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FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease Treatments

FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease: Butterflyfish Disease 1, Butterflyfish Disease 2, Angels and Butterflyfishes &Crypt,  
FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic,

Related Articles: Butterflyfishes

Related FAQs: Butterflyfish, Butterflyfish Identification, Butterflyfish Systems, Butterflyfish Foods/Feeding/NutritionButterflyfish Compatibility, Butterflyfish Behavior, Butterflyfish Selection, Butterflyfish Reproduction,

Beware of the use of copper, Malachite... on BFs... even Formalin is dangerous unless used only in a dip/bath.

Butterflyfishes for Marine

Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Tinkeri with ich
Hello Wetweb Media Crew! I hope this email finds you all well. I currently have a Tinkeri Butterflyfish in QT. I've had him for almost 2 weeks now and have gotten him to eating a lot. This morning i noticed some fine white spots on the black, part of his body. I think its ich.
<Mmm; maybe, may be not. I would NOT be treating w/o confirming this via sampling and microscope use>
What medicine can I use on him as I understand they do not tolerate copper based medicines so well? I currently have him on Paraguard. But a lot of forums say it really isn't very effective against ich?
<Mmm; aldehydes can be effective... like other medications, S.O.P.s, NEED to be administered under propitious/ideal conditions>
Would love to hear your thoughts as I would hate to lose this fish.
<Oh, I do understand. Have spent hundreds of hours looking for Tinker's in Hawaii>
Many thanks!
<I would first try a pH adjusted (and aerated) freshwater bath; moving this fish in the process; either to the main/display or a new/clean isolation system. Please read here Re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Tinkeri with ich     9/13/17

Many thanks Mr. Fenner. Will try a freshwater dip.
�� Kathy
<Please keep us informed of your observations Kathy. BobF>

Follow up on Lemon Butterfly/Quarantine duration       12/22/16
Hi and thanks for your recent help regarding my lemon butterfly fish (Chaetodon miliaris).
<One of my fave BF species>
My three guys are all eating well, and appear completely lesion and parasite free. (Emphasis on the word "appear".) They have been in my 30 gallon QT for seven weeks as of today. I have matched salinity,
temperature, and pH to my 180 gallon display tank.
I see so many different duration periods for quarantine, anywhere from two weeks to two months. I'm thinking that my butterfly fish are ready to go into the main tank at this point. Is there any reason to wait any longer?
<Not IMO/E... more than even just a few weeks entails more risk than benefit. I'd move these fish now (if not before)>
Bruce Ritter
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

A Rabble of Butterflyfishes - Please Expand. And getting out to see BFs in the wild          9/29/16
Greetings Bob,
<Hey Sarah>
I thoroughly enjoyed your recent piece in CORAL about butterflies and your experience in the Philippines - what an enthralling time that must have been.
<And still are!>
We've corresponded before regarding Chaetodons I've attempted to keep, some of which have been thriving to date. The reason I write now is in reference to your paragraph about hobbyist quarantine and suggesting to place butterflies immediately into the display.
<I see>
It states, "This standard operating procedure assumes that there are no established bullying livestock...and your butterflyfish is in good initial health. The preventative dip/bath mentioned should take care of external parasites..."
<I'd like to insert the word/s "hopefully (and) most" in front of "external parasites">
I find this conflicting because it is difficult to find specimen in good initial health.
<Mmm; okay... how 'bout another sub... "better" for "good"?>
I don't overdo quarantine, I prefer an established setup with some live rock, will utilize TTM, freshwater dips and deworming, usually Levamisole. But I have found that dips, even those with Formalin do not eradicate all present ectoparasites,
<This is so... esp. more deeply "embedded" Protozoans; some worms...>
leaving enough to potentially take hold in the aforementioned display.
So unless each fish had a skin scrape, I wouldn't be comfortable with the dip and place procedure. For ex, I recently I purchased a trio of pyramid butterflies from DD that had a very aggressive strain of Amyloodinium and dipped them daily as part of treatment and it only resolved 80-90% of parasites attached to the fish. If I would have initially dipped and placed these fish in the display, none of which had torn fins, reclusive behavior, heavy breathing, spots, dusty appearance upon arrival, I would have jeopardized C. tinkeri and a slew of others.
So, theoretically, if all fish are in good initial health this method works and there's no need to further stress a fish
in qt possibly tipping the balance between health and disease, but some high mortality diseases aren't blatantly apparent immediately, even to the trained eye. Please explain your reasoning.
<You're compelling me to be more clear, erudite. Appreciated. My statements are intended for a "general audience" and some sort of "average" livestock, situation... On the whole I will stick with your careful review of what I've written, presented on balance for the public... AS (I hope to be clearer here) for MOST folks, trials, BFs will be MORE impugned by delaying their introduction than their health guaranteed or restored (by quarantine, treatment there for parasites). Given the opportunity (as we are doing here, or better still in propria persona), I WOULD/DO consider your approach more beneficial, KNOWING/TRUSTING that YOU know "what you're doing". Understanzee?>
Additionally, where are your favorite places in the world to dive, snorkel even and observe butterflyfish?
<Gosh... there are a few. Hawaii in general (here's that word again) for being convenient, close, known... esp. to see the endemic C. fremblii; all places in the "coral triangle" (Malaysia, P.I., Indo.... N. E Australia) for sheer diversity (and local abundance at times); and a great fave, the Red Sea... for endemism and coloration. Am going to try and find you on
Facebook, add you to our "Scuba Diving Friends" page... to share further.
Do look me up as well if interested, and send a friend request. I am Robert Fenner there>
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Miliaris #1 & #2        3/6/16
I've been attempting to keep C. miliaris and the first died in qt after 10 weeks from what I thought was an internal bacterial infection - bloat, constipation, stopped eating and died. Attempted to treat
with Kanamycin and used Epsom salts for constipation.
<Mmm; this is a fave B/F; Hawaiian endemic>
I ordered yet another and reduced the overall time spent in qt to 8 weeks, here we are at 9.5 wks and the fish has looked quite good in the display, but now is displaying similar symptoms to the first:
minor bloat, constipation, enlarged anus which looks frayed, still eating, a bit reclusive. I stopped feeding and the constipation improved, but it left his anus large and damaged. I'm thinking of leaving him in the display with hope his own defenses can take care of the perceived infection.
My question is whether this is common for this species and if it is likely tied to the shared qt both used?
<These sorts of losses are (too) common for Chaetodontids period. I am not  a fan of quarantining, isolating any member of the family (and a few others). Better to expedite... dip/bath new specimens, and plunk them into established displays directly>
Are internal bacterial infections contagious?
<Mmm; not really... there is some more issue w/ hyper-infective states, but it is the pre-disposing conditions: stress, starvation, ammonia burn.... a myriad of other factors; that tip the balance between health and disease>
I think I will sanitize the qt, but am concerned for the other fish in the display.
<Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
and as much of the linked materials at top till you feel you have a good grasp.... Bob Fenner>
Re: Miliaris #1 & #2    3/7/16
Thank you, this was knowledge I needed...I'm assuming you're referring to a formalin dip?
<Mmm; possibly.... please read here: ....
I've used it successfully to treat flukes (2 wks in hospital tank with dosage from bottle), but each fish developed a post treatment condition seemingly related to a suppressed immune system. For ex. the female percula's colors faded and the Butterflyfish and tang continually developed small infections whereas
beforehand they were all long-time seemingly healthy inhabitants, all which died within the next year. Perhaps a dip would not have this side-effect? Or are there other recommended meds such as Acriflavine?
<Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
and the linked files at top>
Btw, the miliaris is demonstrating improvement with the infection, I'm continuing very small 3x/day feedings and optimal water quality.

