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FAQs on Parasitic Disease 4

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

Related FAQs: Parasitic Disease 1, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, 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,

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

Sick Clown (Cont'd.) Thanks for your help, Scott (or whomever is manning the box) <Scott F. back with you today!> I'm not sure I was clear here.  He is in the display tank right now (with a few snails).  The QT was setup after getting him and his 'friend' and having her die right away.  I can certainly pull him into the QT but that's going to leave the Velvet in the main tank, too and present a different set of problems for the weekend. <Right...the main tank should be left fallow for about a month> The QT is cycled (I used a filter from a LFS and borrowed water) enough to put him in (no ammonia, very low nitrites and nitrates).  The problem isn't the ammonia, it's the temperature.  The QT will naturally spike to close to 85/86 degrees during they day. We don't have central air.  It's easy enough to cool it off with a fan (down to about 82), BUT you lose 1-2 gallons of water everyday :( With us being gone for 3 days, we'd come back to a tank with 3 gallons of water. <Ahh.. I follow you now...> I guess we could move the LR (luckily we don't have much) and snails to the QT and dose the main tank.  I know it's a crappy option, but he will definitely die if we put him in the 10 and are not here to do maintenance. <I would not dose the display under any circumstances...However, I would rather wait until the end of the weekend to move him, and take the risk....>   We did a FW dip last night and it seemed like the parasites dropped off, but there were white patches left behind (not raised) and he was really stressed out by the experience.  I am assuming this is caused by the wounds from where they were attached.  Honestly, he's in much worse shape today (not eating and literally swimming in circles) and I'm not convinced we can pull him through.  :( <Well, the patches that you are seeing could be the tissue that is being liquefied by the parasites...Immediate action is really the best bet. Given the circumstances, I'm afraid that you'll have to wait till you get back...but it may be too late. You still will need to run the tank fallow, of course. Parasitic diseases are terribly difficult to eradicate from the display, so you really want to keep a sick fish out of there...> Yeah.  Lesson learned on that one.  Sadly, too late.  Assuming he makes it long enough to put in the 10 gallon for proper treatment or dies, should we copper the heck out of the main system and leave it fallow for at least a month?   Copper means no snails, ever, correct?  I can probably take the 3 I currently have back to the LFS store.  The only other option I've been reading is to tear the display tank down and let it dry out.  I'm not sure I  would ever get the courage up to start back if I did that. <No need for copper...just run the tank fallow, without fishes, for a month or so, conduct all routine maintenance (water changes, etc.), and be patient...Hopefully, you can avoid "nuking" the tank> Thanks again, Angel <No problem, Angel- be patient, and do your best...Here's to hoping that the clown pulls through! Regards, Scott F>

Parasites >As you know your site is awesome.   >>Glad you enjoy it/gain knowledge from it. >I have been reading here for over a year and have been doing salt for about 20 years.  I thought I have seen everything up till last month and I still can't find the answer here, very close but not positive.  I went away for a month, but before I left I did something very stupid.  I bought a large copper band butterfly locally and put it in my 150 without quarantine.   >>Eee...no good. >Stupid I should have known better.  Well it had a parasite I never had before.  Every thing in the tank was killed except that worthless butterfly.  And it's because I told my wife to get 2-3 cleaner shrimp in the tank.  The local pet shop told her to set up tank pour some copper in it and leave them there for two weeks, what morons, the first thing everybody wants to do is use copper. >>Well, without a proper diagnosis, and especially without ensuring she could properly test for copper levels, that was unwise. >That's why everything died except the butterfly.  Including my 3 year old hand-tamed clown trigger.  I could pet him and pick him up out of the water.  Not no more.   >>Triggers should be able to tolerate copper treatments administered properly. >The parasites are dot size as hatched then grow, there are some in the sump 1 inch long.  They are kinda white , soft, like cotton stuck to the glass.  With a close up magnifying glass they have lots off legs, like hundreds of tiny veins soft like roots attached to the glass.  Looks like it even has eyes.  Their bodies are like  whitish-clear and they haven't  moved at all.  They're just stuck to the glass and are growing very fast.   >>I'm a bit puzzled.  If what you are describing were attached to the FISH, then I would guess that they might be trematodes.  However, not having had much experience (read: practically none) with these parasites I could only tell you that they do NOT respond to copper, but do to Formalin (a tricky substance to use).  However, being stuck to the glass really throws me for a loop. >They must have hatched a new batch today, there are hundreds of them today.  I am going to tear this tank down and soak it and the 55 gallon sump with bleach and water.  But what should I do with the cleaner shrimp and a hand full of blue leg and red scarlet crabs? >>What??  Now this really makes no sense whatsoever.  If your wife had treated with copper, you would have NO invertebrates left at all.   >Are they safe to put in my 72 gallon reef tank or just dispose of them to prevent any type of problems in that tank?   >>Without knowing the species you're speaking of, I cannot safely recommend placing them in a reef.  However, I also see no reason to kill them, either. >I think it is a type of lice, any info on this type is appreciated.   >>I really think you're describing copepods or isopods of some sort at this point.  I'm a bit lost by your descriptions here.  Is it possible to get pictures?  Symptoms of the animals lost? >I also purchased sand from the local pet shop to find out it was $3.00 Home Depot sand and sold for $30.00 a bucket at Sea Cave.  Is there any parasite risk here or is it just good profit for Sea Cave?   >>I couldn't venture a guess as to their profit, though if they've kept it in their systems you have purchased LIVE sand, and that does have value (what the market will bear and all, eh?).  As long as they're not giving you sand that's been housed in the same system with their fishes, you should be relatively safe from parasitic infection.  Sorry to hear of your losses, David, I do hope others learn from your experience.  Marina

- Typhoid Mary - Dear WetWeb Crew, <Good morning, JasonC here...> We recently lost all of our fish except one Damselfish to a problem in our tank regarding ich. The Damselfish is very healthy and shows no signs of stress or ich. We are in the process of letting our tank run fallow for a couple months but have not transferred the Damsel to a QT. I was wondering as long as we see no signs of ich on the Damsel is it ok to leave him in the tank or do we have to set up a QT tank? <You need to remove the damsel to some other tank - it can be a quarantine if you like - because these fish can carry the parasites without showing any symptoms. In order to have an effective fallow period, you need to remove all potential fish-hosts.> Thanks for your help! Nancy <Cheers, J -- >

Fallow Tank Tactics Hello crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member tonight> I have a Royal Gramma that just got rid of the ich by him self, he looks bright and very healthful! I know it takes 1 month for the ich to vanish from my system and the Royal is the only fish I have, so my ? is to you.....Do you think it will be safe to buy fish in two 2 months or live rock? <Well, if you run the tank fallow for a month or two, you should be just fine adding more fishes down the line> You think the ich will get on them or will it be gone by that time? <Well, if you maintain regular tank maintenance procedures (water changes, etc.) during the fallow period, your tank should be ready to add more fishes at that point> Thank you for all you do!!!!! <It's our pleasure to be of service! Take care! Scott F>

