Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Parasitic Marine Tanks 2

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic Disease

Related FAQs: Parasitic Marine Tanks 1, Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease, Brooklynellosis, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease

"The Worst Is Yet To Come!"

Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium?     10/12/15
Thank you all for your help and support in this very rewarding, albeit frustrating at times, hobby.
Here is my situation:
I've had all of my fish for over a year in a 100 gallon reef tank, so a parasite must have gotten in via a rock, coral, or invert, or my fish have been asymptomatic.
<Some parasite species, groups are very likely always present; put another way, it is extremely difficult to have SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) systems for some parasites; e.g. Cryptocaryon>
In May, I moved the tank to our new house. Everything went fine, but I did lose my cleaner shrimp a week later. Then, I had a tank leak a couple of months ago and had to move everything to temporary quarters for about a week. Finally, I moved everything back into the new tank a little over a month ago.
Well, I noticed the flame angel had white spots (like it was sprinkled with salt) a couple of weeks after the move to the new tank. The was at the end of August. Then my royal gramma was covered in spots and hid constantly. I lost these two a couple of weeks later. After that, I have had about one fish death every couple of weeks. Some had labored breathing and flashing on the rocks before they died. I lost 4 fish.
Last week I decided to remove the remaining fish to a quarantine tank and allow the tank to go fallow. Both of my ocellaris clownfish looked like they had been lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar around their head region, and the yellow tang frantically visited the remaining cleaner shrimp, and scratched on rocks. The two wrasses and clown gobies seem to be unaffected.
<A good clue>

I am currently performing tank transfer method (TTM) on my remaining fish.
I have read that this can eliminate C. irritans if administered correctly.
<Mmmm; more like forestall the ill-effects of hyper-infestation while host fishes hopefully develop sufficient immunity>
The first morning after the move, I lost one clownfish. I did the second tank transfer last night, and this morning I lost my yellow tang. He was breathing very fast after the transfer last night, and this morning he was on his side before he died. I took some photos of him that I can upload later. What is strange is that he looked like he was covered in powdered sugar. I placed him into freshwater to see if anything came off and some tiny white flecks are floating in the water. He is very red around his mouth and his tail area, almost like a bacterial infection was beginning.
<These last are secondary... to the Protozoan (primary)>
So what should I do now?
<Read? I'd be treating with a Quinine cpd. (CP)>

I plan on finishing the TTM and keeping them in quarantine for the full 72 days (while the DT is fallow). Could this be Brooklynella or Velvet?
<Not the last (symptomatically); and far more likely Cryptocaryon than Brook>
I don't think it is because everything didn't die quickly. Can crypto get so bad on a fish that they look cloudy?
<Oh yes>
The slime coat is intact and not coming off in sheets. There is no velvety sheen. I took skin, fins, and gill biopsies and took some photos. I've attached them. I also did some video and can clearly see the parasites rotating in the flesh. Let me know if you would like for me to send you the video.
<Please place somewhere on a Net server (e.g. YouTube) and just send along the link>
Someone else mentioned it might be velvet, but how did it get into the tank?
<Not Velvet likely; as this would have killed all fishes summarily; and presented different symptomology. See WWM re Amyloodinium>
What to do now? Should I treat the survivors with formalin and/or copper?
<You could run a bath with the former enroute to moving the fishes.... again, take your time and READ on WWM (and don't confuse yourself); or Ed Noga's work, or... NOT the hobbyist bb's>
This is very frustrating and will never happen again. EVERYTHING will be quarantined for at least two months before it is added to the display.
Thanks for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Disease... iatrogenic      10/21/14
<... 11.3 megs of pix... for one breaking down Damsel. We demand that queriors limit what they send us for the reasons stated on how you found to write us>
I have a 220 gallon aquarium that was setup in June. We have been slowly adding fish to it. I had 4 yellow-tailed damsels, 3 blue damsels, two orange Ocellaris clowns, one chocolate Ocellaris clown, one coral beauty, one
flame Hawkfish, one blond Naso tang and three Heniochus. I added two new fish last Friday, a saddle backed butterfly and a long-nosed butterfly.
<No mention of dip/bath, or quarantine. You're detailing the beginning of expensive lessons>
Both looked healthy at the time of acquisition. On Saturday all of the fish in the tank were eating and healthy. On Sunday night I noticed one Heniochus and the long-nosed butterfly were swimming in place and not eating. Last night I came home from work and most of the fish were covered with white spots and in obvious distress. Today, the Naso tang, yellow long-nosed butterfly, saddle backed butterfly, one Heniochus and one yellow-tailed damsel are dead.
<... soon the rest>

One Heniochus is near death and one orange Ocellaris clown is in great distress. I am attaching pictures of one of the surviving damsels. Can you identify the problem and advise a course of action? Thank you.
<Not with great confidence from mere photos. Need sampling and microscopic examination. Where to refer you to read? Maybe here:
and as much of the linked files in the header as it takes for you to be satisfied that you understand your options (now). Going forward: prophylactic measures... Bob Fenner>

Re: Disease. Quinine use      10/22/14
I am sorry about sending too many pictures. Thank you for the information.
I will read it and greatly appreciate your prompt reply.
Best regards,
<Ah, welcome. BobF>
Re: Disease      10/22/14

I have spent some time reading your recommended links and it looks like a treatment with Quinine is in order. Is there a particular Quinine product that I should be looking for? Thank you again in advance.
<Ah yes. Chloroquine phosphate. B>
Re: Disease. Using WWM      10/22/14

Thank you. I am having difficulty finding Chloroquine phosphate. Do they sell it at pet shops? Is there a particular brand name with this ingredient?
Many thanks again.
Re: Disease      10/22/14

Thank you.
<Welcome. BobF>

Likely Marine Velvet infection in display tank where the fish appear immune. Impt. Questions        11/27/13
I appreciate the vast knowledge of the site and have used it quite a bit to try to understand the hobby, but I haven't been able to track a specific answer to the question I have. Basically, I had two fish die, which raised alarms, and my LFS and I couldn't pinpoint cause. My water parameters have been consistently normative. I did not quarantine (tragic flaw), because my LFS does quarantine, but I purchased a fish from a different store, and I believe that fish was the fish that introduced Velvet into my display tank because it was the first to die. The second (an already introduced Toby puffer) followed shortly thereafter.
<IF Amyloodinium, likely all fishes would die... and show symptoms>
The tank is 90g FOWLR with a valentini, dwarf lionfish, Foxface, dwarf angelfish, goby, and a rainbow wrasse.  The two that died were a saddle puffer and a flame angel (which I replaced with the current one). The deaths occurred over a month ago.
Because none of the other fish appeared affected at the time (nor have they shown symptoms at two a half months), I didn't suspect Velvet,
 but I had a 30g freshwater that I converted to saltwater by taking LR and saltwater from the other tank, and I introduced two clown Perculas to it.
They looked healthy for a couple of weeks. One day, they were fine. Both were eating and were fine. The next day, one was dead and the other was swimming in the flow and had a white velvety hue. I pulled it out, gave it a freshwater dip, but it died before I could get it copper treatment.
Long story longer, I Googled "Velvet," and the image of the clown popped up. It was an exact image of what my fish looked like.
<Mmm; could be other Protozoans>
I'm going to let the thirty gallon lie fallow, but the 90g, from which the infestation likely occurred, I don't want to molest. The fish in the 90g appear well.  My question is, will the Velvet die off if the fish in the tank aren't affected, or will it continue to live? Also, will I be able to introduce new fish to that one, or will I have to be wary of an outbreak?
<There are folks; plain hobbyists to academics, who've stated that some parasitic diseases can/do induce immunity; and I do believe this is so, as well as the possibility of such infestations "laying dormant" or existing in sub-clinical states in captive systems... "waiting" for weakened stock, conditions to "become" hyperinfective... How to avoid troubles? The assiduous use of quarantine/isolation ("hardening") of new specimens... even slow introduction to the extant system by way of adding some water from it to the isolation system after the new specimen/s is/are stable.
This sort of topic is touched on in the "Infected States" FAQs files that are linked here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reefparfaq2.htm
and the linked files in series>
Thank you for your time.
<And you for yours. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Ich Challenges in a large Aquarium  2/16/12
Thanks Bob,
<Welcome Brand>
I just wanted to reiterate my appreciation for your insight and candor.  I also appreciate the service you and your team does for the greater community; and of course, I'm a huge fan of your book.  I really love this hobby and want to get everyone well.
 I'll discuss your recommendations with my LFS team and keep you posted.  As I mentioned I have been reading through the forums, just sometimes you feel your situation is a bit unique and while I had seen lots of posts on Ich, UV, and Ozone, just wanted to bounce this off of you for your guidance.
<I understand>
As a side question, in the forums it seems that you are in the camp that Ich never really goes away completely, just goes dormant, and hopefully your fish have built up a good resistance when it comes back?
<Mmm, not altogether... I have seen SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) systems, and of course their livestock; but hobby systems are almost always to a degree infested... My fave petfish talk: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
  In the future, assuming that I do a full QT on all of my new additions, is there still a high risk of infection for any new fish after QT when they are introduced into the new tank?
<Not "too" high, given optimization, stability of the system, life there...>
 Anything you can do to mitigate the risk beyond QT?
<Oh, many "things"... all gone over and over as maintenance aspects... Do read the above citation>
 I just want to make sure I do everything I can to not repeat this ever again.
Thanks again for all of your help!
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Marine Ich Challenges in a large Aquarium, parasitic sys. f'    2/8/12

Hi Bob,
Wanted to give you an update and request a bit more of your insight.  So after we last spoke three weeks ago, I decided that I was going to try to catch/trap as many fish as I could out of my tank and QT them, but I couldn't bring myself to totally tear down the tank.
<All fishes/hosts must be removed... otherwise act as reservoirs>
 At that time, almost all fish had Ich including my tangs, clownfish, wrasse, Chromis, Anthias, cardinals &c.  I turned off my Ozone, but added the 80w UV to the display tank. 
Since then, I've made some really good progress.  Obviously all of the fish I treated in the QT are looking good. The fish in the main tank have really pulled through (what I couldn't catch.)  I don't see any Ich on any of the wrasse, cardinals, Anthias, or Chromis in the display tank (very different from 3 weeks ago) and the tangs look much much better now.  I can still see a few spots on two of the tangs, but it's drastically reduced, and none of the fish are scratching on the rocks or seem otherwise stressed at all.  All of the parameters (including monitoring the ORP) are looking good.
So, thinking forward here. 
1, When can I reintroduce the fish I have in the QT into the display tank?
<Any time... but/though the Crypt will reappear if/when the environment degrades, the fishes are otherwise challenged, very likely if/when any new are added. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
and the linked files above... Till/do you understand the sort of balance you're faced with?>
Aka how much longer should I wait either in time or condition before I start to reintroduce fish?
2, is there a particular order of fish you'd introduce, or a particular number at a time?
3, I'm particularly concerned about my tangs because even though they did live with each other prior to the outbreak, I'm afraid that the ones I reintroduce from the QT might face aggression from the ones I left in the main tank.
<Such animals should go elsewhere>
 I don't think I can take them all out or rearrange the rockwork.
One idea I had was to put the ones from the QT tank into plastic cages (with tons of holes drilled) in the main tank when it is the right time to introduce them so that the tangs in the main tank 1, won't be able to hurt them right off the bat, 2, they will be able to get acclimated to them and hopefully won't get aggressive.  If you think that's the way to go, how long would you leave them in those tanks?
<Keep reading>
Two other side questions.  Do you believe that Ozone can deteriorate a fish's slime coat (assuming the ORP is 350-400 mv, all other levels are at optimum values)?
<Much more likely to improve health at these levels>
 Prior to putting the fish back into the display tank, is there any type of slime coat treatments like StressGuard that you would recommend? 
<Of no use whatsoever>
My LFS recommended that I catch the fish with a small bucket from the QT and put it into the DT rather than netting them because it could hurt their slime coat and make them more vulnerable.  Got me thinking if there was anything else I could do to help the fish better transfer.
<In the end, whatever, whenever (time is as fast as the slowest thing... an important stmt.) that is, it matters naught>
Again I greatly appreciate you insight!  I don't want to rush things, but also looking forward to getting everyone situated.
<... You had your chance, still do, to weaken the Crypt further... at this junction, are you willing to take the parasitized system challenge? Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm
and the.... B>

Copper, parasitic sys., SW
I upgraded my system and I had a Ich breakout from the stress. I am going to have to treat my main system I have too many fish, and they will not fit in a 55 quarantine tank. i am going to pull out my sand, and rock and start
vacuuming the bottom  of the tank. Bob what do you think I should do if it was you?
<Maybe nothing... maybe try a quinine cpd. Read:
and the linked files above>
I don't know anybody in my area that is in the hobby. I took a Emperor to my lfs about a year ago to have him watch him for me while my tank cycled, and he sold the fish! I am going to have to treat my main display and not really sure what route to go. I have two puffers, a few tangs, and angels.
I know copper is the easiest, but I don't want to kill my bacteria and fish. please help. Jim

Ich, SW sys    2/10/12
Hi Crew,
what can I do to treat Ich in my 220 gal display tank. I have a 30 gal hospital tank which is not nearly big enough to house all of my fish. the two tangs I recently added are now showing signs of Ich....I am SO frustrated I just want to cry. I have 2 tangs, a Foxface, 3 clowns, 2 skunk shrimp, a fire shrimp, scallops, royal gramma, dwarf angel, dart fish, and blenny. Tons of rockwork....I can't catch all the fish. The tangs are the only ones showing any signs of Ich and they are also not eating well except for the natural algae in the tank. Everyone else seems to be doing fine. I also have a rose tip anemone, a brain coral and a star coral as well as some mushrooms. What are my options at this point?
<There are a few... Please (quickly) read here:
and the linked files above that are related directly>
 I am hopeless :( I have done so much reading and learned a lot so far....but obviously not enough. I did not want to put these tangs in my dt without a full qt period, but was advised that my qt was too small to house these tangs for 4 weeks.....please help
me....thank you :(
<Read, write back if you have further questions. All is not lost. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Ich, SW parasitized sys.    2/11/12

Hi Bob,
So pretty much after reading for hours, I have decided that I will just wait and see what happens.
<Is one path>
 I am going to continue feeding mostly garlic flake and some Mysis soaked in garlic, and keep the temps up a bit and make sure I keep the water conditions as close to perfect as possible and hope that they can fight it off...
I have a blue hippo tang in QT still and I am planning on just keeping it there for at least 2 months...but as far as I read, the QT tank is not always reliable either.
 At this point, I am really wishing I would have passed on the tangs....Can you add anything specifically to my plan above?
<The soaking of foods in Vitamins, HUFA prep.s like Selcon, MicroVit... to boost immunity, the measure/improvement of RedOx via application of UV, Ozone, cleaning of gear in general, lessening of metabolite
Thank you
<Welcome, BobF>

Re: ich
- 3/10/12
Hi Bob,
Just thought I would update you on my ich situation. I lost one tang, he was not eating well. However, I have been following your advice with the RedOx, the vitamins particularly Vita-chem., garlic, and Selcon and so far the ich seems to be under control. The two tangs and the royal gramma still have the spots but otherwise are behaving normally and eating quite well.
All other tank members, the Foxface, 4 clowns, and the starry blenny are fine with no spots. My question to you is, do people actually have tangs successfully without ich?
<Yes; but a hard group to rid of... particularly some soft-bodies species... Acanthurus achilles, A. leucosternon, A. nigricans are the worst>
Do you think if I got rid of the tangs then the ich would lessen even more?
And when can I add new fish? I am thinking I should wait a while but how long would you recommend?
<Several weeks, a couple months>
 I am wondering if there are fish that are more immune to ich than others since I know the ich is in my system and I do not want to make a small situation turn into a huge one..I have read for days on your site and have learned so much, but these questions are unique so I thought I would follow up.
<Welcome. B>

New fish RIP, Questions on Quarantine tank, fallow tank or bleach     2/1/12
Well,  I should start this off by saying I'm either an idiot for not paying attention on what I've read on your site about the need for quarantine tanks, or I'm the fish Grim Reaper himself.
<Perhaps both or neither>
I had a FOWLR tank lose a newly added dog-face puffer, angel, and trigger fish.  The angel and trigger went on the same day.  They all looked like had pale splotchy skin.  They went from eating to dead in about 2 days.
The puffer went a little bit earlier and had the same symptoms.
Water quality looked good throughout the process.  Nitrates under 20ppm, Nitrites 0, PH 8.0-8.2.
I never implemented a quarantine process using the "fish looked good" method.  Well, I guess its time to admit that that method doesn't work.
<Most all eventually "get caught">
I am pulling the remaining fish out of the main display tank and treating with copper in the quarantine tank when the test kit arrives.. The remaining fish look healthy at this time.  They are a porcupine puffer 5", Lunar Wrasse 4" and a 18" snowflake eel.
<Mmm, none really "like" copper...>
My questions are:
1)  Can I use the water from the main tank to setup the quarantine?
2)  Will copper kill what is killing my fish, or do I need to do more research on the disease?  Is there a site that I can compare pictures to?
<Yes and yes, but you really need to get/use a microscope... Do read here:
and consider Quinine instead of Cu>
3)  How long should I fallow the FOWLR tank?
  Is it possible to bleach the tank instead of going through the long procedure? 
I'd like to take the tank down and do some work on the sump since everything is messed up.  I understand that I still need to quarantine the fish during that time and treat them if needed.
4) Should I setup the 25G quarantine with a higher temperature around 85 deg, and lower salinity?
<Can be beneficial, though will raise the metabolic rate of the fishes, lower gaseous solubility... a narrower range of safety>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: New fish RIP, Questions on Quarantine tank, fallow tank or bleach     2/1/12

Do I have to do anything special with the rock if I bleach it?  Will it still be usable, or would it ruin it permanently?
<Bleach, rinse, let air dry>
I ordered some Quinine (CryptPro).  Can I re-use the substrate, or do I have to trash that?
  It is crushed coral?  Maybe I can bake it and the rocks to avoid bleach?
<Can bleach, rinse, re-use>
Anyways, thanks for the help again.  Great site that is very very helpful!
Thanks again.
<And welcome again. BobF>

ick, my latest experience and my own conclusions. SW, parasitized systems, cures that work    12/16/11
Hi Crew,
<Hey Sam>
I have a 24 gallon AquaPod with LPS, LED lighting and the following fish.
Royal gramma (1 year), Green Clown Goby(2 years), Pajama Cardinal (8 years), baby Pajama Cardinal (2 months), Tailspot Blenny (8 months) and a Rusty Goby (3 years and hardly ever see him). Tank temp is usually around 80, salinity 1.025.
On November 30 I picked up a Blue eyed Cardinal (from a hobbyist, mistake because it is too big for my tank) and 3 days later he looked like he was full of ick. On December 4 after lights were out I took him out and put him in Greenex(malachite green-mixed as directed) that I happened to have.
After a half hour I put him back in the tank. I have not used Greenex for years and the last time I battled ick it was with copper.
<Greenex: Malachite Green & Quinine HCL (Aquatronics)>
The next day he looked fine, eats well was clean.
On December 11 I noticed my Gramma was missing at feeding time. Finally found him hiding but could not see anything on him. On December 12 he did come out to eat and I could not see any spots on him. But he was not his usual self. Then I saw the Green Clown Goby and he was full of spots. After lights went out I dipped him in Greenex for 30 minutes. Decided I would use garlic flakes and Selcon for the next few feedings.
<Mmm, what about the rest of the fishes/hosts? The system itself is infested>
December 13 and the Green Clown Goby has a couple spots and is eating. But the baby Pajama Cardinal has cloudy fins. Did not see any spots and he is eating. Will continue to monitor at this point rather than take them out for copper treatment.
Today is December 16 and all is well so I am assuming this attack is over.
My situation was resolved so quickly that some may say that it was not ick.
But I am sure it was. I was able to inspect my clown goby up close.
My conclusions. Not real facts but my own speculations.
<Well put>
1. The fish fought it off on their own. What little intervention I did probably had no bearing on the outcome. But dipping those most sick gave them a little more breathing room to survive and also reduced the ick population so that a second round never came.
2. Had I used some product I would be telling everyone how good it is. And that is why people claim some product worked for them when in fact they could have done nothing.
<You are correct. And not "just some people"... A bunch of folks involved in making, selling "scam products" that they portend are efficacious>
3. Most products don't do the job because if they did then everyone would use it and ick would not be a real problem. Using copper, other meds or low salinity have been the only consistently successful ways to beat it.
<Thus far... quinine compounds show promise in future>
4. My situation is probably the kind where regardless of what you do or don't do the results are success. I think the reason is that either the fish have immunity to that particular strain of ick or it is just a week strain that the fish can handle.
5. Why did ick flair up in my tank. My guess is as follows. The fish I got from a fellow hobbyist was probably ok in his tank. My tank did have ick a couple years ago and probably my fish are able to handle it. My new fish was stressed from the move from his nice big old tank to my little one with a new set of neighbors. And he was not immune to the ick in my tank so, bingo, he comes down with it. Now the population of ick in my tank rises since they had a host to help them reproduce. The new volume of the parasite now enabled it to attack my other fish that until then were able to handle the small population, but were now overwhelmed by a much larger population, so they got sick. But being a weak strain eventually they all fought it off and now all is well.
This explanation may also explain why at times people QT new fish and they still come down with ick.
I know, there is nothing scientific about my conclusions but it sounds logical to me.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Advice, Crypt sys.    1/31/11
<Hello Patrick>
I have a bit of a dilemma. I have had my fish for over 3-5 years now and all of them went through a quarantine and then copper treatment for Cryptocaryon irritans back then.
Long story, but basically, I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and had a friend sit my tank while I was gone. He did a fine job, but I did manage to lose 2 fish during that time. So, when I returned and set up my system in the new home I decided to add a few fish to replace the fish lost. As is my ONLY custom, I placed them in quarantine for a month. They had been in relative hypo conditions.....1.015..... at the LFS. I raised them up over a couple days to 1.025.....my display tank conditions.
<A little fast for my liking>
And, there they swam for a month with daily inspections. I even took them out of the QT in an opaque jug and would inspect them by shining a light from below to look for any lesions or parasites.......and nothing.
<This is good practice>
So, I decided not to prophylactically treat them since they had reportedly been in the store for over a month and showed no signs of anything.
I personally know they were at the LFS for over 2
weeks. The fish added were a Centropyge venustus and loriculus and a Zebrasoma xanthurum. After nearly a month in the display tank, I noticed crypt trophonts on 4 of the fish..... my Hippo Tang, Emperor Angel, Purple Tang and the Flame Angel. None of the fish act any different....no scratching, no anorexia.....they are acting just fine. I just hate seeing anything on my fish.
<Yes, especially when such lengths have been gone to eliminate the presence of parasites.. trying indeed>
Fully knowing better, but dreading the task of tearing the reef apart to get the fish out, I succumbed to trying the new (to me anyway) Herbtana
<Hmm, one of the 'reef safe' 'cures' I take it>
as I was sworn up and down to how well it worked for someone who has demonstrated success with their tanks. Of course, it did not work......
<of course>
and I did it for twice as long as instructed and I even slightly higher dosed too. All of the fish have not changed and the breakouts are about the same. Still not acting any different and still eating fine.....and this is going on about 5-6 weeks since I first noticed the trophonts.
So, my question is, should I take them all out and risk going thru a copper treatment?
Or do I potentially have a weakened
<low level infestation>
strain that the fish will be able to fend off.
<More likely>
I have read where the parasite will fade away after several lifecycles on the same fish......
<Me too>
of course that could take up to 11 months.
<To my knowledge there is no data on this>
My fish are Hippo tang, Purple Tang, Emperor angel (adult), Flame angel, Venustus angel, pair of Black and White ocellaris, pair of Banggai cardinals and a Golden Sailfin blenny, in a 120 gallon.
<Too small. An Emperor needs double this size, the Paracanthurus... a six foot run>
Obviously, they will have to go into several
QTs....I plan on dividing them up into 3 tubs.....two 30 gallons and one 50 gallon. I have had most of the fish for over 5 years with no problems since the original crypt infestation and no breakouts since then. While I am decent in treating sick fish......I do it for others all the time......I am reticent to take a chance and possibly kill my pets if I do not need to. Just looking for some more advanced advice from folks that may have come across this situation before.
<Have seen/ heard/ read/ experienced first hand these issues many times..
with what you describe I would not panic into a protracted quarantine here, instead I would find another home for the Emperor at least, maybe the Regal/ Hippo as well. You will find that apart from your system being too small, the removal of these will better facilitate the other fishes ability to hold off the parasites>
My other factor causing me to pause in treatment is the fact that there are no behavioral changes at all with the fish....just me. I am freaking.
<Yes, I would not worry too much here Patrick. Many many people, including myself, are living with small numbers of these parasites without any ill effects. Good care of your fishes & proper environment (including space) will see you through here>
Thanks in advance and warm regards,
<Thank you for writing>

Parasite protocols - 8/1/10
<And some of the tender gender>
I'm not off to good start....I have a 70g display up and running for about 3 months.
My first stocking was a pair of true Percs that went through a formalin/malachite dip and freshwater/Methylene rinse, followed by 4 weeks in quarantine with no complications.
I introduced them to the 70g and about 2 weeks later one showed some ich. I put the pair through another formalin dip and back into the 70g. It has been 2 weeks with no further/new indications.
I am now wondering if I should put them back into QT, treat them more aggressively (quinine or copper) and let the 70g go fallow for 6 weeks before more stocking.
<I would not. More likely to live being left in the main display... And it may be the source of the infestation anyway>
I guess this is the age old quandary of whether one can ever keep a tank totally free of parasites without aggressively treating all fish before introduction.
<Yes... there are specific pathogen free systems, even whole commercial aquaculture facilities... but mixing any "wild collected" wet material (live rock, sand, all invertebrates, fishes...) can be a source of such problems>
I could very easily introduce a parasite in the future without doing so, and find myself in this same situation only with a tank full of fish to pull and treat.
Your thoughts...thank you.
<I would leave all as is currently Ron... prophylactically treat any new biological input, at least with separation for a few weeks. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasite protocols  8/1/10

Mr. Fenner...Bob if I may-
<Sure, is my name>
Now I am conflicted..I spoke with my LFS guy after emailing you, and as could be expected, his advise <advice> was much different.
He recommended I pull the clowns and return them to QT with my other fish and treat with copper.
<Mmm, no... I wouldn't... Copper is too harsh for Amphiprionines period... please read WWM before writing...>
He is a staunch advocate of copper (he stated his experience with quinine has not been positive) and allow the tank to go fallow.
He also is not convinced the fallowing technique is a sure thing either, but tearing down and sterilizing is stepping way back.
I believe his thinking is that while I am in the early stages of stocking, I have an opportunity to do something prophylactic that becomes increasingly more difficult as stocking progresses.
On that point I agree, from a common sense approach...however stepping back to a point I was at 6 weeks ago and looking forward to another 6 weeks of quarantine is not a pleasant thought either.
<I wouldn't quarantine... as stated ayer. Read here:
I might add, this is a fish only setup with no live rock or substrate, so in all likelihood any infestations will be a result of fish introduction.
<Maybe... B>

Re Ick update, SW, infested sys. f'  3/23/10
Hi Crew,
This is just an update to an Ick problem. I added a Neon Goby, Blue Chromis and a Rusty Goby to my 24 gallon Aquapod at the end of January. No qt.
After about 10 days the Neon had Ick. My decision was to wait and see rather than remove and treat. The tank also has a Firefish and a Green Clown goby.
None of the other fish had any visible Ick. The Neon went through a number of cycles of Ick and some were pretty bad as far as how it looked. But he always ate and was very active. It is over a week that I have not seen any
Ick on him but it did take its toll. When I got him he was a very solid looking fish and now he looks emaciated and his skin is blotched. He does eat and he is very active so I am hoping that he will fully recover. (
Had I used one of the Ick products, that the Crew says does no good, I would have attributed the success to that product.)
<Ah yes...>
In any case my tank is infected. So at some point some of some fish will die and I will want to replenish them. Will I be able to add fish without them getting (s)Ick.
<Only time/experience here can/will tell. It's best (like doing what one can to preserve the health of AIDS patients let's say) to be extra careful in adding fishes to systems that have established, known Crypt infestations. BobF>

Been There...Done That? (Ich manifesting after quarantine and fallow tank) -- 09/23/09
<<Greetings Adam>>
I have been in the marine salt-water hobby for around 10 years or so.
<<Set up my first SW tank in 1977>>
I have paid my dues (time and money) and have a really great fish tank now.
120 gallon, 100 lbs live rock, ev-120 skimmer, 20 gallon sump. Really all the fixings, the dream tank (until the 600 reef in 5 years).
1 - cleaner shrimp
assortment of Crabs
1- Copperband Butterfly Fish
1- 4-5 inch Juvenile Emperor angelfish
1- Kole Tang
5- Green Chromis
2- Fire fish
System has been established for 3.5 years and really a good healthy tank. I had an outbreak about 6 weeks ago of Ich and fired up the ole' quarantine tank. I must have gotten the ich from Live Rock Purchased...
<<Can be a vector re>>
How can one introduce live rock into the tank without putting it into the quarantine tank for a month?
<<There are those that advocate quarantine for anything 'wet'>>
I'm worried about it absorbing copper solution from the quarantine tank
<<Ah well 'then perhaps a separate system for such. It can be as simple as a plastic trash can with a powerhead'¦much like if you were simply curing the rock>>
............Fresh water bath for 30 min?
<<I would NOT do this with live rock. Way too much damage/destruction to the emergent life on and within the rock from such a treatment>>
At any rate, I put all the fish in the Q-Tank, for a little over a month (35 days to be exact). The display tank was left bare for this time period with just my inverts. Fish were treated with hyposalinity, 84' degree temp and CopperSafe in quarantine and made complete recovery. I have since put all the fish back in the display tank and they have the best I have ever super healthy, etc. Last night however, I noticed the tang flashing once on the rocks just one time........and I got worried.........and went ahead and starting analyzing my fish. My butterfly fish looks like he took a small tang hit from the tang as he has a little slice around the middle of his body and has 1 spot on his back fin and it is slightly ripped. The angelfish has 1 spot on 1 fin. They have been really healthy and get along great 99% of the time but I have noticed them going after certain new areas of the tank and fighting a little bit, as the rockwork is different because I had to tear it all out to catch all the fish.
<<Perhaps just reestablishing 'territory'>>
Am I going crazy here thinking I still have ick?
<<Is possible'¦ A bit more time may have been needed here for the tank to sit fallow (some authors do suggest 6-8 weeks as a minimum). I've also heard discussion that this organism can at times lie dormant, awaiting more favorable conditions 'which may explain much>>
Fish are doing great, eating like wild beasts and swimming great........
<<Very good>>
I've read some articles where Mr. Fenner describes these ideal tank conditions and having a small population of ick in which healthy specimens can survive
<<Ah yes 'and likely no need for panic here. I'd venture to say that, most of the time, most any hobbyist's display harbors this protozoan. My own system (I too have Tangs and a Copperband Butterfly) will show small signs of infection from time to time 'but with a healthy diet and healthy environment, the fishes are able to, on their own, easily ward off these manifestations>>
...and wondering if I am always going to have the parasite but just have to overlook the 1 or 2 grains and have good stable water parameters.
<<A stable and healthy environment free from undue stress to keep this pest organism from gaining the upper-hand is key>>
Maybe I don't have the disease again...but in these articles he recommends biological agents such as cleaner shrimp additions to the tank versus outright hospitalization if there is a small outbreak.
<<I am much in agreement. For such times where this is practical, a 'biological' solution such as the cleaner shrimp (or even just the fish's own immune system) is the better alternative>>
The rest of my fish look great..........Tang is what I use for visualization as they would be the first to have the parasite and I cannot see any on his body. Can 2-3 little dots be something different than Ick?
<<Sure 'even sand maybe>>
I've read about 1,000 hours of material on the site and broke down and emailed you, please don't refer me to the FAQs!!!
<<No worries mate>>
Please advise and thanks,
<<I would simply monitor things for now. If your fish/system is as healthy as you say, I give you good odds the fish can/will handle this on their own. Cheers, EricR>>

Royal Gramma with ich... using WWM  7/6/08 Hello crew, again I find myself in need of your priceless advice. This morning I had noticed a few white spots on the tail and part of the body of my royal Gramma. I had just moved him to a bigger tank because he was getting way too aggressive in my 20 gal. As soon as I noticed the white spots I immediately gave him a fresh water dip with a few drops of ich-x. <... of what use might this be if the system is infested?> No other fish have any spots yet, not even my blue tang. The Gramma had no spots when removed from the dip. Do you think I should treat with copper to be safe or would the action that I took do the trick? <...> I have 1 brittle star and 1 cleaner shrimp, is there any medication that's invert safe? And I would quarantine but my 20 gal QT tank had a leak that could not be repaired. So I have to invest in a new one in the coming week. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Shea <... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: other writer's comment on disappearance of Crypt in the tank with time 01/21/2008 Hi there! <Hello> Several days ago a FAQ was submitted about Ich "disappearing" in a tank if there had been no cases within a certain time period. They could not remember what article it was, but I think I may have found the reference. <Ahh> I have recently been battling Crypt on my Purple Tang, and so had also been researching the disease. I think the article "Marine "Ich"" on this page "http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/marineich.html " is what the writer remembers. The text in it reads: <"Burgess and Matthews (1994) were attempting to maintain a viable population of C. irritans which could be used in later studies. To maintain the parasite populations, they needed host fish in order for the trophonts to feed and continue the life cycle. Each host fish was only used once in a process of serial transition such that none of the hosts would die or develop an immunity. While the procedure worked very well and enabled them to maintain populations for some time, the viability of the populations decreased with time and none of the 7 isolates they used survived more than 34 cycles, around 10 to 11 months. They suggest this is due to senescence and aging in cell lines is well recognised in Ciliophora. The presence of aging cell lines in C. irritans suggests that an aquarium that has been running for longer than 12 months without any additions is unlikely to have any surviving "Ich" parasites, yet another exception to "Ich" always being present. Whilst "Ich" may be present in some aquaria, it is certainly not present in all aquaria. Through careful quarantining and treatment, it is very much possible to establish and maintain an "Ich" free aquarium."> I hope you find this article reference useful...I know I have learned more recently about Cryptocaryon than I ever thought I would. My Purple Tang seems to have beaten Ich using the product Ich Attack in my display tank - I will report back on the long-term results of my treatment in another month. Before you say "You read our information and still treated your display tank!!!", I will provide you with a short history of the treatment. I admit I was loath to dismantle my tank to catch my fish, as I did not have a ready quarantine tank of the right size. I didn't think a Purple Tang, a Six-line Wrasse, and a Yellow Watchman goby would QT well in a 13-gallon acrylic tank (which is what I have) for the duration, so I was looking at using a 18- gallon Rubbermaid tub - would this have been big enough? After reading as much about it as I could, my LFS persuaded me to try the treatment he has several times successfully used on various tanks to treat Ich, as has another one of his customers (who has also successfully used it on 3 different tanks). So, somewhat against my original inclination, I decided I would try the medication - and if it didn't show results or the tang became worse, I would do the QT. My tang started out with ~12 spots that I could see, but none of the other symptoms often reported. I also began feeding him the New Spectrum Anti-parasitic Pellets exclusively, which he ate every 3-5 hours as if he hadn't been fed in months. After 8 days I doubled the treatment per the directions from Novalek to a full dose every 12 hours...and at the end of the second week my tang seems to be free of the Crypt spores for 3 days. I did not run my skimmer during this treatment, but I did run a Magnum HOT filter with a micron cartridge. As I said, I will report on my Tang - I figure waiting 8 weeks before getting any additional fish is only prudent - and if the Ich returns, I will report and also be doing the QT treatment. I apologize for the length of the email - I always appreciate the tremendous information your website provides, and hope that I can successfully report on the use of Ich Attack to other aquarists. Thanks, Kerstin <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Crypt conundrum... treatment or stasis  - 1/04/08 Hi Bob, <Nancy> Once again, thanks for your speedy reply. I was hoping you can help me out again with another issue. Sorry in advance for being so lengthy. Your eyes must get as tired as ours do from reading your website. :-) <I wear glasses... now> I have been reading about ich on your website for sometime now, and have decided that I need to let my 90 gallon go fallow while I am waiting for my new 215 gallon from Oceanic (only some of my fish show signs of having a mild case of ich - a few specs on the fins, rubbing against objects, I had a Regal tang that infected the tank <Very common> and showed several visible spots all over, but I recently gave her away to someone who would treat her as I was afraid to treat with copper then... ro!). I have been running UV sterilizers to keep the ich under control. I have already torn down the 90 gallon, removed all the fish, and moved the 90 gallon away from the wall where the new tank will go. I now have an invert only tank running in the middle of my living room and 3 other fish tanks throughout the house. <Pretty soon... glassing in the front door and filling the whole house with water!> I have also placed in the 90 gallon all the liverock acquired from my other tanks that I am going to use in the new tank. I don't want to place ich infested liverock in the new tank. And I also don't want to rely on UV sterilizers anymore as a way to keep ich under control. <You are correct> After reading up on your website, I've decided that I want to treat with Cupramine for 2 or 3 weeks in a couple of 10 gallon tanks with daily partial water changes (while, of course, testing copper levels). I also have copper sensitive fish and thought a 1/2 dose would work. <Mmm, no... only a physiological dose/concentration is of use here... less than 0.15 ppm free Copper or its equivalent will only poison your fishes> I've read on your site about an individual's Coral Beauty dying right away with Cupramine treatment - do you suppose the dose was too high or ammonia did him in? <Could be either, neither, both> Is it necessary to treat all the fish (even ones that don't show signs)? <Yes... all are potential reservoirs...> After all, they all reside in the same tank (currently, the 58 gallon, and quite peacefully I might add). I was wondering if running a 6 watt UV sterilizer in a 10 gallon tank (no substrate) with 50% water changes daily for 2 weeks would be a better solution for the sensitive fish and fish with no symptoms? <Mmm, sort of a defining line of decision here for you... to go with an attempt at eradication of the protozoan, or settle on a balance of hosts, parasites...> (This is how I have acclimated my new fish successfully, except it didn't work very well with the Regal Tang - I call this my sterilization tank). Please advise me how you would treat each fish. <All treated or non-treated...> I'm sorry my fish list is so long, but I do greatly appreciate your help. The following is a list of my fish and whether or not they show any signs of ich: - Yellow Tail Damsel medium (none) - False Percula Clown medium (none) - False Percula Clown small (none) - Six Line Wrasse medium (none) - Six Line Wrasse small (none) - Royal Gramma medium (few visible spots on fins, rubs against rock) - Orchid Dottyback medium (no visible spots, rubs against rock) - Coral Beauty medium (I think I saw her scratch one time and might have seen a spot or two on her) - Yellow Tang small (few visible spots on fins, scratched only  once or twice recently) - Sailfin Tang small (few visible spots on fins, scratched only once or twice recently) - Flame Hawkfish (none) - Long Nose Hawkfish (none) - Pajama Cardinal medium (few visible spots on fin, no scratching) The 3 bullies I had to put in a different tank became severely infected (an ammonia test showed .5ppm most likely from a dirty tank). I immediately isolated and sterilized these guys for 2 weeks. I had to put them in another tank after treatment because I needed the UV sterilizer for my 40 gallon Goby tank (a whole new story - maybe I'll write again when I'm ready to attack that issue). They are as follows: - Atlantic Blue Tang small (completely covered with ich before sterilization, now only few visible spots on fins and occasionally scratches) - Cherub Pigmy Angel medium (several visible spots on tail before sterilization, now damaged fins and tail; most likely from fighting with Dottyback) - Magenta Dottyback large (few visible spots of ich and some bacterial infection on bottom fins before sterilization, now no visible spots, some bacterial infection, and skin is mottled - any ideas?) <Likely the movement, stress...> Once again, thanks in advance for your help. And my fish appreciate it too. Nancy <I'd read a bit more at this point... Only you can decide which path you will take here... It seems you are leaning toward the "balanced" infestation route... By bolstering the immune responses of your fish stock (good feeding/nutrition, I strongly suggest the Spectrum line), and maintaining otherwise optimized, stable conditions, you should be able to keep what you list. Bob Fenner>

Parasite Panic... reading  12/5/07 Hi guys, I recently suffered a wipe out after adding a Royal Gramma and Flame Hawkfish to my established 60 gallon FO tank. I had not added fish in over one year so I tried to be careful. Freshwater dip and 3 weeks in QT (probably should have been longer) All fish thrived for about one week then mysterious death of Heniochus soon to be followed by the rest of the fish over 3 days. It wasn't until the last fish, the Hawkfish, then I noticed white spots. I broke the system down and bleached everything, rinsed, allowed to dry, then ran only freshwater in the system for 2 days prior to adding salt. I purchased two small Heniochus <Need more room than this...> and dipped them for about five minutes prior to addition. After one week fish with ick or velvet. I decided to treat the display tank, whether right or wrong with Cupramine. <... a poor idea> Larger white spots disappeared after two days an I thought I was in the clear only to now see a covering of fine white spots. As I have already treated the tank, do I have any other options to save these fish? <A few...> Should I dip then again and for longer. I have a feeling I might be starting over again. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might offer. <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm The sections on Parasitic systems, Crypt... Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich... Crypt 12/07/2007 Hey Bob <Todd> I have read all that stuff and I'm doing what your site says, that's why I'm confused. <...?> You said I could do more, besides UV, parasite control cleaners and treating everything I get with copper or some other med, what else is there for ich? <The use of quinine cpd.s., adjuncts to dips...> When I get the fish I dip in meth blue and ph adjusted freshwater dip, <I would add Formalin here> then quarantine for one month (no treatments unless I see something), same dip again before display tank, I have excellent water quality ( I test for ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, spg, ph, alkalinity and everything's always good) Should I be testing for anything else, I know there's more tests I can do but I'm doing the important ones right? <... don't know what your system consists of, other livestock...> I do 10 to 20 percent water changes weekly. Lights are 10 on 14 off, its a FOWLR aquarium. The fish are not stressing from fighting or anything and there's plenty of hiding spots for comfort( the whole back of the aquarium is live rock). The only bad thing is my high temp at 84 degrees and I'm going to get that fixed this week end. Please don't think I have not read the info on your web and others, because I have read tons. I know what I'm suppose to do, but I'm just having alot <... no such word> of bad luck. Do you see anything else that I could be doing to make the ich go away? Thanks again for your time Bob. Todd <What you are currently doing all reads as good. You may have a very resistant "strain" of Cryptocaryon or other, or mix of protozoan species here. If it were me/mine, I'd invest in a cheap microscope (maybe a QX series that can be plugged into your USB...) and Ed Noga's "Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment"... perhaps for Xmas... Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich, parasitic mar. sys. f'  12/10/07
Bob <Todd> I always read from your site that formalin was to <too...> toxic, maybe what I read meant for a med tank and not a dip. <Ahh, yes> I'll try that in my dip next time around. Sorry for the mistake on alot, <No such word> I try to make sure everything is good to go for you. Thanks again for your time for the fish questions and the english <English>  corrections. Todd <Mmm... okay. Be chatting, BobF>
Re: Ich... nuking
Hello again Bob, thanks for your past responses!! Yeah your right about that, nosickfish is expensive!! <I'll say!> I decided to tear everything down and start fresh, that way I'll know that the parasite is not coming from my display, and next time do better dips with formalin like you had said. <Okay> I rinsed all my equipment in hot fresh water and let everything dry. Is that going to be enough to kill all 3 life stages of ich? Is that also enough to kill all that other parasites that it could of been, if I did have something besides ich? <Mmm, actually... drying won't "do it"... saw a pic (an electron micrograph if memory serves) by Harry Grier years back in FAMA, showing the resting stage in/amongst some dried Artemia nauplii...> I soaked all my liverock in hot freshwater for about 20 minutes and let air dry for about 8 hours. And I also stirred my live sand in hot freshwater for about 20 minutes. Since my liverock and live sand bacteria will be dead now, will the bacteria growth from cycling my tank again make the rock and sand live and good again? <Yes, in time> Or do I need to get new good fresh liverock and live sand (in other words is there different bacteria on liverock and live sand from the ocean that my aquarium can not produce by itself)?. <Will "come in" via the air, elsewhere. But adding some new will greatly speed up, improve the process> If so I can use my dead rock and sand if I seed them with good stuff right? I have 120 pounds of liverock and 100 pounds of live sand, how much liverock and live sand would I need to get my dead rock and sand well seeded? Can I get just liverock or live sand to seed with, or do I need to get both? Can I put the liverock and live sand in my refugium section of my sump to seed my main display or does the liverock have to be up against the dead rock and the live sand be on top of the dead sand? Is there anything you can buy, like those bags of bacteria for cycling a aquarium faster (do they really even work?), that will seed the dead rock and sand? <This is all posted on WWM> I was also going to run my aquarium with fresh water for a week, Do you think that is a good idea for a further step to kill the ich or other parasite, or should I start adding salt again and start cycling my aquarium? Thanks again for your time, Todd <To be sure of eradication requires the use of a biocide, like chlorine bleach... Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich, parasitized sys.
Hey Bob <Todd> On those questions that you said were posted on WWM about the liverock and sand placement to seed, I have been searching for them through those sections, I just have not ran across them yet, I'll keep reading, I'll find them sooner or later. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the exact answer I'm looking for, but with all the great info on your site I always learn a ton, I wish I had more time to spend on it!! I need to take a vacation and spend it on WWM!!!! <Have you tried the search tool? Looking at the cached (colored term) views?> I have read that drying equipment would kill all types of parasites, guess you can't trust everything you read, So chlorine bleach is the way to go then in order to kill everything. I have read a few different procedures on using bleach, and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction so I do it right the first time. Is 1/4 cup chlorine bleach per gallon of water the right dose? Is soaking for 1 to 5 minutes a long enough time? Is this method going to kill the resting stages of the parasite for sure? I can soak everything except for my aquarium, for this can I use a spray bottle and really soak it or is it better to fill to aquarium with chlorine bleach/water mixture? After this procedure, can I just let the equipment dry or do I need to use a dechlorinator? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm and the linked files above. RMF> Can I also use this method on my rock and sand, since its dead anyways, or will it let out chlorine bleach into my aquariums water after time? Thanks so much for all your info!!! Todd
Re: Ich, parasitic mar. sys. f'
Bob Thanks for the quick response!! <Welcome> That article is about cleaning equipment that looks dirty. It did help me with some of my questions "thanks", but I need to know the dose and soaking time to kill the resting stages of ich and other parasites? And I can't find anything about using bleach on rock and sand, just wondering if it will leach out over time even if I use a dechlorinator? <About the same procedure, concentration... a few cups (take care not to spill, splash...) circulated for about an hour, and rinsing, the use of dechlorinator... Bob Fenner> Thanks again Bob, Todd

I have a question or two about the quarantine tank... Parasitic Marine Tank...   11/22/07 Hello, <Hi there> I am fairly new to the saltwater  world (one year) and I have a question or two about the quarantine tank. I lost 10 of my precious 17 fish after purchasing an Emperor Angel for my birthday and he brought velvet into the tank with him. I guess I had been lucky before, one year without a quarantine tank. I have since set up a 37 gallon quarantine tank and was able to save a clown fish, a yellow-headed goby (his buddy died) and two green Chromis. I plan on keeping them quarantined for 6 weeks before returning them to my infected 125. I am worried about returning them, ever, since there are still three fish in the main tank, survivors of the velvet. They are a Christmas wrasse (which I was scared to hospitalize because he showed no signs of illness after 8 fish had died) and because I am afraid the stress of not having the sand in which to sleep would stress him into disease. <These fishes can still act as reservoir hosts... you're likely aware> A tiny yellow watchman goby has survived the velvet as well, and I could have caught him but he is so tiny and I was worried about  the copper weakening him (one fish store owner told me never to medicate with copper because I was shortening the life of the fish, <This may be so... but not treating them may shorten their lives appreciably more> actually killing them with a toxic chemical) and a lawnmower blenny. Since I haven't fished those buggers out of there, the tank isn't considered sitting fallow, right? <Correct> It has been three weeks since the velvet was introduced to the tank and the three are okay. Will waiting six weeks allow the velvet and the ich (that shows up every once in a while on a stressed fish) die even though I have three resilient fish in there? <Mmm, resilient? Okay... perhaps with something in the way of induced immunity... But, what about introducing new fish/hosts?> Also, I would like to eventually buy a Jawfish. I am concerned about quarantining it because they are so skittish, needing a place to burrow and build a "fort." After I get over the loss of my favorite fish, as I start to replace some of them, I just worry about getting a sand-sifting fish and the Jawfish. Can I have my quarantine tank set up with sand and live rock and then, if the quarantined fish show signs of illness, scoop out the sand and live rock and then medicate, if necessary? <Mmm, yes> I would allow the sand and a few pieces of rock to dry completely before using them in my quarantine tank again. Does this sound okay? <Could be> Also, I have read about 30 entries on dips. None of them ever specify the least amount of time that a fish needs to be dipped for the disease to die. <Five, ten minutes... with you in constant observation> I did not use any solution, just freshwater. One article said to add baking soda to help the PH level. How much baking soda? <Mmm, a teaspoon per five gallons or so... very hard to overdose...> I dipped one fish for 14 minutes and one for 4 minutes in freshwater only because I had listened to twenty pieces of advice. Both ended up dying after a day or two. <Not likely from the dip procedure> Also, I added "copper safe " to my quarantine tank because my fish were covered in white powder. <Need to measure the copper... at least twice daily... for concentration> Two fish have pulled out from what looked like certain death. As I do 3 gallon water changes daily from the 37 gallon tank, siphoning the junk from the bottom of the tank out, do I add more copper? <Yes... again, with testing> I added 9 teaspoons of copper safe, as was directed, but haven't added anymore even though I have done three water changes. I noticed that most of the advice on your site states that I need a copper testing kit. <Yes> Will the kit tell me what level the copper needs to be? Which kit is the best? <This is also posted> Finally, when I touch the water in one tank, can my hands pass the disease into another tank by my skin's contact? <Yes, a small possibility... anything wet can transfer> I have a healthy 55 tank that I worry about spreading disease to, by way of my hands or when I feed my anemones in the healthy tank and then the starfish in the other tank. <You might> Thank you for your time. I just love these tanks but am finding this hobby to be a bit overwhelming as I worry about the welfare of my fish. <Is an involved activity> What used to be relaxing, is now devastating and stressful. The quarantine tank just seems like a recipe for disaster since stressed fish have to make just one more move to an unnatural environment. That, and worry about not being able to keep the water quality pristine, has kept me from doing it that way in the first place. Thank you for a great service. Janet <I do wish there was some way to do something akin to a/the "Vulcan mind-meld" with you here... there are gaps in your current awareness that are not easily guessed at or filled... I do want to encourage you to continue reading... perhaps books, magazine articles would be better. Beware of the well-meaning banter of "bulletin boards" in our interest... I sense you have become confused by too much unqualified opinion sampling. Take good notes and do feel free to write us back re sorting through specifics for useful factual material. I wish you and your fishes, systems well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Working on the velvet outbreak; was I have a question or two about the quarantine tank... Parasitic Marine Tank  11/29/07 Hello again! <Janet> First of all, thank you for your speedy reply. I had no idea that I would receive a response within 12 hours! Thank you! I took your advice and captured the three remaining fish that were in my main tank and placed them in quarantine with my four others. (It is a 37 gallon hospital tank). I have PVC tubing in there and finally gave in to my yellow headed goby and my Christmas wrasse and added sand to half of the tank. My wrasse has been dive bombing into the sand at night and I don't see him again until the morning. I know you said to keep the bottom free (I also purchased The Conscientious Marine Aquarist over the weekend and it is sooo helpful) but I am wondering, I know the sand is now "dead" due to copper, but what else will happen by having the sand in there? I just received my copper test kit in the mail yesterday. <The sand will absorb the medication... faster than it would otherwise "disappear" through interaction with the water, the livestock... Perhaps so quickly that you won't be able to maintain a therapeutic level... needed... continuously> Here is what I have going in the hospital tank: Four fish which were near velvet death... all have survived with copper treatment. Three added fish that were immune but I caught them from my main tank so it could go fallow. One newly purchased false percula clown (since my other guy lost his buddy). Question one: Should I add more copper (I haven't been keeping the levels up doing daily water changes but not adding new copper) and keep the levels at the treatment level though all fish appear to be disease free, even the "immune" fish? <You MUST need test and adjust the copper level from testing... I would instead go with quinine treatment here (rather than the copper)> 2) Do I treat the three immune fish with copper because they still host the velvet even though they show no signs of it? <Yes... all should be treated> 3) Do I put the newly purchased fish in the hospital/quarantine tank, or set up another quarantine tank? <See the above... All...> I would like to purchase three new fish, quarantine them for a month, and then put them back into my main display at about the same time I add my quarantined fish to the tank, the day after Christmas. Do I quarantine them separately or can I add them into my existing hospital tank? <I STRONGLY encourage you to hold off on any new livestock purchases till your system and present fishes are cured...> Finally, my 55 tank is doing extremely well. I have not added any new fish to it for about 6 months. It was my first tank. Since then I bought a 125 (the one sitting fallow due to velvet). I would like to transfer seven of my nine fish (mostly all small guys-royal Gramma, two clarkii, two Dartfish, lawnmower, orange-spotted goby, Coral Beauty and my one big guy, Hippo tang at 3 inches) into the fallow tank. Is this a risk? <Of?> I would then add a few from my hospital tank back into the 125, the compatible ones. What do you think? I worry most about my hippo tang (Dori) because I have had her since she was the size of a quarter. She has had three cases of ich and has survived each time (once getting caught in the protein skimmer cup when she was tiny). I want her to have the "freedom" of swimming in a 125 gallon tank, but I don't want to risk the stress of giving her ich or the velvet if the velvet doesn't get wiped out from the fallow tank. If I leave the tank fallow (except 2 cleaner shrimp, hermit crabs, snails and some coral) for six weeks, would that assure me of getting rid of it? <Should be, yes. The longer period the more assured> And to end my question session, when setting up the quarantine tank, I used half of the bio-beads with all the "gunk" on them from my 55 gallon tank for the filter in the quarantine tank. So now what happens to the biobeads that have had copper running through them? Do I have to discard them once I empty my qt.? <No, not likely a problem. The copper complexes... insolubilizes...> I have all kinds of invertebrates in my other tanks. Can I reuse them in my QT tank? <Yes> If I don't keep my QT running all of the time, will the biobeads dry out and lose their effectiveness? <Mmm, initially, yes... but can/will become re-populated with time, re-use> Once again, thank you for a great service. Janet <Welcome. BobF>

Cryptocaryoniasis death: Now What?   8/14/07 Hi Bob and everyone at WWM, As you guys know already, you rock. I've been reading and reading on crypt and can't decide what to do with my tank at this point because the last decision I made killed my poor fish (I think). I have a 55gal with 5 Chromis viridis, a Pseudocheilinus hexataenia, and used to have a Centropyge loricula. I've got about 30 blue legged hermit crabs (supposedly, may be mixed species) and 20ish Trochus snails. 60 lbs of live rock, 60 lbs of sand. The tank is only about 3 months old and although ammonia and nitrites are zero, my nitrates are still around 20ppm, pH 8.2. I do a 5 gallon water change weekly with RO water. So the problem with crypt started when I introduced the six line and the flame angel about a month and a half ago. The Chromis had the ammonia/nitrites down and everything seemed to be going ok. Like everyone else who seems to have to write to you, I skipped the quarantine (pure laziness, I have 3 freshwater quarantine tanks going and would have had to trouble converting one but I'm an idiot) because I thought, "Well, the Chromis are strong these guys won't introduce anything new that they can't handle". The day after the flame was added, sure enough, he gets ich. He had several spots but was eating like a pig and wasn't flashing. I called the LFS, the owner of which is incredibly knowledgeable, and asked him what to do. He said to just leave him alone because it was just showing because of the stress of moving. I listened, and Flame got better. (You know what's going to happen next don't you?...) Sure enough, 5 days later, it's back. Now he begs the six line to clean him and the haughty little six line refuses. Flame's still eating though. I run to the LFS and get two Lysmata amboinensis (forgot to mention them in the list of livestock up there). Man are they awesome. They clean him like there's no tomorrow and then chase him around trying to clean him so more. So basically, I keep fighting this battle of feeding him like crazy, upping water changes to 3 times a week, temp up to 84F, and letting the cleaners take care of business. Four weeks later things are still going like this. One week the infections (which happen pretty much every other day because of the faster life cycle) are smaller, the next they're worse. Then last week they start to get really bad. He still is behaving normally, but just looks terrible. So now I think, "OK, I'm gonna dilute these suckers out of there and drop my nitrates and the same time" and start doing daily 10% water changes. Flame keeps getting worse. Then finally, one morning, he won't eat. That evening, his coloring looks back and he still won't eat. The next morning, same thing, so into quarantine he goes. The QT tank isn't too important but take my word for it that I set it up properly. I treat him with Metronidazole, which I know isn't ideal but it's all I could get at that time in the morning and I was scared. (So was he!) Sure enough he died that night and I was heartbroken. So now (after this mini essay) here's the question. I only want to add 2 more fish to my tank. A dwarf angel (I don't know if I want to have another flame, but something) and a smaller sand sifting goby that I haven't decided on. None of my other fish have ever shown symptoms, but I realize that they can be infected without showing symptoms (right?). Do I stress the remaining fish by moving them and doing the fallow tank treatment on the main tank? Or, do I try to do everything I can to lower the numbers of those freaking, sneaky little crypt buggers and then try again with new fish in a few months? I don't have a protein skimmer yet (I know, it's adding to my nitrate problem) or a UV sterilizer (because I'm a poor grad student) but am getting both. I have this idea in my head that maybe because the other fish aren't showing symptoms and are healthy, fewer organisms are able to get into them and infect them. And maybe this will help keep the numbers down too. (?) I can set up a decent size quarantine because I'm a weirdo that collects cheap used tanks even though I don't have room for them to be set up normally, and keeps them in the garage. I've got extra filters too and PVC. I'm worried about ammonia and nitrite spikes and what that could do to the already ich infected fish. What do you think? While I'm writing, if you were me what would you start with for corals? I've got compact fluorescents, I don't understand watts/volts/physics in general to tell you how powerful they are but my (very good) LFS man who is amazing with corals says they'll be good enough for pretty much anything. Katie >>>Greetings Katie, I guess we can skip the quarantine lecture! If the remaining fish remain non-symptomatic, you can leave them in the display. Just don't add anything else for a few months, better make it at least 3 months to be safe. Low level infections can remain for quite some time. If need be, don't be afraid to set up a hospital tank, but hopefully this will not be necessary. I need more info on your lighting, but mushroom corals are great to start with, as are star polyps. Cheers Jim<<<

Concerns about my system... Mis-stocked, crypt-infested... reading...  8/10/07 Hi guys, wrote to you many times telling you about my successes. However just days ago I had an ick outbreak, put a Flagfin angel <A "touchy" species> in this tank which is a 75 gallon tank with refugium, skimmer, and live rock. Other fish are regal angel, potters angel, <These are also not easily kept... and the Regal is misplaced here in this too-small volume> hippo tang, false facular butterfly, and two skunk clowns, and a bubble anemone, lighting is a t5 220 watts system. Just about two months ago I noticed a lot of algae growing in the tank and I do feed this tank a lot because the type a fish, so my first question is , is it a good idea to keep fish like this in a tank with anemones and this much light. Also I had to move the fish to a treatment tank I'm concerned about using copper with the fish I have, so I treated them in a bucket with tank water and formalin. I also lowered the salinity in this hospital tank could this be effective do not have a biological filter large enough for copper treatment in this other tank, help Ron <... Please... fix your English before sending... and read on WWM re Crypt... what you describe is untenable. BobF>

Velvet Treatment, reading   8/5/07 Hi Crew I was hoping you could give me some reassurance? Im treating a Passer Angel now for velvet. I gave him a fresh water dip and returned him to his tank <... of no use. If the causative agent is there will re-infest in short order> and then made up a five gallon bucket with some CopperSafe at 1.5 PPM <Copper not a useful treatment for Amyloodinium, and not of really much use period as a dip additive...> and water from a different tank. Tank is established and then gave him a another freshwater dip and put him in the five gallon bucket with CopperSafe. I started this two days ago and Im not seeing Improvement? <No, likely not to be of use> He looks better after the freshwater dip but later in the day it comes back like WOW? Im using a bucket with 2 air stones so I can change the water every day. I was using a 20 gallon long hospital tank but after I add copper my ammonia levels go super high right after I add the copper. I understand this can be a false positive but I don't know how often to do a partial water change in the hospital tank when I cant get a accurate reading on ammonia? <Posted...> So I thought a bucket would be good so just to be safe I change all the water everyday. Why am I not seeing him improving? If you could give me some quick pointers without sending me in to read in WetWebMedia I would appreciate it. I have read for hours in your site <Not where useful...> and feel Im doing everything right but thought I would be seeing him get better a little. I trust you guys a lot more then any pet store around here unfortunately. Thanks for all help past and present and future. This site is great! Rick <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the linked files above... and elsewhere re dips... Bob Fenner>

Queen Angel and Niger Trigger problems... parasitic SW sys., reading    7/25/07 I have had a Queen Angel and a Niger Trigger among several other fish in my 170 gal tank for approximately 1 year now. <... a tenuous mix> About a month ago, the Trigger came down with what I believe to be a bad case of ick (forgive the spelling pls). <Mmm... marines don't "come down" with such parasitic infestations... They have to be introduced, triggered...> I treated it by putting MelaFix in the tank daily <Of no use whatsoever> for about a week and used CFX to bring the copper level up to around .15. <In ppm? This is the absolute minimum low physiological dosage...> After a couple of days, the Trigger was better. <... just cycled off> A week or so later, the Queen started hiding under the reef <?> and has been doing so for probably a month now. She does eat, but is not active and social as she was prior to this happening. She appears to twitch from time to time, but I can see nothing wrong with her. I've been monitoring the water, (I do regular water changes. Usually one a month, but given what has been going on with these two I've done it every two weeks for the last three changes) closely and the PH is a little low, but is around 8.0. I'm bringing it up as we speak. <... okay> Over the past week or so, the Trigger has started to hide in the reef most of the time. Tonight, I discovered that one of his eyes has clouded over. <... yes> I'm at a loss. <A few likely possibilities... the "fix" and/or Cu poisoned your beneficial microbes... and/or the fishes directly... But the most likely scenario additionally is that the Crypt is still present... subclinically/symptomatically> I am considering doing a Fresh Water Dip with the Methylene Blue, but wanted to get some advise prior to tackling this. <... you need to read...> I do not have a hospital tank at this point. <... Oh! And you dumped the chemicals into your main system? Not smart> I have a total of 10 fish in the tank two puffers, two pacific blue tangs, a lunar wrasse, two fox face, one clown and the two sicklings. <Correction: the system itself is infested... ALL your fish livestock are involved> I should also note that I had two clowns, but one of them disappeared about two weeks ago. I'm sure it died and the rest ate it, but I have no idea what may have caused it. <The treatment, reading...> I am completely new at this. This is my first tank and I am really worried that I have something bad going on in it. <Oh yes, assuredly you do> Help. Is the freshwater dip the right thing? Is there anything else I should be doing? <Reading> Thank you in advance for your advice in this matter. David Smith <Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and on to the linked files above... till you understand generally what your situation is, what your options are here. Good luck, life. Bob Fenner>

Ick! The first thing an aquarist says when he sees white spots on his fish. Some Gifts Are "Not" - 07/07/07 Good morning, everyone. <<Greetings Scott>> This isn't a question so much as a morality tale. <<Oh?>> First, a brief background synopsis... <<Okay>> 100 gallon tank, 75 pounds of live rock (been slowly acquiring more) <<Don't be too quick to fill the tank with live rock…the fishes need room to swim/corals need room to grow…you likely have enough for the necessary biological processes>> Fish-only system (although lots of inverts are starting to thrive from the live rock). <<Cool>> The main inhabitants are a Green Moray Eel, <<Yeeikes! If you mean Gymnothorax funebris this animal can grow to nine feet in length and attain a weight of more than 60lbs in the wild. You need at least "three to five times your current tank size" just for this fish alone! Yellow Tang, Miniatus Grouper, <<Sigh… Another "too large" fish for this tank my friend>> Stars-and-Strips Puffer, Antennata Lion Fish, <<An incompatible mix…>> and a mysterious Rock Fish of some type. <<At this point…I shudder to imagine my friend>> Most of these fish and tank were given to me. <<Most? Well I guess the good news "might be" you didn't start this mess…the bad news is you are left to deal with it>> I've upgraded the protein skimmer, the canister filter, and sump/refugium but I am still very much a novice. <<And in well over your head I'm afraid…but I/we are here to help where we can>> Since I had good success on the other fish in the system, <<A "very" temporary situation, I assure you>> I purchased a healthy-looking Powder Blue Tang without fully reading up on it (strike one). <<Oh my…>> I placed him directly into my aquarium since I never had problems adding any of the other fish (strike two). I left the apartment to enjoy the Fourth of July festivities and returned home later to discover white spots all over the new Powder Blue (strike three). I removed him to a five-gallon bucket with a small pump and air hose for circulation. I don't have a quarantine tank (strike four). <<Mmm, indeed…>> As soon as the local fish store opens today, I will be bringing the Powder Blue back and asking to either quarantine it or refund my money. <<Shoot for the refund, mate. And… Look for a new home for the Eel… And… Decide whether you want the Puffer OR the Lion, finding a new home as well for the one you decide not to keep>> Of course, I also need to do a massive water change on my tank to hopefully, minimize the damage I might have done. <<Will make no difference re the crypt>> This tale of woe should be observed by all beginners trying to keep fish to save from all of the problems of which I now have to deal. I should have read WetWebMedia first. <<Please continue to do so now re Ich treatment, species compatibility, marine systems in general>> DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Thanks for all of the work you guys put into this site - it is a valuable reference (that I will be reading avidly before any more purchases). <<Thank you for your input my friend>> Frustrated but it's all my fault, Scott <<Please do consider my suggestions Scott. Read on/research our site and the NET in general, and should you have specific questions…you know where to find me. Regards, EricR>>

Blue hippo (regal) tang changing tanks, En-Crypt-ed systems   3/11/07 Hello again, I hope you are doing well, whomever responds to this email. <Yes, thank you> I have a small Regal tang in a 29 gallon BioCube as temporary housing until it moves to my 92 gallon (when I say small I mean about 2 to 3 inches). <Needs more room, psychologically, now> It had it's bout with ich <Also stress related...> and rather than move it to treat it with copper ( I have read this is bad for the digestive system of tangs) <Yes> I decided to purchase a small UV sterilizer, which in time took care of the problem, <Mmm, no> I have not seen a spot in months.  My question is, since I know I've had ich in my 92 gallon tank and did not treat for it and all the fish got over it, should I worry about doing a freshwater dip? <Mmm, I would not worry, but I would do the dip> The Regal tang has been in the BioCube for a long time, at least 4 months, it is eating like a pig and appears quite healthy.  I am paranoid about doing the freshwater dip, I have seen it done and it did not turn out well ( Purple tang ).  I would like to acclimate to the new system (not new a year old) and place the Regal tang in it without <Okay... will likely not make "much" difference... Depending on the resident ich/Crypt populations, there might be some synergism, or unrelated strengthening on their part...> causing it any added stress.  What is your opinion on this idea?  I currently have a Kole tang, Clownfish, and a Blue Flavivertex Pseudochromis in the 92 gallon tank, do you think any of these would pick on the new fish?   <Hopefully not> I know you will probably say that is too many fish for a 92 gallon tank, but all are small and I will rehouse if need be.  Any advice or opinions on this would be very appreciated.  Thank you, Ryan.  Please forgive any misspellings, I checked my spell check and all appeared well.  Thanks again, Ryan. <Looks good... I would move this fish. Bob Fenner>

Crypt... and a creek w/o a paddle thus far    02/17/07 I have a 220 FOWLR that has two 4-inch lions, a 4-inch Huma Huma and a 4-inch porcupine puffer. <Yikes... do keep your eye on the Trigger... it may bite all else... or the Puffer... may harass the Lions...> One of the lions is brand new and the other I have had for a month.  The older lion is by far the most aggressive fish in the tank.  I am attempting to wing him off live food, but when he is not fed he chases and corners the puffer (Sammy).  To make matters worse I think my puffer has ich due to a slight salt appearance on his fins. <Yikes... no fun in a large system> He also seems to have lost the blue gleam in his eyes.  I am worried to say the least and I think it may be due to stress from the aggressive lion.  I lowered my gravity to 1.015, my ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0 and nitrate is 15.  I began to raise my temperature from 75 to 80, but the local fish store advised against it. Yesterday after reading up on dips, I began to fresh water dip him and adjusted the temperature and PH. <But... returned the fish/es to the infested system? Won't help> Tonight I did the same and added Methylene blue.  It is an average of 15 minutes each dip.  I do not have access to a quarantine tank and the puffer has begun to hide and spend time on the bottom of the tank behind rocks and coral, probably from the stress of the dips I assume. <At least a contributing cause, yes> He is still responsive and eats ok.  Should I continue the same treatment and hope it takes effect after more time or is there any other options I have not researched yet. Thank you, Jesse Campbell <I would... research... and soon. Please start by reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptpuffs.htm and where you lead yourself... the blue links... Bob Fenner>

Imperator Angelfish, Juvenile and Copperband Butterfly    1/5/07 Dear WWM crew, <Steve> I have new fish in my 125g tank.  Among the fish are an Imperator Angelfish, <Will need more room...> Juvenile and a Copper Band Butterfly.  They arrived about 1 week ago.  Since my tank only had a damsel in it I added all new fish to the main tank, this tank has a pump running water through a UV return.  It seems as though it is keeping any ick at bay. <Would be better to quarantine/observe for a few weeks... at least run new fishes through a prophylactic dip/bath... as you will learn> The Angel had a few spots of it when it arrived but seems to be slowly going away. <...> however he now has developed what looks like clear wooly looking fluff at the end tip of one of his fins, it is very small perhaps the size of 1 - 1.5mm in length...I'm not quite sure what it is?? <Mmm, perhaps just resultant from "ammonia burn", stress of capture, holding, shipping...> Anchor worm perhaps. <Assuredly no... this is a freshwater-only parasite...> there are no visual signs of it actually being a worm. Without being able to provide you further details, do you think it is something to be worried about? <Will worrying change the future?> He has been eating without any hesitation (mysis, algae, brine, flake)  I'm a bit concerned in case this develops into anything worse.  Also, I noticed yesterday that my copperband butterfly was looking beat-up.  I seen my angel periodically nipping at him. <... So, what will you do?> his bottom fins are now somewhat bitten back (looks like fin rot) and his scales look dark and bruised inn certain places with what looks like redness or blood from a few of his lower scales.  his eyes are clear and side fins fully intact. <Chelmon butterflies are not hardy-shipped species... See WWM re> He wasn't swimming much so I netted him and placed him in a QT tank.  My water parameters are  good.   <... numbers please...> I am trying to stay away from meds if possible.  but will administer if absolutely needed. What are your suggestions for both my fish? <For you to read re their needs, Behavior... See WWM re each/all. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, Steve

Crypt, parasitized system.   10/5/06 Hello Crew: I have a 55 Gallon tank and I just added a new Sixline Wrasse after 3 weeks quarantine.  One week later my royal Gramma had ick   <The system already "had it"... the addition of the Pseudocheilinus just "brought it on"> I removed all fish from the main tank and am running it fallow.  I know that the recommended time for this is four weeks however I am leaving for vacation in 25 days and want to know if adding the fish back to the tank would completely negate all the work that I am doing to cure this problem. <Mmm, a tough one... what other fishes (species) are involved? The two small ones mentioned can likely be cleared in this time frame... and the system "speeded up" in terms of cycling the Crypt (by elevated temperature, reduced specific gravity if the possible invertebrates can take this>   I have a fish sitter but I don't want to make them responsible for the every other day water changes that I will be doing while the fish are in QT. Do you think I would be OK after 25 days? Thank you so much for all that you do. <... Need more info... and/or for you to read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Disease in my 80G   9/19/06 Dear Mr. Fenner <Rachel> I recently encountered with a very tragic accident. I have a 80G tank with 1 Regal Tang 4", 1 Bannerfish 4", 1 Clownfish 1", 1 Humu Picasso Triggerfish 1.5", 2 Dancing Shrimps, 1 small Starfish & one small Bubble-tip Anemone. My most recent addition was the above mentioned triggerfish that I added 1 week ago with 1 week of quarantining which was unfortunately not enough & soon after my regal tang showed some spots but only visible at some angles when the light is strongly reflecting from its body. <Good observation> So I think it's the White Spot disease although none of the others have any symptoms. <Not uncommon in a "low grade" infestation> I live near the Ocean (actually near a coral reef) in Ceylon so for my ease of use I use saltwater directly from the sea but aged for at least a month in a dark place. <Good. This parasite very likely came in with/on the Tang... not from the new seawater>> Now I am planning to set all my fish free into the nearby coral reef (where there are enough and more fish of their own types) and then I'm not planning to introduce any other fish to my tank for a month until the disease is not there anymore in my tank???? My question is it okay for me to keep the Shrimps, Starfish and the Anemone in the tank???? I heard they are not a vector for the white spot disease???? <Yes and yes, correct> Will these animals keep my Nitration cycle running efficiently as I have heard the Nitration cycle ends when fish are not there in the tank and I have to restart the whole thing again for me to introduce new fish???? <Yes. They will indeed sustain the nitrifying microbes here.> After a month I am planning to introduce some fish that has been at least quarantined for 2-3 weeks. Does my plan seem okay to you???? Anyway sorry to trouble you with my problem. Thanks in advance for any advice, best regards, Rachel   <Yes. Sounds like a fine plan. Bob Fenner>

Personifer Angel/Please Help... mixed Angels, Crypt likely   9/2/06 Hello Everyone: I have read just about everything I could about the personifer (I think) I have a 180 gallon all fish and live rock tank. My Personifer angel is about 3 ns half inches long and has white spots that are more spread around then close together. In the book by Robert M Fenner (great book) it looks like it could be Amyloodinium Ocellatum more then it could be ich but am not really sure. <Mmm, could be either from this description... but if Amyloodinium this fish would be soon dead... a few days> My PH is 8.4 and everything else is great and my salt level is between 1.022 or 1.024 somewhere in the middle. I have about 3 other peaceful angels in my tank also. <Mmm, likely not compatible> I just want to know please,  how can I cure him? I have a 10 gallon tank I could set up. I have copper, QuickCure. Please tell me directly on how to save him And how can I look up a fish where just you guys talk about the fish only?  Please help me I really love this fish and I paid $200 dollars for him. I live in New York and it bother me to see this.  Please reply to Joey Harper   <A bit more to this... you need to treat all, including the tank itself. Set some time aside (and soon) and read, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above. You need to formulate a plan, get more treatment tanks, start making new water for change-outs... Bob Fenner>

-Tank is Ill-  8/28/06 First of all...you guys are amazing.... I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say....Thanks! <Thank you, we try to do what we can with what we have.  I believe Bob said something about sharing the wealth of knowledge makes everyone a better aquarist :)> <<Indeed, the world a better place. RMF>> I have an 80 gal aquarium with an eel, a lionfish, a small puffer, and an angelfish... First Question - IS this tank too small? I know that Eels can get very large, as well as puffers....I may need to upgrade to a bigger tank....? <Yes, even without listing what specific types of the fish are, all eels get a foot at least, the lion at least 6-8 if its a dwarf, 18"+ if not, ditto for the puffers and angels 6 inch minimum full growth, and even at small sizes they still put out waste like their adult sizes.> Second....been fighting ich for a few weeks with little success. Puffer won't eat, lionfish has cloudy eyes, etc....I first moved them to a smaller quarantine tank because its all I had. However, its too small to keep them in there for much longer. I raised the temperature of the tank to 81 degrees, lowered the salinity to 1.016 and also added a small amount of "Copper Power".... <Uh oh.....> Now that I have researched your site, I see that for hyposalinity to be effective, the reading should be closer to 1.010 correct? <1.012 ish is fine, but yes, has to be lower.> Is the temperature about right? <I would bump it to 84 ish, but without knowing more about your fishes size, and the size of the Q/T, the higher the water temp the less oxygen there is, so you might suffocate your fish.> Also. Although my LFS told me that they run Copper in all their tanks and assured me that it wouldn't be harmful to my fish...I see that Copper can be extremely bad for Puffers and Lionfish...correct? <Jawohl.  Copper is a very powerful medicine, that requires a test kit usually,  Each fish tolerates it differently, and puffers and lions are on the very short end of that.  All naked gill fish don't do well in copper at all long term, and sick fish fair worse.  Your LFS probably has their copper at 2ppm or less, which is considered therapeutic, but you need to be higher usually to kill ich, 10+ppm.  you can read about copper and puffers on pufferresources.net> What do you suggest I do to address my ich problem then? Out of frustration, today I emptied the main tank, cleaned it thoroughly, and decided to "Start over". Can I do something as simple as move all back into the main tank once established and perform hyposalinity with a temperature raise there? I am buying all new crushed coral and decorations, so hopefully there won't be much residual copper... <You can, however, there is no point to letting your 80 gallon get established only to kill all the bacteria by doing hypo salinity.  I would remove everything from the 80gal that was dosed with copper and toss it.  put your fish in that bare bottomed with no decorations (just the fish and the filter heater etc) and lower the salinity over a week (.02 per day or two at each water change).  Do daily water changes to keep the water quality up, and keep that going for a week or so.  See if there is improvement.  You will need to gravel vac the bare bottom of all white dust you see when you do the water changes.  2-3 weeks and you should be totally ok.  Re-add substrate once your fish are cured for over a week.> Lastly....the puffer has not eaten for about three weeks. I read here that they can survive that long...and even longer if necessary....but I am worried. So, regarding the force feeding....I have krill, cockle, and garlic for starters? How far should I insert the syringe/turkey aster/whatever to insure he doesn't just spit it back up?...and how do you get the pieces small enough to be sucked up by the feeder? (He's only about 4 inches and mouth is actually too small for a turkey baster..) <At this point the copper and ich have probably ruined its appetite, you can add garlic to the foods to entice it to want to eat, but getting the water quality stable and clean, and getting the fish into uncoppered water is your best hope for their survival.> Thanks so much.. Russ <Hope that helped> <Justin>

A sad day indeed   8/14/06 http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/7/aaeditorial <Indeed... Terry is a fine person as well as a scholar... Bob Fenner>

Disease, SW... are you sure you've been reading?  7/8/06 Hi there, <Hello> I have read all of your FAQs about Ich and Velvet and other diseases, <Wowzah! Some time investment now!> but still have a question. I have a 72 gallon tank with almost 100lbs of Live Rock, 1 bubble tipped anemone, 1 sebae anemone, <Best not to mix Actinarian species in hobby-sized volumes...> 30 various crabs, 1 fire shrimp, 2 starfish and a sea cucumber. I had two sebae clowns for about 2 months and then they seemed to come down with what I thought was Ich, but then thought was Velvet (based on LOTS of reading and research). I went to the LFS and purchased a 'reef safe'  medicine. <No such thing exists that is effective...> After about a week of this along with two freshwater dips and them not looking any better, I took them out and put them in a quarantine tank. I continued with this product and lost both of them, <I do hope the perpetrators of such fraud are themselves treated with placebos when sick...> the first one within days, the second within about 2 weeks. They both had very small white spots and eventually refused to eat. There didn't seem to be anything else wrong with them. I did do some freshwater dips <... and returned them to an infested system? What perceived value was/is this?> while they were still in the 72g tank, and this resulted in them both looking like they had a version of Hole In The Head disease along with white the same white spots. <Stress effect...> It's too bad this happened, but the worst is now over. <... Mmm, no... it may be (pardon the paraphrase) that "The Worst Is Yet To Come!"> My question for you is that I also have 5 damselfish left in there who seemed completely unaffected by all of this (3 Blue Devil, 1 Yellow Tail and 1 Four-Striped). <Heeeeee! "Space vectors"... they're carriers...> It has been three weeks now since the clowns were taken out and they are still totally fine and happy. If my problem was Ich or Velvet and I didn't catch it in time, is it going to remain alive in the tank with the unaffected damsels in there? <Yepster> Do I have to take them out and leave the tank fishless for a month or so to be sure? <Maybe> Or can I leave it with them in there for a month and have the same affect? <Nope> Thanks for your time, Jarred <Keep reading, syncretizing, cogitating furiously... Bob Fenner>

New 180 reef tank ... crypt infested  - 05/10/2006 Hi Bob/Team, A dilemma has surfaced in my reef aquarium. 2 years ago during the hurricane season of 04' we had a power loss & my 90  & 55 gallon reef tanks got hot d/t several days w/o  power. My hippo tang in my 90 came down with a case of ick. I didn't panic & let the cleaner shrimp work it out. After a couple of weeks the ick was not visible on a constant basis but every so often I would see a few spots. I know the ick was never irradiated <eradicated?> from my system but it became almost a non issue. 2 weeks ago I figured my fish in the 2 tanks needed a bigger home. I purchased a 180 gallon tank & transferred all my inhabitants into one large aquarium. I'm sure you know where I am going with this..... Now my purple tang has quite a little break out. <Yes... your systems themselves are infested...> Spots are gone in the morning probably d/t a combo of the cleaners & the miserable life cycle of those little pests but return in the afternoon. No labored breathing noted. The Hippo has a few spots here & there but nothing dire. Everyone is eating eagerly & other than the spots I see no ill affects. Here is my question. Do I panic & rip out everyone or let the 5 cleaner shrimp & garlic treated food do their thing? I waited last time & it worked out but this time I'm not so sure. any advise is appreciated. Here are the particulars. ph 8.2 Ammonia 0 Nitrate 10ppm Nitrite 0 Salinity 1.026 180 gallon reef 75 gallon sump/refugium with various inverts & mineral mud/sand Sea life systems 400 skimmer powered by Mag 9.5 Mag 18 for return 250 LBS live rock Countless softy's zoo's mushrooms etc.  several leathers etc.  etc. .... 6'' substrate fine sand 2 Metal halide 250w 1 Metal halide 400w 2 VHO actinic 5 various power heads Hippo tang 4" Purple tang 3" Sailfin tang 4" I know but they seem to get along 2 black ocellaris clown 2 sm green Chromis Tiger Jawfish Blue spot Jawfish Pink square Anthias Male 4" 2 female pink squares 3" <Up to you... either to put up with the "ping-ponging" debilitating effects of an omnipresent sub-symptomatic parasite situation... or to remove all fishes, treat... allowing the infested system to go fallow re... All covered on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Prob.s concerning bio cycle... new to commercial, SW... parasitic disease, prevention, re-establishing sys.   4/26/06 To whoever picks this up: Dear Sir, I have been gathering too much info from your site the past few months while I was trying to establish a wholesale point for marine fish and I am grateful to you for this. I ve seen that you help a lot of people with the problems they have and I was wondering if you can help me too. I have a commercial system with the power of handling 5 tons (currently use it at its one 1/3 capacity) <For other readers, often systems are measured elsewhere in their weight in water> (TMC Marine system) and 25 kg.s of biomass. It has a 440W UV bio tower sand filter big skimmer... I had it working for a month boosted with the Abil package for a quick 10 day cycle establishment. <Theoretically... that is, under some standard...> The water parameters were monitored and the cycle seemed to be working fine. The NO2s went up and the then down after increasing the NO3s (Strangely a white dusty byproduct was left down on the bottom of my tanks??) <Not uncommon> After that I had my first order coming from Indonesia. At the first 5-6 days everything was good all the 150 fish (2-3 kg.s biomass) came to balance and got back their beautiful colors. The nest few days they started showing stress they developed Whitespot and started dying. <Very common that wild fish are infested... you don't (yet) mention acclimation or treatment procedures... these are extremely important, and detailed on WWM for commercial and residential applications> Until I realize what's going on half of my stock was dead my ammonia went to the sky and my NO2s as well <This is to be expected... from the dead, dying source of protein...> the remaining of my stock I gave it to many of my friend because I couldn't watch them die slowly any more. <... are you sure you're suited to this/our industry?> Now I am trying to get things going again and this is where I need your advice. Should I keep the water I have in the system (artificial) or should I sterilize everything and start from the beginning using sea water and wait for the cycle to run again? Thank you in advance for the help Yiannis Christodoulou <Having been in this situation before, and done both, I would bleach (sodium hypochlorite likely) the system and start again... with the same water if it is otherwise in "good shape". Please, do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm and the many articles/FAQs files on Marine parasitic disease... Bob Fenner>

Upside-down Regal Tang ... parasitized, copper poisoned main system  - 03/26/2006 I recently upgraded my marine tank from a 75gal to a 120gallon tank.   A few days after the move I noticed the beginnings of ICH on my juvenile Emperor   Angelfish and my Red Basslet. <The system itself is infested> Upon the advice of a friend of mine I  gradually lowered the salinity in the tank to 1.014 and started using  Cupramine. <Not the main/display tank... no....> The ICH started to clear up, everybody stopped scratching and  the tank seemed to be much better.   <Just cycled off...> Then about five days ago, a week or so  into the treatment I noticed my 1" Regal Tang lying on her side on the  bottom gasping.  Her eyes were so puffed up she looked more like a Black Moor Goldfish than a Tang and she was a bit swollen and bloated looking. I  immediately tested the water and all water parameters are fine.  Nitrite  and Ammonia zero, Ph 8.5, and Nitrates below 20ppm.  The only thing I could  think might be wrong was the sign efficiently lowered salinity was causing her to  absorb too much water.  (I'm not sure exactly how the whole thing works but  from what I understand Marine fish are designed to absorb water and excrete  salt.  So since she was in a lower salinity she soaked too much up  maybe?) <Interesting proposition. Much more likely poisoned by the copper/system treatment> Anyway, I put her in a floating breeder trap with a few pieces of  macro algae for cover and began to slowly raise the salinity in the tank back  up. I've got the salinity back up to 1.020 now. By the day after I'd put  her in the breeder trap the Regal Tang's eyes had started to go back down to  normal.  After five days they're down all the way. But the rest  of her is still puffy and bloated.  Not to the extent that her scales are  standing out on end like Dropsy, she's just puffy.  Even along her dorsal  fin she's puffy.  And she's stuck upside-down. <Do orient like this in all such space> She can right herself and swim a little but as soon as she stops swimming she goes belly up once again.  I've been throwing a few flakes in for her each day but she's not eating and is not even interested in the Macro Algae.  Is there anything  else I can do for her?  Does she just need more time to recover or is  it hopeless? <... You've got a bit of reading to do... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm the linked files above, Copper Use, the Paracanthurus article and FAQs... Bob Fenner>

Going fallow? Aquarist, parasites, knowledge  2/13/06 I have a 135ga. tank (been set up for fish only for ten years) that I am converting from fish only to a Reef tank. I have recently (during the transition- removing undergravel adding live sand bed) had a problem with ICH (just one  of four fish), I have tried Kick-ICH & Rally and he still has what I believe is ICH. <These products are worthless... see WWM re> Should I remove the one (give him to the LFS where can be treated) and not worry because some say that it is always present? <... incorrect> I am at a point where allowing the tank to go fallow for a period is still possible. From what I understand (which is limited) of the parasites that cause ICH and Marine Velvet, the life cycle is only about 15 days. Is this correct? <Best to let run sans fish hosts a month or more... posted...> Do you recommend allowing a tank to go fallow as an solution for parasites? Will it work? <See WWM re> Is three weeks long sufficient or must it be  six weeks? Thanks for your advice in advance, Kent <Bob Fenner>
Re: Going fallow? Going reading?   2/14/06
Will going fallow for one month really Work? <... please read, don't write...> If I just have Live Rock, Snails, Crabs, Shrimp is this OK? <What?> Can any of the above host parasites or only fish? <... posted... on WWM. Bob Fenner> Kent
Re: Going fallow? Can't find answer on your web site  - 02/16/2006
Will it help (the rate of die off) to raise the temp to about 82F during the fallow period? <Mmm, yes> At this temp would a fallow period of 4 weeks be effective? <Maybe... the longer the better, surer. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Kent
Re: Fallow Tank   2/14/06
Hey Bob, <Clay> Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly.  I actually had never thought about the chemical side, too busy looking for scapegoats I guess.   <Too common> Anyhow, with that in mind, would it be better to frag some of the corals, or just remove them entirely. <Would only frag as semi-last resort... should ideally only be done when "in the peak of health">   Here is a list of what I have right now.  (Sorry I have no clue what the scientific names are) (1) Frogspawn Coral (8 heads..7" fully extended) (1) Torch Coral (19 heads 11" fully extended) (1) Galaxea (5" not counting sweepers) (1) Octobubble (6") (1) Toadstool Leather (12" from end to end) (1) Finger Leather (12"H 7"L) Star Polyps (lots) Button Polyps Zoanthids Various mushrooms that I couldn't begin to label Please also bear in mind that I am not using a protein skimmer (I know...bad bad bad). <You should my friend... I'd get one... pronto> Pretty much all that i am using is about 2 oz.s of carbon changed bi-monthly. While I do not know if this is pertinent the only additives I use are Reef Solutions and a slurry of Kalk.  Other than that I have been trying to maintain about a 5% bi-weekly water change.  Would this be enough to staunch the allelopathy or do I need to remove anyone? <Not nearly and if you don't adopt means of countering the ill-effects... the skimmer, more water changes, chemical filtrant... a refugium with a DSB, RDP... you will have troubles> Thanks again for all the help you guys (and gals) provide. Clay <Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Getting rid of all traces of Saltwater Ich  02-05-06 My 75 gallon tank recently had an outbreak of ich.  Though I tried hyposalinity & garlic and was ready to next try copper, the disease wiped out the few resident fish I had in the tank all too quickly.  Since the tank is now empty, I wish to make absolutely sure that I completely eradicate all traces of disease from that tank before I try cycling and adding livestock again.  What is the best way to do that?  I don't mind leaving it fallow for quite some time or treating and cleaning the tank excessively to make sure that it is safe.  Please advise.  Thanks! <If you want to be sure, I'd wash the tank down with a 10% mixture of chlorine bleach and water.  Rinse two or three times or until the chlorine odor is gone.  In the future consider a quarantine tank so you will not have to go through this again.  James (Salty Dog)> -Patrick-

Ich wipe out  12/26/05 Up and running for nearly a year without problems. 65 gal, 40lbs LR, Bubbletip anemone, flame scallop, 2 cleaner shrimp, coral banded, several types of mushrooms, 5 feather dusters, button polyps, zoos, half black dwarf angel, percula clown, 2 damsels, scooter blenny, many snails and hermit crabs are alive as I write this. I introduced a achilles tang two weeks ago which brought ich. <... no quarantine... bunk!> I am now setting up the quarantine tank (a little late) in an attempt to save my system. I have read much here, but still have a few questions. The tang died after 9 days and after contaminating my tank. I just netted the corpse of the most vibrant coral beauty I've ever seen. Yesterday it was a Dottyback. <Ultra-bunk!> As most of us do, I'm learning the hard way. After a few hours following introduction to the tank, I noticed a few white specks on the tang.  I quickly ran a search and before long identified it as ich. Netting him seemed an impossible task without tearing the tank apart, so I looked for additives to combat the problem. This is when I added the cleaner shrimp. I learned my inverts would die and I would contaminate my LR using copper based solutions, so opted for a "reef safe" so-called cure 100% organic Kordon product and began immediate treatment. <Good company, bunk product... lots of bunk naming this day> Obviously, it was ineffective. My percula is covered and I fear he won't make it till sundown. OK another novice learning the hard way. Here's the plan; get a quarantine tank set up and isolate all the fish there. I read it was suggested to use at least some percentage of water from the main tank.  Should I use any substrate? <Mmm, nope... will absorb the copper...> Once the fish are removed from the main tank, will the ich be able to sustain life by being hosted on any of the inverts, LR or current substrate? <... posted on WWM> I plan to dip the remaining fish in FW for 3 minutes prior to placing in the QT. Should the salinity be lowered in both tanks. Temps? <Also posted...> Will the ich eventually die off without fish as hosts in my main tank? <...> How long before reintroducing the fish (should I be lucky enough to keep them alive and rid them of the parasites?)  What about the shrimp, where should they reside during this process? Thanks <Keep reading my friend. Bob Fenner>

Adding Inverts to Fallowing Tank - Can it be Done? 10/7/05 I just wanted to say thank you. You and your crew have help me tremendously. I currently have all fish removed from main display tank and I am treating in a QTank with Cupramine for Amyloodinium. <<Oooh.. NASTY disease.>> I have suffered some loses while waiting to set up my hospital tank. The lesson has been learned. <<First being that this disease moves FAST, kills FAST. Always have meds and systems on hand, ready to be set-up and administered on a moment's notice.>> All fish seem to be taking to treatment rather well and I am testing copper levels. My question is can I add some invertebrates to my display tank during this process? I currently have 1 coral banded shrimp, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 feather duster, 1 Protoreastor Nodosus and 1 purple tip anemone and a healthy group of Corallimorphs. Thank you for helping me become a better more responsible reef keeper. <<I'm assuming the display tank is not being treated and it's not hyposaline. However, we have a problem with velvet because it is so infectious. It won't harm the inverts, not at all, but you really want to be sure the system is clean of the disease. So, short answer, yes, you can add your inverts to the display. Long answer is be careful not to add the fishes too quickly - you may want to use a single sacrificial fish to test safety first (a clean, disease-free fish, of course). Marina>> 

White spot in shark tank  9/30/05 Hi, I hope you can help me as I am running out of idea's, the problem is white spot / Oodinium in my marine tank. <Mmm, stop! Generally white spot is considered Crypt(ocaryon), not (Amyl)Oodinium...> The tank is a 260 gallon set up with a sump filter, uv and large skimmer, this tank has been running for over a year now and is set up as a shark tank with little live rock. <Where are the spaces between your sentences? Why do you think I/we have time to correct your grammar?> I have a large epaulette shark which is fine,1 x lunar wrasse,1 x bursa trigger and 1 x black trigger, I do have a quarantine tank which is used for any new fish before they go to the main tank, the problem seems to be in the main tank because every fish that is added to the new tank after coming from quarantine seam's to start with white spot, <The main system is infested...> the lunar is the only fish apart from the shark that seam's to be clean. My bursa at the moment is covered and my black has a couple of spot's, due to the size of the tank once any fish are in there I can not get them out alive, the tank has just been treated with Kent marine RxP <Worthless> which seemed ok but I have now lost 1 x red sea banner and a large six bar angle which a lovely fish, can you help me with any idea's on how I can get the main tank clear of this problem as I do not want to lose any more fish. <Time to send you... where you should have gone/been already... to the archived materials on/that are WWM... read... re parasitic systems, these two parasites mentioned here... medications> I have been told today that there could be a chance that my epaulette could have the white spot on it but because it doe's not effect them its just passing it on to any fish in the tank, could this be true <Yes... but, it is obvious that your system "has" the ich/velvet... the fishes have become symptom-less there from long exposure... However, with declining water quality, a loss of nutrition, resistance... they can/will succumb> if yes how could I get it cleared as I can not use any copper treatment on the shark. Thank you for your help Jason. <Keep reading... and learn to/use your spelling and grammar checkers... You don't want to appear/be ignorant, and I don't want to waste my time correcting you. Bob Fenner>

Recurrent Ich on Regal Tang 8/23/05 Hi,<Hello> I have had an 120G FOWLR tank for the past 16 months. After a couple of initial outbreaks of ich in the middle of last year, I consulted your   website and followed the suggestions to let the main tank run fallow for a month, while treating the fish with copper in a separate container. I did not have any problems with ich until last month, when I introduced a 2" Regal tang, after one month of quarantine. Three days later, the tang developed ich and went back to quarantine, this time with copper. A month later, I re introduced the fish into my main tank and within a few days the ich was back on the tang. The rest of my fish are doing fine. The tang is back in the hospital tank with copper. I am in a quandary as to what to do with this fish. I appreciate the wonderful work you do and offer my sincere thanks in advance. <Copper based medication should be used with a copper test kit to insure effective dosing.  This may be the problem.  One month would be the minimum length of time in quarantine.  Ensure you have an effective does and keep the tank in QT for five weeks.  James (Salty Dog)> Gopu <<Uhh, and yes, you will have to remove all fish livestock (again)... RMF>>

Disease recovery question 8/18/05 I'm having trouble finding a solution to the following problem and am hoping you can help.  Approximately five weeks ago I purchased a  Paracanthurus hepatus to add to my 180 gallon reef.  The fish was  dipped and then placed in a quarantine tank for 21 days.  No visible  problems in the quarantine tank, it was active and a great eater.  I added  the fish to my 180 after the quarantine period and it seemed fine for the first  week.  Thereafter I noticed what I thought was ich appear <Can, could be something else...> first on the tang  and then spread to my other fish.   Over the course of the next week,  the disease proceeded to wipe out each and every fish in my tank, except for a  Gymnothorax melatremus, which, as best as I can tell, seems fine.   In hindsight, I was probably dealing with Oodinium rather than ich.  Since  my tank is a reef I cannot treat the disease by way of medication so  my plan is to run the system fallow for approximately 60 days.   <Good>   My question is, will the eel make this effort futile and, if so, do you have any  suggestions for getting the tank back to being able to support fish?    <Mmm, having a fish host, though one largely resistant to this parasite, in place is problematical... but not-moving may be best/better here... and instead risking re-infestation...> Removing the eel will likely require breaking apart the reef, which I would like  to avoid. Thank you for any help you may offer. Michael S. Jacobs <Sorry for your trouble, and the lack of comprehensive response here... If it were me, given the info. provided, I would not move the Moray... would wait out the two months, add only new fishes with assured good health, perhaps some small purposeful cleaner fishes... likely Gobiosoma species, with them. Bob Fenner>

Ick semi-cured but Fish won't eat... actually, need for Crypt and copper education, quick 7/31/05 Hey Crew, <Mazi> I need some help with this one, I'll try to be as detailed as I can while being concise. Here is what I've got and what I'm dealing with: 75 Gal FOWLR (20 Lbs LS & 75 Lbs LR) Emperor Angel (Juvenile changing colors ~ 3.5 in.) Clownfish (1.5") Raccoon Butterfly (2.5") Yellow Tang (3.5") Sailfin Tang (5") 5 or 6 snails I noticed a small white spot on the Butterfly and paid good attention to it and it went away after a couple days.  I kept a close eye on all of the fish and about three weeks later I am checking up on them and all of the fish have a bad case of Ick.  I consulted my LFS and described my problem to them.  They recommended that because the fish had an advanced case of Ick I should remove the invertebrates and treat the tank itself with copper.  They noted that I would need to have a large QT tank to treat the fish so it would be better to keep them in the 75 gallon unless I wanted to go out and buy a 30+ gal QT tank (only have a 15 gal QT; not large enough for 4 week QT). <This is the route I would go as well> Here is where I believe I was not as informed as I could have been (I wanted to move quick to save my fish's lives so I didn't give it a whole lot of research).  So, I removed the inverts (snails, LR & LS) and treated the tank with copper. <And testing for it...> A couple days later the problem wasn't going away so a friend (aquarist for 5-7 years) recommended a fresh water bath. <Uhh, what about the intermediate and resting stages in the system itself?>   Up until this point the fish were eating.  I gave the Yellow Tang and the Emperor Angel a freshwater bath and returned them to the main tank (being copper treated). I do not see any signs of Ick but I know that it is probably still present since it's only been one week that the copper has been introduced to treat the fish.  Since the fresh water bath both the yellow tang and angel have not been eating.  My LFS reminded me to stabilize the temperature in the tank (which I am doing 79-82F) and make sure I am not over feeding my fish. I am feeding the fish formula two flakes, frozen food (angel fish formula with brine, mysis, etc.) and pellets, alternating foods on different days. The angel pretty much spends most of its time in a corner while all the other fish swim around.  I am considering isolating the two (or at least the angel) in another tank and try to QT it in there.  Other than that I am out of ideas.  I am worried that they will continue to not eat and become weak and die.  Any insights/recommendations you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mazi <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and on to the many linked files above... you are in need of a thorough understanding of Cryptocaryoniasis... the need for testing for copper... Do be aware that your livestock are in imminent mortal danger. Bob Fenner>

The use of Vertaid Hi guys, <Ash> Thanks for the many helpful FAQs you have on the site and while I found a couple of them concerning Vertaid I would like some clarification. <Quinine hydrochloride and Malachite green> I have nine fishes that are all fine except my emperor angel, in that it seems to have white spot or marine velvet and the others have no suspicious markings. I'm not certain it has a disease because the spots don't seem pronounced as if parasites on the body but there are many greyish white spots mostly over the top part of the fish and a few on it's pectoral fins. It's eating normally and not displaying any other symptoms like scratching etc. Anyway to my query which is, should I go ahead and use the Vertaid my LFS guy assured me would work in conjunction with tri-sulfa tablets just to be sure? The Vertaid is to get the parasites to drop from the fish and the tri-sulfa tablets are to kill it after that says the LFS guy. I'd prefer to do a hyposalinity treatment but it would be a problem setting up a QT suitable for all fish. I read on another query about Vertaid one of you advised just treating the fish with spots in a QT but everywhere else I've read it says ALL fish must be treated. <If all supposedly affected, yes> The LFS guy assured me it was safe to use in a reef system <Mmm, no... Please read on WWM, elsewhere re Malachite Green> and the fish should be fine but I am very cautious in adding any meds to the show tank. <You are wise here> Sorry for the long question. I hope you can help. Regards,          Ashley Cooper. <Hard to guess here... I would not add anything to your/my main tank however... Though the system may well be parasitized itself... You have enough at stake to set-up, utilize separate quarters, carefully observe your livestock... What you describe may not be external, treatable with the means suggested... I urge caution, careful observation... with the fish livestock separated/leaving the main tank fallow, absent of fish life. Bob Fenner>

Fallow Tank Questions (Parasitic Infections) 5.1.05 Hello, <Hello! Ryan with you today.> We are new to the marine aquarium scene and your site has certainly been a huge help to us. Extremely comprehensive and up to now I have found all the answers to my questions and then some. Our current situation is that we have had to move our 2 clowns, 1 Singapore Angel, 1 blue/green Chromis and a yellow Chromis out of our 55 gal. tank to a bare bottomed QT treated with copper for what we believe to be ich or velvet. Being so new, we are having a hard time distinguishing between the two. Prior to adding them to the QT we did a freshwater/Methylene blue dip. However, we still have 4 turbo snails and a peppermint shrimp in the main tank. Are either of those susceptible to whatever our fish have? <No, they can remain in the fallow tank, as the parasite cannot use them as a host.> Does leaving a tank fallow mean to remove all life? I don't really have anywhere to put the snails or shrimp as I do not think they would tolerate copper. Backing up a bit, we have had negative readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, so all is well there, but we recently had a major outbreak of red slime algae- which I believe must have been due to overfeeding. <Also common with new systems. Will subside with time, controlled nutrients.> We fed them what they could consume in 2-5 minutes, but doing it 3x a day- and I believe they are messy feeders as well. In any event, we are still trying to get rid of it. It was right about the same time we had the outbreak that the angel was covered with the "dusting" of white spots, cloudy eyes. Then we noticed the Chromis acting strangely as well- darting, scratching. The yellow one even seems to be showing signs of dropsy as she just sits on the bottom with a bloated belly and has stopped eating. Is all this just coincidence or are they related- the slime, ich and dropsy?  <Signs of stress, from both the livestock and the ecosystem. With this livestock list, you should have a large tank with a strong skimmer.> Needless to say, after a couple of months of harmony- things went south literally overnight. After reading your FAQ's on protein skimmers, we have come to realize that our Skilter 250 is not doing ANYTHING and is essentially a POC- after 2 months we have yet to even produce foam- so I know something is wrong there! While I'm battling the red slime- what do I feed my shrimp? <Hikari Crab Pellets work well, have a variety of nutrients.> My snails seem to be doing ok as far as food as they graze all over the live rock and tank walls.  Also, as far as our QT- should we be treating the fish with anything else besides the copper? <Yes, a water change daily, siphoned from the bottom of the tank.> The angel has some redness around her side fins- which we can't find any info on.  <Stress signs should fade with the infection.> We used water from our established tank, but the filter is brand new (and not a bio-wheel). How do we keep the bacteria levels ok so we don't get ammonia and nitrite build up? <With the water changes, daily. In quarantine, the medication typically prohibits a true biological filter, so do not rely on it. Just keep a close eye on nitrate, and change the water when readable.> How frequently do we have to do water changes in our QT? We are using "Copper Safe"- do we redose when we do water changes to keep levels optimum?  <Yes, keep a copper test on hand, and keep the level within the manufacturer's specs.> The package says you don't have to do water changes, but that just doesn't sound right to me. <Yikes...Good intuition.> Sorry for all these questions; we thoroughly appreciate your expert assistance! <Not a problem! It should be an easy fix, and in 4-6 weeks, you are back in business. Cheers, Ryan>

Sick angel? And Wisdom on Thalassoma lucasanum Dear Crew, <Hi there> I have a Pygmy Coral Beauty Angel and a few days after I bought him, I notice white spots appearing on it. They are random all over the fish. They might be raised or on the skin, but the fish is always swimming through the rocks that I can never get a good look. I have not seen the fish scratch itself, swim unusually, show any signs of stress, or lose any color. The strange thing is, the spots appear at about 6 or 7 o'clock each night and last until the morning, but when I get home at about 4:00, the spots are gone. Could this be ich or some other disease? <Is almost assuredly Cryptocaryon... good description of a case/situation in which the parasite is gaining ground during the day, cycling off at night> I have read on your site that sometimes pods will attach to fish, could this be happening?  <Highly unlikely> At about 6:00 the sun goes down, and so the room will get a little darker, even though I have a light on the tank. I know that pods become more active at night when there is less light, so, I didn't know if that slight change in light would be enough to leave the rocks the angel is always swimming through and attach to her. Sorry I can't send you a picture, but I don't have my digital camera that works to photo my fish with me.  On a better note, I have seen pictures of the beautiful Thalassoma lucasanum or Paddlefin Wrasse. I have not found much info about it on your site or others. I have some questions about it,  1) Are they ok to be kept single? 2) What do they eat? 3) Will the wrasse be compatible with my current fish (2 perculas, orchid Dottyback, coral beauty angel, Huma Huma trigger, spotted Hawkfish)? 4) How hardy/ easy to keep are they? <Yes, most all meaty foods, likely yes, and about medium> And if you have any other information I might need to know to keep one, please let me know. <I would be studying re ich/crypt... looking into a treatment/quarantine tank... removing, treating all fish livestock... and the rationale for these actions... on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Infected tank: Ich 3/25/05 Thanks for your reply Anthony! I'm a little confused. I will need to be changing out my sandbed and will be taking out all of the rock and coral and using new sand. <Yikes! If this is because the tank/sand is "infected" then I assure you that there is no need for it! You can never sterilize your tank... the sand/rocks, water, etc will always have pathogenic or potentially pathogenic organisms in it that can flare> I would be cleaning the tank out good before I put the sand and rock/coral back in . If all of the fish are in the 55QT, and the main tank goes fishless for 6 weeks or so wouldn't all of the ich in the main tank be gone?  <Nope... the numbers just wane... and the fish themselves are never fully "cured" from such diseases. They are simply immuno-boosted to resist what little is still on them/in the water, etc> I wouldn't put the other fish back in the tank until all spots were gone for about 4-6 weeks using hyposalinity. <that is all good indeed> Am I missing something here? <Yes... overreacting on the substrate issue my friend> If I just QT'd the Tang by herself and after the hyposalinity treatment I put her back in the main tank with the rest of the fish wouldn't she just get reinfected all over again? <That potential is always there in every tank... focus instead on feeding well (B12, Selcon, Vita-Chem supplements), maintaining very stable temperature (two heaters... not flux of 3+F daily), and good water quality of course> Sorry to bother you again, but Thanks, Cindy <It's no bother at all my friend... best of luck/life to you :) Anthony>

New to marines, crypt Hi, <Good morning here> We recently started our salt water fish tank. We have encountered marine ich in the process. We have gotten a 29 gal tank to start as a quarantine tank. <Good> What type of filter do we need??? I was thinking of a canister filter like Eheim. <Could do... actual set-up info. is posted on WWM... need a heater as well...> It's a setup tank for freshwater, so it's got the hood, heater, freshwater filter, etc. Any advice you can give us would be welcome. <Posted... Please see the index here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarInd3of6.htm scroll down to "Disease Prevention"...> We bought the salt water tank used and it was already setup and moved it. It was already setup and we added more fish and now we have ich and we're very sad. PLEASE HELP!!! <Please go to the section on Marine Ich... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm - read the articles, FAQs files... per your circumstances, devise a treatment strategy and engage! Feel like Cap'n Kirk this AM> The fish that has ich right now are, Raccoon Butterfly, Sailfin Tang, and Yellow Tang. But there's 4 Green Chromis and a Percula Clown that appeared to be fine. <The system has "it"... all fishes will> The tank has live sand and a Hermit Crab. We will setup the quarantine tank and treat them as soon as we hear from you. Thanks for any advice!!! Sincerely, Michael <Read, think, act. Bob Fenner> 

QT, going fallow, and invertebrates I asked you before about my display tank (FOWLR) which has been infected by velvet, I'm following your advice by making it go "fallow", I already quarantined the fish and treating with copper,  but I have 2 question, the first one; should I remove also my 4 Turbo snails & 2 scarlet shrimps which are in the display tank right now? <If you let the tank go fallow for 6 to 8 weeks then no.  Otherwise, Yes.>   And the second question; does the live rock consider also as a velvet host because of the life inside it?  In this case should I keep it also outside of the display tank.  Again, there is nothing I can say to thank you and all the crew in this amazing website, thanks, Maged <Maged, The Velvet will be in the tank and will not live if there is no host for the parasite.  6 to 8 weeks will be long enough for the tank to "cleanse" itself.  Good Luck MikeB.>

Battling ICK Well here goes: <Okay> My question is can ICK show up 1 hour after infestation? <Yes> I have been keeping my tank empty of fish for over 1 month. The fish at the LFS have been in her tank by themselves for at least 2 weeks with no ICK. I bring them home and acclimate them to my tank and after 1 hour they are covered with spots. The question I have is could this ICK have come from my tank? <Yes... raising temperature, lowering specific gravity can help speed along Cryptocaryon development, loss of pathogenicity in the absence of fish hosts> I had a outbreak where my fish died a month ago so I left my tank fallow for over 30 days. I put 2 fish in tonight and after 1 hour the Domino Damsel has spots and the Coral Beauty has some to. Did this come from my tank? <Mmm, maybe from/on the new livestock... but possibly from the tank, yes> Thanks for your help Jay <Bob Fenner>

How "Fallow" Should A Tank Go? Hi everybody, <Scott F. here today!> there is nothing I can say can express my feelings about your Excellent Web site which is really the No.1 reference for all Fish lovers. <Thanks for the kind words! We're happy to bring it to you every day!> I had a Velvet in my display tank (FOWLR) , I moved the fish to a quarantine tank treating with copper and it's going fine but I'm afraid that velvet still exist in my display tank. My question is, if I removed the water & rock from my display tank and leave it to dry for a day or two, is this will guarantee removing any kind of parasite permanently or I need to do something else ( there is a 2 inch sand& crush corals bed should I remove this also)? Your fast reply is very important to me Thanks Yours Faithfully, Maged <Well, Maged, if it were me- I'd let the tank run "fallow" without fishes, for a bout a month and a half. There's no guarantee- but that length of time can assure that the majority of the surviving causative protozoa are eliminated. There is no 100% guarantee, short of emptying the tank, drying everything out and cleaning the tank- and starting over with new rock and sand. I'd try the fallow technique first. Let me know if you have any other questions! Regards, Scott F.>

Parasite killing tank Hello- <Hi Jason, MacL here today with you> I've been reading your site, and it's very helpful. <We all thank you> However, I can't find anything that sounds a lot like what happened to my fish.  I have a 30 gallon tank, that I had a blue-green Chromis and two hermit crabs in.  I purchased a false Percula and two turbo snails.  Let me add, ever since my tank cycled, I had no traces of Nitrates, Nitrites or Ammonia with a pH of 8.3, this was confirmed at my LFS. Two days later, the clown started "scratching" and running into things in the tank.  He had some white "ich" looking spots on him early in the morning that would disappear by the afternoon on day one. Day two I treated with malachite green, and performed a freshwater dip (I couldn't remove him from the tank b/c I don't have a quarantine tank, lesson learned). When I got home from work the morning of day three he was very pale appearing and was hemorrhaging in spot under his skin and losing scales. He died later that day. The next day my Chromis was infected and died the fourth day, along with my snails, however the crabs lived (leg legged hermit). <How strange, not sure that snails would die from ich though> I first thought this was ich, but it killed so fast. <Ich does depend on the level of infestation, might have been a different type of parasite. Perhaps Marine Velvet, which is tough, tough, tough.> Now that everything except my crabs are dead, how do I "treat" my tank. <My suggestion would be to let the tank go fallow. Keep it empty for four weeks before you add anything back in. Obviously what you had was quite deadly Jason and the truth is its best to keep things empty for that time to make sure that it doesn't have the chance to reproduce in that tank.>  I want to make sure my tank is ok before introducing fish again.  Jason

What to do? Live rock from an ich infested system >Hello Crew: >>Hello Eric. >I have not written to you guys for a long time. This time, I have 2 main questions. My friends 150 gallon tank is fully infested with ich, we noticed it today on the powder blue, and emperor angel. >>Yep, once one's got it, the whole system should be considered infected. >His system is reef and has live rock and sand and a couple pieces of corals. Fishes included (powered blue, emperor angel adult, 2 juv Koran, purple tang, clown tang and a Red Sea angel). >>I call "overcrowded system"!  Doesn't matter *why* he's got two Koran juvies in there, what he needs to know is that the peace won't last long upon commencement of the maturation process.  Also, do watch those tangs if they're presently small/juveniles, too.  For the animals he has, he should be housing them in a system at least DOUBLE the size they're in, in my honest opinion.  Why do I bring this up?  Because, overcrowding is a really good way to get disease going. >Fishes are still eating and swimming good with no rapid breathing/scratching. >>Good, very good. >Temp 82F, sal 1024, pH 8.24, NO3-10ppm, PO4=0. >>Warmish, but good. >Question 1: He is determined that he only wants a fish-only system after this ordeal, the fished that we have bought has been quarantined for 14 days and showed no sign of illness. But at the end.. >>Mistake number one.. or maybe number two, after overcrowding.  Proper (and PROVED) quarantine protocol is a minimum of 30 days (and this next bit is key) DISEASE FREE.  Anyway, I can certainly understand his sentiments. >Anyway, we are thinking about moving the live rock and corals out, leaving a thin sandbed and some crushed corals in sump. >>That shouldn't be a problem. >And do the copper and hyposalinity treatment in main display. >>Uh uh. Nope.  No way.  I would not do that if I were you.  Wouldn't be prudent <in her best George B., Sr. voice> >The reason behind is that he has a 50 gallon QT but no bacteria count, (due to previous QT period, the filter is used up and cleaned) should he do the copper and lower salt 0.001 everyday till 1.010 and temp 82F??   >>Whoa there, big fella.  You both DO realize that if you intend to use copper (choose copper or hypo, and honestly, I urge you to try hyposalinity FIRST, but make it one or the other, not both) that it WILL KILL *ALL* nitrifying bacteria, right? >Any better ways to do this?? >>Yep!  A brief primer, with additional reading for you stout men: First, I highly recommend he thin the herd.  I don't think I can recommend this highly *enough*, actually, because I'm sure your mother taught you, as mine did, prevention is a good thing.  So, IF he's committed to using his display to treat, then he MUST strip it down of all organic, porous material first.  This material will absorb the copper (rendering it null and void in the water column), it will harbor for this parasite (making it near impossible to eliminate), and its nitrifying bacteria WILL die off when coppered, thus making a stinking mess. My Recommendations are as follows: (and please search the site for more comprehensive information) *Get more containers for treating the fish with hypo OR copper (remember above preferences).  Large trash bins lined with black plastic bags work well enough for Mom here (do make sure they are NOT "anti" anything, no scent added, nothing - just plain plastic).  They may or may not need heaters (depending on your local conditions).  Filtration of some sort is needed, at least for water movement.  If it must be cheap, then air-driven sponge filters should do just fine.  If you can get it down there, Bio-Spira is an instant dose of nitrifying bacteria, otherwise, you're committed to water changes on a daily basis, which isn't so bad because using copper you have the same commitment as well. *Make sure you have either a lab-grade float hydrometer (my preferred) or a decent refractometer, as there is no way you can otherwise make an accurate assessment of salinity - rather important when utilizing hyposalinity. *Thin the herd!  (Did I mention he either needs to put those fish into a system of at least 300 gallons, or thin the herd?)  Thin the herd! *Assigned reading: search for articles on ich treatment by Steven Pro, Terry Bartelme, Advanced Aquarist Online Magazine (found via reefs.org - search the database).  These will be much more detailed than what I can do here, regarding both methods of treatment. *Consider also Formalin, generally same caveats as copper, but no test available, and do use gloves when handling. *Let the display go fallow for 6-8 weeks at a higher temperature (82F-84F). >Question 2: He also wants to sell me the live rock to my new system, should I purchase the rocks? >>ONLY if they're uncoppered.  Let him know, though, that with the fish he's got, they'll really do much better if he leaves the live rock for them.  Really. >Is it safe if I am determined to let this new system to be fallow for at least 3 months?? >>Absolutely, mate!   >What water parameter should I maintain during my cycle period to make sure no ich is left after this 3 months?? >>You shouldn't cycle at all, but otherwise, just maintain the normals, doing water changes as necessary, and hold at a slightly higher temp to speed up the lifecycle of the parasite. >Question 3: Will 84F and 1.010 salinity kill macroalgae in the new tank's sump and coralline in the rocks?? >>Probably not the coralline, but quite possibly the macros.  In my opinion 84F is a bit high (close to those coral bleaching temps), but plenty of folks go at that with no problems whatsoever, so your choice on that.  A note on hyposalinity for treatment of ich - 1.010 is the top end of hypo, the range being 1.007 - 1.010.  However, if you're speaking simply of how to treat the rock once moved to your new display, keep it fallow (NO fish) for that period of time and nothing else need be done. >If so, what parameter is safest yet suitable for my inhabitants during cycling? >>Again, don't worry about a whole cycle on the live rock.  HOWEVER!  You must be sure to keep it out of your display for that 6-8 weeks I spoke of, or what I like even BETTER is the three months you mentioned.  Remember, the parasite will eventually die off sans hosts, but it has been known to last as long as 72 days.. though I believe that that would have only been attainable at significantly lower temperatures. >Question 4: Should I add the macroalgae after I test positive for NO3 or should I add right away? >>Your choice. >Question 5: Last, when I dose Cupramine from SeaChem, I follow the bottle instruction dosage. However when I use the SeaChem test kit to test dosage, I do not get any reading, even after duplicate tests attempt.  should I trust the test kit or dosage instructions?   >>If you're putting any copper into a system that has sand, gravel, crushed coral, dead coral heads, ANYTHING porous, you will likely have a VERY difficult time getting enough of it in there to get proper readings.  Really, this *must* be administered in a bare tank only.  It's just too dangerous to do it any other way, my friend.  (Bare tank can have PVC pieces in it to offer hiding places and security to the fish, but it's completely non-porous and can easily be sterilized.) >Please help. we must act fast. Some of the fishes in his tank are mine and I do not want to lose the powder blue.  Eric >>Well, you've got my best advice, and please, DO find those other online articles, they'll help you greatly in your decision and treatment of the fish.  I will also advise you to, if not already doing so, start soaking the dry food in Selcon.  Nutrition and water quality are THE two most important issues to address, especially when treating for disease.  And remember, quarantine MUST be 30 days!  Marina

What to do? Live rock from an ich infested system -II >Dear marina: >>Dear Eric... >So you are saying that the only way the main display is treated well is to take out all gravel/porous material... then wouldn't it have an ammonia spike?? >>No, I'm saying that the gravel and porous material will absorb copper and harbor parasites.  That means that you'd be wasting time and money treating with copper in the display, along with the added fun of losing ALL nitrifying bacterial colonies, as the copper will kill them off.  Better to treat in a bare tank that allows no safe harbor for parasites, allows you to dose much more precisely with copper, and will leave you with easier water changes (I think I forgot to mention that in the bare container you should siphon off the bottom daily to remove dropped cysts - use airline tubing for greatest control). >And either way I will have to deal with ammonia.. right? >>Not if you use hyposalinity and a dose of live nitrifiers, as well as do those daily water changes till all is settled. >Then what I might do is to get all fish to a 50 gallon... QT, and try to get the BioSpira... and water change... >>I don't know the sizes of the fish, but I wouldn't try to stuff them into a 50 gallon, I'd get at least one large trash bin, OR I'd get a storage tub/container (think Rubbermaid clear-sided.. or not, containers).  Both would be in the 30-40 gallon range, both work well and are easy and quick to set up.  The Bio-Spira is a concoction of live nitrifying bacteria.   >I will do the hypo first, do I lower the salinity slowly everyday till 1.007?  temp 82F? >>You can lower it a point or two over the next few days, yes.  Keeping a slightly warmer temperature does indeed speed up the lifecycle, but with the hyposalinity your first task is to ensure the fish are comfortable.  If they're being kept already in that temperature range, I'd keep it there.  Remember to keep pH MATCHED! >Let the system fallow for 8 weeks? Good enough? >>Ought to be, yes, though that three months you mentioned would be darn near guaranteed. >Eric >>I hope this gives you a better idea what to expect and a good game plan.  Remember the reading!  Marina

Ich Woes (8/4/04) Six months ago I upgraded my Marine tank to 85 gal. I had 2 clowns  and a Majestic Angel. Everyone was doing great until I purchased a powder blue tang. <Ich city. Did you not quarantine for 4 weeks first?> Within weeks the entire tank was infected with ich. I tried fresh water dips to no avail. Although the fish appeared a little better after the dip, by the next day they were covered with parasites again. (Why dip when the tank is infested with ich?) <Which is why I favor removal to QT to treat there.>  I even tried freshwater dip on my angel and put him in my old (26Gal) tank knowing that tank was parasite free but the dip DID NOT kill the parasites and guess what... the 26 gal tank now is infested with the disease. This tanks only other resident, my little cowfish, died a week later) My question, how do I rid my tanks of this problem? <6-8 weeks of no fish. All of the answers you seek are in the ich articles and FAQs. Take the time to read them and you will be well-rewarded. You may also want to read Steven Pro's excellent ich articles that start here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm> There are no fish left. I raised the temp to 84 and lowered the salinity to l.012. Will I destroy my biological filter leaving it this way? <No, but inverts may be at risk.>  How long should I wait before reintroducing fish to my tank? <Minimum six weeks, eight even better. For 4 of those weeks, your first new fish can be in quarantine.> Any advice is greatly appreciated! <BTW, powder blues and Majestics are both rather difficult to keep and grow too big for your tank. Consider more appropriate fish.> Thanks, Carol <Hope this helps, Steve Allen>

OK pH? Ich Problems. (5/1/04) Hello, <Howdy. Steve Allen here today. Please capitalize the proper noun "I" in the future so you post will be easier to read.>   I am new to marines and ,of course, need help!! I've had a 33 Gal setup <Kinda small, and therefore can be hard to keep stable.> for about 6 months, but my fish and coral came from a very established and larger tank. SG-1.025, ammonia-0, Calcium-400,but I think my PH may be lower than I realize. I live in a remote area and all that is available to me is the Hagen test kit, where my results are very hard to determine on the color chart. <Indeed, which is why I prefer my electronic meter.> My PH has remained the same color all along and my fish seemed okay. Should I try baking soda? <Not if your pH is in the acceptable range and is stable.>   The major problem I have now is my saddleback clown has ick, or something like it, and I have put him in QT for weeks and I still can't get rid of it. I've tried Organi Cure which supposedly has safe levels of copper?? <No such thing. The only safe level of copper is zero.> It doesn't seem to have hurt my hermit crabs or fish, but I did lose two feather dusters and a cleaner shrimp shortly after the first treatment. <No surprise.> I do small, weekly water changes and the ick will go away but has returned many times. <Because it's in your tank, just waiting to attach to fish.> My hippo tang and red banded goby seem unaffected. <For now> I thought a clown would be more resilient than a tang? Also, I have a few mushrooms, a green brain and xenia corals, that have looked great all along, but recently my xenia has shrunk right up. Probably the copper. <Yup> Does this mean they are dead? <Unlikely to survive.> What should I do to save my tank? <You need to remove all the fish to a hospital tank and treat there. If no active ich, then you can use hyposalinity. If active, then medication. You need to leave the tank fishless for 6-8 weeks. You need to get the copper out of your tank with PolyFilter or other copper-removing filtration. Search and read on WWM for treatment of ich and removal of copper.> Thank you! Melissa, PEI <Hope this helps.>

Mauritius Aquarium quarantine issues - 3/31/04  Hi Mr. Fenner.......  We are experiencing a number of problems with the public aquarium project here in Mauritius. As a result of inadequate quarantine procedures fish in most of the aquariums have developed either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium ( or both) and we have been forced to delay opening. All fish have been removed from the aquariums and we intend to let the tanks go fallow for a minimum period of 3-4 weeks. <Just flush with fresh water for a few days> Will this period be enough? <Again fresh water for a few days> If we were to drop the S.G. to 1.018 <Not low enough. Drop salinity to 15ppt not sure what specific gravity would be> would this help and can we shorten the fallow period? Would a freshwater flush-out of the system help? <Yes as per above> Presumably this will destroy beneficial bacteria. <It will kill them but also kill the crypt>  In addition to smaller species, we hope to stock some large species (i.e. Trigger fish, parrotfish, surgeons etc. measuring 8-14 inches in length) ....what procedures do other public aquariums operate to quarantine fish of this size? <Same as with small fishes fresh water dip (temp, pH matched water, no ammonia) for three minutes, then immediately remove the fish and place in quarantine tank and the two options for treatment Formalin and copper (one or the other) For Formalin: 5 treatments one every third day 1ml. per gallon for one hour and flush system and refill. For copper: .2ppm for 28 days flush and retreat as needed to maintain water quality. For the long term display tanks drop your salinity to 15ppt not sure what the specific gravity is but easily found.> and Should we incorporate UV in our closed system? <It will help> If so what dimension wattage etc..... For your information the aquariums are set out in four separate shelters( each shelter with its own biological filtration system) Each shelter contains approx. 12 tanks containing 1500 gallons in total. The pump used for each filter is rated at 32 cubic metres per hour. <You will need to go to the manufacturer of UV unit you are looking at and get the ratings for flow and volume before purchasing or you can base your UV unit on the volume of the system and flow rate of the pumps>  We should be grateful for any advice as to procedures used by other public aquariums and persons we may contact who specialize in public aquaria systems. <No worries ~Paul>  Thank you once again for your awesome site. <No problem>  Michael

Disease...Or Not? Hello, sorry to email you, but I've read/searched for an answer on your site, and have not been able to diagnose my problem from the information.  I have 1 yellow tail damsel and a relatively new Tomato Clown fish in a 55 gallon tank.  I've had the damsel from the beginning, and the tank has been cycled for a while. 0 on ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and ph of 8.1 (the ph test is a little hard to read). I have a few pieces of live rock, don't remember the weight, and am saving to buy some more.       I've had the clown fish for about 3 weeks, and have noticed him occasionally twitching, shaking his body while tilted.  Also,  for the second time, I've found him with what looks like scratches around his gills, not sure. Both times they were gone within a day.  Today he looks fine, but still see him do the shakes occasionally.   <The "shakes" are a behavior/symptom(?) that you need to keep an eye on. If it's seen with heavy breathing, you definitely need to consider medical intervention. DO remember, though, that Clownfish engage in some unusual movements at times, so you might mistake these for a problem...>     What has me worried now is that the yellow tail damsel, who had been fine, is shaking/twitching more frequently than the clownfish, and is all of a sudden semi-aggressive to the clown, where previously he had not been at all (the clown is larger as well.)  There aren't any visible markings on the skin like the dusting describing ich. <That's a good sign> The tomato clown has dark patch that fades around the edges in his back half, and around the edges of his lower fins (anal fins?) I have seen other tomato clowns with this coloration, so I thought it was just that, now I'm not sure.   Also, I read that increased breathing could be a sign of gill parasites, but am not sure how to measure this, or how to  look for it.  They both seem to be fine other than the symptoms described to you, and both have strong appetites. Any ideas as to what the problem if any is? I appreciate any help. Brandon <To be quite honest with you, Brandon- I'm thinking that, based upon the behaviors that you describe- there is nothing wrong with these fish! In the absence of other symptoms, such as rapid breathing, mucus, lack of appetite, etc., I think that careful observation and good husbandry are all that are required at this point. Do be prepared to intervene if necessary. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Sudden Illness (1/27/04)    I don't know if my original email was received but I have new information to add.  I had a Potter Angel stop swimming also this afternoon with the same symptoms.  I noticed his labored breathing and I think I can see some white spots on my other Percula clown.  Under the assumption that I have a gill parasite, I began treating the tank with Rally's (it's a mix of Acriflavine, Aminoacridine, and Formalin)  I hope this will work. <Unlikely> I put it directly in the display tank and it doesn't seem to effect inverts. <If it's not strong enough to kill your inverts, it's not strong enough to kill your parasites. Treating the main tank is asking for trouble.> Previous email: First off, thank you for your website, I find it to be one of the best sources on the internet.  I wanted to see if you could help me - I had a juvenile emperor angle die 2 days ago and this morning one of my percula clown fish stopped swimming.  Both of these fish were doing great earlier this week and have lived in the tank for months.  I have a feeling that I may have some sort of parasite or something, can you please help me identify why my fish have died so it doesn't happen to the others; I have attached photos for identification.  I have given the imperator a freshwater dip twice in the past because one of his eyes would get cloudy and it appears that it was cloudy again when he died.      The parameters of the tank and water are: 60 Gallon tank, 50-60lbs live rock, 50lbs live sand, wet dry sump, with a Euro-Reef skimmer and UV filter.  Water has 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0-20  nitrate, salinity is 1.02-1.021 at 79 degrees and the pH is 8.2.  Lighting is 4 forty watt fluorescent bulbs.  Thank you for your help. Kevin Steiner <The virulence of this infestation is alarming. The rapidity of the deaths after onset, the contagiousness and the pictures all suggest Amyloodinium (marine velvet) to me. Please search WWM and elsewhere for pix to compare for greater surety. You can also find out how to treat this in a quarantine tank from the WWM FAQs as well. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Fallow Tank hello, <Morning! Ryan with you> I recently lost my two Percula Clowns to Brooklynellosis.  I was treating the tank with Formalin for two days...I was literally turning on the light to another tank when I turned around and they were both dead.  My question for you today is if the tank is still infected.  They were the only fish in the tank at the time and its been running without fish for about 4 days.  I want to add more clowns and was wondering when I could. <Sam, you need to allow time for any Protozoans in your tank to die.  Without a host, they soon will, but it's going to take time.  Most experts advise 4-6 weeks of running your tank "fallow" before returning livestock.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm  Good luck! Ryan> Thanks Sam

- Running On One Gill - Hi there, Help!  I have been having some recent problems and am hoping you might be able to help me out. Setup: 200 gallon tank, fish only, dead coral skeletons Current fish: Large Queen Angelfish Large Black and white Heniochus Medium Yellow tang Small Purple tang Medium Maroon clown 2 female Lyretail Anthias  (male died) Engineer goby 5 green Chromis salinity = 1.016 <Is there a reason your salinity is so low? It should really be closer to natural seawater which is 1.025.> temp = 78 NO2 =  <.3 NH3/NH4 = 0 Copper = .2 Ph = 8.4 System set up 11/7/03 <Goodness... for a tank barely three months old, you have a lot of fish in there.> Have sump with protein skimmer and UV sterilizer. Due to set up of tank it is impossible to catch a fish unless they are really sick/not active. <Not impossible - there are traps and other ways of capturing fish.> 10 days ago I added copper to the tank because I believed the tank had ick or velvet. <Oh... that was a mistake.> There had been some new fish that died.  Also my purple tang had the look of salt sprinkled all over him, and the Queen and Heniochus were looking dusty.  There was some scratching going on. Purple tang is relatively new (12/26)  and has been harassed by the yellow tang.  I understand that his outbreak in spots was probably due to the stress.   In addition to the dusty appearance, over the last week the Queen developed a series of whitish bumps/sores along the lateral line from eye toward tail. I was not sure if these might be flukes.   These seem to be slowly clearing up.  He also had a few black specs, but these are also seeming to clear up. He now has cloudy eyes (especially one), and is breathing VERY rapidly only on one side.  He still eats with enthusiasm but otherwise is either hovering in a protected area of the tank and is consistently scratching.  He comes up to the Heniochus to get the Heniochus to 'pick' off his body. Is he only using one gill because the other has been attacked by parasites? Or is the one that is being used the one that is under attack?  Is there any thing else it could be? <Likely water quality is now an issue - you've stocked this tank too quickly, and based on the facts you've laid out thus far, I'd also guess you didn't quarantine any of these fish. At this point, by adding copper to your tank [which Angels are sensitive to] you've stalled out your biological filtration. You are now at the mercy of your haphazard stocking and treatment practices.> The Anthias have scratched occasionally and are 'laying low' but otherwise do not show symptoms.  The clown seems fine.  Heniochus is looking better since copper was added, purple tang still looks bad, faded near tail and splotchy. I am been trying to keep patient and keep the copper in there for 3 weeks before trying something different. I have been feeding 3 times a day. Food is mostly mysis shrimp with garlic added, occasionally a cube of formula 1 or 2, and occasionally some seaweed on a clip.  Have done a couple of water changes recently to ensure water quality. Any insight you have on what the problem may be would be greatly appreciated. <Well... in many ways, you can only close the barn door now that the horse has escaped. Your only option from here is really triage.> Should I keep with the copper or remove that and do something different? <I'd consider draining the tank so that you can catch the sick fish - you can refill the tank once the fish are netted. Once caught, put them in individual quarantine tanks and treat with copper there. While the fish are being treated, put activated carbon in the filtration loop of your main tank and try and remove as much copper as possible. If you have live rock or live sand in there, it is no longer live... copper kills invertebrates. You will need to allow the main tank to run without fish for four to six weeks, preferably six - and then slowly reintroduce the fish after they have returned to good health and the fallow period is complete.> Also, if I can get the tank through this mess,  I would like to get a male Lyretail Anthias to go with the females.  Is this something I can 'added later' or will they only get along if I added him at the same time? <Yes, you can add one later.> Thank you so much for your help!  Val <Please take some time and read the following links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm > <Cheers, J -- >

Tenacious Disease Good Morning Dr. Bob from sunny Australia, <Actually, Scott F. here today!> I have just finished a 3 week course of Cupramine to eradicate marine white spot in my main tank. The results were good and all spots where gone within 5 days. I continued to run the dose at .6 PPM as per Sea Chem's advice. <I'm glad to hear of your success! While I'm not fond of treating in the display tank, it's nice to hear of a happy ending...It's often hard to keep the Copper level at a proper therapeutic dose in a tank with rocks and sand> I have just turned my skimmers / ozonizer and power filter with carbon back on to boost the water quality. My RedOx was down to 155 MV! At the moment 200 MV and slowly rising. <Who says skimmers don't help water quality? That's a great case for running a skimmer, if I ever heard of one!> Now my problem is my fish have started to itch again but looking at them they seem perfectly normal, no white spots, nothing?  During the treatment I raised the temp to 30.5 deg Cel to speed the life cycle of the marine ich up. <Well, the life cycle of ich does involve a "dormant" phase, after which the causative parasites can re-emerge from rocks, substrate, etc. to strike again. Frankly, that's one of the reasons why I advocate leaving the display tank "fallow", without fishes for a month or so to deprive the parasites of their hosts (your fishes!) and interrupt their life cycle.> Also my Blue face angel has cloudy eyes and sorts of darts around from time to time? <Could be a secondary infection. The improving water quality may help-or, you may have to intervene medically if no improvement occurs...> My surgeon fish sometime appear to be lazy just chilling above the substrate (which is not usual for them). All fish are feeding but my blue face (7 inch) is very shy and only seems to feed on mussels. <Can be a finicky eater> Water details as follows:- Tank Volume 240 Gallons Temp 30 Deg - reducing back to 28 deg Cel.. Ammonia 0 Nitrite .2 PPM (Higher than normal) <I'd like to see undetectable> PH 8.1 I'm guessing some sort of poisoning from running the copper? (Prior to this I tried triple sulfa with no luck). Do you think that the reduced water quality over a period of time has something to do with this? <I do. I wonder if the triple sulfa may have damaged your biological filtration, and the degraded water quality led to stress, which led to...You get the picture> I treated the main tank (slap on the hand) but I had no hospital tank available at the time. Tank has large quantity of rock and coral sand. I did have some copper fall out but by monitoring the levels twice daily I was able to keep the level at 0.50 - 0.65 PPM. Your thoughts would be highly appreciated. Cheers, Che <Well, Che- I think that you were diligent in attempting to maintain the level of copper at a therapeutic level. However, I think that some of the parasites obviously made it through, and their life cycle can continue...I would secure some type of extra tanks, containers, whatever- that you can house your fish in for a month or so, and let that main tank go fallow. I think that this process could do the trick. It's not fun- but it does work! Do consider it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

When "Fallow" Isn't "Fallow" Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> Unfortunately, 3 months ago my display tank (75 gal, FOWLR) was hit with what I believe was marine velvet.  4 of my 5 fish died within 10 days. The one remaining fish is a Halichoeres chrysus wrasse, which never showed signs of infection.  For the past 3 months I have left the tank "almost fallow", with only the wrasse, and maintained excellent water quality.  My question, then, is you feel this is adequate, and if it is relatively safe to start the process of restocking the tank. Thanks very much, John H. <Well....Since you asked...The idea of the fallow tank- as I believe you understand-is to deprive the parasites, which cause the illness, their hosts (your fishes!). By NOT removing ALL of the fishes in an "infected" aquarium, you are still "leaving the door open" for the disease continue its reign of terror! This is not "fallow"..."Fallow" means NO fishes. Personally, I'd really consider removing this guy from the tank (even if he looks okay) and putting him in a separate aquarium for about a month- just to be sure...It sucks, it's a pain in the -Well, you get the idea... it's worth it- trust me...Get that guy out of there for a little vacation, and all your fishes can return to a tank that has a much lower likelihood of harboring any parasites...Not 100% successful (no treatment ever is), but extremely effective. Just keep patient a bit longer, and you'll reap the benefits! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: ICKY ICH Hi Guys, Saltwater Ich, gotta love it. I read though almost all your info and posts about diseases. It was all very helpful. I especially liked the one about local pet stores selling hospital setups before selling you a 55 gallon tank and 50 pounds of live rock. <A pet peeve of mine for sure!> So here is my question: My tank became infested with ich. All the fish got it. I tried to get a setup and remove the fish but it did not happen fast enough and all of the fish are dead. (except one) <Sorry to hear this...> You mentioned that the tank needs to go fallow for 2 months. Well the surviving fish is a 4 stripe damsel and definitely had ich. It appears to have beaten it. It is 2 weeks since the loss of the last fish and this damsel is going strong. Should I still attempt to remove and treat him anyway? If I don't remove him will he Transmit ich to new fish? <I would.  Yes, IMO he is a host and will likely infect any new additions as will your infested tank.> I plan on leaving the tank with only inverts and the damsel for the next two months but I am very concerned that this one fish may enable the ich to survive and then rear it's ugly head again. <Very wise to fear this. QT and treat the Damsel and leave main fallow if fish for two months. You may find a small re-occurrence upon re-introduction due to stress, best to be prepared with medicated food (with Metronidazole, Tetra or Seachem soak) to nip it in the bud. If you feed the damsel medicated food while in QT it will resist/kill ick/velvet, etc.> Thanks in advance for all the great info on the site and any info you can give me. Sincerely, Kevin <You are on the right track Kevin. Maintain flawless sanitation/isolation for nets, filters, tools, etc, used in tank(s). Quarantine is REAL isolation from infested or possibly infested sources/fish. Use a net dip, etc. or you could inadvertently re-introduce problems.  Follow the QT articles on WWM exactly.  Craig>

"Ichy" 65g Tank  3/4/03 Hello to all! <Hey Jason!  Phil here!> I have a 65gal tank that has come down with ich. <Oh no!  Let's see what we can do to make everything ich-free!> I have a tomato clown, coral beauty, <FYI, may nip at the corals.> Kole Tang, toadstool leather, button polyp, and brain coral.  Everything but the Kole tang has been in the tank for 3 months. I just introduced the Kole tang last week w/o dipping or QT. <This is not a good idea!  Anything that goes into a tank must have a 4 week quarantine period, as this stops most diseases from entering the tank.>  it happens to be that my Kole tank now has ich after only a week of being in my tank.  I do have an 18gal set up now as my QT tank which I plan on putting him in and treating if I can ever catch him out of my rocks.  My questions: after taking the tang out and QT'ing him, what do you mean by letting the tank go "fallow" for about a month to get rid of the main source of ich?<This means not only removing the tang, but ALL fish.  The tank must run "fishless" for at least 4 weeks.> Like turn the filtration systems off and stuff or what?   <Your going to want to keep all filters, lights, heater etc running during this time.> Can you clear me up on this; I've read through most of the FAQs relating to this but couldn't really find an answer.   Oh also, how would my corals react to lowering the spg and raising temp? <I doubt they would like it at all.  Please treat any and all sicknesses in a quarantine tank.> Thanks, Jason-Surfs Up! <No problem!  One day I'm going to have to learn to surf!  Hope this helps and good luck, you'll make it through.  In the future please QT all new critters and this won't happen again.  Phil> Re: Now sick clowns Looking for your advice again. Removed purple tang a week ago to Q-tank as suggested with what I thought was ick (tiny white spots) and treating with Greenex. Now the clowns which were left in the FOWLR tank have white patches and have lost appetite. Tang now looks fine, but should I move the clowns in with the tang? <Your system, all the fishes have the parasitic infestation. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files at top> Won't be able to make the main tank totally fallow as have a yellow wrasse that would be impossible to get. <Then you won't be able to eliminate this disease. Bob Fenner> Thanks much, Mark Edmonton, Alberta

Re: Leaving a Tank Fallow Dwarf lionfish.  Before losing him, I treated the tank with CopperSafe.  These were the tank conditions before the dwarf died: SG 1.016 (brought down slowly over 2 days but normally kept at 1.020), <This is too low to maintain a system at> temp 82.6 (normally kept at 79.9), ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate < 20 ppm.  The tank is a 33 gal with about 2" of aragonite substrate <The aragonite will absorb the copper product...> with lava and tufa rock for hiding places.  My filtration is an Aquaclear <No skimmer?> 2 damsels (for cycling) in the tank with the dwarf lion, but I took them back to the fish store.  I noticed a few white spots on one of the damsels (a three stripe) before I took it back. <Please take the time to read over here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptfaqs.htm and the linked files at top, our sections on copper use, Lionfishes, marine set-up, filtration... posted on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Fish with ich Hi Bob, I have yet another question for you.  I've been reading through numerous FAQs about ich.  I have lost 3 domino damsels and a tomato clown.  I still have a tomato clown, porcupine puffer, a brackish puffer, hermit crabs, coral banded shrimp, and snails left.  My tank has not yet completed cycling. You've already helped me with that issue (cycling), I was hoping you could help me with this.  All of my fish, including the dead ones, have/had tiny whit spots.  I presume it's ich. <Probably so> When I bought the damsels, one of them had some cloudy eyes that I didn't notice 'til he was in my tank for about an hour. <... you didn't quarantine... even dip/bath the new fishes?... You're causing yourself much more trouble than you want.> It had started to go away, then came back very fast, along with the white spots. <Not really "going away", but the feeding phase (trophonts) that "make the white spots" (actually the fish-hosts irritated mucus response) dropping off, going to resting, swarming stages (mode of distribution, reproduction)... will come back in far greater numbers... and now your SYSTEM has the parasitic disease... As time goes by this infestation will become harder to eradicate... need to act soon, as in NOW!>   The last damsel before it died was glancing off of the back of the tank and now my remaining clown is doing it off of the heater, and my puffer seems to be twitching his left pectoral fin.  I do not have any more "fish tank" money as I just upgraded to a better protein skimmer (remora pro), and cannot buy a QT.  I have set up a 60 gph filter on a red sea salt bucket that I was thinking of using as a QT. <Good idea if this is the biggest, sterile container you have>   The ammonia level in my main tank is zero, but in the bucket it is about 1.0 ppm. <Use the water from the main tank for now... start mixing up, storing replacement water elsewhere> I don't want to put the fish, if I can catch them, in there.  Is there a good ich treatment that I can add to my main tank that is safe for inverts.  I really don't want to lose any more fish.  Please help.  Thanks <No, there are no safe and effective ich/Cryptocaryon  treatments that are not deleterious to invertebrates. Time to go back to WWM, read about quarantine, parasitic diseases of marine fishes, ich, treatment, parasitic tanks... formulate a plan and execute. Bob Fenner> Vince

Re: fish with ich Thanks for your reply.  I've been reading and reading through the FAQs re: parasites and ich.  You mention biological cleaners.  I'm thinking of buying 2 blood shrimp and 2 skunk shrimp. <Do hold off on these additions till the system is completely cycled> Like I said I already have a coral banded.  I will have to go buy more rock as well.  This is a much more expensive route, but I want to try to solve or at least suppress the problem without chemicals. <Agreed> Also, I know this ich problem is caused by numerous things including poor water quality.  If you noticed from the first email, my tank is still cycling.  My ammonia has dropped to zero for about 4 days now and am waiting for the nitrites (about 8ppm)to drop as well. <I hope this is really 0.8 ppm... not eight>   I know the shrimp may help, but do you think this is a viable option, or do you think I should QT and treat. <I would do the latter>   If you think I should treat.  Can I leave my current crabs and shrimp in the main tank while I leave it fallow, or do they need to go into their own QT. <They can remain... but you will need to extend the fish-less state longer than if you could manipulate spg, temperature (in their absence). Bob Fenner> Once again, thanks.

Ick-y tank hello, I have recently found this site and think it is wonderful to get solid answers for questions.  To the point now, I have a saltwater 55gal setup with liverock, an urchin, snowflake eel, orange sponge, 2 flower pots, hammer coral, fox coral, feather duster, cleaner shrimp.  I had a sohal tang, a flame angel, and a maroon clown; but all the fish died of ick, I believe.  The only fish that didn't have the spots was the clown and he had white fungus type.  what to do now.  I plan on doing a water change and have been treating the ick before with hex-a-mit.   please help. kokee   <You had an amazing amount of fish life here in such a small space... I would take the fast but long read through WWM re parasitic disease starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and continue reading through the linked files re its treatment... You need another, separate system to isolate, treat the eel if it's still alive. Otherwise to wait a good two months before introducing fish livestock as your system now has the ich... And use that treatment system for isolating, quarantining new fishes. Bob Fenner>

Puffer Ich I have a puffer that seems to be prone to ich. <All puffers are prone to ich> I have put him in a qt tank and treated him until well 4 weeks the first time and 6 weeks the 2nd time. Nothing else in my tank has the problem. I am sure he is well when I put him back in and within 2-3 days he has it again. What should I do? I tried the lowering the salinity and raising the temp, fw dips and so forth. Is there anything I can treat the main tank with? Thanks for the help. <Remove all of the fish in the main tank and let it run fallow for 4, preferably 6 weeks. This will decrease the parasite load within the tank. Your puffer is simply picking up the parasite again once added to the main tank. Please understand that puffers are problematic in this regard. You can help the situation by always topping off and doing water changes with water that is the same temp as the main tank. Also, keep the temp stable 24/7 in the main tank at all times. Do not treat the main tank with any chemical, particularly copper>

Ongoing Tank Problems Dear Sir, I had a question (that hopefully you can add some insight to) about an ongoing problem that we have been having in our tank. The tank has been up and running for 2 years now, the first year and a half without any incident at all! The problems we have been having are in the last 6 months and we cannot seem to rectify the situation. All of the fish became sick, Ich, eye cloud, fin rot, the whole deal, after the introduction of a small Queen angel. She was not quarantined first (shame on us, and we are now paying the price) She died after a week, but everyone else has lived (thank goodness!) After the severe sickness, which was originally treated with fresh water dips, medicated baths, and the addition of Melafix to the tank, the fish dramatically improved. The red sea never became sick...the imperator was mildly affected, the puffer was just fine...but the Hepatus and the trigger were affected severely. The trigger really surprised me, as I thought he would have been one of the more resilient ones. Every fish in the tank has seemed to make a full recovery, with exception to the Trigger and the Imperator. All the fish still have voracious appetites (never lost their appetites, even when they looked as though they were on death's door step), but the Trigger continues to have "frayed fins" and cloudy eyes, with the occasional bout of Ich spots and the same is true for the Imperator. None of the other fish show any of these symptoms. The eye cloud clears up after a few days, as does the ich...and they will be fine for a week, then it will return. Even though I did everything I could to avoid it, I broke down and treated the tank for two weeks with Copper sulfate. Cleared it up for a week or so after the treatment was complete, but it again returned....only with those two fish again! In the last 6 months, we have added the sump with Caulerpa to help remove toxins and nitrate from the tank and to help improve the biological bed. The tank is 125 gallon: protein skimmer, UV sterilizer, ground probe, heater, wet/dry (with live sand and Caulerpa), a Fluval 404 canister filter (for additional mechanical filtration), and 50/50 lighting. The tank is a fish only tank, housing 1 clown trigger, 1 red sea Sailfin, 1 stars and stripes puffer, 1 hepatus tang, and 1 imperator. The tank, I know, is at or a little bit beyond capacity....but we already have a custom made 300 gallon tank to move them into....we are just waiting to move ourselves before we make the change (in about 5 months). Sorry for the long winded email.........Water quality is as follows: Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, pH is at 8.2, specific gravity 1.23, and Nitrate is at about 80 ppm. We run the light over the sump at night, to help keep the pH from fluctuating when we turn the main tank lights off. We do weekly water changes of about 33% with reverse osmosis water. We feed the fish 2 times daily....alternating between Dried seaweed, dried prepared foods, frozen angel formula, freeze dried krill, Spirulina, and the occasional frozen brine shrimp. I have tried to think of everything possible that could be causing stress to the fish: water quality, electrical shock, nutrition, etc.....I am afraid that the problem is so obvious that I am simply overlooking it, but for the life of me, I can't figure it out. Please help!  Dave Schroeder <Hi Dave. Please go to WetWebMedia.com and type "ick" in the Google search engine. Read about treating for ick, using copper and quarantine. You have a long standing ick infection and you aren't curing it. You then re-infect your fish by keeping them in an infected tank that has not been fully treated or held fallow of fish for the quarantine period, which is two weeks of *copper* in a bare bottomed QT, and another two weeks to be sure they have been successfully treated. While this is going on, the main tank must be without fish hosts for ick or the whole shebang treated with copper for two weeks if there is no live rock, sand, or inverts. The copper will kill your bio-filter or severely effect it and possibly NOT kill all of the ick. Your choices are: Treat in main for two weeks and hope the treatment killed the ick in the tank, or put all fish in larger QT, treat them, and hold tank fallow for at least one month. I know I don't ever have to mention a quarantine tank to you again, right? A month for one fish in the QT beats this any day. Hope this helps! Craig> 

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