Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Marine Ich, White Spot, Cryptocaryoniasis & Hyposalinity Trials as Cures

Related Articles: Hyposalinity or Osmotic Shock Therapy (OST) by Pete Giwojna, Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts by Scott Fellman, Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic DiseaseQuarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes

Related FAQs: Using Hyposalinity to Treat Marine Parasitic Disease FAQs, Hyposalinity Treatments 2, Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5, Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  &  Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease,

About Hyposalinity: Often kills fishes outright... Rarely effects a real/lasting cure... Too often death occurs due to cessation of biological filtration... osmotic shock, general stress

Not useful in systems with macro-algae, invertebrates... May forestall nitrification

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/hyposalinity.html http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm  

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

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

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

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

Overwhelmed by Ich        10/6/15
Dear Crew,
After 7 years since my last dealings with ich, my complacency has come to bite me in the butt. I just ordered a bunch of fish(Flame Angel, Regal Tang, Sailfin Tang, Starry Blenny, two Banggai Cardinals, and a McCosker's Flasher Wrasse) to add to my current 265 gallon residents (pair of Ocellaris, Royal Gramma, Pygmy Angelfish, three Pajama Cardinals, four Green
Chromis, and a female Pink Square Anthias (her fellow friends didn't make the shipment)). It appears the Regal Tang is affected the most, but the Sailfin and Flame Angel also have spots.
I have spent the last 10 hours reading about options, outcomes , and I really want to crawl in a corner. On the bright side, the idea of a quarantine tank seemed like a huge undergoing, but I know now how simple it can be! I have read much about hyposalinity on your site, and it seems to have merit by some, but the majority of you don't trust it. I removed most
of my inverts to my fallow tank. I was planning on dropping my display tank salinity down to 1.012 at least until I came up with another plan.
<Good idea>

Maybe I have this wrong, but my interpretation from all of my reading is that hyposalinity is a good way of controlling ich but not eradicating it. My plan was to then set up a quarantine system on my lanai (hoping that October in Tampa Bay Florida will sustain an adequate temperature) in which I could treat them with copper, if that is what you would suggest. Perhaps a
quarantine for two months of a salinity of 1.009 could rid the parasites without copper?
<Doubtful; but possibly your fishes might develop sufficient resistance...>

After two months I could then drip acclimate my fish from their 1.009 to the display of 1.012, and then everyone up to 1.025 over the course of a few days. My concern with copper is the lack of biological filtration and all the problems that would create. I read to help maintain proper ph during this time that baking soda is the better way to buffer rather than the two
part system I currently use, correct?
<... not necessarily; no>
Would UV help or merely add to my dwindling funds with little return of results?
<Would help.... Do read re the use of Quinines>
Please forgive my rambling. I am horribly unfamiliar with this and would hate to make a really bad scenario WORSE because I misinterpreted research. Please help!
Always grateful, Alyssa
<The hypo for now; and more reading.... and use of your spelling/grammar checker going forward. Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity Question     11/26/14
Hello, Crew!
Can a 50 gallon FOWLR survive hyposalinity to ensure a complete eradication of Cryptocaryon when the tank is already lacking a host fish?

<Yes... but not most invertebrates>
Or is it better to (a) remove the rock along with snails and crabs into a separate container while the main tank is in Hyposalinity
or (b) just leave live rock in the tank with normal salinity during a fallow period? I am just theorizing that lack of host fish and low salinity will ensure complete eradication. Thanks in advance!
<All this and much more is gone over and over, archived on WWM. Use the indices, search tool to look up re Crypt.
Bob Fenner>

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

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

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

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

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

Ich prevention - hyposalinity for TR Maroon Clowns - too drastic? 6/18/12
Hello Crew,
Having lost a PYTB tang and Lionfish to Ich during prevention quarantine, I don't want to leave any chance of a repeat with my new specimens. Currently I have in 30G QT (bare-bottom) juvenile Maroon Clowns (2), Engineer Gobies (3), and several peppermint shrimp and hermit crabs.
10 days ago, I noticed an Ich spot on one Maroon clown. I promptly did a Temp/PH-matched 33% water change with salinity reduction (IE, net SG drop from 1.021 to 1.017). The Maroon Clowns seemed to be hanging on by a thread from the salinity drop. I cautiously but quickly raised the Salinity back 1.1.019, and they came through. Yesterday I removed the inverts and tried again to drop to 1.017 via a 15% water change.
Again, they seemed very distressed, so I again restored it to 1.019.
Also to note, I have seen no Ich evidence since the first water change.
<Too fast for the fish and not low enough to effect the Ich parasite.>
I wanted to try a 30 day 1.009 hyposalinity treatment, but am now afraid to try this with the Maroon Clowns. WWM (Pete Giwojna article) advises that clowns are sensitive, but I wonder if my specimens come from a more sensitive source (they are both tank-raised, from ThatFishPlace, so I assume they are reared from common lineage).
<Probably not any more sensitive than any other clown if healthy.>
Is it possible I'm moving too fast with salinity reduction?
Or perhaps I'm overly anxious when they respond with distress, and that I should allow more observation time? They swim near the surface or back corner of the tank (facing down), wobble and start/stop swimming against the current, bang themselves against the floor/tank, etc. Water Parms 75F temp, 8.2PH, 0Amm/Nitrite, <5ppmNitrate.
Otherwise, I know Pete's WWM article advises benefit of prolonged hyposalinity at/near 1.017, although there is heated debate on the 'net regarding whether there is any benefit if treatment is not at 1.009SG (i.e., ranging from absolutely none to yes at any reduced level in that the parasite is weakened). I'm curious as to what the WWM Crew's recent opinion on this may be.
Thanks as always...Dave
<I have to disagree with Pete here, and am not a fan of hyposalinity.  It's too difficult in most case to maintain a therapeutic level while not going to low for the fish or high enough to allow the Ich to survive.  If you are determined to treat I would go with one of the quinine medications.>
Re: :Ich prevention - hyposalinity for TR Maroon Clowns - too drastic?  6/19/12

Chris, excellent, thank you for this counter opinion. I will immediately begin a return to normal salinity. Over time, I think it is eroding their general well being.
<My opinion is these animals evolved to live in natural sea water, giving them a different environment is rarely helpful.>
 How quickly can I plan a return
/increase to normal SG range?
<Slowly, a few 10th specific gravity a day, up is generally harder on the animals than down.>
 I don't have capacity to drip raise it, but will do it as gradual as you recommend?
<As slow as possible.>
Also, do you think a Quinine preventive measure is too extreme? If not, any specific regimen you suggest (i.e. dips or periodic quinine exposure). Thanks!
<Follow the directions on the medication closely, it can be overdosed.>

Something is horribly wrong! Please advise!   Crypt, hypo... trouble  11/4/11
Hello Bob and Crew at WWM,
I am sad to say that I've got Crypt...again. I believe that I introduced it by not quarantining my ROCKs long enough. I had them quarantined for 12 days during which I did three water changes. I think if I just stand out in a lightening storm, I would have the luck of being stricken and I would deserve it! Since my last bout with Crypt, I have religiously quarantined my fishes, corals, clean up crew for at least a month if not longer. I blame myself for trusting my LFS that the rocks are "clean"...
I am ten days into hyposalinity, and in my seventh day at 1.008 or 10 ppt.
My pH is stabilized with bicarbonate at 7.95 which is where it normally hangs around at without supplementation at 30 ppt... It is a 225 gallon with a 13 gallon fuge and 13 gallon sump. I've been doing at least 40 gallons of water change every other day. The Crypt went away on day two at 10 ppt, but here is the really strange thing and I cannot figure out what it is that I'm missing.
Every day, one of my fishes would die.
<Combination of the Crypt (exsanguination), debilitation and low salinity exposure>
This started three days ago. The first was my Starry Blenny. I just noticed one evening that he suddenly looked stressed, was sitting in a hole and breathing rapidly. I checked my ammonia level and it was 0.25 ppm,
<And this>
0 nitrite, 20 nitrate and noting that while in hypo, the tests are not accurate. I immediately did a 40 gallon water change leaving it at 1.008. Next day, he was very lethargic and died.
On examination of his body, he seemed perfectly fine, but his mouth was gaping open.
<The loss of RBCs, oxygen carrying capacity>
Yesterday, I found my coral beauty dead behind a rock. I thought maybe someone picked on her and in fright, she got herself stuck...on examination of her body, again looking fine, but she looked a little bloated
<The hypo, osmotic leaking>
and again mouth was gaping open. Today, my husband noticed that my Kole Tang was swimming very very quickly in circles counterclock-wise. I took her out of the tank and tried to increase the salinity a little to 1.010 thinking maybe it is a reaction of some sort,
she died within four hours of starting to swim in circles. On examination of her body, I noticed that she was not soft like normally recently deceased fishes, her fins were all stiffly held erect and again, her mouth was gaping open. I performed an 80 gallon water change this evening after noting that my Atlantic Blue Tang was not his usual self. At first I thought it was because his buddy, the Kole, died, but he started swimming around looking very vigilant, holding his dorsal and anal fins erect.
Normally at lights out, he swims near the floor of the tank going between the rocks but now he is swimming near the top in the "brightest" corner of the tank. I noticed that my emperor and powder blue tang goes and checks on him, and something is not right.
Oh no, now he is swimming couple of feet and turning around and this tank is six feet long! Okay, he is now just hanging out in a corner of the tank, which I've never seen him do...
What is going on?
<As stated above>
I've tried to look everywhere and read anything about fishes swimming like this but none with such a quick death. I don't think my Atlantic Blue will be with me for long and he will be the fourth fish who died. I want to know what this is so that I can better help them.
Please please please help!
Jamie Barclay
<Am generally not a fan of hyposalinity for the many cases/trials as yours here... but what CAN be done in the short/er term when there is evidence (not always simply visual) of hyperinfection? Answer: Some sort of bath/dip (freshwater, w/ Methylene Blue, Formalin, serious aeration, while present/observing fishes) THEN immediate move to a chemically bare TREATMENT system... WITH? Quinine of some sort best nowayears... All posted and gone over and over on WWM... including your previous brave efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Something is horribly wrong! Please advise! 11/4/11

Dearest Bob,
Thank you so much for your reply.
<Welcome Jamie>
I came home early to start doing water changes as last night as I lay there thinking and thinking, I was wondering if there was some type of toxin in the water as the fishes had no change of appetite or behavior until within 24 hours of their demise.
I would do the chemically bare TREATMENT system with Quinine as I do have that on hand, but I am leaving for Asia tomorrow morning and that my pet sitter is very limited in her ability to manage a new system as that. I'm thinking the "best" that I can do in my current situation is that I need to increase the salinity. Last night, at my hubby's encouragement, I increased salinity from 1.008 to 1.010. I was thinking of keeping it there for the next 10 days as that is how long I will be gone, but now I'm thinking maybe I should increase it to 1.012 now and 1.014 tonight roughly 12 hours later.
<Yes I would do this>
I know it is not the BEST but do you think that it is better plan than to keep it at 1.010?
The poor Atlantic Blue is still with us...sort of, laying on his side and breathing regularly but I think it's all brain stem function now. The Emperor Angel, Powder Blue Tang, Cleaner Wrasse, Flame Hawkfish, and pair of Clowns (who are caring for their batch of eggs) all appear "normal" picking at rocks, the algae sheet that I've put in there interested in their environment.
I cried and cried and cried yesterday and tried to tell myself that these are just fish which I do love to eat all the time...but they are no longer the yummy dish when you get to know each and every one of their personalities and their interactions with you.
Thank you, always, for your insight, knowledge, and support.
One of your biggest fans,
<Steady on my friend. Realize that you're doing all you can. BobF>

Re: Ich and hyposalinity question   7/1/11
Hi bob!
Just have 2 more questions!
<I have many>
1. Really? So if the quinine and hypo even combined wont do the trick what will?
<Read on!>
2. What problems would I be likely to encounter in the future?
<Keep reading! B>

QT/Marine Ich/Sanitize Questions, 5/5/11
Hello All,
First, thank you for providing this service.
<Thanks for writing in.>
I purchased a purple tang from a wholesaler in Los Angeles 5 days ago. I brought it home and acclimated it using a slow drip line in 5 gallon bucket. It is in a 40g QT tank with 2 clowns and a Banggai cardinal, also obtained from the wholesaler.
On day 2, the tang had a few white spots on it. Looking at photos on your site and others, it appears to be marine Ich (Crypto). I researched as many sites as I could, talked to 2 local fish store employees, and also talked to a few local hobbyists whom I respect. Since they were already in QT, it seemed that the two best options for treatment were copper or hyposalinity.
I picked hyposalinity because I preferred to not dose the fish with a substance like copper if I could avoid it and didn't have the copper and test kit, but did have a good RO/DI system.
<Copper and tangs generally do not mix well, but hypo has it's own issues.
I personally would have gone with one of the quinine drugs with this set of livestock, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm .>
The clowns and Banggai have not shown any signs of Ich to date, but are still in the same tank (I felt if they were exposed to the tang who has Ich, they were clearly exposed and should be treated as well).
I couldn't find anything that said how quickly I should take the fish and water down to 1.010 SG (my target). I did a 5 min FW dip, and then took 2.5 days to lower SG to 1.010, afraid to shock the fish. I figured this was the best way to proceed since I did find information that said that when going back up to 1.024-1.025 SG after treatment, I should a couple of days - so in the absence of information about how fast I should lower SG, I took this rationale and applied it in reverse. I then read (today) an article on your site that recommended prepping the water, a short FW dip, then immersion straight into hyposalinated water.
<Down is easier on the fish than up.>
So question #1 - was my mistake (slowly lowering SG) something to worry about? Am I creating some type of hypo-resistant strain of Ich? Should I keep going, or abandon, slowly raise SG, and then treat with copper?
<It should be fine.>
Question #2 - If I am to keep going with hyposalination, how long should I keep the water at 1.010 SG?
<That is the trick with hypo, it needs to be there for a minimum of 4 weeks which is generally one lifecycle of the parasite. If the SG is allowed to go up through evaporation or mistakes it is all for naught, so be vigilant.>
Question #3 - How should I sanitize nets, buckets, strainers, etc., that come into contact with tank water from the QT tank? 1:10 bleach:water solution? Soak? For how long?
<Rinse in fresh water and allow to dry completely. You could use a mild bleach solution if it makes you feel better but the parasite cannot survive in a dry environment so that should be enough.>
As always, thank you for your help.

Hyposalinity/Disease Treatment 8/31/10
<Hello Robert>
I performed hyposalinity for 6 weeks in my 300 gallon FOWLR to fix an small Ich outbreak after introducing a Naso without quarantining him. (This will not happen again as I have already set up a quarantine tank). I using a refractometer to measure the salinity. After 6 weeks I began to raise the salinity. Well after the first day of raising it I noticed the small white
specks of Ich on the fins of my puffer and on the body of my hippo tang.
None of the fish seem to really be bothered but once in a while I'll see my small clown tank occasionally scratch against the rocks. My question is how long can I safely keep the salinity at 1.009 to once and for all eradicate the crypt?
Can I lower it to 1.008 or 1.007?
<Best to read here, Robert. Is more than I have the time to say.
<Cheers. James (Salty Dog)>

Hyposalinity -- 01/17/10
Hello crew and Happy New Year to all you wonderful people!!
I've got a question regarding hyposalinity treatment which I want to use in my main tank (fish and liverock only). The plan is to drop the salinity to 1.010 - 1.008 SG to rid the tank (430 litres) of Cryptocaryon. I read your article by Pete Giwojna.
Inhabitants at the moment are
1 Amphiprion ocellaris
1 pair of Amphiprion melanopus
1 Zebrasoma Veliferum
1 Parachaetodon Ocellatus
1 Coris Gaimard
1 Labroides Dimidiatus
1 Chaetodon Lunula
I read that certain clownfish are sensitive to hyposalinity treatment, but cannot find which ones they are.
<...? In your system, the Ocellaris... is a Clown/Amphiprionine>
I am also not sure if the wrasse can handle this treatment? Could you please advise?
<To not use hyposalinity. To use a quinine compound. Read here:
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm
and where you lead yourself by perusing these files>
Also if there are any other fish on my list that you think will be too sensitive.
Many thanks, regards, Jana
<Read, soon, understand and act. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Setting up and cycling a proper QT, 12/12/09
Hey again,
Just as a follow-up, now it appears that the fish have ich. I think I'm going to try to do hyposalinity, but I'm worried about doing this while I'm still making MASSIVE water changes. I suppose that would help to reduce the numbers of any free-swimming parasites, but I guess it also means I have to stop using the display tank water, since I'd probably use my Brute container and put the salinity down to 15ppt so I can make any emergency water changes immediately, if I must.
Is hypo the best method here, and what would you do regarding the water changes if you were in my situation?
<Hypo is not one of my favorite methods, too easy to let the salinity get too high or to low and it becomes ineffective. All of your fish here would handle copper pretty well, this is probably the way I would go.>
PS: I've attached a (would-be-rather-lovely) picture of my Gramma, just to confirm that it is indeed ich. I've never dealt with it before, and I'd just like a confirmation. There's just a few spots at the moment (three, on his body and fin) and one on the Damsel.
<Nice picture, wish my Gramma would let me get that close to it with the camera. Looks like Ich to me.>

Tales of the Crypt
Re: Setting up and cycling a proper QT 12/12/09
*16 ppt, sorry. :)
<Actually 15 ppt (1.011 SG) would be better.>

Can I have come across a 'special' strain of Cryptocaryon? SW Crypt not responding to hyposalinity. 8/6/2009
Can I have come across a 'special' strain of Cryptocaryon?
<It is possible, there are some copper resistant strains out there.>
First of all, congratulations for this awesome site.
<Thank you for the kind words.>
This is the third time in 3 years I treat my FOWLR and try to get rid of this nuisance...
After introducing a C. collare and Naso lituratus (that were quarantined in hyposalinity for 9 weeks at 1.009), I had a ich outbreak in my DT that I assumed to be 'ich free'.
<Ahh. No tank is completely ich free unfortunately.>
I painfully repeated the process of treating the DT with hyposalinity, by removing live rock
and using a fluidized sand filter for biological filtration.
<Very good, but do realize that hyposalinity is a not a permanent cure. It can certainly help with treatment, but it will not eliminate ich.>
The problem is that 9 days after lowering salinity to 1.010, I still noticed ich on my collare, so I lowered salinity to 1.008 and 7 days after that, the dreaded white spots are still there!
<This does seem to be a tougher strain.>
My older fishes have no signs of infection, maybe do to gained immunity, but I can tell some faint trophonts on my new Naso.
Could this be a special strain, resistant to hyposalinity?
<Possibly. I would follow a normal course of treatment for these fish. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm >

Hyposalinity  7/27/09
I'm dealing with ich.
My setup is as follows: 220g FOWLR, island display, with T5 lighting, 35g refugium (reverse light cycle, growing Chaeto), 40g sump, 64g Rubbermaid overflow sump, Aqua-C EV240 skimmer, 300lbs LR, poly filter, carbon, RO/DI, auto-water top-off. The refugium, sumps, skimmer, etc. are in the basement under the display tank. Circulation in the display is about 6000gph, including the overflow returns and four Koralia 4's. My fish list follows:
-- 1 Dwarf Zebra Lion
-- 1 Kole Tang
-- 1 Latticed B/F
-- 3 Dwarf Angels: Flame, Bicolor, Coral Beauty
-- 1 Comet
-- 1 Longnose Hawk
-- 1 Blue Spot Puffer
-- 2 False Percula Clowns
-- 2 Wrasses: Mystery and Sixline
Along the way, I've quarantined all my fish except one, a Spotband B/F that had been at the dealer for a few weeks. I haven't had the best luck with QT for B/Fs,
<Chaetodonts "score" lower on tolerance for such... better to utilize dips/baths with this family's members>
so I took the gamble (and lost). The Spotband spread ich to my White-Faced Tang and I removed both
<... too late... the system "has it">
to QT for copper treatment. Lost both. I read through the Giwojna article on hyposalinity, your articles on ich and all the FAQs on hyposalinity.
Despite your preference for letting the main tank run fallow, I decided to give hyposalinity a try for several reasons: I don't have enough QT capacity for all my fish, I really didn't want to subject them to the stress of catching them and I figured that I could always fall back on the fallow approach if hyposalinity didn't work.
<Is one (viable) approach>
So, I moved all my serpent stars and snails to my other QT tank. Although the article suggested lowering salinity over several hours, I didn't have enough water holding facilities to make that happen with my size tank, so I lowered it gradually over a few days to 1.012 (using refractometer) as suggested in your FAQs. I also gradually raised the temp to 82. I am happy to say that after a week of hyposalinity, none of my fish show any signs of ich, even though 3 were starting to show signs when I started.
Based on the Giwojna article, my plan is to continue the treatment for a total of 6 weeks, vacuuming the sand bed and doing water changes twice per week. Current parameters: ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5.0, pH 8.4, dKH 7.4, temp 82, SG 1.012.
All of the fish in my tank are as bright, energetic and hungry as ever, except one of my clowns.
<Amphiprionines score even lower on tolerance of low salt density>
She (the slightly larger one) appears listless, swimming very slowly in the little spot that the pair has chosen for their love nest. She doesn't appear to want to eat, though she doesn't yet appear to be getting thin -- in fact, she looks bright and healthy except for the listlessness. She's never shown signs of ich, so I don't think that's the problem... Could her listlessness be directly related to the hyposalinity or the high temp?
<Yes... mostly the former>
Would gradually lowering the temp back to 78 help?
<Not likely, no>
If not, should I remove her to QT?
<If the fish appears to be "on its last fin" perhaps... I would leave in myself>
If I do, should I acclimate her to a QT with SG something like 1.021 or one with 1.012 and gradually raise her back to higher SG over several days?
<Most SOProtocols list something like a change of 0.001 (a thousandth) of density per day... but with this subfamily of damsels, under these sorts of circumstances, spg can be rapidly elevated... a day or so>
Also, given that she's never shown signs of ich, should I not treat her with copper in QT
<I would NOT treat invertebrate commensals with copper compounds>
and just watch to see if she shows signs.
If I move her to QT, should I move her mate too so that they can stay together?
<You can>
Or should I not move her to QT and see if she improves in the main tank? It's already been a few days that she's been listless.
Aside from the issue with the clown, I had wanted to follow the advice in the article and drop the salinity all the way to 1.008 or at least 1.010 to have the greatest possible impact on the ich.
If I leave the clown in the tank, would you suggest further lowering the salinity?
<Worth a try>
Also, the Giwojna article didn't mention the higher temp. The article actually referred to a study where the temp with hyposalinity was 79-80.
I got the higher temp idea from your FAQs, but I couldn't tell whether that was necessary or even advisable for the full hyposalinity period?
<Is valuable for "speeding up" the life cycle of susceptible parasites...  Efforts in eliminating them.>
Also, what about trace elements?
If the salinity is lower, so are the trace elements. Should I be testing and/or dosing for something during the hyposalinity period. (I don't currently dose with anything, and never have found the need, given that I don't have corals or shrimp.)
<I would not>
Based on your FAQs, it sounds like the best I can hope for is to mostly reduce the ich levels such that they shouldn't be a problem in the future as long as high water quality is maintained,
<This is so>
but that I shouldn't expect for this treatment to fully eliminate it from the tank. I've already got an Ozotech 300mg ozonizer and an ORP controller on order.
Is there anything else that you would recommend to help reduce the risk of future outbreaks? UV sterilizer?
<The ozonizer will "do" the vast majority of what a UV might... Adherence to finding/selecting the better species, best specimens, careful separation/quarantine (mainly "hardening", resting) of new specimens... their chemical introduction to the main/display (mixing water back/forth)... is about "it">
As always, thanks for your help.
<Welcome Sean. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hyposalinity
<Sean... of the living>
As always, thanks for your help. Excellent guidance that I don't know what I'd do without. One follow-up question... I've had some B/Fs on order at the LFS. As luck would have it, two just came in. Haven't
seen them yet, but I'm told that they're in great shape. So, I have three options... (1) put them in QT for the next 5 weeks while I'm treating the main tank with hyposalinity, (2) let them go and hope someone gets them before they die at the LFS or (3) give them a freshwater dip in temp and pH adjusted water with Methylene blue and then add them to the display now, given that the main tank is already undergoing hyposalinity. All three look like gambles to me. What would you recommend?
Thanks again.
<A toss up... on the far conservative end, leave them there for others to try... Are you feeling lucky? BobF>

Re: Hyposalinity -- 07/28/09
I hope I'm not using up my question quota here. There are a few other things I've now noticed (since starting hyposalinity treatment) that have led to further questions...
<Let's see>
My rocks are getting some white patches. I assume that's coralline algae dying.
<Likely dying>
Would hyposalinity contribute to that and is there anything that I can do to save it during the treatment period?
<Mmm, move it to water of similar prior conditions, lighting...>
My mystery wrasse has developed some pink patches that he didn't have before. One patch looks a bit more reddish. Otherwise, he appears fine so far. Should I be concerned?
<You are... and this is probably a good thing... the symptoms/cause is likely the ongoing treatment>
My sand is much cleaner! I moved the serpent stars to QT in order to treat the main tank with hyposalinity. The QT is a bare bottom, and I've noticed that it gets an enormous amount of waste on the bottom. My thinking is that the serpent stars leave heavy waste right on the bottom that never gets picked up in the circulation for filtration. If that's the case, then the serpent stars are actually more harm than good, and I may not return them to the main tank. Since my puffer has been taking out the snails, and since I want to leave algae for the fish, I'm thinking about not returning the snails to the main tank either.
Without anything for hermits to bother, I'm thinking about using hermits going forward as my first-line clean-up crew (in addition to whatever critters are living in my sand and rock).
<... high probability of being consumed by the Puffer>
While I know you normally don't like them, it doesn't appear that there's much for them to bother (no other inverts, and the fish are big enough) -- assuming I don't stock them so heavily that they have to kill too many of each other in competition for food. The only thing they might bother is pods and other rock/sand critters, but I'm thinking that this shouldn't be too much of an issue with my refugium. Since they are safe in hyposalinity, using hermits would allow me to treat the tank with hyposalinity if I get another outbreak sometime in the future. So, I'm thinking about a light stocking of blue-leg, scarlet and red-leg/burgundy hermits. Does this seem like a reasonable plan, or would you still not use hermits even in this case?
<I'm still not a fan of these Anomurans in most all settings... I would count on good arrangement, circulation, maintenance... you, to keep the system "clean">
Thanks again for all the guidance.
<Mmm, errr, not guidance, but more of just what I'd do given the circumstances. BobF>

Re: Hyposalinity -- 07/28/09
Thanks much. I'll keep a watch on the wrasse and clown. I've got a QT at the ready in case I need to move them, though the wrasse may be difficult to catch. Someone suggested using a #3 fly fishing hook baited with mysis. May try that if I can't get him with the net.
<Is a worthwhile method. B>

Please list this as at least a supplemental treatment with medications, it has value! <hyposalinity>
"Re: A failed crypt battle 6/18/09

Sorry for your troubles Mike. I completely agree with Neale. Marine won't survive this in the long run (if you keep the hospital tank completely barren of anything but fish). The UV sterilizer, even if it kills the ick in
the water column, won't kill the other life stages of the invert. Super hyposalinity in an isolated hospital tank is the only "sure-fire" way I know of to really kill this parasite for good...
Good luck,

Re: A failed crypt battle <hyposalinity> 6/18/09
My interpretation of prolonged hyposalinity isn't the same as dips, which work in a totally different way. Freshwater and saltwater dips work by killing exposed cells (such as external parasites) to below- normal salinities. In other words, they either burst or dehydrate, depending on whether you're exposing them to lower or higher salinities.
Maintaining marine fish at reduced salinities (or freshwater fish at elevated salinities) has no impact on parasites embedded in the fish, as in the case of Ick, Crypt or Velvet, since the cysts will be protected from salinity variation by the fish's epidermis and osmoregulatory system. But the "wrong" salinity will kill the infective, free-living stage of the parasite once the cyst or internal parasite converts into the reproductive stage.
Hence, dipping a freshwater fish in brackish water has no impact on Ick, but maintaining freshwater fish in brackish water for a couple of weeks will completely stop the parasite life cycle, ending the problem. Conversely, I'd be very surprised if Crypt would be able to complete its life cycle in brackish water, so if your have brackish- tolerant marine fish, then that should be just as effective.
As Bob commented, reduced salinity may harm some marine fish, so as I said before, you need to review the species being kept beforehand. But a sizeable number of marine fish *are* tolerant of reduce salinity, at
least for a few weeks, so it's certainly a "nuclear option" worth considering.
Cheers, Neale

Re: A failed crypt battle <MikeM> 6/18/09
Thanks for the kind words, guys.
Neale, I started hypo about a week before the last fish died, and continued until then. No luck...not even the freshwater dips seemed to have any appreciable effect - I swear this strain defied the laws of physics with its osmotic tolerance!
Christine, I didn't start the antibiotics until the fish began to get secondary infections, mostly in the eyes. I wanted to keep the biofilter intact as long as possible.
Valerian root is something that I started trying after realizing that the active "herbal" ingredient in AquaPlus was Valerian root (aqua plus seems to work remarkably well at stress reduction). I've found that dosing about 10mg/gallon of powdered valerian root (available in clear capsules from Wal-mart or Walgreens) showed a marked calming/stress reducing effect after 30 or so minutes. 20mg/gallon would put the fish in a very relaxed "sleepy" state. This is purely anecdotal, but did seem to help a lot.
Hydrogen peroxide was dosed at 1ml/5 gallons every 4-6 hours as the fish struggled to get enough oxygen.

Fighting Ich.  06/03/09
Hi guys,
I have decided to fight Ich using hyposalinity and have taken my tank down to 1.010 (15ppt) and was wondering what level the nitrifying bacteria in my sand will be killed as I imagine I must be close to that level.
<Their metabolism is impugned at any/all change... more rapid drops, much worse>
I started at 1.012 and the fish improved for 12 hours but then a new attack occurred during the night.
<See WWM re our range of opinions re hyposalinity treatments... they are rarely real cures IME>
As I write this is the second day and I hope the additional drop will be effective. I would also like to let your readers know that I experienced a pH drop so when using hyposalinity monitor pH carefully.
<A good point... dilution of salt content entails consequent reduction in alkaline materials>
My API ammonia test kit shows a strange colour so I am not sure if there has been an ammonia spike,
<Try a "freshwater" assay kit>
I do not think so (but will ask them directly) as my nitrites and nitrates are both zero (maybe the lower salinity has effected the test kits) so I think the bacteria are still ok. I have never had zero nitrates apart from when using API test kits. As an added precaution I have decided not to feed my fish for a few days,
one as I think the fish will not eat and then I have decaying food in the tank which the Ich can feed on, plus the additional negative effect on my water quality.
<Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich: Hyposalinity/Ich Attack 4/14/2009
<Hi Wes>
I have a 55 gallon with an ich outbreak.
1 clown, striped damsel, blenny and a couple of crabs and snails left.
I've been dosing it with Kordon's Ich Attack.
<While I like most of Kordon's products, Ich Attack is pretty much useless.
Any medication that tells you to use it when there are no symptoms as a disease preventative, and to double the dose if the infection is "severe", will not list the ingredients, and states that the best results are achieved when infections are "anticipated" isn't really a medicine.>
The spots on my clown keeps coming back. Its almost a week now since the treatment. I'm considering hypo on the whole tank.
<Hyposalinity is not effective by itself.>
Will hyposalinity kill the beneficial bacteria from my LR and LS? <<It might. RMF>>
<No, but it will harm any invertebrates on your LR and LS. Please read here:
The best way to treat ich is to get the infected fish into a hospital\quarantine tank and because you have clownfish, treat with quinine sulfate. You can purchase quinine sulfate at:
You can read more about treatment treating with quinine here:
As an absolute last resort, you can treat your display tank with quinine, but it will kill all snails in your tank and can be toxic to other invertebrates.>
<You're welcome>

Re: Hyposalinity 4/15/2009
Thanks Mike!
<Hi Wes, no problem!>
Well about the clownfish.. he was missing all morning and on my lunch break I tried to look for him. I moved all the rocks and no sign, I noticed that the return pipe isn't producing a lot of current.. So I
turned off the pump and sure enough, the clownish was washed down from the return pipe to the pump. it decided to do what "Nemo" did kinda,
<Sorry to hear that.>
So now I am down to 2 fish and a clean up crew, would you recommend just putting them in a qt and have the display tank go in fallow to make sure it is safe later and will not get an outbreak again?
<That would be the best, most effective treatment.>
But I'm really leaning towards just lowering the salinity for a while with the stock that I have till its safe.
<Not likely to do much good I'm afraid.>

Thomas Roach Ick Omnibus, formaldehyde, quinine f's -12/11/08 Hello Mr. Fenner and others, <Thomas> Thought I would give you an update on my situation, as I'm hoping you are still familiar with it? Mainly to serve as a warning to others and emphasize the dire need for quarantining livestock, because once you get this resistant strain of Ick in your tank it is not coming out with ease? <Ah yes> We moved a couple of weeks ago and of course the fish still had ick? I disposed of most of my sand bed to get to 1? or less for maintenance purposes, changed 100% of the water and still had the infestation. I treated it with a Formalin product similar to quick cure, which again reduced the ick while the treatment was ongoing, but with this strain WHAT FORMALIN BASED MEDS SEEM TO DO is allow the remaining ick to come back at much greater numbers and strength? why this is, I do not know but it has happened both times I have treated with the Formalin based products. <A useful observation, note> This treatment I have gone back to the Quinine Sulfate (by stock in Natl. Fish Pharm if they offer it, I'm funding the place :-) ), and I seem to be having better results completely by accident! In some foggy haze I quadrupled the original dose for this size tank somehow, and it seems as though it has proven to be more effective at a ridiculously high dose. After a 3 day period I did NOT do a partial as recommended and treated at regular dosage, and after the 2nd 3 day period I treated at 1 ½ times the recommended dosage. The fish, into day 8, show no signs of Ick, whereas they have in the past treatments. I'm not overly confident yet, but I'll post results as we go. If other hobbyists had any clue what I am dealing with, there would never be an email to you regarding skipping quarantine, and I cant stress it enough to your readers how much misery it can cause. Thomas Roach <Thank you for reports on this ongoing exercise. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ick-  12/11/08 Thanks, Bob... let me restress how TOUGH this is... to me far worse than Oodinium simply because you cannot get rid of it. I have the salinity at 1.017, <Has to be much lower... 1.012, perhaps under 1.010 to really mal-affect the Cryptocaryon... at this level... most of your fishes as well...> temp at 82, and water full of meds and it is still resistant! QT all your fish!!!!! This makes African cichlids look mighty tempting again. <Ah yes... or even Guinea Pigs!> On a side note, Quinine is quite effective at destroying Cyanobacteria... at least it had one pleasant result... gone with one dose. Thomas Roach <Silver linings... BobF>

Flame angel with ich, 8/27/08 Hi, I recently purchased a flame angel. <Hello> Within a few days of being in my quarantine tank he started developing white spots on his fins. <Glad you QTed I bet.> I read that angels are sensitive to copper so I decided to try hyposalinity. <Not as sensitive as some others, chelated copper is often tolerated and effective. otherwise I might try quinine here.> I have had the salinity at 1.012 for four days and been giving him daily freshwater dips for 5-8 minutes. <This is not low enough, 1.009 is where you need to be, and you need to be accurate, use a refractometer.> After the first dips the ich seemed to disappear only to come back with a vengeance two days later. <Typical of the Ich parasite.> He now has many white spots on his body as well as his fins. He is still eating well, doesn't scratch against anything, but he does seem irritated and a little jumpy. <Probably uncomfortable.> Should I start treating with copper and slowly raise the salinity? <I would, but make sure to use chelated copper.> I worry about waiting too long before trying something else because the last fish I had that got the ich died because I started treating him with copper a day after he stopped eating. <Quick action does help, but so does a good plan. Daily water changes and siphoning of the bottom of the tank will help reduce the number of parasites until a proper copper treatment can begin.> The ich went away but he never ate again. I also worry that if the hyposalinity starts working it won't completely kill off the ich and the angel will carry it to my main tank. Thanks, Brendon <If done correctly hypo should work, but it is more difficult than it seems due to the small window of effectiveness, too low and the fish suffers, too high and the ich keeps on going. I would use a chelated copper here.> <Chris>

