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FAQs on Marine Diseases 4

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The antithesis of disease is health. Botrylloides sp. A gorgeous Ascidian. Here in N. Sulawesi.

Out Damn Spot!  Hi Guys, <Hello.> Haven't written for a quite a while, everything's been going great. Recently removed some fish and had to dismantle the whole display... damsels!!! Anyhow all in all I have probably subjected my fish to too much stress. Now for the consequences! I have had a black- footed clown for about 9 months and he has been doing great apart from the bullying from a pajama wrasse who has now been removed, (and the damsel). The problem is I have noticed about 5-6 white spots on the clown. I took him out and put him in the refugium (I know more stress) for a couple of days, and the spots seemed to have disappeared. So fool I am, decided that he would be happier back in the main tank (thinking it must of been a figment of my imagination). Guess what... the spots returned. I am at a loss at the minute, I have not had any sick fish until now. Just would like some advise if you would not mind. Thinking of either putting him in a fresh water bath for 5- 10 min.s, or else setting up a hospital tank and treating it with a white spot remedy. <I would do both - give the fish a pH-adjusted freshwater dip, and then isolate it... perhaps not treat with anything else right away, but keep under observation there for at least two weeks, more if you end up needing to treat.> The problem is that I don't want my other fish to get it, and seeing as though it is a mixed tank I can't treat them without killing all the inverts! Would you suggest setting up a large bare tank and treating all the fish in this and let the display lie fallow for a month? <I'd go one at a time... isolate the clownfish, then keep an eye on things in the main tank... if the main tank seems free of problems, then there's no need to run it fallow. Just keep a watchful eye.> P.S. - Stats: Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite all  0 ppm, Calcium 320, KH 9, Phos, pH8.3, 15kg live rock , 2" live sand, 4" deep sand bed/refugium, variety of soft corals, Anthiine, Blue/Green Chromis, Fire Goby, Scarlet Hawkfish Twice fed daily, live and frozen, and live Phyto plankton. Any advise greatly and as always much appreciated. Thanks for your time,  Rob <Cheers, J -- >

Troubled Tang? Good evening. <Hello there! Scott F. with you tonight> My purple tang has skin sloughing off one whole side of his body.  Appearance has gone from brilliant purple to grey/white on that side. Other side shows some discoloration but not nearly so much.  I've had the fish for several years with no prior problems.  He's in one of 2 120's networked to a common sump. Soft coral reef tanks w/ moderate tank loading and excellent water quality, powerful skimmers, lots of water circulation, etc.  The other fish appear to be unaffected.  Tried to catch the tang, but that's not easy in a reef. <That's for darn sure!> The startling part of this is all has happened within 24 hours.  Last night he looked fine, tonight he looks terrible. No scratching and no visible parasites.  He's not the pig he usually is, but he did eat so I gave him some Tetra medicated food. Ideas? Recommendations? <Hmm.. hard to be sure without a pic, but it could be either a fungal infection of some sort, or reaction to a trauma (sloughing mucus and body slime). It could even be a parasitic infection...lots of possibilities...Unfortunately, any potential treatment calls for removal of the affected fish from the aquarium; at the very least, for observation. If it is some sort of parasitic disease, time is of the essence, as it could spread to your other fishes. If it is some sort of reaction to injury, you might luck out by simply maintaining excellent water conditions and the use of "biological" cleaners, like neon gobies or cleaner shrimp. Observe carefully, and take immediate action if required...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Treating new fish 6/18/03 Hello Anthony, <cheers, mate> I thought about Formalin, but was worried about its effects on the filter (which is biological)? <valid... but not so severe as many other meds (like copper, Methylene blue, erythromycin, etc)> I will consider a formalin dip, the MelaFix was added because i had some and i thought it would be fine with the shark. <agreed... I do believe it is safe for the shark... and safe for the parasites too <G>> how lo would you say to lower the salinity by (if the shark was removed)? <1.018> I am completely struck on transshipped marines and i am due a list from Hawaii. Can you suggest any thing from there that is really good or worth having? <many fine wrasses, a few dwarf angels... beautiful triggers and Tobies (dwarf puffers)...> in my mind i am thinking flame angels, potters angel, Lemonpeel angels, yellow Sailfin tangs, chevron tangs - common but sought after! <the tangs yes... very much. Great fishes and hardy. The Potters... no way. They are so delicate that many don't even make it to the US mainland. Not a strong fish under any circumstance... lets leave those beauties in the sea. Lemonpeels and Flames can be quite hardy once established though. Very fine.> Regards, Sam <best regards, Anthony>

Disease Diagnosis... Hi Bob, <Scott F. this evening!> I have a 120 gallon marine fish only tank. I have been struggling lately with nitrate at 40ppm but all other levels are zero and I am doing a 21 gallon change weekly which is reducing it slowly. <Good...Keep it up!> The tank has a 2.5ft Zebra moray, 5 inch French angel and a 4 inch powder blue tang. About 2 weeks ago a smaller tang died after about a week of looking like he had swallowed a dice (he had large lumps on his sides). <Hmm...hard to say what that could have been...An intestinal parasite, maybe?> About a week ago the powder blue tang started to scratch its self on the gravel surface and after a few days his eyes went cloudy and he now stays at the bottom of the tank. The French angle is now starting to suffer with cloudy eyes and neither will eat and do not seem able to see the food in the tank. Should I separate these fish from the eel or should I treat them all together. I have a spare tank in the garage I could setup) Would a fresh water dip help? <I would separate the fishes for treatment...A freshwater dip is useful if you suspect parasitic infection, but it may be a bacterial infection- so a FW dip may not be that effective...> Do you have any idea what this disease may be, if so what treatment should I use? Also will the eel be able to contract this disease as well? <It is certainly possible that the eel can contract this illness. I would ask myself if I see any cloudiness to the fins, heavy breathing, excessive mucous, a fine "dusting" of whitish spots, etc. These are all signs of potentially dangerous parasitic diseases, such as Cryptocaryon, Amyloodinium, or even Brooklynella. I'd do a scan of the disease FAQs on the WWM site to see if you come across a set of symptoms similar to the ones that you're witnessing> Your prompt help would be appreciated as I would like to be able to at least save the eel. Kind Regards Darren Adams <Well, Darren, I'd start by removing the obviously affected fishes for further observation and possible treatment. You do need to confirm what you're dealing with before you commence any treatments, so do your best to find what it is...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

The Eyes Have It... My friend's fish died within 12 hours of showing signs of disease. The flesh of the fish appeared "eaten away" and it's eyeball was hanging out. Any ideas on what this is and are her other fish at risk? Thanks for your help, Nicky <Well, Nicky...rapid death, and "eaten" flesh can be indicative of a number of bacterial or parasitic diseases. If it is a marine fish, perhaps Brooklynella or even Amyloodinium...Really hard to say...The eyeball hanging out may be attributable to the disease or possible post mortem "munching" by one of the other inhabitants of the tank...Could be a potentially contagious illness that caused the death. I'd remain vigilant, observe all remaining fish carefully, and be prepared to take action if needed. Scan the WWM site for references to an illness that fits the description of this one...Always quarantine new arrivals a minimum of three weeks...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Secondary Infection or "Collateral Damage?" Hi, <Hi there. Scott F. with you today> my fish had 'marine Ich', but after dosing with chelated copper it's now gone... <Well done!> Well, except for one thing... the clownfish has something that looks like slime/fungus patches on one side. It does not look like even slime on case of Brooklynella, but more like white slime/skin pealing off (i.e. that white areas are not smooth). The fish is eating fine and not swimming against the current or lying listless. The question is what should I do? Will this go away? Or should I treat with something? <It could be a secondary infection of some kind, but it also may be a reaction to the copper treatment (like a sloughing of excess body slime or mucous). I'd rather see you keep up the highest possible water conditions in the treatment tank, and observing carefully for any additional symptoms. I'd be hesitant to have you subject this little guy to more medical treatment, unless his health measurably declines to the point where aggressive intervention becomes necessary. Sometimes, holding back is a better thing than starting another round of treatment> Thanks, Luke <My pleasure...hang in there- you've helped him make it his far, finish the job and he'll be fine! Regards, Scott F>

Daddy's Little Angel (Cont'd.) Hello yet again, with respect to my new Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis and my original message to your site regarding the "pimple" structure on his lower jaw. It has since gone from bloody red to whitish in color and the swelling has gone down a tad bit. My new question is he has had an abrasion in the front of his back tail, I have been keeping an eye on it since it arrived (six days ago) and the scales were slightly raised a discolored. Today, all of the scales have fallen off and the underlying tissue is now exposed, what to do?  I should mention that on day two I gave him a FWD/formalin for the "pimple". After I put him back in his tank he started to breathe rapidly, sank to the bottom and literally curled up and did not move until the next morning. I thought I killed my new arrival! The next morning he began to slowly exhibit normal function, Wheeeew! This was not the first FWD/formalin procedure I had done and am thinking he is just really sensitive. <Could be...I would be more likely to utilize a straight freshwater dip, sans formalin.> Do you have any input on either or both problems? If FWD's are out it sure limits my arsenal. Steve Suniga <Well, Steve, at this point, I'd utilize super high water quality as a key "weapon" in my counterattack. I would avoid harsh chemical agents like formalin, and maybe just step up the water change routine for a while. You may also want to use a liquid vitamin preparation, added directly to the QT water. These vitamins are absorbed through the skin, and consumed by the fish directly...Vitamins can help the overall strength and perhaps enhance the fish's natural re-generative processes. Don't do anything too rash...Keep up the careful observations, and take action only as necessary. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Areas of discoloration on the fish? Hi, I've noticed today that my Maroon Clown and Bannerfish had small (about 1-2mm) patches of discoloration. The discoloration is white, and it doesn't seem to have 'volume ' to it, like ich. It almost looks as if the fish lost scales in that area... what worries me is that both fish just got it tonight and both in a few spots...?<These are likely just a few "dead" scales that will just fall off, do keep an eye on them though.  Cody> Thank you, Luke

