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FAQs on Marine Velvet, Amyloodiniumiasis, Etiology & Prevention

Related Articles: Marine Velvet, Parasitic Disease Copper Use, Formalin, Formaldehyde Use,

Related FAQs: Marine Velvet 1, Marine Velvet 2, Marine Velvet 3, Marine Velvet 4, & FAQs on Amyloodinium/Velvet: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... & Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease

Quarantine... dips/baths...

Good maintenance, nutrition, UV use... helps, but won't prevent or cure

After infestation: Fallow period... Possibly sterilizing with bleach...

Marine Velvet surprise attack      7/27/19
Hi WWM Crew
Please help me figure out the cause of our disaster. We are in total shock. Five dead fish today and two others with obvious signs of velvet.
Two days ago everything appeared fine. Last added to tank was 2 pajama cardinals about 6 months ago - quarantined prior to putting in display. They appear unaffected at this point. All other residents range from 11 years old (Flame Angel) to 3 year old Blue Chromis.
In 2014 we did have a devastating strike of Velvet and lost many fish. Several fish did survive - the aforementioned Flame Angel was one. It was quite a long time afterwards until we added anything to our display tank and subsequently have been diligent regarding QT any new additions.
It’s been 20 years of owning reef tanks and five years since the mentioned outbreak.
How could the parasite survive so long without any afflictions to the fish all these years?
Any insights?
Regards, Brenda Brush
<Mmm; well, Amyloodinium can/may be introduced on most anything marine/wet... foods, water from an infested system, live rock and sand, non-fish livestock... There is some possibility that this Dinoflagellate pest/parasite (and others, e.g. Cryptocaryon), can be resident... even in systems that show not even clinical symptoms. There is indeed a balance of favoring, disfavoring factors that can tip a system (via its potential hosts) toward infestation. I'll offer a link to an effort I've penned to describe such: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Bob Fenner>
Marine Velvet surprise attack Wil’s input      7/27/19

Hi WWM Crew
<Hi Brenda>
Please help me figure out the cause of our disaster. We are in total shock. Five dead fish today and two others with obvious signs of velvet.
Two days ago everything appeared fine. Last added to tank was 2 pajama cardinals about 6 months ago - quarantined prior to putting in display. They appear unaffected at this point. All other residents range from 11 years old (Flame Angel) to 3-year-old Blue Chromis.
In 2014 we did have a devastating strike of Velvet and lost many fish. Several fish did survive - the aforementioned Flame Angel was one. It was quite a long time afterwards until we added anything to our display tank and subsequently have been diligent regarding QT any new additions.
It’s been 20 years of owning reef tanks and five years since the mentioned outbreak.
How could the parasite survive so long without any afflictions to the fish all these years?
Any insights?
<It is not uncommon to see these outbreaks from time to time; even in the most established tanks that have no new additions for a long time, it may happen. Amyloodinium as well as Cryptocaryon are always present but in a dormant state, and just like in the case of humans, these parasites/pathogens are waiting for the immune system to be compromised to launch an attack, the worst part is that they don’t need just live fish to thrive, they can survive in almost any wet surface, so it is possible to transfer them in all wet gear commonly used in maintenance chores (nets, hoses, buckets, etc…) Hope you find this helpful- Cheers. Wil.> <<Thank you Wil... I swear we're two different people! B>>
Regards, Brenda Brush

Marine Velvet Dormancy      10/16/18
Hello Bob and Team!
<Hello Anik, Wil this morning>
Hope you are doing well. Like any reefer, I’m constantly reading about preventing any disasters.
<Like any good/responsible reefer!>
The topic of my paranoia this week is Marine Velvet. Some facts about my setup: my display tank is 100G mixed reef; shows no signs of marine Velvet and never has. There’s been a sign of ich once, which made itself visible on bullied fish but that cleared up on its own and everything has been clear since. Btw I QT everything, and medicate every new fish with PraziPro and Cupramine and observe after.
<Quarantine is fine but there´s no need to medicate if fish are not sick, treating healthy fish just makes any pathogen more resistant to medications and this could be a problem in the future if fish happens to get sick.>
Typically I QT for 3-4 months.
<4-5 weeks is more than enough>
The one time I didn’t was when I added a mandarin to my DT, no QT :(.
Current roster, two ocellaris clowns, male Anthias, melanurus wrasse, yellow Coris, yellow flanked fairy wrasse, flame angle and tiny blonde Naso.
<I hope you are aware that the Naso tang will need a bigger tank (a few to several hundred gallons) to have a long, healthy life.>
Anyways, questions; is it possible to have marine Velvet present in a tank but kept at bay from infestation by keeping water parameters in check and general conditions clean/healthy/happy to hold the velvet in check?
<Actually that is how it works; velvet as well as other diseases are always present in the system water but with good maintenance and feeding practices, you can keep them away of your livestock indefinitely.>
What I am getting at is can a fish have velvet for months and not be symptomatic until something triggers it?
<As I mentioned, disease is always present but only attacks your fish if its immune system is compromised.>
Depending on your answer, I may go against your advice from a few months ago regarding Ick in the DT (referring to that one fish mentioned above); I may just move all my fish to QT and treat them and run the tank fallow out of straight paranoia.
<I don´t see the need of treating your fish without been absolutely sure they are sick, you are going to add unnecessary stress. I wouldn´t move them to QT>
I have two wrasses and a flame hawk in QT right now and would like to plan my next steps to add them to DT...but would like to avoid disaster.
<If you have quarantined/observed them for at least 4 weeks, you may transfer them to the DT.>
Thanks Team! Anik
<You´re very welcome. Wil>
Re: Marine Velvet Dormancy

Thank You Wil!
<You´re welcome Anik!>
Love your teams’ advice. It definitely helps to quell much of my on going paranoia.
< Hahaha....there´s no need to be paranoid! just make wise, on impulsive decisions...we are glad to be helpful…>
I’m secure and confident in my overall QT scheme and don’t plan on adding anymore fish in the future...until I upgrade which is a near term possibility.
<That´s good to know>
Yes the Naso will get a larger home, gladly he’s only 2 inches right now.
<Yes, you still have time to plan the upgrading >
I won’t move the fish then. Thanks again for your advice!
Have a great night.
<Have a great night too!>

How long for a disease to show up?   3/10/14
Hi crew,
 I have a question as to how long does it take for a disease such as brook of velvet to show up on a fish.
<How long from when? What? Oh, I think I understand from your writing below... These and many other pathogenic diseases can be non-clinically resident indefinitely>

 The reason I ask is I purchased a Cherub Angel and a Tailspot Blenny in January. They had both been in the LFS for 3 months and 3 weeks, respectively. I did freshwater dips on both of them when I brought them home. They were both clean (no flukes). I then commenced the tank transfer method in the event of ich. I did 4 transfers every 3 days which equated to
16 days. On the 16th day I moved them into a permanent QT that I've had set up and is fully cycled. They stayed in that QT for 30 days. I moved them into the main last night and today the Cherub sort of looks like he has a sheen to him. His fins are also torn up but I think that is from fighting with the royal gramma. So my question is Is it possible for velvet or brook
to lie dormant during the 6 weeks of quarantine or is this just me being extremely paranoid?  Thank you!
<Is possible either the fish/es are/were carriers, or more likely, that the system itself is infested. Bob Fenner>

Fallow Tank question... re: inverts...     7/25/12
Hi Gang,
<Hello Chuck>
I'm living through a marine velvet episode, thanks to making the most basic-of-all-mistakes (failure to quarantine).
<Ahh. An ounce of prevention...>
 Survivors are being moved to hospital tanks for treatment. My question is this: I have two inverts which can't tolerate the medication/s... a skunk cleaner shrimp... and a green brittle star. My question is this: can they stay in my reef during the 'fallow' period...
<Yes but don't forget to spot feed.>
 or are they able to 'host' the velvet (if indeed it is Amyloodinium).
 I'd like to leave them in there... but don't want to risk reinfecting the fish AFTER my fallow period.
<As long as the fallow period is long enough, you will be good.>
 I've looked through the forums... saw that initial infection can come into a tank with these creatures (or live rock... or just about anything else that's 'wet')... but figured it was probably just a hitchhiker, rather than an active parasite in these cases. Can you let me know your thoughts on this?
<Amyloodinium can be introduced to the tank in a variety of ways but it needs a fish to survive long term.>
<Quite welcome>

Oodinium Outbreak   3/22/07 Hello,   Great website, it has been extremely helpful over the last couple of years. I also recently got a copy of CMA and it is wonderful as well. <Lots of good help there, here> I have a bad situation and would like some advice. A maintenance customer of mine has a 210 FOWLR that is in my opinion over stocked and now seems to be consumed with an Oodinium infection (white flaky dandruff like substance all over most of the fish with some cloudy eyes as well). <Yikes... no fun. I was in the service trade for about 19 years...> All fish were quarantined before being put into the tank until last week when the customer called me and said that he was taking home a new Blue Spotted Stingray (which I had told him was a poor choice). <Exceedingly> Since all of the fish had been doing well up till then I would assume that this is where the infection came from. <Mmm, this or most anything wet... including marine foods...> None of the fish have died yet and they are all still eating well. <Mmm, might be Cryptocaryon then instead... Likely Amyloodinium would have wiped out all otherwise by now> But there are a lot of expensive fish that need some help. Would you suggest taking out the live rock and treating with copper or formalin, hyposalinity, just pray? Also would a stingray, zebra eel, or map puffer be ok with copper or any medication? <Mmm... I would treat all as proscribed on WWM... including for these fish/groups... Prayer "helps" only those who "do and believe in it"... Not the physical world> Any help would be greatly appreciated. It has been a very depressing evening, I feel very sorry for the fish that are suffering.      Thanks for your time,   Jeremy <>< <Read on my friend, read on: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Too much to state here. Bob Fenner>

QT sterilization  9/24/05 I just lost a couple fish from my QT to Amyloodinium, and am breaking the tank down (I just got a smaller tank better suited as a QT).   My question is whether the Amyloodinium can survive complete desiccation (as in at least 3 days completely dry). I know bleach will sterilize & will use that on the net, etc, but for the tank itself & the power filter, I'd prefer just leaving dry a while if possible. <Scott, the surest was is to copper the QT for a minimum of 21 days with a maintained copper level of 0.15 to 0.20ppm.  This does require the use of a copper test kit to ensure these levels are maintained.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for a very helpful site! <You're welcome> <<... can resist drying for three plus days... I would lightly bleach all. RMF>> Scott

"Black Velvet" (Amyloodinium Infection) Please help-I'm desperate! I've got  marine velvet, and can't get rid of it. I've tried Oodinex  in tank and Trimarin in a quarantine tank,  and the fish seem to get better, but then it just comes back. I've already lost £500 of fish and I'm sick of this. My water quality is good- all tests are okay, so what am I doing  wrong?  I've got live rock in the tank, I have a sump tank and protein skimmer, I do weekly water changes, and can't understand what's going wrong. I've even fresh water dipped them and it just keeps coming back. I've even taken all the fish out the tank for 6 weeks and changed the whole tank of water over that time and its still coming back i also lowered the salinity but it did not help. I'm getting to the stage when I'm going to give up  please heeeeelp! Regards Alisdair Crossan <Well, Alisdair, this is certainly one of those "nightmare" scenarios that we here about from time to time. Marine Velvet (Amyloodinium) is a nasty parasitic disease, as you know, and is, unfortunately, a very tenacious one at that! Parasitic diseases can usually be eradicated or their impact severely curtailed by depriving the parasites of their hosts (your fishes) for a long period of time. My normal recommendation is to remove the affected fishes to a hospital tank, treat them with a commercial copper sulphate product, and let the main system run fallow for a month or more...Sounds like you've tried that already! Well- there are two possible courses of action that I'd recommend at this point...I'd try the "fallow tank" option again- but for a much longer period of time- say, 2-3 months....Or- you may be better advised to "cut your losses" and completely break down the tank, sterilize all equipment, the tank, and any decorations (and get rid of the sand or gravel that you've had in the tank-sterilizing it is too problematic and tedious, IMO), and re-assemble the system...Yes- it's a real pain- and a very radical move, but it's sometimes the only way to defeat this tenacious disease! It's that virulent! In the future, employ a full 3-4 week quarantine period for all new arrivals prior to introducing them into the display tank. Avoid treating illness in the main system, as many medications can "bind" with the substrate and decorations, rendering them ineffective, and making it difficult or impossible to maintain a proper therapeutic level...Be patient, be careful, and don't quit! You can defeat this illness- but it will not be fun...If nothing else, you'll have learned from this awful experience...Chin up! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
"Black Velvet" (Amyloodinium) Pt. 2
Thank for the info. <Glad to be of service> What do I do about my live rock? I cant get rid of it because it's really expensive here in Scotland. It's £200 for 20kg so what do I do? Thanks. Regards, Alisdair Crossan <Well, Alisdair, it's a tough call here. In my opinion, there is too great a risk that the rocks still harbor parasites, as evidenced by the re-occurring outbreaks of the disease. You can basically do one of two things: 1) Let the rock sit in an empty (i.e.; "fishless" and without substrate) tank for a long, long time (we're talking at least 3-4 months-or even longer!)  or 2) You'll essentially have to "sacrifice" the life on the rock by soaking it for a couple of weeks in freshwater. Of course, the freshwater will kill the life on the rock, but it will kill the parasites as well! In time, with the right conditions, the beneficial life forms you lost will re-colonize the rock, and it will become "live" once again! Neither prospect is particularly attractive, but they both will, in all likelihood, do the trick! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Crushing Velvet! My Problem: Marine Velvet <Yikes.. Not a fun thing...> Infected Fish: Heavily infected powder blue tang and a slightly infected dog-faced puffer. Not infected fish: percula clown and a green Chromis. <Not yet, anyways...Sorry to be pessimistic, but this is a very contagious disease...> All fish are currently in the following q-tank setup: 20 gallon tank, Fluval 404 canister filter with bio rings, sponge, and plastic bio strings. The tank has a 300 watt heater to keep it at 81 degrees. It also has a sponge filter that was seeded in the main tank for a few days with a air pump. The tank has some plastic "home depot" flower pots as hide outs. The tank is at 1.018 and I plan to bring it up to 1.020 as the velvet goes away. <Sounds like a good plan/setup so far...> I am using a copper treatment called Copper Safe, dosed according to directions My questions: 1) I know that a q-tank is supposed to be good for a fish for both disease and new arrivals but I am having a very tough time keeping ammonia low in the tank. It's impossible! I did everything right, I cycled the tank with live rock, I seeded a sponge filter in my main tank, and made sure the parameters were right before adding the infected fish in.  Is it the copper that is causing this? Is the copper killing my ammonia eating bacteria? I even do 6 gallon water changes out of the 20 with a siphon every day or two and the ammonia still is there. I thought I would of been okay since I have a large canister filter on there but its not working. <CopperSafe is my copper treatment of choice, and I like the stuff. If used according to the manufacturer's instructions, it will not harm your nitrifying bacteria. This may be one of these situations where you could use a commercial "bacteria culture" to help speed up the establishment and efficiency of the biological filter. Even though I am a huge proponent of regular water changes (especially in small systems like hospital tanks), you may be disrupting the biological filtration process with these changes (not to mention, diluting the copper concentration, unless you are replenishing it according to manufacturer's instructions)...just a thought...> 2) The thing is, I've tried q-tanks in the past and realized that it was newly impossible keeping the water quality good in it.  I figured that it would be better for the fish to just be put in a stable tank full of live rock. <Ehhh! Wrong answer! You just need to be really on top of things in a small tank...It's really a roll of the dice by skipping the quarantine process...just not good....> Thus I started to just add the fish straight to my main display tank. Now this worked well for 3 years until Mr.. raccoon butterfly brought in velvet and wiped out the whole tank. <Ahh- now you're a fan of the quarantine process, I'll bet! It sucks to learn about the value of quarantine like you did- but you are a much better hobbyist for the experience!> 3) I know my 25 watt U.V. on my 50 gallon kept the parasites out this long, why did it fail this time? I even change the bulb every 6 months. <UV sterilizers are effective at killing some free-swimming parasites; however, as we know, it is not effective 100% of the time (nothing is), and it only takes a few parasites to get through on an infected fish and wreak havoc in your tank...Since the causative parasite of "velvet" (Amyloodinium) has a free swimming stage as well as a stage when it dwells in the flesh of the infected fish, control can be difficult> 4) One last question, after you do the usual quarantine process for new fish, have you ever had the fish still break out with a parasite? What I'm getting at is, do these parasites continuously live on the fish and attack when they are weak or is it something that transfers off of "new" in-quarantined fish? <As a matter of fact, I have had diseases manifest themselves in my quarantine tank a number of times. Fortunately, I employ and recommend 3-4 week quarantine process; which provides enough time for many parasitic diseases to show up (the incubation periods of many parasitic diseases is anywhere from 7-28 days, so the longer quarantine period should cover most diseases...)One way to ensure that diseases don't get passed on to the main tank are to never, ever add new fishes to the QT once you've already started the process...If you do, you have to "start the clock" all over again so that the "pre-existing" fishes get another 4 weeks after you've introduced the new fish to the QT. Freshwater dips prior to the introduction of a fish into the QT are another good technique that you can use to help reduce the possibility of introducing fishes into the quarantine tank. As far as your question about the way the disease attacks: Yes- some parasitic illnesses may be present in seemingly healthy tanks at all times in a "dormant" phase, waiting for proper conditions (like weakened, stressed fishes) to present themselves. When a parasitic disease such as Amyloodinium rears it's ugly head in your tank, you need to pursue a course of treatment that breaks the life cycle of the parasite, such as the "fallow tank" technique that you hear us expand upon all the time...It really works. Do a little research on the site about dealing with parasitic diseases, and you'll get some good information that will make you an even better aquarist than you already are! Keep up the good work and great observations, and be sure to share your experiences (good and bad) with fellow hobbyists! Good luck! Regards, Scott F. >    