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

Alternative treatment for a common marine parasite... Commercial Crypt remedies, prevention  - 07/19/08 Hello, I was wondering if anyone on the team has had any good experience with giving a marine fish with crypt a freshwater bath in place of a more 'solid' technique, such as copper treatment or hyposalinity (not that hypo is Bob's favorite)? <Some folks report success with such... perhaps their trials involve fishes with only superficial infestations... maybe these are principally only symptomatic...> I'm more of a Cupramine guy myself (in a separate treatment tank), but it seems my employer would like me to use freshwater baths exclusively in the main display / selling tanks which also house invertebrate life. <Mmm... I strongly suggest that they, you do a bit of further considering here... I would do FW baths on arrival (pH adjusted, with formalin if a commercial setting)... and even better to best, keep all incoming fish livestock quarantined for a few weeks before showing, offering it to the public... I would NOT mix fish and invertebrate livestock in a wholesale or retail setting... period> No option for separate treatment in a different tank. So while not my favorite option it will probably still give results and just wanted to fine tune it with some input. If you could tell me your frequency of the bath, duration of the bath you find effective. <Won't be... like the idea of invading countries, murdering their citizens to "make people free", this idea is contrary to reality. How to put this another way... it won't work> And if you combo it with gravel vacuuming - water change, the frequency and percentage of water changed. If you use any other methods with it such as melafix <... API should be sued back to the stone ages for this and other faux products and their promotion. Really. Have stated this often and loudly enough. This product is garbage> for bacterial infections of crypt wounds or cleaner gobies / shrimp to lending a helping hand, or anything else which might contribute to a recovery. <All this is gone over and over on WWM> I was considering fw bath repeated daily for 14 days, <... no... too much time, trouble, and stress on the fish livestock. Ridiculous> 7 min duration, gravel vacuuming bottom of tank 5 gallons out of 60 every fourth day or so, melafix dosed daily, <Please...> few cleaning shrimp there for luck. <Don't rely on luck...> Considering use of a U.V. sterilizer instead of melafix, but not likely. Trading out treatment of secondary infections for a unknown increased destruction of the parasites free swimming stage. experience and suggestions appreciated, and thank you for your time, Jonathan <Thank you for sharing Jonathan. A note to browsers through time... this is actually an indicative case, window into the thinking, operation of the trade... A reminder that many folks, though honest, of good intent, don't really know much re the science of actual husbandry of ornamental aquatics. Bob Fenner> Re: Alternative treatment for a common marine parasite, Crypt  07/20/2008 Again my hand is forced by my employer's policy, ie p*tco. <Mmm, do know that I worked at corp... as a consultant/buyer for this co. 91-94... to bring in/make sense of aquatic livestock... Quite an ordeal> I don't agree with the policy and have been close to walking out of door, and have been saddened by the loss of life that could have been prevented through dedicated quarantine / treatment systems. <I... empathize> Either you quit / walk out or try to make the broken toy work for spoiled child. Have had results on using melafix to clear up bad eyes and slight bacterial damage, not as a treatment for crypt as some people desire it to be. There was one post by someone who was using the daily freshwater bath method from your crew, the individual who received this suggestion responded by saying something to the effect of "wow, everyday? That's harsh", to which the crew replied <so is copper> <Yes> The fish has to be returned to the same tank it came from, ie the infested tank. One could give the fish a freshwater bath and put it into a different tank with healthy fish, but its likely that bath won't sterilize the animal of it and it will get the others sick. The freshwater bath / gravel vacuum technique is used by others I have read, usually as a hell-bent way of "I'm definitely not using a separate treatment tank", "I don't want to treat the main display with any medication or altering of the salinity", "I can't afford a sterilizer which may or may not anything", and agreed the cleaner shrimp are manly pretty placebos. <... I encourage you to make a presentation... ask for some time to meet with the store, then Regional (Op.s) Manager... to in turn present your input, ideas to corporate/San Diego... to change whatever policy. Particularly "On Arrival" acclimation/baths to largely prevent the introduction of these parasites, their establishment in your systems> The variables I can control are how often I give the bath and its duration. How frequent I gravel vacuum the bottom of the tank and how much water I take out. I do remember another member of WWM crew claiming to have effected a cure of a flame angel by daily vacuuming of a 10 gallon bare bottom tank 50% premade saltwater. <It/this can be done... but does take dedication, time... You seem to understand the underlying principles> I can't do that volume with a 60, but I can do its frequency if there is results. In this limited situation Would freshwater bath every 3rd or 4th or 5th day with daily vacuuming be more appropriate? <Yes> As for freshwater baths upon arrival, I have done those, <Ah, good... with formalin and aeration I hope/trust> and continue to do so for tangs and fish that frequently have this problem. But even in a tank that contains only fish delivered that week, and has had no previous problem for months, to which all were given proper freshwater baths crypt still does break out, so while doing proper fresh water baths on arrival probably reduces the frequency of its occurrence its probably not stone cold guarantee you won't get it. The last paragraph in your reply is understandable considering the items I suggested. Its not that I want to do them its that I'm handcuffed to poor equipment and policy. Have risked my job and changed things and gotten good results using a 'communal copper treatment tank' for those who developed problems (ie crypt). And even that is not an answer to all the various and different problems that can present itself. I just don't have enough dedicated treatment tanks, allowances to recovery all that can be recovered. Not that I lack the knowledge to do so. Sorry to go on, No one on the crew has any recommendations for this compromised procedure? Frequency/duration of bath, frequency, percentage of gravel vacuum water change? <Five-seven minutes... daily, all the gravel vacuumed> I think 'ridiculous' was what I first thought about doing this as an alternative to a more proven technique. <Just... not something I want to encourage carte blanche (on the Net)... as a likely procedure that will be successful for all... too much work, too stressful, too likely to not work> cheers, hand cuffed employee <Perhaps a move/stint in an independent shop... Bob Fenner>

Chain Stores 7/21/08 Bob, <Tom> Read this, wanted to give some input. ""Re: Alternative treatment for a common marine parasite, Crypt 07/20/2008 Again my hand is forced by my employer's policy, ie p*tco. <Mmm, do know that I worked at corp..... as a consultant/buyer for this co. 91-94... to bring in/make sense of aquatic livestock... Quite an ordeal> I don't agree with the policy and have been close to walking out of door, and have been saddened by the loss of life that could have been prevented through dedicated quarantine / treatment systems. <I... empathize> Either you quit / walk out or try to make the broken toy work for spoiled child. Have had results on using melafix to clear up bad eyes and slight bacterial damage, not as a treatment for crypt as some people desire it to be. There was one post by someone who was using the daily freshwater bath method from your crew, the individual who received this suggestion responded by saying something to the effect of "wow, everyday? That's harsh", to which the crew replied <so is copper> <Yes> The fish has to be returned to the same tank it came from, ie the infested tank. One could give the fish a freshwater bath and put it into a different tank with healthy fish, but its likely that bath won't sterilize the animal of it and it will get the others sick. The freshwater bath / gravel vacuum technique is used by others I have read, usually as a hell-bent way of "I'm definitely not using a separate treatment tank", "I don't want to treat the main display with any medication or altering of the salinity", "I can't afford a sterilizer which may or may not anything", and agreed the cleaner shrimp are manly pretty placebos. <... I encourage you to make a presentation... ask for some time to meet with the store, then Regional (Op.s) Manager... to in turn present your input, ideas to corporate/San Diego... to change whatever policy. Particularly "On Arrival" acclimation/baths to largely prevent the introduction of these parasites, their establishment in your systems> The variables I can control are how often I give the bath and its duration. How frequent I gravel vacuum the bottom of the tank and how much water I take out. I do remember another member of WWM crew claiming to have effected a cure of a flame angel by daily vacuuming of a 10 gallon bare bottom tank 50% premade saltwater. <It/this can be done... but does take dedication, time... You seem to understand the underlying principles> I can't do that volume with a 60, but I can do its frequency if there is results. In this limited situation Would freshwater bath every 3rd or 4th or 5th day with daily vacuuming be more appropriate? <Yes> As for freshwater baths upon arrival, I have done those, <Ah, good... with formalin and aeration I hope/trust> and continue to do so for tangs and fish that frequently have this problem. But even in a tank that contains only fish delivered that week, and has had no previous problem for months, to which all were given proper freshwater baths crypt still does break out, so while doing proper fresh water baths on arrival probably reduces the frequency of its occurrence its probably not stone cold guarantee you won't get it. The last paragraph in your reply is understandable considering the items I suggested. Its not that I want to do them its that I'm handcuffed to poor equipment and policy. Have risked my job and changed things and gotten good results using a 'communal copper treatment tank' for those who developed problems (ie crypt). And even that is not an answer to all the various and different problems that can present itself. I just don't have enough dedicated treatment tanks, allowances to recovery all that can be recovered. Not that I lack the knowledge to do so. Sorry to go on, No one on the crew has any recommendations for this compromised procedure? Frequency/duration of bath, frequency, percentage of gravel vacuum water change? <Five-seven minutes... daily, all the gravel vacuumed> I think 'ridiculous' was what I first thought about doing this as an alternative to a more proven technique. <Just... not something I want to encourage carte blanche (on the Net)... as a likely procedure that will be successful for all... too much work, too stressful, too likely to not work> cheers, hand cuffed employee <Perhaps a move/stint in an independent shop... Bob Fenner>""  We've got these stores here, in the Houston area. <Ah, yes... I know. I spent some time there, doing physical inventories... in the early nineties, for PetCo, when I worked for them as a consultant/buyer. A very nice town, folks> In fact, I bought my Passer Angel from them some time ago, in ignorant times, and as I look back I am pretty sure my crypt issues may have started with this fish. Thank goodness all is well now and the Passer thrives. This store does offer a saltwater market at locales where small private stores might not have a market to survive (small towns, etc), so I think they're a good thing to some extent. but I find their methods and livestock care techniques quite lacking. <Too often the case...> I feel it's their responsibility to their customers and the livestock to provide a better product. By that I mean service quality and education. I tell people who are interested in marine fish that its easy. if done correctly and you follow guidelines. One example at this store that I find bad is keeping LR and inverts in the same systems as their fish, making their fish 'untreatable' in reality. All of this, I would think, is easily remedied if the company would decide to do it. <And more pre-eminently, cared and "knew" what to do...> And I would think it is certainly in the best interest of their customers and our hobby in the big picture of things. Think of it; surely the large majority of people who are exposed to marine aquaria begin their adventures in a store like this. They always carry Nemos and Dorys and yellow tangs. And often, I'm sure, their intentions are good, asking the clerk about marine tanks, and what equipment they need, what are the requirements for care, etc. Can you imagine the responses they get? Just by looking over the accessories carried on the shelves, I can tell you they are probably providing the wrong answers. <Happens... so... of course (per moi) the question: "What do we do to make this better?"> One of the branch stores here, the one I purchased my angel from in fact, has well intentioned and intelligent employees. <Ah, good> All they lack, I would guess, is a bit of education and the resources necessary to do their job. Here we have a large number of readers who I'm sure have similar concerns of the writer of the email below. Perhaps he can provide us with the most effective contact information necessary to express our concerns. I'm sure that there are many of us who would take time to send an email, I certainly would. Just some thoughts. Thomas <Thank you Tom. BobF>

Alternative treatment for a common marine parasite, Benjamin's input Ich Treatment - 7/22/08 Hello, <Hello there!> I was wondering if anyone on the team has had any good experience with giving a marine fish with crypt a freshwater bath in place of a more 'solid' technique, such as copper treatment or hyposalinity (not that hypo is Bob's favorite)? <mm...can work, but very labor intensive> I'm more of a Cupramine guy myself (in a separate treatment tank), but it seems my employer would like me to use freshwater baths exclusively in the main display / selling tanks which also house invertebrate life. No option for separate treatment in a different tank. <Not optimal...kudos to your employer for desiring to treat, but it sounds like conventional restraints still apply.> So while not my favorite option it will probably still give results and just wanted to fine tune it with some input. If you could tell me your frequency of the bath, duration of the bath you find effective. And if you combo it with gravel vacuuming - water change, the frequency and percentage of water changed. <I would go with a pH adjusted freshwater bath for as long as the fish can stand it the first time (thrashes, breathes very heavily, etc) , and then for 5-10 minutes a dip after that.> If you use any other methods with it such as melafix <Bunk product, save your money> for bacterial infections of crypt wounds or cleaner gobies / shrimp to lending a helping hand, or anything else which might contribute to a recovery. <Perhaps a bit of Methylene blue chloride in the dip> I was considering Fw bath repeated daily for 14 days, 7 min duration, <I'd shoot for twice daily, if the fish can stomach it. Keep in mind this will be VERY stressful as the sole method of treating fish...> gravel vacuuming bottom of tank 5 gallons out of 60 every fourth day or so, <Do this daily> melafix dosed daily, <Skip it, worthless> few cleaning shrimp there for luck. Considering use of a U.V. sterilizer instead of melafix, but not likely. <Much better choice...UV> Trading out treatment of secondary infections for a unknown increased destruction of the parasites free swimming stage. <Secondary infections unlikely with crypt., melafix would do nothing in any case. You'll need all the help you can get eliminating free-swimming and bottom-dwelling stages.> experience and suggestions appreciated,  and thank you for your time, Jonathan <Do keep in mind all fish will need to be treated...and I still am doubtful as to effectiveness as more that aesthetic triage> <Benjamin>

