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Ick!


Bill B

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Well, I have been posting several what's this and that questions and I think I better mention the serious stuff. I have ick in my 75 gal and would like some suggestions on what 'you' do. I have been keeping FW for 4 years so I am well familiar with the phenomenon of different opinions, but I would love to hear them all. I have a 3" Fox Face and Spotted Cheek Tang, a 2 1/2" Maroon Clown, a 1 1/2" Royal Gramma and a tiny 1" Chromis. I have a few palys and zoas, some star polps, shrooms, a xenia and a torch. I have a 4 Mexican turbo snails and about 20 red legged crabs.

I talked with two of the LFS and they were different, of course, and I am sure they have both dealt with this problem. One said hospital tank, Copper Safe and possibly lowering the salinity to .017. The other said Kent Extreme Garlic and raise the temp to 84. Both said Metro. might help but wouldn't be a cure. Currently I am going with plan B but am very open to any suggestions. Frankly thus far (5 days) I am not seeing much progress. Strangely, perhaps it is just the lighting, but sometimes it seems most are almost cyst free, and then by the evening they will have considerably more - this has happened two days, including now. I am curious about suggested salinity and temp. Store A thought 84 was very high. My Torch (and only stony) in particular doesn't seem very happy. I do have an empty 29 gal but was concerned about cycling problems with this many fish in a 29 for 6 weeks? otherwise I probably would have gone with the 'tried and true' copper treatment - that and having to break down the tank. Both stores acted like UV should help at least, but possibly they hadn't actually done this?? I read all 4 posts here and was interested in comments about Cleaner Shrimp. One googled forum had a 'pro' who suggested shrimp and 6 lines was an urban myth. Cited some U Fla study which said various parasites were found in their guts but no ick. This of course was right after several people had already responded that they were wonderful and in tandem with any other copper free method should be bullet proof. BTW the clown and chromis have been in the tank almost from the start (6 weeks) and currently seem asymptomatic, but I am not depending on this to remain the case. I do also have a 29 which seems problem free, but I am assuming moving any corals or inverts may cross contaminate?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated to perhaps lessen my errors here. Frankly I was stunned when I realized ick is a big deal in SW, because of all the extra inhabitants. In FW, for me anyway, it's been quick cure 3 times wait 10 days, the ick is gone and you're done - easy stuff.

Thank you

Bill Brister

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For as long as I have been in this hobby there have been ongoing arguments about the best treatment for Ich. I tend to agree with store B. Although raising the temp really only makes the Ich go through it's cycle faster. I personally feel that stress is the biggest problem for the fish dealing with Ich. So I would try to keep the tank as stable as possible and feed more. A healthy stress free fish will be better able to fight it off. UV would only kill any cysts that happen to be free floating and make it through the filter. I think John at Kingfish was telling me about a new product they had tried that was reef safe and had some success. You might give them a call.

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For as long as I have been in this hobby there have been ongoing arguments about the best treatment for Ich. I tend to agree with store B. Although raising the temp really only makes the Ich go through it's cycle faster. I personally feel that stress is the biggest problem for the fish dealing with Ich. So I would try to keep the tank as stable as possible and feed more. A healthy stress free fish will be better able to fight it off. UV would only kill any cysts that happen to be free floating and make it through the filter. I think John at Kingfish was telling me about a new product they had tried that was reef safe and had some success. You might give them a call.

Thanks for your input Gabriel. Even in FW there are two camps - chemicals or environment. Unfortunately one of the key changes with the environment people is to add salt. It also seems that FW ick has a much shorter life cycle especially at higher temps. It also seems much less fatal, as about the only fish that die in FW are those that have epidemic outbreaks before they are noticed, so most discussions are primarily intellectual as both work the vast majority of the time. I still find it very curious how quickly the white cysts appear and disappear. Is it possible I have diagnosed the wrong thing. I does seem so much like classical ick - small salt pebbles, twitching, occasionally quick bursts of swimming and rubbing against things. The Tang is the most unusual. I have seen it skipping along the sand as if to scratch it's belly and he really likes to rub against the Fox Face. I am concerned his surgeon blades might injure it. As mentioned it seems to also be a daily occurrence that it appears to have no cysts in the morning and have more than just a few in the evening. All three of the 'infected' fish act differently. The Gramma will appear to have a fairly heavy amount around it's face but does very little scratching or the like - they are often also gone in the morning. The Fox Face mostly twitches and bolts. He is never cyst free and I would say the numbers increase and decrease much less. Right now he has maybe 10 cysts I can easily see. If form holds this number will perhaps double by the evening. I have never seen anything like this with ick. It seems normally they may have quite a few: this decreases (with treatment) till there is none and if they return it is in the opposite numbers (few to more). This normally takes 2 or 3 days, each direction and not 24 hours. Hopefully this is moot and this time they are really dropping off - but I doubt it, as I predicted a similar outcome yesterday.

I did read an interesting anecdote about stable environment. One person said they had a fish who seemed to have a small infection for some number of weeks. So he finally decided to move it to a QT and try something a little more aggressive. He was hoping this would put it in new water where in tank ick didn't already exist. It died within hours, with no treatment added.

So - keep the opinions coming. Probably it was intentional but there was no opinion on Cleaner Shrimp - myth or legend. I am sure Gabriel is against freshwater dips and I dread the picture so I didn't even bring them up. I did find a few more opinions on UV. They all concurred that while they might reduce numbers in both the cyst and free swimming stage they would not get them all to happen to get sucked into the UV.

Thanks

Bill

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how are your coral and inverts doing in the hyposalinity?I thought that was a fish only thing.I agree with gabe.when my hippo tang starts "bouncing" off of stuff I feed him more and add garlic.it never lasts mor than a day or two.

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how are your coral and inverts doing in the hyposalinity?I thought that was a fish only thing.I agree with gabe.when my hippo tang starts "bouncing" off of stuff I feed him more and add garlic.it never lasts mor than a day or two.

I did not change the salinity. The only references I found were "you could probably go as low as ____". Sounded too iffy for someone with no experience at saltwater disease. The only article that sounded very empirical actually put them in a QT and lowered to .009!

I had not considered food at all. The tang and fox face both spend a lot of time trying to graze, with little to graze on. I had assumed this was just their nature. When I first put them in I was having a small hair algae problem but they took care of that pero pronto. I'll add that to the regimine, especially more veggies.

Thanks

Bill

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This topic has been discussed many time, search and read read, figure out the best method for your case

there will be some trial and error, can't take anyone word for it.

1- Low salinity (if done correctly, google Hyposalinity) - will kill ick and less stress for fish, but you have to have a QT to do this. Lower salinity to the level that kill ick will KILL everything else in your main tank if you do that in main tank

2-Chemical (copper...) all work, again, have to do in QT tank, I did not know if there is a proven reef safe chemical for ICK, but you never know. check around.

==> your main tank need time for parasite to DIE w/o a fish host, raise temp to cut down time wait time

3-Leave it alone, praying, keep water clean, UV light, garlic, 6line, cleaner shrimp, they are all "MAY" work ==> try a few if you want alternative medicine, (I tell you my 6line is the one that carried ick in my tank, that is the only thing I added in a year w/o quarantine, I know what bring ick in my tank)

it's like "western medicine (low salinity/chemical) or eastern medicine (garlic, pray...)" what is your personal preference?

I consider raise temp as Eastern medicine also, but it is proven to accelerate and shorten ick cycle, and in between, you have to pray that they don't find your fish and kill the fish ==> if the fish hang out long enough, it will survive.

Personally I did low salinity with great success, cost me nothing but time

But now, i quarantine every fish i buy for 6 weeks, dip all of new coral in coral dip solution, i don't want to go through this again.

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  • 2 months later...

We used a product called ich attack. It's all natural and you can use with inverts, corals, and fish. It really did the number on the ich outbreak we had in our tank!! I would recommend it to anyone, just make sure you get enough to dose the tank for a couple of weeks. You also need to remove any carbon for that 2 week time like any other meds.

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