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Old 09-11-2005, 11:13 AM   #1
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Blue tang has died

My blue tang died this morning. She didn't eat for 3 or more days. She had something on her skin. Some people thought it could have been ich but it looked more like a type of slime to me. Anyways, I want to know how I can know that my tank has ich or not.

I think that I am just going to take out my other three fish and put them in hypo treeatment for a month to make sure my tank is ich free. Can someone please give me some extra pointers on how to properly rid my tank of ich by using a seperate tank for hypo treatment?

Also if I plan to add another fish I should also put them in a hypo treated QT for a month correct? I was reading on freshwater dips but I have heard that this is uneffevtive against ich. TIA
Chris
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:30 AM   #2
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Well, IMO there are two ways of getting rid of ich.

1. Let your system go fallow and by fallow I mean no inhabitants for at least 6 weeks (Raise the temp in the tank to over 84 deg F to speed up the life cycle of the dinos). In the mean time treat the fish with Copper (Above .17 ppm) for the same time period in a separate QT.

2. Treat the display tank directly with copper for at least 28 days. (Now you will have copper stored in your system; some would argue indefinitly)

Hypo is not effective because as I have read and heard, it only destroys surface irritants but does not get to parasites heavily imbedded or in the gills of the fish.

Number 1 is the best method. Are you sure it is ich??? Maybe you should wait and see if the other fish become infected. They may have strong enough resistance to keep the parasite at bay. I would probably soak fish food in garlic for a couple weeks and monitor for physical signs of infection before I go into treatment mode.
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:35 AM   #3
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There is no way to know if your tank has ich until it shows up on a fish.
IMO why stress the other fish if your not sure about the ich?
I would not do anything until your sure that you have ich.
Do you have a QT tank set up and cycled? If not adding 3 fish to a small QT tank is just asking for more trouble.
How long did you have the tang?
If the fish had slime on it and did not have little salt specks on it then I would say there was another cause for the death.
How old and what size tank? Have you tested your water?
Adding another fish at this time is a bad idea. Let the tank run for at least 30-45 days before adding any fish. This should be enough time to see if there is a ich problem in the tank.
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:49 AM   #4
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The tank has been running for about 3months now and only 1month with fish. I had the tang for 3weeks. What I thought happend was that she got into one of the rocks that had a hole in it. A large snail stayed there for a couple of days and after leaving this spot there was slime left over. The blue tang slept in that rock and got it all over her. By the time I saw what it was I cleaned it out but she was covered. I had a 6 lined wrasse get the same slime on her fin but was able to get it off within a day.

I am not sure it is ich. Actually, I still am not 100% that it was even a parasite. People have just told me that it was probably ich. That is why I am posting to ask your opinion since I am still new to saltwater aquariums. I have read lots of books and webpages but I find them to be vague in times like this.

My water quality is great. NH4 NO3 & NO2 are all 0. I do regular water changes and I have a protein skimmer running on my refugium. Ph is a little low (8+) I add a Ph boost but it seems to equal out around 8.1 . The tank is 30gal with only 3 fish in it now. I have blue legged hermit crabs, snails, 1peppermint cleaner and a skunk cleaner, and one bulb anemone.

I do not plan on adding another fish for a little while anyways. How would I know if the other fish got ich. I have seen photos but everytime the fish are covered in quite obviously white spots. Can they be more subtle and how can I identify them?
Thanks, Chris
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Old 09-11-2005, 12:09 PM   #5
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Well a 30 gal is way to small for a hippo tang, they need a lot of swimming room. So IMO you should not get any tangs.
When spots show you will know you have ich.
Not sure what your calling snail slime? Never had any snails slime in either of my tanks. If the fish had slime on it I would say it had other problems, maybe a bacterial infection.
If you pH is constant I would not add any boost to your tank. Adding chemicals to a tank IMO can just add to problems, especially in smaller tanks.
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Old 09-11-2005, 02:34 PM   #6
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The blue tang I had was very small.
The snail slime I don't really know how to explain it but the snail left some slime. It may have just been a fluke thing with the slime.
Will ich also occur in small amounts showing only a few white spots? Can someone give me a link or a pic of a fish that was only mildly infected with ich?

All thanks for the help everyone.
Chris
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Old 09-11-2005, 04:23 PM   #7
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Something that interesting, I probably would have had a postmortem by an LFS with a scope to find the root cause. I would definitly not assume ich nor go into Defcon 5 mode to rid the tank of a possible misdiagnosis. Wait and see...

I have had a couple run ins with ich and it can manifest itself in a couple different ways. It can look splotchy on the clear fins (Pectoral). It can look like a dusting from a salt shaker (fine grained) It can look clumpy. It can just appear as reddened gills. It can come on strong in the morning and then drop off the fish by dinner time only to reproduce. Wait and see especially with a tank that has a reef emphasis like yours. Just my 4 cents.
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:22 PM   #8
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Thanks Joe. I will just keep an eye on my stuff to see what happens to see if I can find if there are possible parasites or not.

If the fish don't really get ich but it is in the tank and they are immune to it. Would this prevent the ich from reproducing after some time?

thanks again,
Chris
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Old 09-11-2005, 10:11 PM   #9
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That is a tough question to answer and I am not qulified to give you a factual response. (Please chime in if you don't agree) My own theory is, yes, if it is ich in your system and it was responsible for the death of the tang, it will remain in your system and could reproduce.

But here is the kicker. I am told and have read that the parasites that are classified as "Ich" are present yet kept in check by:
1. Good water quality
2. Diet
3. Low stress environment (Kids banging on the tank and well behaved roommates)
4. Well the list goes on but you get the idea

The idea is to keep the parasite in low number and the health of your tank a priority. Sure copper will eliminate ich. So will hypo and allowing the system fallow without a host. But I still say wait and see.

But there is no peace of mind to give if that new addition to your tank comes down with a case of the "ich" 2 months from now. Just keep on truck'n. This hobby is great
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Old 09-12-2005, 03:25 AM   #10
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What are the other three fish in your tank?
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