Re: Red Sea aquarium fish selection... Hyposalinity, WWM, the nature of our "truth"...  7/6/08 Well, I had read on hyposalinity and use of it for curing ich, <... won't work> I haven't asked any questions as of yet that I haven't at least researched quickly first before asking. <Ah, much appreciated for sure... and do know that many folks (including some here at WWM) do advocate hyposalinity as a preventative, cure...> You have no idea how many questions I've wanted to ask <Heeee! Turn about is fair play Grant... I too have MANY questions!> and instead researched for hours to find the answer. To be honest, WWM is kind of contradictory in what it says about quite a few things. <Yes... and "rightly so"... that is to state, there are many areas in our hobby interest here for which there is no one certain "answer", indeed, a good deal of controversy... and as the common progenitor here, my theory/responsibility/decision to encourage all to state their input... WITH as much description, practical background as they deem necessary, have to proffer. Does this seem reasonable to you?> I understand why, it is hard to have a crew of people responding to thousands of questions and have all their answers always be the same. <Ah yes... this and the fact again, that a good deal of what "passes" for fact in peoples lives is so much actual commentary and worse advice... w/o factual presentation first. So outrageous is this view, lack of honesty that the even the press, the garbage which is media "news", the very pres. of the U.S. seems almost totally sans data in his... expectorations.> After all, most of the questions are answered with opinions, <Ahh! Excellent!> and everyone has different ones of those. I researched hyposalinity, quarantine and ich treatment and a lot of the FAQs and articles state that hyposalinity is a good treatment for ich. Some of them say like your reply email that it could just kill the fish. Some say use quinine. Some say use Formalin green, other's say that it is a poison and can kill the fish and hurt the aquarist. It's hard to get a straight answer which is why I was asking you specifically in an email :) But anyway, I'll quit asking questions of you and just jump on in I guess. <Thank you for the above input. Very worthwhile... a great relief to me to find/meet up with critical thinking> Basic plans are just to quarantine for at least 4 weeks, maybe 6 weeks depending on the fish, certainly 4 weeks of no sickness before allowing them into the main tank. <Great! Do please read the "dailies" today on WWM for a sad acct. of someone with a 600 gallon system...> Freshwater dip going into quarantine with meth blue in the FW dip mix. <Please do read re, and consider adding formalin... and aeration...> Basic quarantine tank with just an airstone and some ammonia removing rocks so I don't even have to worry about maintaining a cycled aquarium there, I'll just change out the ammonia removing substance every week and be doing maybe 1g water change daily, which is about 4% of my total quarantine tank volume. All in all, no medications and no special salinity while in quarantine. I'll know that the fish are most likely carrying ich and just not suffering, rather than being proactive and treating it regardless of whether they show it or not. To be honest this doesn't sit well with me as I'd rather have them go into a completely ich free tank and stay ich free, but from what I've read that is almost an impossibility. <Not so... and worth shooting for> Anyway, thanks for all the helpful answers and what not, I'll try not to write in again. <Oh... no... please do... We enjoy sharing with folks who have earnest questions, are seeking to share> I've enjoyed Reef Invertebrates so far, I'm about 150 pages in. I do wish it was formatted a little differently though, it is a lot more "floppy" than CMA (larger pages and not as thick) and it makes it harder to read in the tub while I'm laying down. Oh well, small problem :) Grant <And thank you this input as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Sea aquarium fish selection... Hypo., dipping...  07/07/08 Well thanks for the encouraging response. My 2nd to last email to you was responded to with basically three different versions of "read WWM" to my three questions, so I figured I should probably stop asking questions ;) <I see> One last set of questions for you... sorry if this is already listed on WWM, but I just want to be really clear on what procedure should be in your opinion. I had planned on just doing a FW dip for 5 minutes or so with Meth Blue, with the intention of minimizing ich in the quarantine and therefore the display tank, even though I see only lukewarm response to a FW dip actually doing much to ich. However, you suggested the use of formalin. I actually have a bottle of it sitting around from about a year ago, it is the 37% stuff. Reading through WWM states that 2.7 ML per gallon is a good amount to use in a hour long saltwater bath before placing into quarantine. <Yes> So here is the question (wow it takes me a long time just to get to my questions!). <At least you finally do!> I'll be receiving 2 Semilarvatus B/F and a Aussie Harlequin tusk on Tuesday. Super sale on LiveAquaria.com on the tusk so I went ahead and made the plunge. If I use a hour or so length formalin saltwater bath, <! This is way too long... better to be present for sure, use aeration, and limit this to 3-5 minutes maximum> can I do away with the freshwater dip I had planned? <Mmm... am a bit lost here... I would/do add the formalin to the pH-adjusted freshwater...> Or do I need to do a short FW dip and then the saltwater bath with formalin? Really, I have researched WWM and I get the feeling that the formalin treatment makes the FW dip unnecessary, but I didn't find that anywhere exactly stated, and I really don't want to screw this up. I've never quarantined fish before, but I've mainly had reef tanks and only a fish or two, so I wasn't really concerned. Moving into a large FOWLR setup, I'm not only investing a lot of money, but some pretty cool fishy lives and I don't want to screw it up. <I understand... Perhaps another quick read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> Also, my stocking plan includes 2 Sufflamen albicaudatus, male/female pair, one Raccoon B/F, one Purple tang and one Emperor angel, all Red Sea varieties. Are any of those fish more easy poisoned by the formalin dips? <Mmm, the Angel and BF...> I remember reading that triggers seem to be more susceptible to it, however after searching around I couldn't find the info so I'm not sure if I read that on WWM or on another helpful site. And if they are susceptible, do I just do a lesser dose or skip the formalin all together? <... again, and I understand this is hard to understand... compared w/ someone who has done it a bunch just being there to help... I would call around, see if a LFS, service co. locally has someone who can come by...> I really do appreciate the answers and help, I'm sure my fish appreciate it even more. I feel like I should join the WWM crew and give back to the community, heh. Grant <I look forward to your joining us. Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Sea aquarium fish selection 07/07/08 Maybe I'm starting to understand the concept, it only takes 10 emails and a weeks worth of reading to get an idea into my head correctly. <Less than I...> I guess I mistook what you suggested in your last email. We were talking about FW dips and you suggested formalin, so I read up on the formalin FAQs on WWM. It says right there that you should do a 1 hour SW formalin bath to treat ich. "For dips/baths 125-250 ppm per gallon may be used for up to an hour of immersion." <Mmm, perhaps the words "up to" should be modified...> I was assuming then that I should skip the FW dip and just do a 1 hour SW bath with formalin, then put into quarantine. I read the http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm page for like the 20th time this week and I think I see where my confusion was. You were simply suggesting adding formalin to the dip, whereas I was thinking I needed to do a long SW bath. Anyway, my mistake. <No worries> So a 5-10 minute max formalin FW dip is more beneficial than you think a 1 hour SW formalin bath would be? <Yes... and far less work> I'd almost be inclined to think the SW would be less hard on the fish than a FW dip, but I'm not experienced in this aspect :) I guess maybe the 1 hour SW bath is a treatment for an already existing case of ich, whereas the FW dip is just a preventative measure but not really a cure? <More so, yes> And as far as being present during the dip/bath, believe me, I will be. I'm more anxious about this than I would think possible. I do have 2 airstones that run off one pump (I'll be using 2 different 5 gallons buckets for the dip) and I'm going to heat the water to 78 degrees or so before the fish are introduced. I'm going to pull the heater right before putting the fish in just so that they have more room in the bucket, but for the 5 or so minutes they are in the dip, the water shouldn't even cool half a degree. <Good protocol> Believe me, I've asked the LFS a couple times now if they would have someone who could help me with trying my first quarantine, I even suggested I'd bring in the fish in the shipping boxes to them, with my own buckets and everything and do it there with their help/supervision and bring them home in some "normal" SW identical to my quarantine tanks. Basically, if I don't buy the fish from them, they don't want to help. And the fish prices here are ridiculous... so while I don't want to kill my fish or have a hard time of doing this, I'm not willing to pay the 2-3 times higher prices offered up here. Damned if I do, damned if I don't, in my opinion. <Understood...> Anyway, my whole thought behind this process is that I'm going to have my 180g being run fallow for 2 months at the least before introducing fish. Hopefully there will be no ich present in the system after that length of time. I really really REALLY want to avoid ever introducing it into the system, so treating for ich before even going into quarantine, even if the fish don't show signs of it (as we all know most times you cant see the small amount of ich present on most fish) really appeals to me. I'd love to never introduce a single ich parasite into my main system. Am I dreaming? I'm starting to feel like so, after all the reading I've done, most of the pages say that there will always be a small amount of ich present in the system. <Ahh, don't I (and you, no doubt) wish the vaccines available for limiting/preventing Cryptocaryon (and more) that are readily available and used in Europe were here... too hard thus far to get through the U.S. F.D.A.> Thanks again Bob. For some reason I'm nervous, heh... like really nervous. I just don't want to mess this up, I'm investing a lot of time and money into the venture and I want it to go good, plus I want these super cool fish to be healthy and live a long happy life. I know how happy I'd be if my parents brought me into the world and said "guess what, we've treated you and your area for the common cold, you'll NEVER be exposed to it in your entire life." I'm trying to give that to the fishes in my care, although whereas the common cold doesn't kill humans for the most part, ich sure does seem to claim a lot of fish. <Well put... Again, thank you for sharing Grant. BobF>

Re: 2nd time with ich, Marine treatment 6/6/08 Hello Chris, Erika again. <Hello> OK so I took your advice and did a little more research. I am tending to go towards hyposalinity, I bought a refractometer on the web, and after reading A LOT, it seems to me like the "safest" and from many testimonies, the most successful treatment. Do you agree? <I am not as big of a fan of hypo as some, but can work if carried out diligently.> So this is my plan: I already have the yellow tang in the QT, he seems to be doing better. <Good> I will move all my fish to a bigger QT tank, and do the hypo in there. I am dreading the "catching" of my goby, this will not be easy. <Try one of those fish traps available at most LFS, they can work can save a bunch of effort.> Hopefully they will all make it in there. I'm a little worried, but I want my tank to be ich free, especially since I want to start adding some soft corals and a clam. After about 14 days in hypo I will need to raise the salinity little by little, right? <Correct> Do you have a step by step process on doing the hypo? I looked for it in WWM, but could not find one that was specific. <I don't believe we have one, but the basic challenges are to keep the pH at the proper levels and raising the salinity back up very slowly at the conclusion of the treatment. Then I need to keep the fish in the QT for about 6 weeks, right? <6 weeks disease free should make you fairly confident that you have eradicated the ich from the fish and give the main tank longer to cycle out the ich.> Is it OK to keep the shrimp, hermit crabs and snails in the DT? <Yes, they are not viable hosts for this parasite.> Thank you for your help. Erika <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: 2nd time with ich, Marine treatment 6/7/08 Chris, <Hello> Thank you for your prompt reply. I have 2 more questions. 1- How do I keep the Ph at the proper levels when they come up low, should I add something to the water, could you recommend something? <Most of the commercially available buffers should work, I think I use Kent Marine but any of the name brands should be fine.> 2- Do you think I can start adding some soft corals to the main tank while the fish are in quarantine? Maybe after about 3 weeks? They can't get ich either right? <They can not host ich, the danger is that they could have ich tomonts attached, and bring in a new shot of the parasite. This is why it is recommended to QT everything that is wet.> Also, you mentioned that you are not a great advocate for hypo, why? and is there something you would recommend that is better to do? <If you are comfortable with it I would continue with your plan, I am just not a big fan because it is difficult for many people to maintain the proper salinity, if you are not very diligent it is possible to allow some parasites to survive. It is almost too easy of a treatment, and because of this many people do not take it seriously enough, and it becomes ineffective.> I hope you don't get tired of me. There is so much to learn. Thank you so much for your help. Erika <Anytime> <Chris>

Re: 2nd time with ich, Marine treatment 6/7/08 Hi Chris, <Hello> Thank you so much for your help, I REALLY appreciate this. <No problem> OK, so I will continue with my plan, and I will go and buy the "trap" (today) for the goby. I will examine closely the salinity so that it I can keep it low. <Good> According to what I've read, it should go down to 1.009 right? How many days should it take to lower it to this? <I would go for 14 days.> According to what you say, if I buy some corals when I start the treatment it should be enough time (6 weeks) for them to be in the main tank to get rid of the ich if they were to have any, right? <That should work.> Kinda like using the DT to quarantine since it will be without fish. You think it's OK? I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for your help, Sincerely, Erika <I think you are on the right path.> <Chris>

Treating an Ich Outbreak and FW dip questions 4/23/08 Hello all, <Hello> No question addressed to you should start without expressing an unbelievable amount of gratitude for all of your hard work. It is very much appreciated. <Thanks> My problem today is an ich outbreak that I am trying to treat. I am pulling all my fish from the main display of course and setting up hospital tanks for all of them. I gave everyone a long pH and temp adjusted FW dip with Methylene blue the other day for ~10 min.s. They all seemed to handle it extremely well albeit that most were pretty spooked from capture and handling. <Can be a little stressful, but if the fish is still reasonable health, is worth the effort.> I was under the impression that the FW dip would lyse or pop the parasites. <Some that are not already too deep into the tissue.> Today I woke up to see what looked like an even worse infestation on all of my fish (Heniochus acuminatus and Foxface). <Definitely not a cure-all, or really a cure, but helpful in knocking down the infection a bit, allows some fish's immune system to catch up, but often more aggressive treatment is necessary.> The white spots seem to have multiplied 3x fold. <Typical of an ich infection.> Are some stages of the parasite not affected by the dip? <Only parasites on the fish, but not so deep into the fish's tissue that the fish's body protects it, are susceptible to the FW dip.> My game plan as it stands now is to keep the display fallow for 6 weeks and to re-FWdip these guys, sterilize their hospital tank again, and then start a copper treatment. I'll continue the copper at 0.25-0.30 ppm for several days (5?) past any signs of infection at which point I'll remove the Cu through water changes and just observe them for the remainder of the 6 weeks. <Follow the manufacturer's directions for length of treatment, too short of a duration and nothing is accomplished. A minimum of 4 weeks healthy is best after treatment is done to be reasonably sure the fish have cleared the parasites. Obviously the longer the better.> I'll FW dip them one last time before placing back in the display. Of course, without your guidance in the form of your excellent articles and FAQs my game plan would have just been a blank sheet of paper with a question mark. <We all start that way.> I suppose an additional question is what ongoing role should FW dips play, if any, during their extended stay in the hospital tanks? Is it more just meant to be an intermediary step when transferring specimens? <Once in treatment I would not FW dip, although some people do daily dips.> Thanks again to all of you. Best, Fred <Please be aware that copper is not the best treatment for some fish, so other treatment may be more appropriate based on your livestock.> <Chris>

Ich, Crypt... is hypo enough? Diff. of opinions   04/13/2008 I know that a hospital tank is the ideal way to handle an ich outbreak, but before going on vacation three weeks ago my ich returned. In order to act quickly, as I would be gone for a week, I pulled my live rock and sand from the tank and lowered the salt to 1.012. This kept the ich at bay while I was gone and upon returning I lowered it to 1.009. <<Ok....However, always best to get the hyposalinity running while your around the tank, to keep an eye on salinity levels / fluctuations>> It has been this way for over two weeks now. I am wondering if, at this point, what would be the best way to proceed. <<Continue hypo until all traces have gone from the fish, and then monitor for 2 weeks>> My display is bare only containing my fish and I am tempted to just use this as my hospital tank. After two weeks of 1.009 hypo I am still seeing periodic spots on two fish. At what stage in the ich life cycle does the hypo kill it? <<Usually around 2 - 3 weeks before you start to see it dissapear>> Is it at the stage where it falls off the fish? <<Yes>> Anyway, I am thinking that I will run the hypo for six weeks and after bringing the salt levels up I will follow with a copper treatment. <<No need for copper treatment after hyposalinity>> I have done copper for four weeks before, only to see the ich return after adding live rock from what I thought was a reputable shop until I found that the live rock tanks run on the same system as the fish tanks. So, this is where I am at now and i want to know what to look for during the Hypo process and if hypo could be enough to solve the problem alone or should I use copper as planned. <<Hypo alone is sufficient. Constant monitoring of the fish through-out the process>> My fish are all thriving in hypo and have shown no behavior changes thus far. <<Glad to hear it>> My tank is running with a wet/dry w/skimmer, an eheim classic and 25 watt uv. Any suggestions as to how I should proceed would be appreciated. <<As you have already started the hypo treatment in the display tank, you may as well continue this until the end.>> I am hesitating to move the fish into a hospital tank as they are handling the hypo with little stress in the display and I think that I would be best served to do the copper treatment here as well, hoping to finally rid my fish and tank of this problem. <<As said above, after an effective hypo treatment, there should not be any need to use a copper treatment afterwards. Your on the right path to rectifying the Ich. Keep at it, keep water as pristine as possible, test regularly. Hope this helps. Enjoy the weekend. A Nixon>> Thank you, Greg Fasano

Re: Ich, Crypt... is hypo enough? Diff. of opinions (RMF amended title)  04/14/2008 Hey guys, <Thomas> I read this today on the FAQ, thought I'd add a comment since I had a tremendous battle with Ich in my main tank a while back. That Quinine Sulfate I ordered after you guys connected me with that National Fish Pharm really did a wonderful job on my Ich problem and did not harm my biological filter. and, though it's a risk you take, I know that some fan worms survived the treatment as well, as I had some appear some time after the treatment on live rock that had been in the tank during the treatment. I had not added any new rock at the time of it's appearance. From all indications, I had the tough, resistant strain of Ick as well. I recommend it if you have an Ick problem. We've been Ick free for 6 months. Best of luck, Thomas <Thank you for chiming in... with this timely input. Will share. Bob Fenner> Ich, Crypt... is hypo enough? Diff. of opinions (RMF amended title)  04/13/2008 I know that a hospital tank is the ideal way to handle an ich outbreak, but before going on vacation three weeks ago my ich returned. In order to act quickly, as I would be gone for a week, I pulled my live rock and sand from the tank and lowered the salt to 1.012. This kept the ich at bay while I was gone and upon returning I lowered it to 1.009. <<Ok....However, always best to get the hyposalinity running while your around the tank, to keep an eye on salinity levels / fluctuations>> It has been this way for over two weeks now. I am wondering if, at this point, what would be the best way to proceed. <<Continue hypo until all traces have gone from the fish, and then monitor for 2 weeks>> My display is bare only containing my fish and I am tempted to just use this as my hospital tank. After two weeks of 1.009 hypo I am still seeing periodic spots on two fish. At what stage in the ich life cycle does the hypo kill it? <<Usually around 2 - 3 weeks before you start to see it dissapear>> Is it at the stage where it falls off the fish? <<Yes>> Anyway, I am thinking that I will run the hypo for six weeks and after bringing the salt levels up I will follow with a copper treatment. <<No need for copper treatment after hyposalinity>> I have done copper for four weeks before, only to see the ich return after adding live rock from what I thought was a reputable shop until I found that the live rock tanks run on the same system as the fish tanks. So, this is where I am at now and i want to know what to look for during the Hypo process and if hypo could be enough to solve the problem alone or should I use copper as planned. <<Hypo alone is sufficient. Constant monitoring of the fish through-out the process>> My fish are all thriving in hypo and have shown no behavior changes thus far. <<Glad to hear it>> My tank is running with a wet/dry w/skimmer, an eheim classic and 25 watt uv. Any suggestions as to how I should proceed would be appreciated. <<As you have already started the hypo treatment in the display tank, you may as well continue this until the end.>> I am hesitating to move the fish into a hospital tank as they are handling the hypo with little stress in the display and I think that I would be best served to do the copper treatment here as well, hoping to finally rid my fish and tank of this problem. <<As said above, after an effective hypo treatment, there should not be any need to use a copper treatment afterwards. Your on the right path to rectifying the Ich. Keep at it, keep water as pristine as possible, test regularly. Hope this helps. Enjoy the weekend. A Nixon>> Thank you, Greg Fasano

Crypt 03/06/2008 Hello Eric, <<Good Evening Don, Andrew here>> Hope all is well with you/WWM crew. <<All doing very well thank you>> I am one of those guys that learn like a mule. So I bought a Powder Blue Tang and I did the freshwater bath for 6 ½. minutes and quarantined for about 2 ½ weeks <<I would quarantine for 4 weeks>>. I know crypt was either on him or in the tank still. Its not bad. He gets about 3 - 5 spots daily. All the other fish are showing no out right signs of infection. I have the 75 gallon up and running it was cycled already even though I know if/when I have to use copper (bought a couple hundred tests for testing multiple times daily) I'll lose all bacteria. Got that covered to by installing a RO/DI unit for massive water changes. Question is at what point would you take out the fish put in QT and go fallow for 6 weeks? <<The infected fish should be held in quarantine and run hypo salinity for. This process will last about 6 weeks. The display should be left to fallow through-out this period. If not left to go fallow, cysts that could of fallen off the infected fish and attached to rock and sand can simply just re-infect another or same fish. BY going fallow, it removes the much needed hosts from the tank for the ich to attach too. Read more here and the linked articles and FAQ's>> <<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm>> <<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm>> Bob this note is to you personally, I don't know you but I really mean this that without this web site and crew I would have never learned all the information you wrote. I go on forums and it is a joke what they have to say so a big thanks. <<Bob will see these kind words, and am sure will pass on thanks for your kind comments>> Don V. <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Crypt 03/07/2008 Sorry for the mix up. I must have asked the question wrong. <<its fine, we'll try again..>> At what point would you go fallow because I have read a ton of FAQ's say that if Crypt is seen here and there on maybe say 1 fish and not all WWM had responded to just keep an eye on the tank and add biological cleaners. What I was wondering/asking when do I need to go fallow or I might be not understanding the answer and your telling me as soon as you see the outright tell tale sign of salt like dots go fallow right away no matter what. <<Realistically, as soon as Ich is seen in the aquarium, fish should be removed to quarantine and allow the display to go fallow. Personally, i would not just monitor them/ leave them in the display. Lots of opinions on the treatment / control of Ich.>> I completely understand the life cycle of the parasite and I do know if a heater would quit or electric go out or undue stress Crypt will go completely out of control. Sorry again. Don V. <<Hope that clears the query up for you Don. Thanks. A Nixon>> Another ich question! Treatment Failure 2/26/08 Hi Guys, <Hello> I have reviewed as much information on ich as I can find, both on your valuable site as well as others, and I am still at a loss. So I am hoping you can give me some words of wisdom. <Will try> I have a 150g currently with only 2 inhabitants, a purple and a regal tang. In January I had a bout with ich so I set up my old 65g with a BioWheel and mini skimmer I had lying around. I did hyposalinity which seemed to give them relief and they regained their strength and within 2 weeks there was no sign of infection nor sick behavior. I left them for another 3 weeks just cleaning and changing water as I don't like the idea of using chemicals unless absolutely necessary. During this time I also raised the salinity back to normal. Anyway after 5 weeks of the display running fallow and no signs of infection I put them back in. Within 2 days the regal is scratching again and hanging out in high flow areas. So my questions are, if the fish never recovered why didn't it show in the other tank, yet show up as soon as I put them back? <Most likely was caused by the tank change, can be stressful for fish and leaves them more susceptible to infection. The hypo helped knock down the parasites to a non-symptomatic level, but did not rid them all.> If the problem is in the display how did the parasite survive 5 weeks without hosting, plus I raised the temp to over 80degs to speed up the cycle? <Probably did not, but was still on the fish.> As many have said before me your website is a tremendous source of information. Thanks on behalf of all of us caught by this obsession. <Welcome> Dayne <Chris>

