 2 weeks before I freak out over anything, because a lot will probably change in my puffer's attitude. I mentioned him not eating, and he said most fish won't eat when medication is first introduced. He said he will be fine, and not to worry if he doesn't eat for a while. So, I felt a little relieved that all of this behavior was "normal." Day 4: Sunday, Feb. 10th: -checked the copper level and it read .15. -I added 10 drops to maintain the level. Day 5: Monday, Feb. 11th: -the copper read somewhere in between .15 - .20 so I did not add any copper this day. *I forgot to mention that I have been checking my water levels every day, just in case. The people at the saltwater store said if my ammonia/nitrites begin to go up, do a water change. Today my ammonia was at .50 so I did a 10% water change. I made sure to check the copper level before and after the water change and added drops accordingly. Day 6: Tuesday, Feb. 12th: -checked the level and it was barely at .15. -I added 10 drops. *Despite my puffer still refusing to eat, the ich seemed to have cleared up completely today. I did not see any white spots on him whatsoever. He also seemed more alert and interactive. *My ammonia is back to 0. Day 7: Wednesday, Feb. 13th: -checked the level and it read .15 - .20, so I did not add any drops this day. *Still looking good; he is becoming more active, but still not eating. Day 8: Thursday, Feb 14th (today): -checked the level and it read barely .15. -I added 10 drops. *To my surprise, he ate today! I gave him a piece of squid and after a minute or so, he ate all of it. This happened in the morning. He was even more interactive--really getting back to his normal self. So, I am 8 days into my copper regime and all seems well... except what I noticed a few hours ago. I figured since he ate this morning, everything can only go up from here. My boyfriend and I went out today in the late morning/afternoon and returned in the evening. I checked on my puffer as soon as we got home and there were these very strange, bright white bumps on him. As I explained at the beginning of this e-mail, they are raised and only on his body--not on his fins or eyes. At first glance I assumed it was the ich reappearing (maybe trying to bury back into him?) but the spots look completely different in size, shape, texture, and placement. I am still continuing my copper treatment like usual. My puffer seemed pretty normal... he was swimming around and seemed alert. He did not seem to be flashing very much... I've seen him do it maybe once or twice in the past few hours. The pictures pufferspots_1, _2, and _3 are of these new white spots. As you can see, they look completely different from the ich. No matter how hard I search, I can't find anything--neither pictures nor similar descriptions--about this. The only thing I can guess is that the parasites are attempting to burrow back into the puffer? <Mmm, no> The bumps actually appear to either be burrowing into the skin, or are trying to push themselves out. Looking at them closely, it makes me want to scrub them off of him--do you know what I mean? <I think so> It seems like they are raised enough and could be rubbed off. I'm not suggesting that I would do this, but the roundness of the bumps evokes that sort of feeling/description. Whereas the ich did not appear raised or round (i.e. not being able to be scrubbed), these seem like they could be picked off. They are the brightest (as you can see) near his underside, and darkening/becoming more flesh colored toward the top. They also appear smaller and shorter on top. Also, please note that this morning he looked 100% clear and normal, and when I returned home a few hours later he had all of these bumps. How did something like this flare up so quickly? <Autoimmune reaction...> It has been about 5 hours since I got home and noticed the bumps, and I just checked on him a minute ago and his color is extremely dark (normally this means he is very stressed, from what I have observed. he is usually a milky/creamy tan color). He has some splotchiness, which also seems to be a sign of stress. The bumps seem to have, more or less, dug deeper into his skin. It does not appear that they have "fallen off" or anything; if anything, they are less raised and seem to be lodging themselves further in. He is not very responsive and is not swimming around as much. He's kind of resting on the bottom of the tank. He seems bothered by these things, and his breathing is slower than normal. I apologize for the extremely lengthy e-mail! I just wanted to include as much information as possible. If you have any questions about anything I have mentioned, please ask me. I just want to do everything for this little guy--he is so special to me. I thank all of you SO very much in advance! I appreciate you taking the time to read this. If you need any more pictures of these bumps, please let me know. Sincerely, Marisa <... I would discontinue the copper exposure... and switch to a quinine based treatment... See WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm Am of the guess/opinion that these marks are an expression of the puffer to the copper, nitrate and who knows what chemical irritation here... See WWM re copper use on puffers... Bob Fenner>
Discrete markings
Grey stuff... silt?

Longhorn cowfish w/ich -- 01/21/2008 Hello all, great site you have here! I am just going to dive right in here. I have been trying to fight what I think is ich since September. I currently have a 1.5" valentini puffer and a 3-4" longhorn cowfish in a 20 gallon. I have tried hypo twice...I will skip to the last time I tried hypo. <Have you consistently kept the salinity below 15 ppt (SG < 1.011) for at least 4-6 weeks? Higher salinities won't work with normal Cryptocaryon isolates. A few will even live in brackish water with a lower salinity and can only be treated with copper (or formalin, which is more difficult and potentially dangerous to apply).> After I brought the salt back up I did not see any spots, and everything seemed ok until the cowfish (bugar) would eat. Every time bugar would eat shrimp or scallops after a few bites he would start darting and flashing around the tank. <Something may be wrong with his nervous system, but that is more a guess than a diagnosis.> He did not do this when eating pellet food only the raw frozen foods. (The puffer has not shown any signs)...for two weeks I carefully watched the longhorn, and all day he would not show any signs of ich not one single spot in two weeks was seen on his fins or body. I do realize that there are certain stages of ich that you cannot see, and the gills are one of the commonly attacked places, but to not see a spot in two weeks? <It can take 4-6 weeks until spots occur again. Please get familiar with the life cycle of the parasite here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm . However, darting alone is not enough in my opinion to state this is ich.> Another site suggested that it probably was ich, and so I began some other treatments. I first used stop parasite, this did nothing to the problem when the cowfish was eating, next I tried Nox-ich...The cow did fine, but I lost a dwarf lion...not sure if it was the medicine or not, but it seemed logical. The other site then suggested that I use Cupramine. <If it was ich, this would be a good medication probably in contrast to the ones mentioned before.> I tried this med a few months ago, and the cowfish did not like it. For the first time since I had bugar he did not eat, so I pulled the med. <It had no chance to work.> The other site said that this is a common side effect and should only last a couple of days. So I thought I would try Cupramine another shot. Currently I just added my second treatment of Cupramine last night. The first treatment that is supposed to take the level to .25 did not bother the cow, but taking it to .5 did. I added it last night, and this morning his color was very dark all over his body, and again he is not eating. <Puffers, boxfish and other sensitive fishes should be treated at lower levels slightly above the minimum level recommended by the manufacturer.> I am currently pulling the copper. At least he eats when I don't have that in there. I did notice today that bugar is darting, though he is not eating so this is not linked. I am at a loss as to what to do? <Darting alone is not enough for a proper diagnosis. Without knowing at least roughly what to treat, I would not treat on suspicion.> Not sure if I should be doing anything? <If spots occur, treat with a copper product as indicated by the articles mentioned above. Aside that feed a vitamin rich varied diet to boost the immune system.> I have tried hypo twice, I have used a battery of meds. I don't see spots on these fish. The valentini still shows no spots does not dart around. I have had them in a qt since Sept. I want to get them back into my dt, but don't want to introduce anything bad back into it. Any suggestion or insight would be greatly appreciated. <See above if your hyposalinity treatment was effective at all. If salinity was too high or duration of the treatment was too short, Cryptocaryon is likely still in the system, even if you do not see spots. In this case or if you see any spots treat with Cupramine as indicated above and in the linked articles. After at least 4-6 weeks without spots the fish can probably go back to the main system, which also was free of fish hosts for at least 4-6 weeks. With regard to the darting: as long as no other symptoms occur, I would not specifically address this issue, only provide superb water quality and a vitamin enriched diet. Good luck, Marco.>

Canthigaster valentini with Crypt -- 01/02/2008 Hi, <Hello.> I have a Valentini Puffer fish that has ich and has had it for about 2 weeks. He's doing fine, been eating well and looking healthy other than the white spots. I first tried soaking all his food in garlic and Zoë« and then went about using some organic rid ich med (because it was more an organic deal and not a med). The tank he's in is a FOWLR tank and some of the live rock was more base rock then anything. I decided to use CopperSafe in the DT tank (don't kill me) <I won't, but just can tell you that quarantine tanks are much more efficient.> and have a chelated copper test kit for API to watch closely. After looking all over the web, it seems that I should keep this particular brand copper at about 1.4-2ppm. I have kept it about 1.5 or so as I'm worried about using copper with this puffer as it is. <Should be okay. This is a chelated product (those chelated molecules are heavier than ionic copper) that aside of copper consist of other chemicals. Therefore the necessary level is high compared to ionic copper recommendations. The good thing with chelated products is that they release the copper over time. However, substrate and rock will influence the copper efficiency, one reason why all copper products should only be used in quarantine tanks.> I think that CopperSafe is the least toxic copper treatment out there. This morning he puffed up for the first time when no other fish was around or messing with him. I've heard that this is normal but that it might also be stress. What should be my next steps? Thanks. <Monitor with your chelated copper test kit, keep the level, and also check your ammonia level daily. Read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked FAQs to learn about the life cycle of the parasite. Keep the copper level for at least 7-10 days. After that time and if the spots disappear use activated carbon to remove the copper from the system. Change the carbon every 14 days. If the spots come back in a new cycle use a quarantine tank without rocks and substrate for treatment. Cheers und good luck, Marco.>

