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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I'm not really a noob, but after 5 years out of the hobby, I've forgotten some stuff and some things I never practiced are looking like good ideas now that my vision is becoming 20/20. So....

I have an established aquarium that I took over from my dad who had trouble with upkeep. Everyone has been doing well since November. Last week I put in a powder blue and a Scott's and....wait for it....the blue got ich. I tried (against my better judgement) the "reef-safe" treatment for a few days. It's not working and now the Scott's has a few spots too. I'm thinking I need to pull everyone out and quarantine with cupramine for the requisite period and let the reef run fallow until the ich is gone. I have the blue, Scott's, 2 ocellaris, green file, lyretail anthias, royal gramma, flame angel, and a kole tang.

What size quarantine should I run? I'm looking at a starter kit with a HOB filter, but I probably shouldn't run the filter with the carbon packs, right? Should I put a powerhead in there, or should the HOB be enough water movement? After all is said and done, will any of the equipment be usable for anything involving water that may end up in the reef?
 

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Your QT will depend on the sizes of your fish! If theyre all small (less than 2") than a 20g long might be fine. We use hyposalinity (SG 1.011) as our treatment for 30 days or more. During treatment we run a HOB filter with carbon, and an air powered sponge filter that is cycled in the sump of our DT (note: we use a fresh sponge for each treatment so as to not introduce something back into the DT). Week 1 & 2 we change 50% water every other day. Week 3 & 4 we change 25% water every 3 days. If treatment runs longer than 4 weeks then we change 25% twice a week until fish are placed into the DT.
We have never used any medications as most have some residual side effects to the fish. Many will work, just do your homework as with anything, there are downfalls to each method!
Hope this helps and shout if you have more questions.
John and Kathie
 

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What might work out is using the tank transfer method. It's a great way to rid of ich without meds. Depending on size of fish use either 2 2&1/2 gallon or 5 gallon tanks. There's a great thread on reef central on how to do it. Just search tank transfer method. It rids ich by the parasite life cycle. Then after doing TTM put the fish in quarantine tank and keep an eye on them. I use TTM for all new fish before quarantine tank and introducing into the display tank. Good luck
 

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I've never tried the TTM but I will sometime. Hypo works for almost all ich, but not for velvet. So if you do hypo make sure it is ich and not velvet. On the flip side freshwater dips work for velvet but not ich. I treat all fish with Cupramine. It's always good to have an extra pump in the tank for water flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone!

Unfortunately, the powder blue was looking very bad that night, so I put him in a bucket dosed with copper until I could do something more acceptable the next morning. He was weaker/sicker than I thought....I went to check on him the next morning and he was stuck to the intake of the pos powerhead I had in there for aeration/circulation, still alive, but barely. I had it dialed WAY down, but apparently it was still too much. He was dead by noon. :angry: :sad:

John and Kathie, that was a very helpful answer! I'm thinking I might use a combination of your hyposalinity method and copper for the rest of the fish since I'm going to run the tank fallow for 72 days. I'm thinking that I'll start with the copper for a month, take a week off, then go hyposalinity for a month, then run normal parameters until it's time to re-introduce them into the DT. I hope this will be as close to 100% eradication as possible.

What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Help!!!!

Everyone was transferred Wednesday night. Yesterday the flame angel had a huge breakout of spots and the Scott's still had a few spots, but everyone was doing well. So I started to add Cupramine. I added 2/3 of the dose around 3 o'clock. Tested copper level around 4:30-5 and added the rest of the copper around 10pm. Everyone was still doing well. The pos heater that came with the "starter" aquarium I'm using for the QT doesn't have temp settings, just a +/- wedge, and it was slowly creeping up. This morning (7am) it was at 79.8 so I turned it down a little. Now, at 10:15 it's at 77.8 degrees. Cu is at ~0.5. The QT is just a bare bottom 29g with a "appropriately sized" HOB filter (remember, "starter" kit), heater, powerhead, and some 2" and 3" pac unions/elbows for hiding. I used water from the DT to fill it. Both infected fish are now breathing heavy/very heavy and the Scott's is upside down on the bottom of the tank! Everyone else is swimming/acting normal.

Do you think it's the copper? Or the ich? The temp swings? Possible ammonia/nitrite spike? (I don't have an ammonia/nitrite test since the DT has been up for a long time) If it was anything but the ich, wouldn't all of the fish be having issues? Or is it just affecting these two more because of the added stress of the infection?

I have started running carbon to remove the copper just in case. I don't want to lose this BEAUTIFUL wrasse! I just bought him, he's unique, and he wasn't cheap!

Please help!
 

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hard to say

It might be hard to say unless it's just extreme stress especially with spikes. I would correct copper soon though and process through the issues, eliminating one by one and look for improvement, if you want to keep using copper might need to just adjust levels of treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It might be hard to say unless it's just extreme stress especially with spikes. I would correct copper soon though and process through the issues, eliminating one by one and look for improvement, if you want to keep using copper might need to just adjust levels of treatment.
Thanks! I wasn't really worried about the copper levels....they were good....just the fact that it is also stressful to the fish in addition to having ich and changing tanks.
 

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Everyone was transferred Wednesday night. Yesterday the flame angel had a huge breakout of spots and the Scott's still had a few spots, but everyone was doing well. So I started to add Cupramine. I added 2/3 of the dose around 3 o'clock. Tested copper level around 4:30-5 and added the rest of the copper around 10pm. Everyone was still doing well. The pos heater that came with the "starter" aquarium I'm using for the QT doesn't have temp settings, just a +/- wedge, and it was slowly creeping up. This morning (7am) it was at 79.8 so I turned it down a little. Now, at 10:15 it's at 77.8 degrees. Cu is at ~0.5. The QT is just a bare bottom 29g with a "appropriately sized" HOB filter (remember, "starter" kit), heater, powerhead, and some 2" and 3" pac unions/elbows for hiding. I used water from the DT to fill it. Both infected fish are now breathing heavy/very heavy and the Scott's is upside down on the bottom of the tank! Everyone else is swimming/acting normal.

Do you think it's the copper? Or the ich? The temp swings? Possible ammonia/nitrite spike? (I don't have an ammonia/nitrite test since the DT has been up for a long time) If it was anything but the ich, wouldn't all of the fish be having issues? Or is it just affecting these two more because of the added stress of the infection?

I have started running carbon to remove the copper just in case. I don't want to lose this BEAUTIFUL wrasse! I just bought him, he's unique, and he wasn't cheap!

Please help!
It is not the copper. It is the parasite. We see tons of advice given when it comes to the most common of diseases or parasitic infections. Usually when someone asks for advice it is all but too late. When you are seeing spots when ich is suspected the parasite has already run a life cycle more than likely. Ich kills fish by attacking the gills. The white spots on the body you see are more a nuisance, the ones you don't see are the killers. Keep up with the copper. Only copper treatment and tank transfer method are credible treatments. The rest have been disproven both in home reefs and in the laboratory. Hypo and garlic are hypes that are slowly fading away (thank goodness). Unfortunately by your description it may be too late. This is why nothing that swims gets into my display without copper treatment for at least a month first. Live and learn. Good luck.

P.S. I have never had good luck with cupramine (probably just me) but coppersafe is back on the market...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Glad to see you are back, but on the same not sorry to hear you are having some troubles.
Thanks Sean, glad to be back! Now if I get through the rest of this quarantine, I'll be alright.

One good thing I've noticed is that my corals are looking a lot happier since the fish were removed. So I guess I was right about somebody nipping. I'm just not sure who now. I thought it was my flame angel, but he was out 2-3 weeks before everyone else and nothing really seemed to improve. But I noticed a difference within a day and a half of the big reaping. I think I'm going to get rid of the filefish once he's free of the parasite. Then I'll only have the clowns and anthias and I'm sure it wasn't them.

Might have to start looking for some frags soon so they can get established before adding fish back in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It is not the copper. It is the parasite. We see tons of advice given when it comes to the most common of diseases or parasitic infections. Usually when someone asks for advice it is all but too late. When you are seeing spots when ich is suspected the parasite has already run a life cycle more than likely. Ich kills fish by attacking the gills. The white spots on the body you see are more a nuisance, the ones you don't see are the killers. Keep up with the copper. Only copper treatment and tank transfer method are credible treatments. The rest have been disproven both in home reefs and in the laboratory. Hypo and garlic are hypes that are slowly fading away (thank goodness). Unfortunately by your description it may be too late. This is why nothing that swims gets into my display without copper treatment for at least a month first. Live and learn. Good luck.

P.S. I have never had good luck with cupramine (probably just me) but coppersafe is back on the market...
I think I agree that it wasn't the copper. I think it was just the whole s**t-storm, but especially the ich and ammonia just suffocating them. I feel terrible and hate to see the dollars go down the drain. But I'll definitely learn from the experience. I'm either going to leave the qt up permanently or keep a sponge and filter in my sump to be ready for any future qt needs.

How has the cupramine not worked? You mean it hasn't eliminated the ich for you?

Thanks Jay!
 

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I grew up using coppersafe. Never had a loss i could attribute to it. When mardel went under and cupramine was the only option i had to use it. I am 99 percent sure it was what killed my two different sets of quarantined fish. I am sure others have the direct opposite experience but that is mine.
 

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sometimes being pro active is the worst, turn lights off for days,feed well, lower salinity and don't bother what so ever , thats my take. i am the master at powder blues I've been told. I've killed them taking them out and adding copper many times . they never die with food and water changes and no lights. vacuum sand a little, i did don't know if thats good or bad , buy ich lives and falls into sand . i think
 
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