Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Brackish Ich

Related Articles: Brackish Disease, Brackish Maintenance

Related FAQs: Brackish Livestock DiseasesBrackish Environmental Disease, Brackish Feeding


my green spotted puffer has white spots... please help     12/23/12
I have gotten two baby green spotted puffers from a local pet store a couple of weeks ago. One of the puffers has some white spots on his skin. I have treated my tank for Ich and it did not change anything. Please give me some ideas as to what the white spots might be or what I can do to help my poor little puffer. I don't want him to die, but I am out of ideas as to what it could be. Thanks.
<Hello Rebecca. First, a few questions. Firstly, do you understand that Green Spotted Puffers need brackish water? Secondly, do you have carbon in the filter? The first question is crucial because many, perhaps most health problems with GSPs come down to people trying to keep them in freshwater.
They won't be healthy in freshwater, and usually get sick. You should be adding marine aquarium salt (not "tonic salt" or "aquarium salt) at a dose of about 6-9 grams/litre (resulting in a specific gravity of 1.003 to 1.005 at 25 C/77 F). So, you need to make sure you have a box of marine aquarium salt (such as Instant Ocean or any other salt used in marine aquaria). You also need to have a hydrometer, an inexpensive tool used to measure specific gravity (or you could just weigh out the salt as described above).
Getting the salinity right will stop Whitespot/Ick in its tracks, and it will also reduce or eliminate completely problems such as Velvet, Fungus and to some degree Finrot. The second question was about carbon. Carbon removes all sorts of things from the water, including medicine. So before medicating any aquarium, you need to remove carbon. My hunch here is that your GSPs were maintained in freshwater and you're keeping them in freshwater, and that's why they're sick. Switch to brackish conditions and they should perk up dramatically. Medicate for Finrot (e.g., with Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2) if the white stuff is more like slime or flakes rather than discrete tiny white specks. Cheers, Neale.>

My Dragon Goby has the Ich!   12/12/11
I am about a month into seriously learning about how to take care of my fish properly, I have spent well over a hundred dollars within a week (probably over 200 or more in the last month) and I am stuck in a nasty situation. (For me as a learner anyway)
My Dragon Goby contracted the Ich about 28 hours ago I believe after I stupidly did a 30ish % water change and put tap water back into my tank (I learned that lesson a while ago now and use 100% spring purified water but slipped up).
<Actually, properly conditioned tap water is usually fine. There is almost never a need to use purified water.>

Although I believe he actually got sick from the Neon Tetra I got him as food the day before. (OR about 30ish hours ago my tank did get a randomly high Ammonia spike).

Either way I was sold my Dragon Goby at Wal-Mart (to save the poor guy from that awful place) Either way, I quickly learned I needed to get him sand, so I did, half the tank is sand now (the area his hide/eating spot is). I also learned that I need to get him Brackish Water and sadly I am now pretty well broke at the moment. So he is in Freshwater at the moment.
<Well, these are brackish water fish, and just don't do well in freshwater.>
I only have a heater that stays at 78º +/- 2º so I cant turn it up and cook that Ich away. So I'm doing what I can right now, I covered both long sides of the tank with tinfoil to keep it dark, and have been giving him QuICK Cure for Ich and protozoa parasites.
<Do remember to remove carbon from the filter while medicating. In any event, a salinity of 2 gram/litre will kill off Whitespot quickly.>
Now I can't tell all to well if he is doing much better tonight, he honestly seem like he may be getting a little worse (although I caught this almost within hours of it developing) He has been very active however, the morning before he got Ich he was even swimming to the surface and eating the tetra's flakes before the tetra could eat them! That was the first time he ate since he got here (Which was 3 days before then, he wouldn't touch the tetra but went for flakes). He is still very actively swimming around, ate some bloodworms only a few hours before he got Ich, so he still seems really healthy at the moment.
So my question is: Would I be able to use Aquarium Salt to help him heal more quickly for now?
(I haven't added any yet and haven't been able to find this specific question answered since I only want to heal him at the moment. I'm not foolish enough to use it to attempt to make my water Brackish, I know that won't work.)
<If you only have this fish on its own, or only with salt-tolerant fish, then low-end brackish conditions, 5 gram/litre, would be excellent and very effective. Keep the fish this way and he *could* stay healthy for months, a year even, until you get a brackish system figured out. Simply as a treatment for Whitespot, 2 gram/litre will do, and this won't harm freshwater fish, and only needs to be kept this way for 2-3 weeks. But for all that, it won't have any long-term benefits for your Goby -- this salinity is too low to substitute for brackish water.>
The nearest pet store with Marine Salt is 45 miles away and I'm broke at the moment either way. I'd really love any advice you could give me, I just want my buddy to live! (I'll be going to the Pawn Shop today to sell a bunch of stuff, hopefully I can make what I need to get to the pet store and buy proper salt).
<Aquarium salt will do for the short term. You can buy marine aquarium salt online. A budget-brand is fine.>
(BTW, if I left out any details you'd need just let me know, I've only gotten 6ish hours of sleep in the last 48 hours trying to save my fish while getting ready for finals so my brain is mush at the moment)
<Okay. Good luck, and I hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: My Dragon Goby has the Ich!   12/12/11

