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Old 02-04-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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Ich Ordeal, trial by fire

We have a 55 gal tank with an Aqueon 55/75 filter, 60+lbs of live rock, 3 sea urchins (initially tiny hitchhikers, thriving well, and very large now.) We are only about 5 months into this hobby...all of our fish are tank bred, we have 2 small clowns, a purple psuedo, a blue tang, a longnosed butterflyfish and a spotted boxfish. everyone gets along fine. We learned the hard way about quarantining...frankie, our boxfish and last addition, brought Ich into our tank. Blue tang and purple psuedo went downhill fast, covered, gasping, so..

We tried hyposalinity in 2 HT, one 29 gal, and one 18 gal, so they had room, and it appeared to work. All seemed to recover. left them in there for 4 wks, gradually brought up the salinity, returned them to the DT (ph 8.2, hardness 9, amm 0, nitrite, 0, nitrate 0). Within 7 days, the Ich was back, white bumps on the blue tang.

Back to QT for all...this time for copper. blue tang, butterfly and boxfish in the 29 gal, other three small ones in the 18. Started w/the 29...brought the level gradually to 4.5 or so, over 3 days, on the way to 6.0...water parameters match above levels, and frankie the blue-eyed boxfish gets listless, hangs out on the bottom, appetite waaay down...so today i put him in the 18 gal with the 3 little ones, no copper there, and he perked right up. (I havent started dosing them yet, they dont show symptoms...thought I'd see how it went with the others. Glad I did.)

So, no treatment to main DT tank...plan on leaving it fallow for 2 months this time, will that kill the Ich? Urchins seem fine...do I need to feed them? if so, what? Tried algea sheets, no interest, lol.

Any other advice? I plan on doing a 30% water change tomorrow on the 29 gal to lower the copper level, so I can add the 3 fish from the 18 gal., and then bring it up again (and more) so as to also treat the 3 little ones. I know it is close quarters, but I am willing to do frequent water changes and keep dosing to keep levels up, if necessary. After the 2 wk copper treatment, I can spread them out again. Don't think Frankie can tolerate the copper. I ordered a copper test kit from my LFS, in the meantime I am bringing water in. I plan on getting it up to between 5.0-6.0 for two weeks as advised, then water changes to bring it down. By the time the DT is ready, I will have a month or so left in HT to observe for disease.

If this doesn't work, I'm lost. Frankie will have to fight it off on his own, the copper was making him sick. Please feel free to comment and advise...we are new and dont want to kill our friends - Frank Sinatra (Frankie) Jimi Hendrix (pseudo), Sid and Nancy (clowns), Gilda (blue tang) and pinnochio. Thank you so much...I have learned a lot here, and look forward to your guidance.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:53 AM   #2
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try the copper at 5 I think 6 is a little to high although some can tolerate it at that level. I used cupramine and it worked great you didn't say what you were using.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #3
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I am also using cupramine...and will dilute it a bit tonight, thank you. Maybe thats why Gilda, the blue tang, is flashing lately. Other than that they look good. The tank has been at 6 for about 6 days now, amm is 0, nitrites and nitrates 0....ph went up a little to 8.4, kh is 13? I am wondering about a few things...maybe you can help? I haven't added the three little ones to that tank yet, wasn't sure if they would be ok just put in there with the high copper level, or if I would have to dilute it and if so by how much...on the other hand, they are showing no symptoms in the other tank, maybe the hypo worked on them? Should I wait for symptoms or just treat them? I moved the boxfish in with them last week, they seem to be fine, tho the nitrate level is a bit high at 20, and the nitrites are 2.0. Ammonia is 0, ph 8.2...(water change imminent,) I think that 18 gal tank is too small for them all (2 small clowns, purple psuedo + Frankie) Thanks again for commenting...
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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I don't think I would treat any that didn't show any signs of infection just keep a watchful eye on them.Don't dilute it below 5 though
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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Good reading on the parasite and treatment.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Quarantine Tank for Everything by Steven Pro

Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part I by Steven Pro

Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part II by Steven Pro
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