Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Marine Parasitic Disease 7

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic DiseaseCrustacean Parasitic Disease, Isopod Crustaceans,

Related FAQs: Parasitic Disease 1, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Disease 4Parasitic Disease 5, Parasitic Disease 6, Parasitic Disease 8, Parasitic Disease 9, Parasitic Disease 10, Parasitic Disease 11, & FAQs on: Parasite-infested Systems: Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Marine Tanks 2, Parasitic Reef TanksParasitic Reef Tanks 2, & FAQs on: Preventing Parasite Problems, Diagnosing Parasitic Diseases, References on Parasitic Diseases, Index Materia Medici for Parasitic Diseases (medicines), Treating Marine Parasitic Diseases, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Marine Parasitic Diseases, Hyposalinity Treatments 2, Fallow Tanks, & Best Crypt FAQs, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Parasitic WormsCrustacean Parasitic Disease, Isopods, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Parasitic WormsCrustacean Parasitic Disease, Isopods,

"The horror, the horror!"

Need help finding a cure... <Crypt/Velvet?... Chloroquine...> 8/28/05 Wow.. what a wealth of knowledge you have and I am so thankful you are sharing this knowledge with us! I love your site and though there is soooo much information on your site it can make things difficult to find, but with a bit patience and lots of searching I can usually find answers to almost anything.. I do commend you (and the rest of WWM crew) for the time and effort you put into this amazing hobby. well.. I wouldn't be e-mailing you if here wasn't a problem.. so here goes.. We have a 1500 gallon system.. yes 1500 gallons, my husbands dream (I love it too : ) but I can at least blame it all on him : ). It is actually 5 tanks that line two walls of our basement all on one filtration system which is located in the garage. The tanks have been up and running about a year now and we are slowly getting them stocked and arranged. It is a slow and expensive process as you are aware. I guess with adding new items to the tanks we are always at risk. We have a separate 400 gallon tank we are using as a quarantine tank. <All water, gear... separated> For some unknown reason.. maybe adding new corals to the tank we had an outbreak of what we believed to be ich. we removed all of the fish except for the ones in the reef.. (Powder blue tang, 3 blennies and a mandarin goby). <Mmm, if there are fish/es present in part of the system, they will act as "reservoir hosts" (scientific term)...> So now in the 400 gallon QT tank we have the following: Pink Tail trigger, Nigger trigger, Naso Tang, 3 yellow tangs, Blue hippo tang, skunk clown fish, emperor angel, blue faced angel, purple tang and a golden puffer... (there was also a clown trigger, lemon peel angel and long horned cowfish, but they recently passed) Ah yes. the golden puffer.. here is where our problem lies...  Since we do have a puffer we cannot and do not want to use the conventional copper medication for fear of killing him.  We have always used Hyposalinity in the past with great success, however they have been in hypo for about a week now with no improvement. the fish we left in the reef part of the main system actually look better than the ones in the QT tank. Only thing we can come up with is marine velvet.. <Mmm, for the many dollars you have invested in this system, livestock, ongoing operational costs, I would invest in an inexpensive microscope, learn to use it... not hard, expensive...> and only medication we could come up with people actually having success with was Aquatronics Marex which contained Chloroquine <di>Phosphate. However to my findings over he past two days.. Aquatronics has gone out of business and that medication cannot be found. <Mmm, actually...> I am having great difficulties finding another med with the same ingredient or a vet to prescribe me Chloroquine Phosphate because they do not specialize in fish... Do you have any suggestions on obtaining this medication or another med that may help with external parasites that will not harm our puffer? <Careful use of chelated copper along with hyposalinity... of all fishes... would be my choice... If you are convinced that you'd like to try Chloroquine diphosphate (note spelling) this compound can be procured for human use (used to treat malaria)... expensive... from a medical doctor source> I have read so many articles on FW dips, but would Hypo not have the same effect? <Mmm, generally not... the rapid change in osmotic pressure is often of much more immediate relief, destruction to single-celled animals> If we try to FW dip can we dip multiple fish at once and change FW between "groups". How long can you leave them in there without causing too much stress or harming them more? <... this is posted on WWM> You have my utmost gratitude for any help or suggestions with this.... Thanks for your time!! Jatana <I strongly encourage you to have local folks... guru/s from a marine hobby club, expert service company personnel... come to your site, inspect your fishes, system... help devise (and soon) a workable plan for isolating, treating ALL your fishes... and carefully quarantine all future purchases. Along with the microscope, I cannot urge you enough to procure a copy of Edward J. Noga's "Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment". Bob Fenner> An ichy question......... proceeding w/o knowledge gets you where? 8/22/05 How's it guys. <Fine> I had an ich outbreak in my 100 gallon tank as evidenced by white salt like particles covered the body of my two butterflies (Heniochus and Auriga). As a precaution, I removed all the other fish (hawk/clowns/yellow tang/ flame angel) to medicate. I housed all fish in individual 5 gallon containers with air stones and treated with Organi-cure <Not much safety range...> with 100% daily water changes (recommended by the LFS) for two weeks and daily freshwater dips (3-5 minutes) for the first week. Immediately all fish would not eat anything but live brine once introduced to the medicine and even at that, they ate very little. <Toxified, shocked, stressed> After the two week medication period, the Heni's tail was burnt and split by the medication and started to rot (treated with Furazone green), the Tang had HLLD, the Angel's face showed signs of chemical burns, the Auriga died (not from the medication) and the Clowns appeared ok but the good thing was there was no signs of ich. The Hawk was pulled from the medication after 1 week because he would not eat and was lying on the bottom of the bucket and appeared dead but survived when place in unmedicated water. For an additional week, I kept them without meds <... Why?> and continued with the 100% daily water changes and their appetites improved. The display was allowed to fallow for 3 weeks, which I realize was too short because as soon as I put all the fish back, they immediately displayed mild signs of ich again (periodic scratching and couple particles). Again, the LFS advised that I could put my fish back in the display after the two week medication period. <Should investigate... think for yourself> After two weeks, with better nutrition, all physical problems improved, good appetite, clear fins, active with maybe an occasional one or two particles on several of the fish. The Heni is still in the hospital tank recovering from the medication and still has mild signs of ich but is eating well and looking better as well. I have been administering more aggressive water changes than normal to both tanks.   Now finally, my question is what do I do next? <Study> Because the fish in the display had a mild ich outbreak again, although they seem healthy, I realize that the ich is still cycling in the display. Do I treat again and fallow for 6-8 weeks or can I take a chance and don't do anything and leave the tank as is because I don't feel that my fish can take any more medicating at this time. If left as is, I guess any new fish will be vulnerable to ich too or is the ich problem mild enough that the fish can live, or will it be the catalyst for a full on ich outbreak? What do with the Heni to cure it from ich as he seemed to the take the medicating the hardest or because his ich condition is mild should I dip and just put him back in the display and buy some cleaner shrimp? <Could try this> Do you think the hawk would leave the shrimp alone?  If medication is your recommendation, should I wait little awhile before I medicate to give my fishes time to get stronger and also, what medicine would you recommend? Keep up the good work, as it is much needed and appreciated by all! Aloha, Lester <Time to read Lester... on WWM... try the ingredients in Organicure, marine parasitic disease, diseased tanks, Cryptocaryon... Enjoy the education. Bob Fenner> Help with <supposed> Uronema outbreak <misdiagnoses and treatments... apparent and not costs> 7/25/05 Hi All and thanks in advance, <Welcome> Please bear with me, as I am fairly new to this, having used your site for about 2 months, and am trying to learn from my mistakes.  This will  be very long winded, but I want to provide you with as much detail as  possible.  I have a FOWLR (mostly) 75 gallon tank, established about 6  months ago, with about 70 lbs of LR.  Since the start, all of my  parameters were great, 80 degrees, 8.2 Ph, very low or nonexistent Ammonia,  Nitrate, Nitrite, 1.024 sg.  Earlier (about 4 weeks after setup) I added 2  yellow tangs, who lived happily for about 3 1/2 months alone.  About 6  weeks ago, I added my other fish and inverts (all within about 10 days) bringing  the entire load up to:  2 yellow tang, a pr of Percula clowns, 3  small blue-green reef Chromis, and a pink-fringed fairy wrasse, a quadricolor  (sp?) anemone, 1 tiger cowry, 5 small turbo snails, and a sand starfish (sorry, under stress, cannot remember his species, but he's grey and lives below the  sand).  I considered using a quarantine tank, but didn't (argh,  hindsight and learning tough lessons). <Yes>   Parameters stayed great,  except that I got an outbreak of Cyanobacteria (due mostly to dead spots in  currents, thriving on extra detritus (sp?)).  I used your site to get the Cyano under control, but had a small ammonia spike (2.0) <Not small> thereafter, which  was alleviated in about 4 days. Everyone was doing great, even the anemone, who  had a bit of a tough adjustment.  Another few weeks went by and: Sunday/Monday, all fish were doing great, even have video I reviewed  today.   Tuesday, I noticed a few white dots on the clowns (mostly the  female), and a strange look to one of the blue-green Chromis (a little pale in  spots, a spot that looked like he lost a scale or 2) but nothing too drastic,  everyone acting healthy and well.  I immediately went to my LFS keep in  mind a 45 min drive each way), to purchase a hospital tank, with photos in  tow.  My fave fish guy observed the photos, and thought it might be a touch  of Ich, which he said seems to spike this time of year locally (NJ, hot humid  summers). <Along with the ammonia, whatever caused it...>   He advised raising the temp to about 83, and observation for a  day or so.  Left without the hospital tank, as I was waiting for delivery  of a specific one that evening. Wed:  Tragic accident?  Small clown sucked into powerhead, don't  know if accident, but now suspect he was either weakened or possibly dead.    <Must have been weakened... otherwise would have avoided...> Female clown looks different, only a few spots, but a few cottony strings  hanging from her fins, and she is stressed from losing her mate.  Blue  green looks awful, ulcers formed overnight, lost a lot of scales, and  is gasping.  Another blue-green looking similar to the first a day  before.  I race back to the LFS, and fave guy not working.  I consult a  few others there, and they suspect Brooklyniosis (sp?). <These terms are spelled, described on WWM, the Net.> By the time I  returned home, the blue-green had passed.  I quickly set up a 20 gallon  hospital tank (the wrong way, I later find out, w/ sand substrate and left the  carbon filter in, all fixed 24 hrs later), with a bio-wheel filter, heater,  small powerhead, and airstone, and a lowered salinity of 1.017, temp  82.   Alone, I was only able to get the clown into the tank, and began  treating with Malachite Green, as directed by LFS (probably ineffective due to  sand and carbon filter).  I did not give her a FWB as she was severely  stressed from the capture and move.   By the time this was done, it  was 1 am. Thurs:  Wake up to find clown dead, and blue green still in main tank  dead.   Last blue green not looking great, and one of the tangs has white  dots now.   I jar the dead creatures and rush back to LFS.  Fave guy  back and diagnoses Uronema, <On what basis was this diagnosis made? Microscope use...?> and says I need to get as many of the fish out of  main tank as I can and quickly into hospital tank, get rid of substrate, <Why?> carbon  filter, daily water changes at least 5 gallons (of 17-18), malachite green, with  10 min FW baths for all (and formalin on reserve).  I didn't think it was  possible, as hubby out of town, but managed to set up,  capture and move  them all within a couple hours.  After the FW baths, the tang looks a lot  better, and I think the blue-green is too far gone for recovery, having already  begun to ulcerate (gosh this disease is FAST!)   <Marine parasitic disease in aquariums can be.> Fri: Water change, malachite green, FW baths for 2 sick ones, (every other day for the remaining two healthy fish, a pink fringed fairy wrasse and last yellow tang, neither showing ANY symptoms).  The small yellow tang was  looking much better, but shortly after his FWB, the white spots had returned,  and he had a white mark on his upper "lip/nose".  He had been eating well  to this point, but now would chase food, unable to actually eat it.   These changes happened over a few hours. This morning: The last blue green has passed, and the small yellow looking   very similar to yesterday, except more white dots.  Nose/lip NOT  looking any better and still unable to eat.  The last two still look very  healthy, with the wrasse being observed constantly with no apparent symptoms  except frustration with losing his "hiding spots".  I think its time to  start the Formalin. <... I would not... too dangerous, not likely to "get" all the daughter colonies, encysted stages... w/o killing your fishes/hosts... I would go the copper route... detailed over and over on WWM> Finally to my question:  I have been treating for 2 days with  Malachite green (first day probably ineffective), and FW baths.  Since this  disease is so fast moving, and the last malachite green treatment seems  ineffective on the Uronema, should I begin Formalin treatment? <I doubt if you have a Uronema infestation... but even if so, I would not treat it as proscribed> In  conjunction with the Malachite Green?  Should I treat entire hospital tank  (1 sick, 2 seemingly healthy fish) with formalin or should I use it as dip for  the sick one only?  I plan to ask my LFS as soon as I can get up there in a  couple hours, but would like to get your opinion as well.  I want to save  whomever I can from this very rapid disease, but don't want to risk the healthy  ones with overtreatment.  Does everything else with the hospital tank look  in order to you? Thanks for any help you can provide! Robin <Ten semi-deep breaths, and read... on WWM re marine parasitic disease/s, treatment, Malachite, Formalin, Copper... the sub-index is here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Educate yourself... and quickly! And get on with a treatment plan... you don't need to toss the old substrate... do need a copper solution (chelated likely), a test kit for same, diligence... Knowledge is power my friend, be powerful. I wish you well. Bob Fenner>

Update: On treatment for Uronema 7/25/05 Just finished posting about Uronema outbreak:  Small yellow tang is  eating again (just two hours after last attempt), and white spots have  diminished, but not eradicated, spot on lip/nose less white, but darkish line  just behind upper lip.  Acting even more healthy, but saw him rubbing  against bottom once. Should I hold off on Formalin or still begin  treatment, and which way? Robin <... this is very much more likely Cryptocaryon... and has simply "cycled off"... will be back. Read. BobF>

Parasite Theories (7/26/05) Hi gang, it's me again Anthony with another question also related to QT for new fish. <Hi. Steve Allen with you this evening.> I've read from your site and from LFS folks that tanks and fish will always have parasites (just like the ocean). <There are many who assert that you can have a parasite-free tank. Since we aren't about to examine every square inch of fish skin and substrate surface in a bunch of tanks under a microscope, there will not likely ever be definitive proof one way or the other.> That It all depends on the hardiness and immune system of the fish (also cleaner fish and shrimp). <Important factors indeed.> The new fish could be fine after QT but when it gets stressed out in a "parasite free??" display tank, the ich could come out. Is this true? Can a fish be a carrier even if it never gets sick? <In medicine, we use the term "subclinical infection" to describe infections that have little or no symptoms in a given individual. Many of the symptoms you experience when ill are your body's reactions to the infection, rather than actual physical damage being done. The white spots of ich are the visible manifestation of infestation, not the actual microscopic protozoans. Many people who "never had" Chicken Pox have antibodies. So they really did "have" Chicken Pox, but did not develop itchy blisters, fever, etc. They had a subclinical infection. Ich doesn't come from nowhere and does not go "dormant" for months years. They are either in the tank at a low level in conditions that allow the fishes' immunity (and biological cleaners, if present) to keep them in check to the degree that the aquarist sees no apparent symptoms or manifestations, or they are brought in with new fish or infested tank water from the LFS. If a fish gets a spot or two, but no more, you may never notice. Steven Pro wrote an excellent series on ich for Reefkeeping that starts here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/ > It was also suggested that new fish after a 4-6 week QT without signs of ich doesn't mean it's parasite free. <But very likely is if you have seen no spots at all during that time, for the live cycle of the parasites in question means that there should have been some. Of course, I haven't really touched on internal parasites here, but am guessing you are primarily concerned with Cryptocaryon and Amyloodinium.> So the suggestion was to mildly medicate during QT as well. Is this true? <That's a matter of opinion and disagreement. I don't like to give medicine prophylactically. There are too many potential side effects from any of them that work. Also, where's the evidence that "mildly" medicating works? If you take half of the recommended dose of an antibiotic, it probably won't work. Same goes for anti-parasitic meds--you have to use enough to get the job done. Medicating a QT for new fish would be done on the presumption that parasites are present, thus requiring full-strength treatment.> If yes what is the best medication to use (something that would not totally destroy the good bacteria in the QT/holding tank which would have live rock and obviously not stress the fish).  Would those "reef safe" parasite meds work (i.e. Ruby Reef Kick Ich)? <I do not consider this or any other "reef safe" medication useful. There is no evidence that they are either safe or effective. My general belief is that "reef safe" medications are not effective and effective medicines are not reef safe. That is a WWM consensus.> Remember, this is a question about new NOT sick fish. <Understood. Read Steve's articles. They are excellent.> One last theoretical question. If I have a tank with parasite infected fish (no other fish in tank) that recovers and shows no signs of illness after 6 weeks, does this mean that the tank and or fish are parasite free (same an infected running a tank empty of fish for 4-6 weeks)? <No. It could be the fish merely has the situation under control. Parasites may still be present. The only way to rid a tank of the parasite is to leave it free of hosts long enough for all the parasites to die off for lack of a host to allow them to go through their entire life cycle. That's probably 6-8 weeks, perhaps even longer.> Thanks for everything and regards to everybody. <You're welcome. Thanks for the interesting questions. I hope you find my musings on the subject helpful. Again, do read the articles. He also recently wrote an excellent article about Amyloodinium for the same webzine.>

More Theoretical Discussion of Parasites (7/27/05) Hi gang, and Steve thanks for your insight full answers. <Happy to help. Back with you again this evening, Steve Allen.> Your response and Steve Pro's article on ich had endowed me with more knowledge than all the reading I've done in the past month. I guess it put everything in proper perspective There's something in Steve Pro's article about a fish getting better only to be infested a month later by new parasite babies of the guys that infected him originally where the fish sleeps - is this what is commonly referred to as a secondary infection? (excuse my non-scientific terminology). <I suppose you could use that term, but "secondary infection" is used in medicine to refer to bacterial infections that occur on top of some other (often viral) infection that weakens local or systemic defenses to allow the "secondary" infection to occur when/where it normally would not. An example is developing "secondary" bacterial pneumonia while ill with "primary" influenza. In the case of Cryptocaryon, the fish shed the parasites which then go through their substrate and free-swimming stages before searching for an new host which then ends up being the original fish. As you read, these non-infesting stages last a couple of weeks.>  Furthermore, these parasites hatch in the dark. I have a 60g tank where a 5" blue tang and 5" Auriga Butterflyfish were infected and recovered - thanks to my hard working red fire cleaner shrimp. <A really beautiful, interesting, and helpful creature indeed--love mine.> They were taking turns with the shrimps' cleaning station for almost 2 weeks. <Yummy for the shrimp. The striped ones <much bolder than the reds> will clean under your fingernails too. It really creeps my daughter out.> It's been a week that I've hardly seen the two fish with the shrimp. Now, the shrimp is starting to stroll beyond its cave - I think for food. <No more delivery. It has to go out for dinner now.> So now I have to drop sinking food for bottom dwellers and the shrimp grabs it in a split second. <yes, very fast and aggressive at eating pellets, flakes, frozen food, chopped sea food--pretty much anything remotely edible.> Sorry for ranting. My new question is, what can I do to cope with the soon to come parasite babies. <Keep your fingers crossed--perhaps the cleaner ate enough of them off of the fish that you will see few if any offspring. How big is your tank? Lysmata shrimp, which are hermaphrodites can be kept in pairs or groups if there is enough space. I have two amboinensis and two debelius in my 80g.> And I thought my 60g tank will be fine from now on since I have no plans in adding new fish. <It may yet. Definitely consider adding a second Lysmata debelius. They should pair up, mate and provide live food (eggs/larvae) for your tank.> Another thing I wanted to verify - Are snails and shrimps (my only inverts) immune to parasites. <To fish parasites. But not to whatever parasites naturally can infest them. Most parasites host in/on only one type of organism. There are certainly many exceptions to this "rule," but neither Cryptocaryon nor Amyloodinium involve other aquarium inhabitants in their lifecycles--just fish. You seem to find parasites interesting (the actually are fascinating), so you might want to take a look at this book: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/074320011X/qid=1122528358/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-7727427-9304642 My other tank 55g, recently wiped out by disease is running with no fish but still has my inverts. So is the guideline of not adding fish within 6-8 weeks still hold true? <Yes. In my mind, the longer the better. If you are the patient type, you might want to go to three or four months. I've heard from a lot of people for whom 6-8 weeks did not suffice for some reason. Just imagine all the cool things that will thrive in your tank without fish to eat them.> I already have September to quarantine new pets and October to hopefully move them to the 55g display tank, marked on my calendar.   One last thing. What's your opinion about a quarantine and hospital tank being the same setup bare). Steven Pro said that the holding/quarantine tank for new fish should be bare (no rock nor sand). The logic is to make the fish not too comfy (stress it a bit) - so it can be infected by dormant deceases it or it's companions may have. <I like having just PVC fitting or two for the fish to hide in when scared. the nice thing about a bare bottom is that you can vacuum it to remove parasite cysts that fall to the bottom after dropping off of the fish. They have no rock or sand to hide in. The most important reason to not have rock or sand in a hospital tank is that they absorb the medications (most especially copper) and make it difficult to maintain a safe and therapeutic level in the water.> Thanks Again, Anthony <You're welcome.>

Parasite Theories, Part 3 -- Mostly About Shrimp Today (7/28/05) Hi Crew and Steve, <Back with you again, Steve Allen.> Thanks again for your comprehensive answers to my never ending questions. The tank which I'm concerned about a second ich infestation is 60g. I added a Lysmata amboinensis a few days after the debelius because I thought the latter was overworked with the 2 fish taking turns. As you said I like the amboinensis because it's bolder and not as shy as the debelius. It was doing it's job but I found it dead in 2 days. <Sorry to hear.> I still wonder why - could it be that the stronger looking debelius killed it or is it one of those sudden death syndromes for shrimps (if there's such a thing). My Auriga Butterflyfish loves nipping on my snails and tube worms - so he's one of my suspects. <I'd say it is unlikely that a debelius would kill an amboinensis, especially in a tank of that size--plenty of room to avoid one another. As I mentioned, I've had two of each thriving in 80 gallons for two years now. It could have been some sort of illness, weakness, or failure to adjust to the new tank. There's really no way of knowing. I do strongly recommend taking a couple of hours to acclimate as shrimp can be delicate, L. Debelius in particular per my experience.> The debelius is nicer looking <and more expensive> and I'm tempted to take on your advice to get it a partner. Would they eventually show themselves, otherwise what good are their good looks if you hardly see them. <Purely utilitarian when not visible.> Reason why I added an amboinensis instead. Also I read in LiveAquaria that the debelius is aggressive to it's own kind unless mated. So should I pick the same size or smaller for the second debelius. <Interesting, I have not seen this or heard of it from others. Stenopus shrimps are notorious for this and are best put in mated ahead of time, but I am not aware of this being so for L. debelius. I'd bet you can add one and they would pair up--they are hermaphroditic. I'd go with about the same size. Consider moving the rocks around a bit to confuse the one that's already in there. You may even find that a pair are more likely to come out than a single one. Although mine are not out and about all the time like my L. amboinensis are, they come scurrying forth in a frenzy of eating activity the minute any food hits the water.> Getting back to my empty 55g I'm running "a fowl". It has a 4" DSB so more places for left over parasites to hide. I have a small amboinensis in it. Will this guy eat parasites in the substrate even when they're not attached to any fish? <I doubt it. They are microscopic there, not part of a clump of inflammatory tissue for the shrimp to dig out and put in its mouth.> If yes, maybe I should add another one to facilitate ridding this tank of parasites???? <I'd say you best remedy is what we docs call "tincture of time." Let the tank go fish free long enough for the parasites to die off for lack of a piscine host.> Thanks again, Anthony <My pleasure.>

Please help me get to the bottom of this problem. 7/6/05 <Will do what I can> I have a 25 gallon S/W tank and a 200 gallon S/W tank..  the 25 gallon has 20 pd.s or so of live rock, a  small green Chromis and a tomato clown.  The tank has been running well for almost 8 months now.  Well my problem is that the clown and Chromis are doing wonderful in the tank but when I first set up the tank I put a small yellow tang in the tank and he came down with white spots all over his body immediately ..  Before I could even react, I lost him..  ( I noticed the spots in the morning, gone when I cam home from work..)  I waited a couple months and decided to add a coral beauty angel..   He did well for a couple days then same down with the same white spots...  I quickly responded with treatment of the tank with Malachite Green.  I lost him within three days of the white spots appearing..   The malachite green was a recommendation from my local dealer.  He also recommended that I get a UV filter to kill the bad stuff in the tank..  So I did ...  I ran the UV filter for one month.. (It is a 18watt Coralife on a 25 gallon tank)  and decided to give it one more try.. I wanted to add a powder brown tang to my 200 gallon tank but until he got a little bigger I want to keep him in the 25 gallon... So I put him in ..  He was doing great for 2 days and now has the white spots..  so here is my dilemma after reading all your articles already posted.. What do I use.. Copper?  I hear this is bad and will cure the fish but kill all my snails...as well as be harmful to the fish. <Copper treatments do work, as long as dosed accurately - you'll need a copper test kit> Pimafix?  My dealer swore to me it was snail safe I used it once and killed half my snails. <All medications I am aware of, at a dose strong enough to kill crypto will also kill mollusks - you were misinformed> Malachite green worked once for me.  When the tomato clown has the white bumps but that was it and it didn't work for the coral beauty. I am confused and lost.  What should I do? <Okay, your 25 gallon obviously has a cryptosporidium spp. infection, which was likely introduced with one of your new fish.  The stress from the move caused the new fish to die from the infection, but your current fish who weren't under any stress didn't succumb because their immune system was functioning as normal.  However, because of the stress of the move, all of the fish you have added have immediately succumbed to the infection, due to dampened immune systems caused by said stress.  What you need to do is move all of the fish out of your 25 gallon and into a quarantine tank, where you can treat them for "ich" (see our archives for more treatment information).  Let the 25 run fishless for six weeks, and you shouldn't have any more problems.  It goes without saying to quarantine everything before adding it to a display tank.  As you learned (the hard way, I'm sorry to say) any medication designed to kill crypto will kill almost all other invertebrates in a system.  NEVER medicate a tank containing live rock, in my opinion.  Always move the specimens to a quarantine tank before treatment.  Also, in the future, please use correct sentence construction, grammar, and punctuation, as these emails are archived for future reference.  Good luck - M. Maddox> Para Guard Info 7/4/05 Dear WWM Crew,     Just was wondering if you had any info on SeaChem's' Para Guard product.   The guy at my LFS said that it is a completely reef-safe treatment for fish and inverts and that it can help control possible ich infestations in your main tank.  Just wanted to get your thoughts on it as the only info I have on it is what's printed on the bottle.  They said that it is a good practice to use this prior to introducing any new inhabitants.  Thanks for your reply.                                                             Jeff K <Please read here: http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/ParaGuard_faq.html SeaChem itself does not warrant that this product is "safe" with invertebrates. I would/do rely on quarantine, dips/baths, proper acclimation... Bob Fenner> Clown and Anemone problem Hey, I was curious if you could offer some advice to my situation.  I have a 55 gal SW setup with a wet/dry and one extra power head for circulation, it's been up for about 4 months now, I have almost 20Pounds of live rock, adding more soon.  I have 1 Juv. Koran angel, <This tank is too small for this species...> 1 Juv. Flame angel, <I would stick with just this one angelfish> 2 damsels, 1 Rose Anemone, and had one Ocellaris Clown.  My dilemma is one of a sad nature.  I purchased the Anemone and the clown at the same time Sunday.  After acclimation to my tank, and Release the clown took to the anemone after about 2 hours.  I found this astonishing seeing as most people I talked to said it might take up to a few weeks.  The clown stayed in the anemone that whole night, and in the morning had many little white spots on his body.  I figured this was probably from the clown getting used to the Anemone. <Ah, no>   By lunchtime that day the spots were gone, <Cycled off... will be back... in number, virulence> and he had still not left the Anemone for one moment.  I tried feeding the Clown by hand and he wouldn't take any food, I was given some frozen shrimp type cubes from the store I bought the fish from.  I tried letting food drift by the Clown and he still wouldn't take it.  By the next day He had still not left the anemone at all, same problem with food too, I could get the Anemone to hold food and eat, yet the clown would not.  Up till today, Thursday the clown neither left the anemone, nor did he eat.  When I came home from work for lunch, The clown had died, and was in the corner of the tank, far from the anemone.  none of the other fish seem sick, they all eat well and swim all the time. I had my water checked and they said there was nothing wrong with my water.  Do you have any ideas what may have happened, or what I can do to change this. I really want a  clown for the anemone and for my tank, but I don't want another to die. Any advise would be appreciated, thank you James <... trouble James... Parasitic... the clown and now your tank... Please read... on WWM (see the URL above?) re Cryptocaryon... Parasitic tanks... And Quarantine... you need to isolate new livestock... I do wish you well. Bob Fenner>

Sick hippo tang, system Hello Crew, <Lani> I am writing about my hippo tang.  Recently I have seen a few white spots on his body.  He shows now signs of distress, no scratching, heavy breathing etc. He still eats like a pig and all of my water parameters are normal.  I haven't really had a problem with saltwater ich before, but this doesn't look like the typical freshwater ich cysts, it is not "raised from the skin".  Any ideas on what it could be and how I should approach treatment. Thanks, Eric <Likely some sort of parasite, but in something of a "stasis" with its host... I'd add at least one type of biological cleaner (please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm) and do my best to maintain optimized, stable conditions, good nutrition... and keep an eye out for infestation. Bob Fenner>

To Medicate Or Not To Medicate? - 06/04/05 Hi WetWebbers, <<Hey there!>> I'll try and keep this brief. A break-out of ich (and a fungal infection) in my 90-g tank killed 7 of my 8 fish. The remaining fish, a six-line wrasse, was removed and put in a small 10-g tank so that the 90-g can go fallow for 8 weeks. <<Very good.>> The wrasse has shown no signs of being sick. <<Are tough little buggers.>> He is eating and swimming, and his body looks free from parasites and infection.  However, should we medicate him as a precautionary measure?  I don't know if the infection/parasites can be dormant in him since he was in the infected tank. <<Any problems with the wrasse should/will manifest in the 8 weeks you'll be waiting for the main tank.  I would leave the sixline be and not medicate unless it proves necessary.>> Thank you! Jodi <<Regards, Eric R.>>

Ick?  Velvet?  Help! Hello, I introduced a small spotted pufferfish to my 55 gal. saltwater tank.  No quarantine as I don't have a second tank. <... at least a dip/bath? Should've used the money for the new fish on a Q system...>   Within a couple of weeks, my trigger died and I noticed the white dusting of either Ick or Velvet (tiny spots, not sure which one it could be) on the puffer. <Hey! Maybe both!> Well, my three damsels died too and I was left with just the puffer.  I tried treating the tank with "Rid Ick" a formalin based med.  I dosed the tank every day for a week.  Most spots went away but not all.  I tried fresh water baths.  The spots clear, but my problem is that it keeps coming back every time I stop treating.  My latest treatment is giving him formalin dips every other day.   The good news is the puffer is taking it all like a champ, but the treatments do not seem to be curing the infestation.  Any suggestions?   Thanks.  Dave <Keep reading... on WWM, invest in a quarantine system. Bob Fenner>