Canthigaster valentini with Crypt -- follow up -- 01/02/2008 So it's now day 5 of copper treatment and everybody is doing great. The spots on the puffer are gone and I test for copper both AM and PM and test daily for the ammonia levels and PH levels. I will probably go through day 10 before I start using the carbon and after a while I will add some more live rock to seed the, now, base rock. If my research is correct, I will have killed off the parasites and, unless brought in to the tank again by a fish, should never see ich again... correct? <Yes, hopefully!> Its my understanding that fish don't create ich out of nothing, but that they get it from somewhere and pass it along.... <Right, these are ciliate Protozoans, they have to come from somewhere. Only their free swimming stage (theronts) is affected effectively by chemical treatments. In a bare bottom tank you'd also have the possibility to remove many/all of the protomont and tomont stage (by siphoning the bottom every day), which are encysted and now my rest in the substrate. I do hope none of them survives the 10 days of treatment in your tank, chances are not too bad. However, if the spots (this is the Trophont stage infesting the fish) return, because a few tomonts survived in the substrate, move the puffer to a bare bottom quarantine tank and treat, while the display stays fallow for at least 4 weeks. This seems to be the most effective procedure. Good luck, Marco.>

Canthigaster valentini with Crypt -- follow up II... Cu use... same as it ever was f' -- 01/02/2008 Well I have more than just the puffer in the tank, so I'm going to continue to treat in the display. <Okay, but be prepared that the substrate might absorb some of the copper and release it over time.> I read yesterday where the life cycle of the parasite is about 3 weeks so 4 weeks of copper should do. However they also say that you should treat the fish 3 weeks more after the last time you see white spots, so it might be longer. Fortunately the ich spots are gone and I'm now just waiting the 3 weeks and testing ammonia/PH/copper levels every evening. <Okay, but do not use the copper for more than the planned 4 entire weeks. Besides killing the parasite, it also affects the health of the fishes. Copper treatments should be as long as necessary, but also as short as possible. I'd consider 7-10 days as the minimum and 4 weeks as the maximum, depending on the copper level. Anything in between can work. Marco.>

Puffer... Crypt, med., stkg. mistakes  11/19/07 I have a puffer that is like a mappa...I sent in pictures and y'all gave me a few possibilities. ANYWAY I have it in a new tank around 2 months old and it developed ich. due to stress ( a cryserus <Chrysurus? The angel?> and grouper issues) I took the grouper out an began treating the tank with Quick cure. <... a huge mistake. You put formalin in a main display?> The tank is a 120 with a doss skimmer and fluidized sand filter. it has live rock <Had> in it with the angel a wrasse and a Huma. The quick cure worked the ick spots have gone away <Uh, no> but the eyes are a bit cloudy and I am noticing that it is breathing a lot more with one side of his gills than the other a very noticeable difference.( like you can see in the gill of one and the other is almost closed) ITs appetite is still the same. I have a little ammonia spike going on in between a .00 an .25 and treating with AmQuel + any suggestions? <Yes...> We love this guy <Again... no, not by my definition of love... IF something is loved, one does their best to look after it for its sake... Not here> he is great and would hate to loose <... lose> him. Thanks Marcus <... you've poisoned your mis-stocked, over-crowded system... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cryptformcures.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: puffer 11/19/07 I understand that you are one of the leading fish experts in the country but you are assuming a lot of things and you know what assuming does. Where do you get my system is overstocked. I have a fluidized sand filter that is meant for a 300 gallons and very efficient protein skimmer not to mention a 57 watt sterilizer. Again ITs a fish only with Rock in it. I could care less about if its "alive" or not. WITH ONLY 4 fish in it. <... read re these animals natural habitats, size of system requirements... IS psychologically crowded now... Will be physiologically soon> Sorry you are having a bad morning but the reason for all my cluttered typing on the previous email is that due to me not loving my fish I read your website for 3 hours looking for something to help and it was really late for me. P.S. If I wanted a grammer <grammar> lesson I would asked Calfo (the educated one) for help. You do not have permission to publish any of my emails to you. <Live, and hopefully learn. BobF>

Re: Please help... formalin, puffer...  -11/19/07 This the guy your <... you're> not helping. <Good pix of a nice specimen... Please... read beginning where you were referred... There is too much to relate to you via email... RMF>

Puffer with suspected Ich  11/16/07 Hi guys <Debs> I hope you can help me. I have researched your site and found many partial answers to my problem but would really appreciate some definitive advice. I purchased a porcupine puffer 12 days ago, about 5 inches long and placed him in QT tank of 25g with external filter, protein skimmer, large UV skimmer and air stones. I know the tank is too small for him but I was prepared to do daily water changes while he was in there to control the ammonia/nitrates. My other tank is 7ft long, approx 150g with yellow tang, Sailfin tang, 2 Anthias, tomato clown, Clarkii clown and a humbug, all quite large fish, and a sump with trickle flow over bio filters, 2 large UVs, protein skimmer, carbon and potassium filters and a calcium reactor. There are a few corals and snails and a sea urchin but no shrimps. <The Puffer may chomp on the invertebrates listed...> In the QT I have been doing daily water changes 25% , as there was an ammonia spike when I originally put him in. I bought some "bactinettes" from LFS and now ammonia is at zero, nitrite at 0.25 and nitrates (just before water change) are about 80. <Yikes! Too high> In The LFS he was in 28 degrees temp, but I have gradually lowered him to 26 degrees in preparation for going in main tank. <S/b fine> Anyhow, the puffer was fine until 2 days ago when I noticed a couple of white spots on his tail and above his eye. I have read that they are susceptible to Ich so I decided to try and nip it in the bud and gave him a freshwater dip. <Mmmm> I caught him in a plastic container and it all went fine, he didn't seem stressed at all. Only problem was, I had to put him back in the QT. The next morning, he looked fine. But the following morning, he was covered in little white spots !! <Now, this IS likely Crypt> I did another freshwater bath (temp and PH adjusted) and decided to leave him in longer this time, got him to 8 min.s when he blew himself up, so removed him and put him back in the QT. This time I have decided to do a 100% water change, using 75% water from main tank and 25% new water. I couldn't do this yesterday because it takes a while to make the RO water. Now I'm ready to do this, I want to remove him to another tank with medication while I do the complete water change. The question is, what medication do I use ? I know from your website not to use copper. Can I use formalin, if so, how long can he stay in it? <I would use an emersion bath...> Or can I use Methylene blue, again how long? <Just the formalin> Or should I just do another freshwater dip? <No, I would add the formalin> This time he is going to return to a cleaned tank. My other question is what do I need to remove from this tank to make sure I remove all the Ich? <? I would perform one last pH adjusted Freshwater and formalin dip enroute to moving the puffer to the main display, dump, air-dry the treatment tank> At the moment, it has some liverock and some sand. I know I should remove the sand but should I also remove the liverock? <Oh! I would just let the material run "fallow", sans fish hosts for a couple months> Should I also clean out all equipment that has come into contact with this water, i.e. filters, tubing, etc with tap water? <No... the absence of fish hosts...> All this time, he has behaved normally and eats well. So last question, is there anything that could be confused with Ich ? ( they definitely aren't water bubbles !) <All sorts of Protozoans, some worms and crustacean parasites... and spurious "dots" from stress...> Did I react too quickly to those first few spots and make matters worse by stressing him ? <Maybe... but the Crypt is good to catch at this stage...> I would really appreciate some straightforward answers , even better, direct instructions on how to proceed with this? <I would also treat with quinine, and vacuum the bottom of the treatment tank during the dip/bath procedures (to remove cysts)...> Apologies for sounding like an ignoramus but different LFS's give out different advice (often dud) and I never know who to believe, except you guys of course ! Many thanks Debs <Is this all clear? There is a large amount of material to understand, counting cautionary statements, remarks... Bob Fenner>

Re: Puffer with suspected Ich- please reply ASAP - I need to move puffer today - thank you !  -- 11/17/07 Hi again- thanks for your advice. <Welcome Debs> I have refrained from doing anything until I got your reply which is just as well as I had decided to use Methylene blue as LFS had urged me NOT to use formalin. Can I just ask a couple more questions, just to be sure ? When you say 'immersion bath ' with formalin, how long does he stay in for? An hour ? And then followed by a freshwater dip, presumably the 8 min.s he managed last time was about right ? <Mmm, no... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm and the linked files above> And you definitely think I should put him in the main display with the other fish? <Yes> Is that because of the chance of this reoccurring due to the QT tank being so small? <In part... more to be gained by moving> I raised the temp overnight by 1 degree to 27 degrees, but the puffer is currently at 27.9 degrees ( I have a Aquastar system) - will this drop in temp bother him? <No, not likely> I'm a bit worried because I don't have a hospital tank big enough for all the fishes if it reoccurs. Thank you so much ! Debs <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Puffer with suspected Ich - further question  -- 11/17/07 Hi again Bob, <Debs> Just thought, if I'm going to put the puffer in the main tank , would it be a better idea to add formalin to the QT tank he is already in to make it less stressful, i.e. one less move? <Could do> I will remove the live rock and biofilter before doing this, and then replace them when I've completed the treatment and cleaned out the tank and filled it with new water. Or is it wiser to mix the formalin in a separate tank and move him to it ? Also, formalin strength, should I go for half normal dosage ? Thanks ! Debs <... posted... BobF>

Re: Puffer with suspected Ich  -- 11/17/07 Hi Bob , Sorry to pester you again with a third follow up e-mail but I forgot to mention something !! Since we got him, the puffer has crisscross scratches on both his eyes. I looked it up and found that they can get this from being netted, which the LFS guy did to get him in the bag. I was hoping it would heal on its own, but hasn't. Any idea what it could be ? Sorry to be such a persistent pest !! Debs <Likely are scratches, as you state. RMF>

Burrfish With "Ich"? 8/7/07 <Hi Mark, Pufferpunk here> I was trying to find out if a burr puffer could get ick? <Actually ich, which is a freshwater disease, short for Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.><<Mmm, both fresh and marine are commonly called "ich". RMF>> I have had him for a month or two, its doing great, eating fine. I just started seeing little white dots on its fins and body. Could you help me and what could I do. <Yes they can get crypt, short for Cryptocaryon irritans (the marine form of ich). Best treatment is hyposalinity. You can look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm in addition to countless other articles at WWM on the subject. Also: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library/hospital/swich/ How long have you had this fish? There is a high death rate of this fish in captivity, due to refusal to eat. ~PP> Thank you, Mark.

