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Old 08-24-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
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Please help - Butterflyfish with Black Spots

Hey, I'm new to the forum. About three weeks ago, added a raccoon butterflyfish to a 50 gallon tank with a yellow tang, damsel, clownfish and coral beauty. It adjusted really well, started eating on the first day, no problems whatsoever. (I know butterflyfish tend to go on hunger strikes, but not this one).

This past week, though, the tank has been is bad circumstances. The coral beauty passed away, and a test of the water levels turned up high levels of nitrate. We've since been doing water changes to the tank, hoping to get the levels down. The butterflyfish then started darting up against the rocks like mad, nicking himself up badly in the process. We called the store where we got him, and they recommended doing a FW dip for about 5 minutes. We did so, and tons of things (parasites, I'm assuming) flew off the fish immediately. When we returned him to the community tank, he swam around fine and continued eating. In the days since, he's continued darting (though not nearly as much), so yesterday we did another dip and only one or two parasites flew off. This morning when we woke up, we noticed he had black dots on his body which he hadn't had before - a sign to me that he may have black spot ich (but oddly enough, he's still swimming and eating normally).

So I should add that this tank isn't mine; it's my boyfriends. He's had it for about four years now. Since the butterfly got sick, I've been trying to do as much research as I can to figure out what's ailing it. All the sites recommend a FW dip and a QT tank, however, my bf doesn't have one and doesn't believe in using one; he's also afraid to use Copper or any other kinds of medicine in the tank, fearing that it will get the other fish sick. So far, they've been acting normal. My question is, will FW dips and water changes alone cure this fish? Like I said, I'm not a saltwater hobbyist, but based on what I've reading, I don't think it will; I think this will probably spread to the rest of the fish in the tank, which I would hate to see happen. Also, could the butterfly be suffering from something other than black spot ich? Please help!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:18 PM   #2
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I personally dont like FW dips. All they do is stress out more an already stressed out fish. I`ve never seen them do any good IME. IMO stop the FW dips and QT the fish and observe him. Are you seeing pepper like ich on him. Look like this


About.com: http://www.fishbase.org/Diseases/DispicSummary.cfm?pic=BlksptD1.jpg&notcom=
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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I personally dont like FW dips. All they do is stress out more an already stressed out fish. I`ve never seen them do any good IME. IMO stop the FW dips and QT the fish and observe him. Are you seeing pepper like ich on him. Look like this


About.com: http://www.fishbase.org/Diseases/DispicSummary.cfm?pic=BlksptD1.jpg&notcom=
How do you get rid of it in the tank?
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Most places suggest formalin bath.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:31 AM   #5
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Most places suggest formalin bath.
Good to know, thanks Mike.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:42 AM   #6
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Ridding the tank takes either hypo (if all the inhabitants can handle it; eg inverts etc) or fallow. If I remember right, the fallow recommendation is months due to elongated maturing stage.

WWM recommends 15 minute FW dip followed by a formalin bath of the same.

Opinions differ on the effectiveness of FW dips. I personally think they help and think that 15 minutes in there vs something like 15 minutes Formalin (Formaldehyde) is less stressful.

IMO if the fish dies after a FW bath I'm unclear how a pathology could point to the dip over the disease. But that's why they're my fish
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:52 PM   #7
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Most of the time by the time most fish get a FW dip they are stressed out that the FW dip will kill them. A healthy fish will do much better but a healthy fish does not need a FW dip does he. LOL
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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With all due respect, unless there's a postmortem pathology there is simply no way to know for sure if it was the dip or the disease. I've not seen any major publications/research poo-pooing FW dips for certain parasite infestations.

On this one I think it's best to agree to disagree
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:43 PM   #9
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I do agree with Capt. and when a pathology report is conducted it usually states what disease or physical trauma the animal has undergone in leading to death. Like it or not, fw dips have always been a standard in the industry, professional or not, and I have yet to see or hear of a fw bath as a leading cause or stress inducing event post death. Not to ramble, but considering that most "real" qt procedures involve some kind of chemical compound such as copper, formaldehyde, malachite green, de-wormers, etc. etc., fw dips are certainly not doing any more harm than what we put them through medicinally.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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I`m not saying what killed the fish. Whether it was the fw dip or the disease or parasites. I wasnt implying the dip alone killed the fish I was saying it usually died for some reason. I do see where I did say the dip killed him but I meant they usually die after the dip. How and why is up to speculation as you say Captain I just choose not to, as far as a standard in the industry my experience in the subject speaks volumes to me. Not disagreeing at all with you captain.
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