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05-28-2005, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Here's an old thread worth saving, so I did
NOTE: THIS TOPIC IS ABOUT 4 YEARS OLD, so don't worry about responding to the orginal poster, fishfreek. I thought it useful, so I saved it .
Topic: HELP!!! fish with ick, hyposalinity or meds in QT tank?
I have a 45g fowlr tank set up a little over a year. I think i just started another bout of ick (second in the last year). I have a false perc and a bicolor angel. The angel has been in the tank about 2-1/2 months and seems very healthy, eating (knock on wood) and not rubbing yet. The clown is rubbing but no spots yet. I started using garlic soaked food again. I used it once before for three weeks when i saw a fish rubbing on rocks one day. Two days later, all was okay but still fed garlic for three weeks. Is the use of garlic looked at as just a temperary solution? Will ick die off in the tank if garlic is
used for several weeks at a time, given that they will not attach to a fish that is eating garlic soaked foods?
In the main tank i have about 35 lbs of live rock, cleaner shrimp, brittle star, some crabs, snails and a few mushrooms, so no meds in there, right?
Should i set up a hospital tank? I have never set up one before but have read a few posts on them. If i need to set one up i would use a 10g tank with bare bottom and a power filter (penguin 125). I was planning on taking one of my filter cartrages out of my penguin 330 i have in the main tank (because i think it has the bennificial bacteria on it i need) and using it in the hospital tank. Does this set up sound like it will work????
Should i set up a hospital tank, do i go the hyposalinity route or use copper? Seems most use copper for meds, is this correct?
The only real concern about this whole hospital tank thing is the moving the bicolor angel to the QT tank. I am afraid the the move will really stress the fish. I know the mortality rate of bicolors aren't good, but so far this one is doing great and i don't want to loose him. Should i even try to move him? What do you think?
Do the garlic now wo moving the fish. Keep an eye on the situation to see if it develops into an ick outbreak. Hopefully the garlic will do the trick, and if it doesn't, then you will have to go to QT.
Keep feeding garlic for a 4-6 wks, and, in the meantime, get a UV sterilizer. IMO, this is a must for a fish tank, and especially fish tanks where you have inverts and LR.
Well,thats how I set up my q tank.If the fish aren't showing spots,I wouldn't move them because of the stress involved.Some people will disagree with me on this,but I use greenex now as a "defense" against ick.The product isn't meant to cure, but I'll tell you what,my fish started scratching and my Clown developed a spot,after I did a greenex treatment,everything stopped. I do 1 treatment 1 to 2 times a week now.And since it so hard to treat disease in a tank with lr and inverts,you almost have to do something. I went through an ick outbreak when my tank was about a month old(after cycled).That is when I set up my hosp tank.It is always good to have one setup.I would say to
you,set up a 20 gallon tank and use greenex and of course observe.Often a fish will fight off ick on its own.As long as the fish isn't broke out I wouldn't take that big of a step right now.Also,keep using the garlic.I don't know much about it,but I know a lot of people use it.I believe it is used for treatment and prevention.HTH!!
I'm with them. Go Garlic! It worked before, so it should again, although there seems to be a limit on how many times it will work, according to what we've been hearing.
Like Beth said, a UV sterilizer is always a good investment.
gobylover, is greenex totally safe with inverts including mushrooms? I was tempted to treat with that stuff but wasn't real sure how well it worked. I sure wouldn't want to pour stuff into my tank that doesn't work well. If i do decide totry it i think i would use in conjunction with garlic.
Beth, do you suggest to feed garlic in every thing thats fed to the fish(seaweed selects,nori,brine shrimp,formula one)? I also mix some zoe in with the garlic, i figure that it can't hurt. Do you know if i keep with the garlic for 4-6 weeks will this pretty much rid my tank of ick? I just figured that if the fish can't host the ick, the ick can't reproduce and should all die, right? Or.. in your experience doesn't it exactly work that way. Wishful thinking i guess
Thanks for your info, its been helpful so far!
I would use garlic in your food, soak the fish's food in the garlic.
That's a judgement call for you whether to soak all your food in garlic---I don't know your feeding habbits with your fish, frequency, whether you blend up everything together, or if you clip your veggies separately for your herbivores, if you feed 1xdaily, or 3.
Garlic is a natural remedy as opposed to a medication, therefore, it should be relatively risk-free in terms of dosing. Sorta like taking Vit C to boost your immune system to combat a cold, rather than taking cold meds. Garlic is an immune booster too, very much so, which is why I think it works for fish [that's exactly why they sell garlic supplements at GMC]. However, people also feed garlic to their dogs to get rid of fleas!
So my guess is, and this is strickly a guess on my part, that the garlic itself has a noxious element to it that is offensive to parasites...fleas and ick! [Ick being the flea of fish, right?
I tell you what, though, nothing is better and safer, IMO, as I said before, than a UV sterializer. I have not had a single parasite of any kind, since using a UV in the past 3 yrs. If it was up to me, if you buy hobby fish, UV's should be mandatory purchase along with it...just like if you go to the animial shelter to get a pet dog or cat, the vaccinations are are included in the purchase price. Even in reef systems, despite the concerns reefers have, if you're going to have a fish--get a UV.
In terms of perpetual usage of meds, unless you are running a LFS and keep a constant dosage of formaldhayde or copper running in your systems, I would not use meds continueously. Most parasitic meds work because of their toxicity. They are toxic to parasites as well as to fish. The goal is to kill the parasites with smaller dosages and be able to STOP the treatment before you kill your fish too. That being said, I won't get into what perpetual meds can do to the overall health of your tank.
Yes greenex is safe for everything.It is removed by activated carbon.I leave mine in when I treat every week.Then I change it.I do agree with Beth about not using continuous meds,but I haven't had a problem.I'm not saying you should do as I do,but while you are having a problem just to be sure you don't have an outbreak!!!
Hmmm... OldSalt here. This is getting pretty long, so I'll cut it off here and continue in the next post. The next post includes an article written by Mike Paletta which is pretty interesting and useful.
05-28-2005, 09:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Here is a good article I found. At the end he discusses the "garlic" approach" w/ another receipe that I found on this forum. Good luck.
MANAGING COMMON DISEASES IN MARINE FISH
White Spot Disease, Marine Ick and Marine Velvet, are all terms that strike fear into the hearts of even the most dedicated marine hobbyists. Unfortunately, the problem of
disease in one’s fish occurs in the tanks of both experienced and new hobbyists.
Fortunately over the past couple of years better methods for managing disease have been developed, even for fish in a reef tank. In addition to the methods described there have been other methods developed as well, but I will not comment on these since I have not tried them.
Before continuing I would like to stress that preventing diseases is far easier than treating them, particularly in a reef tank. For this reason, I strongly urge everyone to set up a small inexpensive quarantine tank. If you don’t quarantine your fish you are
gambling every time that you add a new fish that you won’t run into the problems
Even when all of the precautions and quarantine procedures are followed to limit the
introduction of disease into a tank, some fish will eventually become sick. In terms of
diseases the 2 most common are Marine Velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum) often called
oodinium, and Marine Ick (Cryptocaryon irritans). Marine Velvet is caused by a dinoflagellate, a type of algae, while ick is caused by a ciliated protozoan. Both of these diseases can be fatal if left untreated, however Amyloodinium infestations are usually more virulent and may even wipe out an entire tank.
Marine velvet appears as very tiny white dots (.02-1mm. in size) on the fish’s skin. The
initial outbreak will usually go unnoticed as only a few of the parasites present on the
skin make it hard to see. However, after a few days, these parasites will drop off the
fish as cysts and go into a reproductive stage. During this 3 day period the cyst will
divide so that when it ruptures it will release over 250 new pathogens called tomites.
These free swimming parasites will then spend the next 2 days looking for a new host, if one is not found they will die. Unfortunately in a closed environment like an aquarium, a host is readily available. At this point the fish will appear to be covered with a very fine white dusting which resembles velvet. The fish will appear to be gasping for breath. This is the result of the parasite attacking the gill tissue which eventually leads to respiratory arrest and death.
The cure requires removing the infected fish to a separate aquarium for treatment. This is necessary as the treatment requires the use of copper sulfate. This compound is not only toxic to the pathogen, but it is toxic to virtually all of the organisms present on the live rock as well as the animals in the gravel bed. Therefore it can not be used in the display aquarium unless there is no live rock, live sand or other invertebrates present.
Due to how debilitating Amyloodinium is most of the fish infected will be too sick to put
up much of a fight for removal. Unfortunately, once they reach this state it is also often too late to save them.
If the fish can not be removed it is probably destined to perish and it may infect the
other fish in the tank as well. Because live rock makes capturing fish difficult, some
strategies have been devised to capture a fish from tanks containing live rock. First,
rather than chasing a fish with a net, large plastic tubes can be employed. Empty
plastic soda bottles that have been thoroughly washed and have their bottoms cut off
are a good choice. The infected fish can be directed to swim into this chamber as it lies on its side, after which it is quickly lifted out with the fish inside. To camouflage the bottle it may be necessary to put substrate on the bottom of it and place live rock
around the entrance.
Failing this, it may be necessary to watch where the fish rests at night and then either
lift out this piece of live rock with the fish still in it, or shine a bright flashlight on the
fish to stun it and then scoop it out. If all of this fails, the last alternative is to get a
large net a scoop out the fish as it feeds at the top of the tank. To do this it may be
necessary to get the fish used to getting food at the middle front of the tank, while you are leaning over the tank.
Once the fish has been captured it should be acclimated to the water in the quarantine
tank and then treated with copper sulfate (.8-1mg./L). The level of copper should be
checked daily with a copper test kit, and the copper level adjusted accordingly to
maintain the desired level. The fish should be treated for at least 2 weeks and
preferably 3 to reduce the risk of re-infection. Unfortunately some fish such as
Mandarins, Butterflies and Clownfish do not tolerate copper very well, it may be necessary to treat these fish at lowered doses for a longer period of time.
After the fish has been removed some steps need to be taken to reduce the presence
of the disease in the tank. These steps may also need to be taken should any of the
other infectious diseases occur. First, the salinity will need to be dropped to at least
1.018 and preferably 1.016 for at least 3 weeks. This should be done over 3-4 days so
as to not over stress the fish.
This drop in salinity will usually be tolerated by all of the fish as well as most of the
inhabitants of the live rock, but not the corals or other invertebrates. For this reason,
these animals will need to be removed to a separate tank during this treatment.
Once the salinity has been lowered, ammonia testing should begin to make sure that an
excessive number of the bacteria in the biological filter have not been killed off. This
lowering of salinity will reduce the amount of work that the fish will need to do to
remove excess salt from their bodies. This will enable them to better fight any parasites.
Once the salinity has been reduced, the substrate should be removed and given a 2
week freshwater dip. This will remove any cysts that are resting in the substrate as well as reduce resting sites for any left in the tank. To further reduce these pathogens a UV sterilizer or ozone may be used to reduce any free-swimming pathogens. All of this will greatly reduce the likelihood of the entire tank becoming infected. These steps may only need to be undertaken should several fish show signs of being infected.
A disease which looks similar to marine velvet, but which fortunately is less infectious
and less virulent is marine ick (Cryptocaryon irritans). As with velvet the fish looks
irritated and is constantly trying to scratch itself. The parasite is easier to see at the
early stages as it is the size of a pin head and appears as grains of salt on the fish’s
body. As with velvet the method of treatment is to remove the fish to the quarantine
tank and treat with copper sulfate. However, since these fish are normally not as sick
as those infected with velvet they may be more difficult to remove. Fortunately
lowering the salinity as described above and doing more frequent water changes and
feeding medicated foods along with vitamin supplements may be enough to limit
problems from this pathogen as long as the fish are not stressed and no new fish are
Several types of fish are very prone to these diseases, in particular Tangs and
Angelfish. This is due to these fish having only a thin layer of body mucous, which is
easily removed during the rigors of shipping and handling.
In addition to the copper method of treatment I have tried several other methods for
treating infected fish that are probably not in the main stream. These methods have
produced varying degrees of success and if nothing else produce a lot of discussion.
The first method consisted of hanging a small white terry cloth towel in the tank. The
idea being that the parasites would be attracted to the brightly colored towel and once on it would become enmeshed in the towel’s fibers. The towel was removed twice per day and soaked in freshwater. Using this method the ick I was treating never worsened in the tank however it was never totally eradicated and lingered as small outbreaks for a long time.
A completely different approach produced a similar result. In this method the salinity
was lowered down to 1.017. While this lowered salinity tended to reduce the disease
outbreak dramatically at first, the result was similar to that seen above in that the
disease lingered. This was probably because the salinity was not low enough. In a reef
tank I have found that a salinity of 1.017-1.018 is about as low as many corals or
invertebrates will tolerate and some can’t even take it this low. Therefore I continued
my search for disease treatment methods that would work in a reef tank.
The next method I tried was to use a quinine derived compound. Not only did this
method not kill either the ick or Oodinium, but it also resulted in the death of many of
the corals as well. On the first dose there did not seem to be any negative impact of
this treatment on the invertebrates. However, after the second and third treatments all of the mushroom anemones, Xenias, SPS corals and star polyps either began to shrink, or they retracted their polyps. Also, all of the large polyped stony corals refused to come out of their skeletons. Then on the fourth day after treatment all of these corals with the exception of the mushroom anemones died. In addition, the condition of the fish in the tank worsened as well. The only animals unaffected were the Leather corals and the Sinularia. Because of this experience I would strongly advise against using any quinine based product in a reef tank.
On a more positive note, I have come across a method for treating these maladies that
has not only worked in my tanks, but in several others as well. This method, developed
and tested by Kelly Jedlicki entails soaking dried food in garlic oil and then feeding the
food to the infected fish. Once enough garlic oil has been ingested, it accumulates in
the fish’s skin. At which point the parasites will no longer attach to the skin. This
method was derived from Kelly’s finding that horses and dogs fed garlic oil were no
longer bothered by flies or mosquitoes.
I have used freeze dried plankton, krill, gammarus, blood worms and mosquito larvae as
a carrier and have had this method cure ick in about 80% of the cases that I have
treated. These fish were all in reef tanks, and once they were cured they were kept
parasite free by simply giving the treated food once per month.
The process itself is simple in that all you need to do is place the food in garlic oil,
which can be purchased at WalMart or health food stores, and allow the food to soak in the oil for an hour. After this the food is fed to the tank containing the infected fish.
This needs to be done daily for a week and then weekly until all of the fish are cured.
The only drawbacks are that this stuff smells terrible and only fish that are eating will
be able to be treated. Also your skimmer and any probes will become coated with he oil.
I have now used this method in 2 of my tanks and in 3 other tanks, all containing newly purchased Blue Hippo Tangs, and it has worked in every instance. Because of this I am now able to place Blue Tangs in the tanks I help set up without fearing that the tangs will die from ick and then infect the other fish as well.
Despite my success I still prefer to prevent disease than to have to treat it. Even
though the garlic oil seems to be the ticket, particularly for ick, these diseases are still
obstacles in the path to success and better remedies still need to be found.
Garlic-Infused Live Brine Shrimp:
-Take some live brine shrimp and rinse them out with freshwater (You'll allways want to do this, as Brinies often carry parasites).
-Disgard the old freshwater and place the brinies a a small amount of new freshwater
(i.e. 1 OZ of brine shrimp to a few teaspoons of water).
-Add a healthy portion of water-soluble garlic extract in with the shrimp (I'm not a
scientist, so I don't know how much I add... usually about 1/6 the water volume)
-Let the shrimp soak in their freshwater-garlic solution for a while (I've let them sit for
over 1/2 hr. with no apparent ill effects... don't know how long they'll last?)
-Feed the shrimp to your fish in small increments (i.e. ensure that your fish eat the
shrimp, before they've shed the garlic)
-Watch the ich fall off and stay off
I usually feed my fish this recipe whenever I add a new fish to one of my tanks, or
whenever there's been a major disruption (i.e. power outage)
Well, I hope that everyone who reads this will pay special note to:
1---Prevention is better than cure, especially for tanks with rocks or inverts.
2---Garlic is good, and fairly simple to use.
3---Between garlic & quarantine, there is no excuse or reason to have ick in the main
4---The level of hyposalinity that Mike suggested didn't work very well, but was as low
as he could go without killing his rock. As we've discussed many times before, .009-7 is
what is needed to kill ick, and that can only be done in an invert-free tank.
5---The freshwater ick cures that use quinicrine hydrochloride or other quinines are
absolutely to be avoided in saltwater tanks.
6---A two WEEK freshwater dip? ROTFLMAO!!!
I sure hope that's a typo!
If not, then he must have meant "dead" gravel in a tank being torn down & restarted.
DON'T freshwater dip your live sand, please.
05-28-2005, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Aw, nuts. I had hoped to avoid all that bad cut & paste offset effect. Sorry it's hard to read, but it's worth reading.
Anyway, this thread is over 4 years old, but I thought it might come in handy someday as a reference so I saved it. I figured it might make a nifty conversation piece at the very least.
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