Re: Burr Puffer with SW "Ich"  8/9/07 <Hi Mark> I have had him for about two months and he has no problem eating and even takes food from my hand. He is always looking, for or eating food non-stop. Will the puffer work thru this or should I do something? He is housed with a Huma trigger, Yellow tang, Snowflake eel, Lyretail wrasse and a pair of Maroon Clows. <Maroon clowns?> Should I worry about any of these fish? <It's up to you, whether you should treat all the fish or wait it out to see if the Burrfish gets any worse. He's more sensitive to the parasite, since he has no scales. Sometimes I have seen a light case of crypt goes away on it's own but you are chancing all the inhabitants getting it. I'd at least QT the puffer & treat it. If you see the parasite on any of the other fish, then you will have to follow the instructions for hyposalinity for everyone (in QT of course) & leave the main tank fallow. Were there any new tank mates added recently? ~PP> Thank you for all your help, Mark

Boxfish 911 to advanced issue, apparently Crypt Hello All, Please help with the following: Longhorn Cowfish has been picture of health in home tank for 3+ years. He has grown from (body/non horned) 1.5-2" up to nearly 8" body length. In the last 48 hours the fish has taken a rapid change for the worse. Before the 48 hour first observation the critter was eating greedily, swimming normally, etc. Symptoms of slime coat sloughing were observed yesterday then actual skin sloughing(?) today to where it looks like patches of his yellow skin are now gone or translucent white. (see attached pics) <I see this... and a whitening of the cornea> He is usually the color of the area immediately around his pectoral fin. Initially only slime coat was affected but today there are a TON of white spots on the fins/tail. They seem smaller than "ick" size but see for yourself. He is not eating and he normally out eats a puffer on nearly anything. <I see these as well... do appear to be a protozoan infestation> There have been zero introductions or anything coming/going from the tank/household but we did move just under a month ago. All live rock, bioballs, etc was kept wet and only a barely measurable mini cycle occurred. Current water parameters are ~78 degrees F, .020 salinity, <A bit low... see WWM re spg...> zero ammonia, barely traceable nitrite (if any), nitrates under 12.5, ph about 8.1. (Tetra test kit) His current tank is a 75 gallon AGA with 20 gallon sump, about 65 lbs liverock, CoraLife 220 skimmer, gallon of bioballs, and a carbon sock which was removed when disease was first observed. He lives w' a small dogface who is showing signs of white spots but is otherwise the same. These two have lived together for all of the last 3 years and believe it or not the cowfish will stop eating and lay on the bottom for hours/days if the puffer isn't in the tank with him. (???!) <Mmm, something introduced this parasite... I do doubt if it was resident this whole interval... Some live food perhaps... most anything "wet" from a biological setting could be a source> So far we have done low salinity w' quick cure dip about 15 min.s, half strength quick cure in tank yesterday. <And returned the animals to the infested system? This won't help> Today we have done Furazone dip in under .010 salinity for 10 min.s. <A good try...> Any medical suggestions or plans of action would be greatly appreciated. Can you diagnose from pics and info? <Mmm, not determinately... But does appear to be Cryptocaryon superficially> This animal has tolerated/recovered w' flying colors from medicating before so there is a history of successful tolerance to treatments that most boxfish do not tolerate. Is there any further info or advice you can provide? Thanks a million, Lee <Mmm, unfortunately at this point, and in the short term, to urge you to read quickly here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Scroll down to the royal blue line, tray below... And write back just as soon if you have questions, concerns. I'll be out a good part of the next day. Bob Fenner>

Re: Boxfish 911 to advanced issue  7/7/07 Mr. Fenner, Thank you so much for your time and reply. My fiancé©' (copied above) has almost two decades pet store and wholesaler experience. She has probably seen nearly anything/everything in that time. However this one stumps us. I agree the salinity is a bit low per oceanic norm (i.e. 0.20 vs. .023 to .26) but that is the salinity this cowfish has thrived in for the last 3 years. <These sorts of "chemical challenges" have ways of "catching up", expressing themselves... What I really suspect is Mycobacterium marinum... or possibly Vibriosis... but these are secondary to whatever causative factors here... and need to be addressed> I don't dispute some sort of infestation but I cannot pinpoint a cause. <I can see the infestation, but as you, have no idea of the vector/etiology> There have been zero live or other introductions. We literally set up QT/holding tanks from tanks that have been dry for years, moved the fish to the holding tanks, tore down and set up their old tanks, and reintroduced the fish with a 45 minute bucket ride from start to finish. <Well... my best guess is that the Cryptocaryon (likely) is resultant from a resident sub-symptomatic infestation... That it "was" always present... and that the added stress... triggered a full-blown high-population episode> All my fish (~500+ gallons) eat fresh/organic market mussels, cherrystone clams, shrimp, spectrum pellets, and/or Mysis (MYSIS brand). <These can also be a source...> All of these come from the same sources. Fresh/Organic from the same high end grocery store that has been supplying us for the last few years (and all the other stores who sell "fresh" in the area). <The Protozoans can/do encyst on hard materials...> The Mysis comes frozen from the LFS but is otherwise sealed. <Not likely this if frozen> While possible, one of these introduced a pathogen to no other tank (knocking daggone hard on wood) that has shown signs. This fish in question has always been the picture of greed and social interaction. <Yes... otherwise appeared as a nice, just-sub-adult specimen... always like seeing these in the wild...> Since the Furazone dip his attitude has been much improved but the spots remain. <Need to be treated differently than with an anti-microbial... Unfortunately either with successive dips (formalin likely), and being moved to other non-infested settings, or careful (chelated and tested for) copper...> He is still in a weak quick cure solution <Mmm, please see my notes re this mixture on WWM... I would NOT continuously expose any life to Formalin> for his holding tank but that can be "upped" to full strength or a copper (SeaCure brand) can be added. <This IS what I would do> The Furazone dip seems to not make nearly the difference the antibiotic dip made but the visible symptoms seem protozoan. <No; again, it will not> We did not dip tonight and are letting the fish have some recovery time but are still observing VERY closely. Only other physical symptom is respiration seems to be elevated. In the meantime his spots on fins are still very visible and his color has not changed meaningfully. I do not want to dose with meds to the point of stressing or injuring the fish worse than what his infection might yield. <Well-stated. I agree> The symptoms seem protozoan but the best results seem to come from antibiotic treatments. <The operative word here is "seem"... Do you have access to a microscope? I would be looking for definitive identification here...> Do you think switching to hypo-salinity would be the answer? <No> Please advise... This fish has been a happy/healthy specimen for the last 3 years and is near enough to my best "wet" friend. What should we do from here? Thanks immeasurably, Lee PS Tasida aka "petstorejunkie" above. <I see... There is much, likely too much to relate through this process (emailing daily)... and I want to add my note re being EXTREMELY careful in NOT compounding your troubles by moving any water, anything wet twixt your systems and to be VERY observant re your other fish livestock... Once such an infestation become hyperinfective, it is very virulent... Otherwise, what little I know re such incidents IS archived on WWM. I ask that you use the search tool, indices... and write back with specific questions if there is something that is unclear, insufficiently detailed. Bob Fenner.

Puffer in Quarantine   6/21/07 Hi Bob and Crew; First, of course, I want to thank you for the service that you provide to the Aquarium Hobby. As a refresher, the tank is 90 Gal FOWLR, Corner Overflow with a Tidepool 2 Sump, Tunze DOC 9005 Skimmer in sump (not collecting much skimmate), Prizm Skimmer in tank (actually working very well). Tank, being repopulated after sitting fallow for 6 weeks following an Ich outbreak, currently contains only a 10 inch Snowflake Moray. I currently have a Dog face puffer in quarantine (only 20 gal), where s/he has been for about 12 days. I feed the Puffer every other day, with a feeding stick, so nothing remains in the tank uneaten. The problem I am having is keeping Nitrates down in the QT tank, even with daily 50% - 75% water changes. In fact, the DFP chooses to "poop" right after the water change, which doesn't help the Nitrates. Based on the fact that the Puffer appears free of external parasites, but must be suffering from the Nitrates, would you curtail the QT and add him/her to the display, or would you wait 30 days? Thanks Again. Roy <I would end the quarantine, dip this fish in transit and place this Tetraodont. BobF>

