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Old 08-26-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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Thanks, Kurt. I really appreciate the help.

Based on your description of ich incubation times, I kind of feel like it's pointless to try and wait this out in a QT. I might need as long as 8 weeks in QT(!), but even that could be too short a time, depending on factors that I can't evaluate (severity of infection, strength of fish), and things that it's not possible to test for (whether or not the fish had ich in the first place, or still has ich in its system at the end of the QT).

And if you are right about that (as I suspect you are), then I wonder if 8 weeks is enough time to leave a tank fishless, if you really want to ensure that there's no ich left in the tank when you introduce new fish. In fact, I have read that some ich can live for as long as 3 months (possibly more) without a fish to host it, and that even the 8 week guideline only guarantees about a 99% die-off.

I seem to be dealing with a very hardy variety of ich, and it is starting to sound to me like I will have to give it a total of at least 10 more weeks without any fish, before I give this another try.

Is there a reason why I shouldn't move my live rock into a fishless QT for that period of time, return my chromis and firefish to the fish store, clean the whole tank, and just start over again? At least that way, I could have a shot at a FISH tank, at some point before Christmas. Given the amount of supplies that I will expend on daily water changes and ongoing maintenance of a QT over the course of 10 weeks or more, this approach is almost certainly cheaper, as well.

I can't think of a reason not to do this. If you agree that I'm making any sense at all, can you help me think through how to disinfect my stuff, to exterminate the ich completely, before re-starting the aquarium?

And on the acclimation from hyposalinity to regular salinity question, two things:

1. I was at the salinity level that you mentioned above. I had the fish in there for 34 days, with daily partial water changes of about 50% (missed 3 changes, not consecutively). The salinity was above 1.009 once, on the 23rd day (not sure why I didn't fix that).

2. I did not raise the salinity in the QT, before transferring the fish to the main tank. Didn't realize that was something I would need to do. Will certainly make a change on that point next time.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:37 AM   #12
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X -- I have a hydrometer. Undoubtedly, you are going to tell me that using a hydrometer to measure salinity is like trying to do brain surgery with a bag of hammers. Yes? How much is a refractomoeter going to set me back?
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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Not even using the hammers, but just swinging the whole bag around, yes.
Don't pay more then 35 for one, not worth it. You can buy em from hong kong for real cheap.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:43 AM   #14
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Yup... I would guess that is what Mr X will say.

I'm going to change my opinion on where the ich came from now. My guess is you were never at 1.009 at all, so you never killed it. You really really really need a refractometer if you're doing hyposalinity. You can pick one up for $50 - really cheap when you consider the true cost of your tank over time.

I'm really surprised your fish didn't die on the spot when you went from the supposed 1.009 to 1.02? in one shot. You really need to spend two weeks or so to gradually bring the QT back up to normal salinity, like .001 per day. Fish can tolerate a quick decrease in salinity, but not a quick increase.

I will send you a link I think is the best for hypo when I get home to my other PC. Not sure what the best thing for you to do is at this point - totally a personal decision. But whatever you do, get a refractometer.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:53 AM   #15
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Don't pay more then 35 for one, not worth it. You can buy em from hong kong for real cheap.
Well... if you get "real cheap", then you might as well go back to that bag of hammers!

The other thing regarding a refractometer is to make sure you get some Pinpoint brand (or equal) 53.0 mS conductivity calibration fluid. When you use this, your refractometer should read 35 ppt - if not, adjust the calibration.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:04 PM   #16
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OK. Good information. Thanks, guys.

I continue to feel like there is really no effective way to guard against -- or treat, or recover from -- an outbreak of ich. Nevertheless, I will do what I can to move forward from here.

I'm now strongly inclined to start over again (with a moderately priced refractometer, natch). It just isn't any fun to have an empty tank sitting in your living room, for months and months at a time.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #17
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Well... if you get "real cheap", then you might as well go back to that bag of hammers!

The other thing regarding a refractometer is to make sure you get some Pinpoint brand (or equal) 53.0 mS conductivity calibration fluid. When you use this, your refractometer should read 35 ppt - if not, adjust the calibration.
I'm not saying go buy a cardboard tube with a piece of glass on the end lol.

But the ones coming out of hong kong are, as usual, just exact clones of the nicer ones that retail here for around $50-70. I support American made things every chance I get, but that includes the giant tuition bill I currently have, so i'm ok with some clones :p
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:39 PM   #18
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OK. Good information. Thanks, guys.

I continue to feel like there is really no effective way to guard against -- or treat, or recover from -- an outbreak of ich. Nevertheless, I will do what I can to move forward from here.

I'm now strongly inclined to start over again (with a moderately priced refractometer, natch). It just isn't any fun to have an empty tank sitting in your living room, for months and months at a time.
We all get that way at some point. I had the nastiest, cut throat, devious, take-your-mother-out-to-dinner-and-never-call-her-again hair algae in my frag tank. It pained me to even look at the thing, but eventually it all settles out and you can sit back and enjoy everything.
Hang in there man!
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:08 AM   #20
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I will send you a link I think is the best for hypo when I get home to my other PC. ...
Here's the best writeup on hyposalinity I've run in to...

ATJ's Marine Aquarium Site - Reference - Hyposalinity Treatment
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