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FAQs on Marine Velvet, Amyloodiniumiasis, Cures That Do Work

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, Prevention, Cures That Don't 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

Copper, Formalin can work... with diligence, testing (at least daily), replenishment... But the anti-malarial Chloroquine diphosphate  at 5-10 mg/L for 10 days is the best route to go. Be aware, "phony cures" abound... they don't work.

Marine Velvet / Ich and Chloroquine/Hypo Treatment
Dear WMM Crew,
I wanted to share an experience and get your guidance, in hopes that this might help out others as well as myself.
<Please do>
For the last 9 months or so I've been trying to get my 370 angel/butterfly tank off the ground, but I've been battling some issues with what appears to be Ich and Marine Velvet (I purchased a microscope, and though it is a bit difficult to tell for certain, it appears to resemble the slides I've seen on your site and in books.) I had followed proper QT procedures both for the initial introduction, and also for subsequent fallow periods (I have about 250 gallons of QT in 5 separate tanks, 2 times I've removed all fish from DT and put them in QT with Copper for 8-10 weeks, and once with Chloroquine for the same period), but despite this I've still run into issues a week or two upon reintroducing some of the fish into the DT.
<Happens... you may well have entrenched protozoan issues in your main/display... that are "surfacing" in/on new introductions>
So I got my hands on some Quinine and also Chloroquine from National Fish Pharmacy and Fishman Chemical respectively, as I seemed to have a strain of Ich/MV that was copper resistant
<This is also been conjectured for a few years; make that decades>

(I tried both Cupramine and CopperSafe separately, used multiple test kits to ensure proper dosage &c.) The copper seemed to hide the symptoms, but once I would remove it after say 30 days, the symptoms would return-and since I have angel's and butterflies, I didn't want to continue using copper.
I've established that I CAN rid the Ich/MV from my QT by using Chloroquine, as the fish don't show any signs of symptoms after the treatment in the QT (I have several QT's, and when I would remove the medicine with Polyfilter or Carbon, I wouldn't see new symptoms even after 3 weeks of no meds, something that I always saw with Copper within about 5 days). But even after letting my DT go fallow for up to 10 weeks, I don't think that the parasites were completely eliminated as symptoms would return to the fish about a week or two after re-introduction (I would only put a few back in, not all of the fish), and would quickly spread to epidemic proportions even with 120W of UV which has new bulbs, and appropriate flow per Emperor Aquatics.
So now onto the question(s).
I've removed all inverts / corals from my DT, which is primarily a FOWLR tank. Even when dosing Chloroquine in the DT, it seems that I still have not eliminated the pests entirely. The difference is perhaps that I do have Live Rock and Sand in there. I've been reading on some various forums, and also in Ed Noga's book, and he recommends using Chloroquine + Hypo (at about 12-13 ppt) for 30 days to really pack a 1-2 punch on any issues with Ich/Velvet. I've personally never done Hypo before, and I wanted to get your opinion on if you would recommend this approach-or something else? I am fully confident that I can carry out the protocol properly, and have a refractometer, and also water test kits to ensure the I do have a few red sea/generally sensitive fish, but they haven't minded the treatments so far and their adults so they seem to be pretty hardy. Just wasn't sure if doing Hypo would be dangerous with them?
<Not as much as the parasitic infestation... in other words: no>

While I can certainly catch all of the fish out and move them to QT's, I'm worried that at this point that might be more traumatic then treating them in the DT, especially since they have so much more room within that tank than in the QT's, and also the DT is well established with a biofilter, so there is 0 ammonia / nitrite, and I keep nitrates < 10 with water changes, which is harder to keep on top of with 5 QT's that will be more heavily stocked if I remove all the fish from the DT.
My preference at this point would be to treat the fish in the DT (basically as a large scale QT), and wait to reintroduce any inverts for at least 6 months or so. But if you feel that this is the wrong approach, I can certainly pull all the fish out again, I've just not been able to rid it in the past, but perhaps I wasn't waiting long enough.
As a side note to your readers, I used both Quinine and Chloroquine. I noticed that the Quinine appeared to be much harsher on the fish than Chloroquine.
<Yes; generally so>
When I would dose Quinine, the fish would turn dark, some would breath heavily, and most would lose appetite for a few days, even had a couple of fatalities with smaller fish. I never noticed any such symptoms with Chloroquine, and they seem to be equally effective in my QT's. Also note, snails seem to handle this treatment (even long term) just fine (when I've treated in my DT). I have several different kinds, and haven't noticed any fatalities. I did test with shrimp starfish and snails, and they do not handle this treatment and will quickly perish. Same goes with Coral, for the treatment, my suggestion is to remove all coral and non-crab inverts and put them in an unmedicated tank if treating your DT.
<Yes; for sure>

No urgency for the response on this holiday weekend, just trying to plan my next steps. I have Chloroquine in the DT right now, and it seems to be keeping the parasites at bay, but not 100% eliminating them. I spoke to Fishman, and they recommended rather than just doing a single dose every 7-10 days, to do daily doses at ΒΌ strength after the initial dose to ensure that the medication does not fall below the efficacious threshold.
<I concur>
I'm 3 days into that approach, and was thinking if this doesn't work then I need to try another approach.
Best Regards and Thanks much as always!
<Again; thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Marine Velvet / Ich and Chloroquine/Hypo Treatment

Thanks so much Bob for the lightning fast response!
I just wanted to make one edit to my previous post. I accidentally said that snails tolerated the Quinine/Chloroquine treatments, but this was exactly what I meant not to say. The previous post said ". Also note, snails seem to handle this treatment (even long term) just fine (when I've treated in my DT)". However this should have read: ". Also note, <<Crabs>> seem to handle this treatment (even long term) just fine (when I've treated in my DT). " Just want to make sure that anyone reading this understands that Crabs and Not snails tolerate the treatment. Snails, Bristleworms, Starfish, Shrimp, and Corals will perish.
I will keep you and everyone posted with my progress (or lack thereof) with the treatment/outcome.
<Thank you for this clarification>
Best Regards,
<And you, BobF>

Help/Marine Velvet Disease 10/7/10
Hey guys,
<And gals.>
recently I had a marine velvet attack in my tank and leaving fallow for two months was unsuccessful. So since then its been an additional five months since any life has been in my tank. Do u <you> think the
parasite is finally gone or should I tear down the whole tank. and start over?
<Should be gone. Six to eight weeks is the norm. Have you read here?
Thanks. so much
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Help/Marine Velvet Disease 10/7/10 - 10/13/10 - 10/14/10

Hey James, thanks for the quick response.
<You're welcome.>
Actually checking the forums gives all different opinions....
<Sometimes this can be beneficial as all cases are not the same.>
hence the reason I'm mailing. In Bob's book it says a 2 week QT period is more than substantial, IF and only if there are no signs of parasitic, fungal, etc. Infection. Basically I was emailing to see if there were more accurate signs that the fish is clear of bugs other than the typical flashing or scratching etc.
<Hiding, lethargic, pale in color.>
Leaving the tang in a 20g QT for a month is far too long if at this point the tang isn't eating, correct? Seems like its going to be do or die at this point in a confined area that's stressing the fish.
<I wasn't aware of the QT size until now. You may very well want to transfer him to the display tank providing no signs of disease exist.>
Wonder what Bob would say....hmmm...
<Well, let's see what Bob has to say regarding the statement made in his book.>
Thanks again Mr. James
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Help/Marine Velvet Disease 10/7/10 - 10/13/10 - 10/14/10
Shortly after writing this email my Yellow Tang finally ate more than a substantial amount of food. Blood worms soaked in Selcon did the trick.
<That is great news JS!>
Thanks again.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Help/Marine Velvet Disease 10/7/10 - 10/13/10 - 10/14/10 - 10/22/10

Hey again all.
I am contacting you again regarding my Yellow Tang in QT.
He is breathing with one Gill but has no other symptoms. He doesn't flash or itch on rocks and he is acting normal and eating very well. So far its only been brief that he breathes with one Gill. I recently had a velvet outbreak in my display that I left fallow for almost 6 months and based upon my research of the parasite, it cannot survive without a host for two months....let alone six. So I assumed my tank was free of the nasty bugger.
I did use the same display tank water for the QT that the tang is in and after three weeks this is the only symptom I have seen. Should I worry about velvet still being in the water from the display or could this be a parasite he contracted from the pet store I purchased him at?
<Is possible.>
Is breathing with one gill normal at times?
<As I recall, yes, but will ask Bob here.><<Not a worry... can be perfectly fine. RMF>>
My nitrites are .25
<Needs to be 0. May want to verify the accuracy of your test kit with your dealer.>
and my ammonia is zero. Could nitrites as low as this cause this type of breathing? I couldn't find an exact answer in your forums and I would like your opinion.
<A possibility being that tangs do require excellent water quality, but will ask Bob again for his input.>
Thanks again....greatly appreciated!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: 08/03/10 Still confused.... Quarantine tanks... Velvet, Fallow period interval percentage success guesses    3/11/10
<Hi Jason>
OK, sounds good. Now my question to you is: Bob states in his literature that no remedy for Velvet is 100% effective, what are my chances of the Velvet parasite being killed off or eradicated after a full 8 weeks fallow time?
<Mmm...the longer you leave it, the better the chance. The most likely outcome is that 99.9% of the parasites will have died off, and a small number remain. By removing this 99% you reduce the numbers down to a level that is tolerable by the fishes, who may have some acquired immunity, and good care from now on re: their health, not overstocking your tank, reducing stress as much as possible will see you through. This is certainly the case with the very similar parasite Crypt, where REALLY long periods (3 months or more) would sometimes be needed to get completely rid. Impractical for most people and fishes. The other thing is, nobody really knows if you are completely 'rid' or not, since a combination of low virulence and healthy fishes will exhibit no outward signs at all. This reminds me of this: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/7/aaeditorial >.
I had a SEVERE case of velvet about two months ago and I am just worried that it's still living inside the tank (in the sand bed of 2.5" and within the 55lbs. of live rock in the tank).
<Could be. Once in, these parasites are so difficult to get out. This is one reason why when setting up a new system it should always be left for at least three months before fishes are added. Then, if the fishes are quarantined correctly before introduction, these problems can be avoided. My protocol at the moment is prophylactic treating with Chloroquine Phosphate>
If you had to surmise the probability in percentage that the Velvet is no longer alive in my tank, what would that percentage be? Or.....the odds, if you will?
<I am no scientist, Jason, and my guess would be just that - a guess. What is working in your favour however, is the fact that these parasites have been battled by many aquarists over the years and it seems that 8 weeks is the general consensus for 'about the right' amount of time>.
Once again, thanks
<No problem, Simon>

SW med. reading, BFs, Velvet, Copper  -- 01/30/10
Hi everyone
Hi again guys lol. Ok, so I am in the middle of a two month fallow period in my 90gal tank due to a velvet outbreak. I currently have my 3..5" Heniochus in a ten gallon
QT tank with a penguin 150 HOB power filter a heater and some sand in a pouch from my main tank to avoid a level spike (or at least help with it). I have medium amount of circulation and an airstone for oxygen. I just made the first dose of Cupramine.
<... I would not expose these, or most other Chaetodontids to copper... Look into/use a Quinine compound instead. Read here:
Now, the label says to dose this for two weeks
<Not w/o testing for free copper daily>
and your good to go (if no signs of spots or symptoms), but do you think this is long enough?
<I suggest you read re Cu use on WWM>
I know for a face there is velvet in the water because it's the same water that was from my display tank. If not two weeks, what amount of time do you feel is safe enough to say the fish is free of velvet and can be placed back into the display? And, how do you feel about the "Prime" product by Seachem just in case I run into problems with ammonia and water changes aren't completely
cutting it?
<Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
scroll down... Bob Fenner>

Re more SW dis. w/o reading  1/30/10
Ok thanks Bob. Is there anywhere unparticular that you recommend I purchase Quinine Sulfate from?
<Please read where you were referred to. Sources are listed there. B>
I can't find much online and for a reasonable price at that. And is the success rate with killing velvet as good as that of Copper?
<And this...>

30/01/2010 Velvet & Quinine   1/31/2010
Hi everyone
<Hello Jason>
I am reading now......only thing is I can't find the answer to my one question.......can I use Quinine Sulfate in my display tank and kill off the Velvet?
<It is not likely to work. The presence of substrate can affect the med, and the lifecycle of the parasite means that it will still be in your system when treatment finishes. This is best done in a QT setting. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm>
It says it does not kill beneficial bacteria.
<Does not, but neither is it likely to the job you want it to here. Simon>.

Re: 30/01/2010 Velvet & Quinine 2/1/2010
Ok Simon, thanks for responding. So since the life cycle is so long with Velvet, how long shall I QT for in order to be sure that the life cycle is complete?
<Have you read where you were referred? 8 weeks 'fallow' time>
If the Quinine doesn't get absorbed (hence bare bottom tank), will it work faster?
<No, this will take 8 weeks, although the treatment period is not this long. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm>.
Also, I have a lil nylon bag of sand from my main tank in my QT tank to add some beneficial bacteria and help with suppress a new cycle and level spikes. Will that be enough to absorb the Quinine?
<Mmmm, maybe. Maybe not. I would not use this, it may well harbour some parasites as well as absorb the med. Instead I would use some bacteria-in-a-bottle to seed some inert sponges in a filter>.
Or does it have to be a full sand bed in order to absorb it?
<To my knowledge there is no data on this. If there is, or if any of the crew knows more here I am sure they will chip in>.

Re: 30/01/2010 Velvet & Quinine -- 02/02/10
Ok thanks Simon,
<No problem>
I think you misunderstood me........I was indeed referring to the "treatment period" not the "fallow period". But you did answer my question saying that the treatment period will not be as long as the full 8-week cycle of the parasite.
<That's good news>
Thanks again

Re: 30/01/2010 Velvet & Quinine   2/8/10
Hey guys.
<Hello Jason>
Jeez, I am just full of issues lol. Now I followed what the "crew" suggested and I am using Quinine to treat Velvet.
But my issues now are....AMMONIA/NITRITE (Ammonia almost .25ppm and nitrite the same).
<Yes -- the most common reason for mortality in QT tanks by far>
I did use my display tank water (which has been seasoned for over four months)
<No good, as most of the bacteria required are attached to 'surfaces'>
but apparently ceramic rings and stars weren't enough to keep from having a mini "recycle" of the tank.
<Were these 'seeded' or new?>
I am using bacteria (Nite-out by Microbelift) and a product called Prime to help aid in the cycle process along with daily 25% water changes (which all are indeed helping).
<Yes, these are your best methods, although I am unsure if using Prime might interfere with the Quinine>
My concern is that my Butterfly (Chaetodon Ulietensis) will be bothered by the nitrogenous waste (like each and every Butterfly profile on WWM states). Will this be ok temporarily or is there a good chance my Butterfly will pass on?
<Should be ok short term (a few days). This requires diligence on your part, careful observation, testing. You can cease feeding for a few days to help here, but not much longer if you can help it. Feed sparingly afterwards until the ammonia is under control.>
Bob states these are indeed tough, but how tough?
<Mmmm, tough by Butterfly standards yes, but not what I would call tough overall>
Should I be concerned?
Anything else you recommend?
<Mmmm, purchase of a larger QT system.... to use BEFORE introduction of livestock to your display, as well as treating now>
Thanks so much.....AGAIN lol!
<No problem, Simon>
Re: 08/02/10 Re: Velvet & Quinine
Thanks again.
<No prob.s>
The bio rings have been in my display tank since I started it four months ago, so they are "used".
<Mmm, lets hope they do not harbour encysted parasites>
Also, for the Quinine, the directions say to use two treatments at full strength? Is this what you would do?
<I would follow the manufacturers directions to the letter>
Is the treatment over after just two doses like the directions state?
<Yes, your fish are placed into the QT tank w/ the med. When the parasites 'drop off' the fishes to encyst they are killed by the med. in the water>.
And what would you recommend I do with the new 20gal QT that I purchase?
<Use it pronto>
Will the water from my ten gallon and the bio rings inside be enough?
<Mmmm, I would transfer all immediately, and top off w/ new water. Keep using the bottled bacteria>
<No problem Jason. Do write back w/ your results and watch the ammonia. Simon>

Another question regarding marine velvet   1/11/10
Hey everyone, <Hi Jason> another question regarding marine velvet.
<Mmm, I don't think I saw the first, but I do know the answer here>
Does live rock count as a host for the Velvet to live on?
<Only for the cysts, but once they hatch they need to find a fish host or they will die. If you have removed the fish from the system (i.e. 'gone fallow') then they will die. You need 4-8 weeks for this (the time it takes for the cysts to hatch - have you researched the lifecycle yourself? Essential if you are to treat/ understand effectively: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm),
and I always err on the side of caution, so it would be 8 weeks for me>
And will increasing my temp to 95 degrees kill the live rock and/or the beneficial bacteria colony I have?
<I would not do this, too dangerous. Just go fallow and be patient, trust me it is worth it. Make sure you keep
everything separate, nets, buckets the lot. Preferably have the tanks in different rooms, or put the fish in the garage or something well away from the tank. Maybe next time you'll QT your new additions first?>
Thanks everyone
<No prob.s, Simon> 

More Velvet questions -- 01/13/2010
Hey guys, another question.....Surprise!!! Lol, thanks for all of your help in this process.
<Not a problem, Jason!>
Two of my yellow tail damsels passed from velvet in my display tank and I was just about to remove them (as they were the last two remaining fish in the tank) to let the tank fallow for 8 weeks.
<Sorry for your loss.>
If they're in the rocks and/or substrate where I cannot see them, will their dead bodies count as a host for the parasite?
<Will not count as a host for the parasite, but will contribute a hefty nitrogenous waste spike as the bodies begin to decay.>
I assume the fish has to be living but I just want to make sure.
Thanks again
<This is correct, Jason. I wouldn't suspect this to be a carrier any more than the live rock would, once decay, or detritus feeders, has their way with the remnants. Good luck! -JustinN>

Treatment for marine ich and marine velvet infestation combination  11/28/09
Hi bob and crew ! First of all i thank you for this great site and for painstakingly answering us hobbyists tiresome questions. I am a medical student from hot and humid Bangalore, south India. I own a 30 gallon reef tank with a few corals, live rock, crushed coral substrate, a venturi skimmer, an external canister filter and metal halide lighting. The piscine inhabitants are a 2 inch regal blue tang, a 3 inch yellow tang,
<Both these will need more room, particularly the Paracanthurus>
a blue streak cleaner wrasse that feeds on brine shrimp and even flakes and occasionally cleans the fish,
<And this Labroides dimidiatus won't live long or well in this setting either>
a yellow watchman goby and a bicolour blenny. Water parameters are : nitrates 05 ppm, ammonia and nitrites 0 ppm, ph 8.2, ca 400 ppm, trace elements are dosed regularly, sp.gr of 1.024 is constantly maintained and temp is under control. I know this is over crowded but i am shifting them all to a 210 gallon tank in Singapore where i reside.
<Ahh! Let us hope all will be well in time then>
Due to constant harassment from the yellow tang, the hippo or regal tang has been under a bit of stress lately and consequently has been infected by Cryptocaryon and Amyloodinium ! I've detected a bit of the infestations on the other fish as well. The hippo tang keeps scraping itself on the rocks and aside from that it feeds well and swims actively. I ve currently shifted all of them to a qt. I know that a combination of hyposalinity, freshwater dips, copper medication and increase in temperature will cure the Amyloodinium.
<Not likely here, no>
But i do not know if this treatment will cure the Cryptocaryon as well. Do i have to separately treat them for the Cryptocaryon?
<Mmm, no... copper compounds can cure both, however the system itself is not conducive to success here... Absorbing the medication, being stressful>
Pls do advice on this regard. Also I've heard that gobies and blennies are notoriously sensitive to such treatments. How do i treat them?
<Actually... better to treat all with CP... a Quinine compound. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm>
I do not want any causalities due to my over indulgence in treating them.
Your advice and guidance is highly appreciated as i know you are very busy people. Thank you. Blesson
<Do look about there at school to see if you can secure Chloroquine Phosphate... and soon... and the use of a gram scale. Bob Fenner>

Re: Treatment for marine ich and marine velvet infestation combination  11/30/09
Hi Bob and crew,
A very good day to you all. Thanks for replying so soon, never expected it to be this fast.
<If I see summat that I perceive as urgent, I try to get to ASAPractical>
Anyways, I have shifted all the fish to the quarantine like I already mentioned. I also immediately got the Chloroquine Phosphate as it is available here and quite inexpensive.
<Great news!>
Never knew about this anti - malarial drug being used for fish until I got your reply Mr. Fenner. A heart felt thank you for that.
<Is a newer, up-and-coming (sorry for so much English/American euphemistic terms) treatment for many Protozoan complaints>
I also read up about it on the page you mentioned. From what I read, its dosed in 10 mg/ltr, is that right ?
I have got the CP in tablet form which I have powdered and weighed to the gram. As I understand a weekly 25% to 50% water change should suffice with the medicine replenished ?
Will dead rock absorb the medication ?
<Only to a small extent. Can generally be ignored>
And I will be keeping the fish in qt for almost two months with the treatment going on for four weeks. I do not want to medicate the tank as there are a few Hermit crabs and Snails in there I forgot to mention. I know the medicine is toxic to them, hence the treatment in the qt.
Will leaving the display fishless for a period of six weeks or more be sufficient to get rid of the Ich and Velvet (the velvet more importantly) or do I have to medicate the tank after all ?
<The lack of fish hosts for this long period should serve to starve these parasites>
And lastly will hyposalinity and temperature increase help as well or should I just stick with the medication ?
<Increasing temperature will... The remaining invertebrates may well not take kindly to lowered specific gravity>
Im sorry bout the nagging questions, the improper grammar and everything, as a medical student I am a really busy person hardly having enough time to sit down and properly send an email.
<I do understand. Am nearly astonished that you make/find time for your aquarium hobby!>
I have had to text all these mails to you from my phone. I apologise for the inconvenience. And a thank you for your valuable advice.
<Glad to share with you Blesson. Bob Fenner>

Re: Treatment for marine ich and marine velvet infestation combination  12/1/09
Hi Bob and crew,
I am really impressed by the vast knowledge and the passion towards this hobby that you folks have clearly demonstrated by taking the valuable time and effort to reply to every one of us hobbyists' never ending questions,
especially paying immediate attention to people like me with emergency situations at hand and by providing this wonderful store house of information in the form of a website. I have set up the treatment in the qt and things should be fine from now on I guess, will only keep you updated on stuff if anything takes a wrong turn (would not want to be an additional burden on you busy folks).
<Not a bother. We are here to help folks as yourself in situations as these>
I have been into freshwater fish keeping since I was seven yrs old, I am 23 now in case you are wondering :). It is my passion and my life, no matter how busy I have been or will ever be. I am however new to the marine aspect of this hobby which had been on my wish list for quite some time, until having set up this 30 gallon only about 3 months ago.
Now looking forward to the 210 gallon reef I am planning on. Please do advise on how I can make the existing tank a more healthier system, provided you find the time to do so obviously.
<Mmm, best for you to peruse WWM re small systems here:
and the linked files... articles and FAQs files above>
I am beyond excited at the prospect of learning so much from the faqs and articles on the site. It helps us beginners learn from other people's mistakes and in situations where we cannot you are there to guide us. A wonderful thing on your part. I cannot express enough of my gratitude towards you people for the help lent and will definitely recommend the site to all my friends in the hobby. Please do write more articles in depth, especially about the individual species.
<Ahh, my/our friend. A great pleasure to read your self-accounting. You may be sure that we are constantly working on the site, other aspects of content provision in the interests of ornamental aquatics>
And Mr. Fenner, feel free to call on me for any sort of assistance if you are ever visiting India. Thank you so much and keep up the good work :)
<Blesson, I do hope we have occasion to meet. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Rabbitfish with velvet...treating with formalin   6/7/08 Hello to you all! Hope your day's been a great one thus far! As everyone always says, thank you so much for the service you provide to those of us with a love of all aquatic living things! <Welcome to all> I am writing you as I am more-than-slightly-obsessed (according to my husband) with ridding our Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus (Lo) vulpinis) from what we believe is marine velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum). Thankfully, Foxy was in one QT tank (we have 2 up and running right now) when we observed the disease, so the fishes in our main 125G tank have not been introduced to the disease. <As you say, thank goodness... or more accurately, your preparation and awareness> We took her out of the QT she was in, did a 30 minute formalin bath, and moved her to the other (without fish or invertebrates) QT tank. Here is the current setup: 29G QT tank is set up with a skimmer, lighting, and is bare-bottomed. Temperature in the tank is 82 degrees F, specific gravity is 1.022, and levels of ammonia and nitrate are 0. Symptoms that led us to the velvet diagnosis include: rapid breathing, mottled coloring (though this can happen for many other reasons, we are aware), and very fine white spots that spread VERY rapidly over her body over the course of one day-even over her eyes. We have seen marine ick before and the white spots were finer and spread so much faster than with ick. <Does sound/read as Amyloodinium> Upon making this diagnosis, we knew what our two main options were: copper or formalin. <Really only the two together or formalin> Seeing as we did not have copper, and we knew we needed to act quickly, we opted for the formalin treatment, knowing that it is a biocide and has mixed reviews on the WWM site. We dosed the QT tank with the recommended dosage for continuous immersion according to the manufacturer's directions (Aquarium Product's Formalin-37% Formaldehyde). Because formalin removes oxygen from the water, we added a hang-on filter (carbon removed) and an air stone for extra oxygenation of the water. <Good> This initial dosage was added to the QT tank about 36 hours ago. Observing Foxy throughout the day yesterday was painful, as I was so afraid she would die (either from the velvet or the formalin). She made it through the day, though, ate some New Life Spectrum pellets and algae soaked in Selcon, and looks "better" today. The white spots seem to be gone (leaving behind black marks), her breathing is not quite so rapid, and she is not as mottled; she did shed her mucus layer yesterday. She is still hovering near the bottom and "hiding" under the algae clip. The formalin seems to have chemically burned her eyes. I hope this is enough background information for you! <Appreciated> Now for my questions...According to Aquarium Products' website, additional doses of the formalin should be added to the water every 48 hours "until a cure is achieved." Any ideas about what that means? <Mmm, they're covering their bases/rearsides...> I read about the life cycle of Amyloodinium ocellatum, but I don't know how quickly the formalin will kill all stages of the parasite. <With dipping, moving the fish... the one treatment should be it> With ick, fish can "look" better, but a further round of the parasite can be just around the corner; it's deceptive, I know. Is this velvet disease similar? <Can be, but is generally more "surface" active, removed with formalin exposure> How long must I then treat with the formalin to MAKE AS SURE AS POSSIBLE all stages of the parasite have been killed? I certainly don't want to subject Foxy to formalin unnecessarily and potentially injure her further, or even possibly kill her, without cause. On the other hand, I want to make sure it's GONE, too! <I do understand... due to its toxicity... I would hold off and just observe this fish for now> After the formalin treatment (hopefully you can give me some ideas about WHEN that should be...), here are the options I've thought of, and I'd like to get your opinion on which one is most sound--or maybe you have another idea that is better: 1) Leave Foxy in current QT tank and use water changes and PolyFilter to remove formalin. <This is what I would do> 2) Perform a pH adjusted freshwater/Methyl blue dip and then place Foxy back in the first QT tank (cleaned out...see clean-out steps in the following paragraph) filled with new mixed saltwater/water from our 125G main tank. <Perhaps> 3) IF the formalin has indeed killed off all stages of the parasite during the course of treatment, could we do #1 or #2 above, watch her for signs of the disease, and then put her in the main tank after the initial quarantine period is up, or do we now need to start a new 30-day count-down clock for the quarantine? <I'd do one and start the countdown> Last question: I was reading that the parasite is tough to rid from tanks, equipment, etc. Yesterday, I tore down the QT tank Foxy was initially in. I rinsed all with freshwater, and am now soaking all in a bleach solution. <Good protocol> We would LIKE to use this tank as the one we move her into after the fw dip (following the formalin treatment), before we later move her into the main tank (when that will be is based on your opinion...). Is there anything else I could or should do with the contaminated equipment to eradicate the little nasty parasite? <No> Or should we, to be safe, allow the QT tank to sit dry and for months and buy a NEW QT tank for Foxy, if putting her into the main tank is not your recommendation? I certainly don't want this to resurface while we're gone and our friend is taking care of the fish. <The tank and gear used should be fine to use post bleach-washing and rinsing> Yikes; this is so long. I apologize for that, but I have made it my mission to cure our Foxy of Amyloodinium ocellatum and do the best job with follow-up that I can. I do hope this makes sense, and is not too confusing! I appreciate any advice you have, and look forward to your input. Thanks so much, and have a GREAT day! Beth Norman, in New Mexico <Thank you Beth. Bob Fenner>

Re: Rabbitfish with velvet...treating with formalin - 06/08/2007 Hello, Bob (or whomever reads this)! Thank you for your reply. I'm glad to know we're doing some things correctly to treat the case of velvet on our Rabbitfish; it feels good to have confirmation, as well as some needed advice. There is one thing I would like clarification on, if you don't mind: the second QT tank in which Foxy is currently residing has also had exposure to the Amyloodinium parasite (it's a long story as to why she was in both tanks at various times during her quarantine). As I re-read my post, I realize that I did not explain that part. That is why I was asking about whether or not the continuous formalin immersion would prevent her from being re-infected and/or kill off the other stages of the Amyloodinium. <Continuous exposure to formalin is not suggested... very dangerous. Best to dip/bathe and move to new water... in this case, to amend/change our prev. corr. back to the orig. QT> If it will NOT do this with certainty, we should perhaps then choose the 2nd of the options we discussed in our correspondence: removing her from the QT tank and performing a pH adjusted freshwater dip (with Methyl blue), then placing her in the bleached/rinsed OTHER QT tank, using water from our 125G main tank. What are your thoughts? <Yes... with the new info. presented here, this is best> We will be leaving on a vacation in about a week and we'd like to have Foxy healthy (and velvet-free) in her QT tank by that point, so our friend coming to take care of our marine buddies while we're gone won't be stressing out about sick fish. She is not knowledgeable about medicating fish, and we don't want to burden her with that responsibility! Thank you again for your input! Have a wonderful day! Beth Norman <Thank you Beth. BobF>

Re: Rabbitfish with velvet...treating with formalin - 06/09/2008 Hi, Bob! Thank you a second time for your advice. Foxy was FW dipped yesterday and is now in her new water in the other QT tank, happily eating algae off of her algae clip. I am so relieved that she seems to be healthy after the formalin exposure, though I suppose we're not out of the woods for sure just yet. I cannot believe the rapidness with which she has returned back from the almost-dead (with the velvet); she's a tough cookie! Thanks again, and have a wonderful day! :) WWM is just such a fantastic resource for us all! Beth Norman <Ahh, thank you for your kind words and update Beth. Formalin really can be a lifesaver at "whacking off" external issues... Cheers! BobF>

Medication /bacterial supplement recommendations, Bactinettes/Nitrification, successful use of Cuprazin for Crypt and Velvet    7/25/07 Hello all. Apologies in advance for the stupidly long email. <No worries> I have written to offer my recommendations on a few products I have used recently whilst treating for ich/whitespot and velvet in my saltwater setup, and also a European bacterial supplement I have used and found to be very effective. <Ah! Thank you> I recently caused a near-wipeout of the nitrifying bacteria in my reef tank by medicating (for whitespot AND velvet) with the so-called reef-friendly Octozin by Waterlife. I have learned my lesson the hard way, and will never medicate in my display tank again. <Alleleujah!> Luckily, I did not lose any fish, although my torch coral and a few shrooms are still recovering, fingers crossed. My main concern was the loss of bacteria; ammonia spiked at about 2 mg/L and I didn't see much conversion to nitrites/nitrates, for obvious reasons. An avid reader of your site, I was desperate to get my hands on some Bio-Spira or similar, as Hagen's Cycle was having little effect. However, we in Europe cannot buy Bio-Spira, or certainly not by conventional means. I had seen some mention on UK websites of a product called "Bactinettes" made by the German company Soll (or Soell). These are small, 3 mm diameter gelatinous spheres, which apparently house nitrifying bacteria. They are suspended in a fluid containing ammonia, amongst other nutrients, to keep the bacteria happy! Bactinettes can be used in both freshwater and saltwater setups, although more and bigger 'doses' are required for saltwater. They must be stored at 4ºC for greatest efficacy. In some reviews I have read, when these bacteria are not kept chilled, they quickly become ineffective, so make sure your retailer is storing/shipping them correctly! <Noted> Upon receipt, you are advised to drain the surrounding fluid from the spheres (very important step, because as I mentioned the fluid is nutrient-rich), place spheres into a media bag, and place bag directly into the filter. In my case, I didn't have any type of filter that would be suitable, so I wedged the bag into my live rock, and aimed a powerhead obliquely at it in order to create some circulation. The idea is that the spheres 'dissolve' over a few days, releasing bacteria which then colonise your filter/live rock, and begin their metabolising miracles! To give you an idea of how many packs are required: my tank is 200 litres. I bought 6 'portions' of Bactinettes: 2 portions were inserted on each of days 1, 3, and 9. I must add at this juncture that I am in no way connected with this company - I just wanted to pass on my experience to other Europeans who may be looking for a bacterial supplement product which works. I should also say that I think there is no substitute for patient and natural cycling; however in my case I did not have the time (clock was a-ticking!) or capacity to do this, and I was terribly worried about my livestock. My water, within one week, during which I also saw a heavy nitrite spike, is now down to undetectable levels of ammonia and 0.1 mg/L nitrite, and counting. The nitrate load is being taken care of with a Deltec MCE 300 skimmer - also a wonderful product! The Bactinettes have been a lifesaver for my fish. I'm not going to say where I bought them from, as I'm sure everyone has the capacity to google search, and they are available from at least one online retailer in the UK, and elsewhere across Europe. I'm not expecting you to endorse the product without having used it yourselves, and it is no substitute for less desperate and more 'natural' measures! As I said, I just wanted to share my experience - this worked for me. I am going to recommend that my LFS gets some in, although I will hopefully never need to use them again! By the way, I can also recommend Cuprazin (Waterlife) as a hospital-tank only treatment for whitespot and velvet. It brought my clowns back from the brink. I have spoken with the chemist who devised this medication, and he claimed that as well as the ubiquitous Copper Sulphate, Cuprazin also contains Malachite Green and Formalin (in what levels I do not know, but they seemed to be effective without causing any nasty side effects), and it could therefore be used as a broader spectrum treatment than CuSO4 alone. In my case, it solved a medium case of whitespot within 3 days, and a severe case of velvet within a week. I continued treatment for 15 days, at a copper concentration of approx 0.5 mg/L, in a bare-bottomed 10G hospital tank with a few pieces of PVA guttering for cover, and an bubbly airstone, heater and pump. Every day after feeding I removed 10L water by siphoning from the bottom to collect any parasites/waste, and replaced with a 'new' 10L water, to keep the ammonia levels down. On replacement of the 10L water, I added 10 more drops of Cuprazin to compensate for that which had been removed in the 'old' water. The idea is that 1 drop Cuprazin 'treats' 1 litre of water. Cuprazin is chelated, and I was worried that adding this amount every time I did a water change would mean a build-up of copper to toxic levels, but it seemed to keep my 0.5 mg copper/L constant and steady. I would definitely recommend the use of a Salifert or similar test to keep an eye on this, however. I also carried out two sets of freshwater dips, well aerated and pH and temperature adjusted (days 2 and 3), which resulted in huge amounts of mucus being expelled from the gills of both fish, and many of the whitespot parasites dropping straight off the skin of one of the fish. I managed to keep my clowns happy and calm in these dips for 17 minutes on the first try, and 10 minutes on the second attempt. I did not add methylene blue to the freshwater dip as I was worried that this would be one chemical too far! I cannot stress the importance of good aeration, temp and pH matching in freshwater dips heavily enough. These factors, in my humble opinion, are what makes or breaks the dip, and the fish! The velvet parasite was more resilient to these dips, but was soon taken care of by the Cuprazin. I tried to keep the temperature in the hospital tank fairly high (27/28ºC) and the specific gravity fairly low (1.020) during treatment. After 15 days, I continued the water changes for a couple of weeks, just without adding any more Cuprazin. Bingo! Happy, healthy clowns! Many thanks for listening. I hope I've managed to give someone some handy advice! Lisa, UK. <Thank you for writing... so completely and clearly! Bob Fenner>

Tank with puffers, a moray eel and Amyloodinium (velvet) -- 05/08/07 Hello <Hi Amanda.>, I believe that our tank has velvet. We have a dogface puffer, a stars-n-stripes puffer, a tiger reef eel, live rock, snails and hermit crabs. Our tank is 125 gallons. I want to use Coppersafe to clean out the whole tank. The directions say to add it only once and it treats for a whole month. <If you treat your display tank, you will kill a lot of your beneficial bacteria. Monitor ammonia and nitrite if you treat it that way.> I know I need to take out the live rock, snails, and hermit crabs and I need to clean out the tank very well after the treatment is over.  My questions are - Can I leave my puffers and eel in their 125 gal tank while I am treating it? <The moray eel should not be treated with copper, except if it shows symptoms. Puffers can be treated carefully, but bare in mind that overdosing can be lethal. It's appropriate to get a testing kit that can be used with your copper product and to monitor the copper concentration at least once daily.> My quarantine tank is only 25 gallons and if I stick all of them in there, besides being stressed, doesn't it defeat the purpose of the quarantine by only treating the fish? <No. The best would be to treat the two puffers in a bare bottom quarantine tank with copper and to let the display tank run fallow for about 6 weeks (without using copper in this tank). If the moray eel does not show symptoms, I'd leave it in the display. That way you are taking the risk that the parasites may use the moray as a host, but this case is rather improbable due to the high resistance of these fish against Amyloodinium. If you do not want to take this risk, you need a second quarantine tank for the eel, which is not treated with copper.> Do I still give them freshwater dips to get the parasite <off>, while I am treating their tank? <Such dips can be done in severe cases to get rid of some of the parasites.> Do I dip the eel? <If it shows any symptoms: yes.> How do I dip an eel? <A bucket of well aerated, pH and temperature adjusted freshwater. Catch the eel with a net and transfer it to the bucket. If you cannot catch it with a net, lure it out into a clean bottle with a large enough opening and a piece of its favourite food and transfer it. Put a lid on the bucket. Leave it there for about half an hour to one hour. Return it to the tank.> Do I also have to wait a month before putting the live rock and the invertebrates back in or how long do I have to wait? <If you treat your display with copper, you should filter with fresh activated carbon after 4 weeks and hope none of the copper remains in the substrate.> I know this needs to be treated now, but my puffers are my babies and I don't want to hurt them. <I'd consider what I described above as the best way. Also read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cuduration.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the related FAQs.> I know I have a lot of questions for y'all. I would appreciate your help, so I can make my fish happy again. <Hope they pull through.> Thank you so much for your time. <You are welcome. Marco.> Sincerely, Amanda.

Quandary with Oodinium infection - 2/28/2006 Hello WWM crew!  I really love the site and have learned an enormous amount from the posts. but I didn't learn it fast enough to prevent the predicament I'm in: <Mmmm> I've had an outbreak of Oodinium on my 150 marine FOWLR tank for the last week.  It has already finished off my three Butterflies and I have since created a hospital tank (20gal) and have my Rabbit fish isolated in it treating with Cupramine.  I've still got a 6in hippo tang, a smaller yellow tang and a 4 inch Naso in the main tank. <All have to be treated...>   The Hippo is looking pretty bad and I can tell the yellow is starting to be infected. <All are infected... as well as the system itself> I'm really worried that I'll lose the tangs if I don't quarantine and treat but I've only got the one 20 gal hospital that has been running for 3 days and I don't think I can fit all 4 fish in it.  Should I (1) let the three tangs fight the infection and hope they survive (I have 2 cleaner shrimp in the tank working overtime.) at this point all are eating pretty well)  And if they don't let the tank go fallow to let the organisms die and start over....or (2) make a makeshift hospital out of a Rubbermaid container and buy another cheap filter and heater and hope I can cycle fast enough to not kill the fish from ammonia and then treat with Cupramine.....and let the tank fallow for a month.  I'm not sure the tangs would survive either way.....any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated! <I'd opt for the second approach if you ever intend to introduce other fish life here> Which do you think is the lesser of two evils?  I'm really sick as this tank was going along great till I put in a maroon clown from my LFS without quarantine (duh! Never again even from my LFS its 30 days of isolation from now on!) My LFS says a Rubbermaid tub won't work as an isolation because the plastic is too porous and will absorb the copper and the other stuff in the water and get nasty? <Mmm, no... needs to be tested/measured daily, likely re-applied... Water changed to dilute wastes> How long would on expect the Cupramine to start working on the rabbit fish. I've dosed it twice on startup like the bottle says and am checking copper levels and they are about .5mg/L. <... too much. See WWM re... 0.35 mg/l or ppm tops> Rabbit was darting around the tank like he was insane. Is that normal too? (he's been in full dose of Cupramine about 24 hours? Sorry for the dumb questions.. just looking for some advice.. realizing that it may be too late anyways.. Thanks George W <Much to consider, and a need for immediate action. Bob Fenner>

Re: quandary with Oodinium infection    3/2/06 Thanks so much for you quick reply...... I'm taking your advice and creating a temp 30gal hospital tank right now.  Couple of quick follow ups if you would mind too terribly....I've got the SeaChem copper test kit but I have a hard time telling the shades of blue apart...any suggestions on a easier to read kit? <I would look to the Hach and LaMotte companies here> My ammonia is about 1ppm right now in my 20 gallon hospital...what is the level of ammonia that would require me to start water changes.   <Posted... I would keep this under 1.0 ppm> If I have to do daily water changes to keep the toxins in check, can I introduce new water for the changes or must I use tank water? <The latter is best/better... if not infested of course> I really appreciate your help.....were all very fortunate to have dedicated knowledgeable folks like you to give us guidance while we learn the ropes.... George W <I do wish the ding dang trade would adopt a prophylactic pH adjusted FW dipping policy... most all the Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon problems would/could/should be avoided thus. Bob Fenner> Time For Another Round of Treatment?    5/4/06 Hello! <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have had several fish in quarantine now for five weeks. I diagnosed them as having Amyloodinium, based on the appearance and behavior of the fish-- pinhead sized white spots and scratching on everything in sight. <Could also be good old-fashioned Cryptocaryon, in the absence of other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, sloughing of mucus, etc. Amyloodinium kills very rapidly. Regardless, the medical approach is similar for both illnesses.> They have been treated with Cupramine (Seachem's answer to copper's down sides) for  better than three weeks at the recommended concentration. The problem I'm having is that as I observe the fish to make sure the parasites are gone, I continue to see some of the fish scratching on the rocks and sand. There are no other signs of parasites and haven't been for these last three weeks. <Ahh.. minor criticism here. I would highly recommend NOT using a substrate in a "hospital" tank. In addition to "sucking up" medications (making it tough to maintain a proper therapeutic dose), substrates provide refuge for the causative protozoa to anchor in during their free-swimming stage. This is a bit over-simplified, but you get the idea. Next time, go completely bare bottom in a treatment tank.> Everyone is apparently healthy except for the scratching. Do you have any ideas as to what's happening here. I'm hesitant to put fish back in the display tank. Thanks! Scott <I agree, Scott. At this point, I'd back off on the treatment for a while, as continuous exposure to meds can be tough on the fishes. After about a week off meds, I'd consider embarking on another round of treatment if symptoms persist. Regular water changes will ensure a healthy environment, and frequent feeding will help the fishes maintain the energy they need to get better. Continue close observation, and monitor dosage carefully. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> - Parasite Problems - Man I'm really bugging here! My tank broke out with velvet so I moved all the fish to a quarantine tank.  I treated with the recommended dose of CopperSafe and the disease (velvet) kind of went away for a while (still a couple spots on fish). Today I looked at the tank and my powered blue and Dogface puffer are covered fully again with velvet (9 days later). Here is my q-tank setup: 20 gallon tank, sponge filter, canister filter: Fluval 404 with (Fluval rings, CPR bio bale, and the regular sponges).  And a heater, light etc. Now I have the tank at 1.020 and at 81 degrees. I used to have it at 1.018 but when I saw that the velvet was disappearing I raised it again since the fish were stressed it seemed. Inside the tank I have a few flowerpots and two "round river rocks" to hold them down. I concluded that the copper might be being absorbed somewhere and for that reason the velvet is coming back, where do you think this is happening? I am sure to re-add the proper amount of copper when I do a water change so I know that is not the problem. <Well, copper in this case needs to be dosed constantly - maintaining a constant level of copper. For most copper solutions, this means adding a little every day or every other day - the instructions should be your best guide for this.> Is even a little copper toxic to velvet or does this devil need full on strength. <It needs to be at a constant level - use a test kit to be certain.> I am going to continue freshwater dips (even though it stresses my fish like crazy), and maybe lower the salinity down. Also it is really hard finding a copper test kits around here, I am going to order it online: could you suggest a test kit please... <Sera, FasTest, LaMotte - all very good.> possibly the one that you use when you treat your sick fish with copper... <Cheers, J -- >

Treating Sick Tangs... Hi guys. <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I believe I have Amyloodinium in my 125 gal. tank. I have already lost 3 large fish to this illness that I believe I must have gotten off some live rock I put in. I have a 7" Naso tang and a 4" yellow tang that I am worried about losing. They have both been moved to a different tank and have each had 3 30 min freshwater dips with Meth. blue and the salinity has been dropped while the temp. has been increased. <A potentially effective technique...> They are still eating but far from acting normal. The Naso has a very dark grey color to him. I seem to recall reading that tangs do not take copper sulfate very well and might be better to not use it. <That is correct. Good pickup on your part!> If this is so, is there anything else I can do to save these fish?? <I'd continue with the regimen that you have started, augmented with a Formalin-based product. This stuff is not without its drawbacks, too. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter, and DO NOT add it to the display tank. It is a highly effective medication if used properly.> Also ---my 125 is not fallow except for some crabs, snails, and shrimp -- with the temp at 85 how long do I have to wait until I can put my fish back in, and how will I know that they are not still carrying the parasite and thus re-infecting my tank again? Thanks, Diggy <Well, Diggy- I'd let the tank run without fishes for at least 4 weeks-six weeks would be even better. You've already went to the trouble of removing the fish from the display, so stay the course and wait it out. Conduct all normal tank maintenance (water changes, etc.) during the fallow period. Hang in there and you'll beat this thing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Fallow Advice - First I would like to thank you all for the help you give to us, it is the best website for any aquarist. Now to the problem, I have 2 saltwater tanks 25 and 75 gallons, I have lost a chunk of money due to Amyloodinium, literally clean up almost all my stock, now I am trying to save the rest of my guys. Both of my tanks are infected; in your web site I read about a similar case where you told him to keep the tank without any hosts for 30 day (eliminate all the states of the parasite), I am going to do that. <I'd recommend 45 to 60 days if you can do it.> I set up a quarantine tank (10 gallons), I have 2 Clownfishes, 1 damsel and 1 porcupine puffer (3/2'') (I know it will grow but I have a future tank planed for him). Are too many fishes to stay on the 10 gallons tank for 21 days? (The puffer is not aggressive at all) <You will need to be doing very frequent water changes - perhaps 25-50% a day.> Can I use the same filter that I am using on the small tank or I need a new one just for the quarantine tank? <You can use the same filter.> I got Cupramine from Seachem, I am not sure if the copper will stay on the filter? They say it is easy to eliminate with active carbon, what do you think? <Activated carbon should get most all of it.> The other possibility is to treat them in the 25 gallons but I have all decoration, gravel, etc. (I don't think is a good idea). <Let it go fallow - you can keep invertebrates in there - perhaps a cleaner shrimp.> Another issue is, what should I do with my snails, there are only 2 but I fell bad killing them, I know I cannot treat them with copper; are they carriers? <Safe to leave behind in the main tanks.> Thanks for all your help and I am sorry about the amount of questions. JIAM <Cheers, J -- >

Velvet Strikes Again? I have spent all day reading your site and I am totally convinced the reason all of my fish are dead is from velvet.  I took 3 dead fish (flame angel, blue tang, yellow eye tang) to my fish place and they couldn't tell anything, but everyone swore that I had no disease in my tank.  The rest of my fish died, and they said it may be due to raising the temp. as they recommended.   <Hmm...> I knew they were wrong, they told my husband to bring home 4 damsels, they went in last night, they are dead today.   <What lousy advice, huh? Not sure what the point of "experimenting" with the lives of 4 other fishes was for> We have 5 hermit crabs and a fire shrimp alive. First, do the crabs and shrimp get this disease?   <Assuming that you're referring to Amyloodinium ("Velvet"), no they will not.> Second, I just want to let the tank go empty for 8 weeks and let it end naturally instead of adding copper.  Is this logical?  Will this get truly get rid of the problem? <It's a great treatment, IMO. The "fallow tank" technique can significantly reduce the parasitic population in your tank, which can help otherwise healthy fishes resist future infection> I thought I had done everything just right, and I cannot take any more dead fish. <I can understand that> I let normally my fish people hold my fish for a couple of weeks before bringing them home and make sure they are okay. <Really, quarantine should be done at home, by you- and should last 3-4 weeks. It's a very simple practice, and you'll enjoy much greater control than the fish store can...Do read up on this practice on the WWM site (including a basic "how to" by yours truly, which can answer most of your questions regarding the process). It will make a huge difference for you> However, my husband decided he had to have two fish right off the truck and bam, here we are.  Please help. Dawn <Well, Dawn- it sounds like you have the right idea. Leaving the tank fallow and treating the afflicted fishes in a separate tank is a highly effective practice. Read about it on the WWM site! With patience, careful observation, and strict adherence to quarantine in the future, you should beat this thing and achieve great success. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Velvet Strikes Again? (Pt. 2) Thank you for the positive feedback. <My pleasure- that's what we're here for> I still need to know, will this rid my tank of the velvet or is this something we are hopelessly subject to fight forever? <Not if you are patient enough to use a full one-to-two-month fallow period. This length of time without host fishes can seriously interrupt te life cycle of the causative parasites...> Thank you so much!  I did contact another fish dealer and they recommend 1/2 water change, copper treatment, a filter to take out the copper, and then "you will be fine."  I want this gone forever. <Well- copper can certainly eradicate the parasite, but if you ever intend to keep inverts in the tank, you will have to wait a very long time to remove all of the copper from the tank. It will continue to leach from the rocks and substrate for some time. Sure, Poly Filter and other chemical media can remove a lot from the water, but it will still be there. It is also potentially difficult to maintain an effective therapeutic level of copper in the tank, given the potential for coral, substrate, etc. to absorb it.> Yes, we will set up a QT tank, we have a friend that is willing to give one to us. <Excellent. A much better way to eradicate this illness. Treat in the separate tank. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Velvet disease problem hi BOB, sorry for asking you so much questions again. I am really sad. from live rock tank to artificial rock and this 3 month daily I am cracking my head on how to have my fishes recover from disease. so I hope you understand.  <I do> worst still I introduced sera internal parasite treatment to my tank. ( sera Baktapur direct ) w/o really go through the instruction and my no2 rise to the highest. with no choice I transfer my fishes to two fiber glass and did 70% water change daily. I am very tired and even felt sick (I would lose my immune first than them). now the no2 decrease to >0.1 mg and I introduced them back to the tank. and they now contracted to Oodinium pillularis hope it is correct spelling. <Close enough> first I used ozone no help, 2nd I used INTERPET velvet and slime away and still no help. now my l! ! Last try is sera Oodinopur A contain 0.070g of copper chloride and 3.400g of copper sulfate. <This should work> taking risk again and hope that I won't harm the filtration bacterial. my ozone, U.V and skimmer are off. how long will it take to cure this disease and I heed your advice and leave the lymph alone. pls help me. my tank consist of 1. queen angel 6" 2. passer angel 6" 3. French angel 4" 4. Asfur angel 4" 5. Maculosus angel 5" 6. blue lip stick angel 4" 7. emperor angel 3.5 " 8.purple tang 4" 9. Sohal tang 4" 10. Spanish hog 5" 11. rainbow wrasses 7" 12. Heniochus acuminatus 4" all of them had Oodinium. thanks BOB, your advice will immediately help to solve my headache and I will follow accordingly. <Do follow the directions on the Oodinopur packaging, for the entire two week treatment, and lower your specific gravity to about 1.017, and elevate the system's temperature to approximately 82F... do these last two over a period of the next few days (not all at once), and do what else you can to assure good aeration, circulation. The treatment puts an added stress, increases mucus production, and the elevated temperature decreases gas solubility while increasing metabolism... hence the need for more aeration. After the two week treatment (with testing every day for copper levels), do place two kinds of cleaners in your system. A Lysmata shrimp species and perhaps some Gobiosoma gobies. Bob Fenner>

Velvet disease problem hi bob, can I ask you a few question? <You've just asked one... certainly you may.> 1, what happen if the nitrite goes up (during treatment of copper) I have no other tank. <You might lose your livestock if it's too much, too soon... What you might most likely do is execute a very large water change with pre-made water, introduce some nitrifying bacteria (like on a conditioned sponge filter, other "old media"...), increase aeration> 2, when and how to raise the sg and temp now currently at sg 1.017 and 28 - 30 deg? <When your treatment period is all over (two weeks or so)... and by doing water changes with more dense water... and slowly lowering the thermostat setting on your heater(s)> 3, will I observe any difference from my fishes with treatment of copper and sg 1.017at 83f? <Hmm, they will cure faster... and likely breathe much more rapidly...> 4, is 0,3 to 0.5 ppm copper acceptable for tank and is ppm and mg the same. <Better check the manufacturer's recommendation... is this a chelated copper product AND a chelated copper test kit? )0.5ppm for free copper is high... Parts per million and milligrams per liter are equivalencies> 5, after treatment I intend to change 30% of water and start using ozone and u/v together to improve the water quality what is your recommendation? <For what? This should be fine... but do read over the many pieces on the www.wetwebmedia.com site that deal with set-up and maintenance... Live rock, a lighted sump/refugium, growing macro-algae... many ways to improve water...> 6, I notice when I added copper or lower the sg the fish rubs against object and flicker why? <Irritating to them. Good observation.> 7, their body look dry now and will they produce back protection slime ? <Of a certainty, yes> 8, I can not afford to lose them anymore. <Then don't> 9, thank you. <You're certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Velvet disease problem hi bob, will copper destroy nitrifying bacterial? <Yes, it can. One of the reasons for monitoring aspects of nitrogen cycling while using this, or any other treatment> I notice that after adding copper to the tank, the skin of my angel fish looks dry like lose of slime. <Wow, good observation... Copper compounds can do this, and increase mucus production> how long will the Oodinium be disappear with copper treatment and raise of temp and sg? <For most cases a week to two... best to wait out the entire two weeks to be sure> will the copper treatment degrade the water quality? thanks bob. <Yes, definitely, but this is part of "the cost" of treating the system... and you're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Oodinium Bob,  I know your a very busy man <Everyone has exactly the same amount of time...> but I hope you would please lend an ear to my plight with Oodinium. I have the following:  Setup  Two bare bottom 29 gallon tanks stacked with common wet dry.  8 Watt UV on bottom tank.  150 Watt heater - My fish room is over insulated and runs hot.  1 Air stone in each tank.  Occupants  Top tank: Two 2" Amphiprion Sebae clowns. These are the real Sebae not A. clarkii  <Ahh, a rarity, as you know> Bottom Tank: One 3" Amphiprion chrysopterus. I started with the large female and 4 small males but lost all the males to what I perceived to be Oodinium.  <I'd bet the female didn't help...> Steps  Dropped SG to 1.010 over two days.  <This is very sudden> Eliminated overhead lighting.  Dropped temperature to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  <Hmmm, not raised? Your thesis?> Treated with formalin for 5 days.  <Oh, oh...> Current Scenario  All fish are feeding.  The chrysopterus can be seen flashing from time to time. Her breathing is not too bad but not what I would consider optimal. After the SG drop external signs of the parasite disappeared.  The largest Sebae is in dire straits! This is the fish I am most concerned about.  Her breathing is labored, mouth open, and her pectoral fins are clamped.  She swims in a fashion I call the "waggle of death". I did notice a white patch on one of her gills. It seems to streak down the anterior portion of the gill plate. She is feeding very well which is cause for some hope.  <This is likely directly due to the formalin treatment... why formalin?> I'm assuming I have Oodinium as the aforementioned chrysopterus showed heavy external signs of it at passing. Despite the mentioned treatments the symptoms on the remaining fish persist. I've cured other clowns of this ailment just by dropping the SG to 1.010 for 3 months. That has not worked in this case so I'm curios about my methods or additional possibilities.  Thank you in advance for your guidance.  <Thank you for writing. Please take the time to read over (there's a bunch) of the pieces on Clownfishes, Marine Parasitic Disease, Copper Use... and related FAQs files posted on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com. In the meanwhile, do increase aeration to both these systems and go very slow on feeding these animals... they are burned by the formalin treatment... and food processing is difficult for them. Bob Fenner>

Marine Velvet-Second Outbreak Well, it looks like I am into my second outbreak of Marine Velvet in the last four months. (six fish lost the first time) I suspect I got it from not quarantining fish at the start. My fault.  <All too common... real trouble in our interest... and a principal reason why folks leave the hobby> I have treated the whole tank with copper for a period of about four weeks and all fish seem to be cured and seemed to stay that way for over two weeks. As I dropped copper levels below .01 it appears to be reappearing. <Is the copper product you use at a "physiological dose" during this entire two week period? I don't think so> (it has taken another 3 weeks or so to drop copper levels even with carbon and massive water changes because it is a fairly large tank).  <Just use activated carbon, and/or Polyfilter and it will disappear quickly...> Bummer At this point should I retreat with copper or drain and freshwater rinse the whole tank or just let it go fallow for a month or two with salt water?  <I would start again... treating the fishes in a separate system...> Naturally I have just rebuilt stock to 10 fish or so.  <What? Hopefully you are joking....> All other water parameters are dead on. I have read that some Marine Velvet is extremely resistant to treatment. I can treat with copper again but I am not sure that will effect a cure? <Please read over the entire "Maintenance" sub index on the www.WetWebMedia.com site, including all disease and treatment and FAQ sections. Bob Fenner>

Amyloodinium in my display tank I recently finished conditioning my first saltwater aquarium and have added a Porcupine Puffer, a Yellow and a Blue Tang. Within the last couple days both the Tangs have shown what I believe to be Amyloodinium. I added a full dose of Cupramine today and wanted your professional opinion before continuing on, should I: a) Continue with the treatment of Cupramine for the 3+ weeks and see where I am. b) Fresh water dip all fish and move them to a quarantine (new water, filter, Cupramine, and methylene blue) tank and restart my whole display system from scratch. Choice B does not sound like fun to me, but I know that Amyloodinium can live in the substrate and I would rather rid my tank of them now than leave the possibility of further infestation if Cupramine in the display tank won't rid the problem. <Of the two choices the first is best... neither are what I would do however. Please see our principal site, WetWebMedia.com re Marine Parasitic Disease, and the many sections, FAQs files therein...> If I need to sanitize the display tank what is the best course of action? I have a 72gal reef ready with a bio-ball sump, and a Berlin protein skimmer. How do I sanitize the bio balls, substrate (replace it? Or bleach it?). I appreciate your help with my dilemma. <These are all talked over as well as many questions, need to know factual material that is not live to your conscious as yet... Take your time here and carefully consider what is written on WWM... we'll chat soon. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Mark Hill

Oodinium - medication Dear Anthony, as per your advise I started freshwater dips for both fishes affected by Oodinium.  <excellent> I still keep the SeaCure treatment for the aquarium.  <fine...may still be mildly therapeutic> The Acanthurus lineatus looks much better after 3 dips of 3 minutes each.  <very good!> The Blue Tang has still the marks on him but he looks better.  <yes...many fish look rough after a dip(s) as the wounds from the parasites remain and some fish are secreting unsightly mucous. Have faith that it is all for the better> I made these dips following the instructions of the book "the conscientious..." but I did not have any Formalin or Methylene blue , so I just used freshwater (dechloraminated, PH and temperature adjusted) with some SeaCure in it. Still I believe that it helped! <yes... the freshwater is the main thing> Tonight I made a 20% water change and I checked the blue coral in a bucket with water: it is not the cause of the bad smell. <yes... we didn't think so. Likely the accumulated organics from the lack of skimmer/carbon and the fish not eating quite as well> I discussed with my retailer today and he is interested in having Formalin and Methylene blue in his shop. I showed him the photos of both medications in the book "The contentious..." and he was impressed by the book. He told me to order one for him too, and I will do it soon (I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk). Could you please tell me the exact description as well as the manufacturer of these two medications?  <they are very common medications that are probably in your country for other applications. Formalin is Formaldehyde gas in solution (you want 38-42% solution). It is used as a preservative in laboratories among other things. It must be handled carefully by humans (carcinogenic) like with most medications. It should also never be allowed to chill (below 50F temp it precipitates and turns in to toxic paraformaldehyde). Anyway, if you prefer to buy a safer product of either... look for the "Aquarium Products" brand of medications. If they are available, they have all. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals are also vendors of such medications... you can contact them at : http://www.aquariumpharm.com/contact.htm Else, Wardley's and Aquatronics and two other brands. Do write back if none such are available to you in Europe. > Which one do you recommend as the most effective?  <they really serve two different and useful purposes. Meth Blue is effective against bacteria and fungus... while formalin is aggressive on parasites> If you know any serious shop on Europe that can send - sell to us (me or my retailer) some quantity of the above medications please let me know their addresses or their website, in case they have one. Another question, which has to do with water chemistry: We know that it is good to keep the Carbonate Hardness at high levels (8 to 10 German count)  <even a bit higher is good... 11-12 dKH> in order to keep the PH stable at high values (8.2 to 8.5). What happens if the CH is too high?  <when CH gets very high, there is a risk of precipitating calcium... but the dKH has to be a lot higher (toward 20 or higher)> Is there any problem when we have a carbonate hardness of more than 10? (for example 13). <no trouble at all at with a CH of 13. 12 dKH is rather ideal for reef aquaria> Kalinichta, <good night, my friend> Thanassis <best regards, Anthony>

Strange smell! <that would be Bob, back from the Australian outback. Three weeks without bathing. His friends won't let him near them, but he could sneak up to within 10 feet of a wallaby from upwind for his pains> Hello Anthony! <cheers Thanassis> Here I am again this time with problems... As I had told you my fishes had Oodinium. Since the product Formalin is not used at all in my city (it does not exist in the stores) I had to treat my aquarium with SeaCure by Aquarium Systems, you probably know it very well.  <yes... but it is often not effective on Oodinium (Velvet disease) because this parasite buries so deep in the fishes' flesh. Really a better medication for Cryptocaryon (Ich/white spot)> This treatment needs to take place 14 days and the copper level should be stable at 0,3 ppm during the treatment. So I bought the copper test kit from the same company. So far, so good. After 5 days the white spots seem to have disappeared and suddenly today in the morning I realize that my Blue Tang has a white spot on his eye. It is the first time that I have a problem with the eyes of my fishes , so I do not know where it comes from and what it is. Can it be White Spot disease or is it something else?  <still could be white spot><<Mmm, or a burn from chemical exposure. RMF>> The medicine is still in the aquarium ... <yes... it is very important to maintain that level. Some say for Oodinium you must go 21 days> On the other hand I noticed this morning a bed smell coming from my aquarium, which I can really not describe. I made the following thinking about the reason for this smell: - I put in my aquarium three new blue hard (dead) corals just the day before , which I bought from my retailer. I washed them in tap water before I put them in the tank. I do not really know if this smell could come from the corals or this is only a co-incidence. <hmmm... dead/ <yes...could be. Do keep up with the partial water changes for this and many reasons> bleached coral should not impart this> - I have not worked my skimmer since ten days because of the treatments, so perhaps there are too many organics in my tank causing this smell. This afternoon I started my skimmer and it takes out a lot of white foam which is hard and does not deliquesce, something that does not happen when it is running constantly. - My gravel (crashed coral + aragonite sand) is perhaps more than 1 inch deep in some areas. Perhaps there are anaerobic bacteria there causing this smell. This evening I took out some gravel, so that the depth is not more than 1/2 inch. <very wise> Well, this is all I could think of, with my little knowledge, which is getting bigger thanks to your terrific site and book (the conscientious aquarist). <agreed... Bob has created a wonderful site and a great book (CMA). We are all glad to help out> Your input on the above problems would be much appreciated.  Thanks again, Thanassis <always welcome my friend. Anthony>

Re: Strange smell! - Oodinium still there! Well, just to continue the story: Today my Blue Tang and Clown tang are again full of Oodinium! I suspect that turning on the skimmer absorbed big part of the copper and Oodinium is back again.  <not related my friend... again, Oodinium typically is not killed easily with copper. The rebound in the fish could just as easily have been natural. Oodinium is so deep in the flesh (unlike Cryptocaryon on the very surface which is killed easily by copper). You really need freshwater dips and/or a different medication to kill Oodinium effectively. Copper alone is not effective enough for me> I now turned the skimmer off and added some SeaCure to continue with the treatment. Hope not to lose any fish... The bad smell is still there (a little close to the smell of petrol). Did I understand well your answer? Do you mean that the blue corals can be the reason for the smell because they are colored blue ? <not at all. I do not believe that the blue corals have anything to do with the smell. If you want to be sure though, take one out and put it into a bucket of water and see if the smell continues in the bucket... that would suggest that the coral might be contaminated or that it is not fully cured or bleached clean of tissue and organic matter> Something else: Since I am treating with copper I should have no skimmer on and no carbon in my filter.  <definitely no carbon... and yes, it is usually best to leave the skimmer off as well> If I do it for 15 or 20 days would not it be a cause of bed water conditions?  <yes... that is the reason for the frequent (weekly and sometimes daily) small water changes in a hospital tank> Of coarse I feed less than normal and I have the wet-dry filter in operation since 10 days now - do not know if it has built up any bacteria colonies yet. <very good temporarily> Tomorrow I plan a 20% water change. Hope to get my aquarium back to "normal life" soon! Regards, Thanassis <good work, my friend. Anthony>

Wet-Dry filter & Oodinium!!!! Hello Anthony! <Cheers, again, Thanassis> "a very coarse foam block stuck onto the intake strainer (inside the tank) as a bulk prefilter often extends the life and cleanings of the media inside such external filters" Yes, this is exactly what EHEIM also recommends and is included in the package of the Wet-dry filter (I have it on already). They recommend to keep it on for 6 weeks and then take it out. I consider of cleaning it and put it back. <yes, agreed... I like to rinse and reuse it constantly> Well, whenever I realized that my fishes started to have Oodinium (especially the Blue Tang) I immediately treated it with OODINEX, an ESHA product, which is a light medication (can be used also to invertebrates) and the signs of the illness went away on the third day of the treatment. This time this is not the case. After a 4-day treatment with OODINEX the spots did not disappear, but on the contrary I realized today (it is the 4th day) that they have become more. I have a copper-based medication in my stock (the CUPRAZIN from Waterlife), <Actually... I do not feel that copper if effective at all on Amyloodinium (velvet). The parasite buries into the fish too deep to be killed by copper before the fish does! Formalin based products have been shown to be effective as well as consecutive daily dips (5-8).> afraid of a serous problem if I put CUPRAZIN inside it. but I afraid to use it, since OODINEX is still in my system. <PolyFilters will clear this promptly when that is the only concern> On the other hand I feel that I have no time to take the OODINEX out with my skimmer or carbon, because this would take at least two days, and it would be too late for my fishes.  <Overnight with the PolyFilters> I am thinking of taking the risk and put tomorrow morning CUPRAZIN, because otherwise I could lose my fishes.  <still... I don't think this will be very effective... better off to do aggressive freshwater dips> In the instructions of OODINEX it is only mentioned that it should not be used at the same time with any other treatment, but there is no indication for waiting two or more days in order to make another treatment. <indeed...most medications do not stay in solution for even a few days> Do you have any experience with the above medicines? What should I do? Perhaps by the time I receive your answer I may have already taken some action on this (now it is 02.32 a.m.), but still I would like to have your advice. Thanks and best regards, Thanassis <best regards, Anthony... PS. I recently sold one of my books through Amazon.com to an aquarist in Cyprus. Is that close to you?>

Oodinium Hi Robert, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob travels Australia on a tour featuring his latest work and passion: finger painting. He's been to five banks and the grand opening of a retirement home showing his portraits so far> I am having some trouble with velvet. <as in Elvis on Velvet, or are we talking about those cute dogs playing cards and smoking?> Got it in my main reef and captured all fish for treatment. <excellent to hear.. the right call!> Tank fallow of fish for one month so far. <very good> I screwed up HT by thinking I was helping adding some LR and Caulerpa for the tang and blenny (Algae blenny, purple tang, flame angel and clarkii clown.  <as in...rock from the main display?> Messed with my copper levels, wrong copper, mixing, you know the story. Got straight from your pages. <sorry and then glad to hear.. in that order> Saturday after reading all the FAQ's on the wet web site, I got my copper fixed, saved my fish from dying once. All fish were fine w/copper (cupric sulphate) until this AM when the Blenny was on his side. I pulled him from the HT and put him in an untreated tank with just a starfish. IF the blenny survives, do you have any suggestions for treatment for him if any? He seems very sensitive to copper. <yes... scaleless and small scaled fishes are quite sensitive. Furthermore... copper alone is not that effective on Oodinium. "Velvet" actually buries deep enough in the flesh (unlike Cryptocaryon "Ich" which is superficial) that copper can kill some fish before it gets deep enough to kill the parasites. Freshwater dips are needed in concert. Do read up in the archives on this protocol, my friend> The other fish are eating and acting normally with the exception of some flashing still, mainly near gills (velvet is BAD). Sometimes worse than others. I think this is the reaction to the copper and lowered salinity. <please do proper freshwater dips for all> Water is 83 F, SG is 1.020 down from 1.023 Friday (.01 per day drop in SG) No ammonium/ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. I'm testing cu AM and PM. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you, Craig Watson <you are very much on the right track, Craig. It's just a matter of time. Kindly, Anthony>

Oodinium <<Greetings... >> Hello, first off I wish to say great job on the site, and helping us clueless aquarists. Well my clown trigger and passer angelfish have a bad case of Oodinium (the disease related to ick) <<as a quick aside, it is only related in that ich and Oodinium are parasitic, but I can assure you, they have different life cycles>><Mmm, no, not very. RMF> I have been treating w/ copper and formalin, but its not working that great. If it continues to get worse should I freshwater dip them? Thanks!! <<Well, Oodinium is fairly virulent, meaning it can get out of hand and fatal pretty quickly. Additionally, no therapy will work in front of your eyes, it usually takes a week or so. Also, if you are treating these fish in your main display, the formalin and copper could be absorbed by the live rock and crushed coral rendering them useless as a treatment. Your best bet is to remove both of these fish into individual tanks - perhaps a 20-long for each fish with a simple air-driven sponge filter. With the fish separated from the display, you can treat with formalin and freshwater dips as needed. The separate tank gets you a couple of things - one, you alleviate the cycle of the fish infecting each other. Two, it becomes much easier to observe the fish and remove it for a dip or bath should the situation warrant it. Three, you really don't want to add harsh therapies like formalin and copper to your main display system as these will wreak havoc on the inhabitants of the biological filter. Better to do a water change a day on a 20g quarantine tank than lose your display. So... your course of action: yes to the freshwater dips - make sure you match pH and temperature. Then, follow the directions for the formalin and dose each quarantine tank individually. Keep up on the observations. Try to do a 25% water change at a minimum of every other day. You might also want to consider letting your display go fallow for a month to six weeks to allow the Oodinium to cycle to a less-virulent level. Here's the companion reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm Good luck. Cheers, J -- >>

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