Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Treating Parasitic Disease 2

Articles on: Marine Parasitic Disease, FAQs on Treating Parasitic Disease 1, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3Parasitic Disease 4, Parasitic Disease 5, Parasitic Disease 6, Parasitic Disease 7, Parasitic Disease 8, Parasitic Disease 9, Parasitic Disease 10, Parasitic Disease 11, & FAQs on: Parasite-infested Systems: Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Marine Tanks 2, Parasitic Reef TanksParasitic Reef Tanks 2, & FAQs on: Preventing Parasite Problems, Diagnosing Parasitic Diseases, References on Parasitic Diseases, Index Materia Medici for Parasitic Diseases (medicines), Treating Marine Parasitic Diseases, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Marine Parasitic Diseases, Hyposalinity Treatments 2, Fallow Tanks, & Best Crypt FAQs, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Parasitic WormsCrustacean Parasitic Disease, Isopods,

Fine Filter Pads for Help Combating Ich/Marine Velvet      3/19/17
Hi Team,
I had an interesting hypothesis that I wanted to get your opinion on.
Would using fine filter socks/pads that are 50/100 micron be able to help control an outbreak of Marine Velvet and/or Ick?
<Mmm; would likely reduce incidence, but not totally control. DE (Diatomaceous Earth)... would be better>
I was doing some reading and it seems like the trophonts of each would be larger than 50 microns, so it would beg the question. Obviously like UV (which I think this would compliment) it can't eliminate it because it won't have full access to the entire volume of water at all times-but I would think that it could help prevent outbreaks when used in a sump in a tank with high water turnover and good circulation?
<Yes; help. Will/would require very frequent cleaning>

Assume that you could have a decent combination of filters (e.g. 200 micron + 100 micron + 50 micron stacked together and changed often.
Anyone heard of trying this approach?
<Oh yes. Screening like this is commonly employed by facilities using natural seawater for culture. Bob Fenner>

treatments. Rdg.      11/6/14
I am wonder in what treatments to use for Vibrio, and Uronema infections.
<.... see WWM re... the search tool.... on every page. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Clownfishes; dosing     11/19/13
To whomever this may concern,
So I have been watching my two ocellaris clowns in the QT for the past 2 weeks and they seem to be doing well. They are both eating and behaving normally now. The smaller male still has a slightly discolored marking on the lower portion of his caudal fin though.
<Likely nothing to worry about>
I am still seeing the white
stringy feces, sometimes hanging from the fishes anus and sometimes on the floor of the tank.
<IF these are captive-produced fishes, never mingled w/ wild, I would not be concerned re>
I have been trying to thoroughly do my research on how to treat with Praziquantel and Metronidazole, but I am finding myself a bit confused. I know to make a 1% solution of the Metronidazole with which I am supposed to soak brine shrimp in for 3 hours in the refrigerator to use for a one shot feeding. Should I strain out the shrimp and then put them in the 1% solution?
<Mmm; no... soak whatever you intend to use for the duration (in this case the Artemia is in the fridge); but, again, I would not do this in this case; given the provided information. Not worth the risk of damage, trouble>
I am also confused about how much brine shrimp to use for the soaking. I saw citations for mg of Metronidazole by weight of feed, like 100mg/kg of feed. What confuses me is that a 1% solution is 10mg/ml so how would you fit a kg of brine shrimp into 10 ml of 1 % solution (100 mg of Metronidazole).
<For hobbyists; can/could only be guess-timated>
That ignores the fact that I can't imagine ever getting a kg of brine shrimp but I think the concept still applies when you fraction the measurements.
<It does>
 Thus, how much brine do I use per my 1% solution?
<Any amount practically>
Also, I am trying to figure out how much to actually feed. I saw a reference for feeding at 1% body weight, which means that if my fish weighs 11.4 grams, I should feed her 0.11 grams of brine shrimp. I just feel like that doesn't sound like much, especially for my other baby fish who barely weighs a gram.
<Is sufficient, proportional>
This brings up the issue of how to regulate who eats how much.
<All present consuming would be dosed>
Any advice would be appreciated. Also, for the Praziquantel, I am going to make a 0.5% solution to soak brine in and feed it once at 1% body weight as cited by Langdon 1992. I will have to be creative to estimate how many brine shrimp are equivalent to 1% of my 1 gram baby clown. Any advice or clarification you can offer me, particularly for the Metronidazole would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time and help!
Gabby Navon
<You ask good questions... there are scales of course, means of measuring weight/mass directly... I would not fret re actual percentages (having done this for decades). A "physiological dose" is easy enough to achieve by just estimating (given the fishes are eating). Bob Fenner>

parasites ID    6/28/12
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Hope you are all doing well.
<Thanks Eric>
I have a Flame Angel, two Chromis and a Copperband in quarantine ( 20 USGL ). On week 2 the Copperband showed two like Gyrodactylus on dorsal fin ( see yellow arrows in pic ) 1 mm long and whitish in color.
<Mmm, yes>
They grown from non visible to a 1 mm in length in 2 weeks. See picture item A.
After a Formalin dip ( 50 min )  the parasites did not detach.  So, once back in the quarantine I manually scrapped them off. Unfortunately they dropped in the container that I used to maintain the fish underwater and still.
In the bottom of container I gathered specimens B and C.
B was hard, stiff in texture and looked like a shrimp like bug but with no legs, more like a worm or cyst. C was more like shrimp. When I scrapped them off I must of released a bunch of parasite nauplii that were swimming around
( see arrows in red ).
Unfortunately with all the hassle  I was only able to mount C in the microscope, B is only seen through a magnifying glass.
This scenario has me worried and concern about a future probable heavy infestation. My Quarantine has a 8 w UV & I do 2.5 Gal water change every 48 hrs. The butterfly and angel do not scratch but Chromis flash /scratch on the side of the butterfly (????).
It looks like a have a zoo of parasites in that quarantine.
<At least a few>

Since a had BAD experiences treating with Cupramine in the past with the Flame Angels ( they died ), that I do not know how the Butterfly ( my fists and very dear one that is FINALLY EATING!!! ) react to all of those treatments  and  that I have never done a Hyposalinity process,  I would like to know with the info that I shared with you here.. what is the best course of action. The fishes have already gone through Prazi,
<Prazi/quantel for the worm/s, yes>
Metro and Kanaplex prophylactic. Should I do a hyposalinity, Cupramine or long term Formalin treatment? How long?
<No to all these others, but do add something for the Crustaceans. Read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crustdisfaqs1.htm
Bottom line : What would you do. Please recommend.
<Treat w/ both an organophosphate and Anthelminthic... and soon. NONE of the other materials you list>
Thanks again for all the help.
<Y tu. Bob Fenner>

Re: parasites ID    6/29/12
Bob, Thanks for your Mail:
As per your recommendations I am starting the Anthelminthic treatment with Praziquantel for 5 days and after that with fluke tabs ( one time ) as the organophosphate. 
Do you think I chose the correct medicines?
<I do... just to check... there are no invertebrates present correct? Including no live rock in the QT>
If not please recommend.
<A lack of resp. will serve as affirmative for the above. B>

Re: More Re: Hurricanes, Ick, and the like...  11/17/08 Bob, <Tom> Thanks for the follow up. I don't have questions much as updates. I had a lengthy discussion with Dr. Bryan at Natl. Fish Pharm regarding this disease. I have not had any success in treating it. I have kept Quinine in the water constantly, always with the same results - Ich present the next morning, only on this one fish. The Tomato Clown has shown some cysts present, but not always, and no where near the number as on this Atlantic Blue Tang (100+). <Dang!> Dr. Bryan said what you said in your reply... that something might be pulling the medication out of the system. There is no carbon in the tank, nor any poly filters. The UV filter has been off. The protein skimmer has been running, but only for water flow - the air intake has been off so it has not been skimming. If something is pulling medication out of the water, <The substrate... alkaline earth materials... mainly calcium, magnesium... little doubt> it is a mystery to me. The filtration is as follows: Fluval FX5, bio-media only; 150 gallon rated wet/dry filter, bio balls, standard blue/white filter pad rinsed weekly; Prism Pro skimmer with air flow turned off. Last night, I did a 20% water change and put the skimmer back on. The water quality has been deteriorating due to medication and lack of skimming, to the point where now I've got Cyanobacteria and excessive algae blooms. I have been doing partials throughout the treatment, but with the excessive treatment length and lack of skimming, I'm thinking the fish are suffering more from poor water quality than the parasite. <I agree with you> One interesting thing was that the last time I had to use this treatment, the quinine killed the Cyano... now it is not. It does seem like the medication is not in the water. So I guess I do have a question... how could medication be removed from the tank? <Again... mostly the chemical family mentioned (second column from the left in Mendelevian periodic charts... to lesser extents other materials in the water... I would move the fishes, treat elsewhere, sans substrate, other carbonaceous materials> I'm to the point where I'm thinking I may have to let this run its course. I have to move to a new house in a week and break this entire tank down. I won't take these fish to any dealer for fear of introducing this resistant strain of ick into any other systems. If all the fish die, then I can let it sit fallow for a few months, though I wonder if the ick will be gone even with that course of action. I hate the thought of doing that, though. I have some copper safe and a test kit, which I have not used. I'm sure that if I put that in there, all that live rock will absorb copper and be worthless from that point on. I've attached the best picture I could take of the tang, not that you can make much of the photo. <Is "beat"... thin... Do consider treating all in an "empty" setting> Thomas Roach
<Bob Fenner>


Disease Treatment Confusion, SW... parasites   3/15/08 Hi WWM Crew , Your site and info is great. I've been reading for hours! I introduced 2 small Yellow Tangs and 1 small Kole Tang to my setup. <Umm, how large is this tank?> Unfortunately, the Kole Tang died about 9 days after I got it (doing fine and one morning I got up and within an hour or two it was dead). I'm a novice - learned the hard way - ALWAYS QT new additions. Also, find resources you can trust! That was Monday past. I called the LFS and the owner suggested Melafix <Worthless...> in the main tank. <No....!> I noticed my 2 Saddleback Clowns (I've had them 4 months and they were super healthy up to now) not looking so good the night before (slight film, fins looking ragged, rapid breathing, listlessness, rubbing - but no spots). So I dosed the display with Melafix <...> as per his directives for 3 days (he didn't mention it would harm my snails - even though I told him everything in my setup, ugh). However, on the second night of treatment (Tuesday) I noticed the Tangs had spots on their bodies and fins (Ich), and a lot of it! <Stress induced, but present already> From another LFS, the owner told me to QT all the fish in my tank using the original display tank water (to reduce the shock) and to stop using the Melafix. <Good advice> I did this Wednesday evening and have since given 2 doses of ParaGuard in the QT. It is probably worth mentioning that the closest marine supply stores are 7 hrs. away. I am waiting to receive Cupramine at which point I was advised to filter out the ParaGuard for a few hours and then start the Cupramine treatment. But now having read so much on your site I am worried it may not be wise to administer Cupramine to the Clowns (due to copper sensitivity and it sounds like they could have Brooklynellosis which means copper is ineffective anyway?). <If it is Brook, correct> Should I put them in another, separate QT and continue with the ParaGuard while using Cupramine on everyone else in the bigger QT? <If you have such facilities, yes> If so, should I use all new mixed saltwater with the same pH, temp. and Sp.Gravity or should I use some of the water they're already in to reduce stress of possibly changing parameters? <I would start making, using new water... the old is infested...> I plan on letting the main tank lay fallow for 4 weeks, is 6 weeks preferable? <Yes> I apologize for all the questions but I want to make sure I give them the best chance at survival possible and the info out there has been conflicting to say the least. On the up side, they have continued to eat a little and my 2 Yellowtail and 2 Blue Devil Damsels (also in QT with everyone else) do seem alright. Thank you so much for your time :) Sincerely, Tracy <I do wish you success... In the meanwhile, do keep studying. Bob Fenner>

