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Old 12-06-2010, 01:18 AM   #1
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Keeping the Nitrifying Bacteria Alive

Hello All,

I have had to remove all of my fish from my reef tank because one had ich. I read that the best way to prevent this from recurring is to remove all the fish and let the tank run without fish for 6-8 weeks to allow the ich to die off from lack of food (fish) .

Anyway, how should I go about keeping the reef tank in the meantime? I have fed a little algae flake fish food a couple of times to keep the nitrification process alive and well, but I'm not sure if that's the right way to do this.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Edit: Maybe just dosing the tank to feed the corals will do the trick?
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdellin View Post
Hello All,

I have had to remove all of my fish from my reef tank because one had ich. I read that the best way to prevent this from recurring is to remove all the fish and let the tank run without fish for 6-8 weeks to allow the ich to die off from lack of food (fish) .

Anyway, how should I go about keeping the reef tank in the meantime? I have fed a little algae flake fish food a couple of times to keep the nitrification process alive and well, but I'm not sure if that's the right way to do this.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Edit: Maybe just dosing the tank to feed the corals will do the trick?
Feeding the corals will be good enough to keep your tank cycled while it is fishless. What do you "dose" to feed the corals? I just want to make sure we are on the same page here. Also, the flake food you have been throwing in works too.
Where did you put the fish in the meantime? Do you have an adequate QT tank? How are you treating the fish in QT?
I personally don't agree with this statement you made, but that is just me. "I have had to remove all of my fish from my reef tank because one had ich."
Yes if you want to for sure be ich free then you do have to remove them for 8-weeks and treat all the fish accordingly. I have been there done that, just to get ich show up another time several months later after adding no new fish, only new inverts. Although unlikely, you can get ich in your tank from anything wet. So, to be 100% sure you do not get ich again, you would have to QT anything new which is wet. Which is a very good practice, but not always an option for everybody.
IMO, healthy fish can fight off ich with their own immune system. The real scary parasite is Marine Velvet
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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Removing ALL fish for 8 weeks is the first step to keeping a tank Ich free. You must then QT all new fish, drip acclimate all new inverts, etc.
After a drip acclimation I also give them a dip in used tank water in a bucket before adding them to the tank. I double dip all corals (cleaner and CoralRx) and then rinse is tank water before adding them to the tank.
This has worked for me for 4 years. No, I have not reduced the chance of an Ich outbreak to zero, but I have greatly reduced the chance of an outbreak by as much as possible (IMO).

Yes, a few flakes per week is all you will need.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:09 AM   #4
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Yeah, I got pretty unlucky. I do the same dip process for corals with Revive and I would always rinse of any new snails, shrimp, etc before I added them to the tank. I still managed to get it back, way later and I was very diligent about everything including the hyposalinity for 9-weeks. Ich is pretty easy to control with a healthy tank. If I did not have an Achilles Tang which is a HUGE Ich Magnet, I wouldn't even know there was any in there. It is the only fish in my tank I see any white spots these days.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:50 AM   #5
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I feel your pain. After removing most of the 200# of rock to get all the fish out, another round of Ich was something I wanted to avoid at all costs.
The process we follow minimizes the chance of re-introduction, but does not eliminate it. I am constantly aware of that as I'm usally the one with bad luck.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:37 AM   #6
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Well, I guess I did not have to take all the fish out. There was obviously ich in the tank, but my fish were healthy enough to fight it off. When I added the Powder blue, this was after quarantining her, she got ich. So I did some research and my understanding is that if you leave the tank for 8 weeks with no fish, the ich will starve and die off.

I have two quarantine tanks set up, the powder blue is in one, being treated with copper and responding well. The other fish are in another tank, being treated with Melafix and Pimafix. They are being treated because I started to see fungus, which I assume is from the stress of moving and the smaller tank. My plan was to irradicate the ich and not add any new fish. I have enough fish and don't have room for more.

Although reading your posts above, I will reconsider adding inverts without some sort of treatment. Are you saying that dipping them in used tank water before adding to my main tank will wash off any parasites that might be present? I did not think inverts got ich, so I'm assuming you are suggesting they could be carriers. Good to know.

Also, what I have for dosing the tank is micro-vert and phytoplan for the corals.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:32 AM   #7
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If you want to be "Ich Free" you need to treat ALL of the fish that were in the DT with the fish which had ich. They all must be treated for ich, even if you never saw ich on them they must have copper or hypo treatment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdellin View Post
Well, I guess I did not have to take all the fish out. There was obviously ich in the tank, but my fish were healthy enough to fight it off. When I added the Powder blue, this was after quarantining her, she got ich. So I did some research and my understanding is that if you leave the tank for 8 weeks with no fish, the ich will starve and die off.

I have two quarantine tanks set up, the powder blue is in one, being treated with copper and responding well. The other fish are in another tank, being treated with Melafix and Pimafix. They are being treated because I started to see fungus, which I assume is from the stress of moving and the smaller tank. My plan was to irradicate the ich and not add any new fish. I have enough fish and don't have room for more.

Although reading your posts above, I will reconsider adding inverts without some sort of treatment. Are you saying that dipping them in used tank water before adding to my main tank will wash off any parasites that might be present? I did not think inverts got ich, so I'm assuming you are suggesting they could be carriers. Good to know.

Also, what I have for dosing the tank is micro-vert and phytoplan for the corals.
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:04 AM   #8
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Well, I don't know if you've read any of my other recent posts, but I ended up losing all my fish. I took them all out to treat, but I didn't have a QT set up, so I had to set them up on the fly... I used some tank water, some freshly made water and did water changes often to avoid the horrors of the cycle process. The powder blue did really well in her own QT, the ich was gone and she was doing well. The other fish started getting a fungus. I tried treating them, but they didn't recover. I think it had to do with the uncycled QT. I kept the ammonia down and the nitrites with water changes, but they started getting the body fungus and died off one by one.
This was in the larger QT. After they died off, I moved the powder blue to their tank, after a water change, because I couldn't keep the ammonia and nitrites down in the 10G tank. The larger tank was cycled by then, no ammonia or nitrites and about 20 nitrates. I used carbon to remove the medicine and moved the powder blue over. A couple days later he got a reinfestation of ich and just wasn't strong enough for the second round of treatment.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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what corals are you keeping at the moment sharon?
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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OK, so at the moment you have no fish?
What corals are in the DT?
They may need nothing but light, with an occasional pinch of food to keep the bacteria population going.

Wait a month, then when you start getting new fish make sure to QT them for 30 days. Keep a filter in the sump or in the DT to bring over to the QT. When you add fish to the QT, the tank will already be cycled when you move the filter over. You still need to keep an eye on ammonia for the first week or so of QT just to make sure.
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