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FAQs on Medications/Treatments 2

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

Related FAQs: Medications/Treatments 1, Medications/Treatments 3, Medicated/Augmented Foods/Feeding, & Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Antibiotic Use

Porites rus... with BGA

Sano remedies   7/28/06 Hi, <Hello there>        I would like to ask if you have ever heard of a product called "Sano remedies" and if so what you thought of it>  Thanks for all of your help. -  Dave <Not personally familiar with... but do not like/approve of their claims, labeling: http://www.northcoastmarines.com/hydroplex.htm Bob Fenner>

A Thanks and Success Stories 6/23/06 Greetings from humid Chicago! <Nice day today, and a nice weekend coming up.  Hello from Aurora.> I just wanted to say Thank you for all the time and effort you (everyone) put into the site. <We try.>  My betta, and work buddy, of almost two years came down with a nasty infection which led to him having Popeye in both eyes and severely swollen lips. He had also stopped eating. <An unhappy betta for sure.>  I immediately rushed him home that night and treated with new water with Epsom salt added to the water every day. After only 4 days he was looking normal, and after 6 days he was eating ravenously and after two weeks of treatment with just the Epsom salts and water changes he is happy and healthy again. <Nice work and congratulations.> A year ago all of you also helped me get through my first case of ich in my marine tank. Only having the tank for a year up until that point had caused me to panic from lack of experience. But after treating the effected fish with the proper doses of copper in his own tank and running the main tank fallow except for the inverts for 35 days we where parasite free!! <Its really not that bad is it.  Wish others would follow your actions.> (By the way, the effected fish had been in my main tank for 8 months following a 3 week stay in quarantine. <Not quite long enough, 4 to 6 weeks is better.> He came down with ich after a water change I had performed. I had never seen ich in my tank until then.) I know if it weren't for you guys/gals I probably would have been dumping Mela-Broken, QuickCure, Stop Parasites, (aka Tabasco sauce!!) and lord only knows into my main tanks and probably would have killed everything off! Thank you guys/gals again for all the years and wisdom of the HANDS ON experience you all posses!!  <Thank you for taking the time to learn how to properly take care of your fish and not just reaching for the quick and easy "solution".> Sincerely, Heather <Good to hear of your success and please pass on your knowledge and experiences to others.> <Chris>

Biological Filter Safe Medications  5/31/06 Hey Crew <Hi there, you have Leslie here this evening> It would be handy to have a list of medication that would not destroy the good bacteria in the bio-filter. <A good idea in theory perhaps but to be honest it is best not to add any medications to your tank.> What medication(s) would you recommend from your experience for bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections that is safe for the bio-filter? <So, I would not recommend using any medications in your display tank.  I would recommend removing the ailing critter to a quarantine tank and medicating it there. That said you may find the following article on www.syngnathid.org helpful ….A Description of Common Medications and Their Uses by Chris Burns http://www.syngnathid.org/articles/medications.html> This is for future reference, as it would be better to do the research now rather then when disease does strike! Many thanks again, Tim <Your welcome most welcome! Leslie>

Oscars eating Worms 7/27/05 What do you know about Melafix? < This is a derivative of the Melaleuca plant (Bottlebrush Family). Stores have been promoting it lately like it will cure everything. But based on the feedback we get here at WWM it does not seem as effective as antibiotics to cure diseases.> Can you tell me the pros or cons of feeding the Tiger Oscar Canadian Nightcrawlers?  These are the kinds of worms I purchased at Wal-Mart yesterday, but do not want to use them (when he does start eating again) if it will get him sick again. < This is a great food in moderation. These Nightcrawlers can be pretty big so I would use a night crawler no longer than one quarter the size of the Oscar. So a 4 inch Oscar would get a one inch piece of Nightcrawlers two to three times a week.-Chuck> Sick PYBT 7/23/05 I have a blue tang, and she is Sick. I took a video of her to a local pet store <Neat> and they said it looked like a gill parasite. <...> So I got the medication for her. Well today is day 2 and she is not any better. Today she has white spots, is it ich? <Maybe> The med. that I got is Rally Ruby Reef a copper free for fresh and marine fish with bacterial fin rot, gill flukes or marine parasites (e.g. marine velvet). <And whatever else that ails you... this product is garbage> It says on the back its safe when used in combination with Kick-Ich. <Another sham. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/homeopathfaqs.htm> What should I do. She is not looking good. She says in her cave sideways, and she will twitch at times. The other fish I have noticed or rubbing up on the rocks. The water test showed that the PH was a little low. 8.0. The rest is good. The person at the pet store said not to bring the PH up until I'm done medicating the tank.?   Any info would help. Thanks Hana <... learn to use the search tool, indices on WWM... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Um, Aloe vera ??  Whaaaaat ?? 7/22/05 Hey Bob and all.... <Sabrina> Uh, weird question.  I've never really thought about this - never had cause to. I'm working on a reply in which the querier has mentioned that she has basically force-fed a goldfish with juice squeezed from an Aloe vera leaf. Now, aside from the fact that Aloe vera tends to make me break out in hives, I would never have considered doing something like this with a fish.  I suppose, since it is essentially plant matter, that maybe it's not exactly harmful or dangerous - but I really don't know. Can anything good come of doing this?  Anything bad? I don't think I've raised my eyebrow this much since the kid who wanted a hammerhead shark.  Any thoughts? -Sabrina <Mmm, don't know... would take a while to look through the Net... is/was there some stated purpose for this trial? BobF>

Re: Um, Aloe vera ?? Whaaaaat ?? 7/22/05 <Mmm, don't know... would take a while to look through the Net... is/was there some stated purpose for this trial? BobF> I have sifted through the net for some time, found accounts of humans ingesting it....  sort of a home remedy for ulcers and the like.  I find no hard evidence of it being either helpful or harmful when used in this manner.  But that's still not a fish, is it?  I am completely at a loss; no idea what effect this would have on a fish. The original reason for this was that she had a typical bloaty goldfish - inadequate diet, gut blockages, you know the drill.  In her prior email, "Spinning Goldfish, Sabrina's Take - II - 04/05/2005", she had mentioned that she had tried to treat the fish "naturally".  I asked what she had tried, and in her new email sent a few days ago, she had explained. Turns out she had tried adding Aloe vera to the water and giving it to the fish orally with an eyedropper. Now, after a more adequate diet (though still with some, er, interesting food options, including oranges....) the goldfish is doing a great deal better.  She hasn't mentioned if she is still administering Aloe vera in this manner, but seems to imply that if she does, it is infrequent.  My gut inclination is to recommend that she not do the Aloe thing at all, and instead just stick with the "tried and true" good green veggie goldfish diet. Any/all thoughts appreciated.... -Sabrina

Re: Um, Aloe vera ??  Whaaaaat ?? 7/23/05 This is not necessarily such a misplaced idea.  Think about it - milk thistle is used for both humans and birds to treat liver ailments.  WWM recommends Epsom salts for a variety of problems, including to be used as a laxative, for fish.  Well, you read the box and that's what it does for people, too.  My own mother was forced to take aloe juice as a child.  I have personal experience of Aloe Vera's efficacy in treating burns, and used it to help heal when I started nursing my firstborn. However, because of its highly viscous nature I would not use it in the aquarium water itself, and knowing that there are other methods tried and true to treat problems in fancies, that's the direction I would lean in. While I fully believe that western medicine is generally a good thing, I also believe that, properly used/administered, there are lots of good, sensible natural remedies as well. As for what we hoomuns have done with our planet's weather, that's a whole other issue. Marina - Cooking in Buckhorn

Re: Um, Aloe vera ??  Whaaaaat ?? 7/23/05 > However, because of its highly viscous nature I > would not use it in the > aquarium water itself, and knowing that there are > other methods tried and true > to treat problems in fancies, that's the direction I > would lean in. Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking, as well. We know that a goldfish with floaty equilibrium problems and fed a very poor diet may have a gut blockage causing the problems.  And we know that a proper diet, possibly coupled with Epsom salts, can help to alleviate the problems.  So....  that's pretty much where I'm headed with this.  Sticking to the "knowns", and leaving the "unknowns" to more adventurous folks than myself. > While I fully believe that western medicine is > generally a good thing, I also > believe that, properly used/administered, there are > lots of good, sensible > natural remedies as well. Certainly....  But have you any idea what sort of dosage one might offer to a goldfish with no wounds suffering from a gut blockage?  The gross lack of data here is what concerns me most.  How much could be too much?  Does it become harmful at a certain amount? Does the handling involved in administering this outweigh any benefits that could be gained in using it?  And so forth.  I guess maybe I have a hard time breaking out of my comfort zone. -Sabrina Paraguard same as Formalin? Hello Everyone, just have a quick question regarding Paraguard by Seachem. I bought this product under the assumption that it was a Formalin product, however now I find that it is Malachite Green and Gluteraldehyde. <Yes> Currently I am trying to cure a clownfish of Ick and am a little hesitant to use copper. Anyways, wouldn't Gluteraldehyde have the same mechanism of crosslinking protein as Formalin would? <To some extent, yes> So is Paraguard an alternative to Formalin, or should I possibly look for another medication? Also can you possibly list a few Formalin based products (For whatever reason I cant seem to find any). Thanks a lot for you help and time, you guys rock -Mark <Mmm, up to you... there are a few approaches to "treating" for Cryptocaryon infestations... which you can review on WWM... I would not expose your fish or yourself to formalin/formaldehyde or Gluteraldehyde for any extended period of time... better to use as an extended dip or bath... You do know the life cycle of this parasite? The need to isolate hosts? All hosts? Copper is hard on amphiprionines... but most folks don't have the patience, diligence to use other compounds, keep changing water... Bob Fenner>

- Using Methylene Blue - Hello - I have read Bob's method of using Methylene blue and freshwater in a dip before you put the fish in a QT.  A Couple of questions for you on this.  <Ok.> 1) How long should you keep the fish in this alone?  <Ideally at least five minutes... longer if the fish will tolerate it.>  Also, if the fish does not seem to mind this dip should I acclimate him to the QT tank while keeping him in this solution?  <Don't bother with acclimation, just dip the fish and then place into the quarantine tank.> 2) What kinds of invertebrates will not tolerate this kind of dip?  <None.> 3) Would this work on corals?  <Not at all.> I just lost 8 fish in my main display to a parasite and do not want this to happen again. Will always QT everything before putting them in main display now. FYI - I am keeping my main display fish free for 6 weeks to make sure the parasite is gone. Will try my best to make sure no others will make there way in there.  <Sounds good.> Thanks for all the help guys.  Tom  <Cheers, J -- > 

-Cloudy Eyed Angel- Hey guys, <Hello> How are you? <Recovering well>  Can formalin create cloudy eyes on an angel when using it in quarantine?<<Definitely can, will, given enough exposure. RMF>> <Well the actual formalin? Not that I know of. What happens is that the formalin kills off a lot of the beneficial bacteria as well as parasites, so the cloudiness seen in the eyes is because of deteriorating water quality. To help fix this, change out 25% of the water or so and then add some Epsom salt to the water as well using this formula. 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons. This will release the pressure built up behind the eyes and keep them from developing an infection. Hope this helps. Justin (Jager)> 

Quarantine torture Hey Bob, thanks for the opportunity to reach help when needed (and GREAT book!!!). Just had a quick question regarding an Emperor angel (6inch) in a 20g QT tank. No matter how hard I try I cannot keep my nitrite levels below 0.25.  <Okay for the duration of quarantine> I have tried water changes every day with vacuuming, bacteria (cycle) and nothing seems to keep nitrites down. I even tested immediately after water change and the level barely even moved a bit. <Your fish is excreting ammonia...about this amount continuously...> Right now I am treating with malachite green and formalin for parasites because the angel is darting and flashing in the tank with no signs of velvet or white spot, is this the right choice of medicine? <Actually... no... Much of the darting and flashing is likely due to the very "medicine" being administered... CAREFULLY hold the open bottle near your nose, face... toxic and unpleasant... I would NOT use formalin in this setting, for any purpose> I refuse to use copper again only as an absolute last resort because I killed a beautiful long nose butterfly from too much copper because of a faulty test kit. And, what can I do to get these nitrates to zero and is 0.25 nitrites ok for a short period of time in QT until I get rid of these parasites? <Yes... if there are parasites... I would dip the fish... move it to all new water... see if it actually develops spots...> Please, I need some help I would appreciate it if you could respond whenever you're able to. The angel is hiding a lot and not swimming much but fins aren't clamped he's eating very well and he's alert looking at me through glass, I'm hoping this is normal. Thanks so much Bob.  Jay  <Jay... from your note here I have little idea of what you're trying to accomplish with this angel... Bob Fenner>

