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FAQs on Marine Velvet, Amyloodiniumiasis 2

Related Articles: Marine Velvet, Parasitic Disease Copper Use, Formalin, Formaldehyde Use,

Related FAQs: Marine Velvet 1, Marine Velvet 3, Marine Velvet 4, & FAQs on Amyloodinium/Velvet: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... & Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease


More Velvet Blues >Hey Bob, >>Wrong Bob, you've got Marina tonight. >Hope the holidays were parasite free for you. >>Indeed. >I myself on the other hand believe I have some nasty parasites in my tank. >>Not good. >Clowns and Damsels appear to be coated with little spots that look like sugar. -rapid breathing -scratching -hanging out near top of tank >>You sure make it sound like velvet - you'll need to act FAST. >I have my 20 QT tank running a cycle ( I cycled with live sand, bacteria, and the old filter pads from main tank) >>Cycling is a moot point when medicating, especially for something such a velvet.  Handle nitrogenous wastes by water changes. >-Ammonia is .5 ppm and nitrates are 15ppm (On way down.  Was at  1 for ammonia and 20 ppm for nitrates).  I am waiting for the levels to go down before I quarantine.  Do not want to take the fish from parasite tank to ammonia tank. >>You wait they die.  The bacteria are going to die during medicating anyway.  Search our site on "velvet" for treatment options - they would include hyposalinity and freshwater dipping, copper and/or formalin treatments. >Anything to speed up this process??? >>Treat your fish ASAP! >Or in theory could I just do a water change from main tank to QT tank.   >>No.  You're re-infecting the q/t with the velvet parasites.  This creature is VIRULENT, and not at all easy to eradicate. >I think this would defeat the process of a QT tank though in this case considering the disease is in the main tank. >>You think correctly. >My plan for you to comment on (Once QT tank is ready) -Remove all fish from main tank >>Check.. -Freshwater bathe fish >>Check.. -Add fish to QT tank >>Check.. -Add copper treatment to QT tank (SeaCure) >>Cupramine is my choice, otherwise, check.. -Continue to perform routine maintenance (water changes) on both tanks >>You left out the hyposalinity for the treatment tank.  Otherwise, check.. -After 60 Days return bathe fish (freshwater) and return to main tank. >>Check. Questions: Background - In main 55 gallon tank I will have -Live Rock -Cleaner, Blood, Coral Shrimp >>If coral banded, do watch these for aggression towards the Lysmata spp. -Emerald Crabs -Sifter Starfish -Arrow Crab -Snails -Colony Polyp, mushroom coral, yellow polyp (Fiji Coral) >>You sure you're comfy with an arrow AND an emerald?  Search on Mithrax/emerald crabs as well as arrows to be sure you want these in a reef system.  Both known troublemakers. 1.  From what I read I can increase temp to say 80 degrees to speed up life cycle of parasites.  Is this bad for main tank inhabitants? >>They should be fine.  Don't use hypo in any system with the inverts.  (Hypo for the fish would be 1.010 - 1.007.) 2.  Do I apply copper just once to QT tank? >>Follow the manufacturer's directions and test to ensure maintenance of proper levels.  You WILL need to correct dosage post water change!  The easiest way to do this for some folks is to add copper to the make up water, test and match levels. >My assumption is my water changes to QT tank will dilute copper treatment >>Yep. >3.  Should I add some Amquel to QT tank to help control levels?   >>I wouldn't.  I strongly advocate using water changes to eliminate nitrogenous wastes. >Thanks for your help.  Hope this works. Or please stop me if I am making big error in plan.  Cheers -CPN >>See above, and do search our site ASAP to work out your plan of attack, it needs to be quick, my friend.  Marina

Velvet Operas >Hey Marina, >>Hi there Chris. >QT tank levels still crazy. >>Yeah, don't worry, it pretty much always happens. >Well not that crazy. >>Heh.. much like me. >Ammonia .5 Nitrate down to 5 (Hooray) Nitrite  25  (Boo) >>"Boo".. heh.  Yep, to be expected, though.  W/c's, my friend. >Big Brown Algae Blooms  (Booo) >>Not as boo as the disease.  You'll just have to let it be at the moment, it's just a q/t, right? >I do not have the luxury of a RO Filter right now. >>Hun, I hear ya!  Color me cash-poor. >So just doing a bit of work with the Magnet Cleaner. All Fish alive. >>That's the best we can hope for at the moment. >They are getting bored though.  They want to go back to the main tank.  They can see it across the way. >>LOL!  Are they eyeballing' you?  "Pick UP the net, Chris!  Put us IN the net, Chris!  Put us IN the big tank, Chris!  MOVE, CHRIS!  NOW!"  Putting' their little fishy vibes into your head.. email us if you start having nightmares, we may have to perform a detoxorcism. >That and the QT tank is easier access to my cats. >>Eee.. wholly sheet!  Bad kitty.. may have to pull a Cartman on the kitties.. "Mo-om!" >Main Tank >Threw some more snails in there. And some Favia and Star Polyps. >>Ok. >Stars are not coming out recently.  Oddddd. >>Something's up, don't you think?  Water quality's good?  Testing fresh and all that?  When in doubt, test your source water, too. >All levels are good. >>Mmkay (sometimes it pays to read ahead). >Got some new stuff the LFS is raving about Bio Plankton http://www.liquidlifeusa.com Apparently they think it is the straight from the fountain of long life. >>Oh man.. I hope it's not one of those "too good to be true" things.  Gotta check the link when I get a chance. >Should be for $25!!!!! >>Eeyowee!  I need me a sugar daddy like that.. huh? >Giving it a shot. Put my Protein skimmer on a timer or this stuff will be even more expensive. >>No sheet! >They had a 3/4 inch Hawkfish there!!! >>What species? >He was really cute. >>Famous last words. <giggle> >What kind of camera do you want.  I like the new Canon 5.0's.  Let me know about that cookie thing with Dr. Foster Smith. >>Anything that's between 3 and 4 megapixels, and doesn't require software that leaves me married to Winders or Mac.  I have a dual boot machine, so I *could* boot into Windoze anytime I wanted to use it, but it looks like Olympus makes cameras that just read into the hard drive via the USB port - no software needed.  At that point, all I'd need is a driver, and with Linux those are pretty easy to find.  As for the cookies, I have yet to hear back on that.. maybe if you posted it on our talk forums http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk  someone there would pipe up. >Will keep ya posted. -CPN >>Cool.  Marina

The Velvet Blues - Part Deux >Marina/Bob, >>Bob's out of town, you get me again. >Thanks for your response. >>Quite welcome, I felt I had to get back to you ASAP. >Was up till 2am breaking down tank. >>Ow!  I remember stuff like that.. heh (tanks, but no tanks.. not anymore at least). >Got everyone but 3 inhabitants out. >>Very good, and GOOD LUCK!  I hope you've gotten to them quickly enough, my friend. >Will get remaining 3 today. >>Double good luck then. >Went out and got a big container to drain more water out.  Hopefully will be easier this time. >>Ah yes, my tip o' the day - large trash cans lined with plain old black plastic trash bags; sterile, chemically inert, and handy in the box!  Use 'em!   >Got majority of crew in QT tank.  My copper level is not appearing on the Test kit (Salifert) >>Gotta get that up to around 30ppm, if I recall... however, there's a difference in measuring chelated and non-chelated copper.  Can't recollect the particulars right now.. please search our Google again on those keywords, and "testing measuring copper". >Equipment 20 Gallon Tank Whisper 60 Hang on Filter Whisper Heater 1 Fake coral Live Sand >>The live sand needs to get OUT of there, replace the coral with PVC.  You want NOTHING porous in there while you treat for this. >(Was running for about 5 days before levels came normal - Used Amquel).  I originally put in one dose of copper (before fish) -Got negative test for copper -Did some reading -Removed Charcoal from Filter -Now just has Filter Pads >>Mechanical filtration is the best you can do outside water changes here, my friend.  NO carbon (even though it won't pull all copper out, it's just better not to waste the money on both). >Added another dose of copper  (Sea Cure) -Got negative test for copper Added fish (Needed too!!!) Added more copper this morning -Will test in an hour **I also took a large 16 oz cup and added 2 drops of copper (enough for 2 gallons) Will test that as a control. >>VERY good idea, something's up if you're getting zero readings on the copper.  Puzzling. >Is there a reason that I am not getting a copper reading? Sand? >>That will definitely absorb an amount, as well as give the critters a place to hide.  Must remove as much as possible. >Leftover Charcoal? >>Better yet, activated carbon??  Remove it all. >Leftover Amquel? >>Doubtful. >Please Advise.  Thanks, -CPN >>There you have it, and beyond these issues you bring up, I suspect the test kit (again).  I know, it's a pain, but I can't tell you how often I've suggested trying another kit (new/different brand - though Salifert is one of the "preferred" brands), they do and BAM!  So much can go wrong with reagents, and when you're dealing with something as toxic as copper, it's really better to be safe on this issue.  Marina

The Velvet Blues - III >OK. Hooray. >>Hooray?  Yes..? >Got all inhabitants in QT tank.  With Bath of Course. >>Excellent. >Went to LFS where I got their kit and explained either there is something wrong with the source or the kit.  Copper is non chelated and test looks for non chelated. >>Alright. >So even though I told them everything I did they tested anyways.  (All this over $22) >>Ouch! >But... Their test kit said my QT sample was at 10ppm (That is a start) >>That is a start. >And the test kit I bought did not show positive for their fish only tanks.  Apparently they place copper in their fish only tanks.  Common Practice as I understand. >>Definitely not uncommon, and another excellent reason for folks to make certain they don't introduce water from the shop! >Got a new test kit.  FasTest.  Boy are these expensive.   >>Nod. >Ordered backups on line for 25% of price. >>Wow!  Don't you hate how emergencies can bite ya in the behind that way??? >Side note:  I assume your site is an affiliate of Dr. Foster & Smith.   >>They are a sponsor.  Also, they bought out Flying Fish Express's business. >Do they place a tracking cookie on my machine so every time I shop their you get the affiliate credit?  Or do I have to click thru your link every time in order for you to get the credit??? >>This is a very good question, and I don't have the answer.  Jason most likely does.. and in any event, if possible, I suppose letting them know that you've seen them on our site wouldn't hurt. >Let me know and I will certainly make a point of it.  Have bought over $400 stuff through there so far and counting. >>Wow!  I'll make a point of asking Jas to outline how this works somewhere.  Ok, just made note for the powers that be, hopefully we'll have instructions within the next day or two. >Back to the tank... So got the copper at 20 PPM.  Gonna treat for 14 Days per instructions. >>Ok, do know that some folks have had to take it as high as 30ppm.  If the fish seem to not be responding, be prepared.  I am VERY glad you've got a kit that's measuring! >Only issue I had is that one of the 4 stripes was swimming near surface a lot.  I put an air stone in and he came down.   >>Ok, good choice, really.  A little extra O2 saturation won't be a bad thing at all.  What a pain though, eh? >So either the bubbles are scaring him or it was lack of O2. >>I don't think the bubbles could scare a sick fish down, the tendency is to go near the surface where there's more O2.  I think you made the right call. >Also got 90% of sand out. >>VERY good. >And put some PVC in.  (They have yet to go in it.) >>This means that chances are they're relatively comfortable with their surroundings.  If they do appear stressed with little cover, you can always take a black plastic trash bag and tape that up around two or three sides of the tank.  Keeping a dimmer light on them is helpful as well. >Main Tank... All the shrimp shed their skins. >>Wow.. all at the same time?? >So either it was the time of year or it was a reflex action. >>It was something.. that is weird, I've never seen them all shed at once.  Maybe someone else has and knows why. >Snails seem to be falling of the wall and dying. >>Uh oh. Nitrates???  (They did hit 20 PPM at one point) >>I don't know that they're all that high to be causing snail deaths, honestly.  I think a water change with good, clean water would be helpful, especially since the shedding and deaths are juxtaposed so closely together.  There could be some sort of contamination (heavy metals, et al) we can't really test for here.  Also, make sure you've had no significant swings of pH or salinity. >So here is the question... Since my main tank is sitting there nice and fallow... Could I put some new coral in it? >>Make sure you've got this other invert issue settled first.  Then, yeah!  Why not?  Velvet won't attack the corals, though I would always suggest quarantining those before they go it (at least a dip in freshwater and/or Lugol's prior to introduction). >Would this be a good time? >>I don't' see why not, though I don't think introduction WITH the fish would be a bad thing, either.  What do you have in mind? >No fish to piss off... >>Heh.. >Thanks, and Thanks -CPN Welcome, and you're welcome.  Marina  <keeping my fingers crossed that this velvet thing is quickly and easily eradicated!>

The Velvet Blues - Latest Developments >Hey Marina, >>Hi Chris. >Well no dead fishes yet in QT tank. >>And a-hoo and a-ray! >>They seem to be doing fine. >>Excellent, this is so often NOT the case when working against velvet! >Apparently I need more PVC pipe because I am causing quite the traffic jam. >>Heh.. it's not going down like the low spark of high-heeled boys, is it?  Then again.. that's a pretty good tune. >Main Tank >My  Percnon gibbesi died and a few snails. >>Damn. >Could this be from the high nitrate levels?  20ppm? >>I really don't think 20ppm is actually high, and don't that that alone would be the culprit. >Got some coral in there; Favia and some star polyps.  Hope they do ok. >>Indeed. >My emerald crab seems to think that the yellow polyps are a salad.  Oy Vey!!! >>Damned Mithrax!  I say put him in the derelict tank. ;) >QT tank >My ammonia keeps hitting .5 >>To be expected, and water changes are your best friend at this point.  Can't remember if I did before, but I suggest setting up one or two big plastic trash cans lined with plain black plastic trash bags and keeping your water ready-mixed in them. >20 G tank I am doing a 2.5 G water change every day. >>Do larger, make it at least 5 to control the ammonia. >Can I use ammo chips or something in the filter to help with this? >>Not really, it'll remove the medication, and ammonia chips are pretty much useless in saltwater applications (they get saturated - chemically - almost immediately).  W/Cs! >So once I get this all done I really want a hawkfish.  But apparently if I get one it sounds like bye bye to my shrimp Even if the shrimp are bigger than the hawkfish? >>Get a longnose, I call them "Princess Tinymouth".  They do get froggy and they will JUMP, though, so keep the tank well-covered!   >I really want one. >>I know, and I really want a new digital camera.  I've set my mind to it, so I intend to find a way (that's not burglary). >Perhaps a new tank!!! >>THAT'S IT!  I like how you think..! >Heh. >>Wait.. you're joking?  :( >Thanks for your help again.  -CPN >>You're welcome, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that all continues going well, and all signs of disease are eradicated.  Marina

Velvet Strikes Again? I have spent all day reading your site and I am totally convinced the reason all of my fish are dead is from velvet.  I took 3 dead fish (flame angel, blue tang, yellow eye tang) to my fish place and they couldn't tell anything, but everyone swore that I had no disease in my tank.  The rest of my fish died, and they said it may be due to raising the temp. as they recommended.   <Hmm...> I knew they were wrong, they told my husband to bring home 4 damsels, they went in last night, they are dead today.   <What lousy advice, huh? Not sure what the point of "experimenting" with the lives of 4 other fishes was for> We have 5 hermit crabs and a fire shrimp alive. First, do the crabs and shrimp get this disease?   <Assuming that you're referring to Amyloodinium ("Velvet"), no they will not.> Second, I just want to let the tank go empty for 8 weeks and let it end naturally instead of adding copper.  Is this logical?  Will this get truly get rid of the problem? <It's a great treatment, IMO. The "fallow tank" technique can significantly reduce the parasitic population in your tank, which can help otherwise healthy fishes resist future infection> I thought I had done everything just right, and I cannot take any more dead fish. <I can understand that> I let normally my fish people hold my fish for a couple of weeks before bringing them home and make sure they are okay. <Really, quarantine should be done at home, by you- and should last 3-4 weeks. It's a very simple practice, and you'll enjoy much greater control than the fish store can...Do read up on this practice on the WWM site (including a basic "how to" by yours truly, which can answer most of your questions regarding the process). It will make a huge difference for you> However, my husband decided he had to have two fish right off the truck and bam, here we are.  Please help. Dawn <Well, Dawn- it sounds like you have the right idea. Leaving the tank fallow and treating the afflicted fishes in a separate tank is a highly effective practice. Read about it on the WWM site! With patience, careful observation, and strict adherence to quarantine in the future, you should beat this thing and achieve great success. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Velvet Strikes Again? (Pt. 2) Thank you for the positive feedback. <My pleasure- that's what we're here for> I still need to know, will this rid my tank of the velvet or is this something we are hopelessly subject to fight forever? <Not if you are patient enough to use a full one-to-two-month fallow period. This length of time without host fishes can seriously interrupt te life cycle of the causative parasites...> Thank you so much!  I did contact another fish dealer and they recommend 1/2 water change, copper treatment, a filter to take out the copper, and then "you will be fine."  I want this gone forever. <Well- copper can certainly eradicate the parasite, but if you ever intend to keep inverts in the tank, you will have to wait a very long time to remove all of the copper from the tank. It will continue to leach from the rocks and substrate for some time. Sure, Poly Filter and other chemical media can remove a lot from the water, but it will still be there. It is also potentially difficult to maintain an effective therapeutic level of copper in the tank, given the potential for coral, substrate, etc. to absorb it.> Yes, we will set up a QT tank, we have a friend that is willing to give one to us. <Excellent. A much better way to eradicate this illness. Treat in the separate tank. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Treating Sick Tangs... Hi guys. <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I believe I have Amyloodinium in my 125 gal. tank. I have already lost 3 large fish to this illness that I believe I must have gotten off some live rock I put in. I have a 7" Naso tang and a 4" yellow tang that I am worried about losing. They have both been moved to a different tank and have each had 3 30 min freshwater dips with Meth. blue and the salinity has been dropped while the temp. has been increased. <A potentially effective technique...> They are still eating but far from acting normal. The Naso has a very dark grey color to him. I seem to recall reading that tangs do not take copper sulfate very well and might be better to not use it. <That is correct. Good pickup on your part!> If this is so, is there anything else I can do to save these fish?? <I'd continue with the regimen that you have started, augmented with a Formalin-based product. This stuff is not without its drawbacks, too. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter, and DO NOT add it to the display tank. It is a highly effective medication if used properly.> Also ---my 125 is not fallow except for some crabs, snails, and shrimp -- with the temp at 85 how long do I have to wait until I can put my fish back in, and how will I know that they are not still carrying the parasite and thus re-infecting my tank again? Thanks, Diggy <Well, Diggy- I'd let the tank run without fishes for at least 4 weeks-six weeks would be even better. You've already went to the trouble of removing the fish from the display, so stay the course and wait it out. Conduct all normal tank maintenance (water changes, etc.) during the fallow period. Hang in there and you'll beat this thing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Fallow Advice - First I would like to thank you all for the help you give to us, it is the best website for any aquarist. Now to the problem, I have 2 saltwater tanks 25 and 75 gallons, I have lost a chunk of money due to Amyloodinium, literally clean up almost all my stock, now I am trying to save the rest of my guys. Both of my tanks are infected; in your web site I read about a similar case where you told him to keep the tank without any hosts for 30 day (eliminate all the states of the parasite), I am going to do that. <I'd recommend 45 to 60 days if you can do it.> I set up a quarantine tank (10 gallons), I have 2 Clownfishes, 1 damsel and 1 porcupine puffer (3/2'') (I know it will grow but I have a future tank planed for him). Are too many fishes to stay on the 10 gallons tank for 21 days? (The puffer is not aggressive at all) <You will need to be doing very frequent water changes - perhaps 25-50% a day.> Can I use the same filter that I am using on the small tank or I need a new one just for the quarantine tank? <You can use the same filter.> I got Cupramine from Seachem, I am not sure if the copper will stay on the filter? They say it is easy to eliminate with active carbon, what do you think? <Activated carbon should get most all of it.> The other possibility is to treat them in the 25 gallons but I have all decoration, gravel, etc. (I don't think is a good idea). <Let it go fallow - you can keep invertebrates in there - perhaps a cleaner shrimp.> Another issue is, what should I do with my snails, there are only 2 but I fell bad killing them, I know I cannot treat them with copper; are they carriers? <Safe to leave behind in the main tanks.> Thanks for all your help and I am sorry about the amount of questions. JIAM <Cheers, J -- >

Blue With Velvet! We have 55 gallon 1 Sailfin tang 1 BOXFISH (yellow polka dot) 2 percula clown 1 auriga butterfly 1 algae blenny 2 cleaner shrimp 2 emerald crabs 5 hermit crabs <don't treat the main aquarium due to the fact that you have inverts> It seems we have marine velvet- our boxfish looks dusty, twitches, is hiding, and labored breathing. <sounds bad> did  a 15 gallon water change last night and cleaned the algae off the walls of the tank-it seems to have agitated everyone including the boxfish.  the tang and butterfly are also in seclusion and have labored breathing.<sorry to hear about this>  the clowns have labored breathing and are not very active.  (the butterfly and tang also look a little dusty).  We are assuming this is a parasite- and perhaps 'velvet'.  The local fish shop here has offered to take our fish and treat them- we are sure we cannot treat with copper because of the invertebrates and  boxfish.<agreed, I would take the chance and let them "try" to treat your fish.>  I am concerned about moving the boxfish- more stress may kill him, though he may die anyway- his breathing has become more labored as we speak- now twitching constantly.<I would def. let them treat your fish>  We've spoken with a couple people on the phone- one recommended a freshwater (a little salt in the water mostly fresh) dip, she also recommended Ammonia Detox (Pet marine product) and Maracyn Plus (Mardel company).  The local fish place recommended Aquaflin (sp?) We have turned up the temp slightly to 82 f. and have turned off the lights.  Not sure what to do. Please help.<Do look over this page on our site...it should help you in your fight against VELVET http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm, good luck, IanB>  thanks-Erin

Amyloodinium affecting Sohal in Q/T >Dear WWM crew, sorry to bother you on a holiday weekend, but could use some of your advice.   >>No worries about that.  Marina today. >I am quarantining a Sohal Tang that I believe has marine velvet (Amyloodinium).  When I received the fish from the online retailer, it was completely covered in spots, which at the time I believed to be ich.   >>Great, remember to never use that outfit again, eh?  I hope you informed them immediately. >However, a week in hyposalinity and a copper level of 25ppm, has not improved the spots.  Actually I think the ich spots may have disappeared and the marine velvet spots appeared??  Anyway, the Sohal seems to be fairing considerably well, he is eating, has good color, clear eyes, and is not breathing to heavy, he is not darting or scratching.  So, if this is marine velvet, how long should I expect to see these spots?   >>If you think it's velvet (which appears to be more of a dusting of finer spots than Cryptocaryon) you MUST begin treatment immediately.  Do not wait, even if the animal appears to be doing well. >My concern is, if the spots are not gone after a reasonable amount of time, should I change the treatment plan to something a little more aggressive, as I know first hand how fatal marine velvet can be.  Thank You for your time.   Jen Marshall >>Absolutely, and I'm glad you contacted us right now.  Now, you say the fish is breathing normally, you haven't exactly described the appearance of the disease, so we could still be dealing with ich, but better safe than sorry.  Also, you haven't said how low you've taken the salinity -- for hyposalinity it should be 1.010.  Nutrition is going to be of paramount importance right now, so if you aren't already, get some Selcon and begin soaking foods in it.  You may need to utilize the copper as a treatment bath, this means a much stronger dose to be CAREFULLY monitored.  This will be stressful for the fish.  I would also highly recommend you disinfect the QT, if the fish isn't too large you can place him in a large trash can with a black plastic liner (with no "extras"--these are chemically inert and generally safest) while you disinfect with chlorine.  Be sure to have a good amount of dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate) on hand. The copper bath is charted thusly-- Add to freshly mixed and pH adjusted water: Baslow's solution copper sulfate + TRIS buffer + EDTA at 0.10 -0.15ppm to dip specimen in ONCE.  This is not a bath to hold the fish in for any extended period of time, dip the fish, and remove to untreated water.  Be SURE to disinfect your nets as well!  Please see these links as well, and there may be links within that might prove helpful to you as well.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, and major MAD PROPS to you for using QUARANTINE!  Good luck, Marina http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm

Marine Velvet Emergent Emergency - Save the Sohal! Pt. II >Dear Marina, Thank you so much for your quick and thorough information.   >>Most welcome. The Sohal has been in hyposalinity ( 1.010 ) and Cupramine copper at 25 ppm since Sat. Aug 23rd.  As of the time of your email, he appears to be worsening.   >>As expected, this disease can progress rather quickly. >The breathing has become much more labored.  The spots he had when I got him were certainly ich spots, however the ich spots cleared up only for him to show the signs of marine velvet.  I have never had much success treating marine velvet.   >>It's a real booger. >It's a little ironic, this sohal was to replace the sohal I lost almost a year ago when I had an outbreak of marine velvet in my 240 and lost all of my fish within 48 hours.  I ended up tearing apart the tank, disinfecting everything, started with all new live rock and sand, a very painful lesson in marine velvet!  I just have a few more questions for you.   >>Shoot. >Is raising the copper level from what it is now an option?   >>So far, from my own reading on CHELATED copper I think you may be able to raise it as high as .3ppm.  However, I'm cc'ing some other crewmembers for their input as well.  I don't think I mentioned it before, but you would do well to be including freshwater dips in conjunction with this treatment. >If that is not an option, and I should go ahead with the treatment you listed previously?  I am not familiar with TRIS buffer and EDTA.  We have a very small LFS here, and they just do not carry a whole lot of  meds.   >>Understood.  Also, since this is a dip only it may be more difficult in "new" hands with no guidance present.  What may be far more doable is to begin with freshwater dips.  This, in conjunction with the slightly higher copper levels may do the trick, but I would have PLENTY of new water made up just in case you need to reduce the copper levels quickly. >Also would the Cupramine work instead of the Baslow's copper sulfate?   >>Truthfully, I'm not so sure it would work as outlined as a dip.  The difference here is that one is chelated -- meaning that it is formulated to remain in suspension -- and the other is not.  Copper sulfate does have a tendency to precipitate, which makes it perfectly suitable to for the dip as I instructed (I wouldn't worry about the other substances listed), but not for long-term pickling, so to speak. >I am prepared to do whatever it will take to save this beautiful animal, and really appreciate your guidance.  Thank You,  Jen Marshall >>I can see that, Jen.  You qualify as a conscientious aquarist, and do know that you are doing everything right.  I have been poring over our faq's and articles on the subject, and as I said, I *think* you may be able to raise the copper to .3ppm.  If you can, please go over these links again: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/velvetfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/velvetfaqs2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coppertestfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cufaqs2.htm >>Best of luck, Jen!  Marina ******************************************************************* To those of you I have cc'd, I'm copying you this because her case of Amyloodinium seems to be very resistant to the treatment regimen she began over a week ago now.  I outlined a dip treatment that uses copper sulfate, but this, I think, may not be an option since she hasn't got access to many shops/meds.  Going online, needless to say, will only delay treatment and very well could be too late.  Please read her message and my response (first is here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/velvetfaqs2.htm ), and if you have ANYTHING to add or change, please do so.  She is clearly a motivated owner, but confined by limited access.  Thanks!  Marina *****************************************************************

Sterilizing equipment after Oodinium infestation Dear Mr. Fenner, Your book has been very helpful.  We need to know what we need to do to sterilize a 65 gallon tank and equipment after we had a problem with an Oodinium outbreak.  The fish have been moved to a quarantine tank, and we decided to break down the whole system and start over (lesson learned about quarantining new fish!!).  Would cleaning it with fresh water and drying be sufficient? Thank you very much! Stan and Denise Krol <I would, do suggest "nuking" this system and gear... with a bleach wash per the steps, tools listed here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clncarta.htm Simply freshwater rinsing and drying may... not "do the trick". Bleach this system. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sterilizing equipment after Oodinium infestation Dear Mr. Fenner, Thank you for your quick reply!  We read your recommendation, but are still a little confused.  Should we fill the entire tank and run the entire system with bleach solution? Or should we rinse the components individually? <All the gear, running together... a cup or two of "household" bleach total should do it. Take care not to spill any on your clothes, floor, furniture...> Should the tank itself be soaked or just wiped out with a bleach solution?  The tank is glass.  Thank you for your time and patience!! Stan and Denise Krol <Best to run the system with the bleach added for about an hour, then dump, fill with fresh, dump again, refill... a few times till it no longer smells of bleach... then new salt mix can be added immediately and the system left to run for a week or so before proceeding to add biological materials (e.g. live rock, bacteria culture...). Bob Fenner>

Crushing Velvet! Hi Guys <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Writing to you from South Africa <Glad to hear from you!> This is the first time that I am actually writing to you, I have been visiting the website everyday and I have gained a world of knowledge from the questions and answers. <Glad to hear that you enjoy the site! It's a lot of fun for all of us!> I am not new to the hobby and have been keeping marine's (fish & inverts) for 10 years, Here is my problem. I have a 1000 Gallon Reef tank, this tank is my pride and joy and I almost love it as much as I love my wife (I'm lying- "maybe a bit more") <Hope she doesn't read that! LOL> It contains various inverts, too many to mention and various fish species. All has been going well, water parameters excellent "I have a filter system that friend at Sea World - South Africa designed and that most aquarist only dream of, but this morning I noticed that some of the clown fish and angels have what looks to me like marine velvet , I have no idea what to do as their is no way in hell that I would be able to catch these fish in the reef, I have no idea what caused the sudden illness. These are the symptoms please confirm if you agree with me on the type of disease as well as what possibilities there are in curing them without having to rip apart a reef that has been like this for a good couple of years:  Rapid gill movement <Yep> Cloudy eyes <Possibly> Body looks slimy <Yep> Eyes bulging <Could be a secondary infection> Scratching on rock and coral sand <Yep> I would really appreciate your help , I have never had to deal with sick fish in this reef before, I did it the good old way Let mother nature take its coarse and up to now I have been really successful and have not lost a lot of fish, I hate medication but I have had these guys for a few years and they are like part of the family I do not want to loose them "HELP" <Okay- here is my thinking: It really does sound a lot like Amyloodinium ("Velvet"), which is an incredibly contagious and lethal disease...It can and will kill rapidly if left unchecked. Regrettably, I cannot, in all honesty, recommend a course of action that does not involve removing all of the fish to a separate tank for treatment. Even the so-called "reef safe" medications are dangerous and unreliable here...The best course of action (in terms of success, IMO) is to remove all fishes to a separate aquarium for treatment with a legitimate over-the-counter medication. Meanwhile, the main tank would run fallow, without fishes, for a month or so. This disease is much more difficult to attack than ich, and it is very tough to eradicate without letting the system run without host fishes...As much as it pains me to recommend tearing apart the tank to get to the fishes, I just don't see another way that is more reliable. Medicating the tank would be an absolute mistake, IMO...I know this sucks, but I really believe it to be the way to go here...> P.S.  I would recommend your site to anybody interested the hobby, They need not look further for good advice.  Regards, Robert <Well, Robert. I hope that things take a turn for the better. This is an agonizing problem...You can prevail, but it won't be fun for a while...  Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Drastic Measures? (Fighting Amyloodinium) Hi. I'm hoping you can help me. <I'll try!> I have a 200 gallon DAS which is approximately 6 months old.  It has a salinity of 1.017, a temperature of 70 F, and the ammonia was fine.  The tank holds 125 lb of live rock with no substrate surface.  I've stocked the tank with a Zebra Moray eel, a pair of Clowns, a pair of Butterfly raccoons, an Emperor, a Coral Beauty , Yellow tang, a Flame hawk and a Cuban Hog. The only ones still alive are the Zebra Moray, flame hawk and Cuban Hog,  The yellow tang is covered with red blotches.  I spoke to my supplier and he told me to douse my tank (using the recommended dosage) with SERA Oodinopur A. From reading the comments on your website it was the wrong thing to medicate the main tank but I did not have a quarantine tank.  What should I do now?  Some of your comments state that the main tank should remain fallow for at least a month. Does Marine Velvet affect the Zebra Moray eel? <It can. The fallow technique is valid here, by the way> What are the implications of using the medication stated above on my live rock?  Can I still use the rock as a biological stratum? <The use of many anti-parasitic medications in tanks containing live rock is problematic. These medications will certainly affect the beneficial animals residing in and on the rock. We always strongly advise against medicating in tanks that contain live rock> If I bathe the rock in freshwater will it kill the Marine Velvet that would be found on the surface? <Probably- but it will also kill the beneficial organisms as outlined above. Better to use the "fallow tank technique" that we advocate on WWM> How does one sterilize a tank if it comes to that point? <If it comes down to breaking down the tank, you'd want to thoroughly scrub and rinse the tank, then soak it in a mild chlorine bleach solution, followed by thorough rinsing and another filling, while utilizing a dechlorinating product to remove the remaining bleach. Then you can refill. The rock would have to be desiccated, rinsed, and placed in saltwater to re-colonize beneficial life forms...Not fun! I'd go fallow for a month or two before resorting to this tactic> Thanking you in advance for your response? Vito Lai <That's why we're here, Vito! Hope things work out for you! Regards, Scott F>

End of A Velvet Nightmare? Hey fishy gurus! I'm here again to beg for assistance. <No need to beg (groveling is okay, however.. LOL). Scott F. at your service!>Previously, my 29 display and 10 gallon QT both had velvet, or at least that was everybody's best guess.  My 2 fish died.  I did a 100% water change in the QT after the last fish died.  Based on advice here and elsewhere,  I left both tanks to sit fallow of fish (and the QT to finish its cycle) for a month.   So, it's been a month. <Good patience!> Yesterday, I got 2 tank-raised Ocellaris clowns for the QT.  Params were SG 1.022, pH 8.2, temp 80, 0 Ammonia and Nitrite and 15 Nitrate.  I brought them home and acclimated them slowly in a 2 gallon Tupperware bowl (with an airstone) and then gave them a 3 minute FW bath in adjusted water w/ a little Methylene Blue.  I was really, really trying to do everything 'by the book'. <That's the way to do it, IMO!> On the way home the bigger clown seemed to be picking on the smaller clown.  I was a little worried, but the drive was not that long.  The smaller clown didn't seem to be perking up.  Oh boy. <It can get a bit more serious in tight quarters> After the FW dip, I put them both in the QT (lesson learned from last time).  The small clown immediately flopped on his side.  The big clown did the same, but would raise up more and sometimes swim around.  There was nothing visible wrong.  The small clown was breathing a little heavy, but the big girl wasn't.  I had no idea what to do at this point, so I turned the light off and hoped for the best.  This morning the big clown is dead and the little clown is following quickly.  What happened?  The little clown now has white fuzzy batches on its belly that weren't there.  Can it be the velvet again? <May be something other than Velvet...Could be a fungus of some sort...You'll need to check out the WWM FAQs on these maladies to confirm that this is what you're dealing with.> Clownfish disease. We've pulled the little clown into a small Tupperware bowl with water from the big tank, but I'm not hopeful.  Could it be the water?  We haven't been using RO water, just treated tap water. <Hard to say, but I don't think that the water is causing the illness...Stress, perhaps, but not illness, in all likelihood> The display tank, luckily, is doing *fine* with copepods and a few turbo snails left over - but we want fish! <I know that feeling!> Do we desiccate the QT tank?  For now, we've taken all the water out.  I've read that can take months and I don't really feel like waiting 6 months to get fish :-/  I'm out of ideas.  Help! Angela W. <The QT tank should be broken down and sterilized after each use...You don't want to leave it running on a continuous basis. Especially if disease was present in the tank. As far as the display tank is concerned, I'd say that a month could do the job, two months if you're really patient. If necessary, you could desiccate and thoroughly clean the display, and you'll be ready to start over again. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Returning Home After Treatment In the last 2 days I have lost just about all of my fish (2 perculas, 1 3stripe damsel and goby as well as 2 crabs) to what I think is velvet. <Yuck! Sorry to hear that...> I have set up a QT for my remaining pygmy angel so I can treat it with CopperSafe without harming my snails and shrimp. <<Nope. RMF>>  Now to make sure the velvet is eradicated do I have to remove the snails and shrimp from the main tank and leave it fallow for 2 months? <A month is good...two months would be more than adequate> What steps should I take because I've been reading the FAQs and I think I have just confused myself more than I already was. <Been there- done that'll> And once I return the pygmy angel to the main tank, will any copper from the QT that may be on the fish or in the water on the net harm my invertebrates???? <Nope. Any amount that would be present on the fish's body would be quite insignificant, IMO> I am worried about the transfer back into the display tank putting copper into the system. <As long as you're not introducing water from the treatment tank, there is nothing to worry about. Also, you're certainly not going to keep the copper concentration for the whole time, so even if some water gets through (it shouldn't- as you'll be netting the fish out...), the amount should be negligible...> Thank you for your prompt response. ~Irma <My pleasure, Irma. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Disease Diagnosis.... Ok here is an amendment to my previous email... <Ahh.. no problem> I think it may have been a fungus that killed off the fish rather than velvet...but I could be wrong. I have been reading even more and have not decided which it was. Now when I treat my remaining angel, do you recommend CopperSafe AND Maracyn just in case it is fungal? <Well, for fungal diseases, you'd probably be better off with Maracyn or other medications...Copper is most effective against parasitic problems...> I can't tell the difference between fungal and what I think was velvet. How can I tell which infection it was before I go removing everything from the system and letting it go fallow? If it is merely fungal then can I just treat the main tank with Maracyn and forgo using the QT? <Never, ever treat the main tank...Remove all fishes that need treatment, and run the course in a hospital tank. Velvet has more symptoms than just a fuzzy appearance on the fish. You will typically see rapid breathing, lethargic behavior, and other symptoms that are obvious upon careful assessment. read up on the WWM FAQs carefully, and you'll learn more about the differences between these maladies...> Again I really appreciate your help because right now I am just beside myself after losing my clowns... <I understand how you feel...Don't quit yet...Also, look into the possibility that the illness could have been Brooklynella, a very lethal disease, similar to Velvet, that's rather common in clownfish> ~Irma <Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Beating Amyloodinium At Its Own Game! Dear Bob, <Scott F. in for Bob while he's out diving!> I will try to be brief because you must be busy reading lots of e-mails. First, your articles, web site etc are brill and the knowledge I have gleaned will hopefully keep me in the hobby (15 years). <I'm sure Bob would be happy to hear that! All of us at WWM are proud to be associated with this site!> Just been virtually wiped out by Amyloodinium and left with only one 5" Emperor Angel (nearly died) and five 'bullet proof' Damsels (unaffected so far). <Yuck!> This is my first encounter with this disease so really I've been very lucky to date as I haven't being quarantining new additions (stupid boy!). <Well- you won't be making that mistake again, I'll bet!> Freshwater dips are clearly superb at 'blowing to smithereens' trophozoites via osmotic pressure.  I have found this process very therapeutic to me personally after the depressed state I got into after losing 5 prize fish. <I can relate. I find it satisfying, myself...This is a very nasty disease!> It is a pleasure to watch them literally disappear before your eyes when the 'patient' is returned to sea water. <Yep!> The information you have posted on your web-site clearly indicates the parasite cannot be eliminated completely and prevention via quarantining is the best move. <The best move as far as prevention is concerned...There are treatment protocols that can help sharply reduce the parasite population from your display tank, such as running the tank "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month, which can help "crash" the parasite population for a lack of hosts...> Given that they cannot be eliminated completely, I would like your advice on a 'control' strategy :- I haven't got a UV sterilizer and would like to know if its worth getting one on the basis that if its big enough and powerful enough, free-swimming infective dinospores will be wiped out at a sufficient rate so as not to be able to overwhelm the fish by attacking in large numbers. <A potentially valuable acquisition. U/V sterilizers can be a potential line of defense against such parasites...> Any parasites that do manage to get on the fish could then be 'controlled' via a biological cleaner. Looking forward to hearing from you. Ed Parker (England) <Well, Ed- I also endorse the use of biological cleaners, such as shrimp and/or neon gobies. And, again- I highly recommend the "fallow" tank technique that we discuss here on the WWM site frequently...It really works, because it addresses the life cycle of the parasite...I'm sure that with this technique, and your continued diligent attention to husbandry, you'll defeat this disease! Good luck, and thanks for stopping by! Regards, Scott F>

Beating Amyloodinium At Its Own Game (Pt. 2) Dear ScottF <Hello again, Ed!> Many thanks for your prompt reply and advice. I will 'fallow' my display tank as you recommend. <Glad to hear that! I think that, painful though it may be, this process works well!> I have also purchased a 25 Watt UV for my 100 gallon display tank. I believe I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. <No doubt you will...It's an awful thing to go through- but winning a battle like this just hones your aquaristic skills even more!> Many, Many thanks once again. Ed Parker (England) <A pleasure! Best of luck with the recovery!> P.S. Did Bob have a good dive?, <Bob....? Howzit...?> I bet the vis is better where you are.  I live near Teignmouth, Devon and 5m is the best average in the summer. (it drops to six inches when it blows in the winter!) <That's scary! I tend to spend more time on top of the water (surfing) than I do below...but my friends are pressing me to get into scuba...A logical progression, so I'm workin' on it! Every time I go down, it gives me more aquascaping ideas, which usually leads to me wanting to set up a new tank....Why is that? LOL. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

Attacking Amyloodinium! I wanted to let you know that today I noticed something different - erosion of his gills. I did some more searching around and found that he might be suffering from Oodinium. The description seemed to fit - loss of appetite, uncoordinated movements, darting movements, respiratory distress as the gills are targeted. <Sounds like it...> I inspected him again at night with a flashlight (as recommended to be the best viewing time of these parasites), and did not see any white spots. Although, I suppose it's a good thing considering this is a more progressed stage of the disease. <Usually, you'll see lots of mucous, and obvious tissue damage caused by the parasites as they liquefy the infected fish's tissues...Seeing the actual parasites themselves is unlikely...You're looking for the "collateral damage"> I have CopperSafe, but am leery of using it after learning of the side effects. I thought I would use Metronidazole or quinine hydrochloride. What about Revive? Additionally, should I use Maracyn-two? Please advise. Thank you so much!    <Frankly, I'd use the CopperSafe. If you follow the directions to the letter (as you should with any medication), and test for copper concentration, you should enjoy success. Metronidazole may also work...but I favor copper.  The Maracyn is an antibiotic, and really should only be used if you experience a secondary infection after defeating the Amyloodinium. Alas, be sure to run the main system fallow for a month or so, just as you would for Cryptocaryon...This is a much more virulent and contagious disease than Cryptocaryon, but it can be effectively treated if you act quickly...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sick Clown (Cont'd.) Thanks for your help, Scott (or whomever is manning the box) <Scott F. back with you today!> I'm not sure I was clear here.  He is in the display tank right now (with a few snails).  The QT was setup after getting him and his 'friend' and having her die right away.  I can certainly pull him into the QT but that's going to leave the Velvet in the main tank, too and present a different set of problems for the weekend. <Right...the main tank should be left fallow for about a month> The QT is cycled (I used a filter from a LFS and borrowed water) enough to put him in (no ammonia, very low nitrites and nitrates).  The problem isn't the ammonia, it's the temperature.  The QT will naturally spike to close to 85/86 degrees during they day. We don't have central air.  It's easy enough to cool it off with a fan (down to about 82), BUT you lose 1-2 gallons of water everyday :( With us being gone for 3 days, we'd come back to a tank with 3 gallons of water. <Ahh.. I follow you now...> I guess we could move the LR (luckily we don't have much) and snails to the QT and dose the main tank.  I know it's a crappy option, but he will definitely die if we put him in the 10 and are not here to do maintenance. <I would not dose the display under any circumstances...However, I would rather wait until the end of the weekend to move him, and take the risk....>   We did a FW dip last night and it seemed like the parasites dropped off, but there were white patches left behind (not raised) and he was really stressed out by the experience.  I am assuming this is caused by the wounds from where they were attached.  Honestly, he's in much worse shape today (not eating and literally swimming in circles) and I'm not convinced we can pull him through.  :( <Well, the patches that you are seeing could be the tissue that is being liquefied by the parasites...Immediate action is really the best bet. Given the circumstances, I'm afraid that you'll have to wait till you get back...but it may be too late. You still will need to run the tank fallow, of course. Parasitic diseases are terribly difficult to eradicate from the display, so you really want to keep a sick fish out of there...> Yeah.  Lesson learned on that one.  Sadly, too late.  Assuming he makes it long enough to put in the 10 gallon for proper treatment or dies, should we copper the heck out of the main system and leave it fallow for at least a month?   Copper means no snails, ever, correct?  I can probably take the 3 I currently have back to the LFS store.  The only other option I've been reading is to tear the display tank down and let it dry out.  I'm not sure I  would ever get the courage up to start back if I did that. <No need for copper...just run the tank fallow, without fishes, for a month or so, conduct all routine maintenance (water changes, etc.), and be patient...Hopefully, you can avoid "nuking" the tank> Thanks again, Angel <No problem, Angel- be patient, and do your best...Here's to hoping that the clown pulls through! Regards, Scott F>

Crushing Velvet...(Amyloodinium) Dear Crew of WWM, <Scott F. at the helm tonight, Captain> Thanks for the invaluable advice from the individual FAQs!  They're fantastic! <We have as much fun bringing this to you as I hope you have reading it!> Here's a question regarding fish disease.  I flipped through the disease section of WWM and several other books and couldn't find any pictures like the one I attached. The Emperor belongs to my friend.  He claims that in the morning, his Emperor had these whitish blotches and by evening, it was lying on its side. He claims that the fish was desperately gasping till its death. <Well, this sounds (and looks, from your picture) like the symptoms of Marine Velvet (Amyloodinium). The gasping, blemished skin, and listlessness are classic symptoms. The blotched appearance of the fish's skin is essentially the spots on this fish where the tissue has been liquefied by the parasites...You don't always see the "dusting" of the parasites themselves (They are really too small to see individually). Most of the time, you only see the collateral damage...> I am particularly concerned, as I have had a French Angel, unquarantined (my bad, my bad) that had similar symptoms - pale skin (as though the skin was peeling off) and gasping.  The French died and its tank mates - Multicolour angel, flame hawk etc... died within the next 2 days of the same symptoms. <Yep...that sounds a lot like Amyloodinium...It presents all of the symptoms that you described, and kills with horrifying rapidity if left unchecked...A nasty disease...> Question: What is what is this strange disease that acts so quickly and fatally?  I thought it was velvet initially, but I did not see discrete nodules on the fish, neither did it seem like a light dusting... it was just blotches of whiteness all over the fish.  Fins were slightly tattered at the edges too. <Again- it sounds like Amyloodinium to me...Just think "collateral damage"...> Is there any cure for this disease?  As a desperate attempt, I advised that my friend isolate the fish and give it a pH adjusted FW dip as there was no time to get medications of any sort.  It didn't help apparently... Thank you very much! <Well, the FW dip may provide some relief, but once the disease advances, and the damage really starts to become evident, you need to get aggressive...Copper sulphate is really the best way to treat this disease, IMO. And- the display tank just HAS to be left fallow for a month or so...This disease is SO contagious, and so virulent, that you need to follow through on this technique...Action must be taken immediately upon diagnosing the illness...Hours can literally mean the difference between life and death...No garlic, no hyposalinity (at least, not as a "stand alone" remedy)...this is one disease where I am confident in the use of copper sulphate as the way to go. I'd always keep a supply on hand, along with a good copper test kit...Best of luck to you in your counter-attack efforts...Regards, Scott F>

Crushing Velvet! My Problem: Marine Velvet <Yikes.. Not a fun thing...> Infected Fish: Heavily infected powder blue tang and a slightly infected dog-faced puffer. Not infected fish: percula clown and a green Chromis. <Not yet, anyways...Sorry to be pessimistic, but this is a very contagious disease...> All fish are currently in the following q-tank setup: 20 gallon tank, Fluval 404 canister filter with bio rings, sponge, and plastic bio strings. The tank has a 300 watt heater to keep it at 81 degrees. It also has a sponge filter that was seeded in the main tank for a few days with a air pump. The tank has some plastic "home depot" flower pots as hide outs. The tank is at 1.018 and I plan to bring it up to 1.020 as the velvet goes away. <Sounds like a good plan/setup so far...> I am using a copper treatment called Copper Safe, dosed according to directions My questions: 1) I know that a q-tank is supposed to be good for a fish for both disease and new arrivals but I am having a very tough time keeping ammonia low in the tank. It's impossible! I did everything right, I cycled the tank with live rock, I seeded a sponge filter in my main tank, and made sure the parameters were right before adding the infected fish in.  Is it the copper that is causing this? Is the copper killing my ammonia eating bacteria? I even do 6 gallon water changes out of the 20 with a siphon every day or two and the ammonia still is there. I thought I would of been okay since I have a large canister filter on there but its not working. <CopperSafe is my copper treatment of choice, and I like the stuff. If used according to the manufacturer's instructions, it will not harm your nitrifying bacteria. This may be one of these situations where you could use a commercial "bacteria culture" to help speed up the establishment and efficiency of the biological filter. Even though I am a huge proponent of regular water changes (especially in small systems like hospital tanks), you may be disrupting the biological filtration process with these changes (not to mention, diluting the copper concentration, unless you are replenishing it according to manufacturer's instructions)...just a thought...> 2) The thing is, I've tried q-tanks in the past and realized that it was newly impossible keeping the water quality good in it.  I figured that it would be better for the fish to just be put in a stable tank full of live rock. <Ehhh! Wrong answer! You just need to be really on top of things in a small tank...It's really a roll of the dice by skipping the quarantine process...just not good....> Thus I started to just add the fish straight to my main display tank. Now this worked well for 3 years until Mr.. raccoon butterfly brought in velvet and wiped out the whole tank. <Ahh- now you're a fan of the quarantine process, I'll bet! It sucks to learn about the value of quarantine like you did- but you are a much better hobbyist for the experience!> 3) I know my 25 watt U.V. on my 50 gallon kept the parasites out this long, why did it fail this time? I even change the bulb every 6 months. <UV sterilizers are effective at killing some free-swimming parasites; however, as we know, it is not effective 100% of the time (nothing is), and it only takes a few parasites to get through on an infected fish and wreak havoc in your tank...Since the causative parasite of "velvet" (Amyloodinium) has a free swimming stage as well as a stage when it dwells in the flesh of the infected fish, control can be difficult> 4) One last question, after you do the usual quarantine process for new fish, have you ever had the fish still break out with a parasite? What I'm getting at is, do these parasites continuously live on the fish and attack when they are weak or is it something that transfers off of "new" in-quarantined fish? <As a matter of fact, I have had diseases manifest themselves in my quarantine tank a number of times. Fortunately, I employ and recommend 3-4 week quarantine process; which provides enough time for many parasitic diseases to show up (the incubation periods of many parasitic diseases is anywhere from 7-28 days, so the longer quarantine period should cover most diseases...)One way to ensure that diseases don't get passed on to the main tank are to never, ever add new fishes to the QT once you've already started the process...If you do, you have to "start the clock" all over again so that the "pre-existing" fishes get another 4 weeks after you've introduced the new fish to the QT. Freshwater dips prior to the introduction of a fish into the QT are another good technique that you can use to help reduce the possibility of introducing fishes into the quarantine tank. As far as your question about the way the disease attacks: Yes- some parasitic illnesses may be present in seemingly healthy tanks at all times in a "dormant" phase, waiting for proper conditions (like weakened, stressed fishes) to present themselves. When a parasitic disease such as Amyloodinium rears it's ugly head in your tank, you need to pursue a course of treatment that breaks the life cycle of the parasite, such as the "fallow tank" technique that you hear us expand upon all the time...It really works. Do a little research on the site about dealing with parasitic diseases, and you'll get some good information that will make you an even better aquarist than you already are! Keep up the good work and great observations, and be sure to share your experiences (good and bad) with fellow hobbyists! Good luck! Regards, Scott F. >    

- Parasite Problems - Man I'm really bugging here! My tank broke out with velvet so I moved all the fish to a quarantine tank.  I treated with the recommended dose of CopperSafe and the disease (velvet) kind of went away for a while (still a couple spots on fish). Today I looked at the tank and my powered blue and Dogface puffer are covered fully again with velvet (9 days later). Here is my q-tank setup: 20 gallon tank, sponge filter, canister filter: Fluval 404 with (Fluval rings, CPR bio bale, and the regular sponges).  And a heater, light etc. Now I have the tank at 1.020 and at 81 degrees. I used to have it at 1.018 but when I saw that the velvet was disappearing I raised it again since the fish were stressed it seemed. Inside the tank I have a few flowerpots and two "round river rocks" to hold them down. I concluded that the copper might be being absorbed somewhere and for that reason the velvet is coming back, where do you think this is happening? I am sure to re-add the proper amount of copper when I do a water change so I know that is not the problem. <Well, copper in this case needs to be dosed constantly - maintaining a constant level of copper. For most copper solutions, this means adding a little every day or every other day - the instructions should be your best guide for this.> Is even a little copper toxic to velvet or does this devil need full on strength. <It needs to be at a constant level - use a test kit to be certain.> I am going to continue freshwater dips (even though it stresses my fish like crazy), and maybe lower the salinity down. Also it is really hard finding a copper test kits around here, I am going to order it online: could you suggest a test kit please... <Sera, FasTest, LaMotte - all very good.> possibly the one that you use when you treat your sick fish with copper... <Cheers, J -- >

The Aftermath (Amyloodinium Wipeout Recovery) Quick (hopefully) question: <Sure- Scott F. here today!> My 55-gallon fish-only tank just went through a spell of marine velvet that killed everything in it.  By the time I knew what was going on (yesterday), several fish had already died and the others were looking  far from healthy. <A very, very nasty disease! Quick action can literally mean the difference between life or death for your affected fishes> Nonetheless, the LFS told me to treat the tank with Cupramine. <I hope not in the display tank?> The animals that made it this far died this morning. <Sorry to hear that..> So my question is, 1) the Cupramine says to administer it again 48 hours after the first time (which would be tomorrow afternoon).  Do I need to do that even though there's nothing alive in the tank? <Hmm...Well- This medication (and all others, IMO) should really have been administered to the sick fishes in a separate "hospital" tank. I would follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. If you ever intend to keep inverts in this system again, I would not administer the second dose in the display tank. I'd let the system run fallow (there's that word again!), without fishes, for over a month (make it a month and a half). Conduct all normal maintenance during this time (water changes, substrate cleaning, etc.)> 2) How long will the parasite survive in the tank with no hosts?  Is there something I should do to the water parameters (i.e. temperature) to kill it off?  What are the implications of all this for the biological filter -- will it die off because there's no ammonia being produced in the tank? <All great questions. The reason we recommend a one month or longer fallow period is that this length of time allows a complete life cycle of the causative parasite to elapse, thus helping to "break" the cycle...Not 100% effective- but darn good anyways! Some people legitimately advocate higher temperatures to help accelerate the life cycle of the parasite. I don't do this, myself. Patience is very important here/ No sense rushing things, only to repeat the tragedy down the line! As far as the biological filter is concerned- it will do fine. If it makes you feel better, you could add a pinch of dry food now and again to "feed" the tank. Do monitor water chemistry parameters during the fallow period> Basically, what should I do, and over what time frame, before buying some new fish -- and when I do that, should I treat it as though I'm cycling the tank all over again (just get damsels)? <When you're ready to get new fishes into the tank again, I'd treat it like any other situation. I'd utilize a full 3-4 week quarantine period (in a separate tank) for the new acquisitions before you add them to the system. Add new fishes gradually, to allow the biofilter to adjust slowly to an increasing bioload. BTW-there are many better ways to cycle a tank than through the use of damsels or other fishes, so think about that next time you cycle a tank.> Thanks so much for your time and expertise. Ben <A pleasure, Ben! Just be patient, keep learning and sharing, and you'll get through this unfortunate experience with flying colors! Chin up! Regards, Scott F>

"Black Velvet" (Amyloodinium Infection) Please help-I'm desperate! I've got  marine velvet, and can't get rid of it. I've tried Oodinex  in tank and Trimarin in a quarantine tank,  and the fish seem to get better, but then it just comes back. I've already lost ?500 of fish and I'm sick of this. My water quality is good- all tests are okay, so what am I doing  wrong?  I've got live rock in the tank, I have a sump tank and protein skimmer, I do weekly water changes, and can't understand what's going wrong. I've even fresh water dipped them and it just keeps coming back. I've even taken all the fish out the tank for 6 weeks and changed the whole tank of water over that time and its still coming back i also lowered the salinity but it did not help. I'm getting to the stage when I'm going to give up  please heeeeelp! Regards Alisdair Crossan <Well, Alisdair, this is certainly one of those "nightmare" scenarios that we here about from time to time. Marine Velvet (Amyloodinium) is a nasty parasitic disease, as you know, and is, unfortunately, a very tenacious one at that! Parasitic diseases can usually be eradicated or their impact severely curtailed by depriving the parasites of their hosts (your fishes) for a long period of time. My normal recommendation is to remove the affected fishes to a hospital tank, treat them with a commercial copper sulphate product, and let the main system run fallow for a month or more...Sounds like you've tried that already! Well- there are two possible courses of action that I'd recommend at this point...I'd try the "fallow tank" option again- but for a much longer period of time- say, 2-3 months....Or- you may be better advised to "cut your losses" and completely break down the tank, sterilize all equipment, the tank, and any decorations (and get rid of the sand or gravel that you've had in the tank-sterilizing it is too problematic and tedious, IMO), and re-assemble the system...Yes- it's a real pain- and a very radical move, but it's sometimes the only way to defeat this tenacious disease! It's that virulent! In the future, employ a full 3-4 week quarantine period for all new arrivals prior to introducing them into the display tank. Avoid treating illness in the main system, as many medications can "bind" with the substrate and decorations, rendering them ineffective, and making it difficult or impossible to maintain a proper therapeutic level...Be patient, be careful, and don't quit! You can defeat this illness- but it will not be fun...If nothing else, you'll have learned from this awful experience...Chin up! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

"Black Velvet" (Amyloodinium) Pt. 2 Thank for the info. <Glad to be of service> What do I do about my live rock? I cant get rid of it because it's really expensive here in Scotland. It's ?200 for 20kg so what do I do? Thanks. Regards, Alisdair Crossan <Well, Alisdair, it's a tough call here. In my opinion, there is too great a risk that the rocks still harbor parasites, as evidenced by the re-occurring outbreaks of the disease. You can basically do one of two things: 1) Let the rock sit in an empty (i.e.; "fishless" and without substrate) tank for a long, long time (we're talking at least 3-4 months-or even longer!)  or 2) You'll essentially have to "sacrifice" the life on the rock by soaking it for a couple of weeks in freshwater. Of course, the freshwater will kill the life on the rock, but it will kill the parasites as well! In time, with the right conditions, the beneficial life forms you lost will re-colonize the rock, and it will become "live" once again! Neither prospect is particularly attractive, but they both will, in all likelihood, do the trick! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: fallow Oodinium question When leaving an aquarium fallow during an Oodinium outbreak, must the crustaceans also be removed?  Other invertebrates? Thanks, Bryce Gibson <No, but the means of "speeding up" the cycling of the parasite (lowered specific gravity, elevated temperature) can't be employed. Bob Fenner>

Amyloodinium in My Main Tank!!! Hello everybody! <Hi, Don here tonight> After a long time of balance in my aquarium (the reason for this balance is the purchase of a hospital tank some months ago...!) I have a crisis, so I decided to write to you in order to get some advice. The thing is a follows: Two days ago I bought a Clark Clownfish. I put it in my main tank with a glass separator because the hospital tank was already occupied by my Blue Tang who had a white spot on his eye. This is a common problem with this fish and I usually cure it in a couple of days with freshwater baths and Methylene blue in the hospital tank. Two days ago I had rearranged my tank's decor (dead corals plus two pieces of rock with red macroalgae). Suddenly I realized that the Gramma brasiliensis and the Apolemichthys xanthotis were scratching a lot on the decor and I noticed clear signs of Amyloodinium in both of them. The Clown fish was still in the glass separator in the main tank. I noticed that it was full of white velvet as well, shaking and not eating. I raised the temperature of my main tank to 29 Celsius and made a 20%water change, and I lowered the SP to 1017. I started feeding with liquid garlic.  I also tried to make a freshwater dip to the Clown, but his reactions were very stressful, so I put him back immediately. Since it is impossible to catch the Gramma and the Xanthotis (they hide in the corals and are very clever), and since I made the conclusion that the parasite was in my tank, I decided to treat my main tank. I transferred the Blue Tang from the hospital tank to my main tank (in between I gave him a freshwater bath of 8 minutes). I made a 100% water change to my hospital tank and I transferred my two macroalgae plants there in order to be safe from any medication. Then I started treatment with Oodinex, a mild general-use medication, which is supposed to be used even with invertebrates. I used this medication because I want to avoid copper for several well-known reasons. It is a 3-day treatment and the first dosage was applied yesterday. Today I moved my Clown to the hospital, where I supposed there would be a "cleaner" environment, but he was already in a bad condition. The fish died after a few hours. He had not only white velvet skin, but his white stripes were half-black stained. Today I applied the second dosage of Oodinex and nothing has changed in the condition of the fish: the two of them are scratching a lot and are covered by Oodinium, while the others (Annularis, Picasso, Damsel and Clown Panther) do nor appear to be infected yet. How in your opinion should I go on? I suspect the medication does help only a little and is not enough to cure the already established disease. Sorry for the long story, but it is really my first crisis after a long time of "piece" and I really need your help. <As you will see here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm, and the links beyond, copper and formalin are the two medications of choice for this parasite. The problem with copper is that it may take so much to kill the parasite that the fish dies! Many like the Formalin/fresh water dip to drive the parasite out. Daily dips for 5-8 days. Treating the main tank is not recommended. If possible, move the fish to bare bottom hospital tanks and treat there. Allow the main tank to fallow and break the parasite cycle. Good luck with you fishes. Don> Awaiting for your response, Regards, Your Greek friend Thanassis <Cool! Now I have two friends, and one is from Greece!>

Fighting Back Against Amyloodinium Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you tonight> I have a marine reef tank for almost one year now and velvet (Amyloodinium) has always been a problem in the tank (rarely have I been more than two months without it reappearing). I recently purchased a product called "Probiotic Marine Formula" from a company called Tropical Science. Few questions here: 1. Is it really effective? Will it help break the reproduction cycle of the bacteria? <<Amyloodinium is NOT a bacteria. RMF>> <I honestly don't have any experience with this product...be sure to check with some other hobbyists on the wetwebmedia.com chat forum to see if anyone has used it with success> 2. Does it only prevent or it helps cure? <Again- do check with those that may have used this product> 3. Should I tear down the whole thing and start from scratch (and what about live rock)? <Well, in my opinion, Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon are best treated by letting the tank go "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month. By depriving the parasites of their hosts (fishes), you are actually interfering with their life cycle, and will, in all likelihood, cause the majority of the parasite population to crash. And, if the fishes are treated directly for the illness with a proven treatment, such as copper sulphate, in a separate aquarium, you'll be assured of re-introducing healthy fishes to the display tank> An yes, the only time, my tank was "disease free" is when I let it "go fallow" for one month... which is about to happen for the second time... <You hit it on the head, my friend...go fallow! It really is the best way to go...Many of the so-called "miracle cures" and "reef safe" medications are the aquatic equivalent of "snake oil", IMO...Deal with the disease by beating it at it's own game!> ref.: Bob Fenner. I am just tired of that "so true" advice! Thanks, Benoit Belanger <Yep- sometimes the hard answer sucks! But, in the end- it's the best way to go...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Re: Fighting Back Against Amyloodinium The Cure Update. After more than three weeks, I can tell that "Probiotic Marine Formula" works. There was Oodinium in my tank. I had lost two fishes (the only ones in the tank), I introduced a new fish (a damsel) a few days later and it got contaminated in a few days. I then purchased the above product and started treated the tank with it. After three days, the fish didn't show any visible signs of Oodinium anymore. Three weeks later, it is in perfect health. First time in a year that I save a fish from Oodinium without having to quarantine it and treat with copper (and they often die anyway with this method: copper is not very good for the immunity system). Regards, Benoit Belanger <Well, Benoit- I'm glad that you had a positive experience with this medication. It's great to share this with our readers, as this is a forum for all hobbyists. I do not personally have experience with this stuff, so I can neither criticize or compliment it. I am, however, always leery of treating disease in the display aquarium. Many medications tend to bind with substrates, rocks, etc., rendering them somewhat ineffective at times. In my opinion, it's much better to treat the disease in a separate aquarium (with whatever medication you are administering), and let the main tank go "fallow", resulting in a diminished or eliminated parasite population. It's also important to note that many "cures" that are supposed to target specific maladies may actually cause a serious amount of collateral damage to beneficial organisms. Parasitic diseases can often go into "dormant" phases for weeks or moths, only to re-appear at a later date with a vengeance. Again- I'm not trying to "bash" this product- if it is a successful, gentle, and efficient cure, then we all have something to be happy about! I agree that LONG TERM copper exposure can possibly compromise some fishes' immunity systems and digestive infauna (in the case of tangs). However, if used properly, copper is a highly effective remedy against parasitic diseases, and has been for years. Also- as you no doubt agree- the best offense is certainly a good defense: Initial quarantine of all newly-arrived fishes is the best way to prevent the introduction of disease into our tanks. Thanks again for sharing your success with us. DO stay in touch! Regards, Scott F><<"Probiotic Marine Formula": Active ingredients sodium chloride and Nitrofurazone... this product didn't "do it". RMF>>

Re: sick Chromis thanks once again for your help.  i had 3 green Chromis in my qt, and all was fine for over a week.  then one day i noticed one wasn't schooling or eating and breathing rapidly in the corner.  then next day it was dead. <Sounds like Amyloodinium. AKA velvet> the other 2 were ok for a day more.  then the same thing happened to another one.  now its been 3 days since the 2nd died and the last one seems to be fine.  eating a lot and swimming fine.  no white dots or fuzzy stuff <Definitely velvet> and no visible isopods, the fish looked perfectly normal,  just rapid breathing and sitting in the corner.  i dissected the 2nd one and didn't see anything that looked like a parasite (with my crappy magnifying glass). any idea what this is?   <Definitely and obviously (from your description), velvet> could it have been something they had or did my qt tank have something?  i have a bi-color blenny that lives there full time and he seems fine through the whole event. <He's a really tough critter> or could they have had something all along that just got the best of them after a few weeks.  they were eating and very social for the 1st week.  my water parameters in qt check out fine too.  if you do have an idea what it is, can you recommend a dip / medication?  my thoughts were flukes, but since the 3rd seems ok, i didn't know how contagious they were? thanks again, Neil <This is just as contagious as ich. Please sterilize your tank before adding more fish. Check our disease files at Wetwebmedia.com There is detailed information about treating this and other diseases. David Dowless> <P.S. I'm a former North Carolinian from Fayetteville! UNCP graduate!> Neil A. Jacobs Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences North Carolina State University

MARINE VELVET OUTBREAK Hi there and thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and try to help me. <That's what I'm here for!> I guess I should start with the basics of my tank.  I have a 29 gallon tank that's been running about 6 months.  It has a coral substrate with live rock landscaping.  My inhabitants consist of a percula clownfish, 3 green Chromis, a Banggai cardinal, a cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp, a chocolate chip starfish, 3 hermit crabs and 6 turbo snails.  I am running a penguin 330 BioWheel filter, along with a venturi protein skimmer and a powerhead up top.  I unfortunately do not have a second tank to use as a quarantine or treatment tank <I bet you wished you did...> and it's not really in my budget to be able to set this up. <Really very easy and inexpensive. It's simply a short term holding tank> This is the first disease or outbreak of any kind I have had to deal with.  I have spoken with a couple of knowledgeable hobbyists locally, but I would like as many opinions as possible.  It is definitely marine velvet that has infested my tank.  I took some video of my fish and brought it to my local store for the expert to look at.  I haven't added any specimens recently (the last fish I added were the Chromis about 3 months ago).  The first fish this showed up on was a pygmy flame angel <Your tank doesn't really have the kind of filtration (Penguin Biowheel) needed for this fish. This guy needs absolutely perfect water> which unfortunately died the day after I treated my tank with rally (on the advice of both local experts I spoke to). <Never treat the main tank with anything> It has since spread to my clown <Predictable> who is starting to get ragged fins and spends most of the day on the substrate where he is definitely breathing laboriously. <Terminal signs> He will still eat a few flakes when I feed him, but not nearly what he usually eats.  I have noticed my Chromis breathing heavy, but it doesn't seem to have gotten to the point with them where I can see the white on the outside of their bodies.  Also, oddly enough, my cardinal seems so far to be completely unaffected. <Give it a few more days> I tried a full 10 minute freshwater dip on my clown 3 days ago, but it doesn't seem to have helped.  It's been 5 days since I treated my tank, and I'm told I can do a water change again now and redose the tank a second time with rally.  Since I dosed my tank the first time, I've been running filters with no carbon or anything else in them, and I have also shut my skimmer off in an attempt to keep the medication present enough. <Keep the skimmer going please> I have never had problems with harmful levels of anything since the tank has been up.  I think that just about covers it.  Any advice or input you have for me will be greatly appreciated! <Rather than rehash disease treatments I will send you to Wetwebmedia.com Search the disease files and facts. You will find many treatments described in detail. > Again, thanks in advance. <You're welcome! I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. David Dowless> Sincerely, Chad  

Mixing medications (marine velvet) Hello WWM crew- I have 2 yellow tangs in a QT tank that I am treating with Cupramine. One tang has velvet and the other a red blotchy rash on a portion of his body/fins.  I am doing daily freshwater/methylene blue dips for 5 min., and vacuuming the bottom daily for a 10% water change.  The temp is 81 degree's and the Spg is 1.018. Is it possible to treat the tank with  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone (Furan-2) while treating with copper?  Any help is appreciated.  -Chris <Umm, I would not mix the furan compounds, or use either of them for velvet. I suggest you look into adding formalin to the baths/treatment along with the copper. Bob Fenner> Thank you for the reply, Let me give you a little more information, my initial e-mail kept getting rejected for some reason. Up until about 6 weeks ago, I had a 55 gallon FO tank that had been setup for about 5 years with a yellow tang as the only occupant.  Along with the holidays came holiday cleaning, and while I was at work... my wife and her aunt thought it would be nice to strip down (completely drain, wash all the rocks, scrape all the algae off the glass, and change all the filters) my aquarium and move it. <Ohhhh> (I was sure the tang wasn't going to make it the first day.)  To make things worse...along with the clean tank and new location came 2 un-quarantined fish. A slightly larger yellow tang and a yellow tail damsel. <Ohhh number two>   After reading your FAQ's, I wanted to try to add live rock to my aquarium after it cycled.  So I setup a 15 gallon QT with a heater and powerhead circulating the water, and was glad I did... a week later the new tang was showing a blotchy rash like redness on the rear half of it's body, and the damsel was very lethargic and covered with a very fine white speckle... much smaller than " ick" ... <Likely the dinoflagellate called "velvet", Amyloodinium> so I suspected velvet. <Oh! Me too>   So I took the powerhead out and put a Skilter 250 off of my main tank on the 15 gallon QT, dropped the spg to 1.018...took out the fish and gave them a freshwater/methylene blue dip for 5 minutes and put them in the QT. The damsel died later that night. I vacuumed the bare bottom of the QT for a 20% water change, administered Cupramine, and did freshwater/methylene blue dips for the tangs on the second day and third day.  Unfortunately, my original tang started to show signs of velvet today, I did the other Cupramine dose today along with the freshwater dip.  My LFS did not have any copper tests, so I ordered one online and am presently waiting for the Seachem copper multi-test to get here. <Yikes! Come on postman!> From the FAQ's I understand the red rash one of the tangs has is caused by a bacterial infection and should be treated with  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone.     <Actually... any sort of "insult", challenge, chemical, physical, biological can be at play here. Likely the result of the sterilization process, addition of fishes, handling...> Also... until I get the copper test kit and Furan 2 in, the best I can do is the freshwater/formalin dips correct? <Yes>   I will still do a 10% water change daily, but will not dose anymore Cupramine until I get the kit, and trust that the freshwater dips will help. My LFS has a formalin/copper mix I will get it ASAP and use it in the freshwater dip.  Just to make sure I am on the same page as you... Furan-2 is a mix of Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone, and should not be used in conjunction with Cupramine. <Correct. Not likely to be of benefit, too likely to be deleterious> I was planning to use this for the tang that has what I understand to be a bacterial infection. Can this type of bacterial infection wait to be treated until I have run the Cupramine for it's required time? <This is not likely a "primary" infection... will go with improvement in general health... no need to specifically "treat"> Not meaning to change subjects, but how long would it possibly take for copper to leech out of dead coral skeleton's... as I treated my main tank with CopperSafe about 4 years ago, and I would like to be able to add live rock and a couple cleaner shrimp when the tank finishes cycling. <It's gone... generally precipitates into insoluble compounds in weeks on its own... sped up by water changes, life presence...> Sorry for the rant, but I needed someone to bounce all this off of since the nearest LFS that sells marine fish is almost 3 hours away, and I'm not even certain on their level of experience.  If it weren't for your site, I'm sure I would have dosed my display tank again, and not given a second thought to copper level's, or the future consequences it would have.   <Yikes number n> Again, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. <Glad to be of help, solace. Bob Fenner>

Mixing medications Hello WWM crew- I have 2 yellow tangs in a QT tank that I am treating with Cupramine. One tang has velvet and the other a red blotchy rash on a portion of his body/fins.  I am doing daily freshwater/methylene blue dips for 5 min., and vacuuming the bottom daily for a 10% water change.  The temp is 81 degree's and the Spg is 1.018. Is it possible to treat the tank with  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone (Furan-2) while treating with copper?  Any help is appreciated.  -Chris <Umm, I would not mix the furan compounds, or use either of them for velvet. I suggest you look into adding formalin to the baths/treatment along with the copper. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mixing medications Hello WWM crew- I have 2 yellow tangs in a QT tank that I am treating with Cupramine. One tang has velvet and the other a red blotchy rash on a portion of his body/fins.   <Egads!> I am doing daily freshwater/methylene blue dips for 5 min., and vacuuming the bottom daily for a 10% water change.  The temp is 81 degree's and the Spg is 1.018. Is it possible to treat the tank with  Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone (Furan-2) while treating with copper? <Should be okay but I would be worried about all of these medications combined with methylene/freshwater dips. Seems awful stressful to the fishes.  Are you sure this is needed? Have you checked our disease files at Wetwebmedia?> Any help is appreciated.  -Chris <David Dowless>

Re: Bannerfish with Velvet Thanks for the quick response. <You're welcome!> Today when I returned from work I immediately checked on my new fish and he has one cloudy eye.  Is this also the velvet acting?   <It is likely a symptom of the problem> As soon as I hit the send button I am going to add my Coppersafe. <Please test your copper levels. I suggest keeping copper in the tank for about two weeks. Keep the water quality optimal. Again, if you aren't sure about the whole procedure, check out wetwebmedia.com "disease." The process is fully explained on the site.> Thanks again, Amy <I hope the fish has a quick recovery! David Dowless>

Re: Bannerfish with Velvet <David.D is out of town so I will try to sit in here> I am just checking in with an update and a few follow up questions about my Bannerfish.  The good news is he is still hanging on for a week after I discovered the velvet.  The past six days I have done a freshwater dip (Temp 82 degrees, same as tank, and pH adjusted to 8.2 with baking soda) for about 5-7 minutes a day.  The rest of the time he spends in the quarantine tank with Coppersafe at the recommended dosage.  I don't see any new spots on the fins as I did before but he still has the fuzzy like growth on the end of his pectoral fin.  He also still seems to shake his head periodically like a hooked fish and also shakes his body like something is irritating him.  Here are my questions I have been pondering; 1.  I know it is unpredictable, but would you wager a guess as to whether this fish will make it since I seemed to have headed the velvet off at the pass by catching it early?  I was thinking since you suggested velvet kills so quickly that if my fish is still around now, maybe that is a good indication he is treatable. <It is treatable, able to be cured> 2.  Do you think it is the copper that is irritating the fish and causing him to shake the way he is or do you still think it is the actual live parasite? <The copper more than the parasite> 3.  How long should I continue the freshwater dips and once completed, do I then start a 30 day treatment plan with copper by itself in the Q-tank to allow the velvet to go through its whole life cycle? <I suggest adding formalin to your dip routine... and continue these for two weeks> I am very glad you advised me to act early with your last response.  You definitely saved his life.  I am also glad Bob's book, CMA, taught me about the whole quarantine/dip.  This probably saved the life of the fish in my main tank!  The Bannerfish still eats like a horse when I feed him so I assume he is still wanting to kick this parasite himself.  Thanks again for your help and feel free to pass along other tips to help his odds in case I forgot to ask any key questions. Happy holidays, Amy <Thank you my friend in fish. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Box fish with Marine Velvet I have a juvenile yellow box fish with Marine Velvet. I just noticed it today. I have placed him in a separate tank. <excellent... 4 week minimum please in QT> I am worried about the copper treatment. <rightly so... they are scaleless and will overdose on copper. Rely on closely supervised FW dips and formalin medications instead (without organic dyes mixed in like malachite green)> I have read that the box fish when nervous can secrete a toxin and can be deadly? <correct... they should not be kept with other fishes in small private tanks. I suspect that you have a cubicus (yellow with black spots). Most boxfish get 12" or larger as adults. Cubic's exceed 2 feet long!!! This is a fish for huge public aquariums... I wish they weren't sold to (us) casual aquarists. Most die prematurely for being kept in small aquaria (under 300 gall)> Thank you, Shelby <best regards, Anthony>

Velvet Bob <Craig here this spin...> I have a breakout of velvet.  I had a crash in my main tank due to a under rinsed bleached filter and had to temporarily store a couple of fish in my 27 gal.  Well I only had a couple of Cinnamon Clowns.  Well I put a Clown trigger, Raccoon Butterfly, and a fisher's angel in there while I try to get the main back. I noticed that one of they eyes on the trigger were cloudy, and tried to treat it with Furazone.  Well the next day the butterfly and trigger both had cloudy eyes and a lot of white specks.  I did water tests and the only parameter that was out of spec what pH 7.8. I began to slowly buffer it up to 8.2(4 days).  The Butterfly died along with a Striped damsel.  The trigger and clowns all look like they are losing their skin.  I am just wondering what I can do to treat the fish.  The trigger is laying on his side breathing rapidly and the clowns are sitting on the bottom barely swimming around.  Just wondering what I can do or are my fish lost.  Darren <Well Darren you have a few things to do.  One, change enough water to remove the majority of Furazone if you used it in the QT. It won't help this situation. You also have some pretty stressed fish so you have two choices to make, one is to freshwater dip your fish, (dip water matched to temp and pH of the QT), then into the QT with copper @0.25 ppm (after a water change to rid of Furazone) or straight into QT with copper @0.25 ppm.  Test copper twice daily (with a kit designed for the type of copper you are using) to maintain at 0.25 for two weeks. Use water changes or PolyFilter and carbon after two weeks to remove copper and QT for another two weeks to be sure.  The cloudy eyes should clear when the parasites go and water quality is returned to normal. Stay on top of water quality in QT.  There is much more on velvet at WetWebMedia.com, just type 'velvet' in the search engine. Hope this helps!  Craig>  

Salinity Hi Robert/Craig Hi Heinrich> Is there any guidelines on how long low salinity (specific gravity = 1.018)can be maintained in a tank for the purpose of treating ich/velvet? How will this affect fish if these low ranges is maintained for long periods - say up to a month? <Not needed for this period, just for copper treatment of two weeks, then slowly raise to 1.023-1.025. Continue QT w/o copper for additional two weeks.> I think I have stopped the ich/velvet now - the fish looks much better, but I am scared that if I bring the salinity back to normal the parasites will start to flourish again. <Not with copper at proper levels, lowered SG not necessary.> The tank had this low salinity for 7 days now - all the fish is happy and feeding well.  <Another week of this, copper and 83F and parasites should be on the run.> I am also maintaining a level of 0.18mg/l copper in the water. Any advice on this. Heinrich <Yes, Heinrich, do keep this at 0.025 ppm free copper. Make sure you use the right test kit for the type of copper you have. See WetWebMedia.com search "copper treatment". Hope this helps! Craig>

Salinity Hi Robert/Craig Hi Heinrich> Is there any guidelines on how long low salinity (specific gravity = 1.018)can be maintained in a tank for the purpose of treating ich/velvet? How will this affect fish if these low ranges is maintained for long periods - say up to a month? <Not needed for this period, just for copper treatment of two weeks, then slowly raise to 1.023-1.025. Continue QT w/o copper for additional two weeks.> I think I have stopped the ich/velvet now - the fish looks much better, but I am scared that if I bring the salinity back to normal the parasites will start to flourish again. <Not with copper at proper levels, lowered SG not necessary.> The tank had this low salinity for 7 days now - all the fish is happy and feeding well.  <Another week of this, copper and 83F and parasites should be on the run.> I am also maintaining a level of 0.18mg/l copper in the water. Any advice on this. Heinrich <Yes, Heinrich, do keep this at 0.025 ppm free copper. Make sure you use the right test kit for the type of copper you have. See WetWebMedia.com search "copper treatment". Hope this helps! Craig>

Oodinium problem Is a 20 gallon big enough for the six fish I mentioned and should formalin be used directly in the main tank? <I am of the opinion that it is best to avoid dosing any medication in the main display.> Fish are flame angel ,two hippo tangs (small size), six lined wrasse, flame hawk, <A 20 seems small for this group of fish.> and what brand of formalin? <Any will do. -Steven Pro>

Oodinium problem I wanted to put all fish in 20 gallon and treat with formalin. <Again, in my opinion, a 20 gallon tank is too small for the number and size of fish you previously mentioned.> Is this the choice over copper? <I would use formalin over copper for treating Amyloodinium. Please search through the www.WetWebMedia.com site for additional information and instructions on quarantine/hospital tanks, Amyloodinium, and formalin. -Steven Pro> 

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