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Old 11-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
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Problems with Ich & Marine Velvet

I've been successfully running my 300 gallon reef for the past 2 1/2 years & have acquired many fish & have recently lost 7/8 of everything due to disease that I acquired within the last 2-3 weeks from adding 1 or 2 new fish. I've never set up a quarantine tank before & guess I've just been lucky.

I just set up a 20 gallon quarantine tank with some live rock, proper circulation & dosed it with copper. Two sick Clowns just died in it today & I'm feeling frustrated wondering what I'm doing wrong? Don't want to give up just yet but I'm tired of throwing money away...
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:25 PM   #2
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I'd start by figuring out what caused your tank to crash to begin with. And when it comes to your QT tank, you didn't mention anything about water changes so ammonia and nitrite probably crept up on them.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:25 AM   #3
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I'd suggest you not use live rock in a tank you are medicating. First off, copper gets absorbed by many things (including calcium based rock) so you probably didn't have the proper dosage for healing the problem. Medication tanks should be bare, with an airstone, heater, and inert things for the fish to hide in ( if needed) like PVC fittings. Way too many things on live rock that could have died and polluted the water which killed the fish.
Most medications will have a dosage schedule that includes doing partial water changes to combat ammonia buildup. Since the water is new and the fish are probably not eating all that much being sick, the ammonia level shouldn't rise in a properly stocked QT tank for almost a week. ( At east that was the timeframe it took in my warehouse and home tanks.

Lastly, adding fish to an established tank without QTing them or observing them for a period of time is like playing Russian Rhoulette. In the game with a 6 shooter, you have 5 chances to be "right" then BANG, you hit the 6th chamber and it all goes to pieces. That's what happened with your situation, you hit the 6th chamber. Don't blame the tank, it wasn't it's fault You could say you have been lucky up to this point but proper, successful aquaria are not created by luck but by careful preparation and maintenance of the aquarium's ecosystem. Luck really plays little to no part in a successful aquarium.

I'd just chalk this one up to a learning experience and go from here. Be aware that Velvet ( oodinium) has a long life without a host so I would strongly suggest you leave the tank bare of fish for at least the next 6-8 weeks. Something else to consider is that any invertebrates you have in the tank, like live coral, can house the parasite as well. Since copper is still the best Oodinium medication, and you can't use it on live corals, you should also set up these in a separate tank for a minimum of 6-8 weeks as well.

Unfortunately, even if your solution is to strip down the tank and start it up again new, you should still not use the items in the tank now for that 6-8 week period as they may contaminate the new setup.

I hope some of this helps
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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Thank You Andy for your Advice!

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to reply to my post regarding a quarantine tank. I decided to check the Ammonia in the tank and it was high at 0.5 probably because of the live rock. I broke the whole quarantine tank down added new Na water at 1.024 & gave first dose of Copper. I have 1 Coralia pump circulating the water as well as, a Aqueon Quiet Flow Power filter. I didn't add any media to it since I'm running Copper. I will add a filtration sponge of some type to trap the uneaten food. I'll periodically check the ammonia levels and do water changes accordingly. I only added 1 Rusty Angel as a test fish but I haven't seen him eat yet.

I also added a small LED lighting strip to the side of the tank. I'm wondering how much PVC and how many fish I can add to the quarantine tank at one time? I added the Live Rock on the advice of my Reef Store & I trust his judgment. He's been in the business 30+ years an thought the rock would be good for Bio filtration.

The other fish in my main tank seem to be doing fine. There are seven left including 3 Yellow Tangs and a few miscellaneous others. There's nothing I can due about the various LPS corals in the 300 gallon as I'd have no place to put them. Any other advice you have would be appreciated!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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I think the problem comes down to defining what a QT tank is. Your guy at the LFS would have been right if this were a "holding" situation where you just wanted to observe a new fish for a period of time so it would need a running, biologically sound tank & filter. When you are treating a tank because your fish have a disease, it should be referred to as a "hospital" tank and not a QT tank. In a hospital tank, it needs to be bare so that you have an accurate measure of the water volume plus, in the case of copper, the medication is not absorbed by anything making the levels inaccurate as well. In the case of antibiotics, they usually effect the nitrifying bacteria so you don't want them exposed to the meds to only die off and create a secondary problem.
As for how many at 1 time?, it depends on how long you are keeping them in there. Keeping track of the ammonia level will be key but again, it will depend on what meds you are using at the time as to how much water you can change should ammonia be an issue.

So to sum up , When you get a new fish, it should go into a quarantine tank for observation for a minimum of 2 weeks to make sure the fish is eating, acting healthy, and adjusting to it's new surroundings. IF within this quarantine time it comes down with a condition that needs to be medicated, it should be moved to a hospital tank for proper medicating. HOWEVER, I'd keep copper in the QT tank to keep parasite situations from getting past you but the hospital tank can be a temporary tank and set up immediately upon need. Most times you will only need it for a week or maybe 2 at a time. from there, the fish should go back into QT just to make sure it's fully healed.
I always kept new, clean water available in a barrel so I could set up a Hospital tank in 5 minutes as all I use is water, a pre set heater and airline in there. How long does that take? lol

Just keep you eyes on your other fish as OOdinium has different stages and not every stage of life is on the fish. It will spend some time in your gravel.

I hope I've answered your questions. PM me if I haven't
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