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Old 03-13-2006, 02:53 PM   #1
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Ich or not ich?

Hi all. I'm hoping someone might know what's wrong with a friend's tank. We originally thought it was ich, but now it seems like it may be something else.

It may have started after the purchase of a bunch of live rock from a LFS, taken from various tanks in the store. Not long after, little salt grain-sized white specks started appearing on the fish. The fishies would scratch themselves along the rock, showing all the classic signs of ich. And thus, the ich treatment began:

The fish were moved to a quarantine tank, leaving behind a choc. chip starfish, two snails, two crabs, and the live rock. The QT tank was given hyposalininity treatment for 7 weeks. After this time, no ich was visible in either the main tank or in the quarantine tank on the fishies.

Within 3 days of moving the QT'ed fish bank to the main tank, the white specks are now starting to reappear. It seems like the ich should have died out with the hyposalinity treatment. Does this sound like the ich have hung around, or could this be something else? Any ideas?

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Old 03-13-2006, 03:19 PM   #2
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It very well may be, hard to tell without a pic.

I had the same problem a year or so ago and it was very frustrating.
How were you measuring your SPG? With a swing arm hydrometer, or a refractometer? The refractometer is much more accurate, the swing arms are notoriously inaccurate and you SPG may not have been low enough.
A longer fallow time for the main may be in order. Seems that 6, 7 even 8 weeks is not always long enough.
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Old 03-13-2006, 04:49 PM   #3
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Sounds like ich to me, sorry to here that. It can be frustrating as quarrtshark said. I also had success with garlic extreme as a treatment in addition to a food suplement.
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Old 03-13-2006, 04:56 PM   #4
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If you are not very specific about you salinity or measure it accurately and it rises a little the hypo will not be successful. It will only "stun" the ich
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies!

He is using a refractometer, calibrated with distilled water. Salinity in the QT tank was kept at 1.009, and he said it may have gotten up to 1.010 but doubtful it went much higher.

The ich (assuming that's what it is) didn't reappear except for on the butterfly fish, when it was placed in the main tank. I suppose that means the ich is only in the main tank. Could it have survived in the main that long? Is it possible it was hosting on one of the animals in there (starfish, hermit crabs, snails)? We're not sure how it would have survived without any hosts, we thought it was like a parasite and couldn't survive without fish.
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:18 PM   #6
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ich can survive up to a max of 8 weeks without a host. It can not survive without fish. Starfish, crabs etc do not host it.
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:20 PM   #7
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I have never heard of it hostin on inverts. Before you pull everything back out I would try the garlic extreme. Soak all food in it per directions. Assume butterfly eats nori/seaweed.

Also, treat the main with it. I think it is 1 drop per 10gallons (check directions). This along with a cleaner shrimp cleaned up my PBT and has kept it out.

Now if all the fish start to present syptoms again then resume other treatments again. If you follow the directiosn the garlic is harmless to other occupants and may save your friend a lot of trouble.

Good Luck,
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:56 PM   #8
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I had it survive in my main after a 12 week fallow time. I had to treat my main with hypo to get rid of it for good. Struggled with it for almost a year.
Ich can ride in on inverts if they come from an infected tank. My tank contracted ich after purchasing some live sand on ebay.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:24 PM   #9
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The Heck with Hypo why didn't you treat with copper while you had them in QT. Main tank fallow QT copper treatment at around .17 for 3-4 weeks. I don't trust the hypo method with ich. There are to many ways for the parasite to beat it when you get a false reading of SG.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:10 PM   #10
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From what is explained above, it appears that the problem is in the main. I would say the fallow time was not long enough. Curing the fish is the easy part.
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