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FAQs on Medications/Treatments 1

Related Articles: Medications, Treatment System, Copper Use, Formalin/Formaldehyde, Malachite Green,

Related FAQs: Medications/Treatments 2, Medications/Treatments 3, Medicated/Augmented Foods/Feeding, & Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Antibiotic Use, Live Rock

Make sure you know what you're treating for... or if this is even necessary, advised... in advance.

Halichoeres ornatissimus

Angel With An Infection? I have a pair of Bellus Angelfish, I have had them a tad over a month now.  Both are doing great, except...My female has patches of white (not ich) on her side, they are getting a tad bigger, no other fish are affected.  Could this be bacterial in nature?  How do I treat her within the main tank, she can not be removed (to many corals and rock)?  Will the bacteria go away on it's own? <Hard to say. In the presence of excellent water conditions, anomalous growths like this will often spontaneously disappear without much intervention on the part of the aquarist. I'd maintain great environmental conditions, keep the fish well fed, and observe it carefully. Be prepared to intervene medically (in a separate tank) if required.> I have added another injector to my skimmer, my water is excellent, I do weekly water changes religiously....  Please help...I have enclosed a picture taken a week after I got them, as you can see all is fine.  At first it looked like little scrapes, now white patches. <Could simply be a localized infection of some sort brought about by a minor trauma. Do observe the fish carefully. If you need to treat the fish, something as simple as a long dip in Methylene blue might do the trick (of course, this would be administered in a separate container. Keep observing this beautiful fish and stay on top of things! Regards, Scott F.>

Herbal Ich Attack Bob, This is supposedly a new product created by Kordon. I see no info on this in your web site. What are your thoughts on herbal treatments? This is "again" supposedly reef safe, and has been used locally per my LFS with no side effects/ complaints. D. <Have no experience, data re this/these products. Do know the owner/manager of Kordon/Novalek, Dr. Bob Rofen... he is "the real thing"... honest, competent... an industry leader. Bob Fenner>

Re: Parasitic diseases (Re: Herbal Ich Attack) Responding to your message. My comments are in red. R. Rofen <Thank you for this Dr. Bob... Am hopeful that this is indeed as worthy a product as you state. Will post to our principal site: WetWebMedia.com for others perusal. Hope to see you about at the trade shows. Bob Fenner> >Hi, >Is it necessary to turn a skimmer off while medicating with >Herbal Ich Attack? No How long should I treat? My yellow >tang is still waking up with grainy spores (ich) , this is >day 3 of treatment. Ich has a 3-4 day cycle and sometimes longer  >for the >tomites to hatch from the white cysts. Even when you cannot see  >them, >cysts can be in the mouth and gills and embedded in the skin and >scales. The tomites hatched from the cysts are re-attaching to  >fish >within hours. The medication (whatever it is) diminishes in  >strength by >the hour, and some tomites may not be killed, if full treatment has  >not >been made the day they hatch and are in the free-swimming stage.  >Often >daily treatments for 7-8 days, and sometimes longer are required to  >kill >all the tomites before they become attached. Actually treatments  >twice a >day (even if just half dosage each treatment) would be more  >effective >because we are in some instances of Ich that they are more resistant  >to >treatment and as well it would help in getting rid of and  >suppressing >fungal infections Herbal Ich Attack has a reason for being because it is not harsh on the fishes and does not affect the filter nitrifying bacteria. We tested many marines with this medication, including yellow tangs with good success. I hope you have the same results. Robert Rofen, Novalek, Inc., U.S.A.

Kole Tang sick? > <How do you actually know this IS ich?> This must be ick (the yellow tang has grainy dots the size of a needle's head on its body, and has been scratching a lot the past 2 days, the same with my blue damsel. The trigger has also been scratching occasionally will take your advise and treat the main tank with either Cupramine or CopperSafe unless there's another medication that won't harm inverts/corals? <There is/are none> I read your section on parasitic diseases and if I can recall the above is what your recommend. I also understand that I will have to move all inverts/coral elsewhere. Btw, I don't see OrganiCure working at all; after 2 1/2 treatments(3 days) I see no difference on the clown fish (will stop medicating with that). D. <Good luck. Bob Fenner>

Re: Kole Tang sick? > Happy New Year Bob, > I wasn't going to continue with this( I figured I must be > asking many silly questions) however, I took the > advise of my LFS and treated the Kole tang/clown > fish with Organic Cure in a separate 10 gallon tank. > Unfortunately, yesterday morning the tang passed > away. > <My friend... please use the Google Search feature on WWM and read of not > just my opinions re this product, but the results of others use... > Irrespective of the name, "Organi-cure" is a biocide...> I did read what the other hobbyists had to say on OrganiCure, however the LFS owner who claims to be in the business for 20 years has been using it for years (he said). <I have been in the trade even longer... does this necessarily translate into "competence" in a/the field? Not in ornamental aquatics...> Despite being a biocide, he has been successful at treating ick with it (he said). That does not make sense. <"What" is it that "does not make sense"... that people are at times successful with apparent poisons in treating fishes for parasitic maladies? Not too many years ago, in fact currently folks (humans) in some countries are treated with mercuricals, arsenicals for "disease"...> I am confused given the fact that this has been the first outburst of ick in my tank. <How do you actually know this IS ich?> At any rate, I am not planning to treat the 55 g tank with OrganiCure. A local fish store owner once told me that the hobby is 5% scientific and 95% based on opinion. I, as a newbie, am destined to learn on a trial and error basis like many people. <Mmm, neat statement... my standard spiel is that the entire interest is about a third science, third general opinion, and a third voodoo...> > I immediately tested the water and found Amm 0, > Nitrites 0(didn't test for Nitrates). Was that a reaction > to the medication? > <What? Not testing for nitrates? The loss? Likely a major contributing cause> Nitrates were 10( last night) (roughly 15 hrs after the fish passed away). I took the dead fish and a water sample to another LFS and they said it looks like the death can be attributed to stress inflicted upon the Kole by the yellow tang. The Kole's tail was ripped (a bit) and I had seen them fighting over who will sleep in the better spot. Since then I have re-arranged the decor and now there are plenty of hiding places in the tank. Also, did a 5 gallon water change with Instant Reef. <Okay> > I forgot to mention in my previous > e-mail that my maroon clown fish was the first fish that > developed it even though I have never seen it scratching > and has been eating fine). This is the second Kole tang > that I lost. > Also, I have a 3 1/2 undulated trigger possibly from the > Pacific that I temporarily placed him in the main tank and > has been behaving ok so far( has neither attacked > nor bothered my yellow tang or any of my polyps/hard > corals). Would it be too risky to leave him there with > the tang and possibly the clown fish? > <Too risky? Define your terms... or ask who gave you the sterling advice re > the "medication"> I meant would it be too risky to leave the undulated trigger in the tank along with the yellow tang the trigger occasionally chases the tang a bit, but not to the point that I would have to remove him from the tank. Please see above in regards to who gave me the advise to use Organicure. > This is a gorgeous > fish that I would like to keep, nevertheless, I think I > would have to turn my tank into a non-reef environment(?) > <Perhaps, ultimately... but it does hail from reefs...> > At last, my LFS does not recommend to treat the entire 55 > gallon tank, but instead to treat the fishie. clown fish) > individually. I believe treating the entire tank for ick would > necessitate to remove all inverts etc.. into another tank, > right? Btw, I am a diver too, and I find diving less stressful > than fish keeping. > <You are an intelligent person who can/will work into "less stress" by way > of exposure... re the illness that is your problems in the tank, I have > referred you before to the sections on WetWebMedia.com to review. Bob > Fenner> will keep reading... Thanks Bob. <Be chatting, learning my friend. Bob Fenner>

Question about Kick-Ick product (If it quacks like a duck) Robert, Can you please tell me exactly what ingredients are in the Kick-Ick product and if any of these ingredients are harmful to any marine fish more specifically ocellaris clown fish? I have not received an answer yet from Ruby Reef and I trust your opinion about the product. <Mmm, am not surprised at the lack of response... a "proprietary" formula... that can best found out likely by posting your query on the various bulletin boards, chatrooms in the interest...> I began treating my 72 gallon tank last Friday and after day 3 my clown fish turned white in color and then died. My tank is well established running for 8 months and I have had the clown fish for 2 months and he was very healthy up until yesterday... dead. I have made no changes to my tank , salinity always at 1.018, PH 8.3 and Ammonia at 0, Nitrites at 0 and Nitrates at 10. The only fish with Ick was the Gold Rim Tang and that's why I began the treatment. I was originally going to quarantine him by removing him and placing him in a treatment tank but I could not catch him because I have a lot of live rock. Was treating my main tank a bad idea???  <Yes... almost always necessary to treat elsewhere... Please read through the many parts of our principal site having to do with marine parasite disease... starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and following the links...> Is this product to strong for some fish like clowns? <I don't use, endorse this product, this companies products.> My damsels are also looking very white in color now too. Please help. <Search, study, read over the WWM site... Bob Fenner>

Oops. Tail end of my question Bob... <<JasonC again>> How embarrassing... I left out one bit of question that was supposed to be in my last email. Do you know of any difference between the saltwater and freshwater versions of the Mardel-Labs Maracyn products? (except for the price... saltwater is $5.00 more per pak) They both claim 200 mg erythromycin activity. <<interesting question, and honestly, I don't know, but can pop them an email and ask. On its face it certainly seems like marketing hype, doesn't it?>> Thanks! Jim Raub <<Cheers, J -- >>

How long can I use Clout? Hi, I am currently treating my African Cichlids for parasites with Clout. I was wondering how long I can/should use this medication for to eradicate the problem but at the same time not to harm the fish. <A maximum of two weeks. Bob Fenner> Thanks Angie

Quick question about Maracyn 2 Mr. Fenner, When I use Maracyn 2 should I have the U.V sterilizer and the protein skimmer off? <I would leave both these going in most cases. The UV won't change this antibiotic, but the skimmer might remove it more quickly from your system than "it's worth". Bob Fenner> Thanks, Kevin Ballard

Formalin-3 Hi Robert, I have this 60 gallon tank with a sick negro trigger and 4 common damsels 2 of them are shaking and scratching but no white spots. I have a clown fish starting to act weird, he use to swim a lot today he stays in one corner. I also have some anemones. <Yikes... time to have you read over ALL the parts of our site (www.WetWebMedia.com) on Marine Disease, and Triggers, including the FAQs.... Go there now!> I don't have a second tank so yesterday I place the sick trigger fish in 1 gallon glass jar with 2 teaspoons of Formalin-3 for 50 min then returned it to the main tank. I could see the white stuff that was attached to his eyes was almost gone it was at the bottom of the jar. His eyes are a lot clearer today so I'm not sure if I should treat the main tank (with 1 teaspoon of Formalin-3 per 10 gallon as indicated on the bottle). <NO! Very toxic.... do NOT place this material in your main tank.> I know in your book you recommend to not treat the main tank but I think I have no other choices since the parasite seems to be spreading. can you recommend something better? if I treat the main tank will that stop the Nitrite cycle, will the cycle start over? <It will... but read the site... I will be back home tomorrow. Can chat more then. Bob Fenner> thanks so much for all your help, Marc Re: formalin-3 Robert, I got your message too late unfortunately and since things were getting worse I treated the whole tank with formalin-3, <Arggghhhh. Sorry to be out of town for a few days...> I though that since the parasite seems to be all over the tank that there was no other option but to treat the whole tank. It didn't help, the trigger was dying before and now he is dead. What can I do to clean up the tank from this parasite? <A few things... all posted on our site... did you read through?> why can't I simply treat the tank with formalin-3 or something like that? <It's a general biocide... you may as well dump bleach into the tank... drain the water, rinse a few times, refill... and completely start over if you're thinking of poisoning the system with formalin> I have a Fluval 404 filter At the very least, allowing the system to "go fallow" without hosts for a month has proven to reduce numbers and disease-causing-strength (aka virulence) sufficiently. what does "go fallow" means?  <Like an agricultural field... to not provide the means of propagating the parasites... i.e. remove their hosts> my filter doesn't work properly when the water level isn't almost all the way up At the worst, you're looking at tearing down, sterilizing and re-assembling the entire system. how do I know how bad it is? <Only by experience, unfortunately... in other words, only by placing new livestock and "seeing what happens"> how do you sterilize the system? do you have an article online about how to do that? <Yes: http://wetwebmedia.com/acidblchpnds.htm and elsewhere on the site> I know I should have a treatment tank but I don't have room for a second tank in my apartment, would you say it's a waste of time and fishes to not have a treatment tank?  <You should at least execute dips/baths:http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> should I give up being an aquarist? <In the final synthesis all must decide for themselves. You don't strike me as a "quitter"... Apply your obvious intelligence here, couple it with your desires for succeeding in this hobby. Don't be discouraged by short-term set-backs. Many rewards my friend. Bob Fenner> thank you, Marc

Re: formalin-3 > <It's a general biocide... you may as well dump bleach into the tank... > drain the water, rinse a few times, refill... and completely start over if > you're thinking of poisoning the system with formalin> I did a 25% water change Saturday just before adding the formalin and also removed the charcoal for approx 10 hours Saturday. what can I do to repair the damage caused by formalin3, or is it all being removed and degraded by the charcoal. I still have 2 Firefishes that don't seem to be affected by the parasite so maybe it's not as bad I think > <Like an agricultural field... to not provide the means of > propagating the > parasites... i.e. remove their hosts> > <Only by experience, unfortunately... in other words, only by > placing new > livestock and "seeing what happens"> I still have 2 Firefishes that don't seem to be affected by the parasite so maybe it's not as bad I think. maybe I should just wait and 'see what happens' if they stay alive for a few weeks then I guess I can start adding other fishes, correct? <A good plan to wait at this point... would wait a good month before trying other fishes... and then, place a cleaner organism ahead of time (information on our site). Bob Fenner>

Re: formalin-3 Thanks Robert, one more question... there is so much to read on your site what should I start with http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm <Both, all... only takes a few minutes...> what else do you suggest please? <Peruse the site... it is arranged logically (well, as far as I can make it so far!), and linked internally (several thousand places)... Bob Fenner>

Question about a disease My cowfish is swimming in circles and around its own center horizontally. It happened after I treated it with "Greenex" (Malachite Green and Quinine Hydrochloride) anti-protozoan agent against a marine ick for five days every other day. On the box of the medication, it says that it prevents exactly the same conditions as the fish acquired afterwards: scratching and darting. The fish is so disoriented that it cannot eat pieces of octopus I feed it. What should I do now? <Change water, run activated carbon in your filter flow path, lower specific gravity, toss this toxic "medication" in the trash, use the search feature (Google) on the wetwebmedia.com site and seek the commiseration of other aquarists on the chatforum: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Otherwise, be patient and hopeful. Bob Fenner>

Another Greenex Burial Hi bob, I have a 38 gallon Berlin system reef tank. I recently used Greenex, malachite green and quinine HCl, to treat a tang that had white spots. The first two days of the treatment were fine, I kept the filters running without the carbon, turned off the protein skimmer, and continued use of Kalkwasser solution, and reef solution. Then on the final day of treatment, I decided to take out the filter block from one of my filters because I had notice that it had been dyed blue, and I forgot to shake the bottle of Greenex before adding it to the tank. After about two hours one of my Foxface started heavy gilling at the bottom of the tank, 10 minutes later it had gone from yellow to flush white started swimming upside down, did a vertical loop and flopped dead on the live rock. My second Foxface also succumbed despite an emergency water change, putting carbon back in the filter, and turning on the protein skimmer. My tang and clownfish were noticeably effected for 3 or 4 days but have now come back to normal, and my blenny never seemed bothered. Was all this a result of not shaking the bloody bottle of Greenex? Thanks for help  <More of just using this "medication"... the filter was removing a modicum of the malachite and formalin (the ingredients) lessening their toxifiying your fish... removing the filtrant hastened the effect. Bob Fenner, who is glad to read of your other fishes revival> sincerely Ben 

Treatment Hello, had a few questions...could you recommend a medication to treat (what I believe is) marine ick. I have a Coral Beauty Angel with a few white spots on his head. No other fish appear to be affected. I need a medication that would not harm inverts, as I have several crabs and snails. <IMO/E there is no such medication that will effectively treat protozoan parasites and not harm invertebrates. Please read through our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm> I also have a Greenbird Wrasse that has an inflamed nose (beak). This does not effect his eating, but looks terrible. Is there something to treat this as well? <Not much to do here but keep the system stable and optimized. Bob Fenner> I appreciate your help, and hope to hear from you soon. Cory

Re: Garlic and Ich Hi Bob, > >But I wish someone would really do a controlled study on this. > ><What? Science in the pet-fish realm? Or the wing of a bat, >> eye of a newt. I thought you'd be interested in this. I posted a question on garlic and ich on a ng. Certainly got some "interesting" responses. BTW, I posted one on quarantining and ich, no responses. Like I thought. However, someone did post this: www.reefs.org/library/article/h_cortes-jorge.html Of course it asks more questions than it answers, which must mean it is science. Or closer. :-) <Perhaps a trait or quality of science, but not testable, falsifiable hypotheses...> >Curious Jane (maybe in several ways), hope I am not "bugging" >you *too* much. ><No my friend; you're stimulating me. Thank you. Bob Fenner>> A darn good thing for you, as you aren't getting rid of me. :-) <Our paths are locked. Bob Fenner> --Jane J

Greenex use The guy at the fish store says that he uses Greenex to treat ick in a system with live rock and sand...I thought I remembered your website said that Greenex wasn't good.. when I got home I checked and it said that it killed some fish...the bottle states that it is safe for all fish, invert... and biological systems.. What is the deal?? Cheryl <Unless the formula has changed, Greenex is not non-toxic... too dangerous, responsible for many losses... Post this msg. to the listservs for others opinions, experiences. Bob Fenner>

Metronidazole use hi bob, just wondering if you have used or recommend SeaChem's Metronidazole for treatment of ick.  <Aka Flagyl... don't have experience with this compound for this application... it's a systemic antiprotozoal...> Your literature seems to indicate what I have experienced, that copper is the only thing that works, however, SeaChem is reputable and it is a new product.  <Good company, good products... but don't suggest this approach. Metronidazole is quite toxic to fishes, other marine life BTW> I was bringing done my tank off copper, added (and removed) fish, and my queen is extremely stressed and seems to have it. Thanks tom <Would go the conservative environmental manipulation, cleaners and vitamin prep. route for now... Bob Fenner>

NO-ICH (Now Eco Librium, http://www.fishvet.com/) Hello Robert, Have a question concerning the use of NO-ICH medication produced by Fish-Vet Inc.? What is the best way to make use of this product and what does it mean by using it prophylactically to prevent outbreaks. I know it's to prevent outbreak's, but is it wise do this and again what is the best way to use this medication? I am sorry for asking these questions but I don't seem to find any information at your site concerning NO-ICH. Thanks! Ron <Don't think it is a good idea to preventatively use this or any other ich remedy/medication I'm aware of. The manufacturers recommended treatment protocol should be adhered to here as with all such products (if/when used). Bob Fenner>

Parasite Control Bob, Have you ever used any "reef/invertebrate" safe parasite control products that were effective in eliminating/control marine ich? <Have tested them a bit... myself... and have many anecdotal reports from others...> The products that I am referring to specifically (based on the manufacturer's literature) are: (1) Chem-Marin Stop Parasites (2) Kick-Ich Both of those products are touted as being effective in Ich removal and safe for use in a reef aquarium with inverts and coral. <Yes, I know of these claims> Your experience or thoughts on the subject and these products would be appreciated.. Thanks, Rocky Phillips <Do know of other credible users that assert success using both of these... however, don't consider them completely safe or effective myself. Bob Fenner>

Greenex and UV? Hi Bob- I am currently treating my 12 gallon marine tank (fish/live rock/few inverts) with the product 'Greenex' by Aquatronics, for ich which developed on a new fish. This product had failed me once in the past, but I caught the ich within hours of first appearance this time and decided to give it another shot. Surprisingly, the ich was off the new coral beauty the very next day...and I am continuing treatment. my question: Is it safe to use my UV filter while using the 'Greenex' product?  <Yes... that is, the UV does not affect the type of copper and formalin mix which is Greenex...> I turned it off before treating in fear of a poor reaction, but would like to use it if possible. Unfortunately, the box mentions nothing regarding the issue and I have been unable to acquire any company contact info for Aquatronics. Your help is appreciated. Garin <The usual warning here re this product, apparent "disappearance" of ich... the former is rather toxic, has little safety/efficacy margin... the latter does just "cycle off" initially until developing multi-generational stages in a system... Please read through the FAQs on "Marine Ich", and the MANY associated FAQs and article files to "Marine Parasitic Disease" on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... and be prepared to enforce other treatment... at least the environmental manipulation, vitamin prep. and cleaner ideas gone over on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Re: Greenex and UV? Thanks Bob- I have read through nearly all your FAQ's regarding Ich and the sort...very helpful! I will begin the environmental manipulation, since I lost my electric scallop to the Greenex anyways. Hopefully the Emerald and Scarlet crabs will pull through the changes. <Me too... and please do write, express your concerns re "labeling" to the fine folks at the manufacturer (Aquatronics)...> I will also try a neon goby as a cleaner, but fear the trigger will have him for lunch. <Surprisingly, they don't eat them at once... recognizing Gobiosoma as allies...?> Regarding nutrition...currently I have a 3 fish: a Picasso trigger and a valentini Toby/puffer (each about an inch long), and my new coral beauty angel. What food/brand would you recommend for the best nutrition (whether it be frozen, flake, or a combination)...whatever would be best?  <Please see the "Foods/Feeding/Nutrition" section on the Marine Index on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> The angel doesn't seem too interested in the 'brine shrimp plus' flake or the frozen blood worms the others love. I thought I might try growing some Caulerpa algae in the tank for him, since he ate all my hair algae. <Add more live rock...> I will beat this ICH!! Thanks again, Garin <Good attitude. Bob Fenner>

RXP Hello, I am an aquarist that keeps many types of marine angels. I have head that you are the person to turn to for information on Kent Marine's RXP. Can you tell me more about it? I have an Ich problem that keeps re-surfacing, and I would like to get rid of it. Any info you could provide would be truly appreciated. Thanks, Megan McLaughlin <Thank you for writing... Am a big fan of Kent Marine's products and the folks who own, run the company... but not of this one item (RXP)... better to treat ich and other protozoan/parasitic complaints of marines through careful selection, dips/baths and quarantine to do all the good you can do to exclude their introduction into your main/display systems... and then utilize purposeful cleaner organisms, vitamin supplements, high and consistent water quality to prevent their surfacing nonetheless... And if, when external parasite problems arise, to treat them through environmental manipulation and lastly by copper and test kit use... As detailed over and over in articles and FAQs posted on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Mardel and Custom Sea Life Products Use  I have finished treating a 55 f/o tank with Mardel CopperSafe for Ich with success. After a duration of 2 1/2 weeks...the fish have been  ich-free, however displaying what appears to be a newly developed "fungus" (large white tufts on Angel and Butterfly/not Tang and Trigger). <Likely a secondary effect of the former treatment...> I would like to, rather I feel I should, add Mardel MarOxy and replenish my filters of carbon in conjunction with a 30% water change (water quality is diminishing/algae blooms/cloudiness etc.)...Extended exposure to 2.0 copper is not something I wanted to continue (Angel appears to be thinning/feed twice a day/Ang. Formula/Squid).  <Agreed on all counts... don't extend the copper treatment> Most importantly, I recently purchased a U/V sterilizer and would like to activate it for a 3 week period to allow aforementioned water/filter upgrades in conjunction with some form of "mechanical-disease-control". I heard rumor that the U/V would "un-chelate" the copper in CopperSafe and yield massive amounts of free-ion copper, thereby detrimental to the fishes' well being!  1) Is this true?  <Not necessarily unchelated, but cause precipitation... on the lamp/sleeve of the UV... better not to use while administering sequestered copper compounds> 2) If so, at what level of saturation ppm (via water change/carbon)  is it safe to proceed with U/V?  <Near zero, which happens almost instantaneously with activated carbon or Polyfilter use for cupric ion removal> 3) and will the U/V affect the MarOxy?  <No, should be okay> 4) Lastly, I can't figure out CustomSeaLife U2 sterilizer's flow  rate...it did not come with powerhead or recommendation (other  than your 150-250 g.p.h.). I have a Rio 600 and a 10-12" water-input factory-tube on the unit. Is this the correct operating procedure? The powerhead does have a "flow-regulator", but it is merely mechanical with no real way of establishing water flow rate (I am aware of water-flow-rate pros/cons)...  <Well-thought out here... in practical terms, in closed systems, there is no real downside to the "trade off" of kill rate versus flow through a UV contact chamber... I would just attach the Rio 600 and let it push whatever gph it will through the unit. I do encourage you to contact Dennis at CSL (their URL is on the www.wetwebmedia.com Links pages) and let him know for you and I that they need to attend to better instructions here... You can/could rig up a "pickle bucket" and with a watch with a good second hand, roughly gauge actual flow rate... Not necessary, or suggested.> I realize you are neither a Mardel or CustomSeaLife Rep., but I consider  your opinion of higher esteem than theirs.  <Both good companies... Did answer 800 calls for Mardel BTW a few years back...(!), and know CSL indirectly (they're here in the same town (San Diego)... Both have good people owning, running them> Your response/advice to the 4 questions offered above would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your continued support of the "novice" aquarist!  John  <And thanks to you for your participation, helping others (will be posting this interchange on the WWM site... others, livestock will be saved through our consideration!> P.S. Just scuba-dived the U.S.V. Islands to finish my PADI Open Water  Certification...AWE-INSPIRING EXPERIENCE = New Found Guilt Over Tank Size Constraints :)  <Ah yes. Nothing like getting down "where they live" to bring full realization to the beauty, grandeur of what the aquatic world is> P.P.S. Remind me that the fish found in my local pet store are never making it back to the ocean and it is in their best interest that I provide them with good husbandry, albeit...in a small aquascape :) <Indeed my friend, this is perhaps within our grasp! Bob Fenner>

Never Ending Ich Dear Bob, I have been battling ich is my 40gal SW tank for over 10 months. After several unsuccessful invert-safe treatments, <Which we know don't work... Do wish we could expose the crooks (yes, that's what these charlatans are) that hawk the hot sauce, sugar and garlic "remedies" as "ich et al. cure-alls... You, I know who these folks, manufacturers, products are... They're likely single-handedly responsible for the loss of more hobbyists (let alone livestock mortality) than any other cause> I desperately removed all my live rock (40lbs) and inverts (starfish, anenomes, snails, shrimp and crabs) and treated the display tank with Sea Cure copper. This process took 4 months to treat and strip the copper. <Yes... Once this sort of parasitic problem becomes entrenched... it can be brutal to eradicate> Recently I noticed that my Hippo Tang and Domino Damsel were again infected. I quickly quarantined them but unfortunately my infected tank is now back together will all inverts in place. I have a UV sterilizer on the way, 25W Rainbow to hook up with my 150 g/hr Fluval Canister. I also am considering lowering the SG but I am afraid it will harm my inverts, especially my Carpet and Bubble anenomes. Can you offer any advice on lowering SG?  <Do lower the spg by about a thousandth per day... to 1.017 should definitely be safe... but you will be able to tell if you're going too fast and/or too far...> Is it possible that this awful parasite will never leave?  <Yes and no... I would also place two types of Cleaners, a Lysmata Shrimp sp. and a Gobiosoma goby in there... and seek a "balance" at this point rather than total removal...> I'm getting very frustrated and very tired. Thanks for any advice you can provide. Chris Gussin <I can tell... Me too. Thanks for letting me vent. Bob Fenner>

RXP? Nah.... Oh hey! I just got back from my LFS, which happens to be a PetCo, so unfortunately not that much tuned to saltwater, in fact, this store shouldn't be allowed to have saltwater fish cause all they do it bring them in and kill them as a result of poor care... but that's another story, anyway I couldn't find anymore medicated fish foods, but I did pick up Kent Marine's RxP parasite treatment, so I figured I give that a try, at least that may help stop further spreading and infection, just curious if you've ever used it... thanks DAVE <Do know the product and its like, and unfortunately do not endorse its use... Give it a smell... What does it remind you of? A clue: Kodak owns the chemical patent... Capsicum, hmmm? A scandal that this fine company should offer such a careless, ineffectual product... My opinion. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Mini Reef Set up.... Just when you thought I'd run out of questions...... :-) anyway, so the blue devil went back to the store today, and I came back with a Green Chromis, cute little fish... <And much easier going... a better choice, though best in groups> anyway my skunk back pseudo seems to have tail and fin only spots, they don't look like ich, since they aren't that big and they aren't that white, and he doesn't seem that effected right now, but I figured I'd give him some medicated fish food, but I wasn't sure if the bacterial or fungal would be better, I used to use this stuff in my old tank and it works well without totally messing up my tank (plus I don't have a hospital tank for more involved treatments... so what ya think? bacterial or fungal? I'd appreciate your best guess! thanks again bob! DAVE <Hmm, actually, if memory serves... there are two choices Bacterial/Fungal AND Parasitic... or anti- thereof... and I would alternate between the two, and keep your eye on the Basslet... and not add any other/more livestock till all settles down/in. Bob Fenner>

RE: New Mini Reef Set up.... yea.. I know there's a fungal, I think there might be a parasite one too... I should know the difference though, I happen to be study for my PhD. in biomedical sciences, and I took a parasitology class last fall!!! I'm gonna go get some more medicated food, and I'm gonna get a water treatment just in case.. it seems to have spread to the other fish... though only on their fins... fortunately none of them seem to be too adversely effected right now... but since I don't have any coral or cool invertebrates right now, I might take the chance now to treat the water while I still can! ok off to the pet store! thanks! DAVE <Yikes... and do check your water quality as well... something is at fault here... I would likely effect a large water change, add some carbon to your filter flow path... lower the specific gravity a couple of thousandths and elevate temperature a few degrees F.... just for general purposes. Bob Fenner>

I dosed it with Greenex Thanks a lot.....btw, my tank came down with ich! I dosed it with Greenex, and all the fish died the next day. <Argghhh, I hate this product... not uncommon result> My tank got milky white and I did a 50% water change. The cloudiness continued for several day and is now dying down. I know I shouldn't have but I decided to add another clarkii for the anemone, so far so good. It's been 5 days and the clarkii seems OK. He took to the anemone in about 1hour! He now sleeps inside it and it closes around him like covers (really kewl). BTW all my corals lived through the medication just fish casualties. Thanks for the tip on the sponge for bubbles I know I need to be skimming, but I couldn't stand all the bubbles.  <Maybe relocate it to a sump?> I have a lot of brown algae on the back glass would it hurt to leave it growing or should I scrape it? <If it bugs you, scrape away... should turn green with time, improving conditions> Hey thanks again for caring so much about the hobby by taking your time with all these questions. Much thanks, Joe >> <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Methylene Blue in shipping Hi Bob, I notice the fish we brought in from ORA were shipped in what appears to be  methyl blue. My understanding is you get a) antimicrobial effects, b)  improved O2 transport, and c) sluggish fish. <Bingo. Now you're firing on all cylinders> Seems like something we ought to try for the fish from PI. Do you know the  dosage appropriate for shipping? (I've seen mention in your dip article,  but suspect that is stronger) <Yes again... difficult to gauge, state actual dosages... Methylene blue is VERY safe... almost not over-doseable... blue as blue is okay> Thanks again for the help. -Keith P.S Don't take my comment about fish pics wrong - I don't call 'em "Michael  Mutants" for nothing :^) I did hear once also to never trust someone with 2  first names. >> Hmm, don't know if I'm following the above... But you can gladly call be Bob/Robert... and I won't take offense... just don't call me, as the saying goes, "late for dinner"... Bob Fenner

RXP Bob, My fish troubles continue. Now I have a full blown velvet outbreak. I have some Kent RXP on the way but it says it is not recommended for lionfish, do you know anything about this product. Also what do I need for a barebones hospital tank for the lion, will I do more damage by moving him, how long should he stay in there, what would I treat him with, etc etc etc. Cheers, Scott  >> Yikes, Scotter. Do take the time to make the long read over the articles, FAQs, others opinions on how to proceed on these issues stored on the site: Home Page  I am decidedly not a big fan of pepper-sauce "treatments"... but there are workable methods... as detailed... follow the Marine Index at the WWM site... you will know. Bob Fenner

Re: RXP Bob, You have won me on quarantine tanks. I have managed to borrow a 15g tank that now houses my lion while I am dosing with RXP. <Ah, good on the quarantine> I might even set it up in the kids room with a BioWheel or something similar. Would this tank handle say 2 Chromis and a damsel and the occasional new fish on quarantine duty, <Yes, but not with the Lionfish present if it can swallow same...> what about sand on the bottom. <Not unless the animals involved require it... better to use the BioWheel, and periodic water changes from your main system to return water quality to center... If sand, live rock are needed, better to place them in a glass dish (like for burrowing wrasses let's say), to facilitate removal... otherwise these materials change water chemistry, absorb medications> Also have you any thoughts on vitamin c for ich control. <Doesn't work...>  And how long should a new fish spend in the q tank  <Depends on species, condition... Take a look (again) at quarantine, acclimation materials posted on site: Home Page > and is necessary to dose with copper every time a new fish goes in there. <Once again, this depends on the species involved and their apparent health... in general, no... I would freshwater, pH adjusted dip new fishes... then place them in quarantine for observation and "hardening" for the desired/requisite period of time, and engage copper treatments (probably needing to be tested and re-applied daily...> Cheers, Scott 

What are your thoughts on the medicine Metronidazole I'm currently going through a bout with what I think to be a parasite infection (can a bacterial infection cause the same scratching in fish?) I don't see the typical white spots associated with ich. I like the idea of treating the food instead of the tank. Does this work? Wrasses are scratching the most then the tangs. They are eating great and are other wise looking good. 90lbs LR, few mushrooms, 4 yrs old, 240g, 0 ammon, 0 nitrite 10-20 nitrates, 79 temp, 1.022 sal and no previous out breaks. Thanks bob >> Metronidazole, aka Flagyl is a potent anti-protozoal which has found some use for ornamental aquatic use... but it does have its abuses and drawbacks. Not least of all that it is toxic... especially on the kidneys of fishes. I have seen losses from repeated exposure. To answer your following question; yes, bacterial and parasitic diseases (by convention, bacteria, fungus, viral attacks are termed infectious, protozoans on up <worms, crustaceans...> are parasitic disease causing agents) as well as many other causes (often just environmental... irritations like chemical, physical complaints), will/do cause "itching", "scratching" behavior.... This is why so many folks encourage you to first and foremost check your water quality ahead of jumping to conclusions re whether you have a biological disease cause at work at all. Treating the livestock through their food versus the water is a very good idea, if you can be assured that the animals are feeding.  Given that you mention Wrasses and Tangs as the suspects... I would hold off on treating them outright... both these families of fishes do a great deal of scratching... Instead, I would check your water, maybe effect a large (20%) water change, change your activated carbon out... and possibly add a biological cleaner to the system. Bob Fenner

DIY Garlic Bob, on your old question and Answer sight on FFExpress (couldn't find it > today). You mentioned some success with using garlic oil long term in food > to help with ich. I've looked and can only find garlic flavored oils (lots > of preservatives). Any suggestions on where to find it. My wife bought some > garlic cloves in oil but it also contains phosphoric acid which I'm not sure > I should use. Will you be back on FFExpress?? Thanks Lloyd >> Best to press your own... and am back/still on at ffexpress.com... we're gearing up for a great improvement... as you probably know better than I by now. Be chatting, Bob Fenner visiting in the Maldives.

Garlic Bob, Wanted to ask you what you thought about using garlic to treat parasites (specifically ich). I've reading on several bulletin boards that people have had success with it, especially with prolonged treatment. I've got a mild infestation in a 55 gallon reef system. Only 2 fish right now, Gold Striped Maroon Clown and a Lawnmower Blenny. The Maroon Clown is not apparently infected.....yet. The Blenny seeks regular checkups with the two cleaner shrimp I have and seems to be doing good but does scratch at the substrate. Tanks! (gee, is that a pun or a typo.....?) :) >> <Heard it... but thanks anyway... Re garlic... don't know of "the causative mechanism" and have not seen conclusive, reliable results with its use... Visited with Mike Paletta (on a PA trip last month), a/the big proponent (along with Kelly Jedlicki) of garlic (Allium sativum) use... and asked him about the same question point blank... and am still not convinced... A comprehensive avoidance program is best, the after the fact use of biological cleaners and environmental manipulation (lowered spg, elevated temp.) and lastly copper-based medication and letting the ich-infested system go fallow as long as possible (month(s)) is my treatment philosophy. Bob Fenner, who wishes all the world's ills could be treated with vegetable materials, but it just isn't so.

Rubbing Dear Bob, My nearly 2 year old 55. gal. tank has the original blue damsel, a juv. Harl. tusk, yellow tang, pygmy angel and 1 Chromis. Returned a particularly brutal tomato clown (he had doubled in size) to the store where I bought him and afterwards treated the tank with copper at the suggestion of the store as the rest of my tank had been severely stressed by the clown. No problems. Everyone got back to their daily routines w/o trouble. Stopped the copper, added back my charcoal to help eliminate traces of copper. Changed the water 3 days ago and the tusk, damsel and angel started rubbing. They're rubbing a little more each day. I have been told to treat with Life Bearer and Copper simultaneously. Since I treated with copper only last month, is it ok to start again now? Don't want to lose these fish. Thanks. Ginny >> Hmm... well, you could re-treat the system with copper, but I'd be hesitant to do so at this point... unless I saw direct evidence that the fishes actually had an external parasite... Instead, their rubbing may be a residual effect of the treatment, the water change.... I'd hold off... maybe try some biological cleaners first. The chemical treatments themselves are stressful... and not without risk. Bob Fenner

Melafix??? Another quick question - have you heard of/recommend Aquarium Pharmaceutical's Melafix product? I have had a healthy respect of their products in the past, but am hesitant to add it to the tank even though they strongly claim it WILL NOT HARM EITHER THE BIOLOGICAL FILTER OR INVERTS. Just wanting to get some info before I have to use it. Thanks >> Have not used the product, but have chatted with folks who can be trusted about the product... To me it seems useful mainly as a disinfectant... possibly of use for damaged animals due to physical traumas... Wouldn't count on it to "cure" an infectious or parasitic disease. Bob Fenner

Hospital Tanks Bob, I was wondering how one should correctly use a hospital tank? For  instance, when you have a ich outbreak (or some type of bacterial infection)  and only so much room in your hospital tank what would be the correct  procedure? Would you cycle your fish through the hospital tank in the order  of the most immediate need? After your first batch of fish are OK would they  just get sick all over again when you put them back in the main tank with the  fish that haven't been to the hospital tank yet? I do have some invertebrates  in my main tank so I would not be able to treat all fish at once. I would  appreciate your comments on this subject. I did order a UV sterilizer today  which should help the fish that were left behind. Thank You  >> Hmm, a logistics problem? Well, in a perfect, at least happy world, folks wouldn't have such pandemics as ich in their main/display systems... these external parasitic diseases would/could/should be eliminated/excluded from the get go via procedures in selection, dips/baths, quarantine on the livestocks' way TO their principal destinations...  IF ich, velvet, et al. do show up in your main tank... of such infectiousness that environmental manipulation (spg, temp.) and bio-controls are of no avail... you're going to either have to have facilities to accommodate all the fish livestock, OR for moving the non-fish livestock out to fully treat the fishes in place. To answer more of your query directly: No to "ping-ponging" moving partly clean, part-carriers back and forth, between/betwixt infected/infested systems (themselves)... Bob "the epidemiologist this AM" Fenner

Question Re QuickCure In today's Q&A, you wrote that QuickCure was "toxic," and  you suggested that it's not very effective. I don't  quite understand why it's toxic. If I remember  correctly, it contains formaldehyde and malachite green.  Aren't these both rather common ingredients in ich  remedies? ((The reason that I ask is that I recently  had good success with the product, and I don't want to  use it again if it's as toxic as you say)). Thanks..... >> Both malachite and formaldehyde (a general biocide, cross-linking peptides...), apart and together are toxic... But, yes, valuable treatments for external parasites of fishes... BUT, if you re-read the entire post, the malady being treated for is NOT susceptible to either/both these compounds... therefore, the person administering them is wasting their time, "just" poisoning their fishes unnecessarily with a "medication" that is not efficacious IN THIS CASE.  Bob Fenner

Question Re QuickCure Bob:  Thanks for your clarification. I don't mean to question  your expertise -- just wanted to know why I should avoid  using QuickCure in the future. Sounds as though I should  stick with good ol' copper.... jwl  >> No problemo with questioning, challenging, outright correcting my "expertise"... believe me. And do agree with you about sticking with Cu++... except for some problems (like Uronema, Glugea...) that formaldehyde/malachite really comes in handy for. Bob Fenner

My fish are sick, hypochondria I have had my aquarium for several months now and everything was going quite well until about a week ago. I have a 46 gallon tank, Fluval 303 filtering system, Skilter 400 supreme protein skimmer, 40 lbs of live rock, 20 lbs of reef sand. My fish included one each of the following: domino damsel, yellow tail damsel, mandarin green dragonet, squarebox male Anthias, yellow tang, cream angel, Koran juv angel, coral beauty angel, white burrowing starfish, 3 cleaner shrimp, 3 snails, 6 red legged crabs, and 6 left handed crabs. I added the last fish a month ago, and the shrimp and crabs 3 weeks ago.  About a week ago, I noticed the squarebox male had some small white spots, almost like air bubbles on him. I started to look closely at the others and they didn't look quite right either. The lady at my local pet shop said it was ick, and gave me some ick cure by Aquatrol Inc, and some triple sulfa by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. I don't have a quarantine tank, (I know everything I have read says I need one), but since all the fish weren't acting like themselves and looked "milky" I thought all of them might be infected. She said ick was very contagious. After the first day of using the ick cure I think the fish looked worse and called the pet store again, and she assured me that it was working. On the third day, Elvis (cream angel) died. On the fourth day, Vern (squarebox male Anthias) died. I stopped using the ick cure after 3 days (as directed on the bottle), and the triple sulfa said to only use twice. It's been six days and Jazz (Koran angel) looks like he could go any minute, and the others aren't acting the way they usually do and none of them are eating very much. His eyes have clouded over and looks like he has been dipped in milk, not really fuzzy looking (same thing happened to the other two before they died). The lady at the pet shop recommended a partial water change, which I did tonight, and to start using the triple sulfa again. I am worried because everything seemed to go down hill very quickly and the medicine doesn't seem to be helping. I don't want to dose them with something that may do more harm than good, but I don't want to withhold something that will help either. Is there something else I should be using? I went to Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc web page and they have a new product called Melafix. Should I try to find it to use instead? Is there a book I can get that shows pictures of the different diseases and recommended treatment? Please help, I don't want to loose them all and have to start over. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Millie Opela >> Yikes... there could be a multitude of "things" wrong, going wrong in your system... and I doubt if ich is/was any of "them"... but the medication, or should I say, the effects of same, are toxifying your tank's water.... Do stop putting in any "medicine", and perform a very large water change (maybe half), and be ready to do this again soon... Do you have test kits, gear? Do lower your specific gravity to about 1.018... and if you can, increase aeration in the system (airstones, opening venturis on powerheads, discharging pump water at the surface... Elevate the tank temperature to about 82F... And place a "bag" of activated carbon (e.g. Chemipure) in your filter flow path... And do watch your ammonia, nitrites... If they climb above 1.0 ppm, do that next large water change.... I believe what you had and have worse is more of an "environmental" disease rather than anything infectious and/or parasitic... Maybe take a look at the articles on "Marine diseases" posted at www.wetwebmedia.com and do consider getting a small microscope (like the Intel/Mattel QX3) if you're really interested in taking a look, making sure, your fishes have whatever sorts of protozoan problems... Bob Fenner

Copper, fungus, exposed bone, plenum  Bob, I followed the directions you gave me on removing the liverock, and dosing the tank with CopperSafe, and it seems to be working! Two big questions though, my idiot LFS said they could have me a chelated test by Fri, I still don't have it <Yikes>, UV is off, protein skimmer I am emptying every day (running heavy to help absorb shock of removing liverock). Should I add a tsp or two to guestimate the copper level in the tank, or wait till I have the test?  <Wait for the test... your copper will probably be "gone"... taken up by skimming, the fishes... but "better safe than sorry"> Also, my blue face has a white "tuft" looking thing on his side, and my queen has a whitish film on one eye, is this true fungus, and should I add Maroxy at the same time when using copper safe?  <Yes, I would> The queen scratched on the bottom, and I can see what looks like a small blot of blood or capillary, and the sword like extensions on the bottom of gills are exposed bone, will this grow back (is it possible copper poisoning?). <May be partly due to the copper, but likely the skin over the opercular spine will grow back> Finally, and I appreciate all the help, I want to put a plenum in this tank (160), will this bring down the trates to under 10ppm in a few months (i.e. is that enough), and should I try putting it in now?  <I would put the plenum in whenever it is most convenient... with the fishes out, this may well be that time> Thanks a million, I finally got your book, it's great! Tom P.S. I am going to tell my local ex-LFS he needs to read your book!! It is sickening to think of all of the wasted beautiful creatures that are lost because of IGNORANCE! I just feel irritated because these people are supposed to be experts >> <Do agree with your sentiment... the reason "I am here"... Let's keep "our eyes on the prize" and get your fishes returned to health. Bob Fenner>

Results of ich medication. I have added TetraMedica Marine Oomed to my tank, what will the (amm, ph, nitr)  levels do if anything and I was told after 4,5 days to add charcoal to my  emperor syst to absorb it from the tank???? >> The ammonia and nitrite should be monitored... sometimes most all nitrifying microbes are lost without much warning, necessitating a large water change... And who told you to run charcoal/carbon probably, after 4,5 days? Run the medication straight through two weeks to make sure the parasites have all been eradicated before filtering out the medication... Bob Fenner

One last ick related question Bob, The RxP has not worked, and I am now coppering the tank (Coppersafe), it is a 160 gal tank, I have removed the live rock (per your recommendation), I have put in the equivalent of treating 100 gallons. Local suppliers (some), claim that large angels (Queen, French, Blue face), cannot take the copper. My question is this true? Is a full dose safe for these fish, and necessary? I know if I don't treat, they will die. Thanks, Tom >> Angels, among other fishes, "don't appreciate" copper much... but they are by far not the touchiest... and the way copper works... if it is not utilized at full dosage (0.2-0.3ppm free cupric ion), you're wasting your time, and just slowly poisoning your livestock... Do treat them as per the manufacturer of your copper solution's recommendations.... Bob Fenner

Medicated Foods I have a question here about medicated foods. I have a 55 gal reef aquarium  which I had for about 2 yrs. now. I was wondering if medicated foods would be  a good idea to feed to the fish? would I be safe for my reef inhabitants? >> Not just for "general purposes"... That is, not if there is no infection/infestation present... All "medications" have their downsides as well as hopefully, up... you don't want to expose your livestock to them continuously. Bob Fenner

Ich Dear Bob, As you suggested I raised the water temp. to 83, lowered the sg to 1.17,and  vacuumed the little bit of gravel in the 90 gal tank. I also added CopperSafe  three weeks ago. Here is my problem, my powder blue tang still seems to have  a blemish (not spots) on one side paddlefin. It is a little white smear not  raised or dot like. What could this be ? Could this be ich? I'm lost. Thanks  for your help. Len >> Maybe a residual discoloration from the medication, or the root cause... but very likely nothing to worry about or treat... Just give the animal lots of time, space, and TLC. Bob Fenner

Ich Hi Bob, what do you think about medicated foods for Ich and bacteria  infections? I have Ich and I was thinking about getting some medicated food  by Tetra. >> I think they work much better for infectious (bacteria, fungus) problems than protozoans... but are still worthwhile ALONG WITH other procedures (environmental manipulation, use of biological cleaners)... ahead of actual chemical treatments. Bob Fenner

White on fish I have a situation I hope you can help me with. A friend of mine told me to  ask you because you have been a great help to him. I have been setting up a  120 gal. reef tank for the last month. I have about 100 lbs. of Fiji live rock  from ffexp. 45# of which I just added last week, 100# of live sand, 3-Rio  1700 powerheads, and a home made 48" skimmer. The problem is I just added 15  damsels to the tank on Sat. On Sunday I noticed some white on the head one of  the blue and on the back of a Domino. Also some white on the tails. On Monday  one of the blue's with the white on the head was dead. I can't locate the  domino. The rest of them look good today even the one with the white on the  tail fin. The fin also looks a little shredded. My readings on the tank are  excellent. My thought is to take out the liverock so I can catch the fish to  move them to another tank and do a large water change before putting the  liverock back. I was hoping to add a few more fish and coral's this week.  What do you think I should do? I am really disgusted after all the patience I  used in setting up this system. I should add that the fish looked fine when I  bought them. Thanks for your reply.  >> Well... you might have at least dipped/freshwater bathed the new fish livestock before placing it... to ward off more chance of such external parasite introductions... Or better, have done this AND quarantined the 15 damsels for a good two weeks... Now, your SYSTEM has the ich parasite problem, not just the remaining damsels... And the ich itself may be more due to "environmental stress"... from the new live rock, the damsels being moved... Some greater explanation of the dipping, quarantining procedures, stocking densities of damsels, The Three Sets of Factors that Determine Livestock Health... and more can be found archived at www.wetwebmedia.com if you want more complete, and to me, satisfying "answers". What to do now is the real question... If it were me, I wouldn't remove the rock, the damsels to another system to treat them... To repeat, your system itself now has the ich (Cryptocaryoniasis) problem. I would try to be even more patient, wait to see if the animals "self cure", study-up what your options are... maybe lower your specific gravity and raise your temperature (1.017, 82F. respectively), and possibly (I would), add some biological cleaners (Lysmata shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies)... At any length, DO NOT place more livestock at this time... you will compound your problems and frustration... by complexing this ongoing problem. Solve the ich, instability dilemma... and wait a good month after you think all is cured.... Your friend in fish, and consternation!, Bob Fenner

Ich. (I think) on the glass Bob,  I need your help! I have a 55 gal. F.O. tank set up. I'm running a wet-dry with a protein skimmer and a U-V sterilizer. I started with 4 damsel fish to load the system biologically. At 5 weeks I decided to add another damsel. Unfortunately, two days later Ich. showed up. (before the tank had completed it's biological cycling). I attempted a course of "Kick Ich" instead of copper because it is supposedly "invert. safe," and I wouldn't mind housing a few inverts down the road. Needless to say, this did not work. I've now lost all the fish. Without fish I've increased the temp. to 84-85 deg. and dropped the specific gravity to 1.018 . 10 days later, I now have pin-head  sized white organisms on the aquarium glass. It looks as if the tank itself has Ich..  My solution was to scrape the glass and hopefully push these little guys through my U-V sterilizer and zap 'em. This has not resolved the problem either. The glass looks as if it is sprinkled with salt. Only these things are moving around. What the heck is going on? Have you ever seen or heard of this? I would greatly appreciate any advice before I have to tear down the system and re-set up. Thanks for your time,  Doug >> The "spots" are nothing to be concerned about, really. They are not ich... I might do a/the large water change and send the "Kick" folks a nastygram... to get rid of both. Bob Fenner

Tang and Itch Good afternoon Bob, First, let me start w/ the fact that we have a 155 Bow front. We have about 110 lbs of live rock and a few mushrooms and a leather. I have twin overflows and a wet/dry w/ a protein skimmer. 4 pumps operating inside w/ a future wave maker involved. We currently have a Mimic tang, a bicolor angel, two yellow tailed damsels, a hippo tang and two percula clowns. We have the standard cleanup crew of Astrea snails, blue legged hermits and a couple of Mexican Turbo snails that do wonderfully on the brown and green algae. I am currently testing for Ph, ammonia, copper and nitrites/nitrates, all of which check out fine. Water temp is average of 80. My question concerns the hippo tang that I've had for a few weeks. I've read varying information on the Itch problem that Tangs have. The hippo has been rubbing (scratching) himself on our live rock for the last few days. Today, we've noticed that he appears to have a couple of small white patches at the front of his head. No other fish, including the Mimic have any problems that we've noticed yet. What is the best way to treat this problem and to fully rid it and/or reduce the chances of it coming back in our tank?  I've also heard through a friend that he has used with great success all natural liquid garlic, found in every health store. He says this has combated itch and ick without ever having to remove his fish from the main tank and because it is natural and easily broken down. Have you heard anything about this? Thank you for your assistance. Andy Pirnik >> I take it you don't dip/bathe... or quarantine new livestock? Big mistake... At this point, you might be fortunate to get by on utilizing some biological cleaners... and environmental manipulation to what is probably the beginning of a marine ich/Cryptocaryon infestation.  I'd place a couple each of Lysmata Shrimp and Gobiosoma gobies... Lower your specific gravity to about 1.018 (a couple of thousandths per day), and elevate your tank temperature to approximately 82F... Regarding "garlic treatments", yes, I've heard of them... on the positive side, by reputable sources of internal parasite (through feeding) and parasitic disease problems being solved... and total wipeouts... likely due to??? Garlic oil coating the surface of the tank?  If the scratching, spotting probable ich situation escalates (lots more spots, on other fishes), I would remove all the fishes to a treatment tank, use a copper-based medication, an appropriate test kit... On the positive side though... maybe this isn't ich... and/or will self-cure with the use of cleaners, environmental manipulation...  Bob Fenner. who is sorry to be the bearer of such bad news

Quick Cure I've been told my fish have the Ich disease. They have recommended a product  called Quick Cure. Have you ever heard of this product? On the directions  it says to use it for 2 days. After reading the FAQ's section it says the  parasites can come back and to treat up to 5 days after they are gone. Is  this product successful in only 2 days or should I treat them for a longer  period of time?  Thank you for any help or information  >> And thank YOU for caring enough to seek out complete information. The longer time frame for the Quick Cure should be used... And, if you haven't committed to this product I would encourage you instead to use a more stable, less toxic formulation... just a copper sulfate chelated product like CopperSafe... and a copper test kit for same... There is much to say about this topic so may I refer you to my postings of full-length discussion on Parasitic Diseases of marines, Copper Use... stored at www.wetwebmedia.com  If you are unsure on how to proceed or any of this is not clear, please do write back... It is important that you begin treatment... including lowering the salinity of your water (to 1.018) and raising the temperature (to about 82F.) to tip the environmental balance in your fishes favor... assuming you have no invertebrates, or that you are removing the fishes to a treatment tank. Bob Fenner

Medications is it safe to use Ampicillex and penicillin together for a cloud eye treatment. I have a little of each, but not enough of either for a full 3 dose treatment for a 150 gallon saltwater tank. >> These two antibiotics are mixable... but I wouldn't necessarily apply them to your main system for a "cloudy eye" ailment... What fishes are involved... is it all of them? Both eyes? There is something other than an infectious agent that can be treated with antimicrobials at work here if so... Get back to me/us with more information: what your system is comprised of , what sorts of livestock, its history to operation (in brief)... And what all you've done so far to the set-up regarding this cloudy eye condition. Bob Fenner

Medications My tank has been setup for about 5 months. 2 Fluval 304, UGF w/powerheads, Berlin protein skimmer. livestock: small damsels, angel, yellow tangs, small clowns. Everything for chemistry tests sat ( ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, phosphates) Everything was going good until I introduced 3 new fish purchased from That Fish Place in PA. 2 of them died in < a week, them a prior fish 2 months old died, and the third fish purchased is bad off, plus a clown. I called the store and described the fish and they recommended Ampicillex, a local store recommended penicillin. After going to www.aqualink.com I don't know. The fish is coated with a white fine speckles, cloudy eye was the first sign, which from the site could be ich but most likely velvet. Neither say treatment of penicillin. What to do, I fear the entire tank could or is infected. Any advise  >> Neither Ampicillex or Penicillin will directly do anything to this parasitic infection... it does sound like velvet (Amyloodiniumiasis)... Do you have another/quarantine tank you can treat your fishes in? I would administer a copper based medicine immediately... as well as lower the specific gravity to about 1.017... and elevate your system temperature to about 82F.... If you don't understand enough re these procedures, please read the pieces stored at www.wetwebmedia.com or write back for clarification. Do know the owner, store in PA... and it is very highly regarded... but this velvet/algae disease has come from somewhere... and the diagnoses? I don't know what the folks who told you of are thinking... a gram positive and negative antimicrobial? Maybe for secondary problems... Act now! Bob Fenner 

MarOxy Mr. Fenner, Thank you for your reply. I'm relieved that I took the correct steps. Today I purchased Mardel Laboratories' "MarOxy," which is advertised as a invert /fish / bio-filter safe fungal treatment. The active ingredient is "stabilized chlorine oxides." I haven't and won't use this treatment until I here what you have to say about it. Thank you again for making yourself available to help enthusiastic newcomers to the hobby. Cordially, William James Yavelak >> Mardel is one of the best companies in our field. Not only do all their products "work", their generally very safe when used as directed. I would use MarOxy if you believe you have a fungal problem... but would instead approach the problem internally if the organisms are eating. Tetra makes a good anti-microbial food, or you could make up one yourself. And for real fungal problems (and most of bacterial ones that are often mistake for them) can generally be solved with a small change (lowering a couple of thousandths) of specific gravity. And very glad to be here for new hobbyists, middle and older types as well. A great deal of fun, a challenge, and a learning experience for me. Bob Fenner

Clown Fluff > Mr. Fenner, > First I'll give you my tank data: > 55gal; marine; fish only (now); 330gph Penguin Filter with mechanical, > carbon, and BioWheels; Back-of-tank counter current protein skimmer powered  by a modified Rio 800 pump; water movement with a Rio 1100 and one other > small power head; additional biological filtration with 1 liter of Siporax;  temperature = 75-78; ammonia = 0; nitrite = 0; ph = 8.4; spec. gravity = > 1.023;  10% water changes are done once every two weeks; the mechanical filtration  and carbon is rinsed every week and changed every two weeks; the skimmer is  emptied every day. > The tank was set up approximately 6 months ago and was cycled using three > damsels (which were returned 4 days ago in perfect health). > Three days ago my shipment of a flame angel, a yellow tang, and maroon clown  arrived from FFish Express. The following relates all the things I've > noticed / done since then: > Day one: The flame angel seems to adjust quickly to its new surroundings and  explores the tank actively. The yellow tang seems more shy, remains near > the bottom / back portion of the tank. I notice that the tang occasionally  makes very quick movements (flashes). This worries me, but the tang does not  seem to be scratching itself or showing any other possible distress signs. > The clown at fist just sits at the very bottom of the tank for several hours. He then spends the rest of the day in the top right corner of the tank. > None of the fish pay much attention to the flake food that is offered (I'm > working on getting some other food types and spinach for the tang). > Day two: I continue to observe the tang "flash" occasionally. The angel > still seems fine. I first notice some white fluffy material on the maroon > clown. The white fluff is translucent, cottony, and extends outward from the  clowns body less than 1mm. The fluff is seen only in two small patches, one  near the clown's right eye, the other near it's front dorsal fin. The clown  did not appear to be in distress (no flashing, no rapid mouth movement, > etc.), but did seem a bit lethargic. I inspect the tang and angel closely but  see no similar white fluff. All the fish eat the offered flake food > readily. The tang eats voraciously, the angel sparingly, and the clown shows  moderate interest-managing to gobble up about 4 or 5 pieces. > Day three (today): Everything observed in day two was seen today. I can't  stand doing nothing any longer and give the maroon clown two - one minute > fresh water dips (suspecting an ich-like disease that may have been present  when the clown arrived). Following the dip, the white fluff was no longer  present on the clown (none seen with close inspection). However, the clown  still seems somewhat lethargic and stays in one corner of the tank. > I'm worried that my clown has either an ich-like parasite or a fungus and > that my other fish will become infected. Despite the absence of any white > fluff on any fish now, I'm concerned that some reproductive stage of a > possible parasite may be lingering in my tank. I'd like to hear what you > have to say about the situation before I take any drastic measures. > Cordially,  William James Yavelak> Hmmm, well I do like the Siporax (sintered glass filter media) and your > set-up and maintenance procedures sound very good. And I appreciate the > careful observation and relating of what you have seen day to day. I agree > with your overall assessment re the angel, tang, and clown general behavior > patterns (all seem typical of these species). And yes, your clown may have > had a protozoan parasite (there are a couple that are very common on wild > clownfish species), and your response very timely and at least what I would > have done under similar circumstances. And I semi-share your concern re the  resting stage possibility... I would probably wait at this point on doing > much that is "drastic"... but likely consider adding a facultative cleaner... > either a Gobiosoma goby or Lysmata cleaner shrimp (hopefully these will fit  in with any later stocking plans). Otherwise, I'd wait at this point. More > technical information on Glugea to follow if this problem turns out to not be  transient. Bob Fenner

Fish tank and copper I have a 75 gallon tank and was experiencing trouble with an out break of some parasite. I have a blue damsel and a Flamehawk in the tank. My damsel had turned purple and was swimming into the current, so I was given the advice to use copper in the tank. So I did and everything is going great. Before I did the copper I told the person I had 2 starfish and a crab (a friend agreed to house them for awhile). Now I am being told by some people that I will never get rid of the copper resin. I was wondering if that is true? If not what do you suggest how to get my tank back to where I can have inverts again. I have also heard that if you keep you water level at 1.024 parasites can't live (I find nothing to support this claim). I live in MT where the pet stores around here are trying to buy fish at a cheap price so people will buy them. I have came to the conclusion that my only fish source will be FFE, so how many fish can I order at a time without overload occurring. Thanks, Janice >> Gosh, good questions. You can wait a few months and most all the copper you've added will "disappear" enough to re-add invertebrates... or you can add some activated carbon (in a Dacron bag, in your current path) and this will quickly (a few days) remove the carbon.     Oh, the slightly lower specific gravity will NOT prevent parasite problems. Very much lower (1.010) densities have been prescribed for this purpose, but are impractical in main/display systems with other non-fish livestock, live rock...     Re the stocking question, I'd say about three fishes of any medium size is all I'd add at a time maximum. And of course, would like to throw in the proviso that I'd quarantine them ahead of introduction. Be chatting, Bob Fenner

Garlic Oil Treatment Hi Bob, Can you elaborate on your use of garlic oil to treat ich? I haven't been able to buy "Garlic Oil" in a pure form, and I can only find garlic infused oils. So how long do you medicate and how often? What else have you observed? Thanks >> Argggh 'N Shnarrgghhh, No, this "treatment" is not "mine" and I don't endorse it. I have heard of people giving credence to adding garlic in foods as a purgative, treatment and nutritive supplement... but, once again, I do not endorse its use... I WOULD NOT place any type of oil in a marine system as a treatment. My rundown on diseases, treatments can be found in books, articles I've penned, and many of these efforts can be found archived on the wetwebmedia.com website. Bob Fenner

Cupramine use I appreciate your prompt response and advice. I have now removed my shrimp, live rock and carbon filters, and have treated with Cupramine by Seachem. I have just a couple of questions for you. Do I leave my protein skimmer on or off for the duration of treatment, and do I keep the s.g. low for the treatment. I am, unfortunately, the victim of poor local advice, and the fool of not taking the obviously good advice offered in your book, which has pretty much been in my hands since day one. My precious fish have paid a dear price for my ignorant impatience. A quarantine tank will be set up in my home today. Never again will I be a foolish murderer of beautiful and innocent fishes. I appreciate your common sense advice more than you'll ever know. Thank you for your time. >> Ah, excellent am I answered, and queried. Good question re the skimmer. Yes, it will to a degree (appreciably) remove the Cupramine... in addition to other influences... still, I would/do run it for the benefits it provides, and just adjust the dosage by adding more Cupramine after testing for concentration. Hmmm, searching for something worthwhile to sum up: I guess, the "price" of earnest aquarium husbandry is intelligence, involvement, a discerning (even cynical) mind, and constant vigilance... the end. Bob Fenner, who thanks you.

Question: I've got a 6" Sailfin tang in my display tank (125gal.) and he's been doing fine for the past 1 1/2 yrs. But recently (2-3 months) I've noticed that his large dorsal fin has holes in it. From the looks of it, it seems to be thinning. Any explanation or prevention of this? Also, I've got a 3" Kole tang in the hospital tank. The tank has about 2 ppm Cu2+ to control the nasties. The tang has been in the tank for almost two weeks and last week I noticed what appears to be a blister or abscess under his left pectoral fin. And in the last two days, it looks as if a second is forming on his right side near the base of the dorsal fin. Both have a somewhat circular shape so I don't think its lateral line erosion. I'm not sure if he's just scratched himself against a rock and the copper is affecting it or whether it's something else. Any ideas or suggestions? I was planning on introducing him into the display tank this weekend but now I might hold off.

Bob's Answer: Hey Bri. Re: the first surgeon... very likely the "holiness" of the dorsal is a combination of mere growth/age and a less than satisfactory diet. Do you offer 'human-food' algae like Nori occasionally? Do so and dip it first in a vitamin and iodine solution. The Ctenochaetus tang (Kole) is definitely in trouble from the copper. Do remove the Cu++ or better still, move the fish. I'd take the big risk and plunk it into my best reef tank. I've stated such before, but this family and their close relatives (e.g. the Rabbitfishes, Siganidae, scats: Scatophagidae, Idols: Zanclidae) can't take much in the way of sustained, let's make that chronic (more than a few days) copper treatments... kills off needed alimentary microbes.


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