Re: Disease Treatment Confusion, SW... parasites... Brooklynellosis. Y. tang sys.  - 03/20/08 Thanks for your reply Bob. I hope the crew and yourself are keeping well. <I'm trying, thank you> My current marine tank is 38g, but we're in the process of getting a 90g. Then we'll likely use the 38g for the sump. I realize how inadequate a 38g aquarium is for 2 yellow tangs <Ah, yes> but I was told by the LFS guy who sold them to me that it would be fine to house them in the smaller tank while they are young. <Mmm, only very young... This species clusters amongst finger-like Porites in its range during its "high Sailfin" stage... but as it gets more than a couple of inches long, starts ranging out...> Had I been better informed I would have waited to get them. Thanks for all the wonderful info on your site. I've learned a wealth of knowledge over the past week alone. <Ah, good> So quickly, I've moved the 2 saddleback clowns into a 10g hospital and have been treating Brooklynellosis with ParaGuard. They seem to be doing very well and have regained their full appetite. <A good sign> The others: 2x 2" yellow tangs 2x 1" blue devil damsels 2x 1/2"-3/4" yellowtail blue damsels are in a 20g hospital tank treated with Cupramine for Ich. Now no visible Ich spots on their bodies. <Mmm, if you had/have more room, I might treat the Yellow Tangs for Brook as well... they can contract, be carriers> Would the 90g be adequate to house the 2 yellow tangs and a yellow eye tang? Or should I wait on the Kole tang until I get a 125g down the road? <Would/will likely be okay in both/either case> I'll likely be removing all 4 damsel terrors (although they are lookers). I've also got an inquiry about a LR hitchhiker but will send separately. Thanks again for all the time you and the WWM crew put into helping out fellow hobbyists. Tracy <Welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Difficult Case of Ich, or something else?   8/12/07 I've spent hours reading the WWM website since setting up my new saltwater system in April, and appreciate all of your hard earned knowledge that you so freely share. Thanks so much. I have a problem with what I think is ich, and am stumped and frustrated. I've got a 75 gallon FOWLR, 40 lbs of live rock, about 1 inch of CaribSea aragonite, an Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer, Emperor 400 BioWheel, 384 watt Orbit CF, two 1200 Maxi Jets, and two 900 Maxi Jets. Temp has been at 78 in the main tank (80 in the qt), calcium 350, Ph 8.3, Alk 11 dKH, nitrite 0, nitrate 0. I've got a Neon Dottyback, two Percula Clowns (all tank raised), and a wild caught Flame Angel. I did not QT the angel since she had been at the LFS for a month, <Mmmm, you'll learn... are learning...> in a copper treated tank for preventative measures, and looked great every time I went in to visit her. I did a Methylene Blue dip before adding her. Two days after introducing her to my tank, she had what appeared to be white spots on her. Since I was new to diagnosing, I asked the LFS about it, and he determined that it was probably just air bubbles. <Not likely> I continued to observe, and about a month later found her heavily infested, swimming slowly in circles and breathing heavily. I dipped all of them in freshwater / methylene blue, and put them in QT <Actually treatment, not quarantine> with CopperSafe, where they've been for the last 35 days, which is also how long the main tank has had no fish in it so as to allow the ich to die. The only inhabitants were two blue hermits. The angel got a secondary infection from the wounds, which I treated with Maracyn. They all looked great after that, up until about three days ago, when the smaller clown had a couple of spots. A couple of days later, they went away. Since I was well over a month into this process, and the fish were sick of their cramped quarters, I decided to just dip everybody again in FW/methylene and add them back to the main tank, reasoning that the clown had dropped whatever parasites he had, and that the dip should take care of anything lingering. I talked it over with the LFS, asking if they thought it was appropriate to do this, and they agreed it would probably be ok by now. I reintroduced the angel and the small clown yesterday, and already I see one white spot on the angel. The smaller clown who showed a couple of spots recently is fine. I can't believe that ich could still be alive in the main tank after 35 days. <Might... but far more likely is that the treatment wasn't monitored sufficiently... Needs to be tested for at least daily> I am so disappointed that the treatment didn't seem to work. Could it be something else? <Mmm, yes... other protozoans, Sporozoans, some worms...> I have also observed some small worm looking things that come out at night and are attracted to the lunar lights. <Mmm, not these. There is a huge mix of such life that times, uses the cover of night for distribution, food-gathering, reproduction... Almost all are non-pathogenic> They are only about 2 mm long, and squiggle. Any cause for concern? <Not IMO> I don't want to net the angel again since she was looking pretty stressed out after the last go around. Should I get a UV sterilizer, maybe add a cleaner shrimp? <Good choices, considerations...> Should I change out all of the gravel? <Mmm, no... I wouldn't... Not likely to get you what you're looking for> If I treat the main tank with CopperSafe, could I replace the live rock and gravel and still be safe for inverts later? (The live rock has Caulerpa growing all over it anyway.) Thanks in advance for your help. Kim <I would go the permanent infested tank route... with the cleaner, UV first, rather than nuke all the main system with Copper... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above... till you understand this option. Bob Fenner>

Please help me with this illness! (Marine tank), Using WWM   5/9/07 Hello I hope someone can help me quick! I have a 25 US Gallon Marine set up with live rock and sand with all the usual hitchhikers, I have an Ocellaris Clownfish a Damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema) and a Starry Dragonet, I have just lost my beloved Circled Dragonet whom I named Froggy as he looked like a little frog to me, you must understand I have not taken the death of Froggy lightly and am really upset, I only had him a week after rescuing him from my local shop where he wasn't getting enough to eat as he was in a bare tank. My local store assured me they QT all their new arrivals so I put them in my tank (A mistake I will never ever make again!!) <A comment... all such quarantine protocols MUST include an absolutely strict separation of all new livestock, water, gear... Something very few outfits have proven capable of> My Damsel started to show signs of ich so I set up a QT tank using the old Aquaclear poly sleeve from my main set up for bio media. <Mmm, and this "won't last" am sure you know> I treated the Damsel with Cuprazin from Waterlife and after a week of battling to keep the ammonia down in QT (I assume the treatment killed the good bacteria) <Yes> I placed him back in the main tank as he was looking much better. <... no... MUST need be treated for a good two weeks...> After a while I purchased Froggy and put him in the main tank (BIG mistake I know) after a few days of him being perfectly happy he stopped swimming about, became lethargic and started to breathe heavily, when he did move he was flicking but I couldn't see any spots on him, later his breathing was laboured and he seemed to be choking on nothing. Froggy deteriorated quickly and died today before I could get the QT tank ammonia free :-(, <Can not be done... serial dilution is about the best one can do> I have been doing water changes and have replaced the Aquaclear poly sleeve again with the one from my main tank, I am really struggling to get the tank to cycle <Won't, can't with a therapeutic dose present...> I've tried putting in old substrate and filter media but its still not working! By the way I ran carbon for a couple of days to get rid of the old treatment before changing the sleeve again. Upon closer inspection of Froggy after his death I noticed tiny white speckles on his little body and also my Clownfish is covered in a dusting of what look like tiny white spots, <A dusting...? Might be Amyloodinium...> he is not acting sick, no flicking or change in respiration rate. I am at a loss as to what this illness is. I thought Froggy had Velvet due to his difficulty breathing. <Yes, possibly> I intend to move all 3 occupants to QT as soon as the tank has cycled and leave the tank fallow for however long you recommend? <Posted> Would I be able to increase the temperature safely in the main tank without harming the creatures that came in on the live rock (I have no Corals or Shrimps etc) also how high should I raise the temperature and for how long? <Posted...> Whilst in QT I will feed my Starry Dragonet on frozen (defrosted) Mysis and Krill which he devours with gusto! Is there anything I can do in the meantime? Dips? Or will this stress the fish out and make them more sick than they already were? <Posted.....> ARGHHH I don't know what to do!!! <Read> What should I do to treat this illness I'd rather not use chemicals but will do if I have to. I will never take the word of the store again and will always QT my livestock in the future. I will be moving home soon and upgrading to a larger tank everything will be quarantined again just in case the stress of the move causes any more illnesses to surface. Do you think a Cleaner shrimp will help in the future and perhaps a Cleaner goby? I know not to get a Cleaner Wrasse I've seen too many looking ill in the shops and heard of them dying in captivity too due to lack of food. Please help me its driving me mad and I don't want to lose any more fish as I'm already heartbroken over little Froggy. I have tried reading all the FAQ's on the possible illnesses but as I'm unsure what I'm looking for it has just left me with a bad headache. By the way I buried Froggy in the garden (silly I know) I couldn't bear to put him in the bin or anything. Thanks again for a very helpful informative site and I hope you can help me. Faye <Have just skipped down... Please... learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM... You obviously care a great deal and have a good (intelligent, discerning...) mind... Take the time to review: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm the articles, FAQs files on Marine Parasitic Disease... the linked files there... to formulate one good (but flexible) plan on how to proceed here. There is just too much to relate here w/o referring you/folks in this way. Bob Fenner>

Ich, Chilodonella, or Oodinium help   1/15/07 Good evening crew. <Brandon> I think I might have the beginning of a parasite outbreak in my reef tank. I try to follow good quarantine methods and 2 Freshwater dips with Methylene Blue (one before QT and one after) to everything that comes into my tank. <Good practice... One I tried to talk the entire marine livestock collection, distribution biz into some thirty years ago... Imagine what the trade, hobby might be like if this had been adopted... the loss from such "incidental" infestations is HUGE... resulting, in larger part, in the loss of more than half the stock, customers/hobbyists per year... Lunacy... like invading others countries... but let's stay on topic... if I can> The dips last for about 5 min. The QT period no less then 4 weeks but usually 6 weeks to ensure no problems. Well something slipped past somehow. A Flame Angel and a Yellow tang just hit the main tank after a 5 week QT period. A few days after hitting the tank I notice one white spot on the Yellow tang that was not there before. In the next day or two another white spot shows up but this time on a clown. The spots look like a very small white bump. The tang looks like he might be getting another around the eye. No other fish seems to be affected at this time. I have been trying to enrich the food given with Garlic so see if that will boost the immune system. The tang is starting to flash around but it appears to me more over territory rather then discomfort. <Maybe> (But what so I know, I am not the fish whisperer) <Perhaps... not yet>   How long would you wait to see if this is a full blow ich outbreak? <A good long while... depending on what you intend to "do about it"> Given the small size, I have heard it could be Chilodonella or Oodinium but the treatment should be the same in any case. <Mmm, yes, if so> If treatment should be given right away, should I remove all the fish or just those that appear to be infected? <All> I have a Royal Gramma, a Yellow Tang, Flame Angel, Scooter Blenny, two Neon Gobies, and two Clowns; would the 20 Gallon QT tank be enough to handle this load of fish? <Likely so... with daily metabolite testing, ready water for changing...> (I have never needed bigger then this since I have only QTed one or two fish at a time.) The QT tanks is set up with some PVC a heater and a mini bio-wheel (without the bio-wheel in place only the mechanical media and the carbon.). Is Chelated Copper Sulfate (at 1.5 to 2.0ppm) <Mmm... this is a variable value depending on formulation... you want the equivalent of no less than 0.15, no more than 0.30 ppm of free cupric ion, Cu++> and Maracyn-Two the correct treatment? Would you utilize a different treatment for the Tang and the Angel given the size of the QT tank and their sensitivity to copper? <Mmm, no... but please see below> My "Coppersafe" does not tell me how long to treat for, can you shed some light on this for me? <Two weeks> I assume this is a stupid question but it does not hurt to ask. I have been told that since only a few spots are visible, a freshwater dip of 15-20 min to the infected fish could save the need to QT and treat with copper, is that true? <Usually, yes> From my research, if the spots are on the fish, the parasite is in the water and the life cycle of the parasite has started in the tank, <If indeed this is a parasite...> so I am out of luck for 4-6 weeks. I have also read different opinions here that freshwater dips do not protect against ich because they are buried deep in the skin and can survive even hours of fresh water? <Is a possibility... however, if such an infestation were present, it would "register" (appear through static and kinetic observation) that the host was "beat"... frayed fins, aberrant behavior... spots... you wouldn't buy such afflicted specimens> I am kind of lost since in three years, this is my first bout with anything harmful in my tank. Heck I have never even lost a fish after the initial QT period. Ok I think I have gotten all my questions out of the way... Thanks guys for all the help! <Now... my turn... I strongly encourage you to either borrow, or buy (and read quickly) Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment"... and likely borrow or buy a reasonable microscope... a QX-3 to a -5 will easily do... make a scraping, and look... to discern more what you're up against... there are many other possibilities... and it may well be better to try "cleaners", environmental manipulation, supplementing of diet here than removal and toxic exposure... Bob Fenner> Re: Ich, Chilodonella, or Oodinium help   1/16/07 Bob, <Brandon> Thank you so much for your reply. I have often wondered why the fish import business does not implement some sort of QT period before selling fish stateside. <I likewise have been forever puzzled by this... on the far negative/chastened side one might say the industry counts on this sort of appalling loss to sell more... Such is not the conscious case... just ignorance and apathy at play... as usual with humans> Heck even if a LFS made such a practice standard, think of the wonderful reputation and business that could be generated. <I know of three outstanding stores that do so... Aqua Touch in Phoenix...> Hummm.... Maybe for my next career change. Anyways, back to the topic on hand. After two days of treating with Garlic, Some spots have disappeared and others seem to be popping up (Still only about two or three spots total). <Mmm, may just be cycling off... to come back... in strength> I am optimistic but am not getting my hopes up. Reading about the life cycle of these pests, I realize that they fall off before they spawn new bugs and get worse. <Yes> I am comforted by your response that it is safe to wait a bit to see what I am up against. I know you can not put a number on this question but how bad should the outbreak get before resorting to copper treatments? <Mmm, about "half way"... all fishes infested... can happen in a day or two...> My thinking was to nip it sooner then later, before it has a chance to set up ground in the tank. For now I am going to treat with garlic, do regular water changes to keep the chemistry up (Right now it does not get better then NH3/NH4=0, NO2=O and NO3=0. But just like getting fresh air when you are sick, fresh water can not hurt.) Can you suggest a "cleaner" that might be able to help with the problem rather then utilizing copper treatments? <Mmm, yes... this is posted on WWM> The royal has started cleaning the Tang which is nice to watch but I do not think he knows what he is doing. I have room for a shrimp or two or even a small goby like a Neon goby. <Lysmata sp., or a Gobiosoma, yes...> I know better then to take cleaner gobies from the reef. Wow, $100 for the book on Amazon!! <Yes... and this is close to cost... I spoke with Noga about this...> I now I feel like I got a STEAL on your books! :) I am going to try to borrow Mr. Noga's book from the library before I buy it. I am a quick reader so I should be able to absorb most if it quickly. <Yes, or copy the pertinent sections> (As long as it does not require a Ph.D. on Microbiology to understand, I am a psychologist not a lab type! :) <Is a straightforward read> When you suggest taking a scraping, I assume you mean of the white dot and not a slide of the water. <Yes> I assume that Mr. Noga's book will explain the best way to go about this. <Correct> Heck, I would even be willing to drive to slide up to the Vet school and have the microbiologist take a look at it. <Perhaps a good idea... to apply a slide cover> Thanks again for all your help and comfort. It is hard to feel like you have failed to provide a "good" home for your children. But even a healthy kid catches a cold every once in a while. Brandon <Yes my friend. Bob Fenner>

Imperator Angel Regurgitating Food After Ich <treatment> Episode   5/8/06 Hello, <Hi there>             Thank you for the wonderful website.  It is truly my reference of choice. My 150 gallon FOWLR had been running for over a year with no problems or disease outbreaks until a water/electric event occurred that tripped the breaker for several hours while I was at work.  The tank dropped to 70-degrees by the time I got home.  I lost a yellow tang three days later and my large Imperator Angel became infested with Ich. <... the crypt must have been present...>   I treated in QT with freshwater dips, UV sterilization, and Formalin followed by CopperSafe for ten days.  He refused to eat while in QT. <Happens>   I returned him to the display tank and he has generally been free of visible Ich for about ten days now. However, he does not express outward interest in food.  I have to introduce food to him with a feeding stick.  He will generally go for it when it's near his mouth.  However, when he takes it, he seems to "chew" on it for quite some time.  After he swallows it, his breathing becomes very rapid for the next few minutes.  Eventually, he struggles a bit and shoots the food out of his mouth.  Any thoughts on what is happening here? <The lining of this fishs gut was destroyed... mainly by the formalin... will take a while longer to regenerate>   I have tried all varieties of his favorite foods including krill, silversides, and Nori. Again, he accepts them all but has trouble keeping them down. (Incidentally, I have taken measures to prevent future electrical catastrophes.)  Thanks very much for your assistance. Fred Warren <Need to keep trying... perhaps soaking the foods in a vitamin supplement to enhance their palatability. Bob Fenner> Hospital tank care   6/12/06 Hey, I appreciate the help last time, but I need another question answered. I have a 10 gal tank set up as quarantine for a powder brown tang who has had ich for three days. <Very susceptible...> I treated the water with CopperSafe, and the water parameters are ok except for 10ppm on nitrates. I want to know how often can I change the water, <As often as needs be done> how much is suitable, <How much water? Depends on your need/cause for change... pre-mixed water can be changed in large percentages> and should I re dose the water after I change it. <Yes, and test for copper/cupric ion daily... with a chelated type test kit in this case> Also how long should I keep the fish in the quarantine before I can return him to the regular tank, and what I mean is I want to take him out of the small tank as soon as he has kicked the ich. <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above> But the instructions on the copper safe just said that the medicine lasts for 30 days, not how long it takes to heal the fish... ...anyway thank you for taking time to answer my questions. <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Fallow Tank Trials and Tribulations   6/1/06 Bob & Crew, <Scott F. here today!> I have a 135 G drilled (2 six by six overflows) reef tank with a 75 G fishless sump, Red Sea Berlin Turbo skimmer, Mag 24 return, around 150 lbs of live rock, and various corals.  After a third outbreak of ich, I have removed all inhabitants (Achilles, Foxface, Watchman Goby, Engineer Goby, and Mandarin) to a fully established 35 G quarantine tank.  The Achilles (of course), the Foxface, and the Engineer Goby displayed signs of ich.  The QT was crawling with mysis, copepods, and amphipods.  I added the recommended dosage of Coppersafe and plan to cure these fish for the last time. <That's a lot of fishes in a relatively small tank...Also, the copper medication will pretty assuredly wipe out the amphipods and other small crustaceans.> My first question is this… how long can a very well fed Mandarin live without live food? <No real hard-and-fast rule...could be problematic after only a few days. Each fish is different, really.> I am assuming the copper will wipe out all mysis, copepods, and amphipods in the tank- is this true? <LOL- I should have read through before answering...yep- your assumption is correct!> He isn't going into my display tank for at least 8 weeks, but if he can last through the 2-week treatment I can transfer him to a friends established tank (92 display, 65 sump).  I would love to keep him, but I will not tolerate ich again. <I'm not 100% comfortable using copper with this fish, especially if it's not sick. Better to quarantine separately without copper.> After much debate, I have decided to remove all substrate from my display tank and sump.  I truly think that my last ich outbreak was a result of cysts laying dormant in the substrate- the tank ran fallow for 8 agonizing weeks!!! <A good procedure, but sometimes it takes even longer to get a cure.> I have green star polyps that are spreading at an alarming rate and I plan to cover the bottom glass with them.  Who needs substrate anyway? <Well, lots of different opinions on this one! Aesthetic and biological needs come into play. We could discuss/debate the merits/cons of substrates vs. bare bottom for days!> I understand that my engineer and watchman goby will need to find new homes. Is my theory re: substrate plausible? <Your theory is definitely plausible, but the cysts can also be found in rock, decorations, even silicone sealer in the tank. You can never be 100% assured of getting them all out, but the fallow tank treatment can reduce their numbers to a level that otherwise healthy fishes can resist them.> Thanks for helping, BJ Wincott <My pleasure! Proceed with caution, and keep up the high level of diligence and patience that you've displayed so far! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Water Quality & Disease... Crypt, Quarantine ignorance   4/26/06 Good evening to all <John> I have a 110 gallon FOWLR system that has been up and running for about 7 months.  I started with two small damsels then slowly added two Pearlscale Butterflies, 2 Peppermint Shrimp, two small clowns and a Diamond Goby.  My wife's cat apparently enjoyed the Goby when he decided to explore outside the tank one night when I didn't have the lid locked down.  So I replaced him with a 5" Engineering Goby.  We've had the new Goby about 6 weeks now and I noticed several days ago a trace of what appears to be Ick. <... no quarantine?> I was told by one store personnel to drop in a couple of Cleaner Shrimp and that will solve the problem. <Mmm, maybe forestall it...>   Another told me the Cleaner Shrimp will kill the Peppermint Shrimp and suggested a freshwater dip. <... unlikely the shrimp would kill any of these fishes... dipping the fish might do more harm than good... and if this is crypt, your system now "has it"> I mentioned that to a third store employee who told me Engineering Gobies do not react well to freshwater dips and recommended I use an "Ick-Be-Gone" type product that is kind to invertebrates. <... there are no such things as invertebrate-safe and effective protozoacides> I was also told to buy a UV Sterilizer to solve the problem but I felt like that was treating the symptom and not the real problem. <Bingo>   In the meantime the Goby has gotten much worse and the ick appears to have spread to one of the Butterflies. <Double bingo> I didn't think I was over-taxing the ecosystem with the population since most are only about 2 inches +/-.  My questions are, 1) Can I combine Peppermint Shrimp and Cleaner Shrimp in the same tank? <You could, but...> 2) What is causing this ick problem? <I take it you're not joking here... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... till you understand> Do I need to do more frequent water changes or larger amounts each change.  For a 110 gallon system with about 70 LB's of live rock how many gallons and how often would be recommended? <For what purposes? This is posted on WWM> 3) Most important, what can I do to fix the immediate problem?   <Read on my friend... you've got some important decisions to make... and make soon. I'd be removing the fish livestock, treating them elsewhere... as proscribed where you've been referred> Like I said, I asked 3 different people and received different answers to all my questions, it's very frustrating.  I'm looking for a long term solution not just a Band-Aid for today  Any suggestions? John R. Newlon <Educate yourself, make your own decisions. You've made a huge blunder in introducing a parasite to your now parasitized system... Do you want to try to establish some sort of "ping-pong" ongoing host-parasite arrangement (and not add more unconditioned fish livestock) or try to eliminate it? Bob Fenner>

Re: Water Quality & Disease... Crypt, Quarantine...   4/28/06 Mr. Fenner, <John> I appreciate your response.  I actually did quarantine all the fish for 2 weeks each and never saw any traces of ich or any other abnormalities during that time period.  I apologize for not listing that in my first email.  The articles should help in the future.  Thank you again. <Thank you for this follow-up John... Do please read these areas over... and formulate a game plan... and execute against it... Quick. Bob Fenner>

Microsporidean Infection - Will it go away?   3/21/06 Hi Bob, <Steve> You have been such a great help! I recently got a small Powder blue tang that has been showing pimple-like bumps on its body - not salt grains (ich) and not dust-like (velvet). After researching your site, I'm pretty sure it's a microsporidean infection. My question is, while it is said that there is no cure for this, will it just go away or is the fish just doomed? <Mmm, have seen such infestations live "with their host" for many years> In your responses to the other related posts, you only mentioned that it's not infectious to other species nor is contagious. Secondly, how long does it usually take for these bumps to develop? <...?> I'd like to figure out if it picked it up in my tank or already had it when I bought it from the store. <This latter, assuredly> I bought the PBT with a yellow tang at the same time so that they won't get too territorial. For the first few days they were buddies, then the PBT would get annoyed and they'd flash their tails now and then. Could these bumps be coming from stress maybe? <To some extent> Also, from your experience, how long does it take to go away? <Sometimes months, other times, never.> thanks again for your help. You've truly impacted the aquarist community for the better. Steve <There are some groups of fishes, my favorite example the serrasalmine fishes called Silver Dollars, that very often have these... and they often prove persistent. I would enjoy this fish, ignore the bumps. Bob Fenner> Re: Microsporidean Infection - Will it go away? PBT dis.  - 03/22/06 Update on my PBT - Last night the white bumps turned into more or less white specks and white specks started showing up on its pectoral fins. <Is likely the protozoan Cryptocaryon...> Then this morning they looked black on the body but still white on the fins. As this is my first time dealing with this, I find myself second guessing my initial diagnosis. Could it be ich, <Most likely> or black ich that I'm seeing instead of a microinfection or is this just part of the lifecycle for the microsporidean? The fish is less active today and swimming a little more wobbly but still eating Nori and picking at algae on the LR. His original darker full blue has faded into a much lighter powder blue and he's not picking on the other fish anymore, sometimes just hiding in the corner away from the other fish. Sorry for bombarding you guys with these trivial questions - I feel like a nervous parent who's never seen their kid have a cold before. So a little reassurance or at least understanding of what's going on would be most helpful. Just in case, since I only have a 10 gallon QT, I decided to move all my corals (I don't have that many, just some zoos, xenia, anemone, and candy cane) to the QT and leave the fish in the main tank with a some live rock in case I need to medicate. Did I misdiagnose or is this just part of the microsporidean lifecycle and I just have to wait it out? Steve <... is not likely a Microsporidean. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Going fallow? Can't find answer on your web site  - 2/15/2006 I can't find answer on your web site to this question. I have a 135ga. tank that I am going to let run fallow for 5-6 weeks. I have a good cycle currently but, I only have about thirty-five pounds of LR. LFS said if  I allow it to run fallow that I will need to recycle the tank. That  doesn't sound right to me. <Me neither> Will going fallow for approx. 5-6 weeks with only thirty-five pounds of LR and a few inverts in a 135 be a problem? <No> Is it likely that my cycle will be weakened or lost? <No> If I just add a little LR each during the fallow period will I be OK. <No need to add anything. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Kent Puffer with crypt ... maybe not  2/6/06 I have a dogfaced puffer and a yellow tang in a 110 gal tank. it has been established for a year. I have had the puffer for 10 months and the tang for 3 or 4 months. the puffer has an abundance of white nodules (like salt)  on his fins and body. I believe this to be crypt. <Nodules? How large are these?> I have lowered the salinity in the tank to 1.017 and raised the temp to 82.  my amm, and no2 were 0 and my no3 were 25 or 30. ph 8.0.  I have formalin 37% solution and rid-ich. I do not have any copper or the testing for it. I have a well cycled 10 gal qt tank. I also have a 29 gal display that is 18 months old with a damsel and a choc chip star. I am thinking of how to properly treat the puffer and having trouble since the 10 gal is too small for him to stay in for 4 weeks. I can freshwater dip the tang ( who is showing no signs of crypt) and put her in the 29 for the 4 weeks. if I put the puffer in a formalin freshwater dip (10 drops per gal of water, right?) <One way> for 15 min.s and put him in the 10 gal, would he be able to stay in there for 4 weeks without causing more stress?   <Not likely> I would have to do 30 % water changes every other day to keep up with the ammonia.  that would throw off the directions on the formalin of 2 drops per gal on alternate days until no spots remain and then repeat treatment in 10 days. the directions only call for one 25% water change between treatments. I have read other  FAQ's until I'm cross-eyed. please any advice or even confirmation of my own thoughts would be great. I work 60 hours a week and daily water changes would be difficult if not impossible. thanks Beth <Am concerned here with the crypt/ich pretense... Are none of the other fishes showing signs? I don't think this is crypt if not. Perhaps bolstering the puffers immune system will help with the "nodules"... maybe the addition of a purposeful cleaner. I would try microscopic examination of skin smears here before subjecting these animals to treatment. Bob Fenner> Re: puffer with crypt   2/7/06 Thanks for getting back to me. Your site has saved a couple of fish for me. Sorry, maybe I used the wrong word when I used the word nodule. It is very small, like 1mm or less--like a grain of table salt. <Oh... thought this was much larger> All the descriptions I saw supported the saltwater ich/crypt  diagnosis. Unfortunately I don't have access to a microscope. It took a couple days for a response and I felt time was of the essence so I began a treatment regiment. Btw, the tang had been seen scratching once or twice on rocks, but nothing showed on her fins yet. <This family, Order does scratch/flash quite a bit...> They were the only two fish in the tank. I lost a Hawkfish from that tank 4 months back seemed to be bacterial he had lots of redness around mouth and gills.  I freshwater dipped (15 min.s, no formalin) the tang and put her in the 29 gal, it has lots of algae for her to graze on and she is settling in fine with her roommates. I also freshwater dipped the puffer for 15 min.s (careful not to let his mouth or gills out of the water) and put him in a 20 gal Rubbermaid container (clear) with filter, heater, air pump, and aged/oxygenated saltwater. It also had formalin in it according to the bottle ( 2 drops per gal). All of the grains fell off his body in the freshwater dip. <Does sound parasitic then> About half of the grains on his fins are gone. He has been in the  "hospital tank" for 24 hours. Using a quick dip the ph is 8.2, the no2 is 0, and the no3 is 0. This sg is 1.018 ( I had lowered the main tank to 1.017) The formalin bottle says to treat every other day until all signs of disease is gone and then do a 25% water change. <Yes, or more> Then to re treat in 10 days  to prevent reinfestation. <And leave the infested system fallow as well...> The puffer is active and appears hungry. I am going to give him a small piece of shrimp to keep his strength up. If there is anything I am doing wrong or anything else I should do please advise. The move from tank to dip to tank did not seem to stress him much-- he didn't even puff a little and allowed himself to be cradled in my hand. If you feel the puffer would be better in the main tank without the formalin treatment I value your opinion.  I had planned on letting the 110 run fallow for  4 to 6 weeks so I have no worries when I get another fish for that tank. Thanks again for everything Beth <I would proceed as you have outlined, and done. Bob Fenner> Scratching fish  - 1/30/2006 Dear Crew, About two months ago while quarantining a new fish I had to suddenly leave town.  The new fish was only in quarantine a little over a week.  I had to put it into the main tank since the quarantine tank had no biological filtration and would have required daily water changes.  Since then three fish in my 180 gal. aquarium have been scratching continuously. <Bunk> There are no other signs of disease; water parameters are good (pH 8.4; ammonia and nitrite 0; nitrate <5 ppm).  Numerous other fish show no problems.  There is also a healthy cleaner wrasse in the tank and doing an excellent job; however, the same three fish continue to have what seems to be some sort of gill flukes.  My question is do I remove the three fish and medicate them or let the cleaner wrasse and disease run its course? <Up to you... likely your system itself is infested...> The three fish affected have good appetites, healthy body weight and no other signs of stress.  I have lowered the specific gravity to 1.019 over the course of several days.  This seems to have helped although it has not completely solved the problem. Thank you for your input. Sincerely, Jeff Jones <You are faced with a surprisingly common situation... a marine system in some sort of parasitic balance... A way to put this question of what to do back to you is to ask: Do you want the consequences of weakened livestock, the chance of returning (hyper)infectivity... or the trouble of removing the hosts, treating them elsewhere...? Bob Fenner> Dosing a whole tank  1/13/06 Howdy WWM, <<Hello>>       I would like to know what is the best way to purge a whole tank of any ich, velvet, or any diseases that would affect fish, especially tangs. I have setup a new 150 gallon tank and added the rock, sand, and a couple damsels I took from my nano. I will be removing the damsels and putting them back in my nano reef. These fish have been with me for years so I'm pretty sure they are disease free. Since powder blues are ich magnets, along with most tangs I would like to kill everything bad in the main tank. I'm not really worried about the micro fauna as I can reseed the tank after the treatment. The only thing I am worried about is copper, or anything that will stay permanently in the water, rock, or glass. <<The best way to avoid parasites like ich is by exclusion, through a lengthy quarantine of all future inhabitants.  I believe treating your system in its entirety right now is of little use.  Any additions pose a threat of contaminating the system if not properly QT'd.  Your tang may well have ich upon introduction to your tank, which will thwart any efforts you put forth to rid the system of such things.  Your best bet if you're worried is to let the system run empty while you quarantine your first addition for several weeks.  Be sure to continue to QT subsequent additions to ensure a disease-free system.>> Thank you for your help. <<Glad to help. Lisa>> Ich v. Air bubbles 8/13/05 I recently treated my orbit batfish for ich. His eyes were cloudy, breathing heavily and in bad shape. After successful copper sulfate treatment for two weeks  I returned him to his 90  gallon home 5 weeks later. The main tank remained fallow for 5 weeks before his return. Everything appeared ok for a few days. Suddenly I started noticing what I thought were white spots on his tail again. After a few days they appeared to be all over his body. When I turned the lights on late at night  they appeared all over. I was extremely upset and debating whether to do a second copper treatment or to try with garlic soaked food and  just leave him with the cleaner shrimp since too much copper can be dangerous <You are right to be concerned here> Suddenly I had a thought that perhaps it was not ich. He wasn't scratching and his eyes were still clear. Appetite fine. Looking carefully in the water I noticed lots of tiny air bubbles from my protein skimmer. Looking in my 4 other reef tanks I did not see any similar spots on the fish. <Bats, Spadefishes are slimier than many other groups of fishes... and with the copper treatment, this specimen would be even slimier... more susceptible to air bubbles sticking on it.> However the protein skimmers in those tanks were in the sump and there were no air bubbles in the tank. I turned off the protein skimmer. Much to my happy surprise the supposed "ich"  had all disappeared within 3 hours. Apparently what had happened was that the air bubbles were attaching to the slow moving batfish. With the light reflection off the air bubbles the air bubbles appeared to be ich. Now I am an experienced marine hobbyist with over 10 years in the hobby. I am also a well know Manhattan attorney so am usually pretty careful how I do things. Yet I came very close to committing fish malpractice by  treating for ich when all I had was air bubbles. <Heee! Case closed counselor> The point of the story is that it is not so easy to tell simply by white spots if you have ich or not. <Yes> If there are any tiny air bubbles in your tank it would behoove the aquarist to first shut the protein skimmer for a few hours and see if the "ich"  is really air bubbles. Slow moving fish appear to be magnets for air bubbles. Sadly I would bet there are thousands of cases of fish being treated for "ich" when all they had were a case of air bubbles. <Agreed... with dire consequences often> It's worth the time to shut your protein skimmer for a few hours to find out. Obviously if your fish are already scratching, not eating, and have cloudy eyes this extra step is not necessary. William J. Unroch, Attorney <Thank you for this. You have saved many organisms, other hobbyists... Bob Fenner>

Need help finding a cure... <Crypt/Velvet?... Chloroquine...> 8/28/05 Wow.. what a wealth of knowledge you have and I am so thankful you are sharing this knowledge with us! I love your site and though there is soooo much information on your site it can make things difficult to find, but with a bit patience and lots of searching I can usually find answers to almost anything.. I do commend you (and the rest of WWM crew) for the time and effort you put into this amazing hobby. well.. I wouldn't be e-mailing you if here wasn't a problem.. so here goes.. We have a 1500 gallon system.. yes 1500 gallons, my husbands dream (I love it too : ) but I can at least blame it all on him : ). It is actually 5 tanks that line two walls of our basement all on one filtration system which is located in the garage. The tanks have been up and running about a year now and we are slowly getting them stocked and arranged. It is a slow and expensive process as you are aware. I guess with adding new items to the tanks we are always at risk. We have a separate 400 gallon tank we are using as a quarantine tank. <All water, gear... separated> For some unknown reason.. maybe adding new corals to the tank we had an outbreak of what we believed to be ich. we removed all of the fish except for the ones in the reef.. (Powder blue tang, 3 blennies and a mandarin goby). <Mmm, if there are fish/es present in part of the system, they will act as "reservoir hosts" (scientific term)...> So now in the 400 gallon QT tank we have the following: Pink Tail trigger, Nigger trigger, Naso Tang, 3 yellow tangs, Blue hippo tang, skunk clown fish, emperor angel, blue faced angel, purple tang and a golden puffer... (there was also a clown trigger, lemon peel angel and long horned cowfish, but they recently passed) Ah yes. the golden puffer.. here is where our problem lies...  Since we do have a puffer we cannot and do not want to use the conventional copper medication for fear of killing him.  We have always used Hyposalinity in the past with great success, however they have been in hypo for about a week now with no improvement. the fish we left in the reef part of the main system actually look better than the ones in the QT tank. Only thing we can come up with is marine velvet.. <Mmm, for the many dollars you have invested in this system, livestock, ongoing operational costs, I would invest in an inexpensive microscope, learn to use it... not hard, expensive...> and only medication we could come up with people actually having success with was Aquatronics Marex which contained Chloroquine <di>Phosphate. However to my findings over he past two days.. Aquatronics has gone out of business and that medication cannot be found. <Mmm, actually...> I am having great difficulties finding another med with the same ingredient or a vet to prescribe me Chloroquine Phosphate because they do not specialize in fish... Do you have any suggestions on obtaining this medication or another med that may help with external parasites that will not harm our puffer? <Careful use of chelated copper along with hyposalinity... of all fishes... would be my choice... If you are convinced that you'd like to try Chloroquine diphosphate (note spelling) this compound can be procured for human use (used to treat malaria)... expensive... from a medical doctor source> I have read so many articles on FW dips, but would Hypo not have the same effect? <Mmm, generally not... the rapid change in osmotic pressure is often of much more immediate relief, destruction to single-celled animals> If we try to FW dip can we dip multiple fish at once and change FW between "groups". How long can you leave them in there without causing too much stress or harming them more? <... this is posted on WWM> You have my utmost gratitude for any help or suggestions with this.... Thanks for your time!! Jatana <I strongly encourage you to have local folks... guru/s from a marine hobby club, expert service company personnel... come to your site, inspect your fishes, system... help devise (and soon) a workable plan for isolating, treating ALL your fishes... and carefully quarantine all future purchases. Along with the microscope, I cannot urge you enough to procure a copy of Edward J. Noga's "Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment". Bob Fenner>

Help with <supposed> Uronema outbreak <misdiagnoses and treatments... apparent and not costs> 7/25/05 Hi All and thanks in advance, <Welcome> Please bear with me, as I am fairly new to this, having used your site for about 2 months, and am trying to learn from my mistakes.  This will  be very long winded, but I want to provide you with as much detail as  possible.  I have a FOWLR (mostly) 75 gallon tank, established about 6  months ago, with about 70 lbs of LR.  Since the start, all of my  parameters were great, 80 degrees, 8.2 Ph, very low or nonexistent Ammonia,  Nitrate, Nitrite, 1.024 sg.  Earlier (about 4 weeks after setup) I added 2  yellow tangs, who lived happily for about 3 1/2 months alone.  About 6  weeks ago, I added my other fish and inverts (all within about 10 days) bringing  the entire load up to:  2 yellow tang, a pr of Percula clowns, 3  small blue-green reef Chromis, and a pink-fringed fairy wrasse, a quadricolor  (sp?) anemone, 1 tiger cowry, 5 small turbo snails, and a sand starfish (sorry, under stress, cannot remember his species, but he's grey and lives below the  sand).  I considered using a quarantine tank, but didn't (argh,  hindsight and learning tough lessons). <Yes>   Parameters stayed great,  except that I got an outbreak of Cyanobacteria (due mostly to dead spots in  currents, thriving on extra detritus (sp?)).  I used your site to get the Cyano under control, but had a small ammonia spike (2.0) <Not small> thereafter, which  was alleviated in about 4 days. Everyone was doing great, even the anemone, who  had a bit of a tough adjustment.  Another few weeks went by and: Sunday/Monday, all fish were doing great, even have video I reviewed  today.   Tuesday, I noticed a few white dots on the clowns (mostly the  female), and a strange look to one of the blue-green Chromis (a little pale in  spots, a spot that looked like he lost a scale or 2) but nothing too drastic,  everyone acting healthy and well.  I immediately went to my LFS keep in  mind a 45 min drive each way), to purchase a hospital tank, with photos in  tow.  My fave fish guy observed the photos, and thought it might be a touch  of Ich, which he said seems to spike this time of year locally (NJ, hot humid  summers). <Along with the ammonia, whatever caused it...>   He advised raising the temp to about 83, and observation for a  day or so.  Left without the hospital tank, as I was waiting for delivery  of a specific one that evening. Wed:  Tragic accident?  Small clown sucked into powerhead, don't  know if accident, but now suspect he was either weakened or possibly dead.    <Must have been weakened... otherwise would have avoided...> Female clown looks different, only a few spots, but a few cottony strings  hanging from her fins, and she is stressed from losing her mate.  Blue  green looks awful, ulcers formed overnight, lost a lot of scales, and  is gasping.  Another blue-green looking similar to the first a day  before.  I race back to the LFS, and fave guy not working.  I consult a  few others there, and they suspect Brooklyniosis (sp?). <These terms are spelled, described on WWM, the Net.> By the time I  returned home, the blue-green had passed.  I quickly set up a 20 gallon  hospital tank (the wrong way, I later find out, w/ sand substrate and left the  carbon filter in, all fixed 24 hrs later), with a bio-wheel filter, heater,  small powerhead, and airstone, and a lowered salinity of 1.017, temp  82.   Alone, I was only able to get the clown into the tank, and began  treating with Malachite Green, as directed by LFS (probably ineffective due to  sand and carbon filter).  I did not give her a FWB as she was severely  stressed from the capture and move.   By the time this was done, it  was 1 am. Thurs:  Wake up to find clown dead, and blue green still in main tank  dead.   Last blue green not looking great, and one of the tangs has white  dots now.   I jar the dead creatures and rush back to LFS.  Fave guy  back and diagnoses Uronema, <On what basis was this diagnosis made? Microscope use...?> and says I need to get as many of the fish out of  main tank as I can and quickly into hospital tank, get rid of substrate, <Why?> carbon  filter, daily water changes at least 5 gallons (of 17-18), malachite green, with  10 min FW baths for all (and formalin on reserve).  I didn't think it was  possible, as hubby out of town, but managed to set up,  capture and move  them all within a couple hours.  After the FW baths, the tang looks a lot  better, and I think the blue-green is too far gone for recovery, having already  begun to ulcerate (gosh this disease is FAST!)   <Marine parasitic disease in aquariums can be.> Fri: Water change, malachite green, FW baths for 2 sick ones, (every other day for the remaining two healthy fish, a pink fringed fairy wrasse and last yellow tang, neither showing ANY symptoms).  The small yellow tang was  looking much better, but shortly after his FWB, the white spots had returned,  and he had a white mark on his upper "lip/nose".  He had been eating well  to this point, but now would chase food, unable to actually eat it.   These changes happened over a few hours. This morning: The last blue green has passed, and the small yellow looking   very similar to yesterday, except more white dots.  Nose/lip NOT  looking any better and still unable to eat.  The last two still look very  healthy, with the wrasse being observed constantly with no apparent symptoms  except frustration with losing his "hiding spots".  I think its time to  start the Formalin. <... I would not... too dangerous, not likely to "get" all the daughter colonies, encysted stages... w/o killing your fishes/hosts... I would go the copper route... detailed over and over on WWM> Finally to my question:  I have been treating for 2 days with  Malachite green (first day probably ineffective), and FW baths.  Since this  disease is so fast moving, and the last malachite green treatment seems  ineffective on the Uronema, should I begin Formalin treatment? <I doubt if you have a Uronema infestation... but even if so, I would not treat it as proscribed> In  conjunction with the Malachite Green?  Should I treat entire hospital tank  (1 sick, 2 seemingly healthy fish) with formalin or should I use it as dip for  the sick one only?  I plan to ask my LFS as soon as I can get up there in a  couple hours, but would like to get your opinion as well.  I want to save  whomever I can from this very rapid disease, but don't want to risk the healthy  ones with overtreatment.  Does everything else with the hospital tank look  in order to you? Thanks for any help you can provide! Robin <Ten semi-deep breaths, and read... on WWM re marine parasitic disease/s, treatment, Malachite, Formalin, Copper... the sub-index is here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Educate yourself... and quickly! And get on with a treatment plan... you don't need to toss the old substrate... do need a copper solution (chelated likely), a test kit for same, diligence... Knowledge is power my friend, be powerful. I wish you well. Bob Fenner>