Ich resisting treatments, hypo. failure, quinine poss.    2/6/08 Hi and thanks in advance for your help! I will do my best to have proper grammar but I m French so excuse my errors. <No worries. We make especial exception for non-native speakers, writers> I have a problem with marine ich that I can't seem to be able to resolve, I have been reading a lot on your site and many others and I'm now at the end of my resources and don't know what to do next. I will give you a description of my system and a step by step of what have been done to help resolve the issue. Tank is 78 gallons 4feet long and for filtration I have a basement sump 54 gallons with refugium filled with a deep sand bed and Chaeto, just over the sump there is a 25gal frag tank with a 2' sand bed and a few live rocks, in sump protein skimmer and 70 lbs of live rocks in the tank. We want to add a 220 gallons linked to the same system but will not do so until this ich issue is resolved permanently. I only have about 4 more months because these fish grow fast. We started the tank in august 2007 and by the end of September we introduced 3 fish ( a pink tail trigger 3.5', Picasso trigger 2', hippo tang 3' that all get along great) since we wanted to introduce the 3 fish at once for territory issues we broke our fundamental rule of 6 weeks quarantine period.. big mistake'¦ <Oui> within the first week ich started and quickly became out of control.. I read a lot about the parasite in question and decided to go with hypo salinity treatment of the display tank <This rarely works> so we removed the live rocks and moved them to the frag tank and turned off the pump and valves for the sump we have a shotcrete structure in the tank that cover the overflow and provide some hiding place plus we added some base rock and live rocks we didn't like that much and made some caves for the fish to hide when needed. We also added a canister filter and then lowered the salinity to 1.009 after 4 days the ich was gone we then waited 4 weeks and brought the salinity back to 1.023 over the course of a week or 2 everything was fine'¦ a few days after we connected to the sump and ich was back again. We then waited a week and it got so bad that we decided to start hypo salinity again'¦ I added some rocks in the sumps during week 3 of the treatment and thought it might had contaminated again.. so this time I decided to not add anything to the sump system at all (there is a medium white spotted crab and a few snails in there) we continued hypo salinity for 5 weeks then we took 2 weeks to bring the salinity back up and waited 2 more weeks with the system in full salinity for a total of 9 weeks without linking the tank to the sump. Everything was great no ich and healthy fish so we brought the rock back up from the frag tank 2 days ago and aquascaped the tank as I was preparing to connect the sump again we noticed that the hippo is cover with ich again and the pink tail have some too. <No fun> I was under the impression that ich could not survive more then 4-5 weeks without a host and that invertebrate were not consider has host. <Was with a host... not killed... the embedded trophonts/Crypt in the skin/connective tissue of the triggers, tang> With the rock in isolation with only a few corals and inverts for 9 weeks I assumed they would be fine? What is the next step I don't know what to do anymore and I m very discouraged. Thanks in advance for your help. Marc <I would go the quinine treatment route. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Dreaded Ich, SW...    2/5/08 Hi Crew, <Hello> I have successfully run my FOWLR system for 6 months now but I'm afraid my new addition (yellow tang) has brought my fish and myself a very unwelcome present.... Marine ich.<Tangs are notorious for Ich> I have not had a problem before with ich so my knowledge on the subject was limited, however after days of frantically reading and researching I think I've got a decent understanding of the problem. I'll tell you how my problem came about... I purchased a yellow tang recently from a reputable LFS (I did know previously that this species was susceptible to disease so I checked him thoroughly for white spots / cloudy eyes etc and I confirmed the fish was eating well with the store). I got the fish home and acclimatised it over 5-6 hours (checking it all over for signs of parasite / disease). I then put it into my display tank and effectively infected my whole tank (unknowingly). I know that the first thing you will say is I should have a QT tank and believe me I've learned the hard way and will have a qt tank ready from now on (I am very angry at myself believe me). In the end I'm going to have 3 separate qt tanks now. Everything seemed fine at first, the fish was active and grazing on the live rock. Then two days later I noticed white spots like salt grains on his body and fins (not too bad but noticeable up close). I immediately ran out and got a 35 litre plastic tub, a heater and a mini internal filter. I put the tang in there with some tank water and a couple of dry ocean rocks (base rock) I had leftover from my main tank. I then frantically began to read up on what this could be. After learning about ich I started syphoning the gravel and rocks in my main tank and changing 20% of the water every two days (in an effort to syphon up any tomonts). After two days by himself with regular water changes the tang lost all the white spots and none have reappeared for a week now (I know this means nothing). However I woke this morning to find that my blue spot puffer and strawberry basslet have quite a bad case of ich. I am now wondering the best way to treat this disease. I have read good and bad things about hyposalinity and I am very wary of the various copper remedies on the market. I am concerned my blue spot puffer and Tailspot blenny will not react well to copper treatment (are these fish classed as scale-less?). My basslet is also aggressive towards my yellow wrasse and Tailspot so they will need to be separated. I was thinking of having 3 separate qt tanks (35 litres each) with the tang and yellow wrasse in one, the puffer and the blenny in another and in the final tank my basslet and clown fish. I was considering treating two of the tanks with Seachem Paraguard and try the puffer and blenny with hyposalinity (probably down to 1.008 - 1.009 spg. I will leave the main tank to run fallow for 8 weeks and carry out treatment for the same. <Unfortunately, the puffer will eat ornamental shrimp. The cleaner shrimp will do wonders against Ich outbreaks.> My question is this: Will the ich parasite be killed off completely by running the system fallow for 8 weeks?<NO. The Ich can return when the fish are stressed or water quality is compromised.> And am I using correct judgment in the treatment of the fish? I trust Seachem more than most brands on the market but does treating fish with copper / ParaGuard completely kill the parasite (especially after 8 weeks of treatment)? <Seachem is a fine product, however the Hyposalinity is better IMO.> I am concerned that I will be back to square one if one of the treatments does not work. (very sorry for the long email guys, I know you have enough to do already)... will syphoning the bottom of a bare tank remove the vast majority of the tomonts? Finally, I know that the parasite can be transmitted by water but if I rinse my hands in hot tap water and dry them will this kill the parasite and leave me free to put my hands in another qt tank without transmitting the parasite? <you should be fine rinsing your hands in hot Freshwater.> Thanks so much guys. <<Who? >> Ich, Hypo, Copper, Moray, Formalin  1/5/08 Dear Bob, <Simon> I have a 180 gallon reef aquarium and recently came down with a case of Crypt. I think this is because at the time I was not fully aware of the need to QT everything, including rocks, coral and algae. After buying a horde of new stock (all of these things but no new fish for nearly a year) my Powder Blue came up with the spots. <A "very catching" species> Since reading extensively I have learned from my mistake. I know which shop they came from because when I went back there a few days later, some of the fish that they had in the same system as the rock/ algae that I had bought were infected as well. <Can come from "any shop"... even the best do have their parasite issues... ONLY a few that have entirely separated acclimation/quarantine/holding facilities AND the discipline for their use... can claim to avoid passing on these instances...> Immediate action was to set up the 75g bare bottomed QT with hypo 1.009 which I have now done (I have a Moray so no copper). All fish are in there and have been for 6 weeks now. I moved the canister filter over that I have running on my ST for this purpose for the bio filter. Maintenance on the QT is a weekly 50% water change combined with scrubbing all surfaces first to remove tomonts. I temporarily drop the salinity to 1.005 for three hours in between the water changes based on A) study done by Woo, Chung http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1995.tb01874.x and B) Colerni 1985 (in which they used 3 hours and found it effective). All fish seem to be in perfect health and feed very well. <Thank you for passing along this reference, account> Problem I have now is what to do next. I know that Hypo is not usually 100% effective. Three weeks ago I saw over a period of 2 days a couple of white spots on one tang, and a single spot on the other. These disappeared after a day. This is the only sign of the parasite that I have seen over this whole 6 week period, but I know that with all these things where there is 1 there is likely 100. I intend to raise the salinity up over the next two weeks in the QT to 1.021 and then administer a copper treatment to eradicate the parasite. <Mmm, okay... perhaps a Quinine treatment would be better... but, as you say, there is still likely to be a latent infestation> I have a Zebra Moray eel and I believe that they are sensitive to the copper treatment. <Yes, this is so> When I get the salinity up to 1.021 the fallow period in the tank will be 8 weeks, so I can (hopefully!) safely start moving the fish back into the ST (which is 1.023). I intend to put the eel in first. Since I believe that there may be crypt still in the QT (albeit at low levels) should I use a formalin dip on the eel before I put him in the ST? <I would do so> I am unsure if he is showing signs or not as he spends most of the day in his tube poking his head at me! I am fully capable of researching things myself, but one thing that I do not have that you do is years of experience with this sort of thing, particularly eels, crypt and formalin etc. (I have read all your stuff). Would you dip the eel or not? <I would, though only for a short duration. True eels (lack scales, have slimy skins par excellence...) generally don't have much in this way of "embedded" Protozoans... slough off easily> On the copper treatment, since I have tangs, should I do full strength and move the tangs after 1 week, then the others a week later (Volitans, Emperor Angel)? Or do 1/2 strength for the full 2 weeks and move them all at the same time? <This latter if they appear to be able to "take it"> I am leaning to the full strength for the 1 week as I would rather stagger the fish into the ST than move them all at once so as not to overload my system. What would you do with regard to this? <As stated> I am sorry to have written such a long e-mail, but I feel that the situation is a little different to normal ones because of the eel. I want to do the best I can for the animals that are in my care. Thank you in anticipation, Simon, England <Thank you for writing so well, completely. Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity question... for Crypt trtmt.    11/14/07 Hi Crew! <Chris> Just a question as I can't find the answer elsewhere. When dropping the salinity for hypo, is it normal for fish behaviour to change? <Yes... if one is observant> I've been dropping it over the past couple days, and today my porcupine pufferfish is acting quite lazy. He's breathing normally, just lazy sitting at the bottom. I've never done hypo before, is this normal? <Yes... is stressful... physiologically as well as behaviorally> He's still eating vigorously. All levels, ammonia, nitri, nitra at 0. Tank has been running for about 6 months, lost previous fish to ich, let it run fallow for a month, now added porcupine. Been in there about a week and got ich. <I would be reading re Crypt... using quinine and/or formalin dips, vacuuming... instead of manipulating spg here> Let me know if this is normal, I was going to do 1 more water change tomorrow to bring down to 1.009, now I'm unsure if I should? <I am. Read> Thanks in advance, Christopher <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: hyposalinity question   11/14/07 Thank you, overnight everyone went back to normal. I've considered using formalin, but I can't find it for sale anywhere. <See the piece on WWM re, the maker's/repackagers listed there... Look for Kordon's brand via the Net, e-tailers. RMF> Thanks again, Christopher Chaetomorpha salinity -- 09/15/07 Hi. <Hi Larry.> I am planning to do a hyposalinity treatment on my 55 gal. fish only tank due to Ich outbreak. Will the macroalgae Chaeto survive during the treatment? <I tried to grow Chaetomorpha in a brackish tank with sg = 1.010 and it died within 3 weeks. Hyposalinity is used best in a separate tank without substrate (that way you can vacuum the bottom and remove quite a lot of protozoans), but if you are applying this method in your main system, you need to find alternate quarters for you macro algae.> Thanks. Larry. <Good luck with your treatment! Cheers. Marco.>

Hippo tang in need of immediate help - possibly ringworm? Hyposalinity... 3/5/07 Dear Bob, <Ryan> I searched high and low on your website for an answer to this question but I could not find one. I was hoping you could shed some light on the issue and put me out of my ignorance. This hippo tang has rings all over its body. <I see this> I have enclosed some pictures for you to see. Currently, the fish is in hyposalinity to get rid of ich. The specific gravity is at 1.008, <This is a/the problem... Paracanthurus don't do well in such low salt densities... See WWM re Crypt, Hyposalinity... this is simple stress marking> ammonia and nitrite are 0, nitrates are 10, temperature is 79, and the pH is 8.3. I have had people say that it was the beginning of head and lateral line erosion, gas bubble disease, or maybe, side effects of hyposalinity. <Bingo> I performed hyposalinity on two times in the past in a quarantine tank and have never seen this happen to a fish. Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated. Ryan Smith

Hyposalinity in a tank with a BTA   1/27/06 Hello Crew! <Garen> I have small cowfish and blue throat trigger with a severe case of ich.  I wanted to try hyposalinity treatment on the display tank because I don't have a hospital tank that could hold the trigger and cow (only 10 gallons).  The problem lies in that there is a maroon clown with his BTA in the tank.  I would like to know what the lowest salinity that the BTA could tolerate and for what amount of time? <I would not fool with spg here and the anemone> Also, I would like treat with copper on these two fish because I don't want to risk losing them due to the advanced stages of ich and the minimal success rate of hypo treat. <Good> I think that the blue throat can tolerate normal amounts of the copper (please tell me if there is anything special about treating the trigger vs. other "hardy" fish) and that the longhorn cowfish can only tolerate very small amounts copper.  So it appears that I would have to buy another 10 gal treatment tank and treat them with different levels of copper in separate treatment tanks.  I have looked at the Boxfish FAQs and Boxfish Disease FAQs and have seen that Mr. Fenner has said that small amounts of copper can be used on the cowfish but I can't find how much copper to use in any of the FAQs for the cowfish. <The lower limits of efficacy: 0.15 to 0.20 free cupric ion ppm>   I am desperate here and need the suggested amount of copper for treating a cowfish, along with the appropriate temperature, duration of treatment, and salinity level for his treatment. <Upper 70's F. for most species, two weeks, and 1.018> A little off topic here, but could you guys tell me (or direct me with a link) how to get lionfish/scorpionfish to eat prepared foods.  I can't get my Cheekspot scorpionfish, diabolus, and antennata lionfish to eat prepared foods but strangely my fuzzy dwarf lion will only eat pellets.  Strange situation, one extreme to the other within the Scorpaenidae family.  I'm confused, you? <All the ding dang time. The feeding is a matter of "practice" with meaty food items, a "stick" to attach same to and dangle in front of the fish. Bob Fenner> Thanx again, Garen Wright

Add-on to "Hyposalinity in a tank with BTA"   1/30/06 Hello, a couple of things here that I forgot to add to my first email: <If re-writing, please always include previous correspondence> 1.  I forgot to tell you that the copper that I am using is Cupramine by Seachem and I am also using the Multi-test by Seachem. 2.  If I use 10 gallon hospital tanks for copper treatment, how often and how much of the water should I change out in order to keep the Ammonia under control. <Test it and change accordingly. I would seek to keep ammonia under 0.5 ppm> 3.  Is it really that helpful to use a polyfiber pad in a filter or can I get away (safely) by using a powerhead for water circulation? <... Polyfiber? As in a mechanical/sieve structure? Is useful, though such need to be kept clean> It just seems that if I am changing the water often and with a Python, that a filter will just serve to circulate water in the same manner as a powerhead because I will be vacuuming waste out with my water changes. (I apologize if the way I worded this question is confusing) <Does make sense... I would likely use a powerhead, but with an intake foam fitting... for some particulate filtration as well as to prevent livestock from being sucked against the intake.> 4.  If I keep the Blue-throat in a 10 gallon hospital and the Cowfish in a 10 gallon hospital (separate hospital tanks)  what is the minimum that I can feed them over the treatment period without adversely affecting the strength of their immune system. <Only trial can tell here... I would keep a close eye on their apparent "index of fitness"... that is, fullness in the abdomen region... and keep feeding to a minimum... likely something every other day... but not much> 5.  When being treated with copper, do fish rely evenly on their immune systems and the copper to fight off the crypt parasite or do they rely more on one than the other?  If it is uneven, what would you say the percentages are. <Mmm, don't "rely" on either... Immune systems are always in play... the copper acts as a proteinaceous precipitant mainly... poisoning the fish/es, causing them to produce copious amounts of body slime/mucin... sloughing off adult parasites... as well as poisoning "swarming" intermediates when they are in the water column... the last the reason why one needs to have a "treatment dose/concentration" present at all times.> Thanks, Garen Wright <Bob Fenner>