Treatment for Internal Bacterial Infection; BFs      12/31/15
<Salutations Sarah>
I'm a seasoned aquarist and had a newly acquired C. miliaris Butterflyfish doing well in quarantine. The water was clean and no ammonia/nitrate/nitrite; fed homemade seafood blend in small amounts multiple times/day. Fish began to display bloat and constipation (no worms present in feces). With no improvement over a week, I added Epsom salts to the water (which appeared to help the fish pass some feces) and Kanamycin to the frozen seafood. After 3 days of treatment the fish continued to decline and died. I don't suspect ectoparasites as there were no behavioral or visible symptoms.
<Mmm; well; for the record and browsers I should mention that Butterflyfishes are notoriously poor shippers; get very stressed in the process of collection, holding, transit...>
My question is, for next time do you recommend a different antibiotic for internal bacterial infections.
<Mmm dos; the best all the way around is likely chloramphenicol (chlormycetin).... most places have to get a doctor or vet's help>
Should I have bumped it up to something like doxycycline or any general advice?
<Not likely of use.... am a fan of dip/bath processing Chaetodontids.... and not quarantining usually. Too many (much higher percentage) are lost to delay, further stress... best to speed along to placement in main displays.
This is my hard-earned opinion borne of handling many thousands of these fishes. I also include Blennioids, gobioids; quite a few other fish groups here.>
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

to quarantine or not to quarantine <Chaetodontids>       4/25/13
Hello Crew,
  Rich here.
 Here is my dilemma; I had a 55 gallon FOWLR for seven years. I set up a 29 gallon high as a quarantine tank, Emperor filter, heater, light, air pump, some PVC pipe at bottom for a place to hide. I used water from my 55 to fill it along with some RODI water.
 Temp is 79, salinity 1.023, PH 8.3. ammonia zero, nitrites zero. nitrates 5. I moved my five zebra barred dart fish into the 29 high.
<Mmm, I hope they were all friendly/known to each other before being crowded here>
  I then set up my 180: two overflows into 40 gallon sump, two Tunze pumps moving about 450 GPH each after head and turns in plumbing, two Koralia circulation pumps each rated at 850 GPH, 160 lbs of live aragonite, about 100 -120 lbs of live rock from my 55 gallon, Tunze DOC 9011 skimmer. I filled it with about 30 gallons from my 55 gallon tank and RODI water.
<With you thus far>
For ten days ammonia and nitrites were zero, and nitrates 10. Temp is 79. PH 8.3, salinity 1.022. I took a chance and put my dart fish in the 180. No change. I quarantined six small, about 1", green Chromis
<A touchy species when small>
 for ten days, and moved them into the 180. Everything has remained stable. No change. I quarantined six small, about 1", green Chromis for ten days, and moved them into the 180. Everything has remained stable.
  The 180 has been up and running for a total of about 30 days. I purchased two butterflies, a 3 inch Indian Ocean Double Saddle Back  and a 4" Pearly Scaled. They were in the LFS for over three weeks and looked and acted and ate fine. I put them in my quarantine tank four days ago and they seem OK.
They are fed frozen Mysis shrimp along with frozen Cyclop-eeze and occasional flake. I planned on keeping them there for three weeks so my 180 would have two months to run, but now I am reading that some people think it is better not to quarantine butterflies.
<Yes; depending on their apparent condition, the species; better to expedite, perhaps run through a prophylactic dip/bath enroute from shipping instead>
OK. They are fed frozen Mysis shrimp along with frozen Cyclop-eeze and occasional flake. I planned on keeping them there for three weeks so my 180 would have two months to run, but now I am reading that some people think it is better not to quarantine butterflies.
<Shouldn't be a problem w/ these species to keep in the 55 for a while; even the 29 if they're getting along>

  I fear that my 180 is too new to put them in. Do you recommend taking a chance  keeping them in the 29 gallon or move them into the 180? I feel like I have no easy decision here. Thanks.
<I'd leave them where they are for a while; closely observe. IF they begin to quarrel, move. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Question, and BF hlth. f'       4/16/13
My current tank is a 150 gallon FOWLR that has been running for 18 months now.   No new additions in nearly a year.  
Current residents in the tank are in order of introduction are 2 - 11 year old Amphiprion Ocellaris (Ocellaris Clowns) mated pair and laying eggs about every 4 to 8 weeks
10 - Margarita Snails
10 - Dwarf Yellow Tip Hermits
10 - Turbo Snails
10 - Nassarius Snails
3 - Chromis viridis (Blue/Green Chromis)
1 - Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (Six Line Wrasse)
1 - Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus)
1 - Ecsenius midas (Midas Blenny)
1 - Ctenochaetus strigosus (Kole Tang)
1 - Centropyge eibli (Eibli Angel)
I do a 10% water change weekly and test water conditions each week with a test kit along with monitoring PH and temperature with a Neptune controller.
Controller also controls my top off system.
<Ahh, am familiar. Nice units>
Latest tank conditions are PH 8.20; Ammonia 0.0 PPM; Nitrite 0.0 PPM,
Nitrate 10.0 PPM, dKH 8; Calcium 320 PPM, Phosphate 0.0 PPM.
<All fine; yes, including the "low" calcium>
I am thinking of adding a couple of butterfly fish (2 of the 3 following:
Raccoon BF- Chaetodon lunula; Longnose BF- Forcipiger flavissimus; and/or Auriga Butterflyfish - Chaetodon auriga).  I prefer the Raccoon and Longnose, but based on availability am flexible. I would really like to get a  <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/raccoon.htm > Chaetodon fasciatus over the lunula but that's a pretty big price premium.
<Mmm... any two of these should work here; though I wish your tank was fifty gallons larger and two feet wider>
Considering the circumstances and as a general rule, which is better to quarantine two new (or multiple) fish simultaneously and upset the balance of the whole system at once or quarantine sequentially and stress the whole system twice.
<Good question... as it is complex... Depends on the species involved mostly; next their relative (to established tank-mates principally) size/s; and apparent/real health... In this case, placing whatever of these Chaetodontids at the same time is better... though they will be much better isolated/quarantined separately if more than 2-3 inches in overall length (many BFs "quarrel" as adults unless (until) "paired">
<And you, Bob Fenner>

