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FAQs on Parasitic Disease 5

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

Related FAQs: Parasitic Disease 1, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Disease 4Parasitic 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,

- I'm Seeing Spots - Hello, big fan of the site :) I have a question pertaining to a Tang that I previously ordered from www.themarinecenter.com. I had it shipped overnight from California (I believe), to Wisconsin. <Have suspected for a while that these folks, while in Texas, do actually ship out of LA at times. Have gotten packages from both places.> The fish arrived the next day around 3:00 p.m. The water was quite cool, and the fish was on it's side. I put the bag in my tank to warm it up to proper temps, and ran an air tube in for oxygen. After sometime, I started slowly putting some of the main tanks water into the bag. After quite sometime, the tang (Chevron Tang) started to look better. I put him in the main tank after sometime. It has now been 1 day since I received him, and he is eating well off the liverock, but I have noticed from the day I put him in the tank, he has a few small white spots on each side fin, and maybe a few on his body. <This fish should be in a quarantine tank.> They look similar to, but may not be ICK. I know all about quarantine tanks, and have one almost setup. This is the 1st fish I have bought from mail order, and it will be the last. I have only bought local from a place that strictly quarantines before selling. I have always had excellent results from them. The Marine center that I mail ordered the tang from seems to have an excellent rep, and also quarantines before they sell anything. Now I know that a Tang can be more susceptible to ICK, so what is the chance my tang has got this disease? <At least 50/50, if not better.> He isn't scratching on anything. I have had fish along time ago that attained ICK, so I am familiar with the signs. I am just worried about my "perfectly healthy" (water parameters are perfect) existing 72GAL tank and it's inhabitants now. Is it possible that these spots are nothing and will just disappear? <There's a chance.> Hypothetically if it were ICK, and I took the Tang and quarantined it, what's the chances any of it will have gotten onto my other fish? <Also about 50/50.> Is there some sort of time frame that other fish need to be exposed to it to get the disease themselves? <Many factors would drive this, but think it wouldn't take more than a day in the right circumstances.> Thank you for any advice. <Cheers, J -- >

- Dealing with Parasitic Disease - I have a 55 gallon marine setup.  I have a Clown Trigger and a Sohal Tang (yes I know I need a bigger tank working on that problem). Anyway my clown trigger has either white spot disease or velvet.  I can't tell the difference. <One presents as spots, the other as a sheen - should be easy to discern.> Sohal isn't showing symptoms yet but I'm sure he has it. <Hmmm...> The Clown Trigger's skin is peeling/flaking away almost like a snake does when it gets new skin. <That's not a good sign and doesn't sound like velvet or Cryptocaryon.> He is still eating and swimming around like nothing is wrong.  Kind of looks like powdered sugar. <Sounds more like Oodinium.> I know that I have something at least I think I do. Thank goodness for a QT, its going to get its money worth now.  Are Clown Triggers able to handle copper well? <Reasonably, but would consider formalin in this case - pH/temperature adjusted freshwater dip and then quarantine, with strict adherence to the directions for the formalin - an overdose will likely be fatal.> Also what should I do about my main system? <If I were you, I'd quarantine both fish at once and allow the main system to go fallow.> I can't treat it with copper because I have live rock. <Understood.> Will a cleaner wrasse eat this parasite? <Perhaps, but once the parasites were gone, it would likely starve to death - please don't buy a cleaner wrasse.> Could I put one of them in the main tank?  And then treat the Sohal tang after the Clown Trigger. <Must do both at once, else the parasites are allowed to gain numbers in your main system, would likely reinfect the trigger.> I don't know about putting both my fish in the Qt considering its only a 10 gallon tank. <Buy two, they're cheap. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm > Thank you very much for your help. Scott
<Cheers, J -- >

Immediate Action Required (Treating Parasitic Infection) Dear WWM, I am writing you on behalf of a friend, whose tanks I so happen to help with.  She has a 100 gallon FOWLR, and protein skimmer.  Fish include a Queen Angel, Gold Stripe Maroon Clown, Strawberry Pseudochromis, and a Purple Tang. This tank also has some hermit crabs, Turbo snails and some cleaner shrimp.  The tank parameters are PH 8.0 (she tests with a Dry-tab test kit, I tested with a Hanna PH monitor) Amm. 0, Nitrite 0, Temp 80, SPG 1.027 (tested with refractometer). <Sounds fine so far...> The purple tang ate Mysid shrimp, formula 2, and seaweed last night 2/5/04 and seemed fine.  The fish was active, great colors, clear eyes, clear fins, no scratching, and normal respiration.  However this afternoon 2/6/04 the tang was lying on the bottom of the tank, very listless, and has a greyish white area on his abdomen (stomach area), on both sides.  The stomach does not seem distended or swollen.  The tang is breathing deep and heavy, and maybe a little faster than usual.  He does not seem to have any buoyancy problem, but is hard to tell as he is listless and just lays at the bottom of the tank or gets caught up in a current and flows with the current until he sinks to the bottom again.  These are the only symptoms I really see, and I am confused as I have never seen anything like it.  This fish has been extremely healthy and active, this is something that has come on suddenly.  The fish has been moved to a QT, the other fish in the 100 gallon seem perfectly normal. The only changes that have been made to the 100 gallon are a UV sterilizer was taken off as the bulb burned out and needs to be changed, and a dose of C-balance was put in last night 2/5/04.  I did take a few (poor) pictures with my digital camera and will  attach them to this email, and will await your guidance and maybe a possible treatment plan.  Thank you for your time and effort,  Sincerely Jen Marshall <Well, Jen- I couldn't tell from the photo, but the symptoms that you are describing seem quite indicative of a potentially serious parasitic problem, such as Amyloodinium or even Brooklynella. Both conditions are quite serious, and need to be treated soon as possible. Either of these conditions can be treated with a full 5-10 minute freshwater dip, followed by a course of treatment with a commercial copper sulphate or Formalin-based product (may be a better choice for tangs in many instances, as it is less likely to damage their delicate digestive fauna). Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter when using either of these medications. Do not delay in treating your fish, as this can be a deadly disease if left untreated and allowed to progress...Good luck, Jen! Regards, Scott F>

- Parasite Problems, Follow-up -  Dear Jason C.:  Thanks for your reply. <My pleasure.> I've reached the conclusion that this purple tang does not have ich, nor Oodinium. You asked if his coloration is pale. I wouldn't say it's truly pale, but he's not as bright as other purple tangs I have seen. Some of the marks on his body are light blemishes, and most don't appear parasitic in nature. <Is what I suspected.> This particular tang has been on quite a journey over the last six weeks, so these skin problems could be stress related. For two years he was housed with a Beau Gregory Damselfish in a 46-gallon aquarium, and though he held his own with that aggressive fish, I'm sure that was a stressful environment for him. I set up this 180-gallon tank for several reasons, and one of those was to move him from his former aquarium. Although in time this will prove a beneficial move, I'm thinking that stress associated with the move to a new environment may have taken a slight toll on him. <Happens.> All of the tangs can be touchy at times, so I'm going to use a more cautious approach rather than trying hyposalinity, medicated flakes, and so forth. Although he eats a varied diet now, I'm going to boost it even more (additional greens, etc.), and a more consistent application of vitamins. <Sounds good.> Regarding vitamins and additives, which ones do you prefer when dealing with tangs and surgeonfish? <Selcon - Vita Chem... both are worth while.> Here are some that I've used in the past, and some others that I have read about online or in various trade publications. I'd like to know your opinion and if you've ever used them: (1) Vita-Chem, <Use it every day.> (2) Zoecon, <Not a fan of Kent products.> (3) garlic. <Am beginning to think garlic is a waste of time.>  Thanks.  Sam M.  <Cheers, J -- >

- Parasite Woes - Hi, love your web site! Main tank infected with marine ick! Tank size 135 gal. pretty much at point of tear down. Theory - I have 3 canisters and 3 U.V ster. What if I pulled canisters and UVs place in their own 5 gallon bucket with existing tank water and some substrate. (stirred up). Will parasite eggs die in U.V? <Only if flow rate is sufficient to kill them - to kill protozoans [things like Ich] you need a very slow flow... and this will depend on the wattage of the bulb - as I recall, a 25w bulb needs a flow rate of around 150 GPH to effectively kill protozoans.> Move fish out for a couple of days. Drain tank fill with freshwater, sit for 2 days. Drain tank again add saltwater. Add back canisters and UVs. and put fish back in! <Hmm... some unnecessary steps in there... can just let the tank run fallow [without fish] for about six weeks, most parasites would die off. Put fish in quarantine, treat as necessary with appropriate therapeutic remedies.> Would there be enough good bacteria to support fish load? <Not sure where it would come from... I'm guessing the canister filters? Then likely yes, you would be fine.> fish Emp angel 3inch Blueline trigger 2 inch Naso tang 6 inch flame angel 2inch thanks Bart <Bart, please spend some time reading through our articles on parasitic disease and methods for treatments. Many, many FAQs attached to these articles to give you some additional background. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm Cheers, J -- >