Crypt  8/31/05 Dear Bob,      I would request that you post this for others to read...If, that is, you agree. Make comments as you please. <Okay>      I would like to relay to the readers of this site my experiences with a recent Cryptocaryon outbreak in my FO 180 g display.  This tank has been in operation for approx 4 years and has been closed to new additions during that period of time.  No visible signs of disease were noted on the fish ( Powder Blue, Large Naso, Foxface, Purple tang, Macaroon Clown, Mated pair of perculas, One Damsel, Majestic Angel.  )  This was a disease free tank in every sense of the word.  All fish in this system were quarantined in my mother's garage, in copper at therapeutic doses for 6-8 weeks while we were waiting for our new house to be ready 4 years ago.   My mom's garage looked like a pet store with all of the tanks, and she hated it, but tolerated my craziness.  The day arrived when I finally set up the 180 and I introduced the fish slowly.  All fish did great after they settled down.  No fatalities. The clownfish have spawned multiple times in the system but the hermits ate the spawn.  No other additions after the initial introduction.      Recently, I looked over my noted and saw that two of my fish had been pets for over 7 years and they looked like they were slowing down a bit. (getting old)  They were eating fine,  a bit less active and slowly losing weight.  It also looked as if they had given up previous positions higher up in the pecking order of the tank to some of their younger tankmates.        I decided to go for adding an adult Emperor Angel. Oh my, and what a beautiful addition. This fish is awesome ! I QT'd him in hyposalinity in a well cycled 55 gallon tank.  The quarantine period was for approx 6 weeks total.  Initially the angel looked like he may have had mild crypt but visible signs of disease disappeared with the hyposalinity.  When the angel was introduced into the display, I even went to the task of reducing the salinity of the display to 1.010 for 6 weeks for what I thought would be extra assurance.  (Surprisingly, it has been 2 months and the angels have proven to be compatible, so far )Within 7 days of introduction my powder blue was infested with ich.  I moved him to the 55 gallon QT and treated with Cupramine to a value of .6 mg/l using fastest and SeaChem tests for copper.  All other fish were looking fine.      I wrote to Bob Fenner and asked for advice: he gave me the painful, but accurate message, that my display was infested with ich and that the only way to achieve eradication was to take fish out, treat them with copper and allow the 180g to lay fallow for 30-60 days.  I knew that I was now in a pickle in that I did not have adequate space in the QT for all of the fish in my display.       Though there were no visible signs of disease in the main display, I watched closely as I brought the salinity up from 1.010 to 1.024 over 10-14 days.  As I slowly brought the salinity up I noted that the tangs ( Naso and purple ) in the display did get a dusting of crypt.  I fed garlic extreme, and treated the water also.  Kick Ich did nothing.  The fish in the tank continued to do well ( eating, activity etc ) but as The fish seemed to ward off this minor outbreak on their own, so I took no drastic measures.  ( which, I know, is controversial ) As I raised the salinity more it became ever so clear that the tank was infested.  The salinity is now 1.024 and all inhabitants are doing well.  I have had no severe ich outbreaks and I have had no casualties. It is hard to see that there is any sign of ich infestation except in the early AM when I turn lights on.  Not surprisingly, where do you think I see a spot from time to time?  On a fish's belly, of course, because ich is in the aragonite substrate and seems to attach at night.  The fish do not look ill. Their immune system is obviously in tact. They eat out of my hand and they are the envy of my friends. ( I do not make a practice of feeding by hand, though )     My powder blue, on the other hand, is still alive in the QT, has the beginnings of HLLE, was really stressed out, but still eating throughout his entire ordeal.  Also, because I added the Cupramine slowly there was no disturbance in nitrification. His ich is cured.   I am now faced with the decision of daring to place him back in the display.  I know that tangs are especially susceptible to ich.      I do not have enough space for a larger QT nor can I set up another 55 g tank.  Plus I know that only a well established bacterial bed has a chance at surviving copper without major disturbance in nitrification.      To make things even more challenging, I have approx 150 lbs of beautifully cured live rock with red green and pink coralline algae that has been manicured and picked over by hermits and snails.  I really want to add it to my display, but if I have a crypt outbreak, what then ??? A lots of work ... Possibly some frustration.  I am thinking of taking the oldest fish out of the display ( purple tang, because he seems to be the most susceptible and always has a spot or two of ich, this fish is very old ~ I have had him for 10 yrs )        So here are my conclusions:  QT absolutely necessary ( which I already Knew )  Strongly consider keeping a QT operational at all times ( which I did, but not practical for many )  Strongly consider copper prophylaxis for appropriate fish  ( which I know is controversial, but something I will definitely do next time )  Hyposalinity is a great temporizer, if there is such a word.  Hypo buys you time and weakens the parasite, but it does not cure. ( I will use hyposalinity again but not without also using another form of treatment ) My Mud substrate for my refugium is now in the trash, because I think it makes eradication or control of ich from a system much more difficult <This is so> ( as if it weren't a challenge already)  Throughout this ordeal I performed aggressive water changes on the display tank and I turned the skimmer off.  Even without the mud a couple of fish with chronic HLLE have been cured of this malady.  ( since I stopped skimming, Iodine levels in the tank have been much more consistently in an acceptable range, whereas before, I think I was skimming off the iodine:  I will skim, but not 24/7 as I was doing before )      I now have a system that looks great to the naked eye in the middle of the day but I KNOW that there is crypt in the system, and I KNOW that if I add any fish to the system that I should expect to see some sort of acceleration of ich infestation within the display, <Yes> unless of course, we all get lucky and someone finds a cure.        Though disappointed at times, I do remain somewhat encouraged by my fishkeeping skills, in that there have been no fatalities.  All fish are still alive and appear well !!!!! Other suggestions will be happily accepted. Thanks Jimmy <Thank you for your careful accounting of facts, resolve. Bob Fenner>

Crypto and hyposalinity 8/9/05 Good Morning,    I have a 180 g fish only tank to which I recently added a emperor angel.  This angel is a beast.. aggressive and a great addition, now king of the tank ( others.. Naso tang, powder blue, majestic angel, Fiji Foxface, purple tang )  unfortunately, even though I used a QT for a month the display tank came down with crypto.   <No...> I have two questions.. I have a refugium and I have heard from the ecosystems site (M. Paletta ) that crypto can be difficult to eradicate when miracle mud is in use  Is this true ??? <More difficult, yes>     My second question: I treated the entire tank after taking the macroalgae out with hyposalinity ( SG 1.010 brought down slowly over 5 days )  Fish are all doing great.  I am feeding high moisture foods ( mysids, formula I, II )  How long should I, can I treat and is it likely that the crypto will return as a problem as  I bring the salinity back up SLOWLY? Thanks Jimmy <Almost certainly you will not be eradicating this parasite... optimized conditions, purposeful cleaners... you may achieve some sort of uneasy balance... Please read... on WWM re hyposalinity treatments, Cryptocaryoniasis... Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity 8/9/05 Dear Bob,     Thanks for the reply on hyposalinity.  One last question.  ( 180 g FO tank )  I started the hyposalinity treatment after four fish in the tank came down with crypto. <Lowering spg will very unlikely effect a permanent cure...>   I plan on eventually putting LR in the tank.  I have read on WWM extensively.  Are there any other options for treating the display ( it currently has no inverts ) that will eradicate the crypto but not harm the biological filter bed. <Mmm, no> Currently all inhabitants are doing well, eating like pigs and are free of infection in SG 1.010  ( Naso tang, blue tang, majestic angel, emperor angel, Fiji Foxface ).  Should I continue with the hyposalinity or should I consider other options. <The latter> Will formalin wipe out my bacterial bed if used at the conventionally prescribed doses ? <Oh yes... a general biocide... crosslinks proteins... building blocks of all life on this planet... Do please read on WWM re marine ich... consider copper treatment... and soon. Bob Fenner> Thanks Jimmy
Re: crypto and hyposalinity 8/11/05 Dear Bob,    I am very thankful for your advice.  I would use copper to treat my fish but my experience with copper and nitrite sensitive angels ( emperor, majestic ) is not so good. <Better than losing your livestock though...>   Hyposalinity clears the ich in 5 days <... but does not remove it from the system...> but I am concerned about the long term eradication of ich from the system. <Ah good, me too> It seems to me that once these fish become afflicted with crypt then the battle is uphill.  Even with copper at adequate levels for the prescribed length of time in a QT recurrences do occur <Very rare... if the therapeutic dose is maintained...> and the fish are more apt to get a reinfection because of the immune suppressant effects of the copper.  Do you have personal experience with copper treatment of above species?   <Ah, yes... a very great amount> Should I run a QT with copper at all times in order to allow the biological cycle of the tank to mature  with copper ? <Posted... on WWM>      I think that for this go round I may need to rely on the hyposalinity ( sg1.010 ) ozone, UV sterilizer, frequent water changes, and garlic extreme / good nutrition get me through since my filter in the QT may take a hit if I add copper ( my fish have done so well and look to be disease free with the hypo, ozone, UV etc that I feel that I may be doing more harm than good by turning to copper.  Is my thinking off base on this issue i.e. do you think that I will regret this approach ? Thanks Jimmy <I do agree with you re cycling, copper and QT... But I would still go this route... rather than ping-ponging with Crypt... Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity 8/12/05 Dear Bob,      After reading extensively on hyposalinity and crypt, and, of course, with your help, I am reaching the conclusion that eradication of crypt from the marine system can only be achieved with QT and copper treatment and letting the display lie fallow for two months. <There are a few other approaches... but none as assuredly successful> I was somewhat enchanted by Steve Pro's recommendation that hyposalinity is his #1 choice because it is easy on the fish. <... if only it worked>   I am beginning to realize that there is much controversy re: hyposalinity as a cure, but more often than not, the attestations as to its effectiveness are followed by reports of outbreaks 6-12 months later. <Or generally much sooner> I have a 180 g FO tank and I really want to do this right but I only have a 29g and 55g tanks set up as QT, neither of which have been cycled with copper so the addition of copper will disrupt the biological cycle of the tank/filter.  What is the best way to treat with copper so as not to disrupt my bio cycle ? <Minimal doses with a chelated formulation... twice daily testing... Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity a thanks to the crew 8/12/05 Bob,     Now that I am convinced that hyposalinity may not achieve long term cure for the treatment of crypto, I am curious as to why you think it does not. <Historically it just hasn't... in the vast majority of cases.> I cannot see any signs of visible infestation in the fish that I have treated.   <... not visible to the naked eye> I suspect that the proponents of this method of treatment for marine ich would argue that hyposalinity is the equivalent of allowing the tank to be fallow.   <No... or not valid... Is there a difference between a present, though not observable infestation and none at all? Yes> Is there a "subclinical" or low grade infection that occurs even at low salinity that slows down but does not completely disrupt the life cycle of the parasite?   <Bingo... though, for clarity's sake, the term infection is used for infectious disease... bacteria, fungi... and not protozoans like Crypt> Would using hyposalinity with a Metronidazole or a malachite green formalin combo like Kordon's Rid Ich+ achieve the desired result ? <In what sort of treatment mode? As a dip? As long time immersion? Maybe... the point is to remove the feeding stages from their host fishes as well as destroy (here's the hard part) all intermediate stages... in well-established infestations, systems... this can be very difficult... lowering spg, elevating temperature in the infested systems themselves is of use in "speeding" up the metabolism, cycle of the parasite> As an aside I note that Kordon states that their product does not disrupt the bio cycle. is this true ? <Mmm, strictly speaking... are you referring to Malachite Green?... this is so... but indirectly, this use often does lead to a check to loss of nitrification. For Malachite AND Formalin, biological filtration is indeed kaput, finished> (It has been my experience to be wary of products that make this claim)      I must digress and take one moment to thank you for all of your help.   As a Biology Major and an MD with a background in pharmacology, I have found you and the crew at WetWebMedia to be an excellent source of information, sympathy, encouragement for those dedicated to the hobby.  As I have pursued the hobby through the years I have found myself reading more and more to seek a reasonable consensus of opinion amongst the experts rather than just believing the label or the LFS is always "right" Thanks and have a nice day  Jimmy <Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: crypto and hyposalinity: hypo does not work 8/15/05 Dear Bob:     I must say that as much as I initially resisted the concept that hyposalinity ( 1.010 ) does not work for marine crypto: I am now a believer that it is not the panacea that people once thought it would be. <Or have tried to promote it as such> I have a 180g FO tank that came down with crypt shortly after I added a gorgeous Emperor Angel. <... no quarantine?...> The first fish (no surprise) to be afflicted with this malady was a powder blue tang the others looked fine but who knows. <Ah, yes... good bio-indicators...> I quarantined this fish from the system in a 55 g tank and dropped the salinity to 1.010 in both the quarantine and the display.  I have written a few times questioning if hyposalinity is a reasonable treatment given the fact that fish in the display are doing so well with no overt signs of disease (I run a UV sterilizer as well as ozone as well as frequent water changes every other day in the display but I run a bare bones, but well cycled quarantine ). <Ah, good> It has been three weeks and today I noticed that my quarantined powder blue indeed has crypt while in a salinity of 1.010, subtle but still there.  I took therapeutic measures and he is swimming in copper now to the tune of a therapeutic dose and the rest is out of my hands.  So what do I do about the fish in the display that are all doing so seemingly well? <Am sure you already know the answer to this Jim...> Does combining hyposalinity with 5-nitroimidazoles make sense or would I just be wasting my time and money? <The latter my friend> What do people that keep reef tanks after they quarantine one diseased fish in a system that has other residents?  Thanks Jimmy <... you need to remove all fish life... treat all... leave the main system sans hosts... Bob Fenner>

Re: crypto and hyposalinity: hypo does not work  8/16/05 Bob,     I did quarantine the Emperor before for 1 month but still had the problem with the crypto. <Did you treat (prophylactically) with copper?> Is a 55 gallon quarantine with daily water changes for all the fish in the 180g display enough or am going to have problems ? <Can't tell... you just have to try, monitor and see> This is the only tank that I presently have set up for QT purposes ?  ( Fish = Large Emp Angel, Naso Tang, Majestic Angel, Foxface, Purple tang ) <These two angels together... not a good idea...> All fish are still eating and doing very well i.e. no exterior signs of disease.  Do I need another QT ? <Maybe>     Kordon's Rid Ich+ is said not to disturb nitrification ( this is a 11.5% formalin USP grade  4.25% and a zinc free chloride salt of malachite green .038% ) <... we've been over this? Formalin is a biocide... crosslinks peptides... did you not state you had some bio-medical academic background? Look up the MSDS information on this compound> I guess you would not recommend treating the main display with this? <...> Because ? <... posted on WWM: ...> it would not work ? or I would have trouble getting it out of the system after treatment done? You have been a big help separating wheat from chaff re this issue. And I will be patiently persistent Jimmy <Then read... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm Please learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM... Bob Fenner>

Marine ich-- how long can it survive essentially fresh water situation? I'm sorry if this has been answered before but I can't seem to find the answer using the search. My question is: With a marine system with ich at 78 degrees, if I exchange all the water and put in RO water so that the system now is essentially 1.000 sp grav, how long do I need to leave it as such before adding salt and bringing system back to 1.024. I basically have rock, sand with no corals and now, no fish.  All I have seen answered before is when the tank is left fallow but at ~1.024 sp grav. --6 to 8 weeks. Thank you. <I suspect, if there is not much mulm, detritus, muck... most all ich/crypt should be killed within a few to several hours. Unfortunately, I have heard, read anecdotes stating that this parasite withstood weeks of freshwater exposure in "dirty" tanks that had their fish and other livestock removed... Best to go the biocide route and bleach/wash such systems to be absolutely sure. Bob Fenner> Hyposalinity Or Medication For Ich Treatment? Hi crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have am having serious issues in battling ich this time around. <Uh- Oh...> All of my fish (1 Flame Angel, 1 Valentini Puffer, 3 Firefish and 1 Neon Goby) were infected with ich. I removed all from my 100 g. and put them into 2 separate 10 g. QT cycled tanks. The Flame Angel Beat up the Firefish so I got a second-hand 29 g. with a divider and moved all fish in there. I lowered the sg to 1.010 and ever since, I'm having bad water quality issues. I tried Bio-Spira but it doesn't work at that sg. <Not sure of that- I would follow the manufacturer's guidelines to the letter. I've never been a big fan of hyposalinity for a variety of reasons, but regardless- water quality can be brought in line through good husbandry techniques...> I change 10 g. twice daily in effort to reduce nitrites. Ammonia is now 0, nitrite usually 0.1-0.2. I was using tap water for the change water but the chloramines (.25 ammonia even with Prime) were creating larger nitrite spikes (.5). I am running to my LFS daily to get 20 gallons of DI water. <Unfortunate, but your solution is a good one, given the circumstances...> It's been almost 2 weeks and it's getting very expensive and time-consuming. I spend 5 hours a day changing/getting water. I can't install a RO unit at this time. <I'm sorry to hear that...It sounds like actually procuring the water is eating up most of your time? Daily water changes are not a great idea in a situation like this, IMO. Possibly more disruptive than helpful. Consider increasing the SG (gradually, of course) back to "normal" parameters. This will allow you to use the currently ineffective "bacteria in a bottle" product. You could then treat with a common over-the-counter ich medication, such as copper sulfate (for fishes that can tolerate it) or a formalin-based product.> To make matters worse, it's been 10 days of hyposalinity and the fish have ich again. I lowered the sg to 1.009. My flame angel's lips are white (probably from bad water quality). <Hmm...not sure about the cause, but water quality is certainly a possibility> All fish are still eating. I think the cure is worse than the disease at this point. <Well, as I've previously stated- I am not a big fan of hyposalinity. Not to say that some medications are any less stressful, but they do have proven track records.> I think I might have to raise the sg back to normal, and use some other treatment. <We're on the same wavelength!> I've had success with hypo in the past, but that was only 1 fish at a time not 6!. I'm probably not siphoning all the eggs out (the firefish are very jumpy and prone to fly out of the tank when I siphon). <Understood> Should I continue hypo, and if so how long? Should I treat with formalin too? I can't use copper because of my scaleless fish. My main display is fallow (I'm keeping it this way for 4-6 weeks). <Regular specific gravity and formalin-based medication would be my recommendation> Thanks for any advice you can provide Tired, Angela <Do a little "course correction" here, Angela- and carry on from there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Ich treatment: Is Ruby Reef Hydroplex safe (5/29/04) Is Ruby Reef Hydroplex safe to use on a Porcupine Puffer? < I am not familiar with that medication/treatment ....sorry. I did do a bit of research for you and came up with no helpful information. The contents are not listed and there is no mention of contraindications for certain fish species. I would suggest either contacting the manufacturer or instead using one of the other known ich remedies like a pH & temp adjusted fresh water dip for 7 to 8 min and up to 30 if the fish is comfortable and tolerating the dip. Any signs of distress the fish needs to be removed immediately. Never leave the fish un attended. In addition hyposalinity, lowering the main tank to a specific gravity of 1.010 for 4 to 6 weeks. Some believe that lacing food with garlic preparations is helpful. Its effectiveness is controversial but certainly is not harmful.> He has ich and needs some medicated fresh water dips.  How often and for how long should I do this? < there is information on freshwater dips and hyposalinity here http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/hyposalinity.html http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm ..... He is living in the main tank by himself right now.   My clown is in a hospital tank with CopperSafe.  Is this okay for the clown?  <Never mix medications unless the manufacturer instructions tell you differently. I did a 50% water change to my 80 gallon main tank. < 80g will not be sufficient for you Puffer long term. You will need at least 100g or more> The temp is 80 and the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are zero. The specific gravity is 1.019. pH is 8.3. I have read your articles already for about one hour.  I got tired of looking for my answers. <Sorry > I hope you don't mind me asking you directly. <No problem at all> Please advise. < In addition biological cleaners are helpful ....cleaner shrimp (the best Lysmata amboinensis) and maybe a couple of cleaner gobies (Gobiosoma spp.) these will help remove the parasites, and make the fish livestock "feel" a lot better. Thank you! Irene. < Your most welcome, Leslie >

Copper or Hypo? I have a debate. I have my Tusk, Assasi trigger and Black cap Gramma in my hospital tank for a week now. These are new additions. I have seen only 1 or 2 spots on the tusk over the last 6 days.  My Trigger is from the Red Sea. My debate is; I have read along the forums that a tusk did not survive hypo, and also that the Red Sea fish don't like hypo too much. So do I treat with Cupramine or hypo?<I would go with copper, these are pretty tough fish> I personally would like copper better because I think is a more for sure way of eliminating ich.<agreed> But can my fish handle it.<they should> I really want to do the best as I just lost about $800 on fish to ich and these were not cheap either.<agreed, I would treat with a brand called Copper Power... it is less toxic than most other copper remedies and I have "never" (knock on wood) lost any fish when treating them for parasites with this medication, good luck, IanB> My main tank has been fish-less for 6 weeks now.

