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FAQs on Parasitic Disease 3

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic DiseaseCrustacean Parasitic Disease,

Related FAQs: Parasitic Disease 1, Parasitic Disease 2, 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,

Ich, BF, using WWM, not abusing us Hello, <Hi there> My Pakistani butterfly has ich in its early stage. The Butterfly shows no signs that it is bothering him, he is still eating, swimming normally. There is only about 3 small pin sized ich dots on him.  <Mmm, may not be ich/crypt> I have a eel in the tank with a lot of live rock (70lbs), so copper won't work. My juvenile Heniochus seems to be trying to pick it off. <Yes... as juveniles they can be cleaners of such... good observation> I was wondering what the best method is. My quarantine tank actually cracked a few days ago (bad timing). So will a 3-5 min fresh water dip work. Should I dip all my fish just to be safe? Will the Pakistani make it through the dip? The water quality is high at 0< Ammonia/Nitrite 10< Nitrate, ph=8.2, temp 79, and salinity= 1.024. Is there any other methods I can do, I bough a new tank (quarantine), but it will only be up and running in about 3 weeks. Please let me know what to do. For the freshwater dip - dechlorinated water same pH temp 3/4ths fresh 1/4 tank saltwater? I really appreciate it sooo much! Should I get a cleaner wrasse/shrimp (spotted eel safe?)/ Six line wrasse? Thank You Chris <These answers and all that will follow them are posted on WWM... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm in "Livestock" re dips/baths and quarantine and "Disease" re SW Ich/Crypt. Do this soon... you need another tank... Bob Fenner> 

Saltwater Tank Hello, B. Fenner <I'm not Bob, but I'll act like one... no really Phil here tonight!>  I have  a question on how long you should wait before you try to add another fish to a tank where you have lost two fish I have lost a Sailfin tang and a juvenal orange shoulder tang.<Sorry to hear this, losses of our aquatic friends are never easy.> My tank is a 75gl with water perimeters on point but I added a coral beauty that I lost to velvet I think. So I tried a Sailfin tang and a orange shoulder tang and lost him both to ich. Sadly to say I did not quarantine them (I learned my lesson ) TO sum it all in a nut shell what would be a good waiting time before adding more fish? <You need to remove all fish from the tank and wait 4 weeks before adding anymore fish or returning the original fish.> All that are doing good are a big beautifully maroon clown 2 small yellow tail damsels and a yellow watchman goby all in good health.<Remember to remove these fish for the 4 weeks that the tank should run bare.> Tank has been up for a year with no death in inverts, snail and hermits crabs and a red pistol, and two Tigertails, please help in desperate need of a answer.<I hope this helps!  Phil>

- Very, very small white dots - Hello; <Greetings, JasonC here...> I've got a problem in a reef tank.  The inverts are great but there are very small white dots on some of the fish some of the time.  It doesn't look like ick: too small, and transient. <Ich is transient...> When I stir up debris the spots appear on most of the fish.  A royal Gramma gets the spots on its body very visibly and tries to scratch them off.  Its skin appears to get rough.  In 3 or 4 days the spots are gone and it stops scratching. <Sure sounds like ich to me... it could also be the debris sticking to their mucus layer, but it really sounds a lot more like ich.> I have a lot of very small calcareous worms that put out strings of slime.  It seems as if these worms are catching something and the fish swim into it.  The tangs catch a lot of this stuff on their foreheads, especially when I clean out any debris or feed heavily for a few days.  The Kole tang is effected around the head most of the time.  I am guessing the tangs are affected around the head because of there shape.  The Kole has a high, square, forward facing forehead and is effected the most.  The purple tang has a narrow, high, sloped forehead and has less problem.    One very old hippo tang (10 yrs. +) has constant spots and cloudy eyes but he doesn't seem to be bothered by them.  Occasionally the cloudy eyes are blotchy with multiple whiter bumps.  The blotches only last a day or two.  Then the eyes are smooth and opaque again. <Opaque? Surely you meant transparent.>  Some times it disappears for a day or two.  The purple tang had one cloudy eye for one day only and never gets the spots on its body.  A pair of tomato clowns are always fine.  A potters angel and the Kole tang have a few spots on their bodies now and then and especially when I stir things up. If I had to guess I'd say it's copepods.  It would be a great deal of work to take all the fish out and medicating them.  But if it is copepods, they will still be in the tank when I return the fish.  Shrimp, hermits or a mandarin might help if it is copepods.  I'd like to get rid of the worms too but I don't know how.   Before I do anything I would like your opinion. <Two things come to mind - one, do keep an eye on this to make sure it is not ich. Two, if it is just debris and or copepods, then this is truly harmless. You may find it unsightly, but these things are completely natural and shouldn't cause your fish to scratch. I wouldn't be concerned at all if this is just worm-mucus and copepods.> Thanks,  ED <Cheers, J -- >

- Parasite Woes - Dear Crew : !! <Good morning, JasonC here...> Just want to know is the hypo salinity and raise temp safe for my fishes and inverts: I have been battling with the ick outbreak for the 3 rd time now… and the last 2 times I have been a good boy and fallowing the tank for a entire month, but as soon as my fishes are introduced. <I always suggest six weeks for fallowing the main tank.> They get ick. The fishes have been treated with copper twice and they are all thin and looks slim... but eat good and active. I do not think that they can go through another ordeal of copper poison and 15 fishes squeeze in 33 gal tank (haha crying.. and my bank account is going broke hahahaha) <Have you considered more than one tank for quarantine?> I am trying the hypo salinity and raise temp method slowly this time, with the help of garlic food and UV.   I am doing this slowly and waiting for this reply. My goal is 1.018 and temp 84F. I will raise the temp 1 degree every 3 days and salinity lowered 0.001 every 3 days. Now the tank is invested with ick. But controllable I think. <UV and garlic are akin to eye of newt and toe of frog type solutions... there is no way for you to 'zap' all the tank water at the same time, and so the parasites can maintain a life cycle in the substrate. Likewise, garlic will not kill ich - it 'might' benefit health in a healthy fish, but relying on it to kill parasites will cause you grief in the long run.>Do you think the fishes and inverts below will take the hypo and raise temp ok?? <No, the inverts will not do well for very long at 1.018 SPG.> I have: Might be Infected (show no visible spot) 1 clown tang 1 raccoon BF 1 Coral beauty 1 scooter blenny 1 Firefish 1 tomato clown 1 common clown 1 cleaner wrasse infected species (visible spots) 1 shoal tang, 2 regal tang 1 rusty angel 1 clown trigger (ALL FRESHWATER DIPPED ONCE) Invertebrates: 3 cleaner shrimps 1 peppermint shrimp 2 finger corals 1 mushroom species 1 big star polyp 2 hermits Snails Equipments and water parameter: 125 gallon reef and 30 gal sump UV 25 watts and protein skimmer T1000 Lighting 13 hrs/day 5ppm NO3 no PO4, NH3, NO2 pH 8.13 <Your pH is a little low - might consider trying to get this up into the acceptable range.> sal 1.021 temp 80F ALK 2.8 Ca 400 Self made food (fresh clam, squid, adult brine shrimp, bloodworm, vitamin b complex and c, and garlic ( SeaChem), frozen) feed 3 times a day questions : 1 is the hypo salinity and raise temp safe for the listed individuals?? <Not for the inverts.> 2 is that parameter (84F 1.018) right? <Not on it's own... you really need to run the quarantine procedures in addition. I've personally had no success treating parasitic problems with temperature changes and hyposalinity alone.> 3 If right how long will I have to do it for? <Without the inverts in the tank, you could actually lower the SPG a little more, but again, this is only part of a system of treatment - you really need to get those fish into some water with copper in it.> 4 how often for fresh water dipping to perform? <Depends on the symptoms. If the problem seems severe, you might want to do this either every day or every other day. If the problem looks to be under control, medicate the quarantine with copper for 14 days - dip the fish on the way into quarantine and again before you reintroduce into the system.> 5 Does raccoon likes to eat Condylactis anemones?? <I wouldn't put it past a butterfly of this type to at least pick at one.> 6. When acclimating (storing) the water to get rid of the Cl and other chemicals, should I store the water for 1 week?? <Usually one only needs to aerate the water for 24-48 hours to accomplish this.> Or more?? <As long as is practical for you.> And do I run a powerhead in the water all the time?? <Yes, if you want to prevent the water from becoming stale, yes.> And how strong of a powerhead is needed?? <Something that can agitate the surface.> 7. When using buffer powder, what is the optimal pH that needs to be attained? <Follow the directions on the buffer - the ideal range of pH is between 8.2 and 8.4, but 'buffer' additives typically do not change pH, they bolster the alkaline reserves - dKH.> 8. will magnesium stabilize pH and Alk?? <Only a little bit, and for most purposes it's safer to say no, it doesn't.> 9. will iodine supplement help in treating marine parasite? <No.> I mean are they good for fish>> better immunity? <Iodine as a trace element is crucial to keeping a healthy system, but for the purposes of this discussion, adding iodine will not help your present situation. I would strongly recommend that you obtain an iodine test kit to determine your system levels before adding anything more.> 10. the bottom line is, if I have stable water parameter, will the fish recover in the main tank?? <Not from this alone.> Or become less prone to the ick in the water?? <Stable water quality is very important, and I don't want to discount this fact at all - BUT, parasitic problems are cyclic - once you see spots on your fish, your SYSTEM has parasites... keeping the water stable at this point is like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. For certain it is important to promote health/healing but you still need to address the problem of the parasite's life cycle. For each spot you see, there will likely be thousands of tomites coming of age in your substrate.> 11. will you suggest any medication for the main display?? <Never.> I mean reef safe ones…. <That is an oxymoron - there is no such thing. Reef-safe remedies are typically either not safe or don't work. What they do accomplish is improving the bottom line of the companies that produce them.> I need some advise and some mental strength .. I think I am losing the battle///// HELP Pls answer me!! I need help here!!!!!!!!!! <I suggest you read the following articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm Cheers, J -- >

- Re: Clown Trigger Help - Hi Jason, Thanks for the email <My pleasure.> My inhabitants are in a 110 gallon tank and have been doing tests randomly and my water appears to be fine...In addition I have been doing biweekly 5% water changes...I'll retest again to ensure that it is up to spec tonight. <Good plan.> Any further ideas on the fading colors.. <Let's start with the copper treatment and water tests...> In regards to medication, I don't have a hospital tank available...Can you advise on an alternative? <There aren't many more than I can count on one finger - pH-adjusted freshwater dips, but even these are best advised with quarantine procedures. Really and truthfully, you should consider and obtain quarantine facilities for your fish.> In regards to aggression, I think he is anything but...Yes when I feed him goldfish, he readily catches and destroys but everything else in my tank is pretty well left alone <Give it time - the non-aggressive clown triggers are few and far between. These fish are well documented for becoming aggressive to a fault and the decimation of other tank mates.> As far as the Wet Web Media site, I just discovered it today and will undoubtedly read up on all relative articles in time...I was just hoping for a quick solution or advise on my immediate concern <There are no quick solutions in marine fish keeping. One of the best near and long term solutions is to augment your education. Here's some good places to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/balistoides/index.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Thanks Chris <Cheers, J -- >

- Tank Troubles - Hi Jason, <Hello...> Went and tested the water and all seems fine...Nitrites clocked in at approx 15 ppm so appears all is well in that aspect <Good.> I am now totally convinced that my tank has a disease... I put a couple of ghost shrimp in for feeding last night and the trigger approached them in an effort to clean them....(You could tell he wasn't happy with the job that they did, as he ate them shortly after they failed to complete the job). In addition I now have noticed some spots on my Imperator and witnessed my Formosa wrasse rub up against a rock so am starting to believe that my entire tank may be diseased! <Is the nature of parasitic problems in aquatic systems - did you read those links I sent you?> Where do I go now... <Please go through the links I sent you in the previous email. The answers are there.> What I've done so far is start an Aquaclear (hang on filter) with a piece of filter sponge filtering my water...I figure I should be able to get this cycled by today so that if I need to tear down my feeder tank, I could transplant water from my primary tank into the bare feeder tank, put the Aquaclear on and be in fairly good shape. <Well, you should tear down that feeder tank for other reasons - feeders are not good for your fish. Likewise, is a quarantine tank where you'll be treating with copper or similar therapy, any biological filter that you hope to establish will be wrecked. Your time and efforts would be better spent preparing large batches of mix-water for frequent, large water changes in the quarantine tank.> I've also picked up a copper based medication "Quick Cure" (I think that's the name) that is a formalin based copper medication that I can use to treat. <Please do make sure you treat the appropriate medication for the parasitic problem that you have - even though the bottle says so, there is no such thing as a quick cure.> My biggest concern is that I hate netting and transporting...My prizes cost me approx $200.00 a piece and if one dies for whatever reason I am not going to be able to replace for some time. <All the more reason that from now on, you need to be careful before you add the fish to the tank. I can appreciate the cost of these animals, I have to buy my livestock too, but at this point this is much like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.> You stated before that I shouldn't medicate my primary tank (I don't know if I mentioned this before but my tank is fish only. I have 3 pieces of LR but that's about it)...Is the hospital tank now my only option? <In my opinion, yes. I wouldn't have advised you this way if I thought otherwise.> Should I be looking to get everything out of this tank and in quarantine...What about a cleaner (wrasse or shrimp) Could these fix my problem? <Not at this point, and cleaner wrasses are a poor choice as cleaners... much better to get a neon goby BUT... quarantine it first. I will list these links again because I get the impression you didn't read them - PLEASE, PLEASE - read this stuff, your answers are there: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and an extra one about cleaner wrasses: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm > Let me know thanks Chris <Cheers, J -- >

- Re: Tank Troubles - Hi Jason, <Hi.> yes I did read these articles, but of course when you go to the local pet store to discuss treatment etc you get different information and this is what I was trying to run by you. <My suggestion to you is to take the information you get from our articles, weigh it against what the people at the fish store tell you, and make up your own mind.> So now I am trying to formulate a plan of action <OK.> Tonight I am going to drain my feeder tank and replace with water from my main tank Set up the filter that I have had running since last night (Do you think it has been running long enough) <If you read my last email, I think I mentioned that having cycled filter pads will do you only a modicum of good. The quick cure, or whatever you plan to treat with will destroy the biological filter in this pad, making it useless for dealing with nitrogenous wastes. You need to supplement with large, frequent water changes - like 50% every other day, or 25% a day.> Transplant my Trigger and Imperator - Now should I arbitrarily take all fish or should I just look for ones that I can see any signs of disease... <Again, if you had read those articles completely, you would realize that parasite problems become systemic - system-wide meaning if one fish has it, they all have it...> My eel is going to be difficult to diagnose due to being primarily white... I should be able to see any spots on my damsels or wrasse. <Yes, but in the long run, it is your main tank that has a full life-cycle of parasites now, meaning anything you leave in the tank will help promote their continued survival. You need to remove all of these fish for treatment, and will probably also need additional quarantine tanks. Image how much trouble you would have saved if you had quarantined FIRST!> Should I do a dip prior to putting everything in my Hospital Tank? <I would.> I was at my local supplier yesterday and they have a medication called Methyl Blue made by Aquatronics... <Methylene Blue is not really effective at removing parasites but rather is a good aid for dips/baths because it helps oxygenate the water.> In regards to a freshwater dip, I was told that I have to ensure that the temperature and PH level are bang on which means that I am going to have to add a ton of chemicals to get the PH up... <Not a ton - regular baking soda will suffice, and I'm sure it won't require as much as you might think.> As an alternative could I simply add this to the bucket that I am going to use to transplant them using water from my main tank... <I wouldn't> How long should I let them sit in it... <At least five minutes to be effective, longer if it looks like the fish isn't hating it.> I also recall seeing notes that the temperature should be raised to 80 - 82 degrees. should I do that as well <Yes.> How long should I expect to be keeping my fish in the quarantine tank...prior to bringing them back to my main tank...I see notes of a month but don't believe that my hospital tank will be sufficient to keep them alive for this long <Sure it will, and a month is probably what you're looking at, six weeks would be better - time to let the main tank go fallow. Again - frequent large water changes will keep you out of trouble when it comes to ammonia build up in the quarantine tanks.> Please advise Chris <Cheers, J -- >

- Re: Tank Troubles - Well I went to the pet store again today, explained to their guru the questions that we have been discussing and he advised that this medication would not trash my filter system. <My friend, the formalin ingredient that is in Quick Cure is a formaldehyde derivative - you know, the same stuff they use to preserve dead things. Formaldehyde will kill just about anything in even small doses, and for certain will wipe out the single-celled life that is your biological filter. I would not add this in the main tank, and likewise it's use in a cycled quarantine tank will nuke the biological filter.> The recipe for success that I was given was: - 2-4 drops per gallon for 3 days - Raise the temperature to 80 degrees - Keep the lights turned off On the 4th day, complete a 20 % water change and repeat the treatment on the 4th if the disease is not gone. <This is bunk... let's just say the disease we're talking about here is Cryptocaryon - Ich - you need to treat with copper for fourteen days to completely wipe it out. If you treated for only four, the parasites will be back soon enough and you'll be back on the same pattern. Raising the temperature is helpful, and turning off the lights will reduce some of the stress on the fish, but these are only a part of a larger system of treatment. Much like taking chicken soup for a cold - it's not a cold remedy, it just makes you feel better.> Am I just setting myself up for a financial loss, or is there a good chance that this could work? <I would go as far as to say there is no chance that their suggestions will work, and that would set you up for financial loss. Again, I will refer you to the FAQs attached to the articles I sent you. Your questions are all too common and we supply the same answers over and over. Give these a read and you will see that we're pretty consistent on what we tell people and in addition you will see many parallels between your own situation and those from previous answers.> Chris <Cheers, J -- >

- Is this a good idea? - I had an idea. As my whole tank is now diseased, how about I create a by-pass on my sump so that water continues to run as normal and is not affected by the copper that I put in my tank...This would allow my filter bed in my filter to continue to run and prosper and I would then eliminate having to set up and move my existing fish to a quarantine tank...I could then treat the entire tank with a copper sulphate solution, raise the temp and lower the salinity...daily water changes etc Can you identify any drawbacks with this line of thought...I am not planning on keeping corals in the tank for some time...All I have in the bottoms is aggregate substrate and 5 pc.s of LR <You will end up putting in a lot of work for very poor results. The fauna on the live rock will be killed off by the copper treatment, and likewise the substrate and rock will absorb a good deal of the copper making it difficult at best to have a dose strong enough to kill disease. Likewise, with no biological load on your sump - if this is indeed where the biological filter lives - the nitrogen-reducing bacteria will quickly die off meaning you will be starting over from scratch when you put the sump back into the loop. So, no... this is a poor idea, and one that will not bring you a net benefit.> Let me know thanks <My friend, by spending your time rapidly swapping emails with me, your are putting your fish in jeopardy. You would be best advised to get to work on treating the fish and spending less time trying to work out a way around it or send me endless queries. I've told you pretty much everything there is to say on the subject - there is little left to say but much to put into action. These parasitic problems don't go away on their own and only get worse over the time that you are not treating your fish. Cheers, J -- >

Creature from movie" Alien" has got my pajama cardinal! Guys, woke up today to find this creature, isopod I guess, clamped on the face, mouth, of my cardinal. Did not look like the poor fish could open his mouth, just like in the Alien movie. Tried to catch fish but impossible in 450 reef tank. Worried these monsters could get out of control, only seen one though. Does any type of fish eat these things? <Not really. Good idea to get/use a fish trap (these are sold in the pet-fish industry (there's an ad in FAMA currently...) or from large warehouse stores (they're the same plastic traps for small rodents, but no fish sticker...> I recently moved a few pieces of rock from refugium to main tank and assume that is how this thing got into main tank. It is quite large, over 1/4 inch. Thanks, Paul <Maybe... bizarre. Catch the host, remove and toss. Bob Fenner>

Tetra's Antiparasitic Food Hi Craig please.  Bet you are sorry that you mentioned you had a source for the Tetra medicated Antiparasitic food!  I have searched to no avail.  Please tell me and the other thousand people reading this your secret.  Do you recommend using this food while the fish are still in quarantine? Thanks <No problem! Yes, I used it while in QT and afterward until those last few spots were history. I like it for the time after moving out of the QT which is stressful and can cause another outbreak.  Seachem also makes a Metronidazole product for soaking your own food. To get Tetra medicated food call Bill at Aquarium Warehouse in Olympia, Washington. His number is (360)357-9654. Tell him I sent you. Let me know if you need more assistance! You can get the SeaChem product from our WetWebMedia.com sponsors.  Craig>

Purple Tang Purple Tang started showing few spots of ich, feed garlic soaked food and gave a FWD with Meth blue, spots disappeared overnight. It came back hard after about a week, still feeding garlic and giving 10-15 min FWD every couple of days but no real improvement. Fish seems okay with the dips, just getting harder to catch. Questions, how often can FWD's be given and should I expect the spots to drop off after the dip? At the start, spots would be gone after the dip but back by morning, now they don't seem to be dropping off at all. <FWD's are very stressful to all salt fish not to mention the stress of catching it daily. Many of the spots should drop off. However, this fish is getting weaker with each dip and that's making it more susceptible to ich infestation. My friend, do you have a quarantine tank? It would really come in handy. You could administer copper and get rid of the dips. If this interests you, please read about disease treatment at Wetwebmedia.com There is lots of information archived at this site...including directions for FWD's and a copper treatment. Please don't administer copper in your main tank> Thanks Mark <You're welcome. I'm just sorry that your having this problem...David Dowless>

Disease? I have a hippo tang with small bumps on his body. It looks like small pimples of some sort (best way I can describe it). I have searched online but have only found one disease that seems to fit what he has, and that was called wasting disease. I have had the fish about a year now and never had any problems with him so far and he still eats and it seems to not bother him at all. I would like your opinion as to what it could be and what I should do about it. Should I give him a freshwater dip or just leave it alone and see what happens? It started out as one bump about 5 days ago and has progressed to about 6 to 8 bumps now, mainly on the middle part of body. Any help with this would be appreciated, thank you.   <This is hopefully evidence of a microsporidean infection... a type of protozoan. And not (currently) "treatable". Not uncommon in wild stocks or otherwise healthy Paracanthurus. These "spots" are multiplying too quickly to suit me though. I wouldn't dip or chemically try to medicate this specimen for now, unless the "spots" are white, epidermal (rather than blue, subdermal)... in which case I suspect marine ich... and would read quickly on www.WetWebMedia.com re treatment. Bob Fenner>

Next Time- Quarantine- Pt2 Thanks so much for fast response. I feel better now. A few more questions though. <Fire away!> One is that I notice a lot more spots in the morning when I turn on the lights, then they seem to almost completely disappear. Does Ich do this? <I'm not aware of any specific response like this, however, there is a school of thought that suggests longer photoperiods (up to 20 hours a day) to combat ich. The theory suggests that fishes on the move (i.e.; during daylight periods) are more difficult for the free swimming ich tomites to catch, whereas, it's easier for them to get to fish that are at rest in the dark hours. It may have some merit, but warrants further investigation, IMO> Also what is your opinion on Paraguard? My LFS rep recommended it to me. She says they use it on all the fish there (when needed). She really loves her fish and takes great care of them. But she mentioned that I can add this to my main tank and it will not hurt my hermit crabs or my snails (snails not a problem anymore >because my hermit ate him and took his shell). I keep reading it is a HUGE no-no to add to main tank and took this (as I do all advice) with a grain of salt. <I think Seachem makes fine products, and Paraguard is one of them. However, I can't believe that you'd really want to add this stuff, which contains malachite green and aldehydes, into your main system. If for no other reason than the fact that substrates and rocks tend to absorb medications, making if difficult to maintain therapeutic levels, I'd avoid using this in my main tank! Thanks again for your time. <And thanks for contacting us again! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

A question (sick fish) Hi Bob: It's been awhile, hope things are good.  Oh yeah, Happy New Year. FYI - my current setup 95 gallon reef ready, with lots of live rock 1 Blonde Naso 1 African Clown wrasse 1 Lemon Peel Angel just added 1 small adult Majestic Angel 1 magenta Dottyback Haven't had any issues for months/years, until the day I added the two new fish.  Initially the Lemonpeel bullied the majestic (majestic was not much bigger than the Lemonpeel), but now they have settled. It's been about a week since I added the Majestic & Dottyback (both doing well), I noticed that all of the sudden two days ago my Blonde Naso was acting strange (turning dark colors, hiding and not eating).  Needless to say I am very worried, as this fish is very hardy and eats like a horse. Besides the color change, he has no visible problems.  Could he have picked up a parasite or something from the new fish?  It has not effected the other two.  Should I try and freshwater dip him or wait? As always, thanks for your advice. Chris Goldenstein <Hmm, no mention of a quarantine process, did you quarantine? If not I would suspect you brought something in with the new fish. I would sure as heck try to find out what it is before it get's too far. You may end up QT'ing all your fish if you did bring home some parasite. I would be looking closely for ick, velvet, etc. Keep a close eye on the surface of the skin, rapid or labored breathing, etc. Get the QT heated, the copper and test kits ready, and be prepared.  It's really so much easier to QT all new fish first.....    Maybe jump over to WetWebMedia.com and read about stocking and quarantine.  I hope this helps you out! Craig>

If It Looks Like Ich, Acts Like Ich...Then... Hi guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I have a FOWLR system and have recently noticed some white specks on my Picasso trigger.  They showed up suddenly, from nothing the day before to being clearly visible on his body and fins the next.  Now today they seemed to have faded although they are still somewhat visible.  The other fish, a yellow tang and a Blueline grouper, appear normal but I have noticed an occasional scratch. <Well, depending on the size and number of spots, you could be looking at an ich outbreak, or Amyloodinium. If it is either one of these diseases, your quick and decisive intervention is imperative.> >I tested the water in my 90g and all looks good:  temp 7.8, pH 8.1, Amm. 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrates 10, and specific gravity is about 1.023.  I suspect this to be Ich, but am not sure since it has all but disappeared as quickly as it showed up.  Do you think this could be stress or something? <Stress is a contributive factor to many diseases, and may very well have played a role in this outbreak. I'm suspecting ich. Since the causative parasite enters a free-swimming phase after a few days, the spots do seem to disappear, only to re-appear in greater numbers shortly thereafter> The temp does fluctuate occasionally about 1-2 degrees and I do top off with a gallon at a time with water that is cooler than the tank's, about 70 degrees.  Not sure if this could be attributable or not, but thought I should include the info.   <Definitely a possibility, but if all other parameters are stable, and the fish are in a generally healthy condition, minor temperature fluctuations should be tolerated by the fish without much problem, IMO> I am wondering if I should begin treating this or not since it seems to have subsided somewhat, i.e. lowering salinity, raising temp and possibly doing a freshwater dip w/ Methylene blue.  Should I proceed or just continue to monitor the fish?  What else would you suggest this might be? <Well, as mentioned previously, the free-swimming phase of the ich parasite often throws a lot of people off, giving them the impression that the disease outbreak is over. Even though the spots are no longer present on the fish, the parasites are in your system. I'd err on the side of caution here and remove all of the fishes to a separate aquarium for observation and possible treatment (I'd use a commercial copper sulphate preparation, and follow the manufacturer's directions exactly). Freshwater dips are also a nice supplemental treatment. Meanwhile, you should let the main tank run "fallow", without fish for at least one month. By depriving the parasites of their hosts (the fishes), the majority of the parasite population will "crash". After the one month period, you could return the fishes to their aquarium, where they should be able to withstand the few, if any parasites that could still be present. This is not a fun procedure, but it has been proven to be effective at eradicating this disease.> As always, thanks so much for your help. Tim <And thanks for stopping by, Tim. I know that you can beat this thing! Good luck! regards, Scott F>

Help!!! Brooklynella/velvet/ick Hi, I bought 2 small true Percs a week ago, dipped them in FW and Meth blue for 10 minutes and put them in a 10 gal. QT. Two days ago I noticed that the edge of their fins weren't clear anymore and the black color on their bodies was fading. Yesterday, I gave them an 18 minutes FW and Meth blue dip.  They came out of the dip looking worse than before! Up until this morning, they were eating and acting normal. This morning they are just laying at the bottom of the tank breathing heavily. I have been fighting high nitrites in the QT for the past week and have been doing 30% water changes using MT water.  Yesterday, I did a 50% water change, but the nitrites are still high (0.8).  I suspect the high nitrites could be the cause for their condition. 2 things: 1) Should I replace all 10 gal. with MT water to get rid of the nitrites? <Address the nitrite and surely the ammonia issues immediately with larger and regular water changes.  This is a constant stressor.> 2) How could I be sure if it's velvet or Brooklynella?  If it is Brooklynella, what is the treatment procedure?  I know it calls for formalin, but is there a product name you could give me?  Should it be administered in a dip or in the QT?  What about antibiotics at the same time in case of a secondary infection? Thank you for your responses.  I really don't know what to do! <No matter, the treatment is the same for all. Go here for the complete info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm Here is the short of it: General Treatment Against Protozoan Parasites: Affected individuals must be isolated and treated ASAP. General procedure calls for dipping/baths, possibly lowering specific gravity, and continuous exposure to 0.10-0.15 ppm copper. Antibiotic feeding is recommended to prevent secondary infection. Make sure you maintain this QT for at least two weeks with treatment and at least two weeks without.  Test copper daily along with amm/nitrites.  Best of luck!  Craig>

Confused about my hippo tang Hello <Howdy>        I recently bought a hippo tang.  I've dealt with ich before but not the way I'm dealing with my blue hippo tang.  My experience with ich is that one day, the cysts appear on the fish.  If left untreated, the ich goes away for about a day and then more cysts appear on the fish.  However with my hippo, I noticed a few days ago that his body was infested with very tiny faint white spots.  A couple of days later, the spots were still there but more pronounced, they were obvious.  The fish is literally infested with these tiny white spots.  He only scratches himself occasionally.  You would think that with so many spots, he would tear his flesh scratching.  He eats well and my water is perfect.  Do you have any suggestions as to what these spots maybe and how to treat this problem?          Willie <Well, the tangs as a group are prone to protozoan infestations, notably ich (Cryptocaryoniasis, which this likely is) and marine velvet... It appears you have a "progressing" case... Please take the time to read over here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and on to the linked "Parasitic Disease" then "Ich"... and soon! To develop a plan for how to proceed... You need to weigh the likelihood of achieving "success" in reducing the virulence of the causative organism here, with the more sure approach of eradication by removing, treating fish hosts elsewhere (in quarantine, isolation)... environmental manipulation of the main tank... Bob Fenner>

Parasite control products Dear Bob Here is one reply on your site. I know there is a lot of products out there that do not work but are product will remove parasites and is totally reef safe, if you would like some samples to test let us know and we will send them right out. Again thank you for your time. <Will post your notes for others perusal. Unfortunately I have no marine systems up and going at this time. Bob Fenner> Parasite Control Bob, Have you ever used any "reef/invertebrate" safe parasite control products that were effective in eliminating/control marine ich? <Have tested them a bit... myself... and have many anecdotal reports from others...> The products that I am referring to specifically (based on the manufacturer's literature) are: (1) Chem-Marin Stop Parasites (2) Kick-Ich Both of those products are touted as being effective in Ich removal and safe for use in a reef aquarium with inverts and coral. <Yes, I know of these claims> Your experience or thoughts on the subject and these products would be appreciated.. Thanks, Rocky Phillips <Do know of other credible users that assert success using both of these... however, don't consider them completely safe or effective myself. Bob Fenner>

Treating Marine parasites Anthony, thanks for your thoughts; I agree that FW and formalin dips can be very effective; what I meant to say was that by "wasting" that first week relying on Kick-Ich, the fish are so weakened that they are past the point of no return. <ahh... my fault. I misunderstood... but do agree that a lost week can be fatal> At least, this is what appears to be the case; I had 4 instances where the fish looked ok, tolerated the dip, but expired a day later; <yes... and it brings up a good point. FW dips are no more sever (less actually) than a long-term medicated bath. A properly conducted FW dip is a safe and effective measure and aquarists can rest assured that any fish that does not survive a single 5 minute FW dip was not likely to survive anyway> others (same species, same tank) pulled and dipped the first day symptoms noted, recovered. I like the FW dips, have little experience with formalin, but FW still makes me nervous sometimes. <understood... its natural to be nervous about the FW. Little worries with formalin though. Even small scaled species tolerate Formalin (unlike Copper, Malachite, Methylene blue, etc)> Are there species less  tolerant, with respect to both? Steve. <there are a handful of relatively uncommon fishes sensitive to FW. A few popular ones too. Be careful with very small and small scaled fishes like blennies, gobies, Chromis, Firefish... as well as high hats/drumfish/croakers, many wrasses and Tuskfish (jumpers). Most of the common and hardy species benefit by FW dips though (tangs, damsels and clowns, triggers, groupers, most angels, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

Butterfly With Parasite Hi Scott. <Hello again!> Happy Holidays to you and yours. The rest of the WWM too! <Thank you- and the same to you!> I'm back with the copperband butterfly you helped me with earlier in the week. It continued the shaking and shimmering so I got some Methylene Blue and dipped it for about 7 minutes yesterday. <Good protocol> My first experience with M blue and WOW is all I can say. I can tell other readers, believe what you read about the messiness of this stuff and get a 10x12 tarp and a biohazard suite to do this with :-). <Yep- I've "tie-dyed" a few te shirts with this stuff> But as you can see, there is still a large cottony tuft on its dorsal. The attached pic is the fish vertical and you can see the stuff on the dorsal in the top/left third of the pic. After the dip yesterday, there were many chunks of white gunk floating in the water and the fish responded in a positive matter almost immediately. Can you help identify the parasite/disease? Or, direct me to an identification site? I was all through the WWM parasite/disease pages under maintenance yesterday and  could not find any pics of this. <Looks to be some kind of copepod or monogenetic trematode (maybe Benedenia)...Still cannot be 100% certain with a photo- but I'm betting it's something close to this.> A couple questions about the dip. (freshwater dip, not me, I go to other professionals for that :-)). The white gunk that came off the fish in the dip. Is this bad stuff dead? <Hard to say what that was- infected tissue, excess body slime, mucus...not sure- but if the fish responded favorably, that's a good thing!> If not, how do you reintroduce the fish to qt without these things following along? I poured the water through a net and there had to be some of this gunk in the net. <I'd like to see the fish "clean" for at least two weeks, maybe three-just to be sure...> I followed the instructions on the bottle (Kordon brand) and used a 3 to 5 ration of blue to water. Brought pH and temp equal to tank. The fish really did not act badly during the entire 7 minutes. Would a longer time be better? I have read that when they try to jump out, they are done? <I think that 7 minutes is fine. I'd rather repeat the process a couple of times instead of a longer duration dip. The "jumping" is not a 100% reliable indicator as to when a fish is "done", as I've had a few wrasses that went ballistic after just a couple of minutes! Best way, IMO, is to keep the fish in for the full, "scheduled" dip time, unless obvious signs of extreme distress are noted> I am going to continue the dips for 8 days (a parasite cycle I read). Is this enough time for this disease? <I'd perform the dips at least 3 to 4 days, and continue to 8 if signs of the parasite are still there> I had some live rock and substrate (I know, but I am one of those that sometimes has to learn the hard way :-() in the qt. I took the rock out yesterday and am fallowing it in another tank and am removing the sand a little at a time with each daily water change. Will this (sand and rock) extend the parasite life cycle? <Well, not really- but what can happen is that these materials will often absorb medications, and can provide a substrate which harbors the encysted parasites. Definitely best to get these materials out!> I have a six line wrasse in the same tank under qt. It is not showing any signs. Although yesterday I did dip it as what I thought was preventative measure. It DID NOT like the dip. Went to the bottom of the container and lay there, fins all spread out. Since it was not moving at all, I took it out after 4 minutes and when reintroduced to qt it went to a corner and laid there about 30 minutes. Then moved under some pvc. Today it is out and swimming back and fourth. They both ate about 2hrs after dip and again this AM. Is the wrasse a bad candidate for dipping or is it just a different reaction by a different species/individual? <Good observation. Most wrasses don't seem to take as kindly to the dip process as other fishes, in my experience. But I commend you for dipping him- a very good decision on your part!> Don <Good luck to you, Don. I think that with continued good procedure and observation, you'll beat this thing! Regards, Scott F>

Bannerfish with Velvet Hi Crew member of the day. <Hello!> Four days ago I purchased a beautiful Longfin Bannerfish and placed him in a 20 ga long quarantine tank with one fake Signature Coral for structure.  I have had the Q-tank set up and seeded with established filter media from my main display tank for a week now to equilibrate.  The NH3/NO2/NO3 are all zero with my temperature being 78 degrees C and my salinity at 1.023.  I have a lettuce clip with Seaweed Selects in the Q-tank at all times and feed him twice a day; once with Frozen Formula Two and once with Ocean's Nutrition Frozen Brine Shrimp Plus. He eats like a monster whenever I feed him and appeared to be healthy for the first two days.   On the third day, just on the top and outer edges of his pectoral fins appeared a few small patches of white material which almost looks like cotton.  I unfortunately have seen Ick before and this is not Ick. <I think you're right. It sounds like Amyloodinium....AKA marine velvet. Thank goodness you quarantined! Copper is needed here> He also has a small patch on his long fin underneath (anal fin?). The white material has not spread and only appears on his fins.  This is definitely a change from his initial condition.  Every few minutes he seems to clamp all his fins down and shakes briefly like he is cold but my temperature is very consistent.  Any advice as to what this could be?   <Velvet can kill mega-fast. These last signs that you mention are definitely cryptic> I would like to know if this is common to Bannerfish and if I should start a treatment. <This is a parasite that frequently shows up on fish of all kinds. You need to start a copper treatment...and fast! Check out Wetwebmedia.com "disease articles" and you will find a section on administering copper. There are also hundreds of facts related to this and other diseases>   I don't want to let this go and have the fish go to the point of no return.   <Velvet kills fast. You don't have any time to waste> I can't wait to get him well so I can wait the three weeks and move him to my main tank! <This fish must be totally clean for 4 weeks before the transfer. For your other fishes safety, please don't rush this. Believe me when I say that you do not want this scourge in your main tank. It can wipe it out in no time flat. A few years ago I had a battle with this ailment. It was not a pleasant experience> Thanks again for your help, <You're welcome! Happy holidays to you and yours! David Dowless> Amy

Striking Back At Disease! I have one butterfly left who is laying upside down on the bottom breathing heaving. Yesterday the smaller of the two had cloudy eyes and I found dead this morning. The bigger one had a little bit of cloudiness but now doesn't look good. I have been fighting Ick for about a week and a half. <Rapid breathing and the cloudy appearance seem to be signs of Amyloodinium, a far more virulent and fast-moving disease than ich. Hard to be 1005 certain from here-but may be the culprit. Check the FAQs on this disease on the wetwebmedia.com site to confirm> I also have a clown tang and a flame angel cleaner wrasse and shrimp. Do you think this is the Ich that is getting them or something else? <As above- I think it might be Amyloodinium...> Is there something I can do to save this guy. Should I move him to quarantine and medicate with anything. <Definitely should be moved to a hospital tank immediately and treated with a copper sulphate preparation, per manufacturer's instructions. Fortunately (bad term, I know), both Cryptocaryon (marine ich) and Amyloodinium can be treated with copper sulphate. I really think that you should move all of the fishes from this aquarium into the hospital tank for observation and/or treatment as needed. Whatever disease it is- it's in your main system, and radical steps must be taken to eliminate it. I'd let the tank run without fishes for at least a month, which will substantially reduce the parasite population (it will likely "crash" for lack of fish hosts). Perform regular tank maintenance (i.e.; water changes, etc) during this time. After the "fallow" period, you can re-introduce your healthy fish back into their tank. Although the parasite population cannot be 100% eliminated, you'll substantially reduce the population to a level that healthy fishes should be able to resist> I have left them in there tank because they all had the disease and was trying to use kick ick to fix the and doesn't seem like it has done anything. <Yep- I don't really have much nice to say about that stuff. Treating the main aquarium is never a good idea, IMO. Just take decisive action, observe your fishes closely-monitor the copper level in the treatment tank with a reliable test kit, and stay on top of things...With patience, you'll beat this disease! Hang in there!>   Thanks for your help. Thanks, Ian Roff <Good luck, Ian. Let's hope that things turn out okay! Regards, Scott F>

Clownfish/Damsel question Mr. Fenner, <Michael> Me again, classes got cancelled today because of snow so I'm being a pain and for this I apologize. <No worries> Again about this possible ich I have/or had.  When I first got the Banggai it looked pretty covered but it never displayed heavy breathing. <Not always a symptom> It may have scratched once that I saw but could have been chasing something on the live rock.  I just looked at the Banggai again after reading your last reply, it seems to not have spots but more it seems the fins are discolored, does this seem possible? <Ahh, yes> Other than these "ich-like" marks everything seems normal with him.  It has been in the tank for about 4 months now.  It Actively swims around the tank, comes to the glass begging, however I only give in once during normal feeding, in which I feed till it stops taking clam bits.  Overall it seems happy however it has yet to second that!  (On a side note, I love this fish, looks good, good attitude. Just a joy to have! Beautiful, Neat species)  One thing I did forget to mention in my other mails is I have two peppermint shrimp, and a scarlet cleaner.  Is it possible they help to keep it clean? <Yes, of a certainty> I have occasionally seen the peppermints trying to what I think is clean it...is this possible? <Yes> And along those lines, is it possible for these cleaners to pick up any "ich" reproductions that drifted into the tank to sit and mature? <Not really. Daughter cells, resting stages of ciliates can indeed encyst on hard surfaces... but not likely shrimp exoskeletons.> If I run a possible course of action by you can you let me know your opinions? Before considering adding the clowns, I'm gonna let the tank and fish sit. Monitor the Banggai keeping an eye on its fins.  Then After a few months ill reconsider the clowns? <Sounds good to me. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Mike

Clownfish/Damsel question Mr. Fenner, <Yes Mike> The reason I asked this question is this.  I currently have a Banggai cardinal fish that when I got it, I suspected it had ich.  I treated it by just letting it take it course, by regular feeding, and good water quality and skimming/maintenance of the tank. <One approach... perhaps the most common... though am sure you've heard folks suggest isolation, quarantine, baths/dips...> Since the addition of the fish the ich reduced greatly.  It now only has two tiny white spots on the pectoral fins. I don't know if it is ich cause they don't seem to spread at all.  My course of treatment was to leave it in the tank to reduce any possible stress, feed regularly, and weekly water changes. <Again, one way to "strike a balance"> Now to my real reason to ask the question, I'm thinking of adding a pair of tank raised ocellaris clowns in the future.  Suppose the cardinal still has two spots of ich, will this rapidly "infect" the clowns or should they fight it off as the cardinal did? <The presence of a latent infection (perhaps non-virulent would be a better term) may well influence the outcome of further infestation... I would say there is some greater likelihood that the new fish would "catch it"> I'm still skeptical about these spots being ich, they seem to not change at all and if it was ich wouldn't they "grow," and I know with out a picture its hard but do you have any ideas? <There are other parasites... and even just physical manifestations that look like "white dots"... I am a big fan of not allowing systems to become infested. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files beyond.> 20 gallon all params test fine AquaC Remora skimmer 25lbs Atlantic LR <Mmm, this tank is actually too small... I would either trade out the Banggai for the Clowns (perhaps doing the environmental manipulation detailed on our site, allowing the system to go fallow, i.e. w/o fish hosts for a month), or adding some other less competitive species to go along with your Cardinal> Thanks Again, Mike <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Ich? Hi -- I've read several of your questions and answers and have a fairly good idea and understanding of the measures I need to take to treat Ich. I'm concerned about having properly diagnosed my fish with having Ich. Most of the pictures I've seen, the white spots are very tiny. <I describe them as being like a grain of salt.> I've read about some other diseases that could look similar to Ich, such as Cauliflower or Nodular disease. <Lymphocystis?> Maybe these don't look similar to an experienced aquarist, but I am not at that level yet. I have a Regal Tang that has white spots on one side of her body. <Regal/Hippo Tangs (Paracanthurus hepatus) are notorious for having Cryptocaryon. Many people refer to them as Ich magnets. On the fish alone, I would guess Ich.> These spots are not tiny or the size of a pen head and they are also not huge. I don't quite know how to describe the size other than if you triple dotted an 'I' on a piece of paper...which isn't too precise of a description. I believe these spots are slightly raised. The fish has plenty of appetite and energy and is not excessively rubbing on rocks. One friend at the LFS suggested that "she" might have scratched herself and the scratch became a little irritated. I don't believe this is the case unless the scratch is invisible to the human eye. I have not noticed any spots on any of the other fish --- Foxface Spot Rabbitfish, Bi-colored Blenny, and a Black Cap Basslet. Of course I don't want to wait until that occurs, but I also don't want to remove all fish into quarantine unless that stress is necessary. So, I guess my quandary is the same as many --- how aggressive do I go after this and how can I be more certain of my diagnosis? <It does sound like Ich to me, but I would be only mildly aggressive at this point if this is not a new fish. Perhaps experiment with garlic foods and cleaner shrimp. I have seen Blue Regal Tangs many times carry Ich on and off indefinitely. Usually the other fish do not catch it or do not show the infection if all are healthy. Note, I said previously if this is not a new fish. If it is a new addition, I would remove everyone and fallow the tank.> Thanks for any feedback in advance, Barbara <Best of luck to you and have a happy Thanksgiving. -Steven Pro>

Re: "flashing" I keep hearing references to fishes with ICK "flashing".  What does that mean?  Ana M. Saavedra <When fish scratch or rub on objects or items in the aquarium, like rocks, substrate, heater, etc. from ick irritation.  Craig> <<... or "other" irritation, water quality issues... RMF>>

Re: suspected Ick and velvet need help and advice!! Dear Crew: I am relatively new into this hobby; I started keeping reef tank with a 33 gallon back in June (now my hospital tank) with plenty of live rock and some fishes and coral and anemone. I did not know I need to qt the fishes. Then I bought a Sailfin tang from a aquarium store, as always just conditioned it and put right onto the tank. (Should know better now!!!) I previously have an Humu Humu trigger in the tank, so the trigger chase the Sailfin as soon as it comes out of the bag, the Sailfin got stress somewhat and I notice tiny white spot on its body, and fins, I quickly took it out of my system and return it back to the shop. This incident probably introduces the dose of parasite in my tank, dormant. And then somehow I have ick on some fish, the case is not severe and it went away after 2 weeks. All went well. Then I upgrade my system into a 125 gallon, using a trickle filter, a GenX pump and a AquaMedic t1000 protein skimmer. I mature the tank using the old sandbed from the 33 gallon plus new substrate, live rock and filter media, and then I transfer the fishes and live rocks into the 125 gallon. I have a common clown, 2 tomato clown, a yellow Coris wrasse, a yellow boxfish, a Singapore angel (DIED), juvenile Sailfin tang, 2 small regal tang, a fire goby, and a copperband butterfly (died) . After 3 weeks I notice the parasite has come back, I transfer all fishes to the hospital tank, condition: CopperSafe (factory recommend dosage) ph=8.24, no3=10 temp=78 sal=1.023. change water (1-2 gallon in hospital tank every 3 days)  for 15 days. The copperband died of 2ndary infection, and angel died of starvation. After 15 days I transferred it back to the main tank, with a newly bought clown trigger (freshwater dipped, no sign of parasite when purchase), all fish introduced on day 15, the main tank was empty except for invertebrates (4 cleaner shrimp, 2 hermit, a star polyp, 1 Condy anemone, 1 Singapore anemone, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 anemone crab, 1 fire scallop, 1 tiger shrimp) the water conditions are ok, after 4 days in main tank, the spot comes again on trigger and Sailfin, fire goby and boxfish !!!!!! Now I read your website, and I determine to cure it once and for all, I would like to know whether I have the right plan? Put all fishes through a freshwater dip and into hospital tank, condition: CopperSafe, sal=1.019, ph=8.24, lighting period = 12 hrs water change=every 4 days for 31 days. (done) <Just treat for 14 days, 0.25 ppm free copper.> Change filter media on main tank (done) Maintain proper conditions in main tank; ph=8.24, sal=1.021, no3<5, temp=77F Buy hermit crabs. <No need here> Let main display contain no fish for 31 days (is that mean fallow??) <Yes,> At day 32, freshwater dip all fishes and introduce back to main tank. <No hurry here, re-introduce slowly over days...week> Other question: Do I feed the fish in the qt=hospital tank normal amount?? <Conservatively. Test water daily. Test copper 2X daily.> Is 31 days of treatment enough?? Can I stop CopperSafe after 20 days in the hospital tank with gradual water change??? <Too much, 14 days only> Do I need to buy more cleaner shrimp?? <Not necessary> Will the invertebrate be host to these parasites in the main tank during the treatment period?? <No> What is the sign I need to watch for when fish are not well in the hospital tank? <Clamped fins, inactivity or over activity, unusual hiding, etc.> Does increase lighting period in main and hospital  tank help decrease parasite? <No> Is UV or a diatom filter worth the money?? <I don't use them myself.  Some swear by them> What is the best condition for the main tank to kill the parasite and keep the invert safe??? <Normal optimum conditions, feed the tank inhabitants.> Pls reply ASAP!!!!! I need help here! Eric Calgary AB Canada Good luck Eric, there is much more to help you at WetWebMedia.com.  Craig>

Ich Rears Its Ugly Head? Hey guys. <Scott F. here this morning> A friend asked me to come over and look at his tank....a Flameback Angel that looks great otherwise has just a few white dots on his tail...if I had to guess, I would call it Ick.  There are only 8 or 10 of these dots right now, but in addition, a striped damsel is scratching itself on a rock. <Not a good sign- sounds like a possible ich outbreak to me> I wasn't sure what to tell him....I've never had to deal with disease (knocking on wood as I write this).  So, the question is, is it worth trying to catch the fish and dip it, quarantine it again.  This will require that we pull all the LR I'm afraid...otherwise I have no idea how to catch the little booger.  Or should he just leave it in there and lower spg, etc as prescribed in TCMA?  He will write you soon when he gets his own computer....I got him to join me in this adventure we call a hobby.  Thanks for the advice as usual. Matt <Well, Matt- you kind of hit it on the head. I would definitely recommend removing all of the fish to a separate tank for treatment. Treatment is really best accomplished by using a copper sulphate preparation, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Better safe than sorry, IMO. In the mean time, the main tank should sit "fallow", without fish, for a month or more. This will help break the life cycle of the parasite that is responsible for this malady. It's not fun to disassemble the reef structure, but treating this way is much more effective (and possibly less damaging to the system and fishes) in the long run than attempting to treat in the main tank. I noticed that you indicated that you'd quarantine the fish again. I'm glad that your friend employs this technique. Be sure to execute a full 3 week minimum quarantine with all new animals. I'm sure that you guys will do just fine! Good luck!

Dogface Tummy Ache? My dogface was sick and is still sick, think velvet ( little white spots, but been treating for ick with copper sulfate) and he did not eat for a month and a half . Finally he ate some lettuce and then  little fishes(10) and then two days later he ate some live brine. I was told that since he went for so long without eating that his stomach would deteriorate and if he did eat  after so long it would kill him. <Hooey> Well my puffer eats and now he seems to be lazy, turning dark, just sitting on a rock some them swim some, and just looking very ill. DO you think he will make it and what advice do you have for me?  We gave him a few freshwater baths and in the bottom of the clear tub you could see little grains of yellowish color stuff about the size of grated pepper or large salt. <Much of your puffers problem is environmental. Given a proper environment and diet your puffer should improve. You don't mention your treatment length, copper levels, water parameters, etc. Please go to the google search at the bottom of WetWebMedia.com and type in "dog face puffer", "disease" and "quarantine". Follow all of the links and read the FAQs. All of the information you need is at your fingertips!  Craig>

Disease Treatment I recently had a major Oodinium outbreak in my 180 gal "fish only" tank and lost all but four of the fish. I treated the tank with "Revive" (which is a Acriflavine and formalin product) for 5 days. After removing the Revive with Poly Filters and carbon it appears to not have solved the problem for the Tusk and the lion. The remaining fish have cloudy eyes and extreme loss of color. I went out this evening and purchased a 30 gal QT and am treating them with Cupramine. Would you add additional medicine for bacterial infections? I hope I have my diagnosis correct. I am fairly certain it's not "Ick".  Thanks, Dan Berg <Hi Dan, I'm not surprised the Revive didn't work.  Many fish and hobbyists suffer thinking this stuff works. I'm glad you bought the QT! I would optimize water conditions without any additional medications besides the copper. I would test it twice daily, once in the AM and once in the PM and maintain it at 0.25 ppm free copper for two weeks. Concentrate on overall water quality, test regularly. Keep them in the QT for two more weeks afterward to be sure your treatment worked and to hold the display fallow. They should all recuperate after you remove the copper and more so when they are returned to the display. Even if this is "ick" the treatment would be the same so no worries.  Velvet would tend to be more aggressive.  Best of luck!  Craig>

Rapid breathing Hello guys, I had an infestation of ich but with your help everything seemed to be under control. I have two hospital tanks running. They had been treated for copper for 15 days and all signs of parasites were gone at the end of treatment. It has now been 18 days since the removal of the copper. Yesterday I had checked levels and fish and everything was good, in fact everything has been great and healthy looking since a week after copper treatment began, about 24 days ago. Today in one of the hospital tanks only, which houses a purple tang and a neon goby, neither fish would eat and both are breathing very rapidly. There are no signs of ich, spots, or scratching, only the rapid breathing. I did change about 30 to 40% of the water, that made no difference in the breathing. Checked levels and they are still good. Is this the ich coming back or something else? The other hospital tank with a maroon clown and 2 neon gobies is doing excellent. Should I assume it is ich again and dose with copper again or should I wait for awhile until I see spots on the fish? The temperature is 80 and the salinity is 1.019 right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kylee <Hi Kylee, I would assume it's ick again, BUT I wouldn't treat with copper again quite yet. You might try a FW dip (more on this at WetWebMedia.com) which may provide some relief and also try to find some Tetra medicated Anti-parasite food. This is a discontinued item, so try E-bay or your older established fish stores. You may need to treat again with copper, but it is stressful, so see if you can't find the food first. I have used it with light infestations after treatment with success. With both fish gilling it's either water quality or a return of the parasites. Good luck, Craig> 

Re: new reef tank issues Hello and thank you for the info.  <Hi Steve> In regards to the damsels, I have noticed it appears 3 of 4 have white spots on them which I assume is ick. They do not appear to be affected by it (aside from the spots) and are eating very well. Will this parasite drop off on its own within a few days?  <Unfortunately yes, to reproduce and infect any other fish you put in the tank.> I do not think I can catch the damsels for a formalin dip because of the large amount of live rock in the tank. I do not want to add copper either due to the live rock and a few small inverts currently in the tank.  <You must remove the Damsels to a quarantine tank and treat them with copper for two weeks plus two additional weeks to be sure.....while your main tank is fallow if fish for at least one month. Please go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm read all of the pertinent info and follow the treatment exactly.> Is it normal get ick during the cycling process? <It is normal if the fish aren't quarantined and is exacerbated by water quality issues that are common in new and cycling tanks. This could be avoided by simply quarantining any new additions and letting the tank run and cycle without fish for at least 30 days.> Can parasites such as ick harm corals?  <No> I was told by an employee at a fish store that after two weeks, if my chemicals such as nitrate, nitrite, ammonia are at zero, it is safe to add fish and/or corals. Does this sound ok to you? Is there anything else I should do? Thanks for your continued help. Steve. <Unfortunately this is common advice. They rarely use proper quarantine protocols and fail to mention that while your water might support fish, the tank is new, the conditions unstable and stressful, and putting unquarantined fish to this mix equals trouble for the average new comer. You are in a tough spot here Steve. If the Damsels have ick then any fish you add will get ick and you won't like the results. Unfortunately there is no way to do this without catching the Damsels, and truth be known you likely want to try to find a new home for them as they are potentially aggressive with other fish you may want to keep. Maybe return them to that LFS. To save you all of the half-measures, shortcuts and related heartbreak, THERE ARE NO REEF SAFE TREATMENTS FOR ICK!!! Don't fall for any sales pitches from the fish store. Just catch the Damsels, put them in a quarantine tank, and follow the information provided on WetWebMedia. Please go to : http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm all you need is there or the links at the top of the page. Good luck and be patient. Craig>

BF with parasites? I have a pearl scaled butterfly in quarantine. He started to develop what I thought was ich. I treated him with quick-cure and the spots are gone. Now he twitches frequently, and swims on his side. He is still eating and has no other obvious signs of distress. Any ideas why he is demonstrating this behavior.  <quite possibly still parasites in the gills or maybe the gills have been damaged if the parasites went unnoticed for a while><<More likely the medicant effect. RMF>> Is it an effect of the formalin?  <not an effect, and if you didn't exceed the mfg dose by much or at all... then no worries here. Do add a strong airstone to the tank to insure optimal aeration and also keep the temp steady... not too high (78-80F ideal)> Thanks, Rich. <best regards, Anthony>

New Spots Greetings WWM crew! <cheers> Hopefully after this question you will not hear from me again for quite some time (I really hate to bug you).  <no worries> I've emailed quite often over the past week 1/2 re: ich on my fish. Just to recap, they've all gone into quarantine (although 2 have passed now... my clown this morning :( *sniff sniff*) and are being treated with copper. The yellow tang still eats, though he has some trouble "catching" his flakes & I have to tear his seaweed into bits for him (but that might be because he's afraid of the new clip I bought to hold it in this tank). Anyway. The ich is still present, copper levels are finally up to .15 & .20 though they vary. ammonia hovers around .03 & I do water changes daily (sometimes twice just to be safe). The yellow tang has some black specks on him now towards the back of his body and maybe between his eyes... I can't really tell. It looks almost like dust/dirt, but I know this can't be possible. From what I've found thus far on your site about black spot, I'm under the impression that it is larger spots, so I'm hesitant to diagnose this as such.  <Hmm... there really isn't another "black spot" possibility... quite unique, this Turbellariid worm> Can black spot be these little tiny flakes?  <doubtful... but focus on one or two and see if they move within a few hours. Black spot worms will not> Can I treat for black spot while treating for ich with copper?  <yep... FW dips and formalin in the tank with or instead of copper> As far as I'm concerned, if he's eating there's hope & I am trying hard. Any info you can share on this/links you can direct me to will be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I'm still searching. Thanks to all of you for your patience & help throughout this ordeal. I've learned a great deal from your site (& my mistakes). Cheers, TJ <best regards, Anthony>

Black Ick My yellow tang seems to have contracted Black Ick. He has a few very small black specks over his body.  <The Turbellariid worm: Paravortex AKA "Black Spot" disease> They are probably about the size of a pin prick. He darts through the water often and seems to slide across the surface of the rocks or wall. Other than that, he is not lethargic at all and has a normal appetite. None of the other fish seem to be infected at this time. The tank is 55 gallons with a crushed coral bed of about 2 inches and about 30lbs of live rock.  <this is a persistent disease that is best treated in a QT tank separately> Inhabitants are the yellow tang, a flame angel, a yellow tail damsel, long nose hawk fish, and an emerald crab. I have read that a freshwater dip or freshwater dip with Methylene blue is effective in treating this, but I'm not exactly sure of how to go about administering it.  <no worries here... just be sure not to stress the fish with a labored chase before dipping it. Drain the tank and refill it with a fast pump if necessary to make a gentle catch in shallow water> Also, if the tang is infected, will the other tank mates sooner or later become hosts for these parasites?  <mostly a tang 'thang> Is it possible to treat the entire tank without killing off the invertebrates and biological filters?  <nope... hence the need for a quarantine tank. Please use the QT tank for 4 weeks for all new livestock in the future to screen and prevent this from happening again> Tank chemistry is normal and the temperature is about 78 F, with SG at about 1.025. Can you please offer some methods of how I may rid my fish of this parasite? Thank you for any help you can offer. <I'd recommend using formalin in the QT tank for 5-7 days in addition to the FW dips. Read the articles and FAQs linked at the top of this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm Best regards, Anthony>

A Mysterious End Hi there to the crew.  <and hi back atcha... at you, I mean to say... a greeting for today... to carry you the weekend through. [This hybrid Haiku brought to you by the Dr Seuss poets troupe]>  I have a question regarding some sudden problems I've had in my tank.  Some background on the tank. 72gal w/30lbs live rock. AquaMedic skimmer, Amiracle wet/dry, HOT Magnum canister running carbon. <nice hardware> Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, PH 8.2, temp 80 all have been stable. Spec grav is running a little low at 1.020. Tank is a bit over 3 months old. <OK> My tank was stocked with 1 yellow tang, 1 maroon clown, 1 royal Gramma, 1 cleaner shrimp, and various snails and hermits as a cleanup crew. Everybody has been doing fine for the last couple of months until last night. I arrived home to find my Gramma dead and being munched on by a 4 inch brown worm that I had never seen before.  <no worries... simple scavenger doing his job> Undoubtedly hitched a ride in on the live rock but apparently never caused any problems.  <and still isn't...enjoy> Then I looked at my tang and he was breathing rapidly, swimming erratic, but munching some of the diatom algae off the glass. By the time I had removed the dead Gramma, offending worm,  <poor worm> and completed my water testing to see if there was anything seriously wrong my tang was lying on the bottom of the tank with my cleaner shrimp dancing on his soon to be dead body. Within 30 minutes he was dead. A very sad story. <indeed> Both fish had been fine in the morning and were regularly eating. The tang always munched on the seaweed I had for him and was in good shape. Neither fish had visible spots, bulges, red marks, sores, or anything indicating a disease as far as I could tell. My clownfish is still doing fine. Cleaner shrimp cleaned my arm as I removed the carcass (I hate it when he does that). <it could be worse... he could jump out of the tank every time you open the canopy and lunge into your mouth to clean your teeth> So I feel like an idiot because I cannot point to what I am doing wrong and do not want to cause any more deaths. I've read through a lot of the FAQs here and have seen others mystified by 'mysterious wipeouts'. In most cases the advice is that it won't happen that way if you have a skimmer.  <Hmmm... the skimmer is helpful, but not foolproof> But I have one and it works great. Eliminates the 'green tea' from my water quite well. I doubt the worm was the culprit who killed the fish but maybe I am wrong. <nope...correct... just a poor scavenger that you mercilessly killed... er, I mean... well... you know...Ha!> Do you have any advice for me on what to check on next to prevent more untimely deaths?  <Yes: stop killing harmless worms. Thanks for asking :) > I do not want to restock the tank until I know what went wrong. <agreed, and on a serious note, my friend: the rapid gilling would indicate a sudden toxin or virulent pathogen. I'm leaning towards parasite in the gills. A toxin would more likely (but not always) have killed inverts like the fish too. A parasite however would not effect all fish the same (hence the clown still faring well). Did you see any other parasite symptoms (fishes scratching against rock, sand, etc)... closing one gill while pumping the other (classic symptoms of gill parasites)? Else, did you add a new piece of livestock in the week prior without quarantining it (bringing in a disease). Always remember to quarantine everything... fish, inverts, rock...anything wet: 4 weeks.> Oh and thanks to everyone for this great web site. I have learned so much from reading here. Andy  <thanks kindly, Anthony>

Parasites Hi there Bob/Anthony/Jason/Steve! In the ongoing saga of battling parasites I've stumbled across some information from my LFS owner. She said that an alternative to letting the tank run fallow for a month (& doing water changes on the QT tank every other day) I can completely drain the display tank, refill it with dechlorinated fresh water, let that run for 1/2 hour ONLY & then drain it again & refill with salt water. <I am really at a loss for words at this point.> She said she has successfully done this before & it's a trick she learned from a biologist at Aquarium Systems. She states that it is long enough to kill the parasite but not long enough to kill the bacterial filter. <I find this incredibly hard to believe.> She did however give me some liquid bacteria to dump in for after to "boost" the filter (just in case?). <IME/O, a nearly useless product.> I'm all for this, but have some questions about what it's going to do to my liverock. <It will kill just about all of it.> I've been reading about how dead coral will eventually go "live" after being in the tank w/ liverock for so long & I'm quite sure that mine has done that now. Also, I think I have the equivalent to live sand with my crushed coral substrate, as it is crawling with critters. So, I'm fairly sure that my critters & what few corals I have won't survive this Fw dose. <I am sure, too.> Will I need to add more live rock after this is over? <Sure, you can buy it from this LFS owner. What a plan.> How long can I expect my ammonia/nitrite levels to be elevated (if I can expect this to happen at all)? <I have no idea, but probably long enough to kill some fish, but you can just buy some replacements from her too.> Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. <Do not do this. Let your tank run fallow for one month.> I'm planning on doing this little project this afternoon, so hopefully I'll hear from you before then. <I hope I caught you in time.> Thanks a million for all your help thus far! TJ <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Parasitic outbreak Bob, This is my first outbreak of ANY kind of disease/parasite. I've had the same tank up with the same fish in it for 4 years. I thought I was pretty good, until earlier this week. Last week I introduced a new coral and a mandarin into the tank. Since I've never had a problem, I, of course, don't have a QT tank. <Ohh. Mistake.> So.... about 3 days ago I notice small white flecks on my yellow Tang. I see them on his fins first, then notice that they're on his body. After asking around, I decided to go with the least aggressive treatment of medicated flake food (because of the corals... even though there are not many). I've been doing extensive reading since then, and am not sure that this was the wisest decision. I'm not sure if my percula clown is getting the disease... he doesn't have any visible spots, but his scales don't really look normal. He looks rougher and seems to have some lighter spots in places, but I could be imagining this. (I'm "paranoid" on a good day.) My black & white damsel does have it, though not as bad as the tang, but the damsel is far more stressed than the tang. He has loss of appetite, and doesn't really care to go chasing his tank mates around. He's not hanging out in his usual places & he breathes very rapidly. His main concern appears to be getting the things off of himself, but unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be having much luck. At this point, after reading about the cycles of these parasites (of which I knew nothing about until 3 days ago), I feel absolutely desperate. Without having an established QT tank, and not knowing enough about what medicating the water will do to the little critters the mandarin eats, I have no idea what action to take next. I fear losing the whole tank. Please help. Sad & Sorry in the Midwest <Do take a read through WetWebMedia.com (there's a search tool on the homepage and indices) re "marine parasitic disease"... "ich"... and the many FAQs posted there. I would go the addition of cleaner shrimp, boosting nutrition (vitamins, HUFAs), and lowered (slowly) specific gravity route here for now... Bob Fenner>

Re: parasitic outbreak Thanks a lot Bob! I have found your site very helpful & will be referring to it often. I'll let you know how it all works out. <Thank you twice over. Looking forward to reports of your success. Bob Fenner> Rays of Hope in the Midwest :)

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