- Random Spots - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Dear WWM Crew, am in need of your advice again.  I have a 240 gallon with about 250 lbs. live rock, currently holds a 9" Harlequin Tusk and  11" Golden Puffer.  These fish appear to be in extreme health, brilliant colors, they eat extremely well, clear eyes, normal respiration. I am concerned because they occasionally show small white spots on their pectoral and tail fins, the spots come and go, the spots do not bother the fish, their is no scratching or darting. <This isn't really abnormal and I have made this same observation myself. What the spots are specifically is hard to be certain - quite likely a protozoan similar to ich but not ich. In any case, is mostly harmless - fish in good health show these spots from time to time, but never seem affected by them or become overwhelmed. If you didn't quarantine and/or dip these fish before you put them in your tank, then they are the most likely source, although it could have also ridden in on the live rock.> Before these fish were added to the tank, the tank with the live rock was empty for six weeks to insure optimum health of the tank before adding my expensive prized animals.  I would appreciate anything you have to offer as I am concerned about adding any other fish to this tank.  I have a 12" Koran Angel in QT currently, and am a little nervous about adding this beautiful fish. <Well, good plan to have the quarantine going... I think as long as the angel is doing well, and not a bundle of stress it will acclimate well to the new tank. You may observe the same spots, but I doubt they will come to anything serious. Do keep a watchful eye on things.> Sincerely appreciate your time and your help.  Thank You,  Jen Marshall <Cheers, J -- >

Outbreak...(Disease Problems) More fish died, please help. <Yikes! Hope I can! Scott F. with you...> I will try to give you guys the breakdown of events that let to today's second fish death. I have had my 72 gallon up for 2 months already cycled.  Everything was fine, the tank consisted of 1 yellow tang 3 inch 1 clown 2 blue damsels scopas tang and a 3 spot domino.  Last Saturday I purchased 1 flame angel and 1 goby and one small clown (Amphiprion ocellaris).  PH 8.4 Ammonia .25 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 10 salinity 1.025 <Well- there's part of the problem...Ammonia is extremely toxic to marine life, and should be at undetectable levels in the system> Monday it looks like my blue hippo tank has the ich.  Did a freshwater dip and placed in copper solution, he lasted 2 hours <When you say copper solution- do you mean that the copper was administered in a "hospital" tank at an appropriate therapeutic level? That's really important, particularly with tangs and angels...Copper is highly effective against ich, but it must be administered in a controlled manner, and it's concentration verified with a test kit...> Tuesday I come home from work to find my flame angel laying on its side in the tank, I immediately pulled him out did a freshwater dip for 4-5 min and put him in a quarantine tank (10 gal, sponge filter, power head for aeration, 4" PVC elbow). <Good that you have such a set up!. He was fighting but didn't make it till morn. I just swapped out my tank for a new one due to a crack in the glass.  I took all the fish out and place them in the quarantine tank same as above. The new tank has a 20 gal sump which I submerged with old tank water so it keeps the Biorocker wet.  I kept 50% of the water ands added 50% freshwater (no salt) to drop salinity to 1.012 hopefully killing any parasites if any exist. This morning the small clown died.  (PH 8.4, Nitrate 10 Nitrite 0 Ammonia .25 salinity 1.020) <That continuing ammonia reading is of concern...BTW, it sounds like you're dealing with Amyloodinium...Ich rarely kills this quickly. Although, ich in conjunction with the stress brought on by detectible ammonia levels is problematic...> Also notice my yellow tang has some sort of brown spot on it's side and nose.  Any idea what that could be and how to treat it? Time? <Could be anything from disease symptoms to "collateral damage" from the copper...Observe and dip if you feel it's appropriate to do so> Should I freshwater dip them all and put them in a new quarantine tank with lower salinity? <You could...I'm not a big fan of lower specific gravity, but it does work for some people> I have a premixed 10 gallon bucket salt 1.015 temp 78 deg but my ph is 7.2 how should I bring it up. Please help. Tomasz Marszalekfor   <Water changes, with properly buffered water...Slow and steady...Read the WWM disease FAQs and verify exactly what you're dealing with here...Also, do try to track down the source of ammonia within your system...I have no doubt that with a little time and a few adjustments, things will work out just fin! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Spot Treatment! Good Morning Guys <Scott F. your guy today!> My Majestic has developed a white spot near the top of it's body.  The most accurate way to describe it is that it looks like a white head on a pimple. <Gross imagery- but I certainly get the picture!>   It's larger than Ich and is not cottony looking.  I have performed fresh water dips on him twice which eliminates the spot but then 2 days later it is back (same size same place).  Any idea as to cause and treatment? Thanks as always. Joe <Well, Joe, it's hard to guess exactly what it might be...It may very well be parasitic in nature. I like the idea of FW dips. If it were me, I'd continue the FW dips periodically, especially in the absence of other symptoms. I wouldn't be in too much of a rush to reach for medications. If you see a deterioration in the fish's condition, you may need to take appropriate actions. however, at this stage of the game, excellent water quality, good food, and lots of careful observation (augmented with occasional FW dips) should do the trick...Perhaps, even consider "biological cleaners", such as shrimp or neon gobies...Hang in there...Regards, Scott F>

Parasites- On The Rocks! Dear Crew, <Scott F. your crew member tonight> Thank you for the great web site.  I learn something new every time I visit. <Glad to hear that! We enjoy bringing it to you!> I have a question concerning Live Rock and Oodinium. On May 10th of this year, the last of my fish had succumb to what I suspect was an Oodinium outbreak.  The symptoms were little white flecks (salt crystal sized), rapid breathing of the fish, and the disappearance/reappearance of these white flecks every 4-5 days after their "disappearance." <Actually, with the exception of the rapid breathing, it sounds a lot like ich...Amyloodinium ("Velvet") is a far more lethal disease than ich. It's really hard to discern the individual parasites with Amyloodinium...looks more like a fine "dusting"...affected fishes will display rapid breathing, listlessness, and other distinct symptoms. And, in the absence of quick intervention, they die with remarkable rapidity.> My questions are: I'm moving and cannot (unfortunately) take my aquarium with me.  My dad also has a saltwater aquarium and would love to get the live rock and anything else from my tank.  Is it possible that the possible Oodinium parasites could be in a latent stage on the live rock and therefore introduce it into his tank? <Yes- they could...it's best to let this rock sit in a tank or container without fishes for at least a month. Most of the parasites that could be present would potentially die without hosts (fishes)...They would be unable to complete their life cycle> Is it possible to wait two months following the last live fish in my current tank to allow the Oodinium parasites to hatch and die for it to finally be safe to put the live rock into another tank? (Bad phrasing of the question, I'm sorry). <Your point got through fine! And, yes- it's a very good idea to do that!> Is it safe to put soft corals into a tank that contains a Pomacanthus Angel Fish (Queen Angel)?   Hard to say...Some may sample-some won't. If you like your softies, I'd err on the side of caution and avoid this combination...Or- you could take a small "frag" off of one of the corals and place it in the tank with the Queen Angel, and see how he/she does with it...It's a risk that you may or may not want to take...your call here>    I hope you are able to understand all my questions and address my concerns.  Thanks again for your website.  Mr.  Fenner, your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarium" is fantastic. Eric Rayman <I'll be sure to pass on the good word Bob...Thanks! Your thoughts were right on target, as far as being patient with the rock is concerned....Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

