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Old 10-04-2005, 12:45 AM   #1
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I treated my fish tank (sorry I don't have a qt) for a month with hyposalinity. I had a bad case of ich. No casualties of fish, though. It was all over my porcupine puffer and my clown. It is also all over my filefish like fine grains of salt (almost making the orange look covered in confection sugar).

Anyways, I treated the display tank with hyposalinity. It was successful. It anihilated any snail or crab that lives in there. So now I decided not to put any inverts.

After the treatment, I raised the salinity to around 1.018 and kept it there for another 3 months. Everything is fine. Everyone is healthy.

Recently, I decided to up the salinity to 1.026 slowly for the course of around 3-4 weeks. Those dreaded ich came back but this time very very minute. I can almost see them on the fins of the porcupine puffer, and now a see a few spots on the Hippo Tang (which is what's making me freak out right now because I believe those fish are overpriced).

Everyone is eating well. They swim happily. I perform water changes every 2-3 weeks 10%.

I hate to go through hyposalinity again because of the work, and the amount of water I have to waste every week. I don't like to put copper and all that stuff in there. I've never put any other chemical but Instant Ocean salt (aged and aerated for 36 hours).

I recently had to remove the LRs from the display to catch three damsels and donate them.

Question: What is my other option? Could the disturbance of live rock activated some parasites (ich in this case)? Is that how they work? They sleep and then they get woken up and start attaching to fish?
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Old 10-04-2005, 06:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archie1709
Question: What is my other option? Could the disturbance of live rock activated some parasites (ich in this case)? Is that how they work? They sleep and then they get woken up and start attaching to fish?
Not likely C. irritans, more likely a bacteial infection mascarading as such. Is it primarily on the fins or body?

Hyposalinity actually causes the tomont to rupture so the likelyhood of any surviving the process if done correctly is pretty near impossible.

Please describe in your own words and detail how you performed the hyposalinity?

What if anything has been added to the tank since? LR, coral, inverts?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:31 PM   #3
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Also 4 weeks is on the slim side for a treatment period. If you decide that it is indeed ich and opt for hypo once again, try a period of 6-8 weeks this time. The fish will tolerate that just fine.
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Old 10-05-2005, 01:46 AM   #4
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The white spots were on the body. I first saw them on the fins. Not that much though. Then lately, I see a bunch of white spots protruding on the Hippo, as though they looked like tiny bubbles hanging on the skin. All the fish still eat. They swim good.

What I did for the hyposalinity process was this:

Once a day I replaced 5G of SW with 5G of aerated freshwater. My salinity before treatment was 1.024. As I replace 5G per day with aerated freshwater, the salinity goes down to 1.022 (about .002 - .003 increments). I raised the temp to 86F. One week later, the salinity was down to 1.010. It was tiring and a lot of water was wasted.

I lost a hermit crab, and lost the snails too. Which is fine. A week later, I changed the tank with 5G of freshwater until the salinity was at about 1.008. I then kept it at 1.008 for 4 weeks. The white spots disappeared. Their breathing slowed down.

I then raised the salinity everyday with a 5G aerated Instant Ocean-salted water. The salinity went up .002 every water change. When I reached 1.018, I kept it there. For 2 months, I kept the salinity at 1.018.

finally, I decided three weeks ago to raise the salinity even more. 5G at a time, I raised the salinity to 1.026. That took me a week. I lowered the temp to 80F.

I let that run for two weeks. I then noticed that my porcupine puffer is starting to have isolated white grains on the fins. Then a few more (barely noticeable) white grains on the body. Everyone else is fine.

I took the live rocks out in order to catch the damsels last week and donated those brats. Then I brought the lr back. Did a routine water change of 5G. Then I bought a blue hippo and drip acclimated it.

It seemed very healthy. It ate. It swam around. Then today, the wrath of the white grains.

At first I thought "maybe it came from the hippo". However, I considered two things: 1. the LFS that I bought it from said the tangs were in the tank for more than 4 weeks now. And they always do a routine 4 weeks of QT on hippos in their store.

2. I noticed the spots even before I added the fish. I actually believe that the hippo was infected by ich present in my tank.

That's when I got really frustrated because it took me almost 4 1/2 months for this whole process to happen. A lot of water changes. A lot of time and effort.

Now, I feel like I am back to square one.

Those are the exact time span that I am giving you. No exagerrations. I am really depressed.
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:08 AM   #5
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Two additional questions (sorry):

How where you measuring the salinity? Refractometer or hydrometer and how often where you topping off the evaporation and testing the salinity?

How long into the hypo treatment did you notice the last spots on the fish?

FWIW, the salinity can be dropped much faster than you did above. Using pH/temp adjusted RO water, you can replace the QT water at 20% intervals over 12 hour periods. This will reduce the salinity withing 2-2½ days.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 10-05-2005, 12:30 PM   #6
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I have this:



Hope you see the pic. It's a basic hydrometer. (Image borrowed from www.marinedepot.com)

I usually top off the water every 4 days to about once a week.

Out of the 4 weeks of 1.080 hyposalinity, it was the 3 week that I found out that there's no more spots. I let it run for another week, then I slowly raised the salinity back to about 1.018.

Unfortunately, I don't have a qt. I use my display tank for the treatment when I was trying to eradicate the ich.

For ph/temp adjusted RO freshwater, what's the gist of that? Should I lower the pH and raise its temperature while in the bucket? How slow (how many days) is the ideal reduction of salinity from 1.024 down to 1.010?

My spirit is breaking down right now with the thought of another hyposalinity treatment. I just finished a sack of Instant Ocean salt to raise the salinity back up. Now I am gonna have to lower it again. With that said, I don't think there's another healthy treatment than that. It's just very depressing.
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Old 10-05-2005, 12:41 PM   #7
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I think a larger problem also needs to be pointed out. You are about to head potentially into another treatment period....and the expense of having to lower and raise the salinity again seems a bit stressful for you (understandable). However, are you aware that several of the fish in your tank are going to require a tank in the neighborhood of 125-180g+??? Your porcupine puffer and cowfish are going to be the largest, and each should have towards the 180g end of things. This size will also be needed to reduce the aggression between the 2 different puffer species. Then you have the hippo tang, which also gets large.

If you don't have a serious plan to upgrade to a much larger system in the next year or so, I would consider attempting to return some/many of the fish in your 55g before you have a complete disaster. You might have to treat the tank again to make them healthy enough to return, but any credit you can get will beat having them die in the tank from various problems.
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Old 10-05-2005, 02:33 PM   #8
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I am planning on giving up the porcupine puffer, the long horn cowfish, and the red tail filefish next year if my 180G plan doesn't materialize. But yes, I am aware that when these juvies grow up they require a bigger tank, even before i bought them.

The two species of puffers are peaceful towards each other for a year now. The main concern is the ich on the hippo.
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archie1709
I have this:



Hope you see the pic. It's a basic hydrometer. (Image borrowed from www.marinedepot.com)
Not a good choice of instrament when doing this kind of treatment. I would invest in a proper refractometer, it will be useful for many years to come and they are quite reasonabley prices these days as well. Hydrometers often misread and is an indication of SG not salinity which is paramount to the success of this treatment.

Quote:
I usually top off the water every 4 days to about once a week.
Salinity needs to be checked twice daily. It is very important the osmotic pressure remains constant and at 14-16 ppt throughout the treatment. Whenever the salinity gets above 16 ppt, it leaves the opportunity for the tomonts to survive.

Quote:
Out of the 4 weeks of 1.080 hyposalinity, it was the 3 week that I found out that there's no more spots. I let it run for another week, then I slowly raised the salinity back to about 1.018.
Uhg, too much mis information on the net for my liking. Unfortunately many misunderstand the process and it often fails them. The only part of the parasites life cycle that is affected by hypo is the tomont (cyst) stage where the pest attaches to hard materials and begins multiplying. It is at this stage the treatment interupts the cycle by eventually rupturing the cyst. That is why it is recommended that the treatment be 4 weeks after the last spot is on the fish. That way you are sure that all the tomonts will be affected and no further theronts are remaining to form new cysts. I'm fairly confidant you never erradicated it to begin with. One week is simpley not long enough. The tomont can live for as long as a month under normal conditions.

This becomes even more important when treating in the main system and why it's highly recommended you don't.

Quote:
For ph/temp adjusted RO freshwater, what's the gist of that?
When dropping the salinity using RO water, it has a fairly low pH and you are diluting the chemistry of the SW. It is very important to adjust the pH of the new water being added so it does not dilute the chemistry of the treatment tank. It is also necessary to test pH/alk daily to ensure it does not drop due to the diluted conditions of the water.

As far as the temp, all you want to do is be sure the new water match's the tank water. Temp shock is no fun for the fish. Other than that, do not manipulate the temp in the tank at all. Leave it at a constant 78-80° throughout the treatment. Raising the temp only succeeds in increasing the reproductive rate of the parasite and alters the pH of the fishs blood lowering it's natural immune response. Commonly causing a rapidly infested fish and leaving it wide open to a miriad of secondary infections.

Quote:
Should I lower the pH and raise its temperature while in the bucket?
Only to match the main tanks levels, nothing nmore

Quote:
How slow (how many days) is the ideal reduction of salinity from 1.024 down to 1.010?
2-3 days is just fine. The fish can handle drops in salinity fairly well. It's the increases that must be done slowly.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:47 PM   #10
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steve-s, are you saying a hydrometer is essentially useless?
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