Another One For The "X" Files (Mysterious Sudden Fish Death) Dear Crew <Scott F. your Crew Member today!> I have just witnessed the strangest fish death ever. I have had a Midas blenny in my reef garden tank for almost 2 years. This afternoon he literally collapsed and died. <Sorry to hear that> While poking his head out from a hole he likes to swim into he came out the hole onto his side, behind a rock and convulsed for a few seconds. I netted him and his gill beats were laboured. He promptly died thereafter in the net. <Unusual...sounds like an anemone sting, or other venomous "attack"...Really quick deaths usually only point to a few possibilities, in my experience> I have tested for copper, temperature and oxygen, calcium , hardness and magnesium & PH. All are fine and at proper reef tank levels. ALL other fish are healthy and happy. The only thing I had done to the tank that day was change a UV bulb in my sterilizer. <I doubt that the UV was the cause...Good follow up on your part, though.> Its just a hunch but it looked to me like he had been stung or poisoned, the hole was below some green button polyps. <Funny, I was thinking the same thing. Do you have any venomous animals (anemones, Lionfishes, Rabbitfishes, etc? I suppose it's possible that Palytoxin from the polyps could have poisoned him if he ate them, but it may be like a long shot...> Could it purely be an age thing? He was probably a  year old when I had him (around 2.5ins at purchase). The only thing that concerns me is the manner of his demise, could this be an infection my other fish may contract? There has been no serious outbreaks in my tanks since I have had it. <I think that this sounds like an isolated, unusual, traumatic event. I would, of course, keep monitoring your animals for any potential illnesses, and keep up your sound husbandry practices> I have also recently put a few more SPS stony corals in the tank, could this cause a reaction that can kill a fish like this? <I don't believe so...> I did add a Pseudochromis (Dottyback) into the tank a month or so ago. Could this be stress bought on by a territorial battle? (both seemed tolerant of each other after some initial scrapping). <Could be a possibility...any sign of injury?> Wondered if you could help me out, in 2.5 years of marine keeping I have never seen anything like this, and wondered if you guys have had similar strange occurrences with fish. Normally, in my experience, fish (aged or diseased) deteriorate over a few days then snuff it. Yours puzzlingly, Jim Griffin <Agreed...Sounds like one of the theories that you've proposed. I am leaning towards sudden sever injury, or venom from some other tank mate...Keep looking for causes...As they say, "the truth is out there". Good luck...Regards, Scott F>

Fighting Ich The Easy Way? Is there a way to remove ich from my tank without taking out everything? This would be difficult for me? Thanks. <Well, there are ways to "manage" ich (i.e.; biological cleaners, freshwater dips, hyposalinity in FO tanks, etc.) which have been well-covered on the WWM site, but in my opinion, the only way to really "remove" ich from a display tank is to let it run fallow. In a fish-only system, I suppose you could medicate the tank (gulp!), but the long-term effects are just not worth the trade-off, IMO. If it were me, I'd roll up my sleeves, curse, scream, break down the decor, and net all of the fish out to treat 'em in a hospital tank (you could curse and scream BEFORE you net out the fish, if that helps!). It sucks, but it works! There really is no "easy" way to do this. The key is to keep ich and other potential diseases out of the tank in the first place by regularly quarantining all new arrivals for 3-4 weeks. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich...what to do I don't know what to do... I'm running 9watt UV sterilizer at 100gph (5 sec exposure time) 24/7...I dipped fish in Kent's RxP for 20 min at double the suggested dip dose I have cleaner shrimp... The water parameters seem to be ok. I started RxP treatment as soon as I added 3 new fish (which showed no signs of Ich). The fish are eating and not breathing hard near the surface, yet, they started showing Ich-like salt spots...How can this happen with all the precautions I took??? (Dip, UV, prophylactic RxP treatment) <Well, dips and "Prophylactic" treatments may knock off some of the parasites from the fish, but many of them are imbedded in gill tissue, and possibly simply free-swimming in the display tank. My advice: Get the fishes out of the display, treat them with a commercial copper sulphate or Formalin-based product in a "hospital" tank, and let the display run fallow for about a month or so> I'm thinking that I will continue the RxP treatment, but I'd like to do the following: 1) Decrease specific gravity to 1.18 (as read on plastic hydrometer (Coralife), which I believe is adjusted at 24C) 2) Increase the temperature to 28C(82F) <These are steps which some folks believe are effective against ich.. I am skeptical of their long-term effectiveness, however> Now, this will give me salinity of about 25. Questions: - How long should I have the parameters changed for? 3 days? Week? <If you're going to go this route- make it count...I'd make it 3 weeks or more> - Will this salinity of 25 not kill my Turbo snails? Blue-legged Hermit crabs? Hawaiian tube-worm ? <It will cause difficulty for inverts...> Thank you, Luke <Your welcome, Luke. I don't like to sound pig headed (I am! LOL), but I think that to really knock out ich from a display tank, you have to remove the hosts (i.e.; your fishes), which will cause the parasite population to crash, or significantly decline in numbers to the point where otherwise healthy fishes can resist. Treating the disease in the fishes is usually a relatively straightforward and simple technique, once you've isolated them. Take decisive action, whichever route you choose to take. Good luck! Scott F>

Hyposalinity And Ich Hi <Hello, Scott F. with you!> I have 2 quick questions if you please: 1. If I want to do a hyposalinity treatment ( for ich ) in my FOWLR tank what is the max temperature and minimum S.G. I can use? <I wouldn't go below 1.010-1.012, and I'd keep the temperature no higher than 82 degrees F. Acclimate the animals carefully, and don't do this in a tank with inverts and coral. Remove them, or do this in a separate tank.> 2. How long should I keep the tank at these parameters for effective treatment? <I'd leave conditions that way for at least 3-4 weeks...Do look at you other treatment options as well, before starting this process.. It can work, but may not be as effective as some other techniques (like letting the display tank run fallow, while treating the fishes with an effective medication. Lots of different schools of thought on this...Consider them all! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

My fish died... what happened...ICK! I woke up today and most of my fish (Flame angel and yellow tang) in the 20 gallon tank were dead. Well almost... The were laying flat on the side and grasping for air... lots of spots discoloration (white spots). I quickly added carbon, checked the pH, temperature etc.. etc.. but couldn't find anything wrong. The fish occasionally came up to surface and raced across the water almost jumping out, while swimming on the side, then laid motionless on the side again...The ammonia, nitrite, pH, salinity, temperature were all good! Yet it looked like nitrite poisoning to me... I added a few drops of Methylene Blue to help them breathe, but no luck... I quickly dissolved some salt, removed chlorine, aerated water while setting the pH and temperature (took me about half hour), then moved the fish to this new water... but they still lied there on the side, motionless, gasping for air...and died after about 30-45mins. Both of the fish were approaching the cleaner shrimp letting it examine the gills a night before. They were also scratching their gills on objects... I'm puzzled... all the water parameters were ok.. it couldn't have been the water ...Now, what happened before?  I had ich for about a week on the fish... I started treatment with Kent's PxR and on the off days I used Ruby Reef Kick-Ich and ran the skimmer at full speed (after 2 treatments, the skimmer was making almost no foam... even with very heavy aeration). So the night before was 4th day (off day) of PxR treatment... in the afternoon that day, I've added 3 drops of Kent's Poly-Ox (at half a dose, since the tank was only 3 weeks old) and also added Kick-Ich... the question remains... what happened? Was it the Poly-Ox? Or was it the Kick-Ich mixed with RxP?  Surprisingly, I also had 2 little clownfish in that tank and they survived, but are showing signs of stress: they are not at the surface, but motionlessly (not on the side though) on the bottom. As to cleaner shrimp, blue-legged crabs and turbo snails, the all seem fine... What went wrong then? Thank you for your help. Luke <Hi Luke, sorry to hear of your losses.  I was not positive what could have caused this situation so I checked with Anthony, his comments are below:  "Poisoning is likely when the fish die but the inverts don't at first...  but the two small clowns surviving a little better is also indicative. When the larger fish die (especially overnight) but smaller ones live... it is often a sign of anoxia (low oxygen). [common with green water in FW ponds from algae respiration at night] Perhaps a film formed on the surface from an aerosol in the house (cooking oily foods, spraying air freshener, etc). Ask him to look for a film on the surface (never should be) and also to get an Oxygen test kit (Tetra has a good and cheap one).  If not the above... I'm wondering if the tank lacks aeration? Skimmer turned off or failed just before event?"  Best Regards, Gage

Sick Emperor Angel >Hello Mr. Fenner, >>Good morning, Marina to help you today. >I have a quick question that no one can seem to answer efficiently. I have an Emperor Angel fish that I have had for about 9 months now, and it just got sick about 1 month ago. The symptoms were: Pale body, fins were deteriorating, wasn't eating too much, breathing rapidly and darting/twitching. I took it out of the main tank, put it into a quarantine tank and treated it with copper for about 3 1/2 weeks. I tested the copper at 1.5, which remained consistent throughout the 3 1/2 weeks. Which brings me to today. I have been watching the fish a lot and it eats tons of food now, the body looks really nice, but the only thing that looks fishy (no pun intended) is that it still breaths rapidly (and seems to cough) like there is something bothering its gills, and darting/twitching. I have looked closely on its body and don't see any signs of parasites, however there are some small discolorations on the skin that are a little bit bigger than the size of freckles (there are about a handful on both sides of the fish) It is just discoloration (grayish color), it is not bulging, not fungus looking, not red around it, nor lesions on the body....it just seems like something is eating away at the skin with the way the fish is twitching/darting. Do you know what it might have? I was thinking that it might be gill flukes or something but I don't know. >>I'm thinking Trematodes or something similar, and if I recollect correctly they're not at ALL affected by copper treatments.  You'll have to use formalin, and I'll link you to a med guide and hopefully will find other links for you as well. >I am confused on what to do now, because CopperSafe kills mostly everything, but the fish still seems to be in discomfort....What medicine, if any, would be effective for the symptoms that I listed? I appreciate your help. All in all, the fish is really healthy, it isn't sluggish or weak, it is rather aggressive and loves to eat! >>Be sure to keep him fed and fat, in the meantime... http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed2.htm http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed3.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/disease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrtmtfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/med.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimfa.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copperprodfaqs.htm >>There is SO much to find via Google through the site that I'm leaving it at this for now.  There is much information on utilizing Formalin for certain parasitic infections, and you'll soon learn that copper isn't the panacea that some believe it is when dealing with them.  Best of luck!  Marina