That's very wonderful advice! thank you so much, so I figure I'd update you, I had a very busy morning, I sold a bit of stuff at pawn shops to pay for gas and the marine salt, I added 1.6-ish tablespoons to a dish of the aquarium water and mixed it well then added it to the tank.
After reading your response and doing some calculations I should add about 3 more tablespoons to kill the Ick quick? My Gabby is looking more covered and doesn't seem to be as active today so I'm hoping I got the salt in time.
<Use the salt quickly. As stated, 2 grammes per litre is what you need if treating alongside freshwater fish. Use kitchen scales to calculate the required amount. Using spoons is hopelessly unreliable.>
Also the Gabby will be alone in his tank now since it is going Brackish, If I were to add a Puffer to keep him company should I use less salt than you recommended?
<Puffers aren't good companions for Violet Gobies. Remember the golden rule -- Puffers are kept alone. Gobies don't need friends. If you must add stuff, the best additions are things like Guppies that don't compete for food and largely ignore the Violet Goby.>
Also since Aquarium and Marine salt are different would I be able to mix them for a super Ick killer?
I'm guessing not since they are both a type of salt. If I can, or can't about how many tablespoons per gallon, or G per liter could I use with the Gabby and a Puffer?
<For the goby, 2 gram/litre strictly as a medication, or 5 gram/litre if you're planning on a true, low-end brackish system. Do see my Brack Calc application for other conversions.>
On a final note and question I've been using that QuICK Cure, would I be able to mix it with Ick Guard? Someone at Wal-mart told me they do but I don't trust what they have to say about much if anything!
<You shouldn't mix medications unless the manufacturer/s say it is safe to do so. Finish using one brand before starting another.>
Thank you so much again for the solid advice =)
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Dragon Goby has the Ich!   12/12/11

I forgot to ask, how often should I add more Sea Salt to my aquarium for about how long? I'll need to get a Hydrometer next so I can be sure that things are balanced.
<Well, you have to add the right amount of salt to start with. So, if it's a 200 litre aquarium, and you're adding 2 grammes/litre, you need to add 200 x 2 = 2000 grammes of marine aquarium salt. Obviously you don't add this directly! You add this to some warm water, dissolve thoroughly, and then pour it into the tank in stages across half an hour or so. Once you've done this, your water changes only require replacement of lost salt. So if you take out 10 litres of water, you make up a new 10 litre batch of water with 10 x 2 = 20 grammes of marine salt mix stirred into it. Weight in grammes is adequate for treating Whitespot. Once running as a brackish water aquarium, you're aiming for at least 5 grammes/litre, which is about 1.003 SG at 25 C/77 F, and you may as well use your hydrometer to check this. Cheers, Neale.>
How to make brackish water (was: Re: My Dragon Goby has the Ich!)  12/14/11

Sorry to send this question again but it's getting close to the time I'd give my dragon goby more salt mix (if I do) that's what I'm emailing about, do I do the 5g/liter just the once?
<For the first time you do this, yes, if you want to quickly change the salinity to brackish. If the aquarium is 100 litres, you'll need 100 x 5 grammes = 500 grammes. Stir into some warm tap water. When dissolved, pour this salty solution into the aquarium, ideally across an hour or so to give your fish and plants time to adjust. This isn't very brackish -- a specific gravity of 1.002 at 25 C/77 F, but still, be nice to your fish and don't shock them!>
or do I add several doses over time?
<Yes, you can do this too. This is the best approach for a higher salinity.
Let's say, SG 1.005, which is 9 grammes/litre. You wouldn't want to make a change like this all at once. Instead, do a series of water changes across a week or month. Let's say you have a 100-litre aquarium and your bucket holds 10 litres. Let's also say you normally change 20 litres every weekend. You take out 20 litres of water, i.e., two buckets. You now need to add two buckets, i.e., 20 litres, of new water. With me so far? Now, each of those buckets needs to be at SG 1.005, which is 9 grammes/litre.
Since they're 10 litre buckets, you'd add 10 x 9 = 90 grammes of salt. Stir in. When dissolved, add that bucket of water to the tank. Repeat for the second bucket. The salinity of the aquarium will still be very low, but with each weekly water change, it'll get higher, and after 5 or 6 water changes, it'll be close to what you want, SG 1.005, or 9 grammes/litre.>
I couldn't find too much online (let alone the matched what you've advised so far) and you are the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to fish.
Thank you so very much for your time! I truly do appreciate it, and so do my fish =)
<Thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>
How to make brackish water (was: Re: My Dragon Goby has the Ich!)  12/14/11
OPS! So sorry I didn't see that reply, for some reason it popped up after
emailing you again, no need to reply to that last email then my mistake.
<Not a problem.>
Thank you very much that is clear as rain now =) I have no more questions for now, you've been such a wonderful help!
As said in the email that doesn't matter, thank you very much for your time, both me and my fish are much happier and I can probably sleep easier at night now. Thank youuuuuuu! =D
<Have fun! Neale.>
Subject: Re: How to make brackish water (was: Re: My Dragon Goby has the Ich!)  12/14/11

No need to thank me, it's just the truth, I have a hydrometer now, so I'll be sure not to make things to low or high, at the moment it is sitting at a .002 so I'll get it up to where it should be, you've given me some of the best advice I am soooooo happy I found your site, my dragon goby is worlds happier and the ick seems to be going away and he seems to be gaining some more color on his body.
<Glad he's doing so well.>
Just one more question or two, under his neck and around his gills is a reddish pink color, is this typical?
<Yes, their gills can look reddish. So long as the fish is happy and healthy, don't worry too much.>
this front fins seem a little roughed up but I believe I have his tank set up a lot better now, nothing but sand on the bottom that I spent 2 hours sifting to get debris out, getting all
the gravel out and adding the new sand made his water a little cloudy but I got some Accu-clear to clean that up. He also has been pushing his head above the water a LOT especially when I'm nearby his tank, he continually bobs his head out against the glass. I'm wondering if this could mean he's hungry, especially since he likes to eat either frozen blood worms, or freeze dried baby shrimp or bloodworms. When he eats the freeze dried stuff he searches the side of the tank like that. Just curious if it's a symptom of anything that you may know of.
<Violet Gobies feed in three ways: they gulp plankton, they sift mud, and they scrape algae. So, in the aquarium you can pour in live brine shrimp, and you can then see them happily strain the water, a bit like whales feeding on plankton. It's very funny! Secondly, they sift sand, and you'll see them do this when you add sinking foods like bloodworms. Finally, they scrape away at algae wafers if you provide them. In short, you can expect them to feed in all sorts of ways, and this is one reason they're so fun to keep.>
(on a side note about how much could this guy eat in a day? he's like 7 inches long now. I'm afraid I may be under feeding but don't want to overfeed)
<Violet Gobies have big appetites. Remember, they can get to something like 60 cm/24 inches in length, so your specimen will be a fast-growing youngster, and needs to be fed accordingly. So long as ammonia and nitrite are zero, and you don't see uneaten food, feel free to be generous with the meals. Healthy specimens have hearty appetites, and could easily take 3 or 4 meals a day. Be careful not to overfeed and ruin water quality, but otherwise yes, you can be pretty liberal with the food. Chunky seafood (like shrimp and tilapia fillet) might be more economical than wet frozen bloodworms. Maybe experiment a bit to see how much he eats before getting bored, and check afterwards to make sure water quality stays good. In practise these fish are extremely hardy, given brackish conditions, but starvation isn't uncommon, aquarists often underestimating just how big and hungry these fish can be.>
If you guys have a donation page or something set up I'd be willing to donate a bit you guys have been a tremendous help and you'll be the one's I ask if I have any future issues that I need help with. =)
<There's a "donate" button at bottom right of the home page, here:
Thanks again!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Puffer w/ich -- 04/1/08 Hello, I just recently purchased a F8 puffer and while he seemed fine at the store, he appears to have a few white spots on his tail now since yesterday. He has been a good eater this week and generally acting like a puffer, but today it seems that he is holding one of his pectoral fins close to his body and is not using it to hover around, however still very interested in food. He is in a SG of 1.003 with a Knight Goby and 2 small mollies in a 30" long 20 gallon tank. I intend to raise the salinity to 1.005 over time, but did not want to shock my plants or my bacteria. <Going from SG 1.003 to SG 1.005 should be fine.> He was in a freshwater tank with African cichlids at the LFS. <Poor thing.> Since puffers are a bit delicate to meds, what temp and salinity can I use to combat this if it does indeed sound like ich to you? <SG 1.003 should do the trick all by itself, and certainly SG 1.005 would.> BTW, Water is ph 8.0, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5, SG 1.003, 2 HOB filters at 250 gph combined, temp 82F <All sounds nice.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. K <Good luck, Neale.>

Ich--Out of Control!  3/19/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I am in tears right now over my fish. I recently set up a brackish tank because I fell in love with the   puffer fish. One of the  first fish that I added into my BW tank was two zebra  puffers.   <Colomesus asellus?  See: http://www.thepufferforum.com/articles/puffer/sapuffer.html > I had some scats in the tank to cycle the water and everything was fine until I got a couple GS puffers and 3 F8s  from another pet store.   <A lot of bioload to add all at once.  Scats grow as large as dinner plates & require 50g each (adult size).  Green spotted puffers grow to 6", require marine conditions as adults & 30-40g each.  F8s like low-end BW (1.005), need 15g for one & 10 more for each extra puffer.> I was then informed  that the Zebra puffers were not BW fish. <Correct.> So now I had two fish that had no place to go.  I do have a FW tank, but it is pretty full and I thought that I saw some ick on the Z puffers, so I did not want to spread into my other tank. I decided to remove the Z puffers.  Yes, they had ick... <This species in particular, is very sensitive to ich.  Must be quarantined & treated right after purchasing.> So I am thinking that maybe they were stressed from the BW conditions and I moved them into a small, already cycled 16 gallon tank.  I treated the ick in the 16 gallon with JUNGLE Ick clear, along with my BW tank.  I saw a few spots on the scats and a couple F8s by this time.  Well, I treated both tanks for 3 days and the ick cleared up in both tanks. <Just long enough for them to become immune to the treatment.  It's like not using antibiotics for the full recommended period.> About 6 days later I noticed that the Z puffers in the 16 gallon FW had signs of ick again, so I immediately used JUNGLE ick and I had  gotten 2 glass fish for the BW tank and I swear, by the time I got them home and dumped them in the tank - not more than 1 hour passed and the glass fish had ick spots, so I also treated that 40 gallon BW tank with JUNGLE Ick again also.  Well, after 3 days of treatment, my Z puffers had  not responded to  the treatment and have gotten steadily worse.  My BW tank has held its own but still no signs of improvement.  I then put the carbon back in the 40 gallon BW tank (Fluval) and  the 16 gal tank, waited 12 hours, did a 25% water change and switched medicine to Kordon Prevent Ick.  I used that for 2 days in both tanks, cutting the medicine down a little bit because of the puffers being sensitive and all of my fish seemed to have gotten worse.  So, I then changed medicine AGAIN with Kordon Rid-Ick.  Now, after 3 days all of my fish that were infected are either the same or worse.  The Z puffers look so bad - one is also starting to get fin rot, that I have thought about putting them out of their misery, ether by having a friend of mine freeze them or me flushing them.   <Overdosing with clove oil is best (found in the toothpaste isle of the drug store).> My BW tank with the three F8s seems to be getting worse and I just don't think I can see any more of my fish suffer so.  I talked to a friend of mine at the pet store and he told me that there are all sorts of strains of ick, and that all medicine might not kill that strain. <There is FW "ich" (Ichthyophthirius multifilius) & SW "whitespot" (Cryptocaryon irritans), with similar habits to freshwater ich.> I do not understand how ick could be living in my BW tank with the   temp being 80, and the hydrometer reading at .006 - .008. <You could be making the strain resistant to meds, with all the different meds you are using, for not a long enough time.> So to sum it up I have a 40 gal tank with 2 scats, 2 knight gobies,  1 GS puffer, 3 F8s, 2 butterfly gobies, 5 Bumblebee gobies, 2 glass fish and 2 black Mollies.   <Waaaay overstocked!  With that kind of overstocking there is always going to be constant stress & lowered immune systems--no chance of fighting disease at all in there.> The 3 F8s are steadily getting worse and I am sure my fish are stressed from constant 24hr water changes along with new doses of ick medicine. <Water changes are the very best thing you can be doing right now.  Here is an article on Treating Puffers with Ich: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9 > My 16 gallon tank has 2 Z puffers and 2 white mollies COVERED with ick.  I do understand that it takes more than 3 days to clear up ick but I have had ick in the past in another tank. <The parasite have a greater hold on scaleless fish.> I have - a FW 40 gal and after 3 days the ick has always maintained the same appearance or gotten a bit better.  So, if you are wondering why I have not waited before trying a new med is because every day, even with the ick medicine the puffers have gotten steadily worse.  As of now I have put the carbon back in the tank and am going to try a new medicine called Super Ick Cure, by Aquarium pharmaceuticals Inc.  I am still debating as whether to do another 20% water change before attempting this.  I feel that the more water I take out and put in, the more stressed the puffers get.  My Z puffers are suffering so, I know that I cannot watch any more of my fish get that bad so please, if you have any answers on how to get this under control - PLEASE write back.  If I have to watch my F8s suffer like the Z puffers,  I don't think I'll be able deal with having any more fish.  :((((( <I understand your affection for these wonderful fish!  I'm afraid your tanks are in trouble with all the fish you have in there.  Please read the links I have given you.  You can also add Melafix to help with the fin rot--caused by the parasite eating off the fish.  Look through the other articles on the species you have & consider many larger tanks for all your fish--if they make it.  For now, leave the meds alone, heat & water changes, water changes, water changes.  Be sure it is the same temp & use Prime to dechlor.  ~PP> Kathleen

Figure 8's with Ick  2/10/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I just  lost a figure out to Ick a few days ago, and I got two  more that I set up in a separate tank until I completely get the other  one clean.  My two new ones now are starting to get Ick and I  tried the Ick Cure (blue stuff) on the last guy and it did  NOTHING.  I noticed the pet store I work in carries a medicine for ornamental fish that is suppose to kill all parasites and Ick, would  that be a good thing to try?...if not what should I do because I don't  want to loose another puffer, especially not within a week of buying  the 2 new ones? < http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9  ~PP> Treating Puffers with Ich  1/26/06 I recently bought 2 Green spotted and 2 Fig 8 puffers.  The 4 of them share a 2ft brackish water aquarium (salinity's around 0.008).   <Wow, sounds way too small for all 4 of these fish.  What is that around 15-20 gallons? I'd either return 1 F8 & the GSPs, or get 2 larger tanks.  Even if that tank is 20 gal, you should keep 1 F8 in 15g & 10g for every one added.  GSPs are going to grow up to be too large & aggressive to keep with F8s.  They also require much higher salinities--even marine conditions as adults.  F8s are best kept at a SG of around 1.005, for life.> They're all eating and all seems to be fine but one Fig 8 has developed a few tiny white spots on its tail & fins (looks almost like tiny air-bubbles). <Sounds like it should a parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifilius (ich for short).  Here is a safe, non-medicinal treatment for it: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9   I am actually surprised they would have it though, if the SG is as high as 1.008.  Do you think it could just be bubbles?> I don't want to fiddle with them unnecessarily but they're an important part of our lives now and I'd hate anything to happen to them, especially as a result of ignorance (and a reliable source of information of puffers in South Africa is limited - to be polite). <Here's a huge source of information on puffers for you: www.thepufferforum.com  Excellent articles on your puffers in The Library at that site.> Do you reckon it's a disease and if so, what's the best way to treat the little guy? Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. <Check out the info I've given you & see ya at TPF!  ~PP> Thanks, Adrian

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: