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Old 10-24-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
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Question Sailfin Tang Ich Problem

I recently purchased a Sailfin tang at the LFS and have had it about 1 week. Today I noticed that there were all these white spots, almost like salt specs covering the fish. I don't have quarantine tank and am looking for suggestions on how to treat without a QT. I do have live rock in my tank and a Hawaiian feather duster. Suggestions?

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Old 10-24-2010, 04:40 PM   #2
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The problem with Ich is that it will continue to live as long as it has a host organism. Treating in a quarantine tank is why this is important. If you have more than one fish in the tank, and you remove the infected fish, if the Ich has dropped spores they fall into the substrate and will infect the other fish in the tank, and the cycle repeats. Also Marine Ich is different from FW Ich from what I understand.

I've heard that freshwater dips will work, you get in infected fish out of the tank, put it in a temperature-matched freshwater (RODI) bath for about 5 minutes, and this is enough time to kill the parasites but not the fish. If you're lucky enough that the Ich hasn't reproduced yet, this may take care of the issue.

However, if it doesn't, you will likely have to remove all the fish to a QT and treat them in that tank for 30 days. I think Marine Ich has a 28 day life cycle so if there's no host in the DT then they will naturally die off from starvation essentially. However, that 28 day period is from the point they drop off the host and start the new life cycle, so you may want to wait longer. Also I think if you lower the salinity in the DT (hyposalinity) the Ich will not survive. However, there is a fine line between low enough to kill Ich and too low that will kill other wanted organisms.

Perhaps someone with some experience treating Marine Ich can chime in. I haven't dealt with it before. I do know however that you have to treat it rather quickly.

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Old 10-30-2010, 08:58 AM   #3
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Read these to understand the parasite

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Quarantine Tank for Everything by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com

Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part I by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com

Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans - A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part II by Steven Pro - Reefkeeping.com

Also there is another problem here. If your tank info is right then your sailfin tang needs a tank about 3 times what you have now. With your tang in a tank that small you are sure to have repeated bouts with ick. The tank size will continue to add stress to the fish causing immune system problems. I know it`s not the news you want to hear but I`ve seen it many a time.


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Old 10-30-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Great advice above. You can NOT treat Ich in the DT tank. Get yourself a 10 gallon starter and put all the fish in that for the 6 week Hyposalinity cure.

That will prevent Ich from reappearing as long as you then QT ALL new livestock before putting them in the tank.

Even if your SF tang is small right now it needs a 6' long tank at a minimum. I have one and with I had a 16' long tank for it to swim in. These fish get BIG and they are very FAST swimmers.

In addition to the articles Mike linked you should also read:
ATJ's Marine Aquarium Site - Reference - Hyposalinity Treatment
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #5
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Garlic will help your fishes immune system. Ive had success Garlic Extreme at the first signs of ick. Both feeding it to the fish and adding to the tank. It's most likely too late to save your Sailfin but it's worth a try. IMO moving a very sick fish will add excess stress doing more harm than good.
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