Update: On treatment for Uronema 7/25/05 Just finished posting about Uronema outbreak:  Small yellow tang is  eating again (just two hours after last attempt), and white spots have  diminished, but not eradicated, spot on lip/nose less white, but darkish line  just behind upper lip.  Acting even more healthy, but saw him rubbing  against bottom once. Should I hold off on Formalin or still begin  treatment, and which way? Robin <... this is very much more likely Cryptocaryon... and has simply "cycled off"... will be back. Read. BobF>

To Medicate Or Not To Medicate? - 06/04/05 Hi WetWebbers, <<Hey there!>> I'll try and keep this brief. A break-out of ich (and a fungal infection) in my 90-g tank killed 7 of my 8 fish. The remaining fish, a six-line wrasse, was removed and put in a small 10-g tank so that the 90-g can go fallow for 8 weeks. <<Very good.>> The wrasse has shown no signs of being sick. <<Are tough little buggers.>> He is eating and swimming, and his body looks free from parasites and infection.  However, should we medicate him as a precautionary measure?  I don't know if the infection/parasites can be dormant in him since he was in the infected tank. <<Any problems with the wrasse should/will manifest in the 8 weeks you'll be waiting for the main tank.  I would leave the sixline be and not medicate unless it proves necessary.>> Thank you! Jodi <<Regards, Eric R.>>

Perilous Pomacanthus Angel - 8/17/03 Good afternoon, Mr. Fenner, hope all is well with you. <Anthony Calfo in his stead, with regards in kind> I have a bit of an issue with a 7 1/2" Emperor angel. He/she has been doing very well in an established seven foot 200g predator tank for some time. <grumble> A bit frisky, as the fish immediately dominated the tank upon arrival. Tank mates are a 12" Panther grouper, and a 10" gold stripe puffer. <grumble grumble> Yes sir, I do realize that I am pushing tank capacity. <that's one way to put it... 2.5 feet of fishes in a 2' wide aquarium. Doh! The reduced activity of the grouper and puffer (perhaps) works in your favor. Still... it would be nice to see more tank or less fish> However, I  noticed today that the right gill plate has ceased to move. <a conspicuous sign of gill parasites, indeed> Subsequently, the left gill plate is functioning at twice the normal rate. There have been no new arrivals, and no previous disease issues. <understood... but the fishes did not arrive sterile (as in pathogen free). They, like us, carry potentially pathogenic organisms that are suppressed for life, only to be expressed under weakened immunity or duress (like giving up hope for a larger aquarium <G>. Sorry... couldn't resist)> Water quality is spot-on, appetite is voracious, and color is vivid. I am inclined to think the fish is very healthy, no HLLE and nice streamers for the species. <all very good to hear> No one else displaying any erratic behavior, other than darting for cover when the angel cruises the length of the aquarium!  The only change made  was a large water change four days ago with aged water from the same source, of the same salinity, pH, and temp. Water change was approximately 40g, as I needed aged water for a 37g quarantine tank that I just set up. <No worries... and not a large water change either. Good heavens, for a tank of predatory fishes of this size, I should hope that you have been doing 20% water changes like this twice monthly. If not, the accumulated untestables over time are surely a burden on water quality and a stress to the fish. The angel (unsurprisingly) may just be the first one to express suffrage> I first  suspected gill flukes, but is that possible since there are no new arrivals, and the  water change was with r/o home-brew?   <correct my friend... simply carried in small numbers and never expressed. Good immunity> I have seen unexplainable phenomena occur while employed at John Tullock's now defunct Aquatic Specialists, but this is a new one for me. I must say that I feel as though I can trust your opinion, as I have learned more from reading three pages of your writing than I could have learned in three years of actual study. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated, not only by myself, but the specimen in question, too. Devoted, yet stumped, Samantha Madison <no worries, my dear. But do be prepared with a bare-bottomed QT tank and some formalin. Easy on the copper and/or malachite (any metals or organic dyes) in fact as you likely know - angels can be sensitive. FW dips and formalin are your likely cure in QT. Go for the the full 4 weeks isolation. Bare minimum would be two weeks after the last expression of a symptom. Medication in the display is not recommended or likely to be successful. Best of luck. Anthony>

Cysts at Night? Hello and thank you in advance for your time! <No problem! Ryan with you today> Here's my problem...I have a 10 month old tank. It was stocked sparingly with various soft corals, a few inverts, and two fish. The two fish being a Blue velvet damsel and a Tomato clown....both , VERY healthy. <Great> At this point having relatively a "good" feeling about things, I decided to spend a little money on a Coral Beauty Angel...I watched it in the store for a week...watched it eat and thrive...etc. Well, long story short...after two days in my tank I noticed spots...ONLY at night. Well despite an emergency fresh water dip...I lost the Angel. <I see- Coral Beauty Angelfish have a relatively good reputation- But it's not well earned in my book.  I'm not sure if it's collection techniques, holding facilities, or what exactly, but I have had bad luck with this fish as well.> Now for the heartbreak!!!! My very well established clown now has the same symptoms...again, ONLY at night. <Ich cysts on his skin?> I know what coming...so I guess my question is.... How, without copper, can I break this cycle?!?!?!? <No way without copper, quarantine.  Garlic can buy you time, but the ich will win someday without proper treatment> I should also mention the Damsel is unaffected...which adds to my confusion! <He will be.  Fish are able to maintain health while exposed to disease- for some time.  Once stress levels rise, disease has an entry.  Some fish are just able to "kick" some ailments...for a time.> Just for the record...my water tests fine.... and my corals are thriving....I'm a newcomer to this hobby and very discouraged...Please help! <Please read the FAQs about setting up a very cheap, safe quarantine system.  It's well worth it's weight in gold.> My sincere thanks for any help you may be able to offer <I hope that I have- No magic cures here, but we all have been down this road, and are happy to show you the way. Ryan> D. McMorrow

Tangs and Ich This is my tank -90 bow front FOWLR (145lbs) -15 gallon sump -650 gph flow through sump -4 maxi-jet 1200 -1/2 inches "Florida crushed coral substrate" -Aqua C 180 EV skimmer with mag drive 5 pump -2-65 watt 10 K full spectrum PC 12 hrs per day -2-65 watt 03 actinic blue 14 hrs per day -2-300 watt heaters -2 bags of carbon (app 1 cup each) replaced alternately once per month -ammonia - 0 -nitrite - 0 -nitrate - below measurable limits -temp - 79-80 -calcium - 310 ppm  <May want to raise this a bit> -s.g. - 1.025 -pH - 8.22 - 8.35 (buffered occasionally with Seachem Reef buffer) -RO water for everything -mag - 1250 ppm -Total Alkilinity - 4.5 meq/l Inhabitants -4 true tank raised clowns about one and a half inches long (bought together, unsexed, very healthy, lively, playful, hungry- I think I know which one will eventually be the female) -1 regal tang -3 small feather dusters which are growing about 1/4 inch per week (got free with LR) -1 (has recently split into 8) mushroom which gets really big during the day (also got free with LR) <Sounds great so far> Questions: I have a 4 inch regal tang that I have had for 7 months now.  Since I got him there have been no additions or changes to the tank, except the cleaner shrimp.  He seems to be getting ich.  2 days ago he had 7 or 8 white spots on his body.  Today he has 25 or 30.  I finally caught him, a very diificult task considering all the LR in the tank, and gave him a ph adjusted fresh water bath.  I also just recently got a cleaner shrimp.  I don't know if he is cleaning him or not (I have never seen any interaction between the two) He is eating fine.  (Red, green, and purple dries algae, mysis shrimp, blood worms, and many other vitamin enhanced dry and flake foods.)  Should I just keep an eye on him and quarantine with copper if he gets worse, hoping that the cleaner shrimp may help?  Or should I go through the greulling procedure of catching him again to put in quarantine right away? Also, with no additions to the tank for 7 months, where would the ich come from.  How could it have been introduced into the system?  Thanks for all your help.   <You'll need to QT him with copper, give him freshwater dips.  A cleaner shrimp won't fix an ich outbreak.  The longer he's in the tank, the longer the parasite has to locate new hosts (your clowns) and spread like a plague.  Get that Tang out, and quickly.  Be prepared to QT the clowns as well, and run your tank fallow for 4+weeks.  You may get lucky and only need to treat the Tang this time.  Best of luck! Ryan>

As The Worm Turns? (Fighting Intestinal Worms) Hi Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. your Crew Member today!> I DID IT - I finally caught my sick Naso (180 gal, lots of LR)!!!  Now that I finally have this sick fish in a QT, the information I need is how to treat him/her.  From reading MANY posts on your website, my assessment (best guess) is that my Naso Tang has intestinal worms.  I have not seen any worms but this fish has not eaten in 5-6 days and I can nearly see through it because it is so emaciated.  I do not notice a swollen area near the posterior of the fish, similar to those that had a blockage. <Sounds like it may be just that, but usually, you can't tell 100% unless you dissect the animal... I guess you'll have to go with your best guess here. > I noted that some of the people who discovered this issue with their Naso in time took the fish to a vet who administered an oral de-wormer.  I do not know of any vet in my area that treats fish.  Is there anything I can use to treat my Naso for worms?  I currently have Cu in the QT (3.0 PPM) and I am using Melafix because I have read several positive results from using this "natural" medication and no negative results. <I am skeptical about it...It's supposedly for external problems, too, by the way...I'd remove the copper, is it may be causing more harm than good to the fish, by damaging it's digestive fauna...Not a good thing when a fish is possibly starving. Although it is reported by some people to be successful at treating worms, I'd use Poly Filter or Cupri Sorb to remove the copper, and keep up a lot of regular small water changes. As far as a medication for intestinal worms, I'd steer towards a medication like Praziquantel, or possibly a Formalin based medication.> As I mentioned previously, I did previously notice a single "attachment" to the throat area of this fish that dropped off the day after I noticed it.  I assumed this was some sort of parasite but no others have returned in the approximate 5 days since this "attachment" fell off.  I thought the Melafix would also be good to prevent a secondary infection at the site of this parasite attachment. <Ahh... didn't see your first post. Now I understand your rationale for using Melafix...Good thought> Assuming I am able to cure my Naso of these (assumed) worms in time, would these worms not still be present in my main tank?  If so, how do I prevent a re-occurrence? <Unlikely. Usually, these worms come in with the fish from the wild, so it's hard for me to imagine that they are present in the tank in any numbers that could be a problem. On the other hand, the external parasite that you noted could have reproduced, and could be a potential problem. Observe carefully, and let the tank go fallow if this turns out to be a problem. Parasites don't fare well without hosts! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> ________________________________________ My information contribution: Hopefully this will help some other person who is finding it impossible to catch fish in a large tank with many rocks.  This is how I finally caught my Naso:  Since I have several other Tangs (ich magnets) in my tank, I was very worried about stressing all the fish in the tank and causing an ich outbreak.  To minimize stress (the fishes' and mine), I waited until night and turned off the aquarium lights (leaving only a flashlight pointing at the bottom of the opposite end of the tank from where my fish sleep).  Once all fish has settled into their normal sleeping positions, I slowly removed all live rock that was not directly providing immediate shelter for a sleeping fish (moving the rock to the opposite end of the tank without exposing it to air).  I then used whatever I could find (feeding tongs, plastic cup, etc.) to plug any holes/cracks between rocks that were large enough for this fish to fit through.  Although not necessary, I have a Sony camcorder with infrared night vision, which I used to locate the Naso without disturbing the other fish (just a tip in case you happen to have a similar camera).  I placed one (larger) net at the single opening I had left between the rock and glass on one side of the aquarium.  I then (very gently) moved the other (smaller, more maneuverable) net near the fish from the opposite side of the tank.  To me it seemed that this was just an annoyance to the fish rather than causing fright.  Once the fish got close enough to the large net to realize what was happening and to begin zig-zagging, looking for another quick getaway, I turned the flashlight directly on the fish causing it to become temporarily disoriented.  I then quickly scooped it up with the large net and let it swim into a container in the aquarium, filled with aquarium water.  Leaving the lights out the entire time (other than the small flashlight), I poured the fish into the QT. Maybe this sounds a little extreme (overly-cautious) but I have heard horror stories of ich outbreaks with tangs that led to loss of all the fish.  I do not want that guilt (or loss of $$)!  Like I said, hopefully this will help someone else because I struggled with several attempts before finally finding a way to catch the fish.  I nearly just left it in the tank to "wait and see" - probably a certain death from what I have read. ____________________________________________ Please advise how I can treat for worms and THANK YOU so much for all the help you are providing with this forum.  Greg

- Parasite-free? - Dear WWM Crew, <Hello, JasonC here...> I have been keeping saltwater fish for six years, at one point I had four large tanks.  I am now down to 2 and of course my quarantine tank.  I have NEVER had a problem with my 80 gallon, no parasite, no disease. <Quite the accomplishment.> Primarily because, three years ago I had to learn the hard way, thanks to Marine Velvet and the loss of all of my livestock, the value of quarantining.  I am now a "CMA" and I do everything "by the book"!!  Unfortunately, I have found that even doing everything "by the book", does not guarantee a perfectly healthy tank. <Nope.> I set up a 240, with 250 lbs. of premium cured Fiji LR, and a protein skimmer, also has two wet dry filters, and a UV sterilizer. I left the tank without fish for six weeks.  I quarantined the fish going into the 240 for 21 days in hyposalinity, and for 14 days after that with normal SG before they went into my display tank. Currently, the 240 houses a stunning 9" Harlequin Tusk (Tigger) and an 11" Golden  Puffer (Squirt). <Love those tuskfish!> I believe that somewhere amongst my LR there were some dormant ich cysts, because both of my fish show ich spots on their pectoral fins from time to time. <Just on the fins? I wouldn't be too concerned about this unless things spread.> I have a 12" Koran Angel (Monty) in quarantine right now, and am nervous about adding him to my 240, for obvious reasons. <Is probably ok. Have observed these spots before, and from a practical standpoint, it is very hard to almost impossible to have a system be 100% ich-free. Instead you need to make sure the fish are in premium health and free from stress.> I know that you say with proper diet and attention to water quality, and careful husbandry, (yes, I read WWM everyday)  that my wonderful fish "should" be fine. <Indeed.> It's the "should" part that gets me. I did not do all of this hard work to see my beauties living in a state of checks and balances with the ich. <The sky hasn't fallen yet.>   I have been to several wonderful public aquariums, Steinhart, Monterey Bay, Shark Reef, Waikiki Aquarium, and I saw superbly healthy happy fish.  I would like to have the utmost healthy happy fish, and I would like to be able to say "Yes, I have had Squirt for 10 years". <And you probably will... I wouldn't lose any sleep over a couple of spots on the pectoral fins.>  I would really value your opinion and guidance on how to achieve my goal. Will my fish and I be happy living in check with the ich, or should I quarantine Tigger and Squirt again, and leave my tank without a fish host, at a lower SG ( exactly how low can the SG go with the LR ) and a higher temp for another six weeks? <I would proceed forward.> If I carry out the fallow method with environment manipulation, in your opinion, will this make my tank sterile from parasites? <Impossible, really... do check to make sure the flow rate on your UV is slow enough to kill things that flow through it... many times the flow rate is too fast to kill parasites.>  Cannot say " Thank You" enough for your time and guidance.  By the way, I received the new Reef Invertebrate book last week, and it was definitely worth the wait!! WOW!!  Doesn't miss a thing.   Thank You,  Jen, who just wants healthy fish, Marshall <Cheers, J -- >

Fighting Ich The Easy Way? Is there a way to remove ich from my tank without taking out everything? This would be difficult for me? Thanks. <Well, there are ways to "manage" ich (i.e.; biological cleaners, freshwater dips, hyposalinity in FO tanks, etc.) which have been well-covered on the WWM site, but in my opinion, the only way to really "remove" ich from a display tank is to let it run fallow. In a fish-only system, I suppose you could medicate the tank (gulp!), but the long-term effects are just not worth the trade-off, IMO. If it were me, I'd roll up my sleeves, curse, scream, break down the decor, and net all of the fish out to treat 'em in a hospital tank (you could curse and scream BEFORE you net out the fish, if that helps!). It sucks, but it works! There really is no "easy" way to do this. The key is to keep ich and other potential diseases out of the tank in the first place by regularly quarantining all new arrivals for 3-4 weeks. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Just Like Starting Over...(Ich Recovery) Thanks Scott for replying back. <Hey, no problem...That's why we're here> I have read the articles that you wrote right after they were posted on the website.  They were very helpful and sometimes easier to understand than Bob's.  No offense Bob, loved CMA, use it all the time for reference/refresher. <Thanks for the "props", but I know for a fact that Bob has probably forgotten more on fish than I will ever know!> Scott, you've also helped me with questions re: my algae problem in the past.  Because of you  and WetWebMedia, I've been using RO water, changing my filter cartridge in my Ocean Clear filter weekly to bi-weekly, and slowed way down on the food. <Glad to hear that!> I just never thought that the rock that supposedly was good for saltwater would cause so many problems.  It's just been a nightmare. <Unfortunately, this stuff seems to have that effect for a lot of people...I avoid it like the plague!> Anyway, I think I'll go ahead and buy the live rock from Drs. Foster & Smith. <Good choice> I've had good luck with their products and their prices aren't bad. <And the service isn't too shabby, either!> One more question about the live rock.  I've read so much about deep sand beds on your website.  I'm not really sure that I want to, or can afford to change the substrate.  I currently have about 120 pounds of crushed coral with 20 pounds of live sand mixed in.  Is there going to be any conflicts with live rock and my current substrate?  If I keep the substrate, do you think I should bleach it to kill any Ich attached to it.  That will be a fun job :(  Thanks again for your help. <I don't think that the substrate you have would be too much of a problem, save the potential detritus accumulation that the larger-grained crushed coral would potentially cause. However, the presence of ich in the tank is a huge potential concern for me. Ich parasites can enter a "resting" phase and remain in the substrate for some time, laying in wait until conditions are right for another round. I have to agree that I would either dump the substrate (an expensive proposition) or go ahead and "nuke" it, as you outlined (not too fun, either). I think that the long-term positives of "dumping or nuking" the substrate will outweigh the short-term inconvenience or misery! It will be, in effect- just like starting over (didn't John Lennon sing that?)...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F> Sick Emperor Angel >Hello Mr. Fenner, >>Good morning, Marina to help you today. >I have a quick question that no one can seem to answer efficiently. I have an Emperor Angel fish that I have had for about 9 months now, and it just got sick about 1 month ago. The symptoms were: Pale body, fins were deteriorating, wasn't eating too much, breathing rapidly and darting/twitching. I took it out of the main tank, put it into a quarantine tank and treated it with copper for about 3 1/2 weeks. I tested the copper at 1.5, which remained consistent throughout the 3 1/2 weeks. Which brings me to today. I have been watching the fish a lot and it eats tons of food now, the body looks really nice, but the only thing that looks fishy (no pun intended) is that it still breaths rapidly (and seems to cough) like there is something bothering its gills, and darting/twitching. I have looked closely on its body and don't see any signs of parasites, however there are some small discolorations on the skin that are a little bit bigger than the size of freckles (there are about a handful on both sides of the fish) It is just discoloration (grayish color), it is not bulging, not fungus looking, not red around it, nor lesions on the body....it just seems like something is eating away at the skin with the way the fish is twitching/darting. Do you know what it might have? I was thinking that it might be gill flukes or something but I don't know. >>I'm thinking trematodes or something similar, and if I recollect correctly they're not at ALL affected by copper treatments.  You'll have to use Formalin, and I'll link you to a med guide and hopefully will find other links for you as well. >I am confused on what to do now, because coppersafe kills mostly everything, but the fish still seems to be in discomfort....What medicine, if any, would be effective for the symptoms that I listed? I appreciate your help. All in all, the fish is really healthy, it isn't sluggish or weak, it is rather aggressive and loves to eat! >>Be sure to keep him fed and fat, in the meantime... http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed2.htm http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed3.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/disease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrtmtfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/med.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimfa.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copperprodfaqs.htm >>There is SO much to find via Google through the site that I'm leaving it at this for now.  There is much information on utilizing Formalin for certain parasitic infections, and you'll soon learn that copper isn't the panacea that some believe it is when dealing with them.  Best of luck!  Marina

Argulus (marine)  Dear WWM Crew, <Howdy> I have a 225g salt water aquarium which houses a Niger Trigger, Naso Tang and a Zebra eel. The tank is fish only and has a wet/dry filter. My question is regarding Argulus. I believe I have this due to the actions of the Niger Trigger. It noticeably rubs onto rocks and flinches a lot. Yesterday I noticed 3 small oval shaped "lice" looking parasites moving about it's tail and fins. Yes, they are moving around. They are about 0.075" in diameter. It's fins have frayed a little bit but it's color still looks great. The other fish, as well as the Trigger, are still eating VERY hardily. Does this sound like a good diagnosis? <It may be that your fish does have this branchiuran parasite genus... Do you have access to a microscope?> I want to treat the tank with "CLOUT" but am nervous about putting medication in my tank. I am also concerned with only treating the Trigger because I have read that Argulus lays eggs in the rocks, so dipping the fish is only a temporary fix. Is this true? <Yes> Will CLOUT have any effect on the eel, since it doesn't have scales? How about the wet/dry filter, will there be any damage? <A bit of a risk, but about the best choice for you here... that or "Marine Med Aqua" or other organophosphate containing medications> If CLOUT isn't a good solution, do you have any recommendations? Thank you very much, Lon <I would try treating the trigger in a separate system (hospital tank), by itself if it is the only infested fish of the three... there is a chance that whatever this parasite is (likely some sort of crustacean) that it is so species specific in its use of hosts that it will die off in your main system in a month or so of leaving the trigger out. There is much to relate to you re your present knowledge of quarantine, treatments... Please read through the areas you feel you're weak in on WetWebMedia.com on the Marine Index (Maintenance) and the "Related FAQs" therein. Bob Fenner> Sick porcupine puffer Hello. I need some input please. I have a 55 gal tank that I have had set-up for almost two years now with no problems. The water quality is fine and all my levels are normal. A friend of mine recently moved and I inherited 3 of his fish: a 2 damsels and a yellow Tang. The problem is that my porcupine puffer is sick now and I am not sure what it may be. She just sits at the bottom of the tank and doesn't respond like normal. It looks like her skin is getting eaten away and the skin is brownish in color. She is also breathing heavily. She also seems a bit swollen. Do you have any ideas as to what this may be? <Sounds like a parasitic infection, or perhaps a Costia infection. I would give this fish a formalin dip. The usual dosage is 2ml-4ml per 10 litres (about 2.5 gallons) for 30 minutes; I would use no more than 2ml per 2.5 gallons in a separate tank. You will need to watch the puffer very closely and remove it if it appears to lose its equilibrium.> Possibly from the introduction of these new fish? <Yes. Especially if you did not quarantine the new fish.> We never had any problems until adding them into the tank. Also the Tang is starting to develop white spots (possibly ich). <Start with a freshwater dip with methylene blue. Adjust the pH to the same level as your tank. Much has been written about ich protocol; do check the articles and FAQs linked here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm> Any suggestions as to a remedy for my puffer and Tang. <as above> I am tempted to get rid of the fish my friend gave me but I'd rather find some type of middle ground. <It depends on what other fish you might have in the tank.> I have read over the FAQ in the puffer section but didn't see anything that may apply. Please help. <Aside from the above suggestions, do invest in a quarantine tank and use it religiously.> Thanks for any input, Cameron <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Clown trigger brings ich to FOWLR tank  - 2/13/03 I have a 220 g FOWLR set-up, recently purchased a clown trigger to go with my tomato clown, purple tang, damsel, cleaner shrimp and juvenile emperor angel.   <Goodness. You do have a bunch of bruisers in there. Hopefully the clown trigger will leave the cleaner shrimp alone.> Before putting the trigger in the tank everything was great.  Two days after I put the new trigger it got ich, very tiny not the larger spots (went back to the store where I purchased and noticed their whole tank had got it as well). <Sounds like the fish you got was sick before you got him. This is reason #1 to always quarantine new fish.> I immediately took it out, gave it a 3 minute freshwater bath <Possibly not quite long enough. Do try for five minutes, minimum.> and put it into a quarantine tank with copper (33 gallon).   <Test those copper levels twice a day.> It has been about 2 days now and none of the other fish seem to have come down with it, is there a hope they won't?? <Yes, if they are extremely healthy.> I know the parasite is probably in the tank even though I did get the trigger out quickly. <Yup.> Are the fish able to fight something like this off on their own if I was to just put the trigger back into the main system and forego the treatment <That's a recipe for disaster.> or is there a risk I endanger the other occupants as well??.   <Definitely.> If my other fish end up getting this in the next few days, does everyone need to go to the quarantine tank?? <Yes (the shrimp can stay put). Do make sure you have a hospital tank sufficiently large to hold these fish, or use multiple hospital tanks. You will need to let the main tank go fallow for several weeks. More info on ich protocol in the articles and FAQs linked here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm> thanks Joe <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Fish keep dying follow-up  - 2/13/03 Thanks for getting back to me on this. <You're welcome.> My tank is a 125 gallon with plans to upgrade in a few years.  The clown i wrote originally has disappeared like the others.  Shortly after I wrote the original email, my puffer started hiding and not eating.  I figured he had plans to join the others in the great reef in the sky.  We were going on vacation and I couldn't get anyone to take him for us while we were gone.   <Do see if there is any sort of fish club in your area -- perhaps you can find other individuals with similar interests who could care for your fish during future vacations.> When we got home, he is still with us and eating like usual.   <Yay!!> I want to treat the fish and have put money aside to get a larger QT.  My question is: is this like ich where I'll have to QT the fish for a month or longer?  Will the medicine be harmful to the clowns like copper?  How do I kill the parasite in the main tank?  Please get back to me, I'm going to go buy the QT and the anti-parasitic medicine today. <I'm glad you're getting the bigger QT. My ocellaris clownfish had this, so I know that the metronidazole won't hurt clownfish. The base treatment takes about a week; hopefully in that time the parasite will die off in the main tank. --Ananda>

- A little too hypo-saline - hello bob <Actually, it's JasonC today...> first I would like to say I enjoyed your book it has been very informative an helpful but I have some problems let tell you my about my systems I have 3 tanks a 125 gal with tide pool II 20 gal sump Berlin turbo skimmer 2 aqua clear 402 power heads 2 submersible 200 watt heaters in the sump a custom made coil denigrator that is gravity fed into the sump 4 72 inch vho bulbs 2 actinic 2 super actinic white with ice cap ballasts 180lbs live rock with beautiful, purple, pink, red, burgundy coralline algae 80lbs live sand   2 condy anenomies some caulopera 30-40 hermit crabs 40- 50 turbo, astraea, nassarius, margarita snails 1 sand sifting sea cucumber 1 horse shoe crab 1 sallys light foot crab 1 decorator crab =) 1 coral banded shrimp 2 peppermint shrimp 4 feather dusters 2 large mushroom corals and assorted red and green hair algae 1 4 " neon wrasse 2 firefish 1 neon goby 2 bar gobys 2 blue devils 1 hawkfish 1 scooter blennys 1 mandarin fish 1 cherub angelfish 1 longnose butterfly 5-6 " 2nd tank 44gal corner 40lb of crushed coral with undergravel filter with powersweep power head millennium hangon filter seaclone hangon skimmer 20inch 50/50 reefsun fluorescent lamp 20lbs of liverock multi colored 1 coral banded shrimp 1 2" yellow damsel 1 2 foot snowflake moray eel   1 4" yellow tang 3rd tank 10 gal quarantine hang on filter standard fluorescent   heater with air pump for aeration with clear divider for unfriendly fish treated with coppersafe, and maracyn 2 currently lowerring spg to 1.11 <That is too low, my friend - anything below 1.015 will cause serious stress.> I have been having a serious problem with ick/velvet my 3 " Koran angel my 2" yellow tang my 4" maroon clown my 3" sailfin tang my 2" hippo tang and several damsels all lost I recently moved my 4" yellow tang to the 125 with in one week showed ick I removed to 10 gal for treatment but one day before signs of ick I had just put butterfly fish in 125 from 10 gal 3 day afterwards butterfly has ick or velvet and tonight while I was typing this letter the butterfly is on his side side fins pointing forward breathing rapidly I don't think he is going to make it I removed it before it got this bad to the 10 gal with a divider to keep them apart no other fish in 125 show any signs of disease and I am worried because my 10 gal is not large enough to hold all these fish for treatment and even when treated <With what?> I cant seem to save them but they are fine for now I have yet to have a fish survive ick and it seems if the fish is  expensive the fish or large it is doomed when it comes to my system please help me with any advice thank you for your time <Well.. you're not revealing much about what you're doing to treat the ich in quarantine - it's great that you've got a tank set up for this, but without much more information than the low specific gravity of the water, there's not much I can comment on. This much I can tell you - 1.011 is too low, and this alone will kill any saltwater fish that stays in that water too long. Hyposalinity should be part of a regimen of treatment and not expected to kill parasites all on its own. Please read the following articles for some background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm > Joe Davis <Cheers, J -- >

Illness Recovery - 2/10/03 I agree with the thoughts of life being precious believe me I am wanting to save them. <good to hear> I set up a tank. Just a 10 gallon I had sitting around so this will be an option soon. I have a second filter in my tank just a little multipurpose one with a swivel head. It is only rated for like a 10 gallon tank. I had it to move the surface of the water. It has attachments that I could swap. Should I use this to power the UV instead? <heed the mfg recommendations for needed/slow flow. Perhaps> It would be a very easy swap. Then I could just hook the Eheim back up to the spray bar and run that for surface agitation. <UVs do need filtered water (carbon and floss)> I think I will get the stuff for this tomorrow. As for the light the light is a 2x35 PC and I have a second one coming that is 65x2. It is in the mail. This should be sufficient correct? <Great on shallow water> Both are one blue one white. I also got the mysis shrimp today so I will feed the anemone that next. Do you think I have a chance at saving it still? <They can be remarkably regenerative> It sat there for 2 days and I had to hand feed it but it ate. It then moved to the front corner of the tank and has been the since. With its foot anchored strong. It has never closed up and looks good except it is minus color. <it takes many months to recover color> I could easily snap some pics of it if you would like. One last thing and I will stop pestering you. Its mouth is open a little all the time except when eating. Is that normal? <A sign of stress... no more> It is probably about 5-6 inches across but the mouth is open maybe a quarter inch. Just to help with size comparison. It opens MUCH more while eating and closes when done but then opens slightly a little later. I am assuming this is normal. <No worries> Thank you so much for all the help and for now I will stay away from the ozone or maybe just under dose just to be safe. <Neither IMO. Use ozone with confidence at full strength if and only when you have a proper redox controller hooked up to it. Else, do not use it at all> I appreciate all the advice and again am sorry for the 3 novels now. Shane <No worries, bud... best regards, Anthony>

Slow And Steady! Hey WWM  Crew, <Scott F your Crew member tonight!> I'm sure this will sound like the same old question to you regarding yellow tangs and disease. <Each one is an adventure, and an opportunity for us all to learn!> I've read The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (Excellent read!) and I've read the parasite and yellow tang faq's.  Actually, reading these gave me more questions, which I present to you now. <Fire away, braddah..> To give you some background, I acquired a yellow tang (about 3 inches) at the start of January.  A few days after I got him, he came down with ich in a 40g isolation tank. <Good to hear that> By the 15th of Jan, I had a 30g tank filled with slightly lowered salinity water.  During that time, I also lowered the sg of the tank (1.017) he was in (unfortunately containing substrate-won't put new fish in there again, lesson learned) and slowly increased the temp (80f).  Once I got the 30g treatment tank all set up to match the "quarantine" tank he was in, I moved him to the treatment tank.  Inside were 4, 2, and 1 inch pvc pipes for him to look around and hide in. <Perfect "decor" for a quarantine tank!> Copper bound to citric acid was added to the tank and measured at least 2x daily (normal recommended dose-.15 something I think, sorry).  Treatment went well and ended on the 30th.  I tried following fairly standard protocol. Now, about a week later, I am starting to worry about his health. His white stress bar was really showing brightly and his colors weren't quite so yellow, although his feeding is pretty good.  Also, his gill beat at rest is pretty high.  I did a number of things that could have caused this. I moved the pvc pipes around to really vaccum the bare bottom. I took out the macro algae because it was looking pretty bad and forgot to replace it. The spray bar from the canister filter (didn't contain media that would absorb/adsorb CU, but will be replaced anyways) was submerged, whereas before, the return was spraying into the tank making bubbles. <These fishes do need plenty of oxygenation> I've also been slowly raising the salinity to match my display tank (not the isolation, which is currently going fallow) and dropping the temps very slowly.  I think that was about it. <I have to assume that all chemical parameters are within acceptable limits (i.e; ammonia and nitrite are undetectable, nitrate low, etc..> I have done as many things as possible to fix these possible problems. I added more macro algae back to the tank.  I raised the spray bar out of the water to create more bubbles.  I have also put newspaper on the tank to maybe help keep stress down (he actually peeks out of the cracks to see what I'm doing).  I can't help messing with the tank to do water changes and I want to prepare him (slowly) for the 80g community tank. <Absolutely...those water changes are important...keep doing that!> It has been a few days since I did these things and there is some improvement, but I am a big worrier.  I've just spent so much time with this fish up to now that I don't want to make a simple mistake. Since I noticed the stress line, his color has come back a bit and his stress line is visible, but has a definite yellow tinge, rather than pure white. I also began feeding a small amount of fortified brine shrimp, which he appreciates.  I have not noticed if the gill beats have returned to normal. Sorry for such a long intro, but I wanted to make sure you had enough background info...   <That's okay- you gave me some good information about what he's been through...Sounds like you're doing everything right, and correcting things that need it...so far, so good...> 1- Are the increased gill beats (when my hand is not in the tank) something to really worry about before adding him to my main tank?  He definitely does not have black ich and I can't tell what gill flukes look like. He hasn't shown any signs of ich since the 17th. <Well, increased respiration is never something that you want to see with tangs, or any fish, for that matter. In my experience, rapid respiration is generally a response to either an illness of some sort (Amyloodinium or advanced ich), or some sort of environmental problem (detectible ammonia, nitrite, or other unacceptable water condition, such as low pH). Frankly, some times, the fish may simply be skittish- and this response is more likely to occur in a bare quarantine tank...Finally, do recheck the copper concentration in the water to make sure that it is within proper therapeutic parameters. After the course of treatment is completed with copper, my advice is to reduce the copper level as soon as possible, as its continued presence in the water may cause additional stress to the fish and its digestive fauna. Use a specialized filter media, such as PolyFilter or Cuprisorb, to remove the excess copper>> 2- At this point after treatment, will a freshwater dip do him any good? <I utilize the freshwater dip at the beginning of quarantine, to help reduce or eliminate potential parasites that are in/on the fish. Unless you are currently dealing with an identifiable parasitic infection at this point, I'd refrain from this potentially stressful procedure. Instead, I'd "stay the course" and continue close observation, quality feeding (don't forget heavy use of vegetable matter, such as nori or fresh Gracilaria macroalgae), and routine water changes through the end of the quarantine period.> He shows no signs of disease, just stress.  He has never had a freshwater dip and I don't want to stress him out more than I have to at this point. <Agreed, as stated above> However, I really don't want to introduce anything new to the 80g community tank. <I'd observe him continuously. Remember, quarantine is to last 3 to 4 weeks. In the case of a fish that becomes sick during the quarantine period, you need to "reset" the "clock" to a minimum of 3 weeks to one month after the disease is eliminated> 3- If a freshwater dip is in order, should I do it and place him back into the 30g treatment tank he is currently in, or do it just before putting him in the 80g display? <Back into the treatment tank for him!> 4- Do you think that the 14th or 15th of Feb is a good day to introduce him to the 80g community tank?  This will be 2 weeks after the last day of copper treatment and over 3 weeks since he showed any signs of ich.  I will wait longer if needed.  I have read that 2 weeks after copper treatment completion is sufficient (yellow tang faq 1). <Good if he's been in your tank before, but remember, he's a new acquisition, and still needs to be treated as such...give him two more weeks...You've done everything right so far, no sense in messing it all up with impatience, okay?> If you are still awake enough to click reply after my novel, I'd appreciate any advice you could offer.  I'm not above making beginner mistakes (marine aquarist 8 months in the making) and I really appreciate Bob's book, this web page and everyone's personal replies to the e-mails I've sent in the past.  You guys provide a great service to us all. <You're doing great! Just be sure to share your experience with others...Your patience and diligence in care will pay dividends throughout your hobbyist "career!". I'm sure that this tang will be a healthy, happy, and proud inhabitant of your tank for years to come!> Thank you very much, David Smith <And thank you for stopping by, David! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

- Seastar Troubles - Hello, <Hello, JasonC here...> I had a red star general.  Suddenly it got a spot on it.  the tank was medicated with Mela-fix. <Perhaps a reaction to the tea-tree oil/Melafix.> The starfish got worse and it looked like something ate it, however nothing was ever seen on it. <Well... when a seastar checks out, they tend to dissolve.> Recently some of my fish got ich.  The tank was medicated with Greenex. <Oh goodness, no... this is what caused you the problems with your inverts. Greenex is incredibly toxic and pretty much fatal for invertebrates.> Now my Brittlestars are starting to lose sections of their arms.  They are not losing a whole piece but small pieces at a time. <I'm sorry to tell you that they are probably goners.> Could you please help. Thanks Joe Stein <Joe, in the future, when you need to treat a problem like ich, you need to do it in a separate tank, away from the main display. Greenex is a combination of Malachite Green and Formalin, both of which are really bad news and in fact, inappropriate for ich - you'd be better off treating with copper in a quarantine tank. Likewise, I wouldn't bother with Melafix at this point - there is no scientific evidence that this stuff works for treating a problem like Cryptocaryon/ich. Please read the following articles on WWM - they should provide you some background and also a plan for action: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm Cheers, J -- >

- Please Don't Treat the Display - Hi WWM Crew, <Hi, JasonC here...> I have a question about a fish that I believe is sick.  He is a Harlequin Tusk (about 5 to 6 inches long).  He is a resident of a 180g FO tank that was being treated for ich.  I was using chelated copper (CopperSafe) for approximately 2 weeks. <My friend, you really, really shouldn't treat the main display with anything. If you have a disease problem, the affected individuals need to be removed to a separate tank. This may sound like a pain, but believe me when I say this, it's going to be nowhere near as painful as potentially losing your entire tank. Copper and other medications are absorbed by the substrate and decor making it impossible to have a dose effective enough to kill the disease. Likewise, copper will cause your biological filtration to stall.> Three days ago I noticed a sudden, marked change in his behavior.  He began spending most of his time hiding in the back of the tank and when he did swim around he bumped into things. He (normally a very healthy eater) has eaten anything for 3 days. <An otherwise healthy Tuskfish can go upwards of two weeks without food.> He has no visible signs of ich, he is not breathing heavy and is not emaciated but his dorsal fins are constantly "up".  The tank conditions are ... 80F, no ammonia, no nitrite, nitrate at 20-40, pH ~8.0. <Interesting... do keep an eye on these parameters - copper will likely be leaching out of you substrate and rockwork for a little while longer.> I put poly pads in to remove the copper (2 local dealer thought poisoning in the absence of any other symptoms) 2 days ago.  I moved him to a hospital tank yesterday for closer observation and potential treatment.  Does this sound like poisoning to you? <It could be - Tuskfish are sensitive to excess copper, and blindness can be the result. Does the fish still react to your presence?> Is there anything else that it could be? <Perhaps just feeling grumpy.> If it is poisoning and he is, in fact, blind do you think that the fish is beyond help? <Not beyond help, but will need much direct care from you - the blindness, if this is the problem, is not reversible, but you can feed the fish with a feeding stick - put the food right in front of its face. The fish will likely need a tank all to itself, probably with nothing it can run into. I would keep it under observation, and look for other signs that it in fact cannot see. These fish tend to bash and thrash about when they feel threatened, and perhaps something in the water chemistry of the 180 caused it to feel this way. My own Tuskfish smashed it's face to shreds in quarantine once - didn't eat for two weeks... these things are pretty standard.> Bob Jones <Cheers, J -- >

- Treating Ich - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Here is a copy of my first e-mail. I have had the tank for about a month and a half. I have some problems with ich so I bought a UV sterilizer. I seemed to be doing real well but I accidentally shut it off one day and it was off for a couple days. I was so mad all the progress was lost. I am now having more outbreaks but by far not horrible. <I'd like to interject here that your problems are likely not due to the UV being shut off. When you see spots on your fish, this is not the actual parasite but irritation from the parasite. What has happened is that the parasite has dropped off into your sandbed to reproduce and will come back in much larger numbers. Unfortunately, UV filtration is only partially effective... there are many factors - design, flow-through rate, etc that will determine the effectiveness of this item.> Today I raised the temp to 82 degrees. Do you think this will take care of it as long as I am patient? <No.> I also ordered No-Ich and will save that as a last resort. <I wouldn't trust this stuff... you need to take much more aggressive action.> All off my fish are still healthy and eating well and the spots are by no means in large quantities and it has been present for about a week and a half now. <I wouldn't wait too much longer.> Next I have an anemone that is not healthy. I bought it before researching and took the pet store owners advice. Too bad he is knowledgeable and trust worthy but knows nothing about anemones. It is a purple tip sebae. I bought some plankton and blood worms. It ate the blood worms but I think it spit them out over night. Are these not recommended. <No, and likewise these need excellent lighting to keep them healthy.> I will try the plankton and will be getting Mysis shrimp. Oh and this is all frozen by the way. <Try thawing it out first, that would help.> The first day I got it ate a rosy minnow. Would it be ok to feed it that? Any salt water fish alternatives? Any help is appreciated I want to get it back to health and so you know yes it is whitish yellow. Poor thing. <I'm afraid this animal is not doing well... please read this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm > I forgot to mention I have 2 cleaner wrasse and a skunk cleaner shrimp. I will be getting one more. The shrimp is riding my fish pretty often so I really want to pick up another. <Please keep in mind that parasitic problems in closed systems such as your tank can get well out of control of cleaners such as these.> My local shops are out right now though. So in all I have 2 cleaner wrasse, a skunk cleaner shrimp, raised temps and a UV sterilizer hooked up to my Eheim. <Your UV will be completely ineffective against Ich with this flow rate. Please read these articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphysf.htm > Thank you and again sorry for the double e-mail, Shane <Cheers, J -- >

Parasitic infection Hi Bob/Steven/Anthony, <Anthony here because Bob proved that 108 beer nuts could be stuffed up a man's nostrils and Steve is still laughing for having seen it. You are stuck with me, bub> I added a small blue hippo tang to my tank 2 weeks ago.  <P. hepatus... AKA "Ich Magnet" by anybody's measure> I followed the standard fw dip/2 week qt/fw dip protocol. So needless to say my wife and I were crushed last night to find that the hippo tang was infected with some sort of parasite, (white, around 1/10" long, 3 on left cheek).  <I do commend you for the excellent effort with the QT. Indeed a two week stay will screen almost anything. However... a true quarantine is 4 weeks. Easy for me to say in hindsight, huh? Do so with notorious fish or weak fish inthe future. But again, a very good effort on your part> I tried unsuccessfully to net him out so I could treat him the qt, but it would be impossible to catch him short of tearing down the tank and removing all the rock/coral. My question is, would environmental manipulation (low spg, high temp) along with vitamin soaked foods effect a cure for this type of parasite?  <unlikely, but worth the effort if he seems otherwise strong and eating well. Try for 3-5 days hoping for stabilization or improvement else, tank breakdown (really just a quick drain and refill witha strong pump)> Are cleaner shrimps effective against these type of parasites, or only ich?  <really not once infected... a help but not a cure> Is there anything else I can do short of tearing down my tank? Arggghhh, this is the reason I qt in the first place! Tank recap: 90gal, 30gal sump, 100lbs lr, T-1000 skimmer, water turnover 10x/hr, various lps, shrooms, and 1 sarcophyton, 1-2.5" purple tang, 2-2" true percs, 1-2" hippo tang. All are eating, swimming normally, including the hippo. Thanks in advance for your help. <an ozonizer through the skimmer wouldn't be a terrible idea... many other long-term benefits but not an inexpensive investment. Have faith, as susceptible as these fish are, they usually survive it just fine. I have friend with a 26 year old Blue hepatus tang still going strong (ugly... but strong <wink>) Anthony>

Parasitic infection II Hey Anthony, Thanks for the reply. Thank goodness you didn't see Bob's adventure with the beer nuts too, or else there'd be nobody left to answer these questions! <you'd think... but I must be tougher than I look. I had to bear witness to his "Human Methane Torch" experiment. I thought I'd never want to eat (or smell) eggs again after that one> As for the 4 week qt, I may just be doing that from now on. But I read on WWM that Bob even suggested not quarantining these particular fish at all, due to potential starvation, etc.  <indeed many things to consider... and more than one way to do it. Speaking to a novice aquarist (as Bob so often does) I would agree with such advice. But to an aquarist with some experience or above average inclination for good husbandry I would not agree at all. The difference essentially is a new aquarist is less likely to understand and appreciate the need for small frequent feedings of tangs in bare aquaria. And so, the placement of such animals for said aquarists in a stable tank with live rock to browse serves the greater good> I was too paranoid to not qt at all, so I figured 2 weeks would be good.  <I understand and might have done the very same thing myself looking at a good fish> One last question, since I will be tearing down the tank, would it be wise to remove all the fish while I'm at it? <usually draining the tank without touching the rockscape is sufficient. Just catch the fish in the lst few inches of water... but wait until the water level is low enough to touch its back to make the catch easier. After catching him, pump the drained water right back in. Definitely a simple 20-30 minute gig with a good pump and much less stressful than relentless chasing with a net or stressing everybody (fish and human) with a rock breakdown too> They don't look like they're infected yet, but I'd hate to see them come down with the symptoms a couple days later after I've replaced all the lr and coral!!!  <hoping you don't have to> I have a 15gal qt. Would all my fish be ok in there for the qt period? Again, 1-2.5" purple tang, 2-2" true percs, 1-2" hippo tang. <a whisker small but no problem if you do small frequent water changes. Daily for the first 8 days from the bottom can remove tomites and cure Ich without medication (by breaking the life cycle of the parasite)> Thanks again. <quite welcome my friend>

swollen scooter blenny Hi there, <<Hello, JasonC here...>> You guys do an amazingly great job. <<Well thank you.>> I have a question about my red scooter blenny. Judging by the dorsal fin, he is a male. He has been in my 90 gallon, 1.5 year old tank for approximately 4 months. He has been doing well, is very active, picks off the 120 lbs of live rock regularly. Today I looked at him and he is all swollen. His head seems to be a little swollen but he has what looks like 2 bubbles, one on either side under the skin behind his pectoral fins. He is about 2 inches long and the bubbles are each about 1/3 inch in diameter so he is really puffy. The rest of his body behind the bubbles looks fine. He still seems to be doing well but I've never seen this before. Can you tell me what this is? <<Not sure exactly... could be an internal parasite, could be a tumorous growth, could also be gas bubble disease. Do any of your other fish show a similar problem?>> Do I need to change something, treat something or do nothing? <<I wouldn't try any treatments without knowing a little better what the problem actually is. I would keep up the observations... look to see if the problem is getting better or worse. Do read up on the following link and the FAQs beyond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> Thanks in advance for your help, Linda <<Cheers, J -- >>

Tang Ich Hi bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob is in Australia and Steve is discovering as a new father just how far a baby really can pee across the room when changing a diaper> Thank you for the advise and I think my husband and I are planning a family trip to the aquarium in the next 2 weeks (has to be he's about to deploy for 6 months) so soon. <my respect and kind thoughts in honor> Now I have another dilemma. I have a yellow tang that I've had for about 2 months. He's been fine except for the past 3 days. I cleaned off the glass of my aquarium after a bga bloom. My tang is now swimming against the sides of the glass, rubbing himself on it and then swatting it with his tail. His hind quarters are actually turning pink from all of this and with these fish being the ick magnets they allready are, I'm worried the stress might make him susceptible to it. Could this be a show of aggression to his own reflection on the tank walls? <it certainly is. A simple artifact of the distribution of light in the room. Consider putting a piece of solid colored paper/plastic on the short end walls at least just temporarily. Leave the front open of course> I was also keeping a hippo tang for a friend (new tank had not finished cycling yet). I had this tang for about 3 weeks and they were real buddies ate together got cleaned by my shrimp together etc.etc. My friend took his tang back a week ago. Could this have something to do with it? <very unlikely. Not so in my opinion> thank you so much for the time and sorry for all the questions worried mom Dela < you are quite considerate. Be assured that this is easily corrected. Experiment with the shields and different lamps/overhead lights in the room to discover the culprit. Kindly, Anthony>

Disease? WWM Crew, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob travels to Australia for the International Avon products awards ceremony (how else did you think he runs this site for free? hehe...)> First, thank you all for taking the time to listen <read> about my particular woes and that of all of us trying to care the best we can for our oceanic friends. <a pleasure> Next, i'm hoping to rid my odonus niger of a clouding it has over its eyes. He<?> is in a 125g all-glass aquarium with a rhinecanthus aculeatus, both fish about 5 inches body length, not including fins. The tank has about 50 lbs. of live rock <for now, adding more after it's done curing>, a 2 1/2 to 3 inch base of crushed aragonite, a Fluval 404, a Berlin Turbo hang on skimmer, and undergravel filters run by 3 Powerhead 802's. Lighting is a 40w 20000k and a 40w actinic. Spg 1.022. Temperature 78 degrees. Ammonia zero. Nitrite zero. Nitrate about 40ppm. Both fish are eating heartily, being fed a homemade mix of squid, scallops, mussels, orange roughy, shrimp, clams, and mahi mahi. Loveable guys eat better than i do.  <yes... an outstanding diet!> The Niger as i said before has a lot of clouding over its right eye, and the clouding is just starting to appear on its left eye.  <at this point likely to be bacterial if the other fish are not affected> Behavior is typical most of the time, but every once in a while he will do "corkscrews" through the water and rub his body against the rock. Also, on one of his fins he has what appears to be a brown algae growth <best description i can think of>, but this has started to retreat somewhat over the past week. He is very well colored, no signs of HLLE so hopefully he's getting good nutrition, but will hide a lot behind some of the rocks.  <Odonus are typically shy... no worries here> The Huma has no visible signs of what is showing on the Niger. He is very well colored as well. Neither trigger has really seemed to control the other aggression-wise, as they have grown up together since they were both about 3/4 of an inch. Do the growths on the Niger sound like Amyloodiniumiasis?  <hard to say without seeing it, but unlikely. You would have at least mentioned rapid breathing and more excessive scrathing> Should I be worried about the growths <i am>?  <very unusual symptom> Also, on a slightly separate note, should i have the powerheads running in reverse flow or standard like i currently have them?  <only reverse if the water is prefiltered... otherwise raw matter is pumped below the UG bed (bad!)> Any information will be greatly appreciated as i have come to trust the WWM crew more than i do most of the LFS's here in the Phoenix area. <best bet is a small QT tank for the Odonus with a 7-10 day treatment of Formalin and an anitibiotic combo of Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone. You should see stabilization or improvement within 5 days. You cannot treat the main tank for many reasons> Hopefully bump into you guys in Belize sometime, <it would be a delight!> Robert A. Nardizzi <kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Malachite Green Mr. Fenner, I would like to know if you had any idea if a chemical called "Malachite Green" is harmful to sting rays?  <Malachite Green... is harmful to cartilaginous fishes... Is what you want to do with this dye worth the stress, damage?> I know this chemical is in a lot of products that get rid of ich. And other similar products. I want to check on a product called green X by Aquatronics. The label says it is safe for all invertebrates and ALL fish. But this chemical is in it and I have noticed it in a lot of other products that say not safe for rays. Your help would be greatly appreciate. Thanks, Marty Abeyta <Am not a big fan of Greenex... not safe for invertebrates OR fishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Malachite Green
Mr. Fenner, I am glad to hear that. I used green X on my tank for small parasites. The label on the box said it was safe for ALL fish. Well guess what. I HAD a blue dot sting ray, butterfly sting ray, blue face angel fish and a brittle star fish. They all died. <Arrggghhh. Sorry to read of your losses> The only fish that lived was the lion fish that brought the problem in to the tank in the first place. Like a drunk driver, he was fine. They all died the next day. I called Aquatronics to complain. They refered me to their tech Jennifer. I called her and she said that it couldn't have been their product. I must have had something wrong with the tank in the first place. The tank had been running for about 7 months. I have a guy come out to change the and test the water every 2 weeks. Jennifer said that they would set up a test tank with the exact fish and they would use the same lot number and let me know of the results. I called her about two weeks later and she said that the tank was not set up yet. About another two weeks went buy and I called again. Jennifer claimed to have tried to get a hold of me to tell me that they used double doses and that all the fish are fine. So in other words I was screwed. I think it is so unfair that my fish had to die so they can make a buck. I was even starting to hand feed the rays. But what can I as the little guy do? Marty <Mmm, I know the folks from years back who own, run Aquatronics and know them to be honest and competent... They have many fine products, but not this one (IMO of course). Please use the Google search tool on our site, WetWebMedia.com and the name "Greenex" or peruse the marine disease, treatment areas there... and read of others experiences with this product. You are welcome to show my opinions, input to "Jennifer" at Aquatronics. Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: