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FAQs on Marine Parasitic Disease 9

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

Possible Break Out...   1/26/08 Hey Crew, <Tom> I received this Blue Girdled Angel for Christmas. He was a sunrise <?> based on advise to a family member by a LFS. <... the angels of the subgenus Euxiphipops are not easily kept...> I know this is not an easy fish to keep but it was a gift and I must try my best. I have had it in a quarantine tank for four weeks. Last night I went in to check his tank and feed him and noticed white spots on his head and his eyes are fogged. Thank goodness I read Bobs book and the site and quarantine for six weeks and not two or three as other publication claim as acceptable. <Am glad for this as well> The tank is forty gallons and I did a fifteen gallon water change this morning to be safe. I felt last night that this spotting may be diet related and spent a few hours looking on your web site for anything I could find. After reading I think the eyes are an environment problem. <Mmm, but the other spots, markings...> I did a water change and will test the waters chemical levels after it turns over for a while. The spots today are worse and I am thinking it is Crypt. <I agree> I am sending you some photos and was hoping you could look at them. I wanted a second opinion before going to purchase some Copper Safe and treat him. <Perhaps too late for this approach. I would make/use a formalin dip and institute a Quinine series STAT!> If he or she makes it and I can clear this up I am going to extend the quarantine for another six week to be safe. I have never had a disease or parasite before. I guess everyone's luck runs out eventually. I want to thank you in advance for any help. Tom <Read on WWM re the species, genus, Crypt and MOVE! Get/use the formalin today. Bob Fenner>

Help! Unidentifiable Disease on my fish! System...   1/16/08 Hi There, I need your help and fast. I have a 260 gal tank with a foxy face, Hawkfish, 2 dwarf colored beauties, <Centropyge?> a saddle back clown, and 1 candy stripe shrimp. My boyfriend have recently acquired this 7 year old happy tank from his father. I had been doing lots of research in reef aquariums and gladly took it off his hands. We have both a protein skimmer and the "bio ball" type filters. 2 VHO fluorescent lights and 1 actinic.... I know we could stand more lighting we're purchasing some metal halides in the upcoming month. Anyway about 4 days ago we bought our first anemone a smaller rose BTA. I've read that all fish and inverts are to be quarantined for a min of 3 weeks. I asked my LFS before the purchase how long they isolate their fish / inverts, and how long do the recommend for my new BTA. the girls said that they have already iso'ed all their specimens before being brought out on the floor. Then told me not to iso off the BTA b/c you should never do this to any invert. This was the opposite from everything that I have read....... I followed what she said and now I fear I'm paying the price. The BTA seems happy eating well moved around a bit but seems to have found Our foxy today (3 days later) seems to have a few black spots on it ..... <Paravortex?> So I think ok it's black ich. Only on the top on the fish and on some of the fins there are larger white bumps ... at first I thought maybe this is some sort of parasite that's latched on... pretty sure it's not bacterial. He also seems to have a few scratches on both of his sides where I'm guessing that he was trying to rub these little buggers off. I google up black and white spots and foxy seems to have symptoms of both black and white ich. I don't know if that is possible <Oh yes... is> but it doesn't seem too unreasonable. I started to prepare my fresh water for a dip <... but replacing the fish/es back in the infested system?> and after the water heated up (about 2 hours or so) I came back and all the larger white lumps are gone. The smaller black dots are barely visible and now his tail fin is covered in a fine mucusy substance. He's hiding in the rocks a bit more than usual but is still eating fine not acting noticeably lethargic. I can't find anything to match these symptoms online. What the heck is this and how should I treat it? Remove the BTA to the hospital tank? Or only Foxy? Laurel <... all the fishes need to be removed, treated elsewhere... or a decision made to "weather" the infested system... Please, when you have time, and soon... start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm the linked files above, and where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

QT questions... Treatment w/o knowledge, SW... parasitic... reading  10/16/07 Love your website! Last week I my fish in my 29 gal came down with ich. It has a six-line wrasse, a firefish, Banggai cardinal (no signs of ich), red-lipped blenny, and had a mandarin (it expired). The fish haven't been in there too long, maybe two months. I took the fish out and dipped them in a FW bath for 5 minutes, containing copper. <...> I then placed them in a Qt tank. <Too late for quarantine... now treatment> I have been adding clout (daily), Pimafix (daily) and Metronidazole (every 2 days) to the tank. None of the fish have visible parasites, but the blenny was constantly hitting its gills against a rock. Since I began medication, yesterday, he has become listless and red (more so than normal). The other fish appear to be all right at the moment. <...> I am going to let my tank cycle without fish for about three weeks. Is my method of treatment kosher? <Mmm, if I understand the term to mean what it does... no> I read that clout may not be a good treatment. How about Metronidazole? <... one of the ingredients in Clout is Metronidazole/Flagyl... http://www.aq-products.com/MSDSsheets/Regular%20Line%20MSDS/CLOUT%20%20CL%20%20ISSUE%201%20.doc> Is it a good antiparasitic medication? <For some applications, yes> And lastly, how long should I treat the fish in the tank? I was going to give them another FW dip before putting them back into my tank. I have also read about hypo-salinity treatments where the SG is lowered to 1.010 ppm. That seems too low to me and I am weary that it may only cause undue stress. Thank you. <... Please... read before writing us... Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm scan through the sections/trays on Parasitic Disease, Treatment... What you've done won't work... but to kill your livestock, drain your wallet, get you out of the hobby... Bob Fenner>

The Itchy and Scratchy Show. SW parasitic disease diagnosis, trtmt. possibilities    9/2/07 Hi Bob and Co., <Art> Thanks for all the expert advice this site provides... I am in dire need of some of that expertise, regarding a parasite problem and how to treat multiple types of fishes simultaneously, in one hospital tank. I'll try to be succinct. <Hotay> First of all, I have already moved all my fishes to my 30 gallon hospital tank, letting my reef tank go fallow. It will be 2 weeks on labor day. As soon as I moved them, I began lowering the salinity in the hospital tank, until it reached 1.0165 (a week ago today). I raised the temperature to 80 degrees-- I would have raised it higher, were it not for the Ventralis Anthias and Helfrichi Firefish. I have been running a UV sterilizer on the HT as soon as I put the fish in, and also vacuuming the bottom of the tank , removing and replacing a couple of gallons at least every other day. There are 2 Aquaclear 70 power filters on it (no carbon). There is no substrate, only a few PVC pipes and 3 rocks for hiding places ( the rocks did not come from my infested display tank). I believed all the fishes had ich or were exposed to it, and I chose hyposalinity because of the diversity of rare, hard to find (and expensive) fishes I have collected. I have killed as many fishes as I have cured using copper, no matter how carefully I follow directions or how slowly I build up the dose-- in my experience, you can't tell how much copper a fish can tolerate until it's dead or irreparably damaged (I used Cupramine and yes, I used the correct test kit to monitor the dosage). Currently, I have a Candy Basslet (Liopropoma Carmabi), Yellow Assessor, Helfrichi Firefish, Pygmy Possum Wrasse (Wetmorella Triocellata), Flagtail Dartfish ( Ptereleotris uriditaenia), Ventralis Anthias, and a Mandarin. I know the Mandarin doesn't tolerate copper (well) and I suspect the same is true for the Helfrichi Firefish and the Dartfish. <Agreed> I assumed the culprit was ich because the Firefish, Dartfish, Anthias, and Candy Basslet -- in that order--were all scratching their gills against rocks etc.. I actually saw very light outbreaks of ich on the Firefish , Possum Wrasse and perhaps the Mandarin. I did 20% water changes 6 days in a row, vacuuming the substrate each time. The ich usually disappeared, and the scratching stopped for some fish, and became far less frequent for others. The Anthias continued to solicit a Neon Goby and a Blood Shrimp to clean his gills. From the first symptom, this scenario occurred over a period of at least 8 weeks before I decided to catch everything and treat in my hospital tank. I decided to do this when the Candy Basslet started scratching, and a Neon Goby and a Catalina Goby came down with a heavier, visible concentration of ich (I did not move them to the hospital tank and they are no longer in the display tank either). I have still never seen ich on the Anthias, Candy Basslet or Dartfish. When I first moved the fishes, the scratching stopped. A couple of days ago, they started again. Last night I performed FW dips (with Methylene Blue, temperature and pH adjusted) on the fishes that were scratching (Candy Basslet, Possum Wrasse, Firefish, Anthias and the Mandarin, who wasn't scratching). They were doing fine today, but by evening, the Candy Basslet and Possum Wrasse were scratching again. I have continuously checked the ammonia since they were moved, and it has always been zero. <Good> In the last couple of days, I have begun to suspect that these fishes have been infected with velvet. <Yes... possibly this or even other protozoan/s...> I am sure that some fish had ich, because I saw it-- could these that are scratching their gills and do not show parasites have something else? <Yes> I remember once, a year and a half ago, I had a similar situation with a trio of Hippo Tangs. I used Formalin baths, but the next evening, the Tangs would be scratching their gills again. I finally realized that they only did this at night, when the tank lights were on. I told the LFS owner about this, and he said that Velvet was dependent on light, and if I kept the tank in total darkness for 72 hours, the Velvet parasites would die. This actually seemed to work-- I lost one Tang in the blackout, but the other two were cured, as far as I could tell-- because they stopped scratching. <Is an old timey approach... Amyloodinium is a Dinoflagellate... partially photosynthetic...> Starting tomorrow, I will be observing my fishes to see if they are scratching in the daytime, when the tank lights are off. Have you ever heard of/used this light deprivation treatment, and do you consider it effective in treating velvet (or any other parasite you suspect is the culprit) ? <Have heard and even used it... more effective with Freshwater Velvet... not always such predictable results with marines> I am still not fully convinced this is velvet-- I don't see any dusting (a later symptom, I have read), and they are not hyperventilating or hanging near the surface. Their appetites seem to be somewhat diminished, but this could be from their new surroundings, or maybe lowered salinity? I'm not sure. <Need a microscope... some simple stains... Not hard to take a look/see... Do you have access to a copy of Ed Noga's Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment?> Also, from what I have read, if it was velvet, these fishes would likely be dead by now, as this has been going on for a few weeks. <Mmm, generally, yes... but you have been treating for this possibility...> With the exception of the symptoms I have described, they look and behave like healthy fishes. None of them have any visible ich parasites-- the Wrasse and Mandarin have 'cleared' since being in the low salinity HT. Based on what I have told you, what is your diagnosis? <That you need a scope and at least a read through Noga...> I am considering starting the blackout treatment ASAP-- to me, it doesn't make sense to stress the fish with capture and dipping, only to return them to a tank where they will be reinfested. If the blackout is indeed effective, it seems like the least harmful way to diminish the parasite population in the tank to a 'tolerable' level, without killing the biological filter or accidentally poisoning the fishes. After the blackout and the fishes have readjusted to the light, I am planning to give them all FW dips, and simultaneously do a large (up to 50%) water change, just to further reduce the number of remaining parasites. If the fishes do not respond to FW dips, I suppose I will very cautiously try Formalin dips (or baths). Does this sound like the right treatment course to you? <Mmm, no... a bit too stressful for these fishes (and most species) to be in such total darkness... I would go the Quinine Sulphate route here if you did not have quick access to the scope... or not. See WWM, FishyFarmacy re...> What parasite(s) do you think is/are responsible? <Can't tell... could be simply Crypt... might be Crypt and Amyloodinium... could be... other Protists...> As you can see, I am really paranoid about putting medication directly in the hospital tank. With all my fishes in there, it would be a disaster if I killed the biological filter, and I can't think of a 'one size fits all' effective medication for my diverse inhabitants that will not poison at least some of them. Please, any suggestions are welcome (short of setting up yet another tank!) As always, thanks for your patience and generosity in sharing your experience ! Art <Noga, scope, Quinine... along with all else you're currently doing... Bob Fenner>

