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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis (and Other Protozoans) & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Tangs & Rabbitfishes 1

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

Related FAQs: Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 2, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 3, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 4, & Tang Disease Tang Health/Disease 2, Tang Health/Disease 4, Tang Health/Disease 5Tang Disease 6, Tang Disease 7, Tang Disease 8, Tang Health 9, Tang Disease 10, Rabbitfish Disease, 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 ButterflyfishesPuffers & Kin...  &  Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Infectious Disease

Re: Acanthuroid Fishes and Cryptocaryoniasis

They have the double whammy of being ultra-sensitive/carriers of the pathogen... And sensitive to chemical treatment...

To Do: Extra careful attention to picking out the best specimens... providing large, stable, optimum environment and nutrition... having purposeful cleaners...

A heavily Crypt infested Paracanthurus... showing typical near-death sedentary, spaced out behavior.

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: after Ich outbreak -update      3/3/13
The scared Hepatus that I was worrying about is now eating Nori and some pellets that I place right in front of the spot he lives in in the q.t. But is still very frightened and whenever he sees me he leans on a side and then runs hiding. In time he will probably come around, he's got 2 more weeks in the q to go. But my problem is. Ow with the other q.t. Where my Chelmon rostratus lives. It has been in there for 2 weeks and cleaned up the Aiptasia on the rock i had prepared for him and now eating Mysis. But I have noticed that he begun shaking spasmatically his head from side to side.
<They, Butterflyfishes, many others, do this naturally>
The water parameters are ok for a quarantine tank( nitrites < 50/ Nitrates <10) , i have in the tank some Zoanthids just for checking water quality and they open regularly.
<Are toxic... to fishes, you. See WWM re>
He is still eating well, out of my hand and there seems to be everything ok, at least externally. I know that misys is not enough nutrition for him, what should I do? Place him in the 1000 l display
where the water parameters are optimal and there are lots of things to scrape of live rock?
<Yes, I would move this fish now>
( the DT is fallow for 5 weeks so you can imagine how many living things grew on the live rock)
Or should I treat him for parasites in the q.t?
Thank you
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/12/13

Hello Mr. Fenner,
Thank you for your quick answer, especially on a Sunday morning.
<Enjoyable every day>
This shows how much someone from across the world like me, can rely on your  prompt advice, and believe me, sometimes it is all we have, aquarium wise.  
I am bothering you again with a behaviour/environmental question: I have introduced as you suggested the Chelmon in the 1000 l display tank after a FW/Methylene bath and he feels great, he stopped the head shaking and is eating good ( he only accepts Mysis and brine but has a lot of live rock to search for food).
Also in there is a Naso Elegans that has finished his quarantine period and doing fine, he also received the bath at the end of Q. But the question now is the Hepatus: in the 80 l quarantine tank he acts as scared as the first day after 24 days now ( he was half dead from the shipping being delayed, I acclimated him briefly - 40 minutes- and managed to save him ). Whenever he sees me he runs and hides leaning on a side.
<I'd dip and place this fish in the main/display tank as well. Will calm down, become more social in time>
 I was placing half Nori sheet on a clip with vitamins on it and at the end of the day it was eaten, and also sometimes he would stick his head out of his bowl and catch some pellets, but yesterday I noticed he didn`t eat his Nori. The nitrates are "on the yellow side of the test" in the QT and I am worried about him. Introducing him in the display together with the other 2 fishes could entice him to eat, or he will be even more scared and never come out of some cave?
<Move it>
I will also remind you that my tank came down with Ich and it remained fallow for 6-8 weeks, but I also know that probably I never eradicated 100 % the parasites
<Almost no one ever does... not to worry (look up the English word "obsess") here> and now is a question of environmental factors that would keep my fishes
happy. During his Q,  I constantly introduced water from the DT to the QT of the Hepatus to adjust him to possible presence of the parasite.
<A good technique>
 I also run 24h UV and Ozonizer in my DT. But I was planning to introduce a healthy and happy and eating fish in this "questionable " DT, not a scared and stressed tang that is a Ich magnet on the first time, but honestly I don`t think that another week or two in the QT would change his behavior.
So what should I do?
<Third time's a charm: Move this fish>
I know that this email is too long, but maybe it is better if you know all the facts.
<Ah yes>
Thank you in advance,
Andrei from Romania   
<BobF in San Diego, but wishing we were out diving somewhere the water is warm and clear>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/12/13

hello again Mr. F
well, I can assure you that San Diego is far closer to a nice and warm beach than Romania, so in my humble opinion you shouldn`t complain.
( me neither personally, but that is another story). So, after checking several times the mail today, I received your answer, and after work begin all the preparations. The dip water was Methylene bluish, THEN, passing in front of the DT, I froze: 2 white spot on the Chelmon side!!!! ( I am not 100 % sure it is Ich, but... )
 After all the ordeal I went through!!!
<Two spots... not likely Crypt. And if available, I'd use formalin/formaldehyde in your dips>
So: I shouldn`t move the Ich magnet Hepatus in the DT now? What do I do?
Continue observing the Chelmon in the DT ( Naso shows no symptoms) ? I feed them with vitamin and garlic and ginger enriched food. They have been in there for 10 days now.
When, if ever, should I move the hepatus?
<... I'd still be dipping the Paracanthurus and Chelmon enroute to placing in the DT>
Should I tear down the tank and let it dry and restart again? I plan to introduce some beautiful fishes in the tank and I currently have a lot of thriving corals, inverts and coraline covered live rock.
Where is the boundary between observing fishes in the DT and keep them happy and taking them all out and threat them with copper and restart the tank?
<See WWM re infested systems. B>
( this tank remained fallow for 6 weeks minimum) so if I tear down the tank I would start it again! What should I do with the corals?
thank you again,
( I was not expecting to write/bother you so soon again)
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/12/13

Thank you again,
Well, this is reassuring. I think I have read all the WWM pages on re infestation, that is where I get all my knowledge on the topic..
So you would still be placing the Paracanthurus in the DT?
<... already wrote>
The Chelmon Rostratus is already in there following your advice, so the question is on the Hepatus...
<... yes, Paracanthurus hepatus...>
Thank you ( and once again, for me is still unbelievable that I can get advices from one of the best in the field, comparing to the LFS 300 km away)
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/13/13

Ah yes, now I get it. Misunderstanding on my side. Thank you for your patience.
The 2 spots on the Chelmon were exactly on the same position this morning and none more, so there could be a chance this is not Ich, because as far as I know the parasite falls down after some time and others are attaching, but not on exactly the same position..
In the afternoon I will give him a bath assuming I can catch him without stressing.
thank you again,
<... B>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     3/21/13

hello again Mr. F,
I am seeking advice again on this very bumpy road I am travelling with my tank:  the 2 spots on my Chelmon Rostratus that I was talking about are gone and everything seems fine, I introduced the scared Hepatus and within the first hour in the DT he begun coming out and next day he was the boss, ( of the Naso) , and eating, swimming in the open etc. But now, after 5 days after his introduction I have noticed last night 3 spots on him . This morning they were still there, in the same position but I think they are bigger and whiter... I think I am pretty sure they are Cryptocaryon... The question as always: what to do?
<At this point in time, nothing. Do read here:
and as much of the linked files above to grant you sufficient understanding. Your system IS likely infested, but your best course of action... highly unlikely to "treat">
 As you probably remember, the tank was fallow, now I am feeding Nori, Spirulina, Mysis, with vitamins, garlic and ginger, and there are only these 3 fishes in the 1000 liter tank with lots of mix corals, and a clean up crew. I run constantly 50 mg of ozone, and a UV in the sump.
Should I wait and see, maybe he will fight on his own?
<Ah yes>
If there will be more spots, at witch point do I have to take him out, and more important, what o do?
<... read for now. And don't obsess>
 I have let it fallow once and it seems that it cannot solve the problem, drying it all and start new, what do I do with the corals?
thank you in advance,
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update      5/26/13

Hello again Mr. F, all the way from Romania,
<Salud Andrei>
The time has come for me so seek some guidance again. In the meantime I have done some progress but there are still a lot of information and processes that I need to fully understand. ( and your site is the best resource, in my opinion)
A quick refresh on my story: full Ich out brake killing everything in my 1000 l reef tank on Christmas, 3 months of fallow state than repopulation.
Slowly, a Chelmon rostratus, a Naso elegans,
<Note to other readers, this is likely N. lituratus elsewhere>
 2 mandarins, and the last one : a beautiful A. Japonicus. All of them eating very good from my hand. I knew that there is still crypt in the tank, because the hepatus always had 3-4 spots on him, but a equilibrium seemed to have been reached.
<Ah yes>
 I introduced the  Japonicus ( after 4 weeks in qt with water from the display) , and everything seemed fine. 2-3 spots, then gone, and for 3 weeks only the hepatus showed some spots. Until last night when I noticed considerable more spots on the hepatus ( 10-15 - maybe more ) and on the japonicus the same. They are all good, eating and acting normal.  I also have a cleaner shrimp that does some work.
The only thing that changed was that I introduced 2 sand Seastars and 8 Nassarius snails.
My question: is still waiting time?  In qt I have a happy Xanthurum , 2 clowns, 3 nematolactis magnifica and ( please don't judge me yet) a Zanclus cornutus
<Wow. Impressive>
 that I kind of save from the lfs and is eating and I have hopes for him.
So not much space in my 4 qtanks. In the display I now have extensive corals: 5-6 sps colonies that are growing and doing fine ( still a lot to learn there ) and other beautiful lps . ( 30 cm Catalaphyllia beautiful )
All the fishes are fat, eating very good a variety of foods and vitamins, fresh squeezed garlic juice and Ginger juice on the Nori.
If it is not waiting time ( good I hope it is.. ) what should I do?
<I would do nothing other than what you are already doing stock-wise. IF you're concerned regarding the balance/equilibrium of the Crypt here, I'd delve/look further into means of improving water quality and nutrition (e.g. Ozone use, Spectrum Pellets...>
Thank you in advance,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update      5/27/13

hello ,
If the "salud" was intended to be in Romanian, the right one is "salut",
and thanks for trying, I appreciate it.
And thanks for the quick answer.
Well, the next morning when the lights went on, the Japonicus was free of spots and stayed like that the whole day, and the Hepatus returned to his normal 2-3 spots. This morning I observed that the cleaner shrimp was above the spot that Japonicus sleeps in, so he probably does his job during the night.
But, what is the meaning of this incident of them developing more spots than usual?
<A shift, in the balance of host, parasite... likely related to environment in some fashion/s... degraded water quality, some new stress from a tankmate... Could be many things>
 I forgot to tell you, but I use ozone ( 50 mg/h) connected on my skimmer ( AquaMedic ACone 3.0 designed for 3000 l) , now 24/7 but I have already ordered a Apex Neptune system that includes an ORP probe that will control this feature.
<Ah yes; a nice unit, and nice fellow who owns, manages this company>
I also include on my feedings Spectrum pellets that the Japonicus doesn't eat, but the Hepatus and Naso fight for, they eat like 20-30 pellets each per day.
<Neat! Have you considered culturing your own macro-algae as food... I've just finished a piece (article) for Coral Magazine... that will run at the MACNA issues, and in German and Italian am pretty sure... and one of the sidebars the editor asked me to crank out touched on this subject. I will attach it here>
What do you think about my feeding procedure: I mix chopped Nori and Spirulina with vitamins (daily) plus garlic juice, ginger juice ( weekly) in some tank water and then feed with a spoon, so the fishes run for the bits around the tank. I am asking this because I have the feeling that a lot of unnecessary nutrients are introduced like this by the juice that surrounds the Nori.     
<Only a bit of nutrient really... These prepared algae are mostly non-nutritive, the Allium and ginger... water. I'd grow my own Gracilaria, Ulva, Sargassum...>
thank you again,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: after Ich outbreak -update     5/29/13

Hello Mr. F,
I like very much the idea of growing my own macro algae , and I was thinking about a refugium, so I will do it for sure. Just have to find the source for the algae, but if they import fishes and invertebrates, why wouldn't import algae too?
<Assuredly someone there does so>
Just a quick question: given the fact that my tank is back to normal, but normal means that the Hepatus always has some crypt spots on him, and that I also have in there A. japonicus that is clean now, but very very susceptible, and also that I will eventually have to Introduce the Z. Xanthurum that I have in qt, and also the Z. cornutus ( that is now eating out of my hand but only Mysis and Spirulina for now, but I think I am very close to convince him to take Spectrum pellets, I know this is the only chance for him in the long term and Mysis won't be enough nutrition for him )
 , would not be a good idea to take the Hepatus out and treat him in some way, he eats very good and he is very fat so I think he will be ok in qt
tank and also ready to take some kind of treatment ( at your suggestion ) ?
<Worth trying... and in the meanwhile introducing the Purple Tang and Zanclus>
And then reintroduce him in the DT? or not?
Thank you,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Question...continues. Crypt system... induced  11/10/09
Greetings to Bob and everyone at WWM!
Hope that all is well with you and the team.
I have to say that I'm sure that YOU are doing much better than I am at this moment. So here goes my story...
After finding out what to stock and who to place first in my 225 gallon reef, I went to the LFS where I've been keeping an eye on a specific Kole Tang that they've had for around four weeks. I brought my husband along, thinking that I cannot be the only one with all the fun and wanted to share the joys of reef keeping with him.
I did the "boo-boo" by asking him if there are any fishes he would like. Now remember, I'm the one who has been doing all the "homework" studying on fishes and their temperaments/requirements, and he takes a look at the Powder Blue Tang swimming with the darling Kole Tang and said, "Ah! I remember this fish from when we were snorkeling in the Maldives!" He lit up like a kid in a toy shop! Alarms were going off in my head and I was like, "No Powder Blue for us dear, they are also known as THE ICH MAGNET!" "Oh, but he is so beautiful!" I replied, "Ah, remember how big that lagoon was in the Maldives? Well, it's used to all that space..." Well, even though I know you will laugh at our banter back and forth for the next half hour, the ending was I ended up bringing home (to the worst of my judgment) a 4 inch Powder Blue, 3 inch Kole, and 2 inch Atlantic Blue Tang.
<The last, Acanthurus coeruleus, historically does very poorly in captivity>
At this point in my story, I would like to plead with you not to ban me from ever writing to you again. Please don't say that... :(
<Heeee! Never>
The story of the Atlantic Blue was my pathetic attempt to draw my husband's attention away from the Powder Blue, then he said, "Oh honey, look at how the little guy is getting picked on by the bigger one. We must save him."
Okay, by now you might think my hubby sounds like a little girl but he is actually really manly! Anyway, we brought the three Tangs home and they went into the beautiful 225 gallon reef. All went well from the start it seemed, they really liked each other and the three would swim together exploring the tank. One week later, my hubby asked when I'm planning on moving our fishes into the new tank (the Clown Fairy Wrasse, Flame Angel, and Pajama Cardinal Fish). I told him that we need to put the fishes in by groups so to decrease the chance of interspecies aggression (something like that - fighting amongst their own kind). Okay, that didn't last too many days (10 days from adding the Tangs), so here we go to the LFS, getting Wrasses this time. We ended up with a Filament Flasher Wrasse, Lubbock's Wrasse, and a Blue streak Cleaner Wrasse.
<Labroides dimidiatus... not hardy in most all cases>
We decided not to add the Cardinal Fish. So a few days ago we added the Clown Fairy, Lubbock's, Flasher, and Cleaner Wrasses plus the Flame Angel. Now, I must say, I felt really lucky that they all get along well. They all eat like little piggies. My parameters stayed at Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0, pH 8.4, Phosphate 0.5.
<This last will prove high>
Three nights ago, we left the window open... The temperature in the tank went down to 72 degrees from where it normally stays around 78.
<Yikes! This is way too great a change in such a short time... Surprising for such a large volume of water>
Yesterday, ICH on the Powder Blue and a few spots on the Kole. Today, Ich on all three Tangs, few spots on Flame Angel's head. The Cleaner wrasse goes to work - but I read somewhere that they don't really EAT ich...
<Mmm, can, will... but not often to the point of "curing">
My "buddy" from the LFS says, grab those guys and fresh water dip them! Then he said, drop the salinity to 1.020 and raise the temperature to 84 degrees!
I said, as calm as I can in the midst of a melt down, "I think ich is from stress. I know it was when the temperature dropped to 72. I'll just leave things be for now.
<I wouldn't do this either... "Had you read...">
I'll dip if I notice an increase in respiration or worse." They are all still eating like piggies. They chase the cleaner wrasse around to get cleaned but I think I'm feeding all of them so well that the cleaner is not "hungry" for ich, it prefers brine and mysis!
<Yes. This is so>
Well, I've set the temperature at 79 degrees, it may fluctuate one degree up or down but nothing more. They get vitamin soaked frozen mysis, brine with Spirulina, Formula One and Two with Spectrum Pellets thrown in there for good measure. They eat around five cubes a day total and I feed several times when they start knocking the food syringe around (they are very smart, they know to do that to get more food).
Any advise, words of encouragement, or a good scolding - I will accept.
Thanks as always, and really...THANK YOU for providing a forum for this type
of discussion!
Best Regards,
Jamie Barclay
<I would going the CP route here... Quinine. Read here:
and the linked files above.
and not the infested system wait and hope route. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Question...continues. Tangs, Crypt f's   -- 11/10/09
Thanks Bob for your quick reply!
I'll look into Quinine. In the mean time, I think I'll start lowering my tank salinity to 1.020 by dropping 0.001 per day and start raising my temperature to 82 degrees.
<I would drop the SpG immediately to at least this low... won't cure the problem but will "buy you time" as the Americans are so fond of saying>
Question about the phosphate, why is it staying at 0.5?
<... steady source/s of input, recycling... dissolving live rock components, foods...>
It was there when I set the tank up and I thought it might go up or down, but it is holding steady. Should I get those phosphate removers? If so, which brand do you recommend?
<... Please search WWM before writing>
I have not run carbon in this tank either, I was going to write you specifically on that topic another time, but I guess since I'm here, why not ask now? I have three other "nano" sized tanks and the best one is the one without carbon!
An update on the ich today, the Powder Blue has it the worse but no worse than yesterday, the Kole and Atlantic Blue are a little better, no ich on the Flame Angel today. No ich on any of the wrasses. Do you think fishes in the ocean get ich?
<I know this for a certainty>
Thanks for taking the time for my questions,
Best to you!
<And you Jamie. BobF>

Acanthurus and Ich 4/24/09
Bob, I have a new Acanthurus Dussumieri that is in QT. It has been in QT for 2 weeks now and is eating anything and everything I feed it. It looks healthy but is still very shy.
<Typical behavior>
My 300 gallon display has Ich in it. The current occupants are doing well and eat all that I can feed them. My concern is what to do with the Dussumieri. Should I place him in the display, knowing he will most likely get ich?
<What other choice/s do you have?>
He is a beautiful fish and I hate to expose any animal to a condition that may kill them.
I can't take all of my fish out of the display to QT them. Pulling all of my corals out of the display and into another tank so that I can treat the display would be difficult as I would have to remove the rock and substrate, as well, to be able to treat with copper.
<No fun for sure>
Any ideas or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
<This may seem a bit odd, but if it were me, I'd reconcile myself to your system being Crypt infested, shoot for some sort of armistice here... and "immunize" the new fish by adding water daily from the main system to the QT... for a week or so... In all likelihood it may well contract (hopefully a non-fatal) case of Crypt... then I would summarily net/transfer it to the main tank and hope for the best. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm
and as much of the linked files above till you get the gist... Bob Fenner>

Nitrites in QT tank: Regal Tang\Crypt 4/8/2009
Dear Crew,
<Hi Rylan>
I am frustrated with myself that I have to take your time with this question; I looked and looked on the web page for the answer, but didn't find it. I did find some similar situations, but mine has a variable that wasn't asked of you. Here's the deal:
<Fire away.>
I have a 150 FOWLR. I brought home a 5' hippo tang two weeks ago and to avoid stress on the fish, (per Bob's suggestion in his article on WWM, I swear :)...) I chose to put him in the tank with only a freshwater dip.
<Any Formalin, Methylene Blue?>
His friends in there are a 2' six line wrasse, a 3' tomato clown, and a 4' one spot Foxface. Well, you could have guessed -- he got ich.
<No surprises there unfortunately.>
I set up a 55 gal bare bottomed QT. I have dosed the QT tank with Coppersafe for 10 days, and, as expected, my bacteria died too. My nitrates are rising; today they read 3.0 ppm.
<I think you mean NitrItes, and yes, that is extremely high.>
Gulp. Temp: 80 ph: 8.2. SG: 1.025 Nitrates: 20ppm. I cannot do a water change with the nitrite-free tank water because it has ich cysts in there -- It will need to be fallow for 5 weeks. So, I did a 50% water change to dilute the copper as I felt like the copper has run its course - fish look better. I then put a dry piece of 'live rock' in there to create a surface upon which the bacteria can grow. I then dosed with Seachem 'stability' bio load. I also put the carbon filter media in there to both take out more copper and allow for more surface area for bacteria. I have stopped feeding until the bacteria becomes more profuse (is this a good move?).
<Do feed, the fish, keep up with the water changes. Seachem Prime is very good a detoxifying nitrite and ammonia.>
Is there anything else I can do? I know that the bacteria will be back in a few weeks, but I wonder if I have that long'¦.. Again, I think I have done the right things here, but if there are any other suggestions, please let me know. The fish are (seemingly) ok, but I know this is not good'¦.
<Keep up with the water changes, water quality You can add a bacterial additive like Bio-Spira, but that may or may not work.>
I think I want to make a bumper sticker that says, 'I QT, do you?' Soooooo important!
<Heheheh. Yes it is.>

Regal tang and ick Dear Crew, <Carolyn> I'm so sorry to bother you yet again but am concerned about my baby regal/hippo tang - he was introduced to my 120 gallon system on Saturday after 4 weeks in QT and a dip to be sure. Within 24hrs he seemed to have white spots on him but I left him be as I couldn't be sure it wasn't sand grains on him. Have come home today (Monday) and he's got a lot of spots although he is still eating well, is active and doesn't seem in the slightest bit interested in cleaner shrimps (!). I'm now sufficiently worried though so pulled him from the main tank, gave him a FW dip for 10 minutes with Methylene blue (he was totally fine throughout), and he is now is our small QT at 27C, SG 1.020. Have read the FAQs and think I've done the right thing (your site is effectively my bible for all things fishy) but need to know I have! The other fish in the main tank are all fine, no spots on anyone and all are eating/behaviour normally, so am hoping I've caught this before it did any major damage. We're feeding the regal brine shrimp +garlic mixed with mysis shrimp, krill Pacifica and Nori but he really is tiny - about 1inch... is there anything else we can do for him besides give him time and keep our fingers crossed? thankful as ever, Carolyn <Not more at this point... It may well be that you have a "balanced" infestation (very common)... with "stress" shifting the equation to expression or no... Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm Bob Fenner>  

Ich Question  2/10/09 Bob -- <Shawnda> I have some questions regarding Ich. I have a regal tang that I have had for a little over a month now. I had no signs of Ich at all in the system. Approximately a week ago, the tang got sucked through the overflow and was in my overflow chamber. When I first got the fish, it was about the size of a nickle <Wow! Small> and has been growing rapidly and is now the size of a quarter if not bigger. Hard to measure when he/she is busy moving about. After a week or so from the instance of where she was stuck in the overflow, I saw some white dots coming up on her. She is in my display tank. I do not want to stress her anymore. Now, I am feeding daily and she is eating like wildfire. <Good> She is even acting more regal tangish by acting dead more and etc. I have acquired a small cleaner shrimp, but she hasn't quite figured out why he is there yet. <Takes time at times> I have also been treating my tank with Marine Max (after the suggestion from a great friend of mine who has been reefing for almost 20 years). Now -- I have wondered as well if this could be microbubbles. As I thought I saw some coming from my return pipes in the display tank this morning. I turned off the return pump to see if I was correct that there were bubbles. Low and behold, my instinct is right! There were micro-bubbles. I'm wondering if this could be micro-bubbles instead of Ich. However, I have noticed that she itching and rubbing herself onto some of the rock at times. <Some of this behavior is to be expected> She is eating plenty of Nori as well. Any suggestions, as it is not the easiest thing to try and catch a tang with 100lbs of live rock in the display tank :). <Trapping, training with a net in the tank...> Here's the deal. I have a 100gal tank set up. I cycled and completed it in December. So ... Here are the specs of the tank along with the inhabitants in the tank! PH 8.2 (need to raise it some) Nitrites- 0 Ammonia- 0 Nitrates- 20 (has been sitting there steady and hasn't moved any) --- I do not have a DSB on my tank at all, I don't like the look of it. Chaeto was added to the fuge roughly a week and a half ago, it needs time to grow. Will be doing a water change tomorrow, if not Friday. Alk 3.31 meg/L MG 1440ppm (I've been dosing it) CA 320ppm (dosed some more today) SG between 1.023 and 1.024 Livestock: Hippo Tang yellow belly (started out as the size of a nickle then going to the size of a quarter) Yellow Tang (Med sized) Foxface (Med Sized) Bi-color Blenny Scooter Blenny (he eats frozen) 2 1" long clowns (Nemo's) 2 Brittle Stars Emerald Crab Porcelain Crab Firefish Goby Plus some various inverts such as hermits and some peppermint shrimp. 3 head Rainbow Acan (has two more heads coming in) 1 head Aussie Duncan (3 heads are coming in ... 4 for the price of 1 YAY!) 3 head Acan of something (need to get a good photo of it, but my camera is crap!) Superman Monti -- it's still adjusting to the lighting and starting to color up some.. taking its time Pink colored digita about 1.5 inches long! 2 Head Krypt Candy Cane has split into 3/4 heads... (4th one has not come in all the way) 2 head blue/greenish candy cane, splitting into 3 heads Torch Coral My equipment exists of this: Sump/fuge with light for the growing Chaeto. Quiet One 4000 for my return pump SunCoast Skimmer for up to 125gallons 2 Koralia 3's Lighting: 48" Hamilton Lighting retrofit kit in it that includes the reflector, (2) 48" 40w  actinic blue fld, and (2) mogul base 250w 14K MH bulbs. The regal tang has went from about the size of a nickle and has been growing a lot! She/he is about the size of a quarter now! <So I've read> All the fish are eating like you wouldn't believe, which is a great thing! -- Sincerely Shawnda Etgen <I would just be observant for now... not "treat" the tank, move this fish. Bob Fenner>

Paracanthurus - Cryptocaryon irritans problem and system  12/27/08 treatment. Hello Crew! <Hi there Vince> First, I commend all of you for being a valued resource to all those interested in aquariums and promoting appropriate husbandry for the animals imported as pets. I am a fisheries scientist, working on a master's and blowing off steam taking care of my aquariums. I have been caring for marine aquariums for about 14 years, and learned from some excellent aquarists, among them Warren Gibbons, formerly of NE Aquarium, Boston was a mentor while I spent 5 years volunteering in the "FISHES" dept. while in High School and Undergrad at Northeastern University. I also worked at a LFS that was bought out by Petco a year into my time there. Petco is a disappointing place. Anyway, careful husbandry practices are essential in this "Hobby" / Obsession. Lately there has been an unexpected problem. I have a 4 year old blue tang ~ 6 inches, fat as a house w/ very healthy appetite despite problems and recovering from minor HLLE beginnings ( started before refugium used ). He contracted a case of crypt four weeks ago and since all other fish were not so sick, I moved the tang to a 20 gal cycled QT with a magnum 220 with pad and UGF w/25 pounds of Caribsea Florida Crushed Coral as a filter bed. I changed 100% of the QT water with DT water before the move. I dipped the tang in a temp/pH adj. FW + Methylene blue bath for as long as he looked comfortable ~15-18 minutes before moving into the QT. I obtained a new Cu test kit for free ionic copper and applied copper sulfate (red sea Paracure). <Mmm, will be absorbed too readily by the calcareous substrate here> I dosed/tested daily for 14 days, fed the tang the normal chopped Nori/ Hikari mysis mix soaked in Kent Zoe and Garlic, which the tang ate, although somewhat less in QT than normal maybe, because of copper. I maintained the Cu at .25-.3 ppm most of the day, and know that the Non-Bare conditions with CaCO3 substrates that bind copper are not ideal, so two doses were used daily to maintain the concentration. <Ahh!> The tang was clear after two weeks treatment and we prepared the DT for his return. The suspected cause of the outbreak was a rapidly growing, robust and healthy Z. desjardinii that was getting too aggressive. He was purchased as a 2 inch juvenile that rapidly grew to 6+ inches and very plump. Warning to all! <Grow to more than plate size...!> The DT is a 180 gal AGA 2 Durso overflows w/ an Aqua-C EV 180 and a Remora Pro Hang on, Both with MAG's (7 and 3). What products! Kudos to an excellent Company, I use these in all my tanks. Three 18 Gal Rubbermaid Roughtote sumps in stand connected by 2 inch PVC bulkheads, for skimmers and heaters/return pumps. Returns are 2 Pentair Quiet One 3000's. 55 Gal AGA w/ Durso behind wall in basement as a refugium w/ 80 pounds of oolitic aragonite, (two fighting conch 1") and Chaetomorpha, with Caulerpa prolifera, racemosa, and cupressoides. All skimmed water is raw from DT, refugium is supplied from sump downstream of skimmers and returns to the sump downstream of the heater/refugium supply pump chamber to the main return pumps so pods etc, travel into system. The refugium is teeming right now. Have not had one in years due to constraints of space. Love it! I use 24 hour lighting on that with 4 NO T5 bulbs, 4 X 28 watts (Coralife Aqualight T-5 Normal Output w/ 6500K daylight and 420Nm Actinic. 180 DT lit with Nova Extreme 72" HO T-5. 6 10,000K/6 Actinic. I am going to slowly move out the Actinic for daylight, I have the first two now. I believe that the 50-50 application is excessive. Water Quality - tested weekly Tests are Red Sea pH- 8.3 / Alk. 2.8 - 3.3 mEq/L / NH4 - 0 / NO2 - 0 / NO3 - 20 ppm / Ca 300 mEq/L / PO4 - 0.2 ppm, added Seachem Phosguard to bring this down... results pending. Nitrates are high and were higher, I know this is bad and may have been part of my reason for an outbreak. I have Nitrate in tap water, so I got a great RO/DI going to combat that issue. I have been successfully lowering this and will be keeping it as low as practicable. The tank was a FOWLR but is transitioning to a mixed reef. No filter pads, just frequent (daily to every other day) skimmer cleaning, monthly GAC changes, weekly ~30 + gal WC's with RO/DI and Instant Ocean, monitor RO/DI product with TDS meter, change cartridges regularly etc. The DT was a transfer of a 75 Gal to a 180 during a move to a house. The system has been up for a year. Refugium is only 2 weeks old and the EV-180 was added two months ago. The refugium addition may also be partially responsible for the outbreak due to minor stress induced there too I guess. Fish friends: Male and Female Valenciennea strigata ~ 4.5 inches and spawn regularly (tried to rear, with no success past day 5 larvae yet, have Wittenrich's book (excellent, work hope to see more from him). Maybe Rotifers aren't the right first food. <Likely> 4 1" Pseudanthias squamipinnis 1 2" Pseudanthias ignitus 5 2-2.5" Pajama cardinals, breeding regularly too... 4 1" Chromis viridis 1 2" Chaetodon ocellatus (rescued from a RI salt pond in early September 2008) growing well, feeding well and ate all small aiptasia and strawberry anemones in the DT! 1 4" Oxycirrhites typus 1 2" Comb-tooth Blenny? Indo-Pacific spp. 1 2" Cinnamon Tomato 2 large (2") Lysmata amboinensis I have a large star polyp colony, toadstool leathers, cabbage leather, Zoanthids and mushrooms. Looking to add more aquacultured inverts when the time is right. 2 urchins (Lytechinus spp.) / 8 large Turbo snails / 2 smaller Trochus snails. 200 ponds live rock, seasoned. Many hiding spots. Since reintroduction the blue tang picked up superficial crypt already (2nd day) but is colorful eating well and fine. When we reintro/acclimated the blue we removed and held the Sailfin. He is in solitary confinement now, in the QT. Will add him back if I get this under control, if you all think it would be appropriate stocking. <You'll have to make this call... observing the two...> My question- What do I do now? I am torn, but will do whatever it takes to not lose my livestock. I fear QT for all fish and the fallow business because none were symptomatic besides old blue. My gobies would not like this treatment at all. They are too happy to be moved. I do think that re-treatment of the blue may be in order, maybe just a regimen of feeding and dips? I hate to kill anyone. Please excuse the treatise. I am putting in what many leave out to try to get the best educated guess from the talented crew at WWM! Thanks in advance. Sincerely, Vincent Manfredi <Mmm, on the border here myself... The system itself is infested as you know... If the situation was not (apparently) "too" debilitating, I'd probably shoot for, hope for some sort of stasis here... That is, akin to the wild, a non-lethal, low parasite-load... Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/reefparfaq2.htm and the linked files above... peruse, though I suspect you are aware of what I'm hinting at. Bolstering the fishes immune systems, keeping the tank, water quality optimized and stable... is what I'd do... Not remove the fish livestock, attempt to treat with copper therapeutic. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich... Crypt   12/16/08 Hello crew, <Quincy> Perhaps you remember my situation via the last few emails I sent, but if not, they are below. My current situation is at the end.

Quarantine and the like, Crypt 11/19/08WetWebMedia crew,<Quincy>I would appreciate your help in figuring out what to do with my aquarium and fish. I realize I have written a lot, but I figured more detail was better than less. Thank you in advance for the time you take to answer such questions.<Welcome>First of all I'd like to say how stupid I am so you don't have to tell me. I am new to the hobby, starting a little over 4 months ago. I have a 29 gallon aquarium with 42 pounds of live rock, 30 pounds of live sand, 20 hermit crabs, 10 snails, 3 skunk cleaners, and 1 purple lobster. <Do keep your eye on the tropical lobsters... they are predaceous...>For livestock I have 2 (2-inch) hippo tangs, a 2-inch Picasso trigger, and a 2-inch six-line wrasse.<Mmm... the Tangs and Trigger don't fit here...>My aquarium has a Penguin hang-on filter, an AquaC Remora protein skimmer, and ample circulation via powerheads. The stats of the water (consistently) are as follows: pH 8.3, temperature 77 degrees F, specific gravity 1.0245, ammonia 0 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm, and nitrate ~30 ppm. I perform weekly 5-10% water changes. My fish are fed a varied diet, including two types of Spectrum pellets, Ocean Nutrition formulas I and II, organic Nori, and frozen brine shrimp enhanced with Selcon. I had no problems throughout the first three months with any of my livestock, even though I did not quarantine any specimens before placing the main tank. I now realize that this was a stupid move. About a month ago, the four fish started showing signs of ich, growing white salt-like structures on their bodies and fins and itching frequently on the live rock to the point where the six-line wrasse itched the coloring off one side of his body. After seeing enough of their itching and reading your articles about parasitic diseases, I purchased a new 29-gallon quarantine tank with the same equipment as my display tank, except without a protein skimmer. My plan was to let the main tank run fallow for about 30 days. I collected all four fish and performed a separate freshwater dip for each with a formalin/malachite green (QuICK Cure) concentration of 1 drop per gallon (as per the package instructions) for 4-5 minutes. After the dips, I placed them in the new bare tank, raised the temperature to 80 degrees, and lowered the specific gravity to 1.015. I placed some dishes in the aquarium for cover. The fish have been in quarantine 2 weeks. During that time, I have done two formalin/malachite green treatments in the quarantine tank and removed the medication via the carbon filter and Polyfilter. The first treatment consisted of 20 drops of the formalin/malachite green for 10 minutes. The second was performed with 40 drops for 20 minutes. As mentioned, the package suggests 1 drop/gallon. In the last few days, I have noticed that the trigger has five small black spots on his tail fin, which looks much like the photos of ?black ich? I have seen in ?The Conscientious Marine Aquarist? and ?The Marine Fish Health and Feeding Handbook.? <Mmm, not likely at all to be Paravortex... more likely a manifestation of stress... the quarantine, exposure to formalin... not "treatable", but/and will go with return to the main system and time going by>Also, the trigger took a new liking to bullying the wrasse in the treatment tank, something he did not do in the display tank (which I think may have something to do with boredom).<Mmm, maybe... but is "what they do">He took a bite off of the wrasses tail fin, removing about ¾ of it. He does not, however, bother the tangs. So, I made a homemade plastic contraption with holes for water flow to place the wrasse in for protection. Today, one of the tangs developed what appears to be more ich spots on his fins. So, my questions involve what things I should do next. Should I continue with the formalin/malachite green treatments?<Mmm, I would not... Too likely the dosage, concentration of the formalin is/was too low to be efficacious here... and the too-dilute exposure and general conditions are killing your fishes... I would do the quick read re Chloroquine Phosphate treatment (for most all protozoan complaints) and use it here>If so, what dose should they be and how long should they last before adding Polyfilter to absorb the medication? Also, I plan on getting a larger display tank; what size would you recommend for these fish?<At least eighty gallons... the bigger the better>Is there anything more I can do to prevent the bullying/keep the trigger occupied while in quarantine?<PVC parts, pipe...>He was really well-mannered in the display tank; I realize trigger aggression is common, but was hoping he may have been one of the exceptions.<Only time can/will tell...>I really want to beat these diseases and treat my fish appropriately. I am doing my best to be an informed aquarist, but have much to learn, as you can see. Any advice you have relating to steps I should take would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your time and patience, Quincy<Thank you for relating your experiences so well... and patience here concerning figuring out a path to take... do read re the Quinine. Bob Fenner>

-------- Original Message --------From: "Quincy Miller" Sent: 23 November 2008 17:52To: crew@wetwebmedia.comSubject: Ammonia Hello again WetWebMedia crew, I just have a few quick questions regarding ammonia that I could not seem to find the answers to on your site. My city's tap water has ammonia levels at about 3 ppm. I have been using Prime to neutralize it and it has worked in the past, but now with a quarantine tank with no biological filtration, I cannot keep the ammonia levels in check (even after large water changes) and fear I may lose my fish. How can this ammonia be removed from the water? I realize RO or RO/DI water should be utilized, but does the reverse osmosis process even do anything to remove ammonia (i.e. would purchasing RO water from a local fish store who uses the same city tap water be useful)? Is the Prime I'm using helping or hurting my water quality/fish in quarantine? Also, I have read about your promotion of making water ahead of time and storing for about a week; does this liberate ammonia, and if so, how? Any advice on how to save my fish from this deadly toxin while in quarantine for ich (waiting for approval on Chloroquine phosphate, as suggested) would be greatly appreciated. I thank you for your time, Quincy<Reverse-osmosis should indeed remove ammonia from tap water. However, do check with your water supplier about the levels you have: 3 ppm is an extraordinarily high amount. In England at least, the maximum safe amount is 0.50 mg/l, and anything above that level is considered potentially toxic, at least over the long term, and not sufficient quality to be supplied as drinking water. Note that ammonia test kits can detect chloramine as well as ammonia, and if you don't use a chloramine-safe dechlorinator, you can release that "locked" ammonia into the water, which will stress your fish. If you're using a dechlorinator that treats chloramine and free ammonia, you should be fine. Aerating tap water releases chlorine rather than ammonia. It isn't essential to make water ahead of time, and was more of a big deal before people used dechlorinator. Bob Fenner may have a different opinion on this, particularly in the context of marine fish, but so far as freshwater fish go, there's no particular reason to make/store water prior to use. Just treat with an appropriate water conditioner prior to use. Cheers, Neale.>

And finally, here is my current situation. As suggested, I purchased both and RO/DI unit and Chloroquine phosphate (from chemistdirect.uk, trade name Avloclor) to help my ammonia problems and to eliminate the ich. I have successfully transformed my quarantine water to stable levels of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia, all at 0 ppm. When I received the Chloroquine, I added 10 mg/L (crushed pills) to my 30-gallon quarantine tank. The Chloroquine has been used in conjunction with hyposalinity (1.017 S.G.) and temperature 82 degrees. Care has been taken to limit the amount of light hitting the aquarium, as I'm aware this medication is photosensitive. Also, carbon filters were removed from the tank. <Good> The 10 mg/L was used for four days, upon which flashing/itching of all three fish did not subside, or if any case got worse. So, I increased the dose to 15 mg/L for the next two days and then 20 mg/L for the following two days. There have been no signs of the medication working, as itching has increased in all fish (two hippo tangs, one Picasso trigger). I cannot tell if they still have spots. The hippo tangs have started turning a strange, dark purple instead of their natural blue; however, all fish still have good appetites. <Also> I don't want to order more of the expensive Chloroquine since it doesn't seem to be working. As a last effort, I am thinking of treating the fish with a copper treatment. I know this is not the best for the tangs, but I am running out of options and time. I really want to get these guys treated and back into the main tank as soon as possible to avoid further stress (they have now been in quarantine for about 6 weeks). What are your thoughts on this? Is copper a good alternative to the Chloroquine? I will do some reading about copper if you suggest for me to use it. <Copper is both tried and true... IS the standard used in wholesale and public aquariums for ectoparasites... worldwide. Can, will work on Tangs and other sensitive fishes... but with a smaller "margin for error" point one way... I would use a chelated variety, matching test kit, and measure twice daily to assure a physiological dose. Also, the usual warning re copper's effects on nitrification, and general metabolism of the fish/hosts...> I'm also thinking about doing an extended dip with malachite green/formalin solution in a separate container, while simultaneously disinfecting all parts of the quarantine and refilling it before placing the fish back in it. I would likely try this before the copper treatment. Any thoughts on this? <I think this is an excellent idea... You are to be commended for your having investigated, tried the best options, Clear thinking and plans for decisive action here> Thank you once again for your help, Quincy <I do wish you and your livestock well. Bob Fenner>

Pectoral Fin Dust/Spots (Saltwater Protozoan Treatment) � 11/17/08 Hi all! <<Howdy!>> I have powder brown tang in quarantine for about 6 weeks. He's been treated with Copper Safe for 1 month. <<Too long'¦ I would suggest no more than 14-days for such treatments. If the copper hasn't done its job in this period it likely isn't going to, and going much beyond this time frame increases the risk of more serious harm to the fish>> He always has dust-like or white splotches on only his pectoral fins; some days he has barely anything noticeable and some days, well, its noticeable. <<Hmm'¦>> He's in a bare tank, <<You should add a couple of short sections of suitably sized PVC pipe so this fish has a place in which to retreat. Keeping the fish in a �bare� system induces needless stress>> eating a lot, behaving normally. He's even had a freshwater formalin dip for 3 minutes. Just want your take on it. Thanks <<Hard for me to say'¦ If the spots are protozoan infestations then the initial copper treatment of the quarantine tank was unsuccessful and a second treatment is likely in order. If the treatment was none too recent, I would suggest a second �two-week� treatment otherwise give this fish a bit of time to recuperate first. Do also consider daily vacuuming of the bare tank bottom during the treatment period to further help by removing encysted Tomites. And definitely add some PVC pipe/other inert material for hiding places to help reduce this fishs stress level and thus the added burden on its immune system. And if you haven't already, please do read through our FAQs re Cryptocaryon and Copper treatment. A good starting point is here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cuduration.htm), and then follow the associated links in blue. Regards, EricR>>

Need an opinion on ick treatment   7/5/08 Hello, <Hi there> I need your much appreciated advise regarding ich treatments. My tank is a 300 gallon sps setup with two tuff stuff 140 gallon tubs connected by two 3" bulkheads; <Nice> one currently is holding the skimmer and the other is used as a refugium with Chaetomorpha algae. My display is over 2 years old with a 4" layer of fine sand and about two hundred and fifty pounds of live rock. My ammonia is undetectable; so is the nitrite. My nitrates are about 2.5 and pH ranges from 8.2 - 8.4. Alkalinity is at 9dKH and calcium is around 450. <Very good> I always tried to maintain salinity at 1.025, however after buying a refractometer three days ago I realized my water was actually at 1.030; so I lowered it to 1.025 within three days. <Mmm, I would take a week or longer here> I currently have the following fish: - 4" Majestic angelfish - 4" Coral Beauty - 2" ocellaris clown - Two 3" black saddleback clowns - 3.5" melanurus wrasse - 3" Lawnmower blenny - 3.5 yellow eye Kole tang - 4" Pacific Blue tang - 4.5" Powder blue tang By now I'm pretty sure you know where this is going. I got the powder blue about two months ago. I quarantine it for a month without any signs of ick, so I placed it in the display. None of my fish bothered it, he became the dominant fish right away. About two weeks after being placed in the display, I noticed he had what seemed to be ick. I obviously somehow introduced the parasite, so I was wondering what could have triggered this. <Perhaps the rapid change in SPG> Does the tank have a high Bio-load, <No> could the high salinity I had previously mentioned started this <Yes> or could it be the current heat wave which elevated the temperature to 84 degrees <Could be a co-factor> the one day I forgot to turn on the cooling fans. My display temperature is always at 80 to 82 degrees. I also had to remove a 5" blue throat trigger which the powder blue could not stand and chased a few times a day; I wonder if that stressed him enough. <This too> I waited a few days before taking further and appropriate action. At this point the powder blue is full of ick but eats well. My yellow eye which only grazes of the rocks and the glass is now also full. <This is something else> The Pacific blue gets the spots to a lesser degree on and off. The rest of the fish don't show any signs, however based on your web page I know all the fish need to be treated. <Yes...> After doing my research I need to remove all the fish and leave the tank fallow 8-10 weeks. I need your advise on how to properly remove the ick from the fish. My plan was to begin with the three tangs, giving them a formalin bath as per bottle recommendations, then placed in a 60 gallon quarantine. <Good> My question is whether I should add Cupramine to the 60 gallon quarantine tank at .35ppm <At the highest concentration...) for two weeks <Is one approach... you might want to try Chloroquine phosphate... IF the infestation is not too "deep", hyperinfective, this anti-malarial may destroy it (rather than simply arrest the present development)> then moved to a 150 gallon holding tank while I place the rest of the fish through the same procedure and while the display goes fallow. However I'm scared the copper might damaged the intestinal bacteria the tangs have, or if I might be doing more damage to my angels. <A distinct possibility> The other plan was to not use the copper and give the fish a formalin bath every other day for two weeks, then skip the 60 gallon with copper and place them into the 150 with newly mixed water. <Another approach... but likely more harmful than chelated copper exposure at the lower effective range (.0.15 ppm free Cu++)> My last idea was just one Formalin bath then placed in the 150 for observation. I believe I read many are not big fans of Formalin, as it is toxic, however I figured the copper might do more damage but I could be wrong. <Is very toxic... but effective for "surface" complaints> Please help me figure out which would be my best option. Also how would you recommend keeping the ammonia and nitrite down on either the 60 or 150 spare tanks with new saltwater. <Changing it...> Is Amquel or any ammonia sponge good or are water changes the only option. <Mmm, the latter may be worth trying... most water conditioners remove copper...> The sponges I had for biological filters in the sump most likely have ick so I don't want to introduce it to the quarantine. Thanks and keep up the good work. <I empathize with your situation... Would try the Chloroquine on the Tangs, Angels... and see if this does the job, along with the one-time/moving formalin/aerated bath. Bob Fenner>

The little Regal Tang w/ Crypt. 1/20/07 Hi Everyone, <G'day! Graham T. with you.>     Really enjoy the site. <Thank you very much!> I will try to be brief. <That's what they all say...> I currently have a really small (less than 1.5") Regal tang in a quarantine bare-bottom tank w/PVC pipe that has come down with Ick. <Was not aware that PVC could get protozoans... ;) > I know Tangs are Ick magnets <...And the Regal more than most...> but are also sensitive to copper. I wanted to try an alternative and would like your opinion on it. <Very much on this topic on WWM already, search tool, indices...> I want to raise the temp to 84 drop the SPG to 1.018 or lower if necessary (hyposalinity), treat with Seachem's "Paraguard" and with antibiotics in the food. <Antibiotics will not be effective with Crypt. Hyposalinity has some real benefits here, but since you are thinking about ParaGuard, you might consider an extended dip with a lowered SG *and* the ParaGuard. Be warned: This is not a friendly medication, and is actually worse than the pathogen for the fish's health. Implementing a regimen of vitamin addition to the food is always a help, and should be done with/without pathogens present. Again, search tool, indices, read, read, read!> The tang is in with a cleaner wrasse who does seem to pick at him a lot and I am considering adding my peppermint shrimp to the QT Tank to try and assist in the combat of these parasites. <Not if you plan to utilize hyposalinity, I hope. Probably pointless anyway.> Also I am constantly testing water parameters, siphoning the bottom, doing partial water changes and have FWD once and will do it again. <Good. Too many times, people are lazy about water changes in the QT.> The tang seems quite resilient. He has lots of attitude and eats everything and anything ( mysis, brine, Nori, spir<u>lina as well as any pellet or flake). <That's a good sign, no?> I am prepared to keep him in QT for as long as it takes as to not risk the safety of my display tank ( which by the way I now have a pair of mating clowns, only seen the eggs once so far). I have learned the benefits of QT along time ago but I don't want to overd<o> or underd<o> my treatments while this little Regal tang is in my care. <Wait, you do realize that ich is on all possible hosts, right? Symptoms or not, they're there.> 1. Does this seem like an effective treatment alternative to pursue or should I just forget about it and treat with the chelated copper sulfate? 2. Also how long after there are no visible signs of disease should I wait to put him in the display? <Quarantine should last 4-6wks, but the tank need to go fallow for a good 8wks. Here's some reading for you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fallowtkfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/malachitefaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestcryptfaqs.htm > Thanks so much for your time. Keep up the excellent work!! Nadeane <Welcome, Nadeane. Don't forget: The google tool on WWM is there to help you. You will find answers to most of the questions you have by searching for some *key* words related to your problem. -Graham T.> Treating a Powder Brown Tang (A. nigricans) with Crypt.   9/27/06 Hello Crew, <Mark> First let me tell you what a great service your website is to those of us who love the hobby.  It is simply the most accurate source of information I've found.  It has really helped me make better decisions at the LFS, separating truth from fiction. <Ah, good> I'm treating a powder brown (A. nigricans) for crypt that was in a 120 gal reef tank.  The tank is located at a business and is "taken care of" by a local service.  I have salt tanks at home and have seen/treated crypt before but never on such a delicate species as a powder brown.  I was the first to notice the fish had a slight case and suggested to the service that they remove all the fish and treat in a separate tank. They obviously didn't QT the tang before they brought it to us.  We'll they didn't listen and went to dipping and then to Kick Ich and......you know the rest. <Oh yes> Yes they put Kick-Ich in the main tank, soft corals, inverts, and all.  I have nothing good to say about Kick-Ich.  I fell pray to it a long time ago.  It's worthless. <We are in agreement. Perhaps worse than worthless... as folks actually believe they're doing something of use> I do not have experience with this species.  I've now educated myself about the powder brown on your site and realize I may not win this battle, but I have to try.  I brought my 10 gal H.T. in from home and set it up in my office.  I removed a small power filter I run on my 55 at home just for this purpose.  The fish had a fairly severe case when the "fish service" finally cried uncle and let me try 3 weeks later. I'm at day 5 of a 14 day copper treatment (Mardel, Copper Safe) and the fish is doing very well now.  I've got it eating dried seaweed, it won't take dried foods and I haven't tried frozen yet. <Very likely it won't feed till the copper treatment ceases> Spots are gone, I'm doing daily 4 gal water changes using water from my 55 gal at home in attempt to seed the tank.  Copper is probably killing bacteria as quickly as I put it in. <Likely so> I am fighting ammonia; it's at a steady 0.5 ppm as long as I continue water changes, which was predictable. Nitrite is 0, which may change next week.  Salinity is at 1.023. that's where I keep my tanks. I am testing for Copper and levels are where they're supposed to be. Here are my questions: Assuming I can keep this delicate fish alive through the copper treatment, should I return the fish to the main display after two weeks or try to get the 10 gal to cycle and keep the tang out of the "infested tank" for a full 30 days? <The latter... the main tank has been left sans fish hosts? Or "nuked" as in bleached?>   I say "infested" because none of the other fish are showing signs of crypt. <It's there> I understand there is a potential for the fish to become infested again <Almost a surety> I just don't know if the extra time out of the tank really means anything since we didn't let the system go fallow. <A mistake> I'm conflicted between stressing the fish by keeping it in the 10 gal longer than required and potentially re-infesting it in the main tank.  How much stress am I putting the tang through keeping it in such a small tank? <A bunch> I realize they like large spaces!  Do you see any thing wrong with my treatment method? Thanks for a wonderful site!    Mark Gustin <Mmm, nothing per se... but the "whole picture" is incomplete w/o the "treatment" of the main display... Bob Fenner> Re: Treating a Powder Brown Tang (A. nigricans) with Crypt.  9/27/06 Bob, <Mark...> Thanks for your response.  I know it's a mistake to not let the main system go fallow.  I couldn't get them (the "service") to pull all the fish from the display.  They won't listen to me.  They're the experts you see!  Since I'm not the owner of the tank I couldn't force the issue although I tried.  I thought it would be better to try to get the tang healthy again than to just let it die, which was inevitable. I had to try something. <Mmm, Mark... you're on the edge of raising my blood pressure dangerously... I salute your efforts/intervention in trying to cure this fish, re/solve the overall situation, but don't give a damn re who "owns" the rights to do/not do whatever here. SomeONE must come forward and seize responsibility... I call on you to be that person, really. Am only interested in facts, not who did or did not do what here, anywhere... Show the "service company" our site... I worked in this aspect of the trade for nineteen years... > I don't have a big enough H.T. (only 10 gal) to house all of the fish in the 120 gal display or I would have.  I normally use my 10 gal only as a quarantine tank. <Who owns this livestock? It will be lost, the tank remain infested if no action is taken. You understand this... make them understand it as well> I really have no choice but to put the tang back in the display (it's not my fish) and cross my fingers it doesn't get re-infested. <...> Frustrating!  I know the odds are not in favor of this.  Knowing that the main system will always have some level of the parasite in it, will keeping the tang out of the main system for the full 30 days decrease the chance of re-infestation? <Very marginally>   This assumes none of the other fish becomes infested in the next 25 days! <They are my friend... just "sub-clinically"> One thing that the "expert" brought up was that the soft corals will help reduce the numbers of the parasite. <... no> Is this true to any extent?  Nothing else this guy says has been correct so I'm not holding my breath! Maybe I'll gain a little credibility with the "service" and they'll at least entertain the concept of quarantine. <Did this myself for many years... only route to go is to provide as clean livestock as you can...> These guys make pretty good money for stocking and maintaining tanks.  I'd think that they would take as many precautions as possible to keep parasites from entering systems they're responsible for.  I'm dreaming... I know Thanks again. Mark Gustin <Please put them in contact with me. Bob Fenner>

Re: Treating a Powder Brown Tang (A. nigricans) with Crypt.  9/27/06 Bob, <Mark> I'll do my best.  I've already forwarded your responses.  Don't hold your breath. <Sometimes...> I get upset at ignorance too!  The problem here is we have someone who loves the fish tank but isn't interested in learning about the creatures in it.  I have to be careful here.  His secretary feeds them!  He can afford to have it...likes it...and can afford to pay someone to set it up and care for it. <Is this then the/an end-all rationale in the West?> When fish get sick it just becomes a decision of economics.  If it costs more to treat it than to kill it and replace it...guess what the decision is?  That's the attitude of the tank owner...not the service.  It boils down to money because there's no respect for the creatures themselves.  This tang would have ended up in the garbage can if I hadn't pulled it out! <My friend... there are many "things" contained w/in a relationship that make it "work"... concurrent goals, projects, paths... BUT most importantly values... I call on you... to testify, witness on your own behalf whether you can... in good faith... "work" with this outfit, person> I'd just take it home if I had a large enough tank to keep it.  Unfortunately...I don't.  I could house it for a short time in a 29 I have but my 55 is fully stocked and would not support the addition of this aggressive fish. We'll figure something out! Mark Gustin <Yes... we both will indeed. BobF> Re: Treating a Powder Brown Tang (A. nigricans) with Crypt.  9/27/06 I understand.... no this is not the prevailing rational in the west... just with some individuals.  You have to pick your battles and there isn't anything that I'm going to say that's going to change him. <Just be yourself> I don't/won't work for him or with him...just in the same building. Since I love the tank I occasionally stop by to see it...and dream of someday having one like it.  The Friday before Labor Day I noticed the Ich and e-mailed the owner a proper course of action...and you know the rest. <Ahhh> I may have some luck with the guy who services the tank.  He is a fellow diver and obviously respects the creatures.  He may never admit I was right but may react differently in the future just for me having said something to him.  I don't think he's a bad guy... just misinformed about dealing with Ich, and since he's in a business relationship with the other... I've put him in an awkward position.  I think he truly believes I'm going to fail at this.  I may....but for now the fish is doing remarkably well.  I had to teach it how to eat the dried seaweed by sticking it to the filter intake.  It was picking at the tube like they do so I stuck a piece on it the tang is now eating seaweed from a clip. If he makes it thru the copper treatment I may take him home and put him in my 29 temporarily.  It beats trying to make this small tank cycle and wasting all the salt changing water everyday. One last question and I'll get out you're hair...you've got better things to do I'm sure. If I do convince them to pull the other fish out...should they be treated with copper even though they show no symptoms? <Yes>   You say they are infested "sub-clinically".  To treat or not is the question? <Treat> It seems that I've read in the FAQ's that it would be ok to put them in quarantine and observe while the display is left fallow for 30 days.  If they then develop symptoms while in QT then treat. <May not exhibit symptoms, will be carriers...> Mark Gustin <Life to you my friend. BobF> Re: Treating a Powder Brown Tang (A. nigricans) with Crypt.  9/27/06 Good news! <Always welcome> The tank owner has informed the service that he wants the fish pulled and treated...will be meeting them tomorrow to discuss the situation. <Ah, good> Looks like we did it...all is going to work out! Thanks Bob! Mark Gustin <Thank you Mark. BobF> Ich and Tangs Part II 6/5/06 One more question on treating my Yellow Tang, in re-reading over info on your site, I found the following response to treating a tang with copper. "<However, a standard aquarium copper remedy, used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, is very effective. Avoid long-term use of copper with tangs, as it could damage their digestive fauna>" Is 4 weeks too long? <Most likely ok.>  I have one more fish to catch ( my Falco Hawkfish) then all fish will be out of my reef and it can go fallow for 2 months. The tang has been in the QT with CopperSafe for almost a week now. If I put the Hawkfish in there tonight, and wait 3 weeks, the Tang will have been in copper for 4 weeks. Is this too long? <Probably fine, but do watch carefully.> Should I remove him and put him elsewhere in another week or will 4 weeks be Ok? <Will probably be fine, but if possible I would treat separately.  Probably an overly cautious approach, but once the Hawkfish is added you need to treat fully again since Ich will be reintroduced to the QT and if the tang begins to suffer options will be limited.> On a side note, my canary fang blenny is eating much more aggressively in the QT tank... (no LR to pick at, he got hungry and decided he likes Mysid shrimp!) <Excellent, a small positive to the QTing process.  Something to help carry you through the seemingly endless weeks before you can start restocking the tank.> Thanks again, Mike <Chris>

Complications arising from treatment for Ich on a Acanthurus achilles   9/1/06 Hi Bob, <Matt> Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply. About seven weeks ago I purchased an Achilles tang after years of wanting one I finally felt I had the system capable of supporting one. He initially went into my refugium for a month and proceeded to do very well with no signs of ill health and eating voraciously, after being introduced into the display he showed a few spots for about 10 days before he worsened considerably. I made the decision to remove him to Hypo at that point. I lowered him to what I thought was 1.009 however later discovered it to be 1.012 due to a faulty hydrometer. Whilst in hypo he degraded into the worst case of Ich I have ever seen. The fish was totally listless and unable to move effectively. I was concerned that I may have a strain resistant to Hypo so decided to administer a half dose of Cupramine. Within three days all signs of Ich had abated, and with the specific gravity being maintained at 1.010 I decided to replace the carbon and remove the Cupramine. Now five days later the Ich has not returned, respiratory rate is normal. <Good> My problem is the fish is still very listless, unable to control his orientation and is not eating. <Not too surprising> Could I have somehow poisoned him with Cupramine or would a massive Ich infection cause enough electrolyte imbalance to cause these ongoing symptoms? <Perhaps a bit of both> I am at a loss, I don't know whether to slowly raise the salinity once more in the hope that may help or whether to wait it out. <I would raise the spg... a thousandth per day or so> It has been about a week now since he last ate and I am concerned that he will become to weak to recover. <Me too> Thank you in advance for your reply Matt <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Tang with Ick Question 10/11/05  <<Stan, some of my/other input. Cheers, BobF>> Hello Crew:  <Hi Stan, James here today> I currently have a purple tang and a desjardini tang in my QT (20gal) <<RMF would NOT mix two tang species in QT>> which I plan on adding to my 150 gal reef system once they pass QT. They've been there for about a week and are both eating like little pigs and seem to be doing fine. I've been feeding them a variety of foods which includes Spectrum Thera-A Anti-Parasitic Formula, Julian Sprung's Seaveggies, Ocean Nutrition Marine Pellets Formula 2, Kent Marine Platinum Reef Herbivore Fish Food which are sometimes soaked in Vita Chem.  However, in the last couple of days, I've noticed some white spots on my purple tangs body and fins. Can't really see if the Desjardini has these same spots or not because the spots are not as contrasting as on the purple tang. I assume it's ick, or the beginning of it. So I looked here and read some articles that hyposalinity and/or a cleaner shrimp might do the trick without medications. So I added a shrimp a few days ago and then this weekend started researching how to do the hyposalinity treatment.  <<Not with the shrimp present. RMF>> Instead of finding out how, I found more articles claiming that hyposalinity was a waste of time and wouldn't work long term. So I guess my question is, how would one go about treating ick long term in QT? Isn't that what a QT tank is for? <<Not really what "quarantine is for"... a period to review, observe health, behavior, possibly treat there/then... but also for "rest". RMF>> I know everyone has different opinions, but what do most people do? Medicate? If so with what? Any help would be very much appreciated.  <Stan, if it were me, rather then stress the fish out with hyposalinity treatment, I would treat with copper. A copper test kit is a must along with daily testing to insure an effective and safe level is kept. Recommended dose to maintain is 0.015-0.020ppm. <<Dude! Of what? Free copper/cupric ion... PLEASE understand that there is a difference in reading/s with chelated copper and their corresponding kits. RMF>> I would treat for a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degree temperature. The ick cyst casings are unaffected by the copper so we have to wait till all hatch out where at this stage they can be effectively killed by the copper. The ich that is embedded in the skin of the fish also is pretty much unaffected by the copper. Only in the swimming stage, after hatching and when they have to find a host, is when they are most vulnerable to copper. James (Salty Dog)> Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/11/05 Thanks James (Salty Dog): OK. So a treatment with copper it is. Any recommendations as to what copper brand / type to use? Isn't there chelated or non chelated ?  <Yes, there are chelated/non chelated types. If it were me I'd go with Aquarium Systems Sea Cure Copper treatment along with their FasTest Copper Test Kit. Fortunately for me I've never had to treat a tank in 10+ years, but if the problem arose, the above would be my choice.> <<... three weeks... with an unchelated copper... on tangs? I would NOT do this... I'd go with two weeks, and a chelated make/model with accompanying at least daily tests. RMF>> And I assume that I need to move the cleaner shrimp to my main tank since he won't make it thru the copper treatments right ?  <Stan, all inverts must be removed. Google our WWM site on copper treatment for more info. James (Salty Dog)> 

Re: Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/13/05 Thanks for the quick replies James (Salty Dog), very much appreciated.  <You're welcome> But I'm a bit confused here and was hoping that you could maybe point me in the right direction.  Just as a reminder, I've left the replies back and forth as a memory refresher. After talking on Monday, I went out to my local pet stores looking for copper but could not find any, believe it or not they were all out. So I ordered it mail order that night. Well here's the confusing thing. On Tuesday, when I checked in on them and watched them for awhile to see how they were doing, etc. I noticed that my Desjardini tang was laying on its side and the cleaner shrimp was going to town on him. After taking a closer look, I saw that the purple tang no longer had white spots on him either (this is while the lights were on). Am I going nuts ?  <<James... respond to the question/s! Not going nuts... the "spots" are reactions... do cycle on/off... RMF>> Unfortunately, I noticed that my Desjardini tang had a two spots missing from the top/rear of his fin. I'm guessing Mr. purple is the reason. However, when I checked on them this morning (lights still off) the purple tang looks like it has some type of spots on it (not white), and its body was a bit discolored. The Desjardini on the other hand, seems like the spots that were missing on its fins are filling in already. So here is my dilemma. Do I treat the tangs with copper ?  <Stan, this treatment must last at least 21 days to be effective and are you using a test kit to insure safe and effective doses?>  Why do I see spots one day and not the next? Will treating them, if they don't have anything be a bad idea or more harmful then good ?  <You have gazillions of cysts laying on the bottom waiting to hatch and find a buddy. Continued treatment is necessary to kill all the hatchings.>  And do I keep pushing my luck in trying to keep two tangs in the same tank ? I'm sure the 20gal isn't ideal but I'm hoping that the extra space in the 150 will allow them to get along.  <The 150 should be fine, you have to accept the fact there will be occasional aggression. Its recommended that no two alike tangs be kept together.>  I know it's pushing it. Could go either way. They could get along, with the occasional "I'm boss" reminders, or they may destroy one another. <<This is something you NEVER want to see.  If the two tangs are also close in size, you are probably pushing it too far with their compatibility, this is not what could be considered "conscientious". MH>> Should I separate them in the QT tank ? Should I get rid of one of them and just go with one ?  <If the aggression gets up to the next level, then I'd probably trade one in. James (Salty Dog)> I know there's a lot of questions here, many of which are hard to answer, with no definite yes or no. But I'd really appreciate any input that you guys might have. Thanks in advance  <You're welcome. Do compatibility research in the future if you are considering buying two alike fish.> 

Ich and Powder Blue Tang Hello Fishmasters! Many thanks for all the great information, and excellent discussion forums.  I was hoping to get some personal help today if possible! I have a 125 gallon aquarium with 100 pounds of LR and a few easy to keep corals.  I have a Blonde Naso Tang (5 inches), a powder blue tang, two clown fish, two green Chromis, and one coral beauty.  I have two Cascade 1200 canisters, a Aqua C Remora Pro Protein skimmer, and a 25 watt UV sterilizer.  Water parameters: ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, nitrate: undetectable (Salifert), Calcium 450, SG 1.025. pH and alkalinity also excellent.  I do a 12 Gallon water change every 10 days. All of the fish looked healthy when I bought them and all of the ate well in the store.  I quarantined all the fish (two at a time) for an entire month before introduction and everyone looked great and was eating well.  (Can you tell that I have been reading your website?) Two weeks after introducing the Powder Blue into the main tank, I noticed a several "grains of salt" on the body of the fish  (Needless to say...my heart sank).  It was still swimming actively and eating well which was good.   << Very common for these fish. >> I moved it to the Q Tank, lowered the salinity to 1.020, maintained the temp at 80, and treated with formalin for 7 days.  I performed 12 Gallon water changes every other day.  I then ran carbon, and I watched the fish for another 7 days.  Everyone else in the main tank looked fine, and just before re-introduction of the powder blue...I noticed several more cysts.  I kept it in the Q tank, treated it with formalin again, and re-lowered the salinity to 1.020.   I noticed three small "grains of salt" on the angel yesterday in the main tank and they are gone today.  All the rest of the fish in the main tank look perfect.   The powder blue tang still looks great (eating/active), but I can not seem to kick this infection.  Is it time to try copper?  Do I need to empty my main tank and run it fallow?  Do I have some kind of sub-clinical infection in my main tank that should be treated or should I leave the main tank alone? << I'd either leave the tank alone, or better yet is to start adding garlic to their food.  I think you'll be very pleased. >> My powder blue would appreciate any advice that you have! Thanks! Jason        <<  Blundell  >>

Tang with ich, what do I do? Dear Adam,   I guess I had my hands in the tank one too many times ... Over the past week, I was making a lot of circulation changes -pretty much adding or removing a pump every alternate day. Today I installed the surface skimmer box to my remora pro. Six hours later my Kole tang is down with Ich!!! << Yep, sounds like too much stress. >>   All my livestock was quarantined for 3-4 weeks. The tank was fallow for 10 weeks the last time I had ich -march 2003. Unfortunately I made the mistake of introducing the Kole tang last June with just 2 days in QT -he was very miserable in the QT I was ready to give up the hobby due to a hair algae problem that he solved. That decision is now haunting me.... << We all have tough times in this hobby. >>   I just set up the QT today with water from the display. Tomorrow I'll be tearing up my 80 lbs of live rock to catch my three fish. << I wouldn't do that.  I'd wait it out. >> I'm planning to have the orchid Dottyback and ocellaris clown in the 10G QT, and the Tang separately in a 50G tub with 15G of water. Alas my spare skimmer will be on the 10G. Since the tang is the only one with symptoms, I want to treat him separately from the other two. Does this make sense? << It makes sense, but I wouldn't remove the fish and treat them. >>   After treatment, and a 8 week fallow period, I intend to introduce the clown and Pseudochromis back to the display. As for the tang, I've realized that a 72G isn't big enough for such an active animal... Would an abalone or some of the less toxic seaslugs keep the glass and live rock hair algae free? << Lots of snails. >> Or do you see a blenny in my future. Tangs are definitely out until I get a 6+ foot tank someday! << I really wouldn't remove the fish and go fallow.  If it were me I'd just leave everything alone.  I think you will cause more problems. Hermits and snails are the best for algae control, and I'd stick with them. >> Thank You, Narayan <<  Blundell  >> Ich Strikes Again, and It's Tangs as Targets Again (5/14/04) Long time no talk (it's been a few years)... <Steve Allen helping out tonight while Bob and several crewmates are in Germany and the Red Sea area.> I recently (two weeks ago) picked up a powder blue tang and a yellow tang for my 95 RR FOWLR tank, to go with my Majestic & Lemonpeel Angels (Majestic is biggest fish at 3.5"), both Tangs are smaller. <For now, but it's going to get crowded in there. I think these Tangs may not get along in the long run.> No problems for the last two weeks until yesterday, the dreaded ich has appeared on my Powder Blue. <A notorious ich magnet and overall difficult fish to keep.> He had been in QT at the store for two weeks (copper added), I know I shoulda QT'd him myself, but now I've learned my lesson. :( (I feel like such a moron). <Just goes to show that you never can be sure.> Anyway, I've been reading up on your site and on ReefCentral, you get a lot of conflicting info, especially for the powder blue. <What? Uncertainty? Conflicting opinion in the aquarium hobby? Goes with the territory unfortunately, just like in the medical field.> My plan of action: 1) feed garlic soaked food (started last night), actually using "reef solution" <Unproven, but probably harmless.> 2) pull all live rock from the tank and place it in a secondary tank, replace with Large PVC pieces for cover 3) Use the Hyposalinity method (My new refractometer should be here tomorrow), my current salinity is around 1.019 <you really should maintain at NSW of 1.023-4 area long-term>, so could I go to 1.010? <Slowly. See WWM for details.> 4) wait 4-6 weeks and hopefully clear this mess up, then slowly raise salinity back to 1.019 over a period of a week. <1.019 is not a good salinity. It is not low enough to prevent ich, as you now know, and it is likely unhealthy for fish and other beneficial organisms that are meant to have a higher SG.> 5) replace live rock Thoughts? I'd rather not further stress the fish by pulling them all out and dipping them. <Well, why not leave the rock in the tank and move the fish to a hospital "tank" comprised of a large Rubbermaid container with a heater and a sponge filter? Then do your treatments in there. I'd leave the tank fishless for 8 weeks to be sure. If there's one ich parasite left in there, you can count in it finding that Powder Blue when you put him back. I'd suggest that you thoroughly read Steven Pro's mufti-part article on ich archived at www.reefkeeping.com> If I'm all wet, let me know :) <We all are in this hobby.> Chris Goldenstein <Hope this helps. Good luck. Steve Allen.> 

Ich success I am writing this e-mail as both a huge "thank you" as well as a lesson for others. After reading here for enough months I decided I would never again add a fish without QTing 1st. Thanks to the staff here for their firm stance on this issue. I bought a variegated Foxface on Sat afternoon, a real beauty! The next morning he was covered in ich. Boy was I glad I listened to the crew here now. So here's what I did after I calmed down and searched all I could read here and elsewhere. 1st I gave a 7 minute Fw bath (ph & temp matched). Then I removed 25% of the sw and replaced with Fw. Each day I would repeat this until the sal was 1.010. I also vacuumed the bottom real good each time. I continued to vacuum the bottom each day for 10 days. I also removed and washed in Fw all the pvc pipes of all the "eggs". After daily water changes for 10 days I went to every other day, then every few days. I can now report the fish has been ich free for over 4 weeks, eating great and looking well. I am now ready to have him join the display ich free. And best of all I did not have to subject him to copper. I hope this will encourage more people to us a qt and try the copper less as well as "snake oil cures. I, and my now healthy fish thank you. <Yay! Congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner>

- Powder Blue Tang Problems - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Hello, I am a new aquarist. I have a 180 gallon acrylic, 500 watt reef / fish tank with a sump with a Euro-reef skimmer, via aqua chiller 77.5 degrees, rock bed, uv, miracle mud Caulerpa (razor) bed growing, 3 month old tank with a 3100 driving it and 2500 power head inside for flow. I have a nitrate bag in the sump. I have 5 anemones, 2 scallops, 10 emeralds crabs, 40 hermits, 2 brittle stars, 2 urchins, zoanthids, brain coral, mushrooms, 2 blennies, a dragonet, little strawberry, royal Gramma, purple fire fish, 2 perculas, a large copper band butterfly, (the tang and butterfly are buddies the largest fish and in the tank last), the butterfly is fine. I have probably 100 lbs of rock from around the world. Nice purple coralline algae on it.  I also dumped in 10 lbs if GARF's grunge when I started the tank. I have 4 inches of sand for a substrate Everybody is fine except the Tang! Total of 10 fish, (I'm under the 1" per 5 gallon rule) 1) I seem to have a lot of detritus build up on the rocks though. <Not unusual - you can clean off with a turkey baster.> 2) Also have a odd dark brown slime growth that's on the substrate, its like chocolate pudding almost, I used chem.-clean already, did nothing to it! It starts in little batches and grows. <Sounds like BGA - Cyanobacteria - can be addressed with more flow, and caution about over-feeding.> 3) My Powder Blue did have a little ich, I cured that, but now it is hiding and developed these symptoms! a) little spec's all over, like clear see thru areas, not white, not ich, but larger than ich. b) Light dusting of detritus on it. c) Eyes look cloudy I feed everybody frozen mysis shrimp that's soaked in extreme garlic. And feed the Tang Seaweed Select green marine algae dried seaweed. Can you help me with my Powder Blue Tang; I'm worried about him! <Hmm... those pictures sure look like ich, and don't really bode well for your tang. I would immediately put that fish through a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip with formalin in the bath and then place in a separate quarantine system - don't put it back in your main tank. Just based on your pictures, I can't honestly tell you that all will be well... your fish looks to be in serious trouble, and you need to take action now. If you don't have a quarantine tank, you need to get one immediately - dip this fish, and then isolate it. If it makes it through, you will probably have to continue treatments for a couple of weeks, and try to nurse it through. The Powder Blue tang is a notorious fish for its susceptibility to parasitic problems, and as much so for falling victim to rough handling in the capture/shipping process. Here is some reading for additional background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/badacanthurusaq.htm > Sincerely, Ryan Gilmore
P.S. Attached pic's for you!
<Cheers, J -- >

Help!  Powder Blue Ich Hello WWM Crew!, <Hello Maurice> I unfortunately need your advice again.  My power blue is eating quite well, however he now has an outbreak of what looks like Ich.  White spots and they look like they are causing some small welts on his body.  I feel really bad for him, I'm sure he must be miserable. <I imagine> Situation:  I've fed him and the other fish food with the garlic elixir, but I'm not sure if that caused my protein skimmer from working effectively. <Can do so> I read in some of your faq's that garlic oil will prevent the protein skimmer from working properly.  I'm thinking maybe the elixir is the same. <Yes> I'm wondering if the water quality went down because of this and caused him to break out with Ich. <... might have contributed> Action: I did a water change Friday and gave him a freshwater dip. (water quality is ok, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate) But the spots came back and he seemed to be ok no noticeable change of color or erratic behavior. Sunday many more spots are visible. Sunday night began turning up the temp from 76 to 78.  Over the next couple of days I will adjust it to 82 Today (Monday) I noticed he is a much lighter not the deep blue he normally is.  And he's scratching more. <The cycle is ramping up... to a hyperinfestation> Today (Monday) I took the measures that were mentioned in your faq's about lowering the specific gravity starting this morning lowering it to 1.019.  Tomorrow I will lower to 1.016.  I imagine changing too drastically would be bad? <Yes... though the temp. and spg. should have been changed when you first noticed symptoms> Today (Monday) fed him in the morning seems to have no loss of appetite.  Breathing looks ok Planning to continue 1.016 spg and temp at 82 for one month. Planning to get cleaner gobies for ongoing measures <Sounds good> Questions: Should I give him another freshwater dip?  Or would that be too much stress on him considering I just gave him one on Friday. <I would not dip this fish at this point> And figuring he will just get more parasites once I put him back into the main tank. ( I don't have a QT), I hate to see him suffer.   <This is inconsistent. If you did not want this fish to suffer you would have gotten a quarantine tank and used it> Because the tank is fish only, would you recommend I use copper safe to treat the whole tank?  Or try the lowing spg before taking chemical measures? <You can read my, others opinions on this issue on WetWebMedia.com> After lowering the spg to 1.016 how long after should the Ich clear up? 1day? <Too late for such a rapid "cure"... your system now has a multi-stage infestation... The system won't cure with fish hosts present even with the lowered spg> If they are still attached then would you recommend using copper safe to treat the whole tank? <Please see WWM... I would not treat the main/display system> I tried to look on your website for info on setting up a QT where specifically should I be looking? <Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and read through the linked articles and FAQs (at top, in blue), and the areas of the site on Parasitic disease... their treatment> Thank you in advanced for your help.  I really appreciate your advice as always. Maurice <Time to study and act my friend. Get that quarantine/treatment tank going, remove your fishes to it, treat them there. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help!  Powder Blue Ich Thank you Bob for the good advice as usual. I went out and purchased a QT and set it up today! (better late then never huh, another lesson learned) <Yes> 10gal tank bio wheel filter heater Water used from main tank Plan on daily water changes 10% <Better to check on water quality, do larger changes as needed> Today I gave the fish a dip prior to putting it into the QT, also bought some stuff called "NOX-ICH" from LFS (active ingredient sodium chloride, malachite green 1%) (inert ingredient 99.9%), but after reading some things on your FAQs I'm wondering if this is safe to use on my power blue so I didn't put it in yet. <I wouldn't. Instead... oh, I see below> I'm also a little confused on the directions which says to use 3 consecutive days.  Does that mean I put in the noted amount then after 3 days put in a carbon filter to remove the medication.  Or do I put in the noted amount everyday for 3 consecutive days then stop and monitor him for 2-4 weeks. <Don't use it at all> OR, is it better to use Copper Safe by Mardel for 1 month.  I also read on the FAQs that copper could be dangerous for the fish also? <All useful medications for fishes have potential and real toxicity levels, exposures. I would/do use copper compounds for Cryptocaryon.> What is your recommendation for medicating him?  Copper Safe, NOX-ICH, or is there something else you recommend for my power blue?  I'm holding off putting any medication in the QT until I get your advice. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestcryptfaqs.htm and quickly... and all the other related Crypt FAQs files beyond. Bob Fenner> Thank you again for your help. Maurice

Re: Help!  Powder Blue Ich Hi Bob, Sorry to bother you again, two more question I promise. Fish in tank: 3-1/2"   Orange spotted rabbit 3"         Naso tang 2"        Fiji puffer 4"         banana wrasse            2 small damsels 3-1/2"  power blue (currently in 10 gal hospital tank) <... the rest of the fish have to be removed from the main tank... the system itself is infested... It's obvious to me you have not read where I've sent you... very disappointing> I now notice two spots on the rabbit fish and 1 spot on the fin of the Naso (which I'm sure you knew would happen).  As you mentioned not to copper treat the main system even though it is fish only. I saw a used 40 gal tall (unfortunately not long) tank at my local fish store.  If I attach a brand new Eheim canister filter, and fill it with a bag of sand from my main tank do you think that would be good enough to house all of my fish and treat for ich for 1 month, while my main system goes fallow?  Or is 40Tall too small? <Please go to WWM and study> Since my main tank is fish only would you recommend lowering the salinity below 1.016 to maybe 1.000 or below and raising the temperature above 82, maybe 85 or higher to expedite the process. <Ditto> Thank you again for you wisdom.  No more questions from here I promise.  I just want to make sure I'm heading down a good path. Maurice <... my friend, the answers to these questions and myriad more things you need to know to save your fishes (that you're not aware of to ask currently) are posted where I've sent you repeatedly. Commit yourself to enough understanding for the health of your livestock. Bob Fenner>

Re: Urgent!!!!! ich again Hi Craig, How are you? You're probably sick and tired of me bugging you with numerous questions. <Hi Jun, I'm fine!  Nope, you can write anytime!> My second purple tang has ich (sounds familiar?). I know tangs are ich magnet but can't help myself. I just love them. The purple tang was QT'd for 3 weeks before I introduce him in my main tank. 5 days later, he's got ich. I finally got him out last Tuesday night and into my hospital tank (20 gal). I added 2 ml of Cupramine (did not do FW dip because he is already covered with ich and I am afraid that he wont survive the dip) and 2 days later I added another 2 ml of Cupramine. I used a Salifert copper test and I got 0  copper reading. I called SeaChem and they told me that 4 ml of Cupramine will give a reading of .5 ppm (recommended therapeutic level). I ordered a SeaChem copper test from marine depot and got the test  today. Run the test right away (this time using SeaChem copper test) and the copper level/reading is still 0 ppm in my QT. My question is should I dose my QT with 2 ml of Cupramine again. The tang's condition has significantly improved from Tuesday (1/14/03). He still has a few white spots left, maybe 4 or 5, on it's body and dorsal fin. He started eating again yesterday and appears to be in no distress. The product says that I have to keep the copper level at .5 ppm for 14 days for it to be effective. I'm afraid that the parasite is just dormant right now and that they may develop immunity to copper and infest my tang again in a few days. Please help. No carbon in my canister, using cycle and Amquel for ammonia spike (hospital tank not fully cycled). Thanks again... Jun <Administer the copper as shown needed by the test kit and maintain it at the level on the Cupramine label. The ick won't develop an immunity to copper.  I usually test once in the AM and once in the PM for proper copper level. Make sure you don't have anything that will react with the copper like LR or sand. Everything should be inert (plastic, glass, etc) Keep him in the copper for the two weeks, two weeks more W/O, and hold your tank fallow for as long as you can stand it. I would also start feeding him medicated food before you put him back in the main, so he will be eating it steadily at the time of stress and possible reinfestation.  Follow the label and feed it for two weeks. The remaining ick in your main will not have a viable host (that isn't medicated) so they will die. I did this and had a few spots after two months of QT! The medicated food did them in (all my fish love the stuff for some reason) and I haven't had so much as a minor spot in over a year. (knocking on wood as I type). I'm a big fan of copper and Metronidazole (Flagyl) for ick.  This should do the trick.  I just keep the food handy in case of minor outbreak. Good luck!  Craig>

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

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

Powder blue tang issues Hello, <Hi there> I had a powder blue in a QT for almost five weeks with no problems at all. Three days ago my QT UV sterilizer broke. Yesterday my powder blue woke up with a mild case of ich.  <Yikes, typical> There are 6 cleaner gobies in the QT, and they are doing their job. I gradually dropped the salinity to 1.018 and raised the temp to 80F. I am aware of the benefits of the fresh water dips, and used them many times.  <Mmm, did you this time?> The problem with this powder blue is that he is extremely shy and neurotic. <Also not unusual> I am not sure what might stress him more - fresh water dips or the sight of a net (or a plastic container, or a hand to get him to the dip). Considering his fear factor, should I still try the dips, or wait and see how he will turn out tomorrow? Thank you. <I would have dipped/bathed the fish on its way into the quarantine system... Now...? I might wait another day or two... try adding vitamins to the food, water... Bob Fenner>

Ich Hello again, Here is the situation. I have a new Kole tang that I FW dipped w/copper (I believe .4 ppm) before adding to my tank. There is a small amount of ich in the tank (the fish get a few spots which disappear a day or two later thanks to cleaner shrimp). However, the tang is developing more spots, so I quarantined him. Now I have a few questions. 1) Is a SG of about 1.010 (under 16 ppm Salinity I believe, is this correct?) too low for the tang? The SG would be lowered slowly. <That is the lowest I have seen used. Do so carefully and watch your fish closely for adverse reactions.> 2) If I do the lowered SG, would you recommend treatment with medications? <No, should be enough all by itself.> 3) If yes to number 2, would you suggest formalin or copper (.2 ppm?)? <Neither. Pick one method of treatment; Hyposalinity, Copper, or Formalin and stick to it.> My concern with copper is that I also use the q-tank for inverts and I wasn't sure if the copper would be removed enough with activated carbon. Will it? <Easily removed from the water. Nearly impossible to remove from calcareous media; liverock, crushed coral, etc.> 4) Would a UV filter be helpful for removing the rest of the ich in the main tank? <Helpful, but not needed. Leave the tank without fish for one month and all cysts will have hatched and died by then.> What about for when quarantining livestock before addition to the main tank? <You should always quarantine all livestock for one month.> Thank you in advance, Kevin <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ich <<Greetings...>> In my 240 gallon I noticed on my regal, and purple tang that they have ich. I always keep my copper at .15 in the tank,  <<constantly? This won't promote long-term good health in your fish. Copper is toxic.>>  and I'm surprised the fish got it.  <<Well... your decor and substrate would be absorbing some of this. I assume you are using a test kit to determine these values?>>  I boosted the copper up to .20 Now the fish in the tank are regal, purple, Sailfin, and yellow tang, blue ring angel, SFE, and chainlink eel, male blue jaw trigger, Niger trigger, blue line trigger, and a small queen trigger.  <<That is a lot of fish, even for a 240 - I hope your filtration is robust.>>  Do you have any tips to give me against ich?  <<Do you quarantine these fish before you put them in the main tank? That would be my suggestion.>>  Please help me. Also, I have been looking for a queen trigger for a year and finally found mine a month ago. Now I don't want to loose him, because he is so cool.  <<They are cool, but are well known for being quite hostile towards just about everything. Hope this choice works out for you.>>  If the ich does get worse, can I set up a smaller tank, do a Fw dip on the queen and move him to the smaller tang (by himself).  <<Should have done this from the start, you may find soon that you need lots of smaller tanks to take everyone out of the main tank and run it fallow for a while.>>  Is this a good idea or should I keep him in the big tank?  <<pH-adjusted freshwater dips and isolation in quarantine are a good plan, yes.>>  If the small tank idea works, what should be the minimum tank size for him for about a month.  <<Something large enough to move/turn around in - you didn't reveal the size of this fish. I like 20-long as an all-around good quarantine tank, if this will work for you.>>  Thanks! <<Cheers, J -- >>

Miscellaneous (Tangs, Ich) Hi Bob, or Steven, or Anthony, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I hope everyone is doing great. I have a few questions. First, are Tangs more susceptible to ich than other fish?  <many do seem to be (mostly from temperature drops like when new/transported and from improper cooler water changes> The reason I ask is that I have a 75 gallon tank with a flame angel, a flame hawk, a purple Firefish, and a newly added juvenile Sailfin tang (I had previously kept the Sailfin in a 30 gal for the last six months but as you can imagine he got too large for this tank), some snails, hermit crabs and a cleaner shrimp, 45lbs live rock. Within a week of adding the Sailfin very small white specks (about 5-10 at this point) appeared on his body which I attribute to ich.  <quite possibly... and is this tank much cooler (more than 3 degrees?> None of the other fish show any symptoms whatsoever though the angel and flame hawk will allow the cleaner shrimp to groom them. Before I had the Sailfin in there I had a purple tang which also displayed the signs of ich which is why I ask my question. I gave the purple a pH balanced Methylene blue fresh water dip for 10 minutes and quarantined him for three weeks before sending him back to the LFS (I too like one of your other daily questions tried to put the Sailfin and purple together. Big Mistake! and if the other reader is reading this I can assure him/her as you did that it will never work). Do you think I should quarantine the Sailfin or do you think the cleaner shrimp will take care of it?  <please do QT the fish... never rely on cleaner fish/shrimp to effect a cure once an infection sets in> Unfortunately, I haven't seen the tang go to the cleaner shrimp. Do you think the tang will utilize his services? <hard to say, but again... don't count on it> Finally, The purple Firefish is also having problems. He won't or can't close his mouth. It looks like lockjaw or something. Have you ever heard of this?  <yes... commonly a dietary deficiency (usually a precursor to death when it reaches this stage. Has the Firefish been allowed to eat a narrow diet or one of whole prey items only (brine shrimp and the like)?> Is there something I can do? He seems to be eating just fine though a little awkwardly. <Selcon and VitaChem (they are different) in food ASAP> Thanks, Jeff <quite welcome, my friend. Anthony>

Ich in mornings = Cryptocaryon Dear Crew, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I know there are lots of posts on ich. We've had our Naso tang for over a year and we had ich (black and white) upon introduction. We know the standard treatments, hyposalinity, increased temp, copper, fresh water dips, cleaner shrimps. We never use copper (bad for tang's gut, I hear) or fresh water dips (rather traumatic). <I disagree wholeheartedly on the FW dip read... it is much less traumatic than a long term chemo treatment. The key is to do it properly (temp, ph adjusted, oxygenated, etc). I have had a couple thousand tangs in my wholesale experience through dips as long as fifteen minutes.>  Our tang gets a few ich spots (either black or white) in the mornings. <a giveaway that it is Cryptocaryon with its short fast life cycle> It's occasional and probably the shrimp pick it off over the course of a day or two (it disappears and the shrimp jump on the fish). We've been trying to start introducing corals so we can't reduce salinity as much (used to keep it at 1.021--now it's at 1.024) and our temp is 82. Nitrates are near zero. Fish looks otherwise fine. pH is a little low--close to 8 (Salifert--less than 8.3). Why mornings?  <above> Is there anything we can do? For example, it's likely that pH and temp go down overnight.  <the pH drop is normal and natural due to respiration (although I hope you don't let it dip below 8.3 for a reef tank). The temperature drop I cannot explain other than saying it is a flaw. How is it possible if you have thermostatic heaters? Temp drops are surefire ways to flare Ich> Perhaps, it's because the fish doesn't move at night? Would increasing water movement help?  <nope> I hate to have this little fellow condemned to a life of being dinner for those nasty parasites. It probably keeps the shrimps happy but they eat flakes. Thanks, Allyson <trap the creature in the morning when the fish is sluggish... remove to QT with Formalin and/or copper for four weeks during which time the parasites in the tank will wane without a viable host assuming you correct the temp fluctuations. All will be just fine in one month. The best course of action. Best regards, Anthony>

Naso Relapse... Anthony, I have a feeling I'm going to wear out my welcome,  <no worries, my friend> but unfortunately I am in need of some advice yet again. I used the search option on your web page but could find very little info about my new problem. If you remember we have been going back and forth about my blonde Naso, which became ill over the weekend. Well since the transport into a QT, and subsequent treatment with Greenex which started on Monday, his ich cleared up, his appetite increased and the gilling ceased. In fact he was looking very good, up until last night. The ich has come back, which isn't a big problem I was expecting that.  <indeed> The new problem is that the poor guy now has cloudy eyes. To be exact it looks like there is a kind of film which has coated the eye. Also he refused food, both last night and this morning.  <secondary infection or response to the aggressive Greenex treatment> I searched on WetWebMedia.com for any articles relating to this. Really all I found were articles relating to exophthalmia, which he definitely doesn't have. There is zero swelling around the eyes. <agreed> I set up the quarantine tank using water from the main display. So my thinking is that whatever was in the main display, to cause his sickness in the first place, is still there making him sick.  <the water was appropriate... the fish is immuno-compromised and brought it in on his, er... person> I was hoping that treatment would help this. Could this be a side infection, initiated by the ich weakening his immune system?  <either or both> Is this yet another type of protozoan infection? Is there anything I can do, outside of a quick water change, to aide him? Should I do anything? <I still rank freshwater dips above all including Greenex> I realize this is a lot of questions. But since I'm not out of the woods yet, I was hoping you could help point the way. <no trouble... a common problem. Naso may still be quite fine in a week. Easy on that Greenex please. It is cure or kill.> Thank you, Michael Mariani <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Ich (I think) Thank You for the info and I put in a big white block that will automatically adjust the alkalinity of the tank (don't remember what it is called). <It won't, sigh...> I bought the marine max to increase slime coat on fish so parasites won't attach to fish.  <It won't, bigger sigh> I have increased temp, bought cleaner wrasses, but they died because my brown tang stressed them out too much. <They didn't die because of this. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm> We have cleaner shrimps but since both are carrying babies they are not wanting to clean though they did a little yesterday) I am afraid of lowering salinity as am already having problems with KH and PH. Your site suggests getting neon gobies to clean fish, will my big brown tang also chase them? <Maybe...> Can I get more cleaner shrimps or will the spawning ones attack them. I really want to cure my fish with more environmental manipulation and less meds. <You need to separate the fishes and non-fish livestock, treat the fishes separately....> Also, should I continue feeding medicated flakes? We have a UV sterilizer and were told to get a protein skimmer will this help and can I fight the ich w/out copper? <You need to go back, read about set-up... you should have had a protein skimmer from day one... it would have helped prevent the problems you're currently fighting.> Assuming and I am almost certain it is improper Alkalinity, can these environmental things cure prob. My husband will not use copper or get hospital tank due to past experience. As always thanks for advice. <You are a prime example of "good/bad consumerism"... someone/s has/have tapped into your psyches, pocketbooks and found ways of convincing you to "buy something/s"... Don't cheat yourselves or your livestock... learn what you're doing in setting up your system first... treat your livestock in TWO different systems at this point... LEARN, if not from me, from the bulletin boards, chatrooms, even books... Don't think to act on impulse, "buying something"... Think deeply on this. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich (I think) Mr. Fenner, I read in excess of 50 pages on your website over the weekend. It said not to adjust PH, but find the underlying problem.  <THE underlying problem IS low alkalinity... pH IS adjusted easily by adjusting, rectifying your low alkaline reserve> Also, it says that parasites are caused from stress in the tank.  <This is only ONE of MANY inputs...> I cannot find anything else wrong in the tank except that the ammonia was a little high a few weeks ago and the PH has been low for about a week. The ich comes at 8:30pm and is gone by 8-9 am Everyday. That does not sound like the life cycle of ich. <It is.> Your site says it stays on the fish for 5-7 days, then falls off, reproduces and attaches back to the fish. This is not happening. <You have the beginnings of understanding... only... the cyclist in your system is multi-generational... ALL of the parasites are not dropping off according to some magical time scale... It's as if you planted vegetables on different days, weeks... some will "produce" at later times...> It is only on fish for 12 hours, once fish wake up and start swimming around it is gone.  <No... only "apparently" gone... the marks on your fish livestock are resultant (not the parasites themselves) of infestation... the fish, system "gets better" during the day, and the wound/marks of the parasites are less visible...> Our water is good. I did a 10 gal water change this weekend, ammonia is 0, nitrites 0 Nitrates are 20ppm and PH is finally at 8.2(for now) The fish all get along, so I cannot figure out what the problem is to fix it. Aside from what your site says to run copper through the system, which I cannot do. I do read where you send me, but I still cannot find the problem. Please think about what I have said and see if there is ANYTHING that seems wrong here that would cause these problems.  <You have "good water quality", yet you state there has been transient ammonia, vacillating pH? What is wrong is your lack of complete understanding...> We have spent in excess of $1500 on various things trying to fix these problems in the last 2-3 months. <This is meaningless to me... you could spend a seemingly infinite sum and still be unsuccessful> What else can I possibly do? If I use Marine-Max will it harm my fish?  <Call, write the manufacturer... or whoever you bought this product from... Why did you buy it? I don't use it, endorse its use> We want to use something natural as ALL other meds for ich including copper killed 4 of our pets (that we had for over 12 months) We use Melafix to try to ensure they do not get any bacterial infections while they have these parasites and we sometimes give them garlic elixir. What else can be done? And please don't assume I have not read your site because I have, many times. And it all relates to bad water or bad livestock. <Mmm, no. There are three sets of...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm> My water is good <Read the above sent by you in this message...> and my fish have all been in the tank at least 2 months and some much longer. Please help me, I am running out of things to do. <These doings, lack of doings are easily described... you should do what others have described that actually worked/works... environmental manipulation, isolation of hosts, parasitized systems, copper treatments... described... on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Ich (I think) Okay, I thought I had it figured out but now I am not sure. Thought fish were stressed due to lack of oxygen while inverts were awake. Could explain why PH drops in middle of night. But I bought a new air pump and new air stones and an air rod. <Has little, nothing to do with pH shift... you didn't read where I sent you...> All work wonderfully and still they all had ich this morning. Was reading more about ich and I guess it seems normal (according to this article) that ich disappears during the day and reappears when lights go out.  <No> So, I have decided to keep lights on longer as well as feed fish anti-parasitic flakes by Tetra they contain something that ich hates) and use Marine-Max by tropical Science to build up immune system as well as increase slime coat so Ich cannot attach to my fish. Does this sound like it could solve my problems. <No> We HATE to medicate the tank with all our inverts, plus have not had any luck in the past with ich meds or hospital tanks. What are your views on leaving lights on longer and how long should they be on a day while trying to battle ich as well as how long should I alter the photoperiod?  <Waste of time> What are your views on Marine-max? <Not important. You can only save your livestock by first understanding what is going on in your system, next knowing what to do at this point, and lastly "doing it". Apply yourself. Bob Fenner> 

Ich I hope not!!! Mr. Fenner, I am sorry to bother you again I have been trying to use your chat forum for my questions). As you know we lost about 8 fish about 2.5 months ago due to What appeared to be Velvet. I saved one Hippo tang and left him alone for about 6 weeks. Where he had no signs of anything for 4 weeks. We bought two tank raised I believe) true perculas two weeks ago both fine) and last week bought a Desjardin Sailfin tang. We dipped the tang in fresh water before putting him in our system. He now has a few small white spots in various parts of his body fin, side, and tail). He doesn't scratch on rocks, but has visited the cleaner shrimp a few times not often). My hippo scratches maybe once a day or every other day and is not using cleaners at all (he really did before). Should I be concerned? <Should you be concerned? Yes...> I don't want to lose any of my fish and ESPECIALLY my Paracanthurus hepatus! My husband wanted to start feeding medicated flakes, but I said NO. <No reason not to try them, really> I read so much on your site that this may or may not be anything that I wanted to check with you first. <Mmm, "it may or may not be something"> Temp is 81-83(dropped a few degrees the night before last, maybe my problem with spots???)Trying desperately to keep stable. Salinity is at 1.023 am going to lower slowly to 1.020 and do have two very good cleaner shrimps. My question, is this ich? and should I be worried it is going to wipe my system out again? Thanks in advance. <Might be ich, might wipe out your system. Bob Fenner>

Yet Another Ich Question...! Mr. Fenner, I have read all related questions prior to bothering you but had no luck with finding anything relating to my problem. I am new to "The Hobby" and introduced a hippo tang into my reef tank a couple of weeks ago (12 Gallon Eclipse). <A Paracanthurus in such a small system...> I DID dip him in a product called "HydroPlex". He developed the onset of Ich two days ago and I purchased and added a product called "No-Ich Marine" to the tank that same day. <Both non-effective products in my estimation...> I started doing some research and you can imagine my dismay when I found your web site and started reading all the horror stories regarding Ich. Do you know if the products I used are valuable as I am using them?  <Yes, do know, and no, they're not...> I have raised the temp, vacuumed the live gravel and rock, changed the water, purchased a cleaner shrimp, etc., etc. as I see you advise over and over again, but am hopeful that this "new" type of medication will prove more effective than older products. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! <Ah, my new friend... I do wish I had some 'magic' or other-additional information to render... you now know about all I do re the common parasitic infestations of marine fishes... do continue with the environmental manipulation, use of cleaners, vitamin prep.s.... Bob Fenner, who would of course, encourage you to dip-bath, or quarantine all new livestock... not place the stated species in such a small system... I wish you well, life> 

White spots again Dear Bob, We have a Naso tang we got 4 weeks ago. Two weeks after purchase, he got white spots. The white spots went away with hyposalinity/hi temp treatment but some more came back 2 weeks later (now). We need some advice. <Okay> Temp is 84 and specific gravity is 1.019. The two large cleaner shrimps jump on him and appear to feed. Now one of the damsels looks like he has a spot on his fin and on his body. The tang spits out food treated with Selcon (he appears to hate it--any better tasting vitamins?).  <Not really> He's getting much thinner. He feeds but is feeding less. No other disturbing behaviors (i.e. heavy breathing, scratching) and he still is active. We first noted the spots on Friday and it's Monday. Last time the white spots looked a little bigger and when they fell off, he had grey spots (that's our guess because white spot became grey spot and then disappeared). Still, we weren't sure if we had a new disease or whether these dark spots were residuals but they went away.  <Cycled off, to reproduce... > My darkest fear is that we don't have Cryptocaryon but Amyloodinium which you say requires "early" treatment. Your book is the only one I could find that has at least a diagram that demonstrates the differential diagnostic pattern of spots. In the Amyloodinium, it looks like the spots in your diagram are more dense at the top (dorsal fin) of the fish. Ours are more dense at the bottom. Last time the spots looked bigger. I don't want to say that these look powdery but they look finer. <Yes... and the fish/es may have both...> Last time the spots were worse in the morning. I'm not sure if that's true now but they're gradually getting worse. I don't see the distinctive dark spots again. Now for the hospital tank issue. It's a 29 gallon and we put in an Emperor 280 filter with a Biowheel. Last time we put him in, 8 hours later there was a terrible ammonia spike and he was cowering in the corner with alerting spots. Surprise, hospital tanks need to cycle too (stupid). We were cocky when the white spot went away 2 weeks ago and just let it run and didn't track the hospital tank. The temp was VERY low and now, after a 5 gallon water change, ammonia is .1 and nitrite is .01. Can helpful bacteria grow in very cold water?  <Yes... though more slowly, and with lower metabolism> I don't want to leave him unattended in that tank but what are our choices?  <At this point, not many... to return the fish to the main tank, lower temperature (to allow weight gain) and lower still the spg (to about 1.015)...> I'm getting desperate. On your web site, you say that tangs need to be allowed to feed continuously. Given that algae won't grow in the copper treated tank, what are our options? How can we give him food when we're not there? Last time we tried to copper him, he still ate a lot. <As stated, I would return the Naso to the main tank, feed human-intended algae from a feeding clip (mounted near the surface)> People told me damsels are not very vulnerable to this.  <Not so... wide range of susceptibility, some very much so> Is the fact that one of them has it a bad sign that this disease is pernicious?  <Not necessarily> If we take all the fish out and put them in copper, will the live rock house the parasites? <Yes... for a period of time... your system has these parasites as well as the fish hosts...> Finally, we got Cupramine. Last time we added the specified amount to the specified amount of water and the measure on our kit was low. Is Cupramine (nonchelated copper) harder to get and keep at therapeutic levels or could it be that our kit is off? <Both... copper does not stay in solution in the alkaline environment of saltwater in any format...> This is very very painful. Thanks for being there. Allyson <Return the fish, lower the spg... and let's hope that the combination of the ich-impugned environment, use of cleaners (they may not make the transition to lowered spg) and vitamin feeding do effect a cure here. Bob Fenner>

Re: white spots again Wow! What a prompt response. Thanks. Let me clarify. We have not yet put him in the hospital tank for fears of another ammonia spike. Can we just put him in there for the several hours that we are home and return him to his tank when we go to work in the morning? Or are the transitions more dangerous than the cure? We could consider it a prolonged "dip" to give him an edge on the fight. <Moving this fish is not a good idea... very stressful... I would leave in place> You suggested "human intended algae" on a clip. He's refused Nori in the past (great idea). Any specific brands? We have lots of green algae in the main tank which is why I'm reluctant to remove him. <No specific brands... the "Red" algae (like Porphyra species) though they look green when prepared, are best> Do you think he's eating less because of the heat??? Man, that's so simple. <Yes... and its metabolism is being accelerated by the same...> We can reduce the heat. How low a salinity do you think the shrimp and hermit crabs can tolerate (1.015)?  <More a matter of how quickly than how low... do trend down a half to a full thousandth maximum in any 24 hour period> Right now I just wish I had a bare tank I could copper. Everyone on the list server poo-poo'ed the idea that tangs and invertebrates were incompatible (I think Dakin said that)... <Very surprising... Nick knows better> This stuff is all consuming...Thanks again for being there. <Agreed, stick with your plan... you will be successful. Bob Fenner> Allyson

Re: white spots again Bob, I stopped by our Japanese store. Found lots of "kombu" which is dried kelp (which he would not touch). <This is mainly a matter of familiarity... our tangs eat kombu... but not for a few days to weeks...> <No specific brands... the "Red" algae (like Porphyra species) though they look green when prepared, are best> Are there any warning signs to look for where we'll have to copper him?  <Yes, levels with test kits are useful, but the animals appearance and behavior are paramount... rapid breathing to labored, sulking in corners, the bottom, blanching with white large areas on its sides (Much like the animal looks in early morning with the lights off/on)... are signs that there is too much exposure.> How long should we wait? If he has trouble breathing, is it too late (he doesn't--yet). <Not necessarily> I lowered the temp to 82 and he is eating well again. <Yes. Bob Fenner> Allyson

Re: white spots again Sorry, I might not have been clear. We're leaving the little guy in the main tank and feeding him as much as we can and slowly lowering the salinity. We love our invertebrates (hermits and cleaner shrimp) so we're watching them carefully. The Naso tang with white spot ate less today and I'm getting nervous. He's a fussy eater but I'll keep trying the kombu. Perhaps I can just leave it in the tank and hope he'll try it.  <Also try strips of Nori... soaked with a little Selcon, Zoecon, vitamin prep.> Our damsel with a little white spot looks like his fin is being eaten a bit. He's an aggressive fellow so out doubt it was from another fish. Do you think we should copper him or hope that the lowered salinity will take care of things. <Hard to judge from this end of the keyboard... would leave it/s/he be for now. Bob Fenner> Al

Ick.... Hi Bob, I have a few tangs in my tank (Purple, Yellow, Naso) also HAD a Hippo, Kole bought them too fast and they did not survive. <Ah, sorry to hear/read> The Naso was purchased at the same time as the Hippo... Last week.... However I was patient and she had been in the store for a few weeks before I brought it home. I don't understand why the Hippo died. He ate everything and did not have that pinched look. He was actually a little round. He swam with the other tangs and seemed fine. He lived only 3 days. One morning we found him laying in his rock (which he lays in to sleep) breathing really fast... a few hours later he was dead. <Hmm> Anyway my question is this. The Naso has developed ICK. (I think... she has tiny white dots on her eyes and one side of her body) She often invites the cleaner shrimp to clean her by stopping next to them. They do!! I have some nice pictures of the cleanings also. I will send them to you if you like. <Okay> Since my Reef appears very stable and the shrimp clean the fish AND the others are REALLY healthy... they eat soo well they are thick. I feed them frozen brine, Nori, and Spirulina and sometimes plankton. Should I take her out or just let the environment take care of her. <I would leave all in place for now... if this is/has become an entrenched parasite situation, you may be fortunate to strike a "balance" between the hosts (the fishes) and the protozoans here. If the number of spots/evidence of infestation becomes too much, the fishes start to show signs of weakening, you will have to move out the non-fish livestock and likely treat the main/display tank. Please read over our site starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm> Is it true that like the common cold ick is there to be caught by fish with low immune systems and that it is in our reef tanks anyway? <A bit different. More like "Having to be there"... let's say analogous to "getting ringworm"... you have to be around where the causative mechanism is... marine ich is not omnipresent. It is almost always introduced by infested host fishes. This IS the prima facie argument for dips/baths, quarantine... to exclude the introduction of parasites.> If not will the ick die off if all the hosts in the tank have high immune systems? <Hmm, actually yes. This approach is of use, and used with food, game fishes, even ornamentals in some countries, facilities... Not in the U.S. as far as I'm aware with pet-fish> ALSO, I am having trouble feeding Naso. I finally figured out how to get her to eat something. I used to soak the Nori in tank water for 15 to 30 minutes and add frozen brine to it and feed the mixture. She did not eat at all. Then I started feeding JUST Nori or just brine to see if she would eat one of them. She never touched the brine however she did bite on the Nori and then spit it out. To my knowledge she always spits it out. Finally I tried Spirulina flakes and she did not eat them .... But when I soaked them for 15 minutes she actually ate it and did not spit it out. So I have been nursing her with these. <Ah, congratulations! Your perseverance and experimentation are paying off. This specimen will very likely be accepting other foods soon> The other Tangs are pigs so I have to wait until they are not near to feed her. She still has that pinched look in her belly. I assume her immune system is low because of lack of food and hence the reason she has ick. <Not just foods/nutrition, but certainly a factor here> So my last question is ... What can I feed the Naso that does not cost a fortune? She picks all day at the deep red wine colored stuff/algae? on the LR. (have 173 lbs in 108 gallon tank) I don't see much of this red stuff left... she had been eating it slowly....So I would like to get her to eat something else. <Do a search shop at your local oriental food store or section of larger food store for human-intended algae. There are many types, some of which, when soaked to become soft will be accepted.> As usual your input would be greatly appreciated by BOTH of us :) Regards, Robert <Chat with you soon my friend. Bob Fenner>

Ich-Be-Gone! Dear Bob: I wrote you in the beginning of September about adding a purple tang about a week after a mighty Sohal tang. On a feedback note, this went very well and they were fine with each other after a little sparring. Even though the purple tang came out of a 2 week quarantine showing no signs of ich at the LFS, it wasn't in my 110 more than 24 hrs before it showed signs of it. <Rats!> Probably stress induced after the harrowing capture, bagging fiasco at the LFS. The next day I took him out of the 110 and put him in a 10 Gallon hospital with ionized copper sulfate at .15mg/l for 18 days using a AquaClear 150 with the sponge and 3 bioballs from the 110s wet/dry. Two weeks after the removal of the Purple from the 110, the Sohal started showing spots. He went into a 30 Ga hospital (10 GA much too small and with the purple tang impossible) with .15mg/l ionized copper sulfate for 18 days with an Emperor 250 adding 5 bio balls from the 110. Two weeks after I took the Sohal out of the 110, the Banggai cardinal showed spots (and they're not easy to see on him either). So I put the purple tang (off the copper after 21 days) in the 30 and put the cardinal in the 10 with copper at .15 mg/l. After I removed the copper from the 30 with the Sohal and the Purple (who been kept separate with a plastic mesh screen) the Purple got it again (!) in the hospital tank (!) after 21 days of copper(!). <Arggghhhh> Soooo, those two tangs went on copper again for another 21 days. Now, about 6 weeks have passed with these fish in several tanks, on and off copper, and no signs of it in my 110 display tank (which has a couple of small ocellaris clowns, a cleaner goby and a purple Firefish as fish residents and who have not shown any sign of this plague and non-fish of 3 Lysmata cleaner shrimp, 3 thumbnail-size Dardanus megistos hermits (red with white spots and black hairs), a sally lightfoot and a porcelain crab (I figured lots of filter feeding crabs would help). The 110 SPG for this time period was 0.020 at 82°F and I have been feeding everybody Kent's Xtreme Garlic (basically garlic juice and not oil) a drop/feeding. I have had a Lifeguard 40 w UV sterilizer running 24/7 circulating from its own pump in the sump. <Okay> Now all the hospital fish were clean and showing no signs of ich for about a week or two. (I must also say, as an aside, that during those treatments, those two tanks (basically cycled the hospital tanks) and rode out very very high levels of Ammonia (really off the charts even with 30%/day water changes and dosing with Kent's Ammonia Detox, they tolerated low levels of Oxygen (unreadable to <5 mg/l) increased with multiple airstones and additional pumps for circulation, and high (>6.5 mg/l of Nitrite). The Sohal was unaffected (visibly at least) and the purple tang showed a little HLLE that went away after the water quality improved.) pH drops because of no sand to buffer (adjusted with Kent's super buffer) got it to 8.2 with dKH of about 18. <Quite a trial> Anyway, I put the Banggai back in the 110 for 1 week to test it for signs of ich. It didn't show any signs so at long last, I returned the purple tang to the 110 and guess what'¬'2 days later and ich spots. This is after a fresh water dip w/meth blue before returning to main tank. I have not lost any fish but now I'm pissed and here are my questions ... 1) I guess I'll have to remove the lace rock (no live rock yet) wash it in fresh water and let it sit outside (in Minnesota) for two weeks. The 100 lbs of live sand will need to be removed and tossed in the trash (I've read where a fresh water bath for two weeks is helpful but why take the chance). I'll then put the Sohal and the purple tang in the bare 110 with some PVC elbows, etc., and run ionized copper sulfate in it at least .15 mg/l for 21 days. I will need to put the 3 shrimp, the SLF, porcelain, hermit crabs in the 10 ga (with a little sand and maybe a 10 lb chunk of live rock). I will probably have to put the clowns and gobies in the 10 ga hosp tank too because the 30 still isn't cycled with that big (5") Sohal skanking it up. I've read that they (clowns/gobies) can't take copper so I'll have to get them out.  <Not as well> Can they have ich with no symptoms? <Mmm, yes> Will I just be getting it back in the 110 when I re-sand and rock the 110 and add these fish back?  <It is a possibility> I will FW dip everything before I put them back. Need sage advice about these possible vectors for ich back into the 110 after drastic measures. 2) Will the copper trash the good bacteria in the 9-month-old wet/dry (Amiracle Maxi Reef) so ammonia will get off the chart again with these two fish? <Maybe... only way to tell is to try> Should I run the Aquamedic T-1000 skimmer during the copper treatment? <If you can do w/o it, you should> The UV? (I read somewhere it is not a good idea). <Only some types of chelated copper are removed readily by UV> 3) Is there anything else I can do short of running fresh water and bleach through the system, killing EVERYthing (fish and crabs excluded in hospital tanks) and starting the cycling process again? <Hope, trust that the exercises you've engaged in have tilted the balance in favor of health/resistance in your/fishes favor, use cleaners, feed vitamins...> Lessons learned: 1) The Kent Xtreme Garlic product didn't help much with this ich problem. I know you don't think much of the garlic oil idea but I have tried it all (including Zoecon once/day) so I might give it a try as well. The tangs eat like hogs so getting it in them and not in the water is easy. <Agreed> 2) The UV didn't do much. Purple tang must have gotten it back from the 110. <Yes> 3) The purple tang may have the ich living in his skin happily until there is some stress and then it exits and makes the spots. When does the copper kill the bugs? <Only in the free-living stages... trophonts mainly protected... can be poisoned, sloughed off on hosts, but this takes higher cupric ion concentrations... risky> I read only in the swimming stage. So if it stays in the skin you'll have to treat the fish 5 times before it will be gone for good. <Two weeks at tropical temperature should do it> 4) I am glad I have a RO system in place for my orchids because I used much water in these hospital tanks and 100's of pounds of salt as well. Also many copper tests as well as Ammonia, Nitrite and all the rest Sincerely sorry about all the background info but I wanted you to know I have tried a few things and am getting sore, and sad that these beautiful fish are always in the basement. <Do realize all... and do wish that folks in the industry will read of your and similar experiences.... and stop these parasite problems in the supply cycle... ridiculously easy and inexpensive to do so... and done so by excellent companies like Quality Marine, Tropic Marine Centre...> Best regards, John ILG <Be chatting my weathered friend. Bob Fenner>

