Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Wrasses 

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

FAQs on Wrasse Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Infectious, Parasitic, Trauma, Treatments,

Related FAQs: Wrasse Disease, Wrasse Disease 2, 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, Angels and ButterflyfishesTangs/Rabbitfishes, Puffers & Kin...  &  Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Infectious Disease

Not Necessarily Worth Removing Infested Fishes...

Due to sensitivity, already infested systems... the debatable possibilities of effecting cure rather thank killing your livestock... There is the gamble of shooting for a balanced/infested system...

Formalin>Malachite Treatment for Wrasses exposed to Ick?     9/19/14
Aloha! Are wrasses really that sensitive to Hypo?
<Some smaller genera, species more than others; but about "medium" sensitive overall>
I have a 100g. here in Hawaii that I have enjoyed, Ich free, for years thanks to you and the hypo treatment protocol I learned here.
I have lots of live rock, with minimal gadgets, based on streamlining power consumption running off solar power and a sump filled with lava rock. I have gotten lazy and have not been QT new specimens as they come from a LFS on Kona side of the Big Island here and they pretreat with copper. I know, not smart, but I haven't had probs and based on power conservation for my solar setup, I have chose to not run the QT tank. Obviously this is not a luxury and really a MUST HAVE!
I got that slap of reality when I brought a Green Hawaiian Lionfish and 3 Moorish Idols back from an ocean collection last full moon... along with a jeweled anemone crab and some Hawaiian Green Shrimp. I didn't QT them and found bad Ich all over the MI's the next morning! Doh!!!
<Idols are very susceptible>
I took them immediately back to the ocean and set up my Hospital tank. At the LFS here on Hilo side I was getting salt and was told that my wrasses will not make it through the hypo treatment, and that, I believe the Lionfish won't handle the copper, or maybe it was the wrasses as well. The point is he convinced me Formalin Malachite was my only option. Really?
<Good; tried and true approach, though nowayears am a bigger fan of Quinine compounds>
So I bought the Ich plus poison and brought it home with my bucket of salt and got to work. Finally everything is now in my 20 gal hospital
1 Juvenile Coris
1 Juvenile Green Hawaiian Lionfish
1 Small Elegant Wrasse
1 Sailfin Tang (Rescued from Petco bad icy, about to die and made it through hypo treatment and has been fine for 2 years)
1 Clown
1 Anthias
1 Blue Chromis
1 Hawaiian 2 Spot Butterfly- I think goes by a different name but very hearty.
1 Flame Angel.
<Too many disparate fishes for a 20>
Maybe too much for my 20 gal but seemed like overkill to setup my 55 gal
<Fire this 55 over>
and do all those water changes.
I have read and searched all over WWM for the last 3 days and still don't have a clear answer on what to do.
<READ re Quinine.... CP... use the search tool>
I have 2 tsp the commercial formalin/malachite formula in the 20 gal, backpack filter, bubble, bare bottom, plastic hiding shelf thing, no heater keeping steady at around 80. I'd like to add a few coral pieces but was worries about it absorbing the medicine. Only the Tang, Butterfly , Lionfish and Angel were showing any white spots, but I believe I need to treat them all, even the Wrasses that are not showing any symptoms, right?
Should I run the course of 1 week, then just flush it out with water changes... probably put carbon in my hang on filter?
I put some of the live rock from the sump in there (cinders) but the formalin will probably kill the biological, right?
<Oh yes; and quickly... have to change the water frequently>
After the week I'd like to go hypo so that the Ich is for sure gone while I allow my tank to fallow for 6 weeks. Can I do this with the list above and not kill the wrasses, lionfish etc?
<If done carefully>
Should I avoid hypo for these guys and just keep them on life support in the Hospital tank until 6 weeks?
<Need to keep a CAREFUL eye on all>
Sky Kubby
<A hu'i hou! Bob Fenner>
Re: Formalin>Malachite Treatment for Wrasses exposed to Ick?      9/20/14

Thanks, Bob. I had read so many responses that Rid Ich was a joke so I was really concerned. I'm glad to hear it is a viable option.
<...? You can/could just read my/our input re Malachite Green archived on WWM>
I guess I was doubtful it would completely get rid them of Ich, because its repeated time and time again that Hypo and copper are the only 2 ways to be sure.
<Mmm; hypo- not so much/often>
So I must ask again, should I do a hypo treatment after a week of this Formalin/Malachite treatment?
<Up to you. Am not a fan>
Here's a pic of the culprits before I got them out.
<I see>
When you say too many disparate species for a 20, do you mean because they are all different?
<Yes; too numerous and incompatible behavior-crowding wise>
Here's a pic so you can get a visual of the sizes. They are really getting along well and not nipping, etc, if that's what you meant. I'd really like to not have to stress them by switch tanks again. Will this work?
Many mahalos and a hui hou!
<.... again; I'd use the 55. The Kona wind/Kilauea must be getting to you.

Re: Formalin>Malachite Treatment for Wrasses exposed to ick?      9/20/14
You said Formalin/Malachite IS a viable treatment. But then I read so much of the links that says my Rid Ich Plus is terrible and ineffective.
<... is NOT the best available, most appropriate mode/method... As I've repeatedly stated>
My more direct question is, will it rid the ich completely?
<Few ways do>
From what I gather it, by itself, will not wipe out the ich completely.
Why would I want to go 1/2 way? Thus I am seeking advice on doing what worked before, hypo salinity,
<Have already responded to this>
meter. At this point I will finish the week treatment of Rid Ich Plus Formalin/Malachite, then finish out the 6 week fallow period with hyposalinity. I just hope my Lionfish, Juvenile Coris and Ornate Wrasse can
make it. Or would you rather see me use Quinine with regular osmotic pressure (salinity).
<Yes; I would>
It's not really voggy at all here, surprisingly, despite the lava 7 miles away. Kona winds are blowing the smoke from Pele into Seaview and people are having health issues though.
Looks like Pahaoa town is likely to get the direct flow. Many are leaving/evacuating. We are on the other side of the lava in Orchidland towards Keaau.
<Saw this from friends there. No bueno>
Just clear days and good diving. There's a layer of some kind of algae bloom on the top 15 feet of the ocean from Hilo to Kalapana. I think all the debris from the hurricane washed into the ocean providing some nutrients for something to thrive. So I've been diving by the lighthouse while I still can access lower Puna. I speared a nice Omilu, goatfish and menpachi last dive and did some 80-100ft free dive drops.
<Saw some okay Ulua here in Bali the last couple weeks>
In Radiant Health,
Sky Kubby
<Not so radiant, but returning. B>
Re: Formalin>Malachite Treatment for Wrasses exposed to ick?
Thanks, Bob, Okay, I'll try to get some Quinine soon and do that treatment instead, as my wrasses are not liking the formalin treatment, and laying over on their side.
<Ah yes; a potent biocide... burns; kills all life: crosslinking peptides>
I'll do the quinine for a week and then just keep good water for the remaining 6 weeks. It makes sense that the Ich would be completely gone if there's no host in display, but there's so much controversy. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but the only thing that seems to get rid of ich completely, as repeated on WWM, is Copper of Hypo. So I need to find out if Quinine, although viable, will completely kill on the fish, before I reintroduce them.
Cool, your in Bali! Our friend have a great place in Ubud to say with a spring-fed pool. We love to stay at Good Karma in the North side, great bungalows, food and giant clams right out front. Have you been there?
<Mmm; no; Pemuteran in the NW and Tulamben... >
There's a wreck west of there that had 100's of Jacks that's really cool. You probably have been, but Nusa Penida was amazing diving!
<Ah yes. Spent some few days in Nusa Lembongen this trip>
What's going on with your health if you don’t mind me asking...
<Still plugging along>
I could probably help with some free advice. I'd be happy to pay back as I have recovered from chronic illness and help people regain their health. Hit me up!
<Ahh; I do thank you>
A lot of my products are focused on rebuilding. You would like the Nano Particled Cordyceps. It's super oxygenating and has helped me free dive over 100 ft after having asthma and lung infections. Good diving today for me too.. I got a nice big Uhu and Kumu today. I grabbed a big lobster and let her and her go - she had eggs.
In Radiant Health,
Sky Kubby
<Cheers, BobF, just back in the States>

