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Old 02-09-2007, 10:46 PM   #1
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Please help, I have Ick and it wont go away!!!!

First let me say hello to everyone and thank you all in advance for any help/ideas that you can give me. I am fairly new to the saltwater world and have had my first saltwater reef system now since October of 2005. I will do my best to explain everything that is going on.

I have a 125g saltwater reef system with a few polyps in it at this current time. Over the last 3-4 months I have been having problems with what I believe to be ICK. I have several fish that are symptomatic of this nuisance.

Here is a list of what I have currently in my tank:
2 Ocelarus Clown Fish
1 Unknown Clown
1 Orange Spotted Shrimp Goby
1 Pajama Cardinal
1 Cleaner Wrasse
2 Bar (Zebra) Gobies
2 Orange Firefish
1 Mandarin Goby
1 Six-Lined Wrasse
1 Royal Grammas
1 3 or 4 Lined Damsel (Deb/Flo from “Finding Nemo”

3 Cleaner Shrimp
1 Horseshoe Crab
1 Emerald Crab
Margarita Snails
Turbo Snails
Narcus (sp?) Snails
1 Conch Snail

Yellow/Green Polyps
Green Star Polyp
Mushroom of some kind

The first problem fish is the Pajama Cardinal. I’ve had this fish (along with the shrimp goby and the unknown clown) since December and were all quarantined for 6 weeks, and drip lined into my 125g tank. None of them showed any signs of ICK before I put them into my other tank. I do not know where this fish came from as far as being tank raised or wild. No noticeable aggression towards or from this fish. It is eating both frozen brine shrimp and frozen mysis shrimp with garlic added to it.

The second fish that is having issues is my Mandarin goby that I’ve had since 1-15-07 and could not be quarantined due to diet restrictions. He was quarantined at the fish store that I purchased it at for 1 week (longest they would hold it there for me) without any spots. I don’t know if it was tank raised. Eating misc bugs in my tank, did however see it snag a piece of frozen brine the other day, so could also be starting to accept this as food. No aggression towards/from this fish.

The third fish is my Royal Grammas that I have had since 1-10-07 and again quarantined for 6 weeks. This fish is eating frozen brine and mysis shrimp w/garlic added. No aggression towards/from this fish. I do no t know if it is tank raised or not.

I don’t know if any of my fish are tank raised/wild for that matter. All of them eat well the same foods as I mentioned above.

Current parameters for my tank are as follows:

Last test done 1-25-07
Nitrate = 20
Nitrite = 0
Ammonia = 0
PH = 8.3
Temp = 80f
Salinity = 1.024
I am using the saltwater master test kit.

The filtration that I have on the tank is a sump with a catch bag that runs through my pump and ½ to my skimmer then ½ back to my tank. (I will try to post pics as well?) Or I can send them somewhere?

I currently have around 60-80 lbs of live rock in my tank plus 50lbs of crushed coral.

All of the fish act healthy and are constantly moving about in the tank looking for food of some kind. All of my fish have at one time or another “Flashed” as you guys call it (rubbing on rocks and such).

I use Kent marine Iodine supplement weekly, and nothing else. Using a salt that contains everything else that I need.

Medicines that I have used:
Cupermine (in my QT)
Stop Parasite = Useless IMO
Marine Max – used one time and worked then nothing…
No More Sick Fish - $80 wasted

I am currently at a quandary as this parasite/bacteria whatever it is has seemed to have imbedded itself into my reef tank and because of current inhabitants I cannot treat with cupermine, nor do I look forward in trying to net out all of my fish from the reef tank, near impossible w/o tearing everything out of the tank first and stressing everyone (including me) out even more.

I think I have answered all the questions that I need to in order for you guys to help if you can. I do have a few questions of my own though.

First, can I use a UV sterilizer in a Reef tank and what size would I need for a 125g tank?

Second, I’ve been told not to use a heater in my tank that it would bake my fish? Should I have a heater or not? I currently have 2 150watt heaters in my tank keeping a stable 79/80 degrees. Is this an acceptable temp?

Third, obviously we’re in the process of setting up a “nemo” reef tank, can both “Dori” and “Bubbles” the Regal blue tang/surgeon fish and the Yellow tang be tank mates and get along with each other?

Fourth, I’m searching for a “Poor man’s Idol” or something close to it that can be kept in a reef tank. Mostly Anemones and a few clams, nothing really spectacular, maybe some Zenia and more green star polyps. Is there anything out there? I’ve been told the ones that school are reef safe is this true?

Fifth, I’ve always been fascinated with eels, is there an eel that I can put into a community tank and have it get along and NOT eat my fish or inverts? Possibly a garden eel I think was the name I was told to look into?

Sixth, I've read that margarita snails are not good in warm water as they die too quickly, is there a better snail that I can get that is just as effective?

Thanks again for reading my long story and look forward to any helpful insights!


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Old 02-09-2007, 11:13 PM   #2
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First welcome to AA. To address your poll question the cleaner wrasse is not a good idea as they do not live long in the home aquarium. They will live only 3-4 months. Better to find out what the problem is and why are your fish being stressed. One thing that I see is that you dont have enough LR for proper biological filtration. Do you have a skimmer as LR + skimmer is all you need. 1.5 lbs - 2 lbs of LR is needed.


As far as the uv this is what I use. I think they are very useful in SW aquaria but that is IMO. Here is a link on them.


Your temps look good and heaters are a good idea. You think you have ick problems now the regal tank is very suseptible to ick. My Margarita snails do OK but my temps stay at 75 degrees. As far as ick if you have seen it then you`ll need to QT the fish and leave the main fishless for 8 weeks to break the life cycle of the parasite. Hope all goes well and here is a few links on QT and ick treatment.





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Old 02-11-2007, 01:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info melosu58

That is helpful but if LR is Live rock I've got 60-80 pounds in my tank already plus crushed coral substrate. I'll look up info on the UV sterilizer but is it SAFE to put on a reef system or is that going to take everything out of the water that I need to be in there for the reef? Did I post this wrong or leave out information? Not getting very many responses but has been veiwed alot?

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Old 02-11-2007, 02:26 PM   #4
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As far as the LR, 1.5-2 lbs is needed for proper biological filtration. I have 200 lbs in my 125. LR and a skimmer is all you need for your reef tank. The CC does not count except that it creates excessive nutrients that cause nuisance algeas to grow. Sand is much better and does not trap these nutrients in them. As far as the UV all it does is kill parasites and algea spores and bacteria that go through the chamber. Look at my gallery and see if it hurts the reef tank. I`ve had one on my tank for all nine yrs. As far as the responses It is the weekend and things get slow then. You`ll get some more today and tomorrow I`m sure.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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Yes, I am sorry I do have a skimmerr, the type escapes me at the moment however. I am at a loss for the reason behind the fish being stressed... I don't see anyone picking on eachother... any guesses?
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:32 AM   #6
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i had an ick breakout in my tank about a month or so ago.i couldn't find anything to help with the problem i didn't want to remove my corals because i dont have nothing to put them in.i tried a natural cure process that did work i lower the specific gravity to 1.018 and raised the temperature to 82 degrees for about three weeks and it did the the job,also i used seachem garlic guard mixed in with their food for awhile to help boost their imundity in their system to fight off diseases.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:00 PM   #7
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Use garlic to stimulate the appitite . Fresh garlic take a clove get a bit of tank water crush with mortar /pestal or spoon and plate place food into it soak no more than 30 minutes and no less than 15 ... it is thought to be that it is allicin that stimulates the feeding response in the fish..... You say you have an unknow clown is there a possibility of a picture. You may be having the fish stressed out which is the # 1 cause of ich outbreaks ...I would also look into adding a skunk cleaner shrimp or two to see if they will aslo set up a cleaning station ...Keeping the water clean and stable will also help

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10 gallon ~6.5 gallon custom
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