Beating Amyloodinium At Its Own Game! Dear Bob, <Scott F. in for Bob while he's out diving!> I will try to be brief because you must be busy reading lots of e-mails. First, your articles, web site etc are brill and the knowledge I have gleaned will hopefully keep me in the hobby (15 years). <I'm sure Bob would be happy to hear that! All of us at WWM are proud to be associated with this site!> Just been virtually wiped out by Amyloodinium and left with only one 5" Emperor Angel (nearly died) and five 'bullet proof' Damsels (unaffected so far). <Yuck!> This is my first encounter with this disease so really I've been very lucky to date as I haven't being quarantining new additions (stupid boy!). <Well- you won't be making that mistake again, I'll bet!> Freshwater dips are clearly superb at 'blowing to smithereens' trophozoites via osmotic pressure.  I have found this process very therapeutic to me personally after the depressed state I got into after losing 5 prize fish. <I can relate. I find it satisfying, myself...This is a very nasty disease!> It is a pleasure to watch them literally disappear before your eyes when the 'patient' is returned to sea water. <Yep!> The information you have posted on your web-site clearly indicates the parasite cannot be eliminated completely and prevention via quarantining is the best move. <The best move as far as prevention is concerned...There are treatment protocols that can help sharply reduce the parasite population from your display tank, such as running the tank "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month, which can help "crash" the parasite population for a lack of hosts...> Given that they cannot be eliminated completely, I would like your advice on a 'control' strategy :- I haven't got a UV sterilizer and would like to know if its worth getting one on the basis that if its big enough and powerful enough, free-swimming infective dinospores will be wiped out at a sufficient rate so as not to be able to overwhelm the fish by attacking in large numbers. <A potentially valuable acquisition. U/V sterilizers can be a potential line of defense against such parasites...> Any parasites that do manage to get on the fish could then be 'controlled' via a biological cleaner. Looking forward to hearing from you. Ed Parker (England) <Well, Ed- I also endorse the use of biological cleaners, such as shrimp and/or neon gobies. And, again- I highly recommend the "fallow" tank technique that we discuss here on the WWM site frequently...It really works, because it addresses the life cycle of the parasite...I'm sure that with this technique, and your continued diligent attention to husbandry, you'll defeat this disease! Good luck, and thanks for stopping by! Regards, Scott F>
Beating Amyloodinium At Its Own Game (Pt. 2)
Dear ScottF <Hello again, Ed!> Many thanks for your prompt reply and advice. I will 'fallow' my display tank as you recommend. <Glad to hear that! I think that, painful though it may be, this process works well!> I have also purchased a 25 Watt UV for my 100 gallon display tank. I believe I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. <No doubt you will...It's an awful thing to go through- but winning a battle like this just hones your aquaristic skills even more!> Many, Many thanks once again. Ed Parker (England) <A pleasure! Best of luck with the recovery!> P.S. Did Bob have a good dive?, <Bob....? Howzit...?> I bet the vis is better where you are.  I live near Teignmouth, Devon and 5m is the best average in the summer. (it drops to six inches when it blows in the winter!) <That's scary! I tend to spend more time on top of the water (surfing) than I do below...but my friends are pressing me to get into scuba...A logical progression, so I'm workin' on it! Every time I go down, it gives me more aquascaping ideas, which usually leads to me wanting to set up a new tank....Why is that? LOL. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

End of A Velvet Nightmare? Hey fishy gurus! I'm here again to beg for assistance. <No need to beg (groveling is okay, however.. LOL). Scott F. at your service!>Previously, my 29 display and 10 gallon QT both had velvet, or at least that was everybody's best guess.  My 2 fish died.  I did a 100% water change in the QT after the last fish died.  Based on advice here and elsewhere,  I left both tanks to sit fallow of fish (and the QT to finish its cycle) for a month.   So, it's been a month. <Good patience!> Yesterday, I got 2 tank-raised Ocellaris clowns for the QT.  Params were SG 1.022, pH 8.2, temp 80, 0 Ammonia and Nitrite and 15 Nitrate.  I brought them home and acclimated them slowly in a 2 gallon Tupperware bowl (with an airstone) and then gave them a 3 minute FW bath in adjusted water w/ a little Methylene Blue.  I was really, really trying to do everything 'by the book'. <That's the way to do it, IMO!> On the way home the bigger clown seemed to be picking on the smaller clown.  I was a little worried, but the drive was not that long.  The smaller clown didn't seem to be perking up.  Oh boy. <It can get a bit more serious in tight quarters> After the FW dip, I put them both in the QT (lesson learned from last time).  The small clown immediately flopped on his side.  The big clown did the same, but would raise up more and sometimes swim around.  There was nothing visible wrong.  The small clown was breathing a little heavy, but the big girl wasn't.  I had no idea what to do at this point, so I turned the light off and hoped for the best.  This morning the big clown is dead and the little clown is following quickly.  What happened?  The little clown now has white fuzzy batches on its belly that weren't there.  Can it be the velvet again? <May be something other than Velvet...Could be a fungus of some sort...You'll need to check out the WWM FAQs on these maladies to confirm that this is what you're dealing with.> Clownfish disease. We've pulled the little clown into a small Tupperware bowl with water from the big tank, but I'm not hopeful.  Could it be the water?  We haven't been using RO water, just treated tap water. <Hard to say, but I don't think that the water is causing the illness...Stress, perhaps, but not illness, in all likelihood> The display tank, luckily, is doing *fine* with copepods and a few turbo snails left over - but we want fish! <I know that feeling!> Do we desiccate the QT tank?  For now, we've taken all the water out.  I've read that can take months and I don't really feel like waiting 6 months to get fish :-/  I'm out of ideas.  Help! Angela W. <The QT tank should be broken down and sterilized after each use...You don't want to leave it running on a continuous basis. Especially if disease was present in the tank. As far as the display tank is concerned, I'd say that a month could do the job, two months if you're really patient. If necessary, you could desiccate and thoroughly clean the display, and you'll be ready to start over again. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Drastic Measures? (Fighting Amyloodinium) Hi. I'm hoping you can help me. <I'll try!> I have a 200 gallon DAS which is approximately 6 months old.  It has a salinity of 1.017, a temperature of 70 F, and the ammonia was fine.  The tank holds 125 lb of live rock with no substrate surface.  I've stocked the tank with a Zebra Moray eel, a pair of Clowns, a pair of Butterfly raccoons, an Emperor, a Coral Beauty , Yellow tang, a Flame hawk and a Cuban Hog. The only ones still alive are the Zebra Moray, flame hawk and Cuban Hog,  The yellow tang is covered with red blotches.  I spoke to my supplier and he told me to douse my tank (using the recommended dosage) with SERA Oodinopur A. From reading the comments on your website it was the wrong thing to medicate the main tank but I did not have a quarantine tank.  What should I do now?  Some of your comments state that the main tank should remain fallow for at least a month. Does Marine Velvet affect the Zebra Moray eel? <It can. The fallow technique is valid here, by the way> What are the implications of using the medication stated above on my live rock?  Can I still use the rock as a biological stratum? <The use of many anti-parasitic medications in tanks containing live rock is problematic. These medications will certainly affect the beneficial animals residing in and on the rock. We always strongly advise against medicating in tanks that contain live rock> If I bathe the rock in freshwater will it kill the Marine Velvet that would be found on the surface? <Probably- but it will also kill the beneficial organisms as outlined above. Better to use the "fallow tank technique" that we advocate on WWM> How does one sterilize a tank if it comes to that point? <If it comes down to breaking down the tank, you'd want to thoroughly scrub and rinse the tank, then soak it in a mild chlorine bleach solution, followed by thorough rinsing and another filling, while utilizing a dechlorinating product to remove the remaining bleach. Then you can refill. The rock would have to be desiccated, rinsed, and placed in saltwater to re-colonize beneficial life forms...Not fun! I'd go fallow for a month or two before resorting to this tactic> Thanking you in advance for your response? Vito Lai <That's why we're here, Vito! Hope things work out for you! Regards, Scott F>

Sterilizing equipment after Oodinium infestation Dear Mr. Fenner, Your book has been very helpful.  We need to know what we need to do to sterilize a 65 gallon tank and equipment after we had a problem with an Oodinium outbreak.  The fish have been moved to a quarantine tank, and we decided to break down the whole system and start over (lesson learned about quarantining new fish!!).  Would cleaning it with fresh water and drying be sufficient? Thank you very much! Stan and Denise Krol <I would, do suggest "nuking" this system and gear... with a bleach wash per the steps, tools listed here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clncarta.htm Simply freshwater rinsing and drying may... not "do the trick". Bleach this system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sterilizing equipment after Oodinium infestation
Dear Mr. Fenner, Thank you for your quick reply!  We read your recommendation, but are still a little confused.  Should we fill the entire tank and run the entire system with bleach solution? Or should we rinse the components individually? <All the gear, running together... a cup or two of "household" bleach total should do it. Take care not to spill any on your clothes, floor, furniture...> Should the tank itself be soaked or just wiped out with a bleach solution?  The tank is glass.  Thank you for your time and patience!! Stan and Denise Krol <Best to run the system with the bleach added for about an hour, then dump, fill with fresh, dump again, refill... a few times till it no longer smells of bleach... then new salt mix can be added immediately and the system left to run for a week or so before proceeding to add biological materials (e.g. live rock, bacteria culture...). Bob Fenner>

Marine Velvet resilience Bob, about 2.5 months ago (maybe a little longer), a had a terrible outbreak of velvet and it totally destroyed my three year old tank. I broke down that tank and stored the expensive components in a closet and threw away things like nets, etc. Well. . . in the mean time I bought a new tank and I am adding the live rock and aragonite tomorrow. Now I'm sort of freaking out. Tonight when I went to wash the aragonite, I forgot that the bucket I used to drain the velvet water is the same bucket that I used to wash and store my new aragonite for the new aquarium. Bob. . .how long can that stuff last in a very dry climate? <Not much, well for more than a month> The bucket has also had some copper in it. Is the copper still hanging around? <Doubtful. Will be complexed by the new materials in the new tank. You can test for, but there will be little to no free cupric ion> Will it "infect" my aragonite? I also would like to continue using the same quarantine tank and power filter which has been stored dry. Do I really need to sterilize?  <Hmm, would have been better to "bleach, wash" all... but likely fine.> I know it probably would have been best to sterilize the bucket but it is hard for me to believe this protozoa can live for two or three months out of water. If you think I need to throw everything out I will. I can't deal with starting a tank by introducing problems. Thanks, Dave <No need in my estimation to do anything more or different than you already are. Velvet and ich are parasitic problems that can be oh so/too easily introduced with new live materials... best to do what you can (dips/baths, quarantine) to prevent and set-up, maintain an optimum environment to preclude hyper-infestations. Please read through this "more balanced" approach/understanding posted on our site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Marine velvet woes... Hello Mr. Fenner, <Hello> Great site! I've been reading through it ever since I decided to try my hand at fish keeping. I would say that the most helpful and critical piece of advice I've gained is that any changes made to these systems has to be gradual. Whether adding fish, or changing environmental conditions. I believe that's been the key to my tank's initial success. <A good strategy, underlying principle> Recently, however, a bad case of Amyloodinium has quickly de-stocked my tank to: 0 fish per gallon. What remains is an anemone crab and live rock. I would like to eliminate the parasitic infestation that remains in-tank while keeping the crab and rock alive. What would you suggest? <Allowing the tank to go fallow for a few months...> Is the crab susceptible to the same disease that killed the fish? <No> If not, could it act as some sort of carrier/vessel for the Oodinium, that when acclimated into a clean tank it could possibly inadvertently help speed the death of even more fish?  <In a manner of speaking yes... the presence of metabolic activity does extend the life/viability of resting stages, non-infective algae...> I wonder similarly about the liverock since this will complicate moving either of the two. <A similar effect, yes> Any help would be great. Thanks! <The various approaches, a weighting of their likely value/success is posted on various places in the FAQs on Marine Diseases on WetWebMedia. Bob Fenner>

Will micro waving or boiling kill the cyst stage of Amyloodinium? Dear Mr. Fenner, One of my tanks has suffered 2 wipeouts from Amyloodinium. After the first crash the tank was left fallow for about 6 weeks. After the second crash a friend, with many years in the hobby, suggested treating the tank with Acriflavine, Greenex, hypo salinity, and elevated temps for a month, or so. I did just that and then left it fallow with temps in the 90's and a specific gravity of 1.010 for another 2 to 3 months. I recently introduced a Bluespot Jawfish. He was the first fish reintroduced into the tank. I know now that was not my best option. To add insult to injury I did not quarantine him. So I killed a beautiful rare fish and I will never know whether all my effort eradicated the parasite or not. <Or re-introduced it> Who knows maybe he brought it in with him. The fish was active, eating and doing well from day one. He got what appeared to be Amyloodinium after about 3 weeks in the tank. I was unable to save the poor little guy. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to salvage this tank and make it safe to add fish to? <All sorts of steps, fronts can be utilized to "improve" ones chances. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm to help you develop a less "didactic" sense of what states of disease/health actually entail> I have had several suggestions from treatment with copper and sterilization with bleach, to ripping it down and starting over. I have read everything I can find on Amyloodinium. Apparently the dormant cysts are not susceptible to treatment, <Not much> so then copper and bleach (I assume) would not be effective. I do not want to treat the tank with copper rendering it unfit for inverts. I am thinking my only option is to rip the tank down and start all over, throwing away probably 500 dollars worth of rock and sand. <Not the only, or best, better of options... there is just slightly better chances here of not having further problems... compared with more waiting, hypo salinity, elevated temperature... THEN optimizing your likelihood of avoiding outright infestations by selecting better specimens of appropriate species, utilizing dip/baths and quarantine procedures, augmenting feeding, biological cleaners... Please read the above "three sets of factors" article and the many FAQs, Links beyond> Is there anything that will kill the dormant stage of this virulent pest? <Not definitively... w/o generally killing most all other life> Do you know what temperatures would be necessary to kill the cyst stage of Amyloodinium? Micro waving or boiling the contents of the tank in a water and bleach solution was recently suggested to me. Could the cyst stage of this organism possibly survive that? <I would not go these routes...> Where, besides the substrate and water do the dinospores and the cyst stage of this nasty organism reside?  <Can be on any surface, really... biological and not> I assume they adhere to the LR, surfaces of the acrylic tank and equipment, as well as the bio media (bio balls and bio bale of the CPR BakPak)? If I were to start from scratch...........do I throw away all the sand, LR, and bio media never using any of them again or would it be safe to use them after a thorough rinsing, some treatment, perhaps soaking in bleach, micro waving or boiling in a bleach and water solution, rinsing again, dechlorinating and then drying in the sun for some period of time? <Again, this extreme approach is not worthwhile. I appreciate your situation... have had several very frustrating entrenched parasitic problems in stores, collecting stations around the world... that for expedience sake "Nuking" with bleach, formalin, other bio-cides was the avenue of choice... for time, sureties sake. If it were my system, situation, I would use the monies you might otherwise spend on new LR, substrate... and go on a small vacation instead, while the system is going fallow... starving out, greatly weakening the problem here...> I have 6 pieces of coral in the tank attached to small pieces of rock.......do I have to destroy those as well? <No my friend> What do you think? If you are unsure is there anyone you could possibly refer me to? Any information would be greatly appreciated. <Look for books by Edward Noga on fish disease> Thank You so much for your time, it is greatly appreciated. Leslie <How to put this? All life has "diseases" of different sorts, that can/will express themselves given inopportune conditions, events... The ways to avoid "disease" are many, but taken one at a time as general inputs (livestock selection, nutrition, social dynamics...) can/do overall weigh the equation/sliding scale of health/disease in the keepers domain. Think about this deeply... a very important lesson about the nature of the truth, life. Bob Fenner>

Help - Amyloodinium ocellatum Help Bob! <Anthony Calfo in your service> I finally figured out what has killed many of my fish Amyloodinium ocellatum!! That evil stuff has taken out - one 4" Harlequin Tusk, one baby Clown Trigger, one 3" Huma Trigger, One 3"Niger Trigger, One 4" Queen Angel and the one who brought it to my tank in the first place a Juv. Koran Angel. No, all of these fish were not in the tank at the same time. <my friend, you have just learned a very expensive lesson in why so many experienced aquarists rant and rave about how you must have a quarantine tank and use it. It would have cost one quarter of the money you lost in fish not to mentioned saved their lives likely (or at worst, you would have lost the carrier but spared the main system). Please research the archives on the equipment and protocol for a QT tank> Just recently I thought all was well, all my tests came out at the correct safe levels (Ph, Salt, Nitrate, Nitrite, temp, etc.) My Snowflake eel and Damsel did not show signs of being sick but I think they could live in Nuclear Waste water if they had to now.  <agreed! especially about the eel!> So thinking it was safe I decided to buy myself a new fish to celebrate - enter Disco, my 6" Stars & Strips true puffer. He was very active for about 3 days and then the tiny velvet spots came, but this time I was determined to save this one. I moved all my hermit crabs to another tank and started copper treatments to the main tank to try and kill the parasite and cure Disco.  <wow...what an awful idea, read on...> It's been about a week and he still has spots but is eating well, has his color back, and a lot more active. I have many questions. <all medications must be dosed in a bare bottomed tank (like a QT tank) Medications such as copper are rendered less effective or ineffective by the buffering action of calcareous media (gravel, sand, rock, coral skeletons, etc). Furthermore, the media is now tainted for future invertebrates...ruined essentially... anemones, starfish, shrimp, etc. can overdose on the absorbed copper in the substrate even when the water tests copper free.> What is the best way to rid the parasites from my main tank.  <you can leave it fishless for 4 weeks with a slightly lower salinity (1.017). However, what's left of your biological filter after the copper treatment will wane after a fishless month. Do stock very slowly afterwards. You may run fish in a QT tank separately at the same time to be prepared for restocking> I am prepared to break it down completely.  <not necessary... no tank could ever be made sterile...nor any fish. All do carry some small amount of pathogens... stress induces them to flare. Just focus on good water quality and reduced stress> I also have live rock - would the parasite leave 'eggs' in the rock as well? And how do I go about cleaning the rock? <Ughhhhh... a lot of live rock stained and killed with copper. A very expensive lesson. The LR is not to be wasted totally...it can become more biologically active again... but having chemically adsorbed copper, many great things will never grow in it again.> The tank infested is a 55 FOWLR - I have an unused 90 gallon - A currently running 29gal with a LR, crushed coral and the hermit crabs. I want to know using these tanks what would be the best route. My first idea is to break down the 55 completely and use the 90 as a hospital for the puffer.  <hospital tanks are ideally smaller and more manageable with regard for dosing medication and doing water changes. If you are willing to spend the extra to accomplish that in a 90 gall. so be it. Else, invest in a smaller QT tank (20L to 30 gall would be nice for these larger fish species)> Once well move him to the 29 with the eel and crabs temporarily. drain the 90 move it - fill 90 back up with LR and substrate and get it cycled. then move everything in to the 90. Then start up the 55 again. <too complicated, my friend> My LFS said copper stays in the silicone around the tank even after you remove it from the water. Is this true?  <hehe... that is about the only thing copper doesn't stay in... your rock and gravel are ruined for ever keeping inverts again most likely. Stick with fish only and you won't have to throw it away> Does it affect the fish that much?  <PolyFilters will mop up the copper in the water when you are done... just stick with fish> Would that make using the 90 out of the question as the hosp? <a huge hospital tank <smile>> I apologize for such a long email, but I want to make the right decisions. I am now convinced as to the value of prevention. I will always quarantine all new specimens! <yes... I just hate to see folks learn the hard way! Best regards now that you are on the right track. Kindly, Anthony> Thanks for all your help - The Marine world is a better place because of you! God Bless

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