Re: Sick Black Line Blenny; now Crypt on small Labrids in QT     7/18/12
I was able to get my hands on the Dr G's antibacterial food.  The fish in the tank are taking it down no problem.  It has only been 2 days and the fish is a lot more active.  No issues with the inverts either.  Here is the real problem now and I think your previous advice saved me from a disaster.
 My flame wrasse in qt has developed Ick. I am doing back flips literally that I did not jump the gun and put him in the display.  He is in the qt with a pygmy wrasse who also showed up with a few spots.  The wrasse is breathing heavy but still eating which is great.  My main question is how would you go about treating this?
<Likely a copper-based... >
 I have quinine sulfate on hand but have found it to be pretty hard on sensitive fish.  I have actually had bad experiences in the past using this on a flame wrasse before.  I also have Cupramine on hand.
<I would use this>
 Do you think flame wrasse would be to sensitive to Cupramine? 
<Yes; but less than other treatments>
My last option is hyposalinity which does not work in my opinion.  It is more of a suppressor treatment than an eliminator.  I was however trying to get my hands on quinine phosphate which I read is a lot more effective and easy on the fish.
<This is so, usually>
 The problem is I can only get it in a Kilo.
<Good gosh!>
 Not sure what I would do with a kilo of this white powder antibiotic, ha-ha.  Dr G also makes an anti parasitic formula and the main ingredient is quinine phosphate.  I am thinking I can use the hypo to suppress the Ick and then feed the fish quinine to eradicate the parasite? Sorry for the long email here.  Thanks as always.
<Worth trying. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/27/12

Looks like the flame wrasse has taken a turn for the worse.  I was never able to get the copper level over .15 due to the symptoms the fish started to have.
<? Strange... something absorbing it quickly>
  I thought it may be related the copper but looks like it wasn't.
I eventually brought the salinity down in the qt to 1.009 with the hopes of
feeding the fish Chloroquine laced food to combat the Ick along with hypo.
The fish now has trouble swimming.  It is constantly bloated and laying on its side.  It has been like this for 3 days.  It is also breathing slow and very deep.  It looks like its time is up but wanted to see if there is anything I can try.  I am thinking something internal here but do not know where to start?
<The usual Metronidazole and Praziquantel in foods if the animal were eating would be my choice w/o more information. BobF>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/27/12

The fish stopped eating 3 days ago.  Can I dose Prazi directly to the water in hypo?
<You can... Keep the faith. BobF>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/28/12

The fish is paralyzed this morning.
 Still breathing and eyes moving.  I examined the bottom of the fish and the vent area looks like jelly.  I have the fish in a bucket with an air stone.  I added furan to the water.  I don't think there is anything I can do here.
 May end up putting the fish
down unless you have any other ideas.
<I hate to give up... Would just wait and hope here>
 There is also a tanska pygmy wrasse in the qt tank which is why I removed the fish.
<I see. B>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny     7/28/12

Just wanted to let you know the fish just died.  Will try a female next time as I heard they are easier, cost 1/3 of the price, and will eventually
turn male.
<Thank you for this follow-up Eric. B>

