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Ich problems in reef tank...HELP PLEASE


gtovar

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Can someone please tell me what is the best treatment for ich in a reef tank? I don't wanna harm any of my corals and at the same time I don't wanna lose my fish. I did some looking online and found a product called "No-Ich" but have never used it. This outbreak happened right after I did a water change I noticed all my fish were covered in white spots.

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All of those "reef-safe" treatments are snake oils, i.e., junk.

In a reef environment, unless you can remove all of the fish, quarantine/medicate them in a separate tank, and leave the reef tank fallow (without fish) for a couple of months, there's not much you can do.

Your best bet is to make sure the fish are getting the best nutrition possible to keep them healthy enough the fight the effects of the parasites/disease.

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Get one or two skunk cleaner shrimp. They are awesome at picking ich off of fish. I had a bad ich outbreak in my tank several months ago. I tried all kinds of things with no success. Cleaner shrimp were suggested to me and literally a week after adding the shrimp not a single fish showed any signs of ich.

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I've done small but frequent water changes in the past and within a week or two the ich was gone (from the fish anyway). I just checked on my 29 gallon where the bioload is a bit too much and my newest fish (a square back anthias) is showing signs of ich. I bought a new canister filter to use in addition to my refugium and this thread pushed me to finally set it up. Usually as the water conditions improve, the fish are better able to fight off the ich. I'll let you know if the canister helps or not. Bought it on clearance at Petsmart for 1/2 price btw (ehiem 2213).

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Get one or two skunk cleaner shrimp. They are awesome at picking ich off of fish. I had a bad ich outbreak in my tank several months ago. I tried all kinds of things with no success. Cleaner shrimp were suggested to me and literally a week after adding the shrimp not a single fish showed any signs of ich.

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There are some mistakes in your assumption that itch can be prevented at the adult stage of its metamorphis. Itch has two other stages. The cycle needs to be broken. Too date, I think that the best cure for a reef tank is to remove the host (fish) from the cycle. Four weeks would be the minimun with two months to be safe. I would second the use of medicated foods, especially garlic.

Patrick

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just had a battle with this myself, lost my thompson tang (he was my favorite) I was soaking food in vitamins and garllic and the fish was eating like crazy and actually started to look like he was getting better, as the spots were beginning to lessen in numbers but about two days later after work he was hiding under a rock and was dead within the hour. Best advise is to do the QT if you can and treat separately , I hope you the best of luck and lots of waters changes :)

Oh and cleaners wont help the infection, there is a great post in Reef central about this and how someone has tested the stomachs of cleaners and found no signs they were eating the parasite at all. Use their search and type ich you'll learn alot.

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I have used Rid Ich (reef safe kind) and between that and water changes and adjusting tank temp that seemed to help my fish recover.. but it took awhile and was frustrating... they say fresh water dip but you have to be careful and if its too bad it will just stress them too bad that they die anyway.... I cant remember if its a spike in water temp or a drop in temp.. someone else can probably tell you... found some good info when I searched "Marine Ich"

GOOD LUCK!!

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At the time that I chose this method, I didn't know there were drawbacks. But I have to say that I did the dropper of garlic on the food and my Copperband BF was cured. I haven't had ich for almost 2 years now. I did it for about 2 months although I think a month would have been enough to break the cycle. No need to use too much each time. But I have read on wetwebmedia that there may be draw backs. Personally I'll use it again if needed, probably with a small QT tank this time though.

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At the time that I chose this method, I didn't know there were drawbacks. But I have to say that I did the dropper of garlic on the food and my Copperband BF was cured. I haven't had ich for almost 2 years now. I did it for about 2 months although I think a month would have been enough to break the cycle. No need to use too much each time. But I have read on wetwebmedia that there may be draw backs. Personally I'll use it again if needed, probably with a small QT tank this time though.

For the same reason that garlic is good to kick start the fish immune system when stressed, I say use it all the time. I have even noticed it to stimulate

the appetite of finiky eaters. I use it in my own food preparation. Why would not the fish like it for the same reason. It is an excellant source of antioxidants to combat the free radicals.

Patrick

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At the time that I chose this method, I didn't know there were drawbacks. But I have to say that I did the dropper of garlic on the food and my Copperband BF was cured. I haven't had ich for almost 2 years now. I did it for about 2 months although I think a month would have been enough to break the cycle. No need to use too much each time. But I have read on wetwebmedia that there may be draw backs. Personally I'll use it again if needed, probably with a small QT tank this time though.

For the same reason that garlic is good to kick start the fish immune system when stressed, I say use it all the time. I have even noticed it to stimulate

the appetite of finiky eaters. I use it in my own food preparation. Why would not the fish like it for the same reason. It is an excellant source of antioxidants to combat the free radicals.

Patrick

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garlic can help fish immune system but is definatley not a cure for ich in the least. I was dosing garlic and vitamins and everything seemd fine then my fish went belly up. I am definately not trying to be negative but just trying to warn that garlic alone can help boost a fish's immune system to help battle the infection but the infection will forever be in the tank and the fish can catch it again and so can any new additions. best bet is to go fallow for 2 months and get rid of the infection all together and be done with it . Best of luck, plenty of poeple fight the first infection without a recurrence for quite a while but the infection is still in the tank, and a day of stress on the fish can weaken the immune system and boom infection all over again and depending on the fish they may not survive the recurring attacks. Ohh and the white spots on the fish is only a stage of the infection, it primarily lives in the gills where we cannot see it but they still have it. Again best of luck

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ich comes and goes in my tank, I don't worry about it too much. It's usually when I add new fish that I get an outbreak. I use garlic, zoe, and a uv sterilizer and the spots usually fade within a week. Honestly I think that the UV is a major factor in getting control of the problem. I would never freshwater dip or QT any fish with ich, it will most likely die from the stress of moving and treating it. I guarantee you that most people have not had that much success in doing so. I wouldn't recommend water changes unless you get the chemistry exactly the same.

You most likely had an outbreak after the water change because of a major difference in water chemistry. This happended to me once because I did a large water change and didn't realize that the ph was really low. The outbreak killed several of my favorite fish, this is when I bought the UV light. I would recommend smaller water changes in the future to keep that from happening again.

Good luck with it, ich sucks.

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Cleaner shrimp and maybe a cleaner wrasse. Cleaner wrasses have a poor survivability rate but if you have ich they will eat it. They will eat pods and stuff if your tank is well established.

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. . . I think that the UV is a major factor in getting control of the problem. I would never freshwater dip or QT any fish with ich, it will most likely die from the stress of moving and treating it. . . . I would recommend smaller water changes in the future . . . Good luck with it, ich sucks.

+1 I've seen Ich clear up spontaineously in reef tanks but that can't be relied on. I've had inconsistent results with Kick-Ich and metronidiazole, while they may help if you've got butterflies and the more sensitive tangs those medications probably won't effectively controll it. To reiterate Subsea's point you can't kill the adults attached to the fish or the cyst floating in the tank, only the larval stage can be killed, in my opinion the best way is with a UV sterilizer. I've always been dubious of cleaner shrimp or cleaner wrasses as a control since they can not get to the gills of a fish which is where most of the damage is done. A heavily infested fish basically suffocates from the loss of surface area on the gills where the adults have burrowed into the tissue to feed off blood. In the future I would strongly encourage you to set up a quarantine tank.

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Not trying to prove anybody wrong, but cleaner shrimp/wrasses DO NOT eat ich. Just about every other saltwater website / google will inform of this. post-mordom autopsy have proven that the ich parasite is not found in the stomaches of the fish or shrimps. They are picked off and thrown into the water only to find another/same fish to host. Not a solution in the least sad to say.... best of luck again and only trying to help Ive had my little fishies die from leaving it to methods such as that

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