Parasite, Or Is It Just A Fluke, Or??? Friends at WWM, Greetings from Oregon! Scott from Critter Cabana here again. Thank you Scott F for your input on the large system I am working on, and on my fish loss issue. <You're quite welcome! Glad that you found the information useful!> Today I have another fish health issue. I have a 5" Square Anthias that has a very peculiar (to me) issue. He has thick pure white spikes coming out of him. 5 on one side of his head directly between his gills and his eye, 2 on the other side, and three coming right out of his body. They are about a quarter inch long, and though varying in thickness all comparable to the tip of a ball point pen. He has gone off feed and is quickly losing weight. I can't find the cord to download pictures, otherwise I would have just sent one along for simplicity's sake. I have seen this only once before, and it was on my (personal) Red Sea Emperor Angel. I spent many, many hours researching to figure out what was going on, but was never able to come up with anything even remotely concrete. A pre-emptive thanks to you friend! Scott Johnson Critter Cabana <Well, Scott, it is tough to guess without a pic, but I'm inclined to think that you're looking at some sort of fluke or other parasite on the fish. Hard to be 100% certain, but I'd read up on these possibilities and verify if this is indeed what you're dealing with! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> 

Internal parasites or bacteria infection Hi Guys!! I have a major problem with my supermale lineatus wrasse. He is apparently not a happy camper. He has white feces or shall we call it stringy white poo hanging out of its anal area. <Either one> The tank is a 55 gallon with a UV, all water parameters are normal. When I first got him, he was always swimming around eating like a pig. Now he is hiding in his cave, has no interest in food, he always has his head out looking around except he hasn't swam or ate in 3 days. I am very concerned. Since my tank isn't a reef, I treated my tank with Maracyn and Metronidazole from SeaChem. I noticed his white stringy poop is getting longer, it looks like he is desperately trying to expel the waste from his anus. Am I taking the right approach? <One way, yes> The diet I was feeding him was that  Canadian Mysis shrimp. It has high protein at 60%. Couple times a week I add Selcon to it. He shares a home with a flame wrasse, and a labouti who are all doing great. Do you have any other suggestions on how I can speed this process along or is he doomed since he isn't eating? <This fish was/is very likely internally parasitized from the wild... and in too small a system, and lacking "reef circumstances", definitely a shortcoming... Do you have another, larger, more "reefy" setting to move it to? I would add the Metronidazole to its food... This is posted on WWM... and treat only for a few days. Bob Fenner> 

Freshwater dip I just freshwater dipped my flame angel after about five days of worsening cloudy-eye and fin rot... There were oval, thin, opaque things in the dip water. I thought they were scales that were knocked off at first, but do you think they could be flatworms or something?  <They could be scales but they might also be flukes. You can use Praziquantel. It works great and only stays in the water three to five days.>  My fish was scratching himself for a week or so... now in QT after the dip. If they are parasites, are they contagious?  <Yes they are very contagious.>  How to control them? Thanks guys. A second opinion is often all it takes to keep us from being ignorant...  <Good luck, MacL>

Parasite on trigger? Pics Hi Bob,  <James here today> I've gotten a new Bluejaw trigger within the last few days that I purchased off of the internet. I noticed that he has something attached/coming out of one of his fins. Is this some sort of parasite, and if so, what is the best way to remove it? Here are a couple pics, one of the general fish, and the second of a zoomed in portion of the best pic I could get of the affected fin.  <Chad, I would leave well enough alone. You will cause more stress on the fish that any damage this will cause. Appears like he picked up a "sliver" of some kind. I think it will work itself out in time. James (Salty Dog)>

Looks like an extension of a fin ray to RMF.

A " Lumpy" Griffiths Angel Hi <Hello> I have a question for you, which I think I know the answer to......But I need to ask. <Okay> In my store, I have many large reef display tanks.  One of these is a 400 Gallon, very well stocked reef.  I only have a few fish in there.  a small yellow tang, medium purple, a combfish, a fourline red sea wrasse, a multicolour angel, medium Black Tang, and a 3.5"  Griffiths. I love the Griffiths, and I got a few with my last shipment from Hawaii. <Mmm, you mean "through" Hawai'i... not found here> I chose one to keep, isolated him for 2 weeks, then put him in the tank....everything went well for a few days, but now he appears to be a bit lumpy....like he has a dozen or so small bumps on each side of him....he eats readily, and I feed Live Brine, and some Tetra marine pellets 3 times a day, but in small quantities.  In fact, he seems to be first to the food. Question....what is it?,  and if I soak a few pellets for a moment in the "yellow-green" water....and almost hand feed him......will these antibiotics kill my reef in such small doses? <Not likely> I know you won't want to put this on your site as it might encourage a lot of people to do the same, with disastrous results. <We post all> My system has a 4 inch DSB,  200kgs of quality Live rock, and a heavy duty H&S skimmer, as well as a trickle filter and a little activated carbon.  I use natural sea water which I  UV, skim and O3 before lab testing and adding to the systems Normally I wouldn't worry too much about the fish, as most seem to heal very quickly in this tank,  but I'm sort of attached to this guy regards JD <I too like this genus of Angels... What yours is exhibiting is very likely some sort of worm infestation... subdermal... nematodes, maybe acanthocephalans... Not treatable, not likely "too" debilitating, not catching. Bob Fenner>

Will the Real Problem Please Stand Up? - II (This is a Long One!) Marina, <<Toni..>> Well, believe it or not I've done a great deal of reading.  <<I don't doubt it, there's even more, too. Can be overwhelming at times.>> I've read Fenner's book as well as two other books.  <<Ah.. well, everything is relative. In this endeavor that's not quite scratching the surface. CMA is a "must have", especially for beginners, but it cannot be solely relied upon. Fortunately, I believe we have a "further reading" page.. plus the web (though that, too, can be quite confusing).>> I've also read numerous articles on your site, reefs.org, etc. There are so many contradictory opinions out there that it makes it difficult for a newcomer to sort through. <<Oh yes! This is too true, unfortunately. I don't know if you've hit Advanced Aquarist, that can be a bit technical for newbies.>> As far as what the fish had I just don't know. I can tell you that I put the Flame Angel in the tank on the 13th and on the 26th I wrote in my journal that both Butterflies had small white spots on their pectoral and caudal fins. From there it got progressively worse to where the butterflies ended up covered in it.  <<This is all you noted? If so, then the more likely culprit would be Cryptocaryon irritans. Symptoms of note are posted, but let's do a quickie review: *Ich - Flashing or scratching, twitching, visible white spots. *Velvet - RAPID gilling, very fine white spots, may slough mucus and skin, RAPID onset of death (within 24-48 hours) if left untreated. *Brooklynellosis - Rapid gilling, major sloughing of mucus and skin, lesions may be apparent, again, rapid onset of death in most cases.. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm >> <<Now, knowing what your fishes had is VERY important for a few reasons. Most important at this point are knowing what to treat (any remaining fish) with, and if it's Amyloodinium, you're going to have to do some sterilization, LONG fallowing. Same may be said of Brooklynellosis, I'm afraid.>> It appeared to me to look more like Velvet because of the "powdered sugar" covered look, although it was difficult to see on the Klein Butterflies because their main body color is whitish.  <<Yeah, that's why the other symptoms are so important to note, too.>> Also they had it for over a week before they started to die.  <<That pretty much rules out velvet, Brooklynellosis (this is also known as "Clownfish disease", but it is NOT particular to only Clownfishes). If we're still talking ich, which at this point I think we are, it is MUCH more easily eradicated. However at that point I'm going to turn you on to some links & information regarding the lifecycles, and quarantine/hospitalization. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm>> The Gramma actually died first and I never saw anything on the Gramma - just noticed she became sluggish and her appetite declined dramatically over 2 days.  <<Tests? Also, if no external symptoms, something else was at work here. Not uncommon for secondary infections - bacterial, other protozoa, etc. Have Spectrogram on hand at all times.>> They show the pictures in the books of the three disease you refer to but I'm by myself and there's no expert I can call to say "Does this look like Velvet to you? Or Ich? I have to guess based on what I've read. <<Lots of us do, Toni, you'll get there.. well, actually, let's hope you don't have to deal with disease too often, eh? In the meantime, I suggest an inexpensive digital camera, one that uses regular batteries and has a simple camera-computer interface. I like Olympus, but then again, I'm no expert on cameras!>> As far as the size of the fish, none were larger than 4 inches. I know that the size is not the issue but rather the bio-load and because the butterflies were so very active I did feed them 3-4 times a day. <<Understood, though not as much a point of importance as knowing those water parameters. Another crewmember here, James (Ye Olde Salty Doggie), offers up this "Rule of Thumb" as a good starting point - 1"cubic fish/5gallons of water volume. Lord, I hope I got that right!>> Also before I put the Angel in they seemed to get along well with each other but after the Flame angel they seemed to pick on each other a lot.  <<As I understand you, the butterflies picked on each other after introduction of the flame? Rather unusual.. especially in a larger tank. But, the introduction of a perceived competitor may have upset their social hierarchy.>> You stated "However, if I assume that you had live rock only for filtration in that tank". My tank has live rock, an Emperor 400 and a Remora protein skimmer. I also Have a UV sterilizer with a brand new bulb as of January 28th (I know because of my log). <<That is EXCELLENT that you have/keep a log! I must confess.. until I worked the local PA, I never kept a log (outside of tracking my service agreements). As I'm sure you are now aware, the utility/efficacy of UV is questionable, but keeping a logbook is NOT.>> What happened with the quarantine tank is as follows: I had a 30 gallon tank with no substrate, etc., only a Penguin 125 and two powerheads, some PVC pipe and a heater. I had a terrible time getting it to cycle but finally did by adding some mollies and then giving the mollies back to the LFS when it had cycled.  <<Ok. Time for Marina to "hip" Toni about Marineland's BioSpira. This is the ONLY product that actually starts up that cycle for you! Also, time for me to hip you the "Fishless Cycle". It is done with raw shrimp (preferred to avoid parasites of vertebrates), and you just test like you do if there are fish in there. When ammonia and nitrite drop to zero, you know you've got it cycled. Better than the "peepee" method I've witnessed. <gasp> Also, cycling fishless does the BEST job of ensuring you've got nothing in that tank to start with that could lead to disease.>> I placed the Gramma, the clown, the wrasse in quarantine. <<Ok, this is usually a mistake for HOME hobbyists. Chances are that, even if the fish were kept in the same system, they don't necessarily share all the same "bugs". Better in my opinion (yes, I know there are those with different) to acquire individually, quarantine individually, establish individually. Also, those three fish may have put a much larger burden on the nitrifying bacteria than the mollies, thus further upsetting the balance.>> At some point the tank looked filthy and I made the stupid mistake of emptying the water out and cleaning the tank.  <<Not necessarily a stupid mistake at all, Toni! Doing the water changes is necessary, and is a good thing AS LONG AS the water used has been premixed and aged (unless you're using filtered ocean water). For some reason aging the water makes a big difference. If you really cleaned and ended up removing the nitrifying bacteria, then having the BioSpira on hand makes up for that "mistake". It is often necessary to do this, though, Toni.>> I realized after a Longnose butterfly died in there that it had probably spiked and had to cycle again. <<Ah.. it's important to test during these times, daily if necessary.>> After that I kept thinking it had cycled but I lost two more longnose (one with an obvious brown spot on its side that I guess was a bacterial infection) and another that I saw white spots on its pectoral fins and added copper and it died.  <<Cannot use copper indiscriminately, without testing for that AND nitrogenous wastes. Can lead to sudden deaths, can be problematic to remove. Better to use hyposalinity for quarantine and treating ich to start, only move to copper once you're ready with test kits, etc.>> The butterflies I put in the q tank for less than a week because I feared they would die. I then put some live rock in the tank, lost the first angel - the rest you know. <<It's going to take a little time, but we'll get you sorted out.>> Obviously, I need to go back to quarantining but I need to get the q tank right before I start. Do you suggest I start over with it, i.e. throw out the water that's in there and begin anew?  <<That's a tough one, Toni, because I'm not convinced they died from nothing other than ich. I think I would treat the q/t like it's been infected, remove all, clean well (sterilization of all hard surfaces with bleach - don't do this with filter media), and yes, begin again like that just to be safe. If you decide upon further reading that it was indeed ich, then a two-month fallow at 84F-86F should both speed along the C. irritans lifecycle and cause its demise for lack of suitable hosts.>> Also, if I quarantine all new fish, is my main tank safe to put them in?  <<My question to you at this point is this: Did ANY of the fish breath too fast? Did ANY of them show the signs of sloughing you're going to see in the following links? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm  Scroll through the FAQs attached, too, there are some photos from other readers. At that point, you'll have a better idea of what you may have been dealing with. Also, test kit brand, age, results. This stuff is uber-important. Assuming ich, then it will be safe per instructions above, remembering that the longer the parasite goes sans hosts, the better.>> Will it ever be safe to put new fish in?  <<Yes, but I would fallow it at this point. That means NO fishes/vertebrate life for a minimum of 6 weeks, 8 are better. This is assuming that the fish were struck by ich ONLY. If velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum), then you're going to have to be safe and be rid of the rock, the substrate, ALL porous surfaces. All non-porous must be sterilized as well.>> The solar wrasse looks very happy (all alone in the big tank).  <<Again, I'm doubting velvet here.. but do watch your wrasse very closely (say that one out loud, it's my favorite pun). Flashing - sign of ich. Rapid gilling and the other symptoms - bigger/worse problem.>> I did an 8 gallon water change on Saturday ( which I do every Saturday) . The temp is 80, pH 8.3, alkalinity 5.0, sp gravity 1.024, 0 nitrites, 20 nitrates. My nitrates had been running 10 until I added the Flame Angel and then they went to 20 and have stayed there.  <<That level of nitrate is so nothing to worry about here. A few large water changes will sort it out very quickly (50%-75%).  If you haven't heard of this one already, let me tell you about "The Good Thing" - 1 large trashcan (33-55gallons), lined with plain old black plastic trash bags (NO "cides" whatsoever, NO anti-anything, either!). Drop an airstone, or better yet a powerhead, and a small heater 24 hours before you're going to use the water et voila' - like Martha says, "It's a Good Thing".>> So, today I also did a 4 gallon water change to see if the nitrates would come down (based on dilution, dilution, dilution!!). <<Are you talking about the readings from the main 75, or the 30 QT? In any event, .15ppm is good enough, in my opinion.>> They look like maybe 15 now. Should I add more live rock to bring the nitrates down?  <<Never use anything porous in quarantine. Should you need to treat for any disease, this will interfere with action, also makes cleaning/sterilization almost impossible. Then again, I'm a little confused as to which tank we're talking about. If you're talking about the display, then I would consider adding more live rock as long as the tank isn't so full of rock as to significantly reduce open swimming space. DO quarantine the rock, too! (Separately)>> When I set up the tank in June 2003 I bought 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of live rock per gallon but I can't remember the exact amount. <<That's a good amount, and the live rock WILL need replenishment every so often. I think your display could use a boost of fresh live rock now.>> I use SeaChem kits to test.  <<I like SeaChem products.>> I never used a low salinity in the q tank but rather kept the salinity comparable to my main tank so I wouldn't have to re-acclimate the fish. That's another question I have - if parasites can't live in low specific gravity and all the LFSs use low sp gravity, why do the books suggest a higher sp. gravity?  <<Um.. ok, LFSs use a lower gravity to save money on salt. They cannot, however, regularly go with the low salinity required to stop C. irritans (1.007-1.010), or they wouldn't be able to acclimate their new fishes within a few hours. That would be a bad thing. As for what books suggest higher salinity, that's for long-term care, and is most important if/when housing invertebrates.>> Wouldn't you prevent a lot with a lower salinity? <<YES! But, it cannot be a permanent situation for most marine fishes. They'll need at least a salinity around 1.018-1.020 minimum, for long-term housing.>> Sorry for the long letter but would much appreciate more help/advice. <<Hey, I'm The Novelist here, you've got great "competition". Also, it more fully rounds out the picture for me, makes it easier for me to help you, be more definitive. Now, I think you should read up on dipping procedures, as well as quarantine. I'm pretty particular about how I have Q/T set up, as well as how long (MINIMUM of 30 days DISEASE FREE), what (everything), etc. I believe those links I gave you will have links to these other problems. I see nothing wrong with your Q/T setup, only how you used it.  First, decide what you want in the tank.  Second, once you've decided on specimens, this helps determine what order of stocking. Third, I would consider using hyposalinity as a matter of course for all vertebrate life I wish to introduce. Were you my customer, this is what I would do FOR you. Many folks dispute the utility, claiming it further stresses their fishes, but not understanding how osmotic pressures work on fresh and saltwater fishes. A little salt for a freshie helps it while trying to heal, and the opposite is true of salties. No extremes, of course, but a bit does indeed help.  Fourth, follow that 30 days disease-free.>> Thank you, Toni <<Toni, I'm not sure if I've answered all your questions well enough. I know some of what I've written may be confusing, so feel free to write back if you're having trouble. Do take a look at those links, even if you have before, sometimes "fresh eyes" is helpful. Most important to start with is determining what actually killed your fish. Then, we move on from that point. Marina>> 

Sand or parasites? 4/4/05 Hi crew, I have a question about a radiant [or iridis] wrasse I have in qt. I put live sand in the qt for him because I know they like to bury themselves [scared me at first, I didn't realize they go completely under the sand]. I thought he jumped out when I didn't see him for a few hours after I brought him home. So I sifted through the sand with my hand and out he popped! Anyway, can the sand adhere to the fish? He seems to have specks on him mostly on his underside. I was thinking it was the sand. I don't want to treat him for sand! <Sand can stick to the skin of the fish, but the appearance is quite distinct from Ick. Ick will look a bit "soft and fuzzy" and partially imbedded. Sand will look like, well... grains of sand and superficial.> I also have a question about this algae I ordered called tang heaven its Gracilaria [spelling?] can I put it in a 30 gallon for it to grow? What else do I need besides heater, filter ,sand? [there is some live rock in there because I had too much] do I need special lighting? There are some small hermit crabs in there also, will they eat it? Thanks for your help. Paige  <Gracilaria appreciates quite a bit of light and vigorous water movement. It does best when it is kept constantly moving. Your hermit crabs may pick at it a bit, but shouldn't do serious damage. Best Regards. AdamC.> 

Parasitic Problem...Or??? Hi to you all, <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> You all helped me out quite a bit when I first started my tank 4 years ago. <Glad to hear that!> The tank has been pretty good. Some wonderful successes and some sad failures, some fish jumping out and some corals just not happy, many other fish I have had for years and corals have been thriving for years.  <All part of the joy of the hobby.> Love learning all this. But now of course, the problem. Got some new Clownfish, the others slept near the overflow and Walla.... gone. Jumpers, the little dears. So now I have a cover for the tank and two new clowns quarantined for 3 weeks, they looked happy and fabulous.  <Glad to hear about the use of quarantine!> Put them in the display tank with a Sailfin Tang and Yellow-tailed damsel and the corals and rock and all that. Next day spots, but really small - like so small that we had to get the magnifying glass to see them. <Hmm...potential problem...?> Freaked out, scooped them out of the display tank and wrung my hands. Next day not a spot anywhere. Next week still no spots (my husband sort of accused me of ick phobia). <That's a good sign> Put them back in the display tank, all is well. Two days later and Tang has spots, but try as I might, I find it hard to say that they look like salt. They are white and then some of them are sort of dark grey. He is fine (they all seem well) and I begin reading about catching Tangs. I have to wait for the weekend to catch them when I have the ability to pump out the water in the tank and get them and put them all, and I know ALL, into the quarantine tank. <Yep- If you suspect a parasitic illness, "fallowing" the tank is really a smart idea, as it will interrupt the life cycle of the causative protozoa...> Only guess what? Nobody has any spots on them at all anymore. I have read about the cycle and I get it, but when ick is swimming in the water and searching for a host does it just go on one fish and leave all the others? <Interesting though, but not too likely. The protozoa enter a phase where they will attach to a suitable substrate for a period of time before they emerge again...in potentially greater numbers.> Do they all fall off again, at once, from the host fish and appear absent from the tank? <Well, they will follow a definite life cycle.> I tried to find some info on the web site with out bothering you guys but alas the weekend approaches and although all the fish look absolutely fine. I am wondering if I should give up the whole darn day to try to get the fish out of the tank or can I wait and see if the spots come back. <Hmm...tough call. I have become very conservative over the years, and generally will move the fish when I have a good suspicion that a parasitic illness is a possibility.> And is there anything else that could be making spots that is not Ich or Velvet or a parasite? <Hard to say. It is possible that there could be some kind of trauma to the skin, but in all likelihood, you're looking at a possible parasitic illness here. I'd operate under that assumption.> Are you thinking to yourselves...that nut!!!?? <Nope- I hope that you're not thinking that about ME! LOL> I hope not....Thank you once again for being here..  <Glad to be here for you. Take a conservative approach, watch the fish carefully, and be prepared to spring into action should it become necessary. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Is This Marine Velvet? - To Whom It May Concern: Thank you for such a wonderful site! I just have a question if possible? <Always possible.> Have a 75L (20g) marine tank cycling since December 04 with Live Rock and no fish. On Sunday I purchased 3x Green Chromis. As soon as they went into the tank, although looking healthy, one stayed separated from the other 2. Overnight it was dead. I am assuming Marine Velvet as the only symptom I could see was fast breathing.  <Actually, fast breathing is pretty typical for Chromis... they are nervous fish.>  The following day I did a water change and tested all levels again (all perfect there) and temperature fine. I also gave the remaining fish a freshwater bath. Both seemed fine however last night (6 days later), another of the fish started swimming in circles constantly with heavy breathing (all fish were eating fine) and then stayed behind the rock - dead on arrival of the morning, mouth still open and it's tail had turned black. One left, so far is fine and seems healthy. Assuming this one stays fine, what should I do to the tank itself?  <I'd actually add some more Chromis as I doubt your problem is velvet. These fish are collected in such large numbers that sometimes they just don't make the transition well... stating again that these are typically nervous and social fish. The best thing for your remaining Chromis is to give it some company as they often perish when left alone.>  I have since invested in a QT :P Should I remove the fish and leave the main tank without fish for 6-8 weeks? Or just leave as it is a wait a certain amount of time before adding new fish?  <I'd see how the addition of more Chromis goes... I didn't ask before but I should; are you using these fish to cycle the tank? If so, they're not a good choice as they aren't generally as hardy as their Damsel relatives. If you need to cycle the tank, I'd suggest not using any live fish and instead use either live rock or the dead shrimp method.> My kindest regards, Daniel S. <Cheers, J -- > 

Doesn't Want Isopods? >I am currently cycling my 200 litre Marine Tank (fishless, and no live rock as yet), relying initially on fluidized bed and canister filters. >>Alright. >Live rock would be next, but that needs to be quarantined, probably for four weeks in a quarantine tank, as there could be isopods there. >>Well, I absolutely agree with a q/t period, but I don't understand the focus on isopods. >Initially they can be very small, and impossible to see, and only evident once they find a live fish to latch on, and if that happens in a display tank you have a major problem. The question is finding out if they are there before tank placement. >>Ahh.. I think you've got ALL isopods pigeonholed into a parasitic/noxious pest box. This is not necessarily the case. The issue with what I believe you're focused on is actually depriving them of their fish hosts - breaking the cycle so to speak. Four to six weeks sans fishes should do the trick (especially so at slightly elevated temperatures to ensure a speedy life-cycle). >Is there logic in placing a cocktail shrimp in the quarantined tank with live rock, (if the QT is pre-cycled it should handle the nitrogen load), and seeing if anything attaches to the shrimp? >>Lots of creatures will eat dead things, and many (if not most) present no danger/harm to the fishes you seem to be concerned about. So, in a word, no, there is no logic in this. Also, to be clear, don't place cooked foods/seafoods to achieve cycling and/or see what comes out for dinner.  >If it does it can be assumed it's a parasitic isopod. >>No, it cannot be assumed it is a parasitic isopod. Sorry my friend, there's some faulty logic going on there. The only thing that can be assumed is that whatever comes to the table eats what you've served and nothing more. >Remove the parasite (and the shrimp), and then add another shrimp and wait to see that nothing else eats it during the quarantine period. If nothing does over four weeks, can you assume the rock is isopod free, and add this to the display tank? >>No. No. No, and no. >Can you get back to me? >>Just did. >All the Best. Mike Lomb >>Mike, I see what you would *like* to achieve here, but there is simply no logic in it whatsoever, especially if one is familiar with the habits and life-cycles of parasites. If you put a dead thing into the tank, then the best you can hope for is to attract only those creatures that eat dead things. One cannot then extrapolate from this that they have addressed the issue of parasites, C. irritans for example. Fallowing (allowing no fishes in situ) is the only way to ensure that the parasites that are likely present will die out. If you're unsure of the C. irritans life-cycle, then do use our Google search bar, search keywords "marine parasite/parasitic diseases" "Cryptocaryon irritans", and follow all links where they lead you. I warn you, there's a LOT! Marina 

"Thing" on Firefish I just purchased a firefish on Sunday, and yesterday, Monday, I noticed that he has something coming out of a hole behind his pectoral fin. The hole is in his "armpit" and there is not one on the other side. This thing is a yellow-white curlicue that comes out, and looks like it goes back into the hole it came out of. It is maybe 1/2 cm long. By curlicue I mean kinda like wood shaving, or piece of sawdust. He is having no problems swimming or eating. This thing doesn't seem to be bothering him at all, but I would like to know what it is and if I can do anything to make it go away. (The way it is shaped, I think it may be a piece of intestine, maybe?) Thank you! <Mmm, my guess is that this is an external parasite... a copepod likely (do put the terms "copepod fish parasite" in Google and look at the "images"... Can be excised with forceps likely... and careful holding while in a net... Bob Fenner> High School Saltwater Display Dear Mr. Bob, <Hello, MikeB here to help.> I am extremely sorry to interrupt any of your daily activities with this e-mail. <It is not a problem, that is what we are here for.>  My high school class has acquired a 150 gallon tank to have saltwater fish in for the display in the school. Since we have started our tank, we have come in contact with the problems of a few different parasites. The shop that we acquired our fish from did not properly instruct the teachers about the parasites, they have begun to overwhelm the fish, to the point where we are going to flush out the tank, and 'fresh-water dip' all of the fish. My Pre-AP Biology teacher and I are both devastated by the recent lack of help from the professionals here, in Amarillo. We have turned to alternative sources of how to treat our fish and tank.  <Well, we can help you.> We have resorted to the internet, and books of any kind--all with no substantial explanation of what we are to do. <That is a start.>  I happened to be researching a problem with the 'black spot' parasite, when I saw your e-mail address above the article I was reading. I began to think that if I could talk to you, my teacher or I might better understand what to do in this crisis. (The internet is not very specific)  <It is hard to find definitive answers out there. That is why we are providing this site.> If you could help my fellow classmates and me in the dilemma, the thanks would be tremendous. If you can help, please contact me at my current e-mail address. Your help would be much appreciated. Once again, thank you for your time.  Sincerely, Paul <Paul, First let me say that you have to identify the type of disease or parasite that is effecting your fish. The black spot disease is treatable by the same method as ich. What I recommend is that you treat the tank with copper (as long as there are no corals or invertebrates). The suggested dose is .15 ppm on most copper products. Of course, you should follow the directions on the product before using. Black spot disease is a parasite that attaches itself to the scales of the fish and suffocates them during the day. At night the spots fall off and reproduce in the substrate (sand or gravel) and come back. If you treat with copper it should clear up in a week but the medication should run for at least 2-3 weeks. If you want more information.. go to the WetWebMedia web site and Google search the site (it is located in the top left corner) and type in "Black Spot Disease" or "Ich" and you will find a lot of information that I couldn't type here. Good Luck. MikeB.> 

Disease Prevention Basically what I'm trying to accomplish is prevention and/or control of any parasites that might be existent or come up. And obviously, keep the angel in QT for three weeks to make sure no spots show or anything (which you advise in your book). The angel was flashing and darting BEFORE I put the medicine in.  There are no spots or velvet on him so I thought it was just a type of gill parasite or fish lice, is there such a thing? And is malachite green effective used by itself for control of fish lice and/or protozoans/dinoflagellates, or could you recommend a more effective treatment besides "the harsh" copper?  I'm letting my tank "fallow" for a month because I had a breakout of ich. So I can't move the angel to other water just yet. And lastly, what's the best dipping solution out of all of these products: Malachite green, Methylene blue, formalin, or copper? I have all of these products with me. I tried to be a little more detailed and precise in this response email, so maybe that gave you a better idea at understanding what I'm trying to accomplish.  <Jay, here is a link that should give you a better understanding on disease and disease prevention. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/parasitcdisovr.htm  James (Salty Dog)> 

Centropyge loricula Dear WWM crew, Saturday I purchased Centropyge loricula. The fish is an outstanding specimen. When I returned to pick it up Tuesday, I did not realize it was infested with Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon (my kids were a huge distraction ha ha.) until it was home. I did a freshwater dip with Methylene blue for 10 min.s two days in a row. The cysts seem to be reduced in number today. My question is will this be sufficient to destroy the parasite? And if so, how long until they are gone? I am prepared to treat with sea cure right away but am reluctant to do so due to angelfish sensitivity to copper. The fish went right into quarantine, and I dipped right away, could this have been in time to interrupt the cycle? Thank you for your advice. <Hello Stanley. I would keep doing the fresh water dip daily for a week to help rid your Flame Angel of the disease. This of course isn't going to cure any reproduction going on with the parasite in the QT so if it were me I would get a vitamin supplement of some kind (Selcon, VitaChem) and soak his food in this before feeding. This is going to help boost his immune system to combat the disease. If you decide to use the medication, keep it at the minimum dosage level and observe from there. Also go to the Wet Web Media Site and do a search on disease and disease prevention. It will be time well spent. James (Salty Dog)>

- Fluke on my Foxface? - Hello WWM Crew!   <Hello.> I love your website and have learned a tremendous lot from it! <Glad to hear.> Thanks so much for helping us 'newbies.'  I have a 120 gallon aquarium that's been up and running for almost 4 months.  I have recently added a Foxface Lo and an algae blenny as my first additions.  I also have a few frags of corals (zoos, a frogspawn and a couple xenia.)  My problem is that I had an outbreak of what I presumed to be ich in my display due to foolishly not quarantining my two new fish.  I now know better and will not repeat this mistake.  When I noticed the signs of ich I immediately removed both fish and treated with hyposalinity for 30 days.  I have returned the fish to the display and there seem to be no signs of ich so far - it's been about 4 days.  However, my Foxface has a 'bump' on his dorsal fin near the base that I would describe as looking like a clear to whitish 'bubble' of maybe 1-2 mm in diameter.  It's round to slightly oval and appears to have a whitish line or segment cutting near the center.  It was most certainly not there yesterday and is there clear as day today.  The fish appears healthy and is eating well.  My research on your site has led me to suspect this may be a parasitic fluke. <Could be.> Any way to know for sure? <Closer examination... magnification.> However, the treatment of this problem is not crystal clear to me.  Is a routine of freshwater dips in order? <Would be a good start.> Formalin? <Only if the dip doesn't affect the cure, but could also try some of the anti-parasitic foods like the New Life Spectrum Thera+.> Thanks for any help you can provide! Cheers, Steve S. <Cheers, J -- >

- Sick Fish in Treatment, Part 3 - Hey guys, I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  <So far so good.> I have been writing back and forth w/ Adam and I thought I would send an update on my yellow tang. I read over our e-mails and watched the fish some more, checked the water and the nitrites were back!! Not a lot, less than .5 ppm but I assume it would go higher. did the water change. Then last night I was on the computer looking up nitrite poisoning. I had looked up ammonia poisoning and affects of poor water quality but the key words 'nitrite poisoning' was the answer I needed! Symptoms included flashing an twitching. I am so glad when you questioned the parasite issue, because I think you were right. Now I think there was a problem before I moved her to qt but I do believe the meds and the dips helped but the nitrites were what was bothering her now. I thought it over and decided to return her to the main tank. I freshwater dipped her with Methylene blue [just in case] and put her back. Since she had been in qt I had purchased another flame angel to replace the one I had lost [I qt her in my 20 gallon for 2 weeks, I know, not long enough but the water in the 20 was cloudy and she was doing so well alert, eating great she acted so different than the last one.] so I dipped her and put her in an she is doing great! after that I reintroduced my F. perc clown and royal Gramma that were qt with the tang anyway so a week after putting in the other fish I put in the tang. The angel immediately went on the attack, hitting her with her tail fin [for such a pretty fish she is very mean!]  <Yes, this is not atypical of these small angels.>  I tapped the glass with my ring to run the angel off.  <I don't recommend this... better to just let things run their course. They will get over it in a day or two.>  Things have calmed down an the tang is swimming with his friend coral clownfish.  <Ahh good.>  I haven't yet seen her flash and the twitching has almost stopped! she is standing her ground with the angel. she is still breathing heavy but hopefully that will improve with time. thank you so much, had you not questioned the parasite issue, she would still be suffering!! I think she will be okay, thought I would let ya know <Keep your eye on things. Parasitic problems are often like zombie horror movies, just when you think you have the problem solved, they come back twice as bad. If the quarantine tank is unoccupied, I'd take it outside and let it soak in a weak bleach solution then rinse and leave in the sun for a day or two. Set the quarantine tank back up and be ready should the zombies come back. Cheers, J -- >

- Sick Fish in Treatment, Part 4 - Hey J <Hey.> Boy you must be psychic.  <I hope not.>  Last night the royal Gramma and sixline wrasse [the wrasse has been in the tank since Thurs. got him from a friend who  is getting out of saltwater] they were suddenly lip locked! I don't know who went after who, but it got me to sit very close to the tank to see if the Gramma was hurt. she kept opening and closing her mouth.  <Probably sore from the battle.>  I noticed a spot on her side so I have got my face 2 inches from the glass, I think the wrasse might have taken a nip at her.  <Sounds quite likely.>  Anyway so the tang had been looking a little itchy again and she swam by and I got a glimpse of some bumps. Now I have never seen ich, having only had 2 perc. clowns before so I have never seen it. I couldn't tell if they were white or the same color as her she has only a few and then I saw very faint tiny specks on the end of her fins well that is enough for me, I do not want the rest of my healthy fish to come down w/ this.  <Well... the big "problem" with ich is that if you see it on one fish, your whole tank has ich. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm >  If I had not been so close and following her, I would have never seen them, they seem smaller than salt but I was not taking the chance and waiting to see if they multiply or spread. Is it hard to see ich on a yellow tang due to their color or are the salt like specks more visible?  <The spots should be visible, like salt... white.>  I had not seen spots prior to moving her due to her constant hiding, and I freshwater dipped her before I put her in the main tank. she had only been in there for about 14 hours.  <The freshwater dip won't eliminate the "spots" immediately. They are more akin to scabs and will pass in time. I'd leave it be for a little while longer.>  I hope I caught it in time before the other fish were infected. could she have broken out from the stress of being dipped, moved then harassed by the angel? the angel had been hitting her with her tail fin and back side, can such contact cause it to spread or do they just fall off, multiply and re-infest?  <Typically not passed through contact, but free-swimming protozoans.>  I had not even emptied out the qt, I had a lot of other thing to do yesterday. So anyway I had to take out a lot of rock to catch her. while it was out I vacuumed the bottom then collected some water to put in the qt. I did a water change in the qt using part main tank water and part fresh. I started to lower the salinity because I really don't want to use more meds on her. I am so worried about the other fish. Do you think the tang was with them long enough to spread it? [if this is ich] if so, what do I need to do with the other fish?  <I'd wait... again, ich on one fish means there is ich in the tank... others may be healthy enough to fight off on their own, but not a situation to be taken lightly. Give it a couple of days.>  I am so glad you guys are here, its so hard to find anyone at these chain stores who know anything, and I hate to bug the guys at Premium Aquatics I know they are busy. Anyway let me know what you think.  <Read that article.> Kim <Cheers, J -- >  - Sick Fish in Treatment, Part 5 - Me again. I will keep a close watch on the fish [my family think I watch them too much and too closely!] I had to look very hard and long to see these dots and I could only see them when the tang turned into the light a certain way. I have got lots of tiny bubbles from 2 ceramic air stones being blown around by the filter, could that have been the specks on her fins.  <Could be...>  Also the bumps almost appeared to be coming from the inside...I will keep an eye on them, thanks for all your help. ( I read the info on the links, I did freshwater dip the tang in Methylene blue before placing it in qt. Good to see I am doing something right!) Thanks again (and again, and again and again!)  Kim <Sounds good. Cheers, J -- > 

- Running on One Gill - So sorry to bother you again but I'm concerned about my Raccoon Butterfly. As I wrote before, he, along with 2 perculas are in a QT with Coppersafe as treatment for ich. This is day 5.  I haven't seen spots on any of these guys for 4 days now. However, the b/f is only using one gill to breathe today. The clowns are fine. And the information I read about this problem on your site was in regards to smaller fish doing this because of ich. He is 4" and has been in the with the Coppersafe. Could this still be ich?  <Or worse, Oodinium... both infest the gills but Oodinium tends to spread very quickly and is fatal if not addressed.>  If not, what else could be going on?  <Well... butterflies are sensitive to copper, and I would have treated with formalin. Likewise, if this is Oodinium, it is not particularly responsive to copper and would have to be treated with formalin.>  He definitely is doing double time with the other gill.  <Is not a good sign... the best I can say is that if the fish is still with you by the time you get this mail, I'd run some activated carbon on the quarantine to remove the copper. Then I'd set up a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip for this fish and a follow-up bath in tank water with a formalin solution. Once the fish is returned to quarantine, I'd begin re-treatment with formalin and work on keeping the water quality as good as possible. Follow the instructions on the formalin bottle to the letter - formalin is bad news when overdosed. Because both copper and formalin are toxic, they will make it impossible to keep a running biological filter so you'll need to have several days worth of water changes ready to perform perhaps 25% every other day, perhaps more. You have a set of compounding problems here that will keep you on your toes... keep the water quality as high as possible... diligence will prevail.> Thanks once again, Christy <Good luck. Cheers, J -- >

Fish scratching - S/W Hello, I have a 150 gal marine tank that's about three months old now. I have about 100lbs of live rock, a dwarf lion, three Fiji blue devils, a domino damsel, a lunar wrasse, and a good many snails in the tank. <I would watch the lion. Even though it is small now it might eat the damsels later. I saw a dwarf lion take down a fish 1/2 its size!!!>  After adding a Rock Beauty angel (yes, I know now I shouldn't have bothered with it), the tank came down with ich. I placed all of the surviving fish into a quarantine tank and treated them with CopperSafe. I let the main display go fallow for four weeks, and in that time added a 9W UV sterilizer and treated with Paraguard. I have just recently moved the other fish back. All fish are active and eating well, but have started scratching against the rocks. Might this be a sign that the ich is starting to re-emerge, or is it some other parasite? I can see nothing unusual on the fish themselves, and have not added anything since the outbreak began. Thank you - Steve <Steve, It sounds like your fish have flukes or some other type of gill infestation. It is probably a result from the ich infestation. I would try and freshwater dip the fish or put them back into the quarantine and treat them with a parasite medication such as Praziquantel or something along those lines. good Luck. MikeB.>

Re: Flame angel and hippo tang tragedy Aloha and Howzit.  <Hello. Sorry for the delay. I've been on a business trip all week and have been having trouble with Internet access.>  I am looking for Steven who has been providing me with information regarding my new fish in quarantine. Sorry for not attaching our previous correspondence which was inadvertently erased. I have had these fish in quarantine in a 30 gallon tank and slowly changed the salinity to 1.017,  <For treatment of external parasitic infestations such as ick, a much lower SG in the range of 1.010 is needed. One must go there and back slowly--about 0.0010 per day.>  adjusted the temperature to between 80-81 degrees with a sponge filter due to suspected Ich issues. Occasional scratching and periodic flinching. Water parameters were maintained in check and verified with a SeaTest FasTest test kit. No ammonia or nitrites etc. and 5 gallon water changes made weekly. They have been living in this environment for several weeks. The fish have been in quarantine since 12/19/04 till today.  They had good color and was eating well till recently the hippo started scratching more frequently on the PVC and the flame started to hang on the top of the tank, was breathing harder than normal and was not interested in eating. I decided to take action as the health of my fish started to slowly deteriorate. I did a 25% water change to the quarantine tank and put in the recommended 1 tsp per 10 gallon dose of Kordon's formalin-3 which the manufactures indicates could actually be doubled and added an additional air stone. I pulled the tang out and prepared a FW dip with temperature adjusted water  <pH-adjusted too?>  and Methylene blue, dipped for 10 minutes and put him in the quarantine tank. After the dip the hippo's color looked a little flush but was swimming well and later in the day even ate some. I attempted to do the same for the angel but once in the dip, he turned stiff and I thought the shock killed him. I immediately put him in the QT and let him be and he lived.  <I've found that Flame Angels seem to react this was to FW dips, but mine always seemed fine after returning to saltwater. Others have had their fish (various species) die during the process, possibly due to their already weakened state.> The next day, both were breathing heavily, lost some color and died.  <So sorry to hear. I know how you feel, having lost a number of prized/beloved fish along the way.>  First the angel and a couple hours later the tang did as well. Both prior to the treatment looked pretty healthy aside from the symptoms previously mentioned. In careful inspection of the angel, the fins had some ich-like translucent salt sized specks that were not easily visible... <Perhaps actually Amyloodinium (AKA velvet), which looks similar but is much more virulent and is often rapidly fatal.> ... and the tang showed signs of what I believe to be chemical burns on the tail. It showed red veins and rash which were not visible till after the medication.  <It could have been from the formaldehyde, sometimes fish react badly to it. Additionally, the formaldehyde can quickly kill your biofilter and cause rapid spikes in ammonia and nitrite. Did you check these after the fish died?>  The LFS recommended copper to the QT tank but my research recommended otherwise so that is the reason I took this approach to medicate.  <All medications have their risks.>

Queen Angel gill parasites 2/10/05 Hello Guys, <Howdy!> I'll make this short. My Queen Angels color has started fading and she's only using one gill. <Clear sign of gill parasites. Get this fish into a QT tank ASAP and treat with formalin based medication> The only thing that?s out of order is my nitrates they are at .20ppm. <No biggie> For the past two weeks she has been flashing but no signs of ich on any of the other fish or the Angel. <Could be things much worse than ich, mate... Oodinium, Brooklynella, etc> Also she eats fine but does hide more than normal. What if anything can I watch for or do. I will have a hard time catching her but I will if need be.  <No hard time at all... do some key-word searches for "catching fish" in the Google search tool and see a description at length for the fast drain and fill to catch fish safely and easily. Morning is the best time. Anthony> 

Death of a flame angel Hi guys! I am writing this after a bad night with my flame angel. I will start from the beginning. (I am kind of new to this hobby, only previously keeping percula clowns.)  I have a 55 gallon tank with a Fluval 304, a CPR BakPak a Coralife UV sterilizer (just recently added).  My yellow tang started flashing on the rocks, getting progressively worse.  Then it seemed to breath heavy, gills and mouth moving fast. I kept an eye on her, she was eating well, but then started to dart around the tank. I then  started noticing my clown (one of my original fish of almost a year now) scratching and twitching. I then saw the same flashing with the royal Gramma . The flame angel flashed occasionally, but seemed okay, as did Mr. Ugly (my lawnmower blenny, what a funny fish!).   Anyway, I figured if I needed to treat the fish, it would be easier to move the live rock into another tank then to cause so much stress in catching them (bear with me, I am still learning), so I  removed the rock, treated with Quick-cure (formalin, malachite green) a little over half dose because these chemicals really scare me. I talk(ed) to a guy at a LFS who told me to just freshwater dip the fish, he did not like to use chemicals. I had been told by several sources to do so.  So I finally did the dip.  Put them back into the main tank that harbored the funk the fish had. the yellow tang at first seemed to improve, but then started flashing more than ever.  I removed her into a tank and treated her with CopperSafe. The rest of the fish slowly started showing similar symptoms.  The angel started going from hanging out by the protein skimmer to the UV and power head contraption.  Not her usual self. She didn't eat at a feeding and I panicked, I went and bought a 29 gallon tank, used an old filter from my 55, heater (and) 2 air stones. I took the crushed coral from a tank previously treated with CopperSafe, rinsed it for 5 min. in really hot water. I took one of the decors. I had in the CopperSafe, rinsed it put it all in the 29 gallon. I took water from the main tank and also added 25% new water added Clout [ I had come to the conclusion they had flukes], added the fish.  After 24 hours the angel was dead.  She had stayed in the same spot in the tank most of the time, not lively as she used to be (also, before I moved her, she seemed to breathe heavy).   I am so upset, did the CopperSafe not come out of the coral? I know flame angel cannot take copper, so I thought by rinsing it would be okay.  What do you think (by the way, the tang, who seemed to be the worst, is doing fine!).  I also should tell you I was a dummy and did not quarantine. I am paying the price now! your opinion is greatly appreciated.   Kim  <Sorry to hear this Kim. Quarantine is almost a must, especially for newbies. You have to understand saltwater ich in order to eradicate it. When these critters are in the cyst stage they are impervious to any treatment. The only time medication can kill are when the cyst breaks, and then they have to find a host in a short time or die. Quarantine tanks should be bare with a few pieces of assorted sizes of PVC pipe to serve as hideouts. A copper test kit should also be used so you know you have a dose strong enough to kill the parasite. Too much is dangerous and not enough does no good. This treatment also needs to go on for several days in a 80 degree tank. The elevated temperature will speed up the process from cyst to free swimming stages of the parasite. Keep a spare power head running in the QT tank. Do a 10% water change every other day. Shut the power head off 15 minutes prior to the change to allow any cysts to settle to the bottom, then vacuum your 10% from the bottom of the tank. If you haven't already been, search the wet web for marine diseases for more helpful info. James (Salty Dog)>  

Help with ich  I have a 25-gallon saltwater tank. This is the second outbreak of ich for me. I did not have a QT tank at first, so ich came from a new fish. I lost all my fish from this outbreak.  I now have a domino damsel, a blue damsel, a clown fish and a red hermit crab (fairly large) in the big tank. The clown fish is the newest addition - has been in the big tank for three weeks now after being in the QT tank for two. I noticed ich on the clown fish two days ago. I immediately moved it to the 10-gallon QT tank and started treating with copper. Last night I saw ich on my domino. What now? Do I move all fish to the QT tank and treat with copper?  I do have a very small hermit crab in the QT tank - do I move it in the big tank with the red crab?  It was suggested to me that I treat both tanks in order to get rid of the ich in both places. I'm not sure what to do. Any advice will be appreciated.  I am new to your website. I really like it.   Thanks, Cindy <Then please make use of it... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  and the linked files (in blue, above). Bob Fenner> 

Unknown white parasites? Hello <Hi there> After inspecting my tank today I have noticed that there is a small white colored bug very small hundreds of them on the glass very active lost of movement can you explain this. <Yes> To give you a little back ground of the tank it has been cycling for about 10 months now and has about 50 lbs of live rock and about four inches of crushed coral and shells about two weeks ago I had a very large out break of brown Diatoms that covered everything in the tank. I have two sea urchins and one hermit crab and two snails.  Also my No2 No3 is still high it has never reached "0" although the ammonia has never changed from "0" I have a constant were temp of 80 degrees <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertidfaqs.htm > Chad Moore <As you will find, these "bugs" are nothing to worry re. Bob Fenner> 

Ravenous Foxface Greetings to One and All Had previously written about my Foxface when first acquired about two weeks ago. I was concerned about ick and BobF answered my question. The fish appeared to be covered with white spots however it turned out to be an acclimation issue and after a few days of dimly lighting the tank the fright pattern and the spots disappeared. <Ah, good. A "lack" of a "stitch in time saves nine" as well sometimes> This guy/gal has already brought my algae issues under control by consuming about 90% of it. Up until a few days ago he ignored the Royal Gramma and my Ocellaris clown. Actually still ignores the clown and mostly ignores the Gramma. About three days ago foxy started to take an interest in the pellet food I feed the other two. Now he/she is Johnny on the spot at feeding time. However he chases off the Gramma while he cruises about grabbing most of the food. He has intimidated the Gramma who hangs about in the lower third of the water column avoiding foxy. While the Gramma does get something it is really very little compared with before. I tried clipping some Nori to one wall of the tank in an effort to district the Foxface but this hasn't worked. Wondering if anyone has any ideas of better way to handle. Other than at feeding time the fox face totally ignores the Gramma. <Resource competition is very common in reef organisms... if the Rabbitfish is not working the Gramma any physical harm I would not be concerned. Maybe try feeding on both sides of the tank simultaneously? Bob Fenner>

Reef Tank Under Attack!!! EMERGENCY! First of all, I would like to commend you on a great and very helpful site. I am a 15 year old with a 55 gallon saltwater aquarium. Recently, I noticed a small white spot near the gill line of my Naso tang. I first thought that it may be the beginning of Lymphocystis. <Maybe... but most likely "nothing" to be concerned about... Many fishes do get strange "pimples" without apparent cause...>   I began a series of freshwater dips as a precaution. I began watching it over the next few days. It wasn't showing classic signs of growing into the viral wart like cyst of Lymphocystis. By today, it had  multiplied. Tonight, I noticed the first spot on my wrasse. These newly formed spots were classic ICH!!! This thing has gone into the free swimming phase! <Yikes! You have been studying!> I have dealt with freshwater outbreaks in my previous tank and marine ich outbreaks when my tank was fish only (Greenex). I now have reef and live rock in the tank. Is Greenex still a acceptable medication now that my tank has reef? <NO!> What non-copper medications would you suggest to treat this outbreak. I need to begin medicating the tank ASAP. <No effective and "reef safe" medications exist for Cryptocaryon... despite advertisers' claims to the contrary. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the MANY Crypt FAQs, treatment articles... and move either your fish livestock, or all other livestock to other quarters and treat per what you read. Bob Fenner>

QT, going fallow, and invertebrates I asked you before about my display tank (FOWLR) which has been infected by velvet, I'm following your advice by making it go "fallow", I already quarantined the fish and treating with copper,  but I have 2 question, the first one; should I remove also my 4 Turbo snails & 2 scarlet shrimps which are in the display tank right now?<If you let the tank go fallow for 6 to 8 weeks then no.  Otherwise, Yes.>  And the second question; does the live rock consider also as a velvet host because of the life inside it?  In this case should I keep it also outside of the display tank.  Again, there is nothing I can say to thank you and all the crew in this amazing website, thanks, Maged <Maged, The Velvet will be in the tank and will not live if there is no host for the parasite.  6 to 8 weeks will be long enough for the tank to "cleanse" itself.  Good Luck MikeB.> I can only keep 1 fish alive To Fish Expert: My saltwater tank has been running for 1 year today.  I have a 125 gallon tank, with a sump that pumps 900gph and the spray bar is 4ft long in a 6ft tank.  I have  a hanging refugium, and 1 power head running also.  I have a huge skimmer (aqua CV-E140) and a Tidepool 2 as my sump.  I have 382 watts of light with my compacts.  I am using a carbon pillow bag in my sump.  There are about 15 hermits, 8 Mexican turbo snails, with about a dozen baby snails that came out of nowhere.  I have Chaetomorpha in my refugium with a bunch of rumble Fiji rock as substrate that contains dozens of amphipods and copepods. My lights are on for about 9-10 hours a day.  The temp. is 79dgrs.  The ph is 8.1, the nitrates, ammonia and nitrites are 0.  Salinity is .22.-.23.  I have one clown fish that I have had for about 8months that lives in his bubble tip anemone.  I also have a starburst polyp that has tripled in size, and xenias that have double in size, a Goniopora, a finger coral (does not look too good) a 6" clam.  And at night, I can see numerous little critters, bugs in the 1-2inch bed of aragonite substrate.  I have lost probably about 20-30 fish total that I have put in this tank.  They all live from about 1-3 wks and then they die.  Some get ick and die and some just die out of nowhere.   My frustration is at its peak and am fed up with this tank.  I used to do 15% water changes once a week and found that the tank would look worse afterwards.  Now I do a 25% water change every 6wks, which I find less invasive.  I don't know what I can do, If my corals are all flourishing why can't I keep any fish.  Why is it that the clown fish survived all this time and nothing new does?  There is also a Halimeda plant in my tank which is growing at a ridiculous rate.  It is huge!!!   I recently purchased an additional 50lbs of live rock and am awaiting it to cure in another tank thinking that the clown fish might be the aggressor and the fish need more places to hide.  Until that happens, I do not know what else I am doing wrong.  There is plenty of circulation, you can see the starburst polyp swaying.  I used to have 2 additional powerheads in the tank,  thinking there was too much circulation, so I disconnected them about 4months ago and still no luck in fish survival.  Also, the water looks perfectly sparkling clear, I do use R/O water.  What do I do now? Help! <Hello, MikeB here.  I think you might have some kind of flukes or Oodinium in your tank.  The clown won't get sick because they emit a polysaccharide coating that prevents (or helps) parasites from latching onto the fish.  I would recommend removing the clown fish and letting the tank run with no fish for 2 months.  If there are any parasites that length of time will help in the removing of them.  (You will be removing their food source).  Good Luck. MikeB.>

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