Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Avoiding, Treating Parasitic Disease with Hyposalinity 2

Related Articles: Hyposalinity or Osmotic Shock Therapy (OST) by Pete Giwojna, Marine Parasitic DiseaseMarine Ich: Fighting The War On Two FrontsQuarantine, Quarantine of Marine FishesSpecific Gravity, Salinity,

Related FAQs: Hyposalinity Treatments 1, Hyposalinity & Ich, Hyposalinity Treatments 3, Hyposalinity & Ich, & Hypo Methods, Protocols... Hypo Dangers, Provisos... Hypo Success Stories... Hypo Failures, or Not Quite Yet Success Stories... & Treating 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,

Is the added stress "worth it" in keeping fishes in artificially low spg? Cheilinus celebicus

Ever seen this?      7/21/19
Good morning.
<Morning John>
I am sending you some attached pics of my box fish. This morning I noticed this white scale like cluster above his tail. I’ve never seen anything like it.. they almost look like large grains of sand. They look like they are just kind of glued on and I can see them flapping when he swims near a power head. Any thoughts?
<They look like flukes of some sort, I'd try a 5 minutes fresh water dip/bath and see if they pop off.>
As always, thank you.
<Welcome. Wil.>

Re: Quarantine & Hypo    6/13/12
Thanks for the quick response Bob. Of course as with many things in this hobby I am confused. There are just as many references supporting the use of hypo during QT and I just want to ensure I use the best husbandry techniques to maximise the health and survival of my livestock. Separate to the financial investment I feel a sense of responsibility considering the livestock has been taken out of its natural environment for me.
<I do understand; both re confusion and differences in opinion re value of methodologies in our interest. As stated, I am not a fan of hyposalinity for disease treatment. Over decades of time, many accounts revisited, it's my overall impression that hypo just doesn't work... that there are modalities of greater use, success, lower risk>
I have been running tanks now for 20 years and I am still learning.
<Have been doing so... geez, for more than half a century, and still learning as well>
 So just to help it sink into my somewhat thicker skull you recommend using a quarantine system for a period of 4 - 6 weeks during which time I maintain the water quality at normal seawater levels (SG, pH etc etc) and observe for signs of disease and maintain good feeding and water quality.
<Mmm, actually, slightly lower (a few thousandths spg) than natural seawater strength/concentration, plus possibly some simple sugar and at times, therapeutic agents... For most all my time in the commercial side, this is what I/we did for fish receiving, holding... and retail>
Only if I see evidence of disease should I then consider some form of treatment. Do you prefer copper to hypo even with fish such as tangs that are reported to struggle with the copper due to internal bacteria in their guts.
<Most often copper (chelated types, brands), yes. Old-timey, but... still the best approach>
If after the QT period no signs
<This is the key term: "signs"... the expression of disease is only symptomatic... very often infectious and parasitic organisms are present in "sub clinical" expression>
of disease have shown up I am then free to acclimate the fish to the main tank. I assume that the risk of marine Ich is ever present but minimised by maintaining good water quality, sound feeding practices and minimising stress in the fishes environment.
<Yes; well-stated>
 What is the likely hood that if a fish shows no signs of Ich prior to adding to the main tank that I may still be adding marine Ich in the form of trophonts or tomites.
<Variable... from small to almost assured, depending on how the water, animals have been handled prior... re-read your question>
Sorry for all the questions I am just trying to prevent problems down the track. A rare opportunity with a brand new tank.
<I do understand this as well... dips, baths (pH adjusted, possibly w/ adjuncts... covered on WWM) and isolation, w/ possible treatment are the best approaches>
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Help with Yellow Tang... hlth.     5/30/12
Hi everyone,
<Hello Marc>
Hope is going well and thank you for finding some time in your day to help out people like me. I have a yellow tang in QT and over the past week he has developed a small wound? on his side. It looks like a small hole and has only just slightly increased in size. He has been eating very well and is swimming around freely. I am looking to treat the tank with some Melafix as a precaution.
<Melafix is actually a liquid preparation of Tea Tree (Melaleuca) leaves and may or may not do much good for healing the wound, I would not use this. You state the tang is eating good but the picture depicts a caved in belly.  What are you feeding this fish?>
The tank is currently running at 1.009 to aid in the elimination of marine Ich <http://www.masa.asn.au/masawiki/index.php/Ich>.
He is housed with some Anthias and a Kole tang and there has been no sign of fighting. Water parameters are good and I am doing 25% water changes each 5 - 7 days. He is not scratching on anything but I get a feeling there is a slight change in his behaviour over the last 24 hours (or that could be me freaking him out looking into his tank). His fins are tucked in in this photo but are normally held out. It was just as he was turning.
Any ideas of what it may be and how could treat it would be appreciated.
<Mmm, 1.009 is a little bit low for osmotic shock therapy for tangs.  I'd boost this up to 1.012 and ensure this fish (and all fishes) is getting a good diet.  If feeding algae type foods alone, it will not keep this fish alive for long. Do read here.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Help with Yellow Tang 5/31/12
Thanks for the quick reply.
<You're welcome.>
I have been feeding a mix of foods but I will increase and also add some vitamin supplements to the food. I am interested in your comment about the salinity level. I have read so many places to drop the salinity to 1.009
<And even 1.008.>
 and that I need to keep it at this level to ensure any crypto is dealt with. I assume that at 1.012 the crypto will still not survive.
<Will not.  I prefer to keep it at 1.012 for tangs and other sensitive fish.>
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

hyposalinity and Ich     2/19/12
Hey there,
I have a small case of Ich in my 220g display tank. After hearing from Bob a few times and reading all over your wonderful site, I tried the garlic and vitamin soaked foods, the UV Sterilizer and water changes to avoid ripping my whole system apart. Unfortunately, every other day I notice white spots on my two tangs and now on my royal gramma.
I have done some more reading on your site and think that I am going to try hyposalinity since that seems to be my best bet at this point. I have learned through your FAQs how to administer the treatment, but specifically I am wondering if all my fish will be ok with the 1.008 level. I have a royal gramma, 2 percula clowns, a black and white clown, a Foxface, fire goby, starry blenny, powder brown tang, and a Kole tang. I worry most about the clowns since I have read that they can be sensitive to FW dips.
<I wouldn't lower the Spg any more than 1.010... what re the invertebrates?>
Also, I have a rock with some mushrooms, a rose bubble anemone, and a star coral (which is easy enough to move) that I planning to move to my QT tank currently housing a blue tang that I was going to add to my DT until I saw the Ich break out in it so he is still safe in the QT. Will the rock with mushrooms or the coral keep the Ich alive and bring it into my QT tank?
<Yes... it will lose some of its viability w/ time...>
If yes, how do I avoid this since I do intend to put these things back in my DT after 6-8 weeks. Should I move the blue tang into the DT tank while I administer the hyposalinity and then even if Ich is on the coral it will
die off during the 6-8 week isolation?
<Only experience, trial can/will tell>
I am really hopeful that this will work. Have you had personal success with hyposalinity and Ich?
<Oh yes... detailed on WWM>
Thanks so much!
<I'd have you read a bit before proceeding. Here:
and the linked files above. I'd hold off, try other means of boosting the plus side here for now... Bob Fenner>
Re: hyposalinity and Ich     2/19/12

Hi again,
In regards to my email below.... after even more reading I now have the impression that this technique will not work. I am at a loss of what to do... so frustrated with conflicting stories, and am desperate.....I just started this hobby and am already so bummed....please tell me what to do...my QT tank is only 30 gallons....I just don't know anymore!!!
<Do read where I've referred you... All is not lost. BobF>
Re: hyposalinity and Ich     2/19/12

Hi Bob,
I guess the problem I seem to be having is doing too much research on the web, there is a failure story for every success story it seems and I am just feeling hopeless...so thanks for the reassurance! I decided I am just going to stick to your site and your advice. In your previous response you stated " I'd hold off, try other means of boosting the plus side here for now." What do you mean by that?
<Improving the livestock's immune systems, doing what you can practically to elevate water quality (in particular, using RedOx as a window/measure)>
Do you mean I should hold off and not do hyposalinity and just let things happen as they may while I keep water perfect and food optimal?
I do plan to move the shrimp and scallop into the QT tank with the corals while I drop the salinity levels for a few months. From the reading, the hermit crabs will be fine.
 <Mmmm, should>
Thanks Bob :)
<Welcome. B>
Re: hyposalinity and Ich     2/20/12

Hi Bob,
I was hoping you would say that! I will make sure to stay on top of weekly water changes, I am currently doing about 20 gallons every week. The tank is 220 gal, do you think I should do more than that?
<Not necessarily>
I read up on the RedOx you spoke of...quite complicated but I think I got the idea of it. I was wondering if my UV sterilizer would provide the ozone needed to increase RedOx or would I need to purchase one separately?
 <The UV should help; but only way to tell is via a RedOx meter>
I also am running a large airstone to increase oxygen, and I am cleaning my skimmer daily while keeping temps at about 79. I have come to the conclusion after days of reading that Ich is probably always going to be in my system now no matter what I do....as I add new fish I will QT them but even that has its faults so there is no real 100% sure way to get rid of it completely.
Am I right in thinking this way?
I am going to slowly mix my DT tank water in the QT where my blue hippo has been for almost a month. I will continue to monitor it and make sure that she is healthy and eating well before moving her to the DT to try to prevent the parasites from increasing.  I am feeling at this point, Ich is not the end of the world and many fish can live happy lives with a bit in the system.
<This is so>
 If there becomes an infestation and it starts to consume my fish then I will begin hyposalinity. Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
 <Indeed it does/is>
Thanks Bob, you've been great :)
<Glad to assist you. Thank you. BobF>

Something is horribly wrong! Please advise!   Crypt, hypo... trouble  11/4/11
Hello Bob and Crew at WWM,
I am sad to say that I've got Crypt...again. I believe that I introduced it by not quarantining my ROCKs long enough. I had them quarantined for 12 days during which I did three water changes. I think if I just stand out in a lightening storm, I would have the luck of being stricken and I would deserve it! Since my last bout with Crypt, I have religiously quarantined my fishes, corals, clean up crew for at least a month if not longer. I blame myself for trusting my LFS that the rocks are "clean"...
I am ten days into hyposalinity, and in my seventh day at 1.008 or 10 ppt.
My pH is stabilized with bicarbonate at 7.95 which is where it normally hangs around at without supplementation at 30 ppt... It is a 225 gallon with a 13 gallon fuge and 13 gallon sump. I've been doing at least 40 gallons of water change every other day. The Crypt went away on day two at 10 ppt, but here is the really strange thing and I cannot figure out what it is that I'm missing.
Every day, one of my fishes would die.
<Combination of the Crypt (exsanguination), debilitation and low salinity exposure>
This started three days ago. The first was my Starry Blenny. I just noticed one evening that he suddenly looked stressed, was sitting in a hole and breathing rapidly. I checked my ammonia level and it was 0.25 ppm,
<And this>
0 nitrite, 20 nitrate and noting that while in hypo, the tests are not accurate. I immediately did a 40 gallon water change leaving it at 1.008. Next day, he was very lethargic and died.
On examination of his body, he seemed perfectly fine, but his mouth was gaping open.
<The loss of RBCs, oxygen carrying capacity>
Yesterday, I found my coral beauty dead behind a rock. I thought maybe someone picked on her and in fright, she got herself stuck...on examination of her body, again looking fine, but she looked a little bloated
<The hypo, osmotic leaking>
and again mouth was gaping open. Today, my husband noticed that my Kole Tang was swimming very very quickly in circles counterclock-wise. I took her out of the tank and tried to increase the salinity a little to 1.010 thinking maybe it is a reaction of some sort,
she died within four hours of starting to swim in circles. On examination of her body, I noticed that she was not soft like normally recently deceased fishes, her fins were all stiffly held erect and again, her mouth was gaping open. I performed an 80 gallon water change this evening after noting that my Atlantic Blue Tang was not his usual self. At first I thought it was because his buddy, the Kole, died, but he started swimming around looking very vigilant, holding his dorsal and anal fins erect.
Normally at lights out, he swims near the floor of the tank going between the rocks but now he is swimming near the top in the "brightest" corner of the tank. I noticed that my emperor and powder blue tang goes and checks on him, and something is not right.
Oh no, now he is swimming couple of feet and turning around and this tank is six feet long! Okay, he is now just hanging out in a corner of the tank, which I've never seen him do...
What is going on?
<As stated above>
I've tried to look everywhere and read anything about fishes swimming like this but none with such a quick death. I don't think my Atlantic Blue will be with me for long and he will be the fourth fish who died. I want to know what this is so that I can better help them.
Please please please help!
Jamie Barclay
<Am generally not a fan of hyposalinity for the many cases/trials as yours here... but what CAN be done in the short/er term when there is evidence (not always simply visual) of hyperinfection? Answer: Some sort of bath/dip (freshwater, w/ Methylene Blue, Formalin, serious aeration, while present/observing fishes) THEN immediate move to a chemically bare TREATMENT system... WITH? Quinine of some sort best nowayears... All posted and gone over and over on WWM... including your previous brave efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Something is horribly wrong! Please advise! 11/4/11

Dearest Bob,
Thank you so much for your reply.
<Welcome Jamie>
I came home early to start doing water changes as last night as I lay there thinking and thinking, I was wondering if there was some type of toxin in the water as the fishes had no change of appetite or behavior until within 24 hours of their demise.
I would do the chemically bare TREATMENT system with Quinine as I do have that on hand, but I am leaving for Asia tomorrow morning and that my pet sitter is very limited in her ability to manage a new system as that. I'm thinking the "best" that I can do in my current situation is that I need to increase the salinity. Last night, at my hubby's encouragement, I increased salinity from 1.008 to 1.010. I was thinking of keeping it there for the next 10 days as that is how long I will be gone, but now I'm thinking maybe I should increase it to 1.012 now and 1.014 tonight roughly 12 hours later.
<Yes I would do this>
I know it is not the BEST but do you think that it is better plan than to keep it at 1.010?
The poor Atlantic Blue is still with us...sort of, laying on his side and breathing regularly but I think it's all brain stem function now. The Emperor Angel, Powder Blue Tang, Cleaner Wrasse, Flame Hawkfish, and pair of Clowns (who are caring for their batch of eggs) all appear "normal" picking at rocks, the algae sheet that I've put in there interested in their environment.
I cried and cried and cried yesterday and tried to tell myself that these are just fish which I do love to eat all the time...but they are no longer the yummy dish when you get to know each and every one of their personalities and their interactions with you.
Thank you, always, for your insight, knowledge, and support.
One of your biggest fans,
<Steady on my friend. Realize that you're doing all you can. BobF>
Re: Something is horribly wrong! Please advise! Crypt, hypo.    11/6/11

Greetings Bob,
I just wanted to give you an update whilst waiting for my flight to leave Montreal.
The Atlantic Blue died yesterday and after doing a total of 160 gallon water change and increasing salinity, things are much improved. I even made a total of 120 gallons of water for my friend at the LFS to use if needed.
Now that there is absolutely nothing for me to do, I've done a lot of reflection.
You are absolutely right about the salinity and the general poor condition of the tank that caused their demise. I just wished that I written you much earlier when I lost my Starry Blenny and I may have prevented the other lives from being lost.
One thing that I remembered from my last battle with Crypt was that I was at 1.012 for three months and noticed that every four weeks or so I would get two or three very small tight spots on the Powder Blue, then when I raised salinity up to 1.018 was when I had another outbreak.
<Yes... a friend in the trade (and co-author of a recent book on fish disease) related that he keeps all his Fish Only service accounts at 1.010 AND a titer of free copper. I was very surprised... as these conditions to my experience often lead to troubles>
I then read Leebecca's (sp?) account on ReefSanctuary.com about 1.008 and I lowered it that time over several days and kept it there for 117 days which was when I successfully fought off the Crypt infection with no loss. I counted myself lucky that time and this time, I went too fast and too drastic in the lowering of salinity.
The infection was not so bad that the fishes were so "deathly" ill as they were all eating well and not showing worse for wear, except that I saw spots. I should have SLOWED down things and do more sitting and watching, maybe my little friends will still be with me today.
It was the worst for us to lose that Atlantic Blue Tang as we got him as a beaten up little guy the size of a silver dollar, still bright yellow with that blue ring around his eye. Watching him grow to be a 8 inch giant with beautiful coloring that he changed with his mood, or literally fighting with him whilst trying to place rocks or corals as he tries to move them for me...
Thank you again for your support.
<Welcome, BobF>

Ich and hyposalinity question   7/1/11
I've been a fan of your site for quite a while now and you guys have helped me save my fish many times. I have a question though about Ich and hyposalinity.
<Go ahead>
2 weeks ago, I got an achilles tang. Its in my QT tank now which is now in hyposalinity to make sure that he doesn't bring any Ich into my main tank.
The salinity stays at around 1.008-1.009 throughout the day and I make sure to keep the water level as constant as possible. I have to refractometers that I use to double check multiple times a day. To keep nutrients down, I do water changes with RO water and salt mix of the same salinity level and I change around 40% of the water every 5-6 days.
The strange thing is that the achilles has 1 white dot near its eye. From experience, it seems like its Ich. How could this happen when my QT is in hypo?
<Mmm, could be summat else... or just resistant, embedded>
My achilles has been in hypo for 2 weeks already and the 1 dot just showed up this morning and it got me concerned. To be sure, I added quinine sulfate to the tank but only half the recommended dose on your site first.
<No sense... Full dose or nothing>
What do you guys think?
<That this Acanthurus is VERY susceptible to reef Protozoan disease; that hyposalinity rarely "works"... as posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ich and hyposalinity question   7/1/11
Hi bob!
Thanks for the quick response! Just to clarify, I added half first then the other half when I got home so as to not shock the achilles.
Ill read up more on WWM regarding this
but just to be sure, would combining both hypo and quinine sulfate make sure that the Ich dies and stays dead even for the achilles which is highly susceptible?
My DT remained fallow for 2 months and right now, there's only 1 Yellow tang and 1 peppermint hogfish in there(those 2 fishes underwent 2 months of hypo
and QT) so I think its fairly safe to say that the tank is Ich free and would like to keep it that way even after adding the achilles.
<We'll see... I am doubtful, dubious... you are likely to have troubles.
Frayed Pectoral Fins, follow up    7/6/11

Hi Bob or WWM crew,
I followed your advice on adding quinine sulfate to my QT in hypo and the dot on my achilles is gone. I do fairly large water changes on the tank, around 40% 2x a week to keep water quality good. The weird thing now though is that the pectoral fins of the achilles seem to be a little frayed.
<This may be due to the QS itself... search WWM re>
Aside from that, he is in tip top shape. I feed him 2-3x a day with mysis soaked in vitamins and Nori.
What do I do about the frayed fins? Do I just keep the water quality good and it will go away or do you suggest I treat with something?
<Move the fish in a few days, to a large, established system. BobF>

Possum Wrasse Hiding After Para Guard Treatment    6/14/11
Hello Crew,
A few days ago I bought a yellow banded possum wrasse and a neon goby. I put them in a 15 gallon quarantine tank. Both fish ate almost right away. I know the wrasse is a timid fish,
but he was cruising around the pile of live rock in the tank and picking food off it. He also went for some live brine shrimp. Unfortunately, the next morning I noticed that the goby was covered with Ich. I gave the tank one treatment of Seachem's Para Guard, following the label's dosage instructions. Immediately afterward, the wrasse started wedging himself into the rocks in the tank.
<... rocks? Will negate, absorb the medication>
He no longer swims around and doesn't eat. That was on Sunday morning. On Monday morning, I put carbon in the filter, and of course have added no more Para Guard. This morning (Tuesday), he is still hiding. Is this due to some sensitivity to medication on the part of the possum wrasse?
<To an extent, very likely so>
My thinking is to try a hyposalinity treatment next, but of course I'd like to see the poor wrasse behaving more normally.
<I'd be reading on WWM re Labrid treatments, the use of quinine compounds instead. Am not a fan of hyposalinity as you'll find if you read my works.
Bob Fenner>
re: Possum Wrasse Hiding After Para Guard Treatment    6/16/11

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately I don't have your book yet, and the most prominent discussion of hyposalinity on WWM seems to be the article by Pete Giwojna that endorses this treatment for Crypt and other problems.
<Yes; Pete is definitely "for" hyposalinity as a treatment. I am as a preventative dip (pH-adjusted freshwater) for epizootics...>
Is there anywhere online where you discuss your reservations about hyposalinity, or can you provide an explanation of your concerns?
<I'd guess there are numerous places... would just search. My opinion (negative) is based on long experience (mainly second, other-hand) with others lack of success w/ this approach. Simply put, it rarely "works". Symptomatically, afflicted fishes may appear better, but almost always Crypt, what have you protozoan-wise, comes raging back. The process/exposure to lower density seawater of a certainty does NOT kill resting stages>
I have changed out some of the water in the treatment tank with fresh water. The wrasse is now swimming around, so he seems to be feeling better now that the Para Guard is being removed from the water.
<Mmm, yes. I consider this a good SeaChem product, but some of it is definitely toxic:
This species seems very sensitive to this medication, at least, so that's a bit of information for the database. Naturally, I'm leery about exposing this fish to any more chemicals, so I am inclined to go with hyposalinity unless there's a strong reason not to.
<I'd search, do a bit more reading... again, Quinine cpd.s are my current first treatment for these situations.>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Hi   3/27/11
Hi Crew, I am performing hyposalinity 1.009 to my 300gallon. Can I turn on the ozonizer?   
<Likely so... you may well get different readings per the output setting as for your regular specific gravity>
2nd question , can Cupramine and Praziquantel mix and dose?
<They can>
Thank you very
Kellvin Lim
<Am not much of a fan of hyposalinity treatments. Do read re on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hi    3/28/11

Thank you so much. I had miss out this. Can I use Praziquantel during performing hyposalinity at 1.009? Do I need to reduce the dosage. Thank you.
Kellvin Lim
<Same dosage at any concentration of salt presence. B>

Hey everyone... Foibles of hyposalinity, cause for Vulcan mind-meld or at least more intuitive tools    12/19/09
Ok guys, hope everyone is doing well this Holiday Season. Unfortunately I have a problem. I recently sent an email about a flame angel dying suddenly after some rapid breathing with no indication of ich or parasites.
James (Salty Dog) told me that my tank is too young to keep one at this point in time.
<Centropyges do much better in well-established systems>
So I took his advice and went with something known to be much hardier, a Cuban Hogfish. At this point in time my salinity is around .014 (the same when I added the new hogfish).
<1.014? You added a fish that was living in full-strength seawater to this?>
I was using the hyposalinity technique to help with an ich outbreak
<Doesn't often work. See WWM re>
a few months back and I am raising the salinity slowly. As soon as I added the hogfish (after a 4.5 hour drip acclimation)
<? Why so long?>
, he laid right down and only swam around periodically. The next day his breathing increased to a faster pace (just like the flame angel). Then I noticed that my hogfish had some strings of fish slime flowing in the current on his body. What is going on here?
<Slime production... the fish is hemolyzed from the too rapid subjection to too-low Spg water... doesn't have sufficient RBC's/oxygen-carrying capacity... is dying from "not breathing..." actually respirating>
My levels are all zero except nitrate is around 30ppm
<Too high>
and my ph is around 8.1. Could it really be that this low salinity is killing the new fish I put into my tank?
<Is a contributor>
It just seems hard to believe that even a tough fish would be affected by salinity. Is there still ich or some type of parasite in my tank that's killing these new fish (even though they don't have a single spot)?
<Can't tell from here>
Or is it another problem that I am unaware of?
<You'd benefit from an all-inclusive read of a marine aquarium book. Perhaps Santa will bring you one>
Please help me here, what are the possible reasons for this besides the ones I've mentioned?
<Too numerous to discuss here; but happily are posted/archived on WWM.
Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm>
I'd like to hear some professional expert knowledge.
Thanks alot
<... no such word. Bob Fenner>
guys and Merry Christmas!

Fast Transfer to Hyposalinity Safe? -- 11/17/2009
I read through the forums a decent amount and observed some responses that answered my question partially. Here it is.......A guy I know has a 4" Annularis Angel in a 125gal FOWLR tank. He is moving and needs to get rid of some fish. His salinity level is currently at 1.021 and mine is at 1.011 (was using the hyposalinity remedy for Ich). If I acclimate this angel for over a three hour period very slowly, do you think he'll be ok?
My 90gal has been up and running for about two months now and I have two tangs, a trigger, a clown and 3 yellow tail damsels.
<Overstocked and under-mature, the maturity could have easily lent to the stress that helped the Ich outbreak.. Depending on the type of Trigger, this could be a major cause of stress.>
And please, you can share with me every bit of knowledge and advice you have, but PLEASE just answer the question along with whatever other advice you'd like to give.
<When the information provided to us is sufficient, this is exactly what we do. Moving this fish, in a 3 hour period, across a .010 point shift in salinity, is bound to lead to shock, and most likely the passing of the
Thanks a lot,
<Do have a read-up on proper Cryptocaryon cures, as well as Hyposalinity:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and
http://wetwebmedia.com/hyposalandcrypt.htm --
Hyposalinity is not always well tolerated by marine fishes.. Glad to help. -JustinN>

Re Fast Transfer to Hyposalinity Safe? -- 11/17/2009

<Overstocked and under-mature -- your tank is under 6 months old... the wax and wane of a typical cycle is likely not 100% complete yet... I stand by my statement.>
1 inch of fish per five gallons is the general rule of thumb I go by after doing extensive research.
<The problem with 'rules of thumb' is they are purely subjective, and don't always take into account all factors that can contribute -- a trigger is typically a messier fish than a tang... I also don't put much herald into such rules of thumb, personally.>
My one tang isn't even two inches and the other is only 3, the yellow tails are about an inch, the trigger
is 4" and the clown is 2.5". This equals 14.5", so how am I overstocked?
<Are you accounting for ultimate size? Not how big they are now, how big they'll GET.>
And the trigger is a boomerang, Sufflamen, which Bob states are the least aggressive of all.
<And do note, the qualifying terms -- "Depending on the type" -- "...might be a cause" -- these are qualifiers to dictate that simply put, with the lack of information that is provided, I can do nothing more than suggest
Hyposalinity is my only route because I don't believe in quarantining fish, nor do I have any space, time or money to do so.
<But yet have time/space/money to run two complete setups? What's not to believe in, anyway?>
I will email Bob and get his advice on this matter.
<Bob reads and posts all that come through WWM's doors -- but be my guest.>
<<I have read the prior and this input and do agree with Justin's statements en toto. RMF>>
Thanks again for your help
<I provide as I am able. Apologies if you don't appreciate it. -JustinN>

