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Old 10-06-2014, 02:44 AM   #1
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White Ick outbreak dilema

Hi there,

I'm in need of a bit of assistance of what to do

From the title, i had an ick outbreak. I've got all my fish in a quarantine tank currently being treated with copper.

The issue is that they've been in there for the past 2.5 months now...

The reason why... previously they were in there for a month... ick had disappeared from all the fish and everyone was happy but my canister filter was very dirty so silly me decided to do a water change with the DP water (no idea why i did that... not thinking at the time)... the next morning my hippo tang was covered in ick once again but the rest of the fish are perfectly fine with no signs... currently theres a vlamingi, powder blue, hippo and a firefish (that has somehow survived this long). for the past 4-6 weeks ive been watching all my fish everyday... the hippo is slowly dropping the ick but there's still some on him but the rest of the fish are perfectly fine....

My dillema is that I've heard fish can tolerate copper for about 4-6 weeks with no problem but I'm currently sitting on about 8-10 weeks now.... and the last couple of weeks I've had few deaths (foxface, vampire tang and a few firefish)

What should I do? I've heard copper doesnt kill the ick on the fish but just the babies that a floating around when spawned... just wanted to confirm this to see if it's possible to put the rest of the fish except the hippo back in the DP. The DP has been fishless now for 8-10 weeks so the ick should be gone.... Or is there a possibility that the other fish are hosting ick still? bear in mind I've been watching all the fish everyday for the past 4-6 weeks and they havent shown any signs of ick.

I've been testing my water with API copper test and it's showing it at around the 0.50 marker... the next one is 1.0 on the chart.

Please help me come up with a solution to save the rest of my fish.... don't want anymore deaths...

Thanks,
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:02 AM   #2
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How big is your tank and do you have corals?
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:11 AM   #3
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DP is 1000l with about 200l sump.... QT is a 200l with a 20l canister

No corals at the moment... DP is a FOWLR currently has a few hermit crabs/snails in there
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:37 AM   #4
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If all the fish are in the same QT with the tang that has a sign of ich, I would suspect the rest are also infected but has not shown any sign yet. Since you would have to start all over again in the QT for another 2 months, I would just put the rest back in the DT except the hippo. Use GarlicXteme in the DT and observe while hippo is also being treated in the QT with copper. If any of the fish in the DT will show sign of ich then you have no choice but to put them back in the QT and complete the usual treatment. I suspect you might not be dosing the right amount of copper and that's the reason why they still have it. The safest duration for treatment is 8 weeks. If you need to start all over again why not use the hypo salinity treatment?
Edit: Whenever i notice my blue tang to act weirdly like wiggling at the back of the tank, I apply the GarlicXtreme and he calms down. I also suspect there is ich in my tank but I feed them nori for boosting immune system.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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Is there a possibility that theres a problem with your copper test kit? That would be my first thought. I wouldnt put them back into the display until they are all ich free since theyre all in fhe same tank. If the tang is still showing signs of ich, then the ich is still in the system and the other fish very likely have it as well. It infects the gills first on fish which make it a bit tricky.

Would you mind posting a picture of the ichy tang?
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:39 AM   #6
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Even if the DT is now free of ick, you will still need to wait for another 8 weeks anyway after treatment of fish before you can put them back. They already have spent too long in the QT with copper and who knows how much longer they can take it cause you might have to increase dosage to make it more effective. They need a break and I would have to put them back now in DT except the hippo. Observe them for a week while administering GarlicXtreme in DT with salinity of 1.019. You have to sacrifice your CUCs during this period. If any of the fish shows any sign of ich then let them join the hippo. Leave the hippo in QT with heavier dossage of copper for 2 weeks. At the 3rd week flush the QT and with 1.019 salinity, start using GarlicXtreme for another 6 weeks and observe how the fish reacts. Acclimation is needed as necessary.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:49 PM   #7
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I would skip adding them into the DT. There's no reason at all to "sacrifice" your inverts. But I do agree that you should switch gears on your treatment. I would go with a hyposalinity treatment since the copper obviously isn't working for you. The copper also won't selectively treat the fish, it either kills the parasite, or it doesn't.

I would also skip the garlic extreme. It doesn't cure ich but instead may mask the symptoms which could cause a resurgence of ich if it isn't treated fully. Garlic is more useful if you are accepting the ich infestation in your tank and hoping that the immune system of the fish will prevent any massive resurgence of the parasite.

By now the DT is free of ich, but adding the fish back in is just going to cause problems. Even if they have no visible signs of ich on their skin; it may still be infecting their gills and it really only takes one parasite to reinfect the tank.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:32 PM   #8
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You may not believe it but most tanks have already ich present in them but just waiting for the right moment when any fish gets stressed out and the immune system diminished. As long as fish are happy you will not get ich outbreak.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffaquarius View Post
You may not believe it but most tanks have already ich present in them but just waiting for the right moment when any fish gets stressed out and the immune system diminished. As long as fish are happy you will not get ich outbreak.
"Most" no. If proper quarantine and treatment procedures are involved then a tank cannot get ich until it is added to the tank. "Some" Absolutely. The fish immune system can help prevent a major outbreak while maintaining low levels of the parasite in system. My 20g had ich for close to a year before I decided to finally treat it. There was never more than 1 spot on a fish at any time with months going between spot sightings at times.

The following is from an article on treating marine ich which has pretty much become the bible for managing the parasite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by www.ReefKeeping.com
Fish can develop immunity to Cryptocaryon irritans that can last for up to six months (Colorni, 1987 and Colorni & Burgess, 1997). It is this natural immunity that makes evaluating the effectiveness of various treatment options so difficult. How can someone ever be certain that what they dosed to their tank or fed to their fish is what caused the cure they observed? The answer is simple, they can't. Until there are controlled, scientific studies, preferably repeated a few times, we cannot be sure that any of the newer homeopathic or "reef-safe" treatments actually work.

This limited immunity is also the basis for some aquarists advocating that if a fish gets sick, to just maintain pristine water quality, feed a superb diet, and to allow the fish's own immune system to do the job. While it is possible that this could work, natural immunity is not totally foolproof. In the studies cited above, some of the fish were not completely protected by their own natural immunity. It is possible that immunity could protect the fish from massive infestation, but still allow small numbers of parasites to remain and reproduce undetected by the aquarist. This is where the 'Ich is always present' argument comes into play and why sometimes an aquarist has recurring difficulties with this pathogen. It is possible, in some cases, that the treatment was cut short or misapplied or for some other reason not totally effective, but that immunity helped to partially ward off the infection. In this situation, a low-level infestation, held in check by natural immunity but not totally eradicated, could continue to survive but be misdiagnosed, or missed all together, by the hobbyist. The parasites could progress through their lifecycle by predominately attacking the gill tissue, where they could go unseen. Or, the number of parasites could be so low and their appearance (and disappearance) be erratic enough that the aquarist does not pick up on the infection or attributes the occasional white spot to a speck of sand or air bubble because the fish are behaving normally otherwise. That is until some other minor mishap occurs or the immunity wears off and the balance shifts in favor of the infestation, resulting in a full-blown infestation once again.

I want to be clear on this point. I do not believe Cryptocaryon irritans is always present in our systems. With a strict quarantine protocol, it is possible keep an Ich-free aquarium. I just believe that there have been enough hobbyists who have misused a treatment or utilized an ineffective treatment option, such that they never really fully conquered their initial infestation. Their continuing problems over the course of many months, and the posting of those experiences, seem to be enough to promote this aquarium myth. Cryptocaryon irritans can be eradicated from an infected system with a proven treatment and can be kept out of the system if good quarantine practices are employed.
Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part II by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:51 PM   #10
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I have read a lot of articles similar to that claim but the authors have their own opinions. I speak through my own experience with regards to ich and we have debated about this so many times. I have 3 tangs right now in my 150 gal. The blue had started to have a sign of ich just last week. It shakes it's head at the back side of tank which tells me there is something irritates it's gills. Once I applied the GarlicXtreme it calms down and now he looks normal. I had an ich outbreak 2 years ago and I did not QT all of them. Just the blue tang and they all survived. Maybe you can share your own experience that wiped out your tank.
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