Marine Ich, Maybe 813/07 Good Morning Bob & Co, <Good morning.> I have been cycling a 60gal/skimmer/100lb live rock tank for a month now and have a damsel in there. Its a month now and this morning I notice a white spot on the damsel's tail. Looks like the beginning of an Ich. <Uh oh> I added the 100 lbs of live rock a week ago from a guy who had broken down his reef tank and he had it sitting in his garage for a couple of weeks in a large container with a powerhead. I thought it would be safe to add this directly to my tank. Maybe this was the source of my trouble. <Could be, if it was kept wet it could have been harboring the parasite.> Anyway, my question is the following. I have a quarantine tank. After moving the damsel to QT and observing it (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm), and if I leave the main tank without any fish or host for a month or so will it be safe to add fishes again? <4 to 6 weeks needed here.> Or am I looking at tearing the tank down before even I got started!! <Unnecessary> I learning the price of not QTing all things wet, and adding things directly early on :( <Yep> As always many thanks for all your help, Gans <Chris>

Re: Marine Ich, Maybe  8/13/07 Gentlemen, <Where?> Just an update. I moved the damsel to the QT tank and I see that white the spot in the tail has disappeared! Not sure what to make of it?? Ill keep in there for a couple of weeks just to be sure. Thanks again <Keep an eye on it, it could have just cycled off, or it could have just been sand or other debris. But better to be safe than sorry here.> <Chris>

Difficult Case of Ich, or something else?   8/12/07 I've spent hours reading the WWM website since setting up my new saltwater system in April, and appreciate all of your hard earned knowledge that you so freely share. Thanks so much. I have a problem with what I think is ich, and am stumped and frustrated. I've got a 75 gallon FOWLR, 40 lbs of live rock, about 1 inch of CaribSea aragonite, an Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer, Emperor 400 BioWheel, 384 watt Orbit CF, two 1200 Maxi Jets, and two 900 Maxi Jets. Temp has been at 78 in the main tank (80 in the qt), calcium 350, Ph 8.3, Alk 11 dKH, nitrite 0, nitrate 0. I've got a Neon Dottyback, two Percula Clowns (all tank raised), and a wild caught Flame Angel. I did not QT the angel since she had been at the LFS for a month, <Mmmm, you'll learn... are learning...> in a copper treated tank for preventative measures, and looked great every time I went in to visit her. I did a Methylene Blue dip before adding her. Two days after introducing her to my tank, she had what appeared to be white spots on her. Since I was new to diagnosing, I asked the LFS about it, and he determined that it was probably just air bubbles. <Not likely> I continued to observe, and about a month later found her heavily infested, swimming slowly in circles and breathing heavily. I dipped all of them in freshwater / methylene blue, and put them in QT <Actually treatment, not quarantine> with CopperSafe, where they've been for the last 35 days, which is also how long the main tank has had no fish in it so as to allow the ich to die. The only inhabitants were two blue hermits. The angel got a secondary infection from the wounds, which I treated with Maracyn. They all looked great after that, up until about three days ago, when the smaller clown had a couple of spots. A couple of days later, they went away. Since I was well over a month into this process, and the fish were sick of their cramped quarters, I decided to just dip everybody again in FW/methylene and add them back to the main tank, reasoning that the clown had dropped whatever parasites he had, and that the dip should take care of anything lingering. I talked it over with the LFS, asking if they thought it was appropriate to do this, and they agreed it would probably be ok by now. I reintroduced the angel and the small clown yesterday, and already I see one white spot on the angel. The smaller clown who showed a couple of spots recently is fine. I can't believe that ich could still be alive in the main tank after 35 days. <Might... but far more likely is that the treatment wasn't monitored sufficiently... Needs to be tested for at least daily> I am so disappointed that the treatment didn't seem to work. Could it be something else? <Mmm, yes... other protozoans, Sporozoans, some worms...> I have also observed some small worm looking things that come out at night and are attracted to the lunar lights. <Mmm, not these. There is a huge mix of such life that times, uses the cover of night for distribution, food-gathering, reproduction... Almost all are non-pathogenic> They are only about 2 mm long, and squiggle. Any cause for concern? <Not IMO> I don't want to net the angel again since she was looking pretty stressed out after the last go around. Should I get a UV sterilizer, maybe add a cleaner shrimp? <Good choices, considerations...> Should I change out all of the gravel? <Mmm, no... I wouldn't... Not likely to get you what you're looking for> If I treat the main tank with CopperSafe, could I replace the live rock and gravel and still be safe for inverts later? (The live rock has Caulerpa growing all over it anyway.) Thanks in advance for your help. Kim <I would go the permanent infested tank route... with the cleaner, UV first, rather than nuke all the main system with Copper... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above... till you understand this option. Bob Fenner>

Advice on fish deaths... parasitic?  8/7/07 Hello, <Hi there> I have a 75 gallon fish and live rock marine tank that has been up and running well for over five years. Current water tests: Ammonia- 0, Nitritre-0, Nitrate-20, pH-8.3, Alk-3.5meq/l, specific gravity-1.025, temp-76 degrees. On June 30th I added a sleeper goby to the tank (after 2 weeks of quarantine). Everyone seemed fine and 3 weeks later I left on a 10-day vacation. While I was away, a friend came to top up the tank and check the temperature every couple of days. The fish were fed with an automatic feeder. <So far so good> When I returned, my Kole tang and the sleeper goby had disappeared. All of the equipment in the tank was functioning fine except the pump for the down-draft skimmer was turned off. I re-started it. The next morning, my flame angel was dead. I also noticed that my Bartlett's anthias was pale and breathing rapidly. <Oh oh> I changed 30% of the water. By the next day, the anthias had died. I performed another 30% water change. Two days later I noticed that my Carpenter's flasher wrasse was also breathing heavily and looked pale. He died later that afternoon. I now only have two fish left in my tank.. a latticed butterfly and a female Carpenter's flasher wrasse. None of the fish showed any symptoms except the rapid breathing and pale color. I also, have two cleaner shrimp that seem to be doing just fine. I was hoping that you might be able to give me your opinion as to what is going on here. Do you think that I am dealing with a pathogen introduced by the sleeper goby, or do you think that the Kole tang died shortly after I left and his decaying body caused an ammonia spike that damaged the other fish? <The former... Likely Amyloodinium...> I have read through the disease section and did not find anything that matched the symptoms that I observed. As you might guess, I would like to do everything I can to save my remaining fish. With the exception of the sleeper goby, I have had the other fish between 2 and 5 years and they have all thrived with the advice I have read on this site and in both of Bob's books. Thank you for any suggestions you might have to offer. Regards, Joy <Need microscopic examination to be much more sure... but. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the linked files above. The quarantine time might have been too short... and the gills of the mal-affected fishes been first affected... Bob Fenner>

Re: Advice on fish deaths, Velvet?  8/7/07 Dear Bob, <Joy> Thank you very much for your assistance. I will move the remaining flasher wrasse and the latticed butterfly to my quarantine tank and begin treating them today. From your article, I am guessing that your preference would be to use Chloroquine in the hospital tank. <Yes> Hopefully, with a lot of luck, I'll be able to save my remaining fish. Neither fish is showing any symptoms yet. <As I get older (beats the alternative as the saying goes) some dynamics, aspects of experiential phenomena really do seem to be changing... I can remember the "bad old days" when Velvet would just kill all off in short order... Events nowadays seem to be more sporadic...> May I ask you one final question? I am planning to upgrade my tank to a 200 gallon tank in the next couple of months (a birthday present from my husband). Originally, I was going to transfer the live rock and all of the livestock to the new tank. Would you recommend I still do that after the tank has been left fallow for a couple of months? <Likely so... along with lowering spg, raising temp.> As you know live rock is not inexpensive, but I also don't want to jeopardize infecting the new tank. Again, I really appreciate the opportunity to benefit from your vast experience. Regards, Joy <And to you, BobF>

ick... You're joking?   8/6/07 trying to treat ick in a 75 gallon saltwater tank with live rock and an anemone, also skimmer and refugium. doing massive water changes to help , do not have a active biological filter to move to hospital tank , fish are feeding, moved new fish into display to soon, angel s and butterfly involved, thanks ron <... Please... send your writings through a spelling, grammar checker before sending... And learn to/use the search tool/indices on WWM... Your msg. only makes partial sense... You need to READ and soon... starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm RMF>

Strange Marine Disease? Casually parasitizing ones SW sys.  8/1/07Hey guys, <Scott> We have a 215L marine tank that has been running for about 18months now. It is populated with 1 Coral Banded Shrimp, 2 O. Clownfish, 1 Blue Mandarinfish and some Red-Mushrooms. All has been going well and we have made a point to keep the water quality consistent. Sg: 1.022, <I'd raise this... to NSW strength... 1.025-6> Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite all 0. PH 8.2-8.4. Past weekend we went and purchased a small Longfin Bannerfish. <Your system is too small for a Heniochus> We asked the shop owner to feed it so we could ensure it was eating prior to purchasing it. The fish ate quite happily. We got the fish home and he seemed a little concerned as his new house, the clowns and shrimp gave him a lil hard time, but nothing too serious. <Mmm... not really> Anyways, On Monday arvo <?> the fish suddenly seemed lazy and had white-spots on it's fins. <Yikes...> In the next 2-3hours the fish declined VERY rapidly until it could no longer swim, or stay upright. I put the fish into a marine breeding cage and tried to feed it garlic-soaked food but it wouldn't eat. <...> The fish died overnight and was half covered in something I can only describe as like a semi-clear/white gel in the morning. I did some research and Marine Velvet seemed to be a likely candidate. The water in the tank has gone a white-cloudy colour so we are doing 40% daily WC until it clears. So far all is pretty text-book. My lovely red mushrooms, have turned into slime however... From being a nice sized bunch of happy mushrooms, they were not looking too good when the fish got sick and now have turned into nothing but slime. They seemed to be giving off some/all of the white-cloudiness (but I cannot confirm this as 90% of it occurred in the night). Suddenly, A Text-book illness has turned very strange. The other fish seem to be eating well and haven't had any noticeable changes in their behaviour since it died (12+hrs ago). Hopefully you can offer some advice or knowledge as to what event has occurred in our tank to cause a fish to die so quickly, and my healthy mushrooms to become slime... Thanks, Scott <... could be that the Butterfly was picking on the Mushrooms... or that its death somehow chemically triggered the behavior... Likely the Corallimorphs will recover... And/But likely your system is now infested with a parasite... that will express itself on your other fish life in a few days... In prep. please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Strange Marine Disease? Parasitic tank  -- 08/01/07 Hey guys, Thanks for the reply. I will be raising the sg in a couple of months by going to NSW instead of ASW (live by the beach but its raining and winter now). The Bannerfish was still very small, approx 4-5cm long and was to be housed in the 215L/50G until it was larger, then moved into our 520L/125G Display system (which has my Hippo tang in QT at the moment). I have read through the FAQ you supplied and used the mighty google to try and determine what has happened (note, I had another coral frag in tank which has also crashed). It seems as though the fish had a very rapid version of Lymphocystis. This would explain the white-spots and white-gel like coating found on the fish in the morning. <Mmm, no... is/was very likely Cryptocaryon... You'll know soon> The material suggests this diseases is not fatal <Never rapid onset> on most occasions, but will make your fish subjectable to other diseases. Could this have been induced by the fish being under stress from tankmates? and led onto a follow-on effect of another illness that has wiped the fish and corals out? Bacteria Bloom perhaps? Hopefully you can shed some light on the strange events. I don't think my mushrooms will recover... there isn't anything left of them but long-gooey slime. <Something else going on here... What is near the mal-affected Cnidarians?> All other fish are being checked twice-daily to see if they are showing any signs of infection, but they all seem to be behaving normally. All are eating still. We are doing 40% WC daily with ASW to try and remove the white-cloudiness in the tank. Do you think Lymphocystis could be the cause of this event? <Not at all> On a good note, the Blue Mandarinfish in the tank has decided it is time for her to find a bf, and she will present herself after lights out fins-flared showing off. Quite awesome to see her hunt for a mate. Regards, Scott. <Keep a keen eye out... BF>

HELP! Parasites on the loose! Sick Fish, LFS Advice 7/24/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Hello> As I am sure you are all aware, your site is a great learning tool! <I agree> I've searched around your site and found some answers, but I am new to this hobby and in desperate need of some direct assurance since my LFS has been perhaps giving me some bad advice! <Not uncommon unfortunately.> I have a 2 months running 55gal with 40lbs. live rock, 60lbs. aragonite live sand, a Eheim 2028 canister, a Prizm Pro Skimmer, Nova t-5 HO 8x54 Watt w/4 lunars. pH-8.4, Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, and Phosphate all 0. S.G. @ 1.023 and temp @78F. I plan to add some softies when I gain some more experience. <Ok> My tank finished cycling around week four. Week five I added a false perc. Week six I added 2 PJ cardinals. I never QT'd them because LFS said it was not necessary. <Not necessary if they want to sell more livestock.> Well, week 7 one of the clown's pelvic fins was retracted and looked like it was rotting away! LFS said he'd be fine. There was nothing to worry about. <Of course.> I took it upon myself to give him a freshwater dip. Thinking back that was probably counterproductive since I basically fed him back to the parasites. <Assuming there are parasites, fin rot can have a lot of causes.> I added a cleaner shrimp as per some FAQ's I read on the site. The clown kept "running" from him. <Not uncommon, many smaller fish feel threatened by cleaner shrimp and avoid them.> Last night he stopped eating and was swimming so erratically he was smashing into the rocks. This morning he was lying on the bottom breathing heavily and wiggling. I took him out and he passed on before I could even end his suffering. :-(. I brought him to the LFS and it was determined it was a horrible case of parasites. <Need to be more specific here, lots of different parasites and some need to be treated differently than others.> This is what I am planning to do. Please tell me if I am crazy or if I am on the right track. I have a small 5 gallon acrylic bowfront that I would like to put the PJ's in for a few weeks to rid the main tank of parasites. (I know it is small but I really don't plan on keeping large fish and can't fit anything larger in my apartment.) <Will require some work, a ten would be much better.> I already filled the tank water from the main tank. I want to let the tank sit over night and tomorrow pick up some PVC and an airstone. (The tank has a small submersible tetra whisper micro filter but I m not sure If that's okay for SW). <Good for water movement.> Is it more sensible to use a sponge filter? <Either is fine.> How long does it have to sit in my tank to accumulate beneficial bacteria? <A couple weeks.> What product do you recommend for treating the parasites? <Depends on the parasites, take a look here and see if you can determine what is really happening. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm > Does the cleaner shrimp have to be moved as well? <Should not need to be.> I'm pretty sure they are sensitive to most medications. <yes, very.> Will the parasites make the cleaner their new host? <Most likely not.> Is 2 weeks enough time to allow the tank be rid of parasites? <No, 4 to 6 weeks required here.> Will 2 weeks be enough for the PJ's to be rid of parasites? <Again, depends on what they have been exposed too.> Can they be safely placed in the main tank after being treated even though I plan to add some corals in the near future? <Yes, after treatment and proper fallow period.> Please advise. I don't want to hurt anymore of these little creatures! After all, I did start this hobby to admire their beauty. Thank bunches, Jessica <I think you need to find a new LFS, without a more specific diagnosis it is tough to determine what the proper course of action is here.> <Chris>

Parasites, SW, reading...   7/22/07 Hello there, <Jared> I need some help getting rid of parasite for good. As a rookie I set me tank up without a QT tank running along with it. Well needless to say my first three fish died of saltwater velvet. I left the tank fallow for almost 2 months and got a QT tank. So I started off with a few damsels, they did great for a month so I went and got a yellow tang. Both spent three weeks in the qt. No problems. So I bought a black Hawaiian trigger. <How large is this system?> Still no problems. For 2 months everything was great, then everything went down hill. The saltwater velvet popped up again. The 2 damsels have died and I pulled the trigger and tang out and put them in the qt. <Not a quarantine, but a treatment tank> The LFS told me some saltwater velvet can lay dormant for 6 months in some cases. <Yes> There advice was to bleach my live rock and sand and bleach the tank. Still not sure what to do with all the filters and powerheads? <Leave in place... bleach expose all> I am willing to do this if it will completely rid my tank of the parasites. <They may be resident on your fishes... and this may not be Amyloodinium, or that alone> Is this the best thing to do? The whole bleach in an aquarium pretty much freaks me out. Once I get it back up and running for about 6 months successfully I want to eventually get a refugium and introduce some corals. How can I be sure to get all of the bleach out that way I don't waste even more money? <Posted... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm And use the search tool for more on Parasite Control... Bob Fenner> Thanks for all your help, Jared

Re: Parasites -- 07/22/07 Ok it's a 75 gallon tank. So you said to leave everything in place to treat. You mean don't take anything out of the tank just put chlorine in the tank? Nothing living is still in my tank so can I pull everything out of my tank, pumps, filters and clean with bleach?? <... please... read where you were referred to. RMF>

Saltwater Tank in trouble... 7/14/07 My boyfriend currently has a 55 gallon saltwater tank going. He just started it up about a month and a half ago. We have a coral banded shrimp, a chocolate chip starfish, <Not easily kept... and all seastars are hard to keep alive in such new systems> (had two) one domino damsels, <A meanie> a hermit crab, and a yellow tang some dead live rock for base, with one 3 lb. piece of living live rock. The specific gravity recently spiked to 1.025 but has generally held consistent at 1.023. <Better at the former... Have your bf read on WWM re... and the above issues, species> But our water is a little low I intend to fix that much today. I know nothing about the filtration system he has going. I just discovered that my yellow tang is carrying Black Spot. <Easy to cure... see...> And I think that my one surviving domino as ich. <Bad...> I've read about treating the black spot and a little on the white spot ich and its my understanding the shrimp don't get ich (is this true?). <Correct, only fishes> But what about our starfish? Can it get ich? And from everything I've read they are VERY vulnerable to any changes how do I go about treatment with the starfish? <The fishes have to be removed, treated elsewhere...> I've read tidbits on how to handle the ich with quarantine and freshwater dips and keeping them out of the main tank for at least a month to insure its gone, that medicated treatments are never completely invert safe and hardly every REALLY work. <A good summary. It's obvious you have a quick, sharp mind, are able to focus...> So what do I do? My domino is dying I'm sure of it... one already has...and now this one won't eat either. HELP!!! My boyfriend works to much to help much so I have to figure this out on my own or I fear we will lose our tank. <... See the above, WWM again, consider buying a small (ten gallon or so) treatment tank... letting the main one go fallow (sans fish hosts), and developing and adhering to a strict quarantine policy for all incoming livestock henceforth. Bob Fenner> Infected Tank???  6/20/07 Hi Crew, <Cindy> Bob, Anthony and Eric. Thanks for all your help in the past. I have successfully, with your assistance as well as the help of a wonderful and financially supportive Husband, built a beautiful Seahorse Paradise over the past year. I find myself once again thrown into a learning curb (hard lesson). I have a 120-Gallon Oceanic with trickle filter and sump system. I use the sump as a refugium, set up with live sand and Chaeto Algae's. I have 100+ lbs. of live rock, 3-4 inch sand and Aragonite mixed bed. Corals include LPS' mostly, few leathers (don't like my nitrate issues) and two plating Montiporas. My water perimeters are Ammonia 0, even with deaths in the tank, Nitrites 0, PH 8.3, Nitrates 20-40, <Mmmm> Only drops below 20 right after water changes. I do water changes of 20% once weekly. I vacuum substrate daily of debris and food waste (which accounts for another 20% weekly). I know the nitrates are high for corals. Bob had improved them greatly with the suggestion of the sump and thickening the sand bed. <May want to add more still> I have a seahorse set-up, which requires extreme feeding circumstances <And hard to accomplish both in large/r systems... getting enough food to the horses...> (any other nitrate lowering suggestions would help). The real problem is the latest additions to my tank were not, AS ADVERTISED, Tank Raised. I find myself losing Ocean Rider Seahorses; <Bunk!> I have successfully kept for a year. Pete Giwojna thinks the tank is possibly infected with Amyloodinium or Uronema. <REAL trouble> My question to you is.... with Corals mentioned above, 8 Seahorses remaining, 12+ Peppermint Shrimp, 12+ Astrea Snails, 12+ Scarlet crabs, 3 Banggai Cardinals, 1 Jawfish Goby and a bio load to die for, How Do I treat the Tank? I am ready to destroy a years worth of work and thousands of $$ to Nuke the tank in order to reset with all fake ingredients for Seahorse safety. I don't know what else to do. I can treat seahorses, corals, live rock and sand all separate if need be, but what will assure me I will not re-infest everything when introducing back to main tank. What should I discard i.e., cleaning crew, Macro's, etc? Please help. I have to get this system back in line before I lose the rest of my stock. I have searched your site and read through all my books (mostly from you guys) but as you can see, I have a pretty isolated problem, which is going to take the expertise of several professionals in different fields. Thanks for being there and for your advice even if it means starting over. Cindy <A bunch of trouble... but I would remove all the fishes to other quarters and treat with (sequentially, one, then the other) an intermediate (moving the fishes to likely two sub-systems... one for the horses, the other for the other fishes... for maint. issues), a pH-adjusted FW bath and formalin immersion (see WWM re) and two weeks later Chloroquine per here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm... We (you, I, PeteG) can/should "chat" re this process if you feel uncomfortable. Bob Fenner>

Likelihood of disease transfer from retail stores/ fellow hobbyists (not fish or corals)   5/27/07 Greetings Crew -  ' gotta question. <Hopefully I'll have an answer> How likely is it to have disease or parasites like ich bug transferred from LR rubble, macro algae such as Gracilaria? <"Anything wet" can transfer... depending on source...> I have never had any type of disease or pest and I would like to keep it that way. All my problems come or identified in my QT process for fish and corals. However I realize the likelihood of this luck continuing is diminishing and I just might have screwed up. I do not usually QT macro algae, inverts or LR from hobbyists/retail stores ( I do QT LR bought online) - I just don't know what I should be looking for out of the obvious- but I have learned my lesson. I bought some LR rubble and Gracilaria from a local retailer to seed my refugiums  and realized that I saw a particular type of Tang  that is usually prone to ich in the tank with the Gracilaria and LR rubble. The tang did not have ich but I know this store has <I've never occasioned one who hadn't> had bouts of ich before so it got me thinking. I believe most retailers online or local have had experiences with ich and with most of their tanks being interconnected the parasite could spread everywhere. <Can be, yes> Usually when I get LR from a hobbyist I usually cycle the rock again but there have been times when I have dumped in stuff for hobbyist I consider as a trusted source. The refugiums are not online so I could run them fallow for 3-4 weeks but that would be such a pain. Am I justified in being concerned or am I just panicking unnecessarily? Thanks <Mmmm, other than relying on research, picking the better/best species, specimens, prophylactic dips/baths, and quarantine... Bob Fenner>

I think I have a parasite    5/12/07 Hello, My name is Dawn. I have had a saltwater tank for 3 years now.... All was going great till now! I am not great with the names of the fish so forgive me if I am wrong. I had a clown, a firetail, a blue fin damsel, and one other- I don't know the name. I also had two crabs, one cleaner shrimp and two snails. I have a 50 gal tank. All the fish were small. I suddenly got ick, I think. A crab died with days after getting him. Then with in a month one fish, don't know the name got sick and died quickly. Then my buddy the clown got sick. I treated at first with a anti fungal, <?... why?> then with a treatment for ick. <What sort?> My buddy died, and the next day my firetail died too and then my shrimp. The tank for weeks prior to this was cloudy but after the last one died it suddenly cleared beautifully. Now I only have the damsel, one crab and two snails. It has been a month or more now... and I noticed there are these little white things all over the glass on the inside of the tank... <Unrelated to the cause of the fish deaths... small animals that are "living off of" the sudden available nutrient (from the dead livestock) and their lack of presence as predators...> they are in the shape of rice, but extremely small. Then I noticed these spidery things on the glass with a single dot in the middle... I thought at first it was an algae of some kind. My daughter being curious, touched one with a straw, and it swam! I swam like a jelly fish, all you can see on it is the dot in the middle and a dot at the end of each leg.... some are so small you can barely see them.... What could these things be? <Crustaceans likely, but could be "jellies" of different sorts...> They are all over the glass in my tank, but my last fish seems fine. Do you think it is safe to add more fish again? <... If your system had the "ich"... it still does...> Or should I set up a quarantine tank and put what I have alive in there and totally sanitize this tank? Dawn. <More than this... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: I think I have a parasite   5/12/07 Thank you for such a quick response. I used the antifungal at the suggestion of the pet store in my area. They had told me it could be either ICH or Fungal and I wanted so desperately to save my clown fish, they said it wouldn't hurt to try both. So I did. <See WWM re... fungal infections are exceedingly rare in marine systems> The medicine I used to treat the ich is "Kordon RidIch+ For fresh and saltwater" <See WWM...> You stated if my system has ich, it still does. Is it possible for my last fish to be OK, like it is and has been since all my others passed on? <See where you were referred to... your system is infested> Crustaceans? or possible jellies? Could these harm my fish? How could they have gotten in there? <Were always in there... just have proliferated as stated> Thank you again for your assistance. Dawn <Read on my friend, read on. BobF>

Please help me with this illness! (Marine tank), Using WWM   5/9/07 Hello I hope someone can help me quick! I have a 25 US Gallon Marine set up with live rock and sand with all the usual hitchhikers, I have an Ocellaris Clownfish a Damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema) and a Starry Dragonet, I have just lost my beloved Circled Dragonet whom I named Froggy as he looked like a little frog to me, you must understand I have not taken the death of Froggy lightly and am really upset, I only had him a week after rescuing him from my local shop where he wasn't getting enough to eat as he was in a bare tank. My local store assured me they QT all their new arrivals so I put them in my tank (A mistake I will never ever make again!!) <A comment... all such quarantine protocols MUST include an absolutely strict separation of all new livestock, water, gear... Something very few outfits have proven capable of> My Damsel started to show signs of ich so I set up a QT tank using the old Aquaclear poly sleeve from my main set up for bio media. <Mmm, and this "won't last" am sure you know> I treated the Damsel with Cuprazin from Waterlife and after a week of battling to keep the ammonia down in QT (I assume the treatment killed the good bacteria) <Yes> I placed him back in the main tank as he was looking much better. <... no... MUST need be treated for a good two weeks...> After a while I purchased Froggy and put him in the main tank (BIG mistake I know) after a few days of him being perfectly happy he stopped swimming about, became lethargic and started to breathe heavily, when he did move he was flicking but I couldn't see any spots on him, later his breathing was laboured and he seemed to be choking on nothing. Froggy deteriorated quickly and died today before I could get the QT tank ammonia free :-(, <Can not be done... serial dilution is about the best one can do> I have been doing water changes and have replaced the Aquaclear poly sleeve again with the one from my main tank, I am really struggling to get the tank to cycle <Won't, can't with a therapeutic dose present...> I've tried putting in old substrate and filter media but its still not working! By the way I ran carbon for a couple of days to get rid of the old treatment before changing the sleeve again. Upon closer inspection of Froggy after his death I noticed tiny white speckles on his little body and also my Clownfish is covered in a dusting of what look like tiny white spots, <A dusting...? Might be Amyloodinium...> he is not acting sick, no flicking or change in respiration rate. I am at a loss as to what this illness is. I thought Froggy had Velvet due to his difficulty breathing. <Yes, possibly> I intend to move all 3 occupants to QT as soon as the tank has cycled and leave the tank fallow for however long you recommend? <Posted> Would I be able to increase the temperature safely in the main tank without harming the creatures that came in on the live rock (I have no Corals or Shrimps etc) also how high should I raise the temperature and for how long? <Posted...> Whilst in QT I will feed my Starry Dragonet on frozen (defrosted) Mysis and Krill which he devours with gusto! Is there anything I can do in the meantime? Dips? Or will this stress the fish out and make them more sick than they already were? <Posted.....> ARGHHH I don't know what to do!!! <Read> What should I do to treat this illness I'd rather not use chemicals but will do if I have to. I will never take the word of the store again and will always QT my livestock in the future. I will be moving home soon and upgrading to a larger tank everything will be quarantined again just in case the stress of the move causes any more illnesses to surface. Do you think a Cleaner shrimp will help in the future and perhaps a Cleaner goby? I know not to get a Cleaner Wrasse I've seen too many looking ill in the shops and heard of them dying in captivity too due to lack of food. Please help me its driving me mad and I don't want to lose any more fish as I'm already heartbroken over little Froggy. I have tried reading all the FAQ's on the possible illnesses but as I'm unsure what I'm looking for it has just left me with a bad headache. By the way I buried Froggy in the garden (silly I know) I couldn't bear to put him in the bin or anything. Thanks again for a very helpful informative site and I hope you can help me. Faye <Have just skipped down... Please... learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM... You obviously care a great deal and have a good (intelligent, discerning...) mind... Take the time to review: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm the articles, FAQs files on Marine Parasitic Disease... the linked files there... to formulate one good (but flexible) plan on how to proceed here. There is just too much to relate here w/o referring you/folks in this way. Bob Fenner>

Overwhelmed and worried, SW parasitic dis.    4/19/07 Hello Crew, <Good morning from England> I am new to aquariums. And I openly admit that I didn't understand the importance of a quarantine tank at the beginning of all of this, as my tank is as small as a quarantine tank already. I believe now that I am paying the price for my stupid mistake. Lesson learned. <Good> Anyway, I have read tonnes and tonnes of question/answers on your site and am quite sure that my two clownfish are infected with diseases, which alarms me greatly. What a difficult hobby this is! <Not difficult; challenging, engaging and requiring work on the aquarists part. But overall rewarding> But so beautiful! <Bingo!> We have a 12 gallon Eclipse tank with a few corals, two small clowns, 1 coral beauty angel and a cleaner shrimp. <This is too small for a Centropyge's long-term requirements and health> We will not be adding any more fish to this. <But removing hopefully> Our water levels are good, although the ammonia spiked yesterday to very dangerous levels due to die-off on new cured live rocks. <If this Live Rock was cured it should not have introduced noticeable amounts of ammonia. The curing process removes this for you. Check with your supplier on this> We quickly did two 33% water changes, 6 hours apart from each other, to ensure that everything would get back to safe levels. Currently,  NO2 is at 0ppm, NO3 is medium at 5ppm, pH is about 8.2, and ammonia is under 0.25ppm. The angelfish was exhibiting odd behaviour a few days ago, such as hitting himself on the live rock, but otherwise seems perfectly fine. He eats like a swine and swims all over the place. We called him Jetpack. Due to his hitting himself, his colours don't seem as bright anymore, and some seems to have rubbed off. Is that due to him being stressed with us adding the corals? Or is he sick with something? <He is likely stressed from a degree of ammonia poisoning and the cramped conditions> Back to the main reason of this email: the clowns. The smallest clown appears to have air-bubble-like things all along his back and fins. They stick out only slightly from the skin, and are minuscule. In certain lighting they don't appear to be there. When the ammonia spiked, I knew something was wrong because this clown nearly lost all of his colour, which made me immediately check the water conditions. Oddly enough, the second clown looked normal and had no colour change. Does this mean that the first clown is already very weak and ill with something? <Would indicate so> Every so often his black strips seem to fade to orange at the top of his back, where these air bubble things are situated. He eats fine, and is a joy to watch, but this colouring/bubbling worries me. He looks like this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/DiseasePIX/DSC_0140.jpeg on your website. For my readings this is Marine Ich AKA: Cryptocaryon irritans. <Correct, seems you have identified the cause, now to continue reading for the treatment. Also the faded colour is likely stress markings brought on by the disease> The second clown appeared to have a raised line under his skin on his side. We weren't worried about this, as it could just be a fish peculiarity, but this raised (scar-like thing) grew a fuzziness to it, as if the scar had opened up and his skin was flaking off (appearing white and fuzzy) upon this line. We assumed that he was okay. Upon reading more on your site, I fear this is Brooklynellosis. His breathing is heavy, and he spends a lot of time near the bottom of the tank. Also, his fins are frayed. Am I correct with my diagnoses? < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm - Most likely by the limited description. Continue with the treatments described -- Formalin.> The cleaner shrimp is as happy as can be, and picks over the coral beauty whenever he gets a chance. The clownfish aren't, seemingly, big enough to be picked over yet. I have read so much information on both these diseases that I feel very overwhelmed. Here are my questions, although, I do understand that the answers are posted all over the web, and especially on your site, I am just so completely overwhelmed and worried I will make a mistake. 1. Can I quarantine the clownfish together in a 5 or ten gallon tank (I have both sizes. Which would be better?) <The two separate diseases dictate the use of different treatments so I would use two tanks for the two fish> 2. Does the angelfish require quarantine as well? Can Jetpack be quarantined with the clownfish? <Would not do this, she apparently doesn't show any clear signs of a definitive disease> 3. What is the best way to treat the Ich? How do I go about this? How long should they be treated for? <Posted on the web numerous times, plus on the URL that you already cited> 4. What is the best way to treat Brooklynella? How do I go about this? How long should they be treated for? <Formalin, but I have posted the URL above> 5. Should I specially care for my show tank in any way? Or is leaving the cleaner shrimp, live rock, live sand and corals in there and treating it like normal good enough? <Just continue with normal maintenance, no more additions though> 6. Should I fresh water dip all the fish? I have read that clownfish respond negatively to this, and I don't want to further weaken them, and worsen their condition. 7. Any other recommendations? <More reading needed. It can be overwhelming, but it's relatively the same, just re-arranged. The effort is worth it when your pet pulls through, plus we have a responsibility as keepers> Thank you very much for your time. <Thank you for a well constructed, well spelled and punctuated piece. Hope we've helped, the most help for your case is penned on the site however. Olly> Alexandra.

Re: Only Damsel fishes with ich?  4/17/04 Thanks Bob, <Welcome Rachael> Day three and the damsel has no more visible indications of ich.  The clown, however continues to eat like a champ, but the spots seem to diminish and then reappear en masse the next morning. <Mmm, very likely Cryptocaryon on the basis of this trait>   The HT is only a 5 gal, as the three other tanks prevent much more aqua space in my home. I have not QT the PJ cardinal yet (tight spacing). Should I return the damsel to the display tank after a week (TBD on the clown), and then sterilize the HT and QT the PJ cardinal? <... please... read... re marine parasitic disease on WWM... All need to be removed, treated... the infested tank either sterilized or left fallow...> My worry is that if the clown has not shown any improvement, I would hate to put the cardinal in the same sick tank, if he isn't showing any signs. <Bingo. BobF> Thanx!! Rachael

Persistent Ich/Crypt  -- 04/16/07 Hello Crew <Harry.> Hope all is well. <Thanks.> I learned much from the great information you provide. <Awesome.> I wish I would have found you sooner. <Me too.> Due to my stupidity and trust of my LFS (never again).  I know, I know lessen learned the hard way, I will always QT anything I purchase going forward.   <Then all is not lost.> I introduced my display tank to Ich. <Uh-oh.>   At initial outbreak, I treated all my fish, <With.> and kept my tank fallow for 6 weeks. <Good.> I reintroduced my fish after the fallow period to only be infected again. <Mmm...wasn't eradicated while animals were in display.> I am currently treating all my fish (3 ocellaris clowns and a chevron tang) in a QT tank with Cupramine  at 0.5 mg/l for 14 days. <Careful, surgeons have less than favorable reactions to copper at times. There are other treatments, tactics; see below links.> I am planning on leaving my main tank fallow for a minimum of 3 months. <Yes I usually recommend at least 8 weeks (2months).> I have a 75 gallon reef with 120lbs of live rock, 3 inches of sand, 1 blood red fire shrimp, various snails, crabs, polyps and Xenia all of which I know can be carriers.   <In the short term yes, from one system to another. But if the crypt. parasites are kept separate from the fish hosts, they will eventually die.> I know people believe that once Ich is in your tank it will always be there.  I don't believe that from what I read, but who knows. <You are right, by definition a parasite cannot exist without a host.> How do I eradicate the Ich from my display tank short of removing all the inverts and filling it with fresh water and basically killing everything.   <They will eventually die without the fish hosts...but the fish in quarantine need to be attended to as well or you will re-introduce them.> I need advice on permanent eradication no matter how drastic even if I have to start over (last resort).  I never want to see Ich again.  Any advice or help will be greatly appreciated. <Harry this article will answer all of your questions. It is a two parter, the link to the second article is linked at the bottom of the first one: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php .> Regards, <Welcome.> Harry <Adam J.>

Re: Persistent Ich/Crypt - 04/17/07 Thank you for the quick reply. <Welcome.> At initial outbreak I treated all fish with Instant Ocean Lifeguard, active ingredient is 1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidinone, for the full 5 days recommended. <I prefer formalin and freshwater dips and lots of water changes; in a quarantine tank of course not the display.> They were ich free for 6 weeks in QT.  <<Not "free" just cycled off... RMF>>  I know tangs are sensitive to copper, is hyposalinity a better treatment option? <In this specific case if I had to chose one it would be the hypo; for the details on what's effective, what's not see the articles I linked you to.> and for how long do I treat with hypo 6 weeks? <#5 In the article I linked.> thanks Harry <Adam J.>

Disease question, parasitic, marine   4/16/07 Hi, <Hello there> I recently lost a tang due to some disease or infection.  All water parameters were good/normal.  I first noticed yesterday, what looked to be Popeye on one eye of the fish.  Closer look today revealed symptoms similar to Velvet: rapid gilling, started flashing a couple days ago, body covered with tell-tale powdered look. <Mmm... perhaps Amyloodinium/Velvet?> I've had this fish in a QT since I bought it a total of two weeks now.  My question is would it be possible for this fish to appear healthy for almost two weeks and then come down with this type of disease? <Subclinical infestation... reproducing, rejoining its host... in numbers... the host weakening...> If he was carrying something from the fish store, would it take this long to show up?  Thanks for any insight. <Can, yes... part of the rationale/use of quarantine, eh? Bob Fenner> Tim

Re: Disease question, parasitic, marine  4/17/04 Bob, <Tim> Thanks for the reply and input. <Welcome> Yes, definitely a case-maker for quarantining your fish.  I also usually dip my fish before adding them to the QT.  This time I did not and, another lesson learned... <Ah, yes> This brings me to my next question - what is your recommendation for a good treatment in a freshwater dip mixture?   <Posted...> I have used methylene blue in the past, but I'm wondering if there is something even more effective. <Yes... depending... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Tim

Battling Parasites With An Extended Fallow Period  - 04/12/2007 I have had a problem with a 200 gal well established marine tank for  two years, but has had serious problems repeatedly with disease for the last  year. <Not fun at all, but it can be a learning experience if you look at it optimistically!> Ich and what now I think are parasites of some kind.  I have  attempted to run the tank fallow and have waited 4 to 6 weeks.  The  tank is a fish only tank, now without fish at the moment.  It is  beautifully decorated with live rock and deep sand bed of about 5 inch.   The tank is covered with copepods much more than I've ever seen in any tank and  is the reason why I'm thinking there may also be some type of parasite causing  problems. <Well, I don't think that the increased population of copepods is indicative of parasites causing problems. Rather, I think that it's a sort of positive side-effect of not having any predators (your fishes!) in the tank! I see this as a good thing! One of the reasons it's a great idea to avoid stocking newly-set-up reef systems with fishes for a while is that it gives natural food sources, such as copepods and amphipods, a chance to establish themselves. Yes, there are parasitic 'pods out there, but they are not all that common, in my experience. I'll bet that your seeing an explosion of a benign population of these creatures. Nonetheless, your fallow period is a good idea.>   In each attempt to add fish, many small nodules appear on the skin followed by Ick.  In-tank treatment with Rid-Ich helps the Ich, but not enough to overcome the primary nodules I'm seeing on the fish  body.  This occurs with any type of fish I've tried.   <I'm very skeptical about the effectiveness of so-called "reef safe" remedies. Treating in the display tank is problematic at best, IMO, for a variety of reasons. The better approach is to remove the fishes (as you have done), treat them with an appropriate medication (I like copper, but it's not for everyone), and a protracted fallow period in the display. Parasitic organisms tend to do poorly when deprived of their hosts!> Question is, if I leave this tank run fallow for 90 days will this starve out all possible parasites as well as the Ich? <It's impossible to ascertain if this is 100% effective, but a very long fallow period will definitely reduce the populations of protozoa and parasites in the display, perhaps giving an otherwise healthy fish a chance to resist infection. In my opinion, such a "two front" approach (fallow tank and treatment of the affected fishes elsewhere) is the best way to combat such diseases.> Or, will I need to tear  down and start again? <In some particularly serious cases, this may be the only way. In my experience, very protracted fallow periods generally do the trick...Patience!> Or, is there anything I can put in the tank that will eradicate all possible parasites? <Not without the potential for collateral damage, as far as I'm concerned...not worth it.> Thanks so much for your help. <My pleasure...Best of luck with your battle! Regards, Scott F.>

Help!!! Parasitic reef tank   4/11/07 Okay crew, I have followed proper procedure and read through all the great info you offer, BUT still cannot come to any conclusion as to what am dealing with here.  I have a 20 gallon reef tank and what I thought originally might be ich, (appears not to be), and then Oodinium, (am not sure) is persistently attacking a few fish. <Not Amyloodinium... as your fishes would all highly likely be dead>   The kicker is this.  Only some fish show signs and everyone who does show signs has it has had it for months and continues to eat and swim about with little or no sign of agitation.  I have too many fish I know, I do water changes every 5-7 days and have only the slightest amount of nitrate because of this.  Right now I have... Engineer Goby Tiger Sleeper Goby Blackcap Basslet Blue Blanquillo <Neat, the tilefish?> Talbot's Damsel Whipfin Fairy Wrasse I also have a Cleaner Shrimp and about a dozen soft corals, zoos, and star polyp colonies. Before you read me my rights about the engineer, blue Blanquillo, or others getting too large OR having too many fish in my system, I assure you I have a ton of hiding spots and nobody nips fins or fights.  Previously I had a fire clown who chased everyone and an Allen's damsel who was his first mate in that regard.  They've been sent to spend spring break in a buddies empty quarantine tank until I get my 90 up and running in June (the future home of at least the engineer goby and blue Blanquillo). The issue is what I originally thought was ich.  I used Garlic Extreme made by Kent at the suggestion of a friend who had a similar problem.  I saw positive improvement but I still saw trouble spots on the basslet and Talbot damsel that may have been secondary fungal/bacteria as well.  I then bought the Cleaner Shrimp who cleans the Blackcap all the time as well as the blue Blanquillo, but the small spots are persistent.  I also tried to Maracyn twice. <Not efficacious here> Once in small doses for four days, with no success.  Waited two weeks then hit it hard with 2 tablets a day for four more, again no result. Im not sure am dealing with Oodinium because the Blackcap has had it for months but eats fine, swims freely seemingly unbothered.  Same with the Talbot's Damsel.  The Fairy Wrasse at one time had it but after careful inspection, appears to be completely free of any visible parasites.  The engineer has never had any spots, the tiger sleeper either. If its Oodinium wouldn't these guys be wiped out?   <Yes> I haven't lost a fish in four months and everything I read basically said doom well before that, surely by the passing of this amount of time and the last addition was the Blanquillo last month.  Everyone else has been in the tank for at least three + months. I would send pictures but all I have right now is a bunk picture phone which you wouldn't be able to see the spots.  I know its hard to diagnose without seeing, but any ideas?  possible reef safe things I can do? <Likely either Cryptocaryon (90 some percent likely here) or simple irritation from the cnidarians chemically testing each other... and there are no "reef safe" and effective medicines> It doesn't look like velvet either but I think it could be a combination of things. I have now set up a quarantine tank (obviously too little too late) but with the coral thriving and the fish living I do not want to break the whole thing down.  Sorry for the length of this email.  Thanks in advance to the crew for sharing your combined wealth of knowledge... -jp in SC <Glad to share... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/reefparasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Likely best for you to "live with this", not introduce any new fishes... Bob Fenner> SW protozoan prob.s   - 4/7/07 Hey Bob, Hope you are feeling better.   <Thank you, yes... Generally only get "real sick" once every several years> The kids got over the cold  quick, but my husband and I still have it  We did not get a chance  to visit any LFS since we all felt like poop. <A shame> We did have quite any  experience on the way home.   About an hour outside of Phoenix, the car in  front of us ran over a 4 ft piece of metal that went through our  windshield!! <Yeeikes!> Pretty darn scary I tell ya!!   The weather over  here keeps fluctuating and I have had to turn on the AC so that I could keep my  tank regulated.  Saturday I left the house for a while and the AC was not  on because it had been turned off for a few days because it got cold.   While we were gone, the house heated up and the tank was 85.3 when I came  home.  I immediately put a fan on it and got two 2 liter bottles that were  frozen in it and brought it down to 84.  By the evening I had gotten it  down to 82.3.   On Monday while were watching the Ohio state game, I noticed my fish start acting different, stressed.  I started looking at  them and they were covered in white spots. <... stress-induced Crypt...>   I had a hippo tang in the  QT a few months that had ich and had been treated.  the last fish  that came out of QT were wild true percs.  Within an hour 7 fish were  dead. <Likely Velvet...>   out of 21 fish, I have 7 left.  All spread out in 3 10g  tanks. they have been treated with rid ich and copper.   I  believe with the research that I have done I had saltwater ich and Amyloodinium  at the same time. <Yes...>   I have read that the Oodinium strain lives without a  host for up to 2 weeks. <Mmm, some about twice this long>   How long should I wait to put the fish back  in that survive? <A month or so> I picked up a product last night called ich attach that is 100% organic and says its reef safe.  The active ingredient is Naphthoquinone.  The guy at the LFS said he has used it in his reef tank  and it is invert safe and coral safe. Any experience/thoughts on this  product? <None direct... but am querulous> Any insight on your part is greatly appreciated.  Hope you  are feeling better.  Sorry we didn't get to meet.    Donielle <Perhaps in the future. Glad to hear/read you're all safe... My opinions re such cures are posted on WWM. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Disease in tank.  Possibly Velvet... no    3/29/07 Hi all.  I recently have had 3 clownfish die from a disease.  I am assuming either Brook or Velvet. <Could be Cryptocaryon... even other protozoans are not uncommon... and spottiness... may not portend any pathogen involvement at all...>   The only symptoms I could see were rapid breathing and loss of appetite.  No excess mucus or slime was produced, nor any white sheen on their bodies or anything else for that matter. <Mmm... could be the rapid onset of Velvet/Amyloodinium... or environment...> They looked perfectly healthy on the outside.  It is obviously in my tank now and I am planning for the move of everyone to my 29g QT. This is my fish list:  4" Foxface, 3 x 2"-3" Flasher Wrasse, 3 x 2" Firefish, 3" Dragon Goby, 3" Yellow Watchman Goby. <Oh! These weren't killed at the same time? Is very highly unlikely Velvet> I am planning a formalin dip for all of the fish prior to entry to the QT and once a day for two days afterwards.  I will also be treating the tank with Cupramine.  I am going to let the main tank go fallow for 2 months to be sure all disease is gone.  So, all of the above fish will be in my 29g for this duration. My questions are: -          The dragon goby needs sand to sift, but you shouldn't place sand in a QT, especially when using copper, so what is my remedy for this? <No sifting, sand for the duration of treatment> -          Are all of the above fish suited for my planned treatment? <? Yes, carefully... with at least daily testing for copper> I keep hearing about sensitive fish, but usually only lionfish, puffers, etc, but I wanted to be sure first. -          Any foreseeable problems with keeping any of the above fish in my 29g for 2 months? <The usual nitrogenous (et al.) waste accumulation, its ill-effects...> Anything look wrong in my plan, or anything else you would recommend to raise my survival percentages? <Yes... getting a good, cheap microscope... testing for what may actually not be there... See WWM re Ed Noga's book... scopes... Bob Fenner> Thank you for your time and help.  It is most appreciated. Mitch

Anthias with worms? Human influence opportunities... Important!  03/22/07 Hello again guys / gals. I notice my Ventralis anthias has clear / white feces and am guessing he must have intestinal parasites. <Ahh... so wonderful to be able to influence such young, growing minds/awarenesses...> I was considering different medications to use and would appreciate your input on what would work best for my situation. The medications I am looking into are: Fenbendazole at 7.6 Mg per gallon Metronidazole Praziquantel and Paracide D Any suggestions would be wonderful, the fish has not lost weight, however  he is obviously losing nutrients somewhere. Thank you so much, Brian  Crenshaw <My REAL (why not?) advice is for you instead to invest in a copy of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment" (expensive, I know... and have chatted w/ him re... Maybe get the fish store to buy a copy for your use as well as theirs...) AND a QX-3...4...5? Microscope... and to LOOK here, way before dumping such medicines on your livestock... Much knowledge, discovery awaits you... which I'm sure (very) that you'll be sharing. BobF>

Re: Anthias with worms?   3/22/07 Hello again Bob, Thank you for your recommendation on "Fish Disease, Diagnoses &  Treatment", I ordered it today, as well as Anthony's new "Book of Coral  Propagation", and a QX5 digital microscope. <Ahhh! Outstanding! Heeee! I hope you won't mind, but your apparent experiences, curious-seeking behavior reminds me a great deal of myself when I was young/er...> Sorry for the onslaught of  E-Mails, but I trust your advice (and the crews) over anyone else's. <No worries... Is a pleasure to aid you> I am still  learning, however I do know enough to know not many (if any) people in my area  know enough to help me out. <Mmm, thank goodness for the Net... and all the more opportunity for you to help others... educate them, raise their knowledge, intelligence levels> Wet Web Media along with your books have really  helped me tremendously and I look forward to seeing more writings from you in  the future. If you would be interested I would also love to send you a photo of  the reef I have been working so hard on. Best regards, Brian  Crenshaw <Please do Brian. Bob Fenner>

Copepods Killing My Fish? Unlikely  3-13-07 Hello! <Hi> I have a problem here.  My harlequin Tuskfish and hepatus tang are sick and I have no clue with what.  The other creatures in the tank is an arc-eye hawk, small snowflake moray eel, chocolate chip star, and an Atlantic anemone, at least I think that's what it is. The past couple days they (harlequin tusk and hepatus tang) have been acting somewhat strange and yesterday morning and this morning both were covered in white spots that looked like ich.  However, by about 10:00am yesterday (when I went back home to get a water sample to take to the local fish store) both fish had shaken or scraped most of the spots off.  <Normal lifecycle for this parasite, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> Yesterday afternoon and evening the harlequin tusk stayed in his hiding spot and seemed like he had difficulty breathing. <Ich effects the gills.>  From the way he is moving his gills it looks like he's gasping for breath. <A usual symptom, action needs to be taken soon.> He was still that way this morning as well. Here's what's very interesting.  It looks like there are little white bugs on the glass, most likely copepods (and that may be what's on the fish as well). <Highly unlikely, think your first diagnosis is the correct one.> If you look closely, you can see them move around and NOT with the current.  They move from place to place and change direction too so it looks like independent movement rather than movement from the powerheads.  I wiped the vast majority off of the glass last night, but they were all back this morning as well.  <Yep, sounds like copepods.> What can I do to restore the harlequin tusk and hepatus tang to health?  <QT and appropriate treatment.  See here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> This is a relatively new tank.  It's been set up for 2 months.  I understand that the copepods are/can be beneficial to the aquarium, but is it a case of too much of a good thing? <Unrelated to your fish's illness.> Any help would be MUCH appreciated!  Thanks a ton!! Sincerely, Aaron Kowal <Need to get the fish treated for ich, which is usually copper administered in a hospital tank.  However with the tang I would treat with hyposalinity since they are quite sensitive to copper.  Check out the articles and FAQs in the marine disease section for details.> <Chris>

Ich problem, following WWM advice   3/13/07 You guys are the best resource on the web for the Hobby by far! <Thank you for the kind words.  Brandon here tonight.> Ok, I have a yellow and blue hippo tang that have developed Ich.  The yellow tang has only white spots, and the blue tang has both white and black spots. <You have more than Cryptocaryon my friend.  You also have what sounds like Paravortex. The copper treatment should kill it in the QT tank, though you may wind up having to use Formalin if this does not work.  It can live in the main system for months without hosts.  Paravortex is very common with Z. flavescens.  I would strongly recommend finding a temporary home for the Tangs once their infections have been cleared.> Following all that I've researched on the WWM forum.  This is my plan of attack.  Let me know if I go astray.  You guys are great BTW.  The web site has answered many questions just through searching the pages through your Google search tool. 1. FW dip in buffered ph and temperature adjusted , with Methylene blue as prescribed. 2. Fish came through the FW dip, stressed but otherwise ok. 3. Placed in a 20g QT tank with a dosage of this new stuff "instant ocean Lifeguard".  I used the     prescribed dosage.  It works for over a 5 day period (any opinion on this stuff.  (I chose this attack,     because I was leery of using copper on the tangs.)   Ok, that's what's been done here for now.  Now the questions. <Ok.> Will the blue residuals left in the bucket enough to be toxic to main display (125g) when doing a water change?  I have rinsed the bucket thoroughly, but still slightly stained. <This bucket is now dedicated to prophylactic dips before going into Quarantine.  I would just get another bucket.  The stains will never come out, and I will not definitively guarantee that there will be no residuals.  As a general rule, I will not use any container that has had any chemicals in it for water changes.  I like the better safe than sorry method.> I have some Coppersafe, but due to the fact that the two fish are tangs, I am hesitant to go this route unless needed.  Is there a such thing as a copper dip, and if so, would you suggest it in this case?  And is it the same dosage as prescribed on the manufacturers directions. <You will wind up using copper, and you will wind up buying a test kit.  You need to ensure that the copper levels are continuously at the recommended level.  This will go on for about two weeks.  I would not really worry that much about the Tangs in this period of time.  It is when you start to go past this point, that it becomes a concern.> I understand the QT should last at minimum, one month, will this harm the tangs being in such a small environment? <This means that there should be NO fish in the main display.  It is possible, I think that I would buy a larger tank for the time being, or after the treatment period, if they don't show signs of infection, you could ask a friend with adequate space to house them.> I plan on doing a %25 water change daily for the first 10 days.  Will this be enough.   <With the copper treatment you will have to monitor the copper levels as you do the water changes.  I would add the copper to the makeup water, as per the manufacturer's instructions.> I have seeded the filter on the qt with some bio media from my main tank and plan on throwing it away after the QT is done. <Throwing the media away is not really necessary.  If the parasites life cycle gets broken, then they die.  They do not lay dormant for infinite periods of time.  Please do keep in mind that the Turbellarians causing the Paravortex outbreaks will live on in the main display however.  As mentioned before, I would strongly encourage you to find temporary housing for the Tangs for a few months.  If this is not possible, you could try to strike a balance with cleaner organisms.  The most notable that comes to mind are shrimp of the Lysmata species.> Thanks for being there and being a great resource, I have learned a lot and have avoided many mistakes by reading you guys for hours <Thank you for the kind words.  I hope the information I just gave you helps.  Please see here for further reading on the Cryptocaryon, as well as Paravortex, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm, and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paravortexfaqs.htm.  Brandon.> Possible Parasite 2/6/07 Hi, <Hello> I have been reading through your archives for a few days, and am still a bit confused on the best route for my situation. <Lets see if we can help.> I have three fish in my tank, a neon goby, purple Dottyback, and small cardinal. <Ok> I have noticed the neon goby twitching, swimming erratically, and brushing rocks, this behavior has been getting worse over the last few days. The purple Dottyback is also doing an occasional rub on the rocks.  The cardinal has only been in the tank for about 3 days.  <Does not seem good.> I haven't seen any white spots on them (this morning I think I see one on the goby, still trying to determine if it is a bubble or tank debris), and they are all eating with no holding back. <Good> So my first question, at this point would it be jumping the gun to put them all through the shock of disease treatment, if so how long should I wait?  <I would not necessarily do anything yet but I would be preparing too.  This behavior could also be do to water quality so do some water changes and see if it improves.  Otherwise be ready to treat for ich.> Second, if I nip this in the bud can I get away with only a dip? <No> I unfortunately do not have a hospital tank.  <Need to get one if you want to treat for ich.> What type of dip will suffice in this situation, Methylene Blue/FW or will I need to take a more aggressive approach since this maybe more than a preventative precaution (which I now know is necessity from this point on) <QTing is necessary from now on, dips can give a false sense of security.> And last question, I also have snails, conchs, crabs, a starfish and a cucumber in the tank are any of these susceptible to the disease? <No, but very susceptible to any real cure used for Ich.  Copper and hyposalinity is very toxic to these life forms.> I really appreciate your help in this matter, and have learned an enormous amount from your website. <If this does turn out to be ich dips are not enough, treatment with copper or hyposalinity must be administered outside the main tank.  Otherwise best you can do is hope the fish's immune system is strong enough to fight off the ich.> Tim Robitaille <Chris>

ICH or Velvet 1/29/07 Hey Guys, <Hi> Really nervous about what's going on in my tank.  Actually scared to death!!!  Not sure if I have ich, velvet or what. <Neither is much fun.> I have a 90 gal w/20 gal sump (up and running since 11/24/06. Converted 24 gal.)  Multiple inverts, a few corals (xenia & star polyps), 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Royal Gramma, 2 Domino Damsels, 1 Blue Damsel, 1 Dispar Anthias, 1 Clarki Clown, 1 Coris Wrasse, 1 Pink/Blue Spotted Goby, and 1 Engineer Goby.  I've noticed over the past week my Gramma, Domino Damsel, and Yellow Tang flashing, scratching on the overflow and rock.  I have been monitoring them closely for signs of white spots (ich), lethargy, color change, and eating habits.  Nothing has change in those regards.  However, I still see intermittent flashing/scratching. <Can indicate other problems, sometimes environmental.> Not sure what to do.  Should I try to remove all fish to my 20 gal qt tank and treat with copper? <May be premature.> If so, should I do a fresh water dip first? <Unnecessary if going into a copper treatment.> Does a fresh water dip consist of putting the fish in treated non-saltwater for 2 minutes? < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm > After the freshwater dip do I then drip acclimate them to the qt tank?  What salinity level should I have in the qt tank? <Match water parameters closely and should not need much acclimation.  Can use tank water if just going to treat with copper anyway.> If it is velvet will it kill the inverts and corals?  Will I have to breakdown my display tank and replace the LR & LS? < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm > One last question.  Why do the Damsels hate my Royal Gramma? <That's pretty much what damsels do.> Tank Parameters:  Ammonia = 0, Phosphate = 0, Nitrate = 10 , Nitrite = 0, Salinity = 1.021, pH @ 1:25P = 7.91, Temp = 77.1 F. <Might want to raise salinity and pH to more natural levels and see if the scratching subsides.  Would still have QT ready for treatment, although moving them until a more accurate diagnosis can be done may be premature.> Please help. Jackie <Chris>

Re: ICH or Velvet Part II 1/29/07 Thanks for the quick response. <Sure>  I read the information from the URL you provide about freshwater dips yesterday.  I'm still not clear as to whether or not the freshwater should contain sale <salt?>, or is it just treated freshwater (no salt)? <pH and temperature adjusted fresh water, no salt.>  Also, what are your view on using methylene blue as part of the freshwater dip? <Helpful, but not a complete treatment.> What do you think about Ruby Reef Rally & Kick Ich?  Is it a good product, and is it truly reef safe? <Believe these are garlic or pepper based products and have no scientific evidence for their effectiveness.  If you are worried about ich treating with either copper or hyposalinity in a QT tank is the only effective way to go.  And no, there are no effective reef safe medications.> Thanks, Jackie <Chris> Lack of QT, Understanding of Parasites 1/25/07 Hey guys, <Hey James, JustinN with you today.> great site. I visit at least twice a day. <Thank you for this> Ok, enough of the a?? kissing. <There's always room for another pucker! *grin*> Here is my problem. I am having trouble keeping my clown fish alive. It all started when I introduced two hippo tangs without a quartine <quarantine>... Yes you guessed chaos.. <Chaos by the name of Cryptocaryon irritans.> It looked like they introduced velvet or Brook into my tank. I started with 2 percula clowns, both started to breath heavy and had a white film on them. I set up a quartine <quarantine> tank and treated with copper. One died and the other seemed to recover... <How long did the cupric treatment last?> I left the other clown in the quartine <quarantine> tank for 3 weeks, and he looked great. <This duration should have been closer to 6-8 weeks... Were the hippo tangs quarantined after this incident?> So I decided to move him back to the main, I gave him a freshwater dip in Methyl Blue, for about 8 minutes... <Did you properly pH and temperature adjust the freshwater here?> I think it was too long, after he went into the main, he was really breathing heavy and looked stressed. <If you did not properly prepare your freshwater dip, this could be the case.> Water parameters in main (PH 8.2, Sal 1.022, Nitrite 0 , Nitrates 25).. Well he was dead this morning... Should I have not dipped him? Was it too long for a clownfish? Should I have marine dipped him in Meth versus fresh? <Should have assured that the parameters of the freshwater as closely resembled your saltwater as possible, as well as quarantining ALL new additions before introduction to the main display.> He looked great prior to the dip. So many questions.... I planning on getting more clown fish and I want to avoid this nightmare again.... Thanks again, James <Do properly quarantine your hippo tangs, and allow your display to go 'fallow' before purchasing any more fish -- you're in for a couple month wait here, if you intend to avoid future problems. Furthermore, you don't mention anywhere here how large your display tank is. If your aquarium is under 125 gallons, it will not comfortably support a single hippo tang through its lifespan. Likewise, there is a high possibility of aggression here, by having a pair of the same type of tang. Tangs are not typically very tolerant of their conspecifics. Here's some reading material for you, that should help with your situation: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and the linked files in blue. Hope this helps! -JustinN>

Invertebrates and Parasites 1/19/07 Bringing invertebrates from a tank that crashed with parasite problems to a new tank is that an issue?   <Yes, can be.  Need to be QTed before adding to the new tank.> <Chris> Thanks in advance, Tony

Ich, Chilodonella, or Oodinium help   1/15/07 Good evening crew. <Brandon> I think I might have the beginning of a parasite outbreak in my reef tank. I try to follow good quarantine methods and 2 Freshwater dips with Methylene Blue (one before QT and one after) to everything that comes into my tank. <Good practice... One I tried to talk the entire marine livestock collection, distribution biz into some thirty years ago... Imagine what the trade, hobby might be like if this had been adopted... the loss from such "incidental" infestations is HUGE... resulting, in larger part, in the loss of more than half the stock, customers/hobbyists per year... Lunacy... like invading others countries... but let's stay on topic... if I can> The dips last for about 5 min. The QT period no less then 4 weeks but usually 6 weeks to ensure no problems. Well something slipped past somehow. A Flame Angel and a Yellow tang just hit the main tank after a 5 week QT period. A few days after hitting the tank I notice one white spot on the Yellow tang that was not there before. In the next day or two another white spot shows up but this time on a clown. The spots look like a very small white bump. The tang looks like he might be getting another around the eye. No other fish seems to be affected at this time. I have been trying to enrich the food given with Garlic so see if that will boost the immune system. The tang is starting to flash around but it appears to me more over territory rather then discomfort. <Maybe> (But what so I know, I am not the fish whisperer) <Perhaps... not yet>   How long would you wait to see if this is a full blow ich outbreak? <A good long while... depending on what you intend to "do about it"> Given the small size, I have heard it could be Chilodonella or Oodinium but the treatment should be the same in any case. <Mmm, yes, if so> If treatment should be given right away, should I remove all the fish or just those that appear to be infected? <All> I have a Royal Gramma, a Yellow Tang, Flame Angel, Scooter Blenny, two Neon Gobies, and two Clowns; would the 20 Gallon QT tank be enough to handle this load of fish? <Likely so... with daily metabolite testing, ready water for changing...> (I have never needed bigger then this since I have only QTed one or two fish at a time.) The QT tanks is set up with some PVC a heater and a mini bio-wheel (without the bio-wheel in place only the mechanical media and the carbon.). Is Chelated Copper Sulfate (at 1.5 to 2.0ppm) <Mmm... this is a variable value depending on formulation... you want the equivalent of no less than 0.15, no more than 0.30 ppm of free cupric ion, Cu++> and Maracyn-Two the correct treatment? Would you utilize a different treatment for the Tang and the Angel given the size of the QT tank and their sensitivity to copper? <Mmm, no... but please see below> My "Coppersafe" does not tell me how long to treat for, can you shed some light on this for me? <Two weeks> I assume this is a stupid question but it does not hurt to ask. I have been told that since only a few spots are visible, a freshwater dip of 15-20 min to the infected fish could save the need to QT and treat with copper, is that true? <Usually, yes> From my research, if the spots are on the fish, the parasite is in the water and the life cycle of the parasite has started in the tank, <If indeed this is a parasite...> so I am out of luck for 4-6 weeks. I have also read different opinions here that freshwater dips do not protect against ich because they are buried deep in the skin and can survive even hours of fresh water? <Is a possibility... however, if such an infestation were present, it would "register" (appear through static and kinetic observation) that the host was "beat"... frayed fins, aberrant behavior... spots... you wouldn't buy such afflicted specimens> I am kind of lost since in three years, this is my first bout with anything harmful in my tank. Heck I have never even lost a fish after the initial QT period. Ok I think I have gotten all my questions out of the way... Thanks guys for all the help! <Now... my turn... I strongly encourage you to either borrow, or buy (and read quickly) Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment"... and likely borrow or buy a reasonable microscope... a QX-3 to a -5 will easily do... make a scraping, and look... to discern more what you're up against... there are many other possibilities... and it may well be better to try "cleaners", environmental manipulation, supplementing of diet here than removal and toxic exposure... Bob Fenner> Re: Ich, Chilodonella, or Oodinium help   1/16/07 Bob, <Brandon> Thank you so much for your reply. I have often wondered why the fish import business does not implement some sort of QT period before selling fish stateside. <I likewise have been forever puzzled by this... on the far negative/chastened side one might say the industry counts on this sort of appalling loss to sell more... Such is not the conscious case... just ignorance and apathy at play... as usual with humans> Heck even if a LFS made such a practice standard, think of the wonderful reputation and business that could be generated. <I know of three outstanding stores that do so... Aqua Touch in Phoenix...> Hummm.... Maybe for my next career change. Anyways, back to the topic on hand. After two days of treating with Garlic, Some spots have disappeared and others seem to be popping up (Still only about two or three spots total). <Mmm, may just be cycling off... to come back... in strength> I am optimistic but am not getting my hopes up. Reading about the life cycle of these pests, I realize that they fall off before they spawn new bugs and get worse. <Yes> I am comforted by your response that it is safe to wait a bit to see what I am up against. I know you can not put a number on this question but how bad should the outbreak get before resorting to copper treatments? <Mmm, about "half way"... all fishes infested... can happen in a day or two...> My thinking was to nip it sooner then later, before it has a chance to set up ground in the tank. For now I am going to treat with garlic, do regular water changes to keep the chemistry up (Right now it does not get better then NH3/NH4=0, NO2=O and NO3=0. But just like getting fresh air when you are sick, fresh water can not hurt.) Can you suggest a "cleaner" that might be able to help with the problem rather then utilizing copper treatments? <Mmm, yes... this is posted on WWM> The royal has started cleaning the Tang which is nice to watch but I do not think he knows what he is doing. I have room for a shrimp or two or even a small goby like a Neon goby. <Lysmata sp., or a Gobiosoma, yes...> I know better then to take cleaner gobies from the reef. Wow, $100 for the book on Amazon!! <Yes... and this is close to cost... I spoke with Noga about this...> I now I feel like I got a STEAL on your books! :) I am going to try to borrow Mr. Noga's book from the library before I buy it. I am a quick reader so I should be able to absorb most if it quickly. <Yes, or copy the pertinent sections> (As long as it does not require a Ph.D. on Microbiology to understand, I am a psychologist not a lab type! :) <Is a straightforward read> When you suggest taking a scraping, I assume you mean of the white dot and not a slide of the water. <Yes> I assume that Mr. Noga's book will explain the best way to go about this. <Correct> Heck, I would even be willing to drive to slide up to the Vet school and have the microbiologist take a look at it. <Perhaps a good idea... to apply a slide cover> Thanks again for all your help and comfort. It is hard to feel like you have failed to provide a "good" home for your children. But even a healthy kid catches a cold every once in a while. Brandon <Yes my friend. Bob Fenner>

No QT, Fish-sitters for two weeks. 1/9/07 Hi again Crew! <'Allo, Dan.> I seem to be emailing you guys a lot of late. I have a 75 gal marine aquarium holding: 4 chromis 2 saddleback clownfish 1 flame angel 1 valentine puffer 1 pinstripe wrasse a few corals and an anemone (so far so good) I'm running a trickle filter and a Jebo180 protein skimmer. <Acknowledged.> After going on vacation for two weeks, I came home and noticed both my clownfish and the flame angel flashing their gills occasionally on the substrate. Water tests indicated raised levels of ammonia (potential effect of too much love from family members looking after the tank). Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 20ppm. <Umm, where are the Ammonia numbers??? "Flashing" is often mistaken for parasites (that cannot be ruled out yet) when it is just the symptoms of stress and discomfort showing off. ANY measurable ammonia is a huge cause for concern, but short of a nitrifying bacteria shutdown or a dead fish, I don't imagine you meant to say ammonia, but rather nitrate, or NO3. Right?> I have done some large water changes and the ammonia level is gradually coming down but still not at 0. I will continue doing water changes until this problem is rectified. Today I noticed my wrasse flashing his gills too. <GRRR... well, let's say it is a parasite. Are you equipped to deal with a pathogen by removing affected specimen(s) to a QT?> I am wondering whether this flashing behaviour is due to the elevated ammonia levels, or could it be a parasitic disease? My clownfish *may* have some white webbing on their faces if I look close enough, but it's certainly nothing obvious. Very difficult to tell. The flame angel looks like he has some extremely tiny white dots on his tail, but once again, nothing conspicuous. All my other fish seem fine. <You have a few good canaries in that setup, in the form of your flame angel and your puffer. Both of these guys are usually the first to show signs of stress, though the puffer usually gets covered and lives, and the angel just dies.> Shamefully I also have to add that my flame angel is a new entry (4 weeks now) and I did not QT or dip him. <Double GRRR!> A practice I definitely will not repeat! However, I had him for two weeks before I went away and he didn't show any signs of disease. <These animals depend on you to take care of them. Were they able to quarantine themselves, I feel confidant they would choose the safest, disease free route. When you "don't feel like it" or just wanna "get 'em in" this is what happens. A Flame angel no less! ARGH!> I have a Cupramine solution ready to treat all the tankmates in a 120 litre QT container at a dosage of 0.3 ppm for a longer period of time than suggested as I know Centropyge angels are sensitive to copper, while I allow the main aquarium to go fallow. Will also do the temperature elevation but not the hyposalinity as I don't want to stress the corals in the main system. <.3ppm is double what I would start at for an unknown problem. Let's start with observation, and surely, if you can catch 'em without too much work (ya right) then get them into the QT.> However, I'm unsure whether this really is ich/velvet etc or just a result of poor water quality. When these diseases show up are they easily visible on the fish? I don't want to stress the fish any more than they already are by unnecessarily treating them! Should I begin treatment straight away or wait a while and see if the disease gets worse? <Remove all suspects to the QT and simply observe. Raise the temp, too. Adjust salinity. Just don't medicate yet. -Graham T.> Many thanks from an aquarist learning the hard way Dan

Re: Disease refractory to treatment... Brooklynella?   12/3/06 Bob, I used the microscope yesterday and performed a skin scraping. The pathogen is an oval, ciliated organism that looks most like Brooklynella hostilis (using Edward Noga's Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment) for comparison. <Could you make out the nucleus, nuclei? Their relative size here?> This might explain its refractoriness to Cu++. However, I have dipped it multiple times in a 125 ppm Formalin solution, with improvement but not cure. <Frighten-, frustrat-ing for sure> Do you know the lifecycle of Brooklynella? <Yes> Is it an obligate parasite? <Yes> Should I treat the entire tank with a 25 ppm Formalin prolonged immersion, or are there more specific antimicrobials that I should use (Chloroquine, Metronidazole, an aminoglycoside)? I have not been able to find any literature on the lifecycle or sensitivity of this pathogen. thanks very much, Sam <Successive Formalin dips and moves to non-infested systems should break the cycle here... along with the use of anti-protozoals. My choice is/would be Metronidazole/Flagyl... as posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Disease/Marine 11/16/06 Hello Bob & The Wet Web Crew, <Hello Betty.> First of all, I wanted to say that I think you have the BEST site on the web. Talk about gaining knowledge. You guys are the Best!! <Thank you.> Ok, now let's get down to business...........I was wondering if you could please help with something? I have a 70 gallon tank with the following specs: live rock - 20 - 30 lbs protein skimmer Fluval 405 filter 1 extra powerhead for added current Water conditions are as follows:     No3 = 0     No2 = 0     Ph = 8.4     Ammonia = 0     Alkalinity = 12.2     Calcium - 340 The tank undergoes a 5-10 gallon water change every 10 days. <Five gallons is not enough, stay with 10.> The occupants include: 2 Tomato Clowns 1 Kohl Tang 1 Talbot's Damsel 1 Yellow Tail Damsel 1 Fire Fish 1 Royal Gramma 1 Hawk Fish 1 Serpentine Star 1 Dwarf Cortez Stingray 4 Hermit Crabs 1 Sally-Lightfoot Carb 1 Pencil Urchin A variety of Soft Corals and one Hard Coral. We have had the tank set-up now for about 8-9 months. All was going just great until recently. We purchased the Royal Gramma, the Talbot's Damsel, and a variety of soft corals (4-5) over a three week period and added them to the tank. Again all was well except for the Royal Gramma. He didn't take to well to the tank and died about a week or so after adding him to the new environment. We also noticed that our Hawk was diving towards the bottom of the tank and rubbing on the rock. He has done this here and there since the day we got him (8 months ago) and now he seemed to be doing it more often. Then we lost our treasured Kohl Tang. She was fine....eating....not swimming erratically or anything. Once in a while she would rub against the bottom to scratch, but it wasn't habit and then she just went poof and she was gone!! Then just last night we lost the Talbot's Damsel. This is heartbreaking. Now our Clowns and Hawk fish are sick. They are covered with white dots. They do not resemble ich, but more like a coat made out of dots. They are literally covered. We are setting up a quarantine tank and are going to treat all of the fish with copper. We were wondering if this is a good idea and if we could treat the ray the same way. He has not been infected yet but if he becomes infected we wanted to ensure that we treat him properly. Also, is there anything we could do to the Star or the crabs?? What about the urchin?? For the most part we know there is   nothing we can really do for these guys, but we wanted to ask to make sure that a new treatment plan is not available. <Inverts will not contract marine fish diseases.  No need to worry here, but they cannot be in the treatment tank.> Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated. We are on your site all of the time and have even purchased a copy of Bob's book. I have learned a ton and look forward to learning more. <Looks to me like you were your own worst enemy.  When the last fish were added to an already overcrowded system, whatever healthy environment existed, was lost due to overcrowding.  Healthy fish living in a healthy environment are less likely to contract diseases.  As for treatment of your present fish, do read here and linked files above.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm  Looking at your subject line, where does the Dwarf Cortez Stingray come into play?> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Betty & Aaron p.s. We have added the one of our clowns to the hospital tank and some of the white stuff has already started to come off. This happened within minutes of putting her in there.......I am hoping she pulls through....she is the sickest out of them all.

Re:  Disease/Marine 11/16/06 Sorry, forgot about the Ray. I was just wondering if he could catch the same illness and if so if he could be treated with the copper too?? <Don't tell me one of those are in the tank too.  Yes, they can contract the disease also, but a little more sensitive to copper treatment.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re:  Disease/Marine 11/18/06 Yes, we have one of those in the tank. He is maybe 2-3" round.....we are planning on starting another tank for triggers, parrot fish etc....and the ray will be placed in that tank. <Oh boysie.  How deep of a hole are you going to dig for yourself?  I think where we need to start is by learning to use our website.  Start by searching for topics you would like info on.  Our database here is full of information on almost everything imaginable.  I'd start with stocking levels, compatibility, and yes, even sting rays.> So they can be sensitive to the copper.....is there anything else you would suggest using on him??? <Off we go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/batoiddisfaqs.htm  Do read linked files above, especially on stingray systems.  Please slow down, learn about what you want to do before doing.  James (Salty Dog)>

Fish with Brooklynella, other protozoan  11/12/06 Hi, Can someone help us out. We have a 180 gallon tank with live rock and sps coral. We seem to be having a problem with Brooklynella. We lost a hog fish, Nemo, copper band, and about to lose more. <This is likely another protozoan here...> We are currently setting up a quarantine tank and will be trying to remove the fish. We will treat with a Formalin dip. Please let us know how many times this must be done or is it a one time dip. Please let me know how much to use also. Thanks, Cindy <Mmm, three times... moving the livestock into all new water/non-infested system after... one ounce of stock (37% solution) to a gallon of water (matched pH, temperature...). Bob Fenner>    Re: Gill Parasites? - 10/24/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello>> Relating to my problem below.  I did a lot of reading but did not find anything that sounded like my problem.  I will try to describe it a little better.  It looks like two pieces of white chalk lying parallel to each other (=) in the gill.  They actually protrude slightly from the gill. <<Yes I recall...strange.  Have you tried quarantine and parasitic treatment?>> So now it is 5-weeks later and the fish is still very active and eats well. <<Both good signs>> But when I compare the gill movement to its mate it is quite fast. I can hardly see the gills move on the mate. <<Whatever this is may well be limiting gill function>> Would it be foolish of me to try and catch the fish and pull the white pieces out with tweezers? <<You could try...you will need to take great care not to harm the gills.  Regards, EricR>>  

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