Re: Puffer in Quarantine   6/21/07 Bob, Thanks for the quick reply. When I got home last night, much to my chagrin, I notice Ich on the DPF's Dorsal and Pectoral fins in the QT tank! S/he had been perfectly clean, but maybe because of the stress of the high Nitrates? <Maybe a factor... but the Crypt would have had to be present...> Since I do not want to use copper, I gave the DFP a PH adjusted Freshwater Formalin dip, while I changed the QT tank water. I then removed the carbon and treated with 2 tsp Formalin per 10 gallons? <Yikes! Way too much... see WWM re formalin use> To you think this in any way will be efficacious? I should have moved him a day sooner! <Ah, decidedly NOT! You would have introduced the asymptomatic infestation! RMF> Roy

Re: Puffer in Quarantine Bob, The Kordon's Formalin 3 Bottles says that it can be used up to double the usual dosage of 1 tsp per 10 gallons. I actually used something closer to 1 1/2 Tsp per 20 Gallons. <... Please read where you were referred to... 37% stock soln... too much... DO increase aeration, DO keep an eye on the animals exposed...> Has anyone ever had luck with nosickfish Ich cure, aside/since last posted in FAQ? I wouldn't use it in my display, but id it works in the QT the $52.00 may be worth it. Roy <See our notes re... the search tool, indices. RMF>

Re: Puffer in Quarantine Bob, Thanks again, When I saw him last night all the spots on his fins were gone <... likely just cycled off...> and he was actually hungry for the first time since I got him. He had one remaining embedded cyst that came of this morning after doing a 50 percent change and re-dosing appropriately. My tank sat fallow for 8 weeks, and reintroduced my snowflake (which was treated for Ich in the qt while the display sat) 4 weeks ago. Since I originally used water from my display for my quarantine tank, it is conceivable that my display still has a sub clinical infestation (the moray does not look or act infested, although the Ich could have come in with the Puffer (he looked clean and was dipped before QT). <Is possible> Based on this I was thinking of adding the Puffer to the display as soon as all external signs are gone, <Please... stop... READ re Cryptocaryon life cycle... on WWM, elsewhere... You do NOT want an ongoing infested system...> immediately breaking down the QT tank, sterilizing it, and re-preparing and cycling with non-display water, so I would have it available immediately if I needed to either let the display sit fallow one more time, or nuke it and start it up again. <No sense... you won't be able to safely add any more fish life to your display system> Since it isn't unusual to have some parasites in an otherwise healthy system, since I keep up my husbandry, healthy specimens should stay that way. I only plan to add a 3 or so specimens of a smaller shoaling species when I find something that can coexists with the snowflake and puffer? Does this idea have any merit or am I just rationalizing a way to add a possibly diseased specimen to my display. Indebted as always, Roy <Have just skipped down... Read. BobF>

Re: Tetraodont Crypt Trtmt.    5/20/07 Thanks for the quick reply. I did read the FAQ's, but that made me more confused. <Yikes! How about the articles?> The first FAQ titled Tank with puffers, a moray eel and Amyloodinium (velvet) -- 05/08/07 states : "My quarantine tank is only 25 gallons and if I stick all of them in there, besides being stressed, doesn't it defeat the purpose of the quarantine by only treating the fish? <No. The best would be to treat the two puffers in a bare bottom quarantine tank with copper and to let the display tank run fallow for about 6 weeks (without using copper in this tank). If the moray eel does not show symptoms, I'd leave it in the display." The following FAQ titled Dog faced Puffer OD on copper says: "We noticed some white spots on his fins and was treated with copper at least 3 times now. <Big no-no!  Puffers are extremely sensitive to copper, and it should never be used on puffers (or other sensitive animals like inverts/corals etc...).  It will be best to stop treatments like that ASAP.> " <I am of the opinion (note there are many other folks here presently and in the past that make/made up our Crew) that puffers CAN benefit from Careful exposure to copper... given initial good health, monitoring...> Then another FAQ about cowfish titled 'Gentle' Ich treatment for cowfish? (Tetrasomus gibbosus) 6/25/06 says: "I don't know what to do:  half the crowd says that treating ich with hyposalinity is Great and Good, especially for copper-sensitive cowfish; the other half says that hyposalinity "treatments" are a waste of time, because they aren't curing anything. <I prefer hyposalinity as a dip or bath.>"  Would you suggest a long FW dip? <Me? No> I'm really not sure what to do here! Personal experience says that hyposalinity will kill ick on a fish, <Mmm, not often> but then it will often return once salinity has hit around 1.018. But I've also read over and over that copper is not good for puffers. <Is actually "not good" for any life... all fishes experience discomfort, poisoning to a degree with exposure... Not unlike the use of mercuricals and arsenicals for humans...> I really don't want to use formalin. Is a long FW dip my only safe option here? <No> or should just go ahead and use a weaker solution of copper? (Re: urgent _ seriously ... Crypt - 04/24/2006 <My friend... this is posted over and over on our site... with cautionary remarks as you suggest here. I would not use formalin/formaldehyde... or formalin... I would use a minimum concentration (due to the puffers mainly) of a chelated copper commercial product here... with twice daily testing with a matched test kit... Read on first! Bob Fenner>) I don't want to seen confrontational or ungrateful here. <Nor I... and you don't come off as this at all. I also only seek to render useful, practical, semi-immediate information... Formalin dips/baths might be efficacious, given movement of the fish subsequently to a non-infested setting... FW/hypo treatments I do not find to be usually (much less than 1%) of the time to be useful... as you state above... Only weakening hosts... forestalling their ultimate re-infestation, increasing morbidity, leading to death> And I know why you stress time and time again to read FAQs first. The more knowledge your readers have the more success they will have. I understand that, and agree! : ) It's just that there are so many opinions on the web... in books... it's hard to know who is MORE right than who. <I do agree with you here... Absent some sort of "Vulcan Mind Meld", am at a loss of how to enhance our experiences thus far...> Ahhhh... it would seem that keeping fish is not an exact science after all. Thanks for the info.                                                                     -Jay <Thank you for your earnest sharing, intelligent discourse... I do hope my input is more to the point here... I WOULD use a chelated copper solution, at a lower/est concentration... Perhaps 0.20 ppm free copper equivalent, no lower than 0.15 ppm. Bob Fenner>

Tank with puffers, a moray eel and Amyloodinium (velvet) -- 05/08/07 Hello <Hi Amanda.>, I believe that our tank has velvet. We have a dogface puffer, a stars-n-stripes puffer, a tiger reef eel, live rock, snails and hermit crabs. Our tank is 125 gallons. I want to use CopperSafe to clean out the whole tank. The directions say to add it only once and it treats for a whole month. <If you treat your display tank, you will kill a lot of your beneficial bacteria. Monitor ammonia and nitrite if you treat it that way.> I know I need to take out the live rock, snails, and hermit crabs and I need to clean out the tank very well after the treatment is over.  My questions are - Can I leave my puffers and eel in their 125 gal tank while I am treating it? <The moray eel should not be treated with copper, except if it shows symptoms. Puffers can be treated carefully, but bare in mind that overdosing can be lethal. It's appropriate to get a testing kit that can be used with your copper product and to monitor the copper concentration at least once daily.> My quarantine tank is only 25 gallons and if I stick all of them in there, besides being stressed, doesn't it defeat the purpose of the quarantine by only treating the fish? <No. The best would be to treat the two puffers in a bare bottom quarantine tank with copper and to let the display tank run fallow for about 6 weeks (without using copper in this tank). If the moray eel does not show symptoms, I'd leave it in the display. That way you are taking the risk that the parasites may use the moray as a host, but this case is rather improbable due to the high resistance of these fish against Amyloodinium. If you do not want to take this risk, you need a second quarantine tank for the eel, which is not treated with copper.> Do I still give them freshwater dips to get the parasite <off>, while I am treating their tank? <Such dips can be done in severe cases to get rid of some of the parasites.> Do I dip the eel? <If it shows any symptoms: yes.> How do I dip an eel? <A bucket of well aerated, pH and temperature adjusted freshwater. Catch the eel with a net and transfer it to the bucket. If you cannot catch it with a net, lure it out into a clean bottle with a large enough opening and a piece of its favourite food and transfer it. Put a lid on the bucket. Leave it there for about half an hour to one hour. Return it to the tank.> Do I also have to wait a month before putting the live rock and the invertebrates back in or how long do I have to wait? <If you treat your display with copper, you should filter with fresh activated carbon after 4 weeks and hope none of the copper remains in the substrate.> I know this needs to be treated now, but my puffers are my babies and I don't want to hurt them. <I'd consider what I described above as the best way. Also read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cuduration.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the related FAQs.> I know I have a lot of questions for y'all. I would appreciate your help, so I can make my fish happy again. <Hope they pull through.> Thank you so much for your time. <You are welcome. Marco.> Sincerely, Amanda.

