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Old 08-03-2004, 01:16 AM   #1
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Starfish and Ich

I see other posts out here about ich, but didn't notice one that specifically tanks about how it affects starfish. I just added a tiger-striped serpent star 2 days ago (along with a clownfish and a gramma). There were no other fish in the main tank and my QT wasn't ready yet, so into the big tank they went (75g, 80#LR). Today, I noticed the gramma has white spots on his tail fins, so I have to conclude that all three are now at risk.

My QT tank just completed cycling today, so I have that available if I need it. How do I treat this, assuming I will have great difficulty in getting the star out from under/behind the rocks without hurting him. Do I even have to worry about the starfish, or can he clean himself? Are starfish susceptible to ich? How about my hermit crabs? I've treated my FW tanks for ich successfully using the heat method (14 days at 86 degrees)....can I just treat my SW tank this same way, or will I have to do the copper and/or fresh-water dip method?

Any advice is appreciated....this little starfish is absolutely cute and I don't want him (or any of my tank inhabitants for that matter) to die.

TIA,
--Aquabear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 08-03-2004, 03:00 AM   #2
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Don't feed your fish for a few days them put some defrosted frozen food on the bottom in an open area. Usually that star will haul some tentacles getting to the food. They have hearty appetites and aren't generally shy about satisfying them.

Please read the FAQ about treating SW Ich. You really can't treat for it in a tank with inverts in it and inverts don't get it. You need to get the fishes out into another tank and medicate them leaving the infected tank fishless (inverts are ok) for at least six weeks. And please don't raise the temperature. 86 degrees could potentially kill your critters. The Ich will die off without fish in there to host it.
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:06 AM   #3
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Get the fish into the QT, don't worry about the star, crabs or snails. ICH will die out of the main in 4 to 6 weeks, so no fish in the main for that period. Keep them all in QT. HTH
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Old 08-03-2004, 08:12 PM   #4
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So move the fish to the QT and do the copper treatment thing, leave the star and crabs in the main tank. Sounds easy enough. I was concerned about the 86 degree thing when I first treated my FW tank, but everyone in the FW forums swore by it, and that it was less stressful than chemical treatment. I cleaned up 3 of my tanks this way successfully and didn't lose a single fish.

Thanks for the advice.

--Aquabear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 08-03-2004, 08:19 PM   #5
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With Sw ich, it's a pain, but there is only 1 real way of treatment.
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:34 AM   #6
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AAAAAGGGGHH!! My Royal Gramma died! He didn't eat much this morning, and didn't come out at all when I went to feed him and the Clownfish this evening. Then I went to go take care of another tank, came back, and there was my Gramma, laying on the aquarium floor. Oh well, I guess I don't have to worry about catching him now. Darn it! I'm not having the best of luck with SW fish so far. My water conditions are pretty near PERFECT....Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, SG 1.022, temperature 79-80. My dissolved oxygen content is more than adequate. Even though I only saw the ich on the Gramma, there is an ever-present risk that there may still be some in the tank, just waiting to attack my cute-as-a-button Clownfish ("Gizmo").

I've read through the suggestions in the forums here, and checked a bunch of other references on the internet. Too many conflicting theories, and just about everything sounds like it's either too complex, will compromise my biological filter or is too risky for the fish. I know this was my fault, because I should have put them in the QT first, but it wasn't quite ready...now it is (same readings as the main tank except nitrates are 10).

Since I only have to worry about moving the clownfish now (and he's easy to catch), I think I have figured out a good treatment plan. Let me know if you think this sounds feasible:

1) To treat the clownfish, put him in the QT alone, and then use the Osmotic Shock/Hyposalinity Treatment (slowly reduce the salt content to 1.015 over several hours). Marine ich can't handle SG this low and (according to Drs. Stan and Debbie Houten on About.com) literally explode. Fish can tolerate this fairly easily for the 7 days you have to leave them in the solution. Then, do regular water changes and slowly raise the SG until it is back to the same level as the main aquarium. No chemicals, no dipping or using a potentially hazardous procedure. And, this will not interfere with the biological filter in the QT, allowing it to remain cycled and relatively safe chemically.

2) Use the suggestions you all mentioned and leave the clownfish in the QT for a total of 6 weeks to make sure all the ich has died off in the main tank. The star fish and crabs will be fine in the main tank. Then I won't have to treat the main tank or compromise the biofilter there either.

DOES THIS SOUND LOGICAL? I absolutely hate the thought of putting chemicals in my tanks (except of course the necessary water conditioner), and I think this combination will be the least likely to have a negative chemical reaction, while at the same time preserving my bio-filter and keeping the stress to a minimum on the fish.

I'll report back and let everyone know how it worked, as it may be a viable alternative for other people who have the same setup.

TIA,
--Aquabear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:43 AM   #7
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Yes, hypo is very logical for ich. I am treating for it now...but.
Lower the spg to 0.009-0.010, what you stated isn't low enough and you need to leave him in the lowered spg for 3 weeks, not 7 days. Also to do it right you will need a refractometer. Swing arm hydrometers are just not accurate enough. One of the sponsors sells a good one (which I use) for $43.
http://www.premiumaquatics.com, part # RHS-10ATC.
My fish are tolerating it very well. Just lower the spg over the course of a couple of days and watch the PH and ammonia, the ph has a tendency to drop and you may need to buffer it a bit.
Sorry for your loss too.
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Old 08-04-2004, 08:31 AM   #8
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Yea, sorry for the loss.
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Old 08-04-2004, 01:14 PM   #9
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Okay...I just wanted to make sure I was thinking rationally. The 1.015 was the figure they recommended, as was the duration. That's what I mean about there being so many conflicting theories. I had planned on getting a refractometer a few months back, just because I like to make sure I'm doing things right (my OCD kicking in), so I guess I need to get one FAST. I'm planning on moving Gizmo today to get this started.

If I could be sure only the gramma had it, and the tank wasn't infected, I wouldn't put him through this, but he is just TOO adorable (plus I've named him already), so I'm doing to do whatever I need to do to keep him healthy.

Thanks guys.

--Kevin a.k.a. AquaBear
__________________
In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 08-04-2004, 01:22 PM   #10
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If the Gramma had it then it IS in your tank, you must QT Gizmo (had a cat with that name once) and leave the tank empty for 4 to 6 weeks.
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