- Treating Ich with Hyposalinity - Hello crew: <Hello.> I am currently letting the main tank go fallow, and my fishes are in a 20gallon QT with filters heater, I know how a proper Qt should be setup so I do not need info on that.  This is the first time I try hyposalinity and before I used copper most of the time. The reason why I try this is because I have 2 very sensitive fish in the list, 1 being a sub adult regal angel and a juv Blueface angel. From the observation, they have ick. Not like they have velvet. because they are still behaving normally and actively searching for food, eat well in the QT and no scratching of any kind. Also, I notice when the ick fell off the fin of the fish are not transparent anymore... and it is not velvet because I see no slime, not breathing too rapidly either.  <Ok.> I put them into the qt on Monday and gradually lowering the salinity, from 1.025 to now 1.010. However the ick is still present.. should ick Trophont be killed at this kind of salinity?  <It "may" but really hyposalinity on its own has never worked for me.... you'll need to use this in addition to some other methods to kill the ich. Because of the sensitivity of these fish to copper, I'd recommend formalin. Do make sure you follow the directions to the letter as an overdose will likely be fatal. Make sure you also use a gravel vacuum to clean the bottom of the quarantine as you'll be able to remove the sessile stage of ich this way and potentially break the cycle. Likewise, once you start the formalin treatment you'll need to have many days of water changes ready to perform perhaps 25% a day or more to keep the water quality tip-top.>  The qt temperature is 82F. and no ammonia..  The concern is I can see my fish getting more ick on its body today, then before I lowered the salinity 4 days ago... and the fish is still live and eating, swimming and behaving normal[ly]. Should I add copper now???  <See, previous comment.>  I really love this 2 fish and so not want them to die.  <And neither would I... but act now... don't wait.>  Please help me !!! Desperate.  Eric <Cheers, J -- > 

- Treating Ich with Hyposalinity - Should I wait to see if they will get any better? <No... parasitic problems don't "just go away" and in fact have a nasty tendency to get worse as the parasites multiply.>  I have heard that formalin is very dangerous to my fish and myself and I do not know how to administer them.... if I really need to do this can you tell me how much should I add to my QT?  <The directions are on the container... will vary from brand to brand so I can't give you a generalization. Formalin can cause problems, but if you follow the directions to the letter, you should be all set. That and of course don't drink it and you will be fine.>  I have a 20 gallon QT. how about dips? <You can do that too... again, follow the directions on the bottle.>  And how to prepare dip solution? <You can use fresh or saltwater... a bath is longer than a dip, and a bath in a formalin solution would be what I'd recommend here if you don't want to add formalin to the quarantine tank.> Will the siphon and dip everyday further stress the fish? <More than being covered with parasites? My friend, you need to understand that from the point you put the fish in a quarantine tank, they were under stress. What do you think would be less stressful - someone siphoning the tank or suffocating because your gills are full of parasites?>  I prefer to put my hands in the qt as little as possible... stress is a "initiator" of disease right?  <Stress can open the door to disease, but as I mentioned, this door was opened quite a while ago.> If hypo treatment is so unsuccessful in your opinion why people still advocate?  <They typically advocate this IN ADDITION TO other treatments.> Eric <Cheers, J -- > 

Marine Ich (I think) Hi, My hippo tang has developed about 5 or 6 white spots on his body, is breathing rapidly and looks a bit pale. I've read through the articles and Q&A on disease but am still somewhat confused. So, what is my best plan of action?  My tank houses 2 clowns, 1 yellow wrasse, 1 hippo tang, 1 cleaner shrimp, a few turbo snails, and 1 brittle star. Coral include, a leather, candy cane, bubble, torch and assorted polyps. If I move all the fish to a quarantine tank, is it true that the parasite population will crash with no host? If so how long would that take? Would I have to remove my shrimp, star fish and snails to? What would be the best treatment in the quarantine tank, what brand of medication? Is it ok to treat the other fish even though they show no signs of disease since they will all be in the quarantine tank?  Thanks for your time and info.  Angelo >>Good morning, Angelo, Marina here.  Ok, you seem to be observing a parasitic infection, classically ich, either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium.  Look up "hyposalinity ich" in the Google search engine on our site and you'll find PUHLENTY to read, eh?  Also, look up "parasitic disease" as well.  Now, onto using hyposalinity: remove all the fish to however many hospital-quarantine tanks/containers (doesn't have to be a tank, per se) as necessary to avoid overcrowding.  They're going to be in there a good 6-8 weeks while you let the main display lie fallow (fishless) to deprive the parasites of hosts.  This will clear the display of cysts.  The fish can be treated either using hyposalinity or copper (I generally don't recommend Formalin, as it's a bit tricky to use), though I'll suggest the hypo route initially, saves you time and money (you'll need a test kit if using copper).  You *will* need to be sure that the salinity in the q/t is around 1.010 or less to be effective.  It will take the fish a couple or three days to acclimate to the lower salinity (try a drip method if you can set up a container w/drip line).  They should be free of ich after 30 days, but you don't want them back in the main till you're sure it's ich-free.  If you bump up the tank temp that will speed up the parasite's lifecycle--be careful here, no more than 84F what with the corals.  That should do the trick for you.  Also, utilize nutrition as a means of fighting disease, use a supplement such as Selcon (soak food in it for a bit) a few times a week to give all fishes a boost.  I will also suggest having on hand some Spectrogram and/or Melafix in case of secondary infections at the parasite wound sites.  Best of luck!  Marina

More Issues With Ich >Hi! >>Hello! >Long time reader, infrequent question asker.  Really enjoy the information provided on the page, I consider it one of my #1 resources.   I have a 60 gallon tank, I purchased a flame angel and introduced the specimen into the tank (I don't have a Quarantine tank as such, I inherited the larger tank). >>You know what we're going to say, right?  And, as a longtime reader, you also know that quarantine doesn't need to be done in a proper aquarium.  But now it's moot, let's continue. >The fish looked grand in the store, however, 3 days after introduction the fish developed Ich.  I have never had ich in my tank before, or any disease for that matter but it had to happen sometime, ya know, with my reckless abandon and all... *ahem* >>AHEM!   >Anyways, I have the tank running under a hyposalinity treatment, I have also been feeding garlic, doing bi-daily water changes (10 - 15%).  The fish no longer shows signs of ich, but I imagine that is just because the trophonts have fallen off.  I have been doing a gravel siphoning with every other water change and have been moving ornaments around here and there to vacuum under them.  None of the other fish (yellow tang, maroon clown, Heniochus Bannerfish) are showing signs of the disease and they all seem to be taking the hyposalinity treatment well. >>Good. >Here's the question portions... Is there anything else I should be doing (besides quarantine) to my tank to ensure the disease doesn't spread anymore?  I don't relish the idea of treating the tank with copper as Centropyge loricula is known to be somewhat copper sensitive, and formalin treatments are fairly hard to find in most of the shops in my city. >>Well, if you're automatically factoring those treatments out, then the only thing I can tell you is the set up a q/t, freshwater dip all fish before you put them in it, and let that display lie fallow for 6-8 weeks.  The garlic has only been proven to have some antibacterial effects, and there is anecdotal evidence that it seems to stimulate feeding response. >Also, my tank is equipped with an underground filter powered by two Powerhead 802's, the post powerful ones of the AquaClear label, it sucks down food instantly which prompts me to turn the pumps off during feeding, is it possible that the suction from the gravel bed will keep the encysted ich babies on the bottom of the tank and break their life cycle by not making them able to attach to a host? Far fetched maybe, but is it possible? >>Yes, VERY far fetched, not at all likely that they'd be entirely "trapped" within the confines of the U.G.. >I will keep it at the current gravity (1.012) for about a month and see what happens, is it a safe attitude to have that assuming after 5 weeks of treatments and there are no reoccurrences or ill effects of the fish due to hyposalinity that I can consider the problem finished?  Should I be considering a more aggressive treatment for the problem?  I'd appreciate any advice you might have. -Bj Rampton >>Hyposalinity would be better at 1.010, sometimes even as low as 1.007.  Always consider more aggressive treatment, since you can't get the formalin in town, order some (cuz we can tell you're online ;) ) and have it on hand.  Remember, you have to be careful with this stuff as well as with copper.  (My own experience with flames doesn't show them to be exceedingly sensitive to copper treatments, but formalin will certainly work as well if it comes to that).  The big thing is that to eliminate the possibility of reinfection you'll need to let that display lie fallow.  Search for Terry Bartelme's articles on ich, too, he's written much about this parasite.  I would go with 6-8 weeks with no ich observed before I felt it was no longer an issue.  Marina

Ich Again! I've had my tank setup for 18 months and this latest bout with Ich has me just about ready to give up. <Never give up! We're here for you!> My tank is setup with all of the best equipment as recommended by users of this site, it is all oversized and properly maintained.  Water parameters are excellent (I even switched to RO/DI), temp is controlled via a chiller and dual heaters ......oh yeah, I also have a 25watt UV for which I change bulbs every 6 months.  I got impatient and pulled a fish too quickly from QT and ended up with Ich in the display (110 gal FO). <It happens...We're all human. I KNOW that you'll never do that again, right?> Over time after treating each fish it got to the point that I disregarded conventional wisdom and treated the display with copper. <Not what I would do- but  hey, you used your best judgment...Can't be faulted for that> It looked fine after treatment (3 weeks at appx 1.015-1.02) for about 2 weeks and voila, Ich on at least 3 fish.  With 9 fairly large fish, I don't see QT as a viable option therefore I can't allow the tank to go fallow for 4 weeks. <Honestly, even though it's the biggest pain in the butt, I believe that letting the tank run fallow is the best, and most reliable way of breaking the life cycle of the causative parasite, and essentially eradicating this illness from your system. As an alternative to another tank, have you considered the large plastic Rubbermaid storage containers? They are relatively cheap, can hold fairly large amounts of water, and can do the job in a pinch. Throw in a filter and heater of correct size, some PVC sections for cover; maybe a cheap fluorescent light fixture, and voila-instant triage center! Not pretty- but it does the trick! Do consider this> I have been thinking about hyposalinity.  Will this rid not only the fish but the tank of Ich? <Hyposalinity can work, but frankly- I think that it's more trouble than simply letting the tank go fallow. In my opinion (notice I said "my"?), there are quite a few potential things that can go wrong with hyposalinity if you don't keep a very close eye on things. If not done carefully, there can be "collateral damage" to desirable animals. I think that environmental manipulation is a good alternative if you are dead-set on not removing all of the fishes, but it is not the most effective course.> What is my best course of action? <I like the fallow tank technique, as indicated above-if for no other reason than the fact that it denies the parasites access to a host, and absolutely reduces their population to a level that healthy fishes should be able to withstand It does work if done correctly> I read all of the faq's, etc and I get conflicting answers. <Yep- there are tons of opinions out there- no one is the 'perfect" answer. You just have to weigh all of the factors and choose the course of action that you feel will work the best. Just because the fallow tank procedure works for me does not mean that it will be the cure for your system. It is, however, very, very effective the majority of the time, and has been proven over and over by thousands of hobbyists and professional aquarists...> Your response could save me from going over the edge and switching to fresh water. Thanks <Again- don't give up! you're learning a lot from this awful experience! You'll be successful if you adopt a course of treatment and stay with it! You can do it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Hyposalinity/Ich Hi Craig/WWM I need your advice. I'm planning on decreasing the SG (1.012, gradually) in my main tank and increase the temperature to 82-83 (gradually). <With your corals and inverts I wouldn't lower SG.> My SG right now is 1.023 at 77-78 deg. How slow is the modification/change should be? I have leather corals, polyps and mushroom in my main tank. I also have a lawnmower blenny, sailfin tang (I only did a FW dip before putting him in, I know shame on me) and a cleaner/neon goby (he hides a lot and not doing any cleaning yet). My water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, Ca is 400 and PO3 0. Would this environment modification kill my soft corals? How long can I keep my main tank in this low SG and increase temp (without killing my soft corals)? Will my neon goby be a cleaner someday (he's tank raised according to my LFS)? My fish/es does not show any symptoms yet? (knock on wood). I already loss a sailfin tang with a FW dip (I guess too stress and weak from ich). My tank was fallow for 5 weeks before adding the tang. By the way, I'm doing this to prevent ich (?). My quarantine tank has copper from my previous sailfin (ick). I read about copper causing some damage to tang's digestive system (that's the reason I only did FW dip with my new sailfin). I know the best prevention is QT. But can I perform this modification at my present situation? and would this help eradicate some of the ick in my system?. Thanks again for your help, Jun <Wait and see if you get symptoms on any other fish. The neon Goby may or may not be a cleaner, I have two tank raised Neons and they clean my Tang while the shrimp clean everyone else. You can run your main at 83F but I wouldn't lower the SG because of your other inhabitants. I suspect your sailfin was pretty weak already.... I would see if you have any symptoms and treat them if necessary. Good luck!  Craig>

Ich Hi Bob,  <<Actually JasonC, Bob has dashed off to a tropical paradise for another diving junket.>>  Yet another question about getting rid of marine ich. I've read an article on Osmotic Shock therapy that mentions dropping tank salinity to 1.012 or 1.010 for three weeks once valuable inverts are removed.  <<Also referred to as hyposalinity - it can work, but that SPG range is rather low in the long haul, and could be detrimental. You can accomplish the same thing using a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip of five to ten minutes.>>  It claims that bacteria and fish will survive this lowered salinity, ich will NOT.  <<Inverts will not survive either. If you really want to go this route, I wouldn't lower the salinity any farther than 1.018.>>  It does also mention, a complete system cleaning and large water change, which I know are also tools used in combating ich. I know you recommending removing fish to a separate system for treatment, but if this is not practical, does the OST approach work?  <<Not as the only method - it can be used as part of a system of treatment, but in my experience your best bet would be to remove the fish to separate quarantine systems and run the tank fallow for six weeks.>> W. Tripp