Fighting Back Against Disease... Hello, I was hoping someone could help shed some light on my problem. <I'll try! Scott F. with you tonight!> My tank is about 6 months old, I cycled with a domino and yellowtail damsel for about a month before adding a clown fish, then about a month later added a lionfish, all was well and a month or 2 later added a snowflake eel. <Did you quarantine? Please quarantine all future new arrivals, okay?> At this point the eel has been in the tank for almost a month. About a week ago, the lionfish stopped eating and was hanging out on the bottom of the tank, just sitting in the same spot all day and night.. <Not always a problem, but worthy of concern...> Everyone told me don't worry, lionfish can go on hunger strikes for up to a month.. but I knew he just wasn't right. 3 days later he died. <Bummer!> Taking a very close look that day at all remaining fish, the yellow tail damsel had white spots on his fins. (the lionfish had none the day before his death and was cleaned up pretty good by the crabs so I couldn't tell after) I also took a sample of my water to the pet store and they tested it for 6 different things, he said everything was perfect. <Well, it sounds, at least on the surface, like you're dealing with some form of parasitic illness...Wouldn't show in a water test, but potentially stressful conditions that lead to illness would be evident> So I put the yellow tail in a hospital tank cause my friend said it would clear up in a few days. <Not a bad technique...I'd consider getting everyone out of the tank, just to be safe.> I have kept a close watch on the other fish left and none of them have/had any spots.. <Don't eliminate ich or Cryptocaryon as a potential problem here...If you are dealing with this problem- it's in your tank, and needs to be dealt with ASAP> Well today the yellow tail died in the hospital tank AND the domino damsel died in the big tank! <Yikes!> Also the clown has stopped eating (which has never happened before) he is also very lethargic, which has also never been a problem.  So assuming things will follow suit, I assume he'll be dead in 3 days time unless I can figure out what's what. The eel to date is still eating well. and spot free. What disease could kill all my fish in a matter of days, 2 of them without spots or any physical signs (baring the not eating or moving)? <Take your pick- Cryptocaryon, Amyloodinium, and others are possibilities...> And how can I rid my tank of this disease without tossing everything and starting from scratch! <I'd consider running the tank in a "fallow" mode, without fish, for a bout a month, while the remaining fish are kept in a separate tank for observation and/or treatment with an over-the-counter medication, such as copper sulphate or a Formalin-based product. DO NOT use copper (especially the non-chelated type) on the Moray, however, as they can be adversely effected.> My local shop is filled with young kids who might as well work in the dog food dept for as much as they know about fish, so I was hoping I could find an answer with you guys!  Thanks much for your time!! Mark <Glad to be of service, Mark. Do make use of the WWM parasitic disease FAQs for more information on treating these types of maladies. Good luck on the fight! Regards, Scott F.>

Parasites?  Thank you, Scott F.! (I did know about the puffer/copper issue, and yes, 'tank' = QT.)  <Glad to hear that!>  I believe the diagnosis was gill flukes not (miraculously, according to the bulk of info. on your site!) ich on my guppies. I'm still trying to run down more info. on them. The flukes, I mean. Anyhow, thank you guys again for doing what you do. It has helped me immensely, both to avoid problems I would not have foreseen and to deal with ones that have occurred. Also, it's always good to know that I'm not alone in my floundering (flukes, flounder, hahaha...) Thank you.  Sarah O.  <Our pleasure, Sarah! We're always here for you whenever you need us! Keep learning and sharing! Regards, Scott F>

Hermits & Parasites (1/9/2004) Hello everyone: <Steve Allen here> I did check your articles and the internet and could not find an answer to this question.  Do saltwater hermit crabs carry parasites on their shells <perhaps> and should they be fresh water dipped before being put in a new tank? <No. Instant death to the hermits. Better to quarantine before putting them in your tank, though the risk of parasites is small.> Also I am cycling <how long> a new tank(20 Gal.) with a blue velvet damsel. <I recommend against cycling with fish. Needless suffering for them. Fish are not needed for cycling. Search WWM for info on how.>  The Sg is 1.026, Ph 8.2, Temp 79, Ammonia .25 and nitrites are 2.0.  I do at least a 25% water change every other day to bring the nitrites down.  I have noticed that the damsel is scratching frequently and have read elsewhere that this could be irritation from the nitrites. <yes> I gave the fish a freshwater dip before introduction into the new tank.   The fish has a voracious appetite <good sign> even now with the nitrites as high as they are. I have not seen any obvious parasites or white spots on the fish.  He does come up to the surface(2" below) frequently in the corner where he is fed so I am assuming he is checking for food.  Can the nitrites cause the damsel to scratch or does the fish have parasites? <If you do not see spots on the fish, it is more likely the toxic effect. Get these numbers down, but don't change too much water or you'll never get it cycled.> Thank you guys for your help and great articles. <Glad to be of service.>

The Learning Curve... Dear WWM, <Scott F. with you today!> Happy new year!!!  I really have enjoyed Bob's (TCMA) Book as well your web site. I am having trouble with a few new fish that I have added to my newly set up marine/reef aquarium and would appreciate your advice. <Sure...> The following details my setup: Equipment: 180G Reef Tank 175lbs Live Rock Downdraft Skimmer Collecting Roughly 2 cups/week dark green skim-mate 600watt Power Compact Lights 2 Actinic Bulbs, 4 50/50, 12 hour dawn-midday-dusk photoperiod 1000 GPH main sump return pump feeding 2 Sea Swirls for circulation UV light Chiller RO/DI system Readings: Date Cured Live Rock  introduced:  11/28/03 ORP: 400 Temperature (77-79), cycles two or three times a day with the chiller Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0 Ammonia: 0 Phosphate: .5 Specific Gravity: 1.021 Alkalinity: 90-100 Calcium: 300 Salt Used: Started with Red Sea, changed to Reef Crystals (Says it has extra calcium) for water changes since my Calcium was low(300). Calcium level for the water changes is still at 300 so I started to use B-Ionic the past few days to get it to 350+. Livestock: 5 Turbo Snails Introduced 12/06 2 Emerald Crabs Introduced 12/06 1 Yellow Tang Introduced 12/06 Maintenance Routine: Clean Skimmer Weekly Clean Filter Sock Weekly (I alternate between two which I machine wash with no soap of course) 5 Gallon/Week Water Change Additives: B-Ionic 2-part, 30ML/Day Carbon - Changed Monthly Seachem Phosguard - Used to lower phosphates. I introduced the above livestock on 12/06 and everything appeared fine. I have many copepods hatching in the tank and noticeable coralline algae growth and what I think is a brown sponge growing on the live rock. The snails are very active. The crabs have grown. The tang grazes and eats "Formula 2" and is very active. I did not dip any of these animals or quarantine them. <Uh-Oh...> I just purchased a quarantine tank a week ago so I'll be able to use that for future additions considering the problems I have had since. <Good move; one that will reap benefits down the line!> This is what transpired next. On 12/27  I purchased two Banggai Cardinal fish. I used the drip method to acclimate them over about an hour period. One of the cardinals was rising to the top of the container breathing heavily (Looks like he was trying to get more oxygen) so I figured I'd put them into the main tank once I noticed this. The one fish that was laboring basically went right to the bottom of the tank and continued breathing heavily. He died the next morning. <Sorry to hear that. I take it that the quarantine tank was not set up for use at that time? Please get it up and running before acquiring any more fish, okay?> There were no white spots on his body or torn fins or itching to suspect a parasite. <Well, sometimes external symptoms of parasitic infections, such as excess mucus, spots, etc. are not evident when the fish is ill. Hence the need to quarantine> He looked fine to me in the store when I bought him. I went back to the store and exchanged the fish for another one. The person working the marine department said that three cardinals also died that night in the store's tank. Against common sense, on 12/28 I took another one home since it looked alert in the store's tank. <Bad move...I won't harp on you for that- but please refrain from purchasing a fish from any tank where fishes are either actively sick or have died...> I put him in the tank and he looked fine swimming with the other cardinal. <Okay...please, PLEASE use the quarantine tank here. You're setup sounds fine, the maintenance practices that you perform look good, but you need to quarantine- every time- no matter how good the fish looks at the dealer...> Both cardinals would not eat the "Formula 2" food but appeared to eat the copepods as they floated by. <That's encouraging, at least...> On 12/29 I purchased a royal Gramma and a Flame Angel. The Gramma fed immediately on "Formula 2" and the Flame was very active and grazing on the green algae growing in the tank. <Quarantine...anyone...Buheler....? > Everything looked good and I figured I'd give these fish a few weeks to settle in and set up my quarantine tank in the interim. <Okay- glad you are thinking of quarantine for new fishes. However-it sounds like you put these fishes directly into the display tank again, right?> Now I'm having more problems. <With all do respect, I'm not totally surprised here...> Last night, 12/31 the cardinal fish was laboring just like the original one. Heavy breathing, top front fin clamped down and back, hovering in one spot. This morning he was laying on his side then died later in the day. The other cardinal now seems less active and the flame angel has not come out from the various caves in the live rock and he is breathing very heavily and not grazing. The tang and royal Gramma still look fine and are eating. I double-checked all my water parameters and everything looks fine.  Please provide any ideas on how to proceed in order to help save both the cardinal and flame angel fish? Thank you very much for your help. <Well, it sounds like the problem is not the environmental conditions that you are providing for your fishes. They sound fine. However, it is highly likely that the fishes may have been infected at the LFS, or subjected to conditions in transit or at the LFS, that stressed them to the point where they could not handle the stress of acclimating to a new tank. They could have also been infected with a virulent parasitic disease, such as Amyloodinium. I think that you need to consider a new dealer- one who seems to have stock that is more healthy. Also, it wouldn't hurt to review some of the material we have on the WWM site concerning selection of healthy livestock. And- remember to make quarantine simply part of your regular procedure with all new fishes. That being said- the next course of action is to ascertain what exactly is wrong with the two fishes that you mention. I'd use that quarantine tank as a "hospital" tank, and remove the infected fishes to this facility. If you suspect a parasitic infection, it may be wise to engage in a treatment regimen utilizing freshwater dips, excellent water conditions, and use of proven medication, such as formalin-based products. I would not recommend copper sulphate with a Centropyge angel, however. Also, consider that your display tank has been exposed to the disease (assuming this is a disease), and that you may need to remove all of the fishes (the "fallow" technique that we mention often here on WWM) in order to prevent potential continuous outbreaks. Observe your fishes carefully, and review the treatment procedures on the WWM site. Lots of good information here. Your practices, with the exception of your failure to employ quarantine (yet!), are good. Your water conditions look fine. Keep learning, and things should work out fine! Regards, Scott F.>

Aftermath Of A Parasite? Hi. <Hello! Scott F. with you today!> We have 2 clown fish. We have them in a 10 gal tank, with a live rock & live sand. We have noticed a few orange worms, 2 feather dusters, and little spider looking organisms that live in the live rock. <Interesting diversity!> This morning, my husband noticed a white, shrimp-looking thing attached to one of the clown's fin. When the thing let go of the clown, he saw a red dot by the fin, and now he is not using the fin. <Sounds like some kind of parasitic copepod or other nasty creature. Glad it let go...> He is hanging out behind a rock toward the bottom, and staying pretty stationary. He did swim to the top to eat, which is great, but we want to know if he needs any attention to the fin. We also wonder what it was attached to the clown. Thanks, Kristy <I'm glad that the fish is eating. That's always a great sign. It's certainly a good idea to keep the water quality as high as possible in the tank to avoid a potential infection if there is an open wound. If infection does manifest, or if the fish appears to have other difficulties related to the injury, you may want to remove the fish for some medicated dips, or for closer observation. It's not necessary to move the fish (assuming it is not having further difficulties) to subject it to further stress. Keep a close eye on this fish, and be prepared to take action, just in case. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Aftermath of A Parasite? (Follow-up) Scott, <Hello again!> Thank you very much for your help! The clown's fin is doing fine now, without intervention, but it is great knowing that you all are here for us. Thanks again, Kristy <Thanks for the kind words! Glad to be of assistance! Scott F>

- 'Spotted' Fish - Hello and happy holidays, As a newcomer to the hobby, I've found your site to be very helpful, however I am currently encountering a problem that I can't even identify.  After moving up from a 20L (now a QT) to a 75 with LR and LS, I've begun to notice roughly circular 1/8 inch spots that appear to be faded on my fish (a Midas Blenny, Purple Firefish and Black and White Clownfish and a 6-Line Wrasse, this last was added 4 days ago after a 2 week quarantine).  These are not white, they are just a few shades lighter than the surrounding area.  I usually notice them in the morning and in some cases (notably the B&W clownfish) they are gone by the evening.  Sometimes they disappear in a matter of hours.  Its difficult to generalize the location of the spots, but a lot have been located on the body at the base of the dorsal and anal fins, often extending 'under' the fin so as to be on both sides of the fish (but not the fin itself).  They have also shown up on the head region, and actually on the dorsal and anal fins.  I've been trying to get help through the forums, but two things have caused me to seek more immediate help.  First, I found a spot on the wrasse for the first time.  Second, this evening I observed a whitish something crawling on the Firefish.  I wish I could offer a better description than that, but it is very small, less than a sixteenth of an inch in length, maybe a third that in width.  I watched it for awhile and it didn't seem to be causing any immediate noticeable damage.  The fish themselves seem to be acting 'normal'.  They are eating well and none are hiding more than usual.  The blenny does tend to flick the rock and sand now and again, nothing I would consider excessive (but my experience in this regard is limited).  This tank is less than four weeks old, but water parameters are good, Ammonia and Nitrite both 0, Nitrate less than 5 ppm, pH about 8.3, Temp 82 F, Specific gravity 1.025-1.026.  The other inhabitants include a coral banded shrimp, two emerald crabs, two brittle stars, about a dozen assorted snails and a like number of small hermit crabs.  There is also the life that came with the rock, which includes some that I would like to keep (fanworms, some encrusting corals, a small non-pest anemone and maybe more) so I can't dose the display tank.  I do have the 20L and a 10 gallon that I could use if I need to medicate anybody, however I am QTing an Anthias in the 20L, so I'd need to do some shuffling.  Any help you could provide would be so appreciated.  Sorry I wrote a novel there, but I wanted to give you guys as much info to work with as possible. <Sounds like a flatworm or fluke to me... easiest way to deal with this is pH-adjusted, freshwater dips. This will get rid of the immediate problem, but may not remove them from your system. You may find yourself dipping quite often as these pests may have become entrenched and at this point might be hard to get rid of completely. Do start with the dips and then keep an eye on things to see if these continue to come back or are somewhat abated. More on dipping here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm Cheers, J -- >

Parasites floating in the tank... nope 12/16/03 hi have 175 gal salt water tank .have developed parasites they look like tiny white worms and I mean tiny you can see them on the fish and also in the tank by the millions. tried treating it but no luck. also the fish have developed HITH can you help please.    thank you <I cannot say for certain if your fish have parasites, but I can assure you that no fish parasites that you are likely to ever encounter can be seen with the naked eye in the aquarium water or on the aquarium walls, gravel, etc. No such thing fortunately. :) The worms at worst are a sign of overfeeding... but may instead simply be beneficial microorganisms from live rock or live sand. Please review our section on wetwebmedia.com regarding fish diseases (many articles and FAQs to read and learn from). Anthony>

Twitchy Beauty >I have a Coral Beauty angel that suddenly started to look pale.  He has been very hyper today, darting around the tank.  He also appears to twitch a bit every once in a while.   >>Sounds like the beginning of an emergent problem, likely parasitic? >Aside from looking pale, and being very lively, everything else is normal with him - no white spots or anything, and he is eating as normal.   >>Not seeing the spots doesn't mean there's NOT a problem, my friend. >I have had this fish for about two months, the first month was spent in quarantine.   >>Ah.. you make my heart glad! >I gave him a 9 minute FW dip when I bought him, which brought on ich, I treated with formalin, and he looked fine.   >>Ok.  Sounds like you know your stuff here. >After his month in QT, he has been in my main tank looking very healthy.  Any idea what is wrong with this fish?  Should I send it back to QT?  I will be away for a week around Christmas, so this would be a really bad time to quarantine him, there will be none around to do frequent water changes.  Thanks! >>Hhhmm..  problematic, to be sure, but if this IS an emergent parasitic problem, prolonging his stay in q/t won't help at all..  There are no medications truly suitable to treating in situ.  My only suggestion would be, if you have no inverts in this tank, to take it hyposaline.  Marina

Twitchy Beauty II >I do have a Linckia star and a banded coral shrimp, as well as some feather dusters on the live rock, so I don't think I could get away with the hyposalinity thing.   >>Very much agreed. >The fish is not looking any better today, but still does not have spots (lots of twitching though, and his scales look dry).  Is there anything I can do about this, or just wait and see what happens?   >>Well, in your situation I would watch, but be prepared for the worst.  Murphy's law says the fish will hit its worst point RIGHT before you're ready to leave for Christmas. >I guess that quarantining just this fish wouldn't do much, since if it is parasitic it will be carried by the others, and is in the tank, right? >>You are quite correct.  Fallowing during the next 6-8 weeks would be best here. >Worst case I will quarantine all 4 of my fish and leave it fallow (and take that time to perfect the set up and maybe get a couple corals), but I can't really do this before Christmas, they would be unlikely to make it in a 10 gallon QT for a week unattended.   >>Again, I must agree (you sure don't leave a woman much wiggle room here, do ya?). >I did cut a hole in my sump to put a bulkhead, and accidentally got some acrylic shavings in the tank.  I thought maybe this could irritate his gills and cause discomfort, but that was three days ago, and I am now leaning towards a parasitic thing.   >>I seriously doubt the shavings could or would cause such a problem. >Any ideas, or is this a wait and hope for the best situation?  Thank you very much for your help, two of your books have made their way onto my Christmas list. >>Since you have the inverts, you're kind of stuck as far as options.  You could f/w dip, but again, that won't do anything about what's already in the tank.  Wait, watch, be prepared.  Sorry I can't be of more help (cuz you seem to have most of this well-sorted yourself!).  Marina

Immediate Action Required (Treating Amyloodinium) Hi Bob, <Scott F. in today!> Any help here would be great. I have had a 55 gal. saltwater tank for 3 years now and in September I bought a 125 gal tank to house some of my bigger fish. I added 90 lbs of liverock and cycled the tank for a month. When all tests were at 0, I started to add fish at one a week. All was fine until about a week ago I started to notice my half grown Koran angel was acting "funny" and was scraping against things. It is in the process of changing so it's coloration makes it hard to tell if there is any ich. At times I think I see tiny (very small) little spots, but it looks more like a thin whitish coating and has labored breathing. <Sounds like the possibility that you're dealing with Amyloodinium, a much more lethal and aggressive parasitic illness than ich...You need to begin treatment immediately to save these fish> I later noticed my Pearlscale butterfly had similar spots/coating and my Naso had cloudy eyes. I dropped my salinity to 1.018 over a two day period and raised the temp to 84. I also added some Greenex (Malachite Green and Quinine Hydrochloride). But I have seen little improvement. <I implore you NOT to treat fishes in the display tank. lots of problems with doing this, not the least of which is the fact that many medications will become bound up in the substrate and rocks, rendering them near useless in many cases. Also, Greenex has had a somewhat checkered history, with some folks feeling that it is as deadly as the diseases that it is supposed to cure. I prefer freshwater dips and copper sulphate, administered in a separate tank according to manufacturer's directions.> They have been eating well but want to hide a lot. I was gone all day  today and when I got home my Pearlscale was barely alive. He was laying on the bottom but still breathing. I fished him out and put him in the hospital tank -- but I don't expect him to make it though the night. He had blood in his tissues around his face, fins, and in his eye. I have seen ich before but this looks different and I would like to save the rest of my fish before they suffer the same fate as the butterfly. Any advice? thanks, Diggy <As above, Diggy- get all the fishes out and begin a course of treatment immediately. Be sure to leave the main tank "fallow", without fishes- for at least a month, to deprive the parasites of their hosts (your fishes). This course of treatment has been discussed extensively on the WWM site under "Marine Parasitic Diseases", so check out the resources we have for more information. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- What are these Spots, Follow-up - J, Thanks for your response. <My pleasure.> I've been reading and about to buy my hospital tank supplies.  The infected fish seems lots better today.  She ate and is swimming more actively. <Ahh good.> Is this consistent with the next stage of the organism where the cysts fall off to grow and multiply on the substrate? <It's not inconsistent, but is something you'll want to keep an eye on.> Would a subsequent infection be a greater and possibly lethal one since she seems to be getting better (also to the other fish)? <Yes... so again, look out for the appearance of more spots. You will have time to react should the spots make a return, but you are wise to get the quarantine supplies now in preparation - don't wait.> Will my 2 clowns and 3 Chromis be ok in a 10 gallon QT tank for 6 weeks? <Yes.> 6 weeks?!? <Prepare lots of saltwater for daily to every-other-day water changes in order to keep the ammonia from building up.> What about crabs and snails?  No effect? <No effect.> Thanks again for helping me to become a better fish parent. Jeff <Cheers, J -- >

Counter-Attacking Parasites I am a new to the saltwater world. <Welcome! Scott F. with you today!> I have a 70 gallon tank which was cycled with 80lbs of live sand, 15 lbs of live rock and 8 damsels. <In the future, you may want to consider methods for cycling the tank without damsels...better for everyone-especially the damsels!> About 2 weeks after confirming the nitrite/nitrate levels were holding at 0, I traded in the damsels for a few new fish. I got a clown, a hippo tang, and a golden-headed goby. All are doing well, but one. I'm sure you can guess its the tang. <That was my guess...Another suggestion: Always, always, always quarantine new fishes before placing them in the display tank...Most disease problems can be eradicated before they reach the display tank through this process> He hasn't eaten for four days (the whole time I've had him).  Physically he looks ok, but his behavior is strange, he stays hidden all the time and rubs on rocks like he's scratching. <Hmm...could be something parasitic> I've tried normal marine flake food and Nori (dried sheets of seaweed). The tank is kept 1t 78-79F and salinity of 1.0225.  I use two 300 GPM powerheads and a over the back bio-wheel Penguin 400. Please advise as to how I should treat the tang. From what I've read it sounds like it could be "ich", but I've read many differing opinions on best method for treatment, please confirm what you feel the problem to be and advise accordingly. <Well, it's hard to be 100% certain without actually seeing the fish, but I will hazard a guess that it may be ich, or possibly another parasitic malady. Do check on the WWM site for more about this illness and how to identify it. Always be sure to confirm what you're dealing with before embarking on any treatment course. Assuming it is ich, you'd be well advised to remove all of the fish from the display tank (even the ones that aren't showing symptoms) and observe them carefully in a separate treatment tank. If necessary, you can utilize a few possible treatment courses, such as freshwater dips, 100% daily water changes and siphonings in the bare treatment tank, or use of chemical preparations, such as copper sulphate or formalin-based products. Meanwhile, the display tank should remain "fallow", without fishes, for about a month. This will result in a seriously decimated parasite population for lack of hosts. Conduct regular tank maintenance during this period (water changes, etc.), and when it's time to repatriate your fishes, they'll face a lot less in the way of challenges to their future health. You can read all about the many options available to you on the WWM site> Your quick response is much appreciated. Thanks a ton !! <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F>

- Trouble on the Horizon - Dear Crew, I have had a recent outbreak of some type of disease or parasite.  At first look it appears to maybe be Marine Ich.  It appeared about 2 1/2 weeks ago as intermittent white "grains" on some of my tangs.  All fish have continued to remain active, aggressive, and hungry.  No scratching has been observed (except by my trigger.  A behavior he has always exhibited) and their breathing appears normal.  Most of the animals no longer have any outward evidence of problems except for my powder blue, and mimic tang. Spots can still be seen on these animals if they get in the right lighting, but it doesn't appear as the typical dusting that I have seen in photographs of ich. All my livestock had  been quarantined prior to introduction into the display, and I have never had a case of any visible disease in the four years that the tank has been operating.  The tank is 300 gallons filled with about 400 pounds of live rock and 2" of live sand.  The problem started after the failure of a main system pump, and the subsequent 2 day interval of running the tank on powerheads while a new pump was acquired and installed.  During the outage normal temperature was maintained, but water circulation was somewhat reduced.  Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate about 30 ppm. What would be the best way to proceed? <Given that these fish were all quarantined, and have been healthy in your tank since that time, I'd be willing to give this a 'wait and see' approach. It's not going to be any fun for you or the fish to catch them out of the main tank at this point, and you really shouldn't consider treating the main tank with anything. Ich often shows up after some stressful even - a big drop in water flow would be a potential source of that stress. Look to every possible way to reduce the stress and make sure everyone is eating well, and you might just pull through this with little to no effort.> I fear that trying to remove the tangs could cause more harm than good, but I would hate to have them suddenly succumb to whatever this is, after weeks of having no visible reaction. <Am with you there. Best to be prepared for the worst - I would obtain several trash cans and attempt to drain as much water as possible, would make it much easier to catch the fish with one of their degrees of freedom removed.> Thanks, Bob <Cheers, J -- >

- Tank Crash - Hey Crew, hope you are well today! <I am, thanks for asking.> My 90 gallon, saltwater tank has been running successfully for just over 3 months now, with no outbreaks of disease and good water quality, until the other day I started losing my fish one by one. The first fish I lost was my regal tang, then 24 hours later my longnose Hawkfish and then later that day my canary wrasse. All fish were acting and looking healthy, had bright colours, were eating well and very energetic. I still have in my tank 2 ocellaris clowns, 2 common cleaner shrimp & a lawnmower blenny, which are acting normal and eating. I checked my water quality with my test kits and at my LFS and the results were: pH - 8.4 spg - 1.024 temp - 25*C Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 20 I do weekly 10% water changes and add Seachem Iodine supplement every second day (as it says on the instructions). <I would only be adding iodine when a test says you should add it - iodine can become toxic in excess.> 96# of live rock, 3 1/2" DSB and activated carbon doing the filtration. Also have an AKS skimmer (which is very intermittent in it's performance, so I am getting an AquaC Remora Pro in a couple of days). There is plenty of oxygen in the water supplied by an air pump and two medium sized air stones. (if any of that helps). I think it could be an internal parasite because if it were my water quality wouldn't the shrimp have died long before the fish started to, and if it were an external parasite I would have seen markings on the fish (spots & blemishes) and scratching or irritation (which there was none of). <That is a possibility, and one that doesn't show itself for quite a while, but it would be unusual for the majority of your fish to have this same parasite - being internal, they don't always spread externally, but it does depend exactly which parasite it is. A post mortem examination is the only way to be sure.> It's breaking my heart to watch and I don't know what it is or how to treat it and my LFS is no help at all telling me to wait it out and see what happens. I can't sit back and watch much longer. Is it okay to treat my clownfish and blenny (in my hospital tank) with a medication such as copper, even though I am not certain what it is? <Copper isn't really a cure-all but 'might' be effective depending on exactly what type of parasite is present - do give this link a read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > You thoughts or knowledge on what might be happening would be greatly appreciated. <Hard to be 100% certain or lend a completely reliable diagnosis. I'd be looking everywhere for sources of contamination, likewise consider the post-mortem exams on the fish already lost, and really try and exhaust every possibility.> Thank you, Dave <Cheers, J -- >

Going fallow for ich 10/7/03 If I were to leave a reef tank fishless for 4 months would it be clear of ich??. If I left it fishless for a year would it be ich-free?? Joe Culler <there is some debate about this... but the answer is essentially yes. Of course, for it to even matter, you must be employing very strict (30 day) Qt protocol on every single "wet" acquisition (new live rock, fish, corals, algae, plants, snails... everything!!!). Best regards, Anthony>

Bummed-Out By His Blenny! Hi <Hello there! Scott F. with you today!> Great site. <Glad that you enjoy it! We're thrilled to bring it to you each day!> I have a 90 gallon reef with 90 lbs of LR. I have had a lawnmower blenny in the tank for approximately 9 months. All parameter on the tank are great a/n/n all 0. Everything in the tank is thriving except my blenny. He eats all day mostly micro algae and will take a few bites a day of what I throw in for the rest of the fish. By the end of the day is stomach is nice and full. But come morning its completely empty.  I mean empty, sunken in. He seems to be slowly deteriorating away?? <Not good...> I don't understand why?? Is there some type of a bacterial infection or something that could be causing this?? <It is possible that an internal parasite of some sort is at work here> Is this an indication of cyanide?? <Not in my opinion...If it were cyanide, the fish would generally expire shortly after eating its first few meals> Is cyanide collection commonly used on these?? <Not to my knowledge> He grazes all day on the micro algae so I'm pretty sure, theoretically he is getting plenty of food. And, like I said by the end of the day he looks slightly plump. <At least he is eating...A good thing!> This is my favorite fish by far, and I don't want to lose him............. Thank you for any help or suggestions.  Matt <Well, Matt- I'm going to operate on the assumption (gulp) that we are looking at some form of internal parasite here. There are a number of over-the-counter fish meds to address this. Sometimes, the cure is more damaging than the illness, however. I'd search on some of the e-tailers for a medicated antiparasitic food, and hope for the best. Otherwise, maintain excellent water conditions and keep on top of things in his tank. With a little TLC, he can pull through just fine. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ich Issues - No, It Ain't a New 'Zine! I have a quick question in part to my ich problem. I was told that maybe my temperature fluctuations may be my problem. <this could be a problem... but only if there are drastic changes in temperature... such as 10 to 20 degrees, etc.> but I have almost 240g of water and I figured that volume wouldn't fluctuate fast at all. <it should not unless your power goes out... or it's a very hot day... and you don't have A/C or it's a very cold day and you don't have a heater. Your tank should be fine.> I do have a 300w heater as a backup and my indoor temps never fall from 65 to 80, <your aquarium and fish should be ok> almost always around 70 to 75 degrees. <sounds good> the tank has never fell below 76 and never above 80. <sounds fine> is this logical to think that I don't have a problem here, <yea> or do I need to order about a hundred more dollars in heaters? <you do not need anymore heaters, you should be fine> by the way I live in Georgia, so no harsh winters. <good luck, IanB> thanks again,  Brandon

Re: Heaters and Ich Thank you, I went ahead and bought a heater today another 300w, should I take it back? <yes> and could you give me an idea of what would be a drastic change in ambient temperature without a heater? <10+ degrees> I really don't suspect my house would ever drop below 60 with the heat off. <agreed> also while I was there I prepaid for a harlequin tusk they had there, it's about 4ins and not from Australia. <the Indonesian ones for the most part do well, I just prefer the Aussie tusks because of their magnificent color> I was told they were very hard to get and that the store had been trying for months to get Australian ones and that they were lucky to get these the non ones. <depends on where you live, here in CFL we get Aussie tusks every couple of weeks> the one I reserved seems healthy and has a lot of darker coloration and some blue on him. <good, this one sounds like one of the more attractive tusks that make there way out of Indonesia> that's mainly why I wanted an Aust. one, more blue. is color a major difference between the two? <One of the better Indonesian tusks don't even come close to one of the better Aussie tusks...if I were you I would mail-order an Australian tusk-if that is what you are looking for...but they do demand a higher price tag.. 100-150 depending on your local... etc> I really love this species and as long as this one survives a couple more weeks at the store and will grow up to be boldly colored I'll keep him. <he will look better over time but he will "never" look as good as an Aussie tusk, good luck, IanB> any opinions? <if you want the blue and the best fish for your buck.. get the Aussie, but if you do not want to spend the big bucks get the Indonesian tusk> thanks again

- Parasite Problems - Hello guys/gals I have a problem with one of my tanks and wanted to see if you guys could help me.  I have a 75 gallon tank in the garage with about 80 lbs of live rock with a blue dot puffer, a clown trigger and a Hawkfish that is my holding tank until my 375 gets in. Well everybody was doing fine for the longest time then about a month ago I noticed that my blue dot puffer was getting very skinny but he would still eat a lot therefore I went from feeding every other day like I've always done to feeding every day even though the other 2 guys were very fat.  Well even with me feeding every day the puffer kept getting skinnier and skinnier until he died a few days ago and now my Clown Trigger is starting to look skinny. Is there some sort of disease or parasite that could cause this or am I just not feeding them enough. <Yes, I'm afraid so... nematodes and cestodes are the most common culprit - like tapeworms, they can out-compete for nutrients.> I had the blue dot puffer for over a year and he was a nice size for the longest time. I feed them all sorts of stuff such as Mysis Shrimp, Blood Worms and Squid.  Thanks for your help. <Do try to get a hold of some Fenbendazole from your local veterinarian. Your best bet is to put this fish in quarantine for about three weeks and treat the quarantine tank directly with the Fenbendazole for that entire time. The Noga book of Fish Disease recommends 2mg/liter or 7.6mg/gallon of tank water. This should give your fish the upper hand against these parasites. Cheers, J -- >

- What Did This? Pop-eye or Something Else? - Hi, <Hi.> I have a small blue velvet damsel in a tank with a Naso tang, two clownfish, and another damsel. <Boy, I hope this tank is at least 75 gallons for that Naso Tang...> I noticed a few days ago that one of his eyes was bulging out and a bit cloudy.  At first, I thought that it was just from getting into a fight with the other damsel, but today I noticed something on his eye that looks like a leech. <Yuck.> I don't know what to do. <Well... for starters, I'd keep an eye [pardon the pun] on things for a while. This is likely one of two things: either trauma to the eye similar to a bump or bruise, and eye responds by swelling - this will resolve itself in time OR... this is a parasitic isopod, which looks very similar to a pill-bug - these are removed with tweezers, and if this thing is actually attached to the eye, would damage the eye if removed. So again, my recommendation is to keep watch on things - perhaps you will be able to determine exactly what that is on the eye.> Any help would be appreciated. <Cheers, J -- >

Disease or "Collateral Damage"? This site is so informative. Every day I learn more and more from your site. <Glad that you enjoy it! We all learn more each day ourselves! Scott F. with you today!> Now I have a problem and require some advice. About 4 days I noticed that my rabbit fish had small white spots on him and his huge appetite had disappeared. Upon closer inspection I saw that his skin seemed to be peeling on one side. I removed him and a Pajama Cardinal (showed spots as well) from my main tank and put them into my QT tank.  I have been treating the QT tank with copper but I have noticed that his skin is getting worse every day. He is eating a little bit but looks quite stressed. I have attached a picture for your review. What should I do? <Well, the picture was a bit blurry, but I was able to get a general idea. I am speculating here, but it might actually be the copper that is affecting the fish. I have seen similar reactions to copper in tangs before. Do check your copper concentration and make sure that it's not at a hazardous level...Keep it at the medication manufacturer's suggested level at all times. This might be one of those cases where I'd go with freshwater dips, or maybe a formalin-based treatment. I would not continue with copper, at this point. Try some water changes in the QT, followed by some good filtration and feeding. After a break of a week or so, if the fish has shown no improvement, I would consider a formalin-based medication if you're still seeing signs of ich. With close observation, good water conditions, and quick action, I'm sure that this fish can make a complete recovery! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Parasites? Not sure? - Hello, I have a 100 gallon saltwater tank with live rock and sand, starfish, banded shrimp, lobster, tangs, angels, mandarins, clowns and a banded cat shark. <Sounds like a lot of fish to me, perhaps too much - that shark should probably be in there all on its own.> My blue six striped angelfish looks like patches of his color is coming off and my blue tang has some white spots towards the back of him and itches himself constantly on my live rock. <Doesn't sound good.> All my other fish have also been trying to rub themselves on the live rock and sand too. <That really doesn't sound good.> I'm not sure if this is a parasitic disease, Ich or what. <Sounds like something parasitic, most likely ich. Please read here, will provide some background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm > Please help.  Debbie <Cheers, J -- >

- Maroon with a Beard? - I have a 2" Maroon that has a white bump in his lower jaw that appears a bump on the outside and can also be seen inside the lower jaw as well.  He does eat, and this doesn't appear to be growing exponentially, but I feel at some point he may not be able to eat if this doesn't clear up.  Any ideas as to what this may be? <I think it could be one of two things: either Lymphocystis which will clear up on its own, or perhaps a parasitic isopod, which would have to be forcibly extracted with a pair of tweezers. I would keep a keen eye on this, perhaps try to get a magnifying glass up to the tank to get a better look. The most common isopods look a lot like pill-bugs, so you might be able to positively ID this thing, or not...> Also, his host is a bubble coral, if that means anything.  Thanks <Cheers, J -- >

- Green Fungus on Maroon Clownfish? Follow-up - Hello again, Thank you for such a quick response. <My pleasure.> To answer you questions, the fish has had this "fungus" for about 3 days.  It appears to be getting better now. <Ahh good.> Is it possible for algae of some type to actually stick to the fishes mucus layer? <Sure... it is mucus after all.> I never would have guessed that without your help. It is the first time I have seen anything like this in 15 years in the hobby.  Kinda made me go huh!!! LOL Thanks again for your quick response.  Chuck <Cheers, J -- >

- Attack or Parasite? - Hi guys, <Hello.> Last night when I tried to send you guys an email, my computer was a little screwed up, so I'm not sure if you got it.  If you did, then sorry, but if not, here's how it went.  I have a 36 gallon tank with two blue velvet damsels, a Naso tang, and two false percula clowns. <Good grief! This tank is much too small for a Naso tang.> A few days ago, I noticed that the smaller of my two damsels had what looked like a large bubble on his eye.  At first I thought that this was because of attack, but later I noticed what looked like a small brown/black leech on the surface of his eye. <It could be a parasitic isopod, but these things rarely show up spontaneously - meaning that it would have been there from the moment you bought the fish.> I have no idea what to do. <Well, if this is a parasitic isopod, then there's really not much you can do if it has actually latched onto the eye - the standard treatment is to get in there and pull it off with a pair of tweezers, but this would cause irreparable harm to the fish's eye. You may just want to give it some time and see if it heals up on its own, you know... in case it isn't an isopod.> Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks,  Rem <Cheers, J -- >

- Fish Disease? - Hi all, <Hello to you.> My large clown trigger has very little white flocks on its front fins since I've bought it 6 months ago. I think they are cists because they seem little white excrescences on its transparent fins and only there. I've tried to spread iodine on its fins but cists are even there. What can I use to eliminate them? <Well, for starters, iodine won't do anything for you. As for the spots on the fins, I wouldn't worry about them unless they spread beyond that. Many healthy fish have these spots on their fins and it seems to be a non-issue - doesn't spread, doesn't affect the fish, etc. I'd breathe easy if I were you.> Any opinions will be appreciated!  Thanks a lot, Lorenzo <Cheers, J -- >

Burrfish with Ich (08/11/03) Hello WWM crew!! <Hello! Ananda here tonight...> I recently bought a Burrfish and while it was in my QT tank it developed Marine ich.  Little white cysts on his fins. <Yep, that's ich.> On two separate occasions I performed freshwater dips with 8.2 ph water for 3 minutes, it was all the little guy could handle.  I then transferred him into a new QT tank with Meth-blue.  I changed 5% of the water ever other day and re-treated.  I also lowered the salinity to 1.017.   <I would go even lower -- try about 1.010-1.012.> He seemed to come around after the 2nd day, but all of a sudden it was all downhill.  It has been one week, instead of getting better he seems to be getting worse.  Please advise.  He has now developed white cysts all over his body in the QT tank. <I would dip him, for as long as he can handle it, every day. You can use Methylene blue in the dip to give him more oxygen. And be careful not to let any ich cysts back into the hospital tank. You can boost the tank temp to at least 82 to shorten the lifespan of the ich cysts. You'll want to do *daily* water changes, vacuuming up the ich cysts from the bottom of the tank.> He is still eating fine, but looks thin, I also think he has a internal worm. Please help.  DW   <Sounds like it's time to start feeding him Metronidazole-laced food if he'll eat it. If you get the Seachem Metronidazole powder, the container has directions for adding it to food. It can also be used in the tank and may help with the ich. The Metronidazole is hard to overdose, so I'd do both. (Hex-a-Mit is the Aquatronics brand of Metronidazole.) In addition to the Metronidazole, you could use garlic oil in his food. I use the little gel caps, poke a hole in them with a pin, and squeeze the stuff onto freeze-dried krill. The freeze-dried foods absorb the garlic oil better than frozen foods. Hopefully this will help!  --Ananda>

Course Uncertain I have a quandary, which I hope someone there can help me solve. I think my midas blenny is in the early stages of ick or something like it--i.e.. rubbing against things like crazy, skimming the tank surface, breathing a little heavy. One of my false perc clownfish is also breathing a little heavy, adding to my concern. I pulled out the blenny into quarantine tonight, and am thinking that if it is ick (or...gasp...velvet...) than a copper treatment for all the fish might be the right thing to do, and quick. <Yes, but make sure all is done in the quarantine tank. You might consider pH-adjusted freshwater dips for all.> However, my Banggai spawned on Tuesday, and I am trying to decide what would happen to a mouthbreeder's eggs in a copper dip situation. <I hate to say it, but you should just write this brood off and concentrate on getting all the fish healthy. The Banggai will produce another batch.> I am imagining that it would be less than an optimum situation. <Much less.> I'm also not certain the problem is parasitic. None of the fish are showing any white spots, and their colors are good. <Could also be Oodinium, which often shows the symptoms you describe before you see the spots - quite virulent and requires quick action.> Everyone is eating like usual. <That's a plus.> And the tank has been running since the beginning of the year with no problems, all our fish had proper quarantines, and we haven't introduced anyone fish in over a month. Can ick or something like it come in on shrimp or corals? <Yes... any wet surface.> Another possible cause of the fish's discomfort is that about a week ago I lost a fairly large toadstool soft leather coral that rotted from the inside (it was new to the tank, so I suspect that it brought the problem with it). <Well, more likely that the stress from the drop in water quality is what instigated this problem.> I got most of it out of the tank, and have done a few water changes (probably about 30% of water volume composite). If the problem is pollution from the rotted coral, is there anything to be done other than more water changes? <Run some activated carbon in the filtration loop.> Any advice is welcome. Thanks for your help and for having such a helpful Web site. <If you haven't already, do read through the livestock FAQs on our site which will give you some more background on these issues. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarInd3of6.htm Cheers, J -- >

Going To War (Fighting Parasitic Diseases) Hey WWM crew - I was wondering if you could help out with a perplexing situation?  Over the weekend I did some work on my 55 gallon aquarium, including adding about 10 pounds of live sand from another aquarist's tank to my refugium, and also switching the lighting to VHO. Sunday night my golden (semilarvatus) butterfly seemed to have a number of white spots, so he got a 10 minute freshwater bath and then went back in. <A good initial step, if you suspect a parasitic infection> I also have a Percula clown and a sixline wrasse.  All fish are behaving and eating normally for the most part, except the wrasse is somewhat concerned with his newfound friend/competition (reflection in the glass). <That's annoying, I know!> On Monday morning the butterfly seemed fine - I didn't notice the white spots anymore.  Monday night I got home very late and so wasn't able to observe him, but Tuesday morning looked fine once again.  Then Tuesday night he was covered in the little white spots again - I was thinking ich originally but did some more reading on your site and now I think it looks more like Amyloodinium. <Well, what you are describing sounds very similar to Cryptocaryon. After manifesting itself on the fishes, the parasite enters a free swimming phase, where it seems to vanish, only to reappear later- in larger numbers! The key is to attack the illness with  technique that addresses the parasite's life cycle. See this link for more on this approach: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm  > I started feeding garlic soaked food Tuesday night and was planning on a freshwater bath Wednesday morning if he still looked bad, but once again - most all the spots are gone and he looks fine! <I'd be very careful about this...The illness is tenacious! You are at war, and the enemy is relentless- as you must be!> So I'm pretty confused...I don't think from reading that the Amyloodinium life cycle is that fast, and I don't notice any heavy breathing. Any suggestions? Thanks - Keith <Well, Keith, it does not sound like Amyloodinium to me, either. Amyloodinium looks like fine whitish patches (which is actually caused by the parasite liquidating living tissues); the fishes exhibit rapid breathing, complete lack of appetite, and generally die with terrifying rapidity. It's much more fatal than ich. Both, however, require immediate attention and an aggressive, proven treatment protocol, as you'll find in my article referenced above and throughout the WWM site. Don't hesitate- take action immediately- your fishes lives depend on it! Regards, Scott F.>

Waging War! (Attacking Parasitic Infections) Dear Scott, <HELLO, AGAIN!> I need your professional advice on the following. <I'll GIVE IT MY BEST...!> I have a 500 l overflow system tank and recently, my fish had been scratching against objects, chronic fidgeting, showing signs of lethargy & disinterest in food and rapid gill movement. The first sign of what I believe to be marine velvet and white spot were seen about 2 weeks ago and immediately after noticing that, I immediately treated the tank with "Herbal" anti-external parasite and anti-fungus. <Uh-Oh...) I also gave my emperor angel 2 freshwater dips. <Not a bad supplemental treatment> The queer thing about it was that all these symptoms started to appear after I have changed 10 % of the water. I have not added any new fish prior to that, only 2 algae rocks. <Well, it is possible that parasites were brought in on the rocks...They do enter an stage in their life cycles where they attach to a suitable substrate before emerging to do their evil work again...Also, perhaps there was some stress as a result of the H20 change. Perhaps the temperature was off, maybe one of the other parameters of the new water was very different from your tank water, contributing to the stress> The last time my tank had a parasitic outbreak, these 2 medications were effective against the parasites and cured whatever abnormal symptoms my fish were exhibiting. However, since application, I have yet to see an improvement. Instead, it seems that all the fishes in the tank have been affected. I am now at a loss of what to do and hope you are able to assist me in any remedial action to take. <Well, if it were me- and you're certain that it's Amyloodinium ("Velvet") or Cryptocaryon ("Ich") that you're dealing with, then you really want to take some aggressive actions. My recommendation: Set up a separate treatment tank or Rubbermaid container's) of suitable size to hold all of your fishes. The fishes should be treated with a commercial copper sulphate medication (I like Coppersafe, myself- but there are many brands to choose from. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations concerning dosage and duration of treatment to the letter. Meanwhile, the display tank will run "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month. By remaining "fishless", the parasitic population will, for the most part, "crash" for lack of hosts. Perform all regular water changes and other maintenance on the display during the "fallow" period. Upon the return of your now healthy fishes to the display, they will face a very diminished, if not non-existent parasite population that they can easily fend off. This is not the most fun technique, but it is by far the most consistently effective treatment technique that I have used for parasitic illnesses over the years. Check out his article I wrote outlining my approach in more detail: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm > I would like to hear your opinion as what could have caused the a/m. Poor water quality? High Cu / NO3 NO2 concentration? I have used test kits to test but the results were ok. <Well, it is unlikely that nitrate or other environmental lapses "caused" the illness (parasitic organisms did that), but some form of stress probably lowered their resistance to whatever attacked them> Also, I would like to hear your opinion on the u/m: 1. Upon telling the a/m symptoms to my fish dealer, he suggested to me that I should get some Bio balls and some bio med chips to remove the nitrates and the nitrites. How effective are these? <Bioballs are highly efficient filter media in "wet/dry" filters for processing ammonia and nitrite. However, they are so good at doing this that they cannot keep up with the accumulating nitrate..> 2. I suspect that the algae rocks which I bought may have resulted in the parasitic outbreak. As such, pls advise me as to how to treat these rocks since I can't boil them or pour hot water on them as the heat will kill not only the parasites but the algae itself. <Well- I am a huge fan of quarantine of any live materials placed in a tank- be they fish, inverts, and even rock. A minimum 3 week period will usually do the trick. we have a lot of articles and information about quarantine on the WWM site. Check it out!> 3. I have bought a cleaner wrasse with a yellow head. It is not cleaning the other fishes. So is my cleaner shrimp. What is the average lifespan of a cleaner wrasse? <Well- unfortunately- dismally short. Most all "cleaner wrasses" die in captivity in a very short time (weeks or months at best). Please don't support the import of such "obligate" feeders. They really should be left on the reefs. If you are looking for a "biological" cleaner, it's much better to try neon gobies, or so-called "cleaner shrimps", which can adapt better to other food items...> Regards <Hang in there! With quick action and attention- you'll easily defeat these nasty illnesses! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

-Mysterious outbreak take 2- Thanks for your response Kevin.  My Basslet didn't make it :-( she was just too infected. <Bummer, sometimes you can't get to it in time.> I started weighing the pros and cons of the copper and got worried about the large financial investment in the live rock against the relatively small investment in the remaining fish (a terrible choice to have to make but the puffer was only $50 & the damsel of course was cheap). <I wouldn't even consider adding copper to a display with live rock or sand an option. The fish could have easily been moved to a hastily set up quarantine tank.> I could not find a definitive answer on whether copper is bad for live rock so I just assumed it would be if it is bad for inverts. <Inverts are what makes the rock live, it's not some totally different entity. The rock will leach copper back out into the system for years...> We did a massive water change (by the way we never turned filter off, just the light) <Pfffew!> to try to get most of the copper out and reduced the salinity to 1.018 (slowly of course) to try to fight the disease/parasite. <Start running Polyfilters and/or copper absorbing resin immediately and constantly for the next few months.> It's been about two days since the water change and the spots on the puffer are significantly reduced and his eyes are clear now (they had gotten cloudy).  Is this going to be enough or should we dip him and the Damsel? <Sounds like things are getting better, I still think they should hit a quarantine tank for a few weeks though.> I think they are hardy and healthy enough to take it, but will they get reinfected in the tank? <If you quarantine the fish for a few weeks, by the time you put them back in the tank all the parasites should be long dead.> They both are eating very well and I can't understand why the Basslet was SO much more infected than them.  I also read that fish can be carriers of parasite (she was infected before from that Trigger that died but she got better after some Formalin treatment) and if they undergo stress (though I'm not sure what the stress would have been) they can have a breakout again.  Is this true? <Absolutely> I've tested all levels (ammonia, nitrate, ph, etc) and found no changes, still great water quality.  But now what do I do to get the copper and the disease/parasite out without hurting the live rock (which still looks great)? <Quarantine the fish in a separate tank, maybe finish off with some copper since it seemed to work well. Start using copious amounts of copper removing resins to get all that stuff out of the tank. I'm not sure if it will ever be 100% safe to reintroduce inverts, in the future you'll have to add test specimens. -Kevin> Thanks so much Kevin!!!!  Arienne

Zeroing In On A Killer... OK I lost the Percula yesterday afternoon and have set up a hospital tank BUT I think I may have nailed the problem...or part of it...I DO need help identifying it though so at least my angel can pull through. <OK> There are thousands of tiny things that look like bugs that are white transparent... they almost look like lice all over the glass. These first appeared when I started to realize the fish were sick... and I think these are parasites that killed off my fish so what looked like fuzz may have just been hundreds of these things attaching to my fish. <Hmm...could have been some kind of external parasite...> Any ideas so I can eliminate the problem? Or at least pinpoint it? Thanks again, Irma <Well, Irma, I'd take a good glance at the parasitic disease FAQs on the WWM site, and see if you can make a positive ID...Hopefully, that can help! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Marine parasite dilemma. To dip and move or no Robert <Ian> Have a question for you. If a fish has a minor case of parasites do you think If a pH adjusted FW dip with Methylene blue was performed and then moved into another aquarium that the fish would still be infected with parasites. Even if I did the dip and then placed him back in his original aquarium...wouldn't the parasites still be in the aquarium.? <Likely so. Particularly if the infested fish/es had been present there a while (days). Some folks have stated success with "vacuuming" the bottom of bare treatment tanks in conjunction with pH-adjusted freshwater dips/baths... but these are best done with enough holding tanks to sterilize between movements> they stay there and breed correct...could the fish build up an immunity to the parasites...from my understanding parasites live in the aquarium. <Often, yes> I was talking to Anthony about my chevron tang coming down with parasites...right before I go on vacation (which sucks. I even qt him for 4 wks) and no one here can treat them, etc...I was wondering If I could do FW dips on all my fish with M.B, chevron tang, Blueface angel, and 2 Vlamingi and then move them to my friends 75gal aquarium 0 nitrates 0 ammonia 0 nitrite. he only has a damsel and a cleaner shrimp I was wondering if one 10 minute dip would kill all the parasites and if they would be ok after I leave on Tuesday the 15th.  <Depends... mostly on what type of parasites you're referring to> Anthony advised me to keep them as is...but I think if I did that, by the time I get home I will have at least one dead fish...the only fish that is showing signs is the chevron...my other fish show no signs...the chevron doesn't even itch or scratch he just goes and gets cleaned. but he still has spots on him. they all eat and act totally normal except (me, the fish nerd watches them very closely and am paranoid that I may loose a fish while I am in LA) <Me too> Please Help ...What would you do in this situation...I want to keep all my fish in my friends aquarium while I am gone...he can take care of them...but has no experience with treating fish.. at least he can feed them etc. I want to keep the aquarium fallow for 3-4 weeks so all the parasites perish. Any suggestions would help...I already talked to Anthony. about 3-4 emails...I don't' want to over inundate him with my problems, I just need help...trying to get tidbits of info from everyone...I just know I can't let them be until the 30th of July or I know there will be losses...he mentioned feeding them medicated foods...I feed the garlic Xtreme by Kent marine. right now. It does very little to help out. what do you recommend <A tough choice, but I would go with your plan of dipping, moving the fishes. Bob Fenner> Thanks A BUNCH

- Follow-up: Down but Not Out, Black spot on tangs - Hello Anthony or WWM Crew, <It's JasonC today... hello to you.> Well this Tang was doing great, until I tried to cure it of its black spot disease, and then I killed it with a freshwater dip. This makes it 2-and-0 for my success rate having a healthy fish make it out of my FW dips alive (I wrote about a Coral Beauty that I sent into the hereafter with a FW dip.) I've had this Tang quarantined for about a week, without any meds or dips, just to observe what was going on and allow it to get acclimated to the QT before I dipped it. As I mentioned below, the black spots seemed to have gone away, and I've been vacuuming the tank floor every day, and these spots still hadn't reappeared. <These cycles take time - they have a life cycle which means if you've seen them once, you will see them again.> My thinking was that it might be a good time for a dip, since the absence of any noticeable black spots would mean there were very few worms on the Tang, and the Tang might be resultantly at a strong point to stand up to 'osmotic stretch' (by not having to fight parasites.) I prepared the water as instructed everywhere I've read about this procedure (nuked the chlorine/chloramine with Amquel, got the temp and pH (using Proper pH 8.2) as close as I could to the QT.) I put the Tang in the dip bucket for less than 2 minutes, moved it back to the QT, and it sank to the bottom on its side, breathing heavily for about an hour before it expired. <Well... the anecdote about this type of occurrence is that if it didn't make it through the dip, it wasn't going to make it anyway. I'm sure that is no consolation to you, but... is pretty much how it goes.> I'm getting very frustrated, as a simple procedure that is commonly used everywhere I read about disease prevention and cures, is turning out disastrous for me. These fish were apparently very strong and healthy before the dips, eating and looking 100%, and I just keep knocking them off like it's pure chlorine I'm dipping them in. <Perhaps not as strong as they appeared. Sadly, fish aren't like other things we are familiar with - other mammals: people, cats, dogs, etc... - fish can look excellent until the last day and then just drop dead or when they do show signs of illness, they are already on an irreversible path to the end.> I've thought of a few reasons for my failures: 1.) I'm not really removing all the chlorine and chloramine, or just breaking chloramine bonds and leaving ammonia in the water. <Possible... a good way to be certain would be to prepare the dipping water a day in advance.> 2.) The pH is not as close in the dip bucket to the QT as it should be. <Unless the pH is drastically different, [+/- 0.1 is fine] I wouldn't be concerned about this.> 3.) Same as #2 for temp. <How about aeration? Again, unless the temperatures are vastly different, this is probably not an issue.> 4.) I'm cursed. <Or your fish store is cursed. I would have a talk with them about the origin of their livestock. Many stores obtain their fish via a method called trans-shipping which more often than not results in compromised livestock. Also, the point of origin is important.> 5.) I'm stupid. <Probably not.> 6.) These fish just can't take it, for unknown reasons, and I've had an unlucky streak. <This is most likely, and in combination with my answer to #4.> As a further mysterious factor, our tap water here is very good, as in the chlorine/chloramine levels straight from the tap are almost 0, and anything else even remotely 'bad' (like copper, nitrites, nitrates) are below detection. This time of the year the pH straight from the tap is at or above 8.0. Maybe I should try hypo-salinity dips with Methylene Blue or similar from now on ... or sell my aquarium and just get one of those cheesy plastic tanks with fake plastic fish that float around when you plug the thing in. <Stick with it... the learning curve may be steep, but the rewards are well worth it. Again, do consult with the store where you purchase the fish. Both of the fish you mention are relatively sturdy, and I've dipped both in the past and never had problems.> Betcha I couldn't kill those guys.  Thanks, SLC  -  Fish Killed While You Wait <Chin up. Cheers, J -- >

Sick Clownfish My ocellaris clown is sick.  Yesterday, I notice a white spot, kind of like a  patch of loose skin on her.<I noticed you sent a picture...it was like a thumbnail picture...couldn't even see the white spot. Can you try resending the picture at a larger resolution?>  She is staying at the bottom in one spot, stopped eating and is breathing heavy.<Does not sound good.>  She also has just started large poops. I did a 15 min freshwater bath (same temp and ph) with a small amount of "rally"  copper free water treatment, and when I put her back in the tank, she seemed better. (My LFS said the FDA pulled Formalin from the market, but I notice rally has Formalin in it).<My LFS in central Florida still sell Formalin> I thought it was Brooklynella, but my LFS said it was velvet.<Do look over this page on how to treat for this disease and to identify it http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm> I don't think it is, she's not scratching and the spot is 1 large spot, not many smaller ones.<I have not seen the spot in the picture. One large spot does not sound to me like Brooklynella, could be a bacterial infection of some sort...please email me the picture again but at a higher resolution>  This morning, the spot is still there, and now on the white part of her fin has a maroon colored spot, like a bruise.<Again sounds more like a bacterial infection than it does Brooklynella>  Does anyone know what this is, I attached a picture.  Please help.  All water levels at 0, temp 78 salinity 1.023.<IanB>

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