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Old 07-16-2003, 03:33 PM   #1
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Newbie with sick fish

I have a fish that's dying. He's about to be one of MANY fish I have lost in the last two months. I've had the tank going for about 4 months now, and it took a good 2 months to cycle. So far I've done the following to rid my tank of whatever the problem is:

1) Added a bag of carbon to the filter for about 3 weeks changing the carbon out in the middle of that period.
2) Done tons of water changes totaling about 150% of the tank's volume.
3) Added a UV sterilizer which has been running 24x7 for about 10 days now.

The fish I'm losing is a green chromis (cheap and hardy, so I use them as test fish. I've killed a lot of them by this point.) He's doing exactly what all the other fish did. Here is the standard life-extinguishing procedure:

1) Breathe fast, hide behind rocks, and generally swim in place.
2) Continue breathing fast, stop eating, and react less to stimuli of all kinds.
3) Lose equilibrium.
4) Be saved from the arrow crab by the big green net, and then be promptly flushed down the toilet.

Sometimes they have white spots, sometimes they don't. I'd say 3-4 out of the following fish have shown visible signs of ich before they died:

2 longhorn cowfish (both showed)
10 chromis
2 percula clowns (neither showed)
1 sebae clown (didn't show)

All I can keep alive in the tank are inverts and one other green chromis that's been in the tank for about a month now. Three questions at this point:

1) Does anyone have any suggestions?
2) Does ich kill fish before it shows?
3) Would it help if I typed out a detailed description of how I do everything? (i.e. acclimate, run lights, feed, etc.)[/i]
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:41 PM   #2
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What are your water parameters? Are you waiting a month between adding fish to wait for the parasite cycle to run its course?
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
1) Does anyone have any suggestions?
Not yet.

Quote:
2) Does ich kill fish before it shows?
Sometimes

Quote:
3) Would it help if I typed out a detailed description of how I do everything? (i.e. acclimate, run lights, feed, etc.)[/i]
Yes
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:44 PM   #4
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I was told that the UV sterilizer (9 watts, 100 gph pump, 42 gal tank) would knock it out in a matter of days. So, no I'm not.
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:49 PM   #5
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I was told that the UV sterilizer (9 watts, 100 gph pump, 42 gal tank) would knock it out in a matter of days.
This is false, whoever told you that, nevermind *remembers his mother telling him..."if you don't have anything nice to say..."* I'm not even sure your 9watt UV has enough punch to kill the ick during the short period of time it is in the UV. Ick is a pretty tough cookie it might just be getting a tan, also the only ick the unit has a possibility of killing, is the ick that passes through the unit
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:50 PM   #6
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I never experienced ich personally, but I would wait a month just to be safe. Others may disagree, but if you wait a month you know you will be safe. It will be less costly, you wont be stressing out more fish, and it will be less frustrating for you. I know it is hard to wait, but I think more people leave this hobby due to frustration which can be avoided with patience. Good luck, let us know what happens!
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:51 PM   #7
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I never experienced ich personally, but I would wait a month just to be safe. Others may disagree, but if you wait a month you know you will be safe.
I concur
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:00 PM   #8
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Three more questions:

1) Should I slow down the flow through the UV sterilizer? The pump has a thing you can move to shrink the intake, thus slowing the flow.
2) Is there anything else I can do to help kill ich and/or other parasites?
3) No one said whether or not ich kills fish before it's visible. If not, I have another problem, because most (2/3 or so) of the fish didn't show ich before they were dead.
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
1) Does anyone have any suggestions?
The first thing that came to mind when reading the symptoms you described was a possible problem with pH levels/oxygenation. What range does you pH fall in, and what type of water circulation/flow do you have?

Quote:
Does ich kill fish before it shows?
Not to my knowledge, but I am far from a fish-disease expert. One thing that does come to mind is Oodinium. AFAIK, Oodinium effects the gills first, causing them to produce excess mucus. The symptoms include rapid breathing, loss of appetite, listlessness, etc. However, as the disease progresses, the fish usually appear to be covered in a white "velvet" or powder. Have you seen anything like this?

If you haven't thought about this already, I would definitely set up some sort of quarantine tank. It will give you a place to medicate fish at the first sign/sumptom of disease, and is also a "holding area" for new fish, so you can observe them (and treat if necessary) before introducing to you tank.

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Would it help if I typed out a detailed description of how I do everything? (i.e. acclimate, run lights, feed, etc.)
Can't hurt!
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:21 PM   #10
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I'll test the PH when I get home, but I had all my water levels tested two weeks ago and everything was fine. PH was at 8.3. As far as circulation and oxygenation, I have the following:

1) 100 gph pump running into the UV sterilizer
2) 200 gph pump running on the filter (CPR Backpack 2), which has some sort of air intake on it as well because the filter looks like it has an air stone in it. You can't see through the filter because of all the bubbles. I assume this covers oxygenation.

That's all the current I have running in the tank. Since it's pretty much a FOWLR, but has just a couple accidental corals in it (came on LR), current was a lesser issue in my mind. Especially since I want a Longhorn Cowfish, which has never been noted for its swimming prowess.

That Oodinium sounds good except for the white velvet stuff. They breathe fast, don't eat, and are very sluggish, but that's about all that happens between healthiness and flushing.

The quarentine tank would be a good idea, but there are some problems. First, I only have a 10 gal as a secondary tank. Seeconly, it's not cycled at all, so they'd have that problem. Third, that's a pretty small tank, and the lack of size might cause enough stress that it would do more harm than good. Fourth, I'm only using really cheap fish right now, and it's a little more effort than they're worth to me so far.

I'll make another reply with all my habits.
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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