Hippo Tang scratching, Kick Ich product SCAM, Good Day <Hello> Well, my Hippo tang is scratching persistently and my yellow tang is   scratching now.  I knew I should have waited about the Kick Ich -- that is  one $31.00 lesson I learned. <This product... how many more times do I have to state this?... is an outright SCAM... there are NO reef safe anti-Cryptocaryon cures... NONE... What leads people to believe there could be? What would select this protozoan and yet leave others be? Arggggh!>   I have a 20 gallon QT tank I am going to set  up today.   Should I use 10 gallons of water from my tank and 10 gallons of  fresh saltwater or should all 20 gallons be fresh saltwater since I do not know  what is going on in my tank? <I would use the current aquarium water... less stress, comes with beneficial microbes... the ich will be killed...> My yellow tangs cloudy eye has healed, but he  still has the large brown spots on him and his lips seem to have a little  brownish color around them today.  With what and how should I treat my fish  once I get them into the QT tank?  All your help is greatly  appreciated. Sherry <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files (in blue, above) where you lead yourself... QUICKLY... and act with knowledge. Bob Fenner>

Questions, nature of the Net, using WWM How long should I wait to do water changes after I changed the filter cartridge? <Good question... depends...> My Fish has ich and I just changed the cartridge, so do I remove the cartridge during medication application. Do I have to use an airstone or does oxygen diffuse into the water when it is turn by the filter? For my Marine Tank, is the Turboflotor series a good skimmer? Jahner <Please read on WetWebMedia.com re these questions. There are many "side issues", questions that in turn will be raised by your queries here... like the possible branches of a tree... not valuable to ask, wait for answers to subsequent likely branches, branchlets... Study my friend. Bob Fenner>

Air for Oxygen? >Do I have to use an airstone or does oxygen diffuse into the water when it is turn [sic] by the filter when its cartridge is removed?  >>This is a bit of a confusing question, I'm not sure what you'd like to know, but here goes. Surface agitation of the water WILL allow good oxygen saturation and diffusion of carbon dioxide.  >I wasn't given an answer to this question and I need if I am to save my fish while they are being treated with medicine. When am I allowed to do a water change after the filter cartridge has been changed? Jahner >>Ok, I'm going to just shoot from the hip and make some extrapolations. I think what you'd like to know is how the water's O2 saturation is going to be affected because you've had to remove the carbon filter while medicating. It will NOT be negatively affected because the filter is being operated without carbon. However, I would watch that the filter's impeller does not become clogged with detritus, that will make it stop functioning. As for water changing, that should be done DURING medication, adding fresh medication to the "new" water before being added to the tank. Then, when finished medicating, another water change, then replace the cartridge, then a week later (sooner if needed), another water change AND a good rinse OR full replacement of the filter cartridge will ensure all medication has been removed safely. I do hope this answers your questions well. Marina 

No Question But A Confirmation. Ruby Reef's Kick-Ich I thoroughly enjoy your site and the information. <Me too> A number of references have been made regarding Ruby Reef's Kick-Ich.  My experience with the product has also not been good. <It's a sham> There seems to be a significant "unexplained" mortality rate when using this product. Fish that have no visible signs of ich are found floating within 12 hours of dosage even though all directions are carefully followed. Slime slothing [sloughing] was witnessed in most of the fish. <You would observe the same results from pouring in most any kitchen food product... vinegar, mustard...> The fish become lethargic for a period of time, followed by air gulping even though water quality is good and there are no ammonia traces, at the same time, fish with swim bladders seem to lose control of buoyancy, become weaker and die. <Yes> Transfer of the fish to another system void of the "medication" does not seem to help, however it may if the fish are transferred as soon as any type of behavior change is noted.  <Good descriptions> Fish with ich show no signs of improvement but worse than that they seem to attract the ich like magnets during the secondary bloom. <I concur> At the end of the treatment cycle when the protein skimmer is turned back on cups and cups of effluent are generated even though Nitrate, nitrite levels are imperceptible. This may be a bacteria bloom in the skimmer itself however its more likely a reaction between the product and the skimmer bacteria.  John <You[r] and I's [my] observations agree... the product is worse than worthless... as it leads people to believe they're actually "doing something" of value, helping their livestock. Bob Fenner>

Lack of knowledge, phony medicines, Crypt I have a Lionfish and a Foxface Fish in a 75g tank. All of the parameters are fine. I've been trying to kick some sort of parasite or ich out of my tank. I am losing the battle. <... are you inferring you've been treating the main tank with some sort of chemical regimen? Not smart> I've already lost my Kole Tang and Basslet Fish. I've been using Rally and Kick Ich with no positive results. <These products are worst than worthless... they are toxic placebos concerning parasite treatment> I've even aerated the tank as much as possible to help the fish breathe and I am currently losing the battle. I even tried to over medicate the tank to help with it but, it is not working. <...> I am to the point I am going to abandon my main 75g tank and move the remaining inhabitants, Foxface Fish and live rock into a 10g tank. <Oh, good idea> What do I need to do to the main tank to get rid of ich and the parasites once the inhabitants have been removed? After I moving the occupants should I do a water change and leave it empty? All medications have not helped my fight against the parasite/Ich. Help <Uhh, time to study, then act. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Concentration conversion units, equivalents Ok one more question on all this.  For testing my copper levels I got a Sea Chem test but it reads in mg/L instead of ppm's.  It says 2 ppm reading is strong enough to kill everything off except the fish, but what does that translate into mg/L?  Good question here, hopefully someone can answer this one. <They mean the same thing. Dosages are calculated in parts per million (ppm). A part per million equals 1 milligram of chemical in 1,000 milliliters of water. It also equals 3.8 milligrams in one U.S. gallon of water, so 0.0038 is the conversion factor to change from metric units to gallons, since 38 milligrams per gallon result in 1 ppm. From "Aquariology-The Science of Fish Health Management", by Dr. John B. Gratzek, Tetra Press,1992, Pg 312.-Chuck.> Jeff Fortier

Singing The Methylene Blues? (Which Methylene Blue Is The Right One?)  Before I begin I want to thank all of you for the great things you do for the visitors of this site. I hope to emulate someday.  <So glad that you enjoy the site! Scott F. here today>  I have been searching for sources of Methylene blue. Not a very big deal, but which is the sort used for dips? I have come across Methylene blue thiocyanate, Methylene blue trihydrate, etc. Obviously, I don't want to throw some fish into the wrong stuff.  Thanks, Barry Jennings  <Well, Barry- that's a neat question- but, being a simple guy, I can offer a simple answer: I'd only use a brand of Methylene blue specifically packaged for aquarium use; many brands can be found on various e-tailers throughout the internet, or at your local fish store. With very few exceptions, when in doubt, I'd always pay a bit extra for the aquarium-specific product...Better safe than sorry. Hope this sets you on the right course! Regards, Scott F.>

Rid-Ich Overdose? Follow-up (4/2/04) Steve, <Hi again.> Thanks a lot. Here are some answers to your questions... a) The fish were in there for 3 days before the ich epidemic.  <They may well have brought this ich in with them, just not visible yet.> b) The QT was empty for a month+ before the fish were introduced. <I highly doubt any ich was left viable in there.> c) Yes I had 10 lbs of live rock in the QT for the angel to feed on and tried to salvage it after the mess-up and moved it back to the display.  <I would advise against LR in QT. Most angels will eat enough frozen, flake, or pellet food to sustain themselves during that period.> d) QT also had a blue legged hermit crab that wasn't affected. f) The recommended dosing of rid ick is one teaspoon per 10 gallons. And within parentheses it said 5ml. That's how I ended up with 9ml. I did a 50% water change an hour before the dosing.  <Well, then you did not exceed the recommended dose. Hard to day why they died. As previously mentioned, I'd suggest more fallow time and patience in re-stocking. Consider adding only one fish at a time to the QT. I know it will take a lot longer, but it decreases the risks of problems.> Thank You. <You're welcome, and good luck.>

Hyposalinity Therapy And Inverts... Hello to all at WWM: I have what I hope to be a relatively quick question. I just introduced a  flame angel in my 110 gal system and guess what.....he has ick. This is after 2 week QT and eating beautifully. <Bummer. I don't know if it would have made a difference in this case, but I usually recommend a 3-4 week quarantine period, just to give any potential diseases a little longer to manifest themselves...> Here lies my problem...I would like to use the hyposalinity therapy which I have found very effective in the past, but this time I have brittle stars involved. Right now I have two brittle stars in the tank that are fairly large, body about the size of a quarter and legs around 6 in. My problem is I am having a problem trying to get them out with all the rock, etc. I know they can't handle an SG of 1.010. At this point the angel only has a few spots (it's been about a week). I have lowered the SG to 1.016 and have been feeding foods soaked in garlic and vitamins. <Unproven, but potentially a viable treatment...> The other fish in the tank show no signs of infection......but you know ick! I was wondering if I keep the SG at this level will the brittle stars be able to handle it for awhile? <It would be  a risky proposition, in my opinion...> I lowered the SG primarily to ease the osmotic pressure for the fish and just in case I can lower it quicker from 1.016 to 1.010 than from its original level of 1.022. From what I have read this approach may be effective..... <It has proven effective in many instances. However, I have not favored this technique, myself. I have seen it to be rather hit or miss...I prefer more aggressive treatment courses in a separate aquarium, for the greater degree of control that is afforded...Not he best way, but that's what has worked best for me...> I guess I'll know as the life cycle of the ich has a chance to proceed. If I couldn't catch the brittle stars, I was thinking of using a product from Chem-Marin's Stop Parasites. Have you heard or used this product? <I have heard of the product, and I have seen it marketed as "reef safe". I am always a bit cautious about products described in this manner. Think about it: How can a cure target just the ciliated protozoan that causes ich, without causing damage to physiologically analogous benign animals that reside in a reef system? Your guess is as good as mine. I won't bad mouth a product that I have not used...I just recommend keeping a skeptical eye with this, or any product. Try the product if you must- but I'd use it-or any treatment product- in a separate treatment aquarium. It seems to be effective without using chemicals. <Let us know if it works for you.>    Thanks for your most valuable input, Gene <A pleasure, Gene. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Medicated foods 10/13/03 Anthony, Thank you.  Do you have any recommendations in terms of the medicated pellets?  Take care.  Kim Olson <homemade recipes are the most potent and effective, but require some effort to make (consult a fish disease book or Bobs Conscientious Marine Aquarist book for DIY food recipes). Else, seek Tetras medicated food sticks. Best of luck, Anthony>

Fishy Pharmacy Essentials! Hi Scott, <Hey there!> Back again! <Glad that you're back!> Thanks for all the help.  Just a quick one if you have the time. <Sure> My mom has volunteered to seed a pet fish care package. Can't find much here in the way of medications (assume I will need some at some point). <Unfortunately, it's an all to common need!> What things would you not be without in your medicine chest (fish and inverts)?  From what I have read, thought Formalin, Methylene blue, copper? <You read my mind! The only other medication that I might consider is an antibiotic, like Maracyn.> Anything else?  Any brand names you are particularly fond of? <I like Seachem, Mardel, and Kordon for medications, myself.> Thanks again. Best regards, Jim <My pleasure, Jim! Just a thought- there may be some limitations as to what medications/chemicals you can ship internationally....Do have your mom check this out before she sends this care package! Regards, Scott F>

Say No To Copper (Treating A Centropyge With Ich) Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a Centropyge bispinosus with Ich. Is copper a safe treatment with this species. Or is hyposalinity a better route for them. Thank You. David <Well, David, I'd recommend using a Formalin-based remedy with Centropyge species, augmented with freshwater dips. I'm not a big fan of hyposalinity, myself... Copper can be rough on them. I hope that this helps! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Pop-eye Medication - Every article I read on swollen eye in marine fish I am told to use penicillin. <Interesting... this problem is usually due to an insult directly to the eye in question, although sometimes it is bacteria related. I wouldn't bother with penicillin.> I have ordered this medication from several online suppliers and the results have been the same, I am told shortage in the us and this is not available. What can I substitute for penicillin. <Try Epsom salts, one teaspoon per five gallons.> Thanks for any help you can give me. FRED <Cheers, J -- >

Eliminating Medication From Tank Water Hi Scott, <Hi there again!> The marks on my lionfish are now completely gone and he seems fine, acting normally and looks quite happy. <Glad to hear that!> My question is, what should I be looking out for as a result of adding the treatment to my tank? I can't see anything wrong with my eel or the rest of the tank, but I am a beginner and may be overlooking something. Should I do a partial water change just to help the tank recover? Regards, Andrew Ickeringill <Well, Andrew, I'd monitor basic water parameters, such as ammonia and nitrite, just to make sure that the biological filtration process has not been interrupted. In the absence of any measurable problems with water chemistry, I'd conduct some regular small water changes and run Poly Filter and/or activated carbon to help remove what might be left of the medications. All in all, the amount present in your system is probably negligible, but it's worth checking out...Glad to hear that all is moving along well! Regards, Scott F>

Scratches or Fungus Patches? Hi Bob, <Scott F. in for Bob today!> I recently purchased a lionfish and it wasn't till I got it home and in the tank that I noticed what looked like little scratches on the side of his body. I inspected him at the store but must have missed these marks somehow… <Not hard to do, as the fish's coloration can make these kinds of marks difficult to distinguish> I've been told it could be some kind of fungal problem. Just the other day I tested my water for nitrate, nitrite, salinity, ph etc. and everything is fine, so will he get better by himself or should I add some treatment to my tank? <Well, I think I'd hold off on medicating the fish (particularly in the display tank, which is an absolute "no-no" in my book) until you have a chance to observe him some more. Is the fish eating and behaving normally? Does it appear to be scratching, or having difficulty breathing? Is there a lot of mucus or slime being exuded from the fish's body? Any other skin problems? It may simply be that the "scratches" are just that- scratches, and they may go away by simply providing excellent environmental conditions. Also, these fishes do go through an occasional "sloughing" of skin, where they exhibit all kinds of weird behaviors, such as "coughing" or "twitching". Keep a close eye on this guy for a few more days to see if things get worse...In the mean time, read up on fungal conditions on the WWM site to see if this is, indeed what you're seeing...> I also have a gold spot eel in the tank with the lionfish, I have no other tank for quarantine purposes. <Well, you really want to avoid medicating in the main tank, if that becomes necessary. Eels can be sensitive to certain medications. If it turns out to be a condition that requires medication, I'd consider temporary quarters for the fish in the form of a plastic garbage can or storage container, equipped with a filter and heater. Ultimately, you should consider investing in the simple items that you need for a quarantine tank. The tank and associated quarantine procedure will more than pay for itself in terms of fish lives saved (and heartache spared for you) in a very short time!> I am new to this, but I made sure all conditions in the tank were perfect before I started adding fish, and now this happens, what a disappointment!! Regards, Andrew Ickeringill <Well, you did all that you could- don't blame yourself! But I would very carefully observe the fish and make good and certain that you are dealing with a medical problem before rushing to "treat" the fish...Improperly medicating a fish can sometimes be more lethal than the "malady" that you're "treating" for! Keep a positive attitude, and hang in there! Let us know if you need further help! Regards, Scott F>

Scratches Or Fungus Patches (Pt.2) Hi Scott, <Hi Andrew!> Thanks for your advice, however I think I have made a mistake... the guy at the pet store told me to just add the treatment to my tank, so I did last night and again this morning. <Uh- Oh..> Should I stop this immediately and just see how the lionfish goes? <Well, at this point, the "damage is done" as they say, but I would still stop and see if the medication has any impact on the "condition". We still were not 100% certain what we were dealing with here, so I'm a bit concerned over the necessity of medicating.> Will adding the treatment to the tank twice affect anything? <Well, it's hard to say- lots of factors, particularly important is-what is the medication that you're using? The potential for damage to biological filtration and other "collateral damage" to desirable life forms in the display is a big part of why I don't recommend treatments in the display tank. However, some medications do become "bound up" in substrate materials, where they become substantially less effective...All in all- I'd still cease dosing any medication until you ascertain exactly what it is you're dealing with...Unfortunately, I'm here and you're there- so it's sort of hard for me to "diagnose" the animal without some good pictures. You may, indeed have to rely on some local help to confirm the malady. Again, however, if it is necessary to medicate the fish, I'd refrain from treating in the display tank if you can! (I will stop adding the treatment until I hear back from you) Thanks Scott. Regards, Andrew Ickeringill <Your welcome! I'd continue to seek some local help in diagnosing this illness before continuing a course of treatment (in a separate container, of course!). Hang in there! Good luck! Scott F>

Methylene Blue, Formalin effects dear  Bob! would you please let me know the answer of my following questions: 1- it is mentioned that "Methylene blue" that is a common chemical for disinfection of fish egg, also has another function ,so that increase the animal pole of the egg's this correct? <Yes, a "side-effect"> if is, why the development of animal region of egg is important? <To enhance development> 2- also, in some reference we read about the use of Formalin (for disinfecting the culture media) for example 12 or 24 hours before introducing the fish or rotifer in the culture). what is the reason? <To reduce the likelihood of microbial, protozoal competition, disease> does Formalin loss its effect after these times .doesn't it have any danger for cultured organisms after this time. <Indeed it does. Depending on many circumstances, BOD, temperature... there might well be sufficient residue to kill all. I would rinse the containers thoroughly before using. Bob Fenner> regards Reza

- Finding Mercurochrome - I see that mercurochrome has been advised for the condition of one of my fish.  I do not know where I can currently buy it. <Look for Merbromin, which is marketed in the pet-fish trade as 'Wound Control' by Aquatronics. Can also be had at the pharmacy or veterinarian.> Could you supply me with an address where I can purchase it now. <No addresses, I would use your favorite Internet search tool.> Thank you. Daniel <Cheers, J -- >

Organi-Cure    Hi Bob Fenner,    My name is Skyler Warner, and I live in Southern Oregon.  I was recently reading some of your messages/past emails on the Organi-Cure product.  It seemed that the more I read, the more I heard of disappointment of the product.  However, I may be quoted as a source to say that "Organi-Cure works great."  I had a beautiful Cowfish that had some Ich on its fins and eyes.  When I introduced my second engineer goby (which didn't have Ich), it became "infested" with Ich.  That's when I got concerned.  I asked my boss at Fish World and Exotic Pets in Grants Pass, Oregon what to do and one of his options was the Organi-Cure product.  He gave it to me for free so how could I resist.  The total time that I had to treat the tank (75 gallons) was approximately 1.5 weeks and all fish have survived.  Now that the Ich seems to be gone, I am going to discontinue use. <Good to hear of your success>    I do have some questions, however.  Is it OK to place any type(s) of shrimps into the tank now (Cleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, or Fire Shrimp)? or does the copper level have to be much lower or unreadable? <Should be undetectable... many folks use chemical filters like PolyFilter or activated carbon to remove ongoing residual copper> Can multiples go together? <Can be done in large enough, well decorated quarters... you can find this information on WetWebMedia.com... perhaps the Google search tool or the indices would aid you...> I do have a snowflake eel, juvenile dragon wrasse, 2 engineer gobies, cowfish, Huma Huma triggerfish, and a large hermit crab. <Uhh, in which case forget the shrimps... most of the above will consume them in time if not immediately>    Also, can I keep multiple hermit crabs together?    I'd appreciate your response,    Skyler Warner <Please see WWM. Bob Fenner>

Treating with Chemicals to get rid of Ich and/or Velvet and/on Clownfish disease? (All in marine tank, bare-bottom).<there are many factors involved here, brand of medication, concentration of chemicals, how sick the fish is, the type of fish being treated, etc, Do go to this link and scroll down to the section on diseases and treatments http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarInd3of6.htm > Thank you,<Hope it helps, IanB> Luke

Medicine Mayhem Hi Scott, <Hello again!> How dense are the dots in case of Ich or Velvet? What about skin pealing of (mucus) is that only in Velvet case? <Well, you will see a velvety looking substance coming of the fish...However, Brooklynella has some similar symptoms, but respiratory difficulties are the usual giveaway that you're dealing with Amyloodinium, in my experience> What about the products that have formaldehyde/malachite green as a combo? They also claim to be bio-filter safe, I've found mixed opinion in literature, on the box it says that they are safe, other people say they will wipe out the good bacteria :-( <I can only speak from experience...I have not experienced any disasters from these meds (which is not to say that a disaster couldn't happen, of course), so I would follow the instructions of a reputable product to the letter...> How effective are those formaldehyde/mg meds for Ich/Velvet? Is dosing at 1drop/gallon for three days only enough? (as claimed on the boxes) Thanks, Luke <Well, Luke- I prefer copper sulphate for this disease, myself, so I cannot really comment on the effectiveness of the other products. Do a little research, and go with what you feel comfortable using! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Quick Cure Medication 6/7/03 Hi I was wondering if I could use A parasite killer called quick cure on my yellow tang it says the ingredients are Formalin and Malachite green? thanks JM <you certainly can... and the combination of ingredients in this product are one of the very best treatments for external parasites on fishes. However, it cannot/should not like most medications ever be dosed in the main tank (efficacy and contamination of/by the sand/gravel/rocks). Please be sure to only dose and treat animals in a proper bare-bottomed hospital tank. Kind regards, Anthony>

Chemicals wiping out the beneficial bacteria I'm treating in a bare-bottom tank with a sponge filter from previously established tank. I wonder if any of the following will wipe out the filter and the tank/filter will have to start cycling from the scratch: - formaldehyde? - malachite green? <Formalin and formalin/malachite solutions are probably too dangerous and may well be disallowed by law in your area, they are in California. These cross-link peptides indiscriminately, destroying any and all proteins they come in contact with. In a very real sense, you're poisoning the "good guys" as well as the "bad". Hopefully the latter faster than the former. Due to their narrow range of safety, toxicity to livestock and handler, and legal constraints, I would avoid formalin mixtures for pet-fish applications. Malachite green, zinc-free is no longer even used at most government labs and fish hatcheries. Found this on the site> - chelated copper sulfate? <yes, these chemicals will most likely wipe out the biological filtration and you will have to start cycling over again> Thank you,<your welcome, IanB> Luke

Re: Chemicals for treating fish Should the skimmer be turned off (for how long) when these products are added?<yes, I would turn the skimmer off until the fish that you are treating have been treated> I've noticed that when I added mal. green the skimmer cup was holding all green liquid after only a few minutes...<yes, the skimmer will take the chemicals right out of the water, the best way to get the chemicals out afterwards is to add a PolyFilter or activated carbon> Thank you,<your welcome, IanB> Luke

"Reef Safe" Medications? Hi, I'm wondering if there are any meds for gill flukes, velvet or bacterial infections  that are safe to use with inverts, live rock and bio filtration? So far I was only able to find reef-safe meds for Ich...Thank you, Luke <Well, Luke, IMO, there are really no 100% "reef safe" medications for these diseases. Any substance that can allegedly target just a disease without collateral damage to physiologically similar, yet beneficial creatures, seems suspect, at the least. Really, for the benefit of all of the animals we keep, disease treatment using medications should only occur in a separate hospital tank. It allows better control, closer monitoring opportunity, and no prospect of damaging desirable animals. Just my 2 cents on the subject! Scott F>

Will Melafix harm crabs or frogs? >>To the best of my knowledge, no, it won't.  Another good broad spectrum antibiotic (the one used at the LBAOP) is Spectrogram.  It's even used for invertebrates (since it's "The Aquarium of the Pacific it's dedicated to saltwater only, but still, good stuff to know).  Marina

Garlic, ich "medications" >Hello Bob... >>Hello, Marina here. >I have problem .. my yellow tang started showing signs of ich about 4 days ago. Since I have a reef, I couldn't add any meds to the tank, so I took the advice of a friend who runs a pet shop and started adding liquid garlic to the food I feed my fish. He said the parasites couldn't stand the taste of the garlic in the fish's system and they'd drop off. >>This is arguable.  Did you know that, because of the life cycle of the ich protozoan they would fall of anyway?  There are *only* two known, proven methods of curing ich (garlic is NOT one of them)--hyposalinity (<1.010) and copper.  I happen to disagree with the use of garlic as an ich curative, there is only evidence that shows it might stimulate feeding, however, all evidence to date in favor of garlic is anecdotal at best.  If I recollect correctly, there was a recent article in Advanced Aquarium (I believe you can find it at http://www.reefs.org ) regarding what garlic can and cannot do.  Do try to check it out. >Well they did in fact drop off after two days.  The tang is now clear.   >>For now.  You don't see any ich right now, this does not mean that the tang is clear, though.  It only means that the parasite has completed one stage of its life cycle and has moved on to another.  This would have happened with or without the use of the garlic. >Now my problem now is... my two black clowns and my potter's angel have something like a body fungus or maybe velvet, I'm not sure. >>Not surprising.  Expect all vertebrates to be stressed at this point, *especially* the Potter's angel.  They really don't perform well in captivity, and are best left to those with extensive experience.  This is outlined on the site as well as Bob's last book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". >It looks patchy, but is taking over there entire body, like a coating.   >>This does sound a bit like velvet, though it could signal that they've now been infected with a particularly heavy ich infestation.  This is not good.  Have you searched the site for treatment and information?  If not, please let me link you--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm  also, do search www.reefs.org/library (as well as the archives on site), and do a general Google search. >I started a hospital tank today using water from my reef tank so I didn't shock them anymore and added copper safe to the tank. >>Good, a bit late, but better than never.  Now, you MUST get all the fish in there as well, or you'll never get rid of the ich or velvet (should that prove to be the disease). >Since I put them in...in about a hour's time the slime that's covering there body (whatever it is) is starting to hang off them (kinda stringy).  The fish are now darting around trying to scratch, where they weren't before.  Also the potter is breathing really heavy.  My question is... is this normal and should I use something in conjunction with the copper safe like Maracyn, just in case it is an actual bacterial infection.   >>This sounds as though all the fish are stressed, and there may be several factors occurring.  Without having a box of the meds in front of me I can't tell you whether or not it would be safe to use the two in conjunction, though I believe you can.  My own antibiotic of choice is Spectrogram, then Melafix.  Since you're medicating with the copper anyway (you MUST have a test kit for copper as well) then I suggest either reading the literature that comes with the medication, and if it says nothing then contact the manufacturer.  Also, give all fish a freshwater dip IF (and only if) they are not severely stressed already.  I do suspect you have a raging infesting presenting in these fish, though, and they're very stressed. >Can you use both Coppersafe and Maracyn at the same time?  The fish were eating normal, and the hospital tank is being aerated well. >>It is VERY important that you not allow any buildup of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates.  Therefore, have on hand enough mixed, fresh saltwater to change out the q/t three times over AT LEAST.  Be sure that the q/t is bare on the bottom, and when you change the water siphon off the entire bottom of the tank well, this will help remove dropped parasitic cysts.  More is definitely better.  Now, you have ALL the fish in quarantine, and you *must* allow the display tank to remain fallow for six weeks MINIMUM.  Being as how you have such a severe infection I'm going to push you strongly to go a full eight weeks fallow before introducing the fish back. >Any help is greatly appreciated.  Gary B. >>Let's get this part out of the way, and we'll move on from there.  You can continue to use the garlic if it seems to stimulate feeding, but also be sure to offer copious amounts of Nori and romaine, as well as the best quality frozen foods you can find.  Also, if the fish are spooky, give them good cover in the form of PVC elbows, and even covering up parts of the q/t tank.

Methylene Blue and Inverts I just purchased a clownfish and a cleaner shrimp from my LFS.  I want to dip the fish with a fw/Methylene blue dip then an intermediate SW dip (to cleanse the chemicals) before finally placing him in the quarantine tank.   >>I'm a proponent of freshwater dips for fish.  The Methylene blue is something I don't normally use, but it won't hurt for a dip.  It can affect nitrifying bacteria if left to pickle, though. As for the cleaner shrimp, I'm just going to dip him in the intermediate dip to basically rinse off the LFS' water then place him in the quarantine.  I know that Methylene blue is not supposed to be used for inverts so will I have a problem with cross contamination (i.e. the nets I use and the common quarantine tank)?  I can only afford one quarantine setup.  I'm hoping the intermediate dip will rinse off most of the Methylene blue so as not to cause a problem with the shrimp. >>Just rinse the nets, and as long as you've changed out the water with the Meth. blue I see no problems.  It isn't quite as problematic for inverts as copper is, for instance.  You appear to be taking good care and showing fair caution. Also, I will rinse the nets thoroughly with tapwater between scooping.  Will this be enough to keep the shrimp safe?   >>Yes.  I think so. In addition, will the net used for scooping the fish up from the Methylene blue dip and the actual dip container be contaminated w/ Methylene blue forever (i.e. to the point where I can never use it to scoop inverts)?   >>No, a good rinse should suffice. Sorry for the barrage of questions, but here's a few more:  I'm using 0.75 ml of Methylene blue solution (store-bought, 5% Methylene blue) for the quarter-gallon dip...is that sufficient?  Thanks in advance.   >>Not having used it for pre-q/t dips, I couldn't be more specific, but it sounds as though you'll be golden.  Just be sure to watch the fish for signs of distress and don't worry about holding to any "hard and fast" rules for dipping.   Marina

Fish shedding parts I & II  2/8/03 Piggy the lionfish is starting to change colors and act a little funny.  I read a couple of things about shedding and wondered if any of you had seen this and could describe it for me.  Like what parts do they shed and how often etc. <categorically shedding ("sloughing" is not normal or healthy for most fishes. It is a sign of extreme duress. Usually comprised of mucus, it is tripped by a virulent parasitic infection, or more often by severe changes in water quality (ammonia burn, acidosis from low pH, overmedication, etc)> Also we were looking at a DSB and I saw a reference somewhere on your site for mixing live sand with some kind of sand from Home Depot  to get the required amount.  Is this all right to do and if so could you tell me exactly what kind of sand to use.  I believe I read that on one of the FAQs that Anthony answered, but I'm not sure. <true... most aragonite sand it all the same. Just packaged and marketed differently. Home Depot sells "South Down" brand child's play sand that says on the bag "Caribbean beach sand". It also says not for aquarium use because they have a big contract with a notable aquarium sand distributor that charges a lot more fore the same stuff> Thanks for the help Bryan Flanigan ** Piggy the Lionfish Part II Hey guys and gals, Piggy the lion is looking much worse--much much worse. <have you tested all of your water chemistry? Please do. And then follow that wish a water change (as large as can be done safely)> He is currently laying against a rock, kind of on his side, his gills are working pretty hard.  He won't move when we open the cover (he usually comes right up to the top).  His overall color has kind of went from brown and cream to brown and pinkish brown. The color change has been gradual starting about a week ago.  There are no spots or anything unusual that I can see. <has there been an addition of a new fish, rock, plant or coral without quarantine recently? Perhaps a disease was introduced> I feed him frozen prawn and squid. He hasn't really eaten in about 3 days <no worries on the lack of food> I've rechecked all the water tests salinity 1.022, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates around 5, ph 8.2 just like it always is.  The temp is 80. Nothing I have read about shedding remotely resembles this. <do move this fish to a QT  tank then and treat with Formalin... never copper with scaleless fishes> I fear he will be bacon in the morning.  I know that's not funny Any suggestions would be appreciated <read through the archives here at WWM on disease and learn freshwater dip protocol... do that until you can get Formalin> Bryan Flanigan Piggy the Lionfish <best regards, Anthony>

Fish Shedding part III (dosing with Formalin) 2/8/03 Hi Anthony- I just mixed up 20 gallons of new water 5 hours ago for a new piece of live rock which is in it.  Can I put him in there or is that too soon after mixing.   <if it has been aerated and has turned clear, it is likely OK (albeit quick). Also, the temperature must be right on and not raised by using hot water (low dissolved O2). Still... all raw water however well-aged is never recommended. Too stressful. Steal some away for the tank and swap with aquarium water. Have no fear of a communicable pathogen... if its there, we know its coming in with the fish anyway. Plus... few cysts are in the water... their are on the body or on the substrate pending hatch. So... take some old water and mix it in please> There has only been one addition, a piece of rock with a couple of polyps and feathery things growing on it.   <likely not a huge risk unless it was bough from a tank that had fish in it recently (in which case it was no different than adding a sick fish without QT). Indeed, the rule of thumb for safety is that every thing wet (plant, algae, rock, fish, coral, sand, etc) gets QT for 4 weeks. Only then can you have piece of mind> It does have a large area that has become completely covered with a dark thick reddish black covering that is slowly spreading to cover the whole piece of rock.   <not related... simply a BGA> Also, my wife is a nurse and has access to 10% Formalin.  Is that it?   <we can use it. Standard fish solutions are actually 35-40%. With this concentration we dose 2-4 ml per 10 liters of saltwater in a bucket (heated) for 30 minutes. With your 10% solution, use 10ml per 10 l (say 3 gallons)> It would be the fastest place to get it. <go for it bub... do this dip daily for 3-5 days minimum. QT tank should be bare bottomed, unlit and gets daily water change from the bottom (siphoning parasites as if they are there)> Thanks for the help Bryan Flanigan <best regards, Anthony>

Fish Shedding - the end. Hi Anthony- Well Piggy the Lionfish is dead <Alas... I am truly sorry to hear it my friend> The freshwater dip I fear came too late.   <indeed... and no worries on procedure- it is likely that the troubles were much bigger or advanced than the dip could have helped at that point> He was very unresponsive when I netted him.  Didn't struggle at all.  The temp and ph of the freshwater were right on.  He sank to the bottom, twitched slightly every 3-4 seconds about 10-12 times, then extended his fins and spines fully, his gills puffed out and he froze in that position.   <weakened beyond saving it sounds like> I examined him a little and he looks normal except for the color and he has a slight bulge in the anal region. <hmmm...> About a week ago he scooped up a lot of shells with his squid and I was never sure if he coughed them all out.  I did notice that he hung upside down a lot this last week.   <indeed consistent symptomatically with impaction> Any way he's dead now and I don't have the stomach to cut him apart to find out if a shell is in there. <understood and agreed. We know such risks exist an that it all we need to know. Still quite sorry to hear it> I want to thank you for your help.  It does make us feel better that we tried to help our pet even if it still died. I also really appreciate the fact that you got right back to me.  You all are the greatest  Long Live WWM Bryan Flanigan <it is our pleasure and purpose to help here. Wishing you happier times and knowing there will be. Kindly, Anthony>

Tetra's Antiparasitic Food Hi Craig please.  Bet you are sorry that you mentioned you had a source for the Tetra medicated Antiparasitic food!  I have searched to no avail.  Please tell me and the other thousand people reading this your secret.  Do you recommend using this food while the fish are still in quarantine? Thanks <No problem! Yes, I used it while in QT and afterward until those last few spots were history. I like it for the time after moving out of the QT which is stressful and can cause another outbreak.  Seachem also makes a Metronidazole product for soaking your own food. To get Tetra medicated food call Bill at Aquarium Warehouse in Olympia, Washington. His number is (360)357-9654. Tell him I sent you. Let me know if you need more assistance! You can get the SeaChem product from our WetWebMedia.com sponsors.  Craig>

Re: medications Can I use re-vive in with my live rock and corals to help my fish get well. Then Kick-ich to follow up?  I am pretty sure that is the name of the stuff I ordered.  I also have some shrimp in the tank. <I don't recommend either of these products. If you have parasites, like ick, velvet, etc. please follow the quarantine procedures and copper treatment at WetWebMedia.com and send the kick-ick and revive back unopened.  You will need to catch your fish and treat them with copper in a separate quarantine tank. Get a good copper test kit. Your main tank will need to be free of fish for at least one month, preferably longer. Using these snake oils will only prolong your and your fish' agony and kill them in the long run. PLEASE do check out the quarantine pages at WWM. Search "quarantine" and "copper" at the google search engine at the bottom of WetWebMedia.com.  Much to do my friend!  Craig>

Methylene blue Hi there, I've tried to find the answer on your site but can't seem to find it. I use a freshwater, Methylene blue dip (3 drops per liter) on all new arrivals but would like to add it to my quarantine tank as a preventative (tried Cupramine but it got ugly, lost a royal Gramma).  I would like to know what dosage to use as a preventative rather than a dip. Thank you Stephen <Dose is "stock solution dependent", in other words, different makers have different concentrations of their product. Most commonly it is prepared at 3.7 mg./ml.... I don't encourage the continuous use of Methylene Blue (in freshwater or marine)... as this material has a negative effect on nitrifying microbes (your biological filter). However, if you wanted to still use it, it can be applied at the 3 drops per liter likely with little ill effect. Bob Fenner>

Will the Epsom salt make my tank cloudy? <No. In water with a nominal mineral capacity there should be no noticeable appearance.  Craig>

Kent RxP (The backward state of aquarium "medicines") Hi,    Thanks in advance for all your advice.  I was wondering if you'd had any experience with the product Kent RxP for the treatment of saltwater ick?  It claims to be reef safe but I don't like putting anything unknown in the tank.   <It's neither entirely reef safe, nor consistently effective. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/med.htm and beyond. For others input I would consult the hobbyist BB's here>    I have a reef tank with one sick Kole tang (Cryptocaryon irritans).  I can't tear down the tank without destroying quite a bit of coral growth.  I have lowered the salinity to about 1.020 and raised the temperature to 82F and there seems to be no change.  All other tank parameters are at optimal levels.      I have 2 G. oceanops, 2 L. amboinensis, 1 L. wurdemanni and 1 L. debelius for cleaner species.  The tang presented to the L. amboinensis but they just seemed to ignore him.  The tang doesn't seem to notice the gobies and the other shrimp are pretty secretive and don't seem to exhibit much cleaning behavior.    Other than a complete teardown and copper treatment is there anything else I could do to help the fish in this tank? <Mmm, depending on the pathogenicity of this infestation, circumstance of the setting, and your perception of your own tolerance for ongoing problems (as with the introduction of new fish/es), I'd go the removal of hosts route... as detailed on WWM> I've read through the FAQs and garlic seems to be suggested but I can't tell if this is preventative or curative. <At best the former>   Other website have suggested 3-5 ppm vitamin C in the water as an immunostimulant.  Any truth to that? <Some... not much IME>    Incidentally and on a completely different note, where is most marine pharmacology studied?  Is it at academic institutions or do companies such as Aquarium Pharmaceuticals actually do any research on fish disease?  I ask because I'm currently finishing a PhD in medicinal chemistry and since I enjoy aquariums so much was wondering if there is any place a person with my background might fit it. <Some of both. There are noted authors (e.g. Ed Noga), who are engaged continuously in such research, and others more sporadically (there are quarterlies of "fish, aquatic disease" journals... where you could become familiar with the players, locations of this work... But/however, the majority of what passes as pet-fishing index medicus reveals a long-standing "anecdotal" prescription of "this and that" homeopathic sorts of cures, testing (not scientific experimentation)... and a funny/scary large proportion of "medicines" on the market are outright frauds... Amazing to me... but I suspect with the "killing off" of so much of the customer base (the "average" hobbyist stays in the interest less than a year) the pepper sauce, sugar solution sales folks can/do get away with this. Sadly. Perhaps you can/will be a force in reversing this trend. Bob Fenner> Thanks again for the help. Erik Jorvig

Mixing medications Hello WWM crew- I have 2 yellow tangs in a QT tank that I am treating with Cupramine. One tang has velvet and the other a red blotchy rash on a portion of his body/fins.  I am doing daily freshwater/Methylene blue dips for 5 min., and vacuuming the bottom daily for a 10% water change.  The temp is 81 degree's and the Spg is 1.018. Is it possible to treat the tank with  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone (Furan-2) while treating with copper?  Any help is appreciated.  -Chris <Umm, I would not mix the furan compounds, or use either of them for velvet. I suggest you look into adding formalin to the baths/treatment along with the copper. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mixing medications Hello WWM crew- I have 2 yellow tangs in a QT tank that I am treating with Cupramine. One tang has velvet and the other a red blotchy rash on a portion of his body/fins.   <Egads!> I am doing daily freshwater/Methylene blue dips for 5 min., and vacuuming the bottom daily for a 10% water change.  The temp is 81 degree's and the Spg is 1.018. Is it possible to treat the tank with  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone (Furan-2) while treating with copper? <Should be okay but I would be worried about all of these medications combined with Methylene/freshwater dips. Seems awful stressful to the fishes.  Are you sure this is needed? Have you checked our disease files at Wetwebmedia?> Any help is appreciated.  -Chris <David Dowless>

Re: quick Epsom Salt question Hello again, and thanks for all the help! <our pleasure> Could you please explain what Epsom salt does and its proper usage in the aquarium setting? ~Jim <Okey-dokey... Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a fundamental and necessary component of sea salt but has numerous benefits to life at large. It is used with people and pets (birds, dogs, cats, etc) as a laxative. In the aquarium, this very property helps stressed and struggling creatures maintain better osmotic balance. Thus, a fish with a bumped and swollen eye can get relief (fluid from swollen eye) from Epsom salt. It is added to most dry fish foods to prevent internal blockage from greedy feeding fishes. It also is used in fresh or salt water to raise hardness and electrolyte levels. Dosed in moderation, there are few disadvantages to it. Most doses are 1 tsp to 1 TBSPN per 10 gallons and can be repeated. There is more information in our archives on this topic. Best regards, Anthony>

Epsom salt I was just wondering if Epsom salt clouds the tank? <as long as you don't add too much (and it is not easily abused... 1 TBSPN per 5 gallons is no trouble at all), it certainly will not cloud the tank. If you add a lot and quickly, however, you could cause a crystalline precipitation. However, you really would have to add a scary amount to do this. Epsom salt overall is fine, safe and therapeutic. Anthony>

Parasite control products Dear Bob Here is one reply on your site. I know there is a lot of products out there that do not work but are product will remove parasites and is totally reef safe, if you would like some samples to test let us know and we will send them right out. Again thank you for your time. <Will post your notes for others perusal. Unfortunately I have no marine systems up and going at this time. 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>

Strange illness Hi Anthony, <cheers, my friend> an update with a few comments/questions: first, the longnose has been fully recovered for about 8 days now; a few less spots each day until he was clean; <very cool... after 2 weeks symptom free you can enjoy a big sigh of relief> two days later he started eating; nobody else is the system became infected; go figure; <interesting and good to hear> like I said initially, it was something strange; thankfully so. On another topic, I have had enough experience with Kick-Ich and Greenex to comfortably render an opinion on both: With Kick-Ich, there is something that does seem to suppress the disease; <never to be used as a primary treatment, stimulating at best> the visible spots will  disappear overnight or in 5 to 6 hours, and for 4 or 5 days the fish will appear to be doing better; then, with little warning, they return en-masse, overwhelm the fish despite other measures (FW, CU, formalin dips) and produce fatalities in a day or so. This is true even at the new accelerated dosage  recommendations. <hmmm... not to disagree at face value, but I have studied some aspects of fish pathology at length... took the aquaristic fish pathology course under Gratzek and Blasiola at U. Georgia... you are mistaken about the FW and Formalin. Redundant studies have been done on these treatments regarding their superb efficacy if done correctly. Many/most parasitic infections can be cured by FW dips alone from a bare-bottomed Qt display (siphoning bottom daily as well). The addition of CU or Formalin as a long bath can rid Ich in 8 days. Other pathogens documented just the same> It also does have a negative impact on some hard and soft corals, although after 20 days of treatment all seem to have recovered. <OK> With Greenex, the result is more direct: <Ha!... Greenex has a reputation for cure or kill. And it is sever on invertebrates despite mfg claims. With the effectiveness of FW and Formalin or Methylene blue in QT... I have no need to recommend Greenex IMO> it successfully eliminates all parasites - because it generally eliminates the hosts. <heehee... agreed. Wicked product and easily abused (or hard to use depending on your perspective)> Bad stuff unless you are treating tough fish! <much agreed> Lastly, an unrelated question: among the frozen Mysid brands, which is "cleanest"?   <Hmmm... good question. I personally don't have a brand preference. Been using PE for a while with no complaints though. Heard of another with slightly higher protein> too many eyeballs floating around my tanks.  Thanks for all your past help, best wishes to all the crew for a great holiday and coming year. Steve. <and the same to you, my friend. With kind regards, Anthony>

Turning The Tide on Disease (Follow-up) Back to the drawing board!!!  Could I have more help? <Sure- that's why we're here> I thought everything was under control after six days of Neosulfex treatment.  Clowns were eating again and looked good...no evidence of any more bacteria.  I even added a few more days of treatment just to be safe and went to day 10 with treatment. Then I stopped.  Within 24 hours, both clowns are not eating, more fin parts are disappearing and the clear parts of their fins are now cloudy.  How can bacteria survive that kind of treatment? <That may be part of the problem, actually? Have you checked ammonia and nitrite in this tank? Perhaps the beneficial bacteria in the filter system have been substantially or completely destroyed, resulting in serious ammonia and nitrite levels...Metabolite poisoning? Just a thought. Do luck beyond the obvious here.> What now?  Should I use something stronger? <If it were me, at this point, I'd hold off on additional medication for a while...I'd execute regular water changes, employ activated carbon or PolyFilter in your system, and check all water chemistry parameters. Perhaps you may want to try some medium duration (3-5 minute) freshwater dips, say, 3 times a week.> Even after all of this treatment, I'm not sure the female will live...she looks pretty weak since she has not eaten well for over a week.  Help, Help, Help!  Thanks again. Lisa <Again, Lisa- I think that observation, good water quality, and judicious use of freshwater dips might be a better course of action than more medication at this juncture. At least give the fishes a break from the medication for a week or so before resuming treatment, if necessary. Hopefully, these steps will help. There is no 100% chance of success here, the fish may have suffered too much damage to survive-but don't give up. Keep observing them, and reviewing the disease FAQs on the wetwebmedia.com site for more information on possible causes of this condition. Good luck! I hope that the fishes make a full recovery soon! Regards, Scott F>

Pop-Eye II Can I put Epsom salt in the tank directly? <Yes> Is it safe with live soft corals, crabs, starfish, snails,...? <Completely, all can be revealed by reading about this treatment on www.WetWebMedia.com. It has previously been discussed in great detail. -Steven Pro>

Complete Remedy!         Hello, Did you ever hear of a med called complete remedy from Wardley. I used it once before with Ich and fungi and it did work (its not reef safe). If you did hear about it is it copper based. I try to look in their website but with no luck.  Thank you <Yes, I've seen it at several fish stores. I haven't used it.  I recommend copper sulfate in a QT for problems susceptible to copper.  I'm not sure what your question is, but this product is available from many retailers including some of our WetWebMedia.com sponsors. You might try looking at Foster and Smith.  Craig>

Keeping It Green Hello Crew: <Scott F. today> I have added Greenex to my  quarantine tank for one of my fish.  I have added Greenex to the tank with PolyFilters in filtering system.  Can I leave the poly filters in, or do I need to take them out while adding the Greenex. <I would remove PolyFilters during disease treatment with medication. Among other things, these pads excel at removing medications from the water!> Company indicates one drop per net water amount, if I add few drops too much, what are consequences? <This medication can be very powerful, and create disastrous consequences if over- dosed. I've heard some really bad results from using it incorrectly...Not a big fan of this product, myself> Too little, not effective? Lastly, company indicates three treatments every other day, then no treatment for three days later? Is that standard protocol? <I'd follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter, when using this, or any other medication.> Thanks for the assistance and have a nice day. Regards, Mendy1220 <Glad to be of service! Good luck! Scott>

Butterflies Aren't Free (Cont'd.) Thanks for the info... <Our pleasure-that's why we're here!> So how does one know if they are paying $39 for "Pepper Sauce" as opposed for a viable treatment (re: REEF SAFE KICK ICK) ???? Is there a better treatment for 'the itch' or 'ick' whatever you call it? <If you are indeed certain that ich is the malady that you're dealing with, then I'd use (in a separate treatment tank) a proven, "mainstream" cure, such as copper sulphate, properly administered and monitored for concentration.> The only signs my butterflies have is that they rub themselves against the rocks... they may have slight imperfections like a few missing scales behind the gills... but this is also where they are rubbing themselves.  So, from what I can see... all signs point to some sort of skin irritation /itchiness??? <Well- itching is an ich symptom, but there are other symptoms to this illness as well. In the absence of signs, it could even be a different parasite of some sort. You really need to check the FAQ's on marine parasites on the wetwebmedia.com site for more info. than I can touch on here regarding the identification and treatment of parasitic conditions> My water has been tested on average twice a week and I have just bought my own water test kit.  My test last night showed a pH of 8.2-8.3, 0 nitrites, ammonia level was pretty close to 0 (I need to cut back my twice a week frozen shrimp feedings, as it is not all consumed), and my nitrates were between 0 and 4.From what I have read, this is a pretty good test... and as mentioned before, I can get the ammonia back to  zero with feeding more carefully. <I am concerned about the ammonia reading- it really should be completely undetectable on a hobbyist-grade test kit...You are correct in re-visiting your husbandry techniques...and do try a different test kit to confirm your results> So, should I stick to treating my one surviving butterfly with this KICK ICK?  He does rub on the rock, but has virtually no scales missing and no cuts... he is the last 'healthy' one??? <I really don't like this product...but that's just me, of course. I'd make a positive ID on the condition that you're dealing with, and treat accordingly> This guy is in my 20 gallon doctor tank alone. <Good procedure> Should I do anything with my main tank? Do you think my main tank might be carrying something??? Even though my two gobies, two clowns, and my boxfish are doing fine? <If you are dealing with a contagious disease, such as ich, you really need to get everyone out for observation/treatment (even if all inhabitants don't show signs), let the main system go "fallow" for about a month...If it is ich that's in your tank, you must take aggressive steps to treat it, IMO> What's a better ICK/ITCH medication?? <I like copper sulphate for ich, as mentioned above> I am fully expecting my remaining butterfly to do ok... should I grab another butterfly and pair them up after he has been quarantined??? <That can work, but there can be some aggressive behaviour between the two fish on introduction> The only other thing I can think of is my Coral Banded Shrimp getting nasty with my butterflies as they do bother him in hopes that the CBS will clean them.  On the other hand, the CBS doesn't bother my mandarin goby that will sleep right in front of him... and the CBS hasn't bothered my Cleaner Shrimp either. <Hey- you never know...> I guess the butterfly is a fairly cheap fish that I don't mind experimenting with, but I don't want to risk the rest of my tank. Opinion??? Thanks guys! Dave <Well, Dave- I encourage you to keep trying, but do study their needs and prepare for them. Good luck!  Scott F.>

Re: Treatment Questions Sooo much information out there... and so many opinions...   Big Al's comments on copper was that it was 'old school' and that this is a much safer treatment. <Well, I can't recall the last time I read that someone at the Waikiki Aquarium, Steinhart Aquarium, or Aquarium of The Pacific, or other institution was embarrassed to be using an "Old School" treatment like copper! Granted, we should try new and safer medications that can prove effective, but I don't think that this stuff offers the reliability and effectiveness that copper has. Yes- some fishes don't do well with copper, so there are considerations. It is not a "wonder drug", but it has been proven to work time and again.> At the same time, I'd hate to think that I paid $39 for 'salad dressing'.   I'd like to trust that this treatment will get the job done if this is the so called 'ICK'.  After all, a company just can't market something that has no chance of working, right??? <You'd be surprised! And- don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that this stuff is "junk"...I am not a scientist, so I cannot give you a thorough analysis of the product or it's workings. I can tell you that I have experimented with this stuff, and have spoken to dozens of hobbyists who have used it, and it has not given successful long-term results to myself, or anyone that I know. Does that mean that it's junk? Of course not! It would be wrong for me to make a blanket statement like that. If it works for you- great...I just don't feel comfortable recommending something to a fellow hobbyist that has not worked for me. IMO, ich needs to be attacked on two "fronts"- on the fish, and then in the main tank. You attack "on the fish" with reliable treatment in a hospital tank. You attack the main tank by breaking the life cycle of the ich parasites by depriving them of their hosts, the fishes, during the free swimming phase of their life cycle> I will thoroughly review your section on bacterial infections, etc... but how can one relatively accurately assess these problems... whether they be ick or other bacterial infections? <Ich has very distinct symptoms which are well-covered in the disease FAQs> You mentioned that all my fish should be observed... if all my fish seem to be fine, do I take them out for a couple of days one at a time???  I do closely observe my livestock every day while feeding and spend in total an average of 30 min.s a day watching them.   Obviously, I will isolate single fish if I notice anything irregular... but until that happens should I just let them be and keep a close eye on them? <If I was 100% certain that ich was what caused the other fish to become ill, I'd remove all of the fish to another tank for observation and possible treatment> Am planning on re-introducing my butterfly after the 15 day treatment period if he looks ok... the butterfly in my hospital tank looks fine right now in fact, but I wanted to put him through a cycle of this KICK ICK because he was also rubbing himself against the rocks.  He really doesn't have any visible signs of anything else that I can see. Thoughts??   Have a grrrrreat weekend! Dave <Do follow the instructions for this treatment. I still implore you to verify if you are dealing with ich, however.> P.S.  Was curious to know... are you guys answering all these questions from me and others out of the goodness of your hearts??? <Well- we all share a common passion and a desire to help fellow hobbyists, and to provide unbiased information whenever possible!> Your website is just a information database of marine life, isn't it???  Was just curious. <No, Dave, it's actually soo much more...It's an interactive community where we can all share ideas, techniques, and opinions, and a place where-despite our differences, we all are united by our common love of aquatic life! Enjoy! Scott F.>

Re: Treatment Questions My comments about the information database... yes that's what I meant...in that I have received sooo much information from reading your FAQ sections and hearing other people's stories. <Yep! Tons of information in the database!> One last question before I leave you alone.  Is it true that invertebrates don't get bacterial infections??  Do I separate my shrimp and crabs from the main tank as well??? <Good question. I believe that invertebrates can get infections, however, I have left these animals in "fallow" tank situations and still had good results...This area still needs more investigation, IMO!> Hmmm, my mandarin goby needs the live rock to survive right?  Is it a good idea separating him too? <I would. However, you can target feed him Mysis or other foods in the isolation tank, usually with no problems.. Best of luck to you on your efforts. I think everything is gonna be fine for your fishes; just be patient and "stay the course", okay? Regards, Scott F.>

Metronidazole & Inverts Hello, I have a 65 gallon fish/invert set up with a miracle mud sump, couple of powerhead/sponge prefilters, a magnum 350 canister filter, and live sand/rock. I currently have a smoldering case of ich or similar (small white spots on the fins). <It sounds like Ich.> The fish don't seem bothered and continue to eat and behave normal. The water quality has remained stable for some time (tank set up almost 18 months) with a temp of 81, sg of 1.023, nitrite 0, nitrate 10-20. The inverts are three species of starfish and many hermit crabs along with everything in the liverock and in the teeming sump. I know that copper is the gold standard for ich cure and I have used it before. <Always best done in a separate quarantine/hospital tank, never in the main display.> However, I was wondering if Metronidazole is at all effective in the treatment of ich? <It is/was the active ingredient in Tetra's medicated food for the treatment of parasites. It was supposed to be a fairly effective product, but I believe it is no longer available.> And more importantly, what does it do to inverts like mine? <I do not know if it is safe when dosing into the tank. If you made your own medicated food, you should be ok.> Also, would you recommend dropping the salinity with starfish on board? <No lower than 1.020. Anything lower than that would make me nervous.> I know they can be sensitive to that. <Yes, both the low salinity and any abrupt changes.> Finally, in addition to the obvious environmental manipulations and in lieu of copper, do you have any other suggestions? <Removal and treatment in a separate tank would be the most effective and safest solution. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com regarding parasite treatment and quarantine tanks.> Thanks for your help, Steve Thornton MD <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ruby Reef Kick Ich Hello, Is Ruby Reef Kick Ich really safe for 'all' invertebrates and fish? <I did a small test with this product and it works ok for Ich, but I tried it in a quarantine tank as an experiment so I cannot say if it is safe for invertebrates.> We have a 72 gallon tank with 90 lbs of live rock. It is about 3 months old and we have recently started adding fish/corals, a couple of weeks ago. Currently we have several snails, hermit crabs, an emerald green crab, burgundy Linckia, cleaner shrimp, powder brown tang, green Chromis, a new bi-color blenny and bubble, candy, and frog spawn corals (one each). We were away for 4 days and came home to a real mess after using a feeder cube. There is brown algae everywhere and our tang had a bit of ich on him. Today the blenny and 2 of the Chromis do too. We did not have a hospital tank at first so none were quarantined (lesson learned). <A big mistake which you and your fish are now paying for.> My question is, can we safely use the Kick Ich with the starfish/corals? <I would be extremely reluctant to do this.> We've read quite a bit about using garlic to combat ich and would like to try that as a natural alternative to copper. Is it true that you can feed them chopped fresh garlic or would the oil be better? <I would use a commercially prepared extract.> We could try and quarantine the fish but they'll be tough to catch because of all the hiding spots in the LR. Any advice would be most welcome. <Please read from www.WetWebMedia.com regarding treating parasitic infestations, fallowing a tank, proper set up and use of a quarantine tank, etc.> Thanks, C & J <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Greenex WWM Team, I was reading through your Daily Q&A and read a post where a user had his tanked wiped out the day after he added Greenex and wanted to let you guys know that this exact thing happened to me about 6 months ago. I had a couple of fish sick with ICK and cloudy eye my pet shop recommended Greenex since I had some invertebrates, well after dosing my 180 gallon tank with 180 drops of Greenex the following day EVERYTHING was dead. I don't know what they put in that stuff but it had wiped out my tank just like it wiped out his, needless to say I've learned my lesson but paid a hefty price tag for it.

Greenex I have a 50 gallon show tank with a Kole tang, Spanish wrasse, a clown, a multicolor sea urchin, 2 damsels, 2 fire gobies, and a flame angle. My clown got ick a few days after I got him. <That is why we always recommend any and all additions get a four week quarantine period.> My friend that owns the pet store I bought it from recommended Greenex. I had had problems with my fish dying after application before but was convinced that it was my tank because it was still new (about 3 months old). <It could also have been the disease itself that killed the fish, not the treatment.> My friend convinced me of it, but I took his advice because it worked on his fish. I made sure this time to check my water before application, every thing was perfect. I applied it as recommended, 1 drop per gallon. The next day the wrasse, tang, urchin, clown, angel, and one goby was dead along with one of my sand sifting stars. <Wow!> Is it just me or is this stuff killing my fish? <I have had bad experience with this product on invertebrates, so I would believe it is possible that your urchin and starfish was effected, but too many other variables to say for certain the medication killed the fish. The speed of the deaths does lend credence to your suspicions, but it is also possible the clownfish was infected with Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon. Amyloodinium is harder to see and may have spread unnoticed. A quarantine/hospital tank is a must. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com regarding set up and proper use.> I mean none of these fish were sick. I have had most of them for almost 6 months and no problems, no signs of being sick and all of a sudden mass die off! I checked my tank again every thing was fine. It seems every time I add this stuff to my tank all my sensitive fish (expensive fish) die! <See, I would see the problem as every time you add a unquarantined fish, it becomes sick in your tank, infects everyone, you then treat the whole tank, and you experience deaths.> Is it just me or can it be the Greenex? <It is possible, but you have other forces at work here. -Steven Pro>

Malachite green. (Say what?) Hello Bob, We have ich in our tank. I think we now have it under control, or getting it there. We have lowered the salinity and are using the UV sterilizer. I also got some malachite green to put in the tank. The bottle says how much to put in but it doesn't mention how often or how long you should use it. Can you give me some idea so we can fully control the ich. Thanks, Belinda <For... a marine, brackish system? What sorts of livestock? What treatment history? Please take a read through what's posted on our root web: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ using the Google search tool at the bottom of the homepage with the terms "ich", "marine parasites", "malachite green". Bob Fenner>

Did Melafix hurt my clownfish? Hi Bob (or staff). Sorry to bother y'all, but it's daytime (when most people work) and I figure I won't get much help with this on the 911 chat until later, so I'm writing you. <Someone's here most any time> I've got a 30gal saltwater tank with a damsel fish and a coral beauty that tend to bully other fish, <I'll bet... this is too small a "world". Too crowded.> but I didn't realize this until I introduced a percula clown into my tank about a month ago. The clown was fine at first, eating regularly and swimming in most areas of the tank. But he has since been lodging himself in one corner at the top, acting as if afraid to eat since last Friday, kind of swimming sideways. So I put him in a QT 3 days ago and he got to swimming around again, although not eating. Big dummy that I am, I added 1/2 tsp of Melafix for 2 days, hoping he'd overcome his stress. (Of course, I just now got around to reading in The Conscientious Marine Aquarist that chemical treatments are the last option you want to choose for a clownfish because they're sensitive to the same toxins as their host anemone). Now, he's barely moving, sitting on the bottom of the tank. The water tests good and the temp's steady at 76 degrees. I don't have a light for the QT, so I've been leaving the room light on for a few hours a day, although I'm uncertain as to whether he needs darkness to recuperate. Do you have any suggestions or advice? <Just to have "time go by" for the Clown. It should recover. And to look into a larger system if you want to keep the Coral Beauty (Dwarf Angel) with all. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance for your help, Heather Jacobs

Re: Did Melafix hurt my clownfish? Thank you very much, but I'm afraid time won't heal whatever has been done. I would think he was dead already because he's not moving; however, I can see his mouth still moving enough to take in oxygen. Do you suggest light or no light for his recuperation?  <Less to no light> It doesn't say which in the book. And did the Melafix hurt him? <Perhaps... I saw your query, comments on WWF... this material did not likely help> Or is he just suffering from stress (or some unknown disease, perhaps)? <Stress in the larger sense... being harassed, moved about... very trying metabolically, psychologically. Bob Fenner>

Noich (maybe No Ich, Noxich?) Dear Bob, <Steven this morning.> I would like to know about a new product "Noich". Could you kindly give me any suppliers names. <I have never heard of this product. A quick search on Yahoo yielded nothing but Kevin Smith's "Jay & Silent Bob" hits.> Kind regards, Brian Muir <If you have any additional information, perhaps one of us could be of assistance. -Steven Pro>

Q's (Medication terminology) Bobster... I think I botched my last attempt at sending this. Could you enlighten me on the differences in terms and nature of antibiotics vs. [bacter-io-ia-er..cidal] treatments? What are they called and why the distinction in how they kill pathogens? <Mmm, antibiotics are compounds for diminishing the populations of microbes (bacteria, funguses...) are made from biological agents or extensions of same... bactericidals can be antibiotics (but not necessarily) and are meant to kill (caedere: Latin... as in cease) bacteria... often the latter are less discriminatory in their actions. Bob Fenner>

PROBIOTICS Bob: Subject product has been recommended as being effective in Ich prevention. <Really? By whom?> I tried it after an attack upon my marine fish had commenced and it did not help. It is supposed to be a preventive, but I wonder how effective it is for that as well? Have you any experience with this good bacteria fighting the bad supposedly? Thanks, Stephen Pace <No experience. I took a look on the Net re... and don't really see its application... particularly for an aquatic protozoan parasite... Please see our root web: www.WetWebMedia.com regarding. Bob Fenner>

Disease I was wondering if you had any experience with medication Kick-Ich?  <a dubious remedy at best> It says it is safe for invertebrates, and reef safe.  <it always amazes me how such products claim to be able to kill invertebrate pathogens but not harm desirable invertebrates (microfauna, plankton, corals, etc.)> I had an out break of ich and am trying to get rid of it without much luck. Thanks Pat P.S. I am learning so much from this site ,but found it a little to late. <indeed, the best course of action is to remove your fish to a bare bottomed quarantine tank where they will stay for 4 weeks. The display will run fallow for that time and not require any harmful medication in the absence of viable hosts. Freshwater dips and copper or Formalin can easily cure most common infections in QT. Treating in the display tank is never an option in my opinion. You only other option would be to net the fish from the display for freshwater dips daily... still parasites in the tank though that can find a host. Please do keep studying, sharing, and enjoying the hobby! Best regards, Anthony>

Methylene Blue Dear Steve Pro or Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo in your service> What can Methylene blue treat?  <wide range of uses... effective at killing many bacteria and some fungus> White spot? <best when combined with another treatment like Freshwater dips on saltwater fish. FW will drop the ich and the Meth blue will disinfect the wounds from the parasites> Is it effective? <very... in fact, it really must be treated in a separate bath or quarantine tank... never in tank display (it can severely damage biological filters)> Does it kill invertebrate? <yes... very hostile to invertebrates and amphibians> What damage can it do if poured into main system? <horrifying> Do you recommend it? <can be very helpful in dips and QT treatments> Many Thanks! Liao I Ching <with kind regards, Anthony>

Medicated flakes, Tetra Medicated Flake Food Hello and I hope today finds your fish parasite free, as for mine, well, let me look "NO", I have the dreaded ick monster, I added Two blue legged hermit crabs to my was fish only tank and two days later "ick". I didn't think you had to quarantine crabs? <Best to quarantine everything. Crabs cannot become infected with Ich, but cysts for Ich could be in their bag water or even attached to their shells.> Well, I guess what I need to know is I was reading an article in Marine Fish and Reef Annual <Terry Siegel's excellent piece. I have read it several times myself.> and Tetra anti-protozoan medicated fish flakes were mentioned. well I'm willing to try anything...only problem is I can't find them anywhere, I have done searches online and called my LFS. no luck can you help? <Unfortunately, this product is no longer made. I understand it was taken off the shelf due to some government FDA-type problem concerning the use of the medication without prescription. That was the story I was given, second hand from a Tetra rep.> I may just be over looking them or looking in the wrong place... Thanks in advance for your time. ~Cherri <Sorry I could not be of assistance. Do look over our files for alternatives. Best bet, removal to a separate quarantine tank and treatment while allowing the tank to fallow for one month. -Steven Pro>

Great need: sick fish Hi Bob <WWM crew member Anthony Calfo in your service> Over the last week I've lost 2 fish, some of them appeared to have white spot and others some fungus. I have been treating them with Melafix  <a mildly effective tonic if at all. I like the idea of homeopathic treatment, but more as prevention. Doubtful or dangerous to depend on such unproven treatments when a full blown infection occurs. Few if any medicants can treat such physiologically and pathogenically different organisms such as fungus, parasites and bacteria equally.>  but it didn't work,  <a common experience and tribute to good marketing... again... I like such products for prevention at best. Have used this product before and rather liked it (with newly imported fishes)> couldn't treat them with copper as I had coral in my tank and had no hospital tank. <for the investment in money and lives in your tank, please make the $100 or less investment in a QT tank a priority: a simple 10 gall, glass canopy, sponge filter and heater. That's it, short and sweet. At a garage sale, it might cost $20> I've tested for signs to help me find the problem as my PH is 86 and my No2 is on yellow <the pH is not a problem at 8.6 by day and not sure what yellow is on your test kit for No2... ppm needed> I've been using Myxazin (Maracyn?) for 2 days , increased the water temp to 38 degrees as advised by my local marine fish store and now the rest of my fish seem also sick and not well. <wow...way to warm, especially if there is a bacterial condition involved. The inverts don't mind?> I took the 2 of my fish to a friend who has a hospital tank treating them wit copper but what can I do now with the rest of the fish who are now starting to show symptoms. <resume normal aquarium conditions (temp, salinity, etc) slowly and continue to maintain good water quality (water changes, aggressive protein skimming... you do have a stable temp too don't you? Temperature fluctuations are VERY bad. No more and 1c change> Should I continue with Myxazin or go back to Melafix? <not Melafix.. and I'm not sure if you need "Myxazin" either. Please refer to a good book on fish diseases like Noga or Untergasser and get a correct identification of the pathogen(s). Then we can see about which medications to use. Also review the articles, pictures and FAQs in our disease archives here on WWM at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm look down the page for appropriate links> and if I do change, how long should I wait before administering the other? Also how could I get all these diseases out of my tank before putting the healthy ones back? <by running the tank without a new fish for 4 or more weeks and then only bring in fish that have been properly quarantined for four weeks themselves in separate hospital tanks> I don't know what else to look for and what to do Please help me????? David <please do read through the archives my friend... much direction in wisdom on those pages. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: ich freaking me out ("medication" poisoning...) Anthony, <Anthony is still away promoting his book and WWM. Steven Pro in this morning.> my red fire clowns are still dropping like flies, one each day. I am using formalin as well as copper. <The use of Formalin and Copper is effective against a wide range of parasitic diseases; Cryptocaryon, Amyloodinium, and Brooklynella. Not sure which you have or a combination, but one of the two meds you are using should do it in if there is enough time and if used properly.> they all have that dusty, white stuff on their sides. the ocellaris clowns are still kicking. there are still 10 left. had 11. I only have 6 red fire clowns left. what now? <Continue the dosing regimen. It maybe that some were so infected that by the time you noticed and took action, there was nothing that was going to save them.> they are still sick. temp 84 sg 1.019. everything else good. copper 0.5 nitrates 0 nitrites 0 everything else perfect. help  help. no signs of ick anymore. on another subject. I just bought 2 metal halide lamps from a pet shop that just went out of business. they needed a little TLC. I sanded one of them and re-painted. <Be sure to use the proper primer and paint for the high amount of heat these lamps are going to give off.> what should I do next to refurbish. they are square, HEAVY, ugly and their bulbs say 250w 10k. what should I replace the bulbs with, they are 3 years old. <Yes, time for a replacement. I prefer Iwasaki 6,500K's if using actinics too or Aqualine-Buschke or Ushio 10,000K's without actinics.> I have a 75 gal tameron acrylic. with pc 2 60 watts. <You will have to take great care in acclimating your corals to this far more intense light. Please archive the WWM site for tips.> my hood is black acrylic. can I place the one MH on its side on the side of the acrylic. <MH's give a better pattern of light when placed on their side perpendicular to the tank, but I do not know if your acrylic canopy is made to take the heat.> how far from acrylic. <Generally, about one foot.> and also does it need a splash guard. <Yes> can I slide a piece of acrylic in the slot on the lamp or does it usually have glass. <Most I have seen use some sort of acrylic.> do they have to be painted white. <The insides are usually painted white to help reflect light, but the outside can be painted whatever. -Steven Pro> hhheeeellllpppp

Re: Formalin 3 and Methylene blue Dear Bob, thanks a lot for your answer. One more question: You mention "1-3 mg Methylene blue (one to three ml.s of stock solution) per gallon treated for prolonged immersion). ". What if I use the Methylene blue for freshwater dips of about 4 minutes? Should I use the 3mg per gallon or even more? <Yes, quite safe> I do not know George Reclos, but I will try to find a way to contact him. Do you know his e-mail? <Likely you can contact him through his website: http://www.rddiagnostics.com/auriga.htm> I have read that you have published a new book. Can you tell me its title and if when it will be available to get it from Amazon.co.uk, where I have bought also "The conscientious...." ? <Apparently not sold by the UK part of the company. But is by the parent: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/103-1623087-3559848> THANKS AGAIN! Thanassis <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Formalin 3 and Methylene blue Dear Anthony, <Anthony is off to hobby and business conferences for the weekend> my retailer has found somebody who told him that he could provide him with Methylene Blue. He did not mean the packaged form, i.e. small bottles produced by the aquatic medicine industry, but he said he can create the right mix. Could you tell me how the solution is made (for example we know that Formalin 3 is made from 37% formaldehyde). I just want to be sure that he does not make the wrong mix (!...). <Tried to find John Farrell Kuhn's "Index Medicos" for fish med's with no luck. There are formulations listed in Edward Noga (Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment, and Nelson Herwig's "Fish Diseases"...). "1.4 g to 380 ml of water (= 3.7 mg/ml)..." adding 1-3 mg Methylene blue (one to three ml.s of stock solution) per gallon treated for prolonged immersion). Do have your pharmacist (Do you know the chemist/aquarist George Reclos (Athens)?) contact me if there are further questions. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Thanassis

Organi-Cure What is your opinion of Organi-Cure <I have never used it before. What is the active ingredient?> for what appears to be Cryptocaryon (queen angel), lateral line erosion and possibly velvet maroon clown). <Something seems to be amiss my friend. Lateral line erosion is usually associated with a problem in diet or water quality, so no medication will effect a cure. Both of the other two can be treated with quarantine, freshwater dips, daily water changes, and possibly treatment with formalin/malachite green.> All are eating fine. I am a little unsure about the Cryptocaryon as there are only four or five spots and they a white and about pinhead size. Kenny <A pretty good description of Cryptocaryon/Marine Ich. Please read through the FAQ's on these various ailments and preventing diseases. -Steven Pro>

Live rock and ick questions II Hi Anthony <Cheers, my friend> I really appreciate your time and really didn't expect to get a reply. <that's because you are aiming too high, the rest of us are down here in the gutter...hehe> I think its great what you guys are doing for the hobby.  <thank you kindly for saying so... it is appreciated> Anyways I guess I have a question about using the formalin. Does it matter what brand I use, either Aquarium Products Formalin or Kordon's Formalin 3? <any brand that lists Formalin as the only ingredient... should be clear, colorless> Or is formalin the same regardless who makes it?  <fairly consistent at around a 40% solution> I assume this will effect the nitrification process,  <not as severely as organic dyes (like Methylene blue) or antibiotics> and wonder if you can recommend the best product to combat the ammonia spike likely to follow.  <water changes are best. The ammo neutralizing products are not ideal for a long list of reasons IMO> I have read that the formalin only effective for a few hours, so I'm thinking maybe just sticking one of Eheim canisters and let it circulate in a bucket of tank water to retain the biological activity or will the bacteria just die because it will have no ammonia to consume while circulating in the bucket?  <really not so great of a concern to need to do it at all.. and no, the bio-filter will not die without ammonia within hours> Can you please tell me if this is a stupid idea?  <Really... all medication should be dosed in a QT tank. I rarely, if ever recommend dosing a main display.. too many potential complications> Also, providing the treatment is successful can I still add live rock to my tank provided I run poly filters/carbon, and approximately how long after can I add the rock?  <several days after a good water change and some fresh chemical filtration (carbon and PolyFilters)> I do change 20 gallons every 2 weeks on 125 gal tank and with each water change siphon half the substrate. <sounds very good!> Thanks again, Mike I did read your page where you give tips on responding with a follow up question, I hope this is what you guys meant by replying with the text from the previous question and answer. <exactly, my friend... thank you> I assume you help a lot of people and can't possibly remember every question. Please let me know if this is alright so I know in the future. <you are doing fine... best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Formalin 3 and Methylene blue Hello Anthony! I have been doing the freshwater dips for 3 days and I think that all my fishes are out of danger.  <excellent! FW dips are truly one of the best anti-parasite/protozoan treatments> There are a couple of white spots on the tail of the Angelfish and the Blue Tang, this is why I still do a couple of dips every day. I still treat my aquarium with SeaCure and will keep for 10 more days (totally 20). <yes... very good> Me and my retailer could not get Formalin 3 and Methylene Blue through some representative of the well-known companies (Aquarium Pharm ....). So we are looking for somebody to send us these products front the U.S. Do you know any reliable shop that can sell via the Internet there two products? As a first=rst order we would like to have 12 pieces of each. We would also like to have the Poly-Filter. So, if you could recommend some distributor to me, I would appreciate it. <I will make sure that Bob sees this... I suspect that he can guide us> Question: Formalin is 37% Formaldehyde in solution of distilled water. What is Methylene blue? <an organic dye> Question: In case that some aquarist can not catch his fishes due to many corals and decoration, is it possible to treat his main system with Methylene blue, and how?  <not recommended...stains porous media and lingers (even stains the silicone of the tank). Can harm invertebrates and live rock... even bio-filter to a measurable extent. Best in QT system> Does Methylene Blue remain in the system or is it possible to use Poly-Filter and take it out? <dilution with water changes and PolyFilters will remove it nicely> Question: I have seen today a fabulous Heniochus acuminatus in my retailer's shop. It arrived yesterday and seems to be already in a good shape. It is a relatively big fish, its length should be about 5 inches. I would like to buy it, but still I have two hesitations: - I still treat with SeaCure for Oodinium. Is it good to introduce the Heniochus now that there is a treatment in my aquarium? <definitely not.. a high risk at this point> - I have an aggressive Acanthurus Lineatus (5 inches) and an Apolemichthys Xanthotis Angelfish (4 1/2 inches). Do you think that they could wound him?  <yes... possible> The Heniochus looks twice as big than the above two fishes (because of his body shape). <alas... the other fish are more territorial/aggressive> - My aquarium is 55 gallons. Is it too small for a big Heniochus? (I though that it is not a very kinetic fish, rather a slow one , and for that reason could be o.k. in my small tank). <actually... the tank overall should not house all three fishes to leave room for their growth to adulthood. Better off with a species that reaches a smaller adult size> Regards, Thanassis <kindly, Anthony>

Re: Formalin 3 and Methylene blue Bob... this needs a little of your input *** Bob... please see if you can help this fellow with the overseas distributor/US shipping question midway in the message. My answered reply to the rest of the body is already in the sent folder. Thank you. <Hotay... will send back to you... but you haven't included his email addy... will look for in your answered, sent response.> Hello Anthony! I have been doing the freshwater dips for 3 days and I think that all my fishes are out of danger. There are a couple of white spots on the tail of the Angelfish and the Blue Tang, this is why I still do a couple of dips every day. I still treat my aquarium with SeaCure and will keep for 10 more days (totally 20). Me and my retailer could not get Formalin 3 and Methylene Blue through some representative of the well-known companies (Aquarium Pharm ....). So we are looking for somebody to send us these products from the U.S. Do you know any reliable shop that can sell via the Internet there two products?  <Most any of the sponsors of WWM should> As a fis=rst order we would like to have 12 pieces of each. We would also like to have the Poly-Filter. So, if you could recommend some distributor to me, I would appreciate it. <Try Custom Aquatic> Question: Formalin is 37% Formaldehyde in solution of distilled water. What is Methylene blue? <An organic dye. You can find the formulation, properties on the Net> Question: In case that some aquarist can not catch his fishes due to many corals and decoration, is it possible to treat his main system with Methylene blue, and how? Does Methylene Blue remain in the system or is it possible to use Poly-Filter and take it out? Question: I have seen today a fabulous Heniochus acuminatus in my retailer's shop. It arrived yesterday and seems to be already in a good shape. It is a relatively big fish, its length should be about 5 inches. I would like to buy it, but still I have two hesitations: - I still treat with SeaCure for Oodinium. Is it good to introduce the Heniochus now that there is a treatment in my aquarium? <No! Please wait> - I have an aggressive Acanthurus Lineatus (5 inches) and an Apolemichthys Xanthotis Angelfish (4 1/2 inches). Do you think that they could wound him? The Heniochus looks twice as big than the above two fishes (because of his body shape). <Again, best to wait for now> - My aquarium is 55 gallons. Is it too small for a big Heniochus? (I though that it is not a very kinetic fish, rather a slow one , and for that reason could be o.k. in my small tank). <Really yes... too small> Regards, Thanassis

Rapid Gill pumping.... Anthony, First off allow me to thank you for all of the help that you have lent me over the course of the last few days. Not only was your advice good, but it was delivered expediently, and in such a manner as to not make me feel like a complete dummy. Though I have been known to do extremely dumb things, particularly with my fish tank. Many thanks. <very welcome and thank you for your patience. I fear sometimes that I am too strict of an aquarist and with my advice. Indeed, we all learn some hard lessons... just trying to minimize them <smile>> Anyway here is what I did. Before I read your last email I transported the tang to a 30 gallon tank I borrowed from a friend; <excellent... and though it might still seem small to you for a fish this size, it will serve the purpose admirably!> cleaned it out really well, and then used 30 gallons of water from the main tank to fill the QT. This was on Monday night. I also treated him with a product called Greenex. Apparently this is a combination of Malachite Green, and Quinine extract. Everyone I spoke to said that this is an excellent all purpose antibiotic. <it has a cure or kill reputation... aggressive but necessary at times> It appears to have worked. Not only has the excessive gilling ceased, but his appetite is back, and the ick (or whatever it may have been) appears to have receded somewhat. <excellent, and so soon. But don't relax just yet. Medicated several days after last symptom wanes if mfg recommendations allow and keep in QT for a minimum of 2 weeks> Will keep him QT'd for some time yet. With fingers crossed, it appears that he is on the road to recovery. Which is good, because he has quickly become a favored fish. <yes... a magnificent fish. You made the right call> My Passer never appeared to become ill, which is also very good. I will definitely take your advice on the plastic tub QT setup. I completely overlooked such a simple solution. <too easy to do <wink>... that's why we all brainstorm and share ideas> Again thanks for everything. Michael <always welcome, and thanks for sharing a positive update! Anthony>

Treating Marine Parasites <<JasonC here, Bob is off diving>> Mr. Fenner, sorry to bother you again, but.... The symptoms on my fish were getting worse (ich and marine velvet) so we got a skimmer, but then started using Rally and Kick Ich by Ruby Reef to try to save fish and had to turn skimmer off. I ended up losing my Gold rim tang, Heniochus, and true Percula. Obviously these meds didn't work. I know you said to get Alkalinity right and keep water quality excellent, lower salinity slowly) and raise temp. I did these as well, Water is great, salinity is at 1.019 normally it is at 1.022 0r around there. Temp is around 80-82. We ran activated carbon through tank to pull meds out and try something a little "harder". We began using Greenex yesterday. My clown died but he wasn't going to make it regardless. Now none of my fish are eating. They are all hiding. I am now running carbon, protein skimmer and UV sterilizer to pull meds out as I believe Greenex is quite toxic. <<UV won't take any medications out of the water>> What else can I should I do. <<probably not much, reflect on what has transpired. Successful Marine tank keeping requires as much work before we put fish in the tank as after. >> We are kind of thinking to try to let the fish fight it off on their own. The shrimps are cleaning them and salinity is lowered. Please help we are running out of options. Remember we can't use hosp tank and we have inverts. <<I don't recall the details - this is an important piece of gear, perhaps more important than a UV filter>> If this were your tank given what we can and cannot do, what would you do at this time? <<wait it out, try to make arrangements for a quarantine system for future residents>> We have two hippo tangs and one true Percula left, two cleaner shrimps both working hard) I thought of neon gobies, but am afraid of getting any new fish.. HELP!!!!!! <<well, the neon gobies are pretty hardy and may be a good place for you to get started again, however... you should really consider carefully how you might squeeze in a quarantine system. This one item could have saved you much of this heart-ache. Certainly a good idea to just let things run their course and see how the Greenex works out. You are quite correct about the toxicity of Greenex, and it probably should have been avoided. In any case, keep running the carbon, try to encourage your fish to feed but don't over-do it. Cheers, J -- >>

Greenex...reef-safe? one more quick question. . . what is about Greenex that makes it so harmful? <The active ingredients are Malachite Green and Quinine Hydrochloride (a fairly nasty chemical).> Why do they say on the bottle that it is "reef safe" if it has done so much harm? <It claims to be "invertebrate safe", which is a pretty big difference. Many larger inverts can tolerate the stuff, but much of the smaller life in reef tanks and many corals will be harmed.> Is there ever a situation where you would recommend using this stuff? <The best situation for the use of any medication is in your bare bottom hospital tank. -Steven Pro> <and adding that the malachite wreaks havoc with filter feeders and many octocorals>

Tetra Anti-Parasite Flakes Bob, I have a saltwater tank and recently was told to try to use Tetra Anti-Parasite flakes to treat an ick problem with a Orange Shoulder Tang. Do you know if this product will affect any corals or inverts I have in my tank. Thanks for any help you can provide on this product. William <It will very likely not affect either the ich infestation or your non-fish livestock. Please read through WetWebMedia.com re parasitic problems, their treatment. Bob Fenner>

Kent Marine RxP Ich in with Inverts well, I've had a recent outbreak of ick in my tank because when I added by protein skimmer, I rearranged the tank and readjusted the heater. the tank went from 76 to approx 73, fairly quickly...  <yes...temperature drops are a surefire way to incite Ich on marine fishes> I noticed it after I saw my hippo tang <AKA Ich magnets...hehe> freaking out (lost all color, and swimming crazily), and checked all the levels, and noticed the temp dropped. I slowly brought it back up - and now I see little white spots on him (hippo tang), my purple tang, and my coral beauty. (or, at least this is what I think caused it)... no new fish, or anything like that. Water quality is great... ammonia 0, salinity 1.022, nitrate 0, nitrite <10, ph 8.3, & just did a 20% water change last Thursday..... temp in tank is 77 degrees. I've treated the tank with Greenex for a week now - seemed to get better, but this morning I noticed more. <small daily siphoning of water from tank bottom is very helpful for effecting a cure...do consider for a week or more as well> I'm at a loss. I have live rock (6 pounds) as well as a choc. chip star, and 2 hermit crabs. Supposedly the RxP is really good, and won't harm inverts (except for the starfish, I am going to put him in a makeshift holding tank until the RxP is out). <honestly not thrilled with that idea> My quarantine tank had Cupramine in it. <and you are worried about the coral beauty with Copper? yes a bit, but the other fish would benefit by a proper medication treatment in Quarantine> Would you suggest taking all the sick fish out - and just treating them with copper? I've read that the ick can get itself in the gravel, etc... so it is good to treat the main tank.  <please no, do NOT treat the main tank.. treat in a bare bottomed quarantine tank... calcareous media is never to be coppered if used with invertebrates. It will be absorbed into the rock, sand, shell, etc. By putting fish in a proper 4-week quarantine...the tank parasites will be reduced/die without a viable host> I've also read that dropping salinity to 1.017 <possibly helpful> and temp up to 80 will also help  <more tricky and less effective> - but I've heard that tangs don't appreciate the lower salinity. <not true...they are quite tolerant> Or.... should I take out all the inverts, and treat the main tank with Cupramine? Your thoughts are always very accepted - I love your book. You have some amazing pictures in there, well worth the $$.... ~Bill <agreed...with regards, Anthony Calfo>

Kent Marine RxP Quick question - What are your thoughts on treating ick with Kent Marine's RxP product. My local store swears by it.. <Don't have any personal experience. Have heard the widest range of results second hand... from great to a sham. I'm still sticking with proven copper compound and environmental technology... if such parasites make it past dip/bath, quarantine procedures. Bob Fenner> ~Bill

Crustacean Parasite Medication Hello again, <greetings, John!> Thanks for your response. It doesn't list any ingredients on the bottle it is a clear liquid  <no trouble... that helps, it rules out organic dyes/copper derivatives> - I did a 75% water change because the fish were suffering. <always a wise move... dilution is the solution to pollution, as they say> I've lost half of them. It does seem to have worked otherwise.  <yes... the aggressive meds are often cure or kill. I suspect you mostly lost the small-scaled or scaleless fishes> A lot of fish seem happier but are bearing the scars - literally.  <which will heal amazingly so in time> Despite the water change they are not yet themselves - the product says it kills all the filter bacteria and damages plants - I just wish I had another tank to put the afflicted fish in but in truth it was hard to tell which were affected. <agreed... and we must make the best with what we are given. Just compensate for the filter damage with extra water changes for the next few weeks...say 10% twice weekly for three weeks unless the tank clouds or indicates that this is not enough> Thanks for your kind words about merry old England. I am English but living in Ireland. <my pleasure, and apologies for assuming England> I have to be honest and say they are not as well set up for everything fish wise as they would be in the UK or certainly the US. I've always wanted to go to the States but never could afford it - Oh WELL. <funny... I have always felt the same about visiting England, Scotland and Ireland. I presently reside in a temperate forest region of SW Pennsylvania. We have our share of rain and precipitation otherwise... I'm sure that I am endeared to such melancholy climates<smile>> Kind regards, John Nightingale <with kind regards, Anthony>

Formaldehyde treatment-disaster Hello Jason, <Bob here... the boys are "leaving on a jet plane"> After doing some further studying on this matter (Ok, homework) it seems that Formaldehyde is indeed absorbed by activated carbon. Of course even if I was using carbon, I would have to remove it for the medication (actually I never use carbon in any of my tanks, only after medications). As you said.. <George... am very surprised that you used this biocide... crosslinks peptides as you must know> time will tell. However, I would suppose that 3 days after the toxification, the invertebrates should have died.. instead they continue to graze on the algae as if nothing happened.. I know they have a completely different biology than fishes but still.. (I know - hope dies last). Many thanks to you and Bob for your help.. <Dosage effect/dependency here... the formaldehyde was "used up"... none present now assuredly. Bob Fenner> George

Re: Formaldehyde/Biocide experience Hello Bob and Jason, <<Greetings George, JasonC again.>> Thanks for letting me know. In fact, in have already seen some of my crabs becoming less and less active, although the mollusks seem to go their way. I will try to dilute the chemical with some water changes and see what happens. <<good luck, I do fear the damage is done.>> The only survivor (a "neon" damsel) is swimming in the next tank which was not treated. Do you think it will make it ? <<perhaps, time will tell.>> Isn't formaldehyde absorbed by activated carbon?? <<it will remove some, but probably not all.>> If nothing works, we can always start from the beginning - or go back to our beloved freshwater !! <<sounds good, although I wouldn't give up that quickly.>> George Reclos
<<Cheers, J -- >>

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