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Old 06-18-2007, 02:04 PM   #1
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Disease Outbreak in Educational Aquariums

I maintain the aquariums at a local envrionmental education center. I only maintain the aquariums and do not actually stock fish (although, occassionally I am for my advice). Recently there has been a nasty outbreak of ich, as well as possible other diseases. Let me giv eyou a little background on the facility, because this makes upkeep and maintenance very challenging.

The facility is located in Florida, and the building is un-air-conditioned. This means that air temperatures can range upwards into the 90s, or down into the 20s-30s. Some tanks also get a large amount of sunlight in addition to tank lighting. The tanks range in size from what I think is about 70 gallons to 20 gallons. The filtration is rudimentary with only impellar filtration (the kind with the carbon packets that hang on the back of the tank). The local fish and invertebrates range from crabs to puffers to snappers, etc. The only things that I have to clean all of the tanks, are one algae magnet, a scraper, and a scrub brush. This is used for all tanks (you can see how disease can travel easily). Also, often the fish are added to the tanks without quaratine (much to my dismay).

Basically my questions are--what is the best way for me to treat disease, and also to attempt to prevent further outbreaks? I have already lost numerous puffers/burrfish, filefish, conchs, and crabs recently.

Any help or advice with this challenging set up would be great.

Thanks so much.


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Old 06-18-2007, 03:10 PM   #2
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The first thing I would look at is QT all new fish.
2nd keep the temp as stable as possible. You don't want any swings above 2 degrees.
Carbon lasts about a week or so and if not removed, can leach what it already filtered back into the tank.
How many tanks do you have?
Can you list them and their inhabitants?
What are you water parameters?
You can soak thier food in garlic guard to help boost their immune systems.

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Old 06-18-2007, 03:38 PM   #3
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As far as the ich here are some good links



There just seems to be alot of stress factors that are lowering the immune system in these fish. A key in SW aquaria is stability. If temps and water parameters are moving all around then you have left your fish open to parasites and disease. Try to get your variables to stay stable.


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Old 06-18-2007, 07:11 PM   #4
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Water temps would be my first guess if its 90 in the room the tank has to be hot also. Any Temp readings from the tanks at night and during the day?
Post numbers of water tests..
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:35 AM   #5
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There is always room somewhere for a couple 20g and 40g aquariums for quarantine purposes. They only need to contain sponge filters and heaters. As for the main displays, can you not utilize a canister/tank? If you have canopies, fans can be installed or possibly overhead industrial fans to keep circulation throughout the room and alleviate the temperature issue a bit. If you have substrate in the tanks, a gravel vac is a must.

As a side note, carbon lasts can last much longer than a week depending on how aggressive you utilize it. I would change it out every 4-6wks though just as a precaution.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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If you'd like, you can PM me where in Florida your facility is. If I'm close, I can come look at it, and assess what can be done for it/help you out.

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disease, outbreak

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