quarantining b/f's and mandarin?   6/8/11
Good morning,
I will be receiving 3 B/F's and a Mandarin Fish mail-order later this week. I have a 30g quarantine tank ready to go but have a couple of questions.
Would it be best to do a PH-adjusted, freshwater dip w/Methylene Blue, on the Mandarin and place him in my established 125g FOWLER tank?
<Yes; this is what I would do; not quarantine this family (Callionymidae) and a few other fish groups, unless there was something apparently "wrong" with them>
After reading most of the FAQ's on these fish, I realize they are not as susceptible to Ich but I am quite paranoid about its (Ich's) re-introduction into my tank as I have battled it on and off for two years (luckily with me winning or more likely in a stalemate with the enemy!) with no loss of fish.
<Mmm, well... up to you>
On to the B/F's! I'm getting a Tear-Drop, Pakistan and Black-Backed. I realize these fish are quite sensitive and will most likely start eating prepared foods and re-build their resistance once placed in the main tank, but would a week or so in quarantine then a freshwater dip w/Methylene Blue or Formalin (safe for B/F's ?)
<Toxic, but if they're in "good shape", likely worth using>
be better for the fish than acclimating them, freshwater dipping them and immediately placing them in the main tank?
<I would likely quarantine these, given your system (the 30)>
I've read about every FAQ's on B/F's and added to them with some of my questions in the past but I am on the fence here on whether to quarantine or not.
<Me too/I as well>
Even though I have run my tank fallow for several 8-week periods over the last two years I know I still have some entrenched Ich. The last time I added 4-week quarantined B/F's I had an outbreak but decided to treat with Selcon soaked Spectrum flakes and Spectrum Thera-A pellets. The fish kept the cleaner shrimps very busy, but all came through and continue to thrive.
My point is, quarantining or not, with my particular tank, probably means a small outbreak of Ich once new fish are added.
Lastly, even though the HOT refugiums are small, about 3-4 gallons, would you recommend one for pod growth for the Mandarin or am I wasting my money?
<Are worthwhile. Even what appear to be small volumes of "live" sand, other substrates, macro-algae, a very considerable amount of life is produced>
Thanks in advance for all your insight and wisdom. I spend most evenings perusing your excellent site and wish you all lived closer so I could buy you a beer or two!
<Oooh! Let's hope we meet! Bob Fenner>

Quarantining Butterflies/Quarantine, Yes, Or No   8/5/10
I have been reading some opposing views on butterfly quarantining.
<Oh, I know where we are going.>
I have read of course, that ALL fish should be quarantined for a period of at least two weeks, and best to QT for four weeks.
<Better for four.>
But I have also read that QT'ing butterflies can be chancy.
<I have to agree somewhat.>
Indeed, my experience has been that my I lost three butterfly fish in QT (one C. miliaris,
<Lemon Butterflyfish for our readers.>
and two Blackback, C. melannotus) <melannotus> These fish did not show any outward signs of illness. They simply died after a few days.
All of my other fish have survived QT (another C. miliaris, Naso lituratus, three Centropyge, and Chromis).
If it is ill advised to QT butterfly fish, then what is a safe alternative?
If QT'ing a butterfly is still recommended, what would be a way to increase their chance of survival?
<I would tend to agree with you, with all things being equal, chances of success are in your favor directly acclimating the fish to the display tank. There is a downfall to that; Should one of these fish noticeably develop a life threatening disease, you risk wiping out your entire fish livestock collection if a large enough QT is not available to house and treat these fish.
There are of course other reasons that can be attributed to your demise.
Butterflyfish are likely one of the worse shippers, they do not handle stress well, and they get fed plenty of that from reef to your tank.
Quarantine just adds another dose of stress to an already stressed out fish. Although I am not recommending that you do not quarantine, the choice will be yours to make. Some guidelines to avoid future deaths is to choose Butterflyfish which are known to be hardy and good acclimaters, there are a handful. The two you mention above, I would put at 5-6 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of long term survivability with 10 being the better number.
Inspect the fish thoroughly before buying. Ask the LFS to feed the fish, observe it's feeding personality, does it go after the food aggressively, or does it sample and spit.
I personally do not QT Butterflyfish, but then I have a dealer who is willing to hold a fish for me for several weeks providing I pay for it and expect no refund if it dies.
One of the good points about my dealer, other than being meticulous, is that he will rarely bring in fish that are known to be difficult to keep.
I'd like to suggest reading here before making future purchases to help you decrease future losses.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarLvSel.htm >
Thank you very much for your help!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

BF dis., Quinine use f' 2/23/2010
Hey Crew.....
I value you each and every one of your opinions but I would like Bob's advice on this one if at all possible. I just recently upgraded from a 10g QT to a 20g long QT. I have a small 2.5 inch Heniochus and a 3" Raccoon
(Chaetodon Lunula).
<I do want to (re)state for browsers, that I'd look for larger (but not too large) specimens of Chaetodontids to start>

I have treated my Heni for ten days with Quinine Sulfate. Then added the Raccoon after the full ten day treatment and a few additional days (for a total of about two weeks later). Bodies and fins are clear of spots and there are no visible symptoms of a parasite (rapid breathing, flashing, etc.). My concern here is that my Heniochus has a very slight cloudy glaze over his eyes and fins.
<Likely "just stress" from the treatment... i.e., not parasitic>
I do want to say that even when he had velvet from the start his fins were never cloudy like this. After two weeks of being treated with QS he has developed this (without any spots or symptoms). Is this normal?
Shall I treat with something else? Or will this go away eventually?
<No and yes>
I have called National Fish Pharm. and when I spoke with the Doctor, he said it could be from the treatment of QS.
<Yes; this is so>
There isn't much info regarding this med in your forums or at all on the WWW. Bob, what do you think, I would like your opinion?
Thanks so much
<Welcome. BobF>

FW dipping for Butterflies, R. Fenner, please...   7/31/09
Greetings wise one, a person just posted a query today regarding the signs of Ich showing up on his blue stripe Butterfly. Glen said he performed a second FW dip and put it back into QT. You commented at the end that Butterflies were one of those species that you'd recommend not QT'ing....
<The entire family, yes>
just the careful FW dipping regimen.
Glen FW dipped his Butterfly in the beginning, and it still showed signs of getting Ich about 10 days later, causing him to wisely dip again. Here is my fear/question then...
how can I safely introduce the pair of Golden Butterflies I have on order at my LFS to my 300 gallon display tank if they are best added without QT?
<Best to use a simple bath...>
That FW dipping  I'd planned may not dislodge all parasites as in Glen's case, for he had to repeat the dipping less than 2 weeks later. From a past experience with a horrendous velvet outbreak 8 months ago, I cannot imagine having to break that rock work down again, and drain out 250 gallons just to remove the two new Butterflies (if they contract Ich) after only a FW dip that may not work. In reading your input on Hippo Tangs, you also suggested the same...best not to QT, just FW dip with or without chemicals. Due to my hard learned lesson about adding fish all willy-nilly with no QT, I am afraid a dip may not be sufficient. So how can I add these to my 300 tank?
Your articles on QT-ing plus my own experience has really taught me the priceless value of a QT tank. Heck, I worship that QT tank so much now, I've placed candles on each side if it, and bow down as I pass it by! It's services has just been so appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your valuable insight and response.
<Mmm, well... the species in question, Chaetodon semilarvatus itself is, for the family, very tough, and usually quite biological et al. disease "resistant"... Were it me, mine, I would just do the perfunctory dip/bathing and place these fish. Bob Fenner>

thick white patches on butterfly's fins... hlth.    7/30/09
Hi Bob and crew.
Thanks for last weeks help with my Anthias.
New problem different tank. I have a blue stripe butterfly-C. fremblii, it is about 6 inches.
<Wow; this is large for this Hawaiian species>
It was put into a 29 gallon QT, was and continues to be active and eating well (chopped clam, chopped shrimp, Mysis, enriched brine some pellets).It started to show signs of Cryptocaryon after about 10 days. I did a second freshwater dip, the first prior to entering the quarantine tank. It looked good for a day or so and then developed thick white patches on its fins(pectoral) along with three noticeable spots. Some of the patches appear like little mounds. They look like they could be scraped of with your fingernail. I thought maybe this is related to the crypto (embedded organisms?) I do not want to use Cu and I think most of the quick cure meds are more often quick death or quick waste of money, so I did some homework and started treating with quinine sulfate. So far no new spots but the white patches are still there. Also he has darkened a lot, which I am assuming is a reaction to the quinine sulfate in the water.
<Maybe... could be "just stress" in general. This group (Chaetodonts) don't care for small quarters>
Additionally it has slightly elevated respiration rate although not anywhere near panting. The next morning after the second freshwater bath, one eye became cloudy. It cleared a little but now the cloudy patch seems
to stay the same day by day. Any thoughts on the white patches, cloudy eye.
Also how to progress? what mistakes I made or continue to make?
Thank you very much again
<Butterflyfishes are another group of fishes that I don't suggest quarantining... but using (carefully) FW pH adjusted dips/baths with formalin, aeration... Per the S.O.P. posted on WWM. The "stuff" on the fish
one can only determine with a microscope, some staining (see Edward Noga... search with his name on WWM...). BobF>

Pakistani Butterflyfish/Health And No Useful Info 3/18/09
Good Day Crewmember:
I'm hoping you can help me out. I had purchased a beautiful Pakistan Butterfly fish. I had it almost 2 weeks. I was warned that this breed of butterfly are very hard to maintain. Within the last 2 days it has started to twitch and it's acting spastic, but has not been rubbing against the live rock as it would if it was Ick. I have my water checked every week by our salt water vendor. Everything seems to be fine including the copper level.
A week ago it did have a open wound but I treated with Maracyn Plus and the would healed. After treatment I did a water change, treated water with Garlic and fed the fish with food soaked in Zoe. All the other fish are doing well. I've been keeping a close eye out. Is there something I'm missing to check?
<Too little useful info here, size of tank, water parameters, diet, tankmates, etc. What are you implying by "fine including the copper level." Are you treating this fish or is this indicating the absence of copper? James (Salty Dog)>
Re Pakistani Butterflyfish/Health And No Useful Info 3/18/09

In my 55 gal these are the levels: Ammonia=0, Nitrites=0, PH=8.2, Alkalinity=normal, salinity=1.024, Nitrates=0 Temp 76 In my Eclipse 6 gallon Treatment Tank the copper just tested yesterday was 0.020 all other levels same as above except for Temp ranges between 76-78.
I wondering if the copper was giving the fish side effects. Reading from your website I've learn butterfly's are sensitive to copper.
<Yes. Is the above level, "0.020" a typo. Normal treatment levels are .15 to .20 with .20 being too high for Butterflyfish.
A level of .15 is recommended.>
After transferring to main tank after open wound healed the fish started twitching and swimming like crazy and jerking.
Tankmates: 2 large Chromis, <Chromis> 1 Midas Blenny, 1 Coral Beauty, 1 Powder Brown Tang, 1 Dispar Anthias, 1 Spiny Box Puffer, 1 Engineer Goby, 1 Royal Gamma Basslet, 1 Orange Shoulder Tang, and 1 Bicolor Blenny.
<YIKES, in a 55? You've got to be kidding me. Tank is too small for what you have in there by a long shot.
I'm surprised the tangs are surviving let alone the butterfly. Too much environmental stress going on here for sure and trouble lies ahead soon if this bio-load isn't reduced. The puffer can grow to 9 inches and requires at least a 75 gallon tank.
Tangs need somewhere near 120 gallons, better yet, 180+ for long term success.>
Diet: 3 times a week I feed Seaweed in a Veggie Clip, Krill for puffer, alternate between Frozen Emerald Entree for Omnivorous and Rod's Brine Shrimp for the remaining fish. I do pour drops of Zoe on all food.
<You need to stock your tank based on it's size, and a more realistic stocking level would be the Chromis', blennies, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, and the Engineer Goby. Even at that, it would be cutting it close. Ohhh Boy. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Pakistani Butterflyfish/Health And No Useful Info 3/18/09

The copper level is .20 in the treatment tank and in the main tank, all of my fish are small. Tangs are small ranging from 1 1/2 to 2 inches, butterfly is 1 1/2 inch,
<<And being poisoned by the Cu++. RMF>>

 orange tang is 1 inch and I know minimum tank size is 125 gallon,
<Glad to hear that.>
powder brown tang is 2 inches and minimum tank is 70
< I wouldn't keep a Powder Brown Tang in anything less than a 125.>
and puffer is 1 1/2inches minimum tank 70. You're correct, the bio load will be an issue in the future, but being in small sizes currently fish have been fine. Except for the butterfly. I have good filtration system and plenty of live rock. Regular water changes. I bought the tangs at even smaller sizes of 3/4 to 1inch, so far so good. But not to worry I'm saving for a bigger tank with all the goodies before they get any bigger.
What is the advise for the butterfly? Jim don't be a (salty dog).
<Don't mean to be, just trying to help you. Remember, I cannot see your tank, I have to try and visualize the best I can. As to the butterfly, if no visible signs of a parasitical disease is noted, I'd just keep a very close eye on the situation and be ready to treat. Really do not want to expose butterflies to copper unless it's necessary. And then, only at a .15 level. James (Salty Dog>

Long Nose Butterfly/Acclimation 1/29/08 Good Morning Crew! <Hello Gans> I have had a Long Nose Butterfly in my tank for a 6 days now. He is the only fish in a 60gal/LR 6 month old tank. He was doing great for the first 3 days & ate everything I fed him but since yesterday he is just hiding in the same spot among the live rock and doesn't want to come out. When I feed him Mysis he doesn't seem interested anymore. I gave him a clam this morning and didn't seem interested either. I understand from the material in WWM that these guys take time to adjust etc but I am asking because he was doing great for the first few days but now has become a recluse. I don't see any physical evidence of something going on. I have increased the temp from 75 to 78 and turned off the MaxiJet 1200 inside the tank that I had for extra circulation. <No, no, turn that pump back on, these fish need good circulation.> SG is 1.025 though. I see you recommend 1.020. Anything else I can try to help him adjust? <Since their primary source of food is zooplankton, I'd try feeding some Cyclop-Eeze. I would do a 10% water change with the makeup water adjusted to 1.020. The goal isn't to get down to 1.020 but somewhat lower than 1.025. Keep in mind that these fish require very good water quality. I would suggest using a good chemical media such as Chemi Pure. Do keep a close eye on the fish for signs of parasitical infection and, if present, quarantine and treat immediately. You may want to keep the lights off until this fish hopefully acclimates to it's new surroundings.> Thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Gans

Re: Hyposalinity for Butterflies  11/28/2007 Hi Crew, I had sent this question in a couple of weeks ago and am hopeful for a reply. <Thanks for re-sending. I don't recall ever seeing this> Thanks, Tom Hi Crew, <Tom> I have a follow up question to Roy's reply yesterday titled "QT hospital tank and poor water conditions". Would you recommend this specific QT hypo treatment for a LNB and CBB if they're showing Crypt symptoms? <I myself would not... am decidedly NOT a fan of hyposalinity treatments period. RARELY effect cures, OFTEN ultimately kill by seriously weakening fish livestock. Bob Fenner> I've used copper successfully in the past but don't want to use it for these new fish that I'll be getting soon. I have a 30G QT set up and waiting for the new additions. Here's the text of Roy's reply: <<Art: It sounds like you are using a lot of medication and chemicals in your QT. If you only QT one fish at a time, a 10 gallon should work. In my experience, the best treatment for Ich is to slowly lower the Specific Gravity (SG) in your QT to 1.009 (as measured with a refractometer), leave it there for 6 weeks, and then slowly raise it to your main tank SG. Before I started using this method, I used to have many of the same issues and problems you mentioned. I usually don't like to move the SG more than .002 per day up or down (as measured with a refractometer). The SG 1.009 Ich treatment will work just fine without any meds; however, you can't have any live rock or inverts in your QT because the SG 1.009 is too low for them. When you need to do a water change, make sure the SG is the same as your QT. After the 6 weeks, no Ich should have survived. You then slowly raise the QT from SG 1.009 to where your main tank is. After that, you can introduce your fish to the main tank. While the whole process takes several weeks, you will beat Ich for good and you won't have to use a bunch of medication and chemicals. In the future, never introduce a fish without going through the 6 week QT. It's the way I do it and I have never had Ich in the main tank (though I have had it seen it many times at the start of the QT process). Best of luck, Roy>> Thanks,

Bump on my Auriga 9/6/07 Hello WWM Crew! My tank is 7wks old and water param.s are all ok. It's a 60gal/skimmer/FBD/LRock system. I have an Auriga for about 9 days in the tank now. She's eating everything and doing great but I see a small bump with some white icing like thing on top of the bump, in the area where her tail joins the body. I have attached a couple of pics but they are not that clear. <I see this> She gets in and out of the live rock a lot. She is showing no signs of illness at all but the bump is  noticeable. Not sure what to make out of it doc? The water temp has been in the 83-85 range for the last week as its been hot in SD. But the temp has finally come down. Cheers Gans <The water is a bit warm... and this volume is marginal... Does look to me like a sore, perhaps bacterially involved... resulting from a trauma... likely during capture, handling... I would look into antibiotic laden foods if this fish will accept them. Perhaps Thera A. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bump on my Auriga  9/7/07 Hi Bob! Thank you for the quick response. I looked around for Thera-A with antibiotics but they all say they are non-medicated. I am unable to find a medicated version of it with anti-biotics. http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_searchItem.aspx?IdCategory=&SearchText=thera%20a <Sorry re... I would add the antibiotic to this Spectrum product...> Do you want me to try just the Anti-Parasitic Formula? <No my friend... I would just add... per this sort of protocol: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm  Cheers Gans <And to you. BobF, who just got off the phone with friend/manufacturer Pablo Tepoot... we're all hauling out tog. for the CIPshow in Nov... and he mentioned that Thera only has garlic...>

Re: Bump on my Auriga 09/14/07 Bob, You are a fish genius! The spot fell off as you said. Thanks! Gans
<Ah, good. Thank you for the update Gans. BobF>

Re: Bump on my Auriga   9/12/07 Hi Bob& Co, Good evening to you all! <And to you Gans> The bump on my Auriga has healed completely. I did not feed any anti-biotic. However there is a white thing latched to her tail and a smaller white thing on the top of her fin for the past 4 days. Pic attached. The fish itself is acting very normal and eats everything. I am confused if its Ich or something else? Its the only fish in the tank. Do I pull her into QT and start treatment or just wait and see. Thanks Gans <Is very likely simply "residual" material... that can/will fall off... Do you have plans to introduce a purposeful cleaner organism? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Butterflyfishes and copper treatment    2/16/07 Hello, <Good morrow to you> I would appreciate any help you could give me on my tank situation. I am really frustrated after losing a couple of fish and would like to figure out what I can do differently and what is the best course of action. <Okay... as in I will try to assist you> I have a 90-gallon quarantine tank that has been running consistently for about a year now. My water chemistry is all within normal range (Ammonia=0, Nitrites=0, PH=8.2, Alkalinity=normal, salinity=1.024); I don't know the nitrate level, and I will have to get a kit to test it. I assume it is pretty low, as I do 20-gallon water changes every two weeks, and I do not overfeed. <I see> Ten days ago, I moved four fish (3 wrasses and a Firefish) from my quarantine tank to my main tank after treating and quarantine them for Ich for about 4 months. They are doing well in my main tank. However, the fish I bought in the last 3-10 days have started to show signs of Ich, and I have lost 2 of them--a yellow head Jawfish and a yellow Longnose Butterflyfish. <Generally very sturdy aquarium species> Within a couple of days of adding them, they started showing signs of hemorrhaging and stopped eating. <Yikes... troubles, challenges ahead of your receiving them...> I found the yellow Longnose Butterflyfish this morning moving around in a 360 degree circular pattern, bumping into things, and it was dead shortly thereafter. My copper sulphate level is slightly below .20ppm. Does the hemorrhaging seem like it is a reaction to the parasites, the copper or both? <Mmm perhaps a combination... no way to tell... w/o knowing the history of these animals ahead of your receiving them... Were they at your dealers a good few days or more before your picking them up?> When I bought them, they were all eating and appeared in good health. All of them, with the exception of the Jawfish, were in tanks with a copper level of .20ppm for at least a few days. Could the hemorrhaging indicate that they were exposed to copper for a few weeks? <Mmm, again... a possibility... but would take more than this exposure to "do them in" as you state> The fish store also was keeping the Butterflyfish in a salinity around 1.018, <Typical...> so I took about 3 hours to acclimate the fish since my salinity is so much higher. <I would do this much more gradually... about a thousandth in density changer per any given day> I'm concerned about treating my Butterflyfish (a Pearlscale butterfly, a raccoon butterfly, a threadfin butterfly, and a Klein's butterfly, all around 2-3" each) with copper since I have done it unsuccessfully in the past (with a Pakistan butterfly, a latticed butterfly and a Pearlscale butterfly), and I understand that Butterflyfish are more sensitive to copper treatments. <Yes> In the past, I treated the Ich early, but the level got a little high, around .25ppm. I appreciate your help. Jenny <I would not use copper of any sort if this is to be simply a Quarantine, and not a treatment tank... and if pressed to use copper, only a chelated variety/brand... and lower on the useful/efficacious concentration... 0.15 ppm free cupric ion. Bob Fenner>
Re: Butterflyfishes and copper treatment    02/17/07
Thank you for your feedback. I have a couple more questions regarding copper and treating Ich. <Okay> My 90-gallon tank has been a quarantine and treatment tank for a year now, and I want to start stocking it as a regular fish tank. Since I've already got the nonchelated copper in my tank, I would imagine that I need to remove it with carbon or a poly filter before adding chelated copper? <Yes, I would> Since I want to add more fish and copper is so effective at treating Ich, I'm thinking my best route would be to treat with copper, although I am concerned about its effects on the Butterflyfish. Are freshwater dips really a good alternative? <Yes... can be... if the Cryptocaryon is not "too advanced"... as in cases where multiple generations are entrenched, embedded deep in the fish hosts integuments> It doesn't seem like it is nearly as effective as the copper treatments. Thanks again for your help. <Is much safer, less toxic... You have read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm scroll down... to dips/baths, the voluminous materials on Crypt, its treatment... the use of Copper... Bob Fenner>