Bacteria Infection Questions Hi,     Thanks for your time. I have a 125 gal. LRFO setup. All water parameters in check perfect. I have a Desjardini tang - 4"L , coral beauty 3"L& A French Angel- 3.5"L The French still has his Juvi. markings.  I have had the French for 3 weeks now, and have noticed about a week in that his eyes are a bit cloudy, some days Different than others, also what looks like swelling in the stomach & also noticed once a brown stringy feces dragging from his anal cavity. He has been swimming fine, and eating well, but as of late is not out quite as much as he did. In reading TCMA it mentions these as a possible symptom. I was hoping that his eyes would clear, they are almost there, but I still see it. My other fish are doing just great. What are my option as far as which Antibiotics to use, how and where to purchase them?  Any other suggestions would be appreciated.         Thank you ! <You've had this fish for three weeks? I don't see a comment re your quarantining this animal... the feces remark does concern me... At this point I would simply monitor the fish, hope for the best. If it has an internal complaint, hopefully this will resolve. Administering medicine randomly is not advised. I encourage you to read through WetWebMedia.com re "disease" and links that interest you in the marine section. Bob Fenner> Persistent Lymphocystis! I have a small (roughly 2.5") queen angel in my 90 gallon tank.  The tank is almost 2 years old in its maturity and has been stable for almost as long.  The water is in good shape 0's across the board on Am, Ni, Na.  The Phosphate is very low, almost does not register.  80 pounds live rock and 3" live sand mix base.  Lots of water movement, the sump turns over 800 or so gallons an hour.  Two power heads in the tank moving quite a bit.  Lots of coralline algae as well as a spaghetti Caulerpa growing rampantly.  Multiple invert from snails, conchs, and crabs to brittle stars and cucumbers.  Single yellow and hippo tang.  Green Chromis, striped damsel, pajama cardinal, arc-eye hawk fish, lawnmower blenny and two false perculas. My queen has grown small cauliflower like cysts on her lower anal fin.  It grows and recedes weekly, if not daily. <Common with larger angels, particularly with the Queen Angel> I feel a variety of foods from Zoe fortified brine and Mysis shrimp.  Angel Food Formula, Formula 1&2.  Mega Marine & Angel.  Frozen romaine lettuce.  The queen is active and inquisitive in her surroundings.  Moving about the tank picking at anything of interest.  Never shy, will come up to the glass and inspect you as much as you inspect her.  Eats well, and shows no other signs of illness.  I started with a queen angel after a few months of research.  I found that the queen is an excellent first angel, tough as nails and in one authors opinion tough enough to cycle a tank with.  They are forgiving in water and adjust well to all aspects of captive life.  Other than their immense size they attain I am positive I made a great choice.  I know I will need a larger tank to keep the queen happy and I know 8' plus is a good start.  But I want to know if Lymphocystis is re-occurring. <Well, I agree- the Queen needs lots of room to live a long life span. As far as the Lymphocystis- it really is not fully understood what causes it, why it comes and goes, and how to keep it from re-occurring. Fortunately, it appears to be "self-healing", in that it will go into a spontaneous remission for no reason...The best "cure" is to simply observe the fish carefully in a stable environment> Perhaps I need to dig deeper into my tank and the water, perhaps the food?  I just need a point in the right direction to get me started.  Thank you for your time in these matters.  Sincerely, Joe    <Well, Joe- your water quality and food sound pretty good, so my best advice is to simply keep doing what you're doing. Careful observation can't hurt, either! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Mystery disease I've had my clown trigger for about two months, and about two weeks ago he started developing a bump on the right side of his mouth, at first it looked as thought his jaw was crooked, but then the bump got bigger......the fish is about 3.5 inches long and the bump is about a little smaller than a pea, I was thinking that maybe he ran into some of the live rock during the night or something, is this a possibility? <Maybe, it could also be some form of tumor> then on top of that he keeps getting ick. At least I'm pretty sure its ick. Its white spots all over him, on his fins body and eyes <I've never heard of ick on the eyes>, I have two clown fish, a niger trigger,  and three damsels, <Given the notorious aggressive nature of triggers, your clowns and damsels may someday become trigger food> none of those fish are having this problem. It seems as though when I do a water change these spots go away for a few days, then they just pop right back up again. do you think the ick (if this is ick) has something to do with this bump? <No, I think the bump is something different> One more quick question if you don't mind <And if I did? ;) No worries, it's why we're here, I've "just one quick question" Bob and Anthony many times>... I also have a porcupine puffer with the ick problem too. Right now I have him quarantined off from the rest of the fish, because I believe that's the fish that caused this whole mess in the first place. should I quarantine them together and treat them or should I let the trigger fight it off for himself and just treat the puffer? <Well, I'm not sure it's ich. Have you done a freshwater dip on the trigger? Here's the FAQ on that: www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm > Please help I'm a beginner <I've got 3 years of research and about 2 of keeping behind me, I consider myself a beginner too> and I love my triggers with a passion, I don't know what to do... I'd try the FW dip. Be sure and read up on it first. You mentioned the symptoms disappear after a water change. Keep a close eye on your numbers (pH, nitrates, spg, etc) and try to figure out what is changing and causing the outbreaks. THANKS <You're welcome, I hope this helps, have a good weekend, PF> great website by the way.......   : ) <I think that arm of the Crew does a great job, it's certainly beyond my abilities to do>

Yellow Tang Problems >It has been a few weeks since I last asked you about my sick yellow tang.   >>Yes, I remember!  He's still hanging tough, then. >We are on our fourth treatment with Kanacyn.  We were informed to stay with that antibiotic as long as we saw improvement.   >>I agree. >He is still hanging in there.  His dorsal fin has finally remained relaxed for a little over a week now.  We thought he was on his way to recovery.   >>Uh oh, that doesn't sound good, a relapse? >In the past couple of days his color has faded more and his skin appears to be sloughing off.  At first we thought that it was part of the healing process.  I am beginning to wonder now if it is not a sign of another infection.   >>I would wonder as well.   >The redness is still gradually disappearing along his lateral line and above his eye.  His mouth is still red and open.  I guess my main concern is his appetite has decreased recently and his mouth is not healing.  We are still feeding him the flake food throughout the day, but he doesn't eat much of it.   >>But he's still eating a bit, yes?  Get some Selcon and soak every feeding, try to get as much of that into him as you can.  If you can soak Nori so it's soft enough for him to eat, give him that, again, soaked in Selcon.  He's trying his darnedest here, and the nutritional boost is what we can do for him. >Should we switch medications?   >>I'm wondering the same thing.  The key is "as long as we see improvement", and that's no longer happening.  Not knowing where this fish was collected, I'm also inclined to wonder if he might have ever been exposed to cyanide (not saying he was necessarily *collected* with it, though it's not out of the realm), in which case I'm aware of no methods by which to pull a fish through.  I've done several searches recently on effects of cyanide, and it's pretty grim.  However, you've had your fish long enough that I am also hopeful that he's out of that "window" during which most fish go.   >>So, all that being said, and not remembering which other antibiotics you've tried, I'll suggest Spectrogram, and have on hand some Melafix.  Both are broad spectrum, I know that Spectrogram is both gram positive and negative.  I'm assuming that you're performing many, many water changes during treatment, here (yeah, sure does make it expensive!), you already noted that there's no carbon in the filter, so I think we've covered what's within my scope of experience. >Do you have any other advice that might help our little buddy pull through?  I know he is a strong little fellow for hanging in this long.  Thank you for all of your help so far! Erin >>I'm going to link you to a fish medication site, and some other stuff I've got here.  Maybe something will catch your eye where mine's missed it.  Good luck with him!  (What a trooper. have you named him?)  Marina >> http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed2.htm http://www.biofilter.com/diseases.htm

The Enemy Within? (Internal Parasites ?) Dear WWM Crew, <Scott F. here today> Just a follow-up as FYI for you and a comment if you have time.  First, thanks for your first reply.  The fish is growing some fins back but he is in that mode where he eats like a horse and continues to lose weight. I experienced this twice before - once with a cleaner wrasse ( before I read Bob's book) and once with a 6-line wrasse.  No medications were used in either of those cases so I don't think that is a common thread.  What is common to all three cases is that feces indicate that very little, if any, food digestion is occurring, even though the fishes eat regularly.  Their stomachs look full while they get thinner and thinner from the back of the head on back. <Hmm...this may be indicative of some sort of internal parasitic infection...You may want to consider some type of anti-parasitic medication mixed into the fish's food...> Overall color stays good right up until the end. I addition, these fish don't seem to really seem to sack-out and get a good night's sleep.  As a shift worker I am sensitive to sleep deprivation. <As a fish nerd who stays up late helping on WWM, I can relate! LOL> Anyway, I don't know whether the sleep thing is the result of stress, the cause of it, or just another symptom of the real problem. <Could be all of the above- hard to really say...Interesting observation, though> Back with the wrasses, I wondered if cyanide collection was the root cause. Big picture, something in the digestive tract has definitely gone wrong that may or may not be related to the use of antibiotics. <Well, collection with chemicals is a definite possibility with wrasses... Many chemicals, such as cyanide, will result in the fish expiring soon after it eats its first captive meal...I really suspect some sort of internal parasite. The high appetite and lack of body mass increase seems to conform this as a serious possibility> I'm also going to rethink my QT tank interior and try to provide a more secure place for sleep while still keeping everything non-reactive. <PVC pipe sections are great for this> Thanks for your help.  Doug <A pleasure, Doug... Keep up your excellent observations, and exhaust all options while trying to save this fish! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Disease ID Hello Crew, I have an Arc Eye Hawk (Ivan's his name) that 2 times over the last 6 to 8 weeks has had small, white nodules (for lack of a better description) on the front spines of his dorsal fin.  They look a lot like small pieces of Styrofoam (and having recently battled Ick it looks nothing like it).  The first time, they went away on their own, leading me to believe that something (some debris) got stuck on him.  He got them a second time and as of yet they have not gone away (after about 7 days).  He is otherwise active and eating really well.  Do you think he has some funky disease and if so what is the treatment?  All other fish in this tank (a 180g FO) are healthy and eating well.  Any insight that you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Bob Jones <Hey Bob, it is hard to say with out a picture, does it look fuzzy? Check out the disease sections at the link below, see if any of that sounds familiar http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm If he is infected with something, the first step would be to get him into a quarantine tank for further observation and identification of the disease.  Feel free to send a pic if you can.  Best Regards, Gage>