Dog faced Puffer OD on copper My office has a saltwater tank professionally cleaned and cared for once a week. We have grown very attached to our fish and have recently enjoyed the addition of an adorable dog faced puffer. <Congrats, Dogface puffers are one of my favorite fish!> We noticed some white spots on his fins and was treated with copper at least 3 times now. <Big no-no!  Puffers are extremely sensitive to copper, and it should never be used on puffers (or other sensitive animals like inverts/corals etc...).  It will be best to stop treatments like that ASAP.> I have noticed each time it is treated our dog faced puffer will become very immobile and has some discoloration, changing to a darker color. <That is a typical reaction to copper.> After checking your website I am afraid this "professional" company has no idea what they are doing to our adorable dog faced puffer. <This sounds that way.  I learned back that many of the "professionals" aren't that professional.  They don't know everything, and it's best if you do your research to be sure that accidents like this don't happen.> Please offer any advice on how to save our puffer and possibly a new truly professional company in Salt Lake City, Utah. <Sadly I'm not sure of any professional companies in Salt Lake, I had done a search on Aquarium Maintenance online to see if I could help, but it gave me a list.  I wasn't sure who would be good or not, so perhaps if it's best if you ask around. As for you puffer care, the simple act of giving you puffer a freshwater dip for 5-10 minutes and placing him in a tank that is copper free will be the best way to help your little dog-face.  Here are some great places to start learning about puffers. http://www.reefnut.com/Puffer%20Article.htm This is a handy article dealing with puffer care and info. http://puffer.proboards2.com/index.cgi?board=faq   A puffer board.  Totally devoted to puffer care.  A very good place to start getting info.> Thank you for your time. -Sarah <Good luck with your dog-face puffer!  I do hope that it gets better, these are some of the best fish I have ever had the pleasure to keep.  I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. -Magnus>

Spiny Box Puffer with Ich - 5/17/2006 What is the best way to treat a Spiny Box Puffer that has ich?  It is currently in a quarantine tank. <<Read here: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9. >> Thanks! <<Glad to help. Lisa.>> Re: Spiny Box Puffer with Ich - 5/28/2006 I started the treatment described in the link you gave me for Hyposalinity last week.  For the first few days the ich started to clear up nicely, but over the last two days it has gotten progressively worse.  It is now much worse than it was before I started the Hyposalinity treatment. <<What SG is the puffer in now?>> The Spiny Box Puffer will no longer accept food.  Is there something else I can do? <<He is very, very stressed.  It sounds to me like something is off in your water parameters.  Are you keeping a close eye on water quality?  Please search WWM re hyposalinity.>> Thanks! <<Glad to help. Lisa.>> - Ich never to cease and barrel-rolling boxfish 6/23/06 - Hello WetWebMedia Crew! <Hello.> I'm an avid reader of your site! I hope you can help me like you've helped so many others. I have a 55 gallon tank with a male and female spotted boxfish, and a lionfish. Up until last week, it was just the female box and lion--both were eating and doing fine. However, I did notice some ich spots on the female box, so I removed the live rock, (considering this was a new tank, I left the base rock in, as I believed it didn't have enough time to have any of the nitrifying bacteria on it) and lowered the salinity down to about 1.011. The tank was left like this for a week, and I thought the ich had gone. Last week I added a male boxfish, quite a bit bigger than the female, to my tank by acclimating it in a separate quarantine tank to get it adjusted to my current salinity. Well the fish was added, and every one went back to their normal fish lives. However, the new male boxfish hasn't eaten a bite of food since I've gotten him more than a week ago. I've offered frozen and fresh mussel, a blend of frozen algae, Mysis and brine shrimp, Marine Cuisine, krill pieces, algae sheets, etc. It has thus far refused them all, but the female continues to feed eagerly. I wanted to try live black/bloodworms, but my LFS won't be able to get them in until next Tuesday. Anyways, the ich has come back within the last few days and viciously attacked both boxfish, covering them completely. They also both seem to have somewhat cloudy eyes, and the male will swim, and then do half of a "barrel-roll" in the water. Sometimes he'll swim down towards the rocks and do this, but he doesn't rub against them. So today I was reading around on the internet, and found somewhere that said hyposalinity wouldn't be effective unless the salinity was at 1.009. Well it made sense to me, since I've had the salinity at 1.011 for a good week, maybe more, and the ich was still there, strong as ever, so I did a water change and lowered it yet again down to 1.009. As we both know, it would be very unfortunate for one of my boxfish, (more than likely my male, as he's the one not eating and rolling around), to die and nuke out the rest of my tank. Is there anything I can do to get him to eat and make his odd behavior, as well as the ich on both boxfish go away? <How about bringing up the salinity to something marine fish can tolerate without excessive stress?> A hospital tank really isn't an option, as the only other tank I have at the moment is a 10 gallon quarantining a filefish, and both boxes would probably get even more stressed being in that small of a tank. <As opposed to the stress of 1.009 salinity?> I really thought the ich would have gone by now, maybe not out of the tank, but at least off the fish.... Please help! <This situation sounds to me like what they call "A one legged man in a butt kicking contest." You've got too many things going on here that you are the point of doing more harm than good. It is my considered opinion that there is likely nothing you can do for this one box fish - it is dancing what is known in the hobby as the spiral of death, and if has not yet passed on, it will do so soon. I would even go so far as to suggest that you preempt this fish's suffering and freeze it and move on to solving some other problems. Hyposalinity is useful as a bath/dip but not as ongoing treatment. Saltwater fish actually need the salt - they drink their water and use the salts to regulate things inside their bodies. Without enough salt, things go wrong from the inside out and you find yourself where you are now. Preventing ich is as much about managing stress as it is killing parasites and if you only work on one side of this problem, then you're likely to never solve the problem. Consider doing this - put the remaining boxfish in with the Firefish in quarantine. Try to get the salinity up to at least 1.018 (and very slowly - not all in one day). Then, let your main tank go fallow - no fish - for at least one month, six weeks would be better. Likewise, slowly bring the salinity back to a normal range in the main tank (1.023-ish).> Thank You! Neil <I suggest you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >

- 'Gentle' Ich treatment for cowfish? (Tetrasomus gibbosus) 6/25/06 - Hello, <Good morning.> Have you ever had one of those frustrating days wherein the more you try to learn, the less you're sure of what you know? <Often.> Dear oh dear. <Bear with it.> I'm having one of them, and I really hope you can help. <I will do my best.> My problem, in brief, is a cowfish (Tetrasomus gibbosus.. common names pretty much too numerous to list!) with what has all the earmarks of a burgeoning ich infestation.  It started as one dot, vanished, came back as two, vanished.. etc. until he was covered with dots.  Hoping that I "hadn't seen that" was, in hindsight, a mistake. The cowfish is about an inch-and-half long; we've had him for about four months.  He is the sole inhabitant of a four year old 54 gallon (yes, 54.. corner bowfront) tank with around 20 pounds of liverock, about two inches of aragonite sand, and a large clump of cheerful and fast-growing Caulerpa (LFS calls it "saw tooth".. pretty accurate description of its narrow, jagged leaves).  The skimmer is a CPR Bakpak2, and the filter is an Eheim 2213.  My Visitherm heater has given me so little trouble that I cannot remember its wattage, and lighting is provided by aging PC bulbs (1 actinic, 1 daylight, 55w each.)  Salinity is 1.023, Ammonia and Nitrites are at 0, and Nitrates hover around 15-20ish.  Temp. is 78 F.  pH is about 8.2. Current moment finds "Roz" in a five-gallon Q tank, awaiting his fate.  He acts completely normal, and eats well, but the dots persist (I did try turning off the skimmer.. alas, it wasn't bubbles).  I don't know what to do:  half the crowd says that treating ich with hyposalinity is Great and Good, especially for copper-sensitive cowfish; the other half says that hyposalinity "treatments" are a waste of time, because they aren't curing anything. <I prefer hyposalinity as a dip or bath.> Everyone says "..and for the love of God, be CAREFUL with formalin if you haven't used it before, it is extremely toxic!" <THAT is for certain.> Aaahh, what to do!? <You actually have the answers right there.> I am slowly raising the temp in the empty main tank (had to crack coralline off the Visitherm to do so. haven't changed it since I set it out of the box!), to encourage the ich to 'cycle' itself and die, but I'm not sure what to do with the cowfish.  Mr. LFS sold me a wee bottle of Cupramine, but I haven't used it.  I also haven't dipped the cowfish, as Mr. LFS said there was no point in doing so (parasites under slime coat, etc.) <Even so, often remarkably effective.> Well, he was wrong about that, it seems. Drat. <Ahh... no worries, live and learn, right? We'll get Roz hooked up.> So.. what treatment course would you recommend, here?  The cowfish is well, hale and happy; but I know he won't stay that way without help. <Or will he? It's been my observation that some of the scaleless fishes are always carrying around something on their skin - not all of this group, but mostly the advanced ones (boxfish, puffers, etc.). In spite of these parasites, they always seem to keep on trucking and behave/eat like they always do with what seem to be no long term ill effects or contamination of tankmates. Could be that Roz is like this...> I've warmed the Q tank up a little, to about 80 F.. already there are fewer visible dots on him.  I did put gravel in the Q tank. a scant double handful of new, freshly washed coral gravel, because the shiny bottom appeared to be upsetting Roz quite badly. <Yes - is my strong belief that while some fish may react to their reflection in the side glass, many more are completely freaked by their reflection in the bottom glass. I paint my quarantine tanks or put contact paper on at least the bottom (outside).> That 'other cowfish' was talking trash, it would seem..  Should I remove it? <Without a doubt.> Would Paraguard/similar Malachite green formulation be a better choice than the Cupramine/copper formulation? <If things seem out of control, then yes, but I'm not sure we're at that point.> At this point, the wisest treatment course seems to be the gentlest, most patient one: if I'm starting with a healthy fish, then perhaps I can afford to expend more time/effort on my part to spare him a harsh, "last ditch" style of treatment... I have the luxury of a ich-y (haha!) fish who is still in good health... but I'm not sure how to be 'gentle' and still get rid of the ich. <It seems to me you had the answer all along. This is an otherwise healthy fish in an ideal situation - he has a 54 corner all to himself. I'd leave him be if he eats and behaves normally. If the spots are frequent and increasing, then I'd give it a long, pH/temperature-adjusted freshwater dip and then return to the main tank. If things move beyond that, I'd consider a Quick Cure/Paraguard bath in a bucket of tank water, treated for the amount of water in the bucket, perhaps an hour if the fish seems otherwise fine. But for now, a freshwater dip, return to the tank, and the resultant reduction in stress should work well. Perhaps some more live rock at some point down the line would help, but not right now. Keep on a good water change regimen (10% every 2 weeks) and I think Roz will be fine.> Thank you very, very much in advance! Ramie   <Cheers, J -- > Crypt...urgent _ seriously  - 4/24/2006 Good Morning <Still> I have been reading ich and puffer FAQs for the last 7 hours. I think I have the groundwork covered.  I had a small outbreak about a year or so ago and came out with no losses. That was partly a result of very diligent dips etc but a lot of luck too: You've heard this story a thousand times but yeah, <Likely more> I used CopperSafe on the advice of LFS guy and my 2 puffers and 1 trigger made it. And that was in my display tank - even all of the hermits survived. The live rock is back now. but that took forever. I'll chalk that up to luck. These fish have been there before and after looking at some risk management, they (some our fish are going on three years old) have decided copper is an unacceptable risk. I would love a response this morning. Here are the details - '¢ 180g + 50g sump. '¢ A few damsels '¢ Small Heniochus pair '¢  S&S Puffer 9" (This is his tank of course) '¢  Tiny dogface puffer '¢  Small flame angel '¢  4" Huma Huma '¢ 2 small yellow tangs '¢  mediumish snowflake moray '¢  lots of crabs and liverock My wife spotted an ich outbreak this morning, so at least we have the head start. I'm pretty shocked at how quickly it manifested though;   <Mmm, has been there all this time... just some trigger... not the fish.> this wasn't here on Friday evening. This is the early stage, everyone is behaving normally but I know I need to move quick. Both puffers have light spotting on fins - same for both Henis. Damsels are all clear. The angel and the trigger already have body spots. I bought a good hospital setup after I found out today. 55 gal generic with decent hardware. <... not so sure all these fishes will go/get along here> I have a good understanding of hyposalinity and temp etc. We are pretty good dippers too. I really just want to know what   product to pick up..? <?> I'm thinking no copper,  no malachite green, Methylene blue is a maybe but Formalin at 37% is a good idea. Yes? No? <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm and the linked files above...> I need to start this now, advice would be appreciated beyond words.   I'm scared for there guys. <More knowledge will lessen to almost completely diminish your fear> Cheers, Christopher <Bob Fenner>