Sick Heniochus butterfly   7/26/06 Hi!  My Heniochus butterfly fish has Popeye.  I put him in a quarantine tank.  I am going to the LFS this evening to buy some medicine.  Would should I buy? <... Likely nothing. If this Exophthalmia is one-sided, maybe I'd add some Epsom Salt... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm and the linked FAQs2 file above> Also, what should I do about the main tank?  I purchased LF from a dealer online back in January.  He told me to spray it upon arrival. <"Spray it?">   I did not, figuring that my tap water, which is bad, would kill the organisms on the rock.  Instead, I scrubbed it in a plastic tub to get the 'muck' off.  Shortly after, my hands were extremely Ichy.   <Common... there are physical components as well as biological that will do this...> And for the next month or so, I noticed that my hands and arms would itch when I put them in the tank. <Little cuts, abrasions...> I have cleaned LR before and I'd never had a problem. An employee at the LFS told me that the problem was probably bristle worms but they were harmless.  I waited a few months before adding a blue damsel.  He did fine. Plus I noticed that my hands stopped itching when I had to go into the tank.  In June, I moved the damsel to another tank and added the butterfly fish. Could there be something wrong with the LR? <Doubtful> I do not want to get rid of it, but I will if necessary.  I am afraid to return the fish to the main tank, after it is well. <If one-sided, this Pop-eye is likely due to a physical trauma. Bob Fenner>

Copperband/Disease Treatment  7/11/06 I read on your website that Copperbands can be prone to copper medication. <<Prone? RMF>> <Yes.> I have a Copperband in a QT tank with several other fish. Should I use the same does as indicated on the bottle or should I reduce the dose? I am using SeaChem activated copper, if this helps. <No such thing as activated copper.  You are referring to Cupramine, a buffered, active copper. I would isolate the Copperband in another tank.  Copperbands are very sensitive to copper treatment.  Freshwater dips and formalin (Rid-Ich+ by Kordon, formalin and malachite green) would be my choice. > Thank you. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> A

Heniochus acuminatus health    3/2/06 Hi Bob, <James with you today.> Just a quick question regarding H. acuminatus. I am expecting to buy two 3" - 4" size specimens within the next week. Is a freshwater dip with a commercial dip mix a safe option for these fish? How long should this dip last? <I wouldn't do a freshwater dip unless I have a valid reason to do so.  Quarantining is your best option.  Plenty of info on this on the Wet Web.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks in advance,<You're welcome.> Joe
Re: Heniochus acuminatus   3/3/06
Thanks James. <You're welcome.> However I am curious as to why there is an acceptance among the marine hobbyist community of dips/baths as a necessary step in quarantining, when you have suggested that it need only be done when there is a reason for it... By this do you mean visible signs of parasite infection? <Yes...I don't take cold medication as a precaution.  Why stress the fish out if it isn't necessary.  My opinion.> In furtherance of my question yesterday on H. Acuminatus, my quarantine tank is only 10gallons. Since these fish require a large amount of space, will the 2-3 weeks in quarantine be more stressful for them and outweigh the benefits of the actual quarantine? <I'd suggest a larger QT.  Putting the fish in the main display without QT just risks possible disease outbreak to the other fish.> Thanks, <Your welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Joe

Right Thinking -- Wrong Timing; CU poisoning...  12/5/05 I recently purchased a med. size Raccoon Butterfly for my 55 gallon fish only tank. I have 2 False Percula Clowns, and 1 medium size Blue Tang. On the 3rd day I noticed the raccoon scratching on my fake coral and not eating. (The only thing he would eat was frozen brine.) I checked my water and copper and all fine. I brought it to the shop I bought it from and they said it was fine, but to add some more copper.  So I did , and it was just above .15 The next morning he stopped scratching, but that night when I got home, he was breathing heavy and sitting on the bottom of the tank, and still wouldn't eat. I noticed as I got him that my tang and him were getting along just fine. So I don't think he was being bullied. I put him in my hospital tank, after a brief FW dip, and he is laying on his side breathing very rapidly. He probably won't make it. I was just wandering if you had any ideas of what might of been the problem. Thanks, Aaron <Well, Aaron, this is a case where all of your intentions were good, but the execution was a bit off. First, you indicated that you have a "hospital tank", which is good! However, you need to use it as a quarantine BEFORE adding new fishes to your display. This will give you the ability to catch and treat illnesses before they get introduced into the display. Also, do think about the long-term implications of your stocking plan.  These fishes need a lot more space than a 55 can provide, so consider this... Next, it is always advisable NOT to treat in the display tank, for a variety of reasons. Use that extra tank. Copper sulphate, although highly effective at treating many diseases, can be hard on many fishes, including Butterflies. <<Butterfly-fishes are one of the few animals the staff at the LBAOP will NOT use copper meds on.  Marina>> Sometimes, the collateral damage caused to the fish in treating the disease is too great. Formalin-based treatment is recommended in the case of more copper-sensitive fishes. Again, you'll have far greater control of the dosage in a separate tank.  Unfortunately, it's hard to say what you're looking at, but it could be a parasitic illness. If your Butterfly is struggling, you may need to reduce the copper level in the treatment tank. Although it may be too late for this fish, if you take this as a valuable lesson, the experience will not have been in vain. Chin up! Don't forget to quarantine before adding fishes to the display! Regards, Scott F.>

Copper treatment and bad reaction - 10/28/2005 Hey guys, another question for you. <Fire away.>  My Pakistani in QT has been in copper for a week now and he has no more Ich left but now he's darting/flashing/twitching. <Uh-Oh.>  Is this another outbreak coming or is it from copper exposure? <It does sound like poisoning.>  Should I take him out or leave him in for the maximum of the two week period (it states in the FAQ'S that a good rule of thumb is 2 weeks of copper exposure for a fish to avoid giving copper poisoning)? <You should do an immediate, large water change. Run some PolyFilter or carbon to remove the rest of the copper.>  I went this long without harming him, I don't want to take on any additional high risk. <I would back off of the copper treatment and watch for improvements. How high is your copper reading?> Thanks, Jay <Thank you for helping me address a weak point. - Josh> 
Re: Copper treatment and bad reaction - 10/28/2005
I'd be cool with doing that, but I don't want to put any parasites in my display tank so I feel like I need to go the full two weeks. <I don't mean that you would be finished with QT, but that you should step back to observation at this point. Further treatment may/may not be necessary.>  I measured the copper very carefully every time I redosed after a water change (if anything, I put less than what I was supposed to). <Does this mean you only measured what was going in, not total concentration? Even with water changes, the existing copper would still be there, at least to some extent (I doubt you are draining all water and cleaning the tank with each). Do this a few times in a row and there's bound to be trouble. Everything added needs to be adjusted for what already exists.>  He's really not breathing fast, is it possible that he's just reacting to the copper exposure sort of like how we react to an antibiotic? <I think you most likely lost control of your copper level by accident. Take care of his basic needs now (water quality, feeding), and be prepared to "start over" if the problem manifests itself again. Oh yeah, sorry if you got another blank response. I think this thing timed out on me when I was ready to send, hence no message showed as sent for you. Good luck Jason. - Josh> 

Threadfin/disease 10/12/05 Hey guys. Can you tell me what to treat my threadfin b/f with, if after two weeks there is no visual signs (white spots) of a parasite and he's constantly twitching and scratching off rocks?  <Doesn't necessarily mean the fish doesn't have it just cause you can't see it.>  I don't want to use copper because of how strong it is. What meds should I use to treat for just "bugs" I guess you could say? Not sure of what else it could be if there are no spots. Water quality is great and plenty of oxygen along with all other parameters being right on point.  <Copper is by far the most effective treatment. As long as you use a test kit to insure a safe and effective dose (0.015-0.020), you shouldn't have a problem using it. A test should be done on a daily basis during treatment, which should last a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degrees. James (Salty Dog)> <<Please read on WWM re copper and test kit use. What has been stated here is too scant to be of use. RMF>>

Raccoon Butterfly, Copper, Quarantine 9/30/05 My name is Kristen and I just bought a raccoon butterfly for my 70gal tank.  Currently he is in my 25gal QT tank that I am treating with copper.  The last fish in the QT tank had been treated with copper before because of either velvet or angel fish disease (I figured after 4 months of letting the tank sit with no hosts, the parasite would die off). <Although Ick and velvet would die after this amount of time, quarantine tanks should always be drained and allowed to completely dry between uses to be absolutely sure than any pathogens can't survive.> Surely enough, my butterfly started to get white spots and was darting all over the tank.  So I'm assuming he contracted the same thing. <Most likely, it was carrying the disease when you purchased it.> I do notice that he is breathing very fast and heavy at times, other times not.  I have a good-sized air bar in the tank along with good circulation with a bio filter running and heater. <Rapid gill movement is usually a sign of stress and often of parasites damaging gills.  This occurs even when there is plenty of oxygen in the water.> Before I put my butterfly in the tank, the copper treated water had been sitting a good four months w/o any fish in it.  One quarter of the water evaporated, and I sucked out the other 1/4 of the water for a 50% water change (including the water that evaporated).  So 50% of the old water still remained and I put the other 50% full of new water. <Yikes!  If the water was allowed to evaporate 25%, this could cause unpredictable changes in water quality.  Also, if you have not done so, please be sure that the salinity is correct as it would have increased with evaporation.  I would suggest performing a couple of large (25-30%) water changes with water from your display to ensure proper water quality.  Replace the water in your display with new well aerated salt water.> Do you think after all that time there was still copper left (I forgot to test to see)?  As of right now, I only put the first dose of two in the tank.  Im going to hold off on putting the second and final dose in until I hear from you. <It is impossible to predict how much copper might have been left in the water.  Copper treatment must be done according to the package directions and should be tested regularly during treatment (some preparations can't be tested for... just follow the directions to the letter).> Do you think his fast breathing are signs of a copper overdose already, only after 2 days?  I'm concerned even though the fish looks great/very colorful, is eating, and is active.  He just seems a little spazzy. Please help!!  Thanks so much, Kristen :-) <I doubt that this is copper toxicity.  I would guess that it is a water quality/stress issue.  The fish should have plenty of cover to make it feel secure (flower pots or pieces of PVC pipe work well) and water quality should be optimized with water changes and good filtration.  Be sure to add the appropriate amount of copper to make up for water changes.  Hope this all helps.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>
Stop writing, and read  10/5/05
ok thanks.  What is "too long" of a copper treatment for a raccoon butterfly? <Please see WWM re copper treatments, butterfly disease. Bob Fenner>

-Sick Heni's!- 
 Hi Crew,  After a bad run with Heni's I decided to try again. <Generally, these critters are pretty hardy, that's too bad.> I bleached out the qt tank after a previous bad result with this fish and found 2 very healthy looking specimens at a different LFS. For the first 5 days they were eating like literal pigs and looking great. In the last 48 hrs, they have developed a few white patches and are showing some discoloration around their gills, especially the larger one. His eyes are starting to get cloudy and he is becoming more listless. He is still eating , but not with he same gusto of a few days ago. There are also a few dark dots forming on his dorsal fin. The smaller one looks better, but is still forming the white patches. <Could the water quality be taking a turn for the worse? Run frequent pH, ammonia, and nitrite tests, especially since you've been feeding a lot recently.>  I put in a double dose of Maracyn 24 hrs ago, but he is still declining. I also have been (from day 1) lacing their food with Selcon and garlic). Am considering starting Cupramine in case it is velvet. <Velvet looks like you've coated the fish in a light sprinkling of powdered sugar, and rapidly enters the gills. When it gets in the gills you'll notice that the fish breathes very fast and heavily (or at least considerably faster than before).> Water conditions are fine, <That answers that question.> I do a daily 10 gallon water change in the 40 gallon qt. What drug would you use? <That's the $20,000 question. The 'white patches' could be a number of things, including Brooklynella which can also infiltrate the gills. Unfortunately, it's not so obvious what's going on with these fish. The cloudy eyes is likely a secondary infection, but I'm not sure what the primary one is. If it's parasitic, copper sulfate will do the trick, and since it's generally safe to mix with other medications, you might as well try it (you will need to frequently test and adjust for it as it doesn't stay in solution for very long). You'll also want to remove any extraneous decor in the tank since copper tends to bind to everything, lowering it's concentration in the solution. If the fish begin to breathe heavy, a freshwater bath may be in order. Aside from those recommendations, I would just keep feeding them and testing the water. The 10g water change per day is a bit much, and may be more stressful than good (unless the tank can't handle the amount of food input w/out these water changes). I'd cut back to once or twice a week.> Any Ideas. Thank you for your great service, <Sorry I don't have a straight answer for ya, but good luck! -Kevin> Kurt