Can the eye of a blue line angel grow back? I searched the WetWebMedia site and found mostly pop eye info.  I don't think this is pop eye.  the eye of this beautiful blue line angel seems to be missing like something bit it off.  there is just a red hole there where they eye use to be.  the other eye is normal and fully functioning.  it eats pretty well with the eye gone.  it was fine Thursday but when I got back from out of town Sunday it was missing one eye. would a Niger trigger bite it off...what do I do? what is it? the whole black part of the eye is gone...just a red crater the size of the eye ball is left thanks so much, Eddie <Unfortunately no, a missing eye will not regenerate on a fish. However, as you state, this fish can likely live a full life just the same. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Dogface Puffer (Why did they die?) (03/11/03) <Ananda here again...> Woke up this morning and the lion was dead. We're very upset.   <I'm so sorry to hear that you lost him -- I understand and empathize.> I know the levels were high but we also have a yellow tang in the tank whose doing great. He looks healthy, he eats, and swims around.  If the levels we're that bad wouldn't he have died too? We also have a horseshoe crab and dragon goby and they're fine too.     <The lionfish and puffer are both scaleless fish and therefore more susceptible to the ammonia etc. than the other two fish.> Last week we brought home a Huma Huma trigger. Four nights ago when we we're sitting on the couch we heard him run into the side of the tank.  He bolted out from the live rock straight into the side of the tank.  He then went to sleep under the live rock and was then dead under the rock in the morning.  The day that we fished him out was the day the puffer and lion stopped eating.  Do you think the trigger could have given the other fish some sickness? <I think that this is a possibility. This possibility is why we always suggest people quarantine new fish for at least a month before adding them to the display tank. Some diseases take that long to show symptoms; some take much less time.> We're very confused/upset/discouraged and any insight into what happened would be greatly appreciated.   <Without more information -- tank size, filtration, full suite of water quality statistics, more tank history, etc. -- it's difficult to say. (You might post the above info on the WetWebMedia chat forums to hash out with others just what happened.) You are not the first to lose fish after a new introduction. In fact, there is a chat forum thread called "Horror Stories" -- and some of those stories are far worse than yours. Do learn from your experience, read, research, join the forum discussions, evaluate your possibilities, and continue on.> Thanks. Lea <You're welcome, and hang in there. --Ananda>

Quick Action Saves Lives! Hello, I have been reading your website for the last 4 days and gained tons of helpful info. <Glad to hear that! Scott F. with you today!> I have a Naso tang that I have placed in qt because of spots and open sores on body and fin rot. I think he is on the road to recovery. (doing daily water changes and dosing with copper). However, I have a yellow tang in main tank that has been looking more and more pale (loosing color) every day. He is eating Nori and r m algae vigorously, but spending all day emersed in the bubbles from an air stone. He seems to be itching and swimming erratically.  Upon returning home yesterday, I found my yellow tail damsel dead and am now concerned for the welfare of my other fish - they all look fine except for the yt. Should I :  Pace both tangs in the qt together? <Well, if the hospital tank can support the bioload, I'd get all the fishes out at this point, even the seemingly healthy ones, and treat them with copper sulphate, or at the very least- freshwater dips and a month of quarantine. These symptoms could very well be ich or Amyloodinium, both of which are parasitic in nature, and can spread throughout the tank with incredible rapidity. In the case of Amyloodinium, it can wipe out an entire population if left untreated. Get 'em all out, and let the main tank run "fallow", without fishes (i.e.; hosts for the parasites) for at least a month. This will create a situation where the parasite population will "crash" for lack of available hosts. Conduct all regular maintenance on the tank during the fallow period> Dose the main tank with copper? <No! Please do not treat the main tank with copper, or any other medication, for that matter...It is problematic at best, and ineffective at the worst. Let the tank run fallow- as outlined above.> Give the yellow tang a freshwater dip and return to tank? <You can use a freshwater dip on the tang before placing it in the treatment tank. This will help eliminate some of the parasites from the fish before the chemical "therapy" begins.> I don't like killing fish and would appreciate any insight into my situation. --- Scott Williamson -- Kings Bay, GA <I hear ya, Scott! With your quick, decisive action and the willingness to be patient and follow the correct course of treatment, you will be successful in treating the malady that you're dealing with here. Hang in there! Good luck! Scott F.>    

Case of the Sick Fish  3/8/03 I have sent this message a bunch of times, trying to remember the correct email address, I think I finally have it.<Well you did get it right this time, BTW Phil here to help ya today>   Since I wrote this forwarded message, some things have changed.<Ok>   I have continued freshwater dips and water changes daily, but the green Chromis, who looked fine before I took them out to QT now look the worst of all the fish.   They look like they are missing scales and I have noticed red at the insertion of the fins and in the gills and one of them is missing its tail and its fins look torn.<Ouch, not good>   I still can not see any spots or parasites, so I was thinking could it be a bacterial infection also they have white feces.<Some parasites may be too small to see.> But I have read that bacterial infections are usually secondary so I wonder if they do have parasites that I can't see, how do I know?<It's kinda hard to tell... fish can't tell us what's wrong so we are left to guess and hope for the best.  You say the Chromis' fins are torn and one is missing a tail!  IMO, if the whole tail is gone this maybe a case of fin rot that has turned into a secondary infection.  Make sure all fish are in QT.  Leave the main tank empty for 4-6 weeks.  Keep the water quality in the Chromis' QT "extra good", make sure all the levels are on the mark.>   The maroon clown and neon goby in the same tank are doing great, the clown was the one with the original problem and the reason I took everything out of my main tank, she was not eating and breathing fast, no spots though.    The purple tang and   2 other gobies in a different QT tank are also fine, but I have been dipping them too, just in case.   Everyone is eating.<That's good at least!>   Do I continue the dips or treat for bacteria or treat for parasites even though I can't see them.<Yes and no... fw dips can help stop bacteria from entering a tank, but if a fish is overly stressed a fw dip may kill it.  You should stop dipping the Chromis that has lost it's tail, a fw dip will do no good here.  Type in "fin rot" on the WWM Google search.  FR can be caused from poor water quality... you have not given me the water quality levels in the main tank and in the qt.>  How many things can I treat for at once without killing them.   I can't use copper and something for bacteria at the same time, can I?<You really just need to treat the Chromis but please leave the main tank empty.  Your using Methyl Blue and that's good.  But if there is really a "secondary infection: you might wanta stop using MB and start with using copper.>    Please advise on where to go from here.    In the meantime I will do another ph adjusted freshwater dip with methyl blue for everyone.   Thank you very much<You doing good so far, get back with me on water quality as it is one of the main causes of fin-rot.  Hope this helps!  Phil>

Sudden Fish Deaths... Hi sir, <No "sir" needed...Scott F. here today!> There has been a disease break out in my tank. I don't know what that disease is. I bought a 4 inch gold fish few week back and he was suffering from that disease. Since that, I have lost 4 of my gold fishes in the same manner today. The fourth one died. Ammonia is zero Nitrite less than .3 three, but how much less I don't know because my kit don't tell it may be zero or .1 or .2. Temperature 21 C and ph7.5. Symptoms: Laziness, they do not move there upper fin, they stop eating, they don't swim;  in fact; they float with water moment. There have swallow abdomen. When they die they are like an arc. <Well, it sounds to me like they are dying from metabolite poisoning...You have measurable amounts of nitrite in your aquarium...that is not a good thing at all. Should be undetectable with a hobbyist-grade test kit. You need to let this tank cycle, revisit basic husbandry, such as water changes, filtration, etc. Even if it was not the nitrite that killed the fishes, the nitrite may have weakened them to the point where the first pathogen that came along did them in.> The food I gave to them is C.P.R classic. They loose their balance. These are the visible symptoms and on other visible symptoms are seen. You probably say that I over feed my fishes. Tank has been set up for 50 days. Now the big question: How can i stop these disease from spreading into my aquarium. Some one told me to put sea salt in your aquarium. <A very old stand-by in aquarium husbandry...Personally, I'd rather see you use quarantine before adding any new fishes into your tank...works in marine tanks, and works equally as well in freshwater systems. Let this tank sit without fishes for a few weeks, conduct routine maintenance (like water changes, etc.)-add a proprietary "bacterial solution" to assist with building a population of nitrifying bacteria. When you do add new fishes, be sure not to overcrowd them...Proceed slowly> My aquarium is fresh water. And what I do if there is any death in my aquarium due to that disease?  Thank you. <As mentioned above- I'd let the tank sit without fishes for a few weeks to allow any potential pathogens to die for lack of hosts. In a worst case scenario, you'd have to break down the tank, sterilize everything, and start over again. Hopefully, it won't come to this! Good Luck! Scott F>

Help! Fish keep dying... (02/26/03) Hi there crew, I am once again in need of your assistance.   <Ananda here today....> I recently wrote in about problems I was having keeping fish alive.  In the last 3 months I have lost 4 4-Stripe Damsels, 3 Domino Damsels, 3 going on 5 Ocellaris Clowns, and 1 Beau-Gregory Damsel.  This is all getting pretty frustrating and discouraging as this is my first attempt at a marine aquarium.   <Hang in there... many people have had difficulties with their first tanks.> I have a 125 gallon rectangular tank with an Ocean Clear Canister filter driven by a Blueline 1100 gph pump.  Also, I have a Remora Pro skimmer and an emperor 400 hang on filter (I like the Bio-Wheels).   My tank didn't finish cycling for over eight weeks which accounted for the 4-Stripes and the Dominos deaths.  This was all before I found your website.  Because of your website I learned of my mistake of not quarantining new arrivals, and now I know I have Ich in my main tank. <Ack. This is a very common result of not quarantining new fish.> Since the tank cycled I've added the Beau-Gregory Damsel, the Clowns, a small Porcupine Puffer, some snails, Scarlet Reef and Blue Leg Hermits, and a Coral Banded Shrimp.  The Beau-Gregory Damsel died, about 3 weeks after he arrived.  I had added 2 O. Clowns two days after the Damsels arrival.  The clowns died in the same time frame.  I replaced the clowns with three more and one died right away.  I now have living 2 O. Clowns, 1 Porcupine Puffer, 1 Green Spotted Puffer (brackish) and the small clean up crew.  All the fish that were dying had the same symptoms: rapid gilling, whitish fecal thread, listlessness, not eating, and at one point or another white spots on them.  Ananda had suggested moving them into a QT and treating them for an internal parasite with Metronidazole, which I did. <Anthony gave me the same suggestion when my clownfish had similar symptoms.> I did some reading and agreed that it sounded like an internal parasite.  I am done with the second course of this medicine and all it seemed to do is make the Ich worse.   <Metronidazole is intended for internal parasites, not ich, which is an external parasite... it had no effect on the ich. You may be in the second generation of ich parasites, which could be why the ich seems to have worsened with the Metronidazole treatments.> All fish except for the brackish puffer show signs of Ich.  Water quality in the QT is not that great, I've been doing daily water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites down, but I'm losing the battle.   <I would put the Emperor on this tank. It is already infested with ich, and you will have to bleach it and re-seed the filter when you're done, but for right now you need it to deal with the ammonia and nitrites in the hospital tank.> I've cut way back on the food.  I don't want the fish to die, so I tried giving them some Mysis shrimp today, the only one that would eat was the brackish puffer (the porcupine has never liked these anyway).  Usually the clowns love this.  The porcupine puffer did eat some shrimp I had in the freezer.   <The fish will be okay if they skip food for a day or two; the puffers can go longer than that. The clowns not liking a favorite food has me a bit concerned. If they will not eat any of their usual food, you may need to entice them with live brine shrimp. You could also try soaking the fish food in garlic juice (I've used McCormick's, from the grocery store); some fish absolutely love the stuff. > I did FW dips on all fish, and am thinking of adding copper to the QT, but again, I don't want to kill the clowns.   <It's not the clowns that would suffer most from the copper, but the puffers. Do continue doing freshwater dips, with Methylene blue, daily for each affected fish.> They've been in the QT for two weeks so I can't put them back in the main tank yet.  Please help, I know not what to do anymore. <Two rounds of Metronidazole treatment should have you over the worst of the internal parasites. Now you have to deal with the external parasites -- the ich -- to deal with. There's a lot on dealing with ich on the WetWebMedia site. The short version is slowly decrease the salinity, raise the temperature in the tank, and continue freshwater dips. More info in the FAQs linked here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm> Sorry this is so long, but I've invested too much money and time to just let this go. <Agreed. And this is far from a "long" message.>    Vince <Hang in there, read up on treating ich, read and post to the WetWebFotos chat forums...many people there have dealt with ich before...and we will always answer emails here. --Ananda>

More Fish, More Problems? Dear Crew" <Scott F. with you tonight> Today I notice that my other fish a regal tang is not very well. his eye is swollen, <If it's one eye, it's probably caused by an injury, and can be treated with common Epsom salt (in a separate tank)...> and having some spots. Some are big... I do not know what it is, he seems fine and eating, and I am still feeding them tetra medicated food, and some garlic soaked food. I think I will stick with the flakes treatment for 10 days and decide then.. is that a good way to go?? <Well, to be honest, if you're dealing with a parasitic disease, such as Cryptocaryon (ich)- it's really better to remove the fish to a separate aquarium for treatment with a copper sulphate preparation, administered according to the manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, you'd let the main tank run "fallow"-without fish, for about a month, which would essentially cause the parasite population to crash for lack of fish hosts (no medication should be used in the main tank!). This process essentially sucks (for want of a better term!) and is quite disruptive-but it really works the best of any method of treating ich that I have tried. You have to treat the fish AND attack the existing parasites that may be in the main aquarium (and if you are dealing with ich- the parasites ARE in there, even if the other inhabitants appear otherwise healthy...better safe than sorry.> Also, can tiger shrimp *(a kind of pistol shrimp) catch a small clown and consume it? <Certainly possible...> Because I just bought 8 true clowns. They are small, less than 1 inch. Today, when I woke up, 1 clown was at the overflow, dead and 2 of them are missing.. I cannot find them. Will the shrimp, clown trigger or  raccoon eat them?? <Well- various fishes will pick at dead fishes in aquariums, so you may not find any remains...Do monitor water quality to assure that nothing is degrading it...Hope that things start improving for you soon...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Hyposalinity question... or is it? 2/15/03 Anthony/Robert/Jason/et al <cheers, Ed. Good to hear from you> I'm curious as to why you guys advise against hyposalinity.   <I've read through your message at length, and find that it is incorrectly based on some assumptions... just slightly misunderstood (a matter of perspective). Rest assured, I believe that we are all mostly on the same page. Lets be clear here... "we" (WWM crew) do not have a collective position or statement on anything. We simply have experience and opinions to share about the many different ways to accomplish any one aspect of aquaristics. In some cases we are even opposed to one another on various techniques (example- some of us prefer sand beds in the 1-3 inch range stirred, others of us favor under 1" or over 3" without mechanical agitation. Both can succeed wonderfully.> I can understand if that isn't your preferred method of treatment, <on the contrary Ed... the WWM crew member you quoted below (not sure who) specifically said it should be part of a/any treatment. It just should not be relied upon by the untrained new aquarist as the primary or only treatment. Keep in mind that the folks we address are mostly (overwhelmingly) beginners. Thousands of people read the daily FAQ page and many thousands more will see it in the coming months. Most have not yet developed the experience, for example, to spot rapid or favored gilling... they do not reckon the severity and significance of scratching or glancing days or weeks prior to the conspicuous presence of "cysts", etc. Thus... not only are you missing the point of who our target audience is, but you are citing biologists and studies by veteran researchers and aquarists that can do all of the above and then some with trained eyes. Its an unrealistic comparison. What we are mostly saying here is that low salinity of good (towards 1.017 or so) but half salinity for the untrained/novice is not recommended. Furthermore, read the archives to see that Bob overwhelmingly recommends FW dips and I too (many other crew members) advocate it as a recommended treatment. Try to count the number of times I cite the Blasiola and Gratzek's strategy of daily FW dips from a bare-bottomed tank for 8 consecutive days to break the life cycle of "Ich". It is many.> but we should probably be a bit truthful about its use, efficacy and treatment. <I do believe we are... adding practical to that list too> Cryptocaryon irritans as a parasite has been studied by more than any other pathogen for marine fish.   <actually... studies have been done overwhelmingly on food fishes and temperate species to be exact. A few on tropicals... but mostly the former> Hyposalinity has been proven to work for bony fish quite a few times in the scientific world.   <OK.. no argument here from me> Anything below 16ppt renders any tomonts unable to split/spawn the cysts to tomites.  Extended submersion in hyposalinity prevents re-infection and breaks the lifecycle. Anything higher than 16ppt does not necessarily prevent the continuation of the lifecycle so its important to stay below this level (s.g 1.010, 1.009 for safety). <agreed with all... have read the data, applied it in my life's work (importer for a decade... tens of thousands of fish... and all of that is pale compared to Bob's experience> Now, reduction of stress, healthy foods, stable environ (particular temp) may allow the fish to fight off the pathogen or put it back into a sub-clinical infection point.  However, this doesn't necessarily break the lifecycle (it's a fairly safe assumption 6 months or more).  These are all good things, but the truth is that copper or hyposalinity are generally foolproof when administered correctly. <I wholly disagree with the term "foolproof" especially with regards for copper when given as advice to aquarists using hobby grade copper test kits (colorimetric charts that look scary similar between "zero" and "fatal" levels of copper) and while using cheap-o plastic hobby hydrometers. Again... not practical advice. Now... if you are willing to loan all of our friends your lab grade equipment <G>... or simply your keen eyesight to read hobby equipment... heehee> I do understand a reluctance to advise hyposalinity treatment since there are certain key factors that may be difficult to do with the average hobbyist : A refractometer or lab grade hydrometer is necessary (swing arm hydrometers aren't accurate enough), pH buffering/monitoring is critical as pH is difficult to hold in low salinity environments (less able to hold alkalinity), and the ability to hold the s.g at 1.010 or lower. <exactly correct my friend... this is a matter of "real world" advice. Your point is well made and not disputed in essence. But I know and recall you from communications and our brief chance to chat at WAMAS. My first impression is that you are an admirable, dedicated and very serious aquarist. But you have that perspective wholly... and in this case it isn't translating to the masses. As I recall... you also have an RK-2 skimmer. Do you have any idea how many of our readers have or can afford a $3000.00 skimmer? Heehee... the view is a bit different from your position on aquaristics, bud> As I said, it may be difficult, but I do think we should be truthful about it.   <not a matter of being truthful... its a matter of serving the greater good> Hyposalinity down to a s.g of 1.010 has been scientifically proven to work and not be stressful to bony fish <if you'd worked just one year in a pet store or wholesaler's facility handling a few thousand fishes... that list of Hyposalinity sensitive fishes would be a WHOLE lot longer I assure you. Numerous wrasses, some angels and butterflies, drumfish, croakers, Firefish, dragonets... etc> by Colorni as well as Noga, both experts in the treatment of fish diseases.  A very good read is the reference below: Colorni A. 1987. Biology of Cryptocaryon irritans and strategies for its control. Aquaculture 67(1-2):236-237. Anyhow, I understand the reluctance to advise this course of treatment, but I've done this several hundred times without problems.  In the bony fish category, the only species I've found to not tolerate it well are Anthias species, but that's frequently due to Anthias being delicate despise the hyposalinity. Anyhow, just my $0.02, and just clarifying what I happened to read. regards, Ed <we appreciate you sharing, Ed. Best regards! Anthony> ********************* Quoted from another WWM crew member treated with CopperSafe, and Maracyn 2 currently lowering spg to 1.11 <That is too low, my friend - anything below 1.015 will cause serious stress.> <snip> <Well.. you're not revealing much about what you're doing to treat the ich in quarantine - it's great that you've got a tank set up for this, but without much more information than the low specific gravity of the water, there's not much I can comment on. This much I can tell you - 1.011 is too low, and this alone will kill any saltwater fish that stays in that water too long. Hyposalinity should be part of a regimen of treatment and not expected to kill parasites all on its own. Please read the following articles for some background: > <note from Anthony: based on the limited information and the likely experience level of the person posting the query, I agree with the advice in the quote above. Anthony>
Re: Hyposalinity question/reply 2/16/03
<cheers, Ed... thank you again for taking the time to share your insight/opinion at length. We will post this as always on the dailies for benefit/perspective and to be part of the consensus for all in the archives. I have nothing of significance to add here except my thanks. To be forthcoming... some/most of us here will still dissuade most/all aquarists from extreme hyposalinity (near 1.010). Frankly, I don't have the time to persuade you otherwise, realizing your firm position, but I can tell you that my position is influenced on reliable information that some of the studies done on hyposalinity were grossly misrepresented. My experience with fishes is consistent with this for long-term health (in contrast to your valid experiences). At any rate... many fishes indeed will not die for going through such treatment... and many fishes can be cured without it just the same. Different means to the same desired end... a cure for fishes. Our friends in need can make their own decision based on an intelligent consensus that suits them. Best regards, Anthony> Anthony, Ciao again :-).  I wholeheartedly agree with you in terms of your recommended approach in regards to skill level of hobbyist must be considered. I was commenting on the actual 'accuracy' of the end result (that salinity alone at 1.011 will 'kill'. . .. ).  Perhaps its a bit of me sticking on points. regardless, yes I agree on the WWM crew's demographic and going the easiest route for the hobbyist - especially in light of the fact that the majority of these are non-quarantining, looking for a quick-fix type of solution. (there isn't any).   OK, this might be a play on words again but you 'wholeheartedly disagree' with my statement that 'copper and hyposalinity are generally foolproof when administered correctly' ?  Then you go on and elaborate on color test kits for copper (agreed, eyeballs suck here), and on type of coppers (agreed again, chelated/ionic) and its side issues (ph, water conditioners, bare bottom).  However, I digress a bit, I qualified the statement as 'when administered correctly'.  Yes, that may be beyond the reach of many (refractometer, colorimeter) and as I mentioned earlier your assessments in targeting the readership are important. I see you do remember parts of my setup :-).  And yes, when I dose copper, I use a HACH colorimeter (excellent product) and hyposalinity is with a refractometer.  For copper, I've found that Cupramine is tolerated much better (much larger leeway in dosage in terms of the copper amine) than other forms.  The copper-amine in Cupramine seems to be safely tolerated up to 0.8 without significant toxic effects whereas copper sulfate is much lower (0.4).  I've also found the chelated copper (CopperSafe particularly) to be less than effective.  A tidbit for you on Cupramine (and some other copper compounds) - do not use any water treatment products in any copper compound, many of these break the amine or compound apart and copper in the cu+1 format is 10x more deadly than the normal cu+2 format. . . Now, in terms of the dip method for consecutive days.  Yes, it does work to hopefully put it in remission.  The big dependency is whether the fish is in a low enough stress environ to fight it off after sufficient Cryptocaryon cysts are removed.  Now, here is my issue with this method (besides the issue that it doesn't cure it, but only sufficiently reduces it to the point of hopefully fighting it off).  A) it works much better with constantly using two tanks.  One tank, dip a day, then to a freshly made 2nd tank. Clean out 1st tank, then the next day, dip, back to newly made up 1st tank (continuous).  Obviously you'd probably agree, but again most will not go to this extreme.  OK, the bigger problem is the same as the one for copper and hypo.  Dips need to be pH balanced, and I've seen too many hobbyists pH shock fish to death.  More fish are loss to pH shock during a dip than anything else.  If they report that the fish swim upside down and 'drunk' its almost guaranteed its a ph shock during the dip.  They fail to realize that RO/DI water is at a ph of 7 (after aeration).  Then if they do know that, they decide to drop a bit of reef buffer into the water and mix.  Then figure that's ok, but it isn't.  Usually that pushes the pH to 9+ which is toxic to a fish during a dip. . ..   Anyhow, a FW dip works just as well, but the pH strips are just as difficult to read.  You don't quite need to go to titration (as they will tolerate a wide range of ph for a fw dip - usually 7.8-8.4 is safe), but it is a huge concern nonetheless. . . In terms of hyposalinity, here are some off the top of my head that have tolerated them.  I don't remember them all, but maybe this will make your archives when someone searches it: [** list of species edited here because we cannot qualify it and frankly disagree with some species listed] Actually I've worked closely with a fairly high volume fish store which has been actively using hyposalinity in the treatment of crypto infected fish (old method was chelated copper).  Obviously its not on the level of importation, but its success is significantly better than dips and holistic methods as it breaks the lifecycle. .   The other truly good thing with hypo is that it is extremely effective against flukes (monogenean), and many fish in the last year or so have been coming in with gill flukes. .. Now, I agree that your treatment methods are tailored for the particular readership and understand.  I was the disease mod at another board for quite awhile and it was loaded with novice users (so yes, I understand the perpetual answering of disease related questions due to lack of quarantine :-).  You guys do an excellent job and I commend you and do not fault you on the reason - I was trying to point out the assertion with which something was stated being incorrect.  I occasionally help out on the RC disease forums there as well, and quite often some one writes back saying 'XXX over at WWM says that 1.010 is absolutely too low and will kill my fish'.  Now that statement is about as accurate as the fw dips will kill a fish (both have significant risks for new hobbyists associated with them). Now there are obviously multiple ways to skin a cat (copper, formalin, hyposalinity, Chloroquine diphosphate, Maracyn, etc, etc). . . .  Just trying to make it easier on all of us :-).  Thanks for replying and as always, an excellent discussion.   best regards, Ed

What's In The Sand? Crew, Just wrote a few minutes ago.  Was wondering if the spots (which got significantly worse today) could have anything to do with all the sand my damsel kicked up whilst making himself a tunnel under a piece of live rock and the scooter blenny kicking up his usual debris.  Once heard this was bad for diseases, so I thought I might mention it. Thanks again, David <Well, David, I doubt that the sand being kicked up is a contributor to diseases, unless it causes a disruption to the nitrogen cycle, which could cause an ammonia spike, and stress to the fishes, which can cause diseases if left uncorrected. Interesting thoughts,  though. Regards, Scott F>

Tried And True Disease Treatment Crew, <Scott F. with you today> I wrote a day ago asking about feeding my clown/damsel.  Well now I have another problem.  My clown has developed a LARGE number of white spots on it's body/fins.  I have attached a picture. This is not technically my clown, nor is it exactly what its white spots look like.  However, IT WAS the easiest thing that I could do at 1 in the morning on a night before an 8 o'clock test, having conveniently left my girlfriend's digital camera at my parents house.  In reality, the "white spots" actually look more like bubbles to me (they aren't however.....).  Obviously (being a n00b in this hobby), my first guess is Cryptocaryon.  Which I've heard can be treated many different ways, from freshwater dips, to copper (hell, one guy even said garlic/vanilla extract is the best thing he's ever done.....). I had a couple other fish die in a 10 gallon aquarium that I tried, I think to marine velvet (possibly Cryptocaryon, hell if i know...).  Anyway, I now have a 75 gallon aquarium, and I'd really like to treat fish if they get sick.  I just want to find some tried and true way to heal them.  I'm sick of reading about all these voodoo recipes that involve me burning the toenail of a 63 year old female red dragon on an alter <Exactly- why look or a 63-year-old dragon when a 61-year old will do?> and doing a ritualistic dance in a circle around my aquarium.  I mean what kind of crack have these people been smoking.....my aquarium's up against the wall, how the heck am I supposed to dance around it??? <You may need to use some kind of psychic projection technique to accomplish this...Check the WWM FAQs for more detail....LOL> Anyway, that's my fish's problem, any suggestions on how to cure it would be much appreciated (and remember, more like bubbles, less like white). Thanks again, David <OK, David, The pic looks like Cryptocaryon to me. Your description sounds like one of three parasitic disease possibilities- Cryptocaryon (which is a large number of salt-grain sized spots throughout the fish's body), Amyloodinium (which manifests itself as a fine sprinkling of small spots, often with the fish demonstrating difficulty in breathing), or Brooklynella (this disease usually manifests itself as a thick coating of whitish mucus, along with loss of appetite, and "gasping" behaviour Afflicted fishes usually hang on the bottom of the tank). Both Cryptocaryon and Amyloodinium can be treated by isolating the affected individual(s) in a separate aquarium, and administering a copper sulphate preparation in the treatment tank. If you're dealing with Brooklynella, freshwater dips, and a Formalin preparation in the treatment tank will do the trick. Regardless of which disease that you are dealing with, quick, decisive action is necessary. The other, less exciting aspect of this treatment is that you will need to remove all of the fishes in your main tank to the treatment aquarium. The main tank should be left "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month. The parasite population will "crash" for lack of hosts. This is not a "sexy", new, or exotic method of treatment, but it does work, and it has been proven again and again by thousands of aquarists. So, let the red dragon have some sleep, use the garlic for your pasta sauce, and make sure you put some vanilla extract in your chocolate chip cookies! Diagnose carefully, and act quickly. I'm sure that you'll beat this disease! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Vanishing Fins? Hello folks, <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I have a question about my Striped Mandarinfish.  First, some tank parameters: Tank Size:  55 gallons Tank Structure:  layered crushed coral and live sand bed, 35+ pounds very healthy Fiji live rock that has been growing in the tank for 2 years, various ancillary plastic ornaments (now encrusted with coralline algae) Tank Filtration:  1 Fluval 304, 2 sponge power-heads (I'm about to add a protein skimmer) Tank lighting:  Venice-styled PC lighting (10,000K Daylight, 6700 Actinic) for 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Tank Schedule:  Weekly ~10% water changes (3 gallons out, 5 in for top-off an change) <Excellent> Supplements:  Tech 1 Iodine (2x per week), Essential Elements (1x per week), Strontium/Molybdenum (1x per week), Chelated Iron (1x per week), Phytoplankton (2x per week), Superbuffer dKH (1x) per week -- all additives per manufacturer specification. pH:  8.3, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate <5ppm, copper = 0, phosphate = 0, alkalinity b/n 3.5 and 4.0 meq/l, salinity = 1.023, Temperature = 78F Occupants: 1 yellow assessor, 1 bicolor blenny, 1 fire dart goby, 1 false percula clown, 1 striped mandarin, 1 cleaner shrimp, many feather dusters (growing out of rock and such), some cabbage coral, some macro algae, lots of coralline algae, and various unnamable occupants and corals that came on board with the live rock (no bristle worms, no mantis shrimp, nothing dangerous) So -- I rescued this mandarin, who seemed a bit ragged but otherwise fine. He was quarantined with Melafix, then added to the tank.  Since he has been in the tank, his tail fin has been slowly disappearing.  I don't see any white edging or signs of infection.  This morning, a chunk was missing from his rear dorsal fin.  I would normally suspect that another occupant was picking on him, but I've watched this tank in the light and dark for hours on end and everyone seems pretty much unaffected by its presence.  I treated the entire tank with MelaFix (a second round for this fish), but this doesn't seem to be working. <It's never a good idea to medicate the display tank...Too much potential for substrate and rock absorbing medication...too difficult to maintain a therapeutic dosage of medication> Are any of my occupants likely to fight with am?  Everything that I've read thus far indicates that they should be a good mix. <The only fish that I think could be even a slight problem for the mandarin would be the clownfish...and even then- probably not too much of a risk> I don't believe that the tank is overcrowded.  He is eating and swimming around normally, pulling lots of tasty goodies out of the rock. Yet everyday, his fins get a bit smaller.  Could this be fin rot?  All other occupants have very healthy fins and scales.  This tank has never suffered any type of infection. <Hard to say, but the root cause could be malnutrition...Even though he is actively foraging, do make sure that he is actually catching amphipods and copepods. Many, many of these fishes die despite the fact that they appear to be eating. Fin rot can be brought about by environmental causes, as well- but yours sound pretty good.> Any ideas????  I really thought that I had a suitable environment for this beautiful fish (I'd been planning for over a year for this fish), but now it seems that I'm dooming it to a life of torture! <Please don't be so hard on yourself...You may want to pull this little fish into a quarantine tank for a few weeks to make sure that he is eating and deriving as much nutrition as possible. It may be a bit traumatic to move him, but you'll have a better chance of assessing his condition and taking any necessary action.>Thanks for any input you may have! Deb <Hope that these ideas are of some use to you...Do consider moving this guy for a little TLC, and I think that he'll be just fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Deborah Colella

Re: Rapid breathing Hi Bob how are you? Thank you for your quick responses to all the questions I have had lately. Once again I have yet another question for you. I have removed the rock and substrate from my quarantine tank and I have done a 25 % water change. My Question is my Lemonpeel Angel has started to breathe rapidly since this morning all the other fish including the Lemonpeel had been re infested by morning with white dots I have also re dosed with copper. Do you think that the parasites have possibly become immune to the copper? <No... but the copper may well be causing the fish to produce more mucus, coating its gills... I do hope you're using a copper test kit> and is there any other medication I can add with the copper to help the gill infestation. I have done one fresh water dip with the lemon peel Do you think more of them will help. <There are... if indeed there is such an infestation. If not, or you don't know, I would not add to the stress of this fish> I guess my one question has turned into several so much to ask and learn about.  I have also read all the site links you have suggested if you have any more please let me know. Thank you   Stan N. <Yes. Please go to www.WetWebMedia.com and the Marine Index in turn, then Maintenance, on down to Disease... Bob Fenner>

- Frayed Tails - Hi, <Hello, JasonC here...> I've been surfing WetWebMedia for sometime & owns Mr. Fenner's Conscientious Marine Aquarist book. I'm trying to get more info on torn/frayed tails & fins as some of my fishes seems to be suffering from it. Is this bacterial infection, fungus or something else. <I could be bacterial infection and/or fungus. It could also be due to aggression from one or more of your tank's inhabitants.> How can we contain it? <I would keep it under observation to be certain it's not aggression before you attempt to treat it.> Hope u can help. Thks I.H. <Cheers, J -- >

Re: some infections thanks, the blue face is gettin more acclimated to the tank but it seems the reddish coloration got a little worse. I had a Goldflake who got this and it got worse and worse and then he died, I want o hit this when its small, because I don't want to lose this fish at all. Thanks! <Do take a read through our disease section: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and infectious disease: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm and the associated FAQs (linked, in blue at top). Bob Fenner>

- Take two and call me in the morning - <Greetings, JasonC here...> hi R.J. here pls tell me what coz white spots. <Where are you observing these "white spots"?> i change my f.water to s.water. my freshwater used to be for my pet chiclids.my tank salt measure 1.023 tempeture 25dg I've run my saltwater for 5 days. so am i too fast ? what should i do now? I have 3 Damsels 1 angel in my tank some live rock. <I would say, yes - you have stocked this tank too quickly.> i used coral sand.wat cause the white spots? <I'm guessing you mean white spots on the fish.>what creates it? <It is a sign of irritation from parasites. You should really take some time and begin reading up on the care of these animals. Here are some links for you to start on: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm Cheers, J -- >

Re: Very frustrated Hi again, <And hello to you.> Thank you for your previous reply. <My pleasure.> Despite my efforts, my Coral Beauty died. <Oh, I'm sorry to hear of your loss.> I will attempt to give you more info this time on husbandry, so perhaps you can point me in SOME direction!  I have spent many hours reading your site, and although I feel I have learned some things about my favourite hobby, I find there is an overwhelming amount of information and I'm not sure which advice pertains to my situation. Since reading the site I have become aware that I needed a skimmer, so I purchased a SeaClone 100 at the advice of the people at my local salt water store.  Then I read that "you experts" don't particularly recommend it. <Well, any skimming is better than none. It's just not an efficient design.> I wish I had known that before my purchase, but it does seem to work, although I had to alter the height of the water intake to make it collect anything.  I also read that a preferred method of controlling ick and other parasites is to add a cleaner fish to the tank, so I purchased a cleaner wrasse. <Oh no... that's not our preferred method for a couple of reasons - first, the cleaner wrasse is a poor choice for a biological cleaner - neon gobies and/or cleaner shrimp are much better. Here's a some reading for you on the cleaner wrasse: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm - Also, in a situation like yours, the best mechanism for treatment of parasitic disease is to isolate the sick fish in a quarantine system and let the tank go fallow.> Unfortunately again, before I had read this tidbit of info I used Greenex in my tank at the advice of a marine employee who said it was not worth just treating one fish in isolation as the problem would still be in the main tank. <Only a modicum of truth to that - that the problem would still be in the main tank, but treating with Greenex - Egads, this stuff is pretty much poison.> Please bear with me, I realize I'm jumping around a bit here, I'm just trying to give you the best picture (bit of an oxymoron since my fish tank is somewhat of a disaster!).  The filter system I use is the Marineland Emperor, but since I seemed to lose my healthy bacteria every time I changed a charcoal cartridge (which I did once every two months or so-- rinsed in change water with regular water changes every 1 or 2 weeks).  Now instead of charcoal filters I use 5 sponges, which fill the filter space, and are easily rinsed in change water to keep clean. Since I used the Greenex medication, the sponges are stained blue. <Yup, due to the organic dye in the malachite green ingredient.> I'm not sure if this is a problem. <Not long term...> After I used Greenex, my Coral Beauty appeared to be covered with dark grayish film, so at the advice of the marine employee again, I treated my whole tank with Maracyn Two. <Ugg... time to fire this fish store - their poor advice is not doing you any favors.> The fish died anyway, and my Percula Clown was on its side. <Greenex contains formalin which is really bad stuff - a close relative to formaldehyde which is used for embalming. The reactions you saw were likely in response to the Greenex directly, and indirectly because the Greenex also stalls biological filtration, so the water quality would take a dive.> In desperation, I changed 50% of the water, and the Clown bounced back, but the water became very cloudy, but a water test showed no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, and PH was normal. <Are you allowing your mix water to brew for at least 24 hours before adding to the tank? Very important that you do this.> Two days later, the water was still cloudy, and my fish were acting sick.  A water test showed off the chart ammonia levels, but everything else was normal. <Yeah... that's from the Greenex - you are in effect re-cycling the tank now.> I discovered that my filter sponges, last rinsed perhaps 1 or 2 weeks earlier, were filthy, and my entire filter was lined with algae.  Once again, in desperation to save my tank, I emptied the water down to the bottom 2 inches and put clean water in the tank. The ammonia level read normal for approximately 12 hours, and now it's off the charts again.  I have added Ammo Lock 2, but I don't know what I should do next. <Prepare as much fresh salt water as you can and do small changes every day for a little while - you should also run carbon in the filter in an attempt to rid the system of any remaining Greenex. One of the primary reasons for not treating a display is that these medications have a tendency to be absorbed by the live rock and substrate, making it very hard to get the biological filter going again.> My fish are looking sick again, and I don't know how much of this they can take.  Oh, I fed them a small amount of frozen brine shrimp last night, and watched while they ate it. <At least they are eating, that's a good thing.> They left almost none, and grazed afterward. <Do be careful as well about how much you feed - this food and the wastes the fish produce will add to the ammonia load.> HELP!!! <At the very least, I would return to that fish store and kick that employee in the shins for his rotten advice. Here are some links on WWM that will give you some background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm > Thanks for listening, Angela <Cheers, J -- >

- Time for a swift kick - Thanks for your help J, <My pleasure.> I so wish I had the guts to kick that employee in the shins!  Excellent advice, in fact it made my day.  As frustrating as it is dealing with someone like that, in the interest of keeping the peace, I just won't speak to him again, ever! <I still think a swift kick in a place that hurts would teach a more valuable lesson.> As you suggested I have placed charcoal cartridges in my filter, but I have kept the sponges in as well to retain any living healthy bacteria that may remain in them.  Will this help? <Not really, the Greenex is very indiscriminate and as a whole, your biological filtration will take a hit.> Also, since you mentioned that the biological filter will be difficult to get going again, should I add more live rock? <I would say yes, but not right away... give the charcoal a couple of days to remove as much of the Greenex as possible - also consider the brand-name Poly Filters - these work really well.> I only have about 10lbs (I think) in my 65g tank. <Then for certain you could use more.> I won't make any rash moves until I hear from you again.  Does adding Ammo Lock 2 or Cycle do any good? <I've never used either one, but what little I do know tells me that most ammonia-binding products don't work well, if at all in marine systems. Cycle is supposed to be fairly decent stuff, but it doesn't really replace a biological filter, it only helps kick-start it.> Your advice is greatly appreciated, Thanks again. Angela <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Problems with Puffer ...But I think it's too late Hi there I'm looking for any insight you can give.  I purchased a Black Puffer ( nice specimen ) about a month ago.  When I put him in the tank I think my Niger Trigger may have nipped at him.  Anyway a week or so later he started getting little white dots all over his body that would not rub off. I figured it was Ich. About another week went by and the spots were still there.  I read about Fresh water dips and started to do those every night. ( about 5 minutes each night) on one of the last dips I used Kent Marine RxP which I thought might help as the spots were still present. <This product is garbage... worse than a placebo. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrtmtfaqs.htm and the linked files (in blue, above)> a couple of days later his eyes started clouding up real bad and he was becoming more recluse,  Another day later and I noticed his back fin had been 1/2 ate off ( Niger Trigger possibly ).  I moved him to a 10 gallon QT ( all I had ) and started treating with penicillin. Both of his Eyes Burst and now he is blind. I am now giving him Maracyn and feeding him by hand.  My question is can he live like this or is it just a matter of time. <Everything is "just a matter of time", but this fish may live a good long while in your care> Any help would be greatly appreciated. <My real advice is to study, ask the people who suggested RXP what they think it's made of, if they've ever used it to their satisfaction... to seek out better advice, learn to judge for yourself what to use when your livestock are sick. Bob Fenner> Thanks Mark Gutshall

The First Crisis! Hi, My husband and I are very new to salt water aquarium's.  We have had one for about a month and 1/2 now.  The first fish we bought were 2 blue damsels and a clownfish after the aquarium had cycled about 2 1/2 weeks.  Two weeks later we bought an anemone and then another 2 weeks and we bought a pufferfish. <Do read up as much as you can on the anemone species that you are keeping. They require very careful husbandry, and excellent water conditions and lighting, so do keep this in mind, okay?> The fish stores in this area do not seem to know anything about aquarium upkeep so it really hurts when you have a problem. The problem is that the clown fish is hiding behind some coral and his eyes look like they are trying to pop out.  He also seems to have a worn place under one of his eyes.  He barely comes out to eat and does not try to keep the other fish away from "his" coral. <When both eyes are bulging out, it is likely a bacterial infection called...Popeye! The best course of action is to remove this fish from the main tank to a "hospital" tank for treatment. Treatment should be with a product such as Maracyn 2, administered in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Keep in mind that, although non-infectious, this disease is usually caused by less-than-perfect water quality, and can be a signal that more attention needs to be paid to improving it. Do a review of all of your basic water parameters, and take steps to correct hem as needed> Before he would vehemently defend it and I think he was the culprit who killed one of the damsels a week ago. <There's a good chance that he may be the culprit> The other damsel is breathing very fast and keeps his mouth open the whole time.   <This is not good! Could be a whole bunch of possibilities- but I'm leaning towards ammonia or other metabolites being present in your water at unacceptable levels. You may need to execute immediate, large water changes to correct this. Please run tests on the water, okay?> The Puffer seems to be doing fine, a few days ago he was swimming around crazily but I think the anemone got him a few times because he is fine now. PLEASE help!! We also added some plastic plants that we read are actually for a fresh water tank, but the store owner said that they would be fine in our saltwater tank. Could that be the cause of all the trauma the clownfish and damsel are going through? M. Smiley <Not likely- most of the plastic plants made for aquarium use are completely non-toxic. I really think that your tank is experiencing the result of adding too much bioload too soon. The result is often outbreaks of disease due to metabolite poisoning. Please check the water carefully for ammonia and nitrite. If you are not doing so already, I'd highly recommend using a chemical filtration media, such as activated carbon or Poly Filter, to help deal with excessive metabolic products. Follow a schedule of regular, small (like 5% of tank volume) water changes on a twice weekly basis. If you don't have one already, do purchase a protein skimmer. A good skimmer is your first line of defense against lapses in water quality. Read as much as you can on the wetwebmedia.com site about water quality. You may also want to purchase "The New Marine Aquarium", by Michael Paletta- a great marine "primer", filled with good basic information. Also, Bob's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is an excellent all-around guide to marine aquarium husbandry. Keep reading, studying, and learning. Take it slow, and you'll come out of this just fine! Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions! Regards, Scott F.>

Need help with a plan of action.... I am new and doing a great job of learning the hard way. Due to a mechanical failure in my QT tank, I moved a Royal Gramma from QT after only 5 days (I know, I know...)<<Doh!>>, and now he is showing some tell tale white spots, Ich <<Never fails>>. They just popped up this evening.   The main tank is a 30g with ~25# LR, 2"-3" LS, 2 Blue legs, 2 snails, one small piece of Ricordea, a small polyp colony,  a cleaner shrimp, and 3 small Chromis (that look and act fine, but so does the Gramma).  The water chemistry is good. <<Hmmm, 'good' is kinda subjective ;) Better to give us details in the future>> I am thinking I have 2 possible plans of action: 1: Go fallow, remove the Chromis and QT them with the Gramma (already moved but not yet treated), treat everyone in the QT tank, wait the required amount of time (like I should have done the first time!!), and see how things go.   If I do this, what do I do to the main tank to help ensure the lifecycle of the Ich has been broken? <<Wait, 4 weeks should be sufficient. If you are going to use copper in the QT, make sure you get a good copper test kit so you can properly control the amount.>>   or 2: What about removing the inverts putting them in the QT and treating the main tank?  If I use this method my concerns would making sure the medications were completely out of the sand bed and rock work.   Can my snails and hermits survive in a clean  QT tank <<Oh Yes the inverts will survive, but treating the tank is never recommended. Some feel you can never get the copper completely out of rock sand etc. And what about the corals?? Option one would be best. Do check here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and beyond and save you and your livestock future trouble>>?   Thanks, Bill << You're Welcome, Don>>

Angel With A Tumor? Dear Bob & the guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight> Hamish here from across the pond in the UK. Set up my fish only 70UK gallon  system in May last year, and have had a good run for the money since, and in  no small way has this been due to your invaluable advice over the months. <We're certainly glad to hear that! Thanks for turning to the site as a resource!> I have 5 fish: a lipstick  tang & red-tooth trigger, both 6"+ now, and a  smaller maroon clown & bicolor blenny and, the fish with a problem, a 4" Rock Beauty Angel. Noticed recently that her(?) respiration seemed a bit  fast, but she looked healthy & was eating eagerly as always. Then decided to study her in a bit more detail & discovered that her left gill seemed "jarred" with what looks like an oval shaped, pink coloured object the size of a peanut (flatter!). I know that a good-looking group of fish doesn't  mean that all is well, but I have kept a very watchful eye on this system, level checks and water changes are regular & without problems. My local stockist has suggested parasites but also mentioned that it sounded like it  could be a tumor. <I think that this is a definite possibility; in fact, I agree that either a tumor or an entrenched parasite, such as an isopod or something> The breathing & gills of the other fish check out fine, even the rock beauty swims & eats as happily as ever. <Well, that would help eliminate Amyloodinium as a suspect, IMO> She was the last addition however, in October last year. The only "problem" I can't seem to solve in my system is quite a high KH, but I wrote to you before about this & you said that generally it's only a problem if the fish aren't doing so well. <Agreed, let the fish behaviour and tank be your guide here> Any ideas would be much appreciated, as always. Yours, Hamish, UK. <Well, Hamish-my thinking is that if you are dealing with a parasite, it could possibly be eliminated with as simple a procedure as freshwater dips. These can be a bit traumatic on the fish, so you may want to use these carefully, and mainly if the fish seems to be showing discomfort, or if his condition worsens. I am not a big fan of just dumping in medications, and subjecting the fish to the trauma of treatment unless absolutely necessary. If it is a tumor, short of surgically removing it from the fish (don't try this), the best bet is to keep the fish happy and eating, and to provide him and his tankmates the best water conditions possible. It may go into remission on it's own, it may simply stop developing, or it may gradually worsen...Regardless of what happens, keeping the fish otherwise healthy and happy is the best thing that you can do here. Try checking through a few photo guides on fish diseases to see if anything resembles what you are dealing with...maybe you'll find a clue or two. Otherwise, just hang in there, and keep doing what you're doing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Time for Action - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Hi there thanks for the E mail response its much appreciated. I have noticed one other thing with my Kole Tang it has started to brush itself on the rocks as well as the Lemonpeel angel maybe I have prematurely diagnosed the problem . The lemon peel seems to have the white blotches starting on his fins any further suggestions. <Yes, did you read that article on quarantine? That's what I would suggest, along with reading this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Thank you
Stan N.
<Cheers, J -- >

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