Re: urgent _ seriously ... Crypt - 04/24/2006 Thank you for your quick reply but  I'm confused I have re-read the formalin page; is this a cautious endorsement? <Perhaps> I guess to distill my question to it's essence: I would like to know specifically which product would be best to start treatment now; Methylene, formalin or something else? Thanks in advance, c. Christopher Roberts <My friend... this is posted over and over on our site... with cautionary remarks as you suggest here. I would not use formalin/formaldehyde... or formalin... I would use a minimum concentration (due to the puffers mainly) of a chelated copper commercial product here... with twice daily testing with a matched test kit... Read on first! Bob Fenner>

Re: urgent _ seriously... Crypt  - 04/24/2006 Thank you Bob <Welcome> I appreciate your directness. Do realize that many many WetWeb crew posts here absolutely forbid the use of copper with puffers (in ALL CAPS)- period. <Yes... am fully aware of some others opinions here (have placed almost all materials on WWM... over the last decade)... My opinion, experience varies you might say> But yes, I was aware that you are a proponent of it. <Oh! Good> I am out the door to pick up a good copper test kit in a moment. Please advise a suggested dosage.   1 ppm, monitored 2x daily over a 2 week period? <... no... posted on WWM for all's review though> Many Thanks. *Hopefully I won't write you again until I just drop a brief  Thank You that all my guys are flourishing. Cheers, c. <Write away. Just do please search and read first. Bob Fenner>

Ichy Porcupine Puffer <Hi, MikeD here> I purchased a 3.5" porcupine puffer about 5 weeks ago.  I named him Gizmo<LOL! That's a very popular porcupine name!> and placed him into a 20 gallon tank that had been set up with a considerable amount of live rock and a Fluval 304 cartridge filter.  The tank was set up about a month before introducing him to the tank.  I already had some hermit crabs in there, and believed the tank to be stable.  Approximately 4 days after introducing Gizmo to the tank, I had a considerable ammonia spike which prompted me to move him over to my 30 gallon tank which had been fully cycled<Not surprising. The meaty foods required and the bad foods many people buy from LFS will frequently cause the system to overload>.  Gizmo stayed in that tank for approximately two days when I noticed the telltale signs of Ich on his skin and fins<Yep. Porcupines are quite delicate in regards to ich>.  Not wanting to expose the other fish, I moved Gizmo back into the 20 gallon tank after doing a 50% water change and verifying that the ammonia was sufficiently low (almost 0)<OUCH! Almost is still enough to break down the fish and weaken it for further attacks>.  I went to the LFS and they gave me a bottle of medication.  Before medicating I decided to investigate the treatment on the web.  After reading some horror stories regarding puffer susceptibility to Ich treatment toxicity, I hesitated to use the treatment.  Ultimately I opted to begin freshwater dips instead.<To me, freshwater dips are too hazardous for puffers>  I prepared the bath with deionized water, buffered the water to achieve an pH of 8.3, and then raised the temperature to match the tank's.  I performed a freshwater dip for 10 minutes with no apparent ill effects to the fish, and continued to do dips once every 24 hours for the next week.  All signs of Ich disappeared from Gizmo, and I thought that I had it licked.  Unfortunately, my freshwater dips were postponed for 3 days because I had to travel for business.  During that time my girlfriend did the feeding for me, and she reported no visible signs of Ich while I was gone.  She did say, however, that Gizmo didn't want to eat on one occasion, which was strange for him.  The evening that I returned from my trip, I arrived home to find Gizmo covered with more white spots!  I immediately resumed the freshwater bath routine, initially doing it once every 12 hours, and later only once every 24 hours.  This routine once again resulted in the elimination of Ich spots.<Ich has a cycle where the spots disappear, then reappear in about 3-4 days>  I kept up the freshwater baths for another 10 days after seeing the last signs of Ich on Gizmo.  All was going well until yesterday when I came home from work to find Gizmo covered with spots again!  When I left for work that morning, he had almost no visible signs of anything that resembled a spot.  I gave him another freshwater dip, and this morning the spots were still there.  I gave him another freshwater dip today, yet the spots still remain.  Additionally, he didn't want to eat very much today, and I fear that he is getting weak.<Very likely>  I don't know what to do at this point.  I don't want to give him chemicals, as I'm afraid that it might kill him.<The ich and stress is already killing him>  I'm also worried that he is excessively stressed from the daily freshwater dips.  He actually puffed up twice while in the freshwater dip two days ago<very bad, only worse if they puff up with air while being dipped. I'm surprised that he hasn't>, and he bit at the bucket wall.  He now also swims frantically for his life at any time that I put anything into the tank.<That's just absolute terror>  My contingency plan has been to set up a 30 gallon tank and artificially cycle it with ammonia so that I can use it to put Gizmo in after the freshwater dips leave him spot free.  Unfortunately, Gizmo needs to go into it NOW, and the tank is not yet stable enough.  Please help!  What should I do to keep Gizmo from dying?  I'm already so attached to the little guy, and I don't want anything bad to happen to him. <OK, with puffers, being scaleless fish, they are very sensitive to copper, but they do handle the formalin treatments, particularly if used half strength, which is what I suggest. The brand name of the formalin treatment available in this area is "Quick Cure" and needs to be used in a separate hospital tank. Don't be surprised if he makes several trips back and forth but he will eventually settle in and toughen up once you quit the dips. Use caution in what you feed him as too small of foods (brine shrimp, poor quality or unrinsed Mysis, etc. will cause a spike very quickly. If you switch to frozen shrimp from the Seafood section of your supermarket as a primary food you should find him easier to care for> Lou    

Ich Counter-Attack...Follow Up Hey crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here again> Well the good news is that the fish in the main tank are looking 100% better, no visible signs except for the tang. <Good to hear that...Give the treatment its full course, and I'm sure that the tang will follow suit>   The bad news is that this morning I lost the puffer, I guess that the copper treatment wasn't so good.  But  what I read in Mr.  Fenner's book said puffers are ok with copper.   <Some are- some aren't...> Well at least now if the ich has a comeback, I can quarantine all of the fish. Best regards. Ryan King <Hang in there, Ryan- and follow the manufacturer's full treatment course...Regards, Scott F>

Another Ich Battle... To my wonderful and resourceful crew, <I like that one! Scott F. with you today!> I have had an outbreak of marine ick in my main display tank.  I believe my Yellow Tang started it after I introduced a new Flame Angel to the tank. <Uh- oh..> My problem is that I only have a 20 gallon quarantine tank and too many fish. I have a 3.5" porcupine puffer, 3" yellow tank, 2.5" flame angle and two 2" damsels. I have about 30lbs of live rock and a few hermit crabs. The puffer has the worst case of ick followed by the tang and angel, the damsels seem to be fine.  To fight this plague I first lowered my SG to about 1.018 and also took my temp up to 80F.  I gave all of the fish a freshwater dip.  I set up the quarantine tank and put in "SeaCure" copper treatment and I put in the puffer.  I was thinking of leaving the puffer in for two days and than putting in the tang and the angle for two days. <You really may want to refrain from using copper on puffers. They do not always take well to this treatment. Formalin-based products might be a better choice> Back in the main tank I cleaned out all/most of the substrate and did about an 8 gallon water change.  Will this treatment be good enough or should I buy another tank (really don't want to but would to save the fish) so that I can quarantine all of the fish for the month and let the main clean up? <Personally, I would remove all of the fish for observation and/or treatment (if necessary) to a separate tank (or even large Rubbermaid containers). The "fallow tank" technique is generally the most successful method, IMO. As long as there are fish in the display tank, the causative protozoan can complete its life cycle, assuring you of more rounds of misery with the disease.> Thankfully, Ryan King P.S.  --- Is there any trick for moving the puffer from tank to tank?  Right now I catch him in a 1.5 gallon bag and it works ok but there is probably a better way. <I like that idea- it keeps them submersed at all times, which seems to be less stressful. Perhaps Jeni (Pufferpunk) or Ananda, (who have forgotten more about puffers than I'll ever know) can chime in if they know of a better way? Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Meds for Puffers I have two dog face puffers with ich and was glad to find such detailed articles on how to treat for it. I have been looking for the product mentioned in three articles, Mardel Marine Maracide. I can't find the "Marine" version at any local fish stores or on the web.  <Well, time to come clean, I said that had been a mis-type on my fault. Please read below my improved method of treating puffers.. I have been doing some heavy duty research and work studying ich. My marine puffers have recently come down with it. With my puffers I have been doing different methods for treating ich! and have been very happy with the results. I was turned on to a product called Stop Parasites or Biospheres Antibacterial for treatment, following directions exactly. The person that I had learned this trick from had said to turn off the lights during treatment. I originally thought it was just a bit of superstition but after chatting with a microbiologist on the matter he gave me this bit of advice. Free Swimming Ich is attracted to light, the parasites swim up towards the source of the light were it expects to find a host. Keeping the lights of just makes it more difficult for the ich to find a house and failure to do that within a day or so cause the ich cyst to die without reproducing. (interesting bit of trivia that might make a difference when treating medicinally). I have raised the tank temperature during treatment which speeds up the metabolic processes of the parasite as well as the fish to help in immune systems. Also I have found that puffers do quite well if you begin to SLOWLY lower your specific gravity to somewhere around 1.016-1.018. the lower salinity is safe for puffers, but ich cysts will not survive the reduced salt levels. I have also found that giving my puffers a 10-15 minute freshwater bath VERY helpful. Most marine fish should only be given 5-8 minute freshwater dips, but with puffers they seem to handle it quite well, and the freshwater dips of 10+ minutes really work great at removing the parasites from the fish. While you treat the tank for the remaining parasites with the medicines listed above. Also during this time vacuum the substrate to remove the fallen cysts, it's something that is over looked frequently. I do like the "Stop Parasites" medication. because it's a natural product. made from a hot-pepper, mint based liquid. It's reef safe (even said to be human safe). Have Tetracycline on hand in case you need to help with secondary bacterial infections.>  Thanks in advance for you help! Kim  <sorry for the confusion, but I have been treating my puffers this way and have been extremely happy with the results. in fact I have been keeping my puffer's tank at a slightly lower salinity and it seems to be keeping them quite happy and healthy. I was amazed at how well the freshwater dips worked on my fish! Good luck with your puffers. Magnus>

Thanks for the reply. (Boxfish, ich concerns) Thanks for the quick reply- spent all day reading on the WWM site.   EXCELLENT resource, we are lucky to have you.  Saturday- moved the fish to the LFS.  Separated the YP Box (he is in his own tank at the LFS), the SF tang and 2 Clowns are in another tank, and the Auriga and L. Blenny are in another.  The thing is, the LFS here in town have 1200 gallon system that circulates amongst the entire store-  If the boxfish dies will this contaminate the entire store?<possibly if he is not taken out of the aquarium ASAP>  Not only that- there is no way to up the temp and lower the salinity for an individual tank- they are all linked.  They seemed unconcerned when I pointed out this detail.  They are unable to diagnose specifically (though they seem to think ICH because of the small spots on the Percula), but were quick to asses Copper treatment for the tang and clownfish (moderate copper for the Auriga and the blenny).  but after reading all day I am kind of freaked out-  These are not quarantine tanks and they have gravel bottoms, so I'm pretty much assured that the copper will be absorbed by the gravel and it will be filtered through (no constant copper) because of the water system set up (so totally ineffective?). <not necessarily> The LFS also said to treat there 3-5 days and back to our tank.  I (now) know 4-6 week minimum to run the course of the parasite- (at home while awaiting fish we can) lower the salinity to 1.021 (says bob) 1.018 (says Steven pro) and raise the temp. (no higher than 84f) since we have 2 cleaner shrimp (already) and 2 emerald crabs and 20 lbs LR (no copper here thank you!!) we are sort of stuck unless we move everyone to the LFS or get 3/4 QT.<agreed> But I am  still concerned for our fish at the LFS.<I would be also>  I know now (add another to the list) that I should have had a Quarantine tank all set up and ready to go and I think I need to go back and pick up my fish- like right now.<agreed>  Should I have two QT? One set up for the box fish (and blenny? he is scale-less right?<yeah this sounds like a good idea> maybe they should be separate if the box fish doesn't make it) and one for the tang, Auriga?<yea>  (Is the butterfly more sensitive?) <probably so> I would like to set up the QT and treat the Tang, Clowns, Butterfly with Copper. (right?)<yes>   Then does everyone stay in the QT for 4-6 weeks?<yup> I love my fish- I will be very sad if they die (I already feel incredibly guilty- why aren't there laws pet stores selling SWF without a license of some sort???<I honestly cannot answer that one> we bought the tank with fish already from people who were moving and have had to learn everything the hard way- and the LFS has pretty much told us ALL THE WRONG THINGS).<most of them normally do, there are some exceptions but normally they tell you false info to make the quick sale>  So how many QT? <2 of them would be an excellent idea> Should I move them again from the LFS to home?<this may stress them out again, I would wait a while and see if they progress at the LFS, because you are probably going to stress the crap out of them shipping them back and forth, etc>  I called the LFS today- and the owner said they looked fine (moron) and I don't trust them to treat our fish... what do you recommend?<well you pretty much have to trust them right now, because again you don't want to stress them out more than they already are> Thanks for the website- you are all excellent to have this website and answer all of these questions... Thanks again.<your welcome my friend, just wait and see how the fish look at the LFS-with your own eyes might I add!! lol. If they start to look worse I would setup my own QT aquarium and treat the fish there. Hopefully your LFS at least knows the basics of marine fish keeping and treating of parasitic infections/ich. IanB> -Erin

Alternative Therapies For Ich (1/27/04)    Greetings WWM Crew! <To You as Well. Steve Allen here.>    I seem to have gotten into an Ich mess despite my best attempts at quarantine.  Here is my current situation - I have a 150 fish only system housing 5 fish - a damsel, a striped puffer and a longhorn cowfish from another tank in my house, a yellow tang and a juvenile queen angel, both recent purchases.  The tang entered near the end of cycling, the angel shortly there after, followed last week by the three others.  Nitrites and Ammonia are zero, Nitrate just barely registers.    I've never seen Ich in my old tank, and I guess I wrongly assumed that I was okay... and of course failed to quarantine the last 3 fish. <Live and learn.> Yesterday I noticed a couple white spots on the fins of the puffer and cowfish, and they sure look like Ich. <You are almost certainly right.> I'm now in the situation of having 5 large-ish fish to house and treat. with only a 15 gallon hospital / QT tank (my secondary QT is also my water mixing trash can). I definitely can't house 5 separately, and I think the stability of the big tank is best for the fish. <Big Rubbermaid tubs with biofiltration, circulation & heat work well.>    I travel quite a bit for work, and don't have anyone I trust to do daily water changes, etc - my girlfriend has learned to feed correctly, but that's about it. <Understood.>    I know you're against treating in the main tank, but I guess I'm looking for some alternatives.  I like the idea of hyposalinity, but I've found a lot of conflicting information on the subject.  <Many opinions out there.> I've already started to lower the salinity <Do you have inverts?--could be dangerous to them>, and I'm now running the UV sterilizer 24 hours a day. <May kill the free-swimming organisms if flow rate correct. The theory then is that if few are able to get to your fish, most eventually die for lack of a host.> I'm also tempted to try copper.  <Resist this with all your strength. This will be nothing but trouble and disaster. Will kill your biofilter and inverts. May kill your cowfish and thus wipe out your tank. Will ruin your sand and rock, causing them to leach toxic copper forever. Should only be used in QT.> What exactly are the detrimental effects of doing these in my main system? <As above.> Am I just wasting time, or is there viable "if-you-have-to-do-it" alternative? <The QT/fallow method is the only proven way.> I'd love to run fallow for weeks, but I just don't think my fish would make it. <I understand your predicament. I can tell you that I had a few spots of ich on two fish in my tank last July. I was very careful about water quality and ran UV for several weeks. I have not seen a spot of ich on any fish since. A word of warning: ich will "disappear" after a few days and then may come back a hundred fold a couple of weeks later when the next, bigger generation is ready to leave the substrate and infest fish. It may then be too late to save your fish. That's the risk you take if you do not immediately treat aggressively. You have to weigh the factors and decide what's best for your situation. There was a good article by Scott Michael in Aquarium USA 2004. You should be able to find this at Petco or PetSmart. Advanced Aquarist Online is running a good series of articles right now too. Unfortunately, this month's is only number 3 of 5. Check here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2004/toc.htm> Many Thanks, Dave <Hope this helps.>

Porcupine puffer with ich (08/28/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have been reading your puffer FAQs.. but yet to find any help for my problem. I have an 80 gallon tank w/a porcupine puffer fish, a lionfish, a trigger fish and a yellow tang (the latter have been moved to a non-infected tank).  my puffer has had ich for about two weeks now...other than the obvious visible symptoms, and heavy breathing and sometimes twitch- like movements he is eating and functioning fine. <So you have just the puffer in the 80 gallon tank? I would put him in his own hospital tank and let the display go fallow for at least a month.> After calling my local fish store as advised I turned up the heat to around 82 degrees, kept the lights off and have done a few water changes.  The levels test fine.  My boyfriend has gone several dips that while clearing the fish up a bit...still has not gotten rid of the problem. We were advised not to do anymore for fear of stressing them out even more. <Dips alone will not get rid of ich if you're putting the fish back into an infested system.> We treated the tank with Marisol (I believe that was the name) for a week daily, and it seemed to have no helpful effect.  The lionfish has gotten worse w/one clouded eye now, and the puffer's white patches are getting more dense in some areas (make sense)??? <Cloudy eyes are usually a symptom of poor water quality. You might want to check your test kits.> We are trying to stabilize a hospital tank to put them in...but it probably won't be ready for a month. <Good grief, don't bother trying to cycle a hospital tank right now. Get the infected fish in there ASAP. Then you'll do daily water changes to keep the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates under control and bring the specific gravity down to 1.010. And keep the tank temp up.> I really don't want my fish to die...please please please email me back with any suggestions...I will appreciate it indefinitely!!!  Thanks again,  Bonnie <Do check out the ich articles and FAQs on the WetWebMedia site, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm. --Ananda>

Ich? on Yellow Boxfish <Hello! Ananda here tonight> We have had our boxfish in our tank for about a month.  He has been very healthy with no signs of disease until today when we noticed about 30 or more white dots all over his body.  We suspect ich, but the dots do not seem to be clustered around his fins....yet?  He is still eating, breathing and swimming as usual.   <Those are good signs.> We know not to treat him with copper since he is a scaleless fish, and we know he secretes a toxin, which could kill everything in our tank, when he becomes stressed.   <Yup.> Our concern is will he release this toxin if we try to remove him from the tank to do freshwater dips?  Should we do freshwater dips?   <Yes, it's possible that your cowfish might release toxins if the freshwater dip stresses it sufficiently. You can minimize the stress of a freshwater dip by ensuring that the dip temperature and pH exactly match that of the display tank, and by aerating the dip tank. However, some people prefer to save freshwater dips as a last resort for these fish.> Is there any other way to treat this fish?  We have already started to raise the temperature to 80 degrees and are starting to lower the salinity as well.   <You've already started on the primary treatment: lower salinity and higher temperatures. These would be best carried out in a bare-bottomed hospital tank, along with daily water changes, siphoning from the bottom of the tank to get the greatest number of ich cysts. I've read that people with cowfish are more likely to use UV sterilizers -- which are good only against the free-swimming stage of the parasite, mind you -- to help combat ich. Another favorite of the crew on the Cowfish, Puffers, & More discussion group seems to be StopParasite. I have no experience with that particular product, so I suggest you check the Cowfish etc. discussion group for peoples' opinions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CowfishPuffers_andMore/ > Is it possible that this is something other than ich?  His tankmates are a Foxface, a damsel, a Kole tang and a couple of snails.  Thanks for any advice you can give. <More on Boxfishes here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/boxfshfaqs.htm ... --Ananda>

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

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

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

Ich again Hi WWM guys, <greetings from friend/author Anthony Calfo!> First off, thank you for all you do for aquarists and our livestock. You save many lives in your endeavor. <thank you... I chose this career exactly for that reason...and the fact that I was to short to be a fireman...hehe>  I have what appears to be a common ich infestation,  <yes, but have your fish caught it from you yet... and just how itchy are you?> but with an additional variable that I'd like to run by you.  <this doesn't involve a story about the south side of town and a tutu does it?> I believed that my infestation was cured (rather in check) by lowering spg, maintaining high temp, and adding a UV sterilizer.  <OK...perhaps> I returned spg to 1.020 and temp to 78ish. I also removed 1/2 of the bio-balls from my sump in preparation for mud/LR/Caulerpa filtration. My nitrates came down from about 80, to 40 within a week or so, with my water changes. My nitrites have risen to .25 pH is 8.4-8.6 For the record, I have dipped and quarantined all new additions, but the ich-prone tang must have carried enough to infest my tank. I've never treated with copper. <I hope you don't most likely> I assume that my nitrite rising is affecting the fish health,  <not so much as any one water change with water accidentally 3+ degrees cooler... that is the easiest way to flare Ich in marine aquaria...are you checking the temperature of your evaporation and water change waters?> and a contributor to the ich problem.  <unlikely at this level> If I return the bio-balls, will the bacterial level re-establish quickly, or would I be as well to wait without re-introducing the bio-balls? <shouldn't need the bio-balls with enough live rock> I have a host of inverts, 50lbs LR,  <get more please> and only 3 fish in my 72 gallon aquarium: 1 clown, 1 blue tang, and 1 lionfish. My quarantine tank is a 30 gal hex (not having expected to put multiple fish in at one time, live and learn...). My tang has a serious infestation, and has shown many spots every morning for the past 5 days or so. My lionfish may have developed some spots overnight, last night. The clown looks fine. Since the spots returned on the tang, I have reduced spg to 1.017, and raised temp to 83. The tang shows no improvement, actually deterioration. <do look at today's post called Re: Cowfish II for protocol on meds, QT WC's and the like> I am unable to fit all of the LR into the QTank in order to introduce copper into the main system. < actually a bucket or plastic garbage can (new... no chemicals) with strong water movement will be fine instead> Ideally, I would treat all fishes with copper in my quarantine tank, but I'm not comfortable with all 3 fish in a 30 hex, it's rather tall and narrow. <agreed> I'm afraid the tang's activity will be too stressful for all. If you think this is worth trying, I plan to put the wet/dry on the 30, and run my cc skimmer & Caulerpa only on the main tank during this period, and probably ever after. <copper is not your med of choice , however...the lionfish is quite sensitive as a scale less fish to it, and any remaining calcareous media (gravel) will just suck it up... what you need is a bare-bottomed aquarium and daily water changes from the bottom for 8 days to remove the larval tomites> Secondly, I could remove the lionfish to the quarantine, monitor him, and possibly adding copper to his water.  <see above> This would allow for a cleaner shrimp in the main tank, and after 6 weeks or so, I could switch the lion and cleaner - and maybe find the cleaner a new home. <OK... may help, but don't count on to effect a cure> Thirdly, should I spring for a 20long or what recommended size, and quarantine all 3 fish in that? I'd rather not buy yet another aquarium, but will if that's the best course of action for my fish. <admirable> I love this hobby, but really had no idea what I was getting into a year ago. I would support legislation to mandate reading of your FAQs and horror stories of livestock losses to anyone interesting in a marine aquarium! <even with me participating now?> Thank you again for all the help I've received from you in the past, and going forward. <kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Ich again Hi Anthony, <Salute, Daron> As you have noted, I sympathize with my fish - I've been itching for weeks. <And I bet you the rapid breathing from the gill parasites is quite embarrassing for you on the phone...hehe> Is copper a safe treatment for me? I don't have scales either, but I've been carrying pennies around in my pockets for a few days. <copper bracelets will be sufficient...they help with joint aches as well> Seriously, you gentlemen at WWM have definitely made my life easier, but it's still stressful and expensive to keep these guys happy. Without your FAQs and answers, I would probably have already lost all my fish a few times over, then taken up bowling. <"the horror...the horror..." signed, "Kurtz"> Thank you for your advice - I do have a few questions about my course of action, though.  <OK...buy your own shoes if you must bowl> I am deciding between removing the (bought as dead, but now very alive with copepods) sand substrate, LR, and inverts from my 72 and the choice of purchasing a q-tank for the 3 fish. <believe it or not.. here's the suggestion if we must move the fish... leave the rock and sand untouched...buy/borrow a 55 gall food grade plastic drum (or like vessel(s))...kill the poser on the tank momentarily and drain into the drum... with the last remaining water, the fish will be easier to catch and lower stressed in your doing so...remove the fish to the bare bottomed quarantine and proceed as normal. And simply pump the water from the drum right back into the display tank. A fast water/sump pump for the drain and fill will make very short work of this. The full 4-week quarantine period will leave the display fallow/without a viable fish host and reduce the parasites sufficiently> Will I need to keep the current sand, LR, and Inverts fallow for a month or so? <as above but leave undisturbed> If I run filtration such as my wet/dry on the FO, will that support the tomites, similar to how the substrate does? Sponge filter? <best bet is a bare bottomed hospital tank with a sponge filter suspended off the bottom...and rinsed gently in the old daily water just before that water is discarded> I'm thinking my best approach may be to move the inverts, sand and some of the LR to the hex, and the rest of the LR to a trash can.  <sounds like too much work to me> I can then keep my wet/dry on the 72, so I it won't have to cycle with my sick fish in it - <the need for filtration for the fish will be tempered in QT by the daily WCs> unless I change more water than I am foreseeing.  <daily for more than a week in QT> And, I'd might as well circulate water through my UV sterilizer - I know it isn't the cure-all I once thought it was, but it should help. <agreed> Thank you for your insight, it is much appreciated. <you are quite welcome...good luck. Anthony>

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