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Old 03-09-2004, 11:09 AM   #1
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Clown got something

We have a fairly new tank, 6 weeks old, and just added 2 clowns and 1 cardinal to the display 1 week ago. Everything is going good chemistry wise. Yesterday we found 2 small white spots on 1 of the clowns and he had clamped fins. We moved him to the qt. Later in the day no spots very active and feeding. We are happy at this point but still concerned. Today we find more spots on him, just body not fins, looks like salt. He looks listless laying on the bottom of the tank not his usual happy self. The others are still normal and water is wnl. So what does he have? Poss ick, marine velvet, parasite?

I'll post more later.
Steve
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Old 03-10-2004, 02:53 AM   #2
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Update: I got home this morning to find Cosmo on the bottom of the qt very lethargic, with 2 small white spots on his body. These spots are not raised just spots and about the size of a grain of salt. We have not noticed any scratching of rubbing behavior. Respiration appears to be normal, good color no pale or muted areas. All fins are upright with no fin clamping or drooping. After checking the display tank (no changes in either fish) found Cosmo to be active and alert with no spots on his body or fins.
I checked the water quality found the salinity to be 1.025, temp 78, ph 8.0, am 0.25, nitrite .25. Preformed a water change of 2 gals and rechecked found water levels had dropped to 0.
When I left for work tonight, I found Cosmo active but not as alert. Tested the water and found the am and nitrites elevated slightly, changed 2 gals of water. Shortly after the water change Cosmo was active and alert. He seemed agitated and hungery. He would follow me around and rush to my hand any time it was near the tank. When he found no food he would swim towards the bottom of the tank and flick his PVC home with his tail. I noticed no spots or other markings.

So here are my questions does this sound like ick? if not can anybody help me figure this out? Secondly I added a small hunk of live rock to the qt to help with water quality is there any thing else I can do to help things?

I feel like I maybe doing more harm than good by keeping him in a not so pristine environment. I need to treat this poor little guy soon.

Any help would be great.
Thanks again
Steve
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Old 03-10-2004, 09:49 AM   #3
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Well I spent most of the night scouring aa and others for any info I could find on ick and it's tx. This is the conclusion I have come up with:

Ick is way overdiagnosed and there is alot of differing opinions on it's lifecycle and the proper tx. It seems to me that every white mark on a fish is automatically diagnosed as ich regardless of other signs and symptoms. The most common tx of this is not inhertintly harmful (hyposalinty) but may cause harm due to well meaning people rushing to qt the fish in unstable systems. The move to the qt tank is also a stressor to the fish regardless of the method used. I am guilty of this myself and hope I have not harmed Cosmo by exposing him to toxins in a unstable system.
I am by no means an expert, just a well read newbie trying to sort this out. I value all the posts on this site, you guys have helped me out alot.

So that being said does this sound like ick to you:
1 Small (pinpoint) smooth white dots on body.
2 Dots disappear rapidly, minutes not days.
3 Fish is active and alert
4 No signs of respiratory distress
5 No observed scratching
6 No loss of appetite
7 Dorsal fin laying flat, pectoral fin clamping

Since Cosmo has been moved to qt he has displayed the following signs:
1 Lethargic movements
2 Deeper respirations
3 Dorsal fin is upright, but did notice some fin clamping (see above post)
All of these signs were alleviated with 20% water change.

I belive that Cosmo became stressed in the display tank, either by the move or in the process of becoming a mated pair with Wanda. probably a combination of both. A combination of Wanda & Cosmos behavior and the posts at AA.com and wetwebmedia.com have led me down this path.

So here is my treatment plan:
1 Ph and temp balanced FW dip
2 Slow drip acclimation to display tank
3 Carefully observe Cosmo and tankmates for any signs of disease.
4 Raise temp from 81 to 84
5 Introduce cleaner shrimp
6 Cycle and maintain the qt.

Sorry for the long post, but I really value your opinions and feedback. Please post back and tell me what you think is wrong with this plan.

Steve
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Old 03-10-2004, 11:50 AM   #4
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The best method for introducing new fish is to start them off in the QT. Transfering the new fish to the QT after a problem is noticed is generally too late. Once a parasite becomes large enough to notice it also means there is a high probability the parasite will have also left the fish to reproduce which means the display can/will have become infested as well.

The "on again, off again" instances will indicate C. irritans moreso than anything else and in this case an assumption you should stick with until proven otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniReef2004
So here is my treatment plan:
1 Ph and temp balanced FW dip
Since the fish is already in the QT I would not suggest this. It will greatly stress an already stressed fish. Once in the QT where it can be properly treated it is also not necessary. The only benefit would have been if the fish was heavily infested and the dip was meant as a temporary relief while a proper treatment was implemented.

Quote:
2 Slow drip acclimation to display tank
Leave the fish in the QT. I would not suggest transfering it back until you are 100% sure there is no parasite present. Typically with new fish they should be quarantined for 3-4 weeks prior to placing in the display tank.

Quote:
3 Carefully observe Cosmo and tankmates for any signs of disease.
Definately do this. Since the new fish has been in the display tank, there is a large chance anything the clown was carrying has been transfered. If so, all the fish will need to Qt'd and treated.

Quote:
4 Raise temp from 81 to 84
Myth. Raising the temp will do nothing to help the situation. It will only increase the rate in which the parasite multiplies and without a treatment in place can hamper your efforts. It also has an effect of the ph of the fish's blood which raises it slowing/supressing the fishs' natural immune response.

Quote:
5 Introduce cleaner shrimp
Decorative shrimp will not cure a fish of a parasite problem and are not a means to and end. They can only aid the fish in removing visible parasites if that. They will do nothing in terms of removing the parasite problem from the tank.

Quote:
6 Cycle and maintain the qt.
This is always a good idea but not completely necesssary unless stocking a new tank and you will be adding a series of fish over a short time. Placing a HOB or corner sponge filter in the main tank for about a week to seed it with necessary nitrifying bacteria would help. Until then, I would just monitor the levels in the QT and do the needed water changes with well aerated aged SW as needed. If you add the seeded filter, the levels will subside soon.

FWIW, hyposalinity is not stressful to fish at all when done properly and if indeed C. irritans is the problem should be the first choice in treatement. I would also suggest you never place anything from the main tank into the QT or vise versa. Meds and whatever problem you are treating will be transfered quite easily. Instead use short pieces of PVC piping for the fish to hide and feel secure. Before/if you begin a treatment, remove the rock and let it sit in a bucket of SW with a PH for about a month. I would not leave it in the QT nor would I place it back in the display at this point.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 03-10-2004, 12:48 PM   #5
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Steve-s thanks for the reply. I almost agree with you, but the on again off again spots are daily, not the 3-4 days I have been reading. Plus they disappear rapidly. This morning when I got home Cosmo had 4 pinpoint spots on him, within 20 minutes of me starting work around his tank his spots were gone and he was more active. That leads me down the stress/ not a morning fish path.
Don't get me wrong Cosmo will remain in qt for now, but I just don't quite buy that it is ick just yet. Maybe to probably is where I stand right now.

PS the temp raising idea I got from Mr Fenner at wetwebmedia.com and others both online and off. Maybe we should send this to the Mythbusters on Discovery

Thanks again Steve
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniReef2004
PS the temp raising idea I got from Mr Fenner at wetwebmedia.com and others both online and off. Maybe we should send this to the Mythbusters on Discovery
It is a common misconception derived from FW ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis) in which temperature manipulation will have a possitive affect on the life cycle of the FW parasite.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 03-13-2004, 02:56 PM   #7
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You know what always works for me to get rid of ick.....when i purchase a new fish I first do a FW dip for about 1 to 2 minutes.....then I put him in QT for about 3 to 4 weeks.....if everything is good to go he makes it out to my tank
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Old 03-13-2004, 05:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
I checked the water quality found the salinity to be 1.025, temp 78, ph 8.0, am 0.25, nitrite .25.
I didn't see anyone post about the PH level. I am new at this myself, but isn't 8.0 a little bit low?

Sparky
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Old 03-13-2004, 06:22 PM   #9
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The generally accepted pH level in saltwater systems is between 7.6 and 8.4, but reef tanks are a bit more sensitive to pH and should be kept more toward higher levels.
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky
Quote:
I checked the water quality found the salinity to be 1.025, temp 78, ph 8.0, am 0.25, nitrite .25.
I didn't see anyone post about the PH level. I am new at this myself, but isn't 8.0 a little bit low?

Sparky
It would greatly depend on the time of day the ph was tested. In the early AM, the lack of light and extra CO2 in the water will push down on the ph level. As the the day progresses and the algaes produce O2, the ph will naturally rise until the lights go off again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomAquariums
The generally accepted pH level in saltwater systems is between 7.6 and 8.4, but reef tanks are a bit more sensitive to pH and should be kept more toward higher levels.
Actually anything below 8.0 should give cause for concern. A good SW range is 8.1-8.3. If early in the day as pointed out above, 8 would be fine. Anything lower than 8.0 after the lights come on would mean something is not right

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Steve
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