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FAQs on Marine Velvet, Amyloodiniumiasis 3

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

Related FAQs: Marine Velvet 1, Marine Velvet 2, 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


Need advice please (Restocking after Amyloodinium outbreak) 10-09-05 Hi Bob, <<Hello, TravisM here.>> I hope you can help me as reading through the many entries on the website has not really helped me make a decision(s) I need to make. <<I will do my best.>> I lost half my fish in my FOWLR tank to Amyloodinium many months ago, ( newbie idiot mistake of not quarantining / not recognizing symptoms / using useless med ( Kent RXP, should be called RIP ! ) Remaining fish were hardy and were saved by a malachite green / formalin product called Cuprazin. My main tank has been parasite free now for many months with all fish healthy. My number one priority is to keep it that way. <<Good choice of number one priority.>> I have learned an awful lot. <<That is the key to this hobby, learn from your mistakes and move forward.>> I have my quarantine tank set up and matured, with a sunburst anthias and an orangeback fairy wrasse in there from 2 days ago. Both look very healthy, feeding well, they will be there for a month. Now here come the questions: 1. With the safety of my main tank being the overriding concern, should I preventatively medicate these two fish even though they appear healthy? <<Absolutely not. Never blindly medicate. I would suggest purchasing some medications to have on hand, but only use them when you have a positive ID on the parasite/disease.>> 2. If the answer is yes I read somewhere that this anthias is sensitive to copper (Scott Michael article on them I think?) Would that rule out malachite, or just copper sulphate products? << Answer was a big NO. I would use hyposalinity and many other procedures before copper.>> 3. I know dips/baths are recommended also. I have read that wrasse react badly to freshwater baths. Would a tank water dip with either formalin, or methyl blue, be effective ( I have both ) and if so which would you use? Duration? << I may get flogged for this response, but I suggest you skip the dips. Dips done incorrectly can be very traumatic to you and your new fish. Acclimate them to your QT tank and follow proper QT procedures and you will be much further ahead than you will be by needlessly stressing your new fish friends. Here again proper parasite/disease ID leads to proper medication identification to use during a dip.>> Thanks in advance for your help, <<Happy to help.>> Toby Joyce <<TravisM>> 

Sterilizing A Quarantine Tank - 10/08/05 How are you Bob? <<EricR here...very well, thank you.>> Thanks to you guys I can get out of trouble with my fish.  I have had a problem with Oodinium in my 20gal QT that keeps coming back with every new fish that goes into it. I read in your book that you should tear everything down and sterilize the tank to get rid of this parasite if it continues to haunt you and you've tried everything else. Well, I'm at that step now. Could you please tell me what you mean by sterilize?  I already took the tank outside and hosed it down with fresh water and now I'm letting it dry before I put new display water into it. Should I use a chemical or something, or is a fresh water hose down good enough? Can I use the same hang on filter/bio wheel and the same air stone?  Does this parasite live even in dry areas with no water, or does it only survive in water? I also soaked my plants and pvc pipe in hot water for a while, is that good enough? I don't want to have to deal with this again, please help? I'll wait to hear back from you before I proceed to get any new fish. <<Well Chris, your best option here is to scrub/wash the tank down with a dilute bleach solution (cup of bleach in a gallon of water)...rinse thoroughly...fill the tank and add a dechlorinator to remove any trace of the bleach...empty the water and let dry in the sun.>> Thanks a lot Bob, Chris <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: Sterilizing A Quarantine Tank - 10/08/05 To go with this last email I sent. Basically what I'm asking is: Is letting everything dry for a day or two after hosing down with fresh water, sufficient enough to kill Oodinium? <<Understood...please proceed as previously outlined (rinse with a dilute bleach solution). Regards, EricR>>

QT sterilization  9/24/05 I just lost a couple fish from my QT to Amyloodinium, and am breaking the tank down (I just got a smaller tank better suited as a QT).   My question is whether the Amyloodinium can survive complete desiccation (as in at least 3 days completely dry). I know bleach will sterilize & will use that on the net, etc, but for the tank itself & the power filter, I'd prefer just leaving dry a while if possible. <Scott, the surest was is to copper the QT for a minimum of 21 days with a maintained copper level of 0.15 to 0.20ppm.  This does require the use of a copper test kit to ensure these levels are maintained.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for a very helpful site! <You're welcome> <<... can resist drying for three plus days... I would lightly bleach all. RMF>> Scott

Oodinium Questions 6/6/05 Ok, hard lesson to learn about marine velvet.  But after reading what was put on this site and doing further research have come across this, and was wishing input from the crew, as your bunch seem to know this hobby quite well and are quite informative. <Thanks for the kind words, let's see if we can help!> http://www.fishvet.com/revive.htm.  It is an article on both freshwater and saltwater Oodinium. Are they onto something with this Revive product? <In my opinion, no.  Copper, Quinine and Chloroquine are proven to be effective and are safe when properly used.  Oodinium is a fast killer, and experimentation can cost precious time.> Granted, its probably too late for my use, this time.   As I seem to misdiagnosed what killed off a few fish from 55 gallon, and when moving the sand from the 55g to the 150g, seem to transport this nasty parasite along with it. The pair of cleaner shrimp seem to constantly work at the LR, unless a fish happens to come by one of them.  <An aquarium must be free of fish for at least six weeks to ensure that it is free of this parasite.  Also, while attractive, cleaner shrimp are useless against Oodinium.  Even if they did eat this parasite (they don't), they probably could not do so fast enough to be effective.> Interested, read from article by Steven Pro, Mention some promising use of Hydrogen Peroxide to treat this nasty parasite.  But, not enough research (experience) with use of it yet.  I question if more has been done along this lines to consider it a good practice, as the DSB and LR are probably covered in the parasite as well.  And that inverts can carry it, unlike Ich.  And Cleaner shrimp would be doomed in copper treated QT.  Maybe your more knowledgeable insight with reading their article could discern whether it is of merit. <Inverts can carry this parasite, but are not effective vectors.  If the aquarium remains fish free for six weeks, it should be clean.  Hydrogen peroxide is effective, but the levels necessary would be quite harmful to a reef tank.  It would have to be used in a hospital tank like copper.  Steve's article is the foremost resource for the treatment of this disease for hobbyists.  I suggest following the advice he gives (Although I have had good experience with, and am partial to Chloroquine).> Appreciate the answers from the crew.  I seem to spend many hours at this site, and think it is one of the blessings of the internet, as many other sites are very much like parasites. Keep up the good work. <Thanks!  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

- Marine Velvet Question - First can you see marine velvet with the naked eye? <Not really... only the signs of its presence on your fish.> I have these small little creatures infesting the glass of my tank. They are white, about 2 millimeters long about 1 millimeter wide and have a tail like feature. <Too large.> I just got two clownfish and one of them died. He was showing signs of gasping, swimming near the surface, and not eating. He was only in the tank for two days. The other clown is doing good. I also have a watchman goby who seems to be fine. Besides that i only have some soft corals, a cleaner shrimp, and a pistol shrimp. I also am using phytoplankton. I know its a bad description, but could this be velvet I'm seeing or do you have any idea what it could be? <Probably some planktonic organism... to say exactly would be difficult without a microscope.> concerned rookie MJ <Cheers, J -- >

- Marine Velvet Question, Follow-up - thanks for the reply, i took some in to Preuss and they are copepods... <Glad to hear.> have a good one <You too.> MJ <Cheers, J -- >

Marine Velvet Hi, I have read most if not all the related information about the above mentioned disease. I was just informed by my wife that the last of my fish is now on it's way out. I have lost the following fish in the span of 1 week: 1 Banner, 2 Banggai Cardinals, Purple Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, 2 Ocellaris Clowns. I have been not a little disappointed when I contacted the LFS and was basically informed that the fish got the disease from my existing tank and that this is entirely my fault. My main concern is about my corals and rock. The fish, corals and rock were in holding tanks as I was busy getting my new tank ready in the lounge. I would like to know the following: Will the disease be passed to my new tank if I move the corals and rock? <If you don't wait a good long period of time in doing so, yes> If yes, what can I do to stop this or should I just start from scratch? Your help with this regard will be highly appreciated. (Needless to say, I have now got 3 tanks for new arrivals to my display tank. Little too late I know.  <Not too late... please re-read on WWM re letting tanks go fallow to eliminate vectoring such pathogens. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine Velvet Thanks for the reply. Am I right in presuming that if I leave the tank for 2-3 weeks without fish, the parasite will die off and I will be able to move the rock and corals to the new tank safely? <Heeeeee! No need to presume... read... uh... where? Bob Fenner> 

Inverts OK for Fallow period after Amyloodinium? 5/2/05 WetWebMedia has been an invaluable resource as I branched into marine, and I turn to you again now in a dark hour. <Glad you have benefited, and hope to help further!> First, just to give you the basics of my set-up: 220 gallon tank with roughly 260 pounds of live rock. Circulation from 1 1500 GPH powerhead , 2 810 GPH powerheads, one 900 GPH powerheads. An Aquaclear 500 holds my carbon and PolyFilter, both regularly changed. Skimmer is a Tunze 240/3. I use only RO/DI water and I dose every day with a two-part calcium/buffer (B-Ionic) to encourage coralline algae and because I have a huge derasa clam (about the size of a football).  Nitrates, nitrites, ammonia all undetectable, Ph is 8.2 to 8.4 (depending on how one interprets the colour, which is always the same). Apart from the big clam, the other main occupants are an 18" S. gigantea anemone and a green bubble-tip anemone.  <All sounds good.> About two weeks ago, I had fish. Now, I have only two little ocellaris clowns, and they are on their last legs. The tank was doing very well, until I was away for three days and, on the first day, my cleaning lady blew a fuse and the tank shut down...no circulation, no heat, no light, no skimming, no auto-top-off. But still, it is a big system and I was sure it was no big deal. I got everything running and things looked fine. Then the Amyloodinium ocellatum hit. Now, about two weeks later, almost everything is dead The inverts (the clam, the anemones, cleaner shrimp, snails and corals) all seem 100% fine. The two remaining fish will not likely last the day. I am trying to remain positive and will start again. (My initial reaction was to sell everything off and go back to freshwater only.)  <Oh, no! Please don't give up. Outbreaks of Amyloodinium (like ick) often occur after stressful events like your tank experienced. Amyloodinium can hit hard and kill fast. By the time it is positively ID'd, it is often too late. I always keep Chloroquine diphosphate on hand in case of velvet outbreaks. It works very well, and IMO is safer and easier to use than copper. I would suggest moving your clowns to a hospital tank and trying Chloroquine (if you can find it) or copper (follow the package directions carefully!).> How do I do it? The tank actually looks great, though barren. My plan was to leave the system fishless for two full months at 80 degrees. I thought this would sufficiently weaken the resident Amyloodinium ocellatum. My concern is that with the inverts, this won't be fallow at all. I understand that this parasite, though it doesn't kill inverts, can piggyback on them. So that is my question: is what I am proposing enough?  <Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon can hitchhike with inverts or in their bag water if they are scooped up in the right stages of their life cycle. However, they cannot survive without fish hosts. So, to answer your question, as long as your tank is fish free for about 4-6 weeks, no Amyloodinium or Cryptocaryon will survive even with inverts present. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Velvet treatment info on site... human nature/reality, cogitation Hi, I wrote an email last night regarding a possible velvet outbreak in my tank and the correct meds to use on the fish. I have spent hours going through the FAQ's and although they are a great resource, the conflicting opinions regarding use of copper vs. use of formalin in Marine Velvet FAQ 1 is very confusing. <Mmm, what would you do? There are dozens of "us" here... some with widely differing, conflicting input/s> One set of answers to people using copper says that copper is not effective as a treatment and prescribes formalin, and then another bunch of people using formalin are told that they are poisoning their fish, and to use copper. <Oh, I'll respond to this... both are poisons, do poison the fish/es... hopefully the complaint more and more quickly> I realize that there are differing opinions, but you may find you continue to get questions regarding this, as the information on the website is contradictory. After hours of reading I am as confused as I was when I started as to how to treat. Please understand that I really value the resource and thank you for your time and effort. I  just wanted to bring this to your attention, as often when people ask questions you refer them to the FAQs. Maybe there is a place on the website that I have not encountered that clears it up, sorry if so. Aloha, Elizabeth <Thank you for your input here. I say, when, where, if in doubt, ask people for the underlying logic of their stances... both formalin and copper can be efficacious for Amyloodiniumiasis treatment... both are toxic... some fishes are more sensitive to one, the other. My article on the subject: http://wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm Bob Fenner>

Is Velvet the Problem, or What? Will the Real Problem Please Stand Up? My tank was doing wonderfully. No algae and I had 5 fish - a royal Gramma, a true clown... <<As opposed to a fake clown? Aren't they *all* clowns..?? Clowns creep me out, as do monkeys, but hey..>> ...a red-headed solar wrasse, and 2 Klein's Butterflies. I had been having a lot of fish die in my quarantine tank and I told that to the people in the two LFSs. They all said "I don't believe in quarantine - I think it's a real stressor on the fish and causes more harm than good".  <<Yep, that's why you'll find NO public zoo or aquarium that skips quarantine. Because it does no good. Oh yeah, sage words. And people wonder why some of us have problems with the information coming out of local shops.>> Another thing that was said over and over was "Ich is always in the water - the only time your fish get ich is when they're stressed". Is this true? <<It IS debatable, to be honest. I, personally, am of the opinion that a whole lot of bad things are present, just as in the ocean. I also believe that it is external stressors that allow diseases to take hold. However, there are some diseases that I would assert that, if always present, would always kill. Let's see where this one's going.>> Having said that, I wanted a flame angel and from everything I'd read, it would not be a problem having those 6 fish in my 75 gallon tank.  <<Not so much the number of fish as the biological load they place on the system. Given your list, I tend to agree, six smaller fishes *should* be no problem.. except for the fact that you haven't quite got the quarantine thing down, that's a problem (and not a small one).>> I bought the first flame angel and he died in my quarantine tank - don't know why.  <<This is a problem. It's important to know why.>> I thought he had something on his fins but was not sure.  <<Fish don't die from "something on the fins". That "something" is an indicator of a larger problem. Think "globally" here, think husbandry, environment, nutrition, sourcing, original fish health. All avenues must be explored.>> On March 13th I purchased another Flame from the other store in town and put him directly into the main tank without quarantine. <<I cannot recommend strongly enough against this practice. For instance, let's say that you did indeed introduce a fish with marine velvet (Amyloodinium/Oodinium). This parasite is EXCEEDINGLY virulent. So much so that you cannot hope to re-use a *thing* without using extreme disinfection procedures.>> As of April 8th five of the six fish had died. I believe it was velvet.  <<Why do you believe this?>> The red-headed solar wrasse did not die and looks perfectly healthy. Today is April 16th and he appears to be doing great. All my snails, hermit and 2 emerald crabs are also doing great.  Now for the questions. Did the velvet come from the Flame Angel or is it "always in the water anyway"?  <<I don't know. You haven't described a single symptom that would even begin to lead me in the direction of velvet. As for "omnipresence", re: specifically velvet, my experience has been that if it's present at all, it's going to show up FAST KILL FAST MOVE FASTFASTFAST. As in "You better have your nuts together little squirrel 'cause we've got some rough riding ahead." This stuff is BAD. Brooklynellosis is another one that leaves little time for action, tends to be virulent (though often we'll see one or three fishes affected, and others showing nothing). This is about the best reason I can see to quarantine for a FULL four weeks (and this next bit is really important) Disease Free. If they show signs of illness, that clock starts all over again. I think it's time to examine more closely your quarantine procedures/husbandry.>> Is it true that Ich is always in the water?  <<Do a search on the many reefing bulletin boards, search Terry Bartelme, Steven Pro, et al. You will find that there is some debate regarding this assertion. However, a different take on my own stance: If one ASSUMES omnipresence, then one is more likely to act accordingly, yes? This means utility of hyposalinity, freshwater dipping, and proper quarantine/hospital housing at the ready. Make yourself ready as a Marine, and it will stand you in good stead. However, we really need to sort out the original troubles with your quarantine, no fish should be dying so readily in a good set-up.>> Was it possible that it was a really bad case of Ich? Did the fish get sick because the Flame Angel introduced a parasite or because the last fish was one fish too many, slightly aggressive, and I stressed out my fish and made them susceptible to infection?  <<Not a one of these questions can be answered intelligently with the dearth of information you've provided. However, if I assume that you had live rock only for filtration in that tank, and if I assume that those butterflies weren't more than 6" in length, I would have to say that, no, I don't think it was just one fish too many that pushed it over the edge. However, I can't really make ANY assumptions that would allow me to be more definitive for you.>> Did they sick because I added one too many fish (the butterflies were pretty active)? What should I do now - is there a period of time I must wait before introducing new fish into the tank (the LFSs say 1 month)?  <<It's time you search our site on marine parasitic diseases, including but not limited to Cryptocaryon irritans, Amyloodinium/Oodinium, and Brooklynellosis. I can't even begin to offer a guess as to what's going on here without any identifying information.>> The wrasse did not get sick but how do I know that he's not just one incredibly immune fellow and any other fish I put in there will get velvet?  <<Cannot answer.>> How long does the parasite stay alive in the substrate? Toni <<Depends on certain conditions, really, starting with temperature, and the availability of host organisms. I'm sure you've heard of people carrying diseases that they don't show symptoms of, but can give to others. I believe that it is *generally* safe to say the same is true of fish. However, there really is no way I can really help you at this point. Water parameters (as well as age and brand of test kit) are the beginning here. If you used hyposalinity, how low, and how did you measure (yes, what tool you used is really important). How big is your Q/T system? Is it filtered? How so? What test parameters have you found in your quarantine? Observation is the keystone of science and good husbandry of ALL animals/children, etc. Please, do start with our Google search tool using the keywords mentioned above, you have a LOT of reading to do, my friend. Marina>>

Marine Velvet, Marine Betta and Cleaner Wrasse 4/15/05 Just a quick question. I have a 125gal reef tank. I had an episode of Marine Velvet about 3.5 weeks ago. All I have left is my Firefish, glass goby, Scarlet lady shrimp, my Anemones, and coral. Tank was treated with Stop Parasites. Did a lot of water changes and turkey blasting and for the past 2.5 weeks everything has been fine.  <Stop Parasites is rough stuff! The water changes are a good idea. Beware that velvet has a life cycle that is about three weeks long. Many aquarists are lulled into a false sense of security because their fish are parasite free. Then, a week or so later, all of the resting cysts hatch and it is worse than before.> I saw a young Marine Betta at a store in Fredericksburg VA, called Maru. The Betta is only 1.5 inches, and seems peaceful. I was just wondering if the Marine Betta would be okay.  <Introducing any new fish to your system would be a bad idea. I would suggest waiting at least 6 weeks (two life cycles of the parasites) before adding any new fish. When the Betta gets larger, it will eat your ornamental shrimps.> I have also thought about getting a yellow or blue spotted Jawfish. Find them very fascinating. I wondered if I got a Cleaner wrasse if it would eat Copepods. I have quit a few. Thanks love your site you guys are my main source for aquarium info.  <Jawfish are very fascinating! However, I would apply the same waiting period as for the Betta. Also, Jawfish require at least 3-4" of sand to construct a burrow and can topple live rock with their digging. This must be considered when setting up a tank for them.  Cleaner Wrasses may eat copepods, but not enough to sustain them. 99% or more of the Cleaner Wrasses sold die quickly of starvation. Also, they don't eat Ick and Velvet parasites (these parasites are too small), and often die of those diseases themselves when they are introduced as a possible treatment. Please leave cleaner wrasses in the ocean! Best Regards. AdamC.>

Velvet?!  About a week ago I purchased two blue green Chromis for my 29 gallon reef. Within 24 hours my frogspawn seemed to get sick, I treated for what seemed to be brown jelly... <Whoa! You "treated", with what?> ...now it seems to be recovering nicely. However, today one of the Chromis passed on. My water parameters are all okay, SG 1.023, Nitrites 0, Ammonia 0, Nitrates, 0-2 Temperature is around 78 degrees Fahrenheit. I assumed that Chromis were so tough they didn't need a full quarantine. <Uh, no... not only for toughness should livestock be quarantined> My LFS qt them for a week also. (The first and last time I don't quarantine anything)  <Good> Chromis seemed fine then started breathing heavily and died. As of now the other is cowering at the bottom. I also have a pair of percula clowns and a Banggai cardinal. I saw some aggression toward the Chromis... <Yes... this tank is too small for other damsels than the two clowns> ...but I'm not sure if that is the cause of the death. I haven't seen any white spots or powder like symptoms either. However, when I removed the Chromis he or she looked blotchy, with a loss of color and dark patches on his upper torso. There was also a circular brown mark on his mouth. <Could just be... and likely is... decomposition> At this point my biggest fear is velvet. If it is velvet what should I do, I have some polyps the frogspawn and a torch, will it affect these and my live rock also? Sorry for the lengthy email, and thank you for your help, you guys are a great resource Eric <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner> 

- Marine Velvet Treatment - I have done internet searches (I am in the UK) for formalin. The meds available here under formalin products state they contain 30% formaldehyde solution, is this ok?  <Yes... that's what Formalin is.>  I know formaldehyde is fairly harsh???  <Is true... and copper is pretty harsh too, as is quinine for Malaria... sometimes the only thing that works is a chronic dose of a poison that will be just enough to kill the parasite and not the patient.> Can I use this in conjunction with either of these copper treatments Aqua Medic Pointex or Cuprazin? <No... do not mix and match treatments. Treat with one or the other, but the formalin will work best on velvet.> Thank you again for your help. Regards, Jackie <Cheers, J -- >

Marine velvet Bob, I have discovered that I definitely have marine velvet in my system. This is a mature system with a static population of soft and hard corals, live rock, inverts and fish. The only source I can think of was a pre-used (still damp powerhead from another aquarist's tank?) as there have been no other additions. <Bummer> Anyhow, I love my fish/tank dearly but I have a family crisis at the moment with my mother in the end stages of cancer, and this tank is in her bedroom in our home. I cannot then really break it down/cause too much disruption. Can I achieve a long-term result for my fish by removing all fish to quarantine tank and treat there with freshwater dips and medication leave live rock in place in main tank and raise temperature and lower salinity?  What can I do with my shrimps/snails?  There appears to be velvet on my blood shrimp. <What? No... this is something else> I think if I have understood correctly, that salinity/treatments could harm them. <Yes> Would this combined approach avoid me having to break down the system. I am truly struggling at the moment. I can leave main tank fallow for as long as it takes. Appreciate your time and efforts. If I have missed what you have previously explained on-site, please excuse me as I am all sixes and sevens at present.  Jackie <Mmm, I would NOT panic... take your time here... please explain to me exactly what leads you to believe your first sentence above... Symptoms? Appearances? Do NOT add anything to the water, do NOT change the environment at this point. Only fishes are affected by Amyloodinium, NOT invertebrates. Bob Fenner>

Re: marine velvet Forgot to say...all fish still eating, food soaked in garlic, have attached U.V to tank. Jackie <Good moves... the UV will help. Bob Fenner>

Re: marine velvet Hi I appreciate what you are doing to try and help my fish!  They have the following symptoms: * they have white specs, miniscule and across their bodies, looks like they've been dusted with flour * they rub against rockwork/hard corals * spasm every so often * are breathing rapidly, my emperor angel is going a washed out colour * their eyes are cloudy * shrimps have some lesser speckling on the hump of their backs <Mmm, does sound like Velvet... possibly Cryptocaryon/ich... the shrimp affliction is something else... possibly "just coloring"> My local fish shop visited and suggested it was velvet? The only problem we  have had in the tank is a Goniopora (2 years old) had self-destructed and mucus  broke off in tank as we removed it. <Yikes> Water parameters stable (tested by us and LFS using reputable test kits. Only one a bit out is calcium at 400.  We have recently put in a new calc reactor. Run a skimmer constantly and have a large sump with hydrocarbonate. Change water fortnightly (10%) with salted ro water and top up with ro water. Usual salinity 0.25.  We had to remove an algae blenny who was being very aggressive to the clowns but no other problems before this. We feed frozen and Nori at least twice a day. Jackie <Does sound like you're doing most all right... w/ the important exception of quarantine procedures.... You will need another system... to isolate fishes, non-fish livestock... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the linked files (in blue, above). Bob Fenner>

Re: marine velvet Thanks Bob, for your patience ( I have flapped a bit!!!!!) <Happens> I am now in process of trapping/dipping each fish in freshwater dip, putting them in a quarantine tank.  Last questions: should I treat them with anything?  I have asked chemist to get Meth blue ASAP. I was given Hex-a-Mit (Metronidazole) antibiotics but didn't want to be hasty. <Mmm, I would NOT use Metronidazole/Flagyl to treat Velvet... Copper compounds... better with formalin... as detailed on WWM> Can I put shrimps in with fish (wouldn't have meds in quarantine tank)?  Should I remove snails? <Invertebrates need to be kept separate from the fish, treatment system> As I cannot break down tank, in relation to Mum's condition, how long could  I leave main tank fallow to cure this problem from the system? <At least a month> Thanks for this. I have learned a valuable lesson re: not just quarantining livestock but the importance of not putting hardware such as powerheads in without letting them stand fallow. Many Thanks, Jackie <Steady on my friend. Bob Fenner>

- Dipping & Garlic - Hey guys, I have a few important questions regarding Amyloodinium and dipping.  First question is:  How long should I keep my saltwater angel in a Methylene blue/freshwater dip for? <Probably not much more than five minutes.> The angel has body and gill parasites and Ich. <Is it Ich or Amyloodinium? These are not the same thing.> I was going with the recommendation Mr. Fenner had in The Conscientious Marine Aquarist book about Meth. blue dip recipe.  But it says nothing about duration. Second question is:  If I continue to feed all my fish in my main tank garlic continuously with every feeding, will that eventually rid me of Amyloodinium and keep the fish healthy? <The garlic "may" keep the fish healthy, but it will most certainly NOT rid your tank of Oodinium or Cryptocaryon (Ich). You need to take drastic action if the parasite you have is Oodinium as it will kill your fish in a matter of days if you do nothing other than use garlic. Dips and quarantine with formalin are what are needed. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Thanks a lot, Jason <Cheers, J -- >

- Is This Velvet? - Hi Wet Web People <Hi...> Hells bells... I think my reef has velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum).  Only it's looks like velvet , but my fish are still alive after nearly 2 weeks. <Perhaps not Oodinium then as its onset is rapid and almost always fatal if not dealt with in days, not weeks.> As I understand it this disease is supposed to be a quick death. <This is most often the case.> I have read the posting on this disease yet have a few questions. I have 1 Premnas clown, 1 fridmani Dottyback, 2 fire gobies, a nox angel and bicolor angel and 1 mandarin.  The angels seem to be well dusted - yet they are not scratching or breathing badly.  The Dottyback is scratching periodically, yet seems otherwise normal, as does the mandarin which is not scratching, but has the occasional chasing its tail episode. The fire gobies seem totally unaffected as does the Premnas clown (does the anemone protect it?). <I have heard anecdotal evidence of this, but have no scientific data one way or the other.> I have 3 Lysmata debelius (fires shrimps) that the angels spend much time with.  The Dottyback however does not.   Ok.. what to do.  Is this velvet - it sure looks like it (dusty white covering over the fished body with a little mucus). <Could be Cryptocaryon... sometimes is hard to discern the size of the particles of "dust"... the difference should be as obvious as the difference between powdered and granulated sugar.> Just no rapid breathing.  How do I treat this in a reef (with anemones, clams, and inverts) when I can't catch the fish without taking my reef down and I have only limited access to medications here. <You don't... you would have to break down the reef and remove the fish... would be the only option that would leave you with a reef - anything else [direct chemical treatment] will likely kill your invertebrates and compromise the water quality.> If am going to that trouble I would rather euthanize the sick ones to put them out of their misery and let the tank fallow for a few months (is this a guaranteed method to rid the tank of the pest). <Yes and no... will depend on your future behaviour just as much. If you likewise commit to a rigid practice of quarantine and freshwater dips, then you do stand a good chance of having a relatively parasite-free system. Other than that... as my father used to tell me, "This is life, there are no guarantees."> If I was to follow the later course of action, would I be able to keep the clown and gobies that are (seemingly) unaffected. <Would be wise to remove all the fish to quarantine so they can be treated there, and re-introduced once they seem to be on the mend. I'd rather see you do this than destroy the sick, which may not be all that sick just yet... your quick actions at this juncture could save many lives.> Help.. I have never dealt with this pest before..  What can you suggest. <Get a couple of buckets ready... drain the tank into the buckets and remove the inverts in to same... leave about 1/4 water in the tank and this will make it very easy to catch the fish. Will take less time than you think.> To medicate or... <And then yes, medicate the fish in separate quarantine tanks.> Brett Moloney Bangkok <Cheers, J -- >

Velvet outbreak Hi to all the crew <Hello Robbie!> Firstly can I say your site is a fantastic resource for all newcomers and experienced people in the Marine Hobby <A pleasure> I have had a 100 gall tank running for 3 months, FOWLR, 1 Regal Tang, 5 Green Chromis, 1 Tomatoe Clown, 2 Ocellaris Clowns, and 1 Bannerfish, Water quality 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 10 ppm Nitrate, keep Turbos, and hermits for clean up and 2 Cleaner Shrimp. Have Nitrate sponges and Algone to keep Nitrate down as well as 5 Gall water change once a week. All was well until I decided to add some more fish. 1 Queen Angel 2 Star Damsels 1 Royal Gramma. <Oh oh> Within 4 days the Angel had what I thought was Crypt and started treating with Myxazin, 2 days later the Angel was on its side on the bottom of the tank and the 2 Damsels had the same sort of white spots, rapid gilling and sitting near the bottom of the tank, the Gramma was no where to be seen. Following day both Damsels were dead. All other fish seemed to be ok and were feeding well. <Mmm, white spots...> Next day Gramma was on the bottom of the tank dead, and the Tomatoe Clown was showing same symptoms. Carried on treating with Myxazin <Did I miss your mention of quarantine, dipping during acclimation?> Tomatoe Clown succumbed this morning and the Bannerfish is not well either with same symptoms. I do have 25 gall QT that is still cycling and is 0.10 Ammonia, 0.05 Nitrite, 40 ppm Nitrate. <Don't wait! Move those fishes... and water from their current system, start mixing make-up water...> I am now fairly certain this is a Velvet outbreak <Not me... even just from your description of the "white spots", sounds much more likely to be Crypt...> Question is can I use this tank now to try and save the other fish and leave the Main tank fallow. <Yes!> please can you answer to XXXX.com as this is my work email address regards Robbie <Sorry for the late response. Act NOW! Bob Fenner> Re: Velvet outbreak Hi Bob <Robbie> Many thanks for your reply, I understand you are busy and cannot get back to everyone with the speed of light. Unfortunately my Bannerfish died this morning, <Arggghhh! We've gone to a different system of arranging incoming queries... and I was out at my mother in-laws for a week... I always have a dread of not getting back to folks in need... in time...> I have had a real shock at how quick this disease can take hold, <Yes... can wipe out a system... in less than a day> I suppose I was lulled into a false sense of security as I have kept Freshwater fish for nearly 15 years and never had anything like this happen. I was on the point of packing it all in and putting the tank on EBay, but after a long think and still having my 5 Chromis and Regal Tang to take care of, was spurred back into action from my despondent mood, and have spent the whole day trying to catch them and get them in the QT. <Yay! Outstanding to read, realize your conviction> They are all now in the QT, I intend to leave my Main Tank empty apart from the inverts for 60 days and from now on everything but everything will be going into the QT for at least 30 days before going into the main tank, the fish already in there will be staying there until the "Fallow" period has elapsed in the main tank. <Good> An emotionally draining not to mention expensive mistake, all for the sake of waiting for a QT tank that I already had. A lesson for all of us QUARANTINE everything people, don't be tempted to play Russian Roulette with your fish as you will always LOSE. <Bingo> Thanks for your help and keep up the brilliant work you do on the site, there are lots of newbies out there that should spend at least a month reading through your site before they even enter a LFS. <A good idea... hope we can afford the bandwidth!> I have just bought your book off Amazon, and will have plenty of time to read it whilst I wait for my tank to clear. <Ahh, know you will enjoy, benefit from its perusal> Best wishes Robbie York U.K. <Oh, and we have a friend, Peter Caterrick, who has lived with us a dozen years who is from York as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Amyloodinium  problems I discovered I had Amyloodinium in my tank on December 13th.  I was able to confirm this by looking at some scrapings from gills, scales and fins of two fish that died recently (one frozen and one not).  I checked these under my microscope and verified it with microscope photos I found online.  Other symptoms included: - labored breathing - cloudy eyes - loss of colour - tiny powdery spots - refusing food - blood streaks and/or splotches Some unusual behavior I observed: - listlessness, hovering weakly in one spot, usually near the surface - flashing, flicking, scratching on the substrate - hovering in the direct flow of one of the pumps I read everything on Wetwebmedia, and several other sites, about Amyloodinium and decided I needed to act quickly.  I lost 5 fish in a very short time but still have 7 left.  Dead are: - 5" Pakistani butterfly (I suspect this is the fish that brought it to my tank) - 3" Red Sea Chevron butterfly - 3" Red Sea Raccoon butterfly - 7" Male Squarespot Anthias - 1" Emperor Angel *sob* On December 15th I removed the 7 remaining fish from the 300g tank and put them in a 75g hospital tank with the following: - bare bottom, no rock or sand - plastic and resin hiding places - huge Eheim canister filter filled with porcelain and ceramic biomedia (rings, balls, etc. - running since last August) - air curtain with large air pump - Maxijet 1200 powerhead - temp 84F (I read that this would speed up the lifecycle of the parasite) - SG 1.018 (I read that this would be better for the fish, I normally keep my tanks at 1.026) - pH 8.0 (I have had to add Kalkwasser once a day to keep it up.  Does Cupramine lower pH?) - lab grade filtered natural seawater (I use nothing but in all my tanks with RO/DI for top off) All fish had a freshwater dip on their way to the hospital tank.  Dip time depended on how each fish was tolerating it, minimum of 4 minutes, maximum of 8 minutes.  I am treating the hospital tank with Cupramine (copper) and keeping it at a level of 0.5 and testing twice a day to be sure it stays there. <That is kind of high if the level is PPM.> These are the fish in the hospital tank and their condition: 6" Copperband butterfly - Excellent, I've had this fish for years, raised it from a 1" baby, she didn't show any symptoms at any point. 5" Golden butterfly - So this guy did have some powder on him, some blood streaks and rapid breathing.  He's much better now and is eating well.  The freshwater dip really seemed to help him.  There are still some very faint red streaks but his breathing is good and I don't see any powder spots.  He wasn't eating much before the dip but his appetite is back to normal now. 3" Longnose butterfly - Excellent.  I haven't had this fish long but he didn't show any symptoms. 2" cleaner wrasse - Very good now but was going downhill before the dip.  He is eating but hides a lot more than he used to, could just be the new surroundings though.  Is eating well but not quite as much as he used to in the large tank, he was a real pig. 2" cherub angel - Good now but has either major slime coat damage or could be scale damage.  Odd sheen to body overall but not really the powder spots, just not quite right.  No colour loss.  Is eating well. 2" royal Gramma - Seems to be coming around, I thought I was going to lose this one.  Has some clouding in the eyes still and one looks a bit protruded but the fish is eating and the eyes seem to be improving.  Is eating small amounts. 2" Lubbock's fairy wrasse - This fish wasn't showing symptoms before the dip but really didn't tolerate it very well and is quite stressed in the new tank.  Hiding almost constantly but today she's coming out for short periods and has started eating again.  I don't see any Oodinium symptoms though. I did a 30g water change on the 75g hospital tank yesterday (3rd day) siphoning the bottom well while doing it to hopefully get as many of the parasites in the tomont stage as possible and plan to continue to do this while they are in the tank. QUESTIONS - Is there anything you would recommend I do in addition to this or perhaps instead of what I am doing?  I really want to give my fish the best possible chance of surviving this parasite without doing too much damage with the copper. <Do not freshwater dip the wrasses again.  They are very sensitive to freshwater dips.  Make sure you are not over dosing with copper.  That too can be a problem.> I'm also concerned about getting all the parasites out of the big 300g tank.  I am not treating it with anything but I have the temperature up to 84F and I'm hoping that if I leave the tank fallow long enough with the UV sterilizer that I can starve out the parasite. <That will take 6 to 8 weeks.> 300g Equipment: 300g (8'x2'x2.5') Tenecor Acrylic tank 6' LifeReef Protein Skimmer 40W Rainbow LifeGuard UV Sterilizer 350 Magnum canister filter with micron cartridge only (runs the UV Sterilizer) VHO Lighting 2 Tunze Stream pumps (model 6100, pushes 3100 gph each) Livestock: The system was setup mainly for butterflyfish.  It's not what I would consider a reef tank but I do have a number of inverts, this is what's in the tank now: 300lbs Fiji liverock 300lbs CaribSea sugar fine sand (approx. 3" deep) 4" blue reef lobster 2 cleaner shrimp 1 coral banded shrimp 40 Baja cerith snails 20 Nassarius snails 5 large turbo snails 5 small margarita snails 2 emerald crabs 2 strawberry conchs 1 long Spined Diadema urchin 1 pincushion urchin assorted mushrooms & Ricordea green tree coral button polyps and Zoanthids anthelia yellow polyps QUESTIONS - Is there anything else I should be doing?<No, I think you are O.K.>  Or something I shouldn't be doing?  Are water changes beneficial at this point?<As long as the water warrants a water change.>  How long would you recommend I leave this tank fishless to be sure all the Oodinium parasites are gone?<6-8 weeks.>  I REALLY don't want to do this again. Here's the kicker.  I have a 20g quarantine tank that has been set up for over 2 years.  I didn't use it because I have a baby volitans lionfish in there while I'm trying to teach him to eat frozen foods.  Unfortunately this lionfish may prove to be even more stubborn than myself and it's taking forever.  The 75g that I'm using as a hospital tank was meant to be his permanent home.  This has been a very hard lesson - I can assure you I will not be skipping the quarantine procedure EVER again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Susan <Susan, you are doing everything correct and you know your mistakes.  You will be fine and hopefully your fish will come around.  Put the live food for your lion fish on a feeding stick.  The fish will get used to the stick and recognize that the stick means food.  Then change the food on the stick to frozen food or krill.  This will take some time but it has worked for me every time.  good luck. MikeB>

Amyloodinium - need advice Thanks Mike, I really appreciate your taking the time to reply.  At a time like this I want to be sure I'm doing all I can for my fishy friends. The copper I'm using is Cupramine by SeaChem.  0.5 mg/L is the recommended dosage: http://www.seachem.com/products/product_pages/Cupramine.html Thanks so much for the advice for weaning the lionfish onto frozen food.  That's about the only thing I haven't tried!  Now I just need to figure out how to get a live ghost shrimp onto a feeding stick :)  The lionfish is a baby volitans, about 3" long. Susan <Susan, I am glad to help and the copper dosage is right now that we have the units.  As far as feeding the baby lion I would take this route.  Buy some rigid airline tubing (the kind for an undergravel filter) and wedge a paperclip inside it to make it like a spear.  I would then try and use rosy minnow or the ghost shrimp.  It won't be easy at first but it will work.  The one thing you want to absolutely do is to make sure the paperclip is strongly secured (so the fish doesn't pull it out or eat it).  Good Luck.  MikeB.>

QT, going fallow, and invertebrates I asked you before about my display tank (FOWLR) which has been infected by velvet, I'm following your advice by making it go "fallow", I already quarantined the fish and treating with copper,  but I have 2 question, the first one; should I remove also my 4 Turbo snails & 2 scarlet shrimps which are in the display tank right now?<If you let the tank go fallow for 6 to 8 weeks then no.  Otherwise, Yes.>  And the second question; does the live rock consider also as a velvet host because of the life inside it?  In this case should I keep it also outside of the display tank.  Again, there is nothing I can say to thank you and all the crew in this amazing website, thanks, Maged <Maged, The Velvet will be in the tank and will not live if there is no host for the parasite.  6 to 8 weeks will be long enough for the tank to "cleanse" itself.  Good Luck MikeB.> Marine Velvet URGENTLY! Dear crew, LFS. Interzoo, Odessa, Ukraine is online. Our quarantine system was set by 3 Damsels (species unidentified), 2 Amphiprion Sebae, 1 Naso lituratus & 1 Plectorhinchus gatterinus. The starting S. g. was at 1,018. When Oodinium appeared, we lowered S. g. up to 1,013 in a course of week by fresh water dripping. In addition we performed FW dips with Methylene blue. <These two steps will not kill/cure Amyloodiniumiasis> Both Damsels & Clowns do tolerate hyposalinity well. <Correct. Fishes that live in close association with invertebrates (symbiotic anemones in this case) do not tolerate the same sorts of conditions as their hosts> Instead Naso & Plectorhinchus became bloated two weeks after beginning of the treatment. Plectorhinchus was placed in a separate aquarium, where the s. g. occasionally was raised up to 0,003 immediately. At the next morning the fish obtained an osmotic shock: its breath was too frequent & it is turned upside down from time to time. Hence we lowered salinity up to initial level & then we began to raise it by 0,002 per day. Meanwhile there is no relief. In order to reduce bloat both Naso & Plectorhinchus received Epsom salt - 1 tablespoon per 5 gal. Could we do something ells in order to fight with the stress? <Return these animals to near saltwater concentration> Sincerely, Interzoo, Odessa. P. s. I am sorry for numerous grammatical errors that I performed the past time (the message about brown slime) because of fatigue. Eduard, translator. <Eduard, translate this area: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and the "Related FAQs" (linked, at top, in blue) for the folks there. The stated procedure you relate above will not work. Bob Fenner> Staying The Course (Amyloodinium Treatment) After five weeks of leaking tanks moving fish and (almost) tons of rocks in and out of various tanks to try and get my display 6x2x2 up and running, I thought I had achieved it at last. In went the rocks live and otherwise, all nicely aquascaped, in go the fish (the only loss in all this was my prized neon goby, as they are rarely imported to this part of the world) and hey presto, back in business. ........Or so I thought! <Uhh-Ohh...> Someone who posted on your great site wanted a picture of Amyloodinium (or rather a fish with Amyloodinium) well if I can photograph it well enough I will let you know, since my tank is now riddled with it. Can you believe it! <Yuck!> After all this care and work (I am absolutely shattered) I get a dose of Oodinium in my tanks. (The tank is reef and fish now) I have two completely collapsed disks in my back so removing everything again to get the fish out is no longer an option, I'm afraid. I committed mine and your, cardinal ('scuse the pun) sin. I dosed my display tank with Oodinex. <Well, given your circumstances, you really didn't have a lot of options, I guess...> Now, I do not know if you fellows are familiar with this product but (haha) it is supposed to be reef and invert safe! <A questionable claim made by a number of products....> I was just so tired after many many nights trying to fix leaks and sawing bits of pipe and god knows what else, I just had no choice. <Believe me, I understand!> Anyway, The fish, after one week are looking a tiny bit better. The Pulsing Xenia is looking awful as are most of the star polyps and mushroom colonies. <Well, that is most likely some collateral damage caused by the "medication"> My question is this: Are you familiar with this product and if so, have you any experience with it? I know you won't have dosed your tanks but maybe you have heard of some-one that has? There are no list of ingredients on the bottle which is infuriating but it turns the water fluoro green four an hour or so after dosing. To make things worse we ( my wife and I) have just had a new carpet fitted (due to a tank accident) so I need to make water damage a no-no. <I have heard of the product, but I am not familiar with its active ingredients. If any WWM readers have experience with this product, your comments would be most welcome!> Now I've dosed the tank, other than carbon and PolyFilters how long would you leave the tank before doing a water change (or would you dose the tank again in a week or two's time, to try to catch the Oodinium's six week cycle. <Well, If you do elect another round of dosing, it may be better to get the corals out of the tank, to avoid continued damage to them.> The Koran Angel still has cloudy eyes but the rest of the fish seem to have stopped scratching. I really want rid of this disease and I know eventually the fallow tank method is the only sure way but right now I am just too shattered. <I feel for you!> Any more opinions/ideas will be very much appreciated, I can assure you my friends. Thank you for all your help in the past. Kind Regards Simon. <Well, Simon- at this stage of the game, I suppose that you have no other real choice but to follow through with this medication per the manufacturer's instructions. The "collateral damage" issue is one that you'll have to deal with. Perhaps the most difficult problem to overcome when treating the tank is that it's often hard to maintain control of dosage, when you take into account the rocks, sand, and other items in the tank. After using this product per manufacturer's instructions, be sure to execute some small water changes and utilize carbon and/or PolyFilter to remove any residual medication from your tank. While you may not have embarked on the smoothest road, you might as well stay on it until you reach your destination! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Fighting Amyloodinium Good day to you all at WWM. (and if I don't speak to you before......Happy Christmas!) <And a Happy Holiday to you! Scott F. with you tonight> Just an update really, to which I would hope you will add your views/comments/advice to my continuing battle with Amyloodinium in my marine tank. I discontinued my treatment with 'Oodinex'. Far from being harmless to inverts, it almost killed everything invertebrate. <Yep...unfortunately, chemical treatments that are effective at wiping out this disease can easily destroy inverts as well, as you know well!> I can think of no other reason all the corals (especially the xenia) and the BTA shrank to about 10% of their original size. <Well, that is the most likely culprit!> To top it all, I still have Oodinium in the system. One question I would like to ask is, do the fish build up a resistance to this disease once they have had it, much like us having a vaccination? <Not to my knowledge> The reason I ask this is the fish that have had it and survived, seem to be ok with no more infection showing. The disease seems to be very, and I mean very, slowly abating. My main question is regarding getting rid of this awful disease for good and how long might it take. (how long is a piece of string? maybe?) <Well, it is a vicious disease; one which requires aggressive treatment to be successful> I am now treating only with ozone, trying to keep the ORP between 350 & 390 and doing a 20% water change every week or even twice a week when I can. IYO do you think I can ever conquer this disease in this fashion or will I eventually have to go the fallow tank routine? <You asked my opinion...I'd go the fallow tank route. I really think that this will get the causative protozoa in your tank once and for all down to numbers that the otherwise healthy fishes should be able to withstand.> I should add as an update. The Koran Angel is improving slowly with the cloudy eyes. The Majestic angel is 100% better, and all but the Emperor Angel (juvenile) is still scratching (flicking lightly) on rocks etc. ( I have four angels in this tank as a friend had a disaster, but they all get on fine at the moment. I realize this wont last forever and am trying to find homes for some of them. <Good idea. Four angels in just about any sized tank is potentially problematic..> The only loss so far (which was bad enough) was an Indian Ocean butterfly. The BTA and the Xenia are starting to expand again and the anemone's 'stickiness' is starting to return too. Hope I can beat this thing with your help. I so much appreciate your comments and without them feel I would have given up long ago. Have a great Christmas all of you! Simon. <We're glad to be here for you, Simon! I know that you're on the right track, and with continued perseverance, you can beat this thing! Do consider the "fallow tank" technique to help eliminate the remaining protozoa that reside in the tank. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Image of Amyloodinium 11/8/04 Hello Bob!  I am preparing for a presentation and I could use a picture of a fish showing the signs of Marine Velvet/Amyloodinium.  Do you happen to have one?  The few times I spotted a fish I thought had it and I had my camera, the flash seemed to wash out the subtle signs of the infection.  -Steven Pro <Will any of the pix on WWM do? Please take a look on the articles, FAQs files dealing with marine velvet and make this known. Bob F>

Re: Image of Amyloodinium I don't think anything there will quite do.  I found one image of a Maroon Clownfish, but I don't think it will look too good blown up on a screen.  I also searched through the FAQ files for submissions in Velvet 1-3, Parasitic Disease 1-6, Treating Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Reef Tanks, and Parasitic Marine Tanks to no avail.  I have also searched Yahoo and Google images for Amyloodinium and Oodinium without luck.  Not even fishbase has a picture.  I guess I will just keep my camera with me and hope to find a sick fish at a LFS.  Thanks!  -Steven <Steven, I'm amazed to report, looking in my scans no such pix, and then looking in my files also NONE! Will be posting our chat here on WWM... hopefully someone will write in with an image for your use. Hello to Deb. Bob F>

Forum Post Question (11/3/04) HI, I have a big problem with a velvet outbreak in my tank. If you read my post in Emergency section of the forum you can get the entire story. I would rewrite it, but its too much... " Need help fast... please" by lildirty77 THANK YOU SO MUCH <To avoid typing details here and to avoid covering old ground, I'll have a look at your post in a few minutes and see if I have anything to add to any other replies already there. Steve Allen.>

Re-Starting A Disease-Ravaged System Hi Crew: <Scott F. your Crew member tonight> I have had Velvet rip through my marine system, so I have since Emptied the 600 litre tank, and am wondering where to next. The question is about the coral sand. Should\could it be re-used after I sun dry it out, after washing it, or should I toss it. <Before I'd consider reusing it, I'd definitely give it a good thorough wash in freshwater with some chlorine bleach, followed by a prolonged dry period (like weeks), then another good rinse, followed by a soak in freshwater (filtered with activated carbon and or Polyfilter) for a week or so, to help remove residual chlorine. That's my (conservative) approach to re-using potentially contaminated sand.> The Tank, can it simply be washed down with some Tap water (contains Chlorine under 2.0)? <I'd give a it a thorough rinse  and scrub with a little bleach in the water, followed by a VERY thorough rinse.> The Live Rock, now stored at the local FS, can I simply put it back in after I re fill the tank (a lot of money here) <I'd let the live rock sit in a close system without fishes for a long time (at least a month- preferably two). You simply don't want to chance any Amyloodinium protozoa surviving, to re-infect your newly refitted tank> The Mini Reef filtration system, Should BIO BALLS, sponges be replaced? <Bioballs should be thoroughly sterilized, as outlined above; and any mechanical media should be disposed of.> Can you please give me a break down of what is required, to ensure that when the system comes back up that this bug is not already present before the fish come out of quarantine. Keep in mind when the new system comes back online the UV Sterilizer will be on full pelt while it all cycles. Velvet Victim (RIP) <I've given you my (albeit obsessive) approach to restoring the system. It ill take time an patience on your part, but the majority of the materials can be re-used. Good call on the UV filter; it's just another valuable asset in your strike back against this nasty disease. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Velvet Epidemic (9/6/04) I received 10 fish (blenny, tang, Dottyback, butterfly, goby and some Chromis) by mail order 3 days ago and put them in my 30 gal quarantine tank. One died of velvet yesterday (gasping and mucus patches when it died). <Sounds like it. Bad news indeed. You should contact the seller about this problem. Perhaps they owe you a refund.> I started Cupramine when I noticed the symptoms 2 1/2 days ago and have just added the second dose. The instructions say to leave it at this level for 14 days. <Follow label instructions strictly, just as if you were medicating yourself.><<No... test for copper concentration. RMF>> Another fish was also flashing and panting. It is being treated with copper in a separate plastic container floating in the quarantine tank. The others are showing no symptoms. <Good. Hopefully the treatment will help, though Tangs can have a hard time with copper. Do not overdose. Read the articles/FAQs about copper.> After the two week period I will replace most (95%) of the water in the quarantine/treatment tank with water from the display.  The fish will be placed in a bucket while I empty the treatment tank, so I won't be able to bleach it for a day. <Bleach what out?> I intend to put the fish back into quarantine (without copper) for an extended period. <You can reduce the copper a little less drastically. But, yes, keep QT for 4-6 weeks after treatment to reduce chances of recurrence.> Could there be any remaining parasites that would start the cycle all over again? <Not likely after proper treatment, but not guaranteed, hence the QT after--4-6 weeks ought to do.> How long should the second quarantine extend for, assuming no new symptoms develop? <4 weeks after completion of treatment.> If no other fish get sick after 8 weeks can I assume that all the parasites are dead and put them in the display tank? <8 weeks would be even better.> Thanks, Peter <Hope this helps. Do read Steven Pro's excellent article in the August issue of www.reefkeeping.com  Steve Allen.> Puffer with Marine Velvet (8-16-04) Bob, <Leslie here for Bob today> I just came across your site through Yahoo, searching for info to help my sick fish.  I think they have Velvet.  I have a 150gal tank, with 150lbs of live rock and a 2 yr old Dogface Puffer (we bought from someone months ago) and a Miniatus Grouper and Lunar Wrasse (we bought about 2 months ago).  Things were going great, until I brought home a Bluejaw Trigger 2 weeks ago.  I didn't know enough to QT. <Sounds like you are learning one of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn. > After 2 days in the tank, I could tell something was wrong with the Trigger.  She wouldn't come out of hiding, even for food.  After 3 days of not seeing her, we moved the rocks around until we found her and pulled her out into a bucket, intending to take her to the LFS to see if she was sick and what we should do.  Her top fin was completely ate away and she looked beat up.  I never saw any of the other fish even glance her way, so I felt certain they hadn't done this to her and thought she must have been diseased.  She died before we could get her to the fish store.     About 2 days later I noticed my puffer looking odd. He was more lethargic than usual, his gills were pumping pretty hard and he had a goldish powdery appearance on about 1/3 of his body.  Kind of a shimmery powdered makeup look.  My wrasse seems unaffected, but I have noticed my miniatus turning very pale when at rest.  She looks all washed out and faded until she takes off swimming and then she seems to darken up to her usual color so I wasn't sure if she was sick or if that is normal.    Anyway, I rushed to my LFS and got there right as they were closing.  I hurriedly looked thru their medications and settled on Mardel Copper Safe because the Velvet symptoms seemed to fit.  We dosed the 150gal tank with the recommended dosage yesterday.  Today I noticed puffer laying on the bottom under a section of live rock, which is very rare for him and he is unresponsive to my visits at the glass (normally he chases me around the tank and loves to be watched).     I posted to a place called the Puffer Forum and they responded saying that Copper Safe is not safe for puffers or for my live rock and I really screwed up. < You have made some mistakes and unfortunately that is how we learn....... > So I'm asking for your expert opinion on what to do from here, so I can try to rectify my mistakes and have the best shot at saving him. CopperSafe is one of the chelated copper products . so, safer and more stable.  I have no personal experience with copper, except what I have read.  So,  I perused the WWM Puffer Disease FAQs and found conflicting information re treating Puffers with Copper. So, I called upon Bob and some of the other crew members  for their valuable advice. Here is what Bob had to share..... "Most stores use copper compounds, mostly the safer, more stable chelated formulations to treat most all species of marines... though more carefully such groups as the puffers, clown Anemonefishes, tube-mouthed fishes (e.g. seahorses)... with a decidedly certain degree of risk. I liken copper use with the old (though not absent) human use of mercuircals, arsenicals (compounds of mercury and arsenic) in human medicine... these chemicals are toxic... and hopefully more harmful to the causative agent than the patient/s... Some have a narrower range of efficacy than one would like... that is, (as you know but others reading this may well not) the difference between an effective dose and disaster is close, too close to not use test kits, a separate treatment tank w/o interfering influences like carbonaceous substrates, and close observation... All this being stated and weighed, in the trade folks overwhelmingly utilize copper... many on a continuous basis" Adam Cesnales uses Quinine based meds with apparently good success.....here is what he shared.... "Quinine based medications are pretty effective against velvet and offer very rapid reduction in parasite load.  Chloroquine Diphosphate (Aquatronics Marex, not to be confused with Murex!) is the first choice, Quinine Hydrochloride (Aquatronics Quinsulfex) is a close second and is much easier to find.  One or the other of these two drugs is always on reserve in my house.  They can be combined with Metronidazole (Flagyl, available from SeaChem and Aquatronics) and/or hyposalinity. These agents are in several popular but ineffective fish medications.   IMO, they are ineffective due to dosing recommendations that make them "reef safe". Dose either of the Quinine agents at 35mg/gallon one time dose for a treatment period of 7-14 days with low light and hyposalinity if desired and no water changes or carbon and then move to standard quarantine. Hyposalinity is decidedly ineffective against velvet, but I employ and recommend it because it gives the fish some metabolic advantage.  Also keep in mind that dosed at these levels, these agents are decidedly not invert safe! I have brought a couple of fish back from the brink with this regime and recommend it strongly over copper which is both a PITA and quite hard on the fishes (especially herbivores and those that are scaleless)." Please do read the following articles starting with Marine Velvet/Amyloodinium ocellatum: A Discussion of this Disease and its Available Treatment Options by Steven Pro here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-07/sp/feature/index.htm Velvet Disease/Amyloodiniumiasis: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm and Puffers : http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm > I read about FW dips at your site, but am unclear how to safely achieve this with my puffer, and don't know how to go about balancing the PH in the FW to match the tank water.   < If after reading the links provided you decide to use FW dips this is how I do it....Freshwater dips are not too difficult....a bit time consuming to set up and adjust the water. The best way to match the ph is with some baking soda to increase the ph or some white vinegar to decrease the pH. If using tap water be sure to dechlorinate it. You have to experiment by just adding a little of which ever  until the desired pH is achieved. Most likely the pH will need to be increased so you will be adding baking soda. Take a fixed amount of water and add small amounts of baking soda until you get the desired ph......say 1/2 to 1 gal of water. Try an 1/8th of a tsp at a time. Mix the water well and test the pH. Keep track of what you did so you can repeat it the next time should you need to. When you get the desired ph add some dechlorinator. Take a container or good sized plastic bag and float  that pH adjusted dechlorinated water in the display tank. If that is not possible then put the bucket of FW into the kitchen sink....adjust the temp by either floating a plastic baggie with ice in it or filling the sink with hot water, until you get the desired temp. Remove the fish in as little water as possible so it remains submerged and gently place it in the bucket. You will need to keep a very close eye on the fish. IME puffers handle this very well. I have fed them in the dip buckets. I have left mine as long as 30 min without any signs of stress. 7 to 15 minutes is recommended and Scott Michael in a recent article mentioned as long as 30 min if the fish shows no signs of stress. I set a timer and place the bucket beside me where ever I am. Signs of stress include gasping at the surface, side lying, trying to jump out, and spitting at the surface. Every Puffer I have ever dipped has laid quietly on the bottom looking quite content. Some increased gilling would be expected. When the dip is complete I empty as much of the dip water into the sink as I can being sure to keep the fish submerged. I gently alternate adding tank water and pouring water out until I think most of the dip water has been eliminated. I return the puffer to the tank in a container with as little water as possible so that he remains submerged at all times. > I also have an empty 55gal tank that I could use to QT but wanted to find out exactly how to set it up, what temp/salinity/ph etc to shoot for. <I use a bare bottom tank with several chunks of live rock. pH would be the same as any other marine tank. I like  to use temps that are on the low end of the temp range for the particular species.....as bacteria love heat. Unless I am treating ich then I raise the temp a bit which speeds up it's life, cycle. If the fish is showing any signs of increased gilling then I use the lower end of their temp range. Cooler water has more oxygen available. I like good circulation in my Q tanks with shelter and hiding places. More on Quarantining..... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm> And then what to do with my show tank and live rock/live sand.  Did I just ruin them with the Coppersafe or can they be salvaged? < Copper is absorbed by rock and carbonaceous substrate, which is leached back out into the water. Please have a look at Copper and Copper removal FAQs... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/curemovalfaqs.htm and Live Rock FAQs... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrfaqs.htm As for treating the tank allowing it top go fallow for a couple to a few of months works well.....see the following  FAQs on treating marine parasites.... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marparasitcurefaqs.htm You help and guidance would really be appreciated. Barbara <Glad to help best of luck with your puffer, Leslie> Everyone Out! (Fallowing A Display Tank To Defeat Amyloodinium) I have just witnessed almost all my fish die from what appears to be Marine Velvet.  <Sorry to hear that. It's a horrible disease.> I am going to leave the tank with no new additions for at least two months. <Well, ya' got it half right! Good strategy, but better to leave it "fallow", without fishes for the same period of time.> However, with the remaining two fish in there, will the marine velvet pathogens die off, or be carried by the remaining fish as hosts, even though they don't suffer or die from it? <Quite possible. The protozoans that caused this nasty illness will still be in the tank unless you take deliberate steps to eradicate them by interrupting their life cycle.> How do I rid the reef tank of this disease?  Charles Pfeiffer. <Well, the best recommendation that I could make at this point would be to get the survivors out, and let this system run without fishes for a couple of months. This should help eliminate the bulk of the surviving "parasites", which depend on fishes for hosts to complete their life cycle. Everyone out! Good luck the rest of the way! Regards, Scott F.>

Amyloodinium Article I am trying to put the finishing touches on an article I penned for Reefkeeping online magazine regarding the treatment options for Amyloodinium and I am having a hard time determining where dinoflagellates are placed; animal, plant, or neither. <Mmm, sort of neither... as far as I know the Pyrrhophytes are Protistans... some older lit. has the zoologists duking it out for them being protozoans... phycologists for them being thallophytes... reminds me of that "It's a breath mint, no it's a..." ad>   My paper references seem to go both ways.  I did a little searching around on the internet and it seems they are in the Kingdom Protista, which is in between plants and animals.  Is this correct? <Oh! Yes>   If so, then they are not very closely related to other similar reproducing parasites like Cryptocaryon. <Not very close at all... the few (Lynn Margulis and co.) folks I used to try to follow have most of the protists/protozoan groups diverging very early... Cambrian, pre-Cambrian (except on Sundays). Bob F> Thanks, Steven Pro

Amyloodinium Article Would you mind taking at look at this paragraph to see if it is accurate? <Sure. Changes suggested are inclusive of carrots <> for additions, brackets () for deletions. Bob F> Thanks, Steven Amyloodinium ocellatum is a dinoflagellate.  Think of it as a type of <single celled> parasitic algae <with two flagella that it whips to get around>, (even though it has) <with> characteristics (similar to) <of both> plants and animals.  Its taxonomical designation is somewhat complex, as botanists have preferred to call it an algae and zoologists have argued it is a protozoan <in years past>.  (It now seems there has been a compromise fashioned in which) <Amyloodinium are now classed as> dinoflagellates (are) in the Kingdom Protista, sort of in between plants an animals... <being photosynthetic, and also motile>.  Any how, even though it is no longer classified with protozoans, Amyloodinium ocellatum has a complex lifecycle similar to that of Cryptocaryon irritans (Saltwater Ich), Ichthyophthirius multifilius (Freshwater Ich), and species in the genus Piscinoodinium (Freshwater Velvet).

Good thing for quarantine! >Marina, thanks for responding.    >>Most welcome. >Well, I'm sure glad I didn't yield to the temptation to end the quarantine early on the Rainfordi goby.  "He" is in quarantine with a 3" passer angel from the same wholesaler source, and the angel is developing what I think is a case of Amyloodinium.   >>Uh oh! >All the symptoms...powdery appearance, rapid breathing, flashing, etc.  The standard treatment for this has always been copper, whether chelated or not always depended on who was doing the recommending, but angels have a notorious sensitivity to copper... Ya, I know, only quarantine 1 fish at time... but. but.. >>Yes?  There's always a butt in there, isn't there?  <giggle> >What would be the best method of treating the nasty "velvet?  Gonna have to treat both fish obviously, and only have a 10 gallon tank for a hospital tank, unless I use my regular 20 gallon quarantine tank for the medication as well, something I've always avoided... >>Oh boy, and with velvet.. boy oh boy. >I'd really hate to lose these fish, so any help... Thanks. >>Alright, know that you may very well have to go the copper route.  I prefer Cupramine by SeaChem myself.  It is my first recommendation, and I've had few troubles using it with angels.  Freshwater dips, daily, are a must in my opinion.  You MUST clean out the vessel used very well, as well as seriously disinfecting any/all tools used for this process.  Hyposaline conditions in the q/t may be of help, but I worry about the goby.  Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm http://www.lib.noaa.gov/docaqua/amyloodiniumfactsheet.html And something rather interesting from the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health regarding the utility of Artemia nauplii in ridding systems infected with Amyloodinium ocellatus.. http://afs.allenpress.com/afsonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1577%2F1548-8667(1995)007%3C0257:CCOAOD%3E2.3.CO%3B2 In any event, honestly, your best bet is going to be using copper in concert with freshwater dips.  You could try an antimalarial treatment (sorry, can't recollect name of the compound), but it's EXPENSIVE, and to the best of my knowledge, not available to the layman for treatment of his/her marine ornamental fishes.  Marina

Velvet (4/19/04) Hello <Steve Allen here today. For future reference, please use proper punctuation (such as periods and apostrophes) and capitalization (The proper noun "I" and the first letter of sentences) in the future. We post all queries and answers permanently for future reference and need them as readable as possible. Our volunteer staff will have more time to answer queries if they don't have to spend so much time re-writing queries. Thanks.> Well, my tank has velvet disease, I've lost all fish but one and he seems to be doing good...I finally realized after reading on your website that I could have done things a little better but I'll just file it under a lesson learnt lol...I rushed to the nearest pet store and bought the only thing available....a copper treatment...well, I removed all my inverts but put them in a tank with the untreated water (still carrying disease I can assume)  <This is backward. Much better to remove the fish and treat them, leaving the tank fish-free for 2-3 months. Then the parasites die out and fish can be safely returned. That way, you don't have to throw away rock.> I was just wondering approximately how long do you think it can be till I put them back in...I have completely re done my tank with new water ,rocks etc.. but its only been a week...I'm not worried about the water, I got most from the ocean and all my no2,no3,ph amm levels are great <zero?>, so the water's safe <maybe>, but what I'm worried about is if I put the inverts back, can they re-infect the tank since they've been quarantined in the very same water that was originally infected? <You need to read more about velvet. The inverts are not carriers, but it could be in the water they're in, some of which will certainly get into the main tank with them. I'd keep them out for 6-8 weeks while doing plenty of careful water changes in their tank.> Also, how long does it take for a fish to be cured of this disease? <read the FAQs on velvet.> I'd like to put the poor guy back in a bigger tank ASAP...but I don't want to have to go through all this again... <So the fish is in a QT too? If so, keep him out of the main tank for 2 months to be safest.> It says that it treats up to a month, does that mean I have to keep him in the treated water for a month? <2-3 weeks of copper, then remove copper and keep out of tank 2 months.> lol, like I said, I really could have done things differently, but I guess this is what happens when you panic lol...if you could please let me know about my questions.. I'd really like to enjoy my tank again. sincerely, Danielle <I'd suggest you read all the FAQs on parasites--well worth it for the info.>

Uh Oh - Velvet in a New Setup Already! >Hello, you all have already helped me a great deal in setting up my tank and I have a few more questions if you don't mind. >>Hello.  Not I. >I am setting up a 125 gallon saltwater tank (after rock and such, has about 100 gallons of water in it). I have just finished my six week break in of the tank using blue damsels. >>Oh my, you must have missed the part about cycling fishless.  There are many very good reasons for doing this, and unfortunately, your message well-illustrates why (ESPECIALLY sans quarantine!). >Unfortunately, it appears that one of the damsels had velvet and has infected my tank. >>If it's still alive, and let's hope this is the case, it's more likely it's ich.  Because, if it's velvet, simply fallowing the tank may very well NOT suffice. >I have read up on your site and decided to let my tank run fallow at 90+ degrees for 4 weeks before getting any fish to try to kill the velvet and prevent infecting any new fish I get. I am hoping that this will knock the infection out. >>Uh uh, nowhere NEARLY long enough, not even for the much more easily eradicated ich (Cryptocaryon irritans - velvet is Amyloodinium).  With ich, I always want that tank fallowed for 6-8 wheels (8 are FAR better, as ich has been known to survive without a host for 72 days!).  And I mean always. >My questions are for after the fallow period is up and I am ready to get my fish. I plan on getting a snowflake eel, Huma trigger, and star/stripe puffer. (I have 2 Eheim 2217 canister filters, a Penguin 330 Bio-Wheel, and a skimmer so that should be fine for just the three fish.) >>Assuming the skimmer is righteous, yeah.  Do plan on weekly/bimonthly water changes. >I will be buying them one at a time, with several weeks in between to make sure that one of them does not infect one of the others with another illness. >>I surely do hope you mean to say that they will be undergoing quarantine in a *separate* system for a minimum of 30 days disease free, yes?  If not, please know that this is what should have been done with the damsels and is invaluable for preventing infection entering the main display. >When I get a fish, I plan on quarantining it in a 20 gallon tank for 3 weeks before moving it to the big tank. >>Excellent to q/t, three weeks is NOT long enough.  30 days minimum, and if they present any disease, then once they're clear of it, the counter starts over again. >I have read up on the dip/bath procedures on your site and plan on dipping the fish both before they go into the quarantine tank and before they go to the main tank. >>Fantastic!! >However, I do have a question or two on the dip procedure. >>Righty-0 >On the Methylene blue/freshwater procedure, when you say use "freshwater" are you meaning plain fresh water with no salt (I used distilled water for my tank that you can buy at Wal-mart)? >>Please be careful with distilled water - it is incredibly 'soft', and must be buffered before use. >or do you mean I should mix up a batch of saltwater and use that? >>No, no.  Fresh water means freshwater, potable, as in what we drink.  So, this water MUST be matched with the saltwater for pH (MOST important!) and temperature. >I know that I have to get the temperature and pH just right before doing this, and I also have a bottle of Methylene blue that I will add to the bath, but am a little confused as to what exactly you mean by freshwater. Sorry for not understanding this, but still fairly new to the saltwater tank area. >>Please don't be sorry, this misunderstanding is not uncommon, as terminology is often switched around.  You are correct, and it's easy to buffer/match pH with baking soda.  Or, if you have it and prefer to use this, a good quality marine water buffering product (such as one of the many SeaChem products). >I also have another question. I did not turn on my skimmer for the first six weeks because I heard that would mess with the breaking in period. Do I need to turn it on now or wait till I get any fish in there? I don't know if running the skimmer while the tank is running fallow would cause any problems or not. >>It will do nothing.  If you want to keep your nitrifying bacterial cultures going, you can use this as a learning experience with cycling fishless.  You need some raw shrimp and old pantyhose.  Place the shrimp in the hose, drop it in the tank, let it rot, and start measuring for ammonia and nitrite to watch the cycle move along.  Good fun! >I do have some yellow/orange algae that has started growing on the rock and glass in the tank and I heard that this is another good sign, right? >>It depends on what kind of algae it is, my friend.  If it's coralline encrusting, then absolutely it's a good sigh. >Thank you in advance for the help, -Joe >>Very welcome, and good luck.  Please search our site and the web for velvet, ich, (also use the species terminology I gave you above) as well as "treating marine parasitic diseases".  Best of luck!  Marina

Marine Velvet and Fish Mortalities Hi, I love the site- I've read and reread hundreds of pages. I have a problem that I hope you can help me with. <I'll try! Scott F. here today!> I recently bought three fish at a aquarium society auction - two Percula Clowns and a Yellow Tang. I bought them home and put them in my quarantine tank where everyone seemed happy for a few days - eating and swimming out in the open etc. After two days one of the perculas dropped dead for no apparent reason, followed by the swift degeneration and eventual death of the second. This one I examined more thoroughly and believe that it died of Marine velvet disease. I also noticed some dusty patches on the tang. <Well, quick death and the dusty patches that you describe are very consistent with this disease.> I immediately gave him a fresh water dip and he seems OK - still eating fine though, perhaps a little more skittish than usual and some slight ragging on his pectoral fins - though this could be from having to keep catching him for the dips. I have now given him three FW dips with Methylene blue (10-15 min each time) and he still looks pretty good but he has a brownish blotch that has developed on his forehead its not very big but it seems to be getting slightly larger and progressing slowly up his dorsal fin. Have you guys ever seen this? <I'm not certain what the brownish blotch is, although it could be necrotic tissue caused by the disease. If you are dealing with Marine Velvet, Methylene Blue is not really considered an effective treatment. It does potentially have some antibacterial properties, however, which can help minimize or prevent some external secondary infections. If you suspect this disease is present, you'd be better advised to engage in a course of treatment with  Formalin-based products or Copper Sulphate (not always recommended with tangs)> I have recently moved to the US from Australia and I can't get over the amount of disease and animal fatalities that I have had over here. More in my two years here than my 10 years of keeping reef tanks in Australia. It's very disheartening. <I wonder if a lot of the mortalities that you are experiencing over here could be as a result of collection trauma and the rigors of shipping from the South Pacific?><<Definitely a factor. RMF>> I always use a Q tank but most things never make it much further than that. Thanks again for taking the time to help me out regards- Aaron <Glad to be of service, Aaron. I suppose that you'll see an improvement in the livestock mortality issue with more rigorous inspection and screening of potential specimens before you purchase. Your quarantine procedure sounds great...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Marine Velvet- The Battle Is Joined! Hi, thanks for the reply. <You're quite welcome!> I just thought I'd clear something up. when you suggest a course of treatment with  Formalin-based products or Copper Sulphate, do you mean the standard 0.15ppm copper treatment? I was given the impression from your site that copper was not very effective against marine velvet. <It is. Copper can be rough on some fishes, such as dwarf angels and some tangs, which is why formalin-based products can be a better choice.> Assuming that copper is effective (and its a lot easier to get than formalin), How long should I keep up with the copper treatment? <Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter. Usually, it's around 14 days for a full treatment with most products> Would it be useful to move the tang to another Q tank after each FW bath? <It's a novel idea, but not really necessary.> I could keep rotating the containers and washing them out with bleach each time. Regards, Aaron <Personally, Aaron, I'd finish a course of treatment with the fish, then break down the tank for cleaning...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Identify mystery critters (DEATH UPDATE) Thanks for the reply Bob, <Welcome> I appreciate the ID's.  We also discussed the little white spots on my percula...well here is an update. My situation has gone from bad to terrible.  I have realized after your email, a lot of research and a talk with the LFS guy that I have Oodinium in my display tank.     <Bunk!> My tr. percula and Firefish went from fine to toes up (or fins up as the case may be) in a matter of 7 hours (literally)!  I checked on the guys last night about 2300 and they were fine.  This morning at 0800 they were at death's door and by 0900 they were both dead.  I now have a invert and live rock display. <Can happen frighteningly quick> I have a little ammonia in the water 0.2 but the other numbers are zero.  I think the ammonia may have weakened them and then the Oodinium kicked in ?? <... this is more than "a little ammonia". Very likely a factor, co-factor.> I have been reading on how to get rid of Oodinium (which I have related to trying to get white out of rice) and my LFS guy has suggested Greenex (sp) or KickIch. <Time to send you to reading through the various opinions, facts archived/WWM... I would use neither of these products>   I do have inverts and live rock/sand that I want to keep.  My multi-part question is this, will my cleaner shrimp feast on the Oodinium and help to clear up the problem? <Not enough> Will the Greenex or KickIch harm the inverts/LR? <The Greenex will kill all, the KickIch not do a thing to help>   I'm not putting any more fish in until I can figure this one out.   <For sure> I am also going to purchase a QT (yes I should have done this early on...again my newness to the hobby got me)  I'm going to leave the tank fallow (except for the inverts) but how long should I leave it this way?  It's a 20 gal FOWLR starter.  I'm also not sure where the ammonia came from (I tested before the fish were dead so I can't attribute it to the dead fish).  My tank appeared to be cycled about two weeks ago.  I have a bio-wheel, carbon combo and a power head (plus the LR and sand).  No protein skimmer but I am rethinking that (although I don't believe it would have helped with the Oodinium) <Start reading on WWM...> I can't see putting a UV on this small of a tank.  Plus I don't want to kill the "good guys" as they would surely pass through the beam as well. <No... read... WWM> Any advice would be appreciated.  I have read the FAQs but still had a few Qs.... <Study... apply yourself after you've gained sufficient knowledge to feel comfortable in your actions> Really appreciate your site and your willingness to help others with the hobby Keith <Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Marine Velvet Nightmare! <Hello, Ryan with you today> First of all, I would like to thank the WWM staff for this very valuable yet free resource. <Many thanks> Since it is free, I've done my best to find all my answers from the existing articles and FAQ's. <Appreciated> However, I am now at the end of my rope and I feel like the only way out of this is to get some advice that is specific to my situation. <Anytime> Due to inexperience, poor equipment, bad advice, and flat out stupidity, I managed to infect my tank with Velvet. <Tell me how you really feel!> That is when I discovered your website. I thought it was Ich, but after doing some reading I found out it was more than likely Velvet. <Less feared, but I feel more deadly> The spots were barely visible except on the fish that were completely covered with it, and at the proper angle they looked like little hairs. Plus I had already lost two fish. I then found an article by Bob Fenner that stated copper could control the disease but would not completely eradicate it from the system.  If I wanted to get rid of this disease for good my only choices were to let the tank go fallow (not an option), bleach/dump/rinse, or completely dry everything. I decided to do both of the latter. <Hell of a day off> Of course I had no quarantine tank, so I quickly set up a 15 gallon that I had laying around with a sponge filter, heater, some PVC fittings, and all newly mixed water with StressZyme. I dipped the 5 fish that were left (a 5" Clark Clown, a 5" Lunare Wrasse, a 3" Picasso Trigger, a 2" Yellow Damsel, and a 1" Blue Damsel) for 4 minutes each in freshwater and Methylene Blue and then stuffed them in the new tank. <Something about the word stuffed...> I poured bleach in the old tank, ran it for 24 hrs., dumped it, rinsed everything, and dried it out (I even baked the crushed coral substrate in the oven).<OK> I then reassembled it and added a protein skimmer (it never had one). I filled it, added StressZyme, put a little food in there, and let it run for a few days. <OK> Meanwhile I was vacuuming the bottom and changing about a third of the water in the QT everyday. <I would make it %50 with this heavy bioload.> I did not treat the tank with copper because there was no way I could keep all these fish in QT for the whole treatment period. I didn't have the space and couldn't afford more tanks. The fish weren't real happy, but they were eating and had no visible signs of disease. <OK> I was hoping they would go disease free for a week, but after about the fourth day, things took a turn for the worse. When I got home from work, the Clark was laying on its side and the other fish were either jerking back and forth or hiding in a PVC tube with their mouths open. <Water quality...not enough available oxygen for them> I then made the command decision to dip the two larger fish again and put them back into the main tank. I changed about half the water in the QT and left the other 3 in there. The next day, the 2 fish in the main tank had made miracle recoveries, <Because they could breathe again.  Next time, make sure you're using a powerhead, filter and skimmer if able> the 3 in the QT were still languishing, so I dipped them and put them in the main tank as well. <I think I see where this is headed> That was about a week ago. Since then they have been active, healthy, and eating like pigs, until today. I noticed the Wrasse and the Trigger were scraping themselves on the rocks again and the Clark was hiding in the corner gasping for oxygen. When it came out to feed I saw Velvet all over it. <I would remove the Clarki ASAP, return him to quarantine.  Observe the others, remove as needed.  You're going to have to do this until it's fixed... Sorry to say> Needless to say, I'm quite upset by this turn of events. Do I have any choices besides using copper in a never-ending battle with this disease? <Use copper in quarantine, not in your display.  No real choices, just fix it this once, and be more careful in the future.> I was hoping to add a planted refugium someday and grow "critters" as a natural food source. I guess that's out question now? <Just don't use copper in your display> What if I pollute the tank with copper and all the fish die anyway? <Bad news> Since these fish will probably always be carriers, I think it would be unethical to wait until they're in remission and then take them to the LFS for a credit. <No such thing as a "carrier" for velvet.  They're either infected, or they're not.  Once they're healthy, I don't think it's unethical to take some back for credit> I wouldn't want to put any new fish in the same tank with these for the same reasons. <I agree> I don't want to euthanize these fish or sit around and watch them die, and I definitely don't want to tear my tank down again. I'm stuck. Please help me. <You're going to have to remove the sick fish- And make sure that this time in quarantine, use copper as directed.  You may be lucky with the fish that aren't already showing signs of being infected again.  Remember, a quarantine tank doesn't help unless you use it for the recommended 3-6 weeks.  Good luck, sorry to hear about your losses.  10 Gallon tanks are pretty cheap, and you should find them at Petco type places.  Ryan> Regards,
Eric Judas

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