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FAQs on Marine Ich, Cryptocaryoniasis (and Other Protozoans) & Treating Sensitive Fishes: Tangs & Rabbitfishes 2

Related Articles: Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts Cryptocaryoniasis, Parasitic Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes

Related FAQs: Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 1, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 3, Tangs/Rabbits Crypt 4, & Tang D isease Tang Health/Disease 2, Tang Health/Disease 4, Tang Health/Disease 5Tang Disease 6, Tang Disease 7, Tang Disease 8, Tang Health 9, Tang Disease 10, Rabbitfish Disease, Best Crypt FAQs, Crypt FAQs 1, Crypt FAQs 2, Crypt FAQs 3, Crypt FAQs 4, Crypt FAQs 5Crypt FAQs 6, Crypt FAQs 7, Crypt FAQs 8, Crypt FAQs 9, Crypt FAQs 10, Crypt FAQs 11, Crypt FAQs 12, Crypt FAQs 13, Crypt FAQs 14, Crypt FAQs 15, Crypt FAQs 16, Crypt FAQs 17, Crypt FAQs 18, Crypt FAQs 19, Crypt FAQs 20, Crypt FAQs 21, Crypt FAQs 22, Crypt FAQs 23, Crypt FAQs 24, & FAQs on Crypt: Identification, Prevention, "Causes", Phony Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,  Products That Work By Name: Free Copper/Cupric Ion Compounds (e.g. SeaCure), Chelated Coppers (e.g. Copper Power, ), Formalin Containing: (e.g. Quick Cure),  About: Hyposalinity & Ich, Treating for Crypt & Sensitive Fishes:  By Group: Sharks/Rays, Morays and other Eels, Mandarins/Blennies/Gobies, Wrasses, Angels and ButterflyfishesPuffers & Kin...  &  Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Infectious Disease

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Achilles Tang Problems?????  11/24/07 View full size <Umm, no... no pic came through here. All need to be sent as attachments> Hi this is Brandy, First off love the site loads of great info.... I guess I should first start off with my tank, 350 gal., (8x3x2) Current occupants are 2 Marbled cat sharks, 1 Volitans lion (10in), 1 peacock lion (6in), 1 Stingray (6in), 1 Pink tall trigger (5in), 1 miniata grouper (6in), And my fav the Achilles Tang (7in) This is a fish only show tank no live rock no corals. As you can see in the picture, the tang stays a grey color (he has been that way since we got him, about 2 weeks ago) <This is a very large specimen of Acanthurus achilles to have been caught, shipped...> very rarely turning to black, he is very active and eats constantly, seems to be very healthy, but for the past week or so I have started to notice these spots on ether side of him. As you may be able to tell in one of the pictures with the large dark brown spot, it is raised up. Do you have any idea what this might be? <I do... having collected this species in Hawaii for many years... these markings are likely a combination of physical trauma (the handling of this surprisingly soft-bodied fish... easily damaged... and unavoidable in the way it is collected) and general stress from capture, processing, handling... being new here> I can not figure this one out, I am very concerned and watch him constantly, seems to behave normally he just has these spots?? Water levels are: ammonia 0 ph 8.1-8.3 (over the past 3 days) nitrate 5 Nitrite .1 <Should be zip, nada... this is likely an issue here... and going to get worse... the size of the system, the large fishes, particularly the sharks... produce large amounts of nitrogenous waste... Require a VERY high, thorough circulation and complete one-pass processing of wastes...> We have been having problems with phosphate, Po 2.5 (we have been using PhosGuard to lower them) We have taken the grouper out of the tank, and put him in QT, <Why?> for he has been a lighter color then normal, on and off from bright red to almost a peach color, and now that I have been watching him I have noticed he seems to be rubbing himself up against the bottom of the QT tank every so often, But his color is now flawless. Could this be in conjunction with what is going on with the tang? Thank you soo much, hope to hear from you soon Brandy! <The discoloration on the bass could indeed be related... either just as stress again, or, too probably as an infestation... Achilles Tangs are notable (hence my noting...) for bringing in Crypt and Velvet with them... I take it this specimen was not summarily quarantined nor preventively dipped/bathed... Trouble... Put the term series: achilles tang, crypt, Amyloodinium in the search tool here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm and read the cached views... I strongly encourage your proactivity here... to further read re the use of quinine... gather this material in preparation for treating your entire system. Bob Fenner>

Coppering White Face Tang.( Acanthurus japonicus). Crypt... And flukes...   10/23/07 Last Monday I purchased what appeared to be a healthy, eating and active white face tang from my LFS. After bringing him home, giving a FW dip with methylene blue, acclimating and placing in my QT. I noticed a small thread like thing hanging from his fin. I believe this was an anchor worm. <Mmm> Over the next four days I did 2 more FW dips (I always use methylene blue). The worm never detached. But I did notice a few small critters in the rinse container afterwards. I've got pics of these and will attach them for you. I was able to view them through my handy dandy kiddy CSI lab microscope at 200 mag. <Neat!> Even able to get a pic through the microscope with my wife's digital camera on macro setting. Kinda neat to see. I'll post it also. But these aren't really the subject of my question, as Friday afternoon I noticed the spots indicative of ick. I began coppering Saturday morning. Using Cupramine. I am now up to the recommended .50 ppm dosage and want to be sure I do this delicate fish right. Is this what dosage you would suggest for this fish with this product? <For this product, how the active ingredient is measured, this is about right> Or do I need to lower it down? I noticed somewhere here you recommended a lower dosage? But with Cupramine? The directions say .50. <Keep it near this... measure at least daily> I brought that up over 48 hours as directed. Also I though I saw where you recommended not using continuous copper on this fish. <Yes... there are other/better medicants to use on/with Acanthuroids> Does that mean only with baths? <Another viable approach, yes> Or can I continue with the 14 day treatment as indicated? <You can... will be debilitating> I would like to actually remove the fish as soon as possible from the QT to the DT. Not in a rush here, but trying to do the right thing and limit exposure. As well as guaranteeing an Ick free DT. I do not want to go down that road again! I'll do whatever it takes to guarantee my 125 and 65 stays ick free. But If I treated the powder brown for 7 days and then removed him and placed it in the 125. Would that cover my bases here. <I would at least add a pH adjusted FW and Formalin dip/bath twixt the QT/TT and DT here> It seems to me I would be killing any ick that are free swimming (I forget the term). Trying to attach now. So in 7 days then all ick would have dropped off and not allowed to attach again. Thereby assuring a properly timed "transfer". Of course I'll continue the treatment of the QT for the duration to guarantee its safe for the next addition. If this looks like a viable option, I would like to use it. But wont risk the infestation of the 125. If its OK to treat it for the 14 days and this isn't a viable option, I'll continue this coarse. <course> Thank You so very much for your help. You site has been an incredible contribution to my success in this hobby. Charlie Bunch <In the meanwhile I'd read re the causative organism, it's treatment... Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and the many linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Copper and moto tang   10/11/07 Dear Bob, I am very excited to received your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" which I ordered through the net recently. I have started to read it ever since it has reached my hands. <Ahh! Have just finished the fish sections rewrite for a new edition> My hospital quarantine tanks have been loaded with fish on the 7th Oct. eve. SG-1.017 temp 26 deg Cel. Matured sponge filter, 2" P.V.C pipe hardware, Good aeration. Water used bore well, initial pH of 7.4. Now pH is 8.2, Red sea salt. Bob, I have put Koran angel, Wimple, Black backed but, Blue damsel, Picasso trigger, Moto Tang, Pak but, in these separate tanks after freshwater dip (15 min with timer) with Methylene blue. The bags in which they arrived had a pH of 6.3 similar pH was prepared using phosphoric acid (ortho) <Okay... but I'd pH adjust first... with seawater that is acidified... THEN freshwater dip... with elevated pH FW> Expect the Moto tang (dead today morning), one wimple and pak but are hiding and not eating. <Are these tanks bare? I would place some chemically inert material in for hiding... perhaps plastic pipe> Other fishes are fine and eating. I usually start feeding them dried brine shrimp cubes, which they accept initially very well later tetra marine flakes and granules. After 24 hrs, the Moto tang was covered with white spots. I gave him another freshwater dip pH 8.3 as that of the tank in which he was. Then he was shifted to tank with copper. As mentioned earlier I had prepared my own Copper solution. (40 gm.s of Copper Sulphate ( Blue crystals used in swimming pools here) to 10 liters of Distilled water. I intend to use 30 ml for 200 liters to get .015 ppm reading of copper with 1 tsp of citric acid.) <Okay> One day previous to the arrival of the fish I had prepared this tank with copper. It is a 75 liter tank, I added copper and tested the again I kept on adding Cu till I could read 0.025ppm on the API test kit. On colour chart the first reading is 0.25ppm then 0.50ppm. As per my solution I should have added only 15ml but I took more than 7 tests finally ended up adding 50ml till I could read little less then 0.025. 1.Is the solution dilute, 2. Is the test kit not correct. <The solution and kit are likely fine, accurate... the copper itself is being precipitated by the naturally high pH... combining with alkaline materials... falling out of solution, precipitated> The Moto tank was introduced into it this tank on the 8th morning, On the 9th he was dull and sticking low to the tank but balancing. I immediately referred to page 308 of your book and it says that copper is toxic to microfauna is the digestive system. I immediately made 20 liters water change of Sg 1.017 without copper. Next morning that is today It is dead and had a white covering on the dorsal fin and pelvic fin full length. Kindly help as I am now bit confused on using my copper mix on any fish . <Tangs are hard to treat with non-chelated copper solutions, and should not be continuously exposed... A strict two week regimen is called for. No more. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/crypttangs.htm and as much of the linked files above as you find you need to understand.> One last question is can I get rid of the parasites just by isolation and freshwater dips without using copper. Regards, Inderjeet Singh Bansal <Not likely... Better to rely on some formalin added to the freshwater, pH adjusted dip enroute to ensure their eradication. Do you understand this? Bob Fenner>

Tangs Getting Ich -- 9/24/07 Hi, i am thinking of purchasing a yellow tang for my reef tank. will a UV Steriliser STOP it from getting ich or will it just help it. <The latter. Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown not feeding and Tang Ich  9/20/07 Hi Crew I have a problem with a maroon clown I was hoping you could help with? <Will try> He stopped eating Saturday. I have had him for over 2 months and has always ate like a pig. Now he just swims around the top all day going around the whole tank. He's in a 125 gallon with a 1 inch damsel and a 4 inch Coris wrasse and a 3 inch asfur angel. All other fish are great and eating and I watch the tank and no one has any interest in him so he's not being bullied? I'm stumped. I was thinking internal parasites and bought some gel Tek but haven't used it plus he wont eat so I doubt he will eat this. My ammonia nitrites are zero and nitrates around 20. <I'd keep them below this. Perhaps this Clown has eaten a "bug" that flew into the tank... do you have another system to move it to? I would not be concerned at this point... if the fish does not resume feeding in a week, or appears thin... I would try adding an appetite stimulant to foods and directly to the water... e.g. Zoecon> He shows no signs or parasites but I did give him a fresh water dip last night to see if that would change his behavior but he's the same. His color is still great? My girlfriend loves this fish and I hate to loose him. I read your clown fish section and couldn't find anything to pinpoint it on? My salt is at 1.023 and I was told to keep it at 1.017. <Too low> Would that hurt my live rock? <Likely, yes> One last question if I could? This problem doesn't pertain to me right now but it will again in the future. I have had a few tangs in the past. All bristle tooth. A BlueLine a flamefin and a Kole tang. They all did well but would come down with ich? They would be in QT at the pet store for 2-3 weeks and I get them and in 3 weeks they come up with it? I have always had real good luck with formalin dips. Its the formalin 3 by Kordon that I use. <A good source, product> I have found that it kills the tangs? Is copper a safer choice to use on tangs? <Mmm, not really... formalin as a dip is very fine to use here> I don't want to buy another one till I'm more prepared in case the spots attack again. I was told again to keep my salt at 1.017 again. Is this helpful? Thanks for all insights again. <I would not keep your spg this low... please see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Sick tang... No useful data... linear life -- 09/17/07 I have a sick blue tang. It has a white shimmer area on top of fish when I look close I think it moves like a ripple effect. Had this over 1 week. Today the tang is breathing fast and constantly scratching against the rocks also keeps its top fins down. <Bad signs> I am new to marine 3 months now, have pond and tropical fish but never had any disease problems. Tang is 1 inch long. <Wow, small...> Had it 4 weeks. Never quarantine as first and only fish. I have small hermit, 12 turbo snails, 1 small orange starfish, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 anemone <! What species?> and live rock. All parameters are fine am checking 3 times a week cos fish not well. Salinity reading is 1.022 <Too low...> and temperature at 26. Im also doing 2 10% water changes over the last 2 weeks. I think my fish has ich but am not 100% sure. I purchased a product called eSHa OODINEX. The person at the aquatic store said its safe to use with invertebrates <... according to the maker: http://www.eshalabs.com/oodinex.htm it is... But really... how is such a medication supposed to sort out deleterious and non-deleterious forms of non-vertebrate life?> and was for a range of treatments. I wanted to put tang in hospital tank and treat with copper but they said that could cause more stress to the tang. Dosage was for 3 days which I have done. Today is day 4 and tang not to good breathing fast and constantly scratching against the rocks. I remember reading your article about freshwater dips, so I made one up and put the tang in for 10 min.s. During this time the tang not happy just lye on its side so I gently shook the bucket now and again so it would have a swim. During this time the diseased area swelled up and went very white it looked like a water blister then it detached and fell of the tang. I immediately put tang back in main tank and what a difference in the last hour it has never scratched against the rocks and its breathing has gone back to normal and has raised its top fin. Please can you tell me what has the tang got how shall I treat it or has it gone. It still has a area that looks like a dark patch but could that be due to all the scratching against the rocks . Please help. <... No data on water quality, your system... You need to read... What you seek is assuredly posted on WWM... It is not clear to me what you already know... Please start (again) here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm Scopas Tang with Ich, Writer w/o reading...  -- 09/06/07 Hi, Craig here. Love your site, helped me out many times. I have a problem that is pretty specific and I wanted to ask the experts. I have a scopas tang in a 50 gallon reef tank. He's been in there for about 6 months, no problems. Went away for a weekend, came back and he had white spots all over his body. <Mmm, some more, new stress...> They didn't look like fungus, so I assumed ich. He was still eating fine, but I was concerned about further contamination. So, I took him out immediately and put him into a 5 gallon quarantine tank <Mmm, too small> with filter and heater and treated him with Quick Cure. <Yikes... formalin component very toxic... Need to change the water out... daily...> I was going to leave him in the QT for 2 weeks, but he stopped eating around day 3 <Yes, poisoned> and I noticed on day 10 he was looking pretty bad (sunken stomach) but his spots were all gone. So, I put him back in the main tank. <Uhh... the tank is still infested...> Within a couple hours he was eating again... but, the next day he was covered in spots again. <D'oh!> SO, I took him back out of the main tank and put him back in the QT tank. <... not going to work... this animal will perish... too weakened> This time I figured I would try a Copper Treatment and bought CopperSafe. He's only been in the QT for 2 days and again he's stopped eating. What to do? He won't eat in the QT, but gets spots in the main tank? Please help. <... What you should have done in the first place... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Peruse from the top down... As stated though... this animal is likely done. Bob Fenner>

Powder Blue Tang... dis., sel....  -- 08/27/07 Good Mooring, I'm so glad that there is a resource for advice about marine fish, thank you! I have a powder blue tang that I moved to quarantine 7 days ago because he contracted ick. <Mmm, a mis-statement, perhaps misunderstanding... this fish did not contract such... it simply expressed what it already had/has. Further, it's not in a quarantine setting, but a treatment one... lastly a note/hope... that all fishes in the previous system are under treatment, as assuredly all and the system itself are infested> I'm treating the water with Copper safe and after 3 days all signs of ick were gone. <Uh, no... just cycling to another generation> Today the 7th day I noticed he seemed irritated, swimming back and forth fast, restless, rubbing his body on the power head. I'm concerned about copper poisoning so I did a 20% water change and added carbon to start removing the copper thinking that this might be the source of his irritation combined with his irritation of being in a 29 gallon tank. <Maybe... but...> He is only about 3 inches <Total length? Undersize from what I consider ideal to start> but has always been a very active fish. He eats Mysis and Spirulina soaked brine without a problem. <Good> In the main display there is tones of live rock and plenty of macro/micro algae for him to eat. Right now I'm concerned that his dietary requirements are not being met in quarantine. He barley <I like this as an ingredient in beer, barely> notices the macro algae that I offer and has never gotten to were he would eat the dried seaweed that I add. <Takes a while...> I feel good about this fish in general. But, because his stress level is increasing in quarantine I want to add him back to the main display in a couple of days or sooner but I know that he has not been in quarantine long enough and the main display has not gone fallow. <You'll learn...> The other inhabitants have not shown signs in a week and I removed him with in hours of his first symptoms, once I was sure it was ick and not fish slime stuck sand. I know this fish is prone to ick. <Oh yes> And because of that I know my main display will be subject to it as well. Do you feel that putting him back in the main is the wrong move at this point even though he has a better food source and lots of room to roam or worth seeing if his natural immunity will kick in and help him fight any major out breaks of ick like he other fish, I do have two cleaner wrasses and two cleaner shrimp to help out. <A possibility...> The cleaner wrasses are so used to being fed that they are not aggressive cleaners. <Good> At this point all the other fish are OK and I do not feel that they need to be taken out and treated unless one comes down ick and that really seems unlikely to me. <Only time, experience, reflection can/will tell> I just don't want to make the wrong move <Too late> and I'm finding that I'm a little nervous with him because of the history with powder blue tangs. I guess my main concern is that even though he eats the food that I'm giving him I'm noticing some weight loss and he is not able to graze and that is such a major thing with this fish. Thank you, Mark <Up to you to make the general "trunk" choice of returning the PBT... I do hope that this is the last fish to be added... that in future stocking you'll take the time to read, do prophylactic dips/baths at least, quarantine incoming fishes... Good luck here. Bob Fenner>

QT tang with ich   8/26/07 Hello all: Need some words of wisdom from you guys at WWM. Have a yellow tang that I purchased from my local LFS 2 Saturdays ago, he was immediately placed in QT( SpGr 1.019 temp 80 degrees), <... what spg was this fish in previously?> and within 2 days began to show signs of ich which is not surprising since LFS is notorious for this problem since they tend to overstock. <And don't employ prophylactic processes> Began treating last Friday with Coppersafe and have been maintaining level between 1.5 and 2.0 ppm since then. He has been eating like a hog the whole time color is great no rapid respiration, flashing or rubbing and within the last 3 days the lesions have resolved completely and areas of irritation have also diminished. My question is I have read a lot of information regarding Tangs and copper therapy and it is my understanding that they should be treated no longer that two weeks due to damaging their intestinal flora. <This is so> This being the case how do I go about ensuring he is free of infection prior to introducing him to my display tank. <Continue, finish the copper treatment... allow to rest up, observe... use a dip/bath in moving to the main display...> If I reduce copper levels after 2 weeks of therapy and keep him in QT another two weeks more will I not be waiting for another exposure when the cysts begin to hatch in 28 days???? <Mmm, will 'hatch' out much sooner than this... Would likely show within another week if not gone...> Marie Jones <Bob Fenner>

Re: QT tang with ich -- 08/26/07 Hello Mr. Fenner: Could your please clear up the information you sent me and see if I am understanding you correctly. I guess what you are saying is treat my tang for two weeks in copper, remover copper then observe for another two weeks, then methylene blue dip <Mmm, pH adjusted FW... perhaps with formalin rather than Methylene Blue> prior to introduction into main tank. If an outbreak reoccurs during 2 week resting period in quarantine begin cycle all over again. <At that point I would use something other than Copper> Have I got it? Also the SpGr at LFS was 1.021, he was acclimated over a period of 45 min. Thank you for your time. <I see. Sorry for the lack of clarity, completeness. BobF>

Re: QT tang with ich -- 08/26/07 Dear Mr Fenner: I thank you and Big Bird tangs you. LOL Your time and advice were very much appreciated. Hopeful I was not too much of a pest. <Not a worry> Will let you know in a few weeks how things have progress. Again, Thanks <Thank you, BobF>

Blue tang need help, Crypt  -- 07/30/07 Hi, I was recently given a Blue Tang for my tank, ( new from the shop ) She was a little shy at first, <No quarantine...> which as I have just read through a lot of your articles this is normal, she hides under the rocks , etc After a day or so I noticed what looked like White Spot ( I used to keep tropical fish and that's what it looked liked) I was reluctant to put medication into the tank and could not afford to buy a whole separate quarantine <Too late for this... now need a treatment tank to move all fishes to> tank setup, so I looked in a book I had and read about doing a fresh water dip. So I did this, and the next day most of the spots had gone <... just cycled off... Will be back...> and she seemed happier , she had stopped scratching herself against the rocks and was eating and playing about with the two clown fish in the tank( 120 ) That was a few weeks ago everything has seemed fine since. Last night I looked in on them at about midnight when I got up for a drink and noticed that the Blue tang was by the filter ( she usually sleeps by the rocks, inside them, she was upside down and looking extremely un-healthy. She has a very pale belly and her gill movement was rapid, I watched her for a while and she then tried to have a swim about but ended up on the bottom of the tank on her side looking like she was about to die. I didn't have any medication and it was to late for anything to be open, so the only thing I could think of doing was another fresh water dip. <Your system is infested...> So I did, she acted the same in it as last time and went on her side, she didn't seem to distressed. I put her back into the main tank and this morning ( expecting her to be dead, ) she was swimming around with the others, the only difference I can see is that the belly look a little less pale but her fin is up a lot, which it isn't usually. I'm stumped for ideas? I've had a look on this site for answers and I found some reassuring stuff but is there something really obvious that I'm over looking. I don't want to just assume that everything is ok now that she has perked up a little. If I have to I will somehow sort out a hospital tank, but then its not knowing what to treat her for that's the problem. Hope you can help Thanks Amanda <Keep reading: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Powder Blue Tang/Disease...Another Sad Tail 7/19/07 Thanks Guys, <And gals> Kick butt website by the way! Just a short scenario for you, and I would LOVE to save my fish here! I'm on day #3 with this Powder Blue, and it came down with ich. <Not surprising. A difficult fish to keep.> I didn't quarantine, (I know, stupid move ). I added a Scopas Tang at the same time, <Another bad move.> once again no quarantine, <And again.> and it got ich as well. Both are eating like crazy, but I got them in a qt anyways, 10 gallon only, <Too small for these guys, big time stress coming up. At least get another 10 gallon tank and separate them.> temp is 80, conditions are good. <Good? Not with two tangs in a ten gallon tank.> In my regular tank, levels are good, temp is more 77-78. (reef tank by the way) What should I do at this point? <I would pray.> I was told to lower salinity, raise my water temp, frequent water changes (how much?) and haven't done these yet. Garlic in the foods is all I have done so far... <All this is gone over in the linked files posted below.> I'm also adding small doses of Rid Ich in my QT. <Much better off using Copper Safe than this.> All other fish in my display tank are ok. They have had ich in the past, and I QT'ed them for awhile, put them back, and they are fine. Must have immunity? Am I on the right track here? <Aaron, you do not have much time, especially for writing back/forth. Do read here and related linked files above, and act. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm> Your help is appreciated, just trying to save some fish over here! Thanks in advance, <Good luck, and you're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Aaron Wise Marine Ich, Tang in a Nano 7/10/07 I am writing this to you as I have tried to find an answer on the internet but am having trouble. I seem to find partial answers to my problem, but I'm not sure how to put them all together. I have a 24 gallon nano-cube with 2 false perculas, 1 hippo tang <way too small of a tank for this fish, needs 6+ feet of swimming space, which means 100+ gallons> and a yellow-faced clown goby. <Can be difficult to feed.> The aquarium has about 24 lbs of live rock 5 different corals and a few inverts (1 skunk shrimp, 3 snails, and 2 emerald crabs). My problem is after a 3 week quarantine in a 10 gallon tank everyone was doing well, no signs of stress, no disease etc. <3 weeks is a little short, I consider 4 to be the absolute minimum for QT to be useful, and longer if possible.> It was very hot for a few days about 1 week ago but I was doing well with keeping the temperature pretty stable 78.5-80 degrees buy using a fan and blowing it over the water and around the tank. Then one day I left for a few hours and came home to find my room mate had turned off the fan because it was too noisy and was watching T.V. (which also puts out alot of heat). <And current programming makes me want to bang my head into the wall.> The temp. when I left was 79, and when I returned home 3 hours later it was 85. I tried to cool the tank down slowly over night but the temp. dropped again to 78 overnight. Everything seemed fine but a day or two later I noticed Ich on my tang; and since then it just seems to be getting worse. <Probably inevitable in this small stressful environment for the tang.> Everyone in the tank is still eating and swimming well, no signs of resp. distress, or stress in general, but my problem is I can't treat the aquarium with anything because of the inverts and corals, and I can't catch the tang without ripping apart the tank and causing more stress so I don't know what to do. <At some point all fish will have to be removed and the tank allowed to run fallow, just a question of when.> I have tried really hard to stay away from chemicals but I'm at a loss. <There is nothing out there that is effective and reef safe.> I went to the live fish store and the owner told me to just feed them well, keep the water in good condition and eventually they will build up a resistance and over come it I suppose my question is do I rip apart the tank to get the tang or will the fish eventually overcome the Ich if I feed them well and not stress them out to much, and just continue to do water changes, and make sure the H2O quality is pristine. Thank-you Leana <They will not overcome the parasite, they may develop some immunity to it, but this is not complete or permanent. At some point it is pretty certain that it will reappear. However the long term chances for the tang in such a small tank are not good at all either with or without the ich.> <Chris>

Re: Marine Ich Tang in Nano Cube. 7/11/07 Chris... Thank-you so much for the fast reply (I realize that you have many e-mail every day.) <Welcome> I just have a few more questions...so even though my fish had zero signs of Ich up until the large temperature fluctuation (which I believed to precipitate the current situation) and the store guy said that it was ok to have a baby hippo tang for a little while in the nano cube (I was told that they grow slowly and that for now the nano cube would be fine) it is not? <I don't think so, for one, very small tangs have a terrible survival rate in any tank, and two, the physiological and psychological damage begins very early where stunting and abnormal behavior take hold.> I am so confused and don't know what to believe anymore, as I was also told that to quarantine a tang would cause it more stress (the reason for only three week quarantine) as they do not do well with being alone. So my questions then lean to: 1. What is the best medication(s) when I put them in the quarantine tank. <I would use copper here, even though tangs and clowns are fairly sensitive to it. Make sure you get a good test kit, ideally from the same brand as the copper treatment. Probably want to test 2X a day to make sure the dosage does not get to high.> 2. Will placing all the fish in the 10 gallon quarantine tank from the 24 nano cube stress them out? <Yes, but the other option is having their gills destroyed by the Ich.> 3. Should I just take the tang out and put him in quarantine or do three fish at a time at a time in the tank. <The 24 needs to run fallow to rid itself of the ich, so all must go somewhere.> 4. Contrary to my belief...if I get additional cleaner shrimp they will not help control the ich? <Lots of people do recommend this, including some here, however I do not as none of the studies I have seen indicate that either the shrimp nor various cleaner fish consume this parasite, although they will tend the wounds left from their detachment. > As you see I'm still confused, and am trying to do my best with what information I have been given. Thank-you once again. Leana <This is an area where there are lots of different ideas on what to do, it is difficult to find a consensus. I would make sure to read our FAQs on Ich treatment and see what has worked for others.> P.S. There have been no feeding problems as the clown-faced gobies, and the fish are still eating from my hand. <Good sign.> <Chris>

Rabbit Fish ~ Itch or sand particles?   6/13/07 So why is it that the more I read. and the more I ask questions. the more I observe. the more questions I have? If I'm getting to be too much, just tell me to hush up for a week or two. haha. <Nature of the field... large, involved... and human experience> Morning fishy folks, <Good morrow> Short and sweet for ya, I've had a 4" Foxface Rabbitfish since December. My trusted retailer had him for 4 weeks, I quarantined him for 2 weeks and he was the first fish in my tank ~ aside from my Snowflake Eel. I've noticed little white spots on the black patch of my Foxface's face one day. and then next day they will be gone or will be on a different side of the black on his face. As well, I have noticed some tiny bumps, not rashes or anything. bumps.. On the side of his bright yellow body. Kinda reminded me of the bumps my Regal Tang had when it had 'itch'. The Foxface appears to be displaying no signs of 'itch'. No other fish has signs of 'itch'. I read through your FAQ's and I think Bob made the comment that the Foxface has quite the slime coat that can often pick up sand bits, etc. Would u say that this is likely the case? <Could be> The bumps are not rashy or red. They are not noticeable from about 6 ft away. at about 3ft away they look like tiny little bubbles almost. and up close, yep could be sand? The fish does not scrape against rock or anything that I have noticed. Would fish be more prone to 'itch' and other bacterial infections in a lower specific gravity? I keep my FOWL tank at about 1.022 salinity. Thoughts? <I would continue to read and observe this specimen and your other fish livestock. Bob Fenner>

ICKY ICK! Sick fish, Tangs and Ich 6/12/07 HELP! <Will try.> I have a 2 month old 40 gallon tank, running a BioWheel, skimmer, canister (Fluval) and several power heads and a chiller too....No ammonia, nitrites PH is about 8.3A week ago I bought a Naso tang, it didn't eat and quickly died (like four days). <Way too small of a tank for tangs. Also need to quarantine new arrivals to prevent disease transmission and infection of your tank.> Developed spots on sides, fins and eyes, eyes then turned dark and clouded and breathing became rapid, etc...Two days ago I bought a yellow tang and added it, seemed vigorous enough, but died in about 36 hrs...stopped eating, became lethargic last night, sort of swimming around slowly and aimlessly, found it dead in the corner this AM...now my piggy and very previously healthy brown tang (had over a month) and my spotted rabbit fish seem to have spots and the tang, while still active, is hiding in the corner under the output of one of the filters swimming on his side against the flow of water, I come near and does a quick lap around the tank and goes back. I can't tell if he and the rabbit are breathing fast at this point, seems rapid enough...my dilemma is I have a very healthy tomato clown, <probably not for long, been exposed to ich and likely infected> his bubble anemone, another tube type anemone. <The tank is too small and immature to likely support these anemones for long.> A couple frogs spawn*I think that's what the corals are_ a nice clam and some nice live rock and some coralline algae that is developing...I don't want to kill everything else or sacrifice the fish either...oh, three blue damsels too. <Too much too fast into this tank.> One of which got pop eye but seem ok otherwise...I also did about a ten%water change two days ago. Should I pick up a 10 gal tank very quickly and make a hospital tank, <10 is too small for all these fish, need to get a bigger one> and treat the obviously affected fish <need to treat all the fish, otherwise they will just be reinfected when added back to the tank> and let the in-tank parasites just cycle through and diminish, or take a chance and try one of the reef-safe ick treatments? <Reef safe treatments are not effective, would be throwing away money.> I should say that I also gave the Naso a freshwater dip the night before it died when it looked bad, totally freaked it out and from then on it swam nose up for it s last hours. <Did you match temperature and pH?> I've also dropped the salinity and raised the temp to about 83. <The anemones can not handle lower SG, be careful doing this.> I think the Naso brought the disease but maybe it was the rabbit fish, and he may not be affected, just a carrier... I'm not obviously going to add anything else until this clears, and then prob let it thin out and turn it into a primarily invert tank. Thanks in advance... <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Sick fish, Tangs and Ich 6/12/07 Thanks for the prompt response, so far everyone is alive this AM. <Good> I will pick up a larger (don't have room for more than like a 20/35gal hospital tank and attempt to catch everyone and will follow the other posts for ick to treat. <The bigger the better.> I assume the daily water changes take care of ammonia/nitrite issues in a non-cycled hospital tank, <yes> or if I move my BioWheel to that tank, that will handle it (taking out the carbon)? <The ich treatment will kill it off anyways, so no point. Be careful using copper with tangs, they are quite sensitive to it. Check out here for treatment options http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php and make sure you see part II as well.> I have spare power heads for circulation too. <Good> <Chris>

Re: Sick fish, Tangs and Ich 6/12/07 Set up 20 gallon hospital tank, did about a 25% water change in the main tank and half the water in the new tank is from the display. <Good> Caught as many fish as I could, but the damsels, my niger trigger and a golden headed sleeper (and a green goby I haven't seen in weeks, think a hitch-a-long crab got him) all live in one piece of live rock. If I can't get them, do I put that piece in the hospital tank? <No, the copper will kill it off and cause an ammonia spike. May need to remove all the LR to catch the fish, then replace in the main tank.> Better to get all the fish out I understand. <Is worthless otherwise, need the tank to be fallow.> Copper going in hospital tank.. I'm very hopeful that the established fish are strong enough to make it thorough. <Hopefully, watch the water quality very closely.> So far, everyone is doing fine, the move-ees and the ones remaining in the main tank, I appreciate all your help and the great site. <Welcome> <Chris> Re: Ich Follow Up -- 06/11/07 Dear Bob, <Andrew> Thank you much for the quick reply. Three quick follow-up questions, if you don't mind. First, what chelated copper brand do you recommend? CopperSafe? <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Below the bright pink line...> I asked my LFS for "copper to cure marine ich" and was handed the ionized copper--the same LFS that sold me the tang in the first place, and I am slowly but surely (for a number of reasons) becoming very disappointed with them. <Happens... spent fourteen years on the floor in retail in our trade... mistakes are made...> The problem is, there are only about 4 "good" (and that's being generous) marine fish stores around-- <We have two in San Diego period> the best one is a small outfit (quarantines all their fish, has beautiful aquacultured live rock at really good prices, etc.) is truly great when they have stock in and available, which isn't always the case. Second--the fish have been treated for 9 days with ionized copper, and I've been very diligent about trying to maintain adequate levels (I'm sure some time passed when copper was below .15 ppm). Do you recommend that I keep up this treatment, or switch now to chelated copper for the rest of the treatment period? And, I have seen a lot of conflicting advice out there--what is the recommended treatment time (14 days?) <I would switch... and for this interval> Third, when I have completed the copper treatment and allow the guys to regain strength, do you recommend medicating/dipping (I have Rid Ich +, which is formalin/malachite green) my yellow tang to see if that addresses the small cyst to which I was referring? <You could try... I'd likely ignore it/this... there are vermifuges (Prazi...) and anti-protozoals (e.g. Metronidazole) that one can try concurrently or afterwards...> This spot is really tiny--looks like the same spots that covered by blue tang but like I said has remain unchanged for more than 10 days. Thanks again for all your help. Andy <Again... I'd try a biological cleaner... ignore... BobF>

