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Old 05-05-2010, 01:38 AM   #1
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Copperbanded Butterfly Ick

Anybody that has been following the Jakes 150 gallon build thread is aware that we obtained a Copperbanded butterfly. Its been a rough week around here.

The copper banded started flashing about 3 days into being acclimated into the display tank. A few days later, some white spots appeared on his fins. Not many, maybe one or two.

We went out and bought a 10 gallon tank with filter, powerhead, and heater. I guess we will have to try and find space to store this quarantine tank when not in use. We don't really have any room in our 600 Sq. Ft. Condo.

Anyway, last night, he was moved to quarantine and some filter floss I was using in my sump was moved into the HOB filter. We mixed up some fresh saltwater and transfered him in.

We tried feeding him very very lightly because it was day 5 and he still wasn't eating much. He didn't eat in quarantine as of yet either. Today, just one day after setting up quarantine, Ammonia was at .5. We immediately drained 5 gallons of water from the quarantine tank and replaced with fresh saltwater.

As of right now, he is barely swimming, more laying on his side and flashing like he is uncomfortable once in awhile.

I feel awful. I am such an animal lover, and it kills me to see any animal suffering. We have treated the tank with copper in an effort to clean up the ich issue, and will leave him in quarantine for 4 weeks if he lasts that long. The outlook right now is grim.

Im bummed. I don't know what else to do.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:32 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear that your guy got Ich. The QT tanks ammonia and nitrite levels are going to be erratic. Just make sure to test the water twice a day and change out when the ammonia or nitrite gets too high. Remember, if it's at 0.5 then a 50% water change is going to bring it down to 0.25 and so on. I would try to keep it under 0.25 to help your guy out. Unfortunately, the same copper treatment that you use to kill the ich also kills the bacteria that converts ammonia and nitrite so you'll definitely have to have water on standby. Also, since that tank has been exposed to copper, any rock or sand in it is now tainted and if you put it back in your display they may leach the copper out and kill your inverts if you have any.

For future reference, I'd check out this thread in regards to hyposalinity treatments. It's just as effective as copper but takes a little longer and it reduces the stress on the fish considerably.
Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part I by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:43 PM   #3
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Thanks Krypt.

Surprisingly, this morning, his condition had greatly improved. He was swimming around and other than flashing slightly appeared pretty content.

I was running late for work and took off out of the house.

Tonight, I come home and he is looking rough again. He is at the top of the tank gasping and barely hanging on. Of course, I immediately grab the ammonia test kit and do a quick test. .5 PPM. Crap!

I grab the buckets, salt, refractometer, and start mixing up 5 gallons of saltwater. I did two consecutive 5 gallon changes, which should equal 100% of the volume in quarantine.

Almost immediately, he seems happier, starts swimming around more. I keep the water a little lower this time so the splash back from the HOB filter will help oxegenate the water a bit. I am not sure why he was gasping.

Did another ammonia test and its .25 or a bit higher.

He hasn't eaten for days, so I gave him some blood worms and selcon, which he liked before things really went downhill.

I plan on doing another 10 gallon water change tonight and then do another test in the morning and go from there.

As long as he keeps fighting, I will keep doing what I have to.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:23 PM   #4
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Another thing that will help you is getting some Prime. It'll detoxify the ammonia in the tank instantly and greatly improve his chances.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:57 PM   #5
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Make sure you remove uneaten food from the tank. If he doesnt eat it, it will ROT and create ammonia. This may be why your ammonia is rising so quickly. It really shouldnt be present if the fish isnt eating/pooping much.

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Old 05-06-2010, 01:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrg02d View Post
...It really shouldnt be present if the fish isnt eating/pooping much.
It'll be there regardless of eating/pooping, in a tank with no bacteria. Respiration and other bodily functions will drive it up.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:19 AM   #7
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+1 on the prime... and I'm not sure how your ick is doing but if the medication is in the water are you re-medicating when you do major water changes? (I have never treated for ick so I'm not sure what to do with the meds) I would probably add prime every time and meds (if needed) when water changes are done.. the reason your fish was gasping at the surface was the ammonia... (like when you are in a room with lots of smoke... even if there is lots of oxygen the smoke still irritates your lungs) having the water splash a bit will help too because although not lots but at least some ammonia will leave the tank by the splashing. (I'm no expert these are just things I would do in your situation)
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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Sorry to say that the CBB didnt make it. On Thursday, he was laying flat on the bottom of the tank, one eye ball falling out, and barely breathing.

It destroys me when things like this happen.

From my understanding, all CBB are wild caught since they can't be bred in captivity. I get this picture in my head, as if somebody on the outside looking in sees a child playing with a puppy too rough and accidentally kills it. I have to wonder if this is what our hobby is like. Do we keep these animals for our own amusement killing them as par for the course, or is there some greater good involved.

I am not trying to slam the hobby, I just had these thoughts after the CBB died. I wonder if he would have been ok if left in the wild. I care greatly about the responsibility to provide for the animals I keep, so when I lose one, after doing everything I can to keep it alive and healthy/happy...

There is just a level of guilt. Anybody else feel that way?
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:21 PM   #9
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I'm on the BW/FW water side of the hobby, but yeah, I feel like that when my fish die. The worst was all the GBRs we had. We set up a tank just for GBRs, let it cycle, slowly stocked it and every dang one would die with in 2 weeks. We must have gone through at least 50 (I'm very serious) Took water samples to our LFS, perfect, same with our at home tests. Only thing was high pH. pH spiked horribly with water changes, and pH was already higher in that tank than our others. We re-did that tank, now it has giant danios in it until we're ready to try again.

I felt like a murderess!
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