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Old 02-27-2008, 09:50 PM   #1
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Very very discouraging

I have had my fish in QT for 7-weeks because of an ich outbreak on my blue tang. I have had my QT at hyposalinity of 1.009 for the past 6-weeks which is 5-weeks past the last time I saw a white spot. I am now raising the salinity slowly, today I am now at 1.018 and I think I see one white spot on that same blue tang. This sucks, the only thing I can think of is that the Catalina Saltwater I buy at the LFS had something in it. I have been spending tons of time every single day on the QT trying to keep everything in balance with a 3" blue tang and 2x 1" clowns in a 10gallon. I don't think I have it in me to do another 8-weeks, which would be back to back 8-weeks totaling 4-months.
I'm not going to give up on the hobby just yet, but I don't know what I'm going to do.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:03 AM   #2
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It might not be ich, it could just be something else that is becoming apparent now that the SG is coming back up. If it was me, I'd keep bringing the SG back up as planned. Once back to a normal SG, I'd just leave things as they are in the QT for at least a week to see if everything is OK. If it IS ich, you'd think you'd see it again during that time. Then you can cross that bridge if it happens.

Can you get a picture of it?
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:30 AM   #3
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I will try to get a picture, if I can get it to show on the pic. It is only one single salt grain looking bump on the body of the fish and for now it is easier to see only at certain angles. It does look similar to the ich it used to have just way less and not as bright white in color. The picture may be though because of how it is only easy to see at certain angles, I dont have a light over the QT and I havent cleaned the inside of the glass at all since I started it 7-weeks ago. I will definitely try to get one though. Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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Have you been using a calibrated refractometer to measure SG? How often were you measuring? I found it took a lot of checking to make sure I did not go above 1.010 due to evaporation. I set up a slow drip of RODI water to handle that while I was work and once I got the drip rate set properly it was easy.

It really would suck if you had to start hypo all over again. I agree with Kurt that unless you are positive it is Ich, you should continue to raise SG to normal and keep an eye on that fish for the next 10 days or so. If it is Ich you will see more spots soon.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:36 PM   #5
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I have been using a refractometer since the very begining of the QT. I checked the SG twice every day it was constantly at 1.009. I also checked the calibration on the refractometer with distilled water once a week. I was very diligent about the whole process. It is only one spec of white still today. Unfortunately, it does look like a grain of salt. I will continue to raise the SG and then monitor the fish for a week as advised.
In a lot of my Google searches I find advice from somebody named Bob Fenner. He seems to be respected in the hobby and says that hyposalinity does not always work very well. I don't know. If it is ich, maybe I will try copper next time. How long does a copper treatment last?
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:59 PM   #6
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I could just be a scratch that's healing up. Not all salt specks are ich. And as cmor mentioned, if it is ich, you'll know for sure soon.

The only issue with using copper for everyone is that you've got a couple clowns in there too. Clowns are really sensitive to copper. All fish are "sensitive" since it's essentially poison, but clowns are particularly sensitive to it. Don't forget... if you deem that it's ich, then ALL fish still are suspect and have to be treated.

{Edit: Oh yeah... and Bob Fenner does seem to be respected. He's the author of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" as well as tons of other books, papers, and publications. The way you worded that just kinda made me chuckle! Thanks! }
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:06 PM   #7
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Yeah I did word it kind of funny. I figured he was somebody known just wasnt sure. I'm sill kinda new to all of this since July of '07. Maybe by next July I will be chuckling at myself for not knowing exactly who Fenner was. I wonder why he doesn't recommend hyposalinity.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:07 AM   #8
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I think hyposalinity is somewhat controversial because different people get different results, but you never really know if the people that it didn't work for did it correctly. Or was it ich to start with? Or did they not let their tank go fallow long enough. Or...

You get my point. There's just too many variables.

But copper, no doubt, will kill the ich. And if you believe the biology behind why hyposalinity works, it will kill the ich too. But there are probably more ways to mess up hypo than copper, and that will give you many more different outcomes. One of the biggest things I've seen when researching it was the salinity level to keep. A lot of people said "Ah... this hypo stuff stinks. It didn't work at all." And when questioned you find out they were keeping their salinity at 1.015 or something. Or they were using a swing arm hydrometer.

Here's a good series of articles on ich, in case you haven't seen them...

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
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:32 PM   #9
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Read the articles that Kurt linked. They may be the best on the subject.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:49 PM   #10
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The only problem with copper is that tangs do not take too well with it. With them I always suggest hypo.JMO
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