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FAQs on Marine Parasitic Disease 8

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic DiseaseCrustacean Parasitic Disease, Isopod Crustaceans,

Related FAQs: Parasitic Disease 1, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Disease 4Parasitic Disease 5, Parasitic Disease 6, Parasitic Disease 7, Parasitic Disease 9, 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, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Parasitic WormsCrustacean Parasitic Disease, Isopods,

Sick Tank - 10/15/06 I have left in my 4 foot reef tank 1 ocellaris clown, a male scribble angel, 1 double barred Rabbitfish, 1 Goniopora and an elegance anemone and along with that some live rock. As of late I have had a bi colour angel die and a small blue tang. Within the last couple of days I have sold my large moon wrasse and a tomato clown. The wrasse for the simple reason it was eating food out of the elegance anemone, which isn't doing to well, I'm not sure it is because of lack or food or something else. It no longer spreads out nearly as much as it did when we first put it in our tank. Just a couple of days ago my Goniopora has a hole in him. Is this from poor water conditions or the left over food resting on it. <Or both...> I have now got more current in my tank than what I did have but will this come right or do I need to medicate him? <Medicate the Goniopora? No, I wouldn't bother. These are typically known as rental corals as they crap out and die in just about everyone's tanks. There are a few people who are able to keep these corals but they need specialized care that excludes just about anything else you might want to keep.> And lastly my clown has sort or fluffy skin, it is no longer smooth and nice looking like it should be. Is this white spot disease. <Sounds like something even more serious - Brooklynellosis (Clownfish disease). Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm > I've had to put my Rabbitfish in a separate tank to treat it as it came up with cloudy eyes and he stressed a lot he isn't looking well either I don't think he is going to make it at all. <It really seems to me like you have some systemic issues in your main tank. Would encourage you to take a good long, hard look at how you're doing things there and consider carefully your next steps...> Would this be because my tank was to small for him. <Hard to say for certain.> Since I've put it in a smaller tank to isolate and medicate him he has gone downhill really fast. <Likely on his way downhill before you got it into quarantine.> Please help my I'm not sure what to do. The scribble angel is fine, I have my chillier set to 25 degrees Celsius and have done water tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and all seems fine. <What does "fine" mean? What about salinity, alkalinity? What about water changes?> I feel I should just begin again. <I would not do this until you can definitively say what is going wrong now, or else you will repeat the same mistakes again.> What do you think I should be doing to keep my tank going. <At the moment, frequent, small water changes - I'd be doing perhaps 5% every other day for perhaps three or four changes. Then keep an eye on the fish and see how they fare.> My scribble angel is only new should I take him out and put in a clean fresh tank so that he does not catch whatever is going on in my tank. <He cannot catch what is ailing your clownfish.> Please any ideas would be a great help. <Would encourage you to read the following articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm > Thanks Kristy <Cheers, J -- >

Out, out! Damn Spot! Apologies to Lady Macbeth - 10/9/06 Hi WWM Crew! <Greetings, Emerson with you today> A few weeks ago, I found 3 or 4 white spots on the fins of my clown trigger.  I put him in a freshwater dip for 10 minutes, moved him into QT and, thinking it was ich, started a copper treatment using SeaCure for 14 days. <Kudos to you for moving the suspect fish to QT. Was this the only fish in the display tank and were there any other signs of infestation besides the spots? Also, were you testing copper levels daily? Testing is an extremely important part of a copper regimen and can determine success or failure.> At the end of the two weeks, he still had one prominent spot on his fin so I gave him another freshwater dip, to no avail.  After using poly filter to remove the copper from the tank I let him rest for a few days before trying a 50 minute formalin dip.  The white spot is still there, but he's eating well and looks okay otherwise.  Should I try another formalin or freshwater dip?  What do you recommend? <At this point I would recommend a wait and see attitude. The single white spot that has remained is likely not Cryptocaryon as the Trophont stage only resides on its fish host for a few days. It may be a scar or slowly healing wound among other possibilities. Leave your trigger in QT for a few weeks with excellent water quality (i.e.: large, frequent water changes) and observe, observe, observe! If spots return or you see scratching, hiding, cloudy eyes, lack of interest in food then its time to consider treatment again and possibly rethink your strategy.> Thank you! <You are most welcome, and I wish you the best!> Liz

Cryptic crypt? Soon to be less ignorant  9/25/06 I have 120 g marine reef with corals, fish and invertebrates. I noticed some white spots on my hippo tang. <Get easily...> One day they were there, next day they were gone. <Yes... Very likely Cryptocaryon> Few days later they were back. I wasn't sure if it was ick or white spot. <Are common names for the same causative agent, disease> I have been treating the tank for ick. <...? With what? There are no effective treatments that won't kill your non-fish livestock...> After a few days the spots didn't get any better. I'm now thinking it is not ick, but white spot. In looking carefully, there seems to be raised areas on the tang coming from underneath the scales. I set up a quarantine tank and am treating with Cupramine. <Ahh, now you're getting somewhere> Here is the question . . . If the white spot initially started in my marine reef, yet I can't treat the tank with copper products, isn't the disease still going to be in the tank when I put the tang back in? <Go to the head of your class. Yes> How do you clean this up? <... Uhh, the answers to these questions are stated/archived over and over on our site...> I do not have a UV sterilizer, and am wondering if this will fix the problem. It seems to be well worth the investment for the effort I'm putting into treating the tank and setting up the quarantine tank.  The tang was in the tank about a week before I pulled it out.  I'm also wondering with the many hosts still left in the tank, won't the other fish get it too?  Right now they seem to be doing OK. <Have just skipped down... Start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reefparasittksfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm and the linked files above... BobF>

Webmail, Delays, and Saltwater Parasites - 07/13/2006 Hi Crew: <Hi, Eric; Sabrina with you today.  Let me first apologize for the delay - it appears that your email has come to us in a format that our webmail system has "issues" with....  Argh!  My system is one of the few that allows us to respond to your query, and I've been out for the last few days.  My sincere apologies for this delay.> I am QTing some fish right now and I have notice some "symptoms" on the fish but cannot explain/ID it. Can you please help? <I do hope so!> I have a Naso tang, decorated Foxface, Blue tang and a regal angel in my QT system right now, It appears that they all are breathing rather rapidly, but behavior wise, they are eating like a pig, and swimming normally, they never appeared to be grasping for air, no dashing, just fast gill movement. <Disconcerting....> I am certain that ammonia is not a problem, and behaviorally, they are not likely to be in a lot of stress. Physically, I can see a slightly whitish "coating" on the blue tang and the Naso, it appears to be very very small dots, almost powdery. <Ah.  Amyloodinium/"Velvet", perhaps, or possibly Brooklynella.  Other possibilities include just plain irritation from something in or wrong with the water (pH too low, toxins....)> But fins are all clear. The Naso has a slight wound on the tail, probably due to handling from LFS.  I am wondering what these "coating" are and what can be my first treatment options. I have some concerns.  1. They are all behaving normally, with finicky eaters such as regal angels, I am not prepare to administer medicine if proved absolutely necessary. <Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm  and here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm , and, more specifically, the links at the tops of those pages that lead to the FAQs on those diseases.> 2. I have put 2 cleaner shrimps in the QT with the fish, but the coating stays. Good things is that I can clearly sees that most of my fishes are "cleaner" especially the regal angel, he have some kind of white matter, almost like scale extrusion around the gill area, and it is now cleared up. <These fellows will help you, but this will likely need to be treated if it is in fact Amyloodinium or Brooklynella.> My preliminary diagnosis is that since they are not appeared to have stressed relayed concerns (gasping, refusal to eat, needlessness), These "coatings" are non-live threatening at the moment. I would like to try formalin dip or FW dip with formaldehyde (ParaGuard from Seachem). <If it is one of the above complaints, this will likely end up ineffective.  Please read those FAQs for treatment recommendations.> I suspect they might have slight parasite problem at the gills <And on the body....> that produce fast gill movement. Then I will buy a microscope to do a slime coat smear to determine the "coating".  Can you also suggest a good source of info to ID the parasite under microscope? <Yeah, actually - http://www.fishdisease.net and "Fish Disease:  Diagnosis and Treatment" by Ed Noga.> Thank you. Your prompt reply will be appreciated. <My apologies again for the lack of promptness here.> Eric Leung, BA (Hon) <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

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

Tangs With Ich  6/12/06 Have a 75 gallon reef tank with two tangs, corals mushrooms, duster worm, snails, hermit crabs and one Condy soon to be relocated to a predator tank. We now have ich. Is this something that anything else in the tank besides the tangs can get? <Inverts are safe from ich.> Is there a way to treat the fish without transferring them to a quarantine tank? <With the inverts present, about the only product you can try is Kick Ick, a Kordon product.  It is strictly organic, may work and may not.  Copper is the surest cure but is quite lethal to invertebrates.> Do not know how we will catch them without tearing down our entire tank. <This is why it is nice to quarantine fish before placing in your display tank.> We are soaking their food in garlic, doing water changes (should we do these every week now and for how long?), <Water changes should be done weekly whether fish are sick or not.  Good water quality along with good nutrition is important in preventing diseases.> and we are going to add two cleaner shrimp. Will my anemone eat these shrimp? Will they be okay at least for a week or two with the Condy? <The shrimp are relatively safe with anemones.> Are the things we are doing enough to resolve the ich issue? <Probably not, once the fish get ich, it is pretty difficult for them to shake it off with no treatment.  It happens, but not common.> The fish seem active and healthy, they just have small salt like white spots all over them. <Do read here and related links above.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Melissa and Micah

New to WWM, Crypt   5/23/06 Hi, I would first like to say sorry for bothering you. I read your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and really liked it. I looked you up on yahoo and one article had your email address so I figured I would try to contact you. I am having a couple of problems and was wondering if you could guide me in the right direction. If you do not have the time I will understand. Also, I live in Carlsbad - so I am local if you have any seminars and such. <Am giving a pitch at the Orange County marine club next month... You can carpool with if you'd like> Ok, I have a 60 gallon fish only set up with a Bak Pak skimmer and aqua clear 70 going. I have about 30 lbs. of live rock and 40lbs of aragonite and 20 lbs of live sand. I have a clown grouper 4", six line 5", clown trigger 4", <Yikes... too much already for the size of system, gear you list...> 2 -2 stripe damsels and a dwarf lion. Probably too many fish. I am religiously doing water changes every week. It seems the fish are developing ich <...? Developing?> and acting odd. grouper is at top of the aquarium a lot in filter flow, same with lion. I recently ordered a 135 gallon tank with overflow set up, which I think will help me, but I want to make sure fish are ok in the mean time. I was going to start with a 15 gallon water change and see if that helps, I usually do 5 gallon every week. I also noticed on testing, my ALK is low, and I have some nitrate. If you have any suggestions, I would really appreciate your expertise. Thank You in advance for even reading this.               -Daniel J Siti <Mmm, allow me to introduce you to our website: WetWebMedia.com... Please start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... and we'll be chatting soon. Bob Fenner> Re: Live Rocks and Shrimps... Copper removal  - 05/22/2006 Dear Mr. Bob Fenner <Rachel> I have emailed you earlier when I treated my main tank with copper. Fortunately it got rid of White Spots (knocking on wood) and now I have some other concerns. It has been about 3 weeks now and my fish are doing great in the 80G. About 2 weeks ago I did a 25% percent water change and placed 2 large packs of Super Activated Carbon to get rid of the Copper. When the copper was added to my tank about 2 months ago my protein skimmer was removing copper with large amounts of form formation so I turned off the skimmer. <Yes, usually necessary> In the current scenario after treating the tank and adding the Activated Carbon I turned on the skimmer, for the first day or two it created some form and then worked as usual/normal. I have some green & brown algae also growing nicely on the sand bed and some rocks now. <An indication of a lack of copper> So I was wondering is it now okay to add some new cured live rocks into my tank? Does the green and brown algae formation show signs of a Copper-free environment? <Yes and yes> Also I am wondering whether to add a couple of shrimps to my tank. I know they are very sensitive to copper but do you think it'll be fine now? <Very likely so> Normally do you dip the shrimps in a freshwater bath like new fish? <No... is quite harmful to these and most other invertebrate groups. I would NOT do this> And also as shrimps are not a vector for white spots (learnt from your FAQs), is it alright to add them straight into the main tank with careful acclimation? Thanks, Best regards, <For observation and "rest" considerations, is best to quarantine these animals as well... There is generally little risk of introducing disease, parasites with crustaceans however... It is merely that they are "wet", and their water, exoskeletons might bring along such that is a concern. Bob Fenner> Rachel

