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FAQs on Paravortex, Black Spot, Black "Ich", Turbellarian Worm Disease 1

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Worms, Roundworms

Related FAQs on Blackspot Disease: Black Spot Disease 2, Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... & ish Worm Diseases 1, Marine Worm Parasites 2Marine Worm Parasites 3, & FAQs on Marine Worm Parasites: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... Flukes/Trematodes, Tapeworms/Cestodes, Leeches/Hirudineans, "Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites... & Yellow Tang Disease, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, RoundwormsYellow Tangs, Tang Health/Disease

Prevention/Cure: Generally just excluding this external pest with pH-adjusted FW dips... or moving infested fishes (and others) to new settings using such a bath in-between... allowing the main/display system to go fallow (sans fish hosts) for a month or more... Extreme cases... Anthelminthics...

Surgeonfishes: Tangs for  Marine Aquariums
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

I'm not 100% sure this is black Ich.... SW parasite diag.  4/21/10
Hi crew....
I've scoured and gathered as much info as I could about black Ich around the web and especially your site. For starters, about my tank: 125g w/ 60g sump, skimmer, live rock, live sand, above the tank refugium, plus in sump refugium, 2 Koralia 4's, and mag18 return pump. Tank is Fowlr -- but has a rock w/ mushrooms that hitchhiked, very few inverts (5 or 6 hermits, 5 or 6 assorted snails). Tank has been established for 4 months, livestock were moved from a smaller tank. Inhabitants are 1 ocellaris, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 1 Firefish, 3 blue/green Chromis, 1 diamond watchman goby (added him a month ago), and 1 small pistol shrimp -- and our latest addition, a yellow tang, is the reason for this email.
First off, I did not QT (yes, I know, this is the risk I take, especially with tangs). I got him 4 days ago from my LFS. Drip and temp acclimated for 2 hours, and he's been eating clipped algae sheets, Mysis, Spirulina, anything I put in there. He's a small one.
Today, I noticed black splinter looking things...
<... splinter?>
this is why I'm emailing. I cannot get a picture -- he's camera shy.
<You need to practice>
It was suggested in a forum that it could be black Ich. There are only 2 or 3 pictures I've seen (one is that yellow tang image in your site and one is black Ich on a hippo tang),...the problem is, the ones on my tang don't look like spots...they literally look like tiny splinters of wood. Could that be the start of black Ich?
<Mmm, no... perhaps these are monogenetic Trematodes, maybe parasitic copepods...>
I also noticed a very light gash along his side. I'm thinking it could have happened while trying to scratch himself on the rocks to get rid of the parasites?
<Could be>
The little "splinters" look like the gash, except they're poking out a bit....ironically, as I write this, I'm wondering now if this could be the start of WHITE Ich...hrm..so if it is white Ich, would the scratching start before the white spots show up?
<Yes, could>
Ok, so if this is black Ich, how long before it turns into the spots that I see on the fish? Like, what comes first -- the itching or the spots?
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/blkichsympf.htm and the linked files above>
Some observations about his behavior:
- I see him brushing the sand and sometimes the rock with his pelvic fins, like he's just brushing the areas. But I could interpret them as rubbing because of the parasites.
- When I first got him, he paced up and down the tank, pressing himself against the glass..but I attributed it to just adjustment time.
Upon some research on products, I settled on getting Seachem Paraguard. I even spoke to a representative. It's not copper or formalin based.
<It's Gluteraldehyde>
It's invert safe, but with caution -- she suggested a partial dose at first to get them used to it. Since I'm Fowlr, I will just take out the shrimp, cuc, and the rock w/ the mushrooms and put them in a qt tank. I will treat the main tank.
<I would not do this>
I'm assuming the eggs have been dropped and in the substrate at this point, so I want to kill them there, too. The rep and my lfs did warn that with any meds, it will cause stress, so I'm aware that I might have some casualties, but I'm hoping it turns out well. Any opinions you might have with this product are welcome (so far, majority of the reviews raved about this product).
<People have got to learn... as in understand, that anyone writing anything on the Net doesn't make it so...>
As always, thanks for your time, crew! You guys are awesome!
<Is there a chance you have access to a low power microscope? Please search WWM re such use. Bob Fenner>

Disease Help, Paravortex?   11/15/07 Greetings from Colorado Again! <Howdy back at you from very nice and sunny San Diego> I have an LT. Tang that has started showing signs that I thought were Black Ich and it looks as if it is something else, I am including a picture of him, he went as far as to letting the cleaner shrimp hitch a ride on him while he cleaned. <The pic is not well-resolved enough to make anything out> I have scoured the search engines and have not come up on one thing it could be. My water perimeters are excellent. It looks like black scratches and his tail looks greenish and yellowish I hope that if you study the picture you can tell me something. Ammonia- 0 Nitrite is at 0 Nitrate under 5ppm Ph at 8.4 Alkalinity is at 10 Gravity at 1022 Regards, Sharon <I'd not be concerned here... if this is Paravortex (see WWM) it is not very debilitating... and easily removed. Bob Fenner>

Re: Disease Help... Paravortex... Tang f's?  11/15/07 Hi Bob- thanks so much! <Welcome Sharon> I am the one that wrote you the other day regarding my Hippo and LT. Tang and when I removed the Hippo then the black spot started to show up on my LT. It didn't look like it at first because the Black spots seemed larger that what Black Ich looked like maybe it is a strain that is bigger if there is such a thing? <No, not as far as I'm aware> I know there is a New bigger and bad white Ich out there that has to be treated differently than white spot. I am scared to give him a freshwater dip is there any way else to get rid of it other than fresh water, I just don't want to start messing with chemistry of my two tanks, I QT him last night to figure out what I am to do or do I stick him back in my MD and treat him? I have inverts so I am skeptical of all the reef safe products and advice that you have would be so appreciative, would adding formalin to the QT fix the problem and do Clown fish not get Paravortex they have been unaffected so far and so no signs of disease. Respectfully, Sharon <I would hold off period at this point. There is a very good chance this is not pathogenic... BobF>

Re: Disease Help... Paravortex f'  11/16/07 Thanks, I don't think that I will be able to save him. He is breathing rapidly after I moved him and he got banged up trying to net him. <... I would not have bagged this fish, moved it. I WOULD return it to the main display, stat!> Although his mouth is okay he now has a scrape on his side. It started to look elongated rather than Paravortex, it seems as if it is a fungus his fins now have white on then and the rest of his body looks as if someone has beat him up horribly I have never seen a black fungus though have you by chance? <... most "funguses" of marines are bacterial... some are not-white, yes> My water chemistry is more than perfect and ideal there is no mucus at all and this has just started in the last two days and his top fin is still down and only goes up when he is concerned is there anything that you might know. Respectfully Devastated, Sharon <Sharon... please review our prev. corr.... Why are you stressing this animal? BobF>

Managing black Ich, Paravortex  9/13/07 Hello crew and thanks for all the great information. I wanted to get some advice on my course of action to address black Ich on a yellow tang that has been in a 12g QT for about 1 week. I did not freshwater/pH adjust dip him before adding to the QT as he appeared to be too stressed at the time. <Okay> I have noticed a few black specs that are consistent with black Ich. Since I can't let the current QT run fallow for 4 weeks as I have no other QT, I was planning to do the following: Freshwater/pH/Methylene blue dip for 5 minutes and place in a holding container with water from the display tank for a few hours Break down the QT, toss the media and bleach sanitize for 2 hours to destroy any remaining Turbellarian Worms Setup QT with media and saltwater from the main tank and reintroduce fish The questions are as follows: Based on the FAQs, 5 minutes should be enough time for the dip but is the dip that highly effective against the Turbellarian Worm <Mmm, yes, generally they fall right off> If the black Ich persists, is chelated copper effective against Turbellarian Worm as the FAQs were unclear on this point I assume I have to restart the QT clock for 30 days? Thanks again <Mmm... I'd go the Praziquantel route myself if the pH adjusted FW dip doesn't do it. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Black spot contribution, Turbellaria on host pic    8/15/07 Hello Crew. I really don't have a question at this time, as your site has a wealth of information. Thank you. I have yet to find a decent picture of what Blackspot disease looks like and it so happens I caught a picture of my yellow tang which I think clearly shows signs of black spot disease. Please correct me if I am wrong. If you can use this picture to help other people ID Blackspot or whatever it might be please do so. Thank you again. -Jason (Clark) <Thank you my/our friend. Will post with credit to you. Bob Fenner>

Black Ich during hyposalinity? 07/23/07 Hi, <Hello there> Can a fish develop black Ich while in hyposalinity? <Paravortex? Develop? Mmm, don't know what you mean exactly... must be imported from somewhere...> I've had a Powder Brown Tang (white cheek) in quarantine for about 10 days by now. She seems generally fine, eating well and lively, but I saw a few spots (Cryptocaryon) <... maybe> the second day I had her and started hyposalinity. Tank water is at 1.009. Today I noticed a few darker spots in the yellow area by the tail. They would be hard to see on the rest of her body because of the coloration. Not sure if they've always been there and are natural or if it could be black Ich. <Likely much more to be stress markings...> But I thought hyposalinity kills black Ich! Has anyone ever heard of it developing despite it or am I just misinformed? Should I start formalin baths, or observe a little longer to see if the spots disappear (in which case it would be black Ich?)? The fish still eats well and shows no other sign of feeling off, but there are only very few of the spots. <Maybe a bit of reading... I would NOT further "treat" this animal. Bob Fenner> Best regards, Susanne
Re: Black Ich during hyposalinity? 07/23/07
Hi, <Hello> > <Maybe a bit of reading... I would NOT further "treat" this animal. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your advice! I'll just finish the quarantine and observe for now. <Ah, good... this is what I would do> -- Best regards, Susanne <And to you, BobF>
Re: Black Ich during hyposalinity?  8/27/08
Hi, <Howdy> > Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 8:16 PM > To: WetWebMedia Crew <crew@wetwebmedia.com> > Subject: Re: Black Ich during hyposalinity? > Hi, > <Hello> >> <Maybe a bit of reading... I would NOT further "treat" this animal. Bob Fenner> > Thanks for your advice! > I'll just finish the quarantine and observe for now. > <Ah, good... this is what I would do> Just wanted to send an update regarding the tang: she has been in the display tank for a week now and is happy and eating well! :) <Ah good> It took a few days of posturing between her and the Scribbled Rabbitfish, but they seem to have accepted each other now. Best regards, Susanne <Thank you for this update. BobF>

Reef-safe treatment for Black Spot I have a 55 gallon marine aquarium with about 60-70# of live rock seeded with feather dusters and baby sand sifter starfish, a few small anemones, an undergravel filter with 3" of substrate, and a few fish, including a yellow tang.  My problem is that the tang has recently come down with black spot. I would normally net it and dip him in a fresh water bath to kill the black spot, but it quickly hides in the live rock.  I don't want to pull out the rock to get to the tang because the fish have been through some stress lately due to the addition of 20# of live rock, along with the rearrangement of all the rock.   My question is whether there is any kind of black spot treatment that is reef and invertebrate safe? <Mmm, one possibility comes to mind... the use of purposeful cleaner organisms... perhaps a Lysmata species shrimp, and/or a Gobiosoma goby... no chemicals exist that are safe AND effective.>   I would like to treat the aquarium as a whole. One dealer recommends Kick Ich, and another recommends a Chem Marin product that lures the Paravortex off the tang, while increasing the tang's slime coat to prevent recurrence. <There is no such thing... am very familiar with the Turbellarian in question, its history of study (my old college roommate/friend Mike Kent generated his higher degrees studying it)... Ask around further re these "products". IMO/E they are a sham and a HUGE source of livestock loss and hobbyists leaving our interest. Bob Fenner> Thank you.
Re: Reef-safe treatment for Black Spot
Assuming I am successful in netting the tang, what is the most safe, effective product to eliminate the parasites outside the aquarium? <Easy to eradicate. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the linked FAQs (at top, in blue)... Bob Fenner>  

Treating Black Spot... So should I go ahead with the freshwater dips or wait it out and see? I'm really not sure what to do next. Blue Skies, James Smith <If the symptoms do not disappear, or become worse- I'd begin with the freshwater dips, which seem to be quite successful with this illness. Then, if these don't do the trick, you could progress to copper of Formalin based medications, per manufacturer's recommendations. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Paravortex Dear Mr. Fenner or Crew, I have read through a lot of your FAQ's regarding Paravortex (Blackspot disease), but I have a few more questions about it.  We have a Twinspot hogfish that was in quarantine for 4 weeks, and we never noticed anything unusual.  We put him into our display tank 2 weeks ago, then started noticing tiny black spots (like pepper) all over his head and along his back.  Is this going to spread to our other fish? <Maybe, maybe not... could be a trematode... or a few other possibilities... including "just melanin spots"... if it hasn't expressed itself on your other fish livestock, I doubt if it's "spreading".> It does not seem to be spreading yet, and it's been 2 weeks.  I think we just missed it because of different lighting in the 2 tanks.  Now, he is very hard to capture.  Is draining the tank a good idea to try to capture this fish to dip? <I would take a "sit and watch" approach for right now... if the fish is hard to capture, it's likely in very good shape> If we do capture and dip, do we return it to the main tank or back to quarantine? <To quarantine for a few weeks> Or, would a cleaner shrimp be a better option at this point? <Mmm, no... very likely to be a meal in short time> We are also wondering about the value of quarantining if we can't recognize some of these diseases? <You are wise here... but "time heals all wounds" or is it time wounds all heels? At any length there is value in quarantining other than identifying (or even eradicating) parasitic, infectious and other diseases> Thank you for your help and advice!  Denise and Stan Krol <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Help with Ich & Paravortex...desperate!!! Hi, I was able to find sufficient info regarding the treatment of Ich on your website, but not regarding black spots. I noticed white spots (3) on the pectoral fins of my flame angel and black spots (4 or 5) around the mouth of my yellow tang that seemed to move around between observations. <This/these are likely Paravortex... common on just-imported Yellow Tangs... easily removed by freshwater (w/ or w/o adjuncts) baths. Much on this on WWM on the species (Zebrasoma flavescens) use the marine index or the search tool at the bottom of the homepage> The flame angel doesn't scratch himself or dash around wildly like the tang, but he does approach the cleaner shrimps several times a day! Both fish have been moved to a hospital tank where they will join a Singapore angel under quarantine. <Ahh, you can do the dip/bath and place the Yellow Tang back in the main tank in about a month...> The Singapore angel shows no sign of ill health, except he is very secretive and sometimes dashes for cover for no apparent reason!!!??? Besides, with his coloration, Ich spots may not be visible. <Likely "just" behavioral... the fish is simply "spooked" at the goings on of capture, transport, finding itself in a transparent box. Try to reduce activity around the tank, leave some light on outside the system... Bob Fenner> Here's what I plan to do. Run the main tank fallow for 8 weeks at 80F and 1.024 salinity. The six cleaner shrimp will remain there. The hospital tank will be treated with a Formalin/malachite green medication as per manufacturer's instructions. And then the fish will remain there for the rest of the 8 weeks. No dips were performed to date. a) Will this kill both the Ich and black spots worms? b) Will this treatment still work if it actually was velvet that I misdiagnosed as Ich? there is no body slime.... b) Is a 15G aquarium sufficient to house a 2" flame angel, 3" tang and 2.5" Singapore angel for 8 weeks? The Singapore angel seems to dislike the flame angel and the tang, in spite of me redoing all the decorations.  This tank is at 78F and 1.021. c) Is the yellow tang such an Ich magnet as your website leads me to believe that I'm risking the health of the two angels by keeping him? Thank you for you help, Narayan

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Well? >Hi, >>Hi, I'm coming into a conversation already taking place, so forgive me if I go over stuff already covered (this is why we like to have previous exchanges included in the body - this is also likely why you ended up with me). >We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black Ich. >>Righty-oh.  Very easily eradicated. >Have read everything on freshwater dips - but haven't found the step by step for complete idiot's guide. Is this procedure appropriate? - - Add amount of reef buffer recommended for salt water to RO/DI water (do not add any salt) - Test that pH is the same as saltwater - Get temperature exactly the same - Add an airstone for 5 minutes prior to putting in Tang - Place baby Tang in the freshwater for 3 minutes - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? >>I don't know that you would really need to go with the copper, this parasite is so easily eradicated with simple hyposalinity.  A salinity of 1.010 ought to do the trick.  Also, I'd leave him in there much longer than 3 minutes, I'd give him more on the order of 10 or so. >Also, how many days should we wait before bathing the little fellow (to not add too much to his stress) - and then how often would you do the fwb? >>Bathing?  I'm going to assume that you're using this terminology interchangeably with dipping, in which case length of dip as above (forgot to add that you would do well to add Methylene blue - enough to turn the water dark blue).  I would keep the tang in the hypo for two weeks, using observation to decide at what point he seems to be clear.  As I said, this is easily dealt with.  Then, he should remain in quarantine for 30 days MINIMUM, starting from the point at which you decide that he's clear of all disease.  After that 30 days is up, begin bringing the salinity up to the tank's levels, over two or three days is good.  Dip in the freshwater as above, then he can be placed in the display.  Oh!  Garlic has not been shown at all to demonstrate any efficacy for treating Cryptocaryon irritans. >History - 1" tank raised baby Hippo Tang was put in quarantine Friday evening after a very traumatic shipping experience. Developed small black spots Saturday night and now hides in the rock about 95% of the time (we can only tell he has the spots by looking with flashlight). Has eaten a little off the live rock and nibbled a tiny bit of the Gracilaria we soaked in garlic extract - I think. Thanks, Patty PS: Sorry for constantly sending you questions! Your site is the best - the only one we trust completely! >>It's the first for me, so.. I'm not irritated at this point.  ;)  (We like our fish-minded friends, anyway.)  Be sure to keep up water quality with water changes, this is KEY.  ZERO ammonia and nitrites, nitrates under 30-40ppm is desired (obviously, the lower the better).  Best of luck!  Marina

About Tangs and Black Spot Hello, <Hi there> I've read through your website and found lots of writings related to yellow tangs and Paravortex but not an exact answer to my question. Normally, people put this fish in their display tank and it turns up with black spot.  Advice is to dip the fish and move it to a different tank to allow the parasite to die off in their main tank.  My fish is in a 20-gallon nano tank that houses a few other fish and some inverts.  My question is:  Can I dip my fish in freshwater/RO water and then immediately place it into my main tank, which has been fish-free for 3 months, without fear of reinfestation?  If this approach IS possible, how long should the dip last? <This is a sound approach. The dip should be pH adjusted and include an airstone/diffuser (specifics are posted on WWM re) and the duration be about five to ten minutes. Bob Fenner> Thank you! Julie

Getting Tough On A Parasitic Disease... I have a yellow tang which continues to develop black Ich despite repetitive fresh water dips. The black Ich will reoccur 4-6 days after the fresh water dip. I have done three dips and prior to that I used Organicure for 10 days. My tank is a 125 gallon tank, one Sailfin tang, two clowns, two cleaner shrimp, snails and crabs. All are healthy except the yellow tang. The yellow tang is in the refugium. The tank has been set up to since 1/16/04. The yellow tang was purchased 2/16/04. Contracted black Ich 4/5/04. Please offer suggestions. Is there a long term cure? <I'd consider...gulp- copper sulphate. Yes, copper can be problematic for tangs if not administered properly and monitored diligently, but it can be very successful. You need to observe the fish carefully and discontinue copper at the first sign of distress. Treatment should last no longer than the manufacturer's suggested duration, so read and follow the instructions very carefully. I generally do not recommend copper for tang treatment, but I have used it myself many times with much success in difficult-to-treat parasitic conditions such as this. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> <<Umm, the fish/host is being returned to the same/infested system... RMF>>

Population Control/Parasite Issues (Xenia, Black Ich) Hello folks, <Hi! Ryan helping you today.> Today's email has two topics.  The first finding a way to control my pulsing xenia.  My tank is as follows: -55g (will be upgrading to a 120g soon) -4+ years old -80lbs live rock -Fish:  1 coral beauty, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 yellow tang -Inverts:  1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, ~15 Astrea snails, ~5 turbo snails, ~5 red-legged hermits -Corals:  Yellow polyps, White clove polyps, blue, orange, green, pink and lavender Zoanthids, 1 toadstool leather, pink cabbage coral, red mushroom polyps, orange Ricordea, 1 mosaic mushroom polyp, various sponges, pink pulsing xenia -Parameters:  pH - 1.024, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0, temp - 79F (calcium, iodine, strontium, molybdenum, etc. all within acceptable levels) My problem is my pulsing xenia.  A little over a year ago, I bought 3, 1 inch stalks of it.  Now, I've got over 40 stalks of xenia and it's multiplying by the day.  It seems to be growing out of control, and taking over other desirable corals (the Zoanthids have a hard time fighting for position).  I plan on taking rocks covered with it back to the store for trade (I've got a great local LFS near me), but would also like to trim some back where it's growing on rocks with other animals.  The problem is, when I cut it back, it just grows back again out of the remaining stalks.  I don't want to *scrape* it off, for fear of damaging the other animals and possibly releasing toxins into the water.  It can be chiseled off of some of my rocks, but some of the rock frags are too small to split and have some really great Zoanthids on them.  Are there any other ways that this coral can be removed from rock that I've not seen? <Xenia is commonly seen re-populating previously deserted reefs...I bet you know why, huh?  It's reefer's crabgrass!  I have many friends who have similar issues with all varieties of xenia.  Pulsing Xenia seems to be a fast grower, but Anthelia is even faster in my experience.  As for removal, I would remove the entire rock from the water and scrape it clean with a plastic scraper of some type.  As you know, the smallest piece left can repopulate a xenia colony within weeks.  Scrape, and then rinse the rock with saltwater to eliminate small pieces from straggling.  Perhaps it's easier to remove the zoos first?> My next topic has to do with a case of black Ich that I recently experienced.  I purchased a yellow tang not too long ago, and quarantined him for two weeks in a 20g nurse tank.  After he showed good health and eating and absolutely NO signs of disease, I put him in my display tank. About 1 month after that, I noticed very, VERY tiny black specs (smaller than pepper) on his side.  Turned out to be black Ich.  I weighted the idea of trapping him from the display tank, but this would've wreaked havoc on the tank and would've really stressed out the fish.  I can't treat the tank with traditional methods, due to the softies in there.  So -- I did something that hadn't been recommended, but was a wonderful success.  I purchased a cleaner shrimp from my LFS.  It was a healthy specimen that had already setup a cleaning station in the LFS tank.  I brought him home and within a week's time, he had acclimated, setup a cleaning station and had removed every parasite from the tang.  The coral beauty and the wrasse have shown no signs of infection and the tang has not had a reinfestation.  This seemed like the most *natural* approach to the issue, especially since it was caught very early on and since black Ich is one of the slower diseases in terms of damaging fish.  My question is -- am I just lucky that this worked out in my favor? <Lucky so far...Parasites have a life cycle that doesn't always include hosting on the fish.  Just be on the lookout for a relapse, and have a QT tank ready.> I'd hate to think that I gambled with this fish's wellbeing, but my goal was truly to cure him in a way that caused the least stress and disruption to my system.  If this is a reasonable approach to addressing an outbreak of a parasite, I'm wondering why I don't see this type of treatment recommended more often. <They're highly unsuccessful at eliminating disease long-term.  It's similar to adding an algae eater into an algae-filled pond and saying the problem is fixed.  Even if he eats all algae on the walls, cells still exist that could re-populate the colony!  You're either lucky or have a false sense of security.> I normally only see cleaners advocated for prevention. <Yes, they are wonderful for prevention and display!  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks as always.  You folks are absolutely fantastic! Deb Colella

Freshwater Dips: Blackspot disease 12/19/04 I've been searching the site but can't find a full explanation on how to do an effective "dip".  I added a Naso tang 3 weeks ago to my 90 gallon tank (live rock, 3 cleaner shrimp, asst. hermits, 3 damsels, 1 Bannerfish, 1 brown Heniochus SP?, 1 Twinspot hogfish, 1 blue angel juvenile).  The Naso has been feeding well on brown Nori and herb pellets.  Today I noticed black spots on the head and while I understand that it is easier to clear than white Ick, I've never dealt with black before.  I want to do a dip but want to ensure that I do it correctly.  Should I also be treating the tank?  Or should I just qt the Naso and fresh water dip?  Thanks for any advice you can offer. Elizabeth Turner <the following link takes you to our archive of FAQs on the subject. But please also follow the other links on that page to other related FAQs and articles to help you.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm also... do a keyword search for "Turbellarians" to see info specifically on "Black Spot" disease. Best of luck! Anthony>

Black Ich and Powder Brown Tang I purchased a Powder Brown Tang (A. japonicus) last November and unfortunately he had Marine Ich and Black Ich.  I removed the fish and placed him in QT.  I treated the Marine Ich with hyposalinity and have not seen any reoccurrences of cysts. <Yes, easy to eradicate this Turbellarian...> I chose to treat the Marine Ich before the Black Ich as the latter seemed to be a very light infection. I have read in some cases, Black Ich has disappeared from fish during hyposalinity but I do not believe I have experienced this.  I have done 3 series of treatments using Formalin.  I followed Terry B's article ( in performing three Formalin bath's (every other day).  I did not see any major signs of improvement.  I followed up with 2 more series of bath's following the treatment found on this page: http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/formalinbaths.html The only difference is that it requires the treatments to occur 3 days apart.  I used 20 drops of Formalin per gallon (45 minute baths) in every case.  I still see some spots caused by the Turbellarian flatworm and quite frankly baffled that it could have survived all of these treatments.  Is there any chance that I am seeing something else? <Yes... could be "just spots"... melanin in cells...> Could this be some sort of "super strain?"  I considered doing some FW baths but can't imagine it would be anymore successful than the Formalin baths.  Can you give me some advice? <... I would NOT use any more formalin... too toxic, dangerous... Perhaps look into purposeful cleaners here. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks, Matthew G. Little

Freshwater Dips: Blackspot disease II 12/29/04 I actually had my security settings too high and it wasn't allowing me to search the site effectively. Not only did I find the information I was looking for but resources that I will return to for years!  Thanks so much for compiling and offering all of this insight. <excellent to hear! You are quite welcome> I did a freshwater dip on my Naso tang and am following up with quarantine and malachite green treatment and it already looks much better and is feeding well in the qt tank.  I will continue for three weeks in the qt and will then do another dip before returning it to my display tank. Thanks Again! Elizabeth Turner <A good rule of thumb is to release the specimen from QT only after 4 weeks of disease-free symptoms. kindly, Anthony> "Black ick" I would just like to say I really like your information and it's always helpful to me. Well, where to begin... I have a 55 gallon with about 100 pounds of live rock, 30 pounds of live sand, and some low light corals (I have about 3 watts per gallon, but I haven't tried difficult corals yet). Because of corals and invertebrate, I keep my salinity on the high end (1.024). Water temp is good and steady at 76. Anyway, because I have so much live rock and that I do 5 % water changes weekly, I have very good water quality. Can honestly say I have never had a big spike, other than phosphates a while ago. I do quarantine new fish for 3-4 weeks before adding them to my main tank. I  learned that mistake when I first started. All of my fish died from marine velvet, last year, because I did not quarantine. Now I am very shocked that I noticed that my yellow tang has black ick. I don't understand how he got it because my set up is good, diseases should not get in. <Is strange... some Paravortex must've been in the system all along> However I read that black ick is like velvet, in that it multiplies in the substrate, thus it probably will spread to my other fish. <Mmm, no... this Turbellarian almost exclusively infests Zebrasoma tangs... sometimes other tangs...> Yesterday I put my tang, potters angel, and royal Gramma in a low salinity quarantine tank. Before doing so, I gave my tang a freshwater dip, because he was the only one showing signs of black ick. I intend to keep them in quarantine, giving freshwater dips daily, until the problem is subdued. <Should only take one dip... Please read on WetWebMedia.com re... you can use the search tool on the homepage> I want to know if my Clark Clown fish will be fine, if left in the main tank? <Yes> I heard that they are very disease resistant, does this include black ick? I also didn't want to take him out of the main tank because of his anemone. I bought him at a very young age and immediately he was attached to the long tentacle. I also heard that it can be very stressful for both fish and anemone to separate. Should I take my clown out and "treat" him also? <No> Is there anything, other then freshwater dips and garlic in the food, that I can do, without copper ( I don't like using copper because I think it's to harmful)? Lastly, I want to know how long it will take for the "black ick" to be completely gone from my main tank. For marine velvet I waited about 5 weeks before adding fish. Do I have to keep my fish quarantined this long? Any other suggestions would be very helpful also. Thank you very much and I apologize for grammar and spelling, it's not my strongest area. <No need to panic... just read over re on WWM, leave the definitive host absent for a month or more... Bob Fenner>

Clarkii Clown with Black Ich, No Quarantine Hello, <Hi> Love the site, thanks for all the info and help in the faq's. The question I have pertains to my Clarkii clown. I introduced an Emperor Angel and a Moorish Idol a few weeks ago, and both seem to be doing great, having a small itch outbreak, but raised the temp and am lowering the salinity as we speak.  <No Q/T??>  My Clarkii started developing black spots on his body and fins. I think it might be the black spot disease, but I am not sure as that usually pertains to tangs. <Nope all fish can get Blackspot, tangs are just the most notorious for getting anything first.>  I have a 100 gallon with live rock, sand, refugium, all my water parameters seem to be fine. <Seem to be fine does not tell me anything... We really need the numbers of all the tests to help.>  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Graham Hebson <Well Graham, Blackspot is treated just like Ich. lower the salinity, and raise the temperature. if the hyposalinity (1.011 by the end) does not work, I would treat the clown with an anti Ich medication like formalin or copper in q/t. Also please q/t all fish prior to adding them to your display for at least 4 weeks to keep diseases from spreading.> <Justin (Jager)>

Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich Hello there, <Howdy> I know you are very busy so I will get to the point.  <Good> We have had our yellow tang about 3 weeks, eating well, enjoy his life. Today I noticed that he has black spot that seem to protrude. Almost as if you touched him you could feel the bumps. <You have sensitive touch!> I tried to find that description in your numerous responses but did not. And a little fraying on his lower fin. My water levels are all in check. Do have a problem with brownish/red algae that I am trying to control. Can you point me in the right direction.  <Yes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the Related Disease FAQs linked above...> His tankmates include 1 blue damsel, 1 Chromis, live rock, 2 crabs, 2 peppermint shrimp and 1 anemone. It is a 30 gallon tank. <.... Erk! This tank is too small for this fish...> I am new and reading a lot and found out patience in adding new fish is must. <Ahh, correct!> I lost 2 clowns in the beginning from lack of knowledge of water quality and 1 from white Ich which I did a freshwater dip. Not a good turn out on that, don't prefer to do that again. This is my daughter's (8 yrs old) Tang, used her b-day money for it I really do not want him to die she will be heart broken. <I as well> Also so can you suggest a good book with how to treat disease and algae control methods. <Mmm, there is plenty actually on WWM re both these topics... and the Net is currently much easier to access such information> Thanks so much Tina <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich (treatments)
Thanks for the response and believe it or not I was able to get rid of the black Ich. Based on a ton of information I read on your website, I chose to try the freshwater dip and it worked. For anyone thinking to try this really read about it and follow it exactly, I did not have that information the one other time I tried and had failure sorry to say. It has been 6 days since the dip and he is back to his perky little self again and spot free.  <Good> Oh, I do not know if this may help anyone and correct me if I am not right. But if it can help someone else great. I have read where people have had great success with adding garlic to their diet. I had tried that early with a fish for 1wk to remove white Ich with no response to the garlic then did the freshwater dip which failed. I read that if a fish dies after a correctly done freshwater dip that there is probably a secondary infection. This time I chose not to do the garlic and went right for the dip within a day of the spots appearing. I think this may have stopped the disease from getting worse. This is just a observation on part for what worked for me. Have a great memorial day. Tina <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner> 

Paravortex "Black Spot Disease"  11/11/05 WWM Crew, Recently my Yellow tang showed signs of Black Spot Disease (little black dots covering its entire body) after a few days they were gone, and then a few days later they were back.  I hope my diagnosis was correct.  I followed Mr. Fenner advice from the book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (great book) and gave the Tang a fresh water bath (pH adjusted & aerated) for 10 min and it did very well and knocked off all the black spots. <Good> After the bath I put it in a 20gal by itself.  Two weeks later there are no signs of Black Spots.  First question, how long should I keep the tang in the 20gal before putting it back into the main tank? <About another two weeks> Second question, how long will the Paravortex survive without a host? <A few weeks typically> Third, are my fish in the display tank (72gal bow) at risk for contracting the disease? Currently in the tank I have 1 Bicolor Angel 6" (doing very well contrary to reputation), 2 True Perculas (pair), 1 Lawn Mower Blenny, 2 Blue/Green Chromis, and 1 Yellow Tail Damsel. <Mmm, there is a possibility these fishes might act as "reservoir hosts"... Ideally, all would be processed per your Tang, isolated, the infested system allowed to run fallow for a month...> I practice good maintenance; all tanks (3) get a 10% water change twice a week and parameters are stable and were they should be.  Please lend me some advice, my Bicolor Angel misses the Tang and likewise for the Tang. They are good buddies. Thanks in advance, Bryan <Heeee! Soon to be reunited. A thought... adding a purposeful cleaner... perhaps a Lysmata Shrimp or a Gobiosoma goby... might add interest to your system as well as utility here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Paravortex "Black Spot Disease"  11/12/2005
Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the information. I guess I should have mentioned that I do have one Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp in the tank as well as a few soft corals, one Bubble Tip Anemone (opposite end of tank from corals), Black/Red star, and other hermits and snails.  <Ah, yes, thank you> I sure hope that the others are not acting as a reservoir host, they show no signs. The cleaner shrimp has been cleaning the Bicolor Angel regularly. He also cleans the Chromis too. I think I will leave the Tang out for another 3-4 weeks just to make sure. Thanks again. Bryan <If this doesn't work out (this time) it is not that big of a deal to "re-do"... Paravortex is not "very debilitating". Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Black Ich???   12/8/06 Hello folks,    <Robert>   Get on you reading glasses, this is gonna be a long one..........    <Got them on>   I have a concern about my marine fish that you will probably have an answer for, and it deals with Black Ich. <The Turbellarian? Paravortex?> I think.  See, I just got up close to my fish tank for the first time in a couple of days, and I noticed what appears to be a parasite on my Yellow Tang and Percula Clown.  In my experience with fresh water fish, it appears to be my old pal Ich paying a visit, but it instead of it being white, it is black and very small....smaller than a grain of salt.  There is a healthy colony on both of these fish mentioned, my others don't appear to have anything (Royal Gramma, Scooter Blenny (I know you hate to hear about these in captivity, <Mmm, no... not at all... if given/provided with adequate habitat, companions, opportunity for foods...> but I bought one that eats frozen foods regularly from both the fish dealer and now me, but then again, who knows....his days could be numbered), <All of ours to a degree...> and a neon goby.  There are some other inhabitants including a brittle star, emerald crab, a handful of snails.  I also have some random corals that came on my live rock, and that appear to be doing quite well (blue mushroom polyps, various zoos, and a rather large colt coral that was a gift) and some Red Sea Xenia.      <A not-atypical "garden" variety mish-mash of cnidarians>   Let's cut to the chase. <Love that term>   I did some research and I have filled my mind with all that I can find about Black Ich and how it is more common in Tangs, but can spread to other species readily. <Yes, tis so> However, I can not find any pictures anywhere online to positively ID what I have found. <Surprising... not an uncommon phenomenon... a situation/relationship IMO twixt commensalism and parasitism>   There is no pattern to the "infection", and all the spots seem to be independent organisms. <Bingo> With a brief description, that is really all that there is to it.        Is this enough to describe to you what I have in my tank to give it a positive ID? <Mmm, no... microscopic examination is definitive... Not hard to do> Or can you at least steer me in the right direction for identification?    <Edward Noga, "Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment">   Next, let's talk treatment.  Even if I QT the fish, I still have about 60 pounds of live rock and another 80 pounds or so of sand.  I'm sure that the little black critters are setting up shop in the hiding spaces.  How can I get rid of these while salvaging the corals and such? <Mmm... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm and the next FAQ file linked above in the series> Are there any treatments that I can apply to the tank with all the corals and fish left inside? <None that are efficacious and "reef safe", no> I have read about a product called "Revive" ( http://www.fishvet.com/7.html) that claims to be the "end all" super cure (highly unlikely I suspect, but if I knew everything I wouldn't be looking for advice!) that can be applied directly to the tank without hurting the fish or corals or anything for that matter.      <Is not useful>   Shit.  Is there a simple cure? <You kiss your mum with that mouth? Potty mouth... Some fave lines from an old Nat'l Lampoon record... Uh, yes... isolation of all fish hosts from the infested system for several weeks, a simple pH-adjusted FW bath protocol to alleviate them of Paravortex enroute to elsewhere...>   Is there any power in prayer or will I have to be more assertive in this situation.      <Twelve jumping jacks, eye of a newt, barking at the full-moon at midnight... That sort of thing? Nah!>   What are my major concerns here? <Really? Debilitation, disruption of a sort of balance... I'd try availing yourself of purposeful cleaners (see WWM re) and see if this "does it" enough for you/them> I haven't learned of anything too dire, but I imagine it sucks for the fish and I want to destroy these black things.  Everything I am reading seems very loose ended on the situation.  Help me in leading a full on assault.  Together, we can abolish this.    <The "war" on... crime, terror, drugs? More nonsense simple servant notions? No thanks>   How's that for pep.  But really, I need some help here before it gets out of control.  Thanks guys!  I love your site.      Jon <Read on my brother, read on. Bob Fenner>

Clown black spots... Paravortex?  10/7/06 Hi everyone, <Alan> I have had a pair of ocellaris clowns now for about 4 years, they have had black spots on and off over this period.  I never really worried about it since most people say it is common. <Yes>   Lately though I got curious about it since it didn't seem to come and go with their ever changing choice of "hosts" in the tank.  I had read one account that said this was caused by a kind of bruising as they adjusted to their new homes. <Mmmm> In the last few weeks it was getting pretty heavy on them and I even saw a few other parasites on them.  Since I hadn't added anything to the tank in over a year, and QT everything that did go in I found it strange.  Thought maybe the two were connected somehow.  Now there were no spots on the white bars only on the orange portions of their bodies.  But to deal with the white spots they were taken out and are now in a 10 gal tank.  On the way in they got a FW dip for about 10-12 min.  Within a min or two all of the black spots were gone. <Interesting...> I have seen this before only at work in treating yellow tangs with the black spots caused by a parasitic flatworm. <Yes, these two might have been Paravortex> It was fast just like happens to them.  But everything I read says clowns are not likely hosts for this parasite, and neither the two spot hogfish (B bimaculatus), or the orchid Dottyback (P fridmani) were affected, <Mmm, actually... see Noga, Ed... Fish Diseases, Diagnosis and Treatment... some seven families, 135 species of fishes can/do serve as hosts> and this has been going on for years in their company.  Well I went to work, and we have a large pair of ocellaris, who also have had black spots for as long as I can remember, dipped them and they were gone in minutes.  My fish came from a different store about 100 miles away from the one I work at since I moved.  Seemed strange to me that maybe this isn't as harmless as is thought, and I wish I had more clowns to try it on.  I also wish there was some way to find out how long clowns with spots live compared to ones without. <This Turbellarian doesn't seem to be "too debilitating" as a "space parasite"... Or, imagine, there are many "levels" or teleologically "stages" to becoming a "real" parasite, and this flatworm is "just a beginner"...> But there is a question, how long should I let the tank go without fish how to starve out the parasites? <At least a few weeks... likely a month or more if the system is/was "well-established"... as I suspect that these "semi" parasites can live by other means...> And if it is a flatworm of some kind would something like flatworm exit do anything? <Most of these "remedies" are not... They're dismal fakery...> Or maybe Prazi? <Maybe> I have used that with good results on tangs that didn't seem bad enough to warrant a FW dip.  Anyways I am gonna be late for class, I apologize if I made a few grammatical errors in my rush. AJ <Mmm, au contraire. Thank you for this report. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Dips and Black Spot Disease  - 08/26/06 Hello, <Hi there> I'm looking for help in treating black spot disease in my 90 gallon fish only quarantine tank. It has been running for 6 months now. I'm using a Marineland Emperor 400 for filtration and a couple of powerheads for circulation. The water parameters are at 0 ppm for ammonia and nitrites, 8.2 for Ph and around 10-15ppm for nitrates. The water temperature is kept around 80.5 degrees. For the past 8 weeks, I have kept a white-faced surgeonfish, a black percula clownfish, a lawnmower blenny, a royal Gramma, and a Firefish in this tank. Over the last 2 weeks, I have lost a black percula clownfish and a Lubbock's wrasse. Up until the 24 hours before they died, both of them were active and eating well. However, since I purchased the fish, some of them have been breathing slightly heavier than normal, and when the 2 fish died, their breathing was rapid. <Mmm, not usually a symptom of Paravortex parasitization> I haven't been able to see any noticeable signs of disease on any of the fish other than the white-faced surgeonfish, who had visible tiny black spots on his body. For 8 weeks, the fish have been treated with (nonchelated?) copper from the Red Sea test kits. <Oh, is a symptom of copper stress> I've kept it at .15-.20ppm; the last few weeks I've kept it closer to .15ppm. The copper wasn't helping much with the black spots on the surgeonfish, <Mmm, nope... usually doesn't> and I started reading on your web site to do freshwater dips as a treatment. <These do> I decided last night to try dipping the white-faced surgeonfish and the lawnmower blenny since the surgeonfish had the spots and the blenny's breathing has been heavy. Well, I obviously made some fatal mistakes with the freshwater dip because the surgeonfish did not make it. Before I did the dip, I put about a 1/2 teaspoon of buffer to a couple gallons of water, added a powerhead, and waited 15 minutes. The water was about a degree warmer than my tank, and I'm not sure what the Ph was because it was not a color on the test kit chart. The kit I was using was old, and I'm thinking that the Ph of the water was too high since I added too much buffer. <Maybe. I encourage folks to use simply Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) as its kOH) is so low as to make it virtually impossible to drive the pH too high> I mistakenly proceeded to do the dips anyway, and dipped the surgeonfish for three 5 minute dips over 40 or 45 minutes, with one final 10 minute dip. <Usually one immersion will "do it"> I only gave the blenny three five minute dips. The blenny was ok and active when I put him in the tank; however, the surgeonfish's eyes were cloudy, it's breathing was heavy, and it had some white scrape-like spots on its body. Could ammonia have built up in the bucket and caused this or was the ph too high? <Mmm, not likely> The fish were eating a few hours before I did the dip. I would appreciate your help. I don't want to kill any more of my fish. Thanks, Jenny <One dip, pH-adjusted, with Baking Soda... The cause of the loss of the original Cirrhilabrus and Clown... something else. Bob Fenner>

Danger of disease with too little practical knowledge, bunk advice I have a 55 gallon tank, which has been up and running again for a little while...(4 months?)  Anyway, we have crushed coral on the bottom, and some coral and rocks for decoration/hiding/shelter.  Our water has been checking out fine when we do a test at the store.  (the only test kit we have is the PH one)   <First Dave, take responsibility for knowing your water, get an ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH/alkalinity test kit(s) and learn to test your water. Your fish store may or may not be able to really help you.> Our fish are 1 yellow tang, 1 orange tailed blue damsel (don't know his official name, but he is not the yellow-tailed ones), 1 Clarkii clown fish, 1 juvenile Emperor angel and 1 cleaner wrasse.  (Okay, I have only just begun to read about how this is a bad fish to get, but was trying to solve the tang's problems)  Oh, and our filter is an Eheim canister style filter (says 2213 on it?)  and we have a bubbler stone with little pump just for nice bubble look off to the side. Okay, here is the problem.  Our yellow tang looked great when we first got him. (this was after cycling our tank with damsels and then returning all but the orange tailed guy)  Then a few days later developed tiny tiny black dots all over.  Checked it out and talked to our fish guy.  He said it was the Hawaiian black spot parasite and he recommended a fresh water dip.  I did that and they went away.  Then of course they came back, I now am beginning to read and understand about the life cycle of the parasites.  Because they kept coming back the fish store people had me treat the tank with Marine Aquaria NO ICH treatment for 2 weeks. <FIRE your LFS and do not buy this snake oil stuff anymore!!! PLEASE go to the disease pages of WetWebMedia.com and read about *why* you are getting this disease and how to get your system back in order. Also, please read about and obtain a quarantine tank large enough for all your fish. Read about quarantine and marine stocking at WWM too!> Well, all looked well so after the treatment cycle we bought the emperor angel.  I mentioned to them that I thought I saw one or two new dots, and they agreed that a cleaner wrasse would help.   <See my advice above and give me a double. Give them the broom, they are not only rip offs, but they sold you a fish that you now know doesn't have a good survival record AND is endangered.> Sure enough, that day the wrasse ate them off, and I thought we were out of the woods.  Now here we are a week later, and the yellow tang has 4-5 tiny dots again.  and the wrasse is not eating them.  She is eating everything else we feed the fish (we primarily use the frozen formula two food, but to ensure the Emperor would eat, we got some brine shrimp)   <Brine shrimp is fine to get fish eating, but do switch to Mysis shrimp and another form of nutritious food, brine shrimp is the Wonder Bread of fish foods, no, it's more like Twinkies. IOW, it has no nutritive value.> I did another fresh water dip on the tang, for 5-7 minutes.  He looked fine in there the whole time, but is looking definitely stressed now.  His breathing was quite rapid, and he was in his stress darker color mode.  He is fortunately looking a bit better now, but not much. What also worries me is now our Emperor angel is lingering in the bubbles on occasion, and I am afraid he is getting something now. I just did a 15% or so water change today, and put the carbon back in the filter (was out during the treatment)  But things just seem off.  I am afraid we are going to wake up to all our fish dead.  Oh yeah, the wrasse is not looking so good anymore.  Having trouble staying straight in the water, and holding her mouth open a lot. (her name is Alice, by the way, from the Brady Bunch.) So there we have it.  Spare me no details, although I already know some of the major mistakes we have made.  (No quarantine tank being the biggest I think)  Help save our fish! Becky <I would look up black spot disease on WetWebMedia.com and treat as per directed there, in a QT tank, this is common for Yellow Tangs. You may also have another parasite or water condition that you don't see or can't test for, (ick/velvet) and wastes (esp. ammonia/nitrite) and pH/salinity/temp. I would recommend a QT tank along with tests for water parameters as these may be problematic/causative with all fish listless.  Also search on Google search at WetWebMedia.com on ick/velvet treatment as this may be problem with new additions to black spot. I know you won't add any more fish without a proper quarantine, will you?  It may take a month or two to get all straightened out. Make good use of the QT and disease pages of WWM!  Best of luck!  Craig>

Black spots on a clownfish >hi, >>Hi, Ben. >I had a quick question.  I've got a percula clownfish that over the last week has developed a bunch (10+) black spots all over it's body (some up to 3 mm).  No particular location - just all over.  Besides these spots, the fish seems quite healthy and has a voracious appetite, swims normally, and hangs out in a colt coral it has hosted to.  The only thing that has been different recently is that I installed 2 new lights about a week ago (2 x 96W PCs, one 6500k and the other an actinic).  Could the fish be 'sunburned'?   >>You know, I've never heard of a fish being sunburned unless it was actually out of the water.  This sounds more like a disease that's much more common on tangs, especially yellow tangs--black spot disease.  It's a parasite, and very easily dealt with via freshwater dipping.  Just be sure the water is matched for temperature and pH, and all should go well.  Minimum dip time would be on the order of 5 minutes, but I always watch the fish (they can often go longer).  Erect fins are a sign it's time to pull them out of the freshwater dip, but they will breath rapidly and "lose their balance", all common with f/w dipping. >Although I had decreased the photoperiod from 12 to 8 hrs, some polyps didn't like the change and they retracted until they were relocated to the bottom of the tank.  Have you seen this before? >>To be expected with the inverts, they do indeed tend to "burn", so reduction of photoperiod OR moving the lights and/or the inverts away (then moving closer/increasing photoperiod as they adjust) until everything has adjusted is the order of the day. >thanks, Ben >>You're quite welcome, and best of luck to you.  Marina

Go Spot, Go! (Marine "Black Spot" Disease) Can a UV Sterilizer kill black ick? <It may potentially kill some free-swimming parasites, but you really need to treat the affected fishes with medication, such as copper sulphate, in a separate "hospital" tank, along with some freshwater dips> Can black ick kill my yellow tang if left untreated? <Sure, Parasitic diseases can eventually move into the gills and other vital tissues, and cause severe stress for the fish, weakening them. If it doesn't kill the fish, it could leave it open to secondary infections. Should I be concerned for my Jawfish or Bi-color Blenny?, they have shown no signs of it while the tang has. <Well, Tangs are particularly susceptible, but, this being a parasitic malady- it can affect everyone in the tank. I would go for the "fallow" tank route like we so often recommend at WWM. All fishes in this tank are potential victims, and you should take this stance when you are contemplating treatment options here> Can blenny and gobies have freshwater dips? Or is it to stressful? <These fishes can be freshwater dipped (I am a big blenny/goby fan, and I FW dip all of my new arrivals without problems). The dip procedure is certainly a potentially stressful one; that's part of its advantage as a prophylactic/supplemental treatment technique. It induces some osmotic shock, which the parasites can't handle nearly as well as the fish! If performed carefully, freshwater dips are a great technique to use> Thank you Sensitive fish guy. James DeHoff <Finally, some one besides Nadine calls me "sensitive"- Gotta love that! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Parasitic Disease... Black Spot Hi, I am new to the board but not new to reef tanks or fish. I have a question about a chocolate tang that was purchased 2 or 3 months ago. It came from a LFS and looked healthy and happy. Clear eyes, fins and eating well but it was in copper. I have a 4 year old tank with tons of macro algae and I feed Nori daily. No more than a day after the tang was in my tank it had small black spot on its fins. My parameters are perfect other than my salinity was much higher than the LFS but I took time to acclimate the fish. I have used broad spectrum anti biotic (fresh water Maracyn) and the patches disappear leaving a lighter colored skin under it. I also used garlic soaked Nori with almost the same results. As soon as the treatment stops the fish has them again. It can turn its self from a all yellow to a black face in a matter on seconds so I do not know if its gills are supposed to be dark or if there is an infection causing this. There adult color is much darker and I believe its beginning to change now. The fish is calm eats well does not really ever scratch and comes out even when the net is inches from it. That is why I am leaning to treating in the tank. I do not see a reason to stress it further by trying to catch it and move it to another tank. My questions are has anyone had a similar problem? Should I just try and medicate longer with the Maracyn than I have before because I just followed there instructions and quit when I was told. I have heard tangs can develop spots to make them look less appealing for predators is this true? <Not in this case. Go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and read/follow procedures for worms/black spot disease.> I also have two huge dusky Jawfish that could be grabbing the tang and cutting fins leading to infections. I am mentioning this because I have came home a few times and seen the fins ripped a little and I have seen the tang back up to them and swing its spike. <As long as it isn't too serious....minor pressure is alright, but do not let this escalate to stressful or dangerous conflict.> I am moving to a 180g within a few months so they would not see each other as much but I do not want to transfer the infection if that's what it is. Thanks, Adam <Treat as per parasites page at WWM.  Use a QT now and in the future!  NO main tank intros without QT!!!!!  Good luck!  Craig>

Re: Tang Scratching Normal? >Thanks for the reply Marina, after much searching I'm coming to the conclusion that these spots were some type of nematode don't know if they were what caused the demise. After looking at it a bit more I can see them causing the scratching but they weren't around the gills or any critical portion of the fish. Just sitting under the skin. >>You're quite welcome, even though I'm sorry I have provided little/no help.  I did forward your email to some others (as noted), and I spent a good 45 minutes this morning doing some searching, but everything I found indicated that one would have some other external symptoms, not just the creatures you observed subcutaneous.  In one of the links I found, they did note, however, that with Trematodes (can't recollect which ones right now) copper wouldn't garner results, I believe they did outline what would help, though.  I'd consider q/t'ing the others ASAP and treating.  Good luck!  Marina <Curiosity begs the question: have you any training (biology or medical, perhaps) that has given you access/skills in performing a post-mortem?  The vast majority of hobbyists don't have tools/equipment for such a procedure.> Other than some biology classes years ago in college not really.  I've been an avid fisherman and fish keeper most of my life so kinda know what's supposed to be there and what's not. Post-mortem was done with some Exacto knives and a 30x microscope from Radio Shack that I keep around to check out small life forms in the tank. Thanks Paul Re: Tang Scratching Normal? >Hey again, >>Good morning, Paul. As you see above, I'm sending this to some others on "The Crew". >Thanks for the info this is just an update not a very happy one but am on a fact finding mission. Found the hippo this morning dead in his favorite hidey hole.  >>That was a rather quick demise. What a shame. >While performing an autopsy found small black worm like organisms under his skin. There is no visible head or tail just a skinny worm all coiled up. (can't get a picture as they are too small for naked eye) I know this isn't much info for an ID but was just wondering if anyone would care to make a guess on this. (am worried for the other fish in the tank.)  >>I would worry as well. I personally am not familiar at all with this, clearly one would have to guess parasitic infection of some sort. I own one book one fish diseases, not-so-handily stored away. I'm going to kick this to Bob (or anyone else willing) and see what they think. I've never experienced anything like this. Curiosity begs the question: have you any training (biology or medical, perhaps) that has given you access/skills in performing a post-mortem? The vast majority of hobbyists don't have tools/equipment for such a procedure. >There were no external signs (other than scratching) before he expired, eating, breathing, swimming normal. >>Yes, I remember. This is, at this point, quite puzzling. I'm sorry, and am also concerned for the rest of your residents. I'm going to suggest trying some other sites as well, http://www.reefs.org (the archives, library, and forums), http://www.thereeftank.com IIRC there are some folks with scientific backgrounds who frequent these places. One gentleman by the nick of Galleon is one such who comes to mind. (He knows me as Seamaiden should you find him.) I'm in the process of searching via Google, I've found this initial link-->  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FA033 And some others that may (or may not be) helpful. http://www.petlibrary.com/marinetrematodes.htm http://www.wonbrothers.com/product/DrAqua/parasitic_diseases.htm http://www.mysteries-megasite.com/main/bigsearch/parasites.html Best of luck to you! Marina >Thanks again, Paul >P.S. There is a utility out on the web called REEFCON http://www.infinitysoft.net/ReefCon/ that is GREAT for logging and keeping track of your tank. It also has a very nice reference section with pictures and some info on keeping for a ton of critters. Will also control X-10 equip if you have it. I suggest this to all my friends who keep tanks as there is a free version and the pro version ($19.00 for one version or $32 for current and all upgrades) cheap in my book. >>Thank you, we'll pass this on! >>Folks, I am entirely unfamiliar with what this man has described in his post-mortem on his Hippocampus. Anyone who has any ideas, or is familiar. ANYTHING, please weigh in with your opinion. I'm having little luck finding information on anything but the most common maladies one may experience with their specimens. Could we be talking about monogenean Trematodes (flukes) of some sort? Thanks, Marina<< <A distinct possibility. Is there someone you can borrow a 30 or higher microscope (dissection type preferably) to give you/us an idea of the gross morphology of these worms? Bob Fenner>
Re: Tang Scratching Normal?
I may be able to go to the local Community College and borrow a microscope for an hour or so, if not have some friends that work at a hospital and will see if I can sneak in there with a sample. *grin* Will see about that in the next few days and see if I can get a picture. <Good. If you can, bring a single edged razorblade (or scalpel) to make a cross section near the head end (a tri-radiate esophagus is indicative of nematodes for instance)> (have frozen the fish we'll see how well the samples kept) All other fish in the tank still looking good. Once again the dots look like a black ropey worm all coiled up in a clear membrane. After opening the membrane the animal that comes out is about 1-2mm long and looks kinda like a very skinny black earthworm. Thanks Paul <Likely Cestodes (tapeworms), but we'll see. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tang Scratching Normal?
Hello again, Well just got back some info from an instructor at the local CC where I sent the sample with a friend.  Good call Bob he said that it was some kind of tapeworm but didn't know the exact species and that he didn't think that they would have caused the death of my fish. <Maybe a contributor to some extent> So I guess this is one of those that I'm just going to have to chalk up to experience and make sure that the wife doesn't buy me any more fish presents *grin*.  Thanks for the help must say I'd have a lot harder time getting this tank started without your book and the web site. thanks again Paul <Glad to be of assistance> P.S. Just got Anthony's book in the mail and am looking forward to studying it so I can get planning on my coral to add to this tank and am waiting for the new book to arrive. <Know you will enjoy, benefit by them. Bob Fenner>

Kill them all? WWM Crew - I'm starting to collect a library of strange advice from my LFS. I bought a very nice juvenile Yellow Tang from them, which I did not inspect that well before hand. A few days later it has black-Ich (Turbinella worms?) and is in a quarantine tank ready to start the best treatment I can (copper? Formalin? Daily FW dips?) <I'd recommend Formalin and FW dips... see more here (follow FAQ links at top of page too: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > When I told the LFS about this, the senior reef guy pulled me aside and whispered, "Take it out and kill it. I'm the only one here that will tell you this. Don't put any more tangs in your tank for 6 months." <he is mistaken... Black Spot on tangs is very curable... and limited in infectious rates> Of course I'm not going to do this, I'll either cure the fish in the QT or let the worms kill it. It's strange getting this kind of advice, since it makes no sense from a customer-oriented business standpoint, from an animal husbandry standpoint, and from the have-patience-and-never-give-up-attitude standpoint that is necessary for successful reef/combo tanks. <agreed> Plus, searching the literature leads me to believe that black-Ich (black-spot) is not that hard to cure anyways .... ? <quite correct> I've read this page : http://wetwebmedia.com/yellowtf.htm and it seems to confirm that it is not _that_ bad. I'm not sure there's a question here, unless you have any ideas about a.) the best treatment to start it on, and b.) why would I get this kind of advice? Thanks, SLC <I do believe you will be fine with the treatments commonly prescribed for the former on the pages you have seen/researched... as to the latter question, simple misinformation that the clerk carries on and alas... has not challenged himself to reconsider/look higher. Best regards, Anthony>

Black spot disease outbreak? Good Evening WetWebMedia crew members. <Yawnnnnn! Good morrow to you> I have recently traded a blue line trigger for a yellow tang (+ a Kole) since the trigger grew to 8 inches long and started becoming highly aggressive. My system is 157 gallons with mostly soft corals. Problem is that when I was at the LFS, under their normal fluorescent lights, I was unable to see 3 little black dots on the yellow tang that I immediately spotted when I placed him in the main tank (under 450 VHO watts). The LFS guy said not to fresh water dip the fish because it would stress it out, if not kill it. <... which is more stressful? To you, the fish? To have your system infested with Turbellarians? Or a simple dip/bath? Bad call.> I also do not favor this method too much because I lost another yellow tang to an 8 min fresh water dip 3 years ago - as soon as I placed him back in the tank his buoyancy got messed up and sank to the bottom, only to die a few minutes later. <Was the freshwater (presumably) dip water pH adjusted? Aerated?> So, I properly acclimated yellow tang Number 2 and introduced him into my setup, since I had no quarantine tank. Since day 1 (1 month in my tank), the yellow tang has had 2 outbreaks with the black dots. He doesn't scratch, eats well (has devoured all my Caulerpa algae and does not appear to be skittish.) I have attempted several times to catch him, however, it is impossible to lure him with food.. he constantly hides (well, I'd do the same thing If I were him). My question is, is this disease deadly since he eats well, and all behavior seems to be normal? <Not "very" deadly... just persistent, semi-debilitating> Will he ever recover by himself if not treated / left in the tank? <Mmm, not likely... the "tank has the disease" now... a balance can be struck with biological cleaners (Lysmata Shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies...), but Paravortex will live in a tang-free environment for months at times... w/o hosts> I hate to tear off the tank completely to catch him ( I have 25 corals + 120 lbs of LR. I have read this Paravortex flatworm or whatever, does not affect other fish (currently I have 2 other tangs with the yellow one) but it's hard to get rid of.  <Yes, you are correct> If the fish does not deteriorate due to the flatworm, do I still need to remove him from the tank? <Mmm, no> Any advice on what to do would greatly be appreciated. WWM site is simply invaluable. Thanks for your help, Dimitris <I do wish we could go back in time... I could convince you to at least quarantine this Yellow Tang.... if not dip it... I would go the cleaner route here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black spot disease outbreak?
Hello Bob, <Dimitri> Thanks for writing back. How's the weather in San Diego? <Bunk, overcast... been a very rainy winter...> I live in Largo, FL.. similar weather but very humid most of the time  <Very nice> I did purchase 3 peppermint shrimp to fight this... <Mmm, not Peppermints... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm> ...so hopefully they'll do their thing. Yes, I agree with the fresh water dip but I had a bad start with the other yellow tang, so I was naturally afraid (I also listened to the LFS guy ). I just wish the supplier(s) in HI would actually dip the fish before they ship them over to the LFSs (could have saved me a lot of headaches). Dimitris <Yowzah! You're so right... this is a campaign issue I've been waging for going on thirty years in the trade... Really makes not sense not to... to bump off your customers... their livestock... over such a simple procedure... Bob

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