QT in Hyposalinity and New Fish  9/26/09
Hello WetWebMedia,
Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer my question. I have a 40 gallon Quarantine Tank that is in Hyposalinity (1.010). I currently have fish in there that have been treated for ich and are doing amazing since
being put in. My question is, I am getting new fish and need to introduce them into the existing Quarantine Tank that is in Hyposalinity. What is the best way to do this?
<Mmm... depending on the species involved, placing them in the same SpG as the water they are in principally and lowering it over days time...>
It took me three days to drop the salinity from 1.024 to 1.010 and can't imagine taking that long to drip a new fish. I do not have a sump for the QT either, as this would make things easier for dripping
for several days. Thank you for your time.
<Well... I wouldn't be ordering... or I'd be cancelling the order... Am not a fan of such treatments overall. Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Questions about Hyposalinity for Display Tank 300 Gal: Not the best option for Crypt Control\Possible Lymphocystis 6/29/2009
I currently have a 300 gallon tank with the following stock list:
1 7-8" Dogface Puffer
2 6-7" Yellow Tangs
1 3-4" Blonde Naso Tang
1 3" Hippo Tang
1 3-4" Raccoon Butterflyfish
1 6-7" Emperor Angelfish
1 2-3" Flame Angel
1 2-3" Magenta Dottyback
1 7-8" Spanish Hogfish
1 6-7" Maroon Clownfish
1 7-8" Two Barred Rabbitfish
1 2-3" Niger Trigger
1 2-3" cleaner wrasse
I recently noticed a small outbreak of Cryptocaryon on the fins of my dogface puffer, Spanish hogfish & Rabbitfish. None of the fish are scratching and all show "normal" behaviour. I like to completely rid my
tank of Cryptocaryon before it does become a problem. I have 250-300 pounds of live rock and 150-200 pounds of sand. There are no inverts of any kind.
I have no access to a suitable quarantine tank for either the fish or the rock.
<Hmm... are you sure it is actually Crypt and not Lymphocystis Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/viraldislymph.htm and here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm >
I wanted to perform Hyposalinity on this tank and wanted some advice as I don't plan on removing rock or sand.
<If it is Crypt, hyposalinity is not the best course of treatment., particularly with a tank of this size.>
1. Will not removing the rock and sand cause a problem during hyposalinity?
There are no critters of any kind on rock
2. Currently the salinity is at 1.022. How much water would have to be removed and freshwater added to lower salinity to 1.009? How fast can I safely lower to 1.009?
<Approximately 25%> <<? RMF>>
3. How long should the salinity be kept at 1.009?
<Again, not the best course of action. Since you have no invertebrates, Quinine treatment is a very viable option for treating the whole tank.:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm >
4. Is skimming possible with the salinity this low?
<Yes, it just is not as effective.>

Ammonia question with hyposalinity   4/26/09
Hello Crew!
I'm running a 210g tank with a 55g sump about 2/3 of the way full, about 220 lbs of live rock are in there, a couple pieces in the sump but most in the display.
I recently received a fish with ich, long story short I'm treating the main tank with hypo. I have no inverts, just live rock (meaning bacteria colonies are present) but no critters on them.
<The "hypo" treatment is more likely to kill most all the biota on the live rock than cure Crypt>
The tank has been running as full saltwater for a long time now, but I just got down to 1.009 salinity last night, I took 3 days to lower it. pH is 8.3, I've been buffering my fresh water inputs with baking soda to make sure the pH is maintained, as I hear that can be a problem during hyposalinity treatment.
<Can be...>
Today I noticed my emperor angel, who normally eats like a pig, and my two triggers who also eat like pigs, are much less willing to feed. They just seemed to be acting a little weird, the triggers are hiding a lot but the emperor and tangs are out as normal. The two tangs are eating off the rocks normally. I started really looking at the tank and it's definitely just a little cloudy all over. I attached a picture.
<I see this cloudiness... likely a "bacterial bloom"... the food source, nutrients from the killed LR biota>
It isn't too bad, but it used to be crystal clear while at 1.025 salinity, so I'm a little worried.
<You should be>
I tested the ammonia and sure enough, it shows as green enough to be barely at the 0.25 level.
<Any is toxic>
I've treated with hyposalinity before on a smaller tank and never had any ammonia problems. So did I do something wrong? Did I possibly kill off my bacteria colonies?
<Likely so>
Did they maybe just go into standby mode until they adjust to the new salinity?
I got this new fish in and so I've been testing out different foods with it, I might be over feeding a LITTLE bit but I really think my tank would have been able to handle the over feeding just fine a couple days ago while at full salinity. I've also noticed my protein skimmer isn't doing as well as it used to, which I knew was a possibility while at hypo but I didn't think it would be causing an ammonia spike.
<Live and learn... hopefully>
Any advice you can give would be great! For now, I'm going to discontinue feeding my "normal" fish at all for a couple days and I'll just feed my new fish, any food that blows over to the other guys they can eat and I'm sure for a couple days they wont starve to death.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hyposalandcrypt.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  


Re: Ammonia question with hyposalinity 04/26/09
I hope you don't mind... -Sara
<Not at all. Thank you. B>
I'm a little confused... you state in your reply email that OST is more likely to kill all the biota on the live rock than to cure Crypt, then direct me to the hyposalinity and Crypt portion of WWM. By the way, I did
already read over this, multiple times
<I hope BobF won't mind if I try to help clarify things for you here.
Hyposalinity only works as a treatment for Crypt in an isolation tank (with no rock and no sand). It does not work if you use it in the display/main tank.>
I could directly quote to you from your website, but it's your website so I wont ;)
<Please understand that the ideas/information posted on WWM are not all from (or even in complete agreement) with Mr. Fenner. To his credit, Bob does not demand (nor even desire) that his be the only
opinion/ideas/thoughts expressed on this site. I do agree with him that hyposalinity treatment in a display/main tank could cause a decline in bacteria populations. Another possibility is that it killed off other
inverts (that are sensitive to hyposalinity)... inverts like worms/pods that you might or might not have considered when you lowed the salinity so drastically. This die off could, at least theoretically, cause an ammonia spite.>
Suffice it to say, on the write up on OST by Pete Giwojna, he makes it perfectly clear that he views OST as a great means of treating parasites and other problems in the tank.
<Uh, well, I disagree with this. It is a good treatment specifically for Crypt, and specifically in a "barren" isolation tank. It's effectiveness against other ailments is, at best, hypothetical/anecdotal... likely not at all.>
He notes that there may be a slight drop in effectiveness of the biological filter, but it is only temporary.
<If bad enough... even a temporary drop can cause serious problems.>
Anyway, I guess I'm not sure who to believe... you, telling me I probably killed off all my bacteria, or your web site, which states in multiple places that OST wont kill off bacteria.
<I would believe your own "eyes"... you saw what happened when you dropped the salinity. If not the hyposalinity, to what would you attribute this collapse/failure of your filtration?>
Confusing, at best!
<When it comes to aquarium keeping information, it is wise to read what has been written (even where conflicting), factor in your own experience and common sense...>
I'm doing some large sized water changes and buying Amquel today to add in and neutralize the ammonia, but I wouldn't mind a clarification about the OST actually killing off bacteria.
<I hope I have given you some clarification.>
It should be noted I've done OST on these rocks before and killed off, I feel at least, all invertebrate life,
<Only goes to show... it does kill inverts and likely bacteria as well.>
the only thing that makes me consider them LIVE rock is that fact that they have bacteria colonies. Or did...
<They likely have (or had) much other life as well (even if you didn't see it per se).>
Sara M.>

Re: Ammonia question with hyposalinity 4/26/09
I'm a little confused... you state in your reply email that OST is more likely to kill all the biota on the live rock than to cure Crypt, then direct me to the hyposalinity and Crypt portion of WWM. By the way, I did already read over this, multiple times
<Ah, good. And I've seen a note, resp. from SaraM to you re this missal>
I could directly quote to you from your website, but it's your website so I wont ;)
<Oh, please, no worries. I appreciate direct quotes... and again, I note that Sara has already mentioned that of the many dozens of friends who have helped/been the WWM Crew since the mid-90's, there are indeed disparate opinions... and I do greatly prize PeteG's knowledge/sharing, though we both would likely want to chat more specifically re individual cases... By and large I (and a few other Crew) are "con" re hyposalinity in general (and there's quite a few who are "pro" here as well...>
Suffice it to say, on the write up on OST by Pete Giwojna, he makes it perfectly clear that he views OST as a great means of treating parasites and other problems in the tank. He notes that there may be a slight drop
in effectiveness of the biological filter, but it is only temporary.
<Mmm... not in the presence of a "real" marine set-up with live rock, much biota of any diversity in a substrate...>
Anyway, I guess I'm not sure who to believe... you, telling me I probably killed off all my bacteria, or your web site, which states in multiple places that OST wont kill off bacteria.
<Indeed it can>
Confusing, at best!
<Mmm, and so it goes... such is the state of "awareness" in the broad ornamental aquatics interest... Some portion real science-based, too much that passes as such that is merely anecdotal, and some that is outright
fallacious. Hypo is more in the middle category at this point IMO>
I'm doing some large sized water changes and buying Amquel today to add in and neutralize the ammonia, but I wouldn't mind a clarification about the OST actually killing off bacteria.
<Okay... It can and often does... the "fine/r point/s" here are that one can "slowly" lower spg in many cases and not lose the forward reactions of nitrification outright... But in practical application, some significant
percentage of cases, this is not the case... Ala your present situation>
It should be noted I've done OST on these rocks before and killed off, I feel at least, all invertebrate life, the only thing that makes me consider them LIVE rock is that fact that they have bacteria colonies. Or did...
<Mmm... will gladly chat with you, proffer clarification if you'd like...
What I'd really like is for some enterprising hobbyist, even a H.S. science student seeking a fair project... to do enough tests re this question...

Re: Ammonia question with hyposalinity 04/26/09
Thanks for the quick responses, both Bob and Sara.
So if you don't mind answering one last question... is there something I should be doing besides my current course of action? I've done about a 30% water change today to remove 30% of the ammonia present, then I used a product called Ammonia Neutralizer made by Aqueon which is supposed to nullify the ammonia.
<Ok, but do be cautious of these products... they are, at best, a "Band-Aid.">
Anything else I should be doing in order to save my fish?
<If it were me, I would do these 30% water changes every other day for a week or two (just to be safe).>
I fed ONE small clam on the half shell today,
<Yikes, I hope it was a small one... this could potentially be a big source of nitrates/ammonia.>
trying to get the new scribbled angel to eat, which failed, so I dropped it into the main portion of the tank which pleased the Goldheart trigger to no end. I put in half a sheet of Nori so that the other angel and tangs had a little food, but other than that I haven't fed the tank at all, trying to keep ammonia down.
I should note that yesterday, both triggers were hiding and acting "weird" and now they are out and about, happy again, so hopefully my actions so far have started to reverse the bad trend my water was taking.
<I hope you have brought the salinity slowly back up to normal...>
Thanks for all you guys/gals do!
<De nada and good luck,
Sara M.>

Re: Ammonia question with hyposalinity 04/26/09
Hmmmm, I have not brought the salinity slowly back up to normal. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the hyposalinity process or not, <Um, indeed, I am quite familiar with the process and have done it myself.
Part of the process, the proper process, is, for one thing, using an isolation tank (which you did not do). Another part of the process, at the end stage, is slowly raising the salinity back to normal levels...>
but lowering it down to 1.009 isn't too hard on the fish.
<This is misinformation. I am sorry if anywhere on WWM has stated such (I will have to write my own rebuttal to such articles), but it is not the case. Lowering the salinity so drastically will not kill the fish, they can/do survive it, but it is "hard" on them all the same... they do have kidneys and such, as do you and I.>
Raising it back up to 1.025 quickly would be really hard on the fish. If I was going to start raising it, it would or at least SHOULD take me a week to get that high, I think by that time my biological filtration should already be compensating for whatever went haywire.
<Hmm, maybe... depends on the details of your system.>
As far as the clam goes, yes, it was a very small one but I didn't leave it to rot, it was eaten by the other fish.
<Ah, good.>
I don't ever leave uneaten food sitting around in the tank.
<I understand... please, don't get too frustrated here. Again, there are many divergent opinions out there regarding the proper care and treatment of fish and their ailments. As is said, often, in my profession, the legal profession.... "where intelligent minds disagree, there is a valid, important issue of fact" to be dealt with. Do read what others have to say, but keeping your own experiences and common sense in mind. I thank you for sharing yours.
Sara M.>

Hypo no longer effective...  3/26/09
Hi Bob,
I have read through your web and find it very information.  I wish to share with u my experience on hyposalinity on my FOWLR.  I have a 8ft tank that keeps big angels. I have been running hypo for almost 6months without any outbreak for ich.
<... not a good idea to "run" a system with artificially (too) low spg for any long period of time...>
Just last week, i got myself another angel and having taking the advantage of hypo, i did not quaratine the new fish and put it into the community tank.  2 days later, i was very dissappointed and upset that my whole tank was infected with ich. Most of the angels have the ich on them.  I check on the salinity and it was 1.0009. i further lower it to 1.005 but it was useless, the ich outbreak continues.  I now understand why you do not really believe hypo is a great way in in getting rid of ich. I strongly believe now the ich is immue to hypo or new ich was form at that low salinity level.
So the lesson learn here is we need to quarantine every fish before we introdue into the community tank.  Also, prevent runnining hypo for too long as ich will be immue to that low salt level.
Kenneth, Singapore.
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Question about hyposalinity and ORP  12/17/08 Hey guys and gals, it's been a while since I've had a good question to ask :-) <Longer for me!> I run an ORP controller and generator on my 210g saltwater tank. I keep the ORP level around 375. <Good> My question is this. if I take my tank down to hyposalinity levels, say 1.009, will I still want my ORP to be 375 or does it differ when the salinity drops? <Mmm, good question (as am given to contemplate how to formulate a response). I would purposely lower my setting here... to something in the 330-350 mV range... 375 is too high to "risk" at lower spg. 400 is about the highest absolute maximum I advise period.> Thanks for the help you guys offer, it's great! Grant <Welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Wrasse mystery white lump -- 07/21/08 I have a recently purchased mystery wrasse that has three white spots or lump on his body. I started him off in QT tank and he has been doing great he has had no signs disease or problem, until now. He has been in quarantine along with a Royal Gramma Basslet and a Sailfin Algae Blenny. <I hope these are separated> The QT tank is a 10 gallon with an Emperor 400 bio wheel, heater, PVC pipe for swimming through and protection. The bottom is bare in the tank, I did have some sand in the tank less than 2 ounces of sand, I removed it because it seemed to trap waste. I have been treating the tank for five weeks now with hyposalinity, sg 1.12 <Mmm, maybe 1.012> and everyone seems to be doing fine. The wrasse is curious and wants to check me out, the blenny has been eating off the glass, and the basslet has been swimming upside down having a great time. <Ah, good> The problem is the Mystery Wrasse started off with one spot at the top of his right gill four days ago which seems to have split and formed two smaller white spots and now a third smaller spot appeared on his right side on the middle of his body. I am not sure what this could be. <Could be... parasitic, idiopathic, "nothing" to worry about...> I have fed the tank with live brine shrimp, rod's food, Sushi Nori and frozen brine shrimp with Cyclop-eeze. I try to limit the amount of food at any given time to keep water from fowling; however I have left the Sushi Nori in for longer periods. Also, I have placed some hair algae from the display into the QT for the blenny. None of my other fish show any disease or problems, so I don't think I contaminated the QT from the display. However, I have recently placed, at the same time I got the wrasse, basslet, and blenny, some mithrax crabs in my display with out QT to get rid of some bubble algae. My display tank fish show no signs of disease. I have done water changes to the QT every 7 -10 days, and keep the lights on 12 hours a day. I am truly puzzled the hyposalinity should kill any parasite <Might be "under the skin" if indeed a parasite... I don't think it is> that the fish would have. The Wrasse may sleep next to the heater and it could be physical damage to the wrasse. Could the QT be hurting the wrasse? <Yes> If so, should I place him in the display after re-acclamation to the displays salinity? <Yes, I would> The wrasse swims strong, is curios and eats frozen and flake food. He seems healthy except for these white spots. And now that I have been staring at him for an hour his stomach seems large. Could I be a Hypochondriac for my Fish? <Happens> I look forward to hearing from you. Here is link to what the bump looks like http://s354.photobucket.com/albums/r436/mysterywrasse/?action=view <http://s354.photobucket.com/albums/r436/mysterywrasse/?action=view&current= MOV03666.flv> &current=MOV03666.flv <Didn't "exist" for me. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mystery Wrasse mystery white lump   7/23/08 Thanks for getting back to me so soon. Unfortunately I have a new problem. I am in the process of raising the salinity in the hyposalinity QT to the conditions in my display tank. This morning when I went to check on the QT tank my mystery wrasse was sitting still and not moving, which is uncommon he always is swimming around. I looked him over and the bums on his body are mostly gone but now his eye on the right side, the same side as the bumps, is cloudy, puffy, and perhaps a little red. <Could be just the hyposalinity...> The wrasse is breathing fine and the other fish in the QT are fine. I was going to wait and do nothing, but upon reading about Popeye and eye injury on wet web media I found that Epson <Epsom...> salt is the best treatment. It didn't make much sense to add Epson salt while I was still raising the salinity in my QT to the level of my display, so I raised the salinity in the QT to the level of my display. <...? All at once? Not a good idea... see WWM re...> I also moved a heater which was close to the bottom of the tank where the wrasse had been sleeping and made his cocoon. I was thinking that he may be getting damaged by wedging himself near the heater or glass of the tank. Would adding Epson salt later today be a good idea? How much, it is a 10 gallon tank? <I would hold off...> I have a live brine shrimp that is ready to feed, they have been growing 36 hours; should I feed him the brine shrimp? <Some> Should I remove the emperor 400 and use a power head and an air pump so the brine shrimp will not get sucked up and trapped in the emperor's filter? <... I wouldn't. Perhaps turn off for ten-twenty minutes> Should I move the other fish in QT to my display to leave the wrasse alone in the tank? I want to leave the wrasse in QT so his eye can heal. Also, should I add some live rock to the QT for the wrasse to swim around and build its cocoon near now that it will have salinity 1.023? Thanks for the help. If I haven't been asking the right questions could you tell me a course of action you would follow to treat the wrasse? <... You should read, and relax. BobF>

Black ich during hypo, reading   7/13/08 Hello WWM, It's always good to know I can come back to you guys to ask questions, I hope you don't get tired of them. <Some, sometimes> I wrote before and you helped me deal with my ich outbreak, and here is where I am at now. I have all my fish in QT (ten) I just finished doing hypo on them with a refractometer: 4 weeks at 1.09 SG, I know it's a long time, but I just wanted to make sure. They seemed very happy, eating quite well and doing fine... until today... : ( I started raising the SG very slowly, it's been 5 days and it is up to 1.14, but today, when I was about to do their 50% water change and raise it more (always checking Alk + ph) I noticed my yellow tang had black spots, looking through the FAQS, I found an exact picture of how he looks, black ich. : ( Just when I thought we were doing so well. So now I don't know what to do. Should I continue raising the SG back to normal and then treat the black ich? <Sure> I imagine that hyposalinity does nothing to black ich and that is why he has it. <Freshwater dips, esp. with formalin are almost always efficacious> Are all the other fish exposed and therefore I should treat them also, or should I just treat him b/c he is the only one that is showing it? (I checked all the other ones, and they seem fine). The DT is going fallow now, still 2 more weeks to go. Please help!!! Thank you very much. Erika <Let me skip to the chase and have you read... http://wetwebmedia.com/ Saltwater, Disease, scroll down... to "Black Ich"... Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Sea aquarium fish selection... now parasite... prev. I'm going to be trying VERY hard to never let ich get a foothold in my 180g. Well, more than just not get a foothold, I'm going to make sure it never gets introduced, to the extent that is possible anyway. With the fish I had planned on stocking (all Red Sea), Semilarvatus B/F, Raccoon B/F, Blue Throat triggers, Emperor angel and a Purple tang... I was planning on quarantining them all for at least 4 weeks, with 2 of those 4 weeks being in a 1.010 salinity environment. <... this... won't "do it"... may kill the fishes instead. Read on WWM re hyposalinity please> The idea behind this is killing any parasites off before introducing into the main tank. I've been reading how some fish don't get along well with copper and I'd rather not risk copper unless needed. Is hyposalinity "less risky" than using copper? <... read> I know that a fish very well could have a small amount of ich on it, not show any signs while in quarantine for a month, but still spread it to the main tank, so I'd like to treat all fish for ich regardless as to whether they show it or not. <... not likely a good idea> In my mind I'm thinking they will be getting freshwater dips for 10 minutes (or as long as they can stand it, whichever comes first) before going into quarantine, at which point I'll slowly drop the salinity from 1.025 down to 1.010 over the course of a week. I'll keep it at that for 2 weeks, then raise it up to 1.025 over the course of a week, so at the end of 4 weeks they are hopefully parasite free and ready for introduction into the main tank. Does that sound feasible? I've read and read and read about this but I really would appreciate a direct answer, it seems there are so many variables, some fish don't respond well to some treatments while others simply go blind from them, while others could care less. Also, we had discussed me adding a goatfish to this mix. My main reasoning behind it was to keep the sand stirred (only a inch sandbed of sugar sized aragonite) in the main tank. I'm thinking that most likely there will be a spot or two on the sand bed that don't have optimal water flow and have the potential to get a Cyanobacteria coating, the goatfish should keep the sand stirred up to the point that doesn't happen. However, do they require special feeding or will the usual fish foods that make it down to the bottom be enough to keep him fat and happy? I'll be feeding a huge variety of foods including those New Life Spectrum sinking pellets, so I'm sure he will have plenty of opportunity to munch away. I'm wondering if a goatfish is somewhat like a sand sifting Seastar, in that it will decimate my sandbed to the point it has almost no beneficial small life forms? I want there to be copepods and amphipods and what not in the sand bed to help with detritus management and what not... so if the goatfish is going to totally eradicate those I might avoid putting on in there and hopefully not have problems with a unstirred sand bed? Ideas? <Reading> Thanks again Bob for all the helpful answers you've given me. Whenever you head to Alaska to do a cold water dive, you are welcome to come have some beers at my place. <RMF>

Hyposalinity -Marine Ich- Fighting Back 05/14/08 Hello to the WWM Crew: <Hey there! Scott F. in today!> I had some thoughts that I'd like to get your opinion on. Many times in the past, I've used the hyposalinity method and most recently used that method along with Chloroquine phosphate. During the treatment everything looks good, but as soon as I start to increase the salinity, the parasite reappears. From what I was reading about Cryptocaryon is that hyposalinity prevents the cysts from hatching from the tomont stage. If this is accurate how does hyposalinity kill the parasite? <The theory is that these more simple life forms are unable to make the osmotic adjustment to the lower salinity, and perish in the process.> So my question is what happens to these unhatched cysts? <Well, assuming that they are not damaged by the lower salinity, they will follow their normal reproductive cycle and multiply by division over the course of several days.> Do they die from not hatching? Do they basically explode due to the difference between their internal salinity and the surrounding water? <That's the theory. damage occurs to their cell structure as a result of the process.> Do they lay dormant until the SG is increased ready to wreak havoc on the fish once again? <Interesting thought. Typically, they will reproduce over the course of a few days to three weeks, with each cyst multiplying up to 300-400 "swimmers".> I'm thinking if they do not hatch then how can treatments such as Chloroquine phosphate, copper and even formalin work if the parasite doesn't make it to the free swimming stage? <The causative protozoa are destroyed in pretty much any stage by aggressive chemical treatments, such as copper sulphate. My approach has always been a "two front" war: Remove ALL fishes from the aquarium where the infestation occurred, and treat the fishes with copper sulphate in a separate aquarium. The copper will kill the protozoa on the fishes themselves. The display is essentially "fallow", without fishes, for at least 4 weeks. This will deprive them of their hosts-your fishes, and essentially disrupt the life cycle. Obviously, without a host, parasites will die, unable to complete their life cycle.> Right now my SG is at 1.010 and I'm thinking it should be higher in order for the cysts to hatch and ultimately be eradicated with medication in the free swimming stage. Thanks, Gene <Well, Gene, you're preaching to the choir here= I'm not a big fan of the hyposalinity treatment. The fishes are undergoing enough stress just being sick, relocated, and subjected to harsh chemicals. lowering the specific gravity just adds another layer of stress, IMO. I keep it simple, as outlined above. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Large Angelfish et al., hypo. no    3/5/08 Bob, <Kirk> In approximately a month, I plan on getting the large angels in my previous thread. I will be placing all the fish in a several QTs with a salinity level around 1.014-16. I have been reading some threads on WWM and some of the mods do not accept the hyposalinity approach in quarantining a fish. <I am one of these. In general doesn't produce appreciable positive results... just stresses the fishes> What would you recommend? <Posted...> These angels will be the most expensive investment of my tank, so I am taking the time to research this thoroughly BEFORE I get the fish and place them in my QT. The last thing I want to do is place a fish in a QT tank and produce more stress on it. Thanks, Kirk <Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm the first tray... Articles on Acclimation, Quarantine... BobF>

Help needed for black ich... hypo., no... Maybe not Paravortex at all... 2/18/08 Dear WWM Crew, <Thomas> My Achilles Tang is currently infested with both black and white spots. The rest of the fish (no other tangs) seems ok except for a pale looking potter angel. <Oh! Saw a few of these Centropyge yesterday diving out at Crescent Beach, here in Hawaii> My tank previously had a round of black n white ich a few months ago and I hypo the main tank + freshwater dip all fish + 1 month quarantine and managed to rid the fish of both black and white spots <Uh, no... obviously> Now that the black ich is back, is it true that even if I were to cure all my fish of black ich, they will still come back since they are already in my main tank and black ich can go for months without a host ? <Mmm, not usually months, or even many weeks> I believe in minimising stress on the fish and letting it recover the "natural way". <Errr, not always, no... in the confines, conditions of aquariums, lifetimes are shortened... vitality loss... sometimes lifetimes greatly foreshortened...> This method works for me with regards to white ich. But will it work the same for black ich? <Usually FW... This is all gone over and over on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm and the linked files above...> Thank you very much. Regards, Thomas Ong <And now... this may not be "black ich" at all... but a trematode infestation... Read on WWM re ID, treatment... Bob Fenner> Hyposalinity in The Display Tank.. An Acceptable Tradeoff?  12/28/07 Hello fellow fish addicts, <Scott F. in today!> First the specs: 3 year old 75 gallon marine FOWLR - 90 lbs live rock, 75 lbs live sand HOB filter with 2 bags of Tempura and some powerheads totaling about 14X/hr turnover Corallife SuperSkimmer 125 80 watt fluorescent light 500 watts worth of submersible heaters temp - 79F, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate about 20ppm, pH 8.0 Livestock (length") Klunzinger wrasse 8" Yellow tang 4" Huma Huma trigger 5" Flame angel 3.5" Emperor Angel 6" Domino Damsel 2.5" *female blue-throat trigger 2.5" (see below) <Wow...a bit of a crowd for the long term, really. Do consider larger quarters for the near future!> The situation: I received some rock to set up my new 180 (to which all inhabitants of the 75 were going to be transferred to) and got a hitchhiker - a female blue throat trigger in a puddle at the bottom of the LR container. Idiot that I am, I tossed the little gal into the 75. A week later everyone has a mild (at least to the eye) case of Crypto. Due to the size of the fish, as well as, room and financial constraints - I am unable to remove all of the fish from the display tank and provide them with adequate sized hospital tanks for medicinal treatment. Of note - the Emperor Angel looks like he has some secondary infections/disease (film on one eye, splotchy color). <Often occurs with Ich and other parasitic illnesses. The fishes are usually weakened by the initial infection.> My question: Since the tank is a FOWLR without macros or inverts would it be workable to hypo the whole display tank? My main concern is whether or not the beneficial bacteria in the sand and rock will survive. I plan on keeping the SG at 1.009, will do regular water changes (every 3 days or so) during the treatment, Amquel and refractometer are on hand and fresh Tempura is waiting to go. I'm aware that there will be "die off" of worms, pods, coralline, etc, but am hoping that water quality can be maintained via the above measures/tools. What do ya think? Thank you for your time and consideration, Eric <Well, Eric, if you do understand that there will be some collateral damage as a result of the hyposalinity, and if this is acceptable to you, then go for it. I am almost always against treatments in the display aquarium for this very reason, but I would rather see you use hyposalinity than some harsh medicines in the display aquarium. Best of luck to you. Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Hyposalinity for Butterflies  11/28/2007 Hi Crew, I had sent this question in a couple of weeks ago and am hopeful for a reply. <Thanks for re-sending. I don't recall ever seeing this> Thanks, Tom Hi Crew, <Tom> I have a follow up question to Roy's reply yesterday titled "QT hospital tank and poor water conditions". Would you recommend this specific QT hypo treatment for a LNB and CBB if they're showing Crypt symptoms? <I myself would not... am decidedly NOT a fan of hyposalinity treatments period. RARELY effect cures, OFTEN ultimately kill by seriously weakening fish livestock. Bob Fenner> I've used copper successfully in the past but don't want to use it for these new fish that I'll be getting soon. I have a 30G QT set up and waiting for the new additions. Here's the text of Roy's reply: <<Art: It sounds like you are using a lot of medication and chemicals in your QT. If you only QT one fish at a time, a 10 gallon should work. In my experience, the best treatment for ich is to slowly lower the Specific Gravity (SG) in your QT to 1.009 (as measured with a refractometer), leave it there for 6 weeks, and then slowly raise it to your main tank SG. Before I started using this method, I used to have many of the same issues and problems you mentioned. I usually don't like to move the SG more than .002 per day up or down (as measured with a refractometer). The SG 1.009 ich treatment will work just fine without any meds; however, you can't have any live rock or inverts in your QT because the SG 1.009 is too low for them. When you need to do a water change, make sure the SG is the same as your QT. After the 6 weeks, no ich should have survived. You then slowly raise the QT from SG 1.009 to where your main tank is. After that, you can introduce your fish to the main tank. While the whole process takes several weeks, you will beat ich for good and you won't have to use a bunch of medication and chemicals. In the future, never introduce a fish without going through the 6 week QT. It's the way I do it and I have never had ich in the main tank (though I have had it seen it many times at the start of the QT process). Best of luck, Roy>> Thanks, Tom

Hyposalinity Question 9/23/07 Hi. Greetings from Alaska! <Hello from Michigan. I have a 55 gal. FOWLR with quite a bit of fish. Bicolor Angel, Raccoon B/F, Tomato clownfish, Fox lo, Royal Gramma, Flame Hawkfish and a Yellowtail damsel. <Too small a tank for all these guys.> Fortunately they are all doing fine for more that a year now. I am a big fan of hyposalinity. And this is not as a treatment <Emphasis RMF>. My tank has been on this for 8 months now. And I am free of any kind of diseases. And I plan to continue with my hypo indefinitely. I am planning to buy a HOB refugium and have a DSB in it for nitrate removal. My question is, will anaerobic bacteria develop or thrive in a tank with a SG. 1.010 salinity? <Should. I'm not a fan of long term hypo, some fish, such as tangs, just do not fare well at 1.010. Do read here and linked files above for more information on this subject. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm> Thank you for your info. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Larry

Chaetomorpha salinity -- 09/15/07 Hi. <Hi Larry.> I am planning to do a hyposalinity treatment on my 55 gal. fish only tank due to Ich outbreak. Will the macroalgae Chaeto survive during the treatment? <I tried to grow Chaetomorpha in a brackish tank with sg = 1.010 and it died within 3 weeks. Hyposalinity is used best in a separate tank without substrate (that way you can vacuum the bottom and remove quite a lot of protozoans), but if you are applying this method in your main system, you need to find alternate quarters for you macro algae.> Thanks. Larry. <Good luck with your treatment! Cheers. Marco.>

Black Ich during hyposalinity? -- 07/23/07 Hi, <Hello there> Can a fish develop black ich while in hyposalintiy? <Paravortex? Develop? Mmm, don't know what you mean exactly... must be imported from somewhere...> I've had a Powder Brown Tang (white cheek) in quarantine for about 10 days by now. She seems generally fine, eating well and lively, but I saw a few spots (Cryptocaryon) <... maybe> the second day I had her and started hyposalinity. Tank water is at 1.009. Today I noticed a few darker spots in the yellow area by the tail. They would be hard to see on the rest of her body because of the coloration. Not sure if they've always been there and are natural or if it could be black ich. <Likely much more to be stress markings...> But I thought hyposalinity kills black ich! Has anyone ever heard of it developing despite it or am I just misinformed? Should I start formalin baths, or observe a little longer to see if the spots disappear (in which case it would be black ich?)? The fish still eats well and shows no other sign of feeling off, but there are only very few of the spots. <Maybe a bit of reading... I would NOT further "treat" this animal. Bob Fenner> Best regards, Susanne

Re: Black Ich during hyposalinity? -- 07/23/07 Hi, <Hello> > <Maybe a bit of reading... I would NOT further "treat" this animal. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your advice! I'll just finish the quarantine and observe for now. <Ah, good... this is what I would do> -- Best regards, Susanne <And to you, BobF>

Re: Black Ich during hyposalinity?  8/27/08 Hi, <Howdy> > Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 8:16 PM > To: WetWebMedia Crew <crew@wetwebmedia.com> > Subject: Re: Black Ich during hyposalinity? > Hi, > <Hello> >> <Maybe a bit of reading... I would NOT further >> "treat" this animal. Bob Fenner> > Thanks for your advice! > I'll just finish the quarantine and observe for now. > <Ah, good... this is what I would do> Just wanted to send an update regarding the tang: she has been in the display tank for a week now and is happy and eating well! :) <Ah good> It took a few days of posturing between her and the Scribbled Rabbitfish, but they seem to have accepted each other now. Best regards, Susanne <Thank you for this update. BobF>

Hyposalinity together with copper sulphate treatment   8/22/07 Dear Sir, Your site is the best I have come across on the net. I have learned lots from your wonderful Site. I have a question. Can one treat the marine fish while in hyposalinity with copper sulphate? <Can> What is the effects of copper in such a salinity. <More toxic...> Regards, Inderjeet Singh <Bob Fenner>

Re: Hyposalinity together with copper sulphate treatment   8/26/07 Dear Sir, Thank you for the prompt reply, You have said copper can be used so should I keep a level of 0.15 mg/l as suggested or reduce it. <I would maintain this as a minimum stated concentration> Your second answer is not clearly understood by me. It will be toxic to what, the fish or the parasites.? Regards, Inderjeet Singh. <The host fishes... the lowering of spg makes copper exposure more dangerous. BobF>

Re: Hyposalinity together with copper sulphate treatment  8/28/07 Dear Bob, Thanks again, This is going to be a bit long mail so please do excuse me I am Architect turned Aquarist, this hobby has changed my profession I am a serious LFS hobbyist doing my job for past 5 years in freshwater. <Neat! I too was self-directed to a life of enjoyment, study and sharing in our interest> Here in India Marine is not much popular. Recently I visited Singapore for the Aquarama Exhibition . <Ahh! Have gone to most of these biannual industry get-togethers> I was inspired with Marine setups and the Underwater World. <The UK co. I take it> I set up my tanks for marine and got two consignments of fish sadly all the fish died within two weeks because of Velvet. Then I started to read and browse the net and I came to WWM. This is my favourite site. I spend most of my spare time reading your articles. I now give my fish the fresh water dips and am trying to quarantine them. <Ah, good> Now I have been successful to keep the fish alive. Your site is a big Ocean of knowledge. <Thank you my friend> The reasons of my earlier question is that I am confused and not sure what method I should use? 1. Only Hyposalinity ? 2. Only Copper treatment Or 3. Both 1 and 2 ? <Depends a good deal on the species, specimens in question... For many that are sensitive or in bad initial health, neither may be appropriate... For incoming fishes, pH adjusted freshwater dips with a bit of formalin (as detailed on WWM) is my favorite prophylactic approach...> Now, the reason I am asking you the above question is that I have set up 40 tanks of 15 gallons in circulation to a common sump. All tanks are individually connected with of 3/4" pvc pipes for inlet and outlet. In the Sump the water is filtering through Ceramic rings, filter pads of different grade, bio balls. The water is then pumped back. I plan to quarantine marine fish in these tanks. <Mmm, much we should state here... each of these tanks flows back independently I hope... and you have VERY good mechanical (one micron or less) AND physical (e.g. UV) sterilization to exclude the sharing of parasites...> I read on the net that Protein Skimmer must not be used as the organic waste will remove the copper.? <Yes... w/ or w/o the waste... and the waste alone> I am using API test kits NH3, NO2, NO3, pH and Cu. Do I need to monitor anything else? What method should I use from the above? <Dips, baths... and keep good records of what species from what suppliers have problems... Arrange your ordering to reflect...> Salt used is Red Sea as this is the only salt commonly available in India. <As your business grows... do consider becoming a distributor for other brands... and product lines... Marine keeping will explode some day (and I think soon) in India> I have prepared my own Copper Sulphate solution by mixing 40 gm.s of Copper Sulphate ( Blue crystals used in swimming pools here) to 10 liters of Distilled water. I intend to use 30 ml for 200 liters to get .015 ppm reading of copper. <I would add 4-5 grams of citric acid to your mix here... much better... to keep the CuSO4 . 5H2O in solution> I want your advice for any other precautions that I should take while Quarantine. My tanks are recycling now. And soon I shall add the fish when the NH3 and NO2 readings are ZERO. Thanks once again. Regards, Inder. <I will gladly help you in your endeavours. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hyposalinity together with copper sulphate treatment -- 09/01/07 Dear Mr. Bob Fenner, I was very glad to see your picture in the October issue of Freshwater and Marin Aquarium magazine. <Heeee! Got to get a newer one... for honesty's sake if naught else> In the last mail you state "<Depends a good deal on the species>" The species that I am keeping for the moment are from your good list of Butterflies, <Ahh... this family does rate quite high on the copper sensitivity scale I'm afraid> Earlier I tried keeping 8 banded butterfly <The genus Chelmon?> and it did not eat anything and finally died. Other species that I am keeping are Angels, Lion fish, Wrasse, Damsels, Triggers, Tangs and Surgeons. Do you have a list on your site for copper sensitive species? <<Mmm, yes... they are somewhat detailed by family/group as here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm scroll down to the royal blue line... the FAQs after the coverage on Crypt>> "<Mmm, much we should state here... each of these tanks flows back independently I hope... and you have VERY good mechanical (one micron or less) AND physical (e.g. UV) sterilization to exclude the sharing of parasites...>" I shall now be adding 16watt U.V. in the sump (Water vol: 100 gallons) with 2500 l/h power head. The flow of the pump is 4500 ltrs /ht to the tanks. <I would add many more watts of UV here for this total volume and flow rate... Likely five times as many plus. Look for the Vectron (TMC) brand if you can... very reliable, service-able> Two racks with 18 tanks gross volume of 1200 ltrs. I shall call this as System 1. I have two such systems with 4 racks ie 36 tanks. System 1 (1200lts) and System 2 (1200lts). Here I need your suggestion. First, My plan is to have System 1 for Quarantine with Hyposalinity and Copper, if you suggest. And in System 2, Not sure yet but may be the following <Just to be sure, you have two sump systems here correct?> 1. For invertebrates, 2. Curing live rock, Or 3. Use this system for Copper sensitive fish. ie only Hyposalinity. <The invertebrates and LR should not be exposed to varying or low spg> I have prepared my own Copper Sulphate solution by mixing 40 gm.s of Copper Sulphate ( Blue crystals used in swimming pools here) to 10 liters of Distilled water. I intend to use 30 ml for 200 liters to get .015 ppm reading of copper. <I would add 4-5 grams of citric acid to your mix here... much better... to keep the CuSO4 . 5H2O in solution> Sir, I want to know that add 4-5gms of citric acid to what quantity 10 ltrs or to 200 ltrs ? <Yes> Regards, Inderjeet Singh Bansal. <Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity   6/25/07 Dear Bob: I have a very perplexing question regarding the effects of hyposalinity. I have been in discussion with some members of my local reef club regarding hyposalinity as treatment. While I agree it is a mild (and questionably effective) treatment for certain pathogens, I do not endorse its use prophylactically (without cause). <I as well> The basis for my argument is the principle that while it may be mild, it is still unnatural, and therefore has a negative effect on fish. Again, not debating the degree of harm, I feel it will have some sort of negative effect. However, some other members disagree. They claim that such lowered salinities have no negative side effects whatsoever. <Mmm... perhaps they should try a simple experiment, exposing their eye/s to varying degrees of water with different salt content, different osmotic pressure... IS a source of stress for sure> My dilemma comes in the research supporting this data. There are many informal articles (such as Terry B.'s in this month Advanced Aquarist) which claim it has tremendous benefits. However, the references listed do not pertain to the "typical" marine teleosts in this hobby. In fact, many of the species listed in the references are estuarine species. To me, this extrapolation of data is unmerited. Furthermore, in reality, the negatives of hyposalinity are never quite addressed in such articles, just the positives. I am beginning to wonder if such consequences have ever been researched. <Perhaps not. I note and agree with your use of the term "informal"> Using my own logic train, I cannot help but feel that any wild species outside of it's environment is at a disadvantage. But furthermore, in this case, I can't help but feel that the 200 million years of evolution have led to this species becoming quite specialized into living optimally at the NSW salinity, not hyposalinity. Furthermore, from what I can find, there is little or no recommendation for people to maintain fish only tanks at lowered salinities. If such benefits are so obvious and effective for hyposalinity, why hasn't this species migrated to hyposaline natural conditions? <Many groups, species... likely individuals at times... "have"... there is a degree of euryhaline et al. tolerance in all life... some more so, variable than others... Sorry for these gross generalizations as well... but the point is there are coping mechanisms, organisms that easily transit temporarily to more... twixt fresh, marine settings...> Personally, I have anecdotally witnessed what I believe to be more severe side effects from hyposalinity at one of the major stores locally. They run all of their fish holding systems hyposaline, and they have worse HLLE that anywhere else I have seen- especially in Red Sea animals, and large angels. <Ah yes... and my "old saw" re such practice... it is cheaper (less synthetic or hauled natural seawater, higher DO, lowered ext. parasite loads... But... how much lower spg/salinity? How much benefit?> At any rate, to my question- what, if any, negatives do you see running hyposalinity to hold? <There are a few ways to approach, discuss this... in terms of hematology (fishes have about the same types of cell types, chemistry, metabolism here... just much higher packed cell volumes...) the effects can indeed be dire... Lowered hematocrits are big trouble... with little oxygen to be had period... And other sources of stress... social, collateral shipping trauma/damage...> By that, if an otherwise healthy fish were subjected to hyposaline conditions, would it be better off, or would it suffer some negative side effects? <All a matter of degree...> Would you consider prophylactically running hyposaline quarantine for EVERY fish, despite the symptoms shown? <No... though in actual historical truth, I/we used to do just this in our stores (I was a retailer off and on for decades... "on the floor" for some 14 years...)... as you state, some notable examples would be Red Sea fishes, other e.g. fishes that live in close association with invertebrates (e.g. Amphiprionines), seahorses and kin... many Callionymoids... "don't like" such exposure... are FAR better off being kept in NSW cond.s.> Are you aware of any literature which has specially and applicably been done with ornamental marine teleosts? Jeremy Maneyapanda <Unfortunately not "off the top of my head", but would like to (next run down to SIO library) to try a go at computer searching such a tropic. Am pretty sure some tangential (not pet-fish per se) investigations re this and related issues have been pursued scientifically. Are you near S. Ca.? Would you like to go with re such a bibliographic search? Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: hyposalinity - 6/25/07 Dear Bob: <Jeremy> Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I am in Georgia, and don't think I could get into a road trip of that degree! I, too, will begin looking into some online sources, despite my lack of success from previous efforts. please let me know what you find, and I will surely do the same. Jeremy Maneyapanda <Thank you for this. BobF>