I give Mr. Fenner, We have had more than one conversation about this, I've read everything I can get my hands on. Here is the scoop... I can't rid my reef of ich. First I took out all the fish, left it for 2 months. All the while a 25 watt UV going 24-7. All the fish were in other tanks, medicated, showed no sign of infection. I have 2 cleaner shrimp, one cleaner wrasse, one neon goby, 3 peppermint cleaners in the reef for "cleaning" purposes. Before the fish were introduced the gravity was lowered to 1.019, (and that did in two hard corals.) I vacuumed every two days for the last two weeks, about 2 to 4 gallons. Raising the salt level back to 1.025...I started back slow... three yellow tangs, then angel, about this time I saw a spot or two on the fish. I stopped adding, the spots left in a day or two. I waited a week... nothing, so I added a purple, hippo, Kole... two days later the Kole and hippo are a mess! All the fish are still eating like pigs, no ill health. EXCEPT they are covered with spots, I mean lots! HELP... any ideas? Should I start over? What about the rock, sand, coral etc.??? I give up, what do you suggest? I'm tired of the problem, it is the only tank I have problems keeping ich out. Thanks again, Steve <<Hmm, and you quarantined, dipped at least in freshwater (plus?) all the new fishes?... I might well "start over" or at least go back to square one, moving the mal-affected fishes through quarantine... to other systems... and leaving the tank fallow again for a couple of months... something in the equation is missing here... maybe some lax lack of discipline in keeping nets, specimen containers, maintenance gear separated from the "bad" system and "others".... Bob Fenner, who doesn't believe in giving up>>

Ongoing Ich My current reef tank is doing well except for the introduction of fish. Almost every new fish I put in the system either succumb to ich or suddenly disappear. The big ones such as tangs, angels, and butterflies got ich whereas the small damsels and chromis vanish within 24 hours even though they appear healthy the day before. All parameters check out perfectly and the inverts (corals, anemones, and shrimp) are prospering. I had a hippo tang that contracted ich 4 months ago. Could this still be in the water and if so, how do I get rid of it? <<Wow... well, there is/are some mischief maker(s) in your system... likely a Mantis Shrimp (order Stomatopoda), that you want to get rid of... by baiting it out near night time/lights out with some meaty chunk of food near the front corner... ready with a flashlight and net... or better, by conditioning the rogue fish eater with the same sort of meaty food (once again right after turning off the lights), then placing the same bait in a "live mouse trap" (aka Mantis Shrimp trap...)... get rid of this critter before buying any more small fishes/food for it. The entrenched ich problem... yes, it is IN YOUR SYSTEM... a few ways to approach this... If it were me, I'd take all the fishes out, treat them in a separate system... and freshwater dip (pH adjusted) on the way there and on the way back (in a month or two...)... The main tank, I'd dump out, fill with straight freshwater... for a day or two, refill then with lower the specific gravity (1.010) for a week, then raise it back to normal... raise the temperature to 84F. in an attempt to speed up, get rid of the ich parasites in various life stages in your system (Lower it back down before returning fish livestock)... and before returning your fish livestock... place some biological Cleaners to help ward off any residuals... give comfort to your fish livestock. Yes, this process is going to whip your live rock organisms... not totally though, and Yes, get rid of that Mantis Shrimp (or giant worm, Pistol Shrimps...) in addition to the work on ridding the ich...And, of course, henceforth, dip, quarantine all incoming fish livestock... to exclude these external parasite problems getting into your system in the first place. Bob Fenner, who encourages you to read to your satisfaction, the pieces on "dips/baths", "quarantine", "acclimation techniques", "Cryptocaryoniasis/ich", "shrimp", "treatment systems"... posted on the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com >

Help crypto that will not go! I have a 120 gallon fish only marine tank with a wet dry system, protein skimmer, and U.V sterilizer. I have wrasses, angels, and tangs. Recently, I have had a Cryptocaryon outbreak after adding new fish, I have never had a problem before treating with copper. This time it has been a very stubborn case. My copper level has been at .25 for over 2 weeks, I have also lowered the salinity to 1.016 four days ago to try to help. The powder blue tang and the Personifer angel seems to be the most susceptible, the other fish just have a few spots every few days. The spots will go away then return a couple of days later (all of this during the treatment). What do you recommend to clear this thing up? I have been using reagent grade marine copper, are there other products or is this copper faulty? Please help, I am frustrated! Thanks, Durell Tharpe  <<You mention having a UV... you're not running this at the same time as the copper I hope? At this point, with the Cryptocaryon being entrenched in your system... I would continue to treat the fishes there... but with a more stable format (like Cupramine) of copper... with daily testing of free copper levels... You're sure you've had 0.25ppm all this time? Very strange... and the copper you're using is CuSO4 . 5H2O? (copper sulfate pentahydrate... probably)... did you citrate it? (acidify the solution with citric acid) or use other adjuncts? I don't think you've had a physiological dose in your system the last two weeks...Bob Fenner>>

Re: Help crypto that will not go! The copper I am using states Copper Sulfate and citric acid in distilled water for the contents and I have been running the U.V sterilizer the whole time and checking the copper level daily. It reads .25 every time. I don't know what to do. I have used this copper before in controlling outbreaks and it always worked. Why should I not be running the U.V? And if Cupramine is a better option, how should I go about changing the treatment now? Thanks Again, Durell Tharpe  <<The UV will remove many formats of copper... but 0.25ppm is right in there... sort of surprising to me (and you I suppose) that the Cryptocaryon is not gone then... Please have someone check your copper levels against their kit... and your copper solution.... it isn't precipitating on the bottom of its storage container is it?... I would give the current copper a rest (maybe let it go a week, and then start up with another brand... like the Cupramine (it can be added on top... as long as the total free copper is not excessive. And elevate the system temperature to 83-84 F...Bob Fenner>>

Re: Help crypto that will not go! Thanks for your advice. I did a water change, bought new copper and lowered the salinity more. I lowered it to 1.011. I was going to leave the salt level there for about a week, do you think this will be harmful or not? Is it truly helpful (as many collectors advise to do this)? What effects does this have on the fish and the parasites? Many thanks, Durell Tharpe <The lowered spg? The fishes adjust if they're in good shape to start with, the parasites "pop" due to inability to cope with change in osmotic pressure. Bob Fenner>

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

Marine Ich and Treatment?, Tang With Ich Hello Bob, <Scott F. here tonight> I have a fairly new 100 gallons FOWLR tank with only 1 yellow tang. Few days ago, I noticed there were some small white spots (like salt grains) on the fins but quickly disappeared after a few hours. I did lot of reading on this web site and these steps were what I did so far: - Dipped the fish in FW with Methylene Blue for 5 min.s - Then moved it to a hospital tank (20 gallons). - Raised tank temperature 1 degree/day. - Lowered the Spg 0.001/day. - Do water change everyday (2 gallons) since hospital tank is not yet established. - Let the main tank goes fallow for about 1 1/2 month. <Good protocol, quickly/decisively executed> Here're my questions: 1) How high the temperature should I keep in the hospital tank?  <I'd recommend a consistent 78-80 degrees> What about the Specific Gravity? <Personally, I'd go with regular tank s.g.-but aggressive treatment can entail lowering s.g. to around 1.015> 2) Should I treat the yellow tang with any kind of chemical such as copper, formalin... or just altering the water like what I did is enough and observe the fish for a while? <I'd do the latter, at least at first. Prolonged exposure to copper could damage the fish's digestive system microfauna> 3) For the main tank, should I raise the temperature and lower the Specific Gravity as well? <I'd leave it alone>  Should I still do water change even without fish hosts? <Yup- follow regular maintenance procedures-siphoning substrate may even (arguably) lower the parasite count in the main tank> Thank you in advance for your help. <You're doing great-just be patient and keep learning/observing>  Regards, Dung Ngo

Ick? Bob,  <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a 55 gal. saltwater with a few mushrooms and polyps. My powder brown surgeon and my pacific blue tang are showing definite signs of ick, but they are eating great, swimming fine, and other than the fact they have many spots, everything is normal. I have turned the heat up, it is 82 and lowered the salinity to.21.... I am doing this gradually. Symptoms began yesterday, It seems to have no effect. I have 2 cleaner wrasses who pick at them constantly, but to no avail. Any suggestions ? Marie Belanger  <indeed... best bet will be a short stay (2-4 weeks) in a quarantine tank medicated with Formalin or a Formalin combo medication (like Quick Cure). Freshwater dips are also very helpful in concert with medication... do research the articles and archives on this web site for protocol on accomplishing these things. Please do act fast on this ... it is easy to cure but kills quickly too. Make sure all new fish are quarantined too before adding them to a tank... this will save money and lives. Kind regards, Anthony>

Naso with ICH Bob, I'm confused and concerned. We just got this Naso tang a week ago and a few days ago he developed white spot. We set up a hospital tank. We have 5 damsels and 3 hermits in our display tank and 16 lb of live rock. The white spot is there in the morning and drops off over the course of the day. It's very minimal and he's eating heartily. We plan to take out the Naso and a damsel (if we can catch him--the others look great) since he has become less active over the past day. A little damsel looks a little weak so we figured we'd bring him out too. 1.if we treat him with Cupramine, we could devastate his gut. Will he recover? We have the Seachem test kit (it's over a year old--the LFS did not have a fresh test--will it still work)? <Yes... if you have to go the copper route... see below> 2.We don't have biological filtration in this tank (26 gallon). Can we really keep him in there for more than a week (as the Cupramine suggests--2 weeks)? How do we prevent an ammonia spike? Water changes? <Yes, by testing, changing nitrifying media from a clean source... and water changes...> 3.I've heard discussions about chelated vs. ionic Cu. We bought Cupramine because the LFS we got him from said they used it in their tanks (we figured it worked before). Then the said they did they only used it in hospital tanks. The therapeutic window is pretty slim--.5 to .8 ppm. Can we kill this guy very easily with this stuff??? Could you suggest brands if we should not use this stuff? <Yes... all fishes to a small degree can be killed by too much free copper, cupric ion...> Thanks, Allyson <Now, what I would do... the environmental manipulation mentioned on the Marine Parasitic Disease sections of the www.WetWebMedia.com site, the use of vitamins mentioned there, AND the addition of a Cleaner Shrimp of the genus Lysmata... do these things NOW and don't use the Cupramine or other medication. Bob Fenner>

Ich Dear Bob, Once again I need to borrow your brain for a moment if you don't mind.  <Not too much, or long... only have a bit left> As the never ending saga of my SW aquarium continues, the Ich is now back. I had major ich problems in the past and I took every recommendation you offered to rid my tank of this nightmare but low and behold it's back.  <Arggghhhh> I did notice brief appearances of the parasite on my Hippo Tang in the past few months but they would usually subside in a day or two. I'd like to contribute that to the new addition of a UV sterilizer. What ever the reason, the bug would usually disappear from the tang within 48 hours. <Yes... > I believe most recent outbreak resulted from a large temperature fluctuation when my canister filter ceased. The poor tang was literally infested with the parasite (eyes, fins, gills). It has improved over the past week but it is still very evident that the parasite is still active. The tang is eating but it also scratching a lot. I have several invertebrates in the tank so my treatment regimen is limited. I do have a QT tank but I'm contemplating if this is necessary because I have a feeling the parasite may subside if I leave it alone. Furthermore, my QT tank can not hold all my fish so even if I did remove the tang there would still be hosts for the ich to live on. I was once told that parasites that won't go away should try to be controlled/minimized at best. <Yes, a good attitude, approach...> I would really appreciate you advice on this matter. Is it a stretch to say at this degree of infestation that the ich will subside if the tang is left untreated? Or, is it worth the chase and catch of the tang for QT. <Do you have biological cleaners in this system? I would add them post haste... A general listing is to be found... on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com... get Lysmata shrimp and Gobiosoma at least... and quick!> Bob thank you so much for all your advice. Chris <You're welcome my friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Ich :( Hi Bob! Seems like I am pestering you an awful lot lately :) My latest problem is ich. When I got home last night, I noticed that my Powder Blue Tang had it pretty badly. I have never had the problem before, or else I probably would have diagnosed it quicker :( Anyway, I moved the Powder Blue to my 20 gallon hospital tank (where my yellow tang is already residing, due to black spot) and went and bought CopperSafe and a copper test kit. After I had dosed the hospital tank I went back and studied my reef tank to see if any other fish had it. Well, the tangs were mostly hiding, which they have been doing quite a bit lately'¦ (duh, I guess now I know that's the first symptom). Anyway, to the point -- my Kole tang has it pretty badly so I moved him too. Also and my Purple Tang has just a teeny bit, but I left him in the reef hoping maybe the cleaner shrimp would help. This morning the Powder Blue was dead, but the Yellow and Kole seemed ok.  <Arggghhhh, I'm with you> My main tank is a 55 gallon reef with 50 lbs live rock, 2 anemones, mushrooms, daisy polyps, button polyps, 6 inch snowflake eel, pacific cleaner shrimp, red brittle star, flame scallop, decorator crab, turbo snails, blue leg hermit crabs, 2 damsels, 3 Chromis, and a tomato clown (besides the tangs). My filtration is a large protein skimmer and an undergravel filter with two powerheads. My hospital tank is a twenty gallon tank with nothing but a large over-the-back BioWheel/mechanical filter unit, heater, and airstone. Amm/Nitrite/Nitrate 0, Alk 3.5, Calcium 300, salinity 1.022. Whew! All, that said, here are my questions: Should I move my Purple tang to the hospital tank? Is my hospital tank going to be big enough for these three fish? Is water quality going to be a huge issue in that little tank? Will my other fish probably get ich too? Will the ich die off by itself in the main tank, and how long until it's safe for the tangs to go back into the main tank?  <Yes, do move ALL the fishes... and leave the tank fallow... for... maybe two months... If you can, move the fishes from treatment (should take two weeks...) to another system... and be religious about not mixing ANY gear, water from the ich-entrenched system... to it. Speed up the passing of the Cryptocaryon by elevating the temperature (to about 82, 84 if your non-fish livestock will take it)> Thank you in advance for answering my questions. I cannot express to you how great it is to have access to someone who gives consistent advice. Out LFS is really neat and they have their own huge, beautiful reef tank, and a great selection, but their advice is often lacking and they contradict themselves. Very frustrating!!  <Glad to be here... and not appear too self-contradictory! Bob Fenner>  

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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