Water Quality & Disease... Crypt, Quarantine ignorance   4/26/06 Good evening to all <John> I have a 110 gallon FOWLR system that has been up and running for about 7 months.  I started with two small damsels then slowly added two Pearlscale Butterflies, 2 Peppermint Shrimp, two small clowns and a Diamond Goby.  My wife's cat apparently enjoyed the Goby when he decided to explore outside the tank one night when I didn't have the lid locked down.  So I replaced him with a 5" Engineering Goby.  We've had the new Goby about 6 weeks now and I noticed several days ago a trace of what appears to be Ick. <... no quarantine?> I was told by one store personnel to drop in a couple of Cleaner Shrimp and that will solve the problem. <Mmm, maybe forestall it...>   Another told me the Cleaner Shrimp will kill the Peppermint Shrimp and suggested a freshwater dip. <... unlikely the shrimp would kill any of these fishes... dipping the fish might do more harm than good... and if this is crypt, your system now "has it"> I mentioned that to a third store employee who told me Engineering Gobies do not react well to freshwater dips and recommended I use an "Ick-Be-Gone" type product that is kind to invertebrates. <... there are no such things as invertebrate-safe and effective protozoacides> I was also told to buy a UV Sterilizer to solve the problem but I felt like that was treating the symptom and not the real problem. <Bingo>   In the meantime the Goby has gotten much worse and the ick appears to have spread to one of the Butterflies. <Double bingo> I didn't think I was over-taxing the ecosystem with the population since most are only about 2 inches +/-.  My questions are, 1) Can I combine Peppermint Shrimp and Cleaner Shrimp in the same tank? <You could, but...> 2) What is causing this ick problem? <I take it you're not joking here... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... till you understand> Do I need to do more frequent water changes or larger amounts each change.  For a 110 gallon system with about 70 LB's of live rock how many gallons and how often would be recommended? <For what purposes? This is posted on WWM> 3) Most important, what can I do to fix the immediate problem?   <Read on my friend... you've got some important decisions to make... and make soon. I'd be removing the fish livestock, treating them elsewhere... as proscribed where you've been referred> Like I said, I asked 3 different people and received different answers to all my questions, it's very frustrating.  I'm looking for a long term solution not just a Band-Aid for today  Any suggestions? John R. Newlon <Educate yourself, make your own decisions. You've made a huge blunder in introducing a parasite to your now parasitized system... Do you want to try to establish some sort of "ping-pong" ongoing host-parasite arrangement (and not add more unconditioned fish livestock) or try to eliminate it? Bob Fenner>

Re: Water Quality & Disease... Crypt, Quarantine...   4/28/06 Mr. Fenner, <John> I appreciate your response.  I actually did quarantine all the fish for 2 weeks each and never saw any traces of ich or any other abnormalities during that time period.  I apologize for not listing that in my first email.  The articles should help in the future.  Thank you again. <Thank you for this follow-up John... Do please read these areas over... and formulate a game plan... and execute against it... Quick. Bob Fenner>

Tang, et al. fishes parasitic problems, aquarium keeping    4/8/06 Hi there Bob, <Stefan> About 10 days ago I got myself an Acanthurus japonicus Surgeon, about 10cm long. When I added the fish he was a bit intimidated by the larger fox face and the tang did not really eat much for the first three days. <Not atypical behavior for a new Tang... esp. in the presence of an established Acanthuroid species> I moved the Fox to the sump to give the tang chance to relax and hopefully get him to eat, which he did in small quantities. <No quarantine....?> About five days after I added him I noticed he became very uncomfortable with something and he kept on doing fast turns, like something chasing or biting him, he will be relaxed the one moment, and next thing doing fast "8 figure" moves. Closer inspection revealed that there are about 9 very small black spots on the rear half of the body, no spots on fins. Before I noted the spots I suspected some gill parasite and I give him a freshwater dip with methylene blue for 6 minutes. Doing this made a big difference and he stopped doing the crazy sudden turns. He still occasionally scratch himself against the glass after I did the dip. I read that stress and a poor diet can cause the black spot parasite to attack the fish. The fish ate little till about day 6 when I started adding "Entice" and "Garlic Guard" to his Nori, now he eats a lot !!! great products!!! The amount of black spots looks less, but are still apparent. This might be a stupid question, but should I put him through all the stress to try and catch him for a second dip, or should I now leave him since his eating very well? <... a bunch to state ahead of a simple "yes/no" response here... This is likely a fluke infestation... that might have become established now in your main/display system... dipping and/or treating them elsewhere and returning host fish won't really cure them...> The colour of the fish is now much more bright compared to the first week. The fox is still in the sump with no signs of black spots. My tank is a 300L reef with about 11 KG crushed live rock on a thick Aragamite bed using a plenum, lots of artificial rock... System is running for about 9 months. Water Chemistry is very good. Thank You Bob, Stefan, South Africa <Welcome... Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittkfaq2.htm and the linked files above re "Parasitic Systems"... and embrace such acclimation and quarantine procedures outside your principal displays. Bob Fenner>

Help Ick!  - 04/04/2006 Hello, and Help:-) I have a 47 gallon bow front tank with crushed coral substrate.  I am having problems with marine ich.  I have a Fluval 304 filter, and haven't had to treat my tank using this filter.  I read in the instruction book, that if you treat the tank with medications you have to remove the carbon in the baskets. <yes, remove activated carbon.>  If this is so,  do I put anything in there to replace the carbon, or not?  <Nope, just remove it.  What are you using to treat?> I have 1 Koran angel, 1 adorable Porcupine Puffer,  1 Yellow Tang, 1 Maroon Clown, and a Blue legged Crab. The Angel is the worst,  but I have noticed 2 of the others acting as though they are coming down with it. <Are you quarantining you fish before you introduce them to the tank?  The old saying goes.. "an ounce of prevention...> My temp is 80-82. PH is constant 8.  I don't want to do the wrong thing,  so do I remove the carbon and treat the tank? <There are many effective ways to treat this - read up on the site.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  Have a good one, Jen S.> Also,  I have been doing water changes once a week, Whatssuuppp? Janie B,  Ca Parasite? SW  3/28/06   Hello crew, <Daniel> I am new to the salt water world and your web site has been an invaluable source of info, I just wish I would have found it before I started. You could have saved a few mistakes. I have a question I have not been able to find and answer to in the achieves, and was hoping you could help me with. Last November I set up my first salt water tank. It is 90 gallons with 100# of live rock and 100# of live sand, I have a trickle filter, protein skimmer, three power heads that turn over 500 gph and 300w of pc lighting. After cycling for 5 weeks all readings were 0, I purchased 2 yellow tail damsels, and I brought in the clean up crew, about 50 snails and 30 crabs. A couple of weeks later I purchased two percula clowns and yes a bubble tip anemone. I wish I would have found your site earlier I would have never purchased the anemone. I feel ultimately responsible for the demise of a creature that would live 100 years if it weren't trapped in my tank. But at least for now he seems very happy. Along the way I added 2 skunk cleaners, 2 tube worms a starburst, button polyp, mushroom and frogspawn coral, all doing very well. About six weeks ago I added a royal Gramma and a cardinal to my tank. No, no QT, that is also about the time I found your site and will QT from here on. After acclimating, the royal headed straight for a cave and spend most of his time there. <Typical behavior> When he would come the damsels would harass him. <Also common> I am afraid that led to his demise after two weeks. <Not unlikely> The cardinal headed for the bottom a never moved a mussel <Heee to homonyms> for 2 days until he died. The damsels never bothered him, so I think the stress was just too much. Last week one of the clowns mouth and eyes seemed swollen, and both of them had white stringy feces. After reading through your site I decided to QT both of them and added Maracyn 2 to the QT. Unfortunately both died a few days later. I enjoyed the clowns and would like to add a couple more, this time thanks to your site tank raised. <Yes> My question is: do you think there are parasites in my main tank? <Could be> The damsels are fine, could they still infect new fish even though they appear healthy. <Yes> Should I remove the damsels and let the tank run fallow, or am I just new at this and concerned over nothing. Thanks for the help with a truly fascinating hobby. Dan <Mmm, I would likely not worry here... and take the risk of introducing (quarantined) to livestock... though the damsels may have to be netted/isolated/removed if they prove too aggressive. Bob Fenner>

Hyposalinity/Disease Treatment  - 03/27/06 Hi Bob,  <James today> I tried to find the answer on your fabulous site, but couldn't find what I a looking for.  I have a 120 gallon  live rock and sand tank with a protein skimmer and a hang on filter.  I have been running this system this way for 2 years.   I recently added more fish and I think I maxed my fish capacity for the filtration level on my tank.  As a result I started to have some water quality challenges.  I have been fastidious about quarantining new fish and watch my water quality carefully.  I did a big water change that I get from the local aquarium to compensate for my water quality drop.  I am now convinced I got ick from the aquarium although I am sure that the aquarium filters its water.  I have never had ick in this tank. My question.....I have brittle stars, hermit crabs and some anemones and I am thinking about lowering the salinity on my tank to break the cycle of the ick.  Would the brittle stars survive a lower salinity?  I know the hermit crabs can.  The brittle stars would be difficult to collect since they live under the rock.  Do you think this is a good choice for dealing with my ick problem.  <Do read here Dawn.  Do look at related links on this page, also. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm  Others have had the same problem, see what was suggested in the FAQ's.  You can read what you are dealing with here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm>   Removing all my fish from the aquarium and letting it go follow for a month would be a nightmare for me as I have a lot of fish and the daily water changes in quarantine is exhausting.  If I remove and treat sick fish than they will get sick again when I put them back in my tank.   I know I need to address the ick issue some how and soon.  I would love to get some cleaner shrimp and a cleaner wrasse, but my eel seems to have an appetite for both. He has had some expensive dinners in the past.  <So has my wife.> I am going to add some additional filtration to address the water quality challenges. I am also adding garlic to the food. What do you recommend would be the best approach given the information.  Do you think lowering my salinity would be a good course of action and would it be safe to leave brittle stars and hermit crabs in tank during this process? <Consider UV Sterilization.  It will help. Aloha from Hawaii,  <Bob is there as we speak, totally bummed out.  Nothing to do but dive, have cookouts, etc....boring. James (Salty Dog)> Dawn Re: Hyposalinity/Disease Treatment  - 03/27/06 Thanks James,  <You're welcome.> Oh I feel so sorry for Bob vacationing in Hawaii.  It has rained here for a month straight and today we have flash flood warnings.  Let him know that he unfortunately came for some of the worst weather I have seen in ten years. <I'm sure Bob is aware of that and will read and possibly comment.  And don't feel sorry for Bob.  He has a life I dream about.  Very busy, but rewarding.> <<Actually, not busy at all, but a great deal of fun. RMF>> I have a 15w UV on my tank already.  Is that too small for a 120 gallon.  <To be very effective I wouldn't run more than 400gph through it.> Is it worth upgrading to a larger size in light of my situation? <Don't think so.> I read the articles on low salinity and Ick.  Do you think it would be wise to remove fish now (dreaded all fish and a nightmare of water changes to boot), my fish are showing no signs of distress yet.  Is waiting it out until I see distress a mistake?  In past systems my fish have over come the ick with improved water quality and garlic.  I fear I may have a heavy infestation. You know who quickly it all can turn......What would you do?  <What I would do is move the fish into quarantine and treat.  Let the tank go fallow for one month to insure all cysts have passed on to a better world, then re-introduce the fish back into the tank.> Thanks again,  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Dawn Tangs-I love em, I hate em ... dis.  - 03/25/2006 Hello Crew!   In January, I received my new 240 gallon. 8' tank. I had been so excited when I ordered the tank [early Dec.], I went out and purchased a small Hippo Tang and a three inch Whiteface Tang [Acanthurus japonicus] [ I know-patience, sometimes I lose control!! lol] I had two cycled  55 gallon tanks set up to quarantine them and I figured they could stay in those tanks until my 240 was ready or I could move one or both into my 125 for awhile. Well they both had ich , no surprise there. Both went through 5 weeks Hyposalinity.. SG at 1.009 .. I know Bob is not a fan of Hypo but it worked. <We'll see...> Both fish were spot free for 5 weeks before I started raising the SG to normal. Both fish did well and two weeks later I stupidly moved the Whiteface into my 90 to give him a little more room. In this tank I had two Ocellaris Clowns, one Arc Eye Hawkfish, one Salon Fairy Wrasse and one Blue Devil Damsel. He did well and loved to play follow the leader with ole 'Charley Brown Wrasse' [everyone picked on him]. After about a week, He started swimming in front of the powerhead. And to my surprise, someone came in while I was sleeping and painted light colored polka dots all over him! He looked as if he was ready to join the circus. I thought maybe this was due to stress, maybe the bully of the tank [Hawkfish] had been at him. I left him in there for another 2 weeks as he seemed fine otherwise. After 2 weeks I got worried. I moved him back to the 55. At this point I was not sure what I was dealing with, none of the other fish in the 90 were having problems [and to this day, they are all still fine] I again dropped the SG to 1.015. I treated him with Furan-2. This cleared up the polka dots but left tiny bumps all over him. You could only see them if you were right up against the glass of the tank. Okay, so I am still not sure what I am dealing with.. I had thought Flukes was a possibility, but I thought the Hypo treatment would have gotten rid of that issue. I decided to give him a Paraguard dip. I prefer this over Formalin. It was an hour dip at their recommended dose. I watched him through the 20 gallon tank and to my amazement saw tiny strings coming off of the fish. They were all over, I even saw some come out of his gills. After the hour was up, I placed him back in the main. I preformed 2 more dips on him, only these were freshwater dips. I unfortunately didn't have an hour to sit and watch the fish. Both times more strings [or worms] came off but less with each dip. I followed with a treatment of Spectrogram . He returned to his beautiful self! And after two weeks I moved both my Tangs to my 125. My 240 has been up and going for two months, but I wanted to let the tank age a little more before adding fish.   I need to give you a little info on my main [are you still awake?] <Yep> Its been running for 15 months. All occupants have been in the tank for 12 months with the exception of two Ocellaris Clowns who were added six months ago after they spent 4 weeks in quarantine. I had no problems, all fish were healthy. Occupants include, 1-Iridis Wrasse [awesome fish] 2- Argi Angels, 1 Candy Hogfish, the 2 Ocellaris Clowns and my favorite Raccoon Butterfly [Queen of the tank]. Around October of last year, after talking with others that had Raccoons, I decided to try some coral. YIKES! I know, Raccoons are not reef safe but a few other people had been successful in keeping both. I added some Button Polyps and Hairy Mushrooms. Well, my Raccoon loved them. I had to remove them to another tank. I noticed after adding the corals [I did not quarantine the corals, I know I'm bad] white specks on my Raccoons face. Very tiny flat white specks. Kind of looked like debris. It's not ich, lord knows I know what that looks like! In November, I notice one of my Clowns had a small abrasion. After a week or so it appeared as if her skin was peeling. She did appear irritated and even let the Cleaner shrimp clean her. She was eating well and not gasping for air so I kept an eye on her, did a few very large water changes and after a couple of weeks she was back to normal. A couple of days ago, I found a crab. I am wondering if this is where the abrasion came from. They have found a new spot on the other side of the tank from the crab.   Anyway, since then, all has been fine except for the occasional specks on my Raccoons face. I thought it safe to add the Tangs now. I added them on a Sunday. I did a water change on Wednesday. I cleaned off the rocks which sent debris flying.. When I turned on the lights a few hours later both Tangs had tiny bumps! <Surprise!>   Many of the bumps appear under the skin. You cannot see them unless your right up at the tank. It looks a lot like what the Whiteface had before only without the polka dots. No other fish are effected, just the Tangs.. Along with the bumps under the skin, are a few tiny white specks [like the Raccoon] I am so disappointed. And very confused. This still does not look like ick to me. <It will... next cycle... a few days from now> The fish do appear irritated, often swimming in front of the powerhead at night. I am getting my quarantines ready again, bummer! I recently ordered a book of fish diseases which will hopefully give me some answers. You can always find lots of info about Ich, but  not much on other issues such as Flukes. So I come to you for help as usual. I just don't know where to go from here. I plan on giving both Tangs a Paraguard dip, I would like to see if the little worms or strings appear again. <Likely so... likely flukes...> I plan on placing them both back into quarantine. I am ,at this point, not sure what to do with the other fish. I plan on giving them all dips before moving them to my 240. I had planned on moving the sand and rock from my 125 into  the new tank but now I don't think that's such a good idea.   Could this be a type of Fluke? <Is likely trematodes, and the Crypt resurfacing> Is it possible to have a Specie specific parasite? <Yes> Can you come to my house and take a look? <Do you live on the Big Island of HI?> Just kidding. Any advise is appreciated. Sorry for the long letter but I felt I needed to give you as much info as possible   Thank you so much   Kim <Kim... very likely you do have two parasites at work here... the only way to be sure is microscopic examination. Bob Fenner> Microsporidean Infection - Will it go away?   3/21/06 Hi Bob, <Steve> You have been such a great help! I recently got a small Powder blue tang that has been showing pimple-like bumps on its body - not salt grains (ich) and not dust-like (velvet). After researching your site, I'm pretty sure it's a microsporidean infection. My question is, while it is said that there is no cure for this, will it just go away or is the fish just doomed? <Mmm, have seen such infestations live "with their host" for many years> In your responses to the other related posts, you only mentioned that it's not infectious to other species nor is contagious. Secondly, how long does it usually take for these bumps to develop? <...?> I'd like to figure out if it picked it up in my tank or already had it when I bought it from the store. <This latter, assuredly> I bought the PBT with a yellow tang at the same time so that they won't get too territorial. For the first few days they were buddies, then the PBT would get annoyed and they'd flash their tails now and then. Could these bumps be coming from stress maybe? <To some extent> Also, from your experience, how long does it take to go away? <Sometimes months, other times, never.> thanks again for your help. You've truly impacted the aquarist community for the better. Steve <There are some groups of fishes, my favorite example the serrasalmine fishes called Silver Dollars, that very often have these... and they often prove persistent. I would enjoy this fish, ignore the bumps. Bob Fenner> Re: Microsporidean Infection - Will it go away? PBT dis.  - 03/22/06 Update on my PBT - Last night the white bumps turned into more or less white specks and white specks started showing up on its pectoral fins. <Is likely the protozoan Cryptocaryon...> Then this morning they looked black on the body but still white on the fins. As this is my first time dealing with this, I find myself second guessing my initial diagnosis. Could it be ich, <Most likely> or black ich that I'm seeing instead of a microinfection or is this just part of the lifecycle for the microsporidean? The fish is less active today and swimming a little more wobbly but still eating Nori and picking at algae on the LR. His original darker full blue has faded into a much lighter powder blue and he's not picking on the other fish anymore, sometimes just hiding in the corner away from the other fish. Sorry for bombarding you guys with these trivial questions - I feel like a nervous parent who's never seen their kid have a cold before. So a little reassurance or at least understanding of what's going on would be most helpful. Just in case, since I only have a 10 gallon QT, I decided to move all my corals (I don't have that many, just some zoos, xenia, anemone, and candy cane) to the QT and leave the fish in the main tank with a some live rock in case I need to medicate. Did I misdiagnose or is this just part of the microsporidean lifecycle and I just have to wait it out? Steve <... is not likely a Microsporidean. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Parasite ID - 3/20/2006 Your website is such an invaluable resource!!!  Thank you so much! <<Glad you like it!>> I have one question that I couldn't find an answer to, though.  I have a beautiful flame angel.  He has been in my main tank (after quarantine & freshwater dip) for about three weeks now along with 2 ocellaris clowns, a yellow tang, a Valentini puffer, a regal blue tang and a Ward's sleeper goby.  He is very active and eats very well, but over the past few days, he has developed "Popeye" (only one eye). <<Likely from physical trauma, if only one eye is affected.>> Also, I've noticed the last two nights that he has white spots all over his body and fins (not the eyes).  They are very small and fine, almost like someone sprinkled sugar on him.  In fact, sugar is a good way to describe it because it doesn't look like it's "in" his scales, but rather on the surface.  He is not scratching that I've noticed, but the spots are only there at night.  He is completely free of spots during the day. <<Sounds very much like ich to me.  Is it possible that the spots are just harder to see in bright light?>> I've been trying to catch him (not an easy task in a 125 gal tank full of live rock with plenty of caves) so that I can treat the "Popeye" with Epsom salt, but was wondering if I should treat for ich as well or if you think it's something else. <<The parasite problem would be my main concern, as the Popeye, if due to trauma alone, will likely ease itself, given pristine water conditions.  Do Google WWM for pictures and treatments of external parasites.>> Thanks again!!! Kim <<Glad to help. Lisa.>> Ping ponging parasitic marine system   3/18/06 Dear crew     I check your site on a regular basis and haven't seen this question before. I have a spotted dog face puffer in a fairly well established tank and about every three weeks it looks like he starts to breakout with ich but it never spreads past his fins and does not seem to bother him, it lasts between five and ten days whether I treat it or not (big fan of Fw dips). The other peculiar part is that it is almost always right before I am do for a water change. Any info you have I would be extremely grateful.     cooper <Interesting... I do suspect you have a sort of "stasis" going with a parasitic infestation... with diminishing water quality bringing out more of the symptoms... Perhaps useful as a "bio-indicator" (canary in a cave sort of tool)... But I would be very careful re introducing new fishes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above, till you get the gist of what is going on here. Bob Fenner>

Centropyge Disease, Marine Ich and Treatment - 03/14/2006   Hello: <Hi.> Hoping someone can tell me if my Flame Angel fish has some type of disease. There are white dots all over my Flame fish. Is this Cryptocaryon Irritans (Saltwater Ich) disease? <Quite likely.> Is this the Correct Treatment? Copper Sulfate is the old stand by treatment.  Forma-Green may also be used. For stubborn strains, try some Quinine Sulfate. <?>   I don't have a quarantine tank. Will it affect my other fishes in the tank? <Yes.> Will it kill my other fishes in the tank? <Yes.>   I believe I need a buy a quarantine tank right now to treat it correct? <Try reading here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm for starters. Do read up on and use a QT on all fish in the future.> Thanks for your help! <Welcome. - Josh> Tang Blues! (or should that be yellows!)  - 03/05/06 Hi WWM crew! You guys have been a great help so far!  I have learned so many things thus far but I have a small problem that I am hoping you can help me with.  I bought this three inch yellow tang a little over a month ago from a LFS and introduced him into my quarantine tank.  He looked great and had been eating well so after a month in jail I figured I would set him (or her) free.  Not two minutes after being released into my 125, he had white spots all over his tail fin. <Mmm, wonder what these are, where they actually came from?> I happened to get lucky and was able to net him right away and back in quarantine he went.  I'm not sure what to do next as far as treatment and do you think that the short time (perhaps five minutes max.) that he was in my 125 that the ick could spread in that tank? <Possibly... might even be that the spots already were "in there"...> Should I treat him with hyposalinity or with copper?   <Need more information to make such a speculative decision> I have treated other fish in the past with copper in quarantine with great success but I have read on your sight that tangs don't do so well with copper treatments.  Any help here would be appreciated! Thanks, Mark from RI <Mmm, have you had a "resident" parasite problem in this system? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner, who "popped out" in Northkingston, RI back in '52>

I Didn't Use Quarantine...Bad Move - 02/26/06 I have a saltwater fish only with live rock, it is 75 gallons fish are ,a potters angel seven months know and very hardy , a yellow tang, solar wrasse, twin spot wrasse <<Mmm...this fish will get VERY large...do look it up at fishbase.org>> ,and shrimp with Randall's goby.  I introduced a saddleback butterfly in the tank without quarantine, she only lasted three weeks. <<Lesson learned I hope...>> I'm worried that I introduced a parasite into the tank because the other fish are starting to scratch now and then. <<Is likely...is this what killed the butterfly?...you didn't say.>> The tank is run with live rock, CPR hang-on refugium, and Turboflotor 1000 skimmer.  Thinking of adding a cleaner shrimp, at this point all the fish are still eating and look good.  This tank was running great before this, so the question is what's the next move if any? <<Observation...  Adding a biological preventative (the cleaner shrimp) is a good start...I think most all systems with fish can/would benefit from these little guys.  If the parasite does manifest, you'll need to remove all your fish for treatment in a separate system while your display sits fallow for about eight weeks. Regards, EricR>>

Fish sick, already lost one fish. Please help ... SW parasitic dis., sys.   2/22/06 Hello,    <Hi there>   I have a question regarding disease in the marine aquarium. I have 5 tanks which share a central filter/skimming area. So as you can guess whatever it is is now in all the tanks. <Yes... hopefully you have a separate quarantine/treatment system off line> The first sign of disease was noticed on my Copperband butterfly which I have had for about a month, at the advice of the LFS (actually a good store) I left the fish alone because he was eating so well I figured I would administer Selcon and garlic to his daily mixture of clams mussels and Mysis. Well this fish doesn't seem to be under any more stress, but it still has some small spots on the pectoral fin. The next I noticed was a Pearlscale butterfly that is housed in the same tank. He has ick throughout his body and doesn't seem to be doing too well. As for the fish I lost, it was a threadfin which was in one of the other tanks. Two days ago I noticed him scratching a bit, and then yesterday he was very bad, reddish streaks throughout his body. I quickly moved him to a QT tank with copper at .25ppm, <Your system/s have crypt...> I was afraid of a FW dip as he was already very stressed. Unfortunately he was dead this morning. I checked my water this morning in all my tanks, and to my surprise it was a bit high, which has never been a problem. Ammonia .3ppm, <Trouble> Nitrite .1ppm, Nitrate 20ppm, pH 8.2, Temp 77.8F, Salinity 1.024. I think the rise may be due to an increased bio load, as well as the live clams/mussels I have been giving the BF's as I do not always get them, out as quick as I should. As I know these levels are not highly dangerous, but they are also not ideal so I am doing a water change today. Are these levels enough to have killed the threadfin, or just induce additional stress? <This latter> There are also many inverts in this system and none of the corals seem stressed.  My concern is the remaining fish in my system, should they all be removed and placed in QT? <Yes> This would be a task as the main tank houses the Pearlscale, copperband, coral beauty angel, tomato clown, two small damsels, and...... a newly acquired rock beauty angel, more on this later. Two of the other 4 tanks running on this system are housing fish, which include a Lemonpeel angel, another Pearlscale, and a yellow tang. So would it be advisable to QT all of them and allow the tank to "fallow" for a month? <Or more, yes> Is there any other meds I should use? <None that will do you, your animals any good, no> Also which copper treatment do you recommend? <... posted> Also regarding the sensitivity to copper, how would I go about treating the BF's and Angels?    <... also...>   Regarding the difficult to keep rock beauty, my girlfriend likes to surprise me with fish...good and bad! But I told her to make sure they are eating prior to purchasing them. So this little (2") rock beauty was actually eating flakes in the store, in my tank he takes them as well, but frozen meaty foods seem to get spit out. As per your recommendation this fish was not QT and placed into the display. This fish acts and appears very healthy, and since he's only been in the tank 3 days I do not think he is the culprit. Also if I need to QT all fish, what do you suggest I do with this guy?    <Move, treat with the rest>   I do realize that I could just have a slight case of Ick and my slightly elevated water conditions could be adding to it, I was just very concerned about the red streaks which seemed to appear overnight, especially on the threadfin as these are regarded as fairly hardy, and I couldn't find anything this fish wouldn't eat. Any help or advise that can be given will be greatly appreciated.      Thanks <... read my friend. Some netting practice ahead of you. Bob Fenner>

White Spots, What Could They Be? Poor Planning - 02/16/2006 I've read that these tiny white spots on my tank glass are probably copepods the white spots seem to have tiny "legs" as well). <Uh...Do these move?> However, my Powder Brown Tang seems to have white spots as well they seem smaller than the "copepods"). <Not good.> He is a very healthy eater and swims a lot, he seems no different except for the spots. <OK> I thought at first he may have gotten salt stuck on his skin I added water that I thought was dissolved, but the salt went everywhere in the tank). <!?> Does my tang have ick? <Can't say for sure, but a definite possibility. Have you read WWM re?> The 60 gal. tank is six weeks old I now know this was too early for a PB Tang) <And too small.> Ammonia levels are below 0.25, <Should be 0! This fish is not easy.> No traces of nitrites or nitrates, Spec. Grav. is 1.022, pH 8.2. <These last two should be at NSW levels.> Please tell me how I can help my tang The other fish don't seem affected-Ocellaris Clown, Target Mandarin Goby, Copper Banded Butterfly.) <Whoa...You've got a good bit of reading to do. You've started with some difficult fishes. Revisit some basics here also (on tank maintenance, live stock requirements). http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm . Good luck. - Josh> Disease/saltwater/ich  - 02/16/2006 Hi everyone. <Hello Jon> Thanks so much for all your help in the past. <You're welcome.> I have been having the worst luck with all of my salt water fish for a long time with all of them getting parasites and having other issues. After my tank ran fallow for 2 months, I introduced new fish. All which have been great! I added them last December. Recently I got a royal Gramma, who was in QT for 14 days with copper. <Not long enough, 24-28 days much better.> Last night I saw she was flashing and had spots on her tail and fins. Being that she is nearly impossible to catch, and taking all the rocks out might upset the other fish and cause them to get it (they are still fine right now.) is there an alternative. <No to  treating display tank with copper where inverts will go back into it.  Yes to...read info on this link for some alternatives.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm> I have a cleaner shrimp and crabs and snails in the tank. Should I purchase another cleaner shrimp? <You can but it isn't going to eliminate the ich completely.> Is there any relief for this fish? <Read above link, make your decision.  James (Salty Dog)> All my water parameters are good. Nitrate-.10 Nitrite-0 Ammonia-0 Thanks for any help.<You're welcome.> Jon Naso Tang ... misunderstanding quarantine, pathogenic disease  2/13/06 I didn't quarantine because he's the only fish in my tank .  I decided not to do the freshwater dip the LFS recommended. <Should have followed his advice.> Instead I treated the whole tank with Quick Cure.  He never had a lot of white spots and they seemed to kind of come and go.  It has been 3 days now that he has no spots. <Do continue the treatment for another 20 days to ensure all cysts have hatched and are killed. James (Salty Dog)>  

Possible fish ick but not sure???   2/13/06 To All: <To James today.> I have a 90gal tank setup with coral and fish. I believe I have two tangs with ick. It almost looks like small air bubbles on the skin and front side fins. It also looks like my powder tang's color maybe fading.   I have two.  Is this what Ick looks like?? <Sure sounds like it.> I know you recommend a tank for treating, but I don't have one setup at this time. <Should have waited till you got one, especially with purchasing a powder blue/brown tang.  The quarantine tank would have been a much better investment than the powder tang.> I was going to try "Stop Parasites until I get a 2nd tank. If it doesn't cure the problem hopefully it will save the fish <How can it save the fish if it doesn't cure the problem?>  until I get the 2nd tank setup. Any suggestions on this or help if this is really ick would be of great help. Oh and this tank has only been setup for about 3 months. <Tank really isn't "seasoned" enough to be adding difficult species of fish such as the powder. Only in larger and well maintained systems will you have a chance at keeping powders alive for any length of time. Any effective ich treatment is going to contain copper which cannot be used in a tank with corals. My only suggestion to you would be to ask your dealer if he has a treatment tank you could put the fish into.  If not, then you will have to find a home for the corals so you can treat with a copper base medication.  A copper test kit will be required to ensure effective levels without overdosing, which can be fatal to the tangs.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> J.R. Puffer with crypt ... maybe not  2/6/06 I have a dogfaced puffer and a yellow tang in a 110 gal tank. it has been established for a year. I have had the puffer for 10 months and the tang for 3 or 4 months. the puffer has an abundance of white nodules (like salt)  on his fins and body. I believe this to be crypt. <Nodules? How large are these?> I have lowered the salinity in the tank to 1.017 and raised the temp to 82.  my amm, and no2 were 0 and my no3 were 25 or 30. ph 8.0.  I have formalin 37% solution and rid-ich. I do not have any copper or the testing for it. I have a well cycled 10 gal qt tank. I also have a 29 gal display that is 18 months old with a damsel and a choc chip star. I am thinking of how to properly treat the puffer and having trouble since the 10 gal is too small for him to stay in for 4 weeks. I can freshwater dip the tang ( who is showing no signs of crypt) and put her in the 29 for the 4 weeks. if I put the puffer in a formalin freshwater dip (10 drops per gal of water, right?) <One way> for 15 min.s and put him in the 10 gal, would he be able to stay in there for 4 weeks without causing more stress?   <Not likely> I would have to do 30 % water changes every other day to keep up with the ammonia.  that would throw off the directions on the formalin of 2 drops per gal on alternate days until no spots remain and then repeat treatment in 10 days. the directions only call for one 25% water change between treatments. I have read other  FAQ's until I'm cross-eyed. please any advice or even confirmation of my own thoughts would be great. I work 60 hours a week and daily water changes would be difficult if not impossible. thanks Beth <Am concerned here with the crypt/ich pretense... Are none of the other fishes showing signs? I don't think this is crypt if not. Perhaps bolstering the puffers immune system will help with the "nodules"... maybe the addition of a purposeful cleaner. I would try microscopic examination of skin smears here before subjecting these animals to treatment. Bob Fenner> Re: puffer with crypt   2/7/06 Thanks for getting back to me. Your site has saved a couple of fish for me. Sorry, maybe I used the wrong word when I used the word nodule. It is very small, like 1mm or less--like a grain of table salt. <Oh... thought this was much larger> All the descriptions I saw supported the saltwater ich/crypt  diagnosis. Unfortunately I don't have access to a microscope. It took a couple days for a response and I felt time was of the essence so I began a treatment regiment. Btw, the tang had been seen scratching once or twice on rocks, but nothing showed on her fins yet. <This family, Order does scratch/flash quite a bit...> They were the only two fish in the tank. I lost a Hawkfish from that tank 4 months back seemed to be bacterial he had lots of redness around mouth and gills.  I freshwater dipped (15 min.s, no formalin) the tang and put her in the 29 gal, it has lots of algae for her to graze on and she is settling in fine with her roommates. I also freshwater dipped the puffer for 15 min.s (careful not to let his mouth or gills out of the water) and put him in a 20 gal Rubbermaid container (clear) with filter, heater, air pump, and aged/oxygenated saltwater. It also had formalin in it according to the bottle ( 2 drops per gal). All of the grains fell off his body in the freshwater dip. <Does sound parasitic then> About half of the grains on his fins are gone. He has been in the  "hospital tank" for 24 hours. Using a quick dip the ph is 8.2, the no2 is 0, and the no3 is 0. This sg is 1.018 ( I had lowered the main tank to 1.017) The formalin bottle says to treat every other day until all signs of disease is gone and then do a 25% water change. <Yes, or more> Then to re treat in 10 days  to prevent reinfestation. <And leave the infested system fallow as well...> The puffer is active and appears hungry. I am going to give him a small piece of shrimp to keep his strength up. If there is anything I am doing wrong or anything else I should do please advise. The move from tank to dip to tank did not seem to stress him much-- he didn't even puff a little and allowed himself to be cradled in my hand. If you feel the puffer would be better in the main tank without the formalin treatment I value your opinion.  I had planned on letting the 110 run fallow for  4 to 6 weeks so I have no worries when I get another fish for that tank. Thanks again for everything Beth <I would proceed as you have outlined, and done. Bob Fenner> Marine Death mystery ... parasitized marine systems  2/2/06 Hi to all the crew at WWM. <Howdy> I am now 3 months into the marine hobby and have read books, WWM of course and sought the advice of many sources.  I am writing to you to help me solve a mystery which has eluded me and my respected LFS.   I have a 4ft (200L) reef tank with 2 canister filters, 1 x 2200Lph SEIO powerhead, Prism Protein Skimmer and 8W UV Sterilizer.  I introduced live rock, clean up crew (hermits and snails) all at the correct times of maturity. I only use RO water and add calcium and other nutrients. I gradually stocked the tank with fish, taking careful notice of measurements of water quality.  At its optimum stage I had, 1 x Black Pyramid Butterflyfish, <Needs more room than this> 2 x male Percula clowns, regal tang, yellow tang, rusty dwarf angel, 6 green Chromis, 2 blue cheek gobies and one yellow clown goby  And on the invert side, 3 cleaner shrimp, 1 x anemone crab, half dozen blue legged hermits, 20 snails, 1 blue star fish, 1 small red starfish (not sure of name, he has a black cracked pattern on his body with black tips to his legs), 2 feather duster worms, and assorted corals (leather, mushrooms, xenia etc).  I have about 10 Kilos of live rock. This setup was surviving well.  The Regal Tang did have a problem with white spot shortly after introduction and as I couldn't get him out of the tank to treat (these fish are fast), I was advised to use Octozin (which is harmless to inverts). <and is ineffective... Your system has the crypt/ich still> After treatment as a safety precaution I fitted the UV sterilizer. The Regal's white spot would sometimes come back and disappear (leading me to believe that the problem could just be air bubbles).  All other fish looked ok with no signs of illness. <Operative word: looked> Now at the point when things started going wrong, I did three things (all of which I am informed wouldn't have caused this dramatic a problem). I installed 2 x 39W T5 tubes (marine glow and white) to add to my existing 2 x T8 bulbs.  I also started adding Iodine to boost the growth of my corals and I bought some phytoplankton.  A couple of days later I noticed my red starfish was curling up its feet. The next day it had lost a leg (which I found and discarded).  It wasn't until a couple of days later I realized that the starfish hadn't been attacked or got caught on something, it was actually disintegrating, leaking a stringy substance into the water.  The remains were removed from the tank and a 50L water change administered.  During this period, my dwarf Angel suddenly died. <Cumulative stress... weakest animal...> Two days later, I noticed lots of white dots on the butterflyfish, he was swimming on his side and by 1am that night, he died. <Next...> Then two days later one of my clownfish went missing, presumed dead (didn't find remains).  Next day, noticed white spots and discolouration on both tangs, and by the end of that day both were dead.  Then finally the remaining clownfish died (again with white spot signs and discolouration).  During this period of mass death the nitrite level rose to 0.1 and nitrate to around 60.   <Decomposition...> I also did a few water changes (maintaining salinity of 1.024), lifted rocks to check for dead or decaying matter and replaced most of the substrate and again treated the tank with Octozin a couple of days later. <You'll learn... are learning> I have good water circulation throughout the tank with the powerhead located almost at the water surface. It is worth noting that during this entire period and today, I have not suffered any invert or coral losses, in fact they all look very healthy, the corals are even extending more (which I put down to the additional T5s and iodine).  The 6 Chromis, yellow clown goby and blue cheeked gobies are all in good health and eating very well.  Surely if the problem was down to bad water quality it would have affected the most sensitive inverts, like my blue starfish. A couple of weeks ago my water quality was returning to acceptable levels so I introduced a black clown. This unfortunately died 3 days later with the same symptoms in day two of the Octozin treatment. <Yes... as will almost any new fishes added> Obviously I am going to wait for a month or so before adding any more fish, and will do several water changes to try to reduce the nitrite and nitrate level (reading between 40 and 60 at the minute). I am however concerned that the problem will spark off again as soon as I introduce more fish. <Correct>   Now that no other fish I have are affected <They are actually... just not symptomatically...> would you say that if the problem was parasitic, the parasite would die eventually if it doesn't have anything to feed on? <Yes... the logic, rationale of allowing such infested systems to "go fallow", sans fish hosts> Would white spot kill that much livestock that quickly? <Oh yes... think about the confines of the system/world...> What would you suggest I do before I restock with more fish? <Posted... see WWM re Crypt... many articles, FAQs files...>    Did I load my tank too quickly? <Too much, too soon, yes, and w/o quarantine...> Ammonia levels are zero and have been constantly zero for some time (according to my liquid test kit). Please help as I cannot work out what could be causing the problem. <Mmm: no quarantine, use of a placebo medication, cumulative losses, infested system> The manager of my LFS (with a marine Biology degree) even came to see my tank and said everything looked really good; he was surprised with such losses that the inverts and corals hadn't suffered as well. <... they aren't susceptible to this parasite> On close examination of the dead tangs, apart from slight whitespots and degradation of the fins, nothing else appeared wrong. Latest measurements by me read: Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, nitrate 40, salinity 1.024, pH 8.2. Temp between 26.5-28.3 (measured throughout the day).  T8 lighting on from 10am till 8:30.  T5s on from 11 till 7:30.  I have a feeling my liquid test kits are not as accurate as the tablets used by the LFS as their readings show levels when mine show 0.  I need to take a sample of water to them to see if I still have nitrite and their reading of nitrate. Regards Andrew Deacon <Your plight is all too common. Please start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm then on to the linked files at top... till you understand your situation, options... You need to separate the fishes... treat them elsewhere... Bob Fenner> Small white spots... SW   1/31/06     I've read about white ich and I can't decide what to do with a coral beauty angel fish it has some white spots on its head but nothing crazy (very small) and over the last week it has only progressed very slowly... should I quarantine the fish or see if he gets over it himself? <Mmm... not yet... may be some simple, non-pathogenic manifestation... that won't hurt your other livestock...> I already have a clownfish in quarantine because he had more slightly larger spots on his body...assuming it is ich how long do I leave them in quarantine (with copper)? <... posted> Or should I invest in a cleaner shrimp and see if that takes care of the problem... <Maybe> my quarantine tank is only 10 gallons and I don't want to overload it.  Any advice would be appreciated.  I  have only had this tank which I bought used for three weeks and I am completely new at this, so far no deaths.  Thanks a lot. <You need to read my friend... not possible for me to relate all that needs to be here... But it is archived in articles and FAQs... that are WWM. Please familiarize yourself with the search tool, indices... read re "Crypt/Ich", its treatment. Bob Fenner>

Scratching fish  - 1/30/2006 Dear Crew, About two months ago while quarantining a new fish I had to suddenly leave town.  The new fish was only in quarantine a little over a week.  I had to put it into the main tank since the quarantine tank had no biological filtration and would have required daily water changes.  Since then three fish in my 180 gal. aquarium have been scratching continuously. <Bunk> There are no other signs of disease; water parameters are good (pH 8.4; ammonia and nitrite 0; nitrate <5 ppm).  Numerous other fish show no problems.  There is also a healthy cleaner wrasse in the tank and doing an excellent job; however, the same three fish continue to have what seems to be some sort of gill flukes.  My question is do I remove the three fish and medicate them or let the cleaner wrasse and disease run its course? <Up to you... likely your system itself is infested...> The three fish affected have good appetites, healthy body weight and no other signs of stress.  I have lowered the specific gravity to 1.019 over the course of several days.  This seems to have helped although it has not completely solved the problem. Thank you for your input. Sincerely, Jeff Jones <You are faced with a surprisingly common situation... a marine system in some sort of parasitic balance... A way to put this question of what to do back to you is to ask: Do you want the consequences of weakened livestock, the chance of returning (hyper)infectivity... or the trouble of removing the hosts, treating them elsewhere...? Bob Fenner> Ich ... SW  1/18/06 Hey. I know I'm supposed to look through the site but my cowfish has ick and the pet stores around here don't have anything to treat ick.  Is there any other way? <Might want to try freshwater dips.  Read here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm  Please I need help. I've had this fish for a while. Everyone loves it. <I'd consider mail ordering some ich treatment.> Thanks for any help.<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

White Spots! - 01/11/06 Dear Eric <<Good Evening Akila>> Thanks a lot for your advice. I am learning so much from you. <<Much welcome>> I am having another huge problem now.  The Clown Tang has white spots now.  I am freaked out.  I really don't know what to do now. Are there any practical and easy to find remedies?  I heard that copper works (what kind of copper is this?  Does it come in pellets or liquid?) <<Much info re on our website and beyond...here's a start, do follow the indices in blue at the top of the page as well:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> But I am really not sure whether it's available in Sri Lanka. <<Neither am I.  Can the folks at the fish store that sold you the fish not be of help here?>> Is there something I can use that is easy to find? <<I don't know my friend...though much is available on the internet.>> Will the freshwater Ich medicine work in saltwater (cuz there are so many Ich remedies at freshwater retailers & also there are some kind of pellets that are available to cure Ich in freshwater Discus fish will that work?) <<Possibly... Tangs can be difficult to treat/suffer side effects with use of copper medications...do proceed with caution.  Quarantine the fish before any treatment.>> and also I don't think my Wrasse will be able to cure the tang cuz the tang is badly infected.  What shall I do? <<Prepare a quarantine tank ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm) and perform a freshwater dip (temperature and pH adjusted) ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm) and move the fish to the QT.>> Will this affect the other fish in the tank? <<Yes...you will likely need to treat/dip all of them.  You will also need to remove all the fish from the display and let it sit fallow (fishless) for the next 8 weeks else it is likely any fish will be reinfected upon reintroduction to the display.  This could have possibly been avoided/easily treated with proper quarantine beforehand.>> Should I remove the tang from the tank? <<Yes, as indicated previously.  Do follow/read up on the links I have provided...and query the folks at the fish store/other hobbyists for more help.>> I found some Seaweed in the supermarket but these are for humans mostly for gourmet cuisines.  Will this work as food for my fish? <<You bet!>> I really appreciate your response Thanks again Best regards Akila <<Regards, EricR>>

New to the hobby, may have ich or velvet problem... actually ignorance, apathy  - 01/12/2006 <... could have avoided...> Hello, I just started to cycle my 25 gallon fish only tank with 2 damsels 2 days ago. <... not a good idea to use fishes thus... cycling covered on WWM>   They both seemed ok the first night, but spent the majority of their time around the bottom of the tank.  My girlfriend (who is experienced in freshwater) said that it was normal for fish to take a while to get adjusted to their new surroundings and not to worry.  I fed them that night and they both ate fine... also were swimming around more and everything looked great.  Yesterday, however, when I woke up, one of the blue damsels never came out from under a little cave ornament I have in my tank and was obviously startled or a little stressed as he was black (as I understand is their natural defense mechanism when startled). <... or stressed severely... as here>   He remained like that most of the whole day.  the other yellow tailed damsel seemed totally happy, swimming around the majority of the tank and was eating very well.  I was worried about the damsel in hiding as he wasn't eating, but my girlfriend told me that was normal and I was just being paranoid.  Well, this morning when I woke up and turned the lighting back on, both fish appeared very abnormal.  The blue damsel was now out of the cave, but still along the bottom and appeared to be breathing very rapidly...and was still colored black by the way.  the other was still along the bottom of the tank and after a few minutes appeared and was discolored with a greyish looking film along parts of it's body.  he darted around a little bit (which I originally thought I just startled him a little) but then started moving around as normal.  I went and showered and returned to feed them and see how they were doing and the blue damsel had finally returned to the vibrant bright blue color, but was still along the bottom of the tank breathing rapidly.  the yellow tailed damsel still was discolored, but didn't appear as bad as when I first turned on the light and was swimming around as normal.  the really odd thing is that when I fed them, neither of them ate....even the yellow tailed damsel which ate so heartily the day before.  I got to work this morning and decided to do a little search to see if this was normal for my new fish and was horrified to see that I most likely have a problem with either ich or velvet.  I'm literally brand new to the hobby and would appreciate any help you could give me on how to treat this problem. <Help yourself... your answers, prevention are posted on WWM... see Damsel Selection, Cryptocaryon, Establishing Biological Cycling, Quarantine...>   I'd really like to save the fish and finish the initial cycling of my tank, but if I do happen to lose them, <... your system is now infested with a parasitic complaint...> they are only damsels so I'm not out a big wad of coin. <Perhaps coin collecting would be a better past time for you...> My main concern is if I can't successfully save the fish through treatment, would I be able to keep my tank fish free for a certain amount of time to insure that I can safely add new fish without risks of another outbreak. <Mmm, yes> Being a newbie I knew I'd make a couple initial mistakes which are to be expected, <Avoidable> but I'd like to know if you have any tips for me as a new comer to the hobby as well. <Read on...> Thanks a lot and any information and recommendations you can give me would be greatly appreciated.  I just hope that my fish will both be alive when I get off work so I have a chance to attempt treatment.  Thanks again.   ~William Barnickel         <I do hope you're not abducted by a U.F.O. by organisms with such cavalier attitudes... though such would make a spiffy retro- Sci-Fi show theme. Bob Fenner>

Marine disease... parasitic treatment? - 1/6/06 To the WWM Crew <Hello.  My apologies for the delay in reply.> Regarding QT, I understand that the water in the qt tank is additive free, considering that the fishes are there just for observation. <Unless the fish show signs of disease, you are for the most part correct.> Previously, a short dip with methylene blue has to be made. <Mm, not usually/always.> Only in the case of some parasitic infestation becomes evident I must add copper or formalin, during 2 weeks. <Best to figure out specifically what parasite (or other diseased state) you are treating, and medicate accordingly.> Please correct me if is something not right. <Sounds like you're pretty much on the right track.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Re: French Angel Question II - 01/03/06 phony med.s, trying to fix problems retroactively... parasitic disease? Hey Guys I really need help. <<Hello again John...I'll see what I can do.>> I lost my Angel. <<Mmm, sorry to hear...the "gray" cast wasn't a "transition phase" then.>> However I have my Niger Trigger and Humu Trigger.  Both still eating. <<Ok>> I have changed the water in the tank quite often, I have used Kick Ich and other medications in the tank.  Not Copper!. <<Still best to treat these fishes in a separate (hospital) system.>> My Humu has ich and My Niger looks as if he is peeling. <<Hmm, the latter sounds a bit like Brooklynella (clownfish disease)...perhaps a related parasite.>> I don't know what to do at this point!  I am investing in a UV system this week. <<Too little too late I'm afraid.  While the UV may be helpful with reducing future outbreaks it is not a "cure".>> Is there anything I am over looking?  I am afraid to use copper in my tank because of my lobster. <<Understood...the reality is you need to remove these fish to a hospital tank and begin treatment with a copper based medicine while the tank sits fishless for about 8 weeks.  A freshwater dip (temperature and pH adjusted) before placement in the hospital tank may also be in order for these triggers.>> I also have an Algae blenny.  No ich on him. <<Yet>> I know this all started after I added a puffer fish which expired about a month ago. <<May have all been avoided with proper quarantine procedures.>> All looked good until the Angel stopped eating.  All levels in the tank are great. <<Not "all"...>> I had given my fish some frozen muscles.  Could this have helped in providing my fish with this stuff? <<I wouldn't think so.  EricR>> Sick Triggers - 01/04/06 Re: French Angel Question II - 01/03/06 Sick Fish...Search/Research - 01/04/06 I apologize. <<For what?>> Brooklynella? Clown Fish Disease? Is this curable? <<If acted upon quickly...Do have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm... I'm not saying what your Niger trigger has is Brooklynella...no way for me to tell for sure...but if it is you will need to administer a Formalin bath/dip to treat.  Please do follow the link provided and read up.  A simple Google search re will also give you much more info than I can pass on.>> What should be a good QT size for temp housing?  The fish are not very large only about 2-3 inches each. <<A 20 gallon tank would serve well here.  Bigger is better, but anything (within reason) is better than nothing at this point.  We happen to have some info on quarantine as well:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm >> I only started with this issue a short while ago so I only had a 10 gal QT for individual fish when I brought them in. <<Regards, EricR>> ( '--' Denotes a response from the writer to my original answers...'<<< >>>' denotes my second reply...EricR) Hey Guys I really need help. <<Hello again John...I'll see what I can do.>> I lost my Angel. <<Mmm, sorry to hear...the "gray" cast wasn't a "transition phase" then.>> However I have my Niger Trigger and Humu Trigger.  Both still eating. <<Ok>> I have changed the water in the tank quite often, I have used Kick Ich and other medications in the tank.  Not Copper!. <<Still best to treat these fishes in a separate (hospital) system.>> -- I only have a very small tank for QT So will a 20 gal fit the bill?   <<<It will do, yes.>>> My Humu has ich and My Niger looks as if he is peeling. <<Hmm, the latter sounds a bit like Brooklynella (clownfish disease)...perhaps a related parasite.>> -- Is this curable? <<<If acted upon quickly...read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm >>> I don't know what to do at this point!  I am investing in a UV system this week. <<Too little too late I'm afraid.  While the UV may be helpful with reducing future outbreaks it is not a "cure".>> -- This is a Fish Only tank but is the UV still a good Idea? For future use? <<<UV has some benefit in a FO system, but requires much attention/maintenance from the aquarist to keep it working efficiently.>>> Is there anything I am over looking?  I am afraid to use copper in my tank because of my lobster. <<Understood...the reality is you need to remove these fish to a hospital tank and begin treatment with a copper based medicine while the tank sits fishless for about 8 weeks.  A freshwater dip (temperature and pH adjusted) before placement in the hospital tank may also be in order for these triggers.>> I also have an Algae blenny.  No ich on him. <<Yet>> I know this all started after I added a puffer fish which expired about a month ago. <<May have all been avoided with proper quarantine procedures.>> All looked good until the Angel stopped eating.  All levels in the tank are great. <<Not "all"...>> -- All have been reading zero what should I be looking for specifically? Ammonia is 0 nitrates and trites are 0, pH is 8.2 I believe. I tested it 2 days ago.  I also raised the temp slowly to 81.f, and lowered salinity to 1.018. <<<I would bring the salinity back up for the lobster's sake.  yet other reason to treat in a tank other than your display.>>> -- Can lighting have a negative influence? <<Not in this instance...that I am aware.>>> I only have florescent and am waiting shipment of my PC. <<<Your lighting is likely perfectly fine for a Fish Only system.  Regards, EricR>>> I had given my fish some frozen muscles.  Could this have helped in providing my fish with this stuff? <<I wouldn't think so.  EricR>> Possible Parasite Issue  12/26/05 Hi Bob! <James today.> First time caller, long time listener. Before I continue with my question, I have to say that I love your site: it is always my first stop when I have an aquarium question.  (As a matter of fact, you saved my Royal Gramma several months back from pop-eye -- one eye only -- with your FAQ advice to another aquarist to add Epsom salt). <Glad to help> The issue I am faced with today is unfortunately more serious: a probable outbreak of Saltwater Ich. <Yuk> (Insert long, sad pause.) I had a run-in with this old nemesis from my freshwater days almost exactly a year ago, my first saltwater experience with it, and in that bout I lost badly: it wiped out my entire tank -- except for, wouldn't you guess, the three-dollar reef Chromis.  After the Chromis died several months later due to some other case (old age, I think; I'd had him for quite some time), I let the tank lie fallow for over six months to drop the parasite population. <Should have completely wiped out the population.> I kept up water changes etc throughout. Then I started adding fish again.  As of now, I have: --1 Royal Gramma (added mid-October; first fish added) --1 Barnacle Blenny (does not like the Coral Beauty; added same time as Gramma) --2 Yellow Clown Gobies (one in good shape, the other a whipping boy for his same-species friend; added in November) --1 Coral Beauty Angel (does not like the Barnacle Blenny; added in November) --1 Flame Angel (added today) Plus assorted inverts: four or so hermits, one emerald crab, one starfish, three large conch snails, and a cleaner shrimp; plus scads of lesser stowaways from mounds of live rock. A day or so ago, I noticed one or two -- literally --  small white spots on the Coral Beauty.  Due to the low count, the odd locations (very tip end of fins, could have been from collisions), and his generally excellent health/behavior, I did not think too much of this, other than to keep an eye on it.  I was so unconcerned, I even bought a single new fish today, a great-looking Flame Angel (see above).<Nothing to see> Well, when I got home and was drip-adjusting/freshwater dipping my new prize, I noticed a few more spots on the Coral Beauty, as well as the fact that he occasionally clamps one fin for a moment while gliding about the tank.  His attitude in general is still excellent -- he swims all over, picks at algae constantly, and eats any offered food as if was his first meal in six months -- but I can no longer ignore the possibility that he may be getting sick. After reading your excellent FAQs, this is where I stand. As I have a mixed invert/fish tank, and as I have no quarantine tank <Problem number 1> (sniffle; this was to be my New Years' resolution), my options seem to be limited.  My current thinking is this: 1. Do a large water change to siphon as much of the "next wave" as possible off the bottom of the tank <Will help some but you are still fighting a losing battle.> 2. After reducing the parasite numbers thusly, start treatment with Kick-Ick, as I have some left from the last war and some reports indicate that while not a "real" solution, it *may* help keep the parasite count in check. <Nope> 3. As soon as the holiday passes, look to:      --Add another cleaner shrimp and maybe a cleaner wrasse, although I rarely see the latter in my local stores <Isn't going to put a dent in it.  Cleaner wrasses have a very short life span in aquariums.>      --Think about adding a UV filter (again, not a solution, but may help to suppress the count of new agents) <Is only going to kill what goes through it.> 4. Buy a quarantine tank and begin cycling it <Best idea yet.> Other peripheral notes/questions: A. My cleaner shrimp, while a nice fellow, seems to be interested in only my siphoning hand (and a former angel that passed away to a nefarious and since removed hermit crab).  Anything I can do to coax the maybe infected angel to use him? <Nope> And, umm, does this mean I am I not washing my hands enough? ;-) B. Why is the cheapest fish the one that always survives? <They generally are the hardiest.> Anyway, all thoughts appreciated, and a most heartfelt "happy holidays!" to you and the staff at WetWebMedia.  You guys totally rock!!! <Clifford, you need to set up a QT and place the fish in there for treatment while letting the display tank go fallow for a month. The inverts can remain in the display tank. During this time increase the temperature to around 82 degrees in the display tank.  Forget the Kick Ich.  In my opinion the only effective remedy is copper, at least in the stage you are in.  Whats happening is you are bringing the disease into your tank from the dealer and until you start quarantining you are always going to have problems.> Thanks, <You're welcome and Happy Holidays to you.  James (Salty Dog)> --Cliff Velvet I think  12/13/05 I have 1 clownfish, I've had him a year in a 15 gallon nano reef. I think  he has velvet. <... not after a year... unless it was introduced> He looks "dusty" I am afraid I caused this by neglecting a water   change for over a week. (I had company) What can I do? I do have corals in the  tank. Just some mushrooms, Ricordea and a leather. Some crabs and snails. I hope  there is something I can use, he really is my pet. Thanks Debra Jansen <Best to check, improve water quality... Bob Fenner> Re: Velvet I think  12/13/05 Bob Are you saying he can't come down with that unless I've added  something to introduce it? <Yes> If it isn't that than what? <Likely "just" body secretions...> What about marine Ick. <This also very rarely "rests" for such long periods w/o expressing itself> I  know what freshwater Ick looks like. <FW ich does have long "resting stages"> I think I've seen marine ick also ( just  like freshwater) He is eating and seems O.K. other than the dusty look. I  haven't added anything to the tank in 6 months. Should I just do 2-3 gallon  water changes every couple days for a week or so for water quality? Thanks for your fast reply. Debra Jansen <Yes to the water changes. Bob Fenner> What are the Ingredients for Disaster? Ich, Tang Minus Quarantine, & Overcrowding - 29/11/05 Greetings Crew, My 55 gal FOWLR was cruising along just fine until I added a small Blue Tang the other day. Then more trouble, he began scratching on the rocks, but he does not have any noticeable parasites on him. I did see white specks near the bottom of the tank on the glass, just above the live sand. They are moving although my clown fish, trigger fish, and 2 yellow tail damsels seem fine. <Unfortunately your tank is not large enough to support a trigger or this tang. Additionally, to save yourself from fish losses and the resultant heartache, it is important that you quarantine any new livestock in a separate tank or container for at least four weeks before adding them to your system.> The water seems to have these white specks floating all over it too. The population of the white specks is growing fast. HELP.... Is copper my tanks savior? <To rectify the situation, I would remove the tang ASAP to a filtered hospital tank or container, and observe for any parasitic outbreak. Read through the disease and cure sections on WWM (starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm) and be prepared to take action. I would strongly urge you not to medicate your display tank with copper. It's unlikely that you are seeing a cloud of free-living parasites in your water. It would also be a good idea to return your trigger to the fish store as soon as possible (and indeed the tang, if they can isolate it from their other livestock), and read up on marine tank water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) and livestock choices.> Thanks, MIKE IN S.F. <Good luck, and I hope you manage to get the situation under control. Best regards, John> 

Spots  11/7/05 Hi Crew, <Steven> Basic question: I have a Bicolor dwarf angel that has displayed since I bought him two spots on one his (side) fins. They are larger than the pictures of ick that is shown on various photos I have researched on your site. Also he has not displayed any signs of flashing or scratching, he is breathing fine, grazes all day on live rock, and eats well. He is active and not showing any negative signs to suspect anything other than the visible spots.  I would estimate that the size of the spots would be equal to two large grains of salt each (at least). I have had him now for 10 days and no change, other than he has eaten better each day (getting used to his surroundings).  Question: is ick considered very virulent <Can be... or more "resting"... depending on conditions, infectivity> and with this much time with visible spots would one expect the spots to either multiply, fall off (progression of ick), and make the fish progressively act more stressed/sick? <What you are seeing may be pathogenic (encysted worms most likely, perhaps sporozoan...) but not likely "catching" or spreading... requires the death of the host, other vectors (intermediates) to spread> I have a 40 watt UV sterilizer, 250 gallons with 250 lbs. of live rock, plus wet/dry, skimmer (skimming well), practice weekly water changes, Phos Ban, Kent Activated Carbon, and refugium with crushed live rock and Caulerpa. I keep the water very pristine (in my humble opinion). Also no other tank inhabitants show any signs of spots, including the ick magnet tangs (Chevron and Orange shoulder).  <Good point, info.> I feed a very varied diet of frozen angel preparations, omnivore, carnivore, Mysis, as well as Nori sheets soaked with Zoecon and Kent Garlic extreme. I wasn't sure if fish could pick up a random parasite that is nothing to be worried about and not otherwise contagious... is this possible? <Nothing to worry about category> I don't think I will treat for anything or even consider moving to a QT tank since there are no signs of stress other than the visible spots.. do you agree?  <Yes, emphatically> Your comments are greatly appreciated, and as always, every one of you are to be commended for your dedication. Steven <Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: Spots  11/8/05 Good Morning Bob, <'Morrow to you Steven> Thank you for your reply regarding the white spots on my Bicolor angel.  <Welcome> Let's for the sake of agreement set aside the possibility that it is ick and instead focus on that this is pathogenic, perhaps sporozoan as you mentioned.  Is this condition self limiting? <Likely, usually so> As a general rule do these Sporozoans multiply within or on the host fish and are they lethal? <Generally not... lest/until conditions disfavor their host too much...> I know from an emailed description you can only apply your experience in rendering advice, <Yes... of a necessity... honesty. But first and other hand...> however I think many people see something odd, and automatically want to have the "shot gun" approach and begin treating, often times doing more damage than what they are treating for. <Ahh, you are wise here... particularly "in the West", folks too often over- mis-treat... well-intentioned, or not, doing so is a source of more mortality than all other causes combined IMO> For this reason, I want to always check myself with someone else and not take an irrational approach. <Good... or at least we are in agreement here> With the size of tank I have and the large amount of live rock, I only want to attempt to catch this fish if I absolutely have to. Again thank you! Steven <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Unknown parasite, ick, or both? Too much, too soon... 11/3/05 Hello. I am relatively new to the hobby (started my tank about 2 months ago). Over the course of the first month I introduced 1 lawnmower blenny,  <Should wait on these... for a few months> 1 bi-color Dottyback, 2 false percula clowns and one coral beauty angel, along with various hermit crabs, snails, about 20 lbs of live rock, 10-15 lbs of sand, and a cleaner shrimp. All of this was introduced gradually, not at the same time. The tank is 30 gal. <Too small... for the blenny, Angel...> with adequate filtration (canister filter and new protein skimmer), water movement (1 powerhead), lighting (2 strip lights), and heater. Today's water temp is 81 degrees (raised temp to this level 2 weeks ago when started having the problems below). Spec gravity of 1.021.  <Better to keep the water at near seawater concentration...> In the last 3 weeks the following things have happened: Lost one of the clowns unexpectedly, looked slow and wasn't swimming much (had no signs of parasites, ick, etc) and died 2 days later, lost the coral beauty shortly afterwards after what I think was ick (large number of raised white spots covering the fish), lost the Dottyback after a week's battle with a small number of white spots (not nearly as many as on the coral beauty), lots of itching, but was eating well until it died. <... I take it you didn't quarantine the new livestock... You'll learn... are learning> The remaining clownfish broke out in heavy dose of white spots quickly and by the time I quarantined it and started a treatment of Kordon's Ick Attack, he too died. Had been feeding all fish with frozen brine shrimp with garlic extreme added after first signs of parasites.  <Of no therapeutic use> Brings me up to yesterday, came home after being gone for 5 days to a tank healthy with algae (plenty for the blenny to eat while I was gone). This morning noticed he was light in color, wasn't grazing around the tank or swimming much and he died a few hours later. No signs of white spots on the blenny. <...> Now no fish left and I am completely unsure of where to go from here. Was it likely ick that killed all fish, or a combination of something else since one clown and the blenny showed no spots and died quickly? <Good question... could be both...> Do I need to do a complete water change and cycle the tank again for several weeks before getting fish again? <... I would leave fish-less for a couple of months...> Any way to kill off the parasites/ick that might be left over in the tank now? <Perhaps only weaken them sans hosts> I have been very hesitant to use chemical treatments as I see you generally advise against it and I have received this advice from local pet supplier as well. I only went this direction in the quarantine tank with the last clown as a last measure.  Please help! Thanks, your site has been very informative. Paul Nicol <I would keep reading it while waiting to add stock... through quarantine, more careful selection. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Unknown parasite, ick, or both?  Keep Previous Emails in Text! 11/4/05 Thanks very much for your responses. Just a few follow up questions to your responses... -You suggest near seawater concentration, what would that be? <... spec. gravity of 1.025...> -You said 30 gal. too small for blenny and angel, too small for both or ok to have one or the other? The angel was a dwarf angel. <... you're joking right? Please see WWM... learn to/use the search tool, indices... for these species...> -What did you mean by this comment?  <Perhaps only weaken them sans hosts> <... where is the previous correspondence?> -Will leave without livestock for 2 months and then quarantine when I start stocking again. Do you suggest a major water change in the mean time or stick to 4-6 gallons at a time once/month? (this is what I had been doing) <I suggest you read... a good thorough survey work on marine aquarium keeping, the pertinent parts of WWM> -Really would like to get the clownfish pair again and I liked the angel (if you think a dwarf is Ok in 30 gals), any other suggestions for appropriate livestock? Thanks very much again. Paul <Read my friend. Read. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Mixing Centropyges Hey WWM Crew, <Jeremy> Me again... I have a blue hippo tang (3"-4") that came down with Ick after a long power outage caused by Hurricane Rita. A few days after the power came back, I came home from work only to see her swimming around, but covered in white spots. The spots appeared overnight? <Can> Is that normal? <Define term... is semi-normal... the fish "had" the ich/crypt all along... the system has it... waiting for conditions favoring it over the host> I admit that I wasn't really keeping as close an eye as should on my aquarium, but I did have a lot on my plate after dealing with a hurricane. I saw that quality of my water had fallen a notch or two. I don't remember the exact parameters, but it wasn't that horrible either. The salinity was a little high, ph was low (7.8) and the ammonia levels rose to about 0.25-0.50. Nitrites at 0 and Nitrates were low. I guess that's what happens with no filtration over an extended period of time... Again, not good but not the worst either.  The main tank has four other fish in it: 2 Perc's and 2 blue-green chromis. They have shown no signs a sickness. The main tank is back to normal after a good weekend's worth of work. I am still in the process of letting in cycle in case I decide to add an angel.  <Wait till these systems are cured of the Crypt> After getting that feisty little guy into the sick tank, I started with the usual copper treatment and the spots went away after a few days. A few days later it had lost its color and looked like it had been dipped in flour (I read the WWM FAQs the next day and it sounded like Velvet) and I immediately went over to my LFS after work and talked to him and he recommended MelaFix and to hold off the copper for a while. <... Melafix... worthless> He has always given me sound advice so I trusted him on it. Have you heard of MelaFix treating Velvet? <... have "heard" of it treating psoriasis to gout... doesn't have much therapeutic value> Well that was last week and today the fish looks almost as good as when the day I bought it. It has a few large white spots and cloudy eyes, but the eyes are getting better and the spots look more like scuffs from scratching on the piece of LR I have in the sick tank. Either way, it will be in QT for a few more weeks.  The fish is starting to swim a little more and is getting its appetite back (eats like a pig). I have been treating this fish for about 3 weeks now. The fish is a trooper. I am going to stop by the LFS later today and get some Methylene Blue for the freshwater dips. Have I done everything I can here? If I get home and the fish is dead, it won't be for a lack of trying. But like I wrote earlier the fish is doing much better. I also read that if it is Velvet to run the main tank empty for a few months. With the other fish not showing any ill effects, would it be a good idea to put "Blue" back into the main tank when/if the QT process is over and keep an eye on a re-occurrence or not? <Better to leave the tank fallow for a month or more... raise temp., lower spg... this is all covered on WWM> It came down with Velvet in QT. Or was it Velvet the whole time and it is currently laying low in the main tank? <Has to come from somewhere> This is really the reason I am writing. Either way, I have to strip down my sick tank and start over with that again and I may not have a choice to put Blue back in the main tank. I would rather lose one fish than a whole system. Any thoughts? Thanks for all of your help, Jeremy <Please... address your questions to the search tool, indices on WWM... there is much you need to know... that you won't by going back and forth here... your fish will be long since dead...> I also wrote to share my experience with the Melafix fighting a case of Velvet/Ick and I hope it may help someone else out. <I do NOT suggest people use tea/herbal remedies for their fishes, their own health> I will include the last email between Bob and I in case someone else responds and/or for a recap/further background. <Thank you for this. Read my friend. Bob Fenner> 

Spots on Purple Tang  9/30/05 A group of spots in one general area on only one side of the tang. Not Ick. Been there since I purchased the tang approx 1 month ago. Look almost like bubbles on individual scales; you can see the convex shape when the tang is viewed from the front or back. I can't find a picture or reference on WWM or other sites. I haven't tried any cures / medications save the "healthy environment, healthy fish" attitude. <Good> Tang shows minimal discomfort but I want him to be as healthy as possible. Any ideas? <Very likely evidence of an internal protozoan complaint... likely microsporidean... not catching, nor very debilitating. If it were mine, I would do "nothing" in the way of medication... These pathogens do come/go of their own accord.> Thanks in advance, and in retrospect, for all the advice shared online, Tim <Glad to share. Bob Fenner> Ich or Brooklynellosis, Fallow Period - 09/19/2005 Hello I have had a FO tank with one cleaner shrimp and some blue hermit crabs for about 8 months. I had a Clownfish in since the beginning (after cycling of course). I just recently added a Royal Gramma.   <Unquarantined....?> Anyway, about a week after I got the Gramma both fish started looking   little lethargic, I noticed some white spots appear on the Gramma.  I though it was ich and began treating with Copper, <*Extremely* toxic to your invertebrates....  and can kill them or harm them tremendously....  Worse, it can be adsorbed by your substrate only to be released at a later date, perhaps with a change in a particular water parameter - copper is never to be used in a tank containing invertebrates, or even with rock or substrate that will be housed with inverts; be watching your shrimp and crabs very, very closely.  Run some carbon and/or PolyFilter on this tank and do some big water changes....> unfortunately the Gramma died a few days later. Then I noticed my clown started hovering at the bottom, and or top of the tank, and not really swimming around, or eating very well, he seemed to have lost some color too. I did a little research and I think it was Brooklynellosis. <Yikes.> So yesterday I turn on the light and the Clown is covered in very tiny white dots, smaller then Ich from what I've seen. <Oodinium is another possibility.  Much information on all three of these diseases is archived in WWM.> Unfortunately with my Schedule and the way this worked out I could not get to the store to get meds. Anyway I woke up this morning and the clown was completely covered in a white kind of film I guess, I had to go to a Funeral and then was going to treat him but he died before I got home. <Sorry to hear this....> Anyway my question is do you think it was Brooklynellosis, <Possibly, or ich or Oodinium.> and if so what should I do with the empty tank (there are no fish in it just a Cleaner Shrimp, and some Crabs) before I add more fish? Should I let it run for like a month with no fish hosts in it so the parasite dies? <Yes, perhaps even a little longer....  and take some drastic measures to prevent the copper destroying your invertebrate life....  and implement a quarantine tank for new fish!  If you start fish in your quarantine tank now, if they're clean in 4-6 weeks, they'll be ready to enter your tank after its fallow time.> Thanks for any help. <Sure thing - do please look up some more information on quarantining livestock, and how it can prevent issues like this from becoming problems for you in the future.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Ick vs. Velvet  9/20/05 Hi there! Great site!!! A little overwhelming for a newbie who isn't quite sure what she's looking for! I need some help! Quick! My husband and I have had a 125 gal. saltwater tank (plus 22 gal. sump, set up with a 25 watt UV sterilizer (just added), SeaClone 150 skimmer, and so far about 50 lbs of live rock) for about 5 months, so we're fairly new and we've had our share of loss's and problems but this is the scariest (and most frustrating). It all started with a porcupine puffer that developed ich as soon as we brought it home (which makes me think he was sick at the store, only we didn't realize). Well, he died 2 days later but his skin kind of sloughed off and you could see veins in his fins. It was horrible. Ever since, we have treated for ich 3 times and we're struggling with it again.  <The life cycle of ick takes about three weeks to complete.  For this reason, once a tank has had ick in it, no more fish should be added for at least four weeks.  The original introduction of ick is easily prevented by quarantining all new arrivals for four weeks also.> I don't know what to do. Could it be something other than ich? Am I treating the wrong disease? They are small white dots on a couple of the fish (on their fins, bodies, eyes....) but I'm baffled as to why the tang doesn't have them. I thought they were the most susceptible fish? He seems like the most healthy fish in the tank! Currently we have a lionfish (sick- seems like for a couple weeks), porcupine puffer (sick-just got him a few days ago), niger trigger (sick), Picasso trigger (did have it but seems to be gone), yellow tang, 2 domino damsels, 2 blue damsels, 1 coral banded shrimp, a green sort of anemone and small hermit crabs (if there are any left)  <Please don't add any more fish until this is resolved!  I would suggest removing all of the fish to a hospital tank and treating them according to the information here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm  Velvet often occurs along with ick but is much more dangerous.  Velvet attacks the gills first, and often has caused fatal injury by the time it is visible.> My husband turned to temp up to 85.3  and we've used kick ich (which seems to work a little but not totally).  <The temp increase may be beneficial, but most "reef-safe" treatments are made reef safe by recommending less than effective dosages.  This product may work well in a hospital tank at double the recommended dose, but with heavy infestation, I would probably go to copper.> Also, it seems to get worse when he stirs up the substrate (which is another problem - our rocks are covered in ugly hair..... we cant get rid of it. even after the UV sterilizer, its still growing on new rock. Any suggestions?) My husband bought copper to treat it but we have been reading your site and decided to wait for your advice. Please, any help would be greatly appreciated!  <I would always advise against using ANY medication in the display tank and in the presence of live rock.  By moving your animals to a hospital tank, you will spare exposing the life in the rock to medication and will also allow time for any parasites that remain in the tank to die (they need fish hosts to survive).  Be sure to provide biological filtration in the treatment tank!  In regards to the algae, proper water changes, maintenance of calcium and alkalinity and manual removal will allow you to beat it, but be patient!  It often takes months. Best Regards.  AdamC.> Stringy blenny  9/19.5/05 I'm writing about my 46 gallon bow...FOWLR Had a little Cyano, so I did water changes 10 percent every 5 days (looking better). tank parameters 0 - nitrite, ammonia, ph - 8.2, nitrates - 20 (ongoing tank para) tank inhabitants:  bi-color blenny, black-line blenny, molly miller blenny, 2 percula clowns, yellow goby, pygmy angel, 2 cleaner shrimp. Same fish stock for a while....all fish QT'd going in.... Here's my problem, for the past 2 weeks, my molly miller blenny has kind of "stringy" material on him, comes and goes...doesn't look like ick....is eating like a pig - (vitamin enriched pellet and frozen w/garlic) (as usual).  It has been suggested to me (by my LFS) that he may be shedding his slime coat and getting debris stuck to him (he's around the rocks) but I've had him a while and never noticed this before.  All my blenny's scratch now and then...but I know this is normal behavior... <Yes> I've got a qt set up....a fresh dip going....just in case....but just keeping an eye on it for now... BUT....have you ever seen a "stringy" blenny? <Yes... sometimes these "strings" are copepod parasites... can be treated with Clout, other compounds with anti-arthropod activity. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stringy blenny  9/20/05 Bob, <Lisa> Appreciate your extensive knowledge... but I've had him a while...several months... starting to think it is ich... <... Crypt doesn't look "stringy"> he looked pretty bad the other morning... fed him well (and he ate like a pig), FW dipped, put in 10 gallon qt...looks much better (still feeding well). Color looks good but still may not be 100%..may Fw dip again tomorrow if needed.  Is there any chance that some blennies sleep and secrete a mucus like some other fish?   <Yes... all fish are slimy... blennies more than most> My black line looks a bit "salted" around his head... ich I've seen, looks bigger than that (yet velvet takes it's course much quicker.. <... environmental...> speaking from experience).  He's a bit strange, anyhow, when he sleeps it is in the tank corners or against the rocks and ALWAYS loses color.    Incredibly interesting fish looks dead when sleeping but it is in his nature...I wonder if all black-line blennies do this? <I do think so... helps them evade predators to "blend in"> Had mine for about 6 months and he always has..... If it is ich, <Not ich...> it is a far less aggressive case than I've dealt with in the past.  This has been going on for 2 weeks....no losses.... Here's the question of the day:  Do cleaner shrimp not service certain fish?  Seems some do not have that "relationship"....   <Yes... both parties must be willing> What concerns me, is the black-line is sleeping in a different place.... tomorrow, I will buy another AquaClear filter put it on my 30g (filled with tank water from my other "ich free" tank and a powerhead for now) yet use one of my sponges from existing tank. <... would move parasites...> I will then Fw dip all the fish.   Put the black line in with the molly miller in the 10g qt, and the rest (2 percula clowns, pygmy angel, yellow clown goby, bi-color blenny) in the 30g with the cleaner shrimp (too many to qt in a small tank, and the molly miller doesn't care for the cleaners) and do continuous water changes from my ich free tank to vacuum up any potential spores.... and fresh dip as needed....I will not medicate, since all fish involved are sensitive.. except the clowns that seem fine (unless it gets worst.. everyone is feeding well) yet put my 2 cleaners in the 30g.  Good plan?  Or am I over-reacting?  Would you wait and observe longer? <I'd be looking for root cause/s... making large water changes, using chemical filtrants... looking into a larger system, better filtration. Bob Fenner>

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