Re: Ich Follow Up -- 06/15/07 Crew, <Andy> I am very bummed. As Bob knows from my other e-mails, I have been battling ich. I put my blue hippo, gold stripe maroon and yellow tang in my 30 gallon hospital tank and treated with copper. I think the copper kept my nitrifying bacteria from keeping pace with the bioload, <Yes... may have killed these off entirely...> and I never have been able to get my nitrites below 1.0 ppm (ammonia is 0). <Yikes... toxic> I did water changes about every 2 days <May have to change ALL out daily> to try to dilute the nitrites. I also added Bio-Spira <Mmm, won't work here> once to see if I couldn't bulk up the bacteria. I have been religiously monitoring copper level and maintaining it at or slightly less than .30 ppm. My blue tang has been treated for 17 days and my yellow tang and maroon clown have been treated for 12 days (took me a few days to get them out of the display). <Should have drained...> The yellow tang never ate and seemed to hate being in the HT. The blue tang and the maroon clown always did well, always ate, swam around, played together, etc. Well, two nights ago, I came my home from work and my yellow tang was lying on its side breathing heavily. Within 1 hour, he was dead. Everyone else was doing great, eating, etc. I did a 20% water change and topped off my copper level to maintain the .15-.30 ppm range. Last night, I came home from work, and my blue hippo was stuck to the filter intake breathing heavily. When I pried him lose, he swam around and around in circles with his head pointing up. In one day he goes from loving life to near death. I checked my nitrites and they were about 1.5 ppm. <Deadly... hemolytic...> I decided that it was time to stop the copper treatment, reestablish my bacteria, and keep the fish in quarantine to see if I had treated long enough to kill the Ich. If it came back, at least the fish would have regained some of their strength for re-treatment. <I'd try other means... formalin dips and moving... Posted> The filter I use is a Marineland Penguin 150 with BioWheel, suitable for a 30 gallon. I am also running a powerhead that turns the water over 3-5 times per hour (can't remember exactly). The HT is bare bottomed with some inert PVC fittings for cover. During the treatment, I had replaced the carbon filter pad with regular filter media. To get the copper out, I threw in the carbon filter pad and added 1/2 cup of activated carbon in a nylon filter bag and hung it over my powerhead to maximize flow through the carbon. I then ran over to my LFS to get 2 packets of Bio-Spira (that stuff ain't cheap!), thinking that I would add a packet when I got home, check for copper this morning and if not all gone throw in another packet. I got home and added the Bio-Spira and turned off the aquarium light to keep stress level down. Well, within 1 hour the blue tang was ready for necropsy. <Arghhh> As of this morning, the maroon clown is still doing fine and eating very well. My copper level is 0, but my nitrites are still a little over 1 ppm. <Dump the water out and replace> I'm worried about doing a massive water change---while I want to get the nitrites down, I'm worried that significant dilution will remove the food for the nitrifying bacteria. <Not a valid concern... there's plenty to be had> Maybe with one small clown this doesn't really matter? I would appreciate your thoughts. As I've said before, I have really learned the hard way that you really have to quarantine new arrivals. <Yes> One other question about quarantine--because my display tank is running fallow, I have gotten a lot of green hair algae. My hermits/snails are working but not really putting much of a dent in things. After my tank is done with the fallow period, I want to add a lawnmower blenny but I'm worried that he won't eat for the 2-3 week quarantine period because there is no algae in the QT. <I'd dip, and place... Salarias, Atrosalarias infrequently come infested> My previous blenny refused to eat Nori, flake food, or anything else while in QT. Any thoughts? Thanks for all of your help. Andy <BobF>

R: Ich Follow Up, Tang f'  -- 06/15/07 Bob, <Andy> Thanks for all of your help--I really appreciate it. I did a 50% water change last night, and will probably do a total change tonight. Two question related to your comments. First, would you dip the maroon in formalin (i) now even though it's been treated with copper for 17 days (12 if you start over when introducing infected fish), <Yes I would... enroute to any other system, including back to the main tank> (ii) prior to reintroducing into display, or (iii) not at all if finishes quarantine with no signs of ich? <ii> Second, when you suggested dipping the lawnmower blenny, do mean simple fresh water or formalin? <pH adjusted FW with formalin... As posted> I know that blennies can be sensitive to chemicals. Just wanted clarification. Andy <See my cautionary remarks re... ONLY to be done with you present, aerated... The water, not you... Heeeee! BobF> You da man. Thanks. <We're the fish men! B>

Blue hippo, Ich or... ? Lack of knowledge re Crypt, Tangs, treatments    6/5/07 Hey! I'm concerned with my Blue Hippo Tang, he has been in a 35 gal QT for about 2 weeks now. The tang is slightly bigger than 1". <Smaller than ideal...> He is eating great but is covered in what I thought was ICH, I have been treating the tank ever since with Ich- x, <... see WWM re> also i <... I> dropped the SG down to about 1.013. <... not a fan... Please see...> I always read the hypo a really good natural way to cure Ich. <Read on...> I have been doing 15L water changes approx. every 10 hours as I apply more treatment. The temperature in the tank is 80. The tang seem to look really good one day, but then some mornings he's covered again. <This is telling...> I'm not even sure its Ich, I think the spots are kinda small compared to most ich I have seen. Could it be the Coral Disease I have read about before? <?> Should this medication am using clear up anything of this nature? <Won't cure anything but your having money: Ingredients: water, formaldehyde (<5%), methanol (<2%), malachite green chloride (<0.1%)> I have been treating him about 1.5 weeks now and am only concerned because the fish seems to be the same as when I started Do you have any suggestions? Jason K <Oh! Yes... for you to read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm The articles and FAQs you deem pertinent... this is very likely Cryptocaryon... the described protocol will NOT work... the fish/specimen is being weakened... will die if you continue as you have. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue hippo, Ich or... ? 6/5/07 I should obviously stop using Ich-x then... <Yes...> I'm fairly new to this as everyone is at one point in time. <Yes> I also have some stuff called CFX, it is a copper formalin complex. Should I do a water change and add some of that rather than that useless stuff I have been using.? <...> Also should I raise my SG back up? <...> I have read that everyone does that? This stuff is soo confusing. One minute someone says one thing the next some else says something different? I totally trust your decision making though! Jason K <... My friend... You should READ, where you were referred to (see below) and DISCERN opinion from FACT... Soon or your livestock will not be. BobF> Re: Tangs with Whitespot - help pls   5/24/07 Hi Bob, <Dan> Many thanks for your response. It is now a week later... <And I'm none the wiser... dang!> I did about a 30% water change and in the process reduced the salinity to 1.018 (gradually), increased the temp to 82.4 <I'd continue to raise this... to about 85 F.> and have run treatment for now 5 consecutive nights with a product called Marine Oodinium which has active ingredients Quinine Hydrochloride (30mg/ml) and Malachite Green 3.8 mg/ml. PH is about 8 now, Ammonia and Nitrite are non detectible and Nitrate is about 15mg. <Okay> I have turned off the UV Sterilser as the Oodinium product is affected by light, <Yes> (but am planning to turn it back on with the lights) and I add the product at night before going to bed and don't turn on the lights again until after lunch the following day. I have also turned off the protein skimmer. <Good... wait... You're not treating these fishes in the/a display tank I hope> I gave all the infected fish 3 fresh water baths in 5 days, <... returning them to an infested system... this will not help them... in fact the further stress, handling hurts them> and am keeping the gold rim tang in the sump of the aquarium as he is impossible to catch in the tank - to date I have managed to catch the rest ok when I am feeding them (they all eat out of my hand - but even so its not easy!!). So the situation now is - my Gold rim (Acanthurus nigricans) has stabilized and is eating (Mysis only not greens) doesn't look great but not too bad - better than he was. My Unicorn tang has open skin on the end of the horn - he also has improved a little but is eating well - but still has a way to go, the Tomato clown has got very bad, his eyes are covered with a greyish coating and is not eating (will isolate him and give further fresh water baths). <No sense unless you are moving these fishes (all of them) to non-infested systems consequently> Others seem ok except that one of the brown tangs (Scopas) just seemed to get the first few spots today. <Yikes... now you have a multiple stage/life cycle infestation...> Strangely enough the characteristic "flicking" behaviour that I have read about is not that common with my fish. Only a couple of them do it and they are not the ones badly infected. <...> My plan is to do a fairly major water change and stick to the above treatment plan including continued fresh water dips until all signs are gone. <My friend...> A downside of the above is the silicon in my tank is getting stained a light blue colour - but that's the least of my worries right now. <...> Any further suggestions you can make would be very much appreciated. Many thanks again. Regards Dan Stopher <I do wish I had been more emphatic re your reading on our site ahead of this ongoing experience... Your system is and will still be infested... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Scan down... the sections on Parasite Infested Systems, Crypt, Treatment Tanks... Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich question, Tang    5/24/07 Hello all.  I have a blue hippo tang that I purchased from my LFS on Saturday.  Stupidly, against the strong advice of Dr. Fenner, <Just Bob, please... I have no doctorate> I decided to introduce the tang to my display aquarium (my quarantine tank was not quite cycled yet).  He looked great until I got home from work on Monday--when I looked at him, he was covered with tiny white spots--his eyes, fins, and underside. <Yikes...>   The guy seemed perfectly happy--eating well, swimming around, not laboring, etc. <Till next cycle...> Nevertheless, I quickly ran to my LFS and bought some copper sulfate, put the guy in my quarantine tank and dosed him (I've been monitoring water quality to ensure no high ammonia, nitrites, etc).   <Good... but your system is now infested...> I have a 110 gallon tank with about 50 lbs of live rock, a yellow tang, a small gold stripe maroon clown, a lawnmower blenny, hermits, snails, and a large feather duster.  None of my other fish exhibited (or exhibit) any signs of Marine Ich. <Not yet...> All readings in the display tank are great--no readings on anything.   By Tuesday, the white spots on the tang were completely gone.  I did enough research to know that this seems pretty quick. <Is a single generation... is cycling off the fish currently...>   My display tank does have a fair amount of microbubbles floating around--although I can't pinpoint the source, I gotta believe they're from my protein skimmer, which sits in my sump.  I'm just worried that the spots may have actually been microbubbles and not Marine Ich and that I've unnecessarily dosed my $65 tang, although I find it strange that microbubbles would stick to eyes, fins, etc.   <Not likely, no> I'm wondering if I should stop copper sulfate treatment and see what happens, or not take any chances and continue the treatment for 7-10 days. <I would continue the treatment... and keep your eyes open, be observant for the very real possibility of symptoms on/with your other fishes... Unfortunately>   Any thoughts? Thanks! Andy   <Stay the course my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Ich question, Tang   5/24/07 Thanks for the quick follow up, Bob. <Welcome> Two questions. 1.  I know you said (and I know it's likely true) that my display tank is now infested, but is it at all possible that I got the tang out of the display tank before any of the trophonts dropped off and became protomonts? <Not likely> 2.  Is there a period of time that goes by during which my other fish show no signs of ich that I can breath a sigh of relief that maybe, just maybe, the tank isn't in fact infested, or am I pretty much totally screwed until/unless I remove all fish and let the tank go fallow? <There is this... even the possibility of 1. above (again, unlikely) or that your other fish livestock have sufficient immunity to not show symptoms period> As a note, I asked my LFS (which is touted as a knowledgeable group) about the disease, and I was told that it pretty much resides in every tank and that blue tangs periodically will contract it and shake it. <... I don't know what percentage of systems are resident for this and other protozoan complaints, but I ASSURE you there is such a thing as SPF (specific pathogen free) systems...> He noted that the blue hippo tang in his 450 gallon reef tank gets it about once per year. Thanks again! Andy <Yes... resident populations do exist... You did read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files in this series above? Bob Fenner>

Yellow-Tang and Tankmates with crypt/marine ich.   4/11/07 I set up a 75 gallon tank approx 4 1/2 months ago. <Cool.> I recently added a Yellow Tang to the tank and all was well initially.  Aprox 2 weeks ago, I noticed the tang was swimming awkwardly and scratching himself against some of the live rock in the tank.  A closer look revealed little white specs all over him. <Possible marine ich/Cryptocaryon, see here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php and do see part II'¦.it is linked in the above link.> None of the other fish had spots on them.   <Mmm, if it is crypt/ich if one has it they all have it'¦though all may not be expressing the illness.> I went to the store where I purchased him and they told me that it was normal for this species.   <It is normal for this genus/species, family of fish in general, to contract this illness; yes but it must be treated though if it is to be eradicated from the system, cannot be ignored. Did you quarantine this specimen prior to addition?> Turn out the lights, <Why?> warm up the water and let it just cycle. <This is a parasite'¦as long as there are fish for them to feed off of the 'life-cycle' will go on and on and on, like the energizer bunny.> I added a cleaner shrimp (aka Scarlet skunk shrimp) and the two became good buddies. <Will help with the parasites on the outer-epidermal/scales on the animal but not solve the problem.> The white spots are far fewer, but some still appear on the fins and eyes.   <See the article posted above for more details on this'¦> Now there's a new problem. <Okay.>   It's not eating anymore and it constantly has it's mouth open. <Stress, animal (all of them eventually) need to removed quarantined in a separate system.> It swims up to the food on the clip, but won't take a bite.  The tang is getting pretty thin and he seems only interested in letting the shrimp clean his body and mouth.  What can I do for this poor thing? <See the above link, and also take a look at this one as well: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php .> Water testing has been done weekly and results have been good. <That is good, but next time you email'¦we prefer specifics, we may see something that the owner has overlooked.> water changes done regularly.   <Good.> Sump filter + protein skimmer fully operational <Like the Death Star? Sorry'¦.bad joke.> and I've done my regular changes to the fiber material and carbon.  Where have I gone wrong? <Well if you have not quarantined the animal'¦you likely introduced a parasite.> Thanks, <Of course.> William Moody <Adam Jackson.>

Ich Question  3/15/07 Good evening, WetWeb Crew! <Hello> I have what is probably considered the most common of problems in marine aquaria, and what I hope will be a solution that you guys feel is appropriate. Here is some background: I purchased a 2" purple tang from a reputable local fish store recently. Trying for due diligence, I followed the recommended acclimation, fresh water dip, etc, before sending my new friend to a 29 gal. quarantine.  <Good routine.> After the first day, he was eating well on the LFS recommended Oraglo food and a small piece of Nori. <Good> The following day, he ate well, but I noticed a small white monster on his left fin. After work, there were a few more on the other. I checked the parameters of the tank and they were as follows: SPG: 1.025, Amm: 0 Nitrites:0 Nitrates:~5ppm PH:8.3 Temp is steady at ~80 degrees  <Good> The problem I face as of tonight is that I was just informed that I'm going to be ordered out of town on assignment as of Saturday.  <Always at the wrong time.> I'm leaving my tanks in the care of a local aquarist, but I'm not so sure about trying to have him keep a copper regimen in place.  <Tough to ask someone to do, also with tangs copper is not really the best choice.> My options, as I see them, are: 1. Taking the fish to a LFS and paying for the fish to be hospitalized by them. <Probably best if you trust them and they have the facilities to do it.> 2. Bringing up a smaller tank (probably a 10 gallon), doing a good freshwater dip, and housing the fish in the smaller tank while I disinfect the 29 and refill it, and then adding a cleaner shrimp and/or neon goby to the 29 with the tang.  <These won't really help much with ich, neither feed on it naturally, and the goby is likely to become a victim.> My main question is, do you have any other suggestions given my dilemma? Or do you have anything you would add to the above suggestions?  <If your LFS is able to care of it that would be my first choice, otherwise hyposalinity would be the way I would go, assuming you are not going to be out of town too long.  Premix the water and see if your fish sitter would be willing to do a water change for you.  I feel less can go wrong here since you will still control the parameters than treating with copper or formalin.> Thank you guys for an invaluable resource.. You've not only kept me well informed, but also sane on long days at work.. Cheers! Aaron <Good luck.> <Chris>

Re: Ich Question  3/16/07 Thanks a million for the reply! <Sure> Just a quick update: I did end up going to my LFS and I spoke to them about housing my little tang.. They did agree to letting me keep him there, however they informed me that they use copper exclusively in their hospital tanks. There is a section they use to keep tangs that is set for a lower dosage from the regular hospital, but I wanted to find out your opinion on the issue before I send my little guy away.. <Not crazy about that option, since the copper dosage may not be enough to actually help but enough to cause damage.  However I would still probably go this route, as anything else seems overly difficult.  Just be ready to re-QT it when you get back.> Thanks again for your time! Aaron <Anytime> <Chris>

Ich problem, following WWM advice   3/13/07 You guys are the best resource on the web for the Hobby by far! <Thank you for the kind words.  Brandon here tonight.> Ok, I have a yellow and blue hippo tang that have developed Ich.  The yellow tang has only white spots, and the blue tang has both white and black spots. <You have more than Cryptocaryon my friend.  You also have what sounds like Paravortex. The copper treatment should kill it in the QT tank, though you may wind up having to use Formalin if this does not work.  It can live in the main system for months without hosts.  Paravortex is very common with Z. flavescens.  I would strongly recommend finding a temporary home for the Tangs once their infections have been cleared.> Following all that I've researched on the WWM forum.  This is my plan of attack.  Let me know if I go astray.  You guys are great BTW.  The web site has answered many questions just through searching the pages through your Google search tool. 1. FW dip in buffered ph and temperature adjusted , with Methylene blue as prescribed. 2. Fish came through the FW dip, stressed but otherwise ok. 3. Placed in a 20g QT tank with a dosage of this new stuff "instant ocean Lifeguard".  I used the     prescribed dosage.  It works for over a 5 day period (any opinion on this stuff.  (I chose this attack,     because I was leery of using copper on the tangs.)   Ok, that's what's been done here for now.  Now the questions. <Ok.> Will the blue residuals left in the bucket enough to be toxic to main display (125g) when doing a water change?  I have rinsed the bucket thoroughly, but still slightly stained. <This bucket is now dedicated to prophylactic dips before going into Quarantine.  I would just get another bucket.  The stains will never come out, and I will not definitively guarantee that there will be no residuals.  As a general rule, I will not use any container that has had any chemicals in it for water changes.  I like the better safe than sorry method.> I have some Coppersafe, but due to the fact that the two fish are tangs, I am hesitant to go this route unless needed.  Is there a such thing as a copper dip, and if so, would you suggest it in this case?  And is it the same dosage as prescribed on the manufacturers directions. <You will wind up using copper, and you will wind up buying a test kit.  You need to ensure that the copper levels are continuously at the recommended level.  This will go on for about two weeks.  I would not really worry that much about the Tangs in this period of time.  It is when you start to go past this point, that it becomes a concern.> I understand the QT should last at minimum, one month, will this harm the tangs being in such a small environment? <This means that there should be NO fish in the main display.  It is possible, I think that I would buy a larger tank for the time being, or after the treatment period, if they don't show signs of infection, you could ask a friend with adequate space to house them.> I plan on doing a %25 water change daily for the first 10 days.  Will this be enough.   <With the copper treatment you will have to monitor the copper levels as you do the water changes.  I would add the copper to the makeup water, as per the manufacturer's instructions.> I have seeded the filter on the qt with some bio media from my main tank and plan on throwing it away after the QT is done. <Throwing the media away is not really necessary.  If the parasites life cycle gets broken, then they die.  They do not lay dormant for infinite periods of time.  Please do keep in mind that the Turbellarians causing the Paravortex outbreaks will live on in the main display however.  As mentioned before, I would strongly encourage you to find temporary housing for the Tangs for a few months.  If this is not possible, you could try to strike a balance with cleaner organisms.  The most notable that comes to mind are shrimp of the Lysmata species.> Thanks for being there and being a great resource, I have learned a lot and have avoided many mistakes by reading you guys for hours <Thank you for the kind words.  I hope the information I just gave you helps.  Please see here for further reading on the Cryptocaryon, as well as Paravortex, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm, and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm.  Brandon.> (Acanthurus) Tang Issues From Singapore; Some Much Needed Reading      3-12-2007 Hi. <Hello.> I have this problem with my tangs. <I'll see if I can help.> I used to have a clown tang, <Acanthurus Lineatus, is a notoriously poor choice for most marine aquariums, suffering from shipping and acclimation to captive life. Those that do survive are quite aggressive and get quite large as well 15'+ and should arguably not be housed with other surgeons in all but the largest settings (100's to 1000's of gallons)'¦definitely not other Acanthurus.> blue tang <Which blue tang? Paracanthurus , A. Coeruleus or A. leucosternon'¦'¦'blue tang' is a common name used for all of these species.> and powder blue tang <Or cryptocaryon magnets as I call them.> in my tank at different period of time. I supposed that all of them died of Ich. <A common plight for many captive surgeons.> All of them died the same way <Well of the two tangs I was able to verify that you have kept, these are both notoriously poor choices, disease wise in captive environments.> and each time I try many ways to sustain their lives. My first clown tang was seen struggling with Ich and I remove to do a freshwater dip. But I forget to buffer the pH and it died in a few minutes time. <Dips are a good start but due to the lifecycle of cryptocaryon this type of care won't do much good alone. Read here for more detail: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-10/sp/feature/index.php   .> Horrible instead. My next blue tang died before I can do a freshwater dip. Also seen struggling with Ich. <Mmm'¦I will also direct you here as well: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php . You need to start quarantining your animals in a separate area before addition to the display.  And if the animals to get ill in the display they need to be moved back to the quarantine container and treated there.> When I had my blue tang and clown tang, nitrate lever was high to around 20ppm. <Not ridiculously high but does need to be lowered.> But when I kept my powder blue tang, nitrate level is at zero or undetectable level. It starts to show sign of Ich when I switched off the filters and skimmer to do a huge water change and clean up. Before that it was a healthy and excellent specimen. <The ich/crypt was already there it wasn't just being 'expressed,' likely something changed which affected the animals immune system and allowed the parasites to gain the upper hand. Refer to the above articles posted above for more.> I did a freshwater dip for it when I saw it struggling. Instead of helping it, the freshwater dip impacted on it. At first it can still hold itself up and swim but when I did a freshwater dip, it became hard and started breathing rapidly. <What type of freshwater are you using?> After I add it back to the main tank, my boxer shrimp actually went to help clean him up. Pretty amazing that my boxer shrimp can actually do his cleaning job because very few people have witnessed boxer shrimp's cleaning capability. It helped to clean the tang off the ich and the fish just lie down there, but it did move on occasion. In the end, I choose to move him to another quarantine tank. <Should have been the first choice my friend.> I was thinking that maybe the water quality is not good so maybe the other tank is better. But in the end he died. I think I should just leave it alone to the boxer shrimp. Think I made a wrong decision there.  I am very sad about all their death and faced with great difficulties in maintain another tang. Fearing that I will kill another tang, I decided not to house any fish for now but to improve on my phosphate level. I am planning to get an ozonizer. <Phosphates can usually be linked to source water'¦what is it?> What's your suggestion into housing another tang in the future so that the same drama doesn't occur again? <Allow your display to run fishless for 6 weeks, at least, and quarantine all new additions for at lest 4 weeks.  Also make better initial choices, both of the tangs we discussed here are not good captive choices. And PLEASE read the articles I posted.> And I am keep a 50 US gallon tank. <This is also to small for what you are/were keeping.> How much dosage of ozone is good for my tank since I don't plan on getting a monitor now. Can you can me a rough estimation on how often and how long should I intro ozone into my tank if the output is 100mg/hr? <Read this too: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-03/rhf/index.php .> And maybe give me some guidance on it. Thanks. <Welcome, Adam J.> Re: Was: Rapid Breathing Emperor... Now PBT dis., Crypt  - 03/12/07 Bob,  It has been about two months since my last e-mail.  I had observed my powder blue tang flash on several occasions <Mmm, a natural behavior to extents... not necessarily portentous...> and decided to wait it out having not seen any spots present.  following my last e-mail I have not observed it flashing and believed I was in the clear. I have had it for approximately 5 months now and have been feeling pretty good about my chances with him.  It has put on weight and is a very aggressive feeder on over a dozen different foods all soaked in Selcon and Zoe. <Good>   Having read all the reasons that they are not suited for captivity, I chalked up my apparent success to luck and believed that I may have happened upon a good specimen that was going to adapt to life in a glass box.  About a month ago I began to acclimate my reef to metal halide lighting and this is where I believe things took a turn for the worst.  Immediately he began aggressively attacking his reflection in the glass. <Yes... this A. leucosternon can be a very social OR extremely territorial animal with its own kind> His face would get dark black and his eyes would turn bright gold.  It sounds funny but he would get a crazy look in his eyes.  In retrospect, this indicated that the fish had not in fact adapted to life in a glass box, and now leads me to believe that it probably never will as so many PBT's before him.  As I'm sure you've guessed he has now broken out in a full blown case of crypt. My emperor angel had a few spots and the two clown fish haven't shown any signs.  The crypt is cycling right now so no spots are present. <"Are elsewhere"> I am going to tear down my reef tomorrow to move these fish to a hospital tank.  I have three cycled BioWheels ready and will be purchasing a tank in the morning.   <Good planning> All fish were quarantined in a hex aquarium for a minimum of 2 months back to back with the powder blue being the final edition.  the shape of this tank is not suited to treat these four fish at once. I have a 20gal.  Would that be too small? <Mmm...> The tang and angel are both about 3.5'' and the clowns are 2'' and 1''. <Will have to do. Add some PVC parts for habitat...> I hate to use copper on these fish because I believe that it kills the intestinal fauna which leads to nutritional problems like HLLE later in life.  What is your feeling on this? <Is so, though these intestinal fauna can be easily re-constituted... and the use of vitamins, "muds" can forestall...> Unfortunately,  copper seems to be the most effective cure in my experience.  Do you have any experience with the transfer method combined with hypo salinity? <Yes> Is this a viable option in your estimation? <Not dependably> I am also planning on a 2 month fallow period which I have read will not result in total eradication, <This is correct> but I read one study that indicated that line degradation occurs after multiple cycles of crypt and without any new additions to a system over the course of 15-20 cycles crypt loses its ability to reproduce and will result in an "ich free" system. <Also so> In your opinion is there any merit to this claim, or will ich always be present in my system. <Can be eliminated entirely, but in actual cases, most always retained as a subclinical infestation...> I guess my concern is that once returned to the display my PBT will stress out under the metal halides and over time become reinfested. <Too likely so>   The fact that he still attacks his reflection leads me to believe he always will and since releasing him to the wilds of Minnesota is not an option the stress of it might be the death of him.  Although I suppose this is a little premature.  He still has to live through the copper treatment! Any words of wisdom from the wise are always appreciated! <I would definitely try... covering all sides but the one viewing panel with paper or such... this may well solve the "reflection" issue> Thanks for reading and responding to my ramblings, Jim <Steady on my friend. The road may seem long ahead of you... but it is your path. BobF>

Hippo tang in need of immediate help - possibly ringworm? Hyposalinity... 3/5/07 Dear Bob, <Ryan> I searched high and low on your website for an answer to this question but I could not find one. I was hoping you could shed some light on the issue and put me out of my ignorance. This hippo tang has rings all over its body. <I see this> I have enclosed some pictures for you to see. Currently, the fish is in hyposalinity to get rid of ich. The specific gravity is at 1.008, <This is a/the problem... Paracanthurus don't do well in such low salt densities... See WWM re Crypt, Hyposalinity... this is simple stress marking> ammonia and nitrite are 0, nitrates are 10, temperature is 79, and the pH is 8.3. I have had people say that it was the beginning of head and lateral line erosion, gas bubble disease, or maybe, side effects of hyposalinity. <Bingo> I performed hyposalinity on two times in the past in a quarantine tank and have never seen this happen to a fish. Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated. Sincerely,
Ryan Smith

Crypt, tangs...   2/26/07 Please help me.  It is late at night and I just discovered that my regal tang is covered in Ick.  We were watching him earlier tonight and I saw no signs of Ick.  He was just introduced into the tank 4 days ago and has done well. <Sans quarantine, dipping...>   I noticed as well that my green goby also seems to be covered and a flame fish has some spots. <Let's skip ahead... your "system has it"> The other fish seem to be fine.  The tank does have an anemone, snails, crabs, umbrella coral, and another plant like coral (drawing a blank).  The hard part is that the "Dori" is my 3 year old sons birthday present- All he asked for- I am scared that this fish will die if I wait until the morning to do something. <Mmm, not likely this quickly... but all your fishes may... in a short time...>   I do not have a hospital tank set-up.  I have a 1 gallon tank I can use, but no heater.  The medications I have on hand are Quick Cure and Melafix.  We get pre-mixed and Ro water from the aquarium store so I only have Ro water on hand.  I can fill the 1 gallon using water from the tank and Ro; but no heater.  The tang and flame are swimming around- goby on rocks as usual.  Is there anything I can do?   <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reefparasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files where you lead yourself... You need to formulate a plan... and yes, move the fishes to another (treatment) system... allow your present system to go w/o fish hosts... And soon. Bob Fenner>

Ich on blue tang   2/20/07 Hi guys, <And girls, too! *grin*> thanks for providing such a great site. My name is Janet and I am just starting my marine aquarium journey. <Hi Janet. My name is JustinN. Welcome to AA -- Aquatics Anonymous ;) > I have a blue tang about 8cm which I introduced to my 4ft tank around 5 weeks ago. I did not know about quarantining then but I do now. <I will spare you the soapbox then, my friend.> There is around 30kg of live rock, 2 tomato clowns, 1 coral beauty, 1 blue wrasse and 1 reef butterfly. At the moment I don't have a skimmer but will next week. <Ok> My levels are all good, nitrites 0, ammonia 0, nitrates 20ppm <A tad high, see if you can identify the source here.>, specific grav. 1.022 <Likewise, a tad low.. should be maintained at Natural Seawater levels (1.025)> and pH 8.4. My blue tang developed white spots yesterday and also has a pop-eye (maybe from trying to scratch) and she kept going up to the wrasse for a clean I think. <Too likely to have had the ich from the get-go; this is a parasite that does not just appear on its own, must be carried in by a host. Tangs are also known as 'ich magnets' because of their proficiency in contracting major outbreaks of the parasite.> I have a 35ltr tank that I am now using as a hospital tank. I gave her a freshwater dip with methylene blue for 4 min.s then put her into the 35ltr tank which I had pre-dosed with 5mls of Ichonex (Aquasonic). <Not an appropriate product. Not sure of its effectiveness in freshwater applications, but this product is marketed as a freshwater ich solution -- the two parasites are not the same.> The directions on the bottle say to treat half doses on day 2 and 3. My hosp. tank has a sponge filter and noodles in it, <Mmm, fish soup!> no substrate and just a few ornaments for her to hide in. What I want to know is am I on the right path and is there any extra advise you can give me? thanks heaps, Janet. <Well, Janet, you've got the right idea with quarantine now, in hindsight. Don't feel too bad about the oversight, it happens to all of us. The human condition is to learn via mistakes. However, your medication choice is simply not effective, and who knows how it may actually be affecting your fish! You need a treatment based on copper here, and likewise, you will need to quarantine all your fishes outside of your display tank for an extended period. If one fish is ich-infested, your entire display is now carrying the parasite, even if certain fish aren't showing outward signs of problems. Any of the fish can, and will, act as a host carrier for the parasite until you treat for it properly, which involves a treatment in a copper solution for all of your fishes, while leaving your display tank 'fallow' (active and running, but unoccupied) for a minimum of 6 weeks, to allow for the life cycle of the parasite to run its course, without a host to allow reproduction. After this point, you will be safe to move your aquatic charges back to their home. Have a read here for more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm -JustinN>

QT copper treatment Kole Tang   2/4/07 Hello crew and I have to say this is virtually the only source of information that I and my fish can count on. <Mmm, books? Clubs?> Over the years you have helped me beat Cyano without chemical intervention and now I am in the last stages of using QT for all fish introduced into my 125G FOWLR. <Yay!> My question is concerning my QT tank, a 12 gallon nano cube which has a small Kole Tang that has been treated for 21 days with Coppersafe and monitoring Cu level.  The fish appears fine and is eating well. I have read a numbers of FAQs indicating I should only treat Tangs for 14 days at the minimum effective level of copper. <Mmm, a good general "rule of thumb", yes> Since my fish is doing well I was planning to stretch the treatment period to 28 days.  Do you think this is to much exposure to copper for a Kole Tang versus the comfort that 28 days of copper should eliminate ich.  Thanks again. <I think/believe that about all the good one can do with such treatments is accomplished in two weeks... beyond this there is a fast drop-off of benefit vs. risk of poisoning. Bob Fenner>

Is the Ich Gone?...Will It Return? - 01/28/07 My Foxface and Sebae clown have/had ich. <<Siganus species are usually quite resistive to infection (have a very heavy slime coat)>> I am new to the hobby and did not know of a QT at the time. <<But you know better now, yes?>> I treated the tank with Kordon's Organic Prevent Ich due to my inverts. <<Mmm...it's never advisable to treat the display system.  Best to move all the fishes to a hospital/treatment tank(s) while the display sits fallow for a minimum of four weeks>> Amazingly, after a week of treating and a good water change, they seem perfect. <<I hope you're right...but I am skeptical>> They have been doing well for a week with no symptoms of another outbreak.  My question: Can the ich be gone or is it 'always' there? <<This protozoan pest can be eliminated with proper protocol...but this is usually a "temporary" condition as it is so easily reintroduced (not only on the fish but can also be introduced via inverts and even live rock/corals).  Most systems have the parasite present all the time, but healthy fishes in an appropriate and properly managed system can usually stave-off gross infection.  But once a fish's immune system becomes depressed (can be from many factors...poor water quality, poor nutrition, stress from aggression/improper physical environment, etc., etc.) that an "outbreak" will manifest>> If it is there, does it mean my fish will get it again or can they fight it now with their stress levels normal? <<Time will tell...but this is usually a case of "when" rather than "if."  Please do continue your introduction to/education of the hobby by reading among the following links and beyond:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i4/quarantine/Quarantine.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trtmttkfaqs.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/marineMaint.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm>> Thanks, Tina <<Pleased to assist.  EricR>>

Think I've got the Ich!!  - 1/22/07 Hey Guys, <Hi, Jon.> I'm stressing out a bit now.   <Wise Buddhists say: "If a thing can be changed, worrying is not what changes that thing. If it cannot be changed, worrying will not help you." ...or something like that.> I just purchased a Foxface and Blue Spotted Puffer a week ago.  About four or five days ago I started noticing a few white spots on the Foxface's fins then a couple on his body.   <QT?> I was told that this is probably Ich and that I should just keep feeding him well and he should be fine (immune system will kick in and cure it on it's own).   <While a healthy fish may be able to fight off symptoms of Crypt., they will not cure a system of the protozoan.> Well it's starting to really get bad, he's now a pale yellow color all the time, the spots are getting A LOT worse and the Puffer's starting to get some too. <Mmm... not good. Recommend removal of all fish to a remote system to handle this. Use google search tool and indices re.> What causes this?  I know stress does but are there other factors?   <Stress in and of itself will not introduce an infection of Crypt.> Can Ich stay in a fishless tank or does it leave with the fish?   <Correct, needs hosts.> I had a couple before this and they died to Ich, I found out through that that I was getting some bad advice from my Local Fish Store.  I left the tank fishless for about a month working on getting the water into good shape, which it is. <Also known as fallow. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fallowtkfaqs.htm > Please help me, this is obviously killing me, I can't stand watching all my fish go through this.  I absolutely LOVE this hobby but obviously I'm not too good at it, Thank You for your advice.. <You seem to have some heavy reading ahead of you, possibly to make up for the lack behind you? All new purchases should/must be introduced to a QT before addition to the display. Search re "hyposalinity" and "fresh water dip"> Jon <Good luck, Jon. -Graham T.>

Re: Think I've got ich pt.2 1/21/07 OK, I just sent a question to you last night about my Foxface who appears to have Ich.  Well since then he's developed a white film over his eyes.  I think he's having trouble seeing because he's swimming around franticly like he's scared out of his mind.. <Very bad sign, Jon. If fish is eating at all there is hope. Get your infirmary (sp?) system up and ready for your buddies to have an extended stay ASAP.> I read on several different places on the internet that raising the temperature and adding table salt helps fight Ich, so I did that at about 3:30 this morning.  Has this now turned into a second disease? <Mmm... no. Table salt doesn't add anything therapeutic to this situation, though it won't hurt. You must've been reading something about Freshwater ich. Again, go nuts with the google search on WWM, making sure you check the radio-button for searching on WWM.> Thanks for your help, Jon
<-Graham T.>

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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