One Fish, Two Fish...Or, Is That-"Two Fishes"? (Obscure Trivia For Fish Nerds) Hi Scott, thanks for explanations! You guys are awesome! <as always- it's so much fun to be of assistance!> Some follow-ups down below: I'm still not sure if my fish have Ich or Velvet... is there a simple way to distinguish the two? What about the 'looks'  of it? Both have white dots? Same color? Size? Number? <Amyloodinium (Velvet) looks like a fine "dusting" of whitish dots, as opposed to ich, which displays salt-grain sized dots...Both appear whitish to clear in color> As far as dosages of copper based medications (CopperSafe and Cupramine) are concerned-that's what puzzles me... how can one be 1.5 -2.0ppm while the other same at0.5 ? Aren't they both chelated? <Well, Coppersafe is chelated, and Cupramine is not...They are formulated at different concentrations...> Which one do you like better and is faster acting: CopperSafe of Cupramine (despite the price difference)? <I've used both successfully. I find myself using CopperSafe more often...Both are excellent products, IMO> Would you adjust the temperature or drop the salinity along with the copper treatment? <I suppose that you could raise the temperature a bit- maybe to about 82 degrees F- as this might help speed up the life cycle of the parasites a bit, but I'd keep oxygen levels high, with good aeration. I would not manipulate the specific gravity, however- too much added stress, IMO> Finally, my CopperSafe came with no booklet... when I dose with 5ml/4gallons,what do I get: 1.5ppm? 2ppm? Any idea? <Well, CopperSafe administered at the recommended dose of one teaspoon to 4 gallons will yield a concentration of 1.5ppm-2.0ppm> Water Changes: I'm not planning on any water changes during that time :-) Should I ? <I highly recommend regular water changes- even in a treatment tank...Fish (even sick ones) still give off metabolic waste, which must be dealt with. High water quality is super important, particularly when you have fishes that may have damaged gills, such as those infected with Amyloodinium or ich> I included a cycled filter for biofiltration in the bare bottom tank and I hope that neither CopperSafe or Cupramine will affect the bio-filtration as the products claim. BTW, some people say that copper will wipe out the bio filtration, yet both of the manufacturers state that they are bio-filtration safe... puzzling... <Well, speaking from personal experience- I can honestly state that I've never had a problem with these products> Out of curiosity.. for instance, if you have both Ich and Clownfish disease... I'm looking into it. I suppose that formaldehyde (reducing agent?) could reduce the chelated copper to its ionic form? <Hmm...I don't know the chemical reactions that would take place for this to occur...and frankly- who cares? (LOL!). Just don't mix these medications together...Use one or the other!> BTW, is Clownfish disease only affecting clownfish or other fish as well... <"Clownfish Disease" (Brooklynella), is caused by a protozoan. It's usually associated with (imported) clownfish, but can occur in other fishes, as well> And final, most puzzling question... grammatically correct, plural from fish, is it 'fish' or 'fishes' ? So far I have 50/50  responses :-) <Well, I researched this for you...here's the official "deal" on this issue: "Fish" can mean a single individual, and can also describe a group of individuals of the same species. When you are talking about a number of individuals belonging to more than one species, the correct term is "fishes". Example: "Dude, those Centropyge hotumatua are expensive fish!"...or, "The coolest fishes are pygmy angels"... Alright- enough of this grammar crap- my head is gonna explode here!> Cheers, Luke <Yep- time for a drink, here! Bottoms up- Scott F>

Finding The Right Cure Hi guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I have read most everything you have on Gill Flukes. I still need some help:-) <That's why we're here!> My Percula had started breathing rapidly and scraping his gills along the intake tube. The hippo tang is just a baby and he too has been breathing rapidly and scratching as are the Firefish and neon goby. :-( <Not a good sign...Could be flukes...could even be Amyloodinium. Verify carefully!> I have a 30 gallon tank, which has now become the QT tank. <Excellent to have> I tested the water and then had LFS test against my test (water great). I initially treated with copper thinking it was ick then I noticed the breathing. <Well, copper may not be that effective against flukes...there are many different views on that one...> So I call my LFS and they sold me Fluke Tabs and told me to ? the dose as this stuff is very strong. <Haven't used it personally- but have heard the same!> I still have sand and a few coral skeleton decorative pieces from before I was planning to move everyone to my new 55 gallon reef. Nobody has made it to the 55 as they broke out with this before moving over. <Well, good that you were able to contain it> I come home today treat with the first round of Fluke Tabs around 11:30 AM. I get back from doing "stuff" to find my clown still at the top (BTW, I have put a huge airstone, an air tube and kept the filter on the back with no carbon to insure lots of oxygen) and my hippo still breathing rapidly, his top fins going a brownish color and he seems to be really struggling. These (Percula and Hippo) two are my most worry as they are still exhibiting all symptoms. <This really is starting to sound like Amyloodinium...> 1. Am I expecting improvement too quickly? <Depending on what you're dealing with, it could take up to a week to 10 days to see improvement...Once you've positively ID'd the disease or parasite, stay the course with the treatment> 2. Is the sand absorbing the meds making them ineffective? <Quite possibly...I always recommend treatment in a tank without substrate, so that medication doesn't bind with the substrate, reducing its effectiveness> 3. What is the hippo's browning of the top fins about? <Hard to say...could be as a result of the illness, or even damage caused by copper> 4. My water temp is around 80 degrees because I have read that when treating for sickness keep tank warmer??? <The thought is that higher temperatures speed up the life cycle of parasites...> 5. How long do I treat them ? The Fluke Tab box says two treatments should do it, then do a 50% wc after three days of no symptoms? <Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter, with any medication....> 6. Should I combine with freshwater dip or something? I already have copper and quick cure in the tank along with Fluke Tabs. LFS said this drug cocktail was safe. <I would tend to disagree...I don't like to mix different medications....Maybe the difficulty that the fish are experiencing is a result of this mixture of meds, not disease symptoms, as I originally surmised...Lots of possibilities> If you can answer any or all these inquiries, I would be very grateful. Thanks. Christy Evans <Well, Christy, my thinking is to very carefully ascertain what it is that you're dealing with, then reduce your medication to the one medication best suited for that condition. Freshwater dips may be preferable to a medication "cocktail"....Not a cure all, but a good supplement. Hang in there...stay the course. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Finding The Right Cure...And The Right Disease! Hi Scott, <Hey there again!> I think your diagnosis was more accurate when you said that it sounded like Amyloodinium than flukes. <I was afraid that it would...> We lost three fish through what I believe was a misdiagnosis and medication toxicity. I read up on Amyloodinium and it said that it lives in the water more so than the fish. SO we have broken down our 30 gal HT, washed it and are currently reconstructing it. <Good move on your part> We have fresh water dipped (ten min each) all the survivors. Four fish total: 1 DSB Butterfly, two Firefish (boy, their sturdy), and a neon Goby, and placed them into the new 55 gallon reef that was ready before this broke out. <I would have held them in the hospital tank for a while, but if they seem to be healthy, we can accept that!> Should I find that I have another outbreak of this what is the best method of treatment (fish and tank). Now that we have a reef set-up the stakes are higher when it comes to outbreaks. :) <The best method, IMO, is to remove all fishes (even the seemingly healthy ones) and place them in a hospital tank for treatment with a commercial copper sulphate product, per manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, the main tank will remain "fallow", without fishes, for about a month...This will help dramatically reduce the parasite population in the display tank, and you won't need to use any medications in the display...> We have also decided to wait two weeks or so before replacing the ones we lost to insure the others are thriving and eating and under no stress. <Don't forget a full 3-4 week quarantine on every new fish...it's just gotta be a mandatory part of your new fish "protocol"!> Thoughts??? Thanks Again Christy Evans <I think that you've got the basic idea...just remember to diagnose very carefully before medicating in the future, treat in a separate tank, and quarantine all new arrivals...That's the best that you can do! Keep learning and growing in the hobby! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> David W. Evans

Ich Hi,   <Hi there! Scott F. at your service tonight!> My name is Tom Strawser and I just (2 hours ago) - submitted a question in your forum - I know I will get a lot of responses. <Yep! Some GREAT hobbyists on the WWM forum!> - not sure which one is the way to go - I thought I would give you guys a shot, since you know EVERYTHING about Marine life.   <Well, one thing that I DO know is that I don't know EVERYTHING! :) Scott F. with you today, learning a bit more, himself, each day!> I have a 75 Gallon tank and all reading are good - I just introduced a Blue Koran Angel about 2 weeks ago who is doing well -I only have one other fish in  the tank - (tank just cycled about a month ago ) - I don't want to overcrowd the tank right away and spike the ammonia. - I just noticed yesterday that my angel has white spots on it - her/him. His/Her eating habits are perfect, it seems active  - I don't want to over react and treat the tank with copper (only a fish tank - no inv.) <No, you don't.. Or with any other medication, for that matter!> - I was wondering what steps I should take before I have a BIG problem. Tom Strawser <Well, Tom, early intervention is important, but you're right- you don't want to rush off in a panic and engage in some rash treatment that will cause more harm to the fish! If it were me, once that I confirmed that I was, indeed, dealing with ich- I'd remove the fish to a separate aquarium for treatment with a commercial copper sulphate or formalin-based medication, administered exactly according to manufacturer's instructions. The problem with ich is that once it's in your tank, its IN your tank, so removal of the fish (or fishes) is an important factor. By removing the fish for treatment in another tank, you will be depriving the ich parasites their host, and seriously disrupting the parasites' life cycle. If you let your display run without fishes for a month, you will have accomplished this with a minimum of disruption, no need to manipulate the water chemistry parameters, and with the confidence that you've done one of the best things that you can do to assure that future inhabitants of your tank will not be subject to this disease. There are a number of other routes that you can attempt to take when combating ich, but this has been the most consistently successful for me- I hope that it will be for you! Good luck! Scott F>

Throw Another Shrimp On The.. Err- In The- Tank! Hello again. <Hi! Scott F. back with you!> I have heard that scarlet cleaner shrimp can help control Ich in a saltwater aquarium.  Is this true, and if so, wouldn't the Ich still be present somewhere in the tank even if the parasites were picked off the fish? <You hit it right on the head! Yes, cleaner shrimp can help reduce some of the parasite population when they are attached to fishes. However, you are correct in realizing that the parasites can be located throughout the aquarium during various phases of their life cycle. The key to defeating ich is to break the life cycle of the parasites, and this involves removing fishes from the tank, as we discuss frequently on this site...> Do you recommend these shrimp? <Sure, they can always provide a natural, biological cleaning capability> If so, in pairs or groups?  Introduce in tank before or after fish? Thanks again, James <They can be introduced in groups, and can be introduced either before, during, or after the fishes are. You can read up on these animals on the WWM site, as well as in Bob and Anthony's upcoming "Reef Invertebrates" book...Enjoy the research- and enjoy the shrimp! They are interesting animals! Scott F>

Fighting The Good Fight (Parasitic Disease Treatment) Scott, thank you for your input.  Besides the whitish spots I did not notice any other symptoms you outlined in your e-mail.  I first noticed the spots on Saturday evening, started the treatment (Paraguard bath & added to the main system) on Sunday, and now on Tuesday morning I observed that almost all of the spots disappeared and the fish seems to eat well and is pretty active. <Well, sounds more like ich or some other type of parasitic infection...The fact that he is eating is a very good sign- and a good indicator that we're not talking about Brooklynella here. However, be aware that if this is ich, we're looking at a phase in the parasite's life cycle where it drops off to become free swimming, before re-attaching to the fish and continuing it's life cycle...Don't be fooled by this...The parasites will be back- and in greater numbers...Look at some of the FAQs on parasitic diseases on the WWM site for more information on breaking the life cycle of parasites...> I think that Bob mentioned somewhere on your site that clowns don't ship well.  I wonder if the stress from shipping, caused it to come down with this fungus/parasite or whatever else it could be. <Well, I think that that the key is "wild". Wild clowns tend to have problems in the shipping process, and are susceptible to many diseases...Captive bred clowns tend to be much hardier, and adapt better to the rigors of shipping and acclimation.> Also I should mention that I changed about 5gal of water in my 20gal tank on Sunday just before I started the treatment (I used the water from the display tank).  I will keep an eye on the clown, keep the water quality as good as I can, and keep using Paraguard for a few more days. I hope that in a two or three weeks I will be able to move the guy into the display tank. Petr <I'm sure that things will work out well...Just stay the course on the treatment; follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter, be patient- and this guy will be ready to swim in your display tank soon! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Marine parasitic problem >Just a quick question.... In our 55 gallon eclipse tank, we have 1 chevron tang, >>Ouch, very small tank for such a fish, Adam. >1 small lunar wrasse, 1 small Jawfish, and 1 blowfish, and 1 clown.. >>Better watch your wrasse!  (Get it? lol!  Oh.. ok, never mind.)  The lunar is known to get aggressive at times, especially when larger.  Also, a *very* active fish, which makes for much waste.  As is the tang. >The problem is with the chevron tang, he acts completely 125% normal, and he is still in juvenile stage, but he has some cloudy spots on his fins.. We went through the whole ick phase before with this tank, before emptying it for 5 mo.s with nothing in it, and have had no problems.. >>I do hope that after having such trouble with ich that you've decided to be absolutely RELIGIOUS about quarantining, yes?  Standard protocol is 30 days *minimum*.  Q/t systems also make good hospital tanks as well. >The dots make us nervous since the tang was quite expensive.. >>Indeed. >Is it possibly just his going to terminal phase? >>Not sure what you mean "terminal phase", do you want to know if he's about to die?  I can't tell you that, though if he's eating and behaving 100% normally otherwise, my guess is no.  If you're asking if he's growing into adult coloration, well, that would be hard to say without seeing actual pics, though I don't know if maturation phases are similar in appearance to parasites, or vice versa. >We have had him approx 2 months, and he is probably 4-5 inches long....A little more info, we checked the phosphates and nitrates and all are normal and in excellent condition.. >>I do like to have exact readings, you'd be surprised what folks consider to be "normal", "perfect", etc.  Also, test kit used is helpful as well. >The spots are very hard to see, and are only on the tang, and only on his fins.. I saw you mentioned FW baths, would this be a good idea?  And if so, what kind of setup would you recommend????? a aquarium or bowl or what?!? >>Ok, if they're finer than salt grains (non-Kosher), I'd lean towards velvet.  Once it (or any other parasitic disease similar) is on a fish in the display, the entire display must be considered to be infected.  In other words, yes, the f/w dip *would* be helpful, but only in conjunction with some other actions, as follows: >>Assuming this is entirely FISH ONLY system, I would f/w dip ALL the fish.  Then, I would (over a period of a couple of days) lower the salinity to 1.010.  This method is called "hyposalinity", and it relies on the saltwater parasite's inability to withstand osmotic pressure shock.  The fish should be treated thusly for at least two weeks, I'd go longer if they're not showing poor signs (you can easily go as long as 6 weeks with many fishes). >>If you have *any* invertebrates in the tank, then you must set up a hospital-q/t system.  This is quite easily done, as it's only necessary to have a container that is both water-tight and chemically inert (strong enough for the amount of water as well).  Rubbermaid and other brands of plastic tubs work VERY well for this.  Beyond that, you'll need to consider heating, and basic filtration, and have on hand copious change-water, heated to temp and aerated.  Keep it bare, except for some pieces of PVC for the fish to hide in.  Siphon the bottom of this tank daily to remove fallen cysts.  Now, for some links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >>There are MANY links w/in this link, do try to read as many as possible, you'll find MUCH in these pages.  Best of luck!  Marina

