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FAQs on Marine Parasitic Disease 10

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic Disease Marine Ich: Fighting The War On Two Fronts Crustacean Parasitic Disease, Quarantine, Quarantine of Marine Fishes

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

All wild organisms have/bear parasite fauna.

Re: True Percula Clownfish possibly infected with Amyloodiniumiasis   2/23/09 Mr. Fenner, <Chad> Thought I'd give you an update. My 3 Tangs unfortunately began showing signs that they may be infected with Brook. My Purple Tang shows it the most. It looks like he's been dusted with a very fine powder. <Mmm, this may be something else> Several white spots all over but too small to be ich. At least I think. <See WWM... need a microscopic examination, possibly simple staining...> Whatever it is I wanted it off of my tangs and out of the system. Last night I managed to catch all three fish and placed them in the fuge. Today I made a fresh batch of saltwater and got to work. My QT was being used to hold a fish that I'd previously treated with copper. He'll be going in a fish only tank that I'll be building in a couple weeks. I placed that fish in a large trash can that's been filled with live rock and saltwater for several months. I added some extra saltwater to give him a bit of swimming room. With the QT empty, I was ready to start treating the Tangs. I filled a bucket with water from the display tank and added some water from the QT to help them acclimate. I then set up a 10 gallon freshwater dip. Got the temperature and PH matched up and added a tsp. of Rid Ich by Kordon. I'm in California and this is the only form of formalin I could find. <Is restricted here (I live in San Diego)... too many dead bodies leaching...> I think this is a low concentration but I didn't want to go over the recommended amount on the bottle. I dipped each fish individually for 5 minutes, then placed them in the QT. My QT by the way is a 55 gallon tank with a couple pieces of PVC. It has a 20 gallon empty fuge, a 20 gallon sump, a small protein skimmer, and a UV sterilizer. There are bioballs in the overflow box and in the sump. I'm currently running carbon as well. All 3 Tangs survived the dip. I plan to leave the display tank fishless for 4 weeks. Do you recommend a longer period just to be safe? <Yes. I do> Hopefully the dip has killed the parasite. I don't want to put my fish through that again. However, If they still show signs, would you recommend treating my QT with Rid Ich? <No. I do not> I don't feel comfortable leaving my fish in a small hospital tank for an extended amount of time. I know that if they still show signs in the QT it'd be pointless to do a freshwater dip because the QT would be infected at that point. If I end up treating the QT with Rid Ich, how do you recommend removing it from the QT once the treatment is finished? <Dumping, bleaching, rinsing...> Is it something that I can get rid of with a 100% water change and carbon? <In time, yes> Or would I have to tear down my QT and wash everything out. Let me know if I'm on the right track. Thanks! Chad <Keep using the search tool, indices on WWM... reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Captive-Bred "Clownfish Disease"?  2/20/09 Crew - <Martin> This is a follow-up to the exchange below. My thanks to Bob Fenner for his thoughtful response. Unfortunately I was not able to get access to a microscope before the last of the fish manifesting symptoms perished. So, now I have an empty hospital tank that I will sterilize and return to quarantine duty. I have seen the FAQ suggesting use of a bleach solution and will implement and then dry - although sun is in short supply this time of year in New England. <Ah yes... but thank goodness (I am in the N. hemisphere as well, though a bit closer to the equator), the days are getting longer> My question today concerns the 300 gal. display tank. It still contains a group of ocellaris clowns, a pair of Golden Butterflyfish (Chaetodon semilarvatus) and a midas blenny, all of whom were exposed to the clowns that manifested the infection before those fish were moved to the hospital tank. The last such move occurred three weeks ago and since then all of the display tank fish have been fine - no symptoms, eating greedily. <I see> The question is what further cautionary measures I should take before adding fish to the display tank. (My stocking plan calls for a Kole Tang next, and he will have plenty of green filamentous algae to consume when he arrives.) My instinct is just to wait some additional time before making the addition, continuing to look for symptoms (with my fingers crossed) and eschewing any aggressive intervention (I do have a UV sterilizer running). Do you agree? <Mmm, a gamble... or better... somewhat calculable risk...> If not, what else should I do? <Mmmm, ahhh... t'were it me, nothing. There is some small chance that IF this were Brooklynellosis, it might infest other fish families... but...> And how much time total (including the three weeks that have already passed) would you wait before adding the next fish (after quarantine, of course, and assuming no more manifestation of disease). Thanks very much for any advice you can give. Marty <This is no zero-sum universe, sans risk... Marty, I'd go ahead (boldly) and place the Kole... there is small chance of trouble in my estimation. Bob Fenner>

Scourge... SW parasitic dis.  - 02/08/09 Thank you for your time, I used to be a very "pro-active", "conscientious" marine aquarist who held his head high (weekly monitoring levels, Bio-Wheel/Skimmer/UV etc. etc.). However, I've become quite lax in recent years (not even a quarantine). (w/o doubt, the origin of my problems! Must confess. Tail between legs. Almost too embarrassed to write you...) Perhaps I'll be good fodder for "what NOT to do"? <A good role at times> None the less, I've maintained a stable (pH, BioLevels, Salinity) Fish/Invert 55-gallon for about 4 years now. 2-3 years ago (Yellow Tang, Dwarf Angel, Percula, 2 Damsels and 2 Cleaner Shrimp), I encountered a major parasitic wipe-out! Amazingly enough, the Tang was the only fish to survive (solicited the services of the Cleaners). Still! A Tang?!? <Happens> After a very slow (8-12 months) re-introduction of stock with no ill-effects (pretty much the same stock line-up as before), it happened again! This time I couldn't dismiss the absolute SPEED of the outburst! 72 hours later, I was getting out the net. It was painful. In my many years of Fresh/Marine husbandry, I've never seen the like of this before. White-spots clearly, but the speed of infestation, was outrageous! <Also occurs> I didn't use a chemical treatment, because over the years (perhaps correctly or not), I've come to the conclusion that major chemical/physical changes actually add to the stress rather than help it. <Can> I've tried everything from Copper, to UV, to Salinity Shift, to Temperature Shift, to Malachite this or that, to Circadian Rhythms, to Chili Pepper...Aahhh! FAST FORWARD: I have aforementioned Yellow Tang, 2 Yellowtail Damsels, African Star (recent), 2 Camel Shrimp, Sally Lightfoot, and 1 remaining Cleaner Shrimp. Tank has been disease-free for 5-6 months. I added a juv.TR-Percula and a juv. French Angel (2-3"?). 2 weeks ago. LFS had French for over 2 months in BioCube. (active and eating!) Decided 6 months in my 55 would be better than the BioCube. Have done the same with juv. Queens in past. Trade-Ins 6 months later, all the healthier and bigger for it. Hopefully, to find a better home... Absolutely ecstatic with the developments during introduction to the tank!! The Tang immediately took a liking to the French Angel (who may have initiated 'cleaning services' to reciprocate). Percula claimed the Conch shell. Stress-free! All is well for 2 weeks, levels remain balanced, we're a happy family. Even added my Skimmer back last week. Then I arrive home tonight... Angel looks like she rolled in salt, Tang is getting pissy, and one final observation that may be "pivotal" or purely "coincidental"... <Mmmm> It appeared the glass tank walls had been "salted" too! Only the "salts" were moving. In various directions. Like very minuscule copepods. Like tiny little PacMans. <Mmm, not the parasite> I have witnessed on numerous times the (what appeared to be) "spawning" of the Cleaner Shrimps. Forcefully releasing multiple kin from their tail-flaps, producing quite a fruckus in the tank. What I cannot remember, or either didn't have the scientific acumen to record it, is whether or not this coincided with the vicious parasitic outbreaks. <Interesting to speculate... what mechanism?> I only have 1 Cleaner now, so I assume the spawning point is mute, <Mmm, no... can/do reproduce singly at times> but what ever happened within my system in the last 12 hours is reminiscent of that same kind of "overnight-propagation" of the scourge that I face, yet again. I know they're non-related, but it's the best way I can describe what is happening. It's as if the Cicadas returned... Right in the middle of a beautiful summer day. There's nothing 'gradual' about it. 1) With my limited finances now (not setting up another tank), and a disdain for chemical prescriptions, are there any "holistic", if you will, recommendations? Even a few old wives' tales like Salinity Adjustment? Garlic feeding? Anything? I suppose even a "chemical" suggestion, if you think it's prudent! I'm desperate... <Garlic is a possibility... no spg manipulation in the presence of invertebrates...> 2) Who is the culprit? Velvet? Ood-i-lodium? Any ideas? Any Suggestions!!!!! <Likely Cryptocaryon... there are some rapid-onset varieties... If Amyloodinium very likely all effected, dead> Thank you so much for hearing me out! Embarrassingly so, John <I'd make a cursory pass here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine Question, Cryptocaryon, reading   02/06/09 Hi, I have a 210g FOWLR with a 7" Klunzinger wrasse, 1" damsel and a 32" Brazilian dragon moray. I recently added from another hobbyist tank (fish were? healthy in his tank for?3 years)?a 5" emperor angel, 4" hippo tang, and a 6" slain tang. Everything was fine for two days then the fish broke out in what looks like velvet. <Yikes> The wrasse, damsel and eel are perfectly fine. <Mmm, not Velvet then... they'd very likely be dead> The hippo and Sailfin died within 24 hours and my emperor is on his last leg. I removed the emperor into a 30g quarantine tank and added Cupramine copper. <I would have run this fish through a heavily aerated formalin bath enroute... still can do... would "knock off" most the parasites on it> The emperor looks horrible but is still alive. So now is the dilemma. I have decided that it would be best to turn my display tank into my quarantine tank. I will remove all my rock to a 55g drum where it can cook, put the emperor back into the 210g along with the wrasse and damsel, and add copper to that tank. <...? With the substrate in place? This won't work> I know eels don't like copper, so I will remove him to a 55g container, but I don't know what to treat him with since he may bring any disease back into the tank. <... you should be reading, not writing... This is all covered over and over on WWM... I'd look to quinine compounds> I want to make sure my display is free of all diseases, velvet, ich, everything! I also have fish coming in next week, <Call and cancel them> but I can put them in the 30g quarantine tank the emperor was in and treat with copper for 4 weeks. That way, everything will get treated, including the display, and the disease that is with the rock with starve without a host. <In "the best of worlds", yes...> I am still stuck on what to do with the eel, any suggestions? I don't want to do repeated dips with him, he is a huge, thick, strong eel. Thanks for any help you can provide. Jeff <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Gold Rim Tang, Crypt? 1/31/09 Hi, sorry it's taken so long to respond. I'm completely confused now. I really thought that doing the tank changes (every 3rd day) would eliminate crypto. <Mmm, no... daily greatly helps though> Obviously I was not getting to far with the Praziquantel so discontinued that. <As prev. stated, not useful here> I did a second freshwater dip on this poor guy, which again he handled like a champ, and put him in a completely changed tank. The spots on him look much bigger then typical ich. <A comment... folks aren't actually seeing the causative organism, but "mucus" pustules resultant from irritation... Can/do look different in varying circumstances> About twice the size and more elongated then round, He's completely covered. Has a sandpaper type appearance. This morning when I got up the bottom of his tank was covered in little white spots that almost have an arrow like appearance. <?> Tiny, but quite visible. I sucked some up with a pipette and looked at them under the microscope. The are very oblong looking but when they move they take on the look of a peanut shape. <Interesting... can you make an image of this, send it along?> They move quite clumsily and bump into each other. I cannot get my microscope adjusted at the high power so am looking at it under low power. Unfortunately, I am not a computer geek and don't have a clue how to crop the photo's to make them small enough to send. <Use the search tools on the Net... easy to do this> I've barely learned to email. You asked about the eco-aqualizer. I'm really not sure if it helps with the fish. I have them on all my tanks, 3 reef and 1 freshwater. I did notice a huge difference in my corals after they were added. Everything has blossomed. Also my two clams doubled in size in a very short time as did my rose anemone. <I have an ongoing curiosity re these magnet "filters"... Have yet to see any science (testable, falsifiable, hypothetical...) re WHAT they actually do, let alone "how" they do "it"...> My daughter used to work for the petstore where I bought this fish, actually I didn't buy him, I trade off some of my xenia's for an in store credit, she advices me to never buy from him, but I'm so limited. I either have to order on line and pay the shipping or buy from Petco. I'm afraid he's the better deal. Thanks for answering. Look forward to hearing from you, Julie <I would still be reading where you were previous referred to. BobF>

Re: Gold Rim Tang, parasites?  1/31/09 Thanks for the computer lesson! <Welcome> When I went back to the transfer pipette that had been holding the little white things I had sucked off the bottom of the tank they had attached to the pipette. <Mmm> I'm sure your right must be crypto or velvet. <More like the latter from your opaque pix> What I'm reading though sounds like the only stage visible on the crypto is while on the fish. Why am I able to see these little things on the tank bottom. <They're something else... but what?> The fish is still eating like a pig. Handles stress better then any fish I've ever dealt with. <Good and good> He's pretty relaxed about going into the 4 cup glass measuring cup to be moved. Immediately upon transfer he swims up to his algae clip to be fed. Attached are the photo's that have been resized of these little ????? Julie <Thank you for sending these along... Is more a mystery to me than ever though... About what size are these? Bob Fenner>

Re: Gold Rim Tang 2/1/09 Hi again. I'm glad I'm not the only one struggling here. I've dealt with ich on many of my quarantined fish before and this guy is totally puzzling me. I would say the things I'm finding on the bottom of my tank are about the size of a grain of salt. Easily seen and a somewhat discernable shape. If it is velvet would daily tank transfers take care of it, or do I need to use copper? <One course to consider> I really stress using copper on my fish. He's had the two freshwater baths, should I do more? I would have given up on this fish long ago, but he really wants to live. Thanks again. Julie <... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the linked files above. B>

Re: Is this Velvet or Crypt, and now fallow tank blues    1/17/09 Hello again, and thanks Bob for responding so quickly with your insight to my recent question on Amyloodinium and white dots on the glass.. <I recall> As I wrote previously, I have a 120 G saltwater fish only tank, which as per the picture sent, and per your comment, was likely infected with Amyloodinium. The surviving three fish were treated with Kanamycin, then Chloroquine and transferred every 3 days to a new clean QT for 4 changes, then left in a hospital tank while the main tank (MT) remained fishless. First some background on the fallow tank process I followed, and I'll save the questions for the end. The fallow tank process I followed was: The MT had 90 % of it's water drained, and over the course of a week, replaced with fresh salt water lowered to SG 1.019 <Mmm, if the intent was to facilitate killing the Amyloodinium with hyposalinity, this needed to be much lower... below 1.010> and then temp raised to 85 Deg for 5 weeks with the sand stirred after 3 weeks. The MT then had a water change in which I stirred up/sifted the sand and salt raised to normal level and temp reduced to 79 Deg. The final, more major sand stirring, which reduced clumps of sand that were forming on the surface, and shifted the rocks in the tank around was done about 3 weeks before the end of the 11 week fallow period. The lighting on the tank was on for 9 hours a day, <A comment here as well... it's best, unless needed for other life, to leave the infested system in the dark... Velvet is photosynthetic> the utensils for stirring, filling or sifting the tank, and the filters pads were only left to air dry then reused on the MT. The Bioballs were removed at week 3, rinsed well, left to dry, then replaced 2-3 weeks before end of fallow period. The only communication between the MT and QT was that I used one gallon of QT tank water change water-which I assumed was free of the parasite (because the fish had been rotated, treated with Chloroquine as above, and were showing no signs ) to pour into the MT during the last month of fallow period to add nitrite/ammonia to the main tank and keep the bacteria cycling. <Mmm, I would have used a different exogenous source... proteinaceous food, even household NH4OH> The skimmer was only on intermittently during the fallow period as it did not produce much. After 11 weeks from when the last fish was out of the MT, the surviving fish were retreated with Chloroquine. Several new fish were obtained and separately quarantined 3 days in Kanamycin, moved to new tank with 3 days Kanamycin, moved to new tank 3 days Chloroquine, then final 3 days in Chloroquine treated water removed from the main tank 11+ weeks fallow. at no point did any of the newly quarantined or surviving fish in the QT show any surface lesions, (I use a magnification head loop to assist in getting a real good look for lesions). Well, having allowed MT to be fishless for 11 weeks, I then transferred first the newly acquired fish to the MT, then two days later transferred two of the survivors back to the MT. Within two to four days from when each fish entered the tank, every fish in the main tank had from 1 to 10 white dots on them. <Mmm, white dots? Likely Cryptocaryon> On most of the fish they were on the fins, some on the body. They were small, less than 0.5mm, except on a citrus clown goby and a mandarin, on which they were a 1 mm or more in size, the same size and color as the white dots on the glass of the tank I had written about. (I assume the larger size due to the fish's mucus production around the objects. <You are correct> At this point I pulled the clown goby to a separate tank since it was in the worst shape, leaving the others in the main tank where the mandarin was working on eating the pods that had accumulated during the 11 weeks of empty tank. I took scrapings from the clown goby and made digital images to show you. The first is low magnification of the white dot, kind of thick with all the mucus on it, so hard to see much, As I messed with it, it ruptured, and the second and third picture are of the contents from within the larger white object which appeared to be numerous smaller similar size/shaped circular organisms . I added some iodine to the slide if that helps with identification. My first question is what this organism that has reinfected my fish? <Can't really tell, but...> My other questions are as relates to the fallow tank failure after 11 weeks. For all the fish to become infected within 2-4 days of entering the tank tells me the organisms did not come in with the fish, but were there waiting to infect them. Is there anything in the process described above that would explain how either Crypt or Velvet would still be so viable in the tank? <These parasites can indeed "wait" for months... depending on how "entrenched" complexed (multiple life-stages), "dirty" a system is> Can either organism survive on wet or dry tubing or objects used in the tank intermittently, but still out of contact with fish for 11 weeks (e.g. the bioballs that were removed then replaced later, but never in contact with other fish water? <Unfortunately, yes> Can either organism survive buried in the sand for months and become reactivated when the sand is stirred up? <Yes> Does either organism go dormant in slightly diluted or temp raised salt water and restart it's 8 week survivability when salt and temp are returned to normal? <Yes> Any help in identifying the weak link that allowed this organism to survive and thrive would be appreciated as I seek to return the tank to health. Thanks, Joe <There are proponents of the idea that these Protist problems are omnipresent... I am not one of them, but do regard hyper-potency issues as being very real in aquarium settings... In some cases, once they become established, it can be very difficult to eradicate a resident infestation... Hence the call for exclusion protocol. In some circumstances, it proves efficacious to bleach, otherwise use a biocide to kill all... There is some possibility that your new livestock harbored the causative organisms anew, but I cannot deny my suspicion that you have a "strong strain" of parasite/s resident here. Bob Fenner>


Trigger Flashing/ Goatfish Quarantine Quick question (sort of)... I have 100g FOWLR, 4" Dogface Puffer, 3" Panther Grouper, 2" Picasso Trigger and 5" Bicolor Goatfish. <Yikes... will need more room than this w/ growth... w/in a year...> I had noticed white specks on the Puffer and a few on the tail of the goatfish, about a week ago. Being the two most bottom dwelling fishes, this seemed logical that they would be the first to become symptomatic of Crypt. <Agreed> But, they appeared for only one day. I have been simply observing everyone, since... All look fat, healthy, active and eating well... <Good> (Side-note on the Goatfish: Love this guy... A surprisingly quick and agile fish... Beats the heck out of any other "Cleaner" Invert for sandbed maintenance, IMO... Leaves nothing to waste) Now, for two days or so, the trigger has been "flashing"... He creeps up to a rock and then, very quickly and with amazing precision, slams into it. I'm sure you have observed this behavior. <Yes> He still eats voraciously (tries to jump out of the water to bite at the shot glass I use to thaw/rinse the Mysis Shrimp and Krill cubes). Other than the flashing, there is no other behavioral change. His color is vibrant and eyes are clear. There are no externally visible white dots. He only scratches his right side... Even here, there are no visible nicks or anything to indicate irritation. Sound like Crypt? Gill Flukes? <Mmm, not necessarily either> I know... All this is posted... My actual question is regarding quarantine... If it becomes evident that I have a Parasitic outbreak of sorts and deem it necessary to run the display tank fallow for 30+ days, I know that I can QT the fishes and treat with copper, etc. What I am wondering is how well the Goatfish will respond to a bare-bottom tank for 30 days. This seems to run fundamentally counter to their very purpose in life. Should I consider a non-calcareous, synthetic substrate? Or any other suggestions? Thanks, guys and gals... Jonny. <Mmm, thank you for writing so clearly, completely Jonny. I would "risk" a bare-bottom treatment tank with the Goatfish... should be fine for the month if as you state the fish/es are apparently in good shape currently... that is IF you decide to move, isolate, treat them there. If it were me, I'd hold off right now, stay observant, see if this is something non-pathogenic. Do the usual cleaning of skimmer, water changing... bolstering of immune systems with a supplement (perhaps Zoe, Selcon) added to foods. Even if there is parasitic involvement, I'd see if a balance can be struck here. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm to gain a better understanding of what this is about. Bob Fenner>

Thought was velvet, now flukes?   11/30/08 Hello, and thank you in advance for your assistance. I have a 100 gal SW tank, have been in this hobby for about 5 years. The tank was fallow for quite a few months due to a remodel at our house and other issues... kept the live rock alive with a heater and minimal pump. Time now allowing, we've resurrected it fully and have begun to stock it again. All water parameters are fine (SG 1.026, T 79, no ammonia/nit, PH 8.3). I had my quarantine tank ready to go, so I thought, but when I returned from the LFS with my new friends, I realized the quarantine heater was not working. I had no back-up heater available, and could not get one over the following 48 hours, so I had to put my lovely fish (black/white aquacultured clown and a 2.5 inch coral beauty angel) into the main tank. The clown has been fine. Shortly after arrival, I noticed two very small marks/white spots on the head of the angel. A couple of days later, a third. Then, the next day, she had the dusty appearance typically described for marine velvet disease. Definitely not "ich". Quarantine tank now ready, I pulled her out and started treating with copper for the presumed velvet. However, I had not seen any rapid breathing, she was eating well, swimming well, and seemed otherwise healthy, which I thought unusual? <For the typical symptoms of Velvet, yes> She twitched occasionally. Meanwhile, I have re-familiarized myself with this disease via lots of reading on your website. I also bumped into information about fresh water dips, which I have never done before. After a day in quarantine with copper, I took her out to dip her (fresh water with temp and ph matched but no Methylene blue as I haven't been able to go purchase that yet). Being my first dip, I was a little nervous, and watched her very closely. It looked like the dusty areas turned fluorescent green in the fresh water (the bucket was blue). Then I saw these white things start to come out of her (near her head/gills). They were about 3 mm size and oval in shape. Also, there were a couple of things that "fell off' which looked more like fuzzy cotton clumps or something like that. <You have sharp eyes> The dip lasted for a couple of minutes, and about 6 or 7 of what I think are flukes came out of her. I know people dip for longer, but she was a little stressed, and I was nervous. (Since the dip she has been fine, swimming well, not distressed). So, I have now re-researched flukes but find less information. I did read some about treatment options, i.e. Praziquantel or formalin. Can you point me in the right direction to learn about fluke lifecycles, concern for my clownfish, etc? <Mmm, mainly books (not the Net)... I'd seek out Bob Goemans latest effort by Microcosm/TFH, or better, Ed Noga's "Fish Disease: Diagnosis & Treatment". A bit on WWM here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisflukef.htm> Any other advice for me? <Mmm... a bunch. Principally to try to stave off becoming too emotional here... instead to remain alert/observant, investigating your possibilities... And perhaps aim for some sort of "balance" in your approach... Not become inflexible re "all or nothing" in your attempt to "cure" this fish, system. Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked file in the series...> Could she have both velvet and flukes, or could the flukes be responsible for the dusty appearance? <Could be a multiple species/phylum infestation, easily... the dusty appearance could be a protozoan other than Amyloodinium. W/o effective dip/bathing, isolation/quarantine...> Thanks, Lynn M <I do hope to help you more here Lynn... this is a very trying situation... and difficult to communicate through this means, all/enough to direct your efforts well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue hippo tang and powder brown tang, more reading   9/29/08 Thanks for the reference, My powder brown is fine, but my blue hippo tang seems to be a little worse scratching like crazy. I can now see them on the tail and body maybe 8 spots total. They look exactly like micro bubbles on the fish like he just swam by a power head shooting bubbles. I did not see any pics that look like this on http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm do you still believe this is HLLE looking like micro bubbles? I would take a pic but the fish will not cooperate. Ammonia is 0, Nitrates 10-20, nitrites 0, PH 8.3, water temp 81 F, Salinity 1.019 and feeding lots of green algae. I put in Kent marine essentials and soak food in ZOE vitamins. I was told keeping low salinity will help keep any parasites away if present and the water temp lower. Is 1.019 too low. What else is there? Thanks so much, Troy <Keep reading... on WWM re protozoan parasites... ID, etiology, these species... and soon. BobF>  

re: Blue hippo tang and powder brown tang, even more   9/29/08 I sent a reply just a short time ago but, also wanted to let you know that on my last e-mail I said that the spots looked like micro bubbles, but a better description is three dimensional salt granules. They are getting all over the blue hippo tang and upon closer inspection the powder brown. Just could not make a determination if it was still HLLE after reading the site you suggested. What do you think? Thanks, Again Troy <... more reading. B>

Re: Power-outage problems with fish in QT...  9/29/08 I took your advise <advice> and let the fish remain in the DT. after 2 days both fish were visibly ich free. <Ah, good> They stayed visibly ich free for about a week but recently it came back... now it is slowly disappearing again. The fish are still picking at the rocks all day, breathing normally and eating A TON so I am not that worried yet. Business as usual behavior. My yellow tang is starting to put on some weight too.. it was a little skinny when I bough it but nothing to be worried about. Should I continue to over feed with Zoe and Zoecon supplements and do several large water changes? <Mmm, yes I would... and look into treating these fishes with Chloroquine phosphate, Aralen... see WWM re> I don't plan on adding any more fish to my system if it makes a difference. I am uneasy about quarantining at this time because it may do more harm than good since they do not appear to be under any stress. Also, I read a lot of anecdotal accounts that dwarf angels are sensitive to copper and hypo and others say they are fine in both. <Mmm, more sensitive to free copper than lowered SG> As someone with a B.S. in biology, i know not to take anecdotes as conclusive proof of anything. As always, any advise is appreciated. <A bit more reading... BobF>

Black ich + regular ich, reading  9/23/08 Hello WWM crew, Thank you so much for all your helpful info + for answering my questions when I write to you. <... You have searched, read ahead of writing presumably> I try not to write frequently, I search through your site and almost always find the necessary information for my problems with the aquarium. <Ah good> But I find myself coming to you once again because I need help with the order of what I need to do. Last week I bought a Powder Blue Tang that will go into my 75 gal DT. <This species needs more room than this> The owner was moving and had to sell all his stuff. The tang is very healthy and even though the owner told me I could put him right away in my DT w/out QT, I new from your site, that it was not a good idea. So I put him in QT, and boy am I glad I did. After about 4 days he developed black ich, so yesterday I started putting him in a formaldehyde dip, my plan was to do 3 more dips every other day and then keep him in QT <... the infested quarantine?> for another week to observe him. The first dip worked almost immediately, I can't see any black spots, but I plan to continue with the whole treatment just to be sure. <Not by returning the fish to the infested system> This morning, after observing closely, I see that he has some white specs on his body, it is regular ich, I'm sure b/c about 4 mths ago I went through the whole ich treatment of hyposalinity in QT and letting the DT go fallow for 6 weeks with my other fish. Now my DT is "ich free" if there is such thing. <There is> So I don't want to re-introduce the ich again. My question for you is, should I continue with the formaldehyde dips now, or should I start the hyposalinity for the regular ich and when I raise the SG after 14 days, then continue with the formaldehyde dips? <Mmm, depends on what "this" actually is. Simple naked eye observations are not definitive> Or what is the best order? What do you recommend for this? <I'd likely pH adjusted FW and formalin dip this fish and summarily place> I know Mr Fenner prefers the copper, <Mmm, no, not here> but I like the hypo, it worked very well for me last time. I just need to know the best order of the treatment. Thank you so much for all your help, I've had my tank for 9 mths and am learning so much. I love it. Sincerely, Erika <And do a bit more reading re all before. Bob Fenner>

Re: black ich + regular ich  9/23/08 Mr. Fenner, Wow, thank you for answering my question. <Thank you for sending it along> I will do the ph adj. FW dip + formaldehyde. I see you mention my QT is infested with the black spot worm. <If the fish has been in there with external parasites... they are there now too> I plan to do the hypo in the QT, do you think this would be enough to get rid of the parasites? <... read> Or should I empty the tank and clean + dry it out, then fill again for future use? <Best to at least vacuum the bottom thoroughly twixt...> By the way, I constantly go back to your book. So helpful. Once again, thank you very much for helping so many of us who are trying to do a good job at this wonderful hobby. Sincerely, Erika <Keep learning, enjoying, sharing Erika. I will as well. BobF>

Shrimp goby pair quarantine... Actually, Disease, part. Protozoan ID, trtmt.   8/17/08 Hello to all and thank you for being able to ask questions, <I as well> it is greatly appreciated. I am in need of some guidance and direction as to what is the best way to address my current situation. My tank came down with what I now believe was Brooklynella. <Mmmm, not likely> In one day I thought I lost all fish. <Then no> Symptoms were cloudy eyes, peeling skin and 2 dead fish clown and pseudo. I also had a yellow watchman goby pistol shrimp pair which I had assumed perished as well because I had not seen them in a while. I was going to let the tank go fallow following directions listed on your site. Then one day I put a very small amount of frozen food in the tank and out comes the goby and shrimp looking very healthy. So my question is now what do I do? <Likely nothing> Im thinking of dismantling the tank to catch the goby and shrimp and place them in a 10G quarantine tank. <... for what reason/s?> Should I catch both or just the fish? If just the fish will they still pair off later after reintroduction? Also what should I use to treat the yellow watchman goby and how often since I see no signs of disease on him? <I would do none of the above> I was planning on using a sponge from my tank and also water from the main tank into the quarantine, but would it be better to not use the water from the main tank since the disease is in the water from the main tank? I would really like to keep the goby paired up with the shrimp but since I will most likely be medicating the fish I am unclear as to what to do? If you recommend a dip and then placing in quarantine how would I know if it worked since I don't see any signs of disease on him and its been 10 days now since I lost the other 2 fish? Thanks Steve Tank size is 24 gallons water quality ph 8.2 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate <5 specific gravity 1.025 refugium in the process of being installed 20% water changes weekly 22 lbs live rock 1/2 in sand various zoos 1 blue xenia <Mmm... let's start a bit toward the beginning here... W/o knowing... what the actual cause of loss was here I would not "jump" to conclusions... was this a protozoan infestation? Not definitively... NOT Brooklynellosis I assure you. I would leave all as they are presently... proceed cautiously in introducing new fish livestock (see WWM re... quarantining, assuring the initial health of new introductions). Bob Fenner>

Disease treatment, Crypt, Brook 7/21/08 Hi, <Hello> After years of freshwater tanks, this year for the first time I set up a 150 gal saltwater. I cycled it properly...added one fish at a time etc and it now has live rock, a few snails and crabs, lionfish, powder blue tang and Foxface Rabbitfish which I really love all three. I check my water regularly, changes etc, water is fine, other fish are healthy etc. My recent mistake was adding a maroon clownfish that had just arrived at my fish store. I've got the picture from recent online reading that I should quarantine so skip that part, lesson learned for next time. <Invaluable> I'm not very experienced with saltwater but do lots of reading online whenever I have a question. So when the clown immediately came down with what I've diagnosed as 'clownfish disease" I began researching that disease and treatment. <Was it wild caught? If you are sure it is Brooklynellosis you need to act quickly, can kill quite fast and is not treatable by the normal copper treatment. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm .> Though I've been on many sites and read many varying opinions, I'm still unclear on two things that I'm hoping you can answer for me: 1 - does every fish exposed in a tank to a disease come down with it, or ONLY if they are stressed or have low immune systems...if your answer is that they will all surely catch it no matter their health, then how do oceans full of fish that obviously are exposed by the diseased ones that us poor aquarists unluckily get, avoid them? <All fish will have some level of parasite infestation after exposure, whether it becomes symptomatic or not depends on lots of variable. As far as the ocean is concerned, it's a matter of water volume, currents, and available hosts really. If you were a parasite like Brook or crypt and could design your ideal environment, it would be an aquarium.> Some sites give the impression that all fish have the parasites that cause ich etc but they only come down with the disease when stressed with transferring or poor water. <They are exposed in the wholesalers tanks, fish shops, etc. But are we talking about 'Clownfish disease (Brooklynella hostilis) or Ich/Crypt (Cryptocaryon irritans )?.> So then my other fish should be fine but other sites make it sound like once a fish gets the disease from stress etc, then your whole tank is doomed, but if he had it in the ocean, why was he not sick before he got to my tank? <It most likely did not have it in the ocean, but was exposed after catch.> 2 - regardless your answer to the first question, for future reference since I don't have a hospital tank set up, why can't I just take out the live rock and snails, crabs and put them in a bucket of water to sit for a month and then medicate the whole tank to kill off the parasites on the healthy fish, sick fish and in the water all at the same time? <You would need to remove all reactive materials, substrate, rock, filters, and turn it into a glass box. Second problem is that silicon can absorb many medications and then slowly release it back into the tank over time, causing more future problems. Besides the fact that life in a bucket of water for a few months will most likely kill off many organisms and cause a new cycle when returned to the tank.> I really don't care to go to extensive work to save the clown at this point but the other fish...definitely, and one site says I'll have to tear down my entire tank and start over. Really??? <Time to read All that you are looking for can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Step one is to be sure of your diagnosis, then attempt the appropriate treatment.> Thanks for your time in helping me get the big picture on this issue, Janel <Welcome> <Chris>

Sick porcupine puffer -- 07/14/08 Hi guys, thanks for the info, our porcupine puffer died last night. <Sorry to hear that.> I'm sure it was the marine velvet. We will miss her. We now have to treat the dragon wrasse. Do you guys recommend using copper? <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/velvetfaqs.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copperfa.htm . A search for 'copper' within these pages will return a lot of useful information. Use an adequate (chelated vs. ionic copper) test kit to keep the copper at a reasonable level (depends on product). Good luck, Marco. Powder Blue "pimples"  7/3/08 Hi and happy 4th of July to everyone at WWB. <?> I'm writing in regards to a problem I have with Peanut, my Powder Blue Tang. I bought him a little over a month ago and immediately put him in a 40gal QT. I observed him for a period of 3 weeks and I didn't notice any problems, no parasites, no signs of disease, eating frozen food and the dry algae sheets. The fish is about 4 to 5 inches in length. Then I thought everything was great and put Peanut in my 150gal FOWLR. He acclimated very well and none of my other fish bothered him. If anything he bothered my Foxface at first, but then they became friends. A week later however, I noticed something very odd. He had what looked like pin sized pimples all over his body. They were not white like ich and it looked like they were under the skin. He didn't seem bothered, still very active and eating like a pig. I waited hoping these "pimples" would go away but they didn't so now Peanut is back in the QT, except I have no idea what is wrong or how to medicate for this problem. If these pin sized pimples were white, I'd say ich, although none of my other fish have it and the tank has been ich free for 6 months. Still, anything is possible. Any idea what these are? They're only on the body, nothing showing up on any of the fins. My tank parameters: Ammonia and Nitrites: 0 Nitrates: 20 pH: 8.3 Density: 1.025 Other tank mates: 5" Foxface, 4" Picasso Trigger, 4" Niger Trigger, 4" Yellow Canary Wrasse, 2" Juvi Queen Angel. Again, there was no aggression at all. The Niger is the most aggressive in the tank but it never bothered the tang. Thanks, Peter <Mmm, likely Sporozoans... not easily treated... Could be encysted worms... these might be treated with a vermifuge. Bob Fenner> Ich and inverts? 6/17/08 Morning Crew :D <Hello> This may sound like a strange question, but is it possible to introduce Ich (or any other parasite/disease) into a reef tank on invertebrates such as clams, shrimp or corals? <Oh yes.> Knowing how susceptible these are to copper I'm assuming a QT would be used here, in which case what would the procedure be, i.e. would the usual 4-5 week quarantine period be enough or too much? <Would be just about right, as long as you do not QT it with fish of course.> What signs would you need to look for? <Nothing you can see really, just time for the potential parasites to complete a lifecycle without fish.> Many thanks again for all your help and for such a great resource, Carolyn <Welcome> <Chris>

A bit of advice please... SW fish protozoan dis.   6/4/08 Hi Guys, <Ashok> I am Ashok from Chennai, India. I have been a fresh water aquarist for the past 20 years and had success in commercially breeding cichlids and other varieties in a small scale. I got fascinated about reef aquariums after having a chance to see a couple of really good maintained ones during my visit to Kansas. A few friends recommended your site To get my first FOWLR tank started 4 months ago. I found excellent advice and thanks a lot for that. I need some advice from you guys as the reef keeping hobby is at a very early Stage in this country. Further Soft and Hard Corals are totally banned <A shame... many beautiful organisms off your coast... not threatened by careful collection> leaving me with a choice of a FOWLR tank. <I see> My tank is around 4 months now. It's a 300 gallon display with a 300 gallon sump, 200 Kg of LR, Aqua Medic Needle wheel skimmer, a 20 Watt UV with 5000L/Hr return pump, I have a DSB (5 inches of aragonite sand) and a wet dry system in the sump, carbon for chemical filtration. I also have a Chiller (Its really hot here during summers) and the following are the parameters Tank cycled for 3 months, NH3 -- 0, NO2 -- 0, NO3 -- 10ppm, S/G -- 1.020 @ 27'C. <I'd raise this... no more than a thousandth per day... to 1.025> (I check water parameters every week using a red sea test kit) Tank maintenance - Weekly 10% water changes, daily top up, twice a day feeding using Sera Granumarin, 2 little fishes algae sheets, Krill I introduced my first batch of fish (Maroon clown, Yellow tang, Powder brown tang and regal tang) after 21 days of QT (In a 180 gallon QT with a internal power filter- 50 liter water change every 2 days once) All went well until my maroon clown suddenly wouldn't eat and died in a day in the display after 7 days of introducing him in the display Later I suspected itch/Brooklynella and have put rest of the fish back to QT and let the display fallow for 15 days. <Mmm, not long enough if this is/was Crypt> (My water is prepared 7 days in advance using Red SeaSalt mix) My question is, If the fish didn't show any symptoms in QT how did itch catch up in the display after 6 days in spite of good water quality. <Can remain "hidden" (subclinical)...> Now the rest of the fish are healthy eating and doing good in the QT. I have used copper with F/W baths and formalin baths as advised. How should I ensure this doesn't happen again'¦. <Rigorous dip/bathing and quarantine...> Read a lot in your site but I don't know where I went wrong. <Perhaps you didn't "go wrong"... this does read more like Brooklynellosis... very hard to discern...> Also kindly advise if I have done everything in the right way. Thanks and Regards, Ashok Poondi <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Cloudy fins, SW fish diag.    5/30/08 Hi, I have a Longnose Butterfly that is covered in a fine "dust". It covers his fins and makes them look cloudy. <Err... such cloudiness is often symptomatic of Amyloodinium, aka Velvet... very bad> It also covers the front of his body and recently five or six spots turned up on each eye. Initially I thought they were air bubbles because they didn't always seem to be in the same spots and he eats really well, doesn't scratch against rocks, and is not shy. He has been developing the spots for about a month now <Oh! Then this is something else. Velvet would have killed all your fishes w/in hours to days> and I have hesitated to treat him for fear of killing him with the treatment when I wasn't sure he was sick. <You are wise here... Perhaps the root cause is environmental... not pathogenic> When the spots turned up on his eyes and didn't go away after I turned off my skimmer I decided they weren't air bubbles and he must have something. I removed him from my main tank, gave him a freshwater dip with Methylene blue and put him in a quarantine. The spots are very small and I can't tell what color they are except to say they aren't white. My water quality is good (0 ammonia, 15 ppm Nitrates) and everything is consistent in my tank except sometimes the fish only get fed once a day. No other fish show signs of illness. Do you think this is a parasite? fungus? <I do think this Forcipiger may be infested with subcutaneous worms of some sort or perhaps Sporozoans...> Should I treat with copper? dips? <Mmm, none of these> When treating with copper should I remove my bio wheel from the quarantine tank and put it in the sump of my main tank to avoid killing off the good bacteria during treatment? Thanks, Brendon <I would first try a vermifuge... See WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/vermifugefaqs.htm and in series (after the above) an anti-protozoal (likely Metronidazole/Flagyl) administered through foods/feeding. Bob Fenner>

Can apparently uninfected fish be carriers? Preventing The Spread of Parasitic Illness.. 5/6/08 Hi Crew, <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> On March 30 I had a sudden die off of 3 fish in my 90 gallon. I had quarantined a little Tang I bought for about 3-4 weeks. <Excellent practice!> He was only about 1.5 inches so I thought he would be fine in my old nano which was well cycled. I was pretty sure the Eunicid worm that used to reside in the rock had met his demise since I hadn't seen it for a while. Well, one day I went up and I couldn't find my little Blue Tang. I picked up the rock and turned it over a few times and no fish. I went downstairs and when I came back up he was back in his favorite hiding place behind the heater. I was rather worried that the worm was still alive. Not thinking logically, I decided to move it to the main tank. <Uh oh...have a hunch where this is going.> Within a day or 2 he started showing signs of ich or velvet but he was still eating. The Coral beauty was little aggressive toward him which didn't help. Any way about 2 days later I woke up and all 3 algae eaters were dead. They were eating fine the night before. I think if it disease maybe it was velvet because of the speed it took. <A very good hypothesis. This illness attacks and kills with astounding rapidity.> We put Advantage on our cats that day also. May be possible some got on the Nori? <It is possible if you didn't wash your hands after administering this medication. Although the symptoms that you are describing seem indicative of a disease rather than a poisoning event of some sort.> Anyway my 2 Perculas, my corals, snails and my cleaner shrimp are fine. I immediately removed the Clowns and initially put the recommended dose of Cupramine in the quarantine. I removed the live rock from the quarantine to an un cycled tank in the garage. I dosed them for a couple days and had a hard time keeping the level up without getting too much. Anyway I quit dosing them because they are obviously not sick. My question is should I dose them for a period of time in case they are carriers before I put them back in the main tank? I'm looking at a 10 week fallow period which would be June 8. <Good questions. However, I would not dose copper prophylactically in the future, because of potential "collateral damage" issues/ In your situation, a two month fallow period makes sense. You simply cannot be too careful with a disease like Marine Velvet. By removing all fishes from the display, and by allowing the Clowns a period of time for observation, you're sort of covering all the bases. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.> Blue tang and black&white Sweetlips scratching, SW parasites  -- 03/20/08 I recently battled my first ich outbreak in 8 years and after copper treatment all the fish are back in the display. The two fish have been scratching for over two weeks now but no other signs that the ich has returned. I added about 40 lbs of live rock and have noticed a small trace of nitrites -- about .1. <Mmm> Could the nitrites be causing the fish to scratch? <Yes> All indications are that the fish are very healthy. Also, yesterday I saw what I thought was an ich spot on my Foxface, <Not ich/crypt if just one spot> but today the spot on its side seemed to grow far larger than any ich spot I've ever seen. Today it was gone -- could that have been lymph? <Not likely> The spot protruded from its side and fell off. Anyway, I'm really concerned about the ich returning, and would like to know how long before spots would show up if the scratching is ich related. <Could be> Again could the scratching just be water quality related as its only these two fish? <They're more sensitive likely... You are to be congratulated for keeping a Sweetlips/Plectorhynchine... not easily done. Bob Fenner>

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

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

Sick tank - how to proceed 03/04/2008 Hi Crew! <Don> I love your site! I visit it almost daily. <I'm here every ding dang day... and really like it> About three months ago, I upgraded from a 29 gallon fish-only, to a 55 gallon reef tank. At that time, I moved my 29 to my office at work (the fish went into my reef), and started a new fish-only there. In the three years I had run the tank in my house, I had never encountered any disease, fungus, parasite, etc. In hindsight, I realize how lucky I was. I put three fish in the tank in the office - a false Perc, a yellow-tailed blue damsel, and a royal Gramma. I need to pause here to admit my mistake of never running a QT tank (I now have a 10-gallon setup at home). Huge mistake! <You're learning!> Within two weeks of adding the Gramma, the Damsel had some white stuff on the underside of its mouth. Not sure what it was, I extracted him from the tank and brought him back to the LFS where they would quarantine and treat it. Shortly after that, the Gramma stopped eating and, although I could not see any signs of any other problems externally, within a couple of days he was dead. About a week later, the Clownfish stopped eating and had some stringy feces hanging from it. After researching your site, I concluded that it was likely an internal parasite, and started slowly lowering the specific gravity and increasing the temperature. I also treated the tank, since the Clown was the only inhabitant, with Formalin and Malachite Green, <Mmm, these won't treat internal matters> for 6 days, per the instructions of my LFS. During and after treatment, I tested the water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates, and all were good (ammonia, nitrites - 0, nitrates - 20). Unfortunately, the poor fish never got better, and has died as well. <...> This was a very depressing series of events, to say the least. I am very dedicated to my tanks and their inhabitants, and am constantly reading, learning, testing, and performing regular water changes. Despite all this, I feel like a bad parent. <Mmm, hopefully getting better> I now have the tank running, which has about 2 inches of fine sand, some bare coral rock for decoration and hiding places, and a Penguin bio-wheel filter, with the only inhabitants being two hermit crabs. My question is, how long should I leave the tank running before adding new inhabitants? <Six weeks or so> Would adding a cleaner shrimp first help to rid the tank of any lingering parasites? <No> Could the shrimp become infected as well? <Not really likely, no> Thanks for all your help, which you unknowingly provide me often. I promise to quarantine from this point forward. Also, kudos to you guys for insisting on good spelling and grammar. Don Austin <We try... do let Non-native speakers slide quite a bit (I often think how bad my Persian, Turkish, Macedonian... might be...), as well as children, folks of apparent diminished capacity... What do "people" owe us/me/WWM? Common courtesy... I thank you for yours. Cheers, Bob Fenner> First attempt_Marine Aquarium_Disaster -01/29/2008 Hello, I need a few questions answered after my tank being devastated by a parasitic disease that doesn't quite match the symptoms of ich or velvet so I'm reluctant to call it either. (No, I didn't quarantine, but definitely will after this very costly experience). <ah, school of hard knocks?> I made several mistakes in my initial set-up. My tank is a 90 gallon with 70lbs of live rock and live sand. All I had on it were a couple of powerheads and a HOB Remora Pro skimmer. I had only 2 Anthias in the tank for 2 months, and they were doing quite well. I then introduced a juvenile Kole tang which never seemed at ease, always freaked out when people would walk by. After a month, the tang appeared ill. White powder-like dust was on its fins and it would rub/scratch itself against the rock. I initially thought it was ich but realized soon that it didn't match the appearance of ich as seen in online photos. I tried to catch the tang or any of the fish, after setting up a hospital tank, but could never succeed - a fish trap which cost me $40 <Hmm, and how much did your fish cost?> and is essentially a primitive acrylic box, did not work. The tang died and suddenly one of the Anthias start showing symptoms, although different ones. The Anthias' skin was peeling, eyes slightly swollen, breathing heavy. It died the next day. <Have you read through this yet? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm> A few days earlier I talked to one of the workers at my LFS , and he told me that my set-up was not proper. So I bought a pro-clear wet dry filter, UV sterilizer, and an in sump skimmer. I was reluctant after reading about negativities over bio-balls on this site, but my LFS has exquisite looking tanks, <I do believe Bioballs can work well enough for fish-only tanks.> the independent tanks with such sump/filters installed. So finally a few days ago all of these were installed and I was down to only 2 fish, now having lost 3 in 4 days. The tank looked a lot better with much more water flow- much less algae on the glass - my 2nd Anthias even looked much happier swimming around. Unfortunately he/she (it was an in-between) died the next day, having shown symptoms all of a sudden and dying 5 hours later. So I am down to 1 Firefish (assuming he's going to die soon) and about 15 snails and 15 hermit crabs. <Amyloodinium maybe?> Here's the scariest part which I just noticed and prompted me to email you: From a distance, it looks like there are microbubbles floating on the glass. At close inspection I can see that they are not bubbles but little white moving dots. At EXTREME close inspection I can see that they are living organisms moving around freely. I'm assuming that whatever parasites infested and knocked off my fish have now multiplied and truly taken over my tank. <Uh, not necessarily... quite likely these "white moving dots" are something else entirely (copepods maybe).> So from what I've read here the appropriate thing to do is leave the tank fallow for 8 weeks. Will this only be enough to get rid of the parasites? Any other suggestions? <Well, it can't hurt to let the tank age a bit with the new changes/equipment.> I will get a quarantine tank and quarantine every fish, but I'm confused over some info which seems to be different depending on who I ask. How long should the quarantine last? I've read 2 weeks, 3 and 6 weeks. My tang did not show any symptoms until 4 weeks so if I would have quarantined him for 2 weeks it would not have done much good. <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm Also look at the "related FAQs" links at the top.> Will quarantine really eliminate any possibility of outbreaks? <Possibly not entirely, but it does/will greatly reduce the risk of it.> Did the parasites come from somewhere else or is it most likely the tang brought it in? <either> Also in the future I would like to get corals. Should they be quarantined too? <Yes, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm> Separately from fish? Can I add corals while I'm leaving my tank fallow for 8 weeks? Can corals also bring any of these diseases? <Yes, probably not, and yes... please do some reading on this site (and/or elsewhere if need be). There is a LOT already written on these topics.> Thanks. <De nada, Sara M.>

Re: First attempt_Marine Aquarium_Disaster -01/29/2008 Just wanted to update on those tiny white creatures on my glass; My Firefish is currently eating them. <cool... live food is good for the fish> He keeps going at the glass and feasting. Are they not parasites but just copepods, zooplankton? <quite likely, yes> Where would they have come from? <Copepods/amphipods/etc. are almost ubiquitous hitch-hikers on live rock, coral, just about anything wet will potentially carry them. Best, Sara M.>

Treatment Troubles, SW parasites...   1/26/08 I have a 3 month old 65 gallon tank with three fish: a clownfish, a dot-dash butterfly, and the recently added coral beauty (I am taking it slow). <Mmm, I would have waited on the BF and Centropyge...> I committed the cardinal sin of fishkeeping and did not quarantine any of them. The day after adding the Coral Beauty, I noticed minute white specks peppering the top half of it's body. I have experience with freshwater ich, and these spots were far tinier and more abundant. I concluded that it was velvet, and immediately (after doing some internet research) bought some copper safe, a copper test kit, and a sponge filter. I disassembled my rock formations and caught all three fish, moving them to a twenty gallon tank for treatment, bare but for the sponge, a heater, and a few (dead) rocks <... will still absorb the copper...> for them to hide behind. I've been maintaining a copper level of 2, <Units? Significant figures please> and have been doing daily water changes to keep down the ammonia, which has been hovering around .5. <ppm? Way too high, toxic> I'm using tap water, and stress coat for the purpose of dechlorination. <The Stress Coat product will precipitate out the medication if it's present, and can give false positive results for ammonia tests...> The first couple days the fish acted lethargic. In the main tank, even before I got the Coral Beauty, the butterfly made frequent trips to the cleaner shrimp to have things removed from it's gills, in spite of acting healthy in every other regard. In the treatment tank, it flashed against the rocks until it injured itself. It also would twitch or shake occasionally, which I read can be a sign of poor water conditions, so I stepped up the water changes. After the first few days, the shaking and the flashing stopped, and the scrapes are now gradually healing. The butterfly still hovers in the path of the bubbles from the sponge filter, positioning itself so that the air massages it's gills and scrapes. The clown has shown absolutely no spots or "sick" behavior. By day four of the treatment, all three fish were all acting significantly better, and were all swimming and eating voraciously. It's now day ten, and they are all acting happy and healthy. <Perhaps the parasite population is cycling...> Now... I did not have a spare light for this tank, so the fish have been living with only the dim ambient light of the room. I have tried unsuccessfully to shine a flashlight on the Coral Beauty to check out the specks, but every time the flashlight approached, the fish darted behind a rock. I finally got a light for the tank today, and low and behold, there is a spot. A large, ich-like spot. <Mmm, this may be "nothing"> Color me perplexed. That was not there when I began the treatment. That's not what I thought I was treating, and even if it was, why is it still here ten days later, in a tank full of copper? Obviously, I don't have experience with this, but I really care about these fish and feel willing to potentially make an idiot of myself for their well-being, including hauling a four gallon bucket of saltwater back and forth to the tank 2 or 3 times a day. Am I doing something wrong, or am I just impatient? <Mmmm...> How long should this take? Is it possible that instead of ich, this new white spot is something else, like a very small tumor? (a possibly stupid question, but I did say I am willing to make an idiot of myself.) <Again, I would not be overly concerned with the spot... the "dusting" you treated for may have been (likely was) Crypt... if Amyloodinium/Velvet, your fishes would likely be dead...> Thank you. Your website has made up the bulk of my reading in the last few months. Sara K. <Please do set aside a bit of time to read on WWM re formalin bath/dips... consider their use here... Ignore the one white dot. Bob Fenner>  

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