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Dan H

Strange parasite on firefish

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So a bit ago we bought 2 Helfrichi firefish. Both were doing fine but one morning the second one was missing. We thought he was dead but then this morning he reappeared! He looked very lethargic and was not moving much. I had to go to work but when Meg got home she found him laying on the sand bed with some strange looking thing on its side. She texted me pictures and we figured it was some parasite.

Meg caught him and we decided to try a freshwater bath. Immediately the parasite started to move. Meg took tweezers and tried to pluck it off but the darn thing was on pretty good. So after a few tries we decided to smash it with the tweezers. Very carefully Meg pinched the parasite and smashed it to death. We put the firefish into QT and he immediately looked somewhat better. Hopefully he will survive.

Pics for your enjoyment. If you happen to know what it is please pipe in.

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Do you think this came with the fish or came crawling out of your liverock?

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Is it just me or does he look he has a fair amount of white spots on him?

Sorry it's not related to the external parasite.

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Glad you saved your Helfrichi, they are such beautiful fish! Hope he pulls through!

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I'm sad to report that he just died. I think it was indeed an Aegid Isopod, and we're certain it was in the live rock as we inspected the fish closely before buying them. I believe the white spots were sand as he was laying in the sand bed, it wasn't ich.

Well, according to Ron's article, I think our best course of action is to hold off on buying any more fish for about 2 months and just watch the remaining Helfrichi and hope he doesn't also become dinner. What a bummer.

Creepy little sucker. Apparently they will actually try to eat YOU if they can! Crazy!

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Dang. That is a bummer. You two sure are patient but it's admirable that you are doing it right. Best of luck!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Well, Meg and I have been discussing and we think it's best to just watch the remaining Helfrichi (and technically gobies, but they are soo tiny it's rare to see them) and wait to see if there are any more isopods in there. Sounds like they are fairly aggressive and theoretically we should know within a few weeks if there are any left. Assuming no more incidents after that time, then we're probably in the clear. If not, then we probably will take out the fish and let the isopods starve for a few months. So hopefully we just won't see any more for a few weeks. Sucks having to lose such a beautiful fish to a stupid bug! I put it in a plastic bag so y'all can see it at the May meeting and know what they look like. Creepy nasty little sucker.

In other positive news - The tank parameters are nearly perfect so that's a plus. The 2 mantis shrimp are both growing fast, and both have colored up and are quite beautiful. The one is a freaking HOG! I put some mysis in a turkey baster and fed them to him and holy crap! He was such a hoss he would grab one, go stash it in his cave, then come out and grab another. He repeated this about 6 times. At the end he was literally munching on a mysis, and still grabbed another!

Well, I guess the sad part about all of this is that we probably won't have any more fish by the May meeting, so expect not too much to look at. :(

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Dan, you may want to setup a QT to host new additions before adding them to your large DT. Good luck, I am enjoying your build thread. It is a beautiful stand and canopy and well thought out setup.

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Dan, you may want to setup a QT to host new additions before adding them to your large DT. Good luck, I am enjoying your build thread. It is a beautiful stand and canopy and well thought out setup.

Yup. QT is on it's way and should be here this week. Long story somewhat short... I said we needed a QT and Meg said she didn't want the house to look like a science experiment. I being a good husband tried my best to reason that we still needed a QT. :) Yeah, no dice.

Well, after this experience, last night she suggested that we should get a QT. Ok. Done. :)

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Sadly, this is the one case where QT wouldn't have helped. The parasite originated from the live rock already in the tank. Unless you meant QT the new live rock... then yes. smile.png

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Well, theoretically it may have helped because we could have QT him with medication after removing the parasite. QT should be here tomorrow. Oh well, sad but even old dogs learn new lessons.

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Technically if he runs fallow in his display tank for the 2-3 months reccomended wouldn't that be QT'ing his rock?

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If we have 0 fish in the tank for a few months, it's basically QTing the rock. Any fish-only parasites should starve by then. Now predators would be a different story (i.e. Mantis).

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Did your research on isopods come up with any weird scenario where they were able to live off of clean-up crew? Just a thought as they seem vicious enough to eat anything (humans included) that if pressed, a snail might be a good snack to survive.

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No but ****, now I'm going to have to do more research. It doesn't seem likely but who knows.

Side note, so far the other firefish seems to be doing quite well, so hopefully it was just the 1 isopod.

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Yeah, I'd be surprised if they could survive off of cleanup crew but the thought occurred to me so I wanted to ask just in case.

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I always QT my rock. Doesn't everyone else? Coral on the other hand.... ?

Is there a chance that the fish came in with a larval form of the isopod imbedded in it that couldn't be easily seen when you first bought it? I'm sure it probably came from the live rock since the rock came from the wild, but it's also possible that fish catch parasites when in high density environments at distribution centers.

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I alwas QT my rock. Doesn't everyone else?

I haven't bought live rock since 2006. Everything is has been dry from that point so I guess I'm a little out of practice in the art of buying live rock. Haha.

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