Re: Clownfish Growth?   3/18/07 Bob: <Michael> Thanks for the reply. <Welcome> One last question - Did you mean that you are not a fan of low salinity quarantine or that you're not a fan of your book? :) Michael <Heeeee! Just not hyposalinity during quarantine. BobF>

Anthony Question on Hypo and FW Dips  - 3/12/07 Hi Anthony... <Mmm, not here... maybe try him at Marine Depot, or Reading Trees (.coms)> you recently has a conversation with some friends of mine when you appeared in Florida and mentioned that you don't think hyposalinity is a viable option for treating ich. I've also read where you don't feel that Greenex should be used in treatments. Yet, Bob has stated that Greenex actually works to offset some of the negative aspects of Formalin treatment. <What? ...Malachite and Formalin ARE Greenex... The former does nothing to "offset" the latter... both are harsh, toxic... more so together than separately> I've also noticed that Steven Pro highly recommends hyposalinity as a treatment for ich. Wow, so confusing! We met at IMAC last year. I own Sea in the City in Orlando (you encouraged me to frag my red carpet anemone...which I did with great results by the way;) and I've been working to get away from using copper in my fish displays (I have quarantine/hospital setups in use) and have settled on oversized UV, Ozone and lowered salinity (1.20) in the tanks. <Good approaches...> I dip all fish that can tolerate freshwater in a 5 gallon bucket with a heater, bubbler and PH adjustment that contains Formalin and Greenex (1-3 minutes). <Good... though I/we mainly just used Formalin... for decades> I then move them to same setup on the bucket but with salt water, Formalin and Methyl Blue (30+ minutes). <Neat> I'm having excellent success with this (pulled from some of Bob's suggestions in "Conscientious Marine Aquarist") but now have some hesitation after reading some of your WWM replies regarding Greenex. So, can you help me out with some qualifying info? Thanks and hope all is well with you. Marcye <Do please give the URL/s a once-over and write me back re your concerns. Bob Fenner> Swollen blenny, NNS  2/1/07 hello everyone <Javier> I've been keeping a midas blenny along with other fish in a quarantine for almost a month now.  Since I am treating for ick, I have them in hyposalinity.  Everything was going well with no major water quality problems except a few tiny drops in ph here and there, but two days ago I noticed my blenny appeared swollen.  His fins, abdomen and everything looks puffy, and he is looking a bit pale in color.  Any possibilities of what it could be? Thanks Javier <Is likely just a reaction from the low-salinity exposure, pH shifts... I would move this fish, pronto, to a better setting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich & a fallow Reef Tank ... Hyposalinity and marine invert.s   11/26/07 Bob: Again, thank you very much. I know that you've heard several time how respondents have wished they'd known of you and this web site earlier in their hobby exposure, but it's most definitely true. <Ah yes... I do wish there were such tools as WWM for many other fields of endeavour (for me, gardening, world peace activities, information... it's coming> This is a quick request for amplification/verification: With regard to running my main tank at a lowered SG (1.019 - 1.020 for invertebrates I believe most of your responses/articles say, but I've seen other numbers in the FAQs - maybe for fish?) <Yes... By and large I would not "fool" much with lowered spg with invertebrates period. Fishes can tolerate much larger, faster changes here> and heightened temperature (83 deg. F?), am I correct in my understanding that my inverts can withstand those parameters for a month? <Again, I would not move the density of water here much if at all> In my 120 gal reef tank I have (sorry, I don't know their scientific names) live sand and rock, 3 giant cup mushrooms, 3 Ricordea mushrooms, 2 Foxes, a pipe organ, a _________, a Chile, 2 cat's eyes, 2 moderns, a Xenia, a gorgonian, a Christmas tree coral, a frog spawn and a toadstool for the corals; 3 sponges, 2 Squamosa clams, 2 blood red fire shrimp, 2 scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, 1 pencil urchin, 1 porcelain anemone crab, 1 hitch-hiker crab, 1 Tiger Pistol Shrimp, several: Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs, Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit crabs,   Turbo Snails, Cerith Snails, Astrea Conehead Snails, Nassarius Snails and money cowries Thanks Again Regards Teri Hewson <I'd leave the main tank at 1.025 density. Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity vs. ich   9/30/06    I sure hope you guys can help me with this problem!! I've read a lot of information in your FAQ and throughout your site about hyposalinity and believe I did it correctly.  I'll outline what I did, what the results were and finally the problem. <I have had mixed results with hypo and ich. For fish that don't tolerate copper well it has worked for me when combined with 50% daily water changes over a 4 week period a majority of the time.>    I have 3 saltwater tanks.  2 were originally reef set ups and 1 was for growing macro, pods and sort of set aside as a QT tank if needed.  The problem is in my 29 reef.  This was my first attempt at saltwater.  I spent almost 2 months cycling it before adding any livestock.  My first addition was 2 Percs.  Everything was going along just fine until they came down with Ich. <Were these clowns placed in the QT for at least 3 weeks before the introduction to the 29?>   I went through the following steps of hyposalinity. First, I removed all corals and snails from the tank and put them in a 46 bow tank that's been doing awesome ever since I set it up.  Over a period of about a week, I lowered the salinity to 1.009, which I measured using a hydrometer that I regularly calibrated, using distilled water. <Ah, a couple of problems can arise from doing a hypo treatment in the display tank. I'm assuming there was still rock and sand in the tank which provide those nasty little ich a place to settle during their cyst stage where they can develop for up to a month. In a bare bottom QT you can vacuum the bottom during water changes removing a large number of these cysts. The second problem stems from the ich having a viable host still in the display tank. You really want to leave the tank fallow (fishless) for at least 8 weeks so the large majority of ich will die from lack of hosts. This is another benefit of the QT. I know it sounds like a pain, but it is truly your best chance of success.>   I topped off the tank every day with fresh water.  I also tested the salinity every day.   It never went above 1.010 and was almost always at 1.009. <Where you performing large water changes at least every few days? A 50% water change (temp, salinity, ph matched) daily or even every 3rd day will reduce the number of free swimming ich as well as cysts you can vacuum up off horizontal surfaces. This can also help mitigate any water quality issues that may be stressing the fish.> Within a couple of days, 1 Perc. died.  :o(  Within a few more days, all visible signs of the Ich were gone.  I kept the 1.009 level for about 6 weeks.  While in the hyposalinity state, I did purchase another Perc to replace the one that had died.  I reasoned that this would be the best time to add any fish since it'd be similar to a quarantine period. <errr'¦bad idea. The new fish could've been carrying something worse than ich, and the stress of acclimation may make the newcomer even more susceptible to disease.> I made this addition during the second week of hypo.  After about 6 weeks, I slowly (over a 10 day period) raised the salinity back to 1.024.  Within a week of reaching 1.024, both Percs showed signs of Ich again.  What did I do wrong?   <See above> I'm contemplating tearing that tank down, giving the live rock a freshwater dip while scrubbing lightly with a toothbrush, rinsing the live sand in freshwater and starting over. <A bit extreme. See below>   I don't like the idea of having to go through the long cycling period again but also want to get rid of this Ich problem before I loose any more fish.  Oh, I forgot to mention that both Percs died within a week of the return of visible Ich symptoms.  The only fish in the tank now is an ugly PJ Cardinal that has kicked the Ich both times.  I only say Ugly because they look like a fish that God created out a bunch of left over parts...lol.   The PJ appeared covered with the Ich and much more infested than either Perc but always acted totally healthy.  The PJ has not shown any signs of Ich for a couple of months now and is still nice and healthy.  As I mentioned, the PJ is the only fish in the 29 along with a bunch of Nassarius snails I've recently added.  If I take the drastic steps of starting over with the 29, I'd put the PJ and the snails in the 46 gallon. <Consider the PJ an 'Ich Transport Device'. Moving the PJ without at least a few weeks in QT with some freshwater dips thrown in to be safe will likely just introduce the problem to your 46. Your best bet is to move all fish in the 29 into QT (cheap 10g tank with heater, sponge filter and some pvc pipe terrain) and leave the 29 fallow for 8 weeks. When all is said and done the 29 will be ready to accept healthy fish from QT without traumatizing the rock and sand. Just remember that if you add more fish without QT'ing them first all your efforts may be in vain.> This entire time, the only problem I've ever had with the 46 has been an ongoing battle with Cyano.  I think I've won the battle by the addition of a powerhead to create more flow in the area the Cyano always appeared.  It's a thriving tank with happy fish, corals, shrimp, snails and a RBTA that recently split.    Any suggestions on how to overcome the problems in the 29 would be very welcome. <I have been through similar situations in my early days of marine aquaria. When I finally got around to quarantining everything (even corals get a couple weeks of QT time) before placing in the main display, as well as using QT when dealing with disease life become so much simpler.>   I want to have it healthy and beautiful again!!  Thank you so much!! <I hope the best for you and your reefs! Emerson> Sincerely, Michael

fish <and English> problems  - 09/13/06 hey-  Bob big fan of site cant express how much help it has given. I've been in the hobby 3 years or so. Now I have 120 reef. My fish seemingly are always getting ich. There are 2 fish who always seem to get it and the others don't seem to. The 2 that get it are powder brown tang, and blue hippo. I know tangs get it easy but what am I doing wrong. no fish have been added and I haven't lost any. But they always seem to have a few spots here or there. Now the powder brown has is really bad but - doesn't act any different, eats fine and doesn't flash or anything. So I'm baffled. It starts out really mild one or two spots and then something happens like I have to clean the tank the he gets a little stressed and gets a few more for a few days. Then after that goes back to only a few. I just got back from vacation and now he has it very bad. but no change in the way the fish acts. I know I need to take them all to sick tank but what do I do to keep from getting it again. Water quality is fine, temp changes very little maybe 1 degree a day. I've taken them to sick tanks 2 other times once for 4 weeks and the other for 6 weeks. I guess what gets me confused is that a few fish will get ich and the others are untouched and fine. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. fish in tank Powder brown purple Kole hippo tangs royal Gramma 4 green Chromis flame angel tiger goby <<Blake:  The best treatment for ich is to slowly lower the SG in your QT to 1.009 (as measured with a refractometer), leave it there for 6 weeks, and then slowly raise it to your main tank SG.  Unfortunately, for you, ich needs a host fish to survive the 6 week period.  Thus, if you leave any fish in your main tank, you will never break the ich cycle. If you don't have any live rock or inverts in your main tank (because the SG 1.009 is too low for them), you could do the treatment in the main tank.  If you do, you could pull them out of the main tank, and maintain them in a separate tank while you treat the main tank.  I usually don't like to move the SG more than .002 per day up or down (as measured with a refractometer).  After the 6 weeks, no ich will have survived in your tank.  You then slowly raise the QT from SG 1.009 to where your main tank is.   While the whole process takes several weeks, you will beat ich for good.  In the future, never introduce a fish without going through the 6 week QT. It's the way I do it and I have never had ich in the main tank (though I have had it seen it many times at the start of the QT process). Best of luck, Roy>>

-Tank is Ill-  8/28/06 First of all...you guys are amazing.... I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say....Thanks! <Thank you, we try to do what we can with what we have.  I believe Bob said something about sharing the wealth of knowledge makes everyone a better aquarist :)> <<Indeed, the world a better place. RMF>> I have an 80 gal aquarium with an eel, a lionfish, a small puffer, and an angelfish... First Question - IS this tank too small? I know that Eels can get very large, as well as puffers....I may need to upgrade to a bigger tank....? <Yes, even without listing what specific types of the fish are, all eels get a foot at least, the lion at least 6-8 if its a dwarf, 18"+ if not, ditto for the puffers and angels 6 inch minimum full growth, and even at small sizes they still put out waste like their adult sizes.> Second....been fighting ich for a few weeks with little success. Puffer wont eat, lionfish has cloudy eyes, etc....I first moved them to a smaller quarantine tank because its all I had. However, its too small to keep them in there for much longer. I raised the temperature of the tank to 81 degrees, lowered the salinity to 1.016 and also added a small amount of "Copper Power".... <Uh oh.....> Now that I have researched your site, I see that for hyposalinity to be effective, the reading should be closer to 1.010 correct? <1.012 ish is fine, but yes, has to be lower.> Is the temperature about right? <I would bump it to 84 ish, but without knowing more about your fishes size, and the size of the Q/T, the higher the water temp the less oxygen there is, so you might suffocate your fish.> Also. Although my LFS told me that they run Copper in all their tanks and assured me that it wouldn't be harmful to my fish...I see that Copper can be extremely bad for Puffers and Lionfish...correct? <Jawohl.  Copper is a very powerful medicine, that requires a test kit usually,  Each fish tolerates it differently, and puffers and lions are on the very short end of that.  All naked gill fish don't do well in copper at all long term, and sick fish fair worse.  Your LFS probably has their copper at 2ppm or less, which is considered therapeutic, but you need to be higher usually to kill ich, 10+ppm.  you can read about copper and puffers on pufferresources.net> What do you suggest I do to address my ich problem then? Out of frustration, today I emptied the main tank, cleaned it thoroughly, and decided to "Start over". Can I do something as simple as move all back into the main tank once established and perform hyposalinity with a temperature raise there? I am buying all new crushed coral and decorations, so hopefully there won't be much residual copper... <You can, however, there is no point to letting your 80 gallon get established only to kill all the bacteria by doing hypo salinity.  I would remove everything from the 80gal that was dosed with copper and toss it.  put your fish in that bare bottomed with no decorations (just the fish and the filter heater etc) and lower the salinity over a week (.02 per day or two at each water change).  Do daily water changes to keep the water quality up, and keep that going for a week or so.  See if there is improvement.  You will need to gravel vac the bare bottom of all white dust you see when you do the water changes.  2-3 weeks and you should be totally ok.  Re-add substrate once your fish are cured for over a week.> Lastly....the puffer has not eaten for about three weeks. I read here that they can survive that long...and even longer if necessary....but I am worried. So, regarding the force feeding....I have krill, cockle, and garlic for starters? How far should I insert the syringe/turkey aster/whatever to insure he doesn't just spit it back up?...and how do you get the pieces small enough to be sucked up by the feeder? (He's only about 4 inches and mouth is actually too small for a turkey baster..) <At this point the copper and ich have probably ruined its appetite, you can add garlic to the foods to entice it to want to eat, but getting the water quality stable and clean, and getting the fish into uncoppered water is your best hope for their survival.> Thanks so much.. Russ <Hope that helped> <Justin> Marine Ick Treatment - 08/06/06 Hi Bob, <<Hello Poulo...EricR here this morning...>> This is Poulo here.  Let me get straight to the problem... 1. Standard 55 gallon tank with DSB of 4-inches with UG filtration @ 1100 lit/hr <<Mmm, not a "true" DSB if employed over an under-gravel filter.  The under-gravel filter can also become a detritus trap...best to remove in my opinion>> 2. Sump of 40 lit 3. Fish only tank without live rock 4. The fauna: 1 X Saddleback Clown, 1 X Three-lined Butterfly, 1 X Coral Beauty Angel, 20 X mix of Turbo/ Babylonia snails, 2 X medium sized Blue-legged Hermits, 1 X CAMEL SHRIMP The main problem.... the Coral beauty and Butterfly are loaded with ICH, while the Saddleback is not.  I would like to ask you whether I can treat them with hyposalinity + elevated temperature, after removing the Hermits and Snails. <<No, you need to treat these fishes with a copper-based treatment...and NOT in the display.  Best to remove "all three" fishes to a treatment tank and let the display system sit fallow for six weeks (please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm)>> The second problem...  It is going to be mindblowingly difficult to remove the Camel Shrimp because of lots of porous base rock. Can he handle the low salinity? <<Not recommended...Don't try this>> Or what are the best suggestions you can give. <<As previously outlined>> Regards, Poulo <<Cheers mate, EricR>>

Re: Hyposalinity - 8/1/2006 Wow what a fast response!  Thank you! <<You're welcome.>> Yes, my tank is six feet long. <<Great to hear.>> So, hyposalinity, huh?  I've read conflicting opinions on that treatment.  It does appeal to me, though, as it sounds like it would be the easiest/least stressful thing to do.  What is the proper way to execute said treatment, specifically at what rate do I lower the spg, how long do I leave it low, how quickly do I bring it back up? <<In a QT tank, I drop the SG to ~1.016 over a few hours/days, and leave it there for several weeks.  I then raise the SG by .002/week and observe.  When dropping the SG, you must keep a firm eye on the water parameters, as the biofilter can crash with a rapid change.>> Have you yourself used this treatment? <<Many times.>> Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I really don't want to kill another one of these fish! <<I understand.>> I feel awful about the other one. Thanks again, fish guru. <<Now way! Glad to help. Lisa :).>> Elise

- Adding fish during Hyposalinity treatment 7/24/06 - Hello, I have a question regarding my tank.  I have a 240 gallon fish only tank that has been setup for about 3 months now.  I added a fish about 2 weeks ago from my quarantine tank that I treated for ich (obviously not long enough) and rest of the fish in the 240 gallon tank got ich.  I began hyposalinity on the tank right away and the fish seem to be on the road to recovery.  I plan to leave the tank in this condition for 6 - 8 weeks. My question, would now be a good time to add my next fish to the tank or should I wait? <Not really - any time you are treating for disease, you're best off not adding anything new until you know for certain that you're out of the woods.> It seems to me that if I am already treating the tank it would be a good time to add a new fish.  If so, how would be the best way to acclimate  the fish to the hyposalinity treated tank (S.G. at 1.009)? <Egads - that is a little too "fresh" - I wouldn't run your tank much lower than 1.015 for a hyposalinity treatment. Cheers, J -- >

- Ich never to cease and barrel-rolling boxfish 6/23/06 - Hello WetWebMedia Crew! <Hello.> I'm an avid reader of your site! I hope you can help me like you've helped so many others. I have a 55 gallon tank with a male and female spotted boxfish, and a lionfish. Up until last week, it was just the female box and lion--both were eating and doing fine. However, I did notice some ich spots on the female box, so I removed the live rock, (considering this was a new tank, I left the base rock in, as I believed it didn't have enough time to have any of the nitrifying bacteria on it) and lowered the salinity down to about 1.011. The tank was left like this for a week, and I thought the ich had gone. Last week I added a male boxfish, quite a bit bigger than the female, to my tank by acclimating it in a separate quarantine tank to get it adjusted to my current salinity. Well the fish was added, and every one went back to their normal fish lives. However, the new male boxfish hasn't eaten a bite of food since I've gotten him more than a week ago. I've offered frozen and fresh mussel, a blend of frozen algae, Mysis and brine shrimp, Marine Cuisine, krill pieces, algae sheets, etc. It has thus far refused them all, but the female continues to feed eagerly. I wanted to try live black/bloodworms, but my LFS won't be able to get them in until next Tuesday. Anyways, the ich has come back within the last few days and viciously attacked both boxfish, covering them completely. They also both seem to have somewhat cloudy eyes, and the male will swim, and then do half of a "barrel-roll" in the water. Sometimes he'll swim down towards the rocks and do this, but he doesn't rub against them. So today I was reading around on the internet, and found somewhere that said hyposalinity wouldn't be effective unless the salinity was at 1.009. Well it made sense to me, since I've had the salinity at 1.011 for a good week, maybe more, and the ich was still there, strong as ever, so I did a water change and lowered it yet again down to 1.009. As we both know, it would be very unfortunate for one of my boxfish, (more than likely my male, as he's the one not eating and rolling around), to die and nuke out the rest of my tank. Is there anything I can do to get him to eat and make his odd behavior, as well as the ich on both boxfish go away? <How about bringing up the salinity to something marine fish can tolerate without excessive stress?> A hospital tank really isn't an option, as the only other tank I have at the moment is a 10 gallon quarantining a filefish, and both boxes would probably get even more stressed being in that small of a tank. <As opposed to the stress of 1.009 salinity?> I really thought the ich would have gone by now, maybe not out of the tank, but at least off the fish.... Please help! <This situation sounds to me like what they call "A one legged man in a butt kicking contest." You've got too many things going on here that you are the point of doing more harm than good. It is my considered opinion that there is likely nothing you can do for this one box fish - it is dancing what is known in the hobby as the spiral of death, and if has not yet passed on, it will do so soon. I would even go so far as to suggest that you preempt this fish's suffering and freeze it and move on to solving some other problems. Hyposalinity is useful as a bath/dip but not as ongoing treatment. Saltwater fish actually need the salt - they drink their water and use the salts to regulate things inside their bodies. Without enough salt, things go wrong from the inside out and you find yourself where you are now. Preventing ich is as much about managing stress as it is killing parasites and if you only work on one side of this problem, then you're likely to never solve the problem. Consider doing this - put the remaining boxfish in with the firefish in quarantine. Try to get the salinity up to at least 1.018 (and very slowly - not all in one day). Then, let your main tank go fallow - no fish - for at least one month, six weeks would be better. Likewise, slowly bring the salinity back to a normal range in the main tank (1.023-ish).> Thank You! Neil <I suggest you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >

Deleterious Effect of Hyposalinity? - 06/02/06 Thanks for your web page and all the valuable information it contains! <<We're happy you find it useful>> I have a question regarding the salt level and its relationship with macro algae. <<Okay>> I have my salt level @ 1.014 - 1.016 to hinder parasites (per a very reputable fish store in our town). <<Yikes!!!  Reputable or not, this is not healthy/suitable for a display system for the long term, is certainly harmful to a reef system, and may not be as effective/helpful (all things considered) as you believe.  Please read here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm) and among the links in blue.  I strongly recommend you (slowly) raise the salinity up to natural seawater levels (1.025/1.026), and rely on good/better husbandry practices to keep parasitic infections/infestations in check>> I have Cheetamorpha (sp)<<Chaetomorpha>> growing like gang busters and harvest it regularly, giving it to several pet stores in our vicinity for the last 6 months.  However I cannot get Caulerpa to survive in my 70 gal. display tank. <<As a single-cell organism the Caulerpa is likely more adversely affected by the low salinity>> Parameters are in check with the possible exception of low salt level. <<Indeed...way too low>> I'm not sure if the 2 algae are fighting each other, <<Another option/consideration...yes>> if the low salt level has a detrimental effect on Caulerpa, or is does the Caulerpa go asexual with the lights not being on 24-7. <<This too can be a problem>> No Algae eating fish in the tank. Appreciate any help and keep up the great web page! Steve Schollmeier <<Thank you for the kind words.  Regards, Eric Russell>>

Epsom Salt + Hyposalinity + Kordon's Ich Attack -- OK?    3/2/06 Hi Bob & Crew,    <Cam>   Thanks for such prompt response on my earlier query on Epsom salt in Main Display Tank, to treat my red bar Anthias' pop eye. Your response endorsed it. Appreciated!    Well, thing get rough here. Is it Murphy's Law (bad things happen together...??)?. <Events do seem clustered... perceptually> My emperor angel has developed Ich, I suspect. It is certainly not air bubbles but white dirt/dots on head and fins. I think some get onto one eye (looks dusty). Its breathing is OK still. Still happy and eats like pig. I did a 7 min fresh water bath on it today, hoping to relieve it from the parasites attached. I see some dropped off but some still remained.    I have been doing speed reading on your site & hoped to adopt the following procedure to treat the tank and emperor to tilt the balance of health/disease in our favor. <Good way of putting this> I intend to effect hyposalinity (1.018) + Higher temp (mid 80s) + Kordon's Ich attack (hope it works as it claims --) for the tank, which is the main display tank.    Side note: I have treated emperor angel with copper in the past. It developed HLLE after the treatment and I really hope I don't have to do it to this emperor angel which is still HLLE free. Besides, I have an infection in main display tank. I have to control it in main display tank.    <Yes>   Before I take the plunge, I would appreciate further clarification from your vast experience:-   1. If I have to put Epsom salt to treat my red bar in a hyposalinity tank. Is it alright? <Should be, yes>   2. What's your view on Ich Attack. <The Novalek product?: http://www.novalek.com/korgd20.htm Only out of blind respect for owner/mgr. Bob Rofen do I give this some chance of actually working... I don't believe he would be part of selling "a pig in a poke".> You mentioned that its is worth trying in your previous response to one hobbyist who asked similar question. Does the response still hold today? <Mmm, I would not use this product myself... nor endorse its use in your circumstances>   3. I have 2 cleaner shrimps in my main display tank. do you think 1,018 SG salinity is OK with them? <No... will likely cause their demise>   4. How long a period for a hyposalinity treatment is deemed optimal? 2 weeks or 4 weeks? Trying to seek a balance that most parasites are controlled/weakened and fish/shrimps do not have to suffer for long.    <... am not, NOT a fan of hyposalinity for actual, advanced (discernible) parasite treatments... As you will find by reading WWM, print works by myself>   Thanks in advance for your help. I am really grateful that you set up such useful site. I also own your books. Great work!      Best regards. <I do wish you well... to cut to the proverbial chase, I would remove all fishes, treat with a chelated copper solution... Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity vs. Copper  12/22/05 Hello WWM crew, <Hello Misty> Looking forward to seeing and meeting some of you at our Next Wave Conference at the end of January here in Dallas.  I owe you all some in-person "thank you's" for the past four years of advice and help. <We look forward to that> Anyway, the decision at hand today is treating ich with hyposalinity vs. copper.  I've been lucky to not have to deal with ich for the first four years as a hobbyist.  I guess my time is up on that front. <We all get a turn at one time or another.> I have a Kole Tang that has had a break-out.  The only other affected fish is my bi-color blenny - right now at least.  Of course, all of this happens two days before I leave town for the holiday (I leave this Friday), but my husband will be in town to carefully administer whatever regimen is necessary (this being the same husband who turned off the lights on my fuge a couple of years ago for 4 days because it bugged him while he was watching TV...hmmm). <Ah, husbands are like wives.> So, if you are in my shoes, what would you do?  I've heard about tangs vs. copper.  I've heard that copper can be more effective than hyposalinity.  Here's what I have to work with immediately: 120-gallon display tank containing inverts and the following fishes: 1 Banggai Cardinal 1 Bicolor Blenny 2 False Percs 1 Target Mandarin 3 Green Chromis 1 Kole Tang 29-gallon baby Banggai grow-out tank, with a one-year old "baby" in it - so it's cycled and ready to go, has a Remora skimmer, too. Empty 75-gallon tank My initial thought is to remove the affected fish immediately to the 29-gallon and begin a treatment of some sort (would appreciate thoughts on the best treatment option).  Then, when I get back into town (next Monday night), set up the 75-gallon tank and remove the rest of the fish from the display in order to give them a bigger QT/treatment tank and allow for the fallow period of the display tank.  If the other fish are not affected, then I could possibly put them in the 75 and only have the affected fish in the 29 as well.  Thoughts?  Advice?  Magic potions? Thanks again, in advance.  I owe you a cocktail when you get to Dallas. <Always nice to be on the receiving end.> :-) <Misty, I'd put the affected fish into the 29, remove the skimmer using a power head for circulation and begin (immediately) treatment with a chelated copper (Copper Safe) as I'm thinking your husband is not going to test copper levels and adjust on a daily basis if you use the non-chelated form, and, you may not want him to.  Then I'd follow your plan of relocating the remaining fish into the 75 and let the display go fallow for a month. You may very well end up treating all the fish in the 75 as others will probably be infected.  I'm posting a link on the subject for your reading.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> Kind regards, <And Happy Holidays to you> Misty Johnson

Re: Hyposalinity vs. Copper...decisions, decisions 12/24/05 Thanks so much for the quick reply. <You're welcome.>  Another quick question - what if catching the tang is his doom vs. trying something else?  He was hiding out last night in an alley between two live rock sections. <If the ich is visible and nothing is done to correct it, he will be doomed anyway.  At this stage its much less stressful on the tang if he were by himself.> So, I did what I could and picked up a cleaner shrimp and "Marine Max" - as recommended by my LFS based on his prior experience with the product and a yellow tang in a new tank with ich. <The cleaner shrimp isn't going to eradicate the parasite.> I picked up some Garlic Xtreme as an appetite booster, <This helps.> since Mr. Tang is looking a little thin as well. IF I can catch him without really stressing him out to his doom, I already have the Copper Safe ready to go.  The blenny shouldn't be a problem to catch since he shows up for feedings with the rest of the dogs. <About the only choice you have is to remove the rock and catch him.  Chasing him all over the tank with a net isn't going to improve health matters.  Much easier to QT before adding fish into the display tank.> I think I'll owe myself a cocktail, too, after all of this :) <I usually have one as a prevention.  James (Salty Dog)> Misty Johnson Toadstool Reaction to New Cnidarians' Presence, & Trying Hyposalinity Half-cocked  11/23/05 Hello, <Hi there> I have two unrelated questions, the first is regarding a small toadstool coral which has been in my 135 gal reef for about a month now. It was doing well until this last Saturday, when I received a large order (about 21 corals) which I purchased online. <... to go in a very large or a few systems I hope> Since then it has not expanded its polyps, and the cap has a 'shiny' appearance. There is no mucus layer or anything causing it, it just looks shiny when light glances off of it. It is not near any corals which have long sweeper tentacles. <Are near all chemically> The only corals within six inches of it are a Montipora, yellow Fiji leather, and Blastomussa wellsi, none of which could possibly be reaching it to sting it. I am beginning to wonder, however, if when I was placing my new corals I didn't happen to brush something up against it. The most likely candidate for this would have been a torch coral, which is on the same side of the tank, but about a foot away and at a different level in the tank.  I also moved the coral about four or five inches, placing more closely under my MH lights, although I can't imagine this would cause it to stop expanding. Every other coral in the tank is doing fine, even those far less hardy than the toadstool, so clearly there is something wrong with it. If it was stung, will it likely recover? <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm> It certainly doesn't appear to be dying or falling apart, it just isn't expanding.  Second question is regarding ich in my fish only tank. I am going to attempt using hyposalinity/increased temp exclusively to get rid of it. I am not going to be able, however, to put the live rock anywhere else (certainly not in my reef tank), and as I understand it this will kill off beneficial shrimp, mollusks, etc. My question is, will it leave the coralline algae and bacteria necessary for waste breakdown intact?  <... likely not> If so I can always seed the tank in later with live sand and rock from my reef tank. Thanks, Frank Janes <Study a bit more Frank... re hyposalinity treatment, Alcyoniid compatibility, behavior... All posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

PO-ed at QT... lack of worth of lowered spg in disease treatment  11/17/05 I'm extremely frustrated, and wonder if you might be able to help clarify or suggest a way out. <Will try> I never, ever used to QT. I had my very first losses to saltwater ick with new fish in early October and was excoriated by many, though I know for a fact that many shared my opinion that the multiple moves from tank to tank, etc, was more stressful than the move straight into the display. <Can be> Fine.  I set up a 20gal QT -- largest I can do. Used no water from the main system. Did add one rock from the sump. <Tantamount to the same... contamination, introduction...> Added a 2.5" Kole and a 1.5" hepatus on 10/27. Water at 1.017. By 10/31 was at 1.009.  <Too low initially, too much lower too quickly> Calibrated refractometer, recalibrated every other day or so. Salinity checked 2x daily, changing out 4gal or so daily. Temp 79.  I inspected the fish MANY times at great length over the next several days, they were entirely clean to the eye, not a single spot anywhere on either. 11/8, in the morning there were several ich spots on both. This was after 8 days at 1.009.  By that night they were all off. I figured great, the low salinity water would zap the tomonts and I should be home free. <... am not a big fan of hyposalinity "treatments"... as you'll see> No spots at all for the next several days until 11/15.  Several spots, definitely ich, on the Kole. Many, on tail, fins and body.  How can that happen? They have been in there at .009 for 15 days now? Water has not veered from 1.009. <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm and the Related linked files above...> I change out 4 gallons daily, siphoning off the bottom any leftover food, etc. Nothing is shared from the display, not buckets, siphons, nothing. Plus, I am feeding the "Seachem recipe": Metronidazole and Focus mixed into frozen food, covered with garlic. I've added several drops of Gel-Tex PX to guarantee the medicine adheres to the food. The fish go nuts for it.  Ammo zero, pH 8.3, temp 79. All this hype about hyposalinity QT being a must for new additions -- <Not from me> right now I am seriously dubious. Looks to me like the stress of the hyposalinity is causing the ich outbreak, not stopping it. Why would it still be there after 15 days? <Possibly, evidently> Any advice, assurance, assistance would be most appreciated.  <Read on WWM re quarantine, dips, treatments, parasitic and general disease period... Use an appropriate (in my opinion, copper-based) medication with testing... not hyposalinity. Bob Fenner>  

Re: PO-ed at QT  11/17/05 Thanks Bob. <Welcome> Aaaarrrggghhh. Everyone has a different take on this.  Sorry to post the question -- I didn't realize you were a copper as opposed to hypo advocate. <Am... strongly. As you have seen/will see, we have quite a few "data points" in this regard, direction> Anyway, I started at 1.017 because that was the s.g. of the LFS where I got the fish (and most LFS are around 017 or 018 in their fish systems I have found). <Yes... and the valid reasons for this are posted... as are the arguments for keeping seawater near natural strength> My research on another popular reef site indicated dropping the level by one to two points a day, but only one point per water change. <Yes... one thousandth> I did 2 changes daily to bring it to 1.009 over the 5 days. <Yes... too much> Your point that the ich can survive in hypo also differs from other research, but confirms my experience, makes this all the more frustrating.  <Now... which do you believe? Reality or what's in print?> I put the rock in following logic: if the tomites die when they leave the cyst and encounter the low salinity water, they can't get to the fish. So the rock makes a good hiding space. Nobody anywhere has been able to contradict my logic other than to use the rhetorical "You can't use live rock or you will contaminate the QT."  <...> At this point, I would have to bring the salinity back to at least 1.017 before I could start copper, right? <Mmm, best to, yes> The fish would be awfully vulnerable during that period IF the parasite is at least weakened in the 1.009. Though I don't really see the evidence even of that. <They already are... and weakened by it to boot> I wonder if I should just stick this out another few weeks and see what happens and if it fails then next time... What do you think? Thanks. <Posted, written... in books, articles... Bob Fenner>

Re: PO-ed at QT  11/17/05 Thanks again. I may not have mentioned, my main system is a reef and it is at 1.026. The 1.017 is just where I started my QT. My hesitancy to copper is that some will get into the reef when I transfer the fish. No need to worry on that? <No worries... very little transferred> Well, I'll have to figure out how to proceed with these guys but I can't say as I'll be doing this again in the future.  Oh ... your math confuses me. 10/27 - 1.017. 10/28 after 2 water changes 1.015. 10/29 - 1.013. 10/30 - 1.011. 10/31 - 1.009. Each water change lowered by one one-thousandth of a point.  <Sorry for the confusion... a thousandth per day is about max.> Anyway, it's all moot now. <Do hope/trust all will work out. Entrenched protozoan infestations are a/perhaps "the" bane of our industry/hobby... and largely avoidable. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Hyposalinity Against Ich...  9/30/05 Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. at your service!> I have a question about marine Ich.  I have a 120g FOWLR and have been battling ich on and off for the past year.  I always quarantine my fish for 2 weeks and do a 4-5 min fresh water Methylene blue dip.  Despite this ich has found its way in to my tank. <Yuck...it does happen> I have treated the tank 3 times with Seachem's Cupramine copper for 2 and 3 weeks at a time while raising the temp to 82. I also checked the copper levels daily.  The ich will disappear for a few months, only to reappear on my Hippo tang.  My live rock is not so alive anymore. <Yep...treating in the display tank is not a good idea...> I am unable to place all my fish in QT because my QT tank is only 30g and I have a Moorish Idol, Hippo tang, Copperbanded Butterfly, Flag fin angel, False Eyed Puffer, Royal Gramma and Neon Goby.  I've been lucky as I have not lost a fish in 5 years.  My question for you is, do you think that hyposalinity will rid the tank of ich? <Hard to say. Honestly, I don't like this method. However, there are many hobbyists who have used this technique with degrees of success. I never found it to be as reliable as medical intervention (in a separate tank) and running the display tank fallow for a period of a month or more.> If so,  how long should I lower the salinity for and should I go any lower than 1.012? <I wouldn't.> Lastly, over what period of time should I lower the salinity to 1.012 and would doing a 5gal per day freshwater change be too rapid for the 120g tank? <That's about right...No harm in going slowly. You'll achieve the desired specific gravity soon enough.> By the way,  I chose Seachem's copper because it is not supposed to be absorbed by your substrate and live rock and it is easily removed by charcoal and copper absorbing resins.  I have found this to be true because after I remove the copper my coralline algae grows back and I am able to keep snails in the tank. In addition, my live rock never gets that blue green staining like you see with other types of copper. <Good to hear...Nonetheless, I am very much against treating in the display tank. Among other things, it can be more difficult to maintain a proper therapeutic dose in a decorated display tank than it is in a bare "hospital" tank.> Thanks, Larry <Good luck, Larry...Just take your time, monitor your fishes carefully, and hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Saltwater ick  9/29/05 I have a question about lowering the salt level to wipe out ick, If you do lower the salt level why couldn't you just leave the level low all the time? <Good question... turns out many stores, some wholesalers do leave their specific gravity unnaturally low for the purpose of reducing troubles with external parasites, increasing carrying capacity by allowing higher dissolved oxygen and saving a bit of money on salt mix (or diluting hauled natural water)... But there are downsides to this practice. Try holding your eyes open in a solution of water that is not isotonic with your body's solute content and you'll see... Aquatic animals are in more or less intimate contact with their watery environments... and leak or not depending on the make up of this world... some more than others. Bob Fenner> Hyposalinity, Crypt  8/30/05 Dear Bob,      I have a 180g FO tank that had been stable and disease free for 4-5 years.  The oldest inhabitant is at least 10 yrs old, a purple tang that has done well as I have upgraded my display to larger sizes.  I recently bought a beautiful Emperor Angel, which I quarantined for 5 weeks  ( 55g tank ) in hyposalinity, but not in copper. <What do you think of hyposalinity now?> Salinity was initially 1.010 and slowly moved to 1.024 over 2 weeks . Water changes of 20 gallons ( aged mixed Instant Ocean ) were performed on the QT every 3rd day The fish looked great and showed no signs of disease but I kept him in the QT for another 3 weeks anyway.        The Angel was introduced into my main display, but unfortunately, my 5 year old Powder Blue came down with crypt about 7 days after introduction of the angel.  I moved the tang  to the QT and treated with Cupramine.  It took about 3 days to bring the copper level to .6 ( which is what Seachem recommends )   <Yes... this is a chelated compound... the actual free cupric ion concentration is less...> Additional Cupramine was added to keep level at .6 using the Fastest reagent to test. The level has been confirmed accurate with SeaChem copper test.  The fish has been in this therapeutic copper QT for 13 days   There was no measurable disturbance in nitrification. <... likely not a therapeutic dose...>      The powder is still showing signs of disease.  The QT is meticulously maintained with SG= 1.017, twice weekly water changes of 20 gallons, addition of Cupramine as needed.  I have noted that the fish has a few lesions on his head  and the lateral line that are white and appear larger than usual. <Yes... HLLE brought on by the copper, stress...> As some heal they leave a small area of depigmentation.  All of the original visible parasites on the fins have been cured.  There are some new smaller white lesions on the gill opercula that look like crypt.  The fish is brightly colored and has clear eyes. The fish is eating, and acting like he usually does. ( He still does like his own reflection )  Are the larger lesions crypt ? <No> Any other suggestions ?   <Too many to list here... What about the infested main tank? The Emperor Angel?> Do crypt parasites look larger while in the Trophont stage and still on the fish because of mucus. <Yes... you/we're not actually seeing the parasite, but its irritating effects> Luckily all is going well in the display.  But I am keeping a close eye on things.   <Your display "has the ich/crypt">      This scenario has happened before to me in previous systems that have been "closed" to new inhabitants for a long time (years )  It seems that after a long time of disease free survival ( Yes, I do use a UV sterilizer ) in captivity my fish in the main display come down with something whenever I add new additions ( even if I use a QT )  It then seems that I have to rock and roll for a few months to get rid of disease in the main display. Thanks Jimmy  ( Oh, by the way...great book The Cons Marine Aquar ) <Mmm, for the time it will take, I encourage you to re-read over all the Cryptocaryon articles, FAQs files posted on WWM... and refer to the links as you find them... I would at least avail myself of purposeful cleaning organisms in your main tank. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hyposalinity, Crypt  8/30/05 <What do you think of hyposalinity now?> <<I think that hyposalinity can be used a bridge but not for cure>> <<Me too>> <<Doesn't SeaChem recommend that .6 is the target value using their kit ??>> <<Mmm, yes... do you understand the use of copper formats and chelated, non-chelated test kits?>> <Too many to list here... What about the infested main tank? The Emperor Angel?> <<The emperor has no visible signs of disease and is doing great so are the other inhabitants>> << I know I need to treat all the inhabitants with copper in a QT but I do not have the space to do so>> << It looks like my only other option is to remove calcareous substrates from the display and treat with copper>> <<Not practically... better perhaps to engage a "balanced" approach of having an infested tank... probable trouble with any new additions' lack of acquired immunity. 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: