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FAQs on Marine Parasitic Disease 2

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic DiseaseCrustacean Parasitic Disease,

Related FAQs: Parasitic Disease 1, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Disease 4, Parasitic Disease 5, Parasitic Disease 6, Parasitic Disease 7, 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,

How would you like to have a ten pound or so Pill bug stuck, feeding on you?

NO more parasites...I think Hi there Ok, I have read and reread most everything I could find on the problem I had, lets see if I have it right and if I understand what I need to do next. My 45 gallon FO tank with 3 fish (small ones) contracted ich, one fish died, the tank has a gravel bottom with a power head on a tube thing. <Undergravel filter?> I didn't have a QT tank, so I coppered the 45. Well its been six weeks and no signs of the little ich devils for four weeks. The tank bio filter stayed stable the whole time. I checked it every other day for pH, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. They all stayed within normal limits. First question, I thought I read the copper would NUKE my bio filter? <It usually harms the beneficial bacteria, but with your low fish population, perhaps its effect was nearly nonexistent.> So shouldn't I be starting over again with that, cycling that is? <You should never have to completely recycle your tank, but it usually takes a while for the bacteria to recuperate fully, so you cannot load up on fish immediately.> I have done a 10% water change on the tank about three weeks ago. It was my scheduled maintenance. I added copper to that water before I put it in the tank. Well anyway the fish seem fine, no scratching, no spots, eating like pigs, etc. Next question, will the copper go inactive on its own over time? <It will be absorbed by the gravel and your activated carbon and diminish, but never completely disappear.> or will I have to change the water to dilute it? <Yes> I have a copper test kit and it says I still have copper in the tank, not as much as I did when I originally dosed it but there is still copper. Will this hurt the 2 small fish that are in the tank, even though they show no signs of sickness to be medicated? <Long-term exposure to copper has been implicated in some dietary problems.> Next question, algae. I have the prettiest green algae growing. It is emerald green. I had brown algae but this sort of took it over. Is this to be expected? <Yes, it is called algal succession.> And I'm starting to see a really pretty burgundy purple red algae sort of like a really good red wine color on the tips of my coral skeletons. Is this normal? Is it bad? <I am not sure. It could be either coralline algae (good) or Cyanobacteria (bad). Please look at the articles on www.WetWebMedia.com regarding algae for an ID.> Oh next thing, adding new fish to this system. I'm really in no hurry, however I really wanted more then two small fish in this tank. I would like to add a small yellow tang or a flame angel either would be fine with me. I have a blue devil damsel and a royal Dottyback (what a meanie he is) any suggestion on when this would be a good would be appreciated. <The Flame Angelfish for this size tank, but do be warned these can be delicate fish. Please read up on selection and care.> Thank you, Cherri <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Possible Parasite Problem <<Greetings...>> I'd like to get your advice before I attempt to resolve this on my own. <<I will gladly lend my advice, but you will have to resolve this on your own, my friend. ;-) >> I've read your articles on treating parasites and I was wondering what I should do.  I have a FOWLR set up and the fish are scratching and darting about. My Foxface isn't eating as much as usual and there is some noticeable fraying on the fins of the Queen angel and the Foxface. Other than that, no other visible signs of disease - no spots or dusting. Maybe a slight cloudiness in some areas. The cleaner wrasse may be keeping that in check? I did lose a 3 striped damsel after really cleaning the tank and doing a water change recently. He started with cloudiness over his eyes and then the head becoming very pale. <<That is not a typical reaction... damsels are typically tougher than the other fish you list, and a cleaning and water change at that. Perhaps you should re-examine your husbandry of this system.>> I'm thinking there is some parasitic presence in the tank, but nothing has really broken out yet (save what happened to the damsel). <<Or has it? The scratching, loss of a pretty durable fish...>> Could I try treating the tank by lowering the salinity and raising the temp.? <<You can try.>> Since it seems to be a weak presence, do you think this may improve the situation? <<Probably not.>> If not, please give me what you think the best approach might be. <<Remove each fish to individual quarantine, observe each and treat individually. Let the tank run fallow for six weeks. This is a guerilla tactic that does work, and is your only practical recourse if this problem is genuinely system-wide.>> My fish's behavior seems a little out of the norm and I'd like to see them feel a little better. Thanks for any help you provide. <<Don't know if you ran into these articles, but this should be some useful reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm >> Tim <<Cheers, J -- >>

Parasites Bob, I currently have a 75 Gallon Saltwater with 25lbs of live rock. I run a Fluval 402, UV Sterilizer, and a protein skimmer for filtration. Tank temp is approximately 80 Degrees and specific gravity is 1.021. Problem/Question: I am having a tremendous problem with parasites specifically Ich. The tank was doing fine For about two months so I decided to add a Powder Blue Tang....That was app. a week ago now and he is covered in little white spots (Ich). I have had the water tested and all is great. Today I performed a 30 Gallon water change using RO water. Do you have any suggestions for what I can do or might be doing wrong? <<If you placed the Powder Blue directly into your main system, then that is 'the thing' you can change. All new arrivals should be quarantined for two to four weeks before introduction to your system.>> Also, at times I notice that my fish will rub on the rock/sand as if to get something off of there skin, but after taking a close look at the fish I see no signs of parasites. Any suggestions? <<Some fish do this as part of their normal behavior. Keep an eye out for other signs, heavy breathing, physical damage due to constant scratching, etc.>> Animals in the tank: Powder Blue Tang Sailfin Tang Fox face Raccoon Maroon Clown Banded Cleaner Shrimp Handful of snails a couple of hermit crabs spotted Hawkfish <<How large is this tank?>> Any help would be gratefully appreciated! <<There is some really good reading about these issues on the WetWebMedia site, and also in the FAQs beyond. Here's a good place to get started: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thank You, Keith <<Cheers, J -- >>

Sick Fish Hello WWM crew. <<And hello to you...>> I have 180 gallon tank with 180 lbs of Live rock, 270 lbs of aragonite and about 12 fish in the tank, I also have a 75 gallon tank with 75 lbs of Live rock and 3 fish in the tank. Two of my tangs in the 180 gallon tank had a bad case of Ick therefore I purchased a cleaner wrasse which was doing a good job of cleaning them up so I figured everything was fine and proceeded to add some 4 gobies and 2 Maroon clowns (this was all in the 180 tank), I also moved one of the newly acquired fish from the 75 gallon tank to the 180 and one from the 180 to the 75 (swapped them) and everything was fine for a few days then my cleaner wrasse died (I pulled him out the same day he died) then a few days later I realized that both tanks had fish with ICK and Pop Eye in them. I had originally treated the 75 a few weeks earlier with Greenex to treat some ICK but apparently it came back with not Only Ick but Pop Eye. I inspected the water level in the 180 and Ammonia was between .25 and .50 PPM therefore I did a 30% water change. I didn't inspect the 75 gallon water I simply did a 30% water change on that tank as well, I also was able to catch one of the sick tangs and put him in a 3 minute dip then put him in a qt tank (this was all done last night). This morning I found one of the gobies dead and the Regal tang is in very bad shape with both his eyes very cloudy and won't even come out of the rocks. At this point what should I do ? Should I treat the 180 tank and risk killing my Cleaner Shrimp, Leather Coral and Snails or should I see if they can pull through and risk killing another fish ? <<Well, my friend... I am confused. First lets talk about your 180 - the fact that you have ANY ammonia at all is... how should we say... not good, not good at all. Given the amount of fish you have in there something is either terribly wrong or this is a brand new tank?? The presence of the ammonia is going to be causing a lot of stress which in turn is causing the symptoms you have observed. Additionally, your choice of the cleaner wrasse was ill-advised, you'd be much better off with more cleaner shrimp or neon gobies if your only problem is parasites. I think you need to look carefully into why there is measurable ammonia/ium in your 180. Now your 75... is this supposed to be a quarantine tank or is it a second display? If so, you really shouldn't treat the display with anything - Greenex especially is very toxic and has very likely nuked the biological filter in that tank. Lastly, it sounds to me like you could change your own husbandry practices a couple of ways and save yourself some grief. First, regardless of system size, never add more than one 'thing' a month; coral, fish, etc. Next these new additions should always be quarantined in a separate system where they can be free from harassment from established residents, and also free to treat with whatever means necessary without fear of impact on anything else. New arrivals should be quarantined for two weeks to a month.>> My filtration system on the 180 is as follows: (2) Emperor 400, Marineland Tidepool II, Berlin Turbo Skimmer  Thanks. <<Here are a few URLs I think you will find useful: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/neongobies.htm Cheers, J -- >>

Persistent disease . . .  <<Greetings>> Greetings. I wrote earlier regarding some Heniochus that we purchased, stupidly did not quarantine, gave what we believe to be Amyloodinium to all the tankmates, and the entire tank perished save one blue tang. Review: 90 Gallon, 100# live rock, 30# live sand, sump, protein skimmer, recently purchased UV sterilizer. <<Egads>> The blue tang was quarantined along with a new Sailfin tang in the QTank with copper for 6 weeks. Main tank devoid of fish for 6 weeks, only had two sally Lightfoots, one skunk shrimp, 15 turbo snails, 6 blue-legged hermits and three red-legged, temp up to 86, sg 1.019. Finally, the two tangs were put back in 4 days ago in pristine condition. Now, the Sailfin has white spots/smears, and the blue tang is scratching himself against rocks, snails, whatever he can find. Their color is good and they both eat readily. <<This could just be stress from the move back into the display. I would give it a little more time before you pull them back out.>> The UV sterilizer, 6 weeks of time, 86 temp, and sg 1.019 should have taken care of free-floating bad guys, right? <<Sadly, UV is hardly that certain, but the fallow period should have broken the life cycle of the parasites and for certain reduced their numbers.>> So is the tank done for? Do I need to throw all the rock and sand away and start over? <<no>> I know this could have been avoided with quarantining them, but now I just want to get a decent tank. <<Then stick with the quarantine procedures for any new arrivals. You might also want to add pH-adjusted, freshwater dips to your regimen, and you might try these on either or both tangs if the scratching persists. Here is some associated reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >> Help, John Michael <<Cheers, J -- >>

Parasitic infection Good morning Anthony (Bob, etc.)! <cheers, mate> I am still dealing with a parasitic infection in my main tank. I wanted to give you an update and ask for a bit more advice. Since you have provided such good help in the past and I value your input - here I am :-) <thanks kindly> First, the setup. 55 gallon SW tank, 50 lbs live rock, 1 small green carpet anemone, 1 maroon clown, 1 scissor-tail goby, 1 yellow tail damsel, 1 valentini puffer, 1 banana wrasse. Current tank conditions: salinity 1.020 (lowered to fight parasites), Temp 82 F (raised to fight parasites), PH 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrates 10, Nitrites .1. Berlin skimmer, canister filter, 25 watt U/V with small enough flow to effect a parasitic kill. <very well> The background. Tang died of what looked suspiciously like velvet. Signs appeared on Toby and wrasse. Toby with spots, cloudy eyes, listlessness and thick fins - wrasse with elevated breathing and a lot of reef scratching but no visible infection. And, yes, I now know the necessity of a QT ;-).  <heehee... we are getting our friends trained <G>> At the advice of the LFS guy I began treating with Rally and Kick-Ick. <yep... bunk> After way too many doses the puffer was only marginally better and the wrasse was still a heavy breather with non-stop itching. So, I broke down and set up a hospital tank/QT. 20 gallon containing nothing more than a few chem. inert hiding places.  <excellent> Again at the advice of the LFS guy I dosed the QT with chelated copper - yes, against your warning of copper possibly hurting scaleless fish. He explained that the only way to rid them of this is with a strong med like copper. Well, if you consider killing them and getting rid of the infection then he was right! <yes... risky. But as they say, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes." Ha!> Well, it actually did not come to this but here's what happened... I dismantled the whole reef (argh), chased the fish out of every little crack they found to hide in, caught the Toby and wrasse, fresh water dipped them, and finally deposited them into the copper poisoned QT. After 6 hours the puffer was all but unconscious and the wrasse was wedged in a hiding place not moving. Deciding that the puffer was close to his farewell performance I quickly extracted her and transported to the main tank. After a minute a 100% recovery occurred and she was swimming around happily pecking at the reef.  <yes... copper sensitive fish are funny that way... and your LFS guy is a turnip> All signs of the velvet gone - eyes clear, fins healthy, energetic, normal breathing, no spots. Actually, I an betting that the FW dip effected this change.  <very much agreed> Figuring that the wrasse was a scaled fish I left him in the QT for another 2 hours.  <agreed reasonable> On feeding he refused to move from the spot he had been in for hours. I chased him out and he just sat limp in the tank. Well, emergency extraction #2 and plop - back to the main tank. I hated to do this because I detest having to reconstruct the reef. Ya know, it was always "just perfect" before the re-construction and never quite the same after. Anyway, better that than hurting the little guy - I figured that something was terribly wrong in the QT. The wrasse has perked back up fully but continues to breath heavily (although he is constantly in motion - the energy is incredible) and scratch. The moral of the story, never listen to the LFS guy (at least mine) - seems he just wants to kill my fish to sell me new ones. <"no comment for the press at this time"> Here's the questions. You recommended (Anthony) to use formalin in the QT but I cannot find a place which sells that med or will ship it to California - guess it's a controlled substance. Do you have any recommendations on what I should use for these fish?  <do see about buying locally or mail ordering "Quick Cure" by Aquarium Products. A very popular and common med that will fit the bill> Do you recommend QTing and treating all five fish in the QT and letting the main tank go fallow or just the ones showing symptoms - the others are seeming just fine after 4 weeks of this curse.  <normally all as stated above, but I'm wondering if just the stressed ones for now and still 4 weeks separation> I hate to separate the clown from his anemone, he'll have a fit. I unfortunately cannot give daily FW dips due to their many escape holes in the reef. Tell me if I'm going the wrong way here - My thought at this point is to monitor the 2 fish for signs of recurrence. Keep water healthy, possibly further adjust temp and salinity (how far can I go safely with their tank mates?), use vitamin supplements with feeding <all good> and possibly garlic (opinions?)  <weakly effective at best> and maybe all a few cleaner shrimp.  <not a solution but cool hardy creatures. Your wrasse will eventually eat them though and the Toby might pluck their antennae> If the start to go "down" the QT them in unmedicated water and make it easy to net them for daily FW dips.  <excellent> Then, if necessary, add meds to the QT to continue treatment is not improving. Is this OK? <agreed> Final question... I found a web site called LiveAquaria.com which sells fish, etc.  <ughh... I never recommend mail order fish> It is part of the Drs. Foster & Smith company/site. I have talked to their people and they seemed well put together and knowledgeable.  <hmmm... do check the big message boards for consumers who have had buying experience with them> Have you have any experience with them?  <alas no, and not likely either> I ask because of the above situation I am now boycotting my one and only LFS and have no other place to go. Of course I will not be adding any fish until this horrible problem is under control. <what part of Cali are you from? Close to what major city? Perhaps we can locate a good aquarium society or big city with stores within reasonable driving distance. You can call ahead to inquire about fresh shipments before making the drive> Thank you all for the wonderful advice and the great service that you provide. Don't know what a novice hobbyist would do without you!! In your debt, John <it is an honor and a pleasure. Anthony Calfo>

Marine Parasites Hello - <Cheers!> I wrote to you a few days ago and Anthony kindly responded to my questions regarding treatment of parasitic infection in my 125 gal fish and live rock tank. I've considered Anthony's advice and what I've read on your web site: remove fish from the exhibit tank, treat them in QT, and keep the exhibit tank w/out fish for 1 month. <very good to hear> Before writing to you all I had already removed live rock to a trash can of lower SG (1.018) with aeration and 84 degrees - temp raised gradually- this action seemed appropriate after reading your website.  <excellent and wise> I had lowered SG in the main tank to 1.014 from1.022 all at once and raised temp from 76 to 79-80 degrees over several days. I'd used this method 4yrs ago and it seemed gentler than Paragon or copper.  <agreed on that point> I didn't vacuum the gravel bed (I have a very thin gravel bed anyway) because I have an algae blenny that likes to eat off the bottom.  <hmmm...> Plus I had already removed live rock and didn't want to disrupt any more of the bio-filter. Also left some dead coral rock that I used for base rock. This rock has been populated by coralline algae after 4 years in the tank with the live rock but I don't believe I should treat it like live rock. Do you? <it is in fact now essentially identical in gross fauna to the live rock> After 5 days of low SG the fish appeared to be clearing of spots. I'd planned to begin raising SG in the main tank after 6/7 days but by the 8th day the fish appeared more infested than ever (due to raised temp I assume which increased speed of parasite life cycle). I set up two 10 gal QT tanks using 2/3 water from the exhibit aquarium and 1/3 newly prepared salt water (about 24 hrs old). I QT'd the 3 fish that seemed most distressed: a Flame Angel with cloudy, popped eyes (a condition that had been somewhat relieved the week before with Kanacyn dips- all this happened prior to any sign of parasites),  <and do consider 1 TBN Epsom salt per 5 gallons to reduce this eye swelling as well> a File fish which had had spots for several days and then overnight began listing nose down, and a Harlequin Tusk that was covered with spots and hiding. I fresh water dipped these 3 and placed in QT but it was too late for the Flame (dead next AM ) I euthanized the File because it looked emaciated just overnight (was fleshed out yesterday) and was listing badly. The Tusk may make it yet.  <the latter being very hardy indeed!> It is hiding in QT but came out last night around it's regular feeding time, so I fed it a small amount of Formula One. <yes, very well> It is now day 10 since I dropped SG in main tank, and day 12 since I first noticed parasites. I still have 6 fish in the main tank. I'm preparing a 20 gal QT for them. The 2 Hawk fishes look clear of spots- they have been in the main tank for 4 yrs. The Foxface, also in this tank 4 yrs, is beginning to show spots, one on the eye, and some on pec fins, also noticed some fuzzy stuff on body. A recently added algae blenny looks clear; recently added Majestic Angel has fewer spots today, and a recently added Cuban Hog has fewer spots today. After getting all fish into QT, can I drop SG down to 1.010 in the QT tank , <it has been recommended by some but I'm not inclined to subscribe to it. I'm content with FW dips and a long bath of 1.017 or higher> keep it the same or should I gradually raise it to 1.018 for the duration of QT? I have some filter floss and PolyFilters in the sump of the main tank that I plan to use as filter media in the Whisper filters of the QT tanks.  <if necessary, but know that it may have parasites trapped in it> I also think I am right to use a good bit of water from the main tank to start the QT tanks to get the beneficial bacteria and cause less stress in transferring fish.  <ye! very much agreed!> Yet more than likely I am also transferring parasites into QT as well as good bacteria.  <not so big a concern... eggs more so in gravel and floss/filtration> Is it right to do small water changes daily.  <yes! please... it is excellent> Also plan to watch ammonia levels. I hope I can just do fresh water-formalin dips and stay away from the copper. <me too, although it is unlikely as much as I hate to admit it> I have some Cupramine which I put in the QT tank with the File fish and the Tusk and then pulled out the same day with PolyFilters and carbon. The guy I buy my fish from says that copper test kits aren't accurate. I don't want to use this copper if I can't monitor the level. <while that is true of some/many kits (at least in so much as they are difficult to read), it is CRITICAL to use a test kit of some kind if dosing copper... else it is a risky game to know levels> I have used Paragon in the past and if I remember correctly, Paragon treats bacterial and parasitic infections. What do you think of this stuff? <avg. or above avg. efficacy in bare QT> As for the main tank, can I put the live rock back into it since there will be no fish in the tank?  <yes... with no fish for 4 weeks plus= fallow and safe> I plan to vacuum the substrate, and the sump, rinse all the pumps and protein skimmer, scrape off the inside glass, and sanitize the glass top, raise temp to 84 degrees and raise SG to 1.017 for the live rock.  <all very fine> Can I go lower with the SG?  <1.017 or higher> How will all this affect my bio filter? <little or no if gradual> Should I do a massive water change at the beginning of the month or at the end?  <as/if needed> Should I keep the lighting period the same-currently on a timer- 12 hours on and 12 hours dark? <yes... same photoperiod is very important to reduce stress> Thanks so much for your help, Sally <best regards, Anthony>

Buggy parasite prob.s in a new marine system Hello bob, <Hi there Nino> I have started my first marine tank. It's now been seven weeks since I have had my tank running. I have two sleeper gold head goby's in my tank and they seem to have small bug parasites attached to their fins. The other fish are doing fine but also where their gills are their seems to be very dark areas. It's hard to tell you in detail as these fish don't stay still enough for me to see correctly. the ph is 8.3 the sg is 1.022 and the water temp is 24 degrees the ammonia is on 0 ppm the nitrate is on 0 ppm. <Can you describe these "big bugs"? Are they grey in color, segmented? Any apparent eyes?> if you are able to give me some help that would be great. As I am at a loss to know what this is. Also there is 20kg of live rock in the tank. thanks Ni? <Do you have any "cleaner" organisms in your system as yet? I would study about their use at this point, maybe employ a Lysmata sp. shrimp to clean out the "bugs"... Please read about their use (there's a search tool on the bottom of the homepage: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Forever Hello guys, <Good morning!> OK the Purple Tang has now had the same spots, same place, no scratching, for four days. Does this mean anything? <Means something, what exactly is hard to say.> How long before I can count these white spots off as just marks? <Cryptocaryon is best described as grains of salt attached to the body of your fish. Pitting associated with HLLS looks like small holes, usually gray and around the eye and back the lateral line. Do try to find some photos of healthy Purple Tangs for reference and any fish infected by either of the above maladies.> Best, Jordon <Have a nice day. -Steven Pro>

Fish Disease First of let me congratulate you on the wonderful website and book (CMA). It has been a wonderful source of information for me/us! (the wife and myself) <Ah, glad we're finally meeting. Good to be of service.> This is long; I probably should have emailed a long time ago, but I keep foolishly thinking I can handle this on my own. <Okay> I don't want to bore you with details, but in reading some FAQs I have seen that you often need them. So here we go: 90 Gal with overflow, 100# Fiji live rock, standard UV lighting (40W actinic, 40W full spectrum, 10,000K = 80W total), Sump, protein skimmer, spg 1.022 - 1.023, T 81 - 82, ammonia, etc. OK (0). 2 Sally Lightfoots, 6 or so blue-legged hermits, and 4 or so red-legged hermits, 20 or so turbo snails. I have learned my lesson regarding quarantining!!!, but here goes the ongoing dilemma: I bought two beautiful Heniochus (Heniochus?). The bag they were in made them appear blurry, so I didn't notice until after acclimating them. However, the instant I put them in the tank I saw white spots all over them both. I did not see this in the fish store because the lighting was very poor. No, I stupidly did not quarantine them, and no, I stupidly did not net them out immediately. I thought I could nurse them to health. After all, they ate well at the LFS, their color was good, they ate well in our tank, and they socialized with the other fish well. <Yikes...>> First I tried Melafix for one week . . . to no avail. In retrospect is probably hurt: since I had to turn off the carbon and protein skimmer, the ammonia crept up to 0.25 ppm. Plus the two Heniochus gave the white spots (ich, Amyloodinium, velvet -- not sure still) to all the other fish in the tank (two false Percula clownfish, and one Blue (Regal) Tang). The LFS (a different one!) recommended a skunk cleaner shrimp, so one was added. He worked as hard as he could cleaning the fish . . . but by week two, one of the Heniochus and one Percula were dead. Both had white areas (not spots anymore) on them, and shredded fins. However, they both ate their Prime Reef dinner the night before as usual. By week three, one more (the last) Heniochus and the last Percula were dead. Similar death, eating heartily the night before with shredded fins. The one fish I expected to die first, the Blue Tang, is still alive! I don't understand. He, too, has white areas on his lower half. He would go through 2-3 days of appearing perfectly healthy to having white areas and white spots 2-3 days later. I had tried to catch the Tang the entire time, but he has proven a worthy opponent in a 90 gal. The LFS informed me that the fiasco would soon end.  <How?> Within two weeks, the Blue Tang would either be dead or he would have beaten the infection. If I couldn't catch him, feed him well and simply wait. So I got a Sailfin Tang and put him in the quarantine tank, planning to quarantine him for 2-3 weeks, maybe more to allow the main tank to "settle." By then, this mess would be over. <... takes more time...> I read somewhere that in order to kill off the free-floating pathogens (Amyloodinium was the suspected culprit), it is necessary to remove their vector for three weeks, and raise the temperature of the tank to 86-90. So I made a last ditch effort to catch the Blue Tang and I was successful! So here I have a 10 gal quarantine tank and two tangs in it! The main tank is now devoid of fish, only the 2 sallies, skunk shrimp, hermits and snails. I turned off the fan that cools the sump water so it is about 85-86 degrees, and slowly decreased the spg to 1.019. The two tangs appeared to be getting along, so felt that this arrangement could last for three weeks. I treated the q-tank with copper and started 1-2 gal water changes every other day. Their diet consists of bunches of algae from the main tank on a clip, <Mmm, don't do this... the resting stages of the parasite are being moved to their (reservoir) hosts... in "quarantine"> flakes in the morning, medicated food in the early evenings, and vitamin-soaked brine shrimp or prime reef at night. I also got a Coralife 9W UV sterilizer for the main tank during this time as well. The Blue Tang is finally looking better. It has been just over two weeks since putting him in the q-tank. Today I noticed the anal fins on both tangs are starting to look a bit tattered. It seems as if they might be fighting when I am not looking. Questions: 1) I know to quarantine from now on. But what do you think the initial microorganism was? What could I have done differently besides quarantining initially? <Likely Cryptocaryon irritans... saltwater ich...> 2) Should I let the two tangs continue in the q-tank for the last 4 days? Or should I get them into the main tank now? I hope having the extra room will allow them to leave each other alone . . . if that is what is happening. <I would allow the copper to run down and leave them in the ten for another two weeks> Thank you so much for putting up with my lengthy email, and my lack of timeliness in requesting help. Yours truly, John Michael, Conscientious Marine Aquarist Wannabe <The title is concurrent with knowledge, actions... Bob Fenner>

Re: Fish Disease Bob, Thank you for the quick response, however your answer to my second question got somehow cut off. Would you mind sending me that answer again? <No worries> My only question about what the initial vector was is this: It didn't/doesn't look like ich. Doesn't ich usually look like you could almost "pick" it off of the fish?  <Yes, usually.> This looked like someone took Vaseline and smeared it on their fins. It was all white and cloudy looking with no defining boarders. And . . . why didn't it affect our small blue tang. He had only been in the tank for about 4 weeks when the other fish were added and they all died but him. We've heard so much about how tangs are such ich magnets. Just wondering? Why are their fins tattering? It doesn't look like they are fighting. <Perhaps you are right, and this was Velvet, Amyloodiniumiasis> Most importantly, if the pathogen is coming from the algae that we are putting in the q tank for food, then aren't they just going to get it again when we put them back in the main tank??  <If the fishes keep getting introduced by the pathogens by way of the algae, the disease in its hyperinfective state will not be eradicated. Don't move anything from the infected main system to the Q tank.> I'm just so frustrated, we've had our tank since January and have NO FISH! It's so frustrating. We're trying to be very patient. But I'm starting to feel hopeless. <Patience my friend. Soon all this will be a memory> Again, thanks for the quick response. We really appreciate it. John Michael Woodward <Bob Fenner>

Parasitic ailments Hmm, my angel went from cloudy/blotchy fins to just hanging in the water column, breathing fast in a matter of 6 hours or so. Didn't think crypto ever worked this fast, perhaps the cysts just all broke out or something. <you are quite correct... Crypt is very slow progressing (symptoms 1-2 weeks in advance too). If you noticed a mucus or cloudiness restricted to the head/gill region it may very well be Brooklynella. Else simply Oodinium in the gills not yet expressed on the body> Anyhow, I immediately got a bucket of water that I had sitting and administered a FW (no Meth, no antibiotics) dip at close to ph and temp of the tank water (8.3/77 deg dip, tank was 8.15 and 78). Anyhow, during the dip I was watching him, and he wasn't all that happy and lying on the bottom -  <actually laying on the bottom or lazy pacing is normal or desirable for a FW dipped fish. Spitting water at the surface or lunging are bad> but during the 5 minute dip I saw white things popping off of him. I didn't see many white things on his body before hand if at all, some cloudiness on the fins as I mentioned earlier. Anyhow, these were visible white spots (not large mind you), but visible nonetheless and there were probably about 100-150 of them coming off of him (including in skin areas I hadn't seen anything). They were round or squarish/rectangularish, but not long, and couldn't really tell since they were so small. I also immediately brought the salinity down to 1.015 and got a therapeutic level of copper in there. <hmmm... very suspicious to be able to see anything so easily> Anyhow, my question is, do you know what this is ? I've never done a FW dip to rid a fish of something. So is this ich/crypt, Oodinium, flukes, Brooklynella or what ?  <crypt is one of the few parasites big enough to see with the eye> I never really saw the typical salt grain spots on the fish, but am kind of glad I did the dip. As he's not hanging vertical right now, but right side up. Not as active as usual, but looks to be improving. Any idea what this is ? Is any of those parasites visible during a Fw dip ? Thanks for any help <as above, crypt is one of the few to be seen so easily. More dips are recommended. 5 dips in 5-7 days with a strong fish is a likely cure without having to use hostile/dangerous meds. Since you are using copper... be sure it is in a tank with no calcareous media (rock, sand, gravel) and that you only dose it with a test kit (testing and dosing 1-2 times daily to maintain therapeutic levels). Else copper is a waster of time> Jim <best regards, Anthony>

Help!!!!! (Icky ich, crypto, and what else!?) I have my own tank maintenance company and have been having a big problem with saltwater fish in general. I have a resale license so I pick up fish for my customers. I have had a big problem with them staying alive in the holding tanks that I have. I have tried everything and I am pulling my hair out. They look great the first day or two, then they start breathing fast break out with ick and die soon after that. I have tried meds, freshwater dip, and probably ten other things and nothing works. I have even torn the tanks down cleaned them out and set them back up and that doesn't work. Tangs are the worst and clowns run a close second. Any ideas? Any thoughts that you might have would be great. Jim <Sounds like they are beginning with Amyloodinium and progressing to Cryptocaryon or Brooklynella. Bob has written extensively on treatment and receiving protocols. Begin reading here for ideas and follow out to other articles and FAQ's http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm You may wish to consider another wholesaler, too. -Steven Pro>

Clown Trigger W/ metacercaria Hi to the WWM crew!! I am completely stumped with this problem I have, need some expert help. I have a clown trigger with, what I believe to be encapsulated metacercaria on both pectoral fins. I have treated in QT with formalin, and Praziquantel, to no effect; <Hard to effect within the fish host> the spots on the fins are still there. I have had "Spot" for over three years and he has always been healthy; even now for the most part he seems healthy. Occasionally he will be listless on the bottom of the tank and become very pale, however, after  the treatment with Praziquantel this happens much less than before the treatment, but the spots are still there. Is this treatable, and if so with what?  <There are a few possible vermifuges... Piperazine, di-n-butyl tin oxide... some newer treatments devised for humans... I might even try (if you find occasion to net-handle the fish) scraping the marks/worms from the outside...> If it is not treatable, should I worry about the other fish in the tank catching it over time?  <No. Generally not very wide in species "catchability"> Also, how long would you expect a fish to live happily with this infection, if that is what he has to do?  <Years under your good care... Not that debilitating> I really hope you have an idea for me, this is one of my most favorite fish, and I am in the process of getting his permanent home, a 240 gallon! Thank you for your time and knowledge, it is truly appreciated :) J. Marshall <As is your humanity, sharing here. Bob Fenner>

Sweetlips (marine parasitic disease) I have a Sweetlips and powder blue tang that had ick. I have had them quarantined for 2 weeks now. the powder blue is showing no signs of ick do you think he is ready to be put back in the main tank? <No... better that the infested tank be left empty for a month... Please read over the Marine Disease, Parasite areas of WetWebMedia.com> My Sweetlips on the other had looks like he developed something that is called cauliflower on his fin what do you think I should do?  <Umm, go read about Lymphocystis on WWM> I heard trimming the fin might help can you suggest something to treat the disease or am I looking at a long shot. Always appreciate your response thank you. <Time to study my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sweetlips (marine parasitic disease) The infested tank do you mean my main tank and if so I still have other fish in that tank. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Sweetlips (marine parasitic disease) I have read over your FAQs on Lymphocystis definitely sounds like what my Sweetlips has. <Yes> I'm sure this was brought on by environmental conditions being that he was placed in a 10 gallon qt tank. <Likely so. Stress mediated> The Sweetlips and the powder blue tang were placed in the qt tank where they were being treated for ick with formalin and fresh water dips every other day. Neither fish is showing signs of ick. In my main tank I have 4 damsels 1 dogface and a yellow tang none of them were showing signs of ick but to be on the safe side I was performing fresh water dips on the yellow tang. It has been 2 weeks none of the fish are showing signs of ick and all are eating very well I have been soaking some green and red algae in Selcon every couple of days to help boost there immune system. I have been feeding guppies to the Sweetlips these fish can eat. I would like to move both fish back to the main tank to you think it is too soon. <Read on. Study my friend. Bob Fenner>

Hi Steven/Bob, <Steven today. Sorry it has taken so long for a response, but I needed sometime to compose my thoughts.> I have a fish only with live rock,75G have been having problems with my first ich outbreak since I was a teenager. The trigger and Sailfin tang started with just plain ole ich. I started treating with kick ich, because I didn't want to harm the live rock. My Miniatus is very resistant, is still fairly healthy. The trigger has some ich and maybe slight Oodinium, still fairly healthy. Now the Tang has full blown Oodinium, I removed most of my live rock to another tank and started treating with Mardel CopperSafe chelated. The tang is in dire straights as of right now, but still eats and is totally coated in Oodinium, rapid breathing. <I know Anthony attended a fish disease workshop in Georgia and was told that copper is mostly ineffective against Oodinium. Formalin and Malachite Green and suppose to work much better.> I did freshwater dip him today to hopefully keep his gills somewhat clear so he doesn't suffocate, does this help with that? Or are the cysts protected in the gills too? <The freshwater dip may help.> Anyways I just wanted to say to readers out there forget the new treatments if you want to save your fish. Use copper if you have a fish only or fish only with live rock, remove the live rock to another tank. Or if you have a large enough quarantine tank, which I do not, especially for my 7 inch Miniatus, go that route. You may not be able to return the live rock back into the tank, if you do what I'm doing, but at least if you really have had your fish for years like I have and you love them you will give them a fighting chance before they pass their tolerance threshold. And coral skeletons replicas ain't so bad anyways for aquascaping for a fish only. I attribute my Sailfin Tang's Oodinium outbreak to my late decision of deciding to use copper. <Have you determined why he broke out with Cryptocaryon in the first place? Almost all diseases are triggered by environmental problems; low pH, ammonia, nitrite, high levels of dissolved organics, inadequate circulation, low dissolved oxygen, temperature fluctuations, stress from shipping, physical abuse, etc. All fish carry various parasites. They reproduce to the point of killing the animal when something throws off the balance. I remember being told this before or reading it, but cannot recall where, "From the parasite point of view, you do not want to kill your host." That happens when so other factor promotes the disease and weakens the fish's immunity.> Because I was busy fiddling with less effective treatments, kick ich, rally, my Sailfin may die in a few days. Hopefully he will make it though. And why does everybody say copper harms biological filtration when the manufacturer directions for CopperSafe chelated explicitly says it does not effect biological filtration? Are they lying or what? <I would not exactly say lying, maybe less than truthful.> Will I ever be able to add live rock to this tank again? <Yes, copper bonds to calcium based media and since you have none now, you can effectively remove all the copper and return the liverock in time.> It has no substrate by the way, just some Tufa left in there. Filtration is lifeguard fluidized, Fluval 204, AquaClear 500 and Berlin skimmer, plus 50lbs of live rock which is no longer in there. There is the Aquariums Systems copper remover product, which claims to remove chelated and free copper very efficiently with no leaching which I plan to use after treatment and PolyFilters, active carbon and water changes. Will it be safe to add some live rock again after a few months? <Yes> PS Running my Berlin skimmer will not reduce the copper, right? <No> Just checking. Other than the tougher groupers, triggers, damsels and some of the fish that are now being tank raised, I'm beginning to feel that not many other fish types should be available in this hobby anymore. <Are you kidding me?> I read through these posts about these fish suffering and dying over and over again. <The FAQ's are available for people who are having problems. It is not a place to post success stories, so you get a rather skewed view of the hobby. I suggest you attend a local marine fish club or one of the larger regional conferences to hear about the breakthroughs that are being accomplished by regular hobbyists and pet-fish businesses.> Personally I feel most of the fish that are offered out there are not good aquarium subjects <Not true, there are some but an educated, informed hobbyist know which ones to stay away from. It is people that buy something without knowing anything about it that cause the vast amount of mortalities. If there were not ignorant people with tanks willing to buy an animal just because they thinks it looks nice with no regard for it required care, most of the challenging species would not be available. If no one bought them, no store would order them in. You work to solve this problem by educating all people, not by banning the fish that anyone cannot keep alive by offering them mediocre environments and feeding them flake food.> and I feel bad that I heard almost 50% of fish shipped die from the shipping stress alone. <I do not know if it is that high, but I do know that there are groups, such as MAC, AMDA, USCRTF, IMA, and others, working to help.> I personally feel that in the future, I may work toward having certain species of saltwater fish in the trade banned from import with large fines involved. <20 years ago SPS's and Xenia were impossible to keep. Now most people have them literally growing out of their tanks. It will soon be this way with many other animals as the technology and knowledge base improves every year.> Moorish Idols, Regal angels, other angels, tons of misc butterflies, mandarin fish, wild caught seahorses, orange spotted filefish, the list goes on and on. <Many of the above fish are able to be kept alive and healthy for long periods of time in suitable tanks with dedicated hobbyists; Regal Angels from the Red Sea, Mandarinfish, seahorses. And some of the obligate coral eating fish are being kept alive on a more standard fare when they have been tank raised/larval captured.> These sensitive species shouldn't be caught or sold anymore, except for maybe scientific reasons. <I am sorry, but you are very wrong here. The scientists are not the ones making the breakthroughs. It is passionate hobbyists and business people with a vested interest in being successful that are.> Freshwater is a different story though, most species tend to be extremely resilient for the average educated hobbyist, but I'm sure a lot of species of them shouldn't be in the trade either. <So, we have fish available by the lowest common denominator.> Thanks for listening and thanks for any info, Dennis <I couldn't disagree with you more. -Steven Pro>

Stupidity, Marine Ich and the Infinite Madness <that sounds like the title of a Smashing Pumpkins Album...Heheh> Hello Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Need expert advice. I am a novice aquarist with a 40 gal reef tank. For many of us stupidity begins early, <and for some of us it never wanes... you can even become elected President on a platform of it... for a second term... as long as you can play the saxophone> probably starting from the pretense that the living reef can actually be a reality in your living room. Thus starts the steep learning curve to attain more than just "novice" knowledge. My inverts in the tank are; 2 Carpets (Haddoni), several species Acropora, finger coral, mushroom cluster, hammer coral, and 5 maxima clams. Fishes include 3 Maldives clown, 1 damsel (store called it a cinnamon damsel), and the newest member, a purple tang (had to grab this small specimen from my Tonga importer). And this is where my problem begins... Its been 6 days since the purple tang was introduced to my tank without quarantine; (STUPID! But more on this later.) <literally a daily question here at WWM... you are not alone. A common problem/mistake> and 2 days of displaying ICH. All the other fish are looking healthy minding their own business sans the clowns aggressively defending their carpet home. Watching the tang with its 8 white dots really bugs me. I have considered breaking the system down to retrieve the tang, but the risk is too great to the other specimens. <somewhat agree> Do you have a procedure to retrieve fish in this predicament? <yes... a large clear bag submerged and leaning against the rockscape. In the back of it a small bag packed full of brine shrimp and sealed (a small zip lock). fold the mouth of the large bag over a bit to form a rigid collar and slip a noose of clear fishing line around it. Then squirt just a little bit of live brine into the open mouth of the bag. The fishes will eventually be enticed to feed on the brine and see the mother load in the back of the bag. Any fish that is feeding well will eventually be tempted to the back... whammo. Or catch him with piece of tasty food on a tiny barbless trout fishing hook...seriously> What is the risk for exposure to the other fish if left untreated? <hard to say... could be little, or it could get ugly fast. Maintain a very stable temperature in the meantime (check nighttime drop if any)> I am afraid I must prepare myself for the worst case scenario. <a QT tank in prep would be ideal if you can catch the fish easily> My experience with tangs (especially yellow and purple) have been consistent. They seem very susceptible to Marine Ich and show symptoms when all other fish look clean. Do you find this to be true also? <yes... but precariously> Ok...here is where I really need the advice. My new tank of 135 gal is on its way. The 40 gal was always intended to be my quarantine tank, I just wanted to save time for the 135 by collecting specimens early and having a "community quarantine" if you will. I want to start the big display tank out right. With the ultimate intention of putting all the contents in the 40 to the 135, how would you do this while insuring no parasitic organisms be transferred also? <no worries... we cannot sterilize live fish or media (rock, sand, filters, etc)... we are just trying to reduce their numbers. Bare bottomed QT of all new fish, coral and invertebrates before going into a healthy display is well enough> I plan to have another 40 gal refugium under the 135, with a plenum and live rock. Hardware upgrade will include a UV sterilizer (Should this be on 24/7?). <yes... but not necessary for a reef... better for the QT, or employed in a live phytoplankton reactor set-up> Having read several articles here, I want to avoid the repeated infestations even after treatment. Does the rock, sand, and inverts need to be treated in some capacity before introduction to the 135? <going fallow without fish for a month or more is good enough> Best Regards, Dennis Mao <kindly, Anthony>

Re: Stupidity, Marine Ich and the Infinite Madness, Ich and Coral Propagation / Fragging Dear Mr. Anthony, Thanks for your prompt reply. <very welcome> If I read it right you recommend isolating the tang with your trap procedure. <yes... isolation in a bare bottomed hospital tank is most always best when possible> I am assuming treatment with Copper if I am successful at this. <copper if we believe that it is definitely Ich (Cryptocaryon) and not Velvet (Oodinium ) or some other disease> Moreover, don't panic about the sterilizing of the new tank. Set-up the tank with normal procedures seeding the 135 tank and refugium with my existing sand and live rock. Let the tank sit empty devoid of life other than the sand and rock, let the cycle finish, then add my inverts and wait another month ("going fallow without fish for a month or more is good enough"). Meanwhile the fish, still in the 40, can be treated with copper now that the inverts are in the 135. Furthermore this only helps prevent and by no means will eliminate any future problems. Right? <correct> I'm begging to ask another series of questions...on the quarantine of inverts...I know that invert bacteria can spread...specifically the bacteria that causes RTN. But while in the QT, what am I looking for in a Acropora sample? I know QT procedure is not just to look for signs of disease, but also for proper acclimation. <very wise and correct. Corals and invertebrates should go through QT too to screen for parasites, pests and diseases. Keep the coral close to the front glass and look over it periodically with a magnifying glass to spy for small predatory snails, flatworms, etc. Also we will look for systemic infections> But isn't the peeling of tissue already a sign of malady and eventual death to the colony...thus never entering the display tank? <the peeling tissue is not always a sign of disease... many new/imported coral express this symptom under stress but it never becomes infected (just heals in time). Others indeed may succumb to bacterial or other pathogenic infections> I notice while at my importer, many Acropora specimens have slight recession of tissue either on the coral base or coral tip. Even their beautiful display tank has Acroporas showing these signs. These bald spots may or may not have algae growth. Are these specimens to be avoided altogether? <no, not at all... but they should be watched more closely just in case. They may actually be fine> Or is the slight algae growth a normal occurrence and will heal itself with time assuming good water conditions (my water conditions read very normal)? <correct... but avoid whenever possible> I don't want a permanent sick Acropora resident in the QT. Having read some articles for treatment of Acroporas I am growing more bold and active at trying to save my inverts; is my procedure of using pliers to break off these spots and using a Lugol's dip or iodine solution directly to the broken branch to help prevent further bacteria infestation a sound one? <yes... very fine if you like> or am I jumping the gun and needlessly adding stress to the colony? <I would watch it for days to a week, and if the condition worsens in that short time, do consider a necessary break like you have suggested above> Not too sure about the results...just started this practice, but I feel this is better than sitting passively and watching the eventual demise of the entire colony. <please forgive my shameless promotion, but I have written a "Book of Coral Propagation" (www.readingtrees.com) if you feel like you will be more involved with coral in time. Perhaps it could be useful to you. In the meantime, please always feel very welcome to ask a question here of myself and the WWM crew. Kindly, Anthony Calfo> Sincerely, Dennis Mao

Isolating Isopods Hi JasonC, Good job filling in for Bob. <<why thank you... >> Can you give me some advice. I have a Sailfin tang with a parasite hanging on to its bottom fin. I'm pretty sure the parasite came in on a piece of liverock, but regardless its there. The thing looks like a white worm. Maybe 1/16 of a inch long and 1/32 of an inch thick. Pretty small but large enough to see some features on the parasite. I first noticed it about 2 weeks ago, and since it has doubled in size. There is now a small hole developing in the fin where the things mouth is. The tang does not show any signs that he is distressed yet, but I am afraid of letting this thing get to big, or if it reproduces god help me. I have a cleaner shrimp that cleans the tang from time to time, but the shrimp never touches this fin. I waited these two weeks hoping the shrimp would get it, but to no avail. Do you suggest a neon goby or cleaner wrasse to be added to the tank? If I could catch the tang (yeah right), would a fresh water dip be a better option? Would scraping it off with my nail work again if I could catch the tang. Last night I did notice 2 tiny white dots on another fin. I'm afraid these are small versions of the same parasite. <<Two courses of action here that I can think of, and both will require you to catch the fish. You can either manually remove the isopod, either with your fingers or tweezers OR freshwater dip it off - either one will work - the manual method will probably be quickest with the lowest trauma to the fish. Doubt the small dots you are seeing are the same thing, but if you've got one, you could have two... keep your eye on it.>> Thanks Mike T <<Cheers, J -- >>

Help with Treating Parasitic Isopods, Copepods Bob, <<Not Bob, but JasonC filling in while Bob is away diving.>> I visit your site quite frequently and have found it to be extremely helpful. <<happy to hear it.>> I have a bit of a problem. I have had my tank for about a year now. 55 gallon Marine setup with Emperor BioWheel filter, Protein skimmer, UV, Magnum 350 canister filter. FO tank. It seems I have a parasite problem, but I need some help to identify and eradicate it. My Lunar Wrasse had been acting very strangely for a few weeks. He is losing his appetite more and more these days. There were no visible signs of parasites. All other fish were OK. Within the past week, I noticed a lump developing just above his belly and saw a few spots on his face. Upon closer inspection, the spots appeared to be something "hitching a ride" on his face. They are under 1/8th of an inch in size, translucent white, and oval in shape. They appear to be attached at a single point... otherwise free floating. Tried to figure out what they may be, but can't find anything on the site. <<sounds like isopods - little "pill-bug" type things?>> Even more disturbing is my clown trigger now seems to have a couple of these hitching a ride on his eyeballs. <<that doesn't sound like fun at all.>> All other fish are still OK. Today, I noticed that the wrasse now has a small hole in the lump on his belly, almost as if something was nesting under his flesh and decided it wanted out (Almost seems like the movie alien!) <<that would definitely be no fun>> SG=1.23 Ammonia=0 Nitrites=0 Nitrates=60. I feel as though I keep the water quality at its finest at all times. <<those nitrates could be a great deal lower, say between five and ten.>> The only variable that has changed is that I lost a Kole Tang due to HLLE, so I replaced him with another. I know I SHOULD be using a q-tank for newbies, but I haven't had a problem thus far without one. <<ok, but you are going to get one now, yes?>> Please help. I'm not sure what it is I'm dealing with. <<really does sound like isopods>> I know the worst thing to do would be to panic and throw all sorts of chemicals in the tank (a bitter lesson I learned the hard way when I started the tank!), but I want to keep this problem under control. No inverts, so I could use copper if need be. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated! <<Well... most times isopods are best removed with tweezers and are much like pulling ticks off a dog. Your clown trigger though, I don't think I would advise this here as you'd end up with a blind fish. You should probably try an extended [longer than normal], pH adjusted freshwater dip, perhaps even with Methylene-blue to help ease the whole thing. Check the link for Bob's protocols for dipping your fish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the isopods... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thanks, Jon Beeson <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Help with Treating Parasitic Isopods, Copepods... (continued) Thanks for the advice.... but now another twist to the plot... This morning, I noticed a brown wormlike parasite protruding from the wrasse's lump. <<Egads>> Should he be removed from the tank? Is this a danger to the other livestock? <<well, you've obviously got these and other things a-plenty so if the fish aren't in danger today, they will be in time. I would definitely take action.>> The wrasse likes to sleep under the substrate... could this have contributed to him getting this worm? <<sounds quite likely but impossible to know for sure.>> Also, how do I treat this worm? Can I pull it out of him with tweezers? <<could, I think I would try the extended, pH-adjusted, freshwater dip and start with that... go after it with the tweezers as a last resort. Many worms can lose an entire chunk of themselves and never miss a beat - grow it all back - kinda like a bad monster movie. If you were to pull at it with tweezers and only get a chunk, likely the rest would survive just fine in your wrasse - nasty. Try the FW dip first.>> Thanks in advance. Jon <<Cheers, J -- >>

Flame Angel - Copper or not? Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo here in your service while Bob is away traveling again... waxing philosophically about deep thoughts by Jack Handy. You know... I think he's right, power weight-lifters should not be disqualified for involuntary urination> I recently added a Flame Angel and a Long-nosed butterfly to my 120 fish/liverock/invertebrate tank, almost immediately the butterfly showed signs of ich, quite frankly, he may have had it before I introduced him to my tank.......also, hindsight is now 20/20, I just purchased a quarantine tank. <glad to hear of it... be sure of course to put all new fish in it first in the future for 2-4 weeks> The butterfly made it until about the sixth day, was quite covered with the pinhead sized white dots and also had a red open sore on his abdomen, maybe half the size of a dime. My wife had to do the funeral duties while I was at work. <sorry to hear of it> The flame angel showed some signs a few days ago, then cleared up......well it's back as I have read it would be.  <characteristic of Cryptocaryon> I have the quarantine tank up and running, the fish is acclimating as I type. Here's the question: Can I use copper to treat this fish (flame angel)?  <a resounding No in my opinion. I have run tens of thousands of gallons of seawater as a wholesaler and have seen more than a thousand flame angels in the past decade...they are very sensitive to copper and organic dyes (malachite green, for example)> I have read through the Q&A's on your site and found varying opinions on treating this fish with copper. The problem is, the variations are from sure death to sure cure. I have "copper cure" in house, but am reluctant to use it.  <get a formalin product... works better than copper and is tolerated by Centropyge angels. Short and sweet> Your input would be greatly appreciated. thanks for a great service to all the saltwater junkies! Doug St. Louis <best of luck, my friend. Anthony> Re: Flame Angel - Copper or not? II Anthony, Thanks for the fast response, just got back on-line to double check before dosing the little guy with SeaCure. Glad I did.  <me too!> I will pick up the other product you mentioned tomorrow and start treatment. Will definitely quarantine any future arrivals first after this episode! <really the best move... be strict and never add a new fish or invertebrate without quarantine. The patience will spare a lot of grief and perhaps some lives>  On another note, my 120 gallon tank (prior residence of the previously mentioned fish) has a tomato clown, blue damsel and scooter blenny, all of which are showing no symptoms to date. What would you suggest I do with the tank, I have read that the Cryptocaryon will remain in the tank looking for the next victim.  <true...but it will never be fully eradicated. Do a small daily water change each day (just a few gallons sweeping the whole bottom) for as many of 8 consecutive days as you can. This will reduce tomites and the chance of infection drastically and perhaps prevent the need for running the tank fallow> I have various invertebrates in the tank including a seastar that I have heard is very susceptible to salinity changes, is there anything I can or should do with this tank to prevent future outbreaks?  <above will be fine for starters unless things get worse> I don't intend to add anything new for at least a month or so due to the recent epidemic.  <very wise> Just curious if it's necessary to remove the other fish for some time, but then what?  <may be necessary (4 weeks) but lets not if they do not express symptoms> I don't think I can lower my salinity with the sea star and he can't handle the copper in the QTank. I do have 2 other tanks that are thriving (25 gallon and 44 gallon) but fear moving anything into them that may spread the disease. <agreed> No hurry on the response, can't do anything until tomorrow! Thanks again for the help Doug Tuhro <you're on the right track, Doug... best regards, Anthony>

Fish Scratches/Glances Hello, I just wanted to know why my fish scratches on the bottom of the tank. At first I did not notice anything but now it looks like he has a little sore near his gill. The fish is a yellow mimic tang. Any help would be welcomed. <Scratching/Glancing occurs from gill irritation due to the onset of parasites or water chemistry. Check all water quality parameters and if good research on WWM treatment of parasites in a Quarantine tank (never medicate the main display). Kindly, Anthony>

Fight the Parasite....... Hi Robert, <Hello> I'm just starting to change my fish only 60 gallon tank to a riff tank. I have already put 50lbs of live rock (Planning on to put more soon). I have 5 damsels, small ocellaris clown, a yellow tang, coral beauty, cleaner shrimp and a couple of snails. <Quite a bit of life> I just have a feeling that I might have parasite in my tank. In the past, it was so easy, I would treat my water with copper and I'll be done. Now I'm barely starting my tank, haven't spent much money yet and I realized that if I get into this kind of problem (parasite), how am I going to treat my water? I'm pretty sure I won't be able to use copper. <You are correct. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm following the links to give yourself a firm grounding in where you are, what your choices are> I see that the yellow tang scratches itself once in a while against the rock. Eats well. The Coral beauty, (which I've had only for a couple of days,) is always hiding and comes out barely. Trying to feed it brine shrimp but not eating yet. The clown fish, has slimy white stuff on it and not eating. The damsels, as usual are doing good and eat good as well. The shrimp is eating good as well. My water chemistry is perfect, nitrite, ammonia etc.... Thanks ahead for your advise. Sam... <You can "do nothing" treatment wise, hoping that optimizing, keeping the system stable, perhaps supplementing the animals diets with vitamins, fatty acids will help all cure itself... to isolating, treating the fish livestock, allowing your main system to go w/o fish hosts for a month or so... For now, study. Bob Fenner>

Disease/Parasite? Hi Bob, I was hoping you could diagnose a disease or parasite. I have 2 large 300 Gallon Tanks and I recently purchased a Hawaiian NASO tank for one of them. He is roughly 6 inches in length and currently living in a 20 Gallon Quarantine Tank. Upon entry into a Quarantine tank, I gave him a 10 minute freshwater, Methylene Blue bath. 2 days later I noticed 5 small pimples about 1mm in diameter located from his head, down to the base of his tail, along the top part of the body. In the next 2 days, the pimple on his head seemed to open up and a small white protrusion appeared to be coming out of it. Additionally, the other 4 pimples seemed to be getting bigger and heading towards the same direction. At this time, I noticed the fish was darting around the tank so I took him out for a freshwater formaldehyde bath. Since then, he's been acting much calmer. The protrusion from the head disappeared right after bath, leaving a small hole so I'm assuming that this is some type of parasitic problem.  <Mmm, maybe a parasite... if so, the most likely "super group" involved is a type of worm... likely "not catching" to your other livestock... would place this specimen into one of your large tanks, just going through another pH adjusted aerated freshwater dip en route> I can't figure out exactly what he has from the various FAQs from your WetWebMedia (a great site indeed!), so I was wondering if you had any ideas on cause and treatment of this fish's problem. <No treatment advised> Should I use copper? Or since these appear to be internal, would copper be effective?  <Not effective, you are correct, on internal complaints> Also, aside from this problem, he appears healthy, so do you believe him to be a threat to the rest of my stock in the display tanks? <No, not a threat> The water quality in the main tanks is far more stable and there is a cleaner shrimp to possibly assist in helping the fishes immune system get a hold of the problem. <Yes, a good idea.> Thanks in advance for your advise! Jeff <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Ich/velvet and stuff like that. Bob, Good Morning! I just wanted to check with you on a couple of things. First let me tell you that I did add an additional Eheim 2213 filter to my existing 55 g tank that had ich etc.. My nitrites dropped down to 0, and I have treated my yellow tang separately in QT. <All positive steps> As I had mentioned before, I wanted to turn this tank into a trigger tank or hardier fish tank. After I treated the main tank with Herbal Ich Attack, I assumed that since no one was scratching anymore, the ich was eliminated (well not really, I just thought that the triggers won't develop it). <Oh? Oh> Bottom line, today the undulated trigger had some discoloration on him, and the niger was sprinkled with fine white dust (velvet?). <Maybe... or perhaps just ich...> I think my only option is to treat the 55 g tank with CopperSafe (it worked on the tang-no more grainy spores on him). My question at this point is.. Should I remove all snails/hermit crabs...sponges/ clams some of my rock has clams on it), hard corals? <What? If you treat the system with copper, yes!> I will definitely remove my polyps/Condy anemones etc.. I have limited space on my QT, so I don't think all rocks/corals can fit in it. After I put the carbon back in the QT, how long does it take until copper is absorbed or its effects eliminated? As always, I appreciate your advise.. D. <If so, then read over the entire Marine Parasitic Disease, Copper sections posted on WetWebMedia.com... there are too many "if, so" and general guidelines re where you are, want to be to re-key, state them here and all day long... this is the express reason for the WWM site... take your time, and know what you're going to do, and why before you make fatal mistakes. Bob Fenner>

Big spot won't go away Dear Bob, Thanks for all your advice lately. This is a problem that just won't go away. <The advice?> Our tang has a white spot (ick?) on the top of his back, just under the dorsal fin that has been there for several months. <Not ich... maybe an "internal mark" of some sort... perhaps a lone trematode, cestode...> He had a few white spot outbreaks after introduction (treated with increased temp and reduced salinity) but has been stable for several months. Should we be concerned? Is there any way we can get rid of it? <Only you can answer the former, not easily to the latter... If you had occasion to have the fish netted, you could try "teasing" the spot out with a pin, other sharp implement... I'd leave it as is> It looks like a large grain of sand. I can't tell if it's growing but it's pronounced. We have 2 cleaner shrimps but they seem to have trouble reaching the area since he brushes them off soon after they jump on to clean. They can't seem to get past the stomach area. I was thinking of giving him some kind of dip. I wish I could just brush the thing off. He doesn't seem particularly bothered by it but I worry if it's a parasite then it could be sapping nutrients from him. <All living things (yes, including humans) have these sorts of "hitchhikers"... some are outright parasites, that in number, placement, metabolism may be detrimental... others are more or less "space" parasites of little trouble... some are benign to beneficial to some extent, ways... Bob Fenner>

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