Ick and wrasses/gobies  12/18/07 Hello! <Jonathan> I've been about a month now into the fallow period of my 90G reef tank. I slowly increased the temperature to 85 degrees in that tank and everything handled it very, very well. I've read that that's about tops you can go temperature wise to at least speed up the life cycle of crypt a tad. <Yes> But anyway, my wrasses (now only 2 since my clown wrasse skyrocketed out of my tank during a routine cleaning and didn't survive when he was put back in :( ) both have never had a spot on them and neither has my yellow watchman goby. I've never been a huge fan of dipping my wrasses in the past, because they tend to freak out way earlier and I (again, my own opinion) think that they don't tolerate it near as much as other fish I've had in the past. But back to the main point -- both them and the yellow watchman goby have never had a spot of crypt on them that I could see with my own eyes. It was the more crypt-susceptible fish that, unfortunately, succumbed. They've been in quarantine/hospital for about 3 and a half weeks (and likely at least another 3 weeks) and look absolutely fantastic. Temperature was slowly increased to about 89/90 degrees for a few weeks and has now been reduced to 80 degrees -- in simple hopes to speed up what crypt was likely present in the q.t. But I never saw any white spots at the bottom of the tank so I would have to guess that the wrasses and goby are crypt free, considering I never saw a dead white cyst or free swimmer laying at the bottom of the empty bottom. One would likely be correct in thinking that, correct? <Not necessarily. Easy to miss> The reason I think it never happened is because I re-acclimated the fish to new water in their q.t. tank and the fact that I've never seen a spot of crypt on any of the 3. I'll probably dip both wrasses and the goby on the way back INTO the display after their time in q.t. even though it goes against my view with the wrasses (mainly bad luck a few times with them but no other fish I've had has ever given me a problem with freshwater dips outside of wrasses) just to give some added assurance that the crypt has finally cycled out. -- Jonathan Philpot <We'll see. BobF>

Hawaiian Fourline Wrasse w/ white spots  7/23/06 I have a question about my Hawaiian Fourline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia)... He's been in my reef tank for a little over a year, and over the last few weeks, when the fish wakes up in the morning, he has small white spots on his body and fins, 30 or 40 spots total. These spots resemble grains of salt, and within 3 or 4 hours of the lights coming on, they are all gone. <Is Cryptocaryon>   I am wondering if these are just pieces of sand & debris that the fish picks up when he hides or buries himself at night? <Mmm, no> If so, I don't know why they would suddenly appear after a year's time? <A latent, space-infested problem...> If they are a skin parasite or some sort of infection, then why would they disappear every day? <Improvement in the diurnal resistance, immune system of the host... the spots are not the parasite... the parasite not the spots... but the resultant irritation marks...> The Hawaiian Fourline Wrasse it acting normal, and has a healthy appetite.  He is not being harassed by any other fish or invertebrates. All of the other occupants of the tank appear completely healthy. Water parameters: pH - 8.3 Nitrite, Ammonia - 0 Nitrate - undetectable Calcium - 410ppm dKH - 11 SG - 1.026 Temperature ranges from 81.7F-83.1F daily Thank you in advance for any advice, Steve in Denver <Could be that you might get by with this "ping-ponging" situation for years hence... Much more likely "something/s" will change to shift the balance in the parasites favor... see WWM re Crypt... what you might do/consider for actual eradication. Bob Fenner>

Fairy Wrasse with ich - alternate treatments 8/8/05 I have had a Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis wrasse in QT for 3 weeks now.  He has had mild ich from the get go so I took the salinity down to 1.011 measured with a lab grade hydrometer.  I thought we were over it but yesterday I looked in and he's a mass of white spots! I am tired of this and am going to treat the fish with copper, unless these fish are oversensitive.  Is this a good idea? <Fairy wrasses are at least somewhat sensitive to copper IMO. I'm not a big fan of it as it is. If it were my fish, I'd do freshwater dips from a QT tank near daily for 5 days while adding garlic and B12 to the water> cheers, Wayne Oxborough. Norway <With kind regards, Anthony>

8 Line Wrasse w/ Ich <Hello, Ryan with you> First of all, many thanks for the time and effort you put into this invaluable resource! I've spent several months browsing and feel as though I have only scratched the surface. <I feel the same, and I'm sure that I have read most of it!> Now the issue at hand: Marine Ich.  After (foolishly) allowing the fiancé to add an eight-line wrasse to the display tank. (a well-established 200 gallon, slowly-becoming-a-reef setup), those little white spots we all know and love began to appear on several fish. <Yikes> The fish have since been moved to a 29g hospital tank. (It took 10 days to finally get the last fish, an orchid Dottyback, out of the rock work!) Anyway, the fish have been in the hospital tank for about two weeks now. I've been slowly lowering the SG from 1.025 down to 1.016; on the way to 1.09. Copper has been kept at about .25ppm. (Hard to maintain a truly steady level with 20% daily water changes. A never ending battle against ammonia in the still-uncycled hospital tank). <Hospital tanks will never really "cycle.">  Here's the problem: All the fish have been "cured"...except for the wrasse...who keeps getting new spots! None of the other fish have been infected since starting the copper treatment. All seem quite healthy and are eating. I've given the wrasse a FW dip and his spots disappeared....only to be replaced by new ones the next morning. <Can you send a picture? It's possible that we're dealing with a different ailment than the one you're treating.> I would understand this problem if some of my other fish were being infected (especially the coral beauty...he really got lit up by the first wave of parasites). How far should I push the copper levels? <Only as far as the copper you're using states- No further. The directions will specify. Also, make sure that you are removing the water from the bottom of the tank- Where the cysts are when they drop off the fish> Also, the wrasse did his best impersonation of "I'm gonna DIE!" after the FW dip. laying on his side in the corner of the tank for several hours. Is this a defense reaction or did I nearly kill him? (This was my first time giving a dip). <Is there adequate hiding places for him in this tank? If yes, I would say you nearly stressed him to death. Parasites can be a tough battle for marine fish to win- Just stay with him. Good luck, I'm glad you will quarantine in the future and side-step this whole headache. Ryan> Thanks!  JJ 

- Ich and New Tuskfish - I've read everything on Tuskfish and ich on your site, and would love to get your thoughts on my dilemma - I got a new harlequin Tuskfish, apparently very healthy and ick free, and introduced him without quarantine, may I burn in hell forever, ill never do that again...had trouble sleeping last night I was so bothered by what happened (ok I may have over-reacted)... My conditions are: 75 gallon fish only live rock (110 lbs liverock, some live sand) - 2 dwarf lions, 1 maroon clown, 1 Tuskfish, 1 Sailfin tang, 1 clown trigger - 77degrees, 1.023 salinity, ph 8.1, nitrate 2ppm, ammonia and nitrite zero, alkalinity 4mg/ml (cant remember the alk unit, but not dKH) - protein skimming, hang on filtering <My friend, your tank is full... you may need to do something besides hang on filtration for these mess makers.> A day after the Tuskfish arrived, I noticed that he had what looked like light ick on his tail... I know he didn't have it 24 hours previous b/c I looked really closely when he was in the shipping bag when I bought him... I freaked out because I don't want him infecting all my other fish... right now he is in my 10g quarantine/hospital tank (where he should have started), with a sponge filter, a few lbs of live rock, and some charcoal.  All the other fish are chugging away like normal in my main tank. I emailed my question in last night, but have since studied your Tuskfish section and am a bit more confused... My questions are: - Should I treat the Tuskfish in the hospital tank with Copper, give him a FW dip, or what? <I'd start with the dip - if you do get to the point where copper is necessary, you'll need to remove that live rock.> Should I let him just chill and relax for a few weeks to see if he kicks it on his own? <Well... a few spots on a fin are really nothing to be super concerned about. I'd leave the fish in quarantine for now - as you observed, this is where you should have started - and keep the fish under observation. My prediction is that this won't get any worse.> - Is it OK to leave the liverock in the hospital tank during copper? <No. Will absorb copper and hamper your ability to get a proper therapeutic dose. Do use caution when using copper around Tuskfish - they are known to develop blindness from copper overdoses.> Thought it might help with ammonia... <Address the ammonia with daily large water changes with new water.> - After the hospital, does that liverock get tossed, or is it safe to reintroduce to the main tank? <As long as you don't dose it with copper.> - Does the copper get removed by the charcoal, and therefore should I remove the charcoal? <Yes and yes.> - Are Tuskfish hypersensitive to copper if dosed and tested for properly (saw some mentions of that in your site)? <I wouldn't say 'hyper'-sensitive, but will go blind if exposed to too much copper or for too long.> What are my non-copper ick treatment on Tuskfish options? <Formalin and malachite green mix.> - If I don't treat him at all, just let him wait, when do I know he is safe to reintroduce? <A couple of weeks to a month.> Thanks so much!  You guys are my saviors... Noah <Cheers, J -- >

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

Eliminating Marine Ich Hi Bob. Just found your website and read with great interest many of the Q&A regarding Marine ich. <Yes, a great deal of trouble and source of lost livestock (and hobbyists!) that could be easily avoided by simple dips/quarantine... by the dealers side or hobbyists...> I have had an ongoing presence of ich since I set up my 125 gal. Marine aquarium and transferred the livestock from my old 55. I have read your book and tried most of the methods mentioned to control or stop the ich. I used to treat my fish with copper (Cupramine) with mixed results when my tank was fish only. But on setting up the 125, I decided to go the middle route: fish, liverock, and the usual tougher inverts. Plus the ich. <Good attitude> Only now with the inverts I need to either catch the fish and treat with copper in a separate tank, or use a non-chemical approach. I tried cleaner gobies, cleaner shrimp, even a cleaner wrasse. Hyposalinity, UV sterilizer on 24/7 (useless) "reef-safe" snake-oils, even garlic in the food. <Well-stated... "the gamut"> Finally in desperation, I broke the tank down, put my surviving fish in my old 55, sterilized everything, soaked my substrate in hot tap water, then sun- dried it for 2 weeks, and kept the reset-up tank fallow for six endless weeks. I put the fish back in 1 at a time over 2 weeks ( about 8 survivors). No ich. Three weeks into the new "clean" tank, I started to see ich dots. <Arggghhhh> I've never really gotten rid of it since then. It is definitely entrenched in the system, but until recently, only a dot or 3 daily on a couple of fish. <I would do my best to "keep balance"...> I recently bought a Hippo Tang, gave him a good look over and a quick FW bath. He seemed fine. Now I know why they're called ich magnets. My fish are covered. I've pulled all my inverts but the live rock (separate tank now) and have dropped my salinity to 0.017, temp is at 84. 24 hours has passed and fish still show ich. No one has died. No change in activity, eating; except for flashing. I figure to give this a week. If I see significant change, I'll continue for 4-5 more weeks. If not, I'm prepared to pay the price of Q tank laziness and break down my tank, separating fish from ich for up to 2 months. Sorry to be so long winded. <No worries. Necessary... very hopeful your hard-won/earned experience/learning/reflections will aid others> Questions. If free swimming ich dies without a host in 24 hours, how long can the cyst stage remain alive and waiting? <You're not likely going to like this... weeks to months> Is having a completely ich-free aquarium impossible, assuming I do root it out, AND quarantine everything from now on? <Yes... there are specific pathogen free facilities (for instance, TMC's culture plant in England. I am of the opinion that there are such things as hosts without parasites...> Can ich "infest" live rock even if that live rock is sold from a fish-less tank?  <Not as far as I know> Hoping to hear from you. Thanks. Wayne Tripp <Good luck, life my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Eliminating Marine Ich
Hi Bob. Thanks for your really fast reply. Since I've got my home computer and found your website, I find myself checking it daily. Today when I got home I noticed most of my ich loaded fish weren't. They still have ich, but there seems less of it. <Might just be "cycling out" generation wise...> I've removed all my pricey treasured inverts to a separate tank. I was prepared to devoting a good part of my week-end breaking down my tank, housing all my fish in the old 55 gal. tank, and following your directions of filling the 125 with fresh water, waiting, refilling with weak salt-you know the scenario. It's yours. BUT, now that my fish have less spots, I'm really torn as what to do. All fish are eating, colorful and swimming everywhere like normal. <You could just wait> I know I'll never get rid of the ich completely without a 2 month fallow period, but I'm just a little reluctant to stress my fish with a newer smaller tank that'll be overcrowded, and 2 weeks of copper treatment. I've built up a small collection of fairy wrasses (Carpenter, Melanurus, Solar/Tricolor) that I really don't want to lose. I'd value your opinion. <Yikes... these are/can be touchy fishes> Also, you mentioned you're a diver and that you'd been in Hawaii. Molokini, Maui?  <Yes> I'm a diver also (so many fish-keepers seem to be) and have dived in the Caribbean, Cozumel, Oahu, and Maui. I'm curious: got a favorite fish watching \ collecting island?  <Gosh. Many. Molokini is fun on the inside and out (when it's calm), Cozumel is very hard to beat for ease of entry, drifting, beauty and intactness... the Red Sea is spectacular almost along its entire length... Sipadan and other Malaysian spots are incredible for large, numerous animals... the Lembah Strait in the Northeast end of Sulawesi is phenomenal... Many, many other places... several life time's worth> Taken enough of your time Bob. I really would like your opinion on living with the ich vs. Wiping it out. Thanks. W. Tripp <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm, wait till tomorrow to "make up your mind". Bob Fenner>
Re: Eliminating Marine Ich
Hello again Bob. <Steven Pro here this morning.> I waiting overnight and sure enough, my Flame Angel and the fairy wrasses still had visible signs of ich. <Yes, a common misconception due to the short life cycle of Cryptocaryon.> So I'm biting the bullet and separating fish for copper treatment, and breaking down the tank. I'm using the procedure of dumping all the water, running tap water in for the overnight at least, and then draining and refilling with a weak salt mix. <Seems awfully extreme. Much easier if you are already removing the fish to a quarantine tank to merely allow the tank to go fallow.> Question. Since I've removed my inverts and live rock and am housing in other tank and Rubbermaid tubes, BUT intend to reintroduce it to the tank, what do I do about the substrate. In a fully set up 125 that's a lot of aragonite/coral sand. Won't the live rock etc. still have ich cysts clinging to it waiting to be reintroduced. <For a while they will be lying in wait, but a one month fallow period will take care of all.> I AM going to go fishless for 2 months in the display tank. <Even better. Save your back and leave all the rock and sand in the display. The cysts will hatch in 3-28 days depending on temperature and die within 24 hours without a host (fish). I would remove the fish to quarantine and treat there, while increasing the temperature in the display to 80*F.> Should I leave it in the 125 when I run the load of pure tap water? <Only if you wish to kill all life on your liverock. Not a good idea, especially when there are far better alternatives.> Would it help if I pulled as much as I could out and rinsed it outside in tap water, then sun-dried it? <See above notes.> Eagerly awaiting your reply. Thanks, W. Tripp <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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

Treating Ick Hi Bob, thanks for the excellent site, I've been reading as much as I can for days! I will be visiting often as I just started a 30G tank. <Ah, good to have the company> I just introduced a six-line wrasse a few days ago to my previous occupants a 3/4" yellow tailed damsel, 1 1/2" clarkii, and a 1" pygmy angel. All are eating and looking lively and healthy. Except for the six-line which I can barely see tiny white spots, about 5 of them, and who also scratches the coral a lot. I can't catch the fella without taking my coral out <For five spots... I'd try treating this specimen in place>  since there are tons of small crevices he can hide in, but I'm worried that he'll infest my other occupants <This has already "happened"... Now, more a matter of balance then a "yes/no" question of whether the infestation will ever turn hyperinfective> quickly. I've lowered the salinity to 1.020 and raised the temp to 82. Is it too late to do anything?  <No... you're already doing something. I would also go the vitamin/food soaking route, perhaps even augment with garlic, and add a purposeful cleaner organism.> Should I take the wrasse out (causing stress to the others as I chase him) or put copper in the entire tank as a precaution?  <I would do neither... Treat the whole system as above> On a side note, I wish he could help himself, he's been acting as a cleaner wrasse since I put him in, the clarkii and angel regularly try to get him to clean them. <This happens> Thanks for any advice, I'll keep checking the site to see how others deal with ich. <Do so my friend, and do write back if this is unclear, incomplete. Bob Fenner> -Jack
More on Treating Ick
Hi Bob, thanks for the quick reply and the advice! I'll continue with the lowered salinity treatment and try the vitamins and garlic. Just a few more questions (sorry), I would like to get a cleaner shrimp to help out and possible a neon goby (would the goby clean a wrasse?) <Definitely the Gobiosoma... Read about them, Labroides wrasses, and cleaner shrimps on WetWebMedia.com> if I can find one. Would the wrasse or pygmy angel do anything to or eat a cleaner shrimp?  <Should get along fine> I used to have a coral banded shrimp that would chase the small fish around and sometimes eat them, so I think I'll avoid that one!  <Yes, look into the genus Lysmata>  I guess outside of emptying the tank for a long period, I have to accept that it has ich and I have to control it. <Yes, this is so> I've had a couple of other tanks before and they've done well, just was so happy that this new one had zero problems until now! Live and learn I guess!  <Yes... perhaps quarantine in the future. Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob! -Jack

Treat vs. Self healing Mr. Fenner, I have read through a good deal of your FAQ's on the subject of treating fish for Marine Ich, but I have a few questions that I could not find a fitting answer for. I would be very appreciative if you could offer some advice. <Okay> First, some background (sorry this is bound to be so long!). My wife and I currently have a 175 gal reef tank w/ about 120 lbs of live rock (about two months in the tank), 100 lbs of crushed coral, 30 turbo snails, 30 hermit crabs, two cleaner shrimp, one carpenter wrasse, two royal grammas, and a branching frogspawn coral. We have a protein skimmer running in the sump and some basic filtration media in the water's drain path. We are relatively new to saltwater, but experienced in freshwater tanks. <I get the picture> Two of our first three fish added to the reef tank were a yellow tang and a regal tang, both of which died of ich within three days of their introduction into the tank. VERY quick progression from visible symptoms to death. <Yikes... a very hyperinfective infestation> The carpenter's wrasse was added at the same time, but he seemed to be ok for the first week. However, we added five royal grammas to the tank about a week after the tangs died, three of which have since died, also apparently of ich. Again, I barely noticed they were showing symptoms before they died. The remaining two grammas showed signs of ich also, and went into hiding for a few days. At this point, our carpenter wrasse also developed a very bad case of ich, and looked like he would die as well. We felt like terrible parents to these lovely creatures! We have constantly checked our levels throughout this experience, and they have always remained excellent. <Yowzah...> It was at this point that I started combing the net for information and found the WetWebMedia FAQ's. I then realized that we should have quarantined ALL these fish before placing them in the display tank. We will from now on religiously adhere to this practice. We have since set up a 10 gal quarantine tank and got the levels where they should be. In the meantime, we started dropping the specific gravity and raising the temperature in the main tank, both gradually over about 4 days. <Ahh, good> The wrasse bounced back from his deathbed and has improved greatly. He still has a few white spots, but his breathing seems to be more regular, and his behavior is almost normal again. The two remaining grammas reappeared again, and are looking slightly better, but are still showing spots (more like a "dusting" of white flecks), and doing a lot of rubbing as well. Their breathing seems to be a bit rapid still, but perhaps improving. They are all eating well. The specific gravity has been at 1.017 and the temperature about 81 for about three days now. <Okay> My main question is, should we, at this point, remove these fish to the quarantine tank and treat them with copper, or should we let them continue to try to recover on their own in the main tank? Which would be more beneficial/less traumatic for them? <Good questions... if it were me/mine, I would leave them all where they are... trying to catch them would be a real chore... and add a couple of Gobiosoma gobies to your system for added cleaning activity, as well as to make the infested fishes feel better> Also, if we did remove them from the main tank, how long should we leave the main tank at 1.017 and 81 degrees to kill the remaining ich? Would your answer be different if we left the fish in the main tank during this period? <Not much... but I would continue to raise the temperature to about 84 F. in addition to adding the Gobiosoma> Will our coral suffer as a result of the prolonged reduced sg? <Yes, they would> I have read that you suggest leaving a reef tank without fish for about a month after a major breakout of ich. However, if we remove the fish from the main tank, and purchase and implement an appropriately sized UV sterilizer, could we return the fish to the tank quicker?  <Hmm, yes, to some degree there would be an incremental greater likelihood of all getting or staying "better"...> We're in this for the long haul, so the investment would be worth it to us if it offered long term significant benefits. <I agree with your stated philosophy> We anxiously await your response! You're a great guy for offering help to folks like us...Andy and Christine <Glad to be of help. Bob Fenner, up visiting in Monterey, giving pitches at the Western Marine Conference.>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: