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FAQs on Medications/Treatments 3

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

Related FAQs: Medications/Treatments 1, Medications/Treatments 2, Medicated/Augmented Foods/Feeding, & Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Antibiotic Use

Have to remove algae you want to live...   Halimeda sp. and a Pseudochromis if you look closely

API medication; and UV use       7/18/19
Dear Bob,
Would it be possible to use API general cure
<" 500 mg Metronidazole and 150 mg Praziquantel per teaspoon. ">
and furan 2 with UV sterilizer turned on?
<Mmm; I do think these compounds are not readily (too much) reduced by UV exposure here. I would say yes>
Other medications instructions clearly say to turn off the UV however I haven't seen anything in API manual.
Could you shed some light on this?
<From memory, what I see quickly on the Net...>
Kind regards
<And you, BobF>

API Fish Medication... Mainly Metro-, Prazi-       8/24/18
Hi Bob,
<Hey Branko>
I've been having issue obtaining Metronidazole and Praziquantel locally. I was thinking of trying out API General Cure, if manufacturer is to be trusted it contains nothing but Metro and Prazi and is very effective in treating parasitic worms on the fish.
<The Prazi/quantel is... might be cheaper if you're using very much to just buy from a pharma source. I think Hikari sells it in bulk if you have a distributor locally>
I've found a new supplier which im overall happy with except some of their fish come with some form of Monogeneans (if im not mistaken).
<VERY common>
Fresh water dip usually takes care of it, however its way too much stress for some fish and I'd like to avoid losing fish due to that stress.
After reading up on API general cure I've noticed they have wide variety of other medications in their offer, are they any good? If yes which are worth looking into?
<All their "older" offerings are efficacious. DO avoid the more modern "herbal" "fixes"... they're shams>
Other than that I've seen Everything Aquatics advertising similar medication blends, as well as 100% pure active ingredients. This is my second choice, simply because I believe it will be easier to clear API's products on customs. Please advise on what would you use if customs is not something to worry about.
<My take on all is posted on WWM. Do you have a copy of Ed Noga, Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment? Either the 1st or 2d edition is highly recommended as a/the ONE source for reference>
Ps. I have discovered that Centropyge Angels can be easily kept in CU, when
introduced slowly, 0.02ppm per day, and with a chelated CU mix with 16/1 ratio of CU/citric acid (hope this helps your readers) :)
<Ah yes; I thank you>
Looking forward to your much valued advice.
Ps Happy Birthday! :)
<Ahh, again, appreciated. Bob Fenner>
Re: API Fish Medication; now Prazi avail., Centropyge dis. pic.       8/24/18

Thank you for swift reply.
Our local pharm company charges 350$ for 25 grams. While in the US 500$ 1kg. Just ridiculous.
<?! I'd contact Hikari: http://www.hikariusa.com/wp/solutions/healthaid/prazipro/
Their liquid prep. in one gallon is very useful... and already solubilized (i.e., in solution)>
Ps please refer to a pictures of Centropyge heraldi which are in attachment. What could cause that kind of damage? We did fw dip nothing fell off.
<.... can't tell much from a pic. Need sampling, microscopic examination...
Looks like a bacterially infected physically damaged area>
Fish has internal parasites it looks like it ate a whole marble
<... infection. Bob Fenner>


Re: Paraguard Personal View. 09/11/14
Hi Bob,
As there seems a very vague answer from SeaChem in regards to Paraguard if it will kill inverts
<The Malachite definitely will>
I decided to go for their combination of Metronidazole, Focus and Garlic Guard on the basis that is will not kill inverts and could be effective
against ICH. Not any surprise my tiny Regal Tang showed signs of Ich with the tiny Sixbar/Blueface looked grey as it produced more mucus but is now back to normal and I now appear to be in the false time window of no symptoms, but what did surprise me is that a tiny Emperor remained totally blotch/spot free. I think there is more than meets the eye to this and the Emperor did not attract the Whitespot either because it does not "smell" like a fish as it has evolved to be immune, or just by natural evolution but clearly most Emperors get very blotchy with Whitespot, or stress. I think this is a mild strain of Ich and hope the fish build their immune system to combat it on it's own as I have to wait for about ten days before the shipment arrives from the USA.
Kind regards,
<Cheers, BobF>
e: Paraguard Personal View.     9/15/14
Hi Bob,
An update for your readers, so far all fish alive, I decided to add a UV to try and slow down the spread of ICH until the medication arrives from the USA hopefully in another 2 or 3 days. The UV turns over the entire tank water every 10 minds in theory and I have created tides with pumps for two reasons, one so that the Whitespot swimmers (Theronts) cannot have time to attach to a fish before they are sterilised, two so that there are no areas of the tank, or minimal hiding areas for the swimmers so that they mostly or all passed through the UV before they can find a fish. Remembering that a UV steriliser, sterilises and does not kill the swimmers I think in 2 days the cycle should be broken based on the swimmers life cycle, tank temp is 30C However the cysts (Tomonts) will still be hatching releasing more swimmers but I hope the medication arrives in time. I am 50/50 confident that I caught the disease early coupled with the amazing fact the tiny Emperor (less than 1 inch) seems immune and likes to "clean" the other fish
<Yes; the species is a facultative cleaner when young/small>
helping remove some swimmers and therefore there are not many fish to propagate the disease only really the tiny "Ich Magnet" Regal Tang. The tiny Blueface/Sixbar is grey again but no signs of spots also the fish are not breathing fast so there are not too many in their gills I hope to have caught the disease in time. I will update once the medication arrives.
Kind regards,
<Thank you. BobF>

Quinine and Methylene Blue 5/19/10
Dear Bob and Crew,
Thanks again for the your tremendous commitment to the dailies. Even when in Egypt- wow!
<Now back, mostly>
Just a quick question today. I am making an order from National Fish Pharmacy for Quinine Sulfate and Methylene Blue and wanted to know if you recommend any other medications to have on hand. I've learned that speed is essential in curing diseases and that fish lives can be saved by having the proper meds at home.
<Mmm, others have such recommendations, not I. See here re Tim Hayes
On a quick side note, according to Drs. Foster and Smith, the Kordon Methylene Blue product states that is to be used for freshwater fish. I know that you've stated countless times that this can also be used for marine. Is there another Methylene Blue product that you recommend for marine?
<Any Oxalate free formula, supply will do>
Thank you so much and have a quick safe trip home!
<Be chatting, BobF>

Marine-C and Algae Blenny... Kent Vitamin product bad effect  05/19/08 Dear WWM Crew... <Sandra> I will never be able to thank everybody there enough for all the knowledge I have received from your site. My wet critters, too. <Welcome> In my reading about supplements and vitamins on your site today, and I have read some aquarists' experience, good and bad, with certain products. I didn't see this particular issue, but thought you might be interested in my experience. <Please> About 2 months ago I purchased a few newly fragged corals at a LFS. The owner asked me if I was using Kent Marine-C when adding new frags. I don't since I only add things to my tank that I test for and I told him that. He said being just a vitamin if I followed the directions and just started out with the minimum and only used it when I added a new frag everything would be just fine. I bought some and took it home. I read all the directions and went to the Kent website and checked it out. I added 50% less than the minimum dosage. About an hour later, my Sailfin Algae Blenny, "Puff", was stuck to the side of my Koralia powerhead. <!> I removed him and he went to the bottom of the tank. He was shocked and pale, but looked okay for a few minutes. Then he started rolling on his side, labored gill movements, he was dying. I immediately did about a 10% water change. He seemed to be perking back up. In a couple of days he was fine. A week after the 1st Marine-C addition I added the same amount of it. Within 30 minutes, Puff was doing the same thing. I did almost a 50% water change and added a fresh bag of Chemi-pure. By evening time he was still a little bit pale and struggling to swim. It took a couple of days for him to fully recover. He's been fine ever since and my Marine-C went out in the garbage the next day. My other fish and corals didn't seem affected by it, but I have no doubt that the vitamin is what caused his troubles. <Strange... vitamin/s alone should not have this effect... reads as if there's some sort of poisoning, oxygen depletion going on here.> Just wanted to let you know of my experience in case someone else has a fish that does the same thing and they just added Marine-C. Thanks again for all your help with my tanks. Sincerely, Sandra D. <Thank you for sharing your experience, observations. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich... "No Sick Fish" product 12/15/2007 Hello Bob Have you heard of the ich med "no sick fish"? A few people in town here said it worked for them. It is suppose to be reef safe, that's why I don't trust it!! Just wondered what you thought of it, if you have heard of it. If you have, do you know what's in it? Web site is nosickfish.com. <Have heard of... even chatted with the nice young fellow the owner sends out to hobby and industry trade shows to rep... He didn't, doesn't know much... but is very pleasant... All their products are the same I believe... and no detail/s re what the "magic" ingredient is... I too am dubious, though have heard quite a few folks relate success in using this expensive notion. BobF>

Re: Disease Help... "reef-safe" med.s  11/19/07 Hi Bob, I treated with Revive and No Ich from Fish Vet. <... am very leery of such products that claim to leave only "beautiful" invertebrates intact, while eliminating undesireables... AND further, don't list their ingredients> It has worked so far <This is the operative term> and treating him for bacterial as well as for parasite infestation. He has mellowed out and is eating very hardy. This stuff does not mess with your water Chemistry, I have tested everyday and it has been clean. I had to take out the carbon and the Zeolite for five days than I will do a 20% water change I slowed the skimmer down rather than turn it completely off I turned it off the day I medicated than started it back up at minimal the next day... So my method worked so far so good a very happy person right now! thank you much. The stuff that I used is Invert safe and reef safe and works well... Sharon <I do hope it works for you... Instead of some natural remission, cycling off... and returning of the causative organisms here. Bob Fenner>

Reef safe <treatments> and skimmer/ozonizer <sel.> -11/18/07 Hello Mr. Fenner, <Jerry> My wife says that she wants to get me a tee-shirt with your face on it since "I spend so much time on your website!" <Heeee! Mine would rather I got one with Brad Pitt on it> Any how, you guys are the best, sometimes I wish I never came across your website because as they say ignorance is bliss!! Now I kick myself in the rear for all the things I did and still do wrong. <Oh, don't I wish that there were similar "projects" like WWM... on other hobbies, interests... aspects of gardening, cooking...> One recent case in point, quarantine tank and dip. You know the story. One minute my new fish has no spots, now my tank is infested. <Ah, yes> I read a discussion you were having regarding ozone as a possible way to treat ich, in the conversation you mentioned a company in Germany called Preis Aquaristik. <Yes! Oh! Ms. (Cornelia) Preis... IF ONLY one could import there line... including vaccines for many common fish complaints... Products that REALLY work... I see her/them every couple years at the InterZoo industry trade show in Nuremberg... and never have missed a chance to ask re their export to the west... Too many issues with laws, regulations... and rightly so...> I researched them and came across a product they make called Preis Neosal Liquid. I wanted to find out if you are familiar with the product and also if it is Reef-Safe. On the description section: for saltwater use only, specially formulated for use in marine tanks with invertebrates. <Oh! They do have a nice website: http://www.preis-aquaristik.com/eng/heilmittel/hmpreisneosalfluessig.html And do state that this product is fine to use with invertebrates... HOWEVER their info. includes some important statements re lowering Spg (to 1.018)... and preventing elevated pH through not using calcified water... And the mechanism... flagellar immotility, worries me. I would NOT use this material in an established reef tank> Being so close to Christmas and Thanksgiving, I would hate to have my tank fallow. I know you say in the forum that there is no "Reef Safe" treatment but will this at least help? <Mmm, my usual chagrin and stmt. here re the relativity of this term "reef safe"...> Yes, I am looking for that get outta jail free card! <Heeee! Best to break out the board game Monopoly here> Also my skimmer is rated up to 110g (AquaC Urchin Pro). I have a 90g reef tank w/20g sump and 20g refugium, maybe about 110g together, not counting LR displacement. I was thinking about upgrading my skimmer to an Aqua C 180. My question to you, is if you had a choice, would you upgrade the skimmer or buy an ozonizer to supplement? <Mmm, a tough one... the ozonizer> I have read about the ozonizers and I would love to go that direction. In your opinion were would I get more bang for my buck? Thank you for your time, Jerry <Willkommen! Bob Fenner>

Re: reef safe and skimmer/ozonizer... Preis products  11/19/07 I found a distributor of some of their products in the UK. www.aquatics-online.co.uk but WOW by the time you add the shipping and carriage fee!! <Wow! Such a deal> Thank you Bob for sharing your insight... Let me know when the Tee-Shirts come out!! <Heeee! Likely when I can fit into those hip hugging jeans...!> I'm figuring great Christmas gifts!! My wife would be sooo surprised!! Have a great day, Jerry <Mmm, hopefully not all pet fish related... Cheers! BobF>

Ick Cure and the Meaning of RMF 6/12/07 Hi Crew, <Hello> I just came across this and was wondering if anyone of the Crew has tried their product that cures Ick? http://www.nosickfish.com/products.php <Oh boy, where to start on this one. I will say I think they have some wonderful marketing people, and if they worked for me I would give them all a huge raise. As for whether their product can live up to its claims, I am doubtful to say the least. I have not come across any nor have they provided any scientific quantifiable data to support their claims.> I can't believe I just figured out what/who RMF is-Read My Friend. <Sure you don't mean RMF? As in Robert M. Fenner? Although "Read My Friend" is also very appropriate and something I'm guessing Bob may start using. Actually while I'm thinking about it, when used by Bob, "Rate My Fannie" might be more accurate.><<Heeeee! BobF... not an acronym for Big ole Blubbery Fan-whale-oh!>> Unfortunately it falls on deaf ears. We are in the 'want it now' generation. <So true, the concept of delayed gratification is dead. I'll choose an easy scape-goat and blame TV and the internet.> Why waste time reading when an expert can tell you what to do. So instead of using their time they waste your time. <Sometimes unfortunately, but we still love doing it.> Thanks for your time. <Always a pleasure.> <Chris>

Treating Ick using hyposalinity.. first try - II Hello: <Hi there> Sorry I might be stupid. So where should I go and get formalin? <An amazing coincidence... have been gearing up to write a series of articles... called "pathologically speaking"... and my first installment was to be... formalin/formaldehyde... I will add to the topic headings "sources" (as well as chemistry, uses, dangers...). Oh can be purchased in hobbyist quantities from either the LFS or etailers... Kordon/Novalek repackages small volumes for aquarium use for instance> LFS? Can you please tell me some of their name from a brand so I can start somewhere? I am swamped with problems already and if you can help me out by telling me which formalin to get, that will be of great help! <And, not to confuse you, but this dangerous compound is sold for "food purposes" et al. in 37% gallon containers... this is a BUNCH> By the way, the salinity reading was off when I am measuring it using an arm type meter, then I use a refractometer to check again, it is now really 1.010. will salinity higher than 1.010 keep the Ick alive and multiply? I guess my question is that is 1.010 the threshold that Ick eggs are killed?? <Mmm, how to state this clearly... the low salinity itself will very unlikely result in the outright death of all stages of Cryptocaryon... It may weaken it sufficiently... and along with a lack of ready fish hosts, cause such a loss of vitality that it won't revive unless your fishes are greatly weakened otherwise... but it will NOT kill it> Last, since formalin have so much side effects that I have to take care of, (oxygen, change water all the time, stress to fish etc.) will it better off to use copper + hypo instead? Eric <Good question... A matter of opinion, circumstances... but IMO, most scenarios, the copper, with or w/o lowered Spg is better than formalin use. Bob Fenner>

Pimafix and protein skimming Hi everyone. Hope you are doing well. <And you> I have a question that has to do with my clownfish. I have a ocellaris clown that is eating well and active. He is showing signs of fin rot on his dorsal and I would like to introduce Pimafix to the system. Have had very good results with this in my freshwater system. On the Pimafix bottle it states that the protein skimmer may have to be turned off during treatment. Why is that? Does protein skimming interfere with the effectiveness of Pimafix or does it induce extreme foaming of the skimmer? <The latter. Skimming removes this "remedy" quickly. Bob Fenner> Thank you very much for your time. D.B.

Naso tang fin disease First,,,, I wish I had found this site sooner, truly a wonderful source of expert opinion.   <Our intention> I have a juvenile Naso tang (lituratus) about 5-6 inches in length who for the past 3 months has had a frayed tail and ventral fins (fins look like they were partially eaten away and have a little bit of a rough white exudate on them).   <Mmmm, should have "grown back" over this time... if suitable environment (size, tankmates...), nutrition available> He looks great otherwise and eats like a champ. <Eating what? "Breakfast of Champions?"... hopefully substantial amounts of brown, red, green algae...>   My local fish store here in Hawaii recommended Melafix for the fin issue.  I had stepped up water changes without any change in the fin prior to trying the Melafix. I currently am on day 5 of the MelaFix treatment and wonder if I should finish out the 7 days or stop.  Does this sound like Ich and if so what treatment if any would you recommend? <This homeopathic remedy I am NOT a fan of... has a mild anti-microbial effect... NOT useful on protozoan complaints> I have a 125 gallon SW tank, which has been running for 5 months with great water quality.  Fish load is light with only a white spotted puffer, squirrel fish, blue damsel, and flame angel.  Everyone else looks great. Thanks, Eric <Try bolstering the Naso's diet with soaking it in a vitamin prep. (e.g. Selcon), offering soaked/dried algae with a clip at the water's surface. Bob Fenner> <<Mmm, should have suggested he go collect his own Limu, living in Hawai'i... RMF>> Feedback on Aquapharm Pro Series Cure Ich Product Hi again! <Hello> Thanks a bunch for all your help.  I'm currently have a hyposalinity QT tank set up for my parrotfish, batfish, and boxfish.  They're temporarily in a rather small tank.  I plan to move them to a bigger one so as to house all the remaining fishes in my display tank.  Unfortunately, the Sailfin tang's condition deteriorated and didn't make it pass the FW dip which was frustrating since I had him since he was li'l guy!!!  :-( I do however have a question regarding AquaPharm's Pro Series Cure Ich medication.  Have any of you used it? <Mmm, no... this is a product of: http://www.aquapharm-india.com/ and not something not listed by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals I take it> How effective was it in getting rid of the ich?  Also, it doesn't state what its ingredients are, just that it doesn't contain copper.  It also claims that it is safe for invertebrates, and corals. <Umm... ingredients not listed... safe for non-vertebrates... Not a possibility>   (I've attached what's printed on the bottle label.)  But when I do use it, the anemones tend to shrink for the first few days. <Uhh, what do you think?> Does this mean that it's a temporary occurrence? <Life itself is temporary... I would NOT use this product>   Should I continue to use this medication in my QT tank for the infected fishes? <I would NOT. Look for a REAL product.> They're pretty much clear of clear but I'm going to wait for another 4 weeks before I put them back into the display tank, that is, if I can catch the remaining fishes in the display tank.  They're pretty slippery li'l guys to catch!! It would be much appreciated if you could let me know of any feedback about its usage. <Study my friend... very likely the visible stages have just cycled off... perhaps with the general poisoning of this product involved... they'll be back> Also, according to the site, I should increase the temperature of the display tank to speed up the lifecycle of the ich.  I'm currently using 2 fans on top of my display tank.  It's usually around 26 - 27 degrees and the plants and anemones are doing well.  But I was told that anything higher than those temperatures, the plants will suffer.  Is that true?  If so, what should I do?  Take out the plants too? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs files (linked, in blue, at top) until you understand what you're up to here> As for the harlequin shrimp, when I feed them starfish, would I have to QT the small red starfishes too to avoid bringing ich into the system? <Study> If so, would it have an adverse effect on the starfishes if I put them in with the others in the QT tank which is currently in hyposalinity. <The hyposalinity will NOT eliminate the Cryptocaryon by itself...> Btw, I also have tank containing a few Pufferfishes, 1 dogface puffer, 3 white spotted puffers (s, m, l sizes), 1 other puffer (but I don't know the English name for it), 1 Scorpionfish.  So far the fishes get along fine. The Scorpionfish is usually next to the sponge filters whereas the largest of the white spotted puffer just sits at the bottom of the tank until a piece of food comes his way.  However, since the puffers are very aggressive during feeding time, the li'l ones usually miss out on the bits of shrimps that I give as the larger ones keep stealing them away from the li'l ones.  Is this behavior normal? <Yes. You may have to feed the smaller individual especially, perhaps move it to other quarters.>   When I feed the scorpion live freshwater fish, the largest of the white spotted puffer keeps catching them for himself!!  So......... I do wonder if the scorpion ends up eating at all.  Any suggestions? Thanks again.    Still trying, Lisa <You're doing fine thus far... just need to apply yourself, learn a bit more> Pro Series  Cure Ich? safe for corals and invertebrates is a scientifically formulated medication for the control of marine ich (white spot).  It contains no copper and it is safe for corals, invertebrates and delicate fish and will not damage the biological filter.   Cure Ich? also eliminates the free swimming parasites that feed on the fish and end up leaving an open wound which eventually cause a bacterial infection. Symptoms may include any white spots, body fungus, visible sores or wounds, discoloration, fish rubbing against objects, loss of appetite and increased respiration. Cure Ich? is also a treatment of Velvet, Coral fish disease (Oodinium), Slimy skin disease (Brooklynella), Fin and tail rot, Mouth fungus (Flexibacter Columnaris). <And balding, dementia and what ails you... You've been swindled. Bob Fenner>

Ammonia Questions ?? Hi Bob <John> I have the following problem, please help! Sorry for the long email but giving some history. I have a 3 foot tank that I set up as a quarantine tank. I took some media (ceramic balls) from the trickle filter, some media (ceramic balls) from the sump and 100 litres water from my display tank (Running for 10 Months) and placed it in the quarantine tank canister filter. Also added an AquaClear 200 filter on the tank with only a new sponge for media  to build up some bacteria. I put a piece of live rock (as big as two fists together) in the tank as well. I put a clown trigger which I bought in the QT tank for a week. I checked the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate twice daily. For 7 days everything was fine within acceptable limits. The fish also looked good with no signs of any disease. I put it into my display tank. (I know this is a bit soon but needed the QT for other fish). I bought 3 regal tangs of about 50 - 60 mm each. (These are scarce in my town so I had to get them!) <Not an easy species to keep alive... do check into Pablo Tepoot's food line "Spectrum"... about the only thing I've seen that works to get this species going in captivity... especially when small as yours are> They where flicking in the shop before I got them so I put them in the QT. The salinity at the LFS was 1.018 so I lowered my QT salinity to 1.018. PH is at 9.5 <9.5? This is WAY too high. Please read re and adjust slowly down to 8.2-8.4> and temp at 27.5 to 28 C. On day 2 of putting the new fish in QT I dosed Red sea Paracure (copper) at 0.3 as recommended to clear the infection on the fish (they had "white-ish" marks on them and still flicking, not sure if ich or Oodinium). On day 3 started to see ammonia 0.25 ppm on the card. On day 4 ammonia was at 0.5 ppm on the card (Red sea copper test kit) so I did a 25% water change with water from my display tank. Ammonia down to 0.25. Added Paracure to get back to 0.3 (Nitrite and nitrate is near to 0) On day 5 ammonia was back at 0.5 ppm so I did a 25% water change again with water from my display tank. Ammonia down to 0.25 again. Added Paracure to get back to 0.3 (Nitrite and nitrate is near to 0). The fish seem fine now and are not flicking any more but still have small "white-ish" patches on them. Here are the questions now as I need advice on what to do next:
1. The Paracure label said that it does not affect the bacteria in the filter. Is this correct? <Doesn't appear so, but...> If so why do I have the ammonia problem? <Likely the copper or lowered Spg killed off or induced a physiological check in your nitrifiers> 2. Technically the tank should be cycled as it has all the water from the display tank as well as the filter material. Is this correct? <Was likely, but as stated one or both of the medicants and altered Spg bumped off or stalled the process, processors> 2. Does the lower salinity have an impact on a) the biological filter, <Yes... will kill most microbes> b) copper dosing and c) ammonia? <Yes> 3. According to the Red sea ammonia test kit NH4+ is less harmful. This it the 0.25 to 0.5 that is measured on the card. How bad is this for fish and how long can fish handle this amount of ammonia. How does it affect the fish? <Mmm, hard to state... weakened fish livestock may die as consequence in hours, days at this concentration. 1.0 ppm is almost always toxic within hours, days> 4. According to the Red sea ammonia test kit NH3 is toxic ammonia. This value is about 0.016 when calculated at 0.25 NH4+ and 0.032 at 0.5 NH4+ . How bad is this for fish and how long can fish handle this amount of ammonia. How does it affect the fish? <Good question... once again, not a black/white scenario, but as an added source of "stress", any detectable ammonia/ammonium is bad news> What I thought of the problem is that the biological filter is failing and therefore the ammonia spikes. How can I fix this problem (Would it helped if I put in some Hagen Cycle? <This product might help... as might adding some more filter media from your established system, but the best move is to change out good percentages of the water with used as you've been doing... and possibly risk dipping the Regal/Clown/Lineatus tangs and moving them to the display> Any recommendations please of what to do next as I would like to keep the fish in QT for at least another 2 weeks. Thanks for the help and excellent web site.   Regards John Squier <The "call" is up to you. I would dip/bath these fish and move them. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ammonia Questions ?? Hi Bob <John> Thanks for the info. I made a typing error - PH not at 9.5 its at 7.95 sorry. <Ahh, much better... as you're likely aware, ammonia/ium is much, MUCH more toxic at higher pHs> One more thing, after reading about lowered salinity I could not find anything on the topic that it would effect the biological filter. <Does so my friend... think about osmotic shock... for instance... the simple use of "salt" mouthwashes, astringents to kill... single-celled organisms of pathogenic nature... the nitrifying bacteria are... single-celled organisms... Too much, too soon change in specific gravity stalls them physiologically, kills them> Could it be the combination of lowered salinity and copper that caused my filter to crash? <Yes, easily> Do you perhaps have any links where I could find more info on this please. <More on what? Please use the Google search tool on the homepage... www.WetWebMedia.com with key terms that describe what you're looking for> Your recommendation <The "call" is up to you. I would dip/bath these fish and move them. Bob Fenner> Would you do this because of the negative effect of the ammonia? Do you think 9 days of copper treatment is enough? Thanks John <Yes to both... the advantages/risks of moving the stock are shifted greatly to the former. Bob Fenner>

Ich, Macroalgae and medication 11/12/04 Hello again to the WWM guru! <Hardly a guru, but glad to help!> I wanted to get some further input on the ammonia situation in the OT tank. Unfortunately the Flame and neon goby are covered with ich now. The LFS rep & I discussed the constant spikes despite my using cycled water and daily WCs. Guess what we figured out...I have been placing a piece of LR in there, which naturally had some die off (yes, it was newer rock, duh!!). <Yup. That will do it.> Now the thing is this, I put them quickly into the fuge (which has been unplugged from the main tank), and got a "reef safe" ich treatment to treat them while there. <The problem with these treatments is that they are most often made reef safe by recommending such a low dose that they aren't effective.> Here's the big question...wouldn't you know, there's a shipment of Macroalgae on the way and I 'm not sure if its safe to put them in the fuge while the ich treatment is proceeding. I'd place the algae in my main tank, but the hermits would likely have a heyday with them! What would you suggest?  <I would suggest having passing on the macros or letting someone else hold them for you.  I also suggest that all of the rock that will be used for a display be cycled BEFORE adding any livestock.  Your sick livestock should be treated in a separate tank, and any future additions should be quarantined.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>  Allegra in SD Dead Zoanthids - Cyanobacteria 11/5/04 Two weeks ago, I had a bad case of red slime, an F/S recommended I added Ultra Life's Red Slime Remover, so I did <aiiiieeee! No, please say it's not so :( This is an anti-biotic. Do look up the root definition of the term. Or, no... I'll spare you: anti-biotic: against-life Sure... it kills the Cyanobacteria... and so much more! And sadly, red slime algae is staggeringly easy to kick without hardly lifting a finger. Its all about controlling nutrients. Not allowing thawed pack juice from frozen foods into the aquarium, skimming aggressively, increasing water flow and water changes. A cure in 2 weeks or less> and it worked great. The red slime was gone but also an entire colony of zoos. The zoos closed up and are turning a dark brown should I just give on them and declare it a lost or should I just wait and see? How do you even know when a zoo is completely dead? William <water changes, good water flow and time/patience my friend. And please do read through our archives on BGA/Cyanobacteria/Red Slime Algae my friend. So much info. Anthony> Eel oxidized, help! Dear sir As advised in the WetWebMedia forum, I added 7ml/liter of hydrogen peroxide to a QT housing my Gymnothorax tile for 12 min to treat it's cloudy eye. <Seven milliliters? Of what percent solution? Seems high to me> Upon removal of the eel, it appeared with various scratches. In fact, the eyes of the eel are now totally white and greatly enlarged, and I fear he is now permanently blind due to the h2o2. I really think he is dying this very minute, his breathing is very faint. Some of his skin has even peeled off, though he still struggles to swim. Hopefully I can save him by using the Epsom salt, however, is there any other chemical that can neutralize the h2o2 in his bloodstream? Epsom salts combined with h2o2 may produce sulphuric acid, which may kill the eel, and there is definitely still some h2o2 residue on him. HELP needed desperately. <... H2O2 and MgSO4 in aqueous solution can make H2SO4? Don't think so... but it may well be that the concentration of peroxide (what strength solution again?) in alkaline water... might well have oxidized/burned your specimen. Only time can/will tell if it rallies from this exposure. Bob Fenner>                                                                Yours Sincerely,                                                                  Matthew

Re: Eel oxidized, help! The peroxide is of 3% concentration. <This is too much. Do you have the original correspondence in which someone urged the 7 ml.s per gallon? H2SO4 is produced because Mg displaces the H2 from its salt. <... Not appreciably... check the pH of such a union... the energetics don't exist to drive this equation to sulfuric acid... Bob Fenner>

Re: Eel oxidized, help! <Mmm, this is WetWebFotos, not WetWebMedia... WWF is an open Bulletin Board forum and WWM is at least a bit "refereed"... though the citation of note is from MikeD who is a knowledgeable WWM Crewmember... The dosage still seems a bit high to me... Is the eel still alive? Improving? Bob Fenner>  

Mike Dandaneau Posts: 1,254 From: Clearwater, Florida
Registered: Jun, 2004

Re: "Hydrogen peroxide+clove oil" combination for cloudy eye feasible? Posted: Oct 18, 2004 12:59 PM
The recipe for hydrogen peroxide dips that I was given years ago is 7 ml of peroxide per one litre of aquarium water for 11-13 minutes. I'd be very leery of using the clove oil, since it's been suggested that it has uses for euthanasia, and instead suggest simply placing a lid over the treatment container.  

Re: Eel oxidized, help! Hey Bob;     I'm not sure what this is referring to, but the dosage I use and have always used when treating cloudy eyes is 7ml per ltr for 11-13 minutes, or until the fish shows discomfort, as a dip, not 7 ml per gal, which is an even higher dosage. <Thank you for this... it is/was clear (to me) that this is the same as your previous message>     This home remedy was given to me at least 35 years ago and has worked in clearing up cloudy eyes with a single treatment about 75% of the time, with a double treatment, almost 90% of the time, as long as the underlying cause (extremely high nitrates, an early case of Ick for example) was also addressed, such as with water changes, addition of a good skimmer, or appropriate medication etc. <Yes... and peroxides are a "stock item" in the aquaculture and aquatic science biz... for treatments as well as emergency reoxygenation, pH bolstering...>     In using this over the years, I've noticed that it does seem to show a tendency to assist in Ick eradication as well......if I remember correctly, in the original post the individual used the phrase "as usual", which troubled me, and I went out of my way to stress this is a ONE TIME, two at the absolute maximum, dip treatment, and that any medication used excessively can be harmful or fatal with nothing made to be used on a regular basis. Sincerely,     Mike Dandaneau (MikeD) <Yes... don't know what the particular circumstances were... the correspondence to date is posted here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/medfaqs3.htm and today's dailies... Sounds like the eel was already in dire straights (not the band)... Thank you again. Bob F> Re: Eel oxidized, help! What do you mean? Did you receive my message that the eel is barely hanging on and is not eating? <Ah, your messages are coming through with a bunch of HTML code notation. I can read this one. Sorry to hear about your eel... but please do hang on... these are very tough animals as a group... can, do go w/o feeding for months at times... May well still rally. Bob Fenner>

Re: Eel oxidized, help! The eel is recovering from it's body wounds and one of its eyes has recovered, however, the other eye now exhibits cloudy eye and has an enlarged pupil, covering more than 90% of its eye, such that I can hardly see it's sclerotic coat. What does that mean? <Likely that the eye is damaged externally... from a scratch, other mechanical injury... likely will heal on its own, though it may take weeks to months. Bob Fenner> Re: Eel oxidized, help! Thanks very much for your help, I will update you on its condition periodically. <Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Eel oxidized, help! Epsom, Spg, env. disease, antibiotics The salinity level in my moray tank has reached 1.030! I suspect that this is due to the addition of Epsom salts into my tank. <This is a lot of Epsom if so... it only needs to be added once... unless a good deal of water volume has been changed out> Should I change the water immediately? <Yes... I'd lower the Spg to 1.025 in three days water changes... taking out a calculated volume of tank water and replacing it with freshwater.> Both my eels have not eaten for more than 1 month but that is a rather usual occurrence. My Soapfish is faring rather well in the tank at present. What should I do? <Start changing the water, NOW> The fishes seem normal presently but I do not want any nasty surprises. The tank currently also contains tetracycline (to aid the oxidized eel which is slowly recovering). If I were to change water, the tetracycline dosage would be diluted. Is this okay? <Yes, but I would NOT add more Tetracycline... not likely of value/use... your fish will heal with improvement in water quality, time> pH: 8.5 Nitrate & nitrite: 0.15 <Nitrite should be zero> KH: 8dKH Alkalinity: 3 mEq/liter I figured out that the Epsom salts caused the rise in salinity. However, I need to still do a water change (last change was 3 weeks ago). However, I am afraid that if I were to top up both the Epsom salts and tetracycline, there would be tetracycline in the tank longer than the required dosage. This is because it takes time for tetracycline to be completely exhausted in supply in a tank. <Actually... the color of this antibiotic is persistent, but its activity only lasts a few days> I added tetracycline into the tank around 1 week ago. So, IMO, which may not be correct, if I add tetracycline in the top-up water, there will still be some tetracycline in the water about 1 week after the duration of the required dosage, which I fear may be bad for the fishes. <Me too... Do NOT re-add it> However, I also do not know the duration of the required dosage of tetracycline (not stated on package), and this makes things a tad more complicated. Difficult to explain. An example: Dosage for tetracycline: 5g (to be in water for 3 weeks). Tetracycline added. Further top up of new tetracycline 1 week later. 3 weeks later: Old tetracycline dosage exhausted (present in water for full 3 weeks), new dose only present in water for 2 weeks. Therefore some residual tetracycline stays in the water for 1 week more than required duration. Is that okay too? <Antibiotic use for marine fishes is tenuous at best... if administered NOT a good idea to place in their main tank itself... for loss of biological filtration, staining... reasons. I would hold off on adding ANY medication at this point. Lower your Spg and supplement your biological filtration. Bob Fenner>

Using Fungicides and Antibiotics Together (10/31/04) Hello.
<Hi. Steve Allen tonight.>
A general question on antibiotics/fungicides.
<Are we talking FW or SW here?>
If a fish has what looks like fungus on top of a swollen or reddish looking tissue, should it be treated with BOTH a fungicide (Methylene blue maybe?) <Not really useful as a fungicide, at least, not in SW, which is my area. You need a real fungicide labeled as such.> AND an antibiotic? <Fungal infections are often secondarily infected with bacteria due to the tissue damage they do, so treating together would be wise if there is damage like you describe.> As for antibiotics, by reading your FAQs I see that there are many you recommend: Nitrofuranaces, Maracyn, Kanaplex, etc. - are any of them ok to use?
<All have their uses, depending on which bacteria one is trying to treat. When uncertain, one must use a single broad-spectrum agent or complementary narrower spectrum agents to cover the range one needs to cover (gram-positive vs. gram-negative, etc.)>
I realize that by the time I feel I might want to treat with 2 medications, it is far along for the fish. Do I immediately treat for fungus whenever I see it, and then hope the underlying cause of the fungus will take care of itself? (of course keeping watch on water parameters).
<Best to treat the infection when noted and address possible contributory factors at the same time. All chemical treatment really ought to be done in a separate hospital/quarantine tank. Plenty of info on these in the FAQs.>
Or do I actively treat for both bacteria and fungus? <If there is an open, raw-looking wound, then bacterial infection is probable.> Lastly, can you recommend a book that deals with freshwater disease and includes LOTS of pictures, so I can read up and thus not panic when it actually occurs?
<I really like The Manual of Fish Health, by Dr. Chris Andrews, available at Amazon for $17.46.>
Confused and grateful for any response, Miriam Bender
<Hope this helps.> Formalin with Sensitive Fishes Hello WetWeb crew person who takes this question    : ) <Hello! Ryan with your question today>      I've made it a habit to peruse this most awesome website almost everyday as new challenges arise in my marine animal keeping odyssey.
<Phenomenal thing to say!>
Thank you all for your much needed knowledge, time and caring for our piscine critters and their sometimes bewildered owners.
<Sometimes?  Just joshing>      I am seeking advise on treating a pretty sensitive flasher wrasse (not sure if P. carpenteri or p. filamentosus) for a rather persistent case of crypt..  He is in a 15 gallon bare bottomed, PVC pipe quarantine tank along with 5 Stonogobiops gobies.  PH  has remained at 8.0.     I tried a fresh-water dip on the wrasse with adjusted ph to 8.0  and temp around 78f, and the wrasse went stiff and flared, lost color and dropped to the bottom and lay there within 5 seconds. He didn't move when I scooped him out and put him back in the quarantine where he spent twenty four hours breathing heavy and lying in a corner before he recovered.
<Doesn't sound too promising>  
In fact, I believe I was more out stressed by how he reacted.  Am not inclined to do that again.
<And likely not necessary, if the proper medications are added to the quarantine setup.>      Decided to treat with Kordon Formalin-3 because it seemed this was the better choice for a sensitive fish. <Yes, I was about to suggest it> The biological filter crashed after first treatment. <Predictably> Have been dosing according to directions on bottle for 7 days at the 10ppm.  Temp. is at 80f.  Because of the filter crash I have been doing 30-50% water changes a day while siphoning bottom, and dosing new change water only. <In QT, 30% daily water changes are almost mandatory!  In a perfect world, you shouldn't rely on the bacterial filter in this scenario> Also am adding Seachem Prime to help protect the fishes from the unfortunately present ammonia and high nitrites. <OK> Throughout this, so far, 7day ordeal, the wrasse and gobies having been eating (feeding sparingly) with a ravenous appetite.     On 7th day (AAAAAAARGH!, my back is killing me), about 3 new Ich spots appeared on the wrasse's dorsal fin. <It's time for copper>      My questions come from total lack of experience in treating marine fish....would you recommend I stay with the Formalin-3 at double the recent   dose to 20ppm (which is what I've begun to do as I wait for a response)? and observe if it was simply that the dose was simply not strong enough? Or do you recommend using the heavier duty formalin (staying with the same type of chemical) for ponds from a company like Aquarium Products instead (I have to order off the internet)?  Or  go on to CopperSafe which I worry will maybe pound the wrasse and gobies more than the formalin.  Is switching medications  way too detrimental to the fishes health? <Run carbon, and in two days with water changes, start copper treatment.  Buy a copper test, you'll need it to get the treatment levels correct.>      I am trying to be as conscientious a caretaker as possible and absolutely appreciate the time taken by you to consider and answer my questions. <Yes, and overcoming ICH is the nastiest business in the hobby!  Be patient, you're on your way to curing this ailment!  Feel free to write back if the copper doesn't do the trick.  Cheers, Ryan> Thank you so much, once again,  Esmeralda

Epsom Salt Use... Hi, <Hye there! Scott F. here with you!> First I just wanted to thank you guys for the great website and plentiful useful information.  Second, I have a recently added Coral Beauty into my 25 gallon salt-water tank that has developed a puffy/cloudy eye.  This injury was most likely the result of a fight with the yellow tang who has given the coral beauty a less than welcome introduction into the tank. <Not fun...BTW- I hope that a larger tank is in the future for these guys...?> I read in other responses on this site that I could add Epsom Salt (1 tablespoon per 5 gallons) to help reduce the swelling.  I wanted to know what repercussions (if any) would result if I added this salt directly to the main tank.  Reason being, it is a real pain to try to catch the Coral Beauty in and about the live rock.  Will the addition of the Epsom Salt cause my salinity to be knocked out of whack... will the other fish (a Clownfish, Arc Eye Hawkfish, Velvet Damsel, Magenta Dottyback) suffer any side-effects? Thanks, Craig Donnelly <Well, good news, Craig- you CAN add the Epsom salt right in to the display. Do monitor basic water parameters (Specific Gravity, pH, alkalinity, etc.) just to make sure that all is well. You should not have too many side effects with the use of Epsom salts if you stay within the recommended dose. Also- please do start shopping for a larger (much larger) tank for this crowd! I hope this alleviates your concerns. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Re: QT, Biological filtration Gone? I just e-mailed you earlier about the Clown Trigger scenario. I also asked about the QT. I took my Maroon Clown out. My NO2 is now above 1.6 and my NO3 is above 50. <Way too high! I would dilute the nitrite immediately with a fifty percent water change, or move the livestock from this system> But NH3/4 is still 0.0. I re-vacuumed the inside of the whole tank and a 20% water change. <Not enough. You need to get and keep the nitrite below 1.0 ppm> I also have a spare skimmer that I have on my 55 for helping to get my 125 going when the time comes. I put it on to see if it could help. Did the Formalite kill my Bio? <Yes, very likely> was it the days it ran without anything in it prior to starting the treatments? <Possibly a contributing cause> Why is the NH staying at 0.0? <Perhaps some of those initial nitrifying microbe populations are intact> The Formalite's box and web site said it was not harmful to your Bio system? <Not so> Like I said earlier the tank was a 10gal with water from my 55, a spare filter with one of my bio-wheels from my 55, and bare bottom. After running a few days all parameters were a mirror of the 55. How can it go so bad so fast? <Formalin/Formalite is a general biocide... it kills all life... on contact. Bob Fenner> Tough Choices (Fish Population And Disease Treatment) Hey Guy's. <hey! Scott F. your guy today!> I have a 55 with a 2 inch Yellow Tang and a 2 Inch Niger and a QT with my 2 inch maroon clown. <Woah! Right off the bat, I need to let you know that these two guys are gonna be a bit crowded in a 55...I hope that your short-term plans include a larger tank?> He is getting over Brooklynella, improving so so. Anyway, I read your input on Clown Triggers; I inherited one. He, too, is still young and about 2 inches. It seems like the preferred method is to put a couple of Damsels in before the Clown Trigger. So I did. My Niger, and Tang have long worked out their differences. They don't really notice the 2 1-inch Damsels. <The triggers WILL notice the damsels at some point; they'll become tasty treats before to long! Get 'em out while you can!> The Maroon clown was also happy in there too before he went to the hospital. I have a 125 that is sitting waiting for some space and more cash for the best equipment I can afford. <Okay- I feel a bit better about the long-term plan here!> SO, I introduced the Clown Trigger, He ran and hid, Came out later to inhale his food and then ran again. Then the Niger and the Tang took noticed and are really harassing him. <To be expected...> No biting ,yet. The Tang is wanting to show him his barbs. I immediately moved the Clown Trigger into a hanging net cage for protection while I decide if I can stomach this behavior. Question: Should I let them sort things out? If so, how long? They are all young and might get to know each other. Plus when they get larger I can move 1 or all to the 125, if they ever settle down. Pursue or trade, that is the Question? <Well, you're asking- and I'll give you my two cents worth...I don't think that it is in the best long-term interest of either fish to mix these two species together in the same 125 gallon tank. Both are very aggressive, have large appetites (and eliminate copious amounts of metabolic waste), and need a lot of space, because they get quite large! My advice is to trade one and keep the other...> Also a Quickie, When I set up my QT I used a established Bio-wheel from my 55 and took the water from the 55. A couple of my live rocks, bare bottom. I checked my water parameters after a couple of days and everything matched the 55 perfectly. The day after I added the Formalite, I checked again. NH3/4 stayed at 0.0. but NO2 rose up to 0.8 in 2 days. NO3 also went from a trace to about 15mg/l. PH is steady at 8.1 and SG is steady at .023. A water change already? Did the Formalite kill the Bio? <Well, if you're talking about formalin- yes, it is entirely possible that the nitrogen cycle has been disrupted. My advice is small water changes. However, do realize that you may need to replenish some of the medication to maintain a proper therapeutic dose.> If so why is the ammonia staying 0.0? <Hard to say...Couldn't tell you from here, unfortunately.> Should I get the Maroon Clown out before the treatment program is complete?   <Unfortunately, this is one of those tough decisions that you'll have to make. The "lesser of two evils" as the sayings goes is probably the nitrite, which is manageable to a certain extent with water changes or a "bacteria in a bottle" product. Brooklynella is simply virulent and deadly if left untreated, and is highly contagious. Best to leave the fish in there until the course of treatment is completed and the fish healthy again. Stay the course! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Pounding Parasites! (Another Medication?) Chloroquine for parasites? You guys have a great website for information! <Glad that you find it useful! We enjoy bringing it to you every day!> I have been battling a persistent ich infection and potential velvet to boot.  DON'T ASK. I am now a quarantine believer, but 1 fish too late.   <Well, better late than never. As long as you learned your lesson, the fish did not die in vain...> I run a protein skimmer, UV sterilizer, and a canister filter (convenient for carbon, etc. when needed) along with two other powerheads for circulation in the tank (100 g acrylic). I had previously treated quarantined fish with a round of CopperSafe for 14 days to an apparent cure and allowed my main tank to go fallow for 4 weeks.  After returning the fish for a 4 week disease-free period, I purchased 2 more fish (purple tang and Foxface) from a very reliable dealer that quarantines and dates their fish arrival (fish had been in same tank for months), therefore did not freshwater dip due to stress issues that I had previously experienced. <I have a bad feeling about this...> After a 2 week quarantine in my own tank (disease free) I added the fish to my main tank (100 gallon FOWLR with 60 lbs LR).  After another 2 weeks I suddenly had a pearl-scale butterfly stop eating and dead the next day with no other outward signs of disease.  1 week later purple tang and Foxface had signs of gill problems (gulping air and increased breathing), followed by a couple days later with external signs of ich on the purple tang.  Tank chemistry was great, temp constant. <I'm wondering if this was Amyloodinium, not ich. The "gulping" and difficulty in breathing are symptomatic of either advanced ich or Amyloodinium...> Now my 20 gallon quarantine was not big enough for the fish (and my wife not tolerant enough for more tanks)....soooo .... I remove all invertebrates and live rock to my 20 gallon (I have no plans for corals) and treated the main tank with CopperSafe. (I realize you are cringing at this point, but this was a very calculated move that was made with much thought). <I wouldn't have done it this way, but I can certainly understand your reasons for doing this...> Problem solved.. ich gone after 3 weeks of measured copper treatment.. removed all traces of copper and 2 weeks later replace the live rock, followed by invertebrates to the tank.  All is great for about a month and suddenly had ich again and a dusky appearance on the purple tang (maybe velvet).  Repeat the above with lowering Spg to 1.016 and added a cleaner goby and am using Cupramine this time instead of CopperSafe. <Grr...> Am now finished with the three week treatment using appropriate daily measurements of copper levels (as before).  All fish are eating great, look full bodied and healthy, except for lateral line with the purple tang (not surprising given the copper). <Good observation on your part! One of the potential side effects of copper with tangs...> I will remove Cupramine for the next two weeks with PolyFilter and carbon, increase the salinity, and then return the live rock, followed by the invertebrates once I see the pods living well.  On the upside the 20 gallon quarantine has great pod growth with no fish to eat them. <Good to hear that!> Other than the downside of treating my main tank can I do anything better? This is not a scenario I want to keep repeating. <Agreed...I might leave the tank fallow for a longer period of time- like 6 weeks or more. This can really disrupt the life cycle of the causative protozoa.> Given my prior persistence of parasite and the nagging fear of an ongoing velvet infection will I get any advantage from additional treatment with Chloroquine biphosphate? <I'm skeptical at this point. Could do more harm than good.> What is your opinion on using Chloroquine biphosphate?  Can it be removed from the tank with carbon after 10 days? <Carbon/Polyfilter an remove many medications effectively..> It is very difficult to find any good information on Chloroquine, since few people seemed to have used it much. Thanks for your help.  Have a great day! Nick Lukacs <Well, Nick personally have not used the stuff, either. I am more inclined to go fallow longer than I would be to "nuke" the tank with yet another medication. Tough on the fauna in the tank, as well as the fish. Short of thoroughly breaking down the tank and starting over, I'd go for the longer fallow period, myself. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Mixing Furan compounds and copper Is it safe to mix a Nitrofurazone/Furazolidone cocktail with copper in a quarantine tank?  <Sharon in my experience most antibiotics can be safely mixed with copper. I caution you about putting copper in with a tang for a very long time. MacL> thank you Maracyn Plus safe for display? Ahhh...no. 9/1/04 The guy at my LFS insists that Maracyn Plus (encapsulated Sulfadimidine + Trimethoprim) is safe for display tanks with live rock and inverts. <hehhehehehhehhe...hahhahahhahhah... wooooooo hoo! Ahhh... no.> I am not convinced. <healthy and accurate skepticism> What do you think? <unquestionably not safe to many desirable life forms. You do know/recall the root/def of the word anti-biotics? "against-life". This medicine WILL harm and  kill desirable and undesirable microscopic organisms and facultiers (like your living filter/live rock)> I've got a Sailfin with a cloudy white area on caudal fin that may be a fungus infection. Symptoms so far do not shout ich or velvet. Thanks, George. <most all sick livestock are best removed to a proper QT tank for these and other reasons. Anthony>

Formalin & Orangespot Filefish <Hi, MikeD here> I have a few questions about a couple of subject matters.  The first concerns formalin.<OK>  I live in California and can no longer find formalin for sale.
<California's standards are stricter than many, and formalin is a known and proved carcinogen, or cancer causing agent>  
I have heard two things.  The first is that it is illegal to sell here, and the other is that the pharmaceutical company that makes it is no longer in business.  What is the truth behind it?
<Since there always was more than one company that manufactured it, I seriously doubt that THE company went out of business, unless of course "they" are referring to a California company, which is quite possible>  
I depend on this medication to get rid of the various external parasites found on marine angels and Butterflyfish before introducing them to my aquarium.  It is part of the reason I'm able to keep the Eight Banded Butterflyfish (Chaetodon octofasciatus) alive and eating well for a long time now.<I seriously doubt it's the formalin enabling you to keep the fish alive, but rather your husbandry and feeding regimens instead.>  How do I get a hold of it, or are there other safe alternatives to ridding fish of their parasites?
<There are several other chemicals that are effective against external parasites, the choice of which is often dependent on what type of parasite it is to begin with> The other concerns the Orangespot filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris).  I have kept this fish before in a tank filled with thriving Acropora colonies.<That's highly commendable and a much greater length than many are willing to go in the attempt>   One day it mysteriously disappeared.<Which is usually the end met by most in captivity>  All my other fish at the time were healthy and still alive.  I believe I had a couple of Red Margin Fairy Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus rubrimarginatus), a Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus), and a Golden Pygmy Angel (Centropyge aurantius).  I suspect the possibility of parasites killing this fish<No offense, but I think you've got a parasite fixation>, for it pecked at the corals all day long.<Meaning what?>  What's even weirder is that I have been seeing pictures of these fish fat as a pig in nature.  But my fish never got that friggin' big in the aquarium feeding off of Acropora colonies alone.<That's likely because it was never healthy and was lacking in a critical element in its diet it needed to survive.>  This to me seems contrary to what is being written everywhere in books magazines, as well as articles on the internet about them being exclusive corallivores.<OK, I'll agree a little with that statement.>  Is it possible they are just as undemanding in the variety of food they eat as other filefish, but are rather just shy behaviorally and very slow to adapt to rapid changes in diet and environments?<Possible, but that's not likely the entire explanation, with the real answer being that there's something in their wild diet you weren't able to meet, perhaps something as simple as not enough different species of corals. In the wild they're on the move all day long and probably include much in their diet in addition to the coral, which provides the bulk of it.>  I have read accounts from certain aquarists training this fish to regularly accept normal aquarium foods.<Me too and I'm always suspicious of these reports, with many people thinking 6 months or a year is "success" while in actuality it's just slow starvation.>  I've also noticed in pet stores and wholesale warehouses, that these fish peck at the sides of the glass and the bottom of the tank a lot.<Logical. they are starving to death and trying to find ANYTHING to help fill the gap.>  The pecking seems very deliberate.<It probably is, with their vision attuned to things we can't even see.>  What are they doing?<Eating>  Could the possibility of parasites I've seen commonly attached to angels and butterflies affect the health of these fish drastically to the point of no return?<By the hundreds? Not likely. I don't know you but you really do seem obsessed with parasites.>  Would it be proper to assume that if I tried a similar mini-reef Acropora set up in the distant future, to purchase the smallest juvenile filefish possible for the purposes of adaptability, much like Butterflyfish?<Not a bad idea, but if I were to try it I'd add more than just Acropora, as nature rarely has anything found singly by species. I wouldn't be surprised to find that small anemones, cnidarians and such are also a vital part of their diet.>  Are these fish also commonly found in groups rather than singly in nature?<Actually, no. Adults have been found to go through a very elaborate pairing ritual, not unlike many of the other filefish.>  They seem to be very peaceful towards specimens of the same species.<Seem is a dangerous word. Indications are that males can be highly territorial and combative, another trait often found in other filefish.>  Could they possibly suffer from severe loneliness as Anthias do if they're kept alone?<Possible, but highly unlikely, as the family as a whole tends to regard each other with antagonism, particularly in the confines of an aquarium.>  Any well informed and current information about them would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.<You have to keep several things in mind. Even with the best equipment available, humans can only spend a few hours underwater at any given time, thus any and all information, even based on wild animals, is at best extremely sketchy and 95% guesswork and assumption. To make matters worse, it's not possible to follow them into areas where they regularly travel as we are simply too large, with the final kicker being that the human eye, as you pointed out, may not be able to discern something that's blatantly visible to them. While I commend your dogged determination and the steps to which you are willing to go to solve the dilemma we currently face with the species, I'm forced to agree with the commonly accepted statement that, for now, a LOT more natural observation needs to be done before they are suitable as candidates for a home tank. With luck, the answer will be found before we wipe them out as a species, either by over collecting, or, more likely, the destruction of the entire reef ecosystem they need to survive. At present, the human race is the greatest single extinction factor since the asteroid/comet that likely eliminated the dinosaurs.> Philip

Formalin & Orangespot filefish (continued) <Hi, Mike D again> Thank you for the info.  It was very informative.
<You're very welcome, and I try as best I can.>  
Although I may seem paranoid about parasite infestations, I assure you from the stores I get some of my fish there definitely is a reason to.
<THAT I can believe>  
Many of the pygmy angels and a good 98% of the Butterflyfish I've ever purchased in any store down here come up with some sort of clear parasitic crustacean that feeds on the host fish.
<This sounds like most or all of the local stores are getting their fish from a local "jobber", rather than purchasing from a good importer, not at all unusual.>   
The only exception to this rule is usually when I purchase them from excellent and well noted mail order stores from out of state.  What exactly the creature is eating, whether blood or tissue is not clear.  But when they go undetected for some time, (a matter of a few days), the damage they do to their hosts becomes very evident.  Trust me, they're extremely difficult to detect to a novice aquarist.<It sounds like it. I live in Florida and catch my own aquarium fish on a regular basis, so this is not a common parasite.>  I didn't know about this until someone working at a pet store showed them to me.  Weird lesions and raised bumps begin to appear.  Then the fish seem to mysteriously die.  I have treated against these little monstrosities using freshwater baths, but they're too stressful for the fish, hence asking about formalin.
<The formalin IS much quicker, although it's likely if your fish live for years, as mine do, that some unexplained deaths may be tumors, as formalin IS a known carcinogen.>  
What the heck are they?
<Honestly, they sound like some sort of a fluke.>
 They're clear.  Round in shape.  Seem to have a very short tail.  And they have tiny round sucker like appendages for mouths, with no readily visible eyes and no antennae.  When they die, they flake off looking like dead fish scales.  On occasion I also see a tiny mottled crustacean on Butterflyfish.  It looks like a grain of black pepper at first glance. Could you please try to identify that for me as well?<Both sound extremely difficult and may well be larval stages of an isopod, but without microscopic examination it would be impossible to tell. fish lice look something like a wood louse or "rolly polly" and are often easily removed with tweezers. For what you're describing, I'd suggest keep using the formalin and avoid buying fish from there whenever possible.>  Thank you Philip

Several Problems, Several Solutions... I actually have a few questions but I was not sure to write them in 1 email or others, So I will include them in here. <Lay 'em on! Scott F. here today!> I am sure with all the info you have to delegate I will try to keep it brief. I have a Green Mandarin that has been healthy So I thought. He is in my 140 gal tank with 150 pounds of rock. I know this fish has eating trouble and only eats copepods and other small live critters. I made the decision to add him due to the fact a have thousands of these and other very small rock dwellers and knew I had enough for him to eat. I have noticed he is loosing weight and is not eating. This morning after I turned lights on I saw thousands (Like ants)  Scattering. They were crawling even on him, he did not touch not even one. I then target fed him black and blood worms (Live) and they were squirming in front of him, and again didn't touch them. I have a regular Scooter blenny for over a year and he is happy and there is still a ton of food. All water parameters are good. Only real problem is I am still battling a bad Aiptasia problem. <Aiptasia are common where excessive nutrients may be in the water, or where food is available to them. Try scaling back feedings of prepared foods, more frequent water changes, and possibly even extracting them manually, to "relocate" them somewhere else in your system (a la Anthony's "Aiptasia Scrubber concept) put them to work doing what they do best- eating! Removing food sources from your system> I still do not know what to do, I have tried all the recommend methods. Anyway I am afraid if I put him Back in the QT tank (Always QT any fish for at 4 Weeks) there will not be enough food for him in there, what should I do In your opinion? <As above. Limit feedings of prepared foods, use a more aggressive water change schedule, and keep your protein skimmer cranking.> My next problem is dual anemone trouble. 1 problem I wrote on August 10th but I did not get a response yet (I realize you all get Busy) My Bubble tip still has not come out from rocks for light. I was not sure if I should take him out and QT it. It still has deflated bubbles and will not eat like it used to. It does not look good but is not dead. It has now been a week since it has been out. I think it is dying. The Perculas still hover around it. <Well, sudden disappearances of anemones are certainly an indication that something is not right in the system. Again, do look at the parameters that anemones need to thrive: water quality, light, food, circulation, and adjust as needed.> The second problem is I have a mated pair of Maroon clowns (Proven Pair) I recently put in a LTA about 3 weeks ago, Water in this tank is good quality ( 30 gal) Maroons and LTA with a bit of rock and 2" Fine Live Sand, are the only things in this tank. The anemone has not put its toe in and has not eaten really much. It spits it's shrimps out, It still looks healthy but does not really open all the way. I think the Maroon's are a little rough on it but it seems like it does not mind. I am sorry about all the questions and the time I took, <Please don't apologize...That's why we're here.> But in my area, I really do not have any knowledgeable persons to go to. Can you help with any of this? Gratefully Appreciative <Well, as I mentioned above, a big part of solving problems with anemones is to re-visit water quality and other environmental parameters, such as lighting. Anemones need to have these parameters all in check before you can conclude that everything is acceptable for their long-term success. In my personal experience, you an usually reverse problems that an anemone is having by correcting one or more of these factors. Do a thorough review of your system, try correcting any deficiencies that might exist, and go from there. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Tang Trouble? Hi, <Hey!  Scott F. here with you tonight.> I have a Blue Regal Tang. This fish has been extremely active ever since I have had it. Three days ago it started hiding and won't eat. It hides well and it is difficult to see it much.  However, what I can see is it shaking a lot and it looks like there is something wrong with its skin around the face and eyes area as well as starting down the side. The spots that look damaged are changing colors almost a reddish or brownish color from what I can see. Also the top fin looks like it could have some damage. <Hmm... could be some kind of parasitic disease...Maybe Amyloodinium, which shows some of those symptoms, particularly skin damage, lack of appetite and sluggishness> One day it was very active and like overnight this problem just appeared with no warning. I talked to a local fish store and they suggested ich but it seems to be more than  that. <Yep- sounds like more...> Also this fish is in a 90 gallon reef aquarium so I got something to help  ich that is reef safe per there advise, but it does not seem to be working and  frankly I don't know what is wrong with the fish. What do you think? Thanks in advance for any help. Mike <Well, Mike- I think we both will agree that "reef safe" medications are really not, and that there are more effective methods to treat parasitic diseases. If this is indeed Amyloodinium, a more aggressive medical approach (catching the affected fish and treating it in a separate aquarium) using a proven medication, such as copper sulphate or formalin-based preparations. Some tangs do not handle copper exposure well, so you may want to utilize a formalin-based medication if this turns out to be parasitic. Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter concerning dosages and duration. If you act quickly and decisively, you can beat this illness. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Where to Get Formalin in LA? Any idea where it can be purchased in Los Angeles, California or the surrounding area? Thanks! <What I would do is mail order this medication. It is not always available in CA. You can get formalin-based products from many e-tailers. HTH. Regards, Scott F.>

Angel In Distress? Hi guy!! <Scott F. your guy tonight!> My French Angel had cloudy eyes and some white parasites on his eyes and body that looked like little grains. I gave him a freshwater bath with Formalin-3.It did get rid of the parasites and cloudiness on his eyes. But 2 days later, he doesn't eat and his fins are deteriorating like crazy. <Hmm...sounds/look like it could be "collateral damage" from the Formalin. I've seen similar results with copper sulphate on some fishes. It certainly would be advisable to get this guy out of medication ASAP, if you have not already done so.> Right away, I put him in a quarantine with Maracyn Two. Here is a picture tell me what you think. Thanks. Derik <Well, Derek, I'd keep this guy in the quarantine tank for a while, but I'd remove any medications to give him a "break" for a while. Yes, it is important to keep the water quality high, but I'd avoid the medication unless symptoms get worse here. Hopefully, if this is not a disease, your fish should make a full recovery in a few weeks with good environmental conditions. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

The High Cost of "Reef Safe" Medication Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. in tonight> I have a new 55 gallon tank with 46 pounds of live Fiji & Tonga rock. I've had to tank running for 2 weeks with damsels and a trigger. My trigger got ich and my local fish shop gave me OrganiCure and said this product was SAFE for live rock and crabs (as I have both). <Grr...I cringe when I hear that term...No medication is really "reef safe"...Regardless of what medication you choose to use, make it a rule to NEVER treat in the display tank!> Well, the following morning I awake and 10 crabs are dead (1 survived) and all of my feather dusters are all gone/dead. The colors on my rocks are also looking faded and white.  I spoke with my fish shop and they told me OrganiCure is safe and shouldn't of killed my rock and crabs so they are unwilling to help me out at all. ARE they incorrect or being dishonest??? <I don't think that they are being dishonest, but I am almost certain that they are incorrect. Just don't medicate in the display tank! period.> How can this product be sold as "safe for inverts" when it really isn't??? <That's the $40,000,000 question. I don't know why products are marketed this way, and I'm not sure why they are so aggressively sold as a "reef safe" treatment. It's a bad practice that can result in a disaster, as you now know> In order to ever have feather dusters, snails, crabs, starfish, etc do I basically have to trash my tank and start again??? I'm just devastated by the amount of money I spent on live rock just 2 weeks ago to now have to trash it :( <I don't think that you'd have to trash it. What I'd do is execute a series of large water changes, and use some good chemical filtration media, such as Poly Filter (which excels at removing medications and other impurities from tank water) and activated carbon on a continuous basis. After a month or two of this, chances are good that you'll have gotten out the majority of the medication. Some will dissipate on its own, too. You can never be 100% certain, so do check with hardy, inexpensive inverts, like snails or hermits, before adding more delicate animals. I hate to have you "experiment" with these inverts, but that's really gonna be your best guide. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Methylene Blue Dip question Hello Bob! I have the concentrated Methylene Blue, G.P. powder.   Can you tell me how I can create a dip at 50ppm? Thanks! Pam <... knowing the initial concentration... you should be able to calculate how much water total volume to dilute an aliquot of stock... as in the formula C1/V1 = C2/V2 where C1 is your stock concentration, C2 is what you're looking for (50ppm) and V2 is the volume of final solution you'd like... solving for the dilution (V1)... Bob Fenner>

Ich treatment: Is Ruby Reef Hydroplex safe (5/29/04) Is Ruby Reef Hydroplex safe to use on a Porcupine Puffer?
< I am not familiar with that medication/treatment ....sorry. I did do a bit of research for you and came up with no helpful information. The contents are not listed and there is no mention of contraindications for certain fish species. I would suggest either contacting the manufacturer or instead using one of the other known ich remedies like a pH & temp adjusted fresh water dip for 7 to 8 min and up to 30 if the fish is comfortable and tolerating the dip. Any signs of distress the fish needs to be removed immediately. Never leave the fish un attended. In addition hyposalinity, lowering the main tank to a specific gravity of 1.010 for 4 to 6 weeks. Some believe that lacing food with garlic preparations is helpful. Its effectiveness is controversial but certainly is not harmful.> He has ich and needs some medicated fresh water dips.  How often and for how long should I do this?
< there is information on freshwater dips and hyposalinity here http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/hyposalinity.html http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm ..... He is living in the main tank by himself right now.   My clown is in a hospital tank with CopperSafe.  Is this okay for the clown?  <Never mix medications unless the manufacturer instructions tell you differently. I did a 50% water change to my 80 gallon main tank.
< 80g will not be sufficient for you Puffer long term. You will need at least 100g or more> The temp is 80 and the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are zero. The specific gravity is 1.019. pH is 8.3. I have read your articles already for about one hour.  I got tired of looking for my answers. <Sorry > I hope you don't mind me asking you directly. <No problem at all> Please advise. < In addition biological cleaners are helpful ....cleaner shrimp (the best Lysmata amboinensis) and maybe a couple of cleaner gobies (Gobiosoma spp.) these will help remove the parasites, and make the fish livestock "feel" a lot better. Thank you! Irene. < Your most welcome, Leslie >

Is CopperSafe Safe and Effective? Hey guys, <Steve Allen tonight> I have a question about Mardel, CopperSafe. My LFS swears by it. They use it in their display tanks. <Not a good idea in the long run.> I had a Yellow Tang that got Ick in my reef tank so I put him in a 29 Gallon fish only tank (FOT) and treated the tank with CopperSafe. He got over the Ick in a week or so and he is doing fine. <Maybe. It comes back if not thoroughly treated.> I still have him in the FOT with a Dragon Eel Blenny (Dottyback) and I have not removed the CopperSafe aside from water changes which has diluted it. I have got to get a Copper test kit, but my LFS said you don't need it with CopperSafe because it is hard to overdose with it because it is water soluble or something. <Phooey! Anything can be overdosed.> 1. Is CopperSafe the best copper treatment for Marine fish with Ick? <I'd say there's real little evidence either way. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copperprodfaqs.htm > 2. If not, what Copper treatment do you recommend? <Cupramine is another well-regarded product.> 3. If you don't like Copper, what do you use to treat Ick in a FOT tank? <There is 100% agreement among the crew that no medication should ever be put in a display tank. Only in a hospital tank.> 4. How long can I keep my Tang and Dragon Eel Blenny Dottyback in there with the CopperSafe without it hurting them or is it slowly poisoning them? <this is unknown. If you reduce the level with water changes and maybe Polyfilter, they should be OK.> 5. I have about 6 Hermit Crabs in there and the CopperSafe has not affected them. I thought Copper was deadly for all inverts. Why hasn't it killed them? <Hermits are more resistant to copper, but death is not always instant. If they start to die en masse in the next few weeks, you'll know why.> 6. Will the CopperSafe kill snails (I guess I will throw one in and see)? <Why risk it's life just to satisfy your curiosity? Why not drinks some to see if it's harmful to people? JK ;) Yes, CopperSafe usually kills snails. Read the link above & more.> 7. Will CopperSafe kill Grape Caulerpa? <I doubt it. It's not weed killer, and Grape Caulerpa is a weed. I hate the stuff. I'd never put it in a display tank. All kinds of little pieces break off and clog up powerheads, etc. (End-of-rant)> 8. Will CopperSafe kill Tube Worms? <Almost certainly> Thanks <Hope this helps. You should really read the series of articles that starts here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm

Medication Concentrations Hello.  <Hi! Scott F. here today!> Hey-I'm making this short and to the point. Sorry for the terrible grammar, but my comp crapped out after I wrote a nice email to you guys. <Okay...But please do try to spell/grammar check, etc. when you can- it makes everyone's job (especially that of Marina, who posts all of the questions!)...> I need to know how much malachite green I can use to treat my two clowns that are in my new QT tank. They've had a Methylene blue freshwater bath already, and are now in my 10 QT tank with carbon and a filter sponge. I just need to know how much malachite green and or formalin I can use to safely treat them (not dip...I don't want to do another dip...I don't think little clownfish will survive more trauma). <Well, if you are using a typical over-the-counter aquarium remedy containing formalin, it's usually a 3% solution, and you use about 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons. In a typical straight formalin product, it's a 37% concentration, and the typical dose is 1 teaspoon per 90 gallons. The typical dose for malachite green is 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons with most of the products that I have seen. Don't take my notes here as the ultimate say on things, though. When using any medication, ALWAYS consult and follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter.> Thanks a million. I think they'll be getting along fine after this. <I hope that they will!> Hail Bob for CMA that book is incredible...I've learned sooooooooooooo much, and I thought I knew plenty. Thanks Chris aka -fishtank- <A pleasure, Chris! I know that Bob is thrilled that his book has had such a solid impact on the hobby!> ps- Sorry about bad grammar, but I'm pretty pissed at my comp and don't feel like going into detail again. <Understood...Take care! Regards, Scott F>

Medication Duration- And Removal One more quick question...how long do I keep the fish in treatment? I'm going with 1 teaspoon for my 10g but how long should I keep them in there?  <Well, I'd follow the manufacturer's directions. Usually, the course of treatment is a week or two> And how should I get the malachite out of there when its all done? Water change and carbon I'm assuming.. <Yep...and Poly Filter, which is great at removing medications> I'll be taking out the carbon during the treatment. Once again, thanks a million. <My pleasure! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

Pesticides for killing isopods... Ahhhh, No. 5/10/04 Hi Guy's <howdy!> Great site! <thanks kindly> Was wondering what your thoughts are on the use of dog heartworm medication (Melbemycine oxime) to eradicate Cirolanid Isopods. <a dreadful idea/advocation... its efficacy runs the gamut, but more importantly, it will kill far many more desirable crustaceans in the main display than bad ones. The bad ones should be/have been easily screened in  a proper 4 week quarantine on arrival> I'm aware I'll lose all crustaceans, at least the ones I don't remove, but see very few options. <Ahhh.. OK. Although I cannot agree> I believe they arrived in the aqua cultured LR that I cycled the tank with. <yes... they are common in Florida live rock... especially that dreadful heavy stuff from shallow coastal waters (many parasites there)> Tank has been up and running for about 6 months. The predatory Isopods made their presence know, at least to me, only this past week. I've caught and removed 3 pods from two different fish. <sigh... I regret you have learned this way as many of us do. But QT is not an option, and must be done for all things wet: fishes, corals, live rock, sand, plants... everything! There are too many pests, predators and diseases that can and will be carried in with live products> A tank raised Perc. And a bi-color angel. The tank is 72g bow front, 85lbs of LR, 4inch sand bed, Thanks for your thoughts on this. Mike <remove the fishes to QT and trap for isopods in the display with meat. Read more on this in the FAQs on this subject in our archives at wetwebmedia.com. Anthony>

Disease Treatment Options Hi everyone, <Hello! Scott F. here> I had an ich outbreak a few months ago and lost my Lemonpeel Angel who I added to the tank without quarantining. <A lesson learned, right?> I treated the rest of the fish successfully using hyposalinity in the main tank (I didn't have much live rock and inverts so I just moved them all to a 10 gallon)  I recently bought some green Chromis but this time I quarantined them. I introduced them into my main tank and a week later they have ich and so does one of my clownfish. I am assuming that I didn't leave the tank with a low salinity for enough time and the ich that the Chromis got was already in the main tank. Now that I have more live rock, I moved all my fish (2 Ocellaris Clowns, 2 Green Chromis and 1 Firefish) into the ten gallon and they seem fine so far. I am thinking of using hyposalinity again but this time I will use it for a longer period of time. My question is, I am prepared to use CopperSafe or formalin (I have both) but only as a last resort if hyposalinity doesn't work because I have heard that Firefish and clowns are sensitive to copper. <I would let that display run fallow (without fishes) for at least a month. As far as hyposalinity as a treatment- I have never had great results with this technique, so I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it. Yes, copper is not appropriate with some fishes (like Centropyge Angels and some puffers, to name just a few), but I have never had a problem treating clownfish or Firefish with copper. The use of copper is quite effective as long as the manufacturer's directions are followed to the letter, and testing is required. You can always use a formalin-based product if copper is not desired.> What is your opinion on this and what should I do to treat them. My salinity is now down to 1.017 and I'm continuing to lower it. Should I use copper? I am really reluctant to because of what happened to my Lemonpeel Angel - I think it was copper that killed it, not ich. <Very possible that copper was a factor. See my comments above> Also, the water in my quarantine is a foggy green color. The fish are doing fine and only the Chromis and one of the clowns have spots and none of them are scratching anymore. The problem is that since the water is cloudy, I can't see the fish very well and can't tell how well the treatment is working. I added some carbon to hopefully clear it up but is there anything you suggest? <I like the idea of carbon in a simple internal filter. Poly Filter is good, too. Of course, once you start using medication in the quarantine tank, do discontinue the use of chemical filtration media for a while, as the medication will be removed> Thank you so much for helping me and please gave me any suggestions you may have about my situation. <Hope these thoughts help! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Disease Treatment Options (Cont'd) Okay, I will add copper, should I leave the salinity low, or should I raise it to normal again? <Personally, I prefer "normal" specific gravity, but your fishes are under enough stress already...If you opt to change things, do it slowly> The only problem I have now is that I can't see the fish very well, so I won't be able to tell how well the treatment is working. <Gotta look closely, I guess! Good luck! Scott F>

Malachite Green For Ich (4/29/04)  Hi again ! <Steve Allen with you tonight.>  Sorry if I'm bombarding you with lots of questions, but your crew and this site is the only one I trust for marine related questions. <Thanks for the vote of confidence.>  Would like to ask if Malachite Green is really effective against Ich, and if it is at what stage does it kill the ich (is it in the free-swimming stage, reproduction stage at the substrate, or when attached to the host)? <I would not rely on this medication alone. Also, it can be dangerous if not used very carefully. Read here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/skip/sp/feature/index.htm  and search the term on WWM for details. The reefkeeping.com reference is part 2 of an excellent 5-part series on ich.>  I have 2 false Percs, and 1 black saddleback in my QT. The saddleback is new and replaced my Sebae which perished in the Ich war. The Percs are better, their on the 2nd week going to 3rd, no trace of Ich, but I may be wrong. I've treated them with 1 week malachite green at 1.017 sg <Hyposalinity only works at much lower SG (1.010 range)>, and daily siphoning, and it seemed to work (no obvious grains on the fish, same with the saddleback), and they're now at the recovering and RnR stage. After a week of no symptoms I placed a small clay flowerpot <I prefer PVC fitting--more inert.> and I saw the 3 of them sleeping inside, which is good, and weird, to avoid them sleeping at the QT bottom and get reinfected.
<Any ich on the bottom will find its way onto the fish even if they don't sleep at the bottom.> I'm waiting for the 6 weeks fallow period for the main tank, which is why I'm looking at stocking of corals.  I'm afraid of putting the fish in the main tank after 6 weeks. Though there are no longer obvious symptoms, I wouldn't want to start all over again.
<A couple of extra weeks may help. Do read all 5 of Steven Pro's excellent articles.>
 Thanks for all you help. And patience! Romel
<Your systematic and patient approach will yield success in the end.>

Hyposalinity Vs. Medication In The Battle Against Ich Thanks for your advice, I think I would better try the Seachem Paraguard first rather than taking the risk on Hyposalinity treatment. Btw, can you pls help answer the earlier questions (pls scroll down) posted by me ? Thanks so much. Best Rgds, PJ <Hi PJ- sorry that I missed the rest of your questions the first time.. Ich is a highly contagious disease, and can affect fishes in many different types of setups and at many different stocking levels. The key to control it is timely intervention and an understanding of the life cycle of the causative protozoan, Cryptocaryon irritans. I know you expressed a bit of concern regarding the "two front" ich treatment technique that I advocate in my article, however, I believe that this is one of the most effective techniques that you can utilize, because it addresses the life cycle of the protozoan. With this approach, you are "treating" the tank as well as the fishes. The most important part of the treatment, besides rapid intervention, is to let the display tank remain "fallow", without fishes, for an extended period of time. This is crucial, because once Cryptocaryon is in your tank, it's IN your tank! By denying this protozoan it's hosts (your fishes!), you are interrupting its life cycle, which will result in a significant demise in it's population. Treating your fishes in a separate tank enables you to have greater control over the process, and to assure that medication is being maintained at proper therapeutic levels throughout the treatment period. Paraguard is a fine medication, but-like any treatment, it should be used in a separate tank. Medicating the main system is problematic, IMO, for a variety of reasons. I know that it's not fun to disassemble the rockwork, but I think that the long-term benefit of this process outweighs the temporary annoyance! It's hard to say how long a fish can live while infected with this disease. If it gets into the gills, it is possible for it to be fatal in a relatively short time (days, perhaps); or the animal could be rendered susceptible to an assortment of secondary infections which could do it in. Take action now, while treatment is simple. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Choosing The Right Medication... I have a 110 gal tank and I have been invaded with Ick! I have been using Greenex for a week. When I do add this my fish start breathing hard. I have a 5" puffer , a 5" rabbit and a 4" raccoon. Of cores they are all precious to me, but I really fond of my puffer. I was going to use copper, but I am not experienced enough to do that. Is there any thing else you could advise  me on using? Sandy <Well, Sandy, Greenex has a somewhat checkered reputation with many hobbyists. If the dosage is not precise, serious, and often fatal, consequences can occur for the fish. I am an advocate of copper, but fishes like the puffer will not do well with it. You may want to seek a Formalin-based remedy, which may address these concerns. Remember, all treatments should be administered in a dedicated treatment tank, not the display! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Methylene Blue, molecular weight, availability I am writing in regards to the Methylene blue dip. None of my LFS have this, but I work in a lab and so I ordered some from Sigma, but all they have is Methylene blue hydrate, it is a blue powder with a molecular weight of 319.9 g/mol. Is this the same thing, I really need to use it, but I do not want to use the wrong thing. Thank you, Jessa <Mmm, I have Molecular weight : 373.90 Molecular formula: C16H18CLN3S.2H2O for this compound... But I would just buy a pre-made solution for your use here... at most any livestock fish store (LFS), or from an online company (e.g. marinedepot.com, CustomAquatic.com...) Many manufacturers make these (Kordon, Aquatronics, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals...) there is no real reason to make up your own stock solution. Bob Fenner>

Weights of hydration! Methylene Blue I have the same molecular formula minus the two H2O which would account for the different molec. weights (is yours re-hydrated?). <Not completely and this would account for the diff. MW> I really don't have a choice if I can make it up as none of the LFS here have it and I do not really have the time to order it and I really don't want to use malachite green and Formalin which is what they carry. But if they both read C16H18CIN3S they should be the same thing. You said to use 1g per 100ml right? Thank you again, Jessa <Yes... simple to make, use... a wide range of efficacy, low toxicity. Bob Fenner, who wishes he had a recent CRC manual about>

Re: Weights of hydration! Methylene Blue Redux Why didn't I think of that first (looking it up in the CRC, though mine is from 1970) it lists Methylene blue  MW 319.86 it lists the same molec. formula (minus the 2H2O)
Jessa <Ah ha! Bob F, a not-so old previous H.S. Chemistry teacher...> So I guess that means I have the right stuff. <Bingo. I think so. Bob F>

Re: Toxicity of Malachite Green and Methylene Blue Other than staining fish and silicone, what effect will Malachite Green and/or Methylene Blue have on nitrifying bacteria, live rock, live sand, polyps, anemones, starfish, shrimp and fish in a marine tank? <Am out visiting in Hawai'i and away from my ref. works (Nelson Herwig and Edward Noga principally as authors, sources) but will make the general statements that Methylene Blue has low to very low toxicity either on nitrifying bacteria, micro- or macro-invertebrates... but that Malachite Green will at therapeutic dosage mal-affect all. Bob Fenner>

Methylene Blue, Ich Blues Thank you for all your help. I used the Methylene blue/FW dip for 10m yesterday on 3 fishes that have a few spots of ich on them. Should these spots come off during the dip or are they just there but dead (hopefully). Jessa <You are correct in that the appearance of the dots may not indicate actual parasite presence, but I would dip these fishes again... And, I do not encourage folks to treat ich/whitespot disease with dips or Methylene Blue per se... Depending on what species of fishes these are, I would utilize a malachite green solution or possibly a metal salt. Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm Bob Fenner>

& Does it work to eliminate ich from new incoming fishes? <Can help, but absolutely speaking, no. Other more toxic treatments can do this (Formalin/formaldehyde) in dips/baths... and quarantine of incoming stocks for a good two weeks can all but prevent transmission to main/display tanks. Bob Fenner>

Combination Drug Usage - 12/27/03 Can Formalin and Kanacyn be used together without any adverse effects on each other? <Don't know.  These things can be quite difficult to predict.  It is probably OK if the combo does not produce a precipitate.  Perhaps you could fill us in on what you are treating and we can help with the best approach.> Thanks for a quick answer:) <Sorry it was a bit slow due to holiday activities!  Adam> Janey

- Fish Problems - Hi, My Royal Dottyback has been very reclusive over the last week or so, and today did not come out to eat. When I saw it a few hours ago it had a stringy white thing that looked just like a piece of white cotton, about 1 1/2 inches long hanging out of its anus (think that's the right word). Just seen it again and it still has this thing hanging out. <Sounds like feces but could also be Lymphocystis.> Is this something I should be concerned about? <Hmm... not entirely. Is worth keeping an eye one, but probably not yet worth more drastic measures like quarantine and medication.> Also, don't know if this is related, but I did a Salifert flatworm treatment last week which the Dottyback did not like very much, and it has been off sorts ever since. <Sounds related to me - not at all sure what's in the flatworm treatment, but would suspect this.> The treatment did not seem detrimental to anything else though. Except the flatworms that is! <And your Dottyback it would seem.> <Cheers, J -- >

- Greenex Strikes Again -  Hello Crew, I have another question my tank had caught ich and the guy at my LFS told me to use Greenex so I did. Now all the LFS are telling me to throw away all my sand and recycle my tank. The Greenex worked alright, done a great job of killing ich, but it took my fishes, corals, and invertebrates too. <Doesn't sound like a good cure to me... I would fire the fish store that gave you this advice [to use the Greenex on your tank].> Sigh... of all means I don't want to have to recycle my tank, so I wanted to make sure about what you all think before I take action. <You must re-cycle the tank at this point, but you probably don't need to throw out your sand... run some activated carbon for about a week or two and you should be good to go.>  Thanks,  Chris  <Cheers, J -- > 

Is It Safe to Use Again? Plus Stocking Questions  >Hello guys,  >>Hello mate, Marina here.  >Great site. I stumbled here looking for information on DSB and all I can say is wow.  >>Really, that's honestly ALL you can say? <insert big grin here>  >Here is my question:  I intend to switch the inhabitants of 100gl fresh community tank with a newly setup 20gl FOWLR. (After a ~3 year period of remission my saltwater fever is back!) My first concern is that I used RID-ICH (Formalin and malachite green) in the 100gl about a year ago, should I worry about this leaching out of the silicone in a concentration enough to negatively affect the live rock, shrimp, snails or starfish?  >>Hmm.. we don't like that schtuff 'round here.. but it is what it is. Here's what I would do: fill up the tank with freshwater, with a basic power filter running carbon and a PolyFilter. Change the water and rinse these filtration components several times over the course of a few weeks, I'd do this for at least 3 weeks because I'm prophylactically paranoid. The more carbon or chemical filtration, the better, along with those water changes.  >If the tank is safe to use here is my second question: I would like to create 2 "reef hills" (approx 30lbs of LR each) on opposite sides of the tank with open swimming area between for the fish. With 60lbs of live rock should I keep the bio-balls in my trickle filter or remove them and go with a 100 micron sock?  >>Um, you lost me here mate. How is it that bioballs and the sock are interchangeable? They each do different things; the bioballs being a substrate for the benthic nitrifying bacteria to attach to, the 100 micron sock is purely a mechanical filter. Lots of folks would tell you to go with the live rock only, but I won't in this case because 60lbs., in my opinion, won't be enough without other forms of biological filtration, skimming, and nitrogenous conversion (oxidation). So, in a nutball, keep the bioballs, be sure to use (and CLEAN religiously.. every week or two) a mechanical filter such as a pad or sponge to keep them as detritus-free as possible. If you're considering a refugium (and you might wish to), then you could nix the bioballs in favor of a deep sand bed and macroalgae to handle nutrient export. You'd need more live rock in that case, too, more on the order of 1lb./gallon to start with.  >Here is my intended bioload:  Current -  1 pygmy angel  1 candy hogfish  1 juvenile Yellowstripe maroon clown  1 serpent star  5 turbo snails  >would like to add -  4-5 green Chromis  1 juv Pomacanthus angel (prob. Koran or 6 bar)  1 Lyretail Anthias  pair of false Percs  couple more snails and serpent star and a bc shrimp.  Either way I intend to add an efficient protein skimmer to the sump perhaps the Urchin pro from AquaC. Thanks in advance, Mike H.  >>Ok, great addition with the skimmer, AquaC makes good ones from what I read and general feedback. I would seriously reconsider adding so many Chromis and the Anthias. This is due to the ultimate adult sizes of the Maroon clown (which I would expect to harass the ocellaris clowns, so reconsider those as well), the hogfish, and the Pomacanthus. If your heart is set on so many damsels, then definitely leave out the Anthias and the ocellaris, or the angel. The inverts add a negligible bioload. You certainly could add, instead of the Anthias and ocellaris, fairy or flame wrasse (Cirrhilabrus spp.), neon gobies (which would act as cleaners and remain VERY small), or a Basslet, Gramma, or Pseudochromis (among the last additions). You haven't mentioned quarantine, so I will-30 days MINIMUM. Marina 

Dosing Reminder!  Don't Forget About Displacement >Hey there Bob and crew, >>Hello. >I was reading over your FAQS and found a repeating trend with regard to Aquatronics Greenex. Not that I am a proponent of Greenex, please understand, but there seems to be a misunderstanding with dosing. As you well know, this treatment is harsh and an overdose of this product is a swift and sure death sentence. >>Indeed it is. >If the fish are weakened significantly (or of a supremely delicate variety) you may lose them to Greenex regardless of proper dosing.  It's a roll of the bones with this med IMO. >>Shared opinion. >A typical problem with Greenex is illustrated below from a FAQ post. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/medfaqs2.htm "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 ICH 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." >What's wrong with this post is that the individual dosed for 180 gallons, the size of his/her tank total.  With dosing you must account for the displacement of water in your tank via rock and substrate and merely treat for that amount. >>ABSOLUTELY!  Especially when we're talking about something that's so strong one uses one drop/gallon, potent! >Let's say that you aim to treat a 55 gallon tank. Considering the displacement of water in that tank due to the rocks and substrate, you may only in reality be treating 35 gallons, the net volume.  As I said earlier, I am not a proponent of Greenex, but I do hate to see so many people losing stock due to improper dosing. Perhaps this can be helpful to someone that is determined to use this product. >>Great reminder, it's along the lines of "My computer's not working"  "Is it plugged in?"  "It needs to be plugged in?"  One of those obvious things that many often forget.  Thank you. >Kind regards,  Sher >>You have ours as well, and again, thank you.  Marina

Receiver #2 (10/26/03) Hi Ananda, <Hi!> I went by my LFS guy and got the ingredients for Receiver #2 and they are as follows: Polymers, salts, Nitrofurazone, Methylene blue & sulfas: Diazine, Methazine & Merazine That is what was listed on the canister of ChemAqua Receiver 2. I hope this helps. :)   <Yup, and thanks. Given the mix of medications already in this stuff, I wouldn't use anything else with it (except Melafix, perhaps).> Chompers is doing great still and he waves a fin at you and a toothy grin your way!

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