Parasite Help - Ideal Time to Run Fallow?? I have another question for you - I believe my clown have Brooklynellosis and I am beginning treatment tonight.  I lost one already and am not overly optimistic about the second. They were the only fish in my tank - 75 gallons, 85 lbs. live rock, 160 lbs. live sand (5" DSB), Remora Pro Skimmer, 440w PC lighting - all water parameters are perfect also. I have 8 hermits, 4 Astrea and 5 Turbo snails, 10-12 Bristleworms, 3 Peppermint Shrimp and a Sally Lightfoot Crab. I have a couple questions: 1) What is the ideal time to run fallow to ensure the parasite dies? <At least four weeks... the longer the better> 2) Will the inverts host any, or can they remain without perpetuating the parasite? <Can remain, don't host> 3) Can I add any corals or inverts without causing further issues with the Brooklynellosis? <I would not do this... add any more livestock during this time> Thanks in advance for your help - your site has been invaluable. Jason H. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm Bob Fenner>

To Feed Or Not To Feed (Pt. 2) Update on Powder Blue Tang.  Unfortunately since I am a relative newcomer to Marine fish I don't have a quarantine tank set-up.  I have however monitored the PBT and it seems quite active and has a good appetite still. Color seems a bit faded but I haven't seen any other PBT. <Well, faded color is a sign that something is off- either environmental conditions are not to the fish's liking, or it is under some other kind of stress> Today as a try I started a dip in freshwater with Sea Cure (copper medication) for 5 minutes. Do you suggest I continue. <Well, I would probably dip in the freshwater,  but I think that copper is better utilized in solution on a continuous basis (per manufacturer's instructions) in a separate treatment tank...> The spots that were there first have developed into a gash like form running up and down the PBT body, about a 1/4 inch now.  They were originally small, about a 1/16 inch.  They appear almost as a wound that appears to be healing. Is this possibly my answer. <Could be...And it could be that, if this "disease" is parasitic in nature, that these skin traumas are the "collateral damage" caused by the parasites (which may have been destroyed!)...Continue observation, and maintain impeccable water quality to assure that the fish has every opportunity to recover in a healthy environment> Nitrite is 0, all of reading the same. Do you have any inclinations to this being a parasite, wound or any thing other, I'm not worried about a concrete answer, I am just looking for some ideas. <Well, I think that this may be the "after effects" of a parasite of some sort, as I indicated previously> Suggestions for quarantine tank, size, protein skimmer, filtration. Thanks again Bill <Well, Bill- a quarantine tank is so simple to set up- a piece of cake, really...Nothing fancy required...All the information you need to know about quarantine of fishes is available on the WWM site. Do a search of the WWM articles and you'll find some good information. I recently wrote an article that's on the site and ran in FAMA about the quarantine process which should answer your questions...Do check it out! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Marine Velvet <Hi Dinesh, PF with you here tonight> Hi, I have e-mailed you a few times about my sick fish that are being treated for marine velvet with CopperSafe in my well set up quarantine tank. I have been very unsuccessful and would like to ask you why I failed... 1) I did a 15 minute dip on my powder blue tang to treat the very visible million white pimples all over it's body...(done it 5 times so far successfully) the fish was looking healthy as ever still eating and swimming around happily even with the velvet. <Fish, like birds, mask the symptoms of their illness. A weak, sick looking fish is an immediate target on the reef, nature has programmed them to hide just how bad off they are.> I made sure the temperature and ph was right and added a whole bunch of nox-ich (sodium chloride <table salt?>, Malachite Green) to the water ( I read somewhere that I could add a lot since this stuff isn't harmful to fish even in large amounts) .   I let the fish dip for 15 minutes this time rather then the usual 10 since I was getting frustrated now. I have been fighting the velvet with CopperSafe for over 3 weeks now. It falls off and comes back as if it were resistant to the copper. <Were you testing the copper levels? It would accumulate over time, also, any water changes you did would have changed the level. Do be sure and always test when using copper.> I even lowered the salinity to 1.018, didn't go lower because I thought it might hurt the fish.   dog faced puffer, Chromis, perc clown, and a powder blue. Well anyway after the dip the fish was extremely stressed out and just died. And I'm puzzled about why this has happened. Was it the Nox-Ich? <I think the stress probably pushed it over the edge. Copper is stressful to marine animals, even if it's not fatal to most fish. The analogy I once heard likened it to the fumes from chlorine bleach. It won't kill you unless it's overly concentrated, but it's not pleasant to be around either.> I did add a lot to the water to get that deep blue your always talking about on the site. 2) My Chromis and percula didn't take very well to the treatment. The q-tank was unstable for a while with a tad bit of ammonia (ammonia is gone now), but their is still a high level of nitrite (4 ppm) there today  as if the nitrite eating bacteria just don't want to show up? <The treatments you are using will kill all the bacteria, good and bad. Hence, the need for water changes to remove pollutants.>  The tanks been running for a month and a half now.. shouldn't it be cycled? <See above about the bacteria.> I even seeded the sponge filter and used live rock initially. Anyway the Chromis and percula clown both seem to have gone blind! I don't know why? I am going to try and save them by feeding them directly to their mouths....Is their anything else I can do? <Give them time, and TLC as you are doing. Keep on top of the water parameters> Oh yea I took them out of the copper q-tank and put them back into a 5 gallon mini reef that I have, they are doing much better in their and have no signs of velvet. Anyway sorry for writing so much....I wish I had quarantined from the beginning...In this hobby a lot of people just don't want to listen <Sadly true, and applicable to all walks of life.> Yesterday I tried to stop people from buying a flowerpot coral, a feather star, and a Moorish idol, but they don't want to listen and want to experience the loss for themselves and then learn from it... <You can lead a horse to water...> Dinesh  thanks for all the help! <Your welcome, hopefully this helps explain some things. Have a good weekend, PF Argulus (marine)  Dear WWM Crew, <Howdy> I have a 225g salt water aquarium which houses a Niger Trigger, Naso Tang and a Zebra eel. The tank is fish only and has a wet/dry filter. My question is regarding Argulus. I believe I have this due to the actions of the Niger Trigger. It noticeably rubs onto rocks and flinches a lot. Yesterday I noticed 3 small oval shaped "lice" looking parasites moving about it's tail and fins. Yes, they are moving around. They are about 0.075" in diameter. It's fins have frayed a little bit but it's color still looks great. The other fish, as well as the Trigger, are still eating VERY hardily. Does this sound like a good diagnosis? <It may be that your fish does have this Brachyuran parasite genus... Do you have access to a microscope?> I want to treat the tank with "CLOUT" but am nervous about putting medication in my tank. I am also concerned with only treating the Trigger because I have read that Argulus lays eggs in the rocks, so dipping the fish is only a temporary fix. Is this true? <Yes> Will CLOUT have any effect on the eel, since it doesn't have scales? How about the wet/dry filter, will there be any damage? <A bit of a risk, but about the best choice for you here... that or "Marine Med Aqua" or other organophosphate containing medications> If CLOUT isn't a good solution, do you have any recommendations? Thank you very much, Lon <I would try treating the trigger in a separate system (hospital tank), by itself if it is the only infested fish of the three... there is a chance that whatever this parasite is (likely some sort of crustacean) that it is so species specific in its use of hosts that it will die off in your main system in a month or so of leaving the trigger out. There is much to relate to you re your present knowledge of quarantine, treatments... Please read through the areas you feel you're weak in on WetWebMedia.com on the Marine Index (Maintenance) and the "Related FAQs" therein. Bob Fenner> UV light - good for flukes, Ich and velvet (marine tanks) <Hello again Luke>I have one 35 gallon tank (marine) and I'm planning on putting Coralife Turbo-Twist 3x UV sterilizer, which they say is good for up to 125 gallons. <Seems a bit of overkill on your size system> The flow through the sterilizer will be 150gph. I'm wondering, if at this dose will the UV light also kill flukes and marine Ich and Velvet? <Well, I haven't really heard that flukes are a common problem, such as ich and velvet are. As for them, yes the sterilizer will kill their larvae. But, that might not prevent an outbreak, or an ongoing infection. Such diseases have more do with a lack of proper quarantining and stressed animals due to poor conditions/overcrowding than anything else.> Thank you. <Your welcome, have a good evening Luke, PF>

The Hippo Is A Sick-O! I recently bought a med hippo tang (yesterday). The LFS I bought him from QTs their fish for 7-14 days. Today he is rubbing against the rocks and has small white spots. <Uh-Oh...could be ich- or worse. You need to take immediate action... By the way, unless the LFS quarantines the fishes in tanks that have no connection to a central filtration system, does not add any new fishes into the tank after the quarantine period has started, and completely breaks down the tanks after each use, then I would not consider the fish "quarantined". The quarantine process is very simple, but requires perseverance in order to be successful. And, the quarantine period should last a minimum of 3 weeks- ideally, a month. This gives sufficient time to assure that, if diseases arise, you can catch them before they are introduced into the display> The other fish in the tank have been fed garlic soaked food once a day for the last 2 weeks. They include 2 perc clowns 2 yellowtails damsels a yellow tang a royal Gramma a yellow goby 125 gal tank, with 75lbs live rock. Should I try to beat this with the garlic soaked food and seaweed or should I net him and put him in qt for a week or 2 with meds? <Garlic may have some value as a preventative, but the jury is still out as to its effectiveness as a "cure". I'd rely on more traditional treatment regimes.> If so what do you suggest? <Well, my recommended course of action doesn't endear me to every hobbyist- but here it is: I'd remove ALL of the fishes from the display tank, even the ones that are not showing symptoms. If an infected fish has been placed in the display, there is a good possibility that the parasites that cause ich are in the tank now, and that the other fishes have been exposed to it. I'd treat the fish that are showing signs of the illness with a commercial copper sulphate remedy (follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter, and test for copper concentration). Meanwhile, the display tank should run "fallow", without fishes, for about a month. In the absence of potential hosts, the parasite population will "crash", and their numbers will be dramatically reduced to a level that otherwise healthy fishes should withstand. This is a very conservative course of action, it's not fun- but it really works. Believe me, it's absolutely awful to watch one fish after another contract this disease, especially after you think that you've licked it...Hope this helps! Scott F>

Turning A Mistake Into A Success Story! Hey guys, <Scott F. your guy today...> I have a 125 marine aquarium with wet dry filtration that's been up for 6 months. I recently added a Kole tang to my tank, that I believe had Ick, small white specks covering all my fish, small fish died, larger fish breathing hard, and acting strange. <May be ich, might be Amyloodinium (much more lethal, and somewhat similar in appearance). Next time, remember to quarantine all new arrivals for a minimum of 3 weeks> Being dumb,  I rushed out to the only store open and close, Wal-Mart, and bought some of Wardley's Ick Away, and put it in my main tank because I have no other. <Oops...You could actually use an inexpensive plastic container, such as a Rubbermaid, of known capacity, and install a sponge filter and heater- and you're ready to go> The active ingredient is malachite green. I don't know what to do next. I have a purple tang, a yellow, a blue box and a Kole left  I wanted to turn tank into a reef slowly. Have I shot myself in the foot? Please help me with any suggestions. I don't want to lose any more fish. Matthew <Well, Matthew, let's chock this one up as a learning experience, and get you back on the road to success! The first thing that I'd do would be to get the remaining fishes out of the tank and into a "hospital" facility, be it a Rubbermaid container, extra aquarium, or any other container you can find of suitable size. The fishes should remain in this tank for about a month. In the meantime, execute some larger water changes in the main tank, run chemical filtration media, such as activated carbon and/or PolyFilter, to help remove some of the excess medication from the water. Over time, the medication will dissipate, and water changes and the chemical media will remove the rest. Since there will be no fishes in the tank for about a month, the parasite's life cycle will be broken, and most of them will die for lack of a host...After a month, you can begin re-populating the tank, and you'll be back in business again. Don't forget- never medicate the main tank again, and keep a keen eye on things. You'll be okay if you take it slow! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Total confusion... with diseases... I'm so confused about the diseases... First of all, salt-like little site dots on fish (spaced out) is that Ich or velvet? <More likely Cryptocaryon> Is Oodinium = Ich = Cryptocaryon? Is Velvet = Amyloodinium? Can all of the below agents be used to treat both? Which one will not damage bio beds, snails, crabs, corals? Formalin? Copper Sulfate? (ionized copper) Metronidazole? (I've heard that it can be used to rid of Ich) Methyl Blue (is this one useful here?) Malachite Green (useful) The question now is how good are these...? Which one is the safest and best in a tank with bio filter, live rocks but no invertebrates... Thank you, Luke <A bunch for you to read, study, understand. Please start with these two articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm then go on to the "Related FAQs" and other "Related Articles" (linked, in blue, at top)... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Parasite I've been reading over all the parasite and disease FAQs on your wonderful site and others.  I am still confused on what my little domino might have had.  Two days ago I noticed two large white spots (1 was long and thin and the other was larger than his actual dot and protruded a little) on my domino damsel.  I gave him a fresh water dip and that seemed to revive him a little but things just got worse.  He stopped eating and moving around like normal.  I couldn't get him out of the tank either because he would move enough to hide from me.  I found him dead this morning with most of his coloring wrong.  I am not sure which parasite this is.  I don't think it is ich because there were only two large dots.  I am leaning towards velvet because the spots were large. <Well, the fact that he displayed some raised areas on his body, and did not mention that the fish displayed rapid breathing (classic signs of Marine Velvet) and other signs of distress, I think that it may be some sort of parasitic organism (trematode, etc.). Velvet (Amyloodinium) also manifests itself as a very fine "dusting" of spots (much smaller than you see in ich), and kills rather quickly. Curious enough- yours died rather quickly...> I plan on removing the rest of the rockwork out.. moving the inhabitants into the qt and letting the tank sit for a month.  Should I wait till I see symptoms on my other damsels before I use copper? <Whenever you're dealing with a potential parasitic infection (especially if you even suspect Amyloodinium), removing the fish and letting the tank run fallow is a conservative, prudent move on your part. Better safe than sorry. I would hold off on administering copper or other medications to the fish unless symptoms manifest themselves. And, of course- NEVER treat the display with medication. I think that you are on he right track here!> Thanks so much for your great site. Alex Miller <Really glad that you enjoy it! Sounds like you're learning a lot from this experience- keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Ick/ Hypo. with lionfish >Hello, >>Good morning, Marina at your service. >I have an 120 FOWLR. I have an lionfish with ick. The only other fish are two wrasse. A red Dottyback (5") and a moon wrasse (2"). The water quality is good. >>Actual readings are always helpful. >There is no apparent stress. >>Stress may not always be apparent.  How about nutrition? >I have dipped the lionfish. (fresh water/formalin). I put him back in the display. The wrasse at times will rub against the rock. This is leading me to believe they may be infected. >>They most certainly are infected.  The formalin is questionable in its efficacy in treating ich.  However, the issue you now have to deal with is that you have either Cryptocaryon irritans or Amyloodinium infesting your display.  There is only one failsafe method that I know of to rid your display of it. >Therefore, I am considering removing the live rock and dropping the salinity.  Is this a good route to take? Would you suggest another option? >>Yes.  Rather than remove the live rock and utilizing hyposalinity, I would place all the fish into a quarantine system, and allow the display to lie fallow for 6-8 weeks (8 are better, in my honest opinion).  Then, you can use the first prudent, known method to treat the fish directly (you also have much more control using a q/t system--and any watertight container can be used for q/t--bare bottomed, with pieces of PVC for hiding places), which is the hyposalinity you're thinking of.  (The other known, proven cure is using copper--formalin is more stressful and not a proven cure.)  For hyposalinity to work you're going to have to lower the s.g. to <1.010 (or lower).   >My goal is to eliminate the parasite. How about the addition of a UV? >>U.V. will only kill those protozoans that are free-floating, and this is only part of their life-cycle.  I would save my money. >I've heard there is ick always present ? Thanks for any assistance you may give. >>There are those who would assert that this is not always true.  However, in my own experience, when there are stressors, ich seems to be the first sign, even in a system where it's never been noted previously.  Religious quarantine procedures will go a long way towards ensuring the protozoan isn't introduced into your system.  Before I forget, while the fish are in quarantine/hospital, be sure to siphon the bottom of the tank/container every day to remove dropped "spores".  Best of luck to you!  Marina

Carbonate Snowstorm Hey guys, Sorry to bother you, but again I have another problem… to make it simple my tank looks like giant snow ball. I have read over the FAQ and I think that I should do a water change since my calcium levels are very high, but when I mentioned something to my LFS they told me that it could be parasites like ich or something like that.   I really need to ask you guys what you think, right now my tank has tons of small while "particles" floating around they also attach to the glass and I need to scrape them off with a razor (that's why I think its not ich )   I have 100 gal tank with about 110 lbs of LR and 30lbs LS the coralline purple algae looks great, and even the water would be ok if not for the white stuff.   Now I have just set this tank up and the rock has been in for about three weeks and condition begun about two weeks ago.  My skimmer is still overactive and the only thing that I have added to the water is marine success buff form red sea.  I'm going to have my tap water tested to see if it could be a cause but other than that I'm clueless what to do. <Welcome back Pavel. From your description I believe you are experiencing a snowstorm of precipitated carbonates. You will have to ride this out. Performing 10% water changes over the next few days would help to stabilize the chemistry. In the future I would recommend that you measure both calcium and alkalinity with a good test kit and add buffer and/or calcium to replenish what is lost. You are looking for 350-450ppm of calcium and 8-12dKh of alkalinity. Good luck, Don> Once aging think you for your help. Pavel

Bubble algae, parasitic disease, quarantine Craig, I don't doubt you on this issue but I want to make sure I properly describe these "bubble attachments" on isolated areas of my live rock.   They are single in nature, that is that each one of these "bubble attachments" are single and by themselves, not attached in groups.  They are  isolated in random locations. <Yep, bubble algae. Sometimes largish, up to 1/2" diameter or so, as well as smaller bubbles in groups.> I have not been able to keep any fish for very long and that is why I now have the flower pots and leather corals with a few damsels.  In the past my fish have lasted one to two months and then breakouts of some sort of parasitic disease I assume as they become covered with small flecks dark in color.  I have treated aquarium with various treatments recommend by LFS obviously to no avail. <Flower pots are not easy to keep. Also, please read the quarantine articles on WetWebMedia.com and follow these guidelines for new and existing fish. Parasites are hosted in/on fish and will re-appear with the life cycle and stress.> I have had niger triggers, imperator angel, flame angel, coral beauty angel,  and other angels, Sailfin tangs, Kole tangs, yellow tangs, clown tang, hippo tangs, to name but some of the many fish I have tried.   <Most if not all are prone to parasitic disease.> Each time after treatment, I think I finally eradicated the parasites.  After one to three weeks, the parasites appear again on the fish.  The fish perish all the same way, that is they start with the lethargic behavior and then rapid breathing followed by demise. <Yes, ick, velvet or other parasite.> I tried lowering the specific gravity from 1.025 to 1.016 for a period of a month.  This seemed to work as the fish appeared to be doing fine but after the one month period the fishes flesh started to deteriorate and then lethargic behavior followed by rapid breathing and demise. The only fish that have survived are a lunar wrasse, a formosa queen Chromis adult and a juvenile formosa queen Chromis.  They survived  for two months in my tank while other fish perished.  I had to catch them and take them back to the LFS due to them constantly nipping at the corals. <Please research any potential inhabitants at WWM before purchase to avoid this type of problem.> Last week I purchased five yellow tailed blue damsels and six humbug damsels.  As of this writing, I have three yellow tailed damsels (one with what appears to be some sort of parasite above his eye approximately one half inch in length) and one humbug damsel.  The others I believe have perished as they are nowhere to be seen.  I'm assuming they are somewhere within the live rock and will come out sooner or later. <Remove all fish and quarantine according to QT articles and FAQ's.> My water conditions are as follows:  s.g. 1.026  temp. 78 degrees F. calcium 480 alkalinity 12dKH pH is a constant 8.2 night and day readings, ammonium 0 nitrite 0 nitrate <5 ppm.  I supplement calcium with SeaChem 1 capful a day, make-up water is demineralized with Kalkwasser, I add 1 capful strontium per week, 1 capful Kent super chelated iron per week, 1 capful Kent tech m magnesium per week, 20 drops Kent Marine C a day and 2 drops of Lugol's solution a day. <Please do test before supplementing to prevent accidental overdose.> Filtration is excellent according to the "book" for my size aquarium, I have a hanging protein Excalibur skimmer, power heads on the inside for water movement, power compact lighting with four hundred watts of lighting consisting of half and half blue actinic and 10000K daylight bulbs. Is it possible that these slate gray to black in color approximately one quarter to one half inch in length by one eighth to one quarter inch in width single bulbs are some sort of cocoon which contains some sort of parasite that is giving me all these problems with the fish?  If so or if not, what should I try next?  Thank you in advance for your time and considerations in this matter.  Respectfully, Anthony <This is bubble algae, usually round or oval, very dark green/black/greyish. Remove them with a vacuum, whole if possible. Treat your fish as provided at WWM and hold tank fallow of fish for one to two months to break life cycle of parasites.  Craig>  

A Single Spot- Multiple Remedies! Hi, I've been reading your web forums for close to four months now and have setup a 55gal tank FOWLR and it's been up and running for six weeks now and the rock is coming along fine.  Thanks for all the info! <Great to hear that things are going well! Scott F. with you today! I also setup a 10gal Q-tank and placed my first fish in it. <Awesome!> A Firefish, and the next day noticed ONE white spot on his side the size of a pin head. I assumed it to be ICH and added Coppersafe per the instructions. <Well, maybe a bit of an over-reaction, but should not be too bad if the manufacturer's instructions are followed carefully> I wasn't running carbon either. Well after two weeks the spot was still there!  Fish is eating fine and I've tested the water and have low Nitrates.  So I posted my question over on Reefcentral, that a friend suggested I do, and they recommended lowering the SG to 14-15ppt vs. using copper. <Lowered specific gravity ("hyposalinity) is touted as a viable method to contend with ich and other parasitic diseases...If done correctly and carefully, it can work...I'm not a huge fan of the process, myself- but it can work well for those who dislike copper> I have lowered the SG to 22ppt, taking it down about 4ppt per day and it's almost three weeks now and that ONE spot is still on the fish.  No new ones have popped up either.  I am continuing to lower and plan on taking the SG down to 15ppt by the weekend. How long before this spot of ICH drops off? <To be honest, it doesn't fit the profile of ich, IMO...Ich generally manifests itself as numerous cysts on the afflicted fish. The affected fish will itch and dash about, with obvious discomfort. After about 7 days, the encysted parasites (called "trophonts") will leave the host fish and enter a "free swimming" phase (BTW- this is where a lot of hobbyists mistakenly believe that they have "cured" the infection- not the case). Obviously, not what' happening here! Sounds to me like you may be dealing with some other type of parasite, or possibly even a Trematode ("fluke") of some sort. These are very common with newly imported fishes.> I've had freshwater fish before and never had ICH hang around for more than a week.  Is this normal for saltwater fish?  Should I do a freshwater dip and hope the spot pops off.  I hesitate on doing this and rather treat in q-tank. <Actually, I was going to recommend a few freshwater dips as a possible therapy. Many of the worms and parasites that we deal with cannot handle the osmotic shock associated with a freshwater dip as well as the fish can, and this can work well. It may not work right off the bat, but if repeated daily, it may do the trick.> I've also read that you recommended using copper as well as Hypo, but the posts I've read on Reefcentral said you shouldn't run copper with Hyposalinity for some reason.  Will this stress the fish and kill it? <I'm not sure what the reason is. Stress is certainly a possibility. But I do agree that you should do one thing at a time. However, I will use copper with regular freshwater dips, and it has always worked well for me. The most important thing with copper is to keep it at a proper therapeutic dose, so that it remains effective. You must test when using copper> They also said that CopperSafe doesn't really work and I should be using Cupramine. <They are both fine products. I have used both with success over the years> I was hoping you can steer me in the right direction, and start me with the next course of action.  I'm getting frustrated and running out of ideas!  I was hoping the fish would be in my main tank by now. I also don't want to add this fish to the main tank till the spot is gone, but not sure how to treat if it isn't ICH.  Sorry to bother you with this long winded email, but this is my first fish and I thought it would go a lot smoother than this. Thanks for any help you can shed on this development. Tom <Well, Tom- I commend you on your patience! It will certainly pay off. Rather than keep bombarding this poor guy with constantly changing treatment regimens, I'd bring back up the specific gravity (gradually, of course), and begin a series of daily freshwater dips, and see if there is any positive result. If this doesn't do the trick, than I'd give this fish "a week off" from other treatments before trying a different approach. BTW, I'd run a PolyFilter pad in the treatment tank to pull out as much copper as possible before you start investigating other medications, such as Formalin, etc....Hang in there, go slow- and this fish should pull through fine! Good luck! Scott F>

Re: what to do? I've read FAQ and articles on your website for hours! Lots of great info but I'm on overload! (Not to mention, neglecting my work!) After reading about Ich on Chromis I went to look closer at the first and only fish I have so far. 7 small Blue Green Chromis and 2 tiny Neon Blue Gobies. (100 gal tank, fish only for now.) I see one white spot on one Chromis tail  and 2 on another's tail. No rubbing rocks, etc. I now have a quarantine tank, thanks to WWM, (my LFS said I don't need one because they do the quarantine.) Anyway, I have a QT tank now, but since these are the only fish in my display tank, and if it is Ich, it is mild as of now, should I put them through the further stress of removing them to the QT tank with CopperSafe or wait to see if it is going to go away or get worse? I did lower the salinity and raise the temp a little.  <Leave them here for now, they will likely overcome this quickly especially since they have the gobies cleaning services. Cody> Thanks as always for your great advise. Signed, New to the hobby and somewhat obsessed. (Okay totally obsessed!)

What do you get w/ no quarantine? This is a slight twist to an ich question. I didn't find it under the general section. I had a fish get ich and die all within two days of adding to a tank. It was odd because all water conditions were perfect. If the fish is removed, do I need to remove the other two small fish in the 75g tank to let the ich cycle and die, or if these fish don't present with any symptoms am I okay? <I would at least get/be ready to move the other fish/hosts. The new fish may have died from cumulative stress, there is some likelihood that its introduction included a virulent "strain" of parasite... that may well manifest itself. Bob Fenner>

Are there parasites that you can see? <Oh yes... some crustacean parasites of fishes and other aquatic animals are quite large for example... some inches long> After close examination on my aquarium I notices these extremely small moving creatures in the water, some walking on the glass. Under a magnifying glass they almost look like shrimp. Could these be harmful or might they just be something that the fish stirred up in the sand? <Likely nothing to worry about. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pericaridanfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Attacking Parasites The Hard (But Effective) Way! Hi, I desperately need your help. I have a 300 gallon fish only tank. I have had many marine tanks before and I have never had as much trouble keeping fish alive as I do now. My filtration is a 50 gallon tank converted to a wet dry with a protein skimmer. I feed the fish once a day and I make sure that there is no leftover food. However the water always has a cloudiness to it and the fish get what I think is ick every couples of weeks. Also, whenever I add a new fish, it never fails, they always get ick. <Well, I'll bet if you employ a quarantine protocol, you'll eliminate the introduction of ich to your system upon the arrival of new specimens. See this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm    > A couple of different people that I know suggested using Quick Cure for a week but that has not worked. Although the ones that don't die still eat like pigs, they scratch themselves on the rocks and coral. Before my imperator died I gave him a freshwater dip and I found what I was hoping not to, those little tear drop shaped flukes. I'm afraid that my whole tank is infested with these. Is there anything else I can do? I will use copper as a last resort but only if it will kill these parasites. Any other suggestions? The fish I have remaining are - lunar wrasse, yellow tang, sohal tang, blue tang, Huma Huma trigger, niger trigger, Mexican hog, Coris wrasse, and a variety of damsels. Can you help me? I hate to see my fish suffering like this. Calvin <Ok, Calvin- this is a dire situation, and calls for immediate, drastic action on your part. Here is what I would do to help eliminate the parasite infestation from your tank: Remove all of the fishes (even those showing no external/visible signs of infection) to a separate aquarium (or a series of aquariums or large Rubbermaid containers) for observation and/or possible treatment with freshwater dips, anti-parasitic medications or copper sulphate. Leave the fishes in their "hospital" tank(s) for at least a month. Meanwhile, your main system will run fallow, without fishes, which will create a serious disruption in the life cycle of the parasites. Remember to perform all regular maintenance tasks (water changes, filter media replacement, etc) during the "fallow period". After a month or so, you should be able to re-introduce your now-healthy fishes into an aquarium with a very reduced parasite count. This is not a fun procedure by any means, but it has been demonstrated again and again to do the job. Never medicate the display tank! There are a number of reasons, not the least of which is that most of the therapeutic elements that you will be using will be "bound up" in the substrate and tank decorations, rendering them less effective. Again- I implore you to quarantine all newly-received fishes for at least three weeks before introducing them into your system! You'll lick this problem, but it will require some rather aggressive actions on your part. You can do it, okay? Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Parasites? Dear Sir(s): <Scott F. here today...Definitely not worthy of the "sir"! > I think I might have a problem.  I recently started the saltwater aquarium hobby (December), and now have a Yellow Tang, a Flame Angelfish, and 2 Percula Clownfish in a 135 gal tall tank.  Here are my tank specs... Red Sea Berlin Protein Skimmer 40W UV Sterilizer Bio Filter w/ Bio-Balls and Carbon Filtering on the return from the Skimmer Metal Halide 2 250 W 10,000 K...and 4 55W German PC's 160 lbs. of Live Rock My Ammonia and Nitrite are 0.  My Nitrate is less than 10, my pH is 8.2 Here's the prob.  About 3 weeks ago, my Flame Angel developed what looked like a large white "pimple" on his head.  One day it was there, the next day gone.  No prob...I figured maybe he scratched himself on the live rock. Well, today he has another pimple growing on his head again, AND...three days ago, the tang started dashing around and rubbing himself on the rock once in a while.  Yesterday he had what looks like a small white pimple on his body near the bottom side of him...today he has another on the opposite side and towards the bottom side.  All the fish act fine and eat normally. <Well, that's a good thing...A fish that eats is a fish that lives, IMO> Is this Ich or just a result of rubbing on the rocks?  Should I do something or wait? Thank you, Jeff Skaggs

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