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Old 02-20-2004, 02:39 PM   #1
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Does puffer have Ich?

We've had our porcupine puffer for a few days, and yesterday I noticed a few (like 4 or 5) white spots on his fins. I think there may have been 1 or 2 on his back, but it was hard to tell. He also has this white thing sticking out of his back - it's a few millimeters long and soft, and at first I thought it was just debris, but it seems pretty well attached.

I've moved him now to our 10 gallon quarantine tank, and treated it with Rid Ich (didn't have ready access to RO water to try hyposalinity). His behavior seems fine, he's swimming around and eating as normal.

The only other fish we have are two percula clowns, which so far seem okay, and are still in our display tank.

Is this Ich or could it be something else? And should I consider treating the entire display tank? We only have LR and LS in there.
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Old 02-21-2004, 12:50 AM   #2
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salt water itch

well mate i will try to help you out here with what i know regarding itch, it is then up to you to try to identify the disease by the symptoms.
Firstly this is a parasitic infection that infects the fins, gills and body of the fish.
The first symptoms noticed are randomly distributed white spots over the fishes body, it is now easy to distinguish from CORAL REEF DISEASE (Amylodinium ocellatum) and SALT WATER ITCH (cryptocaryon irritancy) from the size of the spots.
Itch is recognizably by the size of the spots, and with this disease the spots are about the size of salt crystals, with Coral Reef Disease the fish appears to have been dusted with fine white powder.
With Itch your fish may display the following symptoms,
Rapid breathing, lack of appetite, tendency to rub themselves on the rocks and substrate, and they will move from their familiar haunts and aggregate in a spot of high water turbulence.
This is all caused by a nasty little ciliated protozoan that has a very similar life cycle to the nasty that causes Coral Reef Disease.
When these protozoans mature on the fish, they then drop to the bottom of your tank and encyst, while encysted, free swimming parasites develop and are released into your tank to then infect the other fish in there..
TREATMENT. You will need a free copper or ionic copper based medication and make sure that the active ingredient is copper sulphate, copper pentahydrate or other copper compounds.
You now need to add the proper amount of copper solution to your quarantine tank as per the label instructions until you get a concentration of 0.12 to 0.18 mg/L (ppm).
You will need to monitor your tank on a daily basis to make sure that the levels do not exceed or decrease beyond the advised medicated levels.
You will need to treat and monitor your fish for a MINIMUM of 21 days before release back into you display tank.
Mate i hope this information helps you..
kell
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Old 02-21-2004, 03:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. The spots seem a little faded today, just a few on his tail fin left. That strange little white thing is still hanging onto his back. But he's swimming around, being very active, and is VERY hungry. I haven't seen him scratch himself on anything.

Is it bad to treat with antibiotics as well as with ich meds? I'm just wondering if maybe he has some sort of fungus and not ich, but I'd like to treat for both just in case.
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:32 AM   #4
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fungal

OK mate.
If you think that your fish has a fungal infection you need to read the following information and assess the symptoms.
Firstly you will find that fungal infections are relatively uncommon in marine fish, the exceptions being sea horses, clowns and butterflys.
For most fish, to have a fungal infection, it generally follows prior damage to a fish, this can be caused by handling with a net or by an existing infection with parasites.
Freshwater fish are very liable to catch fungal infections, these are very noticable by a white cotton like growth on the skin or fins of the affected fish, this fungus is known as Saprolegnia sp. But this is not known to infect marine fish!
Signs of fungal infection in marine fish appear as a fine film, dark pigmented areas, or a coating, covering areas of the body or gills. This coating can easily be confused with similar signs that are caused by the presence of various types of parasites.
TREATMENT. you will need to find a commercially available fungicide. Malachite green and methylene blue have both been used successfully on this infection.
Most importantly, you need to understand that if your fish has a fungal infection, then it is more then likely a secondary invader and that you need to address the the initial cause of the problem, this can be caused by trauma induced by poor handling, bad water quality or poor nutrition.
In your case I would find it unlikely that you have a fungal infection and would suggest that you continue your treatment with a copper based medication in your quarantine tank.
I hope this helps
Kell.
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Old 02-21-2004, 05:41 PM   #5
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Are copper-based medications safe to use on puffer fish? I had read somewhere that scaleless fishes might be more sensitive to copper treatments.
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Are copper-based medications safe to use on puffer fish?
No, pufferfish do not have scales, the preferred treatment for puffers with ick is hyposalinity. RidIck has a poor track record as a "reef safe" cure, you should begin a hyposalinity treatment on the pufferfish. Puffers are quite prone to ick and it does not suprise me for you to see some spots fall off, that is the nature of the parasite and it's life cycle. I would like to see a picture of the "white thing" before speculating what it might be.
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