The Impulse Buy - Saddleback Butterfly Flies No More >Marina, you are terrific. >>Why.. thank you. <blush> >Unfortunately, I am not so terrific, and I've now lost 3 fish. >>Ouch!  It's part of the learning curve though.. yeah?  It happens to the best of us. >(That was quick, wasn't it?)   >>With the Greenex I am not at all surprised.  I've heard that the company has been doing tests and determined user issues, but I'm not entirely convinced of this - the reports are awfully consistent and I believe that this stuff may just be too touchy with regards to dosing for most folks.   >I had actually stopped using the Greenex before your last e-mail, and I did a partial water change. >>Ahh.. what made you change your mind? >I also moved the saddleback to a quarantine tank, making sure the pH, salinity, temp., etc. were all similar. I also tried, at the suggestion of a local pet store, a very quick, 3 to 5 second fresh water dip. >>This is a waste of time.  Did they tell you how important it is when dipping to match temperature and (even more importantly) pH of the freshwater?  When dipping for parasites you would need to leave the fish for a period more on the order of 7 - 10 minutes, at times even longer. >The saddleback died about 6 hours later. >>If they didn't warn you about how quickly pH shock kills, I would look to this as the problem with that dip first.  However, there is so much more to know about this picture, and at this stage you're still quite new. >My goby, who was still in the main tank, then also died very suddenly. >>Then my guess is the Greenex did its work, quickly. >Until about an hour before he died, he was still very active, still sifting the sand, cleaning his burrow. He suddenly then started rapid breathing, and was dead very soon after. >>Uh oh.. (thinking about Amyloodinium suddenly).. >I tested the water yet again (I had tested it the day before adding the new fish, and again 2 days after adding them and all nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, pH, salinity was fine. But when I checked yesterday, my nitrate level was quite high. Possibly from the effects of the Greenex? >>Well.. could be, yes.  I would expect the Greenex to have killed your nitrifying bacteria, and the first value to rise would be that for the ammonia, then nitrite, then nitrate. >Or maybe it wasn't such a good idea to try feeding any Mysis shrimp or krill last week. >>Least likely. >Although I used very small amounts, it still seemed to be a lot more messy than the other foods I've used.  In my very limited experience, it seems that the Mysis, brine shrimp, and frozen krill all result in a rapid increase in nitrate levels, whereas when I'm feeding flakes, freeze dried plankton, or even shrimp pellets, I don't have that problem. >>Nix the brine, and when you feed make sure you feed VERY small amounts at a time.  What often helps (though it's a bit more time consuming) is to feed a small bit, as much as you KNOW will be totally consumed in less than one minute.  Then a bit more, a bit more, so on and so forth.  THIS will do more to prevent the nitrate buildup.  However, do understand that, outside of water changes that introduce water that already has nitrate in it, you can NOT get a high nitrate reading without FIRST getting higher ammonia and nitrite (even only briefly).  It just doesn't work any other way. >In any event, my remaining fish, as of this morning, seem to be doing fairly well, and I plan on another partial water change (maybe 20%). >>BIGGER IS BETTER!  50% at LEAST. >Should I be doing anything else at this point, given that they appear okay? I've stopped the Greenex. >>Get some carbon or a PolyFilter going on that tank to be SURE you've removed all Greenex. >I'm worried that the parasites/Ich are still present, but I don't have the facilities to quarantine all of the remaining fish. >>The Ich (or velvet.. eek!) IS still present.  Ich can and does kill, but I've never seen it kill within a few hours.  Rubbermaid tub(s), sponge filters, and big trash cans with saltwater mixed up are your best friends at this point.  With the speed at which your fish died I suspect two culprits (I love that word) - the Greenex, or Amyloodinium.  This is also known as marine velvet, and the first sign is rapid gilling.  This disease moves FAST!  I'm hoping it's the Greenex, do the large water changes, make sure the new water is NSW (near sea water) quality.  It may be easier afterwards to remove all inverts from the tank, and then take THAT to hypo, but honestly, I really suggest you put the display itself fallow, and put the fish in the Rubbermaid tubs for the 6-8 week period.  I believe that at least one of your queries has also been answered by one Scott Fellman, and I know that he advocates fallowing as well.  This is because it really really works. >Thanks again for all of your help. I just wish I had been able to get to you before I began doing anything in terms of treatment. You can bet though that I've learned a good (and expensive) lesson. I'll never take the easy way out again, and all future additions to the tank will be quarantined. >>Sage words of advice, my friend.  We like the Rubbermaid tubs because once you're finished using them they can be emptied, cleaned, dried, and STACKED!  So much easier to store than regular aquariums.  Also, did you ever figure out exactly what species of saddleback you had?  They are all beautiful.  Marina
The Impulse Buy - Saddleback Butterfly - II (Marina's Answer)
>Thanks for the info. >>Much welcome. >As it turns out, I have not had any difficulty feeding the saddleback butterfly, as it seems more than willing to take Mysid shrimp, krill, some flakes, etc. >>Very good. >But, you were ultimately right about quarantining the fish. Just two days ago, my 10 year old son noticed some white spots on the left pectoral fin. The fish is still very active, and I have begun treating the entire tank with Greenex in the hopes of curing the problem. >>My honest word of advice - DON'T!  Never treat your display, there are many instances of hobbyists having trouble with Greenex, and there are other, BETTER ways to deal with this problem.  We have *many* articles and FAQs dealing specifically with treating marine parasites.  Please use our Google bar to search "Ich", "Cryptocaryon irritans", "marine parasitic infections".  Follow the links within. >Supposedly it's invertebrate safe (we have one very small hermit crab). >>No, not proven as such at all.  Please search "Greenex" for reporting. >One more question. One of the other fish is showing some signs of red/inflamed gills. I know the tank is in trouble, but is that problem related to the saddlebacks problem? Is Greenex an appropriate treatment for the red gills as well?  Please help!! >>That would be more indicative of high ammonia/nitrite levels.  Water changes are in order, as you've likely begun killing off your nitrifying bacteria by treating with the Greenex.  Also, you MUST determine what species you actually have, this is important for the long term health of your butterfly to have as much knowledge and information as possible.  Best of luck, Marina

Heniochus In Trouble? Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I wrote to you a few days ago about my Heni.  It had a couple of spots of Ich on his tail which I treated (copper--4 weeks).  A couple of weeks into the treatment the Ich spots dropped off and in its place was a spot that looked like Lymphocystis (immediately the following day) which we tried to scrape off with a finger but not successfully.  A couple of weeks have gone by and the large spots were spreading so we scraped the tail again with a fingernail and put Wound Control on it. <I got to tell ya...I don't think that was the best course of action...It might have caused more harm than good> Now the tail looks a mess (shredded with a white film and some spots) and two spots have appeared on his top fin. <Hard to say exactly what this might be...It might even be damage caused by the Ich treatment...or a secondary infection of some sort...> I have tried to take pictures although its very difficult to see distinctly.  From the pictures can you tell what might be the problem? Thanks again for any help, Eileen <Well, Eileen, it's really hard to say from the pictures, but it looks to be some sort of "collateral damage" from the treatment...My recommendation at this point would be to provide excellent water conditions, and observe the fish carefully. Many times, these types of "maladies" end up spontaneously clearing up with little intervention. If necessary, however, be prepared to move the afflicted fish into a separate tank for this. I am not too quick to recommend dumping another medication into the water without knowing exactly what you're dealing with. Hang in there, and utilize the many disease resources that we have in the WWM site to make a positive ID on the condition, if required. Regards, Scott F>

Butterflyfishes for Marine

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