Ich Hello Bob,  <<Actually, it's JasonC today...>> I recently lost several fish in a 72 gallon saltwater to what I believed to be ich or velvet. I used green-x & was then told by my local fish dealer to drop my density slowly from my normal 1.021 to 1.015 to hopefully save the last 2 fish, a maroon clown in very poor health & a porcupine puffer that seemed to be doing well. I was told to leave it for 2 weeks at the lowered salinity & also raise the temperature to 81 degrees. They also instructed me to use a Spectrum Thera+A which has garlic in it. The clown was also dipped in FORMALIN -3 for 50 minutes. After all was said and done both fish came through with flying colors. I waited for the 2 weeks then raised the salinity back up slowly. We thought it was safe because there were no signs of disease so we purchased a medium size blonde Naso tang. He looked great...for 2 days and then white spots appeared. Later that night we noticed him twitching and darting. The next morning we dipped him in Formalin-3 (which the fish dealer had already done before we purchased him 3 nights earlier). I'm sure by now you can tell I have no QT.  <<All this could have been avoided if you did...>>  I have been told to lower the salinity down slowly to 1.009 and keep it there for 4 weeks.  <<Egads.. please don't do that as you will likely lose all your fish. I would consider that now is a good time to get a couple of 20g tanks as start your quarantine systems... isolate these fish and allow the tank to run fallow for about six weeks. You can lower the salinity, but anything lower than 1.018 is going to cause significant stress on the fish.>>  Also, the tang is eating a dried seaweed. The dealer instructed me to put a liquid garlic on this food which I have done.  <<For whatever it's worth, I don't subscribe to the concept of garlic as a cure - perhaps as a preventative, or promoter of good health, but certainly it will not kill ich or Oodinium.>>  He is still eating it. I also purchased a cleaner goby, but I haven't seen him clean anything yet. I would certainly appreciate any advice you could give me.  <<Start quarantining!>>  Both the clown & puffer appear fine as well as the new goby, but the tang is still darting and I noticed a film on one of his eyes. I also have about 45 lbs of live rock. I am presently at a density of 1.0135.  <<Don't run the SPG this low.>>  Also how often can a fish be dipped in this Formalin-3 ? Will 4 weeks get rid of this disease?  <<Not if the problem is still in the tank. All of these parasitic diseases have life cycles. When you see spots on your fish, these are irritations caused by the parasites and most often, the parasite has already dropped off and is already making 100,000 copies of itself to come back and haunt you another day. Consider quarantining everything - running the tank fallow. Please read this link and the FAQs beyond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thanks, Gary in Kentucky <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Ich Jason,  <<Hi,>> Thanks for the quick response. I had read Bob suggesting Hypo-salinity by slowly lowering the salt density to 1.010 to many different people. Is this not something you agree with or is my situation different?  <<Well, perhaps you and I are reading different pages, and for me, I'm just working from memory but I can't ever recall anyone recommending anything below 1.015 unless it was a freshwater bath, but I wouldn't be surprised. Keep in mind that it's not supposed to be a permanent condition and keeping the specific gravity low for several weeks will cause stress on the fish. On the flip side, and from my own experience, I've never had any luck with using 'just' hyposalinity as a curative measure. Your absolute best bet is to run the system fallow. I offer these two URLS for your reading pleasure: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm >> In getting a QT tank or tanks, should I use water from my 72 gallon and then use copper to get rid of ich?  <<You can do this, but keep in mind that it will be next to impossible for biological filter bacteria to thrive/survive a copper treated system so you will need to do large, frequent water changes to keep ahead of the ammonia - perhaps 25-50% every other day.>>  Do I put the fish in during the copper treatment, or wait till the treatment is complete?  <<You put the fish and the copper in the quarantine tank - don't put anything in the main display, not even fish - let it go fallow.>>  I'm really a rookie at saltwater, so I appreciate your wisdom. I understand to keep the 72 fallow for six weeks. Could I get by with one 20 gallon tank for 6 weeks with a 4 inch puffer, a 3 inch Naso, a 2 inch maroon clown & a 1 inch neon goby?  <<I really wouldn't recommend it - something will not make it through that type of crowding.>>  What do I lower the density to in the fallow tank?  <<I wouldn't even bother - I've run this routine myself - you could, and it won't hurt, but you'll need to bring the conditions back to normal before you re-introduce the fish. I would just turn up the temperature to 82 or so and put the parasite reproduction into overdrive - with no host fish to live on, their numbers will soon be depleted.>>  Do I keep the QT tank at 1.021?  <<Or perhaps even closer to 1.025 which is the average for the world's oceans.>>  Last question, Does live rock carry disease & do I leave the rock in the fallow tank.  <<It can 'house' it, but it won't promote parasitic disease. By taking out the fish, you will break the life cycle of the parasites. I would leave the live rock in the fallow tank and give it a chance to recuperate from the hyposalinity - low SPG is especially harmful to invertebrate life and potentially some of the fauna in the live rock.>>  Well, I guess that was two, but thanks.  <<My pleasure - take it slow. Cheers, J -- >> Gary from Kentucky

Help Treating Ick Hi Bob <<JasonC here, Bob is away diving.>> I have an expensive clown trigger in my 72 gal. I had an Ich breakout and added copper (Its at .20 ppm now) and lowered the salinity to 1.014 temporarily. The tang cleared up but the trigger is infected. Is this due to the cycle of the parasite? How badly was my bacteria media affected? <<somewhere between stalled-out and dead I would guess. Sometimes these things make a recovery, sometimes they have to start all over again. Copper is serious stuff, best used as a third or fourth option and not the first.>>  Is there anything else I can do to stop the from spreading?  <<Don't introduce fish into your tank until they've been through a couple of weeks of quarantine. Once you put a fish with parasites into your display tank, within a day or so, the parasite will have made the rounds. Do read up: Parasites & Marine Tanks: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thanks, Joe <<You are quite welcome. Do also run some activated carbon to pull out the remaining copper. Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Ich Bob, Fish are doing fine, eating very aggressively. Follow me around tank looking for food. I do see a slight increase in parasites on the body. No scratching or hiding. Will the parasites run in cycles or will they keep increasing in numbers? <Increasing if conditions favor them> Should I leave well enough alone or consider hyposalinity? <One avenue of control.> I have read your articles about and was wondering why you do not get complete kill if you go to 1.010 specific gravity for an extended period of time (what would that period of time be)? <Mmm, tolerance by some individuals, allowance for more resistant stages...> Of course I would elevate temp. Freshwater dips are so effective that I would think you could do some major damage to parasites. What else would you lose? <The hosts> Have 3 butterflies, goby for cleaning, snowflake eel and live rock. Also have a few snails and hermit crabs. D. Stanley <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Ich update Hi Bob, A couple of months ago I did not quarantine two little Blue Green Chromis for long enough and my tank became infected with Ich. You probably remember. <Yes. A painful lesson> I remove the fish to a 38 Ga. and treated with copper after dipping in Methylene Blue. The Ich returned a week later. I tried Malachite green and formaldehyde plus dipping. The Ich returned again. Then I lowered the S.G. and it got rid of it for good. I let them stay in the Q-tank for almost two months to lower the Ich in the main tank. Now my fish have been returned to the main tank and have been there for over two weeks. Perfect health and full of vigor. They all survived and are fat and sassy. Thanks for all your help. Just wish I tried the lower specific gravity first. Man that sure did the trick. <Thank you for relating your ordeal and success. Bob Fenner> Zimmy

Ick...Ich Hello Bob, <You actually have Steven now. Bob is off traveling until next week.> Hope all is well. Quick update, I got the herbal ich attack and emperor aquatics 25 watts, in the mail yesterday. I successful transferred and fresh water dipped all the occupants of the 125 gallon and they are now in the 55 gallon. I have began treatment with the Herbal ich attack and will keep you posted on results as it appears to be fairly new. I was on WWM last night trying to find the procedures for leaving the tank empty, but all I gathered was that I should drain system and add freshwater for a couple of hours <Please do not do this. You are correct. It will kill your beneficial bacteria and any life on you live rock.> then add salt water up to 0.015 to kill parasites. At what point do I raise the salinity to normal limits and won't this throw the nitrogen cycle off. I don't want to have to recycle the system again. Please give me the step by step process, I'm trying to kill those parasites for good this time. I will also hook up the new UV sterilizer, kind of double kill here. I know you recommend leaving the system empty for 2 months, do you think this could be sooner with use of the new UV sterilizer. <You can probably get away with one month.> Thanks Again, Gillian

In the Thick of Ick Bob, <Anthony Calfo, my friend, in your service> It's me again from my Wife's email account. My Purple Tang has Ich. It looks like someone sprinkled salt on him. I looked at him on Thursday and he was fine. My wife had ACL surgery Friday and when I got home Saturday, he was sprinkled with white dots. Today, he looks a little better and there are fewer white dots than yesterday. My water conditions are near perfect with a trace of ammonia (I've done two 10% water changes the last three days to help correct that). <ahhh, but beyond the ammonia, what else is going on that could have caused the Ich? What is the day/night swing in temperature. What size is your heater, etc?> My question is what to do now. I have a 90 Gallon All-Glass Reef Tank with 100lbs of LR, 20lbs Live Sand, A cleanup Crew consisting of hermits, snails, sally Light Foot crabs, Emerald Crabs, Decorator Crabs, Haddoni Anemone, Blonde Naso Tang, Blue-Headed Wrasse, Clarkii Clown and a Orchid Dottyback as well as numerous corals (please see the link for all the coral types) http://www.slabe.net/Reef.htm. I do have another 30 gallon tank (use to be freshwater) in the closet not even set-up yet. I'm not quite sure what to do. I've read about Hyposalinity cure  <I am not a big subscriber to this methodology for most> but that doesn't treat "The System" as you're article mentioned on disease. In addition, I was going to setup the other tank tonight anyway with an Aragonite Sand bottom and a hang-on filter and use this tank as a quarantine <quarantine a great idea but not with sand (harbors parasites and absorbs medicants... must go bare bottomed (the tank...not you)> on all new fish purchase but even if I get it setup today and add a damsel fish tomorrow, it still won't be cycled for a month or so, <you need to read a lot more on how easy quarantine is... a sponge filter can be ready and running in your main tank or sump at all times without needing a ferocious damsel in a boring display tank at all times. Leave filter running in future and only set up secondary tank when needed> so I'm back to square one and completely lost. <be sure to always QT all fish, coral, rock I the future> I don't want to lose any corals, inverts  <not possible... Ich is non pathogenic to these animals> <sorry, but a possibility> and especially any pricey fish (The Blue Haddoni & Blonde Naso). I wish I could just do something with the Purple Tang by itself but I don't know what to do... Please help...Need good advice quickly...Christopher Slabe <sorry again... but the issue must be addressed in the tank in some way. Feeding medicated food is mildly helpful. Maintain stable temperature is critical. Small frequent and proper temp water changes from tank bottom will also reduce parasites. Lightly lowering the salinity may be stimulating (moving up to 2/100th point daily from 1.024 to 1.019 but watch inverts carefully). Otherwise... the dam has already sprung a leak. We need to find the problem (what stress caused the Ick) and address it. Anthony>

Re: In The Thick of Ich Anthony, <hello, Ohio buddy!> I think that the Purple Tang obtained Ich when I introduced a  <as you called it a baby horse of a fish >  Blonde Naso. It is much larger than the Purple Tang and I think maybe the Tang just got scared and got ich? <stress could certainly cause it but would be much less likely if all fish went through strict quarantine> Does this sound like it might be a culprit? Here are my next questions based on your responses: 1) How do I lower the pH as you mentioned?  <my mistake... I misspoke!: I meant to say lower your SALINITY as a stimulant by 2/100th point per day towards 1.019/1018> I currently use a Kalk Calcium addition system with a Dosing Pump and that keeps the pH high. Adding a buffer solution also keeps the Alkalinity high which resists the lowering of the pH. I have a Electronic pH monitor to easily be able to tell the drop but I don't know how to drop it... <if it is under 8.7 during peak daylight... don't worry about it. Natural seawater is 8.45 and can easily swing up to 8.6/8.7 with no trouble in aquaria> 2) I do have two sponges that water flows through in my sump. I could use one of those?  <yes, converting these mature sponges can make excellent and ready bio-filters!> I'm going to do a search on a quarantine tank in your database... <excellent... best regards, Anthony>

Thanks I wanted to write to thank you for some very sound (albeit drastic) advice. I've submitted a number of questions to your column and thought it only fair to take a moment to express my appreciation. Besides, it's kind of interesting what happened and I thought you might appreciate the feedback. I have five marine tanks, reef and fish only. Four of them have been trouble-free for long periods and help me keep my sanity in dealing with the fifth. The fifth tank, a 125 fish only has been plagued for close to a year with recurring ich. I tried everything and nothing worked. I have an 80 gallon quarantine tank and I moved all my fish (several times) there to treat them with copper. I've treated the main tank with copper (very carefully testing and maintaining therapeutic levels everyday), run it fallow for weeks on end. Every time, the ich returned when I put healthy fish back in the tank. A few months ago, I read one of your columns where you recommended draining the tank, replacing it with freshwater and basically, dipping the tank. It sounded drastic and I was hesitant to try it. I have a plenum in the tank and was unsure what effect the freshwater would have on the bacteria. But I had exhausted all other options so I gave it a shot with some modification. First, I lowered salinity to 1.014 over a two week period, leaving the fish and inverts in. (The ich was not very severe at the time and the cleaner shrimp were providing some relief to the fish). By the way, from what I've seen, having done this a few times, the salinity and temperature trick rarely eliminates ich; it seems to just set it back until it acclimates. <Agreed> To my surprise, all the inverts (including snails and cucumbers) handled the salinity fine. I then removed all livestock, moving the fish to the QT with copper and moving the inverts to a refugium on a reef tank. I then let the tank run fallow two weeks. Then I drained the tank to about 2 inches of water (enough to keep the plenum under water). Then I refilled with straight tap water (not dechlorinated).  After about 30 minutes, I removed all live rock to a saltwater holding tank and left the tank running with freshwater overnight. The next day, I drained it and filled with pre-mixed R/O saltwater, added a bottled bacteria colony and let everything run a few days. I slowly returned the live rock, checked all nutrient levels and the water was fine.  As for return of livestock, I started with a purple tang, figuring if there was any ich in the tank, the tang would show it right away. I've now returned about half the fish to the tank and it's been about ten days without a sign of any problem. I know this may all sound drastic and you may be saying "Of course there's no ich after all that," but after a year of fighting ich in this tank, I was pleasantly surprised that it worked so well. A few other notes: the impact on the plenum was undetectable. Within 2 or 3 days of the "dip" the plenum was bubbling as efficiently as ever and nitrates are still only at trace levels. Also, to my surprise, three small black and white Hawaiian hermit crabs lived through the whole process, even 60 degree chloraminated freshwater (which made me worry the parasites might have survived as well). Finally, having the tank so empty was a great cleaning opportunity. This tank hasn't looked so good in a long time. Thanks again. I hope this information proves helpful. >> <Thank you for the synopsis, and careful relating of your trials and triumph. It has helped (in future) many more folks and will save untold numbers of fishes. I thank you, 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

Solving the dreaded ich problem I am fairly new at the saltwater fish hobby, learning day by day. I released a fish in my main tank not realizing it had ich. Now the majority of the fish in my tank have it. I've taken the infected fish out to medicate and when I put them back in the main tank a week later they have it again. I was told to take my inverts out and drop the salinity level down to 1.015 that this would kill the parasite. It's been three days, I haven't noticed any change. Is this going to work? Any advise would be appreciated, Jeff Johnson << If anything is in abundance in our interest/hobby, it is opinions on how to treat disease... No, simply lowering the specific gravity of your system will not kill the ich... Please take a look at the materials stored on my site: Home Page , for not only some concrete ideas on how to proceed, but the logic behind them. I would continue with the reduced spg, raise the system temperature (to about 82F to speed up the life cycle of the protozoan parasite) and utilize a copper-based medication (with a test kit... daily) for two weeks... and keep your live rock, invertebrates separated for about two months to allow the resting stages of the ich/Cryptocaryon to go fallow.... and avail yourself of purposeful cleaner organisms like Lysmata Shrimp. Bob Fenner>>

Emperor Angel and FW dips for crypt  9/8/05 Dear  Bob,      Thanks so much for all of your wonderful advice over the past couple of months.  I have a 180g FO tank that had crypt introduced into it after I added an emperor angel, yes I used a QT 4 weeks but unfortunately still had the problem.      I have had a problem ping ponging with crypt since.  I have had no fish die. <A testament to your active, good care...> I have 3 ich magnet tangs in a 55g QT ( large Naso, powder blue, purple tang ) they are doing surprisingly well though they are being treated with copper. Cupramine used to the letter of instructions.  Powder blue initially got HLLE which is now much better since feeding with Gracilaria for a week.  These guys will eventually be cured. <I admire your resolve>      As for the other guys in the display ( Emperor 6", Majestic 5" , Foxface 5" 2 clown fish aggression amongst angels has not been a problem)  they are all eating and doing fine.  I initially treated the display with hyposalinity to a SG of 1.009 for 6 weeks which predictably failed to achieve a cure.  Aggressive water changes, good diet etc have kept the fish alive but tank is infested.  I now see the Emperor is getting some white discoloration at the distal end of his right pectoral fin. Probably crypt, <... or the result of hyposalinity, treatment, stress...> but I have seen this type of thing go away never to return on other fish many times.  I am in the process of preparing a QT's of 55 gallons as well as 29 gallons.  Yes That makes 3 QT's in all. Two 55gallon and one 29 gallon. QT 55 g 1 Cupramine Treated 1 Naso, 1 powder blue, 1 purple tolerating well Aggression amongst the tangs has not been a problem <Crowding has its benefits at times> Planned QT 2 55 G Plan to add Majestic, Foxface, damsel  3 clowns ( these guys appear disease free )      Plan on using copper added SLOWLY, testing twice daily Planned QT 3 29 g plan on treating emperor alone I have well cycled large BioWheel filters that I am planning to use on the new QT's ( used in curing live rock ) I have read at wet web media that FW dips and daily water changes for and FW dips for 8 days can effect a cure for crypt. <Some, sometimes>   Is it likely that treating the emperor in the 29 G in this fashion will achieve a cure ? <Not the route I would take> The 180 gallon will lie fallow for 6-8 weeks. I will introduce and aquascape 150 lbs of beautifully cured LR as well as cleaner shrimp to make a new home for the fish that survive. <Good> I will most likely reintroduce 3-5 large fish and 3-4 small fish ( hopefully the angels, the Naso, clowns ) Do you think that this is a reasonable plan of action ? Thanks Jimmy <I would "risk" the use of copper (likely chelated... maybe the Cupramine product) on the Angel/s... Bob Fenner>

Re: Emperor Angel and FW dips for crypt  9/9/05 Bob,    Thanks for the feedback.  I am going to QT the angels and start Cupramine at a very low dose and move up to the recommended level.  This AM both of these fish look great in the Display no visible signs of disease ( but that is why they call it crypt which is Greek for hidden )   but I know there is still crypt in the tank. <Yes and yes>   I will fatten them up a bit until things are right for the QT.   As an aside.  What a difference a two foot wide tank makes on reducing stress !!! <Ahhh! Perhaps asking folks to consider how hard it is on them to make a turn in their car in a too-narrow street...>   I think that when I put fish in QT their biggest stress seems to be the decreased tank width (  front to back ) of the tank until they re-adjust their swimming pattern when they turn in the water.        My experience with my hobby this summer has taught me that there are times to act and there are times to wait.   <My friend~! You are gaining/unfolding to enlightenment> Taking action, though important, at the right time can be detrimental when it is time to sit fast.  Aggressive tank maintenance and excellent water conditions go a long way to allow for the fish's immune system to work.  Constantly assessing if treatment is worse than disease is imperative.  Treating in a timely manner when the disease is worse than the treatment can save fish.  Treatment when the treatment is worse that the disease kills fish.  Excellent fish husbandry oftentimes buys us some time to make this critical decision. <Ahhhh> Thanks Jimmy <Thank you... for the "Tao of fish keeping" insights. BobF>

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: