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Old 01-05-2004, 11:33 PM   #1
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correction to tank upon the onset of ICH

I have a 58 gallon Oceanic Reef tank with a wet/dry sump. 60 lbs LR 6 peppermint shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp. 1 skunk cleaner. 20 snails 20 blue legged hermit crabs. 1 sea urchin. 1 serpent star. 1. seabea anenome ( that I know I am not supposed to have until the tank has matured 1 yr, but bought before I knew that... If that makes any sense)
1 False percula. 1 purple grama, and 1 red lipped blenny. The tank is about 4 months old. i have a 500gph flow return pump from the sump.

My water parameters are as follows
ammonia-0
NitrAtes-0
Nitrites-0
Calcium 425
SG 1.024


My problem is that I have found tail rot on the royal grama and small white dots( I assume would be ICH on his head). He keeps going to the bottom and rubbing his head and body on the CC. all other fish are fine.
The problem began when my protein skimmer pump failed overnight and through the next day.
The steps today that I took to battle the onset of ich are as follows:

1. Bought a 300 GPH powerhead to mount on the side of the tank for more water flow throughout the tank.
2. I upped the temperature in the tank slowly to 84 degrees.
3. I bought a UV sterilizer to attempt to rid the tank of the bacteria.
4. I upped the garlic dosage in the food.

Just wondering If I going about this the right way. I do not have hospital, nor a QT tank available to me. So I am trying to avoid the cash outlay of purchasing the tanks, and the mess of setting them up in my basement (My wife would have a cow with plastic tubs, cords, and pumps strewn all over the basement for 6-8 weeks.

Looking for comments or suggestions
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Old 01-06-2004, 02:08 AM   #2
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QTanks are not optional in this hobby unless you don't mind killing a lot of fish. Since you didn't quarantine you probably have ich in your display tank now. All the fish that have been exposed should be treated. I suggest that you read up on hyposalinity.
Terry B
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
QTanks are not optional in this hobby unless you don't mind killing a lot of fish.
Now thats a bit harsh dont ya think? To be quite honest I have not quarinteend every fish I have gotten. If I had would they have faired better? Probably not. If you cant quarinteen then its extremly important to make sure you select quality livestock thats healthy.
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:31 AM   #4
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Fishfreek,
You may think that it is harsh, but I just consider it to be telling the truth without sugar coating it. Sometimes it is better to tell it like it is instead of beating around the bush. It is true that a lot of people don’t quarantine and that comment is intended for all of those people. Every single author of any book that I have seen (and I own several dozen) on our hobby recommends quarantining all new fish before they go into the display tank. I have also spoken to several of those authors, some of them in person about it. I can tell you exactly what Martin Moe and Julian Sprung told me is the single most important factor to the success of aquarists and the survival of their fish; quarantine. Failing to quarantine is probably the number one reason that aquarists lose fish that would otherwise be healthy. For that matter, all public aquariums quarantine and for good reason, it prevents animals from dying and it is the responsible thing to do. You cannot tell if a fish is free of contagious parasites merely by looking at them with the naked eye. Our hobby, the aquarists and our animals would all benefit if more people understood the value of quarantining newly acquired fish.
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Old 01-07-2004, 10:11 AM   #5
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I understand the principals behind quaritine now...learned probably the way that most due through trail and error. I will in the future. My question is now that I have done failed are the steps that I have taken ( the UV sterilizer, more water flow, greater dosages of garlic etc.) going to help me to battle the problem. It has been a couple of days since I made the changes and I can see a marked difference in the quality of my ich stricken fish. However, is this just a bandaid or can I overcome my self created problems without the use of hyposalinity and or medications. I was lucky I had the knowledge and advise of reading this great forum, noticed the problems, and made drastic steps to imrove the quality of my tank. What should I be watching for in the up coming days.
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Old 01-07-2004, 10:42 AM   #6
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TerryB, Your missing my point. Ill be more to the point this time.

Lighten up.

One thing that sets us apart from some of the larger forums is our anti aggressive approach to helping people out. Everyone starts out in the exact same place as a beginner. No one started out in this hobby knowing as much as you or I or any of the authors you spoke about. If they claim they did then they are lying. In the ideal world people would read books cover to cover and do extensive research on each and every creature they plan to purchase and put in their tank. But we all know that does not happen and when people make mistakes by going into things maybe to fast (usually because of excitement) the last thing that they want to hear is someone lecturing them from the 'mount'.

The doc sees twice as many people with two oz of sugar than 1 oz of sour.

Sorry arsoncop4fish for that interuption in your question.


If your seeing an improvment then thats great. Its important to remember that ICH has different life cycles and the visable stage is the later stage of the parasites life cycle. The rest of the parasites life is spent in the substrate or free floating in the water column searching for a host. Continue your garlic treatments for the following three - four weeks. And then maybe once a week there after as a prevenative type of thing. ICH can be overcome with a healthy fish and a low stress living enviorment. In the comming days look for additonal spots appering on the fish. This would be a sign thta maybe another round of ich is comming.

Whats interesting is that you saw this after your skimmer pump failed. Did you notice these spots on the gramma before or after you started the skimmer back up? The UV unit will be good for the free floating parasites if you have the proper flow rate thru the unit. Remember that slow flow is best for UV units so as to provide good exposure to the UV rays.
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:25 PM   #7
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arsoncop4fish,
Since you now understand the importance of quarantine you have made a giant leap forward as a marine aquarist. Unfortunate as it may be, you are right, most people don’t quarantine until after suffering some sort of disaster. Using a powerful UV light and feeding the fish garlic soaked foods is about the best you can do in a reef tank. You may get lucky enough for the ich to go away. However, it would be wise to get a quarantine/hospital tank prepared as a backup plan since it is very likely that you will need to remove the ALL the fish for treatment. The spots come and go as part of the natural life cycle of the parasite. Usually they return in greater numbers a few days later.
You can use a large food-grade Rubbermaid container as a quarantine tank, they are inexpensive.
Terry B
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Old 01-07-2004, 08:02 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your support and comments. I enjoy reading the posts and forum for information and data. It is very informative and we are all learning. I like the feeling of being part this community and will never take offense to direct criticism. Some approaches are more direct than others. The bad part about written communication is that the feeling, tone of voice, and general physical emotions are absent and interpretation is left to the reader to decide how to take the information provided. Thanks again for all of the input provided. I will keep you all updated
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Old 01-07-2004, 08:08 PM   #9
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I forgot to answer your questions...HEHEHEHE No I did not notice the spots prior to the skimmer failing. after I found and repaired the PH I had an unusual ammonia spike and I think it might have produced some undue stress on the fish, Just guessing. About the UV light I have the flow rate set at approximately 65 gallons/hr on a 130 GPH PH. Is this slow enough? Should I set to the lowest flow rate on the PH.
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Old 01-07-2004, 10:15 PM   #10
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The flow rate depends on the wattage of the UV. There should be some suggested flow rates on the packaging.

The ammonia spike you refered to is something that I was trying to get at with my question. The stagnent water sitting in the skimmer body became foul and when you powered it backup you introduced that foul water back to the tank. Its a general good rule of thumb to empty any filter or container attached to your tank thats been idle for longer than just a few hours.
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